Categories
Interests

Wild tigers in Dairy Farm

free carpark off Dairy Farm

Compared to the Bukit Timah hill, parking was a breeze at this large carpark off Dairy Farm Road.  The entrance to the Wallace trail looked new, with a large map and seating area. Beside this section, were airy, lightly fragranced washroom facilities. Impressive. I turned left and followed the clear directional signs to the 1 km trail. Ladies shouldn’t walk without company, as I was virtually alone at 10am. I sauntered up the bitumen road and turned into the jungle trail.

Wallace loved durians

The picture of Wallace stared at me from a poster. What struck me: he was a friend of Charles Darwin; he lived and explored the Malay archipelago; and he loved durians! An angmoh who appreciated the king of fruits, and those were the wild durians, not the modern hybrids.

out of bitumen into mudtrail

across streams

roots

The path was narrow and damp, and at times muddy. I could see why they used this for education. The singing of birds and cicada, the hum of traffic from the Bukit Timah expressway, the variety of fauna and butterflies caught my attention at various points in the trail, and would certainly be talking points for the nature guide. Under the shade of tall trees, the air was cool. A monitor lizard about 4 feet long crawled nearby.

hunting for tigers

This jungle area was once  infested with wild tigers. Unfortunately, the last tiger was shot in 1932. Can you imagine if there were still wild tigers in Bukit Timah and Dairy Farm as there were a hundred years ago? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the amount of respect for wild animals and nature that would generate? Now all that can be seen were  immoveable fat cows, haunted houses and fungi.

fat cow

haunted house?

fungi ?

The leisurely trek took about an hour or so. There was another trail leading to a quarry but I decided to stop, because the path that led there was exposed to the late morning sun and heat.

Another day lah.

Categories
Contemplative prayer

Speculating on water crystals

The comment about the video says, “Research from Dr. Masaru Emoto, says that when human thoughts are directed at water before it is frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water. Since 1999 Emoto has published several volumes of a work titled Messages from Water, which contains photographs of water crystals next to essays and “words of intent”. My son Matthew showed this video and it set me thinking.

I would like to know your opinion if this is science or science fiction or new age stuff?

IF the above videos are real science, then it is fascinating giddy stuff.

Just think of our human body. It is largely water: 70%.

Let’s engage in adventurous speculation and extrapolation.

Will the harbouring of negatives like bitterness, anger, prolonged stress and hate cause malformation at cellular level that consequentially become a disease?

On the other hand, would grateful and joyful praise all day perk the body’s performance and resistance to disease?

What is the impact of our attitudes on our water laden body? What is happening at a cellular level? Are beautiful and ugly water crystals formed and if so are they precursors and indicators of health or disease?

What are the implications on meditation? Meditation is translated from Hebrew “ hagah” which means ponder, mutter, speak, muse, and imagine. When we meditate on the gospel and the promises of God thinking on it, speaking it under our breath, muttering it – what is happening to us psychologically and physiologically? What is being birthed in us?

We keep muttering verses like, “God is my refuge and strength”, or “The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid?” or “The Lord is my righteousness” or “The Lord will supply all my needs” or “He himself took my sickness and diseases”. We say them over and over. What happens as we do that?

What happens below our skin when we sing praises in the congregation or in the home? When we listen to different kinds of music?

Is speculating on water, instead of gold, the next best investment of the century?
Watch this second video with a spoonful of salt:

Categories
Personal and family

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)

Categories
General

The China Study

fruits and vegetablesIn the last week, I have read two articles on the benefits to health of going on a meat free diet. They were both interesting articles: one from the Straits Times on “The healing power of food” by Cheong Suk-Wai and the other an e mail sent to me by “Journeyman”. They made me think, “Should I go vegetarian?”

The first article was about an author’s visit to Singapore and the book he wrote which became a New York Times bestseller in 2005. The book was a culmination of 12 years of interpretation of the extensive interviews with 6,500 Chinese in China and Taiwan about their dietary habits in the 1980s to examine the link between diet and cancer. The China Study was a thorough research he did together with Chinese researcher, Chen Junshi, and it costs S$3.3 million and many man hours. “The study found that, among other things, eating mainly plants and whole-grains not only reduced one’s risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, but also raised one’s chances of beating them too. In addition, if you want to be fighting fit into your dotage, you should not eat more than 20 per cent fat daily.”

The inspiring part is that the author, nutritional biochemist Professor T. Colin Campbell, of Cornell University, practices what he now preaches, as he has been eating fruits and vegetables almost exclusively for the past 30 years and so also his wife, their five children and five grandchildren.

The second article was written on 17 May 2009 and I have reproduced it in full below. It is titled, “How Dr Wu rid himself of cancer with a vegetarian diet”, by Anjira Assavannonda.

Over the years I have observed that those of the older generation who were born and raised in China and immigrated here seemed to live longer and have the resilience to bounce back in a bout of serious illness. They don’t die easily. Could it be that their economic state restricted their diet to mostly grain and vegetables and fruits? I myself recall that in my growing years roasted chicken was served only on  special occasions like Chinese new year’s eve, and meat was not so freely served on the table in the quantity or quality or variety we see today. Certainly with improved standards of living, my children have consumed more animal protein than my generation did four or five decades ago.

I am sort of convinced of the general conclusion pointed to by the research findings of the China Study and the anecdotal testimony of the second article. Its not anything new: but they reinforce what we already know, but have found unpalatable and have never really implemented in our daily diet. Most of us take the line of George Dennision Prentice, who said, “What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease.” We sort of prefer to eat whatever we want (often tasty and laced with what’s forbidden) rather than be continually anxious about searching for wholesome food (usually not as tasty) in a hawker center or restaurant.

As Christians we regard our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit, a gift from our Creator that we need to steward with faithfulness. And so we raise our eyebrows or point the accusing finger when we see a Christian smoking and filling his sacred space with nicotine and tar. But when others eat food laden with salt, cholesterol, and dripping in unholy oil, we hardly show any concern or distress. Not that I want any Christian to do that while I am tucking into some delicious Singapore chili crab or nasi beriyani. But I am simply giving an example of the generous concessions we make in order to satisfy King stomach.

When it comes to food, our favorite word is “moderation” as it gives us a blanket approval to allow for all kinds of food, pleasant to the eye and good to the taste. I have met only a very few good men whose diet and self-control I respect greatly. How I wish I can go to the lengths that they go in order to consume wholesome and good food for their bodies. Can I live with a low-salt and low-oil and a no-sugar diet even though there isn’t any imminent threat of certain death overshadowing me? Can I go vegetarian? I cannot say Yes with gusto nor confidence. However, I do want to move in the general direction prescribed by the two articles, but …….moderately. 🙂

“How Dr Wu rid himself of cancer with a vegetarian diet” by Anjira Assavannonda

At the age of 30, Chinese doctor Tom Wu was diagnosed with advanced stages of lung cancer, and was told he had only a few months to live.

However, Dr Wu, who recently spoke with Mylife, has already reached 70 years old, and to our surprise, he still looks like a young and healthy man in his 50s.

Not only has he survived, but the doctor has maintained a healthy life. The cancer is all gone, and he said he’s never caught a cold or other illness for 40 years.
He has stopped going for blood tests.

“My body and feelings tell me I’m well, that I’m truly in good health,” says Dr Wu.

His secret lies in the power of natural healing
. Dr Wu always says that no wonder drug can cure diseases. But our own internal healing power, our immune system, can. And what can strengthen our immune system are simple foods from Mother Nature, and a healthy lifestyle.

In his view, diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease can be overcome by changing the diet.

Dr Wu says people get sick because they eat the wrong foods. Fried food, for example, causes blockage in the arteries, bad circulation, cholesterol, and heart disease.

“Instead of taking a cholesterol lowering drug, I would urge them to stop eating greasy food. My suggestion is to eat clean food, which is high in phytochemicals,” he says.

Phytochemicals are natural cleansing agents that will help rid plaque from your arteries. They come from natural foods such as vegetables, fruits with their seeds, and common garden herbs. Phytochemicals will nourish the body’s cells so they can fight against any foreign substances that invade your body.

Dr Wu’s outstanding contributions to the development of natural medicine earned him the “World Famous Doctor Award” from the UN in 2001, and the “Best Wellness Doctor of the World” award from India ‘s World Wellness Open University in March.

The secrets of how he won the fight against lung cancer and maintains a healthy body are revealed in his first book, Dr Wu’s Principle of Natural Cures,which has recently been translated from its original Chinese version into a Thai edition, Thammachart Chuay Chewit, published by Nanmeebooks Publications.
It was launched in Thailand in March.

Dr Wu says what’s written in the book is unique and easy to understand because “the author is both the doctor and the patient himself”.  All the ideas and guidelines suggested in the book come from his own experience as well as what he has learned from his patients.

Dr Wu turns to natural medicine.

Dr Wu had first studied Western medicine in France , and then furthered his education in alternative therapy, earning a doctorate degree.

The turning point arrived when he was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 30.  Modern medicine gave him no hope; it was too late  to remove the damaged parts of the lung. The cancer had already spread to other organs, and the doctor told him he had only a few months left.

In his despair, Dr Wu picked up the Bible and prayed to God. Then the Bible fell to the floor, and he read the page it opened to carefully.  The chapter talked about the days God created the Earth and everything needed for human beings. Then he created Adam and Eve,  and told both of them that plants, vegetables and seeded fruits growing on Earth have been provided for them to eat.

“I thought about what I had eaten in the past – meat, fish, fried and grilled food, sweet cake, but God simply wanted us to eat vegetables and sour fruits.  I was confused and doubted whether I would become weak if I ate too many vegetables and less meat,” says Dr Wu.

Yet he decided to follow the Bible’s guidance. He ate a lot of vegetables and fruits, drank clean water, and completely adjusted his lifestyle –  his sleeping, breathing and exercise habits.

Nine months later, he went for a check-up, and surprisingly no cancer cells were detected.

He advised people in his family and in the neighbourhood about his discovery, and studied natural medicine until he received a doctorate degree  in naturopathy and nutrition from the US .

Dr Wu has been a frequent speaker at worldwide forums, spreading his knowledge on natural cures and the use of organic food.  He advises people to use the most simple foods in the most natural way in order to fight illnesses and maintain good health.

The human body has the power to heal itself. The immune system has a self-defence mechanism to block and destroy bacteria or viruses that invade our bodies, while the self-healing mechanism will get us back on the road to recovery.  When you have a cold and take medicine, the medication may kill the virus but your immune system will not fully function, and its efficiency will decrease. As a result, your body will be more vulnerable to germs.

Dr Wu’s principle is to strengthen the immune system, and avoid medication as much as possible. In his book, he offers the following guidelines to good health:

1. Have at least three bowel movements a day.

Other health experts may advise one bowel movement a day, but Dr Wu says that’s not enough. You need three to four bowel movements a day in order to excrete all the accumulated faeces from your intestine. Your liver will not be overburdened and it also helps reduce cholesterol in your body.

2. Drink at least three glasses of fruit or vegetable smoothies each day.

This is a way to ingest enough phytochemicals to strengthen the body’s cells and immune system.
Use not only the flesh, but also the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables to make smoothies, as they are rich in phytochemicals.

Most of the fruit seeds have small amounts of cyanide which kill bacteria and viruses without damaging the body.

Actually the recommended smoothie diet is six glasses a day, two in the morning, one before lunch, two more in the afternoon, and one more before dinner.  However, if that’s too much, you may start with three glasses a day. Use a high powered blender (at least three horsepower) as it can release phytochemicals
from the fibre.   It’s best to choose sour fruits like green or red apples, grapes, pineapples, kiwi and lime.

3. Sunbathe 30 minutes daily.

We often hear that the Sun’s UV rays will damage our skin, and many people apply sunblock before going out.

But Dr Wu says the opposite. He says the UV rays will help convert cholesterol underneath the skin into vitamin A which helps moisten the skin and prevent skin cancer, and also vitamin D that helps prevent colds, osteoporosis, and certain kinds of cancer.

“Therefore, use the Sun. Expose yourself to sunlight about one-half hour a day, at noon or another appropriate time based on your local climate. The Sun will make you healthier,” says Dr Wu.

4. Exercise 30 minutes a day.

Don’t exercise for more than 30 minutes. If you go beyond that, your body will be overworked.

“If you do it more than half an hour, that will become labour, not exercise. Your heart and your body will be working too hard,” he says.

5. Shower with hot, then cold water.

Try an alternating cold and hot water shower: Three minutes of hot water followed by 30 seconds of cold water, then repeat twice more.

This process will bring a rush of blood and energy to your body. It helps increase your immune system, blood circulation, and metabolism.

6. Drink a lot of water, in the correct way.

How much water you need to drink each day depends on your specific situation. If your office is air-conditioned, drinking six glasses of water a day is enough.
If your work involves lots of walking, you have to drink 8-10 glasses a day. If you work under the hot sun, then 10-12 glasses of water are required.

The way you drink is also important. The correct way is to sip it little by little, to give your body cells time to absorb the water. If you drink the whole glass down at once, your cells can’t absorb it all, and the water will be excreted as urine.

7. Eat according to your blood type.

Your blood type determines what you should eat. Eating the wrong foods will make you sick.

People with blood type O have to eat a certain amount of meat. If they eat only vegetables for a long time, their body won’t absorb all the substances they need to strengthen their immune system. The recommended diet for this group is 75% vegetables, 10% fruits, 10% meat, seafood and goat’s milk (avoid cow’s milk),
and 5% grains.

People with blood type A, however should avoid milk and meat, while increasing grains and fruits.

People with blood type B should also avoid meat, while those with blood type AB should avoid chicken and beef.

8. Eat according to your biological clock.

Every human being has a biological clock that tells us when to eat, sleep, and wake up. If you don’t follow your biological clock, the organs will lose their balance. Toxins and wastes won’t be excreted from your body, and soon you’ll get sick.

According to Dr Wu, the biological clock is divided into three phases.

From 4am to noon is the time for bowel movements, so in the morning you should eat foods with lots of fibre. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are recommended.

From noon to 8pm, your body will absorb food so lunch is the most important meal. A vegetable salad with grains is recommended. Fish or boiled eggs can be added to your lunch. Avoid meat at dinner as the amino acids in the meat will disturb your sleep. Try to finish dinner by 6pm.

From 8pm to 4am, the nutrients and energy from food will be distributed throughout your body organs. The golden time for your sleep is between 10pm and 2am, as your immune and self-healing system will function at its best.