Monday, June 22, 2009

Bali Blessing

Kekekekekeke... that's what I call Ovira! She is a Bali Blessing - because she comes from Bali lah! And she has been such a blessing to us.

Last Sunday I went to her church in Bali. Wow! It is like a fortress! Like the kubu I've seen in India - huge and made out of stone. We actually asked her whether or not it was a fort before or built like that and she said, "No lah... we built it lah."

You guys have GOT to see it to believe it!! It is humongous! And the hall....!!! They even have a dancers' room with costumes and a barre and mirrors all the way down one side... sighz....

But the ultimate?

When we walked in, they had already started the first song. And seeing the worshippers standing on stage - I saw something I have never seen before... what it means to worship God with ALL our being.

There was a deep, deep hunger that consumed them totally.

It's kind of, like... we always sing "With all our hearts" and "With our whole being" but part of the 'God-hole' in our lives has already been filled ... with things... with people... We're already satisfied, and only the remaining part is hungry for God.

I am challenged by what it means to be TRULY hungry for God.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Free Laura Ling and Euna Lee

It's definitely a fortunate and blessed thing that because of Lisa, Laura's older sister, more people can be mobilized to clamour for the release of Laura and Euna.

They've been sentenced to 12 years in a labour camp. My prayer is that they will never see the inside of one because I doubt two young girls from America would be able to endure the treatment they'd receive at the camp and emerge with their health unscathed.

Just looking at the photo above - this girl has tried to do good in this world... It's heartbreaking to see her suffering this way.

Because of this, her parents have come together. They divorced when she was 7 years old and she chose to live with her dad. The family's circumstances weren't well-off; she put herself through college with her earnings. She started working in TV when she was 16, auditioning herself to get the spot.

With a choice to live a glamour-puss life, she chose to make a difference. And it is beautiful to see that lives she has touched are now coming back to say, "Lisa, you don't know me, but I support you. You're gonna make it through this."

I started this week thinking the world is an ugly place of despair. But there are beautiful things about it too - not the least of which, we're not as alone as we think.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lisa Ling

This is one of my favourite correspondents of all time because she covers the topics that matter to me - women, children, abuse, war .... Her website on has posts on these issues and links to related organizations helping these affected people.

Recently her sister Laura Ling was imprisoned in North Korea along with another journalist. Praying for God's mercy upon her sister and the other correspondent Eura Lee. May they be delivered and may the families know God's awesome grace and compassion in their lives.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Careless Words

When I was younger, before I became a Christian, I could be pretty vicious with my words, sometimes driving my classmates to tears.

One of the things which told me really that God had changed me was when I got really mad with somebody and wanted to retort... only to find that I couldn't! I had lost that ability to be cruel and unkind with my words.

But I soon found that to be a disadvantage! Even when someone would hurl a put-down at me, and I knew I could give one just as vicious back, I couldn't because something in me thought, "How will that person feel if I say this? I'm so hurt because this person just said ***, and I don't want this person to be as hurt as I am."

Crazy, isn't it?

Sometimes even in the Kingdom of God, the more 'meek and mild' you are, the more people choose to tear you down with words. To mock and make fun of you. Nobody is fool enough to make fun of those whom they know can turn around and tear them to pieces verbally, but yeah, pick on the one who will never turn around and hurt you.

That made for a lot of times in tears in the bedroom where nobody sees. And angry cries of, "God, why can't I be just as mean? Why can't I give to them as good as they give me? Why must I try to be like Jesus, if they aren't? After all, they are Christians too!"

God doesn't ever tell me anything about the other person. All He'll remind me is, Jesus never once retorted out of hurt and anger. Never once, even though the most vicious accusations and lies were thrown at Him. Even though He was mocked on the cross whilst dying for these ungrateful people!

And God reminded me too, that someday I will have to give account for every careless word spoken. I! I will have to give account! Not the other person or this person or that person... but I! So no matter what, I had to guard my own tongue.

In the Book of James it said that anyone who thinks he has religion but doesn't control his own tongue is deceiving himself, and his religion is useless. I had to jolly well try to take control of myself and not retort in anger.

It's not an easy road. I wish I could take the easier road, but that's not the way my Savior took when He said, "Come, follow Me."

Monday, June 1, 2009

One Lonely Life

This song came from one of my favourite musicals of all time - Who Will Call Him King of Kings by Claire Cloninger. But as I'm narrating from memory, it may be wrong ;>

It's a beautiful song but I can't find a recording of it anymore. The words just resonate in my heart and I think it will be the song many others have in theirs...

One lonely life
One broken heart
Lost without meaning
Or purpose or call

One lonely life
Where can I turn?
And do I matter
At all?

Oh God, are You there?
Do You hear, do You care?
The future's too lonely
To face on my own

Oh God, are You there?
And could You really care?
About one lonely life

In the musical it was sung by the slave girl who was telling people's fortunes by being possessed by a spirit. The Apostle Paul set her free (it's a story from the Bible :> If you'd like the full story, do ask me and I'll message it to you). After she is no longer demon-possessed, her slave owner does not want her anymore because she is "useless to me! Without your gift, you are worth nothing!"

In time the former slave girl hears about Jesus, hears that He loves her and thinks her so important and so worthy of His love that He is willing to die on the cross for her sins to set her free. And she asks Jesus to come into her heart and fill that loneliness within; that hungry thirsting to be loved and valued that all people have.

My prayer for you, and my wish for you, is that you too, may know that Jesus loves you, that He values you and that you are worth so much to Him that He was willing to die on the cross for you so that you could be set free from the Law of Sin and Death. May you too know this great love that is available to you anytime.