His Benefits

2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all His benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

~ Psalm 103 ~

Psalms 103 reminds us of God’s benefits to us:

i. He forgives us our sins
ii. He is the one who heals our diseases
iii. He has saved us from the pits in our lives
iv. He crowns us with love & compassion
v. He satisfies our desires with good things
vi. He renews our youth

The past year has been world-shattering but there are still things that I can be thankful for. It can take a lot of effort to get through the pain but I for one can attest that it gets a little easier each day to be thankful and through thanksgiving comes a little more healing. All I can say is that His grace is sufficient.

Amen.

Summer in My Heart

I just read this in today’s Slice of Infinity article and it’s at times like this when I truly appreciate how creative expression can say things that no utterance can fully picture.

I know in whom my soul believes,
I know in whom I trust;
The Holy One, the merciful,
the only wise and just.

I know in whom my soul believes,
and all my fears depart;
For though the winter winds may blow,
’tis summer in my heart.

-Fanny Crosby-

Enduring Sufferings

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? (Hebrews 12:7 NIV)

Hebrews 12:7 in the NIV struck me and comforted me at the same time this morning. I always figured the verse spoke of God disciplining us into maturity through sufferings but this morning the words “endure hardship as discipline” meant a whole lot more. It spoke to me about an attitude we take more than it did about the fact that God disciplines.

An attitude of knowing that God can take our sufferings to purify & mould us is a comforting truth. Learning to endure hardships as discipline isn’t easy but we can start by putting on new attitudes. The Bible tells us we are new creations in Christ and that often means we consciously have to put on new attitudes and views to be new creations and the only way to do that is to apply what God shows us in His Word.

I struggle to put on my new self these days especially with all the pain I have to endure due to a deep betrayal which has cost me to lose many things that are precious to me. Thankfully we do not have to go about this change alone as God has promised us help through the Spirit. Even though we may fail, we can always pick ourselves up with His help. I do want to note that our failures may have bad consequences (sometimes irreversible) and we cannot be presumptuous in thinking that our choices don’t matter. The great comfort I have is that His door is always open to draw us into a deeper relationship with Him if we choose to seek Him out. Amen.

A Tribute to Mummy

Mummy

My beloved mother

It’s Mother’s Day today and I’m not gonna be able to celebrate it with my mom but nevertheless I can still tell the world how much I love her so here goes…

Mummy’s passing last Wednesday was sudden and it was a shock to all of us but in a sense it was not a surprise because in His grace & mercy God gave my family ample time to love her all these 13 years since she got a second lease of life from a kidney transplant. I have no regrets in things with mummy because she knew I loved her and I was able to bless mummy with many chats, meals, movies and many nice things. Mummy also could see in me a love for God which she desired for me and the family because of her own walk with Jesus.

In His grace through a prophecy our family was always aware that God had blessed mummy with 10 years of life from the date of her kidney transplant and amazingly enough in His generosity God gave mummy another extra 3 years. For that I can never thank God enough for His goodness and for the extra 3 years of super good health that mummy enjoyed. In these 3 years mummy has traveled so much and just last year finally managed to visit the U.S. to spend an extended time with my aunt, uncle and cousins there. Even though it was a difficult time for me and I needed my parents’ support at that time I’m glad that mummy could go there. The beauty of it was that mummy & daddy could still support me through the wonder of technology via FaceTime on her iPad and I could see that even though mummy & daddy were in pain as well because of my suffering they truly were blessed with a wonderful time in Boston, New York & Washington D.C. with Auntie Ivy & Uncle Mike.

Mummy, I’ll miss you. I’ll miss having you around. I’ll miss you puttering about doing all kinds of things to love our family. I’ll miss the sound of your voice. I’ll miss calling you on the phone. I’ll miss WhatsApping you. I’ll miss the sight of you sitting on the bed or on the couch with your iPad playing games or just reading articles. I’ll miss the encouraging emails you forward to me and I’ll miss most of all the love that you have showered upon me, daddy and Kit. It is because of you that I have come to know Jesus in such a deep way. Your life had so much of Him and if not for you I would not be able to love the Word of God as much as I do and I would not be holding on so tight to Him in the midst of the great storm of the past year.

I love you mummy and in these few days I have seen just how much you have loved others by the presence of all the people who came for your wake and for your funeral. I can accept that you have gone Home to be with Jesus and I know that you are in a much better place. John 14:2-4 gives me that assurance that I will see my mummy again one day and in His grace when the passage was read on Thursday morning by Pr. Paul Christie an image of mummy sitting by a the sunlight in a beautiful white room flashed in my mind’s eye. Mummy looked up at me and she smiled.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Indeed we know where mummy is now and the Bible gives us that assurance time and time again. Mummy had to suffer for many years because of sickness and now she is in a place free of sickness, tears & suffering. She is home and one day daddy, Kit, Hoon and myself will be reunited with her when we too go the way of the earth.

Good-bye Mummy. I’ll see you again one day in that City on a Hill in the Presence of our Saviour; where all will be made right and all the pain that we have experienced here on this earth would be lost in the sea of His great love.

On Eagles Wings

Isaiah 40 talks about God’s comfort to His people and it heralds His coming. God is exalted in all His ways and Isaiah gives us a glimpse as to who God is:

1) God’s comfort (v1)
2) God’s justice (v2b)
3) God’s glory (v5)
4) God’s strength (v10)
5) God’s reward (v10)
6) God’s provision (v11)
7) God’s incomparable greatness (v15-18)
8) God’s grace (v29)

Isaiah 40 closes off with these words:

“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”

As we wait upon the Lord, we experience Him in all the 8 characteristics that Isaiah writes about. In God we truly can rise on wings like eagles. In God we can truly run and not grow faint. Why? Because He is my all in all much as He is yours.

He Came With a Quivering Lip

Here’s a beautiful poem by Kathleen Wheeler that says so much about how each new day is a gift from God to make a difference; to be different. We don’t always need to have spoiled days as the poem says (hey! I made a rhyme!).

He came to my desk with a quivering lip, the lesson was done. “Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher? I’ve spoiled this one.” I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted, And gave him a new one all unspotted. And into his tired heart I cried, “Do better now, my child.”I went to the throne with a trembling heart, the day was done. “Have you a new day for me, dear Master? I’ve spoiled this one.” He took my day, all soiled and blotted, and gave me a new one all unspotted. And into my tired heart he cried, “Do better now, my child.”

Always Faithful

God’s word brings me much comfort and the knowledge that God is faithful helps me to press on through the challenges that come my way daily. I read Psalm 103 this morning and here’s what it says:

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The 2nd half of the passage is where God’s character shines through most. It’s taken me almost a lifetime to learn this; but I finally understand that true hope & strength comes very much from a dependance on God in His character rather than ourselves.

Having hope does not depend on our circumstances and even if things don’t go our way, we can trust that God has good plans for us. The hard part I guess is letting go of the things we want to receive the better thing that God has for us because we can’t see beyond the here and now.

I’m learning very much to trust God and I guess I hope that as I walk this journey I would be able to pass on what I have already discovered to others so that they too can discover more about God.

Will you come on this journey with me?