2005 In Focus
It has been a year of discovery for me. God has revealed certain things about myself and others and what it means to keep trusting Him regardless of what I discover. As a result I discovered a little more of God that I have not known through experience. If last year I was on an extraordinary high, this year is then, a year where the bubbles on the champagne are slowly settling and I find myself trying to live out the ordinary life with faith. A wise man once said, "Never make a decision when you're high in the sky or down in the dumps". For me it would be more befitting to say, "Never decide if something is of God's will when you're high in the sky or down in the dumps". Don't presume to know God's will too quickly. But as always, I will continue to believe that "......EVERYTHING work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose".
Here's my list for 2005
Music/Songs Of The Year.....
You Raise Me Up - Selah
It expresses beautifully of how God has been and still is the pillar of my strength and hope.
Imagine Me Without You - Jaci Velasquez
The words say it all. ".....because of You, my life is now worthwhile"
Others worth mentioning
Once Again - Matt Redman/ Home - Michael Blube/ Fairytale - Guang Liang/ and several Jay Chou numbers
Films Of The Year.....
(incidentally, both carry a picture of redemption)
You may read my review here.
Narnia: Lion, Witch and Wardrobe
A remarkable Christian allegory that can be understood and appreciated by the young and old alike.
Books Of The Year.....
The Journey of Desire - John Eldredge
I am just as inspired and moved as I was with his other work, which were also in my list for last year's Books of The Year. Read my review here.
It was gift from a friend and one which I've always wanted to read cos it's by one of my favorite writer and blogger, rlp. It's a collection of short essays. Simple and honest, yet profound. Spiritual but not religious. You'll love it.
Women Who Love Too Much
It came as a ray of light in the middle of a battle that was plunging deeper into darkness. Though some parts of it were painful to read, it has provided clarity to some confusion and awaken me to a healthier way of loving.
Events Of The Year.....
His conversion came as a big surprise. Unfortunately after several months of spiritual high, he seem to have withdrawn. I am in no position to judge what went wrong or if he has indeed given up. If he really has, I'd think that's because he has not really known Jesus, because once you do, you'll never leave. Starting a race is easier than finishing it. I hope he will finish the race. As for me, there is no turning back.
Encounters with SSA (same-sex-attraction)
One thing that stands out clearly this year is the many encounters I've had with SSA. God has brought numerous people across my path who are dealing with SSA. Some are already in a relationship while some are still trying to fight it. Getting to know them better has given me a better understanding. Whatever our stand is on this, I'd say there is one response I know God will always approve - love them. Loving takes precedence over judgment. It does not mean approval but it will help us see them the way God sees them.
People Of The Year.....
The life and death of this little girl as told by her mother in a letter shortly after her death has been an inspiration to me. Even terminal disease cannot conceal the glory of God, as demonstrated through the childlike faith of this young girl.
It is predominantly through Steve that I've had a good look into the heart and mind of someone struggling with SSA. His honesty and transparency opened doors to dialogue motivated by love and not condemnation. He has not merely given me a better understanding of his struggle but also helped me see these people as real people with dreams, fears and needs just like all of us. He does not conceal his failures and weaknesses and is willing to make himself vulnerable. It has been a great blessing indeed to have crossed path with him through his journal.
You may read about how she has touched my life here.
If I were to write about how much she means to me and the way she has affected my life, it would fill pages and pages. No sensible blogger would do that. There are certain things meant to be written and treasured in our heart alone.
Sermons Of The Year.....
The life and death of Ashlee
Although I have never met Ashlee, the story of her life makes for one great sermon this year. Here is one of the most memorable part (written in the words of her mother);
"It must have been scary for you to loose your functions slowly. Why is it that you were never angry or upset? How can you fervently believe in the infinite goodness of a God you have never met even when you can't do all the things you have always loved anymore?
Mummy can guess why.
Because you didn't have to see God to believe. Because you know that God loves you much much more than anyone can ever love you. Because you understood that there is nothing much to fret about if we keep our eyes on Jesus. Because you have an indomitable spirit, sustained by your unequivocal belief that your Creator is good and will only want the best plan for you. Because you know that a short life does not equate a lesser one, if one chooses to live it fully and embrace all that it has to offer. Because you are an angel and has come to touch us with your amazing grace and teach us about God's love, that we should love because He first loved us."
Steve's story is to me, a sermon on preserverence and hope. The way he kept holding on to the last thread of hope, God himself, in the midst of his struggles is a great encouragement. As you read his blog, you'll see times when he is at the brink of giving up. Some of his entries are filled with lamentations. But if you're patient enough to follow him in his journey, you'll find him slowly and painfully crawling back to his Savior, grabbing and holding on to the faintest of light that he sees in the darkness of his aching heart. Steven, this race will not last forever. Hope to see you there when it's all over. A big feast awaits us.
Blog Of The Year.....
This is one blog that never fails to keep me entertained. Whether I'm feeling depressed, happy or just plain bored, I'm sure to get something out of it somehow.
Lesson of The Year.....
Never decide if something is of God's will when we're high in the sky or down in the dumps. There are many routes God can use to accomplish his purpose. Trust him to use whichever he thinks is best. Do not be quick to judge if the route you're on is in line with His will. None of us wants to end up on the wrong side of the road but we still do sometimes, knowingly or not. But God allows U-turn. Trust Him to lead you out. I don't know about you but most of the time, if not all, I really DO NOT know if I'm on the right track. Only when we know exactly where our destination is, it's quite impossible to know if we're going the right way. All I know is that whatever or wherever God is leading us to, it'll be good. That's about all I know. Although that's not gonna help with the direction, at least I'll know whatever happens, in the end I'll end up somewhere good because Jesus knows both the destination and the best way to get there. Best does not always mean quick and easy. That, we all know by now. What then? I'd say follow the best we can and trust the Holy Spirit to do His job.
Videoblog and Audioblog
They add variety to my blog.
2004 In Focus