Friday, January 30, 2009


I came across this plan of an urban park whilst on another one of my walks. It had been posted there sometime ago, and I wondered if work would ever begin on the site. Recently I noticed that most of the landscaping had been completed but it did not resemble the plans.
I guess when the planners came up with the design, the economy was strong and they still had space in the budget to squeeze in this beautiful project.
Even the best laid-out plans don’t always work out the way we imagined it.

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

“You can make plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21
“Commit your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Red, Amber & Green

During my one year missionary stint in Taipei City, Taiwan, I had many new experiences and adventures. The first lesson learnt was how to safely navigate and survive the bumper-to-bumper traffic that choked the city everyday. As a foreign Newspaper journalist put it in his daily section; “traffic lights are only a suggestion in Taipei City.”

This morning while driving to work, I was nearly run over by a driver who ran a red light at the intersection as I waited to turn right. It was only because of my quick reflexes, and paranoia from a recent traffic accident, that averted a potentially dangerous collision.

I wonder what the three colors on a traffic light mean to different people.
From what I have observed on our roads it seems to me that some have re-interpreted the colors to mean something else;

Green means “Be the first off the blocks and try to make it to the second traffic lights before that turns red.”
Amber means “Speed up to beat the lights.”
Red means “Pedal to the metal to avoid a collision.”

It begs the question; “Where are we rushing to?”
Often in our journey through life’s highway, God attempts to slow us down to a safe pace. The lights flash “red” but we respond and try to outrun those lights by speeding up our life.

“Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NLT

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The “No” in Notice

Just a short walk along the seawall, I came cross all these notices and signboards…no rollerblading…no littering!

“No” appears to be such a negative word; it sounds too harsh, it seems too restrictive, it ought to be banished from our everyday vocabulary.

For some, “no” was concocted by some ogre or scrooge, who wanted to put a damper on life. For others, like yours truly, who grew up in Singapore, “no” is the official graffiti in this “fine” city. Plastered on every wall, bus stop and washroom, are warning signs; “No littering – fine $500”. “No chewing gum –fine $750”. “No drugs – Death penalty”. On the other hand, it is one of the few countries in the world that one could walk alone after midnight and feel safe.

Applying the “no” in your life opens up “yes” opportunities.

No to the shiny new car in the showroom
No to the umpteenth pair of shoes
No to the larger flat screen TV
No to the latest I-phone & I-pod
No to another meal in the restaurant
Yes to a less financial-stressed life
Yes to a simpler way of life
Yes to more time with the family
Yes to a comfortable retirement

“So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evils days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.” Ephesians 5:15-18 (NLT)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dim Sum

10 Rules for the Dim Sum Connoisseur

1. If there are no Chinese people in the Dum Sum restaurant, run for your life!
2. When asked what kind of tea – do not reply “Chinese Tea!”
There are countless varieties of Chinese tea.
3. Eat first – ask questions later. Never ask what is served up at the table.
4. Always let someone else sample any dish you are unsure of.
5. If a newbie asks you what kind of meat is in any dish –always answer “Chicken”.
6. Any food that is not moving anymore is palatable.
7. Do not attempt to order a dish based on your limited Cantonese – you might be getting something else. Using sign-language can prove to be disastrous.
8. Whatever you touch with your chopstick you must eat.
9. Never snap your fingers at the waitress – you get extra “ingredients” in your food.
10. You must attempt to fight for the bill at the end of the meal even if you do not intend to pay! The most aggressive and loudest person gets to pay! Hint! Hint!
(Created by PJ)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The fun thing about living in this vibrant city in Canada is the diversity of cultures and its accompanying practices. One does not have to be very observant to realize that Chinese New Year is upon us. In most of the Chinese grocery stores, you must have seen the following items:
Mandarin orange
In Cantonese, the Chinese character that is used for orange has the same pronunciation for another word meaning harvest and good luck. Besides this special meaning, the mandarin orange has a beautiful golden color which adds to the lunar New Year festive atmosphere and also represents all that glitters.
Chinese daffodils are fragrant and happy flowers and symbolize good fortune and prosperity.
Peach blossoms and their delicate pink petals make for a beautiful bouquet. Peaches symbolize long life in the Chinese tradition.
Sugar cane
A whole sugar cane that contains a head and a tail represents a full year. Chinese believe that everything and every endeavour in life must have a beginning and an end.

A lot of the customs surrounding the Chinese culture revolve around the theme of prosperity and long life.
Someone once remarked that God must love the Chinese people a lot since he made so many of them. Surely this promise from Jesus found in John 10:10 must appeal to the Chinese;
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may it more abundantly.”
“Kong Hey Fatt Choy!”
May you discover God’s best life for you this year!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Work in Progress

Once upon a time there was an ugly duckling....

Took a walk with the wife the other day and came across one of God’s unique creation. I was reminded of the story of the “ugly duckling”. When you actually have an encounter with these “not-yet” white swans, it’s not difficult to understand how they ended up in the children’s fable labeled as an “ugly duckling”.
Not unlike many storybook tales, our life’s story may not always have good beginnings. But God promises that we can have a great ending.

We are in the process of becoming…We are a “work in progress”!

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
1 John 3:2 (NKJV)

And they lived happily ever after!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Photos taken in Koh Chang, Thailand. August 2008

Ever since I laid my hands on my first camera, I have been recording sunsets, every chance I get and every where I travel. No two sunsets are the same. Sometimes, no two photographs of the same sunset are even similar. There’s just something about it that inspires painters, sets the mood for lovers, and challenges poets to be drawn towards it.

Sunsets will always be my favorite setting for the curtains to close on a perfect day.

“Because our Heavenly Father wants us to know Him and to feel His love, He planned a world filled with magnificent creations that bear record of Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. Have you ever counted all the things that bear record of the Savior? There are sunsets and seashells, lilacs and lakes, insects and animals, miraculous mornings and star-strewn skies.” Susan L. Warner

"The eath is the Lord's, and everything in it. The world and all it's people belong to him. For he laid the earth's foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths." Psalm 24:1, 2

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Have you ever driven home from work and upon arrival, wondered how you got there? Life can become so robotic that it robs you of the uniqueness and freshness that each day brings. Take a break from your usual routine today. Take a walk in your neighborhood …Take a closer look at a leaf or a flower. You will notice things you haven’t before and you might see and learn things you might not have otherwise.

It takes the ‘blah’ out of life and puts the ‘wow” back into it.

“Routine and unvarying human behavior deadens us. To be alive involves variation in attitudes and behavior patterns.” Jerry Greenwald

“Afterward Jesus went up into the hills by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Have you ever noticed that windows can change the appearance of a building? Windows can be a great subject matter for photographers and a creative challenge for builders.
Through His Word and promises, God gives us a ‘window’ into His world; he opens ‘windows’ of opportunities for us; He even commands the windows of heaven to be open, and blessings to fall on those who dare trust Him with their finances. (Malachi 3:10)
Today, before you rush through another day, look for some of these windows that can transform your view of life. It might open up a whole new world of opportunities and blessing for you and your family.
“Service opens windows in your life instead of just mirrors that always reflect yourself.” Russell C. Taylor

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This morning many of us woke up to a very different kind of world. Locally, many found out what their daily commute would be like for the next few months when one of our main bridges suffered significant damage due to a fire.
Across the globe spanning thousands of miles, stands the Great Wall of China, a monument to a dynasty’s determination to keep out invading hordes.
Whilst bridges connect, walls are meant to keep out.
In life, there will always be “bridge-builders” and “wall-builders”.

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
Sir Isaac Newton

“For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us.” Ephesians 2:14

Sunday, January 18, 2009

For The ‘Birds’

One morning, I looked into my backyard and this is what I saw. Overnight, another 3 inches of snow had fallen. I noticed that there were a bunch of little birds, chickadees, foraging for food. Instantly, I forsook my breakfast and went into the garage to get my bag of bird seed. It didn’t take these little birds very long to discover their “manna” and soon the entire neighborhood of birds were gathered around a paper plate full of bird seed.
Take heart and know that even during these difficult times, your heavenly Father watches over you and will supply all your needs, from His glorious riches. (Philippians 4:19)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fog & Faith

We’ve been having unusual weather of late; first the heavy snowfall, and now the thick “pea-soup” fog. The other day, my children’s Pastor had another funny tale to tell. On his way to the day-care home his three year-old daughter, pointing to the thick fog, exclaimed, “Look daddy, the cloud fell down!” Children say the cutest things, and they certainly have a different perspective on many things that we don’t even think twice about.
Driving home on the highway last night in the fog was quite an experience. Going 100 kilometers an hour with 50 feet visibility must surely qualify as an extreme sport. I quickly discovered that the key to driving under such conditions is not to be the fastest driver out there. “Follow the leader”, is the name of this game. It’s much easier when you can see the tail lights of the car in front of you; that way, you know there’s no unknown obstruction or unseen detours in the way.
In life it’s safer to follow than to blaze a path through the unknown. Jesus gently beckons us to follow Him; but it still requires faith!

“Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
Mark 1:17 (NKJV)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snowy Season

What a way to start the new year. I've been wanting to start a blog for some time now. Better now than never. So here goes my blog!
I've been researching the book of Ecclesiastes for over a month now; I'm convinced that the "Preacher" wrote this book for a time like this. With the world-wide recession putting a damper on life; it's time to refocus and re-prioritize some of the things in our life.
Like the snow that crippled Greater Vancouver in December, "too much of a good thing" can be too much. "Let's look for the good things in life. But I found that this, too was meaningless." (Eccle. 2:1) The good thing about snow days is that it "stops you dead in your tracks". You have lots of time to think, to de-compress, to review your life, to consider how you would do life better this year. The great thing about a new year is that one can start afresh. God gives us this opportunity to have a "do-over". Fresh snow reminds one that "even if you are stained as red as crimson, I will make you as white as freshly fallen snow". (Isaiah 1:18) "Don't long for the good old days," (Eccle. 7:10) instead, look forward to the better days ahead...spring is just around the corner.