God has carried us through the first half of the year. How was your first half of the year?
Today is the last day of the first half of 2023! Time flies! Looking back at the first half of the year, God has been good and faithful.
I am sure you have tasted and see God’s goodness in your life as well! He provided for us (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:31-32): we have food on the table, a shelter over our head, a bed to rest on at night, and work that we can do to keep our minds active and body moving.
He leads us (Proverbs 20:24): when we are struggling in our work, when we are at the crossroad when making decisions, God gives us wisdom and strength to manage them.
He gives us peace (John 14:27): when we are worried about our life, having a health scare, or even having a weak body, or worrying about our children, we know when we pray to Him and cast all over worries to Him, He hears us. He promises us that. He does not turn a deaf ear to us.
God has been faithful to us. There are so much to be thankful to God for! May God continue to lead and guide us for the second half of 2023!
Everyone we meet teach us something about life and ourselves.
Someone once said our life is like a train. People come onboard at different stations and some will alight at different stations. Some will alight earlier, while some will stay longer. Regardless of the time we have, each person we met teach us something about life and even about ourselves.
To prevent the pain of saying, “goodbye”, some have resorted to not saying “hello” to new people. But this is quite a short-sighted thought, isn’t it?
Human beings are created to enjoy relationships and we live in communities.
In the Lego Movie, the Lego Batman said, “Losing people is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you stop letting them in”.
What a reminder! Don’t close yourself to people for the fear of losing them. Keep loving others. Life is more beautiful when shared with others.
Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate Qu Yuan, a high-ranking politician and poet (340-278 BC). He loved his country and the people. In return, the people loved him too.
When he was in exile due to political reasons, Qu Yuan wrote a poem expressing his love for his state. Upon hearing the defeat of his country, he was grieved that he threw himself into the Miluo River.
The local villagers immediately raced out in their boats to search for him in the river, but they could not find his body. To prevent the fish from eating his body, they threw lumps of rice into the river as food for the fish. This is why we eat rice dumplings on Dragon Boat Festival.
As Chinese Christians, there are 2 ways we can learn from Qu Yuan:
(1) to love our country
We are to pray for the welfare of the city that we are living in (Jeremiah 29:7). We are also to pray for our leaders in authority, that the people will live in peace and harmony (1 Tim 2:1-2)
(2) to do good deeds
People loved Qu Yuan because he was a nobleman and he cared for them.
As Christians, we are to bear the fruit of the Spirit, such as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and to do good deeds to bless the community (Matthew 5:16).
As Christians, let us pray for our country and do good deeds that glorify God in Heaven.
A spiritual journal helps us to see God at work in our lives.
A spiritual journal is more than recording our daily activities: what we did, where did we go, etc.
A spiritual journal is a tool to help us see what God is doing in our life. It is personal. The journal entries are between you and God (but of course, feel free to share with your family on what God is doing in your life).
Below are some helpful journal prompts we can use:
Friendship takes work to nurture but wonderful friends are worth the efforts.
I have been blessed with wonderful friends in my life. Looking back, I have not been a wonderful friend myself as when life gets busy, friendships are the first thing I neglect.
As American writer, O. Henry wrote, “No friendship is an accident.”. Friendship needs to be nurtured. Building a friendship takes work — from both people. It is worth it because true friends are life’s gems indeed.
Different friends bring different gifts into our lives. Some bring the gift of laughter, some challenge me to be a better person, some I don’t see often but they are just a text away.
As Maya Angelou says, good friends certainly will make our life extraordinary. To my good friends, a big thank you for being a part of my life.