Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 to 2007

With the beginning of every new year, I would make myself a notebook, one that is thick enough to last me for a year to write down notes, dreams and some important dates. I was to make one for my sister this year as she has use of it. The interesting thing is that while I was making them yesterday, I ran out of papers and while trying to ration the papers between my notebook and my sister’s, I realize my selfish nature surfacing, keeping all the nicer papers for myself, suddenly it reminded me again that only God can give up His best, His only beloved begotten Son, for a people who were against Him. It is already quite hard for us to give something to someone else other than ourselves, much less giving the best and giving it all.

As the year 2006 draws to a close, I have decided that instead of staying up to watch the fireworks (which I always love watching), I would like to pen down some thanksgivings to Papa God for this year, to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness towards me.

It has been an eventful year, some ups and downs, yet my Shepherd sees me through them all. I thank God for His unmerited favour for the year 2006 in my job, having great grace there, and for the coming year, I can again trust Him for putting me at the right place at the right time, and increase my skill by His grace for His glory. And for the coming year, greater satisfaction in my work, doing projects that I enjoy or dream to do. Only by Him can this be done!

Year 2006 is a year of testing to my relationships, a time to re-evaluate the priority in life, and a time of awakening, seeing myself rising up from my unknowing slipping into complacency state, for Papa God is able to turn all things around, even things that seem seemingly evil, around for good, for we are His beloved ones.

This is the year for the first time that I ventured out on a holiday, to as far as to States, truly speaking, to go on a tour all alone by myself. Learning to just trust the Lord, believing that He takes care of me, taking a great step ahead, relying on Him, based on His promise. It was fun, and I suddenly realize I can actually travel alone, though not really alone because my Shepherd is with me always, and it is truly quite fun after all, I think I can do that again in year 2007. I am not afraid anymore.

I thank the Lord for everything, a year of learning to hear a bit more from Him, relying on Him more, a year of learning to let go a bit more, resting a little more, of not trying so hard to please man, a year of not being led too much by my feelings… a year of drawing a little more….

And 2007 will continue to be a year of resting even more, I will take my work a bit lighter, doing more by doing less, letting Him take over, perhaps travel more (my Shepherd will have to provide), more time spend at home, in drawing, in learning new skills and software, and most of all, spending a little more time with Him and listening to Him more.

My prayer for you will be the same, accomplish more by resting more, sound contradicting but why not for this coming year, just take Papa God at His word and see what He can do for you! Blessed New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Over The Rainbow

It feels like Christmas already since yesterday, with the actual day of Christmas falling on a Monday this year, it just makes the whole celebrative atmosphere to start slightly earlier with the beginning of the long weekend.

Thinking that I would be very busy today, preparing for the small family party tomorrow on Christmas Eve, etc, yet to much of my surprise, there is really nothing much to do, after I got the drinks and snacks this morning, I practically was quite bored, wasting time before the TV. The thing about me is that I almost always finish everything that is to be done much earlier than most people, such as shopping for gifts, I almost finished doing that the last weekend. As for the preparation for the party, I had already started ordering and buying the food about 2 to 3 weeks earlier, therefore leaving me extremely free just before the actual event. Since young, perhaps this runs in my family, I had been trained mentally to finish the things that has to be done asap so that I can have time to play. And eversince, in my subconscious mind, I would unknowingly hurried to finish off my task, be it studying for exam, my project, work, etc asap, so that I would have time to rest, to do other things, to play; falling into a hurry hurry syndrome, which to outsiders, they may think of me as highly efficiently, but in actual fact, it is not something to boast about, I simply have to learn to enjoy the moment, and to learn to rest intermittently.

I read two very interesting articles today that seem to address this issue. In this present age everyone seems preoccupied with many tasks to do, multi-tasking, being caught in a situation of "continuous patical attention". A person may be conversing to someone, with one ear plugged to a mp3 player and typing away on a pc, doing 3 tasks at the same time, yet giving each other partial attention. The article said we become"so accessible, and so inaccessible", being everywhere except where we are. With more gadgets which are supposed to help us, we ended up busier than the past, no longer single-minded in one task, and perhaps never fully given one's full potential to fully complete a task to its perfection as we become busier with multi-tasking.

The other article discussed on rest. Studies show that the lowest mortality is related to sleeping between 6 to 7 hours a night. Lack of sleep could harm the body and sleeping more than 8 hours a night may not necessarily means better. Somehow all these studies simply prove the bible true although the bible needs no proving, for it is the truth, for the bible says " it is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late...", and that we are to labour to enter that rest. I believe we truly can do more , or walk further by resting more. Selah.

It is especially at such a wonderful season as this, that let us truly forget about work at least for these few days, and spend some wonderful time of partying, resting and getting together with loved ones, family and friends. Stop, rest, breathe in deeply and take time to smell the flowers with your loved ones. Remember the Lord's goodness and His promises to us, for He is always faithful! Blessed Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas round the corner

I have finally finished reading "Chasing The Dragon" the second time yesterday. It was great, perhaps more impactful than when I read it the first time. The book was so good that my eyes were trying hard to hold back the tears on my train ride to the hair salon to have my hair trimmed. I finished the book in the salon, feeling so overwhelmed by all that was written. The simple gospel of love, of our beloved Shepherd who gave His all for us, with the gift of the overcoming power of the Holy Spirit changes countless lives. Those who cannot read are taught by the Spirit Himself of the wonderful love of God, that Jesus would die for even such as them. Indeed, because they truly knew what it means to be "forgiven much, therefore love Him much." They truly understand what it means to be saved by the grace of God, the unmerited favour of God. Christian living was never meant to be lived by our self effort, it is impossible, but is only possible by His Spirit, and that is how these lives are transformed.

I am still dwelling on the many stories in the book, need sometimes for me to think through. Praying in the Spirit... a gift given by Papa God to help His beloved ones, His children to pray. How powerful this gift is, as we use it often, up to individuals!

Just 1 more week to Christmas, always a delightful time to me, despite of the amount of hectic activities that are generated as a result of this special occasion. I simply love Christmas, a time when all things can finally slow down, or even stop, and loved ones gather together to celebrate Jesus' love for us! Yah, it is true that it may be "troublesome" to get presents for loved ones and people around you, even to the point of burning a huge hole in one's pocket, I can't deny that, it is true for me already, but nothing beats the wonderful excuse once a year for a chance to prepare a little gift to express your love and gratitude to them, even to those who have yet to hear about the love of Jesus for them in their lives. For this is an opportune time for me to "loudly" proclaim my Shepherd's love legally with no fear! No one can say "no" to a gift given during Christmas, I have yet come across any, and no way can easily shut one's ears at this time to hearing the gospel preached, thank God for Christmas!

Many loved ones to thank, many loved ones are again brought up to my mind. Many gifts are bought and made this year, but within my heart, my desire is that my gratitude and love can be send via them, but most important of all, that they can feel the love of Jesus for them!

(The above is a compilation of some previous illustrations showing the Shepherd and the lamb. Hope you like it. If I didn't send you a gift this year, I dedicate this compilation to all my dear friends out there! It is no coincidence that we cross paths in life, it is divine!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Recently I picked up an old book to read again, "Chasing The Dragon" that I probably read it more than 10 years ago, partly due to the fact that my pastor briefly mentioned about the author recently. I could still remembered how touched I was by that book, the compelling real life stories of many individuals mentioned in the book, how the love of Jesus touched them, changed them from triad leaders, addicts, etc to Christians, totally overwhelmed by the unconditional love of God, and how each of the addicts overcome their addiction by the power of praying in the holy spirit (in tongues). I had almost forgot all about this until I read it again. I knew the benefits of praying in tongues, but over the years, it has just become a prayer that I would pray every now and then, but for a few short minutes, or during worship, but rarely as diligent as I would on reading my Papa God's love letter to me.

I recalled the day I spoke in tongues many, many years ago, how it changed my life, and at that very moment in life, I just knew that I knew all that I believe is true, the truth. Jesus is real, the gospel is real, the bible is real, praying in the spirit is real, not something made up in my mind, though it may seem so to people outside. I simply just knew.

It suddenly dawn on me recently, perhaps again, that this powerful gift could likely be the way to overcome prolonged sickness, depression, stress in life. Despite the fact that my pastor taught so much on it, it has never yet compelled me to want to pray with this wonderful gift on a regular prolong basis, until my recent reading of the book again. I suddenly realise my complacency. I felt awaken suddenly.

Perhaps this is the first time I ever wrote so much on a particular truth found in the bible, yet I felt it extremely important, even the key to many breakthroughs in many lives, which is more than any worthwhile mention of it! Just felt like saying, if you have time, do pick up this book and read, how it used to thrilled my heart, and even with my 2nd reading of it, it didn't fail to touch me again, causing me to rethink a lot of the once very important truth to me, causing me to remember.

Guess many of you must be really blurred by now, hope it didn't turn some of you off, which I hardly care, cos it is more important to please my Papa God than to try to please everyone who read this blog.

Much about the book I read recently, the above illustration was one of 2 pictures of a request by a friend to draw something for her devotion notebooks, and it was not the one chosen in the end. In fact, I had sort of made up my mind to publish all the past 1.5 years summarized illustrations for the next few weeks for this year instead of drawing new ones, but as a result of her request, with the theme being on "devotion", I ended up drawing 3 more illustrations, which may nicely last me till mid January 2007, praise God, how He always supplies more than enough!
My daily life is still as busy, as Christmas approaches, with the preparation for the festive season occupying almost all my free time after work, yet I always feel it is worth it all, when you can show your love and appreciation to those people who mean a lot to you, especially during this wonderful season of giving, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son! Cheers!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Busy Busy Busy But Very Happy!

It's been quite a while since I last wrote. The week passed by with my tender going out smoothly, although the preparation did not start well, but all praise to God, everything turns out alright finally, we are on time, though the quality is not the best, it is still passable.

I was busy not totally with work, but with getting Christmas presents, getting them ready etc, and I am "proud" to say that about half the gifts are ready! It was pretty tiring, but so fun, I simply love Christmas! The fun of getting presents, going through the list of people, imagining the gifts to get that will fit different individuals, etc.

And because of this, I have to say I had no inspiration this week for new illustrations for the blog, but I did something quite memorable, while I pondered on the type of gifts I am giving for Christmas. I went through a memory journey, looking back at the illustrations I did for the past 1.5 years, and I started compiling similar themes or methods of illustrating into groups, such as above. I felt it is totally appropriate for this festive season, though not with new illustrations but with a collage of past works, to end 2006. Each illustration means a lot to me, as each speaks of a story, or a particular phase I was going through at that moment when I drew them. The above series are more personal moments, about my dieting, my holidays abroad, my dream, my mom's birthday, my addiction, my memory of my dad, my wanting for a break, and a much needed rest, but not all personal illustrations are in here due to limited space.

The new year 2007 will come with some changes in my life, a year that I would want to rest more, learn more and greater indulgence in what I like to do. Looking at this year 2006, many things have happened, both good and bad, and as a result, there is a change of the way I look at certain things, of how I want to prioritise what matter to me in life, of how I would want to use my time, and also the type of architect I want to be, the type of buildings I want to play a part to design, and the type of focus and design methodology I would take on in future.

I am glad that I am allowed to start all over again, from basic, starting from designing the smallest dwelling, to institution, the latter being a building type that will always mean a lot to me. I thank Papa God that the thoughts in my mind has become clearer since the trip I made to NY. And I thank Him for this wonderful season, creating opportunities to catch up with loved ones. Hope you too will have a wonderful festive December season, and a wonderful time of shopping! Have a great week ahead!