30 December 2008

Today is the 2nd last day of 2008

How am I feeling? More regretful and hoping that it will not go away soon-kind of feeling. I guessed with age catching up, I don't want time to go away too quickly.


Have I made the most of this year 2008? I don't think so. I have wasted much time in wallowing in self-pity and lazing around. It's time to be gearing up for myself in learning, in being more helpful in the KOG, in being a better father to the girls and to wife.


I am quite hopeful & happy for 2009 though. With the reno loan done, we should be getting more disposable cash, and hopefully a promo in July. My new dip course should be on the way, and my health goal is for the half marathon in year end.


LORD, need your help and enabling once again.

Blogging fatigue

It has been weeks since I last blogged. I guessed I'm getting tired of blogging something for the don't know who out there. The more preferred approach would be for me to use it as an electronic diary to record what happened - warts and all, for myself and posterity to read if they want.

So here we go, towards another year of healthy blogging!

24 November 2008

Outing with my niece & nephew

It almost did not materialize, but I was glad to have listened to my wife and SMS my brother to say that we can fetch their kids. It was supposed to be a mini gathering, but my brother had a wedding dinner and were not able to make it. Their kids were free though and I didn't think further into driving by and fetching them until prompted by my wife (sigh, men never think hard enough ..) I rounded up my parents and asked them to take bus and meet us there at Anchorpoint, Xin Wang Cafe for dinner. They were glad to come.

It was a great time for the kids! Their 2 kids, now in Sec 1&2 with mine in primary 5&2 can, thankfully, still play together. For them, they are great in inventing games on their own in the car journey. They played push and squeeze on the turns, and boy, was the volume loud! After alighting you can see some bruises, but it was all in good clean fun.

My parents were all smiles. They cannot really communicate much with the rapidly growing teenager grandchildren, but in their hearts, they were just happy to be together. In the restaurant, one of them came up with a new game - passing on the funny action. One of them will start a funny action, and the rest will need to do the same and pass it on. It was fun to see my 2 young gals joining in enthusiastically while the teenager boy was a bit self-conscious and did not join in the more "sissy" actions. My parents don't know what's going on, but just join in to do the funny actions - and the kids roared in laughter seeing them participating.

Boys are like that in their early teens - quite conscious of themselves and searching for their identity. The other older girl took it quite well and scream and laughed heartily. As for my 2 girls, they are still very innocent and these things don't bother them.

It was great to have a family fun time like this. Thank you Lord.

23 November 2008

Anger and Sexual Sins

That was today's sermon main focus - anger and sexual sins. The speaker was saying that for most of us Christians in Singapore, these are the key issues, from the text, that we are facing in modern day society. I thought it was apt and can relate to it instantly.

Anger's source, he pointed out stems from our own root issues and expectations that were not dealt with. if we are angry with our child's lack of interest in doing their homework, it can be traced back to we not wanting to lose face when summoned by the class teacher to explain for our child's work.

Sexual sins are prevalent in society today. He quoted many statistics to bear out the truth. What is needed for us is godly repentance - i.e. to acknowledge that we have sinned, to have the godly remorse for it, and to turned away from sin into the right paths. For me, I think that these are good but we need one further step - community help from our brothers in the journey. We need one another to help keep watch over us. If not, we will fall back very easily.

Lord, deal with me thoroughly in these 2 areas. Let my life be holy and pleasing unto you so that you can use me to touch others and make my life count.

14 November 2008

My Bday

I'm 40++ this year. Sigh, growing older but not really wiser yet. It is getting scary as I approach the Big 50. And I haven't accomplish anything yet, still at slightly higher than entry level.

Nothing eventful happened though. Same round of classes from 0830 till 1230. Lunch ate Masala Dosa, nothing special. Managed to settle the next term's timetable arrangement in the afternoon. There was plenty of buzz on campus, probably the STOMP Aids thingy. We went to Lot One for Saba fish dinner. Nothing special again. The gals wanted to eat ice-cream, but I said don't need, got to save money.

Many of them sent me SMS and one email. My sis was the 1st, followed by bro-in-law & sis-in-law and my brother at night. My elder daughter was the 1st to greet me - she's ever the more sensible one. Any presents? No. My sis-in-law did talked about getting me a HP, which I reject outright. Not comfortable in receiving gifts from them though.

Well, there goes my Bday - not a very eventful day.

Why the big expectations anyway? It's just another day.

I've learnt that when people remembers you birthday, it somehow enlightens and makes you happier than if nobody remembers. My action point - start jotting down their birthdays and greet them. It'll brighten their day.

9 November 2008

Daily Catching of Students

It is now 3 weeks left to end of Semester, the time where we determine how many will pass or fail. When the date draws closer, we teachers are more worried than the students. They seem to be oblivious and have not a single tinge of care as to whether they pass or fail. It seems that the whole burden of their passing is on me the teacher, and I have to catch them to make sure they pass.

Sigh, how times have changed.

My days are now spent in their labs, during my free time, and praying hard that they will come to school so that I can ask them to do their assignment. On my hitlist, there is 9 more to catch in 3 weeks. And when they do come and are 'caught', some of them will bargain with me and asked to do it at home. Others will whine and asked why there is so much work to be done? It has became my fault that they now have much to do!

Well, the students are customers now and they are the "kings & queens" to be served. We are the expendable and very free teachers who know where they are and can chase them to do so. The prevailing atmosphere here is, it is like that. Just do it. Teach. Find them and get them to do it. Or quit.

Quit at 40+ years old? I may not be able to find another job now in these depressing times. That is my human fear. But beyond that, I need to remind myself of my purpose here and to hang on, even in tough times with tough students.

Today's Sermon Thoughts

Today's topic is on Growing Deep in God through tough times, 2 Cor.12:7-10. These are some random thoughts gleaned from today's sermon in church:

  • songs that ministered to me: "Still" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgob5afanUg, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and "Empower Me".
  • Coming to church is not coming to an event but to meet God.
  • Recessions are opportunities. Opportunities to show where we stand and opportunities to declare our faith to the watching world who have no hope for bad times.
  • What are my thorns in life? - struggling self esteem; keeping things in; sins; spouse; daughter seemingly unteachable ways.
  • Learn to surrender my life to God with child-like faith. Let God take over the controls of my life instead of sending Him into the servants room and wait to do my bidding.
  • Lean on Him not stand and fight on my own.
Reminded in a poignant way, His grace is sufficient for my needs. The word sufficient is in the future tense. Hence it was sufficient for Paul, for his generation, and for us too, in this 21st generation. Sufficient like the manna, He will provide grace for me daily, at the right amount daily.

Praise God!

8 November 2008

Computer Games

My 2 gals have been playing PC games daily. Non-stop. Alternating it with watching their favourite SCV channels 55 and 255 for daily entertainment and thrills in life. And it is driving me crazy.

In my adult mind, I know its not good for them. The game is addictive and their whole life just revolves Voodoominis, getting up to the next higher level, getting more cash in the Voodoominis world, and neglecting the things of greater value in the real life - like exercise, or general knowledge or spiritual values.

In this regard, I felt like a failure as a parent to guide them to what is good and stop them from going down the useless road of addictive games.

Most of the time, I let them be while I do my own web surfing or checking out the latest PC gadgets and tools. Now, I feel its time to limit their gaming and turn their attention to what really matters in life. Don't just let them be. Act on it - put a stop to it. They will just continue to happily play more and longer until someone say, "Stop!".

That's where I should come in.

Months ago. sigh.

What's so difficult about stopping them and guiding them?
1) I'm not around most of the time
2) wife doesn't do the limiting/guiding
3) I'm too tired after work to do it
4) I'm lazy and not persevering in this area sufficiently.
5) they have no better goals/objective in life to pursue
6) Its part of a greater spiritual warfare that we are all under

To pull out of this, it starts with the Spiritual part. Pray. Pray for guidance, for victory over these gaming temptations. Pray for solidarity at home to fight this battle.

Secondly, the personal part. I need to take leadership at home and own this problem. Set up some worthy goals for the gals.

Thirdly, organise the solution. Get it working. See it to the end. Set a meaningful goal to work towards. E.g. do an assigned homework, and then they can play for 1 hr.

Ok, get to it NOW.

7 November 2008

Bored students

I walked into the PC Lab and saw this today. Sigh. It is a typical reflection of our kids. Bored. Naughty. Looking for lame fun. Absolutely not a care of other classes.

Some student(s) has swung the screen string upwards right up to curl round the supporting peg. Without a ladder or long pole, it is almost impossible to uncurl it and to pull the screen down.

Get a ladder? The school estates dept will probably take a few weeks to sort out the approvals and I will end up with more frustrations over the senseless red-tape.

The best solution? Leave with the problem or get one of the students to climb up and uncurl it.

What did I do? I left it as it is, as shown in the picture. Did the students make any noise? no, nobody asked. The string will probably be in the same position for a few weeks - let's see how long it will be ;-)

Isn't it a nice analogy of our times in this school? Student vandals, school red-tapes, teachers gave up and make do. And we still get by with the kids passed and move on.

Yes, we will survive somehow.

2 November 2008

Soccer Player's Mentor

I am a MUFC soccer fan since the 90s. One of my current favourites is Park Ji-Sung. He does not always score nor is he high up in Ferguson's pecking order of wingers. I like him because he is Asian and an under-dog in big club MUFC.

One of Park's mentor is Guus Hiddink. This is Park's account of Guus' impact in his life...

"I was sitting alone in an empty locker room, left leg injured. I need to prove my worth when the opportunity is given. I look at my leg, powerless, and wonder why I had to get hurt in this moment. Then, Coach Hiddink appears out of nowhere with an interpretor and speaks to me in English. Not understanding, I stare at the interpretor.

"He says you have great mentality. With that kind of mental strength, you will become a great player."

"I was shocked. Before I could murmur the easy 'thank you' in English, he was gone. My heart was pounding. The coach always seemed to be so far away, but he came to me and told me I have great mentality. Somewhere inside, energy was rousing up."

"... Mentality. I have nothing else to boast, but one thing I could do is to never give up. I will endure all hardships, even if I would die from it. And I will keep this mentality."

"... In the entire World Cup, I played with those words ringing in my ears. With my mentality, I can become a great player. I kicked the ball and ran around the field clinging on to those words. For better or for worse, I am calm and quiet, so not many people take notice of me. But I was sure that Coach Hiddink would be looking at me and urging me to move on. This gave me courage."

"If it was not for Coach Hiddink, I would not be where I am now."

"With the words 'where I am now,' I am not referring to me becoming famous or being able to purchase a spacious condo for my parents. I am referring to the fact that I learned to love myself more."

"Within a minute, what Coach Hiddink said to me changed my life forever. I feel a bit shy thinking about what he would think after reading this, but he is my 'master' and I owe him everything and I won't be able to repay it in my lifetime."


After scoring the winner against Portugal in the World Cup to secure a place in the last 16, knocking Portugal out in the process, the first thing Park did was to run to Hiddink and gave him a bear hug.


This story encourages me to be an encourager. There are many youngsters out there waiting for me to ignite. And boy will they light up the world!

Some great PC tips to share

Recently, I have been reading quite a fair bit of PC mags. These are:
  • PC Magazine found at www.pcmag.com
  • PC World found at www.pcworld.com
  • PC Advisor found at www.pcadvisor.co.uk
  • CHIP
These are great stuff and have pick up some great tips, for e,g.

Way to go! More to come..


Changing CGs again

We are approaching the end of our IDT training and are asked to change CG/DGs. Sigh. Just when we have built up firm friendships with the newly included group, and now we are asked to re-group.

Sometimes I wonder whether the leaders know what they are doing? In the grander scheme of things, it may be a good thing to do. But what about our hard-formed relationships? How do we continue to foster them? Do we have the confidence to make new friends only to be dismantled a few years down the line?

The pastor preached that night that it was God's idea to move us into fruitfulness by multiplying. We will make new friends and share God's glory and grace with more new people. It makes sense for my mind but not for my heart.

Well, do I have alternatives?

One idea is to go with the flow and join a new CG. Another, is to form groups but outside the CG/DG structure. We will operate indefinitely for fellowship purposes, not necessarily following the duties of the church. But this may seem very rebellious for others to stomach.

Another possibility which I am toying with is to be just a CG member, but I do e-mentoring or face-face meet up with whoever is keen. In this way, our friendships will continue on a longer term independent of church's call for restructuring.

One way is to start with the Truthmedia.com work 1st and then extend it to my old mentorees.

Maybe that's what I will do..

Tests for Boasting

Am I boasting? How do we test? Today over the pulpit, pastor gave 4 ways to check ourselves:
1) Is it a fact or pure boasting?
2) Is it just the tip of the iceberg or the sum total of it?
3) Does it make my head swell when I say it?
4) What's the purpose of saying it?

These 4 gauges must be used together to determine whether we are boasting or purely just stating the facts.

True humility is rare and hard. Most of us un-consciously boast once a while. Today's sermon reminds me to live in humility, i.e. in such a way that what others see of me, is just the tip of the iceberg. In so doing, there is much depth and substance in my life.

But how hard it is...

30 October 2008

Beaten Up

This morning I was beaten by 2 Malay boys as I was walking to the bus stop at about 6.10am It started when I saw them approaching me. The guy in red sports jacket ran directly at me and bumped hard into my left shoulder. The other guy, baseball hat, white shirt started hitting my head and saying, "Why you hit my friend?" in English. I was stunned as his smacks were directed at my head and my specs were becoming distorted. I tried to defend myself and in the end shouted at him to "Stop it!". Another man appeared and they must have got frightened and ran off.

I think it was a prank and nothing threatening or serious. I considered to report to police but in the end dismissed the idea as I cannot really remember how they looked like.

Well, if it happened again, I'm ready for them and will definitely fight back. I am not going to stand and be beaten again. I am angry that I am the innocent party being beaten for no reason other than it was fun for them and cheap thrills.

Post-thots:
Is it alright to retaliate in such a situation? I should at least defend myself and do the right thing - move away, run. I'm not really sure. Well, for now at least, I'm very alert when I walk past that same spot. And thank God, it has been safe thus far.

15 October 2008

Touching note from younger daughter

Today, my little girl surprised me with this note, in her scrawny handwriting:

"Daddy I know that is has been a hard year you have to pay bills pay mummy money and have to give us money me $5 sister $12, signed, :-( is ok"

I was touched. At her tender age of 8, she knew what was going on. Although I always see her as a "noisy girl" but this little note shows that she does has a heart.

Maybe its a sign for me to whine lesser to the family and trust God more.

13 September 2008

Accepting our Dothans

The text is in Gen.37:15 where Israel asked Joseph to go to Shechem to look for his brothers. When Joseph was there, he could not find his brothers and wandered in the field, lost. "A man found him" and asked, "What are you looking for?" and told him that his brothers have went on to Dothan.

Observations:
Israel asked Joseph to embark on the journey, with every good intentions. But it was God who was behind all these to bring about His planned destiny in Joseph's life.

God provided a man there to help Joseph locate his brothers and to bring about His plans in our lives. God is sovereign, His plans for us will come to pass. In our times of lostness - He will provide someone to help us out to His next step.

Joseph replied that he was looking for his brothers, not, he was giving up and going back. Joseph here was true to his call (from Israel) and when he was faithful, God guided him.

God's plans for us included going thru difficult places, like Dothan, where we were betrayed, stripped, cast away to be alone in a pit. We will be downcast and forlorned - but its still all part of His plans for us.

Implications:
This speaker's devotion came at a spot-on time, as he rarely gave devotions in IDT messages.
It's a divine appointment message, as I pondered over the question, "What am I living my life for ?" for 2 plus days and prayed hard that God will help me.

God does answer prayers.

God's grace and love is seen powerfully once again for my sin-tainted life.

Applications:
Discern what is God's call for my life? Both general & specific calls.

Specific call - to communicate forth His love & being to others, i.e. mentoring, in whatever contexts that I may be in.

Give thanks for the past painful disappointments and surrender them unto God, that they may no longer be a hindrance and stumbling block for me. Repent for my past unwillingness to follow God fully - in giving, in letting circumstances dictate my life 0 and acting out of fear instead of faith.

Look out for the next person who in divine appointment approaches me for help.

Wait upon the LORD. "he who waits upon the LORD will renew his strength, he shall mount up with wings of eagle, he shall run and not be weary, he shall walk and not be faint."

20 August 2008

Promotions

An email from HQ came today and it listed all those staff who are promoted this year. My name was not in that list. And I was disappointed. I was surprised by those who were promoted in my department. Some of them were not your hardworking deserving types (maybe I’m biased, but I’ve checked with my other colleagues and we concurred). Naturally I feel disappointed and unjustly treated. In a way, I thought I had a decent chance to be in that list, but others were promoted instead. Thoughts like “no need to work so hard now” and “it’s all fixed” flowed past my mind.

I realized that even though I do not say it, but promotions meant quite a bit to me. I was hankering after them, after that honour, that recognition. Verbal approval was not enough. I needed to be recognized by the Institution officially. For a while I was down emotionally.

Slowly when I was calmer, I remember what we learnt in church. Red-Blue Bar; Obscurity, and being that big fish in a small pond, instead of a small fish in the ocean. Don’t chase after things that do not satisfy – like earthly fame.

At the end of the day, I need to re-align with what will last for eternity. Never mind the temporal things. Press on.

6 August 2008

Our 2nd Church Building is up!

Last Weekend we celebrated the 1st Sunday of our 2nd church building. To me, it was a lesson in faith. God is faithful and He can be trusted to bring to pass what He said years ago. Its really a wonderful journey to see God's leading, a 2nd time again, after the BPJ site. His words are fulfilled, "and it came to pass..." with or without those who through lack of faith did not participate.

I've yet to walk into the new building, but I know I"ll be touched when I walked into the faith building. Who cannot be touched I wonder?

Are we ready for a 3rd building I wonder?

My 1st Aid training

After 3 days of intensive training, I am now a qualified 1st Aider, trained in CPR, PAM, bandages, etc with 29/30 for theory test. If I see an accident on the street, would I rush over to help? Qualified yes, ready - perhaps not yet. I don't have the tools. I don't have the confidence. Maybe, the last and most important - I don't have the heart - unless, its my dying family members. But who knows, when disaster strikes, the unseen & unknown me may just rise up and surprised everyone.

Busy Singaporeans

Today I went earlier for my 1st Aid course, and since I was early, I sat down at Jurong East Station. The hordes of busy people swarmed past me endlessly - even ruthlessly. There was a NUS student there selling flags, but nobody stopped to buy from him. A few did. But very few. One lady put in a $2 note. It reminded me of Jesus who had the leisure time to watch people put in their donations. I did not see any widow's mite, but I saw few generous Singaporeans. Perhaps we are suffering from charity overdose & bad publicity - think Ren Ci & NKF sagas. Personally I wouldn't have donated. But today I saw the poor boy and when asked, dropped in 60 cts. I had the time, though not much money.

15 June 2008

YEP Training

Recently I signed up for YEP training. This training prepares us to lead students to the nearby region as part of their service learning. It consists of 2 days of indoor training and 3 days of experiential learning in Batam. The strange thing is that even the very experience leaders are joining us for this training - such a bore for them.

Anyway, for me it was an eye-opener. Previously I had been to and led some mission trips to many countries. I count myself experienced. However, after listening to some of their "horror stories" with students and authorities, I count myself very blessed to be sheltered all these while. Thank God, so much things could have happened but didn't. I became more wary and learnt to be more careful in future.

Things like 1st aid training, working only with recognised local partners, and proper facilitation training are just some of the things that we did not do previously and am not aware of until now.

Are we then being too careful? I feel that now that I'm aware, its better to err on the side of caution, especially with my school teams.

Thanks God for the exposures like these!

Sermon for Fathers

Today is Father's Day. My day. Well, just another day made popular by the commercial world.

The speaker spoke from Job's experience in 1:5 whereby Job woke early and offered bunt offerings for all his kids continually. Previously he was advocating for 4 irreducible minimum roles for fathers, i.e. caregiver, educator, disciplinarian and play-mate. Today he suggested a 5th - priest. Fathers are to pray for their children and not stop at simply providing for their basic needs.

I see it as very true. In our society, fathers normally either discipline their kids or play with their kids. The other 2 roles are seldom played out, much less the 5th role, that of priesthood. When was the last time that I prayed for my girls on a regular basis? Hardly. Sadly.

I like the speaker's probing questions for the fathers. (1) What are you found doing early in the morning? Praying for your kids like Job, or preparing for your work, or sleeping?

(2) How are you preparing for the spiritual foundation of your kids? He suggested some helps:
- ask God for spiritual hunger for your kids. Pray. Pray with your wife.
- pray for wisdom from on high - most of the time we have no simple answers.
- start praying for and with them
- ask your kids to share their spiritual journey, so that you know where they are at now.

(3) Do we reflect Jesus to our kids? Or am I reflecting an obsolete and indifferent father who is there but not really there.

My problem is being a passive father. Most of the times, at nights when I'm home, I do not really get involved with what they are doing. They may be playing on the laptop beside me, but I do not know what exactly they are playing. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe, I'm just indifferent and self-centred.

I was challenged in the sermon today to make it a point to love my girls more to be involved in their lives. I see next Tuesday as an opportunity to bring them out and do something exciting for them. Yes, we are going to Arab street to look around the area and then eat by the roadside - doing crazy things together! Just like the other time where the 3 of us ate our cup noodles by the drain ;-)

Hopefully through all these, I reflect more of Christ to them. The part that really struck me today was Eli's 2 sons. Eli was a priest but yet his 2 sons were worthless fellows who do not know the Lord. What about my 2 girls? Will they be worthless women who do not know the Lord? I pray not.

12 June 2008

Being a Christian in the workplace

Recently, after 2 years plus, I slowly opened up and told my colleagues what I did before i joined here. Hitherto, I always told them I was in Construction before I join here. This was true, but not wholly true.

Lately when my M colleague asked, I revealed that I used to work in a church and shared about the workings of the Mega church. It was an eye-opener for her as most of them were surprised. At lunch the other day, another asked, and now I was more comfortable to share more.

All these was good for me. I have came out of my comfort zone and am more at ease in sharing things of my faith to my colleagues. They are not as antagonising as I feared, but in fact was curious and eager to find out more.

May the Lord give me more PDA opportunities!

M Trip with my 2 girls

Last weekend we went to Bintan with the CG/DG and I brought along my 2 girls. We had planned for an afternoon of teaching English and organising games for the village children. However when we finally reach there we discovered that the kids went to the city. Well, ok, change of plans. I learnt that what was planned may not be what will turn out in the end. Did we get angry? Nope, we learnt to flow along - this is Bintan after all, not demanding Singapore.

The next morning, we finally got to do our planned programs as well as distributing rice to the village people. Many of them were very grateful for our provisions and we were happy too.

While this was a first trip for many of us, I think that we did well, even when things did not go as we planned. We went home inspired and game for a next trip.

Some lessons learnt:
  1. Interpreter is important. Our leader's Bahasa is only 6/10. Our Indonesian maid was a great help. We need to brush up our Bahasa.
  2. Our teaching of English is quite sub-standard. Our play went over them for most parts. It may be better to have 'teach English' to the village kids and 'teach Bahasa' to the CG/DG, and then quiz both sides to see who learnt faster.
  3. We need to build upon this trip and coordinate with the rest of the DGs who are coming to do sustainable projects.
  4. RM is a "low caste" people that few want to work among. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will indeed send forth His labourers.

My girls did very well in the trip. They did not complain nor vomit nor have diarrhoea. Praise God! Hopefully this will plant a deep seed in them to love His people and excite them to continue in this important and meaningful work.

I have sent out many emails to the folks in church for the next few steps in building this work. Let's see what happens next.

18 May 2008

Our little JB Outing

Today we did an unusual thing. In the midst of driving to do our normal Sunday grocery, I suddenly suggest, "Let's go to JB!" Suddenly the girls screamed in delight and we were all excited. We had a quick breakfast, shop for groceries, a haircut for myself and zipped home to put the things and feed the dogs.

By 1130 am we headed for the causeway and managed to reach Aeon Tebrau City by 1415hrs. There was a long jam at the Singapore side which took us about an hour to clear (had to do finger print scanning - no need white cards now). At JB side, just pay RM2.90 for the toll.

We ate at the Western Hot stones restaurant, a first for all of us. The meal cost RM100 which was cheap by our standards. After that we walked around the 3 level plaza. Each of us went back with something, except Jil. We agreed that in future, we would come every month, after my payday ;-)

It's a good break to head North for this shopping and eating trip to break the monotony once in a while. However, it's a bit heavy on the pockets as they are expect to have money to spend and shop while I do not have any extra budget for it. Nonetheless, its good family bonding time.

Caterpillars to Butterflies: A Sermon Reflection

Ask any caterpillar - do you have a future? Chances are that he will not think so. His life consists of eating leaves and he is always crawling on the branch or ground. Fly in the sky? No way. He is just "doomed" to a life on the mud ground.

Yet, the caterpillar has a destiny. He has a destiny to be a beautiful butterfly flying from tree to tree, drinking nectar not eating mud.

Sometimes we may feel like we are like that caterpillar stuck in the pits doing "shit" work with no end in sight and without hope. The Word of God reminds us today that God is at work in us, forging an eternal treasure beyond our wildest imaginations (2 Cor.4:17b-18). There is hope for us in whichever dark valley that we are in. Praise God.

However we need that spiritual eyesight to see (2 Kg 6) and faith to believe in Him. Help me to see and believe Lord that I too have a future and a hope.

17 May 2008

Walking the doggies

My 2 doggies have grown a lot. The Jack Russell is 1 year 7 mth and the Schnauzer is 6mths old now. They bring us much joy and trouble too ;-)

The JR always get bullied by S at home. Once outside, JR becomes the bully, to strangers. He will pounce on them and bark very ferociously, frightening even the biggest of men. He is still very energetic in his walks and pulls me in his walks. S is a bit timid outside though very naughty at home. At home, if they are both freed, S will chase after the older JR and often barks at JR for no particular reason. Outside, S is quite reluctant to walk at certain places and needs to be dragged or carried.

So far, I'm always the one walking them. I do it once a week and one at a time, JR 1st then S. My colleagues laugh at me, but frankly its tough bringing the 2 of them at the same time, unless my ladies at home wants to help (like when it's not too hot).

They are growing well and continue to bring joy to us. S is always the hungry fellow. Every morning when I wake up at 5 plus to go work, he will jump up on his cage and bark for food. At first, I tried to ignore him, but it did not work and his barks were too ear piercing at the wee hours of morning. He only takes about 10 seconds to finish his food. JR, on the other hand continues his sleep and will only eat later in the morning.

S will always pee and poo in his cage. JR wants to keep his cage clean so that he can sleep in it and thus always does his business outside his cage on the newspapers. Sadly, until now they are not toilet trained or doggie trained and we have to clean them up 4-5 times a day. Their "home" which is our balcony, is getting more and more run down with each day.

Yet despite all these, a dog is a man's best friend. I have great joy when I bring them out and see them responding to me. When they are on the bench with me, it is a great stress reliever, to stroke their fur and talk to them. And by the way they looked at you adoringly, it is the best feeling in the world!

Parenting woes

It seems like I will get into a quarrel with my gals everyday. Today the 1st fight was over waking my younger gal up to go for her Wushu class. I tried the nice approach, "Please get up girl, it's already 7:30am" She screamed back some unpleasant words and that got me mad. It was all hot and angry words thereafter. Since I was not so successful, I drag my wife in and get her to help. We ended up with all three of us being angry and frustrated and wanting to stop going for the class.

Is that the right thing to do? Can we have more peace and level-headedness in this home? I prayed that we can and may peace prevail.

Shortly after, the battlefield change then towards my older daughter. I asked her to hurry up as we were running late. She got angry and shouted. I was furious and slammed the door leaving her at home alone, since she exclaimed defiantly that she can stay at home.

Another parenting disaster. Later she called and spoke to my wife and expressed that she wanted to go for lunch too. Of course, we agreed.

We are an explosive family. All four of us has very short fuses and will blow up at the least of agitation. Sigh, in this respect, we are not very Christian and can do with much help. I am also not a forgiving and loving father and husband. I know all the theories but when it comes to practice, my self-will and interests takes over. And unfortunately, the girls picked that up from me too, like "pour your own drink!" or "go and answer the phone please!!" So strange that I don't faced these problems at work - in fact, I'm the exact opposite at work.

Lord please intervene and help us overcome these weaknesses.

Things are falling into its place nicely

Some time ago, I was very down and asked what am I doing here in this school. I felt lost and cheated by my previous employers. I felt like I am wasting my life again in this place.

Today, there seemed to be a little light bulb switched on and I began to see some light. I am tasked to do mentoring to the newbies, and it fitted me to a T. I like to orientate the newcomers and make them feel welcome. Hey I have been doing this for the mega-Ch before and what is doing it for a small department 29 staff strong? I felt energised when I am affirmed and when I know my stuff.

In the department, I felt like I'm the un-official No.4 man, below the Big boss and the 2 deputies. Between me and the EA, I think we solved 80% of all the problems in the department and eased the headaches of the top 3 fellows. Here again I felt recognised and affirmed by my colleagues. In fact, most of all my colleagues that I spoke to asked if they approached me for the new position since 1 of the deputies is being transferred out. Unfortunately, they are taking in someone from outside. But it sure feels good to be acknowledged.

Spiritually, my tie-ups with this Nav guy and my former East Zone member to bring in Christianity to the school is getting exciting. Pray that this will take root and expand into many more lives being ushered into His kingdom. For once, I'm able to fulfil the call of evangelism in a fresh new way. Lord, do continue to bring me more contacts and use me as a channel for souls here.

It was also exciting to discuss matters of faith in a bold and yet unthreatening way. That day, 3 of us sat down for lunch. A RC, Muslim and me a Christian. We were asking the Muslim colleague why she converted to Muslim. It was open and yet down in a friendly and fun way. Praise God! May more of these opportunities arise. Now I felt bolder and intend to meet my 2 exiting colleagues and share with them before their last day at work. In fact, one of them always remind me of my CG activities and whether I have shared with the CG on things that we discussed.

It is indeed a good turn of events, from despair to delight and purpose. Thank God. Sometimes its strange how for very long nothing seems to move and we can be easily despaired. But the kairos time of God is very important, once its here, things will move. Also, I felt strongly it could be due to the 2 years of 24/365 prayers for the nation of Singapore that things are moving.

Praise God!

13 May 2008

Today's QT

It has been since i last did my QT. The last few months has been a case of "Bible Reading is enough". I repent after last Sunday's sermon and now try my best to do my QTs in the office. Today's passage is on Col.3: 12-17

The phrase that struck me was "v13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."

Yesterday my younger gal was especially sick – I could tell because she was not her 'naughty' self. I was tender to her and offered to help her more than usual. It was a nice tender feeling for my daughter. I should do more of that and I know she’ll reciprocate and the atmosphere at home will change for the kinder. It is about time love prevails at home instead of angry words.

Help me Lord to remain and pursue to be bearing with one another, especially to those at home. It's so much easier to be kind at the workplace, where being good brings quick praise and a good name. At home, the tokens are slow to bring 'rewards' - not that I should be looking for such rewards.

11 May 2008

Latest Book - Building people

This is a rather interesting book, "Building People - Sunday Emails from a CEO" by Liew Mun Leong. In it he gave many interesting anecdotes on life, work, and the world. Some of the stories that struck me are..

His credo - Paranoia, Perfectionist and Persevere: 3 important traits in life. He mentioned the story of a Japanese engineer, Mr Sakai when constructing the Changi airport, ordered a re-paving of the runway for some concrete irregularities found. That waste of 1 day's work cost US$17k, but to him, he don't want 20 years later for his grandchildren to land in Changi and they criticised his work. Take pride in doing a perfect job - all the time!

Importance of corporate discipline. At Euston railway station in Manchester, the train was delayed for 26 minutes by the train driver who came late. The train with 10 coaches had to wait for an ill-disciplined late driver. And the worst thing is that such delays are common. Need to instill discipline in the organisation.

Story of a senior engineer from PWD sent to help him, not articulate, not motivated, due to the years of being thumb down by bureaucracy and superiors. But when given freedom and trust,this chap excelled and gain confidence. Later he left the public sector to become GM in the private sector. This story told me that we just need someone to believe in us and give us a chance. Don't just accept failure and wallow.

Kamikaze pilots (page 157). They were very committed to their tasks, though given little for their toil. The part that struck me was that the US Navy respected their courage and lowered the failed dead pilots in coffins wrapped in US flags into the deep blue sea. What respect! and from the enemy too. How far would we be committed towards our own causes?

I'm touched by his way of life and his care for his health. In church previously, we often talked about caring for your souls and body, and of how important exercises are. Here, he mentioned that he run daily and also on his de-stress methods, including watching Cantonese movies before he sleeps.

It is indeed important to keep our bodies well oiled and tuned to fight the long battles on earth.

Final Term Check up

Next Friday is our IDT Final Term Check Up. I dread the day as its Exam's day for us to check if we have learnt our memory verses and Discipling paradigms. Thankfully the verses are lesser for this time. Still, I got to start this afternoon to write out the verses onto my namecards and to learnt them as I walk to the bus-stop each day.

Do we need such exams? How I wished there were none. Old-ies like me cannot really remember well. Yet, maybe another reason I dislike it is the inevitable 'comparisons' at the end where we need to submit our exam scores to the DGL and he has to collate to pass it to the Zone Mentor. It'll not be nice if I scored only 60-70 and the rest of my DG scores 90s. Face comes into the picture. By the way, my score at the last check up was 80, before that - 70+.

Of course, I can disregard the face part and just do my 'level best'. Sure, but the motivation level will not be as strong. My proposed way is to do scripture memory at a reasonable pace and at a modular level, say 8 verses per month to be checked at the small group level. Once its reviewed. go onto the next 8 verses. This should be done all year round until its becomes like our HP number which we won't forget.

alright, enough said...better take my lunch and get on with the memory work ;-)

P.S. I scored 88, actually higher because my marker very strict. But never mind, it was a good score. Interesting how we are motivated for little brownie points and may missed the bigger picture of letting the Word of God work in us.

Mother's Day Sermon reflections

The Speaker today, a mother, spoke from Ps 100, entitling her sermon as, "The Secret to Joy". Her 2 points are: Know that God is GOD and Know that God is GOOD. While I may tend to switch off at these kind of narrow-focus topics, today's sermon did speak to me some important reminders and lessons.

Know that God is GOD. Do I know that the LORD Himself is God? Sure I know it intellectually, but when the crunch comes, and tugs at my emotions or wallet, do I still know that He is God? If I do know that He is God, why do I still worry then? I'm reminded that God is my shepherd and I'm His sheep. He will take care of me. 24-365. I need to learn to release my cares and worries unto Him. A very hard lesson for me.

One application that I drew for myself today is to re-start my QT in office. For a while I have stopped doing that, only Bible reading, which I'm doing quite decently. It's time to re-start it doing my own model, rather than the IDT DJ format which I find restrictive. It may be good testimony and interest-stirrer to read my Bible in the office. People may be stirred to ask what am I doing. In the past, I will be terrified at that. Now I'm more at ease with it, and can even put up little posters to draw others attention to spiritual things. Hopefully now others won't think that I'm a 2 face hypocrite in the office. I must walk the talk.

She mentioned about how difficult it was for housewives to keep up with their devotional lives. For her, she prays in the kitchen, talking to her stoves and pans. To her, even kitchen stoves can be turned into a burning bush (sounds like Brother Lawrence's example to me). I think its great. It is finding God in the ordinary things of life. Not something that all of us know how to do.

Another point that struck me was the building up of the spiritual lives of our kids. She shared about how the 2 of them take pains to read Scriptures to their kids and how their kids grew up to honour the Word. Here, I felt most guilty. How often have I spoke up for, and showed a positive example to my gals for the Word of God?

Right now that I am writing these, my older gal is beside me playing her Voodoomins, a computer game, with her sister beside her. I am often at a lost how to turn the hours of playing computer games into something more spiritual.

While the sermon touches the heart, often that is not enough to turn words into action. The speaker can only sow the seeds. The action part needs to come from the listener. Also, another part is very important. The listener needs moral courage to act upon it, and to continue at it. If not, all good things come to an abrupt end. Oh, for good CG/DG members/friends to come alongside and poke me forward.

I was reminded not to give up in this important task to bring up my gals in the fear of the Lord. How? I got no answers now, Only prayer. Whilst that group of mother gather to pray for their teenage kids during the Saturday Youth meeting time, maybe my 1st step is to start and pray for them and for me.

Football's pull

I have been a football fan and player since the early 70s. While I was never good enough for the school or state team, I can still play at a decent level in my hay days. My favourite role was either a full back or right back.

The team that I supported for a long time is Manchester United, since the 80s, i guessed as it was simply way far back to remember. My favourite player now is Park Ji Sung, the Korean winger. He stands for me an icon, that if you work very hard, you can succeed at the highest levels.

My team is in the final game against Wigan. The EPL crown hinges on tonight's game. Soon thereafter, they will battle away with Chelsea for the Champions League Title, which they have last won in 1999 (I watched that game!) For me, tonight's game is a Must-watch match. In fact, I'm tensed up now, 9.5 hrs away from the game, wondering who'll win, who'll score, and whether Wigan will deny them the crown. Football has indeed a strange strong pull on me. It can caused tensions and frustrations that other things can't do. It can wake me up at 2.30 in the wee hours of the morning to watch it though I have a full teaching day the next morning. Powerful!

Then again, my wife thinks I'm nuts. It's simply incomprehensible for her. Or like what the advertisers say, "The Ladies don't get it!"

Come on United! And may Park score one too tonight.

P.S. We won! 2-0. And now for the Big one in Moscow!

10 May 2008

Dealing with Failures in our School

Yesterday we had a long discussion on what we should do to the failures of our module. For too long, we had been under pressure to pass as many as possible, especially those students who have passed their core modules but failed ours. Our main grouse is on why should we bend our standards and pass the "bugger" who have not attended a single lesson in 18 weeks and just need to come to do a simple test and get away with it. Worse, this chap has to be stalked at the exams hall, escorted all the way to our office and "forced" to do the test and get an automatic pass! Some of them who knew the loopholes in this system, cheekily tell off one of my colleagues, "See you at the exam hall!"

Are teachers here so impotent? Are we to forever swallow our integrity and pass these "terok-terok" students?

We discussed and talked for 1.5 hrs. In the end the conclusion is that we make them do another simplified project and asked them to come for about 4-6 hrs for us to speak some sense into them. And of course, the miracle happens and they passed the module - without attending much lessons and probably never even buying the course workbook. What a mockery of the whole system! My take is that this "terok-terok" would not even come for your make-up project and class, and we have to end up with the exam hall stalking again.

The whole matter, i believe, can be solved if we are serious about the standards. If they don't do well enough or are not serious enough, let them fail. Don't push them up. Hang on to our corporations core values - Integrity. In so doing, our morales will be higher and we will be able to lift our heads in front of our students.

What about the Christian teacher in this situation? Tough, in fact very tough. For me, i failed in just going along with my bosses' orders and never seriously think it through for myself and make a stand. It's the easier path.

I was encouraged by another colleague who made the 'terok" students stay for remedial classes on Fridays to try to speak some sense into their hardened minds - and it seemed to work for 1-2 of them! I should rise up and do something more - don't be too easy anymore. Put in the effort to reach out and try harder to change them.

Another thought shared by another colleague - why are we just concentrating on the failures? Why not work on attracting them to come to class and help them do well? Great thought!

I have slacken a fair bit since my 1st year and is on cruise mode now in my 2nd year. I need to wake up and put in more efforts in my teaching. Both for their good and mine. I want to be able to see God with joy and the satisfaction that I have done my level best in this vocation.

Sickness in the Family

After more than 1 week of flu, fever and cough, and raking up more than S$150 in medical bills, my older daughter have finally recovered. But our joy is short-lived as my younger daughter and wife fell ill, same sickness, yesterday. So here we go, all over again. Taking medicine, meeting all their every whim and fancy for water, sweets, chrysanthemum, cold water to sponge, sleeping in their beds, etc.etc..

The doctor commented in jest, "Wow, the daddy is the last man standing!" Yup, only a matter of time now before I too join in the queue to pay our medical bills to her clinic...

Could we have prevented all these? Maybe some exercises will have helped. Maybe more vitamin C popping too. These are the things that my gals at home never do. For me, I better drink more water and pop the Vit C more regularly.

We can cure physically sickness and they are usually more visible. What about spiritual sickness I wonder? Do we know if we are spiritually sick? Are there any signs and symptoms? Can we swiftly recover from them?

Last night at DG, 5 out of 8 of us were there. Is absence a spiritual sign & symptom? Is an absence of things to share, dry spiritual walk, not zest to do the daily journal, not evangelising, no fruits, all signs too?

Who is the spiritual doctor for us ? Is it the pastor, who is not often within reach? Or is it our 1st level defence - the DGL?

Even when we can spot it, and saw the doctor for it, is there an effective medicine to take to recover from our spiritual sickness? Sometimes in spiritual sickness, the 'patient' himself may know that he is not well, but yet do not want to recover, preferring to wallow in his sickness.

Just some ramblings from a soon to be sick person... ;-)

4 May 2008

Liquid egg to hard-boiled?

Today is one of those Sundays where God spoke. First it was through the worship song and then the sermon.

We sang all ‘oldies’ today – but it was good once a while to remember our songs of old, instead of the newer and ‘noisier’ songs. When it came to “How great Thou art”, there was a phrase there that struck me, “When Christ shall come and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart…” A quick thought struck me – is it joy that will fill my heart, or something else? Maybe shame. Or regret?

For me the certainty of Christ’s return has never been a doubt. But yet, I’m still somehow stuck in the wallowing process. Where I will meet the Saviour and yet had little to show and yet feel indifferent and not fearful enough to do anything about it. Sad. Shame. Apathy. The communion that we had just gone through came forth as a reminder – don’t just sing and shout about your love for God, show Him the works. Where do you love God? I can last time. I cannot now – sure I have tokens here and there, but deep down I know it’s not enough. The heart has not changed yet.

Then came the next strike. The speaker shared about the story of 3 things: carrots, egg and coffee. They are went through the hot water of “affliction” but came out differently. The hard carrot became softer in the hot boiling water. The liquid egg became hardened in the process of prolonged boiling. The coffee was different – it totally changes its substance and gave off a wonderful aroma. The speaker then went on to ask, “What kind are we?”

No prize for guessing. I’m not the 1st and 3rd kind, but the 2nd kind – once soft and pliable in the hands of God, now bitter and hardened (thankfully not totally hardened). Have I allowed myself to be hardened by persecution/trials? Have I seen things wrongly and blamed God? The next question is important: how long more am I going to remain hardened?

Today the pastors urged us to sign up and be involved in service or ministry. Suddenly I remembered my BB days – shall I join them back? And jump into the trying but happy days? Now I have little ministry – a lot of time but not much growth and challenges and don’t need God. Last time it was very packed days, worry like crazy and praying like desperate men – and grew a lot.

Whither the BB ministry? Or maybe a mentoring type of ministry?

Please show the way LORD.

28 April 2008

Leaders no Enough

Today I had lunch with someone from my former zone. It was great to meet up again and talked about the Christian walk. It also warms my heart to see him zealous for the things of the Lord. He is truly a good guy for the Kingdom of God.

As we talked, we touched invariably on the subject of the lack of leaders in the Kingdom of God and of the many things left to the 20 percent to do. "Why is the Church not building her leaders?", He asked.

It is an age old problem and we do not have a solution yet.

It is one of those issues that I was passionate about in my younger days. From that sprung forth my involvement with the BB movement, to develop young men who can one day become the leaders of the church. In this respect, I have some little success.

But what about now? This church still needs leaders and she is not producing them fast enough. I thought the MG was a good system to produce leaders. But that was amended with the current IDT system. Well, let's see how this goes to solve the leadership shortage.

What about me? What can I do? I am too old to be involved in BB again. What I think I can do is to help develop leaders in a small group context and to help mentor them through their situations. I just need a platform to do it - either through DG, or at the Zone level.

Is this something that I can and should do? Help me Lord, show me the way.

27 April 2008

When you are at the end of the rope

Today is one of those days when I'm really at the end of my 'rope'. I had always wished for a family that goes to church together, worships and serves together. But it seemed that it is not really happening now. This morning, I had to call and force my 8 year old daughter to wake up and go to church. She screamed, "I don't want!" Why? Silence. A silence that is due more to defiance and apathy than guilt. At my own lost of words to persuade and cajole, I turned to my wife. She called once and then promptly also dozed back to sleep.

True, we are all going through a bad patch. My daughter had been ill for more than a week. At the 3rd visit to the doctor, she was diagnosed to have a chest infection, which necessitated more rests (tomorrow is her exam). My wife had a tough time to look after her and it also incurred sleepless nights. Of course, while all these things were happening, it didn't help that my younger daughter was throwing her tantrums to wrest back attention.

So here we are, all my 3 ladies preferred to sleep more than to go church. In anger, I screamed, "Why is it that no one cares for the things of God?" And I left to go to church - a broken man.

Today's sermon was aptly titled, "Don't Lose heart". Talk about good timing. Ps Kai was sharing on we not losing heart: when you receive our ministry as a gift (it's God's not ours); when you redefine our success markers; and when we recognise that it's all about our Master.

The part that struck me was when we shared about how Andy asked about the practical part - how do we put it into practise on how to die to ourselves so that we do not lose heart? He said that most of us have not died enough, simply because we have not been at our end of the rope. We are still managing the pain, still "wisely" working out alternatives, but not at that point where we have no one else to turn to but God.

For me, the last few years were hard for the family. Our communication was strained. The gals were becoming independent and at times defiant. The finance part was trying. Most things, if I'm not spiritually-focused, are crumbling and coming apart.

This morning, when I let out that scream, I am literally at the end of my rope. Help from on high is really needed. Ps Kai reminded us that it is exactly in times like this, when we let go and let God, that we can have a breakthrough.

But how? I struggled. By surrendering and waiting and letting go. Pray. He will take over and I will have cause to rejoice and to share His great works. Now it's still all about how & what I do to cover up the situation. When I let go, a new supernatural wave will come in and take over.

Do your work LORD.

19 April 2008

My wife's birthday

It was supposed to be a birthday to celebrate. But sometimes things have their own ways and a day to rejoice became a day to groan.

I woke up to find that my younger girl do not want to go for her wushu lessons. She was supposed to join the school team and should be training every Sat from 8 to 12.30 Today she complained of a leg pain and simply refuses to get up. My wife urges her for a while and gave up. I lost my cool and screamed and threatened, knowing that it is not as painful as she claims. In the end? she did not go and was as lively as any 8 year old. I was furious of course. And that started our day badly.

My older girl's fever worsened and she need to stay at home while we went for breakfast. It continued to rise and fall, hitting a high of 39.6 degree. We finally decided (actually my wife decided) that we need to take her to see the doctor. I brought her there and came back $67 poorer - these guys really charged a princely sum!

We were supposed to go to T3 to celebrate. We ended up eating from packet food bought from the nearby foodcourt. My poor wife got no celebration, no cake, no dinner. Well that's the price for being a mother! She went out though after that to celebrate with her friends.

Well at the end of the day, there are some things that we can plan, but God brings all things into fruition. And it will turn out to be for the ultimate good. Just got to trust Him in that.

High turnover in the Office

Yet another of my colleague handed in her resignation and announced that it was her last day. Sigh. Of my normal lunch group of 5, now we are down to just 3, with 1 leaving next month. There was also another lady in our dept who asked to be on no pay leave.

Its sad when all your good friends are leaving one by one. One of them told me, "Eh, morale low now. So many leaving... will you stay on?" I thought to myself, "If i have no family obligations, I would also leave at the first possible opportunity. But, now things are different. I have a family of 6 to look after."

Are those who are staying the deadwoods of the dept? Or the cause of the exodus? Hopefully not. Maybe another way to see it is that now is the chance for me to move on and up.

Ultimately, it is not the people who should decide my emotions. I must re-focus on my purpose of being here and not to lose sight of it. Of course its harder in reality. My comfort and reminder is from the scene of Hotel Rwanda, when the House Manager turns down the opportunity to leave even when he secured his exit visas, to stay on with the Tutsi refugees, because he knows they will die without his help. I may not be that influential or messianic in their lives, but I know there is a place for me to fulfil the will of God here. So hang on! Even though all my good pals may leave. God is still here with me.

5 April 2008

Left Hand of God

I went for a talk at NUS Guild House on 3 Apr. It turned out to be one of those recruiting talks for consultants. They offered FREE 48hrs of training in return for certification (recognised by?) and that I must complete 3 simple assignments before they can refund the $3.5k I put in. I am not too convinced that it is worth it. Never really heard of CCA or AMA. Besides what can 48 hrs of training train you?

I am disheartened by the so many promising talks that turn out to be scams and lemons. Surely there is like what they say, no free lunch.

The next day was the IDT session. I went there reluctantly, knowing that I have not done my 5 sessions and that its going to be the same dull talks and sharings.

Ps KK shared about Biblical Priorities. It didn't really strike me until he mentioned about the Melbourne incident where a couple met them out of the blue. I am reminded of Divine Appointments in the KOG. When things seemed least expected, God can step in and intervene and make something worthwhile. He also mentioned about the Left Hand of God, the seemingly worthless and impotent things that finally turned out very well in His economy of things.

IDT sessions are like that. In a way we feel that it’s a waste of time with nothing really important transacted. But in the wisdom of God, in the left handedness of God's ways, divine appointments will be made. Lives will be changed. And things may never be the same again.

I want to learn to trust God in the IDT sessions and the DG sharing times. Even when nothing much seem to happen, let's hang in there. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of God, knowing that our work is not in vain in the LORD.

29 March 2008

Flower pots and Flower Plots

What is our life bounded by? How big is the area for our growth?

A 'by-chance' sight of a pot of plants by the Katong Florists gave me this insight into our human growth boundary. There are limits for each of us - whether imposed by self or by circumstances or by society. He is autistic - the flower pot becomes very small. He is a bright kid - suddenly there's no limits for his growth, and he is potted by fertile ground.

What am I bounded by? Is it a small $3 pot or the vast limitless land? What bounds me? Is it childhood voices from my parents? Or society 's ridicule?

God today promises no boundaries for my growth. In fact He goes one step better. He plants me firmly besides streams of living water. For those who delights in the law of the LORD (Ps.1:2-3).

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