FMF Day 1: Worship

In the 21st century, our lives are full. We rush from one place to another, cramming as much as we can into our day. Many families are unable to spend quality time together – and often the time that they do spend with one another is limited by the brimming schedule of both parents and children.

In a life shaped by modern values and filled with busyness, where does God fit in? Whom do we worship?

In modern cities and towns, pews in the churches are empty. Church buildings are renovated and used for different purposes – some are even refurbished as homes. God is no longer is part of a person’s life and daily routine. The Lord’s prayer no longer begins the school day, and saying daily prayers is a habit few follow.

Who has replaced God? Knowledge and understanding how the world works. The belief in self and the confidence that a person can control much of their own life. The words ‘spiritualism’ and ‘mindfulness’ are bandied about. A person no longer prays to God, but meditates to calm the spirit. A person no longer believes in God, but is spiritual.

As humanity moves towards worshipping the self, it loses the sense of community and faith that once held it together. Will there be a time when men and women will come to realise that focusing on the self is not gratifying? Will they once again learn to have faith in a Being greater than themselves? Will they once again worship God?

Do you believe there will be a renaissance of worship?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. For the first post on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

Be Present

We wish for God to be present in our lives.But are we present? Are we living in the moment, never wishing for the future or regretting the past?

If we are not present in our lives and seeing the people before us, how can we expect to see God who may be right before us? We forget that He is there working through those who come into our lives – even if it is for but a moment. He is in the person who holds the door open for you; He is in the person who who helps you through a difficult moment; He is in the person who smiles at you during peak time in the subway.

Be present in the moment. Be present and you will see God. Be present and you will experience His love and support.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeAre you present?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt:present)

A Story of God and of All of Us

This book, A Story of God and of All of Us, was written by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. I am almost tempted, however, to say “rewritten” as the original story was recorded by the many authors of The Holy Bible. The novel is based on the scripts written by the authors, in collaboration with theologians and biblical experts, for the TV miniseries called The Bible.

The novel follows the stories found in The Bible faithfully – both in events and characterisations. The major events are described from the Old Testament through to the New: from the story of Abraham, to Moses, to King David, to Samson, to the birth and crucifixion of Jesus, to the story of the first Apostles.

I enjoyed reading this book even though I had read and heard these Bible stories many times. The stories are written in modern English with narrative that is easily understood by the reader. The novel reads like any other you may pick up. The story flows easily from one event to the next; capturing and holding your attention. A copy of this book is certainly a keeper; a book that can be read easily to refresh one’s memory of the Bible stories. I know that I will encourage my children to read it as it will help them to know and recognise the order of events in a book that forms an integral part of our Christian beliefs.

I wish now to watch the miniseries – it looks to be as good as the novel:

Have you read this novel, or seen the TV miniseries? What was your response?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

From a Distance

The first thing that comes to my mind when I read the phrase “From a Distance” is the song sung by Bette Midler. The lyrics suggest (as does the phrase) that when we look at our world from afar, we see it with a different viewpoint to when we look at it close up. We see, for example, “snow capped mountains white” instead of the extreme cold and hardship it may bring to people. When we look at the world from afar, we see “harmony echo(ing) through the land”. Yet when we look closer, we see the seeds of discontent and the disharmony that exist among people.

When listening carefully to the lyrics that Bette Midler sings, one realises that the songwriter suggests one does not see the poverty, the fighting, the war, the disease, the hunger when looking at the world from afar:

From a distance
We all have enough
And no one is in need
And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease
No hungry mouths to feed
From a Distance
We are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope
Playing songs of peace
They are the songs of every man

In addition, the songwords suggest that people all have a common goal – the goal of peace, a goal that all strive for with the hope that it will be attained. But it is not only people who may look at the world “from a distance”. The chorus of the song is repeated a number of times:

God is watching us
God is watching us
God is watching us
From a distance

It is a chorus that suggests, not only that God has distanced Himself from humanity, but also that He is not seeing the world as it truly is. Instead of seeing war, He sees people striving for peace. Instead of seeing poverty and hunger, He sees that we all have enough. It is a message that suggests God does not see the reality that many are experiencing in their everyday lives. The words in the chorus  express a reason as to why God does not present Himself more in people’s lives; and why He does not intervene to prevent the suffering that so many experience.

I remember listening to this song on the radio and singing along with the chorus without ever really thinking of the song words. Reflecting on them now, I do not think I agree with the sentiment expressed by the songwriter – that God does not see the reality of the world as it is.

What do you think of the content of Bette Midler’s song “From a Distance”?

(Join Jake every week for a theme for creative inspiration. This week’s prompt is From A Distance)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

God is my Strength

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

What is this quote saying to me? I am no vintner, and no grower of orchards. Olives and grapes are not a part of my life, unless I am to eat them as a snack or as a part of my meal. I have no land on which to raise cattle, and no fields which I need to harvest. At first glance the words in this verse seem irrelevant to me.

But on reflection I realise that they can refer to the life I live everyday. My husband and I toil daily at our places of work to earn a living to pay the rent and feed our family. My fingers are blotched with the colour of ink, and he stoops for hours over the keyboard of a computer. The fruit of our labour is seen, not in the yields of our harvest or the grapes on the vines, but in an amount that is deposited electronically into our bank account every 2 weeks.

And yet there have been times when this has not always been true. There have been months when both of us have been unemployed. There have been ocassions when the few hours a week that one of us had managed to find work, resulted in a meagre wage that was stretched to feed our family. Yet through all these times, we kept our faith in God and knew that we are believers in God, that He is the keeper of our hearts.

I believe that God will find a way to look after our needs. I believe that He is the One who gives us strength to carry on, to believe, and to know that we will survive the obstacles we encounter in our everyday lives. God gives us the strength to achieve the best that we can, to attain the heights that He has promised to us.

All it takes is belief. And joy in God as our Saviour.

Has God given you the strength to achieve the best you can in your life?