Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When giving Christmas gifts became more difficult...

Christmas time can be totally stressful for me these days. Especially when the children are older but not grown up. It the in between ages where trends shift faster than the speed of light that make getting gifts an extremely difficult endeavour. I took so much time thinking about what to get I almost forgot the "reason the the season." Getting gifts for the sake of having something to give. It's almost a "save face" thing.

Since Chirstmas is about the greatest gift given to is by God. And God gives gifts with a purpose and because it pleases Him to do so.

I resolved to focus giving gifts with a purpose and not focus onthe size nor expense of it. My gifts to my loved ones this year were mostly inexpensive but the truth was the gift to themwas the computer type written notes.

I pray they get the "message"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rambling About Whether Singapore has a Culture of Service?

One local radio personality thinks not. I tend to agree with him. The question is why?

Here we're trying to create/develop a service culture. But even with all the push coming down from the Govt  to a up and coming reality show "can you serve." I don't think it will do much to create a culture of service. This is what I think: In trying to built a Service Culture in our nation. If the focus is in the doing it will eventually fall on it's face.

A culture of service can only come out from the same place where courtesy and graciousness come from. That place is the place of honour. Ageism and racism and sexism have no room in the place of honour.

Just the other day I was with a friend at a food centre when we were approached by an elderly lady selling tissue packets. We bought 3 packets for a dollar. She then proceeded to tell us how on the previous day she had approached a couple only to have the man throw the packets back at her.  He also chided and berated her and apparently may have been verbally abusive.

Singaporeans behaving in such a manner, with graciousness are unlikely to do well at all in creating a service culture. Graciousness  as in be courteous and forgiving.

Bottom line is that service culture comes out of a gracious culture. Gracious culture comes of of a culture of honour. That is honouring others not the "save-my-own-face" honour

Now what is a culture of honour.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Surprised by God

God has surprised me these last two weeks. Two Thursdays ago, during staff meeting, Senior Pastor sense that God wanted to touch those who have regrets from ministry in the past. I felt and strong urge within me. I began to cry uncontrollably and responded to the call.

I have been carrying with me a scar from ministry way back from my days in youth ministry. Its been 15 years and a long time to carry the scar of guilt. There have been occasions in the past where I have been able to initiate and ask for forgiveness from one or two of the youth from back then. E had at times brush this off as unnecessarily racking up the past.

After a time of prayer and ministry, I wiped my tears and was about to return to my seat when from behind me Deb came up, gave me tissue, a hug and a word of affirmation. I broke down a second time. Deb was one of the youth leaders back then.

Flash-forward to last Friday evening. I was helping with child(ren)-minding at the UKidz Advance. That evening was no different for the three men and a grandma who were assigned to look after the kids while the adults had their session. We were screen a Veggie Tales Video so the children were quite settled. All but my Small One.

The adult session was not the usual one, it was what we have come to call a spiritual spa i.e. a time of reflection, meditation and communion. My small one got restless and asking for mummy. I brought her out of the function room only to see E coming out the adult session and waving me to join her. "Can you spare a few minutes in there?" she asked, pointing at were the adults were having the spa. I thought she was asking me to join her for a time there, so I prepared to go through the different stations.

When I went in, E directed me immediately to the feet washing station. There a young man was waiting to wash my feet. He looked familiar. "Benjamin" flashed through my head but "Joseph" was on his name tag. I sat down and let him wash my feet. I can't remember the blessing he prayed but remember the word "leader" mentioned. When he had finished, I began to put on my shoes when E stopped me as she wanted to wash my feet. Now, that was an emotional moment. After that was over, Joseph approached me spoke to me. He had been holding a grudge against me since my youth ministry days. Now he wanted to have reconciliation between us. It was then I remembered. I hugged him.

Later was to learn from E that it was Joseph that asked for me and not E had initially wanted me there.

Having Joseph do the act of reconciliation by the washing of my feet was what God was using to bring closure the scar and memory back from 15 years ago. It was not so much what was said but what was done that was significant.

God could have used anyone of the youth from back then. He could have used Deb to bring closure, but it may not have been enough. God chose Joseph because he was the one of youngest of them there. He was barely a teen then. He was among the "forgotten" ones. I remembered him as Benjamin.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Quiet Father

Dad has always been the quiet type. Seldom have I seen or heard him raise his voice. I think I've become like him in manner. This may be a disadvantage, especially when you (I) have women who are strong minded and strong willed around.
Right now I am struggling through days because of my mild manner. Unlike Clark Kent who can just run into some telephone booth (if they still exist) and transform into Superman; I have no Krypton blood in me (if that exist at all).

Having strong minded females in my life is no help.

Being watching "企鹅爸爸"Penguin Father or Daddy at Home. (It's the 9pm show on Channel 8.) There are so many strong minded women in there. The men for the most part are subservient to the wives. Even the father-in-law of Liu Bang in all his macho-man-should-be-the-breadwinner attitude is henpecked by the

I feel a affinity to both Liu Bang and the Chen Hanwei character of Zhen Kang. Liu Bang situation for one reason but Zhen Kang's for the simple reason like him I have a teenage daughter I'm losing touch with and whom I feel is total embarrassed about me.

I feel like a Penguin Dad sometimes, doing all the household things that are not covered by the once-a-week cleaner that comes in or my mum-in-law, on the top of things at work.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Horror Cab Ride

I was taken for a ride by a SMRT Taxi yesterday.

I was at Queenstown (Commonwealth Ave). Flagged the cab to go to Kallang Sector (Kallang Way). Told the driver to go by CTE followed by PIE.

Here's where I travelled:
Commonwealth Ave (towards Leng Kee) turned right on to Alexandra Rd ... Straight up to Keppel Rd turned left towards Vivo City hung on right lane. "Oh sorry I miss the turn on to CTE we go by AYE to Rochor and then straight ..." AYE-ECP-Rochor Road, hung on the right lane all the way till Serangoon Rd junction turned right on Serangoon Road. Straight up till the PIE/Upper Serangoon Intersection.
"Good" I thought "At least now can get on to PIE and just turn into Kallang Way. He goes onto Macpherson Road!!! Argh. I lost my bearing. In the end, I got to wear I needed to go.

The question is whether or not I send "feedback" to SMRT about this matter.

The Red line was my actual route to Kallang Way.
The Blue line my intended route.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jump 4 Joy

I am trying to recall the different occasions when JOY was the word given to me:

The first time was back in June, when Benjamin said that God gave him the word Joy for me.
The next I remember was 14 Oct when Paul said he saw the word "JOY" over me.
That same day, an online thingie: "God wants you to know ..."
... got a message that on this day, God wants him to know that to burn out the pain, just find a place filled with joy.
God created joy as a balm for pain. What are some places, who are some people filled with joy that you can rely on to ease your pain?
Just last Sunday 1 Nov again the word "JOY" was given. This time coupled with another word that brought back memory of a long ago talk I had with God. It was the word "DELIGHT"

It reminded me of the verse Psalm 37:4 and a prayer I prayed back in the beginning of 1990. I asked the Lord to teach me how to delight in Him. I also gave up to Him the urge to have a partner (read girlfriend) and prepared myself to be single the rest of my life . That year I was granted a desire of my heart ... I met my life-partner.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The LONG Silence III - The Wonder-full Small E

A long silence due to the fact that my hands have been tied busy with looking after and out for the wonderful small E. And for three meanings to being wonderful.

Uno: she is a wonderful girl as in terrific/nice/lovely
Due: she is filled(full) with wonder. She finds fascination is the most mundane things: Like a plastic wash basin.
Tre: she is fills me with wonder. She never seizes to amaze me and surprise me with her antics. Yesterday, she took a coaxial cable splitter and using it as her microphone started to sing "Praises to the One who saves us, Thru His blood He saves us ...."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hunger and Thirst!!!

Tis is a short one:

This verse has popped up like four times the last seven days.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 6Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied

You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I hate feeling rushed ...

Yesterday I asked why I always feel rushed when boarding and alighting a taxi. It not only the taxi now. This morning while withdrawing ash from the ATM at an Esso station, I fumbled while trying to keep my card and take the cash before the machine swallowed it and ended up dropping the cash the floor.

First I thought that my fluster in the cab was because when the taxi stops on the roadside/cab stand, there's always this car/vehicle with an impatient occupant behind (who will honk!)or an individual who can't wait to get into the cab (I had even one get in before I finished payment).

It's this whole feeling of being hurried to finish what I'm doing or face the anger or wrath of others. Trying to be the "nice guy."

This morning's incident, with the ATM and having no queue behind me, blows that analysis. It's not just people - machines too. It got to do with: "if I don't get this done then this will happen and if this happens then this will follow ...." and on and on. The fear of consequence (negative ones). Arghhhh!!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Horror Story - one full of "quotes" and {paratheses}

Do I have a horror story for you! Actually no! However, I must "pen" this down before it's forgotten.

Sunday, 27 Sept 2006, in the afternoon. Met up with E at Liang Court where upon she "handed over" small E (and J) to my care while she went for her monthly Spa session. Everything went fine and "as usual" except that the ATM couldn't dispense cash and I was stuck with only $4/- in my wallet. In the end I had to "borrow" $10/- from J (red packet money from her Por Por) to buy lunch for myself. As usual small E wanted to "share daddy's ma-mum."

We scrambled into a cab to go to my dad's home. (Had enough balance from $14/- after lunch for a one way trip). Arrived at dad's place, paid the driver, got out of the cab with small in one arm and her bag of stuff in the other. Helped J with the stroller. ... (Always feel rushed when boarding and alighting a taxi I wonder why...?)

"Where's my wallet?!!" Oh no! I left my wallet in the cab! The next few minutes were spent overturning the stuff in small E bag as well as calling Comfort Cab and being transferred to Lost and Found, describing my wallet, where I took the cab from and to where, time of Journey, Calling my brother to cancel his sub-card .. and praying - asking God to protect my wallet and return it to me.

Within 10 minutes I got a call from Comfort Cab Lost-n-Found stating that their have located the wallet, gave me the cab driver's hp number and the taxi number. I connected the cab driver. He'd bring it back to the house. The next 20 minutes were like twenty hours. Got the wallet back. Stuff was all intact. Gave a tip to the driver. ("Borrow" this time from my mum there was only $2/- in my wallet.)

I thank God for the getting my wallet back to me. Keeping everything safe.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Long Silence

Spent most of last week setting up iMac in the A/V console at church and Mac mini with the foyer Announcement LCDs. Didn't have time to blog or update my tweets.

So the last vestiges of the IT Dept's involvement in the auditorium have been removed. It fact with the switch to Macs by the Media-Comms Dept in the console coupled with the handing over of the projectionists/projection duties earlier this year, IT Dept no longer has duties on weekends. What I've done since then, is to keep myself busy by helping the Admin Pool with Counter services. This was at the suggestion of Carolyn the church's Adminstrator. Making myself available when needed to troubleshoot in the auxiliary locations.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The "Long" Silence

Haven't had the opportunity to update my blog and facebook for the past week. Between looking after Small E and "fighting" J for the use of MY home computer, I had my hands full. Here's a run down of the past five days:

Monday :
When to see a movie(G-Force) with J in the afternoon. G-Force is a great movie, I dun care much about what some reviewers say.
Tuesday : Spent it at home looking after Small E.
Wednesday : Went to a Atria Breakfast Talk (check my other post on this), spent the rest of the day at home.
Thursday : COMEX, Made-With-Love and Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition. The Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit was interesting and I did learn some new things there.
Friday : A Slack day at home with Small E. Big E sneaked out in the mid afternoon to go to MWL for a evening class.

So there's the rundown of the past week. Have a great weekend!

On Being Salt and Light II

Following on from 2 Sept ....
"Being salt of the earth and light of the world is about adding flavour and illumination to others' lives so that they can taste and see and the LORD is good." --Peter Lim posted on 2 Sept 2009
Went to talk yesterday. it was unplanned thing but Tamara Winslow had said that we have to get away (to hear God). So this breakfast talk was to be an unfamiliar place. I was some awesome thing happening to me. No such 'lucky.'

There was no thunderous voice nor did I have an out-of-body experience. Instead, the speaker made mention of Salt and Light that's like three times in two weeks.

She mention that salt is used to preserve and light is meant to be visible.

Ok now lets look at it again:

  • is used to preserve food - we are to preserve or uphold morality and values in society
  • is used in cooking to add taste or draw out flavour - we are to give flavour to life
  • makes you thirsty - we are to make people thirsty for more of Kingdom God?
  • is used as a means of payment - are we worth our salt?
and Light :
  • is to be visible - we as believer have to be visible n not end up part of the invisible voiceless majority
  • gives illuminations -Shine so people can see Jesus
Like I shared in an ealier post. Sometimes I feel the church's emphasis on the preservative nature of being Salt of the Earth comes across leaving others with negative feelings and a bad taste in their mouth.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be moral or have a high standard of morality. The "ultra conservative" stand has not gone down well with the people we want to reach for the Kingdom. We are in a war but not a cultural one. Culture is one of the battle fronts. We are in a war but not with other people. So sometimes it seems we are fighting the wrong enemy. (I'm rambling...)

What I am saying is:
In upholding righteousness in our society, we must not forget that Jesus' primary call was "the kingdom is at hand." We are called to bring the kingdom into the world. Whether it be a physical presence of the kingdom or a metaphysical (the rule of Christ in our hearts), we are called to bring IN the kingdom not keep the current status quo. (Which is what preserving implicitly does, preventing things from getting worse or rotting.)

Being salt and light is not about keeping status quo also about adding favour and brightening up lives of those in our community and spheres of influence.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday with Small E

Have to Just upload the photos first. Worry about any commentary later:
E in the morning after her hearty breakfast
Then she decides to take a "photo" of me doing lunch.
She waits for me to go out in the late afternoon. Put on her shoe on her own.
Taking her "milk break."
"Hanging out" with Big Bird!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On Being Salt and Light

I decided to go through the Red Letter Bible for my devotion for the next couple of months. For today, my reading was Matthew 5:13-16. The Salt and Light passage.

I was thinking through what salt is and what light is, yea know, the meaning and all that:

Salt is for flavour. Salt is for preservation of food. Salt was commodity in ancient times. It was use for trade.
Light is ... well light. What does light do? It illuminates (duh!) It reveals where darkness conceals. It shows where darkness hides.

Here's the "upper-cut" : Every weekday morning, I would listen to the on-line edition of Focus on the Family's daily radio broadcast. Today was going to be no different, except that I realize that I had listen to the broadcast yesterday. so I randomly selected another day's broadcast to listen to. Lo and behold, the featured speaker Tony Evans touched on "Salt and Light"

Well that's the good old "one-two" from God. So the question is still how am I to be salt and light?

A lot of times salt in this passage has been taken to be the preservative. That we as believer and followers of God are to preserve the moral climate and atmosphere of our culture. Light gets to mean that we have to shine in this dark world. It would follow on that this is done by focusing on our character and building our character to stand out in this world and dark age. Character First!! This often than not drives us to a perfection(ism) mode. Which leads to a holier-than-thou and I'm-not good-enough frame of thought.

I don't want to put this teaching down but I have come to think that being salt and light is more than just character. The end result is:
16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
People have to see "your good deeds" meaning that it's not just about being "good" (good character) but doing good (good deeds). In fact, it may have nothing to do with being good but more about doing good.

People glorify Father in heaven because of the good you do. Being a goody-two-shoes may and most like serve to solicit a response of resentment if not hate as people feel prejudiced, put down or shamed. (Read: made aware of their own shortcomings and feeling bad about it)

Being salt of the earth and light of the world is about adding flavour and illumination so that others will taste and see and the LORD is good!

to be continued ...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Small One's Birthday Weekend ...

Last weekend was a nice change. Enjoyed myself with E celebrating the Small One's birthday. The initiate feel about the birthday celebration for the Small One was like nervous jitters. Didn't know how it would all pan out.
Well it worked out well. The guests didn't arrive all at once and that was good. The Small One was in a great mood with everyone around. It was like all her "separate lives" converged into one. In a sense her world came together on Saturday.

E and I both felt it went well. We had low expectations and the Small One had no expectations. I think she was kinda blur through the whole thing. The Small One just went with the flow and got into the swing of things as the day progress by the time the celebration was over she was saying bye bye to us several times and already to go off with the uncles and aunts.

The day didn't start that well for the Small One though. She had constipation in the morning. Likely a result of a low fibre diet high carbohydrate the past day.(She ate two bun on Friday.) She was really struggling and even acted like a girl going through her first period. Eg When I wanted to comfort her during the stressful "pushing out," she shouted "Daddy GO AWAY!" So I went away. Eventually, she passed out what E described as a "tennis ball." Nah! I dun think sh** the size of a tennis ball came out, likely motion amounting to the size of a tennis ball.

The good thing about the Small One is that she doesn't let that dampen the rest of her day

Friday, August 28, 2009

10 Year on and they still get it wrong ...

I started to read the speech by Ho Peng in yesterday's edition of TODAY. The first line got me off:
NEXT year, we enter a new decade in the 21st century, the next lap of our education journey. (27/8/2009 -

Next year is 2010 and is the last year of the first decade of the 21st Century. The year 2000 was the last year of the 20th Century. You know 2,000 - Two Thousand - Twenty Hundred. The Year 2000 was the Millennial year not the beginning of the new millennium.

I'm sure most historian or history professors would agree that there were no 0 BC and 0 AD and the same is true even if you subscribe to BCE and CE postfixes. You don't want to read want I have to say about the BCE/CE alternatives to the BC/AD.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Public Security?

The notice board at the first level Lift Lobby of my block just got changed to a LCD panel. At first I thought that it was an upgrade to electronic notice board. However when I went to take a look it was security monitor showing "live" video of the two lifts/elevators.

Wow, I thought this interesting. This means that we that everyone watching the monitor will see the person urinating in the evelator (it's happened before). Litterbugs will be caught on tape too. Perpetrators will think twice about trying anything "funny" the lifts robbery, molestation and the likes. Though, I doubt they'll do something like that when people are out and about.

I guess that this also rules out any PDA/PSA (Public Display/Show of Affection) that's inappropriate.

Wait-a-minute! Won't that also mean that anyone watching will also know where you get off when you take the lift?! Wouldn't that mean that residents privacy may be at stake? You know stalkers and all? Mm, wonder whether the town council thought about that one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You know I can't Smile without ...

I do love this photo I think it's the best taken of the girls so far. It's them all giving different smiles that makes this photo just so unique.
The Beloved One with the cheery smile
The Small One with the cheeky smile
The Big One with the demur smile

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Through the Years ....

Through the years, through all the good and bad
I knew how much we had, I've always been so glad
To be with you ... through the years
It's better everyday, you've kissed my tears away
As long as its okay, I'll stay with you
Through the years

Through the years, when everything went wrong
Together we were strong, I know that I belonged
Right here with you ... through the years
I never had a doubt, We'd always work things out
I've learned what loves about, by loving you
Through the years

Through the years,
you've never let me down
You've turned my life around,
the sweetest days I've found
I've found with you ...
through the years
It's better everyday,
you've kissed my tears away
As long as its okay, I'll stay with you
Through the years!

(Song by Kenny Rogers/Steve Dorff/M. Panzer)

My Small One Exercising faith ...

Our Daughter has a nickname : Che (?)Bu Ting (Eat No Stop). She love to eat. The Pic was taken after she had put the whole bowl of food to her face cos she couldn't scoop the tofu out. :P

It was Sunday afternoon the family was at Vivo city. There after the girls were done with their shopping we stopped by Bakerzin for tea (classic dessert were a 50%). After settling down in our places, we started to browse the menu. The Small One started jibbering pointing to each one of us saying : "Can, can?" She followed that by putting her hands together in prayer and said: "Thank Jesus for mamum, Amen!" But there was no food on the table! So E said jokingly that she was acting out in faith that she will get something to eat.

Well, we eventually made our orders, for the Big One, E and myself. However, the waitress returned later and laid down four serviettes and four sets of cutlery. The Small One confidently put her hands together and said : "Thank you Jesus!" Almost like she was giving thanks for God's faithfulness and answer to her.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Words of Encourage / Prophecy from the DeSilvas

The follow was a word given to me right after the School of Administration.

Ladder(as in)
Jacob's Ladder : Bethel,where angels ascend and descend
Steve said that I have Jacob's ladder. And that I bring it with me wherever I go.
Jacob's ladder referring to the account in the Book of Genesis of the vision Jacob had when he was on the run from Esau. It could be taken to mean the Presence of God.
So I guess at one level it could be be said : "Peter, God's presence is with you and will be with you wherever you go." But what are the implications? Dun want to read too much into it though.

Then there's the verses he gave after that:

Gen. 35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” Gen. 35:2-3 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments; and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.”

They are not the reference to Jacob vision of the ladder. It's the one later on when Jacob return to his homeland, after 20 years of self imposed exile.I've spent the last 15 years out of youth ministry and even more out of children ministry, almost like a self imposed exile. Where is my Bethel? Where is the place where God appeared to me?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

OMG! Has it been that LONG?

I had a dream last night. It was a dream about the youth I work with back in 1992-96.

It all started on Tuesday, I had posted a old photo of the group on my facebook profile, tagged a couple of them whom I knew were on facebook. I didn't publish or publicise it. Yet by the yesterday morning there were comments from three of them, two of which I lost contact with and didn't even know were on facebook and tags were added of several others.

By the end of yesterday, I had added three friends to my facebook account. It brought a cheer to my up-to-then-very-blue-status.

Then I had the dream last night about reconnecting with them and ... OMG! Has it been that long? 15 years!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The future looks bright...

My tweets and Facebook status' have been rather bleak these days. The only spark of light being the family God gave me. However, a glimmer of light has appeared on the horizon. A photo I uploaded on Facebook suddenly got tagged and comments that made me feel like the past, my past isn't as bad as some or even I have made it out to be. I may not have done well. 

Failure and failing had been a part of my past and life; in these days its haunting spectre has come back. Being put down by my immediate supervisor touched a raw nerve. Brought me back to my secondary school days when I got put down by my teacher. I got reprimanded in front of others for something I admittedly did wrong and without thinking : I went over to her cubicle, reached over and retrieved a flash drive for another staff. She called me out soon after and in front other staff told me off for doing so  :  If you want something from my place either ask me or send the person to me. That is my personal workspace. 

As I said, admittedly I was at fault. I should have just reverted to her. Oh did I mention that the staff first approached her for the flash drive and she told the staff to come to me for it when she had the item with her. 

Anyway, getting out of this parenthesis and back to the ... This incident and one other earlier this year as set me on a tailspin with the spectres of guilt and shame (associates of Spectre Failure) chasing behind. 

So why does the future look bright? Well because of friends ... 

and the Great Friend. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Do I belief in You(th)?

There are a few statements I want to make. Things I have thought about.

The main thought is Youth are the Leaders for/of today (translate: They can be given responsibility now)

Underlying arguments are:
1. That Adolescence is not natural. It is a creation of the modernisation and education system.
2. That Youth are not really growing up faster rather they are being exposed to life faster.
3. That the generation gap is a lie and created by the attitudes towards one another.

That Adolescence is not natural. It is the creation of the education system

There are only two stages in life. Childhood and adulthood. Youth or young men are part of the adulthood. In the Bible and likely in cultures of old, there is a rites of passage from when a boy becomes a man. It's not at 21 it's at 12 or maybe 15. How girls were considered of marriageable age at 15? By the time they were 15 they had being taught everything about homemaking and housekeeping by then. Boy aged 12/13 years olds go into apprenticeship under their father or some other master artisan. During that time they work had responsibilities.

There were only two groups of people then: common folk/peasants and the nobility (the "haves" and the "have nots"). The nobles daughters were train to be ladies-in-waiting. The sons? The eldest likely will take over from the father the land and the peasant and serfs therein. He is trained to rule the land. If the father was powerful or rich enough the other sons would get a fiefdom of their own otherwise either become a warrior or monk/priest.

The Crusades changed things. Movement of people, the creation of townships, the rise of the artisans and middle class. The development of society and the beginning of industry followed by modernisation led to the need for the increase of education.

Not that this is all bad. It is just interesting to note that for some strange reason (we) began to take away or rather not give responsibilities to youth (here I refer to those of adolescent age group) to the point a time that they no longer have responsibilities (outside of basic household chores for some). Then we say adolescents are not responsible. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A peek into the profound

Here's a peek into that 'draft' in my email.

There are a few statements I want to make. Things I have thought about. 

The main thought is Youth are the Leaders for/of today (translate: They can be given responsibility now)

Underlying arguments are:
1. That Adolescence is not natural. It is a creation of the modernisation and education system.
2. That Youth are not really growing up faster rather they are being exposed to life faster. 
3. That the generation gap is a lie and created by the attitudes towards one another. 

Saturday, August 1, 2009

When Communication is everything ...

Last Sunday was one of those days (more like daze) where I felt like a fool. 
It was a Sunday like any Sunday. After finishing off duties at church, I texted the ladies to find out where they were. The reply I got from the Big One was "Kino" as in Kinokuniya. So happily I made my way to Ngee Ann City. SMS them saying I was in the comics section and service counter getting my Kino Card renewed. Then the Big One called and asked where I was so I repeated myself. She was at Stationary. After I settled the card I popped by stationary, not there. I called her again no answer. When I finally got her. Where's mom? Feeding the Small one outside. Went to the main entrance, no sign of E. Shoot! She's going to give me a tongue lashing for not being around to help.   -- 
Then, I remembered!! Didn't E. have this SPA appointment. at UE Square to day? Kino?! Oh NO!!! Kino at Liang Court! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! Right Shop! Wrong Location!
Ended up rushing over there! Even ended shouting down at E over the phone when she called ... defense mechanism ?? 

Friday, July 31, 2009

One Day Off

The Small one spent a larger part of the day with Dad (me) yesterday.  Seemed that she wanted me even though Por Por (MIL) was there. So the Small One hung around me. She kept asking me to o to the "computa" for "Boom Boom." Translated she wants to watch me play BeJeweled Blitz!!  It was either this or "Sair Stree" (Sesame Street) videos online. I kept her off coz we (E and me) agreed that she only gets 1/2 hour of online vidz at a given time of day.

After that it was "Dad this" "dad that(practically everything)."  I get dressed, she wants to go out with me. Eventually, I took her with me to run that errand for the Big One. That's how E. ended with the status : "took leave only to find the house is empty ... " =P

The rest of the day was watching and trying to keep the Small One away from mom. It was so amusing to see her pick up her Xia Xia old toy phone (and now hers) and carrying out a "conversation" which mimicked her Por Por.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If your daughter goes to this school

Had to follow my own advice more recently. I been always telling new staff that the things in pantry go by one rule: no name means anyone can use or eat. Then one day I received a mug from my Big One's school:

Left it for use at work (and forgot to tag it). :P A few days later it went missing! After some searching... I found it! Between the lips of Jennifer Heng. Argh! Then again it went missing, this time Elaine! Why two ladies. Is it becos it's a mug from a girls' school? In the end I tagged my mug to make sure that at least I got to use it. :-D

But I didn't want to be too selfish.

Wednesday Parent's Devo -- The Night Before

Gosh Like How am I suppose link Living your dreams to graciousness? So I dropped the dreams and picked up graciousness. The amazing thing was that 3 weeks ago when I first started to prep for the Devo, I decided to look in a 365 day devotion book and see what was on 29th July. Lo and behold it was Romans 12:17 which essentially says live peaceably with everyone. Initially, I couldn't figure how to run with this thought. When I got the call, that reference came back to mind, so I decided to revisit it.

Got writer's block at 6p.m. and decided to finish it up when I get home. That was a no go. The Big One was use the Mac most of the time and the Small One wanted my attention the rest of the time. Hit the sack at 10p.m., asked God for inspiration and planned to get up between 4.30-5.00 a.m. to rush the devo out. Really running it thin this time. zzzZZZzzz Woke up at 2.45AM with like this idea in my head so spent the next hour or so banging it out on the keyboard. Printed it out and whwn bavk to bed at 4.00AM . Here is a summary of it.

Romans 17-19 Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."

How do we live peaceably? How do you get along with EVERYONE
We learn it is the HARD way but is worth it:
Hold Loosely on to things. Value people more importantly than things. look at want you have as a privilege you've been given and not aright that you deserve
Act justly, being fair and honest in dealing with others. That is, to make friends not enemies of the people around you. Admit your failing and faults.
Respond Kindly. A harsh word stirs up anger but a soft answer turns away wrath. Be gracious when others fail (in keeping promises or doing things) remembering that you too have failed. Be giving and forgiving, just as you would want to be and have been forgiven. Look for the gem and jewels in other people.
Decide Daily to live peaceably with others. Don't worry if others are not doing the same. "If possible as much as it depends on you" Living peaceably depends as much on you as it does on others. THen you would begin to change the atmosphere around you.

I pray it touches someone ....

Wednesday Parent's Devo -- The Surprise

What do you know there I am struggling through the devo trying to carve out a script on the dreams thingie. I'm almost there when at 5 o'clock yesterday evening I receive call from a teacher from SMSS.
Seems there's a group of girls doing a video project on graciousness in the school covering different areas in the school including parent involvement. So could i please speak on that topic?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thinking of what to do for devotion on Wednesday morning ... What can I say in ten minutes that will guide the girls' thoughts for the day?

Sue Lynn suggested telling them that Daddy Loves them.
And there's the verse about living peaceably with everyone.
Then there's this :
Don't live other people's unfulfilled dreams.
Either make their dreams yours or make your dreams theirs.
Whatever the case Live Your Dreams.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I have to iron out which Ironing board to get .....

ANYone Out there! Can you help me please? Do I get something like this or .....

Or should I get the this type ....


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What a Band-Aid can do - Remembering Friends

Just found this when I was clearing stuff in the office. A band aid with a note written on it. An old friend and an old memory of a time when I was a mentor to some young people.

It' been years since I seen them and suddenly I reconnecting with them over Facebook. One is even doing the new design for the Church web site. It's just so good to know.
Elaine the young lady, that wrote the note, is serving with her husband in Sweden. Then there's Debbie the children pastor. Sometimes E. doesn't like me reminiscing about the past or reminding them about it. Why bring up the past for, why drag it out? I dunno maybe I'm sentiment or something.

Friday, July 17, 2009

So what does a dishonest man look like or does Clothes a man make??

Benny Yap, the missing boss of two recently de-registered private schools that are currently under investigation; Benny Yap was described to be by employees to "cut a smart figure, was always well-dressed. The red Ferrari that he drove cemented his image as a successful businessman." - The Straits Times, 18 July 2009. The Strait Times goes on to report one of the employees saying: "This tells us that you don't have to look like a dishonest person to be one."

SO ... what does a dishonest person look like? Seems to me that the statement made seems to imply that : If you look good dress well then it follows that you are a person of good character. Gosh IF we as Singaporeans (with one of the best education systems) have come to judge a person only by the clothes that he wears and the car that he drives THAN perhaps we have educated ourself to imbecility.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nuff Said

Sometimes I still don't get it. The education system in Singapore is lauded as one of the best.

We (the minister or powers that be) keep saying that we want to move away from just studying to get a piece of paper to develop a culture of lifelong learning. I have one problem with this ... we have a whole bunch of people that short circuit this process. They're called parents. Before I get crucified or stoned to death, let's be made apparent that I'm a parent too. Not just parents but almost everywhere, the govt. has created a culture of meritocracy. Which is not bad in principle - people ought to be given recognition, promotion, reward based on the merit of their performance at work. In practice however, it translates to getting As for your exam cos only then the good school will take you in. Merit has become academic merit period. The focus is always on passing exams well. So much so that 75% pass is a FAIL cos you fail to get in to the school that requires 95% pass. Students are no longer excellent because it is a good trait to have, they are excellent cos of a specific benefit. It what they can get out of it.

To be continue....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I have had a dream .....

There has been a time where there was a book or two I have wanted write but been afraid or lazy to... research and reading was required. Thinking through it again ...

There was a time I thought of doing a graphic novel but my art isn't that great ... then I realised that it was not just art that drove a graphic novel it was the story ... the tale that had to be told. My fanscination with the proverbs and sayings of the wisdom book in the Bible with the east asian philosophy (love for wisdom).

Just found a book that will help me with my research plans .... if ever I get started.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is he only talking about being left-handed?

Cartoon strip by Bizarro

In Search for Joy

There are few people I miss. Most of them have passed on: Betty Khoo, Uncle John Bavier, etc. Yet there is one person I miss who has not pass on nor moved away. I miss Joy. I miss my daughter.

I'm missing the fun that we use to have. I remember the times when I would bring her to Play School and the D&D(dad & daughter) fun we would have ... sitting down for breakfast at the coffee shop before going in to Five Stones. she used to be proud of her daddy.

Then there's the time I can't forget ... the time when E was expecting Megan (at least that was what we were going to name her --- in the beginning). We were on holiday in Malaysia when E started to pass out blood. We staggered to the medical centre at the resort. They said it looked like a spontaneous abortion. An Ambulance rushed E down to the nearest private hospital, I followed taking only wallets and passports. The rest of our stuff was still in the hotel room. There we were with no one we knew around us in the days before mobile phones. I did have my phone book with me. There were only four numbers I remembered : my father's, my brother's, my Aunt in KL and a young teenager in my youth group.

Almost losing Megan/Isaac back then had a profound effect on us that we decided that she would be called Joy

Now a teenager, she avoids me like the plague/pandemic (H1N1?) and seem ashamed to be known as my daughter. Necessary contact with me extends into my wallet. At least that how it seems to me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Think, Speak, See, Learn

Why call this blog lost for words? I have been told that I 'm more of a writer and a thinker. I really don't know how true this is but one this is sure: My beloved and I differ in the way we think and likely speak. Being more of a visual/Spatial, kinesthetic learner, I suppose I think and talk in terms of pictures/images. You could say I use picture words and imagery when I speak. My beloved wife will use words that are very conceptual and "cheem" or deep. Calling a person dense is like what? Thick headed?

Blogging is so difficult for me cos I'm not a man of many words. In fact my beloved wife's vocabulary is so much better than mine. So I thought of being a tweep (twitterer) was better than being a blogger for me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A year and a half and the blog's still bear...

So whatz up?

Well here's the short of the long ....
Eryn growing up like so fast .... Joy becoming a typical teen.
Just got on twitter cos it seems to be easier to use seeing that I'm more of a concise person.
Got a scare this weekend when Eryn climbed up the stairs at home, twice! The first 10 on Sunday then all 17 steps on Monday! All by herself. We were busy with things and didn't realize she was on her lil adventure ... until she called us.

Decided to call my blog lost for words coz that how it is with me ... more in the next post ....