Speak Lord! It’s me again…

LOTUS A

I have never quite forgotten this blog which God inspired us after our marriage crisis.

My eyesight is still stable despite the cataracts and floaters. The doctor had advised that since I can still see despite my blurry eyesight, operation is not necessary now. So, I have adapted to seeing all of God’s Creations through “clouded lenses”!

My right hand has somewhat healed with the occasional pain. Compared to the period when i couldn’t even hold a pen, this is certainly a Grace and healing which I so deeply appreciate. Thanks be to God!

Sometimes in life, it’s good to make a change. I have tried Chinese Ink painting but I still return to my first love – watercolour. Maybe someday I can incorporate both!

In my Chinese ink and plein air painting groups, I have met and shared with fellow artists and strangers alike. It’s wonderful how God can use painting for me to be a witness for Him, sharing His love and joy and hope in a unique way.

But there’s always a time to take a step back, be silent in our hearts and listen carefully again. What is He saying to me now?

“…the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. “

“Listen carefully, God whispers…”

By Renee

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Minus the coffee, tea or the me

Phone with coffee_164806A

I like Lent. It forces me to take a real hard look at myself, my life and where I am now.

Giving up that cup of coffee, tea or delicious food we like is hard. But giving up that smartphone? It’s like giving up a piece of ourselves that has become so much a part of our lives.

Not too long ago, our phones were attached to lines and everyone had to share the house phone. Now, we bring our phones with us everywhere – to work, bed and even to the bathroom! It’s the first ‘person’ we greet in the morning and the last we say goodnight to.

When we forget to bring our mobile phones along or when we are unable to use it, we fidget, we don’t know what to say, where to look or how else to occupy ourselves. We feel completely lost. Without the guidance of the GPS on our phone, we are literally lost.

We are not free anymore. We have become slaves. That phone has become a part of US.

It’s time to slow down and enter that private room, no phones attached, and listen to GOD.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

By Renee

Longing for the Messiah

 

Food and Drink

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.

By Ben & Renee

Busy!

Busy Painting_134006

Busy playing. Busy writing. Busy doodling. We’re always occupied – too busy for each other. And yes, sometimes we are too busy for God too. But we are thankful to God whenever our family can spend precious time together.

Sometimes we are like the seeds that fell among thorns:

but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

But we are constantly reminded by Jesus to be the good seed that produces crop:

Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.

We may not always produce a hundred fold. What matters is that we persevere and continue to be fruitful in our faith. We may not be on Godselfie as often as we would like to be, but God will surely lead the way.

By Renee

Not 1 letter, Not 1 stroke

Ink Painting #1

A Traditional Chinese Medicine therapeutic massage made my right wrist/thumb worse. Five acupuncture sessions helped reduce some inflammation and pain. It has been eight months already. The healing process was slow, and there was not much i could do to hasten it. Only patience…

I hadn’t expect the healing to take so long when i signed up for a sponsored short course in ink painting. Wearing a hand guard, i went for the first class with much apprehension. Miraculously, by the grace of God, despite it being the first time i was holding a brush again, i didn’t have as much pain as i’d expected.

Repeating the same strokes over and over again was difficult and tedious. Again, patience was what i learnt.

As i practised stroke after stroke, these words kept recurring in my mind:

For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.   Matt 5:18-20  (NIV)

Through God, I learnt much more than ink painting that day.     By Renee

Still on the Right Hand

Three times we encountered a person who could only use one hand – the left hand.

Our daughter’s good friend had only a left hand, but she had become so adept at doing things with just that hand, and was fairly independent. It was pretty amazing and inspiring.

Recently, while selling a guitar hard-case to a man on Carousell, we realised with a shock that he actually had only one left hand. Worried that it might be too heavy for him and that it was also raining heavily, he left reassuring us that he could manage by himself.

When having tea at our favourite coffee joint on a Sunday, a burly man came and shared the table with us. We didn’t take much notice of him. Later, he called a friend over to take out a tissue from a packet for him. Only then did we discover that he had been drinking his coffee and texting using his only left hand all the time!

Coincidences? Certainly, these were God-sent coincidences. I’d wondered what His message was to me. Here were three persons with a permanent disability, yet they had mastered the ability to use the only hand they had and carry on with their lives.

What more can i say about the difficulty or pain in my right hand? I count my blessings and thank God that i still have limited use of my hand.

Healing takes patience and time, and patience is what He is teaching me.   By Renee

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.   Romans 12:11-12

I am free!

 

We have picked up many birds in the past – not 1, 2 or 3 but almost 10! God coincidentally ‘dropped down” birds over a period of time, and we tried to nurse and rear them. Unfortunately, most didn’t survive but there were two which were particularly memorable. They were 2 yellow-vented bulbuls.

The first one dropped from its nest in a sealing wax palm tree near to where our daughter had her weekly piano lessons. The children grew very fond of ‘Tweety’. For some months she was a free flying in-house bird, and would come flying to their hands whenever she was called. She loved preening her wings and perching on our shoulders. Some months later, she got frightened by a crow, and flew right out of our apartment’s kitchen window. We think she was eaten by the crow.

Our children were devastated and asked for another one. We told them there wouldn’t be any more.

But, God literally dropped another bulbul below the same tree just 2 weeks later! {Children’s prayers are very powerful indeed.) This one was covered in ants and we took some time to nurse it back to health. Pete grew to be the family’s pet. When Ben teased him, he would take cover between my feet while i was doing the dishes. When i went outside to do the gardening, he would stay on my shoulder and peck at my hair or the petunias. He would fly into the bathroom to have his bird bath or play hide and seek with the children. Some time later, he started to do weird dances by displaying his feathers or he would perch on our front gate and sing for hours.

One day, we accidentally dropped a pile of papers on the floor behind him. It gave him such a fright that Pete flew right out of the building. He never found his way back home.

We were sad. But on the other hand, we were hopeful. Pete is free at last, the sky is his limit now.

God made us to be free.  Jesus has set us free. Yet, sometimes we still continue to live in the cages of our own making – in our sins, in our pride and in our past.   By Renee

“… those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ”  Isa 40:31