Monday, 15 January 2018

I Can’t Pray Now

Hello All,

Are there times in your life when you cannot find the words to express your feelings?

Are you at a loss for words?



I Can’t Pray Now
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

I can't pray now, but I can cry
I can't pray now, but I can weep
Tears trickle from a cloudless sky
Tears water wounds that run too deep

I can't pray now, but I can sob
I can't pray now, but I can wail
Tears trickle, then gush like a mob
Tears utter deep groans when words fail

I can't pray now, but I can rest
I can rest now in God's strong arms
Tears run dry in these endless tests
But Jesus will shield me from harm


Points for Reflection:
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
(Romans 8:26-27 ESV)
·       When we can’t find the words to pray, God’s Spirit intercedes on our behalf.
·       That does not give us the excuse not to pray, but it brings comfort to know that God still hears our wordless cries.
·       When the hole you are in is too deep, or the waters too high, do not be afraid to cry out to God. He sees our tears and comforts us.
·       ‘Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.’ – Charles Spurgeon

Monday, 8 January 2018

The Dark of the Night

Hello All,

Does your cry for help seem to go unanswered? Do you see no light in the darkness of your night?

There are distressing thoughts that keep us awake at night. We lie awake in our beds wondering if they will ever go away.



The Dark of the Night
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

I lie awake in the dark of the night
I'm so afraid; my heart is filled with fear
My heart is racing with all of its might
Abba Father, please let me know You're here

My world is now a dark, unfeeling pit
I'm lost and trapped; I can't find my way out
So in this dark, unfeeling pit I sit
I cry out for help in a desperate shout

My loud, desperate cry echoes from the walls
I cannot see the light, God, please help me
Listen to me; answer my earnest call
To my murky waters, bring clarity


Points for Reflection:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
(Psalms 42:11 ESV)
·       Have you ever tried talking to yourself? Have you tried motivating yourself about your ability to face a challenge (i.e. ‘You can do it!’)?
·       Like the psalmist, have you tried asking yourself, ‘Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?’ What would your reply be?
·       There are many hurdles and heartaches that can throw us off balance and we cannot seem to get up. We are too wounded to continue fighting the battles of this tumultuous life. Our souls are downcast and in turmoil.
·       Yet the psalmist does not end with that question but reminds himself of the hope he has in God, his salvation.
·       Jesus faced the darkness of God’s judgment as He hung on the cross in agony. He bore the pain that we deserved for our sins. Instead of darkness, we have received the Light of our salvation.
·       God may or may not save us from our trials. But He will walk with us in the darkest of nights.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Chasm of Fear

Hello All,

The dark chasm of fear runs deep. It traps and threatens to consume us. We are helpless and lack the control we think we need to feel secured.

Uncertainties abound in the unknown. We try our best to secure our future, which is a wise thing to do. However, those measures of security are never enough. It is impossible to cover the loopholes of fears and uncertainties with our meager resources.

What are your fears and uncertainties? Do you feel paralysed by them? Do they threaten to consume you?



Chasm of Fear
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

Dear God, help me in this chasm of fear
It's so dark and shadows lurk around me
The waters are so murky and unclear
The path before me, I just cannot see

Dear God, help me in this chasm of fear
I don't want to linger here anymore
It's painful, your refining fire sears
Me, an earthen vessel; I'm weak and sore

Dear God, help me in this chasm of fear
Shed light and illuminate this dark pit
I'm frightened, Lord, I cannot feel You near
So in this dark, unfeeling pit, I sit


Points for Reflection:
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
(Psalms 121:1-2 ESV)

·       Where are you looking to for help? Are you looking to God, the Maker of the universe? He is all-knowing and we can commit our fears and uncertainties to Him. We may not get an answer to the fears that are besetting us, but we can find comfort in His love and grace.
·       The fears of this life are only temporary. But the fear of what happens after death is for eternity.
·       The Good News is that Jesus Christ has dealt with that fear and has saved us from the chasm of eternal death and torment. He died in our place and took on God’s judgment upon Himself to save us. Instead of death and judgment, those who trust in Him have received life and hope. Have you put your trust in Jesus Christ?
·       Jesus is the Light that illuminates the darkness of our sinful soul and the chasm of our fears. Come to the Light and abide in Him.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Who is Jesus Christ?

Hello All,

Some say He was a wise teacher. Some perceive Him as an all-knowing prophet. Others view Him as a powerful miracle-worker.

Who is Jesus Christ to you?



By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

Christ was born not in a palace of gold
He was born in the town of Bethlehem
He was born there, in a stable so cold
In a manger laid the pure, perfect Lamb

Christ was clothed not in fine vestments of gold
He was clothed in thin wraps of poverty
He was clothed thus, in a stable so cold
In a manger laid the frail, weak Baby

Christ was crowned not in the splendour of gold
He was crowned in the shame of mocking thorns
He was crowned so, in Calvary, we're told
On a cruel cross hung the pure, perfect Lamb

Christ was scorned by mocking sinners, we’re told
He was scorned by people He’d come to save
He was scorned so, nailed to the cross of old
On the cruel cross, He died for the depraved

Christ was placed in a tomb so dark and cold
But He rose from the grave and conquered death
He gives us life; more precious than gold
In this Saviour, we find life-giving breath

Do you trust in Jesus’ death to save you?
Have you found life in His resurrection?
What’s keeping you from trusting what’s true?
In the Gospel are truth and salvation


Points for Reflection:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 ESV)
·       Jesus was indeed a teacher, a prophet and a miracle-worker. But He is so much more than that.
·       He is God, the Creator of the universe, who chose to save us by becoming one of us. He took on mortality so that He could take the punishment we deserve and die in our place.
·       He is the Creator of the world and the Saviour of mankind.
·       Who is Jesus Christ to you?
·       Do you trust in Jesus’ death to save you? Have you found life in His resurrection? What’s keeping you from trusting what’s true? In the Gospel are truth and salvation.


Monday, 4 December 2017

A Warm Cabin of Love

Hello All,

Life can be cruel. We feel like giving up in the chest-deep snow of pressure, stress, disappointment, betrayal, and hurt. There are times when we feel so lost in the snow and we lose the will to trudge through the snowstorm of adversities.

Sometimes the pain of trauma and loss become so big in our eyes that we lose sight of the little warm cabin of love in the distance. The fireplace of care keeps our cold, blistered hands warm and safe.

 

By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

In the cold and blistering winter wind
In the bitter deluge of chest-deep snow
When strength is diminished and courage thinned
A warm cabin, like a fireplace, glows

I see the warm cabin from a distance
With God’s strength, I trudge through the chest-deep snow
After hours of tears and persistence
I reached the lovely, warm cabin that glows

I step into the warm cabin of love
A warm fireplace in the corner glows
I hear laughter that warms me like a glove
God shows His love through the people we know

‘Where have you been? We’ve been looking for you!’
The care of my loved ones warms my cold hands
I see God’s love in theirs; now that is true
God’s love binds us like a strong rubber band

Our love is a reflection of God’s love
His love was shown through Christ’s death on the cross
He came down to earth from heaven above
Life and hope we’ve gained through His death and loss

I see God’s love in a prayer of a friend
I see His love in a loved one who’s there
They reflect divine love that knows no end
I’m in a warm cabin of love and care



Points for Reflection:
We love because God first loved us.
(1 John 4:19 ESV)
·       God brings people into our lives to help us through the hard times and to bring joy in the bitter cold. The care shown by our loved ones is but a reflection of God’s perfect love. Their love is not perfect, but God’s love is.
·       Perfect, divine love was demonstrated on the Tree where Jesus Christ died for you and me. His bloodied, nail-pierced hands warm our cold, blistered hands. His death brought us life and the Father’s rejection of Him, as He hung on the cross, brought the Father’s acceptance of unworthy sinners like us.
·       There is no greater hero than our Lord Jesus, Christ - the Saviour of the world.
·       This Christmas, as we celebrate the joy of glowing lights and sparkling tinsels, let us remember our Saviour who came down from heaven to earth, born in a humble and filthy manger so that He could save us through His death and resurrection.
·       This Christmas, let us see God’s love through a prayer of a friend and a loved one who’s there. They reflect divine love that knows no end. Let us rest in a warm cabin of love and care.