Category Archives: My Life

Entries which are based on me

My experience as a worship leader

Phew! It’s been like forever since I’ve updated my blog! It’s just that work has just been extremely busy and chaotic over the last few weeks. Hehe it’s so easy to put the blame on work isn’t it? 😉 Well in my case, it’s really the workload folks. It’s been draining me a lot, not to say that I wanna quit or having any such thoughts, no no, I find it challenging in fact you know, I mean here I am been given a job of a lifetime which any fresh network graduate would literally crave for, and the irony is I’m not even from a technical background. And that’s why it’s even more challenging yet interesting for me. Yeah sometimes it does get a little too deep and technical for me, but I guess over time and experience I will get used and accustomed to it.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently given the chance to lead worship. Let me just say it was a totally new experience. You know it’s one thing to just crank up the volume of your favourite praise and worship song and just sing your heart out and “lead worship” as though you are Don Moen or Ron Kenoly. Heh!  😛

 But lead worship is more about just the songs. It’s more than just being musically inclined too. It’s your heart of worship. I guess that’s why the song “Heart Of worship” makes so much sense. Cuz when you remove all the music, the hype, the beautiful tone, you’re left with Jesus. And that’s where the core of worship is. Your job is not to make sure that others can focus Jesus, rather I personally find that, as a worship leader, your main job is to make sure that YOU are focused on Jesus.

And of all the weeks, that particular week where I was supposed to lead worship in my cell group turned out to be my bussiest and chaotic week ever. I even felt like just telling my cell group leader that I can’t do it. There were just too many things on my mind, and a lot of things were weighing me down. How on earth was I suppose to lead worship in such a condition? I struggled. Despite praying the night before and preparing for it, I knew deep down I was struggling. How am I suppose to lead others to focus on God when I myself am having difficulty in doing it? And I remember that night, just before I was about to begin my worship session, I just said “Lord, have your way in me”

And you know what? The worship session went so so smoothly. I don’t know how, but I at that moment, whatever I had prepared, whatever thoughts I had in mind about how I was gonna handle my worship session completely went His way. I just led in a very impromptu way and instead of me focusing and ministering to the members, I just let the holy spirit do His job. And that was one of the most beautiful worship nights ever. And you know what’s the best thing about worship leading? It inspires you to be closer to God 🙂

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Him, Me and my Romantic Pursuits – Part 1

Again this is a 2 part entry simply cuz it’s just too long to hold as one post. Besides this is a very personal and intimate topic and I really have a lot to share.

 

 

The “lonesomeness” bug has hit me. And it has hit me bad. But seriously what can you do when you meet up with your ex-girlfriend after nearly 2 years? No I didn’t have any ill-feelings toward her, in fact more than anything else, I missed her dearly. It ended very abruptly and it wasn’t good at all. But I was very much naïve at that time, and I didn’t think so much of it then…not until I grew up and started realizing more about what love is all about.

 

Seeing her again really brought back memories, good memories, memories that I would often think and recollect back during some nights. But in all of this, I began to feel that something is missing. I feel hollow inside, sometimes.  I look around and when I see 2 people of the opposite sex holding hands and walking together, I realize THAT is what I am missing out. I’m missing out on romance and intimacy. I’m missing out the thrill and excitement of going out on a date.

 

And I guess that’s why I’m feeling alone. It’s bad enough that over the last couple of days, I have been sort of “keeping my distance” from him, and to top it of, feeling lonely makes it even worse and painful.

 

I was really in a messed up shape over the weekend. Though on the outside, everything seemed fine, I knew deep down I was in a middle of a storm. My heart was just sinking. Discouraged, disappointed, and depressed would have easily been the theme for the weekend.

 

I guess I was depressed and sad because meeting up with my ex really in a way showed me how much of  a fool I had been. I was sad that I had lost her and I could only now be a friend to her. I was upset because I felt alone. Even though I had friends from work, I still felt alone. I could never open up my deepest feelings or secrets with anyone from work for personal and professional reasons. And when it comes to these kind of issues, I don’t feel comfortable opening up to my parents either. It’s not that I don’t trust them or anything, but I feel what I could really use now is a good close friend of my age who understands me and is able to “lift me up”.

 

But I didn’t have anyone. And for 2-3 days I felt really miserable. And yet no one knew it.

 

But God knew how much I was hurting inside. He knew how “weak” I had gotten. He knew that I needed His affection. And He waited, while I continued seeking worldly solutions, never mind if they were temporary.  But honestly, I never found anything. In fact, I became even sad and discouraged.

 

And finally, last night, I came before the Lord. And I poured out everything to Him.  Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I finally knew the root cause of my problem. You see when it comes to other areas in my life, such as studies, work, family, I know exactly who to turn with much faith and trust. BUT not with relationships. Oh nono, I am very selfish when it comes to relationships. I forget Him, not entirely, but He is definitely not on my mind anymore. He is replaced by the twinkling eye or the unforgettable smile of the one I’m madly thinking about. Somehow He takes a backseat. I don’t know why I do this, but last night I realized, that throughout all my years growing up from a teenager with early crushes to my young adulthood life, whenever it came to relationships, I would not involve God at all. It’s not that I didn’t want His blessings or anything, but rather I wanted to enjoy the thrills of romance without His “supervision”. (I hope this somewhat makes sense to you!).

 

I’ll involve God when I’m ready

 

That was my attitude. How foolish I am to think this way! But yet you know, when they say “LOVE IS BLIND”, it really blinds you from everything, including God. I guess we can’t call that LOVE in the first place can we? Cuz God IS LOVE!

 

And so last night, I slowly began to realize that the reason why I always get depressed, and discouraged whenever it came to relationships, (This is not the first time I have felt this sort of discouragement and loneliness). God was not in it. And I didn’t want God to be in it for fear that He will just yank of my hopes of finding romance.  But in the process, I became more skeptical in trusting God in this area. I could talk to God about my hopes and dreams, but yet not about the girl I hoped, simply because I didn’t believe that He will just show me someone. Stupid I know, but that’s how flawed some human hearts are.

 

But He understood all this. I could just imagine He just being up there shaking his head thinking “My child, when will you learn to trust me with EVERY area of your life?”

 

And that was the apex of last night’s “conversation” with Him. For the first time, I poured out my heart with regards to this issue, I asked Him how come I could come to Him for everything and yet I couldn’t come to Him when it came to relationships and dating? And right there, He answered

 

“My child, have I not answered the things that you have requested for in the past?”

 

I thought for a while. I thought of the times when I asked him and marveled at how He responded to my requests. Not only did he just answer my prayer, He gave me the very best. Yes, I don’t know how God works in your life, but for me, He gives me the best, He goes beyond my expectations and He just makes me realize and reminds me that nothing is impossible for Him.

 

And I realized, that all this while, with regards to all my other areas in life, He has always given me the best. All areas, except relationships, why? Because I was a fool to not ask Him. I chose not to trust Him with finding me a suitable girl because I wanted to find my own and I didn’t want to wait for the next 5 – 10 years just to feel the excitement of romance.

 

How foolish I was to think that God wouldn’t understand what it feels like to “be in love”.

 

More in Part 2 😀

 

I think I am missing God…

You may be thinking whether this site has gone dead…well the good news is…nope this site is pretty much alive as the author is! The bad news…well there is no bad news.

 

Okay maybe there is, but I don’t know whether to call it BAD news to begin with, it’s just that things have been really quiet on my side. Life has been kind to me, but I wonder whether I really appreciate it at times. Rather than looking at the bright side of things, I tend to look on what I don’t have, what I am missing, and what I want. It’s really sad to some degrees because I am the one who usually gives that sorta talk/hope to people, especially my friends who weigh down their problems to me.

 

I kinda feel like a candle metaphorically speaking; I am able to bring some light, some joy and lots of smiles to those around me, yet when I am alone…I really feel alone. I feel that I am missing something, something is just empty.

 

Perhaps is God…no it IS God that I am missing, I checked my Godmeter a few hours ago, it showed close to empty. But you know what’s really strange? I just don’t feel like seeking Him…yet. No don’t get me wrong, I still love the Big Man, I still think of Him from time to time during the day, but yet…I somewhat feel I’m not ready for him yet, I am not ready to seek him yet.

 Have you ever felt that way?

Maybe it’s just work, maybe it’s alot of things I have been thinking about lately (family, friends, etc.). Recently I got news that my ex-girlfriend had recently come home for the summer holidays, and I actually called her up over the weekend, and even though we had already made up and become good friends again, I still feel something strange inside, something that I honestly can’t describe.

 

The messed up part is thinking more about it makes me feel worse :(, but at the same time, I can’t stop thinking about her. No I don’t plan to get her back at all, I’m honestly happy to be one of her friends, but yet something is stirring inside of me.

I guess it’s time to return back to Abba. And like I said before, even though I’m not ready to seek Him in full force, I must admit that I’m missing Him alot, I miss the way He just stirs my heart, I miss the way He gives me the confidence I need to embrace a new day, I miss the way He calms my heart, I miss the way He makes me rest.

 

You know what the funny part is, I know that He is the way, I know that He can fill my every desire, I know all of this, because I have been filled many times before. And yet, at this moment, I am purposely being hesitant. I guess I’m hoping my human emotions and feelings would temporarily give me some relief, some comfort, but I know at the end of the day, like that prodigal son, I will “return”, running towards my Daddy and just embracing him with all I got…

 

And you know something, the best part is, He will be just as happy to see me return.

 

Be patient with me Daddy, I’m coming towards You!

 

Eternal God, you know despite how far I go, or how long I’ve gone, I will always come back to you. Despite my own human ego, my flawed intellect, I know that I can do nothing without you. You alone can fill my hearts desire oh Lord and I truly and

honestly long to be with you. Guide me O gentle spirit, so that I that I may be able to see Your holy path and once again walk in the Light and in Righteousness. Fill me oh Lord with that same passion once again to seek you come before you. I need that passion that you’ve always stirred within me oh Lord, please do not forget me or leave me. Be with me oh holy spirit I most humbly pray and ask. Amen.

Sex, Lusts and the Holy Spirit!

I probably had one of the most insightful and thought-provoking discussions with my group of friends over the weekend. These friends are actually my work colleagues, whom I had previously spoken about in my earlier entries (Read Pilot Part 2: My New Found World).

The topics I brought up were ones which affect many young Christians today – lust, one-night-stands, cheating on your partner and so on.

It was interesting yet scary to see some of the response I heard. I began by asking my group of friends a question:

What would you do if you’re in a bar, and you’re a litte tipsy and you notice a really beautiful and sexy girl at the corner and you go up and talk to her and because she is friendly and nice (she’s abit tipsy herself), you both hit it off really well and half way through, she asks you to come over to her place, would you go, would you have sex with her?

One of my friends, Adam confidently answered,

Well it depends on the situation. I can’t tell right now whether I’ll do it, even though I know it’s wrong, but you can’t really say what will you do at that moment”

I began to counter his argument

Yeah but you can always try to prevent yourself from going that far, there are steps you can take to avoid that from happening

Another one of my friends, Simon answered:

But dude, it’s easy for you now to firmly say all this, but it could be a whole different thing when you’re in that sorta environment…for a split second there you’ll think there’s no harm in going over to her place, after all she asked for it”

I wanted to answer back, but he continued on:

The same goes with masturbation and pornography. You know it’s not a good thing and yet you still do it, whether you watch just 5 mins of it or 50 minutes, it doesn’t matter…but again at that point in time, you don’t see it “as being wrong”. Your mind is more focused on what’s happening in front of you.

I kept quiet for a moment.

And I began to once again restate my claim:

Yeah I know what you mean, but you can always prevent it from happening, for example not go on looking at an attractive girl that passes by you and start forming lustful thoughts in your mind

Then finally Adam told me off:

Dude you live in an idealistic world, you haven’t been in those tough spots, I have and from experience I am telling you, it’s not as simple as you think. Maybe one day you will learn it. It’s only when you’ve gone through it you’ll be able to fully understand.

I gotta admit I was abit taken back by that statement. “Is God’s law idealistic for today’s world? “ I began to wonder on my drive back to my home. No, it did not rattle my faith in God, but it just made me realize that I’m living in a tough tough world.

And I’m sure that the conversation I narrated just now is just a glimpse what young Christians out there face in their daily conversations with their peers. In one hand, they want to be seen as “fitting” with the current culture, but in the other hand they also want to be part of God’s chosen ones.

I for one had such a hard time trying to balance the two, to till the point that I just literally gave everything up; I gave up my “previous” lifestyle that was filled with filth, lust and everything bad that a young man could possibly do.

Let your will be done Father – Matt 6:10

Clearly what my friends were talking about was perfectly legitimate…in today’s context. In today’s world, sex is just like eating, it’s a human need.

I had once a friend trying to convince me that sex is important and that pre-marital sex is crucial to test sexual compatibility.

And the fact that “it could just happen in the moment” is also understandable. I mean you have the booze, the loud music, the attractive girl who is more than willing, the location, what more could stop you?

My answer is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The holy spirit wasn’t simply given to us just for God’s purposes. The Holy Spirit guides us EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY! Yes it’s true that at such a situation depicted above, your human-flawed-moral conscience might fail you, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit, to guide us when we are not ourselves, why do you think some people tell you to pray when you get angry? Because the spirit of God can take control and put you in the right path.

Similarly, when you begin to lust over that cute hot waitress while sipping your Espresso at Starbucks, the Holy Spirit mode kicks in and nudges you to look away. No there is no time to even recall any scripture verse, the first thing the Spirit will do is to draw away your attention. Then slowly it will administer to you.

I say all this because it has happened to me one to many times. And most of the time, the spirit of God has been able to successfully divert my attention, but yes sometimes I do ignore the prompt of the Spirit of God and knowingly indulge myself. That’s wrong, a big no-no!

lYou wanna know how to overcome this? You wanna know how to take heed the guidance of the holy spirit? The answer can be found here and here

You need to endure it! You need to overcome, to persevere it. And yes it’s gonna hurt so so much, it’s gonna make you unhappy, make you miserable, but endure it, pray, ask God for support, tell God you want to serve him but you’re too weak, remember it’s in our weaknesses we are made strong by God’s amazing grace and power.

No one can serve to masters, and no one says going through the narrow gate is easy. But for what it’s worth, (you’re getting God’s grace, God’s love, you’re drawing closer to Him), I think it’s honestly worth giving it all up and following Him.

As for your friends; take comfort by reading this and this:

Have a blessed day!

Pilot Part 4 – Turning To God…and the journey thus far…

I don’t know whether labeling me as a prodigal son seems fitting. I have always had much love for the Lord, even though I was involved in a couple of “ungodly” and sinful things.

In fact since last year I’ve always had a yearning to lead His people into worship. Music is something I truly enjoy and He has given me the gift of singing. Even right now too, despite all the nonsense I’ve done, and the guilt and shame I am often reminded of, I still long to worship Him and be an instrument for him.

I remember during those jobless months, I would pray diligently to ask God to make me to be His instrument so that I can serve Him. I prayed so much for the Lord to pour out His spiritual gifts so that I may use them to serve and minister to people for His greater glory.

But alas, my job temporarily blinded me. Swearing, dirty talk, cursing, lusts, temptation, self dependence all crept in and I became oblivious to His spirit. It didn’t bother me at first, but later on it became clear, I was missing something… I was missing His love and presence.

 

I knew I had to change my act, I had to pull up my “faith” socks and I needed to turn over a new leaf.

 

However I know this time, I can’t, not even for a single second do it without His strength. I’m far too vulnerable; I know that for a fact, though my faith in Him is strong, I can easily get caught up with the way of the world.

 

But in the midst of all of this, I still can’t understand why God has been extremely kind to me. Not only do I have a secured well paying job with one of the best companies in the world, I live just 5 minutes away from my catholic community church, I have a comfortable home which I rent and it’s just 5 minutes away from work and I also have a kind and wonderful landlord. To top it off, I’m blessed and thankful to have a supportive and extremely loving family ( they’re the ones who actually helped me buy my car!!).

Yes you can somewhat see now how my life is shaped. Indeed I’m truly blessed, despite my humanly flaws, God is extremely wonderful and has given me a number of gifts in the form of talents, and blessings and some of these “ talent gifts” are not even opened yet.

Perhaps maybe God has given me all this blessings so that in turn, I would bless others by bringing them to God. Perhaps maybe this is God’s way of using me as an instrument; an instrument to reach out to the younger generation of today’s world? I don’t know honestly, but I’ll just let him determine my footsteps 😉 (Prov 16:9)’

 

 

I guess what I want to say is this: While I deeply want to further commit myself even deeper with Him, I personally want God to touch others around me just as He has touched me. I want people to know God in a more intimate way just as I have known Him and continue to learn more about Him. (Heh, learning about God is a life long journey!)…

 

 

Why? Why all this interest in God? Because I honestly know firsthand and from experience that God is the answer, the source of truth. I’m convinced that while we are encouraged to succeed in life and accomplish our life goals, we were still made to depend on a source greater than human strength. We were made to depend on Him. And no do not thinkg for one moment you can be smarter and stronger than God.

 

Eve hoped to be smarter and mightier than God and looked what happened to mankind?

 

Thus I know that God is THE WAY. And you need not be in a poor, miserable and desperate state to come to Him. I really feel that you can be extremely successful in your own life, be a happy and cheerful person, be really good at what you do while at work and yet still be close to Him by sending up your sincere, heartfelt praises…

St. Paul said “in everything, give thanks!”

 

 

Thus this is where my journey begins. I am honestly a little scared sometimes to go deeper with God, cuz I know I can’t “turn back”… you can’t serve two masters at the end of the day.

The journey is gonna be tough, but I find hope and courage this verse in Sirach:

 

Son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials. –Sirach 2:1

I sincerely hope my own reflections will not only help deepen my own faith, but will touch your life, I know for a fact I’m not a very good writer, nevertheless I hope through the intervene of the Holy Spirit, you may be able to experience His wonderful promises, His unquestinoable Truth, and most of all, His Amazing love.

I also hope that in my journey I find strength from you. We need people to help us build our faith, to help carry our crosses, to remind us to return back when we drift off..and to keep us in close touch with Him.

god bless 🙂

 

 

Pilot Part 3 – The Turning Point

I continued struggling. I tried to fight off the temptations, the lusts, the desires, the bad habits, but it was hard. I would be fine for 1-2 days but things would revert to normal. I would also sometimes justify myself by saying “there’s nothing wrong with cursing and swearing”, Eric, my group member was using it every other time during the day, Chloe, my female team colleague who also a Christian like me would occasionally swear.

Joe, who was the “women expert” would talk to me about sex and how he thinks pre-marital sex is totally fine and was shocked to hear that I was a virgin, despite having spent almost 3 years in North America.

 

Honestly I was struggling. I wanted to fit in with my friends, I didn’t want them to think that I was some weirdo. I mean seriously how many young ambitious people do you know who do not swear?

 

But at the same time I wanted His righteousness. I knew how amazing it was to be in His light (those 3 jobless months, even though it was tough for me, I learnt to depend more on Him and the relationship I had with him was just awesome!)

But I had to make a choice. I couldn’t follow both paths.

Pilot Part 2 : My new found world

But somewhere along the way I got cocky. I thought I was king of the world, I thought that this was it. What more could I ask for? Fantastic job, a fantastic accommodation (I live in a room just 5 mins from office!) and soon a fantastic car.

 

You could sure bet that I thought I was ready for it all. Yes off and on the sudden worriness of whether I’m really fit for this job would haunt me but with the help of my trusted colleagues, I could always shrug it off.

 

Oh let me tell you about my colleagues. They were wonderful people to hang out with, you would just love them. They worked hard, they partied hard, they joked around and life was good. They were there when you needed guidance and direction in familiarizing yourself with the company. They often made it a point to go out to pubs on the Friday nights and they would persuade me to tag along. They would discuss about all their past relationships, the sexual encounters they had, oh man pretty much all the guy talk.

I for once felt accepted. I felt comfy. I momentarily forgot about a lot of things. Family, hometown buddies, and most of all…I forgot the One who gave me this job. I felt like I didn’t need Him anymore, well at least for now.

 

My relationship with Him became like how a patient is to a doctor. Only when I had problems I would approach Him; with a repented heart, with distress spirit I would approach Him to help me get by my training program (It was intense on some weeks).

 

And I don’t why He did. I honestly don’t know why He even bothered to help me during those times. Despite my indulgences with a lot of ungodly things, He still came to my aid.

 

Was this the same God who struck down, cursed and destroyed countless people who disobeyed him?  Why did God help me despite my recent behaviors?

 

This thought really lingered on me. As my training came to a close, I became confused, lost and often feeling unhappy. I wanted God’s light back, but at the same time I wanted my friends too. I wanted to live a Godly life, but at the same time I wanted to have the freedom the flesh could offer.

 

For a few weeks I really debated. I would often sin, then repent and get back to God and then only finding my self sinning again and then crying out to Him for mercy. It was like a cycle and the more I was going through the cycle, I felt that a part of me dying.

 

I used to be strong spiritually, especially during those 3 jobless months. I could quote biblical verses, I could even write my own customized prayers with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 

Now, I could not even sincerely thank God for the day or just open up to Him. I found no meaning absolutely in sinning repeatedly and being close to God. For once I felt a fake. I would swear and entertain my colleagues at the expense of ridiculing other colleagues and the next thing you know I’d be listening to Praise and Worship Songs. I would talk dirty with my friends over a couple of beers and the next thing you know, I would be holding the bible and reading some of the passages from the gospel.

 

It was so fake. I was struggling. Mr Confident was now becoming lonely, more unhappy with life and with himself and basically just scrapping through by the day without any purpose.

 

Of course on the surface everything looked beautiful. Nobody sees the worms and the bacteria that are inside the ground of the earth. Nobody sees the lungs of a beautiful girl who smokes everyday. That was the case with me. Nobody knew it. Folks were always pleased to see me, friends thought I should win the “entertainer of the year award”, and me…well I was always happy when people were happy with me.