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A Path Carved By God

Title: A Path Carved By God
Artwork by: Patsy Shaw (@shawmuchart)
Description: 
We often find ourselves looking for peace and security in the wrong areas. We believe that if we could just get the right job, earn the right income, or find the right spouse, then all will go well with our lives.  We are drawn to these desires because we think they will satisfy us, but it is only when we yield our desires to God, and allow Him to etch out His path for our lives, that we can truly enjoy a life of lasting satisfaction. 

I chose to express my journey through linoleum block printing because it’s the perfect medium to convey what a life of following Jesus looks like. Once I carve out the linoleum block, the piece takes on a new form and is forever transformed. In the same way, once God calls us to Himself, His gospel changes not just one small aspect of our lives, but every area of our lives. We might not know exactly what the final image looks like, but He knows what image He has in mind, and with every carve that He makes in our lives, we can trust that it will lead to something beautiful that displays His glory.

 

We make decisions on a daily basissome bigger than others. When my time at Penn State University drew to an end, I found myself at a forked road. I had a one-way ticket to the Philippines, where I grew up. There, a luxurious life of medical school, weekend shopping sprees, unlimited TV shows, and every material comfort my heart wanted awaited me. Or I could stay in the US without knowing what my next step would be.

Even though it seemed logical for me to head home, in my heart, I sensed God had something very different for me.

 

All my life, I thought I wanted to become a doctor just like my parents, but deep down I knew there were other reasons behind my ambition: I wanted to prove to other people that I could do it, and I wanted to earn as much as I could so I could accumulate even more luxuries.

However, all this changed when I was in college. It was here that I experienced what it was like to be part of a church community that loved God and people well, and I was drawn to them. They taught me all about God’s grace—God’s unmerited love for us even though we have done nothing to deserve it, and were instrumental in teaching me and building my faith. Now that I had discovered a community that is so rich in love and grace, my old life at the other end of the Pacific began to pale in comparison.

 

As I considered the options before me, I was faced with a lot of uncertainty. While I had a set path carved out for me back home, I had no idea where I would work or live if I remained where I was. I was afraid of these uncertainties, but I was even more afraid of losing God and the richness I had found within the church community here. 

Dealing with these uncertainties meant that I had to depend on God every step of the way. And He proved Himself faithful by providing me with a job in Philadelphia, a church, and great roommates. I may live in a small house, and my heart aches for my family occasionally, but I can say that God has made my life far richer than I could have ever imagined.

 

I was searching for peace and security in my old life. But along the way, I found a treasure that far outweighs my earthly desiresthe joy of belonging to His Kingdom. Matthew 13:44 says, “The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field”. Like the man who has found the hidden treasure, I “sold” my old life so I could buy the fieldcontinuing to live life with my church community. 

 

 

From Potential to Purpose

Title: From Potential to Purpose
Artwork by: Abigail Jeyaraj (@handsxpens) 
Description: God placed potential in all of us when He breathed life into us (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:16). However, it is how you cultivate it that decides whether you reach your fullest potential.

The devil has fooled too many people into believing that they are not good, smart or strong enough. Listen! If you view yourself that way, you are believing a lie!

As Lisa Bevere puts it, “When you believe a lie, you empower the liar”. The devil is afraid of what might happen if you actually believe that God has big plans for you. If you believe that you are capable through God who strengthens you, you will partner with Him to cultivate your potential.

You will be unstoppable. And the devil doesn’t want that!

The truth is none of us are capable of reaching our fullest potential by our own effort. But when we choose to partner with God, He will provide you with the strength, wisdom and resources to be who He has called you to be. After all, He was the One who put that potential in you. So surrender your thoughts and your fears to Him!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Hebrews 12:1)

Partner with Him to cultivate your potential. Live your life to its fullest—not just with potential, but also with purpose and power.

 

 

 

Finding Comfort On The Trail of Life

Title: Finding Comfort On The Trail of Life
Artwork by: McKenna McIntyre (@mckennacreates)
Description: Our journey to self-discovery isn’t always a clear path. We may face challenges or uncertainties about the future, but we must remember there is a plan for our lives, and that in this, we can find encouragement and hope to keep moving.

 

 

Sometimes in our life’s adventures we face obstacles

 

Or unclear directions

 

We might feel lost or uncertain about what lies ahead

 

But we must remember there is a plan mapped out for our lives, full of purpose and love

 

“Trust in the Lord and do good” and you will find fulfillment and joy in your journey. Psalm 37:3

 

A Season for Everything

Title: A Season for Everything
Materials: Illustration and digital coloring
Artwork by: Lara Sim
Description: Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. Just like how there are four seasons in some countries, all of us also go through different seasons in our lives. Even as we race through life at our own pace, there are times when we do not see everything that’s ahead of us so clearly. However, we can rest in the knowledge that these seasons come and go.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

In Jeremiah 29:11, it was said that the Israelites did not know where they were heading after their exile, but God’s plans for them were for their ultimate welfare, and they can rest in that hope as God fulfills His promises.

Regardless of the season we’re in, we can be sure that there is much to learn in every season of life.

 

SUMMER

With God, we can give thanks in all circumstances

Summer calls for us to get outdoors to enjoy the sun and have fun. We often look forward to the summertime of our lives but it’s also the season that is most short-lived. We thank God for the happy and enjoyable moments in life, but we can extend our joy beyond the good times to all circumstances, because our Lord is good all the time.

 

AUTUMN

With God, we can face the challenges of change

Changes happen in autumn–leaves start to change from their evergreen state into orange and start to fall. We tend to miss the good and smooth-sailing times when things get challenging. However, we can look towards our unchanging and faithful God to face whatever changes that come our way, because we know that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

WINTER

With God, we can take comfort when times are difficult

The wintry chills and gloomy season leaves us pining for warmth and comfort. We can only prepare ourselves so much for what is to come our way, but we can draw closer to God in His constant warmth and comforting embrace in our times of discomfort and trouble. He is a God who knows us each by name and surely knows what we are going through.

 

SPRING

With God, new beginnings are possible

The grass becomes greener, flowers start to bloom, birds start to sing and you feel a spring in your step. Bad times don’t usually last. When things start looking up, we start to feel hopeful and positive. Let’s remember that it is God who made all things possible and constantly be grateful for what He has done for us.