Dec 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

During our Christmas youth caroling rounds, I was happy to volunteer my “Granados” guitar for use in the dedications. This hand-made Spanish guitar of mine, of over 25 years, had cost me a sum. For guitar enthusiasts, we would well call her (the guitar) “an old lady”.

At the end of the rounds, I found her packed in her case and casually checked her over. I found a crack of more than an inch on her face. She had sustained a knock resulting in the lacquer being fractured to expose raw wood.

I was angry.

Enquiring what had happened, considering that whoever responsible did not think it right or fitting to even acknowledge and inform. Concluding that the damaging of the “old lady” was inconsequential, a trivial thing. Further enquiry pointed towards “someone” having dropped the guitar on her face, but for practical intent and purpose,they amounted to denials of responsibility.

The family went home, the kids slept and we still had some food to prepare for Christmas morning. I was starting to seethe inside, but I had not made mention of what had transpired so no one quite knew anything. My insides burned as I determinately refused to reexamine the old girl. Despite being tired, the slow broil was edging sleep into a corner. I took the issue to our Father and told Him my grief. It was not that I could not forgive the damage. I fumed at the inconsequentiality, the nonchalant, the denials of knowledge. There was no response.

It was close to three in the morning when we turned in. I tossed around a bit and fell asleep. At about 4.30 in the morning, I was reawaken. The burn rekindled quickly as I tossed. Going to the Father, I made my complaint again.

It then occurred to me that I was upset because the “old girl” being precious to me was carelessly treated and damaged. She nonetheless was still in essense, a piece of wood. My anger was brought to focus, and the anger looked reasonable, even righteous. The focus then turned and I was made to question; what if the “old girl” was not just a piece of wood. The focus shifted again, and this time, it rested on another. Did I not cause scarring of a higher degree? Did I not deface Someone even more precious and beloved of the Father? And if my anger over a piece of belonging be righteous, then His wrath over His Son would not only be supremely just and forthcoming.We would have still to praise Him as right, even as He destroyed us.

Do not be mistaken. This is not a “happy ever after” story. I am still disappointed over the “old girl”, at what has happened to her. But I have had this timely reminder, that far too often we forget, that “His visage marred” and “ by His stripes, we are healed”. The Son, incomparably beautiful, precious beyond imagination, more beloved and pleasing to the Father, yet given for such as us. All His glory, He laid down, to be born a babe, determined for Calvary and the cross. It is we, who have so scarred Him, and at most times, unaware and unconscious of our actions. But what about the times when we are fully aware?

Oftentimes, the Father will use our anger and pain to give us valuable insights of His love toward us. I know the Father always has things to teach us. He will always remind us. And even when we are wrong, angry and in pain, He will, in time, show us His face when we seek Him.

Blessed Christmas


Dec 16, 2008

Christmas Parteeeeey!

Yea you read that right, it's this saturday, 20th of Dec. Lots of fun, in the form of a movie. Of course you don't need to buy tickets. It's called, "The love of my life". Starring Jason and Allyna as the main actors. Sounds interesting right? Don't miss it! Dinner will be provided too. Be there at 6.30pm. Just bring yourself. But if you're feeling generous, you can always bring a gift. Haha.

A thought from Jeremiah

As I read the book of Jeremiah, I encounter an actual Person, a God as passionate as anyone you’ve met. God feels delight, frustration and anger. He weeps and moans with pain, a God who takes a deep interest in me. I do not see a distant, unapproachable deity like other religions out there. This God passionately desires His people. Why should the creator of heaven and earth care about an obscure human being such as I? The main message expressed by Jeremiah is this: God loves human beings. That gives me enough reason to follow Him.

After every national tragedy, invasions by Assyria, Babylon, Persia – Israel had nowhere to fall back on except on the love of God. EACH TIME God promises to start anew, to restore the remnant, to write laws on their hearts, to send a Messiah. Each time God promises never to give up, always to love.

Time and again, God said to His people, “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God.” “Return home you wayward children.” “I would love to treat you as my own children!” “My wayward children come back to me and I will heal you wayward hearts.” And, “O Israel, come back to me. If you will throw away your detestable idols and go astray no more.”

How can you encounter such a loving God and not be changed? How many times must God call out to you before you respond? Are we waiting for a tsunami wave to awaken us? Have we not learnt our lesson?

Dec 5, 2008

Youth Camp 2008

Hey all!

We're having another youth camp this December, from the 13th to the 15th at Kundang, Rawang. The theme of the camp will be "Now you're a Chrisitan, so what?". I believe this camp to be very different from the rest. Uncle Vincent, who is our camp speaker, will be challenging us on the basis of are you sure you're a Chrisitian? Hmm, this will be interesting!!

Campers are supposed to come to camp with an answer to "What do you expect from camp?", and yes, not forgetting your bible.

Do come, cost wise not that expensive, only 165 ringgit now that petrol is back to 1.90.

And oh! Uncle Selva was really good last Sunday. He was speaking about how Paul never complains that people in church do not listen to him, do not appreciate him, so on and so forth. Instead Paul labors on for God on the basis of his moral responsibility to God. (It went something like that. You must listen to him, it won't do justice here.)

We're also doing a video for Christmas. It's really hilarious. Stay tuned for that one!