Threenager no longer…soon

Faith is turning 4 years old in less than two months’ time and would no longer be a threenager. I realised I have neglected to record her development on this space. Sigh! I find myself loving this age and if I have all the patience to answer her many ‘whys’, it would have been perfect. This is an age in which the child listens to you and yet takes opportunity to challenge you. She is curious about all things and continues to try to make sense of the world she is living in.

She is still the Miss Tamchiak in the family and is getting all the more adventurous in tasting new food as she grows older. I allowed her to consume {good quality} ice-cream after she was about 3 1/2 YO (yes, I’m one of those moms) and she was thrilled. We have often taught her to be thankful for food and that she MUST finish all that she is given especially when we are being invited for a meal. She manages to achieve that, 98% of the time. The order of preference for each meal? Carbo –> protein –> greens but she loves fruits and baked goods.

She could scoot and manages the balance bike well. We should be getting her to use the pedals on the bike soon since she has gotten the hang of balancing it. Faith has been enjoying her swim class all these while and we are thankful for that.

I do think she enjoys art and a part of me wanted to get her to go for art classes. Yet at the same time, I do not want to crowd her life with too many enrichment classes. It’s so hard to balance! She could really concentrate when she works on her art pieces and the longest record was one and a half hours.

In terms of language, she is stronger in her Chinese and could recognise many characters. Thus she is able to read.

I wish I could say the same for English but sadly, her progress for English is not as fast as Chinese. Perhaps, I am not consistent in coaching her in English but we do read more English books than Chinese. That being said, she could spell words using phonics but in terms of word recognition, there is much to work on.

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Numbers. I don’t even want to comment on that. I hardly teach and she’s the weakest in that. But we talk about numbers, time, measurement, etc with her through daily activities. Is that not sufficient?

This girl loves her little brother and cares for him like every good sister does. Many times, she got scolded because I was frustrated with the brother but she bears no grudges towards him. Each morning, when she wakes up, she would walk to his room and look for him. The little brother is truly pampered.

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We started learning about the different countries (Geography) a few months ago and she is absorbing all the information really well. I waste no time, of course, in getting her to learn about the continents and some of the famous landmarks of each country.

Loves to help out, as usual. Once, we were out and I was carrying a lot of stuff. She saw that I had a lot to handle and said,”Mom, you have many things to carry right? I help you carry the owl bag.” She was tired then after a day of activities but she offered her assistance. Please stay this way!

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Loves taking pictures.

Generally, she is a happy girl.
May you grow up to be a graceful and joyful lady, bringing joy and blessing to those you meet.

I love you, Faith.

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Resurrection Sunday


Jesus’ not here! He has risen! He’s alive!

A Reflective Friday

This Good Friday, how are you going to spend it?

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Would you be making hot cross buns in the kitchen?

Or perhaps, teach this nursery rhyme to your kiddos?

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How about some finger printing/ craft and sharing the importance of the cross or the meaning behind Good Friday to others?

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So, how’s your schedule like this Friday?

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Thankfully, this is not the end for we look forward to ‘3 days later’.
Have a reflective Good Friday.

The second one

How and when do you decide to try for a second child?

For me, I have always felt that a 2 to 3 years age gap would be good because firstly, I would not completely forget about pregnancy and how to deal with the baby in his first year and secondly, I would not lose the momentum. Does that make sense to anyone? ;p

But it was when I saw how lonely Faith was at home and how excited and happy she was when she was around other people or her friends that got me thinking about trying for a second child. Faith was about two years old at that time and my biological clock was also ticking away furiously, signaling to me that the time was ripe.

The hubs did share that if we were to have another kid, it shouldn’t be because of Faith. On the other hand, it should be because both of us want another child and that we are committed to it. His argument makes sense, of course.

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So we found out that we might be having a second child during early February. Something in me changed and I figured it could be due to a possible pregnancy? The pregnancy test was positive and subsequently a visit to the gynae further confirmed it. We thanked God for this miracle.

The above was just an image of the water bag at week 6. Quekling II was too small to be seen. Couldn’t even detect the heartbeat properly.

Weight: 50.5kg

imageBy the 9th week, Quekling II was 3.22cm but because my weight hadn’t increased much, Dr Poon was concerned. I did eat!

Weight: 50.6kg

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This is the most recent scan of Quekling II and he/she has grown to 6.52cm at week 12. My weight increased to 51.6kg only after I had taken lunch that day. Before that, My weight was 50.7kg. What a difference a meal makes! Perhaps, there is something wrong with his weighing scale.

We did the OSCAR and a week later, I received a call from the clinic informing me that Quekling II is at a high risk for down syndrome. My heart sank. But immediately, there was a small still voice telling me, “Trust in Me.”

This is not the first time I have heard this piece of news. Faith’s ratio was 1:78 as compared to 1:169 for Quekling II and it seems like I’m going be haunted by the emotional ups and downs once more.

Am I comforted that the ratio seems better this time round? Yes. But am I going to say that things will surely be okay since Faith turns out well?

No. Not all all. I’d be too proud to even think of that. Once again, I’m reminded that while we can control many things in life, we have absolutely no control over life and death.

Trust in Me. God did say in His word. And why not?

Pregnancy… worries… sleepless nights. They go hand in hand.

Oh Lord, what a faith stretching period.

I don’t think I will go for the amniocentesis test nor the other more accurate test called Harmony. I don’t see the point now and I can’t afford Harmony which is priced at more than a grand.

I can only trust in Him who gives life and One who gives wonderful gifts to His children. He knows me and understands perfectly how much I can bear. My Father is in control.

“When we are helpless, God stepped in and proved Himself to be faithful to those who persevere in trusting Him.”

This is what I wrote for my first day question for BSF last week and while having QT just now, I was reminded of this.

I didn’t know He is preparing me for this piece of news.

My God is real.

 

Thankful that we are one

Our family has joined a new Cell Group (CG) late last year since our previous group dissolved *sobs*. But we always believe 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) and true enough, many of our ex-members are settled well in the new CGs and that includes us.

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Personally, I’m thankful to be placed in this group because I can identify more with the ladies who share some common interests with me AKA cooking and education. The fact that we have a big group of young children helps because Faith could have more playmates and big brothers and sisters to learn from. Recently, she does not need me to be with her anymore as she finds more joy mingling with her playmates. Independence eh? Praise the Lord!

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We can almost start a  Children’s programme with this group of kids and I’m thankful that the ladies are always willing to step up to help look after them. Awesome!

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of baking cakes for our pilot CG leader and another member of the group. We had a wonderful celebration and all ladies chipped in in terms of food – roasted chicken thighs, beef stew, black sesame paste, apple strudel, fruits, etc. This is the kind of sharing I long for in a group, that kind of love demonstrated in giving (.. “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” ~ Acts 20:35).

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It’s such a joy to see smiles on their faces and more so, the Christ in all of them.

May we not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but to encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

A decision (kinda) made

I wanted a cheerful start to my week but my morning ended a tad sombre after the study of Matthew 24.  I left the building with reflections about my life. From the lecture, the heart was convicted about serving in a particular area and I couldn’t attribute it to coincidence anymore. There are just too many coincidences lately about an issue that I’m seeking the Lord in.

These are some statements/ questions that spoke to me this morning:

– The ability to stand firm and persevere comes not from our own strength. Only God can make it possible.

– Am I living in the hope of His return or am I living for the concerns of this earth?

– Am I spending my energy and thought on things that will pass away or am I living a life that is in anticipation of His return?

– Believing and living for Jesus make us ready for His return.

– It’s no good to be heavenly minded but of no earthly value. We are to give faithful service. True believers serve Christ by serving others, without reservation.

These thoughts kind of seal my decision in serving in a particular ministry in the church. I want to make my life count for eternity and as of now, I see a need in the Sunday School. I’m not sure if I can do a good job but that’s not the point at all. He will enable me to if I am willing to learn and let Him take charge.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

 

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Never once

Each day as I read the news on the screen, my heart saddened. It’s heart-wrenching. The world is in turmoil. There are thousands, if not millions, suffering and living in fear.

Can I safely say that nothing ill will happen to us? I can’t.

In these times of uncertainty, the only thing I can do is to cling on to the living word of God and trust that He is in control. And should anything happen to us, I hope I will remember that never once did we ever walk alone for He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

When mums come together…

… they eat and chat.

The BSF group of last year came together for a meal today. This group really gelled a lot and we are still good friends to one another. A lot has to do with the leader, I feel.

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Many of us are homemakers and that explains the potluck dishes.

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Faith got to play with the Jie Jies…

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I thank God for these ladies who have been encouraging me during my first year of motherhood. It is definitely not by chance that we met. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Where to, next?

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Borrowing some winter clothing for the lil one. Guess where we will be heading to?

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And a beautiful picture of my CGL’s wife and the lil one. Sweet moments.

Motivational Monday | Open my eyes, dear Lord

It’s back to the routine again after a week in Hong Kong. Today at BSF, this song was sung and my heart was stirred. I think the Lord is trying to speak to me but I’m not sure what it is at the moment. Holy Spirit, please reveal to me in Your time.

Sharing the lyrics with you that mean so much to me.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.

Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.

Linking up with

www.ajugglingmom.com

The RESOLUTION for women

Yesterday, I received a whatsapp message from a sister who sent us the following resolution for women. It’s quite a tall order but on reflection, aren’t we called to do these?

I do solemnly resolve before God to embrace my current season of life and live with a spirit of contentment.

I Will champion God’s model for womanhood and teach it to my children.

I Will celebrate my God-given uniqueness and the distinctions He has placed in others.

I Will live as a woman answerable to God and faithfully committed to His Word.

I Will seek to devote the best of myself to the primary roles God has entrusted to me.

I Will be quick to listen, slow to speak, and esteem others more highly than myself.

I Will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I Will not tolerate evil influences in myself or my home but will embrace a life of purity.

I Will pursue justice, love mercy, and extend compassion toward others.

I Will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and in my conversation, and will aspire to be a suitable partner to help him reach his God-given potential.

I Will teach my children to love God, respect authority and live responsibly.

I Will cultivate a peaceful home where God’s presence is sensed.

I Will make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s impact in mind and consider my current choices in light of future generations.

I Will courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.—Joshua 24:15

This is for the men. ;p

First proper Amen!

Recently, we have been introducing ‘Amen’ to Faith especially when giving thanks for the food that we consume. I guess she is also exposed whenever we are attending service or even in our weekly small group. Each morning when she wakes up and night before she turns in, I would also pray with her and close with an ‘Amen’. Faith will always look at me in the eyes and smile whenever the prayer is completed.

Just now, da man came over to us after his shower and started to pray together with us and as he finished off with, “In Jesus’ name we pray”, Faith clasped her hands and uttered ‘Amen’ audibly and with much confidence. You could have imagined my joy! All three of us said ‘Amen’ together! Faith must have known that she had done something right and clapped her hands.

May this continue and that as a family, we will continue to walk in His ways.

Oh Lord, grant us wisdom to parent Faith in Your ways.

Uncle G’s birthday

We celebrated G’s birthday with a meal at a Cantonese restaurant and while taking pictures of Faith, I realised her face features have changed a little. Still adorable and now even more so. This little girl has indeed grown!

Celebrated our church's 27th anniversary. Thanking God for His faithfulness towards us.

Celebrated our church’s 27th anniversary. Thanking God for His faithfulness towards us.

Papa teaching Faith the name of the restaurant

Papa teaching Faith the name of the restaurant

Faith having her bowl of fish porridge and she likes it!

Faith having her bowl of fish porridge and she likes it!

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The many facial expression of Faith

Happy birthday, Gab!

Happy birthday, Gab!

Thankful Tuesday

How do you think your kid(s) will describe you as a mother?

Maybe you might think that they would say that you are fierce, naggy and at times unreasonable? At one stage, these adjectives crossed my mind when I thought of my mom but if I were to search my heart, my mom is the best for me, a super mommy who cares a lot for me.

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In this [almost] one year of being a mother, I have experienced ups and downs, joy and bitterness and no doubt, exhaustion. But I know I’m not alone in this journey. The group of mummies from BSF greatly encourages me especially when we shared about our struggles and then you realised that your situation is really not anything bad.

We are all thankful for the many lessons learnt from the study of Genesis and how God worked in each and every one of our lives. So much to be thankful for and it will continue to be a journey of faith, love and hope for us.

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Love gatherings with delicious homemade food

My contribution

My contribution – Lemon tartlets with Korean grapes and mint leaves

An encouraging video. It’s not mother’s day but still, it’s good to be encouraged.

A New Perspective For Moms from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

A father’s love

During my course in MLS, the profs always used videos to get us thinking about issues that we were discussing.

Today, I stumbled upon this and made me think of my father’s and Father’s love for me.

I teared.

Awesome week ahead!

I’ve been wanting to post this but I forgot.

Have a blessed week!

20130909-073121.jpg[inspired by ecro.dyndns.org]

Do the right thing

Just a day ago, I learnt a lesson which I want to pen down on this space.

You see, I have been attending some cake decorating classes for the month of July and this place that I go to does not have carpark lots nearby. It is located along the main road but there are private houses behind the shop and those residents park their cars outside their houses (along the road) since they do not have any parking space within their premise (think shophouses). If I am to find a parking lot, I would have to walk a distance. So, as you have guessed it, if there is any parking space outside those houses, I would well, erm, park my car there.

This practice was continued until yesterday when I received a note on my windscreen.

Hi, please park your car along XXX road. As you are NOT a resident, you shouldn’t park here. You are inconveniencing the elderly and invalids. Please do the considerate thing. 

What do you do after you read that note? I can only think of two actions:

1. Ignore since I am not going to be there forever. Besides I am just parking for a few hours.
2. Repent.

To be honest, my heart was heavy as I drove back home. The roads among these houses are narrow and space is a constraint. I am also taking up the parking space of these residents. To some, it may be a small thing. Besides, many are doing the same thing. So why should I pay a few dollars for a parking lot when there is free space for me to park my car? This bible verse came to me straight away.

“But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. Genesis 4:6-7

It is NOT RIGHT of me to do that.

So today, I found myself a parking lot, paid for it and went for my class. As I walked towards my destination, I saw this old man on his crutches (I met him a few times already for the past few lessons), seemingly telling me that he approved of my actions. Perhaps he is one of those whom I have been inconveniencing all these while.

My spirit is lifted again.

Do the right thing. It’s ok if you think that I’m a fool to do that. I’ll gladly be one for Jesus.

When mothers unite…

…you will never be hungry.

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It is my privilege to host the lunch fellowship today for my BSF group of ladies. My job is easy – just open my home and serve drinks and rice. The rest will be taken care of by the others.

Boy, do we have a lot of scrumptious food and most of them home-made (with love!). At the dining table, conversations are spontaneous and generally, the mouths do not get to rest. I love that we share about our lives and since we are all mothers, stories about our children, life at home, etc, are exchanged. We encourage one another and offer comfort to those whose spirits are down.

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As for Faith, she has been really cooperative and good. I suspect she was listening to our conversation. Inquisitive girl =)

Reflective Friday

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‘Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.’

It’s Good Friday and I thought it is apt to reflect on the love of the Lord that drove Him to the cross. In our busyness too, we tend to take Him for granted and complain about our lives.

Allow me to list five things/people that I am thankful for:
#1. The fact that I am forgiven and could enter into a relationship with God.
#2. My parents for bringing us up and helping us in every way that they can.
#3. My husband for loving me the way I am.
#4. A happy and healthy girl.
#5. Living in a country that is safe and peaceful.

Baking the hot cross buns today. These sweet buns are nicely spiced with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, and are filled with currants (raisins) and candied fruit. What makes them instantly recognizable is that the tops of the buns are marked with a ‘cross’ which symbolically represents the Cross of Christ and the Crucifixion.

Linking with

Recipe after the jump.

Continue reading

Marking the end of Alpha

For about 8 Fridays, the hubs and I have been involved in the Alpha course, reaching out to the young adults. Yesterday marked the end of the course, though  by right, we should be travelling up to Johore for the finale session. However, none of our group members indicated going and we thought it might be meaningful to have a closure at our place.

Decided to have Okonomiyaki because it is an easy and hands-on dish. It can best be described as a kind of savory pancake. Often translated as an “as you like it pancake,” okonomiyaki can contain a wide variety of ingredients such as cabbage, meat, seafood, corn, bean sprouts, okonomiyaki sauce (which is kind of similar to steak sauce), mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes, green onion, pickled red ginger, dried seaweed powder, and tempura crumbs.. Basically, you take some batter with cabbage tossed in, add some savory items from the list above, cook on a hot pan, then top with fixings and sauces.

The young ones ( and I really mean young; they are about 10 years younger than us!!!) took turns to make the pancake and it was fun doing that!

First D tried, under the watchful eye of A.

A, the masterchef took over.

And then, D, who seemed quite experienced!

Last but not least, A and L, who did an awesome job too!

Don’t look down on these pancakes; they can be very filling!

We also took the chance to celebrate L’s birthday yesterday. It’s a simple cake that I’ve made but not up to my expectations. It’s the chocolate used, a slightly lower grade than the ones I used in Boston. Hmmm, good ingredients count a lot!

What radiant smiles!

A short video on the art of okonomiyaki (rather funny).

God answering our prayers may not always be a good thing

Thought I should archive Ken’s reflections to the cell group via this platform. For keepsake.

I’ve been prompted to write this email to share my thoughts on prayer. It is something that I have been thinking about partly because of Alpha and the things we shared and discussed on after listening to Nicky. And I feel prompted to share my thoughts.

Perhaps there is one of you in the email list that might benefit from my own clumsy reflections, or perhaps I am the one who needs to write it all out so that I have a better understanding of my own thoughts. Or perhaps there is a misunderstanding in my thoughts that God thought you could help to reveal.  Either way, bear with me. And if I am mistaken on anything, do help to clarify so that my own muddled thoughts do not lead others astray.

I have three main points:

1)      God answering our prayers may not always be a good thing

2)      We pray by seeking God’s Will

3)      Surrender is not the same as Sanctification

  Continue reading

Housewarming #1

So the housewarming season begins!

It started off with our CG and as always, I was a tad anxious over all things small and big. “Will there be enough food?”, “Would they be bored?”, “What shall we do to entertain the kids?”…

All these worries were unfounded, of course, because the adults were busy catching up with one another and the kids were happily chasing one another down the hall and into the short corridor between our rooms; they had gone ‘crazy’. It was a pleasant noise, an indication that all were engaged.

For record’s sake, we ordered 3 sets of shepherd’s pies (classic chicken, classic beef and teriyaki chicken) from a company I adore, a packet of potato chips, 30 BBQ chicken wings from Blk 85, my version of salad (complete with parboil cabbage, quail eggs, baby tomatoes and black pepper cocktail sausages with oriental dressing) and Konnyaku jelly. Two bottles of ice wine and sparkling wine and TH’s Pecan Pie completed the whole dinner menu. I tried making green bean casserole but failed miserably and the whole portion didn’t make it to the dining table. Something was just wrong!

Above: The uncles at the corner.

Note: I must remember to take pics of food!

The reason why they were in the kitchen is because they wanted to get the cork out of the wine bottles! Waiting…waiting…waiting…wine connoisseurs.

The whole experience had been wonderful. It would have been perfect if not for the very warm weather. Everyone was perspiring, poor them but the conversation was really spontaneous which as a host, you would very much want that to happen.

The Sngs gave us a housewarming gift which I found meaningful and encouraging. With the gift comes a note and I found comfort in the words. What a wise woman Jo is and I guess only a person who has experienced similar-type- of- situation (in this case a mother) with Godly wisdom could deliver such a message. Oh! And more maternity clothes! Yipee!

   

I love having guests over even though it means stress for me. The hubs can attest to that. Hah!

@ 14 weeks

This week saw me riding the roller-coastal. This, not so much due to hormonal changes, but because of a series of events that had impacted me directly.

Thursday, the last day of the teaching term and just minutes before the start of my classes, a familiar number appeared on my mobile phone screen. Thinking nothing of it, I picked up the phone, only to hear the nurse telling me that Dr Poon wanted to speak with me.

Oh no! That’s my reaction.

About a week ago, I had done the OSCAR test and Dr Poon told me that he would only call if something happened. And, this call was not at all inviting.

According to him, my child is in the high risk of having down syndrome, 1 in 75. My heart sank when I heard that and he rambled on but I wasn’t really listening already. How can this happen to me? I messaged Ken and he, being the calmer of the two, assured me that it was just a figure. I had him call the clinic as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to talk anymore about my baby.

The days following that moment were days of silent agony for me. Ill thoughts filled my mind though at times, there was peace. I know God knows what is best for me but now I need to get the heart to act upon that knowledge. Though it wasn’t a certainty, it affected me nonetheless. My dear friends learnt of this and prayed for me. One of them texted me:

“…Just wanted to tell you to pray against what is essentially a statistic – God is the one who has created your baby and He has said in Psalm 139 that we are all ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Take heart also that our God is a merciful father and one who works for the good of those who love Him. We’ll pray alongside you so let’s claim His promises for this child and have faith in Him…”

I teared and cried buckets. It was the same type of crying I had when I got the hunch that I might be pregnant on that Sunday morning before I got the pregnancy kit. I realised that with this child, my life would never be the same again. It was not a selfish thought, just a recognition that I am wholly responsible for a being now.

However, this time round, as I cried, I mourned the fact that I had doubted God. I thought of the unthinkable and how could I? I claimed that I love God but I thought of acts that would anger Him. On the wall in our home is this plaque which says “As for me and my house(hold), we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)”. It is something both Ken and I had committed to the Lord but with my defeating thoughts about the baby, I have totally let God down.

So while I’m surrendering myself to His perfect plan for me, I have to learn to let go and continue on this path of faith. Something good will come out of it, surely, based on the many experiences I had with the Almighty. He will go through everything with me.

With this episode, I have to move on and pray that God will guide Dr Poon, Ken and I throughout this journey and more important to protect Quekling too.

On to more joyous news, Ken must have seen how uncomfortable the public transport ride has been for me and we went down to get a car today! It was a model which I loved when I was younger and in a way, it’s a dream come true. It’s comforting to hear Ken say ‘My dream is to help my wife fulfil her dream.’ but you know, while this is nice and truly a blessing, my mind cannot help but still think of Quekling…

Oh, btw, I’m thankful to Connie, Ping Ping and my cousin for lending me the maternity clothes. Yay! I’m writing this so that I can remember to return them! Hahah.

Giving thanks

This week is going to be busy, as with the Americans because Thanksgiving is round the corner. Families come together, united as one again.

Chanced upon this video. It’s on John 3:16. While we Christians know this verse by heart, I’m not sure if we understand the profound message behind it. If we know the heart of God, we would examine our lives and live as He approves. He’s always watching us, and I wonder how many times I have hurt Him by my careless words and actions.

This Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of His great love for me. In life, we will encounter difficult situations, people who are a thorn in our flesh. But I want to be reminded that He gave His life for us, all of us and that will give me the strength to love them and live a life so abundant, as He promised.

Because He first loved me.

I’m giving thanks for this life I’m having. Thank you God.

My Savior, my God.

I consider all things rubbish, all my achievements and ambitions, present, past and future, if the ultimate end is not for His glory. If I should be a good helper to my husband, it should be for His sake. If I should be a good worker and friend, it should be for His glory, that people could sense His love through me. If I should be a daughter whom my parents would be pleased with, it should be because I want to point the folks to His transforming power in my life. If I should be a caring mother, it should be because He has placed in me a responsibility so great that I could not do anything less than a well-done job. Yes, mediocrity is detestable for He gave His best for me.

He must increase, and I must decrease.

Sunday, to God be all glory.

When you humble yourself and work in tandem with God, you’ll be amazed by the things He does.

When I was younger, I had lots of fear, mostly about abilities. Since I’m not that smart or eloquent, I would prepare excessively which caused me much stress. Gradually, I learnt to let go and let God. Since the apostle Paul wrote that God’s strength is made in our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9), I’ve learnt that it’s better to recognise my weakness, not fret about it, give it my best shot and leave the rest to Him. When we totally submit ourselves to Him, the results are always amazing and He always exceeds expectations.

It’s silly to depend on our own strength to work things out in the kingdom of God. Since God has so much resources for us to tap on, why not use them?

A few things unfold before me:

1) At the table were men and women of much intellect and talents, but they also realised that the achievements and accolades paled in comparison with the glory and knowledge of God.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

2) I saw God using every one of us, whatever gifts and talents that He has endowed upon us to build up one another and to share the wonderful news. This night, I almost felt that we know what our gifts are and use them at the right timing.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)

3) Every one of us who has a relationship with the Lord God has a story to tell. It’s personal and individualised because God knows how to reach out to our innermost fears and concerns in His own way and time. We have a story to tell.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… (1 Peter 3: 15)

4) I saw brothers and sisters united in one spirit and Christ is glorified that night. The love of God is so evident in everyone.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 (NLT)

5) Amongst all other pleasures in life that God has granted, one of the greatest is to see others come to know Him and enter into a personal relationship with Him. That, is most rewarding.

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7

I saw God working mightily in every one of us; we were all in sync with the Spirit. It’s really a beautiful night and one that was filled with so much fun and laughter! You are awesome, God and really great to work with. Great teamwork!

Friday, I love you.

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35.

I thought we experienced love for one another on that day. Love not from our own means but from the Almighty. That we came together to help a brother who was scheduled for surgery, that we came together to bless this family with our time and talent. I saw God’s love exhibited, in every one who was present that afternoon. I saw the support from the family of God, sensed the encouragement from every one around the table. As we shared our life experiences in the Lord, we knew He was exalted that night.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. ~ Psalm 115:1

Monday thoughts

The father loves each son and gives each the freedom to be what he can, but he cannot give them freedom they will not take nor adequately understand. The father seems to realise, beyond the customs of his society, the need of his sons to be themselves. But he also knows their need for his love and a “home”. How their stories will be completed is up to them. The fact that the parable is not completed makes it certain that the father’s love is not dependent upon an appropriate completion of the story. The father’s love is only dependent on himself and remains part of his character. As Shakespeare says in one of his sonnets: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”

Arthur Freeman