Bless This Country

I shall be away for a short working trip, still courtesy of “the land that sings” – the land that has just celebrated its birthday. When I am back home, the birthday of my own country would be nearly over.

Like previous year, Chris has still wanted to have a flag flying high in our car. Last night, we were still talking over it. He asked how much a small flag cost. I said I don’t know. He asked, “We can’t afford the smallest of the flags?”

The punchline is still – The flag flies in my heart, the way it should.

I also recall when I talked to a good friend of her Merdeka thoughts just two days ago in Kuching. She said, “The country has not given me anything.”

What desperation. What disappointments.

Many feel so – what has the country given us?

Indeed, many things have happened that broke the hearts of many of us. Does the flag really still fly high in our hearts?

What has the country done for me? Or what can we do for the country?

Desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good of the country, coming together to work for it.

Can we do it?

Bless this house, Oh Lord we pray
Make it safe by night and day
Bless these walls so firm and stout
Keeping want and trouble out

Bless the roof and chimneys tall
Let thy peace lie over all
Bless this door that it may prove
Ever open to joy and love

Bless these windows shinning bright
Letting in God’s heavenly light
Bless the hearth, a-blazing there
With smoke ascending like a prayer

Bless the people here within
Keep them pure and free from sin
Bless us all that we may be
Fit Oh Lord to dwell with thee
Bless us all that we, oneday, may dwell
Oh Lord, we pray.

Posted in Soul Tapestry. Comments Off on Bless This Country

Tune My Heart

I bought a CD of Foster & Allen’s Back Home Again with 20 memories of home and family in Kuching last night. Yes, have been away from home for a few days. And, yes, I missed home too. But, this CD with 20 memories of home and family tell stories of real life. Songs about mums and dads, of family and friends, of childhood memories and growing -up in that very special place we call home.

Here are the titles of 20 songs – I know you won’t have ever have all the 20 songs in a CD. Mick Faster and Tony Allen have sung all the songs in their own way that all the songs are like “new”, and of course reflecting memories of home, our base, our nest – that’s where we beong, isn’t not?

Back Home Again
Try to remember
A mother’s Way
My Father’s House
Bless This House
My Grandfather’s CLock
Cottage in the Country
Silver Threads among the gold
Sitting Alone in an old Rocking Chair
Between the Two of Them
A Mother’s Love’s a Blessing
Take Me Home Country Roads
The Ring Your Mother Wore
The Old Button Box
Far Away A Light is Burning
Scarlet Ribbons
My Uncle Mike
The Green, Green Grass of Home
The Old House
What a Wonderful World

It’s the first time I heard of this song, “A Mother’s Way”. It’s so beautiful, here’s the lyrics –

MOTHER’S WAY

(Reg Keating)

Foster & Allen

It’s just a mother’s way
To worry through the day
‘Bout every little thing
Like falling off a swing
When you are out at play
The years slide quickly by
The Summers seem to fly
And then you move along
You break out on your own
But you don’t see her cry
For a while she hides behind a smile
But then her eyes reveal
She worries still today
Take her hand
Show her you understand
A little tenderness will go a long, long way

And now the years have flown
She’s sitting all alone
With all her photographs and memories of the past
She’s glad when you come home

For a while she hides behind a smile
But then her eyes reveal
She worries still today

Take her hand
Show her you understand
A little tenderness will go a long, long way

For a while she hides behind a smile
But then her eyes reveal
She worries still today

Take her hand
Show her you understand
A little tenderness will go a long, long way
A little tenderness will go a long, long way

*LOL*

When I first entered the internet world, the first word I learnt was probably, “LOL”. I remember receiving emails from a friend using “LOL” very often. One day, I gathered up my “courage” and asked, “What’s LOL?” I learnt that day, it’s Laugh Out Loud.

LOL does not identify with me much. I have not used it ever before. I am more “disciplined” because I prefer smile 🙂

Yesterday, I had lunch with my best friend of my secondary school days. After lunch, I showed her some of the old photographs on my laptop. Connie said she has lost all her secondary school day photos. When we were on a photograph of all the girl classmates, we both said with the same accord,

“The more beautiful ones should have been seated on the front row.”

Our words hung in the air for a moment and then we both burst into laughters.

At that moment, I went back to the old school days when we often LOL.

Laughter is indeed a gift from God – it is the essence of joy, one of the fruits of the holy spirit.

I lifted this from an old issue of the Guidepost. Probably, giving some thoughts to LOL?

Here are some ways I’m trying to limber up my willingness to laugh. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

Practice seeing the humour in situations. We live near a high school where the marching band practices relentlessly, with endless squeaks and squawks. It would be easy to let it get to me. Instead I try to imagine the whole neighborhood breathing a windy sigh of relief when a tune finally emerges.

When you catch yourself mentally working on a grievance or rehearsing a complaint, make a deliberate effort to see it in a humorous light. Pretend you’re telling an audience about it in a way designed to make them laugh.

Know the difference between a mishap and a catastrophe. One test: A mishap is something you’d laugh about if it happened to someone else. Learn to laugh when embarrassment is “on you.”

Recently an angel-food cake I’d made for a women’s meeting at my church collapsed—on one side only. Having no time to bake another, I cut it in half. By the time I got to church, even the “good” half had begun to sag. At that point, I remarked, “Today we have cakes made by Betty Crocker, Julia Child and Calamity Jane.” No mishap is a total failure if it generates a good laugh.

Apply humor when interacting with those closest to you. The burned chops, the forgotten anniversary, the unfilled gas tank can be seen as part of the ongoing domestic comedy instead of added to a grievance list.

Not only marriages benefit from laughter. So do parent-child and student-teacher relationships, in-law difficulties, on-the-job problems.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. People who feel they have to be perfect and indispensable m and in complete control m set themselves up for a life of incredible strain. Personally, I’ve had to resign several times from the self-appointed role of Superintendent of the Neighborhood.

We all have genuine problems that are not laughing matters. This makes laughter all the more precious—and it makes needless aggravation a terrible waste of spiritual resources. No wonder one of the best-known Bible proverbs is 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Laughter gives balance to a world, which might otherwise sink into misery. When you have a choice—choose to laugh!

Meeting David Marshall

A long-time friend in Sing-Land sent me this link, hoping to “distract me from Malaysian Politics” –

Meeting David Marshall in 1994

This interview was done in 1994, 12 years ago, but David Marshall’s thoughts are even more valid today (as commented by one reader)!

Thank you, friend, for that good “distraction”. for a while I relinquished the anxieties, distractions and busyness of the day and emptied myself completely on the words of David Marshall!

Mattering to Someone

Reuters’ report carried by The Borneo Post todday –

New York: Lonely? Feeling low? Try taking a walk – down the aisle. Getting married enhances mental health, especially if you’re depressed, according to a new US study.

The benefits of marriage for the depressed are praticularly dramatic, a finding that surprised the professor-student team behind the study.

“We actually found the opposite of what we expected,” said Adrianne Frech, a PhD sociology student at Ohio State University who conducted the study with Kristi Williams, an assistant professor of sociology. They expected to find that one spouse’s depression weighed too much on the marriage, but “just mattering to someone else can help alleviate symptons of depression.” Frech said.

“Depressed people maybe just especially in eed of the intimacy, the emotional closeness and the social support that marriage can provide … if you start out happy, you don’t have far to go,” Williams said.

Well, just mattering to someone to get away the blues? Yes, be a blessing to someone and be blessed!

Time and Eternity II

My little boy Chris was all “excited” this morning after reading the newspaper on the “Plot to blow up Planes”.

“I told you not to go to London. If you have gone, I would be searching for you in London airport. I would be crying my heart out now.” Chris pointed to the picture of the chaotic airport scenes in the newspaper.

Yes, some of my Girls’ Brigade friends are in England for the international conference. It took me a lot of struggling and wrestling to finally decide to call off the trip. Much decision was made due to Chris’ pleadings and tears.

“You also miss your mummy.” That was the statement Chris made one day.

This seems to be the season that I miss my mother very much. It’s not the birthday or anniversary seasons, but feelings and tears seem all ready. So, few nights ago, I penned some thoughts with tears. Here are the words, but with much help from a dear friend, Joe who is gifted with words –

 

I know you’ve found a place,
much better than where,
we lived as family in warm embrace –
so why is my heart still bleeding to care?

 

I know you’ve found new friends there,
whose company you gladly share,
like those days when we stood for each other –
so why do I still yearn for you hither?

 

I know happy memories should suffice,
and I’ve them aplenty,
of moments you touched me deeply –
so why for more do I still crave and insist?

 

I know you lived a good life of seventy-three,
as a mother and teacher you nurtured me,
you were my clutch to trudge over difficulties –
so am I selfish to wish you live seventy-four or more?

 

I know you still love me – deep and tender,
but deeper and tenderer is my love for you, my mother,
I wish I had said it many times over when I should –
tell me mother, it’s not too late – show me how I could.

 

Posted in Soul Bond. Comments Off on Time and Eternity II

Have a blessed, squeaky-clean day!

I had the shock of my life two days ago. Grandma gave little Chris RM20 for his birthday on 1st August. (I have never like the idea of giving cash to children as present). I discovered that Chris has only RM10 left. Chris does not spend money. He is a child who keeps money. I was concerned. So I asked.

In between sobs, he said he borrowed RM5 from his classmate few weeks ago to buy some stationeries and forgot to ask me to give him the money to repay. The classmate said he had to repay RM10, RM5 is for the interest incurred. That was last Friday.

I wanted to go to his school. On second thought, I told Chris to get back the RM5, if the classmate insisted on interest, then I shall go to school and settle with him or the classmate can do an interest calculation worksheet for my consideration.

Chris came back with the RM5 which his classmate returned. Chris said his classmate never meant to charge him interest. It was just a joke.

While I let the matter rest, but my mind could not rest. Was it just a joke? Or our 11-year-old children are as “enterprising” as “loan sharks”?

Yesterday the Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Talib Jamal said that gangsterism was prevalent in Sibu Schools! He especially mentioned Sibu. And it’s School – the place our children are educated! My crime desk was assigned to follow up with Talib, but he was not available. Perhaps, today!

Our children are supposed to be adequately described with one word – purity! They should be completley trustlng, guileless, without arrogance and without all the destable traits and hangups that we adult possess. Is it not said in the Bible that “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”? (Matt 18:3) Is it not said that “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”? (Matt 5:8)

Children are like a sponge, so are the adults. We absorb everything around us. If we put things like greed, untruth, lust into us, as life squeezes us, anger, revenge, tears, remorse, hatred will come out. Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in.

Let’s put in love, truth, Word of God, prayers into our lives so that when life puts the squeeze on us, Jesus and Jesus Alone will shine forth from us!