In God’s Eyes

In God’s Eyes

“For great is your love,
higher than the heavens,
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”
(Ps 108:4)

The flowers are in full bloom. So are you.
How blessed we are!

17 years ago, one sunny day as I sat in Singapore Botanical Garden,  the early morning sun brought sparkles to the drops of dew on the brightly coloured petals. They glimmered and gleamed and the whole bed of flowers transformed into a wonderland of twinkle lights.

The garden titillated every one of my senses.
I saw the exquisite beauty of the blooming flowers.
I heard the gentle swooshing of the petals with the breezes.
I smelt the fragrant perfume.
I felt the smooth petals.

It was simply stunning!

My eyes were caught by a bright sunflower reaching out to the sky.
The beauty was second to none.
It reminded me, there and then, how valuable and precious
I am in His eyes!

And, right there, I named you, still in my womb,
Ker Qing*, the Sunny Girl!

Happy 17th Birthday, Rachel, the Sunny Girl.

*Qing” in Chinese means “Sunny day”

Watch Your Steps

In 1993, I slipped and fell. I broke my left elbow and had surgery done to fix it. I had a wire to fasten the broken pieces together. The wire was removed a year later.

In 2003, I slipped and fell again. This time, I broke my right knee. Similarly, I had surgery done to fix it. This time, the doctor gave me an option – I could just leave that metal in the knee. Having an option, I definitely do not wish to “cut open” my knee another time.

After the two “falls”, especially the last fall in 2003 which limits my activities, I had been watching my steps. I took it as God’s reminder to me to slow down in all aspects of life.

Just as I felt that watching my steps had become part of my life and that nothing is going to trip me and made me stumble, I had another fall.

Two nights ago, I slipped and fell.

There was a pool of water on the airport floor, probably from the leaking of the ceiling which is the “in-thing” in Malaysia lately. I did not see it. I stepped on it, slipped and fell on my left hip.

This time, there was no broken bones. Praise the Lord. And also thanks to my best friend, Sandra, who insisted to give me a printer. My elbow just landed on the box containing the printer.

The lesson I learnt from this latest fall is that once we get clicking along in life and become complacent, there is a danger that something appears to trip us up.

That something could be an emotion, an attitude, an event or even another person that challenges us and temporarily prevents us from being our best.

The key is to never think we are too mature or wise to ever stumble like “those other people” do.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! – 1 Cor 10:12 NIV

What’s Next?


Yes, what’s next after UPSR?

Chris finished his UPSR (Primary Six public exam, that is) on Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon, few of his friends came to our house. They played computer games. They played basketball.

The school announced holidays for Primary Six students for Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, Chris went to one of his friends’ house. Probably also doing the same thing like playing computer and games.

On Friday, he was bored. He sent me a short text, “Buy chocolate for me! :). That was around noon. Late afternoon, he texted, “I feel bored.”

On Saturday, I brought him out for shopping. The maid at home has asked me to buy sanitary pad. As I lifted one from the shelf, Chris exclaimed,

“I finally know what the “sanitary disposal bag” in the washroom of hotel is for!”

I stared at him. He said, “What? Before UPSR, I have no time to ask and think about it.”

Oh, dear, what’s next?

Tenor Luciano Pavarotti

Recently, I wrote a medical article on Pancreatic Cancer on “Learning from the death of famous people”. Famous people I was referring to were the death of famous people of pancreatic cancer. It began with Kuching City South Mayor to those further from home, like Italian composer Henry Mancini, Taiwanese culinary instructor Fu Pei Mei and music composer Liang Hong Zhi.

The Chinese article was published two weeks ago. By request of my friends who do not read Chinese, I wrote an English article, finished, edited and ready to be published one of these days.

This afternoon, CNN breaking news came to my mail box –

Luciano Pavarotti, one of the world’s most beloved tenors, has died, according to The Associated Press.

Pavarotti is my favourite tenor singer. It was natural for me to read into his story.

I was caught by “pancreatic cancer” that he was suffering too. Slotted in this news at the last minute and it will be in print tomorrow.

Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave us behind Footprints on the sands of time.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Giving the Light


In my course of writing for newspapers, I note that I would receive more compliments on articles that bring out the social problems. In articles that bring out the good of personalities, I would almost always receive some emails telling me that there are many other better than the personalities that I have featured.

I confess that I have been quite disturbed by such comments. I begin to think our society is ill. We seem not being able to accept the good of others.

I have come to the point of considering giving up writing! Today, Steve Goodier seems to have given me a reason to go on writing. Here it is,

Driving Away the Shadows

When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen handkerchief, and a brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note and several newspaper clippings on the Lincoln presidency.

Why did he keep the newspaper clippings? Some of them extol his achievements as president of the United States. In one, Henry Ward Beecher is quoted in a speech as saying, “Abraham Lincoln may be a great deal less testy and wilful (sic) than Andrew Jackson, but in the long race, I do not know that he will be equal to him.” The reporter
then writes, “The storm of applause that followed this seemed as if it
would never cease.”

Why would he carry such a clipping? If we know anything about Lincoln, we know that humility was one of his most attractive virtues. I can’t imagine that he read from the article during political discussions or entertained dinner guests with its keen insight.

I do not know the answer to these questions. But I am aware that Abraham Lincoln suffered from bouts of serious depression. Could it be that in those “dark nights of the soul,” when despair settled over his mind like a cold and heavy snow, that he could reach into his pocket and find hope? Could it be that these words reminded him of what he had dedicated his life to, the good he had tried to do and the lives he had affected?

Francis of Assisi once said, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” We are all collectors of sunbeams. We may have saved away letters and mementos that warm our hearts and encourage us when we need a lift.

And we can all be radiators of sunbeams, too. A letter, card or note of sincere appreciation can drive away dark shadows like nothing else.

Will you be giver of the light?

— Steve Goodier

P/S Many friends are just a SMS away! I have been lifted by many SMSes sent by friends with the right message at the right time! I have been taking that as God’s little whispers to me. I have also started sending out some SMSes at the beginning of the day. Today, I sent this message out to five people,

Days are many..hours are too busy but there is always a time for me to say Jesus Loves You. Great day and let go and let GOD.

One of them responded this way –

Thanks for the inspired message. I really need it today.

A Good Name

A good name

A mug can also tell a story! I love mugs. Probably, it always comes as a free gift given with purchases.

But this one with my name on it is a gift given to me by a dear friend 19 years ago. I was admitted to Singapore General Hospital for an operation. It was a major one that put me there for a week or more. It tells about the name Phyllis. It reads –

PHYLLIS
MEANING: STRENGTH
You’re forthright and powerful,
Noble and strong;
Where there’s a challenge,
That’s where you belong.
You’re usually confident
And self-assured.
You certainly don’t lack
The strength to endure.
Your feet are planted firmly
To keep you stable,
And you’ll always remain
Courageous and able.

I do not know whether it tells of the name, Phyllis. But, I know at that moment, I was courageous!

Ecclesiastes 7:1 reads, A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

Faith of our Fathers 先贤之信

Faith

I finished this book, Faith of our Fathers, during my trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur last week. In introducing this book, the publisher has written,

You will be intrigued and captivated by Thong’s compelling account of how God has had His hand on China, and His involvement in significant events of China’s history, thus revealing His desire to receive humanity unto Himself.

Indeed, I have been amazed, amazed by the indications of God’s hand on China by the author’s account.

I have also been captivated, captivated by the interpretations of the author’s comprehension of God’s footprints in China History.

I have also been fascinated by the author’s clarity in presenting this book. I would attribute that clarity in presenting the chapters partly due to the fact that the author is working with a journalist and editor, Charlene Fu. Who could have spoken clearer to a journalist than a journalist?

During my three visits to China, I had reservations in visiting all the historic places. I would probably think differently after reading this book in my next visit.

Indications of God’s hand on China include: (I lifted from the back of the book)

The Chinese language itself, which reflects knowledge of the first events of human history as recorded in the book of the Genesis.

The old name of the Chinese gave to their country, Shen Zhou 神州 (God’s country), which is revealing of their consciousness of God’s ultimate sovereignty.

The annual prayers and sacrifices at the Temple of Heaven (天坛〕, which have extraordinary parallels with the blood covenants in the Old Testament.

The Chinese emperors, who were called the “Sons of Heaven” (天子〕and were regarded as an intermediary between Shang Di (上帝〕and the Chinese people.

I have special liking of Chinese words. It’s natural that the second chapter of the book, Words Have Meaning, impressed me more than other chapters. At the end of each chapter there is a reflect and respond. In this chapter, the author gives this thought –

God is an active Communicator. His “fingerprints” are all over the world. He has not stopped speaking to us. Have you seen Him in Chinese characters? Have you seen Him around you today? If not, ask Him to open your eyes to His active participation in your life.

The author, Chan Kei THONG was born and educated in Singapore. He has lived in China for over 20 years.

I also own a Chinese version of this book! There are two reasons for getting the Chinese version of the book. After I finished reading the English version, I passed the book mGf in SingLand. I thought I should be able to get another a copy for keep at my next station, Kuala Lumpur. I did not find the book, instead I spotted the Chinese version. I got hold of the book. Today, I got the English version (photographed above) from Life Book Centre in Sibu!