Wednesday, December 31, 2008

mini reflections...

most of the 'oldies'(though in the mid-to-late twenties) through the catching up, generally... are feeling tired... wondering where is the youthful energy gone... a different environment... different culture... many grey ethical areas... growing tummies... excercise? what's that? ... late nights have become a strict no-no already... important decisions to make... where is God?... i need peace and rest... battling the changing values and priorities... hard to walk the narrow path... disappointing decisions... failing God... no time... what's the point... embaressed...
and its common.
well, the transition period and leading towards managerial roles.

and yet at the same time, there's light in their life. there's hope. i see that in my seniors. and as i have joined their ranks and going through it as well, i can understand and emphatize. some have a bright bulb, some have a dim bulb, some have theirs dusty, some have theirs burned out.

there's a long list listed above, but amidst all that, as time changes, as each of us progress in our respective paths, there's still hope. i know i keep saying this billions and billions of times. its because i have to keep telling myself to keep focus. and look unto God. the panic attacks, insecurities, loss of confidence, directionless, worries. it'll all come.

but God remains the same, our Everlasting Father.

'there's a light in the darkness that shines, bringing hope to all the world...'
- Jesus the Same, Hillsongs-

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


the little gathering was fantastic. shi hui, jansen & sharon, hui yin, phoebe, caroline, justin(yap), patrick, joanna, samuel, chok, ian, danny, jack (ocf sydney), justin & shermayne, stephanie(mok). a bit of a pity that daniel, edward, yvonne, wai kong and daryl couldn't make it.

it was wonderful to see justin and shermayne again. i guess as we add on more numbers to our age, the topic of discussion changes. we're now talking about masters, the basic struggles of the transition period, the lacking of quality time, callings and ministries, family, future.

i totally didn't know jansen & sharon were back for a while. back to take their wedding photos. its been... 2 years since i last saw them? awkward at first, definitely, but it just takes a while to get back into gear and have a kickstart in the memory. soon, each of us remembers what it was last time. and it was back to being monkeys. or just slightly more matured monkeys.

and patrick already graduated. i asked him how was his 3 years and he replied, 'oh, my journey ah? hmmm.. where do i start'... waliauleh...that's the sign of growth man... i guess as a 'senior' or someone who has left, i would not know what could or would have happened for those that are still there. i can only hope for the best and pray for them. i couldn't stop smiling at all.

i'm really proud of him. my wish and hopes is always for the juniors to be better than the seniors. its not about being a good senior to produce good juniors. it has to do with serving God obediently as seniors. what comes after that, that's for God to do. you would not know what could happen except just serve and do your part in faith. the amazing part is when you see what God has done through your service in faith. and these are just glimpses.

lastly, so sorry, joanna. i didn't mean to reject the hug. i just got a bit shy. i've been de-conditioned back to malaysia and not used to the hugging or hugging in the public already. my bad...

Monday, December 29, 2008

disoriented a bit...

sun (21) - Church Service
weds(24) - Candlelight service
thur(25) - Christmas Service
sat (27) - Worship Service Practise
sun (28) - Church Service
mon (29) - Public Holiday
weds(31) - Watchnight Service

the frequency of church services plus the public holidays around the weekends totally got me disoriented. i have no idea what day is what because i seem to have sunday everyday being at church most of the time in the morning. perhaps many share the same thing as well. i am still working like normal. i like working during the holiday periods because its the days when there are no cars on the road and the LRT is less packed.

besides the weird series of days, i felt like the sunday school camp happened some long time ago, when it was only 3 weeks ago. and singapore, only 2 weeks ago. yikes... too many things happened till it seems a long time ago.

meeting many different types of groups of friends got me mixed up as well. wangsa melawati friends, OCF friends malaysia and singapore, church friends, mbs friends, friends that returned from overseas.

one good side that i could look at is that i could put to rest or have control of the 'demons' of the mind that were haunting me and got me quite worked up. pretty much steadied it and keep things balanced in the head.

will be meeting the OCFers, past and present tomorrow. i only know a few that are going. the others? i'll just turn up and let it be a surprise. there'll be lots to catch up and it'll be an encouragement to see them.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Candlelight Service 24th dec...

or what is also known as Christmas Eve service. yes, we do light candles at the end of the service. a narration of the story of the birth of Jesus is read and as each character appears, a candle is lit as a symbol of the character. e.g. 'an angel appeared to the shepherds...' and a candle is lit.

i don't know why, but every candlelight service every year, it will be a jam packed church overflowing to the outside. besides the fact that its people from 3 services joining into 1, it was also a time where people we didn't see for a long time, appear back in church. which is great.

usually there will be around 7 scripture readers reading the passages. but this time, my music director decided to do a choral candlelight service; meaning a whole choir will be leading the church in worship. knowing that it'll be jam-packed, she had the vision of having a magnificent and meaningful time of worship to reach to the congregation. the hope in her heart was that as they leave church, they are not just going to say 'what wonderful music' or 'beautiful decorations', but they'll be touched and impacted by being in the presence or state of worshipping God.

i have to admit i did not know what i was getting myself into; especially to what extent and standard is required of this choral service. i assure you its high enough. and throughout the many practises, i was starting to have regrets. and that's not including the many frustrations. there were 3 keyboards, 1 bassist, 1 drummer, 1 percussionist. i was playing 'strings' on keyboard. beautiful (and critical) as it may be, it was nearly literally hanging me from the neck.

before the service it was hectic with the many preparations and sound testing needed. at 7.30pm, the music team sat down at the vestry and prayed. for the congregation, for our hands, for our hearts, for our minds, for the choir, for their hearts and voices, for the message, for the sound crew. what seemed a long time in prayer was just a mere 15 minutes. by then, the church was already jam-packed 15 minutes before the service started.

i didn't have time to look at the congregation cause all focus is on my music director who's one of the musicians as well. song after song, it went as well as it could besides a few glitches. the choir sang beautifully. magnificent, it was. ministered, it did. i couldn't even belive my strings went well. my friend was in charge of lighting the candles as the passages are read. she was dressed white with a shawl for the service and she really looked like an angel.

i was further overjoyed that my uni friends could come. chok, yvonne and cathy(her small group friend from FGA). i was glad they were ministered to and it was an eye opener to such a service.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas gathering 19th Dec...

organizing a gathering at my house wasn't in my head. but when your colleagues asked excitedly about coming to my house again like in dec 2007, you got to say 'yes, there is. i just haven't announced it yet'.

and this time they wanted to chip in as well. so food that was prepared on my side was kept to a minimal. 2 chickens, 1 pumpkin, macaroni and cheese, siew yuk, mixed vegetables and ice cream was prepared on my side. satay, drinks, fruits, ice, paper plates and cutleries were brought by them.

after gift exchange which sprang a lot of surprises and laughter, i brought out Taboo and none of them have seen it before. fortunately, with lots of hunting, i manage to obtained it. thanks to shearn, he helped me find it and yup, its my Christmas present from lots of people sharing in the RM90 present.

it started slow as they weren't familiar with it. but after warming up, laughter starts to overcome the stress of describing the words.

being brought up in an english speaking environment, i would have no problems adapting to games like Taboo. and i overlooked this factor cause most of my colleagues are chinese educated. so when it comes to these vocab-games, its a problem. fortunately, the inability to describe 'well' was not viewed as embaressment but was viewed as laughter and there was support given. phew... well, something new to learn.

eventually after the first round, the 2nd round was played by pairs, where a strong player is paired with a weaker player. by the 3rd round, it was a group of 5 trying to describe the word to the open floor. no time limit. and it was really fun. the 3rd round went on for about 1.5 hours. it was like a drug. the describing group will keep on describing the card(word) and the moment its guessed correctly, its a big Yay! and an injection of adrenaline to move on to the next card. 1.5 hours man... i was wondering when it was going to end.

it was quite amusing too. due to the limited exposure to the english events, situations, words or world, a lot of words were described using local events, terms from our daily work or habits of each other at work. it ended at 12, with sore throats and tired cheeks.

well, i was tired. the accumulation of travelling and events of december was stretching. i didn't really have much expectations in the gathering and just lifted it into God's hands and hoped for the best. reason being, this gathering is a witness to my colleagues as a Christian (i'm the only Christian in the dept). and i was worried.

receiving the many 'thank you' smses from them before i sleep, i smile and thank God that the gathering was something memorable for them to remember in years to come. 'was there any impact?' i asked God. well, i dunno. i'll only know what God did when i see Him in heaven.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Richard's Wedding (reflections)...

it was wonderful to witness richard's wedding. it can be said it was also like a mini reunion among OCF SA. its quite hard to meet up because everyone has their busy schedule. there are those i haven't even seen for 4 years. and yet, it seems as though it was yesterday in uni that we were last together.

i don't know about the others, but for 2 days, i can forget and leave KL behind. some would call it escapism. i guess in some ways, it is. a little break or a refresher. meeting up with them makes the break even more meaningful and happier. meeting them is like receiving a jolt in the memory and a reminder of days that was.

after the wedding, at kevin's house, i slept. and i really slept. real sleep and rest. i slept about 2 and a half hours i think but it felt like a long time. i can't remember when was the last time i had a good rest. i knew some others did the same as well. its like, being able to sleep because things in KL can wait and not have to worry now.

the moments weren't just purely happy talking and fun and games and disturbing each other. there were moments that we were just quiet, recognizing and enjoying each others presence. we can relax and not be wary about people watching your every move because we know that we won't be judged, knowing that we are family and equal. we can be ourselves more, and transparent because this family accepts you for who you are and you know they sincerely care for you.

i look forward to these trips or gatherings very much, not for escapism from reality or to fulfill a wanting to re-live the uni days of which i talk so much about. as much as it seems a dream or some sort of moments of ecstasy, its only for a moment of course. but yet, after it all, its not that there is a 'gloomy horizon to face' or 'sink back into reality' sort of thing.

i did not sleep on my journey home which is about 5 hours plus. i was awake, reflecting and thinking. these trips can make you feel guilty cause it reminds you of the changes (good or bad) that has happened. i do think that in the future, some can be so guilt-strickened and embaressed till they wouldn't want to meet up again cause the reminder is too... too painful.

i guess i learned to love these reminders. guilt-strikened? yes, of course. painful as they may be but humble my heart and accept the imperfect nature of myself. have i slacked? have i tried my best? have i been praying? have i been growing spiritually and maturedly and in wisdom? any old habits returned? have i been a servant? have i been a shepherd? have i been after God's heart?

i looked at my worries and my burdens and my conflicts. i do know what's more important and what i need to do. but it involves risks and possible bad side effects. however, not seizing these issues also have its possibly equal consequences. so it has been a series of merry-go-rounds of thoughts building in my head about 1 month plus. sigh... prayer. i'll see what happens...

we're all on this journey together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Richard's Wedding (details)...

stayed over on the 12th at ron's place. was glad he offered a place and also to drop me and shi hui off at midvalley. we met stephanie there and was fortunate to be upgraded from an executive bus to a business bus. so cool... though we had a personal TV each, i slept about 3-4 hours of the way there. i was too tired and the rest i had, was really a rest.

reached Orchard Road about 12-1pm and realized that none of our phones had roaming. oh well, had to buy a prepaid card for contact. we met up with addielle and its was wonderful getting to catch up. of course it was an update of good news and not so good news. spent most of the time catching up in burger king plus taking photos with the cupcakes and christmas trees around.

later in the evening, addielle and steph had to go for addielle's Christmas musical at her church. addielle was a soloist. shi hui and i walked around orchard road looking around for stuff. unfortunately, couldn't find anything. i guess a guide would be most helpful. haha...

in the evening, Richard and Sylvy picked us up at a bus stop. they came in their car which was already 'wedding'ly decorated. i'm sure the whole bus stop was looking. so pai seh when we were entering the car. through dinner, we caught up and lots of how are you's and just being happy to see each other after a long while. the couple was definitely tired as well as lot of preparations and arrangements were needed before the big day tomorrow. saw the new place and it is wonderful and very strategically located. really God's blessing...

slept about 1 or 2 cause was helping out on a few more things for the wedding. the next morning, had to wake up at 5.30 am. got to leave at 6 to the bride's place where all the ji mui's are waiting. i wasn't part of the team i was just following. though it was much feared as to what extent of sabo'ing there is, it turned out to be pretty mild. i guess the biggest blow was that Richard had to wear a Liverpool cap, scarf and jersey.

we proceed on to the church. i attended the church service before the wedding with chok and yvonne. and after that, the wedding. there were sword bearers and it was cool. richard mentioned it in 2005 (3 years ago) and here it is, happening now. never thought that i'd get to see it. of course that's not the main thing lah. with upbeat music, the page boy and flower girl walked in like a fashion show, turning at every 5-10 steps. we were looking at each other and shaking our heads... haiyoh... some things never change... haha...

richard spoke his vow in manderin for his parents and Sylvy in english for her parents. richard shared and he said, '..... Sylvy is my first girlfriend, and my first wife... ' !!! serious... of course, the congregation laughed.

after lots of photo taking during the wedding brunch reception, we headed to kenneth kwan's house. it was nice to see how he has been settling in. played taboo and with the last round a guys vs girls match, the guys narrowly won by 1; thus saving our ego and face.

we dropped by kevin's place next to rest and chill out. that was my last stop before heading for the bus home.

Friday, December 12, 2008

no idea...

i have no idea how to describe this. its like a series of emotions. i'm not feeling too well internally. it could be because its the busy period now and i'm just stretched a bit... my emotions are also going up and down, and thoughts are running very randomly from area to area, from small things to big things. my brain could be at low speed and spinning top speed all of a sudden. happy, sad, happy, sad...

i'm trying to think through but its also taking a risk of opening more cans of worms. or i could just keep telling myself to think happy thoughts whenever a fluctuation occurs. but that's unhealthy and it'll only solve for that snapshot moment and not a long term solution.

its not that bad, but i wouldn't want it to be lingering around either. i have no idea what to do, but perhaps taking 'starting steps' would be good. its a pretty interesting package of 'attacks' or 'troubles'. it doesn't come all in one area. if it all comes in one area, e.g. mind, just press stop button. easy. but it comes a bit of here, and a bit of there, and a bit of elsewhere; combine it and it'll be a significant threat.

1) losing focus, especially on what is important. things that are not important are starting to be given more significance.
2) too many things to do. (busy-ness is a bad thing as well and could be a sign of escapism from the real things)
3) issues but not sure how to deal with it. (certain things hard to talk about with friends)
5) building frustrations (trying hard but don't seem to be enough for some people)
6) loss of confidence (affected from above)
7) different types of memories and emotions clashing till i dunno what i should be feeling. (frustrations and excitement clashing)

i wrote this post over 2 days. panic attack came on the 2nd night. 3 hours sleep. bleh. however, awareness helped to keep it at bay. keep asking/attacking the issues by asking why at least 5 times. then it'll reach to the ultimate core of the problem.

1) have an hour of quietness before sleeping. (be it a time of reviewing, or prayer, or just quieting down.)
2) prayer (be it a conversation or why's with God or letting go and placing everything at His feet)
3) reaching out to others (i don't feel its enough. so, do more; email, smses, calls)
hmmm... it seems that 3) will/could be clashing with 1). time is limited.
4) football? (maybe a little time of running and flying would do good)

oh well, all in all, perhaps my faith got a little kick and test. and i can see where i stand. lets see what happens in Singapore...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

looking forward to a trip...

its just a 2 day trip this sat and sun (13-14 dec).

its Richard and Sylvy's wedding. my OCF and uni friend. thought it was only 2 years in Adelaide but the amount of time spent is huge.

i don't know who will be there but i'm guessing a significant amount seeing that OCFers in Singapore have easier access to each other in Singapore. but those in Aust or KL, i'm not sure. it is tough to fit it in the schedule seeing that it is December. and assuming that most are serving in church, its guaranteed that there is a clash. i am having a clash myself but i've manage to avoid it.

so i'll just let it be a surprise to me when i'm there. it'll be just one night or technically 48 hours in singapore.

honestly it was a pain organizing cause its a lot of uncertainties like transport and accomodation and whatever else. i did not feel any excitement at all cause i was worried about the admin stuff which i'm not good at. however, after some while, it did dawn on me that i'm going to meet the people that mean a lot to me. and i couldn't stop smiling. it also got me started on reviewing myself; how have i been doing after 2 years +.

i'll be staying at the bridegroom's place. how wonderful is that...
hmm... i wonder whether will i be sitting in the wedding car.... seeing that i have no transport to the church... or will he make me walk there... haha...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

back from camp...

4 words for the journey home.
"the bus was quiet".

that's how tired the senior sunday schoolers are. aging 12-17, 40 of them at a camp with 17 teachers. talk about a teacher-student ratio, we got the best ever. haha... the camp, from 5-7 dec was held at NUBE Center, P.D.

i was in charge of the beach games for day 1 and day 2. man, were they tired. i have to say i felt pretty guilty cause technically (and physically felt by them) it would be torturing. but i had tested it myself and measured and estimated the proper load for them (both boys and girls). so, it should be alright.

i grew up in sunday school myself and it does get boring playing the same games over and over again. and seeing the increase in intelligence in youths nowadays, the games of the 'old days' are peanuts and boring. so i decided to tweak and push them. this is no stroll. i had to be careful though that it doesn't turn out to be like a Physical Training camp.

the youths are the typical KL 'PS3-DOTA-1U-Megamall'ing youths. so, in camp, do something out of this world... i mean, city.
before we left, i did debrief them on the games; to why i did what i did (and to prove that i'm not some sadistic freak).

1) i designed it that the tasks requires team work and have no room for individual display.
2) the difficulty(perseverance) brings out different reactions (character). whether there were mistakes of outbursts or negativity, that's for themselves to judge and reflect upon. i'm a strong believer that games/sports, brings out the true colours of people. myself included.
3) you see a 12 yr old struggling, did you (17s) support them and give them encouragement to go on?
4) look at what you (and a big YOU) have achieved as a team.
5) leading by example. the leaders were dead tired already, but they kept going to spur the team on.
6) be proud of yourselves. i believe you've hit your limits and went way past your limits. i'm sure you have acheived lots more in character.

i'm equally tired. preparation has its toll and i'm very grateful for the teachers that help me carry it out. i have to admit that there are times i was worried that it would go wrong or it would not be liked by the youths. but i really prayed to God for wisdom and ways to teach and nurture through games. already accumulating lots of lacking in sleep, i know God sustained me through the active camp.

and lastly,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

a BIG day...

what's the BIG day?
well, the BIG day isn't for me but for OCF Convention 2008. its in ADELAIDE. hosted by OCF Adelaide. and that's where i'm from. or was from. *sniff*

haha.. okay.. i'm not going into emo mood... no time for that. 1st December is the Start of OCF Convention, a yearly national camp where OCFers from centers all over australia gathers in the 'host' state. and each state takes turns.

i've only been to one.. unfortunately. but at least i've been to one. i got to see a larger family of God than just the family i had in OCF Adelaide.

my good friend Handy is the chairman or convention head. haha... i smsed him.. but he didn't reply...cis... however Shelley did and she said that Handy isn't stress at all because she is taking the stress for both of them. haha... my weirdo friends.

i'm sure (and i hope) that many of the oldies would be glad to see convention in adelaide. the last time was in 2002. and it would be a full circle now.

i'm sure it would be wonderful. many a times, i find myself just looking into the sky, thinking about them. wondering how they're doing. hoping the best for them. its something like those 'Somewhere Out There' scenes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

memory of uni days...

during the bible study 'renovation of the heart' last weds, the discussion lead to areas about perseverance and hope. and i was agreeing to it. one of my friends asked why, and i said that my uni life is an example of that. and she asked me to share about it...

'huh? nah.. don't need lah'...'another day lah'... 'i'll share when the time comes'...

however, her question did kick me. cause i was trying to recall. and it brings joy to my heart. and after 2 years, it seems like i've forgotten that joy a bit. i remember i went to sleep quite happy. it was a long journey though. i would not forget it.

in church, they see a finished product. but they did not see the amount of polishing that was done in uni. in OCF.
perseverance? oh yeah.. if i did not go through the process of perseverance, i would not be where i am.
hope? oh yeah... if there was no hope, i assure you, i know how different things would be now.

at the end of the journey, i really thank God and felt relief. i also had a lot of Why's for Him. some, He showed me. some, still left unanswered and it still bugs me.

its been 2 years. i have lost track of friends. its inevitable. tried to follow and catch up on the progress of OCF Adelaide once in a while. this years convention is in Adelaide. sigh... pity i couldn't go. but its ok. next year is OCF's 50th year anniversary and there'll be an International Convention 2009. it'll be in malaysia. the OCFers in malaysia would definitely be helping. till the time comes...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'golden' week...

i call the week a golden week when i strike gold, meaning each weeknight is filled and the weekend is filled till sunday night. and not including the household admin stuff that i had to do or the people that i'm ministering to. for those working, i'm sure you know this is no golden vacation week at all.

such a week came after SG retreat and the next weekend was the wedding. and i assure you, it was very pressing; having things to do each night, rarely home, no time or piano to practise on, less than 6 hrs sleep each night, preparation to be done, rushing my work with accuracy cause i need to leave on time. (and knowing that there's an Awards day to prepare for the weekend after the wedding).

i have to admit that, for one of the first few times in a long long while, touching the piano became a burden. i was worried that i had no time at all to practise and could spoil the most important or Special Day of the couple's lives. but it went well.
i was aware of the fact that i may not be ministering to anyone in the busy week. so i kept a reminder to myself and made sure that amidst of the 'things' i'm doing, i'm ministering to the people there around me and it was fruitful.
rest and water was vital and keeping that discipline certainly paid off cause i was still alright after the whole week. it can be concluded that at the end, it went well.

however, it was not before a crucial night that had me pretty much, in short, gone case.

i had a panic attack on the tues night before SG retreat. i had to take half day leave cause i was too weak. and even so, i was still shaking a bit when i went to work after lunch. i just shrug it off. just tell myself to stop worrying and press the 'pause' button and just go to sleep. the next few nights were alright and SG retreat came up.

i thought i was alright, but then came the sunday night. knowing what looms ahead, i knew i could be, or already am in trouble. and this is a really no-joke-i'm-in-trouble staring in my face. 'Where are You, Lord?', i asked. but arrows keep coming and it was a brain going on full processor speed. not good.

i kept quiet. just stare into blank darkness. puzzled. shocked. confused. (and also wanting to sleep). slowly words start to fall into place. in review, i realised that i had been doing a solo hero journey. i was carrying the burden myself. i was not moving in faith, but moving for a planned schedule.

i started laying down 'things' at His feet. it started on a broad level. and it went deeper. and more and more things. ministry, bible study, youths, piano, guitar, OCF, family, job, health, songs, girl, bible verses, PC, music, friends, schedule, camps, games, joy, hurts, scars, efforts, serving, mind, thoughts, growing .... when i finished and with a lighter heart and mind, i looked at the clock and what the? i've been laying things down for an hour. and its 2.30 a.m. oh great...

well, i was only at peace after committing and laying this whole 'series' at God's feet. knowing over and over again, that i will just have to do my part and God will do the rest.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SG Retreat....

SG retreat was the week before the wedding. 24-26 oct. it was in melaka, and okayyy... its the 3rd time i'm going there since july. started with SG trip, then muar-melaka trip, and now SG retreat.

SG retreat starts at 4pm on friday. since i was on leave i took the opportunity to go bowling in the morning. i dragged shearn and jon as well. i wanted to go cause i know about the good deal in midvalley where its RM10 for 3 games. from 11-2pm on weekdays only. the trip down was heavy rain and dry, heavy rain and dry. weird.

went down with shearn and jon and we had equipment and stuff to bring along as well. if my car didn't make it, SG retreat would be suffering. 2 guitars, communion stuff, laptop, projector, stationary, tube of mahjong paper, cables, extension plugpoints. when we unpacked at our room, it looked like headquarters.

the speaker was Rev.Dr.Wee from Singapore who was once Rev.Andrew's roommate when they where in seminary. he spoke about the importance of small groups in churches and though it may seem like the answer to the thinning fellowship in big churches, it has its struggles as well. what purpose of a small group? have you lost the focus of your small group?

Community. it revolves about being a community. unity in Christ. unity in love. being united in love to spread the love of God to others around you. that's the few things i got lah.

besides carrying equipment and playing guitar, its one of the rare retreats where shearn, jon and i are not doing anything at all. no planning or whatsoever. just some mini sound-testing and slide-clicking. rest? yeah... some ressssttt.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

weddings & performing...

last week (1 nov) i had a wedding and i was playing for it.

'We Will Dance' by Steven Curtis Chapman during the matrimonial ceremony and a few songs during the dinner.

was used to playing 'I'll be Here' cause its used often and a slightly easier tune and style to play. 'We Will Dance' was slightly challenging because i had to emulate the plucking of the guitar and there's the piano and also the strings background. well, i set that standard upon myself so that the character of the song is preserved. the dueters (ronald & kim) and i practised the song a few times at their home but i hadn't fully adjusted and figured it out yet. one week before the wedding, we came together with jocelyn (dancer) and it was really touching. they are married and we know them and i was telling them how they should be looking into each others eyes and holding hands while they're singing (cause a part of the lyrics is, '.. and i'll take your hand and hold you close to me...). it was beautiful.
we were joking that our goal is to make the bride cry. hearing from various corners, they said she did.

wasn't worried about 'We Will Dance' but was worried about the 'dinner songs' due to the lack of practise. its pretty much less than 10 times going through the songs with the vocalists. maybe just 5 times. plus complication with instruments had me only getting to adjust to the keyboard on the day itself. of course, not an ideal situation but was quite a test to how i could adapt to it. my strength is the 'jim brickman pianist', not the keyboards.

during dinner, from various corners again, they didn't hear anything wrong and the sound of the keyboard blended well with the guitar and vocalists. phew! that's a big relief, though i wasn't fully happy, cause i know where the slight mistakes were and also i know i could have done better. oh well, the perfectionistic melancholic side in me....

another issue i had to tackle with was the fact that (okay.. got to be careful with my words here..) i was playing secular songs. not that there's anything wrong about it, but i always try to hug,feel,identify,understand the song that i'm playing so that the song, as a whole, is played out. its easier with Christian songs, but slightly harder with secular songs cause one, i wouldn't know whether there's hidden meaning in it and two, there could be lines that i don't agree with.

well, its a song about love and relating and God gave us many ways of expressing what is love in different types of sentences. not all love songs need to have the name Jesus in it. though conservatives would be arguing that this is 'soft-talking' or explaining away and that all songs should have the name Jesus in it, or it would be meaningless.

i'll remain neutral unless there's really a need to voice out.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

i've figured it out...

i've figured it out.
now i know why i've lessened my blogging.

1) i'm not online much.
2) i've not been having enough 'pauses' in my life to think.
3) i've not been going around blogs.
4) i don't know who i'm blogging to.

i would remember that OCFers were having an impact on me and i would be glad to write about the impacts and thoughts and amazements (and hurts) that occurs, knowing that it encourages them as well.

which again brings me to my own self-questioning. so i'm saying its worse now so i don't write? or is it the same now? why?
i sit here and stare blankly at the screen. is it transparency? or i still want to be honest, but i don't dare to be honest? scraping away everything, what's the underlying thing?

oh boy... another area to review.

Monday, September 22, 2008

what a month!

i've kind of lost track of time. from where i last posted, the church musical was in a weeks time. and there was lots of hurrying for the props. a lot of things to touch up before the final day of sept 6 and sept 7.

it went well. lots of people were ministered to. well, that was from the response and feedbacks we got. the negatives? well, got lah. and when i got back to work on monday, i suddenly felt so tired. really VERY tired. and was about 3 days before i recovered. i must have been running on adrenaline, or God holding me up... He must have been holding me up.

the next week was preparation for a big and meaningful card for our SG leader. our goal was to make her cry. well, that was my goal. haha... nevertheless she was touched when she saw the card.

the next weekend, it was a weird weekend. perhaps some adventure would be interesting. it starts of with small group on friday night and i needed to get back to cook and feed my dog. there was a prayer session at 6.30 a.m. and they needed a keyboardist. thank goodness Doreen booked a room for me so that i could just drive back to church and sleep. i reached at 1 a.m. and slept. woke up at 5.55 and went down at 6 to practise with the worship leader. if there was no room, i will definitely be late. and after that, is a wedding (brought the formal clothes). i was playing 'I'll Be Here' by steven curtis chapman for the choir to sing. and then it was a wedding lunch. by the end, fatigue was hitting on me and i just reached home and KO'ed.
the next day, i had to drive to LCCT to pick my maid up at 1 a.m. my sister came along so it wasn't so bad. got lost. NEVER follow signs that says "KLCC or Ampang together with Seremban" on the highway. just follow Kuala Lumpur. haih!

what happened next week? oh.. which means a few days ago. well, a wedding in Muar, Johor. it was my ex-colleagues wedding and we were good buddies during the tenure. he asked me to be his Heng Tai. my first reaction was, 'it this a joke? or you are wanting me to be a joke?' cause i'll be a 'non-speaking-mandarin' in a 'mandarin-speaking-don't know english' world.
of course, i just went. and definitely a whole new world. slept in the old chinese wooden houses and all the antique stuff is really in there and still working. good thing he has water heater. and i tell you, the feeling of together-ness is so strong. his family, his relatives, and neighbourhood, and childhood and school friends were all visiting him and being with him. amazing.
my colleague was really exhausted of course.

he got me to be his kind of official camera man too... i'm not paid but i'm willing to do it to help him save a few thousand dollars. i was exhausted too. haha...
it starts with some warm up shots at night for the buffet. then sleep at 12 and wake up at 7. the entourage leaves at 7.30 to go to the brides house.
fortunately, the challenges were just meant for the bridegroom and i was just snapping. there was no wasabi, no push ups, no running, no ... yeah.. just nothing for the heng tai's to do. i was snapping and camera-videoing as much as i can. hope i did a good job. i haven't seen all the photos yet. i'll just leave it to my colleague to filter through when he gets back from Muar.

the wedding certainly opened my eyes a lot. comparing to the many city weddings that i have attended, this wedding is a lot smaller and simpler. however, nothing beats the together-ness and friendship despite its simplicity. they are like a band of brothers. most of them came back from KL to Muar for the wedding. the best man came back from Sydney (he was back 3 months ago for his wedding). try to beat that...

after the wedding lunch on saturday, my colleagues (who came down the morning itself) and i drive to Melaka for a stayover at a bungalow. it was a little mini trip and vacation. we ate this and ate that...and later, dropped by a colleagues house in melaka for a little rest before we drove back to KL.

parents will be back this friday for one week which is during the Hari Raya holidays.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

why did i look at photos...

i guess i did leave this place isolated for a while.
probably just lost reasons for writing. (plus some procrastination which makes it worse)

the 2 months i had, (seeing that i last posted twice in june, and once in july, and now, nearing the end of august), i look back and see that well, it was an interesting non-stop journey. i can't remember much but yes, thanks to the schedule i remember (and also couldn't believe what i did).

i'm alright (i guess), riding through the graphs. there were hectic days and relaxing days. making sure i have enough sleep and water certainly kept me alive.

there are many directions. but which? when is it an issue of 'God closing doors', and when is it an issue of 'working hard to push through the obstacles to reach your goal'?

had a little change at work. well, it certainly helped after understanding it.

trying to memorize scripture but its hard.

having missed opportunities here and there because i have only a few days leave left. i do wonder(and wanting to question) why i end up in such circumstances. but lesser thoughts on the subject = some peace of mind.

i am grateful for the people that God has put around me.

and as of today, why did i look at photos in facebook? haih... it seems nice back there in adelaide. but i can't afford to go there. no money because... because lah. plus no leave. its nice back there. perhaps shaking up old memories could be good or bad.

there is something that's bugging me but next time. hmm.. seems to be more than one bug.

its probably good, getting to hold up and stand firm. but hey, its quite a lonely journey.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Jeremiah 17:7-8

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

i find myself having confidence in myself often. and sometimes in God. and time itself will show that the confidence in self will show how artificial it is. and i realise, yikes! what is everlasting? and yes... confidence in God that is everlasting.
the physical evidence, effect or result most likely will hard to see or even not be seen by our human eye or even understood by ourselves.

i find that bit hard. but then, there it goes again. trust in the Master. trust in the Maker of Life.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

grief counselling...

yes. grief. as in mourning.

i attended a course by the church on saturday (yesterday). and as always i have my friends who are wondering, am i in grief? no, i'm not. and as expected, me and another guy were the youngest there. i'd say 3 young people. the rest were old. beyond 50s. most were attending because they had been through grieving times and are wanting to be trained as counsellors. i, on the other hand, just want to learn more so that i can help more. also to make sure i don't say the wrong things lah.

some of the topics that are covered that i remember off the top of my head, identifying the types of grieving, the process of grieving, healthy and unhealthy symptoms, the myths, what to do and what not to do, how to help in healing and there was a discussion about improving the griving ministry in church.

i definitely learn a lot. i think it was info overload. throughout the seminar, the adults shared their own testimony from time to time. i have to say it was depressing. but a good depressing cause it was my heart feeling their hurts and understanding their hurts that are continuing on.

Loss is the main word for the cause of grief. it can range from losing your wallet, to losing your gf/bf, to losing your spouse/family. griving makes everyone equal. and there's no one size fits all type of help. everyone is different.
the normal or the best/fastest time to heal? 3-4 years.
shocking, eh? but yups... that's what the pastor says. yeah.. he specializes in counselling. his insights were very deep. definitely blew me away. a very new thinking process.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the 2 things...

got myself a 160GB external harddrive at a very good price of RM190. thanks to my friend. more of preparing some portable gear for a potential recording project. trying to work hard at it for fundraising. well, i'm happy... but yet again, it seems to be getting further due to higher priorities coming in. been researching lots on the best ways and the time estimated to really make a good one seems to be getting longer and longer. well, don't care. i'm going to find out what it takes.

people seem to think i'm very free after exam. yeah right... i had to put off a lot of things and i guess now, resume. finished up the usual round of admin stuff. and trying to see where in church needs help. the CFA period taught me a lot about time. i realise now that i really got to zero in on what i am made for. the strengths and weaknesses. which part of the body of Christ am i in?

now, when people say busy, i'm like, how busy can you be? of course, there are the really genuinely busy.
people ask me how am i busy? well, passion for music and encouraging people. i guess it is in my DNA to be an encourager, counsellor. molded through my upbringing and surroundings, it seems God guides me through this path more and more. evidence? well, people asking for help piles on me more and more.

what do i have? nothing much. just some wisdom(whatever little amount that is), some lame jokes, and a listening ear. not that i'm taking it lightly, but the 3 mentioned amounts to guidance, little bit of laughs/cheering up and being there.
i don't claim to be the best nor am i saying that i'm good at it. its God's gift. i do what i can. it was through time before i realised it. brought up with Christian principles plus a lot of punishment, hurt and hardship taught me the value of integrity and the value of not budging. maintaining secrecy is a top priority. well, whatever goes in me, doesn't come out.
have you ever wondered, do you know how many hurting people are out there? its all hidden underneath the mask.

i have always loved shows about the butterfly effect of life. God placed everyone on earth for a purpose. every single action of yours counts. and that means a smile as well. your one smile, your one 'how are you?', your one prayer, your one sms, your one personal email (and not those lousy senseless forwarding). that one item counts. some people do it for networking for their own possible future personal gain. some do it because they care. because Jesus has loved us first. so we shall love one another.
- John 13:34-35 -

a very weird start for a post that suddenly leads to encouragement, right?
nooo... it is from there that a want and vision for music that ministers to people grew. songs that will lift peoples hearts. songs that grant comfort, brings joy. songs that have a purpose. well, let's see how these 2 things go on through my life. i'm still puzzled and confused at where i am and where i'm going.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

of missing church...

i've been missing church for 5 sundays in a row. maybe more. cause mock exams are 9-5pm before the real thing which unfortunately is on a sunday too. i try to keep accountable to it and always have a spiritual check constantly to make sure that, this is just a 'for-now' thing and not permanent.

i remember how in uni, it is just black and white and just avoid those sort of things like not attending church and all. well, easy to say and when everything can't be more than 15 minutes drive away. now its a lot of grey areas coming up. some will have the view point, die die got to go to a church service, and some would say, its okay for now.

i would say, please make sure you know what you are doing. take care of yourself. and when others open their mouths in concern, be glad they care for you.
one thing for sure is, have a sabbath. whatever the day, have a sabbath. be with the people of God. with the followers of Christ. it usually is a sat or sun for the marketplace people.

some will say, got to work nonstop. some may have no choice. it is then, we should care for them more and hope that they'll eventually be able to rest. some say its ok wan... won't affect me. yeah right... your faith is going to be gone soon. and not only that, i believe this is one of those things where you'll only know and see the effects in 50 years time of your life. probably sooner, looking at the lifestyle of people now.

there's also the part of the church-goers. what do you do at church? there are those alive, and not alive. those alive, are not the louder churches, but the churches that say hello to you. i have to say i have my guilty moments. i am shy. serious. i always have to force myself. i regret the moments where i could have done better. well, i try harder the next time.

Friday, June 13, 2008


wow! its only 5 days since my exam. felt like a month has passed. perhaps i haven't been doing anything for so long, and suddenly in 5 days i'm doing so much, makes it feel like a long time has passed.
on sunday itself after exam, went and watch Kung Fu Panda and played bowling. Kung Fu Panda ranks equal humour to Madagascar. and Madagascar 2 is coming out soon.

after 2 weeks of not working, re-adapting back was a bit tough. got really blur on monday. and i was still tired, more to strained from the exam period. after 5 days, i think i'm still not rested properly. more to because i have the admin stuff to do after putting it off for 2 weeks, and i have to admit, using my new found time to the fullest.

i would rank this week's work performance as one of my worst. i wasn't happy at myself. i still manage to put in the required work but i don't think i did it in good spirits. it was a struggle and that's not a good worker. plus i was sleepy. perhaps too use to the naps. got to break out of the habit and regain back my work routine. i remember getting to conquer the afternoon sleepiness and now, unfortunately, it's back. will increase the efforts.

attended small group today and its wonderful to be with them again. talking about the album for fund raising, to the discussion of the grey areas of life, to laughing at the expense of one another.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

getting back to normal life...

well... it's done. i hope it's well done. it was easier. that's because i was comparing to the mock exams that my classes gave which were tougher. very. well, we can say it may have drove us to work harder, but hey, it was pretty depressing too knowing that you still cannot do a mock exam (a MOCK exam) 5 days before the real thing. how stressful is that? [same independent opinions from the rest of my classmates] ah well... what's done is done. you can't transform a well-done meat back to its raw form. i can say, that i am not guilty of not trying hard enough.

the chapter of 'studying while working', its not the end yet. but one thing is that i've learned a lot.

it humbles me back again to know, its tough. there are good habits and abilities that i've lost. old weaknesses that i've got to put a bridle on and not let it control me. on fri and sat, the stress levels got pretty bad that i had to just sit down and blank out about for half hour. i have to say i suddenly feel very free now. one thing for sure that i know is that at the point i thought i couldn't go any further, i just keep tell myself, God is still there. He is always there... and i thought, just keep on trying.

now, after 2 weeks of leave, i got to get back to working. i hope i still remember how to work. haha... well, got to get back to normal life now. readapt back.

i must thank you all for the encouragement and prayers that i've been getting. i know that i don't know everyone who prayed (or the amount of people). the encouragement definitely came as surprises and thankfulness, knowing that i have wonderful people that God placed around me.

Friday, June 06, 2008

keep trying...

keep trying... keep trying... keep going...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

day 10...

doing exercises. why the questions seem so hard? hmm... and got stuff that appears that i've never seen before. haha... takes a while to be out-putting knowledge smoothly.

the days are counting down, and as pressure seems to mount, i know above all else that i need to stay calm and not let emotions run me over. got to look to God. got to place discipline, maturity and wisdom as the foundation. the final outcome of it all will only be decided after 5pm on sunday. that is the 'times up' of the 2nd paper.

i was thinking this 'pushing' experience would have good in it. i got to let God show me. i kind of saw some light-hearted things. you know when we are students, we wish we don't have the perils of studying and exams anymore and are working. and when we are working already, we wish we were students back again?
well, well... looky here... i have both. i am studying while working. so does that mean, i'm having a double-good or a double-bad? hahaha... try and solve that...

wishing it will just be monday now, and that the paper has been sat through and with good colours.. yeah right... all my wishful thinking.
i guess God knows that it wouldn't be good for me.
Perseverance has to finish its course so that i will be complete, not lacking in anything.

alright... focus on...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

day 9...

well, after some really bad mood spells, i manage to catch up on syllabus on day 8 (yesterday). completed filling in the details for my brain. the new problem is remembering.

started doing questions today, and man, its really really slow. and i can't remember anything. the syllabus is so wide. got to keep trying. i'd think this is normal and the skill is to get the 'doing' up to speed for exam. practise the output.

no one likes getting pressed. really pushing me to some limits and taking quite a lot out of me. as much as i'd complained, yeah... that wasn't a good example. got to be more positive. got to try harder to look to God.
a point of view did struck me about about having to look at this taking-prof-cert stuff in a different way now. it is a learning and thinking skill. how does this tech knowledge relate to the world. i am giving a try at CFA. no more just about getting good results and all, though it may seem to be and a good feel to have.

what do i get coming out of this event/process/experience? i dunno... i'll see when i have the post-mortem hindsight of the past.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

day 6...

day 4, i can't remember what i did on day 4, but i hope it was something productive. day 5, i think wasted. and day 6, today, gone case again. plus i'm having a headache. emotions are running haywire... haih...

time is running short. maybe i'm out of steam.
the graph steadily went up and now is down. starting monday, i'll have to be practising questions to get the hang of it cause speed and accuracy is the game for this level 1 paper.

frustrations are building up.
circumstances that i cannot avoid come. some say can avoid. logically, i have to do it because in the long run, it won't be worth it. but then again, logically also, in the long run, its also not worth it eating time out of studying.

i'm not saying that its always the external that is affecting us. i mean, sometimes it is a genuine claim. and this issue, which i wrestled with last time, brings about some sort of wisdom that i learnt which keeps me going. 'these external things have happened and got you into this position. so, the main question is, what are you doing to do about it?' the fault of me being in this (usually terrible) position is not of my own and i'd be justified, but the fault will be my own when i don't do anything about it and just blame.

which brings me back to asking again, what is happening now? what is God wanting to teach me in this period that i'm going through?
putting away these frustrations (which would most likely seem petty when i'm having those 'hindsight' perpective flashbacks), perhaps trusting in Him.
i'd also think that it is a questioning of why am i taking this professional cert. changing my current perception of professional certs. perception cultivated from years of training as a student. perhaps fear of another academic event has rendered me incapable of serving, planning, and just trying not to fail.
i thought i know what i was doing when i took up this professional cert. now, it seems i didn't know what i was doing. cause if i had known what i was doing, i'd have done lots of things differently. so, ok, learn another thing.
keep steady and keep on learning.

i have to say that in this period, there are things i've learnt.
1) i don't have time.
2) how i'm wasting my time.
3) finding what really matters and what doesn't.
4) what's my passion.
5) the cruelty of reality that robs greatness/dreams for the sake of security.
6) the emphasis on personal placement and status that is loudly proclaimed and though we may deny it, yet it is so subconsciously practised in our everyday lives without knowing it.
7) personal 'networth' + integrity/morality is the measurement of success. integrity and morality by itself is not.

it may seem depressing. some may deduce where i am going. perhaps it is knowing these things that makes us value the things we love even more and the most important, knowing where you stand.
typing this out, helps clear my mind. and if i'm offending anyone, so sorry. but, hey, i'm as normal as anyone going through something.

oh great... another of those 'weird' moments. i really got to find a word for these 'moments'. what the heck?... anyways, just got an sms. its ALWAYS weird how God answers. forever baffling me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

day 3...

woke up feeling lethargic today. started studying later than normal. maybe complacency comes after good progress yesterday.
trying to emulate yesterday's progress. a little bit tougher. but still possible at this point in time.

my back seems to be getting stronger. though now my neck is aching.

am feeling nervous here and there. got to work hard to get the confidence up.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2nd day...

maybe the days seem long cause i'm calculating my days and using my time carefully. today is much better. less restless and fully absorbing. can control the mind much more now.

but my back hurts.
my brain stopped a bit. so now, i'm just taking a short break. am able to have more reflections...

it seems good progress, till i took a look at my results for trials and realize its still a mountain to climb.

regret? there's always the regret of not having worked harder earlier. but its tough to maintain consistency with the inconsistent work schedule and plans, what more classes. and its does not help that the syllabus is so wide. e.g. study 3 topics at week 1. 3 topics at week 2. by week 5, i forget topic 1,2,3. haih...
that's the difficulty of studying while working. and the so called planning that i've done, its like all down the drain. too far left behind. and all the panicking and stress accumulates.

at least now that i'm getting to sit down one shot, i can go through the whole thing. build the whole picture in my head. and understand and retain it one shot. its only 10pm now. continuing on 2 more hours.

highlight of the day? good progress and an email from janice.

8th June

Monday, May 26, 2008

birthday and first day of studying...

well, my 24th birthday passed. cause i was on my birthday leave, i thought of waking up only at 9. but nope, the smses were coming in before 9. thank you to my colleagues. yes, there were also those that sms past 12.
it did cheer me up.

i had to do some apartment admin stuff... and right through till lunch, smses keep coming. after lunch, i just sat down and spent half an hour to reply each sms personally. (personalized smses are a must!).

of course it didn't end there. i'm just happy and was touched to be remembered. after exam i'm going to record down everyone's birthday. i'm not those that record down, but seeing that i've got so many, i better start remembering. not that i'm selfish, it's just, ... something i haven't acquired.

sunday's trial exam, well, it was easier a bit. i improved a bit also. but still a long way from passing. and also seeing many areas i need to improve.

today, monday, first time sitting down to study for a whole day. got a bit restless at first. but now, getting it going. getting use to it. just that now, my neck is aching terribly. got to move once an hour.

i have to say that lots of things are going through my mind. stop buttons come in handy. but having some time to reflect, i see that there is a lot i got to learn. and i'm wondering what is God trying to teach me. i'm confused. where is He growing me? i'm frustrated. where is He leading me? is He really leading me? ah well... till the next time...

8th June.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


i just finished yesterday's bad-mood post and then checked my email and danny had just emailed about a song from SCC. about God's ways being higher than our own. its just weird.
i had a 'what the?' for a while, but just let the bad mood subside by itself. i was wondering whether the stress and anticipation of MU vs Chelsea was subconsciously draining my mind too...

today was a whole new day. with checking the results first thing in the morning online. yay! MU won... i feel that if drogba controlled himself and wasn't sent off, Chelsea would have won it.
fortunately, i didn't watch the match and got enough rest. cause it was blood donation at the bank. i had no idea cause notices were only given the day before and i was at training.

the day was very packed. i had to rush my work to finish because i'll be on 2 weeks leave. unfortunately, i couldn't finish my work in time for class. was successful for most of the day till the last assignment. racing against time, my final result did not match, and i got a panic attack and was discouraged. i tried to recover quickly mentally but to no avail. you could see desperation on my face cause i had class and had to finish on time. but after i accepted that it is goodbye class and calmed down, there you go, the answer came.

my colleagues got a bear for me. its a coinbox with the bears body being the base and with an unscrewable head with a slot on top. i was shocked at first. i didn't know what to say or how to react. i was just in shock. puzzled. 'what's that for?'. my colleagues thought i didn't like it.i tried to salvage the situation. i hope i had convinced them otherwise. i was very amused though. my funny colleagues...
i guess that's what makes life memorable...
now the 2 weeks start...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

gearing up?

alright... exam is on 8th of june which doesn't leave me with much time. but my leave starts on friday(birthday leave + 10 days leave) and it'll be dedication to the books for 2 weeks. hopefully it is enough.

i had 2 trial exams.
(scores in classes and final exam are independent from each other).
the trial exams are terrible. totally demotivating and freaking me out. which i guess, tells me where on the mountain i am.

i have to say that i really got to put the stop on emotions and just do it. what makes it worse is that a lot of stupid thoughts are just coming when i'm gearing up the brain and trying to focus. perhaps when the brain is cranked up a gear, that unsettled issues comes up.

they were the issues that i had successfully set aside while i was studying in uni. perhaps then, God gave an answer. wait. graduate first. finish the journey strong. you can do it and explore after that. and now that i've graduated and am working... but never had the chance to do it or explore. and these issues rise up again. and what now? retire first?

it seems like it was all a lie. always stuck in the middle. its a stupid grey area. i have to admit that as time passes, i get more and more disillusioned. people ask why are some things lessening? because it hurts, everytime i do it. knowing that everytime i do it, it amounts to nothing. it goes nowhere. there is no progress. there is no purpose in doing it. what's the use of improving yourself in an area that you will not be using at all? and that's if there is time to improve. and even if there is time, other things comes in higher importance. people say, the bit by bit rule. yeah... snail pace progress which is too slow to ever amount to anything significant. what are gifts and dreams for then?

it is sickening that so much sacrifice on serving in church and music, so much time killed off, so much Leave taken, adelaide convention and people forsaken. i feel useless. not doing anything that's lasting or meaningful. i spiritly and physically feel sick and nauseous. really. i just hope its worth it.

for what? a piece of paper. for career progression. for more money. for a secured future. for making sure i don't take money for granted. for being a 'go-getter' in action and having a 'drive' in life which is what is wanted in all men. that this guy has value-added. so that this guy will have a so-called plan in life. that this guy is not a loser because he has no hopeful career. will be successful. will have a good financial future. able to provide for a lavish wedding, travelling around the world, never-need-to-worry-about-money-again lifestyle. be the elite in the community. that the status in life will always be improving from generation to generation.
No one on their deathbed says, 'i wished i had earned more money' or 'how are things at the company?'. your job and money does not cry at your funeral for you.
faith? it hurts. how to stop a bleeding heart? disillusioned, disappointed. i know God is faithful. but, harder still when things that are suppose to be some support, aren't.

there it goes again. haih. press 'stop'. leave it as it is. exams first. with stress levels increasing, just really got to try harder. at least there are some things that brightens up the week or the month.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

before i know it...

before i know it, its already thursday, tomorrow will be a fast friday, and now i'll be having mock exams... sigh... totally not ready. but well, got to push it.

got to try to focus hard and all. everyone's in the same boat. cramming and giving the best shot. 8th of June. that's the MAIN date.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

what's this week about?

another hot blazing week.

work, hmm.. i don't think it has been terrible. it was torturous to me, but more because i was frustrated at my mistakes. more haste, less speed that kind of thing. due to shortage of time (thurs was a public holiday), i had to take certain risks to not waste time and continue to finish the work for the week, and i skipped on 2 checks (which was time consuming) and it nearly killed me off. i had to re-run my process flow twice(which is very long).

but fortunately, managed to salvage the situation. not needing to run fully due to some variables that i didn't leave out as a back-up safety measure, the gamble paid off (though it could have gone very wrong too).
i've managed to finish monday's work too. haha... so i'm free on monday!
yeah.. i wish... i bought myself an extra day for a project due on weds.

had lunch with ron and kim on wednesday. through our conversations, i have more research to do. things to find out. words to define.
yesterday's small group was about Dissension. what is dissension? what causes dissension? and what is unity? sounds simple enough, that is... till we got to the church and working examples.

due to the small groups usages of multiply, i finally tidy up and make use of it. definitely for the photos, now that i've got a camera. still needing to learn how to post the pictures on the blog, pretty much need a much more convenient way. then i'll get about 1000 - 2000 words a day. much easier.
and i found others posting up photos. like jezzamine's 21st birthday. waliau.. not having time for onlining and catch up, that's a great blessing! getting to see the latest photos of my '2nd-family', though weird in all those costumes.

rest is something we all need. i hope everyone's getting it. or making time for it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

not yet...

things have been speeding by that it felt like so many things have passed. what more with the speed i do things. i thought i was sick last week, but no!
i was only sick on monday (which is 5 days ago). which explains why i've been sleeping in the weekend.

dang! does this amount of time sleeping goes under 'a must and valid rest' or does it goes under 'indiscipine' for not studying?

well, whatever the argument, i just know my grave just became deeper.
not good for the nerves. i was just talking with someone about the exam and he was asking, am i putting too much pressure on myself?
um... well... is wanting to pass too much pressure on myself?

been getting panic attacks and high intensity stress levels before going to sleep. so i'm like sweating in bed before i sleep. heart pounding and all. cause i'm thinking, oh no! i didn't do enough for the day. another day wasted. and there's so much more to do. then i do not get enough sleep and so affects the next day and i can't work properly and try to study and the anxiety cycle continues...

not quite a nice life, but they are normal stress patterns. thats what the melancholics always get. good thinkers but with also an alternative bad side. really got to pray to ask God to protect my mind and guard my heart. it tests the faith definitely. i wonder a lot. is it worth it? what am i doing with my life?

perhaps it just comes down to real grit and determination. just fry the brain and sit through the torture. press hard and push on. irregardless of whatsoever.
but you can't sacrifice health and work, right? and i'm not even mentioning church or serving.

i think i'll just have to go back to one of my theme's of studying. "Cut of Emotions, and be a Block of Wood, and Study."

Monday, April 21, 2008


sick. down, and hopefully not yet out. trying to make sure not yet out.
tahan through the first half of the day and manage to finish my work. and took half day M.C. and fortunately i did, cause after i was home, i felt nauseous and dizzy and i just knock out for a few hours before i wake up for dinner.

i didn't expect to be sick. but okayyy... another challenge to deal with while i'm trying to study.
maybe it was exhaustion throughout the weeks.

i was just going through a book again by Billy Graham, titled 'The Journey'. it covers a lot of areas and is full of scripture verses. it was very refreshing cause i'm reminded of thoughts that i had when i was reading it in adelaide. now i'm thinking, hmm... has anything changed for the better? have i lost anything? have i got any areas worse?
ah well... personal times of reflection...

i continue on re-reading 'The Man in the Mirror' by Patrick Morley.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

past half of april...

passing the halfway mark of april, i did realise, oh no.. the blog!

the past few weeks have been pretty routine. and i was noticing the energy levels are really hitting a crucial stage. many times i wonder, is it possible? have i actually gone through this type of schedule before?

starting mondays, i feel much better. of course, that's making sure i rest on the weekends. tuesday and thursday nights i have class which utterly drains me. i have weds to recuperate for thursday's class. and by friday, i'm drained. i do get worried many a times that i'll faint or collapse.
the tuesdays and thursdays, i leave the house by 7.00am and i return home by 11pm.

i am close to falling asleep in office many times which obviously isn't good. but i compensate with the speed of working that i do. so now, i just pretty much finish about 75% my work in the first half of the day. and struggle for the rest of the day. there'll be the good days and days where i have to stand while working to avoid falling asleep.

interestingly, that's not counting any exercise or sports.
so, if i do sports, i'll be.... pretty much knocked out.
after my exam on june 8, i got to get fit again.

the occasional emailing, the once in a while chat, small group, does keep the spirits up amidst the mounting pressure.
alright... going to keep trying...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Outing with Ray and later... Elvin

coming back from KK, i KO. came back on a tuesday, rest for a wednesday, M.C. for a thursday, struggled for a friday, and KO for the sat and sun.

the good thing is i rested. sleep non stop. Ray Ng came back from adelaide and was about to leave soon. he did tell me earlier, but then i had to say, after KK. it was some quick plannning and communication to the other OCF Adelaideans and it was at the central place, midvalley, little penang. ray, yvonne, edward and delicia, and me. the others couldnt make it.

later in the week, on sat, elvin was up from singapore to watch the F1 in Sepang. he is that dedicated to the sound of the engines, which brings to mind, hey! we did meet up at about this same time last year. F1 again!
kevin and fannie also came up. it was certainly wonderful to see them. and also pretty awkward... i was like, hello fannie, and shook hands...which made it SO awkward...(what was i doing?)(hey...give your big sister a hug...) and so a hug. perhaps after some time, i'm de-culturized from hugging. got to remember that some things do stay the same. getting shy-er...

we were at Jalan Alor (behind bukit bintang) for the chicken wings that was awarded 'Best in Malaysia' by daryl tan. (tankiasu.xanga). the singaporean judges agreed. i think we had 2 plates. or was it 3?

it was the easter weekend. and there was a prayer vigil going on at church. 24 hours prayer nonstop from 8pm friday till the 6.45 a.m. sunrise service on sunday. and people are encouraged to choose your slots, and come to church to pray. no one wanted to do the 'graveyard' shifts which was at 1-6 a.m. sunday morning. so my small group went for 1-2a.m. we were praying and worshipping and before we knew it, it was 3a.m. there were other adults that are taking care of the slots(timekeepers). they pretty much let us have a 'free flow' and they'll take the remaining hours.

i have to admit, it did took a toll on me. i'm surviving on minimal sleep on weekdays, and to have it cut short on a weekend, gulp! thankfully, it was just a short after effect.

as of 29 march, i have only 70 days left to study for CFA. i'm not really seeing much light. i have that wish, to be after the exam, and having a good feeling and also relief. but then, that's a wish, that will require a lot of blood and sweat before it comes true.
isn't it typical of us? wanting to have the fruits and not the labour?

gosh... have to remember the good things in my final semester of uni. it was a tough but great semester. will try to perform the same way, just that this time, full time working is included. blehhhh! i think i just depressed myself.
i don't deny. these thoughts come to my head.

alright then. i'll be going back to planning and envisualizing myself for the next 2 months.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

of Gunung Kinabalu...

Sabah. Kota Kinabalu. Gunung Kinabalu. 6-11 March 2008.

i made it. i'm still ok (i think). big mountain.

for further details, read on.
do not be deceived that just by knowing the height (4095.2m), that is the distance you'll climb.
i was there a day earlier, more to take time off, and catch up on all my sleep. i received lots of encouraging smses during these 5 days. thank you very much. love and miss you all.

in the evening of the 7th, we took a 2-hour bus ride to the Kinabalu Park. pack your backpack to bring up, and leave your 2nd bag behind.

on the morning of 8th, register, get your tag, arrange how much stuff you want the porter to bring (charged by the kg), and have a 10 minute drive to Timpohon Gate. from there, it is a 6km climb towards the rest stop, Laban Rata. hopefully, you're there by 3pm (an average speed of 1km an hour). time to be taken at average pace, 6 hours.

i have to say that this was tough. more because i had a 9kg load to carry. a set of clothes, towel, winter gear, water and food. a tip: train with a 10kg bag of rice. you're just fooling yourself to train with a light bag. though with a good bag, it was tough to breathe. the air gets thinner. it was hard to breathe also because of the bag pressing down on you. it was raining the whole way up. slippery. i was drenched with sweat. my whole sweater was wet. and we can't rest long cause we'll get cold when we stop moving. be careful of headache and altitude sickness as well. bring pills if you can.

i reached about 3.30pm. everyone was split apart because everyone's got to go on your own pace and not be pressured by others. after dinner and a very quick bath (there's not enough hot water), we got to try to force ourselves to sleep (to no avail) because we got to wake up at 1 a.m. to start climbing to the peak which is another 2.5 km. if it rains, we can't climb.

thankfully it stopped raining at 1a.m. and like zombies in the cold, prepared ourselves. you NEED headlamps and windbreakers. it is a torture because of insufficient rest. and i'm already saying this now. it is cold and dark, and we just have stairs, rope above the ground and rope on the ground to guide us. and for EVERY reason, don't let go of the rope. we'll know why in the morning.

we can't see much of our surroundings and just climb and follow the rope. the main goal is to reach the summit. delren, who's been there before, keep telling us, that the summit is just a little bit more. and others headlamps have stopped and can be seen from there. it was only after about 5 times, that yeah... he's lying. i reached the stationary headlamp. but it was someone sitting down resting. well, it was his way of giving us some sort of hope to keep us going.

we had to reach the peak by 7 a.m. if not, we have to turn back to have enough time to come down. i barely made it. i struggled. many parts were steep and i have no idea how steep it was because in the dark, i've lost sense of where is 90 degrees upright. though there was a plateau, it was still another hard climb to reach the peak. i was so tired till i just took 2 steps, hug a rock and rest, took another 2 steps, hug rock, 2 steps, hug rock.... until i reach the peak. i crawled. the guides were amused by me.

spent 2 minutes taking photos, and start the climb down. another 2.5 km. it did dawn on me earlier, that every km i gained climbing up, it is also another km of torture gained, climbing down. so we climbed a very freaky descent.

it was bright. what the heck? how did i climbed up that? now we know the EVERY reason to hold on to the ropes. now we see the DANGER that we were in when ascending. slip and its pretty much goodbye at a certain part. the descent was steep that i can't see what i'm going down to. i had to climb down with the rope backwards.

a painful 2.5 km descent after just ascending. reached by 9 a.m. and rest till 10. and then had to start the 6km descent. (anyone started calculating how many km has to be done since 1 a.m. yet?) the totality took its toll on me. after 2km descending, my legs started to cramp and stiffened and hurt. i was hoping i did not pull or injure anything. (its RM200 per km if the porters carry you down on a stretcher). i was in terrible pain. 2 friends behind me caught up and saw me going so slowly. each step was pain. and i still had 4 km to go.

i had to walk with the stick and the railings as much as possible to not put weight on my legs. my friend walked with me because he saw i was in great pain in every step. i knew this was going to be long. mentally, i'm not that strong and well, good time to train now. forget the pain, take one step at a time, 1..2.., 1..2.., 1..2.. etc. look in front. as slow as an old man. 3km left.... 2km left... 1km now, i was having a bad headache and a bit dizzy, but i force myself to continue on. focus. focus. when i saw a waterfall that shows i was near, and i nearly cried. but focus. focus. don't think how much is left. just take a step at a time. (wished i had morphine...just joking)

when i finally reached the starting point, what the heck? is this some sort of cruel joke? there was a flight of stairs up. haiyah... just shaddap and climb again lah... thus endeth the journey. i couldn't climb up the van. i had to pull myself up. the van took us back to Kinabalu Park and the bus was waiting for me (i was last) to go back to our hostel. the adults were very understanding seeing that i was injured. again, had to pull myself up the bus.
oh... i did see some pretty girls on my way down. but couldn't hide the painful limp lah. so it was kind of embarressing.

at the hostel, i put hot water on my legs to warm or soothe them up. it helped but i was injured. hope its not too serious. perhaps over exertion. i know its not an ache. muscle ache only comes the day after. oh well...

the next morning, ahh... the muscle ache comes. familiar with that. but that's easily ignored compared with injury. thankfully, i can still limp-walk. i can't bear to use stairs, so i use the lift. thankfully, i'm on leave on weds. so i can rest. so now, coping with injury, aches and dehydration.

in summary, big mountain don't play. its a granite mountain. so bl**dy big. God, how did you do it? its not even Everest. i am so small and lousy. yet, i'm totally amazed.
my friend stuck to me for 3km. he was alright and very fast and could have gone on ahead. but he stayed faithfully. i'm very grateful to him. i made sure i belanja him lots in KK. i'll be getting the collection of pictures on sunday.

here's a good site to visit if you do go.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

preparations & KK...

well, after crashing down with honesty, the after effects were good.
i just somehow.... what's the word?.... realised. and just have point blank honesty staring at my face.

there wasn't any euphoric feeling that i can go jumping up and down or have that 6-inches above ground feeling. things suddenly just went slow-mo... step by step... i start to see God in a lot of places.

things in work has been changing. i have my strengths and weaknesses. but i made sure i did my best in all. i tried to make the best of everything, regardless of other's opinions. being judged fairly or not, i put that in God's hands. its hard. but i made sure that i am living for God first, and if i pass God's test and am right before God, i have nothing to fear. faithfulness and obedience, that is seriously some tough stuff.

i'm now transferred to another team but same department. a lot of things can be said but in short, whatever comes, the million dollar question is, how would/should i react to it?

tomorrow (6th march) i'll be going to kota kinabalu. until the 11th. yay! going on a climbing trip with some church friends. going a day earlier so that i can catch up on all my sleep. looking forward to this break. i know its not much of a 'resting' type of break. it'll probably drain me and stretch me to the max.

safety is the number 1 thing. and sleep. i need sleep.

on another side of my brain, i miss the Adelaidean OCFers. i miss you all.

thank you hui chuan, priscilla, joshua, for your words of encouragement. i really place them in importance.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

what comes after frankness?

i was sitting down a yesterday trying to post. but i was stumped. what do i write after i've been frank?

1) thank you.
- thank you to Edward, G and Derek who've written down encouragements and prayers. for Yvonne who called me up. as of today, i feel much better. my eyes were more open these past few days. i could see glimpses of God's hand a bit here and there.

2) clarify.
- my words may be harsh, or some may deem exaggerated, but they are true. and its not just the working world, but also church (any surprises?). that's why it can be more hurtful. that's why loving and forgiving each other is even harder. but i still have good brothers and sisters who care.

3) apologies.
- apologies if anyone got depressed or affected or um... traumatised? (you'll never know). i have no attempts to scare anyone. or perhaps i should have a warning clause: 'Read at your own risk. depressive stuff coming'.
but hey, i'm being frank.

4) more frankness.
- perhaps disappointments and pointless-ness in energy and efforts have pulled me down. i have the faithfulness and efforts which seem small against the trials banging on me.
i know i tried. and a lot of things happened; good and bad. but the million dollar question now is, what am i going to do about it?
well, i'll just have to get up again. take the steps one by one again. its not over. its only the start of life as working and studying and church.

5) my health.
- i was so dizzy at work on friday morning. i collapsed on friday at work. when i saw it was 12, i just KO'ed on my table. my colleagues bought me lunch. very nice of them. i ate, but i felt even worse. now, i am dizzy and i feel like puking any time. talk about humour, i found that funny.
during the weekday, i was in the middle of being sick and healing, but still push hard to work and study, and well, shouldn't have done that. so i slept and rested in this weekend, but am still dizzy. went to see the doctor again for the 3rd time in 11 days, so got some medicine.

6) the future.
- let's see what happens... :)

7) thank you. (not typo)
- thank you again, Edward, G, Derek (who i do not know) and Yvonne.
(what's your blog Derek?)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


what frankness?

i know that i haven't post on the blog.
i also know WHY i haven't post on the blog.
phsyical excuses of no time, of busy-ness, of no inspiration, of tired-ness, of least of priorities are of the smallest percentages.
they DO count. physically that is.
and how easy it is to hide it with the physical-ness of things. easy to paint the flurry of wonderful activities and heap praises. but they are just mere escapades from the current reality.

i cannot blog because i don't dare to be honest. i want to be honest to write things, but to be honest, would be writing about:
- the deceitfulness of the environment of working.
- to be living in the demands and expectations of others.
- to be giving and not being given.
- to be sacrificing and having your own friends critisize you for sacrificing. and worst, to have it go to waste.
- and when you can't sacrifice, you're critisized even more.
- to be smiling and treating others with love and respect when they themselves can treat you like trash.
- they allow themselves to treat you like trash but you can't retaliate.
- where their mistakes are always forgiven, but yours must be punished.
- the amount of expectations. growing up watched by the world. every word is measured, every movement is judged.
- to have no dreams, but the dreams of others.
- where results only matters and righteousness and care does not.

i get jealous of other's blogs. their life is wonderful due to the fact that the environment permits it. they are able to write about and do so many wonderful things.
i am ashamed that i could not carry out or give or sacrifice or be what i was in adelaide towards others back here. i am unable to be a good example of a returnee to those younger than me. i tried. i tried so hard.
OCF returnee, that's what i am.

i tried but i couldn't. i am unable to bring about the good change. unable to impact lives. unable to care. unable to be honest. unable to sacrifice. unable to serve. unable to lead. i am ashamed that i can't blog good or wonderful pictures. i'm only able to write melancholic depressiveness on some realities for truth.

calling God on long-distance telephone. reading the Bible but nothing goes in. can't remember scriptures. Bible facts are going down the drain. my piano skills are dropping. music? what music! there's no new music to be written. no new music in the heart.
i am unable to feel God's presence. i am unable to see God's hand in movement. i am unable to hear what God is speaking. i am unable to see God speak through the Bible. i ask. i keep asking God. i try to hear. i was still. i try to let the Bible speak to me. i am waiting earnestly. waiting.

i try to make the best of everything and learn through the disappointments and hurt, persevere through the storms, keep the discipline, look towards God, ministering to others. but the voice of spririt, the eyes of eagerness, discipline, faith, focus, God's strength; it disappears through time. perhaps too many arrows on a broken shield.

the many dreams disappear because the environment and timing does not permit it at all. looking into the future? not even the future.
my thoughts always fly back, hey! return to Adelaide where at least no one judges you and are appreciated. or a word of thank you. where others would help, encourage, rebuke and advise you. where others understand the purpose and passion of doing things.

it may be dramatic of me to be enlarging or hyping up the littlest blessings i have. but what can i do when there's only so few that i have. true friends? too few. too far.

i remember myself, as a student, wondering why the returnees are dropping, and i wanted not to be one.
ha ha. i look at myself now. now i know. now i understand.

but what is keeping me going? hope. hope and faith. there is some hope. there is some faith. that carrying the cross with arrows flying everywhere, is just for now. the results for sacrifice and righteousness does not show instantly or obviously. it is a quiet big effect in the future.

joanne chew (mrs.kiu) told me, be strong. G foo tells me, keep going on. danny tells me, have faith like Abraham. i can't remember what others said.

i have to say that i feel stupid at times going on. going on for what?
well, just trying to go on with some truth keeping my pants up, some salvation keeping my head sane, some faith quenching the arrows, some righteousness letting me push forward, a small dagger of the Spirit... i can't remember the rest.

frank. that's frank.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

december 07 edition...

this is just so weird. i typed the draft on the 31st of dec for a wrap up of the year. but yeah... i didn't get down to doing it. thank you to procrastination and a busy schedule, i type. but that's also skipping some studying time for CFA.
its a weird cycle. sit down to do one, procrastinate the other.

the beginning of december was Delwin and Gillian's wedding. reached at night.
and aunty Merrilyn was there at the airport. i didn't know she was coming. i didn't know that some from aust also flew back for the wedding. and taking AirAsia to Brunei, we were glad to see D & G and went to them, hugs and all. and so did the rest of the passengers. what the? but its true. most of the passengers on the same flight were relatives of D & G. both sides of the families were there to welcome both sides of the relatives.
weird... i guess not many people travel to Brunei (no offense... Del)

the wedding was just wonderful. walking down the aisle with the music of Carol Ann by Michael W.Smith, Gillian looked so radiant next to a proud father. and Delwin looked so good too... with tears. he cried. there's a picture of him in Gillian's blog. i guess that's what it means to be engulfed in emotions, overjoyed and overflowing with... hmm.. i can't find a word to describe it.

the OCFers were having a pew to ourselves. all were the working OCFers. during the dinner, i remembered the most was Gillian's father, making such a meaningful dedication to his daughter. categorizing it as a speech is a sacrilege. those were words from the heart, spoken from a loving father to his precious daughter.
the week later, there was a dinner at KL for those in Singapore and Malaysia who couldn't make it to Brunei. most OCFers flew back after convention to attend. Kenneth Kwan and Richard Poh was there.

i came back on sunday the 2nd. took leave on the 3rd. and worked for 2 days before going to my youth camp in Sepang. all the way till the 11th. i couldn't make it for D&G's dinner at KLCC because of the camp, but also because i drove back down from Sepang to Bangsar, for Justin and Sher Mayne's wedding. i made sure i went. and it was seriously seriously good.

this time, walking down the aisle to the song 'When God Made You' (duet), it was so touching. Justin cried. engulfed in emotions, overjoyed and you know the rest. met Danny, Reuben, Ee Ling and Melissa there, plus a few old schoolmates.

when the camp ended, phew, that was the end of my travels. from Melaka, to Brunei, to Sepang. try that. i thought i was on Discovery Travel and Adventure.
my colleagues thought i was crazy. i was only having a 2 day week for 3 weeks; meaning i worked 6 days in 3 weeks.

one of the highlights was being able to invite my colleagues to my house for Christmas. it was about 20+ people. it was raining heavily and they travelled far to get to my place. but all safe and sound and a bit wet. had the good food, and good fun, and gift exchange.

to top off the end of 2007, it was another wedding. on the 31st. it was Yvonne's sister's wedding. James and Michelle. Michelle is a wedding planner, and you surely can imagine how grand and organized the wedding was. i played the piano again at St. Andrews church.
words getting around about me playing for weddings and i seriously don't have time to practise. i practise at 11pm.-12am at home cause that's about when i come back home after work or classes.
my 4th wedding and its not the end yet. one more to go in mid january.