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Hope Through Struggles

Title: Hope Through Struggles
Materials: Watercolor Painting
Artwork by: Janelle Loh (@thehopeletter)
Description: Whenever you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts, remember. Whenever you can’t seem to find your way out of darkness, remember. Whenever you feel alone and can’t seem to get through the next day, remember.

Remember that He’s always there with you, even in the midst of your struggle. He has not abandoned you.

He cares for you and He loves you.

 

 

 

 

Letters to the Broken

Title: Letters to the Broken
Materials: Hand-lettering and photography
Artwork by: Phoebe Raymundo
Description: To the anxious and the disheartened. To the exhausted and uncertain. Take heart! God has not abandoned us to a life of brokenness. When we spend time in His Word, we learn and remember that we serve a God of grace, mercy, and love. He is the very thing that holds all things together—repairing our brokenness—and making us whole.

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)

 

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:28-31 NASB)

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Words To Keep You Going

Title: FREE Reminder Phone Wallpaper To Keep You Going
Materials: Brush lettering and digital graphics
Artworks by: Nico Ng and Micole Tam
Description: Life often presents us challenges that trigger negative emotions, such as fear and worry. In the midst of such problems, we need to be reminded that God is and will always be greater than all the troubles in the world combined. What better way than to be reminded through the devices we use all the time? Save these bible verse wallpapers as your lock screen today! We hope it encourages and points you to the abiding and comforting presence of God.
Bible Verse Wallpaper 1 - Micole Tam x Nico Ng

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What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 

 

Bible Verse Wallpaper 2 - Micole Tam x Nico Ng

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So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Hebrews 13:6)

 

 

Bible Verse Wallpaper 3 - Micole Tam x Nico Ng

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end (Lamentations 3:22)

 

 

Bible Verse Wallpaper 4 - Micole Tam x Nico Ng

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For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Will You Ship Others?

Photo taken by Blake Wisz

The week before Valentine’s Day, my students taught me a new word, “ship”. According to them, to “ship” means to support or be in favor of two people getting together. For example, “I ship Mr. A and Ms. B together” would mean, “I hope Mr. A and Ms. B would be in a relationship”.

Curious, I probed further and asked them what “shippers” did. They proceeded to show me through Instagram how shippers would create “ship names”, usually a combination of the names of both parties, as well as edit “ship photos”, capturing the couples in matching outfits, gestures, etc.

They also showed me a photo of Korean popstar Rain and his wife Kim Tae Hee, a popular Korean actress, leaving for their honeymoon. Some of the students went on to say that married couples didn’t need to be “shipped”, while others argued that one could ship whoever he or she liked, regardless of marital status.

In my own journey with my husband—first as friends, then as a couple, and eventually as spouses—I cannot help but disagree with the former view.

When we were teenagers, we led a cell group together. At first, our friends teased us and cajoled us to get together. As we grew older, we realized how similar we were—from the way we counselled our cell members to the way we led Bible study. Needless to say, we ended up getting together.

Throughout our relationship, our friends were constantly there; they witnessed our quarrels and cheered us on. On our wedding day, they lovingly decorated the church, filling the place with a joy and simplicity so aligned to both our personalities. Today, we’ve also become their “shippers” as they involve us in their own journey towards marriage or their struggles as singles; we rejoice with those getting married, mourn alongside those who are walking out of broken relationships, and lend a listening ear as well as reach out to those who are single.

The “shippers” we’ve come to value the most are those who journeyed with us and gave us counsel. Whether single or married themselves, they spent hours with us during pre-marital counselling, were vulnerable, and shared their lives honesty and openly. Hearing how they resolved their differences, or even how they could serve God together in spite of challenges, encouraged and inspired us to do the same when we had our own doubts and challenges.

They brought us out to coffee and prayed for us—as individuals then, and as one entity now. They were always a phone call away when we got into intense arguments; they cried with us, listened to us, and most importantly, shared godly counsel with us. These precious ones constantly pointed us back to the creator of marriage, the God of love. And they reminded us that the sole purpose of marriage—in fact of any Christian—was to reflect His glory.

More than any other point in the relationship timeline, marriage would require “shippers” the most. I say this not in pride, but in utter humility and out of sheer need. Because I know how hard it is to be married and more so, to stay married. Sure, there are many wonderful things about being married, but the reality doesn’t reflect this truth so well. We are confronted with broken relationships on all sides. A friend just filed for divorce last month and another has been living separately from her husband and son for two years now. I myself come from a broken family and will always remember the confusion, hurt and betrayal my brother and I felt as children when our parents got divorced.

The wedding lasts but a day, but marriage is for a lifetime. I think a large part of the latter can only be possible if married couples have support from their community—from like-minded Christian individuals, couples, parents, and others who will be a part of their lives and come into their homes. At every stage of our relationship, we have been blessed and encouraged by the “shippers” that came alongside and today, continue to journey with us.

Will you “ship” others?