Saturday, October 18, 2014

you're still the rose

In my hardship, I could not see Jesus. In my heart, I could not see how He was good in the midst of one of the hardest times I've gone through so far. I lost my appetite, my sleep, a lot of hair, my ability to stand up and walk. I lost color from my face, and I could not smile for days, let alone laugh. I lost my voice and could not speak, and in the following two weeks, I felt two growths in my throat. My neck and head hurt too. But these were the least of concerns to me...because it felt like what I had lost was everything that mattered in life.

Though Jesus suffered my misunderstandings of Him, He has been patiently nursing my wounds. He grieved with me and comforted me, and sustained my life. He gave me courage to cut out without mercy things that hurt me, even though that was the only hope I had left. He is healing me so that now I can enjoy food again and praise Him with a voice that He so loves to hear. He has restored His color and radiance to my face, and now I smile and can laugh. In cutting out my own hopes, he is replacing the void in my chest with His hope, just like He did for Abraham. With his love, which is better than life, He recovered my life.

It still hurts, but He has been making me better and will continue to do so till I'm fully well. And He speaks to me every day about how much He loves me. Once, in my sadness and fear, He told me, "My child, you're still the rose". And just today, I realized that a flower which so captivated me three months ago because it resembled the English rose, was also known as the rose of Sharon.

It probably is not the exact kind of flower talked about when Song of Solomon used the term "rose of Sharon". But it is all so clear now...this is the seventh time that Jesus has given me roses and things related to roses. Today, I know that my Lover is asking me this.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.

And I say yes. Jesus, my One True Love, yes, I'm coming with You now.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Oh I am undone!
For I babble as a child
Yet the Lord will teach me to speak
For I'd asked of Him,
"Put the coal that touched Isaiah,
Put it right inside my heart."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

tummy ache and hair perm

So my tummy was bloated and hurt the whole of last night, and in the morning I was jolted awake to do things that are usually associated with food poisoning. Today is a holiday alright, a holiday spent alternating between the bed and the toilet...much more than I had wanted. But I realized Jesus gave me a nice natural perm for my hair from all that tossing and turning last night. And that is not what you would associate with a painful tummy, or a dreadful day.

I laughed when I saw myself in the mirror. Jesus, I love your humor! And how you cheer me up.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dear Dads

Dear Dads,

Without you, there wouldn't be us - and we don't mean it just biologically. You are strong even in the face of adversity, you are brave and full of courage, and you tirelessly work to put food on our table and build stability into our lives. How did you do that for so many years!

We love you and we knew so closely in our heart who you were even before we could are the man with the loving eyes whose voice we heard all the time in Mom's belly. You are the man whose eyes lit up when we peeped at the world after a good night's slumber. You were always staring at us with eyes that beamed of love.

And as the years went by, we started an imaginary war on freedom against Mom and you.  We started seeing Mom and you as people who wanted to control us and turn us into your slaves. The house that Mom and you made into a home...we saw it as hell. We despised improvements you both made, because hell is hell. There's no way you could have made it better.

Mom, being more aware of the things that went on in our everyday lives, often let her emotions show. Sometimes in her frustration and heartbreak, she yelled at us. And us (being the stiff-necked pricks that we were) used our budding creativity to try and bring her to breaking point. You were out at work, mostly, and if you were at home, you would stay away from the conflict to avoid making things worse. 

Years passed. You went to our first concert, our first competition, and every graduation party we had. You saw how we changed over the years, and you remember when we really started changing - we apologise, we listen, we talk, we laugh...This is so wonderful! Till the end of our lives, we are going to get closer and closer, just like how we were back then.

As for those of us who haven't really changed though we're now in our 20s or you know how much Mom suffers? Her bones dry up from the grief within her. Her heart does not work in regular beat because she has lost so much sleep over the years. The joints in her hands ache from tidying a home that we now despise. Sad things make up most of what she says and she tries very hard to keep things in control.

We know you get undercover updates from Mom though you pretend to appear like you don't know anything. Because we inherited your bionic ears and Mom's. We don't want just Mom to be in the frontline of caring...especially if we have developed ways of thinking that are actually harmful. Don't tell her what you can do too as a parent. Don't leave the difficult conversations with us to just her. Talk to us what it means to grow up into someone with courage, wisdom, and love, because we want to do the same for our children too when things get tricky. Then, change will begin. 

There'll be people who come into your life to support you with this, and you'll be alright. But if you really can't do it right now or not at all, it is okay. It really is. We don't fully understand what you have been going through. Plus, you never stopped loving us even when we were so nasty to you. What more now when you are genuinely facing challenges (and not being nasty to us at all)!

Please don't start criticizing yourself. You are already such a wonderful Dad. We love you, and we know you love us too. 

Your precious children


In response to the subculture of distant dads in parts of Asia and the world, where there is clear division of labour between...
the homemaker (often the Mom), who provides emotional care at home and is responsible for the household's everyday needs, and
the breadwinner (often the Dad), who is mainly responsible for meeting the financial needs of the family now and in the long term.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

more than we can imagine

Jesus has the power to do the impossible; it is whether we have the faith to believe it. We miscount or undervalue its power to the degree that we limit what we would ask of him. 

Ephesians 3:20 (ISV) says:
Now to the one who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us.
Suppose you have a powerful steed or horse, but only use it to provide circus pony rides for children in a small compound, when it has the ability and strength to go much faster and further. You would be grossly under-utilizing the horse. Like the horse, the Word of God can do much more than what we dare ask or imagine. We have a big God but His people only ask for small things. The problem does not lie with the steed, but with the rider who chooses to keep it within a small compound because he think that is all the horse can handle. If we could just break free from this limiting belief, imagine what we can ask and believe God for in this generation!

Presence-Driven Donkeys (2013), Jeff Yuen

Thursday, June 5, 2014

father and child

When you realize that you're a child of the most High God, then everything you do for Him becomes a family business (ministry). Hence, your actions and your performance stems from knowing who you are as a child of God and that the Holy Spirit lives in you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
If you relate to God as the master, you will have a slave mentality. If you relate to God as a boss, you will have a work relationship. If you relate to God as a friend, then you will have friendship and intimacy. If you relate to God as the Father, not only will you have intimacy in greater measure, but also you will start to see ministry as a family business. Your performance is affected by how you see your identity in relation to God.

Will our heavenly Father not provide if he instructs a son to go to China and preach the gospel? Will He not provide if He directs you to set up a drug rehabilitation centre? Yes. He will most absolutely provide, because when you discover sonship, whatever he asks you to do is family business and He will take care of you.

In the Body of Christ, there are slaves who have to wait for the servant of God to tell them what they don't hear from God themselves. There are servants who only approach the master only when told to. There are friends who spend time with God and know something of his heart. And then, there are children who are living and moving in the fullness of their inheritance. Which one are you? If your ministry is all about servanthood, then let me tell you that sonship is better because sonship means the Father will fend for you even as you serve Him. 

John 10:11-13 says:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 
Presence-Driven Donkeys (2013), Jeff Yuen