“When You Fast…”

Fasting from painting?

That’s difficult. Especially when it’s been enforced for the past five months. It was supposed to be “Mummy’s thumb”, which should have healed quite easily as long as i took extra care not to use my right thumb.

But i have yet to touch a brush simply because any movement of my right thumb induces more inflammation and pain. On top of that, i have to abstain from all kinds of nuts and soya products which may worsen the inflammation. Being a “nutty” person, i am discovering that i have to forgo so many of my favourite foods in our local cuisine.

How appropriate for Lent!

Fasting from food takes some effort. Giving up things we love such as our mobile devices, social media and gaming entails greater sacrifice. But what about going the extra mile to put others first, reaching out in love instead of being preoccupied with me, myself and i?

I am discovering that the latter is the hardest.

This Lent, we fast for 40 days. He fasted for 40 days too, but He took it one step further – He gave Himself up for you and me.

With God’s grace, i hope and pray that i can be a better person this Lent.     By Renee

“If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon.
The Lord will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places. ”  Isaiah 58:9-11

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Darkness could not overcome

In the darkness, our eyes are instinctively drawn to lights in any form.
In the darkness of our souls, our hearts may erroneously be drawn to light that comes from hellfire.
May the True Light, born of The Virgin, illuminate our whole being this Christmas and lead us home to His pasture where there is no more night. Rev 22:5       By Ben

A Blessed and Holy Christmas to all our friends on WordPress!

In Whom i trust

“And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”  Matt 28:20

This was one of my last paintings before i sprained my right wrist and thumb. Now i can’t even hold a pen, much less a brush, without experiencing agonising pain. What a reminder from God to me to never take anything for granted.

When i first spotted this small beautiful church, with the cross on its steeple reaching up to the clear blue sky, i knew that i had to paint it. My eyes were irresistibly drawn heavenward, towards the cross, to God. Immediately, i felt at peace.

With a world that is constantly changing and becoming saturated with more sad than good news, Faith becomes a rock that stabilises me. And Hope flickers on in a time of darkness.

“Since you are my rock and my fortress,

for the sake of your name lead and guide me.”  Psalm 31:3

 By Renee

Send the Light

Mid-autumn festival is also known as Mooncake Festival. The locals here sometimes call it Lantern Festival. Whatever the name might be, the month-long celebration in the Lunar calendar is filled with food, get-togethers and festivities.

When we were young, mooncakes would be sold only once a year at this time. We used to carry our lit handmade lanterns and pay visits from house to house. We were rewarded with chestnuts, mooncakes and pomelos.  There were memorable events like lantern-guessing riddles where we could win prizes too.

In this current time, while we are facing uncertainty amidst the unrest all over the world, God continues to bless us with festivals and joyful moments to cheer our hearts. Like a good father to his beloved children.       By Ben

How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,
They shout joyfully together;
For they will see with their own eyes
When the Lord restores Zion     Isaiah 52:7-8

Jacob’s Ladder

 

He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. ”   Gen 28:12 

Climbing up a staircase takes some effort, going up a narrow and spiraled one is even harder. So is our daily struggle to reach heaven, step by step, with the Grace of God.

Going down a slide takes no effort; we just let gravity do its job. Giving up or letting go in our endeavour to lead Christian lives is also an easy slide that leads us everywhere but Heaven.

Dear Lord, please give us the strength to carry our crosses every day after You.  Amen.

By Renee

In The Making

An interesting wall that I came across last week:
Coffee-in-progress.
It’s a reminder of the Holy Spirit’s untiring effort in working within us.
We are a work-in-progress, if we are willing, until we are ready to be offered as an aromatic cup of morning coffee for the Lord.       By Ben

 

Therefore beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not when I am near to you only, but now when I am far from you, all the more, with awe and with trembling, do the service of your life. For God is carefully working in you both to desire and to do that thing which you desire.    Phil 2:12-13