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.