What began as an exercise regimen soon became a daily breakfast phenomenon that turned our lives around through this pandemic situation

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Our coffee camaraderie will stand the test of time. Image by Hans Vivek from Unsplash

Last year, before the coronavirus pandemic hit Singapore, I began an exercise regimen to lose weight and achieve a more fit and toned body. I began with regular workouts at a gym nearby and looked forward to the workouts, which helped me clear my work stress and eventually helped me drop a shirt size from Large to Medium.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Singapore early this year and the gyms had to close, I changed my exercise regimen to…


The COVID-19 pandemic had turned 2020 upside down for me and my loved ones. But unexpected angels turned up to cheer me on and bring light into the gloom

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I was surrounded by a host of angels. Image by Womanizer WOW Tech from Unsplash

What can I say about the year that is coming to an end? I had great plans lines up for 2020 but it seemed that God has His own ways of wanting to get my attention.

When COVID-19 hit Singapore and the country soon had to go on lockdown followed by a variety of restrictions including working from home and closure of popular nightspots and hangout joints, my friends and family initially took the moves well.

But the isolation and limits on personal interactions (make that virtually no personal interactions) took a toll on many of our relationships. Technology such…


What I learned of God’s plans for me after more than eight layoffs

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I thought that I would emerge unscathed from the latest layoff but God had other plans for me. Image by James Yarema from Unsplash

Don’t worry, doors and windows will open.

Those were the words my sister and brother-in-law shared when I told them the unexpected news on 18 August this year.

The words were a rock of sustenance and strength as I faced the days and weeks that followed.

Adrift

For several years, the media industry worldwide had to lay off thousands of staff in response to declining circulation and readership of newspapers and magazines. My homeland Singapore was not exempt.

Since 2003, I had survived more than eight layoffs at the media company I worked in.

So when I learned about the retrenchment…


It seemed inevitable that the pandemic would change my dreams for 2020; little did I know, or see, what God had in store

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Surgical masks soon became the norm, rather than the exception, in Singapore as soon as COVID-19 hit our shores. Photo by Sam Varghese in Unsplash

I can still remember the plans I had made for this year. Come this month (November), my cousin and I had planned to visit a friend in South America, after which Christmas would come upon us, and it would then be more festivities before ringing in 2021.

Then COVID-19 came along and by April, this invisible enemy had descended upon our shores. Surgical masks, working from home and online shopping became “normal,” and my vocabulary had to accommodate new words like Zoom, social distancing and “new normal.”

My parents and I gradually became better acquainted with the walls and rooms…


Spiritual maturity, like its physical counterpart, is a marathon and not for the fainthearted. We must be made of sterner stuff

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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

The growth of any living thing is a long-drawn process. Many baby animals are mobile soon after they are born but human babies have to go through stages of crawling, waddling and falling before they can walk and run confidently.

Nevertheless, we can gauge our growth by how we progress through milestones such as walking, eating, speaking and many others. If our children do not pass these milestones by a certain time, we know that something may not be right and seek the appropriate care and therapy.

Our spiritual lives mirror our physical lives. After we receive Jesus Christ as…


Some battles are harder than others, yet through the grit and fire, those who know their Commander in Chief stand out

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Photo by Michael Spain on Unsplash

In October 2019, our company had to lay off about 130 staff members. It was one of a series of nearly eight such actions that I had gone through since I joined about 20 years earlier.

That fateful October day, my team’s staff count was reduced from 13 to seven, all within the space of a few hours!

One of my affected colleagues was a Christian and a leader whom I respected very much for his wisdom. I was shocked to hear that he was leaving as he had always performed well. …


What the Nazarene did during His time on earth was way beyond what any superhero could and would do

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Photo by Zachary Olson on Unsplash

Everyone loves a hero or heroine, even the most cynical and skeptical among us.

Picture this scenario: The people are suffering due to injustice and evil and the victims cry for help.

Then there comes a message telling of a powerful being who will defeat the villains and return the population to peace and prosperity before the victor flies away into the horizon.

The usual tale is that the hero arrives at the moment of the village’s greatest need, defeats the enemy and peace is restored. …


Arrogance can bring down even the best of us but we are never too far from The Master’s restoring touch

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I remember how we had first met in elementary school. He was an orphan and he came to school that first day wearing dirty shoes that were slightly too big for his feet.

My new friend was soon adopted by a wealthy family and he was given the surname of a family that was well-known in many business circles. He had access to the best education, wonderful holidays, and wore brands my friends and I only dreamt about.

At first, he still hung out with us but by the time we reached middle school, he was way out of our…


It is hard to choose, even for Christians

A reproduction of The Creation of Adam sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall, with light separating God and Adam
A reproduction of The Creation of Adam sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall, with light separating God and Adam
Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

Several years ago, a Christian friend living in another country was accused of fraud and defamation, both of which he did not do. Police reports were filed, and a lawsuit soon resulted. Despite all the best efforts to mediate the situation, there was anger and bad blood between the parties.

What made things even worse was the fact that the person who accused my friend was a childhood friend who was known to both of us — he was like a blood brother.

After much discussion with lawyer friends, many of whom were Christian, my friend was advised to fight…


The procrastinator in me soon learnt to turn adversity into an all-weather friend

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Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Like many men in the corporate world, I had learnt to make procrastination a good buddy f not a forever friend.

When faced with an unpleasant task, I would hold off doing it until the last possible moment then burn the midnight oil toiling on that presentation or report, with the tiredness to show for it the next day as I went to work.

When COVID-19 hit Singapore, I got a rude awakening. With many of my favourite pursuits such as meeting friends and relatives, and watching…

Arulnathan John

Loves storytelling in all its forms, from books to movies to videos and all else. Life is a story and I want to fill each chapter with life or lives well lived

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