Thursday, October 04, 2007

So you think you are clean?

I felt very dirty after doing the cleaning job yesterday. The whole night I can't stop thinking that my pair of hands, which make great coffees, play piano, draw paintings, and wash toilets? wipe dirty window seals? It was disturbing for me, don't know why, I could not get over it. How would my arrogant fussy coffee drinker customers think if they know I am a cleaner as well?
Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of a bible passage about Jesus did not wash (his hands I suppose?) before eat dinner with the Pharisees:

Luke 11:37-46

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at the table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you."

"But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice an the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it."
One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also." And he said, "Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

And the passage goes on...

I was touched when I see how Jesus reacted (not because he did not wash his hands of course, I always wash my hands). Jesus did not look at the outside, it meant nothing for him whether I am physically clean or not, he looks into my heart. Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees of their filthiness in their hearts, which full of greed and wickedness. Jesus said "You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?", I guess he was saying that physically cleaniness of the outside does not make the inside clean. Conversely, the filthiness inside a person's hearts will make the whole person unclean as well. I just like the tone that Jesus used, he was so strong and not looking after the "face" of the Pharisees and the lawyers at all.

The reason I put the little lawyers paragraph there because some of my customers are lawyers (modern lawyers different than the lawyers in the bible of course). I do not like particularly one of them because he is always rude and arrogant and thinks himself is so superior. Modern lawyers suppose to help people and bring justice, but I just cannot imagine how can he bring justice if he himself is so arrogant. I just love the way Jesus insulted the lawyers in this passage.

Jesus also said, "But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you." He meant giving away the food within the cup and dish to the poor. A person is cleansed by his good action, which comes from a clean heart.

Therefore I rejoiced, my actions came from a good conscience. I earn my living with my pair of hands so I do not have to depend on anyone. I clean the places so that people would have a clean environment to live in. There is no reason for me to feel sad or lowly, because God is with me. "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?... Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:5-8.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Humbling work experience

Today is another humbling experience for me. I was called in to work in the afternoon by my cleaning company boss. I did not know where I was suppose to go to work, but just follow my boss. Then I reached a large fruits and vegetables distribution centre just out of town. The place was absolutely filthy, even my previous house in Malaysia was quite dirty but nothing like that. Boss was helping me cleaning even he was wearing his suit and patiently told me what to do, I really respect him and the way his treat his business. But the place was dirty! Window seals were covered with thick layer of dust and floors are black. Just to mop the floors I had to change the water for 3 times! I had to clean the toilets, mop floors and stairs, vacuum, wipe all the tables and window seals/frames... I was a bit traumatised, by the workload and the filthiness. It is a lesson for me, it humbles me. Other than tired I was surprised I did not feel depressed at all, there is still joy in my heart because what God had taught me last night. :)

Encouragement from God

I challenged myself again with a cup of cappuccino with lunch yesterday at work, therefore I could not sleep until early in the morning. I was wide awake but surprisingly not tired (because I took my newly bought ginkgo pills, multivitamin, and omega 3 fish oil at the same time before sleep). I did not know what to do after tried to sleep for a few times, so I read the bible especially the passage that keep popping up: on Sunday church sermon, monday quiet time and tuesday email sent by a friend.

Phillipians chapter 3:7-4:14

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith - that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like hiim in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Straining Toward the Goal

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one things I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I meditated on the passage again and again, then I prayed. Firstly, forgetting what lies behind: past failures, traumatic experiences, hurts, rejections, disappointments, guilt... I forgave all the people or ''things''(such as unfair society and NZ immigration) whom hurted me and made my life hard. I forgave family and friends whom does not seem to understand and care about me... and so much more. I gave thanks to God, for the good things and bad things that happened to me. Finally I forgave myself, but not being good enough and failed to glorify God. Secondly, I look forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. So what exactly is this "prize"?

Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his wil, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

It was not an easy passage to digest on, but I found a few things to be ''bulleted points" on, my understanding of the spiritual blessings here are:
  • to be holy and blameless
  • adoption as daughter/son through Jesus Christ
  • redemption through his blood
  • forgiveness of our trespasses
  • to know the mystery of his will
  • all together is an INHERITANCE
  • the Holy Spirit is the guarantee
This passage emphasizes predestined, according to his will, so it is God's will that determines that I will have the inheritance or not, not that I can obtain it by my own will and/or effort. Therefore it further proves that I am blessed, I am loved, and I am special not because what I've done, but because God has chosen me.

Thank God for speak to me once again and renewed my mind and attitude. He is indeed faithful and abound in steadfast love. May all praise and glory be to God forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


It has been 3 months since I graduated from Massey. I am more comfortable and emotionally stable than I was at the last few months. Even though the situation is still the same, I am coping better now with the uncertainty and loneliness that I am experiencing outside uni. Also, I started to accept the fact that everything is changed, and I need to move on, whether I like it or not. I can choose to go on escaping from the reality, or face it, and make a change. I started dreaming, dream about all the possibilities that I have in life ahead. Started to feel excited about the future, turning uncertainties to possibilities. I am working at a cafe, perfecting my coffee making skills and keep challenging myself to a higher level of professionalism.

Most of the time I stay in my flat, last week I tried to spend some time outside my flat other than working and church time, therefore I went to the city library. Although it was good weather but my day was ruined after got frightened by a stranger followed me for a long distance. So now I just stay at flat, in my room most of the time.

Many thoughts go through my head. The passion in my heart starts burning again, I applied for a few job positions, and can't stop thinking about the possibilities if I get any of the jobs. I would like to do anything that is being put in front of me right now, I just don't want to stay at the same place anymore.

But I still dreaming about going to Europe and South Island again, I like being a tourist. I want to meet more new friends. I want to change my image, buy a few clothes and change a hairstyle, I want to be different. But does that guarantee I will be satisfied? Most likely not. I want something that I don't know about, something that I might had before, or never have before. I know the answer is only found in God, and it is God. Maybe, I will never get satisfied in my whole life until the day I departed from this world and reunite with God again. But at least, I still need friends and families, people who actually love me, care about me, interested in me, and want to spend more time with me. Somehow, even I have friends and families, I still feel lonely, relationship with people is never the same anymore. As a kid I never have this feeling before, I never know it can be so lonely to be an adult. In fact, I never like the idea of being an adult.

Once again I turn to Jesus, my faithful Lord and friend, always there beside me, watching from above, and living within my heart. I will fight, even my faith is little and fragile, I just need to keep holding to His promise.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I tried

I just hope somebody can understand me. I really do want to apply for jobs, but I can’t. My right ear is ringing badly, and am having a persistent headache that never goes away even with Panadol. I sleep and find it hard to wake up in the morning. I tried to do exercise but I don’t have the energy. I couldn’t concentrate or motivate myself to do anything. I am tired and cold all the time. I tried to improve the situation, I do. I prayed so hard that I could be restored again and put full energy into life. In fact, I can’t. I guessed is the high level of stress hormone in my body caused hormone imbalance and bad circulation and even maybe neurodegeneration. I can’t remember most of the things, or just remember fragments, or pieces of memories, not even anything that I learnt from uni. I always left my things somewhere, just left my wallet in Wellington 2 weeks ago. I could not socialise, can’t stand loud music, it makes me headache. Every attempt I had to write a CV I get migraine attack. I don’t have health insurance, I don’t have money. I stayed up late every night because calling home after 12am is cheaper, I tried to call them, but I always gave up in the end. I want to ask for money, to pay off credit card debts and buy insurance so that I can seek medical help, but I can’t ask them, I am too ashamed. I tried, I really tried to build up my life, but I can’t, I really can’t, why don’t you believe me?

Friday, September 07, 2007


I brush her teeth every morning I wake up
I decide what clothes for her to wear before she goes out
I feed her when she is hungry
But who is she?

I could not recognise her
I see her in the mirror everyday
But I do not know what is in her mind

I want to make her happy
I tried everything I can
But that is not something that I am able to do

Somebody else has to do it
maybe she knows that somebody, maybe she doesn't know
I wish that somebody, who loves her
can make her happy


Once I grasped it
now I lost it
trying to find it again
even realising that am looking for it at the wrong place
even knowing You are the source
but am powerless to pursue it

I beg You, with my last bit of energy
please, draw me close to You
let me know You again
so that I can have it again

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My beloved PNOCF

Last week was one of the ocf craziest week. Have you heard about hotpot dinner twice a week in the same flat with the same amount of people (around 40 people, 5 hotpots)? Well, pnocf did it. Wednesday was the farewell dinner for the Germans (aka Micha & Denise). Saturday night was Scott's 21st birthday, with the visit of his whole family all the way from Southland. Sunday was Scott's baptism, with his guests of almost half the number of church attenders on that day. It was exciting, a few fuses blown off at Steve's flat due to overload use of power, the cake mixture that I tried to put into the oven poured over the floor due to my lack of experience in handling a brand new springform cake tin. I was almost running out of voice to sing on Sunday on stage, and was starving all day on Sat sustained by 3 pieces of toast until 1am. However it was all worth it, everything turned out well, it's sad Scott's parents couldn't attend the baptism service due to misread the time of their flights. But everything turned out good. Good for OCF bonding and witness for God.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My part time work life

I really enjoy my time without stress from study. It's time for me to stop and think about life, why God give me life, and what should I do with my life. I thought with my prayers and faith God will immediately provide me a full time job straight after I finished my degree. I thought I don't have to worry about planning about anything, and everything will just happen like that naturally. But His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I had a job interview in Christchurch but I got rejected. And then I got sick, and don't know what to do about my life. I applied for a part time job in a cafe, and retain my other job as a cleaner in city library. These two jobs are not quite provide enough money for me to support my life, but they are better than nothing. I love arts, I pick up the paintbrush again since I came back from holiday. I am practicing piano as there is a piano in my flat. I realised I still love arts, although I am not very good in any of them, but I just love being arty. I found out all my cafe workmates have passion for arts, including my boss, they all doing some sorts of arty thing like painting and theatre production. I was even invited to put my paintings on the cafe wall and sell them! I was excited, although I don't have really plans or inspiration to paint, but at least that was a huge motivation for me. Also, I learnt how to make real coffee now, my workmate is really nice and she patiently taught me how to make different coffees. I can now make latte, cappucino, flat white, mocha, long black etc. One day I marked up and overpoured the milk in the coffee, I thought the customer would not be very happy about that. However, when she was going to leave, she said thank you to me and praised me for the good coffee that I had made. I did not know how to react except just said thank you and smile to her, but I felt a great joy and satisfaction in my heart that no words can describe at that moment.

Today is my new workmate's birthday. This is the second day I met him and worked with him. We talked a lot after finish work and he shouted me for dinner at a flash Thai restaurant. It was interesting talking to him, he realised I am a committed Christian even from the very beginning of our conversation. He is a buddhist. We talked about religion for a while, he believe in evolution as well as believe in God and Jesus. I told him there is only one truth, if there is only one truth, then the others must be false. But to avoid arguments he talked about something else. Then we talked about our countries, families, politics (as most Chinese people like to discuss), education, work etc. He come from a rich family, his father is a governor in his city. People who work in government sectors in China are not simple, that means they have money and status, and don't have to worry about future. Despite that, he chose to work as a cleaner, not because he needs money as I am, but just because he is bored. He rather spend time on earn money than watch tv or computer. He said he does not want to depend on his family, but by studying property he hope that one day he will be like Donald Trump. It was interesting talking to him, although we have very different worldviews.

People from both part time jobs are very nice, I think God is changing my perception of the world and work through these two jobs, as I had very bad experiences in previous jobs before. Maybe that is why I am afraid of looking for a full time, proper job. I am afraid of being bound, losing my freedom. I am afraid of difficult situations especially moral decisions that have to be made in work. I am afraid of bearing responsibility, and interrupt or add trouble to other people's previous work. I am afraid of failure and criticism. I am even afraid of new work related relationships, afraid being used or betrayed. But I am sure that God is working through these issues with me right now. At the same time giving me a break, He is teaching me some life lessons as well.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trusting God

To God and people whom may concern about me, I am currently going through a difficult time (I think, but nothing compared to people whom facing extreme persecution for Christ everyday). First thing I came back from South Island, I got rejected from the company that I had a job interview. I used up all my money. Then the car I was using to practice driving broke down again (after I bought a $75 battery). Then my computer hacked by virus, so I formatted it. Since two days ago, I became ill (just influenza, but have been coughing, blocked nose, frequent fever, nausea, and tiredness). I just realised this morning that if I need to apply for graduate work permit and visa (with travelling), I need to pay $330. My credit card account is almost exceed quota, NZ dollar is ridiculously expensive (so my parents wouldn’t transfer money until exchange rate lowered), I only can borrow money from my friend.

Since I came to New Zealand, I have to learn to be independent: financially independent, emotionally independent, most importantly, independent faith. I thought I was independent, but I never realise I am dependent on so much things apart from God: security from finance, faith supported by brothers and sisters in OCF, decision-making dependent on my parents, my health and strength to earn money etc. What is independent? Does God wants us to be independent? Now when all things are stripped away, what can I depend on except the grace and hope that is in Jesus Christ? 

On behalf this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:5-10

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, from I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30

I want to share a quote from ‘Is God Really in Control: Trusting God in a World of Hurt’ by Jerry Bridges:

In the arena of adversity, the Scriptures teach us three essential truths about God - truths we must believe if we are to trust Him in adversity. They are:

God is completely sovereign.
God is infinite in wisdom.
God is perfect in love.

Someone has expressed these three truths as they relate to us in this way: “God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.”

Thursday, July 19, 2007

God has shown grace in my life by…

Created me in His image and breathed life in me.
Found me and called me His own.
Forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Love and acceptance even when I am still a sinner.
Give me freedom to choose.
Give me emotions and feelings.
Not sparing me from pain, trials and suffering.
Understanding the pain and suffering of humanity and obedience to God by went through life on earth by himself.
Teach, correct, and discipline me with great patient till I become more like Christ.
Give me faith and makes me stand firm.
Give me the privilege of being His disciple, to serve Him.
Let me to participate in His plan of salvation.
Promises of hope and eternal life.
Gives me place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and blankets to keep warm.
Enables me to communicate and interact with people.
Complete physical body, thinking mind and health.
Family who loves and cares about me.
Made me come to New Zealand, be educated, and stand on an international platform.
Overseas Christian Fellowship and Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship who looked after me and grown my faith while I am away from home.
Love, forgiveness, acceptance and partnership of sharing the gospel of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Protected and saved my life in a car accident.
Provided place for me to groom up before my job interview in Christchurch.
Friendly welcome and hospitality of the hosts while we travelled in South Island.
Shown me the glory and beauty of His creation of natural wonders.
His comfort and healing during times of hurts, struggles and distress.
Always there in times of need and help.
Having compassion on me - a hopeless creature, and willing to carry my burdens.
Putting great Christian leaders in my life that I can look up to.
Enables me to sing and dance for my enjoyment for His glory.
Continuing to make me learn and understand more about His grace and glory.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Gospel is the best movie ever produced

After watching a movie, it makes me think of Christianity is actually like a movie, a best movie ever created by God. A good movie has a theme, and usually has its main characters. The main character of Christianity is God, and the theme is the gospel. To make it a movie, it would begin with God created the world, then the fall, Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, his second coming, and a happy ending: eternal life. It has to be the most exciting “movie” ever, more than you can ever imagine. If only we could step back and look at the big picture, adoring what we know, hoping on what we not yet know, it is engaging, and breathtaking. God is the main character, and the director, therefore he gets all the glory. For us, we are like the minor characters and crew members, we gets glory for being participate in producing and involved with the best “movie”. What makes me think that way is because in the end there is usually an endless list of people’s names. It surprises me that how many people were involved behind a one hour movie. But do others interested in knowing people other than the director and main characters? Does it matter? No, we don’t have to be known, because it is enough that the best movie draws everyone’s attention and admiration. A best “movie” ever in history, and we have the privilege to be part of it, isn’t it glorious and satisfying?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thoughts on suffering

I am not even qualified to say that I am suffering right now. Indeed, my life is probably half of the world population desire for: opportunity to study at university, studying overseas, have enough to eat, drink, wear, stay everyday, have a whole family, being loved and cared by many people etc. However, the topic of suffering caught my attention, for no particular reasons, perhaps because seeing the world suffering in general, and seeing other people questioning God’s sovereignty in suffering.

I read a few books which talk about suffering: ‘Desiring God’ by John Piper, ‘Where is God When It Hurts?’ by Philip Yancey, and ‘Sacred Sorrow’ by Michael Card. I have not finish the books yet, I would say it is not easy to digest and comprehend the contents of the books, but this morning I came up with a few thoughts.

It goes like this:

If we Christians are to be making Christ known, then we ought to live like Christ, and share about Christ, in his fullness. In my journey with searching the meaning and purpose of suffering, this is one of my thoughts:

To magnify Christ’s glory, we must understand the depth of His love, mercy, and grace. To understand how much he love us, His mercy on us, and the grace he has given us, we need to understand what he has done for us (of course we need to know God’s holiness and justice, and other aspects of God). Only in our suffering and pain, we are able to understand what Jesus has done, and how much he has done on the cross. God plans and allows suffering in our lives, so that

1. We will understand the cost Jesus has paid, and how deep is His love. But no matter how much we suffer, there is one thing, as we put our faith in Jesus, we will never suffer: the rejection of God. For Jesus has rejected by His own Father when He was crucified, to take our punishment.

2. We will make Christ known by revealing his suffering and love in our bodies, so that people will turn to God and declare His glory.

Therefore, suffering in Christ has a purpose, but suffering without Christ is in vain. There are still other purposes of suffering, but no matter we understand or not, God is sovereign in all things, that means he has power and control in all things, and all things work for His good purpose, including the suffering of Himself in the form of Jesus, so that His glory will be revealed.

These are just my personal opinion.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My lifestory and the photocopy machine

When I was a little kid, I lived next to my grandfather’s printing factory and office, therefore I had full access to the photocopy machine there. I liked colouring, therefore I photocopied my colouring books and coloured the same pictures again and again. At mid-autumn festival, I photocopied the pictures in the colouring books and made a lantern from that.

When I went to high school, I use the photocopy machine to copy notes and other people’s homework (for reference!), and there was only one machine in the school library which is situated at the 4 floor. So it always took my whole recess time to line up and photocopy stuff. Oh, and it eats coins too, so I need to find extra coins for it (hopefully can pick some up from the floor).

After I finished high school, I went to college (and I can’t locate the photocopy machine there now). During summer holiday I went to work at an office as an officegirl. My job is to work on computers, printing, filing, stapling, and photocopying. Sometimes I stood whole day in front of the machine printing piles of documents. The more urgent it needs, the more I marked up the process. Too many times I wasted a lot of clean, white papers which is environmentally unfriendly. I’ve learnt how to find out problems with the machine, and tried to fix it if I can (since it broke down frequently).

And now I’m in uni. What should I say? There wasn’t as much problem before the old machines were being replaced. I was excited about the new machine and photocopying system, since printing is 3 cents cheaper than before, and can play with various new functions of photocopy machine. My favourite is to take out the stapler of a whole stack of documents, and put them through the feeder, and put the stapling option, and the machine will automatically staple them! However, there were too many times that I put the papers facing upside down so I was double charged to get the copies.

Today, I was excited about the photocopy machine again, went to the photocopy room, photocopied my stuffs. Then I saw a guy stood there, I thought he don’t know how to use the machine so I was being friendly to try to offer help, and he rejected me twice because he was just waiting for the ID to be authenticated.

And then, few hours later I wanted to photocopy my friend’s notes, so I went to the machine at the 2nd floor. Saw my other friend there photocopying his groupwork handwritten by his friend. I suggested he took out the stapler and put through the feeder. Well, the first time I put it upside down (the machine is different from the photocopy rooms ones and the way to put the paper is facing oppositely), then they all turned out blank. The second time, the original piece was jammed in the machine! The paper crimpled and the machine hanged. So we have to restart the machine and wait for another 5 minutes to start photocopy again. Then I left my friend because I feel that I bringing all the “bad luck” to him. Then I went back to photocopy my things, the smart photocopy machine detected the size of my material is A3, so it printed A3 size of all my documents.

I don’t know what to say, perhaps I’ll try to love photocopy machines again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Why Jesus perform miracles in selective occasions?

Why Jesus perform miracles to certain people but not everyone? Isn't it is good if everyone who prays get healed and prayers were answered so that people will believe in God?

Friday, April 27, 2007

What is God trying to say?

I had a stressful night last night, 5 people to finish 9 people’s job it just seems like forever. Dishwasher was taking his time, laid back and refuses to wash the cutleries immediately and referring customers to use plastic ones. There was no one on the till, 4 of us including the supervisor and manager, had to serve food for about 600 students. We did it eventually, and cleaned up the whole place at 9pm (we usually finish at 8pm). I was frustrated, utterly disappointed with the terrible management. The only reasons I stayed are because: 1. I feel sorry for the remaining staffs and the customers. 2. I doubted if other company would be better (since I work at a similar workplace before). 3. Since I work here for so long, at least I get back something!!!

My body was aching, my muscles were sore. I went home and took a shower. I was angry at God and everything. What should I do as a Christian? How should I feel as a Christian? Am I supposed to be meek and constantly used by people? Where is justice? How long do I have to wait? If I do not die accidentally or serious disease, I would still have at least 30 years to live on this earth. 30 years! How am I going to endure for 30 years in this fallen world with this dying flesh?

I went to bed, and could not sleep. I know my some people were trying to avoid me because they know I was going to pour out my complaints. But I didn’t, I chose to be quiet. Please do not ask me if you never intend to listen! How should I deal with my anger and frustration? Aren’t Christians supposed to be nice and gentle? I don’t care about my image! I just need a break! Would my friends listen? Even they do, will they understand? How about my parents? From my past experience, they would just tell me to accept the fact and get over it. How about God? Is he listening? I know my suffering is nothing compared to Jesus’s death on the cross, but everything seemed vague and unreal. Does he care?

Then I listen to the radio, hope the music could calm down my angry soul. I turned to one radio station with old hymns. First song I listened is ‘Be Still for the presence of the Lord, He’s moving in this place’. Okay, then a series of beautiful hymns just came through, show me how beautiful Jesus is. Then is my mum’s favourite song ‘Olives That Have Known No Pressure’, my tears just falling and feel amazing sense of comfort. No big scripture words, no shouting voices, just a gentle music whispering God’s beauty overwhelmed me.

This morning I was determined to go to my lecture, however I sacrificed my devotional time to make my lunch and eat breakfast. I went to the bus stop and wait, but the bus never came. The girl sat beside me kindly asked me if I need a ride to Massey from her. Then I went with her. Because of the road works, the car was stucked in the traffic for half an hour, so I was late. It was shocking to find out I was the second student to attend the class, because everyone else was preparing for their semester test. The lecturer decided to re-scheduled the lecture. Well ya, I was kind of wasting my whole morning.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat
- for he grants sleep to those he loves.
~Psalm 127:1~2

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Last Samurai

Finally, I got the chance to watch the movie “The Last Samurai”. Because I missed it when it was newly released, I never get the chance to watch it. Prompted by heart to see the beauty of Mount Taranaki through the film, I rented the DVD. I love the movie. It is one of the few movies that touched my heart and make me think through the scenes again and again. Watching it from a Christian perspective, I believed God reminds me a few things.

Loyalty – the Samurais are extremely loyal to the Emperor of Japan. Indeed, the word “Samurai” means to serve. All their life is fully devoted to protect the emperor, pouring out their lives to serve their king, with no reserve. Regardless the weakness and compromise of the emperor who bowed down to the Western forces, the Samurai leader Katsumoto never give up convincing the emperor to preserve the nation. On the other hand, the Samurais are very humble. They always consider themselves lower than the emperor, no matter what. They are clear about their role, their position, and their destiny. What do we Christians should learn from here?

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Compared to the loyalty of Samurais toward their emperor, are we loyal enough to our God? How is Jesus setting His example for us?

Discipline – Samurai’s great discipline and devotion to their lives had put me to shame.

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:25 ~27

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 2 Tim 2:5”

How should we exercise discipline in our lives so that we might please God?

Compassion – Katsumoto had compassion on Nathan, saved His life, even though he killed his son-in-law. Our sin and rebellion has violated God’s holiness, making us the enemy of God, yet He still willing to reconcile with us, and sent His only Son Jesus Christ to pay the costly price.

Are we able to show deep compassion even to people who we don’t like?

Courage/ Fearlessness – The Samurais fearlessly fought the battle, denying themselves, and fully commit themselves till the end, even they know they are going to die. Death is the end of their lives, yet they still fought for it. We have hope in eternal life, and we already have the victory through Christ.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. 1 Tim 1:18~19

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4~5

There is warfare for us to fight, for this world is hostile to us. However, through Christ we are certain that we will defeat the world, so how much more we ought to fight for holding our faith!

Single-minded – Remember in one scene Nathan was defeated because he had “too many minds”, only being single-minded and fully focus, he can defeat his enemy.

“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 2 Tim 2:4”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1~2

Self sacrificial – The Samurais sacrifice their own lives in order to carry out their duty. In the end, the leader Katsumoto sacrificed his own life in order to show his loyalty to the emperor and won many respects.

Conversion of Nathan – What makes Nathan turned back from the American strong army force to his enemy Samurais? Katsumoto saved his life, and Taka, the widow whom her husband killed by Nathan, not only forgave Nathan, but also treat him well. The love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness have completely transformed Nathan. Similarly, if we realised that our sinfulness deserve punishment from God, yet He still chose to forgive us and have mercy on us. Will we still live our own way, serve our own appetites and the world?

Conversion of the soldiers – in the end when leader Katsumoto died, the soldiers were touched by the acts of the Samurais. Katsumoto’s great integrity and loyalty to the emperor, even willing to die, had won the respect from his enemies. How about Jesus, he died for us on the cross! Even we were foolish and did not understand it. How should we respond to His love? The rejoicing truth is, Jesus is not just a human like Katsumoto who will never live again, but Jesus has risen indeed! We wept for Jesus’s death for our sins, how much more we should rejoice for His resurrection!

There is still a lot more thoughts in my mind, such as the liberation of Nathan from the trauma of his awful deeds in the past. We need to realise how awful our sins and rebellion are in God’s eyes, and by knowing the truth, we will be set free. John 8:31~32

Again I re-evaluate my life, it is nothing compare to the Samurais, so as to Paul. I am glad that I have the hope in Christ. It is so encouraging that my King is the strongest, supreme, and Most High, He is not the weak emperor that the Samurais serve. And I am glad that I do not have to fight the battle by my own, but Jesus has done everything that I am not capable to, and make it possible for me to win the battle. He speaks to me through his Word, teach me and guide me by it. He gave me His Spirit, to help me to understand His word and fight the battle. He even gives me the victory, through His death on the cross, so that I will never suffer in vain. If Katsumoto’s devotion and sacrifice has won many respects, how much should I give my life to Jesus my Lord, Saviour, and King!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Camp 2007 was Awesome!

Easter camp 2007 was finally over. Yes indeed I was stressed out at times because I was in charge of the food department. For the first time I cooked for 70-100 people!!! It was crazy because the people just kept eating eating and eating and finished all the food!!! Anyway, God was faithful to me. He is faithful all the time indeed. From my weaknesses and imperfection God has shown His power. Instead of working and planning by my own might and strength, He brought all people to help me, complement my weaknesses, to accomplish His work. Therefore, I have nothing to boast of, if Christ is not working within me and among His people, everything will be failed badly. So I must praise Him, give thanks to Him, and give all the glory to Him!

Overall, camp was awesome. Again I tasted a little bit of the heaven, had so much fun and joy with my fellow brothers and sisters. Many people who had never heard the gospel before heard it and wanted to know more. They took almost all the Bibles that we can give and even keen to start a new Christian group at their town! Some people who were not Christians in the past Easter camps had grown so much and more Christlike! There is nothing more rejoicing than seeing people walking in the truth! Again I praise God, for His love, mercy and faithfulness upon us! I am completely overwhelmed with joy.

Of course, I get to know the brothers and sisters that I had already knew better. We served together; work together, shared together, and chatted together. They gave me so much encouragement when I was stressed, and helped me selflessly when I need, they did not complain even when the food was yucky!!! O how I wish I can enjoy this forever! Everyone was sad when they realised the camp was over, it was too short. Indeed, we are designed to enjoy God and His people forever. Of course, it was too short! Do not worry, one day we will gather once again, and sing praises to our God hand in hand forever!!!

Oh ya, for those who went to camp and had “In Christ Alone” stucked in their head, can listen to this song from this page. Hehe…

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I miss home. Never felt this homesick until today after the first few months of my first arrive in this country. I realised how much blessed I was in Malaysia, “spoiled” by the love, care and protection from my family, and being so abundant. For my parents, I am so important to them that they have given me all the best things. I felt more ‘important’ there: the children in my workplace loves me and respects me, my workmates like me, my parents pampered me, my brother obeys me, and my friends treasured me. Everything was familiar to me back home, and I kind of fit in the social expectation there. I enjoyed the weather, the food, the entertainment, and the environment there. I can speak the languages that everyone can understand without difficulty. I have the same skin colour as everyone else; I enjoyed what people enjoy there. I ‘belong’ to there – because it is my home. Just because I had ‘tasted’ what I considered ‘the best’, somehow I feel not satisfy with what I have at the moment.

Shift the focus from me to Jesus, how did he felt when he left God and incarnated into a weak human being? It must be very frustrated that he had given up all his power, authority, and glory. He must felt very lonely indeed, especially in the wilderness, he was tested all ways by the devil. The degree of difference between Jesus owns EVERYTHING and became NOTHING must be much bigger than the difference of the times in my life when I was abundant and poor. I remembered my teacher in high school told us that the saddest thing is not that we always have nothing, but is that we had everything before, and lost it all. It’s like Job, he was a very rich man, and has seven sons and three daughters. He possessed many animals (properties), and has many servants; he was considered the greatest of all the people of the east. But later on, everything was taken away from him, even his own health. How did he feel, when he lost everything? Will you and I ever understand/comprehend the degree of pain and suffering he went through? How about Jesus? He was the Son of God, he was above everything, possessed everything, and yet became nothing! He even suffered and died on the cross! The bible clearly indicates that Jesus indeed being in an agony and prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground! I would say that we will never understand how much he had suffered and went through until we truly see what He has (or rather who he is) in the heaven!

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

This is what I ought to learn from Paul, to be able to rejoice and content by gaining strength from Christ all the time. I have to believe that Jesus loves me and accepted me, and will give me the best thing in the universe – God Himself and enjoy him forever. If only I can fully believe and recognise that, I will do whatever I can to persevere and wait upon Jesus!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This is a selfish world.

As I read through the required text for marketing paper, I pondered upon some issues that I’ve been facing at work. The book author suggested that people are basically selfish – it is a part of human nature. “This selfishness, though hidden, is present in all human activity (particularly employers), is necessary in order to survive and is not automatically ‘bad’. The idea strikes me especially when he mentioned the reality is all employers run on selfishness. He speaks out exactly how I feel: ‘My employer doesn’t really care for the customers the way I do. They just selfishly want to gain profit. So, why should I help them?’ On the other hand, the manager might think: “These selfish employees! All they want is more money and less work. Why should I be interested in listening to them?” (taken from When Customers think we don’t care: 2nd edition of the enemy within by Richard W. Buchanan) In the end, everyone is not happy with each other, instead of doing their best, they just perform minimal duty and give minimal reward (wages).

I guess this is the root problem of the dilemma: human nature of selfishness. That doesn’t meant that I agree with everything the book says, just that I admit selfishness is part of our fallen nature. The bible says, do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2) And the rest of the passage describes Jesus’s example of humility. Jesus doesn’t wants us to be selfish.

I’m so used to the community of committed Christians that everyone is usually selfless and striving to apply biblical principles in their lives: love one another, forgive one another, for Christ first loved us, and laid down His life for our sins. I feel comfortable working with them, partnering with them in the work of the gospel, and serve the Lord. However, I didn’t realise that in the “real world”, it is different. People generally are selfish; people are not living under the grace of God. Therefore I shouldn’t assume that everyone is selfless and work the same way as Christ’s followers do.

I came back from work everytime almost in tears. I am full of anger, resentment, due to the unfair treatment, unrewarding experience (other than wages) and exhaustion from work. I couldn’t stop myself from complaining about everyone. I found it so hard to accept the way people are. The challenge for me is: will I able to give my best into work and serve cheerfully even in difficult, unmotivated, selfish environment? In fact, I should not expect to live in Christian circles throughout my life, even Christians can be very selfish, because the Kingdom of God is yet to come! Therefore, by what principles should I live on? Should I automatically assume that everyone is selfish and I myself become selfish as well in order to fit in and survive? Should I work for the sake of money only so that I could feel better?

In Romans 12:1-6 says, I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I turned to Ephesians 6:5 – slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

The keypoint is here: serve and please the Lord, not the man. The next verse: knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. It is funny that my motivation to work is still selfish: to receive back from the Lord! Indeed, I am selfish! But it is better to seek reward from the Lord than man.

Last verse to encourage myself and whoever experiences the same kind of suffering: But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

In the end, all these things will soon become past, and the only thing that remained is my character: the spirit that sanctified by God. I will see God, with my own eyes. When I cling to that hope, the present sufferings doesn’t really matter anymore.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Easter Camp 2007

Organised by PNOCF & WICF

40 Hour Famine

Give Basics Give Life! Sponsor me on 40 Hour famine on my website. Help the children!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Reasons Believers in Christ Need Not to Be Afraid

Spiritual Immunity

We knew that in order to prevent sickness we need to strengthen our immune system daily through getting enough rest, drink plenty of water, and eat nutritious foods. When we do not take care ourselves properly, our immune system will be weakened, eventually collapsed and we get sick. I believe that our emotional and spiritual health works the same way too. When I do not seek rest and gradually losing joy and peace in God, I get very tired and weary. In the end, I found it more difficult to resist temptations and spiritual attacks. I feel more difficult to control my temper, easily get depressed and less patience. The most critical thing is, I found it difficult to pray and read (or meditate) the Scripture.

I do not know what is the most effective way to maintain this “spiritual immunity”. At the moment, I found constant prayers (to be in the presence of God) and worship (do things for God’s glory and honour God) helpful. In that way, I can be reminded of God’s grace and the gospel thus gives me hope and joy so that I can draw strength from it.

Just to share a few Scripture verses:

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is your strength.

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen.

Don’t know if these verses are appropriate in this context. Anyway, I think the vitamins to be prescribed for spiritual immunity are: grace of Jesus, joy of the Lord, hope for the Lord, love of Christ, and power of Holy Spirit. In one word: God!

Does it make sense?

Monday, February 26, 2007

My first assignment is about the sensory physiology of the migration of wildebeest. How interesting is that…

Sunday, February 25, 2007

No one is more worthy of Praise than my God

Finally my summer holiday ends. It has been wonderful that I’ve seen how much God has blessed me in my life. I have an awesome family who loves me and supports me so much, and I have my second family here – more than OCF, actually I describe it as a family of Christian students. God has answered my prayers; I was worrying about finding a place to stay in Palmy while I was in Malaysia. My heart is constantly wrestling about worry or not to worry. Should I try my best to look for a flat? Or leave it to God? I tried look for flat through internet, but I hardly can do anything: I couldn’t visit the flat by myself, I do not know who are my flatmates and how would they be like. Then I prayed to God. In the past, when I pray, I just submitted everything to God, and let Him decide everything for me. But this time, don’t know why, I listed my requirements of the flat that I want to: I want Christian flatmates (its best if I know them), I want a somewhat nice flat (not those old, dirty and spooky ones), I want the flat in a good location (better close to town), and of course reasonable rate and furniture included. Well, sounds very choosy, but guess what, God gave them all to me! Even much better than I expected! Now I’m living in a double-storey recently painted house, with 3 big bedrooms, 1 big kitchen, dining room, and a big lounge. I got all my furniture for free, all the electronic stuffs like washing machine, fridge, microwave are provided by generous friends, and the most important: awesome flatmates! One of them works with international student ministry, she is a Chinese Malaysian, another one is the leader of teachers college Christian group, and my good friend! I’m actually planning a mission trip to Taiwan end of this year with her. How awesome is this! God is extremely patient, loving, caring and faithful to me, what else can I ask for?

BESIDES, before this morning I was actually doubting if I should do church hopping as I wasn’t sure if my current church is right for me. I do not know exactly what I expect from church, but I know something was missing there, in the church which I always go to. However, this morning I went there again, and I was overwhelmed! This morning is a special service combined with Chinese congregation, when we start singing worshipping the Lord, my heart was melted! Something missing has come back into my heart! The worship reminded me of childhood, during the early times that I started knowing God and worship God as a family and community in my hometown. I guess maybe it was because of the bilingual service that was so similar to my church back home. However, it is more than that, the strong force of God presence has swept me over and over, I can feel the power of the Holy Spirit entered me, and when the new pastors started to share their testimony, I could not control myself anymore, my tears just keep falling down and I was so overwhelming with joy. I do not experience this often, the last time I was like this was the day of my baptism. At that time, that was the tears of repentance, I cried because I recognised how sinful I was, and by grace God has forgiven me through Jesus Christ. But now is different, this is the tears of joy. As I am working out what does it meant by being a joyful Christian and glorify God, the Spirit has touched me. I feel so much joy in my heart that no words can describe. It is different than happy, it is a deep, heavy, hearty feeling of thankfulness and happiness I describe as true joy! I was so happy that God has sent two pastors to the church, and they are so humble and truly love and wants to serve the community. I just want to be involved in this church, and grow and serve under the leadership of one or both pastors. I can see much hope and potential in the growth of the church, both spiritual growth and growth of community. My conclusion for the day is: even we do not deserve to request God for anything, He still wants us to ask Him, and He will provide, and provide generously, abundantly. What God ask from us, is just submission, honour, and love for Him, so that His glory can be displayed. Who else is more worthy our treasure other than the only living Almighty God who gives us His only Son?

I am excited! I can’t wait to see what amazing thing God will do next.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The beauty of God is displayed where nature is preserved. Open your eyes you’ll see the beauty of creation, open your hearts and you’ll see the glory of God.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Visit Malacca

The welcoming of the great giant lizard of the Malacca river
Stadhuys and Christ Church Malacca

Hokkien association

Negeri Sembilan

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Floral Fest Malaysia

Here is some of the photos taken at floral parade at Putrajaya at yesterday morning.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Some photos from Kuantan trip

I went to Kuantan for trip with my mother and her colleagues. Here is some pictures for you to have a brief look of Malaysia's beauty.

Tupai - a kind of squirrel at Orang Asli's village
Orang Asli's village
Gua Charas
Sungai Pandan Waterfall
Teluk Cempedak