Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hard Times (make you strong)

This past week, I have been hearing depressing news one after another. In retrospect, since the nightmarish financial fallout in Wall Street on the middle of September 2008, the dominoes have fallen hard. From large corporations to small businesses; from unemployment hitting high-flying executives to the blue-collar worker; from the subprime mortgage crises in the US to the very doorsteps of our favourite grocery or coffee shops, many are rapidly throwing in the towel due to the unsustainable business models they run on. "Doing More With Less," a corporate maxim since the beginning of the Millennium is slowly creeping into the regular household. People simply need to get the most value out of their few bucks. As unemployment rises and sentiment falls, the financial meltdown will impact many families. Canadians have been told to be prepared for the worse. Due to sharply reduced overseas demand, factories in China, have laid off thousands, triggering widespread anger. Singapore, one of the four economic dragons of East Asia reports of a double whammy: slowing business dealings with both the US and China. Europe calls the slowdown a 'huge threat' to all their economies. Times are bad, making many people sad. Amid the tearful, lies many fearful and frefful of things worse to come. It is important during such times to remember that many worries in life never actually become reality. In fact, the old saying that 'no news is good news' remains largely true.

Ten+1 Tips When Living in These Tough Times
Some tips I have are as follows:
  1. Watch less news (either on TV or Internet);
  2. Spend less time talking with 'doom-and-gloom' people;
  3. Spend MORE time speaking with words of encouragement and edification;
  4. Practice sincere speaking and avoid doing things just to 'save' one's face. (See my article on sincerity.)
  5. Read biographies. Many are inspiring;
  6. Encourage those who are affected, by simply being with them, or provide simple practical helps;
  7. Be responsible consumers. Do not simply save for the sake of saving. Help the smaller businesses where possible;
  8. Pray often, and practice sharing and caring for one another;
  9. Give your family a hug more frequently;
  10. Meditate on Matthew 6:24-34 (listed below);
  11. Sing. Christians are called not to be sinners but singers. (see below)

Mark Twain once said:
"I've had many problems in my life - most of which never happened."
Jesus, in his classic sermon on the Mount emphasizes that
24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:24-34)
Hard Times Make You Strong
I learned this song many years ago when I was an undergraduate. A brother in Christ (I'll call P.N) played and sang this on a guitar. During that time, when I was struggling as a young adult, complete with academic pressures and various challenges, the song ministered a lot to me. Pray that it will help you too.
1) Is the rain falling from the sky keeping you from singing?
Is the tear falling from your eye because the wind is stinging?

&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 Now don't you fret now child, don't you worry
&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 The rain's to help you grow, don't try to hurry the storm along
&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 The hard times make you strong

2) Don't you know a seed will never grow if there are never showers
Though the rain may bring a little pain, just look at all the flowers

&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 Now don't you fret now child, don't you worry
&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 The rain's to help you grow, don't try to hurry the storm along
&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 The hard times make you strong

I know how long the day can seem when storm clouds hide His face.
And if the rain dissolves your dreams, just remember His amazing grace!

3) Don't you know the sun is always there even when the rains fall?
Don't you know the Son will always care when he hears your voice call?

&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 Now don't you fret now child, don't you worry
&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 The rain's to help you grow, don't try to hurry the storm along
&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160&#160 The hard times make you strong
If you do not know the tune to this song, click here. It is a song that uplifts a mother who lost her son some time ago, hence its rendition is more melancholic and solemn. If you like me to sing and record another version, email me.



Hanna said...

I would like you to record another version of the song. My name is Hanna and I run a youthgroup and a kidsgroup in an FEG in GErmany, an free church. I heard this song such a long time ago and in the last few years it meant much to me but I lost the melody I only know the text...
So it would be great if you could.

YAPdates said...

Here's my 1st amateurish attempt. A much belated attempt of the song. Hope you can be encouraged.


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