My journey...

Monday, April 02, 2012

Easter Approaches

Easter is drawing near. For believers, this may be the most important reminder of our faith. It is because of the work of the cross that mission has its meaning. Otherwise it will just be good works. But you and I know that it is beyond good works that drives you to be "out there". It is this message of the good news that is the driving force. The incredible love that our Father has for mankind is the message.

In Isaiah 48, it says that God's hand has spread out the heavens. Can you imagine how small we are in the palm of His hands? Maybe like a speck of dust? Yet Jesus chose to leave all that and came as a babe whom we can hold in our hands. He chose to walk the way of the cross for the "speck of dust" in His hand. This is the message of the great love and hope that we have. A love so great that we cannot comprehend. This is the reason that drove many in obedience to their call, whether it be a road of suffering or a road of heartaches.

May this Easter season be a reminder to us all that, 200 years ago, the journey which Christ took is a reason for us to walk faithfully in our journey today.
posted by Janelle at 8:08 PM 1 comments

Monday, February 20, 2012

You will be normal again

"Where is Rabbi?"
"Who are you asking for Jan? Did you want Daddy?"
"No. Where is Rabbi?" Jan uttered again. Jan is just 20 and have been suffering from a cancer relapse for 5 months now. She is so frail and weak yet still so cheerful for someone who has been battling with cancer. It was her last night on earth and she requested to be on the oxygen mask because she has been having difficulty breathing.
Thinking that the oxygen is making her hallucinate, her mother tried to change the subject. This is the first time that she has ever heard her say the word "Rabbi".
"Jan, do you want a drink?"
"Yes please. Can I have lemonade?"
Unsuccessful in finding her favorite drink, she got her an ice-lollie.
"This is yummy Mummy. How about my friends? Do they have ice-lollies too?"
It was in the middle of the night and there was no one else in the room except for the two of them.
"Your friends?" Asked her mummy in a state of confusion
"Yes my friends. Did you give them ice-lollies too"
Thinking that her daughter is again hallucinating, she again changed the subject.
After a while, Jan began to utter
"I do not know what is happening but I trust You"
She said this a couple of times and each time, it became more affirmative. Her mummy was scared of that statement by now cause she herself do not know what is happening. She could just say "Do you trust in Jesus Jan?"
"When I wake up, will I be normal again?" was her next words. You see, Jan has had bone cancer in her knee since she was 12 years old and she have not been able to run or jump like other kids. She cannot run after the bus like them. She cannot play like "normal" kids.
And then again, she said "I do not know what is happening but I trust You". She must have uttered that for not less than seven times.
Then, her last words were, "Thank you mummy. My eye-lids are heavy and I will sleep now." She never woke up after that.

Jan is my cousin who passed away just about more than a week ago. I will always remember her smile and her quiet yet confident nature. Her life her encouraged me to to run my race more fervently. Knowing that there is a great cloud of witnesses up there and that God is in control. She has said before that she has lost hope that God will heal her yet she has not given up on her faith. I know that she is "normal" now. She can run all she wants and jump to her hearts desire. We believe that she has met with the "Rabbi" himself. Jesus and that she was having a conversation with Him before she went to be with him. God in his grace let us listen in on their conversation to give us that hope and assurance and comfort.

We do not understand why there is suffering and why we cannot avoid painful situations. Perhaps because we live in a fallen world. Yet God can use these situations to grow faith and life for himself and we know that we can trust in a God who will never fail us no matter what the outcome may be. We will miss Jan but perhaps it is best for her to be with Him and we can say that it is well with our soul.
posted by Janelle at 10:07 PM 0 comments

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kingdom sense

Have you heard, he was born in a manger? Son of a carpenter? Look at his clothes. He does not even have a home. Let alone a palace. He cannot be the messiah. He cannot be the promised King. He is not even a warrior. Such a disgrace. How can it be?

They did not believe that Jesus was the Promised Messiah. He does not resemble a King nor was he a picture of grandeur. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to an improvement of the state of humanity or the world. To their human understanding, Christ certainly was no good representation of that. They interpreted the work of God through human eyes. Some are still waiting till today.

Sometimes what makes sense may not be “kingdom sense”. May this Christmas season be a good reminder to us that we need to see things God’s way and work closely with Him who has the master plan. Let us not rely solely on our own logic or worldview but trust in His prompting and guidance. Isaiah 55:9 says “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts”.
posted by Janelle at 1:05 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I was at the "Islamic Arts Museum" the other day and they were exhibiting artifacts from China and showed how the "muslim arts" in China looked like. The Chinese actually adapted the Jawi and wrote it with broad strokes like they would their Chinese characters. The mosque in China looks very Chinese as well. Chinese looking building with the curved roofs. If I google churches in China, guess what. Most of it looks like church buildings you will find in the west. No wonder Asian says that Christianity is a "western" religion. We tend to copy the culture of the west. Even to the church building. The preachers come in suit and tie.

When or how do we learn to adapt the different cultures to our faith? God is not limited to just one culture but he is the creator of them. How would worship look like if we worship him in our different cultures and styles? I always do appreciate the different ways people worship in the different countries. Perhaps we should be more aware especially when we are in the context of a different culture not to impose our own worldview to them. Just a thought.
posted by Janelle at 11:23 PM 0 comments

Monday, November 14, 2011

Its not an App

The new craze in the world is tablets. I am not talking about the kind you consume when you are sick or the ones which God gave Moses. I am talking about the ipads, the galaxy tabs, iphones or android phones. Tablets are the "in thing" of today. An advertisement from Apple states "There is an app for that". I would like to remind us that there is no app for community. There is no app for the human touch. I agree that technology has made communications is very different and the world is made much smaller but nothing beats the human touch. We have "facebook" which is the online community but that too cannot replace 'face to face' meetings.

Have you heard of Cyber church? You do not even need to physically be in church. You can "attend" church right there in the comfort of your own home.

How easy is it for us to stay in our own "space" doing the things we are so busy with that we forget that God has intended for us to live in communities. Yes we can keep in touch when we are in front of the computer or on our phones but you and I know it is more than that.

Communities are not there so that we can have a social life. Something to occupy our time. Communities help us to stay on track. They are meant to encourage us in our journey. They are a source of encouragement and support. They pray for each other and help each other out. Jesus modeled real community not an app. Think of someone you can invite for coffee today.
posted by Janelle at 8:16 PM 0 comments

Thursday, October 06, 2011

No Short Cut

On my journey since I have started writing my blog, my walk has been very rocky and dry. Attempts to draw near to God seems to be fail again and again. He seem to bring me to a state of desperation where I have no where or no one to turn to except to Him. There are a lot of things which I do not understand. Why certain things happens this way and not that? Why do I have to go through what I have went through?

I am sure that Job did not understand either. Why did he have to loose everything. Who can comprehend the ways of the Lord? But in the end, Job says "My ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen you" (Job 42:4-6). Isn't that just lovely? I am sure it was not a physical figure that Job has seen that made him believe. But seeing with his spiritual eyes the greatness and the glory of God. His experience has caused him not to look at his circumstance but at the bigger picture. His reliant and need for God. Not for him to understand his circumstance but for him to know that God who knows all things, who has his best interest is with him and that Job has a hope in this God.

There are no short cuts in our journey. We cannot rise "Above" our painful circumstance and pretend that it did not happen. That is lying to yourself. But we can have hope in a God who knows and trust in Him and walk with Him through our circumstance. Hopefully in the end, we can say with Job "now my eyes have seen You."
posted by Janelle at 7:40 PM 2 comments

A Form of Godliness

I have been dwelling on the verse which someone who spoke in our church gave about a month ago now. It is found in 2 Tim 3:5. "having a form of godliness but denying its power".

We can appear Godly but lack the power of God. The power which comes from a relationship with him. The power to live our Christian life day to day. We can call ourselves Christian and even go to church faithfully but if we do not have a relationship with God and without the power of God working in and through us, what is Christianity but another form of religion. We can say the right things, know the bible even as knowledge but that is just the form of godliness. The Pharisees who persecuted Jesus, were bible scholars in their time.

What good is it to have the form of godliness without its power?

I would think that by having the power of God does not mean that we are performing miraculous acts all the time. Even those who can perform miracles do not know God. Though I do not deny that there will be miracles that will happen. Neither does it imply that we will see great things all the time. Though we will see great things in God. Having the power of God could simply mean living a life that is ordered by him with him being the Lord in out lives. It would be in the simplicity of our life that we see His working in and through us. It is in his leading through the stillness of His voice that we see him work. In recognizing Him in everything that we do. And in obeying his voice when we hear it. And in that, we can be amazed at who this God is. That he is active in our lives and not just a religious "theory".

How many Christians only think about God on a Sunday and when they are in trouble? No wonder the Christian life can be so mundane. People can get bored of religion but you cannot get bored of a living God who is actively working in and through our lives. We need to begin to recognize this and work together with him and we will be amazed to see the power of God.
posted by Janelle at 7:37 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Easter

I could not imagine what went through the disciples' minds as they watched Christ being arrested and then sentenced to the cross. Their Messiah. The one whom they think will rule and will give them a great and comfortable life. They even argued who will sit on his right and on his left. But what is this? He is going to be hung on the cross? Were we wrong to think that he is the promised Messiah?

We know that they were not wrong. God works in ways we cannot comprehend. With all the wars and unrest, earthquakes and tsunami, many will again be wondering about this God. What is God doing?

Jesus promised a helper to his disciples when he is gone. The Holy Spirit who will be with them. Teaching them, guiding them and comforting them. We have this helper with us today. We may not understand but we can trust in a God who knows. May we bring the Kingdom of God into the midst of those who have yet to know the true meaning of Easter and the hope that it brings.
posted by Janelle at 9:00 PM 0 comments