Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Foundation Years

Luke 6: 47 - 49

47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Though there is much talk about claiming the promises of God (that might inadvertently lean too much into "prosperity gospelling), there are also the hard times that everyone goes though, both Christians and non-Christians.

Living the Christian life is not about living the Good life, but having a Christ-like perspective especially when things do not go your way. The passage today reminds me that additionally, Christian living needs to be nurtured and built over time so that in times of hardship we can give a Christian response and truly show that we are made of meaner stuff when push comes to shove. 

As a parent, I would like to give Emma the best that life has to offer, but to me that does not necessarily mean making her as comfortable as possible. It means to allow her to build character, show compassion, respond with grace, see beyond herself and kick-ass when the occasion calls for it. Of course she should also be guided by her spiritual foundation that our house will be built on.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. 
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Monday, September 07, 2015

For you do not know the day or hour

"So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return." This verse I read today is from Matthew 25:13 from the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids cautioning about being always prepared for the Lord's return.

More imminently though, can be our return to the Lord. An uncle my family has been close to was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer that had already spread to his liver. This was three weeks ago; last night, he passed away. He was surrounded by his family and siblings and was courageous to the end. Since he came to know of his condition, he has been telling us not to be sad and to remember the good times we had. He got his estate in order and looked bravely towards the end.

What I immediately missed about my uncle though, is not the times we had, but the moments in the future that we will not, and I think he knew this too. He told me last week that he always buys Christmas presents for all his nieces and nephews but for my daughter, he wouldn't be able to give her any.

Another heartbreaking thought that struck me is his absence at Chinese New Year gatherings henceforth. My uncle is probably the only relative I look forward to meeting at large family events, and now what will be most palpably felt is a hole in his shape, muted and immutable.

I do wish that Emma could have the chance to get to know him. I will let her know though, how much she is loved even by someone who she hasn't gotten to know. And somehow, perhaps his love through my proxy can transcend place and time to reach her.

As a young child, I do remember my paternal grandmother's funeral, but only cognitively and without much sentiment. Tonight is my uncle's memorial service and tomorrow is the funeral at the crematorium. He is the first death in the family that I'll personally grief for.

Though it will be sad for a while, I will not despair because he didn't. Though we couldn't have more time with him than we wanted, he managed to say his last goodbyes and bid each of us farewell in the week leading up to his last breath.

Unlike my uncle, we might not know the day or hour of our last breath, so do live prayerfully, speak peaceably and love deeply. I know he did.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

In the Morning

Psalms 5:1-3

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.

Now that Emma has settled into a more comfortable sleeping pattern by mostly sleeping through the night upon her three month mark, it is much easier to get enough rest and have more downtime in the day. 

However, if time is not set aside routinely for devotion it is still convenient to brush it away by seeing to daily chores and Emma's needs. So I shall endeavour to spend a bit of time in the morning meditating on God's word as a non-negotiable.