Thru God All things Are Possible

I am frequently reminded that I am powerless.  I can have the wealth in the world, but I cannot stay healthy or happy forever.

In Isaiah 41:14-15, Do not be afraid o worm Jacob….  I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp with many teeth.

I am that helpless worm.  God can make me stronger and can turn each situation to our good.

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Sunny Day in Portland Yeah!!!

We ate “Chee Cheong Fun” for breakfast this morning.  Recipe posted in my “Malaysian Food” page.  Then we headed out to the Elephant’s Delicatessen and 23rd street. 


It is almost easter.  Easter bunny along with some colorful chocolates becomes one of the many centerpieces around this deli.

We ate their fresh artichoke chicken pizza and lamb soup.  And to take home, a piece of gourmet cheese.  You can read more about the cheese in my “wine and cheese” page.

There’s “du-du” eating her pizza.  Yummo!
Pottery Barn on 23rd street has recently expanded its store to include the Bed and Bath department as well.  I was there a month ago for a class and it looked pretty good inside.

23rd street is a hip and trendy shopping and restaurant area.  Two things I dread is expensive price tag and parallel parking.  I did, however, found a bargain shoe shop, Ether.  Sometimes, they mark down their shoes to $5 if there are only a few left.   The following store is Urban Outfitters. 


  I tried to capture a photo of daddy and the kids.  I think I did pretty well, considering our baby kept moving around.
 And for dinner, we went to NakWon on 1st street in Beaverton.  I did not eat too much pizza, so I was starving by 4:30pm.  The following is the complimentary side dishes they offered us tonight.  Their steam eggs was good.  I thought the anchovies could be a little crispier.  After the hearty meal, we decided to go to Costco.  Ironically, I bought a Korean cook book written by Wei Chuan there for only $9.99.  Hymm, I should start a page on Korean food in the near future.

 

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The Wise and Learned

While I reading stream of the desert this morning, I was distracted by my 2 daughters out of tune singing in the background.  They were singing “Amazing Grace”.  the lyrics were, “Once I was blind, but now I see.” 

Cowman wrote, “God still has His secrets – hidden from ‘the wise and learned’ (Luke 10:21).  Do not fear these unknown things, but be content to accept the things you cannot understand and to wait patiently.  In due time, He will reveal the treasures of the unknown to you.

I remembered yesterday’s bible study talked about John chapter 4 where Jesus healed the official son.  Even though the official had all the riches in the world, he could not save his dying son.  At the end, he humbled himself and came to Jesus for help.

John Chapter 5, Jesus healed a disabled man.  I am awakened by God’s words on verse 14,  “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Evil or bad things does not come from God.  However, if we continue to sin,  devil has more opportunity to tempt us.

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Harmony in Untuned Songs

As I read this morning’s story, I thought, “how sad”.  It was the story of Mrs. Charles H Spurgeon, who suffered greatly for more than twenty five years.

Then as I read on, I was encouraged by her.  She found the old oak log that had cold, hard unfeeling and never singing any melodious sounds, were singing like a robin.  The oak was singing in the fire. 

“Yes, singing in the fire!  God helping us, sometimes using the only way He can to get harmony from our hard and apathetic hearts.  Then let the furnace be ‘heated seven times hotter than usual’ [Daniel 3:19].”  

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Struggling To Do What’s Right

When I was younger, I was told that when I was being offered a bowl of strawberries, I only chose the larger ones.  “Of course, I chose the larger ones, they were right in front of me”, I thought.  

We are surrounded by temptations.  We have a choice to make.  If we yield to our temptations and our actions hurt others, or if our actions hurt ourselves, we should stop.  Pray and seek God’s help or find someone that can pray for you.

Ephesians 5:11-15 says,

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead…expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light… 

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise.

I wrote the above this morning.  Since my baby is sleeping, I thought I’d write some more.  I took my 19 month old to the library as usual, every Thursday.  For those of you who are reading my blog in the Asian countries, especially Malaysia, I will explain a little what the government is providing for all the young children here.  The library has programs for everyone, young and old.  We went to the program for toddlers this morning.  For 45 minutes, the babies sang songs, played with bubbles, danced around, played with other kids and read books.  To encourage reading at home, they even gave each family a story book to take home. 

My cousin in Klang Malaysia, once asked me how do I have time to cook when I have 3 little kids?  Well, life is different here.  I live in the suburb, not in the city, so the traffic is not as bad.  I am more relaxed when it comes to taking kids to activities.  When my older two were still in preschool, I signed them up for ballet, piano, swimming, and chinese school.   After they started school, we stopped all activities.  These days, daddy teaches chinese on the weekends and I teach piano occasionally.  I find that adults are less stressful if there are not too many activities.  In the summer (June thru September), when there are no school for 3 months, I plan to start them on swimming again.  

The education system here in the US is very different from where I grew up.  My kids hardly ever bring homework home and there are no test.   Kids are encouraged to read.  Even some restaurants promote reading.  There is a restaurant that gives free meal to kids that read 5 books. 

In the midst of this kind of easy lifestyle, there are some parents who still keep themselves and their kids very busy with different activities.  I think that is OK as long as the kids enjoy these activities.

Although it is important for kids to be academically smart, I think it is equally important for them to have a spiritual life.  Kids will learn that there is a great power out there, someone that they can talk to when they are sad and lonely. 

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Rise From Your Grief

In the past, when I experienced sorrowness, my first impulse is to lie in despair on my bed.  Often times, my sadness will turn into anger.  Blaming usually come into play.  The more I indulged in my sadness, the angrier I got.  Loved ones around me suffered. 

Helen Hunt Jackson said, “You must defy that temptation for you are at the front line of the battle… Faltering even one moment would put God’s interest at risk.  Other lives will be harmed by your hesitation.  You must not linger when you are sad, or even indulge in your grief.”

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Faith

I felt that this morning’s reading is speaking directly to me.  Many times we rely on ourselves, either it is to change a person or to change a situation.  We walk by feelings rather than by faith.

I have a friend that has strong faith.  When she faces difficulties in life, she prays and leaves it to God.

Matthew Henry wrote the following:

“Trials, conflicts, battles, and testings lie along the way and are to be counted not as misfortunes but rather as part of necessary discipline.” 

Last night, I was humming the song, “In His Time”.  Yes, I need to have faith and wait patiently because “In His Time, He makes all things beautiful”.

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Morning Struggles

It was tough waking up this morning, especially when we lost one hour to daylight savings time.  If it was not the thought of blogging, I would probably have slept in for another hour.  Wow, how can a mother of 3 sleep in every weekday? 

Thank God, I have a very understanding husband.  He gets up every morning during school days to prepare breakfast for the girls.  Cereal and milk for the older two and warm milk for the baby.  He even leaves me a cup of water.  Almost always, he will throw in a goodbye kiss, unless we had an argument the night before.   Lately, arguments or fights seem to be less and less.  Perhaps, it is because we started going back to church.

To me, going to church is like going back to my mother’s home.  A place to relax, and feed on God’s words. 

As I was reading this morning’s Stream in the Desert by Cowman, I remembered at church yesterday, we were encouraged to sing more often.  Today’s reading talked about “My trusting heart will sing”.   It is no wonder we were encouraged to meditate before we start our day.  Every word from God is precious.  “My trusting heart will sing”.  Yes, I need to trust that God will take care of me and my family.  Only in singing, the lyrics of the song, echos in our hearts.

Guess what?  It is a beautiful day, not raining.  I pray that my oldest daughter will do well in her 3rd grade TESA exam, my middle child will have fun in school, hubby have a smooth day at work and I pray that I can enjoy my time with my baby.   And I pray that my blog will be inspirational to you to have a good day as well.

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Food

To be healthy, we all need to eat three meals a day (some may need more than three, others will need less). 

Similarly, to be healthy mentally, we will need to enhance our spiritual knowledge.  I have a few girlfriends that do Yoga.  I have another girlfriend that studies her “buddha bible” for at least two hours a day. 

Recently, I went to a marriage seminar.  The speakers were a loving couple.  They told us the secret of their marriage was that they were in love with someone else.  That really got my attention!

It turned out, they were both in love with the Lord.  A seed was planted in my heart to learn more about God.  I started going to church and also encouraged my family to go to church.

However, just going to church is not enough.  It is like going to the grocery store or restaurant just to look at food. It is not enough to satisfy our hunger.  We need to buy the food and eat the food.

Hence, the birth of Stream in the (Hip) Desert.  Hip because I am hip.  This blog is my daily journal of how I want to learn to love the Lord.  Only when I love and feed on His words, will I be able to love others. 

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Doing What Is Pleasing To God

I should remember to bring tissues the next time I attend sermon.  

Today’s sermon format was different.  The speaker spoke of the hymns that Anna (or was it Anne?) wrote.  Anna who lived till 90 years old, loved God and wrote beautiful, heart warming lyrics to hymns. 

One lesson I took away from the sermon is “doing what is pleasing to God.”   I hope what I am doing in my daily life is pleasing to God.  I also hope that my non-believer family and friends can feel the joy in me.    

Is my passion to blog (share my life experiences /recipes)  pleasing to God?

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Catch up reading


Two out of three is sleeping. It is a good time to catch up on my daily meditations and blogging(yeh!!).

I started this posting yesterday. I tried to understand what the author was saying, “Bearing the burden crushing weight actually give Christians wings.” Perhaps one way to explain this is, going thru our daily challenging lives, battling temptations, is good for us. It will help us mature.

So, what does “Descend from the crest” mean?

The dictionary definition of crest is:
A ridge, or similar projection on the head of a bird or other animal.
It can also mean the top line of a hill, mountain.

The author Cowman tells us that while David was enduring severe trial, he cried, “oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (Psalms 55:6) . And yet before he finished his meditation, he seems to have realized that his wish for wings was attainable, for then he said, “Cast your cares on the Lord (throw your worry to God) and he will sustain (keep you from falling) you (Psalms 55:22).

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Where are You, when I needed you?

When you have several things going on at the same time, you pray that God can answer your prayer. My 19 month old took off her diapers today. She self-initiated potty-train. Although i was hesitant in allowing her to walk around the house not wearing any diapers, I prayed to God. to help me out. At this same time, my 6 year old was screaming at me to fry her some curry puffs. That poor girl must be tired. She is usually fussy when she gets home from school. My mood was still good until my little angel had a small accident. Luckily, it was on our wooden high chair. At this same time, the curry puffs were not doing well at all. They were opening up at the seams!

Eventually, I managed to calm my 6 year old with some curry puffs, clean up the mess that baby had made, bathe the baby and fixed all the seams to the curry puffs.

It was ladies-night-out for me. Instead of taking a shower to rid of the oily smell, I sprayed on a thick coat of perfume to cover any unpleasant odor. Put on a nice dress and heals, slap on some Bare Essentuals and lipsticks, and off I go.

I thought, “Did God did not answer my prayers? Did He not love me anymore? Was it not appropriate to pray for such things”. Then I remember a “footprints” frame that I have. In that frame, God said, “You only see a set of footprints because I was carrying you.” Indeed, God was carrying me. William came home early enough for me to have a good ladies’ night out.

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Hazelnut Latte and Almond Croissants

Hazelnut Latte

Life is good. It is NOT perfect, but it is good. I had this idea while I was sipping my hazelnut latte. Immediately, when I got home, I put my 19 month old to bed with a bottle of milk and started to post my thoughts.

I started going back to church about three weeks ago. And just an hour ago, I started praying, thanking God for my delicious latte. Who knows, maybe one day, I can even have the wisdom to pray aloud in public.

If I spill a drop of coffee on my white blouse, I see that. In the past, I have often concentrated on cleaning off that tiny spot, even tried bleaching it! Similarly, in my daily life, I forgot to see the numerous blessings, I only saw imperfections.

This is a hard lesson to learn. In a couple of hours, my 2 older daughters, will come home from school. I need to practice to see just the white and overlook the tiny black spots.

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