Gratitude and the Victorious Christian

cross-2303388_1280It is inconceivable that a Christian who lives every day in a worshipful and grateful attitude will not also live a life of victory. Jesus died on the cross to give His beloved eternal life and here-and-now peace, and that alone warrants the highest gratitude from the believer. And gratitude IS worship. And worship leads to victory.

But what does victory look like? It can be surprisingly unassuming – like a pair of lips curved in a gentle smile under scorching heat, or brows that do not furrow in the face of a traffic jam, or a tone of voice that does not rise in retaliation of an insult.

Victory does not always have to take on the giant-slaying, raising-the-dead or feeding-five-thousand-with-five-fishes kind of magnitude, though it is completely possible for a Christian who walks in intimacy with Christ to perform miracles of such proportions – in His name, of course. Victory does not mean being completely absent of challenges and hardship, because God promised to mold – not molly coddle us.

Victory is a strong unrelenting heart – like a ground that remains fertile despite the drought. Victory is a pair of eyes with supernatural vision – like a telescope that sees into the vast distance, beyond the chaos of the present time and catches glimpses of hope that make them twinkle like the stars God has made.

Put simply, the Christian victory is peace and joy independent of circumstances, attained by having a God-sized perspective that makes present human preoccupations minuscule in comparison.

The Christian who truly worships Jesus and wants Him above anything else IS victorious – because at the end of the race of life, the object, Person of their worship, Jesus Himself – is waiting for them at the finish line…with open arms and nail-pierced hands.

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Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You, My American Readers

StatsFor you still make up the majority of my blog visitors, as shown by my WordPress stats. Views from my own country trail behind on a far second at 699, compared to 1506 views from the USA – since the birth of this blog middle of May this year.

It’s been a wonderful journey and I am pleasantly surprised that I have been posting consistently till now. Having the WordPress community really helps, like participating in Linda’s blogging events, and also Daily Post’s.

Thank you to all of you who have dropped by to write your comments, or to click the Like button (no matter where you are from. I even have views from countries I had never heard of, like Liechtenstein and Jersey!) That keeps me going, and reading your writing keeps me learning. I try to read and comment on other people’s blogs as much as I can too, though I often blog on the go.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US of A. I can’t wait to come face to face with the Statue of Liberty in November next year! We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving where I come from, but giving thanks can still be a way of life. So in the spirit of the occasion, I am thankful for WordPress and the wonderful blogging community here. Blog (and write) on, everybody!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/never-too-late/

Health on the Table

20140823-095412.jpgOn the table is one of the most colorful breakfasts I have ever made for myself. More importantly, the colours and vibrancy signify the joy that we must all know and have when blessed with such abundance- especially the abundance of health.

You see for the past one month I have been under the weather. Though gradual recovery was taking place the whole time it was challenging to be somewhat incapacitated, with normal activities like going to the gym and whipping up a simple meal, not to mention staying on top of things at work becoming a tiring struggle. So I’ve had to slow down and make a conscious effort to not think of things beyond my control while operating at 50 percent of my usual capacity, and just tell myself I had to rest and get well. After all the doctor said it was a viral infection that would go off as long as I rested and took care of myself.

So finally, here I am, back in the pink of health again. My appetite is back! Which explains the size of my breakfast. My muscles are also aching from the gym workout two days ago- the gratifying sort of pain I haven’t experienced in a while!

So here’s raising my colourful mug of local coffee with fresh milk to health, before I click Publish and return to my plate to finish off the last piece of bacon, kiwi fruit, flour-free toast with cheese, and the Sarawakian layer cake. Here’s to good health and may we make the best of what we have.

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This post is part of SoCS:
http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-2314/

Embracing Contentment…For Once

Contentment is like a magnifying glass that spots only the good in people and situations. It is so powerful that it causes a ripple effect of happiness and sets the stage for pleasant surprises because when you are content, you don’t go around expecting too much. Rather, contented people are able to freely give and freely receive.

But is contentment really about not complaining about having no shoes till we see someone without legs? Such a comparison renders our contentment subject to other people’s misery, and it can also promote discontent when applied against another person’s better fortune. So let contentment be a sovereign state in which our heart dwells, let it be subject only to our free decision to be contented or discontented. Let contentment be a seed that we choose to sow – and from that seed, will come the fruits of joy, thankfulness, and freedom.

Why Me?

This is a very old piece I wrote 7, 8 years ago after visiting a soup kitchen and then joining the other volunteers to hit the streets and distribute food packets to the homeless people. That experience caused me to ponder how people (including myself) most commonly ask “Why me?” when undesirable things happen to them, but not so much when they get the better end of the deal in life. So I thought a paradigm shift might do myself good, and I should start asking “Why me?” when good things happen instead.

This post has been pre-scheduled. But looks like I will be having wifi connection quite regularly during my trip! 🙂

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It was raining heavily the other night. I was pleased because that meant a cool night at home, curled up under cosy comforters with a good book and music running from my computer till my eyelids decided it was time to call it a day. Concrete walls filtered the roar of the thunder and rain, making it sound like a distant calamity from which I was sheltered so well, cocooned in the haven called home.

Why me?

The nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk served with hot, spicy, and sweet sauce, anchovies, hard-boiled egg, and cucumber) seller at the street corner outside had to be content with his makeshift stall, and at times the wind threatened to blow the flimsy plastic roof off. He had not anticipated the rain and storm and was therefore clad only in a thin T-shirt and pants. It must have been pretty cold out there for him.

And what about the homeless mentally-challenged woman I used to see wandering around the suburb where I live? Where would she be seeking shelter?

Down in the heart of Georgetown, the elderly trisha riders would be sleeping in their vehicles as for many of them, that was what they called their homes. They probably had to find some spot where the wind would not feel so harsh. What about those suffering from rheumatism, surely the chill and moisture in the air would aggravate their pain?

Why them, and not me?

I was having dinner the other day with my cousin. My aunt had prepared a sumptuous meal for us, and the portions were so big I found myself thinking of whom I should invite over. There were huge assam (tamarind) prawns, a baked eggplant to be savoured with authentic kampong-style sambal belacan (a hot and spicy dip made by pounding or blending chillis, tamarind juice, sugar, salt, and shrimp paste), cuttlefish and hard-boiled eggs in hot and spicy sauce, stir-fried vegetables with a generous sprinkling of fresh tiny prawns, and a fried fresh water fish so huge, it had to be cut in two.

We did not manage to invite anyone over, and had such leftovers I decided to bring a lunchbox to work the next day. My generous uncle had also sent a 5 kg packet of rice over from his rice mill.


Why me?

One woman from the drought-stricken Hebei province in China wrote that the weather decided where from or how their next meal was going to come. More often than not, they reaped less than what they had sown.

Closer to home, under-privileged families from the squatter areas downtown make do with simple meals of mostly vegetables as meat would be too expensive. Their rice has to be rationed carefully to make it last as long as possible. One teenage girl shared that she only has two meals a day – there is no breakfast for her as she is not attending school, her siblings eat at school under the food subsidy program for the poor.

In a world full of extremes, why do I keep finding myself on the better side when we are all basically the same?

I shake my head and feel pangs of emotions at the suffering of others. But the person at the other end of the spectrum of life could have well been me.

I do not know why God has chosen to shower such grace, mercy and favour on me. One day I will get to thank Him face to face, and I will probably ask Him why.

In the meantime, I hope that the next time that limping beggar with the gaping wound on his leg approaches my table at my favourite eatery, I will remember the simple fact.

That the person at the other end of the spectrum of life – could have well been me.