Chew Chor Meng: finding the True Way

Lord salvation belongs to you!All Time Favourite Artiste Award

“Chew started his career in MediaCorp Studios after winning Star Search in 1990, a bi-annual nationwide talent search. Since then, he has never failed to make it to the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes in Star Awards, an award ceremony for TV personalities, since its inception in 1994. In 2004, Chew was awarded the All Time Favourite Artiste Award as he had garnered a record of 10 popularity awards.

Chew is able to immerse himself so well into his characters that viewers often have a lasting impression of his roles. This was evident when he bagged the Best Actor Award in Star Awards 2000 in Hainan Kopi Tales. His popularity has also spread across the causeway as he was voted the Most Popular MediaCorp Male Artiste in Malaysia.

Converted to Christ

Chew is married to Deon Tan and they have two daughters, born in 2002 and 2004. He revealed during a celebrity talk show in early 2008 that he did not have a happy childhood, often being abused by his overly strict father (a compulsive gambler), who committed suicide when Chew was still in primary school. He began attending a Charismatic church, Renewal Centre from 2007 and was baptized in late November 2008 with his daughters.

Limping while filming

On December 19, 2008, Chew announced during a church event that he was suffering from Kennedy’s disease, a muscular dystrophy illness that resulted in him limping while filming for his latest role as Wang Zhongkun in Love Blossoms II. Chew said that he was diagnosed with the illness in September 2008, and that he alerted the local press as to his condition, but asked the press to not report it yet, as he was psychologically not ready for it. Chew originally planned on officially announcing his illness during the Star Awards 2008 ceremony, due to be held in March 2009. However, signs of his illness can be clearly seen already, and the news was hard to keep under wraps. The illness has also brought on cardiac problems and diabetes for Chew.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Here is his testimony in audio.

Chew Chor Meng from teachhisword on Vimeo.

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Chuck Swindoll wary of ‘corporatization’ of church

I have been pastoring since 1980 and there is a trend that I have observed: an increasing “corporatization” of the churches in Singapore. This is partly down to the fact that many lay leaders come from the corporate background and are successful in the MNCs or big local companies. When they are appointed leaders in the church they naturally think that what works to make the company a success must surely make the church a success too.

Some of the so called “best practices” of companies actually have spiritual parallel in biblical values. Forming high performance teamwork is a case in point. The church is the body of Christ and the members perform different functions according to the grace given by Christ. They work together, complementing and respecting one another, for “high performance” and growth of the community. Leadership in church should work well with a good gift mix and deep respect and mutual submission in the team.

However, there are some practices that do more harm than good when introduced from the corporation to the church. I shall not elaborate on these. For now, just read what Chuck Swindoll, respected evangelical pastor, best selling author, seminary president and mentor of pastors has to say on this:

I have discovered three principles and three imperatives I believe all churches should examine and apply. The first principle is this: clear, biblical thinking must override secular planning and a corporate mentality. And the imperative? Think spiritually! However well-organized our churches become, we must give priority to biblical rather than to secular thinking. In the first-century church, there were no secular organizational structures or church politics. There was no guru of authority or “chairman” of anything. There were no power grabs from control freaks. There were no personal maneuverings, infightings, financial squabbles, or turf protection. Instead, it was a place where a spiritual emphasis took precedence over the world’s way of doing things.

What does this look like when applied today? For starters, our teaching needs to be biblically based and spiritually inclined. Our Sunday school classes, adult fellowships, and small-group instruction gatherings need to center on the teaching of the Bible and spiritual lessons. Our songs and our hymns should have spiritual content. Our counseling ministry needs to be derived from the Spirit’s revelation in the Scriptures. Our relationships with one another need to have spiritual priorities—intimate fellowship where people can trust one another. The church ought to be the one place where spiritual thinking overrides everything else—all those battles we fight within the marketplace. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. The church is a spiritual entity.

To read more go to his blog post HERE.

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In memory of my mum, Ada Law

Thanks Lord, for a wonderful mum!No man is poor who has had a godly mother. -Abraham Lincoln

Gathered around hospital bed

One year ago, mum went home to be with the Lord on the morning of 28th October 2008 (Tuesday) at the Salvation Army Peacehaven nursing home. Mum suffered a massive stroke the previous Sunday, and the doctors told us that at age 85 she could not survive an operation, and that she did not have much time left. They were right. We were ready as a family to see her go, and together with our sister who flew in from Germany, and the grandchildren, we gathered around the hospital bed and one by one expressed our goodbyes with words, tears, gestures and prayer . We now thank the Lord that she slipped into glory peacefully and with dignity.

Well-kept home

Mum was an organized woman. She kept O Lord by your grace its possible to raise 4 boys!the home very well. She knew where to find every kitchen utensil and the home always looked neat and clean. The linoleumed floors were handwashed and  the windows were cleaned regularly.

She also enlisted everybody at home to do all the household chores and I guess with five kids, four of them boys, she needed management skills to survive. There was a regimen at home and we had homework time and play time that had to be adhered to. The This daughter and son will serve Me! says the Lordcarrot and stick worked well to maintain discipline at home.

Whipped up fantastic dishes

The kitchen was full of savory scents that made us salivate. We looked forward to mealtimes as she cooked and whipped up fantastic curries, ngoh hiong, chili crab, roasted meats and chicken stew to name a few. Her signature pineapple tarts and butter cake were popular fare among relatives and neighbours as well. As children we delighted in her homemade kaya, coconut candies, tapioca kueh and jelly desserts. All these she managed on a tight budget.

Home-based industry

She was a fine seamstress and used to tailor-make dresses for clients. This was a supplementary source of income for the family. She held dressmaking classes in her home for some rich tai tais of the Shaw family. Besides seeing her over the stove, an not uncommon sight is of her with a measuring tape over her neck, bending over a cloth with a scissors. Later on her skills were put to great use at St Andrew’s Cathedral where she embroidered and maintained the various stoles and linens used to dress the sancutary for the various Christian seasons. That was her ministry with the Thursdayladies fellowship.

I remember how she even made curry powder and sold them in packets. She didn’t make much from this but she took pride in it and was meticulous about the quality and cleanliness of the spices and ingredients. On occasion, I grudgingly helped her carry big packs of dried chili to the Indian grinders and mixers.

She was thrifty and saved and maximized whatever she had. We always had enough for the basics, including tuition for Maths and Mandarin(which did me no good). Her life was generously poured out in the endless sacrifices she made for her children, even after we got married.

Silk and steel

Mum had a pleasant disposition. She was characterized by quiet and calm, patience, and longsuffering. However, she disciplined us with firmness tempered with flexibility, giving us space as we grew into teenagers. Her love could be too tough to the point of frustration. I wince with embarassment when I recall how she once went to the community centre basketball court and in front of my friends, called me home for I was skipping dinner to play ball.

Lord thanks for my parents. Without them where would I be?

An Anglican piety

Her dad was an Anglican and she married my father, Andrew Chee, in St Andrew’s Cathedral but they were not churchgoers though they allowed the children to attend the then Bukit Timah Evangelical Free Church Sunday School when we were young.

When the marriage hit turbulence, she experienced a turn of piety and used to go to Novena on Saturdays to pray. Besides recourse to prayer she had wonderful relatives from both hers and fathers side who generously gave her support and practical help, and this helped her to persevere. Later, she joined the St Andrew’s Cathedral ladies fellowhip, which met on Thursdays, and this was the period where I was pleased to see her faith in Christ renewed and deepened with Bible studies, ministry and the warm fellowship there.

Triumph of faith over dementia

She was also a regular in the St Andrew’s early morning services and even after the onset of dementia, she still went to church regularly under the watchful eyes of Amy the domestic helper, and Lily her sister.

Even when she couldn’t recognize us she would still say, “God bless you”, or remember songs like “Jesus loves me this I know”. Even after the geriartician said her memory has gone zero, her helper Amy saw her woke up in the middle of the night and prayed the whole “Lord’s Prayer” and on another night witnessed her looking out the window and praised God, “I love you, Jesus, I love you Jesus.

Her faith in Christ, and her temperament made her Alzeimer dementia a sweet one. She would often brush her hands on our cheeks and greet us and strangers with a “You are so pretty”. With this kind of temperament, the great caregivers at Peacehaven’s Flamingo found it pleasant to care for her.

Lord, may the seed of the godly receive your blessing

Left behind

Mum left behind four sons, Colin, Julian, Victor, and myself; three daughters in law, Linda, Ai Lee, and Jenny my wife; and one daughter, Beryll (Joyce). And seven grandchildren: Olivia and Keith; Noah and Nathan; Joshua, Matthew and Elaine; all of whom were cared for by her during the early months of their life.

How do I feel now after a year? Less in pain than when her condition was deteriorating rapidly a few years ago. Maybe the grief from her death has been deeply repressed. Memories of her remain strong though. I am grateful for the legacy she left us.

I rejoice knowing of the hope of resurrection we have in the Christian faith. I will see her again face to face.

Her children rise up and call her blessed. – Proverbs 31:28 (RSV)

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