Tag Archives: God

Reflections for 2013 | What’s life, if it’s not experienced?

What's life, if it's not experienced?

As the year 2013 draws to a close, like many of my friends who’ve already done so, I’d also like to pen, or type in this case, some of the more striking lessons and thoughts I’ve learnt from the year past.

1. Forgiveย 

A lesson that I’ve been reminded in the final month of the year. I shared with a few friends that I find it hard to forgive a friend/person when the other party doesn’t apologize and/or ask me for forgiveness. It would be too obnoxious to go up to them and go “It’s ok that you didn’t ask for forgiveness, but I forgive you.” As I thought about the friends that I needed to forgive, I realize that as much as I felt that they wronged me or took me for granted, perhaps they didn’t know that I was mad at them. And if that’s true, then perhaps I’ve also unintentionally wronged or took some friends for granted and needed to seek forgiveness from them. That thought’s a humbling one. With this thought, leads to another – that if we care enough for a friend, we won’t let misunderstandings come in our way. We’ll find a time for a HTHT, we’ll learn that forgiveness is just part of imperfect human relationships and we’ll find that our relationship/s emerges stronger through the tough times.

2. Focus on what’ve we’ve got, not what we lack.

On hindsight, I’ve been placed in several situations this year that found me lacking in the resources I need. Resources to organize stuff and such. And through them all, I realize that, by the grace of God, I made it through because I focused on who and what I had on hand, and not on whom and what I lacked. That, is a very important lesson I’m so glad that I’ve experienced without any hiccups. I say this because the reality could have easily seen me in a pity-party crying and wallowing about all the people and things I lack in my life to make it an awesome one. But it would be like missing a yellow colour pencil in a full set of colour pencils and saying that I’ve got no colours in my life. The truth is, life has always been what we make of it. Yes, we can choose to let life make us and define us. BUT, we can also acknowledge everyone that we have, every thing that we’ve been given, put them in a pinata, shake them up, let the confetti burst into the air and celebrate life and all that we’ve got. Because, why not?

3. Love people, not things.

There are many awesome people in my life whom I regularly thank God for, but as I grow older, I’ve come to really appreciate my eldest sister in a new and different light each time I grow to a different stage in life. We tend to share similar items at home like clothes and tech stuff whether we use the same items or we have the similar items. To cut a long story short, I allowed a phone charger cable to take precedence over my sister in my life; and as I reflected about my behaviour I was ashamed that I’ve hurt my sister in doing so. Thankfully I apologized and she also forgave me. It was after this incident that I came to the realization that 1. I must not let things take precedence over people in my life. 2. I must not, in any situation, say words that are unkind that will cause hurt to people I love. Especially if I love them, I must not say words out of spite which I cannot take back.

4. Let the walls down.

I thank God that I’ve had an extremely carefree childhood and teenage years growing up. But it’s almost like when I hit 18 y/o (5 years ago, for those who are clueless, ha) that all the problems started coming in. I know for sure that my walls started building way back in my secondary school days, and then exponentially more through the recent last few years, especially after the rose-tinted effect of my innocent, childhood dayz totally wore off through people I’ve met and through my experiences in life. There’s so so much I can talk about this, how I got in and then finally out of my depression deserves an article on its own, it didn’t happen this year if you’re wondering, it’s mostly stuff that I never talk about here. But what’s important as I reflect on this point, is that I’ve finally learnt that I need to let my walls down. I’ve got to learn to stop hiding behind my safe walls and fortress that I’ve built over the years. It’s not gonna be easy, I’m still afraid to be hurt by people I love, but at least I now know that humans are imperfect; we make mistakes, we hurt and get hurt. No, it’s not ok to be hurt. But just like feet that toughens and grows a thicker skin through walking, weathered feet is better than a spotless one; they’re a sign of a well travelled man. After all, what’s life, if it’s not experienced? What’s a book, if the pages are not filled in with words? I’m not asking for people to come love me and then hurt me, since now I’m wiser. But I’m saying that I’m better prepared to experience the highs of life, along with the downs. ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Don’t let disappointments get you down. Fight it with all you’ve got. Know that everyone struggles, but you can emerge victorious.

There’s a certain struggle that I’ve been fighting with for the longest time. The point being, I struggle with a false sense of justified in-action because of certain disappointments, albeit unaddressed and repeated, that I allow to get to me. I was going to say that I don’t know why I let the disappointments get to me, but then I know that’s not true. It got to me simply because I gave up trying to fight it. I’ve got to learn to accept and let go of disappointments, even unaddressed ones, in order to move on in my life. I’ve let them bog me down for far too long.ย It’s really time that I overcome this seemingly silly struggle and with hope I pray that God will allow me to, in 2014!

6. Choose wisely, that which defines you.

I was going to say, don’t let others or situations define you. And I wanted to say, define yourself. But what I really mean to say is, take control of what defines you and know that it is your conscious decision that allows people and situations to define you. As a Christian, I choose to allow biblical values to define my way of life/lifestyle. I allow the family I am from and the values that I’ve been brought up with, to define me. I choose to define my skills and knowledge based on the schools, courses, teachers and peers I’ve met. I choose to define myself as a Christian, daughter, sister, real estate agent, blogger, confident, empowered young woman and the list goes on. People in life will expect and try to define you. But you don’t necessarily need to allow them to. Not even if they are simply older and wiser. Because only you will know what it is that you want for yourself in life (unless you don’t, and if that’s the case I would say, you need to find and know yourself first). I would suggest taking others’ advise into consideration, as reference; but ultimately your life is yours to live, and live it the way you deem fit. It would be a waste of one’s life trying to fulfill the potential of another’s dream instead of exploring one’s true ambitions.

7. Be the real you, and be ready for Change.

In continuation from the point above, we have the choice and the power to decide for ourselves, who we are. And I hope that you will take the courage to face up to who you really are. Acknowledge your weaknesses, embrace your fears and failures, know that it is all your imperfections that make up the beautiful you. The world will rather have the real you than a second grade copy of another person. In the same way, know that you are the best version of who you are and can be, no one else can come close. We are indeed all different and unique, wonderfully and fearfully created by God. Know that people will judge you for who you are, and they will judge you for who you’re not. No matter what you say, or not say, what you do or not do, people will judge. So, why not speak up, laugh out loud, smile widely, love deeply and simply be unabashedly you. That said, know that Change isn’t an option, but that Change is a part of life. We are all bound to change. We will grow older, yet not all will necessarily grow wiser. Only the brave will acknowledge that Change is necessary for improvement to a person’s spirit and soul. We would be fools to do the same things repeatedly and expect different results. Therefore to experience growth and maturity, we have to Change for the better. Start exercising to get healthy, start thinking positive to be happy. Everyday is another day to be a better version of who we are.

8. Live in the moment.ย 

Don’t wait for the next time to pause and admire the morning glory on the fences, smile at your neighbours, greet the good-looking colleague in another department, introduce yourself to the fellow bus passenger on bus 28 whom you’ve met for the 2nd time in the month or tell your mum/dad/bro/sis that you love them and mean it. Always remember that life is vulnerable as much as it is precious. Death to illnesses and disasters are real. It is an assumption that we will always have tomorrow. Don’t assume. We may only have today. If you’ve never tried, just for one day, live it as though it were your last. What will your last words be to each person that you’ll meet? Will you do anything differently? If so, why wait till you’re dying to live truly? I always find most chinese funerals to be such an ostentatious affair of wasted affections. We can’t be sure that the dead will appreciate the dirges and euglogies offered. Why not pay your respects to people you love and celebrate the goodness of their lives while they’re living? Why not gather the people you love and remind them you love them, often?ย Live, in the moment.

9. Dream big, set realistic goals and never stop moving.

I’ve always been big with dreams. My ambitions are so big, they go beyond the shores of Singapore. Because, while others may see my dreams and scoff, I’d go, why not? Dreaming is never an issue, but setting, planning and achieving the goals are the real gritty stuff we hate to handle. The secret, I’m still learning, is to never stop moving. If you don’t hit your goals, it’s not a problem, cause if you’re always taking steps towards your dreams, you can be assured that you’re one step closer to your dream.

This list has turned out to be thrice longer than what I’ve expected. Up ahead, I plan to write down a list of things I’d like to openly announce to achieve in my life, on my blog and I hope that that will give me more confidence and spur me to get them done!

 

What’s your 2013 learnings? Let me know in the comments below!

xx
Ena

Beyond Boston Bombings, Love Will Keep Us Alive

By now you should have read about the Boston marathon bombings that happened on Monday, 2.50pm in US time.

It saddens me to read of such news.

I remember I awoke on Tuesday morning in Singaporeย with thanksgiving in my heart, grateful for a loving God.ย I remember feeling very heavy hearted when I read of the news, on my way to school and wondered about how the victims and their families of the bombings would feel. I wondered why a loving God would allow such atrocity to happen to innocent people. I wondered how victims would struggle with God for allowing such tragedy to happen to them. The irony of my meditation of God’s love for man / me that morning was not lost on my train ride to school.

Then in class, for a presentation skills workshop, we were given 15 minutes to prepare for a 1 minute speech on any topic. Instinctively I wanted to talk about God’s love from the biblical passage 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. But in a tertiary education class of mixed religion classmates, I couldn’t just quote from the bible out of nowhere. So I decided to present on Love, namely Eros, Philos and Agape, a summarized version of information I took from ย The Seeker of Truth’s blog post here.

— My 1 minute speech —

Eros is known to be erotic love between man and woman. It is physical attraction where one finds the other attractive and is in love. Its disadvantage is said to be self-centered, because one party loves the other because it makes him or her feel good or happy.

Philos is known to be friendship, where two people meet and connect mentally. It is better for a man and woman relationship to begin as friends and get to know each other before developing the relationship further.

Lastly Agape love refers to love that is unconditional. It is likened to a Mother’s love for a child which is oft unconditional. However the true depiction of Agape love is divine and found in God’s love for us.

As a Christian, I believe that it is out of God’s Agape love for us that he sent his sinless, only son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross so that we may be saved and reconciled with Him. He died on the the cross and he resurrected three days later.

To give a deeper insight into Agape love, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes God’s perfect love as such:

“4ย Love is patient,ย love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.ย 5ย It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,ย it is not easily angered,ย it keeps no record of wrongs.ย 6ย Love does not delight in evilย but rejoices with the truth.ย 7ย It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ย 8ย Love never fails.”

Eros describes physical love, Philos mental and Agape, spiritual and these are the fundamental make up of a man’s body, soul and spirit ways of loving.

— end of 1 minute speech —

It is by no coincidence that I meditated, shared and decided to write about love. I did so because I’ve been sad about a few things and I wondered why. And the more I meditated about Love, the more I realize, experience and believe the lyrics of Eagle’s hit song “Love will keep us alive” to be true. Although the song speaks and refers to mostly physical and emotional love, of physical shelter, nourishment, protection and companionship, I believe it rings true for Love in all forms.

As humans we are wired for love. We seek love, we crave love. Often a lot that we do, we do it to earn love. Whether it’s a baby’s cry for a mother’s hug, a toddler’s cry for a toy, no doubt selfish but the toy to the toddler means a parent’s material love for him/her. We work hard in school to score good grades to earn our parent’s approval, another form of love. Men work hard at work, to bring home the money for their families, as a testament of their love for them and also to earn their love.

And when we are in love, we can’t sleep because we want to spend time talking to the other party, no matter how late it may be. YET we can wake up early the next day just to hear from our loved one again. It doesn’t have to be a romantic lover. It works for close friends and loved ones. When you have love to look forward to the next day, no matter how late you’ve slept and how early it is you need to get up, you do. It works for love for work and school as well, to gain the approval/love of your tutor/boss/colleague/classmate/friends.

And that is why as I pondered about the significance and power of Love in my life, coming across the atrocity of the sudden onslaught of Boston bombing saddens me.

While I gave a speech on love, some of my classmates shared their thoughts on the Boston bombings. My classmate and friend, Malika shared that such bombings happen almost daily in Pakistan and Iraq in the Middle East region and it is just sad that one such case in US creates such huge media waves globally but we probably don’t know and care about those happening in the Middle East.

I read further about the Boston bombings, mainly from Daily Maillย hereย and an extremely informative post from Mother Jones here. I cried a few times. I cried when I read about how heroย Carlos Arredondo went down to help victims, seconds after the bombings went off. Despite the death of his son at the age of 20 when he served in forces in Iraq 2004. And his second son died in 2011, because he never recovered from his brother’s death. A man who has lost two sons and grieved, but he didn’t choose to live in despair, he went to help those who suffered and were in need.

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Carlos Arredondo helping a victim from the Boston bombings. (Credits to SMH.com.au)

 

I cried when I read about the death of Martin who was only 8 and such a wonderful cute boy. His mother had to undergo brain surgery and his sister who is 6, lost 1 leg. His elder brother who is 12 managed to remain unscathed. And they suffered because they were waiting for their dad to pass the finishing line at the marathon. I cried imagining the grief that Martin’s dad has to go through, his younger son dead, his baby girl who lost one leg and his wife who had to go through a brain surgery.

 

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Martin Richard holding up a message of peace which saddens us further considering how he died. (Credits CBSnews.com)

I don’t think I’ve ever posted on my blog about this before but the aftermath of war and related tragedy impacts me. Fortunately for me, I have always experienced peace in my life in Singapore, so the first time I remember feeling second-hand grief over war was during Venice Biennale 2007. I saw many artists’ works on the aftermath of war from the Middle Eastern point of view and the American point of view. The former artists painted and photographed the aftermath of war on their land. Buildings in ruins, after bombings and raids. Kids playing with humans skulls because that’s the few form of entertainment they have. Women in the typical muslim head covering, hijabs, photographed/drawn listless, fearful and lonely in bare hospitals. From the American artists, we see the entire gallery wall filled with tiny passport sized photos, each with the image of a soldier lost to war, dead. And that was only a portion from the actual dead count during a span of time which I can’t remember how long but it was relatively quite short and shocking to clock so many deaths. It is hard to describe and adequately convey the impact of these artworks individually and collectively, but I was deeply affected.

 

So I am decidedly anti-war and terrorism. I simply cannot understand why innocent lives must be sacrificed. I cannot help but feel emotional and tear when I see women and children ย helpless, suffering in the face of war, experience trauma and having to pick themselves up in the aftermath of lost loved ones, ruined lives, bodies and buildings. Let’s also notย forget the war veterans, who return from war fields bearing physical and mental trauma as well.

I don’t have the answers to the questions I pose. It pains me to know of people suffering, whether they are middle eastern or american, eastern or western, victims or aggressors(knowing these roles are debatable depending on the POV). Above these labels, I remember them as man and women, boys and girls, sons and daughters, family and friends. Each, precious and filled with beautiful potential.ย If war and terrorism can be avoided, if pain and suffering can be diminished at the hands of those who control it, I can only pray that it be so.

 

I don’t have the solution to obtaining world peace. Or a convincing reason why a loving God allows such suffering to happen. But to all those who are suffering in war and tragedies or the aftermath of it, I wish you Christ because He embodies Love to me and Love will keep us alive.

 

Love,

Ena

Ena’s Thanksgiving 2012

Ena Thanksgiving 2012

On the 2nd last day of the year, I’d like to recount a few things that I’m thankful to God for. ๐Ÿ™‚

In chronological order followed by special people in my life.

Starting in January, I had a very enjoyable short stay at Avilion Cove hotel at Port Dickson, Malaysia with my sisters. You can read about the relaxing stay here.:)
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My sisters & I.
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Picturesque view at Avilion Cove.

Back in March, Bini and I went for a super last minute but enjoyable 4D3N stay at Korea. It was definitely short but a lot of fun. Check out the stay in a 3 part post 1, 2 and 3.
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With Bestie Bini :*Ena Thanksgiving Korea2 copy

Delicious, best Korean spread ever at Sam-chung dong.
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๐Ÿ™‚
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The combined hauls from Korea. ๐Ÿ˜€Ena Thanksgiving Korea5 copy

Unforgettable memories.

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At Korean, in-cheon airport.

In May, I went to Philippines (just realized my typo in the banner and image below) for mission trip with my church. It was my second trip there and a lot more fruitful. The growth in the two years is remarkable and there is a lot of work still to be done. Praise the Lord. Check out my post on the trip here.
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After I came back from Philippines, I had to immediately attend to Transmission Kaleidoscope exhibition and I am extremely thankful for the work that culminated into a beautiful exhibition, thanks to everyone in the Transmission team! ๐Ÿ™‚ More details of the exhibition can be found here.

In June, I received an influx of product review sponsorships, from lip balms, sunblocks to skin care products. You can check them out here.

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One of the product reviews.

In July, my birth month, I received two very big presents. The first is to be selected as Estee Lauder’s ambassador, to review and share updates on their latest products and events through the last 5 months in this year. It’s been an amazing journey thus far, one that I hope will continue through to the new year and beyond. I humbly believe that you my readers also enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoyed the experiences and writing about them. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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First bag of joy from Estee lauder, for reviews see here.Ena Thanksgiving Estee Lauder3 copy Ena Thanksgiving Estee Lauder4 copy

My #LOTD using Estee Lauder Fall Violet Underground collection, see hereย and here.

A second birthday gift was my license for Real Estate property, a culmination of studies and exams, plus I’m very grateful to pass on the first try.

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My namecards & license tag.

The following thanksgiving are for groups of special people in my life, in no particular order.

YPM Benjamin cell group members hold a special place in my heart and will always be, as we spend every Saturday evening (I mean every single week) together, through bible studies, dinners and enjoyable outings.

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Acting demure.
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Really crazy. ๐Ÿ˜€Ena Thanksgiving Benji3 copy

Claire & Xue’s baptism in April. How time flies!
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The lovely girls in the group. Ming, Bernice, Claire, Xue, Vivian, Me & Hui Ting.Ena Thanksgiving Benji5

Our Luge outing at Sentosa. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am extremely thankful for a wonderful group of girlfriends in my management class in Lasalle. I really love them, their fashion sense, unique styles, enthusiasm, joy and encouragements. ๐Ÿ™‚ <3
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Pris, Christabelle, Me.

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Photo with the group at Holland V. (My first time there, LOL)

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Bev’s 21st birthday with the cray-cray girls, post here.
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High tea!

More photos with Bestie Bini, I’ve never had a friend who’s cared so much for me, through words, time, action and gifts and I’m really thankful <3
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Together at Chanel Spring Summer show.

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Photo with Bini back in Feb, also in a review written about New York Skin solution.

My secondary four classmates are another group of friends I am increasingly thankful for, as we stay together through each year, each month. <3

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Celebrating Clinton’s farewell, see post here.

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With bestie neighbour, YL, from our HerWorld day out outing.
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With my mentor, at her surprise birthday party we threw for her in church. ๐Ÿ™‚
I thank God for using her to be a blessing to me and many more in church! <3
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With my tummies hunnies food date, a special group of us dear to my heart, friendship bonded through the May trip to Philippines! <3Ena Thanksgiving Meet Michelle Phan copy
With Michelle Phan! One of the inspirational ladies in my life, to meet her in person is like meeting my idol, I have few in my life, hehe. Don’t think I blogged about the meet up when she came, but I have this photo on Instagram. ๐Ÿ™‚
This thanksgiving post is definitely not an exhaustive one, I am thankful for each and every person I’ve met this year, whether they’ve been a blessing – or a motivation / learning lesson for me.
I hope this post inspires you to count your blessings and to give thanks for them!
<3
Ena

Merry Christmas!

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Ena Merry Christmas

Hello dear readers!

I would like to wish all my readers a very wonderful and blessed Christmas!

May you spend it with your loved ones.

It’s also a season where I am reminded of God’s love for mankind by sending His son, Jesus down to earth to save us. <3

Thank you God.

Now let’s get off the computer and really spend some quality time with our family and friends!

Till the next post!

<3,

Ena

 

Book Review | 365 Ways to Live The Law of Attraction By Meera Lester

Love, success, happiness, a long and healthy lifeโ€”these are the things the Law of Attraction promises to deliverโ€”but how? It sounds easy enough, but what does it really mean? In this book, you find the practical steps you need to harness the power of the universe and transform your life. Each of the 365 entries provides a simple, concrete action item guaranteed to attract good things into the your life. – Amazon.comย 

My Review: I picked up this book under the Personal Development / Self Help section in the library because I wanted to know what “The Law of Attraction” is and when divided into 365 bite sized paragraphs, it made for an easy read.

So easy that I think I took less than 20 minutes to skim through the whole book, got out the gist and skipped all the parts which was not relevant to me.

The “Law of Attraction” is basically like a powerful affirmation, visualization tool practiced by man since a long time ago which was made famous again by “The Secret” book and movie written by Rhonda Byrne.

The idea is simple, basically:

1. Write a list of what you desire or want to achieve or own very badly, as specific as possible, e.g. “I want to earn $30,000 a month starting from July 2012.”

2. Be as positive as possible and believe you will receive it, and thus re-word it as such “I will earn $30,000 a month starting from July 2012.”

3. Practice gratefulness and be thankful for everything in your life. Because the more positive thoughts you have, the more you will attract positive things to you.

4. Wait for your desired outcome to happen to you, meanwhile practice steps 1-3 conscientiously!

The idea of The Law of Attraction wasn’t new to me, I’ve read about it before in a book titled theย The Fourth Dimension, Vol. 1 by Pastor David Yonggi Cho, from Seoul, Korea.

I felt uncomfortable reading theย 365 Ways to Live The Law of Attraction By Meera Lester because she uses verses and scriptures from different religions to substantiate the Law of Attraction.

As a Christian, I believe in the “Law of Attraction” but I don’t call it as such. I call it positive thinking and faith in Christ. Christians all around the world can testify to an sense of joy and purpose each day because of Christ in us and the love and blessing he pours forth in our life as we trust in Him.

In conclusion, I donโ€™t think the book is worth reading. I have yet to read โ€œThe Secretโ€ or watched the movie, I might want to check it out and see what else it has to offer that I donโ€™t already know of. If you’re a christian, or would like to know more about the Law of Attraction as practiced by Pastor Cho, go read his book,ย The Fourth Dimension, Vol. 1ย !

I did some research online to see what other Christians have to say on this topic and I found two sites which where pretty good.

http://www.successhound.com/does-the-law-of-attraction-contradict-the-bible-part-1/

The author argues that the Law of Attraction does not contradict the bible and he also wrote a part 2 about how the Law isnโ€™t just about materialism.

http://www.johnplaceonline.com/stress-management/jesus-versus-the-secret-a-christians-guide-to-the-law-of-attraction/

This other author,ย  John also agrees that it does not contradict with the bible but also adds that our God is not a genie and that there are codes of conduct in the bible, itโ€™s not all or only about the Law. And I fully agree with John. As Christians we are not to live only for ourselves but to live surrendered lives to God and obey what he commands us to do, so I believe the Law works not merely for our own blessings but also to be a channel of blessing to others as God intends for us to be.

 

Philippines Trip 2012 | Beautiful People, Sweet Memories

Back in May, I went to Philippines, Illocos Norte, Laoag with my church pastor and friends to visit the churches we (our church) support there. It’s my second visit to the same area, I was there back in 2010. How time flies indeed and I am very thankful to God for the opportunity to go back again.

Here are snippets of the 1 week we spent in Philippines!

We went to a lady’s home where she cooked and fed about 100 children from 3 villages. The children are colouring pages of Noah’s Ark after we acted the story! (:

I was very impressed with this group’s colouring. It was very neat and artistic! The Filipinos are very talented in the arts like colouring and carvings.

Some of the children who were not colouring were busy playing. This kiddo here was playing with an old motorcycle helmet… Singaporean children would never be playing with a broken helmet because it’s dangerous but the children in Philippines can take anything and turn it into a toy. His coy smile is lovely isn’t it? (:This is our group of youths acting like ruffians! ๐Ÿ˜› The tricycle is a very common mode of transport in Philippines. And it’s not uncommon to see 5 passengers squeezed in one!At another stop where we conducted children’s programme. Smiling sweet girls.This family/home had a mini zoo. There were pigs, chickens and goats… This is a new kid and it is adorable!Taking pictures on top a van… With pastor Wiliam and aunty Mei Yoke!ย It was a very interesting experience to be acquainted with our lunch and dinner dish while she was still alive… Introducing Spider-pig Hermione, whom we have christened affectionately. This is a picture of her struggling while butchers get her ready to board her last trip to the butchers…

Following pictures are quite bloody so please don’t be shocked!

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This is Spider-pig Hermoine’s intestines…

This is everything else and her brain and blood in the blue tub. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Sunday’s combined service children’s programme!

It seems that the boy on the left wasn’t very happy at my request for a picture… Sorry for interrupting your lunch boss!
This is Spider-pig Hermione on our dining table. ๐Ÿ˜›After the home and church visits we were looking forward to Jollybee, Philippine’s famous fast food restaurant. They specialized in chicken and spaghetti. After the meal we had to take a picture with Jollybee!
This is the picture of me and Jollybee two years ago! Seems like I lost some weight, haha!Of course I started a trend this time… ๐Ÿ˜›A picture of us girls, Sandy, Joey and I while we were at the hospital waiting to visit the pastor Mayolin’s new born baby and his wife.
It was quite a culture shock to realize how dated the Badoc hospital is…ย This is the newest and most modern looking area, the lobby reception/registration area.At the orphanage where I caught our tallest member, Ryan bullying a little boy in action! Haha! Kudos to the little boy who was a brave fighter till the end… ๐Ÿ˜›

Then we encountered our little hero who, in the midst of trying to get a shuttlecock down a tree, accidentally threw his slippers up the roof instead. ๐Ÿ˜›ย 

I was very impressed by this agility and courage for climbing up the roof!

Then we watched the kids tossing an old can which was to determine who will be the catcher in a game of catching. A lot of ingenuity in kids!

On our last night we went to the seaside… ๐Ÿ˜€Us on the boat! ๐Ÿ˜€ One of the best boat ride in my life…

Where we basked in the glory of God’s creation, the skies in the setting sun.On the last day we visited a beautiful resort before setting off for the airport.

With my mentor and spiritual mother, aunty Lydia/Mei Yoke.And lovely girls, my “tummies” for the trip! (:And of course we were fascinated by a pregnant, white cow. ๐Ÿ˜› That’s Ryan and pastor Redantor.

I am thankful to be able to travel and see the world outside of Singapore. Philippines is blessed with beautiful animals and land (forests, mountains, beaches), something that Singapore don’t have. It is our prayer that Philippines government will be stronger so that the people can have better jobs, education and lives and not just be dependent on exporting their people to work in other countries.

I hope I can go back to visit them again and plan for a longer stay to visit Boracay and Cebu! (:

xx

Book Recommendation: when God writes your love story by Eric & Leslie Ludy

I just completed reading (skimmed some parts) when God writes your love story. Quite evidently it’s a christian book about love, surrendering your romantic love to God. It’s not unlike other christian books I’ve read before on the topic, like those by Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which is another book I’d recommend as well).

But what makes this book different from the rest is one of the concluding chapter, or rather a few chapters about how your family members are “home ground” (pun intended) also referred to as “training ground” for how you would treat your future lover and spouse. And by virtue of that, the authors encourage that if the reader wants to have a happily ever after love story, it begins by respecting the fatherly and brotherly figures at home and being sweet and tender to the motherly and sisterly figures.

So those were the parts that impacted me the most. I don’t have any brothers to practice being respectful of, but I reckon I can always start by being more sweet and tender to my sisters and my mother and respecting my dad. Hehe. Also I have not been helping out much with house chores because my mum doesn’t like me being in her way in the kitchen when I tried to learn to cook before and also I always thought I will hire a helper in future. HAHA. But in any case, I do want to learn to be a more virtuous lady. Hehe.

Umm so while reading the book I also wanted to share a few meaningful parts on my blog. So here goes:

A song titled “Faithfully” by Eric and Leslie Ludy.

Tonight I saw a shooting star
Made me wonder where you are
For years I have been dreaming of you
And I wonder if you’re thinking of me too
In this world of cheap romance
And love that only fades after the dance
They say that i’m a fool to wait for something more
How can I really love someone i’ve never seen before
But I have longed for true love every day that I have lived
And I know that real love is all about learning how to give
So I pray that god will bring you to me
And I pray you’ll find me waiting faithfully

Faithfully, I am yours
From now until forever
Faithfully, I will write
Write you a love song with my life
Cause this kind of loves worth waiting for
No matter how long it takes I am yours
Faithfully

Tonight I saw two lovers kiss
Reminded me of my own loneliness
They say that i’m a fool to keep on praying for you
How can I give up pleasure for a dream that won’t come true
But I will keep believing that god still has a plan
And though I can’t see you now,
I know that he can
And someday I will give you all of me
Until I find you, i’ll be waiting faithfully

Faithfully, I am yours
From now until forever
Faithfully, I will write
Write you a love song with my life
Cause this kind of loves worth waiting for
No matter how long it takes I am yours
Faithfully

You can also hear them sing:

On “The Secret to Winning a Heart”:
The next time you see your brother doing something he excels in, honor him with admiration of his prowess and let hi know that you are proud to be his sister. You will find that the more you verbally invest respect, the more a man will understand how to be respectful himself.

And lastly:

On “Set-Apart Feminity”. It’s an excerpt from Leslie Ludy’s book quoted in this book.
On the flip side, if a woman allows a man to rise to the challenge of pursuing her, wooing her and winning her heart over time, instead of thrusting it upon him too readily, his masculine strength will be tested and strengthened. Once he has pursued and won his prize according to God’s perfect pattern, he is far less likely to take her for granted. Rather, he will become the heroic protector he was created to be – laying down his life to preserve and nurture the heart of the princess whom he worked so hard to win.”

Hope you guys find this enlightening and meaningful as I did.

xx

On love

Feels like I haven blogged in ages!
Been wanting to update about my “secret” to good skin and Korean trip but been very busy the last two weeks! My schedule won’t be letting up any time soon but I will have to make time to update my blog consistently (:
Was going to sleep but had the impetus to blog about my take on love.
I’ve been single so far in my life and it isn’t to say that I’m particular picky but perhaps that I just have not met the right guy… That I am also the right girl for.
Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions on love, though I suspect many don’t actually have one. Mostly just going with the flow, following their hearts.
Perhaps if I were younger and had been in a relationship that’s exactly what I’d done but now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, it’s harder to just follow my emotions. – I’m not sad about it, in fact it’s quite the contrary.
I am glad I do not feel the pressure to be attached because all my friends are or have already been attached. There are several reasons, I am emotionally assured from the love I have from God and my family and I am kept very busy with school, church and school related activities.
It’s not to say that I’m different from the others, as I do desire for love. But perhaps unlike others, I seek not for a grand love that moves mountains or blaze forests. Rather I seek for a love that is like a quiet stream, like in Psalms 23. Confident in its steady flowing, it doesn’t flood nor dries, but it ebbs on with time. It quenches, nurtures, restores and grants rest. I’d like a love like that.
Maybe more in the future. For now, go love and be loved my dear friends! Haha. (;

2011 in Review

Coming in two weeks late…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,100 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I just wanna thank everyone who’s been reading and commenting on my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

2011 has been a great year blog wise – I think I garnered more readers than I’ve ever had in all my previous blogging years combined. My blog has always been a personal blog with a focus on Fashion and it’ll continue to stay this way. ๐Ÿ™‚

In my personal spiritual life it’s also been a fruitful and encouraging year. I finally came out of a year long figurative hermit shell. And I really want to thank my sisters – Lu Jia, Jia Hui, my parents and my mentor Aunty Mei Yoke (although I think she probably won’t be reading this – for praying for and with me all through it. Needless to say, I truly thank God for always being there for me – even during times I did not want to recognize because it was painful to. This year… I want to go back to the first love I had for God. :’)

Socially speaking it has been rather surprising to have met wonderful new friends through my french class and my internship at CDL. I am thankful. Relationally… I think I have not been maintaining a lot of my friendships well because of our conflicting schedules and this is an area I would like to improve on in this new year. ๐Ÿ™‚

With Sofie (in blue) and friends.

With lovely Annabel. It’s pretty amazing how well we got along together during my CDL internship.:)

With Jacq and Char, friends of Annabel. This was the first of many a girls night out we had in 2011. ๐Ÿ™‚

Academically and career-path wise, I have learnt much through my three internships. I have learnt much in the fashion and real-estate industries respectively. There were mistakes I’ve made and which I am still learning from but God and my bosses and supervisors have been very merciful to say the least. I know I won’t want to settle for a 9-5 desk bound job and if you know what you want, why not go ahead and just do it? I think there is nothing worse than going to work at 9am on the first day of the year just waiting for 5pm of the day till your holiday starts again. Idealistic, I know, but I hope you and I both can pursue careers that are we are passionate for, challenged by and earns a profitable income from.

All glory to God! May our 2012 be brighter, better and bear more beautiful memories than before.

With love,

Jia En

Thank God for good health! :)

My mother is not having a case of a tumour re-growth but rather a hormonal imbalance that’s been causing her lethargy and headaches! So thank God! ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s really a case of doctor’s mis-communication because the hormonal doctor wanted to wait and consult the brain tumour doctor before administering medicine but the brain tumour doctor was like, no it’s ok, the hormonal doc can go ahead it’s got nothing to do with brain tumour and in the end no medicine was given for my mother’s condition and hence she experienced headaches, vomiting and admission to A&E… Stupid doctors.

But we’re superrr glad she’s ok now after having the right dosage of hormonal medicine as well as sodium (which she was lacking but to reasons unknown) she’s recovering well! ๐Ÿ˜€

THANK GOD for His providence!!!

My mum is currently in a C-class, 7 beds ward. On her right is an Indian lady who recently had her foot or a part of her foot amputated due to gangrene caused by diabetes. She was mostly half asleep during my hour plus long visit and was moaning in pain. I felt really bad for her to be suffering so much physically.

On my mum’s left is a Malay lady whom I’m not sure what illness she’s suffering but she seemed quite bored as she was playing with a gadget that seemed like an I-touch and was playing oldies like “Sunshine in the rain” and “All by myself”. She didn’t have any visitors while we were there during visiting hours and she even had a plastic bowl of chips which I found quite amusing.

Opposite to the Malay lady was a Chinese lady whom I overhead the nurse telling her son to advise and motivate the mother to stand and walk around as lying in bed all day does not improve the condition and in fact causes a whole lot of other problems like constipation and lack of blood circulation.

A trip to the hospital is always a sobering one. After my mum’s two brain tumour operations and my sister’s several also brain tumour and shunt operations, my family is quite familiar to hospital visits. But seeing people suffering physically is always a good reminder to be thankful for our abled bodies and good health that God blesses us with.

๐Ÿ™‚

Hopefully third time’s the charm

It seems that my mum’s brain tumour has acted up once again. 4 years back she had her 1st operation to remove the tumour, another one 2 years back and now it seems the never-ending tumour is back to haunt her and my family once again.

When her headaches came back about 3 weeks ago (maybe even more I didn’t keep a close record) with a renewed intensity, my first reaction was for her to visit her brain tumour specialist doctor for an update on her situation.

Her appointment came on the Thursday that just passed and the doctor was reluctant to give her immediate attention and operation because he didn’t want to expose her to another operation at her age unless absolutely necessary. He slotted her another MRI this Saturday willing to put my Mother through her prolonged misery.

Alas, my mother’s brain acted up and she started to vomit this morning at 6am and my dad and my sister accompanied her to the hospital at 9.30am (while I was soundly asleep). I woke at 11am thinking my family went about their Saturday rountine as usual, my parents out checking wet markets and hawker centres while my sister at her church music rehearsal. Only to receive a call by my mum at 12.45pm that she’s in hospital.

We’re not alarmed. I can only say that a situation like this, a third time round mostly just makes us jaded. Like, you know, the re-growth of the tumour, a trip to the hospital, another operation is just a part of life. But of course it disturbs us, it causes anxiety and worry. I go to sleep praying to God for my mother’s good health and worrying that I’d lose my mother before I turn 21.

Fortunately, led by my father’s example, we entrust our mum into God’s hand and trust that He’ll bring her through again. When I asked my dad over lunch if he was worried about mum’s situation, he calmly said no because he entrusted her to God’s hand and that although her tumour’s re-growth is not something he can control, he told God to do what us humans and doctors cannot do, to stop it from re-growing.

I pity my mother for a situation like hers, it makes her suffer for weeks but the doctor won’t operation and relieve her of her misery because it’s not serious enough. Are we suppose to wait till it becomes serious then we solve the problem? Sigh.ย Hopefully third time’s the charm, after a third successful operation and the tumour never grows again.

Black is becoming Boring

Hi! I don’t usually post about fashion related topics on my blog, ironically since I am studying fashion. Talking about studying fashion, I find it rather contrived when people use the word “reading” fashion/law/whatever course instead of using “studying”. Just saying. So going back to the point, I was checking the blog contest comments sections to check out the recent posts and I was quite disappointed to see a new post that is vying for the Balenciaga bag. Haha. However I am glad to have read the post on monoxious.com because it’s a fashion-centred blog managed by two pretty girls who have an obsession with black.

Let the pictures do the talking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dawn, the younger of the duo. She’s like a pretty Japanese doll!

Arissa. Channels a more edgy vibe.

Dawn in an enviable black dress and obi belt.

Arissa in a stylish ensemble.

Oddly enough it’s the first time I chanced upon them although they’ve been writing since 2009. I think it is probably because they seldom attend local fashion events. Or maybe I am not as up-to-date with the local fashion blogging scene. Maybe both.

I enjoy reading their blog and I like seeing their outfit posts, their choice of clothing, bags, shoes and accessorizes. Even the choice of brands or place of purchase are relatable, like m)phosis, far east plaza, bugis street. They feature Ann Demeulemeester (had to google for the surname) knock-off shoe, mulberry knock-off bag and Alexander McQueen knock-off bag. Maybe knock-off isn’t the right word. Although it’s what they use on their blog, I like to think “inspired” is a better word. I adore the photos they took with lovely graffiti/city skyline/flower fields/forest-y/pyramid/busy street backgrounds. It’s a very cosmopolitan, global village feel.

They even featured quite a fair bit on black edgy fashion items like chain necklace, leather pants and the like which I personally adore and if given the budget, I would probably by now own a rock-star worthy wardrobe. That’s why my bio on twitter reads closet punk rockstar. Hurhur. ๐Ÿ˜›

But somehow seeing them in my personal fashion style – edgy, rocker/biker chic – I feel a sense of loss. I don’t know how to put it across or explain it. Maybe I am just tired of wearing black all the time. Maybe I have outgrown metal/rocker/biker chic style. Maybe I have a growing fondness for spring colours and motifs. A growing fondness for nude/neutral palette.

So I guess the whole point of today’s post is an increasing realization of how the black rocker chic style cool factor is waning for me. In fact black now channels a pretty everyman worker feel to me. No offense but black is a professional office executive colour.

I only started to be more selective with what I wear when I was 18 going 19. My FM4A classmates actually commented that they notice a rocker-chic girl image from how I dress and I was very surprised and pleased to hear that. Although I really think it’s more like muted/stripped down/simpler rocker chic style. HAHA.

So now I am left wondering and redefining what is my preferred fashion style. As of now I think it’s simple/modern/classic and I have an increasing desire to include more nude, neutral, pastel colours into my wardrobe, one piece at a time.

Ah… the love, the life, the woes of a fashion student.

Sometimes I think being in fashion is a contradiction for a christian. In an industry where looks, appearances are everything and where people are seen as superficial. God tells us beauty is not seen on golden braids but in the heart (my paraphrase, will dig up the verse another time) and that man looks at the appearance but God looks at the heart. Many times I think fashion is a very self-centred concept and an industry that breeds selfishness where people care more for the next fad and the next IT bag. What about God’s love for the poor, the needy, the widowed? They are almost completely over-shadowed, forgotten in this glitzy glamour world of fashion.

But the fact is that I know for sure Fashion is the industry that I want devote myself to work in this world. I love it and I enjoy it. Many times I feel that it is superficial and I am conflicted within. Can any christian tell me how not to be, in face of seeing provocative, sexy, sensual nude images flashing in fashion magazines, in lecture and better yet as a key image for a semester long project? The subject of nude images are mostly female so perhaps the temptation is lesser but nonetheless we/I am going to be increasingly desensitized by sex and whatever it sells. Can that be acceptable? The answer is no. What am I to do about it is the question that follows. One that I am still discovering.

I guess God’s purpose for me in the world of fashion is something I am still discovering and while I unravel the mystery I am continually reminding myself to keep my eyes on the cross. Okay I totally didn’t mean to end this post as a holy-moly one but I did. ^^V

Bye Bye Tampines Ama

My paternal grandmother passed away last Friday evening. We affectionately call her Tampines Ama because she used to stay at Tampines. The name stuck even though she moved to Buang Kok a few years ago. The past few nights have been spent at the wake, entertaining my parent’s friends, chit-chatting with relatives and watching the Taoist procession take place.

My grandmother was 85 when she passed away. She suffered from throat cancer in the late 90s and since then speaking would require great effort on her part. The last few years her eyesight also deteriorated so there was minimal communication with her in her later years. There was also very little communication with her to begin with as I was very young then. So there is little sadness in parting with her and perhaps more relieve that she does not have to suffer ill-health on this earth anymore.

My grandmother had 8 children in all, 6 sons and 2 daughters and my dad’s the second eldest. She was only 19 when she had my dad! Our family history is rather complex, as my grandmother remarried after her first husband passed away. And my great uncle and my dad were quite “havoc” when they were younger. Hahaha.

I shall reserve the more juicy parts of the story to share with you face-to-face, whoever’s keen to know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was slightly dreading to attend the wake because it was in Taoist style and because my family’s christian, we do no follow the procession. The wake and funeral was done in a grand affair and I couldn’t help but notice the irony of such a grand send-away upon my grandmother’s death. Why can’t Chinese appreciate the living in a grand way rather than in their death? Can the dead appreciate the filial piety of the living in parading in circles, folding and burning paper ingots and house and mountains? Wouldn’t a visit while she was alive, a harmonious gathering be more meaningful?

Of course there are reasons as to why Chinese do things this way. Matters of pride. Maybe my grandmother believed in Tao-ism and wanted to join her husbands. These questions can only be pondered upon by the living. And these are but some of the questions that ran through my mind as I saw my relative busy-ing around the wake, a cohesive-ness that was not seen before and perhaps not to be seen again.

Perhaps the most important lesson I brought home from the funeral was that ultimately it is relationships and not traditions that matter. I believe it is more so in my generation. A generation that is increasingly inquisitive and less superstitious. Can worshipping your human ancestors really bless you monetarily, etc? What is the point of attending a familial gathering just because we share the same blood? Rather, I would attend a gathering with friends whom I am closer with and feel more comfortable with.

But God didn’t place us in families for nothing. If we are meant to be salt and light of the world, all the more we need to be in our own homes and among our own relatives. I am praying for my relatives, that when the next funeral comes around, we are no longer burning house, gold and silver mountain made of paper but we are thanking a God for receiving a beloved relative that created the heavens and the earth. ๐Ÿ™‚

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountainsโ€”
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
-Psalms 121:1-2

Redemption Anticipated By Selwyn Hughes

Hii I am back~ for a second follow up post for today. I shall clarify, Dione (HI THERE!! :D) didn’t ask why God allowed evil but rather what to say when a friend asks her why God allowed or even created Serpent the devil in the first place. The QT material I will painstakingly post here may not be a direct answer to the question but I think it sorts of address the ย topic/issue at hand. Enjoy!

Day 65 | Everyday With Jesus | One Year Devotional | Bread for the Journey.

Firstly… a passage of the bible for reading and meditation…

Colossians 1:15-23ย (New International Version, ยฉ2010)

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.ย 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.ย 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.ย 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,ย 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a]your evil behavior.ย 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christโ€™s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusationโ€”ย 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Why was it necessary ย for the Lamb to be slain from the creation of the world? When God created the world and laid down the broad beams that formed the universe He foresaw that evil would enter His creation and prepared for it by building into it a cross.

Couldn’t God have made a universe in which sin and evil were impossible? He could have done so but just think what kind of a world it would have been: one in which creatures would have been like robots and responded to His commands in the same way that the computer on which I am writing these lines responds to my touch. By creating the universe and endowing creatures with the dangerous gift of free will God brought into existence the conditions in which evil became a possibility. Evil was not His intention. Yet, for a reason known only to Himself, He decided that by creating a universe in which evil could break out, greater glory could be gained for Himself ย and a higher good achieved for humanity than if He allowed it to remain uncreated.

In designing the universe, however, God made sure that that the possibilty of sin was met by the possibility of redemption. Thus those broad beams on which the universe is built are in the shape of a cross. And as we shall see a little later, you don’t have to look very closely at the universe to observe that. Like a watermark in paper, the cosmos has a cross imprinted in it. It is not something imposed on time but exposed from it.

Additional bible passages:

Deuteronomy 30:1-19ย (New International Version, ยฉ2010)

Prosperity After Turning to the LORD

1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations,ย 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today,ย 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.ย 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back.ย 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.ย 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.ย 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you.ย 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today.ย 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors,ย 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

The Offer of Life or Death

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.ย 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, โ€œWho will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?โ€ย 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, โ€œWho will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?โ€ย 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.ย 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,ย 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Joshua 24:15ย (New International Version, ยฉ2010)

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.โ€

1 Kings 18:21ย (New International Version, ยฉ2010)

21 Elijah went before the people and said, โ€œHow long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.โ€

Psalm 119:30ย (New International Version, ยฉ2010)

30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.

The last part of the devotion just reminded me of Louie Giglio’s sermon where he showed a picture taken by NASA. Here’s the scientific website I got the picture:ย http://www.scienceclarified.com/Bi-Ca/Black-Hole.html And here’s the write up for the picture:

An image of the core of the Whirlpool galaxy M51 (NGC 5149) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows an immense ring of dust and gas that is thought to surround and hide a giant black hole in the center of the galaxy.ย (Reproduced by permission ofย National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

What we really see though, is a picture of Christ on the cross existing when the universe was in its infant stages. God has planned for redemption from the beginning!

God’s word is sweet like honey

When I was in one of my lowest period of my life last year, my sister, Lu Jia, wrote me a letter. I will not go into details but as I re-read the letter I went to read up more on the bible verses she quoted.

She quoted 3 passages in the bible.

Ezekial 2:4-7.

4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, โ€˜This is what the Sovereign LORD says.โ€™ย 5 And whether they listen or fail to listenโ€”for they are a rebellious peopleโ€”they will know that a prophet has been among them.ย 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.ย 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.

2 Tim 4:2

2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourageโ€”with great patience and careful instruction.

Ezekial 3:3

3 Then he said to me, โ€œSon of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.โ€ So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

But what struck me as I was just reading these in my bible was what was between the quoted Ezekial passages in Ezekial 2:8.

8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.โ€

I am ashamed to admit that at that time I ย chose to rebel and refused to eat the scroll that God has given me. Although at that time I didn’t come across God’s instructions in Ezekial 2:8. I really can’t second guess if I had read that verse what I would have done. Would I have repented then, or not?

Looking back, I actually felt more upset with God after reading my sister’s letter and kind of threw it aside. For one it struck me really hard that God knows what I am going through, the words were like hammer hitting the nail home. I was told to not be afraid, despite God knowing I am tasked to preach to unresponsive, ungrateful & rebellious people, I was instructed to eat the word so that I could be prepared in and out of season to continue to do God’s work.

In my self-centredness all I could see was in my misery, God asking me to eat His word, so that I could speak to His people and that was beyond me. I felt that I needed help, I wanted attention and someone to feed me, nurse me back to health.

What I neglected to see was that only God’s word could nurse me back to health. And he was telling me to do just that. But I was blinded by my self-centredness and chose to rebel.

I thank God that I now know God’s word is powerful, that He wants to speak to me about so many more things and impart His wisdom. But I need to continue to work and persevere in my discipline to eat His scroll. I need to be inspired by those who continually feed on His word and be encouraged to do likewise. And, I need to wait upon the Lord and listen to what message He wants me to impart to the lives around me.

A long post but I hope you have been encouraged by it. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

School is starting tmr (or later rather) at 11.30! I plan to go earlier to settle admin stuff and after school meet Dione to watch Kong Hee’s sermon!!! A CD Jie jie passed me eons back but in my then laisse-fairness never got down to it! Have a great and blessed week my beloved friends!

HAPPY 2011!

Art Meet Up Rach, Jon, Martin, Yu Ting, Steff, Guang, Guo and Ian! Too bad Ms Chan and Ernica couldn’t make it! The next time we meet we should plan like a BBQ or a movie cum picnic something. Sorry ah my plan very chill onex. Just coffee/tea/talk at TCC and some doodling gift letter. HAHA. It was good meeting up! We’ve definitely changed, like I’m less hyper, Guo talks more, Jon is more holy while Ian became more wild… One thing I’m sure of from this meet up is that we sure are as comfortable as old souls when we meet. It was just good to chillax talking about videos, showing/seeing work, talking about our works – or lack there of, talking about entertainment and inspiration, about friends, family, neighbours and the list goes on. It was good. Hope to catch up more on their lives and I actually really hope we can get together and work on something in the near future. For now, we will all help Steffi and ourselves with her upcoming VoxArt project! ๐Ÿ™‚

These are some “chicken little” new DIY new year cards I handmade and gave some of my dearest girlfriends in church! ๐Ÿ˜€ My sister Lu Jia says they are “obiang” breaking my heart… Dione says it’s true, adding on “You want an honest friend!” HAHAHA. Yes my dear…

My new year week has been spent on packing my room. I think this round has taking the longest record, about a week and I’m still not absolutely done. Due to lack of inspiration of how to organize my room/stuff. ๐Ÿ™

But I had a super week! Catching up with old friends on facebook! My pri and sec school friends alike.ย On wed, I had lunch with Dione at Bedok Point Bishamon’s Ramen shop. Their Salmon Ramen Salad has the sesame flavour reminiscent of the squid dish served on a cold plate at the start of Chinese wedding banquet. We enjoyed it. And then just shopping chilling all the way to Tampines. I will really miss Dione when she leaves!!! ๐Ÿ™ I spent Christmas day, New Years Eve and New year week with her! ๐Ÿ˜€ BFF. Hahaha.

Xue Li came over today and we started on a new bible study material , Thessalonians! Yay! (although I must note we left Genesis bible study half way we must work to get that back on track someday)ย It’s a book written by Paul encouraging Christians to remain faithful in trial, a reminder useful for old and new christians a like! And the study material teachings practical biblical steps of how we can! It is very encouraging to see growth in someone whom God has entrusted you to. God is the one who causes the growth, hallelujah! ๐Ÿ™‚

A few of my 2011 Goals

  • Read the bible in a year
  • Encourage one friend a month
  • Learn french
  • Practise Guitar
  • Exercise once a week!

xoxo

When Love Came Down

This was meant to be blogged last night/early morning but something cropped up with WordPress so I decided to type on Word and am only posting it now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some over-due photos from YPM Camp, YA Gathering & Outreach Prep !

With Evan, Felily & Joyce!

With Brian Tan my 13 year old camp angel.

With YA1!

A group of church boys sewing Christmas outreach gifts is really quite a sight!

God has been faithful and Christmas outreach went well, we believe many have been blessed by it. Heard a few wonderful testimonies of how newcomers have been touched and even how a friend felt so touched she wanted too accept Christ again. Aww! ๐Ÿ™‚ There are many areas we can improve upon, publicity and follow-up so hopefully come next year, Christmas outreach will be better and bless even more people!

I thank God for everyone who came and helped out for Daniel & Benjamin Christmas gathering. Especially to Siew Ho, Amy, Yee Ning, Russ and Jon. It was a good time of hanging around and sharing thanksgiving for the year. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a wonderful Christmas evening with Dione, watching 500 Days of Summer, chilling (literally in the cold) all the way back home. Hahaha. And the next day, spent a whole day with her, church, after church shopping first at the new Bedok Point then Orchard. It was so good and fruitful to share and also listen to her share. It was also a fruitful shopping day for me. Hehe. ๐Ÿ™‚

The most important lesson Iโ€™ve learnt this year is that I cannot take my eyes away from Christ, especially when troubles come and donโ€™t go, when my patience and love is gone. Thatโ€™s when I need to focus on Him even more. The spiritual discipline Iโ€™ve once cultivated (actually not too long ago) is now gone and I need to get it back. My new year resolution is to hunger and thirst for Godโ€™s word and be disciplined in my spiritual life.

This passage of the bible spoke to me today:

1 Peter 1:3-9ย (New International Version, ยฉ2010)

Praise to God for a Living Hope

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by Godโ€™s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faithโ€”of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fireโ€”may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Looking back, I feel a tinge of horrible-ness for my actions/in-actions. But there is little regret and I thank God for showing me that I am going through a period of refinement. Even now, I find myself very critical and almost always catching myself to not think critically and judgmentally of others. I need strength and love from God to find that balance of love and truth! So very hard indeed!

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. โ€“ Hebrews 12:11

I am still at lost with many things and I shall desire to seek God for wisdom to know what to do, for help that He will send me down on earth.

To end off, Thank God for keeping my family safe and healthy and for loving and caring friends!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Filled with the Joy of the Lord :)

Lion of Judah was a refreshing camp for me. It was my first time being a game-master and being in a group with older campers, mostly ypm leaders. It felt like I was watching the other younger campers going through the camp rather than actually being a camper.

It was a good camp for me, a time where I was refreshed with the word of the Lord through very engaging sermons by Pastor James who spoke and exhorted on the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ our King.

I was reminded of my first love for Jesus when I saw the younger ones dedicate their lives to God and I also rededicated my life to God and recommitted to be faithful and disciplined for His glory. God also reminded me that He has called me to serve in YPM, to serve and be an example for the younger ones.

12 Donโ€™t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.ย 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.ย 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.ย 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

On the last night of camp Aunty Mei Yoke and I also had the opportunity to hear Ryan, Xue Li and Michael’s camp experiences and prayed for them.

I also got to know Joyce and Ee Ling a lot better through the camp and Yun Hui also heard me share some of the struggles I’ve been facing and prayed for me. I am really very thankful for them and the blessings they pour forth in YPM. ๐Ÿ™‚

Camp Comm. this year is a very humble and serving group consisting of ย Zhi Rong, Jerome, Becky, Glenn, Yee Ning and Joshua, thank God for their service that has blessed the campers so much!

YA Christmas gathering on Sunday was a very touching, cosy and heartwarming affair. I really thank God for Justin and the core group consisting of Felicia, Cooper, Joyce, Barry and Jovian. (Not sure if I missed out anyone else) I really love the group and everyone in it, their lives and love and care for others and the word of God has been a great source of encouragement to me through this year.

New Beginning Youth Outreach service is busy underway. What’s left are the actual day preparations and making of gifts. Thank God for all who are helping, from the music team, mime cast, lightings, ushers to gift-making team, everyone has been so willing and joyfully serving, giving me great joy to be serving alongside them. I am so thankful for this opportunity to get to know all of them better! Please please keep us in your prayers that we will be kept healthy and in the best form to serve God on Dec 23, this Thursday and that most importantly that the lives of those who come will be touched by God.

On a last note, the camp reminded me of a friend whom I face a certain awkward past with. On hindsight I think I probably over-reacted and was immature in how I handled the friendship and I feel that I have unknowingly hurt the friend more than I know. I have prayed that God will mend and reconcile the friendship and take away the awkwardness because I really do treasure the friend.

Come for New Beginning ! Dec 23, Thursday, 7.15pm! First 200 has very beautiful hand made door gifts! 145 Marine Parade, Chapel on 2nd level! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Elusive Balance

I think this post will be a deep one.. I feel it… So this is a cute picture of me and my toys to belie the cheamness of this post. ย HAHAHA as if I need a reason to post a cute picture of myself on my blog… ^^ – more cute emoticons /( ‘ . ‘) i’m quite good at this huh!

So when I was reflecting I initially thought that what I learnt was to be less in control. That all along I’ve been too in control and when things don’t go according to plan I get crushed. But that’s not the case. The case in point (tee hee so lawyerly must be influenced from reading Jie jie’s notes) is that I don’t know how to strike that elusive balance in a christian life. Being in love with God and yet also loving the world. Mission imPOSSIBLE. yeah right. (Sorry can’t help but be sarcastic at this pt in time)

So i’ve been meaning to write a poem on how my coping mechanism’s been. It’s more like reblog, I think I wrote that poem some time back and it’s shelved in the annals in one of my now defunct blogs. ย But I will spare you the cheesy poem (alright I know you guys do love my poems right? right? :P) The poem talks about a clam. Need no explanation. HAHAHA. Ya so natural mechanism, people. When hurt, I just clam up and keep things to myself… Avoid people… Don’t let people in so I don’t get hurt, simple!

I’ve been literally crying every week for 2 months (maybe even longer now) and I avoid talking about it so I don’t cry. It’s getting to a point I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And sick of being so damn weak. But it’s ironic, I don’t want to be strong.

So yes I’ve kinda drifted away from topic but you’ll see it all links up. The thing is, it’s so difficult to strike that balance. When I think I got it, but I didnt, and since I didn’t, why did I bother? GOSH I know it’s stupid, but I gave up trying. But you know what, God never lets his stupid kids go. Teehee. Thank you God for loving me. ^^

So the song, the song, old song, I heard today. “Heart of Worship” rings true.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus

At the end of the day, I need to realise and accept that it’s not going to be about me. Typed some really super cheesy lines but decided to delete them instead, I’m shy. Hahahaha.

So yes. I am still learning. Being 20 is amazing, no longer a teen, not yet an adult. Lost in between. The world of teenage lust and desires being held back (maybe not sometimes) by a growing rationalism. I disapprove of how I’ve been. It was me totally trying (LOL) to be rebellious and kick my shoes in the air and shout “I don’t care, eh eh eh eh eh” to the tune of korean pop girl-band 2NE1’s hit.

I’m still trying to complete Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”. Yes, he’s an atheist and his work is supposedly anti-christ but I read for leisure like I did with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Gosh, there’s obviously an appeal with the occult huh? Hahaha. I really do recommend Pullman’s work. It’s really a literary work of art. The worlds, the characters, the words are beautifully crafted. What I love most is in a particular more medieval like world which the heroine, a young girl Lyra comes from, his creation of “daemon” a little spirit animal that follows the people upon birth. Before the child matures to an adult, the daemon constantly evolves and changes, it could be as timid as a mouse, or loyal as a dog or bold as an eagle. But when the child reaches maturity then his daemon no longer changes but is fixed at the child’s most defining character so to speak. So a guardman’s daemon is a dog and a crafty woman’s daemon’s a monkey.

And often while reading I feel so much admiration for Pullman’s keen observation of mankind and due to how much I relate to it. It’s exactly frustrating for me cause right now, I’m experiencing so much changes, if humans had daemon, mine would be distorted, contorted right now. And I know, this is a phase, one day which again, I think will be soon, 1-3 years time, my character and personality will (I hope, fingers crossed) be more stable and I won’t feel so vexed like I am and at lost. And while I am at it, I really really want to make sure I give in my best effort to be the best I can be, before I get stuck into the personality/character for my adulthood.

Hahaha it’s really been a long post huh! Alright time to sleep, ciaos! ย ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you enjoyed the long read. Heehee.

Good Day ^^

Had an eventful and fun day! ย Ok by now it’s yesterday, but ohh whatever~ ๐Ÿ˜›

Thank God, got into the specialism of my choice, Fashion Management. Was discussing with Beatrice, my classmate that seems like most people get into their choice of course, with interview or not. The great news for us management students is that we didn’t need interview unlike all the other course – design, textile & comm! ^^ Woohoooooo I sorta didn’t want an interview cause it’s you know, so unnecessary… hehehe… Anyway can you tell I’m in a good mood and I’m more verbose so let me go on. Circe (our fashion course head, who also lectures/heads fashion management) was saying how this year’s FM students makes the “dream team”, with impressive grades to boot… woohoo… I’m praying we’ll all make an awesomest class of students!!! *claps hand close eyes bows head

thennn in cheeryyy mood I bought my new wallet and new diary for new year 2011 (yes v early but I have 20% member’s discount from kikki. k. :D) this is so lame but girls get v excited over things they buy, ok.

and met up with friends for dinnerrr movieeee and sushii during movie omgosh love. anyways im now on a lookout for people to hang with while im free but most if not all my lovely girlies are mad busy studying… yingling.. ming.. my sis… it’s not funny… so i hang with martin.. ian.. joshua.. dafril… mostly the boys that ORD! hahaha congrats man guys so happy for you all new found freedom. I am rambling ok. I think they don’t even read my blog. haha. ok byes!