Enjoying moments

I’ve told this story a number of times in the last few weeks. Too many times I think because I feel like a broken record each time I relay it. Yet the revelation given, the perspective that shifted was a turning point for me – one that I want to always remember and look back on when I start to get caught up in the rat-race.

I was having lunch with a friend I’d only just got to know better in the last 6 months. I think it had been a month since I had last seen her but because we seemed to be on the same wave length on so many topics, there was too much to catch up on in the maximum 1 hour lunch break I had.

Even as we sat down to peruse the menu before ordering our food, I was figuring out what was the most urgent thing on my mind to share in the limited time we had. I still felt a bit on edge and in a rush until my friend said grace over the food. I can’t remember word for word but it was something along the lines of: “God, I know that we’ve got lots to catch up on but help us to just enjoy the moment, enjoy each other’s presence and your presence with us over this lunch break.”

Nothing supremely profound but what I needed to hear in that moment. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and all I could hear was, “enjoy the moments I give you” and my mind was flooded with verses like “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” and “do not worry about tomorrow (Matt 6:25-34)”. And all of a sudden, I felt my stress levels decrease. I felt myself relax for perhaps the first time in months.

I only recognised this after a week of this newfound state that I’d most likely been living at a consistent level of hightened stress since I had started full time work. Not cool. I had had nights where I would just cry out to God, complaining that it was too hard to balance all I had on my plate, that I just wanted to give up. It was only once I stopped trying to micro-manage my life and relax in the knowledge that I didn’t need to be in control of everything coz God was/is, that I started to feel alive again. I felt able to give of myself without feeling so drained all the time. I felt like I could in fact enjoy the moment with the people I caught up with, without stressing out over the things I had to do in the next moment. It was incredibly freeing and I’m so glad God used the unassuming prayer of a new friend to give me my wake up call :).

Now I’m not saying I’ve reached a stage where I no longer stress about things. What I am saying is that when I feel my stress levels rising, I know how to counteract them by surrendering those feelings and stressors to God and acknowledge his sovereignty over that particular situation – knowing that each stressful moment is an opportunity to experience God’s grace in my life. And when this shift in perspective happens, that’s when real peace and freedom is found :)

– Ames

disabled

That’s what Facebook is.  For now at least.  ‘Til 23 Nov.

Here’s the evidence:

Why? For the sake of the last leg of the tertiary education race!

Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s got to do.

It’s a liberating feeling really.  It always is.  So why do I always go back to it after exams?

For photo sharing, for keeping up to date with family, friends and events…

Bring on the withdrawal symptoms!

The verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” seems appropriate right about now…

– Ames –

Easter Reflections 3

In the last post, I mentioned that there were two words that came to mind when contemplating the meaning of Easter.  The first was ‘redemption’ and the second is one that I’d like to expand on today: ‘love’.

Jesus redeemed us from eternal separation from God so that we could experience the blessings and good plans He has for us not because we earned it.  The infamous passage in the Bible does not say that,’Because we tried to be good citizens of the world, that God gave his only begotten Son…’ neither does it say, ‘Because we gave to the needy, didn’t lie this week, gave up our seat for the old lady, that God gave his only begotten Son…’ No.

John 3:16 says, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever so believed in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

He loved and continues to love ALL of humanity and desires them to come into full awareness of their own transgressions/wrongdoings/failed attempts of being righteous or good so they can accept His saving grace and run desperately into His loving arms, ready to embrace us.

We watched a condensed version of the Passion of the Christ this weekend and I was struck once again of the enormous pain and suffering that Jesus undeservingly went through for people who spit on His face, denied and condemned Him.  He had no sin but took on the sins of the world so that we could be restored back into a relationship with God, the way it was meant to be from the very beginning.  And not only that, but in Him we have victory over all addictions, troubles, challenges and even death itself because He has already overcome it all.  When we are connected to Him, we have the power to overcome.  Freedom is ours for the taking because of His Great Love.  There is nothing to lose except our bondage to old mindsets and old patterns of living.

Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends. – John 15:13

♥ Ames

Process = Transformation = Freedom

Last night I had a long chat with someone who was struggling to let go of their past so they could step with confidence into a new relationship that is full of Godly possibilities and potential.

This is not an easy thing to do because when we get saved, we don’t automatically develop a case of amnesia. Our past did happen, we remember what we have done, what was done to us, and we form defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from being hurt again.

In order to let go of the past and move on we must undergo a process of transformation by daily renewing our mind with the word of God.

There is no easy way.

There are no shortcuts.

Denial does not work.

Hiding does not work.

Running does not work.

Continue reading

How could it be

What an awesome thing it is to come home from church completely refreshed and full of joy!  We sang a new song today (well, it was new for me) and though it was in Chinese, I belted out the translated version displayed underneath the lyrics…

With a truthful heart,

Lord, I come before Thee

Open my eyes, so I can see.

With a grateful heart,

Lord I come to receive Your spirit of humbleness and grace.

 

How could it be, that You would care for me?

How could it be, Your blood was shed for me?

How could it be, You’ve crowned me with Your grace and glory?

O my soul, sing praises to the King.

 

You have removed my bondage, my chains.

You have removed, my burdens and shame.

You have removed, my sorrows and pain.

O my soul, sing praises to His name.

– How Could It Be, Eric Hsieh/Sandy Yu (Streams Of Praise)

Last night I found my freedom.  Secrets that I’d been holding onto for nearly two years were finally disclosed and the incredible burden was finally lifted.  Never will I forget that moment and never will I cease to be grateful for the strength and courage He gave me to really let it all go.  I taunted the S dude back, ‘Ah ha! That’s it, you got nothing left on me now.  I’ve won, I’ve won, I’ve won!’

Lord, let me never be so proud that I can’t see the errors of my ways,

Let me never be so self-righteous that I forget to sing your praise. 

Lord, please keep me humble for the rest of my days, 

Please let my light shine for You tonight, tomorrow and always.

Amen.

♥ Ames