Thankful for 2011. Encore Puhleasssseeee….

Compared to the tsunami and the earthquakes that rocked previous Januarys, 2011 found me ushering in the New Year calmly and happily in the company of my father, my son and my nephew. The second best ever to also having my mom, brother and my sil with us on that day. Never the less  it was a moment to treasure, cherish and make lovely memories. Rest of January and February flew by in a wink.

March madness included not only the hot-cold-hot weather but also the news of my friend Fay’s sudden stroke. I am so thankful she survived and when my son and I visited her family on Christmas eve, the joy in that house was almost palpable, even amidst the longing that she will only day walk/talk/work, if not completely as before but at least to some extent. TDPP will have that family always in our thoughts and prayers.

April-May brought lots of spring showers torrents and a new friend: Dr. Ars and family from Dubai. The delightful young family also welcomed a ‘highly learned’ one this October. TDPP wishes them great joy and some well deserved ‘full-night-sleep’ too. April also ushered in a new job opportunity for me at my office and May turned out to be the longest and peaceful transition period thus far in my entire career. I usually get the mandatory 2 weeks or even less time to prepare for the next opportunity. Umm, Feng Shui is working….

June-July summer months were great for my gardening. Enjoyed my tomatoes, peppers and herbs this season along with some bountiful flowers. At office, peace reigned: loved every day at work, so looked forward to the next day and the opportunities it would bring me. 

August was time well spent with my son who was again preparing to leave home briefly to take up residence closer to his University. Made so many loving memories with him. Had to buy twice as much hair colour that month too, but hey, what are few full grey hairs compared to the joys of motherhood? Right?

Sweet September saw me taking the plunge literally into the waters. Oh yes, I signed up for my long-awaited swimming-classes. I didn’t sink and didn’t drown my instructor either. That should count for something? Right, Mary/Janice/Brenda? Thanks to you all for declaring me a champion, if not for excelling at least for showing up for each and every day of the training.

October was fabulous, visited the city that had been long eluding me. Enjoyed good time with my friends. Will be visiting again for sure, as AT and I have tons more to do there. Diwali and a visit from a young friend of TDPP, KT from California were added joys at home. My brave mom, my role model, sailed through total knee replacement in both legs and has now resumed her morning walks. Tons of loving care from my father, brother, sil and my nephew was just what the Dr ordered. Proud of my mom and so very thankful for my loving family!

November ushered in the extended company of our house guest. Both my son and I took the opportunity to enjoy every moment. Almost every evening I grilled my house guest professionally/academically and in the process found a new avenue for me to pursue in the near future. Talk about never missing a knock on the door. Also thankful for the company of RK who was visiting her sons at US via Skype.

December: milder weather than usual, X-mas eve with Fay’s family, X-mas dinner with CI and family, wrapped up project work at office on time, got some good opportunities lined up for the NEW YEAR, boy oh boy, so many blessings in so many different ways.

PS: My heartfelt thanks to all of you, ever supporting friends of TDPP: AT,Ars,BS, CI, G3,GB,J, JK, JMS, MCT, Mary for your unwavering support and love that encouraged me to achieve my 550 posts and counting. To my parents, nephew, my son and my sweet little Joshua: lots of kisses and wishes. 

I am so very blessed by you all! May I have an encore please?

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Thank You Mr. President

As reported by BBC:

America’s war with Iraq is officially over, after eight years.

The end’s being marked today with the US flag being lowered in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

All US troops leave the Middle Eastern nation by the end of the year and Iraq will look after its own security.

Promise made, promise kept. Well done Mr. President. Now how about that other pending troops Mr. President?

My Daughter’s Wedding- A Post By MCT

Sorry for the delay in posting this lovely post from our friend Michael from Auz.  TDPP  extends our hearty wishes to the happy family: yes, folks , it is never late to share a joy!
Dear all,
On Saturday 8th October 2011 our daughter Rebekah was married to Warren at Ikatan Day Spa in Doonan QLD.
They have a house in Sunshine beach and it is where they go to relax and have fun, so it was the ideal place to be married.
People asked me as the FOB (father of the bride) if i was sad and emotional. I’ll return to that question, but firstly i want to say how beautiful my daughter looked (goddess was the term most people used), and how privileged i was to walk her down the long and winding path through the garden where they were married.
I want to thank Warren for allowing Rebekah to have a Minister of the Anglican Church marry them (Roger Featherstone was amazing). It was very important to her, and to us, to have a minister marry them and not only a legal representative. As you know we believe that God is real and true.
And so as the FOB I was asked if I was sad giving my daughter away.
I love Rebekah, I remember placing her in our bed the first night that Chrissie was in hospital delivering Renton and she was not yet 12 months old. Would I roll over and crush her? What was the best thing to do? Should I just bring her cot into our room?
Rebekah grew tall and strong as though she didn’t need me and I think in retrospect I stayed away too much waiting for her to ask rather than intruding
Parenthood is so complex. Are we friends? Are we lawyers? Do we provide boundaries or leave it to society?
In her teens, Rebekah broke a school rule and the School said they would deal with it. I was relieved. They were the bad guys and I could be the good guy. But then i remembered what Jesus said: a father who truly loves his child will reprimand and correct. It is an act of love.
It was the hardest thing i have ever done. I so loved Rebekah that i wanted to avoid any form of reprimand but i knew that if I really loved her beyond my own insecurity i would have to act. And so i did.
I used to do a lot of work with the Salvos. One time I was being the speaker and i said that the problem with wild children was that they didn’t know the difference between right and wrong. Later a lovely Minister (Officer) who had been working with street kids his whole life pointed out that I was wrong: everyone knows the difference between right and wrong, he said.
The problem for street kids is that their parents don’t love them enough to correct them. So they push harder at boundaries hoping for a reaction, and when it doesn’t come they get into trouble. We only experience love when we experience someone caring enough for us that they tell us we are wrong.
At Rebekah’s wedding we met Jimmy. Jimmy runs Koto which is a school / restraunt / family in Vietnam that allows street kids to learn a skill, graduate with a recognised certificate, and get a real job. As I asked lots of questions he said that the kids need love, need to experience love for perhaps the first time in their lives.
Was I emotional about giving my daughter away?
No.
I know that I love Rebekah and that she loves me. I know that getting married wont interfere with our love for each other. I hope to show my love to Warren also.
Jesus teaches me that love never ends. Love is patient and kind. Love corrects and counsels. Love is transportable.
My faith in Jesus is complete. We gave Rebekah to Jesus when she was born (we call it baptism). I did not give her to Warren last Saturday, we already gave her to Christ.
May Peace be with you,
MCT

Happy Birthday Jesus- A Post by MCT

I wonder what Jesus wants for his birthday?

A game box? An iPhone?
He’s 2011 years old, maybe he doesn’t want anyone to remember it?
I wonder what he would say if i asked him what he wants?
The words “peace, joy and love” come to mind. Hippy words. John Lennon words. Jesus words.
Would he want that for us?
Why do we prefer war, stress and hatred? Why do the rich steal from the poor? Why is the world economy in melt down?
Its not because we have tried to follow Jesus’ teachings. What might happen if we tried?
My birthday present to Jesus will be to work harder to love him, to obey him, to do His will. I believe that will make a difference to my life, I don’t see how I can be worse off, and I believe it might be what he would like from me as his gift.
Happy birthday Jesus
love
MCT

The Power Of Vision- A Post By MCT

Our very own MCT, good friend from Melbourne sent this in mid-November. Yes, as you have realized by now…I am very much behind in my emails. Sorry, but I guess better late than never, right..?

The power of vision 

We all have some kind of vision of ourselves, a way we see our self or think of our self.

 Maybe it is successful, or driven, or goal seeking, or sporty, or tough, or beaten, or wounded, or angry, or mis-understood, or hurt, or lonely, or alone. The list is as diverse as we are numerous. Our vision is not who we are today, but who we want to become or hope to become or pretend to be. Its imaginary. 

Sometimes our vision gets broken. Serious illness breaks our vision of health and immortality. Loss of job breaks our vision of importance and worth. Massive change breaks our vision of strength and control. 

When our vision gets broken it is seriously important to repair it or rebuild it or recast it.

 But we should revisit our vision often even if it aint broke. Because some visions are not helpful, some are hurtful, some are out of date, and some have been reached.

A vision should be motivational, something we want, something we strive for, something we are willing to work for. It should be personal.

 Some visions are depressing. Some are traps. Some are cages. Some are hamster wheels.

 We should regularly (annually at the very least) write out our vision and examine it.

 Is it any good? Is it a trap? Is it empowering? Is it realistic?

 It may take weeks of testing to invent a good vision. That’s OK. That’s good. 75% of people find it hard to even express their existing vision, let alone work up a new one.

Once you have a good personal vision written out you need to remember it. It becomes your lighthouse, your beacon, your flag, your destination. From now on you are going to start doing things that will move you towards that vision, and stop doing things that move you away from it.

 Jesus was an expert at vision casting. “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He said to four fishermen. They dropped everything and followed him and became disciples and went on to catch many.

 To Nicodemus he offered the vision of seeing the kingdom of heaven. To the Samaritan woman he offered the vision that she would become a well of living water flowing up and over into eternal life.

 To Peter he offered the vision of being a shepherd, of feeding his sheep.

 Jesus has a vision for us, we can see it if we want it.

Why not write out your own vision for yourself right now?

May Peace be with you,/ MCT