Christians – elitist?

The “I-am-holier-than-thou” label has been given to us Christians umpteen times. The stereotype arises because many Christians refuse to associate ourselves with unbelievers. We stick our noses high and think that the rest of unbelievers, especially people who are smokers, drug addicts, loansharks, gamblers, homosexuals, wife beaters, men who have extra-marital affairs, prostitutes are great sinners while we are pure and holy by God’s grace.

We are goodie-two-shoes and can’t be corrupted by them. The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” further enforces this stereotype.

Wait a minute. Is it really true that Jesus doesn’t want us to mix with unbelievers?

If that’s the case, Jesus would have mixed around with religious zealots like the Pharisees more often, rather than have dinners with tax collectors (Matthew 9:10), heal leprosy-striken people (Luke 17:11-14) or allow a prostitute to wash his feet (Luke 7:37-39). Fact is, Jesus was with and amongst the unbelievers, with people who were seen as scum of the world, with “unholy” people.

I think one mistake we Christians fall into most often is that we are afraid of unbelievers, especially those who look very menacing with tattoos, ear piercings, and all. Or essentially, we don’t want to associate with “sinful” people. Can’t deny I’m like that too, but I’m really trying hard to break my mentality as a “spiritual elitist”.

So… what my Godma shared with my mummy, I can’t forget… My mum related to me about Godma’s epiphany about 2 Corinthians 6:14, the one talking about not being “yoked with unbelievers”.

Godma realised the verse was not meant for us Christians to draw a line between “holy” Christians or sinful unbelievers. We are not asked to disassociate ourselves with them or to judge them. But we are to observe ourselves – that we don’t think or act like them. That we don’t pursue the same worldly things that they do, that we don’t speak the way they do. That our pursuits are not yoked together with their worldly pursuits.

We are all to make a difference while living amongst them, not away from them. That when people are all anxious, we Christians can still have the tranquility. That we can abstain from pre-marital sex even when the media says otherwise. That when the world says money is important, we don’t hold it in the highest esteem. That we can love, even when people say they already can’t. That we can still have joy and smile even when tough times come.

Let me give a fruit analogy. When surrounded by thorny and heaty durians, as a mangosteen, you can make a difference. (: 😛

This is life

I was looking through some past pictures and spotted these pictures taken with my young girls in 2009. I was out with them during my university holiday and it was a great week day spent at Pasir Ris Park. I fell in love with that place ever since.

A golden retriever, the sea, the serenity.

And we rode bicycles, with absolutely no cares of the world

The beautiful golden retriever

The girls were so cute and pint-sized then

This is life.

Time to get back to living out Life.

Riding Mister Tee

Char told me last week about her friend’s encounter.

One fine day, a Hong Kong tourist couple approached Char’s friend on the street, asking for directions.

HK Couple: May I know where’s Mr. Tee?

Char’s friend: Huh? Mr. Tee?

HK Couple: Yes, Mr. Tee…

And they proceeded to show Char’s friend a map of the MRT… LOL.

Geddit? I was amused when I heard this! Mr. T = MRT!

Blame it on the Singaporean habit of having acronyms for everything.

ERP, SDU, NTU, NUS, SGH, MOE… You are NOT a Singaporean if you don’t know them. But I’m thinking the foreigners would be having a hard time pronouncing them (Say “errrr-per” for ERP, anyone?)

So next time another tourist comes along, and asks you where’s Mr. Tee, just bring them to the nearest MRT station.

MM Lee and SM Goh stepping down from Cabinet!

Just a few days after I’ve written some thoughts about the “watershed election”, the “watershed-ness” of the event was brought to another level, to show how “watershed” the election truly is. BECAUSE… yesterday, it was announced that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Goh Chok Tong are both going to step down from the Cabinet!!!

It was a moment of shock for me and definitely not a really comfortable feeling. It feels like some part of Singapore’s history has died off. There was a reluctance to see them go, yet there was a part of me that feels that Singapore has to grow up.

I think it’s the same feeling when parents see their own children grow up and having to allow them to do what they really want to pursue.

Lee Kuan Yew has fed and disciplined the baby girl extremely well and set the foundations for her bright future.

Goh Chok Tong brought the young child into adolescence, moulding her and discovering her talents.

Now, it’s the time for our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to see Singapore into being a young adult, to stand for herself and to be unafraid of the uncertainties to come.

Having said that, I have to say that it’s always comforting for a young adult to know that they can turn to their parents any time when they need guidance and advice. Perhaps the child would or would not take the parents’ advice but I guess that’s the pain every parent has to face. Sad.. but true.

***

Lord, I pray that your goodness and mercies will follow Singapore, all the days of her life – that we may be blessed to bless.

Cure for the Green-Eyed Monster

Ever had a moment when you prayed so hard because you  felt so dry, and in your heart, you silently wished the concern and encouragement were meant for you, but it went to another person?

Never a good feeling. The green-eyed monster would creep in, blind your eyes and shroud you with lies. It would be just like the elder brother in the famous parable of The Prodigal Son in the Bible.

When the Prodigal Son returned to the Father after squandering all his inheritance, the Father threw a huge celebration for his return. His elder brother? He sulked. He thought it was unfair. He was envious and angry of his younger brother who didn’t seem to deserve all the attention. He complained to his father –

“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”

My Father, the Lord gently reminded me – “My daughter, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” – paraphrased Luke 15:31

“….everything I have is yours.”

With that, my eyes were open and the green-eyed monster slipped away, back into the darkness, where it should be.

“Watershed election”

A “watershed election” we had indeed. Quoting Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the elections we had just recently was a really different one that would (or has already) change the entire course of Singapore politics. All the twists and turns, accusations and passion between nomination day (27 Apr) to polling day (7 May) would have made a great 《爱》episode.

First, we had so many young candidates under 30 joining the fray on both sides and with so much social media hype.

Then, we had the opposition party, Worker’s Party, winning 6 seats in the Parliament – a record – considering the most seats any opposition has won was 4 seats in the early 90s.

Third, 2 Ministers – George Yeo and Lim Hwee Hua decided to step out of politics… for good.

Fourth, SPP lost their stronghold – Potong Pasir SMC and then Mr. Chiam See Tong was forced out of politics cos he didn’t win Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

Fifth, someone merely reading the election results can become famous overnight?! Mr. Yam Ah Mee (his name sounds so old school) is now officially one of the idols of many Singaporeans who have witnessed his calmness in reading “pursuant to Section 49, Sub-section 7E, Paragraph A….” amidst all the tension. SERIOUSLY. Someone even did a club mix of what he said. These brilliant people on the Internet make parliamentary legalese look approachable and attractive even to our everyday man!

Check out this video. I couldn’t stop laughing… really.

This election was different. Perhaps, one could argue that PAP was a victim of its own success in globalisation and education, which inevitably led Singaporeans to be more exposed to alternative political systems and perspectives.

Praying hard that this “watershed election” will fulfil its responsibility in action soon.

Charming little things

Some charming little things I’ve had this past week…

20110509-060558.jpg

Tea at Marmalade Pantry at Ion Orchard

20110509-060701.jpg

Teatime set - top tier: scones (6 of them); middle tier: jams, clotted cream and biscotti; lowest tier: sandwiches and canapés. PLUS (what you don't see in this pic) a cupcake (that's moist and not saccharine sweet) and a pot of tea (and you can ask for more hot water to be added!)

20110509-073839.jpg

Cedele's Earl Grey and Fig ice-cream+Russian dessert, Mixed Fruit Pavlova

20110509-074114.jpg

Some of my little sisters at Vanessa's house for chit-chat and prayer time

20110509-074242.jpg

A bouquet of white and dark pink carnations for 奶奶 on Mother's Day