Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Lesson On Caring About Others

The cyclone disaster that hit Myanmar recently has killed at least 100,000 people. They are expecting many more to die as the after effects of the disaster.

Myanmar and Thailand borders each other. It probably takes 3 hours on car to get to the nearest border of Myanmar. As a result, many of them comes to Thailand to work. So, we have friends who have families affected by the cyclone and that's really sad.

I spoke to Joel and Ethaniel about how the cyclone has affected the Myanmar people. Challenging both of them to understand that these people are without food, shelter, hygiene facilities and many people are dead and they need our help.

Me: Would you like to donate some of your monies to help this people?

Joel: Yes. I will give them THB500 (RM50 / USD18)

Ethaniel: I don't think so.

Joel: You know this people are very hungry and without food. How would you feel if you don't have food to eat? Huh? Huh? Buying ATV is not more important that food, you know?

Ethaniel: I don't know. OK. I will give all my monies (That is almost THB4,000 (RM400 / USD150)

After a little bit of conversation regards to the people of Myanmar....

Ethaniel: I think I will give THB100

Me: That's OK. However much you give, it will make a difference to someone there. Most importantly, it comes from your heart.

This day, my children get a lesson to care about others more than themselves. I hope that they will continue to learn lessons like that all throughout their lives. The same lessons that Jesus has been teaching us, all throughout the bible and through His life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Little Niece

Congratulation Mike & wife!

This is my little cute niece, she is about 1+ month. She is my elder brothers' 1st child. They were married last year April 07.

According to my Mom, she looks like Ethaniel when he was a baby. Let me try to dig out some baby photos of Ethaniel.... to compare.

Little baby niece sleeping peacefully

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A New Header

Thought I try a new look, new photos .... so I changed the header.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Swimming on a Friday Afternoon

We went to SH's place swimming yesterday, i.e. a nice, non rainy, not too hot Friday late afternoon. We have not been there for a few months now. The children loves the pool because it has a huge water slide. While the Mothers sits to chat, the children were playing together.

Ethaniel is suppose to climb onto Joel's shoulders and jump off. Seems like lots of fun!

Trying various ways to find the best launching position

I wonder how Joel manage this. His younger brother is pretty heavy... ouch!


It was a very fun afternoon. They had loads of fun playing in the pool.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

A Day Trip to Muak Lek

Last Saturday, we did a day trip to Muak Lek. Its about 1.45 mins from our home. Its a good place if you don't want to travel too far to have some activities.

The big and small boys in the family wanted to ride on the ATV (All Terrain Vehicle). The package cost THB1650 (RM165 / USD50) for 2.5 hours per ATV. Two persons can ride on each. The ride would be through hills and forest.

The route was challenging and keeps the adrenaline high

Taking a rest between rides

Beautiful route scenery in the forest

We had heaps of fun on the ATV. At the end of the 2.5 hours ride, out butt was hurting badly!!! I think a 1.5 hours ride is OK and anything beyond that is testing the endurance of the butt and hand.

After the ATV ride, another fun thing to do at Muak Lek is Go-Kart. Only cost THB160 for 10 mins (RM16 / USD5)

We went there at about 9am and returned by 5pm. Not too hectic and a nice fun relaxing day. Try it the next time you visit Bangkok.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 4 (Part 4): Capernaum & Yardenit

Capernaum (clipped from here)

Capernaum is an ancient fishing village on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is home to a celebrated Byzantine-era synagogue as well as the house where Jesus healed a paralytic and St. Peter's mother-in-law.

In the Bible

Capernaum is not mentioned in the Old Testament, which is natural since archaeological evidence shows that it was uninhabited until the 2nd century BC.

Capernaum is frequently mentioned in the Gospels and was Jesus' main base during his Galilean ministry. It is referred to as Jesus' "own city" (Mt 9:1; Mk 2:1) and a place where "he lived" (Mt 1:13). He probably chose it simply because it was the home of his first converts, Peter and Andrew (Mk 1:21,29).

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law....

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up." (Mark 1:21-22, 29-30)

Many familiar Gospel events occurred in this village. Capernaum is where Jesus first began to preach after the Temptation in the wilderness (Mt 1:12-17) and called Levi from his tax-collector's booth (Mk 2:13-17). It was while teaching in the synagogue of Capernaum that he said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (Jn 6:54)

Capernaum is where Jesus healed a centurion's servant without even seeing him (Mt 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10), Peter's mother-in-law (Mt 8:14-15; Mk 1:29-30); the paralytic who was lowered thorugh the roof (Mk 2:1-12), and many others who were brought to him (Mt 8:16-17). And it was Capernaum that Jesus had set out from when he calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mt 8:23-27).

Jesus was harsh with his adopted home when it proved unrepentent despite his many miracles. "And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you" (Mt 11:23-24).

Ruins of an old synagogue

Ruins of Peter's Mother-in-law's home. Its octagonal in shape.

You can view the house from inside the church, looking down from a glass

Ruins of ancient houses


Yardenit is a place where people go for Baptism in the River Jordan. Its full of tourist from all over the world, wanting to be baptised in the Jordan river. That's where Jesus was baptised. If you have already been baptised previously, you can do a "reconfirmation".

A priest baptising at the Yardenit

Kevin getting baptised by Ps Leslie

I had to get some water from the Jordan River as souvenir.

After the Baptism session, I went to the Souvenir shop to look at some of the products. I was keen to purchase some dates and dates honey. Its was about USD15 for 3. I wanted to mix the two rather than buying all three of the same thing. I approached a young Israeli man to ask him if I could do that.

He said, "Yes". But I was undecided, so, I turned to walk off. He was really very nice and probably a real extrovert. He said, "Don't be shy. You can ask me some more questions, if you want". I was thinking to myself, "My he is a very friendly guy". So, we started talking and he asked me which country I came from. He was surprised that I was so young because most of the Malaysians who visits are old and serious. Whist he thinks I am young and very friendly.

Just about then, Ps Leslie walked pass and said, "Tsk tsk tsk. Married woman talking to young, hunk of a guy..." *turning-his-head-in-disapproval-and-point-his-index-finger-in-an-accusation -tone." I felt tickled by his reaction. Ps Leslie is really a very funny and down-to-earth person. We hanged out a lot throughout our trip.

That the end of Day 4. Phew! We covered a lot and its time to go back to the hotel to rest.

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How Does An Unleavened Bread Look Like?

I didn't manage to take a close-up photo of the unleavened bread but it looks & taste very much like the Indian "capati" but a little more fluffy.

This is for you Jo-N, as per your request. Below is the best I can do.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How They Make Unleaven Bread

We were walking pass a shop which made the unleavened bread which is soooo popular and eaten everywhere, everyday and every meal in Jordan and Israel.

We were very fortunate to be able to take some photos of it.

The flatten dough are put into the oven

In the olden days, they use coal / wood but now, its mostly gas

The young Israeli man noticed us taking photos of him and started smiling. My, breadmakers also so good looking ;-) In Thailand or Malaysia, he would be a model.

Sudqi, our local tour guide bought some of the bread for snack time because we were going to have a late lunch. See, I told you he is actually a very nice and thoughtful guy. We devoured the bread because it was hot and delicious!!

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 4 (Part 3): Cruise on Sea of Galilee

I am into Day 4 - Part 3. Its pretty obvious that today is very hectic, as usual. We are probably only half way through the day. There is at least 3 more places to go...

Some Facts about the Sea of Galilee (clipped from here)

As bodies of (fresh) water in the Middle East go, the Sea of Galilee is quite large. It's about 12½ miles (20 kilometers) from north to south, and 7½ miles (12 kilometers) east to west at its widest. The Jordan River effectively flows through the Sea of Galilee, entering in the north and exiting in the south.

The Sea of Galilee is mentioned in The Bible by 3 other names:

1. The Sea of Kinnereth (or Chinnereth), from its harp-like shape.
2. The Sea of Tiberias.
3. The Lake of Gennesareth.

The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side. More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles wide and 7 miles long. At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep. The rabbis said of it, "Although God has created seven seas, yet He has chosen this one as His special delight."

The Sea of Galilee is very calm today. We were promised a cruise on a boat for an hour. We later discovered that the one hour passed on TOO FAST.

We boarded the boat and there was an outgoing group, Malaysians from PJ. What do you know. Such a small world!! I felt at home :-)

We were going to board a similar boat as this

After we boarded the boat, they raised the Malaysian and Singaporean flag. We proceeded to sing our National Anthem, separately. A little embarrassing because it has been years since we sang "Negaraku".

This same man in the above picture is really cute. Let me explain. As I was boarding the boat, he helped me down the steps by holding my left hand while I held my umbrella with the right. Suddenly he tilted his head, squinting and touching his left eye with his fingers and had a pained look on his face whilst staring at the edge of my umbrella. It was obvious that my umbrella had poked his eyes. Then his face cracked a cheeky smile and laughed. "Gotcha!" I couldn't help laughing. I was so tickled by his reaction. He really had a sense of humor. I can never miss an opportunity to have a good laugh.

Singing the National Anthem

We had an opportunity to do a Jewish dance and it was great loads of fun!

We ended the cruise with worship led by Kevin and prayer by Ps Leslie. We also had a quick communion because the 1 hr was up and another group was already waiting.

I personally enjoyed this part of the tour. The calming sea was extremely welcoming to the soul. Imagine, being on the same lake Jesus was at some 2000 years ago. Nature has an amazing way of bringing the presence of God. I know he was there among us that morning.
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Little Boy

Yesterday at Cell Group..... Ethaniel & KC was playing with each other.

Me: My, look at both of them.

KC's Mom: Yeah. Before we came, KC said that she wanted to bring some candy for a friend.... Ethaniel.

Me: Is it? :-D

So sweet.... This little girl is so thoughtful towards my son, her friend.

Ethaniel has a natural magnet which draws people to him. He has a natural aura, charisma and joy which penetrates every part of his being which he can NEVER contain it. He is always smiling, laughing, teasing, joking wherever he goes... whether it be at home or outside, he is always generous with his affection.

No wonder, little girls who simply dislike boys, because boys at 6+ years old can be very rough and annoying. But they simply like Ethaniel. With the innocence of a young child.

I also have another friend who has a very shy daughter. She whispers when talked to... J told me that her daughter does not play with boys. Hmm.... Understandable. They can be annoying. Since we go to the same Women's Fellowship, both Ethaniel and her has been playing together and he is the ONLY boy she plays with.

I can understand why people are drawn to Ethaniel. God has blessed him with a BIG heart which receives EVERYONE irregardless of age, sex, color or status EXCEPT a boy who disturbs and occasionally kicks him at Sunday School :-/

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Day 4 (Part 2): Mount of Beatitude, Galilee

The walk on the Mount of Beatitude was breezy, relaxing, enjoyable and breathtaking. Its very dry at this time of the year. Quite unusual during spring time. The weeds are brown and yellow.

We strolled at the tail end of the group, along with Andy, our tour guide from Singapore... while the rest of the group enjoying a leisurely walk on the mount. As we go along, Sudqi, our local tour guide, will do some explanation. But since we were at the tail of the group, we missed most of the information given. He did love to talk. Which he admitted at the beginning of his introduction of the tour. I just didn't realise how much he LOVED to talk. Honestly, he is a very nice and sweet guy.

The wild flowers along the path. I don't know the name

This flower is called "Blood of Jesus"

This original path dates back to Roman times.... Wow! Antique!

Sudqi trying to make a crown of thorns. This is the original plant used to make the crown of thorns which was placed on the head of Jesus by the Roman soldiers.

This is the plant which can make the crown of thorns. The fruit is edible but doesn't taste good.

View on the Mount of Beatitude

Another view on the Mount of Beatitude

After the walk on the Mount of Beatitude, we walked to the Church of The Primacy of Peter (clipped from here)

The Church of the Primacy of Peter is a modest Franciscan chapel that incorporates part of a 4th-century church. It is located at Tabgha on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee and commemorates Jesus' reinstatement of Peter after a fish breakfast on the shore.

In the Bible

In John 21, Jesus appears to his disciples for the third time after his resurrection on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The night before, Peter and several other disciples had sailed out on the lake to fish, but caught nothing. In the morning, a man appeared on the shore and called out to them to throw their net on the right side of the boat. Doing so, they caught so many fish they couldn't drag the net back into the boat.

At this point Peter recognizes Jesus, and promptly jumps out of the boat to wade to shore to meet him. The other disciples follow in the boat, dragging the net behind them. When they land, Jesus has prepared a charcoal fire for the fish and provided bread, and they have breakfast together (John 21:9). This is believed to have taken place on the mensa Christi, a large rock incorporated in the chapel.

After breakfast, Jesus reinstated Peter (after his three-time denial of Jesus at the crucifixion) with the words "Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-19). This is the event for which the modern church is named, which is interpreted by the Catholic Church to give the Pope (as the successor of Peter) authority over the worldwide Church.

In the Church of the Primacy of Peter

Left photo: The background is a photo of 2 men fishing on a boat. Reminds me of the disciple of Jesus, Peter, a fisherman.
Right photo: Just beside the beachside, there is a waterfall which is suppose to be a hotspring and a cave. I was the only one walking towards the waterfall while the rest of the group staring :-). I enjoyed the walk towards the waterfall. Full of small pebbles. The water was so lovely and refreshing. As soon as I reached the waterfall, we had to leave :-( *sigh*. But I was so happy to be able to dip my feet in and some on my face. Cool!

After this we will be taking a ride on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a lake.

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Day 4 (Part 1): Mount of Beatitudes, Galilee

The Mount of Beatitudes is where Jesus preached the Sermon of the Mount.

Matthew 5

1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

The amazing view of the Mount of Beatitude and Sea of Galilee from the Church

Church of Beatitude

Inside of the Church of Beatitude, a Brazilian group having mass with the Priest presiding

When it was time to go for our walk on the Mount of Beatitude, Sudqi has a game which he plays to count the persons in the group... "London Bridge". How original. Haven't played this for a long long time. Makes me feel young again ;-)

We are going to walk on the Mount of Beatitude which will take about 20 mins.

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