Wednesday, December 24, 2014

epiphany #137462

I am not what I do, or the role I play... Therefore, I should not let it completely devastate me. My studies, I do because I want to offer something of my thoughts to something that I think is important. Being a wife is a role, like being a daughter, or a friend. Husband is important, but our relationship doesn't define me.

Balance. I want to work on it this coming year. Tipping too easily. I used to pride myself with being passionate. But I do not want to die of passion. It needs to come with coping mechanisms. I need to remember that as God instituted routine, routine is important. There is a time for everything.

I want to be disciplined in coming up with a structure in the upcoming year.

So help me God. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Clinging on to God's promises

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

Today, the spiritual war wrecks my soul. I allowed the dark side to overwhelm me. To bring me closer to what can't be God. I need God. I need to not willingly be stolen, killed and destroyed. I need your strength God to give me life. 

Season to understand why Jesus is really the good news. in today's pluralistic world. In a world with so much pain and suffering. How is the coming of Jesus truly good news? In a doubting, insecure heart, I need to somehow find Jesus as my good news. 

It is time to talk to someone. to have someone to do life with. Maybe a prayer partner of sorts. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To Have Peace.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

- It's interesting Jesus said this after referencing his death as well as the trials that people will face, abandoning Jesus. 

- Peace. What is peace? To know that Jesus foretold the issues people will face, and that he has overcome the world, therefore we can trust him? 

- What does it mean to take heart? Quick search on the internet says to be courageous, cheer up... 

I need to learn to be courageous. To not want to hide away. The more I am exposed to the evils of the world, the more I want to be 'enlightened' from it and run away... but yet, this is not Jesus' way. He says that he has overcome the world.... and that should give me courage. courage that it is all under control one way or other. The poor drunks that I try to avoid because I am scared of being harassed, the students that are burning out or have not decided what they want to do with their life, after devoting so much of it into learning about ministry... the little resources that I have (or the uncertainty that I feel)... friend that I meet that feels like she has ruined her life. 

To have peace. So hard for me. I am still battling stress symptoms. Quite ridiculous. Jesus, please put it in my soul that you have overcome the world. Please give me strength to take heart. To believe in your overcoming the world. 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Farewell thoughts

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Maronite Church Downdown Beirut
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunset over the Mediterranean sea
Last night here in Lebanon, green valley hotel :) It has been a growing experience. If I had a schema to think about the world. It is being rethought. :) Some thoughts as I end my time here... 

- Worlds colliding 
I meet people here who know people that I have met in my past travels (time in Singapore).As an example, the National Director, that I have never met, is good friends with my boss who hired me... the one who left many many moons ago. On one hand, it's nice to have a point of reference, or the other, so scary. You never know which part of history will catch up with you. 

Anita who graciously took me around the city. 
Blue Mosque.. reconstructed after the war (looks like the Disney castle in my opinion)
- Factions and parties and religions
I am still trying to wrap my head around all the different political parties, power players here. "The more you know, the more you don't know"... How true. My colleague said that on my first day in the office, I have since tried to understand the situation. The alliances, religious sects involved, middle eastern political parties... It all adds to much complication. Coupled with people who seem to be highly opinionated on what's right/wrong.. there is no room for compromise. Especially when religion is in the picture... absolutes are thrown in as the reason for action. :( No religion is not the alternative to bad religion... I thought about that long ago when talking to some good friends about their discomfort with religion... But what is 'good' religion then? How can I decide that its not good? One part of it is in the earnest study of the Bible, (but extremists study the Bible too...)the other part is to not be focused only on the structural aspects, but also to care about the individuals... 

- Prophetic hope
So easy to lose hope here. Or to put one's hope in money (to run away when necessary), material things. In some ways, I see parallels here and in Singapore. Countries trying to define themselves in the sea of people slightly different...  So necessary to remember that my hope is in the God who is coming again. and therefore I can be in the thick of it. That my hope is in the living God, and not in the "chariots" or "weapons" that men have. A tension.. to wait on God and to do something (and if we were to do something, to do the right something) 

I go back to love. my professor likes justice/rights. I find that not as fundamental as love. Rights feels like a minimum standard. But if we strive only for the minimum standards, something gets lost. So hard to love though. to really be emotionally involved but not to a point where one loses one's brain. spoke to someone who is transitioning from the office. at a certain point, he got really emotional. and apologized for it. I saw at the moment the pain he felt for the work he does. He can be cool and come across as nonchalant about leaving. But beneath, he cares. And that is something that should be nurtured (i think). People here talk about how everyone is replaceable, which is true in some sense... but still it should not be what we think when we see people. I romantically like the idea that people are 'called', and the organization should nurture that calling as far as possible. So hard, but that's what hope is? Or faith? to trust in what cannot be seen. 

Drive back from the province... beautiful sunset.
Shee Shah... sold on the streets
- thankful
All in all, I am thankful. Thankful for this experience, for the people that I have briefly met. For making new experiences, widening horizons, blowing my mind...  Who knows what this brings. but in the meantime, this world continues to be a weird strange place... and I am thankful to be a part of it. I hope to not lose my sense of wonder... Some other photos to remember by trip by... 

Wine tasting.. (Never knew there was wine in Lebanon)
The idea of it is more interesting than it is... Tastes like chewing gum... 
Princess Jasmine's hat! With Colin, colleague who brought me here. 
White coffee... Otherwise known as water with some aromatic essence.. Interesting... 

Funny Rice Sack... 

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. Khalil Gilbran (Lebanese poet)