Monday, October 31, 2011

Believing is Seeing

If seeing is believing, then I believe the reverse is truer: believing is seeing.

Some people take a longer time to make that leap. But the leap of faith is really not all that hard if you let go and let God.

God will give each one the 'measure of faith' to believe in Him. It is hard to believe. We often think people of 'great faith' have faith because they've somehow mustered it up themselves. But that is really not the case! Faith is a gift from God.

However, people mistake that to think they can live as they please until faith calls them. No, it is still a very real CHOICE only you can make. As much as God knows all the possibilities, you still have to make that decision. You still choose.

And why would you wait till the last minute? Why not seek and ask now?

Is believing in Jesus simply about getting eternal life? Is believing in God just about getting blessings and happiness and peace?

It is all these things, and more. I know people who do not believe in God, but still live pretty purposeful lives and they're decent folks themselves. Maybe sometimes even more conscientious than some Christians. But what is it like to not know who you are in Christ? What is it like to not know your true identity, the person you are fully meant to be in Christ Jesus?

I believe in Jesus. I have experienced and still am experiencing His love and grace and truth. But I can't say that I've fully known Christ as much as I would truly like to. I'm still on my journey. That's the exciting thing though. Because then you realize that everything that happens is not haphazard and meaningless and at random. If you truly believe, you would trust in Him, and if you trust in God, you would ABIDE in Him. If you abide in Him, you will have that blessed assurance that no matter what happens, YOU'RE COVERED. Even through the worst that happens, you can continue to live with JOY, not fleeting, temporary, worldly-secured happiness. You can continue to live with thankfulness, even in the toughest moments of seeming death and hopelessness. You're covered.

Most of all, there is something about desiring to know God, and then believing in Him, that satisfies my soul craving. A lot of us have ignored this craving within us. We've temporarily snuffed it out by filling our lives with a lot of temporary, corruptible things that ultimately will not satisfy this soul craving.
Your soul craves truth and unconditional love. None of that exists in any man, any woman, or any idealogy. All of that exists in a Person who claimed to be 'the way, the truth, and the life'.

Jesus is Truth Himself. It is a radical, unthinkable statement for a mere mortal to make. He is either a lunatic, or... the real thing. And not just a mere mortal like you and me.

You see, we don't need religion. We don't need more rules and regulations. We don't need 'good' teachers. We don't need philosophy. We don't need momentary happiness.

What we do need is the Truth our soul craves. We need Someone we can trust. We need this unconditional love we're seeking for in everything we do.

You don't need to think any more about it. The truth is in the Word of God. If you're truly seeking, it's all there. And God is here. He is only waiting for you to call out to Him. And I tell you, if you are genuinely seeking the Truth, He will reveal Himself to you!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For You

I'm reading David Wilkerson's The Cross and the Switchblade and boy am I inspired and challenged! It is an amazing true story of a man who heeded the 'still, small voice' of God and left his comfort zone to venture into the dark and dangerous ghetto, violence-ravaged inner-city slums of New York City. No, certainly not where the Hollywood-like glamour is. It is far less wonderful.

How does someone heed God's voice so eagerly? And of course, despite all the opposition and troubles and discouraging bouts, David Wilkerson forged on persistently trusting in the Spirit's guidance. There were times when he made the mistake of trusting in his own abilities, and nothing worked. But when he let go, when he did his part and then freely surrendered the rest to God, life-transforming things began to take place in the lives of the hardened, hatred-filled hearts of young gang leaders and prostitutes and drug addicts and murderers.

When I read books like this I am again faced with the awful fact that we all live in such ignorance. We're happy being goody-two-shoes Christians where we are. Going to church on Sundays and being all wonderful and kind among ourselves, among people who will be kind to us in return. But how many of us truly have the 'mind of Christ', in that we see people who are in fact terrible, terrible people and yet still have compassion for them? Most people would condemn these merciless, heartless murderers and say they are deserving of hell. But would Jesus have done that?

Certainly the Bible doesn't say Jesus condemned these ones whom the rest of the law-abiding world condemned. He reached out to them. He saw what was behind all their terrible deeds, all their hurt and all the wrongs they committed. That is what makes Jesus radical. He wasn't just a 'good' teacher or prophet or rebel. He claimed to be God. He claimed to be truth and life itself. THAT is what makes Jesus Christ different. He wasn't for religion. He did not come to impose rules and regulations. He came to fulfill the law itself and in spite of his blamelessness, take the sins of the world on his shoulders.

It baffles me.

God actually cared to come Himself. He could have sent an angel, he could have done something brilliant and miraculous, he could have striked us all dead for our multitudes of wrongs. But he chose to come Himself, in person, because he 'so loved the world'.

It baffles me.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are BEING SAVED, it is the POWER OF GOD.

Reading David Wilkerson's story of his work - no, God's work - among the most broken and hopeless and violent young people makes me realize once again that the message of the cross is for those who NEED SAVING.

Of course, ALL OF US, yes, all of us, need saving. But it is those who realize and admit that they need saving who are able to take that leap of faith and finally surrender trust to the One in whom they were meant to trust in all along. Our Father in heaven. Yes, it makes no sense, doesn't it?

But wait till you experience the power of God sweeping through your entire being through His Holy Spirit. Yes, it makes no sense. But do not be afraid to ask, my friend! If you are truly seeking the truth, you will find Him. You will find the one you can trust because he IS the source of Truth. Truth is really a matter of trust. You only trust someone whom you know is a source of truth, not deceit. Your soul longs for this truth. Your soul craves someone to trust, and you know that no one in this world can ever fill that void, because we're all longing for the same thing that none of us have.

And so someday, you will realize that the end of you is the beginning of God. I just hope you do realize it very soon. Because when you do come to the end of you, you WILL realize that there is nothing and no one who can save you but the One who gave His life for you.

                                                                      For   y o u.

There's More to Come

First posted by my best friend, Joyce Shamini on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 9:25pm.
I once heard one pleading with an atheist: “Suppose that we could speak with an embryo time began in his mother’s womb and that you would tell him that the proof that the embryonic life is only a short one after which follows a real, long life. What would the embryo answer? He would say just what you atheists answer to us, when we speak to you about paradise and hell. He would say that the life in the mother’s womb is the only one and that everything else is religious foolishness. But if the embryo could think, he would say to himself, ‘Here arms grow on me. I do not need them. I cannot even stretch them. Why do they grow? Perhaps they grow for a future stage of my existence, in which I will have to work with them. Legs grow, but I have to keep them bent toward my chest. Why do they grow? Probably life in a large world follows, where I will have to walk. Eyes grow, although I am surrounded by perfect darkness and don’t need them. Why do I have eyes? Probably a world with light and colors will follow.’

“So, if the embryo would reflect on his own development, he would know about a life outside of his mother’s womb, without having seen it. It is the same with us. As long as we are young, we have vigor, but no mind to use it properly. When, with the years, we have grown in knowledge and wisdom, the hearse waits to take us to the grave. Why was it necessary to grow in a knowledge and wisdom that we can use no more? Why do arms, legs, and eyes grow on an embryo? It is for what follows. So it is with us here. We grow here in experience, knowledge, and wisdom for what follows. We are prepared to serve on a higher level that follows death.”’

- favorite excerpt from 'Tortured for Christ' by Richard Wurmbrand

If You're Just Purely Matter...

On one occasion a Communist was giving a lecture on atheism. All factory workers were required to attend; among these workers were many Christians. They sat quietly hearing all the arguments against God and about the stupidity of believing in Christ. The lecturer attempted to prove that there is no spiritual world, no God, no Christ, no hereafter; man is only matter with no soul. He said over and over that only matter exists.
A Christian stood up and asked to speak. Permission was given. The Christian picked up his folding chair and threw it down. He paused, looking at it. He then walked up and slapped the Communist lecturer in the face. The lecturer became very angry. His face flushed red with indignation. He shouted obscenities and called for fellow Communists to arrest the Christian. He demanded, “How dare you slap me? What is the reason?” The Christian replied, “You have just proved yourself a liar. You said everything is matter…nothing else. I picked up a chair and threw it down. It is truly matter. The chair did not become angry. It is only matter. When I slapped you, you did not react like the chair. You reacted differently. Matter does not get mad or angry, but you did. Therefore, comrade professor, you are wrong. Man is more than matter. We are spiritual beings!
— Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

A Search for Significance

Excerpt from Soul Cravings by Erwin Raphael McManus

‘We are strange creatures, we humans. We strive for success, search for significance, look for purpose and dream of our destiny. Why do we need it? Shouldn’t we be able to live without it?

Over the years, I have been asked to speak at conferences on this very subject. Each time in the middle of my lecture I would ask one of the more well-known speakers to come up and help me for a minute. I would try to choose someone the people saw as a symbol of success. Someone who, in a transparent moment, the audience would confess they wanted to be like. I would begin an interview and explain that the only rules were that the person had to be honest. The dialogue would go something like this:

‘Elvis, it’s good to have you today. I want to ask you a couple of personal questions. Is that all right?’
‘Sure, that’s fine.’
‘What I need from you is for you to just be perfectly honest.’
‘Of course. Yes.’
‘You’re a pretty successful guy, and everyone admires you. A lot of people would rather spend their lives imitating you than actually finding their own unique voice. Has there ever been a time when you felt insignificant?’
Long pause… ‘Yeah.’
‘So there’s been a moment in your life when even with all of your success, you’ve wondered if your life had any value, any real significance? In spite of all of your success, these insecurities have haunted you? In other words, you’re nothing but a hound dog?’
‘That’s right.’
‘How did you get through those moments?’
Not mentioning alchohol or prescription drugs, he responds, ‘Love. People around me. Priscilla, you know, the people who care about me helped me through those moments.’
‘And they told you what?’
‘You know, that I’m the King.’
‘In other words, that you’re significant, that you have value, that you’re important?’
‘Well, Elvis, I do some counseling sometimes – not often, but occasionally – and I’d like to help you through this. You know that moment when you felt insignificant, that moment when you wondered if you had any value at all, if your life really meant anything? That was the most honest moment you ever had, because you are insignificant. You’re just a speck of dust against the backdrop of the cosmos. You are an evolutionary tragedy, a gnat with self-awareness heading straight toward the windshield of inevitability. All your future holds for you is splat and then it’s over.
‘I know what you’re thinking, but look at all that you’ve done. You’re the king of Graceland, the king of rock and roll, the king of rhinestones. And what about all the people who tell you that you’re so important? That’s because we all live in this illusion together. If you’re not significant, then what are we? We affirm you’re important in hopes that we are too. But we’re all deluded by the same drug. If we all came to our senses, if we could all sober up, we would see the truth – we’re born, we rock, then we die. Welcome to my own version of reality therapy. So, Elvis, how are you feeling?’
‘Not good.’
‘Oh, by the way, everything I just said is absolutely true if there is no God.’

Maybe you can’t prove God in a tube, but you can find him in your soul. When he’s missing, you can feel it in your gut.

One universal phenomenon I’ve discovered each time I’ve had this conversation is the reaction of those listening. The moment I tell a person he is insignificant, you can feel it in the room. The crowd feels I have done something unthinkable, something even immoral. Maybe you felt it just a minute ago: something in your gut went tight and a voice inside you said, Wait a minute; this is wrong. Most likely you have already picked up on the fact that I’ve never actually had conversation with Elvis, but even that didn’t matter.

Something inside tells you it’s wrong to say to another human being that he or she is nothing. But again, the question begs to be asked, If there is no God, if we’re just drifting through time and space, if we’re actually not going anywhere, if there is no progress, why should it matter and why should we care? If it’s the truth, isn’t it best for all of u to come to grips with it, to come face-to-face with this harsh reality? Even if we are at the far end of the continuum with God on the other side, it doesn’t change it at all.

Atheist, agnostic, existentialist, humanist, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian – we all need to believe that somehow our lives matter.

There is reason for our existence, a reason to live, and if we can’t find it, we’ll just make it up. And if we lack imagination, then we’ll just medicate ourselves, sedate ourselves, intoxicate ourselves, indulge ourselves, deceive ourselves, or just simply come to the end of ourselves. Without a reason to live, we don’t even have a reason to get out of bed.

If there were no God, if would be inane for us to search for significance or to be ambitious for success. Our need to become points us to where we’ve come from. The reason we struggle with insignificance, the reason we fight to accomplish something, the reason we aspire and dream and risk is that God created us with an intrinsic need to become.

This thing that haunts you, that never seems satisfied, the cravings in your soul that you are unable to satiate through all the success that the world can bring – this is your soul screaming for God. Only God can take you where you were born to go. There are a lot of roads you can choose, but one path chooses you.’

The Pride of Life


Inherent in all of us is the ‘pride of life’ and the ‘boasting of what one has and does’. 1 John 2:16

One of the worst things that makes me the wretch that I am is my pride. Within all of us is that streak of self-righteousness and egoistical notion that we’re better than others. Some of us have it more than others. Some of us see it and try to change it; others do not see it at all.

From the moment we enter school, we somehow have that idea drilled in us that we have to be better than all the other kids. We have to do well. We have to prove ourselves better. Whether we like to admit it or not, it’s all there and some may have this intrinsic drive more than others. But we’d all like to be better than our neighbour.

I hate how I often lapse into a judgmental attitude towards my sisters, towards people I do not yet know properly, because I think myself better than others! By the time I catch myself doing it, it is too late. Sometimes I keep it to myself; sometimes I make the mistake of saying it out loud, and so risk jeopardizing my relationship with the person. I’m an idiot a thousand times over for doing that time and time again.

Phillipians 2:3 says, ‘Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Every man should not only look for his own interests, but for the interests of others.’

How do I flush out pride? By my own effort I am hopeless. Absolutely hopeless! I can’t force myself to be more humble!

I remember that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

So the only way to strip myself of pride is to think more on God and the things of God, and so receive the love of God. If you have the love of Christ in you, you will be able to love others genuinely and of course think of others more than yourself.

Pride stops me from loving others, from speaking the truth in love. Pride makes me speak the truth out of spite, and with the effect of condemnation, which all creates strife. Pride does not speak a word of encouragement or edification, it only puts down others so that one can prop himself up higher over the rest.

Even great men of God have fallen prey to this beastly thing cloaked in seemingly wondrous light. It is horrible what pride does to people. And the more successful and accomplished and recognized one is, the most he is at risk of succumbing to pride and forgetting that losing it all is only a breath away.

I realize that God is always reminding me of my pride. Sometimes I pause and listen, and with His help try to change. Other times I am already so puffed up that I just shut Him out and continue with my life. What an idiot I am! Eventually things do get worse, and I thank God for allowing things to get worse, and allowing me to fail big time, so that I realize the root of my problem! When I’m proud, it’s because I think I’m good enough, I’m better, I’m alright, I can do this because I have what it takes. But that is the stupidest notion I can ever entertain! Without God, I am nothing. If there is no God, truly I am an insignificant speck in the cosmos!

But I have experienced God. I know He is real. Even when I doubt, I will remember what I have experienced and what He has done in my life, and I will choose again to believe. So I only lapse into pride because I forget that God is my only source. I think I can do it myself. Well of course, I always have to come back to the painful realization that when I try to do it by my own strength (which is God-given anyway), I am utterly hopeless. Of course, I wonder, there are plenty of people out there who seem terribly successful without God.

But am I looking only for worldly, temporal success?

No, I am not. Success to me is meaningless if God is not a part of it. How did I even get the idea that I’ll be happy and secure and contented if I achieved success, if I followed my dreams? That’s just foolishness. What is momentary success or security and happiness? It is meaningless. It is selfish. It is prideful. Why? Because I think it’s all me. It’s all me.

The moment I think I’m okay by myself is the moment of my downfall.

The pride of life corrodes us silently on the inside. But of course, on the outside, everything seems wonderful and glamorous. But it is a horrible thing. I know that no one can rid me of it, not myself either. No one except God. So I’ll keep praying this prayer: that whenever pride surfaces, God will allow me to suffer the consequences and so realize again that without Him, I am utterly hopeless. If it’s all me, I’m heading nowhere, I’m grasping for the wind. When it’s all about Jesus, it’s all about the people who so need grace & truth and the love of Christ and then there is direction. Then life isn’t just about finding my own success and being happy because of me and the life that I think I want. Life is about doing what I truly want, which is of course, what God has placed in my heart and soul to do – which is of course, much, much better than what this temporary world places in me to temporarily want and in the end find I’ve missed the whole point.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Choosing to Believe

It's hard to believe it God sometimes. But then again, if you think about it, it really is harder to NOT believe in God.

Each new day, I need to choose anew.

When I see more crap in the world, I doubt God. I ask all those stupid, pointless 'why' questions again. But then God reminds me, 'in quietness and trust', to continue to trust in spite of all the terrible things that seem to be happening. Not so much to me, mind you, but to other people.

Doubt is good if you RUN TO GOD with your doubts. Then you'll realize what pointless doubts they are. And your faith gets renewed when you CHOOSE to believe, and to KEEP BELIEVING.

How many people have stopped believing just because they chose not to run to God with their questions?

Nothing in this world will give you the answer. Even when I run to God, I still have no answers. But I receive a new measure of faith, and peace and assurance that helps me ride through the next bout of doubt. That's the walk of a follower of Christ. Not one of unbelief, but one of choosing again and again to believe in spite of the doubts that hit you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Actually Listen to the Music!

I learn so much when I teach piano. I learn more than I teach! I learn to adapt, I learn to speak confidently. I learn to encourage a person and not sound condescending, especially when the student is older than me! I learn to think ahead and listen carefully. I learn so, so much! I wish I had more time to write down the insightful things I learn from teaching after each lesson!

Yesterday I was teaching a 37-year old guy how to improvise on simple chords and make up a melody. It wasn't easy for him because he was a 'grown up'. And you know, I have honestly learnt from my experience teaching adults, that even though adults are more intelligent than kids, they are actually so much less able to step out of their comfort zone, make mistakes and do something new!

The problem my student had was not his lack of ability to grasp the music. It was the fact that he was trying too hard to MAKE SENSE OF IT. When I played something to demonstrate how I could improvise on a chord and add a melody to it, he would try to figure out why I did this or that, and why I chose a particular note, but he would miss the most vital step: to ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THE MUSIC!

I thought I learned such an important lesson that day, just teaching this 37-year old man how to improvise. I learned that in all areas of life, we need to ACTUALLY LISTEN. We need to just for once sit back, stop questioning, stop trying to rationalize and figure things out, and actually just soak in the moment. Then perhaps you'll grasp what you've been trying so hard to comprehend with your puny human understanding!

I also realized why children learn so much better and quicker. It's because they don't have that stuck up self-awareness that they know it all. Adults tend to think they've got it the moment you tell them something. When actually they haven't! Kids will listen better, and they'll do crazy, silly things without worrying about looking silly. Now isn't that the way to live?

I dislike how the older we get, the more conscious we are of what people think. So we venture less into the unknown. We stay back, stay boring, and ofcourse, remain mediocre. And we also begin to think too much and try to make things make sense for us. Do kids do that? Hell no! If they did, they wouldn't be kids. And if you never noticed, children are much happier and creative than most grown ups.

It's inevitable that we're all growing older and that kiddo inside us is ever shrinking. (I feel sad now.) =( But... I resolve to not worry about what other people think when I do crazy thing and look silly! I'll listen more than I ask questions or try to figure life out. And mediocrity isn't my take on life. I won't be like that! And hey, you won't too! >:p

The You Beneath You

by Janielle Beh on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 12:11am

It hit me just then.

It is the TRUTH of GOD,
that truly changes people.

It's not man's ability, neither eloquent words, nor simply the doing of good things. It is the TRUTH that sets people free! Well, at least those who are seeking and whose hearts are ready to receive it.

Cause' in fact, the truth stinks to people who are happy to remain in the dark. Including me, most times. The truth hurts because it exposes all our wretchedness.

But the truth, spoke in LOVE, liberates all who choose to REALIZE that they have been living (not really) like the walking dead, devoid of love, hope and faith. While outwardly they appear all right, inwardly, their soul is starving. You don't physically, mentally, feel it, but once you stop everything else, or if something terrible happens & all the things that had kept you busy chasing after pointless things are removed, you realize how spiritually deprived you are.

Erwin Raphael McManus in his insightful musing 'Soul Cravings', said, 'Remember, what can settle your mind will not settle your soul.'

In other words, what can temporarily satisfy your 'logical' sense and your physical body, will never be able to satiate the deeper longing of your soul to be filled with the truth and love of God. If you've been living, surviving without it, you know something's been missing. You've denied it, but you know it's there. Nothing can fill that void, nothing in this temporary world can give an answer to that question mark in your soul.

Don't deny it any longer. The body will only last for so long. It is the true you, the you beneath you, hidden behind your physical shell, that matters in the end. Don't chase after the wind hoping to find significance or success on your own! You were made for so much more. If you try to only feed this temporary shell and push aside your soul, in the end you will be just that, both less-than-wonderful on the outside and crumbling on the inside!

We forget what is most ESSENTIAL to our existence. It is the me and you beneath us that counts! Its like how we worry about paying the bills or buying the best clothes, but we seldom ever think twice about having air to breathe. Yet truly, which is more critical to life?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Seizing the Day

by Janielle Beh on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 1:20pm
How many days and moments have passed us by because we weren't engaging in the present?

How many times have we missed the one time opportunity to talk to someone we should care about?

How many times have we ignored the people in the shadows so the spotlight will be on ourselves?

When i ask myself these questions, I feel so disgusted with my selfishness. No one is exempt from this terrible self-centeredness that eats up all the love and kindness and patience we can have towards others.

I despise the fact that because of this selfishness and pride, I have missed countless God-given opportunities to make a day memorable, to appreciate the people around me, to care about someone apart from me, myself and I.

There is a world out there that we're all so indifferent to. We live our lives as if they were our own. In fact, my life is not my own!

Paul said, 'I count it all as loss, that I may gain Christ.'

The rare times when I let go of myself, my selfish wants, I realize how much freer I am to receive God's love and truth and how much freer I am to let this love overflow in every aspect of my life.

That's the key to seizing the day and seizing every God-given opportunity. Someone once told me, Its all about God and its all about people.

Yes, the two greatest commandments Jesus preached, loving God and loving others!

Imagine A World Without Mirrors

by Janielle Beh on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:16pm

Imagine, a world without mirrors.

Wouldn’t that be horrifying? But hey, on the flipside, it might just be liberating!

Imagine not being relentlessly and continuously reminded of the seemingly one most important thing in the world, YOURSELF.

Yes, waking up every morning without feeling obliged to look at yourself in the mirror. Yes, not periodically checking your face on the reflection of your phone. Yes, going to the mall, but not really buying things for yourself because your appearance isn’t the first thing on your mind.
Imagine the amount of extra time you would have, not caring so much about how you look, because well frankly, it doesn’t matter as much as what you say or do. Because, I do think, your actions, words and attitudes do matter more than how you look or think about yourself.

We never realize it, but we’ve slipped into a very narcissistic existence; we, the generation of youth and technology and fashion – and not to mention Twitter and Facebook. We forget that just 5 years ago, people would never have imagined spending THIS much time checking their phones and tweeting every few minutes or posting random crappy mobile photos or ‘checking in’ and letting the world know where their latest hang-out is. It’s frankly ridiculous if you pause to think about it from a safe distance.

Imagine if you weren’t constantly reminded of how you look.
Imagine if you didn’t constantly face the social pressures of ‘updating’ the world about your ‘happening’ life.
Imagine if you didn’t have to wake up every morning and be reminded in the mirror of how good or bad you look.

Wouldn’t we all be a little more selfless creatures?

I imagine if we weren’t continually conscious of ourselves and what others think of us, we would be so much freer to think of others and to love people with all the kindness and love we can give.

I don’t think society has ever been more selfish than now. Girls and guys have never been more vain and self-conscious than before. The pressure is constantly eating at us. Everywhere we’re bombarded by images of beautiful, perfect looking people. There is however, no information on how these people behave and what they say or do in real life, which might be far from admirable.

Life is so much of a farce nowadays. We’re all influenced by this destructive selfishness, gnawing at our insides, killing our thoughts for other people, making us even more self-centered. All we think about is what we want to do, where we want to go, what our plans are for tomorrow, what our friends think of us. No wonder, even though we are supposedly a very ‘social’ generation, there are actually more lonely people now (in real life, not on Facebook) than there were in the past when there were less social networking and sites helping people to look for a guy or girl friend! It’s ridiculous. Rather depressing don’t you think.

Imagine a world without mirrors. Literally, or figuratively. Imagine if all of us thought of ourselves less and put others first, before our own selfish plans and desires. Wouldn’t life be much more meaningful and memorable? Because as you think more of others, others would also think more of you. And it goes round and round.

~ j a n i e ll e

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Moment of Lucidity

by Janielle Beh on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 5:30pm

You know the moments when you realize you've been living on 'autopilot' mode? That's when you either wake up, or carry on in the sorry state of oblivion.

You truly live when you engage in the moment, when you love what you're doing, and when you have a passion for something, or for someone, in the heart of your existence. Look around you, how many people have that?

Seize the moment of lucidity. And wake up.

Look, the rest of the world is in slumber to the things that truly matter. I know I always return to this same old, same old. But how essential it is for us to respond to the rare wake up calls and blessed piercing moments of lucidity when we do realize we've been living in ignorance and selfishness?

I guess the key is not to live for yourself. I know the world promotes this glorified self-centeredness. How about an inherent selflessness? Now that is a rarity.

How to not live for yourself? I presume by first letting go of the things that make you forget others and forget God. I realize when I do let go, I actually realize what little meaning that thing holds! Why did I become enslaved to something so trivial and short-lived?

Mmm. Much to muse on. I'm typing this in Pancake Parlour, sipping coffee and looking out the window.

This is my moment of lucidity.

Girl, you gotta' wake up

Love Despite Change

by Janielle Beh on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 1:53am
'We arent the same persons this year as we were the last; nor are those we love. It's a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.' William Sommerset Maughan

We never often think about it... But who are the people we truly love? And who are the ones who truly love us? Changing, fickle, unstable beings as we are, who would love me for who I am?

When you begin to really ponder this, then you realize that maybe the ones who really love you and those whom you truly love can only be counted on your ten fingers...

With that in mind, we should also always remember, no one on earth can ever love us as perfectly and unchangingly as GOD can!

And shifting to another vantage point, oh how precious is life and how fleeting is time so much so that we should give careful thought to whom we spend our time with!

Too often we all go about seeking the approval of those who will never appreciate our friendship. Too often we forget the people who already want to get to know us better and we take for granted these rare jewels right before us in a bid to chase after the wind.

Friends, we need to choose our friends, and we also need to BE a friend to someone who truly needs a friend!

The world's a sad place because everyone's seeking love and approval from the wrong people, and in the mean time, those who truly need OUR love & approval, are left ignored in the shadows.

Make every moment count. Look out for the people who need your love and care. Appreciate the ones who do love you for who you are and who will also have the nerve to tell you off when you're out of place! :p

With wisdom choose what you take in and also what you give out. While we can't love everyone all at once, we CAN reach out to the world by sharing God's love & truth one person at a time. :)

No Compromise

by Janielle Beh on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 3:36pm
An old Zen proverb says, 'To know and not to do is not yet to know.'

Most people just carry on. Knowing fully that something is plainly wrong. Yes, knowing, but not doing anything.

How many people in our generation are willing to stand alone? Because 'doing something' usually means standing alone for what you believe in. It usually means being deemed a fool.

Most people make excuses and move on. Most of us will find some way to justify our lack of conviction to do what must be done and slink away from the responsibility of doing what is right.

We've all lived in the dump for too long. We've been smelling the crap since the day we were born. How many have long ago quietly acquiesced to this way of life entirely contrary to what the Creator meant it to be?

The ones who for a moment, have had their eyes and ears and hearts opened to the Truth, will know what must be done to make their stand. But often it is too difficult to slog through the crap and clean up the mess. Like someone said, 'Its too hard to fight if the fight ain't fair.'

Yet which is the better alternative? To at least have tried slogging through the mud, to have at least swum against the current, or to join the others and contribute to the mess and dive into the mud as well?

The problem is most of us inevitably find ourselves just 'carrying on' with our lives. In spite of what we know we should be doing. We just carry on. We simply build a higher tolerance for the crap around us. We try to get used to it. We appease our conscience by doing the occasional good deed and being 'nice people'.

Its not ENOUGH to be nice! Its not ENOUGH to know the truth. If nothing is DONE in response to what is known, it is frankly a pointless, fruitless sort of 'knowing'.

It just baffles me how some people can put up with clear wrongs and lies and pretend 'its alright' just because we don't want to offend anybody. The truth is the truth. The light and the darkness cannot exist as one. Oil and water will never mix. The truth cannot coexist with deception.

It only means that the people who choose to remain silent in the midst of what they know is clearly wrong, are those who have compromised. Compromise is not an option! You either do something about the mess, or you leave the mess. You cannot try to live WITH the mess.

Friends, we either do something about it or we have no part with lies and deception. Compromising the truth and your faith is not an option.

Jolted Awake

by Janielle Beh on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 11:59pm
Its unpleasant to be jolted awake.

But sometimes you need it. Such as when you smell something burning and realize you forgot to turn the stove off. Or when you've dozed on the train and just missed your stop.

From time to time, I need to be jolted awake. And I've shifted from merely physical terms here. Spiritually, we can all be so depraved and ignorant of our own sorry conditions. The condition of the heart and soul.

From day to day, I sometimes catch myself drifting with the trends of society. Often than not, they go against the Truth that I have instilled in me. It is tiring to struggle against the current. Sometimes I do give in and acquiesce, to my later regret.

So the rare moments when I DO get jolted awake, unpleasant though it may be, I realize how grateful I am afterwards that I was not allowed to drift in ignorance! Like the days when I doze off on the train, and thankfully, I for some reason wake up with a start just before I arrive the stop. Of course, the safer thing would be in the first place to not doze off!

Its a constant struggle to not drift! Its a constant challenge to not fall into complacency. Well no one said it would be easy. But it is well worth the effort and struggle when at the end of all things you realize once again that you DID stand for the right thing.

The Precious Few

by Janielle Beh on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 2:46am
Unfortunately, we live in an ever-increasingly ignorant and self-centered society, where the precious few who DO NOT CONFORM and who remain true to their unique identity, are ridiculed, rejected and misunderstood.

The precious few kids who are truly driven and passionate for the right things in life (often absolutely contrary to the things most teens nowadays do and say) are ignored and unrecognized. The crowd mentality I have to battle against every single day makes me so so so discontented with the way this generation is turning out.

So many kids are distracted and quite frankly mindless. They're just being tossed to and fro by their 'friends'. Even adults and teachers nowadays know no better. It exasperates me to spot the precious pearls while the rest of the world bypasses them. These ones who truly deserve the attention and recognition!

But no, the ones who go with the crowd are the ones who gain increasing popularity. The ones who swear and talk crap and spend countless hours on brainless pursuits are accepted as the cool kids. The ones who have no identity whatsoever and are merely copying what others are doing and jumping on the bandwagon, are applauded by their ignorant peers who also fare no better.

To stand apart from the crowd is to risk rejection. But who cares, if you stay true to who you were made to be. It is easier said than done. No doubt there are times when I've felt pretty shit, to put it bluntly and honestly. But also no doubt, I have no regrets. Better to die an original than to live an imitation.

Pardon my rant. Actually no, I really meant what I said. But you get my meaning. Hopefully, if you're not one among the crowd.

~ J a n i e ll e


by Janielle Beh on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 11:44am
If my faith in Jesus is the crux of my life and the essence of my existence, then it should define who I am and what I do.

Let not my faith be determined by mere emotions, fleeting and capricious.
Let not my faith be dictated by what other people say, think or do.
Let not my faith be based on the shifty, intellectual reasonings and arguments of merely intellectual men.

Let not my faith be swayed by my selfish, shortsighted dreams and plans.
Let not my faith be governed by the petty laws of this world.
Let not my faith be regulated by the expectations of men.

Let not my faith be founded on the opinions and half-truths of this generation.
Let not my faith be restrained by the troubles of this world.
Let not my faith be limited by my doubts, fears and failures.

Let me not forsake my faith for the fleeting, tangible things the majority pursues.
Let me not forsake my faith because of the criticism and derision of mere men.
Let me not forsake my faith for the momentary pleasures of this crumbling society.
Let me not forsake my faith to gain the ungainly, worthless approval of man.

Let me not forsake my faith to pursue my selfish dreams!
Let me not forsake my faith to chase after the wind.
Let me not forsake my faith to attain shortlived success.
Let me not forsake my faith for the recognition of this passing world.

Let me not forsake my faith for a false gospel.
Let me not forsake my faith because of the need to conform.
Let me not forsake my faith to indulge in the evil intent of my heart.
Let me not forsake my faith to live the way I want.

It begins with today. It begins with a choice.

~ j a n i e ll e

It's a Noisy World

by Janielle Beh on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 10:37pm
Tis' a world full of noise.

If only I settled in the spaces of silence...
Have I the choice?

The problem is I still choose the noise! Arrgghh. There are the sweet moments when we retreat from this world of unrest. But inevitably we return to it. We return to it!!! By choice?

Some people love noise and movement. Others love to be in the happening spot. I love the silence. I only wish I could be still. More often.

Whatever it is, I'm still gonna' be stuck in a noisy world. But I have a choice. Yes, be still my soul, be still.

~ J a n i e ll e


by Janielle Beh on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 10:50pm
What DEFINES me and you?

Is it the family and environment we grew up in? Is it the people we hang out with? The things we are taught at school?

Is it the music we listen to, the books we read, the people we encounter, the friends we make?

Is it our personality, our genes, the choices we make?

What defines you?

It becomes quite a daunting prospect when you begin to attempt to list all the possible influences on your life that makes you uniquely you. There are some things that are inevitable and which we cannot change. But what of the things that we CAN avoid, and the things that we can CHOOSE to be influenced by?

The outward persona that most of us assume may be a loose fitting drab that really does not represent who we truly are, and who we are MEANT to be. It pains me to see that so many people are insecure about their identity. It pains me because sometimes I myself fall into the same trap.

Someone wittingly said, 'We are all unique. Just like everybody else.'


Like it or not, although all of us are different, most of us are trapped by the need to conform. It may not be a bad thing. But it will be if conforming means abandoning the person that you were created to be in the image of God and in the likeness of Christ!

The moment we let the fleeting opinions, expectations and successes of this world define who we are, we have lost the essence of God's stamp on our lives.

Augustus said, 'In the moment of our creation, we received the stamp of our individuality; and much of life is spent in rubbing out and defacing the impression.'

How sadly true! If only we were more aware of the forces and voices around us. If only we are more discerning, if only we learned to filter all these influences and take in what God meant for us.

~ J a n i e ll e

Just Floating?

by Janielle Beh on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 11:14pm
It irks me - no, it DISTURBS me, to see that so many of us are mindlessly floating from one thing to the next.

Yes, including myself. I despise the fact that in spite of my desire to 'go against the flow', I always somehow end up getting caught up with it again. And again.

And again.

It is a constant battle. Well, at least for those who are trying to swim against the current. For those going with the flow, it's no doubt quite an easy ride.

But like Malcolm Muggeridge says, 'Only dead fish swim with the stream.'

In our case, most of us aren't dead - just floating!

So many young people nowadays are being tossed to and fro by the winds of opinion, media, expectations and deception in the world. Most are simply drifting from one preoccupation to the next.

How many of us are actively CHOOSING? How many have the will to stand their ground and choose the right thing, often the thing contrary to the 'norm'?

When all the world around us is buffeted by the whirlwind of distractions, lies and temptations, who will stand firm and swim against the current?

A lot of people know a lot of things, but most of it isn't necessarily founded on the Truth, and on solid values and principled judgment. As a result, there is so much confusion and deception! This young generation is a distracted, ignorant generation. So knowledgeable and capable, yet most are founded on shifty ground.

So many people out there have stopped choosing. They go with what's trendy, what's socially acceptable, what's popular, what's easy, what's successful. They've allowed the whirlwind of opinions and distractions and expectations of the world to dictate HOW they'll spend their time and live their lives. It is a sorry fact.

No wonder the Apostle Paul exhorts us to 'Redeem the time, because the days are evil.'

Redeem. To buy back the time. Because constantly, our time - the time God has given us - is being robbed of us by the preoccupations and mindless distractions of this world. We don't need these things. We don't even need to do all these things which we foolishly deem important!

What are the things I can live without? Strive to live without them. Strive to let go.

It is not about being ascetic. Its about removing the distractions to see clearly what's important. Its not even just about going against the flow. Its about CHOOSING WELL.

Ask yourself, for how long have you been just floating?

~ j a n i e ll e


by Janielle Beh on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 10:34pm
Reading the news about the atrocity of the UK riots, and even of riots in other parts of the world has made me wonder how man can be so lawless when given the chance to show their true colours.

How many of us have clear, inherent ethics and principles that we will stick to in spite of trying circumstances?

How many will not succumb to looting and murder when they are starving hungry?

Or even in the case of these so-called civilized people living in grossly privileged, developed nations, who are not even to the point of starvation or in great depravity.

Even children are seen running about amok in the rioting crowds looting and adding to the havoc. It is quite unbelievable. You'd think only barbarians would act like this. But no, even educated, normally well-mannered folk can run around harming even the common people and beating up the police.

This makes me think, what of the people around me today? What about myself? If I were in a situation when the law no longer bounded me, where 'everyone else' is running around doing as they please in the cause of so-called 'rioting', would I join the band-wagon as well?

What about people I know? Nice, friendly, kind, caring people. If they were placed in desperate situations; if they had to steal or kill for food; if they had to harm others to save themselves; if they had to forsake their friends and family to preserve their own lives, would they very well succumb to such pressures?

If I had to one day deny Jesus to save my temporary existence on earth, would I do it?

These are unanswerable questions for the moment. But really, it is the questions that make this meaningful and intriguing, not concrete answers. It is the tight rope of faith that I'm balancing on that makes this life exciting. But then again, I am in a precarious position. I could fall. I could very well succumb and go with the flow. I could very well turn into a monster if I were forced to show my true colours. Now THAT'S a scary prospect for each of us.

Despite all the laws and regulations this world has now, things don't seem to be getting any better. Despite all the high-flying technology, despite education, the number of hungry people and impoverished families continue to increase steeply. Despite all the knowledge man has, there is still that inherent stain of evil intent in each of our hearts.

What can deliver us from this except the blood of Jesus sacrificed as an atonement for our fallenness?

People will still continue living, working, protesting, rioting, whatever. But won't they realize that it is all in vain if they have not the stamp of Christ's redemptive work on their lives?

The world will only continue to decline. We know it. Everything is only being held together by a thin, flimsy frame. By the grace of God we will have a bit more time. Meanwhile the world is filled with chaos, confusion, deception, and ultimately anarchy. In many places its already happening. Some of us are safer, others are not. Whatever it is, lets hold on the the TRUTH and the HOPE that we have in Christ Jesus.

~ J a n i e ll e

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