Saturday, November 17, 2012

Numbers & Deuteronomy

Well, it's the end of uni and I was finally able to relax and read two very different books in their entirety tonight - the BFG and Deuteronomy.

BFG: short, humourous and brought back nostalgia about the good old days of reading Roald Dahl :)

But this post is mostly about Deuteronomy and the book before it, Numbers, which I read during semester.

So what happened was that I've been sorta putting off reading the Numbers-Deuteronomy-Leviticus trio ever since, well, I started reading the bible really. Every time people talked about reading the bible it would be "I started off in Genesis and got stuck in -one of those three-". It also seems commonly accepted in Christian culture to groan / be sympathetic whenever someone talks about studying or reading these particular books. So it ended up that I read most of the other books in the bible first but never went near these ones.

Anyway, I was running out of books to read so finally decided to get started in Leviticus, and as of tonight, Deuteronomy. They were beautiful. No, seriously, I mean beautiful. There were so many references from other parts of the bible, both old and new testament, which originated from these books. It's like when you first enter a new subject area, and there's all these terms, phrases and lingo that keep cropping up that you learn to recognise and understand their meaning. But then you find out where they came from, what it really meant in the original context to the people who first used it...and it's just beautiful.

I'm not sure how well I've explained it, but I tried :P

I have no doubt that as I go back to reread various passages in the bible that I'll come across these references and phrases again. And they will mean doubly more to me compared to the first time, because now I know where they first came from. Not to mention that it feels like a glimpse into Jewish culture and how they think as a nation!

To anyone who hasn't wanted to read these books because of what you've heard, I'd encourage you just go and read it :) They're not so bad. Yes, there will be some bits which are somewhat-meaningless lists of names and numbers. But that's ok, since it's all part of history and part of the bigger picture!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Identity in Christ

The recent achievements of various (almost)-family members has left me amazed, humbled and pondering upon the grace of God and the way he has been working their lives.

Take my aunt and uncle, who not only recently graduated from bible college, but topped their class and received 3 scholarships between them in the process! And to hear them talk of nothing but how God has blessed them and how they didn't expect these things to come to them is, I think, a testament to their walk and identity in Christ.

Then there's my (almost) in-laws, who have in the past year gotten a "Member of the Order of Australia" (AM) and an "Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (AO) ...sheesh they're long titles...amongst them! On one level, it amazes me that these people who have served God so faithfully in their jobs and have been recognised by the Queen, no less, treat me as family and are the most down-to-earth, normal people ever. But then as I reflect upon it, is it such a strange thing? We as Christians are all part of Christ's family and that is first and foremost who we are. That the secular world actually recognises the work God does through his people on Earth is nice - but I am much more humbled by these faithful servants who do not boast in their accomplishments but in Christ himself. I am strongly reminded of Philippians 3:
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith
and Galatians 6:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

It is my hope that I will never lose track of who I am in Christ and foolishly boast in my own achievements!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Free time

So it's about halfway into my second last semester, and I have found myself with something I haven't had for many years of school/uni: free time!
Free time: spare time as time available for hobbies and other activities that you enjoy.
I remember, in previous years, people occasionally asking me what I liked to do in my free time. Or sometimes random questionnaires where this seemingly harmless question would pop up. My response? 'What free time?'

Now, I knew that it was probably unhealthy to have such a crowded schedule - but it seemed like it was always inevitable! Whenever I left free slots in my weekly calendar, little commitments would worm their way in and make their home there. I have long reflected on why this is so. Firstly: I don't like saying no to people. Secondly: the idea of free time has been foreign for so long I don't actually know what to do with it! Thirdly: it's probably a personality issue.

But now, after all these years, it is during semester and I have (some) free time during the week. Sometimes, I find myself agreeing with a friend who asked me recently, complete with shocked expression - 'Why?!' It does seem rather crazy to have free time when there's so many things to be busy about!

Most of the time, though, I'm finding it very nice. Brief periods of time where I don't have an urgent agenda (or several, to be realistic) prodding at my mind continuously. Times of ...freedom? Where I can choose to...simply surf the net? Read? Play some piano? Play some games? Chill to music? Wow! All I can say is, it's nice - I'm not sure I'd be able to keep it up for the rest of my life, knowing me...but it's definitely nice while it's here :)

As to why I suddenly find myself with free time? Personally I think it's a combination of less assignment-heavy university courses, plus a conscious decision on my part to cut down on some commitments due to er...leaving space for 'wedding planning'. Of course, most of the that space has now gone to free time and the wedding planning is somewhat static :P But that's okay!

In a way, I know life will go back to the busy schedules I'm so very used to. And probably soon! But while this is here, I'm gonna gratefully enjoy this time that God has given me :)


Aside: Did I mention I'm getting married??? :D

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hmm...

So it's been like...9 months? Since the last post? Life has been very busy and full of things as usual...and Sharon decided to post so I thought I might write something as well! Which is to say not much.

Things that have happened since Christmas:
  • Finished all my vacation work!
  • Turned 21
  • Spent a wonderful (now almost 11) months with a God given boyfriend...God's plans are so much better than my own!
  • Mega cleaning of shoes in the house
  • Gone to various camps that have been both challenging and fun
  • New housemate! :) And a lovely one at that! :D :D
  • Slightly higher obsession/addiction with pearl milk tea (Sharon's influence! or mine...bahahaha)
  • Went snowboarding in NZ for almost 2 weeks and (probably) broke my tail bone
  • Been inspired by how God's been working in the lives of various friends - those who I've known for yeeeears and also new friends!
  • Playing more guitar!
  • In the process of constructing my first robot :)
  • Getting to play with a physics experimental setup that goes down to 10K
  • Now an auntie (once removed or whatever you call them)
A few highlights. I'm sure there were many more but...memory really isn't that great (had to go through my diary to remember those ones!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Work and Christmas

Another quick update because it's past my bedtime!

Last 2 weeks have been predominantly working; it's been quite fun as the people there are nice, the project is massive, and I'm learning a whole bunch of stuff that's actually useful! It's just mildly tiring, as full time work = work work sleep sleep work work etc. Have been having stuff on almost every night lately too so that's been tiring, but apart from that, it's great not having assignments due constantly!

Christmas time is almost upon us and I am literally almost bouncing with joy. I say almost because the weather lately has made somewhat less bouncy...but yes, Christmas! I don't know why, but in the past few years, my joy has been increasing with every year come Christmas. I guess it's something about hearing all these carols proclaiming the coming of Jesus and God's glory (whether or not the people singing them mean it or not).

Just started reading John tonight and came across this rather challenging verse:
"I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" -- John 5:43-44
So simply put by Jesus, yet we all still fall short and crave the approval of friends, colleagues and family instead of seeking the approval of the one and only God who created everything. I pray that we may continue to strive for his approval only not be swayed by what the world says is good or bad :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A little something before sleep

15 mins away from my bedtime, and I'm reading through the church bulletin for this week. One comparison in particular strikes me, not because it is surprising, but because it really puts things in the right perspective:
The idea of standing in the light of God's holy presence with [our] sin 'exposed' is far worse than the idea of turning up for a job interview stark naked.
Our sin isn't little. It's massive. It's humongous. And it's downright unholy and shameful. Something that we ourselves cannot change, however much we may like to hide it even from ourselves. The only thing that'll fix it is Jesus' substitutionary sacrifice, made for us.

Is your name in the book of life?


_______________________________________________________________

On another note: starting 3 months of work tomorrow! Back to early morning starts :) Hoping it'll be a good 3 months full of learning, meeting new people and working as a (monkey) engineer!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 12 Uni

So the last week or so has been ENGG, ENGG and ENGG. Oh, and a physics midsem. The number one thing I dislike about projects is that you can spend forever on them and they just don't care. If they don't want to work, they won't. Reports and assignments, at least, will be whatever you put into them.

Anyway, so while waiting for a go at the test rig this morning at 4am in the labs, I decided to have a look at how much time I've been spending at various places throughout the week:

On the other hand...even though the toil has been hard, I find that life has been going quite well :) I have been getting to know some of the other ENGG3800 people quite well (fellow campers-in-the-labs), and just being able to joke and encourage each other (at least secularly) has been a good experience. As I've been going through this semester at uni, the more I can appreciate the sentiment of Ecclesiastes:
12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
-- Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
Tis a gift from God to be able to enjoy the ups and downs of uni, learning and doing ENGG team projects...because in the end, they're not the most important thing. Eternity is.

Hope you're all faring well in these last 2 weeks of uni before swotvac/exams, and may God watch over you in all that you do! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

God: personal and living!

Just recently I've been reminded again just how amazingly personal God is - not just a god who created the world, sat back and watched aloof the doings of the world, but one who is intimately involved in the lives of his people.

How amazing is it that the King of all kings, the living God, the Highest of highs loves and cares about each and every one of us! I must admit, it's also slightly scary but...wow. Just wow. Thanks God :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

A not so normal day

Firstly, an interview.

Then, trying out the business-clothes-with-sneakers look.

Then getting half my face paralysed and looking funny when trying to smile.

I'm thinking tutoring might be interesting like this...but that at least is normal.


All in all, a not so normal day :)

On another note: It's October already! Time flies...had a midsem with a degree of relaxation, despite half of it being spent at uni. We're now on the final stretch before exams...4 weeks left to complete team project, write a few reports, and get 2 more midsems out of the way! And also a few more interesting weeks of Ecclesiastes 'everything is meaningless' optimism to top it all off :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spring & Joy

It's spring!!! I love spring :) To hear the birds chirping, see the ducks waddling, feel the warm breeze and seeing the grass soaking up rays of sunlight and fresh clean air...every day, I want more and more to sing praises and burst into spontaneous song about how awesome and beautiful even this fallen creation is! (not to mention bounce around, but that might be a bit strange socially). I think the Psalms express this quite well....
1 Shout with joy to God, all the earth!

2 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!

-- Psalm 66:1-2 --

Another passage that I've read quite a bit lately and been encouraged by:
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-- Romans 8:28-38 --

If God, the creator of all things, is on our side and loves us like no other, how much can those who are against us do to us? In the end, nothing :)