PSALM 103 (Bridge Over Troubled Waters)

English: Bridge over Troubled Waters. The foot...
English: Bridge over Troubled Waters. The footbridge over Hurst Brook, which runs through Glossop golf course. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Praise the LORD, O my soul,

all my inmost being, 

praise his holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul,

and forgets not all his benefits-

who forgives all your sins

and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit

and crowns you with with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

(Verses 1 – 5)

In this beautiful Psalm above, there are seven meaningful verbs, well chosen to instil a process of hope and positiveness . . . forgets, forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies and renewed.

When hurts roar, let your hope soar.

Your heart might be breaking,

A million pieces shattering.

Feeling’s such a delicate thing

It’s hard even with gentle mending.

A process and period of grieving

Is essential for healing.

The heart may grieve for all eternity

That’s when understanding can lift it but not pity.

Troubled waters roar with great muddy swells

Bridging it requires skill to break the spell.

For despair and despondency creep

Even while you sleep.

Your whole being becomes so engrossed

Nothing stimulates, enthusiasm’s lost.

A soothing word, a gentle hand

A listening heart and patience spent

Will calm the roar in the end.

To forgive is divine

To forget exceptionally fine.

Christ heals to redeem

Crowns and satisfies to extreme

Renewed spirit sets to spring.

© Paul Chong

Sunday, 30 May 1999

English: Bridge over non troubled waters The I...
English: Bridge over non troubled waters The Italianate gardens of Renishaw Hall. http://www.sitwell.co.uk/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Heyday’s Gone, Doomsday’s Coming On!

By P Chong                             Sunday, 30 May 2010

Image: 2012 Doomsday Prophecies

In retrospect, when I first preached this message in 1993, the world’s problems were much less aggravating, but predictably indicating of worst things to come. How precisely true when we look at today’s chaos everywhere! Is there any nook & corner of the world that is not plagued with problems?

Someone once said, “Jerusalem is a golden basin full of scorpions.” Three major religions of the world, Christianity, Islam & Judaism all have a claim over this holiest of cities. Yet, unbelievably & ironically, all its holiness pales in significance when compared to all the religious & political killings & conflict since time memorial. So much violence, atrocities, grief, misery . . . where is love and peace as preached?

Logically, since there is but one God, there should be but one religion. But mankind through its ingenuity & human intelligence rationalised & justified by instituting a ramification of religions to suit its convenience & concept. Such is the nature of mankind. Just like a man that is born of a woman has but a short life to live with its fill of misery, what else is there to be said of man’s other institutions & artefacts? Man-made misery is rampant & widespread. No one continent is free from conflict & warfare. The question is, will it ever end?

Unlike civilisations of old, our present civilisation is materialistic in nature, breeding greed, discontent & all sorts of immoral objectives. The moral, philosophical, cultural & non-materialistic aspect of civilisation is overwhelmed largely by economic consideration. Capitalism captivates & transcends all levels of society & invades the hearts & minds of all without exception. There is no global territorial restriction as evidenced by the crumbled communist walls with their iron or bamboo curtains.

Nationalistically, power & world supremacy reign supreme. Individually, the same applies. Western civilisation started to flourish with the rapid organisation of church activities. Church leaders wield tremendous power & influence over the nation & its people. The best example being the Pope & the Vatican. The Pope is without doubt easily the most powerful figure in the world . . . his followers transcend all national boundaries.

Mankind may be Christian in name, but barbaric in deeds. It’s apparent everywhere. Like Prophet Mohammed who conquered with a sword in one hand & the Koran in the other, Popes of the previous era had conquered with sword in one hand & the Bible in the other. The calamities & atrocities arising out of wars are unforgivable.

The Asian crisis of the 90s was not confined just to the economic frontier, but with civil unrest in Indonesia & India testing out its nuclear might threatening its immediate neighbour of Pakistan, Asia & the world.

The present global financial crisis is even more threatening, coupled with wars raging all over. Over & above all these, natural disasters & catastrophe are more rampant & pronounced. Sovereign debt crisis bringing Eurozone to its knees. Could all these signal the coming of the end?

In the 90s, there was on TV of a Japanese sect claiming that the true Jesus Christ came to Japan. He married & lived to a ripe old age of 105 and was buried in Japan. The person that hung on the cross was in fact His own brother, who was mistaken to be Him. Jesus’ coming to Japan was His Second Coming. His first was when He was aged 21 when he learnt a great deal from the Shinto before going back to Israel to preach. Believe it?

You only have to look at the Australian society to be alarmed at the abominable happenings . . . church condoning homosexuality . . . allowing non-Christian to be minister . . . pastor welcoming Freemasons into their midst in Church & being struck dead upon sitting down . . . police, politicians, church people marching together with the Mardi Gras celebration . . . the list goes on & on. It’s inevitable we are heading towards the days of Sodom & Gomorrah. In Matthew 10:125, it is said: “I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom & Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for . . .”.

The scenario in the United States of America, all too familiar, is far worst than the above . . .

When you look at today’s world . . . financial crisis, sovereign debt crisis, double-digit unemployment, wars & atrocities, natural disasters & calamities, human sufferings, social unrest . . . there is nothing positively right!

Are the final days upon us? Is mankind so blind as to be wiped out by the twin perils of Armageddon and a doomsday comet? Signs are everywhere of Jesus’ Second Coming and God will establish Heaven on Earth, creating a virtual paradise for true believers everywhere. The righteous will inherit life eternal in all its glories. Unless the unrighteous repent eternal condemnation is a certainty. Just like the days of old, as with the people of Sodom & Gomorrah unconcerned & believing not, the present generation of people will face judgement in a much more drastic way!

This is indeed food for thought . . . serious matter to be taken to heart, mind & soul. Our days on earth are naturally numbered as they are . . . what more with such swift & cataclysmic changes. In the present era of instant communication and super electronic highway, adverse happenings are instantly relayed on the small screen. Some of these present day happenings are really scary.

No more hearsay . . . more like near-say!

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Repent & be prepared for the Judgement Day is upon us. We would not be caught with “wine, women & song” in more atrocious ways than the days of Sodom & Gomorrah! The final crunch will affect us all globally!

God is gracious and forever faithful to His promises. His arms are wide open. Let Him receive us in the comfort of His arms. Amen.

Considering Others Over And Above Self

By P Chong                    Thursday 31 December 2009

Self-centredness & gross individualism are undoubtedly two of the most grievous sins ever committed in our human relationship. We need others & to co-exist to create peace & harmony. The mind-set must be helping others to help ourselves.

Put God in your life for “Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point.”

Forget Your Scar . . . Be A Star

. . . “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” ~ 2 Samuel 24:24

By the end of this day, a New Year will be born. Many will take pride upon looking back at the year 2009 while others will be filling their hearts with regrets & misgivings. Whatever the situation, today is the first day of the rest of your life. Undoubtedly, you will take steps to make resolutions that you will hopefully keep & attain. Policies are good but implementation is better & the way to go! Here’s a little something as “Food for Thought”.

Does it ever occur to you that the alphabet “I” is always spelt as a capital letter? All the other second or third person is only spelt in small letters e.g. we, you, he, she or they. Significantly, it goes to show the amount of importance that’s being attached to “I” and that importance denotes egoism, gross individualism and self-centredness.

 As a person, we tend to be selfish, caring more for self than others. We also tend to blame others than self. We can’t see our own faults or wouldn’t like to see. We place ourselves so high up on the pedestal that when we fall we fall hard. That’s when we’ll blame others even more with all kinds of self-justification, and rationalisation coming into play.

In any organisation, 20% are willing workers without personal motive or agenda, and 80% are onlookers, fence sitters and critics ever ready to complain and condemn. Genuinely, the 20% in reality are less than the stipulated figure. “What is it in it for me?” is the question that often come to mind. Can we ever be most willing to give to others without expecting anything in return? Jesus advocates serving others and to consider others more important than ourselves. Christians are expected to be Christ personified.

The above Biblical verse from 2 Samuel 24:24 shows David as a great giver, who understood the principle of giving. It ought to cost you something to be considered a sacrificial gift. Are you willing to sacrifice yourself not just in terms of money, but also time and effort, dedication, devotion and loyalty? Give of yourself as Jesus gave unto you. I like to stress that it’s not ability that God is looking for but your availability. Most importantly, it’s your attitude more than aptitude that will scale the altitude.

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