Honest Prayers in Everyday Lingo

Honest Prayers in Everyday Lingo (or How Not To Pray In Front Of Other Christians)

 

Dear God,  I am sooooooooooo tired.

Dear God, I really hate him!

Dear God, why don’t you answer?

Dear God, do you really care at all?

Dear God, why is everyone else in church so happy and so triumphant?

Dear God, why didn’t you make me like him/her?

Dear God, I want that.  And that.  And also that.

Dear God, I don’t feel like going to church today.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weirdo Neighbour

Sometimes people take neighbourliness a tad too far.

It is nice to have the kampung spirit and borrow an egg now and then when you run short of ingredients for cooking.

But to borrow almost weekly is getting on my nerves.

Today, she sent her domestic helper to borrow 3 tea spoons of soy sauce.

Firstly, how does she intend to return the sauce?  Have me pour it back into my bottle?

Next, what if the sauce she repays me is a different type from the one she borrowed?  Will mixing the 2 different types of soy sauce cause an explosion in my kitchen?

Anyway, we got away this time because she wanted only Tiger Brand soy sauce.  Tiger Brand is the oldest soy sauce brand. (I just found that out.)

We have only Tai Hua Superior Soy Sauce.  But I was tempted to offer her Lion Brand or Snow Leopard Brand or Samsung Galaxy S Brand.  Luckily I did not confuse the situation by doing so.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 6 – Why Not Rather Be Wronged ?

1 Corinthians 6  (Read by B on the way to school on 13 Aug 2012)

New International Version (NIV)

Lawsuits Among Believers

6 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!

The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Psalm 37 – God Will Deal With The Wicked

Psalm 37  (Read by B on the way to school on 15 Aug 2012 – Confirming what he read 2 days ago here: ..1-corinthians-6-why-not-rather-be-wronged/ )

Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret —it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.[b]

27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.

Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c];
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.[d]
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future[e] for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forgiving Others

I thought the world’s population was roughly divided into 2 kinds of people.  The first kind are those who forgive everyone easily.  Then there are the second kind.  My kind.  The kind that wants to strangle those who have intentionally cause harm to me.

So that hard teaching about forgiveness ( 70 times 7 times ??!!! ) does not sit well with me. How can we let these wicked people get away with what they have done ??  Where is the justice ??

But is forgiveness still forgiveness if it is so easy to forgive ?

Is there a “forgive” switch or button somewhere inside us that can be activated on demand ?

But something that seems to be constantly brought up in the Bible has got to mean that most of us are not getting this forgiving thing right.

So forgiveness is not instant.  We cannot arrive at total forgiveness in 2 seconds.  Or 2 days.  Or maybe not even in 2 years.

Someone likened forgiveness to setting up the sails of one’s boat, determined to get the boat in the direction of complete forgiveness.  Maybe the boat has not moved an inch.  Or maybe the boat moved and then veered off course.  But you and I can keep trying to get it back on course to the destination.  And let God’s wind carry us on in the voyage.

Maybe, that is forgiveness.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introverts – Nature or Nurture ?

Never have I labelled myself an introvert until I hit mid-life.  Maybe I thought myself to be well adjusted at work and at home.  Maybe it did not matter and I did not bother to find out more about myself.  But now I know…

So was I born one? Or did my rebellion against what my father was created the introvert in me?   Likely both.  But it took this long for me to find out and slowly figure myself out.  The books, the music, mathematics, people-watching, connecting the dots, disdain of small talk and the IQ differential intolerance.

I had to rebel.  I had no choice.  I was programmed to reject repeated stupid questions.  Perhaps reason and intelligence was only to be found in books?

Maybe mother’s incessant ranting pushed me even deeper into my inner recesses.  Into the silence and solitude.  Into my books  and my mental world.  No teenager could have absorbed all that verbal toxicity and come out happy and light-hearted.  She hated everyone.  She hated my father.  She hated my sister.  She hated the neighbours.  She hated the poverty we were in.  She hated her sisters.

Can I be forgiven for not wanting to have any part in that poisonous life?  Maybe I have swung to another extreme but I will not let her hate contaminate my new life.   She made her choices and she had to live with the consequences.  She is failing to connect with my  family because she does not understand how we can be so different.

If we are labelled unfilial and anti-social, so be it.  I am done collecting accolades and medals for perceived virtues.  Better that than dragging my kids through all the emotional mud I have just managed to escape from.  At least they grow up happy and feeling secure, and learning to live and let live.

I had to cut the cord.  And stand my ground.  Take it or leave it.  I will not be manipulated anymore.  I will not take hints.  And I have learnt to say “No”.  I have discharged my responsibilities.  What I have committed to do, I will continue faithfully.  But I will not be pulled, pushed, nudged, cajoled, blackmailed into helping anyone else achieve their fantasies or dreams.  I have yet to do anything for myself, I should not have to humour anyone else.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment