the small stuff in life

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I’m reading this book with bite-sized philosophies that can be applied in our life. They’re very useful in giving us a different perspective to matters. For those of you who seek growth in your life, here’s one that I particularly like. #9 from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson.

9. Let Others Have the Glory

There is something magical that happens to the human spirit, a sense of calm that comes over you, when you cease needing all the attention directed toward yourself and instead allow others to have the glory.

Our need for excessive attention is that ego-centered part of us that says, “Look at me. I’m special. My story is more interesting than yours.” Its that voice inside of us that may not come right out and say it, but that wants to believe that “my accomplishments are slightly more important than yours.” The ego is that part of us  wants to be seen, heard, respected, considered special, often at the expense of someone else. It’s the part of us that interrupts someone else’s story, or impatiently waits his turn to speak so that he can bring the conversation and attention back to himself. To varying degrees, most of us engage in this habit, much to our own detriment. When you immediately dive in and bring the conversation back toward you, you can subtly minimise the joy that person has in sharing, and in doing so, create distance between yourself and others. Everyone loses.

The next time someone tells you a story or shares an accomplishment with you, notice your tendency to say something about yourself in response.

Although it’s a difficult habit to break, it’s not only enjoyable but actually peaceful to have the quiet confidence to be able to surrender your need for attention and instead share in the joy of someone else’s glory. Rather than jumping right in and saying, “Once I did the same thing” or “Guess what I did today,” bite your tongue and notice what happens. Just say, “That’s wonderful,” or “Please tel me more,” and leave it at that. The person you are speaking to will have so much more fun and, because you are so much more “present”, because you are listening so carefully, he or she won’t feel in competition with you. The result will be that the person will feel more relaxed around you, making him or her more confident as well as more interesting. You too will feel more relaxed because you won’t be on the edge of your seat, waiting for your turn.

Obviously, there are many times when it’s absolutely appropriate to exchange experience back and forth, and to share in the glory and attention rather than giving it all away. I’m referring here to the compulsive need to grab it from others. Ironically, when you surrender your need to hog the glory, the attention you used to need from other people is replaced by a quiet inner confidence that is derived from letting others have it.

Love to write?

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Someday, I wish to publish my own book. But first, I hope that I can do more freelance writing.

In the meanwhile, I’m building up my portfolio at Helium where I write articles based on topics that interest me. If you love to write, feel strongly about certain issues about life, politics, your work place or anything under the sun, do check out this site.

If you’re joining, let me know. I’d love to read your stuff too.

Here’s me.

His grace

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I admit that the topic on God’s grace always baffles me. Decided to read up more on it and decided that no one can really put the best description of grace forth but I’m currently attempting Charles Swindoll’s The Grace Awakening. I think we all need to extend that extra grace to somebody every day. It could be a friend who always puts you down. It could be your mother, who forbids you to do this and that even though you’re already past 30.

A lovely quote I found in the book, amidst the first few pages where I currently am:

Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.” – late pastor and Bible scholar Donald Barnhouse

***

In a world that is vastly dominated by Western influences, I live in a society where Asians have English names. It just ain’t cool to be called Xiaoming or Huizhi because they appear unpronounceable to the foreigner’s tongue. It’s also alot cooler to be called Karen or Cynthia or Peter (we’re talking about non-Christian Asians) perhaps partly due to the Christian influences in Asia in the early days where the church is affiliated with the affluent and influential.

My dad never believed in any of that (maybe somebody should remind him about HIS own English name 🙂 and decided his kids ought to have Chinese names. Never forget your roots, he says. He sure gave us difficult-to-pronounce names. My sister and I grew up feeling awkward about who we are, because of how people badly distort our name. My dad put an ‘En’ into my name, which means ‘Grace’ but he really meant to name me after Zhou Enlai, a Communist premier. My dad’s no Communist but just admire the man and the richness of the Chinese culture.

Funny how God had other ideas in mind when He gave me that name. How delightful to know He knew me from day 1 (as an egg!).

Twas grace that saved me. In grace we live. And by His grace, we will receive Him with everflowing joy in the age to come.

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

What We Really Want

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‘We don’t need more facts and we certainly don’t need more things to do – we need life, and we’ve been looking for it ever since we lost paradise.’

‘Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.’

– Isaiah 55: 1 – 2, NIV

Quoted from Dare to Desire by John Eldredge. Thank you, Justin 🙂

God you are AWESOME.

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I cannot promise you that I will love you -forever- yet You will stay ever true. I am prone to wander yet You are forgiving and full of love and grace, always gently calling me back without force. I fluctuate between giving attention to You and myself and most of the time my own needs and today I realise my lack of focus.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 How You spoke those words right into my heart. Haven’t I been staring at those banners at the church hall all these while yet today it just speaks to me? You shook me up proper and my heart welled.

I consciously disobeyed Your word yet You were gentle with me, picked me up when I’m broken and made me whole. How much do I owe You? How can I ever repay You? How can I ever repay the price of a life given up for me?

Thank you for Aly and Allie, for being such loving and wonderful sisters. Thank you even for Ian, for using him to teach me patience. Thank you for answering my prayer to be amidst your church through small group and the singers. Thank you for giving me the chance to serve You with what You have blessed me with. Thank you for the inspiration for the business. Thank you for drawing me and my sister closer in recent times. What prayer of mine have you never answered? All in due time, all in Your time.

Lord I ask you today, to restore righteousness especially in this household, just like in the days of Moses.

Days of Elijah

These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the Word of the Lord
And these are the days of your servant Moses
Righteousness being restored
And though these are days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword

Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

Behold He comes! Riding on the clouds!
Shining like the sun! At the trumpet call
Lift your voice! It’s the year of Jubilee!
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh

And these are the days of your servant David
Rebuilding a temple of praise

And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are as white in the world

And we are the labourers in your vineyard
Declaring the word of the Lord!

Behold He comes! Riding on the clouds!
Shining like the sun! At the trumpet call
Lift your voice! It’s the year of Jubilee!
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

There’s no God like Jehovah!

There’s no God like Jehovah!

There’s no God like Jehovah!

There’s no God like Jehovah!
(Repeat 3 times)

Behold He comes! Riding on the clouds!
Shining like the sun! At the trumpet call
Lift your voice! It’s the year of Jubilee!
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

Behold He comes! Riding on the clouds!
Shining like the sun! At the trumpet call
Lift your voice! It’s the year of Jubilee!
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!

Till the day we see you return in triumph. Till the day we see all come to you and declare that You are Lord.