Tag Archives: journal

Are you open for Jesus Monday to Sunday?

You’ve heard about Sunday Christians. You see them on Sundays. They don’t get too involved with the church and if you bump into them on a weekday, they behave like a different person. You’ve also seen Devout Christians – people who follow God wholeheartedly and the familiar faces who show up at almost every church events.

Then there are Christians like me who are a little harder to distinguish. I attend service and small group, serve in church, read bible, and do whatever I can to inch closer to God. Yet when my leader texted if I’m coming to the church’s monthly Prayer Meeting on that very day, I hesitated. I’ve always thought Prayer Meetings are for the holiest members of the congregation because the people who attend are usually the devout and it falls on a Wednesday night. The latter might not sound like a solid reason but you see, I’ve planned God’s activities to be on Sunday and Friday – the days I attend church and small group.

So I started having a mental debate whether I should come to the meeting. The argument centred on the questions if I don’t go to church tonight, how will I spend my evening? Will it be more useful or meaningful? I’d spend time with my family at home which is a strong case because I don’t spend enough time at home, and I would be reading this book called Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science. Then I began to see the irony. I was about to choose to stay home and read about the evidence for God when I could be in church experiencing the evidence for God. I decided if I can get off work on time, I will make my way to church. And yes, God made it happen.

SURRENDER MY DAYS

Standing in the church hall that night made me feel out of place. I was not used to worshiping God in church among the “stronger” Christians on a Wednesday night. Sure I listen to sermon at home on weekdays but it’s not the same to seek God on your own time and comfort versus rearranging your schedule to be at His altar. I clapped and lifted up my hands during praise and worship like I usually do on weekends but deep down I was wondering if the awkwardness of being in God’s presence that night will go away. Finally I did what I need to do. I prayed and invited Jesus to be Lord over my life Monday to Sunday.

LIVE ON GOD’S TERMS

I wake up to pray and listen to sermon every morning, read a Christian book on my way to work, and read the bible at night. On the surface it seems like I have my spiritual life figured out. I even prayed for God to enter every room of my life but I didn’t realize I only hand Him the keys on Sundays and Fridays.

Is God a guest or is He the owner of your life? When we choose to live for God it means He holds the keys and has access to every room in your life. Matthew 16:24 says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  It doesn’t say to follow Him on a specific day because following Jesus is a 24/7 commitment. Jesus is not a counsellor or therapist whom you schedule your time with. He is the leader of our lives and He has the privilege to rearrange our schedule. We live under His terms and not the other way around.

OPEN WHEN HE KNOCKS

If I had said ‘no’ when my leader asked me to come to the meeting I wouldn’t be writing this. It wasn’t the first time my leader asked me to a church event, few of which I declined but there’s one thing I learn – I can keep saying ‘no’ to man, but I can’t say ‘no’ to Holy Spirit forever. Every time you say ‘no’ to God, you’re distancing yourself from Him and disobedience will eventually dull your spiritual senses. Unless you’re ready to live without God, don’t let yourself slips into a place where you’re no longer bothered by Holy Spirit’s prompting. The fact that you’ve read my writing to this point, I hope means that you have the desire to live out the life that God calls us to have and so let your heart be open to Him 24/7.

13bca418be643005a9b2f8ee72d391c2

Put up this sign for God. Photo Credit: Pinterest, Etsy.com

X,

Mel.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Life Series, Spiritual Journey

2/365

I ended 2016 and began 2017 in the house of God. At first I had apprehension it’s gonna be quite draggy with hours of praying and listening to sermons, but it turns out to be exactly the contrary. I mean yes, we spent time praying and listening the message and direction for the church in this new year but God’s presence was so palpable and spirits were high. Every worship is a resounding declaration of how God has been so real to the 4,000 strong congregation that packed the room. I had no idea celebrating New Year in church could be so refreshing.

The pastor shared his vision for the church in 2017, titled “Decade of Expansion”. He encouraged us to break out of the limitations we have physically or mentally and expand the horizon for our vision. This is especially important since we’re facing what the economists are predicting to be a slow year ahead. We need to discern the fact from God’s truth. Bad economy is a fact but the truth is God is still our provider and in control.

As for my personal direction for the year, the word I have is Responsibility.
I know it doesn’t sound sexy. In fact it sounds like impending hard work. But as I prayed over the word and seek God’s direction, I know this is the year that I need to rise up to the opportunities and be responsible for my own growth be it spiritually, career wise, etc. Events in 2017 are pre ordinate, but how I respond to them will determine the outcome of 2017 for myself. With that in mind, I want to be deliberate in being responsible and doing things as an example for others instead of finding the easiest way like there’s no one following.

1gye3f

While it’s easy to say how I want to do this and that because it’s still the holiday season, tomorrow my conviction will be put to test as the first work day of the year commences. I’m stepping into the new era of my life in faith for good days ahead (or at least God’s days) and not dwelling on former things.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”
Psalm 90:12

X,
Mel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life Series, Spiritual Journey

Seoul’d Out – Day 4

We knew Day 4 was going to start late because we were clubbing the night before. This was the last full day we had together as the Jakarta girls are taking the morning flight back tomorrow. Fortunately everyone woke up pretty on time and ready to roll as soon as we gathered. I’m amazed at how synchronized we were.

First photo of the day outside hotel.

First photo of the day outside our hotel.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Seoul, Travel Diary, Uncategorized

Why I blog even if no one reads.

I’ve said that I started blogging about my life journey hoping that it does a thing or two for you who are going through the same thing. Over the years, I realized the person I’m impacting the most through my writing is myself.

I’m not an outspoken person. I used to be but somehow I became more introverted as I grow older. I’ve not been thinking on my feet lately because I feel that most of the things I blurted or my initial response to any conversation can be rather absurd. In short, I fear I might say something stupid or of no value to the topic. Strangely and thankfully, I don’t have that fear when I’m typing. Even if someone thinks I’m typing crap, I’m not really affected by it. Maybe because it’s a blog, a one-way communication and I know you will either continue reading or close on me. To those who continue on, I thank you.

Blogging is a form of therapy to me; a way to sort out my feelings and thoughts. I also enjoy reading my old posts. It’s fascinating to see how far I’ve come to where I am now. For the same reason, it is also good to journal your self-reflection time or, for Christians, time alone with God.

I’ve not been blogging regularly as you can see and I’m falling behind my New Year Resolution of blogging twice a week. I have no excuse. I’ve used the “I’m too busy” and “I’ve got nothing to blog” cards far too many times. It’s time to just get down to it and blog even when I’ve got nothing to say. After all I’m doing this for myself. Yes it’s selfish, but sometimes you got to help yourself before you can help others.

So thanks again for reading till the end, by doing so you’ve actually done a thing for me. :)

Cheers,
Mel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life Series

Pre-30s Crisis

To all early to mid 20s; if you think quarter life crisis is a pain, wait till you get here.

Ok, maybe pre-30s crisis doesn’t poke you every single time or question everything you do, but that’s the problem – it reeks of apathy and submission. When you’re in your early 20s, just setting foot in adulthood, you have plenty of dreams and your fear might be whether or not you’re making the right choices or on the right track to where you want to be. When you’re in your pre-30s you’ve invested a good amount of years in the choices you made. If it’s the right one and you’re where you wanted to be then good on you but if you’re like me… doing okay, climbing the career ladder, yet feeling like I’ve lost a spark in me, then welcome to pre-30s. Things hasn’t turn out exactly how I wanted. Then again, I remember not having a clear thought on where I wanted to go when I was starting out which is probably the reason I’m still in this square.

I’ve just listened to a sermon by a random pastor* I found on Youtube about pursuing your calling and not your potential. It’s the first time I’m hearing such thing but one thing really spoke to me, “You have more things you can do than things you should do. If Satan can’t make you sin, he will make you busy. Not doing bad thing but neglecting first thing”. Have you ever feel like you’re doing so much, perhaps growing in where you’re planted but it’s still gives you the pointless feeling? I think that’s what’s happening to me. I’m doing all that I can do but not what I should do. What is it that I should do? Hmm.

Anyhow, although I titled this Pre-30s Crisis. I’m abolishing the mindset of life being one crisis after another. Quarter life crisis, Pre-30s crisis, and then post 30s and pre-menopausal crisis?? This ends right here. Sure life has its challenges but we are free to take actions and move on. With that in mind, I’m off to devise an escape plan from this crisis.

*The random pastor turns out to be Ps. Mark Driscoll. I read up that he is a pretty big and controversial pastor. If you’d like to listen to the sermon, you can click here.

Cheers,

Mel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life Series, Uncategorized

Picking your battle

After my quarter of a century experience as an Earth resident I have finally understood the concept of picking your battle, although I may not have mastered the art of picking them. 

There are many things we can be bothered with or get affected by. You might see parents scolding their kids in public and feel bothered by it, or beggars on the street that you feel helpless for. I am not going to tell you how to control your emotions and not be too affected by them because I don’t know how.

What I’ve learnt the best way to choose your battle is to first have your personal list of important things. Best if you could list them in order starting from most to least important. Then when you’re faced with a situation, have a mental Q&A. “How important is this to me?“. E.g. If spending time with family and friends is most important to you and you’re holding a job that takes up all your time then you know you need to fight for a work life balance. But if you don’t regard it as important (yet) or you place career progression as more important then you need not fight the battle and just continue to work hard. Might not be the best advice or example but you know my point.

One thing I try to remember is that we don’t have all the time in the world to care or be part of everything. I have tons of hobbies but if I were to pursue each one of them I would either be burnt out or missing out on something else. 

When we pick a battle we put ourselves in the position to gain something of value to us but something else gotta give. Like if you choose to argue with your boss over something you believe in, you will be able to sleep well and be at peace with yourself but you might lose your job. So it’s not really so much of knowing how to choose your battle, but rather knowing what’s important to you.

With that, I think what’s most important to me right now is to sleep. I shall not fight my heavy eyes. Goodnight!

Cheers,

Mel.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Coping With Unemployment.

Being unemployed can be one of the worst or best situations ever, depends on how you look at it and how you spend your time while you’re going through it. I have been unemployed for 2 months since I got laid off from my post at an advertising agency. One of the most common questions I got from friends is, “how are you spending your time?” and here’s my post on how I cope with unemployment.

1. Start doing what you’ve always wanted to do and do it consistently.

For me this is blogging. I’ve always loved to blog but when I was working I kept getting distracted from blogging. Now that I have all the time, I make it a point to blog consistently as you can see from my “How To Survive Mid 20s Crisis” posts.

2. Read a lot of books, listen to sermons. Feed your mind.

Never let your mind go idle because it’s easy to be beaten when you have too much time to be unproductive. Always equip yourself with the necessary mind-food. It can be by reading newspaper or staying updated with the latest technology news, but be careful not too spend too much time on the internet. Internet can be a form of distraction. If you find yourself feeling bored or low when you’re not online, it might be a signal to spend more time on the real world.

3. Be discipline. Do things that you dread to do.

Laziness is an enemy. Sure, it’s nice to take a break, but give yourself a time frame and once it’s time to get back to doing the dull stuff, be sure to do it. Be discipline to do things that you dread to do now but you know it’ll be good for you in the long run. It could be sending hundreds of resumes daily or waking up early everyday, practice self-control and do them. Remember discipline is delayed gratification and that you’ll receive the pay off when you stick to it.

4. Show up at every opportunity.

I’m currently reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and one of her resolutions is to simply show up. This is the best chance for you to show up at your friends’ events, connect with your family, and give your parents who is living faraway a visit. Or if you received a call for an interview at a company you’ve never heard of, just show up (after making sure it’s a credible company and not someone trying to set you up). You’ll never know what opportunity it will bring by showing up.

5. Take control of your finances.

One of the things I’ve learnt from this experience is to save for rainy days. Previously, I wasn’t very good at saving, as a result now I’m seeing how my bank account is fast depleting. Manage your finances at this time, do not overspend. It’s fine to indulge a little on something you like (gotta keep living!) but don’t spend on something that you don’t need or you can’t afford. Think before making a purchase. Buying that overpriced heels for an interview is not a good excuse.

6. Do more of what makes you happy. Real happy, not a cheap thrill.

Unemployment sucks but don’t let it gets you down. If running makes you happy then put on your sneakers and run. If helping people makes you happy, then volunteer for a cause. If you can’t think of what makes you happy, then think back what made you happy as a kid. I used to be so happy playing with my soft toys and narrating their stories, I don’t do so anymore because I’m happier to blog now.

That’s about how I cope with my unemployment. It’s not easy having people asking what I’m doing all the time and not having a precise answer to it but I realized being unemployed is a blessing in disguise because it saves me from purposeless life. This is like being given a second chance to think about my direction, see where my mistakes were and grow from there. If you’re a fellow unemployed, I may not know how your situation is, but stay hopeful and believe there’ll be light at the end of this tunnel!

Cheers,
Mel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized