Passed!… Step 2 of Step 5…

So yesterday (8th of May 2012) i passed my Swiss Driver’s Theory Test… i PASSED! šŸ™‚

Very happy about that šŸ˜€ (If you want to know the reason why i need to take this test when i already have my driving license, read here.)

i spent the last few weeks preparing for it; reading the theory book which had well over 1000 points in it, then taking mock tests over the last 3 days on a computer program. i took about 7 or 8 of those mock test as well as going through the entire catalogue of mock questions they had on that CD – yes, i was that nervous about the test.

i was rather disappointed in myself on Sunday night when i took the 1st mock test – i didn’t make the passing grade at all, like not even close, which left me thinking if i shouldĀ scheduleĀ the test for the week after. i prayed hard. And i know i have people praying for me (yes i can hear some going – oh my goodness, all that prayer just for a little theory test!!??Hey, why not? After all, i believe God is into the small things too. Read here.). So i worked at it again on Monday. 2nd and 3rd mock test – still not a passing grade but it was getting better. Then it happened… i nailed it, the 4th time! Well, with a few mistakes but still nailed it. Then i did a few more this morning – again nailed those. i was smiling by the time lunch rolled around.

Just before lunch i read my daily reading (which i get in my email inbox) and this is what it said,

Prepare

Think about times when youā€™ve experienced a sense of success (Psalm 17:14). Reflect on how God played a part in it and give thanks now.

……. reading is fromĀ Genesis 24:29-67, speaking about God leading Abraham’s servant to Rebekah who would be Issac’s wife…….

Respond

Think through what success will mean for you in the next 24 hours. Ask God to be with you and grant you success (Psalm 118:25).

Now that is GOD! That is truly God speaking so directly to me.

Off i went to the test very confident, still a little nervous but confident. i had to wait awhile before i could take the test. In true Swiss tradition, the counter for the registration for the theory test was not opened till exactly 2.15pm, even though the lady was already sitting behind the counter at 1.50pm.

So i waited, along with a few others, who also thought that arriving earlier than the test time to register was a good idea. Anyhow, i registered and paid at exactly 2.16pm, and then was directed to wait some more in the downstairs waiting room. So we waited. Till our number was called and we entered the computer room one by one and sat at our assigned computers and took our test.

There were 7 questions i wasn’t sure about but i thought to myself, “It’s ok, 7 mistakes is well within the passing grade.” Maybe i was a little too confident? Should have checked my answers more carefully – i got 14 points deducted. Another point deducted and i would have failed the test! Talk about God being just on time, just right.

BUT a pass is a pass! And i can not deny that God was speaking and working. Praise the Lord!

i was going to leave you with a scan of the test results but i think that’s too corny so here’s a little Ladybug who greeted me as i skipped my way home after the test šŸ˜‰

Now onto Step 3 of 5.

syc

PS: Here are the steps to take towards a Swiss Driver’s License:

Step 1 – Take the first aid course (10Ā hours) DONE. (It was quite fun.)

Step 2 – Take the theory test. This took me a while to get to because of my heart condition i had extra paperwork. DONE.

Step 3 – Attend the extra Driver’s Ed classes ( 4 sessions). (Click here for post on Step 3)

Step 4 – Take practical lessons.

Step 5 – Take practical test. (Read about the final step here.)

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Prayer is the Power for Victory…

i have been praying for my little Heath and my lovely Heather for a little over 2 months and already my human person is weakening and growing weary and losing hope. i am still praying daily for them, for their daily needs, and most importantly, for their forever families to find them ASAP – like TODAY! However, this past week, my prayers have been tinted with a sort of resignation, you could even call it doubt or unbelief. i no longer pray: “Lord help their families find them today.”, with as much conviction anymore. But i know these kids deserve so much more, so much more than just prayers from afar. They deserve a mummy to hold them when they cry, a daddy to show them the wonders of the world, a family to be proud of who they are.

BUT… God is Good! All the time! And He is always there and knows our heart, knows my heart and He sends great encouragement!

i’m in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) where we spend a whole year studying one book from the Bible. This year we are doing Acts (known also as Acts of the Apostles). In order to understand Acts better, we also cover the letters the apostles wrote.

The previous week’s study was on Ephesians, specifically Eph 6:10-24, which speaks about the armour of God. Our teaching leader gave a lecture on it and her last main point (calledĀ principlesĀ in BSF) was ‘Prayer is the Power for Victory’. Paul had ended his letter to the Ephesians with a request that they pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers” and also for him. Even the great Paul needed to be prayed for. And those prayers were not in vain, although most of the Ephesians would not have seen with their own eyes the results of their prayers. But they prayed on.

11 years old Heath, is a cutie who needs his family asap.

And so i should pray on too. Keep on praying for my precious ones – Heath and Heather, and all the other lovely children on Reece’s Rainbow.

10 year old Heather, is a healthy sweetie who needs a family asap.

Wait! God did not just stop there!

More encouragement as i did this week’s study on the book of James, chapters 1 and 2. And near the end of chapter 1 is a verse which prayer warriors of Reece’s Rainbow hold dear to their hearts:

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

And one of the questions asks us to list specific groups that might be considered as “widows and orphans”. Of course, i listed Reece’s Rainbow’s kids. The follow-up question was, “Do you have a responsibility to any of these? If so, which ones and what might you do to ease their distress?”

God encouraged me yet again. i can pray for them, i can share their stories, i can advocate for them, i can donate, i can fundraise. i can even hope and pray for a mission trip to open up where i can actually go visit them and bring them more comfort in the forms of love and hugs and interaction.

It gets better still. God, then, affirmed that this is my faith in action as i went on to read James 2, where in verses 14-26, it speaks about faith in action, that our actions are the evidence of our faith in God. i pray and hope and have faith that God is moving mountains, melting hearts, enabling hands and feet to bring these orphans a family who will truly love them, value them and give them the life they deserve.

So i will continue to advocate, to pray, to fundraise, to share, to talk about these wonderful children till the cows come home, and still go on some more šŸ™‚

Please do visit my little Heath’s and my lovely Heather’s profiles by click on their names or their pictures. Look, truly look at their amazing faces and see their need, see how much they need you. They can not speak for themselves from where they are currently. Will you speak for them? Pray for them? Will you consider adopting them? Will you donate to their adoption grant? (The larger the grant the higher the chances of them getting notice as this will reduce one of the many hurdles which adoptive parents face)

If you do any of the above, please leave a comment below so that i can send you a personal thank you.

Just one more thing before i go.

7 year old Beau, is a healthy and very independent little guy who needs a loving family.

This little boy, Beau, is the same age as my own Tobias. He has also touched my heart. i will also be advocating and praying for him from now on. He is a wonderful little boy who is intelligent and sociable and loving. He deserves so much more than life in an orphanage, which is where he has been since he was born. Click on his name or his photo to view his profile. Click here to view a video of him, which will sweep you off with what a delightful little guy he is. Once again, i ask you to please consider doing all you can to help him – adopt, advocate, donate, pray…

syc

The Gift Of Self-Forgetfulness…

god lives in yu - treo_062809_002_web
God lives in yu (Photo credit: kevindean)

Yesterday i met a searcher; someone who is searching, seeking to understand God. She asked an interesting question, “i find it hard to understand why is it that every good thing we do needs to be attributed to God. Isn’t that putting down humanity? i mean, there is good in us, you know. WE Ā can do good.”

How i wished i could answer her… but we were at a Bible study (studying 2 Corinthians) and running short of time. Our discussion leader promised to pick this up again at another time.

The truth is i used to think like her. i used to think that everyone started with good intentions, yes even the murders and horrible criminals. i believed they all were good or at least wanted to be good orĀ strivedĀ to be good for the sake of their loved ones, that it was just their bad luck that the path they chose led them to terrible things.

That was before i found out that people could be cruel just because they wanted to be. That was before i accepted the fact that Man has fallen short of the Glory of God. That Man really is so flawed and selfish and self-seeking. That was before i saw how much Man needed God in him.

Our modern society often tells us that we need to constantly look at ourselves; how we can better ourselves, how we should be finding ways to improve ourselves; and we need, should and can do these things on our own. This thought pattern has filtered into our Christian lives too. We are constantly looking at how to be a good Christian, what to do to become a better Christian, which behaviour we need to change to get into God’s good books.

i wrote a post a few weeks ago about the dangers of trying to please God and my opening line was “Being a Christian is not an issue of doing…”. This is further expanded here to include our obsession with how well or how bad we are doing in our Christian walk, our fixation on the good things and the bad things we are doing, our need to talk about how much or how little we have grown in Christian knowledge.

Once again, our focus is in the wrong place. The Bible is not about us and our lives. The Bible is about God and how He purposed and sent His Only Son to die for us upon the Cross. My favourite line from the article (see link below):

…the more I focus on my need to get better the worse I actually get-I become neurotic and self-absorbed…

i have noticed how when i try on my own strength to do better, such as trying to control my explosive expressions of anger and frustration. The more i try to hold it in or keep it under wraps, the more it boils over. Then i become more frustrated with myself and it becomes a vicious circle. But when i submit my problem to God in prayer, the control is there… not my control but God’s.

How does that happen? Well, we need to see that

…the focus of the Bible isĀ notĀ the work of the redeemed but the work of the Redeemer. The gospel frees us from ourselves. It announces that this whole thing is about Jesus and dependent on Jesus. The good news is the announcement of his victory for us, not our ā€œvictorious Christian life.ā€…

Once we get that point, relying on Jesus for everything in our lives is much easier and is what will get us to live the Christian lives God wants us to live. When and where we are weak, God will be strong for us because where we should have died for our sins, Jesus came and died and was victorious for us.

The author of the article expresses it so much better than me. Have a read.

The Gift Of Self-Forgetfulness ā€“ Tullian Tchividjian.

So in answer to the searcher, “We, humans, are messed up. Even when we try to do good, especially on our own strength, we focus on the wrong things, we mess up, we get too fixated and we, inadvertently, will ask ourselves, “What’s in it for me?”. The self in us is… well… selfish! There is no way around that one. We are selfish creatures who would always look out for ourselves first and not our fellow humans. Yes, maybe you know a few people whom you feel are saints but do you truly know their hearts? Do you know for sure why they do what they do? Only God knows their hearts. And God looks FIRST at our hearts, our actions come down the line. Our hearts are just not where it should be … yet… and we need God to help us. We are not yet self-less as Jesus is, we do not put the needs of others before our own in every single situation as Jesus does. If we want to be good, do good, then let’s aim for 100% living for others and not do a half-hearted job of it. We attribute good to God, because the good stuff comes from Him, our Creator; and He is the only one who can help us to get to 100%.”

Dependance on God is not denying that humans can do good. Dependance on God and praise to God for every good thing is acknowledging that we are in need of help; we can not, on our own, put our self aside. It says, “i recognise God as the only one who can get us to where we should be.”.

syc