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CrystalQuest Adventures

…towards equipping the total man!

Month

February 2013

Let’s talk about death!

Black_N_White_Hd

Let’s talk about death. Yes, death! Word got to me yesterday about a friend of mine that lost his fiancee sometimes last week. She was a young, intelligent and vivacious lady. The fact that she had such a wonderful life ahead of her heightened my grief about the loss. I’m still finding it hard to believe she’s indeed gone. I got so engrossed in my thoughts about her last night, wondering what the next ten or thereabouts years of her life would have turned out to be and finally dwelling on the stark reality that death is indeed an inevitable end for all.

As much as I don’t think it’s healthy to make death our life’s focus, I bet if we all live with the consciousness of it, life would be a much better place. We’ll never be desperate for anything, learn to let go, forgive easily, suffer less hurt, live in and savour each moment, be kindhearted and live at peace with all men. We’ll quit seeing life as an 100metres dash in which every man is for himself but as a relay race where you do your part and pass the baton to someone else. A classic case of ‘live and let live’. It’s true that if you imagine what people will say (oftentimes unsaid) at your funeral, you’ll be mindful of how you live. You’ll see your every deed as a seed and acknowledge God in all your dealings.

He has given His instructions [Micah 6:8], told you the blessings of obedience and even the consequences of disobedience [Deuteronomy 28]. You are encouraged to seek wisdom [Proverbs 4:7], discern what is right per time and pursue Godly living [1Timothy 6:11-12]. However fleeting, God wants to make a miracle of your life and you must be willing to play your part. You must be willing and ready to accept His Lordship and guidance, take responsibility for your life, live by faith and not by sight, and ultimately strive to reign with Christ. You’ll live a fruitful life here on earth and a glorious one hereafter!

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We don’t see things as they are, we see them the way we are… Adrian Slywotzky (David Zhao)

Awesome God!

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Life’s hustle and bustle…

Awesome God!
Standing still in awe of You.
You are God.
Yes, You are!
Thanking You for yesterday, today,
And for what is yet to be made manifest.
My forever help, so faithful and true.

When life’s storms came roaring.
You were there.
Yes, You were!
You showed Yourself Mighty and Strong.
Gave beauty for my ashes.
My very present help!
My refuge and strength!

Amidst life’s never ending battles.
You will always be there.
Yes, so sure and certain!
Even after my soul’s departing.
In your tender arms, my sure comfort.
My creator, friend and king!
In You, I trust indeed!

The wisdom of the ant!

Wait

I realized there was this tiny hole beneath my foot that was actually a work-in-progress for a group of ants. Each took turns to get inside the hole, moistened a tiny fraction of the sand such that it clumps together and carefully hauled it out of the hole with its tiny body. Going by their doggedness and the relentless nature with which they went about their digging, it appears they have actually been doing this all day long. Some of them (each probably took its turn) would occasionally wander about their so called territory apparently to ward off intruders while the rest diligently stuck their task.

I wanted to see how they will respond to an alteration of their routine so I placed a small round and light object at the entrance just enough to cover the hole. Two of the ants got trapped inside and they kept tugging at the stone while the rest outside kept wriggling their bodies and pushing the stone by its side till their effort finally paid off and a gap, large enough to contain an ant was created. Two of the ants then kept on trying to push the stone further away while the rest resumed digging and hauling as if nothing happened using the tiny entrance they have been able to create in between.

I marvelled at their willpower when I noticed after a while that those digging and hauling had carefully expanded the entrance, creating more room for easy passage in the process rather than wasting their strength trying to shove the stone. When the entrance got big enough, even the two ants that stuck to pushing the stone immediately abandoned the task and came back to their usual digging and hauling. It was straight back to business.

The resilience, diligence and how organized their approach to carrying out their task created such a lasting impression on me. I couldn’t help but marvel at the strength in these tiny creatures. The obstacle I placed in their way only hindered their progress for a while but could not stop them from pressing forward. Little wonder, the Bible uses them as a model of wisdom. “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!” Proverbs 6:6. “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.” Proverbs 30:24-25 [NIV]. The ant has been famous for centuries for its social habits, foresight, economy and industry. Collecting their food at the proper seasons, they bite off the end of the grain to prevent it from germinating and lay it up in cells till needed. The success of these insignificant animals is due to their instinctive sagacity and activity, rather than strength. Aside these, perseverance is also a virtue that was re-emphasized as I mulled over my observation of these wonderful creatures. Anyone that wants to achieve anything worthwhile in life must sure be willing and able to persevere. Nothing good they say, comes easy!

True beauty!

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I met a friend I’ve not seen in a very long time today. Actually the last time I saw her was seven years ago. She happens to be the prettiest in my faculty then. At least, she won the faculty beauty pageant so I could not have been the only one that adjudged her as the prettiest. Anyway, seeing her again after a long while especially how changed she had become really got me thinking.

Well, it wasn’t like she had turned ugly overnight or looked haggard but her beauty is so much of a shadow of its old self that you’ll hardly believe she was the same lady that was the talk of the campus then. It really got me wondering about how fast beauty fades especially for women. They blossomed in their teenage years and by the time they are in their twenties, they are all ripe, mature and looking radiant. It’s at some point in their thirties for most women that the realization that so much has faded about their beauty eventually dawns especially if they are married. The changes varies for different women but weight gain seems to be the most common even for those that still remain single.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” [Proverbs 31:30] was the scripture that came to my mind as I lay wondering about what true beauty is. It’s not surprising how often people don’t care about how good looking you are after you are married but care so much about your character. A woman who fears the Lord would do all within her means to be the Proverbs 31:10-31 woman. She would realize how passing physical beauty can be and would ensure the strength of her beauty lies in her character. She would take good care of, guard her body and her heart with all diligence. She would spend her pre-marriage years preparing for her role as a perfect helpmeet and virtuous mother, knowing fully well that her actions and decisions are seeds into her future. She would know there’s more to her worth than her looks and so develop herself from inside out. As a man, when you find such woman, you can be sure you’ve found a good thing and you’re so highly favoured!

Hallmarks of excellence!

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As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is. You are the sum total of your thoughts. I have learnt that as your deepest driving desire is, so is your will; as your will is, so are your deeds; as your deeds are, so is your destiny.

So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. [Psalm 78:72 NKJV].

The above scripture is always a constant reminder of two basic ingredients that should always guide your deeds. They actually formed the core of David’s character and contributed immensely towards his being the ‘man after God’s heart’. Diligence and integrity are two basic qualities required for good success. They won’t just take you to the top, they would also sustain your being permanently there. They are hallmarks of excellence! Integrity is the foundation of character. A person who has integrity also has an unblemished character in every area of his or her life. One of the most important activities you can engage in is developing your character. And one of the best ways to develop your character is by consistently doing the same things that a thoroughly honest person would do in every area of his or her life. The mark of people who have high integrity is that they always do the highest quality of work in everything they do. They are the people who are always totally honest with themselves in everything they do, and strive to do excellent work on every occasion. They are always diligent in all they do. People with high integrity realize that everything they do is a statement about who they are so they strive to reflect their highest values and virtues in all they speak, think or do. That’s what differentiates them from the majority. That’s what takes them to the peak of achievements. That’s what makes them icons of excellence. That’s why they are celebrated!

Timeless words!

Apple

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to loose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right. It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself. If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?. And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”. …STEVE JOBS.

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