Being rich is not how much you have but how much you give

Giving is a virtue and it’s working out of our faith

I received this short film via a Facebook friend.

The story is very simple but the meaning is great, especially for those of us who strive so hard to be successful and rich.

What is success? To different people, it means different things.

Some measure success by the amount of money you have (I mean that kept in your possession), some by the number of properties you own, some by the string of status you put on your name card, some by the profession you are in, some by the number of friends you have (everyone is talking about EQ and networking now)……..the list if endless. However, we notice that these measures are all based on money, material possession and fame.

What is success? Continue reading

恭祝大家农历新年蒙恩 Wishing all a blessed CNY

农历新年终于到了 Finally….Chinese New Year is here

时间过得真快,一转眼明天就是年除夕了。除夕夜是华人全家聚集一起吃团圆饭的日子。现今的年轻人,因为个人主义抬头,大家庭制度的流失,已经无法明白团圆饭的意义了。

Time flies…..we are going to celebrate Chinese New Year Eve tomorrow. Usually it is a time when the whole family (including all extended family members) having a reunion dinner together. With the increasing individualistic value and extended family disappearing rapidly, the younger generations may not see the significance of this event.

可是,你们知道吗?这个简单的年夜饭是很多长辈日夜等待的日子,尤其是他们的儿孙没有跟他们同住的老人。

Do you know? For most of elderly family members, this is a day they have been looking forward for the entire year. This is especially true when most of their children and grand children are staying away from them for the rest of the year.

他们殷切盼望见到你们 They are looking forward to seeing you…………….

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How To Answer Your Child’s “WHY”

“Because” Just Isn’t the Answer

Children are inquisitive by nature.  When they are younger, it’s usually because they want to better understand something.  When they are older, it’s because they want to better understand why you think something is important and why they should also feel the same way.  Regardless of their age, it’s imperative that when setting forth the rules and expectations in your home, your child understands there is no room for questioning the rules you set forth and the consequences of breaking the rules.

As Christians, we prayed for our children as they were growing up. It does not mean that we have been excellent parents, we made silly and serious mistake in parenting. In many senses, we actually failed to be good and great parents. However, we chose to pray for God’s protection and preservation of our children’s faith. More importantly, we pray for God’s grace, wisdom and much patience when we were bringing them up. Now that they have reached adulthood, we continue to pray for them. One thing Julia and I always believe that we cannot be with our children all the time, but our God can.

For Younger Children…..

Young ChildrenIt is very difficult to reason with younger children, they usually do not understand a lengthy explanation of why it’s important that they be home from their friend’s home at a certain time or why they aren’t allowed to play ball in the house.  However, the one thing they do strive to do most of the time is to make their parents proud and happy.  Continue reading

The Greatest Ambition of A Mother

chickenWhat is the greatest ambition of a mother?

When I was much younger, something always happened at the dinner table.

Which parts of chicken and fish are mother’s favorites?

When there is a whole chicken on the table, my mother would take the two drumsticks and put them into the plates of my brother and mine. She would then say this, “The two chicken wings are for your father.” (All of us are fully aware that, up to these days when he is over 80 years old, Dad still loves chicken wings. We have given up advising him not to eat these most unhealthy parts of a chicken.) And then mother smiled and said,  “I love eating the neck and the boney parts of the chicken.”

When there is a fish on the table, the unsaid rules in the family are that I will take the tail and the two fins, my brother and Dad will take the “meaty” parts. Mother always takes the fish head. She said, “Fish head is delicious. Anyway, nobody knows how to eat it in this family.”

When I grew a bit older, I thought for myself, “Does mother really like boney parts of the chicken and fish head? Did she eat them because Continue reading

Do we know what our parents want?

Honor your Parents

“Honor your father and mother”- which is the first commandment with a promise. Ephesians 6:2

This is a great video (it’s in Chinese Cantonese dialect though) to remind us to show love and concern to our parents while we still have them with us.

A story was told of an elderly father continued to call his daughter’s mobile, wanting to listen to her voice to leave a message after the “peep”………although he knows so well that his daughter died in a car accident 3 years ago. The mobile company allowed this unusual service to continue because they care.

Click here to view the video

Young people have lots of treasures; endless laughter with friends to enjoy , glittering lights in shopping malls to behold, challenging career ladder to climb, satisfying hobbies to pursue……..

How about your elderly papa and mama? When the children are not around Continue reading

5 Tips on Communication with Teenagers

Communication is one of the keys

Family

I believe you read my post on “How do teenage problems affect the parents?” (Click here to read) one of the keys to grow with your teenagers is to open up communication channels. As parents, you can’t accomplish anything if no one is listening. Communication is the cornerstone for a positive relationship with your teens.

Over these years when my children are growing up, I read quite a bit of books and practical advices from gurus on parenting teenage children. Without exception, all of them stress the importance of Continue reading

How Do Teenage Problems Affect The Parents?

How Do Teenage Problems Affect The Parents?

Julia and I have a fair share of challenges when our two children grew to become teenagers. Suddenly they no longer looked at their parents as heros, they also found it hard to relate to us as buddies. When they faced some real stressful and challenging situations in relationships – To share or not to share? That’s the big question.

Family

As parents, we have to understand that teenage problems are inherent because Continue reading

Effective Parenting – Know your style

Which One of 3 Parenting Styles Are You?

Fishing

A rare time when our family went fishing together

If you don’t already know, all of us have natural styles in relating people. Parenting is of no difference. My two children have been raised in a disciplined environment. They complained that it has been unfair because they weren’t allow to do many things which their contemporaries would do them without having to ask their parents’ permission. Some of my friends used to jokingly commented, “Henry is raising children in an army camp.” I must admit, Julia and I made many mistakes in the process of raising our children. We had no idea about parenting styles until when our children were much older. Surprisingly we found out that we were unconsciously following our own parents’ styles in relating to our own children.

I am sharing this post because Continue reading

Effective Parenting – What to do when your baby cries?

crying babyOh! “Crying Babies”

Baby’s crying seems to be such a distant history for Julia and I. Our children have grown up so fast that they are already into their early 20’s. They don’t cry now, at least they don’t cry in the ways that they did when they were babies. However, Julia and I can still remember how we “suffered” from their sharp and high pitched cries. Well, it is part of the price of being parents. You receive much blessings to have a bundle of joy when your child is born. At the same time, you receive the whole lot of challenges to deal with this “angel” gives to you – one of which is crying without apparent reasons in the middle of the nights. Therefore, to get prepared for parenting is so important. (Click here to read my related post)

If you have been parents for a while, you’ll notice that babies cry. You may become helpless and frustrated when you fail to understand the reasons. A piecrying babyce of important information all parents need to know is this; Crying is a physiological process in the life of a baby. It is the most natural and normal way of communicating with others. Your baby is too young to utter words that can make sense to you, crying is the only way, whether you like it or not, for him to communicate his feelings and discomfort.

We have done some research, coupled with our own experiences, on babies crying which we think might be useful for new parents. These practical tips can be learned Continue reading

Our Journey in Marriage

Marriage is a Blessing – Don’t turn it into a curse.

Henry wedding 1Our Wedding Photo in 1987

This article may be slightly long compares to the normal standard of a web post. However, I hope you have the patience to read it through. We are sharing our journey of more than 20 years of marriage and really pray that someone like you who are reading it will be blessed.

For those of you who are deciding to walk down the aisle soon, you are surely overwhelmed by the prospect of you and your partner living happily together for the rest of your life. This is actually a good expectation. In fact, when both of you decide to say “I do” to each other, you should have such high hope of your marriage life.

Marriage can be one of the greatest blessings in your life. You are going to live with the person whom you loved and committed to for the rest of your life on earth. In years to come, two of you are going to have children to share this life together. How wonderful it is. Continue reading

How to manage household finances without emotional stress and arguments?

Household budgetHousehold Financial Management – What’s the Big Deal?

Before Julia and I walked down the aisle, many friends told us from their experiences that one of the toughest challenges in marriage is to agree on the ways to manage household finances.

“Believe me, Henry, you are going to have heated arguments on how to spend money.” Sincere and loving friends “warned” me in advance with well intention.Arguing

Due to different family background and the way that our parents brought us up, we have different attitudes and habits on spending and saving. We cannot expect a couple to have the same priorities in managing finances. Compromises and mutual respect are keys to work out an agreeable pattern together.

After nearly 30 years of marriage, we must say household finance has not been a great issue for us. Why? Besides the fact that both of us share the same trait of being thrifty, we also established 2 basic principles and stick to them religiously.

1)     Find your comfort level with merging your finances.

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How to deal with two most common fears in life?

Child fearTake Away My Fear

Have you ever worried about your family member’s safety? How about really concerned for your children’s education? Or may be anxious about a sick and elderly parent? Chances are you do face some form of fear, anxiety and worrisome. Yes. You’re right. Having fears is a natural part of life. Fear enables us to be careful and not subject ourselves to danger. However, fear turns out to be unhealthy and undesirable when you allow it to take control of the way you live your life or relate to others. In fact I have seen many cases where fear has so gripped the person’s life and emotions that he is totally “paralyzed”, it means his mind goes completely blank and he cannot make any normal decision in that situation.

I would like to share with you two very common fears happen in families. From the examples you could chose to react to your fear positively or the other way. Are you ready to look at them?

Fear No. 1: The Straying Partner

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Build your child’s self-esteem – Video Version

Thank youThank you for your encouragement.

I am so happy to receive much encouragement from many who have read my blog yesterday on “Build your child’s self-esteem is your responsibility”. (Click here for the full article). With your support and cheers, I shall work harder to provide good tips in “building your family with love and confidence“. (Do you realize that this is our blog’s tag line? 🙂 )

I can see that many of us parents have the same problem of trying to build our children’s confidence which will benefit them for their whole life. The article contains only some practical pointers for us to work on. Do not expect immediate miracles. It’s worth our investment to continue nurturing our children’s future. They are our loved ones and will become the future generation of our family, nation and the whole world.

One of my friends who have read the article suggested that I should post a summary video of this article. Being new to blogging, I am not familiar with how this can be done. He taught me the easiest way to make Powerpoint slides, save them using Windows Live Movie Maker program and then convert it into Media Audio/ Video file. I managed to do just that. I also figure out how to add a piece of nice music to go along with the video.

Yes. Nothing is too difficult if you are humble enough to ask and learn. I know you are probably laughing, this video is really an amateur’s work. However, this is an important first step that I have taken. I am sure I will become better each time I try again. So……friends, the worst enemy we have is to stand still, procrastinate (read my other article on “6 ways of getting rid of procrastination” here) and not to take any action. Success will never come to you if you don’t even start trying.

Let us encourage one another to initiate and move on. 🙂

Here is my first VIDEO on “Build your child’s self-esteem”, hope you enjoy it.

Please give me some feedback and comments. I shall improve further with your encouragement. Thanks again.

Build your child’s self-esteem

Child 1Build Your Child’s Self Esteem is your responsibility

Do you ever wonder why the child next door is full of joy and courage? He seems to take initiative to do things and speak his minds without feeling intimidated. When you turn around and look at your child at home. He seems not interested in anything. He does not ask questions like most children do. You are puzzled and think of what you have done wrong or what your neighbor has done right to raise two children with such different characters.

It’s important that a child is brought up with positive self image and self value. A child brought up in that way shall have the necessary confidence to face their adulthood. But how and where would your child learn self esteem and self worth? In my previous article “Parenting tips”, you would have learned that your child imitate you. Therefore, the most obvious place for them to build self esteem is at home and from you. When your child is young, you are the person who spends the longest hours with them. Your influence in your child’s life can never be underestimated.

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God helps my family stay strong

Weekend Reflection:

Today’s Quote (Mother Teresa)
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Family1Every family, including mine, experiences hardships. It’s only natural to have personalities clash in a home with so many strong-minded individuals.

Though it may seem at times like our family members have very different opinions on things, our bond is undeniably strong.

ShoppingIn the past, my wife and I took spending time with our children for granted; now we savor every moment spent by their side. This is especially true when they reach an age when they no longer need us driving them around. Nothing feels better than my daughter asking, “Hey, want to go to the mall?” She could have asked any of her friends to go with her, but she asked me! Continue reading