Words we long to hear

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Jesus said to the woman : “Then neither do I condemn you,”
“Go now and sin no more.”  John 8:11

As the saying goes, “God has a soft spot for sinners”.  Jesus is longing for our return and repentance.  And we are indeed very blessed to have the sacrament of reconciliation where we can hear Him saying to us – “neither do I condemn you”.       By Ben

Rock or Sand

“It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men!
‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!”  Matt 7:21-28

 

Boat Rock or Sand 20170327_014Perhaps this is one of the most soul-gripping pictures painted with authority by Jesus to us as disciples. For I may be a regular church-goer, giving donations to the poor, healing the sick with prayers, or calling the Lord’s name in praise and worship – and the response from the Lord on the last day is: “I have never known you!”

Scary.

Sensible men will choose the Rock.
Stupid men will decide for Sand.
They are not far apart.
We just need to act on them…wisely.

By Ben

Paradox

I have ended up jobless again recently when the company I was working for was struggling with cash-flow.  There is no hard-feelings on my part towards the dismissal though, as I could somehow see God’s hand in all that took place.  The timing couldn’t be better as our daughter has just completed her university studies and our son has just enlisted into the army. Our financial concerns have lessened. And making myself available to assist them when they are moving on to a new phase of life can be helpful.

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We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body.   2 Cor 4:8-10

More often than not, we experience Jesus’s power in our moments of difficulty, pain and loneliness. He chose to make his presence known in a paradoxical manner like a black-and-white photo or a dead-and-resurrected life. My prayer, in whatever circumstance, is to be able to know and thank Him for being there all this time. Amen.           By Ben

Ever wandering, ever restless

Time passes quickly. We are already half way through the Lent period. My job was reduced (from full time to part time) and my salary too!  But I thank God that I still have a job and some extra time to spend with my family as well as time to prepare for Easter.

We saw this pair of Lemurs at close range at the zoo. They reminded me of the times when I turned away from God and my family. Ever wandering, ever restless.

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Israel, come back to the Lord your God;
your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.
Provide yourself with words
and come back to the Lord.     Hosea 14:2

May the Lord, in His victory over sin and death, grant us the spirit of repentance and sincerity in turning our hearts back to God. Amen.       By Ben

Transient Sunset

I am a morning person and am not fond of dusk except for the beauty of the sunset. It is as if God is playing a slow motion video in the sky, with transient colours by the minutes. Just like this one taken near the seaport – it was breathtaking but did not last.

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Nevertheless, regardless of my preference, I shall thank and praise the Lord for every moment and everything. For one day my senses may not be good enough to appreciate the people and things around me.       By Ben

From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised.  Ps113:3

Bittersweet Fruits

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Our computer is finally up again! Although it has been a bittersweet year, we are truly grateful for God’s Blessings.

Renee’s mum’s first hospital stay also turned out to be her last. God brought her home on the 19th of Jan. What has remained are happy memories spent with her, especially on Sundays. She loved the poinsettia we bought for her last Christmas, so now every poinsettia becomes a reminder of her.

Ben finally found a job last December after more than a year. With fears of retrenchment still fresh in his mind and a weak economy, holding on to a totally unfamiliar job was and still is a great challenge. Thanks be to God!

Renee discovered her eye problems during her mum’s hospitalisation, and sufferred a retina tear in July. Despite the blurry vision and innumerable floaters, she has been trying to paint as and when she could. God’s gift of sight is so precious. How else can we see our loved ones and God’s many wonderful creations?

In this time and age where families are often busy and seldom together, we are grateful to God that we can still pray with our children, and spend time together every now and then.  Yesterday, we enjoyed ourselves as a family at Universal Studios. Having booked the tickets online earlier, we were worried about the weather as torrential rains have been the norm this December. The weather turned out perfect yesterday, but it started raining again today!

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We stumbled upon Elmo, left alone, on a bench as we came home last week from our Christmas shopping. What a poignant reminder from God. While people are rejoicing and enjoying their festivities, there will always be someone out there feeling a little lonelier and sadder during this period. Let’s not forget them.

We pray that we will have a closer walk with the Lord in 2017 and that we will always remain faithful to HIM.

May God grant love, joy and peace to you, your families and in all your hearts.

Love and blessings from Ben and Renee and our family

Blackout !

Our desktop computer decided to take an early Christmas break last Sunday. It chose to shut down after a computer update! We are praying that all our photos, art and everything else remain intact in the hard disk when the technician comes down to repair it this evening.  The last time it happened years ago, we lost everything we stored in the computer. Oh well…

Now and again, we are reminded to detach ourselves from what is temporal and seek what is eternal.

What better time to reflect about this than now, just days before Christmas?

Ben and Renee