Tag Archives: the Bible

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?

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My 5 books

25 Jul

Topic 199 suggested choosing the 5 most important books I’ve read.  Being a reader, this was not going to be an easy task because I was raised to read…and read a lot.

  1. The Bible – I grew up reading the Bible.  I grew up in church, I grew up going to Sunday School and Daily Vacation Church School, so naturally I grew up knowing how important the Bible was to my growth in faith.  It is my comfort when I need reassurance, it is my rule book when I need reining in, it is strength when my faith wanes.
  2. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume – I loved this book.  I started reading this book when I was 10.  I felt so connected to this book.  Margaret was 11 (she was a year older than me at the time, but hey, what’s 12 months eh?), Margaret’s mother was Christian (mine too!) and her father was Jewish (yes, my dad is Jewish, he’s Filipino but he converted to Judaism when he lived in Israel; you could say there’s something about those kibbutzes!).  It was a book that I read over and over and over again.  It helped me that I wasn’t the only one with conflicting thoughts and it reassured me that I wasn’t a weirdo.
  3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – it made me love my little sissypooes more and made me understand my mother’s relationship with her sisters.  I used to wonder what it was like to be rich, and there would be times when I wondered why there were things we had to do without.  But after reading about the March girls, being able to enjoy things sometimes and do without things sometimes wasn’t bad after all!
  4. Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell – when my desire to blog was waning and my cooking was uninspired, this book gave me the boost that I needed.  It helped reignite my love of writing (even if people didn’t read my blog, I still really wanted to put my thoughts out there) and it helped me look at cooking differently.  Even if Julie Powell never reads my blog, I owe her a lot.  She helped me shake off the inertia.
  5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – I read this book at a difficult time in my life.  It helped me start my soul-searching and it helped me strengthen my resolve to do what had to be done and to choose the path I wanted to take.  I gave my friends copies of this book (a la Julia Roberts) because it was such a powerful book for me.  I thought it was necessary to share.

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

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.