Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The apprentice

Maybe I'll spend some days of the month here, picking up a few tips and tricks.

Got 3 mouths to feed, can't harap too much on government pay... if you know what I mean :-).

Hot cross buns, anyone?

Que sera sera

Little boy in deep reflective mood.

Going back to school

Via the phone, I am informed that I'll be doing a course called Masters in O&G with UKM. Still waiting for the black-and-white to arrive.

Will be moving to Kota Kinabalu in June, in time to start school. I will be working in Hospital Likas, the country's first government women and children hospital. It is going to be a very busy and tiring working environment over there (am forewarned: on-call = don't expect to sleep), nothing like the laidback style here. There goes my hope of enrolling for a part-time course with STS. Poingkuro? Life's got to go on.

When I came to this little district some 3.5 years ago, I had all my stuff packed in a car and moved everything in that one trip. Now... gosh, got 2 people to move along, and loads of stuffs. Wonder how am I gonna get it done. It's in times like this, that the saying that 'do not accumulating treasures on earth, but accumulate treasures in heaven', is truly sound advice. Think I've managed to keep my life quite frugal, but there's still a lot of stuffs to move, and throw away.

We will be having a little gathering and makan-makan this Sunday. On one hand, for thanksgiving that little boy has survived one month. On the other, to say goodbye to people who have been kind to us in this little district.

I've just submitted my on-leave form. Plan to take a whole month off. Have accumulated quite many leaves... and they say that such leaves cannot be brought forward, means burn la. Better kasi pakai abis. Now, how should I spend that one month? Maybe can start packing stuffs bit by bit. Or bring loupo and little boy for a short trip... Kundasang? If I am still bachelor, it would definitely be a backpacking trip to IndoChina... Europe... Turkey... But now, kena ikat perut a bit la. Don't laugh, you bachelors out there. Emm since it's May, boleh pi tengok unduk ngadau, aramaitiii...

Signed the rental agreement with a nice couple who owns a house in Ujana Kingfisher. They liked the idea that me and my loupo pandai jaga rumah. We're renting an empty house. So, if you got spare usable stuffs... hehehehe... you know where to keep la. The amazing thing is, we searched high and low for a suitable house but haven't found one; yet this house found it's way to us through some rekomen-rekomen. I suspect Boss has a hand in this. Now need to find somebody suitable to rent my house in Keningau. Hope Boss will make a way too.

See ya in KK.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The narrow door

Mother Theresa once remarked; "God has not called me first and foremost to be successful. He has called me to be faithful."

Quoted from Two Paths of Obedience

It's easy to join the rest of world in pursuing a successful life and applauding those who have reached. It is no doubt a wonderful feeling to be associated with accolades like "best", "top", "renowned", "famous", "most promising" ... you know well the list.

Then again there are some rare people who turn down successful and rewarding vocations to pursue their so-called calling. I am talking about people who have what it takes to make it big: talent, intelligence, charisma, leadership, qualifications... yet turned their backs to go against the grain.

What do you make out of this little group of people who choosed to go through the narrow door?

Who would you applaud more?
Who would you invite to your homes and churches to motivate your children?

The successful ones, or the faithful ones?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sabah's Mr Chong

Imagine, having served the company faithfully for 30 something years, even once becoming a head of state...

And when you leave, the big boss says "no big deal, it's no loss" (literally means, whether you're around or not, it makes no difference, you're a useless nobody).

Padan muka. Read more HERE.

More of little boy

I've got lots of hair.

And a sharp sharp nose.

And the Horatio smile.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bread for today

I read the book of Job to find strength when little boy was sick and things were uncertain and stressful.

From Our Daily Bread today...
When Jeremy was 17, he struggled with a question that theologians have wrestled with for centuries. For him the problem was not theoretical but practical. He was trying to understand why his mother had to have brain surgery. He asked, “Why do good people suffer, Mom?”

She told him, “Suffering is part of living in a sin-cursed world, and good people suffer like anybody else. That’s why I’m glad we have Jesus. If I die, I’ll go to a better place, and I’ll long for the day when I can see you again.” She then said that she could understand his frustration, but she told him not to put the blame on God.

If you and I are baffled by the suffering of good people, we can put the question squarely before God, argue with Him if we must, and struggle with our doubts. But let’s not blame Him.

God didn’t explain to Job what He was doing but said that He could be trusted to do what is right (Job 38–42). And He has assured us in His Word that Jesus suffered on our behalf, rose from the dead, and is now preparing a suffering-free place for us.

These may not be the answers we want, but they are the answers we need to help us live with that age-old and often unanswerable question of suffering. —Dennis J. De Haan

"... Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2:10

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Little boy now

See see, i got muscles (where ah?).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ryan update

Little boy is now 3.3 kg, up 200g from his birth weight. But he doesn't seem fat enough yet.

His paediatric doctor has stopped the antibiotics for now. Hope that the infection or blood in urine does not come back. He will need to have the urine checked again after some time.

Thank you for your prayers and concern.

My camera is repaired already... now just need the trip to collect it in KK.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Heavenly Man

I bought this book from Salvation Bookstore some time before little boy came out. The plan to read this book was put on hold when little boy came and turned our lives upside down.

Yesterday, finally, I got to read the book. I started intending just a few sips of the early pages, and ended up gulping the whole book overnight. What time did I sleep? Well, at the time when the Chinese Christians wake up to pray. Bad bad bad, was yawning away while cutting out someone's baby.

The book tells of the 'remarkable true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun'. Well, more like his life testimony about being a Christian during the repressive times in Communist China. Brother Yun became a Christian in 1974 at age 16. There were few believers then. He soon grew to be a preacher, a husband, a pastor, a father, a house-church leader, a prisoner, a convict-on-the-run, a missionary trainer, a cripple, an exile... Wherever he went, he faced persecution and suffered for standing firm to his faith; but there were also miracles that accompanied him, reaffirming him that the God that he followed is real, personal, and powerful.

Currently based in Germany (which granted him refugee status), he directs a "Back to Jerusalem" movement, which aims to unite the house churches in China, to equip and send out Chinese missionaries to the unreached nations between China and Jerusalem: Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia; Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan; Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, (hey you forgot Malaysia), Myanmar, India.

To quote some of his words:

I have a problem with the "prosperity" teaching prevalent today, which tells us if we follow the Lord we'll be safe and comfortable. This is completely contrary to the Scripture as well as to our experiences in China. In addition to serving years in prison, I've been arrested about thirty different times for the sake fo the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My family lived in a rickety old home, which was falling apart. We wore old clothes and my children had holes in their shoes. We always believed the best of our possessions, time and money should go to training the workers so they could go to the poorest and most needy places.

Suffering had broken down all denominational walls in the Chinese church...
However, after a few years these same mission organizations started putting other books at the top of the bags of Bibles. These were books about one particular denomination's theology, or teaching that focused on certain aspects of God's Word. This, I believe, was the start of disunity among many of China's house churches.

We once again saw that nothing is impossible for God - absolutely nothing. He holds all our lives in his hands and not a thing will happen to one of God's children unless it is part of his plan and will for our lives.

We have also come to understand that the past thirty years of suffering, persecution and torture for the house churches in China were all part of God's training for us. The Lord has perfectly fitted us to go as missionaries to the Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu worlds.

We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under. God has used China's government for his own purposes, moulding and shaping his children as he sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

Don't pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn't pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.

We're totally committed to planting groups of local believers who meet in homes. We have no desire to build a single church building anywhere! This allows the gospel to spread rapidly, is harder for the authorities to detect, and allows us to channel all our resources directly into gospel ministry.

In the West many Christians have an abundance of material possessions, yet they live in a backslidden state. They have silver and gold, but they don't rise up and walk in Jesus' name. In China we have no possessions to hold us down, so there's nothing preventing us from moving out for the Lord.

When I'm in the West I see all the mighty church buildings and all the expensive equipment, plush carpets and state-of-the-art sound systems. I can assure the Western church with absolute certainty that you don't need any more church buildings. Church buildings will never bring the revival you seek. The pursuit of more possessions will never bring revival.

Many Christians have also asked me why miracles and signs and wonders are so prevalent in China, but not so evident in the West. In the West you have so much. You have insurance for everything. In a way, you don't need God.

In China, the greatest miracles we see are not the healings or other things, but lives transformed by the gospel.

The Lord wants us to embrace suffering as a friend. We need a deep realization that when we're persecuted for Jesus' sake it is an act of God's blessing to us.

The people who really suffer are those who never experience God's intimate presence. The way to have God's presence is by walking through hardship and suffering - the way of the cross.

There is always a purpose behind why God allows his children to go to prison. Perhaps it's so that they can witness to the other prisoners, or perhaps God wants to develop more character in their lives.

Now that my family is together outside China, it doesn't mean we'll stay away from our homeland forever. We didn't flee the country by our own efforts in a bid to live an easier life. We left China because God clearly told us to do so. He then confirmed it by opening a door for us to leave. If God tells us to go back to China one day, we will. It's as simple as that. We're not called to live by human reason. All that matters is obedience to God's Word and his leading in our lives. If God says go, we'll go. If he says stay, we'll stay. When we are in his will, we are in the safest place in the world.

So, have I stirred you to get a read at this book? I bought it from Salvation at RM19.80. Mr PenaRajawali offered to buy it from me at half price after I've read it. Sorry la bos, it is going into my collection.

Little boy

Little boy is now officially Ryan. And his Chinese name is Hoong Xiang En. He is registered as a citizen of this country, and even has an IC number already!

The Xiang En suggestion came from his auntie. And the Ryan, well, let's just say the parents watched a bit too much of ... "and this... is American Idol".

Little boy is now at home. He is two weeks old already. Quite an achievement... last time I kept some fish in an aquarium, didn't survive that long.

We brought him for ultrasound scan of his urinary system in Kota Kinabalu (the one done in Keningau emm... got some doubt). The senior radiologist said it is within normal limits for his age. However, the episode of blood in the urine which is thought to be due to infection is something that needs furthur investigation. So now he is on preventive antibiotics, and may go for an X-ray called MCU later.

The tongue tie is quite mild. He is feeding like a glutton. Probably we will bring him to snip off the tie when he is a bit bigger and fatter.

Seems that the Book makes a big issue about the first-born son.

The LORD said to Moses, "Dedicate all the first-born males to me, for every first-born male Israelite and every first-born male animal belongs to me."
Exo 13:1,2

The first son born to each of us we will take to the priests in the Temple and there, as required by the Law, dedicate him to God. We will also dedicate the first calf born to each of our cows, and the first lamb or kid born to each of our sheep or goats.
Neh 10:36

The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification, as the Law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: "Every first-born male is to be dedicated to the Lord."
Luk 2:22,23

And so it is done.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Please pray

Baby is back in hospital.

The yellow/jaundice has risen, so he needed to be under the blue light again. Today it has come down to acceptable levels.

The blood in the urine is believed to be due to infection in the urinary tract. Ultrasound scan showed there's a bit of swelling of the tracts. So, a VUR is suspected. His doctors will be arranging furthur investigations.

And it appears that baby has a bit of tongue tie as well.

It has been tiring for baby and parents.

Please remember us in your prayers. Thank you.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Look here

OH NO! I've got a zit here!

Cool man, zit or no zit, I am still a handsome boy.

Home sweet home

Baby is back at home and enjoying it.

Gosh, see how he has fattened up after just one week.

Baby in hospital

Baby was admitted to Hospital Keningau on Day2 of life coz was having a bit of fever, very irritable, and passed some blood in the urine.

Then they found that baby looked yellow, so he was put on the blue light... for just an hour. Blood results came back and bilirubin level wasn't really too high.

Anyway, baby seemed to enjoy his hospital stay (minus the blood-taking sessions). He was very calm and co-operative. Mummy didn't enjoy the stay though. It was tiring and uncomfortable. Nothing like home.

Baby was discharged yesterday. The blood in the urine has cleared mostly. But will still be going for an Ultrasound scan tomorrow to make sure there's nothing serious.