Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you."

Monday, April 30, 2007

full-time student

one of the things i've picked up over camp was that God has also placed me in Dunedin as a full-time student. it's like "duh", yet this thought persisted and i started wondering what it means to be a full-time student...

it was suggested to me that perhaps i should block out my full-time study hours first, and then structure ministry and other stuff around this schedule...

my instantaneous response was: it's taken me a while to dethrone studies and now i have to do the reverse?

i admit i am aware that i've swung to the other opposite end. "the struggle to balance between the study schedule + workload, ministry, rest, healthy lifestyle etc... will always be present". hmmmmm.

i started calculating. using the pre-new credit system (which is the same anyway, just bigger numbers now), i'm meant to spend 2 hours for every credit. it works out tt I should be spending 48 hours/week of lecture time, lab time + self-study, assignments etc. keeping a day of sabbath rest, that means i'm meant to be working on studies 8 hours/day. 8 hours/day!!!

it felt like a rock has just crashed on me. i am barely spending 4 hours/day (well, it doesn't feel like i am) inclusive of lectures and stuff. being the slower student that i am i prob need like 10hrs/day or something. no wonder my sch work has been suffering. no wonder i'm struggling to keep up. i'm already in my final year! if i can go through final year the same way i did for 1st, 2nd year papers, on a 4hour/day basis (when it should have been 8-10), what kinda Uni am I in? gosh. rather implicitly, i have belittled the qualifications given by the uni i'm attending.

sigh. time for restructuring my schedule perhaps?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

dead man walking


although we all know (or we thought we know) the forgiveness of God, have we truly tasted His forgiveness enough to forgive those that have wronged us? even in the most hideous ways?

i was reminded of just how forgiving God is. His unconditional love is... unconditional. for everyone. anyone. i was struck by how even a convict of the most hideous crime, can be accepted, if there's repentance. although i must admit, i still couldn't come to terms with the anger towards the crime committed, putting that down and showing the love of Christ and His forgiveness. yet, who am I to judge?

where is the line to draw between justice and forgiveness?

swept under the carpet

i admit i have this not-so-good way of dealing with issues i can't/dunno how to handle: by sweeping them under the carpet. by cutting things totally out, i forget, and it doesn't hurt as much, or frustrate me as much.

and it works pretty well. for a while...

and then when i thought i'm all over it and have moved on, the strong wind blows the carpet open and as the carpet flaps ard, the dust just seems to fly out again, in small doses.

unresolved issues will always remain as they are: unresolved. they're bound to come up time and time again to haunt you...

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
-Psalm 139:23-24

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Kiss Intimidation Goodbye~

This morning's sermon was introduced as "it's about kissing...". I'm sure glad it was more than just that. In fact, it's the practical "how-to" follow-up from where Pastor left off 2 weeks ago.

I am aware that I've been living in intimidation most of my life. I'm intimidated by most things, some in a smaller scale, some to a larger extent. Sometimes I question myself: hey, why live in fear? God did not give me a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).

From the sermon, I guess I need to believe in my identity as a child of God, and not just that, but to believe that I'm exactly where He wants me to be, doing just what He wants me to do. I'm not perfect, it's ok to make mistakes. I'm a unique individual, it's ok to sound weird. Even little me has something to offer to God... (self-affirmation). But sometimes I can't help but wonder, really, beneath all that is on the surface, perhaps the lack of roar in me is a mere reflection of the type of walk I have with God? hmmmm.

God really gives us "practice" after we've received His word. Just when I was getting groceries, who did I meet in the supermarket but Intimidation himself? After a whole term of avoiding this intimidation, God re-surfaced this intimidation, right after a sermon on "kissing intimidation goodbye". Intimidation didn't glance at me twice, yet the butterflies in my stomach were real. and ugh, it threw me into a lot of thinking again...

I guess when one gets intimidated by most things, there will come a time when one gets sick of it all and decides that "enough is enough". after all, Romans 8 tells us in verse 31 that "if God is for us, who can be against us?" and in verse 37 that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

yes, I am more than a conqueror through him who loves me.

boy, this is another good kissing lesson. the other good kissing lesson i've had was "i kissed dating goodbye" by joshua harris. =)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

back in Dunedin

hmmm. can't believe I'm back in Dunedin already. doesn't feel like i've been away. it is significantly colder down here... brrr~

i'm the sort of person that likes to find a reason for everything that has happened. even if i can't, i'll tell myself that it has a purpose that is unknown to me. likewise, i wonder if my time in akl was just meant for the debrief and to meet up with friends like Hsu-Ee and Melissa. or was there something more?

as i filter through my thoughts of the past few days... the themes are along the lines of needing to trust God more fully for my future (rather than fretting and be anxious abt it) and to learn to pace myself so that i can be in lifelong service rather than burning out fairly quickly. but the line between stretching oneself to the next step, increasing one's capacity and burning out is a very thin one eh?

another thing i've been thinking abt: it's time to HEHA~ hehe. HEHA= Healthy Eating, Healthy Action. it's a policy in NZ abt living healthily (good dietary habits and regular exercise). it's not a strong conviction yet but given my major, i think i need to re-evaluate my lifestyle before it totally puts my credibility in doubt, even before i graduate.

hmmmm. feels like it's time to get back to work. there's certainly heaps to be done. but i wonder if i've really rested enough. or maybe it's never gonna be enough, but at least sufficient to make up for the deficit and to keep me going and sustainable on a weekly ration, even if it might be a poor one? hmmmm. am i even making sense here?

"time and tide waits for no man". i wish i can slow down.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

BBQ @ henderson

stuffed. totally stuffed.

it was good to meet up with the TW STM team again though. altho' i must admit i'm not sure if i was fully there, but it was good to get debriefed. again. initially i wasn't sure if it's been too long... then i realised it's impt to be reminded over and over again. we humans forget things. fast. gotta keep the vision alive. it's more than just a summer in TW. short-term mission, life-long vision.

tania said we're the dream team. dream team 2006. hehehe. bu4 gan3 dang1. all credit goes to God, who has so graciously involved us in and equipped us for His ministry in TW.

"stop running around"

"why are u always running around?"

to be honest, when i'm not, i'm surrounded by a cloud of restlessness.

"happy easter"

"hope u've had an awesome, restful hols!"

hmmmm. i dunno how to respond to that honestly.

in reality, "easter-wise" it hasn't been as reflective, as "spiritual" as others' had been, nor as i had hoped it would be. but then again who says it has to feel spiritual? isn't God right here with us no matter how we feel anyway?

"holiday-wise". can someone enlighten me how to get proper rest again?

hmmmm. maybe it's time for my "te-anau getaway". or can i last for another 10 weeks?

where to go from here Lord?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunday

yup, I'm in Akl. still doesn't feel real though. was staring into space wondering what I'm doing...

guess what? for the very first time, I walked into the overhead cabin of the aircraft. wow! never thought i could do that! it never occurred to me that i should lower my stance slightly. not that I've grown taller nor was I wearing heels. I just forgot I boarded Air NZ Link.

yesterday was an awesome day at the Catlins. Sealions, penguins, waterfall, lakes... u name it. the sun was shining real brightly too! and to spice things up, the minibus scott was driving sunk onto the beach and we had a 30 minutes rescue episode. thank God for bringing along the right people with the right car with tow rope etc to help us out. A 30 mins adventure is totally different if we had to stay at Tautuku Beach (i think) for the whole night. as if that wasn't enough, Greg's van got overheated and eventually AA had to tow it away...

purakaunui falls
tautuku beach
i dun think anyone (or any creature) likes their sun-bathing-sleep time being disrupted by 24 ppl watching and clicking away~

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

i'm enjoying staying at home and not doing much. it's been ages since i've been able to truly enjoy this without having to think abt imminent assignments/tests/quizzes/stuff to do.

yet, a part of me's thinking... don't forget what Good Friday is about.

the day Jesus was nailed on the cross. the day Jesus died for us. all of us.

what does it mean?

what implications does it have on our lives?

for me, there's already a lot to reflect on for the past few days. For one, God has pulled me through a crazy line-up of stuff to do. If you're one of those that wonder how I manage all these and still do what I'm doing, ask God. Honestly, it's not me at all. It's the grace of God, it's Him working.

God has also brought along quite some people with whom I've had really meaningful conversations. Conversations where I could talk about what's been in my heart, where I can let out what's been kept inside. I'm sorry for the dazy state I've been in. You may feel like you haven't helped much with advices etc. but I believe some questions don't have immediate answers. It's more than a Q&A session. Just gotta go through the process of thinking and pondering and as other ppl's advices help to shape the thoughts, hone the ideas, with the guidace of the Spirit, convictions develop.

i am learning to appreciate the interactions i have with ppl more and more. many times i feel like i'm zooming through time not really knowing what i'm doing. but God has been gracious in bringing along ppl to talk to me, to make me pause and think. thank you for being a part of this =)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

1st April

Sunday night. It's been a lovely day of no work. Quite reluctant to get back into it.

God has been really awesome. I dun even know where to begin. Let's just say He saved my ass for one of my assignments. Big time. hehe. He answered my aunt's prayers too! Last year I taught mum to pray in Jesus' name. She taught my aunt how to pray in Jesus' name last week and today she told me the prayer's answered! So i taught her a prayer of thanksgiving... =)

I prayed for new people to come for JCF tonight. God not only brought a few new people, He even gave me the privilege to invite someone I've met for the first time today to JCF! =) =)

re-read a text sent to me 3 days ago:

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but the seeds you plant."
-Robert Stevenson

very good reminder for me. not everyone that passes the rugby gets to score a try. keep planting seeds. so what if i don't get to harvest? keep planting and keep watering. after all, it's not about me.

It's been a good relaxing yet eventful day. =)

sigh. must it come to an end?