Resting in Him

hiatus

Two nights ago, I felt some discomfort of my chest. There was no pain, but uncomfortable enough to keep me awake until almost 3 am that I dozed off.

I woke up feeling fine. It was a busy morning. By 12 noon, I hurried home to send Chris to school. At 1 pm when I took a quick rest, I felt my heart pumping fast and my hands shaky. Having the thoughts of the previous night’s discomforts at the back of my mind, I drove to a medical centre. I was seen by a GP. An ECG done. My blood pressure was sky high reading at 156/96 and pulse rate 90. Said the GP, “The ECG data shows some changes.”

I was referred to a physician in the same centre. By then, the BP was 140/80 and pulse rate 70. He said the ECG looks normal to him. The physician asked, “Are you stressed?”

With two different opinions, I called a friend who is a cardiologist working in JB. I emailed the ECG to him to which he replied with this,

The ECG shows Q wave in leads III and aVF , this suggest previous/old inferior myocardial infarction.

Three doctors, three opinions, I thought it’s no harm trying another friend who is a cardiothoracic surgeon across the Causeway. He called back telling me that the ECG looks normal to him. He asked a few questions, and said this,

I think you are stressed.

Four doctors, four opinions. The patient knows better. It’s God’s shouting (it’s not whispers anymore) – Slow Down. I have been squeezing many extra hours into my days. He has divinely directs my eyes, ears and mind to what’s urgent and important.

I have picked this picture (above) to write this post as a follow-up of my post on “hideaway”. The little girl (Rachel) in the “hideaway” has an injured knee. What’s urgent and important to an “injured” heart? Like the little boy (Chris) in the other “hideaway” looking forward to be –

Refreshed for newness
Recharged for vibrance
Redirected for His ways
Reminded of His providence
Reduced to be humbled
Reprimanded for many thoughtless acts and words
and
Restore into what He wants me to be

I shall be resting upon His bosom. I shall sit at His feet.

But, I shall be back, soon, very soon, with this sunny smile of Chris, God’s willing!

hiatus2

Advertisements

Extracting some goodness

I am not a “fish person”. My husband loves fish. Rachel and Chris do not like fish too. I think it’s because the mother does not like fish, and it’s natural that she does not feed them enough fish for them to love fish!

I have recently made an conscientious effort to include fish in our menu. It’s for that “feeling good” to cook for the loved ones. A doctor friend said, “At our age, “feeling good” is a non purchasable commodity, hope you have lots of it.”

Not being able to purchased? Probably, we could keep those we still have!

bp asked what I would be doing with my “catch” yesterday. Here is one, the famous foochow (or is it?) “zou cai fish head”.

It’s nothing new and easy to cook. But probably the two tips of taking away the strong fishy smell could be handy. Of course, for a start, we must have absolutely fresh fish. Like the “Patin” I got from Kapit yesterday.

DSC00640
This is all you need. “zou cai”, rice wine, ginger, fish head. But, Oop! I have forgotten the garlic!

DSC00642
I clean the fish with some ginger to take away the strong fishy smell. You could also add in some lemon slices.

DSC00644
I also steam the fish for 1 to 2 minutes and drain the “fishy water” away.
But, if you love fish, you do not need to do the two steps.

DSC00645
The ginger and the garlic

DSC00646
The “zou cai” (preserved vegetables)

DSC00648
Add in the parts of fish head, stir fry and add in the foochow rice (red) wine
Add in water and bring to boil until cook. Seasoning include salt and pepper.

DSC00652
There you are, the “zou zai fishhead soup”! Quote my husband, “It’s interesting! It’s heavenly!”

And the lesson for the cook in preparing this dish today for lunch?

It is not the nature of our circumstances. It is the nature of our heart. I may not be a “fish person”. Am I willing to be used to bring that heavenly feeling in a “fish person”? Am I available to be used by Him to always extract goodness from?

March 8 is Malaysian 12th election polling date, I am voting! I may not find the perfect person, but I am looking for someone who is willing and available for people to extract some goodness from!

Beat ’em out with your cane

rach birthday

A great friend celebrated his forty-something birthday yesterday. Short of a gift, I wrote and sent a “rainbow poem”. This great friend who has significant achievements in various aspects and leading a fulfilling life wrote,

To paraphrase Bill Clinton – I have reached a point in my life where the years in front of me are less than the years behind me.

It is just another of those stabbing realization that we are not getting any younger. For many years, I have not lit the candles on the cakes according to the age. It has been one candle – symbolizing the one and only one and probably, the one in the million – as I have always added value to myself.

Some years back, a friend sent me a visual card showing an old woman standing beside a cake covered with candles. As I clicked the first click, it read –

Don’t feel you are getting old if you can’t blow out all the candles

Another click, pop! on the screen it appeared –

Just Beat ’em out with your cane.

When this great friend’s mail came in last night, or to be exact, early this morning, I was still in my news room with other two dedicated journalists. We were finishing off a late night news.

It was the determination to finish the stories before the deadline, or in this case, the news cut-off time, that kept us awake. Yes, beating the deadline kept us awake and tarried for one more hour!

Deadlines, birthdays…

Charles Swindoll in his book, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, links birthdays with deadlines. Charles said that while we set deadlines to discipline our use of time, God, however, brings about our birthdays not as deadlines but lifelines. He said, birthdays enable us to make an annual appraisal of the length of life and also more importantly, the depth of our life. Birthdays help us to determine whether our life is growing deeper. Birthdays help us to take stock whether we have wisdom traits that were not there when we were younger.

Charles cautioned that if God has given us another year to live for Him, another lifeline, He has definitely some very special plans for us.

He said that the psalmist gives us the perfect prayer to pray every year as our lifeline rolls over –

So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to
Thee a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

As we count our years, as we need a cane to beat the candles off, as we know one of these years our lifelines will be God’s deadlines, will we number our days as how the Psalmist teaches us?

It is really up to us.

Still on Time

time
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Eccl. 3:1

I started 2007 with this post which I called time and eternity. At the close of the year, I am “Still On Time”.

Some of the happenings (read it here and here) over the year has given me some new insights into “Time”.

I have learnt that I do not “save time” by setting my own agenda.

I have learnt that setting my own priorities always put me in a condition of needs for more time.

I have learnt that I have to always choose a path that reflects God’s priorities to ensure time-efficiency and resourcefulness.

I have learnt that taking care of His will first, even little I have in strength, wisdom or resources, I would always have my needs being met.

I have learnt that “little is much when God is in it”.

I have learnt that my time is in God’s hands.

I do not know what is in store for me in 2008, but I know He will be there.

My prayer for the close of the year –

God, teach me to number my days.
Help me to live your priorities,
your will for my life.
Then I would know I will have
all I need and please you by how I live.

A BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL MY FRIENDS.

(Story behind the two watches in the picture above can be found here.)

The Rest

DSC00188

“There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it.” –John Ruskin

If you have sung in a choir, you probably could identify with the saying of John Ruskin – the making of the music in a rest. Or you probably do not like the nagging interludes when your voice is missing.

Yes, I have never like the “rest” – especially when I am set aside through sickness or even a long leave. In my thirty years of working, I have not taken a leave of more than two weeks in a stretch “doing nothing”.

When God said, “Be still….” I felt that God is telling me that I have come to the end of my song. I did not like it…

This time I took a long leave – doing nothing. I have been resting since the 10th of this month. I have learnt to “rest”! I have the sure knowledge that God is making music in the “rest”. The Great Conductor is counting time. He knows the best arrangement. I only need to fix my eyes on him.

Poet, Annie Johnson Flint expressed it very well in this poem –

The great Composer writes the theme
And gives us each a part to play.
To some a sweet and flowing air,
Smooth and unbroken all the way.
They pour their full heart’s gladness out
In notes of joy and service blent;
But some He gives long bars of rests
With idle voice and instrument.
He who directs the singing spheres,
The music of the morning stars,
Needs, for His full creation’s hymn,
The quiet of those soundless bars.
Be silent unto God, my soul,
If this the score He writes for thee,
And “hold the rest”; play no false note
To mar His perfect harmony.
Yet be thou watchful for thy turn;
Strike on the instant, true and clear,
Lest from the grand, melodious whole
Thy note be missing to His ear.

(This post is an inspiration from a good friend who wrote me an email this early morning that his new year resolution is to work less and spends more time with family. He has learnt to rest! This one for you, mGf.)

The Tree

I took down the Christmas tree at home today. I also took down the Christmas trees in my Christmas blog header and replaced with this one.

A dear friend sent me this Christmas message. I think it’s for all year round –

Pray before you plunge into the packages. As you look at the Christmas tree, remember THE TREE. (Galatians 3:13) When you see the lights, remember THE LIGHT. (John 8:12) And when you look at all the gifts, remember THE GIFT. (John 3:16) Have a blessed year ahead!

Galatians 3:13-
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written. “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Celebrate the Gift

DSC00118

There has never been a gift like Jesus.

In this world at war, Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
In any dominion of darkness, Jesus is the Light.
In our culture of confusion, Jesus is our Wonder Counselor.
When we are weary and weak, Jesus is our Mighty God.

Rejoice tonight, for in Jesus we have been given all we need!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

If you are in Sibu, you are warmly invited to “Celebrate the Gift” with the Wesleyans in a Christmas musical tonight at 7:15 pm.

A blessed Christmas to all friends.