Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14

Each one of us is unique and different, from our appearance to our personality. We have different values, talents, and life experiences. Our skins might shagged, yet our finger prints remained the same. What am I trying to say? God has created each one of us unique and there is no need to compare oneself to others. After all, who said orange is better than apple? Tall and skinny is not consider beautiful in the Tang Dynasty!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. -The Bible (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)  We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

There is a Chinese saying, you can be full by drinking water if you have love. See the almost empty water bottle behind this couple?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. – The Bible (I Corinthians 13:12)

Everything is distorted in this photo; I don’t even remember what is real and what is not. In a way, we are living in a distorted world and sooner or later we will get used to the distorted worldview then it becomes normal.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. – the Bible (Psalm 62:5) When I got this week’s challenge, I was a little shock since I posted a photo that can apply to this week’s theme. My first thought was posting it again, but as I looked up from my desk… inspiration came and I snapped this shot which depicts where hope lies and how to see it— with our eyes closed!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

We know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. -Romans 5:3-5

A simple four- letter word painted on the ground of a Christian campsite inspired me to think of a not so simple message. If everyone have hope, there will be no depression. It is a simple truth, but not so simple to those that are in a dark pit.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

I am leaving you with a gift– peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.the Bible (John 14:27)

Once in a while, I will go to a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city to be peaceful. There at a tranquil garden, I saw a whole roll of turtles lying peacefully taking an afternoon nap. I took a bunch of photos of them, but decided on this threesome.

I Know… I Don’t Know…

by Judi Chow

I can’t stand it when people think they have all the answers, particularly when I know that person doesn’t know anything regarding to the subject matter. Did you catch me? I just became that presumptuous person when I wrote, I know that person…! The revelation came during seminary graduation with a little panic, now I know I don’t know much about God, theology, the Bible, and myself for that matter! It was years later that I am thankful I have this awareness- that I don’t know. The next question is, do I really want to know, how much or how deep do I really want to know about God, life, and the future?

An old hymn came to mind– “I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day… Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.” I have to admit there are many things I don’t understand and have no answers to. I won’t pretend a philosophical answer to “Why does God allow suffering?” will ease the pain of those sobbing or shouting, “Where is God when the building’s crashing down on my parents? Why didn’t God save my wife? How can I go on living while my only son is dead?”

Suffering is painful and separation is difficult no matter how you look at it. How can anyone endure the unbearable and have the strength to face tomorrow? I believe only love can dry the tears and restore hope. Don’t you remember John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” Because of love, God endured separation from His only son. Because of love, Jesus endured suffering for our sake. Because of love, we have hope of restoration. Buildings might crumble, lives would change, but the spirit is not crushed because I know who holds my hand.

Take time to contemplate the meaning of Psalm 119:71 “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.” I will never have the answers to many life questions until when I meet Jesus face to face. Meanwhile, get to know God more and more, than I might be able to understand His decrees a little better. I don’t know about you, but I know 1 Corinthians 13:13 “Three things will last forever…” I particularly like the Message translation: “…Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” Let love be our motivating force to face each new day and to accept the unknown reasons behind the suffering we witness.