Hebrews 12:6

I love stories and analogies… We just ended Season 1 of the Parable series in Heart of God Church by Pastor How! Haha I found detailed (really detailed) sermon notes of the series on Zhen Wei’s blog. Anyway, we were also sharing about discipleship in CG, and I heard this verse from Hebrews 12:6! It reads:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

Many people don’t like to be told they’re wrong because it’s painful.

Well, imagine I’m a five year old on the MRT… I’m running around in circles playing catching with my siblings before a voice stops me, clear as day, a finger extended straight to my face.

“杨明荣, 给我坐下来,立刻,现在!”

It’s my mum, and she tells me if I run on the MRT I’ll fall flat on my face and lose my two front teeth. Boo, and that’s the end of the fun.

Contrast this to yourself today, when you’re on the MRT. I said on, not sitting, because sitting is controversial nowadays (har har). You notice some children laughing away, playing police and thief. How many of you would actually grab hold of one of them and say, “boy, don’t run, dangerous…”? Probably not, because:

1) The boy would give you a who-are-you-why-are-you-talking-to-me look.

2) You’d probably be wondering instead, why isn’t this boy’s parents stopping him? It’s dangerous! Some of us might even snigger if the boy fell down (if he had been particular disruptive of peace in the train, or just plainly annoying).

You see, discipleship, or chastening as the bible calls it, is reserved for children. That’s why the verse tells us not to be discouraged when we are rebuked. It’s part and parcel of being someone’s child. Rejoice, knowing that you are a child of God, and you’re not spending December singing all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

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这一班 by 翁老师

Spotted something before class today! My student was reading 这一班!!!

Why am I so excited? 翁老师 was actually my Chinese teacher in primary school before he left for Tao Nan. The Principal with thick glasses was modelled after our then principal, Mr Cheng. Mr Cheng often prowled the corridors with his metre-long wooden ruler. Whoever was standing outside class (for punishment) would get a dose of the ruler. Yes, I belong to a generation where we took punishment in our stride, when naughty children braced themselves by wearing extra underwear. Er jie just told me that the female teacher is actually modelled after Liao Lao Shi!这一班

Hello 翁老师!
Hello 翁老师!

After telling the student all these, he proceeded to remind me how old I was. Hahaha, oh how the years fly.

Bust-a-deadline!

Read: Why this retired Navy SEAL commander has 3 alarm clocks and wakes up at 4:30 a.m.

Are you one of those TL:DR kind of people?Here’s the spoiler, right to the point:

“Discipline starts every day when the first alarm clock goes off in the morning,” he writes. “I say ‘first alarm clock’ because I have three, as I was taught by one of the most feared and respected instructors in SEAL training: one electric, one battery powered, one windup. That way, there is no excuse for not getting out of bed, especially with all that rests on that decisive moment.”

Alarm

If you’re like me, the 1st alarm to the 5th are individual instruments. As I snooze each one of them, they eventually compound and come in together as one huge orchestra that will Beethovan (depending on the ring tone) me out of bed. I know, I know, I’ve read a few articles online about how the more right-minded people tend to bust deadlines and be late (even if their work is really really really really awesome) so why the need to be on time? In fact, I’m more inclined to be right-minded. Okay, I bust deadlines, but I’m not really really really really awesome.

A few of my thoughts:

    1. No, it doesn’t mean you wake up at 4.30am and walk around aimlessly, only to be tired and take a nap at 8.30am.
    2. I don’t like people who bust deadlines, because sometimes I really need the stuff at that moment. That being said, I sometimes ask myself, would I like to work with me? Oh dear, ohhhhhhh dearrrrrrr, omg omg omg.
    3. I once rushed a 3,000 (or was it a 10,000? maybe both…) word essay overnight. It didn’t end well.
    4. Being late is not always about you, but the persons waiting for you to finish your work. I’d use the snowball analogy, how it all accumulates, but it really feels more like an avalanche?
    5. It’s a problem that runs deeper. Maybe, I’m handing in stuff late because I’m not efficient and effective in managing my time. Maybe, it’s because I didn’t give space for other things to crop up. Maybe, I gave myself too much slack.
    6. My character is more important than my reputation. Don’t promise everything because you want to be perfect. But don’t be a slacker and promise nothing. It’s a fine line balancing being nice and saying ‘yes’ to everyone, versus stretching yourself to do more. Some people say no to everything, some people say yes to all. Know where you are on the spectrum and work on that.
    7. Pastor How taught us in HOGC that youths are excellence-in-progress. If you’re like me, you may not nail being early immediately. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

The victories always start small, and starts with that one decisive moment. Ring! Ok, set, gonna try this tomorrow.

P.s. Remember, it’s deadline not dateline. If you miss it, you’re DEAD.

Booksss!

Today, I got a new stash of books for the children in class. I promised them that one of them would win a prize after the class test… JUST ONE (because books are not that cheap haha). But as I went book shopping a familiar gut-feeling kicked me to grab a few more. It is a small price to pay if a child acquires a love for reading, or a curiosity for the world around them.

Oh, how their faces lit up as they were handed the books. As they were captivated by the book summaries… I watched on as they held the books gently, carefully opening them so as not to injure the book’s spine.

It’s a heartening thought to know they’ll be occupied the next few days (PSLE marking days) with something without a screen – to have some time to navigate his or her thoughts and imagination, before being bombarded by others’ on the internet. And…. a few of them naughty ones didn’t come for class… I guess I could read the copy of Mr Stink that isn’t taken yet…. Right???

P.s. David Walliams is the new Roald Dahl

(Quentin Blake drew on a few of his titles too)

The PSLE Question

It’s the first of October, Children’s Da— the start of the PSLE examinations! In a few hours, my students will be on their way to the examination halls – taking the first major examination of their lives.

Please revise your work and feel free to ask me any questions, okay?

“Cher, who do you think will get the higher score… Is it him or me?”

Sigh. I meant ask me questions about English…

For the first time I understood the heart of the father, and meant it when I said:

“Both of you are my students, don’t have to compare and compete. I’ll be proud to see both of you do well.”

I’m thankful for Heart of God Church and Pastor Tan Seow How and Pastor Cecilia Chan… Where I learnt that we all have a gifting we can serve God with. Even among hundreds and thousands of people, each individual is special and has their own gifting; we don’t need to compete with each other. It’s easy to be insecure and forget that God has made each of us special – fearfully and wonderfully! And in this test of life, you just need to do your best instead of looking left and right.

Maybe He is also telling us: “You are my children, don’t compare, don’t compete. I’ll be proud to see both of you do well.”

All the best for your examinations later, kiddos~