Lord, I am tired

Sometimes, I wonder why God makes us go through difficulties in life and makes life hell and unbearable. I am sure it is all for a good reason, and that He loves us very much. Seeing others struggle with stuff is painful, though, especially if you cannot do anything about it.

Sometimes, we expect God to just magically solve our problems. We expect every problem that we lift up to Him will be solved immediately and according to our whims and desires. No, God does things in His own ways. Above all, He does it for our good, and He already knew what we need and what we want even before we asked for it. God does not give physical things for our pleasure on Earth, but as tools in our efforts for His glory. God does not bless relationships so that we can flaunt or take pleasure from them, but so that we can remember that relationship is a gift from Him and our relationship with God must be right in the first place.

God presents opportunities, not physical concrete solutions that we can touch. He makes things happen, He sets in motion the wheels of time and destiny so that we can make the right decisions at the right time, at the right place and with the right people, exactly as He planned it.

Right now, I am just so tired emotionally. Just pray that God comforts and refreshes my spirit.

Living like how we are called to live

These few days, I gained new perspective as events unraveled around me. I have always regretted and strove to be a better Christian to show God’s glory and love towards others, and somehow I always fail. In a short period of few days, I learned that I really am nothing without God, just a weak human being who is lost.

Sometimes, I wonder whether what I have done, how I behave and talk truly reflects the change in my life. Whoever is in Christ is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. Yet personally, when I look back, I regret to say that I still live like my old self. I regret that all the times and decisions that could have been more Godly were wasted. I still am selfish, self-centered and filled with negative feelings sometimes.

Have I touched others? Have I been a good influence since becoming a follower of Christ? Have I shown love and poured care, concern and boundless love for others as how I am called to live? I know I failed miserably in a lot of those aspects. Many times, I could not control my emotions and thoughts, and my judgement became blurred.

I regret all those times I lost my temperance and raised my voice, all those times wasted on earthly concerns,all those times wasted on being lazy and unproductive. I looked back and realised, gosh, two years have passed, and I still am not really living the blessed life I have been given. I really need to stop being lost and adrift, because I know God lends me His strength, if only I pray for it and use it wisely.

I really hope I can start living this blessed life meaningfully and fruitfully, to bear the fruits of the spirit, to show boundless love for my neighbours, to be the best I can be for His glory, to be His light and salt on Earth and be a part of Christ’s ministry. I refuse to waste my life living like this any longer, I really need to burn bright for God.

I learned the true meaning of forgiveness. Recently I learned that it is something so precious that we always take for granted. We sinned and yet God forgives. I have taken it for granted, now I must not forget it.

I realised that I became a Christian because I refused to live my life without an aim. Somewhere along the way, I forgot why I chose to trust God. I am really grateful because He reminded me of His love so powerfully these few days. I pray I can be a true disciple of Christ, to be an encouragement and to never be let down by life, because God is always with us.

Birthday blasts

Really thankful these few days for such wonderful friends who have made it one of the most memorable birthday ever. On my actual birthday, I had an unexpected dinner gathering with a few close friends. Then today, I had another sumptuous dinner with lots of friends. Truly grateful for the love, care and friendship that they have shown.

It is the 9th week of the semester and I have yet to make any real effort on genetics, which I will take in 2 months time. Gotta snap out of the stupor and start working my grey matter.

Anyway, for all of you who have been involved in the birthday dinner and who are reading this, thank you so much! Really appreciate you guys and gals!

Antigen receptors

Today during Physiology lecture, I had some sort of revelation when we learned about immune system of the human body.

See, contrary to what many people would think, the body ALREADY has millions of different antigen receptors before birth. It was as if a special safety wall was already built to shield us from harmful albeit common diseases of the world, even before we are born. So when the multitude of bacteria or viruses invade the body, they get recognized and destroyed to prevent us from falling sick.

If that does not point to a Creator, I do not know what will.

How else could you explain how the human body is able to genetically code for such a huge amount of antigen receptors that specifically targets different antigens that already exists naturally? That being said, during our lifetime, we do not encounter all of those antigens so perhaps hundreds of thousands of those lymphocyte clones were not activated at all at our death. But still, it is amazing how the human genome contains genetic codes for such a huge amount of antigen receptors that protect us from harm, in default. It is as if someone had the wisdom to prepare beforehand some kind of protective bubble for our fragile physical bodies to shield us from all those harmful microorganisms.

Even if you throw the theory of evolution at me, saying that forces of evolution has ultimately led to what we see today, well I still do not really buy that. Evolution is still a theory anyway, there is not concrete proof that human descended from apes. And suppose that human did evolve from apes, it would not explain how the genetic codes for the antigen receptor proteins arose. Random mutation and selection pressure would have taken billions of years to form millions of antigen receptor variants, which is what we have today.

Anyway.. just some ranting.. feel free to comment! =D

100th post

I just realised this is my 100th blog entry.

It has been a while since I last blogged. Yet to be honest, I find myself lethargic to even lift my finger and write down my thoughts. Writing does not come easily to me nowadays as it used to.

I cannot really comprehend how time flies and slips past us. It is now the fourth academic week. Can you believe that? 11 more weeks and winter semester will be over. 2nd year has been treating me well, so far. I hope it stays that way.

I am just thankful for God-given family, health and friends. Sometimes I cannot be the man of integrity that I want to be, and all too often am I reminded of how weak I really am without Jesus. Then doubts and thoughts creep up and mess with my mind. Sometimes I realise they are the Devil’s machinery, sometimes I am just too tired to care. Still, I think I have been really lucky and blessed, so I shall not complain.

As a friend of mine once said to me, “Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that you can be emo.” How true.

What can we do, except to shrug it off and move on? Since we are called to live without complaints and arguments anyway. So might as well be awesome at it. Like Barney Stinson.

Gotta start studying. Like, totally.

Keep moving forward

Pangs of sadness filled my heart as I learned today that 2 of my former comrades and brothers-in-arms did not make it to second year. As fellow friend, what possibly can I do to alleviate their anguish? As I contemplate, I realised that nothing we could say could soothe their sadness.

If you have ever experienced the kind of feeling, then you would know how hard it feels. To have experienced so much together – all the times shared in joy and in sorrow, all the times we fooled around and played and tackled and laughed until our tears came out – those moments could never be replaced nor captured, they could only be stored as treasured memories in our hearts.

All I could possibly do now is pray, that the people with authority have mercy on them and grant them a chance to repeat.. At the very least, I really hope that our sponsor will at least continue to fund them to study locally.

In retrospect, a lot of people disagree with the exam system, which is specifically designed to “kill off” students. It is unfair and cruel to say the least. Then again, we have chosen this path, so in the end, all we could do is keep moving forward. Like soldiers in heat of a firefight – you cannot stop or slow down when your comrade is hit, all you could do is keep charging and gain victory over the enemy.

In times like this, I can only look to God and praise His glory, because in our weakness His strength is made perfect.

Great day out

Today I went to Melaka with my family. I went there 10 years ago, so a visit after 10 years will yield much new experience, or so I thought. Well it turns to be quite alright. I am really amazed at the number of people there. And you should see how the people queued up for the Hainan chicken rice. Ridiculous!

We walked around the old town area and basically took a lot of pictures. There are so many new buildings like the Pahlawan Mall or something. Oh by the way, I just had the most amazing crepe cake ever. In fact I had my first crepe cake experience at Nadeje. It is basically a stack of crepe with cream in between. Heavenly taste. I found the recipe online and turns out it takes a lot of effort to make one.

The one thing that really made me think is this: people here in Malaysia queues up because they have the luxury of time and they want to taste the famous chicken rice. People in Africa or Afghanistan queue up for food simply because they do not know any better and they do not have any choice. What has happened to this world? Why such injustice, and unfairness? Such blatant waste of time and energy.

And yet people still complain a lot. For the Malaysians who queue up to buy the Hainan chicken rice, well, I say to you: you are already very lucky to be able to queue up and stand under the hot sun to buy chicken rice, when people in other parts of the world queue up for entirely different reasons.

Anyway. I have been here in KL for a week. A few more days and I have to go back Kuching. And the awful packing will start.

Dread it very much.

Hope this brighten up your day

Got a joke for you:

A man is driving down a deserted stretch of highway when he notices a sign out of the corner of his eye….It reads:

SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS HOUSE OF PROSTITUTION 10 MILES

He thinks this is a figment of his imagination and drives on without second thought….

Soon he sees another sign which reads:

SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS HOUSE OF PROSTITUTION 5 MILES

Suddenly he begins to realize that these signs are for real and drives past a third sign saying:

SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS HOUSE OF PROSTITUTION NEXT RIGHT

His curiosity gets the best of him and he pulls into the drive. On the far side of the parking lot is a stone building with a small sign next to the door reading:

SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS

He climbs the steps and rings the bell. The door is answered by a nun in a long black habit who asks, “What may we do for you my son?”

He answers, “I saw your signs along the highway and was interested in possibly doing business….”

“Very well my son. Please follow me.” He is led through many winding passages and is soon quite disoriented. The nun stops at a closed door and tells the man, “Please knock on this door.”

He does so and another nun in a long habit, holding a tin cup answers the door… This nun instructs, “Please place $100 in the cup then go through the large wooden door at the end of the hallway.”

He puts $100 in the cup, eagerly trots down the hall and slips through the door pulling it shut behind him.

The door locks, and he finds himself back in the parking lot facing another sign:

GO IN PEACE. YOU HAVE JUST BEEN SCREWED BY THE SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS. SERVES YOU RIGHT, YOU SINNER

If that didn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will.

Effective Living

I have been reading “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey during the past 2 weeks. What is really striking is the way he puts forth the principles. I find them to be so true and timeless.

I think one of the most important thing I have learned so far is not to be reactive. Does it ever occur to you that a lot of us resign to life’s tribulations, blaming this and that and refusing to take responsibility? Or rather, giving up and living the life as how the situation or circumstance dictates?

I learned that when people or situation hurts you, you can choose to say NO and say to yourself, “I can choose my own response”. Most of the time people respond by “If it weren’t that person..” or “The situation is hopeless..” or “I can’t do this, I’ve tried so many times..”

So instead of responding blithely, we should instead be proactive and not be reactive to life’s difficulties. One should look for ways to focus on what he or she can improve. The saying goes, “Keep moving forward” and I cannot agree more. Instead of blaming the situation, or blaming oneself, the person should take responsibility and be courageous to march forward.

To be responsible for your life means to be “response-able”. Being responsible means able to respond to life’s challenges. It means being able to choose after getting a stimulus, and not act in a predetermined scripted way and resulting in a much-anticipated consequence.

So the next time you are hurt, or you are frustrated or desperate or lost or down, remember:

You can CHOOSE your response.

Child-like faith

Often times, it is really hard to get a grip on reality. You would wish the problems could all just go away.

I had that kind of feeling. When I became a Christian, that feeling was replaced with a sense of belonging, a sense of relief. Relief that you know even if the hardship is very difficult and you are up to your neck in problems, you know there is someone who is watching over you.

I really hold strong to the belief that God does not test us more than what we could bear. More often than not, my own faith comes through countless convictions that God indeed listens. The only thing I hope and pray for is for my faith to become more child-like. Instead of becoming more mature and older, I want to become ever more faithful and joyful of what and who God is. The faith that embodies trust in all situations, even in difficult ones, is the one I strive for.

The only way to let God into your heart is to confess that you are a mere mortal, and that you could not deal with everything on your own. And what gives greater joy than to know that God will always be there to help. It takes a lot to defeat pride, to relinquish the sense of control in our lives to some entity you cannot see.

I learned that I was not listening when I struggled within the first few months of me becoming a Christian. I shouted, “God, where are You?” I wanted to give up. Then a phrase from a movie struck me. I learned that it was not because God did not say anything, it was because I did not stay still enough to hear him.

So every time I fret, worry, or despair, I remember this. And I stay still.

Child-like faith means to let yourself become like a rock, leaping through the air and falling down, letting yourself spiral out of control. You are a rock, what can you possibly do to prevent your impending doom? Nothing. But you can pray and take heart in the knowledge that God is down there waiting to catch you with a gigantic trampoline.

When life gets tough, it is one thing to say “have faith” and another to actually do it. But for me, I say “have faith” then I jump.

Like a rock.

Then I pray, like a child, that there is a gigantic trampoline down there, sewn by God’s hand waiting for me.

This post is dedicated to you, my friend. I know you know I mean you. Yes you. =)