A new year is upon us. The holiday season has passed.
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season. Over December, my wife and I spent over 2 weeks overseas. Our kids had a great time with Connie's family. We came back in time to preach the pre-Christmas sermon. We caught up with people and ministry then took some time off. We could finally explore some new places in Singapore with the twins. We also checked out the World of Narnia carnival - twice. We watched the movie 'Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. We caught up with our neighbours, with Li Chuang and Lisa. I even got a crown done for one of my molars.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year. The recent one was special. On Saturday, one couple friend of ours joined our Christmas Eve service for the first time. One of our kids' classmate also came with his parents to the Christmas Eve service. It was so great to see many people make first time commitments to Christ. After service, we had tea with our guests. To top it off, we had dinner with Dinah's side of the family. Our kids got gifts from their aunts and uncles, also from church friends and church staff. Like us, they love this time of the year.
Christmas day fell on a Sunday. Another of the kids' classmate came to Christmas service and he brought his sister. My wife and I were so proud of the twins. They have invited friends since Easter the previous year but no one came. We kept encouraging them and praying with them. We capped off Sunday celebration with extended lunch with Lindy, Emma, Ian, Charmaine, Wee Leng and Wan Phing. Later Dinah and I visited a couple who used to come to our church in the 90s.
One family tradition is log cake for breakfast. At year end we have different types of log cakes. Another one is year end reflection. Dinah and I review journals and note key lessons from the year that's passing. Then another tradition is to help my wife with spring cleaning, wrap school books and bags for the new school year.
We had a good time at staff thanksgiving on Friday. Fenny had an amazing Powerpoint presentation on the 2005 staff journey. The company was good. We spent the rest of the day shopping with Wee Leng and Wan Phing.
New Year day in 2006 was a Sunday. It was a wet day. I spoke on the first Sunday of the year. You could tell that people were still in the holiday mood. After evening service we joined Charmaine as she hosted a dinner party for church missionaries. This day marked the changing of the calendar.
Tuesday begins the new school year. There is a brand new regime with a later starting time which is great and new drop-off points and pick up points for the school kids. There are new schedules for Scouts and Brownies. This affects music lessons. Then Daniel got sick on the second day of school. Thank God for my wife and our assistant.
In the first work week of the new year, I'm working on the leadership lesson on 'Missions Strategic Coordinators', a vision message for the Team Rally and a Valentine message on 'Sex and Spirituality'. There is also the sermon for the upcoming overseas Leadership Conference too. There are the usual staff meetings for finalising and coordination of new projects and various staff and organisational matters.
On the second Sunday of 2006, I worshipped at Mandarin service. As is my practice here, I worshipped mostly in the spirit. James was preaching. I particularly enjoyed this statement he made: "When we go for holidays, we often come back tired. When you rest, don't forget everything. Get near God." This is so apt.
Just as I immerse into the new ministry year and begin to miss the year end holidays, tomorrow is a holiday 'Hari Raya Haji'. This is a good break. Perhaps we all love holidays because we do work hard so holidays provide much needed rest, recreation and fun. It'll probably be meaningless if we were to do it every day. Hope you had a memorable holiday and do have a great year in 2006.