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.