Beautiful Day

    Saturday, December 13, 2003  

Ellie, piano and memory

Ellie has won the achievement award in her class(only one in her 30 pupil class) for this year. Talking to some other parents today in a birthday party, they told me that Ellie's level is way ahead of everyone else. She's in kindergarten, and she's doing timetables, and she reads my blog! You might think I've hired tutors and put her in extra classes. But the answer is no. In fact I'm the least involved parent in her class. I've never done any volunteer work at school, never gone into her classroom to be the teacher's aid, hardly ever even walk her to her classroom(except the first week), I just did "kiss and drop" all the time. I hardly ever read her any stories. I don't even help her with homework. Last term she did all her homework in the last day of the term and this term she hasn't done anything yet. You might think that she's born clever. But it's a No again. She could hardly say anything but only a few simple words like dada, mama, where's it gone when she was 3. She was slow in almost everything at the time I was actually quite worried. But when she's four I started her piano lesson. This has become her turning point. Soon after that, her mental ability seemed to suddenly take off dramaticaly. Her memory was amazing. She recites the whole psalms without any stumbling. If we read her a story book, only a couple times she'll memorise the whole story word for word.
Well this has proved my belief. I always believed (I think I've also read some research about it somewhere before)that if a child learns to play piano before five, she(he) can establish some very important qualities in the brain. After 5 or older(depends, each child might be different) the child will lose the chance to develop that ability. I say this also from my own experience. Both my brother and my sister learned piano, but they started late. That doesn't mean they can't be good piano players. They're both professional pianists and my brother's very successful(he's director of major TV musical events productions). I stopped early with piano. I started between two and a half and three years old. I had a very good ear. If somebody sat on the piano keys, I could tell all the keys without looking. When I was in high school, I memorised all the articles in my English text books. That was 12 books. I could recite fluently every article in all the 12 books. I could also recite articles like president Lincoln's Gettysburg speech without even understanding it. I think it's musical memory which can only be developed within 5 year old. I'm not sure if learning piano at a very young age will actually be good for piano career, as I know I resented it when I was young. But the "side effect" has certainly benefited me. I'm glad to see that Ellie has developed this ability as well. My brother started when he was 12, though successful, he had a very hard time learning at school. He struggled very hard with his memory ability.
Talking to another parent this morning, she said she was trying to get her child to learn piano(6 year old) and the teacher said she was too young, should wait until she's 8. I actually felt quite angry when I heard that. I said, Well, Ellie played piano at the Sydney Opera house when she's 5. I think 6 is already too old to start!
I'm writing all these, is just to hope that if you have children that's under 5, don't lose the opportunity to give your children an education that she(or he) will benefit later in a lot of ways. Ellie's not only good at school work, she's doing extremely well in dancing and drawing, too. Even if you don't want your child to have piano as a career, but just to let them start within 5 it will save you a lot of energy later trying to get them to be good with schoolwork.
Well, that's just a little tip from me.

    As seen by Susan @ 11:43 PM

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    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Be still, and know that I'm God

Sometimes God wants us to move, and sometimes God wants us to be still. It sounds easy, but a lot of the times being still can be even harder than being active. Sometimes God calls us to do something, and He has already had everything planned out, it's already done in heaven, but we're just too busy trying to work things out our own way. If we can be still and just listen, then He will reveal His plans to us, step by step, He will lead us from victory to victory. But if we're too busy, we'll just lose our attention to God and lose the direction after all. In a world that's full of busy distractions, it's hard to be still. But unless He moves, our moves will just be in vain and will not lead us into our destiny.

    As seen by Susan @ 1:20 PM

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    Sunday, December 07, 2003

Can I trust you?

Last month Ellie had her 6th birthday party with around 30 kids. She had a feast of pressies from her friends. We had a big day on that day, and by the end of the day while opening those presents, the baby got very tired and couldn't wait any longer. So before I was able to clean up and put away the gifts, I just left them with Ellie and Jamie and I went to put the baby to sleep.
It just happened that it seemed lots of kids this time decided to give Ellie things like clikits, beads, doll's clips,etc. with countless little bits and pieces. And they opened everything without me! So when I came out after baby went to sleep,it was a disaster: there were hundreds of clikits, beads,clips from different packages mixed together lying on the floor. "Oh, my dear!" that's the only thing I could say.
Two days ago, we had another party for Jamie. This time I've learned the lesson. "No, you can't open everything at the same time. Pack one up before you can open another one." And for the following days, "Just play one thing at a time! put one back before you take another one out!" and I watched them so that they would play with certain toys for a good time, like if they want to play the art set, then I want them to finish a picture rather than just have a bit of scribble, making a bit of mess and throw away. The baby had a bit of hard time. She just wanted to get into everything. But she's too little, there're only a few things she could play with, other things, she might eat them(little tiny bits and pieces) or she might make a big mess(like the art sets).
Interestingly, as I've been thinking about spiritual gifts these couple of days, all these little details speak vividly into my spirit.
God gives us spiritual gifts out of His love. They're for us to enjoy and to bring God the glory. But sometimes He restrains us from them for various reasons: it could be we're too young, not capable of handling them properly(like the baby might eat the little pieces); we can't understand properly; Our maturity level is not enough(like the baby is just not mature enough for the art set: she'll suck the paint!); Or, it could be we're mature enough, but our discipline is not enough, like Ellie can play with the clikits pretty well, but she can't be bothered packing up one before she opens another one, and got all the different packets mixed together). The more we grow, the more we're disciplined, the more we can be trusted with the spiritual gifts. If God gives us all the spiritual gifts without any restriction, they can actually harm us and will not bring glory to God. The Bible says that we should earnestly seek spiritual gifts(1Corinthians 14:1). A lot of people are seeking earnestly, but they neglect the discipline and the training that's also needed and required.
I'm very blessed to be in a church right now that the senior pastors have a very high level of annointing in various spiritual gifts(the strongest one might be prophesying), and trainings are available and provided for different levels of faith. Even children are trained and taught about spiritual gifts according to their age maturity level.

    As seen by Susan @ 7:55 AM

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    Thursday, December 04, 2003


Inside my body lives the real person that's called me. I have a personality. It's really ageless and goes into eternity. I can feel, I can know things, I have a will to make decisions.
But apart from my own self, I can get into contact with other spiritual beings. They also have personalities. And they can also come and influence the use of my body. For example, (a bad one) a spirit of drugs(or smoking, alcohol,etc)can come and make suggestions first, saying,"come on, just try one, it's not gonna hurt you, everyone else's having fun, just be cool." Then I might agree with that suggestion and put into action. The spirit gained an access. The next time it'll get a bit stronger, and stronger.Gradually it will find a place and stay. Now all this spirit wants is drug, it can not live without drugs. So I'll start to feel desperately in need of drugs all the time and losing control and will of decision. It's like another personality in us that's constantly battling with me wanting drugs. With my knowledge I know it's not good, but this other person starts to have more and more control over me each time I give in.
Now (a good one)the Holy Spirit can also come and live in our bodies. He's a gentlemen, He won't come unless we ask and invite. He also has a personality. He can also have many forms(or mostly called, gifts). Like, a spirit of dance. I can be natually totally untrained in dance, but when this spirit comes in, I can feel a deep desire to dance, to move my body the way the spirit wants me to move, and when I move, this spirit will be very happy, in the meantime, "me" can feel totally different, like shy, questioning, selfconcious... Or it can be a spirit of songwriting. I might not know anything about writing songs, but this spirit comes, and I just feel "myself"singing new songs that're amazing to myself. "Gee, is that me? I don't know I can write that beautiful songs and everone else like them,too." And when I'm writing songs, it becomes so natural, so smooth, without much thinking or my effort trying to make things up: it's already there! All I need to do is let this spirit live through me. If I don't do the things that the spirit wants to do, I'll grieve this spirit, but this spirit will not force or manipulate me(big difference!). If I yield to this spirit, and let this spirit live out, people will feel the presence of God. The forms of the Holy Spirit can be many, like teaching, prophesying, hospitality, singing,writing,etc. Have you heard this term, "She's a gifted singer." that means, she has a singing ability that's beyond herself. It's different than the skills that are learned.
The Spiritual gift is also an annointing. Literally, it's to put oil with something to make it shiny. If someone has an ability that makes itself look like shiny, it's because of the annointing.
Recognise what spirit is influencing us can bring a dramatic change in our lives. When you have the discernment and the dicision to choose which spirit you'll allow and follow, I'm sure you'll know the difference!

    As seen by Susan @ 1:17 AM

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Spiritual gifts

The Holy Spirit is like a teacher, the Bible is like the text book, and the Spiritual gifts are like the fun games, toys, demonstrations the teacher chooses to explain the textbooks.
If someone's a new believer, he's like a little child. For a child to learn by himself through textbooks, it can be very hard and boring. But if the teacher chooses some toys and skillfully demonstrate it, the learning can be fun and exciting. They're all for the same purpose, to help us grow into maturity. If your a more mature Christian, an older student, you probably don't need that much demonstration and fun things in the class, you can just "eat" your textbooks, but for the younger ones, the toys etc. are "gifts",they're presents for us to enjoy and have fun with.
For example, in a meeting someone uses his prophetic gift to speak into another person's(let's just name him Alex) life, like"Alex, your having a hard time struggling with dadada issues, I want you to know that I'm your father, put your trust in Me, don't worry and I'll lead you out..." These words speaks straight into Alex's heart at that moment. Well, he can find the same truth, words in the Bible, but this way he'll really get it. Another example, Martha's having cancer. She comes to a meeting and someone with a healing gift comes and pray for her and she got instantly healed. (demonstration of a truth) Now she can find all the healing verses in the Bible, but this way it will be a vivid demonstration to her and she'll learn that lesson much easier.
All these spiritual gifts are just like presents for us to enjoy while learning and growing. All kids love present, don't they? And clever parents and teachers use toys and fun things to teach kids rather than the old traditional type of method,"Just study the textbook!"
So, being a Christian, would you rather grow up(or helping your kids grow up) having lots of fun while learning or just sit still in the classroom all day long only reading the textbooks?
I wouldn't say no to the pressies. I love them!

    As seen by Susan @ 12:25 AM

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About Me

Contact Me:

My picture

My beloved
You hold me now
Some Chinese sayings
The Word becomes flesh
Audible voice
A few recent pictures
Back to school
The battle goes on

My other blog
Jia Lin

Some Other Posts
China trip
Death of seed
Mother's day thoughts
Rachel and Leah

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