Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where is my shoulder?

I came to God one night when I was feeling low. It was one of those nights when the frustrations and disappointments of life was a little overpowering. I lied on my bed and all I wanted to do was cry.

I started to picture people crying on another's shoulder and being comforted with a gentle touch. And I said in frustration, "God where is my shoulder?"

And then this picture came to mind:

A song stand. Not a picture of arms open wide or sunshine but a song stand. You've got to be kidding me right God? This is the best you can give me? A song stand?

Then I was also reminded of a a chapter in the Bible, Psalms 13. It goes like this:

How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

For most people, the reflex in sorrow is to look for a shoulder to pour out our frustrations on. Even if it isn't literally a shoulder and we don't literally cry, we love to vent. And that's exactly what I wanted to do that night -- vent.

But when I read the words of Psalms 13 and I saw the song stand, I knew God wanted me to do otherwise. He wanted me to sing. And it wasn't to sing about my troubles and depressed state but to sing of His goodness and unfailing love.

I grabbed a guitar and I did just that. And it was one of the best worship I had. I remember the comfort that came as I declared God's faithfulness and how unfailing love turned from lyrics into an overflow of faith in my heart.

When you choose to vent, you pour out your sorrows. But when you choose to sing, to sincerely worship the goodness of God; you're allowing God to pour in His love.

That night I learned to trust God a little more. I asked for a shoulder but He gave me a song. And I couldn't ask for anything better, wouldn't you agree?

God Loves You

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Friday, November 19, 2010

What a Beautiful Name

How many of you guys have heard this before?

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:30 NKJV)

When I was younger (not that I am old now of course :P), I didn't really appreciate this promise in the bible. I knew it was there but I just did get it. I mean a name is a name right? How am I supposed to run into a name and be safe?

But when God showed me the meaning of the promise it blew me away. He showed me that the secret in appreciating that promise wasn't in the action of running into the name but rather in the meaning of the Name.

"The name of the LORD" mentioned here is Yahweh or Jehovah, which means The Existing One or as bible writers wrote, "The I Am". "I Am"; what an awesome name! It tells of our God who has existed from the beginning of time and will be around till the end of time. It tells us that we can expect God to be our hope, our security and our foundation for the rest of our lives and then some.

It means when you put your trust in God, you're not going to be disappointed.

The name of God reflects His nature. So when you call out "LORD" or you're looking at the name "LORD" in a difficult time, you are calling on and looking at the unchanging faithfulness and unfailing love of your Heavenly Dad.

And it gets better (yes I kid you not, it gets better).

We have an even better name to run into today; the name that is the called the name above every other name, the best name to every exist and will ever exist - Jesus. Do a quick search and you'll find that Jesus means "God is my saviour". Wow! So that means every time we say Jesus we're saying "God is my saviour"! Every time you run out of words to say and you desperately cry out "Jesus!" you're saying "God is my saviour, He will come through for me, He saves! God is my saviour!".

Now I see how a name can change everything. And thinking of all those desperate times when I couldn't pray anymore and all I could say was "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." I now know those were words put in my heart by God. That was God asking me to put my hope in a beautiful name. If you're in a tough time, just call on the awesome name of our God and before you know you know it, you'll find yourself safe in the arms of the Father.


Friday, October 8, 2010


I remember as a teenager one of my favourite "pastimes" when I was depressed was locking myself in my room and blasting emo songs. They were my "refuge in the storm". Or so I thought.

I mean, I thought they were helping because I related with what the songs sang. But the truth was the songs didn't help at all, they just made me feel worse. They didn't give any solutions. Taking refuge in them was like hiding under a flagpole in a storm. And if you're taking refuge under a flagpole in a lighting storm, you're askin' for a fryin'!

In the storms of my life, those moments when everything around me seemed to be going wrong and I felt like giving up. The one thing that kept me going was the truth that God is my refuge. You don't want a flimsy song, some weak advice or a temporary high. What you really need is some alone time with a super strong God. Check out this bible verse:

"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed." Psalms 57:1

I can't recall how many times I've come to God depressed and desperate, but I left secured and strong. All around me, everything could be messed up, but I just knew I'll be fine. All because I knew I can wait out the storms of my life in perfect comfort, tucked away in the arms of my Dad. God can be the anchor of your life, you just have to let Him hold you.

If you're in a storm, I hope you'll experience the security of trusting in God like I have. Just say from your heart, "God I need you to be my refuge. I want to take shelter under your wings." Try it and you'll understand why I gave up listening to emo songs ;)


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fashion and You

Fashion is everywhere. In today's world that the way you dress can either make you or break you. Everyone has a "look" these days won't you agree? Perhaps you're one of these below :D






And of course there are so many other styles out there, way too many to list in a single blog post. As many are there personality types, there are fashion styles to help express who you are. But let me ask you a question:

"Are you using clothes to express who you are or change who you are?"

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with dressing up in a way you like. I've gone from sporty to punk to skater to hip hop to whatever and so on. We have the right to express who we are through our clothes. But do we really know who we are? Because we can't really express ourselves if we don't know who we are right?

Check out this great advice from the bible (which was originally written for girls but I think guys have something to learn here too):

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God" - 1 Peter 3:3-4 (New Living Translation)

The world may judge you by the way you dress, but God looks at the beauty He placed inside you. When God created us, He did it lovingly to make us each different but wonderful in our own ways. The verse above isn't saying that we can't care about the way we look but instead we should give more attention to the beauty of our character. So if you spend about 10 minutes dressing up and styling your hair everyday, you should spend MORE than 10 minutes everyday appreciating God's workmanship in making you.

The people who designed the clothes you're wearing now don't even know you (unless you're wearing some awesome homemade clothes!). So why should you let them decide who you are? God made us with His own hands and calls us his masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10). Why not look at yourself the way God looks at you - precious, lovely, unique, priceless.

Once you see yourself in God's eyes, you could be a fashionista or fashion disaster, it doesn't matter because you know "clothes don't make the man", God made "the man" and He said it was very good!


Friday, September 3, 2010

The Father That Waits

Here's a great story about the love of God. Some of you may have heard it or read it in the Bible before. In the Bible (Luke 15:11 - 24) it goes by the header "The Parable of The Lost Son" but today, if I may, I wont be talking about a lost son, I want to talk about "The Father That Waits".

There was once a Father with two sons whom he loved dearly. One day the younger son came to him and said, "Hey dad. I've been doing some thinking. You know I'm getting older everyday. I want to live my life NOW while I still can."

"That's fair son. You should enjoy your youth. So how may I help?" replied the father.

"Well you see dad, in today's world, money makes the world go round. If you wanna have fun you gotta have cash. Now I know you're probably still going to be around for many more years, but can I have my inheritance now? Please dad I'll be old by the time you kick the bucket!" said the son.

Though a little stunned, the father replied calmly, "Very well son. If that is what you really want. I'll have your share of the inheritance money ready by tomorrow morning."

And so morning came and the father handed his son a big bag of cash. "Alright! Now that's what I'm talking about!" exclaimed the son. "I'd love to stay and chat dad, but there's a big world out there waiting for me. Bye!" and with that the son disappeared into the horizon.

A tear trickled down the father's face because that may have been the last time he'll see his son. After all, there was A LOT of cash in that bag. But his heart wouldn't give him peace about the matter. Day after the day, he was moved to sit out on the porch looking out for his son.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months but there was still no sight of the boy. Even the servants began to whisper among themselves, "Crazy old man! He doesn't even know if the boy's coming! For all we know death will take the old man before his good for nothing son comes back."

The father heard these things but it didn't bother him. He just said to himself, "I want to be here when he comes back. I want to be the first to let him know he's home. He's my son. I will wait for him."

Months passed until one day, a boy, with head hung low, scruffy and dirty walked along the road to the house. His steps were slow, fatigued, heavy, guilty. "How could I have been so stupid? God what was I thinking? Now if I'm lucky, dad will take me in to work for him."

With each step, the trail became increasingly familiar. He knew he was getting closer. His heart became anxious and he lifted his head to see just how much further was his house. And he saw something which never crossed his mind all throughout his long journey home. His heart broke and he began to cry. His father with arms wide open, was running towards him.

Come home. Dad is waiting.


(story is my personal take on the Luke 15:11 - 24)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stop Eating Off Yesterday's Grill

A couple of weeks ago I had an awesome Birthday treat to one my favourite delicacies: KOREAN BBQ! And looked something like this:


The food was (as usual) awesome! But the one thing in that Korean BBQ restaurant that stood out was the service. We were waited on hand and foot. Side dishes and drinks were refilled like clockwork, all our dishes were grilled for us to perfection and even our grill was replaced with every new dish! One of my friends was impressed and asked why they did that and so I answered without thinking, "It's because they don't want the bitter taste of the burnt meat on the next dish."

Does that sound familiar to any of you? Well it didn't really to me at first too but then it hit me. God just reminded of His great love!

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

God's love for us is new every morning! How awesome is that? Just like the way a fresh grill lets us enjoy our BBQ, God wants you to enjoy everyday without the bitter taste of guilt from yesterday's sins! Yesterday's sins are yesterday's news. Today you have a fresh portion of God's abundant love to encourage, to comfort and to compel you. So stop eating off yesterday's grill!

Maybe you weren't the best person you could be yesterday. It's alright. Your Dad still loves you. As a matter of fact, He falls in love with you all over again every morning.

So come on! It's a brand new day with a brand new love! The bible says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalms 34:8). Mmm.. the love of God sure tastes like fresh Korean BBQ (but a billion times better!). ;)


picture taken by Joanna Tay

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Music You Hear

Those who know me personally would know that music is a huge part of my life. It's not just because I love singing and playing music (which I really do by the way :D), but because music has played such a big role in helping me to relate to God. Music does not equal worship, but it certainly helps us in the way we express ourselves in worship.

And so it aches me when you have songs like this out there:

Peacock by Katy Perry

I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock, cock
Your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock
I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock, cock
Your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock

Verse 1
Word on the street, you got somethin' to show me, ee
Magical, colorful, Mr. Mystery, ee
I'm intrigued, for a peek, Heard it's fascinating

Words up your sleeve
Such a tease
Wanna see the show
In 3D, a movie
Heard it's beautiful
Be the judge
And my girls gonna take a bow

I want the jaw droppin, eye popin, head turnin, body shockin
(Uh, uh, oh, Uh, uh, uh, oh)
I want my heart throbbin, ground shakin, show stoppin, amazin
(Uh, uh, oh, Uh, uh, uh, oh)

Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
Don't be a chicken boy, stop acting like a beeotch
I'ma peace out if you don't give me the pay off
Come on baby let me see
what you're hiding underneath
Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
what you're waiting for, it's time for you to show it off
Don't be a shy kinda guy I'll bet it's beautiful
Come on baby let me see
Whatchu hidin' underneath

You don't need to be a genius to figure out what Katy Perry is singing about (yes she means what you're thinking). Now before you all get the idea that I'm just being "old fashioned" about lyrics let me tell you why I hate these kind of lyrics.

You become what you listen to.

Music has an amazing power to change us. The message of a song sticks with us stronger than any speech, lecture, textbook or sermon. So when you listen to songs like "Peacock" everyday, you'll eventually see yourself become that person in the song. You know, that girl who's so desperate to see "peacocks" or that guy who's always desperate to show his "peacock".

Songs like this tell you that you have no self value. They cheapen you and make you "easy" (to bed). They will tell you it's being sexy or naughty but you know deep down inside that is a lie.

Let me tell you something, you are NOT cheap. In God's eyes you are valuable enough to die for (which He did on the cross). Instead of listening to lyrics like "Peacock" why not listen to the music God makes over you?

"He (God) will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17b (NIV)

God sings over you. He sings everyday to express how much He loves us. You may not always hear the song but it's there. THIS is the kind of song we should listen to. A song that really tells us who we are: precious, amazing and loved by God.

Open up your heart, tune in your ears and listen to your Dad's love song today.


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