Onward to thirty-nine and thriving

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I am thirty-nine today.

Some women would prefer to keep their age a secret after the thirties, but I wear my ‘being on the wrong-side-of-thirty’ badge proudly. It has been an eventful 9 years being 30-something, a roller-coaster of a ride, but I can finally say that I have arrived.

The definition of ‘having arrived’ means to be a success and being famous. To be a success is subjective, and being famous is meaningless. There are many successful and famous people who haven’t discovered what their life purpose is, and haven’t found true contentment, despite their wealth and success.

My definition of ‘having arrived’ is the culmination of knowing my life purpose and finally finding peace and contentment.

I think a friend put it so aptly when I met her in Jakarta last week, “There is something about you that is so different from when I first got to know you in March last year. There is now this peace and joy within you.”

Indeed it is this peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace that can only be obtained when my full confidence is placed in a loving God and when I know how to be thankful in all circumstances. I have learnt to LET GO and LET GOD take over for all things.

The changes started when I started telling God, “Not my will anymore Lord, but let your will be done in my life!”

Often we humans have so much good things to say about Him, but our actions prove otherwise. We try to wrestle our own way, have a long list of things that we desire and ask for, and cannot trust that He can do far more abundantly beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Why are we so afraid to surrender our own will, to let His will take over for our lives?  We may say that we trust God, but in reality, I think most of us don’t. In fact, most of us think we know better for our own lives and will prefer not to surrender that control that we have on our lives, over to God.

All I can testify reaching 39 years of age today, is that God is truly faithful, He is so good and loves His children.

I am filled with thankfulness as I am overwhelmed by the blessings (both spiritually and physically) God has given me since the start of this year. All it took from my end was full surrender and a realisation that I needed to align my life fully with His will for me, and go where He led me to.

He has once again proven that indeed He is an awesome God and I cannot help but to share this testimony of God’s faithfulness and love.

The icing on the ‘my cake’ turning 39 this year….

I have just collected the keys to a new home 2 days ago. Kyle and I will be moving out of my mom’s place, as we have got a new place, albeit temporary for the next 2 years, as hb and I will only be able to purchase a new place in 2017 due to stringent HDB rules. The boy and I are looking forward to more weekends to be spent with hb, as he will coming back to SG more frequently each month.

When dh first suggested that getting our own place last week, I told him that I was content with the current arrangement. But it didn’t take long for him to convinced me that it will be nice to have a new place to come home to. Following the next 3 days, we confirmed a place, then purchased the furnishing and appliances.

I haven’t been praying or expecting for a new home, since we moved out of our rented place in 2012. I just trusted God for things to happen in His perfect time. I didn’t expect our financial turnaround to happen so soon, and the amazing thing is, this is just the beginning of God’s restoration for our lives!

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For quite sometime, I have avoided looking at Interior styling photos on Pinterest and that has been quite challenging especially since I love Interior Decorating. So with this, the passion for Interior decorating is officially re-ignited. So I will likely be blogging about Interior Decorating in the next few weeks 😛

It’s going to be a busy but fun last quarter of 2015 and I look forward to a joyful and content 40s to come. And I am glad that the term ‘mid-life crisis’ will continue to be a foreign term that I will never need to relate to.

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You May Say I am a Dreamer

I have been able to recall my dreams every other night. It started when I prayed, “God, please filter out those dreams that are not from you, and speak to me through dreams.”

Usually I know when the dreams are from God, is when I wake up immediately after the dream ends, and that’s when I jot it down in my dream journal.

Yes. I have started keeping a journal to jot down all of my dreams, and dreams and visions are part of my spiritual walk with God.

So why do people dream?

Since most of the readers reading this post tend to lean towards logical and rational answers. I went to google ‘Why do people dream?’ and ended up on this post. Even researchers cannot agree on the reasons why we dream but there are plenty of theories. Some say that dreams have physical, mental, emotional or spiritual reasons and some think that is just a result of a big meal.

So then, articles that reveal how scientific discoveries were made, as a result of a sleeping dream will befuddle the most logical minds. Mendeleev found the solution to the Periodic Table, August Kekule discovered the structure of the Benzene and Aromatic Chemistry, Rene Descartes discovered the Scientific method, Albert Einstein discovered the principle of relativity after having a vivid dream.

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Many people will say that they do not dream. But the reality is we dream every night, as dreaming occurs at the end of every sleep cycle. Just that most cannot remember their dreams.

There are different sources of dreams, some are from your soul, some can be from God and some can be from the devil or the demonic realm (Yes I do believe in the Devil, if there is a God, there is the Devil or Satan. Just like when there light, there will be darkness).

There are many ways to identify the source of the dream, some of the key ways are;

1) Voice of the soul or flesh – dream will be self seeking, promoting your personal ego, self exalting and full of insecurity and fear

2) Voice of God – dream will be righteous, loving, full of mercy, humble, without condemnation, truth (will agree with scriptures in the Bible), life giving and encouraging

3) Voice of satan – condemning, twists concept from scriptures of the bible, leads people away from righteousness, appealing to the flesh, brings death, destruction and fear

 

My Thoughts on Dreams

I do believe that the examples of dreams that I have mentioned above about scientific discoveries through dreams are from God, as God is a creative creator.

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Although I am certain that the ego of a ‘self-made’ man or woman will beg to differ.

I will not be likely inventing something brilliant after discovering something in a dream, however my dreams seems to have been focused on fulfilling a different purpose.

I have had dreams of a predictive nature, or with information that I would not have an ability to know on my own.

I dreamt that I will be separated physically with my hb the week before he told me about his interview with the current company held overseas. Through this dream, I was prepared by God on the outcome, that the family will be separated geographically or a season. This dream also confirmed that hb’s move was according to God’s will.

And last year, I had a dream of an old friend whom I have not spoken to for some time. In the dream, I was revealed symbolic parallels that she has a physical ailment at a specific part of her body. I contacted her to ask her about it, and she was shocked that I knew about it and we met to pray for her healing together.

Since I started being serious about understanding what is God saying through my dreams. I have been having dreams with revelatory insight on a personal situation or about specific people. All which I have sought God about on the interpretation.

Some people attribute this to intuition, but I don’t, as I don’t think my intuition is so brilliant to start with. My conviction towards dreams is this, I believe God speaks to individuals through dreams and visions, by drawing parallels in everyday life. Dreams are often filled with symbolisms, like parables.

All of us are created to have fellowship with God, to learn to hear His voice and experience Him. God longs to speak to us and for us to know Him, not just know about Him! And showing us pictures through dreams and visions are just one of His ways.

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As for those who are Christians reading this and getting slightly riled up by this post, “This woman is into new age practices or she is misleading people into the ways of God!” or there will be some who might say, “The Holy Spirit gifting have cease to exist and this is strange fire.”

Take note that dreams or visions is an area that if you are not interested to read the Word of God daily or spend time in prayer, and spend the time to seek the Lord for interpretation to the dreams, this is not for you. You will be better off listening to what your Pastors in church tell you every Sunday.

We may not be the modern day Daniel or Joseph, but I believe that when we seek God consistently and go into the deeper things of God, God will speak to each of us personally about our lives and possibly even on things to come.

Job 33:14-18

For God may speak in one way, or in another, 

Yet man does not perceive it.

In a dream, in a vision of the night,

When deep sleep falls upon men,

While slumbering on their beds,

Then He opens the ears of men, 

And seals their instruction.

In order to turn man from his deed, 

And conceal pride from man,

He keeps back his soul from the Pit,

And his life from perishing by the sword. 

Read here for a previous post on a prophetic dream that I had. I might continue about dreams and interpretation of dreams in upcoming posts, will see how the Holy Spirit leads. 

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The Rise of ‘I don’t want to go to Church Anymore’.

I chanced upon this article early this week from Thom Schultz ’The Rise of the Dones’and this phenomenon of people leaving Church in America as they are tired of the systems.

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I don’t think we are seeing this happening yet in Singapore, but I do know of friends who have already started contemplating this path.

Maybe over time, with more opening their eyes and ears to the stark truths. More who will be willing to listen to the prompting by the Holy Spirit in their hearts and seek the Word of God, and not only depend on the Mega-church charlatans who are preaching behind the pulpits now.

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The exodus might happen then.

Until then, people are feeling something, something that they can’t quite put their finger to right now. But not uncomfortable enough to leave the walls of these organisations just yet. There would probably be many who have to suppress their thoughts of wanting to ‘burn me at the stake’ 😛 for opening this can of worms.

But with the previous posts that I have written on faith and churchanity, you would have some inkling that I am not a conventional Christian. I am not afraid to ask questions and look for the answers.

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Whether we like to admit it or not, we are beginning to see the beginning stages of a new reformation happening for church internationally.

 

So why are people leaving the church?

One common reason is this; ’The sermons don’t speak to me’. There is this consumer mindset that has come into the church, where ‘I contribute (pay tithe), I expect to be fed’.

Why is it that we are expecting pastors and church leadership to feed us, when spiritual growth is our responsibility?

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I think in a place like Singapore, of fairly well-educated individuals, we have have gone through our years of lectures in primary and secondary school and university, most of us have no problems sitting for like 30-40 minutes each Sunday and absorbing information.

But how many times do we need to hear Christianity 1.0 on the same subject of the grace of God? Hearing the ‘We are the righteousness through Christ’ preached Sunday after Sunday in different permutations, was the key reason why I left a mega church in 2008.

It was this very reason I once encountered that motivated me to study further what was taught, ask the questions and then discovered the inconsistencies. I didn’t even realised what were the inconsistencies until I was determined to seek God for the truth that was written in the Word.

After all the preacher or pastor is just a man, who is capable of making mistakes while teaching on an infallible God.

It is this very thing, the unwillingness of many who do not want to make that consistent effort to read the bible and know God personally for themselves, make themselves out to be victims of the deception that is being preached in some mega churches.

I think Christians need to ask ourselves if God will want His children to be seating passively on pews, just accepting everything that is shared, without searching out the bible for the truth for themselves. Or be reserved and not want to seek Him directly for the confirmation for these things, or press in to have an intimate relationship with God.

So is passive Christianity a trend in Christen-dom these days? Sadly, I am beginning that it is.

Christianity that is being practiced amongst a big group of Christians are focused on being just hearers of the Word (knowing the Word very well intellectually), and for some, ‘having the knowledge of God, but denying the power’ (2 Timothy 3:5)

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Like what Francis Chan has wisely said, “God wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a ‘Christian’ without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.”

What is Christianity 2.0 or 3.0?

The reason of ’The sermons don’t speak to me’ then sounds like an easy excuse, when Christians should start living out Christianity 2.0 or 3.0 instead.

Christianity has never meant to be a religion.

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It is all about a relationship with the Creator. Where the focus is to embrace a personal relationship with God, centred on Jesus.

If you a Christian, and Christianity is a religion for you, likely it’s time to stop finding purpose and meaning within the walls of a church building, and start living out what is written in the pages of the Word of God.

The true Church, are Christians living out their lives daily as disciples of Christ.

Not a denomination or the building or church that they attend regularly or have membership with. Or to take any pride in these things like ‘Our church has a great worship team’, ‘Our church has a great Children’s or Youth ministry’ or ‘Our church has a great pastor,’ or the ultimate, ‘Our church has a nice building.’

True Christianity is this; “If you love me, keep my word (commandments)” John 14:15.

We humans make it all so complicated with the systems, structures, and the fancy stage lights and effects that are in some churches, or even the concept of tithing. Attending church service once a week will not automatically make a person a true Christian.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I am anti-church or the assembling of Christians. I believe the assembly of Christians do not need to be limited to the 4 walls of a church, two or more Christians can meet to talk about God, at a cafe, in their homes or even a park anytime. True Christianity means living out our daily lives as a ‘Disciple of Christ’.

Walk the talk, be doers of the word and not just hearers (James 1:22) and start living out Christianity that is listed out in the Bible 24/7, not just every Sundays at Church.

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Stop focusing on what on what the Church can do for you. Start being the Church.

And the proverbial question which I always like to ask, “Do you truly know God. Or do you just know all about Him?”

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If this post has ruffled your feathers, then I would recommend reading this guy’s blog for more of your Christian feathers to be ruffled.

And if this post got you wondering, I am still attending a small church and do intend to continue attending weekly. I am appreciative of the fellowship and teaching in church, but NOT dependent on church for my spiritual walk, growth or even the ministries in church to serve.

**Also, if you have this verse at the back of your mind, ‘Judge not, that you be judged,’ while reading this, do read this post

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