Thursday, 15 September 2016

Lessons from young Miriam

A new phase opens up to us as Niamh starts secondary school. She is in a new territory: new school, meeting new faces, and settling into a new set of routine. 

It was just like yesterday when our two children were in the same school together:  traveled in the same car, shared the same schedule and following similar routine. But things change – they grow up.

A little girl next door shows up at our doorstep each school morning to collect Naomi. Her dad and my husband take turns in bringing them to and from school.

With Niamh gone, Naomi is faced with a change. A challenge emerge for her to be responsible on her own and act as big sister to this little girl neighbor. Niamh used to lead them both, now it’s her turn.

At the end of summer, Niamh graduated from Sunday school. She had a great time, made good friends and learned about Jesus. Memories of kids camps are her treasures. 

I never experienced Sunday school as a child. For my daughters to grow up in it’s environment is a blessed experience. It is church family. Our gratitude extends not only to the teachers but to every worker who committed to minister to every child.

I’m sure she’ll miss it as she move on to the youth group, and Naomi will miss her too, both in small school and Sunday school. But they’re ready for change. And there’s a lesson from a young Miriam whom they can draw out inspiration from to better the change.

Exodus 2:1-10. Reading this passage illustrates three actions how a young Miriam responded to change in her family circumstances with wisdom and courage. 

Be an observer. And, his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Exodus 2:4.
Miriam watched carefully to see what would happen to her baby brother Moses. In the same way, you can be mindful of what you see around you. Take your time.  Is there an opportunity to help? To learn? Or to spread good cheer? Listen to what other people are saying and look at what they’re doing, you may learn a thing or two from them. 

Take initiative with good intentions. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”. And the Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. Exodus 2:7-9

If you’re the mother of  Moses, isn’t it heartbreaking to let go of a vulnerable child? Yet, Miriam’s intentions were to save her brother’s life, thereby, ease the pain and anxiety of her mother. Her initiative was taken with a positive response from the princess which also led to the mother's being paid wages to nurse her own son.

When you see an opportunity to help, to comfort and encourage – go for it! Be ready for every good work. (Titus 3:1). A little act of kindness goes a long way, and you may be rewarded for it. Although, remuneration should not be your motive to act kindly but to help for God looks at the intentions of the heart.

Be courageous. 

Miriam, despite being a slave and a child, took the courage to speak to the princess. Ask God to give you the courage to speak and wisdom to say the right words. God will honor your request and will meet your need and needs of others as you carry out your good intentions.

These lessons are not new, they’ve been there all along. But it’s easy to forget and now’s the time to be reminded of again.

Maybe  you have a daughter or son or someone you know in a similar situation. Maybe you don’t know what to say. It’s a whole new world out there, and it is grace to encourage them today.

Dear moms, it is our heart’s desire for our children to make it in this great and exciting world so let’s equip our children ready to face the challenges ahead, one step at a time.

Monday, 25 July 2016

When children experience a kid’s camp they will never forget

The week pass in a slow motion of time, their houses are empty, deafening silence exist. 

A different timeline in the manor is happening. It is a week full-packed of activities – crafts, group works, bible studies, dance, swimming, picnic and bonfire and talent night. A week of fellowship and worship. And, this is for kids. It is our kids camp!

They came with excitement, their smile is bigger than their faces, glad to join old friends and meet new ones. See the bond exist and increase as the days go by. They held onto each other and onto their youth leaders who are like big brothers and big sisters, who guide them through all the activities in the camp.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV

This is a journey to meet and know God, who loves the little ones. He delights with every child who listens to bible stories told, every praise song sang and every prayer uttered. Each passing day is a growing relationship with the Father.

In their homesickness dwells the holy presence of the most high God, who satisfies the child’s longings for a father and mother. Their blessed tears flow like a river to wash away fears and refresh even the youngest soul in worship.

In that distant place is a familiar, gentle face of a Father who listens to their prayers and speaks through his powerful Word read out aloud or memorized in silence. Each spoken word is a gentle blessing which reveals an unwavering promise of the Faithful to the little hearts who believe that it is not magic that makes things happen but faith.

When David struck Goliath with a sling and with a stone, he did it by faith and killed the giant Philistine. 1 Samuel 17

When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, he was not harmed because he had faith in God. Daniel ch 6.

In their youth, David and Daniel became champions for God. Our children, too, are little champions of God.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ESV

This is the mission to equip kids to live a healthy, happy, spirit-filled life ready to walk in the direction where God leads them to. There is value, so rich in training no parent can ignore. Reward awaits the faithful.

In the kitchen, our morning prayers remind us of the abundance of grace that fill our camp place. It seeks to bless every one that serves – the hands that prepare and serve at every meal or teach every dance, the tongues that give instruction and encouragement, the ears that listen to every child’s needs and requests and eyes that see that every child is happy and content. Of this, the heart of our kitchen lies, the calm before the storm at mealtimes, where dining is the only refuge for hungry little tums.

The chatting is endless, everyone is making friends, a connection for this moment or til life’s end. Their chores divided, little hands learn and show responsible sense. Thus, a visit by Irish boxer Katie Taylor who gently hung a gold medal around their neck is their surprise reward.

The field downhill came alive with roaring laughter, messy games of creamy suds and cheese curls on their faces, slippery soccer and catch-a-water balloon, it was so much fun! She lost her eyeglasses there. Her vision impaired, didn’t mind the blur and haze, still saw the light created by the bonfire bright. Inspiring messages are heard as told by the senior campers, their best memories recounted.

It’s the end at last! The camp is over. Everyone is excited to see their moms and dads. Their rooms are tidied for one last time. All bags are packed- ready to go, waiting outside the manor door. 

In the sanctuary, one more last church service is heard. They broke bread and gave thanks to our God, the Father, our camp master and overseer, for the fellowship and start of a growing relationship with him as we all hope, for the seeds are now planted. The torch lit up, passed onto one another, symbolize a glowing faith to our God, who graced their hearts with the love of an eternal father standing in the midst of their fellowship and worship.

One by one, they came out, familiar faces waiting with blessed smiles and warm embrace soothe the wistfulness like a balm. One last look at the manor conveys a message that they will be back again next year. There will be new campers and new leaders. And they will make another experience they will never forget.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

When you long to be set free

I hear those birds sing happy tunes, every morning. I see them fly out to the sky and back to rest on roof tiles and tree branches. And away they go again to where their wings lead them. 



These ones I see, they’re beautifully robed with their coloured feathers. Their pretty little toys hanging around them. A tiny hut is a cosy shelter. Yet, I don’t hear them sing. I hear scream. No gentle chirp but a loud beep. The longer I stay close, the sound becomes disturbing. And, I can see why.

Cage. There is no sky to stretch it’s wings to fly. No one sees it’s real state. After all it’s just a pet, admired for it’s beauty. There is no need to see it fly by and away.
Aren’t there many of us in the same state? 

Deceived by beauty and admiration. Trapped.

Hurt but no one knows.

Broken but no one sees.

Cry out for help but no one hears.

And long for someone to know we’re hurt.

For someone to see we’re broken.

For someone to hear our cries.

He knows our hurts.

He sees us broken.

He hears us cry for help.

He will help us be free.

Jesus is the truth that set us free. John 14:6

He offers life in its fullness. John 10:10

No traps or cages. But freedom, full of grace and truth, glorifying and life-sustaining. 

There is still time to soar the heights and experience joy.       

Glory to God for Answered Prayers

Prayer is a timeless expression of faith. We pray at every opportunity about anything that concerns us. We ask God to provide for our eve...