God provides

We only need to say YES

 

This morning, God woke me up at 7am. It is quite unusual because I don’t wake up that early. But God is the God of surprises, so instead of going back to sleep, I stayed awake and read today’s readings.

Then I wrote a post here, about what I learned during Lent.

A message appeared on screen, from the ministry group chat, asking if me or Mag could make a poster for tomorrow’s session so that the group can send out personalised invitations to others to come.

I said yes, and worked on it.

The theme was “The Incarnation of Jesus, True God and True Man”. As I searched for the image to use, I prayed: Which image should I use, God? Show me. The song “Resurrection” by John F. Wilson filled my mind and I sang it while searching.

“Jesus Christ has triumphed now! Resurrection!
He has conquered death somehow! Resurrection! 
Now see the tomb lay bare; Resurrection!
Death could not hold him there; Resurrection.
Alleluia! Comes the Resurrection. 
Alleluia! Comes the Resurrection….” 

Then I found this beautiful stained glass of the Holy Trinity and created the poster.

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Multiple drafts later, I sent the approved final poster to the group. Right after I sent out the image, my phone battery died.

God provided what I needed to complete the task,
I only had to be willing to put in all I had to completing the task.

Today I saw what God can do with just 5% of battery. If you’re feeling drained, tired or stuck – don’t stop giving God all you can – for He can do wonders even with very little.

May all that we do bring glory and praise to God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit the Advocate. Amen. 

 

 

Lent Week 2

What I’ve learnt in Week 2 of Lent

Week 1 was all about turning away from distractions (food, noise, tv shows) and expanding quiet time to listen more intently to God’s Word and His voice. Most importantly, I learned to trust in God’s timing.

Week 2 was a disaster – I fell sick. I am still not feeling well. I had to catch up on my work while also covering for my friend who’s on leave. Every day was a physical and mental struggle – at lunchtime I took medication and rested for awhile. After work, I had dinner, took medication and tried to sleep. As I had a lot of medication to take, I had to break my fast and ate 2 meals. The quiet time I had dedicated was replaced by sleep.

Still, I am struggling. But strangely, it is in this struggle that I feel more closely linked to Jesus’ journey to His passion. I had a terrible headache and I just couldn’t be a kind listener in a conversation. I’m sorry to admit that I had no patience at that point. But then I realised – the pain I’m feeling is nothing compared to the pain Jesus felt from the thorns. And yet – Jesus found strength to complete his mission, and he found time to kind to others.

What great love the Lord has for us, that he endured his passion for our sake!

I had also lost for my voice and it was painful to speak. I usually sing praise and worship songs while I work, for an hour or so every day as “Praise Hour”. But this week – I couldn’t sing. My spiritual life felt as dry as my throat was. I longed so much to be able to sing praises but I couldn’t. So instead, I meditated on the words of psalms, even adding my own ‘psalm’ of praise and thanksgiving every now and then. I prayed to my Guardian Angel (or angels) and the choirs of Angels in heaven, to please sing praises to God for me, on my behalf, while I couldn’t sing.

Yesterday, while I was standing in the hall drinking water, I looked up and saw the image of the Divine Mercy at the altar.

And as I looked at the rays shining from the Heart of Mercy, I felt peace – like cool water on my forehead. Lord, be living water for my soul as I seek you. Be healing water for my body that is ill. Be refreshing water in my mind and heart, as I journey towards Easter with you.

Amen.

How deep the Father’s love for us

What is mortal man that you care for him?

How wide beyond all measure, that He would give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure… 


I am so humbled by God’s grace and in awe of His goodness. 

I was praying in my room when my ministry leader sent a message, asking if I would like to be one of the people for Maundy Thursday’s washing of feet. 

I was speechless for awhile. Me? 

Then I said, yes. 


The thoughts – no, the feelings – that were running through me were of God’s great love, worthiness washed over my self-consciousness, graces washed over my weaknesses and salvation washed over my sins. 

For the first time in my life, I fully prostrated before God, and with the awe of a fumbling human, I spoke to God, earnestly praising and thanking Him. 

For now I KNOW that truly NOTHING CAN SEPARATE ME FROM GOD’S LOVE.

Truly, His love is more precious than rubies, finer than silver, more beautiful than diamonds.

Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit

16 Nov 2016, Thursday
It is now almost midnight, but I want to write this before I go to sleep. 

I have witnessed so many blessings today – what a great God we have! 

“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” – [Psalm 116:2] 

While waiting for the session to start, I asked God my daily question: What do you ask of me today, God? 

No answer. 

But later on, before the session properly started, the coordinator said to ask God the exact same thing – What do you ask of me today, God? 

The answer: Empathy. 

I didn’t understand why and what exactly but I kept that in mind as the session went on and Fr spoke about embracing God’s love and mercy. 

When the individual praying over started, I saw – no – I felt why God asked empathy of me today. 

I was part of a prayer team at the back of the hall. Usually I receive words or images related to the person we pray for. But this time, I felt it. I felt the pain, brokenness, struggles… For one lady, I felt it so much that I cried too. I felt her hurt, somehow. And I also felt Jesus’ love for her – His love is far more powerful than her troubles. What touched me most was how much Jesus cares for her.. my words are not sufficient to describe the love of Jesus. It was heartbreakingly beautiful, genuine and pure yet powerful and overflowing. It felt like someone who would do anything and keep trying until she was saved, until she was healed. 

This is the depth of God’s love. 

She held my hands, cried and hugged me. I wanted her to know how much Jesus loves her. I know I said words that came to mind, reassuring words, but what exactly I can’t remember. 

I thank you Lord for allowing me to carry their struggles, if only for that moment. I thank you Lord for choosing us to be your instruments, in prayer and in embracing others. Thank you Lord for the healing and blessings. 

How do I feel now? 

Tired but not exhausted. Hungry (I didn’t have dinner) but full. Renewed.

And very certain that God is great, full of love and mercy. All glory and honour be to you, God, forever. 

— 

Update: 17 Nov 2016, Thursday

Testimonies keep pouring in from participants and facilitators. Praise the Lord! 


Praying for boldness

My testimony

Last month, I was asked if I would like to share a testimony at the next LISS session. Immediately when I saw the message, I knew in my heart that I could not, would not say no. For I’ve learned to always answer a call to serve or testify. 

But I didn’t reply straightaway. I pondered on it for a day, asking God what He wants me to share. 

The answer: Praying for boldness to speak. 

I agreed to share a testimony. But I was surprised (in a good way) that God chose me to carry this message to the LISS participants even when I was going through some struggles. By human standards, I was probably not fit for the job. But God’s ways are not our ways – He sees the potential in us – and somehow He chose me. And I felt thankful and blessed, encouraged to know that God still has a purpose for me even when I was struggling. 

(So if you’re going through difficulties right now, let me affirm you and tell you that God is with you, and there is a purpose even when you don’t see a positive point yet.) 

When we say yes to God, God equips us for what we set out to do. To prepare for the sharing, God sent promptings through the Holy Spirit during that week, revealing to me what I should say, like a run-through. Thoughts were so smooth like a river flowing – and helped me to be calm and not nervous. 

The day before the sharing, I wrote down a few points on a cue card in case I forgot or panicked. Didn’t end up using those notes. 

My mum asked me if I had planned out what to say. I replied, generally. I know the topic. She asked if I had written notes. I said no. Why not, she asked. What if you forget what you were supposed to say? 

I replied, then the Holy Spirit will teach me what to say. While I do all I can to prepare for it, on the actual day, there may be something else I need to say, and God will lead me. 

The day came. I fasted and prayed. 

The session began with singing. I began to panic. Was I ready? I was calm before but now I was scared. My fellow ministry members reassured me that I was going to be ok. I hardly remember walking up to the front and taking the mike. How I managed to stand there and speak in front of the 120+ people… I, myself, am amazed.

So I began by saying: 

“Peace be with you. Later as I share my testimony, you’ll see why my standing here and speaking to you is already testament to, evidence of, what God can do in your life.” 

He can transform you, building you from weakness to strength, from fear to courage, from selfish to selfless, from sin to grace. 

There is a video of the testimony, perhaps when I am able to get a copy of it, I will share it here. 

As I was speaking, I scanned the faces in the crowd. Those who smiled or nodded at certain words… they encouraged me to keep going. My heart was focused on sharing God’s love. My mind was focused on listening. My mouth was smiling as I recalled the joy of embracing God in my life. And thankfully, I was not fumbling over my words like how awful I was at running and jumping over hurdles in P.E. class. 

And then, it was the end. There was more I wanted to say but forgot. It must have been unnecessary for God stopped me there. I found myself walking back to my seat at the back of the auditorium. 

By God’s grace, I testified. 

At the start of 2016, I set goals to encourage myself to be more bold in speaking and sharing about God. The second last on the list was to share a testimony in a large group or at an event. And this was it. By God’s grace, God built me up to this moment, and equipped me to fulfill the call. 

Almost a month later, LISS participants shared their testimonies at a session. It was beautiful, seeing people step forward to praise and thank God. By sharing their faith stories, they also were encouraging others to be brave and share too. 

Out of those who stepped forward, 2 of them mentioned being inspired by my testimony, about boldness. When they mentioned this, some of my ministry members turned towards me with smiles and widened eyes. 

No, it wasn’t my words that inspired these people but it was God’s goodness and grace in the words that spoke to these people. 

The sharings touched me and I kept praising God. How truly amazing you are God! 

In the words of a song: 

How can it be, you chose someone like me, to declare your praise for the glory of your name… 

God chose you. No matter where you are now in life, no matter what you are going through now – everything will one day serve a purpose and you’ll look back and see more clearly than ever before, that God was with you every step of the way and that by your life, you will be living hope for others who are struggling as you struggled. So share your story and be a light for others. 

Amen. 

Work as if for God, not for men

Surrendering all to God

I’ve been struggling with work recently. If it is a spiritual battle because of LISS, then I take it on happily, fortified with faith that God conquers all. 

It has been mentally vexing and physically taxing but what I’ve witnessed is God nurturing me, making me stronger. In tough times I am learning to lean on God’s strength, not my own understanding. I am learning to let go of pride and that it’s ok to ask for help. I am learning the power of prayer. I am learning to look to the cross, to keep my focus on God despite the storm. I am learning that prayers don’t need to be long. Short prayers fit into the exasperated pauses, and refreshes me with God’s grace. I am learning about the love that our Blessed Mother Mary has for us. I am learning about her intercession and consolation.

Under the pressure, I have been clay, moulded and guided by God the Father.

2 Timothy 4:17 – “But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.” 

Isaiah 41:10 – “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” 

God works in mysterious ways

Witnessing transformation

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“Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” – Exodus 15:11

While I was on holiday with my brothers, I witnessed a transformation in them. Perhaps they wouldn’t think of this as much change, but to me, seeing the change was a moment of awe for how God touches our lives.

We walked to St Patrick’s Cathedral which was about a 3 mins walk from we were staying. It was not a big church, but it was more than sufficient and beautiful.

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The church was empty, morning mass was over. As we entered, on the right was dear St Anthony 🙂  I went to a pew and prayed. One of my brothers sat in the pew behind me, while the other walked around the church taking photos.Up to this moment, everything was quite typical. My brothers would usually sit in the pews and wait for me or my mother to finish praying then we’ll carry on with the day’s plan.

But this time…

While I was sitting down, slowly taking in the beautiful intricacies of the apse (semi-dome area behind the altar), I heard the sound of coins dropping into the donation boxes at the back of the church for candles.

Then I saw my brothers carrying a lit candle each, going around to the mini-chapels along the sides and they began lighting a candle in each chapel dedicated to various saints, saying a prayer. Again, this may not seem as much,  but to me, I was surprised and touched and thankful and in awe, all at the same time. It was extra beautiful because the area for candles in each mini-chapel was initially bare, but now each saint had at least one lit candle.

Thank you God, thank you for inspiring this selfless act in them. Continue to gather them to yourself, and guide them as they rediscover more of you.

One of the following days, we went to the Westminster Cathedral and my brothers sat outside while I went to the CTS Bookshop next to the church. The first book that caught my eye when I walked into the bookshop was the DOCAT which is the latest book in the YOUCAT series, which is explains the Catechism of the Catholic Church for youths. Pope Francis explains in the foreword that:

“DOCAT answers the question: ‘What should we do?’; it is like a user’s manual that helps us to change ourselves with the Gospel first, and then our closest surroundings, and finally the whole world. For with the power of the Gospel, we can truly change the world.”

There’s an app too: https://docat-app.com/

I was thinking of getting the book but I put it down and walked around the rest of the bookshop, finding books as gifts for others and books on the Holy Spirit / Acts of the Apostles for myself.

I must have taken very long because my brothers came into the store and asked me to hurry up. One of them looked around the bookshop. I was paying for the books I chose when I noticed he was still hanging around one of the bookshelves. ‘Do you want anything?’ I asked him. Guess which book he chose? Yes – the DOCAT. I laughed and told him that I was thinking of getting the book just now but then I put it back down. He asked me to get it for him to read. So I did. God works in mysterious ways!

After that that I noticed another bookshop (St Paul’s) nearby so I promised them I will be quick and went off exploring the other bookshop. While I was there, one of my brothers went into the cathedral and saw that there was an exhibition in the upper gallery of the church. He asked me if I wanted to go and see. I felt bad for taking so long at the bookshops so I said no, it’s okay. But then he insisted, saying that it is something I wouldn’t want to miss seeing as it was free to enter only today.

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So I went alone. At first it was kinda creepy walking up the spiral staircase on my own. But when I reached the top, there was a kind lady who explained a few of the pieces on display to me. Some altar items were gifts. I thanked her and she went off to welcome other people who entered the exhibition. I was drawn to the shelves on the left. At first glance, it looked like many smaller monstrances. But then I looked at the placards. These held relics of saints! There were so many. I wanted to pray – I felt humbled to be in their presence.

Holy Saints, be our companions as we journey to know, love and serve God. Inspire in us courage as you were courageous, faith as you were faithful and a fervent love for God as you were passionately connected to God through prayer, word and deed. 

I don’t know how long I stood there, but it felt like forever.

I’m glad I listened to God’s promptings through my brother to go there. Thank you God, You are truly wonderful – I praise and thank you for all you have done for us.


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