My Read of the Month:

Title: Covenant Marriage: Building Communication & Intimacy
Author: Gary Chapman
Published: 2003
Genre: Christian Living/Relationships
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Gary Chapman is “Dr. Love” to the Christian community who also authored the best-selling “The Five Languages of Love”.

In this book, he presents how communication and intimacy are two of the most important aspects in developing a successful covenant marriage. And practising covenant marriage means couples must offer each other steadfast loyalty, forgiveness, empathy, and commitment to resolving conflict so as to encourage each other in spiritual growth.

I like the way he presents his book- very organised and systematic. More importantly, he appears to be well-informed and well-balanced in his message and advices. His delivery makes the reader feel comfortable in his non-condescending approach.

I particular enjoyed chapter eight of the book- “Getting to know yourself: Experiences and what they mean”. Here he explains how we are uniquely different in the way we interpret our experiences which greatly influences both our emotions and our behaviour. Hence, understanding this and the differences between a couple will help prepare us in sharing our lives with our spouse.

Dr. Chapman reminds us that life is more than having a good marriage and ought not to be an end in itself. He writes to encourage readers that the ultimate call is not the call to develop a good marriage, but to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Who should read it: Highly recommended for couples getting married or who are married.

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Confronting the Ugly ‘Green’ Truth

For a long time, our environment with its climate change issues had never gotten the degree of attention that it rightfully deserves.

This apathy especially among key leaders of governments and businesses had been mainly displaced by other concerns such as competition, economical growth, innovation and technology.

However, all that is changing and for a number of reasons. One of those reasons- the need for self-preservation on every level of societal.

Awakening to our environment

There’s an interesting French proverb- “Fish discover water last” that succinctly illustrates the kind of relationship we have with our environment.

For fish, water simply is it’s environment. It surrounds them. They are so immersed in its presence that they are unaware of its existence- until it becomes polluted or non-existent.

When that happens, the immediate consequence makes it apparent that quality water is essential for their well-being. Without it, the fish will die.

Similarly, we as humans are finally discovering our high dependency on our environment with the dramatic developments that have surrounded climate change.

Now, the world is in stark realisation that our environment is vital to our own well-being just as water is to a fish. Without our environment, we will ultimately self-destruct.

Our future by 2050

According to the United Nations (UN), our global population is projected to swell from 6.7 billion (2009) to surpass 9 billion by 2050.

That amounts to adding two Chinas to the number of people alive today who will be seeking food, water and other resources on this earth where, scientists say, who are already shaping our climate and the web of life.

For instance, China and India are presently dominating the demand for energy in Asia. China alone accounts for 40 per cent of primary energy needs and responsible for 60 per cent of carbon emissions.

At this rate, we can expect energy demands to double; using twice the energy. And with our source of energy mainly based on a fossil fuel economy, this will have a negative impact on our environment.

With our growing insatiable consumption for all of earth’s natural resources, 2050 is not very far away for us to max out our planet and destroy ourselves.

Taking environmental issues in our context

At this point, I would like to invite readers to think for a moment:

What would become of nations when there is a depleting supply of staple food such as rice or corn?

Would countries that cultivate them supply and export to their neighbours?

What happens when supplies of other neighbouring countries run dry and they see producing countries having supply?

From the likes of how oil is globally distributed, I think it is safe to say that countries with natural supplies will likely protect and hoard their resources for self-gain and to provide for their own countrymen.

Like how the many wars had erupted in the Middle East region over the supply of oil, we, therefore cannot not rule out the possible threat of wars among nations vying for natural resources in bid to survive.

Now, imagine that we have arrived at 2050 with global natural resources depleted and tagged with sky-rocketing prices due to high demand.

What would become of Singapore as a country that imports almost all of its natural resources and has none to its name?

You tell me.

Sustaining our Environment for our Development

“Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

~ The Bruntland Report (1987)


“Wherever we are, we act with respect to exert a positive impact on people and on the limited resources of our planet to ensure long-term profitability

~ Common ground statement at the Future Search workshop (2008)


Sustainable development goes beyond the environment. It is basically an approach that says you should not take away more than you add- to the world’s resources and environment, as well as to the well-being of the people who work for you.”

~ Quoted from the Review of The Straits Times (2009)

Carbon emissions will fall 3% due to recession, say world energy analysts

Carbon emissions usually refer to the man-made production of a series of gases that contribute to climate change. And this news report shows how carbon emissions are strongly linked to economic growth. However, I feel 3 per cent is a very conservative figure.

Man-made greenhouse gas emissions will drop 3% in 2009 largely because of the worldwide financial crisis, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.

Three-quarters of the reduction has been the result of less industrial activity, with the rest coming from countries turning to renewable energyand nuclear power.

But the world’s premier energy analysts calculated that to avoid dangerous climate change, countries around the world will have to spend $400bn a year building more than 350 new nuclear plants and 350,000 wind turbines in the next 20 years. They also estimate that by 2020, three-fifths of cars will need to use alternatives to the traditional internal combustion engine.

The findings came in a special extract of the IEA’s forthcoming annual world energy outlook report, published at the UN climate talks in Bangkok.

The emissions cuts, only the fourth in the last 50 years, provide countries with a unique chance to switch to less carbon-intensive energy sources, said the IEA’s chief economist, Fatih Birol.

Read the rest of the article here>>>

My Doodling:

My apologies for the late updates on my blog. I’ve been consolidating my thoughts on my recent exposure to environmental issues and will be writing some interesting and forward-thinking entries tagged under “My Green Discoveries”. Look out for them!

Being a ‘Joseph’ at work

Since joining my current organisation, the biblical character of Joseph in the book of Genesis has been my daily inspiration.

His journey towards fulfilling his destiny is one that demands respect and rouses one to follow his example.

Key attributes of Joseph

In many aspects, I find Joseph a great exemplary of a marketplace leader that all of us can emulate in this 21st century.

He embodies the key attributes necessary in setting us up for success. These attributes are: (1) character, (2) competence and (3) charisma.

Character

Even with the lack of supervision from Potiphar (his boss), Joseph displayed integrity by being faithful in his work.

He was also trustworthy with what he was entrusted with as he didn’t covet what wasn’t rightfully his (c.f. Genesis 39:7-8).

Competence

It should be the case that things in Potiphar’s household would usually turned out in disarray or went missing when the other slaves were entrusted.

But with Joseph in charge, everything was in order and prospering (c.f. Genesis 39:4-5).

Obviously, Joseph was a problem-solver and not a problem-creator.

Charisma

Joseph’s charismatic flair was not about his personality or mannerism, but it was his ability in using his personal being to interface.

It seemed that he had an innate magnetism that caught the attention and favour of Potiphar. And that was the presence of God in his life (c.f. Genesis 39:2-3).

Ultimately, it was God who brought success to Joseph.

My Prayer in being a ‘Joseph’

I believe this recurring impression of emulating Joseph- his perseverance, credibility and success- is His word for the season for me in this organisation.

Taking my cue from Joseph, I want to carry and exude the presence of God in my life at work.

I pray that I may be favoured as a reliable and trustworthy manager and that everything which is entrusted to me will prosper for His glory.

Amen.

Casting the Net

With Mr Mathew Yap, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of SingaNews at the ATRIA New Media Breakfast held on 9 September 2009.

SingaNews.com news site is slated to be officially launched on October this year. For more information , please visit here.