Sunday, April 24, 2011

Loving the Unlovely 20.4.11

'Never look down on somebody unless you are helping them up.' Rev. Jesse Jackson
Its easy to be nice to the people who are well-off, intelligent, beautiful. We have no difficulty showing love to people who can be nice to us in return.

The DIFFICULT thing is loving the people who are unappealing in every way. It is tougher to be helpful to people who cannot be helpful to us in return. It is way harder to go out of our way to love someone who is in every way UNlovely.

Inevitably, we all have our misconceptions and preconceptions. Unavoidably, we all have a tendency to judge a book by its cover. However cliche, the saying still rings true. We still make judgments about people based on the outward, the physical, the circumstances at hand. Sometimes our judgments are right, oftentimes they are wrong.

Regardless whether we're right or wrong, our CALL is to love the unlovely. To reach the unloved. Jesus said the healthy and righteous do not need a Physician or a Saviour. He came to save the sick and the lost, those in the shadows, those who RECOGNISE they NEED to be SAVED.

While it is always easier to pander to the whims of those who are in positions of authority, who are popular, likable, fashionable, knowledgeable, it is far more rewarding to do the HARDER thing. That is to GIVE OF OURSELVES, our time, our energy, our talents, to bless those who need a helping hand, who need a friend, who need the saving grace & love of Christ.

Friends, with God's help, we can choose the harder thing. Because Jesus did.

Carpe diem,
Janielle =)

The Shadow & the Light

'Evil is like a shadow. You cannot make it disappear simply by fighting it, stamping on it or railing against it. You cannot destroy it by any emotional or physical means. The only way to make it disappear is to SHINE LIGHT on it.' - Gawain

And ofcourse, the presence of the shadow obviously indicates that there is Light

That is our hope.

Although we are surrounded by shadows and darkness, we have the Light, Jesus Christ, the hope of glory in our hearts - that is if we receive Him.

Apart from God, we are in darkness. And we will not even know it. Sometimes its easy to stay in the darkness and people may prefer it to the Light. Because the Light EXPOSES the things hidden in the darkness.

Without the Light we are blind, vision-impaired. Without the Truth that the Light brings, we live in deception.

'The Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.' Psalm 119:105

The Word of God opens our eyes to the things in our life that are destroying us and drawing us away from the Light. The Word is Life. We may be physically healthy, but inside, we are rotting and dying and lifeless.

This world, our society, me and you, we need the Light. We need the Word, the truth. We need Life. We need Christ, the hope of glory! Without Him we are void, we are empty.

Apart from Him, all the good things, all the bad things, all the suffering and pain, will have no meaning and no purpose. Abide in Him, and we have the Light of Christ in us. We have a hope and peace that surpasses what this world can offer only temporarily.

So are you still in the shadows? Do you and I have the Light in us?

~ J a n i e ll e B e h

Letting Go

'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.' Jim Elliot
What a brilliant quote!

What are the things that we should easily let go of? The things that we cannot keep!

Often life becomes the never-ending pursuit of things that we cannot keep past our due date. Yes, OUR due date. The day we cease to exist on earth.

How have we become so caught up in the noise of this world that we prefer to chase after the things that will ultimately pass away? We prefer these corruptible things to the things that will last longer than this lifetime.

As much as this present world is our reality, it is really only a stage, a dress-rehearsal for the REAL THING - a life beyond this passing world. If I sound bonkers to you, fine by me. But you see that most people arrive the end of their lives regretting that they have wasted all those years pursuing the things that ultimately matter not.

He is no fool - though the people of the present world will call him a fool - who gives what he CANNOT KEEP.

LETTING GO begins now. It begins today. Not when the time comes to choose between light or darkness. It begins now, even when things seem alright and it seems only reasonable to acquire the things that will not matter in the end.

If we give away what we cannot keep, we gain what we CANNOT LOSE.

If we let go of the things that ultimately matter not, we end up focusing our vision and energy on the things that will last for ETERNITY. If today, everyday, we choose to give away what we cannot keep, we inevitably gain a transformed perspective on how we must live this temporal journey in preparation for the real thing.

Ah, the real thing. For now, we learn to choose. To let go and give away, to hold on LOOSELY to the things of this world that will soon pass away.

Janielle =)

Saying Thank YOU

We forget to say thank you. Every moment of today, even now, we forget that we are living by grace.

We think we're in control. We think its all good or all bad because we made it so, or the world made it so.
But for all the wonderful moments, and even the unbearable seasons, we often forget to say thank YOU.
You and I deserve nothing. Not even life. We do not even deserve the right to complain and voice our dissatisfaction. Yet the very reason we are living now, right now, is the proof of His amazing grace. Have you and I forgotten to say thank YOU today?

The moment we live each precious moment with a heart of thankfulness, a prayer of gratitude, a burst of inexplicable joy, is the moment we experience life as He meant it to be.

Living by His grace,

Both in laughing & in crying
Walking by simple faith,
In the night and every morning.

And if we do just that, remember to say thank You to the one who holds our destiny in His sovereign hands, whatever the circumstance may be, wonderful or unbearable, there will always be an ever-present assurance that 'in all things God works for the good of those who love Him'. =)

Love, janielle =)

Why Live?

Honestly, today's one of those days I have so much to do that I feel overwhelmed and I question WHY I'm doing all this.

Isn't it good to ask why?

Because if we never think of WHY we do things and put effort or no effort into what we think we must do, then it is all pointless.

Why am I doing all this? In the end it amounts to nothing! If indeed it amounts to nothing. I know I'm a repetitious fool, and I keep saying the same thing. But truly, it is a stark reminder time and again that I cannot just live and let live. I cannot just do all this and know not why I strive so hard to accomplish a task or reach for excellence.

Do we do all this merely because it is expected of us? By our parents, our teachers, and even ourselves?

Or is there a more sophisticated reason behind it all?

Like I said, I'm a repetitious ol' fool and I keep coming back to the same thing. Basically it's because I'm going through the tedious process of reminding myself again. And again, attempting to grasp a lesson that I have once learned and understood, but which I have in my ignorance forgotten.

Well truly, this is essentially the crux of the matter, of our everyday lives. If there is no PURPOSE behind all this, if there is no meaning and ultimate satisfaction in what I do and must do, then I'd rather not continue. Yes, I'd rather not continue!

Too tedious a life to live - although there are good things to enjoy and people to meet. But if ultimately all this disintegrates and is forever forgotten, why live?

Indeed, why live.

~ j a n i e ll e

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vanity makes the world go round

'We are so vain that we care for the opinion of those we do not care for.' Marie Eschenbach

Vanity! I love this word. It somehow sounds like what it means.

Vanity makes the world go round. I think there has never been a time such as now when men and women were THIS vain. And its not just about painting a facade on the outward scale, as Shakespeare wrote in 'Hamlet'.

Vanity nowadays connotes a gazillion other forms in which it thrives, or in a less positive sound, festers.

Through Facebook and Twitter, and scores of other online sites, people have all popped up as aspiring mini-celebrities. Even myself. But yet, who the heck cares what you ate for breakfast or what music you listen to? Who cares what you think about politics or philosophy or computer games?

Strangely enough, we do keep tabs on what other people are doing or saying or thinking. Even if they're not famous, even if they're talking crap and filling us in on useless, insignificant pieces of information. I think that's the reason why we're SUCH a distracted society. Especially young people like me.

With Facebook on, I just cannot concentrate! I check it periodically, I post up statuses (hoping they are meaningful and not too trivial), I write notes in the mornings on the train. Am I doing this for myself? Or to gain the 'likes' of all these other people whom I barely know on a 'good friend' basis.

Isn't it true? The people of our time and age have become so decadent, self-indulgent and almost repulsively vain that we bother notifying others about our whereabouts and glamorous (usually feigned) undertakings. Like Eschenbach said, we have become so vain that 'we care for the opinion of those we do not care for.'

Its quite unbelievable. The youths 10 years ago didn't have this kind of a form of vanity that is now so rampant. I confess to falling prey to it. Facebook is not evil in itself, it is simply my lack of self-control and focus. Without discipline and self-control, even the most wonderful, sumptuous and useful things can create a horror out of you.

If it is possible, for this coming week I aspire only to write notes and post a meaningful status or two. Hahaha. ;)

Carpe diem,

Eternity in Our Hearts 31.3.11

My dad said to me this morning on the way to the train station, 'You need to make routines in life, but at the same time find LIFE in the routines.'

Or else you'll just be going through the motions, perpetually in and out of the doldrums.

Perhaps it’s possible that after a while people lose their true selves in the monotony and demands of daily life. We end up doing what we think we must do, but not accomplishing what we were uniquely created to do.

That is if you believe we were 'uniquely created'. If not, what then is life? An endless amount of hurdles leading to an unfortunately insignificant end?

Take the Myth of Sysiphus, where Sysiphus was doomed for an eternity to roll a huge boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down. Again and again. Where is the satisfaction? Existentialists say it is that brief, precious, rewarding moment when Sysiphus has rolled the boulder to the top of the hill. There he stands for a moment, savouring his accomplishment. And then it is back to square one.

But if we were to describe life this way, wouldn't people be satisfied with such an answer? Truly, if there is no Creator, then this is the life we must live. But the truth is people, most people, are not satisfied with such an answer to the meaning of life. So if there IS a Creator, what then?

I am convinced that most people crave for something more. As the book of Ecclesiastes says, 'He placed eternity in our hearts.' Don't you long for something more than this?

It is no wonder most people are afraid of death. Because there is no answer to what's beyond. Or so they think.

It is no wonder most people desire to know what happens after death. Don't you realize it is inbuilt? If we were simply unplanned for random particles clumped together and evolved into such advanced and intelligent beings by the clever hand of Evolution, like Sysiphus, we would ask no questions. We would be contented to live, LIKE ALL THE OTHER ANIMALS - if you accept evolution for what it is - going through hurdle after hurdle, trial after trial, only to end as a heap of rotten, decayed flesh disintegrating back to dust and ashes.

But no, we DO ask questions. And we are not like the other animals. We don't just live today and forget yesterday or disregard tomorrow. We think about all three! We think about tomorrow. 'He placed eternity in our hearts.'

And that is why I believe there is MORE to all our daily routines, more to all our plans and desires, more to all our talents and accomplishments. More. Because He placed ETERNITY IN OUR HEARTS.

~ J a n i e ll e B e h

by Janielle Beh on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 8:17am.

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