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Archive for March, 2012

In the Godly Play teaching curriculum on the Desert Story of Abraham, Moses, the Exiles, we have to memorize the following passages to comprehend the harsh setting:

The desert is a dangerous place. People do not go into the desert unless they have to.

There is no water there, and without water we die. There is no food there. Without food we die. When the wind blows, it changes the shape of the desert. People get lost; Some never come back.

In the daytime, the sun is so hot that people must wear lots of clothes to protect themselves from the sun and the blowing sand. The sand stings when it hits your skin. The sun scorches you by day. At night it is cold. You need many clothes to keep warm.

The desert is a dangerous place. People only go there if they have to.

The above description on desert life reminds me of this beloved song by Heavenly Melody called “生命中的雲彩”.

This piece of music is so magnitude that friends and I had the same mind to translate the song into English as we couldn’t find any out there.

We were having fun for days just to come up with the best description for “cai yun”, and in the end we decided to stick to our own version of pillar of cloud:

Hers — the Glorious Cloud;

His — the Magnificient Cloud;

and mine — the Luminous One!

luminoused by the Stained Glass

“生命中的雲彩”
That Luminous Cloud in my Life

他們在曠野的時候
When they wandered in the wilderness

放眼望去一片無邊的沙漠
All they saw was an endless stretch of desert land

能抓住什麼
What could they grasp

只有腳下的塵土
But the dusty sand beneath their feet

漫長的旅途
On this long and weary journey

誰來指引 眷顧
Who would guide them and care for them?

他們在曠野的時候
When they wandered in the wilderness

禰用雲彩不分日夜的守候
You watched over them —
with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night

一天又一天
Day after day

帶領他們停停走走
You led them in their waking and resting

漫長的旅途
On that long and weary journey

從沒有缺席一直在左右
Your presence was always there, surrounding them

四十年來 衣服沒有穿破
For forty years, their clothing did not tear

四十年來 鞋子沒有穿壞
For forty years, their sandals did not wear out

四十年來 每天吃飽嗎哪
For forty years, they were well fed with manna from heaven

神跡總跟隨雲彩
Under that luminous cloud, miracles upon miracles were revealed

主啊 讓我看見
O Lord, let me see

生命中的那朵雲彩
That Luminous Cloud

是禰不眠不休 信實可靠的記載
is the sign of Your unchanging faithfulness and trustworthyness

遠古到現在
From the ancient to present day

現在到未來
And from the now to the future

主啊 讓我看見
O Lord, let me see

生命中的那朵雲彩
That Luminous Cloud in my life

無論我腳步 走到什麼地方
No matter where my footsteps lead me

有禰同在就有希望
With Your presence, there is hope

有禰同在就有期待
With Your presence, there is yearning

Wall mural painted by our youth who were the Sunday School Teaching team.

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The children were so cute.

When asked why did they come to CPR.

Many replied, “Because I do not want to miss the chance!”

Yeah, for they knew that they could only come to CPR once in their life time.

And once they past the age category, they are not able to join us.

Our annual CPR is usually held during the school spring break.

Some children go for vacation and some do not.

So one of my former pastors and I decided to create something fun and meaningful for children who were in town.

Hence CPR — Children’s Prayer Retreat.

We normally take a group of 15 to 18 children for this prayer adventure.

We noticed that children grade 3 and below love to pray;

but the grade 3 and up children tend to shy away from praying.

Thus we decided to focus on those older children.

On the first day, we do a prayer-walk within and outside the church building;

We learn the many ways we can pray to God and for others.

We gather in the sanctuary and worship God and share ways we can serve Him.

We go to various rooms and pray for various ministries team that meet in each room.

On the second day, we go for a prayer-drive around our church community.

Our adventures include visiting a school where children pray for their principals, teachers and a special friend;

We try to include visiting an unwell child from our church when possible;

One of the highlights, aside from eating fastfood, is that we would visit the local cemetery. There, we would talk about the brevity of life, and eternal life with God.

Through this 2-day prayer adventure with Jesus, children learn that everyone can pray and that they are prayer warriors of God.

“Because I do not want to miss the chance” is such a powerful statement.

Hopefully through this prayer retreat, we will not miss the chance to commune with God.

We will want to WWJD… Walk With Jesus Daily!

Be joyful always,
pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

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A Walk in the Snow

It was a good day
sunny
breezy
perfect day

to drive up the mountain highway…

and to go for a stroll in the snow!

The trail we explored is called Dog mountain.

I’wonder if the mountain was shaped like a dog… thus the name.

Or perhaps this snow mountain is the only playground where dogs could roam freely during the winter season, hence Dog mountain ;p

Just today alone, we’ve encountered at least 40 plus small and huge doggies hiking up and down the snow trail with their masters.

It’s fun to walk in the snow.

and I wonder how it would be like…

to walk on a cloud?

All these walk talks bring to mind Psalm 16:11:

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore!

Heard that tomorrow’s gonna be another awesome day for snow fun.

Guess it’s time to bundle up again and venture out for yet another strenuous exercise in the snow!

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John 3:16

Today is March 16;

Every time March 16 comes by,

John 3:16 would come to mind as well.

Today is extra special because a few of us presented a bible to a special someone.

We know this person loves pink so we especially chose a pink cover bible for her.

When it comes to the Bible, I always enjoy this “riddle” by Rev. Alan Redpath:

What’s so deep that theologians cannot touch the bottom
yet so shallow that babes cannot drown… ^ ^

When we presented the bible, we didn’t know it’s March 16;

What a meaningful gift to give on this special day!

We hope that the receiver will enjoy reading the Word of God just like she enjoys everything pink!

p.s. A buddy heard the posted music and instantly liking it; here’s hearty translation by Lynne & me, hoping buddy will grasp the essence of the song 🙂

The Color of Love

What color is this world?
Is it white? Is it black?
Or is it colorless… depicting one’s loneliness?
Many seemed unclear;

For where there is love,
the world around seems to change its hues;
Each blurry image becomes radiantly alive,
just like the playful butterflies alighting on beautiful crimson roses.

And when we believe in love,
our hearts are filled with joy.
Because of love, we’re gathered together
– hand in hand; heart to heart –
running towards the world of rainbows!

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Once a year ’round this time, one of our gangs would hang out for a special date…

a royal date with these ocean insects!

Hear ye, hear ye, your royal highness “Steve” the king from Alaska has arrived!

*look to the left… look to the right… and nobody is watching* Yippeeeeee!

Let’s gently lift “Steve” up & see what we can do with this royal creature ;p

above: steamed with gourmet garlic

below: fried with savory salted egg yolk

It so happened that my niece is in town visiting, thus she is able to enjoy and taste this seasonal delicacy from the king of Alaska!

Ah, Bon Appetit!

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One of the antiques that our parents left us with is this biscuits container.

Whenever we went home for family gatherings, we would often gather ’round this tin can.

We gathered not to eat biscuits but to browse through childhood pictures which our parents stored in the can through the ages.

At times, the container was so stuffed with photos that the lid could hardly be covered.

As the years went by, those sepia photos were getting fewer and fewer.

For every once in a while, someone would sneak away a picture or two here and there of their liking ;p

The last time I went home, I eagerly searched for this treasure chest in hope to find some more oldies but the can is now empty and a bit tarnished.

I would love to inherit this rustic antique which holds such journalful of cherished memories.

Here are some pictures of our dad’s glamourous occupation at a local cinema once upon a time.

Whenever the movie stars came to town, for functions or to promote their films, my dad and his colleagues would fetch them  and keeping them company.

Because our dad worked in the cinema, we could watch movies for free all the times.

Our password at the entrance was ” I am a child of Mr. Chan!” thereby gaining us access to the VIP seatings in the building.

I didn’t know if it was because of my father’s occupation in the showbiz or me hanging out at the movie theatre too much, for when I was younger, I always dreamt of becoming an entertainer.

I admired child actor Shirley Temple and Maria the governess from the Sound of Music to bits, and wishing I could be like my child idol Agnes Chan one day!

Here’s one of my long lost & found rare childhood pictures — dreaming of becoming a superstar!

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Dancing with the Jews!

Today is Day of Purim.  

According to the Bible, thls joyous celebration of Purim was established by Queen Esther.

A day to remember their deliverance from being annihilated by the plot set up by “an adversary and enemy, the vile Haman”. (Esther 7:6)

A day of fasting and lamentation; a day of joy and feasting and to help the needy in their community.

“These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews — nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.” (Esther 9:28)

I’m always fond of ‘Purim’.  One time while studying the book of Esther, the college professor brought in some noisemakers for us to play. 

He wanted us to shake or twirl the noisemakers whenever the word “purim” was being read aloud.

It was a totally fun and loud class for he wanted us to experience the celebrative spirit of the Jews on Purim day.

I love Jewish dance and always wanted to join the dance.

Perhaps today is a good start and so I joined some friends at the Cultural Center to learn this celebrative dance.

Many came to celebrate Purim with fanciful outfits and our dance instructor dresses up as a baker!

The Purim celebration always include the traditional goodies called ‘Hamantaschen’ aka “Haman’s ears”.

The name was said to derive from the old practice of cutting off criminals’ ears before they were executed by hanging.  
In the book of Esther, Haman the villian was impaled on the high pole set up by himself which he intended to use on Mordecai the Jew.

To better appreciate the feast of Purim, one has to read this historical narrative from the book of Esther. It is a captivating and empowering story with the Invisible God acting sovereignly behind the scenes.

Here’s a great animated illustration on Purim.

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