During my short stay in a monastery last November, one of the prayers the Carmelite Brother taught us was the Jesus prayer. The prayer is very easy. Inhale a bit and say “Je”, exhale your breath then say “sus”. Keep on repeating this in form of meditation. The Carmelite Monk asked us to say this prayer in a very early of morning, like 6am and I tell you it wasn’t easy at all. Imagine a room of half-asleep devotees breathing the word “JESUS”. I barely could open my eyes. After I left the monastery it became a habit to say this prayer any given time. And I wasn’t the only one. Val and Nick, the duo who went with me for the seminar in a monastery in a middle of nowhere too carried this habit. For me it’s therapeutic and reflecting in the same time. Try it, it’s amazing! It’s like you’re proclaiming every breath that you take is for the one and only Jesus.
I stand by this verse. I truly believe it. I am a living example of it. God have never failed me. The best part is He always gives me more than I ever wanted, sometimes not in the exact way or time that I want, but always the best for me and at the most perfect time. I constantly need to remind myself because when the crazy mood swing kicks in it is hard to believe I admit that. It’s hard to have faith in Him and His plan. All I can say there is no secret recipe or magic behind this verse. Just to have faith and believe!
God has been so generous toward me! As much as I wanted to complain He always reminds me to be grateful and happy about my life. Val, Nick and I are planning something big next year! Something real big! For us at least! And it was confirmed! When I saw the email Nick sent me, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! As much as I want to share it now but I think I need to wait because it felt so surreal!
But truthfully I was disturbed for the past few months. The feeling comes and goes. I think my past started to haunt me back. But when I prayed about it, I was okay! Guess that prayers are my remedies. I realized I never confront this feeling before and I never share it to anybody. I can’t wait to see Val again! I want to tell her this! You must be like wondering why on earth I used a lot of exclamation marks. The truth is I’m so excited about life, my life! When you’re down you seemed to be blind to all of your blessings! Considering the fact that I’m in good mood now let me share you my blessings! All glory and praises unto Him,
1) I have amazing family, happily married for more than 30 years parents, my big bro whom I shared my passion for conspiracy theories, general knowledge. My big sis whom I shared love for cocktails, singing and dancing. My lil sis who is like a life-size doll for me because I love to dress her and our love for Korean dramas and variety shows could never dampen our sisterhood. Last but not least, my lil bro with whom I shared scientific wild facts and 9gag jokes. How can I forget my sis in law who fits perfectly into the picture? She’s the reason my big bro came to grow more spiritually after they were married!
2) Amazing sets of friends! Xian, my GBFF whom I knew since we were 13! Putri who is like my another half. Rueben, my first brofriend he is like brother but he’s just a friend. My form 5 and form 6 friends! My wews! The four girls that helped me to survive my degree years! Ira, Ivy, Ellen and Oli will always have special place in my heart! My fellow Lifefire leaders and members, God knows how much you guys touched and moved me. My three head leaders, Ann, Ester and Sharon! Derek and Bea, Yvonne and Felix, Egan and Anne, Chris and Con. These are the couples I look up too. My bros and sisters in Fiat. Oli, Josh the duo that reminded me of God’s love in Fiat! Val and Nick, my wallbangers and God-sent angels, literally. Something greater is ahead of us, I can feel it. Mr. Kura-kura who never fails to love me, how I wish I could return that love. Those who ever share a room, a house with me! My roomies and housies! Jo, Ming, Sai, Amy, Eva, Lau! My latest former housemate, my big sis named Flo! These are the people outside my family know my eating, sleeping, bathing, cooking habits! Not forgetting my crazy lunatics cousins! People might think the only reasons that we hang out because we are related; looking how different we think, speak, talk and even dress! I’m so blessed to have you guys. Ah King, Ah Lang and Ah Wee, I know if any person was in my face, you girls would be the first to protect me! I love you girls tattoos, gang-related and all! Lol! My karaoke cousins, Ilen, Ta and Ika, screaming and singing in a small room with you guys always make me forget my problems. I lost counts on how many times Yies and the rest of my cuzzies rescued me from drowning every time I swam in the river when we were kids! I literally owe you guys my life.
If only I could go on and on about each and everyone in my life! I love my God and every time the thoughts of having so much loves and blessings in my life almost brought tears to my eyes! In return, I would pay this blessings forward whenever I am able to and promise myself that I won’t dwell in the past anymore. Simply because I’m blessed!
As I come to You before these people to proclaim Your greatness and awesomeness, I offer up my thoughts, emotions and spirit into Your hands. Let every words that come out from my mouth will be nothing but praises to You. Let the musicians and I be in sync with Your spirit. Cast out my doubts and fears, may I be always reminded that You are the center of our worship. Let all the hearts that present be open to You. Fill me, guide me and come take over me Holy Spirit. May You be increased and I decreased my Lord my God.
I was introduced to a book, a very controversial book if I might add, “Jesus and Muhammad” by Mark A. Gabriel today. I put aside all my chores just to read the book without pause this morning. Not much I have to say about the technicality knowledge of the book actually because I am living in an Islamic country and was educated briefly in Islamic teaching that was incorporated into our History subject back we were in high school. With the highest respect for my Muslim relatives and friends, I do not find the book offensive. I realized the author was trying his best to not appear slamming his former religion. Sometimes all we can do is to keep an open mind. I remember a Catholic speaker ever told me in one too many seminars, talks, conferences that I joined, if you open the bible and look for faults and hatreds, then faults and hatreds would be found. The fact that this author opened the bible with an open heart and be touched by it just showed that His words are nothing but truth.
My favourite part of course is his testimonials. How and why he embraces Christianity. I know leaving the religion that he was brought up with is worthy of death punishment for them and is frightening enough to some people. I was disappointed with some people he mentioned that weren’t willing to help him because of too scared. But isn’t that is Jesus about? To follow Christ is to be persecuted like Him? People often forgot persecution not necessarily means whips and nails, torture and torment. We are being persecuted everyday. Persecuted by an atheist lecturer who told me God doesn’t exist but just a superstitious belief. Persecuted by other Christians when I argue that IVF and contraceptive pills are against God’s plans. Persecuted by former boss why church activities and Sunday masses are important for me. I know such persecutions are nothing being whipped, tortured, nailed on a tree and hung for three hours. But if you’re given one small chance to stand up for your faith, why don’t you take it? Like a small chance to help someone embracing Christ? Who am I to say anything anyway? Who knows I might run away given the same circumstances?
The feeling that I had when I finally turned the last page of this book was “grateful”. Grateful to be able to call myself a Christian, a Roman Catholic, grateful to know Jesus as my Saviour, comfort, lover of my soul basically my everything. I know I have long way to go in knowing Him through and through, to serve Him all I can while it’s possible, but like what He reminded me, “One step at a time, Pat”.
This is the closest image that I have to describe my relationship with Him. I love You Jesus. Can’t wait to spend my eternity with You.
|John 15: 9 – 11
|9||As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.|
|10||If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.|
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Did I kept His commandments? Have I loved enough? If I did so, shouldn’t be some joy in me?
Coincidentally, I talked about love yesterday. Coincident? Someone told me no such thing.
How much you should put yourself out there? How far you should got to be vulnerable in order than someone can rescue you? Life is a continuous process of healing of your past. As human we can’t help ourselves to make mistakes, to screw up. Some mistakes of course would leave some wounds, nasty scars after healing. But that means we will continue the process of healing even till death right? I know I’m rambling, making no sense at all. It’s just that I realized I already put myself so much out there that I need some sort like leverage. But in the same time, deep down I know myself still keep lots and lots of secrets from others. It will come a time where I am able to share and be healed perhaps. I don’t know. All I know for now, I need Jesus to rescue me. But rescue from what?
Maybe I need rescue from myself.
I’ve been obsessing with old Praise and Worship songs that I found hidden between many files in my home desktop. I just came back from Holy Hour and an hour spent with Him is worth more than anything else in this world. Back to my obsession, there’s another Indonesian singer whose song really touched me. The song is “Kasih” or Love in Malay by Bobby. When we talk about love, other than the famous quote from St. Paul to the Corinthians, Mother Teresa of Calcutta always came to my mind. For me she is the perfect example of love in our modern society. Here are some of her quotes about love:
I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Ask yourself “How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?” Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.
There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family.
We can do no great things, only small things with love.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
In Bobby’s song, Love, I was reminded to do things with love just like what Mother Teresa always reminded us. As little as the task might be, it should be done with love. Here is the lyric of this song:
Kau bilang kau bisa berkata-kata
dalam semua bahasa
dan andai saja engkau mengerti
ucap malaikat surgawi
apa bila kau mampu untuk membuka
semua rahasia di dunia
dan walau kau yakin bisa berkata
gunung pergilah ke sana
hampa tak berguna
ada yang kau lupa
adakah kasih di hatimu ataukah dengki
yang tersisa di sana
adakah hati yang terbuka
adakah kasih di sana
mangalir dan memancarkan
keindahan yang sejati
sampai nanti kita semua
kan melihat dengan mata
bertemu muka dengan Dia