This is a song dedicated to my wife.. I first heard it as her ring tone and I liked the song always. Today is a special day and it is our 3rd month staying together. I hope this song will always be featured here.

Title: Love Paradise
Artist : Kelly Chen

You’re always on my mind
All day just all the time
You’re everything to me
Brightest star to let me see
You touch me in my dreams
We kiss in every scene
I pray to be with you through rain and shiny days

(Chorus)
I’ll love you till I die
Deep as sea
Wide as sky
The beauty of our love paints rainbows
Everywhere we go
Need you all my life
You’re my hope
You’re my pride
In your arms I find my heaven
In your eyes my sea and sky
May life our love paradise

You’re always on my mind
All day just all the time
You’re everything to me
Brightest star to let me see
You touch me in my dreams
We kiss in every scene
I pray to be with you through rain and shiny days

(Repeat Chorus X2 )

Introduction

We shared regarding the weapons of Apostles Paul some time ago.

In that study, we learnt that a Christian without weapons can never triumph over his enemies, that is why we need to learn from the weapons of the Apostles. These weapons allowed Apostles to be victorious in the past, and today it can help us as well.

We would be able to fight a good fight, just like the apostles. Let us look at the weapons of Apostle Peter.

Peter is a man just like us, he was once defeated by the devil, but he was able to stand up and fight once again because of Gods mercy.

Weapon 1 : Armed With A Mind Of Suffering

Peter once said

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us
 
in the flesh, arm yourselves also with
  the same mind, for he who has suffered
  in the flesh has ceased from sin,  that he
  no longer should live the rest of his time
  in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for
  the will of God.” – Peter (1 Pet 4:1-2 )

When Peter denied the Lord 3 times, he was afraid to suffer. Though he once said that he was willing to follow Christ to death, but he was afraid to acknowledge him when he saw the suffering the Christ.

At that time, he was not prepared, he did not have the heart to suffer for Christ. He failed in that battle because he was without that weapon.  As he wept, he reflected in the midst of pain. Later on at the day of Pentecost, after he received the Holy Spirit, he is now willing and ready to suffer for Christ. Christ had just suffered for him, so he armed his mind with that same attitude.

This time he was victorious when the devil attacked him once again.

We all remember the story  of Herod planning to execute Peter, this record was written in Acts 12. In fact Herod had already killed James the brother of John earlier. For Peter, death was imminent. But this time, he had no fear, he had no regret. He is able to sleep soundly in the prison. For he is prepared, and he is armed with his weapon, the heart to suffer.

That is how he fought a good fight for Jesus.

If we want to fight a good fight, we must be armed with the same attitude to suffer. We must be willing to suffer for Christ

Understanding Suffering And Sin 

Peter said that people armed with the heart of suffering had ceased to sin. He did not mean that suffering remove sin, therefore there is no need for Christians to torture themselves like medieval monks.

In fact, Paul even reminds us that self torture had no value against the indulgence of the flesh (Col 2:20-23)

There was once a comic strip that was drawn to mock Christian, but I think there is much truth in it.

There was a monk who tried torturing himself , and he discovered that he is unable to stop himself from sinning. So he went to the Reverend and ask him for advice

“The next time you have wicked thoughts, use this revolver and shoot the wall”

At first it worked well, until the monk ran out of bullets. So he wanted to ask for advice again. But as he approach the Reverends room, he heard a gunshot, so he peep in.

The Reverend was firing a machine gun at the wall.

This story reminds us that we cannot defeat evil by our own strength, which is why we need Jesus to forgive us. We need to learn and emulate him.

When Peter said those who suffer ceased to sin, he is trying to tell  us. That those who suffered in the flesh, knows the pain and suffering brought by sin. Therefore they will choose to turn over a new leaf and stop sinning.

Even if the devil were to tempt him again and again, that would have no effect, for he remembers the pain that will follow.  Even though sinning provides a moment of happiness but it carries with it a lifetime of suffering.

Suffering Can Cure Spiritual Aliments

Suffering is never good for our life, but it is good medicine that can heal spiritual illness. Therefore, if we want our souls to be saved, we need to have a heart to suffer.  It can help us defeat the temptation from the devil.

The devil had 2 strategies with regards to stumbling Christians

Devil Attack Strategy No 1: Flood Your Lives With Suffering

Many a times, the simplest way to destroy a Christian life is to put enough suffering to deter a Christian to practice his faith.  This is his basic strategy and we still see Christians suffering for faith today.

But it  is the second strategy that is more vicious and subtle than the first.

Devil Attack Strategy No 2: Flood Your Lives With Enjoyment

Christians who had much enjoyment in life, falls into temptation. Just like how Esau sold his birth right for some red pottage, just like how Judas betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. A person who focus much on enjoyment tend to fall into temptations.

They are deceived by the devil to betray Jesus. But if a Christian were not to be greedy, he would not fall. Unfortunately, many are not prepared to suffer and they come to Christ only for peace. Of course I know that Jesus give us peace , but at the same time we ought to be prepared for suffering as well.

If suffering is not part of Christian walk, why then did Jesus say “Take up your cross to follow me?” Very often we pray to God to take away our cross. But if he wants to take it away,why then did he still tell us to take up the cross to follow him?

So whenever we encounter troubles failures and persecution for faith, they are all Gods test for us.

The Importance Of Bearing The Cross , Paying The Price

Jesus once said

“Those who do not bear the cross 
  cannot be his disciples” – Jesus (Lk 14:27)

Jesus was not being discriminatory here, because people who cannot bear the cross can never be his disciples even if they want to. Jesus went on to share two parables (Lk 14:28-30 and Lk 14:31,32)

The first talks about building a tower. If one wanted to build a tower, will need to prepare money and take a loan if necessary. The process of returning the lord requires us to suffer a bit and it requires our patience as well.

But a person building the tower would feel that the tower is worth the trouble and the suffering, so he would not mind to go through suffering to get it completed.

If we are willing to suffer just for a earthly home, what more for the kingdom of God? A Earthly house is subject able to collapse and destructions, it can turn our hope and our work into vanity.  But our heavenly home is one that will never be destroyed. Jesus is reminding us to calculate the course. He want us to decide if it is worth it for us to carry the cross and follow him. We can make our own decision there.

The second Parable talks about going to war.

Can we fight 20 K soldiers with 10K troops? if we cannot we ought to make peace and not fight. Today Human wars against sin, can we rely on ourselves to be sinless? Can we stand before the judgment seat of Christ with a clear conscience?

We know we can’t that is why we need to reconcile with Jesus, to seek forgiveness. For we know that we cannot rely on ourselves to defeat our own weakness. That is why we need forgiveness and salvation. 

That is why Jesus concluded saying

“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake
   all that he has cannot be My disciple.” – Jesus Lk 14:33

So if we want to be his disciples, we need to take up the cross. We give thanks to God in times of peace, and we give thanks even in the midst of troubles for we know it is a test.

Therefore we need to arm ourselves with the mind to suffer for Christ. With God’s help we can triumph over it.

Learning The Mind Of Suffering From Job

When Job was on trial, how was he able to overcome the devil? What weapon did he use?

Job in fact relied on the mind to suffer. Interestingly his wife failed because she did not have that weapon. This is evidently seen in Jobs reply to her

“You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.
  Shall we indeed accept good from God, and
  shall we not accept adversity?” – Job (Job 2:10)

Both Job and his wife are God fearing people who loved God, but one managed to survive the trial. Job survived because he is prepared to accept both good and adversity from God. He thank God for good and bad times.

He is able to say “The Lord Given, The Lord Taken away, may his name be praised”

No one likes to have his blessings taken away, perhaps that is the reason why we are unprepared when adversity calls. Perhaps that is the reason why Christians are defeated easily.

Many Christian fail not because of a lack of faith, but a lack of attitude and a heart to suffer for God

The Choice Is Ours To Make

Jesus wanted us to make our choice, to carry the cross and to be his disciples. If not we would be like Jobs wife, she thinks that Job should curse God and die. But a true Christian would be like Job, he is able to accept both good and bad from the Lord.

Elder Peter reminds us

“For to this you were called,
   because Christ also suffered for us,
   
leaving us an example, that you
   should follow His steps” – Peter (1 Pet 2:21 )

Christ is not someone who does not practice what he preach, Christ had suffered for us before calling us to suffer. Sometimes when we are suffering we feel that God is silent to us. We picture God as someone sitting high above heaven relaxing as he watch us suffer.

But Christ had already suffered for us and he had set an example for us to follow. That is why Peter continue his exhortation saying

“ Beloved, do not think it strange concerning
  the fiery trial which is to try you, as though
  some strange thing happened to you;

   but rejoice to the extent that you partake of
  Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is
  revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding
  joy.” – Peter (1 Pet 4:12-13)

If we want glory with Jesus, we would need to suffer together with him. In fact while Jesus is with us, he had already suffered for us. He can choose not to pick up the bitter cup , but yet he accepted it for our sakes. In order to give eternal life to all of us

Conclusion: Arming Ourselves With Suffering

Let us be free from sin, especially Christians who were saved from sin. If we truly understand how difficult it is for God to save one soul, we would not return back to our old ways

What do you know about “emulating Christ” what does it really means?

Emulating Christ is to go through Gethsemane, Golgotha and then to heaven.

If God has to go through it, can we now get a express train ticket into heaven? This is a privilege that even God did not receive.

So let us be prepared, and be armed with a heart to suffer for Christ. Only then can we fight this good fight and receive glory in heaven at the end.

Today is a special day, it is the birthday to my dearest wife. Hence I would like to take a break from my typical schedule of writing blogs to dedicate this song for my dearest wife on her birthday. 

I thank God for all the time we spent together and I thank God for allowing her to come into my life and I thank God for bringing her here with me. I wish I could have done more for her birthday. But I have to keep my gift slashed up somewhere so I am unable to bring to her at the stroke of midnight.

At the same time I would like to dedicate this song to her twin sister as well. May God continue to bless all of you for all the years ahead. 

Title : The Birthday Song
Artiste : Corrine May

Don’t worry about that extra line
That’s creeping up upon your face
It’s just a part of nature’s way
To say you’ve grown a little more
Trees have rings and thicker branches
Kids shoes get a little tighter
Every year we’re getting closer to who we’re gonna be
It’s time to celebrate the story of how you’ve come to be

Happy birthday my friend
Here’s to all the years we’ve shared together
All the fun we’ve had
You’re such a blessing
Such a joy in my life
May the good Lord bless you
And may all your dreams come true

So light a candle on your cake
For every smile you’ve helped create
For every heart and every soul
You’ve known to grow a little more
A few more pounds, a little more grey
Don’t count the years just count the way
It takes a little time to go from water into wine
Don’t ever lose the wonder of the child within your eyes

Happy birthday my friend
Here’s to all the years we’ve shared together
All the fun we’ve had
It’s such a blessing
Such a joy in my life
May the good Lord bless you
And may all your dreams come true

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
  Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Humans beings are taught to adopt a lifestyle of lifelong learning. For We all know, that if we fail to do that, we would become obsolete, that is why many people spend much effort and money learning knowledge that will help them in their daily lives.

We choose to do it even when our live on earth is temporary. Now if we spend so much effort learning how to live our physical life, shouldn’t we put in more effort to cultivate our spirit?  The bible teaches us a few things we ought to learn in this life. They are important lessons for it concern salvation , and they are lessons we need to learn as we live in this life.

Lesson 1 : Learning To Fear God

especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’” – Moses (Deut 4:10)

When the Lord appeared before his people in Mount Horeb (Sinai), it was indeed a great and awesome sight, but God did not do it just to flex his muscle before the Israelites. He wanted them to know that he is a living God and God wanted them to put in effort to worship him. They need to teach this fear of God to their own children.

King Solomon concluded the book of Ecclesiastes like this

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

    Fear God and keep His commandments,
    For this is man’s all.
      For God will bring every work into judgment,
    Including every secret thing,
    Whether good or evil.”- Solomon (Ecc 12:13-14)

But the question is, do we know how to fear God? What does it mean to fear God?

What Does It Mean To Fear God?

The bible gave us many examples from the Old Testament Scriptures

Eg 1: Abraham

When Abraham offered Isaac his son to the Lord , he was able to do it for he trust God completely. Just when he was about to lay hand on this own son, an angel appeared and say “Now I know that you fear God”. (Gen 22:12)  God did not want Abraham to offer Isaac, he wanted to test if Abraham feared God.

From here we can see that to fear God is to trust in him and to be completely obedient to him. A person fear God knows that God is a faithful God. He would not doubt the commands given to him by God.

Eg 2: Joseph

When Joseph was tempted by his mistress, he said something that is worthy of our consideration

“How then can I do this great
  wickedness, and sin against God?” – Joseph (Gen 39:9)

To fear God is to preserve holiness in the midst of sin.

After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers were afraid of Joseph taking revenge on them. But as they spoke to Joseph, he replied them saying,

“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
  But as for you, you meant evil against me;
  but God meant it for good, in order to bring
  it about as it is this day, to save many people
  alive.” – Joseph (Gen 50:19-20)

To Fear God is to be able to see his guidance in all things, even in the midst of difficulty. One who fear God would not murmur and would never take revenge. He will trust God and endure. 

Eg 3: Daniel and His 3 Friends

In the book of Daniel, we knew that Daniel would rather thrown into the lions den then not to worship God.

We would also remember the story where  the 3 friends of would rather be thrown into the fiery furnace than to worship idols. These men choose to  remain faithful to God at all times.

From here we know that to fear God is to remain faithful to him regardless of circumstances. Since God love for us never change, our love for our father should not be changed as well.

Eg 4: The Egyptian Midwives

When Pharaoh ordered the Egyptian midwives to kill ever Hebrew child that they delivered. The book of exodus testified about them

“But the midwives feared God, and
  did not do as the king of Egypt
  commanded them, but saved the
  male children alive.”- Moses (Ex 1:19)

The midwives feared God, and they chose to disobey the Pharaoh. From here we know that to fear God is to obey the words of God and not obey the words of man.

The Definition of fearing God

The bible records these stories for us to read, so that we could all understand what it means to fear God. For Christians today must learn the fear of God. In fact the book of proverbs concluded by telling us

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
  Pride and arrogance and the evil way
  And the perverse mouth I hate.” – Solomon (Prov 8:13)

“In mercy and truth
  Atonement is provided for iniquity;
  And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” – Solomon (Prov 16:6)

They both remind us that to fear God is to hate evil and to stay away from sin. The next question is, what should we doing if we fear God?

Lesson 2: Learning To Do Good And Be Honest 

Paul once teaches about doing good. He said

And let our people also learn to maintain
  good works, to meet urgent needs,
  that they may not be unfruitful.” –  Paul (Titus 3:14)

“Let him who stole steal no longer,
  but rather let him labour, working with
  his hands what is good, that he may have
  something to give him who has need.”- Paul (Eph 4:28)

Perhaps we are never thieves, but in the modern business, we tend to cut corners in our work. Modern man loves to gain benefits without working too hard. However, Paul here reminds us to work hard and to do what is good.

That is why we need to discern between profit made through good conscience from those by underhanded means. We need to labour with our hands to do what is good. When God bless us with surplus, let us help those in need.

There was an entrepreneur who once was made to answer the question “What is your secret of success?”  Instead of answering the question directly, he started by giving a story

There was a youth who went to France for study, and he need to work to put him through university. His life was hard, and when he was there he realize there are no ticketing officers on the trains and buses.  He realize that the system works on trust that every commuter will pay while on the train.

But this youth choose not pay, though his conscience pricked him, he defended himself saying “I am poor and I need to save”. After his graduation, he went on to find work in a multinational company. He was confident of his credentials and he was greeted warmly by the chairman of the company. However he received a rejection letter.

The letter reads

“We admire your abilities, but when we checked
  your credibility, we notice you have not been
  paying your ticket, and this tells us 2 points about you
            a. You do not subject yourself to rules and laws
            b. You do not deserve to be trusted

  Therefore we cannot accept you to our company. 

  Best Regards
  The Chairman

  Morals can compensate for a lack of knowledge, but
  knowledge can never compensate a lack of morals”

The quotes at the end of the letter, hit the nail on his head, and he know he cannot stay there. He return to his country, and resolved to stop cheating.

Everyone was expecting him to continue, but he did not. So they asked “How does this story teach us your secret of success?”

The man replied “The reason why I am able to be successful was because I took the stumbling block of my past as a foundation for my future”

The crowd applauded , for he was a failure who learnt from his mistakes. He no longer cheats to get benefits, he became an honest businessman who did good.

That is why Paul remind us to work with our hands and to do good. Let us not go against the word of God. For we live in a world full of illegal loopholes that could be exploited. If we desire to get rich quickly, we would need to take a greater risk.

But is our souls and life worth that little bit of gain?  

Conclusion So Far

So far we had touch on 2 lessons , to fear God and to do good. It is hope that we could all learn from them and to change our lives for the better.

There are still other Blog post coming up in this series so stay tuned

For those who are wondering what had happened to the Hesitant Prize Fighter for two months. There was many things that happened. There was much joyful events that happen,  But as the new life begins, there are much more things to watch out for and adjust, hence writing blog became a challenge for time.

During the free time, I was reading up the events in the book of Acts. So I decided to try to lay out the events of Acts by chronological order. The dates in the diagram are approximate but it serves as a good guide to those who are reading the book of acts.

At the same time as the diagram is being created. I was thinking, why not add in the approximate years where the book of the New Testament was written. However, it was only later when I discovered that dating of the New Testament books can be quite a challenge.

Hence I decided to plot in a conservative estimate of the time where the books are written as a rough guide. As these are based on personal research, the diagrams may be updated from time to time when new facts are confirmed.

But mean while, feel free to take a look at the diagram and give me some comments.

A timeline of the events recorded in the book of acts and their approximate dates

In our previous post, we talked about the spiritual battle faced by Christians today. We talked about the need of having the power of God in our lives, and we introduced the first weapon used by Apostle Paul, which is Prayer

Now lets look at the second weapon

Weapon No 2: The Word Of God, The Sword Of The Spirit

Paul talks about his second weapon in Eph 6:17

“And take the helmet of salvation, and
  the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” – Paul (Eph 6:17)

The Holy Spirit is not a sword, but the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. If one keep emphasizing on the Holy Spirit and not the word of God. It would be problematic. In fact this is what is happening to Christendom today.

Many churches emphasis on the need of receiving the Holy Spirit. Some also believe that speaking in tongues is the evidence of receiving it. They can be seen throughout the Pentecostal and the Charismatic branches

But yet when they explain the words of God, you can see this failure to talk about the truth in the bible. In fact once my friends ask me why do I regard my church as different from the other Charismatic and Pentecostal.

My point is simple
1. The Holy spirit is the spirit of truth, it guides us to all truth (Jn 16:13)
      a. He will never speak on his own authority
2. We have a faithful God who is never  yes and no (2 Cor 1:18-22) 
3. It is impossible for Church A to be thought one thing by Him, and Church B to learn something contrary by the same Holy Spirit

Therefore to me all the spirit in the churches are different, and there is a need to discern what spirit we are dealing with. The only way to discern the spirit is to compare the words he teach with the standard of the scriptures.

That is why we need the word of GOd, the sword of the spirit, without it, we cannot overcome our enemies and we would not be able to defend the truth.

The Word Of God And Organizational Power

Sadly, many churches now place emphasis on organizational structure and power.

Christian today need to understand that church organization is not a weapon in the spiritual battlefield. It is seen only as a administration method of the church. Indeed Organization is a good way to divide up responsibly among members of the church.

But this will not help us overcome our enemies in the spiritual realm. To fight that battle, we need the truth, which is the word of God, the sword of the spirit. This is the weapon that the church will need to fight this war, therefore Christians must place an emphasis on learning and pursuing after the truth. This is because

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
   and sharper than any two-edged sword,
   piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
   and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of
   the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Author Of Hebrew (Heb 4:12 )

This is the effect of the word of God, which is sharper than a 2 edged sword. But do we still have this weapon?

The Real Enemy Within

Many  times we think about spiritual battle, we think our enemies must be the devil himself. But are we aware who are our enemies in this spiritual warfare?

Very often we think we are fighting against the devil, the Antichrist, the people who spread heresies. I do not deny that they are the enemies of the truth, and we need the sword of the spirit to defend ourselves and to attack them.

But sometimes, the biggest enemies to our own faith is ourselves. For often we are not submissive to God and sometimes we hold on to our incorrect concept about faith. There are times we are proud and greedy, and times when we give in to anger and jealousy.

These are all enemies of the truth as well. For Jesus once said

“What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.
   
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed
  evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 
  
thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, 
  an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” – Jesus (Mk 7:20-22)

That is why we need the Holy spirit to change us, and that is why we need the word of God, that is sharper than the 2 edged sword.  Besides piercing the division of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow. If also divides the thoughts and intents of our heart.

Our heart often tells us of our needs and desires, but at the same time, our spirit calls out to us, telling us to pursue eternal life. He reminds us to look for things with eternal value.

God often looks at our heart, even though we often neglect it. For sometimes we perceive ourselves as spiritual and righteous, we often see the fault in others and not ourselves. We often accused others of being carnal and physical and we fail to see we are like that just as well.

Seeing Our Own Faults

That is why God spoke to the church in Laodicea

Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy,
  and have need of nothing’—and do not know that
  you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”- Jesus (Rev 3:17) 

As Human beings, we cannot see our own weakness, that is why we need the word of God to pierce into our hearts and discern our intents and thoughts

For when man comes face to face with the words of God, he is able to pinpoint his own fault. This is why many do not like to encounter it.

Sometimes when we hear sermon, we feel as if it is rebuking us, that is why we do not feel good after hearing them. But have we considered “Why are we not feeling good?”

Is a good sermon one that is full of jokes, heart warming stories? Or should it be on that tears our façade and our mask?  Should a good sermon help us see our faults and reveal the part of us that is not good?

Many modern churches refuse to point out the mistakes of the congregation. They hide behind the banner of being “Politically correct” and “Loving” . They only choose to talk about peace and love and forget justice and mercy.

But lets say, if a church only preaches love and mercy, perhaps it can attract many to be baptized into the church.  But yet when Christ comes to judge the world, these poor believers ended up subjecting to it. Are we not cheating the truth seekers to becoming Christians.

IS this how we want the word of God to work?

Conclusion About Truth As A Weapon

Therefore, if we want truth to be our weapon in this spiritual war , are we willing to allow this 2 edged sword to discern our thoughts?

For whenever we are unwilling to listen to sermons that points out our mistakes, we are forbidden the word of God to pierce through our hearts.

At the same time, we are not allowing it to become our spiritual weapon, and if that continues what would happen to the church? 

If we continue to paint a negative picture of “Fighting for the truth” in the name of preserving peace and unity within the church, we would ultimately lose the only offensive weapon the church has.

who do you think would be cheering at the background? God or the Devil?

The devil loves to see Christians who choose to keep quiet about the truth, they love to see it when we refuse to use the truth as our weapons. He loves to see a church defenseless without the weapon of the apostles

This is the reason why many of us are weak in faith.

If the church wants to be victorious in this spiritual battle, we need to be like the apostles. We need to hold the same spiritual weapons used by the apostles

Let prayer and Truth be our weapons to help us fight this good fight of faith.

As my custom is, every may 3rd I would post an entry on my blog.

May 3rd had always have a special day, and I remember I started this habits in May 3rd 2010

So far the following hymns were shared

What A Friend I have In Jesus” – May 3rd 2010
“Thanks to God” – May 3rd 2011
“Day By Day” – May 3rd 2012
“All The Way The Savior Leads Me” – May 3rd 2013

It is a time I take stock of what I going on. Every year there is always new surprises, and this year God gave me one of the biggest surprised I could get. For he had allowed me finally to have a wife.

Although the road to marriage is filled with many difficulties, misunderstandings, surprises. We thank God that we could come together. This year was pretty tough as one of my beloved uncle passed away just weeks before I could return to see him. There are also lots of accusations, and pain that we all need to lead through.

No matter how sad, or how grief we may be, we have to continue to get on with life. The world will not stop turning just because we are sad and hurt. All we could do, is to walk our wilderness journey with all our might. To rely on God to guide us as we move.

In fact, when the Israelites were treading in the wilderness, God lead them personally, he went before them to protect them as they moved.

“And the Lord went before them by
day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way,
and by night in a pillar of fire to give
them light, so as to go by day and night.” – Moses (Ex 13:21)

I remember there was once I was watching a documentary on how Bedouins survived in the wilderness of Sinai. In that show, they showed us what David meant by “Green Pastures  and Still Waters.  In fact, we often thought that it was a huge grasslands and lots of water. But the truth is, grasslands in the wilderness are a rarity. Hence Bedouin shepherd boys must look around for patches of grass for the livestock, and it once the animals finish the grass, they would need to scout for new ones.

So indeed, when God guide us in life. God did not promise us a worry free life. But God would always provide enough to help us overcome all the obstacles that we need.

This is the idea that is behind the hymn “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer” .
This hymn was something I liked as a child. But strangely, as I found the hymn online, the tune was very different from what I know.

It was only later I realize that in my church, we rearranged the lyrics and sang them in the tune of a American folk song  “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” . The original folk song is about a Aunt Rhody who kept a old grey goose that she wanted to make a feather bed with. Unfortunately that goose died in a mill pond leaving behind an old gander and goslings.

The lyrics here I posted is edited in the way that I sing it since a child.

Title:  “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer”
Lyrics: William Williams

(Stanza 1)
Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.

Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;  (X2)

(Stanza 2)
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.

Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield; (X2)

(Stanza 3)
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Bear Me through The Swelling Current
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.

Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee; (X2)

In the tradition of keeping to the original tune, I have decided to put the original tune  and the lyrics here

But for my friends who may not believe my comment about “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” I have decided to put the tune here as a proof.That is indeed how we sing this hymn.

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