curriculum

Postcards from St Andrew’s Church, Abu Dhabi

At St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi, I met and entertained many children. I feel that “the sky lovingly smiles on the earth and her children,” quoting Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart Jesus cross

The present St Andrew’s Church was built in 1984 on a land generously donated by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the Al Nahyan ruling family. The area is known as the Churches area in Abu Dhabi.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

The website of the St Andrew’s Church mentioned that “somebody once described St Andrew’s church as Evangelical in the pulpit, Catholic at the altar and Charismatic in the pews”, to highlight their diversity.

It is likely that baby Ren will be interested in the St Andrew’s Playgroup (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, between 9.30am and 11.30am) with the entry fee of AED 15  per parent/carer, for children regardless of nationality or religion.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

In the autumn 2014, I started to study the Bible daily and have crafted prayers or made simple take-home messages. Once I complete studying the Bible, I plan to study Al Quran, as envisioned in our lifelong curriculum.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

♥ ♥ ♥

In the summer 2003, I almost became an angel as a mascot for inter-school games. Siew Hwey had kindly made the feathery-like cotton wings and the angel halo headband, but in the end those items were not used.

Patience is a virtue. Never lose hope. The universe will choose the right time and the right place to answer your desire. You kind, loving, inspiring desire is your prayer.

This afternoon, I became an angel – without wings, who told a Christmas story to children. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve children – our hope for the future, and to share messages of love and hope. Yes, a messenger of everything lifeward and positive. The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger’.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart audience

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart hi angel
The little girl was excited to see an angel. 

Thanks to Dewi for firstly inviting me to contribute in the early Merry Christmas celebration, Laura for the help with the costume, the storytelling equipment (torchlight and colorful pictures) and the gifts for the courageous and lucky children who did well in the post-story Q&A session.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart angel

According to Jerry A. Coyne PhD, 77% of Americans believe in angels. Do you believe in angels and miracles?

Upon seeing me in the angel costume, Alice (a little girl who just went to Moyenne Island, Seychelles) remarked, “she is not an angle, she is a girl.” It stroke me. Later, Alice told me that she loves the story told by the angel – me.

Perhaps, real people in angle costumes only work for toddlers. A young toddler whose name is Atara, curiously tried to touch me. She loves the pendants of my necklace too, as I realized when I carried her.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart angels

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart angels dance

From the pamphlet, I also learned about a mnemonic of LIGHT.
L = Love (kasih)
I = Integrity (integritas)
G = Generosity (kemurahan)
H = Humility (kerendahan hati)
T = Truth (kebenaran)

♥ ♥ ♥

Here is a recap of Christmas service for the children.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart  christmas tree

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart candles

The first song was Jingle Bells.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Reff:
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Reff

I always love the classic Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconcile.
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased as Man with Man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing sung by a children’s choir:

A way in a manger

You can listen to a story entitled “Let Your Light Shine” narrated by Jing@servicefromheart.

Happy birthday Jesus (with a link from Laura)

Happy birthday, Jesus
I’m so glad it’s Christmas
All the tinsel and lights
And the presents are nice
But the real gift is You
Happy birthday, Jesus
I’m so glad it’s Christmas
All the carols and bells
Make the holiday swell
And it’s all about You
Happy birthday, Jesus
Jesus I love You

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart cake

Silent Night

Silent Night by a children’s choir

Silent night! holy night!
All is calm all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night! holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born!

♥ ♥ ♥

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart children smiles innocent

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” ~ Denis Waitley

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

While I greatly love to take photographs of people, they are also among the most challenging ones, especially children. There are a number of shots of mine that captured the joyful or amazed expressions of our little friends, but the photos turned out to be out of focus.

This morning, a girlfriend flying to Abu Dhabi today inquired me what things that I want her to get for me from Kuala Lumpur. At that time, I want nothing, but her safe flight.

However, after going through some of the photographs that I took at the St Andrew’s Church, how I wish I could have a light-field / plenoptic camera manufactured by Lytro, founded by Yi Ren Ng PhD. I hope that its price of US$399 will decrease so that more people can afford it. This is going to be my Christmas gift wish list!

By the way, I enjoyed Ng’s Stanford thesis and summarized it in a wordcloud.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart Ren Ng light field camera thesis Lytro

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20141206

How to quickly share multiple files in Google Drive to your collaborators?

ServicefromHeart  quickly share multiple files in Google Drive to your collaborators

METHOD 1
1. Go to drive.google.com
2. Select My Drive
3. Select All Ctrl+A
4. Click Share icon
5. Add collaborators’ emails or change visibility to public or those with links

METHOD 2
1. Create a folder
2. Right Click to change the Sharing options and each newly created item will have the same sharing permissions as the selected folder

Good Luck!

Last updated 20140716

Chinese idioms

Chinese idioms, known as ChengYu (成语), are beautiful 4-word sayings or proverbs that are derived from ancient poems and literature.

You can learn about the stories behind ChengYu and gain cultural appreciation and anthropological perspective in the process. Using them in writing or conversation can also add colors and joys to your life.  For students, appropriately dropping Chinese idioms in your essays is like Santa Claus or Santarina who generously give surprise gifts to your reader. For professionals interacting with your Chinese friends, colleagues and clients, using Chinese idioms properly can strengthen your relationships.

Like you, I love beautiful words, idioms and quotes.  In my teen, I was very fortunate to learn some Chinese idioms that stay on my mind until today.  It is my aspiration to learn as many ChengYu as possible as part of a lifelong learning curriculum.

A list of useful and more commonly used ChengYu:

爱不释手
爱屋及乌
按部就班
百年树人
百折不挠
班门弄斧
半途而废
包罗万象
闭门造车
变本加厉
标新立异
别出心裁
宾至如归
不耻下问
不攻自破
不可救药
不可思议
不劳而获
不务正业
不省人事
不遗余力
不翼而飞
不择手段
不自量力
长年累月
趁火打劫
重蹈覆辙
愁眉不展
出类拔萃
川流不息
吹毛求疵
垂涎三尺
唇亡齿寒
从容不迫
从善如流
措手不及
打草惊蛇
大刀阔斧
大公无私
大言不惭
当机立断
道听途说
得寸进尺
得过且过
得意忘形
德高望重
对牛弹琴
耳濡目染
发扬光大
废寝忘食
奋不顾身
风驰电掣
奉公守法
凤毛麟角
敷衍塞责
改过自新
高瞻远瞩
高枕无忧
隔岸观火
各有千秋
根深蒂固
功亏一篑
勾心斗角
苟且偷安
孤陋寡闻
孤掌难鸣
孤注一掷
沽名钓誉
古色古香
拐弯抹角
光明正大
光明磊落
海底捞针
含辛茹苦
好高骛远
好逸恶劳
和睦共处
狐假虎威
胡思乱想
胡作非为
花言巧语
画龙点睛
画蛇添足
挥金如土
混水摸鱼
鸡犬不宁
集思广益
家喻户晓
假公济私
见利忘义
见异思迁
见义勇为
捷足先登
津津有味
进退两难
进退维谷
精益求精
居安思危
井井有条
鞠躬尽瘁
举一反三
举足轻重
开门见山
开源节流
慷慨解囊
刻苦耐劳
口是心非
苦口婆心
脍炙人口
滥竽充数
老马识途
理直气壮
力不从心
励精图治
了如指掌
临渴掘井
流离失所
路不拾遗
落花流水
络绎不绝
满载而归
慢条斯理
毛遂自荐
每况愈下
每下愈况
面目全非
明目张胆
明哲保身
明知故犯
墨守成规
目中无人
弄巧反拙
破釜沉舟
普天同庆
杞人忧天
千钧一发
千篇一律
千载难逢
前车之鉴
潜移默化
强词夺理
青出于蓝
倾家荡产
情同手足
人浮于事
人云亦云
任劳任怨
荣华富贵
富贵荣华
如火如荼
如释重负
三思而行
僧多粥少
杀鸡取卵
舍己为人
事半功倍
事倍功半
视死如归
手不释卷
守口如瓶
守望相助
守株待兔
熟能生巧
束手无策
水到渠成
水落石出
顺手牵羊
司空见惯
似是而非
随遇而安
滔滔不绝
口若悬河
提心吊胆
挑拨离间
铤而走险
同甘共苦
同归于尽
同流合污
同舟共济
投机取巧
徒劳无功
推陈出新
望尘莫及
忘恩负义
为非作歹
未雨绸缪
温故知新
无病呻吟
无动于衷
无微不至
五体投地
息事宁人
相安无事
相辅相成
心灰意懒
心旷神怡
欣欣向荣
信口开河
信口雌黄
兴高采烈
胸有成竹
袖手旁观
栩栩如生
悬崖勒马
削足适履
寻根究底
循循善诱
鸦雀无声
雅俗共赏
言行一致
养尊处优
摇摇欲坠
一败涂地
一帆风顺
一见如故
一举两得
一箭双雕
一蹶不振
一劳永逸
一落千丈
一毛不拔
一目了然
一暴十寒
一视同仁
一事无成
一网打尽
一意孤行
一针见血
一知半解
以卵击石
以身作则
以牙还牙
易如反掌
异想天开
饮水思源
迎刃而解
应接不暇
优柔寡断
游手好闲
有目共睹
有勇无谋
与日俱增
再接再厉
真知灼见
蒸蒸日上
执迷不悟
趾高气扬
纸上谈兵
志同道合
置之不理
忠言逆耳
装聋作哑
自暴自弃
自力更生
自投罗网
自相矛盾
坐井观天
坐享其成