The Spirit prays…

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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.

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Colour my world… Red

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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

Embroidery Mum 3Today 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

IMG_4669 AHearing 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.

Follow the Leader

“All our students are trained to be future leaders” – I remember hearing this from the principal of a school and then thinking aloud, “if everyone is a leader, who will be the followers?!” It is common in the context of today’s society that many wish to be leaders. Some are truly called, but many are self professed. We try to lead but since there aren’t any followers, we desperately try to copy ideas, modify them and pass them off as our own in order to impress. Often we can see these in fashion designs, in public speeches, in blog posts and many other areas in our lives. God makes each of us “special” but we, in our own poor self image, try to make ourselves special in front of others.

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I captured these birds in a photo one evening last year. And when I zoomed-in to take a closer look, I realised that perhaps there was only one leader in front. Although every bird is following in the same direction, each has its unique posture and beauty. Each bird is special.

Jesus said his disciples: “The greatest among you will be your servant” Matt23:11 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, give me grace to be humble and grateful for You have made me special. Amen.     By B