Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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Okay. Got a short nights OUT. Wonderful stuff.

Prob will be able to form a prayer group where I am. Fantastic. Just sat down with this brother while in the office and began to talk and share. Then we decided to have a prayer group... need to be real careful though. Not to offend, and to be able to carry out our jobs smoothly at the same time.

Need to constantly remember my purposes in life. One of which is to evangelize. John 10:16. Other sheep I have who are not of this flock. Them also I must call....

Received a really warm sweet message from Jon Tay, Clara Ying and Andrea this morn, just before flag raising. Fantastic people.

Hmmm. Working on my fitness again. Keeping my diet healthy again.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ponderings

Will be confined with my recruits coming in next week on Friday, so please keep me in prayer. That I'll know how to treat them. How to be a Christian soldier where I am.


Things seem quite alright. Completed my unit induction program, and earned my 1 SIR cap badge. Went through an 8 klick fast march/run with weapon stations inside, casaulty evacuation... etc finishing with a SOC. They call it the Leopard challenge. Quite happy to have completed it. 2 hours 47 minutes I think.



Rushed back to church to be with my Pri 6s in the Thanksgiving production. Really thank God that I could be with them. They may not really know it, but they mean a lot to me, the whole bunch. Good to see most of them smoothly transiting to YPM (where, if I'm not mistaken, they'll be under John Lam, my ol' YPMS teacher). Concerned for a few of them though.

Am very proud of how mature these Pri 6s are. How they're growing to become teenagers for Christ. Saw how they did the ushering on Thanksgiving day. So serious in their jobs. Must say that I believe that Samuel Kerk and their family upbringings were 2 large factors. Either way, I hope that my short time with them was of some help.

Many new faces in church right now. Many I don't know. Unfortunately haven't gotten to know many of them. Many people growing up. Well, that's obvious and not quite acute an observation. But just look at it man. When I first started helping out in CM, I was in Sec. 4. And now I'm in NS and I can really see how the current Sec. 4s/J1s have matured. Wayne, Trent, Andrea, Zhang Wei, Clara Ying, Jon Lim, Jon Tay, Shawn Goh... etc. Wow. A whole new group of teachers, standing right where I was.





See? That's when the four of us were in Sec. 4 and Sec. 3. On the church rooftop, last evening of the 04 camp.

Really enjoy myself around the current batch of 16 or so year olds. Once again, you guys may not know it, but it's awesome to spend time with you. Make me feel at home in God's house.

Then again I've always enjoyed myself in God's house, with the 3 shown above.

When I joined CM, bout a year back, God was telling me that the passion I have for the children AND the youth in CM was God-given. So there. I'll probably continue in CM for sometime, the way I see it.

Ah yes, I ain't as close to God these days as I was. Need to spend more time perhaps. I've been spending much time growing relationships with God's people, but I definitely need time to spend with God.

Friday, November 30, 2007

1 SIR

Had my first week in 1 SIR.

Was a little down this week, at the beginning, cuz couldn't take leave for childrens' camp, something I've been looking forward to for some time. Some late nights and early mornings in ROC I could be carrying the standard 30 kg or so, nursing blisters and telling myself that, " at least after this ends I'll have a chance to take leave and go to this camp". Have been praying bout this for some time.

Goes something like "God please let me go for this camp, really need a time to be with the kids, be with my bros and sistas in you, just relax in a godly atmosphere... but your will be done Lord."

And His will isn't always a pleasant thing.

Been working around difficult people for quite some time. Just thought I'd needed a break. Apparently my battalion doesn't think so. And neither does my God. So there. That's so army. I think I need something but others don't think I do.

It's real hard to trust in God sometimes? When things don't go your way. It's a test of faith.

My JC mate's dad passed away 2 weeks ago or so. That's a greater test of faith.

So many feelings and emotions and thoughts I'd like to put up here... but all I can say... is that NS has made me a little bit wiser, a little bit stronger, a little bit more experienced.

Wiser- The smallness of myself and my capabilities, the futility of going it alone. The wisdom of having to trust in God.

Stronger- The ability to keep going. To accept physical, mental and emotional exhaustion as my colleague.

Experienced- The betrayals of trust. The broken friendships, silent hurts and forgiveness on my part. To take emotional pain, hand it to God, forgive, and smile. To understand the human weaknesses of individuals. To know that some people always will hurt you and try to exploit you... and still accept them as friends, wary in your heart, yet full of love as Christ would. To also recognize that those you believe to be true friends might turn against you when adversity tests friendships.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I graduated

Passed out of SISPEC yesterday. Finally left Pasir Laba Camp. Was really glad to take my posting notice and move past the gate for the last time. I may come back some day, but for now, I'm just very grateful it's over.

Been through some painful times. Glad God brought me through.

Posted to 1 SIR, the unit with the oldest history around. Am looking forward to taking and training soldiers. Back to the good old infantry stuff.

NS has made me a quieter person.



Sunday, November 18, 2007

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Sometimes in army things get really tough. You just know that God is using the moment and situation to mould you. It's not always easy holding on to God. Christian people who behave worse than non-Christians. You look at them and sometimes you really question God. How can a Christian be using so many vulgarities? How can a Christian be talking so crudely about sex? Influence others to do unethical things?

Over the past weeks or so I've been the butt of many sarcastic and cruel comments of some influential people I've offended, some Christian. In the army. So much so that many people have problems to pick against me. It doesn't feel good to be called names. Like I've been called a dog, for example. Sometimes they gang up and say unpleasant things against me. And I'm already being very mild in my description.

It's tough not to strike back. It's tough to swallow.

At least I have only one week more to go before being posted to a new unit. I pray, and please do pray with me, that I'll be able to attend childrens' camp, at least and also YPM camp.

... Childrens' ministry is really a lifeline to me. It grounds me somewhere, that at least I know that there are brothers and sisters who do care for me. It's a warm place to be. I've been a soldier for 7 months and I really thank God for CM.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

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Hi all. I'm back from my stint in Taiwan. Some parts were rather demanding physically. Went through quite a bit in the Taiwanese jungle.

Have become mentally stronger, more perseverant. Never gave up.

Some ugly stuff happened, too. Makes me emotionally stronger. It is painful when people turn back and bite you. People you helped and cared for. It is hard not to strike back.

Not to worry. I'm quite okay right now. Good to be back in Singapore. Brought back lots of food. Heard YPM camp tickets sold out already. Oh well. The first one I won't be going since Sec. 1 I think.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Off to ROC

Going up for a while

Please keep me in prayer. Safety and all.

A 3 week long typhoon would be pur-fect.

Prayer-fully can make it for childrens' camp, at least.

Take care.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A little glimpse

Just for a moment, I want you to come and stand next to me. Yes, from the comfort of your side of the computer screen.

I want you to look around you, observe that it is 10p.m. and that you really should be preparing to sleep, not go out on a 4 day long series of missions. I want you to feel the tightness of my combat boots, the 30 kg load on my back, the humidity beneath my kevlar helmet and the increasingly cool air outside. I want you to bring your eyes up to high heaven, enjoy the stars for a second, before bringing them down to view a parade square of infantrymen checking their gear, waiting to move out.

You get to the start line. High kneel. Always have to high kneel. High kneel, high kneel, prone, prone. If not you'll get shot. Front man starts to get up and move. You wait a second or two then stand up to maintain tactical distance. Man, you really should be in bed sleeping now. Or at least wrapping up the day... no you're not. You've barely started.

Tread through the jungle trail. Cut through some thick vegetation some times. 1 hour, 2 hours, 3, 4. Man, when is this going to end? Sergeant tells you to ****ing hurry up. You feel like cursing the guy, but you really can't cuz you know God is watching. Boots keep clumping around on the ground. Sweat pours down your cheek. Wipe off the sweat... wait, don't. It'll spoil the camoflauge painted on your face. The load cuts deeper and deeper into your back. Get so tired you can't really think.

If you're fortunate and you reach the area early enough, perhaps you get to catch forty winks, while a third keeps guard. If you're not, you assault the stupid hill immediately. That would be about 6 in the early morning. Move up quick. Don't get shot. Not too slow. Not too fast. Don't cut in front of your buddy. Don't get killed. "OIH YOU!!! WHY SO SLOW? ####ing hurry up. ### ### ###. #### your #### legs and ####ing get up the #### hill. ## ### ####. "

Okay. Now you've got the hill. And in the same way that those sorry fellows who were killed did, you've got to dig in and prepare to be shot at. Dig your own grave, sort off. Once you die, you fall in anyway. So might as well dig a bit better. Dig dig dig dig. Set up defence. Ever tried digging from 10a.m. in the morning till 4:45 a.m. the next morning? Dig dig dig dig dig dig dig dig. Raise the chungkol above your head, bring it down. Over and over again.

You come to get familiar with this sight of your buddy and you digging wordlessly through the night. So worn out you can hardly talk. Just a few brief mutual glances for speechless encouragement.

You become friends with this sour smell. You remember yourself sticky. That's the 2 days worth of sweat mixed with the soil in your trench. The sickly, sourish smell and the sticky, wet feeling.

... And then after about 2 hours of sleep, if you're fortunate enough to get it, that is, you defend your position. How many days over? 2 days, 2 nights. Well, cover back all the foxholes you dug. Your blood and sweat measured in hours, erased in minutes. March down the hill, get briefed and ready for your next mission.

March through the night. Morning comes, attack. This time it's a built up area. Many are supposed to die. Well, that's because we're infantry. The top brass always stresses that infantry is needed to hold ground. That we dominate the land. That no matter who starts the war, the last shot will come from the infantryman in the last bunker of the enemy. That's why we have so many infantrymen. They never did lie. Except that we all simultaenously know that a better reason is that the most casaulties will probably come from us.

One pilot gets shot down and they send a whole special forces team to go rescue him behind enemy lines. One infantryman gets shot and his buddy fireman-carries him away at the risk of his own life. Artillery fire from far away, never really understanding how the enemy feels. Infantrymen feel, see and hear the munitions, the deaths.

Of course, I'm only training. No deaths, no risk of loss of life. Only very tired and amazed at the high work output your body can churn out based on such small an amount of sleep. No images of dead bodies, only midnight hallucinations as you march. (E.g. hmmmm. what the heck is that soldier doing in the middle of the road? Eh wait, blink blink, nope, no soldier there. Or hmmm. Why is my buddy staring at me? Stare back. Oh, it's a leaf.)

That's the skinny of my week. Just hope you'll understand slightly better what we go through. Now that there are all the rules imposed on no cameras or camera phones, and I can only take out mental images of all these moments. Pity that I can't take pictures home. Big risk these days.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

sitrep

Am still alive. Finished my 32. Well a bit more. 35 perhaps. Ever heard of people going the wrong direction in a friggin route march?

2 more major obstacles. One more field camp and ROC. And then maybe... just maybe I'll go check up and see whether I really have injuries.

Friday, September 28, 2007

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Hi all

Just booked out today. Good to be home.

Next 2 weeks will be very demanding. A 32 klick and a field camp are part of it. Field camp will have shellscrape and fire trench to dig through the night, for those who understand.

So far I've been lugging my injuries through. Many many have gone out of course. I do not intend to. It's a risk I continually take- whether my injuries will become permanent. But now 8 weeks more to go. I am not a quitter. Never have been... but have to be wise too.

Please to pray that I'll make it through by God's grace. ... If I was training myself, I'd prob have cut all strenuous physical activity for a month or so.

Pam... take care on your job. Life in uniform's not easy. Am keeping you in prayer. Thanks for keeping me in yours. Hard stuff comes along some days, don't they.

Gabriel Lee and Andrea, who appear to be the only 2 other existing readers, thank you very much for your continued support. Am keeping you both in prayer too, each day, believe it or not. Take care. God-willing will be able to spend more time with CM people after my course, should I complete it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

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This week was okay. Not too physical, lots of rush to wait, wait to rush.

Have 9 weeks more to graduation, 6 weeks before I come back from ROC. They'll fly by fast enough, provided I make it through. Provided my injuries don't get too bad. Intend to take life at an easier pace, and get back into exercising and all after the course, after I'm totally okay.

Physical fitness has plummeted. Combat fitness has skyrocketed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekend

I had a good weekend.

Saturday going to Glenn and Luzanne's wedding. Something I was looking forward to but almost couldn't make it. Almost confined cuz of a failed test. Fortunately there was a re-test. To Glenn, if you're reading, which I know you're prob not, it was really a blessing being there, enjoying the sight of you enjoying yourself. Enjoying the food and people.

Today I led praise and worship for CM. I felt surprisingly joyful and good. Don't know whether it was good or bad, but I was ministered to in portions of joy and peace. I didn't even try or do anything. So thank God for that.

Went out, ate with Wayne, Tiew and the guys. Man I spent 10 years in a guy's school, 2 years in JC getting used to the opposite sex and then I enlisted. Haha. But good stuff still, hanging out with guys.

Have about 10 weeks before I graduate from my current course. Please keep me in prayer, that I'll finish well and God will keep me injury free. Also that I may have great wisdom to handle all the things here. It's hard to keep right before God where I am. Often have to make split second ethical decisions and I do make wrong ones at times.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A small infantry corporal's thoughts.

-I'm nothing big really. Just going to be the lowest ranked commander around. I would like a combat unit, but I seem to be getting more injuries these days, and I want to exercise for the rest of my life. So we'll see.

-It's really me and God these days. Family cares the most for me, besides my God. Some friends are supportive. Some are not. Some still know me as the old me. But things are not the same. I think and act differently now. It may not be obvious, but I know. At the same time, I'm rather distanced from civilian life. It seems out of my world right now.

For who understands except my God?

To those who still care, thank you so much.

To the others, that's alright. Don't blame you or anything. You have your own life to lead, your own things to enjoy. It's not wrong. I am nothing big. Nothing great. In the first place it's not as if I deserve to be cared for. And I am not being sarcastic. When I suffer and I see you enjoying yourself, not really bothering bout me, it's okay. The worst is when you think you understand me and my situation better than me, but you really don't. But it's okay. Really. Painful, yes. But I don't hold it against you. May God bless you richly in your own life.

Something I learnt after joining the army. People will forever hurt you. Sometimes they won't know. Just forgive them and don't repay it to them. Sometimes they do it intentionally. It's okay. Jesus loves them. When they want to mend bridges, don't turn them down. But know that they might just treat you like dirt again.

Some people do things for self gain. They will fight for themselves first and foremost. If they are on good terms with you, there's a high chance that it's because they see good things for themselves in it. But when hard times come, they won't give a damn about you. It gets real bad, when you begin to think that you really have a friend in such a person.

Yet for every hurt I go through, my Lord has gone throught far worst. I can keep going because I know He has felt far worse hurt than I. And that truly, I can better comprehend how God feels.

Not everything is in black and white. There are ethical dilenmas each day.

Each day really worries about itself. I have to live day to day. Sometimes things don't get done by 1 a.m. or so in the morning. Best thing to do is just to sleep and try to settle it the next day. Often, problems settle themselves.

It's been good the last few days. Little sleep. But good Quiet Time. I actually find more strength in spending time with God than getting a few extra minutes of sleep. It's surprising. People are still fast asleep when I get up to pray. But I can take it throughout the whole day by God's grace.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Last 2 days

Monday watched Jesus Camp in the night with my old discipleship group. It's a show that'll get you thinking. Got me thinking both ways. Bout the political validity of the show, which I do not entirely trash. And also, looking at the spiritual maturity and hunger the kids had for God. Wow. That reminded me bout how little fire for God is left in me, as compared to before.

Our group started when I was Sec.4, if I remember correctly. Then we were 1 uni student, 3 Sec. 4s, 1 Sec 3. Now it's one working adult with a girlfriend, 1 medical student, 1 SISPEC ASLC trainee, 1 CQ trainee, 1 Poly student. Things advance and change.

Days move forward. Dreams rise and dreams crash. Some known and some unknown.

Tuesday was great. Watched Ratatouille (if I got the spelling right) with Joseph Tiew, Yvonne Kirk and 2 kids. It's wonderful being around children. And a bro and sis in Christ. The movie was good, but the company was better. Walked with Tiew all the way from around church to Eunos MRT. Talking with this bro. Felt like just a lil stroll.

Today was first day of ASLC. Keep me in prayer please.

Loved by the Lord

Through all these trials I am going through, I am loved by the Lord. I am God's most unworthy friend.

These are a few of my current concerns. Prayers are coveted.

1)Whether God would let me finish ASLC. I've got some pain in the left foot still. I think it's the same ol' arch strain. Need to have wisdom and obedience in what exactly to do.

2)To honour God and serve Him with all my heart. In NS. Right here and now. In the midst of every challenge I'm being put through.

3)My ministry to the children never be adversely affected by what goes on to me in the army.

4)I can feel the squeeze, I know that God is allowing me to be moulded and bended. So I need to stick close to God through this all.

5)I'd really love to go to this year's childrens' camp. If God wills He will make a way.

A few names of the bible I like.

Elijah- A strong prophet of God, who was used so mightily. And yet look how often he cried before God. Kinda like me.

Jedidiah- Loved by the Lord, friend of God. God gave Solomon this name as well.

Othniel- Lion of God.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Of stones and dust

Who am I and what am I becoming? For it seems that the me of 2 months past is no longer the I of present. Tough experiences cut through stone, grinding up dust and powder. The dust is what you now see. The rather emotionless face. Some see it as tiredness. Some see it as being troubled. I'm not too sure what exactly it is myself. Emotional tiredness is definitely one though.

What the stone has become I do not yet know. When the residual powder is washed away then perhaps we shall see.

Last year God was telling me that this year would be tough. Much tougher than the last. So far I've dealt with delinquents, people who slash themselves, people who go boy's home. Then I enlisted. Got into a physically tough company. Then I got into a lot of painful experiences in where I am. The life as a soldier I relish. The things learnt. Some people can really make life difficult and painful though. Some people can really hurt. And you live with them 24 hours. Some can really tear down and destroy what a man is made of... at least they can try.

They have not succeeded. For I have fought and survived. But when the fight and adrenaline rush leaves, the realisation of pain sets in. The momentum has carried me on. But when I rest I realise that I'm aching all over from the fight. A bruise here and there. A bloody nose.

I'm alive and well and God is still good. That's where I stand. Just me and God. No one else can understand. Only me and God. Man cannot be relied on.

Psalm 144. Praise be to the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress. My shield in whom I take refuge. Who subdues people under me.

I don't expect anyone to understand. It's alright.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

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Corporal Foong has been posted to ASLC.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

-

Wah. They scold me a lot here. Looking back, the volume of curses, insults and vulgarities flung at me as an individual was quite unprecedented. But managed to remain calm and professional through all the verbal slamming.

Psalm 118:6. The Lord is with me. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Tired and discouraged. But then again, physical muscles grow from over exertion and subsequent growth as a bodily response. How much more spiritual muscle... at least I hope.

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Oh well. Things ain't turning out the way I wanted them to. By the day more things are being flung in my direction. It's a struggle to find God each day. It's a constant battle to seek godliness. Sometimes I don't know who I'm becoming. I simply seem to think differently these days.

My last 10 weeks have changed my perceptions regarding my current life here. Hard work does not always get rewarded. What incentive is there? Things are not as efficient as they are made to seem. People do not care half as much as you'd think they would. Not everyone is treated equally. I feel like a simple statistic performing a function for someone else. Much of what is said is untruth.

So am I getting wiser or pessimistic? Am I growing stronger or simply becoming jaded? I have no idea. I'm evolving though, to put it that way. At the rate I'm going I shall have mutant powers soon.

One thing that still continues to bring me joy is my kids in CM.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Trust

God seems to be telling me non-stop to trust in Him these few days. Many many many things about trust. Friends and all. Gabriel Low in SISPEC sensing God telling me to "trust him".

To those who still don't know, I didn't get into where I wanted to. Found out on Wednesday. Seems God was preparing me for the news. So it's the real test of whether God is still sovereign in my life, like my kor put it.

Think that my character, personality and perspectives in life are changing. Not quite the same person as a few months back. Things in army, perhaps a microcosm of life, aren't in black and white. It's in grey, with big splotches of black.

Going to pass out of BSLC in 2 weeks. Then will get my posting.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

_For a few of us.

The river has dried up
But the source is still alive
Perhaps... could there be a block upstream?

It's never nice to see a river dead
Lifeless fish and cracked ground
No more people in their little boats paddling in the noon time
Wait... there's still a little trickle

Maybe, just maybe the river is yet to be
Maybe a stronger current will replace the old, slow flow
Just maybe... perhaps... hopefully

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Few words

My faith and trust in God is being tested.

My character is being tested.

My perceptions and principles are tweaked.

Happy National Day.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

This week ff

A rather good week. Physically tired. But spiritually up. After I got a lot of people to pray for me, that I'd trust God again and all. This prayer artillery really works. Thanks to my dad, mom, kor, Caleb, Joseph, Jesh, Kwan Chin, Mei Yan, Jia En, Jing Jie, Jie Hau, Aaron Oh, Jeremy Leong, Jon Lim, CM kids, Gabriel in camp... so many. Am blessed. Truly.

More trusting in God now. Less on my own strength. Think that was the reason of the sore eyes, that as Caleb said, I might still be seeking OCS and not God if He hadn't slowed me down. So thanks Lord.

Anybody at home shaking leg, nothing to do? Pray for my buddies and instructors, that they'll come to know my God.

And that I'll put God first in everything...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Getting the attitude right

Had a few good talks with Jesh, Caleb and Daniel Yim. Some of my best buddies. Was good to see Daniel Li after about a month too. Was a great lesson with the kids today about sin.

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A prayer

Thank you Lord for exactly where I am and exactly who is with me in this place. Thank you Lord for everything. Be with us all as we train to be good sergeants. Give me the right attitude of trust in you Lord, not fear. Give me the spirit of the fear of the Lord, nothing else. Create chances for others to hear of you. Here I am Lord. Your servant in this place.

And you know of my desire to cross over. That too Lord, may you bless. But first let your will be done.

In Jesus' name

Amen

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

grr

They sent me back home.

Spent last night in an isolation ward at medical centre. First time in Army that I've had air-con and breakfast in bed. Night snack and cup noodles brought to me too. All because I'm not allowed to step out of the room.

Heck. I want to go out and fight.

Gladly trade my position Lord? Many want to be where I am, but I don't exactly. I have no idea what your plans are. How to perform in IPPT and SOC? How to chiong swa? Feeling so nuah already.

Doesn't feel right to be resting when the rest are braving the rain outfield. Doesn't feel right especially when they're doing what I like. When you've been sick, (if you were me), you'd rather be smack in the field.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sore Eyes IV

Okay. The eyes are getting better now. Fever seems to have gone. Thank you all who have prayed for me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sore Eyes III

Right, now I have a fever as well.

And my kor also has sore eyes. Heh. Sorry hor. What to do?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sore eyes II

Oh well, since I have a long Attn C (MC in Army terms), I thought I'd post a more complete entry.

Have never ever taken a single medical status in my entire army life. Have been sick with cough, headaches etc, but have never reported sick. And the first one is a Attn C. Ironic that many fellow trainees would gladly be in my position. But I'd rather be training and outfield. I take my job as a soldier seriously. And I do enjoy being a soldier. Sometimes things are hard and it's all I can do to refrain from swearing or allowing anger and stress to take control. But then I really grow as a person, in skills, confidence and in my walk with God.

Was reading Experiencing God, the youth edition workbook that we did in YPM many many years back, when I was a puny Sec 1 or 2. Back in YPMS days. And was reminded that I should trust God step by step, not to ask so much for the bigger picture, but be concerned only with each day. Matthew 6:33- Seek ye first the kingdom of God.

That's my position right now. Wanted to go OCS but am now in SISPEC. Thought I'd be able to cheong swa for this field camp but now have sore eyes- and apparently it's getting worse. This morning was the right. Now it's both.

Mind you, anybody who thinks SISPEC is a second rate school is dead wrong. And I'm not trying to be politically correct. SISPEC is more hands on. Anybody who knows enough will agree that the army cannot survive without its specialist corps.

So right now that's where I am, having my ambitions, but having surrendered them to God. Knowing that His will will be done ultimately. Learning to trust in Him each step of the way. It's not easy for me. I am a strong-willed person. I am opinionated. I can be dead stubborn. Then again I've also prayed that God do His will, that He bend and break and twist and mould me anyway that He wants, but if possible, that it not be too painful. And now that I'm going through such things, I should not complain.

Sore eye

^I got that right now.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Pensive

Hmmm.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Life

Must say that a few things are beginning to fall in place. Really enjoy being around the bunk mates I have now. Can clique real well. Very fun. Life is good so far. Have a cell up and going in camp. Feet have some time to heal.

Hmmmmm... ... ... ... Beginning to see some of God's purpose.

The world says that if you want something real bad, you have got to fight for it, to earn it. But experience with my Lord has shown me that if you want something real bad, you've got to first sit down. Sit down and have a little talk with the Lord and get your attitude right with Him. And then you see again whether you should keep going for that thing.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Injured?

Have what I believe is called a arch strain, or foot strain. The base of my left foot is hurting from too much usage.

It's funny y'know. Cuz I feel so frustrated now I feel like going for a long run. But I've got arch strain so I can't go for a long run. But because I got arch strain I'm frustrated and so I want to go for a long run...

Lord... as you will.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

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Ok. Yes. I am disappointed at not getting where I'd like to. In the first place I did place this into God's hands and say I want to go, God willing. I still want to go. There'll still be an opening or two. (This is not going to be an incredibly uplifting post. It's gonna be raw me.)

My walk with God is dry. I trusted God so much in BMT... in the first week. Perhaps I was too passive as a person. I don't know.

I am currently back to a very garang heck care fighting mentality. I seriously want to cross over. And I will fight very hard to get in. Prayer-fully I do not injure myself in the process. But I will not go down without a serious fight. Biggest enemy- myself.

Where do I draw the line between going in on my own strength and depending on God I'm not exactly sure. Being a Christian is sometimes so complicated. Sometimes find myself asking why I even try to be a Christian in the first place. Why do I even seriously try? Many others put in so little effort and seem to be much happier. So many extra things to care about. Sometimes ask why those who don't really honour God in their actions seem to be honoured more by God than those who do.

If God was a human being, I'd be very very angry cuz many things are turning out in ridiculous ways. Yet precisely because He's God I cannot question, because I DO know that He knows what He's doing better than I do. If God was a human being, He'd be plain unfair. But He is God. And the difference is that in the midst of human perception of existing unfairness I know He will work to bring forth eventual fairness. That as Psalms 1:5 says, "The wicked will not stand in the assembly of the righteous."

And so here I am at this state. Not fully understanding what is happening. Not fully satisfied, not fully at peace, even though I wish I were. In His method to this madness I now trust. I do not understand even what I am feeling now, but I shall wait and see. And God in His own time, as He always has done, will reveal.

And yes I'm frustrated.

P.S. Pam thanks for the encouragements. Well and truly appreciated.

Friday, June 22, 2007

SISPEC!!

Got into SISPEC.

So wherever God sends me I want to go. Ultimately He will decide what He wants to do with me.

And so off I go to be a spec trainee and enjoy myself. Have fun and do my thing. And try to start a cell group going, while I'm at it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A little look in the mirror

Having my lil long break still. Enjoying my work outs...

Physically I'm quite strong.

Spiritually not all is well. Yet good food can only be savoured when one is hungry.

The physical part of me is looking forward to the next stage of training. Of fighting and taking a few whacks that'll make me tougher. (People have called me masochistic... hmmm. Juniors in ODAC used to call me Bian Hai Yong- and yeah quite an honour). But truth be told, there's really IS something NICE to the pain you feel in exercise. ENJOY the pain and start smiling. The day will come when you can no longer enjoy the pain and your body can no longer take such training. When your muscles ain't as hard and strong as before. Something like Ecclesiastes 12.

The more spiritual part? Welllll. Not that good. It's shitty going into tougher times without being close to your God. Want to go into wherever I go and start a cell group. Need the support. Need help to spread the gospel.

I have learnt that some days in NS you won't feel quite so tough. You'll feel like giving up. At least for my coy- Heard that Caleb Lim? At the start you want to tell others about God and as things go by and you get so shagged out you just want to get the next job done so you can rest a lil. So well... perhaps I have been running on my own strength. And perhaps the current dryness is to show me I desperately need God's strength?

Used to think that living a life without God's strong presence must be kinda easy. I mean, can go and sin a lil and still have salvation. Can choose to not spend so much time on QT. Can mix around and say anything I like around many many many friends. Can flirt around a bit perhaps, like some of my friends do.

But hey man, out of touch with God for a while only and I know which life is better. Maintaining a close walk with God is hard. There's only one thing harder. Not having that walk at all.

Friday, June 15, 2007

POP





Some picts from POP. From top down. My parents and I, platoon with the infamous Mahat Sir. Who really whacked us hard but is someone I respect as an excellent commander. Me with Kwan Chin (a really pleasant surprise at the POP) , Caleb and I.
Spent yesterday and today working out and clocking a bit of mileage.

Friday, June 08, 2007

POP nearing

POP-ing next week. And after BMT is where we'll begin the hardship proper.

2 things I learnt so far in army:

I can hold a full bladder over approximately 45 minutes for 4 klick.

The most versatile word in the English language, effectively a noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, conjunction, which can bring out the meaning in any phrase, sentence or figure of speech, is a vulgarity. Pity.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

-

Realised that my social circle is rather small nowadays.

Got my NS buddies in camp.

Then got the guys in church when I book out.

Got my family and thank God for them.

And that's it.

That does not strike me as being too healthy.

Went for a lil jog with Caleb along East Coast. Went for YPM. And still feel dry.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Assessment

It's been about a month and a half since I became a soldier. The hair came off, along with most of my civilian life. Been through lots of tough training. Much more of it to come. Last week's training drained me physically, mentally and even spiritually. I'm not as close to God as I should be. I don't really feel safe.

Saturdays and Sundays are rushed pleasant interludes. Yeah, I still keep up praying to God every morn, even in camp. Usually 0500 to 0535. But these days it's getting more and more dry. Even after I come home I feel dry. I hate this dryness. I can survive all the physical and mental torture but I cannot bear being far from the One I have known and worshipped since childhood.

I do not know if I've done well through BMT so far. Only know that God has been good to me... and that I need God so much more each day. And I feel like I'm slowly slipping away each day. It does not help that about half of those who are Christians in my platoon started scolding vulgarities and indulging in crude sexual talk a few weeks back. It does not help that I cannot really rely on my Christian brothers here. That forces me to God... and I feel as if I hardly know my God these days.

Jaded. Small. Alone, save a God who's behind an iron ceiling. Lord smash that please?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

.

Booking in at 1840 hours.

NS is only 2 years. Need to see it in perspective.

Last week was quite bad for a lot of us in G Coy. Booked in and quite a few of us felt like crying. Perhaps it was because of the shortness of the weekend.

Am Plt I/C right now. Please pray for God's strength and His favour, which has been showing up quite a lot lately.

Will POP 13 June. That's quite fast. Only 20 odd days of BMT to go.

Going back to YPM I sometimes feel quite strange. Quite odd talking to ladies or guys who haven't gone NS. A little bit of a different world. Climbed up the playground roof and was sitting there with Jeshua for a while, talking bout our batch. It's just a blink of an eye before children turn into youth and adults.

Next week will have 12 klick, Sit test, IPPT, 16 klick. Quite strenuous.

As He wills, so shall it be.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

.

Am about to book in at 1950 hours today.

Feel a little lost. Don't know why. Perhaps because I'm still adjusting to life as a soldier. No longer a student.

As a recruit I don't really have much responsibility... perhaps that's also why I feel lost. Got nothing to do in that sense. Just obey instructions and do my best. Do what I'm told and ask questions later.

Field camp this week. Am being promised that it'll be tough. Oh well. Shall see.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Confinement

First 2 weeks was harder than I thought. I'm not too sure about other coys but I feel quite physically exerted here. Quite a few times in which I felt like giving up and keng*. But thank God that I have yet to. If I can't finish the exercise, it's because I cannot, not because I slack.

Lots of vulgarities here. People seem to relish being able to speak them. And it's kinda encouraged by the culture.

Seems like quite a few things have happened since I entered NS. Am concerned about my cell. But one thing is certain. I see God's hand in this. His sovereignity and His final say.

Next week is field camp, so won't be home again. But having a long weekend now. Due to labour day and off in lieu for field camp.

Thank God for all the peace He's given me in this place. For all those I know are praying.

****************************************************

Booking out. You come to appreciate Singapore a lot more. On sunny days, you realize that mainland sun is quite nothing compared to Tekong.

Childrens' Ministry was kind of like the exact opposite of NS life. I was really glad to be there today. A fantastic, pleasant interlude. Good to see all my fellow bros and sis in Christ out of NS too.

Please keep me in prayer everyone. It's very very easy to fall away from God where I am. And yet because of that, I 'm getting stronger. Because I have no choice but to rely on God. Please, if you can spare a minute or two, also pray that I might be a humble servant before God and men. That I may do things out of a holy, sanctified desire, not for my own glory. There is nothing to glory in myself.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

NS

Dear Lord

It's been some time since I last heard your still, strong voice speak to me. I feel real weak now. I pray that that's the weakness of Paul, in which your strength is made perfect. For your grace is sufficient.

I know not how NS will be like. But I do know you will never leave me nor forsake. And that is enough to know.

I pray that you give me the passion and teach me how to pray in NS. That you give me the heart of a servant. Give me your vision Lord. For in John 10:16 it says that you have other sheep who are not of this sheep pen, and them also you must bring. And John 12:26. Whoever comes after you must follow you. And where you are there your servant also will be.

Lord I need you. So many people inside will need you. Open up opportunities for them to hear of you O Lord. Here I stand. Send me O Lord, if it so be your will.

Other things weigh heavily upon my heart. You know O Lord. You know.

In the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Today

Today I went to see James off. And James forgot to bring his IC. Haha. Classic lor. Will be joining this brother on Tekong in a few.

Went fishing with Caleb. Daniel Li and Caleb's friend Chao Yuan were also there. Caught 3. First one was two fishes at once. Wah. Really thanked God. Think God was trying to cheer me up.

Haven't been training in the past few days. But BMT shouldn't be that hard I hope.

I pray that NS will be easier than my JC days. Sure, being lonely and not that able to mix with new people in AJ (been in a guys school for 10 years) drew me closer to God. And no leadership in ODAC was beneficial. But it was quite painful. I sure pray NS won't be like this. I really would like to mix with people and make close friends. Something which I didn't really get to do much in my tough JC years.

I have a history of having extremely good or extremely bad relations with my superiors. Has to do with me being outspoken. Sometimes outspoken with a lack of discernment and good measure. I really need God to watch over me in this.

Also need to keep a close walk with God throughout.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

.

NS. It approaches. And I don't really know what to expect. I'm kinda happy to go in. I think I would probably like that kind of life. At least I pray.

It's another phase of my life... one that I pray God really works in.

I've been through another humbling process by God. Cutting down to size, till I realise how inadequate and how small and unrighteous I am. How little I really know. Really needed that before NS. Thank you Lord. These are my weak points- pride, lust, overwhelming skepticism, the inability to separate steadfastness and inflexibility. I am also not-too-wise. Often thinking myself wiser than I should.

To those who know me better. I'm not that close to God as before. And I am really quite broken now. But godly sorrow, as Paul says, is good. For it will lead to godly joy. I thank God for a hunger for more.

Really want to encourage those of you who have not tried to read the entire bible chronologically to do so. I never wanted to, cuz I knew that if I did back then, it'd just be for the sake of doing so. But last week, after going through something with God, I did it just cuz I loved God, His word, and wanted to know more bout Him.

And when you do that you begin to see so many more wonderful things in God's word. You become so humble as a Gentile, cuz it's only somewhere in Acts that they really talk about Gentile salvation. God has done so much all through the years with Israel. If we'd lived then, probably no salvation. It's a blessing to live in these times. When the law is removed and we move by grace and the sheer accessibility and power of the Holy Spirit.

And the Epistles actually, roughly make up10% of the bible. That's very little. Means that 23 books, including Acts, make up about 10% of the bible.

Seriously, I'm a bit too tired right now to tell all, but you get to see things so much better in context if you read the word one time through.

E.g. You realise how much change Jesus brought. So many things He did were in stark contrast to Mosaic law. You realise how much He speaks with authority, not so much as OT prophets, but with great fire. Yeah, we always knew that. But you'll only get the full impact if you read it one time through. From let's say Malachi to Matthew. The utter change. And the teachings of Christ sounded very un-mosaic and infidel. You'll understand that if you read say Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and then got to the gospel times.

You realize the power of God moving in these times. You understand how we even got to these post resurrection, pre-tribulation times. We are living in the last block of time before a few events occur and heaven is literally ushered in.

And you see in Acts and the Epistles the new body of God. The church. The urgency of the times. You wonder when Christ returns to fulfil the prophecies of Revelations. And I continue to ask and pray and wonder.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Boyhood is leaving, Manhood approaches

Asunder by TY

O the island asunder
Quarter an hour
O'er the waters green
Hey the heads shaved clean
Boyhood's over
Manhood's sudden glower

And here are my prayer requests:

>God's will be done in everything.

>That the Spirit of God shall move and He that has the power to harden hearts shall soften hearts. For "Other sheep I have who are not of this sheep pen. Them also I must call, and they will listen to my voice and there will be one shepherd and one flock."-John 10:16

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Maturity






Was extremely bored yesterday and my mom went,"Yong ah... why not take out the Lego set and play huh?" And so I did.

The last time I did was somewhere in say... Primary 6 or Sec.1?

The Lego playset still really engrosses me, y'know. And I'm really not embarassed at all by this. It's who I am. I really still do enjoy playing.

That's good. Guess when I grow up and God-willing, become a father, I can play with my kids... or as my mom suggests, I'll dominate the toys so much that my kids complain.

NS comes soon. It does seem that right now I'm doing the most unique thing a young man my age does.

Ah maturity. Sometimes I feel that in our drive to be or seem mature, we try too hard. We lose a part of ourselves that is God-given. That is creative. We put too strong a filter to our inner creative being. We refuse to act like children and in so doing deny ourselves the joy of the child inside of us. And so in becoming mature we become immature. Immature in that we fail to see the torture we self-impose. Immature adults, devoid of the divine sparkle that children have in their eyes. And divine it is, for who or what, save a God-programmed in-born nature taught the children to play?

Anybody want to play with me? My kor seemed kinda tempted to.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hmmm

I'm bored. Nothing to do for a while, except stay at home and recuperate. Can't go out. Can't even afford to pump a lil bit of iron. Can't swim, can't run. Can't exercise. Yikes. I don't feel quite me.

No relief teaching to do. No crazy classes of students. So that's quite relaxing... yet to relax too much ain't too good.

I deleted my Galactic Civilizations game after realizing it was taking up too much energy. And now I don't quite have anything to do.

Finished reading another book today. Sons of the Yellow Emperor by Lynn Pan, bout the Chinese diaspora. A well-researched albeit possibly outdated book. The cultures... etc. Chinese immigrants in Cuba, it appears, were maltreated in the sugar plantations and when they died, they were thrown into a pit, and their bones subsequently dug up to be used for sugar refining, alongside ox bones.

And the British at one time were frustrated with opium-smoking by Chinese immigrants, which they disdained as a Chinese vice. (How cool is that? Now the British got back what they started).

And the Chinese triads the world over. That part's quite cool. Of the tie-ups with Yakuza triads... etc. Of their hierachy. Dragon Heads 龙头大哥 , Second Marshals.... etc. It's actually kinda fun to be a triad boss leh.

Besides that my mind is re-thinking certain questions of my faith. Which is really interesting, come to consider it. In the secular world, I'd be considered a conservative for my Christian viewpoints. In the Christian world, I'm rather more of a disgruntled liberal right now. Not that I'm disillusioned these days. Disillusionment occured way back, and I've come to accept many things as realities, not unchangeable though.

Is the local church really strong? If so, where are the miracles, the healings? (it is quite odd to me that miracles, as the LG skit 2 Sundays back displayed, seems to adopt a more satirical and comedic place than one of holy reverence.) Is the youth really on the move? Are we founded upon emotional qualities of faith more than anything else? And if emotion, which is not altogether bad is the main engine of church in this nation, especially the youth, are we headed in the right direction?

When we glorify God in the schools and the market place are we really doing it right? Are we offending people more than showing them the good news? 1 Peter 3:16 says to do it with gentleness and respect. Are we?

Is Christianity these days so much a relationship with God as it is a socio-cultural phenomenon founded upon societal needs? If the church is supposedly the vanguard of God's kingdom, then why are its units conforming to societal norms of pop music and youthful fervour? Have we lost the whole point?

Seismic shift in me, if you will. After a while, when it all stabilizes, after the viewpoints shift a little, I'll probably not sound so much of a critic.

SMU interview on Saturday 31st March. Please pray. God's will be done.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Look back

Snippet of my post from August 18 2006

"And that is precisely where I need to learn a lesson. I must rely on God to see me through my A's. I write this here, right now.

By myself, there is no way I can get my A's right. There's so much to study for History, I've never gotten anything above a D for my major exams. I haven't touched econs for more than a month. I've never scored above a D for my major exams. My C maths is in tatters and I don't know how to do a great amount of pure maths. Promos and mids I got straight Fs.

Lord, I cry out to you. I ask that you bring me through. If I get through all this, it's really by your grace. I acknowledge that right now.

And now that that has been said, I simply rest in His presence and rely on Him. I'll study, sure. But it'll be God seeing me through. I say now that if I'm to get any good results, it's because the Lord has helped me, not by my own effort.

Ta. "

So, A B B B3, thank you Lord Jesus, thank you Lord Jesus. So so much.

The python which bit me



Eh, remember the time I blogged bout the python at Pasir Ris Farmway 2 which bit me twice and later escaped? Here it is.

Right. A quick revision. Always grab the python behind the head first so it can't turn around and bite you. And make sure someone else gets the tail, at least, so that it can't coil around you. And when you put it back into the bag, let the tail in first, head last, if not it'll bite you of course.

Lord I love my life.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ramblings...etc.

Thought of the day: It's hardly beneficial but immensely satisfying (for the moment) to burn bridges.

Am quite sick. Lots of green mucus coming out. Lots of phlegm. A real bad cough which must often be remedied with hot tea. Have taken so much Vitamin C that all my faeces come out quite watery now. (Hey, that's the way it is! You might wince a bit, but that's life innit)

Stopped relief teaching at Montfort yesterday. Mr. Ong and Mr. Navin Singam are taking over the classes I leave. 1AA, 1AB, 2A1, 2A2. So they're in very good hands, even better than mine. That's part of the reason I stopped. The other is that from Monday onwards I was kinda sick, so the last week has been quite painful on the voice and all.

But really learnt a lot from these classes. For one, that if my men obey me, it's only because they want to. If 40 of these youths choose to rebel, I can hardly control them. They learn only because they want to learn.

Had some real hard times in Montfort relief teaching.

Guys from my classes. It's been a well, painful experience teaching you (eh, you know I'm a frank person). But it's also been very beneficial to me. Learnt a lot from you guys. More than you would have taught. Please study hard.

Just for your info, I came to Montfort to teach for 2 reasons. 1)It's my ol' school. 2) The money.

By the second week or so I'd decided to stop doing it for the money, because it just wasn't worth the money taking you. Lots of hell from you guys. But it was good training. So I did what I could. Hopefully I was of some help to you guys while your teacher was away.

Why I discipline some of you so hard is that I think it will help you to concentrate better in class. I really think that. And yes, I know sometimes the punishment I dispense is real horrible.

If I were to do the whole thing all over again, I'd have started stricter on 2A2. But I didn't know I'd be taking you for so long at that time, so I started too friendly and easy-going. And mid-way I know I kinda lost control over your class. Taking your class was the toughest assignment. In fact some teachers tell me that if I can handle your class I can handle any other class. But I learnt a lot from the experience. You fellas are real bright, strike me as way brighter than the express classes in the maturity of your thought. Study hard!

1AB. You're the class I disciplined the most. Parade square and all. You guys still talk a lot I know. Thank you for respecting me in the end and giving me a real good farewell. Remember the 2 most important things. Discipline and to listen.

And I thank my Lord that I am still quite alive and kicking after 48 days of battle.

And my cough's real bad now, so will stop. Got Childrens' Ministry Praise and Worship and teaching to do at church tomorrow. Cough cough. I pray it gets well by NS.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hmmm.

I was about to post a possibly stumbling post, but I've whittled it down to this for the public eye.

"Which part of the word says must go to service?

If going to church doesn't make a person a Christian... Therefore maybe no need to go to church. Quote me Hebrews 10:25 don't you? Let us not give up the habit of meeting together. Hmmm. Then why not at a eating place?

The point. I think that if you look closely enough, church is full of cliched statements, that we really have to examine if we want to become stronger. Faith is good. But faith founded upon groundless statements is foolishness."

For the full statement, kindly come and start an argument with me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

VBS

Vacational Bible School was on Monday and Tuesday. Learnt quite a bit about children from it. My kids are soooo sweet! Really love them. Then again they gave me a Primary 2 class, so it's very easy.

Very fun playing with them. I remember them by name lor. Can quote them here. Vanessa, Inez, Regina, Esther, Aaron, Dominic, Adriel, Wei Zhi, Joshua, James, Ezra, En Yang, Joel. Let them climb all over me. Mobile playground, if you will. Carry them to touch the ceiling. Then sometimes after lunch we form a rocket ( line up in single file) to lift-off (5-4-3-2-1 LIFT-OFFFFF!!!!!!) to Cana hall. Haha.

We even made a game out of picking up all the crepe paper in all the classrooms outside Music Room. I told them to imagine they were on a planet. And on this planet we collect trash. And then we started to pick up all the trash. And after we finished our cubicle, they went to all the other cubicles, till we had a mountain. And then since James needed it rolled up, I informed them that we had to roll up the crepe paper if we wanted it to become more powerful. (And on this planet, we MUST give the POWERFUL crepe paper to a certain man called kor kor James and say, "kor kor James, this is for you!")

Vanessa is very very cute. Pretty little dimpled face always contorted in mock exasperation. And Joshua is Korean. Very good English. Always hugging me. Very loveable. Ezra likes to hold on to my leg while I walk around. En Yang and Joel like to sit next to me. Inez is very guai* and quiet. Very obedient. Sweet girl. Regina also very obedient, clears the plates and all. Esther and James like to play fighting. Well, almost all the other guys do too. And I don't stop them. It's fun! I used to do the same. (And I still do. Hor Jeremy/Caleb/Tiew/Amos/James?)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Today

Today was another regular Sunday. God ministering to me strongly again. CM was good. I still have so much to learn. I really don't know that much about kids. And I guess the kids I mixed around with were quite a bit rowdy then regular CM kids (at least that's the way I see it right this minute).

And CM's Praise and Worship was good.

Went to the beach for the picnic thing. Didn't really do much. Constructed a tent. Huge, but not exactly good quality I think. And whoever packed that tent did a friggin lousy job. If it was ODAC we'd have been whacked up down left right centre. So wet. So the waterproofed seams were all hydrolysed and there was mildew growing all over. So the whole tent is in quite bad a state.

And then went to the nearby hawker centre for lunch, cuz couldn't wait for lunch. More specifically Caleb Lim couldn't. And yeah. David Li and Caleb and Jesh and I.

Then couldn't get a van back to church. So went by foot. Quite a good walk. 1 hour I think. Jeshua and I talked quite a bit. Interesting thing about guys is that there is this unspoken bond. That it's rather natural to be alongside each other and not say much, or anything at all. Ladies? I'm not too sure bout that man. Have been in a guy's school for 10 years, mixed around with mostly guys in J.C., and a special breed of ladies- the rugged ODAC girls. And now I relief teach in a down-to-earth, tough guys' school. And I'm going into NS some more. Man... I know nowt bout ladies. Close to nowt at least.

Generally I still feel uncomfortable around girls... which will not exactly be a problem for the next 2 years... wait. Interestingly I feel quite alright with girls older than me or my age.... hmmm. Yeah.

Tomorrow's VBS gonna camp overnight. Heh heh heh. I expect a lot of fun with the guys. Awwooooo!

Friday, March 09, 2007

.

This is dedicated to all my enlistee and pre-enlistee brothers in Christ.

As The Red Blood Runs

So now look here
Closely peer
The thoughts of a young man
His thoughts, his plans

My blood is red
It flows, fast rate
Muscles are forming and strong
Mind too, hope not wrong

And so as the red blood runs
Days they're full of fun
God watches so keep strong my son

There's the greens
(Not the edibles
But smudged mind you, on the face
Brown and black too I see)
I'll fight aside my fellow man
We'll blow things perhaps, to smithereens

And so as the red blood runs
Days they're full of fun
God watches so keep strong my son

Sometimes I wonder...
What's a yonder
In my heart I ponder
Which of His daughters?

And so as the red blood runs
Days they're full of fun
God watches so keep strong my son

I am I know a very special child
One birthed of Spirit now
Fear not what's ahead
A path Daddy will make

And so as the red blood runs
Days they're full of fun
God watches so keep strong my son


***********************************************

To Caleb Lim. Seriously don't want to waste it lah. The last time I did one was in Primary 3 or 4.

I did this today in about half an hour. Inspired. I guess something clicked after say, 8 years? So pardon me if it's a tad unpolished.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Story

I just heard this one recently from one of my colleagues.

A true story.

In NS the men were falling in.

And there was this guy who for some reason wanted to commit suicide. So he was on the 5th floor already, and seemed about to jump.

And the garang* officer went:"Don't waste my bloody time. I give you 5 seconds. You want to jump, jump. If not jolly well come down here, fall in."

And the fella promptly made his way down the stairs to fall in.

Well they caught him in case he would try anything funny.

Hmmm. Just thinking. It's a kind of bet, really. If the guy really jumped, the officer would probably be court-martialled. But it's reverse psychology. My reasoning is that the guy wanted attention, so if the officer says something like that, even if you want attention, it'll take the purpose and meaning out of committing suicide.

So then, if I was the officer, would I take such a bet? That would probably (I think) get the guy to come down. Save his life. I reckon calm reasoning might not work, if the guy already wants to end his life. Then again, would I risk the court-martial?

Life is in shades of grey (some say with great big splotches of black). By doing the same thing you can either save a life or be blamed for the rest of yours.

A good read

Been some time since I had a really good read. Today I helped out in my school's oral prelims. And I finished a short book. Bout 170 pages only.

Bad Alice: In the Shadow of the Red Queen. By Jean Ure.

It's one of the friggin best prose I've ever read. The plot is so cunningly devised. It examines something dark. Encourage any mature Christian brother or sister to read it.

Going to be doing my uni applications soon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A B B B3

Lots of peace as I waited for my A's. Was sitting with Jing Jie and was just laughing and joking throughout the whole thing. Prayed for the right attitude and God's will be done. I think it was answered.

Quite good actually. More than what I asked for.

Hist. C math Econs
Promos E O O
Mid years E F D
Prelims B O D
A's A B B

GP was a B3. That's enough to meet most minimum course requirements I think.

See now why I praise God?

I never got above a D for major exams. While some got straight As, I did not even get straight Cs. Only in History, once- a B.

And heh heh, look at the C maths. Thank you Lord. Thank you so so much.

*******************************************
In other news I heard from God this morning in CM service. God told me He loves me.
Had a good time with God in the afternoon while it was still raining. There was this Arise thing going on. Not exactly sure what it was. Some childrens' thing. At Fellowship Hall. As I walked past I could sense the strong presence of God. And so I just went in. Ended up kneeling down and letting God's presence flow.
The really awesome thing about ministry is that when the Spirit moves, anyone can receive. Even when I go to Hokkien service, I don't always understand everything. (Right, most of the time I figure out about 30% to 50% of what is happening. Sometimes close to 0%.) But when God's presence is there, anybody who knows God (and perhaps those who have yet to know Him) can be ministered unto.
*******************************************
Was just telling God this morn. What I bring to Him is really meagre. In all areas. In CM, in the youth, in the NS (I know it will be). But it's all I have. And I just surrendered everything to Him. I prayed that He'll prosper the work of my hands, not because I am that great a worker, but I am obedient a servant. And so that His name, not mine might be glorified. That I become less so He become more.
God can be experienced everyday. His joy and His peace are not exclusive to certain Christians. His love and favour is not exclusive to camps. Seek Him.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

:)

Flashback.

2005. Got my O's. I was expecting something real good. A single digit perhaps. I could not believe my ears when the best students were announced and I was not one of them. In fact I clung on to that hope so tightly that even after they were announced I thought they must be saving the best for the last.

So I got an 11 for O's. Not too shabby I know. But I was expecting better.

And so the 2 years in AJ passed. 2 years. God did so much. Changed so much of me. For a start, I began to really trust God for studies. In O's I was proud enough to pray that I got the results I deserved. For I did believe I deserved extremely good results. In A's I asked for God's mercy and grace.

I was not in ex com for ODAC. Not a nice feeling. Always led since junior school. Led in NPCC in Sec. school. For a guy who put down CI-ship to do his best in JC it was quite a time of re-thinking. But I think I grew a lot in JC because I was not a leader. Could see a lot more stuff from the ground. And I think that if things had followed a set route in JC, (Y'know, leadership and being a top student) I would not have grown half as much and sought my Lord half as much.

So now I testify to the fact that results don't actually matter as much as people say they do. Not if you surrender everything to my Lord Jesus. Cuz if you really look at it in perspective, it's just another step that if submitted to the Lord, will eventually lead to God's will being done.

Tomorrow A's will be out. And this I say. It will not change me because I am forever God's child. It will not determine my path in life. My Father in heaven does. If I do well, all glory to God. If I do not do well, all glory to God.

I asked for at least A, B, C, B3 for A's. But I asked on top of that that His will be done.

And on the eve of just-another-day. The day everyone calls the "big-day". I ask and pray Lord. The right attitude. Your will be done.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chasing God.

As the title says.

Because I truly know that nothing can take the place of God.

Try to replace it with friends and you'll be disappointed.

Try to replace it with lustful thoughts (and this is especially for guys) and it'll fall face flat and be empty (even though it satisfies for a little while). And there'll be no peace. It's a temporary pain-relief. Like some kind of drug. You can get addicted. But everything will get worse. And later you still have to get rid of the addiction. It never solves the problem.

Try to replace it with success and you'll never be satisfied. You'll chase it endlessly.

Try to replace it with your own strength and someday you'll find yourself dry and tired.

I interpreted this prophetic tongue by James Ow Yong a couple of years back. And it was whispered into my ear. Went like this, "This is a man after God and he will run after God all the days of his life."

Still running. Even though the running environment's getting tougher.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Have not

Have not heard God speak to me for quite a while.

I think something is happening.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A prayer

Lord

Not that I good grades.

But that my attitude before you be right no matter what I get.

And that your will be done.

In the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

9 fingers.

Long day at work.

Staff room's toilet air-conditioned. So I decided to use it. Had just squatted down when I recalled that I had had a call from Joseph Tiew earlier, and an sms. Hadn't answered it because I was teaching.

And so I opened the sms. And in Joseph's most interesting words, it read "We need prayer. Caleb is injured. His finger is chopped off."

Ah. How interesting innit.

So I pulled up my pants (I hadn't even started, what the heck) and got to my office phone (didn't want to waste money on phone calls what).

And so I found out that Caleb's finger's bone was still intact. Only the flesh and fats (of which the 3 of us have quite a bit to spare) was chopped off.

Went down to NUH to take a look. And Caleb was crapping all the way as usual. I have never seen a 9 fingered man so happy in my life.

Laugh laugh joke joke. All the way from the holding room to the operating theatre (they did a skin graft on him) all the way out. I take my hat off (not that I'm wearing one anyway) to you bro.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fishing trip

One of the closest that I could get to the great outdoors. Pasir Ris Farmway 2. On one side you can see a couple of flats and buildings (which really kind of spoil the feel). On the other, it's more or less jungle.


I like the area for its raw appeal. No toilet facilities. No tap water. Cool.



Went there last Friday. With James Ow Yong, Caleb Lim, Aaron Lim, Jeremy Leong and Daniel Li. We didn't catch that much fish, but I really enjoyed the whole affair.














Started at about 7p.m. That's a Catfish. Given by either Caleb or Aaron. I caught a catfish and some other small variety. But it was on their lines. I merely fought with it. Well, another smart Catfish we caught got away. Jumped out of the net. Only found out the next morning.










These are the gills of the first catfish we caught. The heart (at least we thought it was the heart) was still beating after we took it out. Very interesting. (Does that make me sound sadist?)






Barbequed some fish we caught. Well, actually the uncles there helped us lots. That was dinner.











Had lime and chilli and tabasco sauce. Mmm mmm.















One of the uncles tending the fire. They even caught a piranha. We BBQed it alive.









The surrounding area's quite jungled. (By the way, the python we played with the last time had escaped by the time we paid the area another visit.) So lots of interesting stuff. This here's a monitor lizard. Skinned and frozen for 3 days. Uncles dared us to eat. So we did. In the end, it tastes pretty much like normal fish. Even the liver tastes like regular liver. Goes down well with tabasco sauce.











Disposal of bones and various inedible parts of the fish.












And these are the talons of 2 eagles that were previously caught and kept as pets. What happened to the rest of the birds? Well, they were eaten. By a boa constrictor in the area. Why didn't the talons go down the snake's gullet? They were tied up. The eagles were tied up when the snake came along, spotting a free, exotic meal. Yum yum.

Fished past 3a.m. Didn't catch a thing on this watch.

Slept a bit on the jetty. While Caleb continued to fish.











Woke up close to 7a.m. and continued fishing. Guy in yellow's Aaron Lim. To the left's a hut. If you walk all the way right, say 200m, you'll find some construction work going on. There's a 3m (I think) deep well there. 3m from the top to the water surface. Not too conspicious, so be careful not to drop in.

A friggin strong fish did bite on one of my baits in the morning. But it got entangled in another line. What a waste.

Then left at 8 plus for home. One of the best experiences ever.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Blessed

Thank you Lord.

For everything.

The friendships. The family. The material possessions. Eyes, hands, feet.

Everything.

I can't even thank you enough. And you haven't even stopped blessing me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I want and I want to want

I want to serve God in NS.

I want to serve those around me. I want to have the heart of a servant. Not to care so much about command school. But to go in and serve my platoon mates, with love. And to go where God wills me to.

I want to want God more than command school or my commanders' favour. I want to want His will to be done, even though it might be painful.

I want to obey the call of God, not the call of my pride. I want to see things in God's way. To seek His glory above mine.

And if I ever go against this in attitude or deed, someone, anyone, please whack me with what I just said.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Prayer requests

1. My walk is not too good. Not spending enough time with God.

2. Classes are improving, but I got some of the tough classes. Need strength, wisdom, and patience, lots of it.

3. A's coming out soon. Thinking of SMU business. Wondering what else I should apply for, besides that.


2 of my closest buddies.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

O Lord

Dear God

How often I forget to depend on you.
You have given me strength.
Given me my mind.
Yet if I rely on either to solve my problems I fall flat.
And so it's your grace and your mercy
and your Spirit which will carry me through.

It is not by my human effort.
Or my intellect.
Simply by the blood of my Lord.
By dependence on the Spirit.
Which will see me through.

Sin- The monster which keeps trying to grab back at me.

It will fail. But only in the name of Jesus.

The best part is that each time it succeeds and I allow God to take over, it will then proceed to utterly fail.

(Even though I don't really play com games, to put it in a modern-day parable, it's something like this. Life is a com game. Sin is the boss. Which keeps getting tougher to fight at each level. You can't exactly eliminate sin. If you want to remain in the game, you've got to fight a different type of boss at each level. Progressively harder, generally. And God. Hoho. He's the com game pro. Hand the joystick to Him if you even want to stay in the game. No other choice. If not you might just need to replay the whole level.

And the more prayer partners and spiritual allies the better. They'll help you at different points of the game. In fact, they're compulsory for certain missions. Hmmm. On retrospect that's not too good an explanation.)

I, even I, am He who blots out all your transgressions, and remembers them no more, for my name's sake.
-Isaiah 43:25

A's coming out soon. Thinking about which course to enrol in.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Walk

I always like to ask people how their walk is going.

And now mine is quite down.

Oh dear. Another time of discipline ah, Lord?

Kind of bored some days. Questioning lots of things Lord. Things start to get on my nerves. Start to be even more skeptical than normal. And the thing with Christians is that though they are called to grace, they still sin. And it is simply easy to judge and tear them apart if I want to. Not that I'd stand up to the same tearing.

When I'm having real good quiet times, I know I can't live without them.

When quiet times start to get dry, I press on. But it gets a lil tiring. And in those moments especially I start to question things. And I can't fault God. But I can fault the people of God. And then all the frustration comes out.

And then the whole walk thing seems futile. Why do I even spend more than an hour a day on this stuff? Perhaps I could utilise the time better elsewhere.

I know I'm wrong. So help me God. Change those attitudes. (And while saying this I know God might just take it as an indication to whack me. Well Lord, you know that as Caleb Lim put it, it's not how hard you slap me. All I really care about is what happens after you slap me.)

And speaking of whacking, you should see how we whacked the NP cadets today and yesterday.

***********************************************
NP interview. The second best thing besides the lion question. For a few unfortunate potential cadets.
Once they enter the room.
"How many pushups can you do ?"
"... 10?"
"Show me."
"Now?"
"Now."
"1, 2, 3...."
***********************************************
The sec. 3s today.
For one exercise. Gave them 2 20 sided dice to throw. The number of pushups would be the first dice's number times the second dice's number. Fortunate for them. Got 15 and 2.
Later they did something else with the dice. 2 groups got below a hundred. The suay* group got 912, if I'm not wrong. Well at least there was an exchange rate. 2 crunches for 1 pushup. 10 storeys up and down for 50 pushups. Would have given them 1 commando pushup for 5 standard pushups. But then it was too dangerous, since they were quite tired. The 1 one-arm for 5 standard nobody had enough energy to carry out.
***********************************************
To a particular cadet. Sec. 3. So can whack.
"Are you happy to see Staff Cheow Soon today?"
thinks carefully.
"Errr... Yes."
"Ah, ok. Down 10 to say hello to Staff Cheow Soon. Down."
***********************************************
"How many pushups can you do?"
"Errr. 10."
"Ah okay. Down 15."
Eyes wide. Has no choice.
"1 sir ... 2 sir ... 3 sir... ......... 15 sir"
"Ah! How many pushups did you say you could do? 10 right? Lying to me right? Down another 10"
"16 sir... 17 sir... 25 sir."
"Ar, how come now you can do 25?"
"I didn't know sir!"
"Ahhhh. So we are in the era of new discoveries. Down another 5."
"26 sir... 27 sir... 30 sir."
***********************************************
Tekan-ing people makes me happy.
Very happy.

NP Sec. 1 interview

Went back to help with the interview. A few standard questions. Then the best part.

"One night you are trekking in Pulau Ubin. There is a girl beside you. All of a sudden you turn around and you find the girl isn't there. You look at the ground and you see footprints of a lion. Then you hear a lion roar. What is the first thing you would do?"

"I would go after the lion."

"Assume it's a guy. Would you do the same?"

"No, the guy can struggle by himself."

***********************************************
"I would go after the lion."
"Right, so you find the girl. And the girl's hand is in the mouth of the lion. What would you do?"
"Do I have any weapons?"
"I give you a pen knife"
"I would slash the lion."
"Ah, I see. Which part of the lion?"
potential recruit stops to think carefully.
"... the heart"
"Ah. Where is the heart of the lion?"
stunned.
"I... don't know."
***********************************************
"I would run away."
"So if it's a guy I assume you would do the same thing?"
"Yes. Run away."
"Mmmmm. So what if it's your mother?"
pauses to think.
"I would save. Run after the lion."
"What if it was me?"
thinks intensely and hesitates.
"I would save."
"Oh. Why?"
"Errr. Because police must save people one."
"Ah! Then what about the guy and the girl?"
stunned silence.
***********************************************
(By the way there are no lions on Pulau Ubin. Or Singapore... etc. But sadly no one got that.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Deal

Very extremely good friend Caleb has a good deal-

Thumbdrives for sale:

1GB for S$30 and 2GB for S$50

Now come on, how often do you see such a post on Tai Yong's blog? Contact me for further details. All proceeds go to er... buying the thumbdrive and to well... Caleb.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dairy Farm

Our campsite for Childrens' Camp 06. Went back there for an interview with Innotrek, the outdoor adventure agency.

Walked through those same old gates. The building's almost exactly the same. Same dorms. The logs are mostly still the same. Just reminisced that four days in camp. The kids running about. The teachers. Daniel Yim, Caleb, Joseph, Jon Tay, Andrea, Luke Tang...

Strolled through the canteen. Where the Praise and Worship was held. Mused at how God spoke to me during the camp. This time there were a group of Pri 5s from Yumin primary (if I got the spelling correct.)

Moved up towards dorm 3A. My old bunk. Remembered praying with my dorm guys in the mornings. Then dorm 2A and B. A not-too-distant memory of helping Caleb spiff up his black leather shoes the night before his prom, at the staircase and in the loo.

Sat outside 2A. Outside the office. Waiting for my interview (they told me to come at 4 p.m. In the end the person overlooked something. Had some appointment. So I sat there waiting for about 40 min.)

The whir and the click of my mind. Something was different.

That's it.

The campsite was effectively a corpse. It was the same place of course. Yet it was different. Because there was no more life there. Yeah, there was another camp group. But it wasn't my fellow bros and sis in Christ. There wasn't the smell of God in the place. The knowledge that God was looking over. The Holy Spirit was in me, that I knew. But it's so different when it's not over the entire campsite. Catch my drift?

A nutshell with the peanut gone.

Went for the interview. Innotrek is quite impressive. But would have to pay S$70 for a course. And then do 3 days 2 nights as an assistant for them, pay not inclusive. Following which S$160 for each 3 days 2 nights camp. Hmmm. Like the company. Can definitely learn from the way they relate to the children. Their SOP and organizational structure appears quite solid too. But currently I think things will be better off in Montfort and in my unit back there. Pay scheme is better back in school too.

And so, took about 1.5 hours on the bus back home. Well, saved the cab fare.

Those who sniggered, down 20.