Empty Chairs filled with Memories

empty chairs

Again at the airport. I have lost count of the number of times I was at this airport as early as 6 am waiting to board the 7 am fight for the past three weeks. I was there again yesterday. It was a little different. Normally, it was hazy outside. But, I caught the rays of sunshine reflecting beautifully on these empty chairs. No, I did not look at them just as empty chairs.

Having just used the LCCT in Kuala Lumpur, it means there are many chairs for passengers to sit comfortably!

Having just sent off former pastors and missionaries making a homecoming to our Church golden Jubilee celebrations, it means these chairs have been warmed by our friends and visitors and left many warm memories! It also means those who have seated themselves there have enriched our lives in a way or another…

The ray of sunshine tells that they will be back one day to fill up the chairs, warm the chairs and leave more memories for us!

The days without blogging (huh, finally a confession that it has been a long silence here) are never the days of emptiness. You, it’s you – bp, dobbs, IML, JoMel, SAHM, justme. joepscand many more) have filled me almost to the brim!

I have the privilege to interview the first pastor of our Church, Rev David MacDonald seven years ago. Rev David MacDonald and his wife, Audrey came back again this time. That night, as we sang “Blest be the tie that binds…”, we were all in tears. Audrey said, with Rev David standing beside, “Can we take you home?”

Rev & Mrs MacDonald & Phyllis

Can we take you home? These words have filled much of my mind and I know they will stay in my mind for a long time, just like these words that Rev David MacDonald said seven years ago,

When I left Sarawak I left part of myself here
and took part of you with me.
For that I thank God.”

The chairs are empty, but God fills the spaces with love, memories, warmth and He promises more!

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When imagination goes wild

ORAL-ME / UBAT GIGI

One said this carried a sexual connotation. Another said he was shocked because these kind of words are normally found on a spoof. One professor said the name is just to show that it is an oral product.

I don’t see anything wrong here.

Read the story here.

But, this one puts me off. I would not want to eat this.

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How does this relate to you?

Faces

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I have chosen to work with younger girls in Girls’ Brigade this year. I used to be with teenagers of aged 16 to 17. It is a total different experience.

I have yet to be able to name each one of them!

“Michelle?”

“No, Madam, I am Doris.” Clearly very unhappy that this old Madam always gets the person wrong.

“E-thel.”

“Madam, it reads as Eh-thel.” Ok, Ok, I get the name pronounced wrong thus offending the little girl.

A friend who is a teacher said that you have to accept that some parents like to give unique name to their children. Some names, whether English or Chinese names, are those that you have never seen or heard in a life’s time. She taught me this tactic. If you do not know how to read a student’s name, call out all the names in the class and left out the name that you can’t read. Then, you said, “Have I missed out anyone?”

Then, you will see a little hand. Ask the little one to “shout out” his name, and remember that!

These are the innocence of little ones.

Have you been mistaken as someone in your daily lives? Or do you look like someone or does someone look like you? I seem to have a very “common” face in this small town. I could name three persons whom people think I look like them. One is in the travel service, one in my church attending the Chinese service, and one is a rich man’s wife. Being mistaken as the first and second one is not much of an embarrassment. But, the third one? I have been pretty uncomfortable about it.

Occasionally, I go to a stall in another market buying rice. The stall owner (woman) always seem over enthusiastic in doing my business. She treats me like how she would treat an important person. I was much confused. On the last polling day (March 8th), I went to her stall again to buy rice. The usual extraordinary kind of kindness. She started to talk about the election while weighing the rice. She said something not so nice about my husband’s uncle who was one of the candidates, and all praises for the other candidate. I did not bother much.

This morning I went to the stall next to her rice stall to buy some “kueh”. The stall was crowded. She went over to offer to pick up what I wanted to buy and when she handed the “kueh” and change to me, she called me “Mrs XXX”.

Oh dear, she has mistaken me as the other candidate’s sister-in-law!

I have yet to correct her as it was a big crowd then. Would you correct her right there?

Weaving Sorrows

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I received some “ketupak”, beef rendang, a layered-prune cake, candies, biscuits and a thank-you card from a church friend last night. The family has wanted to say thank you to me for designing and arranging the bulletin of a service “In thanksgiving for the life of a member of their family whom they called – beloved son, loving husband, great father and caring brother”. I accepted the goodies with a grateful heart – thanking God for such good friend, and also thanking God for being with him and his family through overwhelming heartache and deep feelings of loss.

The neatly-weaved “ketupak” reminds me that our life is but a weaving between God and us. God chooses the colours in the making of my life. There are different colours to make it a beautiful tapestry that He will reveal one day. The dark coloured threads are like the sorrows, failures, disappointments, dark and dreadful days. He also added in golden threads which are our joys, happiness, sunny days and success!

We may not know what’s all this weaving is about. But, we are sure that all these parts of our life, in happiness, in joy, in sorrows, in disappointments, in failure and in success, are all woven with love and care by Him.

The family had chosen this song by the Choir as postlude of the service, and I know many had been ministered by the family members – I know who holds tomorrow –

I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine,
For it’s skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Refrain
Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

Ev’ry step is getting brighter,
As the golden stairs I climb;
Ev’ry burden’s getting lighter;
Ev’ry cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eyes,
At the ending of the rainbow,
Where the mountains touch the sky.

Refrain
Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

I don’t know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the One Who feeds the sparrow,
Is the One Who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I’m covered with His blood.

Refrain
Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

Cooking up a storm with eggs

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Photo Credit

I love eggs.

Fried it, scrumptious! Sunny-side up, appealing.

Scrambled it, delightful!

Cooked-in-the shell, yummy!

Soft-boiled it, it’s almost heavenly!

Poached it, mellow!

Baked it, divine!

With sauce and dressing, heavenly!

I have a great fan to come along with me, my little boy, Chris. I have learnt all these words describing the irresistible temptations of eggs from Chris!

But, it’s just that number of cholesterol in it that pulls me down often. I have not been taking eggs for the past two weeks. And I even miss that Easter egg that I collected from the Church. The consoling thing is I collected many easter eggs from fluff-friends’ easter eggs hunt (Facebook).

Today, I read a “RealAge Tip” –

Like your poached egg and whole-wheat toast in the morning? Your brain might enjoy it, too. Easting selenium-rich foods – like eggs – could help keep your memory sharp and your brain speed on high as you age.

It goes on to say that in rural China, researchers found that elderly people who got at least the U.S. recommended daily value of selenium (about 55 micrograms per day) had cognitive test scores that put them in a league with people 10 years younger.

And there is even a test of our mental acuity with this quiz and see how we match up for our age!

For that score of 10 years younger than my actual age, I am going to throw that non-essential number today and let my doctor worry about them and pay him. I am going to take an egg today!

In search of the happiest person

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Picked up this interesting news today –

A SEARCH has been launched for the happiest person in Singapore, where a recent survey found that 90 per cent of its population feel life is stressful.

The aptly named Philip Merry, chief executive of consulting firm Global Leadership Academy, has been tasked with finding the cheery resident.

“Being based in Singapore and having trained thousands of people across the globe, one distinct trend I have noticed is that despite material wealth and economic success, Singaporeans consider themselves less happy than many other people,” Mr Merry said.

“Singaporeans fret about financial security and retirement. Many Singaporeans are concerned they do not have enough money to grow old gracefully and that seems to make them unhappy,” he said.

Despite its affluence, a poll by international advertising firm Grey Group found that 9 in 10 people living in the city-state said they were stressed.

Citizens aged 18 years and above can be nominated for the title and the winner will be given an overseas holiday.

So, this born-in-Singapore happy baby (pix above) can’t be nominated! Sigh. Sigh.

Here is another story of how to be happy reported by Reuters –

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Money can buy happiness, but only if you spend it on someone else, researchers reported on Thursday.

Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, the team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found.

Read the story here

What drug is your personality?

I was quite “amazed” by one Chinese newspaper reporting on the “horoscope and personality” and “feng-shui talk” of the candidates in the nation’s general election. Other reports of the candidates include their private life beyond politics. Then, I came across this “What drug is your personality?” and took the test. Here is the result. Quite fun. Give it a try!

Your Personality Is Like Heroin


You’re capable of the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Addicted to feeling good, you’ll do almost anything to avoid pain.

People seek you out, even though you can be quite moody. They’re hooked on you! At your best: You are euphoric, stress free, and a little sleepy.

What people like about being around you: They’re not exactly sure, but they can’t get enough about you.

What people dislike about being around you: When you finally leave, they go some pretty serious withdrawal.

How addicted people get to you: Very… you’re quite dangerous.