Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Light at the end of the tunnel in the darkness gives hope when we are walking in the direction the tunnel leads us to.

If we are NOT walking, and the appearance of light at the end of the tunnel means a full-speed oncoming train or traffic that can be a threat to our safety.

Am I walking or staying still in the seasons of tunnel darkness in life? Being knocked down or killed by a train or vehicle does not sound attractive.

Dare to Dream with My Maker

flying-eagle

In the morning of 10 Aug this year, while I was struggling to get out of bed, I heard a familar inner voice that speaks so gently but firm, “DREAM WITH ME”.

Over the years, I have never dared to dream my own dream. It is not that I do not have dreams. Deep within me I have desires and dreams. Over the years, I have started to believe that perhaps God’s purpose for me is to help fulfill other’s dreams but not mine. Hurts and disappointments have seeped in each time my little steps toward my dreams are dashed by people and external circumstances. Traumatic events, one after another drain me dry, without any ounce of strength to even think about myself, what more to dream.  To others looking in from the outside, I seem to be coping well with all these. As I take on responsibility to do what is needed, dreams begin to drift further and further away from my reach. Managing my expectations, actually to have no expectations for my own good, becomes a protection against disappointments. I am happy to put my heart into helping others to fulfill their dreams if I can as I know how it feels not having one. I am genuinely happy to help but deep within, aches of such longings are exceptionally intense in the process. The only way to cope is to suppress this and ignore its existance. Deep within I am unhappy and dissatisfied  although I know that God has blessed me.

Proverbs 10:28 says that “The hope of the righteous is gladness” and I lost hope – hope that my heart will ever find gladness. Perhaps the only hope is to find this fullness when Christ comes back again. Yet this contradicts the God whom I know as in Psalms 27:13, David declared “I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.” The goodness of God is available even in this fallen world. Dreams are only possible for those who have hope. Once hope is gone, dreams die.

I am once again challenged to come face with dreams that died so long ago and secret dreams that I never even dare to give second thoughts. God’s call to “DREAM WITH ME” is beginning to awaken sleeping desires within. Hope is beginning to arise. I am in the midst of seeing an almost impossible dream which I never even dared to give second thoughts to coming into reality. This internal struggle is immense, to believe or to protect. To believe that something good will come to pass or to protect myself by retreating into the deep black hole so that I will not be heart-broken again.

Learning to once again take courage and press onward for my dreams is taking so much out of me. I do hope that soon I can post about a dream becoming a reality. The practical steps are daunting. For those who happen to read this, and are struggling with something similar, I just want to tell you that you are not alone. Not because I am also going through this, but because God through Jesus Christ has the power to lift you and I out of this deep black hole of hopelessness.

P.S. Please don’t get me wrong. My dreams have never been about wealth, status or position. Some of them are very basic things that many people are enjoying as part of their normal lives.

Ayin Dalet – The Year of Door

Strangely, I can’t sleep tonight. This is not a usual thing for I am usually physically drained by the time I hit the bed and it is right now past 3am. For some strange reason, I am completely alert and charged. According to Biblical calendar, we entered into the year 5447 on 4 September 2013. The year is 5447 is called Ayin Dalet. It is said that this is a year of open door(s) of opportunities and behind the door(s) is our new spring of water. True enough I already saw doors being left ajar waiting for me to push them wide open and walk through them just as we are entering into this new year.

Inverted Red Doors
Inverted Red Doors

I find my doors are not the usual ones that are standing upright. It takes so much from me to get through the doors. I find that I cannot walk through them the way I used to. New ways are needed. I need to be free to tilt myself and enter in. It is so hard, even as I wrestle with God so many times for it is so difficult asking God to make me willing. The red doors present the blood of the lamb that was shed so that we can walk into our destiny, these red doors.

There is a shift within me that I did not even know when or how it happened. My spirit catches something in the natural which my mind and my heart do not even have knowledge of. I am usually a person who leans a lot on my “gut feel”, which I believe is the Holy Spirit speaking to me. This shift is not simply a gut-feel. It feels almost like catching something in the spiritual, but the understanding is left clueless. My mind is unable to make sense and yet my emotions are able to respond. The restlessness of tonight is one of adrenaline and a sense of hope. There is nothing during today or this week to be able to trigger such gladness. This is an excitment of expectation, of what I am not sure. This is a complete opposite of what I was feeling the past few weeks, a heavy heart. God is going to do something new and good. In waiting mode.

Interestingly, now that I have come to the end of this post, I am getting sleepy and thus signing off!

A Tribute to My Daddy

I miss my daddy. Miss him so much. I was daddy’s girl. Miss the fun I had with him, the discipline he enforced on me, the gifts he showered upon me and most importantly, being who he was in my life.

Daddy was a strong warrior who fought hard and well with cancer. He was atheletic and well-built but was half his size when half his stomach was taken from him. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy took him to another level of battle. There was not one word of complain throughout all the medical procedures and treatment. Chemotherapy weakened him further and all he said was that food tasted very strange. Radiotherapy left huge patches of burnt skin on his back and it seemed that my heart ached more than he did when he endured it matter-of-factly. At times his face cringed with pain, even so, he rose above it by being attentive to those around. He treated the nurses and health staff with much kindness and appreciated very help. Even though he struggled so much physically, mentally and emotionally, he chose to enjoy life as much as he could. He learnt different senior citizen sports after the cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It was strange having daddy at home so often but it was good. I knew his days were numbered. My prayer to God was “do not take him home until He accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior”.

One day he collapsed at home. This time the doctor confirmed that he was not going to last. He was hospitalized for about 2-3 weeks with stronger chemotherapy. Not through the usual IV, but one that was inserted directly to his heart. Yes, he had a plug at his heart. The time came when the doctor alerted me that he only had less than 2 days. I stayed by him in the hospital throughout. He was in coma, not able to respond. I sat beside him and kept singing “Yes, Jesus loves you” tenderly by his left ear. The next day late morning, he woke up. In his weak voice he said, “I want to be baptised”. Our pastor rushed down that very afternoon and baptized my father. After the baptism, he managed to whisper some last instructions to me and a farewell… then he went back into “sleep mode”. His pulse was getting weaker. I continued to sit next to him, and held his hand. When it was almost midnight, I knew within me it was time for him to go. I kept my fingers on his pulse. True enough, not long after his pulse stopped. There was a glorious glow on his face with a smile. I believed he met Jesus. There is no other way to explain the glory reflected on his countenance.

Daddy fought his last 11 months with such grace. He taught me so much about endurance, and the giving of self. I am so thankful that my Father God is a God who answers prayers. He did not allow my daddy to be eternally seperated from Him. I know that although daddy’s presence is taken away from me now but I will meet him in the glorious Kingdom of God after the return of Christ.

Happy Father’s Day, my dearest Daddy! You are dearly missed.

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Mind Field

Lies and deceptions flood the mind
A battle for sanity and what is mine
Groping in the darkness for the unknown
This glimmer of light is the only hope

Deep within the conscience cries
Yet this guile detracts the mind
Tears that flow reflects the life
Of the struggle to do it right

Hanging on tight to my Savior’s heel
His grace unexplainable in me unfold
Girding me to stand and behold
LOVE, it carries me through this field

Strong Mind

Stepping Out into the Unknown

Last Saturday, 20 April 2013, I was looking through my iTunes library and found a recording of prophetic word released to me in 2006 by a highly respected minister of God. The focus of the word was directed to my impending mission work in East Timor where I was sent out at that point in time. The summary of the word is that God will perform signs and wonders through me in the land and the lives of the people will drastically improve through community transformation. As I look back, I know deep within me that I did not walk in the fullness of the prophetic word that was given. In my own assessment, I believe I walked about 20-30% of what God intended for me at that point. I did witness AMAZING signs and wonders and was blown away but what I experienced was only the tip of the iceberg that God has in store for me. The journey to Timor was so amazing that YWAM Singapore Faces magazine featured a summary of the my story of how I ended up in Timor. Upon coming back to Singapore, due to pressures from all sides, I did not continue the work and missed out on God’s promise for myself to see the transformation that God will do in this beautiful island. God’s destiny for Timor is not hindered by me as God is bigger than this, but because of the decisions I made, I missed out in being part of a move of God that He has invited me to be part of so as to experience Him in a different way. Below is the article in FACE that summarized God’s amazing work in my journey of mustard faith in 2008.

Article on Faces (YWAM Singapore Publication) in 2009
Article on Faces (YWAM Singapore Publication) in 2009

My church is taking hold of the promise that 2013 will be a year of moving into the new level, a higher level. This is also what the Lord put in my heart as I crossed over into 2013. New level means getting out of my own comfort zone and trusting God in ways I never had before. I cannot let my fear of man and fear of the unknown shortchange me of walking in the fullness of God’s blessings. The only person who can hinder my journey with God is myself.

Here’s the song that has given me much encouragement and strength and hope it blesses you as well! O God, give me Your faith to walk this journey ahead!

Self-Care Beauty Treats

This week feels like a beauty focused week. I have never once received that many random beauty presents within a week and my birthday this year has long passed. There is no particular occasion for these gifts actually. I am hardly a beauty person, where skincare and beauty products are concerned, I am basic and minimal. If I have a choice, I will probably not even do anything but I do understand that this temple of God should be taken care of as well. I am wondering if God is speaking to me and the verse Esther 2:12 came to mind. Not sure what it practically means in my life, but I think I should just enjoy the beauty treats that God has showered on me!

Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” (Esther 2:12 NIV)

An AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Pampering Treat. 2 bottles of cream wash and 1 bottle of body lotion.
An AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Pampering Treat. 2 bottles of cream wash and 1 bottle of body lotion.
This tweezer comes with an illuminator light and a chic carrying case! How cool is this?
This tweezer comes with an illuminator light and a chic carrying case! How cool is this?
M.A.C. nail polish and lip gloss in such chirpy colours!
M.A.C. nail polish and lip gloss in such chirpy colours!
Dead Sea Salt Scrub... skin feels so smooth and good after using it!
Dead Sea Salt Scrub… skin feels so smooth and good after using it!

Just blessed and loved by the friends who gave me these and that God is reminding me to take care of myself. =)

Till Death Do Us Part…

Last Friday was the marriage reaffirmation of two couples whose lives have blessed me tremendously by being Godly examples. The first couple, Uncle Seah and Aunty Madeline have been married for 56 blissful years. I am just amazed by how their love for each other grows deeper as the years go by. Just the way Uncle Seah looks at Aunty Madeline, everyone around can tell the depth of his love for his bride and the amount of attention he gives to her is unparallel! Even the zeal and zest of young men wooing their love is not as strong as the love and attention that flows out of Uncle Seah so naturally. The second couple, Tardas and Lenny, is married for 23 years. Although they do not have their own natural children, they have given their lives to so many young people who are now their spiritual children. Their one heart in serving The Lord, even if it means sacrificing their own comforts, blesses me so much. These two couples are godly examples for me of a Christ-centred, loving relationship that cannot but bless the people around them.

I volunteered to help them with their flowers and deco for this special day to celebrate and renew their love for each other. Flowers never fail to cheer me up! So the trips to the nursery and being in the big cold fridge full of all kinds of fresh flowers are already the perk!!! So I made 2 hand bouquets and a table centrepiece, hoping to bring some beauty into the cozy function room. Aunty Madeline requested for red roses and I made a hand bouquet for her with a single cream rose, signifying that she is Uncle Seah’s one and only. Aunty Lenny chose pink carnations but the pink hydrangea looked too good to be missed and it turned out really sweet and matching to what she was wearing!

I had a great time with Christina who was my co-“wedding” planner and we ran around getting all the stuff needed to make the evening special and pretty and also coordinating the logistics. It was a very touching evening especially when they exchanged their vows with words from the bottom of their hearts, and not the usual scripted ones we hear at weddings. It shows that in the increasing rates of divorces and broken marriages in the world, marriages that are genuinely built in Christ and modeled after Christ’s love can still exist and it is a possible reality of faithfulness when couples vow “till death do us part”.

Here are some of the photos for you to share the joy!!!

Christina on the Mac doing up the slideshow of photo montage with oldies in the 50s and 60s!!
Christina on the Mac doing up the slideshow of photo montage with music from the 50s and 60s!!
The cut out glittery foam of the 2 couples' names...
The cut out glittery foam of the 2 couples’ names…
Uncle  Seah and Aunty Madeline pouring out the wine for the toast
Uncle Seah and Aunty Madeline pouring out the wine for the toast
Tardas and Lenny pouring out wine for the toast
Tardas and Lenny pouring out wine for the toast
Pastor Jimmy, Pastor Michael and the 2 couples giving a toast
Pastor Jimmy, Pastor Michael and the 2 couples giving a toast
Rose Hand Bouquet
Red Rose Hand Bouquet with 1 Cream Rose signifying the only love
Hydrangea Hand Bouquet
Pink Hydrangea Hand Bouquet
centrepiece
Red and Cream Roses Table Centerpiece

Arise and Shine

I do not like to teach. It is not because I do not want to share what I know, on the contrary I want the persons to learn it well and good. I feel inadequate to teach, the sense that I am never good enough. Let another who teaches better do it so that more people will benefit rather than me being the hindrance to their learning.

For many years, Rev Dr John Tay has been persuading me to teach at his Biblical Studies classes. I used to teach the class in 2005 but it was a really small class of five people. Early this year, he asked me again. I know I cannot run away anymore. Not from Rev Dr John Tay, but from God. So I agreed, and with the teaching it also includes writing books which are materials for the Biblical Studies program. Last Tuesday (26 March 2013) I sat in to refresh my experience of the class since it was almost a decade since I was last in his Biblical Studies class. I was INTIMIDATED! There were almost 30 students and most of them are much older than me, and I can tell that quite a number of them are leaders in their respective churches. Who am I to teach them the Word of God? I probably should be learning from them instead! Rev Dr John Tay is a well-respected man of God who has spent years in studying the Word of God and pastoring his church. People are here to be taught by him and definitely not me! I felt smaller than a mustard seed… Next thing I know, Rev Dr John Tay will be away next Tuesday and asked me to co-teach with another lady. My heart was in my stomach.

Sunday Service on 31 March 2013, my pastor read Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you” and said this is for me and Ben. Timely reminder for me for this upcoming teaching.

Monday night, 1 April 2013, was tough. I did not sleep well at all, freaking out! The next day, the actual day, was even more challenging. To take my mind off, I met up with Christina, had some food, walked around a little, and sat down to run through 1 Corinthians 3-4, which are the chapters to be covered for the class that evening. When it was time for me to leave for the Singapore Bible House where the class is held, I was dragging my feet. Christina decided to send me to the Bible House and got me chocolates! Along the way, she clocked a $11 fine as she forgot to insert her cashcard when passing through ERP (a road toll). =| O God please let her appeal get through and the fine be waived! Thank God for sisters-in-Christ who made sure I get to where I need to be regardless!

Kit Kat Pressie

Dr Susan taught 1 Corinthians 3 while I was to teach on the following chapter and also on essay writing (their first assignment for this term!). I love Dr Susan’s insights and enjoyed her teaching, and I was secretly wishing that she will continue and finish the class!! When she passed the mic over to me, I was trembling inside but still trying to look composed. Something like a duck looking calm above the waters but the legs frantically peddling beneath the waters! One of the students suggested that we should have a round of brief introduction of the class and so I did that. It definitely lightened the atmosphere and made it a lot easier for me to start although I was acutely aware by then that almost a third of the class are retirees with a missionary and pastor on sabbatical.  I do not know if the class can hear the quiver in my voice but I was shaking inside! I faithfully went through what I felt I needed to cover and the class ended. God knows that I needed affirmation and encouragement. Quite a few of the students, some very senior, came and thanked me and said the class was helpful to them. All I needed to know is that I did not confuse them or make their learning even more difficult!!! So those feedback are more than I asked for!

Thank God for friends who prayed for me and did not dismiss my irrational fears. The second class is still not going to be easy but I choose to believe that it will get easier as I learn to trust God more in this. That He is the one who puts the words in my mouth and not me. Praise be to God!