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by jha on 05/9/2015

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by xi_le on 05/8/2015

I seek solace.

That pain, thought good riddance, returned. That familiar pain which literally tears me apart inside. Nostalgic.

The one who brought me out of the ditch threw me back in, like them.

We are all made in the image of God and hence no one is really Him. No one will love like He does. We all love with prerequisites, requirements and personal agendas.

I should learn to love better.

 

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#98

by xi_le on 08/25/2014

Dear Chloe,

Looking at what we don’t have really eat us up.

I was intending to buy the ticket home and was frustrated over the many alternatives I need to think about in order to get the lowest price. And I asked God why we need to scrimp and save, didn’t you say You provide?

Then I saw your email.  Turn back to Jesus.

You know we are an office of 7 people doing 30 people’s work. Sharon and Lena said rest in The Lord, let God fight the battle, encourage the people with testimonies in Bible. I see the frustration of the people here wanting to do more but so limited human capacity. Everyone is overloaded over the brim. If those who knows God need to learn how to trust and rest in The Lord, what say more who don’t know God.

If we say words alone are insufficient for the poor and needy and hence we are involved in community development, then how about the marketplace ministry? What’s the action we should take, besides walking the walk? I wonder.

Add icing to the cake, the very same  people are pushing me to the limits. They just can’t keep their opinions to themselves. Whatever my comments or questions are replied Joy look at the many things we have to do. We need more people. No, it’s not what you think. No this, No that. I wonder how many more days of “Nos” I can tolerate.

So I told God, “I can’t handle Your people.”

God said, “Even Moses can’t handle his own people.” And this morning, He brought me to John 21.

He provides and “do you love me?”

“Feed my sheep”

I am tasked to watch, pray and intercede. Imagine this is what God had intended since I came here and I choose to ignore until recently. To learn to listen to God and pray instead of praying and God listen to me only is a challenge. Still learning in progress to be silent and still before God.

The people we loved (or don’t), the church, the burdens that God placed in our hearts and our lives need prayers and intercession. Through them, we see the hands of God moving and transformation happening.

Keep calm and look upwards, like snoopy.

Thank you for the encouragement, as always.

 

Joy.

 

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Hi-5

by jha on 07/15/2014

Dear Joy,

IT’S THE DAY AGAIN!  

If you were a real kid, you’d be in K1 this year! The start of formal education. Congrats for making it thus far so well.  Notwithstanding your rather non conducive (read: hostile) environment, mulberry dances and pokes along the way, I’m proud that you’re still journeying on in this path of righteousness.  Now that you’re entering Year 6, here’s some advice from Snoopy.  No one says it better -

5th kiddoday

 

Celebrating this day with joy in Kathmandu,

Janice

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#97r

by jha on 06/23/2014

Dear Joy,

I don’t have an answer to your last question – “Why is paying it forward so difficult?”

What I do know is this – you’re loved and blessed beyond what you sense and feel.

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

– Jesus (Matt 5:3-12)

Your current difficulty is not an indication that you’ve gone off focus.  From Jesus’ words, it’s precisely because you’re expending energy in staying focused that you face resistance.  It’s always easier to let go, but that’s not what He wants.  He promises that things will eventually be put right when He arrives on the scene, so may this difficult mojo-less season drive you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

Loving you as ever,

Janice

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#97

by xi_le on 06/13/2014

Dear Janice,

During lunch one day, D and D commented,

Joy, if a dish comes and its yours, take it first. If there’s a similar one, it will still come

And I replied

I am taught this way (to let others go first).

During meeting one day, I commented,

D, remember you talked about adaptive grid? Maybe we really should look into it.

And she replied

What do you mean we? Why don’t you go try do it?

It made me wonder. I tried with my best efforts to fit in my current location, and I don’t. I wonder if being nice doesn’t quite cut it, hence I shouldn’t be nice.

This week, I received a nasty text from the younger twin to ask me not to complain to my boss and talk to her directly if I have a problem. Today, the older one came back to office and totally changed all the assignments which I discussed and allocated to the ladies.

It made me wonder again. What kind of employee should I be? The one who does what is told period or the one who takes initiative when there is a problem.

If a company is about God, then it’s about people. We grow a person’s character. Is that it? What about professional skills? Critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, customer service. Aren’t we supposed to impart all these too?

So I thank God for G. I met a mentor who taught me selflessly in my work, allowed me to make decisions and support my decisions.

And I thank God for you. You taught and loved me, almost like God in person.

So why is paying it forward so difficult?

cheers,

Joy

 

 

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#96r

by jha on 02/10/2014

Dear Joy,

Bet you didn’t expect the “r” to come this quick! Since my remaining time here is too short to dive into any serious design work and too long to stone away, what better use of time than to send you 96r. Muahahaha!

Thank you for 96.  You know I always (yes, always) look forward to your posts.

It’s a fact that the more one is unsure of who they are and whose they are, the harder it is to be a nobody.  This is why many are in an endless pursuit to achieve and accumulate things/projects in order to assuage their insecurities and to help them feel less of a nobody. On the contrary, those who are secure find it easier to lay it all down because they know it doesn’t change who they are or how much they are loved by the one who matters most to them.  The best example and model is of course, Jesus.  He not only emptied himself, he poured it all out in the most gruesome, condemned way. His death as a criminal actually negated his entire reputation as a great teacher and deliverer who worked fabulous miracles.  All the limelight, oohs and aahs and reviews, all the accolades and applause of men suddenly got flushed down the toilet bowl and into the sewers of human history. Had God not resurrected Him, we would not be here exchanging posts on joy-fer.com.  If it were not for the joy of pleasing His Father alone (Heb 12:2), I don’t think he could have gone down that route.  The grief alone would be unbearable. 

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Phil 2:5-8 (NLT)

It’s no secret that you struggle most in being a nobody.  Whenever you say “I’m a nobody,” I can almost sense a tinge of resolution mixed with resignation.  I know you are training yourself in righteousness and God is ever nearby egging you on in this path that He is leading you to.  At the same time, we ask for divine enablement because at the end of the day, God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Phil 2:13)

Thank God for giving us that desire to please him.  Wait till He gives us the POWER to do what pleases him, too – woohoo!  Ask and you shall receive.

The day you can truly say you are a nobody with perfect rest and acceptance, perhaps like Emmet in the Lego Movie, you could be the next nobody who ends up saving everybody. So when are we going to watch this?

See you when I’m back from Tacloban.

As ever,

Janice

P.S. The fridge is a needful thing.  Thank God for providing it through you.

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#96

by xi_le on 02/9/2014

Dear Janice,

I am utterly amazed at God stringing events, people and conversations for me to understand this.

“Please me.” He said

It all started with this question on Wednesday.

“Are you ready to be poured out as an offering?”

My immediate response;

“Yes, but I want to be a superhero.”

“Doormat.” So it said on utmost.org

“Doormat then but I want people to affirm how great a doormat I am.”

This is exactly my attitude during my stint in Israel. I serve in return for affirmation. I thought this is what it means to be last yet be first.

Salah

I continued to ponder over this at the back of my head.

He spoke through His words and His people.

1st slap on the head:
This is the first time I meditate on the parable of the vineyard workers (Matt 20:1-16). I confessed I was part of the 1st batch of workers. I agreed to what was promised yet I become unhappy in comparison to those who came later.
Since the release of Lotta, most credit was given to my boss and fellow colleague. They stood in the limelight, presentation after presentation. Then came all the planning, negotiations and road maps which I am practically in the unknown. Even though shared later after the conversation with Sharon on wed, damage was permanent.

I psyched myself to be an employee only in this God’s company, only to cause more grief to myself.

God chooses who and what He please to use and do since it’s His universe, people and things. Who am I to say, “not fair, God!”

2nd slap on the head:
Coming to God is not to please myself but so that He can be pleased. Ps George Ee hit a note in my heart. My willingness to be poured out as an offering was to satisfy my flesh so that my name may be glorified. Hosea’s willingness to be poured out as an offering was to please God (my belief). Not that God is a tyrant, I do expect Him wanting to be pleased with my every actions and thoughts.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)

3rd slap on the head:
I search my heart for the motive of buying a fridge for the office, as I reflect on Ps George Ee’s msg especially since he shared about His iPad. I did not know and choose not to answer Lena’s question today.

Do I have the savior’s mentality?

I don’t deny the possibility since I have the SHS (superhero syndrome). I reasoned with God that I did ask You to provide if You do not want me to buy. I told God I just want to do my part for His company, yet I am afraid of people’s judgement, same like the email to my boss.

“Does it matter if people have this perception I am trying to be a savior?” I ask myself now.

It still matters, as of now but I guess it doesn’t stop me from giving. Like what you mentioned, I need to know how to receive too.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalms 139:23, 24 NLT)

Joy

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2013 Recap_r

by jha on 01/21/2014

Dear Joy,

You were in the attic with a guitar just now, so I guess you must have had a private moment with God. Any gems to share?

Back to your 2013 Recap.

Yes and Amen to your consecrative prayer and passage from Luke 8.

More than a cherry on the cake, I reckon my 2-month time with you IS the entire cake for me in 2013…plus all the tooth-decaying, high-calorie, die-young nasty sweet stuff that comes along with it.  It is the ultimate personal best.  As it stands, it wins my lifetime award for enjoyable memories. I can sum up the entire experience with this toon –

peanuts its-not-where-you-go-its-who-you-travel-with

Thank you for putting up with me, especially for things you intensely dislike, such as logistics and trip planning just to name a few.  Believe me, I’m looking forward to the next opportunity, whenever it may be, God willing.

I’ll be praying with you as you continue to learn how to accept your vulnerabilities and lot in life and to not let them stand in the way of transformation.  We all need to.  May God continue to be magnified in all areas of our lives this year.

I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

1 Cor 10:33 (NLT)

Hope I don’t have to wait till you’re about to leave for TLV to get the next post.

As ever,

Janice

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A 2013 recap

by xi_le on 01/1/2014

Dear Janice,
As I looked back in 2013 for things to thank God for, there wasn’t much yet it was everything too. The opportunity to live in Israel, the protection over my family and friends, the excitement in work and the people He placed in my path, all these are to be grateful for. Not to mention, your 2 months in Israel was that cherry on the cake.

The call to consecrate ourselves, family and work tonight was exceptionally close to heart. God revealed the condition of my heart as I prayed. Setting these 3 apart for God is a frequent prayer that I never quite get it right.

Myself – God said let go of the false front I yearn for others to think of me and come to terms who I really am. The struggles in 2013 is a vivid reminder of this.

Family / work – His presence is still not established. My family and colleagues still have not seen Jesus through me. The desire to prove myself useful and relevant took precedence in 2013.

And so God did another heart surgery tonight. I haven’t felt that comfortable in ages. The comfort of who I really am and the amount of vulnerabilities I have, I will learn to accept them in 2014. The glory of God has to be magnified in my family and workplace.

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (Luke 8:16, 17 NIV)

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