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Nirkod LaShalom

We are enjoying Season III of Hine Ma Tov Communal Worship Dance.

This lovely song/dance Nirkod LaShalom will be our theme dance for this season.

Nirkod in Hebrew means dance; la Shalom means for peace.

The lyric of Nirkod LaShalom ((Let’s dance for peace 为和平而起舞) has been translated to at least 35 languages: http://www.nirkodlashalom.com/

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The followings are the dances we have nirkod-ed so far; one newcomer commented that we had “a spirit lifting and fun dance class!”

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Balada Lama’ayan
泉水之夢
Ballad of Spring

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Ashrei Ha’ish (幸福人生 A Blessed Person (Psalm 1)

Teach:

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David Melech Yisrael
仁愛牧者_大衛王
Shepherd David’s Lullaby

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=davidmelechyisrael2

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Ilu Tziporim
啼鳥– 飛鳥祕語
If only birds would tell (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

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Ani Ma’ Amin
堅信不移
I firmly believe

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Ein Od Milvado
除你以外
The Lord alone is God (Deuteronomy 4:35)

Teach:

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Dance:

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=einodmilvado

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Eliyahu Hanavi
先知以利亞
Prophet Elijah

Teach & dance

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=eliyahuhanavi

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Anshei HaGeshem
雨人
The Rain People

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/song-ansheihageshem.htm

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Tzoek Chazak
鼓樂暄天
Screaming Loud

Teach

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T’filati (祈禱 My Prayer)

Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-tfilati.htm

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El Elohei Shamayim (天上的父神/宇宙之主 God of Heaven)

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Sonata (奏鸣曲)

teach

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Teach of Nirkod LaShalom by the choreographer:

Dance

 

Firework Pageants

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Fireworks display is appealing and can often be seen on special occasions such as the Olympics, National holidays and the New Year countdown.

During the Lunar New Year celebration, one of the highlights for this festive season is definitely the dazzling fireworks display.

In my hometown, this is how people usually celebrated after a big feast on New Year’s Eve at 12 midnight — showing off the fireworks splendor.

Many households excitedly and simultaneously light up the town with firecrackers and fireworks.

Neighbors tend to compete with each other to see whose firework is more splendid.

It’s thrill to be in the midst of the pageant and to watch the glowing and sparkly lights flying everywhere!

And here’s an amazing aerial view of the firework displays from the past weekend CNY celebration:

10,000 Reasons

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You’re rich in love
And You’re slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find…

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During this new year season, we asked the children what were some of the reasons they praise God and how have they find the movement of God in their every day life, and these are what they shared:

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And this inspiration of sharing on the wall was taken from:

Joy to the World

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Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let us receive her king…

During the past Christmas, each of the children received a special bundle of gift which point them towards Jesus, who is the Joy of the World.

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The toddlers and preschoolers received a lion stuffed animal: just as the lion is known for king of the jungle; children are reminded that Jesus is the King of kings and that we need to worship Him. (Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

Children are generally happy when they are treated to candies, so one of the treats the younger kids was the candy cane that resembles shepherd’s staff; and the shape of the letter “J” reminds us of joyful Jesus who is the Good Shepherd that watches over us(John 10:11; 10:14).

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For the older children, they received a beautiful festive plastic beverage container. The drink-ware helps children to reflect that Jesus is the living water who can quench our thirsty soul: As the deer pants for stream of living water, my soul thirst for you, O Lord.
(Psalm 63:1)

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In the container, there was a “Ring Pop” candy that shaped like a pacifier. This object reminds us about babies. Just as we are often drawn to babies with tenderness and care; we reflect on that Baby in the Manger, whose purpose was to come to earth to be our Savior and Protector to care for our yearning soul.

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Another delightful gift the children received was the flameless candle. The candle reminds us of all the colorful and beaming lights during the Christmas festive season. It also points us to the ultimate light, Jesus, who is the Light of the world who shines over the darkness of our soul:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and
thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
(Isaiah 60:1-2)

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Each child also took home a children gospel tract to explore with families the deeper meaning of having a personal relationship with Jesus, the “Joy” to the world who brings peace and hope into our world.

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Holy Listening Stones

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I came across the “Holy Listening Stone” teaching tool and was immediately fascinated by it.

According to the founder of Holy Listening Stones, Rev. Dr. Leanne Hadley, the practice of using the HLS symbols is to help people share how they feel. Symbol, especially to children, is their “native language”.

These meaningful symbols can encourage a conversation and engage people to talk out their inner thoughts where sometimes they seem at a lost for words to express themselves.

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Using the ideas from the Holy Listening Stones, my team and I created our own “holy listening” objects using beautiful knotting pine wood, which is very soothing and calming.

This method of generating meaningful conversation can be used among young and old alike. This practice can be done on a one-on-one approach or in a small group setting.

When asked to reflect how they experienced God in their lives or how their weeks went, these were some of the things shared:

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One 6 year old child picked the symbol of a tree and commented, “I choose this one because God is strong and God is taller than a tree!”

One 10 year boy who has abstract thinking, pointed to the tree symbol (to him it looked like an inferno) and blurted out, “that is my mom, she exploded last night just because I didn’t put my socks away in its proper place….”

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Another 12 year old picked an exclamation mark and exclaimed, “I have had a very happy week!”

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While having a heart to heart talk with one young adult, the person chose the “windy path” and stated in frustration that “God is so hard to figure out, He never gives me a straight answer when I need it.”

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Another person who recently had a major career change picked two symbols for reflection.

With the symbol of a footprint, she realized that at any work place, we bound to leave a foot print behind; And she is made aware that it is important to be a “sunshine” to others especially in the working environment.

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From this simple and heartfelt sharing of life experiences, I see the mystery and the effectiveness of using these “holy listening stones” as a practice to help one express their feeling and spiritual journey in a more concrete manner. It is also very therapeutic.

For more info on the philosophy of Holy Listening Stones, click here.

A Happy Wanderer

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I am most alive when I am outdoors; I feel more happy… more free… and more me!

A group suggested to go hiking at Mount Baker National Forest; my heart… uttered with unspeakable joy!

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On the day we headed to Mount Baker, the weather was exceptionally cooperative – not too hot and not too cold – a perfect day for a hike with a bit of autumnal breeze in the air to cool us along the way.

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The amazing view up here was phenomenal — Everywhere we turned our eyes feasted on a bonanza of snow-capped mountains, vast valleys and glacier lakes.

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The delightful folk song “Happy Wanderer” always rings in my ears whenever I hike:

“I love to go a-wandering along the mountain track,
and as I go I love to sing with my knapsack on my back…”

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At times, these beautifully breathtaking views made me felt like I was in the movie scene from “The Sound of Music” where Julie Andrew roamed the open space on the mountain high and burst into: “The hills are alive with the sound of music…”.

The splendid scenery we pleasantly experienced under the clear blue sky was indeed lively!

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The mesmerizing looming snow-covered Mount Baker and the towering jagged Mount Shuksan;

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the blossoming alpine flowers that grow wild and free on the meadow that we stumbled across;

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and the glistening emerald glacier lakes; — all proclaiming the splendor of their majestic Creator.

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Their delightful echo, from the mountains to the valleys, must have caused many happy wanderers to slow down, admire the breathtaking nature, and be in wonder of who this great Creator might be.

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“…Oh, may I go a-wandering until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing, beneath God’s clear blue sky!”

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Fruits of the Sea

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I enjoy eating all sort of seafoods especially when they are fresh out of the sea.

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During my recent camping trip, an especially fun and thrilling highlight was when our group had to get our hands and feet dirty to gather some of those fruits of the sea.

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Feet were soaked in the mud and it was pretty invigorating when we dug out clams after clams from the muddy seashore.

After carefully spraying away the dirt from the shells, we pleasurably enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

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We hopped from rock to rock along the white shell beach to hunt for fresh oysters for our seafood pasta.

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Harvesting the masculine orange-brown red rock crabs was always the highlight of the camping trip.

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We steamed the whole crabs and fried some with spicy hot chilly; and these finger licking good dishes were often reserved for our late night snack.

Gnawing away the chunky and juicy meaty crabs over a glass of white wine was simply crab-o-licious!

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A bunch of kelp drifted by the water; we pulled it out, sliced it, blanched them with boiling water: the leafy part we used for savory seafood seaweed soup, and we pickled the kelp stem for an appetizer dish.

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I can’t wait until next year… for another plateau de fruits de mer camping trip.

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