Finding God in Music, Nature, the Movies

How does the Lord speak to you? How do you experience His love, His presence?

My number one answer would be nothing less than through His Word, the Bible. All God’s promises are written there. Along with His purpose for you and me, His guidance and of course, His plan for the world.

Aside from God’s Word, I also experience His presence through music. There are times He speaks to me through songs. Lately, I have had some down moments and this was one song which I sensed that God used to comfort me:

There’s this line in the song: Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place which just really blessed me 🙂

Nature is also something that just amazes me and brings me much closer to the Lord. Whether it’s the quiet waves of the sea (or a body of water for that matter), the green majesty of the mountains and plains as they are covered by grass, the blue skies and the movement of the clouds — these move me to praise and thank God.

New Zealand has such amazing scenic places reminding me of God’s handiwork.

I have also experienced watching some films that really gave me a moment of introspection. It’s like God was saying something, reminding me something through the scenes of the film, the characters, even its music. One such film that touched me was the movie, The Age of Adaline. The story is about a woman who doesn’t age. While it may seem a good thing that a woman stays in the literal same age year after year, this reality was not something she can celebrate. After all, while she stays the same, all her loved ones continue to age and then die. The film reminded me that not all seemingly good things are really good for us. And that eternity is meaningless without the people we love, without God.

I am thankful that God can use any medium He wants to speak to us, inspire us and even rebuke us (Psalm 24:1).

Afghanistans’ 1st Female Rangers Patrol Band-e-Amir National Park

For Afghanistan to hire women to protect Band-e-Amir, its 1st National Park, is a breath of fresh air in the light of us hearing mostly war stories about this country. After all, this is a pioneering initiative in a country where only 16 percent of women work.

The Band-e-Amir Park and the destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan were said to be popular stops in the hippie trails of the 1960s. But the wars that have beset Afghanistan and the reality of the Taliban has meant the lost of foreign tourists frequenting these scenic spots.

Band-e-Amir national park
Band-e-Amir national park

As Afghanistan tries to move forward and rebuild itself, it has made an apparently bold move to hire women to train and protect the country’s National Park. Fatima, Kubra, Nikbakht, and Sediqa are the park’s first and only female wardens. Along with other rangers their responsibilities include: assisting local tourists, teaching children about conservation and ensuring visitors do no harm to the park.

The 1st female wardens in Band-e-Amir.
The 1st female wardens in Band-e-Amir.

Stretching over 570 square kilometres, Band-e-Amir was declared a national park in 2009. It has six azure blue mineral lakes surrounded by cliffs. It is also home to wildlife such as the Persian leopard, ibex, urials as well as the Afghan snow finch.

We look forward to Afghanistan making more strides towards development and growth especially in its peace situation, opportunities for women to work and protection of its natural resources and wildlife.

Based on reports from
Photos: Leslie Knott/Aljazeera

From Problem to Opportunity: Houses Made of Tires in Colombia

What may appear to be a problem can actually mean an opportunity.

Colombians throw out more than 5.3 million tires a year, according to official figures. This means nearly 100,000 tonnes of rubber that can pollute the environment. But these tires that litter the roads of Colombia have now been used as materials to build unique houses instead, thanks to the efforts of  a 35-year-old environmental activist: Alexandra Posada.

Posada revealed to Agence France-Presse (AFP) that she gets the tires for free “because it’s a huge problem for people to get rid of them.” She added: “They take thousands of years to decompose — which we’ve transformed from a problem into an opportunity.” When these tires are used as construction materials, “they become virtually eternal bricks.”

The houses made of tires are also a picture of artistry. See photos of the houses below:




Based on reports from AFP
Photos: Eitan Abramovich/AFP