Hiatus Halted – Fulfilment in Father

To my beloved Heavenly Father on Fathers’ Day 2015

I am so thankful for Your goodness and faithfulness. By Your grace and with Your love, You’ve brought me to a place of such solid security in You that I’m blessed with a core of deep peace that surpasses understanding. What a treasure of a gift to be anchored in You—unshaken by situations and circumstances, content to listen to Your heartbeat and simply obey my Lord and God. You give me a constant song of joy and praise that stirs up a passion to help others reach the same unflinching faith and rootedness in You—the trustworthy, unchanging, eternal Rock of Ages, Ancient of Days, Alpha & Omega, Father.

A gentle easing into blogging again after a year of extensive travels and intense experiences which I’ll describe in the upcoming posts. For now, I’ll simply share several links that are a blessing to me.

Your Favourite Name Is Father
Newsong

阿爸天父 Abba Father
Streams of Praise
(with official English lyrics)

Best Dad
http://www.thebestdad.net/

Father’s Love Letter
http://www.fathersloveletter.com/video1.html

Ancient of Days
Gary Sadler & Jamie Harvill

Daniel 7:9-14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+7%3A9-14&version=AMP

93881cb02477395bb6ba2c0db5459eed

FATHER’S HEART revelation from around the world:
*
NZ – James & Denise Jordan
*
UK – Jill Southern
*
Norway/USA – Leif Hetland
*
USA – Mike Bickle
*
Loved By You
Lincoln Brewster
*
God’s Word on God’s Love
*
May Father’s abundant life-giving love flood your being today!
Philippians 4:11 (Amplified Bible)
“For I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.” – Apostle Paul
~
thXWNFIS0
Shalom, dear reader!
~

And Thus Ends My 40s

“My gracious God, what a good place You’ve brought me to.”

 4 decades of living and the journey has been eventful but fruitful. Looking back, there are things that remain beyond my understanding, but I’m perfectly fine with that because there’s one thing I am sure of: “My trustworthy God reigns and He has been and continues to be faithful and good to me.” 

“But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” -Psalm 13:5-6

FAITH is deliberate (2)

When I focus on my God, everything else assumes a proper perspective.
My recent super smooth surgery is a beautiful demonstration of God’s amazing love for me. I shall dedicate my birthday to writing all about it so do stay tuned. 🙂

I am Abundantly Blessed & Truly Loved!

ph1085720419014241886
*
ph2076358750
*
My God—WOW!

How Great Is Our God (World Edition) – Chris Tomlin & Friends
Lyrics/Music: Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, and Ed Cash

Indescribable (an extract) – Louie Giglio

“John (the Baptist) saw Jesus (Christ, Son of the Living God) coming to him and said,
Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!” –John 1:29
“After this I looked and a vast host appeared which no one could count, [gathered out] of every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages. These stood before the throne and before the Lamb; they were attired in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. In loud voice they cried, saying, [Our] salvation is due to our God, Who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb [to Them we owe our deliverance]!” –Revelation 7:9-10

The Whole Earth – 12 International Worship Leaders & Singers
Lyrics/Music: Klaus Kuehn

*
ph59307408

ph58727178

scenic-wallpapers-with-bible-verses-18

glory-2
*
To each of you who has been or continues to be a part of my life, I truly appreciate you. You have contributed to my growth and I am thankful. I wish you and your family Blessings of Love, Joy, Peace & Progress.

May you increase in the knowledge and revelation of our Mighty Creator God who described Himself in His inspired Bible (Exodus 33) as merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abundant in loving-kindness and truth, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty (because He is holy and righteous). I am so glad that the LORD didn’t stop there but reached out to restore fallen mankind.

“The righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah/Saviour). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and are falling short of the honour and glory [b]which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favour and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.” -Romans 3:22-25.

very-big-hug

My 3rd Stay

Said the patient to the ward nurse, “May I have iced water please?
Said the nurse to the patient, “It’s the first time anyone has asked me for iced water!”
Said the patient to the nurse, “And you might want to remove the hot water flask 🙂 I won’t be using it so there’s no need to keep changing the content daily.”

Said the patient to the anaesthetist, “My pain threshold is very high, how about I stay conscious and watch the surgery?”
Said the anaesthetist to the patient, “That would be stressful for the surgeon! No one has wanted this, it’s the first time I’m hearing such a request.“
Said the patient to the anaethetist, “I prefer to know what’s being done to me.”

Aside
It’s a journalistic instinct that dates back to my childhood.
Come vaccination time, the nurses that make their school rounds tell every pupil, “Look away.”
My reply to the amused or unnerved nurses as I stare intently each time, “I prefer to see.”

Have I become a legend at Singapore General Hospital? 🙂
This is my third stay here since I received emergency treatment here for Massive Pulmonary Embolism last February. And this time it takes me to the Obstetrics & Gynaecology ward.

It’s just hours to my morning surgery which looks likely to be done under General Anesthesia, or perhaps it’ll be changed to a localised application if my earlier request is moderated 

As I sit in my comfortable room, God’s love washes over me in waves and my entire being is enfolded in His Embrace. I’m soaking in worship of my Good God, the Trustworthy One. Oh, how I love Him! He gives me a constant song of joy in Him and a core of deep peace that surpasses understanding. What a priceless treasure that can be possessed by every Christian – an absence of fear and worry as we root ourselves in the Rock of All Ages!

Background to the Operation

During the comprehensive range of scans done when I was first hospitalised nearly a year ago, the doctors found multiple fibroids and polyps enlarging my womb. The combined size was the equivalent of an 18-week pregnancy even though there was no obvious swelling of the tummy from the outside. Apparently there is a possibility that this added pressure to nerves/vessels and could have triggered blood clots – speculative, as till today there’s no definite known cause for my Pulmonary Embolism. A risk factor worth considering, according to my doctors. Added to that was of course the high volume of monthly blood loss due to the combination of fibroids and the anti-coagulant that I’m on which could mean a resumption of anaemia and potential need for fresh blood transfusions.

Solution: Open surgery operation, a swift procedure to reduce the possibility of fresh clots.
I’ve been waiting on God for some months and feel comfortable going ahead with this before I start my Year of Jubilee (Liberty!) with my birthday in February 2014.

IMG-20131202-WA0003

My 50th year of life – a special season that started with Time Alone/Away With Him at a beautiful seaside resort where standing in the crashing waves never fail to connect me to God’s wider Creation. Trikora Beach Club on the Indonesian island of Bintan – I’ll be writing a whole blog post about that. It’s a God-given place of seclusion that I plan to return to several times this year alone.

Creator God – the LORD (the Father of Jesus Christ) said to the seas, “Thus far shall you come and no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed.” – Job 38:11

*

Creation Calls – Brian Doerksen

*

Back to SGH 🙂
God’s favour was evident from the start of my stay. I’d requested the more spacious corner room that’s similar to the one I was blessed with last February. There was a patient staying here the day before I was admitted, but her doctor discharged her hours before my reporting time.

Ward 53. Room 1. 1st patient on the Friday morning operation list. 8.30am.
Before I came in, the excellent senior physiotherapist Tang Shufen who’d helped me build up stamina and strength had messaged, “I hope you get the first slot so there’ll be no long waiting time.”
Cherished by Father God – that’s how I felt.

2014-01-16 15.42.33

2014-01-16 16.01.57

Compression Stockings to prevent blood clots during the operation. I had to stop taking my anti-coagulant the day before so this was a physical precaution.
2014-01-16 22.20.02

May this procedure pave the way for my going off blood thinning medicine for the prevention of blood clots – something my haematologist had suggested might have to be a lifelong measure. “If you want to stop taking anti-coagulant, I’d feel more comfortable if you had the op.”

God has blessed me with dual individual and company health insurance plans that allow me a single room in a private or restructured hospital. But with the excellent level of care I’ve encountered at different units of SGH and its affiliated National Heart Centre, the choice was easy.

I took a night walk around SGH as it’d be a while before I can move around at a fast pace so freely. What a beautiful time of communion and intercession as the joy of the Lord bubbled deep within me. “Who is like unto You, oh our LORD? No one else is worthy of our praise and worship!”

Psalm 134
“Behold, bless (affectionately and gratefully praise) the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord, [singers] who by night stand in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in holiness and to the sanctuary and bless the Lord
[affectionately and gratefully praise Him]!
The Lord bless you out of Zion, even He Who made heaven and earth.”

Isaiah51_15

21 on 21st ― Presenting A Newly Minted Adult

To My Firstborn,

My beloved elder son Caleb Brandon
Today you reach a milestone, a momentous point in life
Today you turn twenty-one and step out from the age of minor

21st_ birthday

Age 21. The threshold of adulthood in Singapore. Now you can vote in national elections―a citizen’s right and responsibility that you’ve been looking forward to. And in the years ahead, your choice may not always match mine but that’s your privilege in a free country blessed by God. And just as I respect your decision to not turn today into a large group celebration, I aim to listen to your views as I hope you will do mine; share my thoughts with you in the expectation of reciprocity. Next to God I will be your strongest supporter (until your eventual marriage after which this role should belong to your wife), always rooting for you to fulfil His perfect plan and purpose for you. For therein lies the only reason and meaning for our lives on earth―a brief sojourn preceding the potential and promise of a glorious eternal life anchored in our Lord Jesus Christ.

*
A Mother’s Heart

Within the two decades that you’ve lived, you’ve experienced both joys and pains. I could wish that you’d been spared the harsh parts but I know that hard times throw up valuable lessons and shape our character, usually for the better. And if we allow our hearts to remain tender to our Creator no matter what circumstances we’re in, He is always close to the broken-hearted and humble, a rock solid Source of Strength and Encouragement.

One thing that I am so thankful for—as your life becomes increasingly independent from mine, as it should be (I’ll ensure the apron strings are cleanly cut with no ungodly soul ties remaining)—I can always pray for you and know that God Almighty listens. His love for you far surpasses mine, and He is the Faithful and Reliable Refuge whom you can and should always turn to, whether concerning major or small issues. I ask that He keeps you ever zealous for righteousness and compassionate towards the needy and weak. I pray that He delivers you from evil and temptation daily. I ask that He provides for you and guides you each day. I desire that He pours out His favour upon you and shines His face on you. I pray that He grants you wisdom beyond your age, and gives you understanding, revelation and a spirit of excellence.

Among the abundance of gifts that our Heavenly Father has blessed me with, you rank right up there with your brother Joshua Jared in the top tier that’s marked Precious. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” -Psalm 127:3-5

CALEB
The LORD said: “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” -Numbers 14:24
Caleb has strength of mind and courage, displaying a right character and attitude toward God and His Word, having unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.

BRANDON
Fervent; One of Authority; ‘From the Beacon Hill’. “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden…Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy and noble deeds and recognise and glorify your Heavenly Father.” -Matthew 5:14,16

blessingsbirthday

21st Birthday Meals

2013-12-21 14.50.35 - CopyWagyu Beef Rosti with melted cheese, poached egg, bacon, tomatoes and sour cream 🙂

2013-12-21 14.50.27 - CopyBlack Truffle Capellini

duck_03Peking Duck @ Imperial Treasure
P.Duck

*
A Mother’s Security
ph84460263

*
A Mother’s Prayer

May you always heed the divine counsel of Father God who cares for you and calls you His child
* “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’” -Job 28:28
* “Get wisdom! For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing. And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation).” -Proverbs 4:7
* “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent [or give in to them].” -Proverbs 1:10-19
* “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.” -Psalm 1:1-2

Personalised Blessing for My Son
“Caleb Brandon, may the LORD Almighty fill you with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. May your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. May you be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything you do shall prosper [and come to maturity].” -Exodus 31:3, Psalm 1:3, Colossians 4:6

*

Find Us Faithful – Steve Green (Much older but still faithfully pointing all to Jesus)
Lyrics/Music: Jon Mohr

We’re pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who’ve gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who’ve gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

CHORUS:

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

Destination Timor-Leste ~ The Real Thing!

Let me start by apologising for the glitch that caused a blank post to be sent out with just the title “Destination Timor-Leste”. I really appreciate each of you who took the time to check it out and I’m so sorry that you probably went, “Huh?!”

th

It happened during the early morning hours when the otherwise effective WiFi in my Timor-Leste hotel room acted up. After checking and re-checking my laptop’s internet settings, I turned to the WordPress App on my cellphone to try to share photographs that I’d snapped. As they couldn’t load properly, I ditched the post but it somehow went public with only the heading intact!

The mysterious part of it all is that the complimentary wireless connection on my mobile phone remained intact! It wasn’t until my host arranged for the staff to give me the password to their office WiFi the next morning that I could access the internet on my laptop. But by then, our driver had arrived so it was time to leave the hotel.

*
Why was I in Timor-Leste?

In Asia’s youngest country, half the population is illiterate and close to 40 percent of the people live below the international poverty line. I went as a Singapore Press Club volunteer invited to train local journalists to help build up the fledging nation’s media capabilities. The workshops that I conducted were on scripting for television, newsgathering and interview skills while the other trainers focused on areas like commentary writing, social media, crowd-sourcing news and revenue streams.

L-I-B-E-R-A-T-I-O-N!
A CT Angiogram at the six-month mark following my Pulmonary Embolism showed “nearly complete resolution of the previous PE with minimal residual emboli (blood clots)”. As I’d been cautioned that it could take up to a year for life to get back to normal, I praise God that it’s only taken half the time for me to recover to the extent that I could comfortably resume regular workouts, assume a new round of counselling responsibilities and even travel abroad. 

When my cardiothoracic doctor Lim See Lim (well-liked by patients at the National Heart Centre, I’m told, because of his excellent care) gave his stamp of approval for a trip to Timor-Leste, the good news took a while to sink in! Once it did, the sense of freedom was so palpable that I immediately wrote back to the organisers of the training sessions to say “Yes, I’ll go” and they confirmed my flight a day later! Committing to a meaningful activity was my way of marking the momentous occasion. 🙂

My heart swelled with a round of HALLELUJAHs to my good and gracious LORD.
Hallelujah or Alleluia has Hebrew roots and is a spontaneous expression of joy, thanksgiving and praise towards God. Do check out the uplifting version of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus at the end of this post.

I learnt that a number of fellow Christians hadn’t stopped praying for God to heal me since I was first rushed into A&E in February. I’ve been truly touched by the love shown to me by so many and would like to say a big THANK YOU to each and every person who’s played a role, seen or unseen by me, known or unknown to me, in my journey to recovery. The Lord sees what I miss and I’m so glad that He records and rewards. May He bless you and all your loved ones!

thCA4WV1DO

*
A Pictorial Record

Now for a photo essay on my stay in Timor-Leste. All the pictures were taken using my Samsung SII handphone—Android above Apple for me! I used to carry a still camera and a video camera on trips but stopped when I realised that I was spending far more time looking at the world through lenses trying to frame and capture people and scenes “just so” rather than simply enjoying the fresh experiences! It’s a job hazard that the cameramen I work with fully understand.

From Singapore, it takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to fly to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. Sandwiched between Indonesia and Australia, the country occupies eastern Timor island and was once a colony of Portugal. Till today, Portuguese remains an official language along with Tetum. Bahasa Indonesia is also widely understood as neighbouring West Timor is under Indonesian rule.

Cheerful Cumulus Clouds—I snap a fresh batch whenever I get a window seat!
(An interest retained from Secondary School geography)

2013-09-24 11.04.03

Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport

2013-09-24 14.31.30

2013-09-24 14.33.35

belt

Enroute to Hotel
2013-09-24 15.43.05

2013-09-24 15.41.15

2013-09-24 16.41.19

Room Security—a simple press-down door knob. Bellhops-Guards watch the entrance/exit at night.

2013-09-24 15.51.42

2013-09-25 22.15.48

2013-09-25 19.27.51

Breakfast @ Bagan Beach Café yielded one of the tastiest stir-fried noodle dishes I’ve ever eaten.
I was glad I tried some one morning instead of just having juice and fruit. 

2013-09-26 08.30.26

2013-09-26 08.26.00

beach

View of Areia Branca Beach from the hotel balcony led me to take a Lovely Sunset Walk.
Amazingly, the WiFi was strong enough for me to use WhatsApp several metres across the road!

2013-09-25 18.36.51

Tentative Smiles captured for posterity with permission from their Dad.

2013-09-25 18.41.51

Most Timorese are Melanesian and the majority of the 800,000 citizens are Roman Catholic—a colonial legacy. This accounts for the giant 27-metre high Cristo Rei of Dili (Christ the King of Dili) statue of Jesus that’s inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

thCA788LDJ

2013-09-25 18.44.07

2013-09-25 18.48.19

2013-09-25 18.27.58

Training @ Palácio Do Governo
The Government Palace is the official residence of the Timorese President but he lives at his private home so the sprawling structure is used by various government bodies. The thatched models are mini replicas of traditional houses.

gp

2013-09-24 15.26.28

2013-09-24 15.32.14

f

e

Training was conducted with the help of an interpreter. Videos had to be downloaded beforehand as internet access was restricted to the offices in the Government Palace. The projector in the main conference room wasn’t hooked up to an audio system but a resourceful Timorese taught me to bend the conference microphone to amplify sound from my laptop speaker—a useful tip!

137

Tom

Streets of Dili with a Timorese journalist as guide. I met many friendly and helpful locals.

2013-09-25 13.46.26

2013-09-26 13.39.11

2013-09-25 14.17.58

2013-09-25 14.20.37

A Spot of Shopping @ US$4-US$6 dollars each. The local woven fabric is called Tai.

bag

2013-09-28 12.35.26

As Timor-Leste supplies organic coffee to major chains worldwide, I was told it’d make a great gift, so I bought boxes of Arabica and Robusta as recommended by a frequent visitor. Little did I know that the intended recipients needed a percolator to brew the drink! I’d thought ground coffee was like soybean powder that could simply be stirred into water. The reason for my knowledge gap is that I prefer iced water and cold juices so I rarely drink coffee, and if I have to choose between java and tea, I’d go for the lighter drink—preferably the ice-blended version!

Air Timor
For its Singapore-Dili flights, the national carrier charters an A319 aircraft from SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines. A business traveller who flies in every month told me that his fare fluctuates between US$650 and US$850 depending on demand. I learnt from a fellow journalist that the number of passengers on each flight is capped as the airport runway is short and a full plane wouldn’t be able to land or take off. While I wasn’t able to personally verify that, having an entire row to myself on the way home does lend weight to the information.

double

*
What’s your impression of Timor-Leste, I’ve been asked. A serene and rustic environment balanced against the people’s strong desire to develop and prosper. The Timorese currency is only available in values below US$1 so American dollars are used in most transactions including cab rides. Locals say the cost of living rose because United Nations peacekeepers and their families freely paid more for daily items during the 13 years that they were on the island.

Most East Timorese voted for an end to Indonesian rule in a 1999 UN-sponsored referendum. However, anti-independence militias backed by Indonesia’s military responded with a scorched-earth campaign until an International Force ended the violence. I’d been heavily involved in my TV network’s extensive coverage of the tense conflict so it was particularly meaningful for me to be in Timor-Leste a year after the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers. The young state shares large deposits of oil and natural gas under the Timor Sea with its neighbours Australia and Indonesia. May it experience strong growths and stability in the years ahead.

thCAVZ8033

*
Hallelujah Chorus – Andre Rieu (Conductor) with Harlem Gospel Choir, Sopranos and Tenors
Lyrics/Music: Charles Jennens, George Frideric Handel
Hallelujah Chorus is the climax of Messiah by Handel. It’s said that he composed the piece in 24 days while modern musicians can barely even copy it within that timeframe! At the end of his manuscript, the composer wrote “SDG”—Soli Deo Gloria which means “To God Alone The Glory”. With this inscription and his speed of composition, it’s believed that he wrote the music in a fervour of divine inspiration during which he “saw all heaven before him”!

For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord
And of His Christ. And He shall reign for ever and ever
King of Kings and Lord of Lords for ever and ever
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

*
Revelation Song – 11 International Worship Leaders
Lyrics/Music: Jennie Lee Riddle

The Perfect Balance

net_neutrality_its_not_fair

“It’s not fair!” is a cry that you’ll hear even from the tiniest tots.
Equally instinctive is the motion of little arms held up expectantly for a hug.

thCA2ND5LE

The need for love and justice appears to be a fundamental human reflex.
And to me, the balance between the two is such a critical one.

When I was first told about the God who loves me and is ever ready to forgive all my sins if I repented of them, something deep in my human spirit responded to the conviction of His Holy Spirit. But as I fell in the category of what’s generally regarded as a “good girl”, I didn’t really comprehend the great divide between a holy God and sinful Man—sin being defined as the transgression of Creator God’s law and absolute moral standards whether in deed or thought.

Nonetheless, the concept of God as Love and a focus on the New Testament (the second part of the Bible that starts with the life of Jesus Christ) sustained my faith from my secondary school days right through to my early working years as a TV reporter. But that didn’t give me a complete picture of God Almighty, of whom Proverbs 15:33 advises, “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord brings instruction in Wisdom.” So once faced with the demands of balancing a high-adrenalin newsroom career with being a wife and raising two young hyperactive sons, partial truth reduced me to becoming what’s known as a “backslidden” or nominal Christian. There’s a warning by Jesus to this group in Revelation, the last book of the Holy Scriptures.

“I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realise and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” – Rev 3: 15-17

Fast-forward my 30s which I shared about in “Hope Springs Eternal”. In my 40s, I devoured the Old Testament (its first book Genesis explains the creation of our universe and the first man and woman) and found that so much of it made sense to me in this phase of my life. The Psalms expressed every emotion that I could ever feel and echoed every cry that I could ever utter!

The holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, mercy and goodness of Father God reverberated through the pages of the front part of His inspired Word. And when I combined all that with His love, grace and compassion epitomised by His Son Jesus in the New Testament, a richness and wholeness came through that had escaped me previously.

I don’t know who first said this, but “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.”

If I believe only that my God is Love, I would not have the assurance that He’ll be fair, for love alone—at least as far as we humans know it—can lead to biased, illogical or plain bad decisions. On the other hand, if I know my God only as being Holy or Righteous, I wouldn’t be at all certain that He can truly understand or have compassion on Mankind, a race riddled with inconsistencies and frailties.

But when the two are combined in a perfect balance, therein lies my security and equanimity.
(Friviolous aside: I’ve known the word “equanimity” for ages but this is the first time I’m using it in a sentence! It means mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain.)

To be certain of justice from the Impartial One whose standards are perfect and yet whose love is great and mercy is rich—I can safely put my trust in a God like this. No wonder we are told that, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” –Genesis 18:25b. That’s one of my favourite Bible verses found on my introductory page “Me In A Nutshell” . Another is Psalm 89:14, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and loving-kindness and truth go before Your face.”

In a court case, witnesses are asked to precede their sworn testimony with words similar to these, “I promise that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” In John 8:31-32, Jesus told all those who believed that He’s the Son of the Living God, “If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” That is why my email signature looks like this:

Showers of Blessings!
🙂
Carol 珍
http://www.carolfoo.com

blessings-signature3
Seek the Truth, Love the Truth, Live the Truth!

*

David Ravenhill, a Christian minister and author taught my church recently that when we pray, we need to believe three things about God—His “Presence, Passion and Power”. David’s illustration goes like this (non-verbatim)—”If I’m walking alone on the streets and a huge muscleman wants to attack me, a friend who’s equally well-developed (Power) and loves me (Passion) but isn’t there at that time (No Presence) wouldn’t be of any help to me. If another friend suddenly turns up (Presence) and is more than willing to rush over to assist me (Passion) but he’s much smaller than my would-be attacker (hence No Power), both of us could end up getting hurt despite his kind intentions!”

A God who is forever the ideal combination of Presence, Passion and Power provides the perfect balance that any of us could ever want or need.

– Weary and wonder when the sun will shine on you?“
“So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities.” –Hebrews 10: 23-24

– Feel misunderstood or unappreciated?
“For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7b ~ “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” –Galatians 6:9 ~ “For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.” –Proverbs 23:18

– Treated badly or taken advantage of?
Forgive, as God has so freely forgiven us. For Christians, our role model is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Perfect One who was betrayed, wrongly accused, slandered, rejected and crucified. Yet Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” –Luke 23:34

“For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” –Matthew 6:14
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in Heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.” –Mark 11:25

thCALLPG4H Pulpit Commentary – Biblesoft (Useful Link: http://www.biblehub.com)
“The pious writer urges the injured person to commit his cause to the Lord, not in the hope of seeing vengeance taken on his enemy, but in the certainty that God will help him to bear the wrong and deliver him in His own good time and way.” Hillel (the ancient Jewish sage and scholar) enjoins, “Do not thou that to thy neighbour which thou hatest when it is done to thee.” In modern lingo, it means that whatever you find hateful, do not do to your fellow man. As Jesus taught in His famous Sermon on the Mount, “Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you (those who accuse you falsely, mistreat you, spitefully use you) and persecute you.” –Matthew 5:44

*

In The Image Of God
I believe in asking God for His perspective on each person I encounter. He alone knows their entire life journey that has shaped them thus far. Ellel Ministries uses a very enlightening skit to demonstrate this. A friend or colleague may seem to over-react to what many consider a harmless remark. But if we could get a glimpse into what has built up over a long period of time, we would realise that for that person, it’s the “last straw that breaks the camel’s back” causing their cup to “run over” but in a negative way. (In Psalm 23:5, the phrase ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ means “God provides more than enough to meet my needs.”)

thCA3H95LP

thCAPMRVWD

thCAX0WC8A

Easy anger or extreme shyness could be a defence mechanism against past multiple hurts and abuse while brash arrogance and workaholism could well mask insecurity and a relentless need to prove oneself acceptable through continuous achievement. That’s not to say that bad behaviour is acceptable but let’s take a little time to look beyond the surface and it’s likely that our response will be the better for it.

*

The following may seem fantastical if you don’t believe that the Bible was written through the inspiration of God but I really hope you’ll finish reading this paragraph. God has exposed the strategy of satan the fallen angel turned devil—he was once the high ranking archangel Lucifer who was kicked out of Heaven for rebellion and pride, wanting to be worshipped “like the most High”. No longer able to enjoy his former status and intimacy with the Almighty and with Hell as his ultimate eternal jail, he bitterly resents Father God’s offer of restored relationship with fallen man made possible through Jesus’ freewill sacrifice of Himself for us. Christ revealed that while He came “so (we) can have real and eternal life, more and better life than (we) ever dreamed of”, satan “the thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy”. And therein lies the root cause of many of Mankind’s perpetual problems. Bible references: Isaiah 14:14, Matthew 25:41 and John 10:10.

If you have questions concerning what you’ve just read, here’s a great link that you might like to check out:
+ http://www.cscc.org.sg/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=96

*

He Is – First Assembly of God
Lyrics/Music: Jeoffrey Benward, Jeff Silvey
This is so beautiful! I’ve watched it 5 times in the last 24 hours alone. Would have loved being a part of the orchestra or choir. “He Is” describes Jesus revealed through all the books of the Bible. Amazing!
(Thanks to Rena for introducing me to this)

Jesus Messiah & Hallelujah, Praise The Lamb – First Assembly of God
Lyrics/Music for Jesus Messiah: Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves
Lyrics/Music for Hallelujah, Praise The Lamb: Bill & Gloria Gaither

ph1059085854014241886

WHAT IF…

…you are molested by a trusted family employee because you’re a cute child and you don’t know how to verbalise the horror so you gorge on food, and everyone in school wonders why you can no longer sweep all the prizes on Sports Day?

…a sister returns home from a night class filled with fear, and undergoes a swift and sudden behavioural transformation, and stops making sense and starts swearing, and later succeeds in taking her own life after several failed attempts?

…a brother is reported as MIA (Missing In Action) and your family frantically follows the most tenuous leads. Then a stranger calls and suggests you check out the mortuary as the body he’d seen at the base of his block of flats resembles the Missing Person ad with your sibling’s photo. But he thinks the person’s in his 30s while your brother’s just 19, so you decide to head to the morgue alone in case he’s mistaken and you don’t want your loved ones to be troubled by a false alarm. After the staff lets you identify the corpse pulled out from a “freezer”, they realise you’re underaged and can’t sign documents to claim the body. So you, the baby of the family, calls your parents to break the devastating news to them

…your elderly father develops senile dementia which progressively worsens, and for more than ten years, you have a dad who’s there physically yet not quite there

…the spouse you’d entrusted your virginity to walks out and disappears, presumably overseas, for close to a decade, and has zero contact with the wife, children and mother he left behind

…your kids react to your single-parenting with a range of responses varying from stretches of appreciation and love to sessions of cynicism and defiance, and from bouts of violence and rage to rounds of withdrawal and anxiety

How will you respond to traumas and tragedies like these?
Do you weep till there are no more tears left?
Rant and rave and hit out to release your anger?
Sink into depression and become suicidal?
Vow never to trust anyone ever again?
Torment yourselves with regrets or pledge revenge?
Turn the sorrow inwards and hurt yourself in some way?

We human beings resort to myriad ways of coping with negative, painful and traumatic situations. The unhealthy effects often culminate in a combination of disorders and dysfunctions. A spectrum can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Latest edition DSM-5). Often, the prescription is long-term medication coupled with training in coping mechanisms.

thCA2O66NE

For Christians involved in the Healing and Deliverance ministry, one vital component of a complete cure is to uncover and address the spiritual roots of conditions afflicting the human spirit, soul and body. This is clearly recognised by practitioners of many other religions as well, hence through the ages, their devotees have turned to witch doctors like mediums, bomohs, shamans and sorcerors.

I used to think that it was a cop-out or shirking of responsibility when adults attribute the problems they face to their childhood experiences. But I’ve since learnt that deeply entrenched blows like rejection and abandonment that’s birthed in a toddler, infant or even a foetus—such as through the mother’s attempted abortion or desertion—can colour a person for years or even a lifetime, unless they are identified and properly dealt with.

Jesus Christ promised His followers, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” If you’re a believer struggling with issues that you need help with, you might want to find out whether your church has a Healing and Deliverance Ministry.

One Christian organisation that offers personal ministry sessions is Ellel Ministries International headquartered in the United Kingdom with centres across the world. This is the website: http://www.ellelministries.org/ ~ All its counsellors undergo thorough theoretical and practical training. In Singapore, most are volunteers like me. Counsellees aren’t charged a fee but those who can afford it support the work through voluntary donations.

Freedom Reigns – Jason Upton
Lyrics/Music: Mike Larson
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom
Showers of Mercy and Grace falling on every face
If you’re tired and thirsty, there is freedom, feel the chains fall away
We lift our eyes to Jesus, there is freedom

SNIPPETS FROM MY PAST

The first time I stepped into a church was to attend a holiday camp at the invitation of my primary school Chinese teacher. It was a semi-detached house in Serangoon Gardens just a short walk from my home and I recall sewing a fat pink pig as one of the activities! Cherith Baptist was where I was introduced to the Bible in Mandarin. As Father God has His ways of bringing about divine connections, in case that kind teacher is ever led to my blog, I’d like to say, “谢谢老师! 愿恩惠与平安从父神和主耶稣基督归于您.”

My water baptism took place in East Coast Lagoon. I was then part of a Christian youth group comprising mainly military cum symphonic band members from Cedar Girls’ Secondary and Victoria School. We were Ambassadors For Christ meeting every Saturday in Balestier. On Sundays, most of us attended Bethel Assembly of God which used to be at Palm Grove Avenue in Kovan, near where I now live.

thCA40UL5N
thCADRQ692

Purple and pink were my favourite colours for a long time, and at one point I only wrote in purplish ink. I had a hot pink jumpsuit in my teens and I used to pose against gorgeous flowers when taking photos. I’ve retained my liking for purple clothes, but am now mostly leaving pink attire to youngsters while I opt for red accessories as being more befitting of my mature status. However, I do still enjoy a refreshing pink strawberry milkshake!

shake

2013-08-04 11.17.19

MORSELS FROM MY PRESENT

I’m happy feasting on fruits and salads as a meal in themselves (the photo above shows my dinner presented as food art) but I’m mindful of the need for a healthy balanced diet. To me, fresh raw salmon, a juicy steak and a cheesy prawn-spinach pizza are tasty treats indeed!

Being a Hainanese, I have high expectations when it comes to one of Singapore’s favourite foods—Hainanese Chicken Rice. I consider Pow Sing Restaurant in Serangoon Gardens as serving one of the best versions on the island.

As we kick off the 9th month of this year, for all who began 2013 with plans, dreams and resolutions, this would be a good time to take stock. For me, it’s the start of a six-month COUNTDOWN to my fiftieth year of existence on earth. I’m hoping to make my first trip to Israel next year to trace the footsteps of my Lord while He was on earth.

In the Bible, the 50th year is known as the Year of Jubilee. Blow the trumpets and proclaim a Holy Year! Liberty and a Fresh Start! Respecting every human. Renewing our dedication to the Lord Almighty. Recognising the call to Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with our God.

“Every 50 years everybody’s bank balance was levelled up, debts were cancelled and all the property reverted to the family who originally owned it. So the leases would get cheaper the closer you came to the fiftieth year. Slaves were also set free in the Jubilee year. Thus people looked forward to the Jubilee, known also as ‘the acceptable year of the Lord’. It was good news for the poor because they would be rich again, and it was a time when captives would be set at liberty. Jesus proclaimed in Nazareth: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on Me…to preach good news to the poor…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ In other words, Jesus began the real Jubilee to which every one of these people had been looking forward.” –Unlocking The Bible by David Pawson

unlocking-the-bible

Jubilee – Michael Card
Lyrics/Music: Michael Card, Randy Scruggs
Jesus is our Jubilee
At the Lord’s appointed time His deep desire became a man
The heart of all true jubilation and with joy we understand
In His voice we hear a trumpet sound that tells us we are free!
He is the incarnation of the Year of Jubilee
(Thanks to Juliana for sharing this lovely song)

The Year Of Jubilee (Shnat HaYovel) – Paul Wilbur, Batya Segal
Lyrics/Music: Yochanan Ben Yehuda, Bill Cuomo, Ann Hilsden, Ian Jupp

We sing this song to You, it’s a sacrifice of praise
From the fruit of our lips, we come to bless Your holy name
Your mercy endures forever, and You delivered us from sin
Lord please teach us to love our brothers, and forgive as You forgive
In The Year of Jubilee