Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Impression Vietnam: Highlights

13 days in Vietnam is just nice, though it would be better if we have another day in Dalat. ;p Did a lot of online research beforehand, yet I did not know what to expect in Vietnam. Overall it was an awesome and memorable trip, first is the people whom I travel with, my parents, the people whom we met all the way, the rich culture, wonderful sceneries, and yummy delicacies. For me it is the first time I really travel a 'real' South East Asian country outside Malaysia (no Singapore is not SEA at all, haha). Due to it's unique historical and political background, Vietnam is almost different than anywhere I have been too. Firstly, I have never seen a McDonalds, Starbucks, 7 Eleven, or Watsons throughout Vietnam (Yes, believe me it's true. There's KFC tho). Secondly, hardly anyone speaks English here other than tour guides and hotel staff, even people in the airport has zero english. Thirdly, no traffic rules here (yeah!).

I was expecting Halong Bay a lot but maybe because of the weather it didn't impress me as much.

Most locals and myself prefer Tam Coc Bich Dong in Ninh Binh (Also known as Halong Bay on land).

Every place is unique in itself, has its own culture, food and sceneries.

Lao Chai Village - Sapa

Bac Ha Market

My Son Sanctuary


Tortoise Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake - Hanoi

Chua Ong, Hoi An

Nha Trang Beach

Notre Dam Cathedral - Saigon

One thing that makes Vietnam memorable is the friendship. The common language shared between human of all kinds is a simple smile and simple act of kindness. Love Vietnam, will miss you always.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Some updates

After sitting at home for 'n' days today I managed to meet up with couple of high school mates. Good times watching movie, eating together and sharing each other's stories and recalling high school life. Small surprises such as exchanging souvenirs bought from foreign countries, reading high school class magazine... like going back to the time where we were still young and innocent, even can't bear to read the message I wrote to my friend during high school! However, the sad news was that one of my classmate died of leukemia a few years ago. He wasn't my best friend, but we were in the same class for a few years, and we sat next to each other, always quarrel but sometimes we talked in peace like friends. It's just hard to accept the fact that he is gone, reminding me of how fragile life is.

I wish I can socialise more in Kuala Lumpur. One of the biggest reason I want to stay here is that there are people whom I treasure never heard about Gospel. I want them to know, I want them to enjoy the privilege of knowing God and enjoying Him forever... I don't know the easy way, and it seems that I keep failing it, but I'm sure one day He will use me.

I'm having some emotional moments now, missing my friends all over the world, mainly New Zealand, Singapore, and some in Indonesia, the Netherlands, China, USA, Australia, London, Norway, Japan... I shared about New Zealand with my friends today, realising how much I miss the life in New Zealand, especially Palmy and Te Anau. Still feeling the leftover pain of leaving NZ, even after almost 2 years now, yet I can't bear to leave here again. I'm love Asia, I feel I'm belong here.

Am looking forward to the trip to Vietnam next month, experiencing more Asia. Yes, there are inequalities, frauds, scams and corruptions everywhere in South East Asia, but there are also sincere friendships, irreplacable cultural heritage, nourishing delicacies, and... life dynamics. Things are just interesting, seeing how different people striving to survive in their own places in their own ways...
I learnt that I'm not too much different from everyone else here, there are many people same age as me likes to travel, hiking, learning to use DSLR, working holiday and having trouble looking for their ideal job. Maybe this is the generation Y, where we need fun constantly, get bored easily, impatient, independent and insecure.

At this moment I wished I'm in Singapore, hang out with my friends, eating nice soto down the street, or watching a nice jazz performance, accompanied by a good wine and some cheese... hehe
No reply from job application to Vietnam yet, so am constantly checking local job sites. Two options: 1. Freelancer, taking projects/contract work like conduct food and nutrition training and consultancy, maybe do some network marketing as part time, and actively serve the new church ministry. 2. Find a job and go back to work in Singapore. Which one is better? I don't know. Unrealistic options such as serving full time in ministry, or working for NGO, or professional nutrition company in KL are ideal, if anything will happen.

May the Lord take charge of my life and stops me from wasting my life further. May I carry the cross and live up the purpose given by Him daily. May His love sustains me and strengthens me during weak times. May He bless my friends and family especially those who yet believe in Him. Amen.

Friday, November 13, 2009

KL-Bandung-Singapore


It has been a while since I last blog, therefore I hope my writing isn't too bad here. Last Thursday 5/11 I went to Bandung, Indonesia to attend a wedding. I was annoyed at first on Thursday morning, because Air Asia has re-scheduled my pre-booked flight from 9am to 8:30pm, therefore I lost a day in Bandung. Since I have known this bunch of Indonesian friends, mainly from Bandung in Singapore, I always wanted to visit their hometown. They are so proud of their food, weather, culture, factory outlets etc. It was a pleasant visit, had a lot of surprises and amazement, only not having enough time to visit more places in Bandung. Bandung airport was small, reminds me of Palmerston North International Airport, first thing I realised was the cooling yet not too cold breeze when stepped out from the aircraft, I knew I'll love the weather, and everything else. They dragged my luggage, and custom officer requested to open and search my suitcase, so I did, thank God everything went well. The crowd cramps the arrival exit, then I saw a familiar face among them, my friend and her brother came to pick me up. Another impression of Bandung is that there is lack of lighting at night, it's darker compared to KL and Singapore, yet I liked the lower light condition in which reduces light pollution/noise. Didn't have dinner before I board the plane, so we went to hypersquare food court to grab some local delicacies: Sate, Otak-otak, lumpia, pempek...


and a fresh squeeze of fruit punch. Had some trouble looking for the place I stay initially, but was overwhelmingly pleased by the beautiful spacious house which I was staying in, don't forget to mention two friendly and super helpful embak.

Second day morning, I met the grandma in the house. She was a bit shy at first but since I can speak in Mandarin we started talking in Mandarin about our lives and our countries. The older generation of Chinese Indonesian still can speak some Chinese, mainly Hokkien and Mandarin, yet due to government's effort of ridding Chinese culture in Indonesia, they were forced to changed their names to Indonesian names, speaking Indonesian, and not allowed to celebrate Chinese festivals. Therefore, to the friends at my age, I usually speak English and slowly learn to understand and speak Indo.
After my friend's dad came to pick me up, we went to the salon (as I requested cos I never cut my hair since June/July!). It was a flash salon recommended by my friend's mum. I didn't really used to the luxury but since I was there I told myself just to enjoy as much as I can! Normally I only spend minimum on haircut, usually just cut, no wash, treatment or blow dry. Yet this time they did all to me! I liked the boss's and her staff's way of doing things "seriously" or "perfectly" even took longer time, unlike the hairdressers I experienced in Malaysia had mediocre attitude. I was feeling bad letting everyone waiting for me though, I thought just a quick haircut... Even things didn't turned out as I expected, the haircut was great, I had problem communicate with the staff since I don't speak Indo, so I just totally "put my head into their hands", let them do whatever they think is nice.

Shopping was great in Bandung, I couldn't see why it can't be famous of factory outlet shopping. Almost everywhere in Bandung you can see factory outlets selling clothings, bags and accessories. I thought it's just "normal" brand like Giordano or Hang Ten sort of level, but I was surprise to see Armani, Burberry, Gucci, Guess, CK, Zara, MNG, Roxy... all sorts of fancy brands you just name it! Price of clothings ranges from about 50 000 to 200 000 rupiah (SGD5-30 roughly!) , compared to SGD50-200 in Singapore shops those were considered very cheap. Loved the patterns too, can't really get those in KL. So I spent about 1 million within couple of hours in Jalan Riau!

Another feature in Bandung is Chihampelas Walk, with plenty brand/trademark infringements along the street, it's just interesting, like Movie World! You can see Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, Rambo, Tarzan, Aladdin... on the shops, nice! Too bad we didn't have enough time to really walk the street. We had Sundanese food for "lunner" just opposite Novotel. It was challenging to cross the four lanes road with constant moving cars and motorbikes, one thing we need to do is to raise our arms and stop the car from hitting ourselves. It was the first time I had tried Sundanese food, they ordered some rice with various small dishes like chicken, beef lungs, mushroom, lele (catfish) and lots of fresh leafy greens! I reckon it was the best meal I had in Bandung, eating with fingers just make everything tastes better.

Evening we had dinner at Sierra Cafe with a nice view of whole Bandung from hilltop. Nice ambience with live singers, great food mainly Western like steak but also include local food like Balinese rice set. Cool breeze, candlelight, nice music, great view, awesome crowd. :)
Saturday was the wedding day, therefore pretty much no time for sightseeing or shopping. In the morning we had choir practice for the holy matrimony ceremony and Sunday service. We had authentic Indonesian lunch at Micasa, tried Balinese chicken, tahu opor, gado gado, coconut, chendol, alpukat (avocado) dessert...

At 1pm was the lovely wedding service in a medium size church. It was a simple yet grand, God honoring yet heart warming wedding. Nice to see the bride whom I never saw since she left Singapore few months ago, then first time meeting the groom. I agreed with my friend saying that without a church wedding, without honoring God in marriage, it's like an incomplete wedding, missing out something most important...

Then we went for the reception at night, and church service on Sunday morning, my first choir performance. On Sunday I flew back with most of the friends who need to go back to work on Monday in Singapore. Went for a wonderful concert by Vienna Boys Choir in Esplanade on Sunday evening. A weekend full with musicals and parties, I will always remember those joyful moments, because they give me strength to carry on and move on in life.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

人生苦短 Early mid life crisis

我的人生,难道在23岁就结束了吗?明年就24了,人生还是一无所成。当年迷信自己的实力,相信自己一定会有个成功的人生。今年还没,也许时机未到,等明年吧,这样年复一年,才发现自己又回到当初的原点,裹足不前。打拼好吗?自己的努力一定会得到回馈吗?付出好吗?一定会有收获吗?成功好吗?成功不会有失败的一天吗?只有为神而活,才不会白费宝贵的人生。然而,神的旨意为何呢?倘若神让我有选择,我选择什么呢?我宁愿自己没有选择,但实在不想再受到欺负,可世态炎凉,人心险恶,我能相信谁呢?谁会珍惜我的真心呢?不想和人斗,也无力与人斗,所以自己仍然躲在家里,远离伤害。我也许不能成功,但我能把风险降到最低。可这又有什么意义呢?

Will my life end in year 23? I'll be 24 next year, yet I achieved nothing. I believed in my capabilities, I believed that I can be a successful person and have a great life in earlier time. If not this year, perhaps next year I'll do something incredible. Year after year, life is still the same. Nothing has been done, I returned to the beginning, point of zero. Will my hardwork definitely be rewarded? Will my givings be returned? Will failure never come after success? I knew that to not waste life is to live for God. But what does God wants me to do? If God has given me freedom of choices, what should I choose? Sometimes I rather have no choice, yet I'm tired of competitions, cause the world is a jungle, the arena to fight for survival. Therefore I'm still sitting at home, away from harm. Perhaps I will never succeed, but I can minimise the risk, but is there any meaning to any of these?

Monday, October 19, 2009

I love my hummus


I always wanted to make my own hummus, because it is not easy to get here and the imported ones are quite expensive. After gathering my basic ingredients, yesterday I finally put my thoughts into action. It is so yummy having it with prata or any bread. The following are my ingredients:

Dried chickpeas (Soaked overnight and boiled in water with a pinch of salt for over 1 hour)
Few cloves of garlic
Fresh lime juice (can't find lemon)
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

Another variation was added
Black Sesame Powder (got it from Daiso, cheaper than tahini)
Dried parsley

Blend the ingredients together with some water (I use the one from boiling chickpeas to optimise the nutrition). :)

The 'real' hummus includes lemon juice, tahini, and some cumin or paprika.

Can try it at home, it's a healthier substitute for fat or sugar based spreads. Try it with baked pita or baked tortilla chips (I'm yet to try). Enjoy. :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

God is good

Recently I have been trying to calm my emotions and thoughts and review my life and relationship with God and others. It's good that I have been away from home and start thinking on my own. Firstly, I have to be honest that I have not been spending enough quality time with the Lord. Although I struggle every morning whether to do quiet time or not, mostly I either gave into other activities or I simply unable to focus on the Word. I came to Singapore purposely for KKR revival meeting. Deep inside me know strongly that I have to come here because I am no longer discipline enough to go near the Lord. Therefore, I sacrificed the celebration of mid-autumn festival with my parents for this event because I knew the Lord wants me to be here. It's good to see my friends and people from the church again. I feel like a 'prodigal son', that I have not done anything nor offer any kind of physical help towards the success of KKR event, yet they still welcomed me as if I had done something great. I feel much humbled by everyone here, by their devotion and commitment to the Lord's work.
Secondly, I decided to move on. I knew I should not stop at this point for too long because time doesn't wait, I will become old, and I will pass away some day, or the world will fade away. How much time I have on earth to serve the Lord? How much time I have to serve the people I love? How much time I have to contribute to the society and to show the goodness of the Lord? It came to my mind that I should accept the F&B project offered recently and plans and ideas began floating in my mind because this is something I have to contribute to help people and spend time meaningfully.
Thirdly, I need to quiet my heart and identify my sins. I had no courage to face my own problems and fears therefore I looked for something to do and ignored them. Yet it was always there and it bothered me since then. I am very cautious about my travelling dreams as they can be idolised easily and distract me from carrying out God's plans. My excuse was God didn't tell me what to do so I should follow my own ambitions!
Read the book of Phillippians last night, it's always the lesson for me:
to have confidence in God that he who began the good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (1:5),
to live is Christ, to die is gain (1:21),
conduct myself in the manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (1:27),
do nothing out of selfish ambition but in humility consider others better than myself (2:3),
to be humble and obedient like Jesus (2:8), do everything without complaining or arguing (2:14),
Rejoice in the Lord always (4:4)
Think positive: whatever is true, noble, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (4:8)
Be content in all circumstances, because it is possible through the Lord who gives me strength (4:12-13)
Remember, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Then my spiritual door suddenly widened, and I can feel the peace of God channeled into my heart. And the connection with God rebuilt in the quietness of prayer. Joy cannot be found, it can only be enjoyed in knowing God.
Lord, may you rid the pride, self-pity, selfish ambitions, fears and judgments in my heart. You did not gave me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self discipline. I must strengthen my weak knees, and lift up my drooping hands, and continue to walk with you, and fight with you. You are always near, never sleep nor slumber, you are all powerful, all knowing and all present. I long to see you with my own eyes, but I do not want to be filled with regrets. Fill me, guide me, lead me, use me, walk beside me, you are the potter, I am the clay. May I take part in your redemption work and enjoy you forever. In Christ's holy name, Amen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Knot

How do I explain/demonstrate the reality of God without being sound contradictory to myself? In fact I am always contradicting my belief. I know that God is real, He has been doing wonderful things in my life, and He will do more later. But how do I defend myself when people ask me why I am doing what I am doing now? How do I tell people that greatest joy can only be found in God while I'm not appearing happy to others? How do I recommend a good product for others if I don't enjoy using it myself? My heart is pounding everytime I see or hear people chasing after worldly things in vain, I want to tell them that God loves them and it is the best thing to know God, but what's in my life to prove that God is good? I have faith that God is the best, but I have no faith in myself that I will not ruin the conversation/ the image of God which I portray to others in speech and way of life. I have deep compassion for the people around me who do not know God, I am eager to tell them, but I'm afraid that I will say the wrong thing and make things worse. It hurts me back when I feel helpless in doing nothing in sharing with them about the good news.
God, I love you, but I can't prove it/bring it to action, am I a failure? Lord, my life is a failure to most, which brings no glory to your name. How I can make myself successful (means happy and enjoying You and knowing my purpose) and show others that Christianity works?
I don't know how to live my life, I just feel that I cannot go on. Some things need to be resolved in me, but how? and who can help me to identify and overcome them?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home

Finally I'm back in Kuala Lumpur, my home. Nothing is better than home, so comfortable, so hassle-free, pretty much. Still, I am having my European dream. During the day everything is ok, but when I try to close my eyes and sleep, things floating in my mind. What about God's will? What about my family and friends? What about my degree? What about my phone and internet accounts in Singapore? What about... too many what ifs and what abouts... worries. Is my faith too small to trust that God cares and doing something in my life? Yet I can't figure out what is the next step, and I don't have the energy to do so. Rest... and rest... until I find out the answer.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tour Route

Possible route plan:

Frankfurt - Cologne - Utrecht - Amsterdam - Hannover - Bremen - Hamburg -Berlin - Leipzig - Dresden - Prague - Vienna - Salzburg - Garmisch - Lindau - Freiburg - Heidelburg - Rudesheim - Frankfurt

in 21 days (Eurail)!

Possible?

"Intoxicated" by Europe

My heart is confused again, burning with flames going to Europe. This is a dream I have since I learnt about fairytales and the world map. Flight to Frankfurt less than SGD1000, September best time to travel, no job, has some savings just enough for a month, friends there, less than 25 years old. If not now, when is the best time to travel? I feel so complex, how about my cafe business? How about my family? How about God? Will they bless me? What about my back, will my backache suddenly vanish and supports 20kg for 30 days? How about my sleep? Will I able to sleep well whenever I go? How? How? How? Why am I always putting myself in this position? Is this godly? How to be godly in this situation? How to listen? How do I know where God is leading me? Ah... too hard lah...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Justify Full

Feeling complex right now. Tomorrow is my last day of work. I don't know how to conclude. I even doubt whether I have made the right decision. When I look at myself in a third person position, I am shocked that how can a person so contradicting to herself?

There are two worlds, two kinds of people in my life. They are the same in nature, they are humans, normal people, but they have different personalities. I grouped them into two because I can relate well to one group, but cannot relate to the other group at all. I do not know whether I tried to pretend or tried to be someone else to please everyone, until I do not know who I am anymore. I feel like a solar energy activated device, like a calculator, only works under light, but useless in darkness. Or a laptop without battery, completely rely on the power input from the wire cable. I feel 'normal' when I am being with Godly, Christian friends, yet when I am within the world, I lost my light and saltiness, I feel dead. Why is it? I tried to remember the bible and God's goodness but my memory is just so bad. I can only remember things which are related to things happening at the moment or things completely unrelated at all, but cannot remember the things which really matters.

How do I conclude my current job? On one hand I feel that I had done my best, and I solved a lot of problems and made things straight, I helped whenever I can, tried to be a good worker in God's and people's sight, and I had contributed some useful ideas and input to the department. Yet on the other hand, I feel completely useless. After talking to my colleagues, I feel that my presence had brought a lot of trouble to the department, and everyone had tried to help me yet I still could not ''get myself up'' to do the things I suppose to do. The worst thing is my mouth. Even how hard I tried to guard my mouth still I said a lot of things I'm not supposed to said to people I'm not supposed telling to. I don't know when is the right time to speak, when is the right time to remain silent. In fact, I always do the opposite, that's maybe why I got myself into a dilemma. One side of me feels strongly to stay and make a difference in the workplace, prove myself right. The other side of me strongly feel that I am wasting my life, this is not the path I destined to walk, there are something else out there for me to discover and accomplish. I think, other than personality clashes and cultural differences at work, I am torn inside my inmost being as well.

I can repent and sing God's song for a moment. Yet another time complaining about other people and everything. I hate myself for so divided. I can be simple, one heart, purely worshiping God for a moment, and the next moment I feel self pity and ashamed for myself, but thinking others are not much better. How evil I am! Or I can laugh and celebrating my freedom from all these commitments and bondages, but at the same time sad and disappointed with myself for being irresponsible and unable to endure and commit to make a difference? Between myself, people, a dream, and God, whom/which do I really really live for? Sometimes I live for myself, sometimes I live for my family, sometimes I live for someone whom I admire, sometimes I live for my dream, sometimes I live for God. I 'vowed' to God at some points of life that I will believe in Him and love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength. I do, when I remember. But when I forget, I don't know who I lived for. Does it meant that I do not love God enough? Maybe I don't, because I am not capable to, I am an emotionally handicapped person, I have problem loving others. Even I do, I'm unable to love with all my being all the time, but only fragments of time.

My heart can tell me to serve God and love Him and do His Will, but my heart will tell me to follow my dreams, for youth is God-given and short-lived, and I should enjoy the most while I can. My rationale is telling me that I should deny myself, do something meaningful even it will cost my youth and dreams. Will God give me a dream and through this dream I can serve His Kingdom? Or will God give me something seems impossible to do, to test my obedience and devotion to Him, then later on only reveal the fruits? How open should I open myself to God? It will be better for Him to limit down the options so that I can choose carefully and correctly, the road which leads to something which has everlasting value.

How can I love God and try not to talk about Him at the same time? How can I love God and pretend I don't pray before I eat? Why do I pretend as if there is no God in my life? How can I do that? Why do I know I need to submit to authorities but still crossing red lights? At the very moment I was doing it I was thinking over it as well, my will is strong but not strong enough to change my actions. As if my brain, my four limbs, my mouth, my ears, my eyes, all working on their own, like government hospital. I have less and less sense of 'control' in at own body, work, and life itself.

I just want to be simple. Even I pride but hate about myself at the same time. Do I love myself? Which type of love? Narcissism? Or love myself as a temple of Christ?

Lord, I had failed you many many times, too many until I am too ashamed to ask for you acceptance again. Look at the horrible me and the unquenchable longings I have, there is no other place for answer except one thing: "Unconditional Love" which only can be found in Jesus Christ. The Law fails, I hate the laws, everyone is trying to be judges and placing judgement on every single person they met. Even a world can run 'smoothly' under man made laws, it is meaningless. For what? If it is not to protect weak and poor, and bring justice for the victims, to protect people from getting hurt, what is the law for? Law is law. Law is dead. There is nothing wrong to cover our own 'backsides', therefore directly or indirectly is blame is pushed to others, but someone has to bear the blame, and be punished. Love is different. Something Singaporeans has a lot to learn for. Love is patient, love is kind, love is when someone go volunteer himself and take up the blame and punished for other's 'sins'. But the problem is, after the person is free from punishment, he goes on and goes on doing that same thing and making others to absorb his blame. Is it fair? Can love surpasses the law, at the same time justice is being made? Too complicated. If I have to choose one, I choose to hate my rotten, dying flesh, and trust the bible says that one day Jesus will come again, and our bodies will be transformed into glory. Hate myeself - Love God - Wait in Hope like a sweet, quiet, child.



Monday, August 17, 2009

Visions

Again, relieved after rejected being offered second chance to stay and work at my current job. I don't really have anything to let go except the money. haha. My dreams are burning again, it was hard to suppress my passion while I doing something I do not enjoy, and it turned out to be a nightmare. Yesterday I had a good day of rest at home, and re-look at my cafe business plan which I wrote 1 year ago before I start work in Singapore. I drew out the possible image of what my cafe will be look like, and revised my business plan in further detail.

I have 3 passions in life: 1. God and redemption of His people 2. Hospitality 3. Fine arts.

Passion for God has been planted in my heart since I was around 5 years old when I first started going to Sunday school, and passion for the redemption of His people was awakened when I learned more about Him while studying in New Zealand. I was disappointed with the churches I went in Kuala Lumpur, and had hard time looking for the 'right' church to fellowship with. That led me to make the decision of working and staying in another country, Singapore.

Passion for Hospitality sprouted when I was working in New Zealand. I hate hospitality to a certain degree, for some reasons. Yet I see many problems can be fixed and it can be a pleasant career and place for people to enjoy and relate. I love making espresso coffees and various drinks while I worked in a small cafe in Palmerston North. It was my ideal, I loved working there, except they have too little hours for me. It was a small cafe with less than 10 tables, small counter with a 2 ground Espresso machine accompanied by the coffee grinder, with some cakes, slices, muffins, and pastries. The regulars were the sales promoter from the CD shop nearby, a call operater from Telecom, hairdressers, chocolate shop owners, guitar shop owner, some lawyers, and retired old folks. I enjoyed talking with them, serving them while each of them have different preferences, I remembered their names and their favourite coffees. I loved decorating fluffy for kids and see their delighting faces. I simply love to serve and bring joy to people.

Passion for fine arts started naturally, I discovered it when I started to learn how to hold a pencil and drawing shapes and putting colours. Mum knew it and searched for a few arts teacher for me to learn from and I ended up attending art class with a famous local artist in Kuching for a few years. As I can remember I had 3 arts teacher in Kuching. My paintings were exhibited at Waterfront, a famous landmark in Kuching, was proud when my parents saw it there, unforgetable. Then I joined Arts Society for 5 years in high school, done a lot of things there, memorable experiences.

I'm an idealist, I tend to get everything at once and don't want to compromise one or another. After quitting my job, this thought came into my head: start a IEC church in KL, open my cafe, and hang/sell my paintings in the cafe, and the church is partially funded by the cafe. Hahaha.... seems too idealistic isn't it, I am greedy. Advantages of IEC: Well grounded in the Truth and Grace of God, Indonesian speaking = similar to Malay (opportunity to approach malays without being too obvious), Chinese speaking = my mother tongue, and most of my friends speak mandarin, unity and understanding between Indonesians and Malaysians, and a support for Indonesian and other overseas students in KL.

In conclusion, I can fulfill my 3 passions at the same time: have a church family in KL (can bring my family there), opportunity to reach out to unbelieving friends, a 'tentmaking' source which I can enjoy (cafe), and place to express my passion for arts, don't mention I can reach out to my regular customers too, and give Malaysians a chance to taste real Espresso coffee!

Wa... am drooling already, daydreaming huh... well it seems workable. I will keep it low key cos some people might think that i'm daydreaming again. But this is my life passion, I wish it can happen, if it's God's will. Anyway, I have my first confirmation today that IEC is going to KL(at the right timing)! the rest, see how things go first... maybe before I start the business I will work somewhere else to save up more, and maybe I will come back to Singapore again for a while... who knows... lets commit all my dreams into His hands and let Him work through it. :)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Just want to be in You

Lord, why the burden of life seems so heavy? I am exhausted, cannot breath. No more strength to face tomorrow, how am I going to finish my last month at work? Why my tears always could not wait to gush out from the corner of my eyes? Why can't I reason anymore? Why can't I even handle small things? I am so ashamed of myself, whom the one said no fear in life, yet have so much fear. I lost my sleep in vivid dreams, I am sleepy throughout the day, I have no appetite to eat. When the wheel of life seemingly going up again, it became worse than it's original state. Are you challenging me? Who are you? The Lord or Satan? Let me go, let go this fragile, helpless soul , leave me alone for a while so that I can regain my strength to fight again.For there is still this little voice of hope telling me that, 'I'm not defeated yet, let's wait and see!'

Father, I won't ask you to prove your love to me, for the cross has explained it all. I won't ask you to heal me, for you know what you are doing and there is a purpose behind it. I won't ask you to fulfill my desires, dreams and earthly longings, for I am certain that you have something far greater. But Lord, please don't hand me over to Satan, don't let be me too weak to sin. Just give me this last little strength to live a holy and blameless remaining life, and always be in You.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Decision Made

Finally, I resigned. Feel relieved. Should have done this long time ago. Yet I feel sad, for the fact that I'm leaving Singapore, leaving IEC, leaving God's grace (in Singapore). Thank God for all my friends here, Hilda, Nigel, Cedric, Lilis, Ita, Daniel, Jane, Wenting, Shee How, Pa Yahya, Bu Jung Jung, Maria, Siu Sien, Lily, Evelyn, Cecel... many many more... Lord you are so gracious towards me, for putting these people in my life. Maybe I will stay here, maybe I will move on. Yet no matter what, you are sovereign over my life, you are looking after me. My faith and hope is in you, I trust in your sovereign love. Thank you for Jesus, thank you for the cross which set me free. No guilt in life, no fear in death, here for the power of Christ I stand. Amen.

Once Again



Monday, July 27, 2009

Heroes of faith and The Great Hero

I knew God was speaking to me at church today. Thanks Pa Yahya. I will again strengthen my weak knees and lift up my drooping hands, and continue to walk on according to His strength in this road of life filled with trials and tribulations.

My emotions still relatively unstable, but feeling a lot better than past few weeks. Just finished Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows last night. I reckon it was a great piece of literature. Reading it in light of the gospel, it moved me and lifted my hopes up in real life. Life itself is an adventure. As I admire the adventures, tears and joys in the story, I realised that it can happen and is happening in my own life too. Miracles are not a myth, the possibility of victory over death exists in the revelation of Christ's power on the Cross. Life is not meaningless, purposeless, there is something to it, something for us to fight for, to win for. Harry Potter did not know what he was suppose to do, he even doubted Dumbledore. Yet he chose to obey his instructions and kept his promise. It costed blood and lives, but it was rewarding in the end for a great cause. That's what's it's all about, to fulfil the God-given destiny, fight and stand in faith until the return of my dearest King. Harry is a fictional figure, but Jesus Christ is real, he chosed to lay down His own life, nobody force or kill him. He has the courage to walk towards death even He knows how much it will cost Him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed... I'm like a dumb sheep gone astray, did not trust him and a mockery to his name. Yet he is patient towards me, for he knows what I am. He cares, he knows my every thoughts, he knows my every sin, he knows my end, and He has saved me before I know it. He is my true saviour. He is my real hero.

This book reminded me a lot of things, especially the spiritual battle fought as a community of Christians, not as individuals. Our predecessors had fought the good fight, we are fighting now, and we ought to pass down the legacy to the next generation, until the victory is won. It reminds me of Hebrews 12, we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (I always thought who these witnesses are, now I think it refers to the previous chapters, to great warriors of faith like Abraham, Moses, David, Samuel, Peter, Paul... and it goes on, to St. Augustine, Hudson Taylor, Mother Teresa, Wang Mingdao, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, William Wilberforce, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther... many many more unknown names, and the battle goes on... ), and please, lay down every heavy weight and sin that clings so closely, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, look up 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.

Never give up.

Amen.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Stuck

I don't know what is it that bothering me, but the weight of the pain actually turned my face away from God. I'm tired for asking for His grace upon me, I'm too tired to ask. Life's greatest despair is to lose one's hope. One might think that it's only a job, why so upset about it? I don't think it's about work only, why am I bearing the debts of my family, because of that moment of pleasure to study overseas? All my hardwork in earning a degree just to be enslaved for more money? I want freedom, freedom to choose, freedom to go, not to tied up here like a prisoner. There will be no ending of earning money, the gaps will never be filled. How do I run, if my legs are being tied up to a big heavy rock? Above all, I'm disappointed with my family, all they want is to me to earn more and pay off their debts, don't care what I suffer at the moment, even I asked them a few times to go back. For God, if He is there watching me, why is He letting me to face all these alone and not doing anything? For the world, there is no mercy, only self profit and self edifying, and I will not ask for its mercy. Where should I turn to? I have no where to go.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Numb

Numb lyrics
Songwriters: Bennington, Chester; Shinoda, Mike; Bourdon, Rob; Delson, Brad; Farrell, Darren; Hahn, Joseph;

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
I don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes

(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can't you see that you're smothering me?
Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control
?Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you

(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know I may end up failing too
But I know you were just like me
With someone disappointed in you

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be

This is the best words for how I feel for my boss, and maybe God right now. It's more than numb now but it soon will be. Don't know since when I start crying everytime I talk to her. Now I just cry for no reason, even when I see or think of her, I become depressed and helpless. It's like the dog in the psychology experiment whereby the bell was rang everytime the dog was fed, and then the dog naturally produces saliva when the bell rang even when the food was not there. I am not a dog, the point is, because most of the time I get accused and blamed for making mistakes when she talks to me, I will automatically set up my defensive mechanisms. I don't know who is overreacting here, me or her, but I just feel overwhelmed by the weight of blame in the office.

I work very hard, so hard until I compromised my time for church, family, friends and even quiet time. I OT everyday for almost 3-4 hours a day. Not appreciated but was recognised as rubbish and idiotic executive who does not performs and think through things.

I have a feeling i'm getting a rating '4' for the next appraisal, if not in psychiatric ward. If only I have a choice... just because I am not a citizen of a developed a rich country with huge debts from home because so much spent on my degree in new zealand. I won't say what is fair or unfair, because basically the world is never fair, and basically we deserve it, because unfortunately our great-great-great-greatest grandpa and grandma Adam and Eve had betrayed God. So unfortunately we cannot but sin, and unfortunately we need to live with it and accept life as it is. I wished I am always stupid or always smart, not smart when I'm suppose to be stupid and stupid when I'm suppose to be smart.

I can't see the way out, truly. Neither in future work, nor in better life. It is God's will for me to be tortured, if it is for His glory.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Help Comes from the LORD


I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your helper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Morning at Botanic Gardens

I took this picture at the eco lake in Botanic Gardens, Singapore. I enjoyed the serenity of the moment in which can hardly be found in other places in Singapore. This photo further evokes my desire to be a photographer. I don't know if I can make a living out of it, but certainly I will not give up that dream, to travel and take nature and landscape photographs, to display the beauty of creation. There's still long way to go, to switch from pratical to artistic, yet that is my little dream.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Psalm 119:25-48

My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me you statutes!
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise that you may be feared.
Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.
Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!

Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise;
then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,
and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monologue

I don't know where I heard this before, but it is so true to describe my status right now: "when one tried so hard yet failed to achieve anything, the person will turn and go the opposite way." It starts in my work life, then it infected my personal life, then spiritual life, eating me up bit by bit. Dreams which seemed so close are now going further and further away from reality. I can't believe I had been through life in Kuching and New Zealand, there were like a dream, as if I've never been there before. Suddenly I could not recognise myself anymore, I am a stranger to myself.

I looked at the past I admired it, I look to my dreams I adored it, all the possibilities in life. Yet when I look at the present, the past and future vanished, it kills joy and hope. Nothing describe my current feeling better than sadness and emptiness. The perception of despair in life has driven a change in my character, I have to admit I am no longer who I was. I no longer have the passion in my heart, it became an insatiable, unreachable longing for the life I once dreamt of. I become cold hearted, hard, tough person at work, I become a person whom I used to hate and refuse to become. How scary that is, what politics and environment can change a person.

I look at myself, the Anne I used to know, I said to her, hey Anne, where are you now? Where are you, the one who loves God and passionate about life and people? Anne, you once enjoyed everything surrounding you so much, even the unnoticeable things you can appreciate, but now why you are so discontented? Anne, can't you remember that God was so gracious to you, that you experienced what most people would not experience in the world? You have been to New Zealand, you had tasted how good how wonderful God's creation can be. You tasted the goodness of the Lord, His love and faithfulness when you are weakest and loneliest, you experienced his love! Oh how forgetful and unappreciative you are! How can you complain when God withhold his goodness for this time even he promised an eternal life for you? Do you accept only the blessings but not the afflictions he sent? What gives you the right to choose? Who do you think you are? You better laugh when God accepted you as His child, don't be greedy and you got to be patient. Only those who are able to prepare themselves and wait upon Him will be blessed in the day of His return.

Remind yourself of His goodness, Anne, remind yourself of who He is. Who are you but a mere created being? Who are you to question God's goodness? Humble yourself before Him and revere His holiness and beauty. Clothe yourself with the righteousness which comes from the Lamb of God. Go, run, kneel before Him and worship Him, confess your sins before Him, and you may receive the grace of healing. Go Anne, for He is slow to anger and abound in love, He will forgive you according to His steadfast love. Tell Him your troubles, your angers, your frustrations, your disappointments. He is there willing to listen and being patient to you. Pour out to Him, and honor His name, you will receive healing and strength.

Love Him, Anne, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Remember to look upon the cross, where He spread out His arms and nailed for your sins. Remember he has risen and conquered the curse of sin and death. Remember he is alive, at this very moment, He is alive, and watching you typing every single word here. Remember. Don't forget the Promises, He is able to guard your inheritance, your faith till you return to your heavenly home.

Therefore, serve Him, with grace and truth, tend His sheep. Feed the hungry, quench the thirst. Be blessed by being His messenger, carrier of the gospel, to every corners where He intends to redeem. Just rest in His promises and faithfulness, rest in Him, surrender yourself to Him, let Him lead you, protect you, guide you. And you will never regret of this precious life given by Him!

Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

St. Francis Prayer

Recharging mode

Gosh I got two days MC. Was coughing badly, runny nose and extremely exhausted. Somehow still feeling guilty for taking sick leave. I guess it's time to re-think my life, the way I live, behave and do things. I have been side tracked recently, not knowing what I'm doing, just getting by day by day. A voice telling me that that's not right, I need to "re-calibrate" myself with God's will in my life.

As I am already stressed for things getting out of control at work, I stress myself further for being guilty not going to work and thinking I might be trying to escape subconsciously. And there is a voice telling me, go rest, sleep and eat, then get up and walk again, like Elijah. I don't make equal my boss with Jezebel chasing Elijah, but the situation is similar. Elijah was wearied and exhausted, so do I.

Thank God giving me this time off, so I can re-think about my attitude towards things. I confess that I am not putting all effort at work, and am focusing on the escape routes. I no longer have the courage to confront the problems and people, rather putting my head in the sand like the ostrich. Obviously this is not going to help at all. Lord, not matter what will happen in a few months time, I thank you for giving me this job. I repent for my sins of being slack and cold hearted. Revive me Lord, give me that passion to serve again, to serve my boss, the patients, my colleagues and subordinates. Forgive me for taking things lightly. Revive me, give me wisdom and strength again to be a good witness and testimony for You. I am ashamed for who I am and what I'm doing right now. Please give me a new chance and make it right. Show me the way out and solutions to the problems and issues. Lead me to do your will, and I shall give all glory to your name. Amen.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weak again

Sometimes I just wish that I'm a bit more consistent in my character. It just shatters too easily when things seem too difficult to overcome in life. I'm feeling frustrated recently, mainly because of work, I feel very discouraged and unmotivated since I have been criticized everyday that I don't know what I'm doing and I'm not performing at all etc.

I have been thinking lots. Especially on my vision in life and what are the options etc. Always come to the conclusion that I want to do so much, but there is so little that I can do. My European dream is farther and farther away since my mum told me there's a huge bank debt due to my study in NZ needs to be paid off. Changing job means that I will get a lesser pay job, and before that I need to get my PR before I can hop somewhere else. Argh, why is life so hard?

I'm just very tired again, physically, mentally, and spiritually weak. I know I need some rest, but no matter how long I slept I'm still drained, unable to recharge. Why oh why... Lord give me strength, vision and hope.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Loving Father Carrying Us Through Life

This morning in my quiet time God revealed the idea of him carrying us through in our lives. In Deuteronomy 1:29, when God called Moses to bring the Israelites into the hill country of Amorites, the Israelites were afraid that God is going to destroy them. Then Moses said to them, "Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place." Deut 1:29-31

The idea of God came to fight for the Israelites and carries them all the way through into the promise land is overwhelming. He's not just up there watching them struggling but he involves! Therefore when we look back in our lives, isn't God carrying us through until now in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties?

In another occasion in Isaiah 30, the Israelites went to seek refuge and protection from Pharaoh in Egypt instead of asking God for direction. Yet God says, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and trust shall be your strength." Isa 30:15

My understanding for this verse is to repent and rest in his promises, and be calm in our soul while waiting upon him in trust we are strengthened. And one day we shall weep no more (Isa 30:19), and he will be gracious to us that as soon as he hears our cry, he answers us, and though he gives us the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet he will hide himself no more but our eyes shall see him.

Jesus says Matthew 11:28 'Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for 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.'

May our eyes be opened and find rest in His Truth. Amen

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sorry can't put words in a whole sentence

Tired
Afraid
Prayed
Regained strength
Went to work
Okay
Sudden appraisal from boss
Upset but sober
Busy
Sad
Public Lecture
St Andrews
Alister McGrath
Awesome
Before the throne of God above
In Christ Alone
Be thou my vision
Cried
Repented for my sins
Seek for a specific vision from God
I am special and unique to God
He will always be with me Matt 28
Joshua 9
Romans 12:2
...
Pearl - kingdom - precious
I am unique which something only I can do
Vision:
1. Who God is
2. What is the gospel and its impact
2. Who we are

will be continue and refined...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today

Frustrated at work, desire for a change. Want to go Europe and go nomadic. Need to survive and support others, how? Am I thinking too much? Ah, who cares, it will all work out.

Want to be more 'humanised', loving, kind and feminine. Sick of being logical (nor I'm a Vulcan), rational, and firm. I want to be myself. I miss me.

Father I'm running into your arms again, being your little daughter, seeking your comfort and protection. I'm resting in your arms, listening to your gentle whisper, letting go of every worrisome tasks in the world...

Tomorrow will have tomorrow's worries. Let me finish off today with a good rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God is My Strength and Portion Forever

Was reading Ps 73 last night and this morning. As I am exhausted and wearisome from work, God has given these words to me:

When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

May these words engraved in my heart always, indeed Your grace is sufficient for the day. To live is Christ, to die is gain. I will do my part well, and leave the worries and anxieties to you. I will lift up my burden from my shoulder and offer them to you. My life is not mine, I am a slave for Jesus alone, therefore I have been set free from the enslavement of others. May you use me as a channel for your light, grace, mercy and love. May others see no longer me but Christ in me. Ah may all glory be unto your name. Fill me with your Spirit of power and love, no more timidity. May I be a blessing for somebody today!

Amen

It is well with my soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Escape

Glad that this week is over. It has been heavy, stressful and hectic. Need a rest. Offended people at work, showed my weakness and bad attitude towards others. I am an individualist, could not stand and accept certain things and I will not compromise.

Maybe this is not the job for me. I want to be an artist. I want to paint, to photograph, to write, to compose, to craft. Yet sadly that side of me is dying day after day. I'm losing my skills and ability to express each day. Everyday I struggle to accept the way life is, as what everyone has been telling me. I pretend to be content, I give thanks, yet something is there pleading for me to escape.

Yes, my word for the moment: Escape. Just want to escape, no matter where, as far as possible from this horrible place. Don't want to be controlled, don't want to be manipulated, don't want to be restricted, don't want to be limited. Yet I pose another question: what makes me deserve to escape? If this is for me, should I run away from the 'fate', the life that is being planned for me?

God, what is obedience? I try to obey you everyday, yet I failed. Is obedience accept the way life is and endure through it all? Is it rebellious to choose my road and walk the life I prefer to? What is right and what is wrong? What is your will?

Nothing seems ever changed. I thought I had, but everything comes back again. My attitude, my bad temper, my confusions, my doubts, my depression, my low self esteem, all coming back again. I though I had conquered it over the years, yet it all came back again, I feel like a double failure, even worse than before. Why can't I just change and be good? the peaceful way.

I feel less Christian now, I know what I'm talking about, you don't have to talk to me in a Christian way. I know I am not Christian at this moment. I know I need to repent and submit myself to God. But the anger is burning in my heart and it is growing. I'm tired, just tired.

Not justifying any of my thoughts or behaviour. I'm just telling how I feel right now. I need some rest, simply. Homesick. Lonely.

I meant to be a loner. This is who I am, rebellious, weird, difficult to live with, difficult to please, difficult to understand.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Anchor


The Lord is my Rock, when I am lost wandering in the seas of uncertainties, He alone is my Rock whom I need to anchor with faith on. The Rock is definitely strong enough to hold my little boat of life, but it depends on how big is my anchoring faith to hold it. Lord, give me a super duper huge anchor so that I can cling on You the Mighty Rock even in the midst of fiercest storm!

Being disciplined by Father


I rather take risks for Christ than seek security and comfort for myself. For which is scarier: the challenges in front of my eyes, or separation from God eternally, or seeing people around separate from God eternally? I can never turn back to the life I was in, though sometimes I was tempted. Not that I am going to do something so great and fearful in life, but the more I know the Truth, the more I hunger for something greater than the life in the past. Sometimes I feel very lonely, like no one could understand or walk with me, especially when my family don't understand. It would be the best if my family could love God and worship God more and walk with me in this battle of life. Maybe this is not their calling.

I kept thinking of Christ crucified on the cross and the nails going through His hands and feet after came back from listening to khorale's performance at Esplanade. They were singing a hymn called "were you there?", I can only remember the words of the song were: "were you there, when Christ was crucified? Each time I think of it I would tremble..." Why is Christ crucified? What was the price he paid and what was he paying for? He either was mad, a liar, or He was speaking the truth. If Christ can crucify himself so lonely on the cross, what makes him willing to do so? Isn't it the joy of setting his children free and enjoy the relationship with God the Father forever?

I tremble. I do tremble. It's just work right? Why am I having so much fear to face tomorrow? Even the people are so mean, even problems are so many, even big decisions need to be made., even time is not enough, even my body is weak.. If God would give His son for us, who can be against us? Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ?

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly in the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." ...

but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for you feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled... (Hebrews 12:3-15)

I love this passage of the bible... it speaks right through me at the moment, nothing seems more appropriate. What are my struggles? Have I shed my blood? My hands are droopy, knees are weak indeed, but I need to strengthen myself and walk straight again. I had failed to make peace with people at work, that's exactly what I need to work on, because if I have not being gracious to other people, how am I going to obtain grace from God? And if I am bitter because other being mean to me, I will start defend myself and making waves of troubles... and that would not make me a good witness for God...

Can I get through all this? If He is my helper, will I still fear? If I still fear, that means I do not know him nor believe in Him. If I have no fear because even He is helping me, what can mere human being do to me?

Can I be joyful and content? Yes I can. I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to be abound. In any and every circumstance , I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Just simply because I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13). May all praise and worship be to the Holy God alone. Amen.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Balinese Court Gamelan Semara Pagulingan

A Tapestry of Sacred Music





One thing I like about Singapore is the free arts and cultural performances and exhibitions. I went to a music festival in Esplanade called 'a Tapestry of Sacred Music' on last Sunday and watched chorale, Indian tabla and sitar performance, and Balinese Court Gamelan.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I need Jesus

Today is my off day. No peace. Bored. Empty.
Need love, need friends, need family, need Jesus.
Frustrated, weary, tired, burdened, need Jesus.
Lost confidence, fear, anxiety, need Jesus.
Feel like good food, good drink, good movie, good shopping, good book, need Jesus.
Need a way out, a solution, energy, wisdom, perseverance, need Jesus.
Need fulfillment, happiness, comfort, need Jesus.
I need Jesus.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Longing for His Kingdom

Coming back to Singapore is like from paradise to hell. Why is there such a huge contrast? I had a glimpse of heaven yet groaning deep inside my heart that we are living in an imperfect world, full of suffering, pain and hopelessness. We have sinned and separated from God and we need him to live out who we are.

It is like a wake up call for me, it was the right time I bought a book from second hand bookstore called ‘Revolution in World Missions’ by K P Yohannan. This book strikes me so much that it slapped me in the face and revealing how sinful my life is in living in an affluent society yet unthankful, and claimed to have faith but no actions for the Great Commission. My friends are suffering in one form or another, my relatives do not believe in Jesus, my colleagues probably never heard of the gospel. What should I do?

I cannot see so far ahead but I know what I need to do now: to get back to God, study his word, meditate upon it, and pray. The voice is stronger and stronger that He is going to make me do something great or huge for His Kingdom. But this is not the time yet; this is just the time to shape my character, to build up my experience and knowledge in order to carry out the ‘mission’ in the future. I am not an ambitious person; it does not matter for me if I am doing anything great in life or just an ordinary person. But one thing I know is, God has put into my heart so much passion or empathy for the world and it is going to accumulate and in the end push me to do something, which I do not know yet.

I would like to move to a nice little village with my family, completed with everything we need, away from all the hustles and bustles in the big cities, go fishing in the weekends, work with my own hands and get rewarded… not worrying too much about everything. But I knew I couldn’t do it, because it is selfish. I will not even able to account to myself that I know Christ has done everything on the cross and yet I keep the gospel to myself, taking the good and ignoring the needs, especially when Yohannan mentioned in his book that when every pulse you feel, there are people dying without hearing the gospel.

Lord, but how? It is easy to say, but how do I serve You? I struggle everyday with completing my work task and stay healthy and vibrant. I am weary and tired, mind is full of fears, problems to solve, worries… how do I serve You? I hardly have time to fellowship with other believers, cannot go to church on Sundays, Lord You know my heart aches everytime when I missed a cellgroup, church service, or quiet time with You. You know my struggles, you know my weaknesses. I repent for all my sins of being materialistic and hedonistic at times, setting up idols to fulfil my hunger and emptiness. It is a constant battle mentally, physically and spiritually. I pray that no matter how, never let me forsake my faith in you (for it is the stupidiest thing to do), and use me for your glory, in loving, serving, praying for others, and take part in the work of the gospel. May your kingdom come, your will be done. May your name be glorified above all else. Amen.

Awesome Weekend in Sabah

It has been long since I blog. Blogging is a good indicator of my ‘spiritual awakeness’ as I often was being caught up and ‘buried’ by everyday routines and find no inspiration to write at all.

I just came back from a short trip in Sabah with my family during the Easter weekend. It was so awesome and it makes me feeling that my soul has coming back again. I have been missing those days in New Zealand while life is full of input and colours from travelling, university life with friends and OCF etc. Work is so boring in reality and inescapable, full of challenges, routines, and stress.

Talk about the holiday first, I went to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of state of Sabah, in northern East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. We had minimum planning beforehand so everything just happens as it goes. My first challenge was renting a car in the airport (terminal 2), and drive it to terminal 1 where my family was. I haven’t drive since last year and I was slightly unconfident but I made it safely there. In the first day we were just checking in to the hotel, sort out our plans, hanging around in the city and markets.

We watched the beautiful sunset at Tanjung Aru beach and had dinner at the seafood place in Kampung Air, where there were hundreds choices of live seafood and free Kadazan performance on stage. The clams, shellfish, bamboo chicken with rice wine, sea cucumber etc were so good you can never find them anywhere else in the peninsula or Singapore.

Second day we decided to go up to the mountains since we rented a car. Firstly we went to Monsopiad Cultural Village, where the original Kadazan village was located since hundreds years ago. The dance performance was good and I was challenged by the Kadazan-Dusun warrior to shoot the balloon on the stage with the blowpipe. He was quite scary at first but better as he starts talking. We were challenged for the bamboo dance as well which I badly failed due to my weak muscle-nerve coordination. We were showed the houses, lifestyle, history and culture of the Kadazan-Dusun there, and of course the house of skull, where the ‘trophies’ of the headhunters are. Also, they showed us the making of rice wine, sago worms, tried a few traditional games like slingshot, and welcomed with the delicious traditional rice wine.


After the visit to the cultural village, it was the beginning of an adventure of surprises ahead. Our aim was Kinabalu Park where we were hoping to see Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia and Australia region, as well as the proboscis monkeys, an endangered monkey species which can only be found in Borneo. We roughly know how to go and how long it takes but did not know what to expect. The road trip turned out so amazing even the roads was not easy to drive on. The villages, paddy fields, stalls, ranges, vegetations, climate, rainforest… were so beautiful and my heart revives as I was praising God all the way through. The air was so cooling and refreshing, and people were so friendly. We went through a few towns, including Ranau and Kundasang, beautiful view, nice coffee too, and there located a war memorial for British soldiers during world war 2. If not mistaken on Anzac day 25 April there will be a mini service there for the remembrance of the sacrifices by Australian and New Zealand soldiers. The best part of the day was the sunset on the mountains, where the clouds intertwined between the ranges, it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen in my life. We had Filipino dinner at Kampung Api-Api, was a unique experience, nice ambience and tasty, authentic Filipino food and people.

Third day was the ‘ocean day’. We visited the Sunday market, had our breakfast, and bought some souvenirs there, then headed to the islands after returning the rented car.

We decided to go to Manukan and Sapi Island out of a few islands in Tengku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. We hired snorkelling gears and snorkelled in Sapi and Manukan Island. To my slight disappointment I did neither seen live corals nor huge marine animals nor sea turtles. However the colourful tropical fishes and sea urchins were fun to see and swim with. Clear sea water and white sandy beaches were enough for us to enjoy and relax for a whole day.

As we unable to decide we went back to Kampung Air’s eating place again and had the free flow seafood hotpot there.
This morning went for a walk at Tanjung Aru Beach again to say bye bye. Restaurants there were so nice and I started to imagine having a mini wedding there.

Really if I can I wish to marry a Sabahan or Sarawakian, so that I have excuse to go there frequently or live there! I love East Malaysia and I feel a special connection with that land as there is where I was born and grew up. Sadly, I had to leave for Singapore and back to the real world again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Evermore



Just love this band so much, even this song is quite old.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I feel dead

I am aware that something inside me has 'died'. I don't feel 'alive' anymore, just dead and dull working life here. This can be me, but I don't want to remain in this way. Work is way beyond my control, working super duper hard yet still probably will be blamed. I can't deny that I have learnt a lot, overcame a lot of challenges and barriers, and build some good work relationships. However, everything is too overwhelming. If I have a choice and influence to make this place a better place to work, I will definitely stay. If only She will listen.

Somehow I feel lost again. I am desperate for something, something unknown, but huge. Something in which could not be contained in crampy Singapore. The worst thing can ever happen to me is lost of memory, or narrowing of worldview. Scared that one day I will take in everything surround me as the way world is, and forgetting how the rest of the world looks like.

Lost again, I'm again replanning my future route. Should I pick up the arts stuffs again, which I'd always been wanting to get back? Should I start making coffee and travelling around the world? Should I become a missionary in somewhere remote? I just know that, although I can do it, and enjoy it at times, management and administration are not something I have so much interest in.

Lord, I don't know where and how, but please deliver me to a place in which I can feel more 'alive' in. Which I have better work-life balance, more of you, more of the beauty of you and the people you created. I am hunger and thirsty for 'life', something so sweet, nourishing, and quenching, yet seems so far away from me right now. Please replace worries with peace, sorrows with joy, uncertainties with hope, doubt with trust, fear with faith, weakness with strength in you. I need you, Lord, more than anything. I miss you. I don't know and cannot feel where you are, but surely you will are always here, just that I'm not aware of it. Need you more than ever.