Sep 27, 2006

Are you happy?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Am I happy? Happy with my life? Sometimes, my answer is yes; sometimes, no. As I look back, I realized that it wasn't wealth or material possession, nor is it accademic qualifications, that made me happy. There were times when I told the Lord, "Lord, I need more money, more of this and more of that." But when I've got all that I've requested for, I would desire and ask for even more! No... anything worldly has failed to satisfy my soul and my every desire, let alone giving me happiness.

Happiness is not determined by external circumstances, but by internal circumstances. How true it is! Personally, I found happiness
in making sacrifices for family and friends. I love helping out in church even though my contribution is considered small and unnoticed. I like giving compliments to people I meet, if this little act can bring a smile on their faces. I willingly give a hand, even though I know that my help is not appreciated, only God sees it all! I like to utter "I love you" to God at any moments I feel like to, because I clearly know that He loves me even more... every second of everyday.

What about you? Are you happy?

Thoughts inspired by the story below...

What are you waiting for?

Most people are waiting for something -- something "special" that will make their life great, so they can be happy.

Ask yourself: have others had this, and are they all happy? No, they're not, and it won't give you lasting happiness, either.

Happiness is not determined by external circumstances, but by internal circumstances.

Everyone chooses how happy they are by what they choose to think about.

Your attitude is determined by your perspective, which is determined by what you think about -- your focus. You choose your focus, so ultimately, you are the one who chooses whether to be happy, or not.

Perspective is what the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) are about. Seeing a bigger picture than just this one small moment of time. (The Beatitudes are where Jesus explained how some are blessed, or happy -- even in difficult situations.)

(The word we translate as "happy" in the New Testament is usually translated as "blessed.")

You won't get happiness by chasing what the world has to offer. It has already been tried and found wanting.

And, you will never be happy as long as you are self-centered. A focus on self is guaranteed to prevent happiness.

Right after Jesus performed the menial task of washing his disciple's feet -- akin to cleaning toilets today -- He told

JOHN 13:15,17 ICB
15 I did this as an example for you. So you should do as I have done for you. 17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.

You will be happy if you help others. If you take your focus off yourself. That's what Jesus taught.

Sep 24, 2006

Humble pie... snack for spiritual health

Since I'm a newbie at the company I'm working with right now, I tried my very best to be polite and nice to all my colleagues, in contrast to how I usually interact with my good friends (that doesn't mean that I treat my friends rudely; my friends and I know each other so well that our response to each other is so "natural" and spontaneous... hope you get what I mean). Because I know that as a fresh graduate and to "steal" skills from the experts and to be accepted by them, I have no choice but to humble myself.

I thought I was humble enough, that's why my colleagues treated me well and were willing to help me. Therefore when the daily reflection mentioned about being humble, it didn't come to my mind that I'm not that humble after all.

I went to another town the other day to do a field survey on the project site. My job was to bring the geologist to the site and explain to him what the whole project was about and what was required. I met this geologist for the first time, and he was such a gentleman despite his knowledge and experience. I was impressed, both by his knowledge and his humbleness.

After everything was done, we drove up to the District Office as we needed the population data surrounding the project area. [My supervisor wasn't there, so I had to do everything by myself.] Again, I tried to be friendly to the District officer as I passed him the letter of request my supervisor has prepared for me. To my dismay, the District officer refused to give me what I requested and worse still, he was really rude. I was mad and dissatisfied.

I kept asking myself...
This guy is a Chinese, and yet he was so rude to a fellow Chinese, how could he?
What's wrong with this guy? Is this how he always treat others?
Should I just file a lawsuit against him? I'm not happy with his service.

The more I thought about it, the angrier I became.

Damn... who did he think he is to humiliate me?!

Wait a minute... did I just feel humiliated?

There is no other better proof than this that can clearly show the absence of humbleness in me. If I was humble enough, would I still feel humiliated? Certainly not. I was so upset that I told everyone about it.

...we conplain when we experience something unheavenly here on earth. ... We cry, "God, I'm tired of this trial! When are You going to make it end?" (That's what the Israelites said in the desert.) "God, You obviously don't understand how bad this problem is for me. Can't you see I'm suffering here? Oh God, when are you going to make that person change so that I can enjoy my life better?"

...Complaining to others is an indication that we don't mind spreading our distrust. Complaints mean we've forgotten that God is already blessing us. Did Jesus ever complain? He got upset sometimes, but he never complained, not even when they beat him and nailed him to the cross. Instead, he prayed for his persecutors: "Father, forgive them, because they don't know what they're doing." ...

~ by Terry Modica, Good News Ministry

I realized that humbleness is not just needed for my work, but in my daily encounter with everyone God sent, including my family members and my closest friends. Why should I let pride take control of me? What good can I do with pride leading the way? What good would I get out of self-gratification? Is there anything about me which I can boast about? Surely, NO! Deep down in my heart, I clearly know that I'm not a professional nor am I a great person; I have not made any significant contribution to the world; I'm a nobody in this world!

If Jesus the Almighty God and King of the whole universe, willingly came DOWN from Heaven to become a servant, how much more should I, a nobody, humble myself and follow the footsteps of my Master!! For St. Paul says, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Cor 1:31)

Father, please teach me to be meek and humble like You. I want to learn Your ways!

Inspired by Daily Reflection of 14 September, the feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

I'd like to ask for forgiveness from everyone for the many occasions when I've been rude, unfriendly and proud, whether in words or in action.

Sep 22, 2006

God's love always goes to...

... the unlovable. Like me.

He gave me a good education and found me a good company to work in... although I don't deserve it.

He gave me friends who really care; He opened my heart and my eyes to feel and see like He does... although I don't deserve it.

He always makes sure that I'm in good hands... although I don't deserve it.

He loves me so, even though I don't deserve His love. So many times, I crowned Him with the Crown of Thorns, I sent Him back to the Cross again; I clearly know that I'm very disappointing - I'm not as smart as the rest of my friends are, I'm weak and vulnerable inside although I look rather strong outside, I'm skill-less, not even good looking, I can't find any good quality in myself... in fact, I'm a good-for-nothing fellow.

But He loves me still. What is my worth? In reality, I'm worthless. In God's eyes, I'm worth dying for. The more I learnt of my unworthiness, the more I found God's untiring and unconditional love for me. Just by gazing at the Crucifix is enough to bring me to tears.

Father God, what have I done that I deserve all Your love? Please allow me to prove my love for You as You have proven Yours for me, as long as I live...

Sep 12, 2006

Gereja Katolik St Ann: Parishioner is Newly-Professed Carmelite

I have been invited by the Carmelite Sisters to the profession of solemn vows of two sisters, but sadly, I couldn't make it as I was on a vacation with my family.

I don't really know these sisters well, but I've met them three times. The last time I met them, they can still remember my name! Wow! The joy of giving oneself completely to God for the sake of His Kingdom... how wonderful it is!

Dear sisters, I will visit all of you again as soon as I have some free time. Love you all dearly.

Click here for the news:
Gereja Katolik St Ann: Parishioner is Newly-Professed Carmelite

Sep 10, 2006

My Prayer

This heart of mine is Yours... my Jesus, so take this heart of mine, fill it with Your love and then order me to do whatever You wish. - St. Padre Pio

I sincerely repeat this simple prayer of love after St. Padre Pio, that another week ahead will be another blessed journey with Him, He whom my heart desperately longs for.

This heart of mine is Yours... my Jesus, so take this heart of mine, fill it with Your love and then order me to do whatever You wish.

May this simple prayer be your prayer too. God bless!

Inspired by Moneybag's Inspirational Wisdom for Today.

A little update

Looks like I haven't been updating this blog for a while. I really miss blogging... miss the time I used to sit in front of the computer for hours to read and type, with a glass of beverage and the Bible by my side. Ever since I started work, I need to turn in earlier than usual (I used to stay up until 3-4 a.m.!). If I don't, my Dad would be nagging away and we would eventually end up in a quarrel, which I really hate. (I'm working in an environmental consultancy company - click here to visit the company's website.)

Life has started to become more challenging as I attended CHOICE* Weekend and became part of the CHOICE family. I've been challenged to put my faith into practice. So far I've been slow to anger, tried my best not to raise my voice when talking to my parents, tried to help my Mom with housework as much as possible, practiced saying 'thank you' for everything they do for me etc. I've also forgiven those who have hurt me - I'm amazed at what Sacrament of Reconciliation can do! I also felt much better after all the tears during my confession to the priest I trusted.

I have a bigger circle of friends now. At work, in church and in CHOICE. Another part of my life adventure has begun.

I want to thank those who are constantly stopping by all these while to check on this blog. I'll try to blog more. I hope everyone is doing fine during my absence. God bless!

*CHOICE is an outreach programme for single adults, presenting in a positive way the consequences of belonging in relationships. The Weekend programme experience has helped many singles rediscover their sense of belonging with their family, friends and God, with some even discovering their purpose and mission in life. CHOICE Malaysia belongs to a bigger family - CHOICE Asia, which consists of Asian countries that organises CHOICE Weekends. These countries include Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. CHOICE Asia meets once in two years to share and exchange ideas.