I feel a sense of peace and happiness looking at wildflowers in the field. They look simply beautiful. The most amazing part is that they naturally grow and thrive anywhere in the open field.
They remind me of my childhood and the verse in the bible that teaches us not to worry because the Lord provides even to the flowers in the fields. The book of Matthew 6:28 says “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (NIV)
I got to visit Steve Shwartzman’s blog last week. He takes professional photos and posts them in his blog. Looking at his wildflower photos is a feast for people like me who appreciates wildflowers.
I particularly like this photo of his sunflowers collective and asked if I could make it an inspiration for my watercolour painting. I would like to say thank you to Steve for sharing his passion to people like me.
I could spend an hour in the morning just observing and listening to the noisy lorikeets that come visit our place. We live in the top most unit and across our place is a large Australian Native Tree that has been a fortress to a lot of birds.
I have been planning on painting these cuties for a while but I haven’t picked up my watercolour brush as I have been catching up on some errands. This week has been really great! Got a good long break from work and managed to finish my first project on painting birds. Kris has been encouraging me to do one as they are a good subject since their colours are vibrant.
Since we are moving in a few weeks, I am so glad of the result and I am proud to put this in the photo frame and immortalised my memories with them in our balcony.
I will miss early mornings with them since our new flat does not have a balcony. I thank them for showing me how to appreciate the wonderful creations of God and that they remind me of the verse in the bible that assures everyone of us that God cares and provides for us more than the birds in the skies.
Matthew 6:26-34New King James Version
26 (A)Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b]stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But (B)seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
A lot of people still get surprised when they learn that I am working as a registered nurse when I am not painting. I would be lying if I say I never thought of giving up my nursing career and do my art full time. However, I believe that one of the essential components of my creative work is being a witness of real life stories of our own vulnerability as human beings. As a nurse I have grieved with my patients and their families in the midst of unthinkable tragedies and celebrated with them as they overcome health issues and recover from illness. Those beautiful stories become part of me. And then I pour my heart and soul in creating each layer of paint on my canvas – where I weave serenity and joy with a gentle touch of humanity.
I don’t want to sound a bit cheesy but it is a blessing to be married to someone who has an amazing talent in art.
My favourite part is not just his paintings but the way he inspires me to believe in my dreams and work hard to achieve them.
For many years I enjoyed our countless art store shopping. I have seen how Kris toils on his paintings, brainstorm ideas and work on endless experiments using different art media. I have never met anyone as determined as him who aims to deliver polished project.
He puts his heart and soul into his art works and the end result of it amazes everyone. I did not know someone could paint emotions not until you see his ‘out of this world’ paintings. A lot of people have been inspired by his works and some are blessed to own some of his pieces.
I am so proud of what he has achieved as of this time and just recently he was featured by @theotherartfair Sydney as Fair Director’s Pick!
Kris reminds me of the Parable of the Talents in the book of Matthew 25: 14-30. It is a story about a master who puts his servants in charge of his property while he went away for a trip. He gave each servant a large amount of talent/money. Upon his return, the servants returned his money with good profit as they have used and invested on it wisely but one unfaithful servant hid the talent/money and returned it untouched. The master rewarded the wise servants in return and on the other hand chastised the unreliable servant.
Kris never fails to give back all glory to God at all times, who created us and gifted each one of us a talent unique from everyone else. I believe that we should use our abilities as what are intended for. As for me, I have found my talent in arts and in serving.
How about you? Who inspires you in your creative journey?
We hope that this art video and Joshua 1:9 will remind us to stay strong and courageous no matter what we are going through during this time.
Joshua 1 New International Version (NIV)
Joshua Installed as Leader
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Kris and I being nurses share the same passion of ministering to other people in need through our profession. We both see nursing not only as a job but also a calling to bless the lives of our patients through care and compassion.
It is not easy to be nurse. The emotional challenges on top of shift work can be overwhelming. We get to see so many tragic situations and even deal with hazards that can put our own health at risk. Nevertheless our love for this sworn profession surpasses all of those challenges. In fact, it has become the foundation of our strength and resilience.
Today, as we celebrate International Nurse’s Day, we would like to thank everyone who remembers us especially on this difficult situation we are in. We hope that you will not get tired of praying for us earnestly and may we become good examples of unconditional love just like what Jesus did in the cross.
God bless everyone and we salute every nurse around the world!
The effect of the Corona virus is felt throughout the whole world in almost every aspect of our lives. Many people lost their means for income and some of them have lost their jobs. In the Philippines, majority of these people are low income workers. Some of them have not received any help complicated by inaccessibility of transportation and lack of budget from the government.
Kris and I have been supporting some kids of these families in a remote area in Bohol, Philippines for a few years. God has been very gracious to us and blessed us with a good job abroad that we wanted to share our blessings to these families that needs our help most especially at this time of hardship.
My Mama, Papa and younger sister, along with Pastor Zac have been instruments to reaching out to these families.
I am sharing this post to remind us to check on our neighbours, friends, families and even strangers who are in need and give with all our heart as the Lord has blessed us. There is no help big or small as long as we give with gladness.
God hasn’t forgotten those in need. In fact Proverbs 14:31 says whoever is kind to the poor honours God.
Always remember that the Lord says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 He loves a cheerful giver. Therefore we should give with a heart of gratitude. In this way we are able to help our fellow brothers and sisters and at the same time we are able to worship God through our heart of service.
Kris and I had enjoyed our Easter Sunday morning with delicious hot cross buns and a hot cup of coffee. It is very popular here in Australia and in New Zealand especially during Holy week celebration. The Philippines, on the other hand celebrates Holy Week with sweet sticky rice pudding paired with hot chocolate drink.
A traditional Hot cross bun tastes like a spiced , yeasted bun with raisins and marked with a cross on the top that symbolises the crucifixion of Jesus Christ . Its origin dates back to the 14th Century when an Anglican monk baked the buns and distributed them to the poor on Good Friday. Some people have superstitious beliefs that the buns can be used to treat the sick and help them recover from any ailment. Hot cross buns were also thought to protect the ships from shipwreck during sea voyage.
As Christians, we believe that the bread symbolises God’s love for us when He gave His only son Jesus Christ to die for our sins that we may become alive through his death in the cross. Jesus is the Bread of Life. We live because of Him.
I would like to share to you the story from John Chapter 6 of the Holy Bible which reminds us of how powerful God is through His miracles. I hope that by the message of this story will strengthen our faith and give us hope for the future.
John 6 New King James Version (NKJV)
Feeding the Five Thousand
6 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.[a]3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them[b]to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
The Bread from Heaven
22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except [d]that one [e]which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks— 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will [f]by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”