Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It Takes Courage

Interestingly, Yen Yi shared a poem with us when she preached on personal holiness from 1 Peter in our Homiletics class ....thanks for sharing w us sis!

So, m plucking this from her sharing :

It takes courage
To refrain from gossip

When others delight in it
To stand up for the absent person
Who is being abuse.

It takes courage
To live honestly

Within your means
And not dishonestly

On the means of others

It takes courage

To be a REAL an or a TRUE woman
To hold fast to your ideals
When it causes you
To be looked upon

As strange and peculiar

It takes courage
To be talked about

And remain silent
When a word would justify you
In the eyes of others
But which you dare not speak
Because it would injure another

It takes courage
To refuse to do something

That is wrong

Although everyone else
May be doing it

With attitude as carefree
As a summer song

It takes courage
To live according

To your own convictions
To deny yourself

What you cannot afford
To love your neighbor
As yourself

It takes courage

to be holy for God

~ Author Unknown ~

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chinese Calligraphy

In the mist of doing the magazine ... we are in the final2 stage of approval for postgrads students .... we have to wait for the Board of Governors to meet before the final list can be confirm. The challenge - their articles and some even ads are already in the mag. So how?

Our backup or contingency plan :

Plan a) get more group pictures of the class to feature their life and activities here in TTC
Plan b) get ppl to write something -- poems etc, especially Chinese ones ... since the entire mag is Eng and there is no Chinese words etc ...

So, I assigned aunty Lily to go and get for me ... here is what she come out with and I personally think its very nice .. and when she explain the meaning ... wow ... powderful! Think I am beginning to appreciate the fine art of Chinese calligraphy.

This is the most meaningful and beautifully written. It takes its meaning from Mark10: 45

" For even the Son of Man
did not come to be served,
but to serve,
and to give his life
as a ransom for many."

God is love
expressed in
Chinese Calligraphy

This is words of blessing particularly during Chinese Lunar New Year.

"God's blessings overflows ......"

The man behind all this : Rev Daniel Lin Liang Guang who is here in TTC for 1 year to do his Masters of Ministry. He is from Fuzhou, China .... he has Foochow look? Hahhaha ... he is one ... he speaks Hock Chew with very heavy accent. A very humble man who has been in the ministry for many years. Quiet but always cheerful and encouraging. Guess these traits also comes with years of molding in the Potter's House and maturity. I consider myself very privilege to have gotten to know him in TTC.

p/s :Li thanks for helping & teaching me how to appreciate the richness of our language and our culture .... :0 ..

Lead Us, Lord (Dream Again)

While I was preparing the layout of the Grad Mag .... I found the lyrics of the song "Lead us, Lord (Dream Again) by Brian Doerksen .. we put it at the back cover .... and I didn't know that this is the same guy whom Pei Yi pass me a CD to listen to ... After listening to the CD whole day yday, then only it click ... any way .. this guy is new to me .... comes from Canada, BC. Will check out more of his CDs later2 ...

The song can be found in his album : TODAY. Hope to get a copy of this album ... cos I quite like his songs ... and lyrics

This is the Lyrics of the song :

Here we stand
At a crossroads again

Like you said
In time the seasons change

Looking back

We recall the blessing & the pain

But now we turn our hearts toward
What is still to come

We want to dream again

Lead us Lord
Into a life of fruitfulness

Prepare our hearts to risk again

As we trust

Taking simple steps of obedience we know
That you will lead us Lord

This is how the lyrics will appear at the back cover of our magazine.
At the moment I have only the B&W copy of the
mag w me ...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Final Term Final Lap Final Month Woes

.... this is how i feel now .....

Wendy asked me -- "hey write something la on your blog" ... guess she is missing my blogs on my thoughts and not just about food and fun and emo-land mode ... hehehhe ... but what to do .. this is the final semester for me... its the final month (actually 3 more weeks left) ... with my thoughts of vomiting the 5,000 words on a theological paper ... I lemas .... tak kuasa want to write .... or use too much of my brains ....

But really, this is not one of the best seasons of my life that I would like to go through ... find it hard to find words to describe how I feel .. the tension and stress of deadlines which must be met because I am graduating (and prayerfully, I pass or do not need to re-write -- very much remind me of how I felt in siting for my STPM. I knew in my heart that I got to do well to enter in to local Uni ... if I dont .. I really do not know what next .. to do with my life .. except to work perhaps) ..... i have 3 more weeks to finish 3 major paper .... but after writing and studying for 3 years, suddenly you just feel you have no more energy and fire .... like what I told Pei Yi ... I dont want to peel onion anymore because it make me cry.... lol ... when I first came to TTC.... I was so exited and on fire and enjoyed the process of "peeling the onion", unpacking and processing the information and knowledge that was taught .... now ... I just want to get over this process ... hehehe

Then, its the uncertainty of future .. yes.Simple... just trust God ma .. yes I do .. but somehow uncertainty of future and the unknown somehow gives the knot in the tummy .. and the thought of starting all over again ... getting a house ... getting a car .... settling into the church etc ... new life routine .... not easy ... let me continue to think about Abraham and Sarah la .....

So, this brings to my mind .. the song "Desert Song" by Hillsong ... cos I really feel that I am in the desert now .... the desert of endless deadlines and papers to do. One classmate say "I keep doing and doing .... but how come cannot finish doing ..." I know at least 2 of my classmates are on "killing mode" --- kill, kill, kill ... papers before you get killed by the deadline .... (Dr Tu & Li ... everyday battling in the Killing Fields..

What is the desert experience of your life? What is your reaction and attitude be? Desert is one of the worst seasons you can be in ... the temperature is high (stress, pressure etc) .... its is hot ... dry, water is rare .... then, it gets super cold at night .. and you are expose to sand storms (challenges, things are not working your way ... ) and in desert .... you cant seem to see where you are going .... no direction in life .... cos everywhere is the same .... everything looks the same ... sianz .....

There is a season for everything .... including desert season .... we can come out from the desert season ... and enter into another season ... where rivers are flowing with cold fresh water .... and green green soft grass to lay on .... :

But our attitude and reaction towards our desert season of our life will determine and effect our next season and the duration of time of our season .... Many times God brings us through desert experiences in our lives to teach us, discipline us or to train and grow our faith ...:0 ...

May my heart be soft and teachable while I hang in there till this season passes by ......

The Desert Song Lyrics

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert

And all that's within me feels dry

This is my prayer in the hunger in me

My God is a God who provides

Verse 2:

And this is my prayer in the fire

In weakness or trial or pain

There is a faith proved Of more worth than gold

So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise

No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice I will declare God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle

And triumph is still on it's way I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ

So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life

In every season You are still God

I have a reason to sing I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:

This is my prayer in the harvest

When favor and providence flow

I know I'm filled to be emptied again

The seed I've received I will sow

I look forward to the end of this season

Remember the poem Foot Prints -- if any of you out there is going through some desert season of your life ..... do not loose hope, do not give up ... know that in tough seasons of our life, Jesus is actually carrying us through ...in His arms ..:0

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mom's 83 2day

Today is Mom's 83th birthday ... and I thank God for every single day that He has given to us to have Mom with us ... for keeping Mom strong ... for giving Mom a cheerful spirit and a prayerful heart. She prays for all of us everyday ... that's what we "assign" for her to do since she is retired now.

I wish that I can be with her on this special day and celebrate her birthday with her ... together with SM as a family .... maybe I should take extra afford to do so next year ... after all, its really God's grace for giving Mom to us even till now ....

Mom is still as vain ... she does not like to wear dull, dark, grey and brown tone clothes .... instead she still loves bold colors especially red .... and she is very particular about dressing up and presenting herself neat and lovely when she does out.

Till today, she still carries a comb/brush with her to church or when she goes for shopping (if she brings a bag along) a total contrast with me ... I dont even comb my hair!

I pray that God will continue to bless Mom with good health, joy and peace .... and immense joy as she enjoys her sunset years with us.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Romancing Viet Food .....

What I did last Sat evening will most likely be the last time am doing it...... I have 3 more weeks in TTC....

When my dear friend comes back from her business trips, she sometimes get her cab to detour to Upper Bkt Timah to pick me up. She so kelian this "prisoner" that has to come "rescue" the "prisoner" for a while .... set the 'prisoner" free for awhile ... like bird set free from cage ....

So, last Sat, on her way back from the airport, she asked her cab to detour to pick me up .... for fresh Vietnam authentic food directly from HCM. She bought them before she got on the plane!!

It's my first time eating it ... and i really really love Vietnam food ... fresh ... green ... lots vegie and the sos ... pengsan u eat it ... the chili ... strange .. their chili is orangie color rather than red ... but pedas .. spicy ....

First, I tried a bit of their kuih .... a cross between our seri muka and kuih lapis .... green pandan flavored on the top but layered with green pea paste ... not bad .... close to seri muka minus the glutinous rice layer ....

Then, I had Banh Boe ... something something made of rice powder .... or its more like glutinous rice powder ... and you mix something something together with it and pour the magic sauce over it .... bam!!! Super yummy!!!!

Dear friend toasted the mini french loaf, fried scramble egg and made the mini french loaf scramble egg sandwich .... which she added this mixture of carrot and radish marinated with vinegar or lime. WOW! The bread ... superb! Make u want some more ....

Next, I had this keow teow looking noddle with some vegie, Vietnam luncheon meat and mint leave ... then u pour another type of Vietnamese magic sauce over it and BAM~!!! Another yummy food!!!!

So, it was a special occasion for me because I know that this is going to be the last time my dear friend will pick me up from the airport to her house ... and its most likely I'll get to enjoy this Vietnamese food fresh from HCM .... JB will be far to enjoy this .....

My friend now diversify .... from Pet Shop good ... now she brings in fake eye lashes.... whc she is tying to get me to use for convo ..... which I do not want to look farni when the fake lash fall off! Imagine pastor so vain wearing fake lashes!!! It takes some ppl 1min to wear it ....

I have to say that i LOVE viet food ... thanks friend for introducing this to me and bringing it right to my door step!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Last CG with YAF GMC

Emo land ......

Reached back in room at 1150pm after I led the last YAF CG ..... immediately vet thru the final edit of the Grad Mag .... 80over pages .... till 230am ....

Felt I need to blog this tonight before I zzzz because tonight is a significant night ...

Tonight is a night that my official attachment with GCM is really coming to an end .... my heart is heavy and not really willing to leave .... because I have developed emotional as well as pastoral attachment with the people there -- especially for the YAF... the group is small ... just about 10 of us .....

Actually our YAF just started a new book for CG titled Groups - the life-giving power of community by John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson, Judson Poling. When I first got the book and prepared the material, I felt that this book is very long winded and heavy but I manage to break the sections into smaller chunks and I personally find them pretty good ...

I started with this little community (YAF GMC) - encouraging them to build and work on their current communal living and relationship yet it is so ironic that i will be leaving them in 3 weeks time. I cant journey with them though I started this with them .... :( ... and it is my deepest pray that God will lead another shepherd that is willing to pour his/her life into the precious lives of the young adults ... the leaders of our next generation ....

I ended tonight's CG with little exercise where each of us is given a paper with our names on it ... each of out members is to write something encouraging or edifying for each other ... I think I unconsciously included this in ... for myself ... so that I have something concrete to carry with me as memory ...:0... it was so heartwarming and encouraging to read all their words ... I have been very blessed by God with this group .... each of them had individually encouraged me in their own ways ..... the Lord had used them ... to keep me going .. to keep my heart burning for Him ....

Thank you guys for making my time in GMC fun ... thank you for opening up to me and allowing me into your world and life .... had great time with all of us ... and think all of u ... in some ways are so fun and crazy ... off cos ... who's the leader of YAF??? hahhaha hohoho ... we r surely learning very well from him ...:0

And I echo Paul's words and prayer for this group of young people that will have a special place in my heart :

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel
from the first day until now, being confident of this, that
He who began a good work in you will carry it on
to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
(Phil 1:3-6)

p/s : All is safe and growing ... except one lost sheep .... and for that lost sheep, I pray that the Good Shepherd will indeed go out to look for this lost sheep and bring her home safely again .....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Movie Time!!

You must think that I am crazy and very free ... I have a 5000 words paper needs to be done and 2 more major paper, not to mention still managing the changes for the magazine .... all due 30 Apr and I can still gala go over night cycling and now ... out for movies (mind you .. my head was still spinning in the afternoon) ....

Why would I go ... I guess it was a choice that I need to make. My dear friends have been trying to get me watch movie with them ever since I came to TTC but have never made it .. till last night .. my dear friends also took the trouble to change the date of the movie night out and the movie to watch to my convenience .. such great friends who really want to have so fun time out with me ... how can I but to join them right? Thanks friends for making room for me ...

So, at the peak of assignment craze and deadline madness .... we decided to be crazy ourselves and just chill out! Tu running directly from his shower greeted Andreas, Pei Yi, Candy, Lily and I in B2 .. yes.. he is late again and not picking up our call cos he is on "m late .. running running mode" ... his normal weekly CPE mode ....

Off we go ... hehehehe .... we meet Dr Simon Chan .... he said that we are looking suspicious .. and Dr Lim who saw us instantly knew that we are going for movies ... but ... look .. we are not the only ones sneaking out from TTC in this heated hour of deadlines .... lo and behold .. we saw a whole gang of guys from F4 .. and sudden additional members to give Uncle Tan farewell dinner (??!!!) ... wow super early leh .... one month ... and farewell meal di ... or its just an excuse to go have good meal and just to relax .... :0...

Well, God was good to us ... we went to Causeway Point to catch the movie because we heard that it is $6 for students on weekdays but when we reach there, we found out that it's valid till 6pm. We still get our tickets at $6 because Michael gave us 2 free tickets to off set! Yeah!!! God's blessing .... I also found out that if you are 55 and above, you only need to pay $4! Not bad right .... hehhehe ... wish can bring Mom ... but surely it'll be too cold and toilet too far away ....

Through out the movie .... we can hear 2 voices ... a friend of ours and a little who talks non stop because super expressive and excited over the many scenes in the movie ... especially the mushy scenes .... hehheheh .... and we all know who the person is right .... :0 .. yup ... she's my sister!

We also found our own Toothless and Hick Up among us ...:) guess who??? hehheheh....

After the movie, we hanged out in McD for drinks and fries .... thanks Li!

The movie we watched : How To Train Your Dragon (but to Susanto's version is - how to train your son... :)

Review :
The show .. good laugh ... no brainer show ... just sit, enjoy and laugh .. but the show has strong traces of Chicken Little story line in it .... a single father who strong and successful father with a tiny son who has so long been an embarrassment .. until he found fame in "conquering" dragons.

Hick-Up reminds me also of little Jabez where he is also the tiny one in the family and he may also feel how Hick Up feel .... the loner ... not accepted in the society ... but for Jabez it his prayer that made a difference in his life. For Hick Up .. it was his soft gentle heart and his brains .....

Moral of the story .... every person has a special gift or talent .... no matter how "weird" the person behave or look ....

How do we befriend, accept and embrace the "weird" people in around us? Do they need to do a spectacular, to proof to us ... before we would love them?

Jesus love them all the same .... and I pray that we will learn to love those whom we and our society stereotype as "different".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Overnite Cycling

Jeanne asked me over dinner last night: "Why need to cycle overnight .... can't u start early..."

Aaahhh ... you see, I did start early ... I left TTC at 515pm to catch 67 to Geylang. It takes me 1hr to reach church because it is evening and the bus and road is jammed.

Met the YAF members in church at 630pm. We had light dinner before we board 40 to Katong. From Katong, we walked through shopping malls cross streets to get to East Coast -- ask me how to do it ... hahha .... I dono ... but it was at least 15minutes of walk which is good warm up before we start cycling.

We got to the booth that rents bicycles .... $8 per bike per night ... they gave us bicycles according to gender ... :0 .... interesting ... remember the olden days bicycle ... the girls got the normal bicycles with basket in the front and the guys .. the bicycle with palang (metal bar) in the front ... we had both types at home plus Dad's "Mercedes Benz" for his heavy duty work.

Anyway, after checking the bicycles, the lights ... we are off! Think it was about 9pm .... East Coast was packed with people and activities .... families having BBQ, camping, love doves all over, young people skating .... jogging .... perhaps it's a Friday ... but the park sure looks crowded with people ...

We has our first stop over in Bedok Jetty ... and boy the jetty is also packed with people and families! Families literally gather with babies and all ... fishing ... picnic .. cooking .... It's a nice sight ... and reminds me much of kampong lifestyle where communal living is the way of life. We left the Jetty at 1030pm and Kok Eng said "the night is still young".... :0...

So, off we go .... enjoying the ride ... the breeze ... the moonlight ... the sound of the waves! The smell of nature after fresh showers of rain along the path next to Changi Airport. The sound of nature ... Enqi said "I dare not think what is behind the trees and the woods" ... this location in Singapore, I don't think there are tigers but perhaps snakes (for sure) and wild boars (perhaps)..

God is good to us .... initially it drizzled a little just before we reach East Coast but He kept the rain away ... bathe us in moon light .... protected us from serious injury .... and used us to bless another group of boys whose team member injured his toe. We met on the way back with antiseptic and yellow solution ...

By the time we reach Changi Village all I can think of is 'icekacang' .... ooo ... something cold ..

We reached Changi Village close to 12 ... 1130pm perhaps. Yu Yi came all the way fater his work to join us ... just for the fellowship ..that was nice of him ...

From makan fellowship, we then get to the nearby beach, sat around a mini round a bout uder coconut trees ... and shared ... I talked the most I guess ... shared what I will go after TTC .... we then prayed for one another ... what I see is a group of young people in their growing process into adulthood and it is my prayer that I hope to meet them again .. soon... perhaps one year down the road .. to see them still strong and growing in the love for God in their life journey...

And as I reflect ... this is a special night .. its almost like a farewell fun fellowship night for me just before I officially leave GCM .... where I spent 1.5yrs there for my FE. I have to say that our friendship took some time to warm up and from the 1.5yrs, I have seem growth in their lives! Keep growing .... and rooted in Him!

Now.... after the ice kacang ... the nasi lemak ... the ikan bakar .. the fellowship ... we need to cycle our way back ... wah ... and its oledi 130am ...

So, we cycle ... and cycle we did for 2.5hrs before we reach back in East Coast ... wahh ... backside flat ... whole body kaku (stiff) .... but ..... S Y O K is the feeling ...

We are super blessed with Kok Eng who from Bedok detoured to back to our church ... he cycled all the way to church to get the van to pick us up .... so that we do not have to cycle back to church and cycle back to return the bikes in the morning! Bravo to our brother who had to carry his bicycle up and down the overhead bridge ... this is indeed sacrificial love ... for the YAF ... so, team .... 10yrs down the road ... hope you'll remember Kok Eng and do the same for the upcoming YAF group that you will mentor too ... :0 ...

By the time we got back to church it was 4am ... I slept .... like a dead log through the noise, through my own smelly sweat smell and some one's snore ...--- everyone showered except me ... hahhaha .... cannot move even an inch ... off cos la .. that also m the oldest in the group .... we slept on kinddy tables ... hahaha ... so long never had this kind of "rough it out" experience ...

We had breakfast together before we ended our fun time out ... :) .... can do this again .... syok!

This is what Singaporeans do for recreation ..... and I think its fun and good ... they have the facility of pavements for cycling and the pavements are brightly lilted with street lamps and not to mention .... security ... I think it is definitely safe compared to Msia ....

Thanks for organizing this fun night our and for your fellowship!