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...
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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"......

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