Have You Given Thanks Yet?

Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. is today (23/11) and Psalm 149:1-6;9 today exhorts us to NOT FAIL to thank God for all the goodness that comes into our lives. So, what can we be thankful about? Here in Malaysia? Now? In the midst of all the distractions and noise that clang and bang into our lives? Here’s my own Top 10 list:

1. The gift of life – that i’m alive, awake, aware (a little at least!)
2. My family – (both the nuclear and extended)
3. My faith (a tiny seed, and most definitely not a mustard because i’ve yet to see the mountain to go throw itself in the sea at my command!)
4. My job (read: RM!)
5. My bank (read: Loans!)
6. My health (well, i’m here ranting my head off aren’t i?!)
7. The founding fathers (whose enlightenedness has made this a country still worth believing in)
8. My closest buddies (collaborators, fellow-travellers, gurus, without whom i’d be a very POOR person indeed!)
9. My God (and my ALL!… as quoted by Thomas so long ago, nothing more need to be said)
10. For ALL that has been and ALL that is yet to come…. Amen!


Get Up! Stand Up!

The Catholic Church is organising a day of fast and prayer on December 1st. as a response to the November 5th. Church of Our lady of Lourdes Ipoh commotion following the circulation of false SMSes regarding the supposed baptism of Muslims there.

Up till now, there hasn’t been an adequate response either from those responsible for the actions or the relevant authorities. I believe, as rightful and equal citizens of this country, we must press on. May this day of prayer and fast kindle anew hopes for true religious freedom as enshrined in the Constitution and that common sense and justice prevails in our land. Martin Niemoller puts it very aptly:

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

<!– D(["mb",""All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"–\n Edmund Burke


take care fr!

\n\n”,0] ); D([“ce”]); //–>“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”– Edmund Burke

Easter intercessions, asking that the light of Christ’s Resurrection may lead us from despair and fear to hope and action.

Resurrection Light

Risen Christ,
When darkness overwhelms us may your dawn beckon.
When fear paralyses us may your touch release us.
When grief torments us may your peace enfold us.
When memories haunt us may your presence heal us.
When justice fails us may your anger ignite us.
When apathy stagnates us may your challenge renew us.
When courage leaves us may your spirit inspire us.
When despair grips us may your hope restore us.
And when death threatens us may your resurrection light lead us.

Copyright Annabel Shilson-Thomas

this is a beautiful story about Life. it is so multi-layered, you have to sit back, let your imagination flow and take you through.

Three Little Trees (Anonymous)

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world.”

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on s way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world.”

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.”

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell! “Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings.”

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me.” He muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead, the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river instead she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. “What happened,” The once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. “I wish I could make a cradle for him” her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful.” she said. And, suddenly, the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly railed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose.

The Little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And, suddenly, the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But, on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And, every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

So, next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

Copyright © 1997 Catholic Information Network (CIN) – December 23, 1997

A Reflection on Psalm 116 from The Living faith:

The psalmist gives thanks to God; He was in deep trouble, close to death; he felt “agony and dread” (v.3). But God rescued him, now he is full of gratitude: “I was helpless, but God saved me” (v.6).

But Jesus was praying this very prayer at the Last Supper. Death was close to him. He was about to go into Gethsemane and pray in agony and dread, knowing that God was NOT going to save him from a harrowing death. Jesus could have prayed Ps. 116 ONLY as a declaration of thanks and deleverance NOT YET experienced – for resurrection from the dead. What a profound trust in God! By it, he turned an otherwise mournful final meal into an eternal expression of thanksgiving.

May we too have the courage and strength to do likewise, in our own “agonies” and “gethsemanies” whatever and wherever they may be….

“Christ be near at either hand
Christ behind, before me stand
Christ with me wherever I go
Christ around, above, below;

Christ be in my heart and mind
Christ within my soul enshrined
Christ control my wayward heart
Christ abide and never depart;

Christ my life and only way
Christ my lantern night and day
Christ be my unchanging friend
Guide me and shepherd me till the end.”

"That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse" – Walt Whitman


Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown

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