Showing posts with label Short encouraging stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Short encouraging stories. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Before they call, I will answer (Isaiah 65:24)

(I took this picture near my house during a brisk-walk session)

Dear Friends,

A very blessed and joyous new year to you!

Thanks for stopping by my combined Word-Filled Wednesday and Thankful Thursday post. This post was originally posted on Monday.

♥ Thank God for seeing us through another year of walking with Him and serving Him. May God grant us a closer walk with Him and a deeper love and devotion to Him.

♥ Thank God for granting me a very refreshing and fruitful weekend and Lord's day of worship, fellowship and service. Trust you too have had a very blessed and restful weekend!

♥ Thank God for preserving and restoring the health of Madam Chan. I shared about a wonderful reunion with her recently after 10 years interval. Madam Chan is 92 years old and came to know the Lord more than 10 years ago and I was then given the privilege to minister to her. Thank God that she was baptised recently on 7 December 2008.

Madam Chan was very sick last week and I thought the Lord might take her home. Thank God for restoring her health and she is better now. She is continuing to trust in the Lord and waiting upon Him to call her home to Himself. She is full of thanfkulness to our Lord despite her bodily afflictions. She is a wonderful encouragement to me and my brethren.

♥ Thank God for providing my family, church brethren and blogging friends who continue to care and encourage me in many ways.

♥ Thank God He knows our every need and will provide for us. A friend and brother-in-Christ send me this very very encouraging story of God knowing our needs and providing for us even before we ask Him. May this encouraging story encourages our heart in this new year as we walk with our Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him, trusting in His love and mercies that He will provide for all our needs spiritually and physically.

Isaiah 65:24 "Before they call, I will answer"

This story was written by a doctor who worked in South Africa

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates). "And it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

"All right," I said, "put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died

During prayer time, one ten-year old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. "Please, God" she prayed, "send us a water bottle. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon."

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, "And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?"

As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say,"Amen". I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything, the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door.

By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children.

Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out - yes, a brand-new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly too!"

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

Looking up at me, she asked: "Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months. Packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "that afternoon."

"Before they call, I will answer" (Isaiah 65:24)

(My friend, AR, took this picture at Changi Airport, Singapore)

Thanks for stopping by. Take care and have a great week ahead!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do visit Amy.

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just think, you're here not by chance but by God's choosing

I received this very encouraging message from DaySpring which sells Books, Cards, Gifts, etc:

DaySpring's Best Loved Message by Roy Lessin

Just think, you're here not by chance but by God's choosing

Just think,
you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else.
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
that His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.

-Roy Lessin

The Story behind the message:

For almost twenty years, the words above have touched thousands of lives. Now DaySpring Writer and Cofounder Roy Lessin shares for the first time how God placed this message on his heart:

I received an assignment to create a birthday card. I had written many birthday messages over the years and wondered what I could share that would be new and different. My thoughts quickly went to Acts 13:36, "For David, after he had served God's will and purpose and counsel in his generation, fell asleep."

I decided to write a birthday card based on this Scripture because I had recently been thinking about the teaching of evolution and the impact it was having on people's lives. "There are many people who find life meaningless," I thought. "they need to know that life is not by chance and that God has a purpose that they can fulfill in their generation."

I lifted my pen and began writing, "Just think, you're not here by chance, but by God's choosing..." A few hours later I put the final touches on the card.

What an encouragement!

When our life is difficult, especially when struggling with clinical depression or other difficulties, we may question whether there is a meaning to our life.

But no matter what we are going through now or how insignificant we feel our life is, may we be encouraged to know that our life is not by chance but by God's choosing.

We are precious in God's sight.

Life is not meaningless. God loves us and He has purposes for us here.

Thank God for His love for us!

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalm 139:14

Thanks for stopping by and for all your concerns and prayers. Thank God for His goodness and mercies daily as I continue to wait upon Him for restoration.

May you have a blessed week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In Celebration of Being Alive

My church will be partaking of the Lord's Supper this coming Lord's day. As I prepare my heart to come before the Lord's Table, I am reminded afresh of our Lord Jesus Christ's love for us in coming into this world, suffered and died for us to redeem us from sins and eternal damnation. Thank God that our Lord is risen and by trusting in Him and turning away from our sins, we are reconciled to God through Him.

In this life, we shall have our portion of ups and downs, joy and sorrow, wellness and sickness, success and failures, etc etc these being part of our fallen nature and living in a less than perfect world. The tricky thing for those of us with a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar, is how to handle these challenges so that they do not either escalate into manic episodes or dragged us down into depression. Both are detrimental to our spiritual, mental and physical well being. But sometimes no matter how hard we try and with whatever help we have, we may still find ourselves deep in the pit of depression or wildly manic. These are the nature of our illness and we need patience to wait for them to pass, as we wait upon God while using whatever means available for recovery. Waiting is difficult as we wrestle with our pains and confusions. It is a struggle to me but thank God for sustaining and delivering me time and again.

Sometimes we may wonder why God allows us to go these sufferings. Or if our loved ones are the ones suffering thus, we may question why. All sufferings are ultimately due to living in a fallen world and our struggles with remaining corruption. But beyond these sufferings, are the higher purposes God may have for us in drawing us nearer to Himself so that we may know more of His love and faithfulness and be made more dependant upon Him, in purging us and sanctifying us so that we may be made more like our Lord Jesus Christ and ultimately in glorifying Himself through His sustaining and delivering us. God also enables us to sympathize with others who are going through suffering and share His love and mercies with others as we seek to comfort them with the same comfort that God has comforted us.

I thank God that we are able to encourage one another and support one another through our blogs. And I believe one of the reasons is because God has allowed us to experience much pains and sufferings in our life and giving us the joy of trusting in Him. We are weak but He is strong and His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. Though we may never meet on this earth, we can continue to share and support one another just as the Lord encourages us and strengthens us through all the changing scenes in life.

Recently, I shared the story of "Love Token" from my collections of short stories. This morning, I re-read another short story in my collections. And this story reminds me once again of how I should view my suffering and losses due to bipolar. I hope it will encourage you too and enable you to look at your sufferings or losses in a different angle:

In Celebration of Being Alive

A world-renowned heart surgeon ponders suffering and takes a lesson from two brave youngsters.

More and more, as I near the end of my career as a heart surgeon, my thoughts have turned to the consideration of why people should suffer. Suffering seems so cruelly prevalent in the world today. Do you know that of the 125 million children born this year, 12 million are unlikely to reach the age of one and another six million will die before the age of five? And, of the rest, many will end up as mental or physical cripples.

My gloomy thoughts probably stem from an accident I have a few years ago. One minute I was crossing the street with my wife after a lovely meal together, and the next minute a car had hit me and knocked me into my wife. She was thrown into the other lane and struck by a car coming from the opposite direction.

During the next few days in the hospital I experienced not only agony and fear but also anger. I could not understand why my wife and I had to suffer. I had 11 broken ribs and a perforated lung. My wife had a badly fractured shoulder. Over and over, I asked myself, why should this happen to us? I had work to do, after all; there are patients waiting for me to operate on them. My wife had a young baby who needed to care.

My father, had he still been alive, would, I know, have given short shift to my petulant questioning. He would have said: "My son, it's God's will. That's the way God test you. Suffering ennobles you - makes you a better person."

But, as a doctor, I see nothing noble in a patient's thrashing around in a sweat-soaked bed, mind clouded in agony. Nor can I see any nobility in the crying of a lonely child in a ward at night.

I had my first introduction to the suffering of children when I was a little boy. One day my father showed me a half-eaten, moldy biscuit with two tiny tooth marks in it. And he told me about my brother, who had died several years earlier. He told me about the suffering of this child, who had been born with an abnormal heart problem, but in those days they didn't have sophisticated heart surgery. And this moldy biscuit was the last biscuit my brother had eaten before his death.

As a doctor, I always found the suffering of children particularly heartbreaking - especially because of their total trust in doctors and nurses. They believe you are going to help them. If you can't, they accept their fate. They go through mutilating surgery, and afterward they don't complain.

One morning, several years ago, I witnessed what I call the Grand Prix of Cape Town's Red Cross Children's Hospital. It opened my eyes to the fact that I was missing something in all my thinking of suffering - something basic that was full of solace for me.

What happened there that morning was that a nurse had left a breakfast trolly unattended. And very soon this trolly was commandeered by an intrepid crew of two - a driver and a mechanic. The mechanic provided motor power by galloping along behind the trolley with his head down, while the driver, seated on the lower deck, held on with one hand and steered by scraping his foot on the floor. The choice of roles was easy, because the mechanic was totally blind and the driver had only one arm.

They put on quite a show that day. Judging by the laughter and the shouts of encouragement from the rest of the patients, it was much better entertainment than anything anyone puts on at Indianapolis. There was a grand finale of scattered plates and silverware before the nurse and ward sister caught up with them, scolded them and put them back to bed.

Let me tell you about these two. The mechanic was all of seven years old. One night, when his mother and father were drunk, his mother threw a lantern at his father, missed and the lantern broke over the child's head and shoulders. He suffered severe third-degree burns on the upper part of his body, and lost both of his eyes. At the time of the Grand Prix, he was a walking horror, with a disfigured face and a long flap of skin hanging from the side of his neck to his body. As the wound healed around his neck, his lower jaw became gripped in a mass of fibrous tissue. The only way this little boy could open his mouth was to raise his head. When I stopped by to see him after the race, he said, "You know, we won." He was laughing.

The trolley's driver I knew better. A few years earlier I had successfully closed a hole in his heart. He had returned to the hospital because he had a malignant tumor of the bone. A few days before the race, his shoulder and arm were amputated. There was little hope of recovering. After the Grand Prix, he proudly informed me that the race was a success. The only problem was that the trolley's wheels were not properly oiled, but he was a good driver, and he had full confidence in the mechanic.

Suddenly, I realized that these two children had given me a profound lesson in getting on with the business of living. Because the business of living is joy in the real sense of the word, not just something for pleasure, amusement, recreation. The business of living is the celebration of being alive.

I had been looking at suffering from the wrong end. You don't become a better person because you are suffering; but you become a better person because you have experienced suffering. We can't appreciate light if we haven't known darkness. Nor can we appreciate warmth if we have never suffered cold. These children showed me that it's not what you've lost that's important. What is important is what you have left.

This story reminded me afresh that it is more helpful for me to focus on what I still have and to use them for God's glory and benefit of others, instead of dwelling on what I may have lost or are loosing due to bipolar. I am learning, by God's grace, to look beyond my bipolar. I am learning to manage bipolar as best I can by looking to God and using all the helps available prayerfully, so that I can be more functional and useful. I pray that God will enable me to use whatever strength, time and ability I have to serve Him, His people and the society at large.

Recently, Michelle too shared that although she may have health issues but she can still do a lot. She prefers to think of us as "differently-abled" rather than disabled. I like the word "differently-abled". Yes, we may have health issues or other physical infirmities, we have our limitations and our downtime may be more than others, but we are not disabled. We are "differently-abled". We do still have our gifts and talents just like everyone else. We can use them to the best of our ability and live a useful and meaningful life, to God's glory.

I am reminded also of what I learned in my Catechism Class :

Westminster Shorter Catechism

Question 1: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God,a and to enjoy Him for ever.b

a 1 Cor 10:31; Rom 11:36; b Ps 73:25-28; Rev 7:15

  • EQ 1(a) What is meant by the chief end of man?

A. The chief end of man refers firstly to the divine purpose for man’s existence and secondly to what man ought to aim at in his life and therefore that which he should seek after as his chief good and happiness.

  • EQ 1(b) What does it mean to glorify God?

A. To glorify Him does not mean to give God any additional glory since he is eternally and infinitely perfect and glorious.a What it means is to manifest God’s glory in our lives.b When we worship and acknowledge God in sincere praise and thanksgiving, we glorify him.c Similarly, when we sincerely endeavour, in our actions, at all times and in all situations, to exalt God’s name and to promote the interest of His kingdom in the world, we glorify Him.d

P. a"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt 5:48). b"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Pet 2:9). c"Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me" (Ps. 50:23a; cf. Heb 13:5). d"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31).

Read more .....

  • EQ 1(g) What does it mean to enjoy God?

A. To enjoy God, is to rest in God and to delight in Him.

P. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever" (Ps 73:25-26).

EQ 1(h) How do we enjoy God in this life?

A. In this life, we enjoy God when we taste of His goodness and experience His special love for us which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. This happens especially as we commune with Him in prayer, in the reading of His Word, in beholding His creation, and in contemplating His providence.

P. "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." (Ps 34:8). "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Rom 5:5).

  • EQ 1(i) How do we enjoy God hereafter?

A. Our present enjoyment of God will be perfected seeing that we will be glorified, hindered by sin no more, and admitted into heaven where we shall see Christ face to face, to rest in Him and experience a full sense of His love. Our enjoyment and delight in God will be perfect and inconceivable then.

P. "In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps 16:11b); "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Heb 4:9).

  • EQ 1(j) Why is the glorifying of God and the enjoyment of God joined together as one chief end of man?

A. Because God has so designed man that the very means of enjoying God is to glorify Him.

P. "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God" (Ps 50:23). "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom 11:36).

(Read more ..... from my Pastor's short commentaries on the Westminter Shorter Catechism)

May we, by the grace of God, look beyond our weaknesses and limitations, and look to God alone whose grace is sufficient for us, whose love is unchanging and to whom we belong. May His love and faithfulness be our joy and strength daily. May He enable us to live for His glory and enjoy Him here and for all eternity!

I took picture of this beautiful Rose at the Sentosa Flower exhibition at Sentosa Island, Singapore.

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee
Jeremiah 31:3

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Love Token

Thank God for His faithfulness in granting me a very good rest last night. I was very very tired and went to bed before 9pm! I am up early this morning, and very thankful to feel refreshed to serve God again for this day that He has given me.

I pray that today the Lord will help me to remember to pace myself moderately, and I will remember to take breaks and rest in Him, and seek Him in prayers too.

I thank God for His encouragement through His Words in my devotion this morning. I am reminded that I must put God first in all that I do and say daily, and strive to honour Him and do good to others. Sometimes I get too task-oriented, especially when I am manic, as I will be full of energy and ideas during the day time. Sometimes I forget to stop and pray before my tasks. And at times, I become too much of a Martha and forget to be a Mary! I tend to do too many things and forget to spend more time with our Lord in prayer and in His Words. Thank God that He does slows me down and I am still learning to recognize early symptoms of over-straining. I also need much discipline to take breaks and rest! It's hard when my brain is full of ideas, I get very excited and there seemed to be 101 things I think I should do :) Oops, there I go again :)

This morning, I was very encouraged by a short story I reread. Since young, I loved to read. I have a small collections of short stories and quotable quotes which I enjoyed very much.

This morning, I reread "Love Token" and I would like to share with you. It touches my heart and reminded me afresh of what really matters in this life in the various relationships in our life. Hope you will be encouraged too :)

Love Token

From an old woman, a young nurse learns a valuable lesson of life.

Until I met Mrs. Bench, nursing wasn't quite what I had expected. An active imagination had set visions of Florence Nightingale dancing in my head. Instead, I got the three Bs: bathing, bed making and bedpans. As student nurses, we ventured out to practice our skills on patients. That's how I met Mrs. Bench - my first patient. That morning, I bustled in with my equipment and said cheerily, "Good morning, Mrs. Bench. I'm your nurse today."

Mrs. Bench was a tiny, ancient lady with mounds of blue-white hair bunched in a net on top of her head. The rest of her body was the shade of a ripe pumpkin. "What do you want?" Her tone of voice implied I was not to get it.

"I'm here to give you a bath, and make your bed."

"Well, just march yourself right out of here. I don't intend to have a bath today."

Squaring my shoulders, I looked her right in the eye. "Mrs. Bench, my job is to give you a bath. Now, let's get started." To my alarm, big tears formed in her eyes, and trickled into the furrows of her cheeks.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"What's wrong? I'm dying, that's what's wrong. And nobody cares, just as long as I'm clean."

"Did your doctor tell you you're going to die?"

She shook her head. "No, he keeps talking as if I'll be going home, but I'm not fooled."

"Now, now," I said briskly, "have a little faith in your doctor." I ignored her protests and bulldozed ahead into the bath.

The next day, Mrs. Bench anticipated my coming and had her ammunition ready. "Before you do anything," she said, "define 'nursing'."

I eyed her doubtfully. "Well, nursing is hard to define," I hedged. "It has to do with taking care of sick people."

At that Mrs. Bench whisked back the bedspread to reveal a dictionary. "Just as I suspected," she said triumphantly, "you don't even know that you're supposed to do." She flipped the book to a page she had marked and read slowly: " 'To nurse: to tend the sick or aged: to take care of, nourish, foster, develop or cherish.' " She closed the book with a bang. "I'm ready to be nursed. Today, I've a mind to be cherished."

"Good heaven, Mrs. Bench," I said, "what are you talking about?"

Grinning broadly, she patted a chair next to the bed. "Just sit down. Cherishing's easy to learn. You start by listening."

Listen I did. That day and the days to come, she told me her life's story, taking great pains to spell out the lessons life had taught her. Finally, she told me about Mr. Bench. "He was a tall, raw-honed farmer with too short trousers and too long hairs. When he came courting, he tracked mud into the parlor. Of course, I thought I was meant for finer things, but I married him anyway."

"For our first anniversary, I wanted a love token. They were made of etching flowers and entwined initials. They were hung on a fine silver chain, and presented on a special occasion." She smiled and fingered the silver chain she always wore. "The anniversary day came, and Ben up and hitched the wagon to drive into town. In a fever of anticipation, I waited on a slope, looking for the dust in the distance that would mark his coming."

Her eyes clouded. "He never came. Riders found the wagon the next morning. They came out with the news, and this." Reverently, she drew it out. It was faded now from rubbing against her skin, but one side was wreathed with tiny hearts and flowers. The reverse said simply, "Ben and Alma. Love eternal."

"But it's a penny," I said. "Didn't you say they were silver or gold?"

Replacing her jewel, she nodded. Tears rimmed her eyes. "It's sad to admit, but if he'd come home that day, I'd have seen only the penny. As it was, I saw only the love."

I never saw Mrs. Bench again. She died that night. But she left me a precious legacy that has helped make me a better nurse - and a better person.

A few blinks to dislodge the tears, and she faced me with a clear, piercing gaze. "I hope you listened well, young lady. That's the trouble you're having with being a nurse. You only see the penny. You're blind to the love. Remember, don't be fooled by the penny. Look for the love."

I first read this touching account in 1984 and I have typed it out and kept it in my collection. Even now, 24 years later, as I re-typed this touching story to share with you, it still touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes while I was typing. I am reminded afresh of how it will be good for me to learn to appreciate the love of the people around me and not just at what they give to me or do for me. I am also learning to appreciate the love of God and not just His blessings and gifts.

I am learning to cherish my time with family and friends and not just do things for them or make gifts for them. One of the important lessons I learned through my counsellor, Sarah, early last year, was that a meaningful life is found not only in doing meaningful things but also in having meaningful relationships with God and with others. This is a lesson I am still learning to apply in my life, by God's grace, and I am thankful that it is changing my life in many wonderful ways and helping me in my relationships with people around me.

I sometimes think I love too much at times and I get hurt too much because of it. But I am someone who feels deeply and have not learned how to restrain myself. I love my family and friends and maybe at times I tried too hard to please them or make them happy, whether knowingly or unknowingly. But sometimes it also backfired when I am more concerned about doing things for them rather than spending time with them, and loving them through being with them. Giving them gifts and doing things are ways of showing love, but sometimes spending time with them may show them greater love and they may cherish it more. I may be doing things for people, but I forget to spend quality time with them, which is more important to them and matter more to them. I pray God helps me to improve in this aspect.

It is the same in my walk with God and my serving God. I need this reminder too. Sometimes I am too preoccupied with many things I want to do for God in serving Him and I forget to spend more time in prayers and reading of God's Words. God delights in our communion with Him in prayers and reading of His Words. To be a Christian is to have a personal relationship with God. It is not just going to church and serving in as many capacities as possible. These are important and God do delights in our labours of love. But God delights even more when we love Him enough to spend more time with Him in prayers and reading the Bible. It is only by spending time with God that we can know more of His love for us and His goodness to us. It is also the way we learn how best to walk with Him and serve Him, and do good to others.

I need to still my heart and listen to God, before I busy myself with the day's tasks : ) And to remember to spend quality time with God and others around me.

Hope you will also look for love, and not just penny, in your relationships and work, or whatever you do :)

I took picture of these beautiful flowers at the Sentosa Flower exhibition at Sentosa Island, Singapore.