Tuesday, March 31, 2009

green tea banana and prune cake

When Da and I had dinner guests (that is, the family of the Three Musketeers and Da's cousin, MT) at our home on Valentine's Day this year, I decided to bake a cake because Tau Suan's birthday was just around the corner and we would probably not be able to meet him on the actual day (which fell on 19 February 2009).

I was debating what cake to bake when I saw an overipe banana on top of our microwave oven. I had bought the banana a few days before that, intending to snack on it in the evening at work but I ended up bringing the banana home.

When you bake banana cakes or banana muffins or fry banana fritters, it is advisable to use overripe bananas as they are sweeter and softer in texture. What you can do is to freeze the bananas when they are overripe and take them out from the freezer when you need to use them. The skin may turn black when the banana becomes overripe but you will still be able to use the banana in your baking or cooking.

As there were 9 of us for dinner and I only had one banana, I baked a green tea banana and prune cake in a 9" square baking pan.


2 tbsp matcha (green tea powder)
200g wholemeal flour
200g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g butter (softened)
100g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup ground almond
200g banana (mashed)
200g pitted prunes (cut into small pieces)
2 tsp banana essence
cinnamon sugar (for the topping)


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Grease and line a 9" square baking pan with baking paper. Set aside.

3. Sift the matcha, wholemeal flour, plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside.

4. Whisk the butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Beat 1 egg, add it to the mixture and whisk well at low speed. Repeat with the other egg.

5. Add the ground cinnamon, ground almond, mashed banana, pitted prunes and banana essence. Whisk at low speed.

6. Fold in the flour mixture and mix well.

7. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

8. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the entire top portion of the batter.

9. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.


1. The cake will taste "nutty" due to the wholemeal flour.

2. Turn your cake into a dessert by placing slices of the cake in a bowl and topping with cookies and cream ice cream. Sprinkle raisins on top.

Monday, March 30, 2009

You've got a friend

On 21 March 2009, as I was spending time with the Lord while Da was at work, I read Hebrews 13:5 which says that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

I felt led to search the internet for commentaries on Hebrews 13:5. I chanced upon a commentary by a guy named Michael who wrote about this verse in MyChurch.org. As I read his commentary, I was amazed at how inspired the song "You've got a friend" (by Carole King) is and the revelation that Michael had about Hebrews 13:5.

Jesus came to be our friend. Whoever belongs to God also belongs to Jesus and He will never leave us nor forsake us. We know that in good times and bad times, He is always there for us.

When Da and I went to church the next day (22 March 2009), the first song that was sung at Praise & Worship segment was... "You've got a friend". I knew that the Lord had just given me a wink to confirm what His Word said in Hebrews 13:5. Thank You, Lord that You love me and You always give me little winks to keep my faith going strong.

The following is an excerpt from Michael's commentary:-


When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up, even your darkest nights.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. - John 12:46

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Psalms 23:4

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yes I will
To see you again.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:13

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. - Psalms 46:1

Winter, spring , summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. - John 15:15

If the sky high above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
And soon I will be knocking upon your door.

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. - Psalms 107:29

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. - Luke 11:9

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Acts 2:21

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. - Hebrews 13:5

Winter, Spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there, yes I will

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. - Psalms 104:19

Hey now, now ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. - James 2:23

When people can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh now, but don't you let them.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. - Matthew 5:11

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. - Romans 12:20

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running, running, running, to see you again.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. - Luke 15:20

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established. - Romans 1:11

Oh babe, don't you know that,
Winter Spring summer or fall,
All you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will.

And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. - Zechariah 8:8

You've got a friend.
You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. - Song of Songs 5:1

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:1

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Buffet again?

Doesn't the food in the photograph above look mouth-watering? More importantly, the company was absolutely great! Ah... more of this later in this post.

Last night, Da and I decided to attend the 9 am church service this morning. When the alarm in my mobile phone rang at 6.30 am today, I groggily deactivated the alarm and promptly went back to sleep. When I opened my eyes again, it was 8.20 am. Goodness me! We were running late. We sprang into action. When we left our home, the youngest of the three handsome boys who live on the same floor as us in our block happened to be near his front entrance. How could we not stop for a few minutes to make some small talk with the little tyke? After we waved a cheery good bye to the little one (who smiled at us bashfully), we made a dash for our car and off we went to church.

Despite it being so early in the morning, there were already many cars parked in the car park of the building where the church is located. Not unexpectedly, the cars were parked at the sections of the car park leading to the various entrances of the building, leaving car park lots that are quite a distance away. However, the Lord is always good to us. An empty car park lot awaited us at the spot where we usually park our car while all the car park lots surrounding that lot were fully occupied. How coincidental can that be?! Thank You, Abba Father!

After an awesome time in church, Da and I decided to have brunch at Han's Cafe & Cafe House. We wanted to order their signature dishes (that is, chicken stew, Hainanese pork chop or curry chicken) that are supposed to be available daily. I had in mind to order the chicken stew, which I had tried previously and found to be delicious. However, only the Hainanese pork chop was available today. Da ordered that while I ordered the grilled dory fish.

As we had ordered the dishes as a set meal, we also had a bowl of soup, a slice of garlic bread, a slice of cake and a mug of hot drink each.

We went to Han's Cafe & Cake House prepared to enjoy our meal at a leisurely pace. As such, after we finished the soup, bread and main dish, we read the newspapers while slowly savouring the cake and hot drink. Ah.... life's simple pleasures!

In the late afternoon, my mother contacted me and asked whether we wanted to meet up for dinner. She suggested having dinner at 6 pm today. "6 pm? Isn't that too early?", I asked her. On second thoughts, it is good to have an early dinner so that our digestive system has enough time to digest the dinner before bedtime. (I can almost visualise Da's cousin, MT nodding his head right now..... Yes, mate, there will be at least four hours between dinnertime and bedtime today.)

My jaw dropped when I found out the venue for the dinner that my mother had arranged for our entire family comprising the seven of us (excluding Boy-Boy, of course). It was Teochew porridge buffet at Orchard Grand Court hotel. Da and I had just had buffet dinner last night. Buffet again? Goodness me! Fortunately, we had brunch today (instead of lunch) and we did not have tea time today (which we would otherwise normally have on sundays).

As our family sat down for dinner and a wonderful time of bonding and catching up, I found out that Da and I were not the only ones who were having a "buffet weekend". My mother had dim sum buffet at Fortunate Restaurant located at International Building after work yesterday. According to her, during weekends, the dim sum at this restaurant is served in push cart trolleys. My favourite type of dim sum! I get a thrill from choosing the dim sum from the trolleys. (Uh oh... I can almost visualise BD, SPD and Miss Southampton shaking their heads at this moment....)

My brother (LG) and his girlfriend (ZT) will be going to Bangkok for a short but well-deserved break next weekend. Have a safe flight there and back and enjoy your vacation! Remember to drink more Iced Coffee from Black Canyon Coffee at Platinum Fashion Mall. *grin*

I would like to end this post with a revelation that a very good friend of ours shared with me today about believing the Lord for breakthroughs in our lives. He said that when the Lord closes a door, He will open another one. We did not choose the Lord; He chose us. Somewhere out there, He has prepared a breakthrough for us. When we finally receive the breakthrough, we will know that He has answered our prayers in His time. Thank you, my friend, for this. Many a time, we forget that even while we were still sinners, He already loved us. He chose us to be part of His family and He wants to bless us and give us all the good things in life. As such, all blessings that we have in our lives come from Him and not from our own efforts. Even our spouses and children are a gift from the Lord. When we see things from this perspective, we will learn to count our blessings. I believe that there is more in store for us and as His children, we will claim this inheritance that He has provided for us.

I wish everyone of you a blessed week ahead.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The 11th year

In the Bible, the number 11 is of special significance. It refers to the 11th generation, otherwise known as the "Benjamin Generation" or the "End-time Generation". Benjamin was the last son of Jacob in the Bible and it was only after Benjamin was brought before Joseph that Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. The Benjamin Generation is therefore the last generation before Jesus comes again. Furthermore, the number 5 (which speaks of God's abundant provision through His Grace) is stamped all over the life of Benjamin. The life of Benjamin was one of undeserved favour and blessing. Grace is unmerited, unearned and undeserved favour. The Benjamin Generation therefore enjoys God's Grace and not God's judgment. We are the generation that will experience His undeserved favour and His grace.

Da and I celebrated our 11th ROM anniversary today. "ROM" refers to "Registry of Marriages". We solemnised our registry marriage on 28 March 1998 but had our church wedding and customary wedding dinner on 12 December 1998. I thank the Lord for blessing our union and keeping us united. This is our year! The year of undeserved favour and bountiful blessings, miracles and breakthroughs for us in every area of our lives. I hold onto the Word of God and claim this in the name of Jesus!

As Da had to work today, I met him for lunch at People's Park Centre. We had in mind to have a sumptuous meal for dinner today. As such, we decided to share a plate of organic brown rice with vegetarian ingredients for lunch.

After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll through Chinatown in the direction of Tanjong Pagar. When we reached Da's office and unlocked the doors to our car, Da called Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel and asked for the call to be transferred to Cafe Brio. Not only were they able to accommodate our table reservation on short notice, we were able to obtain a table inside the Cafe. Hallelujah! Usually, if you make a reservation last minute, you can count yourself fortunate if you are able to obtain a table outside the Cafe (which can be quite warm).

Da said that he left something in the office and I waited in the car (in air-conditioning comfort!) while he went to his office. When he returned, I got a surprise. He was holding a beautiful floral arrangement in celebration of our anniversary.

When we arrived at the hotel shortly before 7 pm, we noticed that a few of the tables at Cafe Brio were already occupied. Another pleasant surprise awaited us when we were shown to our table. We were allocated a table in a quiet and cozy corner of the Cafe. The Lord is so good to us! We were able to chat without a "fish market" surrounding us.

Goodness me! The buffet spread was mind-boggling! There was so much variety that we decided to share the food so that we could sample as much of the buffet spread as possible. I think that the other diners must have wondered why every item on our plates was cut into two pieces.

As Da and I were enjoying our dessert, a young couple with a beautiful toddler arrived and were shown to the table next to us. Initially, the little girl (who looked about 3 to 4 months' old) and I were having a fun time making eye contact with each other. Then, she got bolder and started to play with me. She was such a doll and not shy at all! She kept crawling towards me and wanted to play "peek-a-boo" with me.

Children are a gift from the Lord and it upsets me when I see some parents treating their children badly. I sometimes hear parents speaking to their children in a very caustic tone or demeaning manner. When a parent keeps telling his child how stupid and useless the child is, is it any wonder that the child grows up to be stupid and useless? I urge all parents to speak words of life and grace to their children.

Increasingly, we read in the newspapers about newborn babies who are thrown down the rubbish chute or smothered to death and thrown away carelessly. I do not know the reason(s) behind the parents' action. It may have been post-natal depression or it could have been a desperate unwed parent who wanted to hide evidence of the birth of the newborn. Whatever the case may be, it is such a waste of a precious gift, one that could have been used to bless childless couples even if the biological parents did not want the gift.

Da and I are very blessed that Jesus is at the centre of our marriage. When Christ is in the centre of a marriage, all things will be held together. Thank You, Lord for showing us favour.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy birthday, god sis

The parents of MG are my god-parents, so I guess this makes MG and me god-sisters. We go back a long, long way....

It all started in the year 1991 when I started tutoring a young girl named MG in Economics. MG was taking her examinations as private candidate at that time. I had just finished my junior college (Grade 12) the year before and I was waiting to start my tertiary education at the university. Looking back, I do not know how I found the courage to give tutoring in Economics without tertiary qualification in Economics! I believe that the Lord led me to the family of MG. Not only did this beautiful young girl blossom into a caring adult, her wonderful parents became my god-parents when I was baptised in 1998.

MG loves animals. I remember that she used to keep hamsters as pets. She also had a pet that was similar to a hamster but for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the breed. The pet's name was Spookums, I recall.

One day, MG was given a border collie puppy. As border collies are sheep dogs, the puppy used to run round and round the dining table endlessly as I was tutoring MG. Years after I stopped tutoring MG, that little puppy (who had by then grown into an adult) could still recognise me. He is now 14 years of age (human years) and enjoying his retirement years in Australia, where MG now works and lives.

MG is now a wildlife carer and she cares for orphaned wallaby joeys. The joeys are found in the pouch after the mother wallaby has been hit by cars on the roads and killed. The wildlife carers raise the joeys until they are big enough for release back into the wild.

Today is the birthday of this precious child of God whom I hold dearly in my heart. MG turns 33 today.

Many happy returns of the day, my dear MG. May the Lord bless you always and may you find fulfilment as a wildlife carer who looks after wallaby joeys and cares for them for the glory of our Lord.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You have been tagged

In recent times, it has become popular to "tag" someone to answer a list of questions or carry out the instructions in the tag. When you have done so, you would in turn have to tag some more people. It is something akin to chain mail although in this case, you are not just forwarding an electronic mail that you have received. You are also required to answer the list of questions or carry out the instructions in the tag.

This is similar to the game of "chase and tag" that is popular with children. In the game of "chase and tag", the object is to tag, or touch, other players who are then out of the game. Usually one player is "it" and he / she is required to chase and tag the other players, one of whom then becomes the new person who is "it".

In the internet version of "tag", so as not to break the chain, when you have been tagged, you should answer the list of questions or carry out the instructions in the tag (as the case may be) and then tag some other people to continue the chain.

I came across a few versions of tag in facebook recently that I found interesting:-

Tag #1: 25 Random Things

Rule: when you have been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. When you have done so, you are required to choose 25 people to be tagged. You also have to tag the person who tagged you because if he / she tagged you, it is because he / she would like to know more about you.

Tag #2: Do you know me?

Rule: when you have been tagged, you are supposed to reply to the person who tagged you by answering a list of questions about that person. The purpose of this tag is to see how well you know the person who tagged you.

1. The love of my life.

2. Where you and I met?

3. Take a stab at my middle name.

4. How long have you known me?

5. The last time we saw each other?

6. Would I ever go skydiving?

7. Your first impression of me upon meeting / seeing me?

8. Am I funny?

9. What is my favorite music?

10. Can I sing?

11. The best feature about me?

12. What do I want to do more than anything?

13. What is the one thing you think I should do?

14. Do I have any special talents? If so, what are they?

15. Would you call me preppy, average, sporty, punk, hippie, glam, nerdy, snobby or something else?

16. Have you ever hugged me?

17. My favorite food?

18. Have you ever had a crush on me?

19. If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be?

20. Your favorite memory of me?

21. If you and I were stranded on an island, what would i bring?

22. Do I believe in God?

23. Who is my best friend?

24. Will you re-post this so I can fill this out for you?

You have been tagged! The ball is now in your court....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He will never leave us nor forsake us

When we accept Christ into our lives, we become children of the Most High God. God is pleased with us. As God has brought us into His kingdom, He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We should therefore count our blessings and be thankful for what we have in our lives. We may look at ourselves and see our lack, but the truth of the matter is that somewhere in the world out there, there is someone who has less than us but has peace in his heart because he does not covet what he does not have and he is contented with what he has. I am not saying that we should all be passive and have no ambition in our lives. What I am saying is that we should be thankful for what we have been blessed with and bless others by using the gifts that God has blessed us with. If we keep looking at "I", "I" and "I", it becomes nothing more than "I-dolatry". When we realise God's sufficiency for our needs, we become content. People who are materialistic are often telling the world by their actions that God is unable to take care of them or that He is not able to take care of them the way that they want. Why do some people love money? They do it because they want what money can buy them. They do not have faith that God can give them what they want. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? Money is intrinsically not evil but the love of money is. We use money but we should not let money become our god.

When Jesus was tied to the scourging post, He was so badly scourged that it was impossible to look at Him and not feel repulse. When Jesus hung on the Cross, a darkness covered covered all over the land at about noon time and at about 3 pm, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”, which means “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45-46). For the first time in his life, Jesus did not refer to God as "Father" because He knew that God had turned His back on Jesus. God is a just God and sin has to be punished. God took all our sins and diseases, placed them on the body of Christ and Jesus became so hideous looking (from carrying the weight of our sins and our sicknesses and diseases) that God could not look at Him because God is pure and cannot look at wickedness (Habakkuk 1:13). God turned His back on Jesus at the Cross and punished Jesus as our substitute so that today, God will never turn His back on us. He is always with us and He will always carry us on His shoulders and protect us in the shadow of His almighty wings.

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, when Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He was under so much agony, suffering and stress that He sweat blood. He prayed to His Father to let the cup pass from Him if it was possible but reaffirmed His desire to do God's will by saying, "Yet not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39). Jesus came to do the will of God. For God so loved the world and wanted to save us from our sins that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us at the Cross (John 3:16). Jesus knew that He came to die for us. There have been books written where the author talks about the "murder of Jesus". My friend, Jesus was not murdered. He willingly lay down His life for us. Did Jesus have the power to go back to heaven that night and escape all this suffering that He was going to go through? Of course He did. However, He knew that His Father loved him because He lay down His life that He may take it again (John 10:17). Knowing what was to take place the next day, He nevertheless chose to take our sins and sicknesses upon Himself and be punished by God as our substitute. His agony was worse than death because He paid for all sins of the world by becoming separated from God. Jesus, who was sinless, took all our sins upon Himself to save us from suffering and separation. His work at the Cross has been finished. All our sins have been remitted and Jesus has paid the price for our health and healing. If we ignore what Jesus has done for us at the Cross, we are insulting the greatest gift that God has given us.

God's greatest glory is in Redemption and not Creation. When Jesus took all our sicknesses, diseases and sins upon Himself at the Cross and gave Himself up as an offering to God, it was such a sweet-smelling aroma to God (Ephesians 5:2). We love because God first loved us. As such, we have to learn to walk in love, as Christ loved us. This is not just showing love to our loved ones. As much of a challenge as it can be, we should also show love to our enemies. It is not for us to judge them or condemn them for their evil ways - that is between them and God. There are many testimonies all over the world of how people who used to persecute others have now given their lives to the Lord because of the love of Christ that they have received from those around them, including the people that they have persecuted. Is this something that will come easily to us to carry out? Not likely because our human nature is to want to "get back" at the person who has attacked us. The next time that someone says something hurtful to you, instead of retorting, turn away and praise the Lord that He loves you and His love is more important to you than being "one up" against the person who has hurt you. It is not easy and I can tell you from personal experience that when I have "let go" and stopped reacting to the hurtful comments or attacks, these comments or attacks do not necessarily stop and often, it gets worse because that person thinks that he has won. The greatest injustice is when I can no longer tolerate this nonsense and I complain about this person to someone else, for some strange reason, I am perceived as persecuting that person instead! It made my blood boil because I was the victim! For the longest time, I asked the Lord how can this be because I thought that if I "let go and let God", the person who has been persecuting me will somehow stop doing it. The Lord has since shown me that words can only hurt me if I allow them to. Now I say to myself, "I am going to ignore the hurtful and sarcastic remarks from him. That is between him and God. As for me, I thank the Lord that He loves me and He is pleased with me. I trust the Lord to take me out of this battle victoriously. I expect good things to happen to me because the Lord loves me.".

Because of what Jesus has done for us at the Cross, God's face will always shine upon us. God will always be gracious to us. He will lift His countenance upon us and give us peace (Numbers 6:25-26). God will never leave us nor forsake us. When we offer such blessings to others, it will not only help the one receiving it but it will also demonstrate love and encourage others. Our redemption has been completed and God will never punish us because He had already punished all our past, present and future sins on the body of Jesus at the Cross. It would be an injustice if God, having already punished Jesus as our substitute, were to punish us again. Knowing that Jesus has done it all does not make us want to jump for joy and rush out to sin again. Instead, it will make us humbled at the price that God paid for our eternal salvation and feel so blessed and loved that we will want to love and bless others. Will we make mistakes from time to time inadvertently? Sure we will, because we live in a fallen world, and if this happens we know that we have already been forgiven and we need not feel condemned. But anyone who believes the work of the Cross will not want to knowingly commit sin ever again.

Condemnation kills. It is the root of all our stress, health problems and any other problems in our lives. The devil knows this, which is why he will always try to put doubt in our minds. The mind is a battlefield. Whenever you have thoughts that do not come in line with the Word of God, rebuke those thoughts in the name of Jesus. I find that it helps if I were to say out loud the Word of God or start singing praises to the Lord and after a while, the negative thoughts go away. Will those thoughts come back again? They will because the devil will not relent, which is why it is a constant struggle to keep our minds and our eyes on the Cross. But do not lose heart nor faith because He will give us the strength to fight this battle. All we need to do is to believe. There is nothing that we do that can make Him love us more and there is nothing wrong that we do that will make Him love us any less. Lord, there is none like you. I want to praise You everyday for the wonders of Your mighty love. You are my Shepherd, my Comfort, my Healer, my Refuge and my Strength.

Jesus came as a light into the world. If we believe in Him, we will not abide in the darkness (John 12:46). Have you noticed that often when you wake up in the morning, the first thought that comes to your mind is what went wrong the day before? Do not allow such thoughts to fill your mind. When you wake up, give thanks to the Lord that it is a good day to be alive and that He will make the day go smoothly for you. Give praises to the Lord that you are a child of God and He is pleased with you. If you need healing, say out loud that the healing power of God is working in you right now and every day, you are getting better and better. When you do this, you are actually speaking in agreement with God's Word. Where two or more on earth shall agree on anything, it shall be done by the Father in heaven. Even if you do not have anyone to speak in faith in agreement with you, speak to the Lord and agree with His Word. Jesus said that if we have faith and do not doubt, our faith can move mountains (Matthew 21:21-22). This is so because nothing is impossible for the Lord. With man, sometimes things are impossible but with God, everything is possible. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord. We should bear in mind that we should not ask God to grant requests that would hurt us or others or that would violate His nature or will. For our petitions to be fulfilled, our requests have to be in line with His Word. This is why when we have a prayer need, one of the ways is to find scriptural verses on this issue and use those verses in our prayer. The stronger our belief, the more likely our prayers will be in line with God's Word and God is more than happy to answer them. A simple way to pray would be, "Father, Your Word says [....]. I believe Your Word and I claim it. I ask that You bring it to pass in my life. I thank You for granting my prayers because You love me. I know that my miracle has taken place and I await the manifestation of my miracle. Thank You, Abba Father. I love You and I worship You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.".

In this life, there will be trials and challenges. If we undergo a difficult period, look to the Cross and trust the Lord to guide us through because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). We will not be alone because Jesus does not abandon us to our struggles. The ultimate victory was already won at the Cross and we can therefore claim the peace of Christ in our most difficult times. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit guides us to do nothing other than to pray and believe and when we do this, things just fall into place and our miracle comes to pass. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit guides us to take certain course of action (for example, to change the way we are carry out a certain project) in order to lead us to our breakthrough. Many people think that their breakthrough came about because they, of their own effort, thought of the solution. In actual fact, it was the Lord who planted the solution in their minds and gently guided them to carry it out. There was a situation where a person put in a lot of effort to persuade a group of people to take a certain course of action but despite several attempts, the group was adamant that they wanted to handle matters another way. It seemed to be headed for a disaster. However, certain world events just happened to occur at that time and when this person met the group shortly after the world events occurred, with little persuasion, the group agreed to his course of action. He subsequently claimed personal credit for making the group change their mind. I pray that one day, the scales will fall off his eyes and he can see that it was the Lord who engineered the change in the course of action.

Even though we may go though challenges and difficulties in our lives, we should not be fearful because the Lord is with us (Psalm 23:4). Jesus does not take a holiday! He is always at the right hand of the Father, making intercessions for us. Whatever we petition to the Lord, if we believe that He answers our prayers, it will come to pass. The Lord loves us and He wants us to lead victorious lives. He will walk with us through death's dark valley and bring us safely to the other side.

Do you therefore call Jesus your Lord and Saviour? Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Do you see Jesus as more than just a teacher or a wise man? He is our Redeemer, our Saviour and our Healer.

God is our refuge and our strength (Psalm 46:1). He will save us. He is our refuge even in the face of total destruction. He is our eternal refuge and will provide strength to us in any circumstance. When you are drowning, you do not want a God who tells you, "My child, let this be a lesson for you. I am letting you drown for your own good so that you can learn how to swim.". You want a God who stretches out His hand and saves you from the choppy waters. When we are caught in the midst of a storm in our lives, turn to the Lord and He will calm the storm and make the waves still (Psalm 107:29). All He asks of us is to believe. Our Christian walk is not about a list of dos and don'ts. There is nothing for us to do except to believe. It is so simple and yet many of us have difficulty doing this because we are of little faith. However, take comfort because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ. The more of the Word we hear, the more the faith rises up in us and will give us the strength to believe that whatever we petition of Him, He will answer.

What a friend we have in Jesus! Although He is our Lord and Master, He does not call us His "servants". He calls us His "friends" and He makes known to us all things that He heard from His Father (John 15:15). Jesus did not come to give us a religion. He came to give us a relationship with God. He wants us to feel the freedom to refer to God as "Abba", which means "Daddy". Which father will not want to give the best to his child? In the same way, God wants to give us the best. If He did not withhold from us His precious Son, how much more good things will He give us through Jesus?

God loves us when we go to Him. Ask and it will be given to us. Seek and we will find. Knock and the door will be opened to us. So let us keep asking, seeking and knocking (Luke 11:9). God wants His children to be hungry for His Son, His Word and His blessings. When we draw from Jesus, instead of depleting Him, we refresh Him. Have you ever noticed that when you minister to a friend in need, instead of feeling worn out when you are done, you feel even more alive than ever?

God loves us so much that He sent His Son to be our friend and to sacrifice His life for us. Which of us loves our friends so much that we will willingly lay down our lives to be punished for our friends' wrongdoings? Jesus sees us as His friends and He willingly lay down His life for us (John 15:13). With one perfect sacrifice, Jesus has carried out God's will. God will never forsake us nor leave us. Believe and receive our healing, our salvation and our miracles. Thank You, Jesus that You will always be with me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The visit

Da and I visited MIL at the hospital today. She was in reasonably fine spirits but was fretting about how to spend the next few weeks in hospital. She has just been informed by her doctor that she may need to remain in the hospital for another six weeks or thereabouts.

Although the doctor has removed the fluid in her knee by way of surgery, it seems that the infection has spread to the bone in her knee. As such, she is now on antibiotic treatment every few hours (round the clock) and is likely to be on antibiotic treatment for the next six weeks.

In view of the anticipated long period of intravenous injection of antibiotics into her body, she had a procedure done today at the hospital where a catheter was inserted through her right arm and into her body.

We brought MIL to the nearby Qi Ji cafe for a meal. During the course of the meal, she revealed that she is not feeling fearful of her medical condition and is instead taking each day as it comes.

MIL, I want to encourage you not to remain passive. Resist the evil one. This is spiritual warfare! Sicknesses and diseases are attacks on the body of Christ. As we have accepted Christ as our Salvation, our Redeemer and our Healer, He took our sicknesses and diseases at the Cross so that we can be healthy and whole.

Is it often a challenge to look to the Cross and believe the unseen? I will be the first to admit that it is.

Romans 4:17 says that God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. When we are going through a difficult stage in our life, even though we know that we are children of the Most High God and we believe that He sent His Son to die for us at the Cross, sometimes the pain of what we are going through makes it difficult for us to pray and to raise our voices in praise and worship. We do not know what to say in prayer nor do we know how to start praying. All we want to do is to hide in one corner and cry till our hearts break. Others who do not understand what we are going through may give well-meaning words of comfort that end up hurting us more. At a time like this, how do we look to the Cross and believe that by Jesus' stripes, we are healed? I understand how difficult it can be. I want to encourage you to spend as much time as you can with the Word and meditate upon the Word. Let the Lord heal your heart and let Him increase your faith. At the end of the day, no amount of advice from the rest of us will make much of a difference. Only the Lord can reach deep into your inner self.

We are all praying for you, MIL and we are believing God that you will be discharged from the hospital fully recovered soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

God loves us

God loves you. It is such a simple statement and yet, many of us have difficulty believing this.

When things go wrong in our lives, some of us blame God. Some of us have family and friends who try to comfort us by saying that this is "God's plan". They are well-meaning but the truth is that God does not teach us using sicknesses and problems. God teaches us by His Word. The sicknesses and set-backs did not come from God. It came from the devil. The Bible does not say that evil will not be meant towards us. The devil is always trying to turn us away from God by creating trouble in our lives. However, be of good cheer because God can turn the evil for our good. If we turn to the Lord and dwell in the shadow of His wings, a thousand may fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand but it shall not come near us (Psalm 91). God is our shelter and our refuge. He will carry us through all the dangers and fears of our lives. We should trust in Him no matter how worried or fearful we are about the challenge that we are going through, by resting in Him and worshipping Him. Out of a situation which seems hopeless, God can bring about a miraculous breakthrough and we end up victorious. All we need to do is to believe.

It is not about how much we love God but about how much He loves us (1 John 4:10). We can never love Him as much as He loves us. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. How many of us would willingly die as substitute to receive punishment on behalf of those whom we love? Jesus did. He came to earth as a Man to die for our sins. At the Cross, God took all our sicknesses and sins and placed them on the body of His precious Son. God's fire of judgment fell upon Jesus and roasted Him so that today, when we partake of the Holy Communion and discern Jesus' body, the power of God's blessing (including blessings of health and forgiveness of sins) can be released into our bodies and our lives.

God is love. He created the earth because He loves and He cares. He created people to love and He made us in His image. If we know and understand how much He loves us, we will love. We love because He first loved us. God knows that we are all unworthy people. When Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, sin and sickness came upon this world. God loves us so much and He wants us to walk in health and freedom from sin and condemnation that He sent His Son to die for us at the Cross (John 3:16). If we believe what Jesus has done for us at the Cross, we will have everlasting life, health, freedom from condemnation and we will walk in victory. Eternal life is God's life embodied in Christ given to all believers as a guarantee that they will live forever. When the rapture comes, we will all be given new bodies and taken up to be with the Lord. In eternal life, there is no death, sickness, enemy, evil nor sin. Our Christian walk leads us to eternity. Everything that there is in this world is temporal. What is from God is eternal.

Why, then, are there believers who do not have their breakthroughs? We need to remember that the devil is afraid of the Word and the blood of Jesus. The devil is always finding ways to distract us and to take our eyes off the Word. It is a constant struggle that we go through and we need to remember to keep our eyes on the Cross at all times. As we are humans, there may be times when we let our guard down and the evil one comes to take away the Word. When this happens, if we remain passive and do not resist the devil, we may find ourselves distracted by the cares of this world. Which one of us, by worrying, can solve the problem? When we encounter challenges in our lives, all the more we need to keep our eyes firmly fixed to the Cross and what Jesus has done for us and offer up our cares to the Lord. The battle is the Lord's, not ours. Before we make our petition to God, He already knows what we want to ask Him and He has already provided the victory for us, and when we speak to the Lord, He hears us (Isaiah 65:24). When we ask God for a breakthrough, believe in our hearts that our prayers have been answered. God will give us our miracles but He wants us to ask Him for it. He is a gentleman and He wants to give us the freedom to choose - do we choose to believe Him or to believe in our own self-efforts?

Let us know and rely on the love that God has for us (1 John 4:16). Let us believe that we are the son / daughter whom He loves. I have lost count of the number of times when Da and I have entered a very full car park in the building where the church is located, impatient drivers are sounding their horn or blocking the way (in a hope that a driver is on his way to his car to drive out of the the building), I ask Daddy God to bless us with a car park lot quickly so that we can go to church and right before our very eyes happens to be an empty car park lot in front of the entrance that leads us directly to the section of the building that we want to go to. As Da reverses our car easily into the car park lot, we see other cars passing us by and the look on these drivers' faces say, "That lucky couple! How did they manage to get such a good car park lot so easily when I have been circling this car park for some time?". Praise the Lord for He is so good to us!

What, then, is love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says that love is patient and kind, it does not envy, boast nor keep record of wrongs and it is not proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered nor does it delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. God's kind of love is directed outward towards others and not inward towards ourselves. The more we know how much God loves us, the more we become like Christ and the more love we will show to others while expecting nothing in return. God is always waiting for us to see His love for us so that He can bless us. The Holy Spirit came to condemn us only of one sin - the sin of unbelief. All other sins have been judged on the body of Jesus at the Cross. There is therefore nothing for us to do except to believe. It sounds simple, does it not? God uses the weak to confound the mighty. Where our weakness is, God can use it to His glory. All He asks is that we offer up to Him whatever little we have and He will turn it for our good and bring us into victory.

The law (that is, the Ten Commandments) cannot make us holy. The law is like a mirror - it reflects our sins. If we are alone in a room with a side door and there is a note on the door that says, "Do not open.", what is the natural reaction of many people? To open the door. If there are no laws, our sins will not be revealed because we would not know that it is a sin that we have committed. The way to repentance is not to preach more of the law. The more that the law is preached, the more people will sin because they will think, "The situation is already so hopeless for me. I cannot keep the Ten Commandments, so I might as well continue with what I am doing because I am a sinner and I am going to hell anyway.". It is the love of God and not the preaching of the law that leads us to repentance.

What, in a nutshell, is the law trying to teach us? It is two-fold:-

(a) We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5); and

(b) We are to love our neighbours as yourselves (Leviticus 19:18).

When the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”, Jesus said to them, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40). It is essentially all about love. When we know how much God loves us, we will love others around us, including our enemies. It is difficult to be filled with the love of God and yet scheme to backstab a friend, colleague or relative. People who do this do not really believe that God loves them, despite what they may say.

We live in a fallen world and we are all unworthy people. If we are worthy and sinless, we will not need Jesus to be our Redeemer and our Saviour and He would have died in vain. God showed His love towards us in that while we were still sinners, He sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). God sent Jesus to die for us, not because we were good enough, but because He loved us and did not want us to suffer the punishment that God (being just) has to mete out for our sins. Jesus did not come to save the worthy. He came to save the sinners. When we know and believe that all our sins have been forgiven at the Cross, it will not give us a licence to sin. Instead, it will make us love the Lord more and want to know Him more and find out more about the blessings that are in store for us so that we can claim them. Whenever we feel down and unloved, remember that even before we turned to the Lord and loved the Lord, He already loved us. If God loved us when we were still sinners, He will surely strengthen us to go and sin no more.

Jesus is always with us. No tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, peril or evil can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ our Lord. We are more than conquerors through the Lord who loves us (Romans 8:35-39). Do not let the devil rob us of the love of God. The serpent's head has been crushed under the foot of Jesus. The Lord loves us and He will never leave us. He is always with us everywhere we go even though we may not always feel it. No matter what happens to us, no matter where we are, we can never be lost to His love. Sometimes when we are going through a challenge, the Lord seems so far away and even though we have not lost our faith, at such times we find it difficult to pray. Even if we want to pray, we do not know where to start nor what to say. However, the Lord will give us the Grace to worship Him with all our heart. Even in our darkest hour and amidst our deepest pain, we should lift our voices in praise to the Lord and honour Him because His Word is truth and it will come to pass in our lives. We should put our trust in the Lord knowing that He died to set us free. Trials and tribulations should not turn us away from the Lord but instead help us to turn towards Him even more and to ask Him to deliver us so that His love can reach us and heal us.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing of the Word of Christ. Let us know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). God's love for us is higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans! It is not enough to go around saying, "God loves me" just for the sake of saying it. The question is, do you believe with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength that the Lord really, really, really loves you? Do you believe that when you do something wrong which you did not intend to, God still loves you despite this and He has forgiven you?

Jesus said that whoever God gives to Jesus will go to Jesus and the one who goes to Jesus, He will never cast out (John 6:37). Jesus came to do the will of God. When we accept Christ into our lives, we become children of the Most High God. We belong to God and He has given us His precious Son. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. Even when we are going through a difficult time in our lives, look to the Cross and believe. The Lord will come through for us.

I love You, Lord... because You first loved me. Amen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

ZT's birthday barbeque

ZT's birthday fell on 18 March 2009, which was a wednesday. She is the girlfriend of my brother (LG). We celebrated her birthday today with a barbeque at my mother's home.

In the evening, my brother (LG) placed the charcoal in the barbeque pit to get the barbeque going. My family owns a small portable barbeque pit, which is very handy.

Whenever we have a barbeque, there are two essentials that we have next to the barbeque pit:-

(a) a satay fan (to fire up the charcoal and to keep the flames going); and

(b) butter or margarine (to glaze the food while barbequing). You can use oil but we prefer to use butter or margarine as we find that the barbequed food is more aromatic when you use butter or margarine.

While waiting for the barbeque to start, Boy-Boy stood guard at the table where the food was placed. He looked pensive and was probably thinking, "Why is my Papa taking so long to get the fire going? I am hungry!".

Shortly after that, Boy-Boy's tail started wagging furiously. My mother turned her head and realised the source of Boy-Boy's excitement. He had spied Da parking our car. Da was working today and he had just arrived.

Finally! The barbeque was under way. LG was head chef for the night and he marinated the lamb chops and chicken wings using his "secret marinade". As for the satay, my family had bought 50 sticks of uncooked chicken satay and 50 sticks of uncooked beef satay from City Satay. We like their peanut gravy. MF (the wife of my brother, LB) likes their ketupat.

The good thing about having a barbeque at home is that it is very "free and easy" and you do not feel the pressure of time, unlike when you rent a public barbeque pit. Our barbeques tend to run into hours as we take our time to enjoy each other's company and the delicious food.

Boy-Boy had his own dinner (rice with fish and vegetables) waiting for him but he ignored his dinner. The smell of the barbeque was more tempting!

Boy-Boy's patience paid off as he was allowed to share some of the barbequed food. He enjoyed in particular the barbequed mock crab stick and cuttlefish balls.

After dinner, we moved onto Part 2 of the festivities. Yes, cake-time! The black forest cake was bought from Han's Cafe and Cake House this morning. Happy birthday, ZT!

For the sake of the camera, the birthday girl had to do everything in slow motion, from making a wish to blowing the candles to cutting the cake. She looked at the cake and pondered how to cut the cake into seven slices as there were eight cherries.

My brother (LB) came to the rescue. He is the expert at cutting cake into equal portions. As there were eight cherries but there were seven of us, one lucky family member ended up with a slice of cake with two cherries.

Boy-Boy was not allowed to eat the cake as it contains chocolate. Miffed, he ran up the staircase and sat next to Da (who was sitting on the staircase, enjoying his slice of cake). Boy-Boy then gave the Oscar-winning performance of the night and looked piteously at Da's slice of cake, hoping to melt our hearts into agreeing to let him sample the cake.

The sinful indulgence of chocolate continued with chocolate truffles from Godiva. Heavenly!

After all the excitement of the night, Boy-Boy took a little break and had forty winks while his favourite toy was safe in his arms.

After a short nap, Boy-Boy woke up refreshed and ready to play again. Ah... the ball or the bone? tsk, tsk... choices, choices.....

Abba Father, I thank You that my family and I are blessed. We are close-knit and we enjoy each other's company. Every occasion (no matter how big or small) is a cause for celebration. I thank You that we always have a reason to celebrate.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

onion focaccia

Da and I enjoy eating focaccia. The smell of the herbs when the bread is warmed up in the oven is simply heavenly.

In the old days, I used to spread my home-made garlic spread onto french loaf when I made garlic bread. Nowadays, I prefer to use focaccia. When I am pressed for time, I will buy Gardenia focaccia. If I have the luxury of time, I will make my own focaccia.

Recently, I watched an episode of "Chef at Home" on the Asian Food Channel. In that episode, Chef Michael Smith made olive focaccia. It looked heavenly! I am amazed at how easy he makes cooking / baking look. It is indeed a source of encouragement for me. Other than "Chef at Home", my other favourite programmes on the Asian Food Channel are "Sugar" and the "River Cottage" series.

The Asian Food Channel website contains some of the recipes from some of the programmes. I could not find the recipe for olive focaccia by Michael Smith in the website. However, I found Jamie Oliver's recipe for focaccia with rosemary and olive oil topping. Jamie Oliver is one of my favourite chefs. Like Michael Smith, Jamie Oliver makes cooking / baking easy and that is the way it should be. If Pebbles can cook, so can you! (sorry for the little pun.... *grin*)

Onion focaccia can be eaten on its own or with a creamy based soup (such as clam chowder soup). All you need to do is to warm it up in the oven and it is ready to be eaten. You can, of course, eat it without warming it up. However, it tastes better when eaten warm.


2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry yeast
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
1 medium red onion (about 80g) (finely sliced)
1 tbsp grated sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil (for drizzling)


1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.

3. Add the yeast, cheese and herbs to the flour mixture. Mix well.

4. Pour in the oil and water gradually to the flour mixture and mix to a soft dough.

5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

6. Place the dough on the lined baking tray and press into a rectangular shape.

7. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and place the baking tray in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

8. Remove the cling wrap. Sprinkle the dough with the onion slices and grated sea salt. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil.

9. Bake in an oven preheated to 220 degrees celsius for 25 minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

With God, all things are possible

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. None of us, by worrying, can add a single hour to our life. God has given us the best, His precious Son, Jesus. When the best has already been given to us, God will give us all other good things through Jesus Christ. As humans, it is important to us to look good and eat well. But do not let our main attraction be what we wear or what we eat or what we do. Rest in the Lord and He will encourage us and strengthen us.

What should we do then? We should seek first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all the things that we petition of God (for example, health, fertility, prosperity, advancement in career, peace, wholeness, etc) will be given to us as well (Matthew 6:33). We should turn to God first for help and ask Him to fill our thoughts with His desires.

I am currently reading the book "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer and it has opened my eyes. Many a time, our minds are so busy worrying about things that we fail to turn to the Lord. God is such a gentleman - He respects our free choice and He will never force His way into our lives. But it is such a blessing and privilege that whenever we turn to Him, He will never let us down. He knows every tear that falls from our eyes, every pain that we go through and every worry that crosses our mind. Even when we do not understand what is happening, trust Him and believe that He has already prepared our victory. We need to learn to clear our minds from the complicated network of thoughts that are going through it every day. I do not mean to keep our minds blank. I mean to learn to rest our mind so that we can hear from God. When our minds are at rest and at peace, we will not miss out on the little winks that God gives us every now and then, either to assure us that He loves us or to prompt us to take certain action to bless someone else or to solve a problem that we have at hand.

When we encounter challenges or road-blocks in our life, we need to remember that God did not put them there. God does not teach us using sickness, diseases nor set-backs in life. Turn to the Lord and trust in Him. When the devil throws lemons at us, believe that the Lord can turn the lemons into lemonade. When other people mean evil towards us, God can turn the evil for our good. Many a time, when we encounter challenges, instead of trying to solve the problem using our own effort, turn to the Lord and worship Him for He will take us out of Egypt into the Promised Land. After some time, we find that the things seem to have fallen into place by itself. The enemy who has been shooting arrows at us has seemed to self-destruct, without our stabbing the knife into him. Sometimes the Lord will lead us to take certain actions (for example, change the way we are doing something) and sometimes, the Holy Spirit leads us to do nothing and just believe that God will deliver us. Learn to trust the Holy Spirit. With man, sometimes things appear impossible and there seems to be no solution to the problem but nothing is impossible for the Lord (Matthew 19:26). Faith in Jesus (and not in ourselves, our abilities or our wealth) is what counts for our salvation. The Holy Spirit came to be a Helper to us and to convict us of righteousness. It did not come to convict us of sins (other than the sin of unbelief) because all our sins have already been judged and punished by God at the Cross and God will never be angry with us again. There is nothing for us to do except to believe. The Lord's heart rejoices every time a lost sheep is found and returns to His arms.

The Lord wants us to be fruitful and multiply in every area of our lives (Genesis 1:28). God never meant for us to be alone. In every area of our lives, He wants us to have increase - thirtyfold... sixtyfold... a hundredfold. Whatever the devil has stolen from us, the Lord will restore double-portion and sometimes even more than double-portion! He has given us authority and control over everything in our lives. When we exercise this authority and control, we need to do it for the glory of the Lord. There are some people who take up certain positions in certain organisations not because they have a genuine wish to help advance the cause of the organisation but because the reference to that position looks good on their resume. There are some people who bake cookies and distribute them to others not because they want to bless others with the fruit of what the Lord has blessed their hands to make but because they are using it as a means of free advertisement for cookies that they bake to sell.

When we know of someone who has a challenge or a need, we could say, "Oh, he / she deserved this." Or we could stretch out our hand and help that person. Even when we are not in a position to help that person physically or financially, we can always pray for that person. Have you ever heard of the term "prayer by proxy"? When we bring our petitions to God, even when the petitions are not for ourselves but on behalf of someone else, God hears our petitions. God wants to grant us our requests but He wants us to ask Him and to believe that what we ask for Him, He will give us. Whatever we ask God for in prayer on behalf of someone else, believe that it is granted onto that person and it will come to pass (Genesis 25:21). Abba Father, I ask for the permanent healing of MIL's knee and my friend SC's back, in the name of Jesus. I believe that my Healer is also their Healer. Jesus has taken our sicknesses and diseases and we have been given His health and wholeness. They are both children of God and daughters of Sarah, and I pray that each day, they will come to learn more about You and to love You more. I also pray a special blessing over Eddy, who had his cast removed today but is still unable to walk on his own. The doctor said that Eddy is flat-footed and that it would take Eddy about three to four months to recover. The doctors do not have the final word. God does! I call Eddy's legs healed in the name of Jesus and I declare that the healing power of God lives in Eddy right now and is healing him even as I type this post! I declare that by Jesus' stripes, Eddy is healed. Jesus' body was broken on the Cross so that the broken bones cannot remain in Eddy because it cannot be in two places at the same time. God has already taken all our sicknesses and diseases (including Eddy's flat-footedness and inability to walk), placed them on the body of Jesus and the fire of God's judgement has come upon Jesus so that today, we are no longer under the judgement of God (including the judgment of sickness). Be healed, MIL, SC and Eddy, in the name of Jesus!

We are all impatient people. Sometimes when we pray and do not see immediate results, we begin to wonder whether the Lord has heard us. He has! He remembers all our prayers and petitions and He knows the desires of our heart. Even when we are going through a barren patch in our lives, God knows the pain of our heart. Continue to worship the Lord and to thank Him for Jesus has taken away all our punishment and judgement from God so that we can receive all the blessings from God, including the blessing of fruitfulness in every area of our lives (Genesis 30:22-24). Even when we do not feel like singing and giving praise to the Lord, do it anyway for He is good and His mercies endure forever. We should not try to take matters into our own hands unless we have the spirit of peace in so doing. Sometimes, we may think that we took a certain course of action (that led to our breakthrough) because we have thought things through, rationalised the pros and cons and planned the strategy. Little do we know that it was the hand of God that gently showed us the way and guided us down that route. The victory that we get from taking a certain course of action is not because of our own works but because it was the Lord who led us there. God remembers us and He will open up the Red Sea for us and bring us to the Promised Land. Our victory has already been planned by the Lord and He will make it come to pass.

We should therefore worship the Lord our God and His blessing will be on our food and water. He will take away sickness from among us. The healing power of God is working in us. We will not fail halfway in any venture that we embark on nor will we not see the venture come to fruition (Exodus 23:25-26). The Lord will make us fruitful in whatever we do and whatever we are believing the Lord for. Not only will we able to glorify the Lord with a full life span, we will have health and success in every area of our life. As we live in a world with people from all religions and faith, we have to learn to live with neighbours whose values may be different from ours. We should maintain a lifestyle that shows our faith. We should put the Lord before everything else because without Him, we are nothing. Learn to ignore caustic remarks from others who do not believe in the Lord and whose remarks reflect their belief in their own self-effort. We know that for us and our house, we will continue to worship the Lord and trust in His provision. At the end of the day, the opinions of these people do not matter. It is all between us and the Lord.

Whatever we ask of the Lord, believe that He will answer. Sometimes, we may see an immediate manifestation of our miracle. Sometimes, the miracle has already come to pass but it takes time for its manifestation. Whichever way the case may be, believe that because we have asked for the miracle from the Lord, we will see our miracle coming to fruition (1 Samuel 1:20). Patience is something that we should learn to cultivate. God will encourage us and strengthen us as we rest in Him. What do you believe? I believe that when I make a petition to the Lord, He has already answered my prayer and He has prepared my victory and even if I do not see an immediate manifestation of my victory, I believe that it does not change the fact that it has already come to pass and it is only a matter of time that the manifestation will be revealed for all to see.

Many of us have been conditioned to think that God is the Almighty One from whom we should fear punishment when we do wrong and who expects us to be perfect and worthy. However, the truth of the matter is that we are unworthy and we will always have sin in our lives because we live in a fallen world. Jesus came to die for unworthy people. If we are worthy and able to make it to salvation through our own efforts, we will not need a Saviour and Jesus would have died in vain. We therefore have to change our mindset about God. He is a good and loving God. He delights when we enjoy His presence and seek His presence and He loves to give us whatever we ask of Him (Psalm 37:4). Let me give you an example. If there is a person whom you know who constantly and persistently avoids your presence, would you feel love towards that person and want to bless him with a gift? Jesus, I seek Your presence and I enjoy being in Your company. Come into my life and make me whole. I want to know You more and I want to learn more about how much You love me. Two thousand years ago, a multitude came to hear Jesus teaching and were hungry after some time. There was no food in the near vicinity. A little boy looked into his meagre lunchbox and then entrusted his five loaves of bread and two fish to Jesus. The Lord multiplied the little that was in the hands of the boy with twelve baskets leftover. Lord, I do not have much but take whatever little I have to offer and use it to Your glory. I believe that You can care for me better than I can care for myself. I believe that You will work out what is best for me.

Praise the Lord for He cares about us. His mercies endure forever. He is always concerned about us and He will make sure that we do not live empty lives. He will make our lives fruitful and bring us great joy (Psalm 113:9). God is no respecter of persons. Our wealth or position on the social ladder has no bearing on our value to the Lord. He can bring us from "zero to hero". He gives us gifts and He rewards us for using the gifts that He first gave us. He will cause our quiver to be full of arrows. Through Him, we will lead fulfilled lives.

It is not about how much faith we have. Even if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, faith can work wonders. It is about what Jesus did at the Cross and whether we believe it. Jesus has more than enough faith to bring us to victory. He is able and He is willing. Even when things appear dead in our lives and the matter seems hopeless, continue to believe that God remembers His covenant with His children and He will carry out what His Word says and what He has promised us (Romans 4:19-21). Nothing is impossible for the Lord. The bottom line is... what do you believe?

Lord, I thank You that Your Word says that I have victory through You. You are my strength, my healing and my shield. I remember Your promises and I believe that whatever You have promised me, it will be fulfilled. Fill me with Your presence, Lord. Thank You so much for my miracle. I walk in anticipation of the manifestation of my miracle. I enter into Your glory and I will see Your promises come to pass in my life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen and amen.
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