Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reflection - God's Call - Hearing the word of God

Source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 1, Question 3, Page 16.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Reflect on your experience of hearing the word of God.
PHOTO: Reflect on your experience of hearing the word of God.
I am a retiree from the active workforce which I had my income for my livelihood and financial commitments. Shamefully, still being a single without the next immediate generation to rely on, and without much savings, that could mean I will have difficulties securing the necessities of life. To add to the woes, there are increasing prices of foods, services, and taxes.

Most of my past colleagues retired from work while at the peak of their life, with almost everything in place to see them comfortably through their retirement journey. They have successful grownup children earning good income which are enough for their own future, and still able to provide for their elderly parents. Although my colleagues may have this luxury of financial support, they also have their own income from investments, and their saving through their years of working life. They have their financial security which is one of the important component of a secured livelihood. They also keep themselves healthy by having physical workouts, and socially engage with their love-ones, friends and other people of their life. Undoubtably, it will be a happy retirement, full of pleasurable and beautiful moments, as they are surrounded by grandchildren playing joyfully around.

I did not opt to retire because I realised the need to earn a living. Unfortunately, I was retrenched twice and my career could not pick up. At my second retrenchment I was in my fifties with little relevant skills, and not in the prime of learning new technology. At the lowest point of my employment, I felt huge stress of not fitting into the working environment. People around me could not accept my lower physical, and learning ability. Even my previous colleagues from our previous company would harshly remarked my incompetence. When I seek help, new superiors bluntly told me not to interfere with their busy schedule. Unable to cope, I left the job hoping to find a suitable one. It was meant to be a short break, but it ends up in retirement. My health deteriorated, making it even more difficult to "sell" myself.

To my horror, my kidney started to have problem functioning. Its functionality dropped to 35%, from a normal of 60%. If it drops below 15%, dialysis is needed to stay alive. As if matters were not bad enough, my heart started to have irregular heartbeats (a type of Arrhythmias, Fibrillation, Rhythm Disorders). My medical expense increased drastically, adding to my fear of increasing financial depletion. What I once thought was a dark world, then shined in comparison. I heard music; I am surrounded by sorrowful, miserable music and utterly isolated (四面楚歌 Sì miàn chǔ gē). I heard voices, but not exactly the word of God. Voices that are devastating and very hard to bear - like "carrying a bag of cleansing fluid connected to a tube into the body". Although the world has one more distressing, helpless old man, I never stopped to pray.

A pushing force encourage me to move, exercise, and watch my diets. My sister accompanied me to do the predawn exercises, and walking along the Park Connector Networks (PCN). It was along the open road that we met some elderly uncles. They were at least one decade older than me, and much healthier than me. Doing many sets of exercises before their usual morning walk was their norm. After their morning physical activities, they were off to fetch their grandchildren to schools and to do their daily chores. One of the uncles introduced the Health Promotion Board (HPB) "Steps Challenge Session 2", which offered a free tracker plus the benefits to gain points as we walk. Accumulating the points awarded allowed us to exchange for shopping vouchers.

Every morning my sister and me would walk and exercise along the PCN with the friendly companionship of the elderly uncles. As time passed our efforts paid off, we accumulated enough points to exchange for the vouchers, and we soon joined the group of "completers". After continuously in the program, we managed to complete the "960 km - walk the talk" as announced by the HPB. We were encouraged and even after the step challenge session, we continued our morning walk of 10,000 steps, and meeting the elderly uncles. They would wait expectantly for our arrival, while we would make our way to the meeting points, anticipating their presence. God maybe "silent", but He provides uncles to let us know fitness events, and provides the PCN for us to carry out our healthy activities.

Times passed very fast. Years later, we managed to stop our health from deteriorating too fast, and able to maintain our physical health. Although financially we are still in a worrying state, we are seeking subsidies for our medical costs. No matter how embarrassing it maybe, and shamefully it will be, we still need to stay alive with some dignity.

We cannot help it when some of those who have climbed up successfully start to look below without noticing us. No matter how terrible it maybe, we will still look up, and look beyond, to catch for even a glimpse of our Lord. He also looks down at us below, but with compassion, and timeless love. At times He may appear silently stern, but will kindly mould us into the perfect being to share with Him joy and real rest for eternity in heaven, together with Him.

As we desperately pray for God's help, we may one day experience hearing the word of God more clearly. In this difficult times, it is comforting to have a God, who although silent, is quietly caring, guiding, correcting, providing, protecting, and loving us. By His grace and mercy, may His blessings continue to descend upon us.
Picture posted by SlidePlayer
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http://images.slideplayer.com/32/10070542/slides/slide_12.jpg
http://slideplayer.com/slide/10070542/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/03/reflection-solution-to-worn-out-lives_26.html


Are You God's Messenger? [1]
Whether the message is stern or kind, the important thing is that the messenger must remain true to God. He must deliver the message faithfully, no matter how unwelcome, and he must deliver it with a heart that is faithful to God and reflects His holiness. A preacher, for example, has to remind himself not to let his sermons degenerate from spiritual messages into spiritual massages. He must resist the temptation to please his listeners by giving feel-happy messages that are easy on the ears. And he must remember that God is both stern and kind.



Are You God's Messenger?
PHOTO: Are You God's Messenger?
God's Messenger must deliver the message faithfully, no matter how unwelcome, and he must deliver it with a heart that is faithful to God and reflects His holiness. He must resist the temptation to please his listeners by giving feel-happy messages that are easy on the ears. And he must remember that God is both stern and kind.
Picture by miss-hena, Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy, ©2009-2018 miss-hena
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bqPaPiC2i-8/W-PzSYFFuOI/AAAAAAAAr5E/88aC62hO59gZmgi3sf2S0T6ERwJPbqUuQCLcBGAs/s1600/angels_fall_first_2.png
https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/intermediary/f/4131f6f2-f7ad-4a61-a076-9ca0c6be636c/d28w2tb-82aef6bf-16b9-41ad-bcf2-85bb56df6a3f.jpg/v1/fill/w_1024,h_1024,q_70,strp/angels_fall_first_by_miss_hena_d28w2tb-fullview.jpg
https://www.deviantart.com/miss-hena/art/Angels-Fall-First-135865919



Perhaps God is sending you to a loved one, relative, friend, colleague, or fellow church member with a message from Him today. It might even be a difficult message. How are you delivering it? Are you procrastinating, or even outright ignoring God's task for you? And what can you tell others that will lead them to walk closer with God today?



Perhaps God is sending you to a loved one, relative, friend, colleague, or fellow church member with a message from Him today.
PHOTO: Perhaps God is sending you to a loved one, relative, friend, colleague, or fellow church member with a message from Him today. It might even be a difficult message.
Picture posted by Marwan the Assyrian on 24 February 2016 at 02:09
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9NCqvX1lsEE/W-PzQ_Z-SGI/AAAAAAAAr4s/xW3O6cnh8YwclxYw542bA23BMZi-ieclwCLcBGAs/s1600/4ab6f5fd703b5bb734c4bf88679e8b92_Generic.jpg
http://www.islamicbag.com/media/k2/items/cache/4ab6f5fd703b5bb734c4bf88679e8b92_Generic.jpg
http://www.islamicbag.com/news-articles/reality-islam/itemlist/user/852-marwantheassyrian?start=2530



Reflect on your experience of hearing the word of God.
I am a retiree from the active workforce which I had my income for my livelihood and financial commitments. Shamefully, still being a single without the next immediate generation to rely on, and without much savings, that could mean I will have difficulties securing the necessities of life. To add to the woes, there are increasing prices of foods, services, and taxes.



I am a retiree from the active workforce which I had my income for my livelihood and financial commitments.
PHOTO: I am a retiree from the active workforce which I had my income for my livelihood and financial commitments. Shamefully, still being a single without the next immediate generation to rely on, and without much savings, that could mean I will have difficulties securing the necessities of life.
Picture posted by Arts, Culture and Spirituality on 29 April 2013
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QmqEyFg6yXE/W-PzR6E7EoI/AAAAAAAAr48/Sbrv5Y3HosMF3-xfg8ivKmwjhoCxP4ecACLcBGAs/s1600/DEUS2.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oGPE-v1LQWI/T-EEKCEyQmI/AAAAAAAAAWQ/XxRijTJ1gnk/s1600/DEUS2.jpg
https://arteculturaespiritualidade.blogspot.com/2013/04/



Most of my past colleagues retired from work while at the peak of their life, with almost everything in place to see them comfortably through their retirement journey. They have successful grownup children earning good income which are enough for their own future, and still able to provide for their elderly parents. Although my colleagues may have this luxury of financial support, they also have their own income from investments, and their saving through their years of working life. They have their financial security which is one of the important component of a secured livelihood. They also keep themselves healthy by having physical workouts, and socially engage with their love-ones, friends and other people of their life. Undoubtably, it will be a happy retirement, full of pleasurable and beautiful moments, as they are surrounded by grandchildren playing joyfully around.



Most of my past colleagues retired from work while at the peak of their life, with almost everything in place to see them comfortably through their retirement journey.
PHOTO: Most of my past colleagues retired from work while at the peak of their life, with almost everything in place to see them comfortably through their retirement journey. They also keep themselves healthy by having physical workouts, and socially engage with their love-ones, friends and other people of their life. Undoubtably, it will be a happy retirement, full of pleasurable and beautiful moments, as they are surrounded by grandchildren playing joyfully around. 
Picture saved by Veronica Z to JW - Life in a Restored Paradise
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kUv452DzH5s/W-PzQ9n6FrI/AAAAAAAAr4w/EthBi7DtJME6hlC4uVptZecD93haqWpbgCLcBGAs/s1600/324b8ff3d40b3e16251b587693b12bf9.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/32/4b/8f/324b8ff3d40b3e16251b587693b12bf9.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/301600506279035855/



My past colleagues have successful grownup children earning good income which are enough for their own future, and still able to provide for their elderly parents.
PHOTO: My past colleagues have successful grownup children earning good income which are enough for their own future, and still able to provide for their elderly parents. Although my colleagues may have this luxury of financial support, they also have their own income from investments, and their saving through their years of working life. They have their financial security which is one of the important component of a secured livelihood.
Picture saved by Rolando Pena to Paraiso / Paradise
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nvOox4ZgwjY/W-PzQwWVhMI/AAAAAAAAr40/RydnMfQYC5crrDgxUwCTy3I-idmtNVabgCLcBGAs/s1600/146151c9f11bf04d821eab9da4447575_1.png
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/14/61/51/146151c9f11bf04d821eab9da4447575.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/399764904399933888/



I did not opt to retire because I realised the need to earn a living. Unfortunately, I was retrenched twice and my career could not pick up. At my second retrenchment I was in my fifties with little relevant skills, and not in the prime of learning new technology. At the lowest point of my employment, I felt huge stress of not fitting into the working environment. People around me could not accept my lower physical, and learning ability. Even my previous colleagues from our previous company would harshly remarked my incompetence. When I seek help, new superiors bluntly told me not to interfere with their busy schedule. Unable to cope, I left the job hoping to find a suitable one. It was meant to be a short break, but it ends up in retirement. My health deteriorated, making it even more difficult to "sell" myself.



I did not opt to retire because I realised the need to earn a living.
PHOTO: I did not opt to retire because I realised the need to earn a living. Unfortunately, I was retrenched twice and my career could not pick up. At the lowest point of my employment, I felt huge stress of not fitting into the working environment. Unable to cope, I left the job hoping to find a suitable one. It was meant to be a short break, but it ends up in retirement. 
Picture by Exert, saved from Prince - Representation picture
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MtHHdaCO41w/W-PzSx3fHiI/AAAAAAAAr5U/mlWfdP0pTqw24Sk7E0a3YSEKwBCklCh7QCLcBGAs/s1600/ea405d0a13245f30071266a4e933a034.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ea/40/5d/ea405d0a13245f30071266a4e933a034.jpg
https://www.pinterest.jp/pin/564075922061769112/



To my horror, my kidney started to have problem functioning. Its functionality dropped to 35%, from a normal of 60%. If it drops below 15%, dialysis is needed to stay alive. As if matters were not bad enough, my heart started to have irregular heartbeats (a type of Arrhythmias, Fibrillation, Rhythm Disorders). My medical expense increased drastically, adding to my fear of increasing financial depletion. What I once thought was a dark world, then shined in comparison. I heard music; I am surrounded by sorrowful, miserable music and utterly isolated (四面楚歌 Sì miàn chǔ gē). I heard voices, but not exactly the word of God. Voices that are devastating and very hard to bear - like "carrying a bag of cleansing fluid connected to a tube into the body". Although the world has one more distressing, helpless old man, I never stopped to pray.

 

To my horror, my kidney started to have problem functioning.
PHOTO: To my horror, my kidney started to have problem functioning. Its functionality dropped to 35%, from a normal of 60%. My heart started to have irregular heartbeats. My medical expense increased drastically, adding to my fear of increasing financial depletion. Although the world has one more distressing, helpless old man, I never stopped to pray.
Picture posted by World Animal Foundation on 09 July 2018 at 8:46 am
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JKK-7akW57A/W-PzScGnncI/AAAAAAAAr5I/_T0RpvjTi6Ua9bL4ZFKi5KHEfC2tq-ECACLcBGAs/s1600/Pangolin.jpg
https://site-547756.mozfiles.com/files/547756/Pangolin.jpg?1504190306
https://www.worldanimalfoundation.com/advocate/wild-earth/params/post/1285581/pangolins-are-the-most-trafficked-mammals



A pushing force encourage me to move, exercise, and watch my diets. My sister accompanied me to do the predawn exercises, and walking along the Park Connector Networks (PCN). It was along the open road that we met some elderly uncles. They were at least one decade older than me, and much healthier than me. Doing many sets of exercises before their usual morning walk was their norm. After their morning physical activities, they were off to fetch their grandchildren to schools and to do their daily chores. One of the uncles introduced the Health Promotion Board (HPB) "Steps Challenge Session 2", which offered a free tracker plus the benefits to gain points as we walk. Accumulating the points awarded allowed us to exchange for shopping vouchers.



A pushing force encourage me to move, exercise, and watch my diets.
PHOTO: A pushing force encourage me to move, exercise, and watch my diets. My sister accompanied me to do the predawn exercises, and walking along the Park Connector Networks (PCN). It was along the open road that we met some elderly uncles.
Picture saved from Satu Norman
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8eiBEaFxvsM/W-PzRjI_xwI/AAAAAAAAr44/Ijdb3Bwy4nortBwXWyW8cqDyT8EvcO7pQCLcBGAs/s1600/80f3a195628e95131fe42b4b82a60764.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/80/f3/a1/80f3a195628e95131fe42b4b82a60764.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/513340057519462882/?lp=true



Every morning my sister and me would walk and exercise along the PCN with the friendly companionship of the elderly uncles. As time passed our efforts paid off, we accumulated enough points to exchange for the vouchers, and we soon joined the group of "completers". After continuously in the program, we managed to complete the "960 km - walk the talk" as announced by the HPB. We were encouraged and even after the step challenge session, we continued our morning walk of 10,000 steps, and meeting the elderly uncles. They would wait expectantly for our arrival, while we would make our way to the meeting points, anticipating their presence. God maybe "silent", but He provides uncles to let us know fitness events, and provides the PCN for us to carry out our healthy activities.



Every morning my sister and me would walk and exercise along the PCN with the friendly companionship of the elderly uncles.
PHOTO: Every morning my sister and me would walk and exercise along the PCN with the friendly companionship of the elderly uncles. We continued our morning walk of 10,000 steps, and meeting the elderly uncles. They would wait expectantly for our arrival, while we would make our way to the meeting points, anticipating their presence. God maybe "silent", but He provides uncles to let us know fitness events, and provides the PCN for us to carry out our healthy activities.
Picture posted by Travellingcamera.com - Early morning walk
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zk2tnx2Y_S4/W-PzSO3iIAI/AAAAAAAAr5A/tM9UbH1SjPQM-sE1bZ5g6vN2weZcEsjuACLcBGAs/s1600/Diaries-7_1.png
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N4y0UI0PyCE/VapEF2Mp8kI/AAAAAAAABrQ/MM4xjrMvYcE/s1600/Early%2BMorning%2Bwalk%2Bfrom%2BKMVN%2BBinsar%2Bto%2BZero%2Bpoint%2B-%2BUttrakhand%2BDiaries-7.jpg
https://phototravelings.blogspot.com/2015/07/early-morning-walk-around-zero-point-in.html



Times passed very fast. Years later, we managed to stop our health from deteriorating too fast, and able to maintain our physical health. Although financially we are still in a worrying state, we are seeking subsidies for our medical costs. No matter how embarrassing it maybe, and shamefully it will be, we still need to stay alive with some dignity.


Times passed very fast.
PHOTO: Times passed very fast. Years later, financially we are still in a worrying state, but we are seeking subsidies for our medical costs. No matter how embarrassing it maybe, and shamefully it will be, we still need to stay alive with some dignity.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-abR-lfAiIM4/UYKtP5Vg4-I/AAAAAAAAW6E/VX5bGWhg3qM/s1600/20101117_2040_358.jpg
http://www.picook.com/Pic/201011/20101117_2040_358.jpg
http://www.picook.com/Pic_List.asp?pMode=Upload&pKey=600001&pUser_ID=&pPage=140
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2013/05/wu-yu-feng-huan-bu-qing-di-zhai.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/08/reflection-how-to-consecrate-our.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/03/hit-snooze-button-this-morning-and.html



We cannot help it when some of those who have climbed up successfully start to look below without noticing us. No matter how terrible it maybe, we will still look up, and look beyond, to catch for even a glimpse of our Lord. He also looks down at us below, but with compassion, and timeless love. At times He may appear silently stern, but will kindly mould us into the perfect being to share with Him joy and real rest for eternity in heaven, together with Him.


We cannot help it when some of those who have climbed up successfully start to look down at us below, without noticing us.
PHOTO: We cannot help it when some of those who have climbed up successfully start to look below without noticing us. No matter how terrible it maybe, we will still look up, and look beyond, to catch for even a glimpse of our Lord. He also looks down at us below, but with compassion, and timeless love.
Picture posted by Ian & Sue Coate (Copyright - Ian Coate), Sitting on the Bench
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a_7zwByV3m4/VnbGQcj3Y_I/AAAAAAAAiiw/1yb1rzUlfO0/s1600/Sitting-on-the-Bench-2.jpg
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
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/02/reflection-making-sure-you-go-to-jesus.html



As we desperately pray for God's help, we may one day experience hearing the word of God more clearly. In this difficult times, it is comforting to have a God, who although silent, is quietly caring, guiding, correcting, providing, protecting, and loving us. By His grace and mercy, may His blessings continue to descend upon us.



As we desperately pray for God's help, we may one day experience hearing the word of God more clearly.
PHOTO: As we desperately pray for God's help, we may one day experience hearing the word of God more clearly. In this difficult times, it is comforting to have a God, who although silent, is quietly caring, guiding, correcting, providing, protecting, and loving us. By His grace and mercy, may His blessings continue to descend upon us.
Picture posted by Kyle Hunt - Abundance, Mind
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Tth2HFPJ1gA/W-PzStVNMYI/AAAAAAAAr5M/z15UXMcqjQQueo7UbjaCcTLXmqvPNpC2ACLcBGAs/s1600/bigstock-Attractive-Woman-Suffering-Dep-72684775-1024x711_1.jpg
http://www.theabundanceproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/bigstock-Attractive-Woman-Suffering-Dep-72684775-1024x711.jpg
http://www.theabundanceproject.com/abundance/page/16/

 

Dear Lord, Please help us when delivering Your message, to remain true to You, and deliver the message faithfully, no matter how unwelcome it maybe. Help us to deliver it with a heart that is faithful to You and reflects Your holiness. We need Your help to resist the temptation to please our listeners by giving feel-happy messages that are easy on the ears. Thank You for being stern as well as kind to us.<br>We pray for Your forgiveness when we procrastinate, or even outright ignoring Your task. Please help us to have the courage and skills to complete delivering the messages as and when required.<br>Despite some of us may not be able to hear You, You have provides alternative ways to enable us to receive Your messages successfully. We pray that all of us may experience hearing Your word. By Your grace and mercy, may Your blessings continue to descend upon us. We pray for your continuous protection, care, guidance, correction, provision, and love, for all of us. Thank You.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Please help us when delivering Your message, to remain true to You, and deliver the message faithfully, no matter how unwelcome it maybe. Help us to deliver it with a heart that is faithful to You and reflects Your holiness. We need Your help to resist the temptation to please our listeners by giving feel-happy messages that are easy on the ears. Thank You for being stern as well as kind to us.

We pray for Your forgiveness when we procrastinate, or even outright ignoring Your task. Please help us to have the courage and skills to complete delivering the messages as and when required.

Despite some of us may not be able to hear You, You have provides alternative ways to enable us to receive Your messages successfully. We pray that all of us may experience hearing Your word. By Your grace and mercy, may Your blessings continue to descend upon us. We pray for your continuous protection, care, guidance, correction, provision, and love, for all of us. Thank You.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
Painting by Danny Hahlbohm, FineArtAmerica.com - Coming Storm
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OMy4bnw-i1k/W-PzS5sC6LI/AAAAAAAAr5Q/c-AVjG60gkUrhC-6_nAv8C8Ll1nNpx-CACLcBGAs/s1600/coming-storm-danny-hahlbohm.jpg
https://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/coming-storm-danny-hahlbohm.jpg
https://fineartamerica.com/featured/coming-storm-danny-hahlbohm.html


Reflection - God's Call - Hearing the word of God
Question from source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 1, Question 3, Page 16.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012





Also from the same author, Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
Reflection - Faithful to the end (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



"Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon

Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html



Reference
[1] From "God in Pursuit" Lessons from the Book of Jonah, Copyright © 2017 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-801-6, Part I: Jonah 1:1-17, Chapter 1 "God Calls", Page 15-16.


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.