(v31) “And he said to him ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.'”
Spending time with a family other than my own gives me a fresh perspective to father-son relationships.
This is a paraphrased conversation between a father and a young son :
“Dad, give me money.”
“Why, son? You are always with me. As long as you are always with me, I will always provide all you need and want.”
In the human sense, we all grow up and become independent of our parents. But in God’s family, He is always our Father who we depend on.
Lord, teach us to be comfortable depending on You even if our human minds tell us otherwise. Help us find security in Your goodness and wisdom in knowing what is best for us. Thank You Lord for being a faithful Father who provides. You withhold nothing good from us.
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
“I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.”
2 Corinthians 9:11
“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
This encouraged me today. I am by nature not a very generous person, but God has been teaching me to give. This verse says that through our generosity, others will thank God. I pray that that friend of mine and yours who receives an act of generosity from us will thank God and come to realize that God loves him/her. Thank You Jesus for blessing us so that we may give.
Also, since my phone camera was not working for the past week and I somehow felt a nudge this morning during devotion to take a picture of this verse, I have received (God fixed my camera), therefore I give (by sharing this with you).
Direct application! 🙂
I have officially 19 days left of work in First Solar (and Kedah!), including today. Knowing that I’m going to be leaving a place does weird things to me. I start to distance myself because every time I get to know someone more, I remember that I have to say goodbye and that’s hard.
I’m also halfway through Cecilia Ahern’s novel “P/S. I Love You”. Gerry, knowing he was going to die wrote a series of letters for each remaining month of the year to help his beloved wife cope with life without him. But I’m not like Gerry. Knowing I’m about to leave doesn’t make me want to write letters. It makes me feel lonely, distant, afraid. Instead of waiting for the goodbye, I’d rather leave now.
But reading John 14:23 gave me peace. “If anyone loves me, He will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
God has come and made His home with me. No matter where I go, as long as God is with me, I am home. Lyrics from a Rachel Lampa song, “Always Be My Home”.
Your heart will always be my home
No matter where I go
No matter what may come
You’ll be my shelter in the storm
A harbor safe and sound
Where only true forgiveness can be found
Lord, thank You for being Emmanuel, God with me. Even though things may shift around me, I know You’ll always be there, constant, unchanging. Help me to focus on what YOU wish to accomplish in the lives of my friends and colleages before I leave. Thank You for Your peace that surpasses all understanding. I love You.
Job 5:17-18. “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.”
God used this word to convict me for a situation where I thought what I had was rightful anger to a situation where I had been wronged. He opened my eyes to see my wrongs that led to the situation as well – it was so humbling.
Lord, thank you for loving us enough to discipline us. Father I pray that you open our eyes to see things the way You see. We don’t want to just blame others and not realize our part in it as well. Make us humble and teach us God. I thank you for the comfort that You give – for worldly grief brings guilt and death but godly grief brings repentance which leads to life. Let us always be like little children before You Lord, dependent on You, humble and teachable. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Hi everyone! I’m Li Ann, and even though I am neither a medical nor a UM student, I was invited by Quek to join in on this mission trip to Cameron Highlands. So thank you Quek, thank you mission team members Chenxy, Yaslyn, Shi Shi, Joyce, See Yen and Chee Min, thank you medic CG for allowing me to share our joy with you, and thank you Jesus for being amazing as always.
Okay I’m totally off script (and by that I mean off-journal) here, so I’m only going to share what my highlights were from the trip. I like to share in stories, because it’s more engaging that way and because that’s how I mentally remember it. I have three stories for you, so enjoy and be encouraged. 🙂
Story 1 – Flaming the passion
It’s our first day and I just met all the team members who I will be serving with for the rest of the mission trip. I’m super excited for everything and realized (to my embarrassment) that I brought the largest bag out of the entire group. My team members have been nice enough to not bring it up after their initial astonishment, so I conclude that they must be very nice people.
It’s night time now, and the guys have gone to their own apartment to rest. Yaslyn is still out at a birthday party and Shi Shi is rather tired – she’s curled up asleep on the couch, and it’s only 11pm! I took my shower and sit down at the table where Chenxy and Joyce are having a chat. It is at this table that I got my highlight for the day. Joyce was sharing about the hard times going on in the Middle East, and how she was unsure how she would respond if someone were to say “Leave Jesus or die.” Chenxy then shared about “youthful passions” – faith and passion that’s burning at a maximum one second, and dying out the next. She shared about desiring a constant and faithful burn, over a fluctuating, temperate one.
Before I sleep that night I read 2 Timothy 2:2 again, “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” So that’s what it means to “flame the passion” among a majority Christian kampung, I think to myself. To grow their faith into a mature, constant one for God. (Note: Flame the Passion was the theme of our mission trip)
Story 2 – The heart sinking moment
We’ve gone through the worst part – the travel. (I get motion sickness on winding roads) I was thankful that I had Chee Min to keep me company all the way and Chenxy’s sour plums helped a ton. As soon as we reached the kampung, we headed to the church and had some time to rest before our first session began. Pastor Chu sat down on the cemented church floor and appeared to either be praying or resting. “Pastor tidur atau berdoa?” I hear a voice say. It’s Quek, who just vocalized the exact question on my mind. Pastor says he’s doing both, and sits up to engage us in conversation. Here he tells us that “remaja-remaja tak balik minggu ni. Mereka duduk di asrama.” Apparently because the week before they had their Hari Raya break, the teenagers would not get leave from the hostel during our time there. My heart sank. All those hours of hard work preparing our “sermons” and activities. (Quek and I were in charge of the youth sessions) I was disappointed but chose not to say too much, as to not discourage brother Quek or the team.
During our time of prayer as a team, I ask Yaslyn for prayer over this. I tell her, “Please pray that I will be comforted that all our effort did not just go to waste. Please pray that God will still use all that has been prepared in some way or another.” I feel peace after her prayer and believe that God is in control. To cut the long story short, we discover as the days go by that our preparation was to be a blessing for the children’s ministry and our informal meet-ups with the few youth still at the kampung. God did use what was prepared, just not in the way that we thought He was going to use it. Quek and I ask and praise God for flexibility, and I realize that He is in control after all. Praise God.
Story 3 – Ainina’s story
On our final night, sitting on the tikar-ed floor, Quek and I talk to a group of guys and one other girl who came to our “chit-chat” session with the youth. (So now you know what became of our youth sessions) The rest of the team had gone out to visit the homes with gifts, prayers and ready ears to listen. We try to get the whole group to talk together but soon find out that the guys and are rather awkward and quiet around the girl and vice versa. Quek and I realize this and take another lesson in flexibility as we end up with two circles – one with all the guys and one for the two of us girls.
As I heard Ainina talk that night about her knowledge of her own sin, and how she is fearful to die because she knows she will go to hell, I thank God that He has prepared her heart long before we met. I tell her the message of Christ – that what she has said are all true, but there is Good News! Because of what God has done for her, she can be made righteous in Him. I tell her of a personal God, a personal Savior who came and lived and walked with us. I sense that she is taking in every word with faith and ask her if she would like to talk to God and accept Him into her heart. She nods. When Ainina opens her eyes again, she is a new creation. Like a baby hungry for milk, she instantly asks how she should read the Bible and continue talking to God. I am amazed at how God has prepared her heart to hear and accept His Good News. I try to answer all her questions and finally we send her home as a team (except Quek, who is still ministering to the guys) and pray for her family as well.
I pray and encourage all of us to pray that Ainina will continue growing strong in the Lord. Let us also pray for all the other hearts that were reached, touched and sown into continue growing in the Lord. May their faith and passion for our Lord be a constant, faithful one, stable through the fiercest drought and storms because He is carrying them through.
Thanks for letting me share a little of our whole experience! There were lots of funny times too like our final morning when See Yen woke us all up with his accidentally vocalized prayer. (Ask him about it!) I continued the prayer in a half awake, half dreaming and 100% praying mode. (I was dreaming that we were praying for the kampung together)
Maybe we really learned how to pray fervently and continually, even in sleep. Haha! 🙂 I may not ever see those of you reading this letter, but I hope that you are encouraged hearing how amazing our God is and how amazingly He works through those who make themselves available to Him. Keep the fire burning faithfully for Christ!
Lots of Love from your sister in Christ,
Beberapa hari lalu, saya telah menghadiri satu persidangan Kristian. Sebelum persidangan itu bermula, saya duduk diam sebentar dan membaca al-Kitab (kerana saya tiba awal di lokasi persidangan, bukan kerana saya orang yang sangat kudus atau apa-apa). Yohanes 9 menceritakan kisah Yesus mencelikkan mata seorang yang buta sejak lahirnya.
“Beberapa orang Farisi itu berkata, ‘Orang yang melakukan hal ini tidak mungkin berasal daripada Allah, kerana Dia tidak mentaati peraturan hari Sabat.’ ”
Tuhan, saya berdoa untuk diri saya serta saudara-saudari saya. Farisi-Farisi itu tidak sedar bahawa Tuhan di kalangan mereka kerana mereka terlalu megah. Kami bakal pergi ke tempat baru untuk misi kami ini – tolonglah kami merendahkan diri. Kami bukanlah Penyelamat orang-orang asli; hanya Engkau yang berupaya menyelamat. Bukalah hati dan minda kami supaya kami juga boleh belajar dari Engkau serta orang-orang asli yang bakal kami temui. Dalam nama Tuhan Yesus saya berdoa, Amin.
A few days ago I was texting Joel on the phone when his brother Jasher took his phone and sent me a voice message.
I didn’t recognize it wasn’t Joel.
I mean, on a regular basis I can tell their voices apart, but this time I didn’t. My initial reaction was
“Oh no. I didn’t recognize his voice.”
Sounds kind of like me and God sometimes. I think I heard Him, and then something happens and I realize the voice I thought was His was actually someone else’s, or my own.
With Joel, I could have reacted by:
1) Feeling bad that I didn’t recognize his voice. (I mean this is my boyfriend of two years that I’m talking about!) ; or
2) See this as more reason to spend more time with him and listen to his voice.
I went with #2. 🙂
Because the more I hear him, the more I’ll recognize how he sounds, what he talks about.
Is it time for you do this with God too? 🙂