Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas is in the air!

Yes, Christmas has been in the air since shops started their Christmas specials, restaurants offering their Christmas packages, people planning Christmas gatherings, churches filled with Christmas activities...

but Christmas isn't about Rudolf and his red nose, nor Santa and his sleigh. Nor is it about having nice jazzy Christmas music, or dreams about a white Christmas elsewhere. Nope, it's not about eggnog lattes, and definitely not about romance, as the world defines it. Neither is it about hyped up unsubstantiated feelings, kinda like a balloon - u go higher and higher and higher and on boxing day, your balloon burst and everything falls flat, the emptiness lingers on...

yet, there is that sense of "magic" in Christmas.

the "magic" that sustained me through a low Christmas last year, the "magic" that saw me through a difficult year, the "magic" that sees things turning around, such that I am no longer on a low Christmas this year, the "magic" that ignites the excitement and anticipation for the coming year...

oh! the "magic" that works wonders - when i close my eyes and breathe, i can almost inhale thin crisp chilly air, and smell faithfulness in it all.

this Christmas I re-embrace the "magic" that so teased and invited me towards it even long before I understood the reason for Christmas.

the "magic" lies in the word "Emmanuel".

Emmanuel - the greatest gift ever.

Emmanuel. God with us.




Saturday, December 05, 2009

tear down those doors!

Our church is finally ready!

Just last weekend, all eyes were on the few macho men who carried those heavy wooden doors and held our breath as we watched them installed each door to the hinges.

Today, as I journal-ed away during reflection time, the voices of the YA rang out from the sanctuary, through closed doors. The thought that came to mind was - "We really should tear down our doors and let the angelic voices ring outwards!" It's a good way to be an attractive force. Even if people outside can hear the singing (I doubt it), the reluctance barrier is much higher if they have to make the effort to walk in, reach out to open those somewhat intimidating, almost uninviting wooden doors.

As such, we have to go out. Be the expansive force instead.




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

斩草不除根。。。

春风吹又生。

need to get the root out of my system.

Monday, November 23, 2009

much needed Sabbath

Recently it struck me that I haven't had a proper Sabbath in a while. Wait a minute... what's a proper Sabbath anyway? During my student days, as long as I'm not studying - that's Sabbath. Well, kinda. Nevermind that I was doing CF stuff. It's refreshing to be away from the books and libraries so when I chose to set aside Sunday to stay away from books and assignments - that's a good enough Sabbath. How far away can God be in your thoughts when u're doing CF stuff?

Now that I've stepped into the working world... what's Sabbath? I used to work Saturdays, full day. So Sunday was really a day of rest. I was too pooped to do anything else anyway. When I don't have to work Sat anymore, I thought - great! 2 days of rest! But old habits die hard - I started to fill my schedule with many good stuff. I soon got reminded that not doing money-making activities does not equate Sabbath. And trying to keep going without proper rest for months? whoa. Who do I think I am?

Thank God that the Japanese have set aside a day as Labor Thanksgiving Day. Finally I got to sleep in til 9am, after months and months of waking up early. That 9am should be considered "sleeping in" is a warning sign that I am... erm, progressing along this journey called life (oh, don't get misled, I am still very young ;p ). It's nice to be able to chuck my to-do list aside (will worry about that tomorrow), read, sleep, read some more and doze off some more.

But as the cliche goes, time flies when u're having a good time. Sigh.

Perhaps I need to incorporate regular Sabbath/rest/slow down times into my weekly schedule. If only the world would stop spinning for a day every week.




Thursday, November 05, 2009

6 months

"How's work?"

"How are u finding ur job scope?"

Friends ask this as conversation starter. Some really do care and want to know. My colleague seems to be waiting for me to get bored and restless soon... She didn't think I'd stay long.

Well, I must confess my heart and mind aren't really at work. But didn't I pray for something that'll allow me to focus on something else? I come alive after working hours (if I get enough sleep, that is). It's hard to sit still waiting for the minutes to tick by when there's not enough work to keep me busy, but I must remember I am where He has placed me. Like my colleague said, this is just a "part-time" job. We have a full-time job elsewhere, where our heart and mind truly lies.




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Emmanuel

Emmanuel = God with us. 

This word has increased in the depth of its meaning for me over the years. 

it is a word worth meditating over, pondering over and keeping in your heart. 

Emmanuel. God with us. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Double Take @ DFP

it was a totally enjoyable hour. angelic voice + amazing guitar skills.

it's like magic entering your soul and the music takes you away from everything else in your mind...

and when u leave the concert hall... u take a little bit of that magic with you.

ahhhh.... the little pleasures in life.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

mac-ing

i never thought the day will come when i'll actually be using a mac. it's like - how do i know what button to press and where to find what? 

recently, there's been so many new things coming my way, sometimes I wonder if i'm still me. 

it's not that bad. if we limit ourselves to what we're used to at a young age, then life'd be pretty boring eh? 

if we're looking for adventures, for exciting journeys, then i'd say - get onboard His plan! not sure where to start? on our knees. 


Sunday, October 04, 2009

"and I stand, I stand, in awe of You"

the biggest theme this year, is perhaps, how God's grace and mercy have so enveloped me that I stand in awe, speechless, astounded when I reflect on the journey in the past year. In fact, things have turned around in less than a year - waaaaay faster than I had expected.

something said today made me wonder, perhaps He did try to work on me once I touched down on homeground. I just wasn't ready. apparently my body language was all "back off" and "give me time".

and perhaps for that, I had to take the longer route - few months through the desert dry land.

few months is but a little detour. that His hands would lift me up again, turn me around in less than a year - speaks of the depth of His mercy, the richness of His grace.

I am led to think, that perhaps, all along He is extending His outstretched arm to us - it's just how long will we take to finally realize that it's no point writhing with pain in our own sorrow and misery?

a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
a garment of praise,
instead of a spirit of despair.

(Isaiah 61)


Friday, October 02, 2009

what's in a name?

思 - think of; long for; miss

亲 - parent


I've always thought my dad was thinking of, missing his parents when I was born and hence he gave me my name. Never mind that my last name has the same sound as the Chinese negation.


Then I found out yesterday that actually, dad obtained my name from the Chinese saying:


“独在异乡为异客,每逢佳节倍思亲“


"All alone in a foreign land, I am twice as homesick on a festive occasion"


yea, I know. What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But as I pondered over it, I can't help but wonder...


perhaps unbeknownst to dad, he has already "released" me - to the ends of the earth. The only condition, is that I'll remember him and mum.





Thursday, October 01, 2009

digging deeper

He took a big spade and dug deeper and revealed silly unfounded fears that weren't supposed to be there.

Or maybe I just haven't noticed them.

it's unnerving. but it's stuff that needs to be dealt with.

Father, have mercy on me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

need more adrenaline

I must have been running on adrenaline today and I think my adrenaline hype came and peaked at the wrong time and just as I need to climb uphill somemore, the adrenaline level has sharply declined, leaving me somewhat blank in the mind and breathless.

yikes!


Monday, September 14, 2009

the Sixth Sola

Sola Deprecatio.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

a rising generation of rebels?

i think one of the things young people have been blessed with, is that rebellious streak - that refusal to conform and swallow everything shoved down their throats.

people are struggling to get free. it's like that caterpillar turning butterfly process where the caterpillar has to keep struggling to free itself.

observations in my first year back in Malaysia have repeatedly led to similar certain questions, a degree of discontent and the increasing awareness of an instinctive rebellious streak in myself. Now, is that something we should all frown upon and say no no to? I am tempted to, or even did, feel somewhat guilty for being so uncooperative at the unseen level in the depths of my heart and have tried to keep it hidden. unfortunately, i have my little outbursts, which I feel bad about. but today, when i see that same rebellious streak in an email from another young person, i'm amused. we're a generation of rebels man!

but of course, unguided rebellion could be fatal.

that's why we need to get on our knees and pray, and our actions should come as a result of our prayers and intimate walk with the Lord.

just minutes ago, i was in church listening to Dr. Paul Davies talk about contextualized missional theology. i can understand where he's coming from and where he's going. Dr. Davies was talking about contextualized missional theology. I think we need contextualized generational theology too.

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." -1 Timothy 4:12

but when we are fearful to step out, not sure of ourselves and not sure if what we do is "right" (more in the sight of God rather than of man), what's gonna gives us assurance and confidence?

The next verse says:

"...devote youself to the public reading of Scripture...."

Call me quoting out of context if you like. But yea, let's dig into the Word.

And if we have to rebel, rebel in love.




Wednesday, September 09, 2009

doing vs. being

"Have you heard yourself in the past few days? You've always asked 'what should I do?' or 'how do I...'. Don't get so caught up with the doing, just BE."

It's not about the doing. It's about BEING.

Let me cease from doing tonight, head to bed early for once, and just BE.

Good night, Abba.


Monday, September 07, 2009

12 days

is it only 12 days til thePlan09?

I think I have butterflies in my stomach. it's the first time I've ever had pre-conference jitters.


Friday, September 04, 2009

~Fri~

It wasn't until 2 hours after I started work that I began to feel like I'm finally awake. Not fully, but at least partially awake.

I blame the coffee.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

blurry eyes

When things start to appear blurry, it clearly means it's time for bed. Even when I still have 101 urgent things lined up. ok, maybe not 101, but maybe 10.1.

Tomorrow will come. In fact, it's already here. Let me not cheat myself by stealing the hours of "tomorrow" and use it for yesterday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a BIG surprise

I haven't had such a big surprise for a long time. Admittedly I was looking for registration forms. I even prayed for it man (*apologetic look to Iris*). But instead, I was caught by a huge surprise! Such great delight! *All smiles*

After being told to WATCH - Monday night's surprise was kinda like a prelude to further surprises He has in store.

I'm excited! Gotta Watch Him. Wait in anticipation, and Watch.

OK Lord, now...

for the registration forms. ;p

Saturday, August 22, 2009

a good cuppa

today, i felt like i really needed a good cuppa.

Zilch
Cafe Jeeba
Cafe Iris
Pebble Cafe

Ahhh... the good cuppas of yesteryears. When I craved for my good cuppa today, my mind searched high and low for one that would satisfy... I could only think of Delicious. Maybe I need to increase my exposure to cafes around in KL.

Just a random photo I felt like putting up:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

bring back the anxiety...

...that'll perhaps drive me to my knees more.

not a bad thing ay?

not a bad thing at all.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

"mathematically impossible"

I was running late so I squeezed my car into that tiny little space between the tiara and the wall. God brought along Uncle Damien and Aunty Yoke Lin to watch out for me. After getting parked, I couldn't get through the space between my car & the tiara in front, but thankfully I just managed to squeeze through the space between my car & the wall.

When a friend saw my car, he went "it's mathematically impossible to get out". I was almost beginning to worry a little. But if I could get my car in, then I could get my car out right?

With some pushing (so that I don't bang the wall or the tiara should I ever so lightly tap on the accelerator), after lotsa of twisting the steering right right right, then left left left, we got the car out!

I suppose perhaps it might not have been so impossible, but what struck me from this little incident is that - it never occurred to me that it wasn't a possible thing, that it would be difficult or I wouldn't be able to do it. I needed to park my car, there was a little space and I went in.

It's not about my driving skills. Now if you know the way I drive, you would understand what I'm saying. My friends used to take over the wheels just to park my car for me back in college days.

It's about how when we're given a task, He will equip us with everything we need to get that task accomplished. From bringing along Uncle & Aunty to help, and then more friends later to help, and of course with divine technical help from Him, God parked the car for me. Another important thing is, the thought that it's not do-able never crossed my mind, and when I don't think that it's impossible, fear don't come in and grip me.

I still don't think it's anxiety that's been keeping me from sleeping in the past week. I'd like to think it's excitement. Although I must admit that, somewhere between now and theplan09, there are some missing pieces that I have yet to see coming into the picture. But praise be to God - He is the God who is able to do immeasurably more than what I can ask for or imagine. And the important thing is, I don't think I'm doubting that it will come to pass (or maybe I've learnt to suppress disbelief well? hope not). That's why I think excitement is a more appropriate explanation to my sleepless nights.

Now... to learn to sleep in spite of the excitement. That's divinely possible.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

liberated

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." -John 8:36

You know that deep seething anger that burns in your heart, which you just can't seem to shake out of it no matter how much you want to be free? The shackles that so binds you that you cry out for deliverance?

I have been set free.

All praise and glory unto Him.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"What joy shall fill my heart"

"Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art,
How Great Thou!"

There's a stanza that goes:

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Already, the joy is filling my heart and I proclaim "My God, my great Thou art!"

Mountaintop experiences aren't a daily thing, but sometimes, it doesn't take much to be teleported to the mountaintop - and there,

"then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee,
how Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!!"

You know, my words fail to describe the feeling - it's kinda like joy bursting forth from the heart. I don't even know why and where this joy came from. But let me remember this moment, especially in times when the waves are a little rough, and know that Hope is never far off.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

hmmmm...

Sometimes, I feel like I'm going crazy.

But I think maybe I just need sleep.

Monday, July 20, 2009

shackles of my own making

"The Christian life begins when we are released from the prisons of our own making. The love of the cross unlocks the prison doors of memory. The past is forgiven and the future is open to new possibilities... The past can be neither a source of confidence nor a condemnation. God graciously divided our life into days and years so that we could let go of the yesterdays and anticipate our tomorrows... We are liberated to accept and love ourselves as loved by the Lord. This unshackles our relationships."
-Lloyd Ogilvie, "God's Transforming Love"

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" -John 8:36

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Heaven is a divine reality on earth"

After weeks and months in Romans, having finally reached the long-awaited section on "hope", today's sermon (to be uploaded soon) wrapped it up beautifully.

I'm reminded of this song "There Is A Day" by PHATFISH, theme song for TSCF Mid-Year Conference 2007.

There is a day
That all creation's waiting for,
A day of freedom and liberation for the earth.
And on that day
The Lord will come to meet His bride,
And when we see Him
In an instant we'll be changed

The trumpet sounds
And the dead will then be raised
By His power,
Never to perish again.
Once only flesh,
Now clothed with immortality,
Death has now been
Swallowed up in victory

We will meet Him in the air
And then we will be like Him
For we will see Him, as He is
Oh yeah!
Then all hurt and pain will cease
And we'll be with Him forever
And in His glory we will live
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

So lift your eyes
To the things as yet unseen,
That will remain now
For all eternity.
Though trouble's hard,
It's only momentary
And it's achieving
Our future glory.

This song had resonated deep within when I heard it in 2007 - yet for me it pointed to a fuzzy place in the future, something ahead to long for, to stretch out for and to wait patiently for.

Today's message drove home the point: "Heaven is a divine reality on earth" - confirmation of a truth I've been introduced to at KGK's Spring Camp in March 2008. Amidst the grief, pain, sorrows, injustice and frustrations of the world, God has built His Church - not that we can be cordially pleasant on the surface, but to experience deep joy in Him and also to groan with the world as the creation groans:

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. "
-Romans 8:18-25

It's not so bad to be groaning after all.

"ただいま!"




The warrior is a child

Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
the warrior is a child

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and and look up for a smile
'Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The Warrior is a Child

Warrior is a Child by Twila Paris.

This pseudo-warrior has deep emotional wounds that don't seem to heal. Well-buried hurts that get unearthed every once in a while weaken the arms to carry the large heavy sword. In fact, momentarily, this pseudo-warrior can no longer remember how to fight the battle and run the good race.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

dramas

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a few dramas going on simultaneously. Some of which I'm starring, some of which I'm just a side-kick, some, a k-leh-feh. It's tiring having my hands dirtied with so many dramas going on at the same time - some times I'd just like to zoom out and watch the dramas from the "outside". I suppose one could learn to remove oneself, it's perhaps less emotionally draining to be an audience. A not-so-absorbed audience, that is. I keep getting reminded of how I was howling after watching "Sophie Scholl - The Final Days".

So... what's my conclusion?

I suppose for some dramas, the show has to go on. But surely I can choose the dramas I want to be more involved in. The others I can afford to just let them pass me by. There's one Bigger Drama, the Biggest, in fact, which I've gotta put myself in, if I'm not already in it. I'm sure there's a casting role for me in there, I just need to ask Him for the script. Perhaps, just perhaps, when I learn my lines properly and get into the heart of this Drama, the others will diminish increasingly and wouldn't affect me as much.

In a nutshell, choose your dramas. The not so heart-wrenching ones.

The Salad Initiative

It's kinda amusing how people started bringing salad for lunch after I began having salad for lunch about 1.5 weeks ago.

If only I could impart other more important, life-changing, habits/way of thinking.

Hopefully, year(s) later when I leave, I wouldn't leave just a salad trail behind.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

closure

A year ago, I learned that we don't have to pursue closure for everything. Some things can be left as it is and we can still move on happily.

Today, I learned of one closure we MUST have. The sooner the better.

The closure of the Great Commission.

Oh, I can't wait!

"Come Lord Jesus, come."

"Where are My people who will pray?"

I "heard" this again today. It was the same thing I heard about a week ago at the church's corporate prayer meeting. But today, it was almost like it was intended to nudge me out of my seat and to push me into prayer.

"Where are the people who will pray?"

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
-2 Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mid-Week

I have a piece of assignment for work which is due "end of the week". When I first received the assignment, I thought - end of the week, I still have time.

It wasn't until my colleague asked me "Don't you have something to submit tomorrow?" that I realised - hey! it's already Mid-Week and one week isn't that long. I still have my daily work, pending work that was supposed to have come in since Monday, another last minute assignment that just came in today... Yikes!

I'm trying to get inspiration. It's a writing assignment. Shouldn't be difficult. Shouldn't take too long. I wish writing that piece of assignment is like writing a blog post. But somehow the words, ideas aren't coming. Ahh~ the reminiscence of student days. Deadlines, writer's block. Praying for every paragraph.

Better call it a night. Get some good sleep. and perhaps, the words will flow tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

not just a holiday activity

"i spent most of the time home and pondering about life and events..."

my friend spent her holiday as mentioned above.

that's what I miss about being a student and having long (and lots of) holidays.

except one would find me in a cafe instead. pondering about life and events.

the long waits at the airport. bus-rides. road-trips. staring into space. being alone.

pondering about life and events.

gotta learn how to do that without the holidays. in the midst of people.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees"

yes, my feeble arms and weak knees need some working out and strengthening. I've been on my bum for too long and have shamefully allowed myself to get lazy - not that I ever was very diligent to begin with.

time to get up and get moving!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that foll'west all my way,
I yield my flick'ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow thru the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

Lyrics: George Matheson
Music: Albert Lister Peace

A hymn to comfort one who feels like bursting into tears. For no apparent reason. The unfathomable twist of emotions.

Burst into tears.

And run.

Into His arms.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Martha-ing again

sigh. I always catch myself Martha-ing.

Lord, Mary-nize me!

saturdaysunday

breakfast7amimbimarkethainancoffeepopiahdukehighwayhomemelawati
wangsamelawatiacrlunchyongtaufuchucheongfunmelawatihomecarrefour
homebranmuffinsevangelpjss2booksbiblesbooksbiblespaviliontgiffoodfun
friendsfarewellhomewebsiteeggseggseggstomatoeszzzzzzzzzzzzzeggs
tomatoesbreadsandwicheschurchrefreshingrefreshmentswashhomelunch
paperscgsophieschollsthefinaldaystearssnifflelotsatissuescannotstopcrying
teabreakhomechangedinnerdeliciousyummyqualityfooddelectabledesserts
sungaiwangfolderslabelsmarkershomewebsite

*phew*

I'm quite ready to take a 5-day break from the weekend.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

it's Friday!

And my weekend has started! Wooo-hoooo~

I'm actually rather tired, and am on my way to bed. Most of the time when I go to bed, I just fall asleep as I am. Neutral. Tired.

Tonight, tired as I am, I suspect I'm going to fall asleep smiling. =)

Monday, May 04, 2009

First Day Jitters

"Butterflies! Butterflies! Butterflies!
Calm down! Be still! and be no more..."

ugh. I only know too well that in less than 19 hours' time, I'd heave a sigh of relief, be filled with a surge of thankfulness and laugh at my own silliness.

where God alone can go

Passage: Psalm 42

Hopelessness of this magnitude "happens in that part of people where God alone can go... that Christ was once dead reminds us that the forces of evil are strong; dark despair can overcome us in that place where the battle between hope and disillusionment is waged."(1)

When Elijah was in that place, he was powerless to change it; it was God who took the initiative. Similarly, the two disciples wearily walking the road to Emmaus could do nothing to ease their sense of God-abandonment. It was the One who was broken on the cross and who offered them the broken bread that did this. So it is for us.

"Hope in God - in the Word made flesh, in the God who wept in the Gethsemane and who became God-forsaken on Calvary, in the God who comes to you incognito on the road, who comes as light and truth... who makes himself known in the breaking of the bread. Hope in this God and you will again praise him, your help and your God." (2)

(1) M Maggay, Reflections on the Kingdom of Politics, ISACC, Manila, 2004, p146
(2) NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus, SPCK, 2000, p167

from "Encounter with God" 3 May: Dark Night of the Soul

The initiative has been taken.
God has made Himself known.
The bread has been broken...
and has also been offered.

To you.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Each for the Other

I like the title.

It's meant for these friends who got married recently but I thought I should check it out first. One chapter led to the next and before I knew it, the book never got into the hands of the friends it was intended for. Ah well~ I'll never run out of friends getting married =)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Labour Day

It's May!

I felt like telling the person collecting toll fees today that she deserves a good break so she shouldn't work on Labour Day. Pack up and go have fun! Just remember to leave the metal bar (what's the proper term for it?) up.

Can't believe my holiday is almost over. yikes! I think while it's still holiday season for me, I should give myself the privilege to choose to drop everything and go pick up my book.

By the way, Evangel's having a sale until May 16! Go check it out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Krispy Kreme is in Malaysia

Someone who queued 36 hours for the store's opening has been awarded 1 year's supply of Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts!

And someone else who bothered to stand in line today meant I had some Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

The original glazed one is still the best. Don't bother with the rest. I wonder if they serve coffee. More importantly, good coffee.

Other thoughts today...

I actually got up early for a 7:30am breakfast appointment!

Thought I'll just hide in some cafe for the rest of the day. But given the 4 hours sleep I had, I doubt I'll last the day even if I had injected caffeine into my bloodstream.

Oh. I also remembered why I prefer to keep myself busy. Rest is much longed for but when one really has nothing pressing to attend to, when one can finally slow down and relax... that's when the carefully buried skeletons in the closet come out to haunt you. I suppose that's part of the reason why I don't like hanging out with myself anymore - too much space for yourself to think, and things you won't really want to think about start to surface.


A Little Smile

A little smile goes a long way to brighten up one's day,

A little smile is all it takes to help someone feel ok,

A little smile fills the room with merry and gay,

A little smile received, down your troubles lay,

A little smile gives courage to one facing challenges, come what may,

A little smile passed on, is worth more than gold can pay,

Your little smile is more radiant than the sun's bright ray,

Be generous with your little smile and bless many others, I say!



found this in Dunkin Donuts, Alamanda @ Putrajaya


Monday, April 27, 2009

never make assumptions

A group of us wanted to visit a Catholic Church just to see what it's like. There's one near my house and I found the church's mass schedule online. Evening Sunday masses are at 6:45pm. 1st and 3rd Sundays in Tamil.

2 groups of us. 2 cars. Church was exceptionally quiet. No one was in sight. Well, there was a man who was "reading papers in a nice environment". No one who knew what was happening was in sight. We took a look at the mass schedule again:

"Sundays 8:30am English
10:30am Chinese
6:45pm Tamil (1st & 3rd Sundays)"

Man. How did I read it in such a way that I was so convinced in my head that if 1st and 3rd Sundays' mass is in Tamil, then 2nd & 4th Sundays' mass is in English???

ops.

We headed out for Bak Kut Teh dinner instead. Thankfully I was with a bunch of good-natured people.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Golden Week in Malaysia

Yes, it's my Golden Week in Malaysia. Unfortunately there's no cherry blossoms here. Heard it snowed today up in Aomori while people were supposed to be enjoying the cherry blossoms. Hard to imagine but cherry blossoms and snow sounds like an interesting mix - it might just be a once in a lifetime thing!

I've forgotten how liberating it feels when 1 does not have to work the next day. One thing about stepping into the workforce is how long holidays are almost non-existent. Ah well, at least I get to have full weekends from now =)

Hopefully I get to slow down a bit and refresh myself before I start again. 8 days ain't long. One thing I must do - hide in a cafe with a good book! or journal...


Monday, April 13, 2009

another weekend

time to bid farewell to another weekend. not just any other weekend, it's Easter weekend! I suppose I haven't been as reflective as I should have been, and the significance of the cross in my life should really be a daily issue rather than a once-a-year thing...

Easter. My very first Easter - I remember fanfaric music, people carrying large impressive banners into church (they were doing Easter drama) and I had invited my 2 closest college friends. My memories of Easter in NZ comprises of Brumby's Choc Hot Cross Buns + lots and lots of choc eggs. Hmmmmm. My memories of Easter in Japan... a reflective one, over a span of 40+ days (from Lent onwards), Passover, Choc Rooster, Choc Lamb, Easter "Advent" candles... 7 years later, I've come one full circle back to Easter in KL again.

7.5 years of walking with my Lord and my God. But of course, He knew me prior to these 7.5 years, and more importantly, He has reached out for me and made Himself known to me. Sounds like a rather long period of time, yet I think I've barely scratched the surface of coming to know the One who created Heaven & earth, the One who breathed life into humanity, the One who handcrafted me and knitted me in my mother's womb.

I've been weary before. I've been in despair before. But I've also tasted His goodness and His faithfulness. It's been an up-&-down 7 years. But no matter how foggy the journey ahead may seem to me at the moment, somewhere deep inside me I know that He will carry me through, not just another 7 years but many more good and fruitful 7 years to come.

Soli Deo gloria.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Via Dolorosa

No doubt friends and family are precious gifts from God but I suspect in spite of those closest to you, life is an awfully lonely journey and only Jesus can understand that form of ultimate loneliness and only He can walk me through it.

Down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street
But the crowd pressed in to see
A Man condemned to die on Calvary

He was bleeding from a beating
there were stripes upon His back
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death

Down the Via Dolorosa, called "the way of suffering"
Like a lamb came the Messiah Christ the King
But He chose to walk that road out of His love for you and me
Down the Via Dolorosa all the way to Calvary

Friday, April 10, 2009

pouring passion into every cup

When one pays for upmarket coffee, it's not unreasonable to expect quality.

I watched the barista as he steamed the milk, prepared the cups, pulled the espresso shots (he almost forgot abt them!) and finally handed over my order. He was nice and friendly, nothing to complain about. But as I watched him, it struck me how so many of us are just doing what we're doing for the sake of doing it. I don't blame this barista, and I'm not complaining about him either. In fact, I've had many days like his.

Where's the passion? I guess not very many people out there care about how their milk is steamed and frothed, nor do they care about how you pull your shots as long as they get their order served. Well, I suppose it's not exactly the most exciting process in the world, and it's hard to keep your cool when there's a long line waiting to get their coffee... but it's not just about serving ppl their coffees is it? It's an art, is it not? One that gives you a sense of satisfaction when you know that you've done every step meticulously to produce a masterpiece in every cup.

So I don't get to pour my passion into cappuccino cups at this point of time in life. But whatever it is I find in my hands to do, wherever I find myself sent, should I not pour my heart into the cup He's given me?

I guess I need to learn how to make the best of whatever I have, wherever I am. No point walking through each day mindlessly. Each day is a gift from God. If I simply can't muster enough motivation, I should just drop everything and go make coffee.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Feels like a Friday

Often when life gets into a routine, slight changes to the routine can be rather misleading.

When boss came on Tues, I thought it's Wed.

And when she came again today, it certainly feels like Friday. Fridays often get me excited about going for CG where one gets ample supply of food, fellowship and fun from friends. But no, not only it isn't Friday today, we don't even get CG this Friday.

So, on a Thurs night that feels like a Friday night (I'm always itching to do something/go somewhere on a Friday night), I'd say it's time for something a little different. Chilling out with a cup of coffee (nevermind I won't be able to sleep after) sounds nice.

Now, where do they have live music with good coffee in KL again?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"it's not the end of the world"

i wish it is.

He will get me through this.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

paralysing fear

Nights when I went to bed early just to end a not-so-good day faster weren't rare. Usually the mindset was one of: "things will be better tomorrow", or along the lines of "it can't get any worse".

Tonight, I find myself wishing tomorrow wouldn't come so soon. I'm not sure I know how to face tomorrow yet.

Monday, March 23, 2009

trodding on mindlessly or swift decision to turn around?

We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken the wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. We have all seen this when doing arithmetic. When I have started a sum the wrong way, the sooner I admit this and go back and start again, the faster I shall get on. There is nothing progressive about being pig headed and refusing to admit a mistake. ... Going back is the quickest way on.

- C. S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity"

I stole the above from Blue Forest Soapbox. It's something I'd like to read again and again and let it sink in. Perhaps this is something I'd really like to hear at the moment. That's the problem with human heart - most of us have selective hearing if we'll admit it. The reason why we need a stone to sharpen another stone.

it's one of those days...

...when I felt like slamming my foot down on the accelerator as I drove.

Someone remove me from the road please.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Polushka-Pole

I once heard a song that so reached the depth of my soul that I wanted to cry.

Recently, I thought about that song. I knew I must have written the name down somewhere. Thankfully, I did. And with youtube and high-speed internet these days, searching for something ain't that hard anymore.

Poliushko Polie by Andre Rieu on his "La vie est belle" world tour.

Listening to this song again transported me back to Takayama. I miss it. It's the almost perfect place for a retreat - where you can clear your mind and breathe properly again. And while this seemingly perfect moment last, it's easier to affirm that "oui, la vie est belle".