Monday, September 5, 2011

Work overcoming self-centeredness

This was the daily bread that spoke to me this morning:

".......It  mustn’t escape our notice either that work was declared good before sin entered the picture. In other words, work didn’t result from the fall and therefore is not a curse. We see this idea again in Genesis 2, when God “took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (v.15).m
BLet’s approach each day’s labor—whether at a job or doing another activity to help our family—with an awareness of the dignity and nobility God granted it in creation.

Our daily work is used by God
To help us care for daily needs;
And work that’s done as to the Lord
Gives witness to our words and deeds. —D. De Haan"

It never occurred to me until reading the daily bread today that carrying out an activity to help others is considered work. To me work has a negative connotation. Working to earn money. Blessed are those who enjoy their work and still earn money. I guess I started off the wrong foot but really with no choice since we were below middle income family. If I had my way, I would go for drama and arts but there were no such studies except probably in America then. I would love to be in broadway, dancing, singing and acting. Unfortunately, I ended up in accounting but amazingly it was also a time of plentiful As because I finally could express in English and there were a lot of subjective papers as well.

In a way, I see a lot of myself in Nic. He is creative but lacks the confidence in a few areas. He is also quite brave on stage as long as they are not solo acts. Carrying out tasks can also be scary for him but Henry has been teaching him by allowing him to do things himself.

Instinctively growing up, I knew I had to teach myself to overcome fear but never with God's help. I joined audit to be better than just an accountant. I stayed in audit to face some of the fierce partners that just scold with lots of sarcasm. It was to build my personality to handle difficult situations. Then I specialized in corporate recovery to face dynamic situations, mostly hostile,  including terminating employee services but really because the business cannot be turned around anymore. Come to think of it, it was so masochistic to do this to myself all to overcome fear! If only I found Jesus. When I did find Jesus, I experienced such a beautiful talking relationship with Him but I still did not come across 2 Timothy 1:7. 

" For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

I was so caught up with the relationship, I did not allow my cousin Tammy to help me with this verse when all along, He was trying to reach out to me!

So, I pray, be open to even what YOU think is extreme teaching but if we allow God to  help, He will lead us to the truth and throw away what is wrong according to His word.

I recently realize that I have been condemned by the devil and that I am self centered. During the recent retreat at the Farm in Sg Machang, we talked about transformation and the areas we should submit to God to be changed. As I shared I sobbed uncontrollably . Eveyone in the group was so puzzled. Because I did not lean on God for daily tasks, I find it very exhausting when I give. I give till I burn out and then keep quiet a long while. That is when condemnation sets in. Sherry from Elpizo made me realize that I carry too great an expectation from myself. I could just give a call and chat a short while and that may be good enough but I expect more to be done and get depressed when things don't work out.

That is when I realize how precious P is because God is showing me so much when I depend on the Holy Spirit to reach out to P. P tells me that it is I who inspire her and I say that it is her who encourages me..ha ha. Really it is God putting us together to help each other. I only met her again after 15 years and she was very distressed. I prayed to God to fill my mouth with His words. And He sure did because I can't remember what I shared but she would tell me later how the words when applied to her life help her experience God. Her colleague is amazed how after all she has going through she still has joy in her heart! Then she would replay what I said to her. Praise the Lord! She encourages me back in return. When she went out to look for praise music as I requested her to listen, I asked her to look for 'God will make a way" at Salvation book store, she said I know, they are playing it now! How God loves her! That was God at work in her life! There were many other times and I am so encouraged to see how God works in her and all because I allowed Him to use me. So, I am reminded not to allow the devil to play my mind now that I have Christ. I will just call on the holy spirit to help me and give me ideas what to do and just sit back to see how God works. Thank you Lord for P. Thank You Lord for Your help. Thank You holy spirit!

This morning after the 4th treatment I feel half strong half weak. Strong coz I woke up early, walked a bit outside and am blogging. Weak coz I was coughing and throwing up phlegm and that made me feel weak and just lie down. But I need to move around just a little so that I don't get a sore bum! I did not take any arcoxia last night just two panadols for overall slight discomfort and I could not sleep.

Thank you all for your prayers. :)


  1. One of the seeming paradoxes in Bible included this (Matt 11:28-30):

    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Restedness that Jesus was talking about was NOT no work. Yoke is definitely referring to work. How can restedness in work possible? Under what circumstance is restedness possible in work? What is Jesus' yoke? Jesus' yoke is to do the Father's will. To exchange your yoke with the yoke of Jesus is to give up your yoke and take on the work of doing the Father's will. In other words, Jesus is promising that if we do the will of the Father, we can find rest for our soul. The opposite of restedness is turmoil, restlessness, strive, uneasiness, lack of peace, sense of burdensome, and heavy-laden. So, is it really if we do the will of the Father, we can find rest for our soul? But in practice, there are those of us, purportedly doing the will of the Father but there is no restedness of the soul; how come? The problem is that people take one part of verse 29 and NOT the other! They take Jesus' yoke alright, but they did NOT learn from Jesus. The verse said to take His yoke AND learn from Him.

    Despite internet search showing up that there is a Torah prohibition of yoking a stronger animal with a weaker one, such practice is believed to be common in those times. I shan't comment on the Torah here, but I want to express that there is a good reason for that (practice), and Jesus was pointing to exactly that, here in verse 29.

    Now there are those who wrote the yoke in a roundabout (opposite) manner, saying that we are the "strong" one that needs to be weakened, I believe that is incorrect, for it goes against the normal use of everyday examples as metaphors or parables of what God wants to say to us. No, it is we are the weak one, and Jesus is the strong one. A weak animal like an oxen is fitted with a strong one (and most likely an experienced one; one that had been doing the stuff before, and so know what is required, and how to pace things out), so that the weaker one learns the rope, so to speak, with the stronger one, carrying the greater load and strain until the weaker one is strong enough to bear more; “greater” (load) being relative to the newbie, but NOT to the seasoned one. People forget that when they do the will of the Father, they are to do them alongside Jesus, and learn from Him; they took the yoke upon themselves solely. And then they wonder why there is no restedness.

    It is as time goes by, as you learn from Jesus through the Holy Spirit, whom you have to welcome beside you, the art of carrying the yoke, you grow stronger to bear the yoke, in restedness. It is NOT you get weaker and weaker that Jesus carries more and more for you; that goes against the grain of common use of parable and metaphor. The mention of gentleness and humbleness on Jesus' part was to assure us that Jesus is NOT going to lord over you, making you carry all the load, or that He is going to tell you, "I have been there, and done that, Now, you do all the work." I like to interpret verse 30 to mean this: Jesus was saying, “You don't have to worry about me, for whatever portion that I have to bear, it is "no sweat", easy and light!” Why? Because He has arrived (… and we have NOT). Jesus is your “big brother”, work with Him in the Father’s business, and He (Jesus) will take care of you, NOT just in the business of the Father.

  2. Daer Anthony,
    Thanks for your feedback once again. I am blessed to see how with the Holy Spirit, we just do what needs to be done and He will do the rest. He touches the hearts of people not by my own strength. It is always with His strength. Yes, it doesn't mean we do nothing. He gives us ideas, prompts us, guides us. :)