Dinner Devotions

In view of the current COVID-19 situation, staying home more often now means eating at home more often and gathering together more often too for meal times. We like to have conversations during dinner, maybe too much sometimes for the kids and they take really long to finish their food. But I truly believe that conversations are even much more important for such a time as this, particularly conversations about Jesus.

The idea of ‘Dinner Devotions’ came up one day when I displayed a lettering artwork of a bible verse on the wall that’s next to our dining table. Prior to that, I have not display my artwork at home. Usually I would just file it up after it dries. But after reading Deuteronomy 6:7-9, I was inspired to display it on the wall, hoping it will be an invitation to talk about Jesus.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:7-9

The first day during lunch, my 5-year old daughter  enquired about what I lettered as she has not learnt to read yet and we had a wonderful time talking about the verse. And then a few days later, during breakfast, my 8-year old son asked me as well and we had the opportunity again to talk about the meaning of the verse during breakfast. He then subsequently asked if I was going to put up new artwork with new verses. 

That inspired me to come up with 3 more and I digitalised them into printable cards. If you will like to kickstart conversations about God during meal times, you can purchase a set of these 4 Dinner Devotion cards (in PDF Files) at this link: https://payhip.com/b/23tB

Simply download and print them out on cardstock. The photo shown below is an A5 size design that is printed on A4 paper and then folded into half so that it can stand. On the back, there is the passage from which the lettered verse was take from and a simple reflection. 

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With these simple cards displayed near or on your dining table, I hope your family meal times will be full of conversations about Jesus’ love for us.

 

Lead me to the Rock

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Though I might take three steps forwards
And then two steps backwards
But now I know I’m still making progress
I will give thanks for this imperfect progress

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Though I might slip and fall
And even make a big splash
But this time I won’t be flailing my arms
I know I can reach out to hold His Hand

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Though I might have to start from the beginning
And be the slowest to ascend
But through it all, He sets my feet on a rock
I have Christ, the solid rock I stand upon

Rock

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. – Psalm 40:2

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. – Psalm 61:2

For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. – 1 Peter 2:6

Dream dreams

I dream of many dreams
But when I think about how I can’t fulfil them
I feel sad and discouraged
And think: what’s the point of dreaming

But I realise that dreaming is a privilege
I have a space and place to dream
Dreaming is a gift
Sharing with others my dreams gives me hope and joy

And even if the dream isn’t fulfilled by me
I’m grateful for that dream, for that joy in dreaming
And even if the dream isn’t fulfilled in my lifetime,
I’m glad that dream can be passed onto others

So when you dream, don’t see it as  building castles in the sky
When you dream,  see that you’re hanging stars in the sky
Commit the dreams to God
And you will experience His fullness in dreaming

Dreams

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” – Genesis 15:5

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— – Psalm 8:4

‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. – Acts 2:17

He lights up your darkness

(Note: I wrote this post on 16 July 2016 and then deleted my blog. I’m reposting it here again on my new blog to encourage others who are going through a difficult time in their lives)

During my second miscarriage, my regular gynaecologist was away on holiday and I saw the covering doctor instead. Since it happened just right after the first, I felt a little resigned to the situation but nonetheless still sad.

There were already signs of miscarriage so it was not a sudden discovery. But something hit me hard – the closing words of the covering doctor were,

You already have 2 children; so don’t feel so sad about it okay?

I left the clinic with those words in my head. The next few days, I started telling myself,

I don’t deserve to feel sad.

I already have 2 children.

I felt that by feeling sad, I was being insensitive to the struggles of childless couples. Also, I felt I was doing my children a disservice. There was no time to grieve, I’ve to care for my children, I’ve to be there for them.

But choosing not to grieve was the worst. I started watching Korean dramas to distract myself. It was a terrible passive activity that has no healing effect whatsoever. I started to have feelings of bitterness and envy. I decided I had to put a stop to it.

So I started to doodle and paint in the mornings when I was alone at home.  Initially, I felt that I was being lazy. Doodling and painting has no economical or tangible benefits! I should be going out to find more work, to do something constructive, cook more, prepare more activities for the children, so on and so on.

But the ever so encouraging husband told me,

You need to do it to find rest and then gain strength for the day

 

So I started painting. And as I painted, I starting grieving and the process of healing began,

I don’t have to feel guilty for feeling sad.

I need to grieve to heal.

During one morning while I was painting, I came upon this word,

“You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.” Psalms 18:28

No matter what you’re going through, whether you think it’s a big or small issue, take the time to rest in His word, take the time to grieve, and He will light up your darkness and heal your wounds.

he lights up my darkness

Jesus is in my beginning and ending

(Note: I wrote this post on 2 July 2016 and then deleted my blog. I’m reposting it here again on my new blog to encourage others who are going through a difficult time in their lives)

A long 6 month hiatus from blogging and I’m back. Most people start the year off with a bang, I started the year off with a break because of a series of events. The second half of 2015 and the first few weeks of 2016 were difficult. I had 2 miscarriages back to back, and then my grandpa passed away, my last grandparent in my family.

It’s interesting how when you suffer from a miscarriage, you immediately want to keep it quiet to yourself and people around you who know want to keep it hush too. I was wondering about that kind of reactive behaviour. Perhaps it’s because it’s a very personal and a private experience. But I realised the deeper reasons for me were guilt and shame.

When the miscarriages happen, the first thing I said to myself was,

It was my entire fault.

I was the one carrying the life.

I was responsible for that life.

And the guilt and condemnation worsens when well meaning friends (whom I appreciate a lot in every way) try to comfort me,

You haven’t been taking care of yourself enough.

You have been over exerting your body.

You haven’t been eating enough vitamins.

I wished that were all true, then I know what can be done to prevent the miscarriages. But unfortunately, the doctor says, they were random occurrences that could not be explained because I have 2 children already. And that made me think,

Perhaps God doesn’t want me to have any more children.

During these 6 months, I’ve been resting and pondering, pondering and resting. Meditating over this simple verse we usually learn when we become a new believer,

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

I didn’t cause the miscarriages and certainly God didn’t.

Then one Sunday morning, I heard Pastor Charles Nieman speak about the passing away of his wife and how he had been coping. He shared about a verse that we are all too familiar with,

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was, and how is to come, the Almighty.” Revelations 1:8

Jesus is in my beginnings and endings. He was there during the conception, he was there during the miscarriage. He was in it with me though it all, therefore there is no condemnation, no guilt and no shame.

He is in my new beginnings and he is in my endings no matter what experiences they are. And therefore I have hope because my hope is in Jesus.

I’ve asked God one more thing, I asked Him what is the purpose of this experience,

To bring hope to others. To bring Jesus to them.

I hope you feel encouraged by my sharing, I pray you will always hope in Him because He is in our every beginning and ending, in every moment, in the same instant.

alpha and omega