Learning to Say: "The End"

We didn't know it then but this was the last Bright Lights meeting!

Bright Lights has been such a big part of my life ever since we started in Singapore over 8 years ago. Back then, Bright Lights meetings used to be over 5 hours long! So it is not surprising that planning and coordinating meetings took up a good part of my week. Even so, it was so enjoyable and I learnt so much that all the effort hardly felt like work. I loved the new girls that we would meet, the leaders I got to work with, and eventually the friends that became so dear. Looking back, I definitely wouldn't trade those times for anything!

Over the years, things changed. Some girls moved away, some girls got "too old" for Bright Lights, some girls pursued "broader" paths, but the saddest thing of all to me was seeing girls get "too busy". Messages unreplied and promises to come unkept...yet all the while, everyone continued to affirm how important Bright Lights was to them and that it should keep on going. It became clear that the issue was as Charles Hummel noted in his booklet "Tyranny of the Urgent": "our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities".

As the group size dwindled, it became clear that questions had to be asked. Did we need to change something about the way we were doing things? Or was it God's will that the group be small? Or was this a sign that we should stop meetings? Whatever the answer was, I knew that I should not be influenced by sentimentality for a ministry. Bright Lights is a great ministry but God's work is not confined to an organisation. Since our allegiance is not to one ministry but to serving the Lord, it seemed that sometimes the ending of a ministry might bring greater fruit and more opportunities as opposed to keeping to status quo. 

And so, yes, we ended Bright Lights meetings here in Singapore. I was sad with how it had to end, a little anti-climactic and announced over a whatsapp message. It's easy to buy into lies that a successful ministry is one that has the longest history and hence the ending of Bright Lights was my failure. But I know that these thoughts are not true because all ministry is the Lord's, not ours! So I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store next, and most importantly, I'm glad to know with certainty that God is in control and He will guide us each step of the way. 

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth." - 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
This blog might stay dormant for a while but you never know what's next...cause there's no such thing as "the end" with our Lord, only new beginnings! :)

Simply Trusting Everyday

demonstrating how to play a harp! credit: Nathan Corduan
One year. One whole year since I had been on any mission trip. This was really a record for me as I typically go on about three or four mission trips a year. So, I left for the Taiwan CI trip full of anticipation but also already dreading the end of the trip, knowing how time would fly by.

And fly by it did. So much so that when it was all over, we looked at each other and asked "Was that really the end?".

I can't pick one highlight of the trip. Believe me, I've tried and I don't think I can even pick a few because every moment was a highlight.

I do know though what the Lord taught me on this trip and for some reason those encounters all began with tears. As Laura Story's song Blessing goes, "What if Your healing comes through tears?".

Teargate #1
Dora could possibly be the most cheerful girl that I have ever met. She was always smiling and would run to give me a hug whenever I walked past. Sometimes, she would go into fits of giggles while watching a skit in large group and leave me a little worried about her frame of mind.

But behind that cheery disposition were hurts that no girl her age should have to go through. At church that Sunday, she bravely gave a testimony of how first her mother and then her father abandoned her at a young age, leaving her to the care of her elderly and sick grandparents. She cried as she spoke and there were few dry eyes in that sanctuary when she finished. 

As I cried with her, I realised that, more than just sorrow for her situation, I was crying because I was convicted of my obsession with myself and my problems. Convicted because I see my little difficulties as insummountable and let myself get discouraged so easily. Do you trust me? It seemed the Lord was asking me.

Teargate #2
It was one of those days that I was so flustered. So many things to do, so little time. I started large group unprepared and the children were being especially fidgety. My lack of energy and disorientated state that night only made things worse and it seemed like not even half of them were paying attention despite my best efforts.

No, I did not cry then, thankfully! 

I would not let this happen again, I told myself. I purposed to spend all my time till the next large group making sure I would be well prepared. But my help was needed and I ended up spending all my time at a little prayer meeting we had with some of the children. So, since I was stuck at a prayer meeting, I prayed that the next large group would go better. Was prayer as good as being prepared? I wasn't quite sure.

But the next large group was perhaps the most amazing one of the entire trip. Without me even pushing the children very much, they recited the verses and sang so loudly. As we sang the song That Which Heaven Treasures, a slow song without actions, several children closed their eyes while they sang and that sight was so moving that I was close to tears. And again, the same question: Do you trust me? It seemed the Lord was asking me.

Teargate #3
I was on the bus, on my way to the Taoyuan airport, leaving Taiwan for home. An email notification popped up on my phone and I opened it to find a progress report from my school with my grades for all my modules so far. I was incredulous at the realisation that I had gotten distinctions for almost all my modules. Umm, how did that happen?

You see, I had made it my goal to study hard but to make it secondary in my life. That meant that I would plan a Bright Lights meeting even if I had a huge assignment due the day before. Or that I would ignore the advice of my school and take double modules in the months before this trip so that I could take January and February off to be in Taiwan. So, good grades? Not what I was expecting.

And yet, as I sat there looking at my results, I knew that putting God first was worth it. All my worries about whether I could cope with school and everything else suddenly seemed very silly.

I really couldn't help crying on that crowded bus. I hope the lady sitting next to me thought I just suddenly had a runny nose. 

Again, the same question: Do you trust me? It seemed the Lord was asking me.


There were so many other ways this trip that the Lord taught me to trust Him. I saw so many of my prayers answered, so many of my worries proved unfounded and I got to work with such an amazing staff team!

But I write all this down because I know that I will forget. Already, I have to stop myself whenever I'm tempted to worry about my plans for the year ahead, what the Lord has in store for me. How silly of me! May this record of what the Lord has taught me be like the memorial stones that the Israelites gathered in Joshua 4.

There is no need to be anxious. We serve a God that we can fully trust in. May we never forget!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. - 2 Corinthians 4:7

A Stylishly Modest Wardrobe

Being a well dressed person involves more than just looking nice. We see through creation that God is a God who loves beauty. He could have made just one type of flower or created the world in black and white but He didn’t. I remember meeting a blind lady who despite her disability, still took the trouble to dress beautifully. Her colourful clothing sent the message that she was grateful to God. Similarly, when we dress modestly yet stylishly, we do more than look nice - we are sending a message that we serve a good God.

Shopping Smart

Why? Many times we walk through the mall and buy whatever catches our eye. However, that results in a wardrobe that has beautiful clothes that don't really go together. Buying basics and shopping smart will eliminate the problem of having a wardrobe full of clothes yet still having to lament “I have nothing to wear!”
  • Only buy a piece of clothing if you can think of other clothes in your wardrobe that you can wear with it. 
  • Learn from your past shopping mistakes to figure out what you like and what you don’t. 
  • Consider your lifestyle and the types of clothes you need. For example, if you seldom attend wedding dinners, you might not need a whole lot of fancy dresses. 
  • Keep a list of things you need to make your closet complete so you know what you really need when you go shopping. Often, it’s better to buy quality clothing over quantity. Buying a $50 skirt that you wear once a week is a better investment than buying a $10 skirt you only wear once in your life. 
  • Shopping requires work! If you see something you like that is too expensive, remember to stop by the store a few weeks later and it might be on sale.

Check out Audrey's series on Building a Remixable Wardrobe for more great ideas!

Clothes for Different Occasions

Why? It’s not so much what your personal style is but figuring out how to be dressed appropriately wherever you go.
  • Observe and take note of what others are wearing. It’s always better to be a little overdressed than underdressed. Some things such as T-shirts and flip flops are commonly worn by people everywhere they go but are not always appropriate. 
  • By changing your accessories and what you match something with, you can often change a piece of clothing from formal to informal or vice versa.

Take Note of Proportions

Why? Especially for skirts, a higher waistline usually looks better. Having the right proportions makes you look put together and also can make you look taller!
  • Tuck in your shirt. 
  • Use a belt to define your waist. 
  • It works a little differently for each person based on your body type so try different things out in front of a full-length mirror to see what works best for you!

Choosing Colours & Patterns

Why? It’s important to have a good mix of colours and neutrals to make your wardrobe interesting.
  • Find out the colours that look good on you. Do you prefer bright colours? Pastel colours? Neutral colours? Black? 
  • Go through your closet and find out what colours you need to add.

Layering & Accessorising

Why? These are easy ways to make an outfit look better!
  • Play with proportions. For example, wear a longer cardigan with a high waist outfit. It’s easy to forget about buying sweaters or blazers since the weather here (in Singapore) is so hot but often you can find short sleeved versions so you can layer while staying cool. 
  • Sometimes, you might be given sleeveless clothing that isn’t modest but looks nice. Keep these for layering!


  1. Always take an extra look at the mirror before leaving the house. If in doubt, change!
  2. Get a Pinterest account, search "Modest Fashion" and pin those that you love. Get ideas from other's modest outfits! Ask yourself, What makes this outfit work? Here's how my Pinterest board looks like!
  3. Visit Polyvore and practice putting together modest outfits for various occasions. 
  4. Take time to read style blogs or observe what you like about the way the people around you dress. I recommend Olivia's blog on Fresh Modesty!

Youth Retreat: Journey to the Heart 2014

Eventbrite - Journey to the Heart

Join Us On A Youth Retreat Like No Other! 

IBLP South East Asia is organizing it’s first Journey to the Heart this August. Journey to the Heart is an excellent program from the United States that has touched and changed many lives. This Journey will be facilitated by both American and local leaders. Will you join us to experience the reality of God?


Dates: 11 - 20 August 2014 (10 days)
Location: Puncak, Indonesia
Cost: Regular Price - SGD$100/day* (SGD$1000) || ATI Student Price- SGD$80/day* (SGD$800)
*Cost includes training, materials, meals, lodging and transportation. Cost does not include the flight from your country of origin to Indonesia. 
Closing Date: 30 June 2014
Requirements: Youth between 15 - 26 years
Questions? Please email Mr. Teh (tteh@sg.iblp.org)


We live in a fast paced world. Social media, books, friends - all good things but they often distract us from taking God seriously. Whether your walk with God is strong or almost nonexistent, the goal of the Journey is to help you go deeper into the person of God. How does this work? Here are a few ways:

  • You’ll hear powerful truths that can help you break free from past hurts, bitterness, guilt, and hidden sin.
  • You’ll be able to spend time alone with God and His Word, learning to hear His voice and speak to Him. 
  • You'll study 18 heart conditions described in the Bible, both good and bad. 
  • You’ll spend time as a team encouraging one another through prayer and small group discussion. 
  • You’ll hear stirring life stories and messages from the hearts of people who love God. 
  • You’ll be able to have good fun and Godly fellowship through sports, singing, etc. 

Here's the group picture from when I went to the same retreat in USA! Can you spot me?

Eventbrite - Journey to the Heart
Click Here for Journey to the Heart's USA website.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13

Arguing and Disputing

We had a really fun meeting last week, discussing how to keep from arguing and disputing. It was a really good topic to reflect on, share notes on what we had learned in this area and give advice to those who were in difficult situations. 

The first question we each answered when we arrived at Bright Lights was: When was the last time you had an argument and how did it happen? Unfortunately, though most of us would argue (hehe) that we don't have a problem in this area, we realised that every one of us had had an argument either that day or the day before. 

Anyway, Leah came up with a great activity to reinforce this lesson and here's what we did!

Activity: How Not To Argue...
1) The girls should be split into groups of twos or fours.
2) They, each group, should be given a handwritten scenario of a common argument*.

3) The girls must act out the scenario that has been given to them, and the correction of that scenario.

After the three steps above, have a short discussion asking the following three questions:

  • How could you have kept the argument from starting?
  • How could you have stopped the argument from continuing?
  • How could you have corrected things after the argument in order to keep bitterness/anger at bay?
*(note that the scenarios need to be prepared in advance)
Do all things without complaining and disputing. That you may be blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. - Philippians 2:14

2 Things that Rainbows Symbolize to Christians

We saw this rainbow on our way back from Bright Lights this week! Isn't it pretty?
I think it's so neat that rainbows are mentioned in the Bible. Not just are they mentioned but God says that He put them there to be a reminder to us!

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. - Genesis 9:13

Rainbows remind us of...
  1. God's promise that will never allow a world-wide flood (as in Noah's time) on the earth again.
  2. The covenant of grace. That even though we are sinners, we have a second chance through Christ's work on the cross.
More information about rainbows here!

Be Thou an Example - 1 Tim 4:12 [Free Desktop Wallpaper]

It's been a long time since I last designed a desktop wallpaper! Looking back at my last post in December 2011 makes me cringe a little. Don't quite like how that looks!

Oh, talking about designing, I started a new blog to post all my designing endeavours! Hopefully I'll be posting more desktop wallpapers over there!

Anyways, this is one of my favourite verses and one that Bright Lights is very much based on! Enjoy as you meditate on this!

>> Free Download: iPad ~ 1366x768 ~ 2560x1600

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