Singapore Yacht Show 2012, Chen KeZhan’s Gathering Clouds, Stewardship of Money
Dropped by the Singapore Yacht Show. Calmer feel without the thumping music and yelling children underfoot of Boat Asia 2012. My entry to both shows were complimentary but i think the fee for Boat Asia would have been S$20 and S$50 for SYS.
Loads of people in requisite sailor stripes that’s quite the fashion in stores nowadays. Instead of Audi, the luxury car sponsors were BMW (featuring the nice new BMW M5) and Lamborghini. Not sure why the Chaparral 310 Signature was indoors.
On water exhibits included vessels from Riva (SportRiva 56), the Singaporean Megaway Engineering (Megaway), Feadship (MY Helix), Palmer Johnson (MY Vantage), Westport (yeah, it’s MY Sea Bear again), Aegean Yachts (SY Montigne – loved the little floating platform with enough space for a folding chair), Lagoon (Lagoon 450 and 620), Azimut (Azimut 45 and 53, and MY Hye Seas II). A good number from brokers Northrop and Johnson and Simpson Marine were on hand.
Wasn’t terribly taken by the vessels on offer. Too much dependence on electronics, too much heavy wood, unnecessarily heavy beds and ceramic basins, why were things on the deck placed so that they were not within easy reach or would clutter up the space too easily?, urgh maintenance of timber decks etc.
After a bit of grumping while checking out the Beneteau Oceanis 37 and Beneteau Sense 50, a patient broker from Simpson Marine diagnosed my problem:”You’re looking for a performance racing boat, but here they are all luxury boats.” Oh yeah, good point. My bad. But it’s got to be something i can use as a live-on-board houseboat too.
The trim size of Tartan Yachts‘ Dream looked promising but didn’t manage to speak to anyone.
So, a pleasant stroll to check out the resident boats and facilities.
Then back to mainland to chope a few pieces from Chen KeZhan’s gathering clouds… exhibition at Visual Arts @ Temenggong (VAAT) (Hse 28, 20 and 18, Temenggong Road, Singapore 098775). The artwork was said to “evoke scenes from nature, inspired by the artist’s travels along the Mekong River.” All proceeds from the sale of works were to go towards “funding the Visual Arts @ Temenggong’s international artists in residence programmes that aim to inspire artists from South East Asia and beyond through their experiences of Singapore and its culture. Through their work, they in turn inspire Singaporean artists and enrich the local arts culture.” Happily for the fund, many of his Letters To Myself series had been red dot sticker-ed.
[insert invisible photo here]
28 Temenggong Road had a lovely commanding view of the Harbourfront area, but no photos were allowed within the venue or of the venue “for security reasons”.
(“Art Enclave at Mount Faber”, Business Times, 20 April 2012)
Over the same weekend, someone pointed me to a The Straits Times me & my money feature on Dr. Tan Chi Chiu, mistaking him for my ex-sports doctor, Dr. Ben Tan, of roughly the same era. The Dr. Tan in question stated his belief that money and the means to make money were gifts from God and they ultimately belonged to God. “The Bible instructs Christians to tithe 10 per cent. of their pre-tax income to the Church for the good works of the Church on God’s behalf.”
Not quite what the Scripture seems to say perhaps? Tithing was specifically required of the Israelites in the Old Testament, not of Christians. The reason for tithing was the upkeep of the tribe of Levi (the Levites) who had not been given any land as inheritance in the Promised Land because they were to serve the rest of Israel in the Tent of Meeting (so that the Israelites would not come near the Tent of Meeting, bear sin and die (Numbers 18)) and the tithes were to be their inheritance (Numbers 18:21, Numbers 18:24) instead. Tithes were also to be given to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, “so that they may eat within your towns and be filled” (Deuteronomy 26) because the fruit of the good land had been given to them by God and this was what he wanted to be done with the fruit.
So in addition to the physical material good that the tithes wrought, they were also symbolic of one’s worship of God (cf Hebrews 7) by acknowledging that everything came from him and that the best should go to him. They were to say as they laid the first fruits of the agricultural produce that were the subject of tithes in those days before the Levite,”…behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.” And this was why the Levites themselves were to tithe the best of the tithes to God (Numbers 18:26). Not too sure about the ten per cent. or making one’s calculation before tax.
When we get to the New Testament era, it is ultimately Jesus who intercedes for us with God. Therefore there is no longer the need for the office of priest. However, we are to pay pastors and other full-time workers as we would feed the ox and cattle that plow or a labourer who works the field (1 Corinthians 9:3-11, 1 Timothy 5:15-18). And while charity work is well and good, what God is concerned with is really full obedience to him in matters, inter alia, of justice, mercy and faithfulness to God (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42).
However, the point is taken that all we need for life (and any excess!) comes from God. So not just a percentage is due to him. Rather, everything is his and we should only be taking our living expenses. Just like T.T. Durai, the former CEO of the National Kidney Foundation, was not to have allotted only a percentage of NKF funds on kidney patients and spent the rest on gold taps, first class travel and chauffeured cars, so we can’t
So when someone else was expressing his thanks to God for giving him a pay raise and i was alarmed to realise that his new monthly take-home would be equal to my monthly tax payments, it became rather obvious to me that i hadn’t been a good steward of the money God had entrusted to me.
Excess money is quite a responsibility and thus a bit of a burden. And so being a bit of a shirker, i wouldn’t wish for more than my daily bread. If plans go well, perhaps i might have the opposite temptation to sin, since both poverty and riches offer different challenges to loving God, so the inspired Agur prayed:
‘Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonour the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:7-9)
But there is still the responsibility, even if given just enough to live on, to feed pastors and sponsor the theological education of future churchworkers and help the poor etc. And then there would also be the temptation to self-righteousness and to idolise spreadsheets of one’s savings.
Alas, sinful mind!