Our poverty, God’s dwelling place
How can we embrace poverty as a way to God when everyone around us wants to become rich? Poverty has many forms. We have to ask ourselves; “What is my poverty?”
Is it a lack of money, lack of emotional stability, lack of loving partner, lack of security, lack of safety, lack of self confidence….?Each human being has a place in poverty. That’s the place where God wants to dwell! “How blessed are the poor,” Jesus says (Mathew 5:3). This means taht our blessings is hidden in our poverty.
We are so inclined to cover up our poverty and ignore it that we often miss the opportunity to discover God, who dwells in it. Let’s dare to see our poverty as the land in which our treasure is hidden – Henri JM Nouwen.
How can someone ever trust in the existence of an unconditional divine love when most, if not all, of what he or she has experienced is the opposite of love – fear, hatred, violence, and abuse?
They are not condemned to be victims! There remains within them hidden as it may seem, the possibility to chose love. Many people who have suffered the most horrendous rejections and been subject to the most cruel torture have been able to chose love. By chosing love they become witnesses not only to human resiliency but also to the divine love that transcend all human loves. Those who choose, even on a small scale, to love in the midst of hatred and fear are the people who offer true hope to our world.
Small Steps of Love
How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it? We chose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity. A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit – all these are little steps towards love.
Each step is like a candle burning in the night. It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness. When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.
“Faith, Hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.” I Corinthians 13:13
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4 :9-10
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” John 6 :27
The Source of all Love
“In order not to be destroyed by the wounds inflicted by that imperfect human love, we must trust that the source of all love is God’s unlimited, unconditional, perfect love, and that this love is not far away from us but is the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling within us.”
Henri J M Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest who shared his life with people with mental disabilities as pastor of the I’ Arche Daybreak Community, Toronto, Canada. He was the author of more than thirty books on spiritual life, including The Return of the Prodigal Son, The Wounded Healer and The Genesee Diary (all DLT). He died in September 1996.
There is no shortcut to Success
Thruout my lifetime,
I have searching for that shortcut,
You name it, I have tried it but without success,
Even with the most powerful software to visualise,
There isn’t a shortcut to success.
Unless you are born with a silver spoon,
But even you have money today doesn’t mean you have it tomorrow,
Unless you are prudent and know how to manage it,
For the rest of us, it’s carrying our cross,
And make our living as anyone else.
The secret to success is hard work,
Day by day you build your wealth,
Solving problems by problems,
Remember you need to cross that bridge,
Before you reach the next stage,
And if you fail it will set you back,
If you are not able to climb back up,
You are already a failure,
Cause Life is a series of bridges you must cross,
And never look back,
That is the challenge of success,
With logical planning and hard work,
And a little bit of luck,
The next bridge you cross may bring you great tidings,
Or your next windfall.
No man is an island
Mankind has always been social creatures,
And the need to interact and love exists since time,
Friends, relations and aquantances,
Form an intergrated circle we can do without,
We depend on their influence and support,
To solve problems in life,
But the sad fact is they have become self centred,
Only concerned about themselves,
To be better than their neighbours,
In this silly rat race,
What is really enough?
The sacrifices for your morals,
Compromised and defeated,
Mankind will always struggle,
With issues of the world,
They seek enlightenment in all the wrong places,
And put up a false front,
Take the log out from your eye,
Before you complain about your brother’s,
Cause what you do will come round,
Back to haunt you,
Nothing hidden under your bed,
Will one day be revealed,
So why don’t you do good,
And purge your conscience,
So that your night’s sleep,
Will be so very sweet,
And if we do not do what others may follow,
The world will be definitely a better place to live in.
The Family – A Centre of influence
In the western context, when you hit 18,
You are already considered an adult and should be treated as one,
You are expected to make your own money,
Find your own place to stay and be independent,
I am not against all that but the chinese are a different lot,
It’s only when you are married are you considered independent,
At most times, you still stay with your in-laws even though you are married,
With strings attached, do you still rely on your parents for moral support?
Do you move away from your comfort zone to be really independent?
Children nowadays are a pampered lot,
They have their parents to plan everything for them,
With so much to depend on, will they grow up to be able to fend for themselves?
From young, children should not be spared the cane but learn the basics of life.
It is thru this knowledge they will develop their minds and learn to be independent.
I have been to China and noticed that their families are a very different lot,
In times of need, they will band together to resolve problems together,
In times of celebration, they will also band together to celebrate.
You can count on your friends/relations to loan that needed money in times of need,
But they will expect you to return them the favor sometime in future.
What is happening to the rest of the world?
The only way to raise funds is to talk to a banker.
“Unity in strength”
Take a chopstick and you can easily bend it.
But take a bunch of chopsticks and try to do the same?
This world is full of instant gratification,
You have instant marriages,
And instant divorces,
When things go wrong you will bail out straightaway,
But have you spare a thought for your children?
I never say mine was perfect in the first place,
But when I have children,
There is no such word as ‘divorce’,
No matter how difficult is the going,
Marriage is a sanctury,
With children, it is in eternity.
I never believe in breaking one’s family,
“A Happy family is a “blessed” family.
What is Love?
It is love at first sight,
Infatuation – when your hearts beat faster,
And that rush of chemistry thru your brains,
Sent you in eternal blisshood,
A sense of longing,
The feeling of missing someone you love,
During courtship, its the mighty might,
To bring down the stars for your love one.
After marriage, and after things are settled in,
Comes the commitment, sacrifices and reality,
When love doesn’t comes with the intensity,
The chemistry and the longing,
You suddenly wakeup to the wrong side of bed,
When the dust settles, do you still cling on to your marriage or move on?
Man and woman are two different creatures,
For man, it’s the physical love,
And woman, the emotional love,
Two different views,
Two different requirements,
Do you see eye to eye?
Ask any couple who has spent a lifetime together,
What are their secrets,
They will tell you,
It’s sacrifice, commitment, faithfulness, love and companionship.
The willingness to stay together no matter what comes may,
A Lifetime of sacrifices,
That is not what love is today.