Wednesday, June 02, 2010

10th

Today marks the 10th month that Sarah & I have been in this relationship. At the 2nd of every month since August last year, we would do something special. It was like "our" day and we would take some time off to just do something together. This time around, we decided to skip the usual dine out and movies template and tried something different instead. It was a rather productive day and I would say that it was one of the best times together.


So I met up with Sarah at Borders at about an hour after noon, and she surprised me with a new pair of pajamas pants from Peter Alexander. I kinda knew she would get them for me cause I have been hinting and nudging her for the past few days. Ask and you shall receive, right? Anyway, I was still grateful she got it for me. She doesn't know that I got her the same pair of pants but it'll arrive the next day due to the lack of stock. Let's hope she doesn't read this before she gets it or it'll spoil the surprise. (The risks I take for this blog!)

After that we walked into a couple of boutique stalls and window shopped a lil' before heading to the swimming pool. I must say, the pool system here's too systematic for my liking. They had fast lanes, slow lanes, and you've to even keep to the left! Kinda feels like a highway. It didn't take us long before we tired out (more like I did) and headed to the sauna. 15 minutes was all we could handle, so we showered and left the pool. Our stomachs were nudging us, and the dehydration was not treating us very well, making us head to the supermarket to get a pie each and a drink. We sat near Oriental Bay and ate with the accompaniments of some Robins. It was rather amusing watching them literally grabbing the crumbs from the ground. I wouldn't say the same when the seagulls started to join the party. Sarah was getting paranoid of the seagulls, so we left and got some DVD. As soon as we got out of the Civic Video, we saw our bus arriving and made a dash for it. We bought some rather cheap Angus beef from supermarket before heading home, and cooked ourselves a rather luscious meal. We had steak with mushroom sauce, roasted corn cobs, mashed potatoes and a bowl of tomato soup each. We ended the night with one of the DVDs we loaned and was pretty much exhausted mid-way through the show.

Some time in between the day, I had this rather interesting conversation with Sarah. A couple of days ago, we caught this movie at the cinemas, called "The Book of Eli". The movie was about a man named Eli that lived in the post-apocalyptic world. He was given this duty by God to guard the very last Bible that existed. Nearing the end of the film, he had an opportunity to hand the Bible to an organization that's helping rebuild civilization and would be able to preserve the book. But because he lost the Bible to some villain, he couldn't do that. However, for the past 30 years, he has been reading that Bible in braille, and was able recited the whole Bible to be recorded down.

I made a comment that it was rather impossible for anyone to actually be able to recite the entire Bible, word for word. How could it be possible to memorize books like Numbers and Leviticus, and not to mention the multitude of names that are recorded in the Bible. Sarah however didn't share my opinion. She thought that if God has given this man the task to guard the very last Bible in the world, surely he would've received the ability from God to complete the task.

Those words ran around in my head for awhile and it was as if God was reminding me that these 10 months wouldn't have happened if He had not given both Sarah and I the ability to maintain this relationship. Not only has He brought our paths together, He has given us the capability and strength to continue this journey. 10 months seemed like a rather short period of time; in fact it is a very short frame of time. Somehow, that short period of time felt like a very long time.

I guess when you are with that special someone,
time does stop sometime.

And at times, it stops longer than it should.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Moment Like This

"Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this."

These words are taken from the lyrics of Kelly Clarkson's famous hit, "A Moment Like This". I've listened to this song a couple of times and I always felt that this particular part of the song was quite magical. I guess many of us do live our lives, anticipating that experience where the whole world just stands still before our eyes and our whole life can boil down to that one moment. May it be at the marriage altar, saying your vows, or at the hospital holding your first child in your arms, or standing at the stage as a graduate, or wearing that suit to your dream job, or even at the deathbed of someone dear.

I think I've always asked God, "When is my moment?" and though it might not be those exact words every time, they do come in other forms. Like many other kids, I've always dreamed and aspired to be many things. When I was a young boy, I dreamed of being a pilot, a dentist, a doctor, and even a char kuey teow seller (fried rice noodles). As I hit my teenage years, my aspirations changed and I had dreams of being a missionary, a graphic designer, an advertiser, an architect, a painter and even a rock star. Fast forward to today, and I've no more dreams. One of the hardest questions that I've encountered is when people enquire about which job field I'll be taking after I graduate. I've left that question in the cupboard for far too long and I always concluded that I'm just too lazy to think about it. My plan is to just apply for a multitude of jobs and see which one wants me. But I'm beginning to realize that the real reason behind it is because I don't dare to dream anymore. I'm just allowing life to hit me with whatever and say, "God will provide." It's not that I don't believe in God's provision, cause He does and I know that very well. At the same time, I'm just so called putting my "faith" into the ambiguity and allowing it bring me to wherever it brings me.

Last night at ICF, I shared about my experience with God many years ago. It happened when my family was in a transition of moving back to Kuala Lumpur and I was the only reluctant one. But through a sermon on Nehemiah in church, God gave me this promise that He'll bring me away from home, into exile and one day come home. I've not remembered this promise for a long time, but as of last night, God reminded me that I am at my exile now and I'm wasting it. Nehemiah was brought into exile like many other Israelites such as Daniel and his three friends. But when he was given the green light to go home, he used his experience and whatever God has prepared him for during his period away from home to lead his people in rebuilding their country. What am I doing in preparation to go home and help my country, my family and my church? I guess I have truly forgotten about that experience and promise God has given me and I'm only living my days like aimlessly. Will I end up being a migrant and not go back to my homeland? Will I decide that the grass here is greener and make this my new home?

I dream that one day I'll be able to go home and be of help to my country, my church and my family. When will that be? Honestly, I don't know. But this I know, that I'll continue to dream and hope for that moment, even if I've to wait a lifetime.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Jesus is the answer
For the world today.
Above Him there's no other
Jesus is the way.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Missions

Over the weekend, Sarah and I were invited by my flatmate, John to attend his church camp at Waikanae. I must say, I enjoyed myself thoroughly and the camp was full of fun, especially the quiz night which we won! But amongst all that enjoyment, the feeding of spiritual food was not compromised and I was very well fed indeed. We had a look at the book of Acts in line with it's implications of risk in Church ministry and missions. George (from Auckland) was the speaker for that camp, and though it was quite hard to grasp his Scottish accent at first, it was all in all a very inspiring message.

Although, what prompted me most was through this discussion I attended with Jo (George's wife). She was working for SIM (Serving In Missions); something like a missionary recruitment agency. Well, it's purpose is a lot more noble than what I described it to be, but yeah, that's what they do; plunge people with the relevant skills to mission fields that needs aid. As they were discussing over some questions, I took myself out of my skin for awhile and zoned out. I know I do this quite often and it might not be polite or healthy, but trust me, I can't control it sometimes. As I was in that 'zone', I was asking myself if I could ever see myself as a missionary. And sadly, the answer was no. I just couldn't bring myself to be driven or have enough compassion for the poor and needy, or even bring the good news to unreached people. Just imagining myself in a mission field was not appealing at all and at some point of time I was even telling God, "Please God, don't send me somewhere for mission work. You can use me in youth ministry, music ministry, or anything, even children! But not mission work please."

As I continued to ponder in my zone, I began to think of the characters that George mentioned in his sermon. Paul, Peter, Barnabas, and John Mark. I wondered what was it that made them so passionate for God's mission field. They went through all the trouble, pain, suffering, and even death in order to bring this Good News to people around the world. However, among all the great apostles, I thought of John Mark. He was not like Paul or Barnabas that lead mission trips and planted churches. Nor was he like Peter that addressed the multitudes of people during Pentecost. Instead, he abandoned Paul and Barnabas on one of their journeys, which made Paul lose faith in having him as a helper later on. But what was most interesting about John Mark was that he was later on regarded as a very good companion of Paul. Because Barnabas had not given up on him and gave him a second chance, he was restored into ministry and later on recognized by Paul himself in his letters. But most importantly, John Mark was also known as the author that wrote the Gospel of Mark through Peter. And as I was thinking about John Mark, it made me realize that we are after all, human and imperfect vessels. Not just John Mark but even the other apostles were imperfect and they all had their moments where things didn't turn out right. Peter had a problem with preaching to the Gentiles and had to be confronted by Paul; Paul and Barnabas had a fight over who to bring to the mission field and part ways and it continues to show that though they were God's servant, it didn't mean they were perfect. They were not in possession of any special abilities or power that made God choose them as well. It's funny how the world always chooses you because you have something in possession of something special or outstanding. However that's not how our God works.

I asked myself one last question, "What if God dispatches me in a mission field one day? Will I be able to do it? Will I fail?" And as I looked back at John Mark, I see a man that ran away from his mission and abandoned his field. But I also saw a man that God used for further greatness, surpassing his shortcomings and failures. I'm convinced that God's message to me is that it's not a question of abilities but availabilities. If I lay my broken and ugly vessel before God, He will fill it with His spirit and use it for His own glory.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

One Little Heartbeat At A Time

You're up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
Like the beautiful woman you are

So you fall into bed when you run out of hours
And you wonder if anything worth doing got done
Oh, maybe you just don't know
Or maybe you've forgotten

With every "I know I can do it"
Every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
They're just like the drops of rain over time
They become a river

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
Oh, I believe that you
You are changing the world
One little heartbeat
At a time.

- One Little Heartbeat At A Time (Steven Curtis Chapman)

You are beautifully changing the world mummy,
And I'm proud to be your son.
I miss you &
I love you.

'The One'

I remember having this conversation/dissension with a friend once, about the concept of 'the one'. This concept is very familiar among Christians and non-Christians alike and I blame it on all the romantic comedies and chick flicks in the cinemas today. It's a simple and yet pensive conviction that most (if not all) of us have a life partner/soul mate with the label as 'the one'. The concept continues to further illustrate that most of us (if not all) have all been paired off even before we were born and one day when we meet that person, we will know that it is him/her and marrying that person will be the right thing to do or following God's Will in the context of a Christian's view. I know there are many clauses, sub-clauses and different versions of the concept as well but you know what I'm driving at and might even be a keen believer of it as well.

As a matter of fact, I confess that I grew up with this idea being engraved in me and was convicted that one day I will meet my 'the one'. But as I matured, I began to realize that this fairy tale is not more than what it is; a fairy tale. For one, there is no such concept being taught in the Bible, and by looking at how the world at present perceives love, there is of little chance that this is a popular choice of belief. The world today portrays love as lustful, contemptible and casual. It's hard to suppose that the love that's being described in 1 Corinthians 13 as attainable due to the standards and norms of our society. Marriage no longer seems to be something that everyone ponders and desires anymore, unlike the time of our parents. In fact, the manifold evolution of relationships have made it even unsafe to assume that everyone's after a heterosexual relationship. A few months back when I was a door to door salesmen, I managed to meet people of all sorts. And in my many different encounters with people, I've met people that were part of vast forms of relationship; more than I could actually imagine. Looking at those relationships can be disheartening to see how unappealing and tainted relationships have become.

Today's a very special day for my very dear flatmate, Matthew. The day that He and Voon Shan has been waiting for has finally arrived and in the midst of family and friends, they committed themselves to each other. As I listened to their speeches and also found out more about them, I began to discern that though this whole concept of 'the one' has lost it's appeal to me, I've learned to look at it from a different angle. God has never said in His Word that we are all pre-destined to love and marry 'the one' that we all will one day meet. But at the same time, God is a God that answers when we ask and seek Him. God is also the same God that gave Eve to Adam, Rebecca to Isaac, Rachel to Jacob, Ruth to Boaz and now, Voon Shan to Matthew. When we seek after God's will and ask Him to have His way in us; when we put our trust in the captain of our ships for direction; and when we pray and ask God for that special someone, He answers.

Today, I am reminded that the author of true love is none other than my Father. He demonstrated true and attested love through the sacrifice of His Son and only He can substantiate love in it's purest form. And when we choose to live our lives according to His Word, we are able to experience and see for ourselves the beauty and piety of love. Matthew and Voon Shan has been testified as God loving people and through their wedding today, I'm able to recollect that beautiful and sterling picture of relationship that God has intended for man and wife.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Have We Become?

Yesterday afternoon, I was updating my status on Facebook. My food for thought came in the line of these words, "everyone did as they saw fit." It took me awhile to construct a sentence that will not cost too much confrontational comments or people trying to show off their "philosophies".

As of late I've been really hindered by the way people are behaving around me. I feel like I'm living in a generation of lawlessness. The "christians" today just put me off sometimes. I'm not trying to be self-righteous here or put myself in a bird's eye view and point fingers at the world cause I know I am never excluded. But the frustration of seeing how people don't have any stands that come from the Word makes me cringe in disgust. People are making decisions based on everything except what God is saying in His Word.

I came across the book of Judges from someone's devotional blog post yesterday and the passage was taken from Judges 19-21. I've read this passage a couple of times and it never fails to put a loathsome feeling in my heart. If God's intent was to show how low humanity's morality can degrade to, this will be the passage. In this few chapters, it talks about an unidentified Levite in Ephraim that was heading home from Bethlehem after getting a concubine for himself. But the journey took a twist as he had to stay for the night and an old man in Gibeath (in Benjamin) invited him to stay the night.

"They had something to eat and drink. While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, 'Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.' The owner of the house went outside and said to them, 'No, my friends don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don't do such a disgraceful thing.' But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, 'Get up; let's go. But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home." Judges 19:21-28

The Levite then cut the dead concubine into 12 pieces and sent them to all the 12 tribes of Israel. A war broke lose as they all armed themselves to go against Benjamin. The final words of the book of judges were these, "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." And I have to admit, that hasn't changed in the world that we live in today. Many that claim to be our very own brothers and sisters in Christ themselves don't see the urging need to put God as their Lord and master, looking unto Him for wisdom and prudence.

How is it that we can use God's name in vain and feel absolutely fine with it?
How is is that we can call ourselves a Christian and still swear?
How is it that we don't have any regard about the choice of words we use?
How is it that we don't talk about God's goodness in our lives?
How is it that we can be so slanderous?
How is it that we can sing these words, "You are my everything. You are all I need" when every decision is about their selfish ambitions?
How is it that we can be so shameless about our sins?
How is it that we can be so unforgiving?
How is it that we can be so hateful?
How is it that we can be so ignorant about the things God have to say about holiness?
How is it that we can take sin so lightly?
How is it that the world is now our friend?

In the words of DC Talk, "What have we become? In a world of degenerating."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Project Clean Up

3:00 pm
Came back with groceries.
3:05 pm
Walked into the house with super heavy bags of groceries.
3:06 pm
Opened the fridge and was wondering how I'm going to fit my groceries.
3:07 pm
Started arranging the stuff around to make space.
3:15 pm
Still arranging the stuff around.
3:16 pm
Project clean up starts!

I never knew cleaning up a refrigerator could be so much work and mess. Don't get me wrong, it's not my first time cleaning one but this time was different. The experience definitely pushed me a lil' over the line. Well, what do you expect from a flat filled with working bachelors?

So for the pass hour, or at least it felt like an hour, I managed to remove lots of rotten fruits and vegetables, a rotten herbal chicken (amazing huh?), clean up lots of water and ice and gave it a good wipe.

As I was finishing up, I saw the window panes and decided to gave it a good wipe. Then I saw the stove and gave it a wipe as well.

When I was about to put down the cloth, I had this thought in my head. It made me wonder how was it like for God to clear out all this mess in our lives. All the rotten stuff, dirt and scum sticking around in our lives; how does He clean it over and over again, with the knowledge that we will mess it up again? I really don't know. But I know one thing, that He is faithful and just. With what He has promised us through the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of calvary, we can rely on Him to always clean our mess.

"Come now, let us reason together", says the Lord.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."
Isaiah 1:18

4:10 pm
Project clean up completed.