Monday, April 1, 2013

Children Devotions

I could think of 101 reasons why I can’t do daily devotions with my kids: such as Prissy is disruptive and it will be too late to wait till she is asleep; Joe can’t read well which means that I will be doing most of the reading and he ends up being distracted and bored; Clarissa can do her own devotions as she is old enough! I’m cleared of my responsibilities, no?

Then, my brother moves back to Kampar with his brood. As his house is still under renovation, his family of 6 stay with us and much to my amazement, both him and my sister-in-law read the bible daily with their 4 kids. Still, I am only slightly inspired!

The crunch came when I received news that England, who once experienced the greatest revivals and commissioned the most number of missionaries in the past 2 centuries, has the lowest church goers statistics compared to other Europeans counterparts and it is now at the brink of bankruptcy! As a Christian, I do believe there is direct correlation between the two.

“What had happened?” I wondered. “Did not the previous generations pass on what they had experienced to the next generations?” I asked myself. “No, the parents had failed to share Christ with their children. In fact, they were like you, having all the excuses of not telling their children of who their Heavenly Father is!” came the God’s gentle small voice.

That was the turning point in my parenthood. Since then, I started reading the bible with my kids and I must say that now, there are 101 reasons I could think of why we should do our bible devotion with our kids! :-
1.     The ten-minute bible reading helps me not only to understand God’s words better but to understand Joseph and Clarissa better too!
2.     Joseph gets to share and reflect about what he had experienced during the day. I am so excited to see the thinker side of him immerging;
3.     Although Clarissa understands what she is reading better, I could help her see the application side of the scriptures. Through this process, her faith has increased immensely;
4.     By being vulnerable and applying the scriptures to my own life, I find that both of them open up to me like never before. I am sure glad that they are willing to share whatever that is bothering them.
5.     Most of all, we could all see God at work in our lives, through our struggles and our successes. He is indeed real in us and that is the greatest reward that I could ever ask for.

Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deut 6:7

Turning 41

The day that I turned 41, there was a rainbow summoned to make my day colourful and the sun was shining so brightly that I thought, God was smiling down at me. The traffic was cleared, as though everyone knew that it was my special day and they had used other roads to get to their destinations. Everyone I met was smiling at me, giving me their approving nods. Clearly, this must be a dream!

However, only half of this dream is true and in real life, it gets better! God is smiling down at me, not just on the day that I turned 41 but on everyday of my life! It was my usual morning, and I did suspect that someone is going to throw in a surprise for me, which will not be a surprise, because I’m mentally prepared: I will definitely not tear like last year. “I will be composed!” I promised myself.  But of course, in the element of surprise, there is always something I’ve missed out.

Finally, when I stepped into the office, someone was hastily carrying a tray of plates into the boardroom! There was party atmosphere in the air. This year was a different as my brother, his wife and my dad turned out unexpectedly and gave a short summary of what they thought of me. And, lo and behold, my tears came. I could barely contain myself when it was my dad’s turn to speak. He started with talking about his bad habits, and then, he talked about me. Although he has not always been there for me (and my brother), he is proud to see that we are walking along the right path. “If I were to pass on, I am happy to know that you will be doing fine. I loved the two of you!” He said hugging both my brother and I.

That was the melting point in my life! This was the first time, I hear my dad approving of me! It's a miracle to hear him say this words, which I never thought would take place. Don’t get me wrong here its just that I know that my dad is not an expressive person. At that very moment, I could safely say that both my brother and I hear this for the first time in our lives! It carries a weightage of healing, freedom and inexplicable emotions.

More importantly, I am more convicted than before that God’s hands are on our lives. Its almost as though He is the one who is doing all the work backstage, preparing for this day to come: from start to finish! So I would say, that my day was better than my dream: It was perfect! Thank you Jesus!

Joseph restoring joy to a friend

We were at a family retreat at Cameron Highlands. Children were having a fun time playing frisbees when one child, Ashton, threw the frisbee...