Where does our hope come from?

If you’ve been reading my articles, you’d have noticed that though the theme of my website and newsletter is “read articles and find resources to walk towards a joyful life”—I rarely have “ten ways to find hope in life, five secrets to find joy” kind of prescriptive articles. 
Because—life is anything but prescriptive. 
And—what do I know to tell you what to do?

There are also plenty of those articles on the internet and self-help books. I’m certainly not dismissing the value of those content for I too, at times, find some of them useful for moments in my life. 

At the same time though, I also felt swamped with well-meaning advice, tips and tools and what-have-yous. Sometimes, it even diverted me away from my true Counsellor. 

For who can know us ever so intimately than our Maker? Every worm, every sinew, every desire, every wicked thought, every hunger, every fear—He knew it before we did. Therefore our Maker is indeed the best personalised, bespoke, artisan Counsellor we could ever have. The greatest thing is? He will always come to us from a position of love and our best interests even if it’s sometimes, tough love. 

So what I’m saying is, the core of my articles is distilled into the title of my website: Knowing God—Finding Hope. And it’s in that order. 

And maybe my role is: through my writing, to nudge you to know God increasingly more in whatever ways (I’m absolutely sure God has His divine way for each of us), and through that—to find true, unwavering hope in Jesus amidst troubles—and walk towards a joyful life.

*Image: From The Message Bible, by Eugene Peterson.

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My God and I

Passion project: my God and I. melindayeoh.com

And I’ll be the poet who sings your glory— and live what I sing every day.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭61:8‬ ‭MSG‬‬


My God and I

Have you ever been in love
Where everything fades
As you melt in their presence

Have you ever been in love
Where everything about them interests you
As you thirst to know them more

Have you ever been in love
Where you pursue them
As passionately as they pursue you

A tangle of fire and love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Featured image by israel palacio on Unsplash


Receive the HopeMail newsletter on Sundays.

I send one article a week exclusively to this mailing list before it’s posted on this site and anywhere else.

There’s no spam. Just honest, useful content to help walk toward a joyful life. Why not join us?

Send me HopeMail!


 

New normal in life

New normal in life. melindayeoh.com

Even if we are born with all our limbs intact and with full mobility, I believe that—with life in this fallen world—soon enough we’ll start to live with a limp here, a bruise there, and scabs where wounds from hurts and losses were. We’ll live with a new normal for every loss and win through life’s circumstances.

 

A new normal is knowing that things aren’t the way they are supposed to be, but they are.

I’m not talking about those things that you run away from and don’t want to face. I’m talking about things that happened in your life that you just can’t change.

 

A new normal is…

A new normal is having reality popping up to say, “hello” when you see the empty room, and you are reminded that who was once there, isn’t here anymore.

A new normal is a mum, gone too soon. And you live on with a dream of a tight, loving mother-child relationship, unrealised.

A new normal is a divorce.

Where you lost the chance of having a papa and mama, loving and raising you together. And your photos will no longer have a one, two, three—a father, a mother, child.

 

A new normal is having those broken lines and missing pieces in your heart; choosing to embrace them and live on. Limping. Believing that God will heal. Knowing that one day, the broken pieces will be made whole. And only God can. Click To Tweet

 

In life, we’ll limp. But we limp not with despair and hopelessness, for those who trust in God will forever be held together in His big hands. Even if we don’t see it.

One day in His time, we’ll be able to throw away the crutches, and with abandon—run.

 

My laments end in praise. They end in hope. And I can only do that because I know and I have a God who is all-powerful. On my own, I’ll run out of strength and will.

My prayer for you is to be able to have assurance in your heart, with ultimate dependency and hope in a God that’ll walk with you, and put things together again.

 


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Ten things I want at my funeral

Ten things I want at my funeral. melindayeoh.com

Me to a friend: “Random. Hi, if I go home to the Lord before you, would you be the worship leader at my wake? Those from the gut; awesome worship to the Lord. None of those polite, reserved, shy, awkward kind of worship, please.”

Friend: “Um, sure, Mel, I would be honoured to.”

Me: “Yay.”

 

I was watching a Youtube video and worshipping along when the above thought came into my mind. I’ve always love to worship, singing my heart and love out to the Lord, my Heavenly Father. And I thought—this is how I want my wake and funeral to be too.

Singing and perhaps even some dancing unto the Lord.

Since my imagination is running wild now, let’s have some fun.

 

Here are the ten things I want at my funeral:

  1. There’ll be good food. Ice-cream, even.
  2. I’ll have my customised printed funeral programme. Aesthetics, please.
  3. The programme will feature some of my writings. It’ll have my story of coming to Christ, and why I believe in Jesus.
  4. I’ll have thank-you notes to people. (Which reminds me, I need to write them in advance)
  5. Ah, perhaps a hashtag for social media posting. Erm, maybe not. Certainly not.
  6. And then, I’ll need a theme, so that the entire look & feel will be pulled together.
  7. Good music in the background.
  8. Guestbook. Or maybe not. Some people may say the wrong things to my loved ones, like, “be strong!”, “don’t be sad, she’s in Heaven.” And I won’t be around to punch those people in the face.
  9. Some photos for memories to be tastefully displayed.
  10. My see-you-again speech. Of course, I’ll have to pre-appoint someone to do this for me.

Prayer:

Dear God,
Let my funeral to be a celebration of a life well-lived for You.
A life lived for others.
A legacy of well-loved people and beautiful relationships.
Things that’ll last for eternity.
Yes, there’ll be mourning, sadness, weeping.
But, there’ll always be hope.
For it’s a temporary goodbye for those who believe in Christ.
Because of what Christ has done on the cross—died and rose again. Christ is alive!
Death is not the end.
All praise, honour, and glory to You.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 


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No fluff. Just honest writing.

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What is church? (animated video)

What is church? (animated video) melindayeoh.com

What is church and what is the church supposed to do? This 2:36 minutes animated video by artist, pastor and teacher Steve Thomason explains it succinctly.

 

For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is fulfilled in one precept, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, you shall have an unselfish concern for others and do things for their benefit]. ‭‭GALATIANS‬ ‭5:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

 

 


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Does being good parents result in good kids?

Does being good parents result in good kids? melindayeoh.com

You’d think that this is a how-to-be-a-better-parent article. Nope. You can find thousands of that kind of advice online. And from your great-grandaunt Jemina.

 

This is an article about how despite you being the most awesome parent on earth, doesn’t mean that your kid will turn out as you would like to.

If you are not yet turned off, please read on.

 

I have a dream of a happy family

A dream of a happy family—where the parents have a healthy marriage.

Where the parents are physically, emotionally, and mentally there for the kids. Loving them. Guiding them. Teaching them. Good parents, you know.

And the kids grew up happy and well. Loving their parents in return.

I didn’t come across any good models of that kind of families growing up, and even until my adulthood.

When I see some of my friends where the parents are still lovingly married—TO EACH OTHER, I’ll think—how good it is to have a family like that.

Working on your marriage is part of being a good parent, just so you know.

 

Naturally, most parents want to be good parents.

And are willing to learn how to win “Best parent award” by reading parenting tips, attending parenting courses, loving the kid despite the grrrr (parents will know what I mean), guiding them, teaching them… (insert lifetime of sacrifices here).

For we know as best as we try, we are flawed human beings, and we will be flawed parents. But, we usually give our all to the kid, don’t we?

And what’s a parent’s dream? That the kid will grow up happy, secure, and mature with good character. And of course, that the kid will also love and honour their parents.

 

But there’s faulty logic to the good parenting formula

Although I know and I know and I know that us mortals can’t control outcomes in life, I somehow thought this equation is kinda logical.

Good parenting = chances of the kid turning out well = high.

So when I see, hear, read, and experience:

Good parenting = nothing goes right here!
(Even with good, loving, and godly parents)

I’m baffled.

So, if you are in the above situation…

 

Do you question what have you not done enough for your kid?

Do you look at other families, and you wonder what have those parents done right that you somehow missed in “Parenting Well, page 10589”?

Do you look longingly, even covetously at certain families where you think that “they got it right” with their kids?

While it’s good to reflect on the part we’ve played in our kid’s life, and yes, like it or not—we did make parenting mistakes—but it’s another to try making sense of the faulty logic of this formula:

Good parenting = chances of the kid turning out well = high.

 

Because being a good parent is not the key. Knowing who God is, is the key.

Because if you know that God is omnipotent (having unlimited power, almighty, supreme), omniscient (knowing everything, all-knowing, all-wise, all-seeing), and omnipresent (present everywhere, infinite, boundless)—you will know that you are not, god.

Before you throw imaginary eggs at me, ponder on the above truth—are we supreme, all-knowing, all-seeing, present everywhere, infinite?

If not—what makes us think that we know the eventual outcome of how our kids will turn out?

What makes us think that it is solely our good work—in being a good parent—that results in good kids?

God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth?” Exodus 4:11 Msg
(God made it, by the way).

“Yeah, great! So, let me just stop trying to be a good parent then! Because God is so great, in control, and knows best. Nothing I do matters, right?” I huffed and puffed in protest when the truth was revealed to me.

I’m not sure whether you huffed and puffed along with me.

But not so fast.

 

Because apart from knowing who God is, it’s also about knowing how our relationship with God is.

Is there reverence that He is God, the Creator—our kid’s Heavenly Father?

Is there obedience in following His words in the Bible?

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favouritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 AMP

(Yeah, this is where the extra help from parenting tips, parenting courses, and great-grandaunt Jemina can come in.)

Is there trust that He is in control?

Or has self-reliance apart from God sneaked in?

If this is you, you & I need to get out from the boat that is heading off-course.

Where we know and are reminded deep in our hearts that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

Yes, we must still do all we can to love and raise our kids as best as we can. But our efforts do not guarantee the outcome that we want.

We are to pray, pray, and pray for our kids. Click To Tweet

Above all, it’s between God and us—our relationship with our Heavenly Father, His words, loving and wise instructions—that we need to focus on.

 

If you like to, I invite you to join me in this prayer:

Dear God,
You are God. Lord of all. The One who created [your child’s name(s)]. And I thank you for the gift. I thank You for the privilege of being [your child’s name(s)] parents on earth.

I’m sorry that I was relying on my works, thinking that it is through me that [your child’s name(s)] will turn out well.

Thank You for the truth being revealed to me today.

Choosing to surrender [your child’s name(s)] to You while being [your child’s name(s)] parent is tough. Help me to grow in my personal walk and relationship with You. I want to love You more. I want to trust You fully.

Thank you for your love for my family and me.

May [your child’s name(s)] encounter You personally and truly know You as Saviour and Lord.

In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

If you think that this article will benefit another parent, feel free to share it on Fb, Whatsapp, email, etc.
The share buttons are below this article. Thanks. 

 

 


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Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart: A New Year’s Eve reflection

Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart: A New Year's Eve reflection. melindayeoh.com Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

As I wondered what to write for this post, I started to reflect on the year, all that has happened—my husband’s cancer diagnosis, a work crisis, and an ongoing heartache of a broken relationship…this song came into my mind.

Continue reading “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart: A New Year’s Eve reflection”

My story: How I went from totally disinterested to totally in love with God.

The real gift is not under the Christmas tree. melindayeoh.com. Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Christmas to me was—parties, drinks, presents, merry-making, heck-yeah.

This is my story of why I’ve changed, decided to accept Jesus, (remained a non-geek), and how Christmas has an entirely new meaning for me.

 

I was never interested in faith of any kind. Egoistic and self-reliant, I paid top dollars to attend seminars by renowned speakers; walked on fire (burnt my toe), read many famous self-help books.

 

Christianity? Definitely not on my list. I thought it’s weird, prudish, weak, rude and definitely geeky and boring.

 

First of all. Christianity deal breakers.

Tension and wars among people of different faiths led me to conclude that religion divides. I did not want to have anything to do with that.

Who needs God? God had nothing to do with me. I refused to believe that Jesus has anything to do with a happy life. I’d seen my share of Christian hypocrites. I’m fine; I’m cool. No, thanks.

Then one day, this thing called marriage happened. I got married to a recent divorcee, with a daughter (sole custody with him), and an ex-wife with unlimited visiting rights. Any goon would have run a mile. But not this goon.

Drumroll…Introducing … the most miserable time of my life.

Before marriage—Happy and so-in-love.
After marriage—Hell.
Instant status of a wife and a step-mother, not pretty.

So naive. I did not realise what I was getting into. I thought as long as I love his then six-year-old daughter as my own, give her a stable and supportive home, we will be a happy family. Nope.

Rejected by his daughter, in-law, trouble from ‘unlimited visiting rights ex-wife’ and a husband caught in-between everything and everyone; are not ingredients for a sweet beginning to our marriage.

I came from an unconditionally loving and accepting family background, so yeah, I had the shock of my life. Slapped awake.
The dreamy-marriage bubble burst. And the nightmare begins.

I was often angry and would burst into a rage at home. I had chest pain from all the outbursts and thought I would collapse from a heart attack one day.

Suicidal thoughts started entering my head as the shouting kept getting worse. I was sane enough to not kill myself as I know either it’s 1) It’s painful. 2) It’s messy.

Oh. Then the husband accepted Christ one year after we got married. Great! We now had one more topic to argue about!

 

The concept of surrendering and obeying God in the Christian faith was another deal breaker. I don’t get it. It seemed so weak. To some, f* is a revolting word, to me then, the four letter word is o-b-e-y.

 

I often cried shaking, angry tears. From a happy person, I became cynical, bitter and felt very alone. I had no one to turn to. But outwardly, I look composed.

Still very much a goon, influenced by movies, I kept going away for short breaks thinking that it would help, but that was a lie. The deep pain in my heart did not go away. Hollywood, dang it!

 

Three nightmarish years later, came the turning point in my life.

Finally, I got so tired of everything, tired of all the fighting, tired of myself. I have nothing left.

I didn’t know when or how, but my hardened heart started to crack slowly.

There was a hairline opening in my heart to let God in. I remembered suddenly getting “it”. I’d realised that all the ugliness in the world was done by people, and had nothing to do with the real God.

I also started to question myself: “I’d been living life my way for 30 years, but despite all I had achieved, all I had done, something was seriously not right… I need help.”

I have attended many seminars, I stayed positive, but nothing seemed to work long-term. What else could I do?

 

One day, I went with my husband to a church’s 2010 Christmas production, “Mad World”. At the end of the production, I followed the pastor to say a simple prayer.

 

It was weird as I didn’t think about wanting to accept Jesus at all! But I felt compelled in my heart, to follow along and pray.

 

As I said this prayer in my heart, I felt my cry for help—

Lord Jesus,
I believe You died for my sins
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life
Please forgive me. I am willing to turn from my way & follow Your way.
Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free.
I receive You now as my personal Saviour & Lord & invite You to manage my life from this moment. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

Then, I pursue God.

I told myself that if I want to find out about Christianity, I should go to the right source and discover once and for all.

So I attended Alpha.

Asked loads of stupid questions like “why the heck God planted the tree-of-knowledge in the first place? No tree, no fruits, no eating of fruit, no sin, helloo.”

Finally, after chasing God around, in July 2011, I said, “Yes” again and invited Jesus into my life with the above prayer.

This time, I’m clear and sure. And the exciting journey of getting to know God and drawing close to Him began.

 

Some years later as a Christian…

I am still in awe of how everything changes when we have God in our lives.
I still talk about Him with sparkling eyes and childlike wonder.
I’m still love-struck.

To someone who is so proud and driven, God has to allow many tough lessons in my life. Sometimes, I do say, boy, being a Christian is tough! Of course, I don’t say ‘boy’ in real life; only Mark Twain will say that.

I struggled daily, DAILY! with God…

I do NOT want to say sorry!
He says: Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

I do NOT want to forgive! Do you know that person is wrong?
He says: Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

How can I love such a despicable character person!
He says: Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Corinthians 13:7

It’s inconvenient to call, talk, help him/her.
He says: If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? – 1 John 3:17

I want this and that, God.
He says: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.- Matthew 6:33

I struggled and wrestled with God, wanting my way.
He says: Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

 

God is teaching me the meaning of life. I have less to complain.

But when I obeyed, all the breakthroughs in my life happened. When I surrendered and let God take the steering wheel, that’s when He flipped my life right-side up.

My blinded eyes were opened to see a lot of things which hardened my heart and gripped my life in the past.
I also realised many things that I thought were the norm weren’t right.

 

Trusting and accepting Jesus—it is the most liberating thing I ever did. Unshackled my chains. Letting go and letting God into my life.

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might LIVE through Him. – 1 John 4: 9

This—is the reason for Christmas.

 

Here’s the invitation…

His love is for me, you, everyone. It doesn’t matter your past. God offers us forgiveness, freedom, His Spirit to live within us, and eternal life.

To accept the gift, you just have to believe and trust in Jesus. It’s an act of faith.

If you would like to have a relationship with God, here’s a very simple prayer which you can pray. It will be the best gift that you will ever receive. Ever.

Lord Jesus,
I believe You died for my sins
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life
Please forgive me. I am willing to turn from my way & follow Your way.
Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free.
I receive You now as my personal Saviour & Lord & invite You to manage my life from this moment. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

If you have prayed that prayer above, here are some suggestions to help you on your new journey.

 

 


Receive the HopeMail newsletter.

Once a week, I’ll share stories of life experience and thoughts about growing through different circumstances in life.
No fluff. Just honest writing.

Send me HopeMail!