Beautiful Day

    Saturday, November 29, 2003  


I took my little girl Jamie for shopping the other day, well, not purposely for shopping, I needed to go to the bank. I saw a nice pair of shoes that's on sale, and I asked her if she'd like that for her birthday, she gladly said yes. She's turning 4 on next Friday. I told her if I was gonna buy them, she had to agree that she couldn't have them until her birthday. She agreed without any hesitation.
What a mistake! All the way home she kept nagging me. She wanted NOW! She did all she could with all her power trying to get through to me. She cried, she yelled, she begged, she said, "please, please, please, with sugar on top", then she said, "your not my friend! Your not coming to my birthday party!" then after a while she said, "I'll be your friend? You can have some of my presents!" even the baby's having mercy with her and trying to help her out. Eventually I had to say, " the shoes are still at the shop, the lady at the shop said she'll keep them until your birthday."(Is there any grace or mercy for parents lying?) I felt terrible saying those words, but they did keep her quiet.
Then suddenly I'm thinking, isn't it like God's promise to us sometimes? He'll promise us something, then we'll eagerly and happily agree and jump into it, then He'll withdraw from it, leaving us struggling all by ourselves, wondering where God's actions could be. Does this prayer sound familiar to you "God! You led me into this but where are you?" Can He just hold the promise(presents) until the time(birthday) He can actually give to us? Can't He wait? Is God impatient or are we impatient? Why did God tell Abraham that he's gonna have a child then had him wait for 25 years? What if I buy all the presents, and wrapped them all up and present them to Jamie: "Here's all your presents for your birthday, but you have to wait until your birthday next year to open them." ? I think both she and me will be crazy.
But why does God do that? I'm sure it hurts Him more than it hurts us in waiting.
I come across this verse in the Bible, "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her." (Hosea 2:14)
This is really a continuous part of the post below "death of a seed".
In order for faith(pure gold) to work, we have to go through fire. But nobody by our human nature will take the challenge of fire willingly at the beginning. But our combined quality of faith(rough gold) is not good enough for the real value.
This other story might explain better.
A mother eagle had a baby eagle. The baby eagle grew up in a nest on a tall tree. His mother brought food to him every day and he grew up day by day. Then one day his mother thinks he's now big enough to get his own food and start his own life. But the little eagle has been so used to being fed, he didn't want to leave his comfortable little nest. Then the mommy brought a bit of yummy food and showed him at the entrance of the nest. The little one stepped out, and the mother withdrew, the little eagle stepped out more and oops, he fell. The mother quickly flew over and caught him on her wings. This practise went on for quite a while then suddenly one day the little eagle discovered his own wings during a fall and he flapped them and off he flies!
A lot of the times we're just like that little eagle. We don't want to go through the desert experience. We don't want to go through fire. We can't even see with our flesh eyes what real gold is. We can't understand what freedom and be able to fly and find our own food really means.
So God had to use this little "bait", to allure us into the desert, our training ground. When we fall, He will then catch us. When we cry, He'll comfort us. But unless we graduate, He won't compromise.
Let's look at Moses' life again. First 40 years, he had all the royal education and upbringings, he thought he was capable enough to do the job. He was wrong. Then he was led into the desert. 40 years! His natural belief of his fleshy power's gone by the harsh wind and the sand of the desert. The fire was hot enough and long enough. Then he's usable to God. When he got to the red sea, he could just stretgh out his arms, without asking everyone to get a bucket to try to get the water out. When God moves, he's bold enough to move, and when God stops, he knew Him enough to stay still. He's trained. He's not a wild horse any more, but rather, a trained royal horse.
God cannot compromise His way to fit into our ways. And He Will not share His glory with anyone.
To be a partner with God, we have to quit manipulating in our own ways. Let His way come through!

    As seen by Susan @ 12:53 PM

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    Monday, November 24, 2003

The death of a seed

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)

When talking about Faith, Jesus mentioned it as seeds. They look small, then they die, then they'll grow and produce lots of fruits.
When I look at Abraham, he went through a time of death of faith. It took him a long time, 25 years, for that seed to die. Until such a moment, he doesn't believe it any more. When God said to him about the son again, he only laughed. He had tried his best, all he could, even a fake one Ishmail. And that's it, no more he could do. Sarah was nearly 100 years old, too old for this baby thing. ---- the faith died.
Then the real faith was able to come back to life. He did have a son of their own, and he did have children like the sand of the seashore.
As long as he kept trying, the faith hasn't died.
Sometimes I hear preachings about test, it's like God set up a test for people to pass, He wants to see if we're good enough...
I don't really agree with this approach.
God already knows how good or bad we are. He doesn't need to test, or exam us.
The trial, test, is a process that we have to go through, not for God, but for ourselves.
It's like a piece of gold. When you first found it in the field, it is gold, but it has a lot of other stuff in it. First, we get rid of the dirt, mud(sin), that's sort of easy. But then, the tricky bit is stuff like copper, or other metals that are like gold, they look like gold, and mix with gold, that's the hard part to get rid off.
The only way to get rid of them is through fire. through test and trial. Real gold will stand the fire. Other ingredients will then gradually melt and fall away in the heat of fire. Sometimes it takes a long time for some ingredients to melt as it combines with gold so tightly. But eventually, only pure gold will last.
This other part or ingredients are like the good qualities of our souls. Our natural ability, our good will, our effort trying to make faith work.
But God is trying to let us understand that only He will do the work that He has called us to do. We can't try to do His work.
Just like, Moses tries to seperate the water of that red sea by his own natural ability. But that's exactly what so many of us are doing!
Over the 25 years of Abraham's life, God was only teaching him one thing: he can't have a child by his own effort. If God said it will happen, it has to be a miracle, no man can fake it.
Death is the turning point of true faith. A seed, if not died, it's still a seed. But to produce fruit, it has to die first.

    As seen by Susan @ 1:46 PM

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    Wednesday, November 19, 2003

This is how we met

Many people have asked me, " how did you and your husband meet? and how did you come to Australia?"
Well, I'll try to make it short.
My husband (Peter)had been praying for God to lead to him the right person to marry. He was seeking God with all he knew how. Then one day he went to a Rodney Howard-Brown meeting. Rodney Howard-Brown meetings have lots of Holy Spirit movements, like people are laughing, falling on the floor, shaking,etc. Peter didn't get any of those, but he had quite a few significant visions. He saw angels,etc. One of the visions he saw was me, my figure, and my look, and God told him, this is gonna be your wife. He was puzzled and wasn't really quite sure what to think. He was trying to argue with God, saying, No, my wife needs to look like...., but God said, No, this is your wife.
He didn't take too much notice of that vision, and sort of just forgot about it. He has never been out of Australia before, and he only saw my look in the vision, and didn't know where I could be from.
Then 8 months later, his company needs somebody to go to China to do a job. And so he offered to go. And, the first Christian girl he met was me!
We met at an international fellowship. I wasn't allowed to go to that fellowship as a local believer by the government. But on this day I sneaked in(I do that once every two years at the time). It's his first time to that fellowship. My boss from work (I worked for an Australian company) invited him for lunch after church, and he invited me also, and we sat together(there were nearly 20 people). I felt a bit unusual toward him, so I asked God to give me some signs like Gideon did.
The signs came to pass.
We didn't talk much at all during the lunch, and didn't have any more chances to meet after that for a few months.
Then one day while I was having lunch with my boss in a little restaurant, Peter walked in by himself, and my boss invited him to join. From that on, he came to visit our office about once a week for a month, mainly to talk to my boss, I just said Hello. The second month my boss left the job, leaving me alone in the office, but my boss gave Peter permission to come and use the phone and fax,etc. Peter was supposed to work on a job, but the things that were shipped to the job was held in the custom and he couldn't do anything but to wait. So he came around to the office quite often and we got to know each other a bit more. We were just purely friends.
I had some feelings toward him that I wasn't sure how to handle. So I rang up my pastor, didn't say anything particular, just said,"please pray for me." And as soon as my pastor hang up the phone, he heard this voice spoken in his spirit: "Marriage is coming, marriage is at hand. " And he saw a vision like the sun is rising from the horison. He didn't really know what to think as he didn't know of Peter at all and he couldn't see there're somebody around me that I could marry. Until a few days later we met and talked he realised that was a voice from God.
Then I was sent to another city for a business trip. And the first day I left he started to miss me, and then he rang me up in the hotel that I was staying in and proposed to me over the phone.

We decided to have a relationship and one week later we were married! We had our wedding on Sunday, and on that Wednesday I started to tell my closest friend, who didn't even know we're dating, "I'm getting married....this Sunday." She was sooo shocked she didn't know what to say.
Although we grew up in completely different part of the world, we had so many things in common: the calling, views toward spiritual things, family background, past experiences, personalities,etc. Now we've been married for 7 years and we had three beautiful children! We still love each other deeply. We always know that God has put us together for His purpose.

    As seen by Susan @ 10:13 PM

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    Thursday, November 13, 2003

Just a few thoughts

Imagine your a bread seller trying to sell bread. What's the difference between selling them in a shopping centre here where there's another hundred shops are all trying to sell bread, and selling them in a third world country where people have been lining up for days dying for you to come? What's the difference in your feelings as a seller?
Well that's exactly how your feelings are when it comes down to missions. When you try to share your faith with people here, you meet so much rejection:people don't really want to know about your religion. But when your preaching in China or India, before you got there, they have been fasting for 15 days, they suck you bone dry and they're still begging you for more!
When I was in China, twenty churches share one Bible. Four thousand people get saved in one day so if you have been saved for a week, you are the pastor! When I am in Australia, one person has 20 Bibles, there're so many preachers and teachings around nobody wants to hear anything from you unless your really famous.
When I was in China, we had only a 5 square metre room, and 20 of us gathered in there, no carpet, 10 squeezed in a tiny single bed(just a bit bigger than a cot), and we worshipped from 5pm to 1am and we still didn't want to leave. When I'm in Sydney, sometimes in a most luxurious church building, two hours service is even too long.
When I go to a meeting back in China, I used to ride a bike for two and a half hours one way(once 5 of us went together and 3 bikes broke down on the way there, and we 5 had to ride 2 bikes plus pushing one bike back all the way and we were all laughing and singing ), but when I'm here, sometimes 10 minutes drive in the car to church is too much trouble.
Back in China we had very little teachings about giving, if any, on finances, yet a lot of us give whole weeks salary away. Over here I heard all kinds of teachings and exaltation from all possible different angles (believe me, they're all good), yet I find myself having more and more trouble in giving. (What's wrong with me?)
Before I left China, I so looked forward to a faith feast, but when I eventually got here I found myself constantly struggling with keeping the faith I had, and I'm getting colder and colder.
I used to go to meetings without knowing if I can come back alive every time, (believe me it's real, I had friends missing, killed and severely beaten) yet I didn't miss one week meeting. In fact, I went to 8 meetings in a week(plus a full time 8-5 job and two nights study). Here we have all the freedom to worship but sometimes I just don't feel like going to church.
Sometimes I really feel like going back, but what about my kids? I don't know.

    As seen by Susan @ 6:09 PM

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Baby baby--- I love you!

I have a very cute baby. She's just about walking. Everyday I spend so much time just looking at her, watching her every move. Even when she's sleeping I can't help looking at her. She has always been sleeping in my bed, as I don't want to miss out any moment with her. She loves to put her fat little legs on my tummy and I love to cuddle her. I can't kiss her enough. She's a real dancer. Whenever the music plays, she'll literally move all her muscles and laugh, it's just sooo cute. It's not the kind of dance that a professional dance teacher will give her any credit, but it's the sort of dance that'll bring tears into my eyes. Sometimes I'm wondering, does my baby understand that she's cute? Does she understand I love her or why I love her? Has she tried to win my love?
I feel the Lord whisper in my spirit: Susan, you're just like your baby to me. You're sooo cute in my eyes. I just can't help watching you all the time. I watch you when your happy, I watch you when you cry, I watch you when you sleep, and I watch you when you dance. Even though sometimes you feel like your helpless and useless, I still love you. You can't win any more of my love cause I'm already loving you too much! Does your baby have to clean up for you to make you love her? No, even though she makes such a mess you still love her. I love you cause your MINE!

    As seen by Susan @ 12:13 PM

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    Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Women's jobs are never done!

It seems like a constant battle just to keep the house to a certain standard with the little children around. The higher your house standard is, the harder this battle gets.
Sometimes I feel like losing the battle...... Sometimes I'm wondering, what's the point, it will get messed up the next twenty minutes... If I spend the time in children's education, or just to read a book, at least I can see the result. But if I spend two hours cleaning the house, the next day the result's all gone!
Coming from another culture, I'm constantly struggling with this fact in this country: for most couples, one of them spend most of their life time trying to get a house, and the other one just spend most of their life cleaning and keeping the house. It seems like a house culture. It's taking so much out of our lives I wonder if it's worth it.

    As seen by Susan @ 4:27 PM

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    Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A wounded player

Good athletes go through intensive, tough trainings. And when they play in a game, they play hard. Sometimes, almost unavoidable for anyone that's involved in competitive sports, they'll get wounded. It's very rare if you can find anyone who's successful and has never been wounded. In extreme situations they might need to carry on despite of the wound, but it's really not very good for their health. Although they might struggle with the fact, the best thing to do is to get treatment and just rest and allow the wound to heal properly. If they go on playing or training, the wound wouldn't get healed quickly and properly, it might get even worse, and influence the result in a greater way.
Similarly, if we feel wounded in other areas, it might not be physically, but mentally, emotionally, we need to realise that it's ok. We haven't failed. Everyone goes through this stage sometimes now and then. We just need to be honest and realistic with ourselves and give ourselves some time to let the wound heal. Have some time out if it's necessary. If you carry on, you might not be as effective and you might even do more damage to the wound.
Remember, what you feel when your wounded and when your not can be dramatically different. Just imagine an athlete trying to run a 100 metre race with a fractured leg!

    As seen by Susan @ 12:14 PM

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    Sunday, November 02, 2003

Another village

"Mountains ended, waters finished, questioned, no way? Leaves dim, flowers bright, another village."
This is a word to word direct translation of a very famous old Chinese poem that has become a popular saying.
Sometimes we feel that everything around us has come to an end. We just want to say, "I want to give up". Look, there's no way out. There doesn't seem to be any hope. Nothing seems to work. It doesn't look like it's going to work. Come on, let's just give up.
I feel Moses must have had the same voices around him when he came to the red sea. The enemy's chasing behind him, and look at this big red sea! How can he get over this sea with so many women and children with him? No other ways. It seemed to be a very good place to give up. I can almost hear there're thousands of voices there shouting "let's just give up! Come on, Moses, have some comon sense."
Did he give up? No, he turned that point into a most glorious scene in history.
How many times do we come to a point where we hear the suggestions of "give up"?
But hey!!! One more step of faith this could be YOUR red sea experience. Would you dare to hang on just a bit longer?

    As seen by Susan @ 12:19 PM

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About Me

Contact Me:

My picture

My beloved
You hold me now
Some Chinese sayings
The Word becomes flesh
Audible voice
A few recent pictures
Back to school
The battle goes on

My other blog
Jia Lin

Some Other Posts
China trip
Death of seed
Mother's day thoughts
Rachel and Leah

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