Friday, August 30, 2013

Refined Woman

Refined woman,
Refined woman you are.
You laugh quietly,
and all the world falls still.
There is a tenderness in you
that makes him want to slay dragons
and move mountains.
Refined woman,
Refined woman you are.

I wish I was more like you --
gentle and beautiful.
he would fill my hollowness with stars,
if only I were
the Refined woman,
Refined woman you are.

But see,
there is a new fire within me,
tempering me with an incomprehensible love.
I am quieted into a dance
that knows satisfaction
in One Man’s arms.
In Him I am not you,
but I am Woman --

I am His
and He is mine.

I am refined.

This poem is inspired by my friend Shen who is being refined by the greatest love. 

Shen commented during one bible study about how we were "lacking in poise" unlike other girls. This made me think about the times i  felt insecure that i wasn't like other women. i laugh loudly, i'm not afraid of going off alone to who knows where, and i spend on books when i know i should be buying a new set of clothes or going to the salon for a haircut. Sometimes i want to pray to God to make me like the "refined" women I see guys always fall for. But then i realize, God has made ALL women special. We are captivating in our uniqueness, and there is no one that walks the world who is like me (thank God! haha).  Our beauty and "gentle spirit" primarily comes from the peace of knowing that our identity lies in Jesus who is the lover of our souls. I made this poem for all women out there who are struggling with feelings of insecurity. I want you to know that in your struggles, you are being refined by your Maker. I want you to know that are loved.

"This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'" ~ Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dealing with change

I can't adjust easily to changes. I guess it's because I form attachments slowly yet deeply. These past  days, I've been feeling as if the people I love most dearly have been changing so much. It scared me to feel that I'm being left behind. But a discussion with my sister one afternoon reminded me that it's normal for people to change. We can't be swept away by our constantly changing feelings.

If you feel the same way I do, I encourage you to celebrate the positive changes in your loved ones' lives and to mourn with them when situations make a turn for the worst. Even if people change, stay true. Rather than create walls to protect yourself from the pain of change, love deeply. Don't take people for granted, because you never know when they'll have to say goodbye.

Most of all, remember to fix your eyes on Jesus. Through Him, you can hold on to the hope that the big and important words -- commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, love -- remain big and important. He remains faithful even if you are faithless. He loves you in your confusion, pain, sadness, fear, and distress until you can be still and attain a peace that transcends all understanding.  Even in change, you can rely on a steady anchor and a steadfast love.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, ~ Deuteronomy 7:9

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23

if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. ~ 2 Timothy 2:13

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tough questions from a 10-year old in Kids Church

These questions from a 10 year old in Kids church surprised me:

1) Did God create evil?
2) Why can't we hear God like we did in the Old Testament?
3) Why do I still want to do bad things?

We were talking about creation and the Christian perspective on how everything was created.  Her introspective questions were humbling. I'm pretty sure that adults themselves have the same questions.

The experience made me realize that we can't be afraid of the tough questions, thinking that our kids might become corrupted if they learn about how the world views such things. Young as they are, kids deserve honest and intelligent answers to honest and intelligent questions. Parents and the church have a responsibility to provide answers about our faith when our children ask them from us, and this means that we ourselves have to equipped to handle their questions in a non-overbearing way or to say "I don't know" and go back to studying and meditating when we don't know.

While we probably don't have to launch into a difficult, theological discussion with our kids, we'd still need to have the faith, skill, knowledge, and humility to explain things in a manner that's appropriate for their age. We can't just brush off an argument against evolution or explain the existence of evil by simple-minded answers when the questions get tough. With the information they can get from the Internet, children will soon realize that we don't really know what we're talking about, that we didn't even try to understand the "scientific" explanations. I realize that this is easier said than done though.

I remember our church preaching on Daniel. Daniel was taken into Babylonian captivity and was educated in Chaldean thought, but he never wavered in his faith of God. This story and the questions from the 10 year old made me realize the importance of grounding our kids in faith as they grow up. We can then have faith that their faith will stand amidst the alternative truths that the world is presenting.  Like Daniel, we have to rely on God's wisdom.  I believe that we can have an intelligent discussion with children about the world's perspective on truth at the right time. We just have to remember to teach them the Truth that is more powerful than the world's truth. Just as important, they'd have to see that we're actually living out this Truth we say we believe in. If we let the Gospel do its work in our lives and our children's lives, we don't need to fear the lies.

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. Romans 1:16

This entry is based on my own reflections and experiences in my short time as a Sunday School teacher for 10-12 year olds. I am in no way an expert on such matters. I'd love to hear your own comments and perspectives.