Friday, February 9, 2018

Reflection - Making Sure You Go to Jesus - Life direction

Source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Three, Question 3, Page 58.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Walking with God is not a smooth and successful journey all the way.
PHOTO: Walking with God is not a smooth and successful journey all the way. We may start with not knowing Him from the time we are born to forming a relationship with Him. In between many events can happen which pull us temporary away but His strong grasp refuses permanent breakaway. All the ups and downs, together with His disciplinary actions and love mould us into a more matured Christian.

Our strong involvement in this world can be the sources of distraction to contribute appropriately to the Christian community and witness for Jesus. Failures, problems with life and losses of loved ones are the main obstacles to our correct spiritual direction. However the crisis prompts us to think deeply about our relationships with our Creator. Ultimately His plan works, bringing us emotionally back to Him. Because that is how our soul can find true rest.

His merciful grace to forgive and accept us as His children allows all of us to enjoy the love, peace, happiness and inheriting the promised heavenly home forever. In God's dwelling there will be no tears, sadness, health problems, darkness, conflicts and enemies but fun laughter, happiness, good health, daylight, harmonies and friends all the way in eternity.

Although through His merciful grace and sacrifice our salvation is free, but addition rewards come from the efforts we have put in to perform His will (Revelation 22:12). We therefore need to make changes to our spiritual life direction, for the better. Together with the Holy Spirit cleansing, we can become 100% perfect to enter heaven. By accepting the redemption offer of Jesus and allowing God's plan to work for us, we can be 100% sure of entering the promised heavenly home and live with our loving God forever.
Picture posted by Jill Briscoe - Walking Closely with God
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http://justbetweenus.org/downloads/1623/download/Devotions-on-Walking-with-God.jpg?cb=251d2b3cec9b1da1b8ad6400e4c10cf8&w=800&h=
http://justbetweenus.org/faith/devotions/devotions-on-walking-with-god/



Assess the direction that your life is taking and reflect on the key aspects - your walk with God, your family life, your involvement in the Christian community, your witness in society, and your thoughts, emotions, and relationships. What do they say about where your life is going? Where might you need to make changes?

Assess the direction that your life is taking and reflect on the key aspects - your walk with God, your family life, your involvement in the Christian community, your witness in society, and your thoughts, emotions, and relationships.


My early family life and God
I was born in a remote village in the fifties. My parents, relatives and neighbours were then farmers. Our country was still the early stage of development and there were not many cities or towns. We moved around mostly by walking or by cycling. There was no other form of public transport available, bus or taxi. My parents produced most of the food we need from our small farm and if necessary cycled to the nearby wet markets to buy fresh vegetables, meats and other groceries. There was no supermarket or shopping malls. Our water supply was drawn from well dug by my parents. There was no radio, television, telephone and electricity until much later. There was no computer or internet. No entertainment, except catching fishes in the river and searching for fighting spiders.



My early family life and God
PHOTO: My early family life and God
My childhood days were primitive life in a remote farming village without any of the modern amenities but with its green pleasantness or attractiveness. We were closer to nature and our livelihood and entertainment depend on the vast farming environment. Interaction and communication with each other depended on the presence of one human to another human. There was no smartphone or internet online calling one another. Transportation was by walking or cycling. There was no motorcar, train and bus. There was no public transport but we were blessed with quiet and serene environment. If we had known, we could hear the tiny voice of Jesus but we were ignorant of Him.
Picture posted by Oikodomeo on 16 September 2017
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1gKp4HxZ2QU/Wn0r6F7tDUI/AAAAAAAApQE/1vpT2gD2mV8nF1EczdAvOtKSv9Fnz2K6wCLcBGAs/s1600/wp-image-984372681.jpg
https://0ikodomeo.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/wp-image-984372681.jpg
https://0ikodomeo.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/turut-merasakan/

 

Our country was still the early stage of development and there were not many cities or towns.
PHOTO: Our country was still the early stage of development and there were not many cities or towns. We moved around mostly by walking or by cycling. There was no other form of public transport available, bus or taxi.
Photo by Rakesh JV on flickr
Picture saved by Posies for Lulu Vintage to I love my India - Life in a Village

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wUqoSqiGAxQ/Wn0r1LRHLRI/AAAAAAAApPI/L-ouYGT4tXsXyoR12-CewUeiR0d2CZD6QCLcBGAs/s1600/f03c44777dad8e8e7f7f8d12e335173b.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f0/3c/44/f03c44777dad8e8e7f7f8d12e335173b.jpg
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/53621051790782778/

 

My parents produced most of the food we need from our small farm and if necessary cycled to the nearby wet markets to buy fresh vegetables, meats and other groceries.
PHOTO: My parents produced most of the food we need from our small farm and if necessary cycled to the nearby wet markets to buy fresh vegetables, meats and other groceries. There was no supermarket or shopping malls. Our water supply was drawn from well dug by my parents.
Picture saved by Krishna Vamsi to country life... from s30696534344.mirtesen.ru
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_QB06zZRDbU/Wn0ryTa2mFI/AAAAAAAApOs/rCgVaIQriv8Q2v6jbe4i-niziW1nDreuwCLcBGAs/s1600/677e49e242b0779bc9039ced56c8f9ed.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/67/7e/49/677e49e242b0779bc9039ced56c8f9ed.jpg
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477451997987432430/



Life was very hard for our parents as they have to struggle to feed livestock and at the same time taking care of us. While young we were left to play among ourselves or with the nearby neighbours, children. My parents were mostly tired after a hard day work in the farm, and we all retired early to bed at night. We had to wake up very early in the morning to harvest the vegetables and feed the farm animals. Life was physically tough but we do have sufficient quality and quiet rest at the end of the day.



My parents were farmers using primitive basic tools without the sophisticated machineries of present days.
PHOTO: My parents were farmers using primitive basic tools without the sophisticated machineries of present days. After a hard day of physical work under the sun, they were exhausted and retired early to get their deserved rest. Life was physically tough but we do have sufficient quality and quiet rest at the end of the day.
Picture posted by Dream Recognition Tours
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https://www.cksen.cz/modules/catalog/images/poznavaci-zajezdy-cina-sanghaj-guilin-kunming-1.jpg
https://www.cksen.cz/poznavaci-zajezdy/cina-sanghaj-kunming-guilin/

 

We had to wake up very early in the morning to harvest the vegetables and feed the farm animals.
PHOTO: We had to wake up very early in the morning to harvest the vegetables and feed the farm animals. Life was physically tough but we do have sufficient quality and quiet rest at the end of the day.
Picture posted by mage Finder, andrastudio from goodfreephotos.com on 17 November 2016, and is licensed under Public Domain - Girl Gathering Rice in Southeastern Asia

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iD7J0r2mVrU/Wn0r16jTL4I/AAAAAAAApPU/VoWeU6eqz1s4MRO7CrMJbDPgO17AMhbWACLcBGAs/s1600/girl-gathering-rice-in-southeastern-asia.jpg
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.imagefinder.co/uploads/2016/11/17153558/girl-gathering-rice-in-southeastern-asia.jpg
https://imagefinder.co/photo/girl-gathering-rice-in-southeastern-asia/



My parents were not Christians and we did not know about other religion. Our neighbours and relatives were mostly Buddhist, following from their ancestors. There were many Buddhist temples near our home but the Christian churches were further away. However, we seldom visited the temples or churches for religious purpose. We went to temple only to watch the traditional wayang or puppet shows. We never went to church. My parents taught us to pray to our ancestors at home by burning incense and 'paper money' during festival seasons. We called that ancestor worship. We did not know about Jesus Christ. We heard about the Muslim praying every early dawn from the mosque. That was the time when the village's chickens started crowing and we were about to wake up.



My parents, relatives and neighbours belonged to the Buddhist community, following our old ancestors.
PHOTO: My parents, relatives and neighbours belonged to the Buddhist community, following our old ancestors. We were not religious but there were no lack of religious events accompanied by traditional wayang or puppet shows. The organiser from the Buddhist temples raised fund by going from house to house collecting donations. The ghost month was celebrated on the seventh month of the lunar calendar. That and other prominent events consisted of burning 'paper money' to all those who had passed away. The dead were supposed to be given one month of vacation to tour the earth. The cultural practices were closely related to Buddhist faith and belief.
Picture posted by Buddhist Music published on 19 December 2016
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https://i.ytimg.com/vi/SmZ0LdOhwnI/maxresdefault.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmZ0LdOhwnI

 

We were brought up in primitive rural countryside where cultural practices were closely related to Buddhist faith and belief.
PHOTO: We were brought up in primitive rural countryside where cultural practices were closely related to Buddhist faith and belief. We did not know about Jesus Christ and never went to church. Religion was overtaken by daily bread and butter issues.
Picture posted by Elizabeth Reninger on 10 May 2017 - Buddhist monk and nun in meditation
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https://fthmb.tqn.com/6FIvByrEoaW-tPSY2jBd5jcWfR4=/2116x1417/filters:no_upscale():fill(FFCC00,1)/GettyImages-175746904-59127a053df78c928354baeb.jpg
https://www.thoughtco.com/emptiness-in-taoism-and-buddhism-3182568

 

Buddhist monk and nun in meditation somewhere in Malaysia... an Islamic country
PHOTO: Buddhist monk and nun in meditation somewhere in Malaysia... an Islamic country
Farmers in countryside village always started work at dawn. We heard about the Muslim praying every early dawn from the mosque. That was the time when the village's chickens started crowing and we were about to wake up.
Picture posted by esee, Photography / Photojournalism / People, 2008-2018 esee - Meditation III (peace and calm)
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https://img00.deviantart.net/4f8f/i/2009/165/3/5/meditation_iii_by_esee.jpg
https://www.deviantart.com/art/Meditation-III-84399638


Involvement in the Christian community
I remember at the age of seven we were supposed to start attending primary school. My parents sent me to a missionary Catholic school 2.5 miles (about 4 km) away from home. The beginning days were terrible. I joined many other children whom I never met before. We were so frightened especially when our form teacher was a lady who was fierce and loud voiced. Her expression was one who was not pleasant to be with. She was easily irritated and we were about to find out how she would punished us. We never attended nursery or kindergarten classes before. During our time there was no such school available. We started to learn alphabets and numbers only in primary one. Our parents never taught us on those before and that was because they themselves also did not know. The freedom, fun and playful friends which we enjoyed at home were replaced by confinement, stress and 'harmful' strangers. We literally fear for our life.



A fierce and loud voiced primary one form teacher in a missionary Catholic school.
PHOTO: A fierce and loud voiced primary one form teacher in a missionary Catholic school. The freedom, fun and playful friends which we enjoyed at home were replaced by confinement, stress and 'harmful' strangers. We literally fear for our life. No love lost, because there wasn't any. Only punishment for the detestable.
Picture posted by Dreamstime, Dannyphoto80
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https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/fille-puni-par-le-professeur-dans-la-salle-de-classe-84574577.jpg
https://fr.dreamstime.com/illustration-stock-fille-puni-par-le-professeur-dans-la-salle-de-classe-image84574577



Exactly at 12 noon every day all of us had to stand and said prayer together with the school principal who was a 'Brother' in the Catholic community, through the announcement speaker. It was a Catholic missionary school, so we prayed to Mary the Mother of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I was clueless as to the reasons for the prayer. We did not know that we were actually talking to God. We were innocent and naive about such complicated matter. We were too young and lacked the ability to understand the significant of the religious procedures.



Saying the rosary prayer in the classroom at noon together with the 'Brother' school principal.
PHOTO: Saying the rosary prayer in the classroom at noon together with the 'Brother' school principal. It was a Catholic missionary school, so we prayed to Mary the Mother of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, we were too young and lacked the ability to understand the significant of the religious procedures.
Picture posted by The Oaks, A Classical and Christian Academy
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https://theoakscca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/grammar-prayer-225x215.jpg
https://theoakscca.org/commitments/



As time passed we were able to explore the school compound and the nearby buildings. There was a Catholic church beside our school. Sometime before and after school, we passed by it and peep into the church, and saw the statues of Jesus on the cross, Mary the mother of God and other saints. We were very young and the statues appeared enormous. We dared not enter the church until much later. The church was empty most of the time and very silent inside. We presumed it was not a place for young children like us. The caretaker was an elderly nun whom we discovered was not friendly either. We once saw her beating up a child until the child was howling loudly, and in a helpless fearful state. We decided to stay clear of that place as much as possible. It appeared to be a place of terror and trouble. It is not the fun and loving place which we used to know.



The Catholic church and Bible study room had a caretaker, who was a fierce elderly nun.
PHOTO: The Catholic church and Bible study room had a caretaker, who was a fierce elderly nun. We were young then, and violent punishment by the caretaker made us scared of the place. It appeared to be a place of terror and trouble. It is not the fun and loving place which we used to know. We decided to stay clear of that place as much as possible.
Picture posted by Valerie Tarico, Seattle psychologist and writer on January 23, 2016
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https://awaypoint.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/nun-scolding.jpg
https://valerietarico.com/2016/01/23/15-screwed-up-catholic-ideas-that-may-affect-your-sex-life-even-if-youre-not-religious/



Time passed very fast. Soon I was in primary four with the same fierce form teacher. Her attitudes towards us were still the same, very strict and merciless. During one of the school lessons she told us about the story of Jesus. That was the first time I came to know the meaning of false accusation, suffering and humiliation of Jesus until His death on the cross. He was been trashed, whipped and made to carry the cross to the place of His crucifixion. It was a story of terrible, painful suffering to someone who remained as helpless as a lamb, all the way till being slaughtered. It was a bloody and painful journey to a wrongly accused, who suffered the agony of unthinkable death without a moment of retaliation. Our corporal punishments from our form teachers and the caretaker nun were negligible when compared to that of Jesus'.



It was the first time I came to know the meaning of false accusation, suffering and humiliation of Jesus until His death on the cross.
PHOTO: It was the first time I came to know the meaning of false accusation, suffering and humiliation of Jesus until His death on the cross. He was been trashed, whipped and made to carry the cross to the place of His crucifixion. A bloody and painful journey to a wrongly accused, who suffered the agony of unthinkable death without a moment of retaliation. God the father had sent His only Son to suffer and die for the sins of people like you and me. We can then have our salvation when we accept the offer of redemption and through faith in Jesus Christ. Our corporal punishments from our form teachers and the caretaker nun were negligible when compared to that of Jesus'.
Picture posted by JCP Holy press on 17 April 2017
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http://josecpaz.gob.ar/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ViaCrucis_FilmLaPasionDeCristo.jpg
http://josecpaz.gob.ar/la-direccion-general-de-cultos-de-jose-c-paz-informa-sobre-actividades-en-semana-santa/



We were introduced into the real world where there were human beings who could be that cruel, brutal and vicious. Human beings could change to something devilish with such intense hatred, when out of proper control. We were all equally vulnerable to become uncontrollable. As our forefather had demonstrated, we had the potential to such crowd insanity, screaming murderous threats and performing devilish actions together, until the total destruction of anything or anyone. In this case it was the total destruction to the Son of God. We killed even somebody who was, is and still will be from the God's family. God fulfilled part of His plan by resurrecting Jesus and offered every one of us the chance to be redeemed. Through Jesus Christ our sins will be forgiven and given the status as children of God with inheritance in heaven for eternity.


The real world had human beings who were cruel, brutal and vicious.
PHOTO: The real world had human beings who were cruel, brutal and vicious. Human beings who became evil with intense hatred and out of control. We were all equally vulnerable to become the uncontrollable devil. As our forefather had demonstrated, we had the potential to such crowd insanity, screaming murderous threats and together performed devilish actions, until the total destruction of anything or anyone. In this case it was the total destruction to the Son of God. We killed even somebody who was, is and still will be from the God's family.
Picture saved by Jahaziel to JW
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https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a8/a9/47/a8a947655f85367f7287a0a11c407fd3--the-skulls-crown-of-thorns.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/539517230336686368/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/10/reflection-how-to-define-and-explain.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



Fast forward to secondary two. Our study load increased tremendously but we also made many more classmates and friends. We had a devoted Christian classmate. He spread to us the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With faith and accepting Jesus' offer of salvation we would be saved from being thrown into the lake of burning fire (Revelation 20:15). He also re-introduced prayer to God through Jesus the Son of God. We could pray to God our feelings, wishes and to built relationship with Him. Our walk with God began with prayers asking for help to pass our school examinations. Not all our prayers were answered. The answers did not come based on our timing because God had other better plan to us. We did not know when or how God would answer us but we did not give up. We piled God with all our problems and troubles but forgot to say thankful words. We were grateful when things turned out well and took for granted that it should be that way. We would feel bitter when things still went wrong despite very sincere prayers for help.



We had a devoted Christian classmate.
PHOTO: We had a devoted Christian classmate. He spread to us the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With faith and accepting Jesus' offer of salvation we would be saved from being thrown into the lake of burning fire (Revelation 20:15). He also re-introduced prayer to God through Jesus the Son of God. We could pray to God our feelings, wishes and to built relationship with Him. Our walk with God began with prayers asking for help to pass our school examinations. We expected fast and favourable results but without the thought of appreciating God's efforts to assist in our problems. Somehow we took for granted that it was His job to solve our difficulties, and that we deserved the right to complain about everything. We would feel bitter when things still went wrong despite very sincere prayers for help.
Picture posted by illaki_siir on 14 July 2017
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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DEsh2UIXkAABamM.jpg:large
https://twitter.com/yreli2



We carried on with that one way relationship with God all the way till the end of secondary and Junior college education. During that period my father suffered from stroke and was unable to carry on as the bread winner of the family. We helped out in the farming, and the selling of vegetables and fruits produced from the farm. Our livelihood expenditures increased but we were unable to match it with increase in income. Soon we faced financial problems. We followed suggestion to ask for help from the schools. My school have a young Christian nun (we addressed her as 'sister') who helped to provide financial help. In return I helped out at the canteen after school. Later my younger brother managed to find an odd job and we were relieved of many financial debts. I informed my school's 'sister' that we can manage and could stop the sponsorship. However knowing our financial difficulty was still far from over, she insisted on providing the financial help. We were thankful and managed to complete the junior college education, although without good results. But God was kind to us. I managed to proceed to the next stage of my life journey. That is, to enter the army to train and serve the National Service.



In Junior college a young Christian nun helped my debt-ridden family with financial aids.
PHOTO: In Junior college a young Christian nun helped my debt-ridden family with financial aids. We were thankful and I managed to complete the junior college education, although without good results. God was kind to us and I managed to proceed to the next stage of my life journey.
Picture posted by Pin Art
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http://moziru.com/images/monk-clipart-nun-2.gif
http://moziru.com/explore/Christ%20clipart%20nun/



The army training was physically very tough for me. For two and a half years, with God's help I managed to complete the National Service although with certain injuries but was non-fatal. My first job was as an apprentice in electrical engineering. My boss informed me that I need further educations and suggested that I attend the technical polytechnics. I followed the suggestion and two years later finished the basic engineering education which allowed me to apply for a technical position in a manufacturing company.


With God's help I managed to complete my National Service and later finished the basic engineering education which allowed me to apply for a technical position in a manufacturing company.
PHOTO: With God's help I managed to complete my National Service and later finished the basic engineering education which allowed me to apply for a technical position in a manufacturing company.
Picture posted by David Zobrist
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https://gamemanifest.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/neural_networking.jpg
https://gamemanifest.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/the-internet-as-the-neural-network-of-earth/



My career slowly took off and I managed to have better offers, prospects and salaries. Meanwhile God was directing me in my career and after seven years I managed to work for an international electrical company with post for project engineering. Thirteen years later I was retrenched and was out of work for about a year. Fortunately God assigned me another task as a tester in another international electrical company. This time, I worked on domestic electrical products. Working life was really good although the salary was very low.

During this rather peaceful period my younger brother died because of heart attack. My mother had leukaemia (blood cancer) and three years later she passed away.  I was near fifty years old. We were already financially not very stable when I was again retrenched. On and off I took other odd jobs as I grew older and weaker without much relevant skills. Soon I was out of job for good and needed to rely on our savings and whatever dividends and interests from the banks.



God was directing me in my career.
PHOTO: God was directing me in my career. I was retrenched twice but Working life was really good although the salary was low. Soon I was near fifty years old and financially not very stable but not in debt. On and off I took other odd jobs as I grew older and weaker without much relevant skills. Soon I was out of job for good and needed to rely on our savings and whatever dividends and interests from the banks.
Picture posted by Government Engineering College
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http://geckkd.ac.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DSO-with-Function-Generator-700x400.jpg
http://geckkd.ac.in/ee/



During my retirement journey, I decided to take care of my physical and spiritual health. I seek God for spiritual helps, read the Bible and related supplements. I needed to have medical appointments for my failing body functions. Meanwhile I read books and tried to do reflection, like this one. However I still did not attend church and once in a while still strayed from the correct path. With Gods protection, guidance, correction and provision I managed to carry on the retirement journey asking for the correct spiritual discernment, desire, discipline and direction.



During my retirement journey, I decided to take care of my physical and spiritual health.
PHOTO: During my retirement journey, I decided to take care of my physical and spiritual health. I seek God for spiritual helps, read the Bible and related supplements. I needed to have medical appointments for my failing body functions. With Gods protection, guidance, correction and provision I managed to carry on the retirement journey asking for the correct spiritual discernment, desire, discipline and direction.
Picture posted by Alamy Ltd - Japanese woman practices yoga, meditation, stretching and mindfulness to achieve physical and spiritual health
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http://h7.alamy.com/comp/DJ20KH/japanese-woman-practices-yoga-meditation-stretching-and-mindfulness-DJ20KH.jpg
http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-japanese-woman-practices-yoga-meditation-stretching-and-mindfulness-62739365.html



Witness in society
I was not active in spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus. I did not really study the scriptures in the Bible like any other devoted Christians. Once in a while I read the My Daily Bread and introduced it to my working colleagues. I very seldom attended Sunday church and therefore not eloquent enough to talk about God. Those whom I interacted with did not converse about religion matter. Reading the Bible and talking to God through prayers were only in my own private time.



Witness in society
PHOTO: Witness in society
I was not active in spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus.  I very seldom attended Sunday church and therefore not eloquent enough to talk about God. Those whom I interacted with did not converse about religion matter. Reading the Bible and talking to God through prayers were only in my own private time.
Picture posted by Our7isheaven on 07 November 2013
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--uy9fq15LTI/Wn0r2IUX18I/AAAAAAAApPQ/jAmVwQi8Lq85QS-Hb4zMs6sKOjYrFKNfACLcBGAs/s1600/goodnews.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-37O99o6TXvg/UnsGLVTWtfI/AAAAAAAADWQ/o8gdpY458Pc/s1600/goodnews.jpg
http://growinginjesusthroughhisword.blogspot.sg/2013/11/whats-in-your-barn.html



Until a few years ago, I decided to post my reflections after reading a book titled "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy by Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000  2012. I was hoping to share his messages with other netizens. Last year I began on another of his book, "Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29. There were also many other authors sharing the good news in the internet. Internet had been a very useful and powerful tool for searching Jesus.


'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
PHOTO: Internet had been a very useful and powerful tool for searching and sharing Jesus. I decided to post my reflections after reading a book titled "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy by Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000  2012. I was hoping to share his messages with other netizens.
PHOTO: 'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-x3WNzUtHxaU/VPv0wIm_XoI/AAAAAAAAffA/vw5HRDW1VgQ/s1600/9781627072410_26-01-15.jpg
http://www.sksbooks.com/uploads/product_images/9781627072410_26-01-15.jpg
http://www.sksbooks.com/index.php?mo=product_detail&id=33268
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/03/reflection-i-know-whom-i-have-believed.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



For the past two years, I and my sister had the opportunity to meet some uncles along the Park Connector Networks (PCN) during our morning walk. Whenever there were opportunities during our conversations we would mention about God. However it was a lethargic way of witnessing. The uncles were in their seventies and were mostly concerned with grandchildren, daily bread and butter issues. They had their own lifestyles and  new information about spiritual messages were difficult to be accepted by them.


Sengkang Riverside PCN (Park Connector Network)
PHOTO: Sengkang Riverside PCN (Park Connector Network)
We have the opportunity to meet almost every early morning, a group of aunties and uncles, when we go for the morning walk.
Picture taken on 06 January 2015 at 08:30 AM
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CIMG2288.JPG
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/02/reflection-people-important-to-you.html



But there were also uncles along the PCN who attended Christian church regularly on Sunday. On that day, they would stop their morning walk at the PCN. My sister also had been reading the Bible, recognising and appreciating the works of God's hand. We were also trying to bring our nephew into discovering God. Every day we were praying that all the PCN users, our immediate family members, relatives, ex-colleagues, and neighbours would include God in their lives.


 Paul revealed a healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life.
PHOTO: Paul revealed a healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life. It is not limited to the spirit and its needs, but the life of the spirit is also lived out in a physical body and expressed through the mind and relationships with people. These were real people, with whom Paul developed lasting friendships, and whose presence he dearly missed as he ran the last lap of his race.
We also have a list of people who have been or are important to us now. Whether we have or have not developed a warm and hospitable attitude towards them, we can pray that they confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead, so that we will be saved. We also by the grace of God seek to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Picture posted by Kami, My Beautiful Day on Sunday, 9 September 2012 at 7:36 AM
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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z3ylpXIBFNM/UEyNH0FskuI/AAAAAAAAEmQ/8-cZ0BJJvB0/s1600/friends.jpg
http://www.mybeautifulday.net/2012/09/if-i-could-go-back.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/02/reflection-people-important-to-you.html



My thoughts, emotions, and relationships
Starting from a few years ago we walked at the PCN almost every morning. Before coming out of our house I would prepare the morning breakfast drinks followed by some simple exercises. When the weather was fine we would start walking the morning 10,000 steps. Sometime it was hard to determine whether it would rain while we were out in the open. It was also hard to know whether we would come upon some snakes, stray dogs or unexpected happenings. There was no other better time than to build relationship with God. We would ask for His protection, guidance, correction and provision at the slightest fear of mishaps. Our conversation with God started early in the morning and again at any other time when necessary. He is available 24/7.

Psalm 23:4 says:
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
"


It was also hard to know whether we would come upon some snakes, stray dogs or unexpected happenings during our morning walk along the Park Connector Network (PCN).
PHOTO: It was also hard to know whether we would come upon some snakes, stray dogs or unexpected happenings during our morning walk along the Park Connector Network (PCN). There was no other better time than to build relationship with God. We would ask for His protection, guidance, correction and provision at the slightest fear of mishaps. Our conversation with God started early in the morning and again at any other time when necessary. He is available 24/7.
Picture posted by Psalms About Death Quotes
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http://quotesgram.com/psalms-about-death-quotes/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/03/reflection-gods-presence-purpose-and.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



Now, in my middle-age embarking on the retirement journey, I am still shamefully single without forming a family. I remember not long ago, the desperation to find a suitable wife and start having children. The biological clock was against me and I failed to achieve the plan to form a normal family. Although still shameful about my marital status, I felt happier and at peace. That was because I realised that it was not meant for me to be otherwise. The famous verse also came to me: Although this may not be what I wanted to be, this is the best I can be. Allowing Gods plan to work is less stressful. Other options could be more devastating for me.


I am still shamefully single without forming a normal family at middle-age.
PHOTO: I am still shamefully single without forming a normal family at middle-age. I remember not long ago, the desperation to find a suitable wife and start having children. The biological clock was against me and I failed to achieve my desired plan.  I felt happier and at peace because I realised that it was not meant for me to be otherwise. Although this may not be what I wanted to be, this is the best I can be.
Picture posted by Ian & Sue Coate (Copyright - Ian Coate), Sitting on the Bench
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http://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Sitting-on-the-Bench-2.jpg
http://www.freechristianillustrations.com/prayer.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/search?q=Faithful+to+the+end+link



Being single can be a blessing in disguise. I can have more time to develop a better relationship with Jesus, which otherwise may not be possible. I am grateful that everything turn out to be for the better. Our fears of unhappy future are not necessary when God is on our side. The loneliness and depressing old age which we once expected of a single has not yet materialised. The fear that we one day may be abandoned and removed may make singles feel depressed. We have been warned of many bad endings including losing the privilege of citizenship. But so far every day is a present from Him who creates us. Things are still getting on as fine and we have not yet faced any death threatening situation except that our health are going downhill. By going to Jesus first I am relieved that I need not bear all the burdens and misfortunes. He will plan something just right for me, and for everybody.



Being single can be a blessing in disguise.
PHOTO: Being single can be a blessing in disguise. The fear that we one day may be abandoned and removed may make singles feel depressed. We have been warned of many bad endings including losing the privilege of citizenship. But so far every day is a present from Him who creates us. Things are still getting on as fine and we have not yet faced any death threatening situation except that our health are going downhill. By going to Jesus first I am relieved that I need not bear all the burdens and misfortunes. He will plan something just right for me, and for everybody.
Picture posted by Petra on 26 February 2015 - When you feel the single shame
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rJ2B1X0Scrg/Wn0rycHwhtI/AAAAAAAApOo/zZjelt4PeREbJ5ipwP817dTZYmUvHJJWgCLcBGAs/s1600/1461469238266.jpg
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52f17606e4b0c058f609ee0e/52f6d074e4b0021595ae7148/53152a0ee4b01d80b7bd3510/1461469238266/?format=1000w - (1461469238266.jpg)
http://petralovecoach.com/2015/02/26/single-shame/



His plan since the beginning is to bring us into His kingdom and be with Him. How He achieves His plan with our current state of sinful status is beyond our understanding. Salvation is a free gift but rewards depend on our efforts and hard works (Revelation 22:12). With faith we can depend on Him to bring us safely out of this world into His safe heaven. His merciful grace and scarifies can cleanse all our sins making us perfect. God does not want us to worry when He is in charge (Isaiah 41:10).
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
"



Salvation is a free gift but rewards depend on our efforts and hard works (Revelation 22:12).
PHOTO: Salvation is a free gift but rewards depend on our efforts and hard works (Revelation 22:12). With faith we can depend on Him to bring us safely out of this world into His safe heaven. His merciful grace and scarifies can cleanse all our sins making us perfect. God does not want us to worry when He is in charge (Isaiah 41:10).
Picture posted by Christian Wallpapers
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http://wallpaperscristaos.com.br/christianwallpapers/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ship-tempest-wallpaper_1366x768.jpg
http://wallpaperscristaos.com.br/christianwallpapers/do-not-fear



What do they say about where your life is going?
I would like to consider myself as heading in the direction of God by building better relationship with Jesus. I would want to reach the goal of always God first before others, successfully. One day in the future all of us can be 100% sure of our salvation and living in heaven with God is a reality. At the current moment we desperately need Gods help which He is providing, and His merciful grace to forgive and accept us as His children.



What do they say about where your life is going?
PHOTO: What do they say about where your life is going?
I would like to consider myself as heading in the direction of God by building better relationship with Jesus. I would want to reach the goal of always God first before others, successfully. One day in the future all of us can be 100% sure of our salvation and living in heaven with God is a reality. At the current moment we desperately need Gods help which He is providing, and His merciful grace to forgive and accept us as His children.
Picture posted by Glenn Bleakney on 17 April 2015 at 02:00 pm

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https://www.charismamag.com/images/stories/2015/featured-news/path-to-cross.jpg
https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/prophecy/22661-3-ways-to-discern-god-is-moving-you-in-a-new-direction



God will live with us. All of us will enjoy the love, peace, happiness and inheriting the promised heaven forever. There will be no tears, sadness, health problems, darkness, conflicts and enemies but fun laughter, happiness, good health, daylight, harmonies and friends all the way in eternity.


Where might you need to make changes?

  • We need to build a better relationship with Jesus.
  • Allow God to take charge of our life.
  • We are more capable in spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus.
  • We can have more interactions with fellow Christians.
  • We have more understanding about Gods words.
  • We repent from our sins and do the will of God.
  • Seek God to help us overcome our spiritual disabilities.
  • Pray the Lord's Prayer.
  • Pray for forgiveness of our sins.
  • Pray for those who have passed away.
  • Pray with more than just the wish lists.
  • Pray to God for the success of the above.

Where might you need to make changes?
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Thank You for sending Jesus to suffer and die for us so that we can be saved and go to heaven. Thank You for accepting us as your children with the promised heavenly inheritance. Thank You for planning our life journey in this world and guiding us with the correct spiritual direction. We pray for your help to endure all the obstacles during our walk with you. We need your continuous guidance and correction to move along the correct direction and path to our final home with you. Through your merciful grace, forgive, lead and provide us with the tools to escape successfully from the clutches of the devil. Please help us to perform your will in spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus, so that everybody can be saved and enter into your palace of rest, love and peace. Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!"
Picture posted by Ordinary Life  on 24 April 2016 - Fear not
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https://beawonghangyu.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/img_0108.png
https://beawonghangyu.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/fear-not/


Reflection - Making Sure You Go to Jesus - Life direction
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference
[1] From "Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, Copyright  2016 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-709-5, Part I: Come to Me, Chapter Three "Making Sure You Go to Jesus", Page 45-58.

New International Version (NIV), Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.