Notes: God and Religion

SONY DSCThere is nothing new under the sun, so I write the same issue again. 

The concept of belief and religion has always been fascinating to me. The dynamic of our daily life leads me to wonder why religion has divided and categorised us as a human being and place us into a different place.

When I was a kid, I often wondered why neighbour chose to be Islam, and my family decided to be Catholic? Why is a friend of mine Hindu? Is it true that particular religion better than others? Is it true if one convert from one religion to other religion, would commit sin?

And when I was a teenager, I asked myself what religion is? Who created religion in the first place? Do we have to have a religion? What about being an atheist? Will we go to hell if we don’t believe in God? Do heaven and hell even exist?

I had nowhere to go find those answer back at that time. I did not know what kind of book I should read to find the answer. There was no way that I could find the answer at school nor in the family. It is because I am living in a society where everyone has been tied to a specific religion since the second we were born.

But as I entered university, I started to understand that religion is just a product of social construction. Nothing less, nothing more. And I do agree with that. However, I always do believe that our existence happens because of God. I refused to understand all the scientific argument about our life because it is just too complicated to understand.

And yes, I do believe with the existence of God. God is the most straightforward answer to our life existence. Having said that, one can always believe in God without being tied to a particular religion. Yet, my faith in God is not strong. It comes and goes.

For me, religion is a set of concept about the way we live our lives and the things that we consider essential. It is a guide for us to live our life accordingly. It talks about kindness. It talks about love. It talks about injustice. It also talks about wickedness. Religion is a set of a reminder of how we should do good while we live our lives. That’s all.

In these last four years, I have been learning about Christianity. Why? It is because I want to search and find the balance between mind, body and soul.

Yet,  having myself learning about Christianity, I still do not consider myself as a Christian or Catholic or even a religious person. I still have no interest to engage in church activity. But I go to Sunday service, I carry prayer pocketbook, and I have a great interest in reading the bible to understand about Christianity and religion. And ay… I even had a considerable tattoo cross on my back.

As I completed reading the old testament and new testament,  I learnt that bible content a set of beautiful teaching on how we should treat each other as human beings, an excellent reminder on how we should live our lives as part of the community.  Bible is a book of wisdom and love.

A few days ago, someone asked me why does one have to go to church to know about the concept of being kind to others? So I answered “It is because we, human being, are arrogant to always feel knowing everything; while sometimes we forget and go astray. It is always good to have a reminder.

But some event of life showed me another side of the coin. It showed that many people tie themselves into religion because they actually feel insecure about the reality of life. They seek comfort within the bible and look for a bible verse, which comforts him or her.

I do the same. I seek for comfort words when I am facing difficulty, which I could not find it from other people. I usually ask from either book -including bible- or music.

Yet, they quote a bible verse bit by bit without having a full of understanding of it. Later, they use it to judge others and justify their own action. Why? Because they believe that God would always forgive and save us.

You see …. one might read the bible daily. One might know how to preach about it also. One might engage in some church activity. Even, there is no Sunday service that one is going to miss as much as possible. 

Yet, what’s the point of being very religious and have a strong faith in God but have no idea to implement those religious teaching? It just talks the talk? But in the end, implementing spiritual value is our own choice, we would reap what we sow. 

As I learnt, I always feel good when I do good; I still feel restless when I do wrong to others. It has nothing to do with religion.

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Reflection: Do Good

I read the book of James this morning. I come across to an interesting line. It was James 2:14-15, 25. It says “If someone claims to have faith but has no deeds, can such faith save them? If faith isn’t accompanied by action, is dead.  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

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BJ: Shelter in Time of Storm

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom should I be afraid? When evildoer close in on me to devour my flesh, it is they, my adversaries and enemies, who stumble and fall.

Even if my army encamps against me, my heart will not succumb to fear; even if war breaks out against me, I will not have my trust shaken.

There is only one thing I ask of the Lord, just one thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life so that I may enjoy the beauty of the Lord and the gaze of his temple. 

For He will hide me in His shelter in times of trouble. He will conceal me under the cover of His tent and place me high upon a rock. I am confident that I will behold the goodness of the Lord in the land of living. Place your hope in Lord, be strong and courages in your heart, and place your hope in the Lord. Amen. (Psalm 27)

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BJ: No Other God Can Rescue Us

All the princes, governors, lieutenant governor and other official of the king gathered to look at the three men, who had not been harmed by fire. Their hair was not singed, their clothes were not burned and there was no smell of smoke on them.

The king said “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He sent this angel and resecued these men who serve and trust him. They disobeyed my orders and risked their lives rather than bow down and worship any other god, except their own God,”

And now I command that if any nation, race or language speaks disrespectfully to God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he is to be torn limb from limb, and his house is to be made a pile of ruins. There is no other God who can rescue like this.” (Daniel 3:27-29)

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Notes: Why Am I Blogging?

e44c7025-693d-4983-8cf2-a6dcbbb37b28Perhaps some of you wonder why I like to share my personal problem in social media, i.e blog. Well, I am the type of person who I always have a reason why I do thing things whether why I shave my hair off, why I go to the gym or even why I blog about my personal life.

So why do I blog about my personal life? Once I read a blog post saying that writing a journal would help our personal growth and development because it would give us an insight into our behaviour and moods. I kind of agree with that statement, especially I have been writing a personal diary since I was a little girl and have been blogging since I was 16. I found that writing a journal would help me to reflect on my life especially everything that I have been going through. On top of that, I also can review the improvement of my writing skill and my vocabulary bank.

But I must say that I am not kind of person who likes to share my problem with my friend.  It is not because I don’t trust them to keep my secret but I tend to not believe or trust their judgement. Not saying that they are wrong, it is just ….. their judgement tends to lead me to further confusion.

And the most annoying part of it is people would start being judgmental and telling you how wrong or even how stupid you are without understanding the circumstance. They would even start telling you that “you should not have done this and that… and bla bla bla

Oh well… I guess it is our problem, we tend to listen to respond than listen to understand why the thing is going wrong with somebody’s else life. Am I right?

And those are the last thing that I want to hear from others especially when I know very well that they are not in my shoes.  Yet, sometimes …. I still have a discussion with my friends also about my problem but not to seek for advice.

So what should I do if I need some advice? As I love reading the book and listening to music, I always would seek some advice from an inspirational book or inspirational songs. It helps me to reflect on my problem. Other than that, they would never judge me but tend to give me a wiser suggestion. That’s the best thing about it! Try it!

So that’s why I rather share my burden by blogging than talking to friends because I want to protect my feeling, to protect my heart and to prevent me from bad influences from others. But as humanely as possible,  I am trying my best to not posting a harmful or sensitive blog anyhow. So bear with me readers….

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy my blog!

 

BJ: Ignorance to The Warning

Jobs answered the Lord “I know Lord that You are all-powerful that you can do everything you want. You ask how I dare question your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things that I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know.

You told me while you spoke and try to answer your questions. In the past, I only knew what others had told me but now I have seen with you with my own eyes. So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes (Jobs 42: 1-6)

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BJ: Wisdom and Stupidity

If you correct conceited people, you will only be insulted. If you reprimand evil people, you will only get hurt. Never correct conceited people, they will hate you for it. But if you correct the wise, they will respect you. Anything you say to the wise, will make them wiser. Whatever you tell the righteous will add to their knowledge. To be wise, you must first have reverence for the Lord. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding. Wisdom will add years to life. You are the one who will profit if you have wisdom and if you reject it, you are the one who will suffer ~Proverbs 9: 7 -12

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Stupidity is like a loud, ignorant, shameless person. To the foolish, (s)he says “Stolen water is sweeter. Stolen bread tastes better.” Her victims do not know that the people die who go her house, that those who have already entered are now in deep in the world of the dead ~ Proverbs9: 17-18

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Notes: Negative Mindset

Negative Mindset Tends to Corrupt My Life [2013: E N U]

Negative Mindset Tends to Corrupt My Life [2013: E N U]

Life has been extremely hard for me in these last few months. Instead of getting better each month, life seems getting harder and worse. I tried to be strong and believe that everything was okay and would get better sooner than later. But no it did not. It got worse and I could not deal with it well. But was it me unable to deal it well or was it just my negative mindset?

Wait…. that’s what I just discovered! Whether were I really unable to deal with the current life situation well or was it just my negative mindset?

Well let me tell you something, I always said to myself that I must always remove my negative thinking when I have/want/need to do something. No matter how difficult my task is… I MUST NOT say that I CANNOT. Instead I MUST say that I CAN. If I have belief in myself that I can do it, surely I will be able to finish any task, which is given to me. Why did I say that?

Few years ago when I was working for an english newspaper, I was asked to write four stories. It was 2 p.m and the deadline was at 7 p.m. I could not say NO and I would not say No. Instead I said yes. I said to myself that I CAN finish it and I WILL finish it. Even though I didn’t meet the deadline on time, I was able to finish and submit all the stories. I was relieved.  I was happy knowing that I had the ability to do it.

Somehow when I worked on those article, I felt no burden at all. Instead I was enjoying it. But here was the key, I believed that I would not do anything properly without God’s help. (I know I might sound so religious but that’s what I believe : ). I believe in God’s grace).

So as I reflected into my current life’s situation and how I dealt with it, I just felt that the negativity has corrupted my life. It was just a constant complaint.  I always said to myself how unhappy I am, how stressful my life is, how difficult my life is, how hard my life is, etc etc etc. Yes perhaps I am unhappy with the current situation but shouldn’t I just consider it as a test from God?

Well I often said to myself that this difficult life would be just temporary, it wouldn’t stay forever as what Saint Paul said There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

And again Jesus also said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

So why couldn’t I deal with my current life situation well? I think it is because I was surrounded by people with negative thinking and somehow it effected to me. No I did not mean to blame anyone here. But now I learnt whenever all those negative opinion comes closer to me, it is better for me to walk away or close my ears to ignore it.

It all comes down to our mindset. If we have a positive mindset, we would deal with difficulty positively, led us to positive attitude and finally we would not feel that we carry a heavy burden. But if we have a negative mindset, we would deal with difficulty with negative attitude, give us frustration and and life getting  hard for us everyday.

I am glad that I have been introduced to God since I was child through Catholic belief. Even though there was a stage of life when I did not want to be tied to any religion but still believed in God, I just found that religious value has taught me something which gives me peace of mind.

Instead of running to alcohol or nicotine  when I got upset (I used to drink a lot but was not an alcoholic, just a cocktail lover. And I knew I smoked few days ago but I rarely did it), I just picked my bible and read it. It might not give me a solution right away but it gives me peace of mind. And that’s all I need.

For me, life is about constant reflection. Perhaps some people might think that I am drama queen or melancholic bitch whenever I share my problem or point of view of life in my blog but I don’t really care anyway. This is how the way I live my life.

And  I just realized that God actually has answered my prayers. Even though it was not a jackpot but God has provided a lot of good things to me during this trial of life.  It might not be the best  but God always provided for us.

Sometimes we just have to appreciate the small stuff because we are blessed more than we realize. I just believed that God would answer my prayers in His own time in His own way.

Have a blessed Sunday readers!
Ride the bus