Monday, November 2, 2009

Are We Listening?

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

(1 Samuel 3:10, NIV)

The birds' chirping.
The dogs' barking.
The nature's call in the early morning.

Everyday, Ashton awakes to this natural alarm. He excitedly clambered off the bed and looks out the window to trace these noises. Pursing his lips, he uttered "dog, dog"...."berd"... and he will turn to me with a sweet smile and gestured to welcome a new day. This is a norm.

Somehow he just loves dogs and birds. Always looking out for those creatures...almost everywhere we go. The interesting part is this...he understood a dog barks and a bird chirps. So he will imitate those sounds in his cute voice. Cheekily I asked him, "How about Ashton?" I was wondering what he would say. Immediately, he voiced, "thang, thang, thang" while his fingers strummed an invisible guitar. How cute! It dawned upon me he associates the sounds of the animals to music. Those are music to his ears and he has accustomed to it. He has learnt to recognized those sounds so well that even the faintest bark or chirp catches his attention. Every time he hears it no matter how faint, he will look for the creature. I thought what a keen ear this toddler has!

God has blessed us with ears to hear. What are we listening to? It is a noisy world. We hear all sorts of sounds all the time. In the midst of these noises, there is One who is trying to get our attention too. But are we listening?

Samuel heard God calling him. He was deliberate in waiting to hear God. And he heard. And he responded. He was ready to listen.

Do we recognize our Shepherd's voice? Are we accustomed to his voice? How sharp is our ear?
Are we ready to listen?

Perhaps the Lord has a special message for us today. An answer to our prayers, the wisdom we are seeking, the direction we need, a comforting word, an assurance of his love, or just a simple call of our name to remind us he is near. Listen! And listen well.

Lord, speak for your servant [your name] is listening. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mum To The Rescue

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

(Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

“Mum, please help me.” “MUM…PLEASE COME!”
This is a normal plea in my home. Hah, what will kids do without mum?

This time I found her attempting to do some copy work on art pieces. She was determined to get it right, and I mean RIGHT. She wanted mum to help salvage her almost “ruined” art piece.

Drawing and colouring ranked high in my list of childhood hobbies. Art was my favourite subject in school as I always felt it was a therapeutic session in the midst of textbooks and notes to memorize and apply. I always tell my children I love arts because I can never go wrong. Even if there is a mistake, the artist can always play around with the colours and strokes to cover the error and still produce a good piece. After all, it is art. The creative power lies in the hands and imagination of the artist. I absolutely didn’t have such liberty with other subjects, which I’ve to adhere to facts, formulas or grammar.

As much as I desired for her to try it all out by herself, her persistent pleas were too strong for me to shun her away. So I stepped in and asked what went wrong and how could I help. In her frustration, she told me to redraw the cartoon figure because her piece has been smeared by the pastels. It just didn’t look nice to her no matter how I tried to pacify her. Finally, I agreed to help but working in such a way that she could still own this piece. It’s always tough how much to help a child. As my hands began to move through the paper and putting the strokes in, she began ordering me – telling me how it should be. I gently assured her, “Trust me.”

Obviously she did not trust I will do a good job by the way she was still whining and telling me what to do. My patience was tested. I said again…this time firmly, “Please trust me.” She was too engrossed in her own thoughts and ways to hear my assurance. Her ramblings went on. Feeling annoyed, I turned to her and asked, “Do you trust me?”

I almost thought it was God asking me that question. The whole scenario just flipped. I was the little child pleading for help but many times didn’t trust the Father enough. While He is attending to me and my problem, I was too engrossed to see his act of deliverance. Instead of trusting in his wisdom and ways, I was still rambling away telling him what I think is best.

Have you ever been caught in this same predicament?
God promises his help when we call him in our distress (Jonah 2:2) and his coming and wise actions are certain. But how many times we still lean on our own understanding? When he says, “Trust me, child”, it means it is a done deal! We need to learn to sit back and watch him move and act. To God be the glory!

O Trustworthy God, forgive me for not trusting You. Instead of relying on my own rational thoughts and limited understanding, I want to trust Your wisdom and power to make my paths straight. I do not want to interfere with Your plans and attempting to be cleverer than You. Forbid it, Lord. I hear Your whispers of assurance and I am saved. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Hiding Place, My Safe Refuge

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

(Psalm 27:5, NIV)

It didn’t feel as though I rested even though I purposely set aside time to nap one afternoon, just to catch up on some sleep. However, I had one of the coolest dreams. I settled down for my nap after pondering on one word, “rock” and singing just one phrase in my heart, “My Hiding Place, My Safe Refuge” over and over again…with a tune I can’t quite remember now. Interestingly, I dozed off and I saw myself getting ready to preach on this title based on Psalm 27. In the dream, there were a lot of disruptions which had given me some clues in pressing into prayers.

Certainly the Lord had heard my cries and reassured me through the dream. As soon as I woke up, I read through the psalm and found right there in verse 5 which clearly states that God will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. What can be more comforting and assuring to know he has spoken so clearly!

I’ve been thinking deep on God being the Rock of my salvation. For a long time I see the rock as a concrete strong platform. One which is unmovable and unshakeable. In the book of Psalms, God is liken to the rock. The imagery is repeated in many verses in this poetry book. I sing of it. I talked about it. I claimed it. Then I discovered the rock as mentioned in the bible is referring to the cleft rock. It is not any rock that I had envisioned. Cleft rock is a hideout. It secures from different angles but has a crevice for one to flee in and stay away from danger. This safe shelter is a grandiose natural monument. There is something about rock that when I look at it speaks of incredible strength and durability. As I thought further on God being that sort of dwelling place for me, it opens up an invitation for me, “Come, come right in…” My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Songs 2:14, NIV)

Under his mighty protection and sweet presence I stand on sure footing too. Whatever the trouble that seeks to send me running away, God provided the shelter of his loving arms to receive me, and comfort me and broaden my path so that I can tread upon. When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:4, KJV)

We are beaten by the harsh weather of our fallen world which seeks to destroy us in different forms.
Whenever we are afraid, let us run to our Rock.
Let us echo the psalmist prayer when our hearts are overwhelmed.
Never forget the invitation to flee to the Cleft Rock. We will see his lovely face and hear his sweet voice. Oh what a lovely thought! What a promise!

O Mighty Rock, I run to You and seek Your safe refuge. In this secret hiding place, I rest and be restored. Show me Your face. Let me hear Your voice. Oh Lord, I come…In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dance? What Dance?!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

(Galatians 5:22-24, NIV)

She was ready. All geared up to demonstrate her moves to the teacher.
She squatted as she looked on the older girls rehearsed their steps for the last minute dance performance in a week’s time. The teacher called upon each of the five girls to repeat their movement as she combined some of their individual choreography to form a new piece of dance.

Every now and then Chrisa turned to me and whispered, “When is she ready to see mine?” I gave her the same respond every time, “Wait for a while, dear. You will get your turn.” Then gestured her to watch and continue waiting. She obediently heeded my instruction. The time ticked away. She was still waiting.

Finally, the teacher gave her a quick glance and asked, “Chrisa, are you ready now?” and Chrisa showed her moves with a little pride hidden in her shyness. Unfortunately, the teacher was still concentrating more on the older girls. I could see the little girl’s sadness that she has been overlooked. She ran back to me and voiced her disappointment. Trying not to interfere with the practice, I managed to pacify her to give it another try later when the teacher is done with the rest.

She collected herself and leaned on me for a moment for comfort.
Another chance came…she ran into the group and positioned herself in the formation. When the team was moving in accordance to their formation, she was left confused. She was lost in the commotion. Although the girls were giving her some directions, the teacher obviously didn’t include her in this upcoming dance. She dashed towards me with tears in her eyes and slumped right on me, totally upset! My heart ached with her as she did wait. She has been patiently waiting but was left clueless how to be involved. I calmed her down and wiped her tears. Personally, as I watched this last minute making of dance, I wasn’t too sure if the teacher was going to put Chrisa in as she was the only 6 year-old amongst the older ones, ages 10 and 11. I reckoned the teacher was doing some impromptu planning that she had overlooked the little one’s participation. After all, there was going to be two practices only before they perform in a week’s time. Perhaps she had given Chrisa hope without really considering her role and effort required in the creative piece.

The practice ended. Chrisa was still not in the picture of the dance. I chatted briefly with the teacher and she had thought Chrisa is too minor to catch up with the last minute plan. She realized she didn’t make it clear to the child. An explanation from the teacher pacified Chrisa. She told Chrisa that she is still part of the regular dance team and could work on future pieces. This particular one was too demanding on her due to the shortage of time.

We walked away that day recalling on a verse God has been challenging us to believe in the course of waiting - Hosea 6:3 (which I posted on Aug 18). In the car, I asked her, “Do you know you’ve learnt a great lesson today even though you may feel like you didn’t do anything at all? You waited! That’s a long time waiting for a little girl. That lesson is more important than the dance piece.” Two hours is forever for a minor. She gazed at me with a smile and was proud she passed the test of waiting. She exclaimed, “Yea, we’ve been talking so much on waiting these days in church.” She thought for a moment and knew God had taught her an important lesson – being patient.

Patience is a great virtue. It is a gem in our impatient society. Like “God” (Morgan Freeman in the movie, Evan Almighty) challenged Evan’s wife, “If you prayed for patience, do you think God will make you patient? He will give you an opportunity to be patient.” Here, Chrisa had a great opportunity to learn to be patient. Indeed she made a dance unto the Maker. She demonstrated different moves in her waiting. In her dance, there was an entirety of silence but her heart was trained. Patience was developed. And surely more room was created for further lessons.

We headed for a nice dinner of her choice to reward her patience. She sure enjoyed delayed gratification.

How many times have we waited and it seemed they are all in vain? It seemed like nothing has been achieved.
It seemed unproductive. It was meaningless.
It was tiring. It drained our energy. It muddled our vision.

Seem. Yes, it seems that way. But not the case. Most often than not, we learn many lessons in the waiting. Amongst the many, I am sure patience is one. Patience needs to be cultivated as a child of God because it is part of the fruit of the Spirit.

Are you waiting for an answer from God? Does it drive you nuts in the silence of waiting?
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14). Our waiting on him always guarantees return – probably not the forms we envision but certainly heavenly blessings. Do not even think that whatever we do in the waiting is not important. God is watching and he will honour accordingly. A surprise may just be at the corner when you least expect it and you’ll enjoy delayed gratification.

Abba Father, grant me patience and give me a trusting heart knowing that my waiting on you will never be in vain. Cultivate in me this prized gem which is so lacking in our world so that others may see Christ in me. In Jesus’ name . Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Curls Or Straight?

3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

(1 Peter 3:3-4, NIV)

In the 80s there was a song popularized by Cindi Lauper, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. As a teenager, I enjoyed the upbeat song to a certain extent though I wasn’t a big fan of the singer. There is some truth in the title. We all want to have fun irrespective of our age. Perhaps just different ways.

Working with youth over the last decade was a great opportunity and tremendous blessing in staying young – at least in the heart. Girls and young ladies talk with great excitement on the latest fashion, hairdo and whatever seems trendy. It is a built-in instinct. Females desire to look nice and pretty. Talk to the most plain girl and you’ll discover deep down the heart she will like to be beautiful too.

Surrounded by three girls at home is sure fun. Never a dull moment for me! From a little toddler and especially when they were preschoolers in their exploration stage, dress-up was a major play. A trunk of mummy’s old clothes and accessories guaranteed hours of fun. Have you watched little girls drowned in the humongous adult’s clothes and clip-clopping on mummy’s big heels, clutched with a huge handbag? A typical sight, right?

My girls have graduated from dress-up play. They share my wardrobe now (except the youngest). As for the hair, they love the curls. They will twist the hair into a bun and let down the big waves after many hours. Recently, I discovered the ancient way of curling girls’ hair – the chemical free method and kind to the pocket too. No wonder the girls all had curled hair in the 1800s. We plotted our hairdo date – mum and daughters’ fun night. As you would have guessed, mum was the hairdresser and my three clients were excited to have their turn. I was a bit anxious of the outcome, just in case I disappoint them. To our great satisfaction, we had beautiful curls and they looked fabulous with the new hairdo. They almost couldn’t believe their eyes as they looked into the mirrors, and instantly giggled and laughed with sheer delight. Since we were attending a drama in a church, they went with this incredible new look. They definitely made heads turned and we could hear the oohs and aahs and wahs. “Did you just get it permed?” Permed? They proudly announced that mummy curled it the ancient way – much to their disbelief.

The curls lasted longer than we thought and the girls were immensely satisfied. Did they feel beautiful? I am sure they do! Oh, what is it about these curls? Some of you may think. Straightened hair is pretty and neat. Arrh…some may argue short haircut is cool and easy. Bangs, or no bangs. Crimp, big waves, small waves and the list goes on as the trends change all the time. Yes, there is a place for fashion. I love fashion. It is art to me. Creativity is at play. There is a lot of fun in playing with colours and shapes. However, there is a limit to keep up with trends.

The Word of God encourages us that true beauty must shines from inside out. As the daughters of the King, we must clothe ourselves with an unfading beauty – a gentle and quiet spirit which supersedes the outward appearance. Too often we spend more time and money dressing up outwardly and neglect our inner beauty. Step into the chamber of God and capture his beauty and behold his holiness (Psalm 27:4). When you spend quality and quantity time with the Beautiful Lord, you will inherit his beauty which cannot be bought over the cosmetic counters, nor be transformed in the hair saloons, neither is it contained in the perfume bottles nor coloured by pedicures and manicures. You won’t find it in the best boutiques or latest cut. The beauty kit is in Him, the Lover of our Soul. Come and find out what he has in store for you as you sit with him daily.

As he makes us beautiful inside, it must always shines out. The inner beauty is not meant to be kept in the secret. I believe every beautiful girl and woman of God will display him as we carry his radiance and countenance. A good gift needs a great packaging too to be completely beautiful. So do take time to groom yourself and be presentable as the King’s daughter.

Dear Father, I desire to be beautiful from the inside out. Cause your face to shine upon me and let your beauty be displayed outwardly. Help me to be wise as I seek to take care of my outward appearance and be presentable as the King’s daughter. Thank you for making me beautiful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Death that Brought Us Life

…and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him.

Mark 15:21-24, NIV

The news came. A sad one.
Our cousin in his prime age was called home to be with the Lord after battling for his life the last 40 days in ICU. A more devastating news was the doctors could not find out the problem except to diagnose him as having lung infection. Various tests were negative. A final diagnosis was severe pneumonia.

We made a few calls and rushed down to Kuala Lumpur the next day to pay our last respect and be a support to his parents. It is hard to imagine we will not see him anymore the next family gathering which is normally the annual Chinese New Year season. The funeral was a huge turnout with many relatives and friends. He only has one sister but many cousins as his mum has nine other siblings. It was one of those funerals whereby many attendees were dressed up formally and with a good taste of modern trend. I had thought perhaps that’s the way it is in big city. Then I found out there were local celebrities in the midst whom I only recognized after being made aware of.

A sad occasion as it was but there was a sweet closure for family and friends as we send his body off for cremation and knowing his final destiny was heaven. To a certain extent it was a glamorous funeral with a big gathering of people, soothing music, peaceful sermon, eulogy and lots of flowers and gifts. Although these couldn’t replace the loss of a precious son, brother, or friend yet there were offerings of comfort and peace in the sorrowful event.

My tears dropped and felt such deep grief especially for his parents. It must be horribly painful for the seniors to send off their young. What more their only son! The tiring journey home sent my mind reflecting on many issues. One was the Cross. Upon that Cross was the death that brought us life! It was far from any glamour. He was young and in his prime age too. He died a cruel death.

Death has always been viewed as a dark passage yet we all must walk in it at the end of life’s journey. What a comfort to know there is one extraordinary death which paved the way for us to heaven! His light will shine and greet us and take us to our Father’s House. Jesus was very prepared and ready prior to his death. He talked about it positively and prepared his disciples as they reclined for the Last Supper (Luke 22:7-20).

While many of us fear death, Jesus approached his final day with confidence and certainty in the Father’s will and loving arms. His death gave us victory over sin. We can rejoice because He rose again!

What are we facing today? Remember we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. He paid the price with his life on the Cross so we can enjoy the freedom. So face whatever come our way with confidence and certainty of victory because of this extraordinary death. Do not nullify the power of the Cross.

Our Father in Heaven, thank you for sending Your Son to die for us so that we may live a full life. The world may look at death with fear but we rest assured in You no matter what we face in life including death. Give us strength and fullness for this new day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Composed and Confident in Christ

'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

(Acts 27:24-25, NIV)

The Apostle Paul began his life with the Lord Jesus Christ in a most dramatic way. He heard, saw and experienced the Lord in a most powerful tangible manner. That day on the road to Damascus changed his life forever. He was a fighter. He continued to fight, but since then – for a different cause. He received a new sight. One with a divine vision which led him into a courageous mission till the very end.

Throughout his accounts we can see he gave himself no rest. Living a life packed with one sole purpose of making Christ known, yet Paul stayed simple throughout – always rejoicing in the Lord as he rendered his selfless service. His strong unmovable faith always keeps me going in hard times. I love his tenacity and his enduring power; how he pursued his cause without any doubt but with such focus of the end. He was a man who watched the Word became alive; taking hold of the promise of God just as he had been told. No second thought.

In the book of John, the Word became flesh. Every word of God is a living word. It carries the full potential to become alive. It contains the breath of God – it’s fresh!

All of us were traveling along some road when we bumped into this Jesus. Our encounter may not be necessarily as dramatic as Paul’s. Ours may be seemingly normal, or it could be splashed with a colourful palate of experience. In reality, we’ve all come into a new life, having a new purpose, living for a new cause and fighting for what counts for eternity. Life may take us into different turns and junctions which appear dangerous and complicated. They lead to fear and confusion. Sometimes we wish there’s an easier route, or a jeep which will drive by so we can jump in and zoomed off the bumpy road. We wish! Most of the time, we have to walk through it and keep the courage just as Paul did. He wasn’t spared from the trials and hardships. In this verse, he knew for sure he had to face Caesar but he retained his composure and stood in confidence of God’s claim – because he had heard the trustworthy God.

Who or what is your “Caesar”? Are you afraid to face it?

We may be seen as the weaker gender in the world's eye but let us remember we are the King's daughters. Let us not be threatened by whatever opposition that comes our way seeking to dampen our spirit. Wait upon God’s deliverance just as He said it will be!

Gracious Lord, whenever I am afraid, remind me of Your presence. Even though I have to face certain challenges, I trust in You. My composure and confidence are in Christ. I will wait upon You, You’ll come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Press In, Press On

Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.

(Hosea 6:3, NIV)

The feeling is like I just woke up from a nightmare with some phantom pain. The whole more than two months suffering from back pain has been horrifying. Every morning I woke up hoping it was just a nightmare and it is all over. The pain took many forms – from excruatiating to dull ache, prickly sensation to pressing heavy-like pain which traveled to every part of my body. It was not merely confined to the back – the limbs, head, ears, mouth were not spared. The back which holds the body up when injured affects the entire body and mind. It was tough weeks bearing the great burden on my back. My busy lifestyle came to a standstill (which in many ways is good but almost totally unbearable). My days were reduced to bed rest and physiotherapy. Even when the pain has been significantly reduced, my whole body system was somewhat gone cranky.

Some people with good intention advised me to seek other help – relaxation therapy such as yoga and acupuncture to “reset” my system. Someone said, “You need help. A guided program, you can’t do this yourself.” I knew deep in my heart I can’t do it myself. I definitely need help but surely not any sources which were mentioned. I need divine help. I need my Father.
Just before one of my physiotherapy session, I heard the Lord’s reminder to press in…into His loving presence and keep acknowledging his Lordship and rule. Needless to say, it demanded so much mental energy to stay focus and proclaim God’s power of life and healing in trying times. But there was an urging, “let us” repeated twice in this single verse to acknowledge God – to recognize who He is and understand His nature, and believe the certainty of His presence liken to the sun. My eyes turned towards the glass door of the waiting room as I meditated on His Word and I caught sight of the heavy downpour of rain as I continued to read on the remaining portion of the verse. My heart thumped with excitement as the Lord’s presence rained down at the very spot I was sitting as I bathed myself in His refreshing promise – “ he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”

All of us feels like giving up one point or another. How many times we gave up too soon? If only we press in a little more, hang in there a little longer…but we screamed, “I’ve no more strength”. It is then we must realize we have our limitations. Scream if you must, “I’ve no more strength…” but call for His mercy and acknowledge He is Lord.
Confess His remarkable power.
Catch His rising presence.
Contain His refreshing promise of blessing.

Precious Gems, will you persevere and press in…and press on no matter what your circumstance is…and your confidence will be richly rewarded (Hebrews 10:35).

Almighty God, Our Deliverer, give us endless supply of energy to press in and press on…till we see You face to face and feast in Your amazing grace. There we will surely find rest and restoration. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Will Be Back Soon

To all God's Precious Gems,

I am so sorry I took longer than I thought to make a comeback. Recovery seems slower than I thought. Perhaps it is God's way of slowing me down :)
Thank you to all who faithfully drop by to pick a gem. I've stored up some great gems the past weeks and will deposit them into your hearts soon. Thank you for been patient. Thank you for your prayers too.

You are constantly in my prayers and thoughts. I would appreciate if you could drop a comment here or, in my family blog chatbox, or a brief email to let me know how you are keeping so I can pray specifically for you...and keep in touch. If you are new, then I would certainly like to get to know you.

Let us consider how we may continue to spur one another on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Praise is A Powerful Weapon

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.

(Acts 16:25-26, NIV)

Rest is not easy when one has pain and discomfort. As much as it is needed the mind tends to focus on the negative in such times. Pain is an incredible distraction to stay focus. Such has been my past week.

My attempts to get a good rest aren’t easy at all. When I thought I had disciplined my mind and body to rest, the nagging pain and discomfort of my muscle spasm kept playing trick on me. The challenging waves of pain and great discomfort overshadow and seek to drown my joy. I know I have to rise above the current to conquer.

One of my bible heroes is Paul, who rose above his challenging circumstances time after time; he was never defeated by difficulties. His perseverance amazes me and courage is far above commendation. I never fail to be encouraged in my spirit whenever I read his accounts. Here in the Book of Acts, he rendered his praises endlessly despite being in prison. That speaks of a deep trust in God. How many of us can say we will lift up our voices in songs in such grim situation? Paul and Silas raised their voices in praise towards heaven and the power of their praises shook the earth and broke the chains of captivity.

It serves as reminder to me every time I underestimate the simplest act of worship – sing unto the Lord. Sing, sing and sing! The power of praise is a great weapon in warfare and an infusion of His joy in uncertainty. As I continue to rest, I seek to sing to him constantly and shift my focus to my Lord.

Is your heart troubled? Is your spirit dry? Are you in some form of pain?
Sing and trust as you live for Him. Watch the unfolding of miracles in your life as you do just that…R.E.S.T. in the power of praise!

REST to me is…Rejoice, Enjoy his presence, Sing and Trust.

Heavenly Father, I will keep praising You every moment. I trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Are You Resting?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28, NIV)

Rest is essential.
Rest is a must.
Rest is a luxury to some.

Last week, I was prescribed rest in bed for a few days due to sciatica pain which is a recurrence from my last pregnancy. My orthopaedic surgeon said to me, "You need to rest. I know it's hard with four kids. But that's the main thing." I asked in return, "Entire day?" He responded, "Not entire day only but few days!"

Lying down on my bed, I discovered rest is a discipline. It takes more effort to purposely get a good rest. And I mean good rest for the body - it's like fasting from work.

Rest is holy. It is ordained by God and it is a command. Man is restless. Despite the divine strong call and Jesus' invitation to rest, we are still running around attempting to accomplish so much in a day. In this busy world, we are victims of restlessness. We have to intentionally respond to His call to rest in Him.

Won't you respond to his invitation to rest?
As you can see, this is a very short post as I am stealing a wee bit of time to talk to you and then resume my rest.

Dear Heavenly Father, Tame my restless spirit and cause me to rest. I leave my cares into Your hands and trust You with all my needs. In Jesus' name I come...Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Laugh it out!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22, NIV)

After cleaning our feet, we gathered around the pool of water and dipped into the habitat of a swarming school of hungry fishes. The Garru Rufa. Oh dear, I had not expected it to be so ticklish. Instantly laughter broke out in our midst as we wriggled our toes trying to keep our feet below the surface of water for the fish to feed on the dirt. Fish spa has been popularized much these days for health purpose. In contradiction, some also fear it will be a source of spread of skin disease. Anyway, I am not giving free advertisement on it nor stating any dispute. The Arts and Science Carnival at the museum in University Science of Malaysia presented the theme, “Transformation” – featuring the development of humankind from stone age to space connection. Fish spa was amongst the stations in between the array of presentation.

We decided to give it a go since it was offered at a minimal fee compared to commercialized centres. The mental energy focused on absorbing all the educational information was given a good break in that brief experience. The children were excited – water and fish always attract them. Even my parents who tagged along for the trip were so thrilled.

Endless giggles and laughter…
Funny facial expressions…
Whole body squirming…

It was a moment of family intimacy as we shared the fun. We continued looking around the stations and booths as the children wanted to do so much more before we hit lunch time. I had another meeting to rush to following this visit to the carnival. The sun was hot and I was drenched in sweat (thanks to my active sweat glands). But somehow, a certain rush of joy and cheer filled my being the entire day. As I sang to the Lord while I drove off to the next meeting after settling my children with my parents who graciously agreed to babysit them, I thought what a therapeutic laugh I had earlier. The whole process of laughing it out while the fish nibbled on my feet brought such a sense of wellness in me.

The words of King Solomon in Proverbs are so full of wisdom. A heart which is cheerful is liken to medicine. The common saying of laughter is a good medicine makes so much sense and not to be taken lightly. Scientific findings proved that when we laughed, there’s a boost in the blood flow. A good sense of humour is a good therapy and promotes good health. Many illnesses are stress-related. Medical care these days include “laughing therapy” to help patients’ healing process.

Our society is so stressed out. Every generation is affected – from the youngest to the oldest. There’s endless worries and anxiety in life as we strive for self-actualization. In the race, many forget how to laugh. Seems the most natural thing but joy is lost in the rush.

I’ve always been a serious girl. As the eldest in the family, I grew up watching how difficult life is for my parents to earn a living. I watched the community I lived in fought for survival and striving for the best in life. Being a melancholy, I was a serious student. No nonsense girl. Self-discipline is good but I must confess I only learned to REALLY play and laugh it out in later years. From a serious little girl, I now enjoy the most silly and funny stuff my kids do and say. They make me laugh and brighten my days. Of course, they say mum is funny and silly too. I must say it has been a good lift for the soul and spirit.

Is something eating up your joy?
Is your heart troubled?
Any medical problems which are stress-related?
Perhaps you are thinking that we all have different personality. Some are more serious than others. Yes, that’s true. But we all ought to learn to laugh it out – at ourselves, and our mistakes (and learn from them).

Heavenly Father, Thank You for one of the simplest gift in life – laughter. What a wonder it does to the spirit, soul and body! When it is hard to laugh, cause my eyes to see You and Your purpose. Grant me Your joy as I live for You daily. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tears to triumph

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

(Ps 30:11, NIV)

Life is busy for everyone these days. I’ve hardly met a person who is free except those retired seniors. Even that, many of them fills their days with endless activities. That’s a choice, I guess. As for most people, we all wish we have more hours each day to accomplish our tasks. Days surrounded by children all the time take a different scenario – they are not just busy but tremendously demanding from all aspects. It’s amazing how these little ones can drain you off. No doubt every day is an interesting day living with children. They are so full of life; ready to receive each day with enthusiasm, soaking in life’s lessons every moment and still have more than enough energy till bedtime. Bedtime – oh, that’s a taboo word for them. They have not finish their last play, read their last story, speak their final words, and share their concluding thought for the night. I am not sure about other mums, but I look forward to bedtime where I tuck them in after a long hard day, kissed them goodnight after prayers, and watched them slip into dreamland and savour the moments of looking at their sweet faces as they lie in bed. Oh, not to mention the quietness of the atmosphere after noise pollution the entire day.

Getting through the night routine itself is a great effort. Cleaning and changing, bedtime stories, bible reading and prayers...before I get to sit down to enjoy some quiet moments to keep my sanity. Many times I slipped into dreamland with them too. Then, to awaken the next morning to go through the whole cycle again. My plan didn't work out one night (in fact, too many nights to count) and threw me off balance for a moment. The cheerful atmosphere took a turn. Nothing seemed to work out the way I had anticipated. Screaming and yelling weren’t the answers as we all know. Yet my composure was lost for that moment. Desperately I looked to heaven for help and quickly shot a prayer to God. Very few words but definitely with great intensity. He heard my cry and turned my tears into triumph. The night ended with a sweet note.

Chaos changed into calmness as we wrapped up the night with me spending some moments alone with each child. Nothing beats the beautiful intimacy of being able to snuggle up with each of them and whispered words of love and affirmation as we said goodnight. Finally, the last in turn took up an hour plus as she needed to talk more. It was beautiful and triumphant as I tucked them all in. Joy filled my heart. God responded to my tears of desperation and caused my heart to dance with joy as I retired for the night.

Perhaps this experience isn't about life and death to cause wailing and mourning. Nevertheless, it was suffice to cause a deep desperation in me at that moment.
Are you hurting? Are you in a pressing need? Do not bottle up your tears.
Cry to God and watch Him deliver you. His deliverance may not be according to our timing but He will surely give you a reason to dance and be joyful again.

Heavenly Father, hear my cry and answer me quickly. I need Your help. Grant me victory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lord, Teach Me

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law….
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.

(Psalm 119:18, 97)

One of my favourite things as a homeschool mum is to snuggle up with my children with a good book, or should I say a pile of them. I am not talking about textbooks but living books. Books which are cleverly and interestingly written out of love for the subject (and not merely to pass exams). We were nestled behind the last book shelf in the Children’s Public Library, surrounded by stacks of books to appease us of the “lost time” with baby Ashton constantly demanding my attention. That was the most private spot in the library in this school holiday season. Every section of the library was in a mess as it undergo some upgrading and reorganization. Books, books and books everywhere.

Never in any generation is knowledge so easily accessible. The computer age opens up the world to us right at our own home – at the convenience of our space and time. With just one click, we can access any information we need. Kids of this generation talk intelligently on the internet world, which the baby boomers struggle to understand.

Education is no longer restricted within the classrooms and conventional textbooks. Recently, Chrisa, being a tomato lover, craved to know more about this fruit. So we googled and found interesting facts and colourful images of the variety of tomatoes. Currently, my girls are busy with virtual classes on learning Basic Spanish and a book club project. They just completed a free science project on Water; and had enjoyed this new trend of learning thoroughly. I am amazed at the efficiency and effectiveness of their learning in a short time. Virtual education has made its mark in our world today.

Being the school holiday now, the children’s library is busier than usual. Some came to read for pleasure while many came to fill in their reading list/reports for their school records. People are pursuing knowledge intensely. It used to be school-aged kids were facing insurmountable pressure of work overload. Now the preschoolers and babies are victims as well to the so called headstart in education. Whatever you name it, the education market has it.

While Chrisa was enjoying the books she picked for the day, I heard a mum trying to force her uninterested child to learn to read. Perhaps he wasn’t quite ready. Someone once said "for the heart of education is the education of the heart" and Aristotle quoted, "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all". I looked around at the vast spread of knowledge available in the room and the immeasurable contents available through the little neat box – the computer. Mind-boggling thought!

Yet with all these availabilities, I still have to pray, “Lord, teach me.”

True knowledge comes with wisdom and the ability to perceive and understand the truths. Some versions of the bible use the word, “behold” – to take hold on it and look carefully…the spiritual beauty, wonder and profound mysteries hidden in His teachings. This can only be done by divine illumination as we cry out earnestly for his teachings. In the age of great pursuit of knowledge, our desires for God must be deep. We know that what we long and love for, we will think of it all the time. If we long and love God and His teachings, we will pursue with our all. We will echo the psalmist prayers – to uncover our eyes to perceive great and mighty things in his laws and meditate on it all day long. Enlightened hearts will give direction and purpose in life instead of empty chase in the rat race.

What knowledge are we pursuing in life? Where do we begin?

King Solomon stated “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7)… and “if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:3-6).

My Wise Father, give me knowledge and wisdom to apply it in my life. Teach me every moment…In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Marvellously Made

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

(Psalm 139:14, NIV)

The long awaited sms friend just received his firstborn. What a joy as we watched him entered into fatherhood. There's always a thrill to hear a birth being announced. Yesterday...oh wasn't it just yesterday when I penned down this account...

Today I watch a capable young girl adorned with an apron fully occupied in the kitchen. She has made herself available for service as a "kitchen police" this month helping Ah Ma to prepare meals as mum rest in her postnatal month. Every morning she awoke at the break of dawn, cleansed and changed waiting for her marketing date with Kong Kong. She crept into my room, collected the soiled nappies and clothes for laundry. It saved Ah Ma a trip of the tiring staircase.

She sneaked in a corner for her quiet moments with the Lord before she quickly completed her daily academic assignments. In between the day, she grabbed a book for a good read, made a dance with her sisters, played a board game, taught her 4 year-old sister reading, writing and math, practised her times-table with an incredible creative idea - cha-cha moves! She urged her sister to dance along. They had a swell time dancing gracefully while doing math. Times-table was a dreadful feat before this!

The newborn cried...she jumped at the opportunity to carry him. How well she handled him - so much more confident than most adults! She sang her own composition to soothe him and he calmed down at the sound of the melody as he snuggled in her arms. She is a big sister for the third time.She helped Ee Ee with the Sunday school preparation before she pulled out all that she needed to bake her own birthday cake. She has always been a leader. I watched her gave orders to her sisters who eagerly wanted to help with the baking. They baked a chocolate cake which was later coated with Betty Crocker's rich and creamy chocolate topping. She carefully sprinkled the silver beads to create a figure of 10 and lots of almond nuts around it. I could see a satisfied look on her face.

It has been a decade since she was born, making me a very proud mum! It seems like a wink of an eye. The day I held her for the first time, I cried the tears of joy and then a gush of anxiety flooded me. Suddenly such a big responsibility was entrusted into my hands. I've been enrolled into the School of Motherhood - an enormous volume of life training modules with no certificates nor graduation; but blessed with a life-time of divine exchanges.

I held in my hands a precious gift from heaven. I have every reason to be thankful as I watch her grow from a tiny tot to a terrific ten. Ashlynn - the strong and beautiful is 10 today!

These words seem so fresh. The year just went by - the terrific ten is extraordinary eleven now!! She has marvellously grown. Life is such a beautiful gift of God. The Maker carefully plan and knitted together this little being from the very beginning and purposed her to be released into her God-driven destiny. His work is wonderful as careful thoughts, wisdom and creativity had been put in to bring forth this life.

How many of us can look into the mirror and boldly profess, "I am marvellously made"?
Do we know it full well that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made"?
The Maker never makes mistakes - what you see is indeed his perfect creation. What He deposited in our core is His invaluable gift to shape us and thrust us into our destiny in Him. Know our identity in Christ and marvel at the gift of life.

What are we going to do with this gift?

Beautiful God, Thank You for making me in Your image. Thank You for life. Today I proclaim Your beauty and goodness in my life. Here I am...use me as You will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So that God Be Glorified

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

(John 9:1-3, NIV)

Dinner was good. We ate at a local famous western food corner. As we walked to get our van, a lame man followed us all the way. His body looked distorted in every way and his face was somewhat scary looking. We were cautious though I didn’t think he would be harmful. Yet I had to be careful just in case anything unforeseen took place. We quickly climbed into our van. The man stood right in front of the front screen and looked in with a strange expression, head crooked and an awkward gesture. I must confess it was a little uncomfortable although we tried to be as natural. He was probably in his thirties or forties. As much as we sympathized with him, we were helpless. I could not help but wonder about a lot of things…which turned into a deep discussion with God.

What happened to him? Was he born such? Who is taking care of him?

Why would God create such being in the first place? Why?? Of course, my instant inner response was - God is sovereign. But then again, I faced a battle of my own mind as I questioned God. My maternal instinct reached into the heart of this man’s mum. It must had been a difficult journey to have and raised him…to see his sufferings and fear for his survival. A series of emotions must have overwhelmed her. It must be painful. How about this man? No matter how ugly he looked and dysfunctional he seems to be, yet he is still a person with human needs. He is still a child of God.

It’s really hard to imagine why God would do this. I am sure He can do a better job in creating. Did He make a mistake and couldn’t undo it? Or maybe it was not congenital? But still God must have allowed this? To look at the man and think that “this is God’s beautiful creation” certainly is a challenge. I know these are silly thoughts about God and all my questions may seem valid in human terms but they don’t change the fact – God is sovereign and He is good. His sovereignty and goodness are far too deep for my limited human mind to comprehend.

I believe this man was “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and his physiological imperfection is an opportunity to display God’s grace. The words of Jesus reminded me that ultimately God uses all circumstances to glorify Himself. I can only rest in His sovereignty and trust that any form of suffering in life provides a platform for God to manifest his grace and compassion. A man of such disability who knows God may well display the strength and beauty like no other normal person can. The effects of God’s power are magnified through such man when he is surrendered to God. However, if he doesn’t know God, it is an opportunity for him to embrace God’s love. That can be another powerful testimony of God’s salvation and love; and can cause ripple effects.

I may not have all my answers as I thought of the man but I know God cares for him. I do not know him even as I prayed for him this week but my Father knows his name.

Perhaps as we look at ourselves or the circumstances we are in, we see imperfections and sufferings too. Instead of fretting in discontentment or throwing our fists at God, or blaming ourselves and sitting under guilt pile…let us turn our eyes upon the Lord and hear his words ring right into our hearts - "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in [your] life.”

To God be the Glory!

Heavenly Father, You are sovereign and good. Look upon me with favour and love. Enable me to see traces of Your work in my life and empower me to bring glory to Your name. May my life be a display of Your grace and glory. When I see any imperfect person, help me see him as you do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Endless Mess

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

(Psalm 103:8, NIV)

My days are filled with cleaning. One after another. Yet the house never seem to be clean or in the “order” I classify as order.
Laundry – never seem to finish. When I thought I just cleared the laundry basket, to see it been filled again.
Dishes – quite the same too. Although the girls have been helping but I still have uncleared sink throughout the day.
What happened to spotless floor? Nay, my doctor and nurses’ friends told me to forget about clean floors once babies arrived. One even suggested I wear carpet shoes so that I will not feel the dust. The baby won't die from some dirt. But my melancholy self thought the more I have to clean up to ensure my babies have clean floor to roam around. Babies – you know they are so susceptible to illnesses. But they MESS UP ALL THE TIME.

My baby was wriggling hard to get away while I was trying to get his bum cleaned up. This is the umpteenth time for the day. I hooked him with my left arm and did a quick wash but clean enough to satisfy me. You’ll be amazed at how much energy the little one possessed. It is quite a workout for me daily. Before I could sigh a relief of getting the task done, he wriggled and crawled off. I went after him to find that he just pee on the floor! And when I finished with that, I stepped on biscuits crumbs. “That could wait…” I thought. Then the five year-old called for help in cleaning up some mess. I rushed off, stepped on a toy which squeaked back at me. I moved the toys to clear the path way. My eyes caught another pile of mess which called for attention. “Not now,” I whispered in my heart. I moved the baby to the bedroom to get him ready for nap. He protested and slipped off from my arms. His sister’s clothes’ shelf attracted him. That’s his new “play area” – simply enjoys pulling the garments off, one by one. The list can go on forever. My heart beat faster and I could feel a rush of my blood. My energy level was diminishing. I was about to sigh and give out a loud scream to God when His Spirit whispered to me, “I am also always cleaning up."

How true! God is in a cleaning business. How many times have I messed up – the words I said, my action and reaction towards people and situations, decisions made, negative thoughts, and ill feelings; and He patiently cleaned up my mess. Instead of striking a hard blow on me, He administered His dose of merciful love. Instead of saying, “Look at you again,” He helped me through without shame and guilt and gave me a clean slate.

Human race is messed up. God in His grace and mercy is cleaning us up all the time. When He is done with one area, He still has many more to deal with us. What a comfort to know He is slow to anger, otherwise we will all be wiped out from his presence!

Do you have anything which requires some divine cleaning? Acknowledge your need of the Divine Helper. Allow Him to clean you up even if it hurts. Don’t struggle and wriggle off his clutch. Stay put as He gently and patiently does the cleaning process. Sometimes it may hurt more because of the consequences we have to bear but trust in His abounding love. He doesn’t jeer but cheer us on.

Loving Father, I come…with this…...(specify your mess). Clean me up. Grant me grace to go through it and soothe where it hurts. I trust You. Thank You for being patient with me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In the Comfort of My Father’s Arms

As a mother comforts her child,
So will I comfort you…...

(Isaiah 66:13, NIV)

Finally my baby settled into dreamland. The sight of a sleeping baby in a calm state is simply speechless. All the squirming and cries eased into a lovely sort of stillness and peace…right in my arms. I can now slow down for a while before he awakes to explore again. He just turned one year-old. So much had happened in the short one year – growing from a tiny helpless babe to an inquisitive little creature engaging in endless explorations and discoveries.

Gratitude filled my heart as I reflected on the past year. On the table, a photo of another baby with a big smile brought a flood of memories of more than a decade ago. They look so alike though of the opposite sex. She was my firstborn. People say to me, “It must be easy for you. It’s your fourth round now.” Is motherhood ever easy? I wonder.

In a world of significance equals success, where does this vocation fit into the picture? Yet no one can deny that “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” – an extract from the 1800s poem by William Ross Wallace. Wallace recognized the preeminent force in the maternal contribution throughout the generations. And we all know with power comes responsibility. I will never forget the very first time I held my firstborn. Tears flowed. I was struck with ambivalence – unspeakable joy mingled with an overwhelming anxiety. Suddenly I was thrust with an enormous responsibility – a life! So fragile yet so full of potentials.

Amongst many things, the years of mothering are spent comforting the child in one way or another. Right from birth, the infant is comforted in the arms of the mother – being nursed and soothed. Then there are the pains and challenges of growing up as the years go by. How many times we run back to mama’s arms when things don’t go right? Somehow, we find consolation in her. Mother is the icon of comfort.

The female gender is born with the maternal instinct. Irrespective of age and married status, we are gifted to nurture. I watched my own daughters grow. From a tiny tot to preteens now, they naturally have this nurturing behaviour in their play as well as their relationship in the family. So don’t take lightly this inborn trait nor underestimate the power to nurture – whether your own children or spiritual children.

I always believe God extends extra portion of grace to mothers. In the course of nurturing, we are constantly drained from every aspect. We have to receive in order to give…and there’s where Isaiah 66:13 comforts me whenever I feel my energy sapping. Personally, in this season, I am always shifting gears – caring for a baby’s physical needs, to a kindergartener’s inquisitiveness, and to preteens’ emotional development. By nightfall, my tank is empty. In the mentioned verse, the picture of God is painted as a “mother” to his people. That image gives us the feel of gentleness and loving comfort. We have to learn to run into His arms and be rested there. God is the Ultimate Comforter and He fills us afresh the moment we are rested in His arms. Present our burdens, cares and worries. Express our joy and pain. Hear His heartbeat as we rest upon Him.

Today is Mother’s Day. As we reflect on our own role, let us remember to give thanks for the honour to have the power to nurture and be a source of comfort. Perhaps you are thinking of your relationship with your own mum – whether good or bad, give thanks too! There are always the open arms of our Father whenever you need a place of comfort. Don’t stop running into His arms of love because He promises, “…so will I comfort you…”

Loving Father, how good it is to know You are always present in time of need. Thank You for Your open arms. I will run to you - always. Receive me and refresh me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Song from Heaven

He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

(Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)

The gentle whispers of the wind gradually turned into pitter patter of the rain. The soothing sound of the rattling rain water broke the silence of the morning. Within a short moment an outpour of rain created such an upbeat of music. My children and I rushed out to our porch and watched the unfolding drama from heaven. Our eyes switched from one point to another as we followed the trail of rainwater from every possible angle. The various sound effects of the rain water as it hit different materials on earth awaken our visual and auditory senses in the sleepy morning. Baby Ashton really loves the sight of rain. Every time it rains, he gets excited and we will take him to the window to watch the rainfall. Other times, we would get him out and let him touch the cool water as it trickled down the porch. He would smile and giggled. We were simply enjoying the nature’s song. My girls couldn’t stand still. Their body began to sway and move to the heavenly music. They jumped in joy and excitement as they wore their raincoat and danced with the umbrella under the pouring rain. Talk about dancing with joy in the presence of God…here we were caught in such a wondrous time. What a delightful sight! What a melody! A perfect symphony.

A sense of joy and vibrancy flooded my tired spirit as I listened to the most powerful music – the rhythm of the falling rain. God spoke right into my inner man as the song of heaven rained down. Nothing beats God’s song – not any in our world of great music.

I used to love to sing to the song, Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain by the Cascades, popularized in the 1960s. Not that I am that old but I was enjoying songs my parents listened to then. I sang because I love the music but the lyrics were just the desperate cries of some hopeless guy:

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain,
Telling me just what a fool I've been.
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain,
And let me be alone again…

Rain, please tell me, now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don't care
I can't love another, when my heart's somewhere far away.

Generally, people see rain in a gloomy mood and associate it with sad situation. In this 60s hit, rain is called as judge in this sad song. As he listened to the rhythm of the rain, he bathed himself in hopelessness and calling out to the rain, the created element - for justice. Love songs yield to most girls and women. We all sing love songs one time or another. The rhythm of the falling rain is a love song especially sent from heaven from the Lover of our soul. As I listened, I hear his refreshing love notes playing, his power resounding. A certain peace and calmness rested on me as God showered his love passionately. Zephaniah 3:17 has been one of the many meaningful verses to me. In many moments of distress it comforted me, knowing that God delighted in me and actually sang over me. As a mum, I find it easy to identify to the picture of being cuddled and rejoiced over with singing – just like what I do with all my distressed babies. My singing would soothe them and calm them down. Yet this time I saw from a different light from the same scripture verse. The song was not mellowed. In fact, so upbeat to cause such merry dancing. What a glorious heavenly song!

The next time it rains, listen for His voice of love and let your worries and cares be washed away. Or simply be thrilled by the wonder of His amazing love and His shouts of joy over you.

Oh Maker of Heaven and Earth, what a great feeling to know You love me so much. Thank You for taking such delight in me and calming me with Your songs of love. Indeed, I am blessed to be able to experience You in the most natural way. Open all my senses to know and encounter You daily in Your powerful manifestations through nature. I say thanks again!! I am learning to listen to You in the rhythm of daily life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Keep Checking, Be Back Soon!

SORRY, Precious GEMS, I am facing some time issue with a lot in my hands and some internet connection as well as computer problems. Thanks for being so patient. I am so sorry to disappoint you with no updates for the last few weeks. But I promise to be back as soon as I can.

May you be found in God's loving presence each day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Walking In the Light

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

(1 John 1: 5, NIV)

The atmosphere was somewhat romantic with candlelight. Ah hah…not a fine dining with my beloved husband. That would be a luxury.

It was the last Saturday of March. We were doing our part as good citizens of this beautiful world. My daughter and my sister made their statement to fight global warming by casting their votes for Earth Hour, a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature or World Wildlife Fund) annually. We were gearing up for that hour by ensuring dinner and dishes; and showers were done by 8.30pm. Excitement filled the air as the children talked about what they would like to do during that hour. What an opportunity to bring out our beautiful scented candles and let them shine! The simple dwelling became exotic just with candlelight.

What an adjustment even for just an hour! Every time I entered a room, my hand automatically reached out for the switch on the wall, only to remember I was observing Earth Hour just before my finger make a quick tap. Baby Ashton was busy as usual crawling and exploring the house. The darkness did not deter his exploration. My eyes had to be keener in following his active movement, ensuring his safety. Then I smelled a stinky diaper. As much as I was tempted to switch on the light so that I can do a good job in washing his bottom, I wanted to follow through our vote without “cheating”. One of my little helper had to shine the candle light while I washed him. The shadows cast upon the toilet wall entertained this super wriggly baby. Extra checks were done to ensure he was thoroughly cleansed. It was such hoo-ha over this daily norm.

I was really thankful for proper lighting. I am even more thankful for the Light of God and living in the Light. In fact, the verse says God IS Light. Darkness has a representation of hostility and aimlessness in life. It exudes a creepy and evil feel. It speaks of the enemy. The interesting point is when light comes, darkness has to flee immediately. Light, no matter how small instantly overcomes darkness. It never fails to give direction even if it may be just one step at a time. It orders our steps. The power of light erases the works of darkness (Romans 13:12). There is absolutely no room for darkness when light enters.

Walking in the Light gives us confidence and peace simply because we can see, and knowing that our steps are sure and the destiny in God is certain. Harm and dangers may seek to threaten us but surely cannot touch us. We are protected (Psalms 34:7). What a comfort to know that even in the valley of the shadows of death God is with us (Psalm 23:4).

Having lived in the light, any form of darkness will surely cause us to be uncomfortable. The brief one hour without light for me affected my activities. How much more negative impact it would be for our lives if we do not have the Light of God?! Or should I say "if we do not have God?"

Give thanks for his deliverance and let’s remember the lost.

God of Light, Thank You for delivering me out of darkness into Your Light. It is so good to know we can walk confidently and peacefully in our daily lives and towards our eternal destiny. I ask that You will be gracious and merciful to many who need Your Light. Shine, Jesus shine! Fill the land with Your Glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Dear friends,

I am sorry if you dropped by this morning and didn't find a new post. I am having some problems with my computer. Hence, this came in late.

Have a great week, gorgeous gals! Remember you are loved by the Father.

For A Higher Purpose

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

(Romans 8:28, NIV)

The rain was pouring again. I stood facing the wall of my children’s room watching the rainwater dripped down. Lines and lines forming several trails leaked into the rim of the parquet flooring. As I stepped on it to check further, the water seeped out to form puddles. I am not sure if I have the right to be angry at my new neighbour. I haven’t met them to begin with…but the massive renovation, which began some months ago, has caused a lot of disruptions and inconveniences to the neighbourhood; and especially to us, his next door neighbours. Cement dust, noise pollution and mosquitoes’ breeding ground amongst many others. This week there were flying cement blocks when they hacked down the non-permitted pillars (as the City Council issued a summon and order to stop work) which horrified us. The work is extensive and the plan is not approved as anyone would have guessed.

I was excited when we knew a new family was moving in as that house had always been occupied with new tenants made up of working adults every few months. We never got a chance to make friends. Or should I say we never really had a neighbour. We bear with all the inconveniences when the renovations work begun. The place was tremendously dusty with the toxic cement dust pollution. The children couldn’t recover from their sinus problem. Baby Ashton had prolonged chest infection and was subjected to a lot of medical treatment. I had to consciously turn my sighing to singing, and reminded myself to love my neighbour.

Last night I looked at the trails of water helplessly as the rain poured. Edward is away for more than a week, which means I had to attend to all these arising problems. I whispered, “God, help me” as I attempted to soak up the oozing water from the flooring with some old towels as more water continued to leaked in. This pathetic state happens whenever it rains ever since the neighbour’s roof was torn down and their wall been hacked. The authority had come to inspect the damage and is looking into the matter. However, at this point we still have to bear with the mess. My children had been camping in our room.

After the unsuccessful soaking of the water with the towels, I taped strips of aluminum foil to the wall to form troughs to drain the water into buckets. The words of Paul in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” ran repeatedly in my mind as I squatted to finish up the task. It was a moment of helplessness turned into hope in Christ. Any bleak situation surrendered to God will be taken care of despite wordless prayers. Every groan and sigh of helplessness when given to God could well work out for good. A blessing in disguise. Many past experiences proved that this verse is a reality. Although I cannot understand what good can come out from my current situation but I know hope in God doesn’t lead to disappointment (Romans 5:5).

Are you facing discouragement, disappointment, disaster, delay of some sort, or in a dilemma of some kind?
Does your situation look unpromising? Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose your grip on Jesus. Don’t even react negatively, because if you love him, something good is in store – for everything works out for a higher purpose.

Gracious God, grant me Your spirit when I am tired in the waiting and too weak to face the challenges in my life. Give me the right spirit to deal in my situation. I trust Your deliverance and wisdom in turning every detail of my life for Your purposes. In Jesus’name. Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One of A Kind

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.

(I Corinthians 12:27-28, NIV)

That’s how I would describe cheese for my family. I have learnt to love cheese after being a wife and mum, simply because my beloved husband and children LOVE it. We love all sorts of cheese except blue cheese. Our visit to the cheese factory in Tasmania was an incredible experience. The best part of the visit was of course - the sample tasting. The wide spread of delicacy was laid across the counter. One should had seen the excitement and wide smiles on these kids’ faces! Ooh…aah…emm…yummy!! In all we probably sampled fifteen varieties. Left out a few odd flavors like chilly and wasabi. Needless to say, we consumed a lot of cheese while we were on that holiday. Cheap and good.

They requested I bring back this precious gift from my trip to Australia again one year later. I tried my best to accommodate this request. So I packed 12 blocks of different kinds of cheese into the cooler box and flew them back. That was the “gold” they waited for besides their mummy.

Back in the local scene, I always end up grabbing the cheapest off the shelf no matter what my recipe was. It is usually the sliced processed cheddar cheese. Sadly, I have to forgo certain recipes which have cheese specification. Every visit to the grocery store, my kids will lure my attention to check out the different ones displayed. I will always point them to the price tags!

Last week, I shopped alone and decided to give my cheese-crazy family a treat. Mozzarella for the potato jacket. Parmesan for some left over pasta. Dinner was indeed satisfying. The first bite into the serving tantalized our taste buds. They savoured every bit of their portions. Then we experimented the various cheeses with different dish. The conclusion of our dinner was we just have to pick the right cheese for the right dish. Oh well, sliced processed cheddar cheese does the job most of the time but it was not the premium taste and quality on potato jacket and pasta although it is excellent in sandwiches. The texture and taste is simply different in all the cheeses. Not that we don't know but we have to compromise the taste due to budget.

The savoury thought brought to mind the Apostle Paul’s analogy in I Corinthians 12 of the body. Every saint is created with a unique design to fulfill a specific function to build his church. It is meant to compliment each other and never intended for competition. When each of us fit into our design and serve our purpose, we will send sweet smelling aroma and tantalizing taste to a world that needs to see and taste that the Lord is good.

What kind of “cheese” are you?
Which “dish” will you serve best?
Let’s take a moment this week to reflect on our form and function.

Heavenly Father, You are such a Marvelous Maker – creatively fashioning me into one of a kind to serve Your call. Help me to accept and appreciate the person You made me. Equip and empower me as I seek to be united with the rest of the Body of Christ to bring forth Your fragrance and goodness to this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Him I Trust

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12: 2, NIV)

Valentine’s Day just passed not too long ago. Then there’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teacher’s Day, Children’s Day and the list goes on. I wonder how many women realized there’s also Women’s Day. Yes. A day dedicated to women all over the world. It all traced back to 1910, a German socialist leader, Clara Zetkin declared a day of solitary to mark the fight of women for equal rights. Each year on 8 March since being recognized by the United Nations in 1975, International Women’s Day has been celebrated globally. Some countries marked it as a national holiday.

I stood together with my daughters in the concourse of a mall watching a contemporary dance depicting the life of women. It was a powerful piece as the dancers brought forth the joy and pain of women’s lives. There were a few young men behind me trying to understand the creative moves and made a joke of it. However, when the show ended, they exclaimed, “Power, man!” Hmm, the womenfolk would probably say, “Don’t play, play!”

Throughout the generations women’s needs of respect and dignity have been challenged. Women suffer from different dangers. Wars, discrimination, sexual harassment, rape, abuse, pregnancy and childbirth complications and etc.
Feminist cry out for equal rights.
Modern women strive for significance and success. Thus, believe in a false sense of security; clinging on to career, beauty and fashion, and searching for the right relationship. But have we won?

The world will never be fair if we see from the worldview and adopt her mindset. Tune in to the heavenly frequency and hear God’s whispers of love and affirmation to us. He has a special design and purpose for women.
Eve was declared the ‘mother of all living’.
Sarah had a lovely surprise. She mothered at an impossible age.
Esther saved her people.
Deborah the lady judge conquered the battle.
The servant girl ministered to Naaman.
Ruth’s name is in the genealogy of the Saviour.
Mary was chosen to mother the Saviour.
Mary of Bethany ministered to Jesus.
Mary Magdalene was the first to witness the resurrection of the Lord.
There are many more women in the Bible who has a significant role in God’s plan.

While the world fights for equal rights, know that our trust is in Him. We stand secured in His everlasting love because He is our salvation, our strength and our song. We celebrate the beauty of our girlhood and womanhood (single or married; young or old) in our God. The repetition of calling upon “the Lord” in Isaiah 12:2 reinforces God is our everything. We are saved and strengthened. He is our song – a song represents joy, comfort, peace, quiet confidence within and victory. Let us find our footing in Him and abandon ourselves in His secure arms of love. Embrace our womanhood with grace and destiny in God.

Loving Father, Thank You for your beautiful work in me. You fashioned me so uniquely and designed me for a specific purpose. Unfold each season of my life with Your grace and empower me to enjoy every season of my womanhood. I want to be a beautiful woman who reflects the radiance and beauty of my Maker. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Perspective from Above

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9, NIV)

Art is one area I feel free to express myself and I think every child needs to have that avenue to express, explore and experiment to connect with herself and the world around her irrespective of the outcome of her masterpiece. Last week, Chrisa created a very colourful picture with pastels for her sister, Nat, who was sick. She diligently filled the art block with a multi-coloured striped vase and green stalks branching out from it. It was supposed to be filled with roses. Despite my early childhood education training which urges educators not to interfere with a young child’s creation, I fell into the temptation of giving my opinion of how to draw a rose. She passed me a piece of paper and I made a quick sketch of the flower from a typical side view. I presented it to her with a smile and a certain pride of a mum. I exclaimed, “See dear, it is so easy to draw a rose.” She grabbed the paper and red pastel from me and responded beyond my expectation. “Mum, that’s not how you draw a rose! This is how a rose looks like.” She drew a spiral line illustrating the flower from the top view. Indeed it appeared superb. I was speechless for a moment. God had to use a five-year old to remind me to look from a different perspective. In this case, to look from above! This is very true in life’s application.

Joy was robbed off me in the past weeks as many distractions cluttered along the way which set me off focus no matter how hard I attempted to stay on course. One major stressor was caring for ill children. Two of them had to be subjected to two courses of antibiotic before the fever could subside. It was round the clock toil of dispensing medicine (which included coaxing the older ones into this dreaded affair and struggling with the baby to keep the medicine in) and soothing their distress and pain. Oh, needless to say – the package included sleep deprivation. My mind was tired, body weak and emotion drained. I hung on to God’s promises of deliverance and my hope anchored upon the Cross. Yet I could not deny I had doubts fighting their way into my spirit as I shielded myself with all his promises. The battle raged in the mind. Certain things just didn’t quite make sense and it was difficult to see how God works. When Chrisa showed me her illustration of her rose and her respond in her firm words, I was nudged in my spirit. God’s ways are just way above mine. His wise thoughts are far beyond my comprehension. I just have to keep believing and trust the One who sits upon the Throne of Heaven because He sees from above.

What’s your perspective in life? In your situation right now?
Where are you looking from?
Facing roadblocks? Seeing nothing? But God knows what’s beyond the roadblocks. He sees everything.

O Mighty God, when days get tough and there seems to be roadblocks, help me to trust that You know what You are doing simply because You see from above. My perspective is limited and I get restless in the journey of faith. Grant me a glimpse of Your perspective and cause my heart to be still and know You are God. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Dear friends,

I am so sorry I can't publish my thoughts today and perhaps for the next few days. Time doesn't permit me to do so as I care for my children who are sick. I will be back a.s.a.p. once I can get a breather :)

Meanwhile, you have a good week!
God bless!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

There Must Be More Than This

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." (Psalm 105:4, NIV)

The word, "seek" has been in my mind for many weeks. Even the guest speaker in church last week touched on it. Have I not sought him enough? My persistent thought is, “There must be more than this!”

There are continuous debates in my mind pertaining different issues faced.
Unanswered prayers.
Unsettled spirit.
It is a nagging longing.

“Oh God, there must be more than this!”

I heard a voice whispered to my spirit, “Haven’t I showed you this before?”

Four years ago, I read Psalm 105 on the way to my family holiday in Pulau Tioman. I felt as though God was clearly telling me in such a loud voice then, "Look at me, seek me. Receive my strength".

The whole long journey I was asking the same question - "What does it mean to seek You, God?" "Am I not seeking You now?" "Teach me." That was my prayer all the time pleading God in His grace to show me the deep meaning of seeking him.

The best and most enjoyable activity we did as a family during that holiday was snorkeling. The cool amazingly beautiful sea was so inviting that even Ashlynn and Nathalynn were so captivated by the wonders of God's creation. The first four verses we read in Psalm 105 (please read) became alive. We have every reason to "sing to him, and tell of his wonderful acts". We could not stay long on the boat admiring the fishes swimming in the clear waters. The natural instinct was to just jump in and be in it. Nathalynn was very apprehensive being her first time coupled with her reserved personality. I could understand the fear. It must be real because the sea was deep and the experience was totally unknown to her. However, with a little encouragement and assuring help from her daddy, she was soon lost in desiring for more. At every stop at the different bay and island, she jumped into the sea boldly to explore the vast waters all by herself. She was an adventurous 6 year-old.

On a personal note, I was engrossed in the waters too. What I saw on the surface from the boat was nothing in comparison from the experience looking into the deep. Who can comprehend the artistic colours that God chose and painted the depth of the waters? The numerous species of marine life were swimming with such grace. As I snorkeled, I noticed interesting species would make their appearances from the deeper ends of the waters. When I stopped to ask negative questions like, “What IFs?" - "what if my life jacket gave way?", "what if some unpredictable disaster happened?” Such moments hinder my explorations. When I abandoned myself in the experience totally and continued to swim around with the fishes, the desire to want to see more and more increased because the experience was immensely satisfying and beyond words. Nathalynn and I were "seeking" for MORE. The excitement in us increased with every finding. Thus, we just couldn't have enough! We were lost in wanting more of the depth. I was conversing with the Maker all the time - thanking and praising him for every creature his hands had made. In a gentle voice, he spoke to my spirit..."This is seeking for me". The experience will cause you to ask for MORE. In it, you will be thrilled by my beauty, be satisfied by my work. It is an unending journey because your desire will increase with every finding; and you will be drawn with such deep longing.” My spirit was enlightened instantly as the Lord answered my nagging questions on seeking. The journey was also accompanied by his strength. Snorkeling the whole day was tiring but we wouldn’t settle for less. The desire for more drowned our tiredness as we received new strength in every location.

Perhaps some of you are in the same state, or perhaps some find seeking God such a chore, or difficult or boring. Some may be asking for more but doesn't seem to get it. Could it be the Lord is testing how much we desire in the seeking? How deep is our longing? Have we abandoned ourselves in him totally, or are we standing on the "boat" for some reasons? Could it be some of us have passed our spiritual snorkeling season? It is time for diving in the deep sea. An open dive!

"Almighty God, I acknowledge my lack of trust in seeking YOU. I need YOU to teach me in this journey of seeking. Lord, show me deep insights and incredible findings as I long for more of YOU. Give me strength to wait upon YOU. Cause such a deep longing within me that will move me to keep asking for more without giving up. I love YOU, Beautiful God. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Lover of My Soul

Chap Goh Meh/Valentine's Day Thoughts...

My mind runs through the women I have met throughout the week. Women walking in various seasons of life. Different ages. Different life passages. They are all across the spectrum. My heart beat faster as I thought and prayed for each of them...

...She sat beside him at the ICU bed. Head dived next to his. Only whispers of desperation heard. Her dying husband diagnosed with brain tumour thriving on ventilator support. They only shared two years' of marriage. She was a young bride and now a highly potential widow.

...She is caring for her terminally ill husband and raising her growing children. I could see and sense her determination to be strong for her family as we talked.

...She was widowed while pregnant with her firstborn. Her husband died in a motor vehicle accident. Now the child is 2. Today, another burden is added on her shoulder. She cares for her aging mum diagnosed with cancer, dressing her wound daily.

...She dripped the eye-drops into her husband's operated eye for cataract. The brief exchange of look and touch of this 2 hourly routine speaks of their committed love over four decades.

...She is happily married. Awaiting her firstborn's arrival. Anticipating the joy of motherhood. Her husband adores her.

...She is elated. She just sealed the deal. The ring is on her finger. He proposed!

...She is ready. Seeking for a life partner. Wondering when she will meet the God-sent guy. Perhaps the man isn't ready, we joked!

...They are supposedly in the normal rhythm. Many young mums desiring to give their best to raise the young.Some pursuing their dreams as they stepped into the working force. One ready for baptism. The other searching for answers of who God is. My preteens maturing in feminity. My kindergarthener with endless questions.

As my prayers go forth for these girls and women of my life, the reservoir of my heart ruptured with a gush of tears. This world is screaming for purpose and compassion.

Overwhelming for a week's encounter.

As the Lunar New Year comes to the end of its fifteen day's celebration, I am reminded of the classic teaser of urging young maidens to throw mandarin oranges into the sea. The Chinese saying, "tim kam chua hoe ang" (throw mandarin oranges to marry good husband) always make us giggle and poke fun at each other. Many of us always think its a foolish thing to do. Definitely more worthwhile to throw oranges into our mouths to quench our thirst, and satisfy our tastebuds! Of course, it was a good excuse for young maidens to go out in the old era. But, for modern urban girls, we absolutely don't need Chap Goh Meh to be an excuse to go out anymore.

Having said that, every human heart still longs for intimate love. All girls desire to marry a good husband though not by throwing juicy fruit into the sea. What a futile effort! As we close the Lunar New Year, another special day will hit the commercial world. The demand of flowers and all sorts of lovely gifts call for the attention of lovers. Valentine's Day is just five days away. Perhaps the economic downturn will affect the celebration this year in a certain degree. Nevertheless, there will still be some trumpeting of the "love is in the air" note.

The Bible is filled with pages of love notes from the Eternal Lover to each of us. We, the female gender shares one common need - a deep emotional intimacy.

From the youngest child to the golden age...
From the happy to the hurting...
no one loves us more than he who lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). No greater love than this!

His love is more delightful than wine (Song of Songs 1:2). Wine is a symbol of celebration. Wine has healing properties. God's love is far greater than this!! Yes, we need to celebrate Him. He rejoices with us in good days. Yet, His love heals and soothes the pain of the harsh weather of life. Women - young and old...we need to find our way into the bridal chamber and experience divine romance with our Lord, the Lover of our Soul. Our security. Our song. Our salvation. Let us take delight, adore and long after him - "Take me away with you - let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers." (Song of Songs 1:4)

Throughout the ages, his invitation is, "Come!" The delightful longing and adoring affection displayed by the maiden in Song of Songs and the hastening call in Rev.22:17 of the bride give an imagery of that deep longing. The Divine Groom is ever ready and awaiting for each of us. Will you come...into the bridal chamber?


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the Lord

Jer.29:13-14 (NIV)

God's promise of hope and prosperity in Jer.29:11 require our action to respond to his invitation to commune with him in verse 12. This week we look further to the following verses 13 and 14. The CONDITION that attached to the action is not just "come and pray to him" but it must come with an earnest search. A seeking heart never stops at mediocrity nor gives up when days get tough. It demands our all. A seeking heart continues to look and search.....and the promising RESULT is we will find him.

Seeking God is a continous effort compelled by love and adoration. It is an endless quest. One that is full of aniticipation and excitement because there is no end in knowing him.

I am reminded of the classic childhood game of hide and seek. Every young child loves to play hide and seek. Anytime my children will jump up when we give this suggestion. It never fails to bring loads of thrill and joy. Oh, they will earnestly look for daddy or mummy. They will diligently look and look till they find daddy or mummy. When they do, they feel so proud and joyful. There are times daddy or mummy is hidden in spots too difficult to be located by the young although daddy or mummy can see the frantic search of the young from our secret hiding place. Daddy or mummy cannot bear to hide too long. We eventually will jump out and exclaimed, "Surprise?!"

This illustration is limited but it gives a glimpse of Jer.29:13-14 for God is waiting to reveal himself to us if our desire in finding him is deep. He will never fail to respond to our deep longing for him. He will certainly amaze us with surprises. Know that God's intention is to bless and prosper us, so let us not hesitate to come to him and look for him earnestly.....for he will not disappoint his children.

How desperate are we in wanting to see him, know him and discover more of him daily?
There are many things we search for in life. Does your quest include him?

May the Lord blesses all of you abundantly in your search for him.

Precious Father, there is a deep longing in me that only You can fill. How my soul yearns for You! Do not hide Your face from me, answer me. Quicken my spirit to know You, hear You, feel You and obey You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

He is Just a Call Away

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah 29:12 (NIV)

The declaration of the Lord in Jeremiah 29:11 in our previous post, "God of Prosperity" is followed by subsequent verses which are as important and hold the key to the fulfillment of that promise. For many years as a young believer, I would hear this promise been quoted repeatedly. However, many occasion the subsequent verses were never mentioned. One day as I read the passage again, the following verses 12-14 gripped my heart. This promise comes with a requirement - an ACTION from our part. The only way to know the true success in life is to CALL upon God. The urgency must arise within our spirit to go and approach God; talk to him and his promise is he will LISTEN to us. So many of us complain God doesn't care, doesn't listen, life is so aimless. Question - have we talk to him enough? Listen enough? Then act on it.

In my schooling years, I walked into my house after school daily with the same ritual. Before I even bathed, I would sit beside my mum who worked on her pieces at the sewing machine. My ever patient mum would silently listened to my joy and pain of growing up. She rejoiced with me when I was happy and empathized with me in my challenges. In between my long talk, she would throw in wise counsel, usually only a few words but full of wisdom. Some days I would enter the room without saying anything. Mum would ask without fail, “Don’t you have anything to tell me?” She’s mum! She knows her child well. These are days when I was too tired to talk, too hurt to bring it up or found it too silly to share.

Throughout the past week, the word which brewed in my mind was “seek”. I persistently asked God for a deeper meaning of the word. I found my conversation with the Lord in my old journal pertaining to this very scripture, Jeremiah 29:12 and seeking him.

Cease complaining,
come and converse with the Creator;
cultivate confidence and courage!

His encouragement is just simply to stop fretting and complaining. His invitation is "come" - call me, converse with me for I am your Maker. I received my confidence and renewal of courage as a growing child as I talked to mum. We will find as we talk to God constantly, we are cultivating confidence and courage that we never knew we possess.

Just as my mum waited to hear from her eager child’s daily reports, God longs to hear from us all the time too. I am blessed to have a mum who was always ready to listen to me shout my joy as well as ventilate my frustration. We are certainly blessed with an amazing God who is always listening and always understanding. Perhaps for many of us, God is pursuing us like my mum did to me, “Don’t you have anything to tell me?” Do we have anything to come before Him today and pray. He promises – He will listen.

She's mum and knows me well.
He's our Father and knows us full well (Psalm 139).

"My Good Lord, I thank You for the invitation to come and converse with You. How blessed am I. I renew my pledge to You today to call upon You daily and all the time. As I do that, I long to hear You speak to me the secrets of Your heart. In Jesus' name. Amen."