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  

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The Spirit prays…

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.   Roman 8:26  (NIV)

Dear Lord,

grant us Your Peace in this peace-less world;

grant us your Hope in the midst of despair;

grants us Your Joy in our sadness and suffering.

We hold on to the peace that this world cannot give,

We cling to the Hope that our Faith brings,

And we rejoice knowing that You have given us Your most precious gift – the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Colour my world… Red

 

In times of trial, the sun still shines.

In the darkness, beauty still exists.

In times of turmoil, peace can still be found.

If only we look for it. Within and without.

And therein lies our Hope and the purpose of our Faith…

The bleaker the world news and the blurrier my vision, the more i turn inwards spiritually, and outwards to nature; only to find that God is still there.

And the anthurium still blooms in all its majesty, bright and colourful, with its heart-shapes, a testimony of love… God’s everlasting unconditional love.       By Renee

May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Rom 15:13  (NIV)

On Wings of Love

Today is Mother’s Day. And we won’t be celebrating with my mum. She passed away on Jan 19 this year. These intricate embroidery painstakingly hand-sewn, stitch by stitch, on two pillows and a bolster is her legacy.

Mum had survived World War 2 by hiding underground with her sisters during the air raids. When she was younger, she used to make a living washing clothes for the families of British soldiers who were stationed here in the 1950s. This led to severe psoriasis on the soles of her feet as she had to squat in soapy waters while washing the clothes. She had to chop wood for cooking and carried buckets of water from the well on a pole across her shoulder.

Later, she learnt to make things on her own and finally found her talent in sewing when sewing peranakan beaded shoes to earn a living. After her marriage, she helped my uncle in his dressmaking shop while looking after my siblings and me. When i was a young girl, she loved sewing pretty lace dresses for me, and when my daughter came along she sewed some for her too.  At one time, she was paid for sewing lace flowers, one by one, onto wedding gowns. We still kept the rosary pouches on which she had embroidered our names.

Last December, she told me she still had 3 un-worn hand-sewn suits of blouses and pants in her house and expressed her wish to wear them. But it was not meant to be.

How apt that she sewed the phoenixes and birds. Yes, she has already flown into the arms of Jesus.  We miss you Mum.

Happy Mother’s Day! Wishing all mothers God’s graces and blessings today…and every day!       By B & R

I stand in awe of YOU

It is odd that while painting my little Egret, this song kept humming persistently for several days in my head “i stand…i stand… in awe of you…”

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful of comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp you infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of Your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you

How awesome and beautiful must be the moment when we stand before the Almighty God and Father who created and loved us.       By R

Red, Blue and Yellow

If we want to see how God the Perfect Artist paints His world, just look at His macaws. Seems like He simply took His basic palette of red, yellow and blue, splashed them about, and out came the colourful scarlet macaws.

I’ve had no formal training in art, so i know next to nothing about primary, secondary and complementary colours, values and tints, tones and shades. But the more i read, the more confused i get. All i’ve ever wanted was to paint through inspiration and now, if the painting turns out well, it’s a bonus! Nevertheless, i know i should still learn and practise more to become, hopefully, a better artist for God.

However, at the back of my mind, i’ve always wondered – surely God created and painted whatever and however He liked. He didn’t seem to care much about colours, tones and values, but it was all good!

Just like this macaw. Do the colours match? No. But is it beautiful? Yes!            By R

So God created … every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.   Gen 1:21  (NIV)

Emu Missing U

Hearing the news that an emu is on the run in the UK made me amused; seeing the mug-shot of it on TV made me laugh. I couldn’t resist painting it. It had such a mischievous tongue-in-cheek ‘grin’ on its face that seemed to say ‘catch me if you can!”

As with any unfamiliar subject, i started reading more about the nature and characteristics of emus. When i started sketching the emu, i couldn’t help but wonder why its features reminded me somewhat of the terrifying dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. To my utter amusement, i found out that according to a palaeontologist, an Australian emu is the most likely bird to ‘breed’ a dinosaur as it already looked like one.

While painting, i found it quite a challenge to prevent the cute emu from turning into another frightening dinosaur. I really hope i didn’t, but if it did, it’s purely unintentional. My sincere apologies to the poor emu.

Struggling with the painting set me thinking – isn’t it difficult not to stereotype people based on our encounters with them, particularly after unpleasant experiences? It takes a real effort on our part to remove our pre-conceived notions and prejudices.

Like this emu. Once i associated it with what i had seen in Jurassic Park, it was difficult to portray it for what it truly is – just an emu, created by God, loved by God, beautiful…and cute.       By R

So God created … every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.   Gen 1:21  (NIV)

PS I pray that God will keep it safe and that it will be found soon.