Saturday, May 30, 2009

When a person has never gone through a certain lesson in life or have really felt how others felt in true empathy, they can only have an ideal idea of how things and people should be like.

As much as my heart does not wish to judge others, events of late has taught me never to assume and draw a boundary around the capabilities of a person based on who we know them to be personality-wise or what we think they are capable of doing.

You can never know a person in their entirety and humans are complex creatures.

So, i would appreciate it if you would pause for a moment to consider the weight of your words before telling me or others not to judge because you do not know what i or others have gone through. I have emphasized it to you and hopefully you have listened and heard the pain in my voice.

It hurt me to think that you think i judge others, but my aim has never been to judge people (my career choice forbids me to fyi). I may tell you in time to come what happened, and so you will understand.

Just know that while ideals are great if you can upkeep them, also remember that life is never ideal. I have tasted that in my own life. As i have already stated clearly to you, I simply have learnt not to be naive anymore regarding certain things and people. That is not tantamount to judging, i am simply just more aware.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A testimony for the sceptic, who is me.

We were outside one of the practice rooms waiting for a group of people to come out, when cheryl, my band's bass guitarist, shared with me and others around her that she woke up this morning with her hands red, swollen and painful and she had no idea why. And boy, were they really red, and swollen. In my mind, i was thinking: "should we pray...? sigh, don't want..." (my lazy, faithless human mind)

But my worship leader said, "come, lets pray for cheryl..." so we gathered around her and a few of us led outloud in prayer of healing for her hands. When 2-3 people were done praying, we looked at her hands again and saw that the redness had lessened but it was still swollen and painful. Usually, i remain quiet unless i feel that i have something to say but during a silent moment, Tomlin said, "I just feel that, joline, you should pray for cheryl. I asked God who else should and i saw your face... Just hold on to cheryl's whole finger."

I was of course stunned (more on that later, because i have some background info) but so i started out. I firstly declared that we have the holy spirit in us, and that allows us to do what Jesus could do in the past and therefore we have every ability of the holy spirit. I said to God, since you said you wanted to use me to bring healing to others, then this is what i'm asking for. With that, i just asked for healing for her hand and commanded the swelling and pain to leave. When we checked, the redness had gone down a little more but it was still swollen and painful.

By that time, it was time to enter the room for our pre-service prayer and so we decided to just trust God for the healing to come in time.

As usual, we started our time just singing and worshipping God... And for some reason, the prayer time we had was so intense. People were receiving words of affirmation of love and also God was telling us how He wants us to trust Him and His ways and to move along with His plans.

While worshipping, i suddenly had this strong urge to go over to cheryl on the other side of the room to pray again for her hands. At first i was like, "Nah... are you sure this is me just wanting to be altruistic or is this really God inspired?"

But then, my pastor had a vision of a mighty rushing river, but there were people standing by the side afraid to jump in. She felt God saying that the river was his holy spirit, and was saying to us to not be afraid to jump in because although it looks scary, he will never allow us to be hurt or killed but instead would lead us with His power.

At first i thought that did not make much sense to me but as i reflected on it, it DAWNED on me that: HEY. THIS IS EXACTLY what i am going through... (more on that later, as i said! :oD)

We started to sing the bridge of the song "Healer" and i was again stunned because we weren't spending the time praying for healing but rather we were just listening to God.

With the urge so strong to go over to Cheryl and with the final push/cue as they sang "Healer", i went over with both faith and fear in my heart. It occured to me that perhaps God was going to allow THIS time instead to show us His healing power. This was the moment.

To my surprise, two of my other friends also started to approach cheryl to pray for her. I was like, "oh. my. word". It was like, we were all prompted at the same time!

(i checked with Tomlin and he said that at that moment, he "sensed that something was coming". Cool huh?)

I decided to choose confidence over disbelief, and knelt in front of cheryl, held both her hands and started to pray with two of my friends as the rest sang and worshipped in their own way.

As the time came to a close when the music died down, i opened my eyes and cheryl and i smiled at one another... And she opened her hands and... There was NO MORE REDNESS, NO MORE SWELLING, AND BEST, NO MORE PAIN.

Those around us who saw us in a huddle asked if her hand still hurt and she said "There's no more pain!"

I myself could not believe it even when she showed me her hands and exclaimed, "See! Back to skinny fingers! You can see the bone!"

Ok, my faithless doubting mind always doesn't run far from me, i had to keep looking at her hand to see the difference... It was indeed back to normal. Earlier on, it was seriously red and swollen but now, the difference was STARK. Haha, i told her we should've taken a before and after photo...

I still have to say that God has to throw a brick at me at times. I am a very careful charismatic (the denomination) christian and i question and doubt a lot. Even with a miracle occurring before my very eyes, i could still ask myself whether it was really true and maybe there is a scientific reason for it, or maybe it was my friend's prayer (which is such a ridiculous thought because it is God's power and not who prayed that makes the difference) or whatever.

It's not that we can demand things out from God the Genie as and when we want to. Whatever happens or does not happen is God's choosing. Even if nothing visible happens, that is not the point. What matters is that i'm relying on a living God with whom i have a relationship with, prayer changes things in the invisible spiritual realm and I am simply choosing to step out in faith (and some inevitable fear of course) and exercising the bible's truth.

I know that what i saw and experienced was true and real. Nothing can take away the fact that it happened and that God partnered with me and my friends to pray and see the healing happen to bless my friend.

This incident has bolstered my faith and my resolve to continue in my walk with God despite the things happening around me. I am tired of being a quiet status quo christian. I am tired of being sceptical and jaded. I want to bring God's kingdom onto the streets. Yes, i am an imperfect, weak and flawed human being prone to going back to my old ways, but my Father God is neither of that. And that gives me all the reason to trust and move forward and bring destruction to barriers and obstacles, seen and unseen.


Background info will share in the next post or so.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remind me to tell you about what happened on saturday. It involves praying for someone and...

Friday, May 22, 2009

at the dog run on a sunday evening

That's Jed at the dog run looking wistfully at a piece of dog food that my sister is holding in her hand. I taught him to do this trick where he rests his little snout and paw on the lap of the food giver. Kinda of a useless trick but i thought he looked so cute so i figured it's be nice to have him do it on command. :-D

This beagle came by and started to dig at my sister's pocket because there was a plastic bag of dog food in there... Beagles are hunting dogs and have a very powerful sense of smell. As you can see, my sister is trying to protect the food. :-D Earlier on, Jed had lost a piece of dog treat in the ground between my feet and since he couldn't dig it up to eat it, he left it there. It didn't take the Beagle much time to run over from dunno where to my sister to dig for food from her pocket and to also pick up the scent of the tiny hidden piece of food in the ground left by Jed. It tried to dig for the piece but i think it failed since it was caught somewhere deep in the grass. I'm amazed by its little nose!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

absolute pain, absolute love, faith, grace and beauty

I tried to shower as fast as i could so that i could catch them awake before they slept. When i reached their room, it was pitch dark and i figured they had already dozed off. I poked around for my mum still so that i could just squeeze in next to her on the bed. I just felt like i needed the comfort so badly like a child all over again. I was thinking of giving up when i felt a hand firmly hold mine and pulling towards the other end of the bed.

So i slipped onto the bed next to my mum thinking that we'd just sleep in silence, but no. As she held my hand in hers, I heard her whispering something and i responded with a "huh?", but it dawned on me that she was praying. A few moments later, she pulled my right hand onto her chest and nestled it in my dad's left hand that she also pulled onto her chest, using her own to hold us together and I heard her praying more distinctly again for our family.

I started to cry and big, full tears rolled down my cheeks and landed on her pillow next to my ears and i could hear them going "thud" each time.

At intervals, she would carress my face and hair and pull my head close to her shoulder, and deliver a kiss on my head. Her shirt became soaked with my tears soon enough. In those moments, i really realized what a strong person my mum can be and more so, how she is a darn solid trooper, soldier, and a beautiful woman of God.

Monday, May 18, 2009

the little piglets are sleeping by the way...

I laughed and laughed at this video... a bit mean lah, but i'm like, animals are so cute.

Friday, May 08, 2009

as u can tell, i am on a hiatus which was unintentional... i was just busy with driving and getting my practicum paper work settled.

but something very drastic has happened and i am not at liberty to talk about it.

all i know is that i need time to heal from the pain, hurt, anger, hatred, disappointment, and i don't know how i am going to do my practicum without being sullen if i am not talking to anyone.

God is real and the only one i can depend on. The human race is indeed an evil race when it wants to be.