Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

my new hiding place

some thoughts

"I believe in true love, and true love is always magical. Like lightning, it strikes you fast and hard without you realising. You might be afraid of this sudden outburst of feeling, of this sudden decision you have to make, it can hurt, or it can be pleasurable. You might try to ignore it, but please, don't; because love is a wonderful thing. Even if it hurts, isn't the feeling of being in love worth all the getting hurt in the world?"

I quote this from someone else's blog (at some risk). What with all the wedding bells ringing all around me and my friends walking down the aisle one after another, I can no longer blissfully ignore the fact that I've reached "that stage". Yes - that stage where one thinks about love, relationship and marriage.

I never thought one has to think seriously about such issues. It used to be whatever comes comes. Love, as quoted above, strikes you fast and hard like a lightning. If it happens, it happens. If Prince Charming comes, there you go. If he doesn't, well, I'm the sort that will wait.

But God has certainly embarked me on a thinking journey. One where I find myself being confronted by counter-cultural views - that's when I realised how dangerous it is to not have a reliable basis to help shape your ideologies. Such striking contrasts are almost repelling, but it's not very realistic to hold on to one own's idealized fantasies. The sinking sand teaches you to build your foundations on solid ground.

"not all the money in the world can buy that powerful feeling inside."

(quote from the same blog)

yes. it's a very powerful feeling indeed. so strong and overpowering that one finds oneself at the mercy of such intense passion.

but I'm learning, that rather than allowing myself to fall in love, I'd rather choose to love, with both my eyes wide open.

Love is worth getting hurt for. In fact, loving is opening up oneself to the vulnerability of getting hurt. But no, the feeling of being in love is definitely not worth all the getting hurt in the world. Feelings are too fleeting. i need something more stable than that. i need a reliable solid rock.

it's tempting though, to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

9 months!

today marks the completion of 9 months of my being in Japan.

9 full months.

the last time i stayed put in one single country for at least 9 straight months was more than 10 years ago.

my early teenage years seem like a long time ago and i can no longer remember whether it's this kind of lifestyle that gave rise to the agonizing restlessness deep within or if it's the other way round. weariness has led to waves of longing for settling. yet such longing is in constant tension with restlessness.

i have a sneaky suspicion that this is just the beginning. awareness is always a good first step towards learning to cope.

"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." -Isaiah 40:30-31

Thursday, June 19, 2008

it's not about practicality

"...the God of the Old and New Testament asks for obedience and submission ... regardless of what that means for us. Leon pointed out in his devotions how the book of Job shows that we can follow God's will even if we lose everything and don't have a clue what's still in it for us.

We find out in the book of Daniel that we should obey God even if we don't know for sure if He'll rescue us from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:16-18). And then we see in the story of Jesus, that we should submit our will even if our "soul is overwhelmed to the point of death" (Matthew 26:36-42)."

("But What If Obeying God Isn't Practical"-Steve Watters, Jun 18 on

it's not about "what works" or whether obeying God is "practical" or not. God is GOD. When one has an inkling of what it means that God is GOD, and the slightest understanding of who we are in comparison to Him, one simply shuts up and let God be God. Just like Job.

"Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me."

-Job 38:2

God is God (Steven Curtis Chapman)

And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don’t know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move
Afraid to fall, oh, but fall I must
On this truth that my life has been formed from the dust

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God

And the sky begins to thunder
And I’m filled with awe and wonder
‘Til the only burning question that remains
Is who am I

Can I form a single mountain
Take the stars in hand and count them
Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me
He is first and last before all that has been
Beyond all that will pass


Oh, how great are the riches of His wisdom and knowledge
How unsearchable for to Him and through Him and from Him are all things

So let us worship before the throne
Of the One who is worthy of worship alone


(was gonna post Job 38, 39, 40, 41 but decided it's too long for a blog post.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

my beloved 田舎

well, it's the only real 田舎 I've lived in anyway. 弘前 is probably more of a city than Dunedin city but it's also more 田舎. go figure.

i wonder if i'll get to see the golden fields.

3 tones!

i'm not sure i know what i'm doing nor where i'm going.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

birthday post

i was sick. memorable nonetheless. after all, who knows when, if any at all, will I next have a birthday in Japan?

birthday crepes (by my French neighbour)

how can i have a birthday in Japan without these heavenly Japanese signature treats?

i did pretty well despite being sick. sick enough to postpone a test and skip a class.

however, the celebration continued after a nap...

my favourite kinds of food are Japanese and Italian. I got both! sans pizza though... (there is actually an "Italian restaurant" that doesn't serve pizza?!)

my very special butterfly cake! =) shared with very special people over a very special song.

being sick was like a thorn in my flesh, but by His grace I was able to enjoy everything all the more, because I made a choice to rejoice in all He's given me.

part of having a birthday in the midst of a few others', I could pretend each celebration was also mine ;p

Daisuke (KGK)'s was a day before mine. made this for him.

great company!

this was for Kris'. week after mine. unfortunately, I suspect the one I made for Ciwa turned out better (3 days before mine). that's what happens when you're still experimenting and testing out your recipes.

and today... i found a birthday post for me!

it's been lovely. but dangerous. especially when you allow yourself to get used to cakes and dessert treats...

a few friends asked "what? no party?"

i prefer to connect on a personal basis. you're still welcomed to bring me out for coffee =) even if you have to wait til i get back to Malaysia/New Zealand. it's never too late!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

false impression

Don't be fooled.

It's not as good as the cat thinks.