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,