My Read of the Month:

Title:  Harvard Business Review on Green Business Strategy (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
Author: Harvard Business School Press
Published: 2007
Genre: Economics/Sustainable Development
Ratings: 3.8 out of 5 stars

This is a book that presents a compilation of dissertations on environmental sustainability as a business strategy for businesses that would eventually pays great dividends.

The writers of these research pieces attempts to provide proof with substantial case studies to change the general perception that being green is high cost for minimal good.

Figures of ROIs and many success stories are told which encourages and attempt to convince top executives that going green is no longer an option but a necessity in order to remain competitive with global climate change issues arising.

Incidentally, the book provides some clues to why the U.S. are apprehensive towards serious commitment to climate change when Copenhagen arrives. My guess is that the U.S. auto industry are lagging behind it’s other global competitors such as Japan in fuel efficiency technology.

In other words, auto-mobile makers such as Honda and Toyota are ready to dominate the global auto industry with their clean cars if climate change actions are committed and sanctioned.

This move would further bring US auto giant, General Motors to its knees which cannot happen since it has been bought with taxpayers’ money worth at USD30 billion during the financial bailout. Moreover, GM is a massive employer of more than 60,000 jobs to Americans.

Who should read it: For those who would like to learn about business opportunities in the emerging green economy.

Don’t Let being in church Limit us in Being the Church

This period of ‘stepping back’ (as shared in my previous entry) has allowed me to¬†have a much needed detached view of being in a church.

For sure,¬†I’m convinced that being the Church is not merely about doing life within the four walls of the church; ¬†it goes beyond that.

Servanthood leadership as modelled by Christ, ought to be displayed not only in church, but more importantly, in the marketplace where it is most needed.

Hence, there is a pressing need for us, the Church to exercise our spiritual authority towards establishing His kingdom in this world that we live in.

The Great Commission: our responsibility

In the Great Commission (c.f. Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus has given the Church the mandate to influence and transform our world with His love and truth.

However, it is commonly misinterpreted that this mandate rests squarely on the shoulders of churches (as an organisation) or those working full-time in churches.

Make no mistake that the mandate is the responsibility of every Christ-follower; His people- the Church, and not the church.

And it is also our responsibility for each one of us to discover our specific role to which we are called to contribute and play our part in fulfilling the Great Commission.

The example of Kenny Low

Mr. Kenny Low is a fine example.¬†He is a Christian who’s currently the principal and CEO¬†of City College.

But prior to his present position, Kenny grew up thinking of serving God as a full-time pastor or a missionary. But God had other plans for him.

Along the way, Kenny discovered his gifting was inclined towards education and street dancing. That led him to start O School as a means to train and befriend other street dancers.

Later on,¬†he enrolled into a postgraduate programme¬† and armed himself with a¬†Master of Education.¬†With that,¬†he¬†went on to set up City College as¬†a private school to offer early school-leavers a second chance with their ‘O’ levels studies.

As most of school-leavers are from lower-income families, Kenny developed a sustainable and innovate way to help them by using profits generated from his dance school in providing financial assistance to those students.

For his efforts, Kenny was awarded the Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007 for his creativity in solving social problems among the youth in Singapore.

However, I’m confident that¬†it won’t be long (or maybe he has started) before Kenny will set up schools in the region to reach out other needy¬†youths.

Establishing His kingdom

Learning from¬†Kenny, let’s¬†recognise that God can move against conventional or traditional methods.

God can use us beyond the four walls of the church to establish His kingdom wherever we go.

The challenge or the opportunity for us as Christ-followers is to be strong and courageous in standing firm on His truth while bringing thea love and presence of God from the church into the marketplace.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

Let us not being in church limit us in being the Church.

Being True Worshipers

“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem.

You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews.

But the time is coming‚ÄĒit has, in fact, come‚ÄĒwhen what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.

That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.

God is sheer being itself‚ÄĒSpirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

John 4:21-24 (The Message)

A shift towards true Kingdom Living

A year has past since I had made my decision to transplant myself to another church.

It has been a humbling one-year period but yet spiritually enriching. 

But I would be lying if I said that it has been all plain sailing for me. Cos it hasn’t.

What I Have Missed

Two things I missed most and have had to come to terms with:

First was the close ties that I shared with people in Hope, especially my cell group/care group.

Second was the loss of ‚Äėprivileges‚Äô that I had as a pastoral leader where I was in a position to disciple others towards loving God and fulfilling their God-given destinies as Christians.

Now at where I am, I have to re-establish ties with a new group of people from scratch and re-build the trust as well in earning the ‚Äėprivileges‚Äô to disciple.

However, through this period of ’stepping back’, I’ve gained a paradigm shift in how the church is commonly perceived and about servant leadership.

True Kingdom Living

For instance, too¬†often we quote ‚Äúseek first His kingdom and righteousness‚ÄĚ from Matthew 6:33 with the emphasis on prioritising church-related activities as ‚Äúseeking His kingdom‚ÄĚ.¬†In my opinion, this is unbalanced and flawed.

The kingdom of God does not equate to the church. The kingdom of God encompasses not only the church but also beyond the four walls of the church. God is not only alive in the church but in our world that we live in.

As He dwells in us, the kingdom of God can only cover as much as we allow it; in our family or community, at our workplace or campus, and with our finances or health.

Though this shift towards kingdom living might seem to appear obvious or insignificant, but if so then it ought to drastically change the way we live our lives in representing Christ accurately.

Right Living for Right Fruits

To  further explain my point, let me share a brief testimony from  a local pastor.

He shared how he and his wife had struggled to decide whether she should resign from her job after they discovered she was pregnanted with their second child.

What made the decision a challenge was because the wife was a long-serving personal assistant to the senior pastor of their church. Hence, her role was considered important to the leader and the church.

But with faith rooted in kingdom-living, they were convicted of their intentions in desiring to fulfill their role as godly parents and believed that having more time with their children would be the right thing for them to do for the kingdom’s sake (and not the church’s sake).

Obviously, they had their senior pastor’s support and blessings, and today they have four happy children.

I can‚Äôt imagine¬†how things would have turned out¬†if they had adopted the¬†unbalanced¬†‚ÄĚseek first His kingdom‚ÄĚ approach in making their decision.

As another famous local preacher said, ‚ÄúThe right believing will produce the right living.‚ÄĚ

Question to ask ourselves: ‚ÄúIs our walk and faith based on¬†kingdom-living or church-living?‚ÄĚ

Let’s pray that we will be able to differiente one from the other.

Towards the BIG Day

A sneak peek into one of our wedding photo shoot outfits- our Manchester United jerseys. What can I say?? We’re die-hard fans =p

Can’t believe it!?? Counting down to 130 more days before I sacrifice lose my single-hood for good. Ha ha…

My Recommended Places for Dating Couples

Every week or any other day, couples have to crack their brains to find the next best place to go for a date.

I believe that going on dates is something very important to keep the romance alive for every couple.¬†This is especially challenging considering that we’re living in tiny island Singapore.

Hence, I have compiled my own list of recommended places for dating places that my girlfriend and I had found enjoyable and memorable.

Hope this suggestions and tips are useful. And if you have your own recommendations, please do share with us.

Here are my seven recommended dating places:

1. Danga Mall at Johor Bahru

The highlight of this isn’t the mall but the trip getting there. Danga Mall offers shoppers a¬†nostlagis train ride experience¬†from Tanjong Pager train station Singapore on the KTM train.¬†Train schedule available here>>>.

Upon reaching Danga Mall, you may decide to venture off to familar places like City Square Mall. Shopping is also a good bet for the ladies, so this will be a happy dating experience where the guys will be more appreciated by the¬†carrying of her shopping bags. Ha ha…

2. Singapore Botanic Gardens

This is ‘secret’ venue that offers much variety of activities for a date. The lush greenery of nature makes it a great place for a picnic. If not, there are a number of F&B outlets that offers a good ambience in any time of the day.

What I enjoy are the day or night outdoor performances that are offered almost every other week. Most are complimentary, so do check out their events calendar here>>>.

3. Mount Faber

The best time for a date at this high point is in the evening where the city lights and stars glitter as a romantic backdrop to set your date on the right note.

At Mount Faber, you can choose from taking a walk, to a dinner or even a ride in the cable car. If what you desire is for a relaxing and enjoyable experience, this is the place.

4. Morton’s of Chicago

This fine-dining American steakhouse serves one of the finest steaks in the world. But at a hefty price of course. However, not many know that¬†Morton’s also serves mouth-watering delectable desserts such as¬†their air-flown New York Cheesecake¬†and Godiva Chocolate cake.

Visit Morton’s¬†for a dessert treat after 9pm.¬†At this time, the restaurant is mostly empty and quiet for a great¬†ambience. And if its your birthday, the crew of servers will even throw in a birthday song and a souvenir¬†to remember your day.

5. The Singapore Flyer

For Singaporeans, this place is only worth one visit and that is the day when it falls on either one of your partners’ birthday. Birthday promotion entitles the birthday guy/lady 50% off for his/her ticket. So you only pay 75% for a pair of tickets.

The 30-min ride in the capsule does make a nice and romantic experience for a date. But provided you take it in the evening when the city lights come on. And on the promotion, please do contact them to verify on promotions.

6. The Wine Company@Evans Road

Last on this list is another dining place that is tucked away quietly along Evans road.  This has become not only my favourite place for date, but for group gatherings.

The Wine Company’s branch at Evans offers indoor and outdoor choice of ambience. What I really like about this place is the quality and price of its food which I would describe as value for money. Do check this place out. You won’t be disappointed!

Wedding ‘Ang Pow’ for Dummies

The last quarter of the year is usually the season of weddings where many of us have to attend dinner banquets.

Here’s a funny but useful guide to refer to for those who are clueless on the amount to give for your ‘ang pow(s)’:

Source: Unknown. But I think it was printed in 8 Days Magazine in May 2009.

Please kindly note that the ‘ang pow’ amount is subjected to changes with inflation. Ha ha…

My Doodling:

Found this shop called “Just 1 Book tucked in a corner at the underground Dhoby Xchange at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. I think this is cool cos you can download free softwares to design your own lovey dovey calendars, cards, photobooks and canvas paintings. And of cos, printing must pay lar… but I feel that the cost is still reasonable since the quantity is likely to be on a small scale.