Update!

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tomorrow Lord willing I shall be posting about the persecuted Christians who have suffered a lot through this past year... I want to share what God is doing in the midst of suffering and heartache... Jesus is Victor!
God bless and have a wonderful night/New Year!!

On an entirely different note... here is a really wonderful post by Rachel Brown from her blog Covenant Maiden. She kindly allowed me to link up her post on my blog: "Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living"

Happy New Year!


Dear friends and viewers,

It is quite late now so I'll keep my in-depth posts about the New Year till tomorrow Lord willing. But this, today is the last day of the last month in the year of our Lord, the year two thousand and eleven (2011)! I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year in Jesus! It is hard to believe that this past year is at an end. God has been really good to me and my family, faithful and merciful... Yes, there have been struggles, difficulties... this year has been one of great storm worldwide and in some ways even close to home. Also, there are many brothers and sisters in Christ suffering still now... they are very much in my thoughts and prayers! But I praise God for everything, and eagerly look forward to what He will do in this New Year for there is still very much land yet to be possessed. I also thank the Lord for all my very dear friends! Thank YOU so much for being great friends and for all your love, care and prayers. Godly friends are a blessing. I look forward to many more years of friendship in years to come Lord willing as we grow in the Lord together! 

If you didn't know... this year I started blogging for the first time. It has been very much of a journey, difficult at times, but blessed too and enjoyable. I've made new friends through it, and have been blessed by the blogs of others in more ways than one. And I thank the Lord for that!

I pray that this coming year will be filled with the Lord's goodness to you all, and that He will walk beside you every day. May this year be filled with joy, peace and happiness and most of all, may you experience the closeness and Presence of our Saviour in your life! 


"You crown the year with Your goodness,
         And Your paths drip with abundance." Psalm 65:11

A dear friend today shared a beautiful quote about the new year and I'd like to share it with you too, if she doesn't mind :)....

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth
~Martin Luther

God bless you and your families...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

The Deeps

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Here is a beautiful prayer, that truly echoes the cry of my heart. I pray that you may be blessed by it as much as I was.
LORD JESUS,
Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;
Help me chastely to flee it,
and jealousy to resolve that my heart
shall be thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in thee,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself
as Saviour, Master, Lord, and King.
Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, 
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from three.
Plough deep in me, great Lord,
heavenly Husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like summer harvest, 
thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no Master but thee,
no law but thy will,
no delight but thyself,
no wealth but that thou givest,
no good but that thou blessest,
no peace but that thou bestowest.
I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.
Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing 
with living water.
(A Puritan Prayer taken from The Valley of Vision)

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The year has swept by, and do you find it hard to believe that already Christmas Day is all but gone?!! Oh, how  I love this season, remembering the Saviour's birth! I pray you had a blessed Christmas Day, rejoicing in the joy of Christmas and the Good News that Christ the Saviour is born! This day has been a blessed one, celebrating quietly at home, together with family, thinking and reflecting on the Gift of Love.... and sharing with our loved ones. The smiles, the laughter, the gentle words of a big sister, or the sweet smile of a little sister who opens up a gift with a raptured smile of delight :)... it is all so delightful!



What did we do this Christmas? Well, that's so much to say in one post. We definitely spent so much time as a family together, we laughed,  ate, sang, prayed together, played, watched Narnia and the Nativity Movies, opened gifts, fellowshiped and rejoiced in the joy of the Lord, the happiness that comes from HIM! What did you do this Christmas?


I'm so filled with thankfulness  for God's love, how He lay down His glory above and came down as a little Child, lived among us as One of us, yet spotless, and died for our salvation! Thank you, Lord Jesus.


"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 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. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them." Luke 2: 1-20 KJV

I wanted to share this beautiful Christmas hymn composed by Graham Kendrick called, "Thorns in the Straw", a song told from the perspective of Mary the mother of our Lord starting from His birth right up to His death on the cross that is truly inspiring. I pray that you may be as blessed by it as I have been.
P.S. please remember to pause the mixpod music on the right hand sidebar before listening, and then hit play afterwards! Thank you!!!


In His love, may you have a wonderful night and.... Merry Christmas!!!

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Thursday, 22 December 2011


O Come, All Ye Faithful
by John F. Wade 

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

Refrain
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
Lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;

Refrain
Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

Refrain
See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;

Refrain
Lo! star led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring,
Offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child bring our hearts’ oblations.

Refrain
Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,
We would embrace Thee, with love and awe;
Who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly?

Refrain
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

Refrain


Have a listen to this inspiring video clip. Journey of Faith performed a Christmas "Flash Mob" at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach, singing Christmas Carols in a shopping center, proclaiming that Jesus Christ, the Saviour is born!


“The shepherds said to one another, 
‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, 
which the Lord has told us about.’ 
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,
 and the Baby, who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2:15-16

A joy that no one can take away!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

There is no point beating around the bush, so I'll come straight to the point. I have an announcement to make... my blog has a new design and a new title! *not that you probably haven't noticed of course by now*. I'd like to say a big  'Thank you' to Hannah from Beauty Designs Studio for her hard-work and all the effort she put into this design!! I must say I was quite picky with the shades and colours and things like that, but she was so helpful and reworked details and backgrounds and stuff like that in the design more times than I care to count, without a hint of annoyance (and quickly too!). And I tell you something? I am absolutely delighted with my new design... do you like it, my dear viewers?! If you want a new look for your blog, and are thinking of getting your blog professionally (and beautifully) designed at an affordable price, why don't you head over to Hannah Beasley's Beauty Design Studios at www.beautydesignstudios.com? You won't regret it =).  Again, Hannah, thank you so much!!

Lately I knew I wanted to have a new title to my blog, but I was unable to think of one. But as the Lord has been guiding me and showing me things in His Word, I've been meditating on the verse in Psalm 16, where, with the help of my family, I got the title of my blog from.


"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalm 16: 11 NKJV

Right now, I really don't have the time to share all that is in my heart to share about this verse and how it has inspired and challenged me in my own life, but all I want to say for now is... you all probably know my name is Joy :), and as to my temperament, I am generally a very happy person which ironically matches my name. Life is just full of so many joys, laughter and happiness.... wouldn't you agree? And yet, it is also filled with so much sorrow and sadness, pain and sin. Life can be really difficult to understand, especially when you're hurting and when you find that you CANNOT BE HAPPY OF YOURSELF! I've often felt that I couldn't be happy... I couldn't be a 'joy' to others, to the Lord, or be joyful myself. My selfishness, my sins, the troubles and sorrows around me, would rob me of any happiness in life... 
Through the years, the verse in Psalm 16 has become very dear to me... the Lord showed (and is still showing) me how there can never be true joy in life apart from Him. It is in His Presence that there is fullness of joy. And that 'joy' is unlike anything the world offers... it is a joy, oh far more precious! It is a joy that comes from abiding and living in the Presence of our beloved Saviour, in repentance (which is the joy-filled life!). Jesus said “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15: 11 NKJV) It is the joy of the Lord. During this season, there is a sense of celebration and jollification, but right now you and I may be suffering or hurting... or maybe, just struggling with doubts and don't feel any joy, or anything of that kind of happiness of the world that is cheap and so transient. But there is a joy far greater, true joy... and you know what? That joy, no one... NO ONE! can take away from us, even in the midst of weeping and great inner turmoil and darkness. Jesus promised us His joy...

"Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy... Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."
John 16: 20, 22 NKJV

No one can take that away. Seeking the Lord Jesus, dwelling in His Presence, that's where there is 'fullness of joy' and inner peace. That's the desire of my heart. To dwell in His Presence and abide in Him. A part of abiding in Him, dwelling in His Presence is listening to His voice and obeying. When we stop choosing our own way, and the passing "pleasures of this world", "He will show us the path of life..." and in abiding in Him, then there is true fulfillment and joy in life. Oh! May we seek His Presence- for in His Presence is fullness of joy! 

"Mother of the Lord"

Saturday, 17 December 2011

I was browsing through some blogs today, and a link to link got me into the website of Elizabeth Elliot. I found her "Daily Devotional" and I wanted to share it with you today :). I pray that you are blessed!

Elisabeth Elliot's Daily Devotional

Title: The Mother of the Lord
Author: Elisabeth Elliot

We see her first, that little Mary (may I say little? I think she was a teenager), as a simple village girl in a poor home in an out-of-the-way place. She is bending over her work when suddenly the light changes. She raises her eyes. A dazzling stranger stands before her with a puzzling greeting. He calls her "most favored one" and tells her the Lord is with her. She is stunned. I don't believe her thought is of herself (Who am I? or Am I ever lucky!). Mary is troubled. She discerns at once that this has to do with things infinitely larger than herself, far beyond her understanding. What can it mean?
The angel does not weigh in immediately with the stupendous message he has been sent to deliver. He first comforts her. "Don't be afraid, Mary." Mary. She is not a stranger to him. He is assuring her that he has the right person. He explains what she has been chosen for--to be the mother of the Son of the Most High, a king whose reign will be forever. She has one question now--not about the Most High, not about an eternal king--those are things too high for her--but motherhood is another matter. She understands motherhood, has been looking forward to it with great happiness. Her question is about that: "How can this be? I am still a virgin." He does not really explain. He simply states a mystery: "The power of the Most High will overshadow you." He goes on to tell her of another miraculous pregnancy, that of her old cousin Elisabeth, well past child-bearing age. "God's promises can never fail," he says. They won't fail for you, Mary. Rest assured.
How will the girl respond? She is at once totally at the disposal of her Lord (she sees that the visitor is from Him). Whatever the mystery, whatever the divine reasons for choosing her, whatever the inconveniences, even disasters (broken engagement? stoning to death--the punishment of a fornicator?) which she may be required to face, her answer is unequivocal and instant: "Here I am. I am the Lord's servant; let it be as you have told me." Anything, Lord.
We see her next with Elisabeth, who, by the manner of Mary's greeting and by her own baby's sudden movement in her womb, knows immediately that God has chosen Mary to be the mother of the Lord. They don't sit down over coffee and chatter about the gynecology or the practical logistics or what people are going to say. Mary sings her song of gladness, of thoroughgoing acceptance of the gift, of trust in the Mighty One.
We see her sweating in the cold of the stable, putting her own life on the line, as every mother must do, in order to give life to somebody else. We see her with the tough shepherds, breathlessly telling their story of the glory of the Lord and the singing of the angel choir. Everyone else is astonished (a word which comes from "thunderstruck"), but Mary does not join the excited babble. She is quiet, treasuring all these things, pondering them deep in her heart. We see her with the mysterious travelers from the East bringing their lavish gifts. She says nothing as they kneel before the baby she holds in her arms. We see her on the donkey again, on the roundabout journey to Egypt because her husband has been given a secret message in a dream. She does not balk, she does not argue.
We see her in the temple handing over her baby to old Simeon, to whom the Holy Spirit has revealed the child's amazing destiny: a revelation to the heathen, glory to Israel. But to Mary he gives the far deeper message of suffering, for there is no glory that is not bought by suffering: her son will suffer--he will be a sign which men reject; she, his mother, will suffer, will be pierced to the heart. No question or answer from her is recorded. Again we know only her silence.
We see nothing of her for twelve years--days and nights, weeks and months, years and years of caring for the infant, the toddler, the little boy, the adolescent. There is no mention of any of that. Mary has no witness, no limelight, no special recognition of any kind. She is not Mother of the Year. Hers is a life lived in the ordinary necessity of their poverty and their humanity, no one paying attention to her attention to Him. Whatever the level of her comprehension as to the nature of this boy, she knows He was given to her. She remembers how. She treasures all this. She ponders things in the silence of her heart. Did she share any of them with Joseph? Could she? Could he receive them? We know next to nothing of the dynamics between them. She was content to be silent before God.
The apostle Paul tells us we are "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3, NIV}. There is mystery there, but when I think of the life of Mary, I see some facets of that mystery that I missed when I read the apostle. Hers was a hidden life, a faithful one, a holy one--holy in the context of a humble home in a small village where there was not very much diversion. She knew that the ordinary duties were ordained for her as much as the extraordinary way in which they became her assignment. She struck no poses. She was the mother of a baby, willing to be known simply as his mother for the rest of her life. He was an extraordinary baby, the Eternal Word, but His needs were very ordinary, very daily, to his mother. Did she imagine that she deserved to be the chosen mother? Did she see herself as fully qualified? Surely not. Surely not more than any other woman who finds herself endowed with the awesome gift of a child. It is the most humbling experience of a woman's life, the most revealing of her own helplessness. Yet we know this mother, Mary, the humble virgin from Nazareth, as "Most Highly Exalted."
I am thanking God that unto us a Child was born. I am thanking Him also that there was a pure-hearted woman prepared to receive that Child with all that motherhood would mean of daily trust, daily dependence, daily obedience. I thank Him for her silence. That spirit is not in me at all, not naturally. I want to learn what she had learned so early: the deep guarding in her heart of each event, mulling over its meaning from God, waiting in silence for His word to her.
I want to learn, too, that it is not an extraordinary spirituality that makes one refuse to do ordinary work, but a wish to prove that one is not ordinary--which is a dead giveaway of spiritual conceit. I want to respond in unhesitating obedience as she did: Anything You say, Lord.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Cup-A-Tea Poetry Corner

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Time for another "Cup-A-Tea Poetry Corner" posts, and this time, it is a Christmas-y poem too! Not so well known, but really inspiring. Well, actually there are TWO poems for me to share today :), as I found them on the same page and are both worth sharing! I found it in the book, "Mountain Breezes" which is the collected poems of Amy Carmichael. I pray you are blessed by it during this time when we remember Christ's birth.

photo from The Nativity Story movie

The King in a Manger
taken from pg. 386-7 from Mountain Breezes

When the morning stars sang together, and all
The sons of God shouted for joy,
He was there--who was laid in a manger made
For the little calves of the stall:
The King, the King of Eternity,
Laid His glory by for thee and for me.

Who hung the round world upon nothing--He lay
A babe on His mother's lap.
Who made of the clouds swaddling bands for the sea,
Her gentle hands did Him wrap:
The King, the King of Eternity,
Laid His glory by for thee and for me.

Oh, well may we love our kingly Lord,
Oh, well may we love our King
Who for love of us all became weak and small
As any baby thing.
The King, the King of Eternity,
Laid His glory by for thee and for me.

~Amy Carmichael~

photo from The Nativity Story movie

The Wise Men
taken from pg. 387 from Mountain Breezes

Once a star rose in the sky, 
Silver star of mystery,
But the wise men, pondering, knew
What it said that they must do.

So, in that first Christmastide,
On their camels they did ride--
Rode to far Jerusalem,,
Rode to farther Bethlehem;

Found the little, precious child,
On the ground before Him piled
Gold and frankincense and myrrh;
Hailed Him Royal Conqueror.

Once again, led by a Star,
Do we come from near and far,
Drawn by Love's beloved cords,
Hail our Saviour, Lord of lords.

And as holy seraphim
Veil their faces, worship Him,
Pray we now this Christmas grace--
Reverence as we seek His Face

~Amy Carmichael~

Christmas blessings to you all, dear sisters!

Are we sitting at His feet?

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Wow, I've really at last finished school for the year, and the Holidays have started... finally! Can you tell I'm quite happy? Not that I dislike school; no. It is just that it is so good to be able to do other projects and relax a bit, and spend more time with family and friends but especially taking time to spend it at the feet of my Abba Father...

Do you ever go through times where you feel that you've become too caught up and 'busy' and not giving time to true worship or devotion or listening to the Lord? When you go through the motions without much thought or honesty in your heart about how you've been living your life before the Lord? I know that I do, and oh, how horrible it is to go from day to day without dwelling in my Saviour's Presence! Sometimes we can become so caught up in the things we're doing, the activities that surround us, and our materialistic goals and dreams that we forget HIM! Yes, we believe in God, but oft' we seem to act as though He isn't there, and we forget that His Spirit dwells in us. How it must grieve our Heavenly Father when we live our life like this, going from day to day without weeping at His feet in repentance and godly sorrow, in rejoicing in His forgiveness and love, in listening to His voice and abiding in His Word. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking, praying.
Something that has burdened me a lot lately is...
how little time I've spent at my Abba Father's feet.
Life rushes by, and my love grows lukewarm and cold...
and yet, paradoxically I DO have a stronger desire, 
a hunger in the depths of my heart to grow in Jesus, dwell in His Presence and an urgent urge to pray and meditate on His Word. It is truly a battlefield of the heart. "The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak," Jesus said, and yet... what excuse do we need? Jesus has captured our hearts... He gave His life for us, shed His blood for you and me.  
He is the Bread of Life. The Fountain of Life.


Glancing at the book by Ruth Bryan, "Christ Is All!", I caught sight of these words,

"O lovely, glorious Immanuel! my soul burns with new ardor in intense longings after You; all else sinks into nothingness. You, and none but You Yourself, does my soul desire." 
-Ruth Bryan pg. 47 from "Christ Is All!"

Oh, how truly this is my heart's desire! I don't know how to describe this... but I've been realizing how we need to cling to the Lord Jesus above everything else and anything else. To love Him, obey Him and dwell in His Presence all the day long. To know His love, and abide in it. I really want with all my heart to have my heart burning and on fire for the Lord, and not grow cold in my first love for my Saviour. That's my prayer during this time especially. In the last few days, the Lord spoke to my heart through certain passages from His Word, in Isaiah and Hosea. Isaiah 43 convicted me in particular.


"But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob;
and you have been weary of Me, O Israel.
You have not brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings,
Nor have you honoured Me with your sacrifices.
I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings,
Nor wearied you with incense. 
You have bought Me no sweet cane with money,
Nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices;
But you have burdened Me with your sins, 
You have wearied Me with your iniquities."
Isaiah 43: 22-24

This may all sound like issues referring to the Old Testament, but in reality it isn't. We must remember that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart (Psalm 51). It is also giving our hearts to Him, and laying our lives at the alter. But are we only sacrificing to Him with our lips and not with our hearts? This has truly convicted me. In repentance and sorrow before the Lord, not 'penance' but repentance. Lord give me that! 



The text in Isaiah continues, and we see the love of the Lord, His forgiveness...


"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins. 
Put Me in remembrance;
Let us content together;
State your case, that you may be acquitted."
Isaiah 43: 25-26

 Oh, I love Him so and I truly desire to abide in Him all the more. His love is so wonderful, so beyond our own understanding! One of the biggest lies Satan can throw at our face is that because of our sins, our short-comings and failings, we cannot approach our Abba Father's Presence anymore. But praise to the Lord, that Christ has redeemed us, purchased us with His own blood, and there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. "Through His blood, we can enter the Throne of Grace boldly, that we may find mercy and help in time of need". I thank the Lord Jesus that He has won the victory! I really liked a quote by Martin Luther that really inspired and encouraged me. I actually first heard it through watching the "Luther" movie. here it is:

"So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!"
~Martin Luther

This is a long post, but before I go, I just wanted to share with you one last verse from Hosea.
"Come, and let us return to the LORD;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 
After two days He will revive us; 
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight. 
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth."
Hosea 6: 1-3

Yes, let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD! By His grace working in our hearts, let us abide in Him, and sit at His feet every moment of the day. 

Christmas among other Things

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My sister Sarah found this horse app game on her Ipad
and Grace has been really enjoying it.
Anyway, Sarah sent me this picture of the 3D horse... isn't it beautiful?
Almost like a real one!
I hadn't intended to post anything till I had actually started the Christmas Holidays (which is only a week away!), but I couldn't help post tonight... is that okay with you, friends? The last few weeks have been flying with activities, going here, doing this and doing that!!!! Phew! I definitely am looking forward to this summer break...

Some random stuff. We bought a new camera which works a lot better than the older one (it kept running out of battery), so I hope to post a few pics on my photography blog soon. Now, moving to other things! You may have noticed a few changes to my blog. I've made my blog public so naturally I'll not be as effusive in all the 'private' details of my life... I'm very much seeking the Lord as to what HE wants me to write, and not what I want. I definitely need the Lord's guidance in that... And now, YES! I've got a new temporary blog design reflecting this wonderful season of Christ's birth (how do you like it?), and a new collection of Christmas Carols on my Mixpod (check out some of the Carols and hymns on... they're truly beautiful! They always inspire me to wonder and worship the Lord, remembering His birth...). 

This leads me to Christmas... 


I hope to post more things about that in the coming days so I won't write all my thoughts here... but right now, I've started to read again the passages in the Bible that speak of redemption and Christ's birth and am yet again astounded and awed at the love of God and His wondrous plan for our salvation. It is a wonderful story.... and you know what? It is TRUE. Christ the Saviour is born! 

P.S. please forgive me all friends if I haven't e-mailed you in the last few days. As soon as the holidays start Lord willing I plan to write to y'all! Thanks for your patience... 

I have to go to bed now. I had planned to edit a bit of the second chapter of my story but I think I might have to leave that for tomorrow. Many blessings, until my next post...
~Joy

Musings...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

It has been a while since I've posted any personal updates about my life and what's been happening around here lately, hasn't it? In fact, I haven't posted anything really at all besides a few Cup-A-Tea Poetry posts and quotes from other things! Sorry about that, dear friends. Truth be told, life has been... okay, let's not say it*; since I've said that so many times. Life has been an adventure, a bit rough and chaotic at times and (I cannot escape the word I am sorry) BUSY*! Yet also filled with many joys and blessings of the Lord... 

I have been....
Busy with schoolwork...
I've definitely become more busy as we near the end of the school year with schoolwork. For instance, I'm doing lots of Maths lately. Basically, with lots of help from family, I've now stopped hating Mathematics (most times), and now just tolerate it. Who knows maybe one day I'll come to love it, but I do have my serious doubts about that!!! History has been fascinating to study and I am loving and having no real trouble with any of my other subjects which I am immensely grateful for!

Busy with music...
Hmm. Well, the mood that accompanies this word for me has been of late. P.L.O.W.I.N.GYes, plowing through scales, octaves, thirds sixths, that feel like an impassible mountain. And those queer bowing styles that I've been learning lately... grrr!!! Okay, it hasn't been that bad. Really. Just something that needs a little perseverance and patience. I'm actually really, really enjoying Humerisque by Josef Dvorak. Allegretto Moderato by F. Seitz hasn't come on as nicely, but I am slowly getting there. I think my biggest hurdle with that pieces been that semi-quaver section where I've got that absurd bowing that I've got to learn, using ONLY my loose, supple writs and not my arm or elbow. But the Lord has been helping me a lot and I'm slowly getting the hang of things. I certainly don't think I could have persevered without His help in this. I'm learning so much too as the Lord shows me my own sinfulness and pride and His work in my life surely comes even in this area of life. My need of Him in everything.

Busy with housework and chores...
Not much to be said about this...It is a daily thing, isn't it?
Cleanup, chores, housework. My Gracie and my room has been a chaotic mess the last few days, with all kind of things. Clothes piled up on desks because there is no room in drawers because I had no place to put winter clothes etc... It certainly doesn't contribute a cheerful spirit to anyone's mind! Well, today I threw myself into doing a bit of tidying up and cleaning the clothes and things and it is looking a whole heap better if I do say so myself. Lord willing, in the holidays, I plan to redesign and tidy the bedroom so it would look really pretty and girly :). Otherwise, I've been enjoying it so much staying at home lately. Doing things, thinking. It has been a real blessing!

Busy with family ;)...
Haha, the other day I saw Gracie dress up her stuffed animals and I just had to take a photo shot of her 'friends'. Aren't they so cute? I have to say Gracie LOVES Meime :). Grace is such a sweet little sister and so often brings a smile to my face! Hmm...my family has been very busy too :). Everyone seems to be rushing around doing things etc... lol, but I am really grateful it isn't like in some families where everyone is dislocated from the other person's activities. Oh no! Our family gets really involved in everything which is such a blessing :) and it is really wonderful to be able to do things together, sing together, share with one another help and pray with one another.

Busy with writing...
That has not been entirely true... I mean I have written, but I have not been BUSY with writing unfortunately, due to so many other things that have kept me busy. BUT! Ideas and plot lines, inspirations you might call them, have crammed their way into my brain, screaming to be written, so I have scribbled them down on my notebooks and rough notes for a future date when I can set to really working on my story again, hopefully in the Christmas holidays which I am soooooooooo looking forward to. I wonder who else is? I really want to get a lot written in the holidays Lord willing, and did I tell you, my dear friends, that I'm planning to finish The Crown of Life sometime next year if possible? I know there is a chance that I won't be able to reach that goal. But I'm definitely going to try!  Just to update you a bit on my story, I had a few major plot changes and additions midway in the story. It will be kind of a merge of most of my main characters: Marcellus, Claudia, and Flavius. Marcellus will have to deal with lots of intrigue and danger along the way while he searches for the truth about Jesus, and Claudia too will face heartbreak and pain as she deals with many other issues. I can't wait to actually get started on that part!!!

And busy with end of year realization of what we have (and haven't) done this year.
Truly, hitherto has the Lord helped us!
Christmas and the New Year is fast approaching, and with it reflections of what this year has held for us, the things we did and often failed to do. God's grace in our lives, and His guidance and dealings in our lives; our spiritual growth and our setbacks... at the end of the year, it is important to remember that... "the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin" and that through His grace we may set the past behind us and run the race ahead of us with patience and endurance and with renewed vigor by His Spirit that strengthens us. Let us not be weary in the work that the Lord has given us. Let us look to the Lord in gratefulness for all His blessings and goodness this year, ask Him to forgive us where we've failed and seek His mercy and grace that we may start afresh!

Lastly, here is a beautiful arrangement of the song, "Amazing Grace" by John Newton, sung by the Celtic Woman that I'd love you to hear. Remember to pause the "Mix-pod" music before playing this! Disclaimer: please be aware that I do not personally recommend "Celtic Woman" band or their albums, however this hymn arrangement sung by them blessed me very much and I felt I'd like to share it.

Many blessings, dear sisters! I will quickly mention that I won't post as much  until the holidays come, but I can't wait to blog more then Lord willing. Also if any of you would remember that History post I did about Lady Jane Grey? Well, Lord willing I plan to finish the history serial then as well! I pray you had a blessed weekend in the Lord and as we start this new week, let us walk in His love and light and rejoice in His goodness. May we be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Ephesians 3: 14-21, adapted from NKJV)
Lots of love in Christ!

Writing Tip of The Week

Monday, 21 November 2011

The other day I found a scribbled paragraph from a book I read on a small paper among my notes and thought it interesting to share with you :-D.

"The best form of resistance is created by constructing mutually exclusive goals for your protagonist and antagonist. That is, if your protagonist gets what she wants, your antagonist cannot get what he wants, and vice versa. Think of both sets of goals and objectives in positive rather than negative terms; make both characters actively want something, rather than simply having your opponent want to prevent the protagonist achieving her goal. It is immensely helpful to your plotting if both characters are simultaneously moving forward: collision therefore becomes inevitable." ~From "The Creative Writing Coursebook," article (chapter) written by Val Taylor, pg. 220.

I don't think this necessarily applies to all writing, but it is certainly something to think about. For example, in the Crown of Life, my protagonist and antagonist have a mutual goal, namely gaining a seat in Rome and be given prestigious posts at the Palace of the Emperor. The protagonist reaches that goal, the antagonist doesn't in the beginning of the story where the collision happens, which consequences in a switch where the protagonist' goal changes (to seeking the truth), the opponent finds himself in a struggle and his whole desire is to prevent the protagonist achieving his goal while simultaneously having ambitions and goals for himself. I hope that made sense :). So... what do you, fellow writers, think?

~Joy

Cup-A-Tea Poetry Corner 11/11/11

Friday, 11 November 2011

Many countries have a special day of remembrance for those that fell in their wars. For example, in France there is Armistice Day, and in America, Veterans Day. In Britain and the countries of the English Commonwealth, we commemorate those who fought, and are still fighting, in wars for their country on Remembrance Day which is always held on 11th of November. It was on this day that World War One ended in 1918, when the armistice was signed in Compiegne, Northern France, at 5am. Six hours later, the fighting stopped, and in commemoration of this, there is a moment's silence at 11am, every 11th of November. Hence, for today's Cup-A-Tea Poetry Corner, I wanted to share this ode or poem, as today, 11/11/11 is Remembrance Day. Here it is:



For The Fallen
by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres. 
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the gong down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the starts that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain
...
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the gong down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Yes! We will remember them, those who died for our country's freedom, and those most of all who died for Christ throughout those tumultuous years ... 
"Lest We Forget."

Shaz In Oz is hosting a craft Candy!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hmm. I know I am doing a lot of advertising here :-), just wanted to mention that Shaz In Oz is making a craft Candy (something like a giveaway) for reaching her 1st blog Anniversary! She's a lovely Christian lady, and you'll love all her craft projects, they're truly amazing and you may get a tip or two as well so head her way to have a look at her lovely blog, Cards Calligraphy-Shaz In Oz and do her a wonderful favour by perhaps following? I forgot to mention that the prizes are really great :-).
I hope you don't get tired of me rambling on following blogs!!!!
Here is her Candy link.

God bless,
~Joy

Elizabeth Rose's Giveaway

Did you know that Miss Elizabeth Rose is making a Giveaway on her lovely blog, "Life On Literary Lane" for having reached 200 followers? I just thought to share it, since it has some really antique prizes that you might like to enter in to win; I am not 100 % sure those who live outside US can participate but you can ask! I always love blogs that have insightful posts, encourage others to live for Jesus, as well share their own life happenings, and what the Lord speaks to them about with others. There are so many lovely blogs out there (check my blog list for a few favourites), and I can definitely say that I always look forward to seeing any new posts by Elizabeth. Anyhow, I might just add that part of the giveaway entries is that you have to post about it on your blog... *cheeky grin*. Anyway! So, if you aren't too busy, head to her blog and see what she has on, and if you really like it, why don't you follow as well?





That's it for now!
Blessings,
~Joy