The Foolish Ones


Two men were walking along the road to a village called Emmaus. A good 11 km walk from Jerusalem where they started. They were affected by the recent events that took place in Jerusalem and it was the crucifixion of Jesus and the subsequent disappearance of his body from the tomb. As they were discussing and walking, someone came by and asked them what they were talking about. One of them questioned the stranger that he must be the only one from Jerusalem who does not know what had happened, like in today’s context it would have been viral, all over the news and trending on social media.

When they related the incidents to him, they said Jesus was supposedly great and likely to be the one to redeem Israel but he was condemned to death and was crucified. They added that they were baffled by the latest report (breaking news) that just happened that day, which was the third day. They heard that the body was missing from the tomb and some women who went there witnessed that it was empty and saw visions of angels who told them that Jesus is alive.

Then the man said to the two, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

The above story was taken from Luke 24:13-26 and there are two key points that I am learning from the passage and it involved both the eyes and heart of man.


It is so easy to read and see what has happened around us but yet our hearts may not be in tune or true to what we claim to believe. Some might say, `Seeing is believing’ but this story clearly disprove this. Many have seen and experienced first hand all that has happened but many also have chosen not to believe or to remain in a state of unbelief.

The statement made of the two men; “O foolish ones” revealed their thoughts but the cause was “slow of heart to believe”. I pray and hope for my heart to burn and be true to God, and my eyes to see only the glory of God.


The Guilty Ones


Three men are on death row and today is the day of their execution. Two of them, Seau and Ican were hard-core criminals with a long history of violent crimes and the law finally caught up with them. They were not partners in crime but knew each other from past imprisonments and their notoriety. The third man on death row was not familiar to them, especially among the inmates as this man was never in prison before. They heard rumours about him as being quite prominent in that town and that he was powerful enough to help and influence many people. They also heard that he might be innocent and was blackmailed by some other powerful people who do not like him.

As they were about to be executed together, they were put in one place and chained side by side. Seau turned to face the third man and said, “Hey mister! What did you do to be here with us?” When he did not respond, Seau was annoyed and said, “I heard you had connections in very high places and helped many people, how come you can’t even help yourself? Such a shame to think that you could have helped us out of here.

Ican then raised his voice at Seau and said, “Why are you doing this to him? What has he done to you? If he is truly innocent, he does not deserve to be here like us! We actually deserve to die for what we had done. We are condemned to die and when we die, we are condemned! Can’t you even see that?”

Seau and Ican were two guilty criminals who were executed as punishment for their crimes. However, they were very different in character or attitude even at the point of death. Seau held himself up in a cocky way to chide and mock another person even though he was guilty as a rat for his crimes and was going to be executed. Ican was shocked at how Seau could still be `playing the fool’ at such a time. He saw how he was deserving of death for his deeds but pondered on what would become of him when he dies. He was both fearful and afraid.

This story was inspired by a passage from the bible as follows:

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” – Luke 23:32-43 ESV.


I realised that even when we are guilty of our wrong doings, we may still choose not to have the guilt.

Just like Seau who had the pride to speak his mind even to the point of death. It did not matter at all that he had committed those crimes or what would become of him when he dies. He was even capable of chiding others who may be innocent or able to help him.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18 ESV

Ican saw his state and knows he was doomed. He was in distress and at the end of the road. The uncertainty was eating him up. The passage stated that the man who turned to Jesus to ask for help was given eternal hope. The other guy missed it when it was just there for him, and it was free.

I pray for humility and wisdom.

Of Kings and Chronicles – Asa, king of Judah

This is the second post on Of Kings and Chronicles where the first was about king Abijah of Judah. This is about his son Asa who took over as king of Judah when he died. You can see from the left of the chart (which is the beginning of the era of the divided kingdom), he was the first king positioned in the `Good’ area.

In contrast with his father, Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD (2 Chronicles 14:2 ESV). Abijah had foreign idols and altars but Asa set out to have them removed and destroyed. He even had his mother removed from her position as Queen due to her idolatry.

When Asa was faced with the threat of the Ethiopian army of over a million soldiers going to attack Judah, he called upon God to save them. God heard Asa and routed the Ethiopians and Asa and his men pursued the fleeing Ethiopians slaying every one of them.

Asa also began to reform Judah by making the people follow the laws and commandments of God and his heart was wholly true to God all his days (2 Chronicles 15:17 ESV). God gave Asa rest, peace and prosperity during his reign. Everything sounded hunky-dory for Asa until the thirty-sixth year of his reign. What happened?

There was a threat from Israel, so Asa sought the help of the king of Syria. A messenger of God then asked Asa why he had sought the Syrian king’s help since God had delivered him from a million Ethiopian forces before. Instead of repenting, Asa was enraged and imprisoned the messenger. Three years later, “Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.” (2 Chronicles 16:12 ESV). He died two years later.

I have 3 main questions:

  1. Asa’s heart was wholly true to God but as time passed, he decided to rely on others for help instead of God. God had delivered him from major battles before but why did he seek a foreign king’s help this time?
  2. When he was reprimanded by the messenger of God about his reliance on a foreign king, Asa was enraged and threw the messenger in prison and took out his anger on some people. Given a revelation of where he was going wrong, why did Asa choose to be angry instead of making good of it?
  3. When he was stricken with a severe disease on his feet, why did he turn to his physicians instead of calling upon God for help?

This was the man who called upon God for the battle against a million Ethiopians and witnessed how God gave every one of them into his hand.

This was also the man who brought reforms to the idolatrous nation of Judah by removing all idols and altars of other gods and turned them back to follow God’s law.

What happened to Asa?

I wonder whether it was the period of rest, peace and prosperity, when all the wars and threats were over and reforms have been completed, that Asa began to forget God.

I believe that when we forget God, we become reliant on ourselves, other people or things. In other words, we become independent and self-sufficient. In the context of society today, being independent or self-sufficient is a good thing isn’t it? Especially when it’s all about progress and productivity, we should be self-reliant and self-made. However, in the matter of the soul and creation, who can lift a finger at the birth and death of life or the turning of the earth around the sun?


This is where the heart before God has to be in the right place constantly. The moment we shift or look to the left or right, we have misplaced God in our lives. Perhaps that was why these words were repeated many times as part of the laws:

“You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.”- Deuteronomy 5:32-33 ESV.

There is a book `Half Time’ by Bob Buford meant to help people in their mid-life and a few years later, he wrote the book `Finishing Well’. If I have to choose between the two books, I will give Asa the latter as it was really, really so important for him.

We need to endure in order to grow and finish well in our lives and God, through our Lord Jesus has given us much more than we need to do that (way, way more than in the Old Testament times).

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” – Hebrews 2:1-3a ESV.

My prayer

Is that we will “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”- Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV.

Thank you Lord that we can take courage and have full confidence in you because you began a good work in us and “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6 ESV.


Gideon and the chosen men

When God called Gideon to claim back their land that was plundered by the Midianites, he was taken aback as he belonged to the weakest clan and was the youngest in his family. However, he feared God and was willing to obey the call even though the odds against him personally and his people, were grossly unfavourable. When he gathered the men to fight, there were 32,000 of them and it would be against the enemy whose camels alone were numbered as the sands on the seashore. It seemed Gideon was not only on a suicide mission but was doomed to lose.

However, God told Gideon to reduce the number of his men despite the odds. The objective was to show that it is God who will deliver the enemy to their hands and win the battle, not Gideon and not the chosen men. Gideon then followed God’s selection process which caused 22,000 men who trembled with fear and another 9,700 men who had knelt down to drink water from the river, to be removed.

Gideon was left with 300 men who neither trembled with fear nor knelt down to drink water (they were on their feet and drank from their hand). That was all Gideon had to face an enemy that was as numerous as locusts!

Gideon and his 300 men brought a trumpet in one hand and a pitcher with a torch inside, in the other hand. They stood at 3 different parts of the enemy camp and then blew the trumpets, broke the pitchers and held up the torch in unison. God then caused the enemy forces to turn against themselves with their swords and many perished and some fled. It was recorded that 120,000 had fallen in this battle alone not counting the rest who fled and were subsequently captured and destroyed as well.


Source credit :

Clearly, the battle and glory belongs to God, not Gideon or the 300 men, and certainly not Hollywood.

– Judges, Chapters 6 to 8

What is it about humans and pets…

I have shared a couple of times about the pets in my life and each of them have a story to tell just like any individuals we call human. You can read about my first decision on owning a dog called Patchy here. Here’s a photo of him and his sister, Jaimie who joined us a couple of months later:

Jaimie and Patchy

Jaimie and Patchy

Well, I had trouble introducing Patchy to the family as there were already numerous birds at home where some visitors commented that my house was like the Jurong bird park. So when I was told about Jaimie’s plight of not being look after well by a wealthy buyer whom the seller wanted to `rescue’ from. She asked me whether I could take Jaimie in at no cost. It was not the cost that bothered me, it was because I may need to find a new home for myself if I brought in another dog. So Jaimie was fostered to some of my friends for a couple of weeks here and there before she was finally introduced and accepted in the house. She had several medical issues to attend to before she was able to run around happily as a healthy dog.

You can see the difference in size between the two dogs even though they were from the same litter! So Jaimie did suffer in her early life but was rescued in time to lead a rather long 18 years! Ironically, Patchy had to leave us unexpectedly when he was just 10 years old (read the story link provided earlier).

Another dog was introduced to our family a few years after Jaimie and Patchy were with us and he was called Rusty, a wire-hair fox terrier (see photo below):



Again, an owner had no time to look after him and left it with my family after having him for less than a year. Sometimes, I thought my home had become a shelter for abandoned pets. It was sad that Rusty could not have a longer life as he developed serious skin problems. Especially dogs with this type of coat would not go well in Singapore’s climate and our house was not air-conditioned. He eventually succumbed to kidney failure around the  age of seven.

I am sharing this as we need to ponder and reflect on how we treat animals or pets in our lives. Hope we can do better as carers of this earth and all that is in it while we can.

Beautiful Singapore

Beautiful Singapore

I realised that I may have over emphasised the size (both geographic and demographic) of my country that may be perceived as something that I may not be too happy about. My apologies as this is not true. I love my country and am grateful for having lived all my life in this precious part of the world.

Today, I took a stroll along the east coast which is a walking distance from my home and it has been a long time since I did this as I have been too busy the past year…  yes, you heard it right. It’s almost a year since I had this opportunity to go for a stroll like this. Here’s a glimpse of what greeted me:




I was refreshed by the scenery, the fresh coastal air and the sun rays. It was a beautiful, sunny morning.

When I was about to reach home from the stroll, a neighbouring block had a small garden created by the community from around that area. It was purely a community effort to transform what was just an open area to a luscious garden.



So not only am I proud to be a Singaporean living in Singapore, I am proud of my small neighbourhood that makes time to beautify and green our many nooks and corners around the high rise estate. It is really making the best of what we have and cherishing simple pleasures of life that brings peace and respite for many residents.

Thank you for a wonderful 2014 and looking forward to 2015!

My heart is filled with gratefulness for how 2014 had gone by. It seems like a long and arduous journey up a steep mountain. All I can recall was getting through each step and at times, wondering whether I can make it through to face another day. It has been an unbelievable journey and I am humbled by the experience. It cannot be fathomed so easily in a day or week so I shall just cherish the fact that it has passed and a new phase has begun.

It is like a mountaineer who had reached the summit and went down the mountain. This time to face another challenge and would not truly know what the challenges would be like for the next `mountain’ or what lies around the next turn. This is where the test of faith comes, the entrusting of one’s life in the hands of the One who knows the future.

So here I say thank you God for seeing me through and always being there and putting up with my complaints, rants, mumblings, etc and showering me with blessings in spite of my undeserving ways. My prayer is to be more trusting in your ways and forging ahead in what you have in store for me in 2015 that I may be closer and in step with you always.

Here is the beauty of God’s creation in Lijiang, China that I had the opportunity to see at the start and end of each day:



Wishing everyone a blessed and meaningful 2015!