I surrender… again

I’m giving you my heart
And all that is within,
I lay it all down for the sake of you My King
I’m giving You my dreams,
I’m laying down my rights,
I’m giving up my pride for the promise of new life.

I surrender all to you.
And I surrender all to you.

I’m singing you this song
I’m waiting at the cross
All the world holds dear, I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing you,
The glory of Your name,
To know the lasting joy,
Even sharing in Your pain

“Surrender” – Vineyard Music

I think that this should be my theme song for the time being. Time and time again recently, I’ve been confronted with my sin, and all its ugliness: my pride, selfishness, independence, self-centeredness, impatience, materialism, bitterness… I think some of it may be related to this transition that I’m facing, and how my role is changing, but regardless of why it’s coming up, it’s there. The ugly monsters that they are, and it’s a struggle.

Today, in particular, I was challenged with what I believe is just the beginning of “laying down my rights.” What my rights in North America were, will not necessarily be the same as my rights in Thailand, or Asia in general. And that’s hard to let go of – my rights are hard to let go of… I pray that God would help me with this. I pray for more humility and selflessness – to be more like Christ.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV)

What an example!

music at the park

Last Sunday we had a picnic at the Botanical Gardens, here in Singapore. There were some local high school bands playing in a competition there while we ate. It reminded me a bit when I was younger and played in the school band… That was a long time ago. They played a number of songs that we were familiar with – including “YMCA!” – and many started singing along.

laying aside my worries

I started reading Max Lucado’s “Traveling Light” while I’m here in Singapore. One point that stuck out to me today was the idea of not worrying, and laying those burdens aside. I know that this is something that I continue to need to pray about. I know that God’s in control and that He’ll provide me with exactly what I need when I need it. I’ve experienced this countless times, as perhaps you, who are reading this, have as well. Yet I can struggle to be joyful in the present, while I think about the future…

Lucado writes, “He promised to supply them (the children of Israel) with manna each day. But he told them to collect only one day’s supply at a time. Those who disobeyed and collected enough for two days found themselves with rotten manna. The only exception to the rule was the day prior to the Sabbath. On Friday they could gather twice as much. Otherwise, God would give them what they needed, in their time of need.
“God leads us. God will do the right thing at the right time. And what a difference that makes.
“Since I know his provision is timely, I can enjoy the present…
“…The key is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You do no have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” (p.49-50 of “Traveling Light” by Max Lucado)

I think this key point can be seen throughout the entire Bible. And I know this is what I need to do, and pray about doing. I pray that I really could take joy in the present and daily (or by the hour, or minute!) give my worries and concerns about the future over to God.

some things I’ve noticed

Here are a few things that I’ve noticed since I arrived here in Singapore:

1. Singapore is very orderly.

I think that people who are left-brained must’ve helped plan the city and things such as the transportation system. There are a lot of people here and yet it’s not mass confusion. I continue to be amazed (and appreciative) at how organized everything is. And clean!

2. Singapore is a fun place to watch a movie.

A few of us went to go see the “Fantastic Four” (which wasn’t very fantastic) and it was made so much better because of those viewing the film. Every time there was a joke (whether good or bad) everyone laughed really loudly. Their laughter created a fun atmosphere and made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. It reminded me of watching movie or doing some sort of activity with a child (like going to the zoo or to a beach for example) – their joy and excitement

3. There is an insane amount of advertising being thrown at you from every direction.

it’s a little overwhelming. I’ve been experiencing information/media overload.

4. It’s wise to always carry an umbrella with you.

Enough said.

5. Little India is not the best place to visit on a Sunday evening if you’re a woman.

This is the night every week when thousands of single Indian men from Sri Lanka or somewhere else, who are working in Singapore get an evening off. It is well known that these men come to Little India, to hang out and drink beer. This is what V’s Lonely Planet said and I can vouch that it appeared to me to be accurate. Needless to say, it was a tad uncomfortable to be there. But the food at the restaurant we went to was very tasty. (side note: yet again the food topic!)

6. I miss Thailand!