Merry Christmas news!

Hi everyone! Merry Christmas! Seasons greetings!

I’m sorry that I haven’t written anything in a while. I’ve been busy with assignments, story-writing, family dinners and eating. There’s so much to say. I’ve written everything down in my diary. Maybe I’ll share some of these stories next year.

This will be my last post for 2018. :(((

Why?

Because I’m going to Greece tomorrow! You’ll be hearing all about this next year February. My office is closed until then because I’m not taking my laptop with me. My insurance doesn’t cover it.

Good bye for this year. I’ll see you next year. I’m looking forward to more exciting adventures both on and offline.

Until we meet again,

Ching Ern Yeh

 

PS: Writing is hard work. There are no excuses.

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Let’s connect

Attention all bloggers!

Let’s connect 🙂

IF you visit my blog, I would love to return the favour.

I’m always on the lookout for a good and tasty read.

I can visit your blog when you leave a comment. I’m not saying this just to have comments (although I do feel a bit lonely sometimes). I’m saying this because I can click on your name and that will bring me to your website. You could also leave a link to your website in your comments as well.

Thank you all.

PS: Are you looking forward to this year’s Christmas?

 

My confession: Sorry

Before I give you my confession, I would first like to say a few things:

  1. This is a REAL confession but…
  2. It’s not juicy gossip and it’s something probably a lot of people have done
  3. so don’t expect something that would make headline news
  4. In saying that, before I write anymore, I would like to start with three words to YOU: I am sorry.

I am sorry.

Why? What for? What have I done?

The theme for 2018 has been, “Comeback”. It’s been difficult for me to write my blog and keep at it. The purpose of my theme was to get in the habit of writing and that meant quality over quantity. But now that I’ve found my groove, and my genuine joy and passion that comes from blogging, I need to be a bit more professional. I’ve been reading a few of my past posts from as far back as 2016 and I realised editing is important. Without good editing, a good idea is just that-an idea.

This leads me to my next point: What I’m going to do now that I’ve said sorry.

I will not make the same mistake twice. I will focus on quality over quantity. This may mean that I won’t write as much posts as this year, but it’ll also mean (hopefully), that the ones I do post will be meaningful and professional.

The blog theme for next year is, “Repentence”. But I’m not going to start next year. I’m going to start right now. Watch me grow into a professional writer who can edit. I’m going to rewrite, revise and repost my previous blog posts.

You turn

Have you ever written and published a blog post that was so bad, you look at it now and think, “What was I thinking?”

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Barrabus: a new perspective on my life

Last night, I went on Youtube and watched videos of reactions to people’s prison sentences. I watched people’s reactions to having a life sentence or being on death row. This isn’t what I usually watch but for some reason, I was drawn to this. As I learned about their crimes, the judgement and their reactions, something stirred inside me. On one hand, I felt anger, hatred and a sense of righteousness. After all, they deserved what they got. I felt angry because they could cry over their own life, but they obviously didn’t hold their victim’s life with the same value..

But as I watched someone, who was told he faced death row, something whispered in my ear; “Jesus died for you.” It was bizarre and heartfelt at the same time. These murderers; who laughed when the judge read out his crimes, who were angry at their sentence as if they did not deserve to die, who looked back once more at the camera before being led away by the police; these were the people Jesus had laid his life for even though they did not deserve it.  

Deserve. That word came up many times in my mind, in the judges’ mouths and in the comments below. These monsters deserved what they got. They didn’t deserve to live. They didn’t deserve to ever be let out of prison. Deserve.

But don’t we all deserve this punishment?

Jesus came to this earth to save sinners through his death and resurrection. We are all sinners. No matter how many good acts we perform, no matter how clean our record may be, but in the eyes of God, we are sinners, we fall short of his righteousness. Since the punishment for sin is death, we deserve to die.

It was hard to get my head around that these murderers and I both deserved to die but this was the revelation I had while I watched these videos.

What was even more incredible, was that for the first time, I gave thought to the murderer who was let go by Pilate and at the request of the Jews. I had never cared much about this detail but suddenly, it was significant to my life. Jesus took the place of Barrabas and died in his place. He did the same for you and me.

If I wasn’t already convicted of self righteousness, God gave me another verse. It was when Jesus gave his sermon on a mountain and explained the ten commandments in more depths, so that the Jews would learn that the law was impossible to follow by their own will or might.

Jesus told them that anger, in the eyes of God, is the same as murder. Just like how murder is subject to judgement, so too is being angry with someone. We must go so far as to hold our tongues from calling someone stupid or a fool (Mathew 5:21-26, NIV).

The ones who, by human law, are good citizens, and the ones who, by the same law, are in jail or on death row, are all sinners in God’s eyes. Jesus died for the whole world, not for the people who deserved everlasting life. In fact, none of us falls in that category.

We fall short of God’s holiness, righteousness, and standards. We can not hope to obey the law if we do not find grace in Jesus.

After watching these videos, I watched a lighter video-a cat in a shark costume on a roomba, chasing a duck-because I didn’t want to go to sleep with these dark thoughts. But after this, I prayed a heartfelt prayer to God. I thanked God that, exactly like Barrabas, Jesus took my place at the cross and he died for my sins, so that I may be forgiven. For it is only by God’s grace that I can be righteous in His eyes.

17 things you should know about the NZ treaty

In today’s blog post, I talk about 17 facts that I think every kiwi should know about the Treaty of Waitangi. I also relate this to God and biblical themes of, “Justice, Covenants and reconciliation”.

  1. The Treaty of Waitangi was created in 1840 by Governor William Hobson. The Treaty was first signed on February 6th 1840The British Crown wanted sovereignty over New Zealand but Maori thought they were allowing British government to rule while keeping Maori sovereignty. (New Zealand & State Services Commission, 2006)
  2. Henry Williams was the translator. For the word, “Sovereignty”, he used the word, “Kawanatanga”, which can be transliterated as, “Government”. But this word was created for the purpose of translating, “sovereignty” into Maori. (“treaty-kawharu-footnotes.pdf,” n.d.)
  3. Pakeha saw land as a product that people used to sell and buy. The Crown stripped away a lot of land from Maori and Maori sold land at an unethically low price.
  4. The third article of the treaty states that Maori can be treated as British subjects. (New Zealand & State Services Commission, 2006). Although this was a better translation from the first two articles, there were subtle differences. The Pakeha thought that in order for the Maori people to be thought of as British citizens, they needed to learn the Pakeha culture.
  5. Maori children went to school with Pakeha children but weren’t allowed to speak in Maori. Today, Maori and non-Maori children learn Te Reo.
  6. If this treaty was a contract between Britain and New Zealand, then it would be long voided because the Crown have broken the treaty many times through creating laws that only benefited Pakeha and government. Since the treaty is still valid today, it is only logical for New Zealanders and the government to think of the Treaty as a covenant.
  7. This covenant was everlasting which leads me to believe that God had a hand in the Treaty of Waitangi. There must be a reason for the Treaty for God’s plan and purposes despite all the pain and suffering that British sovereignty and colonisation has caused for Maori. A covenant is always made in the presence of God.
  8. God created covenants to establish his mana and create relationships with people. Similarly, the Treaty of Waitangi was a symbol for the Maori that they were one people with the British. They established a relationship with the Pakeha and the Queen of Britain.
  9. The Waitangi Tribunal was set up to listen to Maori claims, complaints and redress all the way from 1840. This is not only because of the Treaty, but because of God’s work in giving justice to Maori.
  10. Britain wanted to create this treaty. They could’ve claimed the land through war but they wanted to be peaceful and had the intentions of making a good difference to Maori lives. (New Zealand & State Services Commission, 2006)They didn’t want to make the same mistakes as with the natives in Australia and USA. This is God’s hand of justice over New Zealand Maori. The reason why it didn’t work out like this was because of the clash of worldview, culture shock and corrupt people that were placed in a position of power and authority. The government was able to pass laws that made unethical acts legal. (Smithies, 1990)
  11. The Waitangi Tribunal was built in 1975 to address Maori grievances and redress from past exploitation of Maori. Although there are many iwi who still haven’t been settled, there have been many resolved claims. This is God giving his people justice and reconciliation which in turn gives the Maori people, a new outlook on life and a way forward.
  12. Over the past several years, Pakeha from Britain have apologised and reconciled with Maori for the past actions of their ancestors. This reconciliation is still happening today and will continue to happen until there is complete renewal and healing. New Zealand certainly has had God’s hand in its history because God enables us to forgive and reconcile with each other. When we do this, we are able to break the ley lines over New Zealand and renew the land.
  13. Today, New Zealand works to honour the Treaty by creating laws based on Treaty’s underlying principles. These are  called the “Three P’s”: Participation, Protection and partnership. (“Principles of the Treaty | Waitangi Tribunal,” n.d.)
  14. Te reo language has also become maori taonga and the centre of their culture. More people are learning the Maori language and children are learning this language in school.
  15. Teachers abide by the Tataiako which are a series of bicultural values/competencies. These values such as Ako and Manaakitanga, are crucial in helping Maori learners feel validated in their own culture, and learn as Maori learners (New Zealand, Ministry of Education, & Education Council New Zealand, 2016)
  16. In the past, there have been unequal partnership between pakeha and maori. However, there needs to be equal partnership in order for there to be participation. “The Justice Project” (McLaren, Padilla, & Seeber, 2009)talks about Native Americans but this can be applied to the natives in New Zealand. Just like how Jesus sat with the unclean and treated them like his equals (Mathew 9:10-11), so too does Pakeha and Maori need to both sit at the table in equal partnership and listen to what Maori have to say. (McLaren et al., 2009)
  17. Many Maoris want to do away with the treaty because of the injustice done to them. However, God has turned around this badly translated covenant, and made it work for their good. Now, all across New Zealand, God is working with his people (Maori and non maori) to re-build trust, to re-learn what the three P’s (Protection, Partnership and participation), looks like in action, restore the land and give justice and reconciliation to the Maoris.

There are more things to learn about the Treaty but these are the top 17 facts that every kiwi must know.

 

Bibliography:

McLaren, B. D., Padilla, E., & Seeber, A. B. (Eds.). (2009). The justice project. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books.

New Zealand, Ministry of Education, & Education Council New Zealand. (2016). Tātaiako: cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners.Retrieved from https://www.educationcouncil.org.nz/sites/default/files/Tataiako.pdf

New Zealand, & State Services Commission. (2006). The Treaty of Waitangi.Wellington, N.Z.: State Services Commission.

Principles of the Treaty | Waitangi Tribunal. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2018, from https://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/treaty-of-waitangi/principles-of-the-treaty/

Smithies, R. (1990). Ten steps towards bicultural action: a handbook on partnership in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Wellington, N.Z: Catholic Commission for Justice, Peace and Development, Aotearoa-New Zealand.

treaty-kawharu-footnotes.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/documents/treaty-kawharu-footnotes.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

In my weakness

Lord, I am so useless. I’m not good at anything.

I thought I was a helpful person but I only make things worse.

Turn my idle hands into usefulness for your glory and movement.

But I have no skills, gifts or experiences.

I am useless.

I can’t do anything.

And yet, here I am, called by You to do greater than what I alone could achieve.

Because you see me differently than others.

You see what I could do, not based on my merits and strengths,

but based on YOUR goodness, YOUR merits,

YOUR faithfulness and OUR relationship.

It is based on your hopeful and prosperous plans for my future.

Thank you,

for the greatest gift I have is being your daughter.

Thank you,

for in you, I am capable.

For in you,

I find my strength,

It is the strength that carries me over the waters,

and what I once couldn’t do, I can do because You give me success in everything.

 

 

Keep writing and don’t stop

hi everyone,

So I’m not really someone who’s made it to “the big times” or anything like that. I’ve been working on this story on and off. At the moment, I’m at a pretty consistent, “on” with the story. There have been many things that pulled me through blocks and hurdles, self doubts and the feeling of not knowing what to do.

So, this is something that I’d like to share because it’s a great reminder for me;

“You can try to write the perfect book for as long as you want. But at the end of the day, no one cares about the almost perfect book that never got published. Write your own story and know that you are good enough the way God made you.” 
-Rabbit, Wattpad

I thought it was appropriate to still write, “Rabbit, Wattpad”, since my username is “Rabbit_and_the_Duck” and I first started writing this particular draft on Wattpad. I am now currently editing which has been exciting and challenging at the same time.

I’m starting to see why people say things like:

  • I would get up early in the morning and write because I wanted to know what I was going to find out
  • Editing is like killing your darling and then slowly bringing it back to life
  • A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult that it is for other people.

I feel these things and more.

Even though I’m still editing this story, I thought it’d be a good time to remind you (and myself) to not live as perfectionists but as people who are artists-we make mistakes and we know which ones to keep, to learn from and create a masterpiece.