Paula's Blog

November 17, 2013

Freedom

Democracy gives us freedom from restrictions,to have freedom in action.
Investing gives us freedom from money, to have freedom in life.
Medical discoveries give us freedom from illnesses,to have freedom in our bodies.

Jesus Christ gives us freedom from sin, to have freedom to be like Him.

Which is the best kind of freedom?

April 13, 2013

How to have heaven in our hearts

Filed under: Bible verses,How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 12:41 pm
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Heaven may be generally thought of as a place that is difficult to experience in this lifetime, this mortal world of ours, and is instead a place to be longed for. In this entry, I explore a way to have heaven in our hearts in the here and now. This is a follow-up to my previous post, The Language of the Heart.

In his classic devotional book titled The Saint’s Everlasting Rest, English Puritan pastor and author Richard Baxter (1615-1691) wrote:

“Why are not our hearts continually set on heaven? Why dwell we not there in constant comtemplation?…Bend thy soul to study eternity, busy thyself about the life to come, habituate thyself to such contemplations, and let not those thoughts be seldom and cursory, but bathe thyself in heaven’s delights.” (http://bible.org/illustration/hearts-set-heaven)

A way to have heaven in our hearts:

Where Is Your Treasure?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Chasing after material pleasures and earthly goods unnecessarily, tends to detract us from the true riches that are of a heavenly nature.

Learning to appreciate heavenly goods with our hearts is a sacred art, which I believe can bring one lots of joy and bliss.

For heaven is our home.
“Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.” 2 Cor 5:3

“Treasures in heaven” means living and following God’s ways (http://bible.org/seriespage/where-your-treasure-matthew-619-24).For example, loving your neighbour as yourself- demonstrating an act of kindness, forgiving someone of a sin.

Just think, practising ‘heaven in our hearts’, this way, we can experience heaven, right at our fingertips.

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March 30, 2013

How the theory of evolution can harm one’s faith

In this entry, I would just like to touch briefly on how the theory of evolution could be subtly harmful to one’s faith.

God’s creation helps inspire faith in God. For this, there needs to be an underlying philosophical framework of creationism instead of evolution.

On the subject of faith James McConkey wrote: “Faith is dependence upon God. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends.”. J.B. Stoney agrees by saying ” I believe the Lord allows many things to happen on purpose to make us feel our need of Him.”. (http://bible.org/seriespage/faith)

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”. Rom 1:20 (NIV)

God’s creation magnifies God by showcasing his transcendent qualities, thus throwing light on our dependence on God, an important aspect of our faith.

Skii-Switzerland-Mountain-HD

For example, seeing this picture of a mountain through the philosophical framework of creationism, I am reminded of God’s “invisible qualities” of majesty, power and greatness of a transcendent nature. One needs to know that we are created, that this world is God’s creation to see these transcendent qualities. By being starkly aware of how small we are in the grand scheme of his creation, we realise our dependence on God the Creator.

Antithetically, seeing it through the framework of evolution, we do not see its utterly transcendent qualities, but simply as a random incident of chemistry and motion. It points to the simple instinct of survival and a persistent theme throughout evolution, “the survival of the fittest”. This takes us away from God-dependence to self-dependence. This is possibly one of the destructive and harmful influences of the theory of evolution can have on faith, which can subtly creep into the church and society.

We need to have an underlying philosophy of God as creator and one who created this world, to redeem this aspect of our faith.

Note: I am not utterly condemning the theory of evolution, it could be true in some aspects, would just like to point out a harmful influence it can subtly have.

—*—
This post is also in the blog carnival, Faith and Philosophy.

Why has so much contemporary art become boring?

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 7:47 am
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“The making of art is a spiritual journey and it is crucial that the spirit that accompanies it is healthy. A spirit that seeks only to shock and transgress for no other reason that to provoke controversy and hence fame is an ill spirit. Similarly a spirit that evokes a work that is so empty of content that it may receive all projections is ill.

The proclamation of the death of God killed off any idea that there exists moral or aesthetic values. “All that is left is the conflict of arbitrary notions of taste.” This means that there can be no art criticism because there is no criteria from which to make criticism. Thus there can now no longer be a discussion about the value of art, one must leave all judgments open because the person beside us may hate what we love. This vacuum may be easily exploited by the artist who wants to make a name for himself; enter the artistic charlatan. Who is going to proclaim that the emperor has no clothes now that Robert Hughes is dead?”

Do visit this article http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14006 !

December 20, 2011

Hear his voice

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10: 27

Jesus offers us a deep, intimate relationship with Him. learning to discern God’s voice and hear from Him is therefore such an interesting and exciting aspect of being saved, of being God’s child and Jesus’ disciple.

His Whisper

It is gentle and soft—almost airy
With a message designed for my ears only;
It drips with sweetness, draws my spirit close,
And protects the trust that experience knows.

It is hushed and tranquil and floats on the breeze
And the love that it carries buckles my knees,
And reminds me that I’m His priceless treasure
By promising a love that will not be severed.

Behind it He hides, until I am still
And eager and anxious in both soul and will.
It drifts on the air until reaching my heart,
And it speaks softly, “How precious thou art.”

It seduces my senses as I draw near to listen
And quiets the world’s roaring insistence.
Earthquakes and fires may light up the sky,
But, alas, His whisper will gently pass by.

– Submitted by About.com member, Kristen Clark with His Witness Ministries

October 17, 2011

Nothing to offer in my own strength

Filed under: Bible verses,People — applecherrypipz @ 3:37 am
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“1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:1-8

 
Thank you God, because of you and what you did on the cross, I can be broken before you, and you can have my life. I can live for you.To live is Christ, to die is gain.The Beauty of Brokenness.

 

September 7, 2011

I’m back!

Filed under: How we relate to God,Identity,poetry — applecherrypipz @ 9:54 pm
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Hi dear readers, after writing for this blog since 2009 and having about 1 year breaks in-between, I think I’m back. This time, I think I wish to write more steadily and regularly.

When I ponder the beautiful stars in the sky,
and see my sick demise,
I am filled with grief,
and think I can never compare
to that awesome power out there
who created the heavens and the earth,
who nestled me in his hand,
and said “I love you”.

 

October 15, 2010

Be inspired with our love for God

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 9:56 pm
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Have just been longing for better days, a sunrise, a wide view of the horizon.

Feeling quite cramped currently in what I am in, I live in Auckland, a city in New Zealand, and sometimes things just become dreary and dull. You wished that there was something far more inspiring than the grey buildings and computers you see everyday.

Nature truly inspires us to the beauty and the power that is within us. God’s eternal promise for you.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

God is with us, we can soar on wings like eagles, we can walk and not grow weary.

Let’s not just wait for things like nature to inspire us, let’s be inspired everyday by God’s greatness, His love, His beauty, His majesty. Let’s be inspired to be better everyday, to love more, to hope more, to believe more, to have faith more.

That’s what falling in love with Jesus more everyday means. God says you either are hot for me, or are cold for me. If you are lukewarm, I’d rather spit you out (Revelations).

We can’t let our love grow cold. Ask God to help you develop a passionate, intense love for Him that will not fade, but will deepen over time.

“[36] Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. [37] When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, [38] and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began towet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. […]

[44] Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. [45] You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. [46] You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. [47] Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” ”

Luke 7:36 – 50

October 13, 2010

Daughters of the King

Filed under: Identity — applecherrypipz @ 3:39 am
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We are daughters of the King…

our hearts are precious to Him,

so we can sing

glory, glory, glory to Him.

Just thought of a random poem for our feminine identities for God:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Pet 2:9

Indeed, we are not only chosen, but royal. We are not only royal, but also a priesthood. God is declaring our identities in Him. Wake up people, this is who you really are in God!
In other words, we are royalty!

Many times as Christians we do not see how privileged we are to be on God’s side in this dark world, we do not see our true worth and value in the larger scheme of things.

Let’s hold on to how God views us and not be deceived anymore by the lies of the enemy:

You can’t do it
You’re not worth it
You’re not beautiful

As girls our true sense of strength does not lie in what we do, but comes from who’s side we are on, and the power He has bestowed upon us.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s be empowered!


December 7, 2009

Homecoming

Filed under: Bible verses,poetry — applecherrypipz @ 9:10 am
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I have been interning at Ethos (http://www.ethosbooks.com.sg), a famous local publishing firm in Singapore and reading a number of award winning Singaporean Literature books for the purposes of proofreading as part of my job. Thank god for such an opportunity! who gets to read award winning literature as their job! haha

I really liked this poem:

HOMECOMING by Alvin Pang

On that day the tide will turn
and softly bring its crested head
to rest on the cheek of shore.

The jambu tree will shed
moist leaves, returning to earth
its debt of tears

Every cloud will move
into its chosen place. Even the sun
will understand their boldness

For so long i have listened to the call
of mountains in their loneliness
The river’s thirst to follow ocean.

I know the years trapped in you
like so many birds, their wings
the very flutter of your heart.

At that hour, I will uncage
your body’s sadness with my own,
and make the sound locks make

springing open.

-end-

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Romans 8 NIV

Can you hear the life sustaining rhythmn pulsing through the whole of creation, passionately ,quietly, restlessly groaning, groaning, groaning for the time when all things shall be made perfect in God?

Indeed, I feel that longing is one of the central themes of this poem, vividly fleshed out in all this imagery of nature. It’s as if every breath of wind, every rushing wave towards the shore, the throbbing sense of loneliness pervading the cities..even the fast, quiet heartbeat of a mouse, is sighing with restless anticipation for this inexpressible hope.

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