Solitude: Places of Comfort

In my quest for the simple life, I have come to enjoy my "Once Upon a Solitude".
Solitude is at the top of my "recharging" rituals.
These are the images of my places of mini destinations at home where I can retire for my sweet retreat to nourish and recharge my soul during my precious quiet "recharging" stations at very own mini vacation spots in the quiet of home sweet home.

Shopping: "Recharging" Ritual

Stanford Shopping Mall 02/20/12

Shopping is one of the many rituals I enjoy doing in order to recharge myself (especially if I'm with people I love).  I consider it a great blessing that my darling daughter and I enjoy doing this ritual together.

The people who know me, REALLY know me, know that I can go shopping without necessarily having to buy anything.  I don't go for the fun of buying....I go for the pure joy of shopping... as in taking time and lingering as we browse through the beautiful shops and boutiques...touching and feeling soft fabrics, delighting in colours and aromas (I love smelling candles).  The whole experience seems to recharge my creativity and energy.

And it's always an extra treat when we end our day with my favorites....desserts and coffee! (hot cocoa for my sweet Isabella)

And shopping also becomes a heavenly fellowship when with sister(s)-in-Christ.

This post is inspired by a kindred blog: The Inspired Room

View of Drive along Hwy. 101

Trip to San Diego on 02/12/12 for my beloved mother-in-law, Claire Phillips', memorial service at Rancho Bernardo Memorial Garden.

Images of our trip taken from my iphone from the passenger seat:)

Posting for Skywatch Friday

Greece Trip 1995

Thanks to the study on the book of John which allowed me to recollect our travel to Greece back in 1995.  It allowed much appreciation and gratitude for the grace of God that I'm talking about.  I know I'm a work in progress and far from being truly Christ-like, but I also know that I have come a long way.  I'm ever so grateful that I'm not the same apathetic and selfish person I used to be; or at least for the most part:)

In recalling our travel to Greece, I was able to scan the very limited photos and memorabilia I have of our trip.  Yet another proof of my former uncaring self.  I didn't care much about taking photos then.  I didn't give it much thought. Maybe because I was so much more involved in shopping that even pausing to take photos would take away from my precious shopping time.  And then the grace of God.  What a coincidence that my BFF now is a photographer! I only have very few really close friends.  I can count them in one hand.  But each one of them have something in common.  Something that I didn't have.  Something that God wanted to show and give me....unselfishness.  Each friend is a picture of a caring and giving persona.  Characteristics that God wanted me to have if I am to become more like Him.  He gave me friends and a husband possessing these characteristics lacking in me so that I can see first hand.  Sort of like Jesus Christ becoming flesh so that we can "see".  And then the grace of God.  Those godly characteristics finally rubbed off on me.  I finally care now! And it gave way for deep joy and peace to come in to my heart.  And as for taking photos, thank God for camera phones!:)  On that note, here are the very few photos I have of our entire trip to Greece in March 21-27, 1995. (A total of 6 photos, 3 taken by me:), and 6 ticket memorabilia I managed to keep:))

Russ in Athens

 Russ at the Museum

Russ and me at a dinner in Athens

Russ and me at a dinner on the ship


Me at the Gate of Hercules in Ephesus

 This is all I have for Patmos:(
At least I managed to keep our ticket:)

Related Post: Bible Study on the Book of John

The Word Became Flesh

(submitted for St. Paul UMC June 2012 newsletter)

Our present bible study at Fremont Bible Study Group is on the Gospel of John. I remember when my husband and I traveled to Greece in 1995. We went on a cruise of the Greek isles including the island of Patmos and we visited the cave where the Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation. Just even thinking about it now gives me major goose bumps. Unfortunately I didn't feel it back then because I was not yet in the Word and was not “in tune” with the Holy Spirit. I remember all I could think of at that time was getting out of that cave so I can go shopping. So sad. But I do recall my husband feeling in awe at that moment and I thought he was weird. Sad, but it is now a wonderful testimony and affirmation to me of 1st Corinthians 2:14, which says, "the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

I missed the deep joy then, but thank God for His grace, I have it now!!! Praise the Lord!!! I now have the kind of deep joy that surpasses understanding. The kind of deep joy that I pray for everyone. The kind of deep joy that can only come from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

God continues to reveal so many things to me during our bible study and I get so overwhelmed. I can't even imagine how the Apostle John must have felt during that time in the cave when he was writing the book of Revelation. I, too, desire to write what God is somehow impressing upon me through the study of His Word. But it is so overwhelming that I feel like I will be mumbling and I'm afraid no one will understand what I'm trying to say. But wait! I cannot say no one will understand because 1st Corinthians 2:14 says only the people without the Spirit will not understand. Kind of like what the Apostle John said in
 John 1:5- "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

So I'll give it a shot. Here goes. I learned that God reveals just the right amount of information to just the right person(s) at just the right time. In His own perfect time.

Even the book of Revelation, or the whole Bible for that matter, is still not fully understood to this day. The Apostle John wrote what was impressed upon him by the Holy Spirit. Maybe he even had some of the same fears I'm having now. Fears that people might not understand and that they may even think he's foolish. But discernment and revelation was neither up to him nor anyone of us. It is only God who can and will reveal just the right amount of information to just the right person(s) at just the right time....the most opportune time.

Just like when He gave the law to Moses. Even the law was only half of the puzzle then. The fulfillment of the law, Jesus, came later. Hence,
 v. 17: "For the law was given to Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

This verse also reaffirms to me the awesome character of God. The law that was given to Moses displays not only the holiness of God but also His goodness and sovereignty. The law also demonstrates the unrighteousness of mankind. None of us can live up to the law. The magnitude of the law shows us how holy our God is, and how sinful we are. If there is no sin, then there's no need for law; and vice versa. And here's where we see God's sovereignty and goodness. He knows that we cannot live up to the law and that the unholy cannot come to the Holy.  Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. This clearly shows His goodness. While we were still sinners, He sent His only Son.
The Word became flesh. Hence, the purpose of the Book of John: To proclaim Jesus' true identity and make Him known so that all may come to repentance.

v.12: Yet to ALL who RECEIVED HIM, to those who BELIEVED in His name, He gave the right to BECOME children of God.

Solitude by the Sea

Early in the morning, by the sea,
I sit in solitude
The affairs of the world never reach there;
Everything is quiet and calm,
All the nonsense has been swallowed up by the sea.

The sun glints through the surface
Like glitters of twinkling stars dancing on the waves
And my heart is pierced in a moment of peaceful beauty
Like a glimpse of heavenly paradise
After that day I became a seeker
And I was never the same


I was blessed to see this video during service at New Life Church back in 2008. It is about laminin. What the heck is laminin you ask? here is a picture of it from a microscope

here's a photo of its composition
Laminin is also known as the cell adhesion molecule. It holds one cell of our body to the next cell. It is the "glue" that holds our cells together. Without it, we would fall apart...literally. Wikipedia states: Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together.

Colossians 1:15-17 The Supremacy of Christ
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

I am re-posting this again after almost 4 years, not only because it astounded and blessed me tremendously back then, it continues to astound me to this day especially after seeing this other startling photo that I can't believe I missed back then.

this is an unbelievable image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope showing the center of a black hole in a galaxy millions of light years from Earth.

Reminds me of this line from the song How Great is our God:
He wraps Himself in light
and darkness tries to hide

I think these images are worth a thousand words. No preaching necessary. I don't think I need to say anything more than How Great is our God. You be the judge.