Monday, December 22, 2008

A home or merely a house for the Holy Spirit?

As far as my still able memory serves me, in my just over 2 decades of life do i not remember a holiday period that i felt bored. But i always remember and still get people telling me about how bored they are during their holidays. Not that they don't like it, but they just do not know what to do with it. So all they usually do is stay at home watch tv, play computer games, go out yamcha with friends, sleep for 18 hours a day, laze around like a bum etc. After 2 months (normal break), 6 months (SPM and STPMers) or for some 9 months of holidays. They look back not knowing what they have actually done. How sad..

On the other hand, i have been hearing about how busy some people are after their exams. They got a long list of things that they want to do. So many that many have told me that they feel more stress and busier than during exam periods. How nice for a change..

I have been more like the latter. I had a plan of a whole list of things that needs to be done. The very moment i handed in my last assignment for the semester i only had a moment for a sigh of relief. I had crossed the finished line, but now the real work begins.

One of my very first tasks was to attend a very much dreaded 'makeover' session which i was duped into on a recommendation by a friend. I shan't go into much detail but it was like torture to me. One of my friends even tried to encourage me by saying:' Maybe, it is a necessary grooming session.' Ah well, what comfort. But, it was an experience i would never forget for a lesson had to be learnt. Maybe not quite the grooming i had expected.

I was astonished at the magnitude of deteoriorating moral in the society that we all live in. Outward appearance has been place on such a high emphasis that we have somehow embarrassingly allowed ourselves to be influenced by it. Our judgemental mindsets eventhough never truly spoken in words (because Christians are supposed to love one another) has created a division of worlds, and people are trying to be someone else they are not. Forced to use phrases like 'Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder' to comfort themselves that someone out there, some where actually loves them. Then they spend all their time trying to emulate and copy models, celebrities or even popular classmates. I was also a judgemental person. I shamefully admit to the times even by a flicker of a second, sometimes unintentionally judging people based on appearance and using the standards of the world as a bencemark. Such is the impact of media and what we allow into our ear and eye gates.

Later, i read a section of the book, Prayer by Philip Yancey. A heart piercing reminder and follow up to my recent experience and conviction. And this is what was written.

'In the Last Supper conversation in which Jesus dequeathed his peace, he also promised a far greater gift; the presence of God, who would live not in some faraway heaven but inside us, in our very souls. He promised us the Holy Spirit, and the title he chose, the Counsellor, itself indicates one of the Spirit's main roles. The 'sense' of God's presence may come and go. Yet, the believer can have confidence that God is already present, living inside, and need not be simmoned from afar.

I have seen the evidence of God's presence in the most unexpected places. During our trip to Nepal, a physical therapist gave my wife and me a tour of the Green Pastures hospital, which specialises in leprosy rehabilitation. As we walked along the outdoor corridor, I noticed in a courtyard one of the ugliest human beings i have ever seen. Her hands were bandaged in gauze, she had deformed stumps where most people have feet, and her face showed the worst ravages of that cruel disease. Her nose had shrunk away so that, looking at her, I could see into her sinus cavity. Her eyes, mottled and covered with callus, let in no light; she was totally blind. Scars covered patches of skin on her arms.

We toured a unit of the hospital and returned along the same corridor. In the meantime this creaure had crawled across the courtyard to the very edge of the walkway, pulling herself along the ground by planting her elbows and drgging her body like a wounded animal. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was:' She's a beggar. She wants money.' My wife, who has worked among the down-and-out, had a much more holy reaction. The old woman rested her head against Janet's (Philip Yancey's wife) shoulder and began singing a song in Nepali, a tune that we all instantly recognised:' Jesus loves me, this i know, for the Bible tells me so.'

'Danmaya is one of the most devoted church members,' the physical therapist later told us. 'Most of our patients are Hindus, but we have a little Christian chapel here, and Danmaya comes every time the door opens. She's a prayer warrior. She loves to greet and welcome every visitor who comes to Green Pastures, and no doubt she heard us talking as we walked along the corridor.'

A few months later we heard tha Danmaya had died. Close to my desk I keep a photo that I snapped just as she was singing to Janet. Whenever I feel polluted by the beauty-obsessed celebrity culture I live in, i pull out that photo. I see two beautiful women: my wife, smiling sweetly, holding in her arms an old crone who would flunk any beauty test ever devised except the one that matters most. One of that deformed, hollow shell of a body, the light of God's presence shines out. The Holy Spirit found a home.'

Oh Lord, I pray for the times that i have shamed your name with my thoughts and have allowed myself to succumb to the world. Forgive me. Give me the strength and wisdom for my days ahead. That my life would shine the light of Your awesome presence. Being the true light among the darkness. Amen

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Pit

This is quite an interesting read. Simple but strong message on how man has complicated society when life is sometimes actually quite straightforward.

A man fell into a pit. These were the reactions of the people:

A Subjectivist type of person said, 'I feel for you down there' But did nothing.
An Objective person wandered by next, and said, 'It's logical that someone would fall down there.'

A Pharisee said, 'Only bad people fall into a pit,' and put his nose in the air and kept walking.
Then, a mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit.

A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on his pit, but was too busy interviewing everyone in sight to help.

A fanatic fundamentalist shouted, 'You deserve your pit!'
Then a government tax-man asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

A self-pitying person then whined, 'You haven't seen anything until you've seen MY pit!'
Then a Christian Scientist came by, and said, 'Just believe that you're not in a pit.'

An optimist said, 'Things could be worse!'
But the pessimist disagreed, and said, 'Things -will- get worse!'

A New Ager jumped into the pit to share the experience.
A conspiracist rubbed his hands together in glee, and said,'-They- threw you into the pit! I -knew- it!'

A Jew said, 'Why are we -always- in a pit?'
A Communist shouted 'Why are you in the People's Pit without permission?'
An Alcoholic muttered to himself, 'It's not -my- fault you're in the pit.....'

A Liberal said, 'Those Conservatives must have dug this pit!'
A Conservative said, 'See where Liberalism has gotten you?'

A TV Evangelist came by and promptly took up a collection from the bystanders.
A television news commentator shouted, 'Man in a pit! Why is the government responsible?'"

But then, a Good Samaritan came along, looked at the man in the pit and at all the others standing around pursuing their own agendas,and said, quietly, 'Here are two shovels. Let's get you out of the pit.'

Monday, December 1, 2008

Taking a short break.. but i will be back!

I will be taking a short break from blogging. Too many things on my hands now. Priorities! Coursework due next week and also the week after. Assessment day and interview for my placement job next year. Getting started on John Maxwell's materials to prepare for leadership training for next year. And a whole list of things that if i continue to list out, it will become another long blog post. haha.. Will start blogging again on the 17th of December, which is when my last assignment is due and my holiday starts. Woohoo.. till then brothers and sisters..