Sunday, December 11, 2011

Writing Instruments

My daughter loves to draw.  She scribbles on sheets of paper and tries to draw whatever I draw.  I have to admit that she has a knack for drawing; a real talent.  Apart from drawing, she loves to write little notes, her little love letters for family and friends.  Today she made me a card which said... "Merry Christmas Mama.  I love you."  Apparently I wasn't to look at the card just yet. (Grins).  She didn't warn me early enough not to open the card. So I just have to close it and keep it for Christmas.

As a writer, I can connect with the need to have writing instruments.  During my earlier days it used to be the pens and pencils, but now its the e-world with the use of computers.  Nonetheless, I cannot control my urge to write. Most often we take this for granted; the availability of writing tools.  Just imagine, how would I have been able to write, considering I write a lot.

Today I take the time to thank the Lord for giving me avenues of expression and for the many kinds of writing instruments readily available for my use.  I am grateful that these instruments have helped me along my years of studies, personal development and to build up my talent for writing.  I also thank God for all that I have been able to write using these tools, to better myself, interact with people, and also be a means of moral support to others.  May I be used as such writing instruments to tell the story of God's love and salvation.

"Yahweh said to Moses, "Write you these words: for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." "
Exodus 34:27

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friend or Fiend

Most often it can be seen that friends are closer to a person than one's siblings are.  Some of our most shared secrets are between friends. Sometimes I wonder why it is that God blesses us with friends, people who are closer to us than family.   Friends can lead you astray while friends can also lead you nearer to the heart of God.  It all depends on who you choose as your friends or the company you hang out with.

I am often shocked when I read the news about murders in schools because a kid has carried a gun or a knife with him.  At such tender ages, when their life has to decide which side to take at the fork in the road, it can be shocking to find that not many young children and teenagers have a sense of purpose or direction.  In most cases, it is the lack of parental support or a solid adult figure to guide them that gets them there.  Or is it the lack of good friends? With them, the group of friends too take a turn for the worse.

I am grateful that the Lord has given me friends; who know when to pull me up for something I am accountable for, or to encourage me to move on despite hurdles in life.  I praise God for the gift of friends in my life - for all the laughter and the tears, and the times of mischief too.  I lift up all children and teenagers who are building new bonds that influence them, to be blessed with the grace of healthy friendships that will help them discern the difference between good and bad decisions.  I praise God for friends, for I would be lost without them; without you in my life. Each of my friends build me up in their own way into the person that I am and I praise God for all my friends.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. “ 
John 15:13–15

Friday, December 9, 2011

As Little As a Mustard Seed

Faith is a beautiful thing.  It is the essence of life, which takes us one day to the next.  It gives us a reason to believe in life and everything that goes on with us.  It helps us look forward to new mercies and graces every morning.  Human life has its limitations, but with faith it can be one adventurous ride making possible the impossible, and turning imagination into reality.  Faith is an exercise that starts out small just the way life is, and grows with nurturing, spiritual food and water, and heavenly sunshine. Faith is the main ingredient in the spice of life that is required to help us please God.  Faith is what helps us forgive and let go of those most hurtful, hurting and hateful aspects of our lives.  It is through faith in our lives that we can move on with life, knowing that all things work for good to those that love the Lord.

I praise God for the gift of faith that He gives us, that  He gives freely to those who ask of Him.  I thank the Lord that He has taken me though hurdles and trials by which I have been able to turn to Him and rely on His providence, trusting that the Lord would take care of everything.  I can attest to innumerable instances in my life where I have literally seen the face of God shine through, making me trust more and more on His amazing grace than on my own capabilities. I pray that my life be centered more and more on the grace of God through faith and that each act of mine be one of praise, pleasing God in every way.  Praise God for the gift of faith that He gives me and to those who ask.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  
Hebrews 11:1

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Each of us is born with talents.  We may not necessarily turn out to be toppers in school or a genius at things we do.  We may never be in the limelight for some great feat or accomplishment.  Nevertheless, each of us have some innate talents that make up who we are.  Why I use the word 'talents' is because it is a group or combination of talents that allows us to be who we are. For example, I smile.  Yes, I smile a lot and when people see me smile, they smile too.  This is a gift; a talent, that makes people happy.  Similar with our other traits of prayer, work, meeting deadlines, organizing time at work... and so on.  I see 'time management' as one great talent in today's hectic life-style. Many times it isn't until much later in our lives that we realize that we have a particular talent.

Today I take the time to thank the Lord for all the talents He has given me.  I thank Him for creating me with a combination of gifts that helps me grow as a person and help others too around me. I thank Him for also creating avenues for these talents by which I can express myself and also praise Him. I thank Him that my talents are not necessarily the same as others and that I can learn from others too, and also for means by which I can use these talents to sustain myself. Praise God for these talents, for it tells me that I have been given a part of God's immense nature which connects me to Him.  Help me Lord to identify the talents you have given me so that I can be the person You want me to be.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if 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 12:6-8)

Image Credit: Blonde Girl Performing

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

Praise God for good sleep.  Human struggles make up one major factor that don't allow many people to sleep. It is this or some major health problem.  There are so many people who sleep for just 2-4 hours a day, not because they do not have the time to sleep, but because they just cannot sleep.  They lie awake for hours during the night, struggling to get a good night's rest.  Only those who suffer from lack of sleep know the difficulties of dealing with sleep problems.

Today I praise God for ALL the times I've had good sleep.  These past few days, I have had so much sleep for many hours that I've made up for all the nights that I slept late due to writing.  Sleep is a beautiful thing; it rejuvenates, repairs, revives and refreshes the body.  Sleep is a gift from God; one that we take for granted.  Praise God for good sleep.  I thank God that He lets me lie down in peace and that he fills my sleep with comfort and peace.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
Because he trusteth in thee.
(Isaiah 26:3)

Image Credit: Sleep

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grandparents & Great-grand parents

Today is my grandpa Cyril's birthday.  He will have turned 95 today had he been living.  He passed away on Oct 2, this year after a long, healthy life.  He was blessed with 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.  A practical man in every way, he taught us so many things.  For example, when I take my toothpaste tube and press out the toothpaste, I think of him.  He used to press it out from the closed end of the tube... and as it finished, he's press it out flat so that there was almost no wastage of toothpaste when it was time to throw the tube out.  When I hear a door creak, I think of him.  At home, he used to oil the hinges of the doors so that it wouldn't make those ugly, creaking noises.  

Today I praise God for giving me grandpa, and all my grandparents for that matter.  My paternal grandma, Dulcie, will turn 86 years old on Dec 9, and I hope to visit her soon.  Praise God for grandparents.  It's a blessing for them and for us when they are able to see their children and grandchildren... and great-grandchildren.  Yes... thank you Lord for grandparents.

May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.
(Psalm 128:5-6)

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Blessing of Good Health

Most often we take our lives for granted.  Until.....  of course, when we're hit with come illness, handicap or calamity, and we realize the impact of that blow.  Life doesn't always seem fair.  But neither is our ingratitude for the health we take for granted.

Today I would like to say "Thank you Lord for giving me good health of body, mind and spirit."  I might not always be as healthy or as upbeat as I would want to be, nonetheless, in God's eyes, His grace is sufficient for me.  There is so much that I 'CAN' do regardless of what I CANNOT do.  I can see, smell, taste, hear, sense, walk,and touch, in addition to a host of other activities. What about His graces being new every morning?  There is so much that I take for granted. But for today, I'd like to say 'Thank you Lord for blessing me with good health.  It is good health, because You are part of my life.  Thank you Lord."

“He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” 
(Psalm 107:20)

Image Credit:  Apple

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The One and Only 'ME'

I believe that each of us is continually blessed throughout the day no matter how difficult our struggles are. There is so much we have to be thankful for and so much to acknowledge.  Today my thanks go out to the Lord for the beauty of His creation in you and me, and the way He has made each of us. 

When I am down, I usually like to tell myself...  "I am unique and special.  There is no one like me - who is an exact replica of me.  There is no one else who feels, hears, knows or understands life in the exact way that I do.  Some may be more sensitive, or less... but no one thinks, feels or does things the way I do.  I am a special part of God's creation and He has made me for a purpose.  He created me BECAUSE I am special to Him and He loves me.  He has a purpose for my life and I am who I am because of this plan.  No matter what others may think of me or what others may want from me, God holds my life in His hands and I am special to Him.  My habits, mannerisms and talents are a combination that is 'exclusive' only to me and this makes me very unique in God's eyes."

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2Corinthians 9:15)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It Doesn't Hurt to be Kind

You know, there are times when we go through a lot of difficulty, and feel that its too much for us to bear. But suddenly, out of the blue, someone comes along to help us out and it really moves us to see that the other person can be 'kind', with no strings attached or expectations of reward. There are people who can be exceedingly kind and likewise teach us too to be kind... not by word alone but also through their actions.  

Today I thank God for all those who are kind to me; all those who feel for me and stand by me when I need the help.  All those who, without hinting or call, are there for me; sensitive to what I might feel, regardless of how important or silly the situation may be.  Praise God for kind people, for they know how to bring out the best in us, and also pull us out of the dump when our spirits are sinking low. 

”An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”. Proverbs 12:25

Friday, December 2, 2011

In the Splendor of Your Presence

Christian Clipart: Prayer

When all around me silently
draw curtains close and rest,
and sun to bed at end of day
cast shadows from the west
You pull my soul towards Your heart
You beckon me to come;
and patiently wait for this time
When I can spare some love.

This quality time that we share,
The secrets You reveal –
Make my poor heart soar into space
Beyond my frail belief.
You do not worry how I’ve been
or what mischief I’ve done
as long as at the close of day
repentance I avow.

When day is done and shadows cast
it is that special time.
No matter how much darkness lurks
around me Your light shines.
You take away my worldly stress
and clothe me with Your strength,
make blossoms sprout where fear and doubt
have tried their best to reign.

And now I humbly bow my head
acknowledge You my Lord;
There is no other one like You
who knows me inside out.
Your Spirit hovers o’er my being
my soul in tight embrace
I’m lost in love, one with Your heart
rejoicing in Your grace.

I thank the Lord for the night; when I can reflect on all that my day has been - and enter His presence, no matter how I have been, because I know the Lord embraces me with open arms and tells me that all is at peace.  I thank our Lord for the special prayer time(s) that each of us experience through out the day that gives us comfort of spirit and joy of heart. No matter what situations our lives may run into, I always find the peace I need when I spend time in prayer.  Praise God for prayer time.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for You alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.  Psalm 4:8

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rain Lord.... Reign Lord......


This morning it rained... and the first thing that came to mind was, "Oh, no!  Not now!".  Well, recently I have been complaining of the rain - not because I don't like it (I love it), but each time it rains water seeps into the bed rooms and the living room.  I end up having to mop up a lot of water on and on and on... well, as long as the rain lasts.

But this morning the rain was a real blessing.  Although it rained, there was no leak and no mopping to be done because of it.  On the other hand, it cooled the day, so much so, when we had a freak power loss for a couple of hours, we didn't feel the loss of power much.  It still remained cool indoors.  

Thank you Lord for the rain, and for watering the earth anew with your refreshing love. 

”Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness.  Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.  I, the LORD, created them.”  (Isaiah 45:8)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pictures that inspire...

Thank you Lord, for the sky, and the beautiful way you display your creation. 

Image Credit:  Stacy Petrin Rowe

Sky blue -pink.
Who would ever have thought
of such a wondrous combination
of sky blue-pink

The clouds stretch out
from east to west in
heavenly display
of sky blue-pink

Your masterpiece in the sky
takes my breath away, and my eyes
they enjoy
this sky blue-pink

I cannot fathom Your love for me.
I will always strive to know Your Will
for you inspire my heart and beckon me
through beautiful sky blue-pink.

(poem written by me and inspired by Lori Walsh and Stacy Petrin Rowe)

Image Credit:  Jerusha Margaret

I've seen pretty rainbows
and beautiful sunsets too
but what I saw recently
divine mix of the two.
I stood awestruck; my thoughts soared
with the amazing evening hue
for the sky displayed its colors
the likes I never knew.

It burst forth into vibrancy;
The touch of God's own hand
displaying creativity messy
as paint poured out all sides
The result simply stunning,
Earth radiant at best
for in the setting of the sun -
a beautiful rainbow sunset.

The sight simply breathtaking,
no two sunsets the same
for should you take the time to see
they're very different.
Each evening the artist at work
takes out his easel and paints
and with a stroke of brush on page
Heaven's face unveils. 

(poem written by me and inspired by Jerusha Margaret)

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”   So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.   God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.  (Genesis 1:6)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just a Rose?

Here is a pic of a rose that I received from my friend W. Diane Van Zwol - as a gift with a blessing. 
Today I say a special thanks for all roses that are given out as gifts and as tokens of love that make us feel happy and for the gift of friendship that it brings.  

Lord God, I thank you for the beauty of roses, and for their varying colors and types that you have created.   I also thank you for all the gardens and spaces that they grow in, and reflect your beauty and love.  Thank you for the sweet fragrances of roses that are a blessing from you to us.  

Do you like roses?  I do.  Although they are not my all time favorite flower, I think they are very beautiful.  How about you? 

And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will.  (Leviticus 22:29)

Monday, November 28, 2011

In the Wrong Place? Think again...

This is a view of the landscape from outside my bedroom window.  Lovely blue skies, and the rugged, varying brown-shaded mountains all around inspire me to say "Praise God!"  There is not much vegetation, except for the artificially created garden spaces here and there and by the road side, but then this is more than what one can expect to see in a desert.

There are so many different races of people living around me... from different countries.  So many of them influence me, and help me be the person I am. 

Today I take time to say "Thank you Lord for the place I am in right now.  You know why I have to be here and what Your purpose for me is in this place. I thank you for all the people around me, whichever nationalities they may belong to... and thank you for all the blessings you give me because of my being here where I am right now.  Thank you Lord for this place"  

Is there something special about your place that makes you want to say the same?  Is there something about your place that will encourage another to want to praise God?  I would love to hear you share the simple joys of  you being where you are. 

Delight yourself in the Lord... And He shall give you, your heart's desires. (Psalm 37:4)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good Morning, Lord

Today is a brand new day... another day for me to say "Good morning Lord.  This is me, Mandy, checking in."  How many times we wake up and go.. "Nooooo,  not morning already!"  I do that all the time when I have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get my son ready for school.  My daughter leaves an hour later. 

Most often when the house is quiet after that and I am alone, I can sleep on for another hour.  After that, its housework, cooking, laundry... etc. etc. - all the mundane and seemingly insignificant things of the day.  Nonetheless, these chores are the ones that keep me focused on family and make me think of their needs.  When I get the time after that, I read / research / write or play some game.  These days its been Rome or Age of Empires. Then there are the kids who drop by in the evening, or I spend time with the neighbors for a little while.  Sometimes, if I am in the mood, I might bake a cake.  Yesterday I picked up another baking mat from the store, and an icing pouch. I also bought some whipped cream.  Perhaps its time to bake another cake.  The last one was a Sponge Bob cake.  

All in all, what ever the day, I am grateful to wake up to a brand new day.  Another day -  to renew and make amends.  Another chance at fixing what went wrong.  Another day to 'live my dream'.

What is it about your day that you are thankful for?  What is it that despite the hectic schedules or a 24 x 7 busy routine, that you would like to say, "Thank you Lord for today"?  Every time we acknowledge God's gifts to us, it really must make Him so proud of us, come to think of it.  Sometimes when I say 'Thank you Father God", I feel like a little child.  I know you must do too. :)

Delight yourself in the Lord... And He shall give you, your heart's desires. (Psalm 37:4)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why a new blog?

Home is where the heart is

Today I decided that I want to spend a few minutes each day thanking God for at least one thing in my life. Yep, one thing.  (Of course, we could thank God for more...)  But.... I want to make special mention of at least one thing.  (When I mean 'thing', I mean it could be people, places, things we do or have, etc.)

So...  here's my one-thing praise for the day. You with me?

Today I praise God for my home...  everyone and everything in it.  All that makes up my 'home'.  I can be at my best when I am at home.  There are so many things I am able to do, and so many kids (apart from my two) to make noise around and play, and remind me of how I probably was when I was a kid myself.  Ah! There's nothing like 'home sweet home'.

The above image is of the home I grew up in... 'Pearl Villa'. We lived there for about 20 years, and five generations were blessed because of this home.  My great-grandfather built this house and my kids had the blessing of being part of this place; part of where I grew up in.  We do not reside there anymore, but looking back, I am also thankful for all the times we were blessed with a beautiful home.

How about you?  Perhaps you'd like to share something about your home?  Or even share a link related to the message you want to convey?  Feel free ... and share what it is about your home that your are proud of and praise God for.

Delight yourself in the Lord... And He shall give you, your heart's desires. (Psalm 37:4)