Monday, July 7, 2014
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Friday, September 7, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Turning 21 marks the beginning of a new chapter in life. It seems not too long ago when I pushed Samuel then aged 3 into a 20 feet long concrete tunnel for him to walk through on his own without me at his side. He already showed sign of bravery at that age. But it also revealed that he trusted his dad. When Samuel was 5, I took him tho the park and cajoled him to climb to the top of the fishnet-like structure that was about 18 feet high. Without second thought, Sam climbed up nimbly like a monkey. To this day, rock climbing is his favorite sport. His friend commented when they saw him climbed the wall: "You mean this is the first time he is doing the climbing? He is like a pro already." Sam always thinks that he was born with the natural ability for parkour and climbing. My view is that nurture takes 80%.
Sam has a unique gift of assembling things. When we brought back wooden shelves be it bed or book shelves from IKEA, before I could finished reading the instruction manual, Sam usually finished assembled the whole structures. He is DIY person. Most of the handy works stuff in the home were fixed up by him. His adeptness and love for assembling things also originates from the earlier years of training. I gave him complex gazettes and toys to assemble, difficult puzzles (Complicated pattern and design) to solve. Sarah normally could reach level 4 whereas nothing to stop Sam from attaining the highest level that even adults sometimes found them difficult. His brain works in a spatial concept. Take him into any new city, he can remember exact location and place and finds his way back. Sam is our sure bet whenever we have difficulty locating our car in a huge car park even without any clear sign. Sam thinks that he was born with that natural instinct. But my view is that nurture accounts for 80%.
When comes to cooking, baking, Sam excels. He approached these activities like a scientist doing his experiments in the lab. Because he is daring, adventurous, creative, he is not afraid to try new things and new ways of doing things. Not many of his friends know that Sam is an Origamist. The origami that Sam did are usually intricate and exquisite. If grade 8 is the highest that one can go in Origami, I would rate him as level 7. I told him he could make a living out of this trade.
Sam learns most things on his own through observation, reading books, asking good questions (soliloquy). When I found him day dreaming, he was actually spending time thinking aloud of projects that he wanted to embark on. He aspires to be a polymath. That itself is a worthy pursuit. Constance and I pulled him out from school when he was in form 1. Since then he has been pursuing knowledge through reading books, learning through Google and You-Tube and having interesting conversation with people who are knowledgeable. Sam is so knowledgeable that sometimes I thought he was bluffing his way through! But when I checked the subjects that we discussed, I discovered that he knew far more than me. His education came mainly from non formal and informal learning. Ask him why he is so good in photography and cinematogrpahy. His answer might surprise you. Sam is full of surprises. There is never a dull moment with him. The only problem is that you will wonder how come Sam knows so much given that fact that he did not even go to University.
He is a bundle of joy and the live wire in the family. If I were to be marooned in a deserted Island, I would love to have him with me. So I can be entertained by him, I don't have to cook, I don't have to worry how to build a wooden house. We can just talk all day and all night and drink coconut juice from a straw made from the leaves. Sam would make all kinds of Origami and build obstacles for sports. He might even make a wooden golf stick for me to tee off a wooden golf ball. Sam showed me the other day how to light a fire using two sharp objects that he bought from on-line. 10 times out of 10 when he struck the objects against each other, spark of fire flew before my face. "How does this work?" I asked him. He gave me a 5 minutes scientific discourse that impressed me.
I did not choose him to be in my family. God did not give me a menu to choose what I want for a boy. In His wisdom and graciousness, God gifted Sam to be my son. A loving brother to Sarah, Sam and his sister often sings duet beautifully. I would normally sit in a corner, savor every moment, thanking God for these two wonderful gifts.
I would not trade Sam for any boy in the world.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sarah graduated on May 21st 2011
As the plane flew from Billings to Grand Rapids, I knew that the end of the world would not happen for the simple reason that no one will know the sudden coming of Christ. Jesus already told his disciples that "no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matt 24:36-42). It is baffling to me how a veteran pastor like Harold Camping could come up with a calculation of the exact date of the return of Christ. It is equally mind boggling to see so many mindless Christians who bought in Harold Camping's prophecy when the teaching of the Bible is so plain for all to see.
Sam and I sat there in the sport stadium where thousands of parents, friends of the graduands and the graduates eagerly awaiting the commencement of the opening service. When Sarah's name was called and she went forward to received her scroll, I clapped the loudest and shouted for joy unashamedly. That's what parents would do that for their children. Sarah had done us proud. She has always been a high achiever in schools. She graduated with honors degree and was on the Dean's list for every semester in all the four years! Her professors were full of praise for her, not only her academic excellence but also her attitude and posture of learning. Sarah is a keen student, possesses sharp mind and yet humble. Calvin College professors had shaped her mind and heart to love God and to serve others with humility.
I thought I would never be able to send my children overseas for their tertiary education. God had demonstrated his faithfulness by providing more abundantly than I could imagine and ask of. God poured down his blessing from heaven and we were soaked in His grace.
Since coming back on May 2011, within half a month of her return to KL, Sarah was offered a job in a local college as a lecturer. She has always wanted to teach and to mentor students. She knew her vocation and she is passionate about teaching English literature. I am so glad that she has found her sweet spot. I know that even if the end of the world would come tomorrow, Sarah would still methodically, joyfully drive the old Proton Wira that her mum has kept for her to the college early in the morning, beating the traffic jam and fulfilling God's calling in her life. Never mind the meager salary, never mind the long journey from home to the college, what matters is God has called her to be faithful. I too would want to be found faithful, devoted in preaching of God's word, the shepherding of God's people, mentoring young people and planting churches even if tomorrow is the end of the world.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Many people want to attempt big things and achieve great success, Christians are no exception. I find that many Christians would not want to do small things in the church. Mother Teresa’s philosophy of life came as a big shock to many. She advocated that “one can do no great things, only small thing with great love.” She was merely echoing what her Master had said long ago. “If you are faithful in little, you will be faithful in much.” If we can do little thing with great love, we will invariably be found faithful.
When I first conceived the idea of starting a Children’s library for Puchong Community, a handful of women were supportive. Little did I know that when I handed the book “1001 Children’s books a child you must read before you grow up” to Alicia, the passion rubbed on her. She spent countless hours from designing the logo of the library, buying books and cushions, wrapping nearly 1000 books, labeling them, getting book shelves from Ikea, arranging the books and doing thousand of little things with joy and gusto. I can’t ask for a better church administrative assistance than Alicia. Other women came around and make the dream comes through. These are the quiet disciples of Christ who show their love for their Master by doing small things with great love.
The Children’s Library was launched last Saturday. Many parents brought along their children and they were not disappointed. Colorful, high quality and award winning children classics lined up the brand new bookshelves. Amidst the noise and adults chattering, scores of children sat on the rug and couch engrossed in reading books. The younger ones had their mum and dad reading to them. The highlight of the day was the story telling session. Joshua Lye was in his element, reading the story with animation and sound inflection that had the children mesmerized.
The church served plenty of yummy kuih and cakes. No one asked how much he must pay. It is absolutely free of charge. There are no fees for borrowing the books to read, for listening to the story narrated, for a cup of hot coffee or tea with curry puff and kuih. The ambience is great although the noise level is a bit high for a library setting. No one was complaining, as the celebrative mood was obviously loud. I overheard someone commented: “How I wish I had all these books when I was a child.”
While many are lamenting that the English standard of Malaysian students is appalling, this small church (City Discipleship Presbyterian Church, Puchong) that was started a year ago, embarked on a journey to inspire lifelong readers, one child at a time. Imagine the children from Puchong Community who walk in to the Children’s Library, who are enthused by the great stories of the children classic and begin to develop and acquire a love for reading, invariably their proficiency of English will be raised.
Manning the library, reading story books to little children, picking up books from the floor and sorting them out and putting back on the shelves, buying refreshment, cleaning up after the library hour is over, these are so mundane and nothing great about them. But when they are done with great love and with great passion and vision, the ripple effects on touching the lives of the children cannot be measured.