Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tell me what you see.

Look at this picture and tell me what you see.


Do you see a glass half full? Or do you see a glass half empty?

Sometimes, if not always, we tend to view life from a "glass half empty" perspective. But what is it really to see from that point of view. You see, when you view life from a half empty perspective you tend to focus more on the negative things in life. Okay okay, you might argue that to view things from this perspective is to see things in such a way so we could improve things. Okay I'll roll with you. You may view things in such a way where you could improve things but to pursue perfection is to live a life chasing unicorns (sorry to those who actually like unicorns. Let me use it this time to emphasise on the word fantasy). I say this because in this 'pursuit' would we ever be satisfied? Would we ever be content? Would we be ever impressed? Answer is NO.

Even I, myself, tend to view things from this perspective most of the time. Don't get me wrong its not bad to make the best out of something or improve on something, in fact I'm all for it. But once you make that your goal, your aim, your objective, your PRIORITY, you'll find that in your chase for perfection you would keep running towards a finish line that never was! Its like a ladder that just keeps going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going...You get the point!

We keep focusing on the things that we WANT, the things that we don't HAVE and we forget the things that we ALREADY have, things that we've been BLESSED with. We chase perfection too fast, too soon that we forget to actually just enjoy the scenery and the journey. I'd even dare to say that we NEGLECT the things we have because we want something else - something better. We can't appreciate things we already have.

Your perspective of the glass doesn't just apply to the things we have in life but LIFE in itself - the situations, challenges, struggles, pain. When things seem to be bleak what do you see?

I was reading, just recently, the story about the twelve spies that were sent out to explore the Promise Land (Numbers 13 onwards). One man from each tribe was chosen to go out and report back on what they saw. Most of them came back and gave bad reports saying it was inhabited by giants, strong big men (I'm paraphrasing by the way just in case you think I'm reading a different version). All of them but Caleb saw different.
Numbers 13:30
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

Funny how all of them saw the same thing, the same people, the same land, the same fruits, same everything yet the WAY they saw it was so different. See our perspectives can be deadly. They can either help us win a battle or lose them. In this case, because the people moaned and groaned, and even spread fear throughout the people the land that they were suppose to posses, they never saw. Why? because the things they saw overwhelmed them with fear and because it overwhelmed them they groaned and wished they were back in the land in which they were slaves. And because they groaned and didn't think God would help them and so treated Him with contempt, they NEVER saw the Promise Land. Only Caleb and Joshua ended up seeing the Promise Land.

So whatever it is you're facing, whatever it is your up against...

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU SEE??

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where's the treasure?!

Okay its been a while since I actually made an effort to make a new post. I won't make any excuse for it other than I'm too lazy to.

Anyway, treasure. Yes treasure could be defined as different things varying from individual to individual. Some may say its money or something monetary. And some might argue that treasure is something more than that - an attribute or character perhaps. And someone cheezy might say its being "in love." WHOA!! I don't know where that came from. I've been hacked. Well lets just define treasure here as something that you would value most, agreed? Yeah!

I got into a conversation a week ago with a family friend. Initially she asked me the usual ice breakers "Hi, how are you?" or "Hows work doing?". You know the usual. So I replied with the casual, " Yeah, I'm doing alright. And I've started working for a not-for-profit organisation." Having said this she stood there and just looked at me. It was either pure shock or "what in the world could you get paid for at an organisation thats not-for-profit" kind of look.

So she started asking me questions about it. She asked if I was been paid good. Well most of her questions were more centered around money really. So I told her that I was paid enough to get by. And she replied immediately with "Enough to pay for two wives?" I just brushed it off 'cause I knew where this was going. So she started lecturing me about how I should have a lot of money and buy a house, a car, a 5 year plan or whatever - all these material things that don't really mean a thing to me.

While she was talking I realised that everything she was saying and telling me about - how I should do it and when I should do it - didn't really mean a thing to me. And I say this with the utmost respect and honour for her advise. It just wasn't what I wanted. I realised that money wasn't really that important to me. I didn't really care if I had a beat up car, or a house in the ghetto, or a phone that didn't have colour. (Props by the way to my mate who has upgraded to a coloured screen phone. Chur bro!)

I know, I know. I'm not naive to the fact that we need money. Ofcourse we have to eat, drink, have a roof on our head. We DO need money for these, its just that I don't make it a priority to get as much as I can, as fast as I can, and whenever I can. I don't make it a priority to make money. I take more priority in dealing LIFE with people. Sharing my story, guaging where they're at and even just simply listening to what they have to say. THAT is my priority.

So I'll just try to bring it all in and conclude with this scripture.

Matthew 6: 28 KJV

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Treasure. Things we value most. So what are the things YOU value? What are the things YOU prioritise? What are the things that DRIVE you? Because if the things that drive you are the things that hurt people, if the things you prioritise are things that promote egocentrism, greed, anger, hate, pride and arrogance - Friend, you need to take a step back and assess the road your on. Because your heart may not be right. WHERE your treasure is, there your HEART will be also. Think about it.
(All these apply to me too. Im not exempt. Just saying.)

Take time, reflect, apply.

Heart check, its worth doing it often. GO!

Monday, July 4, 2011

All in...

Have you ever heard the C.S. Lewis quote that goes something like this: "God doesn't want something from us. He simply wants us." Think about it, meditate on it. Give yourself a minute and ask yourself what that means.

Recently I've been really struggling. I won't lie about it neither would I brag about it. I've been doing - no, trying to do things on my own strength. And yes, time and time again I fail. Yet time and time again He is gracious towards me. Giving me hope and showing the errors in my ways. 

I've been trying to get a permanent decent job for the past couple of months now. Been really trying hard but all i got was a "sorry" or "unfortunately" reply from those boring - sorry typo - those hiring. It broke me and boy did it. I started praying for a job and guess what its been pouring in. I got an email from our pastor about a casual job for a local school needing help with troubled youth. Went, and got into the pool of people they would call if the need arises. Two weeks later a family friend wanted my CV because the company she was working with was expanding and would possibly need people. On top of that I had a part-time job at a supermarket over the weekend. But what tops it is this - I was doing my own thing on a cold Monday morning, playing the guitar and getting lost in worship in the kitchen. Why the kitchen? I don't know. There was food and it was warm there. Anyway, after finishing a song, my phone rang - my old manager at a not-for-profit organisation. As soon as I hanged the phone up, I was just gobsmacked. (Haha! I suppose you want to know what the conversation was about. Okay I'll tell you.) It was a job offer. To work with them for at least the end of the year doing the same stuff I did when I was an intern with them. Cool huh? But still I didn't learn.

It has also been in my heart to find someone, someone just someone you know what I mean. So I started praying about. Oh I was praying about it. BUT I wasn't believing He would come through for me. I was getting impatient, I was moaning, complaining, and often times found myself questioning. Despite the fact that He gave me a job when I prayed, despite the fact that He has blessed me so much, despite the fact that He was always there when I needed Him. I was trusting Him but I wasn't trusting in Him enough.

Sooooo, have you thought about the quote yet? By this time I suppose your wondering what all of these have to do with the quote at the beginning. You must be thinking I'm off on a tangent, so I'll try to bring it back as close as I possibly could. Haha.

"God doesn't want something from us. He simply wants us."

Take the context and attach it to trust. "God doesn't want us to trust Him on certain things. He simply wants us to trust Him on EVERYTHING." I was trusting Him for a job but I wasn't trusting Him on certain things like my relationships. He doesn't want you to trust Him just financially, not just physically, not just emotionally, not just mentally, not just on your exam day - rather we should trust Him on absolutely EVERYTHING. Its like inviting Him to your house to stay but leaving other areas, rooms under lock and key - forbidding Him to go and set foot on them. 

I write this post as a reminder - a reminder that we should trust Him more on everything, in anything. So I write this to remind me as I face another giant, that I should trust Him for He has gone before me. He doesn't want us to trust Him on certain things. He simply wants us to trust Him in everything. 

Don't be a fool like me, cause it breaks my heart to know that I had to trust Him more yet only trusted Him a little. It breaks my heart because I was in denial of the fact that I wasn't trusting Him enough. I need Him more than I thought I did. I need Him more than I could ever admit. I need Him more than I'll ever know. I NEED HIM.

I'm going all in and laying everything at His feet and trusting Him.

Jeremiah 10:23 (KJV)
"O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Processed!

It has been quite a while since I actually logged on and made a post. It felt like forever, and to be honest I've forgotten how to even start one. I'm gonna wing this one. Show you how its done the rookie way. Yeah. Anyway, here it goes.

Process. Its not an overnight thing that happens rather, its something that happens gradually. And because of that it puts most people off. The whole thought of going through something 'gradually' puts them off. But you need not be. Often times in the process of things you actually learn more than the outcome itself - you learn more in the journey than the destination. You learn more about yourself, things, people, God. So you see the journey, the process is not bad at all. No, not at all.

Society has become obsessed with gaining the product without going through the whole PROCESS. We have become so sold to the whole 'fast food' mentality. See I have nothing against fast food by the way - I like Mcdonalds, KFC, Burger King, Wendy's, Nooky's (the fish and chip shop), and the list goes on. But its not that, what I mean is the whole instantness (if thats even a word) of food that you could just get it from the counter. It has been what is "acceptable", so to speak, so much so that it even shows through our walk that often times we - myself included - say "God, give me patience without having to be actually 'patient'. Hmmmn, say maybe by tomorrow? Cool thanks!" You get what I'm throwing?

Just like planting. Say you want an avocado ...what? you got a problem with avocados? I like avocados. Its my blog! Make your own and blog about apples! LOL. Kidding. Anyway, say you wanted an avocado, you wouldn't get that avocado fruit immediately once you plant the tree - not in the next minute, next hour, next day, next week, next month. Try maybe next season? But even getting to the point of it actually becoming a tree is a PROCESS in itself. The Process being: i) You find a spot to plant it. ii)You go to the plant shop or wherever it is that you buy seeds these days. iii) You DIG a hole. iv) Pop the seed in. v) Water it, care for it,  etc. I'm sure theres a lot more involved in planting to that. Sorry I'm not a botanist or a tree-ologist or whatever. Y'all get the point! 

You want humbleness? But are you willing to fall flat on your face and acknowledge the fact that you ain't nothing without Him? You want patience? But are you willing to WAIT patiently? You want great faith? Trust? But are you willing to lay it all out on the table and put everything in His hands? You want strength? But are you exercising to read His word? 

We all want the product, BUT are you willing to undergo the process? Even if it means denying yourself? Even if it means you have to wait? Even if it means staying under that blazing heat to dig the hole and plant the seed? Even if it means letting go? Do you still want it? 

KNOW the process, START the process, GO through the process. Its not easy but a process well worth it! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Run the race!

Failure, defined as: (a)To prove deficient or lacking; perform ineffectively or inadequately; (b)To cease functioning properly; (c)To disappoint or prove undependable to.

Everyone has failed in as certain aspect in their life - I have. But what is it to truly fail? What is it that we actually do to be labelled a "failure"? What is it to fail?

Let's face it, We're bound to fail. Its part of us being human and I think we need to realise that. We can't be all that. I mean, you cant be good at everything. I bet even Albert Einstien wasn't a good dancer and wouldn't even dream of trying out for "dancing with the stars." I'm not sure that made any sense and neither am I certain enough to say that he wasn't a good dancer, but you get what I mean.

When Thomas Edison was asked how he felt to have failed 1000 times, he answered "I have not failed. I now know 1000 things on what not to do." Again there has been no real evidence to support this but its the concept that I find really interesting. He saw the so-called "failure" as a learning curb.

So what is it to really fail? Is failure about someone crossing the line before you do? Is it being inadequate and not up to par? I tell you what! its neither. Failing is when you decide not to get back up and run the race. Failure is when you decide not to shrug it off and keep on going. See the way the world views failure is when someone comes out a loser. Its clearly wrong.

Here's a video I stumbled on. It's quite old but worth a watch.




Derek Redmond, 1992 Olympics. By definition he's a failure. He failed he didn't finish with a medal - with no podium finish. He failed, or did he? No he didn't because he got back up and ran the race, no wait, he FINISHED the race.

See we all stumble in life, we make mistakes, we make wrong decisions, we sin. But failing is not about how many times we fall or how many times we came in last rather, failing is when you decide not to get back on your feet. Failing is when you decide to make that slip up define who you are. Its when you fall and decide to quit. Failing is when you learn nothing out of it. Failing is when you let that stop you from running the race.

I don't know exactly where you are in life but we all fall. Its just a matter of choice whether you get back up or whether you stop running. Would it stop you from running the race - your calling?

Hebrews 12: 1-2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Run the race.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maximum loss and minimal gain of SELF.

Helping people - wouldn't it be awesome if everyone got out of their own way to help people. If everyone stopped for a second in their busy lives and genuinely lent a hand to the needy.

After last nights service,  I felt challenged to actually help someone. And today I had that opportunity to help someone.

As I was walking down queen street today, I met a man - who looked like a up class businessman (suit and tie. You know.) - who stopped me dead on my tracks and started a conversation. "Excuse me mate. Do you have $1.80 you could lend me. I need to get back to newmarket and I accidentally locked my car keys and stuff inside." And for a split second all these thoughts came rushing through my head. "But I've only got $1.10 in my pocket. Its all I got. And how would I possibly get home if I gave him what I got." And so I gave him this unsure look and decided to reach inside my pocket and just give him what I got. (Although I really wanted to say no. You're probably paid more than I am. Oh how I would have said that)

Turns out I had more than I initially thought. More than he actually needed!

And I thought, wow! That's cool. Where did that come from. Haha. (Got more spare coins than you Mr. Businessman. Ha! Haha. Alright,  alright. I'm kidding.)

I think sometimes we get caught up in this thinking that we don't have anything, I don't wanna help this guy - bleh!, or who am I to actually help out, or I would love to but I don't have the resources to.

We get caught up in that thinking bubble and it actually hinders us from being a blessing or just a simple lending hand to someone. And more often than not you have to act out of faith. You only need to "reach inside" your pocket and find that God provides the resources. And when I say reach inside your pocket, I don't mean money. No not at all.  I mean be obedient. "I don't know how its going to happen but I'm trusting You on this one."  Kind of obedience. You got be obedient and see that you'll have the resources you need to keep on going - to keep on helping people. HE provides the resources. Don't let that thinking bubble stop you from helping out. Pop it!

On a similar note, problems. We all have them. Small ones, big ones, not so big ones, tiny ones, funny ones, 'problems that shouldn't be problems' problems, problems that have escalated - you name it. We have them, been through them, or we're dealing with them. We all have problems. But THAT certain problem should not stop you from helping other people out through theirs.

Although one might argue, "why would you help someone out with their problem if you've got a set of your own to worry about." Well then Mr. Smarty pants, would you then have an electrician fix his plumbing problem? You might then say, "that's simple, I'll get a plumber." Oh you might find a plumber but he would probably too busy worrying about his painting problem to help you out. Ha! Where is your argument now.

Its time to debunk that thinking. See society does not rely on a single set of abilities. Rather, it relies on a DIVERSE set of skills. You're weakness could be my strength or vice versa.

If everyone then was too caught up in their own problems, would anything then get solved? I'm not saying that you shouldn't fix your problems, please by all means do. What I'm saying is that DON'T LET IT GET IN THE WAY of you helping others through theirs.

Its time the world start acting SELFLESSLY and NOT SELFISHLY. Its time we stop letting greed, egoism run free within us.

Philippians 2: 3-4
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

Philippians 3:7-8
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted as loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,"

Its time we stop thinking 'maximum gain and minimal loss for me' and start thinking 'maximum loss and minimal gain of SELF'.

I CHALLENGE YOU! Help someone. Think of somebody aside from yourself. Go!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Through the fire.

There comes a point in time when everyone faces a certain storm in their life - certain trials. You could be at a season in life where your character, attitude, your beliefs, your faith could be tested. Or you could be at a point where you're enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Regardless of wherever you are or where you stand, or what season you're in, there will come a time where you would be tested.

But here's a post to those who are being tested, to those who's hearts are heavy, to those who feel burdened by their thoughts and emotions, to those who feel like just running away. You're not alone. You're not alone.

Right now we might feel like running away would be the right decision but the truth is its not. Now would be a perfect time to run TOWARD God and not away from Him. If you would read Matthew 11:28-30, He says "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,  and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I know it feels like your going through the fire. But think of yourself as a sword and God the blacksmith. You and I, are dull pieces of steel being made into something. And there's no other way to be made sharp and strong, other than through the fire - other than enduring that hammer.

You see, there is no doubt that we would face trials and/or tribulations. Its a given fact. The real question here, is who do you run to? Where do you run to? In whom do you find comfort in?

You have to understand that we serve a big and mighty God. John 16:33 reads, "These things I say unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

God is bigger than what we feel. He is bigger than where we're at.  He is bigger than your brokeness, than your pain, than your grief, than your sorrow, than your guilt, than your emotions, bigger than ANYTHING your going through. TAKE HEART! For He has overcome this world.

Would you choose to run away? or choose to run towards Him? I've made my decision. I'm running TO Him. What about you?