:: breathe ::

Things can only get better. 

Drink water and pay the bills and love people. Paint, make art, make love, make lists, make whatever the hell you want. Travel on the weekends and dress for the weather. See movies and go out to eat and stay in touch with friends and wear clothes just because you like them. Know that there is a time to work, a time to rest, a time to be sure and a time to choose: all of which will arrive and pass as you are ready. Become a proponent of peace. Love those who don’t love you. You don’t have to agree, but you must tolerate and respect, even if such courtesies are not given to you. Most of all, never let anybody shame you for living your truth. Let your soul out. Experience and immerse yourself in the only thing you really have– right now.

Repost from : http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/life-insights-you-need-to-know-in-your-20s-and-beyond/#xbEmX05wckquegBF.01

:: speak to the dry bones ::

I’m struggling. I really am. To hold everything together. And i’m not even being emo about it. It’s just a fact. Truth: I can do all things through Christ. 

I’m tired. There’s so many things to do that its hard NOT to compartmentalise. Fact: I’m usually thrilled ticking things off my checklist. These days, most boxes are left unchecked and i feel a sense of insane disgusting amusement with my own incompetence. Truth: His grace is sufficient for me. 

I’m lonely. I can’t even deny it. I’m with a crowd and there’s just this sense of emptiness. Fact: I can’t tell who’s really gonna be my side scraping knees when the rubber hits the road. Truth: He says He’ll never leave me nor forsake me. 

I feel discontented. Fact: Pressures of wanting my own place and being able to afford multiple dive trips is…embarassing. Truth: He promised to give me every desire of my heart. 

I miss you. Whether its the ‘idea’ of you or the fact that you’re just not there, you still linger in familiar places. Fact: I see things i don’t wanna see when you’re with other people. Truth: His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher. 

I’m tempted. To leave. Fact: You’re the reason i’m staying. 

Truth: He makes all things work together for my good.

:: be all there ::

How foolish i was.

“Your ‘sense of loss’ at our not being able to share things these past few months is not new to me. I know it, and often tell Him about it.  And such thoughts as ‘If they dear home be fuller, Lord…’ are a consolation.  And then the realistic facing of non-accomplishment comes to me and crushes to silence all telling.  For if, really, we have denied ourselves to and from each other for His sake, then should we not expect to see about us the profit of such denial?  And this I look vainly for.  It comes to this: I am a single man for the kingdom’s sake, its more rapid advance, its more potent realization in my own life. But where is that advance and that realization? I am willing that ‘my house on earth be emptier,’ but not unless ‘His house be fuller.’  And I think it right that we hold God to his bargain.  I, of course, in making visible results of our separation the final test, and, in truth, rejoice in seeing beyond results which are obvious.  But I reason thus that I should be more importunate in prayer, more dogged in devotion, and should not get, as you say, to a ‘weary acceptance of things as they are.’

Besides this, there is the somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing.  We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone.  But let us not forget-that loss is imagined, not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual-what might be simply is not, and I must not therefore query God as thought He robbed me-of things that are not. Further, the things that are, belong to us, and they are good, God given, and enriched.  Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living. It is true that our youth is fast fleeting, and I know the rush of wants, the perfect fury of desire which such a thought summons.  All that it involves-this getting on to thirty-brings a push of hurry and  a surge of “possible” regrets over the soul.  And, Betty, this is just exactly what we have bargained for.  Obedience involves for us, not physical suffering, perhaps, nor social ostracism as it has for some, but this warring with worries and regrets, this bringing into captivity our thoughts. We have planted (in our integrity) the banner of our trust in God. The consequences are His responsibility.

I shouldn’t be digging in doubt, what i have planted in faith. There’s this need to preach to myself day after day that it’s becoming a daily decision to CHOOSE You. God, help me believe. In Your sovereignty, that this IS Your plan. That all things work together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose.

Help me not lose focus. To keep the main thing, the main thing. Amen.

:: to be or not to be ::

As i sit in my comfy chair, pondering what the nation thinks about the upcoming elections, i sit feeling…discontented. I am a Gen Y. And it’ll be my first time voting, if #GE13 materialises. I’m praying it will, else i lose my chance to exercise my right.

That’s right. MY right. To vote.

But vote for what? Neither side seems to pose victory as sweet as it is when i’m drinking a hot cup of Milo. It’s not just about voting the Opposition because i don’t like the current government. It’s not just about voting against people who have been in power for so long, they’ve forgotten the real reason why they’re up there for. And i sure as heck am not voting to get freebies.

Why then, should i bother? What can sitting on my chair, feeling disgruntled amount to? Rather, CAN it amount to anything? Should i be the Malaysian that complaints and does nought, or be the Malaysian who at least tries?

Well, here goes.

I’m reminded that i’m in Malaysia for a reason. I’m reminded that when i go OUT of Malaysia, i come home feeling like i’ve been away for too long even though its just been one week. I come HOME.

I’m voicing out because who knows, something might catch on. If ‘Listen-ing’ can do it, surely #VoiceOfGenY has a shot.

I believe that Malaysia is a good land. That she still has promises deep within her. Just ready to be unveiled. To the right people, at the right time. For the right purpose. I remind myself that i’m standing (or sitting) here today…still believing in something that i said every Monday in school as a ‘Perhimpunan’ ritual. (Surely it complies to the ‘Peaceful Assembly Act? Or has that been banned now? Hmm.)

But i remind us to believe in this again:

Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan, (Belief in God)

Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara, (Loyalty to the King and country)

Keluhuran Perlembagaan, (Supremacy of the constitution)

Kedaulatan Undang-undang, (Rule of law)

Kesopanan dan kesusilaan. (Courtesy and morality)

We forget…that belief in God comes right on top. Irregardless of faith, i think if we get the first principle right, the rest will fall into place. Psalm 2:8 says, “Ask of Me and i will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession”.

I am Malaysian and i ask for Malaysia. For her people. To her people.

God bless this land.

:: almost Christmas ::

I’m super duper excited and yet, i wonder where’s my year gone to!

What with Ann Nyee’s wedding tomorrow, family dinner on Sunday, Christmas Eve with the Kawans and an awesome production put up by Acts Church on Christmas day itself, the next few days are gonna fly really fast :) All happy things.

I’m looking forward to 2013 now. So many things to plan for and dream about. Nothing less than God’s best :) 2012 has been amazing, i’ve learnt and grown so much. In faith. In boldness and courage. In wisdom. And i think i’ve made good progress with the managing expectations bit.

But 2013 will be even better. I’m counting on it.

“Those with their feet on the rock can build castles in the air.” – Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

:: day #17 ::

Life is so fleeting. Got news of a friend’s dad passing on…heart attack while jogging. Too close to home :S Nick, my heart goes out to you and your family. Praying for you. 

I don’t usually think much about death. Not unless i have to. But when i think about how inevitable it is, i think of only one thing i’d like to know when it’s time for me to go home…and that is:

I’d like to know that i’ve added value into someone else’s life. 

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? To know that someone is happier because they met you :) Now, THAT’S a happy thought.

*****

On a random note, i’m quite certain in ticking off a bucket list to-do. Who wants to go get a diving license with me? :)

:: i want a tuesday kind of love ::

A Tuesday kind of love, breathing relevance into otherwise monotonous moments. Something to believe God for again :)

A beautiful excerpt from here:

A Tuesday kind of love is this: commuting to work knowing that someone cares about what you’re going to have for lunch; understanding that you do not have to be your dynamic, charming, weekend self this time; this time you can butcher sentences and make bad jokes and trip over thin air and it won’t change anything. A Tuesday kind of love is when weekends and weekdays are one and the same, expanses of time where unpredictable, irreplaceable closeness exists, swells, bursts. Tuesday is directionless conversation about things that happened five hours or five years ago; it’s knowing where he keeps his receipts and when he has a doctor appointment; it’s ordering Chinese food or taking his parents out for dinner because they’re in town or forgetting to eat because you’re full of each other’s words and there’s just no room for anything else.

I don’t want to dream through our lives together, don’t want to sleep in, don’t want to put on my sunglasses and pretend that life’s a vacation. The fantasy is that I want to exist in reality; the fantasy is to be there for someone on a Sunday morning but also on a Tuesday night, when the haze and laze of the weekend has worn thin and seems far away as ever. I want a Tuesday kind of love.

Note to self: Here’s to letting go of my (Is)land, Ishmael & Isaac. I let go of where i am and its familiarity, that God, You may take me where You want me to be. I let go of my way of doing things, my plans, my ideals, my desires…so that God, You can give me something better. God, i let go of what i believed to be was from You, just because You require it of me. I break, again. You know where i am. And You’ll never give me more than what i can handle. So yes, God, if You brought me here, You’ll also help me overcome.

Again and again. Ellie, learn this well. Cause if you don’t, you’re just gonna be in the same rut. With a different person.

:: inspired ::

Song of the Day : Always by Mia Fieldes (Feat. Jad Gillies)

Thought of the Day: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock & my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

I’ve got this thrilling feeling. Like something’s good gonna happen :)

Am abuzzed with ideas. Stories. Music. So many things to do, plan, accomplish. I love.

Life is not stagnant now :) I imagine myself running through fields of gold. Sun-washed, again :)

A brilliant quote from my Senior Pastor:

Pray your dreams to pass. If you want to get somewhere, prayer will get you there. If you want to see what you’ve never seen before, pray like you’ve never prayed before. Pray specifically. Pray continously. Pray confidently. Pray like you really believe…that Father God will answer…and that you will receive what you are asking for. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

I pray. I wait. All things will work together for the good. *crosses fingers*

:: the solution is life on God’s terms ::

It’s Day #17 of U-Turn. I’ve failed in doing what i willed in my heart to do a few times. Spirit is willing, but flesh is weak. Trying not to feel condemned. The heart is deceitful indeed. God, i repent. Right thing, wrong time, is still the wrong thing. Surrendering afresh. Isaac needs to stay on the altar. No angel has told me not to slay the lil’ fler.

Here’s another story for you :) From Romans 8, one of my favouritest chapters since i accepted Christ.

1 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.2 A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

3 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.4 And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

5 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them-living and breathing God!6 Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.7 Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing.8 And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

9 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about.10 But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells-even though you still experience all the limitations of sin-you yourself experience life on God’s terms.11 It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

12 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent.13 There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life.14 God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

15 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”16 God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.17 And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us-an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

18 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.19 The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next.20 Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in21 until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

22 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs.23 These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.24 That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us.25 But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.27 He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.28 That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

It’s gonna be a winning and victorious week ahead!