Friday 17 July 2009


"This is Caspian, Sir," he said. And Caspian knelt and kissed the Lion's paw.
"Welcome, Prince," said Aslan. "Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?"
"I - I don't think I do, Sir," said Caspian. "I'm only a kid."
"Good," said Aslan. "If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not. Therefore, under us and under the High King, you shall be King of Narnia, Lord of Cair Paravel, and Emperor of the Lone Islands"
excerpt from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

This conversation often runs through my brain when I think about the GCF in Penang. Of course, it's nothing as impressive as being crowned King, but still, it's the taking up of leadership, of responsibility.
Often, I feel inadequate. I feel small and weak. In the main, I feel stupid and frustrated. At the core of me is a nugget of fear. Why am I here? Why am I doing this? I'm not old enough for this, not strong enough, not man enough.
And yet it feels right. It feels like I'm stepping into the unknown, ready for an adventure. It feels like taking fear by the reins and letting faith reign.
So maybe he's right. If I had felt myself sufficient, it would have been proof that I were not.
Because this way, it's really not me. It's Him.

Monday 6 July 2009

pet peeves

Whilst I am in a writing mood...

What I don't get sometimes (depending on my frame of mind) is why everyone says that just because Joseph asked the baker & cupbearer (my translation reads chief of the butlers, but my mind keeps thinking butcher... and candlestick maker) to remember him to the Pharoah it means that he wasn't ready, therefore he was left in jail for two more years.

The way I see it, absolutely nothing happened between when the cupbearer forgot about him, and when the Pharoah had his dream. If God wanted to show some more character development, He would have made Moses write a few more explanatory verses, rather than leave a great silence, wouldn't He?

So how do you know that those two years didn't passed just because it wasn't yet time? Time to bring the crops to its good seven years, time to bring the right Pharoah to power who would listen to Joseph rather than brush him aside (or to prepare him to be receptive), time to bring the rest of the Israelites to a ready place physically and spiritually and mentally.

Why does everyone say that Joseph wasn't ready? Just because of that one phrase? Think about it: if he hadn't said that at all, maybe the cupbearer might not have thought to mention him to Pharoah at all...

But that's just a pet peeve. Haha.

Another one was when that Chris Alfred speaker told the story of Van Gogh trying so hard to be a missionary in Belgium or something but never breaking through, and then gave up and went into art instead. He said it was a waste of his calling, he should have pushed through, bla bla bla. The thing is, how do you know that he wasn't fulfilling his calling by being the best artist that he could be? How are you so sure that he wasn't fulfilling is real calling by being an impact in the world of art? Does it mean that you must be a missionary / spend your life in another culture / leave your home / do something super spiritual before your works can be fruitful for God?

That is total NONSENSE. We don't know so don't intrapolate your own deductions there.

Okay. Peeve time over. Haha.

Sunday 5 July 2009

by the fireplace: honesty

I would rather you
Flung your defiance at me
Than hide behind masks

The question for today was whether we could continue living in sin with grace as our safety pin; or whether we should continue to strive to meet the impossible ideals presented in the sermon of the mount. I don't know if I was taking a rather high-brow, hard-line stance, or maybe if the things I've been reading have been getting to me.

The problem with that kind of Grace teaching, is that it downplays repentance. It lets you go on continuing to sin, continuing to take your salvation lightly. What is repentance but turning away from sin and turning towards God? But when you live in an atmosphere that says it's okay to sin, God will forgive you anyway, that's not repentance. That's not turning away from sin, and your very salvation is suspect. (Like I said, I think I was harsh.)

It's not that you will never fall, or never ever make a mistake or sin ever again. I take it for a fact that we will never reach those ideals. Try as you might, we would always fall short, and the more we try, the more we know how far we still have to go. And yet the thing is, that doesn't mean you need to stop trying. I guess as Rachel put it nicely, the more you sin, the more you get entrenched into it. As impossible as it sounds, we need those examples and ideals before us, to keep us pressing onwards, to give an end goal.

Yet in the end, it isn't so much about how hard you try, but it's about the positioning of your heart. It isn't about how well you've gotten it all together, but where your heart is pointing you to. It's not the absolution of the Law either. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, or nullify it. He came to fulfil it. And that fulfilment is by the offering of His Absolute Grace to cover the requirements of the law. It's not a cheap grace that tells you you can continue to do whatever you want, because He will forgive you anyway, but it's a grace that covers all that you have done, and all that you will ever do, but requires your honest, sincere response of acceptance and repentance.

How honest is your heart to you? Sometimes I think that God is closer to those who seem to have fallen by the wayside; those who are arguing with Him, than those who are holding it all prettily together in church. Because it is then that you are really actively searching for Him, looking to satisfy the real heart-needs and mind-needs. What was that verse to the church? I would rather you be hot or cold... (Revelations 3:15b) Our God is not so small that He cannot be questioned. But is your understanding of Him so small that He can't question you?