Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas

Been having a jolly good time. I'm really enjoying my quiet time in the morning. About 0530 to 0615. It's really wonderful. And I can truly see God working through every single event in the day. Every problem is solved and things are so smooth. I have come to believe that sometimes prayer is more important than sleep. In the sense that rest is necessary. But prayer is indisposable. Rest without prayer will not get me by my day.

Well, had an enjoyable time at church just babysitting the kids. Spending time with them, understanding them. Something I love. And went out to eat with the youth in CM at Kembangan. Daniel Li was saying that it would make more sense to have eaten at separate tables and I agreed. But then again the level of closeness and sense of family I saw last night was most excellent. We have to work hard to maintain this and keep close to God. For divisions and quarrels and squabling and gossiping and the evil desires of youth might soon overtake us.

Slept over at Caleb and Aaron's place last night. Talked into the early morning with Jeremy and Wayne too. Most excellent companionship.

Still looking for a job. Anybody has any offers?

God has been real good to me.

This verse I memorized in one of my more troubled days.

The Lord your God is with you
He is mighty to save
He will take great delight in you
He will quiet you with His love
He will rejoice over you with singing- Zephaniah 3:17
And this one from Lamentations.
I will say to myself
"The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him"
It is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young- Lamentations 3: 24-25
Yeah, I know what it's like to hit a stonewall with God in our walks. But keep waiting on God. For in His time He will provide. I know and testify to that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

53 more days to go...

Till my ORD!

Well, I already got my new shoes. 2 new pairs to be exact. Dad and mom drove me down to a warehouse sale in the Upper Paya Lebar area. And managed to get some pretty good buys. Bought a pair of Lee Cooper and a pair of Kappa. First one original price S$129.90. Bought at $S49.90. Second one original price $S79.90 (if I remember correctly). Bought at S$39.90. So saved about S$120 perhaps? Hee hee.

And also bought a new desk for my room. Replacing the one I've been using since say about Primary 3? That's about 11 years.

Well I went to church this morning. Hmmm. Wonder what's my posting for the next year in childrens' ministry.

I was thinking that I have mellowed in the last year or so. I get angry a lot less easily. I hope.

If you're wondering how my walk with God has been, I must say in true honesty that it's been hard to find time with Him. I make time in the mornings at about 0545 to 0630 to spend some time praying and reading the bible. Then I hit the bed at about 2200, most days. Much to do in the solitary room of rifles. I do wish some days that I have more time in the middle of the day to spend with God.

Friday night I went out with my fellow commanders to watch Yes Man. And before that we had dinner at Sakura near Causeway Point for OC's farewell. I thought it was a rather fast way to spend money. And I did both only because I thought I needed to spend more time with the rest. The monetary-minded person in me hated it. But we had a good time and then again it's good to spend a little bit more once in a while. Too much discipline in such an area can lead to a backfire.

Hmmm. Well. I have changed a lot in these last 2 years, if you've noticed. And I hope and pray that out of new-found strength in God and hammered out character I can better glorify God.

Ta for now. Booking in. Roughly my 8th last week. So roughly 16th last time booking in? Considering Christmas and New Year and the occasional night's out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Back

Well, server was down last Sat and Sun after YPM camp. And booked in Sun night. So couldn't get to use the net.

Still very busy in armskote. This past week at my workplace reminded me again of the stark difference of civvy life and freedom that a civilian possesses. It is very possible to go with the flow inside and shut off the outside world, not knowing much about what happens outside, not having much contact with people outside. At the end of the day it does boil down to possessing a healthy work-life balance.

Kinda looking forward to seeing my camp kids for the camp reunion?

My to do list for ORD (Operationally Ready Date):

1)Find a job. Don't mind a full time job. But I would like one that leaves me enough space to spend time on working out regularly and spending time in my God-given ministry. And for driving lessons.

2)Learn how to drive. I've passed FTT already. Will need to apply for PDL and start sourcing for a good driving instructor.

3)Re-pack my entire room. Need to reconfigure a few things. Last did a major pack up right after A levels. I need a new undergrad friendly configuration and living space. Prob need to get a new mattress? The one I use has been there since sec 1 or 2 I think. Kinda bad for the back in the long term.

4)Of slightly lesser importance, get a new pair of shoes. I've been wearing my current pair since roughly May 2005. And it's in a pretty bad state. Soggy socks each time it rains, the sole is coming off.

5)Other miscellaneous errands, get a new bank book, get a new handphone, get a new watch perhaps. Notice that I'm not doing this in a spendthrift manner, but that I simply need to make some worthy purchases. I've put off many purchases these last 2 years and managed to save quite a bit on waste. So many things I'm holding on to are in a rather shabby state...

However, the most important aspect of my life is already settled right now. My walk with God and my relationships with many people. Once a person's walk with God is settled, everything else will subsequently move into place.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Hey all

Well, it's the marathon tomorrow.

Just want to say to all that I am facing quite a big amount of pressure from my workplace. And though on the outside I appear quite alright, it's really a daily struggle to do things in a way that is righteous before God. There are so many ethical dilemmas, so many complex decisions to make. I need exceptional wisdom and strength and extraordinary diplomacy to take the narrow road.

And so please keep me in your prayers, all. Yes, God has been speaking to me and working in my life in very evident ways recently. But yet I recall that 1 Peter 5:8-9 says to be self-controlled and alert for my enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. And that I should resist him, standing firm in the faith.

And yes, I thought that for all who attended the childrens' camp I should put 1 Peter 5:7 in perspective. Don't read it alone. There are some very important points above and below. Yes, cast your anxieties to God, but you have to in the first place be humble before Him. And after that, be self-controlled and alert.

1 Peter 5:6-9:

"Humble yourselves therefore under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers around the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering."

Prayer pointers. I need God to carry me through my last 2 months where I am. I do not envisage a smooth ride.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The camp

Okay. I'm just back from the Oligopistos childrens' camp. Jointly organized by Scripture Union and Church of Singapore. It was a real blessing to be there. God is so good. Heard so much from God. I know the children also enjoyed themselves. Quite a number of them heard from God too.

And so this blog is dedicated to those in my Christian family, of which Christ is the head. To the SU people, who taught us so much more about this line of ministry. To the teachers from COS, for there is great joy whenever I work with you all. And to my kids from Sesame; I really felt loved by you in this camp.



Gavin and I. Leaders of the same group. Bunkmate, brother-in-Christ, friend. A great blessing to work with you, bro.



Yim. Camp commandant. I know a true brother when I see one. This fellow's stuck with me for so long, all through my NS years. And I'm always grateful to God for all his advice and frankness. Of course the other person who really gave me credible advice in my NS years is my very own kor, but he didn't attend the camp.




Uncle David Leong, from SU. So much to learn from this uncle in the ministry. Of course there's all the other SU folks, but didn't take pictures with them.



Kimberly!! Used to be one of my students. Sniff. I'm feeling old. Haha. But seriously, I think she's done a swell job in the camp. Only Sec 1, but she's a very mature thinker already.




Another brudder. James. Always an honour serving with him. Hmmm. if only I had taken a picture with Daniel Li too. We all enlisted at about the same time. And God brought us through our NS in His own special way for each of us.



Annette. Proud of this young lady. Also used to be one of my students. Her joy rubs off on other people. Love her bubbly character.




Andrea. Happy to see that you've been growing much closer to God the last few weeks, sista. Thanks for listening to me share bout my life.




Zhang Wei. We teach the same class on Sundays. A real blessing to me in ministry. Well there's Rebekah Kan too. Together we prayed for more girls in our class. And now we have 4, as compared to 1 in the past. Hmmm. Well, I started to pray for more "children" in the class instead of "girls". Heh.




Caleb. Aiya, this one no need to say lah. This is one man who always watches my back. As the NLT of Ecclesiastes 4:12 puts it, "... two can stand back to back and conquer...".



Okay, here's the Spices family.



The whole camp.




Matthew. This guy is impressive. I really enjoyed working with him on the PT the last morning. I see a lot of strength and depth of character in him. Really encouraged by his service to God.




Jeremy and Jing Yang. Macham brothers like that. Jing Yang's going to the nice little resort island very soon. Jeremy one month later. But just as God has brought me through, I know He'll see them through and that they'll really mature there.




Okay. Another family photo. The photos are not in order, if you haven't already noticed.


My group! Love these kids. Feel so loved by them. Especially the evening that I came back from my army camp and they all greeted me one by one and gathered around me. I have Fang Qi, Jamie, Jerutha, Matthew, Johnmiah, Samuel, Si Li, Mathu and Natalie. And there's aunty Cynthia (who's a real good encourager to me) and Gavin too. Aunty Hwee Lan left on the 2nd night. Awww. And Adele left early too. Aww aww.




Jamie and Jerusha!




Punching bag (yes, that's me) punches back. Fang Qi. My violent "little sister". Very rugged for a young lady. Respect lah. She did like 3 pull ups on the chin-up bar (Arms not fully extended, but gotta give it to her lah.)



Mathu. Very brave. Love her character. Was very nice talking to her and hearing about her life.



Another family photo. Man, I feel young looking at these poses. Okay, I'm still not yet an adult. Coming soon though.




Group photo. Matthew and his nonsense. Well, for the record I love his nonsense. It goes down quite well with my nonsense.
And no, Natalie, no more ice cream.

And so that's all for now. Of course there are so many more people I'd like to dedicate this post to as well, but I can't go on forever y'know.
For the next few days I'll be resting and training up for my stanchart marathon. Will see how far I can run. But my main aim is just to finish, even if I have to walk the last few klick.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An update

Oh well. Things worked out for my good. Except for half a day I'll be able to make it for the childrens' camp.

And yeah. God seems to be training me up lately. Pushed me to my thresholds in stress levels. To train me in how much I can take I suppose. Lots of pressure these last 4 days or so at work. But it will work out for my good. I know and have experienced.

Thoughts a bit incoherent due to fatigue. Need to rest.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Practical lesson

We serve a very interesting God. Powerful, and a great teacher. Even in Isaiah it is written (chapter 11 I think), that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Yes, I've been learning a lot more about God daily. Started with about the time I went for the Pri 6 study camp. Read Man In The Mirror, Welcome Holy Spirit, Bondage Breaker and now I'm into Victory over Darkness. The last 2 books are by Neil Anderson. Fantastic writer.

And one most interesting lesson is this (I'll have to make this a little ambiguous cuz info is restricted), this last week, my plans for the first 2 weeks of December have been badly threatened. This is a period of time which I have been looking forward to for quite long. A few important events. Namely, childrens' camp, the marathon, youth camp. All precious to me.

Things are clearly not under my control. Anything I can do righteously has already been done. I am struggling with anxiety and anger (since I am, how should I put it, suffering from unjust, clearly unethical decisions). I don't have things going my way. And that being said, I am rather sure my motives are quite correct. I want to serve God, I want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit moving, I want to be with the children, I want to get to know the youth better, I want to run to keep my body fit even after I return to civilian life.

And then, as I started to struggle with all these, I continued to pray and seek God, in the midst of anxiety and confusion. And out of the book I am reading came things such as this

"What if a pastor's goal is to reach his community for Christ? Good goal? It is a wonderful desire, but if his sense of worth and success as a pastor is dependent on that happening, he will experience tremendous emotional turmoil. Every person in the community can block his goal.
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If our goals can be blocked or uncertain, how do we respond to someone or something that threatens our success? We may attempt to control or manipulate people or circumstances who stand between us and the achievement of our goal."

And then it goes on to explain the difference between godly desires and godly goals. Goals (whether you agree with the semantics or not is another matter) are things that we head towards, that we base our feelings of success and significance on. If we don't get our goals, we become angry, anxious or depressed. If the goals are godly, they should be reach-able. I.e. things we can influence and control with God's help. E.g. I want to be a caring Sunday School teacher who serves God and am humble and responsible to nourish my children with God's word as best as I can.

Desires would be things we want, just as it is written that the Father desires that all men repent of their sins, and that no one should be lost to the fires of hell. But yet, even as the Father desires, these things do not necessarily happen. We too have godly desires, godly wants. E.g. I want to go to Christian camps, I want my kids in church to grow up to become godly men and women. And these may be borne out of very honourable, biblical motives. But if they become our goals, what we live for, then we are going to be sorely disappointed if they do not come to pass. The issue is that these desires are out of our control.

Have godly goals. And make sure that these goals are biblically sound and right with God. Nothing can stand in God's way. We will, as long as we walk in the light of God, achieve these goals. Our God will see to that.

Have godly desires. Chase right dreams. But do not base your measure of self-worth, your countenance and your sense of success on these. They are for you to care about, but not for you to grow angry, anxious or if they do not reach fruition, sore or bitter about.

I hope that you learn 2 lessons from this. First, the one above, and second, that God is most amazing.

Amazing since He chose to give me a practical lesson out of the theology and biblical truth taught in a book. It's almost as if my school teacher went like "Class, close your books, I'm going to show you how this scientific law works at the lab. You'll understand much better when we get there. You will be able to see and feel for yourself what you have just read."

Humorous God too. I found it kinda funny that God chose to teach me a lesson in such a way. Sorta like, c'mon Lord, you gotta be kidding, you're teaching me this lesson this way? I suppose this is your idea of a joke? ...Okay, it's funny, yes. You win.

Well, I know not what's gonna happen. Life sure is unpredictable where I am. But I just know God has His purposes. And I can see some growth, I can see reason and God's hand in the things that are happening.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quiet Time

Just thought I'd share this here.

Been having good and deep times of meditation before God lately. And I just want to remind all those going for the church camps to get their hearts ready for God even now. Not that the camp is more sacred than God is, no. But that we are going to gather together and wait on God. And we need to get right with God before we even start.

It is written in Ephesians that the Holy Spirit of God can be grieved. And there are many things in our ministries that have grieved the Holy Spirit. Arguments, dissensions, dissatisfaction with each other. Many of us have relationship problems. A relationship problem firstly with God, and this is the most important one. If our relationship with God is not attended to, no other relationship will be truly peaceful. I could give scriptural references... Matthew 6:33 ... etc. seek ye first the kingdom of God... etc. But I think it's clear enough already.

Many of us have relationship problems amongst ourselves. We bicker, we bear malice, we cannot stand certain people, we are too cliquish. And this part of the problem takes up the most time, really, as I see it.

Many of us a relationship problem with those below us in ministry. Our charges. Do we truly love them and act in our full capacity as Christian leaders above them?

I believe that we need to do some soul searching where we are. We need to get right with God. We need to stop opening up footholds like free for the Enemy. We need to get our act together, as a figure of speech, and come together in unity, under one God and move against darkness. We need to pray. Seriously. I say again, we need to pray.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thank God for this week

Been having a rather good time since coming back from Australia. On course, so had my first stay out experience in my entire NS life. The journey to and from home is about 1.5 hours each. So it was excellent to spend this travelling time reading the bible and other Christian books. Grew a fair bit this last few weeks due to all the reading.

Also spending a bit more time with CM people. Getting back in, so to speak. Cuz so much time as a soldier really takes away personal time. Good to catch up with many people.

Been running too. Hopefully will at least be able to complete most of the marathon.

Looking forward to the 2 camps this year end.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My little trip down south

Alright, I thought I'd talk a little bit more bout my journey there. I can't say too much about the military aspect. That would put the very existence of this blog at risk. But I want to say that for a certain reason, I had lots of spare time in the field to read God's word and meditate on it. And I also had a fair amount of time to read Benny Hinn's Welcome Holy Spirit, which Caleb lent me. And as I read and meditated, I went through a period of growth. Growth in scriptural knowledge. Growth in intimacy with the Holy Spirit of God. Feeling His warmth and peace. Talking to Him in the cold mornings, talking to Him while doing the armskote.




The armskote there was something that I was initially rather concerned about. But it's over. And I really thank God for that. I did not exactly have an easy time out there. The days were really hot, what with the ozone depletion. The nights were reallly cold. Every night you shiver. Quite badly too. Uncontrollably. Sometimes I wondered whether I'd get hypothermia. Cuz shivering is 1 degree below normal body temperature. And hypothermia can be reached at 2 degrees below normal temperature. And I also had some people who made things a lot harder for me.






This is the Australian frog which initially did not want to pose with me.






But having learnt how to speak frog, I coaxed it into changing it's mind.


Frog:"Okay, can I go now?"



But all things worked together for good. And I came home safely. The last day. Looking back. Thinking of how shitty it was to get off the cosy plane on the first morning. Of the living conditions in the field. Of the cold, of the endless combat rations- 8 days straight at one time. I really thanked God as I boarded the plane home. Sweet home. Humid home. Wonderful home.





Rockhampton cuisine is generous, rich. Generally not too oily as I understand, but the quantity is amazing. Heavenly after being in the field for so long.





Ming Kiat (my Rest and Recreation roommate) and I. Outside our motel room.





Fitzroy river. Which cuts through the middle of Rockhampton. So named for rocks in the river, and "hampton" which means town on a river flat.



The eponymous rocks. There are swooping magpies there. Which come straight at you when alone. Cool stuff.
This here is the coach headed for the airport.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BACK!

Yes I'm back.

I am so glad I went. I learnt so much. Had a wonderful time with God down there. Also learnt the true meaning of cold. Shivering through the night. Singapore is so much sleep-able at night.

Looking forward to the rest of my life... haha.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Today I fly

Going over to Australia this afternoon.

Had a dinner with Caleb and Jesh last night. Really treasure the time I spend with these 2 bros. Also treasure all the well-wishing smses sent to me. Pam, Andrea, Tiew.

When I come back, I'll have completed what must be the last major exercise in my National Service stint. And when I come back, I look forward to more time spent in church and CM. I always looked forward to this trip as a beginning of the end, a means to the end, so to speak.

I have run and not given up and the end is in sight.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Been surfing around

Well when I booked out last night I went to have dinner with Daniel Yim in the town area. Was good to talk.

Did some surfing on the net late last night, into the wee hours of this morn. And was looking at my JC friends' blogs. And it occured to me that I've missed out so much on their lives. Perhaps just simply because I spent more time with people in church, or at army, or somewhere else. Not necessarily a bad thing, since I can only keep up with limited people within a limited amount of time, but still it set me thinking.

And also went to visit some random church peoples' blogs. See them doing all sorts of things. Some overseas, some still within the island. Saw their colourful, well decorated blogs, of which mine pales in comparison. Right now I'm not really bothered with these embellishments, maybe next time.

And even went to see some random Christians' blogs. Saw some blogs a little like mine, which has much to do with ramblings about their Christian walks etc.

Well I've been feeling rather alone these days. Even in camp. Just feel so alone. I mean, I don't have much to talk with other people. Some days I'm kinda feeling troubled and unsettled in camp. Schedule was a little more relaxed the last few days but yet I didn't feel quite happy.

And even in church, I feel quite alone some times. Yeah, there are people around. But I still come and go home alone. How do I explain it? Something like there are people who exist within social entities. They are always found within a group of friends. The group of friends is a social unit. But I'm an entity and unit by myself.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Away for a while

I'll be in Australia training for the last 3 weeks of this month.

Please pray for good weather, training safety, a wonderful time and for me to discipline myself to do my quiet time, no matter how busy. Pray for the time to spend with God.

Apparently it's a nice training area. Very picturesque. Shall see.

Recently I've been thinking bout the going-ons in my life. I find that it sometimes gets hard for me to blend in with the crowd. I'm just so different... different in the way I do things, different in my beliefs. And I also have very little common interests with most other people my age, I feel.

Oh well. 4 months and 11 days left in this army.

And please pray that God will allow me to make it for the end of year camps. I'll be signing up for them and putting down the money. I trust God to do what He intends to do. And if the money is non-refundable, it is an offering to God. I've already taken the leave.

I'm looking forward for a time of quiet and God-seeking. A time of fellowship with my family of Christians.

God-willing, God-willing. The most common refrain.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Right now

Here I am, a little tired. Had ATP and coy live firing this last week. Been a long 7 days in camp. And armskote's been quite a terror. Like last Sunday, woke up at 0400 or so, then had live firing. Came back to camp at about 0300, then was inside armskote till 0545. Fell in the platoon at 0645 and then went to bed at 1050. How's that sound...

Right, so every once in a while, I look back and see how far I've progressed, correct?

Work-

Busy, especially since I'm still a combat sergeant and an armskote spec at the same time. God has provided me with rather understanding colleagues however. And I know He's been granting me quite some favour with my superiors. He's provided for me that I am able to be diligent and deliver in my armskote responsibilities.

Need to honour God in my normal tasks though. These days I tend to get a bit calculative over my normal platoon duties. Fatigue does not help.

Quite lonely in armskote some days. Feel separated from the world. But been reading a few good Christian books lately, and growing silently.

When I first started to do armskote I felt strongly that God was telling me that some of my most intimate times of worship with Him would be in the armskote, where it's quite cut off from outside. And yes, I have had some wonderful times with God alone in that strong room.

Church-

Been spending a little bit more time in CM these days. I think God is leading me deeper into this ministry. I sincerely believe that every ministry is important in God's eyes. That CM is not less important. That God can let anyone start in any ministry and use that as a stepping stone. That CM is not necessarily a stepping stone to a so called "real ministry".

I recall that when I came into CM God specifically showed me my purpose to 2 groups of people. It might sound like a no brainer. But it was the children, and the youth in CM. And I guess that in this season I'll be spending more time with them.

OK that's about it I believe.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Looking forward to ORD

I have 5 months less 1 day as of today. That means 4 months plus. So really looking forward to ORD. Am very thankful for all that God has brought me through in National Service so far. Certainly a maturing experience.

These days I'll be trying to spend more time around with the kids in church. And considering what to do after NS.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A PrOdUcTiVe 2 days.

Well, I cleared my Final Theory Test for driving, thank God. Was wondering whether I'd be able to, but oh well, I did.

I had a short 7 klick run yesterday, more of a jog. Just to recover some running ability. It was awesome to be at church for the Pri 6 study camp. I may have appeared silent and all, but it really was a blessing to be there. I am very proud of Lowell and Caleb. Of what they've been doing with the kids, spending their time to teach them. Being able to influence them as godly examples.

I benefitted immensely from watching Facing the Giants last night. It almost had me in tears. It made me recall all the dark moments of my life in Sispec, in my current unit. It made me recall how I prayed for my school when I was in JC. It ministered to me deeply.

Well, it was also good to talk to Zhang Qi, Jaslyn, Gavin, Caleb and Lowell. Aaron was asleep already. It was an enjoyable morning doing my QT at 0600. Didn't know people came as early as 0615. Played a little bit of table tennis with Gavin.

Had teachers' meeting, then came home.

And wow, thanks Lord. The weekend was succintly wonderful.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My last 5 days

To be fairly honest, it's been a rather unproductive last 5 days... but then it gave me some time (well it forced me actually) to think about some things.

Like my purpose in life, what I am going to do after NS... etc etc.

It's kinda scary how fast one can grow up. I'm 20 already. I know it's not a sudden thing really, but not long ago I was just a JC kid. Yeah, "kid". JC people seem to be "kids" in my mind no. (Especially the males who haven't been through army life). And once I finish my National Service, I'll probably enter the workforce for some time, before going to uni. Then after 3-4 years I'll start to work. Seems rather fast to me.

By the law of averages I would *gulp* have a family in 10-15 years time. Following which at the age of 35-40... okay I'll stop here.

This is the time of the year I start to pray that I can go to the end of year church camps. But I really might be busy. Goodness, I haven't been to church for the last 2 weekends already. And next month I'll be overseas training. Oh well. What can I say.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A rainy day

Yes, it's raining outside. The gentle pattering of water, the cool breeze. Everything slows down when it rains. Wonderful. I do so love the rain. When I'm indoors, that is. The infantry hates the rain though. It makes things wet, causes foot rot, ensures a cold shivering sleepless night.

Fully in line with the inconsistency and suddeness of army life, I got Monday to Wednesday off. I was wondering what to do with it. Saturday and Sunday would be church. Monday to Wednesday would be daily runs and conditioning exercises and lunching or dining out with old friends. Then I fell sick. And mind you I haven't fallen sick since somewhere in April last year. Even then I didn't have a fever and flu. I've been so used to good, God-given health that I didn't even realise I was falling sick until I actually got a fever.

So my activities for the next few days are more or less pre-arranged by these events. Recuperation. To think that I was pondering the fact that I had too much time thrust upon me all of a sudden.

It is good to sit down and rest. To know that I may wake up, not to military activity and the emotionally draining issues of my men, but to a perfectly peaceful morning. The noisy karaoke and totally disrespectful, unneighbourly chatter of the void deck-loitering youth sound of home and I, if anything, rather enjoy it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I ran today

Finished my 21 klick army half marathon today. Just so many people running. So not as enjoyable as I'd have wished. Had planned to go to church, but calculated the time and thought I wouldn't get there in time for most of it.

This last week I learnt quite a bit from God. Mostly about settling differences with people and making peace.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The week and a mystery.

This week was a rather refreshing week.

Not much activities. Except running, exercise, watching movies with the specs. Smokin' Aces, Fight Club (which was really really good. Mind-blowing movie. The best I've watched in a very very long time), V for Vendetta. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings.

Earlier in the week I had some good times with God. Just sitting down listening to Him all over again. So good to be in His presence.

Was also good to have a wonderful conversation with one of my fellow specs a Christian. Clearing some misunderstandings late into the night. We sleep next to each other but somehow we just don't seem to be able to connect. It's frustrating to me.

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.
.

I am a mystery unto myself. Somedays I can be so on fire for God. Somedays I am so comfortable in sin. Sometimes I can be so friendly to people while other days I just want to be alone. I come to enjoy the pain of being away from the crowd somedays but yet sometimes I hate to be alone. I am an exercise in contradictions. A person of extremities. Known both for great passion and exceptional dullness. Some term me humble while others call me proud. I possess great discipline and have a delightful propensity for lazing around. I am loved, loathed, admired, despised. I wish to be understood and yet I cannot comprehend my very own self.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Truth

So you want the truth?

Well here it is. Something in church has been disturbing me as of late.

If you have observed the walls and the sticky tape in church lately, you'd be kinda disturbed. What with all the renovation going on.

It goes that sticky tape should not be stuck on too many surfaces. You stick it on one, that's ok. You peel it off and it's not as sticky as before. Each time you peel it off, you peel off part of the paint and carry it on the tape. There've been quite a lot of people doing this lately. Ain't no pretty sight.

Yet what can I say. It's not my tape, not my wall.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I ran today

Okay. I accidentally clicked enter on that last post and I feel a bit too lazy to go delete it. So here's the actual post.

I ran today. About 14 klick I estimate. Trying to build up some mileage before the AHM 21 klick. And really, exercising makes me feel much better, much more alive... The air along my running route is not excellent though. Made worse by the 7 month incense burning. The air around my army camp's much much fresher.

This week in camp was generally relaxed. However I'm COS again tomorrow. Well at least I can make it to church on a Sunday.

Managed to spend quite a bit of time with God this week in camp. Most excellent.

Will try to look for a day to meet up, Glenn.

I ran today

Monday, July 28, 2008

Alright.

I signed up for the full marathon. Who's with me?

Today was an off in lieu. And was kinda restless at home. Haven't been home for so long for a month or so. Seemed so strange.

Thought that there'd be an outing on Sunday, but there wasn't, oh well. Had set aside the second half of the day for that. But not too bad also, went to eat sushi with my family.

I just want to say here that God always has His plans for us. He's brought me through some really tough times in army. Not just physically. Sometimes there's malicious gossip etc too. And then there's people relations which can really hurt more than the physical training. But I know God's will is being done.

So that's it for now.

Oh yeah AHM's coming on the 24th of August. A stepping stone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

...

Wondering whether I should sign up for the Stan chart 42.195 klick. Probably. Just give it a shot, for the experience.

Having more and more issues in camp lately. Can't tell here. Lots of issues with my men though. Somedays in here... just like watching a channel 8 drama. The things that happen are just so ridiculous. Life unfolds like a TV series where all the unfortunate things just keep happening, so much so that you think the drama is just so unreal and fake, that the series of events are quite impossible.

In my army life, if something unexpected doesn't happen in a month or so, something is seriously wrong.

Took my leave for Childrens' camp and youth camp this year. But my OC tells me that there's a chance that it might be cancelled. Oh well.

Had a good time after YPM today with Caleb, Yim, Lowell, Joseph, Ming En.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My weekend

Had a rather good one. Spent most of it in church.

...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A short book out

Booked out 1845. Book in 2230. Decided to come home to relax a bit and spend time with my dad and mom.

Tomorrow wake up 0350 HRS. Exercise.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A bus, a crying child and a thought

Was on 854 home today. (I caught it just as it was leaving the bus stop. I'm pretty sure I saw the uncle glance at me and pretend not to see me. So I ran after it to the next stop to catch it. Helped by the red light. The wonders of army fitness.)

And there was this mother and a young child. Around 5 or 6 I'd say. And the child was crying as if he'd been done some gross injustice or been greviously hurt. Refused to tap the EZ link for his mom. And as the little fella sat 2 seats in front of me sobbing away at the deepest misery of his life, I began to think.

Just 15 or so years back I must have been like that. I cried when I couldn't finish my food. (But not my favourite ones). I cried when I forgot to bring one of my books home from kindergarten. I cried I was in primary school very often.

I'll never cry for such small matters now. But I do cry for bigger matters. How that young guy cried could have been dismissed as a normal occasion of childishness. But I saw it in a different way. I saw a little bit of myself in that young fella. And how God and my family and some of my friends have built me up to who I am. I am not great. But I am greatly loved. I am not the mightiest. But I am mighty through the training of God and mighty by His mighty hand.

Booking in tonight. Yeah. Saturday night. COS duty tomorrow. Last Sunday I finished helping out in a platoon live firing early in the morning. 0330 hours as I recall. Coming Sat and Sun I'll be tied down at another live firing practice and live firing. So that's a fair bit of time spent away from my kids.

I'm not really having quite of a ministry in Childrens' ministry y'know. I'm hardly there, for starters. I'm not really having quite of a ministry in army. Been at armskote. Been having a few incidents regarding my men. Those I spend effort and time on kinda left me, to put it that way. Those I really invested energy into have some things against me. It seems that I have climbed a little knoll in this valley (if you could find knolls in valleys) and came sliding down another slope.

Today YPM was good. Had some things to hand over to God. And felt much better.

That's all for now. Ming En's going in coming Fri. All the best bro.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Please keep me in prayer

Gonna have a siong outfield Wed to Fri. Yeah.

Long tactical march, plus company level defence and offence.

Thanks.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This week

Assigned the job of armskote specialist over and above my current duties. So kinda tiring.

Slept at 0030 HRS on Sat morn. Woke up 0400. Sun morn slept 0330, woke up 0615. All for platoon live firing. Quite tired really.

I know NS is good training for me. I also look forward to ORD.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This army

One of the most important things a specialist must learn is this:


The day your men stop giving you problems is the day they stop trusting you.

Day off

Have a day off today.

Enjoying it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My most stressful week in army

My most stressful week just passed. I never expected it to be so bad.

Why I can't exactly say on a blog.

But I just want to thank God it's over. On to some easier stuff.

2 Corinthians 12:9

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness"

Goes on to say that

Therefore all the most I will boast of my weaknesses, that Christ's power might rest upon me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I will delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships and in persecutions, for when I am weak then I am strong.

That was God's answer to me when I was crying out to Him on Saturday. Calmed me down immediately.

Been some time since God spoke.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

This Sat

This Sat was the best evangelical outreach I've ever seen in YPM, in my life. And that kind of comment's quite hard to come by from me. I think Pastor Matthew is quite good. Exceeding my expectations.

Had a lil platoon offensive outfield this week. Next week have a defensive exercise. Saturday I have a platoon live firing, Sunday I have a guard duty. So my weekend's effectively burnt. Oh well.

Once more in a long while I am beginning to see value in coming to YPM.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Oh well

Aww right I ran the 12 klick in the end. More like 11 actually.

To all those going CAC, God bless, may the Holy Spirit's strong presence be with you. Tai Yong will be somewhere in those jungles (you know, those vegetated areas that you pass along the expressway and then you see a red sign with a white soldier warning you not to enter?) marching with a field pack on his back and weapon loaded (ok, with blanks). I'll be praying for you guys even as I do my stuff (well, after I finish scolding that man in front of me for not giving the proper field signals... etc. See? I can already predict what's going to happen).

Wish I could be there. But as Isaac Low, who's already ORDed told me, you don't exactly have to pray for God to put you where He wants while serving NS. As long as you trust Him and keep close to Him, He will send you to where He wants you to be. So here I am in the infantry. Army sergeant. His grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

This week

This last week was rather restful, even in camp. Just a lil bit of PT here and there, some planning etc. Coming week I'll have an outfield, albeit a short one. Thank God that I've been spending more time with Him this last week. Also started doing bible study with 2 of my men in camp. They're Christian yeah, but not really been chasing God.

Brought 2 people to YPM this week. One was one of my men. Have invited him to come again next week. Gonna be a long road ahead finding friends for him in this place though. He's rather hard to break through to. But that's God's job innit?

Came home right after CM today. Was feeling kinda sleepy. Planned to get a little bit of eye shut then maybe try to run 12 klicks... sorta training up for Army Half Marathon, which is a stepping stone to Stan Chart 42.195 to me. But looking at the weather... (the slacker within me yells "hurray!!!!").

Over the last few weeks have seen more of God's providence and planning as I spend more time with Him. Eg. I passed my SOC quite well. Haven't run it in about 6 months. In other words, I don't ever have to do SOC again for the rest of my life. And I ran faster than all the other commanders. Got 8:50, which isn't really a fantastic timing. But I simply don't understand how I made it, except for God's help. You see, the fastest I ever reached was 9:09 at Pasir Laba.

Have wondered whether I'll be able to keep healthy after NS. The amount I can eat and get away with without really getting fat is tremendous. Okay, I don't have nice six packs... etc, but I don't really increase in weight either, with the amount of physical activity I do.

Awwww. Can't go CAC the coming week. Wish I could though. But the army will not allow me to. Oh well.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Discipleship Training School (DTS)

DTS. It's a YWAM programme that I just might be interested in. Anybody got any contacts or people who went through it before?

It's kinda expensive though. Would take all my NSF allowance from now till ORD. And it's a stay-in programme, macham SAF course. 12 week stay-in lectures, 8 week overseas missions. Kinda excites me.

This morn went for a 15klick cycling event. Was kinda easy. Could finish in like 40 minutes or so.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A long weekend

Thought that this weekend was rather good.

Spent most of it resting at home though.

Wondering what to do after ORD... though it's still rather early. These few days at home kinda seemed to throw me back in time, when I hadn't enlisted. I didn't rush around meeting people this weekend. Just lazed around, doing a few homely things I liked. Read a bit of my ol year book. Did some reading here and there.

JC life seems so far back now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Looking forward to next week

Next week there'll be Vesak day!

So happily waiting for a long weekend.

Was just wondering... should I even try to ask for leave for the Creative Arts Camp? Praying bout it.

But where I work taking leave is kinda taboo. Pretty much the whole world turns against you. So much for strong work cultures.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The future.



I do wonder what the future holds for me. What is God's plan... etc.


I figure that the past year or so in army have kinda made my life into a blank slate. For God to write on. For as I read my journals and personal records of my thoughts and feelings, I realise that my mind is now occupied by well, different things. Mostly mundane, day-to-day army stuff. My priorities have shifted too. Right now I have, well, about no priorities in life, so to speak. Not many goals, just living each day as it is. Enjoying some, sucking thumb for some.


My in-camp life is bigger than my out-of-camp life. (Man, that's all this Tai Yong blogs about these days innit, army life, army life, army life, how he's so not a civilian... bleagh).


I seek a closer walk with God once again. I used to walk closely. I look back and I see milestones and hallmarks. But I don't intend to go back there. I look forward and I want so much more of God.


One thing that saddens me is the number of people I have stopped talking to heart-to-heart since I began to grow busier and busier in the battalion. Some of these people I really miss. Miss the friendships that is. I still see them around, but hard to really talk much. Just a hi... and then what-else-can-I-say kind of feeling comes round and I'm stuck there.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Back again

The past 2 weeks have been going at a crazy, tiring pace. Late nights- 0030. Early mornings, like 0415 hours waking up. Going outfield for navex, missions etc.

It kinda strikes me as weird how school-going people can comment on academic life, saying it's crazy and exhausting... etc. Mentally, yes, agreed. But it's really strange how the same few words can mean entirely different things.

Tiring, yet fulfilling somehow.

For me it means doing preparation for outfield training, conducting numerous inspections for my men.

It means donning my green long 4, putting on green camo cream and the 3 black stripes across my face. Putting on my load bearing vests, boots, helmet, field pack. Drawing my SAR 21, loading ammo into my magazine. Moving out for one of those long, tiring infantry marches.

Walking in the hot sun, finding out that my men didn't obey my instructions to bring enough water, regretting the fact that perhaps I could have checked. Seeing my section almost break down during the section proficiency test as the stress level goes up. Doing my best to pull my team together, while becoming increasingly irritated and angry at some of their attitudes.

Shouting and screaming at them to keep the friggin battle formations, attack properly, get proper cover. Seeing them becoming totally exhausted, sweating, muddy, come close to giving up.

Having to manage 6 different, unique persons, with different mindsets and personalities. Each a soldier- my soldier, each a man, each somebody's son. Look after their physical and mental well being, their soldierly bearing, their training in every aspect. Also their growth as people. Have to do what I can for their personal problems, their attitude problems.

Yeah.

And yes, I know God helped me a lot in the test. None of us in my section fell out. Came close, yes, but no it did not happen. That's an immense achievement. Most sections I know of had people who fell out.

Thought I was in one place but was in an entirely different place (300-400 metres away) during navex. Knew that I was getting more and more lost but somehow didn't want to turn back. The logical mind in me kept telling me to back track to a confirmed location. Kept walking and scolding myself for being stupid. And somehow I walked up the correct knoll, saw a station master and by God's divine providence, reached the correct checkpoint. Not by my navigation skills, but by sheer clumsiness, navigational stupidity and stubborness added up, manipulated and changed by God into a correct move.

On another note, saw Iron Man at 1 a.m. this morning. Thought it most excellent.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Things to note

Please keep me in prayer. Got a section proficiency test coming up. My men and I need to clear it well.

Had a rather tiring field camp this week. The march there and back was quite a killer.

Went YPM today. Ever since Timothy came under the wing of Levi, I think I've been getting more well fed in the word. That's wonderful.

Booking in tml for live firing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Short Note

Just want to thank Gab Lee and Andrea for keeping tabs on this blog. Your presence here is coveted.

Another week or so ahead.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Going-ons

This was my first full weekend since March. Which means that I could book out on Friday night and I only book in again tonight. That's great. Have wonderful fellow sec coms who are willing to cover some of the duties for me. Thank God.





Want to thank Caleb Lim for getting the MP3 player. Rather touched bro. This bro of mine knew that I was not going too well in my walk. So he got me a MP3 player (probably knows that I'd never splurge the money on one myself), loaded in some Christian songs, sermons and some pictures from the 2006 Childrens' camp in. Kinda like to ground me to my life in God.











That's one of the pictures. I am praying, it seems with Luke Tang and some of the children. And that brings back pretty vivid memories from that camp. It was a major landmark in my walk with God. It was a wonderful mountaintop. And from that mountaintop I journeyed to my current valley. It's true... I talked with God then. God replied me. I could hear His voice clearly and regularly. I had numerous wonderful chances to tell people about Him. And I had the chance to witness about 3 people being brought to the Lord in those years. And He showed me a few things. Gave me some rather clear revelations. That I would be going into a time of challenges and battles. He told me that in 2006.



Also want to thank God for my family who was praying for me when I went for my field camp last week. Came back with blisters, heat rash, foot rot (the normal infantry outfield stuff, y'know), but I do believe the field camp went along pretty well.





Right now my walk... well I'm walking again. I went to church yesterday. Wanted to bring one of my men but he couldn't make it cuz he went lock-up due to screening. But I had a really good time with God. The sermon was applicable.

I think the key word for me in this season is Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I need to find my identity and security in my God, and not the things of this world. Lately I've been questioning God as to why He has not really given me outstanding achievements in my army life. Y'know, I'm a small fry infantry sergeant. What I say and do makes differences in the lives of my men, officers, colleagues, yes. But some days I'd like to be someone bigger.

I see friends having gone through OCS, friends getting many badges and commendations and awards. The epitomies of strong garang soldiers in their physical prime. And here I am. Lost the chance to clear my last marksmanship, probably because of not tightening my LAD... can't even get an IPPT gold (it's eluded me one way or another).

But then again, if my identity and security is really in God, these things shouldn't really matter to me that much.

I need to start seeking God again, as I did when I was about 18 years old. That was 2 years back, when I spent much time with God, praying, kneeling with much sincerity and effort. These days I still do spend time before God... somedays early in the morning, say 1 a.m. or so, after I've settled my work for the day. But not as much time spent as I'd like. And when I do get home, I go surf the net, play flash games... etc. Things which I'd have considered a total waste of my time back then. I used to limit my usage of the internet to 3 hours a week when I was in JC, to study, honour God and make space for prayer time.

And so you have it. I'm still me... but I need to remember my roots and return to the river of my life.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Small Metal Side Gate

The Small Metal Side Gate

Small thud as steel hits steel
Gate again is closed behind
Air outside civvy fresh
Air inside dank, of sweat

Didn’t make sense, never did.
See the gate’s a wire mesh
Air’s the same, alright

But oh, no
Not to those who understand
It’s different
Inside, outside

And till the sacred book out hour
I’ll be a soldier

(It's at the far left hand side.)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hello

I'm alive.

Just for your info.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

For another week

I'll be gone for yet another week. Will book out on Sunday morning.

Yay now Amos is a sergeant too. That makes 2 of us.

I had a really restful week. Thank God for that. Friday booked out and went straight for High Praise. Think the J1 batch did a most excellent job, for the skit. Really liked the crucifixion scene too. The event after that was equally good. Had quite a bit of fun. Built the "dunking" machine with Eugene Tan.

Then went over to Caleb's house. Originally intended to go Bedok jetty to fish. In the end just went near Wayne's house at East Coast to spend the night. Got a few nasty sandfly bites. Evacuated the area at 0330 hours for lack of hammocks. Went back to Caleb's house to continue SLEEPING. Woke up at 1030 or so.

Spent the time before YPM reading Calvin and Hobbes, while Aaron watched Chinese drama on his laptop and Jesh played PSP.

So yeah, my week was rather restful.

Hopefully, the road ahead shall be more restful and filled with greater godly joy than the path behind. Prayerfully, it shall be fulfilling and meaningful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life as it is

Woke up on Tuesday morning at 8a.m., feeling quite well rested. Wondered for a moment why I felt so good. Then relished the fact that waking up at 8a.m. means that I've slept for about 3 more hours than usual. Before I became a soldier, waking up at 10 plus a.m. was kinda late. Now waking up at 8a.m. is very late.

Spent much of these last 2 days at home. Was my birthday yesterday and OC was kind enough to give me off. My men. The recruits who've just made private, they're on block leave see, so I'm having a break after say 3-4 months working non-stop in camp. Much needed break. A little bit of breathing space.

Yes I'm 20 now. Man that's old. That's kinda fast, too. Army... where boys become men. So is it because of the training process, or the fact that people naturally grow out of teenage shoes to fill adult ones? A bit of both I suppose. I'm proud to be a soldier. I'm not an elite one. Neither in rank or skills. Just somewhere in the middle I suppose. I learn a lot where I am. In soldiering and people skills.

Need to book in tonight. When I'm out on Friday, will be going High Praise in church. Then going fishing at overnight.

My bunkmate in camp, Chris, he gave me his analysis on my character. Said that I like to walk away from the crowd. And that in some ways, I've grown too used to doing so. It's kinda like an instinct in me. I thought that was pretty accurate. Walking away from crowds and being different is so me. It has benefits and yet it can contain some pain.

Thank God for my bunkmates. They are Alex, Rahman, Chris. We have a lot of fun together. We have great working relationships as fellow sergeants. We trust and rely on each other. I recall all the tension in my sispec bunk, and the lack of close friends in my BMT bunk, with the exception of Julian Tay. And I really thank God that I have good bunkmates. SISPEC taught me to understand the fragility of human relationships, though. And in this respect I must be careful and not shocked when bad things happen.

Have walked so many klicks in full battle order as an infantryman that walking without load is simply enjoyable these days. Having spent many nights in the tropical jungle, I am fully able to sleep anywhere. I think one of the greatest strengths of the infantry is that adaptability is reliant on personal ability. And so once we are trained to do something or survive somewhere, little can hinder us.

In the days to come, as training intensifies, I will become even more of an infantryman.

Also been thinking bout what exactly to do after ord. Backpacking is an option that floats somewhere at the back of my mind. But I'd need to find enough rugged, reliant, willing parties. And secure parental consent (so much for the age). Then also would like to pass my driving. And perhaps try out a few different jobs. After working as a sergeant in the SAF, I feel that I could probably survive any workingplace. The pressure and lifestyle would probably be a piece of cake.

And then before I know it, I'll become a uni student. Must remember to keep my fitness up and not grow fat.

And then I'll start working life... long time from now. Tang ku ku.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What has been happening

Can a man be so immersed in his job and place of work that it comprises his whole life? That is the sort of issue that I am facing. I've been doing my national service for a whole 11 months and 4 days now. Right now, as you know, I'm in a operational battalion. That means that one day, I'll be on standby to defend this land if a threat to our sovereignity ever arises. I am serious about that.

There are reasons for a lack of description of my life in army right now. Security reasons. Not that I'm in some highly classified military unit, but simply because some things are restricted. It's also unprofessional to rant in detail on a blog bout my workplace. I won't hide it that I have many gripes as to how much respect as a human being I am being accorded here. I also won't conceal the fact that I feel like a statistic, like dirt, like a dog (... not quite, at least dogs get incentives) and that many here are not at all treasured.

But I won't go into specifics. So I cannot be charged with wrongdoing.

Spiritually, I have not been in the strong presence of God for quite a while. My mom was sharing John 15:2 with me. And I do believe that God is pruning me, for the branch which bears fruit He prunes, so that it will bear even more fruit.

I sincerely miss times with certain people in church. Certain friendships seem kinda lost these days. Don't really have much time to spend with people around. And I am aware that when I come and start to speak army (so to say), there is a kind of civilian-soldier barrier that is created. But what to do?

I am glad for where I am, even though it's painful many a time and I am very tired and humanly unrewarded. For it trains me to be more like God. It trains me to be more calm and patient. I am not afraid to say that I have failed many tests that have been presented to me. And some I believe I have passed quite well.

Also in this period of time, I realise that there are not many people in church who go out of their way to keep in contact with others. And we wonder why there is little growth.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

-

Not much to say.

Life has settled pretty much into the routine of short sleep (5 hours or less) each day, long work hours (the other 19 hours), good lessons learnt, scoldings, hardships, good laughs amidst camaraderie and the constant running on adrenaline.

Then there's rest and recovery on what is left of the weekend. And I dive into the week once again.

Can't go VBS this year. Have some stuff on in camp. Wish I could go.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

-

Hmmm.

Very long weeks followed by extremely long weekends.

That's my lifestyle these days.

Read Pearl Izumi's (a sports shoe brand) latest marketing campaign. Something which goes "runners are wild, joggers are runners who have been domesticated". Find it quite hilarious. You can find it at the sports shop (not sure what it's called) on the same floor as Giant's in Parkway Parade.

Friday, February 22, 2008

-

I'm back again.

So many things happened in the last 2 weeks. Grown a bit wiser once more. I thank God for where I am. Spend so much time as a soldier that I don't have much time outside. But then again, I think this is an excellent point in my life. I can lead a physically, mentally, spiritually tough life without any major life commitments other than my God and family and some friends.

No exams, no girlfriend (you REALLY should see how much of a pain that can be while serving as a soldier. If I were an extra terrestrial stumbling into my camp I'd think "girlfriend" was some horrible monster. Most male humans express that girlfriends are headaches, don't understand what they go through, attention-seeking, and yet they can't let go of them.)

Ah yes... Life can be painfully fulfilling. Trying to train a motley crew of men. They've got many good things in them mired under much dirt. And it's my most messy job to clear away that dirt.

Ethics is a big question where I am. Where is the line drawn and how can I be shrewd and yet honest? Can these two co-exist? To be shrewd as a snake and innocent as a dove is not easy.

Wisdom required.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

-

Going back outfield in a few days. Have always loved the jungle and nature. Though some experiences taught me to appreciate civilised life, what with all its comfort and safety.

Having very little time to spend outside, as usual here. Think I'm losing touch with a couple of good friends. Touched that some still remember me and make the effort to keep in contact. Wayne in particular. Thanks dude. Humbled.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

-

Think I'm spending a little too much time in army, not that I have much of a choice.

Not too happy with how things are going on in camp.

Each day in the battalion makes me a stronger soldier though.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

-

I am very tired, see?

Got so much to do, so little time to spend outside.

So many extra duties, macham sign extra like that. But I didn't get any extras.

Another one of those, underpaid, under-appreciated days. An existing semblance of specialist pride and many many long days and nights. My job and position has no glory and many scoldings.

On the brighter side of things at least time is passing quickly. Each and every week flies by.

And I'm going to be 20 this year. That's quite old. 2 years of my life spent in the military. I'll be out 1 month before I turn 21.

Went church today, Pri 3 class had 4 new additions. Praise God. Rebecca and Zhang Wei must have been praying quite hard, I figure. Honestly I haven't been managing to put in much time for prayer and word. No excuse though. 2nd service message was quite good.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Soldiering

A sergeant >>>

Is expected by the officers to carry out their plans.

Is expected by the men to represent them to the officers.

Is responsible to the officers when things go wrong.

Is blamed by the men when things go wrong.

Is to be close to his men, and yet be apart as a commander.

Is to understand each individual and build him up as a soldier.

Is to be at the peak of physical, mental and combat fitness.

Is to be better in technical skills then his men, who he teaches, and his officers, for he is a specialist.

Is to care for his soldiers and yet risk their lives for the sake of higher intent.
.
.
.

A Christian sergeant +

Is expected to do all the same.

And yet to maintain godliness in an often godless environment.

Is to meet with filth in thoughts, words and deeds each day and yet not be a part of it.

Is to pray for his men.

Is to pray for his officers.

And yet be scolded or talked about behind his back by both, since things often still do go wrong.

Is to seek excellence and yet not be proud.

Is accountable to God above human authority.

Is to make a right decision in ethical dilenmas
...And yet knowing that, often failing, God forgive, to do so.
.
.
.

When the Christian sergeant so happens to teach in Childrens' Ministry - _`-

He must

Do all the above.

Yet set aside time and space to love his children.

To teach his children to live by the way he acts.

Tolerate, embrace and enjoy the playfulness and cheekiness of his children, bringing discipline but not the habitual regimentation to his class.

Set aside time to spend with younger teachers.

Upkeep his own spiritual well-being.
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No wonder he needs God desperately each day.

And yet he often forgets to call on God.

But he's learning... slowly.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Here I am

Here I am O Lord. Your child.

Been some time since I've come into really close contact with you Lord. Yes, I know I'm growing in wisdom and quiet strength where I am, through all the painful hard experiences there are. I know I'm learning things that make me more skilled for ministry wherever I am.

But I kinda miss those times Lord. Those times when I really took time off to fast and to pray. I miss those church camp times when I was in the midst of fellowship. Yes, even as the Psalmist missed those days that he was in the festive throng, leading the procession up to the house of the Lord. (Psalm 42).

Why art thou cast down O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God. -Psalm 42:11.

I realise that I may be knowledgeable in the word, but I do believe I lack depth in understanding. And I lack wisdom in application. Truly, the more I walk with God, the more I realise that I am so lacking, so small.

It's not easy living for God in the army. But it'd be harder not living for God while in the army.

So far

Guess I'd better do an update.

Past weeks were busy in my battalion. Lots of issues that my men have. A different cut of society. Seldom have time to book out right now. Lots of duties.

Had a packed Sunday, beginning where my 24 hour guard duty ended. Had a short, stone-faced 30 minutes or so with my Pri 6s. Stone-faced cuz I really didn't know what to say, with that 30 minutes being the last 30 minutes they were in Sunday school as Pri 6s. Short because I had to rush down from camp.

Went for CM meeting, then badminton with people 2-3 years my junior, mostly. Then went Plaza Sing for dinner.

Monday was mostly spent at home.

In other news I wonder what God has in store for me. I spend the bulk of my time with a group of people I have no idea how to minister to. I'm not entirely unfamiliar with their issues since I came into contact with many of their kind while in secondary school. But ministering and praying and bringing them to Christ... that's something I'm not too sure how to go about. But God will lead me on as He has always done.

I book in tonight. The next time I book out is Sunday morn. A half day book out till Sunday night.