The Hands


The Sharing Hands


The Talented Hands


The Praising Hands


The Praying Hands

When the Lord took Ker-May (one of the Girls’ Brigade Captain) home, I asked why.

When the Lord took the husband of Yek(one of the Girls’ Brigade Officer in my Company) home and left Yek as a widow and three young children without father, I asked why.

When the Lord took SallyWong (one of the Girls’ Brigade Captian in KL) home, I asked why.

I remember the night when SallyWong passed on, I was devastated! The Lord provided a good friend to listen to my cries, and I too listened to the stories of mGf. It was then I realized how small are my problems. It was after the dinner that in the hotel in Sing-Land, I cried to the Lord –

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand I am tired, I am weak, I am lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the Light
Take my hand precious Lord, Lead Me Home

(Written by Thomas A. Dorsay after he lost his wife and baby in childbirth)

Back home. Back to Girls’ Brigade activities last Saturday. The Lord gave us 31 raised hands wanting to accept Christ as their personal saviour and Lord, and another 16 raised hands wanting to know more about Christ!

Yesterday, over 200 girls joined together in a Talentime Show! I was touched over and over from the start of a piano and violin performance, You Raise Me Up to the Solo ….

I saw hands, not only 31 and 16 of them ….
There were more hands …
Hands holding tightly to each other – for sharing
Hands raising high – praising the Lord
Hands clasping tightly together – praying to the Lord
Hands reaching up – to share the loads of others
And hands stretching up – Madam, I need a pull, I am sinking!

These are the hands that keep me coming back Saturdays after Saturdays. These are the hands that keep my friends in Girls’ Brigade serving faithfully despite their own busy schedule….

P/S 1 Today’s Hands is an inspiration of a good friend in the blogger community, BKworm, read her post on her father’s hands – The Precious Hand. You will be blessed by her literary skills and love for her father. Thank you, Bkworm.

P/S 2 Today’s Hands is also an inspiration of mGf not in the blogger community. Thank you for your healing hands, whether as a friend or in your own profession. Thank you, mGf.

 

Knotted Up!

Chris has been selected to be the School Prefect. The new batch of school prefects selected from Primary Five will take over the UPSR students in June. Yesterday, the school held an orientation session for the newly appointed prefects.

Being a conscientious child, Chris is all set to do his best. He is the Ketua Kumpulan Pegawas for the Canteen area. Chris enjoys eating. When I teased him that he would not have time to eat during the recess time, he said, "School Prefects go to canteen ten minutes earlier and eat first!" Oop…

Sorry, I side-track. Today's posting is about "tie", the neck-tie. Now, the School Prefects put on tie. Little Chris asked me to teach him how to tie the knot! When I answered that I don't know how to tie a tie and that he has to ask daddy to teach, he was bewildered –

"Then, mummy, how do you tie your Girls' Brigade's tie every Saturday?"

I said, "Daddy did it for me."

Chris said, "Oh yes, there is finally one thing mummy can't do by herself. La, la, la, mummy can't tie a knot!"

I have always thought knots are nuisances, especially when you are sewing and the thread ends up in a knot that I couldn't get undone. When I was younger, whenever there is a big task to be done, or a big test, I would get a knot in my stomach. Even a problem that seems impossible to solve is called Gordian knot! So, practically, I need help!

It was after joining the Girls' Brigade that I learnt that knots are important. Knots are not just result of unfortuante accident. A good knot provides security! Girls are taught in special sessions to tie knots. Girls are taught that before they tie a knot, they need to make sure that what they are tying it to is strong enough to hold it secure. The strength of a good knot comes from the thing to which it is tied. Specifically girls are reminded that bows are pretty, but they are not strong enough and they come untied easily!

So, it's still about the deepest connections!

My significant other tying the tie for me on Saturday afternoon is something I look forward to. It's the connection. It shows much love. It shows much support to what the wife is doing. It warms my heart and puts a smile on my face. Most of all, it's indulgence in that tender loving care and whispers of sweet nothing in the process of tying that knot…

Week after week at that special moment, I also hear God's whispers and echoe the hymn writer's words …

Whispering Hope
When amid life's busy thronging,
Wearied and lonely you sigh;
When for your soul's deepest longing,
Naught to bring comfort is nigh;
Hark, on the listening ear falling,
Comes a word tender and true;
List to a gentle voice calling,
Bringing a message for you.
Whispering hope, Oh, how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.
All the world's glamouring pleasures,
Only deceive and enchain;
True and unperishing treasures,
There seek ye ever in vain;
Come lift your eyes to the mountains,
And your soul's yearning shall cease;
Drink at the life-giving fountains,
There to find rest and sweet peace.

It's Saturday. It's Girls' Brigade. We have changed the uniform. No more tie, in place is a scarf …

But I know the best knot we can tie is to Christ.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. – Hebrews 6:19

Going Hungry

I invited a friend from Singapore for dinner at home last night. It was home-cook meal. Chris, my 10-year-old boy said,

"Mummy, the soup is so nice with your love in it. We have not enjoyed meals cooked by you for a long time. How nice if we have guest like Aunty Irene every day, then we can enjoy food with sure hand with the spies and season and sprinkle with love."

Though the first compliment warmed my heart, the message behind the compliments left me nothing to say. That's enough to tell you that Chris and Rachel and all others at home have been eating food cooked by our Indonesian helper. If the "kakak" is to go home, will we all go hungry?

Now, the news –

Immigrant protest may leave many New Yorkers hungry

New York: Anybody who's eaten at one of the New York's many big-name restaurants may like to think the food was lovingly prepared by a celebrity chef. The reality is it was more likely made by a poorly-piad Mexican immigrant.

If all the city's immigrants walk off the job in a nationwide protest called for Monday against proposals to crack down on illegal immigration, many New Yorkers will go hungry, or at least be forced to eat at home for a change.

Food for thought.

When do we get hungry?

The Scripture says,

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35

John 6 follows after Jesus performed the miracles of feeding 5000 and walking on the water. A crowd followed Him to the other side of the lake where he talked on bread of life and the work of God.

Jesus says, "He who comes to me will no longer be hungry," therefore, he who has come to Jesus has eaten. And "he who believes in me will never be thirsty." You are not thirty when you have just drunk. Therefore, Jesus says, "He who believes in me has already drunk of me." This is what "eat" and "drink" mean — come and believe. This is what the symbol of eating and drinking means: Come to me, think about me, know that I am with you and I am able to work in you and through you and change your attitude right where you are. Then believe on me, change it, do it, and I'll be there to make it work."

Is God working in me? Is He working to make me into a compassionate, patient woman who learns to think of others and to work for their good as well as my own? Is He working to make me into a patient, loving woman who learn to handle family with love?

By eating and drinking him, coming and believing in him all the time, we will never go hungry or thirsty.

Posted in Soul Reflections. Comments Off on Going Hungry

French Women Do Too Get Fat

I am trying to get away with Sarawak State Election news. So, yesterday, I drank coffee from my saucer. Today? I want to know how French I am. But, first the news that greeted me this morning. Not as pleasant as yesterday's coffee, but food for thoughts –

One feared dead, several in hospital after taking slimming pills

Paris: One person is believed to have died and five others were in intensive care in French hospitals yesterday after taking slimming pills containing the throid glands of pigs, health officials said.

Authorities were trying to contact more than 70 people who are thought to have taken the capsules, all prepared by a single pharmacist in the 17th arrondissement, or district, of Paris.

The use of animal thyroid extract in slimming pills is banned in the French medical profession's code of ethics, but it is not against the law. Normally prescribed to help patients with over-active thyroid glands or diabetes, the treatment is supposed to boost metabolism and limit the body's absorption of fats and sugars.

According to the report, one had died in a Paris hospital on April 18, 16 people have been hospitalised after experiencing symptons including palpitations, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. The five at the intensive care are either in a coma or suffering from :neurological difficulties.

Last year, Mireille Guilano published a book titled, "Why French Women Don't Get Fat – The Secret of Eating for Pleasure". The basic advice of this book is – Eat only good food (as in good quality). Relax and savor every bite. That's French way of eating, as told by Guilano. French have elaborate food rituals. They go to the market several times a week and eat only what's in season. By eating better-tasting food and savoring it more consciously, "fool themselves" into being satisfied with less.

More is less? Less is more? Eating the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 way? I am trying to connect how it works. So, I took a test on the net called "How Frech are you?" The result –

You have scored a total of 32 out of a possible 46. Leave the house, go to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of "French Women Don't Get Fat" immediately. Your lifestyle needs some serious tips from French Women.

OK, OK, it is said French women eat with their head not the stomach.

In Guilano's book, it is speficically the women who must master "the useful art of self-deception" – mentally balancing the pleasures of food against the competing desires to fit into the latest fashions and to be attractive to French men, who she says like their wives to be "very elegant, very thin."

Is that eating with the head not the stomach?

I do like this piece of wisdom from Guiliano's head –

I sometimes do have a ravenous appetite. When I do, I drink a big glass of water, which reduces the void somewhat, then wait a while and eat something. Most of the time we are thirsty rather than hungry.

So, how French are you? It means thinking of water, not the hamburgers, fries, ice-cream, pastry, chocolate…

That leads me to the Scriptures –

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)

I’m Drinking From My Saucer

This morning my newspaper, The Borneo Post greeted me with this piece of news –

Washington: Go ahead and have second cup of coffee – or third, or fourth. A study published on Monday shows heavy, long-term coffee drinking does not raise the risk of heart disease for most people.

The study, which followed 128,000 men and women for as long as 20 years, showed that drinking filtered coffee – not espresso or French-style brews – did not raise the risk of heart disease.

“We believe this study clearly shows there is no association betweeen filtered coffee consumption and coronary heart disease,” said Esther Lopez-Gracia, an instructor in the School of Medicine at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, who worked on the study.

I am a coffee person. But, I am not addicted to coffee. I can go without coffee for days. I can also have cups after cups in a day.

I always remember drinking coffee with my father in coffee shops during the young days. My father poured the coffee from the cups to the saucers and drank from the saucers! The memories of my father and coffee always put a smile to my face because of this little poem. I want to share with my dear friends today –

I’m Drinking From My Saucer

I’ve never made a fortune,
and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much,
I’m happy anyhow.

And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven’t got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going’s tough.
But I’ve got loving ones all around me,
and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.

So Lord, help me not to gripe,
about the tough rows I have hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings,
I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

When I think of how many people
in this world have it worse than I do.
I realize just how lucky most of us really are.

The Bridge

Someone said,

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even when there is no river.

There is a river where the RM180-million 1,220-metre bridge is constructed. However, to commission the usage of a bridge on the day when the Council Negeri is dissolved is something political. Or to say, to gain political mileage. Sarawak goes to polls on May 20. DUN dissolved to pave way for ninth state election. Nomination to beheld on May 9.

The Chief Minister has described it as a "development bridge".

Yes, it's political. But to me, this bridge connects me to the small town where I spent my teenage years. Two weeks ago when I drove there I was still using the ferry to cross the river! It means better connection with old friends now!

My connection with bridge started from my primary school days. I remember the story of two goats, one black, the other white, meets on a bridge. It is a narrow bridge. None of the goats wants to give way to the other. So, the rhyme (in Chinese) goes like this –

 

You don't give way (ni bu rang)

I don't give way (wu bu rang)

We shall starve to death on the bridge (da jia er si zai qiao shan)

The story taught me to give way for the good of all concerned. This is a bridge of wisdom.

Then, I learnt to sing this little rhyme while buidling the bridge with hands and caught the Fair Lady –

London Bridge is falling down, falling down.London Bridge is falling down, My Fair Lady.

This bridge taught me to play fair. This is a bridge of understanding.

I grew a little older and loved Chinese poems so much and fell in love with this Chinese poem, Saying Good-bye to Cam-"bridge" again by Xu Zhimo –

Saying Good-bye to Cambridge Again

Very quietly I take my leave
As quietly as I came here;
Quietly I wave good-bye
To the rosy clouds in the western sky.

The golden willows by the riverside
Are young brides in the setting sun;
Their reflections on the shimmering waves
Always linger in the depth of my heart.

The floating heart growing in the sludge
Sways leisurely under the water;
In the gentle waves of Cambridge
I would be a water plant!

That pool under the shade of elm trees
Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky;
Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds
Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream?

To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream
To where the green grass is more verdant;
Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight
And sing aloud in the splendour of starlight.

But I cannot sing aloud
Quietness is my farewell music;
Even summer insects heep silence for me
Silent is Cambridge tonight!
Very quietly I take my leave

As quietly as I came here;
Gently I flick my sleeves
Not even a wisp of cloud will I bring away

原诗:

再别康桥 徐志摩

轻轻的我走了,
正如我轻轻的来;
我轻轻的招手,
作别西天的云彩。

那河畔的金柳
是夕阳中的新娘
波光里的艳影,
在我的心头荡漾。

软泥上的青荇,
油油的在水底招摇;
在康河的柔波里,
我甘心做一条水草

那榆荫下的一潭,
不是清泉,是天上虹
揉碎在浮藻间,
沉淀着彩虹似的梦。
寻梦?
撑一支长篙,
向青草更青处漫溯,
满载一船星辉,
在星辉斑斓里放歌
但我不能放歌,
悄悄是别离的笙箫;
夏虫也为我沉默,
沉默是今晚的康桥!

悄悄的我走了,
正如我悄悄的来;
我挥一挥衣袖,
不带走一片云彩。

This is a "bridge" of romance.

Then, almost at this same time, the BoyNextDoor started playing "Bridge over Troubled Water" on his spinning machine. We were apart by a six-foot tall wall. More than that, we did not communicate because he spoke English, I did not. He spoke Hokkien, I spoke Foochow.

 

When you’re weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I’m on your side. When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

When you’re down and out,
When you’re on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
I’ll take your part.
When darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind.

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

© 1969 Paul Simon

That's the importance of bridge of communication I learnt from Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Then, here is the other connection with The Bridge in my life. I read this story from the internet. Be ready for some tears –

The Bridge

There once was this turnable bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the days, the bridge sat parallel with the tracks, allowing ships to pass freely on both sides. But at certain times each day a train would come along, and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river allowing the trains to cross.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed.

One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train's light. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge into position. He turned the bridge, but to his horror, found that the locking control ddidn't work. If the bridge was not locked into position securely, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it. This would cause the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river.

This train was a passenger train with many people abroad. He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever he could use to operate the lock manually. He could hear the rumble of the train now. He took hold of the levre and leaned backward to apply pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack he heard a sound that made his blood run cold: "Daddy, where are you?" His four year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run, run!" but the train was too close, the tiny legs would not make it across the bridge in time. The man almost lifted the lever to run and snatch up his son, and carry him to safety, but he realized he could not get back to the lever in time.

Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one aboard was aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man still clinging tightly to the lever long after the train had passed. They didn't see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked, to tell his wife how he had sacrified her son.

Now if you can comprehend the feelings which went through this man's heart, you can understand the feeling of our Heavenly Father when he sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. How does He feel when we speed along life without giving a thought to what was done for us through His son, Jesus Christ? Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His only Son died?

This is the bridge that connects us to God.

Old Is Not A 4-Letter Word

Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Frank Wong quoted Jack Benny's wisdom at the break of the morning at Copthrone Orchid Hotel, Singapore where passengers to Johor board Malaysia Airlines coach to Senai Airport.Frank Wong, together with eight friends were on a fishing trip to Kuching. The nine of them, mostly retirees, had been making trips to Kuching fishing one or two times every year for the past five years."We would be in the sea for three days. For each trip, our harvest is 40-50 kg" Frank said.

Frank added that the 40-50 kg of harvest is his year's consumption of fish! Comparing to the cost of getting to Kuching, the 40-50 kg of fish would not cover the cost.

"It is the fun when the fish got hooked to our fishing rod." Frank said. He was quick to add that it is scientifically proven that the fish feel no pain. (ha, ha, fishtail, over to you to tell me whether it's true. I have made no research.)

Well, if age is inevitable, these nine Singaporeans are really making growing old incomparable.

Here is one prayer that I came across in a book (author unknown) –

Lord, Thou knoweth better than I know myself

that I am growing old and will one day be old.

Keep me free from being talkative and from

the fatal habit of thinking I must say something

on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from the craving of trying to

straighthen out everybody's affairs.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless

details but give me winds to get to the point.

I ask for grace to listen to the

stories of others' pain.

Help me to listen with compassion or

to endure them with patience.

Teach me the lesson that occasionally

it is possible that I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably sweet for I know

It is difficult to be a saint for some of them

are hard to live with.

Make me beautiful but not moody, helpful but

not bossy. With my store of your wisdom,

it may seem a pity not to use it at all.

Thou knoweth that besides Thee,

I need a few friends around me at the end of my life.

 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, a fishing trip to Kuching?