Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the sun is shining once again!

after 2 whole days of rain, rain and more rain, the rays of joy, hope and delight that the sun brought as it warmed up the land of Dunedin is greater than ever before! =) =) =)

after every storm is a rainbow...

after every trial we grow stronger...

after every down, we appreciate the ups to fuller measures!

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
-1 Peter 5:10

Monday, July 30, 2007

identity crisis?

Citizenship defines the place one calls home for life, where one rests one’s weary head after having travelled the globe. It gives one identity. It is the place to live out one’s twilight years. Ideally, it is “the best place on earth.”

-Suhaini Aznam in "Privilege called Citizenship", The Star Online 23 July 2007

The idea of ever giving up my Malaysian citizenship was unimaginable. While never truly patriotic in a sense that I never felt very "significant" in my home country, never really felt the noble call to "come back and serve my country", I've been quite attached to Malaysia and can't imagine my family emigrating elsewhere (though i suspect they would very much like to). I rmb when my Malaysian friends studying in Dunedin talk of going "home", as in Auckland, because that's where their parents are, I shuddered at the thought of having to "settle down" at a place where it's not really "home".

In Jap class today, we started a new chapter with introductory discussions on our identity, who we are, with a focus on people with parents of different nationalities. It's interesting how even if someone's been in NZ for years and years, they remain steadfast in holding on to their original nationality. even with the Kiwi passport.

suddenly there's a lot of such themes going ard me. Or perhaps I was just oblivious to it before. But I'm thankful that while I may seem to be confronted (and perhaps a little confused?) about the whole "who am i?", identity searching issue (many times I just push it all aside with a "does it matter?"), I can firmly proclaim that I am a child of God and ultimately, my citizenship is in Heaven.

what's next?

it got kinda gruelling halfway through the supposedly casual, relaxed chat. it wasn't until the last 30 mins of those 8 hrs that it dawned upon me that there's something more to it than a "casual, relaxed chat". yes, many ppl can attest to me being "slow in the mind", missing most hints and subtlety. i wasn't sure how to respond. partly cos i didn't expect the subtle appeal that surfaced, but perhaps more because one doesn't make such decisions there and then. unprayed for, at the spur of the moment decisions are more likely to become empty promises.

the junction of the crossroad is fast approaching. with so many different things coming from different ppl, the need to just be still and wait upon Him becomes essential. there are needs to be met everywhere, but where and what specifically has He been moulding and shaping me for?

once again i feel like i've been asked to hand over the canvas, and to let Him add on the next few strokes in His big picture, His masterpiece...

Saturday, July 28, 2007


i had an absolutely enjoyable Saturday~ =)

i rmb times when Saturdays were packed with activities, from half day band prac in primary sch to full day band prac in high sch, to feeling quite lost when I got to college cos i haven't learnt how to pass my Saturdays without band pracs...

i just realised how a big part of me was missing without all those band prac. i never really knew wat to do with my Saturdays anymore. but then again, at just about the same time this big part of me left, something else cropped up and gradually became an even bigger part of me...

but that doesn't mean I know how to spend my Saturdays wisely. Coming to Uni, i've filled it with work. all sorts of work.

although i miss being on the roster, i am thankful for the quality Saturdays I've been having. *smiles* tonight was really awesome. the company, the ambience, the bunny. i've never held a bunny in my arms for so long before. am so tempted to make Simba my pillow... it wasn't just the night that i enjoyed. it was good to sleep in, to relax and read, falling back to sleep as and when i like, and i even enjoyed studying!

"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?"
-Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

thank you Lord for the simple pleasures in life!

Friday, July 27, 2007

reflections on a Friday night

The Lord had said to Abram,

"Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."

-Genesis 12:1

Although the verses that followed received more attention tonight, my mind couldn't get past this first verse in chapter 12 of Genesis.

I suspect God has been working quite intensely in me, unbeknownst to my awareness. I wonder if despite all the "NO"s my mind's saying, deep down it's already a "yes". Perhaps I just need time to warm up to the idea.

Ah well. So be it.

"I am the Lord's servant,"

"May it be to me as you have said."

(Luke 1:38)

Let Him open doors.

"The heart of God is missions. The heart of the Church is missions."

"When you love someone, you love what that someone loves."

yea, i've seen how so many people have changed, and different people kinda converge after a while in interest, even in behaviour and personality. Such is the power of love.

Are you excited about what your God is passionate about?


one month from today~

=) =) =)

i love how God works in ways immeasurably more than what I ask for or can imagine. admittedly I was quite disorganized for tonight. suddenly there's so many things competing for attention and i found it hard to coordinate different people sharing and trying to make a link. But i guess the conductor baton's in His hands =)

it was tempting to talk abt everything and share everything. there's so much abt Taiwan I could talk about. but i realised that it's not about how much I can go on blabbering about. No point if ppl ain't receiving. it was cool to keep it short and sweet, and to allow heaps of time for after-meeting chat. i wish there's a warm place with good coffee/tea/hoc choc and munchies, comfy armchairs where we can just hang out and chat. but i suspect it may well go on til the wee hours in the morning.

one more month.

i am tempted to flag all my classes. sabbath month. how's that? =)

really praying to make all the connections possible. when i leave, there won't be a hole anywhere, but well linked connections. as they say, the story goes on...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

unspeakable joy

it was oozing out of me. just couldn't contain myself. i think i was grinning like a silly person. doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it makes u wish it'll last forever, u wanna dance and sing, and u know (well, kinda) that something has struck a chord in your heart.

too much sun in Dunedin perhaps? I'm not complaining =) *big grin*

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

blocked mind


i am guilty of being caught unprepared, unseasoned, and ugh... i seemed to have misplaced all my verses and jumbled them up. even decided not to work and i wish i could swallow the whole bible there and then.

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction." -2 Timothy 4:2

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." -1 Peter 3:15

neither here nor there

cliche has it that the grass is always greener on the other side. but knowing that in reality, the grass is not that green there, why not here?

"our citizenship is in heaven"
-Philippians 3:20

if He's gonna bring me to the ends of the earth anyway, does it matter if it's here or there?

"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."
-Isaiah 55:8-9

so what even if the grass IS in reality greener on the other side? what's in searching for "greener" pastures if we know that our citizenship is in heaven and the lushest greeneries will not satisfy us anyway?

"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."
-Proverbs 3:5-6

i do not understand the frustration in my heart.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday: pm

J-week street clean!

ok, tt's actually last year's photo. this year, only 1/3 of last yr's crowd turned up. but nevertheless, we are still His ambassadors, heading out to clean up streets for students...

weather was amazing. God sent rain last night to clear up the roads for our post-street-clean chalking. yet He gave us gloriously bright sun from daybreak through to the whole afternoon. weather forecast was bad weather for today. He's definitely sending out His troop of servants out to the streets.

it's hard not to wonder what difference it'll make. my little team picked up bags and bags of rubbish, but we can't help noticing the endless litter that will fill up more bags and bags even as we gathered in towards the evening. last year's lessons were re-learnt, reinforced: humility, servanthood, working as unto the Lord, do not judge.

"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."-Gal 5:13-14

i guess we were free to make the choice of not going. i saw someone struggling with that today. perhaps we all do, to a certain extent. Yet I saw God working in her heart =)

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." -Gal 5:6

hmmmm. may it not be a show of unity, or a show of "love", but "faith expressing itself through love".

Sunday: am

was quite hyped up in the morn. maybe it was seeing Jan Jan at the drums. coolness! =) but that hypeness got disrupted, when thoughts started creeping into my mind intermittently. it became hard to concentrate and i couldn't sing properly. i thought i was being distracted and prayed for my mind to be still...

nope. it didn't happen. could hardly hear what Trevor was saying. Yea, i was taking down notes but my mind wasn't with Trevor.

i was quite sure it was path A.

recently, path B seemed to have surfaced.

today, path B kept coming to mind.

eeesh. even before my heart was convinced, my mind had run ahead of my heart and i caught my mind busy thinking and mapping out path B.

i am aware that a huge part of me was shutting out path B. at the same time, i was being challenged of the irony of praying "Lord, show me the next step", yet resisting something that might possibly come from Him.

was quite relieved to be given a break from that internal struggle when i stepped out of church. seems like i'm not as open-minded as i thought i would be. gotta deal with this sometime, somehow. found myself negotiating for "surer" signs. let me go dig out some fleece... ;p

yet i felt like i was being chided gently.

"give Me your yes and I will show you My means"

Friday, July 20, 2007

How would u define urself?

That's the question Nick started tonight's meeting with.

I kinda had an answer in my head, but I'm not sure I dare to voice it out.

So I asked Scott instead how he would define me.

It's not really what u believe is it? if what you claim you believe isn't really reflected by how u live. i.e. you're not living out what u're believing. in other words, what u're living out is saying something else about what u really believe in.



I've been getting quite a few e-cards lately. none of which actually links to anything. there's one that requires me to download an application. smells fishy.

my apologies if u did send me a real proper well-intentioned e-card, but i'm deleting all of them.

how about real postcards/greeting cards/snail mails? ;p

an orchestra

it's Friday!

time flies. the week has gone me by. I feel "unprepared" for OCF tonight. It's not that we haven't come together and discuss about it. I guess it's not knowing every detail of it that's leaving me feeling unsettled. Esp the small group discussion part.

I'm reminded of this being an orchestra. Or a symphony. Nick has the passage from Luke, we each have a small group that God will bring, and Nick has the wrapping up, Lyv has the worship, Lish has the flow of programme, Sharon has J-week announcements, Bomi has the refreshments. God is our conductor. When the time comes, He raises the baton, and on that first note He waves downward, the symphony begins and everything will fall into place.

Let go. and let God.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

reminiscence: Taiwan "dream team" 2006

This is certainly a time of reminiscence and reflection. It kinda started the day Jess and I sat ourselves on the pews of Knox church and as we took in our peaceful surroundings with the pipe organ sounding glorious hymns unto Him, where we wept tears of joy, of thankfulness and of sadness. There is a time and season for everything. God is bringing me to an end of a chapter: as i look forward in anticipation to the new chapter He's writing, praying that I'll truly let Him be the author of my life book, He's turning my eyes back to see what He's got thus far...

It might be triggered by the song "The reason of Giving" sung by Fiona, Veronica's friend at her memorial. I came back and dug the lyrics out and at the same time, dug out everything I had from Taiwan. There's a sense of urgency to remember the people, the place, and the experience. The notes written to me, the few pieces of photos I have, the few Mandarin songs I took back with me. Daniel talked about the Chinese church being Chinese, for Chinese people. In ways I've never understood, those Chinese words struck a chord in my heart and more tears flowed.

The whole mission trip was amazing. Beyond what I had expected. God has been truly faithful in every aspect. The prayers of many were answered. There was even a sense of triumph, and perhaps of pride? But this is not a story about us, it's about how HE worked during our time there and how HE brought us through.

Yet last night, as I thought about the "dream team", there was a sense of being pushed forward. Don't settle down for just that, stop basking in the glories of yesteryears, there's still so much going on, so much more to look forward to. I had kinda thought to myself that I'll take a short break. Kuching in 2005, Taiwan in 2006. maybe it's time for a "holiday". But like I said in a previous post, I no longer understand what the word "holiday" means. Time to get out of my comfort zone. Time for another adventure.

Kuching in 2005. Taiwan in 2006. Japan in 2007-2008.

This is a story about the God I serve.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"busy-ness is a choice..."

i'm amazed that came out of my mouth. i think i've been under the yoke of busy-ness for a long time without realising that i subject myself to such a bondage.

it's veronica's memorial today. as i hear others talk abt her...

i'm reminded of the countless number of times i've met Veronica at the link on Thursday afternoons and i never had time to stop for long, cos i'm always rushing from meeting with Andrew and Pam to CCG/TSCF area support meeting to prayer meeting.

i'm reminded of the many times i've thought of getting her out for a cuppa, or even if she doesn't take coffee, perhaps we could have hot choc at Everyday Gourmet, just to get to know her etc.

i've meant to show her my flat too.

i thought i had time. i thought i can wait til Sem 2 when i've more time at hands, when she's moved closer to uni.

i guess we won't know the times and dates of the Lord. she has indeed impacted many lives in Otago just in the 4 mths she's been here. not knowing Veronica better is my loss.

the George family

i miss the George family being in Dunedin. When i looked up the slope that led to their flat, i can't help thinking about them, wondering what they're up to and just thanking God for bringing them over to Dunedin 1.5 years ago.

I don't think they realised how big an encouragement they've been to me, especially last year. Haven't seen them much this year, Anthony busy with his field work prep, Esther busy with little Josue, and me, busy with everything. But somehow, just their presence in Dunedin was good enough. Sometimes I feel like crying just thinking abt how they've left for the Caribbeans. i think perhaps i just need to shed the tears of farewell. Maybe I'm just being sentimental, a little melancholic. Yea, they'll be back again, but I won't be ard.

Amazing how God encourage ppl through ppl.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"neither poverty nor riches"

(public lecture by Prof. Craig Bloomberg)

Justice for poor.

Proverbs 30:7-9
Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

Do not lay up treasures on earth but in heaven.



Steward for Christ.


2 Cor. sacrificial (8:1-9). proportional (8:10-14). accountable (8:15-9:5). rewarding (9:6-15).

"We CAN have it all...
but only in God's terms and in His timing."

Monday, July 16, 2007

the chalking experience

When I first saw the Student Life chalkers, I never thought chalking is something I'll be able to do...

Yest was my 1st ever chalking experience. won't be the last. more chalking to do these couple of weeks =) despite it just being the 3 of us, we had fun and we thank God that as we serve Him as a team, mundane things can bring such joy =) it's the company that counts. company of Lish, Sharon and God =)

there was a bunch of rowdy boys, all dressed in black, that shouted at us from a distance when they saw us. something abt "vandalism" and "stop all this j-week stuff". there was a mix feeling of fear (there's a huge group of them vs. me n lish at the time) and wanting to stand up against them. As they're fast approaching, it was a split second tip over the balance to the "let's go" side. Stupid confrontation is unnecessary. Though I admit I was scared too. 2 wee Asian girls against a whole group of dudes? Dare to be wise. Sapere Aude. I am an Otago product after all.

One doesn't need creativity to be able to chalk. Well, they're not awesome but I haven't receive any complaints so far. All one requires is the willingness to be available.

When are you gonna get ur hands dirty with us? =)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

a day of rest

it's been an extremely lazy Saturday. =)

am really thankful for the day off. my aching body needs it. though i suspect i should get my stamina back up again.

after a whole day at home, i long for the convenience of being able to just go for a drive at night, and grab a cuppa. where it's not freezing cold. and there's still plenty of choices ard at 10pm.

soon. 46 days to go.

more photos~

a peak from the bushes

"is that the glacier?"

"ignore all warning signs"

even the extreme danger ones...

i certainly felt like Frodo on a mission


journey from Franz Josef to Greymouth

enroute to Greymouth

from Greymouth back to Christchurch

well. at least it's no longer ducks ;p

maybe it'll be the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls someday.

I suspect Mount Fuji comes first =)

"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them -
the Lord, who remains faithful forever."
-Psalm 146:5-6


a view in Christchurch


seals in Kaikoura


another Kaikoura shot

a hint of glory

faint glimpse of the moon

Friday, July 13, 2007


I dun think I've done more than what I've done before. It's puzzling how drained I've become over small little things. Time to slow down? It's so hard to watch everyone around u keep going. Time and tide waits for no one. It's been feeling like "nothing waits for anyone", and I seemed to have been left behind. Perhaps it's time to withdraw and detach.

I wonder if it's because i "forgot" Sabbath. After a good 2 days of rest after getting back from Welly last week, I mindlessly, unconsciously, arranged for a meeting on Sunday. When homegroup ppl asked, what happened to sabbath? My jaw dropped. I forgot! How could I? and for that, I dragged 5 other ppl into this with me. I did feel convicted abt it, asked for forgiveness and promised never to do this again; but lurking at the back of my mind, i wondered why wasn't I convicted enough to call it off?

Isaiah 56:1-2
"This is what the Lord says:

'Maintain justice and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
Blessed is the man who does this,
the man who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

Isaiah 58:13 -14
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you pleases
or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the Lord has spoken."

I've been longing for the weekend since Monday~

I am seeing more clearly that it's no longer about how I survive but it's about how my gracious God pulls me through. 2 assignments thus far, the new people, the cooking for today... It's been an awesome night really~ God was really faithful in providing enough food and there was good mingling between the different people that came. We're not sure how many will come back, how many will come to know Christ through us, but we pray that for each of them that we've been given an opportunity to serve in His love, that God will continue to work in their hearts wherever they go.

My flat still smells like Kimchi~ *inhale* really thank God for the awesome lovely team of people He's put alongside me to serve Him together. Makes everything enjoyable! U guys rock!

thank God for weekends!!!! =) =) =)

Monday, July 09, 2007

last "1st day" in Otago

i am very good at tiring myself out.

it's only the first day back at uni and i'm already quite drained. and i'm not even officially enrolled in any papers!


had an interesting conversation with a friend. i'm amazed by his drivenness just from a desire to have an established career so that he can build a family. we talked abt being tired from studying... yet his goal is good enough motivation for him to press on and reach out for the stars. me? longing for a simpler life, a smaller community reaching out to those that knows Him not. my bunch of stars are different i guess.

am i ready to give up the world?

perhaps. perhaps not.

i can't have both eh?

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." -Colossians 3:1-2

what is in a room?

"what is in a name? a rose by any other name would smell as sweet..."

i've been approached to give up Evison Lounge for OCF's Friday meetings.

1.5 yrs ago, I wouldn't think it would have made too much of a difference. In fact, I had asked for a smaller room, we're only abt 6-7 ppl anyway.

But now...

I can't bear the thought of giving it up.

It's not my decision to make anyway.

Or is it?


Saturday, July 07, 2007

in transition

As I took new international students ard town and campus these couple of days, I realised I've forgotten what it's like to be in a totally foreign place, not knowing anyone. Then it dawned upon me that I'm gonna be in that situation in less than 3 mths' time, and my stomach churned. The unfamiliarity, the differences, and not knowing much abt the way things are in the new environment... I'm not sure I'm ready for all that. I'm amazed at how Dunedin has grown on me without me realizing it. I couldn't imagine spending more than a year in Dunedin when I first arrived. 3.5 yrs later, this chilly, small student city has become my comfort zone. No doubt staying here can still potentially stretch me quite a bit, but seems like God is wanting to stretch me exponentially.

transition. I have an idea that life is never gonna be the same again, but I don't think I have begun to grasp the magnitude of how it's gonna change. 2 mths ain't very long. Time to wrap up and move forward.

I guess part of the reluctance to leave one's comfort zone is not knowing where one's headed to. Uncertainty causes anxiety. When God called Abraham to go, He didn't give him a destination. God's call was to God himself. It's not abt where he's headed to, it's abt following the One that has called, trusting that He will lead and guide ("Student power in world missions" by David M. Howard).

Nick said to me during conference that I need to repent of my idolatry of thinking that I'm holding it all together. I was slightly stunned. It's a rather subtle idolatry, but now that he's mentioned it, I recognize it. I can't hold it all together, only God can. I won't pretend I'm holding it all together, though often times I seem to be trying to. My feeble attempts could hardly hold anything together if God is not largely supporting me.

the longer i walked in this journey, the more i recognize this is not meant to be a solo journey. Even though i may be heading off alone physically, the importance of partnership in prayers can't be emphasized enough.

walk with me?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

airport hiccups

I can't help thinking abt the airport hiccups yest. Someone suggested maybe I'm not meant to be back in Dud so early. it's tempting. I could have caught "Woman in Black" in Welly if i stayed just one more day. and possibly another bubble tea. the green tea one wasn't very satisfying. better stick to taro, d all time favourite.

but i did start to reflect on all the airport hiccups i've had. even the ones i didn't have. Stacy (I hope I got her name right) was flown to London, and then back to LA before she finally came over to Auckland. She's from Michigan. I rmb the long long trip just to get to Taiwan. Very adrenaline filled journey, being "stranded" alone in Bangkok overnight, and then stucked in a bad traffic jam the morn I was gonna fly. and there was yest. Looking back, I realised how I haven't been as calm as I would have liked myself to be. Things are gonna turn out alright anyway. Trust God, why worry? Mrs Lee's sentence still pops up every now and then like a magic phrase: "What's the worse thing that can happen?". And it is only through all the hiccups that I'm learning to be more and more reliant on my God. If He wants me there, He will get me there.

It's never gonna be easy-sailing. Life is too boring that way. But of course, it's more than just that. It's a spiritual war we're in, there's lots going on in the unseen. Whatever it is, dun let it crush ur spirit, dun let it get u down.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

This is another stepping stone in preparation for the Japanese adventure that awaits! =)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Home Sweet Home~

yay! so thankful to be back in Dunedin. never thought that cold freezing Dud would be so welcoming. sans bags even. My God is awesome! =) they're sending my lost bags right to my doorstep tmr.

it was supposed to be a holiday before conference. I'm not sure if it was a real holiday, but then again, I doubt I understand what "holiday" really means anymore. Anyhow, it's through the roller coaster ride I had that I knew God was right there holding my hand, and indeed He's watching over me.

2.5 weeks. I can't believe how much had happened in these 2.5 weeks. Often we drag our feet through the mundane, for days, weeks, months and we wonder when life will take a sharp turn and we're on the exciting ride with God we all hear so much abt. Perhaps our naked eyes can't detect the unseen work of God day by day, but maybe all we need is to trust in the God who has called us into this partnership with Him, knowing by faith that He is at work?

You must be wondering what happened in the past 2.5 weeks? I dunno where to start. How abt a good cuppa? ;p