Homeschooler No More

Next Monday will be my first day of going to school, and we’re busy sharing jokes about how we should take the ‘first-day-of-school-with-backpack’ photo, complete with parents sending to school and watching from outside the classroom.

From Home School, to Home Team, so far I’ve been at home. But now, the academic training will be put to the test, against a backdrop of thousands of seasoned school-goers. Afraid? Maybe yes, maybe no. Venturing into the unknown, (going back to study after almost 4 years of no school) that’s the scary part I guess. But confidence, because of Christ, and years of training. Years of training, Christian education, hard work, and God’s goodness along a path that has led through the doors of Asia-Pacific’s top University.

So the worlds will clash next Monday, and a new acid test lasting four long years will begin. 🙂 Exciting times in life. Homeschooler no more.

 

 

Ministry Life

The ministry life is tough, especially if you want others to share it with you. The life of Christian ministry is a life of suffering, for Christ also has suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow, IN HIS STEPS. (1 Peter 2:21)

To my prospective life partner, even if I love you, if you’re not ready for ministry life, I can’t marry, because I would be hurting you. 

The ministry hurts, it would be cruel for a man to ask any woman to share it with him, unless she of her own free will wanted to. 

From God’s Smuggler, by Brother Andrew, when he proposed to his wife:

Corrie, I want you to marry me, but don’t say no until I tell you how hard it will be. Hard for me and harder still for you. 

God, for the courage, purity,  and strength to go it alone, if it be Thy Will. 

An Open Letter to a Girl

Dear girl,

I saw you on social media some time ago. You were with your boyfriend, hanging out aimlessly. Lying on his lap. Your hair was in a mess. Your eyes were empty. You looked so different from how I saw you in person just about 6 months back.

Back then, you were afraid your parents would know about your relationship. Your boyfriend denied the two of you were together. Your face used to radiate the youthful shine and smile, and back then, even though the relationship was already starting, you still looked youthful and fresh like any 13 year old should.

Much has changed since then. You’re 14, but look like a 16 year old. You have a haggard and worn out look, but you’re stubbornly sticking by your boyfriend who is 5 years older than you, doesn’t even have a job, and smokes.

Your parents probably wouldn’t have approved. But you went ahead anyway. There’s still time to change, but I fear, by the time you would have realized, it would have been too late.

I thought of writing this post when I first saw the social media update, but I held off initially. I was stirred again by the passage I was teaching.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

The passage applies to both sons and daughters alike, and I’ve seen many fools around. But it used to be accepted that the father gives instructions, and the mother has a law.

Nowadays, that is not the case. The son gives the instruction, and the daughter gives the law. The parents hear the instructions and forsake not the law of never displeasing their children. The son/daughter is a fool, but so are the parents! It’s a case of fools raising fools.

It’s not even safe to tell kids, “Listen to your parents.” Why? Because there is nothing to listen to! This all comes down to parents rearing pets, not children. See https://nationalchristianacademy.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/rearing-pets/ for a better treatment of the subject.

 

 

Valiant for Truth

Many controversial articles concerning the Christian faith are posted on and shared by many Christian on social media.  I’ve often taken to comments to refute these unChristian doctrines, but rather than defend, I’ll rather go on the offensive with this article.

It’s titled valiant for truth, for a good reason.

1 John 3:18

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Many Christians today love in tongue, and when others stand for truth, they are accused of being unloving. The idea of Christian friendship and fellowship has degenerated into: you’re my friend if you agree with me, and if you don’t agree, you’re not, get out of my life. You’re a hateful Christian. The Christian principles of:

Proverbs 27:6 (KJV) Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

And

Proverbs 6:23 (KJV) For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

And

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Are ignored.

The Bible tells us not to love in word and in tongue. The Bible tells us to show our love by standing for the truth in our actions. I’m not discounting the spiritual principle of ‘let your speech be always with grace’ and ‘the servant of the Lord must not strive’, but when the zeal of God’s house eats you up, then you will reprove error in love.

Sadly, those who reprove are often called out for being the most unloving when in actual fact, people do not see how they love in deed and in truth.

Take Bro. David Cloud, for instance. His warning ministry, Wayoflife Literature, has drawn much flak for his sound reproof of unscriptural practices in churches around the world. They often accuse him of having so much time to criticise, without winning the lost and caring for believers. In reality, he is a missionary in a foreign land, serving in the midst of hardship, electricity and water shortages, training and equipping local preachers. The church loves him, he loves his church. Which is why he reproves his congregation often. I would never forget how he stopped a church leader in the middle of his prayer to remind him to pray for a young lady that had walked away from God. That is true love, my friend.

Before you sweet talk and accuse those standing for truth of being unloving, take a hard look at yourself. When was the last time you won souls to Christ? When was the last time you talked to someone about the Gospel? You will see, if you live with them,  those standing for truth, they’re out faithfully, visiting and reaching out to the lost. While most are merely keyboard warriors loving in word and in tongue.

To those standing firmly for the truth of the Bible and getting shot, God knows you. God knows your heart, God sees your silent service. Keep at it. For you have a Godly fear of the judgement seat that many do not.

A Hero

True. Not everyone can be a famous hero. But for one year, with my brothers and sisters in blue, I got a chance to be the hero. Not the kind of hero that gets printed on the headlines of the newspaper, but the kind of hero that the children get excited about. 

The kind of hero that gets people wondering what he/she is up to when he/she is running, not flying. The kind of hero that gets to intervene when things take a turn for the worst. The kind of hero that responds no matter what time you call, without regard for personal welfare, well-being, or safety. 

No, I may never be a hero for Singapore or the world. But I will remember, that for one year of my life, God blessed me with the chance to be the hero.To counsel children. To defend the defenceless. To play the peacekeeper. To have advise adults. To judge right judgement and exercise moral courage. To be a part of the few thousand heroes wearing the proud blue of the Singapore Police Force. 

Jia You!

Today’s a great day for my family. My youngest sibling is collecting her PSLE results, and we all know she’s going to make it. No more PSLE for my family!

I watched PSLE-GO today and oh please, the part where Zi Hui went missing brought so many flashbacks it wasn’t funny anymore. It was really deja-vu.

I’ve done that. I’ve been out on the streets looking for missing kids many, many times. It’s a heart-wrenching, nerve-wrecking experience no one should ever go through though it is one police officers face on a regular basis. Occupational hazard, they call it.

But just my thoughts:
The PSLE stress isn’t one sided. The reason why young people commit suicide these days is because of stress, yes, but is it stress induced by family and friends? Those are factors to be considered, yes. But why didn’t we have this problem before? Why is it so prevalent now? Why are youth suicides on the rise? You may shoot me and kill me over my opinion, but these are just my thoughts.

  • The Young People aren’t as resilient as they used to be

Rather than fighting obstacles and embracing failure, trying harder the next time. They are convinced that failure is the end of the world. Hard work ALWAYS pays off. It will produce results. There’s no way you’re going to study hard and fail. The suicide rates should have been much higher in the olden days, when farmers spent their months toiling under the hot sun, only to have the crop destroyed by the elements. The farmers could have committed suicide. But they didn’t. They fought obstacles and overcame them. They didn’t say, well, farming is not my passion, I need to move on.

We have created a utopian world for our children.

We have convinced them that they are the best, they deserve no less. If they do not get what they expect, the world has wronged them. If we live like this, our suicide rates will continue to skyrocket. Why? The world is not kind. Not everyone can be a Joseph Schooling. Only one person wins an Olympic gold medal. Look at the kids in China who start training at the age of 3. Does everyone become an Olympic medalist? Yes, they aspire to be one. But do they all commit suicide because they don’t make the Olympic team? No!

The young people have to be taught that hard work brings its rewards .Singapore is a meritocratic society where you get recognized for hard work. It is character and initiative that are important, as the PSLE-GO video explained. The young people have to be taught that if you fail, try, try again. You didn’t do well enough? You didn’t make the cut? Pick yourself up and move forward! You did your best didn’t you? Yes, you fell. Cry. Scream. Shout. But get up and get going. One failure isn’t the end of the world.

Here’s where parents fail. The write their kids off when they fail. Rather, failure should be embraced and your resolve to do better should be strengthened. I failed my driving test 3 times and passed on the 4th try. Did I cry? Yes. Did I commit suicide? No.

I’ve not even been through university yet, but I can tell you, young people who are reading this:

You will fail. But fight. Set high expectations for yourself. Your parent’s expectations should be lower than yours. You’re never there. There’s always room for improvement.

You’re the PSLE top scorer? Great. There’s more mountains to climb. Start preparing. Start climbing. Prepare to fall. Get up and go again.

I’m a homeschooler. You say, I don’t understand the stress. I took the PSLE. I’m the first under the compulsory education act of 1996. I did average, but the PSLE was a test of character. While others advocate allowing their children to pursue their passions, realise their dreams, the PSLE-GO video brought out a real point: Children are fickle. They do not know what they want. It is parents who need to develop their character, and provide them with skill-sets and opportunities for growth, and this includes placing things in their life they don’t like and placing a good stress on them to achieve excellence.

Did my parents place stress on me? Yes. I cried. But they were there for me. They were there to support and alleviate whatever stresses I could not take. That makes all the difference and looking back, I’m glad those stresses weren’t taken away.

I’ve seen kids in the homeschooling community who came out because they wanted their children to pursue their passions, but they end up like headless chickens. They do not have direction, they end up settling for second best. It ultimately ends up in depression and suicidal thoughts: “Why do others have opportunities that I don’t?” “I’m useless. I do even have 前途。(forward direction)”

Stress is a fact of life. Stress should not be taken away from our children. They should be taught to face stress, and to face it like a man and woman should. That is where family support comes in. To take your child through the difficult periods, and teach them about failure and success. To develop your children, even at a young age, to be strong in the face of adversity.

But nowadays, why is the suicide rates on the rise? Because of dysfunctional families. Children who are left to their maids. Mums and Dads who are never there. Divorced and broken families. This is why Singaporean society will crumble.

Stress will be taken away because children can’t handle it or rather because they are not taught by their parents to handle it, and the next generation will be a generation of sissies, committing suicide over the smallest things like a boy-girl relationship.

This is what Singapore needs to wake up to.

For those collecting their results today, JIA YOU! No matter what, it’s not the end of the world, and I’ll be here for you! 😉 Show you’re not a sissy. If you really are the best, fight and show for it.

 

 

RISING FROM THE RUBBLE

MEDITATIONS IN NEHEMIAH

Here, an apprentice learns from a master builder, the skills of repairing a broken spiritual relationship with God, and the keys to a strong Christian life, fortified against the enemy.

NEHEMIAH 1

the person, the time, and the place

Nehemiah 1:1
The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace.

The words of Nehemiah. Nehemiah will be a personal book. It was recorded from a first person point of view. Thus, this book will be also written from a first person point of view. I chose to record my meditations in Nehemiah as I felt that not only would it help me to be sure I really chewed on and thought on God’s Word, it would also enable others to benefit from my learning experience.  Backsliding is a personal matter, and I did not realize how far I’ve wandered until I’ve been far from God. Outwardly, I may seem spiritual and serving God, but inwardly, my secret sins have been eating me. Now, personally, I have come to Nehemiah, seeking the Lord, and wanting to draw lessons from this spiritual builder who in 52 days, raised the walls of Jerusalem despite the odds. Lord, in 52 days, I will be a stronger Christian.

     And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year. As I record my meditations, I am currently in my twentieth year. I believe that God is really speaking to me and calling me to rise from the rubble, and build again the destroyed spiritual life. The time is now. I have to realize I have ruined my spiritual life, repent, and turn back to God, to rebuild this broken spiritual relationship.

     As I was in Shushan the palace. No matter the place I am in, the present situation I am currently facing, I have to act. Nehemiah was in Shushan the palace. He was far away from his home country. He was in captivity. I, too, am far from my home country of Heaven. More than that, I am far from my spiritual destination as a Christian—the likeness and image of Christ. Nehemiah was in captivity, in a hostile environment to his faith. As I write, I am serving my country, I am a police officer. I did not choose this way, I was conscripted. The environment has not been kind to my Christian life. I have no Christian friends on my team, I have no spiritual encouragement at work. I feel captive and bound by my sin. But I have Christ, and it will make all the difference.

Musings

In just 3 months, the hundred and fifty-eighth intake of men in blue will cease to patrol the streets of Singapore on a regular basis. The hundred and fifty-seventh intake has moved on and we’re the seniors. I’ve done and will do my best to defend our homeland, and like I told the young bunch hanging out late at night who said their parents don’t care about them,  “Your parents may not care. But we do.” 

I do. Because this is my Singapore. And you are important to me. 

Another Year

SG51. It’s almost one week since the National Day Parade and I’ve been somewhat affected by the patriotic fervour. Can’t blame myself, I volunteered to be deployed for the celebrations. Was at the National Stadium earlier than the rest and left later than everyone else.

I love the old national day songs, Count on Me Singapore, Stand Up for Singapore, etc. They invoke the patriotic feelings and make me proud to be a Singaporean. The recent pop/rock genre songs have lacked the ‘feels’ if you put it that way.

Well, IMHO, the earlier NDP celebrations were about nation-building, a celebration to spur patriotism and nationalistic feelings, national unity, how we can contribute more to the growth of our nation.

After 50 years, the NDP has become a party. A time of excess and revelry, a celebration to just live it up. Well, the mentality is that we’ve worked so hard to make this great nation, now’s the time to enjoy. That’s what most of our younger generation has learnt. They have learnt to take for granted the toil and travail of our nation’s first citizens, as life has become easier and easier.

Everywhere, calls are being made, not to train the character and build our youth to be resilient and work through obstacles, but to tailor everything to their needs. To cater to each and every person whims and fancies. Gone are the good old days when hard work was the norm. The younger generation are taught to wait around a pursue that dream job. They are taught that they deserve better. When they don’t accomplish, the system is blamed. Teachers and schools are faulted. Government is faulted. Everyone and everything else is the problem. Selfishness reigns.

It’s just a random thought, and it won’t go a long way in solving the problem, but
#I wish Hugh Harrison would come back and start writing our NDP songs to have everyone singing the same anthem again.

My Church is 7!

7 years as a mission, 7 years as an independent church. Ambassador Baptist Church, the church I have grown up with and grown to love. 

Thank you, my church, for the friendships made through you. The opportunities for service that you have afforded me. The hardships, the toils, the distresses, the problems, that you have given to me and my family. Truly, you have made me grow up fast. You have been used of God to make me mature in the faith. 

But dear church, you are still young, and I hear and see that as churches grow older, they tend to be attracted to the world and go down the path of destruction. My church, be forewarned, the path ahead is treacherous, but by God’s grace, you will grow more and more into the pure and spotless bride that Christ wants you to be. And may I, also, grow more and more into the likeness of Christ with thee! 

Blessed 7th Anniversary!