My Read of the Month:

Title: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.)Author: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Published: 2005
Genre: Socio- politics/Economics
Ratings: 2.0 out of 5 stars

Numbers are fascinating and easily impress. It provides measurable formulas that helps explain or give reason.

That’s why journalists love inserting statistics or figures in their reports. It gives weight to the content.

In this book, the authors’ objective is to encourage critical thinking and think differently about facts and figures; to ask questions before accepting what data is presented.

For instance, if our Housing minister reports that his newly implemented measures has worked in bringing down property prices in Singapore, can we assume that there is a correlation between the two?

This book presents six wholly different topics and does jump randomly from question to question to drive its points. For example in one chapter, it explores the cause of the dramatic drop in the U.S. crime rate.
 
And contrary to what had been publicly reported of better police work or new gun laws being the reasons for this fall, the authors contributed to almost entirely to legalized abortion.
 
Overall, this is a fascinating and controversial read that is relatively short and packed with interesting case studies that exposes conventional wisdom.
 
Who should read it: For anyone that is looking for a book to occupy his or her pleasure time.

GE 2011: What is God doing?

This year, the general elections in Singapore looks to be a watershed one!

Since independence, this is the first time all (87) seats are contested except 5 seats namely from Tanjong Pagar GRC. And this was due to a controversial incident.

Nonetheless, this remains a significant progress for Singapore’s political scene especially with majority of Singaporeans voting for the very first time after countless walkovers.

From the last election that happened in 2006, I’ve observed two key factors that are distinctive in shaping this election.

First is the increased numbers of young voters or Gen-Ys who are eligible above the age of 21 years old, and the other is the influence of social media, in particularly Facebook that is shaping the opinions of Singaporeans.

These two are inter-linked because it is the Gen-Ys that are more savvy or in tuned to such online social media platforms. And together, they prove to be a lethal force to be reckoned with.

It has contributed in addressing the general lack of apathy among the average Singaporean towards political issues and appealed to more citizens to join the opposition parties.

Because information is now no longer just confined or belonging to the higher echelon of society or baby boomers. The Internet has levelled the playing field where vital information is easily accessible and shared among people.

That said, amidst all the buzz and excitement, I’m trying to discern what is God’s agenda or move in this overall political situation.

I strongly believe that He’s taking Singapore to the next level where this nation and the Church can fulfill its full potential towards advancing His global redemptive plan.

So in this elections, let’s pray and vote wisely.

I know that He loves me

My trip to Sydney was nothing short of perfect!

It was the perfect getaway with God. And one fully instigated by Him.

Everything was arranged and paid for, from the air ticket to the accommodation.

He even got me fetched from and driven to the airport!

If that was not enough, He even blessed me with a couple of hundred dollars for expenses through a thoughtful friend.

From the start to the end of the trip, I was unreservingly lavished with His (practical) love through His people.

I guess God knew I needed a reminder and a fresh outpouring of His love since it is so easy to overlook or ignore my own needs (emotional and spiritual) in the midst of all the doing.

True enough, I met God there especially during the 4-day Presence Conference. He renewed me, refocused me and rejuvenated me.

In particularly, I felt a release of faith upon my inner being. I was comforted in His presence and assured of His love for me.

I know that He loves me; that He is and has been there for me even in my weakness. He is faithful and I’ll trust in His love.

I’ll wait for His promises to come to pass. I’ll keep the faith because a vision that is impossible requires faith. If it doesn’t, that it is not God-given.

We’re one year old!

Last month, my wife and I celebrated our first year marriage anniversary. Yes! We’re one year old!

I believe for most of that one year, God had been molding our character and unity as a couple. And He still is.

We learnt to be independent from our parents and at the same time, to be depended on God together; instilling steel into the back bone of our marriage.

Not everything has been ‘and-they-lived-happily-ever-after’ though. We do have our crazy moments where we fall from lovers to enemies in an instant; from hugging to strangling  each other. Haha…

For most parts of those moments, they primarily stemmed from our differences in personality, gender traits and personal habits. For instance, I’m the outgoing and adventurous sort while my wife is more reserved and safe.

So you can imagine how we can unknowingly or knowingly unnerve each other. That’s explosive couple-discovery! Haha…

Fun as it may seems but there’s no doubt that marriage is hard work. There are loads of loving and forgiving to do each day on top of the practical challenges that need to be tackled. 

Nonetheless, I give thanks for an awesome first year (and the latter years ahead)  of marriage. Indeed, God is good!

Every drop of His grace matters

But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others?

Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it.

So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.

1 Corinthians 15:10-11 (The Message)