He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Really, Really Random Thoughts

dated 29 Oct 2009

painful right heel - rheumatism? lack of exercise? seems to get relieved with some exercise; relieved a bit by lying down with legs up

Barbie Swan Lake, Swan Lake music running in my head, in my ears! again, again and again...

I'm glad I'm so far away.
They tire me out.

hypoglycemia - high-fibre diet; wind in my ear

Joche coughing, coughing, running nose, trouble breathing at night, trouble sleeping... can't control urine... no way, can't go to school

play in the swing... go to Warehouse instead... hmmm had to buy treats - neighborhood kids trick or treating this Sat

watched Young Victoria - lucky England, ok, blessed England
Wickham, that guy's Wickham haha, so skinny
Emily blunt from Prada... she was so skinny and old-looking

been wanting to clean the toilets, the floors, the garden... haha rather be reading a magazine
reading about the rich and famous; they're real, aren't they?
when I think of monarchs, what pressures they go through... they must have some special grace from God.

thinking of calling some people... ahhh, rather be sleeping on time

I lost my blue cotton hat... now have to wear my wide-brimmed one... might as well, it's like summer sun already inside the car...

been planning to cook my ratatouille dish this past whole week! the ingredients are drying up in the ref... ugh

Ezra, Darius, Cyrus... Isaiah, hmmm last warnings... we're so complacent

Well, got to sleep now. Good nite :-)



Monday, March 22, 2010

Blood Test Again

dated 8 October 2009

Just came back from another blood test for my younger daughter. This time they're testing her for the chromosomal abnormality called William's Syndrome.
If it's positive then she's "labeled." If negative, they probably will do more blood tests on her! Now that's sad. It's not fun being pricked all the time, not to mention the exposure to risks. I'm just glad she has no pre-conceived ideas about needles. So far she doesn't seem to relate "clinic" to these pricking incidents. We distract her with talk about school, her favourite food, her friends, etc. I make her look away from the needle and the tube. I brought her to the park to play on the swing after that, so, I hope she associates it with something fun.

Meanwhile, my husband, son and I have so much fun playing "Scum" at night. My husband still can't get the trick on how to play this game and seems to always turn out to be the "scum." I was "president" many times last night. :-)

Ugh, three more days and it's school again. I pray for a pleasant time for my younger daughter and me in school this term as she will start having some assisted learning and I will have three hours free in the morning because of that. I look forward to the calm it will bring to our lives, I hope.

Reflections on a Drizzly Day

dated 24 Sept. 2009

It’s difficult living with people who have deep insecurities.

It’s difficult living with people who have very different values.

It’s difficult living with people who think they know you when they don’t.

It’s difficult to live in an old city where old sins have taken deep roots, and the culture and values have been shaped by its oldness.
Happy are those who live for others yet others think those who live that way don’t have a life!
Happy are those who live as they want to live, though not necessarily accepted by others for doing so.

If God were not my Refuge and Strength… Thank God, He is!

It's the last day of Third Term tomorrow and then it will be two weeks of holiday... and then I will most likely be sitting here again, watching the rain dripping, "trip-trip-trip" on my windscreen, under a huge tree, in front of my younger daughter's school, watching the drops roll down, making the tree trunks and gnarled twigs, foliage and blooms flow before my eyes, looking like a melancholic artist's painting on canvass... It's just another day, one of my many detention days.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Can't Get Off the Ride!

dated 18 Sept 2009

Mood: Grumbling :(

Just came back from another doctor's appointment for my daughter. So far the blood tests done on her have been negative. Now the doctor continues on his witch hunt. He's thinking William's Syndrome this time. That means more blood tests, more pain for my younger daughter. The govt also wants more tests done on her mental ability. Now we need to see an Educational Psychiatrist to do a Psychometry test on her because the one done in 2005 in Malaysia is not acceptable anymore. They want a current test result. That test done in Malaysia cost us a bomb. This one will cost us another. And the doctor just kept on saying it's good we have this subsidy from the govt because it isn't much but at least it's something, as if trying to comfort me with the thought. His fees alone cost us a fortune as well. To be honest, whom are we trying to help or please? Do all these programs really help the child? It wouldn't change her condition a bit even if after doing all the tests in the world we can actually label "that condition", i.e. syndrome. Do we really get to help the child or just apease our conscience? And whose conscience? All I know is that it's bad enough that I am responsible for the care of this child, but worse still that I can't get off a machine I never wanted to take a ride on from the very beginning.

All I know is that this is all so worldly, so much "striving in the flesh," and a "chasing after the wind." Once upon a time, I heard my daughter say, "I used all my brain in Heaven." When you have seen a glimpse of the other side you know our efforts in the flesh are futile. And how do we reconcile the two worlds? Will I see the glory of God in the land of the living?


Friday, March 19, 2010

Tea and Coffee

dated 1 Sept 2009
(Mood: Thankful)


I like this picture of the rainbow. I haven't seen such a perfect one since I was a kid in my home country. I guess it's the pollution in other cities of the world that deprives us of seeing such a beautiful sight. Thank God, Auckland isn't that polluted yet.

It was only after looking at this photo did I realize that a rainbow is actually double-edged. What we usually see is only the lower rim. There actually is an upper rim as well and the quite invisible middle part of it. Hmmm, reminds me of God's presence. In the Book of Revelation the throne of God has a rainbow. No wonder the rainbow is supposed to remind us of the covenant God made with Noah. When the rainbow is gone, God would have already made a new Heaven and a new Earth. Makes me wonder then. Would that mean greater sights, greater than looking at a perfect rainbow, when Jesus comes to rule the earth?

I just had tea with a friend who's guardian to an ASD child. We see so much in common between our charges. It's good to be able to talk with someone like her. Though she herself said some people prefer not to talk about our problem. Well, talk about other things then, as long as we can talk with another adult, that makes things better for us, I guess.

It wasn't the tea, nor the coffee ( we both don't drink coffee), nor the cakes. It was probably just the company. God is good. He brings friends our way. I feel good just having something to thank God for. And there is always something, if I just stop long enough to ponder...

If you are in a sad situation like mine, may you hang in there. Maybe one day we can have tea or coffee together, too. It won't be the tea or coffee, or the cake or muffin, just the company and the blessedness of knowing somebody out there cares to listen and communicate, somebody sent by God to your seemingly lonesome way. Cheers! :-)

Photo was taken in my younger daughter's school in May this year.

Monday Morn

dated 31 Aug 2009

I want to thank God for many things.

My mom is sick, very, very sick. Alas, she is so far away, or I should say, I am so far away. So, I thought I should call / email my old friends or cousins who are my age to go and visit my mom to "represent" me. Then she will get to feel as if I am visiting her, once in a while. I used to call her often but now she's far too advanced in her decline to be able to take my calls. She used to listen and put up with my gabbing but now she only breaks down into tears when she realizes who's the person on the other side of the line. My mom's faculties are deteriorating, disconnecting, malfunctioning, little by little, day by day. And most often she's asleep most of the day and awake most of the night. It has become increasingly difficult to connect with her on the phone.

Then out of the blue an old primary school classmate of mine emailed me saying she had a strong urge to visit my mom when she woke up that morning, and she did! I didn't even get to meet up with her in the short time I was there in our hometown when I was visiting my mom. She happened to know a cousin of mine and she asked for the directions to our house, for it's been a while since she went there last. She said my mom attempted to converse with her and she made moaning sounds.

I believe that was You, Lord. A pastor once said I would one day be praying such that, the thought would occur to me, and I don't even have to utter the prayer, it would come to pass. This is one of those things. The Lord is compassionate, loving and kind.

We'd been here almost a year now and God had been so gracious and faithful in providing for all our needs, caring for our well-being and safety and providing friends, here or online. I went through months of depression and came out of it, all by His mercy and grace.

I had a tacky interpersonal annoyance happening in my younger daughter's school and I prayed that God would work it out for me and take the problem away. I believe He has and is taking it away, for all time. God is good. He worked it out without me forcing things to happen. He is truly dependable and magnificent.

The winter here is almost over and we had been in good health, by and large. We weathered the cold without much trouble. I even stopped turning on the heaters in the living room in the past month. We only used the heaters in our bedroom. God is faithful and true. He helps us through our troubles.

The doctor's report on my younger daughter's condition has started to move things in favor of a real education for her. We've been playing "school" and playing "learning" for the past year. Hopefully, this time we start to do real school and learning. I had totally dissociated my houghts and sentiments towards the mentoring situation in her school and that had kept my sanity in, at least, the last few months. God is good. He is awesome and sometimes funny, too.

I can go on and on and soon it will be morning and I will be yawning throughout the day sitting next to her in her class. Meanwhile, the porridge I'm cooking for her breakfast tomorrow is done, and so, I close this blog, for now at least, to lie in my bed and catch some winks before the sun comes up for Monday morn. God is good, I have relaxed and unwinded a bit, while jotting my thoughts in here. Hmmm, I love this "place". And I love the company of my Lord. Thank you, Father.

My apologies for any typos, as I wrote this without my glasses, for which I am too lazy to hunt, as my eyelids are soon about to drop. It's past 2 a.m. here.

Good night.


Dawn attack, dawn retreat. So many things can happen at dawn.


-----------------
Dated 24th July 2009



A Milestone - Good or Bad

We went for our doctor's appointment. It was actually a milestone for my younger daughter, and for me, again. It's because the appointment was for the Paediatrician here to examine and certify that she really has the learning disability called Global Dev'tal Delay. And when that's done, the "machine" for govt support on her education and health care starts rolling. We've been here 10 months already, almost. It took us that long to get the documents from Malaysia ready just so we can have this important appointment. What I was apprehensive about was that they will require more paper work from the Malaysian side and I would have been unhappy with that because we had already spent so much time, frustrated efforts, etc. on that side. So, the good news is, the "machine" has started rolling. This Paediatrician will write the letters to start the process. It doesn't really mean the end of work for me, it is just the beginning of the New Zealand phase of my continuing work on Joche. :-)  Starting Monday, we are back to collecting more urine and blood samples for continued tests. This is the very reason I didn't like to go through this process - they will just poke my daughter with more needles and probes, etc., again. And I was right. :( I guess this is just the life for us. But then again, it is still a milestone for Joche and me. And I would say it was a good appointment because the doctor was professional and not critical about anything. He was helpful and it was a pleasant appointment.

--------------

Dated 10th May 2009

I Saw Hail Today!

he!he! Today it was rainy again, just like most of the days this past week but this time when it rained hard I happened to look out of our kitchen glass panels and saw what looked like white bubbles on the pavement next to our garden. I thought, "How can there be bubbles, there's no detergent on that pavement?" And I noticed that there is some pelting sound as well coming with the rain, the stronger it gets the louder the noise. Then I realized, this must be what they call "hail." But of course, soon they melted away. But that was cool! They looked like tiny whitish beads.

Well, it looked something like this:


hail

Now that marks 2009 Mother's Day for me - the same day I first saw hail!

My older daughter actually drew me a "portrait" of how she thought I may have looked like when I was 18 or 16. And she wrote a note something like I will always be young on the inside no matter how I grow old in years. And she gave it to me last week yet, thinking Mother's Day was last Sunday. And she also vacuumed the whole house, did the dishes, washed the laundry, cleaned my toilet floor and tidied up the whole house last Friday, for an advanced Mother's Day present, too! Hmmm, I wish Mother's Day was every day. har!har!

Thank you, my dotty!

She's the only one who really cares about occasions like this, the rest of my family don't even notice what day it is. I wouldn't either, if nobody greeted me. ;-) No big deal, really. I would rather be appreciated on a daily basis than just one day in a year, really. And no presents, pls. I have no room in my house to keep them. Notes are good, digital ones even better - easy to store, for memories! ;-)

Cheers everyone, and happy Mom's Day. Hug your moms everyday, OK?

;-)

photo from : http://oxleylearning.org/germandictionary/


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Boxing Day

dated 26 December 2008

(Mood: Shopped, tired and philosophical)

Boxing Day here in Auckland is interesting. All the shops go on sale! So, just imagine the shopping frenzy! We thought we should ride along and take advantage of the discounts. I hate shopping. But I need to buy some necessities like clothes and kitchen items that need to be replaced. So, off we went. My younger daughter was so bored and tired she kept telling me she was sleepy... and she wasn't pretending, she really was. I pitied her. But we had to drag her along because I needed to buy her at least one pair of pants. She's grown so fast these past few months that all her pants seem to be bursting at the seams. I also bought pyjamas for both of us. We never really bothered to wear pyjamas in M'sia because shorts and tees are good enough. Here, on cold days, it's really uncomfortable to just have shorts on, even with blankets and a duvet over us to keep warm. So, I finally bought two for myself, one to wear and one to go to the wash. My younger daughter has pyjamas actually, but she's fast outgrowing them too. Her tops can't cover her tummy anymore when she lies down, especially because she tosses around too much in her sleep. So, after my younger son and daughter had their shopping, we sent them home to rest. Then it was my older daughter's turn. Only I went back with her. So, why am I boring you with something as mundane as shopping? he! he! Because I hate shopping and it bores me too but it's Boxing Day and we can buy things on sale! Well, now we know. No need to shop the whole year, just wait for Boxing Day!
New Year's Eve was rainy. It rained the whole night and we thought that must have spoiled the barbecue of many people. Here in Auckland, most people celebrate any occasion with a barbecue. The whole day of the 24th was rainy as well. But thank God, 25th was a bit cloudy but not rainy. It was even warm enough for us to don our summer clothes. No need for jumpers or sweaters. And we attended a barbecue potluck hosted by a Pakeha (White Kiwi) and her family. She invited other families / individuals who have no relatives to spend Christmas with here in Auckland, so, that was really cool. The barbecue was chicken, sliced potatoes and sausages. My younger son loves sausages so, he really enjoyed that. We broughta big bowl of fried yellow noodles and apple pie, brownies and chocolates for dessert. The barbecue was served with green salads and other appetizers. And our host had like another full meal for our dessert: ice cream, fresh fruit salad, chocolates and so many other sweets. By and large, it was a really typical Kiwi and fun Christmas lunch!
BTW, I am looking at the streamer on top of my myspace screen, an add on child abuse awareness. Hmmm... why do we have child abusers? How do we actually stop people from abusing their kids?? Child abuse is just one of the symptoms of our society's breakdown because of the break down of family. Where there is break down of family, there is child abuse. And where there is child abuse, there's a subsequent break down of family. It's like a vicious cycle. But break down of family is just another symptom as well of the breakdown of our society. Other symptoms are: High crime rate, high school leaving rate, high teen pregnancy rate, poverty, vice (and this in itself is very broad - substance abuse i.e. alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, prostitution, violence, etc). And the root of all these is Sin. It's that simple. Why is there sin? Man is basically bad, let's face it. Whereas, our famous Psychologists preach: Man is basically good. That's why we never face our Sin and deal with the problem. We are all basically bad. We are inclined to sin because we are all self-lovers. We are selfish, we think about ourselves first, we love to pamper ourselves, we love leisure and entertainment, we love an easy life, etc. We are not aware how bad we really are because we have neglected the word of God in our lives. We never bother to know what God's guidelines and commands are, for us to live a good life here on earth. We think we know it all and God doesn't really mind. But what God requires of us is to obey His commands. When we obey His commands we will have to think of God and our neighbor first, ahead of ourselves. That is, we will have to think, will this please God and my neighbor or is this too tough for me to do? What about me? See? So, the bottom line is, do we want to love God or our fleshly selves? Actually, if only we start obeying God, we will realize that we are making things better for ourselves too, and in so doing, we actually start loving ourselves. Tricky eh? Go and try it! It's a step of faith. You won't really be able to know what good God and His commands can do to us as individuals and as families and societies, IF we don't give HIM a try. That's just how it works. We can't love our children or our fellow men because we don't even love ourselves. We need to know God and His commands to learn to start loving ourselves. As God said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." How can we love others, including our own children, if we haven't even learned to love ourselves? We've got to give God a try.

So, back to Boxing Day, yeah, I'm tired shopping. And now I feel better having written all these. :-)

Blessed Christmas and New Year to all. I pray the economic downturn doesn't get worse in the New Year.

This is Heavy Stuff, but hey, It's True!

dated 19 December 2008, 1:24am (Pacific SA Std GMT -4hour))

(Mood: on track! bless me, my heart is on track!!)

Isaiah 66

1Thus
saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:
where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my
rest?
2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been,
saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor
and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

3He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb,
as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he
offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an
idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth
in their abominations.
4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them;
because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not
hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I
delighted not.
5Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that
hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be
glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

9Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD:
shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
10Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:
- - - - -
13
As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem
14And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall
flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward
his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

19And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them
unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to
Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame,
neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the
Gentiles.

--------------------------------------------

God's
dwelling place is among men, among His people, the church. God's
dwelling place is in a man, a person. Shall I be a willing dwelling
place for God, my Lord?

Will I travail and not deliver? Will He
bring birth pangs and not cause me to birth a baby, a Jerusalem, His
glory, that I would have joy and glory in His name? When I hear His
word and tremble, when I do the right thing by obeying His word and
longing with Him for Jerusalem to be formed in me, will He not appear
to my joy and will not my detractors be shamed? When I insist and persist to do
the right thing, following His word, hoping on His word and waiting for
His promises to be realized, would He not appear in His glory to my joy
and comfort me like a mother comforts her chidlren? When I see this,
will my heart not rejoice, and my bones flourish like an herb? And
shall not the hand of the LORD be known toward his servants, and his
indignation toward his enemies? And wouldn't my life and my words
declare His glory to the Gentiles? and isn't this the ultimate end God
intends for us, that we may glorify His name among the nations??

On the other hand, if I worship God outwardly but disregard His word, wouldn't my worship be nothing but an abomination, a disdainful thing to Him? If I worship Him deceitfully, wouldn't my offering be just a stench to His nostrils? if I choose to disobey and not hear the voice of God,
wouldn't my fears come true and delusions come upon me? Wouldn't I
receive the curses rather than the blessings of God?

Thus, when the birth pains come, shall I welcome them, wave after wave,
contraction after contraction... for I am about to give birth; for I am
about to see the fulfillment of the promises of my God and watch His
glory revealed and proclaimed. Thus, when the birth pangs come, I know
I am to be delivered soon and be comforted. Thus, when the birth pains
come, I shall welcome them, for something big and glorious is coming.
Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Down Side

dated 30 August 2008, 1:13pm (Pacific SA Std GMT-4hour)

This is a sad and low time for me and I need to be praying
more but I need to run around doing errands and stuff because we’re moving. So,
I leave everything in God’s hands. Or, I just pray when I get a minute or two
of quiet and rest. And thank God, I still do feel His presence, sometimes.


.. Photobucket..


A pastor friend asked for prayer for a church member of his
who had a freak road accident and who was in coma. Three or four days later I
got another sms from him saying the person concerned already died. He left
behind a widow and five grown kids. He was a bus driver.




.. ..A minister friend is having marital problems and had stepped
down from ministry and church leadership for a season, for healing, counseling,
prayer and hopefully, reconciliation with his wife. His father asked for
continued prayer. I do pray for him. I believe Jesus is constantly in the
business of healing and restoring people, relationships, ministries and
marriages. And nobody is perfect, for as long as we are in this world and in
the flesh. Nobody is immune to temptations and mistakes. That’s the very reason
why we need God in the center of our lives.


..Photobucket ..


I have a very young, precious and beautiful niece who’s
battling stage three cancer. My prayer is that she would know Jesus. So that
whatever the outcome of her battle may be, she would have peace, knowing that
she is in Jesus’ presence and she would have the assurance that Jesus would
receive her in His arms, in the next life, JUST in case. For life without
really knowing the love of the Savior is bad enough in this life, and
infinitely worse in the other world.




.. ..My daughter has a friend who’s just her age and had just
passed away due to cancer. She has other friends who have friends their age who
are battling cancer. I do believe that the end-time plagues mentioned in the
book of Revelations (last book in the Bible) are cancer, heart disease and
diabetes – the major three killers of this age. These plagues are no respecter
of age, status in society, gender, nationality or geographical location. It’s a
dying world but we refuse to see it. There is only one true Life and that Life
is in the Son of God, Jesus. There is only one true Life-Giver, God the Father.
I am not saying that all who put their faith in
Photobucket
Jesus would be physically
healed. What I am saying is, there is an evil worse than death and if we read
the word of God (the Bible) and receive the Promises of God in there, we are on
the right track to finding Life, not only for possible physical healing but for
spiritual Life that brings healing not only to the spirit, but to the body and soul
as well. Sometimes, knowing the answers to our questions brings us peace and it
makes a whole world of difference. I have found answers in the Bible, and still
keep finding more in there.


.. Photobucket..


No, life isn’t rosy. But I thank God I have Jesus. He is
Hope.








What Life is All About

dated 24 August 2008, 11:11pm (Pacific SA Std GMT-4hour)

consumerist.com

Luke 12
16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.

17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'


18"Then
he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build
bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

20"But
God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded
from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

images.businessweek.com
Life is meaningless if all our waking moments are devoted to
work, leisure and the cares of this life. Our life here is only
preparation for the real Life that is to come, one that we will have to
spend our Eternity in. It's so easy for us to get caught in the things
of this life - its cares, worries and pleasures. PhotobucketBut we must never lose
our focus that in this life we are just pilgrims here on earth, getting
ready for the one true life ahead. One day when we go through those
pearly gates of splendour, it would be so sad if we find that we have
wasted so much time on the peripherals of this present life, rather
than spending time with God with whom we are supposed to spend Eternity
with. And when so little time is spent with Him in the here and now,
what assurance do we have that we will be welcomed at the Pearly Gates?
May it never be that God's word to us that time would be, "Who are you?
I never knew you." But rather, "Well-done my good and faithful servant.
Enter into my rest."

Photobucket

Images from:
www.images.businessweek.com
www.consumerist.com



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Living the Good Life

dated 15 May 2008
Photobucket
I'm in a reflective mood today. Wow, I have time to reflect!! Must be one of those blessed days. I have a few minutes between house cleaning and lesson time with my daughter and I chose to spend it in some quiet time. Yeah, I know, as a Christian I am supposed to be doing this every day. I try. But I'm not always successful.

I am 47 years old this year and I realize I am past middle age. :-) Realized it only now. I wonder if I have lived a truly meaningful life. I have made my crucial choices and obviously, those choices have determined the course of my life. Of course there are other factors in my life not entirely dependent on my choices but God had been generous. I have my share of rains and storms in my life but as I said, God had been generous too, in many ways.

I hear many people wondering how they can raise up their children to become better or good persons. I am thankful that as early as 23 years old I came across the Bible and have taken God by His word (the Bible is His word), and after 24 years of walking with God (though not always wholeheartedly nor completely), I can say that I have truly no regrets. I believe the Bible has made me the "better" person that I had hoped to be, and thank God He's still working on me, so, I should only get even better, right? :-)

One of the guidelines in the Bible that is so easy to remember is, "love your neighbor as yourself". That actually translates to the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want them to do unto you. Attitude-wise that would be, "I will be nice to you and hope that you will be nice to me in return."
Usually, it works. But sometimes it doesn't. Even then, though there are people out there who take advantage of the niceness of others, I thank God that He is there to make sure that that doesn't shortchange me. In the end, He will still make sure it was worth my while being nice, by faith. Meaning, I decided to be nice to others trusting God that if the persons who are recipients of my niceness don't reciprocate, somehow, God will bring other people or circumstances in my life resulting in me receiving niceness as well. And if it doesn't happen in this life God will always make sure I will receive my reward in the next life. Neat, hu?

And God's "law" on generosity goes a long way and permeates through all the facets of our lives. I love how the Golden Rule is expressed by Jesus in this passage:

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Luke 6
27 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~


Some people would think Christians are easy suckers if they truly practice these words of Jesus. Ha! ha! There are other passages in the Bible that temper the above message. Passages that teach that we should "love with wisdom" and "be gentle as doves but shrewd like serpents," are two I can think of offhand.
Photobucket
So, how do we live a good life? By acquiring nice things, like the picture-perfect country cottage above? Hmmm, I picture it would be nice to live in a home like that. But we all know, life is more than food and drink and clothes to wear, and cars to drive and homes to live in and holidays to enjoy. When all has been said and done, a good life is a life of peace deep within our hearts, of good relationships, and a life full of meaning, a life well-lived. And to attain such a life I think Jesus' words on generosity above is truly The Guideline I would recommend to anyone. It really works. It goes back to you a thousandfold.

For truly, what use it is if I call Him Lord without following His word? Making Him Lord of my Life is what constitutes a good life. The woes and storms of life may threaten, harass and batter us but when our lives are built on the rock-solid word of God we survive through all the harshness of life, and flourish, too, in the end.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Luke 6
46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Indeed, I agree with King David who prophetically wrote that there is no heritage like God Himself:

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Psalm 16
4 The sorrows of those will increase
who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
.
.
.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Images from:

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Number 7

dated 7 July 2007

Today is special to many Christian groups. It's 7-07-2007. The number 7 is connoted with jubilee in the Bible. That means, in a cycle of 7 years, the 7th year is when all debts are canceled- they suddenly become zero. That's in the Old Testament. Had the Jews practiced it, together with the other statutes God had given them, the glorious kingdom of Israel in the time of David would have continued on. As it is, they didn't, and that led to their downfall. However, God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that if He scatters the people of Israel all over the earth because of their disobedience, in His faithfulness, He will bring them back, if they cry out to Him. The formation of the nation of Israel in 1948 is testament to the fulfillment of that promise from God. However, the Bible story has not finished unfolding. Jesus will come again in His glory, and He will rule from Jerusalem!


As for me, how do I apply this 7-07-2007 jubilee concept, then? Well, I pray to God that my friends who have any grudge against me would cancel my "debt" by forgiving me, and I pray to God to help me forgive people, especially those I thought I had already forgiven, but unconsciously still has a grudge on. Tricky huh? The human heart is more complicated than we think.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Almond blossoms in spring reminds me of "starting over."


Almond blossom pic from
http://content.answers.com


Friday, March 5, 2010

The Serious Post

dated 30 June 2007


Jesus came to set the captives free.

Sorry for procrastinating. I've been busy the last two weeks and haven't had enough sleep, roughly 4-5 hours only a day, and am really exhausted. But thank God, the flu is finally gone. My younger daughter prayed for me and said, "Mommy, Jesus is sending His angels to heal you." I believe He did because I really feel good now and the coughing is not totally gone but comes only once in a while and doesn't annoy me anymore. Meanwhile, she has been telling me again and again how Jesus had taken good care of her at the hospital and that Jesus was the one who healed her of the flu and vomiting. I didn't hear her sleep-talking when we were at the hospital but she had consistently related that Jesus was sitting on the spare chair next to mine at the hospital and said, "Hi ______(her name)," to her. She would sometimes just burst out, "Mommy, I love Jesus! He's so nice!" I know that she really knows Him and has encountered Him many times.

Well, yes, she's a blessed child. Sometimes I feel that if she gets healed and becomes smart she would lose that childlike faith she has in Jesus. This I have observed with the smart people around me.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Sometimes I feel maybe it's better she remains "simple-minded" as she is now so she would continue in her child-like faith in Jesus. After all, for me, that's the only thing that really matters in this life – being in a friendship with Jesus, in preparation for an endless life with Him in His kingdom in the next life. For me, anything less than that means failure in this life. "For what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
So, before I get side-tracked, here's the serious post:
"Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol—a thing detestable to the LORD, the work of the craftsman's hands—and sets it up in secret." (IDOLATRY)
"Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother."
(DISOBEDIENCE TOWARDS, OR, TALKING BAD ABOUT YOUR PARENTS)
"Cursed is the man who moves his neighbor's boundary stone."
(STEALING SOMEBODY ELSE'S PROPERTY)
"Cursed is the man who leads the blind astray on the road."
(INTENTIONAL DECEPTION)
"Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow."
(BULLYING THE WEAK AND DISADVANTAGED)
"Cursed is the man who sleeps with his father's wife, for he dishonors his father's bed."
(INCEST)
"Cursed is the man who has sexual relations with any animal."
(BESTIALITY)
"Cursed is the man who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother."
(INCEST)
"Cursed is the man who sleeps with his mother-in-law."
(INCEST)
"Cursed is the man who kills his neighbor secretly."
(MURDER)
"Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person."
(BEING A HIT-MAN)
"Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out." The King James Version translates this as: Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.
(FAILING TO TEACH ANY OF THE ABOVE AND AFFIRM THE SERIOUSNESS OF SUCH OFFENSE)
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The above is from Deuteronomy 27: 15-26, New International Version Bible. Now, there are other parts in the Bible as well that show curses can also be incurred by violation of some other of God's laws. So, the above passage is only a portion of the whole thing. Besides, there are other sources of curses as well. These are word curses that people in authority over you may have uttered over you and that you yourself may have unknowingly uttered over yourself. These word curses can also be passed down to the generations, depending on how and when they were uttered.

Now you might think it's not so bad if you have not done any of the violations mentioned above. The trouble is, with generational curses, it means that the curse was handed down to you because somebody in your family line at least four generations ahead of you – that's your parents (2), your grandparents (4), your great-grandparents (8) and great-great grandparents (16) – a total of 30 people in all – committed any of the sins that incurs a curse.
This concept comes from here:
"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(Exodus 20:4-6, New International Version Bible)
That's the second of the well-known Ten Commandments.
God punishes people who sin, not only them, but their descendants as well, to the third and fourth generations. That means if you sin, you suffer its consequences and so will your children, grand-children, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. However, we do not readily see the consequences because not everyone in the generational line gets it.
The King James Version of verse 5 goes like this:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
God only "visits" the sins of the fathers. Meaning, He may visit this generation (the sin and its consequences are manifested ) but He may not do so, i.e., He skips, the next first generation, the second and the third generation and then again "visit" the fourth. That's why the manifestation of a generational curse is "random." And that's why most people don't believe it exists.
So, now, here's something for you to ponder about: Who among us never had an ancestor 3-4 generations before us (the 30 people described above), who never did any of the sins described above that can incur a generational curse?
But thanks be to God, Jesus became a curse for us that we may be free from the curse. And our responsibility is to confess our sins and the sins of our ancestors (as if they are our sins) and stand in the gap for our generations, and pray that these curses be lifted from us and our descendants, in Jesus' name. And if multiple curses are upon us because of multiple sins that cause curses, just imagine the layers of curses that need to be lifted from us. But praise be to God, Jesus came to set the captives free!
Bald eagle-in-flight image from http://a0130905.uscgaux.info
A child's stick drawing from http://www.noacsc.org
Scales of justice image from http://www.cnn.com

Straight from the Heart

dated 10 May 2007


Gosling Under Goose Wing

It's interesting how God answers our cries in the most unexpected ways. He's good. He's really, really good. I have received so many undeserved gifts from Him. Even in my darkest hours when I don't expect Him to show up because I've been really, really bad... well, He does. God is goooood. Such is the compassion of my Father.

Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (New International Version Bible)

Have a nice day, folks!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

In Cana of Galilee

dated 8 May 2007

Jesus' Second Miracle in Cana of Galilee


Once upon a time, there was a rich and important man of the city of Capernaum. He and his family were happy and lived a comfortable life. They had good food to eat, nice clothes to wear, a big comfortable house to live in, they had many friends, and they had many servants to serve them. However, despite all those he was sad. His son was sick and was soon going to die. He was very troubled and disappointed. He loved his son dearly and he had hoped he would inherit all he had and be an important man like himself some day. But if his heir died, then all his hopes and dreams for him would amount to nothing! Besides, he really loved his son and he would surely miss him if he died. He couldn't bear the thought of a life ahead without his son. The rich important man had lost all hope until one day he heard about a man of God by the name of Jesus.

People were telling him that Jesus had been teaching about God, whom he also claimed to be his Father. Jesus was also known to have healed sick people at the feast during the most recent Passover, in Jerusalem. Then he heard that Jesus had come to Galilee, just about a day's journey from his home city of Capernaum. And so, the rich important man decided to meet Jesus in Galilee to persuade him to come along with him to heal his beloved son.

He came to
Cana of Galilee. He told the Lord Jesus, "Have mercy upon your humble servant. My son is severely sick and is soon to die. Please come with me to my home so you may heal him."

But Jesus told him, "You may go back now and I don't have to come along with you. I have already healed your son."

The rich important man believed Jesus and said, "Thank you, my Lord, that I have found mercy in your sight." And so, he headed home.

Before he could reach home, some of his servants met him, and joyfully told him the news: "Your son is alive and well; he's healed!"

When he asked when exactly the child got better, he was told that it was at the seventh hour the day before, that the fever left him.

Then the rich important man remembered that that was the same hour when Jesus told him his son was already healed. Because of that incident, he became a believer of Jesus, he and his whole family.

(Adapted from John 4:46-54, Bible)

Images from:
www.bedandbreakfast.com
www.2camels.com
http://developmentalidealism.org

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Uncommon Faith

dated 2 May 2007



The Healing of the Centurion's Servant

One day when Jesus was in Capernaum, the elders of the Jews in that city approached him. They entreated him to come with them to the house of an important Roman soldier, a commander of a hundred soldiers, that is, a centurion. The centurion had a long-time and loyal servant, whom he loved, who was sick and dying. He had requested the elders of the Jews to speak to Jesus in his behalf, so that Jesus would come to heal his servant.

"He loves our nation Israel," one of the elders said. "He even built a synagogue for us," said another. "Oh, he's a good and honest man," further said another.

And so, Jesus was persuaded and went with them to the Centurion's house. However, when they were already near the house a group of friends of the centurion came and met them. His friends told Jesus, "Our friend does not wish to bother you, Master, as he doesn't consider himself worthy for you to visit his house. Nor does he consider himself worthy to meet up with you himself. He said, 'Kindly please just say the word that my servant will be healed. For I myself am a person of authority. If I command one soldier to do something, he would promptly do it. I believe you only have to say the word and it will be fulfilled.' "

Turning to the people with him Jesus said, " I tell you, I have not seen such great faith before, no, not in Israel."


And so, Jesus didn't have to go into the Centurion's house. The elders of Israel and the centurion's friends went back to the centurion who sent them, and found out that the servant was healed indeed.

Adapted from Luke 7:1-10

Centurion image from http://orderofcenturions.org/history.html


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mr. Wise and Mr. Foolish

dated 1 May 2007

The Wise and Foolish Builders
Once upon a time there was a man named Mr. Fool. He wanted to build a house. He loved walking near the beach early in the morning to pick up shells and feel the sand under his feet. He also loved to waddle in the shallow water as the waves come in and go out. So, he said to himself, "I will build my big beautiful house right here in the sand, on the beach! Then I don't have to walk very far when I go for my morning walk." And that's what he did.

There was another man named Mr. Wise. He also liked the beach very much. He would take his dog with him and throw a stick far into the water and his agile dog would chase and retrieve it for him. Sometimes he even took his boat in the evenings and sail a bit further out to sea to feel the evening breeze and admire the setting sun. He thought," I will build my house here on the beach but it has to be high on a rock, so, that if the waves rise up at high tide my house would still be safe." And that's what he did.

Then a great storm struck. The rain poured in torrents. The sea became a big cauldron of waves, stirred up high and roaring loud. The winds blew crisp and hard and broke many palm and gnarled trees along the shore. Lightnings struck and thunders roared.


The tides rose high and came up to the houses of Mr. Fool and Mr. Wise. The tides shifted the shoreline as the sands moved in and out with every onslaught of the waves. And with the shifting sand, the pounding of the waves and pouring of the rain, the great and beautiful house of Mr. Fool shifted as well. It totally crashed! Then it was washed to the sea, almost in an instant. Where as, the house of Mr. Wise towered high above the waves and stood steadily upon the solid foundation of a rock.

In the same way, if you want a life that is strong and solid, so that it can withstand the storms of trials and difficulties, you need to build it on the solid foundation of the word of God, not on the shifting ground of worldly beliefs.
Adapted from Luke 6:47-49 ( Bible).
Dogs in the beach pic from www.sandiegosurfers.com
Storm images from www.picture-newsletter.com
Last pic from
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/trisha


What Easter Means to Me This Year

dated 7 April 2007



The Day Lily is a symbol of Easter for some cultures as it connotes new life and freshness.


What Easter Means to Me This Year


Easter is not really about Easter Bunnies or Easter Egg Hunting. I can divert into the topic on how those became associated to Easter, but I don't wish to do that now.


Easter is actually the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus i.e. His rising from the dead. Second only to Christmas, Easter is the most celebrated of all Christian holidays. Modern Christians now call it Resurrection Sunday in an attempt to dissociate it from the kind-of-adulterated practice called Easter.


In actual fact, the resurrection of Jesus remembered at Easter, is the most important event for a Christian. It is because of the resurrection of Jesus that there is Christianity. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christians would still be in their sin (unforgiven, unsaved, uncleansed – translated as, can't go to heaven). In the act of rising from the dead Jesus demonstrated for all time that He conquered sin and death and that the sacrifice of his life on the cross is efficacious and sufficient for the forgiveness of every repentant sinner. His rising from the dead also sets him apart from all the other prophets who have ever taught religion, any religion. The resurrection of Jesus sets Christianity apart from all other religions. Also, the resurrection of Jesus speaks of a new life for every repentant sinner. For as Jesus rose from the dead, the repentant sinner, who chooses to believe in Jesus and His resurrection, is also raised to a new life. What a wonderful truth!


It is the hope of the resurrection that gives me hope to go on hoping for the best, for myself, for my family, friends and loved ones. If God can raise people from the dead, and He does, I can certainly believe that any seemingly hopeless situation - an errant child, failing health, failing relationships, failing grades, even dreary jobs, etc. - can be changed by God into something good, joyful, even successful. The possibilities are endless! Now you know why I love Jesus so much!


Cheers and happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Images from http://www.biochem.szote.u-szeged.hu
http://thefuntimesguide.com/images/
http://www.janbrett.com/images/
http://humormatters.com/

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Smile! God loves you and me. ^____^

About Me

My photo
The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D