A Dog’s Tale

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This was supposed to be a painting in memory of an old woman and her dog. Sadly, the painting of the woman turned out disastrous without a reference photo, and so i was left with only her dog.

In the village where i used to live, there was an old neighbour and her faithful companion. Wherever she went, he(?) followed. Every evening, both would take a stroll to the village entrance where she would sit on a stone bench. The woman had her walking stick and her dog would lie down beside her seat. There, she would wave or have a chat with anyone who walked by.

One day, she passed away. At her wake, everyone was touched by the sight of her dog lying beside her coffin. I could never forget the forlorn look in the eyes of her faithful companion. He refused to leave her side or eat anything. Shortly after, he passed on too.

This unforgettable story often reminds me of two other relationships in the scriptures – that of Mary and John, with Jesus.

While Martha was busy with all the preparation, her sister, Mary, chose what was more important and “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. (Luke 10.:39)

John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, was the one who leaned on His chest, which showed how close he was to Jesus. John was also the courageous apostle who stood by Jesus right to the end, at the foot of the Cross. (John 19:25-27)

How faithful are we to our own Master, our Saviour?     By Renee

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.

Who’s Calling…

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When i was young, i used to hog this black phone for hours on calls with friends. I was constantly getting scolded by my parents as it was the only phone for use by the whole family as well as for my dad’s work.

Fast forward 30-ish years and now almost everyone owns a mobile phone. For their own use alone. How much we have taken things for granted.

Our son has just been enlisted for compulsory military service. Suddenly, the mobile phone has turned into a precious commodity. No phone charging was allowed during his confinement period. He was constantly worried about using his 3 power banks before the 2 weeks were up. Phone calls were restricted to only once a night, and even then, there were days he went without. Every call, every minute has become so precious for us to hear his voice, to find out how he’s coping and how tough it is.

It makes me realise how the disciples of Jesus must have felt when Jesus told them that He was going away. All this while, they had Him with them. Suddenly, He was leaving them. They felt lost. But He promised that He would never leave them alone. He would send them His Advocate. All they needed to do was wait…

And so we wait… for the Gift of His Holy Spirit.    By Renee

Jesus said, ‘… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’
  As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight.    (Acts 1:9-11)

Rest and Refuge

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(Our son, caught napping… during family prayer time)

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from Him.

Truly He is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;

He is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts to Him,

for God is our refuge.    Psalm 62:5-8  (NIV)

Sketch by Renee

In Remembrance of Me

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And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”  Luke 22:19-20  (NIV)

By Renee

My Fair Lady

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I don’t even know why i bought this climber from the supermarket. All i know is that i was attracted to its beautiful white petals, so simple and pure.  Only today did i discover that it is named My Fair Lady!

What an unexpected lesson from the Lord to me about a simple plant – to keep myself pure and to keep reaching up heavenwards.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.”   Psalm 51:10-11  (NIV)

By Renee

Above All

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For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is His love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

so far has He removed our transgressions from us.     Psalm 103:11-12  (NIV)

Heaven on earth!?  That’s what i thought when someone showed me some old photos of Huangshan in China. Who could create such an incredibly beautiful and heavenly place on earth?

Well, only God could.

By Renee