A Facebook Fast.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12: 2

I have to be honest with you. Facebook has transformed our lives greatly, keeping us connected with our primary school mates and its-been-ages-since-we’ve-met relatives. But to me, it just makes me feel depressed most of the time. Of the “pinnacle of life” I can never seem to achieve, vacation photos I will never be able to top, sweet photos of couples posting 12343098 times a day, all shouting “YOUR LIFE SUCKS, BET YOU WISH YOU WERE ME” in my face.

I mean I believe most posts were¬†well intentioned. It’s just that I tend to compare and when I see people all dolled up and seeming having the best time of their lives while I sit in front of my laptop with my shorts, glasses, pimple cream and sweaty armpits, it just doesn’t feel so good.

So I’m doing what I should have done a looong time ago: trying a one-month Facebook fast. Note the word “try”, because I’m a terribly inconsistent person. I really hope I can do it (and I did pray about it just now) and in fact the triggering factor was when I read the verse in Romans 12 and I realise that this is the solution for me to stop feeling depressed about life. Always coveting for what I don’t have when I am already blessed more than I already deserve. It’s easy to praise God for what He has done for me, and then one look at my computer screen and I’m back to feeling miserable.

So this is what I plan to do: check Whatsapp only during mealtimes (I used to check my phone so often during study break that my friend Tina had to confiscate my phone!) and Facebook only for messages and notifications.

Let’s see what happens, and please pray for me that I will have the courage and wisdom to pursue this throughout the month!

Updates on my London trip in the next post!

Advertisements

fighting a fight that has already been won

thank God for loving me more than i can ever deserve.


currently halfway through finals. literally just totally drained emotionally, mentally and physically from just studying and studying and forgetting and making silly mistakes in exams and falling sick and everything.Jpeg

studying with a view. ūüėõ

well anyway we get 1 week off (woohoo!) before going through the same sequence again, but now it being practicals instead of written. hate having to go through the motions again.

but thank God for reminding me to keep my eyes on Him again! great song, great message and an even greater God.

Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

thankful

i’m just feeling really thankful lately. of how i have truly felt my prayers being answered and that God is being ever so helpful and loving especially in such an intense period for us students soon to have finals (in less than 2 weeks! gg)

Jpeg

I’m thankful that God answered my prayers when I asked Him to give me a good and happy environment to prepare for final MB (in which I am truly satisfied with my quality of life now and also the degree of productivity with just the right amount of stress!). This applies not only to me but the other girls feel the same way too!

I feel blessed that I was given a chance to help out a friend who has been going through tough times lately by praying every night with her; and boy is it wonderful to have these moments of revelation when God uses me to bless another person!

I am thankful to see changes in my family¬†through the work of the Holy Spirit;¬†especially my dad who told me recently that he has picked up the devotional that i bought for him a year ago and one day over whatsapp he just told me the story of Daniel and his friends surviving through the fire left a great impact on him. I’m pretty sure God is not done with him yet!

I am thankful that I have a smart mom who managed to diagnose radial nerve palsy in my grandpa which relieved alot of anxiety among my family (who was worried that it was stroke22-); and he’s getting better now with some Vit B12 and also hopefully the physiotherapy that i read online and then later demonstrated to my dad will Well work for him!!

Well anyway just really wanted to dedicate this post solely to Him; because His mercies are indeed new every morning. =)

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

– Lamentations 3: 22-23

grace.

nothing can separate God’s love from us.

>>

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died‚ÄĒmore than that, who was raised‚ÄĒ who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

‚ÄúFor your sake we are being killed all the day long;¬†we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.‚ÄĚ

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 8: 35-39

>>

sometimes i forget that God’s love¬†is never “earned” by action. He loves us just as we are. He loves our broken, weak, faithless selves. Because He is Love.

lyrics to a nice hymn that i learned today:

Savior, like a Shepherd lead us

Thou hast promised to receive us,

Poor and sinful though we be;

Thou hast mercy to relieve us,

Grace to cleanse, and pow’r to free:

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Early let us turn to Thee;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Early let us turn to Thee.

weakness and grace

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting.
– James 1: 2-6

Sorry for the long blogging hiatus. Studying for my medical long case exam this coming Saturday has left me feeling worn & tired to the point where all of it seems futile. and endless. joy? i have long forgotten how that feels like.

Don’t get me wrong. I love medicine (and internal med > surgery) but still; getting to year 5 and realising that I have not gone that much far from where I¬†have first started, and yet spent the last 4 years laboring at, is pretty disheartening.

But I still do thank God for reminding me of how great my weakness, is how great His grace.

But he said to me, ‚ÄúMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‚ÄĚ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ‚Äôs power may rest on me. ¬†
– 2 Corinthians 12:9

Maybe one day when I figure out how great is His grace amidst the trial, then I will be able to experience joy in Him, that no one/circumstance will be able to take away.

 

the one who remembered

We studied the first two chapters of Luke last friday for bible study.

Luke describes the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist in parallel to that of Jesus (6 months later), as well as the early years of Jesus as a boy.

One point that struck me was Mary’s emotions and thoughts that were described in detail in the first two chapter for as much as three times within the first two chapters.

The first time that Mary’s thoughts were stated was when the angel Gabriel greeted her with “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

……

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. – Luke 1:29

In chapter 2, the angels appeared to a group of shepherds, telling them the good news that a savior was born and that they could find the baby in wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. The shepherds came and truly saw what was said by the angel, and went around telling people about the child and what was told of him, and the people were amazed.

……

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19

While Mary and Joseph headed back home after their celebration of Passover in Jerusalem, they didn’t know Jesus stayed behind, and only found him missing after three days. Jesus then said “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”. But his parents didn’t actually understand what he was saying.

……

Then he (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. РLuke 2:51

Initially I was wondering why did she have to ponder so many times; wasn’t it obvious what Jesus was doing and what was happening around her?

But what I didn’t realise was the absurdity everything must have seemed to her at that time. An angel coming out of nowhere telling her that she would get pregnant without intercourse, and that baby was going to be the King of Kings. The pressure that she would have to face at that time being an pregnant, unmarried woman. Whether or not Joseph would be willing to marry her now.

and then when Jesus was born, the shepherd came and told people about what the angels said, and all the people were amazed. that is a lot of unexpected attention from a delivery of a child in a manger. Mary, who probably didn’t know what was going on at that time, still “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

and then her son Jesus starts teaching in synagogues together with those familiar with the old laws. and Jesus said “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” That must have left Mary perplexed too.

But against all odds, she still had faith in God. despite not understanding what was going on, despite going through this whirlwind of apparent madness.

Which made me wondered. Even when I don’t understand, will I have the faith to press on and trust in Him?

the gift

I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. РJohn 11:25

Attended my church member’s father’s memorial service last night, and as a choir we also sang “ŤÄ∂ŚíĆŚćéśėĮÁąĪ” (Jehovah is Love). Although it was an occasion where one would find it hard to be happy, our choir conductor reminded us that it was a day to be thankful and celebrate that his father was in a better place, where there would be no more tears and suffering.

Then I saw ‚Äúa new heaven and a new earth,”¬†for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,¬†and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City,¬†the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,¬†prepared as a bride¬†beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‚ÄúLook! God‚Äôs dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.¬†They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‚ÄėHe will wipe every tear from their eyes.¬†There will be no more death‚Äô¬†or mourning or crying or pain,¬†for the old order of things has passed away.‚ÄĚ ¬†– Revelation 21:1-4

It was heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time to hear the children recall joyful, funny and irreplaceable memories with their father, who taught them how to live a life of serving God and people, of loving one another and to follow His words. Thank God for all the wonderful moments they spent together as a family, especially in the last days, and thank God for the important reminder of how fragile and temporary life is.

Now listen,¬†you who say, ‚ÄúToday or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.‚ÄĚ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. ~ James 4:13-14

Everyday is a gift from above. Everyday we are given a “second chance”, to love our friends and family, to tell more people about His goodness, to learn to bear the Cross.

Yet I know no amount of empathy will make me understand the depth of their sorrow and pain. Thank God that He understands, and may His comfort and love walk them through one of the darkest valleys in their lives.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
   he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

– Psalm 23