comfort in confusion

It’s not the lack of openings and opportunities that trouble me, but the presence and abundance of.

Multiple openings show up at different times, and seem to test my loyalty to a commitment made prior to it.

The Lord is sovereign, and His thoughts and His ways are higher, beyond all comprehension.

In this time, the Holy Spirit calls to mind different prophetic pictures at different times. Right now, it is of the white snowy mountain top, where all signs of trails and tracks are covered by layers upon layers of snow, and He says, I’m free to walk where I want to walk and He is right there with me.

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folded book corners

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Just finished reading “The Shadow of the Almighty—The Life & Testament of Jim Elliot” as compiled by Elisabeth Elliot a couple of days ago. The book is a compilation of Jim Elliot’s journal writings, letters sent to his family and friends, along with context and additional text by Elisabeth Elliot.

I was eager to finish it and there were so many relatable passages that resonated in me as I went along, so I conveniently folded the top corners (sometimes the bottom ones, when the passages lie closer toward the lower part of the book), neglecting the fact that the book belongs to my sister who doesn’t appreciate a well-worn book as much as I do.

Anyhow, here is a compilation of most of the passages that struck a chord in me whose corners still remain folded. For the sake of future reference, all passages will follow in parenthesis with the title of the chapter, the page number, as well as Jim Elliot’s age at the point of writing. I was reading a copy published by HarperOne, with ISBN 978-0-06-062213-8.

Note: Upon review, some pages had been folded without clear memory of a distinct passage. In such cases, passages that resound upon second read are recorded. Otherwise, if no distinct passage stand out, the corners are unfolded and restored without record for now.

Continue reading “folded book corners”

Indebted

Gratefulness for Ale has creeped into my heart amidst uncertainty about whether I’ll go or whether I’ll stay at FL.

Ale has been a great mentor, and I’m so thankful that FL is the first corporate that I have ever stepped foot into.

(to be continued)

Dignity of usefulness

So, I’ve always wanted to be a useful person wherever I am. When I don’t feel useful, I have a tendency to quit since there is no point of me to stay and be a bum. 

But I’ve never realised that there is a spiritual dimension to this. Gained a new revelation through this morning’s devotion about “Sanctification”. 

The author writes, 

When you were first connected to Jesus Christ and received the amazing outpouring of his gifts to you, the gifts of love, forgiveness, hope, and promise of immortality, it was the best thing that ever happened to you. But that isn’t the end. You are not merely existing here on earth. This planet is not a huge station where you are just killing time waiting for the train to take you to heaven. 

You were saved for a purpose now, not just for your later passage into heaven. The day you became a believer, the Holy Spirit took up residence in your brain and heart and the personal transformation began. The Spirit has a double agenda: 

1) to change your thoughts, words, and behaviors to be more like Christ, and 

2) to make you useful to God’s agenda to help and convert other people. This process is called sanctification, saint-making. St. Paul knew that he had been converted not just for himself, but so that he could in turn become a blessing to many others: God “gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:16). 

The sanctification process (i.e., transforming you to act like a saint instead of a sinner) is gradual and incomplete. Not until heaven will you be 100 percent free from sin. But in the meantime you can enjoy the Spirit’s power, renewing you constantly and giving you the dignity of usefulness.

Guidance

Every moment I may be conscious and rejoice in the knowledge of God’s will. Obedience to every command puts me on the track and keeps me there. Decisions of course must be made, but as in railroad, so in life—a block signal, a crisis, is lighted only where there is special need. I may not always be in sight of a ‘go’ light, but sticking to the tracks will take me where the next one is. Understanding the will of the Lord is believing Him, that He will—in all situations where I have obeyed—make that way His own way, effectual for eternity.

—Jim Elliot, 1950, Shadow of the Almighty

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

—Romans 12:2

How God Works

God is a creator who works in the material world, who works in relationship, and whose work observes limits. We have the ability to do the same. (via)

What God did, and the outcome of it. Note the relationship with the man.

the LORD God

  1. formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and
  2. brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and

whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

Genesis 2:19

Redefining Mission

Today’s chat with Wan Yueh reveals a new perspective to think about God’s call for my life at this current moment.

What if, my mission is here and now?
What if, I’m right where God has called me to be?
What if, ‘here’ is the ‘there’ that I had imagined?

Instead of seeking to go, be. Be, right here, right now.
Instead of doing, focus on my being.
Cultivate a personal intimacy and reliance on God: less of myself, more of God, even when it doesn’t look like what I had imagined.

My mission field looks like this right now:

  •  Private tuition students
    1. J
    2. R
    3. G
    4. M
  • Playground outreach kids
  • Building teams:
    1. Hope Tots
    2. El-Sadai
    3. Intercession

These are likely to last the entire year of 2017 — a year of focus and dedication to the work at hand.

Then I ask myself, what about my vocation (as in job)? Other than taking a pay from private tuition, what is God’s direction and leading for my career?

Vocation: what does it even mean?

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Let’s study it in light of God’s word. Here are some notes from the study:

    1. Everyone is called to belong to Christ and to participate in his creative and redemptive work.
    2. Everyone is commanded to work to the degree they are able.
    3. God calls us to a whole life, not just to a job.
  • Work is not limited to paid work; the work God leads us to may be unpaid work
  • Any given activity could be work — paid or unpaid — for one person, and leisure for another
  • Even if God leads you to a particular job or profession, you will need to set limits to that work to make room for the other elements of God’s call or guidance in your life
  • The distinctive work of the Holy Spirit is to guide and empower people for the life and work to which God leads them
  • God has given everyone the ability to recognize something of what the world needs. He seems to expect us to notice it and get to work, rather than waiting for a special call from him. There is no biblical formula for translating the needs of the world into a precise job calling. That’s why you need to seek God’s guidance in the various forms of discernment available to you
  • Frederick Buechner writes: “The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
  • These three considerations — the needs of the world, your skills and gifts, and your truest desires — are guides, but they are not absolutes
  • Whatever your job, God’s gifts enable you to work for the common good, to find more contentment in your work, and to overcome or endure the negative aspects of your situation. Most importantly, God promises eventual liberation from work’s toil, sweaty labor, and thistles.
  • Your capabilities should grow with your experience in serving God. He may lead you to bigger tasks that require you to change jobs. “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21)
  • In every job, you have at least some opportunity to meet people’s needs, to employ your gifts and skills, and to express — or discover — your deepest desires. Your decision every day to serve God today is more important than positioning yourself for the right job tomorrow
  • The true aim of work for the Christian is to serve the common good, not to advance his or her own interests. Over a lifetime, serving the common good comes far more from doing each day’s work to the best of your ability in Christ, than it does from finding the best job for yourself

Further reading for the next time:

  1. More on Vocation
  2. Discerning God’s Guidance to a Particular Work
  3. Balancing Rest and Work