Monday, May 29, 2006
big thanks to my darling flatties. amazing ppl. had a lovely dinner at Tokyo Garden. We shared a sushi and sashimi boat. On top of our mains. wow. i'm soooo bloated. Jap food is still the best~ nah. i don't need the real posh restaurants ;p and there's no mongolian restaurant here ;p ;p ;p
we were gonna walk to the octagon as part of our pre-dessert digestive activity. but it was simply too cold and grey's anatomy's waiting... quickly went to new world to grab some marshies.
nic faithfully turned on the tv once we got back and jason got the fire going. i was made to sit on the couch and while there was a bomb scare going on in grey's anatomy, i had a cake scare~ good thing it's just a scare. phew~ ;p
chocolate cake. 6 of us finished it. left behind heaps of cream though. this choc cake's not too sweet. and no, don't recognise this from il pani. it's frm the french bakery. mamamia~ c'est bonne!
so this is my new set of choc fondue~ we had an opening ceremony right away and with that amt of tealight candles they bought for me, looks like you won't recognise cq anymore. soon.
this actually works quite well, the choc at the bottom was real warm. although nic did melt the choc over the stove first. hehehehe... choc blocks in nz are too hard la~~ it's like having our very own tull's. just had choc fondue the last time i went to tull's. i always thought bananas' the best for choc fondue but no, it's the citrus fruits tt goes best. oranges, kiwifruits... the newspaper's jason's idea. well thought. when u have someone like me ard...
from left: jason, nic, cq, lisa, danny
from left: hsiao wei, nic, me, lisa, danny
it's been a real chocolatey night and i'm so chocolatified. in need of a workout. there's more food awaiting me tmr. not just food, yummy good food~
God bless my flatmates... :) I love you guys!!!
'it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself... The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and centre of their hearts.'
Got this from a passage written on AW Tozer (Encounter wf God). He's a writer that has deeply inspired me though i've only read one of his many books. The Pursuit of God really spoke to my heart and God had it that I was reading it while in the peak of my thirst for Him. It was such that my heart would "amen" with him as i read each chapter and after every chapter, there's just so much to journal down...
That little paragraph above really struck me in the bull's eye of my heart. It speaks of my current situation. How many times we've let QTs become an end of this road called spirituality and forget that that's not the main point. We find bible readings dry and on mundane days we don't seem to get anything out of it. We do it cos we know we should be doing it. Not to say we should stop reading the bible now but what really pleases God is for us to connect with Him and that we delight in Him as He delights in us...
"They... turn away in tears to hunt some lonely place and pray, 'Oh God, show me Thy glory.' They want to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God...
O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, 'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered for so long. In Jesus' name. Amen."
I would really encourage you to read The Pursuit of God. May this prayer be a prayer of ours... Never stop the pursuit of God until He turns around to catch us such that there is no longer a clear distinction between His pursuit of us and our pursuit of Him...
Sunday, May 28, 2006
I could only offer them an apologetic look and explain in English that my Jap is quite lousy.
It was quite a relief to see Daisuke there as well. wat a surprise actually! I brought him to the Japanese church in my first year but that was only once. He told me he's been going regularly since end of last year. He finds it quite interesting. May the Lord open his eyes and may the Holy Spirit touch his heart...
Worship was in Jap + Eng. I was secretly pleased that I could sing along to some of the hiragana lyrics. Couldn't read some of the Kanjis though.
I managed to find the book of John in the Jap bible. Could follow the reading a bit. Always got lost cos they read soooo fast! I'm always a sentence behind or something and my eyes would have to quickly skim through and fast forward. I suspect they read the shorter way (casual form is slightly shorter).
Had to rely on the English translation on the OHP. Could only catch some nouns frm the pastor but couldn't understand anything. it's tooo fast! At the end of it, i was made to introduce myself to everyone in Japanese. Not too bad i guess ;p
It was all in all a nice cozy little community. May God continue to bless them and use them to reach the Japanese community in Dunedin...
Rushed off cos wanted to go for Oxygen. Was almost reaching Elim when i got a txt saying tt the Phatties are studying in Clubs n Socs. I detoured and thought i'll just pop in to say hi and quickly leave since i din have any books with me. As I stepped in, Waning said "wow! I was just thinking about you and u came in!"
I reckon God brought me there eh... Waning needed a conversation partner to practise with and it was good for her to make me do it. I haven't actually started practising anything yet and I've got 2 conversations to prepare for. It's this THURS! somehow i've kinda chuck this aside with everything else going on. argh. God helped me realise how i really really need to get on with my oral practice...
Pray for me!
Recently, this theme has been knocking on my door. It takes the foreground sometimes, but my mind wouldn't allow this to dwell for too long.
"The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
MY CHIEF END is to GLORIFY GOD and ENJOY HIM FOREVER.
What about me is glorifying God?
Am I enjoying God?
But how come it's not ALL THE TIME?
The genuine love that I've received from God has compelled me to serve Him. Yet, why have I allowed myself to be bogged down by all the "DO"s and forget to enjoy God in the midst of all these stuff?
I question God all the time: about the frustrations I have, about the feeling of being unsupported, the feeling that I don't know where I'm going anymore... His promises? what promises?
I am suddenly that little girl sitting in that dark corner again.
It's when I don't spend enough quality time with my Abba Father that I lose sight of whatever He's given me. I used to think that daily devotions is good enough. You know, daily QTs. But I've come to realise that no, it's more than just reading the bible passage and the commentaries on it... it's about spending time sitting at the feet of Jesus and having a heart-to-heart time with God.
“You cannot be captured by the vision of God until you’re captured by the heart of God." -Ken Fong
Am I really not capturing His heart and His vision or maybe I'm just reluctant to let Him show me His heart and His vision because I'm not ready for it?
"God’s pursuit of praise from us and our pursuit of pleasure in him are one and the same pursuit. God’s quest to be glorified and our quest to be satisfied reach their goal in this one experience: our delight in God, which overflows in praise. For God, praise is the sweet echo of his own excellence in the hearts of his people. For us, praise is the summit of satisfaction that comes from living in fellowship with God."
yea, let's pick up the garment of praise and make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
This passage talks about how the Reubenites and Gadites told Moses that they wanted to stay in the lands of Jazer and Gilead after seeing how the lands were suitable for their livestock. They pleaded with Moses not to make them cross the Jordan into Canaan - the land flowing with milk and honey that God had promised.
Jo Bailey Wells wrote:
But they continue to prove faithful. Here they demonstrate that keeping God's commands does not preclude 'improvising' on them. They serve as a creative example to us for handling tradition. Being faithful does not always mean doing something "the way we've always done it". In some circumstances it may be more faithful to risk something new.
(Encounter with God, May 26 entry)
Weren't we taught time and time again never to compromise? Doesn't compromising kinda entail some lowering of standards? When we argue with God and propose our "creative improvisions", aren't we short-changing God and His perfect plans for us? But then again, Abraham argued with God didn't he? Does "negotiate" sound better?
This made me wonder, what exactly does "compromise" mean?
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
|1 a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by |
b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two
2 : a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial
So when we compromise, it's a blend of God's perfect ways and our lowly human terms?
hmmmmm. I guess our God is a creative God (look at giraffes! the zebras! the differences in every person u meet!). We shouldn't box Him up and follow traditions blindly. But how do we know when a compromise is legitimate (if there can be a legitimate compromise in the first place)? How do we know we're not short-changing God?
It all goes back to having a close relationship with Him doesn't it?
Friday, May 26, 2006
finished up another assignment today. Praise God for that eh! I really like the finished product... and i love my partner. She's awesome! :) I suppose now that we've given our best efforts n time, I'm not too concerned about what the tutor says. I'll let God handle that part :)
so that's 1 down, another 2 more assignments to go. 1 oral exam. 1 final exam. I love how the way this list is getting shorter.
ok. it's been a rather good week. fair share of ups n downs. Real thankful that He has pulled me through. He's really faithful eh ;p week after week, He sustains me. Really couldn't have made it by my own strength eh. and though time and time again i do tend to forget about Him, or just chuck Him to the back of my mind, He's faithfully being just there at the background. Need to have Him at the foreground more...
time to rest. i need rest. for the first time in weeks, i'm making it to bed before 1am! (better post this fast and head to bed, it's 8 minutes to 1am ;p)
Project #3: Chilled Oreo Cheesecake.
I thought the fridge-room-temp here would keep the cake good. Left it in the kitchen of clubs n socs and by the time we actually had it, it was kinda soft already.
Most common comment: Too rich. I personally don't like the lemon rind. Should have just make do without. Since I din haf a grater anyway...
Conclusion: I wouldn't be making this if there's Secret Recipe around in Dunners...
Project #1: Hazelnut Brownie.
It was weird to bake my first brownie in many many years. Forgot the consistency of a brownie batter is much thicker than that of a muffin or a cake. Good for arm muscle training. Alternate between right and left hand to ensure equally toned muscles.
Shouldn't have added that glaze. It was actually the glaze for Hsu Ee's cake and I thought y not? since there's so much leftovers anyway.
Conclusion: Too sweet. Heaps of leftovers. Tim brought all home. Ah well. Kiwis love sweet stuff anyway~
So there you go! Project #1 & #3 sitting side by side. Unfortunately, project #2: Cappuccino Brownie, can't make it for the pictures. there was hardly any left. i wonder why. it's sorta too fudgey and sweet~ made me sick after a small slice. The crust's too dry and it doesn't look very nice. I reckon a bit of natural yoghurt will make it taste better.
It was a night of Kiwi quizzes. Man! I am so embarrassed by how much I don't know! My knowledge of anything, or rather, the LACK of any knowledge, is shocking. I couldn't even answer questions like: When did Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah come together? Which country in SEA isn't sea bound? What's the ocean connecting Africa and Americas? What's the 3 holy places of Muslims (sthing like tt...)? hmmmm.
Cake time! It's supposed to be a surprise. We lit the candles on the cake... Sab went in to turn off the lights. As I slowly made my way into the lounge, walking real carefully so as to keep as many candles burning as possible... Hsu Ee dashed past me and disappeared! So there I was, left standing holding a birthday cake with candles all around, with a roomful of people ready to sing the birthday song... BUT NO BIRTHDAY GIRL!
Sab finally made her come out. I like suprising people :)
Want some bakings? Come for OCF. Every Fri 7:30pm, Evison Lounge, Clubs and Society, Albany Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Sab bakes way better than me! :)
Thursday, May 25, 2006
all 3 projects done. just need to ice it up a bit (errrr... icing ;p) tmr and i'll be sweet. keeping fingers cross that the taste won't be too unbearable. people here are so encouraging they'll swallow your product anyway ;p
can't believe i spent such a long time in the kitchen. the last project took especially long. i forgot how endurance-challenging an oreo cheesecake can be. i really hope it'll turn out. it's for a friend's surprise birthday tmr.
after all the bakingSSS, it's just part of the procedure to clean up. not just the utensils, but the entire kitchen. ok. not all the time la. i'm rostered for the kitchen this week and i figured why wait until sunday eh? so i began cleaning up the kitchen at 12++am and for the first time, din appreciate such a large kitchen. all the washing + drying + clearing things away + wiping + rubbing + vacuuming... i stopped when my flatmate came out not looking very happy. ops. i can be pretty brainless sometimes. vacuuming at 1am?! sorry.
by the time i finished, man, i'm pooped. fell asleep on the couch in the lounge. din realise it can be sooooo comfortable. I love comfy couches eh! but my shoulders and esp my back were sooooo sore~ i need a massage.
so it's 2:10am now, i've hung dry the table clothes n tea towels i washed, (laundry at 1am?!), am freshly showered, waiting for my hair to dry... hmmmm... should i call mum now? would it be too much to hope that she wouldn't notice it's 2am here?
apologies to my darling flatmates. sorry for dominating the kitchen the whole evening/night.
(btw, darling lyvia decided to put a banana into the freezer because she took an extra one and she didn't want it to go bad. hmmmm~~~)
A. In countries where there are more cows than the human population, they're called "fresh cream".
Q. I am happily and steadily working through the recipe, until I found out there's no grater at home! I knew I saw it before, somewhere, (yea, it's such a common household item u see it all the time. My flat doesn't have one!), but i can't put my project on hold until i get a grater the next day. What do I do?
A. No grater? Use a peeler and blend the peels. C'mon. it's back to the basics.
Q. I took the recipe off the internet and while working through it, it struck that the recipe is in a tropical context. Room temperature where I'm currently situated is like fridge temperature where the recipe came from. How?
A. Don't worry, cream cheese is still cream cheese where u are and where the recipe came from. Just be careful and learn to develop a spirit of discernment as to when your electric mixer will start smoking. Either that, or get a diamond studded electric mixer.
Q. I need rum. REAL rum. But i haven't got any approved ID to buy rum. What do you suggest?
A. Get some rum flavoured essence. Let Jesus turn that into rum.
Unravel the mysteries of baking with your amateur baker. It's bound to be exciting.
like how i almost choked my flatmates to death in first year when i burnt something... left something cooking and went for my shower... i guess multi-tasking dun work all the time. or maybe it's just me.
i have 3 big projects today. all have to be done today, because i'm busy tomorrow and i think i'll be lazy on sat. well, thurs is kinda like my baking day. maybe cos ocf's on fri but it's also like my introduction to the weekend...
my projects are "big" this time cos they're new recipes. new, not because no one has tried them before, or that it's a new invention, just that they've never been tried out by... me.
project #1 went along fine. except for the quarter bottle of vanilla essence i spilt. it's quite a nice smell actually, although i can't imagine smearing vanilla scented body butter on myself. i mean, u wanna go around smelling like a cake?
project #2. it was all good until i heard my electric mixer made weird noises. something went wrong inside the mixer, but since it's not visible to my senses (including the common one), i just went on. the rpm slowed down quite a bit... until... it started smoking! ok. it was so slow i'm better off using a whisk anyway.
project #3. tak jadi. y? cos no electric mixer. argh.
i bought a new baking tray today. i thought it's a bit too shallow but i decided to give it a try anyway. my brownie (project #2) didn't turn out like it should. I'm quite sure it's burnt. the texture's too dry and it just doesn't look good. But somehow the inside's still quite soft. hmmmm. ah well, hsiao wei likes it so... it can't be that bad after all.
hmmmmm. i need an electric mixer...
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
that excitement... that stirring of the heart...
... of how I look forward to going to sleep at night... secretly desiring that I will meet with my Lord in my dreams...
... I wake up in the morning, fresh and eager for precious moments with my Lord, wondering what He has to say to me today?
those times didn't last very long. It is, after all, a relationship.
the "i can't wait to worship Him" feeling as I looked forward to each service...
and how it never seemed enough.
Then, it got busier. and busier. and busier. wait a minute. maybe it's not the busyness. it's...
I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's just normal that you're not on cloud 9 all the time. That's when the faithfulness part comes in. Every relationship requires that bit. So all that tingly feeling is not there anymore, and the bears come in and the lion roars. Or it could be just moodiness that sneaks in from behind you and u feel like you're in a rut.
But. You have a choice don't you? Given the circumstances, you can still choose to praise the Lord, or, to let circumstances sink you in and swallow you up.
Depression, quite always, has unknown causes...
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. " -Proverbs 13:12
My experience tells me that moodiness, lethargy, too, quite always have unknown causes... Other than the PMS moments...
Before I know it, I find myself in a rut. It may be a shallow rut, it can be quite a deep rut, one so deep u know not how to get out of it. And u just sit there not knowing what to do. You long for the Lord to get you out, yet you stare at the Bible sitting on the desk, but somehow, you just can't summon enough willpower to pick it up. Or maybe you did, you picked it up and opened it, but... you don't know where to read. You looked at a few random verses and then got frustrated cos it didn't seem like it's helping and chuck the Bible aside...
Kerryn said in last night's message, that the most important and number ONE weapon that God has given us to conquer this, is our garment of praise, that we can choose to put on:
"to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." -Isaiah 61:3
The Amplified version:
"to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit."
the garment of PRAISE instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit!
Every relationship has its ups n downs. Whether you soar to the highest mountain peak, or plunge into the deepest darkest valley, or be it just on the flat plateau, you choose your response. No matter what your circumstances are, will you not choose to Praise Him for who He is?
"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired." -Isaiah 40:31 (Amplified Bible)
God made you. He made you to have a relationship with Him. He knows you from the inside out. He wants you to desire after Him... but that choice to come to Him, is your free will.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." -Jeremiah 1:5
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11
Do you not believe in His plans for you? Will you not surrender your life to Him, and let Him fulfill His purposes of His glorious kingdom? Wherever you are, He's wanting you to go back to Him...
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity." -Jeremiah 29:12-14
Release yourself from the bondage that so easily entangles. Let Him walk you through your deepest, darkest valleys... and watch out for the plateau, where it's easy to drift away...
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -Proverbs 4:23
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
santa claus in the middle of a cold cold night, handing out LIFT energy drinks, study snacks and Bible verses... man!
it's 1am now. i just got visited by the above mentioned santa claus. appparently this santa claus, sans white beard, sans big belly, sans red overalls, sans reindeer, started going round at 9:30pm.
i am so surprised that i just have to blog this down eh. Been resisting the urge to blog the whole night... and this surprise visit from santa sparked it all up again. Too bad for santa, I was sooo surprised I forgot to give him a hug, which i normally would have ;p
Lord, keep this santa warm and bless his soul for being such a blessing to us! Keep him healthy and alert for work tmr at 8am!
To you, O LORD , I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O LORD ,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD , your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD .
Good and upright is the LORD ;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, O LORD ,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the LORD ,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.
Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!
Monday, May 22, 2006
- James D. Nicoll
... and desired to go to a place where it snows...
... and chose to come to Dunedin for Uni?
i probably wasn't thinking at all.
it's quite silly to come here only to realise that I'm not that good with the cold cold weather...
imagine the hundred days of shivering chill, for that 3 days of snow.
i really wasn't thinking.
but, thank God He is.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I want a brand new start tmr~ Lord, have mercy on me!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
it wasn't too bad. got to know heaps of new ppl. we talked and shared about faith and what it means to "have faith" and to "walk in faith". it's quite interesting to hear abt what others have to share abt that passage on david n goliath. and i've been challenged to really stand up for my faith, boldly and courageously. but cannot be gung-ho la. u know how sometimes ppl can be real cocky? gotta be gentle yet firm.
at the end, jane said something abt how different it is to have a mixed grp rather than an all girls grp. the other girls agreed, saying how guys are more into metaphors to make a point, while girls are more into emotional stuff. i thought abt it and realised that i've never been in an all girls grp b4. i do value the truthfulness and honesty to have girls' talk but it's just tt i've never come across an all girls grp b4. but then again, ocf is quite close to that ;p we value the guys! hehehehe...
for closing, ppl decided to have a "girly prayer". ok. and jane suggested me. ok. so i closed in prayer and that jane ah... she said "wah, that is such a guy prayer..."
ok... so, what's a girly prayer like?
Friday, May 19, 2006
i took the first row seat. my view was quite narrow and i could pretty much just focus on wat's right in front of my eyes. so u can imagine the movie wouldn't be too enjoyable in that sense. plus all the "it's only ok la", "not that good", "below expectations" etc comments prior to the movie. plus, i'm tired. perhaps i should watch it again, when i'm in the mood for a movie, and when i can get better seats at the back. hmmmmm. nah~ spare me.
just abt 10 minutes into the movie, there was a scene of Silas doing something quite gruesome. not sure if "gruesome" 's the right word but it wasn't sthing i felt up to and i just shut my eyes. this reminded me of some gruesome scenes on TV i watched when i was real young and it involved the reenactment of the crucifixion, by heaps of ppl. that stayed with me for ages. and there was a fiction i read that pretty much did wat Dan Brown did. twisted a whole lot of stuff abt Christianity and Catholicism. those stuff were etched in my memory for a long long time. i must admit that they did put me off Christianity before i came to Christ. For ppl like me, we don't question too much. we swallow everything ppl feed us with. call us naive, or gullible even but we can't pretend there aren't many ppl out there that works tt way. and what do we do? do we remain passive and just let them be gullible?
during that scene, i suddenly wondered if organising this dvc movie thing was the right thing to do. was that what God really wanted? and i started questioning "God, what are YOU doing?" and "God, what haf I done?" and i started praying for everyone in the cinema. i'm scared. of the "side-effects". you'd probably think that ppl are old enough to think for themselves and we do have the pre-dvc movie series of talks etc. BUT. we can't deny the power of the visual to affect someone way more than words. i know how deeply affected i was by wat i've seen and read. but then again, i am probably one of those more "easily affected", emotional beings.
so. wat's next? i've got the follow-up survey forms out. none has come in yet. i hope they will. other than that, there's nothing much i can do, can i? yet, i'm being challenged if this is it. like "that's all?"... "that's it?" ok, so maybe it's not. then wat's next? need to go back to God and seek His ways again. sigh. I wasn't even sure if that's wat i'm ready to do. don't forget abt the last meeting, the all night prayers, CCG's Jesus week... the assignments n tests, and exams too
God, I need You to sustain me. I need You to show me Your ways and guide me through the remaining weeks of this sem. Instead of wishing there's a fast-forward button, perhaps it's time for me to learn perseverance and how to hang in there, not just hanging anyhow, but to hang in there well.
pray for me~ that I'll trust God in everything. after all, I am a follower of Christ today, even after all the gruesome scenes and twisted fictions...
how was it?
hmmmm. let's start frm the tea party ~
evison lounge has always seemed big. in fact, a venue change had been considered a few times cos a smaller room might be cosier. tonight, it was full~ heaps of ppl that i dunno and it was quite scary really. even when it's making a real normal public announcement. ugh. i think i surprised quite a few ppl that never heard me spoke in a crowd before. i only do it when i have to. like tonight. i had to ;p
tried to connect ppl with ppl. hope everyone met someone new tonight. hope ocf was comfy to them and they'll come again. was quite pleased with the generous comments ppl gave for my bakings. but frankly speaking, i dun really know how to respond to compliments. it's either overrated or it's not really me. u know, God made tt happen... i'm sure God made my bakings safe too~ thanks to all the kind ppl that helped out and brought stuff as well~
movie. so-so la. i took the first row. felt bad if anyone else had to take the front row. sorry to the other 4 that had to suffer as well. my neck is so sore~ and i can't really focus cos the screen is so near. maybe i was zoning out as well la. had to adjust my neck a few times. u can practically hear the crack. hehehe... at the end of the movie, made an attempt to communicate with the jap girl sitting next to me. we managed to understand each other quite a bit. just quite a bit. need to brush up on my jap. if only foreign lang teaching would take the EL approach. i reckon we need more communicative stuff... it's acquisition over learning.
some ppl headed off to the book sale after movie. it's 24 hours. real cheap books. like 50 cents u can get a book or a mag. i stood there, stoned. not in the mood for dusty old books, nor anything else. yet i was reluctant to go home, cos the night was quite cold. in the end, i decided to head home, since i gotta make my way home somehow. sooner or later.
tired la. glad that all this is over. glad to be home, in my own room, by myself. yea, i've had enough mingling in crowds today... time to retreat into the tranquility of my own shell...
Thursday, May 18, 2006
the law of last minute registration. pastor kenneth's words rang loud and clear in my mind as my hps and house phone kept ringing. boy, am i popular tonight! still a few unconfirmed ones. i hate to say 'no' to ppl. God, pls make them say no.
suddenly, i feel drained. it's not like i'm doing much, but i feel ugh. u know, the kind of physical fatigue that makes u feel like throwing up? i can't even take a sip of the nice cuppa italian roast sitting on my desk. it's gone all cold now. wonder why i made it in the first place. oh yes, cos i was planning to stay up. perhaps the late late late nights plus running around has taken its toil. perhaps it's the badminton today (after months!), and the baking, and the cooking, and the... the scary thing is that there wasn't any warning. i just suddenly started feeling drained a while ago. there was no "slow down" signal blinking at me... or maybe i was just being plain ignorant? what's the limit? when do u push the limit? and when u push the limit beyond the limits, where's the furthest limit?
Charm said my cooking's not bad. but then again she's not a fussy eater. maybe i should check if i gave anyone food poisoning tonight. hehehe... If it's my cooking, may God take all their discomfort and put them all on me. Hwei has a test tmr and Charm's travelling to Chch. Lord, keep them safe...
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
other than getting up late for class (yea, like 9:59am when class' at 10am. mind you, this doesn't happen regularly, in fact, it's the first time it ever happened!), the rest of the day's been pretty sweet. i still made it for my class. don't ask me how. submitted an assignment so tt's one down, 3 more to go. collected an assignment and... God's soooo gracious! yea~ it was definitely a good grade that I don't deserve.
before i go on, let me justify myself for getting up late this morning. I was working on my assignment til 3am. it was really frustrating as i got stuck on this ONE question which i spent 2 hrs on, and in the end, i decided to leave it to God eh. Not that I haven't tried. Real stoked when I finally finished it. It's not a last minute thing either. This assignment's due tomorrow but the stubborn part of me refused to let go and I'm quite amazed at how God kept me going though I was pretty tired already and most parts of my body's screaming for the bed... Printed out a recipe for "seri muka" and attached it to my assignment. You must be thinking what weird requirements NZ Unis have. Well, it's only for this paper. Jae (lecturer) asked for recipes and nobody gave him any for the last one. I hope he'll like seri muka. Wanted to give him something Malaysian. Might be a challenge to get the ingredients here in Dunedin though...
Prayer meeting... i realised that our weekly prayer meetings are getting longer. We used to end real early and ppl have plenty of time to stay and chat before heading for their class at 2pm. For the past weeks, ppl have had to leave half way through prayer to go for their next class. There are so many things to pray for! It's like I can go on n on n on but i feel bad la... Which shouldn't be the case actually. The sharing part is really good. While sharing prayer requests, we open up to others and really let people into a part of our life that we don't normally talk about in casual conversation. It's during prayer times like these that we really get to catch up with others on their life, beyond the "how r u? how's assignment? etc..." I find that when I share with others my prayer concerns, it's not just about the assuring prayers that people lift up to God but even before that, it's coming before God and admitting that I need help in these areas of my life. I really thank God for such a lovely n encouraging prayer group that has faithfully come to gather in His name every week.
Oh oh~ God sent an angel to cook dinner for me again! that's 2 wednesdays in a row~ Ain't God good? ;p I'm quite touched at how my flatmate's always been asking if I would like to join her for dinner. Being the paiseh me, of course I'll say "it's ok" and proceed with my bread and cereals. This time, long before dinner, she knocked on my door and asked me if I'll be home tonight. Instead of asking me if I would like to have dinner with her, she just told me she's cooking for me tonight. How sweet is that! It's a real yum dinner and I'm grateful that my God take cares of things like these as well, things which may seem so unimportant that I usually can't be bothered with... Guess what? I'm cooking for her tomorrow... ;p Anyone wants dinner tmr? Find your way to my flat. But do gif me 1 hr's notice so that I can expand the menu :)
May the remaining hours of my day be fruitful and may the remaining days of your week be God-filled... Remember that He's watching over you and that He's just a prayer away...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
It's good to know that I'm not suffering alone. I have ppl from London and Birm spurring me on. Though I don't hear much frm the others, I know those in Aussie, Herts and I suspect Dublin too, are going through pretty similar situation now. Of course, there are my Malaysian counterparts.
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:14
I need to press on toward the exams to win the holiday which awaits me...
Can't afford not to.
Monday, May 15, 2006
However, we have an awesome God who is above all things. He's the Almighty, Sovereign Lord. Nothing is impossible with God. Better yet, He's our strength and our source of everything good. We live a life of victory in Him and Romans 8:28 declares "...we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." But... many of us haven't even begun to comprehend the least of the power that is at work within us, much less utilise the all-surpassing power that is so readily available to us as we work hand-in-hand with God in fulfilling His purposes.
I wonder what it's like to be confident. I've never really been a very confident person. There are more "I can't"s than "yea, let's do it!". I'm glad I have a big God behind me. It's like in The Godfather where u have the mafia bosses behind you, just that my God is bigger than any mafia boss, bigger than all mafia bosses put together.
-2 Cor 4:7
scared to step out? Forget about self-confidence. Cultivate God-confidence.
(My apologies. I have a feeling this post's not making much sense. Hehe. Late nights + too cold~)
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I've heard people complained about how commercialised Mother's Day has become and they just absolutely refuse to do anything about it. I think they're just not appreciative of their mums eh. Yea, so what if society is getting really commercialised abt M's Day? You don't have to buy expensive gifts. You don't have to bring her out for expensive dinners. How about just showing that you care? Showing that you really appreciate your mum for all the things she's done for you? And for that unconditional protective love that has brought you thus far in life...
I guess absence does make the heart fonder. There's less opportunity for friction too. But the beauty of it lies in while missing my mum, I've come to realise how life is so different without her around. I've come to appreciate the effort she makes in cooking our meals as I survive on bread and cereals for dinner. (errr... ya, the truth is out, i'm not cut out to be a nutritionist...). It's when you're away from home for an extended period of time that you notice the little miracles that happens at home. Like how the kitchen is always clean and tidy... and floor's always smooth and nice to walk on... the clothes are always washed and well ironed... It's like an angel has come to set everything right at home and this beautiful angel has the tag "MUM" on her...
My mum's a real beautiful lady eh. ya, i know everyone says that about their mums but really, if only i inherited a quarter of her beauty, I reckon i'm a hot babe now~ ;p
I really admire the way my mum is so strong. Don't be deceived by her slender frame, you'll be amazed at how she stands up against the storm and carries all the heavy loads on her shoulder. She would never let me carry heavy stuff when I was younger. But i've learnt to say "No mum, if you can do it, I can do it too."
I know I've given her heaps of nonsense many times. I used to be difficult with people whom I know loves me. Just because I know I can get away with it. Such a brat eh. I pray that by God's grace I'm not that brat I was anymore and I pray that I'll be the joy in my mum's life.
Really thank God for mum. I can never thank Him enough for her. My heart's deepest desire is that she'll come to the saving knowledge of Him soon, so that she'll never have to take another step forward carrying all the heavy loads by herself, nor face another moment of storm all alone by her own strength. If I were in her position, I would have crumbled long ago without the strength that comes from God. I just wish that she'll experience God for herself, and know that my God that loves me, loves her too, and is her God as well...
I better give mum a ring now. Wish I can give her a big big hug~ May every single day be a Mother's Day for all of us...
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Found this on Elim's homepage. Perhaps this will allow me to go to bed earlier even though i might not have lived the day to the fullest? I mean, what more can i do in the wee hours of the night with nothing else going on and it's just me and the internet and... well, the stillness of the night?
Wait. There is something I can do. Go back to the embrace of my Father who loves me and let Him deal with my "old nonsense" as He prepares me for the next day...
I know God has been nudging me hard on a certain issue. But i just left it hanging for quite a while cos I din really know what to do. Ya, i try to seek God and I ask Him but then He showed me some other stuff that threw me off guard and by the time i recover from that, i realised i'm back to square one of the original problem tt got me seeking Him more in the first place. hmmmmm. but it remains a problem nonetheless.
I'm amazed at how i can tell ppl that i recognise the problem but i just shrug it off as "it's my struggle..." or "i've been struggling for a while and i'm still wrestling with it..." yet i do nothing to really deal with the root of the problem. But then again, i doubt i even know what the root of the problem really is...
"ask God for a sign..." someone suggested.
I'm not sure eh. What if He shows me something else and brings me into another round of ups n downs and by the time i'm settled again, decisively submissive to His will, and then i realised, hey, there's the original problem again! Feels a bit like "cow's head don't match the horse's mouth" (direct chinese translation) but I can't say that abt God cos He certainly knows what He's doing!
I thought i should take one step forward and see what God says. But somehow that step forward didn't really help. At least not at the level of which i'm conscious of. In the end, i realised that God has been speaking all the while. Just tt I'm not too sensitive to be aware of that. No stirring of the heart, no emotional shake-ups, and i remain oblivious to His gentle nudges. No wonder many times He throws me into the deep blue sea just so that I'll be more aware of Him! But even in that deep blue sea, I know my God is with me. Or rather, in that deep blue sea, I am more aware of my God's love for me.
I've had a few meaningful conversations for the past 2 days. These meaningful conversations are really encouraging eh. It's not like they really offer you any advice or anything but just talking to others and knowing that they'll be praying for you helps you to know that you're not in this alone. We're part of the Family. We're one body. in Christ.
I guess i gotta learn to hear God in the stillness. And not just look for Him in the emotional hypes. For that, I need to be still before the Lord, and let Him speak...
-Ben White, Encounter with God, "The Tension" (Psalm 4)
Are we actively sharing the deliverance we found in Jesus with the broken generation around us? How do we do that with people that are not open to Him?
Lord, may we be Your light amidst the darkness and may our lives give out Your fragrance, the sweet aroma of life in Christ...
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD .
Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD .
You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD ,
make me dwell in safety.
Friday, May 12, 2006
De 33:12 - (NIV) Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him/her all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders .
1Ki 9:3 - ( The Message) And GOD said to him, "I've listened to and received all your prayers, your ever-so-passionate prayers. I've sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always.
Pr 3:5 – (The Message) Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.
James1:16-18 (The Message) 16 So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. 17 Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. 18He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.
Psalm 139:17-17 (The Message) 17 Your thoughts--how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them! 18 I couldn't even begin to count them-- any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
James1:2-8 (The Message) 2Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 3You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. 4So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.5If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. 6Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. 7Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, 8adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
James1:12 (The Message) 12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.1 verse a day for each day of the week. May the God of Heaven and earth be the pillar that you lean on, rain or shine, storm or celebration...
*verses from Kasia Kedzia's article "Quiet Times: Rest Between His Shoulders" (http://www.studylight.org)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
after today's class, it kinda felt like an anti-climax of a climax i never really had. well, i was too zombified. there was a test this morning which i didn't start studying for until almost 11pm last night. Not that I was busy running around doing stuff, i was just chilling out with friends. Not just any chilling friends (errr?), but I had good quality time with my dear friend from HK who's only gonna be here for her graduation. It was really good to walk down the streets of Dunedin and around campus again with her. I really thank God for the wonderful times we've had last year, she being my big encouragement and support, taking my "shit" when she doesn't have to. I know it'll never be the same again but I thank Him for that little short interweaved path we're allowed to have. I've been learning how to let go and move on since i was young... leaving my nanny as a 7 year old kid (yea, i stuck to her like anything!); that particular farewell etched deep in my heart when i was 16 at the basement of a church in a tiny island somewhere... I think that struck so hard I was quite reluctant to really allow people to come in anymore. for a while. in less than 4 months, i found myself saying good bye to another dear new friend. and yes, things are never the same as before. But i guess if you dun move on, u'll start taking ppl for granted? I came to the conclusion that it's nice to have "quantity friends" but you need to have your quality friends too. and who cares if we part ways shortly after? it makes the short path journeyed together all the more sweeter. it's a worthwhile investment of time and emotions, but of course, watch who u get close to. Life is not all smooth sailing and while your parents try to protect you from the ppl that can hurt you, you're quite on your own feet in the world, especially when you venture out naive and stubborn. but thank God for friends that'll watch your back, and then you realise your parents are right after all, yes, they do have a lot of wisdom and they're not just wanting to be party spoilers... ;p most of all, thank God for friends that'll welcome you back and stick with you through thick and thin, friends that are really your brothers and sisters...
OK. i have no idea how i digressed so far. i meant to talk abt how i ended up staying up til 4am, trying to study but not really knowing whether i'm studying. hehehehe. hence, the zombified me. i think for the past few days, i have some sort of a resistance to go to bed. wat?! this coming from me who loves to snooze? going to bed means ending the day and i wonder if i've lived each day to the fullest. perhaps there's something more i could do to make it even fuller? what i don't realise is that i'm tapping into my next day and when i don't get anything done while trying to find something to do, i end up not having enough beauty sleep. and the vicious cycle continues. i should change the title of my blog or something. then i won't be so conscious about stretching each day to the fullest. but then again, i think i probably need to evaluate how i spend my time during the day. it's only when night falls that i find "oh no! the day's coming to an end!" and i try to errr... live more? hehehehe...
oh. How did i get into that? I was wanting to talk about how I left my studying to the last minute in the hope that the adrenaline that comes from panicking will inspire me. It worked before. but not this time. there was no adrenaline surges, no nothing. until after the test, my adrenaline still wasn't increased. maybe i should get my adrenal glands checked out. oh, btw, i think adrenaline flows better on your tongue than epinephrine. yea, tt's a linguistic preference.
so i headed home, half-hoping that i can head out to do something wild for once. paint the town red maybe? but it's getting real cold and i don't know where to buy red paint. i sat at my desk, and reached out for my maroon leather bound, button flapped, all time bestseller...
from nowhere (by that i meant it wasn't from any passages i read), i was challenged about the "listening" aspect of this "2 way communication" thing I have with my Father in Heaven. In the flow of daily stuff, i have neglected the important aspect of this 2 way communication. What a monologuer i've been! Sitting still in His presence, even for a short 10-15 minutes, is quality time eh. what's that 10-15 minutes from the 1440 minutes He's given you in a day?
Have you given God the opportunity to speak to you TODAY?
I've also neglected "the art of losing myself, in giving You praise...". When was the last time i really allowed my heart to cry out to Him, from the inside out?
"And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out"
"A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame"
Free your spirit to connect with your God, your Father in Heaven, and drink deeply from the springs of living waters.
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd,
and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of life;
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes..."
- Revelation 7:16-17
From The Inside Out
by Hillsong United
album: United We Stand (2006)
A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame
Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
decided to stay busy with the dishes. tt's always the safest. nobody would want to take that away from you. even though they offer help but usually ppl are sweet when u say, it's ok, i'm fine and u continue. so i was the superdishwasher girl last night. pretty cool~ din hafta talk to ppl cos u face the sink all the time~ it IS a good way to escape. but i reckon ppl leave u alone cos they figure if u like doing dishes so much u're not too much of a socializer either.
"wow, this girl is a machine!"
"u have high tolerance for hot water"
so there, the ministry of the dishwasher girl for Christ has begun...
-Pauline Hoggart, Encounter with God (10 May entry)
there needs to be a balance. too much reflection, no action, amounts to nothing, which might dangerously lead to indifference. Too much action, no reflection, you walk into walls. Too much engagement, no retreat, you burn out, you lose focus and it becomes meaningless. Too much retreat, no engagement, then what's the point?
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
i kept reminding myself i don't have much time left. it's 10 May. i have 4 big assignments, countless quizzes and tests, 1 final paper. all in less than 4 weeks. still, no sense of urgency.
perhaps God is trying to say something. Until i get it, i remain unproductive, inefficient. ugh.
enough is enough. how long can i remain ignorant? how long can i afford to be ignorant? isn't the recurring msg loud enough? or do i need a hammar to fall from heaven to knock me on my head?
went through the
i heard myself saying "many times we don't hear God and we think He's not answering our prayers cos we don't hear what we want to hear..." what I meant to share with another (and certainly wasn't saying that to myself at tt point of time) came back to slap me in the face hours later.
In the evening, I was challenged about my heart not being in the right state, not having the right mindset. I tell God I want to follow Him yet I'm not wanting to surrender everything to Him. Excuses after excuses followed my "yes God, but..."s and I wonder why I'm not hearing from Him eh?
During Vision, Johnny talked about Abraham being tested with surrendering Isaac (Gen 22). It's about OBEDIENCE. It's about yielding to God, giving in to Him. There's gonna be a cost. God doesn't want just 95% of you. He wants 100% of you. It may be a blessing He's bestowed upon you, it may be a promise He's given you. Isn't Isaac the promise of the many nations God has given to Abraham?
"Christians are commanded to lose their lives. This means they ought to deliberately release their lives to God and His Kingdom. One of the greatest hindrances to your being on mission with God will be your view of what constitutes your " legitimate rights" -that is, those things that you feel you have a right to experience and enjoy. It's not difficult to turn over to Christ those things that are not a sacrifice or that you would prefer to do without anyway. Rather, it is the things that are good and that are dear to you that may stand between you and God's will."
(Canaanland devotions: Losing Your Life).
Giving up to God is always the best. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We need to trust Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Obedience is not the best policy. It's the ONLY policy. He has blessed you with so much. Are you ready to give Him back what He's given you? Are you holding on tightly to the blessings and not the Blesser? Let go. Let go of the fake pearls so that He can give you the real ones...
It's always good to come clean before Him. Let go, and let God.
"OK, enough. Enough merajuking, enough drifting... Settle this in your heart, hold on to Me, trust Me, let go and let ME. It's time to get back down to work..."
yea. time to get back to work. lesson test tmr. 4 big assignments, countless quizzes and tests, 1 final paper. all in less than 4 weeks.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. "
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.