Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Voice Came Back

Yayyyy! I’ve gotten my voice back. I think Henry and my mum were delighted to hear my voice today. Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus! Thank you all who were praying for me. :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lost My Voice

Yikes! I've lost my voice. Looks like the flu bug hit me and was feeling like I was coming down with sore throat on Saturday and by Sunday I was beginning to lose my voice. Little Davien next door shouted "Aunty Liz" this morning and I said "Good morning!" but without any sound! Ha Ha! Oh well, looks like praising God in songs this morning is also out of the agenda but reading psalms become more meaningful again. It's amazing how it works that way. When I am on a rock, there's no pit for Him to take me out of and when I am in the pit, then all the psalms come alive! When everything's fine, only the praises and future plans in the psalms make sense to me. But then, there are others that need our prayers and the psalms would be our guide. My church needs a lot of prayers right now. Yesterday, Cheng Chueng's prayer was the most heart felt, I started to cry. May our prayers be like that to God all the time - from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks Cheng Cheung.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update - Parade of Birds

I am feeling strong. No bouts of flu. Praise the Lord! Do pray for Henry who is recovering from sore throat and flu and to protect the children too. My next scan is due on 3 May 2010. It will just be an x ray. Sigh, I have been asking God whether to stop Tarceva and believe it or not He led me to Proverbs 16:33. I've never even seen this proverb before!

Proverbs 16:33
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD.

So, I got out a can, rolled 2 pieces of paper with writings and shook it. Then, I put my hand in and read out one. "Stop taking Tarceva". This is like the third confirmation from God, the first two were impressions and now a cast lot! Still I said to God (before I cast the lot) if it is for me to stop, then can I consult my mum and Henry. I did and there has been no response from them yet. I will just have to be patient and wait upon the Lord. Really, my gut feel is that I can stop it if I want to. If I want God's view, just stop taking tarceva! I wish I could get a doctor's professional view that I can actually stop taking it! I feel strong. I already have a nutritional strategy in place to boost my immune system and God says yes!

I had a dream last week that was my first encouraging dream in 9 months! I dreamt I had an exam coming and it was going to get tougher if I delayed. So my friend and I were checking out what the exam was like. Then the answer came in a parade! There was a flock of birds of many many many kinds flying in a rectangle formation over us. It was really pretty. The first exam (the easy one) just flew past us! Strange. Then, the exam that we were about to take is likened to the next flock of birds. Again, there was a variety of birds in the same formation flying above us AND they were accompanied by classical music! So, I thought to myself, "That's why it's much harder". But then, I told myself I am sure I could pass the exams because I love music even though I do not know how to read music notes!

Then, there was another flock of birds in rectangle formation flying above us. I strained my eyes to see at least one type of bird. There was a bright yellow pelican! The sight was really beautiful - imagine, an assortment of birds flying orderly above you in a parade and passing you in 3 phases! But there was a big giant baby blue balloon in the shape of an elephant's head floating in front of the third flock of birds. How strange. What has an animal gotta do with birds?

It was a bizarre but beautiful dream and I thought to myself what it could all mean. And I remember Hamir telling me "Ask the Lord "What is it, Lord?"" So I did. This is the impression that I get:

I have just passed the first phase. I am entering the second phase and though it is difficult (classical piece), there will be much joy (like the beautiful birds I see). The elephant trumpets, so the third phase will be one of victory and joy! Whooo wheeee! Such encouragement from the Lord! Thank you for personally letting me see this encouragement in all its splendour! Thank you Jesus for guiding me through each and every day!

Soon after, I met LP and I sort of knew I was entering second phase and also that very night, Doreen mentioned I got featured in Asean Beacon and I know God has a purpose for all this. I just need to trust Him and obey!

The Ant Hill Story

I like the example that Leong Tien Fook set out for us as to how God has prepared us throughout history to help us understand that we need a saviour. It's a story of an ant hill. It goes like this:

There was once an ant hill. A big tractor was coming to flatten it. You observe this happening and you love ants! You want to save them and so, you became an ant in order that you may communicate to them to move house because a big tractor is coming. But the ants ask you "What is a tractor?" [the end]

Oops, you have not prepared the ants to understand the meaning of a "tractor"!

God could not have sent Jesus Christ to save us right after Adam's fall. But throughout history, God spoke to his people through prophets. Through them, he introduced the law to show us what a righteous and holy God He is. For 1,500 years, the Israelites failed to follow the law. Similarly today, if you are trying to carry out good works or charity or acts of repentance - you will fail because you will never match up against a holy God. God hates sin. The law was put in place to show us that we actually sin, that we fall short before a holy God.

And because we cannot save ourselves, He then started speaking through the prophets about the coming of a Saviour (and a Prophet, a King, a High Priest [Hebrews 1:1-4]) and indeed He has come! Yayyyy! Praise the Lord! The prophecies has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. So, I am beginning to plow through the bible to read all about this all over again. I hope you will too! :)

Hebrews 1:1-4

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs

Jesus, the manGod

I always wanted to know this. How could Jesus who is God die for our sins? Surely, it is not so painful, after all He is God. I understand that he suffered because He is fully man and fully divine – manGod. Then , how is it possible that He is manGod? LTF helped explain yesterday and I am convinced if he told me earlier, I would not get it. So, I won’t be surprised you won’t get it too because it is from experience that you see it happening.

Leong Tien Fook(LTF)’s explanation is that when Jesus became man, He suspended his “omni” ness. For God is all knowing, all present and all powerful. However, the power He demonstrated on earth was by the power of the holy spirit (theologian John Owen). When he said that my eyes just opened! Because I have seen Christians move by the power of the Holy Spirit and only when God allowed it. Paul in the bible is another evidence that he moved in the power of the Holy Spirit. So, that’s how it works! So then, Jesus was fully man.

Could Jesus sin? According to LTF, when Jesus became man, his state was like Adam before he committed sin (the fall). Jesus, like Adam was neutral towards sin, unlike us who have tendency to or biasness towards sin. They can opt either way. Adam however, chose to disobey when he was told not to eat from the tree of life. Jesus COULD also sin but he would NOT choose to sin because He is 100% with the Father! So, he remained sinless, without sin. That’s the difference between Adam and Jesus.

The difference between Jesus as man and us (after the fall)? We have the tendency to sin. Because of Adam’s first disobedience, it’s like a mould that just produces the same type of mankind, men with tendency to sin. Men with a sinful nature. So, as hard as we try, we can never be sinless. It’s not our fault. Blame it on Adam! The consequence of Adam’s sin is death. The wages of sin is death. That is why we die physically and spiritually. When Jesus died on the cross, He died for Adam’s sin and won the victory over death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am in awe really first from the explanation of Sabbath-rest that we can actually have a foretaste in heaven and now to understand how Jesus was like on earth and Paul was like that too – living by the power of the Holy Spirit. Praise be to God who loves us so and there’s more because we wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ!! Hallelujah!

Propitiation, Atonement, Sacrifice, Penal Substitution

Recently Marvin in his sermon spoke of propitiation. Leong Tien Fook (LTF) in the Hebrews class explained to us about penal substitution. Then he talks about at “one”ment (atonement). I have heard about how Jesus’ blood covered us from God’s wrath because He hates sin. I know that Jesus paid the price for us by sacrificing himself on the cross to take away our sins (past, present and future) and washed us clean again.

Blood covering, white as snow, penal substitution, propitiation, atonement. Why does there seem to be so many explanations for just one act? So, I mustered my courage and asked LTF whether these terms contradict each other. He explained that they are all different things discussed from different angles but talking about what Jesus did for us on the cross.

Oh, so that’s what it is all about. The bible is actually very deep once you start exploring it. Someone once commented that the book of John is shallow enough for a baby to wade in but deep enough for an elephant to bathe in!

The reason why I dig so much is to root myself in His word so that I will not be easily shaken again about why Jesus had to die on the cross for me. On the surface, it seems like just a mere man dying on the cross for us. So what? Are we to be taken in by gruesome pictures of Jesus dying on the cross? I am sure it goes deeper than that.

Despite all these questions, I am glad that I am still experiencing Christ’s love everyday and He did not ridicule me for asking all these basic questions. You need not know everything in the bible to believe in Jesus because you can spend a lifetime learning. We just need childlike faith to admit that we are sinners and we need a savior to save us and Jesus died on the cross for us so that we can be right with Father God again. And on the third day he rose again and by His resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that He is God.

A simple meaning to big jargons in the context of what Jesus did for us on the cross:

1. Propitiation – the removal of God’s wrath/ appeasing God’s wrath by the offering of sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ

Romans 3:25
“whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,”

2. Atonement –The act of reconciling man and God to become one again - at “one”ment.

3. Sacrifice – Jesus is the slain lamb of God (the sacrifice) whose precious blood took away the sins of the world.

Hebrews 10:12
"But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,"

4. Penal substitution – It should have been us facing the wrath of God directly. But throughout history, He sometimes turned His anger away or is slow to anger. The bible says in Hebrews 10:31 “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. However, Jesus substituted us on the cross. He was pierced for our transgression, crushed. He laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us for it is written, --Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree (Galatians 3:13).

It may seem crude and hard to believe that a God who is loving would demand penal substitution. God is both righteous and loving. And as a righteous God, He must deal with our sins. Only God can forgive our sins because WE offended Him. No human can substitute us for sins that we committed against God (definitely, no amount of charity, act of repentance, good works that we do can appease God). However, Jesus is God. As a loving God, Father God sent his son Jesus, to be the perfect sacrifice to take the punishment for us and to pay the price for our sins so that our debts are cancelled. Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 53 to the minutest detail! Prophet Isaiah gave the prophecy over 700 years before Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.

Jesus, I believe that you were the perfect sacrifice that took away the sins of the world once and for all. I thank you for being my substitute. I thank you that you suffered God’s wrath that was meant for me. I thank you that by your blood sacrifice, you appeased God’s wrath and gave me a clean slate so that everything is alright between God and I again. Thank you Jesus that I can now call Father God, Abba Father.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nic in his BB mufti

Henry just started another blog recently. Yesterday, he rambled about little Nic with Boys Brigade. Last Saturday, Nic received his cap and is quite pleased that he finally has a full uniform now. Click on Henry's blog read more. :)
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Power Rangers Dino Thunder!

Power Rangers Dino Thunder! Power Rangers accelerate! Transformation! Overdrive! I find it amusing to hear Ethan say these big words together with his martial-like movements. See those claws at work!

Yesterday, he surprised us when he read out part of Nic's spelling. We were helping Nic do his chinese spelling and at the end of it, Henry showed him a few words from the past dictations and he went "shang shang shang" (up up up) together with his power rangers movement. We gasped and our jaw just dropped and dropped even more when he said "ma ma ma" (mother mother mother). This little boy is picking up chinese words faster than we expected! :)
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Thank You Gideons

The Gideons came over to my church last Sunday to give their testimony of how the bibles distributed to hotels, schools, hospitals etc have touched the lives of people who have been in contact with “the little red book”. You can read more about them in (read Elliot’s testimony)

When I pray (and when I remember), there is a list of names that I thank God for their salvation knowing that one day, these people will know the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of them is Henry’s mum and you have heard how Nic has also been trying to share Christ with his “ah ma”. So, I was rejoicing in my heart when I found out that Gideons made their rounds in Nic’s Chinese school yesterday. They distributed Chinese bibles to the parents who were there and Nic’s ah ma was there to receive it. Praise the Lord! Now, I will pray that she will be touched by the holy spirit to read the bible.

While reading about the fourteen kings in 2 Chronicles, I read about King Josiah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He tore down the idols – Asherah poles, carved idols, cast images, baals. He also directed the repairs and restoration of the temple of God during which time a priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given to Moses.

The following part really spoke to me. In 2 Chronicles 34:18-21, it is written:

Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king. When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah…: “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for all the remnant of Israel and Judah. Inquire about the words written in the scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the Lord. We have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do.”

I believe King Josiah tore his clothes in despair because “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Likewise, I pray the same for Henry’s mum.

What the Gideons shared was most interesting about a lady that had drinking problems and noticed the little red book by her table side in the hospital. She was irritated by it. But one night when she could not take it any longer, she opened the bible and knelt down to pray and fell asleep on the opened page not ever reading it. Just like that the holy spirit came upon her and she started sharing about Jesus the next day with people at the hospital. The doctors thought that she was in a drunken stupor but was tested negative.

I believe when she humbled herself before the Lord and cried out to Him, God must have revealed himself to her in a dream. God works in many ways. I can already see Him at work with Henry’s mum. Praise the Lord! Thank you Gideon for helping to spread God’s word!


Hebrews 1,11,12

1.Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 11.Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. 12.For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

The past 4 mornings last week, I was up very early (sometimes 3 am sometimes 6.30am!) and pretty excited to read the Davidic lineage from King Solomon to the part where there were no more kings. All because Leong Tien Fook (LTF) tipped us off something about no further kings until Jesus Christ. I’ve read the bible on this part before but because I was impatient, I always seem to get lost in the narratives and in the end it’s just a jumble of names. But the Holy Spirit gave me an idea and it’s so silly, I wonder why I never thought of it before!

So, for the first time I used the list of Kings in the Book of Matthew Chapter 1 to reference to the kings in 2 Chronicles. Now, I can clearly see where I was heading with all the names of the kings!I realized that what LTF said was there were no further kings AFTER the exile to Babylon.

Marvin last Sunday in his sermon talked about the number 10 signifying fullness in the genealogy in Matthew 1. I discovered the number 14 though I don’t know what it signifies!

Matthew 1:17
"Thus there were 14 generations in all from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the exile to Babylon, and 14 from the exile to the Christ."

I read and I read and I didn’t know where this was all leading to. Thanks to Leong Tien Fook’s class on the “Exposition of Hebrews – The Defense of Christian Hope”, I am beginning to piece it altogether now. Again, I am in awe how God guides when I seek and He does give me the answers! Praise the Lord!

LTF gave us some insight into what happened when God promised Abraham the promised land (Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 22:18). God said that the Israelites would enter rest – rest from the enemies around them (Deuteronomy 3:20, Deuteronomy 12:9, Deuteronomy 25:19). LTF posed us a question. Did it mean that once the Israelites entered Canaan (the promised land), they would receive automatic rest? Nope. 1 Chronicles 22:9 and 2 Chronicles 15:15 showed that the Israelites only entered God’s rest when they sought God with their whole heart, with no other gods.

This is our God – it is clear He does not want us to idolize others be it man made gods made from clay or wood or for me, my children! He wants our total being - mind body and soul. Now, I know why God made me read about the 14 kings because each time they sought God, God blessed them and prospered them and they had rest from the enemies. But every time they did what was not right before the Lord, God would send his wrath upon them. Yet, every time, they repent, He is a loving Father and always hears them and rescues them.

LTF asked us to imagine that if Israel had obeyed God, they would not only have rest from enemies around them but they would also have rest from potential enemies within because they would have obeyed God and loved one another too! Also, he referred us to 2 Chronicles 6:41, 42, Psalms 132: 8,9 and showed us that Canaan was also God’s resting place, His dwelling place – He dwelt amongst His people. Imagine, if they had obeyed God they would have:

- Rest from the enemies around them
- Rest from enemies within them; and
- Rest from physical and mental labour at least once a week just as God did after 6 days of creation.

That would be a foretaste of heaven. That is the Sabbath-rest mentioned in Hebrews 4:1-13. Today, we can have Sabbath-rest and a foretaste of heaven when we seek after him with all our body, mind and soul. And we can do it today by just accepting the gift that God has given to us through Jesus’ sacrifice for us so that we can be “one” with God, so that we can be in right being (not right doing) and everything is alright between God and us.

Interestingly, Henry observed that what I am experiencing now is Sabbath-rest in the Lord! Some people say to me that they are amazed at my positive attitude, my sheer will power, my discipline. I say it is none of that, it is just a love relationship with God. It doesn’t take discipline or positive thinking to love God- just a humble heart in awe of a mighty God who is in control of everything. He makes it so easy for me. He gives me rest from the attack of the devil, the attack of the disease, rest within my mind when I gaze into His face and surprisingly physical and mental rest from labor too because I am not working currently (smug in my face). It’s like I am in heaven (err.. until the boys fight). And as my mind is renewed, my spirit within me also gives life to my mortal body. It’s amazing how it all works together.

Thank you Jesus for your atonement, your sacrifice. Thank you Jesus for appeasing Father God and taking upon Yourself all of God’s wrath and I praise you that You show that You are God when You were raised from the dead! Thank you Father God for being You, for showing You are a holy God and demonstrating that only You can forgive our sins and nothing we can do ourselves can make us right with you EXCEPT to just believe all that Jesus did! Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me daily to renew my mind. All glory and honour to God!

The Power of the Holy Spirit/ Asean Beacon

I continue to be in awe how God works in my life. I was going to meet LP last Thursday who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a few weeks ago. I wasn't so sure what to say to her but I just knew God was using me to encourage her. So I asked for prayers from some of you. The power of the holy spirit was so evident when I met her. As I prayed for her just before going home, she started to tear. I told her that is the holy spirit moving because she was touched. I didn't expect it, but I was delighted when she decided to follow me to a christian bookshop to get a bible - her very first! Praise the Lord for His hand upon us. Please pray that God's word will speak to her and the eyes of her heart will open to see Jesus and that she will welcome Him into her heart. But most of all I was touched how God's hand was upon me all the time. I only realised it when I got to church that evening for Hebrews class, Doreen Chan stopped me and said she had been burdened to pray for me since two Sundays ago when during altar call, she saw my name flashed in front of her. She had been praying for me ever since until that Thursday, she read my testimony in Asean Beacon and she figured out why. Only then, did I realise that the article had been published in the April issue. I told her why I thought God wanted her to pray for me. It was really because I had a burden for LP and God summoned all his angelic host into action. Praise the Lord indeed. He knows our deepest desires. Thank you Jesus for everything!

Watching Ethan Praise God

Psalm 8: 2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. (New Living Translation)

Psalm 8: 2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants. You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger. (King James Version)

I was so taken in by the effect of Mr Donut on Nic that I decided to get another "Donut Repair Club" cd for the boys. Well, it turned out that this time it was Ethan's turn to be smitten by the songs. He liked the part where Duncan the donut was thrown into the swimming pool to rescue a drowning boy. I wondered how a little donut would conduct his rescue. It turned out that Duncan expanded under water and became a float for the little boy! How funny. :)

I also watched Ethan following the kids in praising God "God is so good", his head swaying left to right, eyes half closed, looking above and singing. No wonder the psalmist wrote that God ordained praises from the mouths of babes and nursing infants to silence the enemy! It is so natural and my heart just melted when I saw Ethan praising God. It's so true that when we praise God with all our heart, soul and mind, the devil fleas and all is left is a love relationship between God and us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Donut Repair Club (you tube movies)

Here are some youtube movies which you can play for your children or act out in a church concert. Enjoy! :)

Donut Hole -- Prodigal Son song

I am so free

Into my heart

Oh the blood + God is so good melody with prayer at the end

Shout Hosanna

Life without Jesus is like a donut

Update - Reunited and It Feels So Good

Some of you may have known that the kids and Henry have been living away from me for 4 days in a week for the past 8 months so that I get more rest and my mum was over to look after me. But as of 29 March 2010, our family has been reunited. Praise the Lord! I actually wanted an earlier reunion and I actually sketched a picture of us together so that when I pray for this reunion there is substance in my mind. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for". I had a date of 31 August 2009 and later that moved to 18 September 2009 and then I said it has got to be God's timing.

So it was, well it was Nic's timing! Initially it was the boys observing I was getting stronger and Ethan noticing I could carry him sometimes. Then they wondered why we had to be separated if I weren't sick. And I said "Yay! Praise the Lord! These are all signs that I am healed!".

It has been 2 weeks now with the family sleeping together. It sure feels good to touch and smell them again during bed time especially little Ethan boy.

But the past 2 weeks Ethan was down with red throat now and then that caused him to vomit in the middle of the night and messing up the bed. The worst was on Saturday, a whole day of fever so we could not make it for Saturday prayers and we also missed out on Marvin's sermon on Sunday! :( We have been laying hands on Ethan and praying and it would go away and come back again. It did not help that his cousin was also down with cough. I just want to thank God for healing Ethan and for protecting me and the rest of my family as well.

All in all I want to thank God and praise Him for reuniting my family and no germ or evil is going to break us apart again! And also, it humbled me that God knows best after all i.e. it was 29 March 2010 and not 31 August 2009.

Isaiah 48:17
This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go."

You Have a Hole in Your Heart

Nic told Henry yesterday that he told his friend he has a hole is his heart. What?? Henry was thinking the worst and then he put two in two together that Nic was referring to a song and was actually sharing Christ with his friend. He was telling his friend he has a hole in his heart because he didn't have Jesus in his heart. We were watching "The Donut Man" on cd the night before and Nic was wondering what the donut man was singing about.

You can watch it on youtube here:

Nic asked, "What is he saying mummy? I don't understand. Why is he saying we have a hole in our heart?"

I told him life without Jesus is like a donut. You have a hole in your heart that feels empty and you constantly crave to fill it with something like Ben 10, PS2 games, Ultramans, toys, parties etc. But when you have Jesus in your heart you feel secure and you don't crave for things like that anymore because you know Jesus loves you very much. I find it amazing that little Nic just wants to share Jesus with his friends and I am very thankful to God for that - that He has a heart for Jesus. I tell Nic it is more important to share what Jesus has done for him rather than to tell people to believe in Jesus. I think he is slowly getting there. Nic asked us last night "Why doesn't Ah Ma believe that God loves her?". We don't know, maybe she does know, maybe Nic can reach out to her so that Jesus can fill her heart too. :)

Here are the lyrics to the song "Life Without Jesus is like a Doughnut":

Life without Jesus,
Is like a donut,
Like a donut,
Like a donut.
Life without jesus is like a donut,
Coz there's a hole in the middle of my heart!

It might be okay for a while,
Until the world comes and takes away my smile!
There's something sad inside me i can't control,
When I think about a donut hole!

repeat chorus

But when Jesus fills your heart
He satisfies your soul
Like a pastry nugget in the donut hole!

PS: Can you picture Tony Toh as Mr Donut? :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Healing Queries

This evening’s class on Hebrews by Leong Tien Fook (LTF) was very interesting because we touched on the interpretation and the fulfillment of Isaiah 53. LTF decided to touch on healing again today because a couple of us (including me) had asked him some questions on it. Reading Isaiah 53:5,6 it clearly talks about iniquity and that Jesus was not pierced for sickness or diseases. I understand that but I could not understand why he could not just read Isaiah 53: 4,5 together with Matthew 8:17. He said he did not know where Matthew obtained the word “diseases” from because it is not in Isaiah 53:4 as infirmities in this verse refers to spiritual. I wasn’t convinced as I believe it means both spiritual and physical. Why take only one meaning? So, I went up to ask him along the following lines.

EM: So how do you pray if you are sick then? It would seem you will have to pray and wait and wait and see if it is God’s will.

LTF: When praying submit it to God.

EM: But how do you pray when in the midst of sickness. I understand about submission but it just seems morbid and hopeless. It would on the other hand seem more hopeful to find hope in the bible and be encouraged.

LTF: Nothing wrong in finding hope from the bible. One person reading is read differently from another and can be blessed.

EM: So that’s rhema then. I understand that one. But I myself have seen for myself how when I put my faith in Christ, I see my children get healed faster, sometimes over night, sometimes through doctor’s medicine but always faster. From a thousand plus ringgit of medical claims to almost zero.

LTF: In some cases, when it can’t be explained ordinarily then it can be concluded that it is divine healing. But in cases when it can be explained, then it is not.

EM: Then in those circumstances where I can see healing I am so excited and happy I just want to thank God and glorify God! Why do people then want to play it down as if it was not a miracle and say I can’t claim healing and I am taking things out of context. Why do they make me feel bad for glorifying God?

LTF: There is nothing wrong with being excited over healing and glorifying God. There is however, a difference between being prayerful, thanking God, glorifying God AND sensationalizing it.

EM: I understand that but say for in your case you are more matured than I am and I’ve seen a miracle, I am definitely more excited and like a childlike joy in my heart. Then from your point of view, you are judging what my motive is, whether I was sensationalizing or not.

LTF: Yes, it is not right to judge others but there is a difference between sensationalizing and being thankful for eg there was this man who was in awe and over sensationalizing the fact that God built the pyramids (even till today engineers are baffled how the pyramids are constructed) but by sensationalizing such matter that way it is like ridiculing God that He is able to do such thing. Of course He can if He did. After all, He is God.

EM: See there is a difference between childlike joy of experiencing miracles compared to this example. For like you said, once the church matures, such experiences would become lesser. (I am thinking in my mind that sometimes God uses these miracles to increase our faith in Him, to encourage us in our walk with Him).

LTF: If Isaiah 53:4,5 is interpreted as physical healing then God must heal in all cases as all the sickness is on Him. It has already been borne. But the facts do not add up and some great faith healers like Bill Berman and Kathryn Kuhlman died from sickness.

EM: I checked. Kathryn didn’t die from cancer. She died from open heart surgery. I am still trying to discover but its hard to say since we can’t judge others what they think or go through just as we can’t judge others for whether they are sensationalizing a miracle or not.
Can’t we say it is it is logos for all until they receive rhema that they will go home?

LTF: But God’s rhema will not go against His logos.

EM: *Groan (this is tough I am telling myself)* Can’t we claim healing until His rhema to us say otherwise?

LTF: God said I will heal the land. Does it mean heal all the Israelites from disease?

EM: What does “rapha” mean?

LTF: It means “heal”. It does not specify spiritual or physical.

EM: So, can’t we say for this case "heal the land" means physically healing the land not the people and for Isaiah 53:4,5 it applies to BOTH spiritual and physical. For why is it so hard to believe that our God who is so loving and compassionate and so powerful would send His son to not only die for our sins but ALSO to heal us physically and emotionally.

LTF: But the facts do not add up. Not all are healed.

EM: I am still discovering.

See, the bottom line that Isaiah 53:5,6 does not refer to physical healing is not from a biblical interpretation because I am not convinced of the explanations for Isaiah 53: 4 and Matthew 8:17. Surely God is able to do it. There’s nothing to stop believing healing is physical, spiritual as well as emotional (grief, sorrow, diseases). It’s just that from a FACTUAL point of view, there are people that don’t get healed from disease when they pray. But we do not know what they go through or what they think or say or whether they claim or not or how much they are able to withstand suffering. We can’t judge them so we will never know the answer but it is definitely not from a bible point of view because in all circumstances Jesus healed (at least as far as what I know). And LTF agreed I can find hope from the bible so to me that’s the same as claiming God’s promises. How else do you have hope and then get dashed to the rocks when someone says “ah ah, not like this, you can’t claim, no that’s out of context”. It’s really very hard in that way to have “hope” in the bible. But, I sincerely believe God knows the desires of our hearts and he knows whether we really claim what we claim and ultimately He is God and if He should call us home, we should be ready to go home. It is far better to be home in heaven with God anyway.

I am really looking from the standpoint of those who are ill now, suffering and finding the hope that is in Christ Jesus for healing. Other than that, when troubled, I just dive into the bible as always and find hope the way I know how, just by believing every word of God spoken by God to me. And His words are always encouraging to me. He warns me, yes but as a loving Father warns me. I search these questions in my ministry to encourage others but ultimately I know that the message is the cross, that Jesus paid the price for my sins so that God and I can be one again (Man at "one" ment with God). Atonement - a beautiful English word based on bible truth - if only everyone knew and believed. :)

Worship Dance

I pray you will be blessed by this:

My First Vegetable Stock

Wow! I can't believe I made my very own vegetable stock. Like my first pot of barley, it is also very easy to make except I keep thinking why bother to boil so long (an hour) when it can be ready after only a few minutes. If I cook the vege for a minute or two, at least it still retains its color and crunch. I heard a chef on "Iron Chef" say that broth is like the basics of basics. It determines the flavour of his food that he serves ultimately. The "Super Soups" book by Michael Van Straten suggested that after making the stock, to put it in ice cube trays and soon after, you will have a whole bag of stock cubes in your freezer! However, the ratio to use is 1:1 of stock to water. A plate of pasta for eg would use about 3 to 4 iced stock cubes.

Interestingly, my lunch and dinner these past few days has been exquisite and flavourful.
So far, I've had:

Welsh minestrone with rice and leeks (onion/leeks/carrot/peas/long beans/rice)
Easy Tomato and basil soup (onion/garlic/tomatoes/celery/basil)
Watercress soup (watercress/onion/bay leaf)

All the above ingredients are added to the vege stock after sweating out the onions and garlic and simmered for about 10 mins. The best part about this "Super Soups" book is that it tells you the benefits of eating a particular vege. So for eg here is part of the write up for the watercress soup:

"In addition to having a wonderful peppery flavour, watercress is one of the most important immune protectors you can eat....To protect the lungs...watercress contains antibacterial mustard oils, lots of betacarotene, and a phytochemical that protects the cells of lung tissue against the carcinogenic effects of smoking".

This book sure has made cooking fun and educational for me because I am not really not into massive reading of health stuff, cancer, nutrients etc. Pray that you too will learn a thing or two, if you were blur like me! Now finding water cress was a challenge for me in the day market. Finally I spotted some and I sort of remembered water cress looked like that and I was also very happy to see a worm sitting on it. Normally I would freak out but now I know it is pesticide free and it is better for me. I actually asked the market man what vege it was but he did not know what he was selling (slap forehead)! Hope you can find yours. :)

Childlike Faith - Part 2

Luke 7:9
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."

I must share this with you! I was so encouraged to hear Alvin Foo's dad's second miracle. Even this journey had me thinking whether nutrition or chemo had a role in my recovery and at the end of the day I attribute it to God working through the nutrition and chemo for my case. But in Alvin Foo's dad's case, it's pure childlike faith which I blogged about in "Childlike Faith"! Alvin's dad is a stubborn man and he also loves his food. He especially loves his duck! When Alvin's dad was diagnosed with third stage colon cancer, he was on chemotherapy and it turned out so bad for him, he refused to do anymore. But he continued his normal diet, red meat, duck and all. No amount of persuasion would change his mind. If you ask him not to eat the duck he will stab 2 or 3 more pieces in defiance. But there is one thing he is also stubborn about. He has stubborn childlike faith that his God, Jesus Christ, will deliver him and heal him. All he did was declare every morning God's promises to him and rebuke the cancer cells daily. He had a book of prayers (to guide him along) given by his cell group to him and they also prayed for him. I was supposed to get a copy of that book too except Alvin's dad still relied on it for prayers! Anyway, God knows what is in our thoughts so as long as we can pray out aloud to Him he ain't gonna correct us for a few wrongly put words here and there.

Apparently, Alvin's dad is very loud when he declares out aloud in his morning prayers. I find it very amusing when I picture him praying aloud. Sorry, but I find uncle very fascinating, stubborn, with a stubborn child like faith and it's wonderful! I mean it's bad he does not change his diet but it's wonderful God hears his prayers and can see his faith like the centurion's faith in the bible! After awhile he returned to the hospital for another scope and the test revelaed that the cancer all left him! Praise the Lord! That was probably in 2008. In January 2010, the scope test showed some pink dots again. Alvin had told his dad that God had already given him a second chance in life and he should take more care in what he eats as it was obviously why the cancer returned. Since he could not take chemo the first time, the doctor in University Hospital just told him to return in a month or two. But there were delays after delays and finally he only had the scope done in March 2010.

The results? It's clear! No more pink dots! I am so amazed and so encouraged with his childlike faith. How do you explain what childlike faith is like? I think it's like Alvin's dad's faith. A surety in his heart that God will heal him. All Glory to God! All praises to our loving God who hears our cries for help. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for us to be that perfect sacrifice for us so that all of God's wrath is directed at You so that now, you have made it possible for us to come boldly to Father God's throne of grace and talk to Him and cry out to Him!

Talk about faith, I am so happy to hear YC's progress in her walk with Christ as her faith is slowly increasing as she begins to walk closer with Him and have a personal experience with Him. She just shared with me that after 17 years she finally can speak in tongues! From my very own experience the ability to speak in tongues has drawn me even closer to God. I was very close to Him 11 years ago so I believe just because you can't speak in tongues it DOES NOT mean you can't walk close with God but to speak in tongues seems to keep me in touch with God the whole day especially if I feel myself drifting away. I picture it like the life line strands hanging down from the tree of life in the Avatar movie. The moment you touch it, you feel connected. Of course the holy spirit is NOT a tree of life with strands hanging off it but it is just an imagery I have in my mind of being connected - my spirit connected to the Holy spirit. So, I can really relate to YC's joy when she was sharing this news with me today. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bring a Lump of Pressed Figs - Listening to God

2 Kings 20:7
"Then Isaiah said, "Make an ointment from figs." So Hezekiah's servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!"

Just applying a lump of pressed fig ain't gonna heal any skin disease but this is God's way for Hezekiah. It's important to listen to God and hear his rhema for you.

For me, God's word of targetted therapy came through Henry after he and his friends fasted and prayed. And ONE tarceva tablet was all it took to take the pain away. It wasn't in the last few weeks after meeting up with YC and talking to her that I realised God spared me from radio therapy. According to Dr Ibrahim of Wijaya, I needed radio therapy because it had gone to my bones including the skull. The same was advised by Dr Foo to YC as hers has gone to the brain (not sure whether bone or brain as well). Henry and I just trusted God. I heard the word from God to tell Henry to fast and pray which Henry did and then we dedicated the strategy to God. I only found out in recent weeks that Dr Foo would normally ask her patients to do a tarceva mutation test first but in my case she did not. Dr Foo said "It's magic" that all the pain disappeared with one tablet of tarceva!. I said "God heals".

It just blows my mind how God works. He works differently for different people because He is God and he can't be boxed up. There is no formula. Not even how to listen to Him. YC was sharing her side effects from radio therapy and in 2 weeks time, she will be on chemotherapy. I pray for God's healing hand upon her and that He will work through the medicine as she continues to trust in Him.

I wanted to share with you about Henry's dream. A few months ago Henry dreamt that I should eat asparagus. He actually asked for clarification in his dream whether it is really asparagus and not other vegetables and the answer came back affirmative - ASPARAGUS. I did not act upon it because I was taking a variety of vegetables including asparagus. I've read in emails sent to me the wonders of so many food quinoa, lemon grass, sour sop, papaya and recently papaya leaf extract. About three weeks ago, my mum sent me another email on asparagus and I said enough is enough. I think God is really speaking to me so I took action and I have been taking asparagus almost daily for the past 2 weeks. I am supposed to take 4 tablespoons of pureed asparagus (after blanching it a bit) day and night. So, these days whenever I buy vegetables, asparagus is always on the list.

Sometimes, I blend them into my fruit juice, sometimes I take it just as it is, sometimes I cook it lightly with my other food. Yesterday, I decided to google the benefits of asparagus. Here it is from

-It is high in vitamin K and Folate
-Eat asparagus when you are pregnant or thinking about conceiving – because of it being high in folic acid it helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida
-Great for your heart
-Helps w*Helps menstrual cramps with fertility problems
-Great for your gastrointestinal tract and your colon
-Helps menstrual cramps
-Great food to help treat depression
-Has been known to increase the success rate of chemo therapy
-Is considered a diuretic which means it is a good anti-inflammatory – best for arthritis, asthma rheumatism, and even water retention…PMS
-Help get rid of warts
-Helps detoxify your body
-Add more asparagus to your diet to lower cholesterol
-Great for nursing mothers stimulating milk production
-Has antioxidant agents – prevents the effects of aging
-Has antifungal and antiviral qualities
-Great for your kidneys – cleansing your body by stimulating urination and preventing kidney stones
-Helps prevent bladder and urinary tract infections
-Use to be used as an a aphrodisiac – increase sexual and comforting feelings
-Helps with treating HIV
-Helps prevent multiple sclerosis
-Helps prevent scurvy
-Asparagus has anti-cancer agents – especially lung cancer
-Helps fight chronic fatigue syndrome
-Helps fight off high blood pressure
-If you bruise easily – eat more asparagus
-Is considered a laxative – eat an asparagus if you have diarrhea and constipation
-Great for your capillaries – eat more asparagus to avoid varicose veins
-Great for your eyes preventing cataracts
-If you are experiencing hair loss- eat more asparagus
-Helps treat toothaches

Cool eh? I was quite shocked about it being specifically beneficial for lung cancer and for chemo treatment. God sure speaks loud and clear to Henry! Praise the Lord!

Meanwhile, I can testify on the laxative part. Yesterday was so embarassing for me. I remember my sister warned me that if I take a laxative product, I should be more active around the house (exercise or do household chores) so that I can go to the toilet quicker. But I did not know about the benefits of asparagus and about it being a laxative. I went for a walk in the evening and after awhile I was dying to go to toilet and practically ran home (except I can't because it would make it worse). Cut the story short, I did not make it on time. Sigh. So much to clean up and it made a nice "gross story" to the kids that night. They all wanted to hear it because they thought I was going to share a "ghost story"! :)

I just listen and obey God. All praises to Him - my tower and refuge, my Jehovah rapha!

Fears of Every Kind!

It happened again. Nic has a track record of suddenly declaring he doesn’t want to go for classes anymore even though I can see him enjoying himself. Over time, we realize that it is normally over small issues and if you can assure him he won’t have to face it (e.g. he wouldn’t have to eat the food served to him), he is more likely to go again. But really, it took us a long time to even realise this! Last Saturday, he complained that he did not want to go for Boys Brigade. I think our first instinct would be to say “Why are you always like this” or “What’s wrong with you” but now I am more aware of the evil that lurks around us and the thoughts that are injected into him because it does come up very suddenly and normally gets defeated over small matters. But that’s how the devil wants us to build our fears upon. It starts with something small and we think more about it and we add on sugar and spice and before we know it, we do not want to venture out or step out in faith.

So, I try to show him how the devil attacks using 2 Timothy 1:7 that fear is not from God while we try to figure out what it is he dislikes about boys brigade. He says it is the junk food they serve (neh, that's just an excuse)! We think he was overwhelmed by the thought of going to the Bird Park and now for the coming camp. So as much as we would like him to go I think he must be eased into it slowly like maybe camp by ourselves (Oh, help me!). It’s a good thing I took both Nic and Ethan to experience the bird park so that at least he now knows what to expect there but he missed out on the amazing race which BB organized two weeks ago. I wonder how other parents teach their children to compete or to enjoy camps independently? Our family has a guessing game of how many fountains are switched on at Taman Jaya every Sunday. That itself is a painful game to play (we've been playing it several months already!) because they get really upset when they lose. So, we have to guide them that if anyone loses they can try again another week because it is only a game. And, if anyone wins, they must not goad and say “Yay Yay I am the winner” in a sing song manner but say “Yay I’ve won! Everyone try again!”. I am not sure whether BB has thought to that extent of how well the children take competition but I think it stressed Nic a lot just thinking about the “amazing race” at the bird park (which he did not go eventually) and now the camp ahead.

I thank Karen Kerr for sharing scripture with me last Sunday. She referred me to Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. It inspired me to share the whole Psalm 139 in the dark during bed time with the only “torch light” coming from Henry’s handphone that Sunday. It got the kids interested while I explained to them how much God knows us and loves us. Coincidentally, that Sunday afternoon, Ethan closed the toilet door while I washed his bum but there was no one else watching! I said, “Who is going to see? Papa and Nic’s not around. Do you think that Father God will see you? Well, He can see you even while you are pooing”. Psalm 139 is something like that. God sees us when we sit or when we rise, he knows our thoughts. He even knows what is on our tongue before we say it. He knows if we are sad or happy.

Then I jumped to Philippians 4:6-8 to teach Nic not to worry but to put our requests to God in a prayer and all the peace of God will come upon Nic. Then I ended with Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” We asked Nic what was the one thing he enjoyed in school /BB etc and to think about those thoughts (whatever is lovely). He nodded his head. I pray it helped him. It will take many reminders of God’s word into his spirit and I pray God will give us the patience and the scriptures for him.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Wash Each Other’s Feet?

Today as I ponder upon Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, I came across John 13:2-17 where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and said to them “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord and rightly so for that is what I am. Now that I have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet”.

A few years ago, my bible study group gathered for Maundy Thursday and re-enacted this part of washing feet by Jesus. I think it was either Wendy or Cheng Yi that played the role of Jesus and we were trying not to be tickled with all that washing of feet and try to be somber and understand what Jesus did. I don’t think I really understood the meaning then and tonight I pondered again.

If Jesus could humble himself as a leader to wash another’s feet and later even to the point He laid His life for us, we too should humble ourselves and forgive others when we are wronged rather than be self-righteous and take revenge or to plot against another. It was Hamir led by the holy spirit that opened my eyes to see that our church was too inward looking. Even I myself was trying to figure out who was right and who was wrong. When we studied Galatians 2:11, Paul opposed Peter to his face when Peter was clearly in the wrong. But we can’t really apply it to our church drama because both sides think they are right. Today’s daily bread ( was about Jesus who kept silent before the Sanhendrin and answered nothing as it would be useless. I sighed as I read this. How do we apply this in our church? Everyone has their own journey. It is for everyone to come before our Lord and say what is truly in our hearts and the holy spirit will work within us. But when we start thinking for others what this person thinks or what that person thinks then I get confused myself because each of them think themselves right. But in front of a Holy God, you have NO EXCUSES. It's all useless. He knows our inner thoughts. He knows us inside out. All the things you said, you know yourself, the motives you had. We can't think for others. So I sighed and for that we can only pray for our pastors, for those affected, for it is not only praying for them but to bind and break the devil behind them putting negative thoughts into their minds against God's word.

What does His word say? I moved on to John 15:11-16 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends….go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”

Then it struck me for those in pain from being wronged, God loves them so much and He tells them that they can have complete joy in Him by taking that first step of faith - to love each other. And then, He will give you whatever you ask in His name that would take that pain away. There is nothing that cannot be ironed out once we love another and He is asking us to take that first step of faith. When I read His promise in John 15:16 “Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name”, it just melt my heart, for this is Jesus’ love for us.

I pray for all those affected tonight that your hearts will open to see God’s love for you tonight. He does not want to see you in pain and He wants us to take that first step – to love each other. It is a choice we make. And then all His blessings will flow just as He says in John 15:16 because then we would have won victory over satan who has been injecting negative thoughts into us. I also pray for those felt led by the holy spirit to help you in the reconciliation process. I pray that the Holy Spirit will put the right words in their mouth that would just break the yoke over you. I pray all this in Jesus' name. Amen.