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In these challenging times of the global Covid-19 pandemic, children and students can get too little or too much exposure to news and anxiety. As parents and leaders, we need to figure out a balance between the two and avoid too little or too much.

Tim Elmore wrote an interesting post “How often should we talk about the pandemic with our kids?” where he draws from personal experience and also discusses an upcoming book “The Pandemic Population,” where he interviews Great Depression kids and shares their responses. Here’s a summary.

Guidelines when talking about crises with kids:

  • Give them only as much as their minds can handle
  • Start the conversation over a meal; wait for them to ask a question
  • Let the news reports spark the conversation
  • When an overload is observed or building, stop
  • Move on to age-appropriate topics; let kids be kids

Great Depression kids’ responses:

  • The majority of them were not aware they were living in the Great Depression
  • Everyone felt they were all the same and we’re in this thing together
  • People maintained simplicity, gratitude, and contentment
  • Adults raised kids collectively and worked to build morals and work ethic
  • Good attitudes and virtues seemed to be paramount

Read the full article here.

Finding rest in the midst of anxiety (Matt. 6.25-34) | Tony Yeo

Introduction

Do not be anxious (x3)
Gk. worry, concern, restlessness, unrest
Not problem free, but anxiety free
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Of stars and wars

What is this fascination that we have with space adventures and science fiction? Two of the largest sci-fi franchises, Star Trek (1966) and Star Wars (1977) book-end the epic first landing on the Moon by Lance Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin via Apollo 11 in 1969. Both franchises have sparked and amassed a huge cult following of superfans, through various media forms, e.g. film, television, comics, animated series, toys, gaming, etc.

Without going into a heated debate over which franchise is better or superior, here are some basic observations. Whilst both introduced us to alternate galaxies with multiple planets and species, Star Trek mainly focused on space exploration, and it debuted in television. The main protagonists are the Star Fleet team on board the USS Enterprise. The story plotline is more believable and probable in the not-so-distant future of human history. Hence, perhaps its draw especially amongst science geeks and space nerds, especially with the recent resurgence brought about by the highly successful Big Bang Theory, with its cast of brilliant, nerdy, fanboy physicists obsessed with comic books, video games and sci-fi movies.
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Colours of springtime

Colours of springtime #isaiah6112 #nofilter

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations. (Isa. 61.12)

Learning community

Every Tuesday, the PhD ICS (Intercultural studies) community (seniors, juniors, professors) meet together for lunch, with occasional sharings on relevant academic or missiological topics, and personal testimonies of those in the program as well. It has truly been an enriching and inspiring time for myself, even as I begin on the journey myself. I am indeed thankful to God for this rare opportunity, and more and more each day, I see His hand in directing me and my family here.

I had previously wanted to post a picture of our regular weekly lunch gatherings, but due to Covid-19, school closures & social distancing, we had our first virtual meeting via Zoom, ala Brady-Bunch-like, where we shared, reflected and prayed together. I am encouraged & appreciative of this group, when you miss family and home, especially in the midst of this pandemic world crisis.

As many countries and parts of the world go on lockdown, isolation, or quarantine, many short-term mission trips might be currently cancelled or put on hiatus, so what else can we do, when we cannot GO, as Jesus commands in the Great Commission? I was reminded of this set of videos, materials by OMF titled “6 ways to reach God’s world.”

What are ways we can reach God’s world? (Summary)

  • Learn
  • Pray
  • Go
  • Send/Support
  • Welcome
  • Mobilize

More information and details, videos & group discussion guides here.

#6ways

God’s grace is sufficient

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God's grace is sufficient #2cor129

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A rainbow appeared over Tohoku on the 9-year anniversary of the Mar 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disasters. #tohoku311

Photo credit: NHK Japan

Life is short

Amidst the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) & news of Kobe Bryant’s death, stay safe everyone. Keep close to family & friends. May we have wisdom to live life well (Ps. 90.12).

Reflections on Kobe Bryant

I was never really a Kobe Bryant or LA Lakers fan, maybe in some parts due to my own affinity (growing up as a teen in the ’90s) towards the earlier Michael Jordan era and the Chicago Bulls. Like the rest of the world, I woke up last Sunday morning to the shocking news of the helicopter crash that took 9 lives, including Kobe and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna.

Looking back at Bryant’s basketball career and post-NBA life, of the many accolades and accomplishments, these are a few (amidst many) lessons that I have learnt from him.

1. He stayed and played for the same basketball team for 20 years.
2. He and his wife persevered (through many ups and downs) in their marriage of almost 19 years).
3. He had a tenacious fighting spirit and disciplined work ethic (aka Mamba mentality).
4. He continued in life with purpose (NBA, film, coaching, family)

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Indescribable | Amazing God

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation’s revealing Your majesty
From the colours of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable
You placed the stars in the sky & You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
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