The Sufficiency of God’s Amazing Grace

12818

Quite often, we don’t understand God’s grace because we choose to live out our own agenda in our personal lives. However, God is in the midst of our everyday problems. When life hangs in the balance, or we go through a season where we experience multiple emotions that we often struggle to process – we often find ourselves derailed from our focus on our Heavenly Father.

God’s Amazing Grace

Admittedly, I think I am beginning to fully grasp the intimate nature of God’s amazing grace. In the past 30 days, two fellow brothers in Christ shared with me that “money is nothing.” At the time of listening, I couldn’t help but smile cheekily with a grin, because these two brothers in Christ have lived a good life – both of whom are happily married with beautiful children and either holding onto a job, or adjusting to a retired life.

For me, on the other hand, I am unable to share or remotely relate in the golden years of a lived life. I can however, empathise the journey they both shared with me.

Nonetheless, my two friends both share a biblical principal – money is indeed nothing! For someone trying to secure a “common job” through paid work, it’s an interesting predicament.

Unfortunately, many of us will actively waste our time in achieving the worldly goals in securing a fancy house, or a super-fast car, or the worldly accolades and titles that some so desire in life.

For the rest of us plebs (myself included) – WHO CARES!

When I was younger, I did aspire to secure a high-paid job, purely out of a desire to support my parents financially. The tables turn, when I am being supported by my parents for which I am completely in awe of their patience and understanding.

Even more so, I am in awe of God who values me for who I am. God has the ability to call my number as such, but He chooses to give me the oxygen to breathe and live another day. I may not be raking in a reliable source of income, but the LORD does pour His grace through entitlement benefits that allow me to grow in my education with the hope of securing paid work. The more I apply for far-reaching jobs in the creative industry and that of regular IT jobs, the more I recognise I am NOT interested in slaving myself in sweatshop conditions as an IT monkey.

God’s Bigger Picture

I do believe that God is tugging (or in Facebook terms, “poking”) my heart to possible avenues that are completely out of my comfort zone. I believe the avenues are linked to God, because I have seen a glimpse of God’s bigger picture with regards to building for the Kingdom of God and reaching out to the lost – outside the walls of a local church, and outside the secular workplace. And as a person who is renowned for (over)analysing everything, I also believe it can hinder my faith to completely trust in the LORD of such a unique opportunity.

Perhaps I am afraid of falling in failure territory again, and yet it’s funny, because the past year or so, I have specifically asked the LORD in my everyday prayer to help me grow thick-skinned in overcoming failure and to grow more in faith in the LORD. After +70 “Dear John” applications from jobs applied – I get that God is indeed answering my prayer. A friend often reminded me, during my time at seminary, “Be careful what you pray for Rich, it may well come true!”

To Mission or Not to Mission

I also have a thing for overseas mission. However, I don’t want to experience it purely to visit an orphanage in Africa, or to gain experience to “prove” to a university institution to enroll myself in a medical undergraduate degree programme. But simply because people’s hearts overseas are softer than the secularisation of the West. However, we as a family often remember folk who are serving in global mission. We may not know their names and the circumstances (and dangers) they face, but we appreciate that God knows them better than anyone – and that we are agreeing through intercessory prayer as a family.

I still have a craving for East Asia, but I don’t fully have a burning call as yet. I’m still more concerned for the poor, here in the UK. And as previously mentioned, my primary expenditure when pursuing work or overseas mission would be to secure an international medical insurance. I even turned down of a missional opportunity to be based in Hong Kong recently for a key reason, as I didn’t see or hear any confirmation from the LORD to pursue the opportunity, despite being a prime candidate to pass through multiple interviews.

Conclusion

I am deeply thankful for the intercessory prayers of friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ locally and across the pond – some of whom, I have never met in my life. I am in particularly thankful for those who are able to read in-between the lines of things that I have chosen to share and reflect upon in recent months.

Despite the lack of activity with regards to securing paid work, I am growing in faith to recognise that God may well indeed be prepping something better behind the scenes. I trust that my Heavenly Father knows what He is doing, and I look forward in the weeks and days to come.

If there’s one thing that is keeping me sane and at peace – despite the chaos, it’s all because of God’s amazing grace.

~Richard

TL;DR

12885

As we are moving into the seasonal holidays with Thanksgiving and Christmas, depending on where you live and what you value more, the Church has recently seen two popular leaders step down from Christian leadership. Both Mark Driscoll and Bob Coy led aspiring congregations and pioneering ministries, both of whom I have previously read materials and listened to podcast channels online. Curiously, I don’t own physical books from either former pastor.

Without going into the ramification on personal details, I am sad to see that even here in the UK, where appointed leaders are easily consumed in distracting themselves from God’s divine authority. And as a result, I am in ways thankful that God has halted the inner call to pastoral ministry due to unforeseen circumstances that is beyond my control and understanding.

My unsurpassable stumbling block is that I cannot secure a reference letter from a very specific individual. No real reason other than he wants to safeguard his earthly reputation. Let’s just say he also engages in some high-powered handshakes underneath the tables. Yet ironically, the same heart also allowed another minister from the Presbyterian quarters, who struggles with his sexuality to preach at our church earlier this year. Go figure. Why stay, when you can’t grow?

Above all, and even in my recent vocational studies, there hasn’t been a bad word with regards to how I conducted myself in preaching, other than I come across as gentle-spirited and soft spoken. I never knew that a loud-mouth spokesperson was a requirement.

With regards to the rejection to grow in some kind of junior role in pastoral ministry, it’s frustrating that I am unable to learn in a mentoring role, and it troubles me that churches will happily (and legally) advertise publicly, yet predestine and groom a person internally. To an extent, I can understand why, but I see it way too often. And at the same time, I believe it also shows a lack of faith and wise counsel from God’s leading of the Holy Spirit. And yet, this recruitment strategy never occurs in the great mission field among missionaries, so why should local churches be any different? Anyhow, who am I to say. May God have mercy and conviction on such leaders who cling to worldly credentials and orchestrate internal affairs like a corporate boardroom.

Spiritually speaking, I am annoyed in one sense, because I still see great spiritual poverty in people relying on God’s Word, and I rarely get to hear the powerful message of God’s Word preached in its entirety, without the tickling of ears through light-hearted entertainment. If I want to hear jokes, I have YouTube. Why must I listen to podcasts and read of articles from expository preachers and Christian leaders from across the pond, simply to hear God’s Word being preached? Does Britain even care for the Good News?

Humanly speaking, in another sense, I am somewhat relieved, as I can now re-focus and re-align life “AS IS” which in my linear understanding is securing a stable job, grow in a career, continue to serve at a local church, await God’s provision for a godly wife, settle down with a family, etc. Perhaps not in a very uniformed and systematic manner as we all hope and wish for, but preferably in that order, especially the latter part as I value sexual purity. Sad and old-fashioned I may be, but I fear the LORD, not the trends of the world.

Like other singletons, I still believe the LORD will provide an opportunity that will allow me to serve and grow in a unique way, especially while I am still presently single. Either that, or the LORD simply wants me to use my single time to dwell in His presence and His Spirit – all of which is equally fine too. And I’m not afraid to ask God, why create companionship between man and woman and yet, not be able to experience that companionship in the form of marriage here on earth.

I don’t know about you, but I do find being single a humbling opportunity to learn how to love, by first loving our Saviour through the LORD Jesus Christ. And I admit that I am still learning how to love outside my parents and select circle of friends, most of whom are mature Christians around the age of parents.

Mind you, I’d rather be trained-in-waiting to be the best husband that I can be to my godly wife. And I also want to be the best dad that I can be to my kids, whom I want to raise with biblical and Christian values with my wife. Of course, and God-willing in a husbandly position, I would like the opportunity to embrace sexual intimacy in a relationship with a dear friend who would be my wife and companion. And I’m not embarrassed to reflect upon what it would be like to finally share your first kiss with your spouse on the joyous day of your wedding.

I feel for those in a similar position as myself who are rapidly approaching the milestone of 30 years of age. I am aware that some folk will simply want to tie the knot with any random person and simply make it happen, purely because of God’s natural ageing process. Some will find success. Others will not.

Yes, our reproductive organs that allows us to shoot sperms and create eggs to orchestrate a new creation is all very fascinating. Some people choose to grow comfortable in a career first before settling down, whilst some think a young age is the best way to prepare and start a family before securing any form of finances. My parents did the latter in the circumstances that was revealed to them, and by God’s grace, I dropped out into the world as a healthy kid. Finances was a struggle, but the LORD provided through the hard work and labour, not just from Dad’s working week (and weekends), but also my Mum’s motherly attention for me, while Dad was working.

Without jumping too far ahead. I look forward to the day that I will receive a phone call regarding a permanent job offer. If it’s not meant to be, I wonder if it’s two other possibilities, starting a unique business or pursuing overseas mission on a long-term basis. Due to wanting to maintain a good standing in my health, I can’t see overseas mission as a viable option, especially when I don’t feel called at this moment in time. So yeah, options are running thin and time keeps ticking forward.

Only time will tell. Other than that, I am still living in hope – still living in faith.

~Richard

The Judgemental Stigma Among Christian Believers

12481

There is no shame when you cry yourself to sleep. Crying is a God-given expressive emotion, which is a result of something joyous, or deep anguish that one cannot contain within. Although crying yourself to sleep is often a result of the latter.

I personally believe we live in a generation where there is a lot of judgemental stigma among Christian believers, where people feel shameful to literally cry out for help, and in return they are judged and condemned, often from fundamentalist beliefs that falsely accuse the oppressed that Christians shouldn’t get depressed, or Christians shouldn’t worry. Even the Bible equips us with profound passages of Scripture to encourage us, when we do worry or grow anxious in testing times in our daily lives.

And it doesn’t help the individual, when critics choose to poke fun of your out-of-work season as an anecdote to gossip with others. I wouldn’t curse anyone to be unemployed in today’s day and age, especially when typical jobs on the market are for short-term employment.

It doesn’t help to live in a very secularised society, when your recent educational academics revolve around “religious” studies, and your last employment dates back a year, only to be shafted out the job due to internal politics on the issue of being bullied by senior management. And it doesn’t help anybody, when your skillset is a bit old-school, even though there is significant and proven experience to actually get the job done. I am also troubled of certain organisations who groom internal candidates – even before a job advert is placed, which defeats the purpose of advertising in the public realm. It also goes against the ethical values of equal opportunities and moral standards, especially of select organisations.

Indeed, there is a natural call for concern for not being able to secure paid work (I speak from experience), and the only thing you are clinging onto is the biblical promise that God will provide (whilst applying like mad for realistic jobs behind the scenes), but you never… NEVER use someone else’s struggle as a cheap illustration to poke fun, simply because they choose to BELIEVE that God will provide in His timing. Some people choose to believe in life on Mars. But not me, I instead choose to believe in the divine power of the LORD God that He will provide for me in His perfect timing. I either have enough faith in the size of a mustard seed, or I’m a foolish Christian.

It’s such critics that can result in the tragedy of a human being to swing towards another direction in life – away from God, or worse, when they choose to pull the plug – only when they genuinely feel there is no hope. Not me, hence my stubborn faith in God remains strong, as I lean on God’s steadfast love. At the time of writing, I may not pride myself with worldly statuses and materials like the norm, but I choose to invest my future in Christ, for Jesus tells us to lay our treasures in Heaven in Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV).

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Like I said, there is no shame when you cry yourself to sleep (physically or metaphorically speaking). For me, it’s the spiritual confusion that recently triggered a personal string with me from a bemusing incident, which I’m afraid I cannot express or write here, perhaps in coded l33t speak, but not in plain English.

All I can say is that I feel for God, and the sadness of His inwardly divided body of Christ. Above all, it’s sad when people only look after themselves, much like the big cheese of corporate businesses, where the top dog receives the world’s praise – even though it’s the minions who slave the labour and love (and fear for their jobs) at the bottom of the corporate food chain.

When you see people who display a particular body language, or when you recognise something is not right in their persona or wellbeing, in the sense that they do not appear to be their normal self, please do not be afraid to ask “How are you?”

For the one who actually recognised something. I wholeheartedly applaud you, and it brought a smile to my cheeks! In fact, I wished I could know you better in return, but I guess that is one of the predicaments of the world that we live in. *sigh*

Indeed, asking someone’s wellbeing may open up a can of worms of overflowing emotions that may demand the cleaning of one’s ears to actually listen to someone in need, but for the love for the LORD, please do not judge others for being themselves… and may I also encourage you not to swing your feet to another direction. I also talk to my inner self, when I speak (type) these words.

Too many people these days are finding a lack of hope, even within the doors of a local church (due to self-serving attitudes and hardened hearts), even though they may/do have a real and living relationship with the LORD – and so, they will contemplate in that doubt of Christian rejection, and instead listen to the father of lies and do something stupid – or worse, because nobody who represents the body of Christ is taking any diddly-squat attention for folk who typically don’t scream for attention in your usual extroverted fashion.

If there is one thing that I learned from seminary school (well, technically it was actually my honours dissertation) that I wish the Church would actually engage with around the world, and that’s Christian counselling. Or in my conclusive understanding – it’s biblical Christian counselling, where only God’s Living Word can transform the human flesh and hardened heart to praise our Heavenly Father.

~Richard

Pray for Scotland

12452

Most people living in the UK are aware of the passionate political debate regarding the vote on Scotland’s referendum vote on Scotland’s Independence. To my friends and readers across the pond, the referendum reminds me of the Land of the Free, where American fought with the British Empire to be independent from the State. I (can) understand the passion of the American people, and the pride that was fought for such freedom. My sincere sadness for America today is that their established freedom is being squeezed through the constitutional papers, especially the religious liberty that America once held dear.

Today’s careful reflection is a mixture of defining freedom in general terms and sharing thoughts on Scotland’s Independence.

Disclaimer: Please… please keep in mind, I am not an “expert” in any discipline, but purely sharing my own thoughts and my own opinions. I will however strive to reference on reliable sources (that are actually deemed “reliable”), should I see significance to a particular argument and/or statement.

Freedom in History

Humanity has already experienced freedom back in the day. If you believe and accept the Bible as God’s incarnate Word, then God’s creation of Adam and Eve will ring true to all believers. When God created man and woman in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), the Lord God gave instruction to Adam, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭2‬:‭16-17,‬ ESV). Make a mental note that the LORD God commanded the *man*.

We all know how the story flows thereafter…

- The serpent deceives the woman (Gen 3:1-5).
– Woman eats the fruit first (Gen 3:6).
– Man eats the fruit second (Gen 3:6).
– Both became naked (Gen 3:7).
– Man blames woman (Gen 3:12).
– Woman blames the serpent (Gen 3:13).
– Both receive judgement, after God curses the serpent (Gen 3:16, 17-19).
– Both suffer the consequence of eternal death through sin (Gen 2:17).
– Both are banished from the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:23-24).

And it’s fascinating when you look beyond the obvious timeline of events that the LORD God had sought to send His Son (Christ Jesus) into the world, who would later be a serpent crusher in Genesis 3:15 and conquer Satan, and give hope to mankind through the eternal life that He brings.

Defining Freedom

So what is freedom? Is humanity capable of such responsibility? We could turn to world events (past and present) and reflect on the sheer atrocities of given Acts of Freedom.

The LORD God has given us the freewill to live, but there is indeed a consequence in how we choose to live our lives. Already we have looked at a given example from the Bible.

It can be argued that freedom is closely associated with human pride and the association of power, authority and self-righteousness, and I know for one that God is not a fan of the proud James 4:6 (this particular passage is based on the warning against worldliness, read James 4:1-12 for full context).

Whilst the developing countries are trying to stabilise themselves in a given economy, despite the corruption of fallen governments and leadership… developed countries are becoming more liberal in the sense of legalising everything associated with humanity, simply to appease everyone. There’s even talks about anti-tattoo discrimination laws. What next? A discrimination law to protect people from obsessive freckles on their face and skin. This is the sad and challenging reality of everyday live in the 21st century.

The problem with this is that Christians do not belong in this world. John 15:18-25 (read the passages of Scripture in context… and then read the concluding verses in John 15:26-27 of God’s promise of the Holy Spirit for every Christian), where sin is essentially spreading like an epidemic. Because we do not belong in this world, the Scriptures even instructs us to store our riches in heaven and not on earth, as noted in Matthew 6:19-21.

After all, if you believe in God’s incarnate Word and you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you will be saved. More importantly, we will pass through from this world and live in eternity with Christ the Risen LORD.

Freedom from what?

Ultimately, Scotland wants to be free from the English who govern Westminster’s House of Parliament down in London, even though Scotland were granted moderate devolution powers and a Scottish Parliament back in 1997, when we as a nation voted for Labour to win the UK general elections by a landslide. That is the end reason of all reasons.

Curiously, Scotland still wants to adopt the pound for its currency, and acknowledge Her Majesty The Queen as the Head of State in Scotland, amongst other forms of national heritage and governing bodies. If Scotland truly wants to be free and independent from the State, it should reinvent itself, and not make a half-hearted effort to disassociate itself from the United Kingdom, only to keep British benefits through governing bodies and apply for membership to join the European Union (EU).

Scotland historically doesn’t get along with the English, and historically English politicians have used Scotland (mostly that of the conservative party… must we be reminded of the days of Margaret Thatcher). And because David Cameron is mostly leading a coalition government with “I agree with Nick” Clegg, most Scottish people cringe at Cameron’s “upper-class” association with the Conservative party, and the haunting reminder of Madge.

Remember Mel Gibson’s Braveheart movie? You know, the most inaccurate movie based on Scotland and the pride (and reason) for Scottish independence. I should know, as I studied William Wallace during my tender years at high school in history class.

The problem with the movie Braveheart is that the leading actor Mel Gibson is from Australia… the same bloke who used his personal money to fund, direct and star in the controversial, yet critically-acclaimed film, The Passion of the Christ. Secondly, Braveheart is based on emotional psychology engineered by Hollywood.

Besides, I prefer Aragorn’s manly battle speech at the Black Gate from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Even Théoden’s battle cry and the ride of the Rohirrim is worth a mention too! Again, these are emotionally-charged scenes that are designed to capture people’s emotion. It is centred on a climatic battle between two armies. As a result, we shouldn’t use a Hollywood-inspired Oscar-winning movie to base our discernment on an important vote for the future of the United Kingdom, where Scotland are given the exclusive right to sway towards independence or remain united as a nation.

I am not going to go down the political fine points of the Pros and Cons, because both present an agenda of propaganda, and I don’t want to feed the trolls. One thing I do want to note is that both campaigns use bullying tactics. Since when do politicians actually tell the truth, otherwise they should study for pastoral ministry and indeed proclaim God’s truth instead! One nationalistic campaign base the future on past statistics with overly wishful thinking of the future, whilst the opposing campaign elevates a sense of fear in the sheer cost of leaving and being separate from the State.

Scottishness and Britishness

I was born and bred in Scotland. I have studied at two of the lower-end academic institutions in Scotland, due to my chosen undergraduate degree programmes at the time. If I had chosen to study a classical subject to major in like English Literature or Medicine, then there are obviously “better” universities to study at and secure a better future, which is another reflection for later. Anyhow, what does the term “better” mean these days? When you first pursue a career like a computer games designer, then a modern university is likely to offer what you need. And who would have thought of studying for pastoral ministry. Do you understand? Scotland is like any other country in that we have good and naff universities, but it depends on your chosen academic major.

I used to identify myself as Scottish – up until I came back from South Korea after teaching English for 6 months. I later changed my national identity to British. You could say that I’m a Scotsman who reaps the benefits with the rest of the United Kingdom. You know… things like the Security Service (MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the National Health Service (NHS), the national identity on the world stage at the Olympic Games, and of course our strong international links, and political allies with the United States who will always have a special place in my heart for many reasons. Of course, you have the usual national government benefits like pension, working credit, tax credit, etc. and all things related to the Inland Revenue (the British equivalent to the IRS in America).

When I travel up north, I love the scenic mountains and in ways its fun to count the scattered sheep that dot around the landscape. It’s one of the most majestic views that I have ever witnessed (and can afford to see at the time of writing), and we as a family make an annual visit to drive around Scotland. The Scottish mountains are a popular hot-spot for pastors and ministers to go hiking. Though, I want to believe they enjoy hiking, purely because the mobile phone (cellular) signal is so weak that nobody from their congregation can get in touch.

When I travel abroad, I miss the connotations of all things Scottish, but when I land back – I feel like I want to travel elsewhere. I think it depends on the weather, which can be like four seasons. I’m sure Scotland was a major influence for Vivaldi.

Scottish Outclass

There are things that I cringe about being Scottish, as with most people who are associated with a country that do stupid things on the world stage, or are embarrassed of the association of such global ranks.

For someone who has travelled to three continents in this very small world of ours, I find it easier to secure a job overseas than I do in Scotland. I know some young people would rather emigrate overseas for a better future, at least for emerging industries where there is a higher ratio of young people likely to secure work. I know of an old friend from Dundee who would emigrate to Canada, if Scotland were to secure independence. At the time, I didn’t share the sentiment. And yet, fast forward 9 years and I can relate with the plausible mindset to move on.

Scottish Potential

Scotland may have been renowned for its inventions that have shaped and changed the world that we live today, including John Logie Baird who invented the television… and yet, it’s America that dominates the TV and turns the world into couch potatoes with Hollywood movies and a never-ending slew of TV programmes (mostly imported from the States). It’s also the States who gives us the ability to glue ourselves to monitors and game consoles playing games all-day, whilst the non-gamer are instead consumed by the endless entertainment streamed via Netflix and iTunes (or the BBC iPlayer).

You also have Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone and pioneered AT&T (again in the States)… and yet, other countries are dominating the mobile phone market with the likes of major technology firms like Samsung and Apple. It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple’s company value is the equivalent to Scotland’s potential value as a whole.

These days, Scotland seems to pioneer itself with renewable energy by building vast amounts of wind turbines. There are over 5 wind turbines across from where I live. Essentially, Scotland is capable of farting its way with renewable energy, especially with the countless cows that also dot the Scottish landscape.

As for whiskey… well other countries make whiskey. There is no patent on whiskey, just like there is no patent on water. It really depends what type of whiskey a consumer wants to buy that makes it his thing. Scotland may be the biggest exports that helps to contribute the UK economy, but I am sure it’s because the UK government helps to market overseas through international business and trade. And don’t forget, we are also pioneers of one of the most controversial video game series, Grand Theft Auto.

Scotland does however control and maintain NHS Scotland, and they govern the Scottish education system via Education Scotland. Outside the age-old academic institutions including St Andrews University and Glasgow University, the education system is of a poor standard compared with the international education ranking. I speak as a student who had his tuition fees paid for when I studied for my first undergraduate degree course, though I had to cough up and pay for my second undergraduate degree course. I also had first-hand experience as an ESL Teacher, and I am in awe of the high standard of education overseas, especially countries in East Asia including Hong Kong and South Korea.

How much further power do Scottish politicians need, so they can better serve themselves with corrupted salaries and back-scratching favours, before they serve their country and the people who choose to vote them in parliament? That I do know, as I previously worked for a private company, yet we were still part of a major regional council in West Central Scotland.

Concluding Thought

At the end of the day, I don’t take pride in any national identity, other than my identity in Christ, and Him alone.

As I shared from the very beginning… Pray for Scotland.

~Richard

Hallelujah

IMG_2905

Last month in early July, I received a graduation present from my parents. A smartphone. My parents wanted to celebrate the completion of my 2-year part-time studies at Cornhill Scotland, hoping (and praying) it would signal an end to my formal academic studies. Mind you… a Masters of Divinity from the States does look appealing!

Previously, I used a trekkie-style flip-phone, more specifically a Sony Ericsson W300i since 2005/2006. I now own a Motorola G (4G Edition). Being a bit of a geek, I won’t divulge in writing the technical details. Feel free to Google both models for the tech spec for your reading pleasure… You may find yourself laughing and crying!

Today’s blog title is not a shout of praise for owning a new phone. I am of course, thankful and grateful for the love of my parents who wanted to express their love and buy a new toy for me. I even had to tell my parents that they didn’t need to bother, as I was very happy owning a dinky brickphone that I could slip inside a pocket. It is so old, nobody would even dare or care to pick pocket (even when I was in Hong Kong earlier this year). For most people, it is the most repulsive thing known to man, but at least the phone can churn out 2-weeks worth of battery life in a single charge, unlike modern day smartphones. That of course, I will gloat about!

The blog title is merely a reflection of a song that I have chosen to play to wake me up each and every morning… only if there’s enough juice to kickstart the app to wake me up in the first place!

It is of course, “Hallelujah“ (Messiah) from George Frideric Handel (a.k.a. Handel).

It seems such an odd choice to play classical music as a wake up song. Yes, and no.

Previously, I configured my Sony brickphone to play “I am the Doctor” by Murray Gold, who composed a rather exciting orchestral soundtrack from BBC’s Doctor Who (Series 5). I generally prefer classical music, as I love the journey that orchestral music can take the listener. And since there are no lyrics embedded in classical music, I don’t need to think.

As a side-stepping change from Doctor Who music, I wanted to wake up and be reminded of the word “Hallelujah” – a simple spoken word that folk often struggle to spell – and at times pronounce.

In recent years, I am thankful to wake up with good health and see another morning. It may seem like a radical way of appreciating life, but I feel driven and determined to give thanks to the LORD for the days that I live and have, that I may use this time to serve and build for His Kingdom Come and give Him the glory in everyday possible.

And no, I don’t take or need any happy pill. I simply want to discipline myself from the distractions of the world, and strive to honour God with the relatively limited time that we have in this rather short live. I simply want to honour God as a form of personal worship by expressing my “Hallelujah” to God each and every day.

At the time of writing at the start of another month in August, I am still out of work. Doors have closed like crazy throughout the year so far, but my Spirit is at peace and I can freely say that I have joy in Christ. Remember that happiness is different to joy. Happiness is a result often associated with the human elements of everyday life, or the material things that we choose to worship (think about it). Joy however, can only be found through Christ Jesus. After all, Jesus declared to Thomas in the Good News of the Gospels that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, ESV)

Life may not be going the way you “expect” it to unfold, but it’s the hope in Christ that can find true joy, knowing that He gives eternal life to those who believe and accept Him as LORD.

“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9, ESV)

When was the last time that you expressed or meditated on the word “Hallelujah”?

~Richard

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: