Friday, November 25, 2016

Bogo Bras- Bras with a Difference


Why Bogo Bras
I've never once talked about products on my blog because I only blog about reflections, revelations and lessons learned or "stuff" on my heart itching to get out without needing face-to-face conversation due to the fear of being judged.... 

But lately, I have a burning passion inside of me. It started back in the summer of 2014 (UK time) when I was finishing my degree in Liverpool. I got exposed to the harsh world of human trafficking and I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to be a part of a global movement to stop human trafficking.

Fast forward two years and I'm back in Malaysia,  even more exposed to this issue after God-given connections and researching on the subject. Malaysia is thought to be one of the countries with the highest population of trafficked victims yet we know nothing about it, because EVERYTHING is hidden. 

My heart is to start raising human trafficking awareness here in Malaysia because women are people and not commodities, designed to love and be loved and not to be used for sexual exploitation or overworked in factories without a minimum wage. 

So when Bogo Bras added me on Instagram, I was more than delighted to join the movement or buy a bra! Anything that will bring awareness and aid trafficked victims is totally my thing. And because I started going to the gym, I was in desperate lookout on a suitable sports bra, so talk about divine timing! 

Bogo Bras Mission 
The mission of Bogo Bras is to support rescued trafficked victims by helping them start their own business through "Support Entrepreneurship". For every bra purchased, one bra is donated to a woman coming out of sex trafficking to start their own business. 

With these donated bras, women will have business opportunities where it'll help enhance their communication skills, money management whilst handling inventory... New skill sets they can take to their new employers while job hunting or even when they learn to start their own businesses one day. 

With more than 45 million trafficked victims in the world today, Bogo Bras creates a safe work place for women to get back on their own feet with crucial support from fellow victims who understands what it feels like to be exploited. 

Trafficked victims usually do not have access to proper education, making it difficult for them to find jobs after being rescued, but Bogo Bras helps them through 3 simple steps:

1. Telling women they can own their own businesses.
2. There are alternative job opportunities.
3. Allowing women to support other women by purchasing a bra. 

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I really really support this because after some research, I found out that big brands such as Nike has have had trafficked victims down their supply chain and therefore I'm more cautious in my purchasing these days. With Bogo Bras, not only am I not contributing to the use of human trafficking, but I'm making a statement to go against it and it's real liberating to see such brands come up with these stuff to empower women all over the world!! 

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Visit them at bogobras.com for more info! @bogobras 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Heart on Fire

I wake up every morning and sleep every night
With you on my mind.

It's not that I "chose" you to think about
There's so much more that should occupy my mind
But it's you that my heart and mind keeps wandering to
Oh help me, God
This is so unreal.

We hearsay "to not awaken love before it's time"
But what if love is such a strong and fierce feeling
The more you try to control it,
The more it burns like wild fire,
Untamed and untouched.

And when is the right time?!?
Who has the right to tell us when or what we should do
The church painted this picture for me
No dating until 18
I get it...
But the moment the "right age" comes
We're confronted with problems on how to actually "feel"
How DO we fall in love?
Sadly but surely
Questions and guilt overtakes
At the slightest thought of what could be True Love.

I've never met anyone like you
4 years of college and no one
Not one guy has made me feel the way
You make me feel

Covered in goosebumps
Giddy at heart
Hoping that I could encapture the moments
In a time capsule before it's too late.
You open my eyes to wonder
The greatest possibilities of what "we" could be
A match made in Heaven which only God could foresee

You are intentional.
Determined.
Outspoken and obvious.
Scaring me that there could actually be "that" guy out there
Whose not afraid to love and be loved
Who wants what's best for the other half
And not walk around with another trophy wife

If it does happen and I pray it does
You'll be that dream I never dared dreamed of
Like wildfire fuelled by love
Your words and actions
Make lasting impacts on me
I can't wait for the day
Where I can openly say
My heart's on fire...
And it's because of you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When the World Wants All of You

It's been a non-stop ride for me since flying to Hong Kong for a conference early March. It's only mid-March now yet I feel like months have passed already. I guess when we flow with the wind and seasons of God's timing, it's also easy to get swept away with all the busyness and duties that eventually consumes the whole of our being. I start to think that I'm entering a dangerous zone, a place real far from the "Secret Place" where it's just me and God. That desperate need for solitude to overcome the overpowering invasion of personal space and the tempting urge to "not-do-anything" for that "one single moment".

But how long will my "one single moment" last? How long will I need it to last in order for me to get back on track and re-prioritize my schedule and "to-do-lists"? We get easily consumed and distracted by things that are actually good, but what if these seemingly good things starts to get a hold of the whole of you? Or the whole of me for that matter. For instance, I woke up at 1.35pm today. Shocked and alarmed, I checked to see whether my time was moved forward (Candy Crush cheat), but no it wasn't. And that's when I realized that I'm not only late for work, I was behind time on my "driver's duties".

This brought me back to a time in college where I overslept, missing a whole lecture, waking up in the afternoon totally distraught with only one way to get back into rhythm, my lifeline of worship. And it was in that moment that I felt the tangible presence of God, His love enveloping me, making me sure I'm alright and reassuring me that it's not the end of the world.

Pondering on this flashback, I start to wonder while driving as fast as I can without getting into an accident. What if it always takes something drastic to happen in order for me to realign and re-prioritize my time with God? What if it takes a couple of "overslept" days for me to run with urgency into His secret place? How is all this happening when I'm still single and what will happen once I'm preoccupied with a family in the future?

As the questions started racing, like the tempo was meant to be in sync, so was my Whatsapp blasting. So many questions, new assignments, requests were filing in. I felt God say that those could wait, and for the first time in my life, I was so glad that we're not suppose to be using our phones while driving. An optimum excuse for my delayed response.

But the fact scared me.

Why is it only in my busyness that I'd try running after the presence of God? Why must something bad happen for me to experience His good? Why when the world wants all of me is when I want to give my all to God?

Is it escapism? A denial of reality? Or just heavenly bliss I need to see me through the storm.

As I grow older, naturally more duties and responsibilities are added. Justice issues, saving the lost, feeding the hungry, the needs are endless but my need for God outweighs all of these.

The need for rest, the need for God.

The need to just be still and know that He is Lord. Lord over my life, my situations, my circumstances and my relationships. Allowing that secret tear to fall, in an instance I feel a sense of relief, knowing that God's got my back and my job is to protect my understanding of that which only comes with spending time in the Secret Place.

Funny how it always takes a blunder for me to acknowledge God's power. An alarming situation for me to realize that without God I cannot accomplish anything. But for that I'm grateful. At least at the age of a quarter of a century, I got to be confronted with my pressing need for God and His presence. Hoping it will shape the way I live and look at life. Loving it despite the shortcomings, learning from discouragements and going from glory to glory to glory.

As years pass, people will expect more of me and from me. But that's when I will need the most of God. To be in His presence day in, day out. And to fiercely protect my precious time with Him in the secret place. God help me with this, I could never do it alone.

So I'm quite glad that I still received a silver lining despite my awfully bad day today.

That when the world wants all of me, I'll just surrender my all to God, knowing that He'll work things out for me... In His own place and time.
















Friday, January 22, 2016

The Need for Grief

Feeling overwhelmed with a rush of duties
I control my feelings
The quickening of my heartbeat
Like a dam ready to burst forth
Emotions can go wild with no control

Something someone says
Or a comment made by another
Like a thumb on a gun's trigger
Ready to fire
All emotions will yield

I rush to the car before the tears flow
An expression of frustration, anger or sadness
But somehow this time it felt different
For it wasn't anguish that I felt
Just pure and utter relief

And as I begin to listen to the worship song in my car
I begin to realized that the process of grief is much needed
The well of emotion we have would never be complete 
Without the presence of sadness in it
Just like cute, blue "Sadness" in the movie

No point hiding or covering up
Letting it go brings such joy
An immeasurable pleasure
Of just being human
A beautiful state of art filled with mix emotions

A Pastor once told me that it's important to grief
Allowing oneself that process quickens the healing
Helping us stay in touch of our own emotions
And I've been through depression before
It's way better to cry than to try but can't at all

So in that moment of my drive home
I think of the people I'd love to confide in
A shoulder to cry one
But deep down I know it was not what I needed
For time alone sometimes are the most essential

So grieve
Whether you're a boy or girl
I wonder how guys can keep it all together
Imagine the un-shed tears they have
Deep down and pressed at the bottom of their emotional tank

I just grieved and I'm now happy
Back on my laptop and off to work
Like what happened didn't just happen
Surprised at my state of "ok" mind
I guess God created that emotion for a reason

Grief.
It's not a sign of defeat
But a necessary emotion
A moment worth enduring
Because in it it's truly redeeming...










Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hiding Behind Religion

There are days where I find myself overflowed with gratitude for being born into a Christian family. Other days not so... And this is one of those days. Sometimes I wished I had a previous "gangster-life" or one filled with parties, clubs, dances and getting wasted. Where I lived life in the carefree fast lane until God met me in my darkest and BAM!!!! I become radically transformed!!! But no, this script was never part of my play and no, my life's story would never be a best-seller or one that will keep you transfixed on...(or maybe it would?).

Anyways, it wasn't a great start of the day for me today so here I am unraveling my heart out before I officially start ticking off my to-do list. You see, I've been thinking that sometimes as Christians, we hide behind our religiosity and "niceness" that we don't get the upper hand on situations and circumstances, allowing them to be blown out of proportion and getting out of control. We compare ourselves to other families, their spirituality, their level of communication, unity and sanctity.

I was told today that none of my household members were saints. Not any one of us. That, after sharing a message last week to 30 youth about how we were brought out of sinful nature to be Saints through Christ Jesus. And most of us in this household are either prayer warriors, preachers or worship leaders. So what went wrong? Are we really that far from being who we are supposed to be or was that comment just a momentary lapse of judgement? One that came out of tainted glasses and a shame-based perspective? A shout out into the abyss in the form of criticism but undeniably and utter cry for help? A self-projection of our own weaknesses onto others?

We hide under all these religiousness maybe because that's all the vocabulary we've ever known. Growing up with a strict background, if it's not God then it's the devil. Just one or the other, without space to objectify, room to process or learn and grow. We give blanketed answers, quote standard typical verses, thinking that these are the solution when they're actually not. The only answer I know is JESUS and He's not stagnant but dynamic, ever moving and ever showing grace, ever so merciful and understanding, responding to different situations differently.

We don't realize that we're empowering the devil every time we mention it in the midst of discrepancies we face. "It's the spirit behind her", "He's being used by the devil and he doesn't even know it".. Yes, I understand that there are spiritual powers, forces and principalities trying their hardest to come against us and cause disunity. But what about unique characteristics and different temperaments? If we wanted to point a finger, why not blame human nature? God made us all diverse to prove that there can still be a form of connection and mutuality despite the odds. That we're all different but the same, that at the core of our being lies the One who knows it all and has it all under control.

Typical Christians are very good "runners". We run away from problems, relationships, churches, community, jobs, towns in hope to find some place better never realizing that we should and could well be the "better" for our present surrounding. Instead of sinking with the environment, maybe we could make a stand to make a change. To lift the atmosphere we're in with the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in us. We are powerful, if only we know it.

So I just hope and pray that Christians who are decades old will stop succumbing and conforming to subtle religious notions while radical game changers will not be shunned when they have something to say. We need each other and will never end well without any either. We need to run this race guilt-free with our heads held high, knowing that He who created me will complete the work in me until the day of Jesus Christ.

Understanding who we are in Christ and embracing our identities as Sons and Daughters of the Most High is the key. A key that too many Christians lack today. So let's start with ourselves. When problems, difficulties or even the enemy comes in the form of petty household issues or through the faces of our loved ones, let's fight alongside each other, together against the enemy and not the other way around. Let's stand strong to fight and not flight, for greater is He that is in me than he who is of the world... So there's really nothing to fear.

It's time we break down these walls, let our guards down and allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the midst of family. To make room for honesty and reconciliation. To be that safe place for others to find refuge in. To be the solace when they're in need of someone to confide. It's through understanding our weaknesses first that we're able to elevate on our strengths. Besides, you never really know what you're fighting until you really zoom into the opponent and hold it by it's horns. No point swinging our swords in thin air with the enemy sitting by the bench with it's popcorn, laughing at us. It wins with religiosity, but we win with relationship. So let's start coming out of our unhelpful shelters and start being victorious lights... And that could only happen when we stop hiding behind religion....

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Into the Deep

Every day we are thrown into an abyss of busyness
Jam-packed schedules without room to breathe
Responsibilities and duties lining up mercilessly
We forget or rather neglect
To take a step back and breathe
To breathe in the beauty all around us and within
To look into deep the wonders of creation
To see beyond the surface
Beneath the layers
The tiniest of details that seems the most significant
When we look closer and
Into the deep...
 
Photo Credit: weknowyourdreams.com
 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Stepping into Love

Love today has been dully misrepresented
Not only by media and society
But also by the church, sadly
Purity in the form of a white sheet
Disdain upon with ugly colors of our own perception

Growing up in church
With the backdrop of an Asian culture
Young people are more so commanded in "yes" and "no's"
Rather than be informed and empowered to make their own choices
Slowly allowing the ideals of others to form their life's decisions

We are told not to date, not to drink, not to hang with the wrong crowd
Seems legit at the start, the convenient answer, the easy way out
But what happens when we step into society
The real world without boundaries
When we meet the right person, are offered drinks or attracting the lost

What then do we do?
Still evade these obstacles in this life game we play?
Wait for clue cards or keywords to figure it out?
Hoping and praying that as saints we'll still stay in our bubble?
The bubble we created, disengaging us from real society

I've had strong Christian friends
Dear ones who say it was hard for them to "step into love"
When the time really came
When they were of age to find a partner
Instead what crept in was confusion and fear

Is this the love that I've been seeking?
The person I'll share my destiny with?
What does romantic love feel like?
What does it look like?
...... and so what now?

Taking the next step seems more than just a risk
We always hear that "love is risk"
You put yourself out there
Give all you have into the relationship
And hope deep down that the opposite will do the same

But what if I didn't want my love to be such a gamble?
What if I wanted a constant and steadfast love?
So pure that it stands strong in a rushing flood
Through the motions of an ungodly culture
Letting the waters pass but not be stained

Yes, love is not an easy choice
But it's a choice worth taking
That "yes" to that special someone
Trusting them with your life
Changing your future, your destiny into all of eternity

When I meet my lover
I don't wanna be a skeptic in doubt
Whether he truly loves me or not
For I trust in my Father and my feelings
For He is creator of the latter and my partner

I want to feel so vulnerable yet so secured
To breathe deep yet be breathless at times
To be surprised at the tiniest of details
And not too overwhelmed of the mess we may make of ourselves
To live, love, laugh and cry... To just be human.

I wanna live a life where we're living at the "edge of our seats"
An exhilarating roller coaster-ride
Twist and turns of the unknown
Hard downward spirals or no way but up
Ups and downs with a hand to hold

But all these cannot happen
If I don't step into love
When the door is open and I am ready
With courage, bravery and all of my might
I have to and will step in

To say the powerful three words at the right time
To not say anything but just be a comforting presence
To dance in the car headlights
Or kiss in the rain
To be more than what we see on movie screens

To feel the wonders of love
The rawness and intensity that comes with it
The passion, the effects and all of the feels
That just a glimpse of him
Will remind me of The One who created him

I can't wait for this chapter of my life to unfold
A page turner each and everyday
Taking your breathe away
Walking together in faith, hope and love
With Christ in the center it'll be like heaven on earth

So I do hope that you'll "step into your love"
When you meet the right person
At the right time
We're all in this together
You're never alone

Don't let past guilt intoxicate you
But step into it with wonder and freedom
Sometimes it's not what others think
But it boils down to the both of you
And ultimately God

For now breathe in and bask in your own beauty
Pursue integrity and purity
With determination to be the right person for the other
And you never know when you'll meet one so significant
It could very well be tomorrow

I'll pray for you and so can you for me
That we'll walk into godly relationships
So beautiful it stands out in this dark world
Leading others to a path of righteousness
Steadfast, pure and everlasting

Can't wait to see a generation
Who will revolutionize the love game
Making it tangible, more than just physical
And all these could happen if we with boldness and courage
Start "stepping into love"......




Photo credit: peacitimi.com