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Subway in Tokyo

Date: 1/2006.101

DCFC YOC - Bible Study Training - Jan 2006

10 February 2008 DCFC English - Mark 5 21-43 ~ White Water Faith

In Tokyo and wanted to take the subway and see what the rush hour was like. Mistake!

People in uniform and white gloves. Oh! I have seen this on TV. It always looks so funny when the TV shows these people pushing the commuters into the train carriage. They push with one hand, two hands, with their backs and all sorts of ways. No matter what, by the time the train alarm for door closing goes off, they always somehow manage to fit all the people in. Then the camera would show those people in the train all crushed up, against the door, against the window - like a tin of sardines - it was really funny.

Now, here I was with my pretty wife and a busy Monday morning at 9.00 am. Somehow, it didn’t strike me that I would be one of those people whose face gets pressed up against the window. I thought I could out maneuver them. We got ourselves in a good position and when the train came, we managed to get in early. There were no sits, but we managed to settle ourselves into a comfortable corner near the other door. Mistake No. 2. Suddenly, more and more people came in and the carriage was so crowded that there was not enough standing space, yet more people came. And yet more were standing outside. I was thinking "Hey, no more space! Don't come in anymore!" Then the officers in white gloves began to do their jobs and they pushed and they pushed. Amazingly, all those people standing outside managed to get in. It was as if they were prepared for this. They just stood they like spineless leaf stalks. When those officers pushed, they just went along! I was no longer comfortable and found my back crushed against a man who was pressed against the door! And in front of me, there were 3 ladies, one right in my face, the other two on my left and right, pressing against me. I never felt so violated before.

It was terrible and I wished somehow I could get out of this, but I could not move.

Once my wife and I were in Tokyo and we wanted to try the famous rush hour squeeze. You see, we have seen the rush hour scene on the trains in many Japanese movies and wanted to experience for ourselves what it is like. During rush hour, there are so many people that the trains would be packed till the passengers are unable to board the trains. Then officers wearing white gloves would come along and push those outside the train in. Amazingly they manage to squeeze at least another 50% in. I thought it looked quite funny so we decided to try it out. We went at about 8.30 that day and there were truly a lot of people. But being a typical Singaporean, I thought, I cannot lose out to these Japanese. So skillfully, we maneuvered to the front just as the train was pulling in. When the doors opened, we rushed in but to my dismay, we were just a little too slow to find a seat. So I found a comfortable spot by one of the train metallic support and stood there. I was going to stand my ground and survive Tokyo rush hour. People started to pile in and eventually I was backed into the metal support. The train was already full, at least by my definition, but there were still many people outside. Then like in the movies, those white gloves officers came along. Everyone was ready for them except me. They just stood like flaccid leaves and with one pushed more people than I could imagine fit into the train. Almost everybody got in. I was squashed by three petite Japanese ladies up in my face, to the left and to the right. There was absolutely no concept of private space and I could identify what each lady ate for breakfast by their smell of their breath. The only part of my body I could move without being accused of molestation was my toes.

Pressures of life.



Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.

Most talents are, to some extent, a gift.

Good character, by contrast, is not given to us.

We have to build it piece by piece—

By thought, choice, courage and determination.

John Luther



Date: 4/2009.101

What so amazing about grace? Philip Yancey P120
I have a friend whose marriage has gone through tumultuous times. One night George passed a breaking point. He pounded the table and the floor. "I hate you!" he screamed at his wife. "I won't take it anymore! I've had enough! I won't go on! I won't let it happen! no! no! no!" Several months later my friend woke up in the middle of the night and heard strange sounds coming from the room where his two year old son slept. He padded down the hall, stood for a moment outside his son's door and shivers ran through his flesh. he could not draw a breath. In a soft voice, the two year old was repeating word for word with precise inflection the argument between his mother and father. "I hate you... I won't take it anymore... No! no! no!"

Compassion – Joke

Date: 9/2007.101

Humor for Preaching & Teaching From Leadership Journal & Christian Reader P43

The instructor from a dog training workshop in Salt Lake City noted that a dog's disposition can be tested by the owner. If the owner will fall down and pretend to be hurt, a dog with a bad temper will tend to bite him. But a good dog will show concern and may lick the fallen owner's face. Susan Matice attended the class and then decided to test her two dogs. While eating pizza in her living room, she stood up, clutched her heart, screamed and fell to the floor. Her dogs looked at her, looked at each other and then raced to the coffee table for her pizza.

Do we evaluate our children/parents like that?

Joke - Babies & Prayers

Date: 3/2007.101

A minister friend of mine asked one of the youngsters in his primary department if they ever prayed in their home.

"Oh, yes," the child replied. "Every night. When Mommy puts me down to sleep she goes out of my room and when she has closed the door I hear her say,

"Thank God she's in bed!"


How often do we pray? Is this the only time?

Or noisy children?


Prayers of fathers

Date: 3/2009.101

14 Feb 2010 DCFC English Worship - [Building a Community in Christ] Eph 1:15-23 What should I pray about?
Christian fathers need to pray for their children. When we pray for our children, we are asking God to help, guide and protect beyond our abilities to do so. All human fathers have limits. But, our Heavenly Father is not limited by any means! And when we pray to our Heavenly Father for wisdom and guidance, we are praying for the interaction the hands of our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer who is all knowing (omniscient), everywhere (omnipresent), and all-powerful (omnipotent). Only our Heavenly Father has these unlimited capacities! Therefore, when we pray to God our Heavenly Father, we are praying that He will help us. We are praying that He will help us in our helplessness and give us hope in our uncertainties in all that we do as we seek to do our part in training our children up in the ways that they are to go and grow (Proverbs 22:6). While I was working on this sermon, I looked up a prayer of General Douglas MacArthur. Listen to the wisdom and the insight of his prayer that I am going to read to you. The General's Prayer: by General Douglas MacArththur "Build me a son, oh Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. "Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee, and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. "Here let him learn to stand up to the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. "And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. "Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, `I have not lived in vain.



I see children as kites. You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you're both breathless...they crash...you add a longer tail. You patch and comfort, adjust and teach—and assure them that someday they will fly.
Finally they are airborne, but they need more string, and you keep letting it out...You know it wont be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that bound you together and soar—free and alone. Only then do you know you did your job.
Erma Bombeck

from Forever Erma


Our Girl

Max Lucado

from Six Hours One Friday

Jenna! Wake up. It’s time to go to school!”

She will hear those words a thousand times in her life. But she heard them for the first time this morning. I sat on the edge of her bed for a while before I said them to her. To tell the truth, I didn't want to say them. I didn't want to wake her. A queer hesitancy hung over me as I sat in the early morning blackness. As I sat in silence, I realized that my words would awaken her to a new world.

For four lightning-fast years she'd been ours, and ours alone. And now that was all going to change. We put her to bed last night as "our girl"—exclusive property of Mommy and Daddy. Mommy and Daddy read to her, taught her, listened to her. But beginning today, someone else would, too.
Until today, it was Mommy and Daddy who wiped away the tears and put on the Band-Aids. But beginning today, someone else would, too. I didn't want to wake her. Until today, her life was essentially us—Mom, Dad, and baby sister Andrea. Today that life would grow—new friends, a teacher. Her world was this house—her room, her toys, her

swing set. Today her world would expand. She would enter the winding halls of education—painting, reading, calculating...becoming.

I didn't want to wake her. Not because of the school. It's a fine one. Not because I don't want her to learn. Heaven knows I want her to grow, to read, to mature. Not because she doesn'twant to go. School has been all she could talk about for the last week!
No, I didn't want to wake her up because I didn't want to give her up. But I woke her anyway. I interrupted her childhood with the inevitable proclamation, "Jenna, wake up—it's time to go to school."
It took me forever to get dressed. Denalyn saw me moping around and heard me humming, "Sunrise, Sunset" and said, "You'll never make it through her wedding." She's right. We took her to school in two cars so that I could go directly to work. I asked Jenna to ride with me. I thought I should give her a bit of fatherly assurance. As it turned out, I was the one needing assurance.
For one dedicated to the craft of words, I found very few to share with her. I told her to enjoy herself. I told her to obey her teacher. I told her, "If you get lonely or afraid, tell your teacher to call me and I'll come and get you." "Okay," she smiled. Then she asked if she could listen to a tape with kids' music.
"Okay," I said.
So while she sang songs, I swallowed lumps. I watched her as she sang. She looked big. Her little neck stretched as high as it could to look over the dash. Her eyes were hungry and bright. Her hands were folded in her lap. Her feet, wearing brand new turquoise and pink tennis shoes, barely extended over the seat....
Sunrise, sunset; sunrise, sunset;

Swiftly fly the days.]

"Denalyn was right," I mumbled to myself. "I'll never make it through the wedding."

What is she thinking? I wondered. Does she know how tall this ladder of education is that she will begin climbing this morning? No, she didn't. But I did. How many chalkboards will those eyes see? How many books will those hands hold? How many teachers will those feet follow and—gulp—imitate? Were it within my power, I would have, at that very instant, assembled all the hundreds of teachers, instructors, coaches, and tutors that she would have over the next eighteen years and announced, "This is no normal student. This is my child. Be careful with her!"

As I parked and turned off the engine, my big girl became small again. But it was a voice of a very little girl that broke the silence. "Daddy, I don't want to get out."
I looked at her. The eyes that had been bright were now fearful. The lips that had been singing were now trembling. I fought a Herculean urge to grant her request. Everything

within me wanted to say, "Okay, let's forget it and get out of here." For a brief, eternal moment I considered kidnapping my own daughters, grabbing my wife, and escaping these horrid paws of progress to live forever in the Himalayas. But I knew better. I knew it was time. I knew it was right. And I knew she would be fine. But I never knew it would be so hard to say, "Honey, you'll be all right. Come on, I'll carry you.”

And she was all right. One step into the classroom and the cat of curiosity pounced on her. And I walked away. I gave her up. Not much. And not as much as I will have to in the future. But I gave her up as much as I could today.
[Tags: school]

A Great Cup of Tea

James Dobson

from Home with a Heart

I heard a story about a mother who was sick in bed with the flu. Her darling daughter wanted so much to be a good nurse. She fluffed the pillows and brought a magazine for

her mother to read. And then she even showed up with a surprise cup of tea.

"Why, you're such a sweetheart," the mother said as she drank the tea. "I didn't know you even knew how to make tea." “Oh, yes," the little girl replied. "I learned by watching you. I put the tea leaves in the pan and then I put in the water, and I boiled it, and then I strained it into a cup. But I couldn't find a strainer, so I used the flyswatter instead."

"You what?" the mother screamed.

And the little girl said, "Oh, don't worry, Mom, I didn't

use the new flyswatter. I used the old one."

[Tags: joke]


I'm Daddy's Girl

Becky Freeman

from Marriage 911

One evening not long ago, my husband stayed home with the children while I went to the grocery store. Shopping for a family of six when four of them are males takes a while, so it was late when I got home When I walked back into the house, all was dark and unusually quiet.
After setting down a bag of groceries, I tiptoed into the bedroom, lighted by the soft glow of the moon sifting through the window. Scott was lying there, his hands folded behind his head, staring at the ceiling. He seemed so pensive I immediately thought something was bothering him.
"Hey," I said softly and sat down on the bed beside him.

"What's the matter?"

"Aw, I was just thinking about my daughter, he grinned sheepishly. "And how much I love her."
Evidently it had been a very good evening. What happened with Rachel tonight?" I asked.

"Well," he sighed and searched for words to convey what he was feeling. "I had built a fire outside to burn some excess wood, and the telephone rang. It turned out to be a tough discussion with someone and I was upset. So I went outside to unwind by the fire, and, before long, our little girl came out of the house and snuggled by my side.

'"Dad,” she told me, you look like you could use a hug. He paused briefly and breathed a contented sigh. "She's my little sweetheart, you know."

"I know," I smiled as I rubbed the back of my husband’s neck. "And I hope she always will be."

The next evening Scott came home from work and found me asleep on the couch. He woke me by tickling my nose with a long-stemmed red rose. Before I could properly gush over it, Rachel strolled in from her room, beaming from ear to ear. Her strawberry-blonde curls boing-yoinging happily as she plopped down on the sofa beside me. In her small, slender hands she held a lavender basket of fresh daisies and pink carnations.
Tucked into the arrangement was a card in Scott's handwriting.

"Thanks for the hug," it read.

Rachel's brown eyes twinkled, and she smiled triumphantly in my direction. "You just got one flower. Daddy gave me a whole basket!"



James Dobson

Several weeks ago, I attended a wedding ceremony held in a beautiful garden setting. After the minister instructed the groom to kiss the bride, approximately 150 colorful, helium-filled balloons were released into the blue California sky. It was a pleasant sight that reminded me of a similar moment during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Within a few seconds, the balloons were scattered across the heavens—some rising hundreds of feet overhead and others cruising toward the horizon. The distribution was curious. They all began from a common launching pad, were filled with approximately the same amount of helium, and ascended into the same conditions of sun and wind. Nevertheless, within a matter of several minutes they were separated by a mile or more. A few balloons struggled to clear the upper branches of trees, while the show-offs became mere pinpoints of color on their journey to the sky. How interesting, I thought—and how symbolic of children.

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