Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Stressing the Stressful

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm

The sermon today was “God, give me peace.” Rev Freeto talked about stress.  Life gives us stress, life is stressful.


So I am choosing not to be stressed by stupidity.  The stupidity of the way things are done here in my adopted hometown.  In one month, two notices.  One about bad credit and one about a returned check and now I have to pay a collection agency.  What?!?!?!

I try not to verbalize my cussing and swearing.  But if I keep in, I might explode or give myself an ulcer or grind my teeth tonight.  So…”Bloody Hell!”

It’s good to be imperfect.  No, I am not trying to justify my need to swear.  But I am without external peace and I am not happy about it.  So yes, I have to leave it in the Hands of Jesus and figure out that even this, this too shall pass.  “Bloody Hell.”

I cannot control these things.  I understand why some people give up trying to relate with agencies.  Try being put on hold for a LONG time – on a cell phone.  Try dealing with bureaucracy.

Before leaving the employ of the Methodist Church in Singapore, I was facilitating discussion groups on “The Oz Principle.”  The point was to help people become personally accountable, to take responsibility for the good of the organization or company.  Yeah…we need it, a sense of commitment and a sense of personal and corporate responsibility.

The issue is a few bad hats make life troublesome for the rest of us who are not irresponsible and apathetic.  But it also makes many people angry and frustrated that often times situations are dealt with to prevent abuse by a few bad hats that not only inconvenience the majority but actually make life less manageable.

I can’t solve prevailing problems in the world.  Right now I can only try to manage my situation with the stupid newspaper company that decided I did not pay for my newspaper subscription and thus sent the check to the collection agency.  Until tomorrow (Monday) when I can call them, I need to get this out of my system ~ “Bloody Hell.”

Rev Freeto got us to say this over and over for 90 seconds in the worship service this morning, you know, The Jesus Prayer, “(Lord) Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, A Sinner.”

Okay…The Jesus Prayer.

(Bloody Hell, stoopid agencies, bloody hell…)

“(Lord) Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, A Sinner.”

“(Lord) Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, A Sinner.”

“(Lord) Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, A Sinner.”

“(Lord) Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, A Sinner.”


Pastor and Pastor’s Wife Get Choicest Parking Lots

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Hey, Mum, Look!

Rightly so!

Some of you will say, “No! Because other than Handicapped drivers, no one, not anyone should have special parking lots in the church carpark (parking lot if you are in the US reading this).”

At a church we visited here in Waco, Tx, the choicest lots were reserved for First Time Visitors. There were no lots for Second Time Visitors, though.

Depending on which side of the pulpit you take your view or from which pew you admire the pastor, you tell me what you think about parking in church.

NB. Photo is of a church I pass by everyday of the school week.  There is another lot to the right of the pastor’s wife’s lot – Reserved for Church Mother and it happens to be a Handicapped lot.

Rev Terry Jones

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

Do you think he backed down because some Iman in Florida promised him something he believed he got?  (The Iman in Florida did not speak with the Iman in NY).  Okay.  Whatever the reason/s, it doesn’t change the fact that people’s convictions and opinions haven’t changed just because Terry Jones decided not to burn Korans tomorrow.

What makes me nervous is that there are people who want to join in with Rev Terry Jones or they agree with his view because they believe they are American AND Christian.  I must say I have also heard many American Christians who DO NOT agree with him.

But don’t people realise that while there appears to be many American Christians in town, there are as many American Muslims, American Judaisers, American Taoists, American Buddhists, American Hindus, American Baha’is, American Atheists, American Spiritists, etc, around town, too.  Why do some American Christians believe they have the monopoly on almost everything?

I am a Singaporean.  I am a Christian (better in my books to go with “Follower of and Believer in God in Jesus Christ” – to some of you this might be me giving credence to the faith traditions of others or that God may be revealed in other manifestations – we won’t go there today).  You may ask me which comes first.  Well, it is both/and.  Just the same way I hope my Singaporean friends who are Buddhists or Muslims are both/and and not one or the other when it suits them.

So how do I as a Christian who is Singaporean or a Singaporean who professes to be a Christian view this Terry Jones’ Koran burning plan?

1) It is unAmerican

2) It is unChristian

3) I pray he yields to however God convicts him and that he listens and obeys the voice of God and doesn’t confuse it with his own “self-righteous” anger.

4) He is no different from militant fundamentalists of any faith tradition when a cause becomes greater than the Diety.

5) He could do with exposure to how others outside the USA live in multi-racial, multi-religious societies.

6) Patriotism might be an Americanised Christian virtue but to those of us not toeing that line, patriotism can come across as quite unChristian. (Okay, we can argue this point.)

7) I am going back to re-read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5-7

8) A bunch of American Christian talk show hosts will not agree with me and they don’t have to, they just have to let me exercise my right as a legal alien in the USA to have free speech as I let them have theirs.  Just don’t instigate violence against others or call down judgment on yourselves.

Time for another post – on the travails on Mothers

Am I participating in God’s ministry or am I hindering God’s ministry?

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Do I know what God is doing in and around me?  In the community I have come to live in?  In Waco?  In Texas?  In the USA?  What about the place I came from?  Singapore?  Do I not look back?  Do I deepen my ties with those I have renewed and made new ties with?  Start a cyberchurch as has been suggested to me by some in Singapore?  (What does it take to start a cyberchurch anyway?)

I ask these questions.  I need to listen carefully for the voice of God.  First, switch off the TV (Steak Paradise on Travel Channel feeds my eyes and imagination n0t my soul though!), turn off PING Chat but I am Pinging Marianne! Tell the windshield guy to hurry and leave? – can’t!  Wish laundry will dry in an hour and not need a second cycle and then folding?

Okay, I know enough imperatives from the Scriptures telling me to stop, be still, be quiet, to ask, to seek, to knock.

Today I will participate with God in learning to be less Maria and be more Maria…

My identity

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2010 at 2:46 pm

This morning while catching up with mail and devotional material subscriptions, I came upon this and it reminded me of what I wrote yesterday when describing myself in “About Maria.”

The Secret of Identity (Thomas Merton)

Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny…. This means to say that we should not passively exist, but actively participate in God’s creative freedom, in our own lives, and in the lives of others, by choosing the truth. To put it better, we are even called to share with God the work of creating the truth of our identity…. It demands close attention to reality at every moment, and great fidelity to God as God reveals himself, obscurely, in the mystery of each new situation. We do not know clearly beforehand what the result of this work will be. The secret of my full identity is hidden in God. God alone can make me who I am, or rather who I will be when at last I fully begin to be. But unless I desire this identity and work to find it with God and in God, the work will never be done. The way of doing it is a secret I can learn from no one else but God.

Source: New Seeds of Contemplation

I have observed this about myself and I think I should work on it – I tend to write from a stream of consciousness.  I need to learn to think and reflect, write, edit, think, reflect, edit and write…before publishing!  Until then…this is what you get!

To Trust and To Obey

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

It’s just after 3 weeks since we arrived in Waco, Tx.  Today there is very heavy rain.  SH, presently in Geneva, reminds me that everything is in God’s hands.  Yes, I know and believe that.  But I still get nervous as I have to drive out and pick up the kids and being in a new place, in a new old car, …well, you know…or maybe you don’t.

This reminds me that my past is still my present.  I get anxious, I get nervous and so I continue to sin because I have been reminded more than once, “Do not be anxious” or “Fear not” or “Do not worry”…but I do.  So I do not listen and obey God as I should…in the most basic of aspects of my daily living.   It seems easier to listen and to obey God when it doesn’t call for my taking a risk!  But it is not what I can do for God, it is what God has already done for me.  My life and that of my family’s are indeed in the hands of God.

Please excuse me for my humanity!