Sunday, March 26, 2006

Holiness unto the Lord

The definition of the church is :
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9

Today, Pastor Paulraj talked about the holiness of His people in 3 stages:

Holiness is not an option but an obligation.

1.Positional holiness

30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 1 Corinthians 1:30
Holiness is personified in Jesus Christ; one without spot or blemish, one who was sent to the earth in a human form to break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. And in this, He will bring the children of God into glory through His suffering, giving Him authority over all things.
24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Hebrews 12:24

And in order to be His children who will receive the crown of life we need to accept Jesus Christ into our lives so that we can worship the LORD who made everything, and whom everything was made for Him, in the beauty of holiness!(Psalms 96:9)

Usefulness, being emotional, successful, and talented and giftedness are not marks of holiness. Just like spiritual gifts and spirituality are not synonyms. God does not tolerate the wicked who do not walk in obedience to His commandments.

16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to declare My statutes,
Or take My covenant in your mouth, Psalms 50:16

2.Progressive Holiness

What is needed to abide in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Remember that Jesus is born in a manger, a place infested with filth, and He wants to live in u, who is a wretched sinner.
1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matthew 7:21

So, how do we achieve both positional and progressive holiness?

By His Sacred Blood
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

By His Scriptures
Sin will keep us away from the Scriptures and Scriptures will keep us away from sins.
17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
1 John 17:17

By the Spirit of God
We need to be filled (pervaded, dominated, intoxicated, led) by the Holy Spirit.
13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:13

By Suffering (fellowship with Him in suffering)
10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10
The Holy Spirit wants to be the president of our hearts not a resident. How many times have we blocked out HS for our own busyness and contentment?
12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12

29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
Philippians 1:29

3. Perfecting Holiness

Not obtained but attained

2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
Be ready for the last moment by being ready every moment.

Im not sure about you, but I definitely am certain that I have chosen to walk in the beauty of His Holiness. And to be holy, one is separated from sins and set apart for God alone. When the word ‘holy” is glorified in this warped world as a negative term, we need to depend more on Him to uphold this divine holiness. As I examine my life, His Word keeps me conscious of being holy for Him. I regret the many times sin had surreptitiously crept into my life, especially when I was quick to wrath, like last week when I slammed my laptop in my frustrations. Sin blinds one from the concept of holiness and heads one for hell as a slave of the fear of dying. Holiness is not an instantaneous transformation, it is a progressive one that tests faithfulness. The ungodliness of Israel made the Lord angry for 40 years and therefore they were never allowed to enter His place of rest. Their disobedience caused them to rebel. If we do not desire to be holy, we are destined to perish like old clothing and not remain forever.

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mathew 16:26

God does not make a bad deal. Man possesses a body, but he is a soul. A soul is of more value than the whole world, as Jesus said. The truth of this appears through the application of any of the common criteria for determining value:
COST: It cost the blood of Christ to redeem one soul.
PERMANENCE: A soul will exist until the worlds have passed away.
AFFECTION: God loved the soul enough to reclaim it.
UNIQUENESS: No two souls are identical.
for us, He sacrificed Jesus, one He called His Son, greater than the angels, that makes us more valuable in the sight of God.

the little things that made my heart cheer up - thanksgiving:
for the skirt James bought for me from chiangmai
for the bracelet Julie bought for me from Manila( but i lost it =( )
for the mystery gift david bought for me from the States
for the many good things Marcus had bought for me
for my observations that have been successful

.... absence makes the heart fonder, in it, speaks a wisdom seemingly telling me some people are just meant to be vulnerably and fondly missed.

I really x 1000 love this picture. I wish to remain here forever...just here.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Awesome is thy God

The sheer beauty of this is enough to blow me away, just when I was thinking about God's excellent hands in creating nature. David shared these pics from his US trip with me. I wish I were there too.

been so busy that I have forgotten .. I peered out of the window today and realised that God's creation is right before me everyday. His light shining through the lustrous green of the trees on the hills. Beautiful isnt it?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Quitters Campers and Climbers

Like any title of a book, this title is one of the millions to entice one to read it. Speaker Danny Koh adopted it for the sermon today. Yes, this title categorizes people by name, and God knows you by name.

Matthew 5: 12 Beatitudes at Sermon of the Mount
Jesus brought his disciples to the Mount and for those who are in the valley, they do not get to hear the sermon.

We climbed up Mount Sinai with Danny Koh today at the sermon.

Exodus 19 -When they were at the foot of the mountain, God commanded Moses for the people to be consecrated for Him.

From Exodus 24: 9-10, there was a progressive revelation for the people of God. This progressive revelation revealed the clarity of heaven.

9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.

He zeroed in on 3 concentric circles for the intimacy we have with God. The people at the outer circle never get to climb up the mountain; they were the stiff - necked people who were contented to worship God from afar. They were not qualified, not committed to God and did not consecrate their lives for God, wholly describing what we name today the carnal Christians, who have a weak faith, allow their feet to fall and stray away easily, and they were the ones in the later chapter of Exodus, who went back to a life of sins. (Exodus 32), they were the first and the quick to turn and forsake God, and God leaves them when they forsake Him. And so they are obviously the Quitters.

The people in the inner circle and the innermost circle were the 74 people who have broken the barrier, the covenant with God is confirmed and got to God. (Exodus 19), illustrated in (Exodus 24).

Exodus 24 1 Then he said to Moses, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the LORD; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him."
They moved up the mountain as qualified people to witness His cloud of glory. They stepped on the sapphire pavement, but there was no real transformation. (Exodus 32) was an evidence of them eventually leading people to idol worship.
Exodus 32 1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him."
2 Aaron answered them, "Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me." 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."

They are the Campers who were tempted by the halfway houses of temptations and trials and never preceded on to the next level. Many of us are like the Campers who in our walk with God, had experienced the Holy Spirit, but left it to be forgotten, tossed and tainted by the harsh winds of life like a leaf. Their feet will slip off the mountain easily.

Only two managed to be in the innermost circle, to be the most intimate with God, to see the God of Israel. Only those who remain in the vine will remain in God, without it, we can do nothing. They were Moses and Joshua. The level of intimacy Moses had with God, is exemplified by (Exodus 33:11), where God communed with him like a friend. Joshua was able to reach the peak of this intimacy as well as he never did leave the tabernacle. God looks for faithful followers who are the Climbers, and who embodies the spirit in Joshua, never leaving His kingdom. Eventually they ascended to the top of Mount Sinai.

Exodus 33:11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

The heart of this message spurs the church to be a church of climbers, to recognize we are all going to be transformed into climbers from wherever we are now positioned in.

And this brings me to the people who are the quitters and the campers. In this time where we are heading towards Easter, this period of lent from 1 March to 14 April is the LENT in which we reflect and consecrate ourselves for Easter to come. There is a reason why the church is preaching these sermons these days. It is with hope for us to turn back to God once again. Yes, for both the Quitters and the Campers.

The Parable of the Lost Son
Luke 15:11

11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

For those who have not read this before, do read it. This is perhaps the best parable ever, which itself is tragic. The prodigal son in the wilderness experiences what it means that “nothing disappears any more quickly than the friends who have drunk the liquor and helped waste the substance of a man like the prodigal. His plight is contrasted with his glory when he told himself the truth. He simply faced up to the facts of his hunger and hopelessness and loneliness. The "life" which he no doubt expected when he left home dramatized into "death" for him.
The great depth of perception in this parable when the prodigal son admitted that he had sinned against heaven. Sin has a dreadful recoil against the sinner, being against himself, and also against his family, against society and against every good and beautiful thing on earth; but primarily sin is "against God."
The ring, the robe, the shoes ..All these were the signs of the sonship which the father restored to him. The new clothing and the status at the father's table are fitting emblems of the salvation which God bestows upon his returning children to restore the joy in God's house over the salvation of the lost.

The Quitters can be dead and alive again. God does gives a second chance. Once u were lost, but you will be found. You are a gift from God not a curse, He wants to embellish you with His gifts again, so that you can once again, move in full capacity and full potential juts like the prodigal son.

The Campers, are represented by the elder brother. The logical thing for the elder son to have done would have been to go at once to the father; but he did not. The elder son was closer to the servants than to his father; leading a life of slavery, it is a small incident that shows the broken fellowship. Through the passage of time, the elder son had not maintained communication with the father; and, in this, he became a type of the Christian who, while attending to all of the outward duties of faith, nevertheless drifts away from the love of it. The vital prayer line becomes neglected; the heart grows cold, indifferent, and proud; and, at last, such a Christian becomes as much estranged from the heavenly Father.

What is in a gift?

Love, sacrifice, care, concern, sensitivity, understanding, consideration, selflessness, desire to give and avail..

If you have received the gift of salvation, you would understand what it means to God every beat of your heart. Are we too stuffed with His many gifts that we have turned cold to them?

-I thank the physical gifts I have received from my dear friends, brothers and sisters, and thank God the most for His gift of salvation that is imperishable, undefiled, does not change or decay, that is eternal.

beloved cg 120306

Saturday, March 18, 2006

how have i been lately? camera check/older?/hmm/perhaps this side of the face looks better/not sure/to my friends who haven't seen me lately/i am sorry!

God, you are my best friend.

The loneliest week ever. trapped like a princess in my castle. Swimming in the sea of work, I asked God when I will reach the shore. I tiptoed but couldn't look beyond. I closed my eyes and imagined that deeper place where God will bring me to. I started to kneel down and landed on my knees. When I started to pray, He enlarges my dreams. On bended knees, I groaned in my spirit to God my dearest best friend. You are more than enough for me. I survived this week of loneliness because I have you, and I always have you.

You will finish the work you have begun in me.
Worry? I worry, no more.

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:3-9
check this out: my latest work:

Friday, March 10, 2006

God is love..exclaiming to the whole world

I love mornings, mornings give me a sense of confidence and eradicates fear from the recesses of the mind. I am the most at ease with God in the mornings as they offer almost perfect serenity and peace. Washing up and dressing up in the morning sets the frozen body into activity, no matter how extensive the day is going to be. In fact, I don’t think of the day to come in the mornings I wake up to. From the time I identified that Lee Wen and I have the same birthdate to now, I haven’t been able to pen down all the thoughts running in the mind and the emotions that stir up in the heart. They have become my inner prisoners day after day, anticipating the moment I will liberate them all. 3 observations in a week, I must have busted the record. It drained me into a customized stature, so much that come what may, I will take. I am not born a warrior in might, but a fighter in the mind. It is all about perceiving things when I remain in God. Even if there is a fog looming ahead of me, I will breeze through it without dropping an inch of focus. I have accomplished the third part of my “Concussion Series” last night. For the past 3 days, I returned home after work for a nap that inescapably napped me to the next good morning. Fatigue dulls every sense of my being. And I wonder what else is there to experience. The spell that keeps everyone adrenalised in the school breaks the moment I stepped out of the campus. And the spell, in every routine, resumes itself the next morning. And every chemical trigger in the body begins working once the spell is plugged on. Such a phenomenon grows out of proportion in my finite mind. It has to do with my lack of scientific knowledge I suppose.

Students load my mind daily, so much it frightens me. Without God, there is nothing. I commit to memory the day on my way out of school, a bout of emptiness immediately frenzied me. The working world leaves me very empty especially when conversations become contented at the superficial level. And I know, such days will come, they are just drawing very very near.
Sometimes, I feel myself more like a preacher than a teacher. . David has gone on a trip to anomai..(not sure), managed to tell him that I am going to miss him, and I really do. He is perhaps the only friend for now, who is really not infected by the corrupts of the working world, excitedly, I am counting down to his return =)

If I want to be like Jesus, I need to allow Him to look into the depths of my heart, the deepest intents and motives, and I want to tell you God, I am always ready to bare my soul to you as I cry out to you in this trapdoor transition in my life. God, you saved me right from the beginning. Your omnipotent love to me, my goodness, when there are so many people in this earth, you chose to side by me all this while, And being thankful to you isn’t enough. I Love God and I love your word.

Watched “My Gal and I” on Wednesday, what a visual feast I buffeted on, and that I know, God is behind all of this. The Tender Creator, I must continue to be on good brand with God.

God has saved us and called us to a holy life -- not because ofanything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning oftime. -- 2 Timothy 1:9

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Only He can satisfy

It is almost inconceivable how I have touched down to this stage. Must there always be fresh chapters in life that leaves you so often perturbed, like a tuck into the fabric of equilibrium? Packing around my room on a Saturday morning to browse through my library of resources, I froze at the many journeys I have traversed with art. To date, I am an art teacher in Yusof Ishak Secondary School at the age of 23+. All these years of experiences, dialogues, conversations and intimacy with art come to rest to be valuable to my students. And what is unimaginable is that my relationship with art never began in that manner. You never know what the future lies, isn’t it?

I dream of a space that contains me, my partner and our books. That space will be an enclave of the remnants of memories and been-throughs. How beautiful that is when God is foremostly ushered into that space. In this space, we collide, we coincide, into the energy of the Holy Spirit.

I asked God today, why am I sacrificing so much of myself in my job and ministry? Can I just don’t do them anymore? It has taken its toll on me.. And He gave me His words as I seek. I found my answers in His Word, which never ever once failed me.

On the many occasions when I chose to sweep myself into the morass of self-pity, resisting everyone’s attempts to comfort and console me, I have also fallen into a perverse feeling of pleasure. I recognize this trend of self-destructive behavior so distinctly.” Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice" (James 3:15-16).
And God wants me to be a teacher of His word, a shepherd so that I will never have the absence of joy For when I bear fruit for Him, The devil’s offer of misery, weariness of spirit, anger and hopelessness will be cast out immediately. How awesome is His breath that emits truth.

"By their fruit you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:20).
“Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit" (Matthew 7:16-18)

When my heart and flesh fail me and spirit of the mind starts to ebb, to the point of growing dull and apathetic, yet, never will I find myself alone.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed." In other words, it becomes a lonely. Loneliness is the inevitable result of clutching and clinging to self, and refusing to die to self. Jesus continues: "But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (John 12:24)

And God ends off His words to me by saying:

"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

getty empty..taken its toll? look at Job, God is the best.

He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. -- Job 23:10-11

hongjie and i