Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sovereign God

Today as I walk home from the market, listening to a song from Bob Fitts on my ipod, I was thinking about God. The pathway is winding between two apartment buildings (a condo and an hdb block), with leafy trees on one side and grass on the other.

I look at myself walking ever onward towards home. Every step takes me closer. The road is hot and sometimes gravelly, but I press on knowing full well that it will soon be over. Another half a mile.

I look at the road ahead of me and realised something.
God is already there. He knows where I'm going. He always knows. He always protects.
He is powerful to use everything for His glory. Even the bad things.
Nothing can happen outside His knowledge.
The wicked and the righteous will both be put to justice.

My road is known to Him. He knows where I'm going and He is taking me there.
This love relationship that I have with my Father in heaven is real.
I'm so glad He answers prayers. I'm so glad He is sovereign.
My heart can trust in Him.


"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Je 29:11

Monday, July 21, 2008

His Eye Is On the Sparrow

ps: bird in picture not a sparrow

In the morning the birds sound so happy. Maybe because it was raining all morning.
They were busily chirping in the trees below our apartment. Some were singing outside our breakfast window. It really seemed to me like they were talking to each other in loud cheery voices.

The rain lasts all day long. This is such a welcome respite after a week of humidity.

I love it that the birds are not intimidated to approach our windows.
Thank You, God, for the birds this morning.

Luke 12: 6-7, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Lk 12:6-7

This song below come to mind.
Hymn: His Eye Is On the Sparrow
text by mrs. C.D. Martin

1. Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely
and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is he:
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know he watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
for his eye is on the sparrow,
and I know he watches me.

2. "Let not your heart be troubled,"
his tender word I hear,
and resting on his goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
though by the path he leadeth
but one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know he watches me.

3. Whenever I am tempted,
whenever clouds arise,
when song gives place to sighing,
when hope within me dies;
I draw the closer to him,
from care he sets me free:
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know he watches me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

here's to starbucks

It’s funny but it seems that wherever I go in the world, we always end up in a starbucks.
This photo of a cup of iced water is taken at the Beijing international airport, arrival hall. The starbucks in Beijing will have seats outside the cafe itself. Usually right opposite the outlet. Look out for their signature tables and couches.

It's only since 1999 that I started drinking coffee. I used to love cappucino and cappucino only. I do not really like change. So, it's always just a "tall Cap" for me, please.

After 5 years of cappucinos (yes, that long!), I switched to "tall caramel no whip Mocha". I'm overjoyed if there is a hot Mocha Valencia (with mandarin syrup) during the chinese new year festivals here. Or the hot Peppermint no whip Mocha. Mmmmm.... I wish christmas was all year round.

That mocha season has lasted for about 3 years. I think it's still going strong.

Currently I'm into "iced no whip Mocha" on the rocks, that is with ice cubes, not blended. Maybe it's the humidity in recent months that got me switching into iced.

Here's to starbucks. (Please, please, please don't change the logo!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The essence of sound theology is knowing who God is and knowing who you are.
R.C. Sproul

We can only know God from His Word in the Bible.
Not from public opinion. Not from self-help books. The only person we should access to know God is God Himself, which He has revealed in His Word.

We can only know ourselves from our Creator, GOD.
Not from psychologists, psychiatrists, or once again, self-help books. The only person who knows about a creation is the Creator. God tells us all about ourselves in the Bible. How we were made, how we are supposed to live, what is our destiny.

Until, and only until, we know who we are: sinners in need of a Savior, we will always be lost.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Je 29:11-12

(Jesus said, )"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37, 40.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Jn 6:37,40

Monday, July 7, 2008

God's Will

How do we know God's will? ...
But it's not like God is hiding His will and waiting for us to find out what it is. Oh, no.

It's more like God leading me and me just follow trustingly. That's all there is.

There's nothing mystic about it.
All we have to do is pray to the Lord, tell Him all that is in our heart. Our concerns, the confusion and fear. Ask Him to keep us in His way regarding what we must do. Ask Him to protect us from wrong decisions.

He is powerful to answer us. He will never abandon us. That is His promise in the Bible again and again. He will never abandon us to our bad choices, if we earnestly seek His will.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Pr 3:5-6

So I should truly trust in Him and not doubt. Why should I doubt Him, that somehow He is going to lose control and let me go? Never.
Jesus gave His life for me on the cross. He died in my place.
What makes me think that He would let me go? Never.

That's how we can know God's will. Not that we know for sure, but that we trust His leading as we decide prayerfully.

Along the process and even afterwards we would still be haunted by whether or not the decision is right. But let's put our trust in Him. If He already impressed upon our heart what we must do, confirmed by advice from godly friends and family too, we should just rest in Him.

Only much later will we see the big picture. How beautiful everything is in God's time.
Oh, yes, we can count on it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

wedding blessings

A friend of mine had a wedding ceremony at church yesterday. As I was sitting there at the pew, I was thankful for the so many guests who attended. The church was full.

The bride, my friend, has been a faithful servant of the Lord at church. She is also a cancer survivor, yet was still faithful to serve in her capacity in sunday school as much as she could during the difficult healing process. No wonder so many church members, parents and children, came. They want to be happy alongside her on this special day.

I'm thankful for these people who came. Because I think it makes her day, really, to see them come.

It reminded me of my wedding day where people braved the volatile situation (after a riot broke out a week before) to attend my meager wedding ceremony. Many of my own family members who lived out of town could not come. Many of my colleagues at the bank where I worked could not come. But I just remember how glad I was when I turned around from my bridal seat and saw the pews packed up to the balcony. There were many parents and children whom I taught in sunday school who made time to attend. The Lord gave me countless people who cared for me, back then in Jakarta. They made my day.

I wish I could have thanked each of them one by one, again and again, for coming on my one, most wonderful day.

So as I sat on that pew, thanking God for my caring church towards my caring friend's wedding, I thanked Him also for the way He cared for my wedding last time, even under such dire circumstances.

Thank You, Lord, for true friends.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

my Mosaic today

Want to create something like this?

Below are some questions to get you going. Then simply go to Flickr and type your answers into the search bar. From the results, click on one of the pictures that you like most. Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL. Go to the Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic, and paste your URLs. Click Create. Easy as that.

What is your first name?

What is your favorite food, drink, dessert?

Where is your dream holiday?

What do you love most in life?

What is your favorite color?


Have fun and please send a comment to share with me what you've created!

1. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), 2. text decay, 3. Red sky (north Jakarta dawn), 4. llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam, 5., 6. St. Patrick's Cathedral, 7. Holiday Time in Chicago, 8. Cup of Cappucino, 9. i can taste summer! a.k.a. childhood summer! a.k.a. childhood reminiscence! a.k.a. those were the good times!