When it came to changing phones, for me there were two things that were “must have”. One was that the new phone must have a good camera. I needed it for social media, for travel, for keeping memories about events and people. I have given up all my SLRs and compact cameras. They were all lying on the shelf, neglected and hardly used because they were bulky and heavy. So I gave a few of them and sold one away. Most times the best camera is the camera you have on hand, and for me, it is the mobile phone.
The second “must have” is some kind of note-taking, organising capacity. As a pastor there are many notes to take. Names and faces to remember. Sermon ideas to note before it disappears. Sermon notes of fellow preachers. Things to do lists. Notes of books others borrowed from me. Sermon illustrations and stories which I can keep in a folder. It’s so convenient to have this note taking and keeping ability in a phone.
So while I was attracted to the fact that currently the Google Pixel 3 takes the best pictures, I simply could not let go of the Galaxy Note 9 selling over the Chinese New Year season at a very special price. So I bought it with a plan and am happy with the pictures it takes and with the note taking abilities. I especially liked a new feature they added – the S Pen acted as a trigger for the camera via bluetooth. Very useful. The bokeh effect is easily obtainable and looks quite natural and the night shots are reasonably good too. Not as great as the Pixel, but I am satisfied. Especially with the S Pen and the other familiar capabilities that I am used to in my Note 5.
This was the first time my wife and I celebrated Chinese New Year without our children. They were all overseas. This felt empty, but that’s why they call it empty nest!
However it was a joy to have Baby and family, Simeon, and my brother over for reunion dinner on the eve. My wife cooked up a storm and the combination of dishes looked impressive.
On the first day it was to my eldest brother home that my siblings and their family gathered. It is a good tradition to pay respect to the eldest on the male side – in keeping with ancient Chinese traditions. CNY is all about family and the lunar new year. In China, after a long cold winter, the first signs of spring is always welcome. In Singapore, it’s hot all the year round. There isn’t that sense of anticipation that makes CNY so welcome. Nevertheless, we keep some of the traditions.
Later it was another potluck dinner with my mum’s siblings and families, and the second day of CNY was a potluck meal in my home again.
After these several rounds of makan, conversation and in particular cooking, for my wife, she felt absolutely tired and needed a few days of afternoon naps to recover. She gets better at cooking with each passing year but the spirit is willing and the body is stretched to its limits.
Next year we may get smarter. But I don’t know how because whatever smart ideas will be offset by the return of my two sons and their families. We may cook less days, but still cook more food. Ha….. still at least it is a good problem.
My wife could have a time-out but I couldn’t because I had to preach on Sunday, which was the 6th day of Chinese New Year and a day we launched the Andrew Initiative to all three congregations: the English and Mandarin and deaf congregations together. This poses the challenge of communications that suit quite different people groups. Thank God for his grace that it was suitably done. What an exciting and meaningful and tiring Chinese New Year!
We rejoice in all the blessings of health, prosperity and success because ultimately God is the source of this abundance. Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Amen.
The Celebration of Hope evangelistic rallies will be held in the National Stadium from May 17 to 19. The 17th and 19th are for the English speaking, while the 18th (Saturday) is for the Mandarin speakers. The evangelist for the English speaking is J. John a prominent, anointed British evangelist of Indian descent. The evangelist for the Mandarin speaking is Kau Shao En.
We attended a briefing session on the 22nd January last Tuesday. It was well attended and we were given up to date information. With that information we got our COH church timeline done up and started briefing the cell leaders and the congregation.
However today the information we were given about the availability of the COH app and the tickets to the Stadium is outdated. Originally we were told the Apps would be ready the day before. It was late a day, which is okay, but then the apps is available only on Google Play and not on Apple yet. So those with iPhones are stranded and will have to find alternative means. We were also told that the tickets will be available for reservation only a week later but instead they were immediately available on the same date the app was ready for downloads.
The tickets are going fast and we being kiasu Singaporeans fear losing out and are booking tickets beyond what we need….just in case. There will after all be a chance later (in April) to dispose of tickets we will not use so that those on the waiting list can have them. Currently at the time of this writing close to 21% of seats has already been reserved. 20,000 tickets out of 100,000 of the English rally has already been snatched up on the first day.
This is all encouraging and we have to keep praying that there would be a gracious and glorious harvest of souls to make this a memorable nation wide rally since the Billy Graham meetings at the old National Stadium.