Thursday, March 29, 2007
In fact, I've been watching the clock tick and counting down to the time when class ends. It takes super-mega effort to focus on what is being said in class and I feel like I'm in a different dimension somewhere.
This has happened before. When it does, it just means that I can smell holiday in the air~
Hmmmmm. I'm approaching Easter + Mid-sem break with mixed feelings though. The break from sch is always welcomed. On the other hand I'm not sure I want it to come now. I know those precious 10 days will zoom pass me in the flick of the eye ("sekelip mata"), but after that, it's gonna be a sprint right towards the end of the race. No turning back.
I think I'm apprehensive not so much about the rest of the semester. It's just that... life will never be the same again... and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to bid Otago goodbye. But I guess it's human nature to be apprehensive about the unknown.
On a different matter, Greg said today that it's good to be concerned but don't let that become a worry. I think I skip the "concerned" stage altogether and dive straight into worry. And then God in His amazing grace, pull me gently back into the "concerned" phase. He even said that this can be attributed to genetics + environment! With the kinda genes passed on to me, PLUS the kinda influence I've had throughout childhood, I feel like I don't have to bear responsibility for my "straight into worry stage" nature. But I guess with God in the picture, there's no excuse remaining in that phase and not learn to start with being concerned and just remain there.
I wonder how people can tahan being on their own for so long. I always just give up and fall right back into the arms of God, whom I can completely, totally trust. I guess some people would say that I'm just weak, and I'm not learning to fend for myself. But why try to do all that on my own strength when the Lord of all Creation is just right there to support and back me up? But yea, I guess you can't trust someone you don't know. How about taking that first step to getting to know Him? I started out "trying" and just thinking that no one can force me to remain in a state/in a situation that I don't want to be in.
I've never looked back ever since.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Much as I would like to argue that I'm more accustomed to English now and I can probably express myself better in English (yes, I think mostly in English too), English is still my second language. Although friends have classified me as "pretty native" (note: not "native", just "pretty native"), by linguistic definition, English is considered as my L2. Especially in relation to Mandarin.
The fact that I grew up in a multi-lingual country isn't very helpful when I try to think of my own experience when relating to the SLA stuff I'm doing in class. Simply put, I think I confuse myself. I suspect I don't really comply fully as a SL learner, but I haven't done anything on child lang. acquisition nor multi-lingualism to say anything about them.
For the past month, even more so the last couple of weeks, I found myself struggling with language structures. I suspect my Japanese is confusing my English. I wonder if this is what happens when the parameters in the Universal Grammars get un-set, and then re-set? I find myself being tongue-tied cognitively (mind-tied?) and my English discourse are so full of errors my high school English teacher would be horrified! The fact that I am aware of them makes them mistakes, not errors. Ugh.
Not that my Japanese is getting anywhere better.
My Mandarin? Don't even mention it.
Perhaps I need more input to trigger more UG.
But. Maybe all this is just part of my Interlanguage? an inevitable language acquisition process? and I should not even fret about it because unless I fossilize, it's all gonna be good and beautiful one day?
I can't wait for that one day to come.
(maybe I should submit this as my learning journal. hmmmm.)
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Now. let's keep this thankfulness going eh? =)
Monday, March 26, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
And still more awesome than I know
All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough
You’re my sacrifice
Of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
You’re the coming King
You are everything
And still more awesome than I know
More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know
More than all I can say
You are more than enough for me
This song really challenged me today.
Only You can fill my deepest longing,
Only You can breathe in me new life,
Only You can fill my heart with laughter,
Only You can answer my heart's cry.
No one but You Lord
Can satisfy this longing in my heart
Nothing I do Lord
Can take the place of drawing near to You.
Father I love You
Come satisfy the longing in my heart
Fill me, overwhelm me
Until I know Your love deep in my heart.
Friday, March 23, 2007
on one hand it was cool how God got me through the day and the fiercest storm of the past few days. on the other hand, all these seems surreal. one moment i'm struggling so much internally, the next moment my mind's busy working on my assignments and when those have gotten out of the way, i can't remember what was it i was struggling with.
perhaps it's the lack of sleep. psalm 127 rang in my ears again. is there another way out? in times like this when i don't seem to have an option, perhaps i have set my own restrictions and have enslaved myself to unnecessary bondages?
i feel like i've misplaced a file somewhere. I'm sure God will dig it out sometime, probably soon. I just hope I won't file it away again and forget all about it. but then again, am i really ready to deal with it?
many apologies to ppl tt have tasted my crankiness, especially today. i think my flatmate got most of it. if u didn't, it was the grace of God that kept me in check. thanks to those that are upholding me in prayers. God has kept my sanity. I believe He will continue to do so. =)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
"It is unfair that God doesn't take into account our schedules and what's important to us when He wants to work in us at a spiritual level..."
yes. very unfair indeed. but then again, when we allow God to work in our lives, aren't we supposed to work on Him terms, not on ours? I am being painfully reminded that what is important to me is not on God's important list. After all, what He's concerned with are things of eternal value.
Why am I still holding on so tightly unto perishable things that are probably not gonna mean as much anymore in a couple of years?
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. "
Even in this seemingly endless pursuit of ... I know not what (haven't processed that through), in the "working out" of my salvation with fear and trembling... I always forget what it means that "it is God who works in me to will and to act according to his good purpose".
Matthew Henry says tt we gotta be diligent and to keep persevering to the end. I just shared with my staffworker the other day that I don't mind dying young, but that's beside the point. MH reminds me to do my utmost because my labour shall not go in vain: I must still depend on the grace of God. It helps I guess to have "you reap what you sow" ingrained in me (even though subconsciously). I probably won't recognise/see whatever I'm supposed to be reaping, but it should be sufficient to keep my eyes fixated on Lord Jesus Christ, who is the source of enduring hope. Who I am to question the unseen work of God which has eternal values?
"14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe"
I've been struggling to keep the complaints out. Is it sufficient to keep them unspoken, and better yet, undisplayed and undetected by others, or is there another step to take to demolish the very birth of them?
"16as you hold outF7 the word of life--"
footnoted as "hold on to" - ah~ the very living Word of God to be the anchor of our lives! How we ought to eat it. yum~ (i think I'm hungry)
"...in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
MH: "Running denotes earnestness and vigor, continual pressing forward; laboring, denotes constancy..."
don't forget to keep replenishing ur fluids as we do this marathon ok? but watch what u're drinking... some drinks dehydrate u out even more...
"17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."
ah~ Rejoice! again I will say Rejoice!
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
ok, time to head back to my assignment, ungrudgingly, with a joyful heart & ceaseless prayers.
I'm not complaining =p =p =p
Monday, March 19, 2007
suddenly all the thinking becomes a distraction, almost an annoyance cos there's no end and it's frustrating. i need to stop. and either head to bed, or direct my thoughts to my journal discourse.
Lord, help me!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
big thanks to all who've sponsored me. though i haven't been really actively seeking for sponsors, i thank God for you guys. it would have been quite unmotivating to go through the famine for $5. Though i must admit that's not the right thinking.
anyhow, i shall not make a big attempt here to tie in this famine and a spiritual fast and all that about sensitizing the spirit. bottom line is God has been engaging me with a lot of things (so many I can't list them all down here) and I know that even from now til the end of lent, He is continuing to work in me. He loves us too much to let us remain as we are. Though lessons are kinda painful (like Joseph in his sufferings), we need to remember that God wants to refine us for the future He's planned out for us.
it's a lifelong race. keep going!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
i've never fasted a full day before. but it is only when i do that i realise the significance of food as a fuel to our bodies... (quite ironic, considering what i'm majoring). bleah~ hehehe... but it did make me stay in the lib the whole day after Ruth's session cos i din think i could make the walk home AND to church in the evening.
the weakness in the body as food is denied is a mere reflection of the spiritual weakness when we deny ourselves the bread of life. to think of going through a day without food! Give us this day our daily bread indeed!
had a good chat with a compatriot after service. it's cool to hear his heart for Malaysian youths. really reminded me of AYA festival when Rev. Wong Kim Kong urged those overseas to come back, come back to your Tanah Air! God is seemingly calling His generation back to Malaysia. Somewhat like the way He moved the ppl back during Ezra's time to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. That's exciting to hear! =)
to be honest, I'm not sure if God's calling me back to Malaysia. But wherever it is, that's not important now. I am convinced that God will reveal step by step in due time (as is happening now). What is more important, is that we say "yes" to serving Him wholeheartedly with our lives and be ready to take on the training that will come our way.
His Grace is sufficient for us.
Friday, March 16, 2007
it's never been this liberating for a while now. I've been kept on my toes right up till 5:25pm when i had to run out to make sure I'm not too late for my appointment at 5:30pm. Really grateful that God has kept me sane through the week. Especially the past 2 days, I'm learning how to scrap through uni with the barest minimum of work. Erm, I don't think this is meant to be a learning point but...
dinner was awesome~ This is the birth of a relationship which I'm committing to God. I have to. Don't have much time here and when i try to take things into my own hands I know I'll just hit the wall and be frustrated when things don't happen my way. Just need to trust and faithfully pray. I may not get to reap the harvest but at least I get to sow the seed and perhaps water it a little.
I'm determined to get rest this weekend. Can't wait for daylight saving to end. It means I get one extra hour this year! Unless they have daylight saving too in Japan. =p
40 hour famine has officially started. it's the 5th hour now... still good. =)
have a restful God-filled weekend!!!
and i started thinking how to think...
and now i find that my mind's everywhere... the thoughts are pulled in so many directions I'm not sure which direction to focus on. Maybe there isn't one way to go, yet when there's too much I find that I'm tempted to just put everything down and shut down.
so much for thinking i haven't been thinking.
thanks to the many people i've been talking a lot to lately. you guys may not be aware of it but you've been a big part of my thinking processes. Though you may think you don't have the answers to help me out but I have found being engaged in a conversation to be a great tool in part of the thinking process. silent thinking just puts my mind into blankness.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
"...you who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." (v.4)
"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (v.6)
"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself." " (v.13-14)
How easy it is indeed to enslave oneself to the many distractions in the nitty gritty of everyday life! Even as I've always tried to steer away from legalism, from fulfilling obligations... I have unwittingly, unknowingly, been enslaved by the yoke of guilt and self-condemnation. True, I always remind myself that I don't have to do whatever I have to do just because I have to but I choose to do it for God anyway. I always tell myself that God loves me whether or not I get something done. but as i keep pushing myself onward, it's easy to lose my steps and just tumble out of track again. and that's when one hits the wall.
Freedom in Christ.
yes, I am free indeed.
In the midst of all that's happening, I know I need to make more time for God. To just dwell and linger in His Presence and let Him fill me and refresh me. Yet I am probably not at my wisest in deciding what to keep, what's to go. I thought I'm already keeping it at a bare minimum. Yet, even as I am praying about this, God kept reminding me to love others and He kept bringing to mind, more faces, more people to call, more people to connect...
"what about me?" I asked God.
But i know deep down inside,
it's not about me...
May I continue to serve God with "work produced by faith, with labor prompted by love and to endure with hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
dinner was good. not that we had 5-star main course+dessert and a glass of wine sorta dinner, but it's the company eh... and just talking about random stuff. and rather than this being another "item" to strike off on my "to-do" list, it's a celebration, a chill out session for me after a full-on day. kinda like a semi-break in between (yea, i am supposed to continue doing work). it was cool to finish the main business on a record of 32 minutes (!!!). the light atmosphere was thoroughly enjoyable. i think i'm easily amused tonight.
in the midst of all that, i had a short glimpse of us being a step closer to what i had pictured in the beginning. not that i know clearly when "the beginning" was. i've always struggled with what a "real vision" is and i doubted i ever had any. but someone said to me not too long ago, a vision is just looking ahead and seeing what's happening there. oh yes, i have that sorta vision. just that it never seem like a vision. it's not big enough. it's not ambitious enough. it's too simple? it felt more like a simplistic little dream of mine rather than what others would really label as a vision. but then again, i'm no visionary so perhaps what i see, though small, though simple, is just what God has given me and tonight, thank You Lord, I saw us taking a step towards that. my heart is just filled with gratitude for an awesome God who's placed all these special people into my life.
when i got home, i had another good hysterical laugh with my flatmate. oh, what about? we were laughing about something silly i've done. we all need a good dose of laughter every now and then. it's kinda therapeutic.
one thing i've been challenged today, though the "struggle" was only 5 minutes, was to give up something i've come to treasure and to learn to share the good things in life. Ah well~! all good things come from God anyway and i guess when i learn to be a little less self-centered, a little part of me gives way to Christ. Gradually God will chisel away bits and pieces of me that aren't contributing to the image of me in Christ that He had meant to be.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors,
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
sigh. if only i could go to sleep early and be given nutrition wisdom plus Japanese speaking skills. part of me wants to prepare for tmr. the other part of me is suggesting that i've come to my threshold for this week (though it's only mid-week).
hmmmm. i can't wait for Friday.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
...We read in order to get in on the revelation of God, who is so emphatically personal; we read the Bible the way it comes to us, not in the way we come to it; we submit ourselves to the various and complementary operations of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; we receive these words so that we can be formed now and for eternity to the glory of God."
-Eugene H. Peterson
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Accumulated emails to reply, pending ppl to catch up with, birthday cards and wedding anni card in the queue (should i still send belated ones?).
How did I get myself into this situation? Is there a way out? Could I not choose to make a deliberate choice to go against this seemingly natural inclination to be impersonal when one gets busy?
the debate of "busyness" has been in my mind quite a lot. It's not healthy. It's not balanced. It's not the way to live! Much as I would like to refuse to let busyness become a way of life, I find myself under the slavery of deadlines, of urgent things tt needs to get done which crowds up my schedule. I thought it would be much better in NZ with the laid back way of life but it seems like "I've done it again". so this kinda confirms tt it's not the pace of life (though it does affect in some way) but the problem lies in ME eh? so no matter where I go, unless I take control and be deliberately choosing wisely what I put on my plate, I'll always end up in this rush hour (more like rush semester)?
i wish i can go to africa. where i heard there's no sense of time at all. true, time is precious but who says productivity is a measure of how much u can do within a certain amount of time? perhaps i should shut myself up and out in the taize monastery in france for a month. i suspect i might go crazy in the first week but the deep sense of peace must be well worth it.
perhaps it's time to clear my plate and fill it with sushi, sashimi and tempura. but before that, I will need to enjoy the fish and chips and pizzas and salad on my plate first.
the heat is unbearable. if only our bathroom is big enough, I might just shift a desk and a chair in there. why is it that the bathroom is the coolest place in the whole flat? it's the same in KL too...
i suspect there's more to it than the heat. but ah well, i'll allow myself to remain non-functional until after JCF. that's it I can make it there.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Week 1 of Uni
Gotta remind myself I'm not a first year anymore. Just getting assessment dates sorted out was mind-boggling. I thought it's gonna be easier this sem. How wrong can I get?
The selection of beans found in Starbucks Dunedin has been disappointing. A professional barista pointed me to Mazagran. The tantalising aroma as it teases the nostrils and brings life to other dying-from-notes cells in the body was indeed refreshing. Ah~ God has been good to me!
Committed to God. Committed to Sabbath. This is much harder than I thought. Discipline is no discipline when it gets easy eh?
sigh. it's only week one.