Sovereign

Sovereign in the mountain air
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm
Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn
In your everlasting arm
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you
In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you
All my hopes, all I need
Held in your hands
All my life, all of me
Held in your hands
All my fears, all my dreams
Held in your hands
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Goodbye

I guess this is it then, the final goodbye.

You have done well, Kim Jonghyun.

Why

Jonghyun. Who loved music more than anybody, enjoyed the stage, the greatest artist who liked communicating with his fans through music.

We will always remember you.

Never thought this would be the way you’d choose to leave us. SHINee was the band that got me into Kpop, and you were the one I liked and supported the most.

Your music has accompanied me the past 8 years and I just want you to know that you have really touched many people with your songs and voice.

There’s so much I want to say, but I can’t seem to find the words.

If only you knew how much you are loved and missed.

The Great Day (Second Coming)

 

by Michael W. Smith & Darlene Zschech

We met pain in a garden where we lived a lie
We met hope in a manger and a baby’s cry
Rescued by hands bleeding grace
Are we ready to see His face?
On the great day

He will come to claim us with a rushing wind
Blown like fields of wheat, the world will bow and bend
Held between our joy and disbelief
Every trembling heart will finally face the same way
On the great day

One day Love will wear the crown
One day Love will set us free
Hands up high and faces down
Angels teaching us to sing
He will be King
He will be King

He who scattered us on every distant shore
He will gather us unto Himself once more
Let the story of our footprints tell
We were walking well, holding high Your name
Until the great day

One day Love will wear the crown
One day Love will set us free
Hands up high and faces down
Angels teaching us to sing
He will be King
He will be King

He will be the new sunrise
Steal the darkness from our eyes
When we fail to find the words
Holy, Holy we will cry
He will be the new sunrise
Holy, Holy we will cry
On the great day
On the great day

We’re dancing this song for our church Christmas concert this year, and I honestly can’t help but be in awe every single time I listen to the lyrics. And that’s saying a lot because I have been listening to this song quite a fair bit tbh, it’s been on repeat on my Spotify the past 2 or 3 weeks lol!

One Night with My Niece

So last night, I went over to put Thea to bed (brother and sis-in-law had gone out for dinner and a movie).

7.20pm: Time to bring Thea home (from my place) for her bedtime. Went through her usual rituals – Hug and kiss ye ye(爷爷 ), nai nai (奶奶), and po dou (婆逗). She picked out one of my sandals for me to wear, managed to convince her to let me wear my slippers instead lol!

7.30pm: Finally out of the door.
me: Thea come, gu gu (姑姑) carry you down?
T: no.

me: Piggy back?
T: no.
(proceeds to hold my hand and walk down the stairs)
me: sigh this is going to take awhile..

7.45pm: We reach the foot of her block (they live in the block of flats next to mine). Realised I forgot to bring their house keys. darn.

8pm: Finally entered her house. She runs to let Candy (the dog) out of her cage. And then waits for me to pass her Candy’s food bowl, before running over to the Kibbles box. She scoops out 3 scoops of Kibbles, and very carefully carries the bowl over to Candy’s eating spot. Meanwhile, Candy is salivating..probably thinking why this little human is taking so long lol!

8.05pm: Made Thea’s milk and brought her to her room. Switched off the lights and switched on the air con. Laid next to her. Tried not to fall asleep.

8.15pm: She finished her milk. But she’s not asleep yet!

T: mooshic. mooshic! MOOSHIC!
Me: ???
Me: Oh! Music! Okay. 
(Climbs out of bed to switch on her music — so her baby monitor is quite ups lol, can play nursery rhymes..each cycle lasts about 15 minutes, I think)

8.16pm: Climbed back into bed. Just about to close my eyes when suddenly,

T: Pooh bear! Pooh bear!
Me: *mutters* oh god.
Me: Okok I go find! 
(searches the entire house, fails to find Pooh bear. Meanwhile, door to her bedroom is slowly swinging shut. She cries. I panic.)
Me: Thea, gugu can’t find Pooh bear! (sees a stuffed rabbit at the head of her bed) Can you hug rabbit instead?
T: No!
Me: *sigh* Okay, wait ah. I ask pa pa where’s Pooh bear okay?
(Finally locates Pooh bear)

8.30pm: The music stops.

T: mooshic!
Me: I’m on it!

8.40pm:

T: Hi Mi Ow. Hi Mi Ow!
Me: Whut?? (Thinks she’s just babbling nonsense, and so I ignore her)
T: Hi Mi Ow!!
Me: o.o
Me: omg is she talking to herself?? to someone?? is she saying Hi meow?! omg help!
T: Hi Mi Now!
Me: …………..
Me: OH OH! Hide Me Now? You want me to sing Hide Me Now?
Me: (proceeds to sing)
T: Again!
Me: (sings)
T: Again!
Me: (hums the song)
(At this point, her baby monitor music stops)
T: MOOSHIC! (I turn on the music again and crawls back into bed)
T: Hi Mi Ow!
Me: (hums) (thinks to myself: when does this stop??)

At some point, I fall asleep lol. I assume she fell asleep too shortly after.

10.30pm: I wake up. I need to pee. I very carefully climb out of bed, and try to open the room door quietly.

I failed. She stirs. I freeze.
T: Du du? (She calls me that because she can’t pronounce the ‘g’ sound)
Me: *turns around and walks over* Hi! Thea, can gu gu go to the toilet?
T: *thinks* okay.

10.35pm: I crawl back into bed.

Me: Okay come let’s go back to sleep
T: …
T: mooshic.
Me: *omg* 
(goes to switch it on)

Thankfully, this time she falls back asleep quite quickly.

 

 

Seven Steps to Strengthen Prayer

My struggles with prayer run deep. The spiritual deserts in my life have always been accompanied by a parched prayer life. Eventually, I came to realize this was not only a symptom, but a cause. I was neglecting the very thing that would satisfy my weary, thirsty soul. I was ignoring the path that would not only lead me out of the desert, but keep me out of the wilderness in the first place.

I often fall short of my good intentions when I fail to view prayer as a discipline that needs to be learned and practiced and developed. We speak frequently of the importance of prayer, but often don’t know (or forget) the “hows” of prayer. Even Jesus’s own disciples had to ask Jesus how to pray (Luke 11:1). They saw something in the way he prayed so fervently and intimately to his Father that made them long to do the same. Lord, teach us to pray!

While it won’t be the same for everyone, seven specific actions have really helped me in my battle against a weak prayer life.

Preparing to Pray

1. Set prayer apart. The more we pray, the more we want to pray. To do this, you need to build it into the rhythm of your day any way you can: set alarms, leave notes, put it in your day planner. Prayer is a practice that requires discipline and perseverance, and we should own the cost. Prayer is the greatest act of our day, and we must fight for it. And not just in times of need. It matters how we train and prepare for the battle.

2. Learn to withdraw. Pull away from distractions — the phone, the computer, the TV, the constant noise of modern life — and find a way to separate yourself so you can be and feel “shut in with God.” It can be a challenge when you work away from home for long hours or are sharing your house from dawn-to-dusk with a bunch of loud and energetic children, but make it a priority. Your car on lunch break, a quiet corner in the office, a closet in between meals or feedings or naptimes, or simply the quiet of your heart if that’s all you can muster. But find solitude, and pray (Luke 4:42; 5:16; 22:41).

3. Have a posture of prayer. Do what you need to help you focus on what it is that you’re doing. Kneel, stand, close your eyes, look to the heavens — when your body is focused, it’s often easier for your soul to follow. If able, pray out loud. I’ve found that just softly whispering during my private prayer time is quiet enough that it doesn’t inhibit the flow of my praying, but loud enough that it keeps my mind from wandering. As C.S. Lewis observes, “The body ought to pray as well as the soul. Body and soul are both better for it.”

Practicing Prayer

4. Pray Scripture. This is a great way to start. What joy it brings to a father to know his children hear his words, cherish them, believe them to be true, and then speak them back to him. So much of my prayers are “plagiarized” Scripture. Without even realizing it, they become the vocabulary of my prayers, sometimes because the beautiful promises make my heart sing, and sometimes because all I can do is desperately cling to his words.

5. Pray fervently. Praying should be active. We cannot truly come into contact with God and not be a different person, at least in some small degree, by the time we say, “Amen.” Struggle in prayer, wrestle with it, and let the Spirit move. Answers to prayer are a blessing, but prayer in and of itself is meant to be a blessing. Sometimes it feels like the moaning of parched lips in the desert, and we should still persevere because prayer is not just the fruit of spiritual life, but the means of attaining it.

6. Pray specifically. Vagueness can be the death of prayer. Not that we can never be general, just not at the expense of praising God’s specific attributes, confessing specific sins, or thanking him and asking him for specific things. We must learn to pray specifically and boldly due to the status we have through Christ, while simultaneously being completely submissive to God’s will. Bold and expectant faith coupled with humble submission is a powerful thing.

7. Pray for and with others. Prayer is meant to knit together the children of God, oftentimes, people we have never even met. We share a Father, we are family, and we should bear each other’s burdens in prayer. We become invested in each other’s struggles and triumphs. We start to care more about the people we pray for and less about ourselves. What a beautiful thing to come before our Father of one accord with the same appeals out of love and care for each other. Prayer binds the church together.

Prayers Like Arrows

Prayer is not a formula or something that only “works” if we do it perfectly, in just the right way. But it should never be careless. Careless prayers are like arrows that fall haphazardly at our feet. Prayers that we offer with little care or effort typically will do little after leaving our mouths (but be careful about underestimating God). On the other hand, when shot with strength and desire and fervor, our prayers fly swiftly toward heaven to the throne of God himself (Revelation 8:4):


It is not the arithmetic of our prayers — how many they be;
nor the rhetoric of our prayers — how eloquent they be;
nor their geometry — how long they be;
nor their music — how sweet their voice may be;
nor their logic — how argumentative they be;
nor yet their method — how orderly they be;
nor even their divinity — how good their doctrine may be, which God cares for:
but it is the fervency of spirit which availeth much.
(Bishop Joseph Hall, 1808)


God loves to make his people into skilled archers in the discipline of prayer, with prayers like arrows — fervent and strong ones that change lives, bring healing, impact our nations, alter history, unite the church, and above all display God’s glory.

source: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/seven-steps-to-strengthen-prayer