Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2016

IMG-20160220-WA0007

I enjoy singing hymns because the lyrics are often descriptive and full of images of God and His wonderful working.

Take for example, a line from one such hymn is “Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace“:a strong image of God’s peace.

I have experienced God’s peace in my Christian journey but sometimes it’s hard to express the feeling I was experiencing.

I am thankful to song writers who were attuned to God, and were able to attach vivid words to express their sentiment with God.

IMAG2537

While on a river cruise recently, I experienced the metaphor of a river representing the peace of God that the song speaks of (主所赐的平安…仿佛江河流).

Our team was on a tour to scout the proboscis monkeys (long-nosed monkey) in the wild. This trip was like a safari to see wild creatures of the jungle; instead of travelling on a Land Rover, we were on a river cruise.

There was no guarantee that we would see the monkeys. For if the weather is too hot, the monkeys will be in the hiding; and if the day is cooling, they will play by the water.

As we traveled along the water, we were all excited to spot some monkeys dangling on the branches and swinging from trees to trees in family units. Its like watching a circuit show outdoor.

IMAG2539

Since we were in the open jungle, we could only watch the playful monkeys in the distance, not up close and personal, like at the zoo.

Drifting along the swampy river in the open raft, and marveling at the scenery of local villages on both banks was restful and pleasant.

After a while, I found myself more interested in the crystal clear water in front of me than the acrobatic monkeys up on the faraway woods.

While taking in the soothing and breezy cool air on my skin, my eyes continued to mesmerize by the calming flowing water, and it was glorious — just like what the hymn writer, Frances R. Havergal, penned:

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
*Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

IMAG2540

As it was near sunset, many of the river boats started to head back to the docks.

Our awesome tour guide however motioned our boat guy to cruise further down the stream to the mouth of the river… where the river meets the open sea.

He stated that since it was such a great sunny evening, he didn’t want us to miss the rare opportunity of experiencing a fantastic sunset by the swelling South China Sea!

There, we were allowed to step on the secluded shoreline, dip our feet into the warm water and soak in the orange sunset for a good half hour.

As I stood in front of this alluring sea and listening to the soothing sound of the waves rolling in gleefully from afar, I seem to hear their gentle whisper: The Lord may calm your storm, but more often He’ll calm you(quote taken fr. Our Daily Bread).

Indeed *Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

IMAG3214
Painting by my artist friend Phoebe Wang.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

IMAG2611

When strolling along the beaches, many people like to take picture of their footprints in the sand.

Perhaps it’s a way to make a statement like “hey, I was here & here’s the proof”;
or maybe it’s just a sheer joy to take pictures of our footprints by the surging waves!

IMAG2603

Footprints on the beach are definitely a fun sight to stumble upon. These are the footprints of my sister while we were enjoying the dramatic twilight by the South China Sea.

IMAG2576

I delight in this famous poem, “Footprints”, which has brought comfort to many souls.

IMAG3152

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scene from his life.
He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him he noticed that many times there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it was at the very lowest times in his life.
He questioned the Lord about it.

“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.”

The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

IMAG2639

This poem is an oasis to weary souls; It brings to mind the invitation Jesus gives in Matthew 11:28:

“Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Years ago, I had the opportunity to pose with the author of Footprints, Margaret Powers, who happens to be the mom of one of my fellow students at Bible college.

Paul.P

Here’s the story behind the poem.

y648

IMAG3155

Read Full Post »

Ready-made Prayers

DSCN3131

It was the first day of snow and I was enjoying the snowy weather at this park. I found joy in communicating with God as I took in the beautiful outdoor nature.

Talking about communication with God, at our Transform Bible Study, we are currently going through a book called Armchair Mystic by Mark Thibodeux.

The book suggests various ways and tools on how to communicate with God.

I am reminded that when we do not have the words to pray what we want to tell God, we can use ready-made prayers to express what is in our hearts.

Ready-made prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father who art in heaven), David’s prayer (The Lord is my Shepherd), or the prayer of St. Saint Francis of Assisi (Lord, make me a channel of your peace…) are great ways to communicate with God.

I love using ready-made prayers to listen to God speaking to me; and one such borrowed prayer is the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971).

This popular prayer can be seen on various publications, bookmarks and wall plaques in many homes.

Whenever I stumbled upon this writing, I paused and read it to remind me not to cry over spilt milk, be willing to accept the thing to which I cannot change, and to move on.

While visiting a friend’s home, this is what I spotted on their wall…

IMAG1462

Serenity: the state of being serene, untroubled and calm.

IMAG3004[1]

And here’s one ready-made prayers of Apostle Paul:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Read Full Post »