Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Listen in Silence if You Would Hear (Helen S Rice)

Silently the green leaves grow

In silence falls the soft, white snow

Silently the flowers bloom

In silence the sunshine fills a room

Silently bright stars appear

In silence velvet night draws near ....

And silently GOD enters in

To free a troubled heart from sin

For GOD works silently in lives

For nothing spiritual survives

Amid the din of a noisy street

Where raucous crowds with hurried feet

And "blinded eyes" and "deafened ears"

Are never privileged to hear

The message GOD wants to impart

To every troubled, weary heart

For only in a QUIET PLACE

Can a man behold GOD FACE TO FACE!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Foochows of Sitiawan - 3 : My take

The Yu family pioneers in Sitiawan

The Foochows of Sitiawan : A Historical Perspective by Shih Toong Siong is a very interesting and inspiring book for me ... off cos .. since he is writing about my roots .. agreeing with him -- not much has been written about the Foo Chow people in Sitiawan. This is a book that all Foo Chows of Sitiawan must read to understand and appreciate our roots and rich heritage ...

I would just like to highlight and connect with some facts in this book that rings a bell to me :

Sample of photos sent home to Fuzhou relatives ..
with the backdrop of rubber trees

a) Rubber tappers
I have always thought that Sitiawan was a rubber plantation area where our ancestors came to Sitiawan to "dig" for gold thru the rubber plantations. It never cross my mind that it all started as a plan to plant paddy .... and somehow this does ring a bell through the stories that Dad used to tell me when I was very very young ... of how the Government will give us land to plant paddy ... though I have not personally met a FooChow family that plants paddy. But I also have heard of Mom and Dad working in the paddy fields during Japanese Occupation or at least long long time ago when Mom was small. But I could never understand and comprehend or connect with the stories Dad told me till I read the book.

Almost everybody tapes rubber. Mom and Dad started their marriage and family life by tapping rubber. Mom have always vowed that she does not want her daughters to be married into rubber tapper family cos that will mean that we will also be rubber tappers. Out of 6 of Mom's children, only one knows the art and skill of tapping rubber. My only memory and perhaps experience of it was to collect the latex milk when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old in our plantation in Kpg Koh. But that was only for a short time.

Sitiawan Estate .... my once upon a time neighborhood
b) Estates
The rubber estates are just so familiar. I personally was born when our family moved to Sitiawan Estate. Yes, we got friends who lived in Bintang Estate - Gloria, Susie's Dad had a mango plantation in Bintang Estate and Aunty used to live in Bintang Estate before she move to Tmn Guru. Think it was from standard 4 or 5 till 6 that I've got a classmate, Evelyn Lian, who's Dad is the Estate Manager of Suffolk Estate. Remembering visiting her house - very English cottage style with a swimming pool.

Sungei Wangi Estate is not that "wangi". The smell from the factory that processes the rubber can be quite a smell .... Remembering passing by the estate on the old road from Sitiawan to Ayer Tawar ... normally as Mom's pillion rider. It's very cooling cos the road actually cuts through the estate. So, along the left and right are rubber trees that gives shade. But in the night, it can be different story -it can be "cooling"or "cold or chilly" ... :). It's very scary at night cos we need to pass by the huge graveyard and the road used to be very dark cos no street lights. There were also lots of accidents - instant death and ghost stories from the old road between Sitiawan to Ayer Tawar, nearing Sungei Wangi area. A little girl riding at the back of her Mom's motorbike always imagines that she will be pulled away by some huge cold unknown figure or by some black monster in the night. So, the little gal will hold her Mom super tight as we approach this place. I also recall Mom used to take the shortcut from Simpang Tiga (from the road next to the "hong-moon" or the "smoke house" that processes rubber in Spg Tiga). We will pass the rubber estate, the estate worker's houses and come out at the main entrance of the estate. But Mom seldom takes that road later cos the road is in bad condition with potholes, especially on rainy season. But I know that 3rd Aunty always use that way to Ayer Tawar or Sitiawan.

There is also an estate call Pundut Estate. It's half way from Sitiawan to Lumut ... the primary school is still there.I used to have a classmate from this estate when I was in standard one. i will always remember her cos she is very small in size - short but she had a huge belly. It seems she eats sand and soil from the ground. Perhaps her family was really poor that as a child she was malnourished and hence, to kill her hunger she just eat sand. I know she died later cos she stopped coming to school and became very ill. It's so sad ... the families in living in the estates are really living in the very bare basics of life. Lastly, there was a Revathi -- SM's classmate whom they will visit every Depavali.

c) The "cangkul aunties"
I don't have never heard of the aunties who sell water from the famous well in Kpg Koh -- maybe cos I lived in Sitiawan town or Simpang Ampat all my life but I do remember the aunties who came to our house when I was little to manually "plough" our land at the back of our house so that we can grow vegetables or was it tobacco or chilies that Dad was growing. These aunties are from Spg Dua, late 40s-50s perhaps. Their job is to go from farm to farm offering the service of clearing the farm with their cangkul. Armed with a cangkul, huge straw hat, hand gloves, long sleeve and pants, rubber shoes, a silver color water canister and their simple lunch packed on the huge old bicycle.

They work in teams of 5-7 ladies and besides gossiping, they will also recite or sing short poems or idioms in Kutien. They will work for a couple days in a row to complete their task.

O yes, we are the Kutiens of Sitiawan - since both Mom and Dad are from the Spg 2 and Spg 3 settlement which is known as the Kutien area.

d) Methodist Church
Ahh .... now I know why I am a Methodist. :0 ... I am the product or the fruit of the Methodist mission seed that was sown in Sitiawan in 1903. Since we lived in Sitiawan town, I attended the Methodist Church (Tamil), Simpang Ampat. But off course, we attended the English service - the church building was shared with 2 other congregation. Our English congregation is the Sitiawan Wesley Church where we eventually moved to our own building in the early 1990.

But the Simpang Ampat church building is quite nice and cute ... and even the parsonage.... I recall, Esther and her hub's wedding .... it was soooo cool and grand. The hub was a major in the Navy and after the wedding ceremony, they were greeted by navy officers with swords .. they walked thru it ... so cool right ...

e) Yong Peng & Nabon Nakonsri
The guy who is said to move to Yong Peng from Sitiawan is Yu Teck Pook ... I just feel that he must be one of my relatives from Mom's side ... actually Grandpa's somebody somebody ..since Grandpa's name is also Yu Teck something something ...

Anyway ... Nabon is really close to our family since our 1st aunty was married off at a young age to a guy from Nabon. I have not personally been to Nabon but from all the stories Mom or others who have been there visiting our relatives - Nabon is a small rubber plantation village ... something like Simpang Tiga ... and the place is quite remote ... Our cousins speaks Kutian with a different accent, but they speak fluent Thai and have Thai names. I remember hanging out with them in my teens and I asked one of them to write something ... hohoho ... his handwriting is all so curly like Thailand writing ... Today, we still have relatives in Nabon but many of them have moved to bigger cities like Bangkok. Most of them are now involved in running their own business.

f) Ong Boon Hua
I attended Our Lady's Convent School for almost 10 years and our school is located next to a green wooden double storey house which is said to belong to Ong Boon Hua's family. I remember a girl from the family -- she is younger than me. Eventually, I make friends with a friend who is his niece. But we never discuss family matters.

I also recalled during the funeral of the grandmother of the family .. I was perhaps in my early teens. It was a schooling day .. so I get to see a little of things since the our school is just next to it. Besides the grief that is in the air ... one can also sense tension in the air ... as there was a huge crowd ... including reporters and police. It was rumored that CP came home for his Mom's funeral disguised as an old lady .... after reading the Biographical sketch of OBH in the book, my heart aches for him if he did not manage to come home to pay his last respect for his precious Mom and my heart aches even more for his Mom who "lost" the gem of her heart ...


Sitiawan may be a small tiny town .. with a group of simple hardworking people but indeed it is a town that had birth many "warriors" in the fields they are in ... all over the world ... yes ... all over the world ... making impact in the community that we are in .... and I am proud that I am born in Sitiawan ... and proud to belong to this rich Christian heritage community ....

The Foochows of Sitiawan - 2

I found another article in my google search. It's an article found in NST Travel section. So, the following article is taken from it in :


Foochow Pioneers of Sitiawan


Foochows in Perak who want to trace their ancestry should go on the Sitia

wan Heritage Trail and visit the Sitiawan Settlement Museum.

IT was an eye-opener for 12 members of the Perak Heritage Society who joined the recent Sitiawan Heritage Trail for the first time. The trip traces the legacy of pioneer immigrants of the Christian Foochow Chinese who arrived in 1903 and for some of the members, it was a good opportunity to discover their own “roots”.

The members, led by PHS vice president Law Siak Hong, were briefed on the history of the Foochows in Sitiawan. They also went on a one-day tour of Kampung Sitiawan, Simpang Dua Tionghua Cemetery Manjung, Sitiawan Settlement Museum (Kampung Koh), Pekan Gurney, Simpang Lima and Ayer Tawar.

The name Sitiawan comes from two words, setia and kawan. But the story behind it is by far more fascinating. It’s about the extraordinary friendship between two elephants used to transport tin ore along the Dindings River near the area in the late 1800s.

The story has it that one of the elephants got stuck in the soft sand of the riverbed. Efforts by men to save it proved futile. But the second elephant refused to let go; it clu ng to its friend and both eventually drowned. In memory of this friendship between the two elephants, the town was named Setia Kawan or loyal friend. Over the years, the term evolved into Sitiawan. On the flip side, the place is also fashionably called City A1 (Sitiawan) by the locals.

In 1903, 363 Christian Foochows (Fuzhou) led by Reverend Ling Ching Mi arrived here from China. It was the Chinese Colonial Government’s second population transplant experiment in the Malay peninsula, following the success of a similar scheme in Sibu, Sarawak in 1901.

The group that arrived in Sitiawan consisted mainly of Kutian, Hockchew, Hockch
eng and Henghua. Each was allocated its own agricultural settlement on a 1,000 ha of land in Kampung Cina.

One of the settlements was called Kampung Sitiawan on a tributary of Dindings River. It is a historical spot as this was where the Foochows first landed in Sitiawan.

The settlers grew padi to meet the growing demand for rice due to increase
d economic activities in the area during the period.

The long-term objective was to establish a population growth centre for future labour supply to exploit the rich resources of the land.

Unfortunately, the padi programme failed but quick action to switch to rubber sa
ved the day. Over the years, the Foochows became a formidable group that spurred commerc ial activities in the area.

In 1999, the Sitiawan Settlement Museum was set up in Kampung Koh in 1999 by the area’s Pioneer Methodish Church (PMC).

Interestingly, and unknown to the public, the museum building was once an old wooden house which was home for the church reverend. It now showcases many old pictures, utensils, bicycles, tools, clothings and antiques once used by the Foochows.

Outside the museum is a well which supplied water for the Foochows for 30 years as there was no piped water then. Next to the museum stands the Pioneer Methodist Church, a majestic building in the shape of a “cross” originally built in 1904. It was burnt down in 1906 and rebuilt in 1907. Near the church is the grave of Reverend Ling.

The Sitiawan Settlement Museum is located at K-6, Jalan Chen Mei, Kampung Koh. Call 05-6920612 (opening hours from 9am to 5.30 pm, and entry is by appointment only).

p/s : the photos are taken by Uncle J in Dec 2010

The Foochows of Sitiawan - 1

The books which I have heard of for so long at last came to my hands 2 weeks ago thru Lyn. As usual before I write my comments on it ... I googled ... and this is what I found ... and as usual ... I kiasu.... cut paste what I found into my blog for I fear one day the site cannot be found and the info is lost .... so I got to credit that the following article is from -


A take on the Foochows

By: Llew-Ann Phang (Sat, 28 Aug 2004)

Known as 'Soldiers of Axes' and sometimes 'Soldiers of Cangkuls' the Foochow people were cajoled to set up home in Malaya by the British at the turn of the last century.

IF YOU ARE in Sitiawan, Perak you may come across some local Chinese speaking a language that sounds almost like Korean or Japanese.

This foreign-sounding language is in fact a dialect spoken by the Chinese clan called the Foochows. When the Foochows migrated here, they first settled in Sitiawan.

Sounding rather different from the typical Mandarin, Hokkien or Cantonese, the Foochow dialect comes across as somewhat slurred and gentler than the other tongues.

The Foochow community is also found in Yong Peng and Batu Pahat in Johor and in Kuching, Sarawak.

Aiming to help Malaysians become more familiar with his community, Shih Toong Siong (left), an educationist, set out on a mission to collect bits and pieces of data on the community.

Shih, 65, who is vice-principal of the Jalan Sentul Wesley Methodist School, started gathering the information 20 years ago.

His efforts culminated in six months of writing which resulted in a book entitled The Foochows of Sitiawan: A Historical Perspective.

Shih recounts that he endured two heart attacks, several heart surgeries and a lot of "agony" to complete this pet project.

Described as a "labour of love" by Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim of the Universiti Malaya History Department, the 340-page book penetrates deep into the lives and times of the Foochow community who were called "Soldiers of Axes" and "Soldiers of Cangkuls" as they pitched into working the land on the "invitation" of the British.

Embarking on his journey with hardly any written records for reference, Shih drew inspiration and encouragement from Khoo who told him to take the first step and to look at his work as research.

"I am thankful for managing to get some information from here and there. I sometimes had to slash my way through graveyards with a parang and a camera in search of my ancestral history.

"My mother called me mad but I merely told her I was looking for my roots," Shih said. He feels grateful that in the 1980s, he had the opportunity to interview some octogenarians and nanogenarians over a cup of kopi-o, because they passed on not long after he met them.

It was Shih's father who had prompted him to write the book, lamenting the lack of records on the Foochows' roots in this country.

"He threw me a challenge to research the roots of our clan and I responded. I hope the book serves as an anchor and adds flavour to the cultural melting pot of Malaysia," he said.

Shih pays tribute to his wife of 40 years Ching Hia Kong, a retired teacher, for bearing with him through his labour.

"She stood by me through all my weaknesses and shortcomings. I would not have any other to lean on."

Although he faced tricky financial moments while writing the book, he pushed on, travelling around Malaysia and abroad in search of information about the Foochow clan.

In Malaysia, famous Foochows include former Transport Minister and MCA head Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha and also Communist Party of Malaya secretary-general Ong Boon Hua, better known as Chin Peng.

Rice-planting pioneers keep the faith

The Pioneer Church is the flagship of the Chinese Methodist Mission in Sitiawan. It was built in 1927 and is the fourth building. The first was a thatched-roof hut built in 1903. The second church which was built in 1905 was burnt down in a bush fire and the third was demolished in the sixties. It was replaced by the current Sunday School Complex (pix). The tower was added in 1905.

THE FOOCHOWS had emigrated in a "population transplant" from China to Sitiawan in 1903.

Travelling to Malaya, a place they called the "promised land" they hoped to return to China rich.

The Methodist Episcopal Mission was selected and commissioned to undertake this project which the British colonial administration financed.

In his book, Shih explained that the Foochows were identified as the rice-growing community and the land alienated for this purpose was in Sitiawan.

In 1901, a similar group from Foochow settled in Sibu, Sarawak, led by Wong Nai Siong. They called Sibu "Sin Hockchew" or New Foochow.

In China, Foochow has 10 sub-districts -- Pingnan, Kutian, Minqing, Yungtai, Minhow, Futzing, Mashu, Cheng le, Lianjiang and Luoyuan.

The clan were fervent Methodist Christians and had held up through thick and thin during their stay in Malaya. They established schools and the Pioneer Methodist Church in 1927.

The original intention of establishing a Chinese settlement in Sitiawan was to grow rice. The settlers did not have the slightest idea of planting rubber. With hardly any rice planted, they survived on cash crops and pig farming.

Three persons played a significant role in getting the Foochow settlers to start rubber planting in Sitiawan -- Perak Chinese Affairs Officer W. Cowan, Guarantor of Perak-MEMO Agreement Foo Choo Choon and Rev W. E. Horley.

"The Methodist Mission acquired some 200 acres (80.94ha) styled under the Sitiawan Mission Plantation in addition to the 10 acre church lot (4.047ha) and the 50-acre (20.23ha) orphanage acquired in 1905.

"The rubber trees were in full production by 1915, the prosperity of the Foochow rubber smallholders were described as most remarkable," said Shih in his book.

He said the Foochows then went on to build a new Anglo-Chinese school and a seven acre (2.833ha) plot of land was even acquired for a hospital.

"Today, Sitiawan is considered a Methodist stronghold with churches in almost every village.

"Kampung China, the Methodist Mission Concession, remains the rock of Methodist Christiandom - there is yet a non-Christian temple to breach the Christian fortress at this locality as Sitiawan continues to support the Mehodist church in producing outstanding leaders, pastors and even Bishops in the Methodist hierarchy.

"In the field of education the number of schools dotting the district reflects the priorities of these earlier pioneers.

"Likewise, teachers also tapped rubber before donning respectable clothes and cycling to school.

"Even going to both English and Chinese schools on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon just as Chin Peng did -- such was their lifestyle.

"Despite the limited opportunities in Sitiawan, many made good through sheer hard work and a fighting spirit to become successful educationists, businessmen and politicians in both Malaysia and Singapore," said Shih.

"The pioneering spirit of the forefathers lives on. The younger generation must learn about the past to appreciate the hard work of their people and the spirit that propelled them forward.

"The contributions of the Foochow to this country are tremendous. They have given so much to this country and yet so little is known about them."

Shih's book is priced at RM49 and is available through the office of another popular Foochow businessman, Tan Sri Ngan Ching Wen, president of the Manjung District Kutien Association. He can be contacted at 05-672 2003.

--- end ---

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bill Wilson's Quote ...

"You don't get strength for the battle, you get strength from the battle"

Have been listening day in and day out Bill Wilson's sermon which is found in Cornerstone Community Church in Spore and in one of his sermons, he made this million-dollar statement.

Like what Joan, Li and May say, no matter how hard and how much they prepare themselves to face the death of Aunty, they are still not prepared when it happen. But when it happen ... all of them went through it, coming out with new strength to face the tomorrows ....

I guess if we can get strength for the battle, then we dont need to go thru the battles because more often than not, the battles that we face in life are tools used by God to draw us closer to Him (else we will be too busy enjoying life and running crazy after life) and tools to refine and purify us ...

Yes, it is through the battles in life that we will indeed merge out stronger spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

... Hey ... It's Chap Goh Meh ....

Pix of the lake at Tasik Jaya, Section 10, PJ ... on CGH celebration

Long time ago when we lived in Taman Jaya section 10, PJ ... Chap Goh Meh is one of the days that we dread because it will jam up the road to our house -- since it's an old housing area, the road to our homes are very narrow ... and the cars parked along side our houses makes it even more difficult. Sometimes we cant even get into our house ....

We had many memories of Tasik Jaya ... in the evenings if we get early back from work, we will take Muriel and Jovita for a walk in the lake ... there used to be a publick phone booth in the park and there was once I used it without realizing that someone stuck gums in the handle of the phone which stuck to my hair!!! There also trained there for our KK hike .... since there is not only place to jog .. round the lake but also exercise equipments.

Anyway ... living in Tmn Jaya for 3-4years ... think there was one year we (LN and I) did walk to Tmn Jaya to see the whole commotion of CGM celebrations ... after all, since people come from all over just to celebrate it, we must also check it out for ourselves .... low and behold .. we found the park jammed packed with people and decorated with lanterns that lighted up the place. And one interesting fact I found out is the throwing of oranges into the lake by single ladies and she will find her suitor if her orange is picked up. LN used to joke that we should throw the balance or left over oranges in our homes into the lake ... hahahha .... no wonder tak jadi kahwin2 till now cos we throw in left overs :0 ...

I googled on this festival and guess what I found? ..... just to add this into my blog to remind me of the rich culture of my roots .... the following is plucked from this site :

Since m not able to go back there to take some shoots ... so, I just curi some interesting pix as memories of the celebration in a place where I call home for 3-4years.


Chinese kids love New Year celebrations. It is a celebration full of festive cheers, good food, and not forgetting, the many ang paus (red packets that married folks give to the unmarried ones) that come our way. It was even more wonderful that Chinese New Year last a whole good fifteen days. Usually, the celebrations would have died down considerably by the tenth day for my family; however, that is not the end to a wonderful start of a new year.

On the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, technically the final day of the festival, is a day known as Chap Goh Mei. In the Hokkien dialect, Chap Goh Mei simply means "the 15th night of Chinese New Year". Aside from being tagged as the last day, Chap Goh Mei is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. On a celebratory point of view, this night sees the gathering of family members as they sit down to a meal together. Offerings and prayers are also held on a grand scale on this particular night.

Just like Chinese New Year, Chap Goh Mei is celebrated with lots of fireworks and firecrackers. This much is true for countries that allow the use of these celebratory items. You will also see many homes gaily decorated with red lanterns and bright lights to mark the end of an auspicious occasion. In temples, thanksgivings are held while many people would be asking for the God of Prosperity to endow them with success and wealth for the coming year.

In some parts of town, you will also be able to witness cultural performances, lantern displays, lion dances and the famous Chingay (flag-balancing) procession. On a legendary point of view, Chap Goh Mei being regarded as the Chinese Valentine's Day, also brings forth lots of fun and gaiety. It is well-known that Chap Goh Mei is a night of courtship and has since been the forerunner in promoting match-making. On this night, many young ladies would make their way to the temples, dressed in their best, with hope of finding prospective suitors.

One of the fun activities that take place on this auspicious night includes the throwing of oranges into the sea by these young maidens. It is without a doubt, the most popular and colorful moment in the history of Chap Goh Mei. It is believed that by throwing tangerines into the sea, these young girls would find themselves a good husband. For many, the act of throwing tangerines into the sea also signifies that these women are available for marriage. It is also said that if someone else who sees the floating tangerine in the water and picked it up, that generally means that the single who threw it would be able to find a good spouse.

Funnily, while many of us may have imagined that such a tradition is passed forth from China, it is strangely not. In fact, this interesting practice originated from a little Malaysian island known as Penang. This took place some time towards the end of the 19th century. On a yearly basis, a large crowd would flock to the Esplanade thus jamming up the roads badly. On top of that, tangerines are sold at an exorbitantly high price but then again, who says romance is cheap?

Another story of the Chinese Valentine's Day also states that this is the only day in the whole year that young maidens are allowed to stroll the streets. However, they must be accompanied by a chaperon. Knowing this fact, many young men would gather around with hope of catching glimpses of these lovely maidens. According to the legend, there will be a matchmaker from the moon who would tie red strings of destiny on their legs. As a result, the couple will end up being together.

Although "young maidens" flock the streets freely these days thus the matchmaker from moon is not exactly needed anymore, yet the tradition of throwing tangerines into the sea still prevails. While many no longer believe in the legend, yet it is still a fun thing to do or observe. Sadly, not many people in the big cities are practicing this custom anymore. However, the tradition prevails nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Be Thankful : Unknown Author

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. (1 Thess 5:16-18)

Growing Old is Part of God's Plan - Helen Steiner Rice

Suddenly a questioned popped out in my mind this evening .... how will I live if I know I can never live the same as I used to again?

I came back to JB a week after my CNY hols because I stayed behind to care for Mom. God was good because He had caused many family members far and near, from different generations to step in to help care for Mom ... I am very touched .. and thankful to God. The doctor said that family support is very very important for the patient and does a whole host of impact on the patient's well being. M glad to be able to love Mom this way and glad to know God loves Mom a lot too ...

So, I opened the photostated copy of the book of poems by Helen Steiner Rice (which I found it in the cupboard this trip back to Sitiawan ... not sure if it is San Chia's or Nee Chia's ....) to find comfort and release of how I feel ... this is what I found :







For AGE is sure to follow YOUTH

and DAY comes after NIGHT ....

For He who sets our span of years

and watches from above

Replaces youth and beauty

with PEACE and TRUTH and LOVE ....

And then our souls are privileged


That in our youth escaped our eyes



that open up the way



The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
(Prob 4:18)

New Hair Cut

The last time I cut my hair short was I 10years ago when I decided that I had enough the lifestyle at that point and I wanted a change .....

After trying to make appoint many many times (since before CNY), I manage to get hold of Tom, my 10yrs hairdresser .... I walked into his salon with long hair and walked out hair cropped short!!! Yes, the last time I cut my hair short2 after having long hair was 10yrs ago ... and I did it again after 10years .. why may ask .... a lady normally will suddenly do something drastic to her hair style because of something drastic that had happen in her life ... or a major decision ... like what I did 10yrs ago ...

But today, if you ask me why? I really don't know ... I just feel that my hair was too long and too heavy ... and someone even said that I got Lion King's hair style after I came back from CNY ... :0 ... guess, I just needed a change ... and looking at myself now ... I think I need to highlight my hair to make me look more happening rather than a school gal ...:-)

... It's a new hair day for me today ...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Storms Bring Out The Eagles but the Little Birds Take Cover : Helen S Rice

When the "storms of life"
gather darkly ahead.
I think of these wonderful words
I once read
And I say to myself

as "threatening clouds hover
Don't "fold up your wings"
and "run to cover"

But like the eagle
"spread wide your wings"
And "soar far above"
the troubles life brings.

For the eagle knows
that the higher he flies
The more tranquil and brighter
become the skies ...
And there is nothing in life
God ever ask us bear
That we cannot soar above

And in looking back over
the "storm that you pass through"
You'll find you gained strength
and new courage too,
For in facing "life's storms"
You can fly far above
earth's small, petty things.

Friday, February 11, 2011


So.. wat's the treatment for Mom? Everyone seem to be asking .... even Mom asked .. well, we do know that there is nothing we can do when one gets osteoporosis except to increase the intake of calcium .. and drink lots of milk ... we have been giving Mom Fosamax for 2-3 years but was afraid of its sides effects, we stop giving her.

But I do believe that it is grace and lots of God's grace and mercy on her for her to be strong and well again. Mom wishes that she is able to walk again and the nurse said that this is a very good sign because it gives her the determination to be heal and reason to look forward to live. I really thank God that He has given Mom joy even in her situation, she is generally quite cheerful and smiles a lot.

I remember one day, after a tough time taking care of her .... I gave her glucose to drink because she complained that she was very hot. That set her on a hyper active mode and suddenly energized. But I was weary. So, I told her to sing to me to entertain me since I am still tired. So, she really sang songs to me ... in Foochow and Mandarin .. she sang "I've got joy joy, joy deep down in my heart" (and she say that the Sunday School teacher sings and does the actions very well). She also sang a Mandarin song that has the chorus that goes something like : "where is your brother [ the word in Mandarin is younger brother ] ..." when she comes to this sentence, she skips it cos she says she cannot sing it ... sekali her late brother "come looking for her" .... betul2 pengsan!! :) .. so, she will sing the entire song and skip this sentence ... we ended up laughing. After singing for a while ... she said ... "ooo my voice is dry ... is all cos u ask me to sing ... now u have to go get a drink for me ..." .... faint! Macam2 pattern my Mom ...

Now, with her condition, the doctor recommended a new drug to "combat" (the word he use) osteoporosis ....

Aclasta .... which is given by infusion. Mom took that yesterday ... and the doctor said, every drop is money ... hahha ... off cos when 5mg is RM1800. Its suppose to last up to one year and within the one year, if anything happens to the bone, eg .... a fracture, the drug company will reimburse us back RM3000. Not that we want the RM3000 but its interesting how confident the company is of their product to offer this. For further info, you can read :

So, by God's grace and mercy Mom's bones will be strengthen and pray that God will grace her with few more years for us to enjoy her and for her to enjoy the sunset of her journey.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

God Knows Best : Helen Steiner Rice

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give
good gifts to those who ask Him!"
(Matthew 7:9-11)


Our Father knows what's best for us
So why should we complain--
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain--

We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear...

Our Father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us,
But to help us meet tomorrow...

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of a chisel
Gives the marble grace and form...

God never hurts us needlessly,
And He never wastes our pain
For every loss He send to us
Is followed by rich gain...

And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament...

For our Father loves His children,
And to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure
When the soul's deep need is pain...

So whenever we are troubled,
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirit strong.

One Interesting Truth on Prayer : Matt 6:8

Prayer is something that still puzzle me till today. Though I will say that part of my calling to be a prayer warrior for the Lord, though I've got so many testimonies on how God answered my prayers, I am where I am today because of the prayers, cries and tears of many people .. and even ones that have gone ahead of me (Grand ma ... maternal) ....

I still recognize that prayer is something puzzling to me and I enjoy the fact that it is puzzling .. Like ... how come God takes soooooooo long to answer my prayer or how come God did not answer my prayer the way I prayed .... Why is it so? .... because God is God and His ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are just not our thoughts (Is 55:9). If I can completely know how God works .. then I must be the same as God or part of the Trinity ....

I am glad that my Father keep it that way -- to remind me that I am mere human, He is God, He is in charge / Sovereign ... and He is able to do / work the impossible ... so that His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

... and this is how my Father keeps my life exciting ... and heart beat skips ... or races ... :-) or else I will surely complain life is too boring ... too predictable ... what else is there in life ...

Just over CNY, God interestingly showed to me (again) how true is His promise in Matt 6:8b {... for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." (Matt : 6:7-8) } ... and this is how the story goes ....

About 1-1.5yrs ago .. Mom once again tried to close a land deal .. though we have told her many times to "retire" ... but she loves her job just too much to stop doing. So, in the attempt to close the deal, the buyer suddenly pulled out of the deal after Mom introduced the seller to him. The buyer is a well known professional in Sitiawan and a Christian as well. This buyer is someone Mom had many many deals with in the past and can be considered Mom's friend ...

But not long after that Mom discovered that the buyer went direct to the seller and bought the land .. Mom called the buyer for "introductory fee" which he denied Mom .. but eventually gave Mom 2k .. the thing is .. the deal's "introductory fee" was rmXXk!!

Mom was very frustrated and disappointed .. through this deal, Mom really gave up her beloved job .... that was like at least 1.5years ago ...

Then suddenly 2 weeks just before CNY, Mom suddenly got a call from this buyer ... who asked Mom to initially guess who he was ... he said ... ooo ... m so and so (just the surname) and I will come to your house this CNY to give you an ang-pow ... Mom immediately replied that she does not want an ang-pow (after all, rm100 or rm200 is also an ang pow right ... that's what Mom said) .. Mom immediately asked for half of RMXXk ...

Hoho ... low and behold .. this buyer came to the house just before CNY to deliver in cash the amount!!

Now ... why the $$ suddenly "dropped" from heaven? ... This is how our Father knows our needs even before we ask .. and this is how our Father takes care of us ... and provides for us .. His children ....

With Mom's condition ... Mom surely needs the cash to pay medical bills as well as to hire a maid .... so, indeed our Father knows best and will surely look into the needs of His children even before His children know we have that need!

Thank You .... for taking care of me ... for looking into the details of my need ... and for providing all that I need .. though I may not even know that I need them ....
Glory to God be the glory!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

... I Don't know about tommorrows ....

After 3 weeks of memory lane mode on past CNY, I decided to make this CNY different after I realize that how I want to make CNY celebrations and how I want to enjoy CNY all depends on my perspective of things, what and how I decide to look at things.

So, this year, I just want to spent a simple quiet CNY but one enjoying and appreciating love ones ... dont want to be too much Martha and more of Mary mode ... but lo and behold ... this CNY seem to have a very interesting twist to things as I made this decision just before I go back.

1st drama : Ma complained to backache when i arrive in Sban on Sun. We decided to send her see Dr Mon just before we leave. By the time we reached Sitiawan, we had problem waking Mom up. It was indeed a scary experience but at the sam
e time it was also an experience that helped me to encounter a living God who answers our cries of help. I just felt that I face to face with death and God by His grace is loaning Mom to us again ... :0 ...

2nd drama : Mom's back was so bad that she could not walk and though we brought her to hospital, they do not want to admit her. Mom called all her friends and relatives to come visit her this year as it is impossible for her to visit anyone. I over heard her conversation with her longest best friend who happen to be her sister-in-law.Here it goes :

Mom : It's "raining" my side .. This time, the "rain" is quite heavy .. I can't go in to visit you.
When can you visit me?

Hahhaha ... typical Mom's conversation - they like to talk indirect .. one needs some brain
s or to be on the same "antena" to be able to discern what she is trying to say. "Rain" here refers to Mom's back pain.

This episode in my journey .... humbled me to realize that my life and death is in the hands of my Father in heaven. Life is really cannot be predicted. Just reminds me of few Bible truth :

a) We must not boast of our tomorrows ..... for we really do not know
what a day may bring (Prov 27:1). James reminded us again on this in James 4 : 13-16.

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

So, we need to always have a humble attitude - knowing that just as life and death is not in our hands, our tomorrows also is not in our hands ... we really do not know fully what will happen in the day that we live in.

This reminds me of Uncle J's life principle - living in the NOW moment, not in the past or not in the future ... but the NOW moment!

b) God is God ... He will have the ultimate answer ... He decides the num
ber of the thrown dice

"To man belongs the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue" (Prob 16:1)

In his heart a man plans his course but God determines his steps (Prov 16:9)

The lot is cast into the lap, but every decision is from the Lord (Prov 16:33)

We have to acknowledge that we our future is also in God's hands ...

This brings me to my final reflection .. therefore, how should we live? I would like to suggest that the key to living is to walk with the One who hold your life and death on earth ... as well as the One who is able to hold your hand when you cross the river Jordan .. when you cross over from physical life to eternal life / death ... He will be able to teach and help us in living our life on earth
to the fullest ... He is able to help us as we face the storms of life ... He is able to help us carry our load and burdens in our journey ... like how I used to hire porter to carry my bags when I hiked up Mt Kinabalu and did the Head Hunter's Trail / Pinnacles ...

Last but not least ... this song suddenly came to my mind ... one of the songs which we love to sing so much in our MYF days :

I don't know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.

I don't borrow from its sunshine

For its skies may turn to grey.

I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;

Every burden's getting lighter,

Every cloud is silver-lined.

There the sun is always shining,

There no tear will dim the eye;

At the ending of the rainbow

Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow;

It may bring me poverty.

But the one who feeds the sparrow,

Is the one who stands by me.

And the path that is my portion

May be through the flame or flood;

But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.

So, who will you walk with? What will you say about your tomorrows ?