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“… we can avoid many problems by following God’s laws; but we can’t control everything. God, however, always has a plan for our lives. This plan is meant to bless us and give us hope for the future. Whenever doubt threatens to cloud God’s promises, we can know that, no matter the circumstance, we are always in God’s care.”
That’s true, we can avoid many heartaches, and for some of us the wise counsel of trusted friends and mentors, as well as discernment gleaned from saturating ourselves in the Scriptures, have helped us save more than one unnecessary hit on the wall. But reality also tells us, we are not in control of every detail in life’s journey, the variables are endless, and the twists and turns are beyond any plot in a novel or movie. So with all this “change” evident in the various “contexts” in our experiences,. we look for what is “constant” .. and by centering on what is “constant” we are able to move forward with confidence.
I started to clear my table in my study again after a while. The clutter was returning … and I needed to even work on the environment in which I study, think, pray and have solitude .. so that it facilitates my encounter with myself for re-centering, and God who provides stability in the midst of uncertainties, change, and new directions. I’ve grown to understand that this process of aligning my posture to God is not going to happen by sheer will power, sloganeering to self, or multiple shame and guilt trips. It’s pretty much more basic than that. It’s having “constant” practices and environments where I can regroup my scattered mind, defragment inner emotions, and simple “be still and know that HE is God.”
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There have been many important “shifts” in my life. Shifts which deepen concerns of significance, and also heighten what was neglected. Having children and especially parenting is one of those shifts ðŸ™‚ well in my case three shifts and still very much work in progress. When I was carrying other people’s kids, it was cure and fun. But then when it was my own, the cute and fun bit is still there but the frustrating and yet fulfilling hard work of raising and protecting them is much more visible. And this is not just about our “own” kids, it’s about ALL the children in touch with us. Having the children added in our midst the past 8 years of BLC’s rebirth has that same deepening and heightening effect too… and yes, it’s fun … as well as both frightening and fulfilling! BTW, we need more men in children’s ministry …
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A few friends pointed me to Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s interview in the Star Paper last week, “Grace Under Fire” . One thing that came through it what she chose NOT to do especially in relation to Dr. Chandra Muzaffar whom many of us knew launched personal attacks on her husband before the recent elections. From a rebuttal point of view, this interview would have been a great chance to not just defend her husband and herself, but also to do a few swipes herself on Chandra. But what we read is this (with a start on Sharizat who was the opposing candidate for her daughter Nurul Izzah in Lembah Pantai)…
“She calls Shahrizat a “very nice and friendly” person, and refuses to criticise (former PKN deputy president) Dr Chandra Muzaffar, despite his very damaging comments – among others, that it would be “an unmitigated disaster for Malaysia” should Anwar become Prime Minister – just before the elections.
“I don’t know why he said all that. But I appreciate what he did when Anwar was arrested, and his contributions in forming the party, times were difficult for us then.”
I caught a glimpse of grace here. A spark of Graciousness so often missing in the political arena, and even in our own personal interactions too. Fellow Christ-followers, shall we really rise to the occasions when we need to? It’s hard, but then it will be harder for all of us if even we don’t offer “gentle answers” to turn away “wrath”. We need more sparks … we need to build a fire of responses which will warm cold hearts, and cool down hot heads!
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These harmonics vibrated from April 2- 4, 2008