Sunday, April 15, 2018


My 59th birthday just passed a couple of days ago. Looking towards one more year before I officially qualify as a Senior Citizen. Hopefully, I will still be able to jog, see and live healthily.

So, what has happened to me for the past one year?
Work has taken a great deal of toil on me. As I get older, doing those microscopic stuff has strained my eyes greatly for the past few years. My blood pressure has shot up quite a bit. And I have been thinking of it lately what has caused this. I have kept a strict regime on food – no salt, sugar; less meat; more vegetables and food; sleep early @9:45pm; exercise regularly with weight, skipping and jogging. And yet nothing has improved. The only reason is due to stress in work and a high strain on my eye which I grow tired after looking at the electronic board for a while with my naked eyes.

And so, I am thinking of retiring …

First, I need to be financially sound. In the past, I don’t have a good saving habit. I tend to give away to charities, mission organizations, etc. and believing that I can trust God for my needs in the future. I gave more than I save. But, now… I still have expenses to fulfil. So, without much saving, I still cannot retire. For the past 3 years, I started to learn about investing. This makes me to be more diligent in my saving (and reduce my giving). I wish I have realize this and save earlier. Hopefully, I should be ready to retire in 1 to 2 years times.
Be thankful and grateful.

The children are doing well. Thank God that HE has blessed them and things are going well for them.

Hopefully, I will write more regular in future.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Joining another new Spiritual Family

About 2 months back, we attended a briefing at RiverLife church for new membership. I guess, it is about time for me to think seriously where I should have a more permanent home rather than just be a worshipper. It has been almost 7 years when I came to RIverLife Church, which is less than 2km from my house. There are strong and weak points in this church, as with all churches for we are not perfect.

The strong emphasis of RiverLife Church of being a missional church is perhaps what makes it a vibrant and growing church. Throughout the year, there are many mission trips to various part of Asia, each with different objectives, be it training of church leaders, medical helps, evangelism, youth outreach & ministries, or even training Children ministries. These mission trips are also inter-generations. It was the 2015 mission trip to Saragani in the Philippines that help me to better understand how RiverLife Church operates their mission events. Also, by participating in this mission trip, I got to know more people and hence it is about time to seriously consider being part of the new family.

  Evangelism is quite common and there is nothing about  “fear” as we always heard it being mentioned in the previous church whenever we talked about evangelism. As such, the church is a growing church. New members and baptism classes are conducted regularly, about 3 times a year. However, for some reasons which is not mention, the recent worship attendance showed that there is a drop in worshipper. Guess, RiverLife Church may be strong in opening their “front door”, the “back door” is also quite wide! I think they may not have realized this yet and there is no mentioning of how to retain membership.

This year, I joined the Word ministry as a facilitator / Bible study leader in the PRECEPT ministry. The leader of my study group approached me and invited me to be a facilitator.  It is in this ministry where we get participant to do Inductive Bible Study. So, I think I have finally found what I have always wanted to do – to study the Word of God – in RiverLife Church.  Without the proper studying of the Word, there is really no Spiritual food in RiverLife to feed the flock. Sunday sermons are usually more like public speaking speeches, and picking verses from the Bibles to substantiate what the preachers want to say. For me, it is not really a sermon but rather a pep talk. Some speakers share their stories, others try to make it look like a sermons but it is just sharing of their devotional thoughts, like our own “Quiet Time” every morning. So, for the undiscerning, the speakers seem “anointing”, a word that we commonly hear in RiverLife. In any case, I don’t really rely on the Sunday Sermons to grow in the Lord. I do have my own Study-the-Bible plan, even before I came to RiverLife church.  Now that I am in the Precept Ministry, it is more in-line with my plan of growing in the Word.

 Hopefully, with a new cell group which I joined in 2016 and now being in a bigger family, may Heb 10:24,25 be living in my life:

 “And let us consider how to stir up one another in love and good works. No neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day drawing near”


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Reflection on being a Bible Study Facilitator

It caught me by surprise when the precept 40 minutes Bible Studies ended last Tuesday, 30 May 2017. The class participants gave me a Thank You card and a gift box. There were many words of encouragement and appreciation for the six weeks spent with them. The skill that I imparted on how to study Bible Epistles paid off, I hope. The material: “How Do You Walk The Walk You Talk?” is based on the Epistle of Ephesians. I thank the LORD that He answered my prayer; as I prayed for the attendees daily that they may grow to know the Word of God and increase in knowledge, hunger spiritually and put into practice what they learn from the class lessons and discussions.

This is my first class as facilitator for a Bible Study group in River Life Church, so there is no knowledge of whether I am doing the right thing. There was no proper training for leading a Bible Study discussion. I signed up for the Bible Study leading course from Singapore Precept Ministry but they have not enough students to conduct a class. Before I became a facilitator for this class, I was attached to a mentor for the previous class in February-March. But I felt that the way he conducted the class was to show how much knowledge and experience he had, rather than helping the students to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God. I wouldn’t want to follow his style in leading a Bible Study group. Also, the way he mentored me seemed a bit domineering, acting as if he is an “expert”. It is good to teach me humility and submissive to his style and ways during that period. I can imagine how much the class “benefited” from him. And so, I was contemplating to lead the class differently.

Then, a week before the class started, I happened to stumble into the mentor in the church. He remarked that the Studies on “How Do You Walk The Walk You Talk?” as very “straight forward”.  He implied that the Bible Study is simple and has no in-depth material. After that, I was more determined to do some teaching on his Bible Study, giving the class some added knowledge on how to study the Epistle, rather than just do some marking and discussions.

During my first week, I taught them how to read the epistle just like the original readers of the letter, detecting the tone, feelings of the writer; looking for contrast and similarities; identifying key words and key verses; using questions by making use of the 5W and 1H. And the end of the observations, students should be able to write of lists of observations in tabulated forms. I spent the first 3 lessons teaching and demonstrating how this was done. I even gave them my work done, teaching by examples and step by step demonstration. During the course, I received some feedback that they like the method. I was definitely new to most of them. During the second class, my ministry leader came to sit in my class and observe how I led the class. I was as bit nervous to be under scrutinised. At the end of the class, she remarked that I should not teach but facilitate. So, I knew that I may have done something wrong. Should I carry on with my method or just obey and follow what others facilitators are doing? In the end, I decided to follow her instruction and do discussion during the class with some teaching through email to the class for the fourth and fifth lessons. In the final lesson, I did a mixture of both teaching and discussion, helping them to make a clear and simple listing from the Bible passage. I ended the class with a Summary Chart to capture the 6 lessons. Again, the ministry leader came to my class. I was wondering why she did not even attend the other class facilitated by another new leader, just like me. Very likely, she is checking on me. Why just me? And not both of us? She may have her reason that is not for me to questions. At the end of the class, the Thank You card is the best reward that shows that I am doing the right thing.

Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

My peace was shaken in a Car Accident

My stationary car was hit at the back by a car during a traffic jam this morning. The bang was loud and the driver sped off without stopping. After hearing the noise, I came out to see the damage. There were many scratches and some paint peeling off. I think there are no dents as I have no time to check. The whole road was jammed pack. The other car is a golden colour as his car paint stick to my car.

I was very sad. Many thoughts went through my mind at that moment. Why must this happen to me? How much inconvenience and money will it cause me? Beside, this is a new car. It is so unfair, I didn’t do anything wrong. That guy is so irresponsible. He should have stopped and be accountable!
The feeling was horrible. My emotion was disturbed and tested.

Last night, I tried to fix a clogged sink in my house’s toilet. But it got worst and the drainage connector from the sink to the outlet broke. I was fuming as I told my wife to call the plumber. I am losing money. And today, another bad accident happened 
Is heaven playing trick on me?

It was then I remembered this is the period of Lent and we are supposed to be meditative, pondering on the Gospel of John. Yes, John 14:27 Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let them be afraid

Yes, my peace was shaken, because of earthly possession – my car. This is just a temporal thing. The car can still be driven without problem. It is only a cosmetic issue.

“Whatever it is, LORD fills me with your peace. Remove anger and sadness from me. Thank you, LORD.”

As the peace of GOD continue to pour on me. I pray that I will be more careful and not to create any accident by driving recklessly. I can imagine what I will do if I hit somebody today instead of being hit by other. Bearing a clear conscience, I will stop and offer compensation, and will lose probably about $300. I rather put this $300 into the offering bag than to use it to pay for my careless mistake.

I think I will leave the damage to serve as a remembrance for the next 9 years!!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Getting Back to the WORD Ministry!

The Bible study guide book

It has been a gruesome 6 weeks of involving in facilitating the studies of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is my first term and I am sort off understudying a trainer to be a facilitator. I was given 2 sessions to facilitate and it has been good to learn new things and new approaches to study the Bible.

It all started about 3 years back when I was praying about God’s calling and how I can be more effective in God’s Kingdom. Sometime in 2016, I shared this to my cell group about this and was thinking about going to a Christian welfare organization to serve as a volunteer. Then a few months later, during the LIVING THE GOSPEL seminar, where we were told to learn to hear GOD and speak out what GOD had said to us about some members in the group; the overseer of my cell who was in my group at that seminar “prophesied”, telling me to go and serve in the ministry that I have intended. At that time, I thought it was GOD’s confirmation and as I was making up my mind to visit the Christian welfare organization, I felt a strong rebuke from the Holy Spirit to not to be allay by “seemingly prophecy”. It was then that I recalled that the overseer was present in the cell meeting when I talked about my intention to be a volunteer. “Be Patience!” I felt God’s prompting and assurance that He will show me the direction.

Also, in the beginning of 2016, Riverlife Church began to see the importance of teaching the church to grow in the WORD of GOD. I thought this is very important as previously, their emphases are on Mission/ Evangelism and Spiritual Gifts. And so, I was regular in their Bible Study for the whole year and at the end of December 2016, my leader sent me an email asking me to be a facilitator for the year 2017. As I read his email, I immediately wanted to turn him down as I felt that I was not ready to get involved. Then the Holy Spirit’s prompting was so strong and revealing that the WORD ministry is the area that I should get back into. After all, I have always love to read and study the WORD of GOD, and I could do it daily and spent a lot of time, yet still feel the joy of it.

We have finally completed the 6 weeks class last Tuesday. 
Receiving the certificate of facilitating 

And so I am back to reading and studying the Bible daily! For the past 3 days, I was studying on the Epistle of Ephesians. If only we Christians understand the rich blessings from God in the heavenly place when we are IN CHRIST (Chapter 1), then we need no longer crave for the worldly pleasures and sins that the world offer and tempt us!! Like Paul’s prayer for the saint of Ephesus, we need to know God, know HIS Calling, His riches and His power.

I am beginning to love this Epistle … let’s discover more spiritual from the WORD of GOD!

Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”


Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Stock Market Investing Journey

When it comes to managing money, my philosophy is always to give as much as you can afford to those in needs. Firstly, give to the church and Christian organizations. Secondly, to charitable organizations that provide medical cares and those that helps the poor. Thirdly, I will render support financially to any of my relatives. This is my way of laying up treasure in heaven. (Matt 6:19,21). As such, I don’t really have a lot of savings, never more than $50k as emergency fund. But I am not concern about “rainy days” or having lay-off from my job as I believe God, Jehovah Jireh is my provider when I am really down in need.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

But as I get older and near to retirement age, I realize that soon I will be out of job and out of money. $50k can probably last less than 2 years with frugal expenditure. Facing with this reality, I need to think of what happen when this day come in a few short years. Then in 2014, Pastor John Koe came to preach in Riverlife Church. He talked about how God helped him to invest in the stock market. This was the first time that I heard about preacher talking about stock investing. To me stock investing is equivalent to gambling. Yet, here is a pastor who is still investing in stock. This became the turning point – perhaps the stock market is the place to provide another income after retirement. And so the journey to understand and learn about what stock investing is all about begun in December 2014:

Stage 1: Stock market = Casino

The stock market is a risky place. That is what I used to believe. You just put money in and hope the price will go up. It all sound so random and luck. So, it is best to be avoided. But as I started to read more about trading and investing in the stock market, I find that there are actually technical analysis that help you to know how the market moves. Being an engineer and having acquired a technical and analytical mindset, the casino imagery of the stock market began to dissipate and risk can be managed through careful analysis and understanding of stock price action. I am still learning …

Stage 2: Stock market = dividend money tree

I also started read about how other people invest their money. One of the common ways is through dividend. You buy a company and the company give you money yearly, half-yearly or quarterly. Hopefully, the dividend continues every year and even grows bigger.

2 very inspiring investors using dividend method as passive income are:

Lady you can be free:
A Singaporean stock investor:

You will be amazed how much their dividend is every year. And they are just in mid forties. I encourage you to learn from them if you want financial freedom.

And so, I started to buy blue-chip stock. Sure enough I began to get dividends and got excited. But when the dividend comes, the stock prices of the companies dropped and continue to drop with no upside. I started in early 2015, when the Singapore stock index is the highest, close to 3200. It reaches the highest at about 3500 in April-May 2015.  And so, growing a dividend money tree is good only when the Stock index and stock prices is near the bottom. Or else, you have to continue to manage it when you buy at the peak prices like I did. After suffering some losses, I need to think what I should do. What should I do when the price drop?  Through common sense reasoning, I should sell my shares. And when it stabilized at the low, I bought it back. This way, I still have my stock and made money due to the sell-buy price. After trying it out a few times, it seems a good strategy for falling stock prices that I hold. That forces, me to learn more about stock trading rather than stock investing. And so, putting the paper losses aside, my journey to stage 3 began in end 2015.

Stage 3: Stock market = treasure field or minefield

My initial experience of stock trading is like finding treasure, looking for stock that look good and will be moving up soon. Occasionally, the technical analysis shows that it is moving up and so I found treasures. Sometime though, the price move against me and it is like stepping on a minefield. Making losses always hurt and create fear to continue in the stock market. Thankfully, my gain is always greater than my losses and God has been good in my learning journey so far. But I believe the stock market is not about finding treasure and avoiding minefield. There has to be a more systematic approach of entry and exit from the stock. And so my journey of learning continues to stage 4 in mid-2016.

Stage 4: Stock market = oceans with varieties of fishes

Actually, the stock market is an ocean with many types of fishes and sea creature. These are the different types of stocks – companies, REIT, ETFs and the common one that I familiar. The rest, I am still no interested. Just like catching fishes, there are many ways to trade the stock market. At this moment, I am still using a “line and hook” to trade with tiny bait, so to speak. I need to build confidence. Some stocks are easy to catch. Their up and down are so easy to see. Even if you made mistake, just wait for it to correct itself and move up again, so long as you never buy at the 52 week price, which I always avoid, having learn the mistake from 2015 when I first started. In fishing in the stock market, I need to control my emotions and follow closely to the technical chart. Sometime, my emotion got me excited when the price is falling I quickly throw my line and hook to buy. That is when I caught a “falling knife” and got losses. These are the time where I made losses. Otherwise, I am pretty OK. My trades are still very very small because of the lack of confidence. Also, my target is to exit those lose stock made in 2015 which I am still holding. So it became a stumbling block to move forward.

Be Financially Free

I wish I had learnt all these in my younger days. All it takes is actually 20 years to be financially free. Think about it, if you start working at the age of 25, earning $2.5k a month, you can actually retire at the age of 45 – 50. For the first 5 years, one should save about 20 to 25% of his salary. He should also learn all he can about stock investment and trading. After 5 years, with the knowledge and saving, he can then start to do some investment when the stock cycle is conducive to go in. Youth has the advantage of time.

There are 2 resources God has given to all of us, if you are born healthy. They are time, and your life. Firstly, always keep yourself healthy – eat well, exercise, sleep and rest. Next use your time to grow in wisdom - learn, experiment, increase knowledge and skills. Once, you have the knowledge and skills in almost anything that you set your goal in, you can then launch out to achieve it with your healthy life.

And with that I leave you a good verse from the Bible to chew on it:

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Eph 5: 15,16)


Friday, January 6, 2017

Devotion Reflection – Is growing old equal weakness? (1 King 1:1-4)

It’s quite a long time I share devotion reflection. So this is one for the new year.

Bible Passage:
When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”

Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her

A giant killer, David the Goliath slayer now at 70 years old is weak and impotence, the exact opposite of the warrior David and women seeker in his younger days that we know him as. Is old age a problem? Is his sin of murder and adultery still weaken him spiritually? Is the family fighting and brokenness taken toil on him physically? Yes, it is a combination of all these. Here lie the great lesson, be like Caleb and Moses, the older they get, the stronger and more spiritual they are!

The palace court wanted to test David vitality. And so, offer him a virgin of immense beauty. Yet, David could not perform. What a let down. Only the men will understand this passage. Only the generals and court official will know what to do next. [that will be the next devotion reflection as we read the subsequent verses in 1 Kings 1]

Old does not mean weaker …

These days, I seem to pay more attention to old people around me. Seeing the way they walk and do things, I am now more conscious of myself. Hitting 58 years old soon, my new year resolution is “Be stronger than last year!”. And so, on Boxing Day, 26 Dec 2016, I finally decided to buy some weights and training equipment: (1) a 10kg adjustable dumbbell; (2) a skipping rope and (3) a rubber band.

Vigorous Exercises

For many years now, I am still with hypertension. My blood pressure is 150/89. Jogging and marathons has never helped. More vigorous exercises are needed, I presume. Right on the first day of New Year, my training starts. I discovered that skipping is the best form of exercise. I started with skipping 60 times, then 80 times , 100 times and recently, 100 times twice with a short rest at interval. Just after skipping a few days, the tight strain on my chest has disappeared. I no longer feel giddy and tired during the days. Good to do skipping rather than jogging.

Healthy Drinking / eating

I started to drink Green Tea again.  I use to see a lot of bubble on my urine. This happened frequently for a long time. It could be a sign of kidney problem. I suspect that this is due to the nuts and oat meal that I ate often. Its kind of protein related issue. After drinking Green Tea for the whole day, I find that there is no more bubble in the urine. Since then, I have been drinking Green Tea and see no more bubble on my urine. To prove that the bubble is caused by the urine, I took a lot of almonds for a day. Then, I saw quite a big amount of bubble on my urine again. So, I need to control the intake of protein related food. [wrong assumption to think that protein is good for the body, but can actually create other problem].

Age is no reason to be weak.

We should be like Caleb, who said:

10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. (Joshua 14:10-11)

 I am still learning to live healthily and “Be stronger than last year!”