Tag Archives: faith

IMY

18 Apr

One of my church babies is in town!  Well, okay, not exactly in town as she’s staying with relatives in London.  I live an hour and a half by train outside London.  It’s near enough though.  We met up on Monday and tried to catch up.  I say tried because I haven’t seen her in almost four years!  You cannot catch up in just one afternoon!  Catching up with news from home about my church family has driven home the fact that I truly miss my friends.  I think I missed my friends even more because my church baby is my two friends’ younger cousin and she reminded me so much of them in the way she talked, the inflections and the rhythm of her speech.

I grew up with these 3 ladies.  Not from the age of infancy.  We met each other in our teens, when I moved churches (mainly because the church we moved to was closer to our house than the church I grew up in).  I’ve always believed that growing up together cements your friendship.  You share experiences with each other that you can’t usually share with anyone else.  But when you grow in faith together, your friendship becomes more than just a cemented friendship because your faith bonds you, fuses you together.  Because your friendship is founded on faith, you’re able to weather the toughest storms.  And we’ve been through very interesting times, to say the least.  We’ve had our fair share of misunderstandings, unspoken and otherwise.  But we are blessed because we have our faith experiences that bind us in love and that allows us to overcome anything.

You know that statement that is included in most wedding ceremonies, “What God has put together, let no man put asunder”?  I believe that it applies to every kind of relationship that God has put together, whether it be a marriage or a friendship.  A friendship that is based ultimately on faith is a friendship forever.  A friendship that is centered on Christ is a friendship that will stand the test of time.

Despite the distance (one is in Australia, one is in England, one is in the Philippines and one is a jetsetter who is all over the place!) I think we all try in our own ways to keep in touch.  I feel the affection when we email, chat or when we skype (God bless technology!).  And everytime I am reminded of how much we care about each other, I whisper a prayer of thanks.  I know I am blessed because I have 3 very dear friends.  That’s more than what most people have and I count those 3 ladies part of my treasure chest.

While I am assured, and reassured, that we will always be friends, and that our friendship will last even if we aren’t able to have anymore of our Starbucks coffee dates, I think I will wallow in the missing them.  Because I do.

I really, really, really miss you!

My girls, Christmas 2007

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Prayer is as prayer does

14 Dec

I’d love to properly claim to be religious.  I grew up in church, went to Sunday School, taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir.  When asked, I tell people that I am a Christian, and that I grew up Methodist.  I’m very proud of my Methodist heritage (my father is Jewish and I embrace that too, as I appreciate the Jewish teachings because it is part of the foundations of the Christian faith).  But I sometimes wonder if I am letting God’s light shine through me.

I am blessed because I grew up in a family that prays.  I believe that prayer gives people strength.  To plagiarise Lady Gaga, it doesn’t matter if you love Him, or some other him, I believe that prayer centres an individual.  I am blessed because I grew up in a household largely founded on the Christian faith (and even though my father is still waiting for the Messiah, prayer is a large part of his faith as well and some of the most evocative prayers are Hebrew prayers!) and prayer is an important part of that.  I am blessed because I grew up knowing that I can take my worries to God anytime, anywhere in prayer.

That’s where I go to be brave.  I go to God in prayer for help in times of trouble, for support in challenging times, in times of sadness, in times of success, in times of gratitude and in times of joy, always, always in times of joy.  I love the way prayer centres me and helps me focus.  I love the way it is almost comfort on tap.  God doesn’t always answer you right away, and the answer isn’t always what you want to hear, but knowing that you can take ANYTHING in prayer is a comfort.  Because in these trying times when people feel desperately alone, I know I’m not.  I know that I’ve got a hotline to the Big Guy who always has my back.

I am thankful!

24 Nov

I know I whine a lot about what’s wrong about my day, what’s not right about work, why I don’t have this or why I don’t have that.  I think that it’s important for me to stop doing that today.  While it is, traditionally, an American holiday celebration, I think it has its place in this world.  I think it’s important that today I stop the whinging and the whining.

I am thankful for everything that I have in my life right now.  The good and the bad, the blessings and the challenges.  I’m also thankful for what I don’t have.  God has blessed me with a life that most people would envy and He has continued to bless me with opportunities that a lot of people can only dream about.  I am thankful for every situation, every opportunity and every disappointment because I believe that everything that happens, God has a purpose for bringing me through it.  I know that every situation is a learning opportunity.

I am completely thankful for every single moment.  I am thankful that I am alive.

I am thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Distraction

22 Oct

This post was inspired by my spiritual sister.  She sent out a tweet to ask people a question that would help her write her sermon for Sunday.  She inspires me to write about my faith. 🙂

I am blessed because I work in an environment that values google searches, Twitter, Facebook pages and all sorts of media, traditional or otherwise.  So there is no moratorium on the use of Twitter or the use of the internet to do searches.  We’re allowed to check our personal emails as long as, of course, it is done within reason.

The trouble, sometimes, with all this freedom is that you forget what your limitations are.  You forget that sometimes you’re meant to be looking for something work-related on Twitter  and not at your friends’ status updates.  Or that you go on Facebook to update a client’s page, and not check your own status update comments.  Or that you check your personal email for an email from an application you’re trying out and you end up reading an email from a family member.  The lines do get a bit blurry sometimes.

The wonderful world wide web, such as it is, with all its information can prove to be quite the distraction.  Being “online” all the time is one of this generation’s biggest distractions.  Technology does have a way of keeping you  tap-tapping all the time in front of the computer and letting life pass you by.  I find that most times, when I want to look through bible study notes on specific topics and I punch out a search on Google, I get distracted by what the other search results are.  There are times when I find myself reading something completely different from what I originally planned.  It’s only too easy to lose oneself in the maze of the big triples Ws.

Keeping myself focused on work with the temptation of unlimited access to the internet at work isn’t really difficult because there are too many things to do at work, too many things to tick off the to-do list.  But there are times when you lose focus ever so slightly.  It’s the same thing when it comes to one’s walk in faith.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day concerns, to forget to read the bible, to forget to pray in the morning when you’re running late and need to get ready.

It’s sometimes difficult to do what Proverbs 4:25-27 says, to “[L]et your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”  Sometimes without meaning to, I find myself on one of those side roads that I’m meant to to avoid.  It is worrying for me that I am not always sure-footed in this journey of faith.  I fall by the wayside, or take steps back instead of forward, or I take a side street or I stop at a pit stop a little longer than what’s on God’s itinerary for my walk.

The lovely bit about all this is, God knows that we can be distracted, even with the strongest of our resolves.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  He KNOWS this about us, so he will equip us to cope with the distractions.  He won’t put us in situations that we cannot get through without His help.  He uses all the situations where we don’t follow the map to make us more sure-footed in the future.  He makes sure that all the experiences we have strengthen our faith in Him.

God gave us the tools so that we can navigate through life His way.  He gave us prayer and he gave us the bible.  I find this passage from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 very comforting about the Bible (it’s probably why I’ve always felt the need to have an actual bible in the house, and not just in my Kindle!):  “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  You know that old Sunday School song about reading the bible and praying everyday so we grow?  It rings the truth loud and clear.  He has provided us with the best road map and the best mode of communication.  He has also provided us with a keen sense of direction, of knowing when we are straying from the prescribed path.  We only have to listen to the alarm bells, no matter how faint the sound is.  When we get lost, we can easily find out way back because He made it possible for us to do so!  All we have to do is call on Him and read his directions.

How awesome is that?

My daily dose

27 May

I grew up going to church every Sunday.  In troubled times, my faith has kept me sane.  In falls from grace, my faith has kept me hopeful that I will be able to rise above the depths I have sunk to (hey, I’m no angel!).  In times when I felt uncertain, my faith has kept me grounded.  I may not be openly religious but it has been my faith that has kept me centred.

For one’s faith to grow, I’ve always believed that it is necessary to read the bible and pray (in my head now, I’m singing the Sunday School song, “Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day”—does anyone else know that song?).  I remember my struggle to find a bible and how relieved I felt when I finally found the bible that I felt was for me (it has something to do with the version it was written in and nothing mystical :)).  I find that although I’m away from my church family, my faith, unbelievably, has grown.

Another ingredient, apart from reading the bible and praying everyday (and I’m still singing that song!) is fellowship with like-minded individuals.  I grew up in church and grew up with people who have had the same nurturing of faith.  It was a fear for me, that when I left, I wouldn’t feel as spiritual because I wouldn’t get the nurturing that I had from fellowshipping with like-minded individuals.

But because of the wonders of the Facebook and emails, I am able to keep in touch with the people I grew up with.  What does help the most is the daily devotional emails that my mother sends me.  She’s also made it amazingly easy to read the scripture reading as well because she’s included the readings in the emails that she sends.  I know she only does it because she wants to minister to us (it takes a lot of commitment to type up each devotion every single day and send it off!).

I appreciate all the effort my mom goes through because I know that it’s her way of nurturing us, and, in my case, even from afar.  Thanks Maman!  I try to tell you how much I appreciate what you do but somehow writing it down helps me express how invaluable your devotional emails are (besides, it helps me keep tabs on my mom as well–if she doesn’t send me a daily devotional for a couple of days I start to worry that she’s not well!).

One of my favourite passages from my mother’s emails is a reading from the book of Psalms.  When I am in despair, or when I need centering, reading something from Psalms always has an uplifting effect. I’m sharing it with everyone who comes to read the blog because, even if you are not religious, it is such beautiful writing, and very, very moving plea from someone who wants nurturing, direction and protection from their God.

Psalm 31:1-5

1 Lord, I trust in you;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me because you do what is right.
2 Listen to me
and save me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a strong city to save me.
3 You are my rock and my protection.
For the good of your name, lead me and guide me.
4 Set me free from the trap they set for me,
because you are my protection.
5 I give you my life.
Save me, Lord, God of truth

24 Things To Remember

2 Feb

One of the blog post suggestions from The Daily Post was whether you were an optimist or a pessimist.  Whenever I get asked this question, I usually say that I’m a realist.  When they give me a blank look, I qualify it by saying that I hope for the best of outcomes but am prepared if it doesn’t turn out quite the way I’d envisioned it.

I am quite the glass-half-full type of person.  I think it is my faith that allows me to believe that things will ALWAYS get better.  I know that God will always take care of me.  No matter how difficult things are, I know that God will get me through it.

I got this email from one of my former work colleagues today and I thought I’d share it with whoever wanders into my blog space.  In the words of Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing!”

Your presence is a present to the world.
You are unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You will make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Do not put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal and you prize.

Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem the heavier it gets.
Do not take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life’s treasure are people together.

Realize that it is never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have hearth and hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a start.

AND DO NOT EVER FORGET,

FOR EVEN A DAY HOW VERY SPECIAL YOU ARE!

The whole truth

23 Jan

One of the photo topics on The Daily Post is to post a picture that represents the truth.

I’ve always made it a point to say that I am in no way a religious zealot, but I believe in God and His amazing greatness.  Whenever I am afraid or unsure of what to do, I turn to His Word, I just open the Bible and I read the passage that I see and somehow it comforts me.  It comforts me to know that no matter how afraid I am, or unsure or tired I am, I find comfort in His Words and it seems to give me the spiritual sustenance that I need.

This is my truth.  And my truth is God’s word hidden in my heart.