Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Here's a passage about a Pharisee questioning Jesus' not washing Himself ceremonially before eating, and Jesus' response. To me, it is a message for all of us teachers, leaders and models of spirituality:

Woe to you, servants of God and leaders of men, . . .
Who love the seats of honor, but don't honor the Savior;

Woe to you, servants of God and leaders of men, . . .
Who fuss over program sheets, song choices and mission statements
But won't lift a finger to relieve the suffering and care for orphans.

Woe to you, servants of God and leaders of men, . . .
Who look alive, busy, "Man, my schedule is packed!", but are comfortably dead, walking skeletons,
Lying in  “concealed tombs."

Woe to you, servants of God and leaders of men, . . .
Who burden others with never-ending to-dos, to-gives, to-attends, to-organize
But have no heart for God and no heart for people.

Woe to you, servants of God and leaders of men, . . .
Who reject the prophets and design their tombs; having stopped learning and hindering others from receiving
By teaching sloppy truths, living a lie, promoting high knowledge and glorifying grand numbers.

Woe to you, servant of God and leaders of men, . . .
Whose only skill is going on high speed on the road of show and tell;
Jam your brakes, quick, make a u-turn to Jesus; start all over again,
Before it's too late.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

the ABCs of rest

"Come to Me," says Jesus, "and I will give you rest."
What do we need rest from?

Anger & Bitterness – some people carry them for a life-time and miss living; let it go, forgive, "just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Eph 4:32).”
Competitive spirit – do your best by all means, but do it only for God and not for man; man is hard to please.

Depression – don’t talk to that emo spirit, talk to God; don’t get moody, get help.
Envy – “godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim 6:6).
Fruitless works of the flesh – “walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16); don't serve in programs, serve people in the power of God.

Guilt – living in guilt is nailing yourself to the cross; Jesus has already done that (Col 2:14) so STOP IT!
Haughtiness of spirit – it's not attractive or cool; try "humility of mind."
Insecurity – don't use people, and don't let people use you, it's pathetic! Remember there are those who need you simply because they can’t be home alone on a Friday evening.

Judgmental attitude – chances are what you can't stand in others may be the exact log in your own eyes; remove it!
Knowledge – knowledge don’t solve problems in life; wisdom that comes from the fear of the Lord does.
Laziness & procrastination – “Let your yes be yes and your nay nay”, respect yourself, respect others.

Money, money, money – don't love money for it makes a good slave but a ruthless taskmaster; love God.
NO Passion for the things of God – what can I say? Ask God to soften your heart, cry and beat your chest if you need to, fast and pray.

Quarrelsome spirit – winning an argument doesn't make you a winner; on the other hand, “the gentle . . . shall inherit the earth” (Mat 5:5).
Restlessness & Strife – filling your schedule with busyness and rushing around only gives you ulcer and heart problems; slowing down and staying still before God rewards you with His quiet strong voice.

Tiredness, Unhealthy living – “You have been bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:19-20), your body is not yours; so sleep early, eat colorful food, put on your running shoes, breathe, laugh, live, honor God.
Vanity – “Is everyone looking at me?” No, everyone is always looking only at himself or herself.

Worrying, and trying to live up to X-pectations – look at the birds of the air (the Bird Park near my home is not bad) and the flowers of the field (they’re everywhere in Singapore, did you notice?); seek God’s kingdom, don’t seek men’s approval.
Saying “Yes” to every project, position, power-lunch, "Pleeeese-help-me" phone call – try saying “No”; you'd be surprised it won’t kill you or anyone (in fact most people who push and pull really don’t care).

So . . .
When we rest – stop, cease – from things that hold, halt and hinder us,
We shall experience true ZZZZ.
Not the kind that stops rudely in the middle of the night,
And gives us eye bags and broken dreams.
But the Rest that Jesus – "gentle and humble in spirit" – gives
To anyone – "weary and heavy-laden”,
"Come to Me," calls the Master.
“And you will find rest for your soul” (Mt 11:28-30).

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Reflections from Gen 26-33

For Jacob, it was TWO.
Position: Second son
Favorite sport: 2-timing others
Modus operandi: get God’s favor but, just in case, have a plan B
Greatest Romance: Rachel, daughter no. 2
Price for love: 7 x 2 years
Ended up with: 2 wives
To keep wives happy: 2 concubines
Work ethics: job sucks, wait 20 years!
Finally resigned: but sneaked out via back staircase 2
Met God’s angels halfway: named the camp Mahanaim (“2”)
Finally courageously faced Esau: but, wait a minute, let’s divide my family into 2
Peace offering to brother?: No surprise - 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, . . . .

For Jacob, it was ONE.
Never mind he was no. 2, God meant for him to be one.
Met him alone at Bethel, Wrestled with him one on one at Peniel.
Showed him one dream, built him one ladder,
Gave him one, “I am with you.”
One dislocated hip, one permanent limp
To show him God's blessings doesn't need a back-up plan.
No “just in case,:
No “I must help myself.”
Mr. Double (Jacob: schemer) must become Mr. Single (Israel: power with God alone),
"Love the Lord your God with ALL,"
Or you don't love the Lord at all.

For us, it’s also usually ONE.
Matt 18:9 “It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.”
Mark 10:21 "One thing you lack: . . . come, follow Me."
Luke 10:41-42 “. . . but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, . . . ."
Luke 8:45 “Who is the one who touched Me?"

love the ocean - God made it for Himself

About Me

In the Old Testament in the Bible, there was a man named Jacob who "wrestled with God and man." He wouldn't let God go until God answered his prayers. God admired that and renamed him Israel, "the one who fought or wrestled and prevailed". He fought with man--his inner man--and conquered his own weaknesses. He's my hero. He is what I hope God and man see me to be.