Dr. DARREN CHUA

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25December

2015

What Christmas means to me

For those of us who do not celebrate Christmas, this season may be a period of gifts exchange and hearty dinners with closed friends and relatives. For those of us who celebrates Christmas, we may just regard it as the day when Jesus was born as a baby in a manger. Yet what is mind-boggling is that while the birth of Jesus is an amazing and a miracle event, the significance of Christmas is in Isaiah 9:6

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’

But what has Christmas got to do with our daily lives? Many of us understand why we exchange gifts during this season. The birth of the Savior’s son does warrant all of us to be joyful. And God did give us a perfect gift. But let us examine the gift. For the nature of the gift very often gives us the intent of the gift. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have given us a scientist. Yet God gave us a son to die for our sins.

The gift that was given to us was hope.

As an educator myself as well, this story greatly moved me. There is a self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. “Stay in school,” he admonished, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. One student said, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school (secondary school'”.

And such is the power of hope.

As we continue to celebrate Christmas and march into the New Year, let us all remain confidently expectant of the future that lies ahead!

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15December

2016

Pursuing Purpose

Recently I had the pleasure to meet a new friend who is also a stroke survivor. Both of us had our brain attack due to an AVM (arteria-venous malformation). Over coffee in the afternoon, we shared how our lives were affected because of the bleed.

Over the course of our conversation, one theme cropped out often and that was about our life’s purpose. Maybe it is because stroke at our relatively young age makes us realise just how fragile life can be. Or maybe it is because we both appreciate and acknowledge how grateful we are for God’s unmerited favour over our lives. As I relaxed and enjoyed the time with my new acquaintance, it reminded me why it is so important for us to seek out passionately what our purpose in life is.

It was Dr Myles Munroe (1954 – 2014) who was a pastor, inspirational speaker and international author of numerous books that wrote, “The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.

And so I shared over our afternoon coffee why it is so important that we have a duty to live out our life. Paul (5 – 67 AD), the apostle who taught the gospel of Jesus Christ in the first century, had the privilege to complete his life’s destiny when he wrote these words, “My life is being poured out as a part of the sacrifice and service… Yet, I am filled with joy, and I share that joy with all of you.” – (Phil 2:17)

How absolutely wonderful it must feel to know that we have impacted others through the lives we have touched!
As we go into the final few days of the year and we look forward to 2017, let us ponder as consider the purpose of our lives and how we pursue. it.

Perspective
One of the best ways to develop a healthy and positive approach towards life is to be intentional about our mindset and the thoughts that we dwell upon.

Again, it was Paul the apostle that reminds us that “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – (Phil 4:8)

Authenticity
To live a life that is meaningful and rewarding, we need to be real and authentic about who we are, what we have done, where we want to go and how are we going to reach there.

One of the most important thing we can do to develop our purpose to be be self-aware of our talents, abilities, gifts and inclinations. And this is what I routinely do for my workshops and talks.

Service
When we are determined to live a life where we are continually giving, we act with respect, care, and mindfulness for the well-being of everyone and not just for our self-serving interests. When we serve others first and be a leader second, we help individuals achieve worthwhile results while keeping the best interest of those we serve before our own.

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3February

2017

On Purpose

We are all meant to lead in an area of gifting. After all, if God did not make a mistake at Creation; it implies that we are destined and designed to fulfil a purpose in life. Whether or not we are aware of that purpose does not negate what has been bestowed upon us.

Very often I get asked this question, “Where and how do I find my purpose?” I have come to realise that the purpose that we have been called to fulfil and the assignment that we have been tasked to carry out is very closely linked with the talents, abilities, giftings and inclinations that we all possess.

Just this week, I had the privilege to be part of a forum with a group of final year students from the Nanyang Polytechnic, School of Chemistry and Life Sciences. Over the course of the 2.5 hour sharing, I had the opportunity to remind the students that we are not defined by the courses we study or the jobs we do. Rather, we are defined by the impact that we have on the lives of those we touch. Chasing after job titles and positions will not give us the satisfaction, joy and accomplishment that we all desire compared to a life that is intentional in using our talents and giftings to the best of our ability for the betterment of those around us.

Fishes perform best under water. Birds perform best during flight. Big cats perform best in the wild. We also thrive, and not just strive, when we are allowed to express our talents, abilities, giftings and inclinations in a manner that is not apologetic in anyway.

Because of our culture and formal education, many of us may not be aware of our talents and giftings even though we are very good at our job. When I realised I could no longer continue as a doctor, I too had to do a certain amount of soul searching before it dawned on we that talents and giftings that I was blessed with was bigger that the job of doctoring, noble as it may be.

Many times when I share with stroke survivors and people who may have met with a physical impairment, and as a result who have also lost their job placement, many feel that they have lost their life as well, figuratively. I have to remind them that even though the job and the position may be lost, their intrinsic abilities and inclinations are still present, waiting to be exploited.

Ultimately, disability is only in the mind! As long as our mind can perceive it, we will be able to conceive it.

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