“My Way”

My husband is rather impatient with 4WD’s drivers. He is a careful driver himself but just would not compromise with discourteous drivers. He seems cannot tolerate 4WD drivers who are inconsiderate. He said 4WDs are meant for rugged terrain, not to be driven between schools, work and shops in town areas.

I often wonder why 4WD drivers irritate him so much. Could he be jealous of their huge vehicles? But he is not materialistic. He is not the type who “spends what he has not earned to buy things he does not need to impress people he does not like”. Aha, I begin to get a glimpse of it after reading this study by The Australia Institute.

The study found that four-wheel-drive vehicle owners are often obese, aggressive, intolerant and aged in their 40s and 50s. It also found 4WD owners are less community minded than other drivers, less charitable, more likely to be homophobic and have a low opinion of indigenous culture. They are more likely to use force to get their way.

The report’s authors, Clive Hamilton and Claire Barbato said, “These drivers tend to see themselves as rugged individualists.”

However, the authors said drivers of luxury 4WDs are very different. They are more likely to be female, in their 30s and 40s, and are more materialistic than other citizens. This group is more than twice as likely as the general population to say, “I was born to shop”.

Do you drive a huge 4WD and park your car right in front of the school gate while singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”?


The Knee and the Brain

“If you are with the government, all the mental faculty is in your brains, your heart and your hands. No matter how clever you are, if your brain power does not rise above your knees, you are only kicking.”

This is the remark made by deputy chief minister of Sarawak in lashing out at certain intellectuals who, he said, had used their “knees instead of their brains” to stir up negative politics.

He described these group of people of “nuisance value”.

Recently, I read a text of a sermon delivered by a preacher. He related this story when he preached on how our body works. He said, –

I was preaching in a certain place in the East once and a doctor came up to me afterwards, and said, “You may be interested to know that there is a certain part of your body that is absolutely essential to you as a preacher. You probably do not even think about it when you are preaching, and yet without it you could not do the work you are doing. Do you know what it is?” I said, “No. Is it my tongue, or my brain?”

“No,” he said, “those are obvious. It’s your big toe. Did you know that if you didn’t have a great toe on each foot you could not even stand up to preach? It is the toe that has the ability to sense when your body begins to lean, or shift, or get out of balance, or fall, and it immediately strengthens you so that you can stand up and speak.”

I have been guarding it very carefully ever since, because I need that big toe! It is an essential part of my ministry.

I have not been able to comprehend how without a big toe you won’t be able to stand up. But, I know the importance of knee! Two years ago, I broke my knee. I had an operation to get it fixed. Sounds easy, just fixed it, isn’t it? But, it was not that easy. It was just the knee that hurt, isn’t it? No, the rest of my body was also concerned. My body did not just say, “Oh, go the sleep! Go off and hurt over in the corner and let me go to sleep.” The whole body suffered for days and nights. For weeks, I was not able to lift up my legs. I was on clutches for a while. Without my knee, I just could not walk!

It was then what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:14-16 gave me new meaning –

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were any eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? (1 Corinthians 12:14-17 RSV)

There are people who think that they do not need the rest of the body, they can function on their own; they have their own abilities, and not valuing what others are doing.

The truth is there are really no insignificant members of the body. It applies not only in the Church, it applies to the society at large.

Happy 15th Birthday, Rachel

It seems like only yesterday –

You were a tiny little contended baby as in the photograph. You were the most contended baby. After the last feed at 10 pm, you would sleep through the night until 6 am the next morning. You spared me from having to join a mothers’ support group to share the horror stories of their babies treating day as night and night as day.

Thank you, Rachel!

You grew into a curious toddler. You were as curious as the asking eyes in the photograph. Any object that you grabbed hold of, you would put into your mouth. Nieces called you “vacuum cleaner” because no carpet left unturned with your presence. It was then I learnt to live in simplicity.

Thank you, Rachel!

You began to ask the whys, the whos, the whats, the hows the moment you opened your eyes. And you would only stop when you were too tired until you went to sleep. You began to have a mind of your own. You refused to sing the kindergarten songs because you thought some of the songs were actually laughing at the unfortunate people. To you, describing a child without mother as a grass without nobody to take care of them was actually laughing at the child. You enjoyed the bedtime stories. It was this time of bedtimes stories that laid the foundation of our bond when times become difficult as you enter into your teens.

Thank you, Rachel!

You barricaded yourself in your room, music blaring, with earphones fused to your ears. When I tried to talk to you, you rolled your eyes and exclaimed, “Mum, you just don’t understand!” There were battles and struggles everyday. As I began to despair of ever being a meaningful part of your life again, you suddenly grew out of it! I even did not know when the mother/daughter connection is once again filled with laughter, trust and love!

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

It’s okay to be different

By Christopher Lau

My sister and I are different.

My sister likes to eat noodles. I like to eat rice.

My sister likes to read love stories and horror stories. I like adventure and crimes.

My sister likes to play computer games. I like watching TV.

Even our looks are different. My sister is tall and slim. I am short and fat. (Hope I will grow tall too!)

My sister is good in art. I remember quite a few years ago, she said she wanted to be a fashion designer. At that time, I was very jealous of her because every time in the art class, the teacher said my sister’s piece was better, so I remarked that she could only be a tailor, not a fashion designer. Recently, my sister said she would want to be a computer graphic designer. This time I think she can be the best GM. GM as in Game Master.

I am not good in art. But, I love drawing.

So, we are different. Because we are different, sometimes we quarrel. We even fight when I was younger. Now, we don’t fight anymore.

Despite the quarrels and fighting, we are the best of friends most of the times. We love each other. We do have some common likes. We both like mummy’s pizza, chicken pie and chocolate cake. We want to have a PS2 and have been asking mummy for one, but she has never agreed.

Tomorrow we (me and my friends in Sunday School) shall be presenting a cantata in the church worship services at 7:30 am and 5:00 pm. The title of the cantata is “It’s okay to be different”.

The story is about lions and lambs fighting with each other because of their differences. Lions do not like the way the lambs “meh, meh..” while the lambs do not like the way the lion “gorr, gorr”. So, they are forever fighting. I take the role of Lion 2.

The lions and lambs finally become best of friends and live together in peace and harmony. It is through the teachings of a choir conductor that we really need to accept each other because God makes each one of us different.

I think because we are different, it makes life more interesting. What if my sister and me look exactly the same? Mummy and daddy will have a hard time. They don’t know who likes noodles and who likes rice!

Yan’s thoughts – Just the other day after a function with the Association of children with special needs here in my small town called Sibu, I had lunch with some doctors. I confessed that I am the lousiest mother because I travel too often. I don’t have time for my two children. One doctor remarked that I should hold video conferencing since the society is now so high-tech. Even so, I always remember the script that I watched during those far-away days like the Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons.

It is so heart-warming even when I recal how the families say goodnight to the children, the family celebrations over victories, the sharing of family empathy over disappointments.

I confess that I have not done enough.

But, I am fortunate to have Chris and Rachel as they are. Enjoy them to be different.

Solar-powered handbag

I pick up this interesting news, Now Where Did My Keys Glow from The Journey.

A handbag powered by solar energy has been designed. The bag uses a solar cell to store energy from sunlight. When the bag is opened, it lights up.When it is closed, the light automatically shuts down.

The “great inventor” got this idea when she saw friends frantically searching their bags for house keys.

Anyone for the patent? The designer is looking for one.

The Significant 7

Desi tags me – the “secret 7”!

Seven things you plan to do before you die
As C.S. Lewis said, “These are the shadow lands. Real life has yet to begin.”
So, seven cheers for the new life…

Seven things I could do
As A. Maude Royden said, “Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal.”
So, yearn for more in eternity..
seven cheers, too, for a world far more than the present that is restricted by seven!

Seven Celebrity crushes
Really can’t think of one – but can count from one to seven. Remember I am Desi’s fav 7!

Seven often repeated words
One minute
Two minutes
Three minutes
Four minutes
Five minutes
Time’s up
Wake up
(Remember? I am Chris’ alarm clock! I have to do it everyday, from Day 1 to 7!)

Seven physical traits I look for in the opposite sex
Ssh…Have to borrow Desi’s secret seven! Some of the traits may not be found in the significant half!

The seven people that I’d like to tag next
De book-worm
Ignorant Cow
H J Angus
Mystery 7

Posted in Soul Tapestry. Comments Off on The Significant 7

When life’s storm rage

A story was told of a ship that made its first voyage across the Atlantic. During the first evening, one of the passengers who was a peacher announced that he would be leading a prayer meeting every morning at 6 am. He invited all passengers and crew to join him.

The next morning, the preacher prayed alone. Nobody joined him. He made another announcement during the dinner. Still, nobody joined him the next morning. For many days, the preacher prayed alone.

One night, the ship ran into a storm. The ship pitched and tilted on the rough sea like a toy boat in a bath tub. Everyone was terrified, the crew and passengers alike.

At 6 am, the storm still howling. Everyone on board squeezed into the little prayer room to pray for deliverance. But, the preacher was no where to be seen. Somebody ran into his cabin, but the preacher was not there. At last they found the preacher on the ship’s deck. “Reverend! It’s time for prayer meeting.” one of the search party shouted to the preacher.

“Go ahead without me,” the preacher called back, “I’ve been praying all week. This morning, I am just going to enjoy this display of God’s power.”

Yes, the preacher had peace on the inside – even when the sea around him is rough, the situation around him is in chaos.

Today’s story is an echo to the “Customs D-G’s poem” expressed over the controversy surrounding his allegedly expensive farewell bash which has been translated by Bernama to read as follows –

“Who would expect, when the ship approaches port,
a storm suddenly breaks out without mercy,
as though drowning one’s sweat without pity,
But believe me, as long as I live,
I will certainly defend their integrity,
although not many dare to join me in the battle,
they may be thinking of their own future,
probably when Halil stumbles, they can then move ahead.”

When life’s storm rage, do you panic? Or do you still have the inner calm? Or can you still have a good night sleep?

The apple that reads “Good Night” in the photo was placed at my bedside table in a hotel I checked in recently.