Friday, December 30, 2005
First off, a round of thank yous:
To - Kenny, Aiky, Sheng Yeeng, Esther and Angeline...for being great to travel around with and bug and just laugh about things, even when it's cold, or after being mugged. And especially to Aiky, for being a great travel guide.
Paris was great fun, and very scenic...Plus we left enough to warrant a return trip! It was actually colder than England...and the French; it was the first time I'd felt foreign since coming out of cosy Malaysia. Aiky did a really good blog about Paris, which you can read here.
The churches were magnificent, their ceilings stretched high above our heads, our voices changing to whispers as we walked in. Stained glass windows would abound in every church, unspoiled by vandalism and seemingly untouched by time. The clincher for me was attending Mass in the Basilica Sacre Coeur; though naturally impaired due to the obvious language barrier, the chorus by the nuns was beautifully sung. And at St Severin, another church, when the organ played out of nowhere, it was the icing on the cake. I'd imagined how the sound would come out, ever since I'd read a description of a full cathedral organ being played, and it did not disappoint. The bass swelled out massively, while the high pitch rolled around smoothly yet coquettishly above the din. Though the organist didn't play my fav: Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring, it was still a great experience.
The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre were all that they promised to be. We actually rushed quite a bit, till we got to the paintings. Not being much of an artist, I held back for a bit. But soon we realised, despite our lack of technicality, how much we appreciated the use of colour and tones. The silk in one painting looked as though we could feel it's lightness, while the king's furs in another drawing looked heavy. The Mona Lisa for me, was a bit of an overstatement however. Possibly this may have been because I didn't take too much time with it, owing to the crowds of people jostling around it, or that the paintings before were just as, or even more eye-catching. We got to meet up Lena, Chiaming and family after that, which was good.
Food wise, I can't really say that I had a lot of French cuisine, save the excellent baguette, which we had for bfast every morning. It was a treat to come down to the cosy communal kitchen where backpackers of all races would congregate to receive their rations consisting of a baguette roll, butter, jam and juice. Cornflakes and coffee would follow - a true breakfast for ppl on the go! On the last night, however, we dined at a restaurant famed for their seafood. Certainly the salmon was good...tasty with every bite. And Kenny got the waiter to say "Bon Appetit!" before we ate!
To Ee and Uncle Hee Liong, Ben, Aunt Penny and Uncle Chuong - thanks for the extra kg that I put on, and the movies, and the books, and understanding how late I'd sleep in!
It was a real treat coming back from Paris to a home base with home cooked food and beds. After seeing off the Dundonians and Angeline off the next day, it was great to prop up both feet and relax. And when I met Uncle HeeLiong at the station the next day, and drove through a park to his house, I began to feel the best part of my holiday was not over yet.
Christmas at Bedford was great. From meeting Ben and Elisabeth whom I haven't seen for ages, to having Christmas lunch with the family with all the traditions like pulling the crackers with people next to you, carving the joint, waiting for Christmas pudding to the ceremonial opening of presents under the tree. It was all good fun, despite the cats that they owned, which to be fair, were really well behaved:-) The rest of the time was spent reading, either in bed or out of it, and watching tv(Spirited Away rocks!, and saw Dr. Who for the first time..) And waking up one morning, drawing the curtains of my room(which i had to myself) and seeing this:
Uncle Choung and I went mad with our cameras that morning. In fact, I've no idea how to link stuff up to my blog, and worked out the Multiply link fairly recently. May yet be changing it in the near future. Most of my recent photos are there, so there'll be less on my blog(only the ones that mean something, anyway). Btw, Aiky, if you're reading this, hope you don't mind me linking up my blog to yours..
Plus received photos of YokeLi/Ah Liang's wedding today, which were great!
I'm still trying to work out how to lose the extra weight:-)
Sunday, December 18, 2005
God? Satan? If God is the Creator of all things, then Satan is the destroyer. A long time ago, God made man; Adam and Eve. Not long after, both of them made the decision to reject God and go their own way. This has been the case for all humans from that time onwards. Since then, God has been working to bring them and their descendants back to Him; to save them from certain death at Satan’s hands. For Satan is the source of all evil in the world, and he wants humanity to himself.
For ages, no side had gained an advantage over the other. God’s armies would win significant victories, but Satan always managed to sneak in a particularly devastating attack when no one expected it. This was one such battle, above the consciousness of most people happily sitting down to a quiet dinner in their homes. But on this night, something would happen that would change the course of the eternal war forever.
Even farther above the battle raging, in a secret, quiet chamber, Jesus was in council with God. “After understanding everything You have to do, do You still want to go through with it?” God asked.
Almost immediately Jesus answered, “Yes. There is no other way since we planned this right at the beginning of time.”
And in a more quiet tone, He added, “And, besides, I want to do this. For them.”
God looked into Jesus’ eyes, and saw eyes overflowing with love. “Godspeed then, my Son.” He said, with tears in His own eyes.
For this secret mission, 2 elite angels were assigned to Jesus as escort. Satan must at all costs be kept from finding out the true purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice. Taking leave of God, they sped off in a streak of light. As they entered into the battlezone, things became serious. Two crack demons spied the trio, and zeroed in on them. Sensing danger, the 2 angels held back, drawing off the demons and leaving Jesus a clear path to Earth. They knew the important thing was that Jesus should get through, even at the cost of their own lives. Knowing Satan had defenses around Earth, which was still mostly a stronghold of the Enemy back then, Jesus entered earth’s atmosphere and began immediate transformation into human form.
And thus began the life of Jesus on earth, which was the start of God’s plan to save humanity from eternal death. Like Hitler after D-Day, Satan knew this was the beginning of his end.
This is the image of Christmas I would like to leave with you. A message of an amazing sacrifice made at great cost. A thrilling tale of secret infiltration into an enemy-held stronghold. An account of a Father’s sacrifice and a Son’s love.
For it was through this plan that Jesus was born to Mary. He lived His life for one purpose: to die and rise again (Project Easter). For Jesus knew that without help, we were doomed to spend eternity without God, in Satan’s hands. His death replaced our own deaths, and when He rose again, alive, He showed His defeat of death; the key that Satan used to keep people from God. Now mankind had a fighting chance, if they would only believe in Him.
And it all started that night, when Jesus infiltrated earth to reach us.
So, when you sit down to Christmas dinner, or reach for ‘just one more’ glass of Christmas lager, think about what it cost for Jesus to be born. And when you open your first present, remember God’s original gift to humanity; Jesus. A gift that Satan has no chance of taking away. A gift that gives us the chance for us to return to God, our Creator.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Today(which has already passed in Malaysia), the 17th of Dec 2005, a significant event which has been talked and speculated about in the annals of the youth in Sitiawan Wesley MYF has occurred. A union of souls long foretold.
By now the music will have played, the vows would have been read, the kiss sealing the bond between two hearts intertwined with God for eternity. The youth would have much to say on this (if JoLynn has anything to do with it, that is..) occasion, and the church would have been packed with friends and well wishers. And right about this time, they would be having dinner, the hall packed with people who knew the bride and bridegroom growing up, both from an adult point of view, as well as friends growing up together with them.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Well, monday hasn't been this fun in ages.
Christmas dinner preparations started with an early morning shopping trip to ASDA, which saw our first misjudgement of the day. Looking at turkeys, we rashly decided we would require a turkey for 8-10 ppl. On arriving home, we discovered the turkey would take 2 whole days to defrost.
However, the eternal optimist in us arose, and we settled for 4 hours in a blocked sink filled with hot water. Then the cooking had to be divided amongst the 8 of us. Hsupheen's friend agnes and jack's friend christine were joining us so we had extra help. Howver, things were looking bad around 3pm when the turkey had not gone into the oven(it was supposed to take 3-4 hours to roast in time for dinner at 7). The sun burst through the clouds, however, when we discovered agnes was a hidden store of roast turkey know-how. She promptly took charge, as you can see here..
Agnes stuffing the turkey (into the neck and rear cavities like the paper says)
We had to leave halfway for a workshop on our CTM, so we left the guests in control of the kitchen. The workshop turned up pretty boring but we were presented with the fact that we would be splitting up to go for different hospitals in our fourth year. More on that in another entry mayb. We hurried home determined to eat our hearts out.
Meanwhile preparations were going on full swing. Ed had a sudden inspiration for baked potatoes, and between alex, tricia and himself, whipped up a killer sauce which smelt like heaven. The veg of beans, carrots and mushrooms were being boiled and the cold meats were getting warmed up in the microwave. Jack roamed around wondering what brandy sauce was meant for.
Christine and agnes finding out what it meant to be a guest in I3..
The turkey took an awful long time to roast. We didn't help matters much by opening it every so often to check on it.
But soon, all things come to an end. For better or worse, our first Christmas dinner in the UK was ready to be eaten. And as always with IMU ppl, photos come b4 food..
This is when i discovered my camera's flash is not capable of lighting up its' own nose(that is, if it had one).
Jack head of I3 carving the turkey.
In my everlasting battle against tooth decay, I was joined by two recruits..
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Why should this astonish me? I can think of no good reason on the top of my head, why this should give me reason to pause and reflect. I mean, between youth group and church back home, and with PC, Shawn and the rest bugging me in KL, it should come as no surprise; when we pray, God works.
Why then am I struck by a certain sense of, dare I say it, awe at this statement?
And going on to the fact that these 5 people are not exactly people you'd think of immediately when deciding who to invite to a quiet dinner with friends...People whom are 'not of our preference'. Oh I'm sure Christians love as Christ loves us, unconditionally and without looking at whether we can get that same love from them, in fact without looking at whether we can get ANYTHING from them. After all, there has to be a reason why love is the greatest in the company of such stalwarts as faith and hope right?
The fact is, that loving people is not all easy. In fact it is never really easy. Which is how it should be, I suppose, because it definitely was not easy for Christ to come and do what He did for us. But to get down to the very core of it, it's not even about the dying that I have seem to have an issue with. It's with loving people that don't share the same values that I do, that don't see for the life of them why someone would choose to give their life for something, or someone they can't even see. And to be honest, when I look at it from their point of view, it really takes faith to believe in Jesus, and in all honesty I can't blame them totally. But still the feeling lingers, sadly. Truth is, I think I have a preference issue.
Cue Peter and the sheet full of animals(Acts 10). Peter looks at it with disgust, and when God commands him to eat, says that he has never eaten anything impure(according to Jewish law) and that he is not going to start now. Soon after, 3 men come and ask him to visit Cornelius, an upstanding man in many respects, devout and God-fearing even(10:2). The only problem; Cornelius is a Gentile.
Peter goes off, knowing well that the equivalent of a Jew visiting a Gentile back then is like a Muslim eating pork now; it's against the law(10:28). But this is when God does something never before done in the history of the Bible up till this point. God sends the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and all who were there when Peter arrived(10:44). Peter learned how God does not show favouritism(10:34).
Imagine what would happen if Peter chose to have another of his 'preference moments' and had not gone to Cornelius' house. The salvation of the Gentiles would have been delayed at best, deferred at worst.
What we stand for, and what we allow to block our way HAS CONSEQUENCES.
So I guess I really have 2 issues. The unconscious preferences in my mind of different people, and the persistence to love them unconditionally, wanting to see them in heaven with Jesus. Keep me in prayer for this guys.
Does the life I'm living provide an environment which triggers people to God?
On the day of Goerge Mueller's funeral, his 5th and final friend came to the Lord.
I think this is where I woke up during the Christian Union meeting:-)
Friday, December 02, 2005
How do people communicate with a woman who is both blind and deaf? She'd be able to talk and shout and yell...she'd be able to feel people around her touching her and patting her on the back.
In short she'd be able to express herself, but wouldn't be able to receive input from others. She'd be without any sense of hearing and seeing...the two big ones for getting around. Sure, she'd be able to taste, and be able to feel and be able to smell..but how frustrating not to see and hear..
It doesnt matter if she's asleep or she's awake. Actually, she'd probably prefer to be asleep, cos' she'd probably hear fine in her dreams. While awake, though, it'd be a dark and silent world, punctuated with sudden touches that would probably shock her momentarily. She'd be irritated, scared and apprehensive at first, but later on, she'd probably welcome these touches...if only to prove to herself that she's still existing...that around her is a living, vibrant, noisy world, of which she can no longer enjoy.
Life does have a way of putting things into perspective.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
There was, first of all, the trouble of the visitors from Dundee..which I see Aiky has written about it in greater detail... Suffice it to say then, that as befits a bunch of girls, all Liverpool (the 2008 European Capital of Culture, no less!) had to offer them was a day full of shopping at Cheshire Oaks! This sandwiched between a large dinner that took 3 cooks working overtime after classes...late night talks (well, as late night as our schedules would permit!), the sounds of Dota from my laptop as Jack struggled to return to his former skills on my laptop as the girls took over his room for 2 nights...After all was said and done, having visitors around was definitely worth the trouble..brought back the days of IMU when all we had to do to see each other was to go to library, or wander up to rooftop for a Neslo ais...
Elaine was the first to go..
Life, as is so often said, moves on...which brings me to Encounter Weekend. Bringing together student fellowships from churches in Cardiff, Leeds, york, Nottingham and Liverpool, it was a time of reflection and of checking through for anything holding us back from encountering God. Sounds a mouthful? Well, for the 15 or so of us who went from Liverpool, it was a good time of being honest(with ourselves at least!) and coming together as a student fellowship...something I pray which will remain long after EW 2005 has finished and ceased to linger in our minds.....PLUS, it was the first time in goodness knows how many years that I finally got to sing the song "I've got heaven on the inside of me...peace and joy, God has set me free!" This dates back all the way to my first MYF Camp in Camerons...man..
Breakfast with Nottingham and York.
And really, coming up with a Critical Thinking Module title was not the easiest thing in the world to do! In fact, I distinctly recall telling IMU lecturers during my interview way back in 2003 that research was definitely not my thing.. Having to trawl through different websites in a desperate bid to come up with a research question that was viable, and had not been done before, it made me think. Of how much I Dont know about medicine; it's advances and it's areas of lack. Really, its amazing how much I accept from the books and lecturers and how much I dont question the quality of what has been taught and discovered. However, it's still a pain cos there's really so much that I could have looked into, but just did not have the time. Had to get it done sometime this year(by late Nov actually) so settled on a weird sounding topic based on my last rotation:
Ok, I'll wait till you guys stop laughing...
And as if I didnt think i already had enuf on my plate, I chose this weekend to play tennis at Nottingham. Jin...any memories yet? It was really a first for me...my first time playing tennis in dockers, with a tshirt and a sweater on top of it. Getting out in the first round meant i had extra time to meander around in the city(yup i know, excuses...) BUT i got to meet up Kathleen, Jennifer, Teck Guan and the others from Southampton..Didnt mention Wai Mun COS she was too busy shopping:-) Was a long and tiring day walking around, but catching up with each other was...well....at least we all got tired together. And wouldn't you know it? Was so busy rushing around till I FORGOT to recharge my camera's batteries, leaving an inevitable download one of these days on msn..
And i would be remiss if I frgot to mention the denizens of I3 kindly left a dinner for me when i came back...very nice:-)
Well, this has been something of a long post.Hope I didnt pull any of you too far off schedule..
Monday, November 14, 2005
Well, guess this has to be written...haha
Su Ling and Jien Ni...One without the other? Not likely..cos as long as I remember they always seemed to come together. Besides my orientation group members, these were probably the first two girls I was on speaking terms with in IMU in Sem 1. Still remember going out with them and Sam, and Elaine and Kah Yeong after Summative One... Man...my first outing in KL...when a movie was a big deal...and the one and only time we ever went to a fun fair at Bukit Jalil after that.
After that was CG and ping pong...eVENTs that come back are many and varied...the burglary at their place which left them traumatized for a time, the many pingpong sessions with su ling at the old pingpong room...CG discussions where Jien Ni would join in...though she wasnt a Christian at the time.. Still remember the amount of hair on the floor of their aptmt every friday!
Later on in the year, outings with Ken and Daniel in varying cars, depending on what Daniel would drive down from Melaka..Nights out would typically involve dinner at Carrefour, or farther afield..It ranged from movies, to pool at Subang, even including CS sessions at PJ cafes with David and Julian. I particularly remember one movie marathon we had in B1-12-1...watching till some of us fell asleep on the couch...
And now, looking back....after 5 sems...lots have changed...Jien Ni is now a child of God...both of them are really growing in lots of ways, and growing others too.
Su Ling and Jien Ni....thanks for talking to me way back in Sem 1, and thanks for the lessons, both conscious and unconscious.
Sorry for the misunderstandings and the barbs.
"Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies."
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Have a blessed birthday!
Friday, November 11, 2005
Jane...another persona which I will never live up to...seeing as how she could thrash me in tennis with her little finger! Sarawak state tennis player, having seen the sights of Asia all the way to Japan...her tennis feats are the stuff of IMU legend.
As she's turning 22 tonite, she's probably tucking into her favourite food ever...
Then there's the guy I secretly admire cos of his sense of style....his moves on the dance floor....his level of culturedness....all of which seem unattainable to me:-)
Jeng is immortalized here for his pasta making skills...which are really being put to use in London at the moment! Also, in a squint-with-both-eyes way, his apron, with a slight stretch of the imagination brings to mind the 3-trench-coats shopping spree so widely quoted among IMU immigrants overseas.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
How long does it take to know someone? Especially someone from the opposite sex?
How would I know anyway? It's not as if I know it all anyway, right shubs? haha.
Actually don't really recall what bump on the head caused me to engage this indian female in conversation...Actually to call shubs indian..hmm..requires a slight stretch of credibility...firstly, her Indian-speak is less than all there...meaning its close to non-existent! Secondly...she prefers chinese and malay food to indian food...it's wierd when we go out and half of the group wants to go banana leaf rice but she, wanting to stand out, opts for boring old chinese instead.
Still remember her birthday last year...which I was the only person NOT TO ATTEND! haha.. But just as well...some fiasco with a chocolate cake which no one had the decency to finish and i actually managed to taste it the very next day...when shubs, being as polite and as no-wanting-to-offend-others as usual, bought it to uni to be shared around..actually, it's amazing the whole thing went off as well as it did...
Her faults? Well, wanting to go waffling doesn't really count in all honesty i guess, since I don't really mind waffles myself.. more of an obsession i think. Teasing the kampung boy is, however, tantamount to poking a one-eyed elephant in the eye! Then again, she's not alone in this one, cos its more or less unfortunate that almost everyone thinks Sitiawan is a one road affair.. Her constant posingphilia (you may notice the first and last photos smilarities in terms of the main character) is, however something she's trying to rectify at the moment...
Seems she is also a pretty good tennis player..though at the rate things are going, I'll only probably get to play tennis with her after we graduate. Also, since she's picking up cooking, it's also conceivable that somewhere in the near future, I'll be able to eat a shubs-cooked-meal and go "ahhhh".
Come to think of it, shubs is quite good at keeping herself to herself. Talks with shubs don't really come often..as i'm sure others can testify.
Come to think of it, think its been one year isnt it shubs?
Thanks for allowing me to drive around in your proton, for ball and the stress which went along with it( david and bern will particularly recall this haha!), for the waffles and movies with the gang and calls and talks that always seemed to end with me not knowing what to say..
Sorry for all the unintended jabs and the 'away' on msn times.
Here's to a good 2006.
Keep searching shubs. He'll meet you before you've finished looking for Him.
The IMU representatives to the YuLympics.
Happy birthday shubs.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness." Rom 1:18
Ok skip...move on. Been there, heard that. God's angry with wicked people...nothing new la. What? Nothing else to say? Think you know it all? Er... ok...weird voice inside my head...romans 1 is always not that interesting anyway...but don't feel like starting a new chapter...ok backtrack then...let's try taking it a phrase at a time...(thank you 2:7!!)
"wrath of God"...nothing new there. "Revealed from heaven"...sure..that's where God is, right? "Against all the godlessness and wickedness of men"..well, thats how we are described in the bible most times, sigh.. "who suppress the truth" ..WAIT hold on!
"who suppress the truth by their wickedness"
hmmm*thinks* so we're inherently wicked, that's established. But we suppress the truth by our wickedness? So our wickedness has effects on others not being able to see the truth? So my sins can draw others away as well, not only condemning me to the eternal Separation from God, but making it THAT much harder for others to come to Him?
Suppression of the truth..
Looks our Adversary wasn't just born yesterday...
Sunday, October 30, 2005
In between watching others nod off in lectures and playing the odd game of dota(owned with lion last thurs in 3v2 insane!!) have been occupied one hour a day playing this game called notpron..
Tagline : "The hardest riddle on the internet"
premise : 138 levels to go...how far can you go without resorting to spoilers from forums/friends? over 5 million ppl have started playing , with only 70 ppl completing it without spoiling the experience by CHEATING!
Position : am currently at level 8! Am either really blur, or just too fanatical about finishing the game BY MY OWN!!!
Weird huh? normally I wouldnt blog about my gaming experiences...(as dota crazy as i've been, i've never considered it worth my while to put it down on electronic paper..) BUT in this case, I think, I must make an exception...As the name states...this is notpron (a healthy alternative to some of the more salubrious sites available) Plus, while solving the puzzles, you'll (among other things) gain knowledge of such obscure but interesting topics like different types of candy bars available in the uk, what is ASCII all about, how to use adobe photoshop, the meaning of anagrams and many many more.... (images below taken from google earth - another program needed in notpron..)
Photo courtesy of benny liew...Sitiawan by satellite vision!
And, I know this will prob be on M103's blog..seeing as how jack, hsu pheen and I searched like crazy to find it, but its going up here, cos we wouldnt have been able to do it without my laptop!
IMU Bukit Jalil with vista ABC !
Friday, October 21, 2005
Taken from an actual passing out police exam:
You're a police officer reaching a bus station where a bomb has just gone off. A huge crater has formed in the middle of the road. At one end of the crater a bus has tipped over, with its' passengers crying out for help. At the other end of the crater a motorcycle has just plummeted over, unable to stop itself, flinging its' rider head over heels. The bomb blast has damaged some stores nearby and some people are helping themselves to the contents which are exposed. Nearby, a mum is shouting frantically, "Where's my son? Has anyone seen him?" while amidst the dust, you begin to make out survivors of the blast moving painfully, their cries insistent.
What do you do first?
One cadet wrote simply -
"Take off my uniform quietly and mingle with the crowd."
I find I'm like that sometimes. A hard choice is presented, and I immediately begin assessing my options for the soft, safe way out. As the end of the Harry Potter trailer puts it, a choice between 'what is right, and what is easy.' To add to the problem, the easy way out often seems to be not wrong at all. No one's going to die because I display a nonchalant attitude towards sin. No one gets offended, either. Seems a good trade off?
How about whether to speak about God in a situation when you'd be in trouble politically and physically?
"The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadduccees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people...They seized Peter and John and....put them in jail till the next day." (acts 4:1-3)
While being questioned, Peter and John, the same men who'd run for their lives when Jesus was captured, now stood up for Him. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (acts 4:12)
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John, and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they TOOK NOTE THAT THESE MEN HAD BEEN WITH JESUS."(acts4:13, caps mine)
People just can't help but draw the connection to something greater than ourselves when we stand up for God.
It's something which I'm challenged with every time I go out here.
Lord, help me keep my uniform on.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Well, I went to this bay in Australia with my friend, and it was a fine day. The bay was quite empty and few people were around. It seemed a fine opportunity for a dip, so I began removing my shirt.
"What in the world are you doing mate?" asked my friend incredulously. He turned me around and pointed at a large sign that said:
"Oh well, "I said, "I'm sure they won't get me. I'm only going in for a short while anyway."
"Well, just making sure you know, that's all." responded my friend. "I'm also sure that you're aware that over 220 swimmers have died from shark attacks in this area over a period of 10 years. After all, you're of age, and able to make your own decisions." he said as he walked off.
Sheepishly looking around, I began to put my clothes on again.
For those who haven't made the connection yet, it's basically a case of Do we realise the danger we are in? Jesus came with a specific message to show us why we were in trouble and how He could get us out of it. He leaves us with a choice that we have to make, a choice that is present whether or not we agree on evolution or the rights and wrongs of abortion. And, as he put it, we're 'of age and able to make our own decisions'.
Do we choose Him or reject Him? For there is no middle ground. To choose Him may seem a huge leap of faith, a decision not to be taken lightly. Fair enough. But it would be wise then, not to delay, for none of us really know how long more we'll be around, do we?
Personally, I sometimes find it hard to remember the danger I'm in, of not being able to remain in God's presence when I die, of dying and remaining like that forever. It's hard to remember such realities when I'm walking down Bold Street with a bag of groceries, struggling against the cold sharp wind so prevalent in Liverpool. But therein lies the danger, and the great deceit and pleasure of the Evil One, for he would like nothing better than to draw our thoughts farther away from the truth of true death.
Do we realise the danger we are in?
Are we willing to search for the truth to verify this danger?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Shubz is the girl 2nd from the right..She poses like that for most of the photos..when she's willing to be taken, that is..Right beside her is squeaks, actually hsu en, right till you hear her voice.. The guy in the purple shirt is daniel, my ex housemate, and also the one who taught me how to play pool! (no matter what he tells you) Behind her is Siew Lian, ex prayer coordinator of IMU CF and Jane beside her, the Sarawak super tennis player who is a self-confessed chocoholic. Beside jane, the girl in white with specs is Siew Lee, normally quiet and reserved but now being driven up the wall in med school in Seremban...And beside siew lee the guy who looks a bit like elijah woods is Ne Jia, who's very into nice house designs and landscaping. Joy is beside Ne Jia, the computer whiz of our batch, while David, beside Ne Jia is, as always, partially obscured by Jimmy, the gym rat and macho man of the group.. The 3 girls in front beside Daniel are Elaine(in red) whose birthday we just celebrated, Rani, who knows more football players than I do, and Wen Chyi, who's into anime and manga..There's lots more but you guys will just have to wait cos I dun have all day for this! hah!
Ok, the weird guy at the top left hand corner is Sieh Jin..sometime temp teacher, now currently youth counsellor at the Methodist Boy's College in Brickfields..Able to eat things mixed together for a price is his forte, besides basketball and piano, both of whom he wishes he was much better at..The girl beside him is Sieh Ping, his sis who currently works for thestar as a writer for Youth2...her nick is Irene Kiew(bit of publicity for you there...haha). Across Sieh Jin, is Wai Hong, anyone know how he is now? Working already? And beside him is Yong, ex star student of our form five, indeed of our secondary school career...The only guy to get full marks in the killer AddMaths exam where most of us were counting how many marks we were away from failing..now currently a budding engineer in Germany(and aspiring football commentator!). Beside her is Yoke May, whom david knows as Jocelyn, since she is her aunt! Weird huh? Coming from a family of 5 sisters, all of whom sound alike on the phone...she's now an electronic engineer in Penang...comes complete with her own CAR! The rest will just have to wait for some other time to be introduced!
So yup..now you all know each other, go have some coffee and biscuits and relax..make yourselves at home. I'm going to go mingle..see you.
Monday, October 10, 2005
This post is dedicated to an old friend. We've known each other for 2 and a half years, almost 3 years now. Come to think about it, since I've been in IMU. Through that time, we've gotten to know one another really well. We'd meet every morning, and even when I have PBL and need to rush, somehow we always find time to meet. Whenever I'd plan to have an extended studying session, we'd meet up again...sometimes staying together till 3 in the morning(though those were fairly rare occasions). We'd not stop meeting together when exams drew nearer, on the contrary, we'd meet even more. And when I went to the UK, what was more natural that I thought we should continue on as friends.
Alas,we did not last long in the UK. I woke up one fine morning and decided to have a glass of milk. Since it was a cold morning, I decided to warm up my millk in the microwave. One moment of carelessness ruined everything.
And so it was, being made of plastic, rubber and steel, my friend perished in flames which took alex some time to put out. And the microwave took some time to be cleaned out as well....plus the smell was terrible.
Leaving me to search around for another mug, a wiser and more careful guy.
Losing friends is never easy, especially when you''ve spent so much time together you practically and literally know one another inside out.
In happier days...my blue friend in the foreground next to the cheap plastic water bottle..
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Which brings me to the scene that I brought up above... a slightly begruntled young chap with his collar turned up from the cold and having a slight cold himself, walking towards a bus stop on a chilly evening.
Probably due to my grumpiness and my inner desire to not go home without having done something purposeful...a thought came in; whoever is at the bus stop, I'm going to try to be friendly to him/her....maybe tht's why I didnt get to go for the hall meeting...cos there's someone that needed a friendly ear at the bus stop. (Ok, hold your comments till the end of the post, k?). So with these thoughts in my mind, I reached the bus stop.
The wierd chant reached my ears before my eyes looked up to behold an old woman with a bright pink wig and really hard plastic shoes. She was chanting what sounded like a movie soundtrack 'ba ba ba dum dum dum' and another, younger lady was chanting with her, smiling at her as if to pacify her. Besides the two of them, there was an old man with a disfigured mouth looking like it needed a set of false teeth badly, and two other young men warmly wrapped up against the cold.
The old lady was trying to get the old man(whom apprently seemed to be her husband) to sit next to her, But he kept declining. And as I neared the scene, a wierd smell reached me. It smelled like leather gone bad from having being left in the rain, togther with some other scent which I tried in vain to identify. First impression: a very incongruous scene...I found myself shying away from the woman even though she'd not said anything to me yet. I managed a smile at her but inwardly I was hoping she wouldn't ask me to sit beside her. It was quite a long wait for the bus. The old woman gabbled on to the younger woman beside her who obviously knew her, though what she was saying was anybody's guess. From time to time she would break out into the chant I'd heard at first.
And as I stood slightly out of the circle of light thrown out of the bus stop, thoughts just came in.
Why was it I found it so hard to love ppl like these?
Why in the world am I being so put off by wierd smells and wierd chants and wierd looking wigs?
And here I am with all my talk about going into the mission field as a doctor...while I'm having difficulty loving ppl not 500 metres from my flat..
Will I be able to love ppl the way Jesus loves them?
I'll admit a lot of what I was thinking was not really justified and that I'd no right to second guess God and His plans for me and feel bad about doing so.. But the picture of the woman stayed with me after I'd got the cake and gone home and sung happy birthday with the rest..
Jesus loves her too.
How far will I actually dare to go for Him?
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I can say I serve You
I can say I fear You
I can say I worship You
I can say I want to make a difference and impact ppl and be the salt and light and make a stand for You
I can say it all now.
But in the end...when I stand before You
Can I say it still?
And, most chillingly of all,
Can I say I love You with all my heart, my mind and my strength?
Thanks for the jolt, God...
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I'll say from the start off that I think I've drunk more alcohol during these 5 days than the last few weeks in Liverpool and the few months before. This was because we went to Irish pubs a few nights during our stay there. Not that we were forced to drink either, but it was something to be experienced. We went to the Porterhouse Pub that claimed to serve every type of beer ever brewed in the world. They had this promotion where they poured out 3 types of beer for 5 euros. Each type of beer was 1/3rd of a pint, so Jack and I tried a pint between ourselves. Hsu pheen tried out a fruit beer from Belgium which was something none of us had ever had before. What made the experience even better was that there was absolutely no smoke inside the pubs. This is due to the superb ruling that says NO SMOKING INSIDE PUBS which well enforced in Ireland. Plus, the Irish live bands played wierd instruments like the highland pipes, adding to the atmosphere...it was almost like Starbucks with alcohol..one could actually talk and be heard in there. No doubt about it...a refreshing change from the loud headbanging clubs in Liverpool and Malaysia(not that I would choose pubbing over a good book anytime though:-) )
In Dublin we took a bus tour around the city, which introduced us to around 20 different tourist attractions, which we tried to squeeze into a day. In the end we only managed to visit the Guiness distillery, the Jameson Whiskey distillery, and the Dublin Zoo. I've gotten pretty tired of talking bout the Guinness since it seems to be THE place to visit in Dublin so I'll say something about the zoo instead. We were feeling slightly lightheaded when we visited the zoo cos we'd just finished the free pint of stout given on completion of the Guinness tour. So half the time Jack and Alex were making up dialogue for the animals and taking photos while trying to get the animals' attention, making for quite an interesting time.. Jack especially wanted to see the penguins and the polar bears. We succeeded on the first but were stumped by the second. However we did manage to run quite far around the zoo, catching the lions in heat, the otters who lept following us, the tapir whom Jack promptly declared to be Malaysian, the rhinos who were too bored to fight, the sea lions which looked like 'animals with amputated limbs' according to Alex and lots more.
The other fun part was meeting up friends from IMU. wE met Prakash in Dublin and he seemed to be in good shape(though he did get sick when we left). He seemed to be busy with rotations and was quite enthusiastic about his posting. In Belfast we met Ying Feng, Siao Wen, Ching Ling, Laurene and Kevin Tan plus a whole bunch of seniors. The Belfast people introduced us to their rooms, after which we chilled in their kitchen. Back in Dublin we met Bern who came all the way from Galway to meet us and Aaron. The common thing about everyone was that they were so delighted to meet up together again..Not everyone knew each other that well in IMU, but in these conditions everyone was eager to talk to each other and catch up. Which got me thinking; 'when we have a reunion next time, the response would probably be phenomenal' There was much exchanging of UK handphone numbers and lots of talk(esp by Ching Ling). Bern joined us for a visit to Trinity college on Sat morning, still his lame self:-) Aaron seemed fine as well, having found Victor Voon to help him settle down.
On Friday morning, we had breakfast? at 3am in....of all places, a Chinese restaurant in Belfast. And of all things, we had steamboat, cooked in the typical Hong Kong style. When the soup came, I was surprised to see what looked like bits of fried onion floating together with chilli slices. Being hungry, all of us dug in and a deathly silence fell around the table. All of us were trying to maintain our composure, cos' the fried onions were actually some kind of super spicy spice that went into your nostrils and up into your head if you bit on them. The whole meal was veryvery hot and different from any steamboat any of us had before(Jack claimed Taiwan steamboat was similar but hotter though). The spices gave the soup a really different taste. I recognised star of anise but the rest of the spices were little round balls which I couldn't identify. A more normal meal was the Irish breakfast we had this morning in Dublin... Bacon, a fried egg, pudding, sausages and thick slices of toast. Yup, sounds typical right? They call it a 'fried up' breakfast cos' everything is fried except the coffee. We also had a huge raspberry scone each, which would have been better served piping from the oven.
Bern and I stayed back at the cafe for a chat with Victor Voon while the others left for last minute shopping. David, Shubs, think you remember him from CSU right? He's the senior who was our patient a few times before Sem 3 exams. It was a good time of catching up and he encouraged us a lot. Typical of any Christian senior( and especially one from ECF:-) ) he wanted to find out whether or not we'd found a church where we were at home with. Came away refreshed and encouraged to press on in Liverpool.
There were the not so good times of the trip too... like us missing our flight home due to protests in the city centre, seeing 2 ppl getting beaten up by pub bouncers in Belfast and some other occasions. But I think on the whole we had a pretty good time, thanks hugely to Nigel(Hsu Pheen's friend) and Suann(Alex's friend) who kindly let us bunk in their houses for the duration. And so, Sat night saw 4 tired but satisfied medical students trudging up the road to Agnes Jones House..
That should be all..sorry if I'm not making sense sometimes cos trying to type as much as poss be4 I lose the inclination to do so:-) Going to be really busy next wweek cos classes are finally starting.. But b4 that, some photos...
Us at Liverpool John Lennon Airport
This particular whiskey gets up your nose and ears!
The house where Oscar Wilde once stayed in..
The Suir Road LUAS station(LUAS is the tram system in Dublin)..
Tourists enjoying a free pint of Guinness stout on top of the distillery.
At DUBLIN airport..
There we go.. a straightforward post.. can't go wrong there.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
A nice peaceful read in bed, curled up under the covers with the heater on during a windy, rainy night.
Watching the next episode of Naruto or Battlestar Galactica with the lights turned off and only my study lamp cum uplight on.
Coming back from hospital hungry, and making corned beef sandwiches with garlic cheese and herbs or pasta with sausage and cheese.
Going out with friends for a night out...dinner, movie and chill out someplace where we can catch up on each other's lives.
Going to church, expecting a time of meeting Him and pouring out my heart to Him without reservations, whether its by recommitment or asking Him for more territory.
Christmas in Sitiawan, carolling from house to house with the MYF, going to a church packed on Christmas morning, and dinner at grandparents' house.
Stepping up to an empty keyboard, or even better, a piano and just playing chords till I'm led to worship Him..then going on from song to song in worship, or making up something totally new.
Buying a new computer game that I've been waiting for some time(Fallout 3!), installing it and seeing the title page; then creating a new character and playing the first few easy levels.
Getting into a chat with ppl i know which goes beyond run-of-the-mill chit chat and touches on deeper stuff, knowing that this is DEFINITELY NOT the time to break out a lame joke, and sharing my heart with him/her as well.
Sharing a lame joke with friends whom I know will respond in exactly the way I expect.
Receiving packages from home and opening them to find Malaysian delicacies and useful stuff I didn't know I'd forgotten to bring.
Going to SNL at ECF..so far, there's nothing like that here yet, though I hope that's about to change!
Going out with ppl I know for games I like - Jimmy and David for ping pong, Ed for badminton, Jane and the gang for tennis, Ken, Jim, Dav, Jul, Bern and Sarah for Dota!
Having a drink with Pa late at nite; him with his glass of beer, me with a glass of beer mixed with Sprite cos I can't stand the taste..and just chatting.
Playing Scrabble, flying kites, playing tennis or Uno with Ray/Caroline...right before one of us spoils the mood of the game:-)
Going for a movie that I REALLY want to watch, the anticipation as we queue up for the tickets of LOTR, Matrix and Star Wars.. and discussing the movie over dinner/supper later.
Embarking on a project with a group of like-minded friends; whether it's playing in a youth band, or organizing a tennis practice to train for a competition, or discussion for Christmas with Christian Fellowship.
Leaving for a holiday with friends, just when everyone's in a good mood and enjoying themselves, till late at night when everyone's in the same room and the excited talk turns into sober sharing, and you see a side of ppl that you never knew before.
Waiting to get home and pop the latest Hillsongs/Planetshakers/United LIVE cd into the laptop..sadly, nowadays the wait is better than what happens after...
Coming up with a good idea for a video, having all the photos and clips I need, and a whole day free to tweak and edit, and finally, showing it to the ppl I meant it for.
Waiting to go for a really, really BIG dinner, a buffet at the resort in Cyberjaya being the one that stand out in my mind, on a really, really empty stomach.
Watching movie spoofs, and reading parodies of famous books, the good ones at least, are really good.
Getting to know someone and sharing time with him/her and finding out she's growing closer to God as a result.
Having a friend I can rely on to chat about anything, at all times, and punch when I'm frustrated, and whom I can rely on to build me up though it involves squeezing me down to size.
Coming up with something to blog about after thinking and thinking and thinking...
WHO KILLED KENNY???
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Service above self....
So many references to service, so when I was asked to define how a servant should act, I did so without hesitation : A servant is someone who takes orders and obeys them without question.
Well, turns out I was wrong on both counts.
According to Jeremiah 18, a servant has to be moldable and willing to remain in the potter's hand. In other words, I'm not supposed to merely take orders and obey them. Instead, I'm supposed to relate to God and allow my life to be adjusted to Him, so that He can accomplish His WILL thru me. The tough part, the part where I have to respond, is to constantly keep close to Him, and allow my life to be changed by what I see, not changing my life to keep my wants in the picture. It's different from the picture I normally have of a servant DOING STUFF. It's about seeing where God is, and going there.
"Whoever serves me must follow me. Where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." John 12:26
What do you think?
Monday, August 29, 2005
- MY ROOM!! besides having broadband which i never had b4 it's nice to just curl up with a good book and lose track of time...
- the weather..nice and cool after getting used to it
- the large helpings whenever we eat out..
Bold St. - where we walk up everyday.. and where the shoppers have a job trying to keep thier eyes on the road.
Agnes Jones House proper...
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
some things are so good they leave us speechless
gazing at it as if we can't get enough of it
straining our ears to ensure we capture every single note
and drinking in the warm sweet fragrance that fills the air
this is not one of those things.
the dignified, reposed and refined dignitaries of the culturally sophisticated batch known indubitably as M103
WELL, we're halfway there..
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
First thing I got was a lecture on how to brush my teeth. The doctor, a really nice guy btw, gave me the impression that he'd been studying my brushing technique for quite some time. It was as if he'd cameras installed in vista and at home..quite scary really. Anyway, he mentioned, and I guess I'd better put them down here for my own reference, that Brushing Your Teeth is a MYTH. We Clean Our Teeth is more accurate. And with me lying down holding a mirror, he proceeded to demonstrate. Apparently it was to be done right at the gums and not in a left to right motion, but rather up and down or circular motions a small section at a time. I was quite impressed by this, especially when he compared my upper gums which were nice and sharp and healthy to my lower gums.
Another day, another thing learned.
Today I had the bright idea of going to the public library. And about the only reason I'd choose the public library as a more happening place to be besides my house would be becos it had one thing my house didn't. Broadband. So rather ambitiously, I lugged in my laptop thru the doors, knowing very well what I was about to hear. And sure enough, not two seconds later, I heard it. "Beg tak boleh bawa masuk." from a little Malay lady at one of the computers. Anticipating this, I'd already formulated a reply. "Kalau saya bawa laptop, boleh guna ke?" "Boleh, tapi tak boleh guna letrik sini." Ok, slightly unexpected, their tight holding of electricity rights, nevertheless I immediately switched to plan B. Returning my laptop bag to the car, I extracted my other peice of hardward, the external hard drive I recently got from Joy. Clutching this black peice of metal, I proceeded inside and signed up for an hour of usage. Sitting down, I plugged it into the USB port and smiled as it was detected almost effortlessly. I'm in, I thought. Feeling like a hacker from a movie, I proceeded to access my hard drive, and began doing what I came here for; 26 episodes of anime called Naruto!(ok David you can stop smiling now..) I'd barely gotten started when I noticed a snag. I'd downloaded using a client called BitTorrent, but the computer hadn't got BitTorent installed. No problem, I thought, navigating to the download page. Minutes later the download was started. I suppose I should've suspected something when I couldn't save it to my own hard drive though. Sure enough, when I downloaded it, I found I couldn't run the installer without admin rights. Looking at the Malay lady surreptitiously, I decided against asking her and considered my options. Finally making up my mind, I asked the lady if I could bring my laptop in and go online with it. Receiving a blank look, I realised I was about five seconds away from confusing her. Actually, after 3 seconds of explaining about networking and connecting two cables, she gave the no-no. So back into the sunshine I went, defeated at my attempts to take advantage of the public library. Life, I thought while trying to console myself, is more than Naruto.
Which was true.
But later, while I wrote this, I wondered, would I have thought so if I'd actually succeeded?
Friday, August 12, 2005
He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me..”
Just went out for supper with Aunty Mei Ying and Uncle Kee In, my youth counselors back in Sitiawan. It was quite interesting, given that this was the first time I’d been out with them for supper alone, without Hang Yuan or Wern Jing or even Joel around. I felt especially nostalgic(man..) when Uncle Kee In mentioned stuff about me back in the days of Sunday School.. I’d forgotten they were around and teaching me back then.. Actually now I come to think about it, I still remember Aunty Mei Ying scolding me for using foul language back in a PJ session in primary school..
We talked about quite a lot of stuff, mostly concerning me going to the UK and the whole medical-student-life in God’s hands-what are you doing with your future kind of thing. And they were concerned enough to discuss the possibility of a CG for all of the “transitioners” waiting either to further studies(like me) or waiting to start work.. Was really humbled and saw my lack of vision, despite all I say about it…..
Also had one of those moments where I realized a lot will happen in the next few years.. Stuff like finding out where God would put me, what I was supposed to be doing, who He had in store for me.. Bet by the time I’d finished, both my sisters would have boyfriends, my dad might not be working anymore… So much in store..
“He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side,
With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way…
He will make a way.”
The words just popped into my mind as I drove home.. Truly He is the only unchanging element amongst the chaos and the uncertainty of the world. It’ll all depend on how I hold on to Him in the coming years.
Oh, and for the select few who saw my brush with the IMU computer in the medical museum, I managed to better that today… Had a brush with the sharp end of a tube of Darlie toothpaste later that night; it surprised even myself.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Food we had on the first nite...note the creaminess of the omelette..
"Are we hired hands, or are we servants?" - Sarah, on the topic of servanthood
"Just notice me, that's all I ask." - Eu Pui during random sharing
"I should be embarassed, but I'm not" - Andrew, when questioned about his embarassing moment
"50% of my batch for God...whoa, what did I just say?" - Christine, realising her vision
"Make Jesus count in IMU and make IMU count for Jesus." - Sarah's vision statement
"Different, but in a good way." - Thomas, comparing retreats
"CF is student initiated; that's why we have a Sem 7 student sitting amongst us!" - Sarah on CF heritage
"Because she said, 'Be bowl!' " - Andrew after a bowl mysteriously fell when Sarah was talking
"I wouldn't go to a CF that is not relevant; I'd rather sleep loh." - Sarah on the 3 R's
"If the only time everyone can meet in lunch, we....should pray for more LTs in IMU la!" - Anna during discussion to change CF time
"It tastes a bit like no taste!" - Andrew being deep about food
"The birthday girl" - Daniel after Sarah asked what might blow out our candles
"Ok...I'll speak" - Jas Min after a long silence where everyone was waiting for her to say something
"Can stretch one la!" - Grace on theme application
"You all very scared to tread on each others toes one.." - Eu Pui during closing
"You asked me to say one word about the retreat..I'd say indescribable." - Joanne during closing
"Wei Ming...Wilfred." - Siew Lian on what's missing from the retreat
"Now this is where the real work begins..." - Eu Pui's closing statement
Hope when I read this this time next year, CF will have evolved spiritually as well as in size.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
- Kharti's beard(there's one guy who shaves less than me!)
- Vasuhi's tendency to laugh over anything we say
- The fact that if you take digital photos of the food court waitresses, you'll get cheaper food
- Celebrating Vasuhi's bday impromptu after finding out none of us will be around to do it later
- Having friends to comment on my choice of long-sleeved shirts without criticising my fashion sense(if I have any that is..)
Also found out a lot bout what others in my ex-batch were doing.. A very big SORRY for not keeping in touch as much as I should have.. Sigh... guess it's time to go work on that Friendster account..
Oh, and they enjoyed Fantastic Four..Think my standards are too high?