NYE Lesson – Comparison and Coveting

As I looked around Christmas time and compared myself to people, I felt lonely and discontent. I realized that almost all of my cousins have taken a second degree like a masteral, doctorate, but I have been a bum for 2 year. I pitied myself for not earning, being independent and having a masters degree like sisters. Even their boyfriends seem to be sweet and thoughtful and always eager to spend time with them – something I don’t always feel with Dren.

People were getting married left and right. They were announcing pregnancies or celebrating anniversaries. Friends who have been courting for less than three months are now in a relationship.

And so, I felt sorry for myself because I spent most of time doing nothing or working in ministry where I am not paid and there’s no career advancement (not that I am after these but it felt sad not advancing in something).

And I knew I was sinning because what I am doing has an eternal value and I am storing up treasures in Heaven and I am doing it for the Lord and yet the alternative was starting to look more attractive.

But this is what comparison and coveting does.

On Dec 31 the Lord spoke to me:

when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” (Joshua 7:21, ESV)

And I have done the same. I saw that the people around me where living much more exciting lives. I questioned what I’m doing for the Lord which seemed so useless and boring.

The cloak from Shinar is a piece of mantle from Babylon. It was a luxury piece demonstrating extravagance and power and high-class.

I started coveting what they had and who knows what would happen next if I also took them and left God for worldly treasures? Achan, the man who stole these, was burned and stoned with his family.

So the last lesson for 2018 is to learn to be content and to always set my eyes on heavenly things. And I praise God just for this timely reminder.

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Dear God

Here’s my prayer to you. Lord, that you give what’s best for me and for Dren even if it’s not us together. I know Lord that your will is perfect and you withhold no good thing from those who love you and keep your commands.

I just rest in the calm assurance that if you decide that we don’t get married, it’s because you have someone or something better.

Lord, I am very tempted to message him and tell him I’m sorry again and that I want to be with him. But I also know I must follow through with my commitment with him and respect him. Even this blog is called wait upon Jesus and my short devo is about following simple instructions.

So Lord, just speak to him. I know that I am on the losing end here because I can’t say anything even if I want to. But I know that you will speak to him and you will only say what’s best for him.

Serving God

So many people are posting about the recent retreat – mostly participants and how fun it was. But they don’t know the sweat, tears, prayers it took – and of course the amazing grace and faithfulness of God – that led to the success of this event.

Preparing for the retreat was no easy feat. On many occasions, I asked myself why am I doing what I’m doing? I am not paid for this job. This workload isn’t for a volunteer. A hired staff should be doing these. It’s not like working in the corporate where you can compel your team to work either because the registration team is also composed of volunteers like me. They have regular jobs and own lives too. On top of it all, I need to be calm, firm, yet loving and gracious because I am representing God. This retreat is supposed to bring in people who do not know God, but if I can’t be loving, then why would they even want to go?

And that is so difficult. I questioned my motive. I grumbled, complained, cried. Am I doing this for God, or out of expectations? Because in all honesty, it feels like the latter than the former. And if I am doing all these out of expectations, then I am just wasting my time and effort and money.

1 Corinthians 3:11 -15 says, 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

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Light the fire in my heart again

I feel so utterly alone. I don’t know if it’s the summer heat that at this very moment is prickling my nape, or having no goals in life whatsoever. I’ve been applying for random writing jobs for months because my investments have plummeted and I don’t have a source of income. I’ve been thinking and considering different businesses but still don’t have a direction of where to go. My left foot is constantly painful. I fear that I’d have to take surgery and I’d never walk properly ever again.

My relationships are rocky. I feel like people have less time or maybe it’s because they are busy and I am not. I learn secrets about people from other people – things that I should have known in the first place. I feel like a failure in my discipleship and ministries. Like I have not been intentional enough. Inadequate. I also don’t know what’s the point of it all. Why serve? I obviously don’t love God. Sometimes I question if I’m even a Christian because why am I trapped in cycles of sins and purposelessness. Yes, I know the chief end of man – to glorify God. But why?

The seconds tick away with me wasting them instead of doing something productive. I press the Quick Start on the microwave and watch time slip away, gone forever. And yet that is what I am doing, wasting my time on what not.

I hate living this way. And I hate serving for the purpose of getting the job done instead of loving God. I know I don’t love Him. And it’s a shame, and I feel stuck. Like how do I love God when I don’t want to? When there’s no faith no propel me forward? When there are questions that can never be answered in this lifetime?

I know that I ‘ve been losing my fire for Him for a long time. The wildfire is dimming into a little match but I cannot afford this. People will stumble but I’m also only human.

 

Dear God, Oh My I’m Old!

It’s an hour and 2 minutes before it’s officially midnight and I turn 28. I am an unemployed, single, living in the second floor of my mom’s house, waking up everyday at 8 or 9 am and getting down just to eat. Gosh! I live an (almost) unproductive life, career-wise. I honestly live this very comfortable life. Talk about being a full-time parasite.

There are many items I am grateful for my 27th year:

  • Our company was acquired so my mom was able to retire (and partly me too)
  • Graduated GLC 2 and will hopefully graduate GLC 3
  • Downlines started discipling
  • Investments that bared fruit
  • Best friend is moving to Singapore (bittersweet)
  • Became more visible in ministries
  • Growing dgroup though lost some
  • Family members are healthy
  • Dogs are also healthy but obese
  • Dating a godly and loving man who loves me deeply
  • Shared the gospel to many people with my dgroup

I feel so old but hoping that the next year will still be awesome and I get more opportunities to serve the Lord especially in my family. And also to be productive and settle down soon even if I don’t know or want to cook.

Sorry, so sleepy.

Day 2. Love that Provides

Psalm 34:10

10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.


I am truly blessed beyond measure. I never experienced having little (except probably when I was a kid and my parents were poor – so poor they didn’t have utensils or a bed).

I am blessed that I don’t have to contribute to the household expenses because I can never outgive my mom anyway. So blessed that even if I no longer have a job, I am still earning in stocks. So blessed that I can travel locally and internationally several times a year. That I have enough to support missionaries and NGOs. But mostly, I am blessed because, at an early age, I was taught to be wise with money.

I attribute everything to God of course. He alone provides not just the capacity to earn but the wisdom and opportunities as well. But I’ve never really experienced living by faith – that must be scary and exciting at the same time.

I know I have to give more but it’s also difficult to let go of money because money equals comfort, right? Actually, more than food, I am fasting from checking my trading portfolio. It’s the one thing I do first thing in the morning. I wake up and at 9am, I eat breakfast and watch the Bloomberg news for an hour, then watch another news late in the afternoon about the economy again. It’s what drives me. So fasting from this makes me uneasy because I know that there are opportunities this week to buy and sell stocks. But I also remind myself that what is one week of missing these opportunities? I want to show God that I trust Him to provide even if I don’t “work” this week.

So looking forward to 2018, I wonder where I should be giving more aside from the tithes? I have given more in 2017 than in 2016 but I know that I should just be giving more and more.

I am also learning it a habit, from Marc’s message, to immediately set aside whatever I get (even from the sale of the tandem bike).

Even though I am well provided now, it isn’t a guarantee that I’ll still have these things in 2018. So I’m still praying, fasting, asking for His provisions in 2018. To have the skills and wisdom in making business and financial decisions and ultimately to be satisfied and thankful for whatever He gives me this year.

Praise God for a God who provides all our needs and comes through just in time. He orchestrates circumstances and moves people to provide for His children.

Day 1. Love beyond the cross

It’s kinda difficult to think how much God loves me. I mean, I know of the cross. I know the sacrifice Jesus did and I know the beauty of heaven with its golden streets and gates of pearl. But I also know that I cannot limit God’s love for me on the cross. For if I say that that is the maximum and ultimate love, then it wouldn’t be an everlasting, infinite love.

Ephesians 3:18-19

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,

Truly, it surpasses knowledge.

I see the deep love and sacrifice of the people around me. I know I am well loved by my family and friends. But I know it doesn’t compare a tiny bit to how much God loves me. I cannot try to put words to describe it. It’s like grasping into the thin air without grasping anything. Infiniteness is incomprehensible.

But perhaps I can share a glimmer of God’s love for me (other than salvation).

By my own choices, I set myself lower and lower for someone to keep him, bending at his whims and requests so he would stay for a while. My life is literally the song “I bought the world and sold my heart”. I did things I never knew I was capable of doing, for someone I thought was staying. But God, by his grace and love, took me out. In the midst of my stubbornness, He orchestrated all circumstances to make me broken and alone before Him. It’s the best thing that happened to me.