Monday, July 26, 2010

What An Honour!

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:15, NIV

Friends come and friends go. Today, Facebook, Twitter and many other IT technologies has done us a great favor of linking people and helping us stay connected wherever we are in this planet earth. I am amazed at the multitude of friends on our pages. Some figures seem outrageous. Hmm, perhaps we all know their names and added into our lists but how many of these friends do we really know?

Friends. We can’t do without them. Can we? Some people claimed they don’t need friends. Loners. I can’t quite imagine that, as friends are such a crucial part in my life apart from my family. As I reflected on the many friendships I share in this journey of life, I am so grateful for each of them who had contributed in my growth as a person – for their love and accountability. Memories of these friendships flooded back. Then I remember a very special one – my ever faithful friend. How I met him and he pursued me till I opened the door of my heart to receive his friendship. Jesus Christ is his name.

Isn’t this Jesus the Bible talks about Lord and God? It began that way as I thought of our first encounters. As I learned more of him each day and responded to his invitation to draw near, I began to hear his voice in a different way. He isn’t the God who proudly lord over me but he calls me his friend! The Greek translation speaks of this as “friend in the king’s court”. Indeed an honour to be invited into the king’s presence and listens to him. What more into the fellowship of the King of Kings! The privileges of being his friend is endless but this one highlighted in the verse tells us we are been let into his secrets. Servants are been ordered. Friends – given the knowledge of his plans. What an honour to be called a friend of God!

Let’s hang out with this friend who promised to be faithful and true. Have a cuppa with him today and listen to what he has to say – maybe just a gentle whisper of his love, maybe a command, maybe a rebuke in love, maybe a comforting word, maybe an affirmation, maybe no agenda…but just enjoy his loving presence.

I am a friend of God. Are you?

Lord, it is an honour to know you and be known. Thank you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who Am I?

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

(I John 3:1, NIV_

In the attempt of going green, we chose to support the effort of the Friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens Society last weekend in their project, Recycling Craft. My girls and I joined the team of mostly retirees with excitement of learning a new craft and meeting new people.

The lady in charged gave us a briefing and showed us the materials needed which was lots of papers from various sources namely flyers which come into our mail boxes as junk mails and magazines.. Apart from that, were wooden sticks a.k.a. satay sticks, old wires, cardboards and glue. Yes, glue being the only non-junk items. The rest were in line with the 3 Rs of a green environment – Recycle, Reduce and Reuse. The facilitator showed us some displays and we were excited to get to the end result. But every good thing requires some good work. So we set our hands and hearts to follow all her directions. Clumsily we rolled our first paper straws till we got it right before we were given a pile of ready made paper straws. Then we got to the interesting part of constructing a strong base for the baskets (our first item) we were making before weaving tediously. All by papers! In the midst of our deep concentration, the journalists from the newspapers came. Snap! Snap! Snap! Oops, we were on camera.

The journalist interviewed some people. The usual question is “What is your name?” and “What do you do?” My name? Simple. I just introduced myself. But I paused for a short moment before I responded, “I am a homemaker”. In my mind, I thought, “Should I say – homemaker or pastor since I am doing both?” It doesn’t really matter. However, we somehow picked this issue up in the journey home. My girls had a debate of who their mum was! A homemaker, a pastor? Cheeky Chrisa said, “Mum, you should have told the guy that you are a homemaker-pastor.” And he would probably asked, “What?” Then you could say, “A homemaker-pastor-teacher.” Then he would asked again, “What?” And you could say, “Homemaker-pastor-teacher-nurse.” He would then be more confused and asked, “What?” Then you could say, “Homemaker-pastor-teacher-nurse-cook-driver-playmate.” And the list is endless. We all laughed. So “who am I?” Yes, indeed the list is endless as I thought of the different roles I play in my life.

All of us find our significance in the name we carry and the vocation we have. That basically forms the picture of who we are. But is that all? Or is that the basis of our significance? The whole week God captured my attention and whispered to me, “You are my child. All these people you are ministering to – they are my children.” Being children of the Great God we are loved dearly and deeply. What a privilege to called children of God! Note the exclamation marks twice in one single verse. That’s how important.

Heavenly Father, What an honour to be Your child! Write on my heart your promises and remind me of your deep love. Thank you for lavishing your love on me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.