During my morning tea routine, I was thinking about the charity project we are currently organising. We are collecting donations to buy shoes for 157 school kids in Kalimantan (Borneo). My mind was occupied with how to find the best shoe distributor, the best company for sending them, and how to reach the our goal as cost effective as possible. As I was lost in my own mind, thinking of options, Tobias was smiling happily.
Tobias: “Honig, when I woke up this morning, I looked out of our window, green trees and blue skies, I feel happy and have no worries”.
His word spoke to my heart. A reminder for me to quiet my mind and look around, look at God’s wondrous creation and feel in awe, to remember and not forget to always be thankful.
::: FOLLOW BELIEF NOT CREATE BELIEF
I read a news article that a famous worship song-writer in Australia abandoned his belief. He proclaimed that no one talk about how many preachers fall and how not many miracles happen. He wants genuine truth not the “I just believe it” kind of truth.
I applaud his honesty and at the same time I pity him, that for long years he was living in a tension between worship and doubt.
In the past, I was like that, too, I was lured emotionally into Christianity by the music on Sundays, but the rest of the week I simply didn’t live my belief.
It’s dangerous to see that these movements toward emotional celebration are born from a doctrinal vacuum.
I noticed that we indeed need to cater the emotional faculty of our belief, so we manufacture feelings and emotions in our churches.
Feelings have become unhinged from mind and belief, and it is a powerful thing!
But feelings should follow belief not create belief.
::: THE BATTLE FOR WORSHIP
This is my favorite quote defining worship:
“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God.
To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed the mind with the truth of God,
to purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
to open the heart to the love of God,
to devote the will to the purpose of God. “~ William Temple
Every morning at 7am I drink tea with Tobias before he leaves to the office. Sometimes I want to stay longer in bed, but our morning tea routine is important quality time for both of us. It’s the first thing I want to do when I have another day in my life.
I can’t worship God without sacrifice, without gratitude, without the emotion, without obedience, without the purity of motive.
Worship is coextensive with my redeemed life.
When I win the battle for worship, I know how to win the battle of my life.
::: BETWEEN WORSHIP AND DOUBT
During Sunday lunch at a nice beergarden.
Tobias: “I listened to a podcast that was talking about people in their top class jobs who were still hurting or not happy with their lives.”
It seems like the problem of evil and suffering is internal, before it’s external.
Seems like meaninglessness doesn’t come only from being weary of pain,
but also comes from being weary of pleasure and feeling empty.
Problems and meaninglessness make us doubting God’s love and blaming God.
The last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi, starts with this interesting conversation:
God said “I have always loved you.”
But you replied “Really? How have You loved me? In what way?”
“Look at history”, answered God.
In Indonesia, we have a saying:
“Habis manis sepah dibuang.”
(When the sweetness has been drained, the carcass gets discarded.)
Meaning: Abandoning something if there are no benefits of using it left.
We almost end up using God and people in all kinds of settings in life, like a tin can full of food, we take the food out, empty out, and throw the tin can aside.
“Dikasih hati minta jantung.”
(Given love, ask for heart.)
Meaning: ungratefulness and keep asking more than what has been given.
We often live with ingratitude.
Not realize how grateful we need to be for God’s hand in our life.
::: OBSERVING, RECOGNIZING AND LOVING
Birds are coming everyday to my balcony.
I observe them. How they eat their favorite food, how they sing their songs, where they sit in their favorite plant, and I observe their behavior, who’s dominant.
Now, only from hearing their voice I can tell which bird is on my balcony.
The introvert blue tit, with his gentle voice; or the extrovert black tit, making hard landing on the wooden birdhouse and loud noise; or the shy chirping sparrows; or the pigeons with their whistling wings. I recognize them all.
After I have morning tea with Tobias, and he left to the office.
On that table, a Bible and my iPad playing praise songs.
My morning begins there.
That’s the moment where I learn about God’s character in His words, so wherever I am I recognize Him, I know Him.
Indonesian proverbs says:
“Tak kenal maka tak sayang”
(You can’t love what you don’t know)
“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” John 4:23 NLT
“And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” Isaiah 29:13 NLT
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
2 Years 3 Months Post Biopsy
Midline Pontine Glioblastoma/DIPG Grade IV
This Thursday, I will receive the 13th round avastin chemo.
My symptoms are more or less the same as last week.
Please go to “My Medical History” for more details.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers 🙏
PS: Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing my posts.
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