Gone Thy Moments Irreversible

150801 Gone.

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After shooting for the company, I was stranded at the bus stop [due to the rain]. You know the ‘aha’ moment when you spot a good subject to shoot? I had that when I saw this domestic helper and dog.

But I was 1 second late. The helper moved away right after I clicked the shutter. I was disappointed because that would have been my only good shot for the night. After taking a second look, I thought it couldn’t have been better [even though it looked a bit eerie]. I liked the fade out effect of my subjects which spoke of a moment that passed.

I call it ‘Gone’ because it reminds me of the moments we missed that is irreversible and can never be replaced. A significant moment in our friend or family member’s life, a moment we could have took a step of faith, or the chance to embrace the unknown.

Last week I went over to my neighbor’s place to deliver a Christmas present for Ian. Meng told me that Ian will remember me now that he sees me more often (plus the toy). In a sense, people are like children. We got to learn to break* schedules to catch and participate in the important moments in our friends and families lives for we can neither replay the scenarios nor catch back those moments.

To Forgive is not to Forget

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Had the rare opportunity to go home early last Monday. Caught the sunset. It was beautiful as usual; no haze could dampen those colors.

I’ve been thinking of the word ‘Forgive’ all week (among many other things I think about, haha). In the Christendom, we always say “forgive and forget”, or “you can only truly forgive when you truly forgotten.”

I often hear believers and even leaders say that one has never truly forgiven unless one has forgotten the others offenses. And for years I subscribed to this notion because there is much truth in it. The bible says in Isaiah 43:25 that God blots out our transgressions,  remembering them no more. As believers, we are called to be like Christ. That is to emulate Christ and His attributes. Jesus says as our sins are forgiven and He will even remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12), we are to do the same for our counterparts. The condition for our salvation, for our forgiveness is also to forgive others who have sinned against us. As such, we are to forgive and forget.

But is it? What if you’re a victim of abuse? What if you suffer a detrimental (financial or property) loss because of somebody? What if you lost a loved one to a murderer? What if you were dealt a great wrong from someone whom you used to trust? How is it right to demand of these victims to not just forgive that person, but to even forget his or her wrongdoing?

As a believer, I advocate forgiveness without a shadow of a doubt. To not forgive and to hate is to drink poison and hope the other person dies. However, I feel that forgiving someone doesn’t always have to be tied with forgetting his or her (grave) wrongdoing. There you have it, another contradicting statement by a Christian – me. But see, not everything is in shades of black or gallant white. In life, there’s a lot of grey and not everything can simply be segregated into black or white.

I picture myself as a victim of a great wrong, to forgive is hard enough. How can I actually forget?! When Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy times seven (an allegory to forgive always), He didn’t said anything about “forget seventy times seven.” Being a Christian is not to say that “I forgive you and will even forget the great wrong you have done to me. We can be bestest friends from henceforth and live life happily ever after.” We need to forgive, yes, no questions asked. But depending on the gravity of the wrongdoing, we forget not.

I remember an incident nine years ago – after being a believer for about 4 months, I raised my hand at a cell group meeting to ask God to help me to forgive a family member and to help me release the grudge I held against him. Tears rolled down my eyes as I was being prayed for. I thank God that when I was asked to forgive, He didn’t ask me to forget because a decade of wrong can’t simply be blotted out!

To the victim, the pain is real and it is not [easily] forgotten just when he or she wants to. I [would like to] believe that God knows and respects that we are imperfect and are unable to forget as He does. Everything that happens in our lives; the good and the bad, we can’t simply just delete these scenes from our lives like a video clip being edited on Windows Movie Maker. The irony of life is there will be the good, and there will be the bad moments where we might feel so indignant for the wrong done to us. But that is also the beauty of life, for the bad also serves to illuminate the good, to develop our character, to make us wiser peoples.

To forgive doesn’t mean we will forget the emotions and the pain that was felt as though it will just go away – it probably won’t. But being a Christian means we need to learn to forgive.

We forgive but we forget not – because what’s done cannot be undone or simply be swept under the carpet.

We forgive but we forget not – the pain that was felt cannot be erased, but the experience can be used to strengthen our heart and even to help someone else who went through a similar predicament (see Paul encouraging New Testament believers with his three-time shipwreck, snake biting, his receiving 195 stroke of the lashes, and multiple prison experience).

We forgive but we forget not – at one point we could still be friends on a very nominal level, but that’s as far as we can go.

We forgive but we forget not – so that we can also see how God has moved in our heart and through our heart to draw out mercy of such magnitude it is able to actually forgive the offender of the great wrong he or she has dealt to us.

We forgive but we forget not – so that we recognize that in our weakness we are made strong through Christ, to the point of even loving our offenders in spite of their trespasses against us.

But at the same time, we need to forget in some areas too.

We need to forget our vendetta against the offender.

We need to forget that the offender ‘owes’ us.

We need to forget how the wrong has caused us to hate, to be disillusioned about life and people, or to be cynical.

We need to forget how we thought that (this offender and) this offense will stop us from moving on with our lives.

We need to forget our condemning mindset that the offender will never change.

We need to forget, to disassociate and isolate the pain and offense away from the offender.

Even so, it is still difficult to just forgive our enemies. But Jesus says that we can obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) to help us to forgive… and to forget.

There are so many people who need to forgive, and who need the Lord, but do not come before Him because they have a misconception that they need to forget in order to qualify. I wish I can tell you that God knows the pain you felt, He has also felt the pain you felt. God is not expecting you to forget that that ever happened. Let Jesus do the heavy-lifting, let Jesus do the forgetting. But Jesus does want us to forgive, Jesus does want us to ‘forget’ – to move on from the unfortunate incident and to live an abundant life.

Forgive abundantly, forget wisely. In all things, choose life, choose love.

Disclaimer: The contents in this entry is solely the writer’s thoughts and beliefs. It does not reflect the shared sentiments of any organization or community that the writer subscribes to and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Rain

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Rain speaks of times of refreshing, providence, abundance, victories, blessings, breakthroughs, whichever you need in your current time of need. The Bible says He has given us the former rain faithfully, that speaks of the ‘first fruits’ of blessings – past victories, blessings and breakthroughs. But you got to understand that that is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s just appetizer. The teaser of the banquet spread. God says I will bring the latter rain. That means God is not a one hit wonder. This is important because when we understand God’s character and intent, that helps give us a framework at how to do life and how that life will work out.

Most importantly, the latter rain speaks of fulfillment (of the promise). In the context of those days, farmers needed rain for their crops to grow. Hence all the talk about rain. The farmers plant their crops, the ‘former’ rain came, they reaped a bountiful harvest, but they then prepare the ground for another time of sowing – and reaping! They don’t ask if the ‘latter’ rain wouldn’t come. They have full assurance that the rain will come. Likewise, have the assurance that God will come true for you. His latter rain will come. But you need to make preparations for it too. Add God into the equation.

No Limits with Nick Vujicic Sound Clip

A recording on Nick Vujicic on happiness, family, dealing with disappointments, faith and love. I really think everybody should listen to this. We all have problems and woes of our own. But sometimes we need to lift our eyes off our circumstances and realize there are people who are far less fortunate or privileged than us but are more happier and are doing far more than us. “A great healing medicine for the heart is going out and serving someone.”, Nick Vujicic. If you’re feeling lousy about yourself and your current circumstance, go volunteer at a home or something and you will realize that you are far better off than so many people. We can all be happy with what we have. Sorry about the advertisement sounds and my occasional noise in-between.

Be blessed.

Note: I do not own this sound clip. This clip serves to inspire for daily living and may not be used for reproduction of any kind.

My notes during the television programme:

1. Attitude of gratitude
Know your value – who you are 
Don’t devalue yourself [or allow yourself to be devalued – by words of people]
You need to tell your children that they are beautiful and they are beautiful.
[If not they are going to listen to what others out there tell them about their value]
Keep the truth of your value in you and in your family first
“Love is communicated face to face when I spend time with you”
Time is your greatest asset
Encouragement brings you closer. Discouragement brings you further.
Tree of lies grows a fruit of lies
Greatest emotions above all emotions is fear
F.E.A.R. – False evidence appear real
F.A.I.T.H. – Full Assurance for all things In The Heart

More than an excellent speaker(enter your job _______), be a excellent father/husband
Take care of your home before you take care of your work
How can you communicate hope unless you make sure your homegound is safe and healthy?
Love saves.. And produces faith
Faith is trying to reach a potential when you cannot see
Courage is strength when you feel you cannot do it
Courage doesn’t wait until you’re not afraid.
Purpose ignites courage
It starts with love, then faith, then courage.
Through courage you try to find the faith that you cannot see.

1. Attitude of gratitude.

2. You don’t know what you gonna achieve until you try it.
3. If I fail, try again.
If you need to let the dream die, let the dream die.
Don’t let yourself die.
The greatest things in life are not things.
While you have goals, don’t let your achievement define you
While you look a certain way, don’t let your appearance define you
Be the best you, reach your full potential
Take one day at a time, and live your best right now
Keep trying, you don’t know what you can achieve until you try
Thomas Edison failed 9,999 times until he succeeded in creating the lightbulb.
But he said “I didn’t fail 9,999 times, I just found 9,999 times that didn’t work.

4. Failure equals education
Some failure is expensive
Words are powerful.
Build people up with words
Don’t ever for once entertain the thought that you’re a failure

Money can’t buy hope
Was that a failure? Yes. Was I a failure? No.
5. Obstacles equals opportunities

6. Dream big
7. Never ever ever give up
8. Faith

ABCs
The truth to your value, your purpose, your destiny
You will not reach your potential until you seek it.
You will not seek it unless you know it is there

My top 3 priorities is:
My faith.
Family.
Mission.

Faith is actually trusting that God has a plan.
It doesn’t mean telling you the ABC and the XYZ of His plans because if you know that you don’t need faith.

I don’t want to live by my strength because I fail me everyday.
But He will never fail me.

On Disabilities and discouragement:

A great healing medicine for the heart is going out and serving someone

Plant seeds.

Focus on what you do have.
Who you are matters more than what you can do.
Develop the maturity between things that you can change and things that you cannot change.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Make Singapore Known for Graciousness and Magnanimity

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A family whom I managed to help link up with a CEO to get much needed furniture in the house back in 2012. Under the City Care program I had the privilege to mentor the mom’s (in the picture above) 3rd son who was discharged from a home.

It was a defining moment for me when the family were thanking me. Even the eldest brother looked me up in camp to thank me and gave me updates about the family. Through this I know I have made an impact to the family…

Lately there has been this increasing trend of internet bashing where Singaporeans criticize others for their lifestyles. One being participating (and spending money) in the zombie walk. While the thought may seem good, the method of delivery or even the intent may not be so. While we desire to see more good in society and to get others to do so, we must understand that not everybody shares the same passion to do good. And we are entitled to how we spend and live our life… How does criticizing encourage people to do good or give to the poor? While I would like to engage in social work and give to the needy, I don’t criticize my friends for the lack of volunteering or giving.

Abase and abound. From here, we accept people just the way they are, but we continue to do good on the individual level anyway.

Lead by example. There is a Christian proverb that says ‘Show me your faith apart of your works and I will show you my faith by my works.’ Singaporeans seems to be coming to a point where they easily criticize and find fault in others. Some then use ‘good thoughts’ like slamming people for not doing good with their money, to mask their intent and make it ‘well-meaning’. If we really want to see change, we make THE change. Make a difference yourself. Others will see the impact and whether they follow suit is entirely up to them. But many will follow after.

Let’s build a Singapore that is gracious and magnanimous, not a Singapore where we nitpick at each other.

To volunteer with City Care, click here.

Instagram For The Win!

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And so I just came back from exile and like a prisoner too accustomed to darkness finding difficulty adjusting his eyes to the light, I am still learning how to find my way around all the social media platforms. One such platform is…. Instagram! I love it that I can post photos of what inspires me, or puts me in the crazed poet state. And so, I get to post interesting photos that caught my attention, plus write about it there, with much ease that WordPress cannot provide or compare. Plus, there’s editing properties that touches up the photos taken by the less-than-ideal camera that came with the S3. Not that I am forsaking my abode at WordPress, writing on WordPress will always be one of my joys [and hates because I devote a lot of time, energy and effort to research and find out on the subject topic I’ve picked] which I used to talk about issues that holds a place in my heart.

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Still, the truth is, I am out of time. No, I’m not dying. I have just entered a phase in my life called University life [and hopefully work life, so if you’re an employer, employ me la okay, okay, okay?] Enrolled in Murdoch’s Bachelor in Communications and Media and Public Relations double major programme, I am really hard-pressed for time. I am a firm believer that if we start on something, we should endeavor to not just complete it, but to complete it with excellence. Not a guy who’s particularly good with multitasking, I will have to sacrifice on some fronts to make up for school [and work, please God I need a job].

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So please forgive me if this space is empty for prolonged periods of time. Still, you can still see condensed versions of what goes on in my mind through my Instagram account. I was told by a friend that I write too much on Instagram though, so… not that I really care. But I was told by other friends that they love what I write. Herein lies my thoughts, musings and anecdotes about faith, hope, love, having a positive spirit, stuff like that. My last Instagram entry on THE MARRIAGE, THE VOW AND THE RING reached my highest recorded writings on Instagram with a total of 384 words.. So… sign up for an Instagram account! And follow me, walk with me and see things from my perspective. Plus I ‘write a lot’ for some Instagram posts, so you’re getting bang for buck! Kinda. It’s not all dead serious stuff. Some are just plain lame and stupid, or funny. I think you will like it.

I have some really sensitive topics I would like to address on WordPress, but that will have to wait till my term break. Be blessed and take care!

Reuel Write’s Instagram ID: reueleugene

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