PCY 29th Birthday

Hi guys! Time flies, and it’s my 29th birthday. I feel like I’m stepping into the auntie zone from next year onwards. Gosh. It’s ironic how we yearn to grow up fast when we were young and how we hope time would stay still during our prime. Nonetheless, my heart is full, full of gratitude towards friends that remembered my birthday and celebrated for me. This post is for all of you! From simple cards to thoughtful gifts to sweet surprises, I truly appreciate all of your effort, care and concern for me despite my willfulness. You all made me felt so blessed and spoilt. Thank you all for giving me wonderful memories and loving me. I just want to say, I love you all. Please enjoy these collages!

Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. I will always remember each and everyone of you for impacting my life, don’t you dare leave me!

Sincerely,

Chiu Yen

Khao Yai 2019

Hi guys! Here’s sharing with you a short getaway I had to Khao Yai, a 3-hours drive from Bangkok to escape the touristy city! Hope my 4 days 3 nights simple itinerary can get you excited. Let’s go!

Day 1

I was greeted by Bangkok airways with a flight delay, and it took me almost 12 hours in total just to reach Khao Yai. Man, I literally burned my first day sleeping all the way before I finally reached the hobbit house. It’s a small magical place for me to get excited.

I rode on my little pony!

My eyes feasted on realistically drooling food inside the various cozy hobbit houses! Man, it’s cute.

Yes, it’s totally possible to stay here.

I love the decor!

The weather could get a little dry and scorching though, so remember to stay hydrated while exploring these hobbit houses.

The little Santorini part is yet to be complete but still looked decently attractive.

I found frozen there!!!!!!!!!!! It’s like a sign telling me to let it go………. as in let go of the morning flight delay and start embracing what’s to come in Khao Yai for the next couple of days!

The rooms are not icy cold but there’s the element of feel there. That was a moment of Santorini bliss before I headed for a relaxing sunset dinner up on a hill at Ma Du Dao!

This ain’t a touristy spot. It’s very localized and Thai-ish.

In fact, its beautiful view captured my heart. The air is cool and fresh. I can bask richly in these moments of peace and tranquility.

I love to chase sunsets and Ma du dao gave me a good one! It’s like egg yolk…….

As night falls, it got windy and chilly. I sat down admiring the night view and ate my first official proper dinner in Khao Yai. Yes!!! I finally got my Thai iced milk tea………..

My clear tom yum soup……

My mixed vegetables with prawns…..

And my amazing plate of bbq beef. The bbq smell and smoky roasted taste was solid. I was duper satisfied.

And then finally, it’s a long ride to the place I stayed at. I chose My Ozone Khao Yai……… and I loved it! Day 1 was a day of sleeping and sleeping during most of the traveling journey but it was still a good one.

Day 2

I woke up in a palace!!!!!!! My Ozone is actually a golf course place, hence its greenery, cleanliness and neatness. I observed that the locals love to come here for a staycation away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

My first stop of day 2 was Palio Village, a colorful old town with small streets of shopping, artwork, cafes, and Italian architecture. You can easily spend 1-2 hours here!

Next, I visited The Chocolate Factory which sells all kinds of chocolate products, and the one that I remembered vividly was a chocolate in the shape of a high heels shoes! So cool!

The Chocolate Factory serves the richest and thickest iced chocolate ever. It tasted like concentrated melted dark chocolate, literally. Power. I bought the dark brownie chocolate cracker home and it won the praises of my family. Top notch quality indeed. I was impressed.

My mood went up even more after my interesting lunch at The Witches Brew. It turned out to be my favorite place so far for its delicious and soft bbq pork spare ribs. Reasonably priced at 450 baht.

It was creepily fun to be a witch for as long as I dined there.

I was poisoned by my green apple soda that came in a potion, which most likely had already been cursed under a deadly spell by other witches.

Thankfully, I read the book that came with it and broke the spell. I’m a proud survivor of The Witches Brew!

After a satisfying lunch, I visited the PB Valley, a winery. It’s my first time at a winery! This is the largest vineyard in Khao Yai – a 350 hectare land!

Warning: please do not eat or pluck any of the mini grapes you see even though it’s very very tempting, or else you’ll be fined a hell load of Thai baht!

This sums up the wine making process nicely.

I hopped onto the tour truck and visited the vineyards, explored the wine factory and tasted 4 kinds of wine. If you don’t drink alcohol, they’ll replace it with something that’s 100% grape juice!

Right outside the winery, I chanced upon a sweet and juicy red corn stall and found out that it’s actually run by a retired Singaporean. What a small world.

It’s also my first time seeing so many rabbits and roosters living in harmony and enjoying their play time together.

Next up, I headed to The Bloom and was mesmerized by the small sunflower field! Man, it’s beautiful. I stood there for quite a while to get the view permanently etched in my mind.

There’s fully bloomed lavender too! Super nice!

Look at those gigantic fruits and vegetables. So fresh, so healthy!

I’m in awe. This place is a paradise. Different flowers bloom at different seasons, and I’m so thankful that I caught the sunflowers and lavenders.

Mother Nature is amazing. I highly recommend The Bloom if you’re into flowers!

If you’re into animals, you would totally love Primo Piazza. You could spend an hour or two to explore the relatively small place and feed your favorite donkey, merino and alpaca.

I did not get to feed the one and only donkey I saw as it seemed quite emotional and into itself only.

But I got to feed my favorite alpaca!!!!!!! Woohooooo!!!!!!! In fact, I fed many alpacas at the barn as well. Bucket list checked! My dream came true and I finally interacted with alpacas! I wish I could bring one home.

The lucky merinos got to eat some of my remaining fresh grass. See I made them so happy!

Above all, I still love the alpacas most. If I could, I would bring one home most definitely.

I was glad that I ended my night with a relaxing dining experience at Midwinter Khao Yai for dinner, as it turned out to be a great chillax place with beer, meat, live band and a romantic ambience.

Please chill here for at least 2 hours, and if you stay late, you’ll get to see interesting surprises, lightings and performances around you when the place starts to turn almost pitch dark.

And my dinner’s settled with a homemade meat platter that’s on promotion which I paired with Hoegaarden beer. Shiok! I know I’m living the life when my stomach’s full and heart’s contented. Life is good.

What an amazing night.

Day 3

I kickstarted my day 3 morning with a visit to Farm ChokChai, a moo moo farm, with lots of cows, milk, milk and more milk!

It’s my first time milking a cow! Woooooo! To my surprise, the milk flow seemed quite little compared to my self-imagination. LOL.

The cows are so huge, and so pretty. They looked meek but don’t agitate them, they might retaliate. Stay cool, stay clear, stay safe.

This moo moo is so fat and cute right!!!!!!

Another highlight at Farm ChokChai is that you could also ride a horse for 5 minutes for a small fee. I’ve always loved riding horses and this was no exception. Yay!

You could also ride an ATV for around 10 minutes for a small fee. It’s an easy route, as it’s mostly on flat surfaces.

There’s a cowboy, horse, and a few stunts performances including ropes and guns to keep all the folks entertained as well. The whole tour at Farm ChokChai takes about 2 hours.

I then headed for a late lunch at The Castle Restaurant & Tearoom at Thames Valley. This place is serene and calming.

I had both prawns and duck, which were reasonably priced and surprisingly tastier than they looked. I highly recommend their specially crafted drinks and pretty desserts for they ended my hearty lunch with the sweetest note.

I took a long ride in the car before I finally reached Khao Yai National Park. Man, this park is too huge and I only visited one waterfall because apparently the next one seemed to be so far away! It rained earlier on so I reckoned it might be too slippery or dangerous to hike the other waterfalls so I gave them a miss. Still, at least I caught a small one!

Along the way to Pete’s Maze, I saw this prominent statute. I wonder who’s that?

Pete Maze is a must-do when you’re in Khao Yai because it’s thrilling to get lost within the maze and freak out. There’s no one to help you in there so you die die must figure your way out alive!

To me, the difficulty level was manageable, as I managed to come out of the maze within 40 minutes. I think I had performed slightly above average already, as it’s rumored that some can get trapped for an hour or two. It’s fun!

Feeling proud and recharged, I headed to a funky dinner place called Ban Mai Chay Nam to celebrate and feast on authentic Thai food. This cafe is a unique concept where you dine by the river with its surroundings alike a museum. There are many interesting and vintage collectible items for your eyes to feast on and you may even purchase those that’s for sale.

Don’t forget to check out the long bridge that you can legit use for crossing to admire the night scenery and feel the breeze.

I ended my night with a stroll along Pak Chong night market and managed to grab some cheap steals like clothes, earrings and shoes. Yes! Shopping checked! It’s time to pack up and head home soon.

Day 4

I can’t bear to leave My Ozone Khao Yai!

But sadly, the last day’s here and it’s really time to leave Khao Yai. Boohoo. Thankfully, I still enjoyed a mini half day road trip while routing back to Bangkok, and started my morning with a slow stroll along a roadside fruit market. They sell a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fresh and sweet. Thank God for the sunny weather!

Next, I combed the premium outlet thoroughly for some intense last minute shopping and bought a designer bag at a steal! Wooo!

Life got sweeter when I visited a local sweet corn farm and ate some of their very fresh and sweet corns. Yums. Too bad the corn juice was sold out. Damn!

Moving on, I popped by to check out a huge white Buddha statute as well. It’s situated high up in a very serene and greenery arena.

Last but not least, I was glad to chill at Dairy Home for a bit before leaving Khao Yai. It’s like a mini garden with cute little things like pots, plants and flowers all around you. Therapeutic and quiet.

I dined at Dairy Home Restaurant for lunch and they serve delicious and thick pork chop! I also tried the organic milk and coffee, and both were great. The best part is that the ambience is calming and peaceful. Perfect for chilling.

One surprise was that I bought a scoop of milk ice cream and the staff told me that I could bring home the cute animal cup after I finished my ice cream! Shiok! So happy!

Thanks for all the awesome 4D3N memories, Khao Yai! Till we meet again, xoxo.

Thanks for reading!

Faith, Hope & Love

Hi guys! Happy mid-week!

Many a times, faith, hope and love keeps us going in our lives, especially in tougher times. God constantly reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV): And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. In today’s sharing, let’s see faith, hope and love in a new light, in the Jesus way. 

Firstly, we must always live a life of uncompromised faith by reliance on God’s wisdom. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (NIV): My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. For instance, Greek’s wisdom was held up very high but we must overthrow that idea because the wisdom of God and the word of God should overrule anything else. If we seek Jesus, we are seeking that wisdom of Jesus. We must apply the knowledge of God into our everyday lives. The book of Job, Psalms and Proverbs are good reads! 

Secondly, we must always live a life of uncompromised faith through intolerance of sin. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (NIV) deals with a case of incest. It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man overto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. The Corinthians with all of their intellectual Greek wisdom are still unable to change what is spiritual within us because we still have to seek and encounter God each day for ourselves. It’s about how much of what we know and how much conviction can be converted into our conduct. Uncompromised faith results in a life of purity and holiness. For instance, parents can be firm and decide on what kind of things should be in the house and what kind of shows they themselves and the children should watch in the house. I challenge you to ask yourselves, as parents and children of God, are you Christ-like?

Thirdly, we have a promised hope for the future. Hope is based on the certainty of the resurrection of Christ. Jesus will come again for us. We are full of hope. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV): For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

This promised hope is also a certainty of our future resurrection. In fact, we also have a resurrected body when Christ comes. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so take care of your body. One day, we will eventually see our loved ones who have left us. For instance, a lady who had a miscarriage found closure and peace when pastors prayed and she saw a vision of a boy saying “Mummy, it’s alright, I’m with Jesus.”  1 Corinthians 15: 12-19 (NIV): 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied1 Corinthians 15:32 (NIV): If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

Above all, we must have selfless love – being before doing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV): If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. We employ love to exercise the gift of wisdom and not empty words and empty worship and empty sacrifices. If you have love motivated, that’s pleasing to God. Love enables us to accomplish great things for God using the spiritual gifts God has given to us.

Interestingly, what really is love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV): Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Selfless love is about others before self. To love God and to love your neighbour. Love must work within the community and resulting in unity by using all these gifts from God.

Selfless love is by loving God and loving people.

Amen.

Thanks for reading!

 

The Challenge of Discipleship

Hi guys!

Jesus sees us as his disciples. However, we human beings constantly face challenges in our discipleship life. Here I pose to you 5 challenges to ponder.

Are you up for the challenges?

Luke 14:25-35 (NIV) tells us about the cost of being a disciple.

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Challenge 1 – Challenge of Devotion

Will we be able to love God above all else? Yes, this includes our family members, loved ones, etc. Are there people in our life that has taken the place of Jesus? Remember, God is over all. In verse 26, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Don’t misunderstand God. To hate means to love less. Jesus captures the exaggeration in verse 26 just like how we use figurative speech in our daily lives (e.g. “I told you a million times…”). Jesus is challenging the crowd that the devotion to him must be greater than anyone else. For instance, what we allow our children to do really shows the devotion in our hearts – can we allow our children to skip church just to sleep in? Who can be loved more? Jesus? Or people?

Challenge 2 – Challenge of Self

God says in verse 27, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” In the past, nothing about the cross was glamorous or good. Carrying the cross means public death and shame, seemingly to follow God is to be associated with death. The challenge Jesus is posing is that are you willing to die to self? Die to self interest, self pursuit, own desires, own preferences, etc. Deny ourselves and follow him. This is an ongoing commitment everyday to take up the cross DAILY and follow him. For instance, can you live out the commitment of attending cell group every Friday night no matter what other events are happening? Are you willing to die to self so you can follow Christ?

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Challenge 3 – Challenge of Finishing Well

In verses 28-30, 28Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ To sit down is like saying to become a disciple, it requires persevering commitment and staying on course to see yourself finishing well and complete the journey. It’s not half-hearted where we drop out of the way. In fact, it must be a continuing journey where we see ourselves press on and complete it with Jesus at the finishing line. We need more focus and determination, and less distractions. God wants to renew that vision in our lives that we were meant to finish well. There is a finishing line that Jesus cheers us on. In Philippians 1:6 (NIV): being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Where are you in your journey of discipleship? Are you willing to keep going and stay committed to finish well?

Challenge 4 – Challenge of Surrender

In verse 33, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Jesus challenges us to surrender fully to him. Ask yourselves, should I go into war or should I ask for terms of peace? For instance, should I choose to surrender to the stronger army with greater resources? In the same way, are you willing to surrender to Jesus? Can you give up the control of your life to Jesus? Are you willing to will your lordship to him and follow him all the days of your life? A good way to look at this challenge of surrender is to have a change of perspective. Who are we surrendering to? He’s the good father in heaven; you’re surrendering to the one who is forever faithful and good. We can surrender and trust in his leading and will. He’s calling you to a lifetime of his goodness. What is stopping you? Is it an area of trust? Trust the one you’re surrendering to and committed to, it’s JESUS! Can we give up our possession, will and life for Jesus?

Challenge 5 – Challenge of Purity 

In verses 34-35, 34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.” In Jesus’ time, salt comes from the dead sea. If it’s not cleaned up properly and carefully, it will become tasteless and of a poor quality. As such, it will lose its effectiveness as salt when mixed with other minerals and impurities. Are you willing to stay pure and true to God’s teachings and not be contaminated with the teachings of the world so that we will not lose our impact and effectiveness as salt? For instance, cohabitation is in the patterns of today’s world but this is strictly against the covenant of marriage in Jesus teachings. Jesus is challenging you and I; are you willing to stay pure?

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Jesus is addressing the crowd to hear, to understand, and to consider. Jesus knows our hearts. He knows. This call is for us not to be the crowd but true disciples to follow him.

The call to discipleship applies to all of us and we need to be reminded again and again to stay connected to Jesus invitation.

This call of discipleship is a call to experience life with Jesus Christ and his power in our lives and his transformation power in our hearts so that we will follow him all the way to the end. We are not alone. Jesus encourages us in this journey of discipleship. Don’t miss out the joy of experiencing him more because your life can be such a greater blessing to those around you.

Dear God, I accept your challenge. May you enlighten me to look at your perspective and empower me to start living a life of discipleship so that I will not miss out on the greater course of life you’ve planned for me. In Jesus name, amen.

Thanks for reading!

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat; Revising the Phenomenon of Printing

The Private Museum Singapore proudly presents Repeat, Repeat, Repeat; revising the phenomenon of printing, by guest curator Zaki Razak, from 17 May to 7 July 2019. Zaki Razak brings about a group exhibition featuring works of printmaking in different mediums by seven artists – Miguel Chew, Wexin Chong, Mona Choo, Urich Lau, Nadia Oh, Shin-Young Park and Shih Yun Yeo. The Guest Curator Series aims to facilitate and support independent and experimental curatorial practice, as well as to present different perspectives on our world.

Zaki Razak, a contemporary artist, says, ‘One definite consensus made is not to realize a medium-based approach exhibition but rather, break open the closed system of perception in printmaking and to instill a point of discussion on the phenomenon of printing. This in turn, respond to the essence of the tradition and the emergence of the mechanism of multiplication and repetition, the context of its evolution and revolution, and what its consequence is in this day and age.’

In Repeat, Repeat, Repeat; revising the phenomenon of printing, the various artists revisit and redefine the history of printing by exploring an array of techniques and elements, covering a wide spectrum of topics such as urban culture in the digital age, science and spirituality, robotics and ink, as well as biblical art. The artists imprint into one’s mind a fresh perspective.

The artists’ visual responses in forms and formation are meant to be symbolic visual cues to the journey of printing towards a knowledgeable ascent – to bring a certain degree of consciousness, what was before and after the invention of the Gutenberg printing machine, and how the printed matter has changed or affected the human condition.

One of my favorites include decal print on ceramics by Shin-Young Park, a Korean-born new visual artist. Created with a dual-language keyboard in Korean and English, Ephesians 5:22-33 takes reference from biblical verses to discuss the notion of marriage. The process involves the artist typing out biblical verses in English, while doing so she switches the keyboard to Korean, resulting in a gibberish mix-mash of random Korean letters. The same happens in reverse, from Korean to English. This literal copying of biblical verses using the dual-language keyboard produces incomprehensible texts for both Korean and English readers. The work reflects the conflict and confusion when one imposes their knowledge, values and beliefs onto others.

Another intriguing one is from Mona Choo, a multi-disciplinary artist whose work sits in the intersection between science and spirituality. Her 2019 work, “Multiply”, uses PVC, thread and fishing wire. We now have the technology to print DNA. If you consider what is made out of DNA, this technology will allow us to be Gods, a disturbing and exciting prospect loaded with moral and ethical implications. Multiply was created as a response to this. We can soon print ourselves with a smattering of any DNA for strength and Angelina Jolie DNA for looks, and we can live forever by printing a new and improved version of ourselves each time. A most disturbing prospect indeed!

Also, Yeo Shih Yun’s Impossibility of repetition series involves two print-making techniques: monoprinting on the first layer combined with screen printing with the marks made by toy robots and the second layer consisting of screen printing on glass and painting by hand. The silk screening technique is used not for ease of mass production, but rather, conceptually, as another type of artist’s brush. In addition, the shadows created by the marks on the glass form the ‘grey’ in these works and are ever-changing depending on the direction and intensity of the light source. This reflects both the radical conflict between the two “colourless” colours (black and white) and their interaction and interdependence.

Interestingly, Miguel Chew, a contemporary and practicing artist, embodies some traditional notions of craftsmanship refined by processes of reflection and engagement alongside with creativity and innovativeness.

Last but not least, Urich Lau, a visual artist, uses a closed-circuit mixer with projector, video mixer, media player and cctv camera to showcase the mission statement from the National Arts Council’s website, it is interspersed in this 3-part work to hyperbolise the awareness and persistence in the aspirations and directions of the nation’s ambitions in the arts, questioning if it truly represents the sentiments of the arts community. The mixed-media installation triptych looks at a presumption of how much art is understood by the arts community and the general audience within the Singapore context. The texts within the different permutations of presentations allow the viewer to have a closer look and create greater scrutiny of the mission statement.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat; revising the phenomenon of printing

Exhibition Information

Date: Fri, 17 May 2019 to Sun, 7 July 2019

Time: Mon – Fri 10am to 7pm, Sat & Sun 11am to 5pm. Public Holidays and other timings by appointment only

Venue: The Private Museum, 51 Waterloo Street #02-06 Singapore 187969

Thanks for reading!

 

Lessons from Mothers

Hi guys!

In conjunction with Mother’s Day, let’s start this post with 10 little teasers and things my mother taught me. I’m sure most of us can relate to some, if not all! Here we go.

My mother taught me…

  1. Anticipation – “Wait until your father gets home…”
  2. Receiving – “You’re going to get it from me…”
  3. Envy – “There’re millions of less fortunate people than you…”
  4. Think Ahead – “If you fail your exams, you’ll not get a good job…”
  5. Logic – “Because I said so that’s why…”
  6. Contradictions – “Shut your mouth and eat your food…”
  7. Genetics – “You’re just like your father…”
  8. Stamina – “You sit there until you finish all your vegetables…”
  9. Wisdom of age – “When you get to my age, you’ll understand…”
  10. Justice – “One day, you’ll have children of your own and I hope they’ll turn out just like you and then you’ll know what it’s like…”

Mothers teach us many valuable lessons. Let’s look at the biblical context of 3 beautiful mothers – Eve, Hannah and Mary.

Eve The Giver of Life

Eve is the giver of life. Eve will be a helpmate to Adam. Eve and Adam helps each other. In Genesis 3:20, Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. Eve means life giver. Eve has the privilege to bring forth life through child bearing. We have the privilege of bringing life, to give life and to nurture life so that life will thrive.

We also have the responsibility to be spiritual gatekeepers in our family, church and nation. In Genesis 3:6, when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. In essence, we need to shut the door to the enemy’s deception and influence of bringing temptations to the family and destroying the family. 

Hannah The Prayer Warrior (1 Samuel 1:10-16 NIV)

10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”

15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Hannah prayed and cried to God for a son because she’s barren.

Hannah’s prayer leads to surrender. Hannah cried, God, if you give me a son I’ll give him back to you. This posture of prayer will lead us to surrender to God.

Hannah’s prayer also leads to sacrifice. Hannah released the son Samuel back to the lord. Hannah could only see the son once a year in the temple and she will always make a robe for the son. It was an investment of her life into the destiny of God over our lives. It’s about the investment of legacy in the things we do for the glory of God, and not about the cost.

We can learn from Hannah to bring forth and birth destiny in our prayer and change history for the glory of God. Be prayer warriors and declare that we will rise up in prayer and serve God and pursue the will of God. Building a life of prayer leads us into the beauty of surrender and the legacy of our sacrifice. As we seek God, we need to come to God with a posture of surrender. Our dreams are most beautiful not in the grasp of our hands, but at the foot of the cross so that the will of God becomes greater and bigger than the desires of our hearts.

Mary The Willing Vessel (Luke 1:30-34 NIV)

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

Mary is willing to pay the price because when she gave birth to Jesus and Jesus grew up, she had to carry the pain in her heart of seeing Jesus being humiliated. Mary submitted to God and made a declaration of faith that she is the lord’s servant. We can learn from Mary and declare to the lord “May your word to me be fulfilled. May your will be done in my life,” so that we can submit ourselves fully to the will of God. In order for us to walk in the favor of God, we must first be a willing vessel just like Mary.

As Christians, we carry the heart of God and the purposes of God in our lives. Will you be a willing vessel in the hands of a mighty God?

You and I can be the greatest preacher. Let’s do it!

Amen!

Thanks for reading!

I have the Abundant Life!

Abundant life is a life that is over and beyond necessity, and a life overflowing with God’s blessings.

John 10:7-10 NIV:

“Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

There are 3 expressions of the abundant life.

Firstly, abundant life is a life of security. John 10:9 reassures us of a life of security provided by Jesus who is the gate. This gives us protection and safety. Jesus is our shepherd who lays across the gate opening and guards over all the sheep safety. Jesus the shepherd covers us so that we can always return back into the sheepfold. God cares for us. God is always in control and with us. We experience security in God even in challenging circumstances. In the midst of the uncertainties in our lives, we can be still and find security in God. Therefore, we can have peace and rest in his presence. My abundant life of security is found in the very word of God and in Christ Jesus.

Secondly, abundant life is a life of provision. John 10:9 also reassures us that the shepherd wants to find the best pasture for the sheep because the shepherd loves the sheep and wants to give them only the very best. Similarly, God your shepherd wants to give you the best and the very best abundant life of provisions. Trust that God will provide because he cares for you and loves you. God will give you the best for your well being. In fact, God always provides abundantly and exceedingly more for you! But, first, it requires us to trust like the sheep trusting the shepherd. You must trust that God cares, loves and knows, and will provide. God knows your needs and will provide for you. Surrender your fears and doubts and trust that your God will provide!

Thirdly, abundant life is a life of intimacy. The emphasis of the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep is prominent.

John 10:3 NIV:

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

John 10:14 NIV:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

John 10: 27 NIV:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

This intimacy is the deepening of the relationship between the intimate knowledge that comes through time spent on building that relationship. As you progress, there is a deepening of the emotional feelings. Intimacy is present because of time spent on building that relationship. To know Jesus intimately, it requires us to spend time knowing our God to grow the life of intimacy with Jesus. Jesus desires to build that intimacy with you. We need to build that desire, recommit ourselves and spend time with God. God wants to have a personal intimate relationship with you! You have the privilege and choice and joy to have the intimate relationship with God. God wants us to know him personally and intimately as well. Because we know God and therefore we choose to live under his lordship. Hence, we will naturally and willingly subject ourselves to know God’s heart and promises for us and believe in what God will do for us. Our faith life is determined upon our very dedicated relationship with God.

Let’s declare Psalm 23 NIV:

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Psalm 27:14 NIV:

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Thanks for reading!