Sunday, February 18, 2018

My view of a balanced Christian Church in Singapore

My view of a balanced Christian Church in Singapore 





With many thousands of churches in Singapore ranging from the traditional to the contemporary, so diverse in style and background, yet each upholding the central focus of worshipping the only One True God, Jesus our Lord, how then does a new Christian find the most balanced Church here?

Each church has both its strength and its weaknesses, so they can appeal to some but are unsuitable to another. By and large, they appear similar to each other but they are subtly distinct with their own individual qualities.


That’s the reason why I write this blog.

As a Christian for many years going through stages, changes and major crossroads of life, I had attended at least 10 churches ever since my youth, to schooling years, to adulthood and then now during my graying years.
The churches varied from Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical and to Anglican. In Boston which I lived for 1 year, some 30 years ago, I attended the Vineyard Fellowship led by the late John Wimber.
However, there had been a period of 10 years plus when I did not attend any Church service, not for the reason of drifting away from my faith but rather due to my inability to attend as a result of many years of prolonged illnesses that impeded me.

Yet during those trying ‘desert’ years, I managed to attend every Friday, a prayer meeting at a Methodist church in Serangoon Gardens for simple fellowship and for God’s divine healing.




Recently, the leader of this prayer meeting himself had personal health issue, being almost 90 of age and the meeting occasionally was suspended. In addition, after more than 7 years, I found myself outgrew their role. So, I took an interim break for a couple of months, wondering where to go next.















One Sunday morning in Sept 2017, I was going home from grocery shopping, walking up the pedestrian ramp opposite my home, suddenly and unexpectedly, I felt the strong desire to attend a church service in a nearby church only 6 bus stops away, which I bore a deep longing to attend since 10 years ago but was unable to.

Quickly, I made some simple adjustments to my usual Sunday schedule and the next Sunday, found me going alone to attend this church service.


After attending this church, namely St John’s-St Margaret’s Church in Dover Avenue for the first time, I have to say that I admire this church tremendously and hold her in high regards.


If I have to give it a ranking on the scale of 1 to 10, I will give it without hesitation: 10 points.
Fantastic!!! This is just the church that I have found to be balanced and sensible, absolutely Bible- centred and certainly down to earth.
Below are the reasons why I find them worthy to be mentioned in this blog:

1. This Church is extremely Bible- based. The preaching of the Bible and its teachings is central to its Church services, a church that has not deviated from the core principles of the main stream Christian faith.

2. This Church is a praying church. Every Sunday, the Church will devote much time in corporate prayers. I also understand that the Vicar himself is a praying pastor.





 3. The folks who attend the church are mainly middle- class and middle- age and this suits me. To me, this is the right assembly, too young, it becomes too juvenile. Too old, everyone falls asleep!



4. Their worship services are mix of traditional hymns with modern contemporary songs. Though I do not know the latest worship songs, they are God-centered, not self-centered, catchy enough and appealing for anyone to pick up promptly.


One thing about the worship service is that there is no rock and roll band with heavy guitar playing whilst the worshippers jumping up and down like kangaroo, as if they are attending a gym class. This makes the church service rowdy and distracting from focusing true worship to God.

But the worship session of SJSM is well controlled, orderly and respectful.

5. They serve Holy Communion twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. In the book of 1 Corinthians Chapter 11, Jesus says to remember His death as often as we can. Hence, twice a month is undeniably better than once a month as practiced by other churches.



6. Their sermons are short and sweet which are all Bible based. They are timed to be just right, about 25 mins. Too long and ha, some will dream off.


7. I like their practice of collecting the weekly tithe and offering with the offering bags brought to the foot of the Cross at the altar and are laid there. To me, this act is very significant and very touching.







8. After attending the church services for more than 4 months, I have never once heard any pastor or anyone asking for money or more fund in spite of their urgent need to raise fund to build a new village comprising of a $80 million nursing home with elder care and childcare for the next 3 years.



9. They do not preach Prosperity Gospel. To me, prosperity Gospel is not the True Gospel. The True Gospel of Jesus is to save, to heal and to restore mankind to God.



Some churches that I had attended would urged the members to give more and yet more, always saying that God would bless with 100 folds return.



Who are we to expect God to bless 100 folds? The Bible mentions about returns of 30, 60 and 100 folds. The amount of blessing lies with God, not the preacher!





Jesus Himself was never wealthy when He was on earth though He could have everything and every wealth on this earth. Yet Jesus chose to live a humble life, focusing on doing His Father’s will.



Nonetheless, I like to mention that blessing and great wealth from God is never wrong, but should never be the focus of our giving.



10.The Church believes in divine healing and the full manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Many times, during worship services, there are words of knowledge, visions and the like. They are to guide, to counsel, to encourage and to bless us along the journey of our lives whatever God gives us individually.



After every service, those who need prayer can proceed to the Altar for ministry time.

It’s surprising to note that some churches, even mega churches are lacking in this area.









Lastly, I like to mention that the points mentioned above are not conclusive as I carry on to attend the services and may discover additional worthy facts.


To me, this is the most balanced Christian Church in Singapore.


To everyone reading this blog, most welcome, happy reading but only positive feedbacks are welcome.





Worthy Mention:

I like to mention that the ministry of the leader of the prayer meeting in the Methodist Church had helped me tremendously. After many healing sessions in the time frame of about 7 years, my health was marginally restored .

Great thanks  from the bottom of my heart to God and to Brother Yan. I will remember what God and what he has done , I will definitely remember with much gratitude forever.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Guide to first time buyers of home properties in Singapore


Guide to first time buyers of home properties in Singapore    




Many people and many younger of the population will find themselves once in their lives be involved to choose a property unit, whether it is for their own use or as a family unit whilst living with their parents.


Hence it is essential for all involved to cultivate the knowledge and experience to choose effectively and choose well.


On the overall, some have selected well and perfectly. Bravo!! Others somewhat have chosen quite correctly in one area but inadequately in another.


Yet many others have inadvertently made bad choices and choose units that they find to their shock and dismay, heaps of unforeseen problems that result from their wrong choices that hurt and harm them and their lifestyle for many years to come.


As a result, I choose to write this blog to offer a free guide to all, having been in the property line for many years.


Having also help many family members and close friends to select properties ranging from bungalows, to condominiums, private apartments to HDB properties, I like to share a few pointers.


Time and again, I find that numerous individuals will make the similar recurring mistake over and again.


Fortunately, for those who take my advice, they have eventually progressed on to resell them at good prices making a handsome profit.


Some are thankful for the advice that they have received and they live peacefully in good and pleasant environment, even to this day.


For those who refuse my advice, sadly and regrettably they suffer for their poor judgements to this date. Too bad, friend…just too bad!


So, anyone choosing to buy the first property in Singapore can follow the next simple guidelines and one can certainly not go wrong.



LOCATION




To begin with, the correct choice of the property is choosing the best location. Location, location, location first, always the top priority to abide.


Location is utmost priority No. 1, for sure, no. 1 ranking in terms of ranking of all priorities!


Choose a property in the location that suits your life, your lifestyle, your career and proximity to your workplace and to your family’s home.


So, let’s say, if you live in the East and are used to activities in the East, so it’s best to choose a site that you are familiar with and that you feel comfortable with, right?



Next look out for available nearby sites of the chosen location for HDB flats, condominiums or private properties.



BUDGET



Choose the type of property according to your budget and affordability. Do not overstretch yourself for in years to come, the property can become a financial burden and in your lifestyle and in your future life. Evaluate and calculate wisely and prudently. Don’t try to catch up with the Joneses, so they say!


Request and enquire further of the mortgage plan from several banks before deciding. If buying a private property, there is higher cash out to be lodged for deposit as according to Singapore Government’s guideline. You can also enquire more from a housing agent.


Remember do not calculate so tightly that you have no spare cash. You must allow yourself ample cash for many unseen future costs, like renovation costs, moving costs, stamp duty and lawyer’s fee. There are many hidden and unseen costs, so be beware!



CHOICE OF HOUSE AGENT





Now, you may want to engage the service of a house agent to help with the purchase. These agents have more contacts and networking to help find the most suitable units for you.


If you are looking for a property in a newly launched condo or property, there are appointed agents who can help you.


Just a word of caution here. The choice of agents is also very important. Get an agent who has done some sales for a friend or a family member. They will protect your interest more. Ask them about the commission that they expect upon successful purchase.


Usually it is 1% to 2% of the sales price for private properties from the seller only. Buyer of private property do not have to pay commission.


For HDB property, it is 1% of the sale price for the buyer and 2 % for the seller.


Bear this in mind: these agents can only help with the right connections to the right properties or desirable unit.


Choosing the right unit is your responsibility as you know what you want and what’s best for you and your lifestyle. Do not let any agent choose the unit that they fancy but not what you fancy!



SITE AND HOUSE VISIT





Upon locating the prospective unit, go for a house and site visit.


Ask yourself these few questions:


1)  Do you like your surroundings? Too near school, too near to the road, too many factories nearby, MRT track in sight, buildings of worship are also important factors for there will be public loitering around your property due to religious activities and their celebration and religious day.

2)  Do you like the appearance of the property? Too modern, too dated, too dirty, even colour of the property is very important to some people because of some belief or personal likes or dislikes.




ORIENTATION 






The orientation of the unit to the East- West sun is noteworthy. Ask for the direction of rising sun and the direction that it sets. Usually try to avoid unit that faces the West or the setting sun as it is hotter in the afternoon. Units that face the West will be hotter.


Choose unit that faces the morning sun. It is good to have sun for morning period as the sun will help brighten the unit and will freshen up any mouldy environment. Unit that gets morning sun will be cleaner and more refreshing.


Always avoid a unit that get both the morning and afternoon, a unit that is not planned along the East West Orientation. Some condo units are not best planned with this golden orientation as they are designed within a small restricted site area, causing some units being unable to be planned to the correct orientation. So, pay extra attention and be careful on this point.



Most HDB flats are planned with the correct East- West Orientation due to the immensity of land area given for urban planning of the whole estate and town. I can safely say that a high percentage of HDB flats are planned correctly to the EW orientation.



NOISE FACTOR




Next: Is the unit too noisy being too close to major road, expressway and even MRT tracks? These are important factors because these contribute major noise throughout the day and even night and it can upset one’s lifestyle, especially if there is an elderly or a baby living with you.



LAYOUT





Next: the layout of the unit is very important. There are many units that are not planned well or planned insufficiently for good interior layout or with much long corridors which are not useable to you.



One terrible layout I consider in present planning of units is the lack of Yard. Many of the modern condo units are designed without a yard, which cause the kitchen to have no opening or window. Hence there is no direct ventilation of the kitchen when cooking one meal but every odour from cooking will have to ventilate through the living area to the outside space.


Due to non-provision of yard area, the washer/dryer is located along the lower kitchen cabinet. Hence one has synchronised their cooking and washing to be at different time.


I have seen such unit with non- provision of yard area in which the owner has no choice but to dry their clothes in the balcony beside the living room. I find this arrangement to be unacceptable and ridiculous as some such units cost a 7 digit dollars property (more than a million dollars) and yet the owner must live with their laundry in their exclusive balcony area which is meant for relaxing and entertaining!!






ADDITIONAL FACTOR



Also, items like location of the playground area and BBQ area are important factors for the choice of the unit. These are public areas that create noise and unwanted smell. Decide if they can be acceptable to you and your family.



If buying a resale unit, you may have to consider the renovation costs. But if the unit is brand new, most of the built-in cabinets in the kitchen and bedrooms will be included in the sale price. Even new condo will provide fridge, washing machine on top of the usual oven hob and cooker with the kitchen cabinets.



BUILDING SPECIFICATIONS



Lastly, read the building specification carefully before signing the dot.




CHOOSE AFTER FEW SITE VISITS






One last word of advice: if you like the unit very much, do not commit immediately. Visit the chosen unit at different times of the day and night including viewing them at weekends to observe the surrounding environment and ambience to further help with the decision.



Best success to your house hunting!
















Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew





The biggest salute I can give to the greatest leader who visions this tiny nation to its present day.

Without your courage and leadership, I cannot be who I am today.

THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

You are always on my mind. ALWAYS AND FOREVER.


..............................................................

What can I say but pen these word? Today as he lies in ICU at SGH, he alone deserves this mementos. Yes, it’s truly from the bottom of my heart. I have to pen it before I have to weep, to weep for a man so great and so different whose life creates so much for me and all of my loved ones in this land.

These are some words for me to remember by and must be on record for all who share my thoughts. It’s on record for me to reminisce to the end of my life yet also for those who may not live through the early years of lack, times of suffering and of hopelessness.

Short that this blog may be, but surely it will touch many true Singaporean’s heart like yours and mine.





He and his many strange policies have been a part of my life from the age of 9. No one including me ever expect that though with unwilling submission and sometime even with unforgettable oversights, we as a nation be capable to evolve to this significance and height, from an era of a peaceful unknown little isle to a homeland that no one can snub. No one can expect this tiny nation to become so impressive and so unique. Yes, isn’t it so?

Yes, we are all uniquely Singapore, uniquely Singaporean as a nation, uniquely Singaporean in our little humble ways, in our diverse racial beginnings, uniquely in our history of unsought separation, uniquely now Singaporean and ours in every way.


So, this brief blog is my heartfelt sincere honor for our nation's founder who has steered this nation through ups and downs, who brings much extremes to both young and old, who produces much revered outcomes for all, who foresees like a seasoned prophet excellent visions of the looming changes of time, who undeniably makes this nation so prominent and so undoubtedly a first-class ideal that nations with superpower rank have found us hard to forget.

So thank you, thank you, thank you so much, MM Lee Kuan Yew. You are always on my mind, ALWAYS AND FOREVER .


By a grateful Singaporean and fan forever.... Ms YH Tan











Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Be sure to try this Cancer Plant


Be sure to try this Cancer Plant   


To all cancer patients and everyone who want to prevent it, there are unquestionably further organic remedies and natural therapies than known by the medical world of the modern day.


Often and day by day, we stumble upon accounts and true stories of courageous people when endeavoring out natural remedies for their illnesses and of their success stories of these survivors who had trodden the unknown path.

When someone unfortunately contracts this undesirable sickness, no one should let go of any iota of chance of attempting unproven method in the eyes of the medical world but these can be major breakthroughs that bring a turning point of their lives for those who dare to try and to have a go at it. Well, as the saying: no one really knows!

Yes, I am talking about a known natural cure known to some simple local folks of the yesteryears but scorn by the highly educated and medical science of the modern world.

Right, one of my friends has discovered an orthodox but easy cure for cancer. This is not my personal experience and I have not tried them as I do not have cancer at all.

But as I have to repeat this again, everyone who is desperate for the breakthrough cure for cancer should not let this pass. Have a go at it!! Have a go at it, you never know!!!

Recently, a friend whom I knew from the past contacted me out of the blue. After relating her update on her life, she encouraged me to speak to her husband who was about 10 years older than her.

In the last few months, he had discovered by sheer accident that he had terminal cancer. No pain, no symptoms, no whatsoever, he had simply carried his life without a hitch until recently. He lived his life as normal and could eat and sleep normally.

Because of a sports injury, he went to carry out a MRI on his spine.

The MRI had brought a dismal but unexpected turning point in his life. He was told by the results of the MRI findings that there were many lumps in his human organs. More medical tests and further consultations later, the doctors concluded that he had terminal prostate cancer.


At home, he thought about his recent event developing in his life. Out of the blue which I believed, by God's guidance, he received an inspiration about a local plant that he had faithfully grown and taken care of for many years.

He had prior knowledge that this plant was known to help cancer patients for years but he had never expect to consume them. This plant that he took care of innocently for umpteen years turned out to be the most rewarding and most important personal effort for him.

So he decided to give it a try and take the risk. He started to consume the leaves of the plant in its raw form every day, about 10 to 15 leaves each time.

After 3 months of this simple treatment, he proceeded for his check up and blood test. To the utter and complete surprise of the doctor and to my friend, the cancer marker fell 99% to almost zero.

Let me now elaborate on this plant, two of its species are found and grown locally here in Singapore and Malaysia.

These species available in Singapore and the neighboring countries are called "Pereskia Bleo", the one with the orange flower or “ pereskia grandifolia”, the one with the purple flowers.



It's a bushy shrub or small tree that can grow to a high height of 2 to 8 metres in the open fields. The purple flower species is known as "pereskia grandifolia" has longer but lesser thorn on its stem with thicker uncorrugated leaves. The orange flower species is called “pereskia Bleo” has shorter thorns with thinner and corrugated leaves.

Both species belong to the botanical family of cactaceae . It is a leafy cactus, native to the forests of Central America that can grow to a woody, prickly high shrub with large attractive flowers that resembles orange blossom.

They have been used by the natives of Central America for the treatments of many minor ailments. The locals in Singapore and Malaysia called them “Jarum Tujuh Bilah “

Because of the thorns on their stems, they should therefore be grown in places where it will not hurt children or elderly. It needs plenty of sunlight and normal watering every day. However do not add any fertisilser to the plant, let it grow naturally with just strong sunlight and plenty of clean water.

Both pereskia  bleo and pereskia grandifolia have been used as natural remedies for cancer related diseases, either eaten raw or taken as a concoction brewed from the leaves of the plants. They are believed to be anti-cancer, anti- tumor, anti- rheumatic, anti- ulcer and anti- inflammatory properties.

They are also used as remedies for relief of headaches, gastric pain, ulcers, hemorrhoids, dermatitis and for revitalizing the body.

In addition, they have been used as a water purifier, insect repellant, hypertension, diabetes, stomach and gastric pain.

Some of their Common names are: Chinese Rose, Wax Rose, Spinach Cactus, Desert Rose and Rose Cactus.

Please read other related articles on the toxicity of the plants before consuming the right amount each day.

Ref:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881650/

Because of this incident, I have purchased two pots of plants from a nursery in Sembawang Road for only S$5 per plant. Now I take good care of it every day and tell everyone of what I have discovered so that many more can be enlightened to spread the discovery to help many more.



As for me, I will boil the leaves of this plant, about 5 to 10 leaves. After consuming it, I drink a cup of warm green tea.

That’s all I have to share. I hope that this can bring someone a turning point to his or her health to those who choose to walk the unknown path that may be a breakthrough to their health and to their illnesses.





Additional info

In early 2018, I stumbled upon 2 huge Pereskia Bleo plants at Blk 11, Holland Drive. They are both fully and well grown, mature and ready for consumption. The photos are shown below: