Let me meet You in the faded nightlights of this concrete jungle.

Let me meet You in the cacophony of work and the busy life.

Let me meet You in the endless streams of cyberspace and the networked universe.

Let me meet You, deep in the longing of the eternal soul and dying flesh.


Scary Close, Looking Back

Scary Close by Donald Miller

Scary Close by Donald Miller

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine recommended the book “Scary Close” by Donald Miller to me. I’d just come off a certain season of my life that had left me looking more deeply into myself and working on more self-awareness in light of what I felt God was showing me. I had been leaning too much on my own wisdom rather than the Lord’s (Prov.3:5), and I felt a desire to cast aside my pretensions and really get to know myself. The story of Don Miller as he tackled the time before he got married and how it forced him to undergo a process of self-examination was enlightening for me. He pursued his growth through a variety of avenues – from professional therapy and coaching camps to deep and meaningful friendships given to him by the Lord.

As I went through this narrative, I reflected on the key principles I was picking up and considering how it impacted me in light of God’s Word and what I have also learned through my past few years walking with Jesus Christ.

  1. Dropping the Facade – Just as the subscript of the book says, I realized that I really needed to drop my facades. This wasn’t just with regards to other people, but particularly with myself. But I recognized that if I really wanted to grow, I needed to start with admitting to myself my own reality. The fundamental concept of digging into the heart of why I thought the way I thought, why I spoke or acted the way I did, and why I felt the way I felt, all this was necessary for me to have a real start in changing and being renewed. I could not surrender myself to Christ if I did not even have a firm grip on myself to surrender to Him. There is no real point in hiding one’s real feelings and thoughts from an omniscient God anyhow.
  2. Anchored Value – Coming from admitting to myself my reality – flaws and all – the question then arises as to what is the next step to take? Clearly, there would be a process that would need to be undergone to address these things. But before I jumped into those stages, I needed to find a firm foundation which I could stand on and from which I could move ahead with confidence. This pointed me back to one of the key tenets of the Gospel – that Christ valued me enough to die for me. I could stand in the truth that regardless of my reality, good or bad, improved or not, I had already been given a priceless value by the Lord. I would always be valued and loved, always worth keeping in His eternal hands. This knowledge would allow me to make mistakes and unveil myself as needed, without fear of rejection. His perfect love casts out all fear.
  3. Finding Whetstones – With the confidence that God is indeed my strong tower to whom I can return to as I journey along in my path of vulnerability and growth, I saw that a person needed to be exposed to the right stuff to be able to grow in the proper direction. Certainly, the Lord is enough to sustain and guide us in His Word. I needed to find useful learning material, ideally anchored in His word and written by those who were grounded in Christ. Beyond this, however, I needed to find healthy and loving friends who could help me walk along the way. It is known that a person is influenced immensely by the company he regularly keeps, and therefore if I wanted to become a complete person in Christ, I needed to find those who could expose my blind spots and graciously point me in the right direction. Having a varied set of friends with the right mindset and good, mature, habits, was necessary.  I needed to search for and develop close relationships with people who had a good relationship with God and with other people as well.
  4. Staying the Course – As a natural introvert, despite my highly sociable nature, there is a tendency to withdraw and deny the companionship of others especially when hurt or tired. And I exposed myself to people who understood what I was trying to do, I had to force myself to be honest and not to withdraw from their presence. But if I desired to work through the deeper concerns of the heart and character, to learn to expand one’s way of thinking and feeling, I needed to dig in and go through this. Genuine connections could and did happen while I remained anchored in Christ during these times. It was important that I remained connected to people and to God, while I was unpeeled and new light shed on the narrow crevices of my mind.

I looked at these key points as I reviewed the book and have been trying then to apply them to my life. It has been producing fruit since then, as the openness to learning more about myself has helped me to identify and understand various habits and thought processes. It has allowed me to see more humbly the viewpoints of other people, even if I may ultimately not agree with them. And ultimately, it has let me draw closer to the Lord, letting down my walls and “image” in the face of a loving God.


ramblings 001

This is a void without purpose. I can feel it in the fat of the world’s entertainment and its unending stimuli, that has lost itself in pointlessness. It is a cloying thickness about my throat that saps away the energy I should have when I respire. There is a frantic scratching towards finding meaningful purchase in this stream of time that inexorably passes by me.

It is ironic, to feel the weariness of plenty. The burden of a wealth of time. It is all the more ridiculous, knowing that many around the world have a dearth of such things. It is shameful to be swamped in what many would consider a blessing and to feel meaningless and frustrated in it.

But that is a reality that happens to people. The meaningless treading of paths that provide mere sparks in the darkness. Being enslaved to the pursuit of meaning.

I would rather have the exhaustion in the days of knowing my purpose, to sweat and toil for what I know clearly is good and worthy. It is different to spend one’s life in the pursuit of an infinitely higher glory beyond one’s self and to know it is to the best of humanity.

This is why men bleed and die. This is why some can stride forth for what they know is true. Reality itself and the wisdom supernal affirms it down to our very soul.

The Truth cuts, like a sharp-edged blade, down into our very being. We ignore it at our own peril. For it brings with it a freedom from the traps of this World, ensnaring us to little things, things temporal and passing into the night like the faint, flickering light of twilight.

A life with clarity. A life with meaning. A life of peace. A life of purpose. A life of character. A life of real worth.

This is the answer that is given by one name: Jesus Christ.

I can feel the pulse of a life restored creeping back into me. The haze fades. The mind is redeemed. There is clarity and peace once again, in knowing something good to focus on. To sharpen one’s attention to. I rest once again, in His will.

It is good.


Beginning with the End

With 2016’s newness just beginning to die down, I find it amusing  that I am beginning it by finally ending my read through of the bible from cover to cover. It has been a challenging journey. I made the decision to read through the entirety of the bible from cover to cover in 2014. While I would have preferred to have finished it in a single year, as many others have, I am nonetheless glad and thankful that I’ve been able to come to the last few books.

I have wondered before what was the difference of reading the bible from cover to cover. I thought before that with all the resources available, such as the internet and bible searching methods (topical, by verse, etc.), it wouldn’t be that necessary. So I read through all the books slowly, spending time with the Word. There were days when I laughed with how appropriate the message was to what I was facing at that time. At other times, I simply hoped the things I read would spring out for me at a later date. Steadily, I went from page to page, book to book.

As I come to the ending pieces of the bible, I have come to a greater appreciation for it. As I had prayed and hoped for, the passages in His Word have indeed come to rest in my mind and heart. They have become a real bulwark of truth in me. Seeds planted in my mind from times past, be it specific verses or the broader strokes of stories and lessons, have begun to take root. I have been able to have moments where the memory of something in God’s Word has been applicable to actual life situations or for me to speak in loving counsel.

Without having read through the entirety of the bible, I may not have been able to piece things together as I had done. Perhaps, without having read through it, God would not have been able to use me to minister or to grow as I had done. The reality of God’s Word being a Living Word, coming alive as the right time arises, has shown itself to be true to me. The thoughts that occur to me, much more often than before, have turned to seek what lies in His Word. Instead of simply answering and reacting to situations or questions, He has helped me to actually pause to say, “Wait, didn’t God say something on this kind of situation”

I have no doubt that a more thorough reading and re-reading will bring about a much greater harvest of wisdom, and I look forward to my next read-through of God’s Word this 2016.


A Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Star Wars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Star Wars

The holiday season is right around the corner, but all around the world, a different sort of anticipation is also erupting. This is because it is the release of “The Force Awakens” is coming out. It is the first Star Wars movie to hit the big screen since the Prequels (1999-2005). Anticipation for the movie is high, to say the least. Marketing is pervasive to immense levels, with Star Wars covering multiple brands of apparel and other items. Games, shows, and many other things in different media forms are already ready to go. I would be unlikely to exaggerate if I said that millions of people were eagerly waiting for this movie.

I am counted among those who are excited for Star Wars. Since I was a child, I had watched and rewatched the old VHS tapes of the movies that my family had until the tapes wore out. I was introduced to the Star Wars Expanded Universe in the 90s with the Tales of the Bounty Hunters, astounded that Star Wars actually had books. From there, I followed most of what is known today as the Legends Universe. I wasn’t a toy collector, although I had (have) a lightsaber. I wasn’t into clothes – but I’ve consistently bought Star Wars apparel over the years (shoes mostly). While I would not say that Star Wars, the Jedi, and the Force was a signature identity for me, it definitely left a very strong imprint in my life.

As a Christian, I can’t help but make a few surface-level connections between the movie and my faith as I reflect on it. I know that overall, excitement for the return of Star Wars is high. Here, I consider, would it be that Christians were as excited as many of the avid Star Wars fans across the world for the return of Christ. I know that a part of the story is what appears to be the prevailing presence of the Dark Side versus the Light. In a dark and fallen world, aren’t we to supposed to be bearers of the Light?

It is obvious in the title itself that the story has to do with the awakening of the Force, bringing balance and perhaps a form of healing back into the universe. While the concept of the Force in Star Wars is about balance, the idea of God’s power and the Holy Spirit is about triumph and empowerment. When the apostles were blessed with the Spirit – which is one of the persons of God most likely comparable to the ‘Force’ – they were able to go out into the world and perform great feats. Not too much unlike the work of the Jedi, during their heyday in the Galactic Republic. The Force was what guided them to do the work that they were known for, just as Christians who abide in the Spirit come to do the work which God has prepared for them to do.

This is as far as I can go, for now, in comparing these points of commonality. Tonight, the Force Awakens, and I shall be enjoying that time of my life. But everyday I know that the Spirit of God is always awakened in me – and this, I shall enjoy for all eternity.


Curaga for the Heart

Keep Calm & Cast Curaga - via Google Images

Keep Calm & Cast Curaga – via google images

The word “Curaga” is a geek reference from the video game series Final Fantasy, the most powerful healing spell available.  There are moments in life that I think, “If only it was as easy as just snapping one’s fingers and casting a fictitious healing spell like ‘Curaga’ to heal the wounds of the heart.” A person would instantly be healed of their injuries and voila, they’d be up and running. But the reality of life isn’t that easy and healing isn’t that quick. And even if such a thing existed, a person wouldn’t be able to avail of such a miracle unless they were conscious that they had wounds and that they needed healing.

I met the Lord in a real way back in 2005, but it took a long time for me to really come to a point where I was really His. My journey in coming to know the reality of Christ and the reality of my own state was an awesome and humbling experience. As I walked closer to God, I became more and more aware of the many flaws I had. The way I thought, the way I behaved, the way I felt, all these things were rooted in different wounds of the heart and mind, which gradually became clear to me. I had prayed for God to reveal to me all the hidden things of my heart, mind, and soul – so that they may be unearthed and cast out.

I was made aware of the holes in my heart, which typically men loathe to speak about. I was given clarity in some aspects of my behavior, over time. He caused me to examine my habits, such as how I talked to and related to women and how I dealt with my friends and family. Why did I draw close to some people? Why did I have such levels of communication? These things the Lord shone a light over and enlightened me that they went back to the conditions of my heart. I was reminded that there were wounds there. Wounds of self-esteem and value that made me unable to accept fully who I was – both the good and bad. But God reminded me that to view myself according to my own erratic and emotionally-influenced eyes was not right. Instead, I should view myself with the standard of humble faith that He has taught according to His word (Romans 12:3).

Making Steel - c/o Wiki Images

Making Steel – c/o Wiki Images

I often compare my transformation to being reforged as steel. The forging of steel is a lengthy process that involves a lot of hard work. Iron is subjected to great stresses of heat and pressure. Impurities have to be cleaned out so that only the necessary components remain. It has to be combined with just the right amount of carbon and other elements as per the intended nature of steel desired. From a brittle metal, it has to be melted and processed, before becoming the final product. This was the process that I asked the Lord to subject me to, in a manner of speaking.

Today, I am still on this road. Perhaps it shall end someday and there will be a final (more or less) victory over it. Perhaps it is something that the Lord will always cause me to always be on high alert on. The longings of companionship in my heart are still there. The desire to be needed and appreciated is there. The struggle to know the quality of person I am is still there. The yearning to be affirmed and valued, regardless of action and deed, because of the knowledge of who I am in all my fullness may always exist. But I have learned that it is indeed true. There is no one who can always provide the answer to those needs except for the infinite and eternal truth that is Christ.

I can trust that whatever lies in my future, these are things for my ultimate good (Jeremiah 19:11), because He has proven to me His trustworthy nature. The great expanse of all mankind’s story is nothing to God, how much more my single story? I can have faith in a king whose authority and majesty seeks and desires the good of not just myself, but of all around me, and that His plans will come to pass. In this I can find rest and reassurance, in this I can stand strong. When the storms from without and within come alive, He is a sure tower and foundation. I know that should my eyes rest upon Him above all else, then surely all that my heart needs shall be covered in His grace and mercy.

All praises, to a God who is.


MAKE B1G Plans

Pray Care Share

Pray Care Share

In the aftermath of a huge event like B1G11: Make, its easy to ride on and coast on the wave of emotions and being fired up by the Spirit. Certainly, it is good to enjoy the company of fellow Christians and the rush of being part of the body of Christ. But the challenge is, as always, carrying this on into the world and in our lives. When the disciples were blessed with the fire of the Spirit, did they not speak and share the Good News out to the world? It is for this reason, we have been equipped with material like the “Pray, Care, Share” kits.


There are many ways we can live our lives, but we should desire to truly be one with God and be a part of the good works He has prepared for us. At this time with the Christmas season upon us, we can certainly end the year right by making plans in alignment with what we’ve learned.

  1. Plan to Share – While we should do this as a matter of lifestyle, the Christmas season is a particularly prime time for us to be able to share the story of Christ and nudge people into examining how they really view Jesus. Do they have a real relationship with Him? Is it of any importance to them? All too often, Christ is left by the wayside of the lives of people, and the reality of who He is is forgotten. Being Ambassadors of Christ, we should represent Him for who He really is in the way we live our lives and in the actual sharing of His news. Let’s make use of our Pray-Care-Share list here to really reach out to specific people in this season and the year to come.
  2. Plan to Serve – One of the key take away points from B1G11 is to participate and volunteer in ministry. There are many avenues of ministry within the church and people are always needed in the work of God. Taking the initiative to check out the various events happening in the upcoming year and being in touch are good ways to be able to participate. Pray on it and make a commitment to volunteer, so you can schedule your calendar ahead of time for the activities that the Lord calls you to join. These can be usually found and announced on the various ministry FB pages such as the B1G Ministry page, the CCF Friends Ministry page, Uplift, etc.
  3. Plan to Grow – There are many conferences, seminars, and training programs available in our church. Hundreds of books have been written by various Christian authors over the years which can help us think more deeply on specific topics. Given the technology today, there is little reason we cannot find material and methods by which we can get to know God and His ways better. So why not put a Bible-study plan together and schedule some good books to read or listen to throughout the year?
  4. Plan to Disciple – As always, let us intentionally form relationships with the intent of sharing our transformed, Christ-centered lives. We are here to bring the love and grace of God to a dark world. Our role is to share and minister, to care for our friends and family, and also to whoever God calls us to impact. We need to make it a conscious thing that the blessing we have received from Christ is not for us to keep, but for us to pass along, and to teach others to pass along.

B1G - Be One with God


More at – B1G Singles Ministry