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Friday, 24 March 2017

Nice Things For Cheap: A Possible Dream!

The Days of Yore.

It may come as some surprise to you that the price of things keep going up, and up. Everything gets more expensive, every year. It's a fact of life: You probably know how many times your father looks at the sky with a nostalgic look in his eyes, and with a wistful sigh, say, "When I was a young boy, Coca-Cola only cost 20 sen a bottle".

And perhaps you too, have had your own wistful sigh and your own wistful, wishful remark. "When I was a young boy, a plate of chicken rice was only RM4..." 

Soon, the day may come when you become an old man, wrinkled and grey, hair thinning and eyes squinting, when you'll be looking at a young boy and say aloud, to nobody in particular, "When I was your age, a can of Coca-Cola cost us only RM1.50..." 

Money money money.... what's your story?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Happy International Women's Day

Time to Celebrate the Women in Our Lives

It is a wonderful thing to have a woman in your life. For most men, it implies that a certain creature has taken control of your household, giving it order and cleanliness. Most men, it would seem, are not tidy creatures. And many women, it would seem, are tidy creatures. Spick and span. Clean and lean. 

But there are also women who aren't so tidy. These are the women who are a bit more messy. And sadly, messy in behaviour sometimes also translates into messy minds.

But they are the women we love, because they are the mistress of the household, and they take charge over every little detail that the busy man may overlook. In his hectic schedule, the busy man becomes the business man. The business man has no business interfering with the business of his mistress. (Who, even though so vaguely described, can only refer to the one and only love of his life: His wife.) The man has to butt out, and cut out his nonsense. He has to hand the keys of the house to her, and let her make it a home.

The mistress of the house must be a frugal woman, otherwise the household will flounder.

The Perfect Woman

There really isn't one. There, I've said it: There's no perfect woman.

But having said that, I feel that I must also add that the woman in your life can, despite her flaws, do well. And so she should. Because when she does well, she does well for you, and your offspring. 

And so the Bible tells us in Proverbs Chapter 31, that there are certain qualities that a prized wife should have. The Bible says, "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." (Prov. 31:10) I'm not aware of how much rubies cost, but I'm under the impression that they are not as expensive as diamonds. 

The good and noble wife brings her husband good, not harm, "all the days of her life". (Prov. 31:12) Note, the Bible says that it is during the duration of her lifetime only. And one wonders what happens when the good wife expires: Does the good life end too?

The good and noble wife does a little bit of business, too. "She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." (Prov. 31:18). I'm a little confused. Is her trading in the context of her own business, or is she merely manning her husband's business? Nevertheless, despite this uncertainty, I know many good women who carry on small businesses and support their households: Baking cakes, selling trinkets and art supplies, and even running online shops. 

The good and noble wife "fears the Lord" (Prov. 31:30) and "is to be praised". For surely, in her fear of God, she will not harm her husband. Instead, with every waking breath, she will put his interest first. And that is, as it should be.

The Quarrelsome Woman.

There comes a time when a man may fall in love with a woman, and marry, only to find out, too late, that she is the disagreeable sort. Perhaps she is quarrelsome. Perhaps she has other bad habits. And so these types of woman are lamented in the Proverbs. 

For example, the Bible says that "the earth trembles" when there is "a contemptible woman who gets married". (Prov. 30:23). To use the word "contemptible" (NIV) is a rather harsh approach. Because such a woman by definition of the word "contemptible" is bound to be a woman who is hateful, disgraceful, and mean. Such a woman, I think, is mean and evil not only towards the outside world, but also towards her own family members. Such a woman is to be avoided at all costs.

The Bible knows exactly how difficult it is to deal with quarrelsome women. "A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm", says the Bible, "restraining her is like restraining the wind, or grasping oil with the hand." (Prov. 27:15-16). 

But notice that despite this "quirk" in the nasty wife's behaviour, the Bible does not tell the husband to get rid of her. Such an act, such as divorce, is condemned. Men are not allowed to divorce their wives unless she is guilty of adultery (Matthew 5:32). Nor can they marry divorced women (Matthew 5:32).

It seems that the best way forward for the Christian husband is to bear the whims and foibles of the quarrelsome wife. But such a situation is hardly fair for the husband. But fear not. God sometimes sends challenges, to try us. Perhaps with such challenges, we men are moulded into better beings by God.

And so , it would appear to be right to appreciate and accept the wife, in whatever situation she is in, whether quarrelsome or not. Because only love can change her heart -- God's love.


Let us wish you, dear reader, Happy International Women's Day.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dementia and the family

This is a video of a guy who spoke with his mum, and she can't remember his name. It's painful to watch. It's even more painful to watch his reaction after the meeting with his mother. He cried because his mother could remember his name, but forgot that she was his mother.

Monday, 2 January 2017

"I don't like to talk about money" -- A big lie.

Do you know them?

Maybe you know them. The nice guy or nice girl who spends a lot of money, day after day. And then you ask them about their finances, and they say, "I don't like to talk about money".

They think that they are being noble by not touching the "dirty" subject of money. Money isn't dirty if you like to spend it so much, right? In fact, it's a very strange creature who likes to spend and spend, but never keep an eye on how much is being spent!

Probe a little deeper, and that nice guy or nice girl will look at you aghast, with a look in their eye that says, "But surely, money is the root of all evil?!"

And that one line colours their thinking, telling them that it's okay not to talk about money, and how they spend money.

Because talking about money means talking about spending money. And saving money.

Is money the root of evil?

To be sure, the Bible said, "The love of money is the root of all evil." But money in itself, isn't evil.

Here's what the Bible didn't say, but is also true: Unfettered spending without addressing the issue is another ancient evil. It's so evil that there is a fairy tale of the fishwife who wanted everything in the world, only to have the fish stuck to her nose.

There is a passage in the Bible where a husband and a wife sold all they had and kept a little for themselves, while giving a portion to the church. They wanted to claim to have done the will of God, and attain for themselves the blessing, while keeping (secretly) a portion of their wealth. And both of them paid the price: Death!

Money, or the love of it, is what drove Judas to betray Jesus. The Bible says that Judas did it for thirty silver coins.

And all of them sinned because they wanted the money to spend, and spend.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Donald Trump failed. But he got up again.

Congratulations, Mr Trump. You made it to the post of President. You won your election fair and square.

It may not be your intention to inform the public about your past failings, but I think it might be educational, even motivational, for ordinary people like me. Because your winning of the presidency means that you've succeeded where others have failed.

And that means that you probably have a number of lessons about failing, and getting up again, that could benefit ordinary folks like me. And the other readers of this blog. (There is intelligent life out there, no?)