Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Divine Humour....

If I did not have any magazine or newspaper to read in the mrt, I would check my emails. I was in the mrt this evening, and came across "Divine Humour" sent by my friend, Shan Chin. It was hilarious and I had a difficult time, controlling my laughter. If I were at home before my computer, I would laugh till my chair give way, but in the mrt I could not burst out laughing loudly and scare some passengers out of the train!

I have learnt my lesson. Next time, I will save the jokes for reading in the safety of my home!


Funny Church Signs

1. There was a church that had problems with outsiders
parking in its parking lots, so they put up a sign:

That took care of the problem!

2. "No God - No Peace? Know God - Know Peace."

3. "Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!"

4. "Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins."

5. "Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!"

6. An ad for one Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads:
"For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."

7. When the restaurant next to another Church put out a sign with big red letters that said, "Open Sundays," the church reciprocated with its own message: "We are open on Sundays, too."

8. "People are like tea bags - you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."

9. "Fight truth decay - study the Bible daily."

10. "How will you spend eternity - Smoking or Non-smoking?"

11. "Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives"

12. "Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world."

13. "It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin."

14. "Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church."

15. "If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."

16. "If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."

17... "Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon."

18. "This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?" ----- (U R)

19. "In the dark? Follow the Son."

20. "Running low on faith? Step in for a fill-up."

21. "If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd."


The preacher, in his Sunday sermon,
used "Forgive Your Enemies" as his subject.
After a long sermon, he asked how many were willing to forgive their enemies.
About half held up their hands.
Not satisfied, he harangued for another twenty minutes and repeated his question...
This time he received a response of eighty percent.
Still unsatisfied, he lectured for fifteen minutes and repeated his question.
With thoughts of Sunday dinner, all responded except one old gentleman in the rear.
Mr. Jones, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"
"I don't have any."
"Mr. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?"
"Mr. Jones, please come down in front and tell the congregation how a man can live to be 86 and not have an enemy in the world."
The old man teetered down the aisle and slowly turned around.
"It's easy. I outlived all of them...."

When the first light of sun- Bless you
When the long day is done- Bless you
In your smiles and your tears- Bless you
Through each day of your years- Bless you

Always a Blessing to Give .....

My friend, Fernando, sent me the following email which is indeed a good illustration on the blessings and joy of giving.

A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students' friend for his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which were supposed to belong to a poor man who was working in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day's work . . .

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Student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick:

We will hide his shoes, and hide ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them ..."

"My young friend," answered the professor, "We should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor . . . But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man.

Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.." The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes . . .

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance.

He gazed upon the coin, turned it around and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin . . .

His feelings overcame him . . . He fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing . . .

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears.

"Now," said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"

The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. ..

I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: "It's more blessed to give than to receive."

If you want happiness... .For a lifetime - help someone...

Excuse Me, Are You A Property Agent? .....(27)


Getting ready to have a tour of some of the residential units owned by
Far East Organisation

Adeline (in purple), David, Jack and Daphne listening attentively as Adrian Wiryawan
gives more details on Townerville.

One of our favourite condos - Orchard Scotts

A buffet lunch graciously hosted by Far East Organisation! What a treat! Ming, with her radiant smile!
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After our company's meeting at the Auditorium, I was having some lunch at our sky terrace, when a lady, came to sit down and introduced herself as Cicilia from Far East Organisation. She gave me a
brochure, and informed me that if I had a group of agents interested in visiting some of their projects, she could make arrangements for me.

Since sales of private properties are somewhat slower these couple of months, I thought it might be a good idea for my team members to explore some of the rental opportunities available.

We were picked up at the entrance of Orange Tee Building. Wow! The Far East Organisation bus reminds me of the 16 seater luxury bus which I often take when I visit Penang. Cicilia gave everyone a brochure, giving details of the various properties for rental. Our first stop was at Townerville, which is quite near my apartment. Gosh! If not for this visit, I would not have realised that there are such lovely and charming conservation houses near my estate! Although the landed properties are very charming, I still prefer apartments and condominiums because one has to turn on the airconditioners in landed properties.

Our next stop was at Cavenagh Lodge, a low-rise condominium. It is quiet and charming, yet within walking distance to Orchard Road.

My favourite is Orchard Scotts. We were impressed by the sprawling grounds, and Cicilia proudly told us that the buildings only used up 25% of the land! Wow! There are spa pavillions and residents could have their massages done, surrounded by so much lush greenery!

Cicilia told us about Nassim Regency, her favourite condo. We arrived at Nassim Regency and saw that the lunch buffet had been already set up at the poolside. Some of the team members did not have time to take breakfast, and hence were famished. What a sumptuous spread! It had started to drizzle, and Adrian handed a few umbrellas to us. The Far East staff had been so well organised and efficient!

As Nassim Regency is near the Botanical Gardens, there is so much greenery in the vicinity. Yet it is so near to Orchard Road.! Suddenly I thought to myself, "Ah! When the MRT downtown line is completed, Botanical Gardens will be only two stations away from my HDB apartment in Little India. Then I can go for a little jog every morning!" I smiled, thinking what an Ah Q I was! Anyway, happiness means being positive and finding joy and comfort in little things. There was a song in my heart, thanking God for His blessings and provision. I love living in this small, but pretty little island.

Our last stop was at Leonie Hill Condotel. The building looks spectacular with huge Roman columns. Everyone was full of "oohs and ahs" at the beautifully designed units. The rental ranges from $12,000 to $20,000 per month. Gosh! $20,000 could be the annual salary of some people in Singapore. The late Mr. Ng Teng Fong certainly had an eye for excellent location and such acumen where properties are concerned.

We ended the tour, tired but happy and felt that the five hours outing was worth every minute, for we became a little more knowledgeable. Hopefully, we can close a few rental units with Far East Organisation very soon.

Jia you" everybody! (Jia you - literal translation of to add petrol. Go for it! Way to go!)

Gan Cao

Monday, August 30, 2010

Knowing more about your personality ....

My friend, Fernando, sent me an email on Dr. Phil's personality test. I thought it would interest my readers to take this test too. Try it.! It's fun, and most important, quite accurate! I scored 43 points! What is your score?

Below is Dr..Phil's test

(Dr. Phil scored 55, he did this on Oprah and she got 38.) Some
people pay a lot of money to find this out!

Read on, this is very interesting!

Don't be overly sensitive!

The following is pretty accurate and it only takes a few minutes.

Take this test for yourself and send it on to your friends..

Don't peek, but begin the test as you scroll down and answer.

Answers are for who you are now and not who you were in the past.
Have pen or pencil and paper ready.

This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the
major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning
their employees and in their prospective employees.

It's only 10 Simple questions, so grab a pencil and paper, keeping
track of your letter answers to each question.

Make sure to change the subject of the email to read YOUR total..

When you are finished, forward this to friends, family, and also send
it to the person who sent this to you.

Make sure to put 'YOUR' score in the subject box.



1. When do you feel your best.

A) in the morning
B) during the afternoon and early evening
C) late at night

2. You usually walk...

A) fairly fast, with long steps
B) fairly fast, with little steps
C) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
D) less fast, head down
E) very slowly

3. When talking to people you....

A) stand with your arms folded
B) have your hands clasped
C) have one or both your hands on your hips
D) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
E) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with...

A) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
B) your legs crossed
C) your legs stretched out or straight
D) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with...

A) big appreciated laugh
B) a laugh, but not a loud one
C) a quiet chuckle
D) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you....

A) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
B) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
C) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted. ..

A) welcome the break
B) feel extremely irritated
C) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colours do you like most......

A) Red or orange
B) black
C) yellow or light blue
D) green
E) dark blue or purple
F) white
G) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before
going to sleep you are...

A) stretched out on your back
B) stretched out face down on your stomach
C) on your side, slightly curled
D) with your head on one arm
E) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...

A) falling
B) fighting or struggling
C) searching for something or somebody
D) flying or floating
E) you usually have dreamless sleep
F) your dreams are always pleasant


1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e ) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should 'handle with
care'. You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely
dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you,
but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved
with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile,
rather impulsive personality, a natural leader, who's quick to make
decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and
adventuresome, someone who will try anything once, someone who takes
chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company
because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing,
practical, and always interesting, someone who's constantly in the
center of attention, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go
to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and
understanding, someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & ;
practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest..
Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone
who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same
loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you, realize it takes
a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes
you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They
see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady
plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something
impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine
everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against
it. They think t his reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive,
someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make
the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or
anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that
don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only those who know
you well, know that you aren't.

Now forward this to others, and put your score in the subject box of
your e-mail, like this:
Dr. Phil's test...I'm a * *


Friday, August 27, 2010

Much Ado About Filial Piety....

"A father can raise ten children, but sometimes ten children could not even be filial to their father", lamented my beloved papa. It has been some four decades since those words were uttered when papa felt sad after he had read how an elderly man was left destitute by his ten children in Penang.

I guess things have not changed very much, especially when the government had allowed parents to take out money from their CPF to fund their children's tertiary education. Obviously the government had faith that the children would be filial and refund the monies into their parents' CPF account. The money in the CPF is money meant for their parents' twilight years, when they are no longer able to work.

Alas! The headline, "Grads not repaying parents' CPF for studies" hit the front page of the Straits Times yesterday. Some 7,500 graduates who are already working have not been refunding the promised amount into their parents' CPF accounts. One son was reported for using his salary to satisfy his own material needs - buying branded goods and a car. Another bought himself a car and an apartment, promising that he would refund the money slowly.

I guess if a father were rich, it would be alright for him to fund his son's education, but I cannot understand why Mr. Zheng, a technical officer, asserted that as a father it should be his responsibility to fund his son's education. I think a parent's responsibility is to see that his children get a minimum of secondary school education, and his children should learn to be responsible for themselves should they decide to get tertiary education. When I was studying in Canada, I was initially perplexed by most Canadian parents' attitude. Most of the students in Canada either take a loan from the university or work part time to fund their education. Now I realise that this arrangement is great for it teaches the youngsters to be independent and resourceful, and not to take their parents for
granted. This is why I am always impressed when I meet students like Abraham Lim who
work part time and full time during vacations so as to support themselves in their tertiary education. An active toastmaster, Abraham, continues to give private tuition to support his studies.

Right after my O levels I took up a secretarial course and I earned MR$70 a month as a clerk, my very first job. I gave my mama MR40 out of the MR70 salary. To supplement my meagre income I gave English tuition and earned an extra MR20 a month. By being frugal, I was able to save a few dollars a month. Entering the university was never my priority for I felt that I could learn as much by reading voraciously. After mama passed away, I had a pleasant surprise when my ex-employer's father gave me a one time bursary to study in Canada. The four years had taught me to be resourceful and independent as my scholarship paid for my school fees and my part time earnings paid for my food and lodging.

I once met an elderly lady in her late eighties when I first visited eldest sister in Kuching. The elderly lady looked younger than her age and I could still remember when she told me that her mother had blessed her to live to a ripe old age, for she had been extremely filial. "We have blessings when we honour our parents," she asserted. Eldest sister told me that the lady passed away when she was 99 years of age, a few days short of her 100th birthday! "Blessings when we honour our parents"......how true!

I am glad that the Ministry of Education has no plans to extend the scheme to students who want to pursue an overseas education. For it means digging a deeper hole into the pockets of the elderly parents' retirement funds. For those who really yearn to study overseas, you may try to do so after your first degree. I would encourage you to be courageous. Try to work part time and you will be surprised how well you will soon learn to organise and manage your time between work and studies.

Filial piety is important enough for it to be mentioned in the Bible. I believe that filial piety is also important to all races, regardless of language and religion, for it is a a characteristic that is expected of God's highest creation - homo sapiens. For filial piety implies gratitude and appreciation to our parents who have raised us up. The least we can do is not to take them for granted, and in return, receive tons of blessings from above.

Gan Cao

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An interesting short video.....

My sister emailed me this interesting video which I think might interest my readers,
especially those who are animal lovers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happiness is ......(42)

I just love computers. How nice it is to be able to type a letter or note to my team members or to my friends, and yet there is no necessity to go to the post office to mail my letters. From the comfort of home, one can just type an email and send it off, and the best thing is that the receipient receives the email almost instantly! Now with the advent of iphones and other makes of mobile phones, the receipient could even receive emails on the wonderful gadget even when he is on the move! Recently I decided to email an invitation to my two good friends instead of
phoning them. Writing gives me better opportunity to be humorous, and it also helps
my friends to remember the contents better because when we read, we remember better than when we hear.

Dear Sim and Amelia,

It would be great if you could both pop by on Thursday night to have some Penang Char Koay Teow.? Eldest sister is a very meticulous cook, and if she thinks my koay teow is worth her palette, by golly, it must be even more delicious than buffetlicious!!!

Not to worry.....come when you are ready after work, ....I cook on the spot for you....your wish is my command......more chilli, no eggs, less bean sprouts, etc. etc. The secret of cooking great koay teow or fried rice is to cook plate by plate, not in huge quantities. Also the wok must be hot and the fire big, and the cook's
movement fast like a kungfu fighter.! Sounds complicated? Aiya, actually, very
simple only lah. The best things in life are actually very simple. Am sure, after
seeing me cook, you will be able to whip up tasty koay teow for your family members
to enjoy.

See you both!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life is a Piece of Cake !


Life is like a piece of cake

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My friend, Fernando Young, from the AIA Changi Toastmasters' Club sent me the following email which I would like to share with my readers. May your life be like
a beautiful piece of cake!


This is about the best thing
I've ever read as an explanation.

Sometimes we wonder,
'What did I do to deserve this?' or
'Why did God have to do this to me?'
Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything
is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend
broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and
asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the
daughter says, 'Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.'

'Here, have some cooking oil,' her Mother offers.
'Yuck' says her daughter.
'How about a couple raw eggs?' 'Gross, Mom!'
'Would you like some flour then?
Or maybe baking soda?'
'Mom, those are all yucky!'
To which the mother replies:

'Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.
But when they are put together in the
right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why
He would let us go through such bad and difficult
times. But God knows that when He puts these things
all in His order, they always work for good! We just
have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all
make something wonderful!

God cares about you.
He sends you flowers every spring and
a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen.
He can live anywhere in the universe,
and He chose your heart.

If you like this, send this on
to the people you really care about.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are
here we might as well dance!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Liu Wei - Armless Pianist - an Inspiration!

My friend, Eddie, sent me an email about Liu Wei, an armless pianist who touched millions by his beautiful playing and optimism in life. Despite losing his arms
at the age of ten, he had not allowed despondence and self pity to overcome him. He
reiterated that he had two choices, "to die or to live a wonderful life!" and he has chosen the latter. Kudos!

I tried to play the piano with my toes, but it was impossible. Eldest sister and I discovered that when we tried to use the toe beside the big toe to play the piano, the rest of the little toes would follow suit!! I could almost "hear" my little fingers and hands protesting, "Hey, you could use us! Why are you using your toes?"
I guess, as a writer, I will always have endless curiosity to probe and to discover.!

Like the rest of the audience at the competition who wept, I also cried when I saw
how amazing Liu Wei was! He had taken only 3 to 4 years to learn to play the piano using his toes. God really gives very special gifts to people who are deprived in some way eg. the blind will have exceptionally sharp hearing; the deaf can see better than many of us with sight, and those without limbs can do wonders eg. Nick Vujicic and Lena Maria to name a few.

From now onwards, I will no longer complain about my very short fingers. I will persevere to work even harder on my violin, and above all, to always have a heart of gratitude towards God and man.

Gan Cao

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chubby Cuppy Cake Boy - The Video that makes me smile......

I came across the above video. It makes me smile. The little boy is so cute and
expressive! Ha! Ha!

Gan Cao

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh Yes! Great Men Do Shed Tears !


MM Lee, at a TV Press Conference at Caldecott Hill

Oh Yes! Great men do shed tears!

Proudly singing the National Anthem during our 45th National Day celebration.
Our precious youths and leaders of tomorrow !

style='clear:both; text-align:CENTER'>Posted by Picasa

From young, I had been hearing or reading, "Men only shed blood, not tears." I remember once I witnessed my neighbour, yelling at her son, a teenager, "You dare to cry! Don't be a sissy....shed blood, but not tears!"

Hence, I grew up, believing that it was only the privilege of the fairer sex to shed tears, and if men were to shed tears, they were probably cowardly and effeminate!

However, my whole concept changed when I saw papa cry when I was in Primary Four. Earlier in the day, he had whacked me for I was extremely noisy. I was playing hide-and-seek with my neighbours and in my excitement, I had forgotten that papa was taking his much needed nap. Papa was a teacher in the morning and at night he was a bandmaster in a nightclub. Hence, the afternoon rest was very crucial to him. It was the very first time that he had whacked me, and after he threw away the belt, he broke down and cried. Later he hugged me, promising that he would never lay hands on anyone again. I secretly vowed never to upset my wonderful and beloved papa ever again. This incident had also turned me into a bookworm, for I would spend all my weekends reading so as to be quiet and not disturb papa's nap.

Papa was someone who preferred to use reasoning to brute strength. A well read man, he was always eloquent, and often shared stories with his children. Best of all, he walked his talk, and his words of wisdom have been forever etched in our memory.

Papa cried on another occasion when I was in Form Five. It was just the day after my best friend's birthday on 14th of June 1972. I had woken up very early in the morning, and was surprised to find papa sitting at the coffee table and weeping! "Papa, why are you crying?", I asked my beloved father. It was the second time I had seen him cry.

Papa pointed me to a magazine on the table. On the front page of the magazine was a picture of a little girl, running stark naked, and with a painful expression on her face. Her skin appeared to have been burnt. "I hate war!", declared papa. "Why must there be so much greed, pride and wickedness in this world?"

I read that the little girl was Phan Thi Kim Phuc, 9 years old. Papa read in Chinese and a friend must have given him the copy of Newsweek magazine. The photo was captured by Nick Ut, and since then the image of Kim Phuc, running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack, had been edged in the memory of people around the world. Papa was a kind and compassionate man who could feel the pain of others.

If papa had been still alive, he would rejoice to know that today, Kim Phuc is a successful lady. She has embraced Christianity and has touched millions by her testimonies of faith, love, gratitude and forgiveness.

However, sadly, till today, there is still the prevalent notion in our society that crying is only for girls, and that it is not macho for men to shed tears. I am not a researcher or socialist, but I think perhaps this could be one of the reasons why women tend to live longer than men.? Women have the freedom to let their tear ducts rain down torrents of salty solution. We all know that tears give emotional relief and therefore, enhance our health.

I also remember the late Prime Minister of Malaysia, the much beloved Tunku Abdul Rahman, shedding tears on television just after the May 13th Riot in 1969 when he pleaded for Malaysians to be united.

Only two days ago, I was watching the television before our National Day telecast, and took photos of our great MM Lee, wiping his tears on television. He cried when he had to announce that Singapore was going to be separated from Malaysia at a TV press conference in the black and white television studio at Caldecott Hill. MM Lee, fighting his tears, said, "For me, it is a moment of anguish. All my life, my whole
adult life, I have believed in merger and unity of the two territories." It was a pivotal point of Singapore's history, the day Singapore entered the brave new world. Today we remember with gratitude the perseverance and commitment of all our great leaders in Singapore as we celebrate our 45th National birthday!

I hope that my illustration of three great men who shed tears will convince my readers that yes, great men also shed tears, not only blood. Being courageous does not imply looking macho and stoical, but being courageous means moving on, in spite of the fear and grief! Great men do shed tears because they have compassion, love, selflessness, vision, wisdom, zeal and courage to help make the world a better place to live in!

Gan Cao

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A 57 Cent Church

My friend, Lynn Lee, from Kuching, Sarawak, sent me a touching and inspiring story about A 57 Cent Church. It is amazing what wonders can be achieved when we have faith. A little mustard seed of faith can move mountains! Read on......

"A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was 'too crowded.'

'I can't go to Sunday School,' she sobbed to the pastor as she walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.

Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: 'This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.'

For two years she had saved for this offering of love.

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.

He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there....

A newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.

When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide..
Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia , look up Temple Baptist Church , with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, 'Acres of Diamonds'.

This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Little Enlightenment For You and Me.....

I have always loved to read. I love reading, especially when it rains and the weather is cooler. There is something so "magical and romantic" when one is reading, accompanied by the pitter-patter of the rain in the comfort of home sweet home.

I remember I came across the expression, "raining cats and dogs" when I was in Primary Six. Immediately I looked up almost expecting to see cats and dogs coming
down from the sky. Of course, it was only the heavy downpour of water. The following day, I asked my teacher, why people say, "raining cats and dogs". My teacher could not explain. I guessed then that because of the heavy flood, some cats and dogs could have drowned and that was why people say, "raining cats and dogs", but then, why not say, "raining elephants and buffaloes".? I guessed elephants and buffaloes are so big that they would not get drowned anyway, and dogs and cats, being smaller, could not run fast enough from the torrential floods.

Hence I had a pleasant surprise when I discovered the real meaning of "raining cats and dogs" when I received the following article from my ex-English lecturer, Dr. Clive S. After 43 years, I have finally been enlightened! Hence I am sharing the
article with my readers so that they too can be enlightened.

I am so grateful for computers! Everyday is a learning experience! Through the forwarded emails of my wonderful relatives, friends, associates and clients, I am learning new things everyday!

"There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London , which used to have
a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows, (after
a fair trial of course) to be hanged.The horse drawn dray, carting the
prisoner, was accompanied by unarmed guard, who would stop the dray
outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ''ONE LAST DRINK''.
If he said YES, it was referred to as “ONE FOR THE ROAD”
If he declined, that prisoner was “ON THE WAGON”.

So there you go. More bleeding history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all
pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery..
If you had to do this to survive you were, "Piss Poor", but worse
than that, were the really poor folk, who could not even afford to buy
a pot, they "Didn’t have a pot to Piss in" & were the lowest of the

The next time you are washing your hands and complain, because the
water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things
used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500’s:
Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly
bath in May and they still smelled pretty good by June. However,
since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of
flowers, to hide the body odour.Hence the custom today, of carrying
a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the
children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you
could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the
baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood
underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the
cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it
rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and
fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This
posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings
could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a
sheet hung over the top, afforded some protection. That's how canopy
beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than
dirt.. Hence the saying, "Dirt Poor." The wealthy had slate floors,
that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh
(straw) on floor to help keep their footing.
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh, until, when you
opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood
was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold. (Getting quite
an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle,
that always hung over the fire. Every day, they lit the fire and
added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get
much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in
the pot to get cold overnight, then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme: ''Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas
porridge in the pot, nine days old''.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite
special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon, to
show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "Bring home the
Bacon." They would cut off a little, to share with guests and would
all sit around talking and ''Chew the fat''.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid
content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead
poisoning & death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the
next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided, according to status. Workers got the burnt
bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the
top, or ''The Upper Crust''.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination, would
sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone
walking along the road, would take them for dead and prepare them for
burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days
and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see
if they would wake up. Hence the custom of ''Holding a Wake''.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of
places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take
the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave. When reopening these
coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the
inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they
would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the
coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.Someone would
have to sit out in the graveyard all night, (the graveyard shift) to
listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
''Saved by the Bell '' or was considered a ''Dead Ringer''

And that's the truth.

Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !"

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Who Grew the Papaya Trees?


Young papaya plants that will soon have to be replanted on the ground.

Don't really know what these lovely plants are and where they really come from!
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I was surprised to find young papaya leaves sprouting out from one of the pots with soil. My neighbour Irin had thought I had planted some papaya trees. Someone must
have decided to throw in some papaya seeds into the pot. Very soon I will have to
bring them down to replant them. Hopefully if they bloom and grow, residents can
help themselves to the papayas. How I wish that there is some small plot of land where we can grow fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. As an apartment dweller, I am
limited by what I can grow in pots, big and small.

Nevertheless it is always such a pleasure to see plants growing and thriving. I guess I enjoy looking at green plants and trees. Somehow plants soften the hardness of bricks and mortars, and make a building look more friendly and a home more cosy.

Sometimes when I pass by some landed properties, I feel sad that the owners would just cement the whole building, when they could have left some patches of soil for grass to grow. Somehow plants and grass will make a home cooler as the hot sun will
not be blazing on the hard concrete.

I admire those lovely homes in New Zealand and Australia where the owners would grow so many types of beautiful flowers and vegetables. Eldest sister would be coming for a visit and she would help me beautify the pots of plants along the corridor again. With her green thumbs, my plants bloom and look healthier and greener.

Green, green, my love is green!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Secret of Youthfulness .....(1)


Mrs. Mary Tan, looking 20 years younger than her 83 years of age!
"Love your good friends. They are treasures in this harsh world!"

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I was having my breakfast at Aunty Helen's foodstall, "Yong Ji" when I was introduced to her good friend, Mrs. Mary Tan. Mary has a lovely and smooth complexion and looks quite pretty and attractive. I was pleasantly surprised when
Aunty Helen revealed that Mary is in her eighties. Wow! She certainly looks twenty
years younger.

Hence I asked Mary what are her tips for retaining her youthfulness and she shared the following :-

1) Don't bear grudges. Let bygones be bygones. Don't take things personally.
Humans have tongues that often like to wag, and we can never please people. It
is important to have a good sleep every night and one will sleep soundly when
one has a free conscience despite evil gossips and half truths. Most important
is to please God, for He is our great Judge.

2) Treausre your good friends. Apart from family members, good friends are like
precious rubies and diamonds. Truly good friends are difficult to find. No
matter how busy you are, always make time to have fellowship and bonding.

3) It is important to keep active, physically and mentally. Learn new things and
always be interested in the world around you. Housewives must always try
their utmost to keep themselves updated by reading the newspapers, watching the
news and finding new information from the computer. Every lady must not allow
herself to stagnate but to keep abreast with new development.

Certainly Mrs. Mary Tan walks her talk. She still drives and supervises her Chinese restaurant which she is running with the help of her two children. Her bright eyes
and smooth complexion make her look healthy and young. Wow!

Gan Cao

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Flower Power


I love petunias and they bloom majestically in London!

Look at the kaleidoscope of colours!

Lavender! I love the smell of lavender

A tree full of bright shocking pink flowers. Am not sure what type of flowers as
they are too high up for me to see in detail. Can anyone tell me the name of the

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Flowers! Flowers! Everywhere I go, I always look out for flowers for I just love the beautiful handiwork of God's marvellous creation!

Hence it was natural that I took quite a number of shots on flowers when I recently visited London and Barcelona.

My beloved eldest sister had changed her mind about seeing snow. As sister is a good gardener and an avid lover of flowers, we are going to Japan instead to see the Sakura and all the flowers that bloom in spring! Flowers make my world go round!! I thank God for His multitude of beautiful flowers. Life indeed will be less colorful without them!

Gan Cao