Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Christmas decorations are festooned all down Orchard Road. Shopping malls play Christmas songs over the PA system. Year-end parties are organized. Christmas sales are enticing shoppers to part with their end of year bonuses.
But the message of Christmas sometimes is forgotten.
It is the message of hope and reconciliation. Of a longing of a thousand generations waiting for the appearance of their redeemer, finally fulfilled in humble circumstances.
And what is hope? What is the longing in our hearts? It is the thought and belief that our situation will change. That we are not doomed to live in misery, that there is a better tomorrow, that somebody out there loves us, and not just somebody, but the Almighty Creator of the Universe loves us and cares for us. That he has not forgotten us in our time of need. When we realized the powerlessness of our efforts in saving ourselves, He came into our lives to show and live out by example the way to righteousness, the way to life.
What is the hopelessness our situation?
Perhaps we can take the cue from people like Pastor Neville Tan or Kelvin Soh. Both of these men I have met in real life.
Both men were jailed in prison without hope. Neville, a gangster who almost met the death penalty but fell short because he was only 2 weeks away from his 18th birthday. And Kelvin a hard-core drug addict without a mother and had a similar gang member drug addict father as an example. He lived 20 years of his life in prison.
No hope and written off by society and even themselves. Yet they were touched by the words written in the Bible.
What is the sense of hopelessness that we have in our lives? We may not be in the situation of Kelvin or Neville where it is in surviving in a society that has written us off.
It could be in paying off the home loan, feeling the strain of paying off each month's bill. Or more subtly, in a life of quiet desperation, living a comfortable life, but not enjoying the adventure that God has in store for us.
It could be in relationships, between husband and wives who feel the spark has been lost, a father that has become so wrapped up in his career that his children don't know him, between neighbours who hardly speak to one another.
It could be in countries and nations. There are nations with corrupt and incompetent leaders who only think about lining their own pockets. There are nations with leaders who use fear, hate and pride to continually stir the people for their own agenda.
So what is the hope that Christmas brings? It is the hope that things can change.
It is the gift that says "God is with us". We are not alone! He knows us and hears our cries and there is something better out there.
It is love made tangible by an invisible God.
And that was demonstrated 33 years later when that Gift showed us by example by leading a life of servanthood. A life eschewing the vanities of this life and sacrificed his life on the a tree on Golgotha. And in that example by giving up our lives we gain our life back.
What did Jesus do? He turned people from simple fishermen and hated tax-collectors into his servants. He transformed their lives into lives that turned the world upside down.
I know that God can transform our lives. He did not come to create a life of comfort on this world but instead a life of impact, of power, of the glory of the Father reflected in our lives, transformed lives.
It is our lives that he wants to change and most of all from the inside. After all, aren't most of the problems of this earth our own making?
The final question we must ask, do we let Him, the Christ, the light of the world light up our lives?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The name's Wong, James Wong and I like my Singapore Slings shaken not stirred.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A lot of people think of their lives as career or work.
I think of life as fulfilling your destiny.
A career is just a means. A destiny is your goal.
I believe that things happen to us and the decisions that we make are to fulfil our destiny.
It isn’t the rich man that is remembered, it is the person who fulfils his destiny in life.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Saturday, May 01, 2010
We live in a society that has topsy-turvy values.
Not more than two generations ago, being a virgin was considered a virtue; something that was honorable.
Now, it is met with sniggers. So much so that a movie title of “40-year old virgin” is considered funny. I wonder whether these same people also snigger with derision when someone mentions “virgin Mary”.
I really question when people say they want to have the freedom to love, I think they are really confusing it with the freedom to have sex.
We live in a world where words have been turned from its original meaning to mean something else. For the sake of political correctness or to avoid unwanted connotations.
“Make love” sounds so much better than “sex”. It sounds so less carnal.
But the thing about love and sex is that they are two different activities.
- A man has sex with a prostitute. After a night of passion he leaves her, never ever seeing her again.
- A man loves a woman and finds that she has HIV. He can probably not have sex with her at all, yet still marries her.
Which of these two men showed love? And was sex involved?
The point is that love does not mean sex.
Okay, so you say. We want to have freedom to have sex. We should not be restricted in who we have sex with, especially if its consensual.
But there are people we cannot have sex with, even if its consensual. We cannot commit incest. We cannot have sex with our parents or siblings.
We also cannot commit adultery. No matter how attracted we are to someone else, if either party is married, we must deny our sexual urges and stay true to what we know is right.
But being tolerant, society has turned a blind eye to these activities. We believe that what you do in private is your personal business. It only becomes our business when you parade down the street proudly proclaiming what we believe should be your own personal business.
We have become tolerant of people having affairs. We have become tolerant of people having multiple spouses. We have become tolerant of fornication. We have become tolerant of lust and unrestraint appetites.
I believe that self-control is still a virtue.
We all have to contend with our sexual impulses, we should not be hypocrites. But just because we have not achieved perfection does not mean we do not strive for perfection and virtue.
Monday, April 19, 2010
When I watch some of these reality shows like The Amazing Race the excitement and tension is there because I don’t know who’s going to be eliminated next.
Just like watching a football match. It’s the not knowing that makes it exciting.
The desire to know the future is quite tempting, but I think not knowing does have its benefits.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
The Singapore software industry sucks because the general tendency of graduates here are to strive for a promotion to middle management.
This is effected because of the general disdain for software programming as a low-level paid job that can easily be replaced by outsourced or cheap labour from 3rd world countries. (Namely India and China).
However software development here is then managed by middle managers who really never cut their teeth on code. With barely 3-5 years of experience, they hardly know stuff properly like test-driven development, or proper software maintenance. Not to say there aren’t. But there just isn’t enough quality management.
Software isn’t a manufacturing process where you get better output by throwing more engineers at a problem. There’s a difference between hiring 100 Indian footballers and 1 David Beckham. Those 100 footballers couldn’t do in 100 years what Beckham can do with a single kick.
Software is a design process, not a manufacturing process. That’s why good programmers need about 10 years to get really good. Or like Gladwell’s book “Outliers” those 10,000 hours to become an master in your field.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Next on my to-do list:
- Uploading pdf summaries
- Converting broken image links to uploaded pictures on flickr.
- Fix formatting
- Add label categories
- Change the layout to something more customized to me. (That really says this is me! Boomz!)
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
I figured it's better in the long run. One day I will leave this earth with no-one to maintain my blog. Within a year, my paid hosting will expire and the blog deleted. This way, it's easier for my web presence to live on.