Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas! Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men!

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (ST. LUKE 2: 8-14)

I'd like to share  with you a beautiful Christmas Carol that I just noticed the other day. It's words are simple but very relevant. Sometimes it's hard to celebrate when so much darkness is around us. Here in Australia, for example, we've recently had that dreadful terror tragedy in Sydney that took the life of Katrina and Tori, two ordinary people in the prime of their lives. Just turn on the news on TV or read online or the newspaper and stories of violence and darkness just flood us. Many people around us are suffering in one way or another. Often we are going through our own sorrows and pains. Have you ever wondered at the words, 'Peace on Earth', 'Goodwill to men'. The words seem to mock what we see with our eyes and what we experience. However, even when the world around us is turbulent, our God is still there in the darkness and silence. He is Emmanuel - God With Us. Sharing our suffering, weaknesses, and pain. He bore the punishment of sin for us. He chose to be born in this sin-sick world for us, to redeem us. He is our Peace. He is our Hope. One day all will be put to right. Everything will fall into place. Every tear will be wiped away. All because He came. All because He lived among us. All because He died. All because He rose again from the dead. That is why the angels rejoiced that day! Yes, we can say with the angels who sang on that first Christmas night,  "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to men!!" Amen! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Peace to you! 

"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" 
Lyrics by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), 1867

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!



Sunday, 21 December 2014

It's Christmas At Polyvore!

One of my favourite pastimes is to create some beautiful and artistic fashion sets on Polyvore. I always love the opportunity to be artistic and creative. I've been making some Christmas sets and thought it'd be nice to share them with you. Hope you like them.

It Reminds Me of Narnia...

It Reminds Me of Narnia... by of-simple-things

This set is one of my favourites. It really reminds of Narnia. I did not intend it to be so at first, but as I was trying to give a name to the set, I just saw it! Narnia!! I think it would be something close to what Susan would wear.

Children's Smiles at Christmas Time

I love the smiles of those two beautiful girls. I love the tartan, too!!

Christmas Red Country Church

Christmas Red Country Church by of-simple-things

This is another of my favourite sets. I did it for a small Group Polyvore contest. I love that little red church against the snow. I also love that Dolce & Gabbana dress with it's delicate embroidery and folky look and feel.


A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by of-simple-things 

I just saw this picture of Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol and I just had to create something for it! I found this tartan dress and this old coat - they perfectly fit a Dickens sets! 


Red and White Christmas Treats!

Red and White Christmas Treats! by of-simple-things 

A red and white Christmas set with a pretty red and white Dolce & Gabbana dress. 


Warm and Cozy Christmas

Warm and Cozy Christmas by of-simple-things 

This picture with it's decorated and warmly lit window just emanates Christmas warmth, coziness, and welcome, doesn't it? I love the dress here, too. Another Dolce & Gabbana dress. 

An Elegant Vintage Christmas

An Elegant Vintage Christmas by of-simple-things 

I love this vintage set! I just love this coat!!


I hope you enjoyed these sets. I find that the sets often 'make themselves' so to speak. I always look for artistic inspiration when I'm working on one. If that doesn't come, I never force it. With these artistic sets I also aim for the artistic in the fashion items I use and I don't note the price tag!! They just make me daydream, I suppose! 

Well, I'll hopefully come back with more Christmas posts in the next few time allows during this busy week! Till next time. God bless and Merry Christmas!! 

Friday, 14 November 2014

There and Back Again! A Long-Awaited Update!

Oxford, UK
Hello dear friends! I'm finally back after such a loooong absence. So much has happened since my last post last Easter. God has been very good and faithful. Yes, I can truly say that 'hitherto hath the Lord helped [me]' (1 Samuel 7:12). 

So, I guess I owe you all a little update. 

via Pinterest

First of all, the biggest update is that last August I finally finished my BA degree in History and Politics! The graduation ceremony is scheduled for next year still, but I'm definitely done! It's been a long and wearisome four years, but definitely all very worth it! Praise the Lord! I just feel so relieved to have that all behind me now. I've just reached another important milestone in my life and, now, I'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store for me for the future. As an aspiring historian, more history study is expected. In fact, I'm planning to do my BA Honours next year, if the Lord wills. I'm still praying for His guidance regarding my thesis and all that, though. It'll be a great deal of work, that's for sure, but an important thing to do.

via Pinterest

For the time being, though, I'm trying to find time to relax a bit and 
do a bit of catch up on a lot of things I've missed on during the last four years. I've started some sewing projects and a knitting project; I'm continuing my singing lessons; helping mum around the home more and learning to be a better homemaker. I've also taken up quilting for the first time! It's a challenge but I'm eager to learn. I'm also continuing decorating work on my younger sister's, Dollhouse, by adding curtains and lights! Christmas is coming up soon, too, and I've got some craft projects on my mind. Meanwhile I'm trying to catch up on some leisurely reading. There are just so many books out there waiting to be explored! At the same time I hope to refresh my spiritual life and my relationship with the Lord, with more devotional reading. Yes, it's a lot of stuff. I've really missed that creative side of me with all this study. It's a really welcome break. 

via Pinterest

Hopefully, I'll be posting more updates on these projects! (Don't you like this picture on the left? Sweet, isn't it?!)

Another important thing that happened during this time, last July to be precise, I went with my family on my very first trip to England! It was a long and very hectic trip, yes, but an amazing and very exciting experience for me. We stayed in London, Oxford, and Cambridge, about a week in each. I loved England and I would love to visit again someday! (more on my UK trip in another post, Lord willing...please stay tuned!)

London, UK

Finally, during this time, my dear grandmother (Dad's mum) passed away. She was the last surviving grandparent. We all miss her very much. Our comfort is that she is in a far better place, with no more sorrow or pain. With Christ it is far better indeed! Our hope is that we will see her again one day, through God's Grace and mercy! I'm thankful for the sweet memories I have of her. She's inspired me in a lot of things, particularly in my love of singing, storytelling, and interior designing. She was great in all these and I appreciate her encouraging me in them. 

via Pinterest
So, this is all for this update! I hope this will restore my momentum in blogging after this absence! 

Granny's favourite hymn, 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus!'

Monday, 21 April 2014

Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Risen Indeed!

"Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying,‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ (Luke 24:1-7 NKJV - my emphasis)

Simon Peter loved Jesus very much. However, on the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, in fear and weakness, Peter denied his Lord three times even with oaths. The Lord had warned Peter earlier in the night about this coming temptation and had encouraged him to watch and pray in order to withstand it. Peter did not heed this warning. However, the Lord prayed for him so that his 'faith would not fail' and would be restored. This prayer was answered and Peter repented with bitter tears (see Matthew 26: 31-35, 69-74; Mark 14:27-31, 66-72; Luke 22:31-34, 54-62; John 18:15-18, 25-26). However, he remained in confusion and sorrow during those few days of darkness and doubt, wondering whether he could be accepted again after this dreadful betrayal...Jesus, however, tenderly drew him in and restored him. In the Gospel of St. Mark we read that when the angels appeared to the women at the tomb, they instructed them to '"...go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”' (16:7 - my emphasis). The Lord singled him out in tenderness and love to reassure him that he was still one of His disciples and 'brethren' and that he has been forgiven. In Luke we also read of Jesus' private and personal appearance to him: '...“The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”' (Luke 24:34 NKJV). The following song tells of this story...Peter's sorrow, pain, and confusion...and the moment He came! I love songs that tell a story and this one is really special. I pray it blesses you on this Resurrection Day! Remember that Jesus died, but that He is now risen and that makes all the difference in all the world...He is the same, unchanged, yesterday, today, and forever (see Hebrews 13:8). 

"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes."(John 20:1-10 NKJV)

He's Alive 
by Don Francisco 
The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin' through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers' feet

But there was no one there but Mary
So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she'd been
She said they might have moved Him in the night
And none of us knows where
The stone's been rolled away
And now His body isn't there

We both ran toward the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they'd taken Him
Was more than I could tell

Oh something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn't lift me very high
'Cause I'd seen them crucify him
Then I saw him die

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I'd promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn't be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove the shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With his arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I'd ever had
Just melted into peace

He's alive yes He's alive
Yes He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive
Oh He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive
Hallelujah He's alive
He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive He's alive He's alive
I believe it He's alive
Sweet Jesus

In closing, I'd like to share a quote from Perter Marshall's book, The First Easter (1959),

", too, may have that fellowship with the Risen Christ. Indeed you will not believe the fact of the Resurrection for yourself until the living Christ lives in your own heart. When you  have in your own life that sense of His nearness and His power - ah, then you too will know!
"Your life today may be guided by Christ...Your problems may be solved by His wisdom...Your weakness may be turned to strength by His help...Your struggles may become victories by His grace...Your sorrows may be turned into joy by His comfort.
"To you there may come the same wonderful changes that have come to other men and women all down through the years.
"This is the reality that can be yours - this comradeship with the Resurrected Christ through His Sprit is available now... to the man in the street... to the government clerk... to the anxious mother... to the confused school boy or girl.
"This is the real meaning of Easter. Forget the bunny rabbit and the coloured eggs. Forget the the symbols of spring that so often confuse and conceal the real meaning of what we celebrate on that day.
"No tabloid will ever print the startling news that the mummified body of Jesus of Nazareth has been discovered in old Jerusalem. Christians have no carefully embalmed body enclosed in a glass case to worship. Thank God, we have an empty tomb.
"The glorious fact that the empty tomb proclaims to us is that life for us does not stop when death comes. Death is not  a wall, but a door. And eternal life which may be ours now, by faith in Christ, is not interrupted when the soul leaves the body, for we live on...and on.
"...Because the Resurrection is true, it is the most significant thing in our world today...'Because I live, ye shall live also.' This is the message of Easter." (pp. 91-93)


Friday, 18 April 2014

He Came In Love

Take a few moments with me on a small remembrance journey in song from The Witness Musical by Jimmy and Carol Owens, meditating on the deep love of our Lord Jesus and the great price He paid for our salvation and redemption...How deep is His love! How unfathomable! How immeasurable! Oh! How He love us! How He suffered for us!

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." (John 13:1 NKJV)

by Jimmy Owens

This is My body broken for you,
Bringing you wholeness, making you free.

Take it and eat it, and when you do,

Do it in love for Me.

This is My blood poured out for you, 
Bringing forgiveness, making you free.

Take it and drink it, and when you do, 

Do it in love for Me,

Do it in love for Me.

by Jimmy and Carol Owens

Mary and Choir:

The night is here,

My Little Lamb,
Try not to cry.
Soon the sun will shine again
And light the sky.
And though the night seems dark, my Child,
The morning will come again;
Now close your eyes and sleep for a while,
Don't be afraid,
Morning will come,
So sleep.

by Jimmy Owens


Pure and holy Son of God,
Taking on the form of man;
Left the glory of His throne,
Came to bring salvation's plan.
Righteous Father, Holy One,
Looking down on us in Love;
Gave to us His only Son,
Sent with blessings from above.

But we took Him and we nailed Him 
to a cross made of wood
And we raised it high and dropped it
in the ground where it stood
And the blood that flowed to the earth below
Bought forgiveness for the world
that had treated Him so.

"Peace on earth, Good will to men,"
At His birth the angels sang,
Love and mercy from the throne
Through the earth his message rang.

But we took Him and we nailed Him 
to a cross made of wood
And we raised it high and dropped it
in the ground where it stood
And the blood that flowed to the earth below
Bought forgiveness for the world
that had treated Him so.

He came in love to bring us light in our darkness,
He came in peace to bring release from our pain;
He came with joy to bring us rest in our weariness,
He came in love to bring us beauty again.


by Jimmy Owens


They took Him down, His poor dead body,

and prepared Him for his burial.

They took Him down, His poor pale body,
drained of life, ashen, and stained 
with its own life-blood.

His healing hands, now pierced and still;

Serving hands, that broke five loaves

to feed five thousand;
Holy hands, often folded in fervent prayer;
Poor gentle hands, now pierced and still.

His poor torn feet, now bloodied and cold;

Feet that walked weary miles

to bring good news to broken hearts;
Feet once washed in penitent's tears;
Poor torn feet, now bloodied and cold.

His kingly head, made for a crown,

now crowed - with thorns.

his poor kingly head, crowned with thorns.
His gentle breast, now pierced by

spear-thrust, quiet and still;

His poor loving breast.

His piercing eyes, now dark and blind;

Eyes of compassion, warming the soul;

Fiery eyes, burning at sin;
Tender eyes, beckoning sinners;
His piercing eyes, now dark and blind.

His matchlesss voice, fountain of the Father's

thoughts, stopped - and stilled -

to speak no more.
Silence now, where once had flowed
wisdom and comfort, Spirit and life;
His matchless voice, stilled, to speak no more.
They took him down, His poor dead body,
and prepared Him for his burial.

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 NKJV)

And so the buried Him, and they thought that was the end...BUT IT WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Wideness in God's Mercy

Take a moment to reflect on His eternal love and mercy....vast as the ocean...

via Pinterest
There's a Wideness in God's Mercy

There's a wideness in God's mercy
Like the wideness of the sea;
There's a kindness in His justice
Which is more than liberty.

There is welcome for the sinner, 
And more graces for the good; 
There is mercy with the Saviour; 
There is healing in His blood.

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man's mind, 
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind. 

If our love were but more simple, 
We should take Him at His word; 
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.

Frederick W. Faber

Monday, 17 March 2014

Christ Is All In All!

Saint Patrick
One of the most inspiring Saints of old for me is St. Patrick. From the time I came in contact with his story and history, I've been really impressed and spiritually blessed. Since today is St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd share something of him. Some of you may have come across this post before in my other blog, but I don't think there is any harm in sharing it here again this year, too, especially for those who haven't seen it before. 

Now, if you ask many people nowadays who St. Patrick was, they would most probably not know very much about him other than the myths and legends that have been woven endlessly around him for countless generations. These legends have obscured the man behind those legends and made most of us (yes, even us Christians) forget why he became such a legend in the first place.

St. Patrick
via Confession of St. Patrick

Patrick (c. A.D. 386-461) wrote very little about himself and no one during his lifetime wrote about him, either. However, we are fortunately left with a few of his writings that tells us something of the true Patrick, a holy and humble man of great faith in God with a truly apostolic mission. The most important document is his the Confessio or Confession (*I highly recommend reading it*). In it he sketches his life story - how he was captured by Irish slave traders, how he called on the Lord in the day of his distress and was saved, how he miraculously escaped his captivity and returned to his home in Briton, then how he was called back to the people who had enslaved him in order to preach the Gospel to them, and how he obeyed God's call despite the danger and difficulties

Paul Gallico said this about Patrick in his A Steadfast Man: A Life of St. Patrick (1958),

"He [Patrick] stands forth as a wonderfully human being, a man with almost all man's failings, yet touched by the divine. The testimony of his own hand exposes one who is not ashamed to admit that he owed everything to God, and that, had it not been for Him, he, Patrick, would have been other than he was.

"Out of the pages of the Confessio arises the figure of a man of indomitable purpose and compelling spiritual power, who, as [Bishop] Secundinus [probably a nephew of Patrick] wrote in his hymn, 'in sincerity of heart had confidence in God'.

"It is this sincerity, faith, and confidence - the utter subjection of himself to God - that gave Patrick his stature and account for the success that has placed him amongst the saints of the ages. 

"Patrick's trust in God breathes from every page and from every line he wrote. It replaced a confidence that he never felt in himself, for Patrick entertained no illusions as to his initial abilities and talents. But God made everything possible to him, helped him to overcome every obstacle, physical or spiritual, with which his adventurous life was studded. he walked armoured in this faith and nothing could touch him; not the swords and spears of his enemies, or the occasional envy or spite of his friends. 

"It was this love for God and his dedication to the life, the work and the word of Christ that gave Patrick his steadfast and unchanging nature. God was Patrick's catalyst who fused and tempered his character. From the time that the boy Patrick discovered Him on the freezing slopes of Mount Slemish, there was not a thought or action that was not first funneled through God. Thus the Saint's line of action ran as straight as an arrow, undeviating, unwavering. It was impossible for him to act other than in concert with his God, who had called him to serve. He had the word of that God and that Christ, spoken through the Scriptures and the Gospels; he lived by them to the utmost of his ability and he asked of those about him and those whom he preached and converted to try to do likewise. And you will see, glittering from some of his paragraphs. like jewels, his joy when he succeeded."

(p. 124-125) 

Christ Enthroned
the Book of Kells
via Wikipedia

Patrick's faith in God and his obedience to His call to preach to the heathen Irish when nobody else thought it possible, changed the destiny and faith of a whole nation and influenced the development of Christian Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. The monasteries that dotted the Irish landscape became a bastion of learning during the troubled times of the barbarian invasions in Europe. The beautiful calligraphic manuscripts created and preserved in those monasteries awe us all, the Book of Kells being a chief example. 

There is so much more to learn about Patrick, his faith and his work for the Lord, maybe I'll leave that for another post for now. Until then, however, I highly recommend watching the docu-drama Patrick (narrated by Liam Neeson with the voice of Patrick by Gabriel Byrne), which tells Patrick's story really well and it's very encouraging and inspiring (see Trailer below).

I'll close here with this special prayer... 

The Prayer of St. Patrick
I arise today through a mighty strength, 
The invocation of the Trinity 
Through belief in the Threeness, 
Through Confessions of the Oneness, 
Towards the Creator.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His Burial, 
Through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the Judgement of Doom.

I arise today 
Through God's Strength to guide me,
God's might to uphold me, 
God's Wisdom to lead me, 
God's eye to look before me, 
God's ear to hear me, 
God's word to speak for me, 
God's hand to guard me, 
God's way to lie before me, 
God's host to defend me
against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, 
against the lusts of nature, 
against all who wish me harm
from far or near,
with few or the many.

Christ protect me today
Against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, 
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, 
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness, 
Through Confession of the Oneness
Towards the Creator.

Salvation is of the Lord,
Salvation is of the Lord,
Salvation is of Christ. 
May Thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.'


Paul Gallico. The Steadfast Man: A Life of St Patrick. London: Michael Joseph, 1958. pp. 126-127

References and Further Reading (Click on the images to find on 
- St. Patrick, Confession (available  online at )

- Patrick Docu-Drama DVD

- Paul Gallico, The Steadfast Man: A Life of St. Patrick, London: Michael Joseph, 1958.

- Mary Wilson, Builders and Destroyers, God's Hand in History A.D. 300-700, Book IV, London: Blandford Press, 1968, pp. 60-8 

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