Thursday, December 31, 2009

We Need To Change First



It's the last day of the year 2009...

Many happenings and remarkable events have appeared....

It is the year of the ox that symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work.

It is the year that requires patience and confidence, and a little more doing and less talking.

Throughout this year....

Many have made great plans and projects, achieved fantastic performances and results, and derived more satisfactions and pleasure than ever before....

Throughout this year....

Many have invested more on family activities, occasions and celebrations, family decisions making and plannings, and have eventually found their home as the ultimate place for comfort and love....

Throughout this year....

Many have found their children growing up fast, making many positive changes in attitude and behavior, getting more patient, more cooperative and productive, more lovable and attractive....

Throughout this year....

Many also feel the pinch of the economic downturn.... Many have lost their jobs and are unable to support themselves or families.... Many have to face a higher cost of living from the fuel price increase and the high inflation rate.... and.... Many have a hard time to make ends meet....

Throughout this year....

Many have many unfulfilled desires and wishes....

Many have many broken promises and disappointments....

Many have many incomplete projects and tasks....

Throughout this year....

Many are brought to their knees by their life situations....

Many have resorted to thefts, snatch-thefts, immoral and illegal activities, and criminal and subversive activities....

Throughout this year....

Many have beheld the fear, horrors and sorrows of the natural disasters, wars, and diseases............................

*******

And that's the year 2009...

And so is the account for every year....

It is always our life's perspective that will ultimately determine the future outlook.

If we take things positively and start to count our blessings through the year 2009, we will realize just how blessed we are, or how fortunate we are, as some of us would like to say....

But if we see things negatively and start to mourn, we will definitely remember many sad events and tragic moments.... just quote them and in no time we will have a long list of them....

Now that the year 2010 is around the corner....

It's the year of the tiger, the living symbol of strength, courage and power....

But the same question awaits, "Are we ready to change?"

Or do we continue to work and sweat like a buffalo or a cow?

And so, the ever-present new year's resolution for us is just this....

"For things to change, we must change first."

Oh God, help us arise from our miserable circumstances and be a people of hope who are willing and ready to change for a better future...

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Christmas Time



It's a quiet Christmas morning.

I have just completed my morning exercise routine.

I do a double workout since I wake up early, have ample energy and enjoy what I am doing.

Then I enjoy strolling and musing in my backyard....

The mango tree, the dragon fruit plants, and the rambutan tree are growing fine, only need a little trimming and pruning.

The flowers in the pots are blossoming in the morning dews.

A few of my lovely cats are lying lazily, watching and guarding the garden.

It is a fine and sunny morning.

The morning air is fresh and cool if not for a nearby smoke from a barbecue pit of a neighboring house.

The warm morning sun is especially welcoming after a cold and windy night.

I scout the neighboring houses....

The housing estate is rather quiet since the majority have gone home to their respective villages for bigger celebrations.

To them, festival celebration is no fun without the participation of everyone in their village and the nearby villages.

A few families are having open houses and gatherings in the housing estate during the day to cater for their friends and colleagues.

They will most probably rush home to their village in the evening for their village's community fun times.

I can hear the sound of people frying, vacuuming, talking, shouting.....

They must be doing their last minute preparations before the guests arrive.

Then the Christmas songs are getting louder and more excited....

Children are talking loudly, running and giggling....

Everyone seems so alive and happy...

Everything seems so lively, bright and pretty.

Wow! It's Christmas Time!

I start to get ready and wake up all my children...

We are going back to our village and visit some friends in the nearby villages....

We are going to celebrate our Christmas and have our fun times....

I miss the atmosphere, the food, the people, and the fun...

Then I remember the Spirit of Christmas...

I remember how the Son of God has come to die to save lost sinners like me...

Thank you LORD.

Lord, You're worthy to be praised, and I praise You Lord.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Fruitful Mango Tree



In my backyard, there is a mango tree.

It is a bud-grafted tree and it has been with us for 6 years.

We have been waiting patiently for it to fruit every year.

But for the first 2 years, what we saw were only thick branches and dense leaves.

We were a little depressed, praying that it would not be a fruitless mango tree.

Then we had our first harvest — we had counted about 10 mangoes on the tree.

These are oblong shaped mangoes and they taste so tangy, sweet and delicious.

But........... why only 10 mangoes? (The human heart is never satisfied.)

We started to read up and ask around.

Some said we had to prune the branches and thin the leaves every now and then.

Some said we had to start a fire and smoke the tree every now and then.

Some said we had to hurt the tree by nailing it with many nails....

We did prune the branches and thin the leaves.

We did smoke the tree by starting a small fire underneath it.

But to nail the tree............... oh, no........ too cruel for our mango tree.

Then came our second harvest....

This time we had 20 mangoes.

Our third harvest was even more, reaching almost 50 mangoes.

Every year we anticipated more and more....

And thank to God, this year we have about 200 mangoes.

*******

We share our mangoes with family members, relatives, friends, and neighbors.

Surprisingly each year we have more and more mangoes to share. (I've a hearty laugh!)

In return, they will give us fruits and vegetables they have planted in the yard.

By and by, our relationship, our love and respect for one another have improved and strengthened.

Thanks, my fruitful mango tree.....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chasing After A Better Life



There will come a time when we must face the truth.

Those who have taken some courses know that there will be an evaluation, an assessement or a test waiting for them.

Those who have joined a contest or a competition know that they have to wait patiently for the results to be revealed.

The moment of anticipation and the anticipated moment are not easy to bear.

The results may be as expected or may be surprising.

Some may jump up in joy, others may get angry and frustrated.

It is wonderful to see our loved ones soaking in joy, and we share their happiness.

It is heartbreaking to see our loved ones shedding tears, and we share their pains and sorrow.

Crying is usually a very good remedy for a broken heart.

Thank God for the ability to shed tears, to release all our feelings.

The company of family members, relatives and friends are also helpful in dire situations.

But ultimately we need to make sure that the suffering parties stand on their own feet.

They must face the music.

We may help them to analyze the problems at hand and to suggest some ideas or helpful solutions.

But we must leave them to make their own decisions.

Sometimes it is the lack of interests and enthusiasm that have affected the outcomes.

Sometimes it is the lack of preparation and practice...

Sometimes it is the faults of the teachers and trainers......

Sometime it is the system or the course layout...

Whatever is the problem, remedies must be found.

We must not easily give up.

Problems must be faced and tackled.

Maybe we need to show more interest and enthusiasm.

Maybe we need to develop good learning skill and strategy.

Maybe we need a good team to study together.

Or maybe we should work harder, postponing or forgoing some legitimate and less important activities.

Whatever it is, we must encourage them to stand up and face the challenges.

Who knows, by doing so, we enter into a gate for new knowledge and understanding?

Who knows that God has intended it that way to make us realise His presence and His help in our hours of need?

It's frustrating and depressing to see someone we love bogged down by challenges and competition.

But that is the nature of life - to explore and to find the meaning behind all that is to know.

It is true that no man is an island.

But equally true ia the fact that no one is to give in or to give up easily.

Challenges and struggle is part and parcel of life.

When will we get out of our comfort zone?

A life of giving without receiving in return will be boring, and we will most probably unable to enjoy our life for long.

And that is what I will do, ever seeking and working for ways and means to live life to the fullest.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Everyone Can Sing



I believe everyone can sing.

Everyone can hum some tunes and sing along.

It is the gift of God.

It is as natural as breathing.

It is as easy as 1-2-3 or A-B-C.

It is good that some among us are talented with sweet and melodious voice.... Some of us can sing with emotion and feeling.... And some of us can stir up great excitement and instill great joy among people with their enchanting and captivating voice.

These are natural singers with talented voice.... or they may be seasoned singers with years of practices and training. Whatever....... It is just wonderful to have them around.

It is good to have some singing, dancing, fun, and games in family gatherings or functions... It helps to alleviate the stress and tension among family members.... And it helps to promote love and affection.

We had a family gathering the previous night celebrating the engagement of our niece.

It was a fun evening that brought up lots of sweet memories and stories.

I especially loved the singing and dancing session.

Though many of us were singing with a hoarse and unrefined voice, though many of us just couldn't sing well even with lyrics and our glasses on.... we all enjoyed the moment of togetherness.... and it meant so much to each one of us especially after the demise of our parents...

Yah, singing is fun and singing is good for family gatherings.

And the funny thing I discovered that night was............

Everyone can sing.