Monday, May 2, 2011

The Grandiose Wedding

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

(Revelation 19:7, NIV)

The world turns her eyes once again on the royal wedding. I thought it was just a while ago, the grand wedding was featured in every media coverage for a long period. I was just a young girl. The most talked about occasion on the lips of romantic people. That were the parents of the latest royal newlyweds, Prince William and his beau. Now the glamour belongs to their son and his beautiful wife.

Wedding – some like it simple. Many plan for the grandest occasion. Once in a lifetime. I don’t know about guys. Girls dream of the most romantic do. The dress – oh, that dream dress. I remember my own search for the ideal dress I wished for, and I never really found it here in this part of the world. I only drooled over it in magazines. I managed to settle and made peace with one and wore it on my wedding day. Yes, I was being complimented. My mum-in-law loved it. There was a whole lot of preparation to think through and about together with my fiancĂ© then, and some major decisions with our parents. It was a tedious process of getting ready for just that one day.

The constant reminder to me was not to lose joy in the elaborate process and not to lose focus on the more crucial part – the marriage, the relationship. My fiancĂ© and I talked through a lot of things during our courtship and some of these issues were discussed with greater intensity when we attended pre-marital counselling. The entire preparation entails great effort and deliberate thoughts and actions. My perfectionism and creative side longed for many aesthetic details which I eventually let go due to lack of budget. Nevertheless, it still turned out to be a grand do. The best part of it all, was not all the aesthetic fringes. It was the preparation of the spirit. That moment of standing in the presence of God and worshipping him as he joined me and the man whom I love was an indescribable unity. Simply awesome.

Great rejoicing and gladness filled the air. Weddings – what a glorious occasion! I cannot help it but to think of the Grandest of all weddings. My limited mind cannot imagine the grandiose feeling nor atmosphere of Christ coming back for his Bride. Are you ready?

The verse today urges us to rejoice and be glad, to set the tone to glorify him. We should be ready, but are we? Here is an imagery of our intimate relationship with Christ. How will we look like, be like, when he comes? Are we looking into the important details of preparation? Or losing track concentrating on the insignificant fringes? Is our heart cleansed and excited to welcome the grandiose occasion?

This is a constant personal challenge to me. I urge you to think through and get ready. Be the most beautiful bride, set apart for our Glorious Groom.

Glorious Lord, make ready my heart and spirit as I await the Day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In The Darkness

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

(John 20:15, NIV)

In the dark of that very early morning, the hurried footsteps could be heard in the quietness. Her heart was filled with anxiety. Her hope was almost lost. She was hanging on a thread of the least that was left in her heart. She needed to find the body. One last hope. Just one more to bang on.

To her horror when she reached her destination, the stone was rolled off. The entrance of the tomb was left opened. She panicked. Her only remaining hope. It was gone! The body of the Lord she loved was not there anymore.

She hastily ran to the other men and announced the shocking news. Two men immediately set for the site and soon found the truth. It was gone. The body – it was gone! In the midst of the emptiness they only saw the strips of linen and burial cloth for his head. She was not imagining. These men witnessed it too. The empty tomb.

While the men left, she remained at the spot crying. Her whole being was flooded by a gush of sorrow unspeakable. She stood in the darkness of the wee hours of the morning weeping in tremendous sorrow. Her last hope vanished. She must have stood there confused, afraid and helpless.

A sudden voice interrupted her weeping. She looked up and saw two angels. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replied quickly, “They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him.” She felt another presence and another voice interrupted her again, “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” “Please, sir, tell me where…I’ll get him,” she muttered in between her sobs.

Jesus then called her name, “Mary.”

In the dark hour and amidst the quietness, I instantly heard him asked me the same question, “Woman, why are you crying?” “I am here.” I felt a sudden closeness of my Lord and heard my name. That was enough. It was suffice to reassure me that he will take care of everything. In the darkest hour. In the darkest night. He is there – always. I may not realize his presence when I am caught in the deepest sorrow, pain, confusion and anguish – just like Mary at the empty tomb. When I thought my last hope was also gone, he appeared. He resurrected it.

That’s the power of his resurrection. He died a cruel death but on the third day, he rose again. He caused the darkest night to break forth with the dawn of his light. He is risen. All hopes are found in him.

We stand here today to celebrate the power of his resurrection. That same power still works today. He did not die in vain.

The power of his resurrection lives in us.
Blessed Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Beauty of Wrinkles

Yet you, LORD, are our Father.
e are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

(Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

Our van stopped at a junction and an advertisement on the billboard caught my eye. It publicized a beautiful girl with flawless complexion holding on to a peeled mask of her older face – one which is wrinkled and drained by the years. An attractive discount offered for a makeover boldly printed at the bottom. What is new? The lure of the commercial world of our era is ever seeking to be more convincing.

My husband instantly commented, “The older face looks so much better. It is carved by character.” I looked again at the billboard and thought that’s pretty profound in the words of my wise husband. The older face looked more real, down to earth, though a bit wrinkled but possessed the grace of aging. That’s a certain kind of beauty which is unexplainable. It has earned its glory through the hard years of life. The younger face displayed was so flawless that it makes it so fake.

A bookmark given by a friend many years ago tucked in my bible read:

Today I saw a lovely thing…

A tree,

Sculptured and turned,

Weathered by the winds

And storms of the years.

I thought of you…

How time and hardships

Can work grace and beauty,

When lovingly fashioned


I know you are precious in HIS sight…

by Glenna Oldham

We do not have to fall into the trap of the unruly commercials. Our beauty and worth are determined not by the cosmetics and outer adornment. It is the Lord’s beauty filling our life as we spend time with him regularly and allowing him to gently mould and fashion us according to his purposes. Because we are his, we are called “precious and honored in his sight” (Isaiah 43:4). This is the key text of GEMS which I hold strongly too as God spoke to me many years ago that how many women are destroyed simply not knowing this truth. As daughters of the King, we must recognize our precious worth in and to him.

As we age (which is inevitable), know that the glory and beauty of the years are characterized in our face. When you look into the mirror and find facial lines as the pages of your life chapter turns, know that the Potter shapes us into his masterpieces – every piece intend to depict his character if only we allow him.

Precious Gems, we don’t stay young forever. Whether you are 10, 20 or 30 now, the number will continue to increase and we cannot live in denial. We must glow with his radiance whatever age we are. Our character is carved. To the beautiful girls of God, we all say - Amen!

Father, as I look into your eyes, I see such beauty. Fill me with your beauty anew daily. Let me be your confident girl in every season. Let those who look at me see your beauty and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, April 11, 2011

She Is Waiting

They cried to you and were saved;
In you they trusted and were not disappointed.

(Psalm 22:5, NIV)

A small girl looked around in the crowd. She scanned for her daddy. He was here a while ago. “Where is he now?” Her heart grew with anxiety as her search continued in vain. She was hopeful although still waiting – with an increasing fear.

She trusted he would come back but he still hadn't show up. All sorts of thoughts kept rushing into her mind.

“How long more has she to wait?”
“Daddy won’t leave me. He promised.”
“But where is he?”
“ I've been a good girl. I always tried to be the best to please him. Maybe I messes up things once in a while, but as much as I can and know how, I will be obedient.”
“He can’t possibly leave me now.”

Her tears dropped. “Daddy, where are you?”

She sat at the pavement and waited. She remembered what he always said, “If you get lost, please don’t wonder around. Stay where you are and wait for me. I will come back for you.” She wiped her tears. She told herself to be brave and whispered, “Daddy, don’t take too long.”

Have you ever felt like the little girl? Somewhere in life’s crowd you got lost. You lost sight of God. Your hand slipped off his. You are alone and fearful. You don’t think your cry will reach him in this massive crowd. Your heart thumped with greater anxiety as you are surrounded by the unknown. You wish you could just catch a glimpse of him but you see nothing. But you remember his promises.

“I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
“As surely as the sun rises, he will come…” (Hosea 6:3)
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)
There are endless reassurances in his word.

How often do our minds wonder like the little girl and get anxious. The psalmist tells us when we cry to him and trust him; we will be saved and not disappointed. God is true to his word and is not a liar (Numbers 23:19).

He will fulfil his promises. Just wait for him. We may not understand his timing. Many times he trains us to be strong and courageous in the waiting. He stretches our faith and in the process we really get to know who our God is. So as I speak to myself, I like to encourage you too, hang in there…he will surely come!

Heavenly Daddy, here am I waiting…for you to come rescue me, comfort me, heal me, [fill in whatever your need is]. I trust in You, You and You alone! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leave a comment: what is God’s promise to you and how do you conquer your fear?

Monday, April 4, 2011

In His Name

May the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

(Psalm 20:1, NIV)

“Aunty Senina, Aunty Senina, Aunty Senina…” little Kael called incessantly the moment we connected. The barely 3 year old could not pronounce the “l” despite his mum corrected him a few times. Thus my name change. His chubby little finger hooked onto mine and dragged me all around to tour his house as we met for the first time. His friendliness warmed my heart as he opened up to me so quickly. Soon I was his buddy for the weekend. My name was buzzing in the air the entire time. Kael and Aunty Senina were inseparable. Aunty Senina’s name never left Kael’s lips. This name became the the name which carry much power. His mum would use the name to get him do something when he refused. The name got him going.

“Your name will be useful for a while after you leave this weekend,” chuckled his dad. “I am sure we can get him to do things by just mentioning it,” he continued. What power in that name for Kael’s little world!

A few days after my return of that short trip away I read Psalm 20. Verse 1 begins with an exhortation of God’s name. It says this name “protects”. That was comforting to me as I was still nursing my gastric reflux. No matter what happens, I can call on this name, the name above all other names to protect me. It is not just any name. It is not Aunty Senina in Kael’s little world for a weekend. This awesome name is the One who saves. The Everlasting One.

I must admit I was a bit tired of answering Kael after some time. But God never gets tired when we call his name. His name makes our enemy trembles and flees. Psalm 20:7 declares that, “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord, our God.” It is not in the physical magnitude and massive weight that we should rely on, but our reliance is in placing our trust in his majestic name. The mention of his name guarantees our protection. I am reminded of many boys who would use their daddies’ names when they are being bullied. “I will tell my daddy!”

How about us? We can always tell our Daddy too. Just declare his name!

Let us sing his name. Let’s shout for joy unto his name. Let’s lift up the banner in the name of the Lord (Psalm 20:5). Remember David overcame Goliath in the name of the Lord!

Abba Father, Yours is the Most Beautiful Name of all. The name which is above all other names. Today I declare your power in my life, the trusted name of all generations. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Comfort in Suffering

My comfort in suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

(Psalm 119:50, NIV)

Is there comfort in suffering? Sounds oxymoron, right?

We can’t ignore the voice of our own body to slow down. The last weeks I've been so caught up with different issues that it was very hard to guard my stress level. Although my mind knew I need lots of space to slow down but circumstances didn't seem to permit. Fine, maybe I’ve failed to organize my mind and time efficiently. A whole lot of emotional entanglement was thrown into sorting out all issues. I wish I could have handle all life’s going in a better way. My gastric discomfort was the first warning. It was too mild for me to get worried over as I was nursing my back muscle tension. On the spiritual realm I was fighting battles as I stand in the gap as an intercessor. What a ground I've given away to allow the enemy to attack.

The next thing I found was a brand new condition my body was suffering. Gastric reflux. It last whole day and night. One week passed, then another, then another. It was still persistent. I couldn't eat and sleep properly. My most basic needs were deprived. Completely debilitating!

The desperation for God’s deliverance increased. I wanted to hear his voice not only in all the initial issues I presented him, but also in my present suffering. And he spoke in Psalm 119:50. The comfort is his promises. While I struggled to keep my focus in him and things above, he reminded me to remember his promises. But what are those promises? I began journalling them as I opened the bible. His assurance calmed me. These aren't just empty words.

They are words of life.
They preserve.
They heal.
They give hope when the dark cloud is hanging over.
They are light when we are walking in a long lonely dark tunnel.

I immersed myself in those promises and remember that God is a covenant keeper. Surely I must trust him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

What are you suffering? The good news is there’s comfort. Yes. You read correctly. Comfort in suffering. Oxymoron but that's exactly what the verse states. Look up his promises. Call to remembrance what he has already spoken. Confess them. Claim them. Charge them into your spirit today!

Dear Lord, in my suffering, I remember Christ who first suffered for me. His sufferings delivered me and redeemed me. Thank you – today, I can safely walk in those promises of your victory and deliverance. Lord, lift my spirit up! Give light to my eyes, strength to my body, and a heart to store all of your promises. I regain my ground and close the door to the enemy who seek to kill and destroy. I place my trust in God, my Saviour. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Comfort in The Light

let us walk in the light of the LORD.

(Isaiah 2:5, NIV)

Poof! Not again. The electricity was cut off a few rounds that day. It was already night. The whole house was swamped over by darkness. My husband quickly reached for the candles and lighted them. The household was turned into a warm cozy ambience as some would say with candle lights. But I don’t particularly like the dim candle light, the small yellow fire burning and all our shadows cast on the walls. Maybe for a little while is fun. I could use it to teach some science and play some shadow games with the children. But not for the entire night. I like the clear brightness of the fluorescent lighting where I can see with clarity and move freely.

In the process of getting more candles lighted, the electricity came on again. So it was just a short spell this time. Phew…I sighed a big relief. “How good it is to be in the light,” I commented. Instantly, the thought struck me. “Oh yea, it is so good to be in the light that a short stint of darkness causes so much discomfort.”

God has shown us the way – the path of light in him. I cannot imagine still living in darkness and groping aimlessly with fear and anxiety, without God. The prophet Isaiah gave a strong call, “let us walk in the light of the Lord.”

God’s light enters our life the moment we call him, Lord and Saviour. But we have to choose to want to walk in it. Psalm 119:5 tells us that his word is a lamp for our feet, a light on our path.
The Word of God gives us direction and guidance. It is liken to the light which shines at our feet as we walk on the path of life. Walking in his light is a sure comfort knowing that Someone is always watching over us and keeping us on track. It is reassuring to know that we will always have enough light for our steps so we will not fall off. Even if we do fall, the light will govern us so strongly that we will be able to get up quickly and continue with it.

When we are living in the Light, we will recognize the slightest darkness that comes over us. It makes us so uncomfortable we want to be delivered immediately. That was the case for me when the electricity was cut off. This is such a reminder that as children of light, we can no longer live in darkness. But how many people are still trapped in darkness? Let us be urgent to be agent of deliverance.

Dear Lord, Grant me the power of your light to be your agent to rescue many who are still in darkness. Today I thank you for shining your light at my path. If I've gone a bit off track, gently bring me back. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Songs of Life

The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.

(Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)

While I desperately needed God to come through in the various personal situations, he directed some cases to deal with in others’ lives. My eyes switched from my own troubles to the pain others are carrying. As I listened to each talked about their big problems which entails such deep distress and pain in the mind, soul and spirit; I kept reminding these dear ones there is no problem too big for God, our Saviour. That truth resonated in return to my own ears.

As I struggle in my own thoughts while I grapple with different issues in my life and interceding for these dear ones I requested God to give each a song. We need to hear a new song from him in our different seasons. He promises in the verse above that he is with us, and he saves for he is the Mighty Warrior. He saves irrespective of our troubles. He does not just save, but continue to take great delight in us as he showers us with his songs of love and deliverance. So I pray:

For the emptiness of the soul, he sings a song of love.
For the broken hearted, he sings a song joy.
For the distress, he sings a song of peace.
For the lost, he sings a song of hope.

There are still many songs available from heaven. One to suit each of God’s children in each season. There is the song of freedom, the song of deliverance, the song of faith, the song of victory, and the list is endless.

I confessed and claimed the verse one night. Then I slipped into dreamland. I dreamed that God’s angels sang in my living room while I was getting ready to bed. It was a sweet song. That night before I slept, I was in distress.

At bedtime my children would often request, “Mum, sing us a song.” Mum’s soothing voice calms and comforts. But, our Father's voice is the most powerful in whatever capacity you need.

What song(s) do you need? Place a request now with your Father and hear the music play. Just listen…

Dear Lord, what song are you singing over me? Let me hear it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Every Life Counts

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;

Jeremiah 1:5, NIV

The door of the clinic opened again. The young woman with her entire family – I assumed the young man is the husband, the older woman her mum and another woman with a child is her sister as they happily exchanged conversation with excitement. She was 5 weeks’ pregnant. I sat quietly and shared her joy as I was reminded of my own experiences.

Another young lady who was chattering loudly the entire waiting time with her friend was called in. She was very pretty and doubled with her loud voice inevitably caught my attention. As soon as she had gone in, the nurse called me to get ready as my turn was next. I moved to the seat right by the entrance to the room – the seat for the upcoming patient. Every time I sat in this clinic, my heart would be filled with such gratitude for four child births that God had seen me through. Today I sat here, waiting for my annual health check (I am not pregnant, in case you are wondering :). Every child’s birth had been significant milestone in our family and spiritual journey. Each has brought such unspeakable joy into our lives.

As my eyes scanned through the waiting room and caught sight of different expressions, I saw in this crowd of people - we were all so similar yet so different. We are women. Some young while others’ wrinkles had carved their character. Some seemed serene while others seemed anxious.

The door opened again. I overheard the doctor announced, “You are pregnant.” The door closed again. Shortly, it opened again and I overheard the patient’s indication of not wanting the child. My heart sank. The door closed again for a long while. I prayed silently.

The young pretty lady walked out. This time her face downcast. She was totally different from when she was waiting. Her jovial self was gone. Her face cringed. I looked at her with deep pain. Obviously, I do not know her nor her actual situation. Otherwise, I would throw my arms around her. I shot another quick prayer for her and went in. The rest of the day and week, I asked God to protect her and guide her to do the right thing. Every mistake must be redeemed. It must not be followed by another mistake. She may have her struggles but that little innocent life in her womb has a destiny, for God knows and set apart every child before conception and birth.

I know of someone who braved through her situation when the man she loved left her when she was pregnant. She delivered a sweet little girl and didn’t want to make another mistake. She repented and redeemed her joy in the Lover of her soul. No birth is an accident. You and I were carefully planned and purposed for his glory. You may not be in that lady's position. Or, you may be the subject of the rejection. Know that God knows you right from the beginning and his eyes have never left you. Experience his love as he sets apart - you, his child for a great purpose.

Join me in prayer to save an unborn child and pray for that young lady that she may meet Jesus if she hasn’t known him yet.

Father, it is so good to know you set me apart and has a plan for me. I pray also for this lady I chanced upon and asked that you will hear her cry. Deliver her from darkness and lead her to your Light and cause her to make the right decision. Protect the unborn child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Can’t Trust God…!

say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear;

(Isaiah 35:4, NIV)

The morning buzzed off with excitement as the family headed for a trip to a nature spot in the little quiet town of Taiping. Anything to do with water is always a fabulous idea for the children. Our company trekked through the woods. We hiked up and down the rocky path while brushing off the tree branches from our way. The adventure thrill increased when someone spotted leeches. Everyone was alerted to beware of that little bloodsucker. I was praying that my little ones would be spared.Soon our feet touched the cool clear waters. The sound of music from the gushing waters was melodious and sweet. It never fails to capture our attention and captivate our senses. There were still some tricky paths before we got to the spot we could call upon for the day’s fun. While Ed and some friends continued to explore further up stream, the rest of us gathered at this really cool point where there was a huge flat rocky spot to sit right in the middle of the stream while water gushed through a slope forming a natural water slide; and a mini pool just in front of the sitting point. It was simply ideal for all – those who just wanted to sit around and watch, for those who couldn’t wait to jump into the inviting waters, some who were so ready to entertain us by their silliness and humor.

While all the excitement was going on, my little girl hung on to me which was not a norm. She was too fearful to do anything in case she meets that little bloodsucker everyone was alerting earlier. My means of reassuring her couldn’t convince her that she would be safe. She crouched by me with her arms tightly locked with mine. Everyone attempted to lure her out her “safe” spot. After all, she is always the one who was looking out for fun and full of faith. What fun was it to sit by mummy and sulk over nothing! So I prayed with her that God would take care of everything. No encounter with leeches. Finally, she overcame her fear and was about to arise to join the fun, I spotted a black thing crept on her inner thigh. “Wait, let me see…” I pulled on her and stretched her limb to investigate. Our worst fear of the day became a reality. Leech! Yes, that little most dreadful creature gripped tight on her little thigh while she panicked. I was dumbfounded for a moment as I was confident God heard this mummy’s prayer just a moment ago. How could he allow this??

That shocked girl was all whines and fuss after the leech finally dropped off. “I can’t trust God with leeches!” she protested loudly. I tried to maintain my spirituality and explained to my best that it was all over. Nothing I said was worth anything then. After all, God didn’t answer our prayer. I fumbled through my words and said, “But you always trust God…” Still upset, she replied, “I can trust him with other things but not leeches!” There were no right words to neither console her nor defend God (if God needed any sort of defending). It took a long while before she struggled through her emotion and joined the rest. The whole day I was left with my own struggles with God as my mind had been going through various issues of trusting God.

At bedtime, we raised the question of trusting God again. Her older sister calmly said, “Perhaps God wanted you to overcome the fear of leeches.” She was silent. It was a sign of acceptance. Otherwise the debate would proceed. Yes, many times we expect God to deliver just the way we expected. For this case, it did seem he didn’t care nor heard our prayers. The truth is I believe it has caused the little girl to know that she is still safe and being guarded. It is no big deal. A bit of blood wasted. There was no pain.

The incidence has left a mark on me. God’s answer may not be to my specific expectation but he surely watches over us while training us to be more courageous. I spoke to my own fearful heart to be strong and do not fear.

Are you struggling with some sort of fear(s)?
Take heart. The Lord is near and will deliver you out of your fear but most often than not, he will allow us to confront it and then conquer it.

Heavenly Father, watch over me and strengthen me as I face my fear(s). Let God arise in my heart for I am more than a conquerer in Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leave a comment if this post speaks to you. I would like to pray for you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Ultimate Lover

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

1 John 3:16, NIV

Love is in the air. The glaring Chinese New Year decorations have been taken over by little and big hearts hung all over. Malls are adorned by sweet pink and purples, splashed with bright attractive reds. Romantic ideas are introduced and advertised for commercial lures. The commercial world strongly suggests these are ideal presentation of love every Feb 14.

While the world celebrates this crazy little thing called, “LOVE”, yes, I call it crazy because people will do the most crazy thing to impress their supposedly beloved. The ancient path has always been a pathway of love. Not an abstract tone. Christ’s concrete demonstration of love led him to the most powerful act – death on the Cross.

Today’s verse is a concise and profound statement.
How do we know what love is? We know by this revelation of truth. His deep and tangible love is clearly distinguished with all other kinds. His action accomplished God’s purpose – he died so we can live, and live it to the full (John 10:10)

While the world celebrates Valentine’s Day without full comprehension, history tells us there were a few martyrs named Valentine who defended the Christian faith in the early centuries. Their noble sacrificial death was honored on Feb 14. It was not until the 14th century when the legendary romantic facet was introduced. Thus the craze of this celebration peaks through the generations diluting the origin of this honour.

I believe Valentines are heroes to be honoured but they must had experienced the power of their Ultimate Lover, Jesus to come to the point of death for his cause, for “we love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

What are you celebrating today?
Whether you are all hyped up for a romantic dinner with your beloved, or feeling lonely with no dates, do not forget the Ultimate Lover. He is waiting for you…

My Beloved Lord, I thank you for your everlasting love through such a powerful demonstration by laying down your very life for me. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Heavenly Canvas

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1, NIV

Three days had gone by. The image I captured as we drove back from the mainland along the Penang Bridge to the island was just a normal splash of colours in the sky of the late afternoon. Yet it remained in my memory for days. The mixture of blue and white background was lined artistically with such graceful strokes of orange streaks. No eyes could have missed that masterpiece. It was gloriously hung above us. Yet many times we overlook the sky, simply because we forget to look up.

It was a rush day being the first day of the lunar new year. The agenda for the next few days had been lined up with full schedule of visitations. I whispered to God every now and then that I would not miss his presence amidst the crowds, noise and heat. The loudness of his presence broke forth through the simplest yet majestic display of the sky. When I spotted the glamorous look, I exclaimed with excitement in the car, “Look! Beautiful!” Clicked. The image was captured. Not in any digital camera since my old one declared its end of life some time ago. Instantly I stored it in my memory.

The power of this panoramic view was amplified when I read Psalm 19 the next morning. Yes, indeed the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. The immense space above calls our attention to the glory of God’s creative work. His revelation made known in such radiance in the vastness of the sky. How can we dismiss the Creator of all? I couldn’t help but worship him as his radiance permeated my spirit.

When was the last time you look up the sky and marvel at his art piece?
Let your eyes see the beauty of his work and your heart praises his name.

Creator of all, I heard the skies proclaim your name. Call my attention today to your creative work and let my heart shout your praise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Need Just A Little Bit More

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

Psalm 18:32-34, NIV

As I watched my husband boarded for his flight 9 days ago, my mind hit the fast speed button to process all that needs to be done while he was away. The list was obviously endless and overwhelming. I spoke to my mind to stay in control and kept whispering to God to help me hold them all in good composure and spirit. The last thing I want was to see in the mirror an ugly grumpy woman. I wanted God to show up in every stop as I press the accelerator pedal of my week. Although I couldn’t envision the sight of rest stops along the week I knew it was crucial to pull up by the side to look up and find help. Indeed I did.

They mount up as the days took every turn. Every night I prayed it would be a better day the next. Did it get any better? Unfortunately, not. In those disrupting, disturbing and distracting moments God breathed his portion of joy and peace over me. I pleaded to God to make it easier but he didn’t seem to be bothered of the intensity I was undergoing. Oh well, I couldn’t deny the evidence of his presence even though he didn’t answer my pleas.

The long exhaustive Psalm 18 has always been my inspiration to press on knowing that God is my sure help and promise of victory. Surely he will “arm me with strength” again and “train my hands for battle.” Certainly he will empower me to run and stand where I need to be. The small battles of everyday life are the best training ground for God to use to mould and make me to be the woman he wants me to be. I only need to be a willing vessel. Was it fun? Totally not! If I had a choice, I would drive off a different route last week. Not on this narrow highway.

Except for that little part of me which chose to escape the refining fire, the rest of me agreed to stay and watch him fill me with the strength he promised. I joked in the midst of all my stress and pain that people should see me in this mess and they would know I am not a superwoman at all. At that point, my daughter made a simple yet very comforting remark, “But, mum, they can still see your smile.” In that brief moment, I recognized God had given me that little bit more to carry on. After all, I just need a little bit more. My spiritual arms and legs’ muscles are toned as I endured the training. They will be more prepared to handle the heavier weights and bigger challenges of this season.

How are your spiritual muscles? Are they toned and supple?
Or are they in spiritual atrophy?Which route are you driving in life? The easy way out or the ancient narrow path?
Can I invite you to allow and trust God for a spiritual toning and endurance test? Right at the place where you are now. The aching muscles may seem unbearable but remember God’s promises and you’ll be tried and trained for his purposes.

Heavenly Father, grant me the strength for today to do what fulfils your plan and let me arise for a greater cause. In Jesus’ name. Amen.