Saturday, November 25, 2006
thanks for the email. i think i needed a good reminder. i had an awesome evening with lish n lyv. stuffed crust pizza. my cravings finally satisfied. it's good to really "let go and let God". we had a really good time of worship n praying. I'm sure God doesn't mind my out-of-tune guitar, my out-of-tune vocal, our out-of-tempo singing. all tt matters is the heart.
really thank God for encouraging emails (thanks ml, really appreciated u giving me ur time - praying for ur exam; and yes, the Hey, Relax!'s really timely as well). sorry to be sending out such emails... need an outlet to vent. hehehehe...
all's good. cos i know God is in control. no matter what happens. God is with me. every single step.
adieu~ next post will prob be end of the year :)
may the grace of God and His peace be with you.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
i rmb on graduation day for primary sch, mum came with me. i din allow us to linger any extra second. just took her hand and left once everything ended. i din think i could handle it. i was only 12.
Even before that, I cried my heart out when I made the move from my nanny's place back home. Age? 6.
since then i've got quite some teary farewells. it's amazing how God put ppl into your life and they become a part of you. it had hurt heaps but I've learnt to see farewells in a different light. Even through tears I appreciate the footprints these ppl leave in my life. A very impt person in my life said to me "I'll see you again, the last one being in heaven, but I hope I see you before then". I've always played this in my head as I bid farewell to someone I know I won't see for very long. But a few days ago, when I played tt in my mind, NOT KNOWING if that will stand true, I was dumbstruck. All the missed opportunities... I can only remind myself that God is bigger than my shortcomings and even when I hadn't made good use of d opportunities He's given me, He is Sovereign enough to have a solution to that.
I am a sentimentalist. As i said a few more goodbyes each year, short-term or long-term (prayerfully none eternal), I've come to see how I'll never appreciate the present as much. It's only when u look back retrospectively tt u realise how much this person means to you and how u're really gonna cherish the little things. With that I think farewells are a good thing. Absence makes the heart fonder. When u no longer have something, the more u'll realise how much tt sthing (ok, that someone) means to you. It's definitely better to take leave on a good note rather than be left with an out of pitch melody in memory. But then again, even when the melody is out of pitch, one can always work towards a beautiful harmony again. It takes 2 to harmonize.
Have you noticed how even if you meet again, it's really never the same again? well, except the exceptionals, which are exceptionally few, if they ever come along at all. Yea, ppl come and go. There's always a time to move on. You meet new ppl etc etc etc. But sometimes what you have in your hands is so good you don't really wanna let go. I admit tt's a fear I have. But I have to learn to trust God that as He moves me along this journey, He knows wat's going on and He knows what's best for me (& d other person too i guess).
Sigh. I dun really know what I'm trying to say here. Perhaps we're just too busy. We hecticise our schedules too much and we miss out on really appreciating d ppl ard us. It's not all abt work eh? It's abt lives. Take a moment, slow down, and let the person know how much they mean to you. At least when you look back retrospectively, you know you've tried not to take them for granted. Or when u bid goodbye, really make the time and effort eh. Not in a rushed manner, nor in a "social obligation" mentality. Each footprint is beautifully crafted. Cherish them.
Forgive me if I rush off without giving d opportunity for a proper farewell. Sometimes, I'd rather not go through the heart-wrenching moments... Well, it's not you. I'm just not good with goodbyes.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
d adventure hasn't finished yet...
sometimes u just wish u can close the chapter earlier... but i guess d book is never d same without having gone through those remaining pages of tt chapter...
it comes to the same epilogue anyway, doesn't it?
well, not with full understanding. without which u can't appreciate the whole thriller. bits of missing pieces...
Sunday, November 05, 2006
"shouldn't u be all hyped up and out having fun?"
well, i cancelled dinner plans the day i finished my last paper. had a tummy bug. stress? dunno. perhaps my body hasn't caught up with my mental in stress management. but i know full well tt's because God's been guarding my mind with His peace. ah~ the peace that transcends all understanding. but then again, i know of ppl tt have been carrying d burden for me. one even had a nightmare of exams. wow~ *big hug for u*
come to think of it, it's like God's been sustaining me with divine strength all this while. i burnt out last sem even b4 exams started. this sem, He carried me through week by week (or day by day even) and especially over the past month. right after the last paper, i am just so drained. like i should have been long time ago if God hadn't been giving me His strength. crazy~ the thought of the past month, and esp. the thriller of last week, sends shivers down my spine. i kinda thought i'll never wanna walk down such a path again, but then i realise it's never gonna get any easier. i guess with each step we take out of the boat, we get to walk on the water with God (actually, i still have yet to read tt book *sheepish*). the most important thing is, God walks with us. He carries us. ain't tt awesome?
there's so much to do. but d machine in me has malfunctioned. bib said i need rest. sabbath. just do watever u like for 24 hours. no more ocf, no more missions, no more ministry, no flat stuff, no nothing! i wish i could. but how can i say no to God? saying no to God means trouble. i sorta recognise tt drained feeling, tt signal for rest. how dare i ignore it, knowing tt tt would lead me into even more serious malfunctioning? but there's so much to do... hmmmmm.
my shoulders, back etc's been aching after baking 2 cakes. bad stamina. heard my flatmate-2-b baked 4 cakes in a row. at a go. wow~ our oven's gonna be busy next year~ i think a 2 bdr flat will be pretty cool. can take out my darling BarVista =)
i will need a good long time-out after Taiwan. before the roller coaster ride starts again in mid-feb. but before tt, let's press on and finish the race well eh?
Thursday, November 02, 2006
i am trying. really am. but my mind has gone ahead of me. timbuktu maybe.
it's scary to think tt i am gonna step into the battlefield unarmed. well, i know God's grace etc. is with me, even when i don't deserve it, especially when i don't deserve it. BUT, i'm supposed to working alongside Him, not leave Him to do all the work aye?
amazing Grace. how sweet the sound. i guess it is in times like this tt i learn to rely 110% on God.
this time tmr, i'm a free bird. i just wanna sleep and sleep and sleep this lethargy off~
thanks for all the prayers coming this way.
Friday, October 06, 2006
i guess maybe i'm quite tired. brain shut down d. maybe i shld head to bed early. but it doesn't feel like i've been productive. with the exams looming near, productivity is of course measured by how much studying/assignment i've done... ugh.
it's the last ocf in evison lounge this year. wow. one year has passed. next week's grad's dinner's somewhere. more than a year ago, when i decided to serve God in ocf, i couldn't imagine myself heading to evison lounge every fri. but at the same time i also had this feeling that ocf is more than a one year thing. now tt we've just had our 2nd last ocf meeting, it just struck me tt it's been more than a yr now! God has kept me faithful and yes... I am still going on... by His grace.
2 Corinthians 4
(v1) "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."
(v16) "Therefore we do not lost heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
(v18) "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
these are some of the verses we looked at at the beginning of the year with Val. I've definitely had my ups n downs and there's bountiful good lessons throughout the year. It's really on looking back that I saw more clearly how He has walked me through the journey:
the Shepherd of my soul is by my side...
Should i face a mighty mountain, or a valley dark and deep,
the Shepherd of my soul is by my side...
hmmmmmm... i'll just head to bed and dream about my evening in prague...
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
i got up this morning not ready to face the day. i felt kinda jittery and d long list on today's agenda seem to generate some funky rhythm for the dancing butterflies in my stomach. mind u it's a totally out-of-sync dance. wanting to get things sorted out asap, i was gonna contact quite a few ppl, set appointments, make certain arrangements in my 1 hr break but my phone isn't working. ugh. more butterflies. so i tried half-heartedly to turn to His word instead, with my mind still on my agenda... but i knew i've got to get to the root of all this when i started pouring my freshly pressed peru into a cup already filled with water.
reading the Word then would be like fulfilling a daily routine. my heart wasn't prepared, my mind's everywhere. instead, i was directed to just sit still... and breathe. some worship music came on slightly later...
tt did me good. i headed out again and tho many things were still not quite settled, and things din seem to get any better... at least i got rid of the jitters. no more butterflies. more peace. more trust in God, who knows wat's in store for me ahead in d day...
finally when i next got back to my room, i was more ready for His word. perfect timing indeed. His word spoke right to my situation. No, there's no heart racing, no special feeling, no tugging of the heart nor any erm... anything abnormal. But by faith, in the stillness of the air, i knew God was speaking to me. Slowly, things got ok. Though some things didn't turn out the way i had wanted, it's ok. God is in control...
In all His graciousness, our application for grant for SLC has been approved!
Praise be to the Almighty, awesome, superb God we have!
Thank You Lord Jesus~
Monday, October 02, 2006
hmmmm. perhaps it's time to pray for an extension?
it's hard to sit still and read for hours. 2 hrs later i'm still trying to plough through those chunk of words and praying tt sthing will formulate in my mind tt i can write abt... my mind wandered and i can't help thinking how nice it would be if i have a nice comfy reading armchair, where i can lean back and snooze off... no no, of course i din mean tt. with a good cuppa next to me, highlighter in hand, i reckon i'd be more productive eh.
d best candidate in mind thus far: this dark blue-cushioned, wooden armchair, with a tall reading lamp next to it. i believe it's currently situated somewhere in a small corner of this world known as Simei in the tiny island of Singapore ;p either tt or it's gonna be. oh yea, i'll have the company of pooh too~ tt's if he's gracious enough to allow me to have his seat... *waves of nostalgia*
ok, i admit this is quite random. but i need to get away frm my readings for a while...
bear with me.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
yesterday, i had one of the most yum nasi briyani. home-made. delivered to my doorstep somemore. feel so loved and blessed...
but the pampering didn't end there.
after a night of assignments and as my eyes start to blur and words seems to fuse among themselves... i got the most yum banana cake and scone delivered to my doorstep too. kept the banana cake for today.
today, it's upside-down pineapple cake, choc cake + yest's banana cake for brunch.
i dun even have to walk to church at night in the cold~ how sweet is tt? but... the best is yet to come...
2 angels brought me to countdown, got ingredients for a meal (i've got a very sad store of food) and before long, the aroma of chinese style chow mien started steaming frm my kitchen. 2 of them skilled MPSS ppl somemore! am i blessed or am i blessed? i dun even have to do the dishes!
i was just wishing tt mum's here. like maybe she can take 2 weeks off, fly here and yea... take care of me. it's possible. but God sent me His angels...
really appreciate it guys...
(Tony Anthony @ Dunedin OCF)
Thursday, September 28, 2006
tscf's 70th anniversary...
as winsome shared, something resonated in my heart... though i can't quite point out wat it was... it was small... but i caught it. i caught it. I just pray that God will work it out even when I'm not quite sure what it was...
the call to be faithful...
not abt the outcome... but just to be faithful in spreading the word...
not abt how many friends you bring to Christ... but about u being faithful in carrying out wat He has set before you...
it's really inspiring to see the many graduates that came... and to know that 60-70 had gathered in the party to rmb in KL, some 50+ in Spore, 120 in Welly... it's our privilege indeed to be a part of history...
when i looked through the autograph book, i flipped through the malaysia and spore section...
my heart skipped a bit.
diff handwriting anyway.
this IS God's ministry, therefore we do not lose heart. the God that has carried them through all these years, sustained them to run the race with perseverance, is the same God tt'll equip us accordingly to run the race He has set before each of us.
the torch has been passed on to us... a torch that we'll pass on...
but while we're holding it, are we being faithful to what He has called us to?
(more on Dunedin OCF)
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
couldn't comment on ur blog so here's a post for you! ;p
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. "
I have received from Him and it is only my privilege to be able to share with you :)
v5. "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
Let Him heal you...
v6 "...if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer."
patient endurance my dear, patient endurance.
v7 "and our hope for u is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also u share in our comfort"
i used to think that all the sufferings mentioned refers to physical sufferings. but now i know and testify that God comforts us in EVERY situation. in Christ, our comfort overflows. no "repay" talk here ok? this is wat sisters are for :)
be strong in the Lord.
*big hug* for u :)
Saturday, September 23, 2006
the way i lived the past week, it's like i'm on holiday already~ though i was feeling a little under the wind yest, i headed out to Aromoana with Deb & Renee. OCF was awesome last night. was planning to stay up and get somewhere with my assignment but i just knocked off right after i showered. spent most of my day out today, shopping for a gift etc. then it's Jen's bday dinner... just came back. i won't say i totally forgot abt my assignment. it's there, somewhere @ d back of my mind... yet, there's no sense of urgency. perhaps i have to wait until Sunday night? then the panicky adrenaline rush might just let me pull an all nighter and spew out all 2000 words @ a go. ugh. my coffee supply is sufficient i guess. but i don't really wanna get caffeine intoxication by the end of Monday.
after Jen's bday, i blogged somemore. and this is my 2nd post (d 1st one: Dunedin OCF)
ok. it's really time to get down to work. Praying I'll get somewhere tonight. somewhere.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Wow~ I think i'm taking it a little too easy... considering I just met Moyra @ d Ling dept's reception.
"How's the assignment going?"
"Um... it's erm... getting going..."
Baked a carrot cake for CCG. still considering if i have the courage to present them with the cake. 1st time recipes are always scary~ but of course, the many times (in fact all the time!) I prayed for God's blessings to turn my water into wine (in my situations it would be turning tasteless disasters into something more appealing) have never failed.
Quite happy with this thing I played ard with: Dunedin OCF
so cool~ wish i took more pictures throughout the year. good memories. but then again, i always fear to look @ myself in photos. I've allowed myself to grow a bit (understatement) more sideways than I should have. unknowingly. photos just bring u back to reality i guess.
robert harris' not satisfying my palate enough. should have just gotten rift valley blend instead.
heading off to Prof. Paul Trebilco's inaugural professorial lecture. aft tt would be CCG social @ Greg's and BS @ P&P's. doesn't seem like i'm gonna get any work done. or perhaps it'll be another late night?
now my printer's spewing out documents of i know not what. sent too many jobs over perhaps? it was reprinting stuff by itself. scary~
I just realised tt my duration of "suffering" is proportional to my efficiency. so i guess i am responsible for my own misery...
bball anyone? (u gotta be as lousy as i am)
time to run for class. i am already late~
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
once i got home after dinner, i got bombarded by heaps of stuff. wait a minute, i'm not quite ready yet, let me sort myself out a bit first. even walking out in the rain was appealing for tt moment. aft i got my lect stuffs frm BB (home connection can't access BB), I am determined to get back on track. it's about time i guess. getting organised would be a good place to start. yes, i am that sorta person. somehow i've allowed things to get so messy i have lost myself in the midst. well, everything is everywhere and i'm looking for something which is somewhere in that pile of everything.
couple of hours later, i finally cleared up my desk a bit. got all my notes sorta out. cleared up my files a little. listed all the to-dos and deadlines. ok, i think i'm ready for real work. but... my body's already signalling it's time for bed. in my "younger" days, staying up late wouldn't be a problem. now... my body's just aching with fatigue eh.
so there goes a whole night dedicated to sorting things out. not sure if tt's a good step. now i'm pulled back to reality with the whole lot of to-dos, with not enough time for everything. i guess with superb time management it's very manageable, but then again, i was never good with time management...
i can survive this...
3.5 weeks to go.
pls keep me in prayers...
what was initially an urge to do basketball has just been translated into a trip to Briscoes. it's 4:43pm. I'm getting picked up in 10 mins. say @ least 5 mins drive to Briscoes and Briscoes shut @ 5pm. hmmmmm...
d urge to do some physical activity was growing during Pete's lect. not just anything, but something interactive, like bball or netball (not tt i know how to play any of them). even captain's ball sounds tempting. maybe i should pick up tennis.
i miss tk. fang n pq are always ready for any sports. or even in presby d bball court is just down there. or a run along the ecp park connector, which leads u to the beach. besides, it's never too cold. sigh. i even miss ACES day~ not that i was a super hyperactive kid back then but the level of inactivity here is shocking. maybe i should move to the top of london st, then whether i want to or not, i have to walk up n down the hills. unless i become a hermit and miss all my lectures.
ok, time to "run". i guess i shall have to satisfy with walking down aisles in Briscoes.
Monday, September 18, 2006
i fell asleep unintentionally. there goes my 313. scrambled to my feet and tried studying again. but i was just staring into my notes blankly. went for my jap test @ 10am. my lecturer was surprised to see me. i usually attend my ling lecture. told him i was just there for the test & left right after d test. but instead of heading to my ling lecture, i detoured home. felt quite bad. i didn't actually say a lie but i guess the intention to mislead was there. he's quite a nice lecturer. sorry Lord Jesus.
not tt heading home made any diff. but then again, my classmate told me i din miss anything in ling either. hehehe. stared into space for another 2 hrs... i can't wait for this to be over. it feels like i need to get tt over before i can do anything else. not like i'm that enthusiastic abt the other assignments in the queue. i just wanna shorten the line...
managed to find my test venue. how come it's so quiet? met deb @ d door. she told me to just go in. renee & a grp of them got turned away. i was met by a room of ppl all seated and ready to take the test! wow~ d invigilator gave me my paper and sat me right in front. there's no more space left. the other girls tt came in after me got turned away. God gave me the last paper. thank You Lord for Your perfect timing. any earlier i would have been sent away with renee & co. any later, there won't be any paper left for me.
one of the questions completely baffled me. huh? wat are they asking for? i miscalculated. thought i had 60 mins. although 50 mins was printed in bold right @ d front page.
anyway, it's over. phew~ so now i gotta work on my ling. hmmmmmm. it's really never-ending eh? but at least the queue seems to be getting shorter. well, it has to be. i know my holidays are nearing. i can smell it. an unknown smell as yet.
i think i am distracted. highly distracted. hence the staring into space syndrome. do i not care anymore? where's the motivation? ugh. one thing i realised, if i leave my work to the last minute, then i won't have stress and worry until the very last moment. when i finally decide to pick up my work, then of course, the stress n worry will be gr8ly magnified. so it's highly magnified stress & worry @ d end vs. equally distributed stress & worry? hmmmmm. equally distributed stress & worry? is there such a thing? i thought they only accumulate until u finally submit ur work...
i am itching to pop that HUGE pimple on my nose. always on the exact same spot.
deb dragged me to the hunt postgrad talk. postgrad? unless i get a scholarship. or marry a kiwi. maori also can. sigh. i'm so terrible eh?
thank You Lord that Monday's come to an end. I look forward to bed~ tmr... back to 314 lects. can't wait for them to be over. @ least there's something worth looking forward to after class: i've decided to give myself a little treat...
it is quite dumb really, but i still do it.
in the end, more often than not, i find myself in deeper frustrations & it's harder to find a way out...
all the struggles pretty much happen internally. nowhere else. no one else even knows, i suspect.
what's the point?
sigh. my poor face. gotta pay the price for stupidity...
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- that I have breath this day - my flatmate left the stove on overnight
- tt i survived 2 tests today - esp. 313
- my 027's functioning again - don't ask how come
- i'm slowing inching towards the end of the semester - i still dunno where i'll be in summer, nor where i'll be staying next year
- beautiful sun - my vit D status shld be quite adequate
- for mum - the most beautiful person in my life (i miss u lots!)
- for loving me no matter how difficult i am/can be
- for being patient with me regardless of how terrible i am/can be
- for knowing my struggles, listening to my cries and accepting me just as i am
- that I am Your precious child and nothing, nothing can ever change that...
Friday, September 15, 2006
it's very much like my paper journal. it has taken me years and countless attempts... well, it's not so much of starting (i've always had good intentions) but to keep going... now, i think i need a treasure chest pretty soon to store all my journals. compliments very well with my slight fettish with buying journals. just the other day i got a really nice one frm manna. real good deal too (30% off guys! head to manna~). d current one is pretty cool. just realised tt it matches the colour of my patricks very well. how nice if i could wrap up each completed journal and send it off: "To God, my Father & Jesus, my Saviour... Address: Heaven. With love, Your precious child." (Holy Spirit is here with us eh?) I know God receives each entry and knows each word by heart, it just saves me the trouble of transporting them across the globe ;p
mid-week onwards things have taken a pretty good turn. i feel more "stabilised" at least. praise God for the sun (yes, we talk abt the weather all d time here). One thing i've learnt, don't underestimate the effect of the weather on your mood. it's been so sunny and beautiful tt i'm tempted to go out there and lepak all the time. did a bit of tt on Wed, ran ard campus on Thurs and today...
my darling flatmate made me pancakes for lunch! brunchnish sorta lunch i guess. we've been so busy we hardly ever saw each other even though we live next door (like next room!). busy-ness is a vicious bug tt isolates you and slowly draws u unknowingly away from ur loved ones and stresses u out and depresses u and makes everything seems gloomier. watch out for it k...
she broke my teapot few days back. i told her not to worry abt it. forgot to tell her tt it's a really cheap one i got from Farmers' in Akl while it's on sale. unfortunately teapots here are really expensive when u dunno where to go or u go at the wrong time. wasn't gonna pay $70++ for a same sized one. though i must admit it's pretty flash. guess i'll just live without tea (not bad at all as long as i have my coffee press intact). today... she presented me with a nice steel (arcosteel!) teapot~ ouch. felt quite bad abt tt. but it sure looks good sitting next to my steel Starbucks press. should prob sit them next to my steel BarVista too...
green tea cream frapp @ Starbucks was good~ enjoyed the short catch up with charm. it's amazing how God brings ppl of different personality together and from there, genuine bond establishes. i must admit she keeps my prayer life exciting with her little adventures ;p
one of d rare fridays tt i wasn't stressed abt the evening. am i getting used to it or am i learning to really trust God? Just last night at homegrp we talked abt how to really trust is sthing u have to experience urself. Knowing all the verses and stuff ain't gonna bring u nowhere if u're not gonna let go and let God...
"Molokai - the story of Father Damien" was... hmmmm. pardon my inability to find a word of description tt'll do it justice. d way Father Damien laid down his life for others, and contracted leprosy himself, how he endured life @ Molokai, his love for the lepers, his perseverance, his acts of service for those who need him, despite his sins... it reminds me tt while we can never totally escape the plague of sin in this transition period we're in (but tt doesn't mean we don't try), we can still make a difference to the lives of others ard us if we allow ourselves to...
took a while to compare the nutritional content of the chips i got. yes, i actually did consciously try to get the "healthiest" chips possible, weighing the flavour and the preference of people as well. popcorn's only healthy when there's absolutely nothing added to it ok. maybe next time i should chop up some carrots and celeries and make banana berry smoothies... ;p
i was just thinking how... (excuse me if i don't put these thoughts into words very well)... it doesn't take climactic, ecstatic sorta "high" to make one feel happy. more imptly, it's the peace tt brings joy to your heart. after the bouts of rough sea, u really come to appreciate the calmness of the waters. tt's when u start recognising the work of the Mighty One in the small little things again. Like how my flatmate's got a job offer today (Praise God! been praying for her but dun really know how to encourage her...), how i got a nice flashy teapot replacement (time for a phone replacement/laptop replacement/watch replacement? ;p), the sun, and how everything is just flowing quite smoothly @ the moment? or perhaps with training, u toughen up a bit and it takes bigger waves to give your boat a good shaking... it also came to my awareness of how both chapters of Faith in Lewis' Mere Christianity, when i read it abt a month ago, kinda armed me for some of the things tt came up. I didn't actually realise it until last night when we finally got to discuss those 2 chapters, then i rmbered "oh yup, i rmb quoting those words a number of times before, now i know where it came frm!" (btw, Lewis' MC is a good read...). All these intertextual connections are definitely divine arrangements.
perhaps this is the calm before the storm. perhaps it's just an in-between testing smoothness. on one hand, i question the necessity of trials (big ones, small ones...), the frequency etc... is it just the way i react? tt means i can choose to respond differently? if it doesn't kill me it's gonna make me stronger? but even if i bounce back stronger, it's gonna get harder to break me anyway? on the other hand, i guess i live to testify tt the dark storm does come to an end eventually, and His light will shine into the darkness.This glorious light will penetrate even into the darkest pit and seek u out, wherever u r... press on and be encouraged for our Hope is in the faithful loving God, whom we can call Abba Father!
*sigh of contentment* (though i know not wat i take content in)
let me just enjoy the moment with God...
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
HERE’S a nice birthday gift for our just-turned-49 nation: Kuala Lumpur is the best lowest-cost city in the world!
Well, that’s what I gleaned anyway from the prestigious Union Bank of Switzer-land’s eagerly awaited Prices and Earnings 2006 report that was released last month.
KL came in at No. 71 on the list of 71 cities surveyed. But being last is a good thing on this list because it means that it’s cheaper to live in KL than in any of the other cities.
The tri-annual survey compared the cost of a basket of goods and services across all the cities, and the basket was the cheapest in KL. Yet, when it comes to wages, KL’s No. 53 on the list, not the last. Which means, you can earn a decent wage yet still live cheaply in KL! (Go to ubs.com for full details and complete lists.)
Singapore and Hong Kong have very high standards of living but it also costs a lot to live there, which, of course, kinda cancels out the buzz.
Take, for instance, a British friend of mine who moved to KL for work purposes: he was convinced there was a typo in his Getting to Know Malaysia information kit because a maid’s salary was listed as RM450. He thought it was supposed to be £450 (RM3,105)!
For comparative surveys like this, the price of burgers at the ubiquitous McDonald’s chain is one item that is usually compared because a Big Mac is a Big Mac is a Big Mac wherever you are in the world. (In fact, this is such an uniform type of food, The Economist magazine came up with the Big Mac Index in 1986 as an informal way of measuring purchasing power parity between currencies and the index has been published annually since.)
So, in KL, a Big Mac costs RM5.98; in London, where I go to lose weight, it costs RM13.30. A Value Meal of burger, fries and Coke starts at RM8.35 in KL. In London, the same costs around RM27, almost three times more. See what I mean?
In London, RM1mil is still worth something but you would have to live in the ulu outer suburbs euphemistically called “Greater London”. Travelling time to Inner London is at least 50 minutes by Tube on a good day, as you have to change trains at least once or twice.
Says the 52-page UBS report, “It is no wonder that ? residents (of expensive cities) often tolerate extreme commutes in order to find affordable housing.”
Actually, instead of spending all that money on the tri-annual survey, the Swiss bankers should have just asked KL-ites and they would have been told that the Malaysian capital is definitely the best place to work, play and party in.
We could have told them to think about this – practically every African country’s capital is cheaper to live in, but we don’t have to dodge bullets in KL and warlords only appear in bad TV movies.
Singapore appears to be more sophisticated and advanced but try buying a house there for less than RM1mil! And doesn’t it seem like food costs double?
Bangkok’s nightlife sizzles – but what about the crime and horrendous daytime traffic jams?
For once, being rock bottom means we get the thumbs up!
Oslo, London, Copenhagen, Zurich and Tokyo, in that order, are now the world’s most expensive cities, based on a standardized basket of 122 goods and services that includes the costs of food, housing, utilities, schooling, transport and lifestyle activities. London and New York are particularly expensive due to housing.
The biggest gap is in Asia. Tokyo is the world’s fifth most expensive city while the cheapest is Kuala Lumpur followed by Mumbai and Delhi. Singapore, Taipei, Sydney and Auckland occupy the middle places.
Making the most
The world’s highest wages are in Copenhagen, Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, New York and London where the average wage of 14 representative professions is RM66 per hour. While Norway, Sweden and Denmark have the highest wages, they also have the highest taxes so, in real terms, Zurich and Geneva have the highest purchasing power. As for London, it ranks only 20th in domestic purchasing power. Says the report, “After statutory deductions, people living in the Swiss cities, Dublin and Los Angeles have the most left over from their wages.”
So hard working!
OF course, we hard working Asians work the longest, as any of us can attest. Seoul takes the lead with its residents working 50.2 hours per week – which explains why South Korea is so productive and well off. Based on an average of a 42-hour workweek, Asians toil 2,088 hours a year while Berliners work only 1,610 hours a year. Asians work 1,200 hours more than Parisians, where a year’s work equals a mere 1,480 hours – and they are still fighting for a 35-hour week. No wonder Parisians can idle away entire afternoons at cafes or strolling in parks and along the Seine.
Asians also have the lowest number of holidays, only 12 a year compared with the global average of 20.http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2006/9/10/lifetravel/15227539&sec=lifetravel
i miss home!
having spent a good number of years away from home, i thought i should be ok with staying away. yet i find myself running back every so often. So very often that i think friends back home might have gotten sick of seeing me around. hmmmm...
ironically, i wasn't sure if i could live in KL for long though. d idea was to work in some big cities, see Big Ben everyday or watever, wherever... better yet to fly ard... d idea was to be free~ yet i find myself yearning for home shortly after i left. How to go for long-term missions la?
but, i guess working at home ain't tt bad either ;p i'm sure if tt's where God wants me to be, as long as I keep my focus on Him, I'm gonna be loving it...
Deb's necklace was in her basket of... ahem.
it's been a week since i last saw my phone. i miss it. i miss the liberal feeling of just sending txts without a 2nd thought...
i've been checking the postbox everyday. i just cleared my laundry. no phone in mail. no phone in basket. Castle's technician would know my face by now and OUSA reception might have gotten sick of me...
maybe I should look for my phone in a telecom shop? perhaps it wanted an extreme makeover...
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
There is much satisfaction in finishing something you have begun! The success of a race is determined not only by how well you begin but also by how well you end. Many athletes can begin a race impressively, but if they stumble or are injured or lack the stamina to finish, their good start is useless. Paul rejoiced that he had not only begun the race; but he had also finished it. His prize was a robust faith in God and a life filled with God's powerful presence.
The Christian life is not easy. Some mistakenly assume that once they become children of God, their struggles are over. Many Christians begin their walk with Christ enthusiastically; but as the pressures mount, they lose heart and abandon their pilgrimage.
Paul described his Christian life as a battle. There were times when he struggled, and only through perseverance could he continue. It may surprise us to know that the great apostle had to struggle at times to be faithful to God. Paul faced persecution, misunderstanding, betrayal, and death threats. His Christian life was anything but easy, yet he persevered.
Your faith in God is not proven by beginning the race but by enduring to the finish. Publicly announcing your commitment to Christ in your church does not compare with a lifetime of devotion to His cause. Use Paul as your model. Live your life in such a way that you can one day conclude, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!"
What a timely msg for me. As 314 ass #2 came to a conclusion today (thank God for sustaining me), I just don't feel like doing anything. Instead of studying for my test tmr, I allowed myself to get carried away by "research" for my ling project. To be honest, it's just a disguise for surfing and browsing the net, throughout the night...
I don't have to dig deep down memory lane to rmb how I almost always start well (sortof, at least with more energy n enthusiasm) but struggle to finish well (battery running low). Most of the time I find myself struggling to breathe, just pressing on day by day and clinging on to God as I inch towards the finish line. It's disheartening to find at the end of the line, an extension line awaiting me further down. And another, and yet another... and I start questioning "What in the world am I doing?"
Perhaps this is part of my vicious cycle that I need to break, that I need God to break. It's almost shameful that my race is nowhere near as "noble" as Paul's... but I guess at this age, this season's race been marked out for me and as they say "die die also must press on".
Thank God that even though I may not know where I'm going, God knows... I just need to trust Him and let Him lead me on...
Monday, September 11, 2006
had a short chat with classmates during interval. we agreed how we no longer strive for the best: you just wanna make sure u meet the deadlines. When there's so much work coming at you, you just lose it and don't know where to start. you don't even want to start.
should i work with the lang sch on a project or shld i just do a lit survey? would i make the deadline?
sigh. what have i gotten myself into? what am i doing? feels like i'm caught in the midst of the vicious cycle Ps Mike talked abt on Sunday. But how do you get out of it?
1 assignment @ a time. 1 week @ a go. my Lord will carry me through...
need to re-learn multi-tasking...
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I lay them down before You, O Lord.
All my regrets, all my acclaim,
The joy and the pain
I'm making them Yours.
Lord I offer my life to You
Everything I've been through
Use it for Your glory.
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life.
Things in the past, things yet unseen,
Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true,
All of my hopes, all of my plans
My heart and my hands
Are lifted to You
Lord I offer my life to You
Everything I've been through
Use it for Your glory.
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life.
What can I give that You have not given
And what do I have that is not already Yours
All I possess is the life I'm living
And that's what I give to You Lord"
I guess when you don't really know what's going on, u just need to press on and believe by faith that God is with you every step. "Lord I offer my life to You, everything I've been through, even if I don't understand at all, use it for Your glory..."
the Shepherd of my soul is by my side,
Should I face a mighty mountain,
Or a valley dark and deep,
The Shepherd of my soul will be my guide."
I rmb that particular night, College CG @ Pastor Tony's house, we sang these 2 songs. It's not because I came in late tt I rmb, but perhaps God knew that these songs would comfort my heart in a time that is to come, many many thousand miles away...
I think I miss home...
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
finally submitted our 314 final resource. somehow ideas keep coming at the final moments. last night my stomach was uneasy with butterflies and i was high on adrenaline. u know it's like u've put in so much u wanna give it ur best shot even at the very last moments? i was feeling really edgy trying to figure out the technical stuff which is waaaaay beyond our grp's skills, and suddenly, the comp crashed. blackness.
i just took it as a "stop" sign from God. this edginess is getting me nowhere. give it up. let go.
found myself at the octagon for lunch. it's a nice change. the weather's beautiful and it's really good to sit right in the octagon, lunching in front of clocktower, the robbie burns statue and St. Paul's cathedral. It was hard to put down my Ling, my Japa, my Hunt but I've had enough of sitting in front of the comp or reading my notes or doing some uni stuff while lunching. Just let me enjoy lunch for once k?
5pm. Came out of class totally dazed and stressed. Ugh. There's just so much to do. written reports. oral presentation. ling's project which i haven't started. japa's essay. ocf. and the list goes on... I don't know how to balance everything anymore. Taking it easy isn't getting me anywhere. Neither is being uptight...
Thank God for really encouraging grpmates. Their support really helps me to hang on and press forward. Thanks guys, esp. my flavoured sisters. The most positive grpwork experience so far.
As i headed home, Hillsong's "Need You here" rang in my ears...
Holy, Holy is the Lord,
King of Glory, Forever, Saviour of the Word"
In that split second, all that matters is our Holy God, the King of Glory, Saviour of the World...
and everything else diminished...
It was just for that second. But i appreciate tt as a reminder from God... that life is more than the assignments etc etc etc. it's just a phase i go through like every other student. it's not easy but am I prioritising? Am I fiercely guarding the precious times I have with Him? Am I trusting Him to carry me through this?
I'm also reminded that it's not about the final product. Yes it can affect my grades, which has taken a slight dip so far, but it's the process tt counts. It's what God wants me to learn from this experience, what lasting relationships forged from this, the perseverance to press on, and most of all, the knowledge that God is with me throughout this project...
Sunday, September 03, 2006
i enjoyed the last bits of my hols. thought i should just seize the opportunity while i still can. i've left waaaaay too much work and i'm sooooo behind it's scary to think of the next 6 weeks. make it 9. this is by far the hardest semester. with the most assignments. i dunno how i'm gonna live thru the next 9 weeks eh. but i guess God is faithful. He has carried me through. He will do it again.
come to think of it, i will live through the next 9 weeks. as the cliche goes, time flies. it's about how i fly with the time, whether i'll be sluggish and just scrap through, or i'll just press on, with a few more cuppas (yes, now i know how elder ky can do 10 cups/day) while singing praises unto Him. fight the fight and run the race eh? do it well as a spiritual act of worship unto God.
i'll need God in every bit of this. let Him turn my nightmare into a dream, my bitter cup of tea into a bittersweet cuppa Fincas de Chiapas...
Happy Father's Day, Abba Father!
Friday, September 01, 2006
I saw this outside Starbucks:
"2-4pm Free Hot Chocolate. Random Acts of Kindness Day"
It's 3:53pm. wow. but it's too hot for a hot choc. I was craving for Green Tea Cream Frapp instead...
Have you done your random act of kindness today? How about buying me Green Tea Cream Frapp tmr?
It's better late than never... ;p
Spring is here! Thank God i survived another Dunedin winter. It certainly didn't kill me but I doubt I'm any stronger for another winter. Really glad for the change though. I might just be able to survive summer in Dunedin if weather continues to be awesome :)
Time to bid farewell to my mid-sem break. sigh. I don't like goodbyes. Not even non-human ones. My hols might have started much later than everyone else and though i struggled initially, i must admit that i've come to really enjoy not doing anything :) work started again today though. thank God i'm still functional. i think.
6 more weeks + 3 weeks of exams. 1 week of bumming around. 1 week in Paraparaumu.
"Come and taste that the Lord is good..." @ Dunedin OCF
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
there's so much i can do, non-uni related, yet i find myself not wanting to do anything.
perhaps it's time to retreat to the slum?
perhaps the busyness is good: keep me on my toes, at the edge at all times.
no time for restlessness...
i seriously wish Mandy is here.
God, pls take this away from me...
Sunday, August 27, 2006
my assignment's finally done. the one tt no one understood why is due during the holiday. explains why as everyone started rejoicing as early as last thurs, i wasn't too enthusiastic. i still had to carry this heavy stone. ugh.
now that it's done, i wanna go to Naili's! I wanna have a cuppa in Starbucks Mont Kiara! KTZ calls out my name and man! a night drive round KL city! how's that?
wait a minute...
I'm in Dunedin.
no wonder my heart is nowhere to be found...
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance,
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
i cried out to God and i wished He's here to comfort me. A God that's tangible, a God that can hug me and calm me down...
felt like i was gonna cry forever, but i guess my tears did run dry and my energy got drained. i finally subsided. quite relieved because i had wanted to stop and get on with my assignments etc.
as i stepped out of my room, i had a little surprise at my door...
i picked up the daisy wrapped in nice purple and red paper with a ribbon on it and looked for a sender's name... but all i could find was an empty envelope that says:
i started tear-ing all over again. this time, they are tears of comfort, tears of gratitude with an overwhelming sense of knowing my God heard my cries, my God knows wat's going on and my God loves me...
Thursday, August 10, 2006
i love musicals. nvm tt i'm not really following right through but the live music, the dance, the singing... i just wanna join them eh...
was wanting to get away this weekend. din realise an oral presentation can be so draining. or maybe it's the thought of what's coming in the next couple of weeks...
ah well. a musical will do. i was really happy~ :) thank You Lord for musicians, for dancers, for singers, for all Your creative ppl whom You handcrafted after Yourself...
if u ever see me feeling down, bring me to a musical will ya? ;p
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Is it really the kiwi culture or is it just part of Uni life everywhere? You can have eternal life, life in abundance in the fullness of Christ, yet, well~ it doesn't seem very important does it? Esp not in the midst of assignments, tests etc... so what does matter now is... keeping cool, finishing your degree, some fun times with friends and hopefully a good career? and when time comes, the right partner comes along and erm... dream dreams together and raise kids? i dunno where i'm going here but the question i'm driving at is... WHAT'S THE POINT?
I'm not intentionally wanting to advertise for Elim's International outreach come 12th Aug. Though i do think it's gonna be awesome, seeing how the ppl are putting in sooooo much effort (u guys are awesome!). not just in terms of time n effort n energy, but also the prayers too~ I know God will truly bless their efforts to honour Him in this.
Meanwhile, though i'm not technically very involved with this outreach event, other than just supporting them with prayers, this question of "what's the point?" has been highlighted to me through a life of someone tt i'm getting to know better. God has weaved our paths together even more tightly recently and my heart goes out to this person. I long to share the Hope that I have in Jesus and the life in abundance in Him. Life is more than graduating, having that career and that special someone with whom u raise your family with. what happens if there's no awesome, promising career? what if, there's no special someone? I'm learning to trust God with all these (Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you -Matt 6:33) and I'm really thankful that my confidence that everything will work out in due time comes from God because I know my God is a faithful God. but what hope, what confidence do those that don't know Him have?
i meant to write something totally different in this post and i've no idea how i ended up with this. i had wanted to give an update for the past couple of weeks but... i guess there's another time for that. i pray that my heart will continue to be burdened for those that dunno Him. even with the many riches the world has, they don't give u the security of a good job, a wonderful spouse and a happily-ever-after life. Not that coming to know God will give you those but well, at least I have hope in Him. He knows what I need and really, all I ever need, is HIM...
May I be burdened to share this hope, this love that comes from Christ...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
wat good is salt if it loses its saltiness? wat good am i being such a sluggish, non-responsive, lukewarm person?
nothing. no good at all.
i'm just drifting through each day. yea, i'm still living one day at a time, but it's more like i'm living minimally. wat's the point then? why am i wasting precious life? i think i deserve to be chuck into the rubbish bin and be forgotten forever. oh, maybe the skip we had for J week street cleaning would be a good place. nice and big. real yucky and smelly too. who said nz is nice and clean? think again. student city? think harder.
(Hebrews 6:10-12 )
Help me out in this eh. Either gif me a kick in the butt, or just throw me into the rubbish skip...
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Your passion has to be a long term, a sustaining one that can go on for the long-haul. It's a passion that comes from the inside out, not from the outside in. On Sun, Bob said, passion is the foundation of every vision. No wonder I lost the vision. Very early on too.
I identified with the lost soul tt's trying to catch up with wat my body's been doing faithfully, yet passionlessly.
Let's your passion be coupled with purpose! Let it be with substance!
Psalm 131:2 - the picture of REST, of CONTENTMENT, of STILLNESS before the Lord...
v3 goes on to say "hope in the Lord, this time forth and FOREVERMORE"
Don't add God into your equation of everyday life. He's the CENTER of it ALL! He is the REASON, the SOURCE of my everything! I need to depend on Him, and He is my contentment.
"When you find ME, you find joy, you find rest, you find salvation, you find strength! from the INSIDE OUT!"
Know God frm the Inside out, depend on God for rest, for contentment, and u'll be at peace!
those sense of rushes, from one busyness to the next, the isolation ("leave me alone"), tt sense of restlessness (frm street cleaning to hot choc to cleaning up to prayer bus launch)... SLOW DOWN! we need to discover our brakes in life! slow down INTENTIONALLY!
Jeremiah 2:13 - some ppl (like me) have taken for themselves cisterns that cannot hold water. v18 booms at me "WHY go ALL over the place when you can come back and draw water from God, the living spring?"
- hangovers! --- depressed, isolation, totally drained out --- Elijah ran into the cave (sounds familiar) and he wanted to die! (I din dare blog it out, but when things weren't going right, and oh, how minor things get magnified! i sulked and told God, yea, let everything come and then all these will kill me and all will be good")
- driving around with empty fuel tanks and ur car just run out of fuel! y do we allow ourselves to run on empty tanks?
- distorted conditions --- stop taking up things that u're not supposed to! --- God wants to do something deep in our lives! He wants to take us on for the long haul! take care of your inner life that makes the difference!
- devastated condition --- when ppl leave you/when ppl say things tt hurt u --- perhaps tt's y i get hurt so easily these days?
HOW? WHAT NOW?
- ACKNOWLEDGE your soul fatigue! Just tell God and admit tt you're tired and then DEAL with it! Ugh. Time to put down my pride. It's embarrassing to admit tt I don't even last for 1 semester. It's embarrassing to admit that even after the hols, I'm still not OK. but tt's pretty evident anyway ain't it? who am i kidding?
- Prepare against passion-threatening conditions: no matter wat, GUARD that SPACE with the LORD, GET INTO that space with the Lord. you NEED it!
- Mentor your inner life: allow God to water the garden of your inner life! your passion must carry on for the lifetime. not just for today, for tomorrow, for the week, for the year...
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God"
- it's not about giving tt slot of time every morning to God and that's it for the rest of the day (indeed He knows everything I do)
- put Him at the CENTER of your day! at the CENTER of your EVERYTHING!
- "... and all these things shall be added unto you"
i thank Him for the ppl He has placed in this stretch of narrow road that I'm on... the ppl that has given me those pieces of quilt, and finally, He arranged for a sermon from KL to the reach the ears of the stubborn one in the wops wops of New Zealand, and put all those pieces together to make one big quilt...
I will sing praises unto my God and King, all the days of my life! He has not forgotten me, and has not left me to die... Blessed be His holy Name!
Monday, July 24, 2006
being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
i'm really thankful for the encouraging ppl that God has put in my way. A dear sister has shared this with me and ya, it's really a good testimony of God's goodness she's tasting at the moment. We may not be joyful at all times but as the joy of the Lord fills her heart, it is unmistakable...
"btw i'm bursting with joy at the moment. *beams like an idiot* "
I can so imagine her splashing around the bouts of joy... dancing gleefully in absolute gladness... how beautiful! and of course, there's the stupid smile too... *grin* may I wear that stupid smile with the right reasons...
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I tried to go back to the Lord yet there's sthing missing.
"Live for Me"...
ok. but where do I start? i don't even know which is the right path anymore. more like, I don't know which road You want me to walk anymore. How did it become such a blur?
Perhaps I think too much. Can I detach my thoughts, my emotions and walk ahead blindly? For now it certainly seems like a good idea. All the thoughts, emotions are too draining. If only I don't feel. Perhaps for ppl like me it's better not to think, not to feel. For now, it seems like a good idea if I'm just a robot. A machine.
Ya, i guess i try too hard. Why even bother in the first place?
"Live for Me."
Friday, July 21, 2006
haf u ever felt like u wanna leave everything and go to some far far away place and not think about anything?
i feel like running into the cave that elijah ran into. there in the dark dark cave i'll be left alone. yet i hear God asking me:" What are you doing here, My girl?"
can I say to Him: "Leave me alone. I just wanna be left alone for a while."?
Perhaps I should just head to bed. His mercies are new every morning and tmr will be a brand new day in Him... There is hope, isn't there?
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
road lamps are flickering. it's supposed to be clear and bright and even joyful, yet the human mind filters that and allowed the road lamps to flicker...
thorns everywhere pricking u, slashing u... the cross is heavy and the weight can almost crush you... every step is painful...
Didn't our Lord Jesus Christ walk through that path?
and here i stand, at the crossroad. is there really no other way? knowing wat lies ahead, dare i take that step forward? perhaps i'll end up walking through each day in tears, is that the road paved for me?
yet, His promise is that there'll only be one set of footprints on the sand. And as He carries me on this path, He'll be there to wipe away every tear that falls from my eyes, as each and every tear is precious to Him...
Monday, July 17, 2006
it's supposed to be helpful for my assignment...
something abt managerial management (i know it sounds weird, but i can't rmb wat it was actually abt).
initially i thought it was a waste of time and i wondered if i made the right decision in choosing to attend this lecture. i thought my time could have been put to better use if i had went to my own lectures instead... but then again i was also secretly pleased tt i din have to sit in my ling lect for 2 hrs...
how is the lecture content useful to my assignment, i'm not sure. but i did learn some stuff abt myself...
abt how i'm lousy at handling stress and busyness...
the business world (it's a business management lecturer) is such a busy busy busy world. it gave me the kinda feeling that once i step out into the world and get my hands wet at working, it's just gonna go on n on n on and it's not gonna stop. unless i find someone to marry now and then i might possibly be able to just sit at home and take care of the kids. nah. unlikely.
so wat's the difference between the non-stop-until-u-learn-to-prioritise-and-say-no-graciously in the working world, and the same non-stop-until-u-learn-to-prioritise-and-say-no-graciously student life + ministry? dare i even add ministry to the earlier formula? by His grace I pray that I will.
the thing is, it's gonna be like tt no matter where i go, wat i do. i can't live in my days of holidaying-in-KL, travelling ard the world all-is-awesome life, all the time all my life. the reality is, there's always so much to do it's not gonna stop. the earth is not gonna stop spinning just because I'm tired or just not up to it. i gotta learn to say no now to be able to say it better in future. i gotta learn to handle the stress now to stand longer in future. i gotta learn to manage my time better and prioritise properly now to save myself from the vicious cycle of burning out every so often.
yet, not by my own strength nor wisdom nor anything tt comes from me (how can anything good come from me?) but may the Spirit of God lead me in His ways, that I might pursue life in abundance in the fullness of Christ.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
No time? Ain't Sundays meant to be Sabbaths? Enjoy your day with the Lord! Enjoy your day with the community of the Lord! Be one in Christ and unite your hearts in Him!
Word of caution: be sure to check who's going to Anthony's and see if he's got the professional photographer to come later during the day.
Anthony: we just gotta trust in HIS timing eh? u might wanna double-check with the Lord... ;p
Saturday, July 15, 2006
dreamt tt mum came unannounced. i was horrified cos she would know exactly how busy i am and how most of the busyness comes from J-week n ocf stuff. but i reckon this sem's a better balance of uni work and ocf/j-week stuff. at least i'm not leaving everything until after J-week. would be too late by then. it's a challenge not to neglect studies but at least i'm trying to prevent the scale frm being totally tipped on one side. but mum being mum, said it's ok, she's here to cook for me and do all the domestic chores for me. feel so blessed. although it's just a dream, i know very well that if not for financial constraints, mum would do exactly that. such is her love for me. just got off the phone with her. i miss eating proper meals. din realise that eating properly would require such discipline. ugh.
here's my new found friend. tamago-san. he's becoming a good good friend.
open him up, fill in some water, chuck an egg inside and put him into the microwave and watch him turn round and round. 3 mins for half boiled, 5 mins for hard boiled.
the only shortcoming: the half-boiled egg isn't very hot. or maybe it's the weather here that cools it down quite a bit. but ah well, tt'll do...
Friday, July 14, 2006
so that's my hols in malaysia. it's an up-and-down journey but i was quite ready to leave when it was time to go. prob the extension made things better. for once, no tears in klia ;p i reckon it's when ppl send me off at the airport that makes me tear. not at the send-off location, i can hold myself pretty well until i get on the aerotrain...
bloom conference was really good. initially i was hoping it won't be a whole lot of bgr stuff (i thought i've learnt frm joshua harris - enough to last me for the while). it wasn't. the love language session was pretty cool. i was surprised by my own love language. maybe i'm just one confused person. hehehe...
"don't carry too much baggages into your relationships."
yea, it's unfair that other ppl have to carry your baggages. even if they're willing to. leave it. at the foot of the cross.
my life in You restored.
Here is my heart,
make it Your sanctuary,
for nobody else but Jesus,
there's hope because restoration comes from God.
ALL FOUNDED IN CHRIST!
"Your past don't dictate your present and your future. Let go of the past!"
ok, back to earth.
Bloom conference kinda marked the turning point for me. Perhaps I was still burnt frm last sem, and i din really know how to recover. It was a time of trashing myself, guilt, unworthiness, etc etc etc. I hear ppl say "don't be too hard on urself...". ok, but how?
after conference, things got better. perhaps i decided to make the decision to move on. but have i really dealt with the issues at hand? not really. not thinking abt them, not praying abt them doesn't mean they're gone & all is good.
i din know how to deal with them eh. so i left it. and made up my mind to enjoy the rest of my hols in KL. after all, my days of mango-breakfasts and papaya-milk morning teas and japanese buffets and coffee-&-book in sbux comfy couch are short. and they're getting shorter by the day.
thank God for the good times. the fun times. the food times. the family times. the friends times. the crazy, filled with tension, yet everything turned out well time. wat a testimony. i'm still young. need to do sthing crazy. how abt being radical for God?
TSCF Conference - "back to the cross".
i wasn't sure if i was ready for it. i prayed and ask God to speak to me, that I want to hear from Him. i don't want it to be just any other conference. So far, He's been faithful. Likewise in this conference, He worked wonders...
I wasn't too sociable. still quite tired. and cold. metabolic rate decreased. supposed to be mingling but had lotsa talks with beets. it's disguised as "catching up and planning" but really, i think she gave me really good pep talks. to sort out my thoughts for me. anthony was a gem too. and the few other really meaningful conversations i had. my AHA! moments...
i rmb the first few days i was there, i would linger in the hall as the music continued to allow ppl to reflect. i would just sit there, even after most ppl had left, and wished i could stay there longer, perhaps i might catch something. there was something in the air, but somehow i've missed it.
The cry got a bit more urgent, a bit more desperate. Lord, wat are You saying to me? Has my heart hardened?
then the most beautiful message came. the most beautiful message in a long long time. i just can't stop raving about it. i was just so blessed and encouraged. I wish the speaker didn't cared abt going overtime, he was so fast! I wanted to hear more, I wanted the message through him to sink in more, that I could etch it in my memory for a long long time to come. In His grace and mercy, God refreshed my perspective of the cross. It's so easy to talk abt the cross every Easter, and every so often but not really allow it speak to you. This time, it struck. I've never felt so liberated before. Perhaps i've never truly understood wat it really means. This time, i found freedom in Christ! I am free! I felt so free that I wanted to spread my wings and fly!
I guess I didn't get the whole message right. So God sent Anthony to sort me out. I was ready to literally fly and pursue that freedom. Anthony linked that freedom with service. ok, so my freedom kinda tied me to the bondage of self-gratification. ops. but Anthony really cleared that up for me. I am 100% convinced that God sent Anthony from St. Lucia to Dunedin for us. What a blessing!
All my thoughts that I've buried during the pre-bloom conference days came back. Not to haunt me, but because the solution is here. The image remains vivid: me, kicking and screaming, fighting with myself: "I can't. I'm not good enough. I stink." Jesus, with open arms, "I did enough." finally, I collapsed into His arms: "Yes Lord, YOU've DONE EVERYTHING. Your grace is sufficient for me." May the message remain powerful til the day comes when I lie in His loving arms.
and of course, after you're restored, you get challenged.
"Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
DO YOU LOVE ME?
Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap and be faithful even unto death?
Where are those who will lose their lives for Christ's sake - flinging them away for love of Him?
Where are those who will live dangerously, and be reckless in His service?
Where are his lovers, those who will love Him and the souls of people more than their own reputations or comfort or very life?
Where are those who say "no" to self, who take up Christ's Cross to bear it after Him;
who are willing to be nailed to it in college or office, home or mission field;
who are willing, if need be, to bleed, to suffer and die on it?
Where are the men and women of vision today?
Where are the men of enduring vision?
Where are the women who have seen the King in His beauty, by whom from henceforth all else is counted but refuse that they may win Christ?
Where are the adventurers, the explorers, the buccaneers for God who count one human soul of far greater value than the rise or fall of an Empire?
Where are the men, where are the women who glory in God-sent loneliness, difficulties, persecutions, misunderstandings, discipline, sacrifice, death?
Where are the men and women who are willing to pay the price of vision?
Where are the people of prayer?
Where are the men and women who, like the Psalmist of old, count God's Word of more importance to them than their daily food?
Where are those who, like Moses of old, commune with God face to face as a person speaks with their friend and unmistakably bear with them the fragrance of the meeting through the day?
As I embark on this new semester, I know it's just gonna get busier and busier. J-week's on in abt a week's time. My first week's been filled with meetings, meetings and more meetings. There's an awful lot of readings that I gotta do (ok, i admit i didn't do my readings last sem. i tried but gave up after 4 weeks). 300% of internal assessments. 13 weeks. so that's about 23% each week. I am learning to live each day by His grace, for His grace is sufficient for me. The things I'm still holding on to, I need to let go. Even if I have to offer it up to Him on my altar everyday, it just gotta happen. Gotta let go and make space for the heavenly things He has in store for me...
May your life be a worship unto Him.