Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Prayer Answered by Crosses By John Newton

This poem is very true in the life of a Christian. God answers prayers by sanctifying him/her. 

Prayer Answered by Crosses
By John Newton

I asked the Lord that I might grow 

In faith and love and every grace, 

Might more of his salvation know, 

And seek more earnestly his face.

’Twas he who taught me thus to pray; 

And he, I trust, has answered prayer; 

But it has been in such a way 

As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that, in some favoured hour, 

At once he’d answer my request, 

And by his love’s constraining power 

Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel 

The hidden evils of my heart, 

And let the angry powers of hell 

Assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe, 

Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, 

Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this? I trembling cried; 

Wilt thou pursue this worm to death? 

This is the way, the Lord replied
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I now employ 

From self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, 

That thou may’st seek thy all in me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

God moves in a mysterious way

There is a poem called "God moves in a mysterious way". This poem also reflects my experience and I believe that of many people. God works His ways in our life.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Monday, July 1, 2024

The Weaver : My life is but a weaving between my God and me.

Recently, someone reminded me of a poem called "The Weaver". This poem reflects my experience and I believe that of many people. There is a purpose for everything in our life....

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

Monday, November 7, 2022

About me

(This post was first posted on 8 February 2008)

About Me

Hello! Thank you for visiting this blog, dear Reader. Let me share with you a little about myself and God's mercies to me.

My name is Nancie. I am a Chinese Christian living in Singapore. I was led to seek and know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord in 1990 through the instrumentality of two of my ex-colleagues Michael Sing and Daniel Hee when I was working at SATS, Changi Airport, Singapore. My life was radically changed when I became a Christian. I went through many challenges just like everyone else, and have been wonderfully upheld by the Lord Jesus Christ through all the ups and downs in the changing scenes of my life.

In December 2001, I had a severe relapse of asthma and was hospitalized. In year 2002, I took 2 months leaves to recuperate at home. It was during that period of recuperation at home that the Lord used many encouraging Christian articles, sermons and books to minister to me. I was greatly uplifted by the reminders of God's love and faithfulness. The result of it was the design of a website to upload some of my favourite articles and sermons to share with others.

Thank God for the excellent medical care for my asthma by Dr Phoa Lee Lan from Tan Tock Seng Hospital in mid 2002. As I am suffering from mild-persistent asthma, I have to be on low dosage of maintenance medication life long. Now my asthma is under good control.

In Dec 2006, I had a severe relapse of clinical depression. At first I was diagnosed as having Major Depression. But because of the extreme mood swings I experienced, I was diagnosed in late March 2007 to be prone to Bipolar Disorder also known as manic-depressive illness, a brain condition that causes extreme mood swings from very happy or high moods (hypomania) together with lots of energy and creativities and then to very low and depressed moods (clinical depression) with very low level of energy, constant tiredness, etc. During the worst times, I experienced feelings of hopeless and worthlessness to the point of having suicidal thoughts at times. Thank God for preserving me.

I think I have experienced these extreme mood swings since around 1990 ie for over 30 years. But I can only remember more clearly of the 10 or so relapses over the 18 years prior to my diagnosis. These are relapses that occurred just before I became a Christian and then the years after. I could remember them more clearly now because my life was changed significantly after I became a Christian. I have very little memory now of my younger days without Christ.

These episodes in the first 18 years usually lasted for a few months. Different from the normal ups and downs we all experience every now and then, Bipolar Disorder's symptoms are very severe. It is a long term medical condition just like diabetes and hypertension that needs to be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

Through this severe relapse in end 2006, I was led to seek medical and counselling help for the first time, besides praying and reading God's Words plus some other helps. I thank God that after so many years of roller coaster rides with extreme mood swings, I have finally understood the reason behind them. To know that I suffer from this brain medical condition and that it has a name for it, is helping me to learn to manage it better with various resources the Lord Jesus Christ has provided so that I can live for the glory of God and be able to serve Him more effectively.

The medication, by God's grace, is helping to stabilise my mood and enable me be more functional, so that I can continue to seek and serve God. I thank God for Dr Pauline Sim of LP Clinic, Dr Tham and  Dr Chan Lai Gwen of Tan Tock Seng Hospital for their valuable helps in treating my condition.

I am very thankful and indebted to my first Doctor at LP Clinic, Mt Elizabeth Hospital ie Dr Pauline Sim Li Ping. She is a very compassionate, kind and encouraging Doctor. She always assure me that I will get well and not to be discouraged.

She taught me how to recognize early symptoms of relapses, what I can do to get better, how to adjust the dosage of medicine and other matters. She said she wants me to be the co-therapist and know what to do instead of panic or run to the hospital during relapses. Under her guidance I am able manage better.

Currently, I am being followed up by Doctor Chan Lai Gwen at Tan Tock Seng. She  is also a very excellent, kind and compassionate doctor. She works patiently with me as I learn to understand how to manage my condition.

She taught how to recognize early symptoms of relapses, what I can do to get better, how to adjust the dosage of medicine and other matters.

In January 2007, I have received professional help from a group of counsellors who are trained to manage brain disorders such as bipolar, clinical depression, OCD, etc etc and my Pastor also counselled me on spiritual matters. The professional counsellors are trained to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a form of counselling with a focus on understanding how our thoughts affect our behaviours. Bipolar alternates between 2 extreme mood swings ie. mania and depression, and our thoughts and behaviours are shaped by these mania and depression episodes which can at times be very confusing. CBT helps to make sense of some of these confusions, and help to pick up skills to manage these mood swings so that one can be more functional.

I am thankful to God for provided me with a team of very compassionate, kind, understanding and encouraging Christian counsellors at Counselling and Care Centre, Singapore from Jan to Apr 2007. My sessions with my counsellor, Sarah (and her team), were most fruitful and encouraging. Through her counselling sessions, I embarked on a new journey of self-discovery, of knowing God, myself and others better. The benefits I derived from my sessions with Sarah continues to help me as I journey on. I am grateful to Ruth for her counsellings and encouragments between May to June 2007, when she took over from Sarah.

From July to August 2007, I was helped by Dr Spencer Lee and Yvonne Ying of Association of Christian Counsellors of Singapore. Now I am helped by my Pastor's prayers and counsels, and that of some of my elders and brethren in my church, besides doing my own reading and researching on the internet to understand this condition and how best to manage it. I am deeply indebted to the above persons for their valuable prayers, counsels, encouragements and kindness during my most difficult times.

I am now learning to look to God and learning to use a combinations of available means which our Lord has graciously provided to cope with this brain condition. You can read more about these coping means/strategies from the category "My Coping Strategies" on my blog.

With God's help, I am hoping to share my journey of understanding this brain condition and God's mercies to me with you, dear Reader. If you know of anyone suffering the symptoms similar to that of my condition, please do pray for him/her and let him/her know that it is a medical condition that can be treated. Do advise him/her, if possible, to seek professional and medical help, counselling help, some natural remedies and other helps. Do not hesitate to tell him/her about this blog.

Just click on the links in the "Label" box on the right to read my postings.

I thank God for my family Church and some friends - for all their prayers, encouragements, support and kindness. In particular, I am indebted to my dear Pastors ie Pastor JJ Lim, Pastor Linus Chua and my brethren in my church ie Pilgrim Covenant Church  for their unconditional love, prayers, supports, concerns and kind love gifts which enable me to recuperate away from work and also to providentially work on this blog. I realized these are tokens of God's love, mercies and faithfulness to me in this difficult trial. These give me the courage to press on, to look to God daily, and to seek and serve our Lord as He enables me. I am thankful to God for His mercies and lovingkindness to me despite my many sins, failures and weaknesses.

I found it helpful and therapeutic to verbalise my thoughts and feelings and share it with others who can benefit from it. It is my prayers that, God willing, this blog with all its information will be used by our Lord to help others, particularly those who are afflicted in like manner and for their loved ones and friends, just as God has used many information available on the internet for my benefit and comfort as I seek to understand my illness and manage it so that I can live for Him and serve Him.

May the testimonies of God's love and faithfulness, through all the changing scenes of life, will continue to bring glory to Him and some comfort and encouragement to His people.

To God be the glory!

"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:26

Warm Regards,

(First posted on 8 February 2008)



Sunday, August 17, 2008 1:46:00 PM

I really appreciated reading how God is working in your life.

Please pray for me, as I will for you!


Reply: Sunday, September 28, 2008 5:32:00 PM

Thanks, Kate. I am remembering you in prayers. Praise and thank God for His goodness and mercies. 

Warm regards,

Monday, October 13, 2008 10:30:00 AM

My dear friend Nancie, You are a testimony of God's love & faithfulness and YOU ARE MORE THAN ABLE & MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! Indeed, the strength of your heart and your portion is God even when Bpd & your heart might fail you, He will not!
You have shown us the mercies & goodness of Our Lord as you share with us your story of wellness & your struggles to maintain functioning as close to normal. You have shown us all that it entails to have a complete package of balance with a well qualified team of medical & spiritual counselors.
You demonstrate how wonderful it is to have support of many: loved loves, family, friends & church!
Again this echoes of how necessary it is to share this MISSION with others while serving you as therapy
as you express yourself, your thoughts, your feelings so it benefits others who are suffering
like manner! It benefits us all.
I pray you receive continual encouragement from others as you walk through this with God beside
you! Thank you for allowing us to
view your beginnings to the present![I think this was one of your first posts, right?]

Reply: Monday, October 13, 2008 7:45:00 PM

Peggy, thank you for your encouragements! Yes, this is one of my earliest post :)

All praise and glory be to God for His mercies to me and the way He is enabling me to cope and live for Him and serve Him. Take care!

Warm regards,

(This post was first posted on 8 February 2008)

Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness

(First posted on 21 Feb 2008)

This morning, the Lord brought the following verse to my mind:
"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
I am thankful to God for His mercies and faithfulness throughout my life. As I considered afresh how He provided and led me through this part-time job assignment that just ended, I am once again amazed by God's love and mercies to unworthy me.

When I was first diagnosed with proneness to bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), it was a relief to me. I finally understood my confusing past where I have experienced some 10 or 11 episodes of severe depression that usually lasted between 3 months to 6 months or sometimes longer. I struggled to get through each day. I used to wonder what sins have I committed that I have to go through these punishment time and again. Whenever I am well, I do love the Lord, love His people and love to serve Him. It must be a great sin that landed me into severe depression each time, that was what I thought. Yet during such an episode of severe depression, no amount of soul-searching, repentance and cries can bring about deliverance. It was usually 3 to 6 months later that I began to get better and more functional. I thank God for preserving me through those very very difficult times and now finally enabling me to understand why.

My diagnosis helped me to realize that my severe and prolonged depression episodes are due to my proneness to bipolar disorder which is a medical condition that can be treated. No doubt various factors, internal and external, has brought about a relapse in depression. Most of the time could be due to stress and overstraining as I am some kind of a perfectionist in my character and though I have tried hard to change, it is not easy. So unknowingly I sometimes set rather high expectations of myself or goals that are unrealistic and I am doomed to fail in my own eyes when I don't meet up to those high expectations. These often happened unknowingly as I always strive to do my best. I just can't seem to understand my limitations and how much I can really do. This has something to do with the other side of bipolar ie. hypomania. Whenever I am well, I am usually on the hypomania side. Which means I have more energy, more ideas, more creative, more talkative, more friendly and tend to take on more projects than I can handle (without realizing it) and sleep/rest less. I also will be so engrossed or occupied with various things that I neglect exercise, breaks, recreation, hobbies and sometimes regular meals or healthy meals. After weeks or months of such hypomania, a severe depression will surely follow for another 3 to 6 months or so.

My diagnosis helped me to realized that bipolar can happen to anyone. And thank God for preserving me through those very difficult times in the past and delivering me each time. Each experience, confusing though they were, have been used of the Lord for my eternal good. Through every prolonged depressive episodes, I was thrown completely upon the Lord. I have no one else to turn to. No one understood what I was going through. I thank God that through those times, He led me to seek and search His Words and Truths to understand the importance of a right relationship with Him and the great work of sacrifice our Lord Jesus Christ has done when He laid down His life on the cross for us to redeem us from sins and eternal damnation. I thank God that these Truths became very precious to me through my darkest days. I wanted to know what I must do to be saved. During a depressive episode, all my thoughts and feelings became distorted and not functioning properly. I often couldn't feel my love for God, His Word or His people. Actually, I can't feel aright generally, but I didn't realize it. I thought I was surely not a sincere believer and probably even a reprobate. So through each difficult experience, I learn afresh to look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, to seek Him afresh and to know His love and forgiveness. So those very difficult times became great blessings as the Lord sanctified me, drew me closer to Him and enable me to experience His love and faithfulness experientially. God is very real to me because of these difficult experiences. Now I understand why the Psalmist said in Psalm 119:71:
"It is good for me to be afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."
It was through my afflictions that I understand the true meaning of some of God's Words and promises.

But my diagnosis also brings about some difficulties. In the past when I was looking for a new job, I have had difficulties finding one due to my asthma condition. It is a requirement to declare my health condition in the job application form. There were times when I was rejected because they said my asthma condition is very serious as I am on long term medication. They didn't want me to be a liability to them. Actually, my asthma is not very serious. It is mild and persistent, and that is why I have to be on long term medication as I will be in danger of sudden asthmatic attacks that can lead to sudden death otherwise. But as long as I continue with my medication, I am fine most of the time. I only get asthmatic attacks during very very cold weather in December as it rains heavily in Singapore during that time. Or if the office's aircon is too cold, I will feel uncomfortable too. But I have made it a point to wear my sweater and so in the recent years, I have very few attacks. But even then it is so difficult to get a job because of my asthma.

God in His faithfulness, provided a job for me through my good friend, Dr Chin Ming Shu, who is a child psychologist helping children with special needs such as autism, dyslexia, speech delay, etc. Ming Shu is a Christian and a very kind friend. I was with her for the next 4 years plus until I left the job recently when I was severely depressed and could hardly work. At that time, providentially she had to scale down her work to attend to some family matters. I am thankful to God for Ming Shu's kindness to me over the years as she allows me flexibility in terms of my working hours and work. And she lightens my load whenever I went through depressive episodes. Being a child psychologist, she understood depression. So she never condemn me and she sympathized and prayed and encouraged me during such distressing time. I survived a few episodes while working with her and it was because of her kindness that I was able to continue working despite my depression. It was also through her promptings that I finally sought medical help in Dec 2006, and now able to manage my condition better with medical plus other helps. Thank God!

End of last year when I started to look for a new job, I encountered the same difficulties where my health declaration is involved. Now I have to declare not only asthma, but that I am on medication for manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder. Once I declared that, I don't hear from them anymore. Mental illnesses is still very much a stigma in Singapore. But I thank God that through my friend, Grace, that I was offered this part-time job recently. And because it was a part-time assignment, I was not asked to fill up any application forms. So no one know about my medical condition and I was not rejected because of that. Thank God! Truly with Him all things are possible. Great is His mercies and faithfulness.

As I pray, look and await God's provision of another suitable job, I thank God for the assurance in my heart that He will provide for me in His time despite the great difficulties. I pray that He may enable me to once again testify of His goodness and mercies in His next provision of a job, and that I may continue to know Him and serve Him in my new job. Meanwhile, I really appreciate this little break once again :-).

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." Psalm 62:5