"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Matthew 8:20
Perhaps the above verse in Matthew Chap. 8 is one of the verses in the Bible that touches me the most.
Jesus had shown his examples of faith and trust, prioritising His work on earth, and doing His father's will.
Yet, so many of us mortal Christians must try to outshine one another by living in bigger, and yet bigger and even somewhat opulent residences.! Some church leaders must build bigger and yet bigger churches filled with platinum and crystals. Some even claim that as they are children of the King of Kings, they should "live it up" and not live like paupers because it will not be glorifying to the One who has created heaven and earth.
It has been some three decades since I studied at the University of Alberta. One incident still remains etched in my memory. I had invited a very kind Canadian lady to our Varsity Christian Fellowship where my wonderful church pastor, Rev. Bey was the guest speaker. The Canadian Lady, Mrs. Moslow, had adopted 14 children from all over the world, and she would look after them like a foster mother. As it was a potluck party, Mrs. Moslow cooked a big pot of stew, and brought it to the gathering.
While Rev. Bey was preaching, to our horror, Mrs. Moslow stood up and pointed to Rev. Bey and in a loud voice declared, "You Sir, if you really love God, give away your diamond ring and the pearl tie pin on your coat!" And in an even louder voice, she asserted, "Come children, let's leave this place of hypocrites".! She marched out of the meeting with her brood of seven older children!
The world has always seen Christians to be what Christ has examplified. Sadly many church leaders in the likes of Ho Yeow Sun, (as wife of Rev. Kong, she is a leader whether she likes it or not), Benny Hinn, etc. have lived in opulent residences and "live it up". It does not matter whether they are using their own hard earned money or not. Does not the bible teach us to be frugal by the example of the pieces of bread that were picked up after the huge crowd of people had been fed miraculously. The pieces of left over bread filled 12 baskets.! Jesus had just created a miracle of turning the loaves of bread and fishes into food. Yet, he examplified frugality and conservation by instructing his disciples to pick up the remnants of food. No, I am not a thelogian, but a reader who analyses what she reads only. Economically, does it not make sense, that even if we have loads of wealth, if we live a little more simply and frugally, we will have more to give away to those who are hungry and homeless?
One of my friend's mother has a friend whose son attends the City Harvest Church. She lamented that her son does not give her or her husband any monthly allowance, because he has given a lot of money to his church already. "Give, give, until you cry", asserted Pastor Kong Hee. The son did not cry, but his aged parents did. Has Pastor Kong Hee forgotten about the reminder that we have to honour our parents. What show of filial piety has the son demonstrated by not giving his aged parents some pocket money? As I have said, I am not a theologian, but our parents are only with us for a short time, and once they are gone, we would not have any more opportunity to demonstrate our love and filial piety.
Sigh.....it is not easy to be a good Christian for we have to be always on our guard, and Satan or "affectionately known as" "Mr. S.A. Tan" is like a roaring lion, ready to pounce on all of us....yeah, even the most seemingly successful and impressive pastors. Indeed we have all fallen short of the glory of God!
Let us all continue to focus on the Cross, and to be constantly reminded of the excruciating pain of pierced head, hands and feet and a flogged body that Christ had to go through in order that His work on earth be finished, and to remember his words, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do". (Luke 23: 24).
Above all, let us even weak mortals that we are, continue to lead a simple life of faith, love, peace and joy. It is not easy to live in this world full of temptations, but let us all remember that "we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength."
Friday, June 11, 2010
Major, 14 years old is still strong except for weak hind legs
Always cool and calm
Still looking good at a ripe old age of 14
My friend, Ching, has gone to Japan for a two weeks' vacation. She needed someone to help dogsit her lovely husky, Major. I decided to help Ching as it was difficult to find someone at the last minute.
I have always loved huskies, but could not bring myself to keep one as I feel it must be very difficult to keep a husky in this hot and humid weather. After watching the movie, "Iron Will", I have begun to appreciate the dogs that pull sleighs on the snow.
It has been four days since I have been looking after Major. I have not heard him bark... no, not even once. He is such a cool and calm dog. Even when I come back, he will just look at you serenely and will not bark or wag his tail!
I thought maybe it is because I am a stranger, but Major's owner told me that her pet would also do likewise when she returns. Even when Major sees other dogs, he would just look at them, and not bark.
Major is in perfect health except for weak hind legs. Ching said that most big dogs have problems with their hind legs when they grow old. Major's hind legs keep sliding when he walks on the smooth ceramic floor but once he is on the road, he walks quite steadily as the road has a rougher surface, hence giving Major a better grip. He walks very, very slowly but enjoys his walk, because it would be the only time you can see him smile! Major also likes to be brushed. Each time I brush his fur, I collect a bagful of fur. I guess, the collected fur would help to make Major feel a little cooler.
I am glad of the opportunity to take care of Major, as this is the first time that I can get so close to a husky. Huskies are such good looking dogs, as most of them have double eye-lids and because of the dark outline of the eyes,
huskies look like they have eyeshadows! God is such an awesome creator, and there are so many beautiful species of dogs!
It is not easy trying to cope with my job as well as carrying out my task of looking after Major. Fortunately, it is only about 5 bus-stops to Ching's apartment. However, work is not work when we enjoy what we are doing, and it is lovely to
get paid for doing something I enjoy so thoroughly.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
My single flower bloom of adenium!
Notice that the single bloom stems from a stalk that is rotting at the tip!
As I was watering my plants, I was pleasantly surprised when I found a single stalk of flower on my adenium plant!
Unlike the previous bloom with a ring of six to seven flowers, this time, it is a lonely flower, blooming majestically and proudly, despite its singleness.
To my greater surprise, the stalk from which the flower has bloomed is kind of rotting, and yet the flower is so resplendent in its growth and beauty!
It makes me think of some disadvantaged children who shine despite poverty, hardship and sufferings!
It also makes me think that like the flower, I must never give up even when circumstances are not encouraging. I will depend on the Creator for strenghth and life, and will bloom despite adversity!
Amazing how much happiness and learning we can glean from nature, if only we take the time to smell and see. More importantly, to take a break from the hecticness of life, to just sit back and ponder.!
I am so happy to see the lovely single adenium. Indeed one flower is better than none!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
The two main actor and actress: Shawn Lee as Chew Kiatg Kun
and Megan Zheng as his sister, Seow Fang
Seow Fang is punished for pretending to be hurt so that she could wear
slippers to school instead.
Despite initial setbacks, Kiat Kun was determined to win! Close behind him was
Joshua Ang as Tan Beng Soon. Joshua Ang looks like the younger version of popular Media Corp actor, Thomas Ong!
Though first in the race, Kiat Kun was unhappy because he won a medal,
and not the coveted pair of shoes which he wanted for his sister!
I had been coughing incessantly, and my cough had woken me up early yesterday morning. I decided to browse through the computer, and came across xin.msn. To my surprise, when I clicked on the "movie", I came across "Homerun". When I clicked again, hey presto, the movie was on the screen.
My neighbours had told me about watching some movies on the computer, and this is my first experience.!
It is a great movie that found me using up some pieces of tissue papers. For those of you who have yet to watch this award winning movie, I would encourage you to watch it. For those who are too busy, below is a summary of the movie. The children acted very well, and I am so proud that Megan Zheng is the first Singaporean to win a Golden Horse Award. Happiness is being able to watch a movie on the computer, free of charge and in the comfort of home!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Directed by Jack Neo
Produced by Chan Pui Yin
Written by Jack Neo
Starring Huang Wenyong
Music by Redwan Ali
Cinematography Kane Chen
Editing by Lawrence Ang
Distributed by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures
Release date(s) Singapore:
7 August 2003
Running time 108 minutes
Homerun ((Abbreviated HR) Chinese: 跑吧！孩子 pinyin: pǎo bà háizǐ, lit. Run, Child!) is a 2003 Singaporean Mandarin-language film. A remake of the award-winning Iranian film Children of Heaven, Homerun is a drama about two poor siblings and their adventures over a lost pairs of shoes. Set in 1965, the year Singapore separated from Malaysia, the film satirises political relations between the two countries, leading to its banning in Malaysia.
The film was written and directed by Singaporean filmmaker Jack Neo, and produced by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures. It stars Huang Wenyong, Xiang Yun, Shawn Lee and Megan Zheng. Filming took place in the rural outskirts of Kuala Lumpur during November and December 2002, but post-production delays pushed back the film's release date.
Released in cinemas on 7 August 2003, Homerun grossed over S$2.3 million during its nine-week box office run. It was nominated for two awards at the 2003 Golden Horse Awards; Megan Zheng, then 10, became the first Singaporean to win a Golden Horse. Generally, however, critical reception of the film was mixed.
In 1965, two poor Singaporean children, Chew Kiat Kun and his younger sister Seow Fang live with their mother who is late in her third pregnancy and their father who is in debt to a local rice merchant. The children make the best of what little they have, while their father works long hours doing odd jobs.
The family's problems are compounded when Kiat Kun accidentally loses Seow Fang's only pair of shoes after taking them to be repaired. The children conduct a frantic search but find nothing; a karung guni man had claimed the shoes as unwanted rubbish. The Chew siblings are frustrated by the situation until their father inspires Kiat Kun to share his shoes with his sister, trading off between classes so they can both attend school. Unfortunately, this plan brings additional problems: Seow Fang is chastised for wearing oversized shoes to school, while Kiat Kun is repeatedly late as he must wait for his sister to exchange shoes with him.
At school, a wealthy schoolmate of Kiat Kun's named Tan Beng Soon runs a football team with his friends. Kiat Kun and his friends strike a bargain with Beng Soon to play on the team using the other boys' football shoes, in exchange for helping them cheat on their homework. However, the boys quarrel, causing an angry Beng Soon to renege on the deal and remove Kiat Kun and his friends from the team.
Without their assistance, Beng Soon and his friends are punished for producing substandard homework. Although the boys try to resolve their differences, they eventually give up on reaching an agreement. Beng Soon's grades continue to fall, and his parents decide to send him away to boarding school in England.
Meanwhile, Seow Fang sees her classmate wearing her lost shoes to school. She and Kiat Kun follow the girl home, but after realising her father is blind and that the family lived in the slums, they decide not to reclaim the shoes. However, a few days later, Seow Fang notices that her classmate is wearing a new pair; upon confronting her, she discovers that the girl has discarded the old pair at the kampung rubbish dump. The Chew siblings frantically search the rubbish dump for her shoes, but only discover them as they are destroyed during a trade unionist riot.
The climax of the film, in which Kiat Kun is pushed to the limit but trips and finishes first — a parallel to Singapore's political history.Kiat Kun is dejected until he learns that the third prize in the 1965 National Primary School Cross Country Competition is a pair of shoes. Because he pretended to be sick on the day his school selected representatives for the race, he pleads with his P.E. teacher to let him enter. The teacher, initially reluctant, relents when Kiat Kun rushes to get his cough medicine, demonstrating his running ability. As the competition begins, Kiat Kun notices that Beng Soon is also participating.
Once the starting gun fires, Kiat Kun pushes himself to the limit and eventually establishes himself among the lead runners. Kiat Kun appears assured of third place, but due to a miracle, unexpectedly trips over a stone which leads him to finish second. Beng Soon ends the race in third place. While Kiat Kun is running, Mrs Chew goes into labour, forcing Seow Fang to run across a long path littered with broken glass to find a midwife. Finally, Mrs Chew gives birth to a baby boy and Beng Soon gives Kiat Kun and Seow Fang new pairs of shoes before departing. After finally obtaining their goal of getting a new pair of shoes, they realize that there are still more problems to be encountered. They then look to a long muddy path before them which they have to cross."
Friday, June 04, 2010
My friends always forward me emails concerning animals as they know I am an animal lover. Janice, just forwarded me this touching email and I wish to share with my readers. How wonderful to know that four legged creatures can be such bosom friends! Hence, we, homo sapiens, who are God's highest form of creation should always try to be sincere and genuine in our friendship with one another.
"After losing his parents, this 3 year old orangutan was so depressed he wouldn't eat and didn't respond to any medical treatments. The veterinarians thought he would surely die from sadness. The zoo keepers found an old sick dog on the grounds in the park at the zoo where the orangutan lived and took the dog to the animal treatment center. The dog arrived at the same time the orangutan was there being treated. The 2 lost souls met and have been inseparable ever since.
The orangutan found a new reason to live and each always tries his best to be a good companion to his new found friend. They are together 24 hours a day in all their activities.
They live in Northern California where swimming is their favorite past time, although Roscoe (the orangutan) is a little afraid of the water and needs his friend's help to swim.
Together they have discovered the joy and laughter in life and the value of friendship.
They have found more than a friendly shoulder to lean on.
Long live friendship! Cheers to all our good friends!
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Director Roysten Abel conducting a rehearsal with the 36 musicians from The Manganiyar Seduction before their gala performance at the Singapore Arts Festival
ST Photo by Samuel He
My friend, Elsa, the ex-president of Singapore Toastmasters Club, invited me to a concert by the Mangainyar musicians from India. Intrigued, I accepted her invitation, and reciprocated by giving Elsa a dinner treat at the Japanese restaurant at the Esplanade before the concert proper.
Wow! The 70 minute show was indeed a gala show fit for a king! The singers and musicians traditionally sang for the kings of Rajasthan in north-western India.
Under the direction of New Delhi-based theatre and film director Roysten Abel, the musicians charmed the more than 900 strong audience with their energetic performance.
President S R Nathan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Cabinet ministers were among those in the audience. Sitting in four stacked rows of cubicles framed with lgiht bulbs and red velvet curtains, the 36 Manganiyar musicians played among other songs, Alfat Un Bin In Bin, inspired by a Muslim poet's love for God. They also
played a Hindu hymn as an encore.
The performers captivated the audience from start to end, prompting many shouts of "Bravo!" at the end. Many of us had not heard such instruments like kamancha, dholak, murli, kartal, sarangi, morchang, bapang, algoza and dhol before, but together the music was wonderful and almost mesmerising!
I admire the performers for they sang and played without looking at their scores. The bare-footed conductor, Daevo Khan, dressed in his white baggy Indian outfit, looked like he was almost dancing on stage and thoroughly enjoying himself! The group deserved a standing ovation!
Happiness is when out of the blue, a friend invited me to something I am not familiar with, and out of gratitude and appreciation, I accepted without knowing what to really expect. Happiness is realising what great fun and joy I would have missed have I insisted on being a frog in my own well!
Thanks Elsa for a great evening and for giving this frog a chance to see and hear the world!