Monday, December 28, 2009

I Plucked My Toe Nail Off!

All right.



This morning I decided that I had to pluck my toe nail off. Cuz I could see that it was starting to get infected. And I could see lots of water underneath the dead nail (bubbles, y'know). So woo hoo! I plucked it off. Yay!



So the question. Pain a not? Of course! Had to snip and cut and pluck. Took me almost an hour to do the whole thing. And when I reached the last part, where the toe nail is connected to the flesh. Wah, I almost felt like giving up at that point. But I resolved to carry on.



But am very glad I've done it. Quite an experience. Very pleased with myself.










I have a close-up of the toe way below. But I won't show it here cuz I just want to give the reader an option of not looking at the squirm-inducing image. (Though I know about 95% will scroll down for curiosity's sake anyway. But don't say I didn't warn you. It might be disturbing).


The highlight of yesterday was a nice stroll with Jeshua, Jing Yang and Joseph Poon from my place to the Levi/ Timothy BBQ at The Quartz. Well, actually, no. It was the longer walk with Jeshua after that back to the bus stop. About 6 klick or so I think. We discussed lots of stuff.


I really enjoyed the time at the BBQ. Was so much fun playing with my Pri 6s. (Who I could start calling "my Sec 1s" in a couple of days time). Looking at them graduate to YPM... Proud of them. Yet a tinge of sadness at seeing them leave the nest of protection and security. They are going to a place where they should and will be treated as youth. And youth make a lot more choices for themselves and are given a lot more freedom in many things. That is a necessary step but one not without its pitfalls.


I realised that I have so much to pray about these days. So many concerns and all. I just need to wait on God. And thus, my strategy for the coming Meta Camp, well, coming week, more like, is to take it easy and focus on waiting on God. After this whole season of waiting on God, there is at least one thing that I am quite certain off, that it is not the time for any added responsibility. It is the time to focus greatly on the present responsibilities.

That being said I just thank God so so much for this whole season.

Off to Meta Camp in a few hours.

Okay, as promised the photo of the toe is below. Viewer discretion is advised. Don't scroll down if you can't take it. Oh, I know you will anyway. Hee.


























Friday, December 25, 2009

2 toes, 2 camps and a walk

Question: Which toe is injured?






Taking a closer look.

Well, actually it's the right one. The left one is recovering cuz the nail has already been mostly plucked off. What you see is the "baby" nail growing out. I injured the right one when I was playing soccer on Wednesday before the Christmas Party (which was rather enjoyable! 3 cheers for Elissa and Pearlyn!).

Think it'll drop off. Not sure when. Don't know why my big toe nails get injured so easily these days. Perhaps it's the shoes. Perhaps perhaps.

So my toe leaves me wondering how exactly I'm gonna get through the next 2 camps. First there'll be the Primary 6 farewell camp on Saturday and Sunday. Then there's the Meta camp from Mon to Thurs. I plucked the left toe nail out cuz too many kids stepped on it during the children's camps, and it became loose.

Not really pleasant to pluck out a toe nail in the middle of a camp, but oh well, I remember that God has brought me through worse days.

I think the injured toe is actually good for me, cuz it kinda forces me to slow down a bit. Can't go out and run. So I have to sit down and spend more time waiting on God. So yup, that's good, I suppose.

Painful at times though. On Wed night the toe was throbbing. But now it's much better.

I'm looking forward to the camps, yet half dreading them. Cuz of the nail, and also cuz it'll be a jam-packed week to come. Sun evening after church there's a BBQ for Levite/ Timothy Cell, Thurs after Meta there's Co-workers' night, Friday maybe a sleepover, Sat SUPA camp reunion. Sun, church. Monday, back to Smoooo.

Then we have the 14 weeks of school. And I'm wondering what courses to take the sem after; there won't be too much time to think when I bid for them. And I'm also wondering how to find work for my next long term break. Prob my only long one without an ICT, cuz in 2011, the battalion's gonna start its ICTs.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday again

Was a good day today.

Went to the playground and played games with my Pri 6 class. Hee hee. At first everyone acted MATURE and didn't want to play. In the end they wanted to play Crocodile again. Haha. It's very... interesting. I for one openly admit I thoroughly enjoy playing children's games. But the children (becoming teenagers in a bit) won't admit it.

Been considering lately that it's been kinda hard to not keep growing in God and spending time lingering in the presence of God after camps. And thought that I lost a bit of that fire. But I know what's the reason- didn't spend enough time waiting on God. So when I came home from church today I acted on that thought. And it was an excellent time with God today.

Looks like my first uni hols will end soon (2 weeks). It's been nothing short of wonderful.

Will kinda miss my dear Pri 6. So good to see them all grown up. They'll be in the youth soon! I enjoyed myself thoroughly teaching them this year. Fantastic bunch of people. Hmmm. Hopefully the 26th to 27th thing works out fine.

But even as times in Children's Ministry are fun and all. I want to see them mature in Christ in the youth. I want to see them carrying on the good fight. I want to see them continuing to grow even though it is always so tempting to stop coming to church and all.

And was also thinking, my batch of 88 guys. Heh, we kinda got some degree of boasting rights. Cuz it's almost a decade and so many of us in CM. Then again, can't take this for granted and must continue to build each other up and keep praying.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sleepover

Alright, we had a most awesome sleepover! Caleb, Daniel, Enos, James, Jeshua and myself. Joseph was too tired to come. He fell asleep at the YPM campsite.

Well we kept awake till about 0530 HRS. It was an extremely good time of sharing and fellowship. And I'm just really thankful to God for bringing so many of us in the same batch so far. That so many of us are still faithfully serving in CM, where we began together.

Even though there were good times in the past, I think perhaps one thing I'd like would be this. To spend more time going through these wonderful times and thanking God for them, rather than spending the bulk of my time reminiscing the "good ol times". I must labour to make good times now.

"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil- this is the gift of God" -Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

"Then I realised that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labour under the sun during the few days of life God has given him- for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work- this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart." -Ecclesiastes 5:18-20


Alright, here's the food we had. I cooked more than I'd expected. Was expecting to like bond over the action of cooking. In the end, it was almost all done by Caleb and myself, but I'm very glad at how it worked out, that there was so much meaningful guys talk.

Okay. Here's the food!


Clockwise from top left: Chipolata sausages fried, some of the pasta, and the same sausages done up with tomatoes and eggs! All done by me. Hee hee. Quite pleased with myself- like the Encouragement board like that. Ok, not the best, and many can cook better, but eh, for me not bad already leh.

Some more my cooking style is known amongst my buddies to be rather haphazard. I'll just throw everything in and see what comes out. And this time it came out not too bad. The pasta sauce could have been better though, I'll admit. But pre-made... so hmmm... Caleb advises me to make it myself next time. Shall bear that possibility in mind.





Foooooood!




This is Caleb's dish. Potatoes, carrots, herbs.



The spread... at about 12 to 1a.m. I suppose food keeps people awake. My dad was asking me in the morn what we were cooking, cuz he could smell it from his bedroom upstairs.




Not in photo: The ice cream, the steamed buns, the croissants, the drinks.
Joseph, see what you missed out? Anyway I had your portion at about 5 plus in the morn. We actually left some for you lor. But since you couldn't make it, I reheated it and it became the first part of my breakfast.
The more I think about it, the more I'm thankful for all the good times I have right now, with all these bros, with my family at home, with friends outside. Truly, it's not always been so. Army days taught me that.
May I redeem my time as I live out my life in these days. (Okay that statement makes me sound as if I'm at the end of my life...) But really, I have many good days ahead this hols and I would be wise to fill them with meaningful activities. Let me not regret how I spend these hols!

Friday, December 11, 2009

How much is enough? & contact with enemy

I just got back my grades for this sem. I think it was actually quite good. But in my heart I thought... how nice if I could actually do better than even that.

And I just think right now. I know that that is the wrong attitude. I should just be very thankful with all that I have for 1 Timothy 6:6 says that godliness with contentment is great gain.

I was thinking about whether or not to post this one up, but I guess I should. It's regarding the reality of spiritual warfare. I've never experienced anything quite like this before, and in the midst of it, I admit that I was a lil unnerved. But I'm glad I went through it.

Last night at about 0030 HRS (as in this morning, to be exact), I was lying on my bed. I heard sounds to the right of my bed, the boxes below my bed being knocked, something like when my kor enters the room. I wanted to turn my head to see who but I couldn't move it. Couldn't even open my mouth to speak. My whole body was pinned down. Couldn't move my hands or feet.

So I kept calling on the name of Jesus and eventually I could move and speak again. Got up and prayed and rebuked whatever it was. Called Caleb and was like telling him, "okay (he experienced a similar thing years back in BMTC), I believe you now."

As I went out on my morning run this morning (I've been using my runs as part of my prayer time), I meditated on what exactly it was all about. I guess the things I've been doing lately have kind of been a threat and irritation to the enemy. I guess that the reason for the spiritual attack was two-fold. Firstly, just like the enemies of Nehemiah tried to intimidate him as he built the wall, this spiritual force must have been trying to intimidate me. Secondly, perhaps there was some hurt that it was trying to cause me, not that it succeeded.

I also recalled that in Daniel 10, the angel sent with a message to Daniel was detained by the "prince of the Persian kingdom". So demonic forces can actually detain or halt people on God's side. But such warfare does not equate to those on our side getting hurt. I might say from 2 Corinthians 4:8 that I was hard pressed but not crushed (even though me taking this verse in such a literal sense would probably be quite arguable).

So yes, on retrospect was a very good experience. But I've gotta take the same measures as Nehemiah. Keep myself guarded.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Agape!



This board was designed and created by Jeshua Chong, Gavin and yours truly. Caleb pencilled the outline of the heart.
I’ve been really blessed by the Lord in this camp and enjoyed so much of His favour. It is just as Daniel 9:18 says: “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” God has been so good to me and answered my prayers and fulfilled my needs, “immeasurably more than all (I) ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).


I’ve been praying for God to take control of this camp for months. (Though to be entirely honest, I could have been more consistent in praying for it.) If we were really to think about it, God has been faithful to all of us. Even though so many of us failed Him time and time again throughout this year, He still came and touched the children’s lives so much during this camp. He still chose to work through our lives as teachers and minister to our kids.

It has been a blessing to create the devotions and communicate God’s love and God’s greatness to teachers in this camp. As I look at the consecration night, and the devotions and all, I know that I could not have done it. It is the Lord who was working through His own word to convict and impress and encourage and change. It was the Holy Spirit in our midst.

I’ve been so encouraged talking to so many of the teachers in camp. So encouraged by Caleb as he led the camp as chairman. So encouraged by Daniel Li, Jeshua, James Ow Yong. The various ways that God used them in camp. And it crossed my mind so many times. That Lord, you’re just such an awesome God, look at all the people you’ve raised up to serve you! I’ve also been deeply encouraged by the way Charis served as a co-leader in camp. She stayed up late to write letters and all to the kids. Very moved by how Jon Lim has grown as a person. Also Tim Ong. And then so glad to see Joel and Chris and Joyce being blessed in this camp.


This is Caleb. He's well... he's uh... posing.


See? Charis and I stayed up till 4a.m. to get this done! But apparently Nadine's one can't be found now... aww. Hopefully she took it home herself. Here are the names of all 9 kids in the group. Luke Ng (Trent's bro! Who behaves so much like Trent... makes me think that that was probably how Trent was like 7 years ago.), Gabriel Goh (who is such a funny, uninhibited and spontaneous guy), Gabriel Low (very sporty!), Wei Zi (Enos and I call him my Best Recruit. It's such a bundle of joy taking Wei Zi) and Joel Yak (who really encouraged me by his growth in this camp), Nadine (Cheryl Ying's friend and also a very intelligent young lady), En Qi (quiet in front of me but obviously very smart), Victoria (who exudes a very winsome and sweet personality) and Si Li (who was in my group for last year's camp as well! And was so so glad to see her come for this camp. She's certainly matured a lot since I took her for camp last year). "Dikim" is our group name, which means "love" in the Kurdish tongue.

Was so moved to see so many teachers and children touched in times of anointing during this camp. Was so humbled by all that the Lord did. Was also so thankful to God for touching my Pri 6 kids in this camp. This is one group of people that I've been so blessed and privileged to have worked with and served this year. Ben, Carissa, Cheryl, Jing En, Nathaniel, Si En and Ting Wei came for camp. I was so glad to see God move in their lives for this camp.


For my kids from Pri 6 2nd Praise.

I want to talk about what God has done in my life during this camp.

I received from God lessons and benefited from long talks with many people in this camp. But here are the moments I need to engrave in stone and never forget.

On Tuesday I spent a fair amount of time praying to God for His anointing. In Mark 10:13-15 it’s written that people brought their little children to Jesus to have him touch them. And Jesus was indignant when his disciples rebuked them. It just made me reflect on how we as teachers need to have the passion to bring our children to God to have Him touch them. And that was the cry of my heart at that moment. That “Lord, come and touch our children in this camp!” I also knew that when the Holy Spirit came He was not going to overlook the teachers. For we too are His children. He does not care for us any less than before simply because we have grown older.

It was such a privilege to see God move in the lives of the children on Tuesday night. Such a privilege to witness the teachers gathering in prayer and the Holy Spirit come as we asked of Him. As Caleb said, it is when we focus on God that we’ll really see the difference.

My children were so touched by God on Tuesday night. Wei Zi was crying as he felt God’s presence. Joel Yak felt someone touching his shoulder and also heard someone calling his name twice- to which I asked him why he didn’t apply the morning devotion on Samuel saying “speak Lord for your servant is listening”. The girls- Victoria, Nadine, En Qi and Si Li all felt the presence of God and cried too- though they all tried to hold back their tears (and I got the chance to explain to them more about simply letting go of personal inhibitions to experience God’s presence). Nadine was saying that at first she didn’t want to shed tears but when she saw that Wei Zi was crying- then she thought it was okay to cry. Haha.

For myself, I felt quite un-prayed for. Even as I went around praying for people, I asked God for people to pray for me. I asked Jon Lim to pray for me and his prayer was quite good and specific to this need; the Lord probably showed him how to pray.

There was one part that really showed me the extent to which God cared for me. That was Wednesday morning. As Darius told the teachers to kneel as the children came forward to pray, God spoke into my heart. And He told me that He was going to use some children to speak to me. That He was going to use people I didn’t expect to in this camp to minister to me. At that moment I wasn’t even sure if I was hearing right, but I was just telling God, “all right man!”.

The children who prayed for me. They touched on areas in my life that I’ve been praying to God for months. They covered areas involving ministry, evangelism, future career and so on. And I didn’t even tell these kids what I needed prayer for. It just brought me to tears. That God cared so much for me. That He chose to show me His love through the children in ministry that I’ve been loving. That really touched my heart.

Wei Zi prayed for me and for business and that God would give me a good career- he may not have known it but that was one thing I really needed to hear. I’ve been telling God that I want to go where He sends me in future for my career path. And that I don’t have the faintest clue what it is but I just want to keep serving Him even now. And Wei Zi, this Primary 4 child, probably without knowing it, prayed a blessing so specific into this area of my life. For career, that I would use my money to build the church, that my life would be blessed.

Gabriel Goh and Gabriel Low prayed. I recall that they were praying about things in regard to ministry to children. I just felt the love of God flowing through them, especially for Gabriel Low as he hugged me. It’s one thing to be commended by a fellow teacher for loving the children. It is something so much greater when the child returns the love sincerely. You see, I’d been talking to God about my service in CM. And telling Him that I needed a passion for this ministry once again. That He put me there and told me that my ministry was to children. And that I would remain faithful, but I needed Him to supply my needs.

Nadine, from Pri 6 1st Praise came to pray for me. I know she didn’t know my name. But her prayer was very specific towards the area of evangelism. I’ve been praying for the area of evangelism in my life, which is quite clearly lacking. And I’ve been praying to be able to tell more people on campus about my Lord Jesus. And then up comes Nadine and she prays that God will help me to tell the people around me about Him. And it’s a near paraphrase of what I often pray to God. I’m so humbled by that. And I just told Nadine that she prayed the right thing and that God was using her.

Benjamin, my Pri 6 kid, came to lay his hands on me too.

Of course, a little sad that Victoria said she felt God telling her to pray for me and she didn’t do it in the end. But when she said that I was just so grateful to God for impressing on the children’s heart to pray for me. Felt so much like King David after God blessed him, and his attitude was “I don’t deserve all the good that you’re showing to me Lord!”. (2 Samuel 7 second half). And I must say that I don’t hold it against Victoria at all. Really still love her much as one of my kids, and I believe God will continue to speak into her life and through her life.

The visit to Dakota Crescent went incredibly smoothly, as far as I’m concerned. There were a lot of unknowns on our side but everything still flowed pretty well. It interested me to see how God always has His own plans. That sometimes, we think that we’re there to minister to one group of people, but God is interested in some people we’d not previously considered. There were a group of youth at the area. I talked to 2 of them and found out that one was attending City Harvest but considered himself a backslider. I evangelised to the other youth and he accepted Christ. I asked the City Harvester to bring one other friend to talk with me and soon I was talking to him about Christ too. And then after some explanation by this City Harvester he accepted Christ. I talked to a third guy, but he was staunch in his own religion. So 2 youth accepted Christ there. I asked them to follow the City Harvester to church.

It just showed me how the Holy Spirit can convict and touch lives when we least expect it. That we can be instruments for the Lord in ways we do not anticipate. That God can see to great things coming to pass and that we need only to yield and listen carefully.

The single greatest challenge I’m going to face at the current moment is keeping close to God and getting some proper rest before the next camp (Meta) starts during end December. What I’m really praying is that the Lord enables me and gives me the desire to live my life the way He wants in the days to come. I need to keep focused on Him.



The guys up to their usual nonsense at Dakota Crescent. Joanne Huang's driving that car. Am proud to say that I am very often a part of such nonsense. Though regretfully not for this time.

And speaking of which. Sleepover is tomorrow! I have Caleb, Jesh, Tiew, James, Enos confirmed coming as of now. Daniel Li is unconfirmed. I'm scratching my head as to where to fit all of us. Prob the living room. Heh.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Of Camps

One camp is over. Now heading into the next tomorrow. Looking forward to it. But many thoughts. I guess the thing is just to abide in God. To yield to Him. I feel there's a lot of spiritual warfare going on.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Full Circle

I just came back from a really blessed SUPA (Scripture Union Primary Age) Camp. It was last Thursday to yesterday. It was an odd camp, in the sense that I started out really tired. My last exam was on Thursday morning and I guess I was in some ways mentally tired. Almost felt as if I should not go for SUPA camp.

But then I’ll have to remember the significance of how I got myself into this camp anyway. It had originally been a struggle, cuz I had bid for a Stats module, which had an exam after SUPA camp. So what I actually told God as I bid was that if He wanted me to go for the camp, He had to a)Give me the desire to go, b)Make my Stats bid unsuccessful.

And I think God obliged. I didn’t get Stats. But I got a good camp. Which I consider to be a rather good trade-off.

So it’s been a wonderful 5 days at camp. Made so many new friends. James Chia, Aunty Rebecca and Aunty Elizabeth were excellent to work with. Was really encouraged by James’ heart of service. Had wonderful kids in the camp too. Elliot, Eric, Gideon, Isaac, Jamie, Joshua, Melanie, Valerie. So good to spend time with them.

I think I’ve been renewed in service to God through this camp. And I hope that I’ve been an encouragement to others.

This post’s called Full Circle because exactly one year ago, on November 30, was the start of last year’s Children’s Camp. That was an evening that I really enjoyed God’s presence and heard His voice after a long period of silence. For this camp, it was the early morning of November 30 (about 1 to 2 a.m.) that was the part of the camp that I felt God’s presence to be the strongest. I was just thinking. Hey, it's November 30 again!

I actually came before God with much stuff. So right now I’m all yielded to God, just waiting on Him. Very often we are so anxious to get things done for God. But we have to learn to slow down and trust in the Master’s timing. And that must have been one of the greatest lessons for me in this camp.

Two interesting things to reflect upon:

1) I asked God to give me determination to wake up early on Friday morning at about 0600 for my own morning QT. I went back straight to sleep after my alarm rang. But a mosquito flew straight into my face and made me sit up quite quickly. Interestingly, I didn’t get any mosquito bites that night. So I figure that the mosquito (or whatever insect that was) was sent to wake me up. I had a good QT that morning.

2) In the middle of the second day of camp. I thought to myself, “When things get tiring in a camp such as this, and you feel like spending less time with the kids and going to one hidden corner to snooze, well, there is something to remember. Remember that perhaps four to five days later, you’ll probably be missing the camp and the children and the fellow teachers. So better make the most of it while it lasts.”

I still feel a little physically tired from the camp. Yeah, one more thing to thank God for was no rain in the early mornings when I went out to run. The running was really quite necessary to make me feel fresh for each day.

Was actually wondering whether I should attend one more camp this hols.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hee

I was just thinking. Y'know, it's that time of the year again... It's been 4 years since something NICE was done...




Ah, what sweet memories.

Today's paper was a lil tough, but it's alright.

Today, someone asked me a few questions. Firstly, asked me what I do in my spare time. Secondly, asked me some questions bout what God has been doing in my life. These are questions that people have been asking me very much in SMU. For the second type of question it's prob because I've been hanging out a lot with Crusade/ Crusade-related people.

The thing is, I often find it hard to answer these type of questions. What do I do in my spare time? I blog at times, I run, I work out a bit, I'm playing the guitar a bit more these days, I spend time reading God's word and trying to meditate. At times I read books. Much Christian literature at the start of the year. I pore over the newspaper. Been watching Yes Minister with my kor lately. At times (and I do really quite regret it each time I do), perhaps on average once in two months, I download a com game and spend some time playing. I spend time with kids in CM (I realised I need to find a sustainable way to call them/ contact them amidst a busy week). I have the occasional sleepover or guys hammock night.

But how do I tell a typical SMU student that? It seems so strange. I don't listen to secular music. I don't even listen to much Christian music these days. I don't watch soccer, I'm not really a fan of technology or gadgets. I don't play the latest computer games. I don't watch seasons of the latest TV shows. I hardly ever watch movies in the cinema. (I simply read the synopsis most of the time). I don't club, I don't have a glitzy CCA.

So normally I'd be like, "well... nothing much...". I can't really describe it in their terms. I don't want to really try.

I've been considering. It's very interesting that a very happy day for me sounds something like some of the days in army. ie Wake up at 0700, go for a 5-10 kilometre morning run. Return home to do static. Bathe. Read bible. Do some studying/ settle school stuff. 1230 Go for lunch. 1330 Return home. Eat fruits, read newspapers perhaps. 1430 Start studying again. 1830 Dinner. 1930 Attempt another QT maybe / play guitar / study. 2330 or so, sleep. And typically, I'd consider that to be a fruitful, productive, day. Very enjoyable and fulfilling.

So I do believe that it's quite different from most people.

Now the other question. A typical response I would give is that God does different things at different points in my life. It is at the moment just not me to go on and be so enthusiastic about what God is currently doing in my life. I mean, at good times in my walk with God, I don't quite find it natural to be going, "praise God! Hallelujah! God has done.... etc etc".

I learn things from spending time with God, check. I am very blessed by the time I'm spending with the kids, check. When God does speak to me on certain matters, or I gain insight, very often, I only tell certain people. Or, I put the non-confidential stuff on this blog.

Or perhaps it is because I find it a lil bit weird that people ask, "So, what's the latest thing that God has spoken to you?" Perhaps it cannot be explained to certain people. Perhaps it is in confidence. Perhaps I find it a not-too-be-enthused thing when God speaks or I learn something in my walk? Because, perhaps, I think a relationship with God to be quite normal.

Or perhaps, I should really prepare some things in mind to say. Cuz really, it strikes me as weird that even when I am having an awesome walk with God, I don't have much to say to certain people who ask. It is one of those things that make me ask God Himself, "eh, why ah God?"

I'm actually wondering whether it's certain things in army which made me see God in different ways. That I know He controls the tiny details in my life, and He provides... but I just can't seem to behave so enthusiastically and wildly about it. Hmmm.

I do suppose this post sounds a little intangible and abstract. Heh what to do?

Catch phrases of the day from Yes Minister

"So, are you a high-flier? Or a low-flier lifted up by occasional gusts of wind?"

"Always follow your conscience, but know where you're going. And quite often you'll find that it's not going where you're going, so you can't follow your conscience, actually." -(I'm wondering about this in relations to 1 Corinthians 4:4 actually. That it is not the conscience which makes guilty or acquits a man.)

"You call me a cynic? That's what an idealist calls a realist!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Advertisement

This is an advertisement for a friend:

He's selling a Netbook. Here's a URL to the exact model :

http://asia.msi.com/index.php?func=prodtmpspec&maincat_no=135&cat2_no=582&cat3_no=&prod_no=1784

His has a 6 cell batt.

He's used it for about 8 to 9 months and assures me it is of good condition.

Do let me know if anyone out there is interested. Price is negotiable.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A day in school studying

Came to school to study today. Was productive. Went for a lil bit of gym with Joel.

Just before I had dinner I was spending a bit of time with God. And it felt very good. It was raining outside. I like this kind of weather. When I'm indoors, that is. There were quite a few outfields when it was raining. Looking back, I'm amazed that God brought me through all that. Perhaps it's due in part to the jungle air, that it's quite rare to fall sick out there.

Considering a couple of things today. One of which is that I've a long way to go in many areas. So many things that God has yet to change in me. The more time I spend with God, the more I realise that there's still so much to be done. My words, my actions. Well, I've noticed that very often, when God works on a person's character, improvement is a combination of challenges, waiting on God, setbacks and pain through discipline. When I was younger, my mom made me memorise Hebrews 12:11. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. And it's proven true time and time again.

It's been a season of rest these few days. And I'm just scanning the horizon. In times of peace we have to prepare for times of battle. King Asa failed quite miserably in obeying God even though he was a rather righteous king. He failed after a long period of rest. Moses himself struck the rock twice. That was after the wanderings in the desert, not before.

So I put on my spiritual armour and wait. And may I not be caught off-guard should war arise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This Sunday

It was a good day at church. Taught on faith. Love my Pri 6 class.

Planning for camp devotions. And quite thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.

Had to rush back home cuz grandma on dad's side was hospitalised in JB.

Tml hols start. And need to make full use of this study break. Looking forward to studying, to exercising, to relaxing. To waiting on God. I pray that my time will be fruitfully spent. And I will see to it that it is.

That's all for now. Many thoughts.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Academic term almost ended


Rockwall at AJ. Those were the days. The awesome outdoors.

I was just thinking. If life had turned out the way I'd wanted it to. Say, 3 years ago. Then it would be quite awful now. In these 3 years, many things have happened in ways that I did not want them to happen. But right here, on the slopes of the mountain, I glance down into the valley and thank God for what He brought me through.

I remember that it was in 2006 or so that God showed me a mental picture of a valley with many battles to be fought. I guess that that was the time spent in the army. Now I'm out of that valley. Perhaps there are more valleys ahead. So be it. I will be brought through. It will be painful. I know hard times will come where God seems so far away. But they will be a necessary discipline, a crucial step in growth. I will not regret the training received in the end.

When we are in the valleys of our lives we need to remember that God has His purposes. He has His purposes in every challenge, every situation.

Just wondering what I'm doing here in SMU. Hopefully the small things I do will impact people. I've got to be faithful in the little things. Then again, what else? I recognise that I am not always able to rest. I like to run around doing stuff, often times tiring myself out. So I see this period of my life as a time of waiting on God patiently. Of seeking Him. Of growing in certain strengths. Particularly, this past week has been a time of rest. Of intended, non-studying time. What I consider to be proper rest is just spending time with friends, working out, much time spent meditating on God's word. And only very healthy activities e.g. playing the guitar. I tried resting by playing computer games. But that one hardly brings any rest. It leaves me feeling increasingly distracted, causes me to be spiritually insensitive. So while it can be fun, as much as I can, I don't want to play com games.

But just wonder whether there's anything else God desires for me to do around here. Just praying and waiting, and listening as much as I can. To be still and to wait upon God. That is where my strength arises from. I don't want to gain a shortcut on any season in my life. That would hardly be beneficial. So the only way is to rest in God right now and listen. And wait.

Want to thank God for a rather enjoyable term. For answering my prayers for steady Christian friends in school. And numerous other prayers. For good presentations, for speedy work on projects. I've been seeking God in many projects. In much school work. And it has been more than I can ask or imagine when I see how He brings me through everything. How He provides. Truly, may we all not forget to depend on our Mighty Fortress at all times.

The reason I did well for my Management Communications presentations is not that I am an exceptional speaker, but that God was gracious to provide. It was God I relied on, and any derived excellence is to His glory.

One of the things I've been praying for each morning is wisdom. Wisdom in my relationships, wisdom in my time management, wisdom in the way I handle every issue. That is part of the equation. Then there's also how in the midst of each situation, I pray for wisdom. I am far from the wisdom of Solomon, but I truly see how God has taught me so much this term. How God-given wisdom has brought me through a fair bit.

I've been praying for intelligence in academic pursuits too. That has really helped in quite a few subjects. F.A. in particular. I think I understand more in this subject because of God-given intelligence in it. Hard work is part of the reason, yes. But I mean, we can work so hard at such sums but never understand much. So I want to thank God for helping me to understand everything. And I must recall to use it to help others as well. For that is one of the reasons I gave God when I asked for intelligence in this subject.

There is still a little bit to study this sem. I'm looking forward to it. After so many painful experiences, truly, 1 Timothy 6:6 comes to mind. That godliness with contentment is great gain. I must be content, yes, if I have little material possessions. But I must also be content in every situation. To the God whose grace is sufficient. So yes, I am very much content, for there is much to be grateful for.

I enjoyed Jump and the ensuing dinner very much today. I enjoyed praying and all. I enjoyed the fellowship.

Just wondering how to be the salt and light of this world. How to be the salt of the earth, the city on the hill, the lamp on the stand. I do not want to do it by my own power. But by the Lord's might. That might of God, that touch of heaven. That is the saltiness, that is the beauty of that hill-city, that is the light of the lamp. To go by my own strength would be self-defeating in nature.

So I am in a rather pensive mood tonight. I've been for a couple of days. But it's been a prayerful few days. And I am very grateful for that.

One of the prayers which I often pray; I labour and plead to live it out, is the Leader's prayer:

Lord when I'm wrong make me willing to change
When I'm right make me easy to live with
And in all that I do let the power of my example
Far exceed the authority of my rank

That last part? Letting the power of my example far exceed the authority of my rank? That's the part I've been thinking about very much. The power of my example. Before men I must shine brightly. Before God I must shine spotlessly, as holy and set aside because of His blood. To the enemy I shine irritatingly and that is why the enemy will endeavour to hurl fiery darts in my way. For that reason I must hold up my shield and not let down my guard.

More than a few friends have been on my mind recently. And I look forward to spending some quality time with them. It's been some time.

It's been a long albeit excellent day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A restful day

Had a rather restful day. Went for a morning run, did some static. Spent the rest of the morning learning to play some songs on the guitar. Found this guy called Daniel Choo who puts up rather good videos on Youtube. His instructionals are very clear. So yup, have picked up the guitar again, after a long period of disinterest.

Was quite glad today cuz I thought I spent it pretty well. Like, I managed to rest- and it was fruitful. And that's a major achievement for me.

Yesterday was the Grand Sharing for BSF. Encouraging. Nice food after that too. Glad I went. We were seated in the alphabetical order of our leaders' names. Our leader's name began with a Y. So we were at the back. Quite fun joking with the guys.

Travel time is something I've grown to enjoy. I've been reading God's word and praying on the train or bus. Sometimes I feel those times are better than QT in a room. So that's good.

Was reading 1 Samuel today, and considered what it meant to be "given over to the Lord" as Samuel was given over by Hannah. Also considered what it meant to grow in stature with God and men.

Wondering what my purpose would be in Children's Ministry in these days to come. Sometimes in ministry it is possible to get caught up with routine and forget to seek God in it. Also wondering what role I am to have in Campus Ministry. I'm feeling rather cautious. Since I know I am called to serve in the Children's Ministry, and God has blessed that so much, I wonder how much I should venture into Campus Ministry. Is it God's will? Will He bless it? Which part of the ministry? What exactly do I do?

Faith is what? Trying things out? Waiting on God before moving out? How much should a person wait on God before doing such things. I would think a long time. But looking at certain occassions in the bible, e.g. Jonathan and his armour-bearer attacking the Philistine outpost, it would seem that action comes even before spending so much time seeking God.

Much wisdom required.

Looking forward to camps at the end of the year once again. Really looking forward to time spent on waiting on God. There's just so much to seek God for. In repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and trust is my strength. I'm increasingly growing to realise how much about me still needs to be changed. At times I wonder whether or when God will bring me through the next valley. Army was one. When is the next? Every journey through a valley brings strength and training. Even then, I've got to be cautious every single step I take.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I went down for my men's ORD... and some other thoughts


(Image edited because 1 X Guards Officer complained)

I went down for my men's ORD parade on Friday.

It was a rather joyful experience to see all my men again. I'm really glad I went. Guess the men were happy to see me too... after all the tough training I gave them. But then I do think it bonded them together. They still joke about all the stuff I did to them. All the times I was Duty Sergeant. And also the memorable night. Talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk... Realised that even more of my men made it into the DB. Oh well. But overall had a wide smile on my face as I talked to all of them. Quite happy to be there.

Had supper with fellow specs after that. It was enjoyable. But I was kinda disturbed at the topics discussed. Guess I've spent lots of time with Crusaders, so not really used to all this coarse talk. All this treatment of girls as objects and relationships as trophies. Also listening to them talk about NTU and NUS. And how they hate the Mainland Chinese people. Hmmm... felt really sad as I listened to all that. Good to know what's happening out of SMU. But still didn't have much to say. Then wondered to myself if I couldn't sit through all this and still reach out to them... well, how to be the salt and light of this earth?

This weekend had its highs and lows for me. It reminded me that it is not necessarily in bad times alone that I can feel unhappy. The reason for a lack of joy is not the surrounding situation, but the measure of God's joy. And that is determined by how much time I spend waiting on the Lord. How eager I am to hear from God. So this has really got me thinking.

I remembered again this weekend that my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. That every single other thing hinges on this one relationship. If I am not right with God, nothing else can possibly be very right. In National Service (I just walked through my company line, went to the mess and all- and truly praised God for every single thing He brought me through. The early morning COS duties, the route marches, the men, the early morning runs...), God took away almost everything. Showed me to rely on Him and Him alone. Now that I have so many friends, am in such a comfortable environment, am happily studying in university. Well, do I go ahead now and forget that it all begins and ends with the God in my life?

Spent quite a bit of time with church mates today. Caleb, Tiew and Andrea in the Mini Creche studying. Happy studying. Right now thinking that I've got to learn to pace myself in studying. How do I find the right pace?

But truly, gotta get everything right with God. Gotta focus on that. Then see the rest fall into place.

Got a copy of last year's camp video. Yay.

Monday, November 02, 2009

To arrange my thoughts



Here I am to arrange my thoughts.

Crusade: No Praise and Worship this Friday ( I truly truly appreciate Mike and Chris learning the actions on the train... I really do!... few friends would go through such stuff for me... and Mike's going Meta!! yay. Sarah come please. Shucks... this blog is beginning to sound like Chris' blog. Oh no. Back to normal mode).

BSF: Tonight we learned about how God can use circumstances to shape a person, as He did Moses (Tiew and Angela thanks for coming!- to Lowell: Grin grin grin. Our plan has materialised after many months).

My old battalion: Since Crusade is not having praise and worship, and I don't have to lead, that frees me up to go back to my unit for my men's ORD parade. And that is what I've really been thinking about the past few hours or so.

I've been thinking about whether to go or not. (I finally have decided to). A part of me felt like staying to hang out with crusade people. A part of me. The dutiful part, you might call it, just had to go back. And mind you, I'm returning to a place I couldn't wait to leave. It was a place of tears, sweat, pain. Of camaraderie with certain people, and the sharpness of a knife's thrust felt in the heart with others. It was a place of moulding- just as God moulded Joseph through the years as a slave.

I kind of didn't want to go back. And was really praying about it, for wisdom. In the end decided it's best to go back. I am a commander. I cannot hold on to my values and at the same time say no to going back. It probably will be a pleasant affair, yes, and everyone will be happy and smiling... but to go back and recall all that I've been through... well, that really got me quiet and thinking for quite a bit today.

All I've been through I say? Well, all that God has brought me through, more like. Today as I recalled the days in army, the hard times God led me through. I just remembered all the fearful times, when God taught me to fear Him more than anything else. That circumstances might be fearful, but that I am secure as long as I remain in the fear of the Lord.

So, I suppose that being myself, I will be the most contemplative person to be returning to unit on Friday evening. I may or may not show it. But I'm really thinking and praying- both asking for wisdom in all I do, and also thanking God for bringing me through so much in there. And asking for God-arranged encounters with the people I used to fight alongside with.

On a joyful note, I've got at least 3 friends helping out at Children's camp. Chris, her friend Joyce, and Joel. Appreciated, appreciated. Thanks so much!

This has been one amazing year, Lord. And I truly thank you for all you're bringing me through.

Now for a most enjoyable time of presentations from Wed to Friday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just musings



I am quite looking forward to a couple of camps at the end of this year. As well as many sleepovers and stuff.

Well, well... what a year. It's drawing to a close already. So many things have changed so quickly. So much to ponder about.

I really enjoyed this week. Met up with so many friends, made new friends. Was really very enjoyable and thanked God all the way. Next week, I'm looking forward to a couple of presentations. Will also be finishing all the work for 2 of my modules. Am very grateful for that. It seems that things are lightening up a bit, and I'm glad that I worked hard at first. Well, the other reason is also that I'm spending much more time with God. And really it is amazing how God provides. Things just fall into place and joy comes.

Yet again, 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds me to be very careful if I think I'm standing firm.

I've been praying and wondering about my purpose here in SMU, too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Me


For the record that was 5 years ago. I don't behave that immaturely now. I'm much better at it today.
.
.
I am Me
Who God created to be
It is not for me to worry
Or wonder
Or ponder
How to meet my expectations for myself
For just like an over-demanding prof
I'll never anyway please
I'll raise my own expectations for myself
Higher and higher and higher
Every time I hit a new level


It is not wrong to have expectations
But those should be God's expectations
For where meeting my own expectations bring higher expectations still
Meeting God's expectations
Brings all the blessings that come with obedience
Between reachable standards
In the bible so clearly demarcated
And moderated by blood should I at times fail
and the ridiculous, changing expectations of my own
I choose the simple
And rest
And am still


I will be who God made Me to be
Just Me
My human power is limited
And the might put into my hands
Just enough to do
What will make the Maker smile


Today was a day of rest and reflections. It was a day which began rather smoothly in church. Had a really blessed time of praise and worship. I enjoyed myself. I have not for some time.

I thought about the fruits of my labour. I wondered why I am often so tightly strung. I wondered about the energy I have put into studying. I wondered if I have begun to shift my focus away from honouring God to simply trying to score well.

Today the speaker said that John Wesley said (if I remember correctly) that hard work was good, but it should not be injurious. Injurious to my relationship with God, people or my own body.

I read a little RBC booklet which at that point in time was talking about Elijah just after the Mount Carmel experience. And it said that I should

1)Understand that I am human. And that I have limitations.

2)Understand that God can bring me through, just like Elijah's great victory for God on Carmel. But He doesn't always choose to do so. So I have to moderate my expectations.

3)Understand that God will be able to carry out His own plans no matter what.

And often it is the Lord who will fight the battle, not us by our own strength.

I'm now into the 10th week of my university life. Already I am learning so much. Already I have understood so many of my limitations. Already I so need God's grace each day. Somedays I wish I could blog more. But really, amidst all that mirth-filled banter... when I am already so tired and drained in the night. I guess sometimes it'll be safer not to blog stuff that I might later regret.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Driving

Famous quotes (as correct as I can possibly remember):


"WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? (hands raised up, face shaking uncontrollably for dramatic effect)"
- My first driving instructor, very often


The reason why I am confident today of my driving skills:

"You see, young man, all my learners have an advantage over other learners. That's because I don't have a brake on my side, so you can trust your own skills."
- My second driving instructor


The REAL reason why I am confident today of my driving skills:

"Young man, you see how much I trust you?"
- My second driving instructor, every morning, poring through a copy of Today as I drive down the road


Okay, the REAL, REAL reason why I am confident today of my driving skills:

"UNCLE AH, SO TURN LEFT CORRECT?"
- Me, loudly, to wake up my driving instructor

Startled* "Uh yeah yeah, left, left. You need to be careful of your clutch control, young man, I've been observing you..."
- My second driving instructor, before returning to dreamland


Words of wisdom from my dad:

"Yong, if you're a new driver, don't park besides a branded car. It costs more if you scratch it"

"Be careful not to make a mistake here, because it will be a $5000 mistake"
-(as I back into a parking lot next to a Mercedes)

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Ran


East Coast Park 2008- Training for Army Half Marathon
I ran
Upon the concrete pavement
The bitumen surface
And the dirt track


Freshmen Teambuilding Camp- Raft building. Using pipes and drums. It was the first to be completed- and it remained rock solid throughout!
Over the grassy patch
And watched as the sun delightfully set


Frisbee just last Saturday- The frisbee team (Adele and Daniel were from other teams. We're missing Brian and Rachel in this shot)
Just as each day brings its musings
And each period its thoughts
So I look behind me
And give thanks for the distance thus far run.


Teachers' Day lunch. Remember the lemongrass drink gentlemen?
A service served
A period well spent rested
The return to studying


TREK program. It's a children's program with Scripture Union. That's me doing actions on stage.
Of friendships lost and found
Solitude and the crowd
Contemplation, as always


LTB execution. Note the media crew. Heard we're still running on Channel News Asia's 6:30p.m. news.
Of many lessons learnt

Expectations

To learn to work towards the Lord’s expectations, not my own

After Leader Presentation for LTB: Setting Mr Welch free at the library! We let the balloons float past the library so that those in the library could get a good glimpse of Mr Welch, of General Electric fame.
Success

Out of the hand of God, humongous full-stop


NPCC. Back facing camera is Mr. Wu, my Teacher-officer from back then. Respect the guy still.
Children

Play harder than I teach
For then they will learn better

Need explanation?
Service

Worship before works
Love before righting wrongs

Stewardship Sunday. God brought us through. Still don't quite like it that it was like called "Tai Yong and his team" all the time. We worked as equal members of the team. I didn't do a really good job many times through this project. I thought Sheila and Ivy did very well though.
Trials

They teach many important lessons


Caleb Lim and I: Passing-out-parade for Basic Military Training. The start of one very long lesson for both of us, in our own very different vocations and fields.
Rest

The presence of the Lord gives rest


Our band-of-brothers shot after frisbee. Still remember the movie. I watched mine in NS, in the bunks, past 12a.m. with my fellow specs, over a period of 2 to 3 months. It was awesome. I still treasure the memories of watching that with Rahman, Chris, Alex...
Friendship

Expect God to be God
Expect man to be man
Don’t expect God to fail me; He never does
Expect the most trusted I have amongst man to fail me occasionally; they sometimes do
So do I


Freshmen teambuilding camp group at Convocation
School and studying

View it all in the long-term
After all:
Looking back at my primary, secondary and junior college days,
What really matters to me now?
I would be wise to focus on those things
Study hard for God, yes
But that’s where it just begins

NPCC: 2003-2004 batch of NCOs. The last muster parade. When you go through 4 years of studying, physical training, drills, punishments, conflicts, successes, you do not easily forget. This experience forged friendships for me stronger than in army. I can easily tell whenever I meet any of these old friends.
Romance

Serve as I wait
Worship as I wait
Not to awaken before the time is right
Not to trust the eyes
But to trust the One who searches the heart


Butterfly atop Gunung Tapis, if I'm not wrong. Picture taken by one of the ODACians in 2005 (yup 05 if I remember correctly)
Counselling people

Speak carefully
Only with words of God
Be silent often
Listen with the heart
Don’t think that you are the one ministering
If anything, it is the Holy Spirit, through you

This girl was saying something really deep during TREK program. Something like "As deers shed their antlers so we must shed our sinful nature"
Anger

A fool is quick to show his annoyance
But a prudent man overlooks an insult
(Proverbs 12:16)


Happy trekking with wet, swollen feet. Back then, in the days before army, I thought that that backpack, a mere wimpy 15 kg, was heavy. Later on it became a joy and a holiday to carry 15 kg of weight.
Now all has been heard;
Here is the conclusion of the matter;
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgement,
Including every hidden thing,
Whether it is good or evil
-Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

The things they make you do at Bondue camp (that's SMU business school camp for you). Tsk tsk.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today

Today had frisbee.

Was a rather fun and fulfilling day spent with Crusaders.

Had dinner with Merv.

Ended the day talking with Jeremy. Was real good and enjoyable.

Just really want to spend so much more time with the Lord.

Think my study break's been quite productive.

Learning and pondering so many things these days. It's a period of growth and practice.

The most important thing in such a period must be to wait upon God in stillness of heart, for if that is lost in a time of growth... then I think it sorta backfires. The time of growth is lost in despair.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Some time

It's been some time since I've last posted. So much has happened these last few days. So much cannot be said on a blog.

What does it cost and what does it pay to rest in the presence of God?

Well, at least one thing is certain. Life is getting... interesting. I suppose that's a euphemistic way to put it. But oh well.

Looking out of the window into the night. Pinkish sky. Feeling the gentle breeze. Contemplating matters. It is a beautiful night, another one of those God-given moments. I often have flashbacks of similar moments. I remember a moment in the Asrama area. Same pinkish sky. But atop a knoll, damp. Digging, digging, digging. Looking at the distant HDB block. Wondering when it would end. It ended but now my mind's back there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today

Today was good. Hanging out with many people.

My ending thought for today just before I hit the bed?

"Lord! I've got so much to do! Luke 12:48 (If I rmb correctly) says that unto whomsoever much is given of him shall be much required and unto who men have entrusted much of him they will ask the more. Help me leh, Lord. There is just so much to do. And I simply don't see how everything can be done. Give me the wisdom and strength I need. May your will in my life right now be fulfilled."

Just so many many things that seem to need to be done. LTB, various projects, Stewardship Sunday, (My auto-censor kicks in at this point....)

He who has brought me through times much much tougher than this. He will bring me through all that I am going through right now. That is where I have my guarantee, my assurance. And I know I am secure. Do I see my problems as a giant before me?

Or a dwarf before my God?

I guess that depends whether in my perspective I decide to put God into the picture at all.

My security is on the Rock. That is where it all starts, that is where it all ends.

ZZZ time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moses and the Glory of the Lord

Well, at least that's what the NIV header says.

Exodus 33: 12 onwards.

Moses said "...You have been telling me... If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you... The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give your rest."...

Then Moses said to Him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How ill anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?""

A couple of things have happened lately that have caused me to ask God for a few things.

Firstly, what on earth is my purpose here in SMU? If it is not what I think it to be, then perhaps I might be wasting time doing what I do the way I do it? I don't like to waste time. I've got only a hundred years (IF I do make it to that grand old age) or so on this earth, I've got to give an account to God, and goodness, I don't want to waste any time.

(Then again perhaps I should not be impatient).

But seriously, I've been wanting to know God's purpose for me here. I guess I never fully knew His purposes for me in NS until I was out of it? And even now I still might not fully know what God was doing back then.

So perhaps I may not know. But at least I should know enough or be given enough wisdom. That as far as it is my responsibility to act, I will do so in a way that is fully in line with God's purposes for me.

Secondly, I've been asking for God's blessing. I seriously don't see the point in working hard and doing my best to produce excellent work and presentations if it is not going to get the blessing of God. That was why Moses (yes, I know I am no where near the stature of that man) sought God's presence to go up with the Israelites. This was after God had said He'd only send an angel up before the Israelites into the promised land but would not go in with them, because they were stiff-necked and He might destroy them anytime.

What I tentatively gather is that Moses did not want to settle for anything less than the full blessing of God.

I don't want to either.

Jacob. Many arguments as to why he was seen as righteous. He was a deceiver... etc etc etc. But then again, He sought the blessing of God. He did so by deceit/ getting Esau to forsake his birthright... etc etc. Esau despised his birthright. But in actual fact (okay, this is how I see it, at least), he was despising God's blessing. If he didn't already know (that would have meant he was extremely ignorant a lad), his grandpa had promises from God. And so did his dad. And Esau must not have been thinking much about that. He must not have thought very highly about the blessing of God. So while he went about his daily business hunting, he actually lost the blessing to Jacob.

Jacob sought God's blessing. I seek God's blessing too. I have recognised in the 2 decades and 1 year of my existence that victory does not come when I do my best or by my own talent or ability. It does not come by coincidence. It comes from the hand of God. Whether I do well or badly in school. In studies, in presentations, in relationships with friends. It is not going to come from anything but the hand of God. By obeying God's laws and with His blessing, success will come (think Joshua 1). If God does not bless, I do not see how I can succeed.

So yes, wisdom needed. Wisdom asked for. James 1 speaks of that.

Now I wait.

.
.
.

On a lighter note, I had a rather good day presenting in class today, I had a good LTB meeting. I had an enjoyable time at DG with Galvin, Jia Hao, Joel. Really enjoyed their companion-ship. Went Jump. Had dinner. Murtabak. Burp. Good stuff.

Ran only once this week. Yikes. I see atrophy and the production of adipose tissue already. And it's the mooncake festival period some more. Haven't been eating healthily this week (but at least I've been eating enough.)

Tomorrow have a Man Comms meeting. Have a FA class in the afternoon as well. 5 day work week? Ah. What to say?

Hope all my old friends are still okay. Glenn, Pam, Gab Lee, Gab Low, Mei Yan, Kwan Chin. Hardly see you guys around. Some of you I haven't seen for more than a year. Hope things are going fine. If you happen to be reading, how're you?

Yeah, Sarah Tan, Chris, Chloe. Appreciate the prayers and the help rendered. Michael all the best for VPH.

Jesh, Caleb, Jeshua, Lowell, Jeshua Chong, take care and hope to see you all SOON. Haven't been 3 out of 5 of you guys lately. Hope it's not a 2nd special forces assignment. (But seriously, am praying and would like to meet up soon)

12c Out.

Dear Daniel Li. Lalala.

The closing of the 27th Psalm.

Wait for the Lord
Be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A flashback and the now



Just wanted to thank God for the many wonderful moments He's put into my life. Here's a shot of one. Jesh and I on the beach. Well, actually it's just Jesh's butt on the beach. I'm still suspended mid-air, actually. Caleb's taking the picture.

Today I woke up. And I had the usual debate with myself whether or not to go for a run. And usually I conclude that I have to go for a run. And as usual after I am done I am very happy that I decided to. Running is rather enjoyable to me. Of course your body feels some pain when you run, but that is good pain. After a run and a work out. You bathe with cold water. Clean clothes. Ahhhh... That's life man.
I spent some time with God this morning. About an hour. Was very glad to do so. In perspective, all issues are dwarved by the power of God.
Tomorrow is a long day.
In the daily rushing around and completion of tasks. I need to consistently set time aside for God. I'm not referring to QT. That is already a given. I'm speaking of special time set aside for God, just to slow down and listen to Him. Isaiah 40:31 in KJV says that those who wait on God will mount up on wings as eagles. How do I do so? May the one who controls time teach me how to use it well.
So a question I must continually ask myself is this. Dare I to take time that could be spent doing productive studying/ other work and just sit down at the feet of my Lord Jesus? ("Dare" because I've got to trust God to provide) I've been noticing the words of the 127th Psalm lately.
Verse 3 "In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for He grants sleep to those He loves"

I've been pushing myself over the last couple of weeks to get stuff done. Rising early, sleeping late.
Dare I to trust God to provide.
Basically been trying to do my best. But perhaps I've overdone it a lil bit. I've been praying for wisdom to manage my time, academic intelligence amongst a slew of requests. God has been faithful, as He always is. I think I need to be careful in resting. Before God teaches me to rest with means I would not prefer.
Where is the line between working hard and trusting God drawn? A possible answer: When our walk with God starts to get affected. When we are less peaceful. When we realise that the desire to honour God in all we do by pursuing excellence has morphed into a desire for excellence alone. When our tasks are so important that people seem less important. When we start to become snappy and feel easily irritated.
Then we know we have crossed the line.
And we had better head back where we came from.
Fire movement to the rear. *Winks at Daniel Li.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday, midnight

Midnight.

Need strength. (Self-censored load of sensitive issues).

Been studying as best as I can.

Need to trust God.

God works out all things for the good of those who love Him.

A minute past midnight.

Sleep.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Rest

Sometimes there is only so much I can do.

To rest and to trust.

It was not the great, strong, armoured champion who put a nation to flight. But it was the weak, little, despised shepherd boy. It was not a mighty weapon of war which crashed through the giant's temple. It was a pebble. It was not an Israelite sword that took off the giant's head. It was the giant's own sword.

Perhaps the balance lies in this: To glorify God with our talents and yet not depend on the talents, but God. To do our best for God, yet not rely on our best, but God's best. To be concerned about all under our charge as a steward should well be, but not to be anxious.

To be the exalted sherpherd boy. And yet not fall to sin.

To labour for His glory and yet not place any hope in the labour, but all hope in the Glory.

There is only so much I can do.

A public blog means I can speak to more people... but that I can say less.

As a pleasant footnote. I had a most excellent lunch at Joshua Ho's birthday party. I had a wonderful time talking with Caleb. I had a most enjoyable dinner with dad. I am full and happy.

But not quite contented with the state of things.

Would that qualify as a hunger? A yearning for more?

Friday, September 04, 2009

3rd week of school's almost over

I sit down and reflect on this past week. I conclude that the most urgent task at hand would be to go to bed before 11p.m. tonight, sleep till 6 plus a.m., and spend some time with God tomorrow morning. Adjusting to school life. I need to remember my purpose is to honour God in all I do. And that rightly entails adequate rest.

I had a good week. Tuesday night I stayed up till 0250 HRS. Thursday night till 0130 HRS. Was doing some presentation slides and on Tues and Thurs was to catch up on newspapers I've been missing. I wonder if I push myself too hard in this. Perhaps, perhaps...

In our drive to honour the Lord, do we depend to much upon our own strength? The risk is there. I suppose that could be the challenge for me in this season. It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves (1 Samuel 16:47-I think), but the battle belongs to the Lord.

That was a thought that ran through my mind today as we were playing soccer for Sports Fiesta. My team got 2nd. Rather noteworthy, considering that we never had the time to come together for practice. So our first match simply fell a part. I thank God that we started to learn our team dynamics by the 2nd match. I enjoyed the fellowship of Mervyn, Daniel, Talia, William and Ray immensely.

How does the Lord save? Not by our strength. King David, besides being a Psalmist, musician and a king with one major stain on his career. I was pondering the warrior king part of the equation. King David. A mighty warrior. But his victories all came from God.

Had fun today with Crusade people. Had dinner with them too.

I could keep on writing. But I am aware that a tired state of mind is never the best state of mind for a post. Too much emotion. Too much expression of ideas best kept to myself and myself alone. It is of particular concern to me that more and more people are visiting this blog. Luke 18 (I think) says that of him who has been given much, much will be demanded. To him who has been entrusted much,of him men will ask the more.


And so I have to take care of my body and zzzz. Sometimes it is not so much us asking God for strength, the way I see it. We have been given an equal number of hours and are endowed with (more-often-than-not) sufficient wisdom and discretion. To cut out the less important matters, focus on what God truly wants of us. All I am I hold in stewardship to the Almighty. I would do well to remember to lead a focused life and rest whenever I should rest.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I write this post to...

all those who are with me as freshmen in university now. To Caleb (assuming you are finding it hard to cope with schoolwork... you better be!), Jeshua (really need to meet up. Or I shall continue with http://jeshystravels.blogspot.com!), Daniel Li (hope things are going fine in Australia- need to find more time to read your blog- I saw it 2 days ago. Very chim* sia), James (ok you don't read this blog anyway- hope Law is fine).

To Michael Naidu, Christabel, Chloe, Sarah.

To Andrea, Zhang Wei (who incidentally, I believe, does not read this blog), Clara, Jon Lim -Who are about to face their A levels.

To Jamie, Natalie, Jerusha, who are about to take their first major exam. Their PSLE!

No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him,
on those whose hope is in His unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine

Psalm 33:16-19

I wondered.
After learning so much about God recently
And His word
Have I now started to take things into my own hands?

Why come to university?
To study
Why go through A'levels, O's, PSLE?
To study more in the end?

Why study?
To do well in life?
To get a good job?
Is that really true?

No.
We study to honour God.
And as we honour God in what we do, we will see Him provide.

So let us not
over-work
over-worry (nay, let us not even worry!)
or rely on our own strength.

No student is saved by the size of his textbook
No exam candidate by his focused studying
A past exam paper is a vain hope for good grades
despite all the TYS- it cannot save
And even if you were to pass
If we were to do superbly
Without the help of God
But by our strength alone

What would we have gained?

We would have lost our walk with God.

We are on the edge of a cliff. As we reach for the beautiful flowers let us not lose hold of the rope. Did not a most important Man say that "what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but yet forfeit his very soul?"

Happy studying, us all. But let us not lose sight of God, for whom we study. Exam results and academic performance are but small things in the eyes of God. He who makes the lame walk and the blind see can bring us wherever He wills. Laws of nature do not bind Him. What makes our often stress-blinded minds think that grades will?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A week over and thoughts thought

This week is over.

The highlight of yesterday must have been an hour or so of laughter. Watching Red and Blue with Michael in Croom. It was hilarious, profanities and all aside.

Yesterday my LTB meeting was till 10p.m.

I sat down a couple of hours ago. And I was just reflecting, thinking. Praying and reading. I wondered whether I've begun to lose focus on the Lord.

I think that it is most important that I realise that it is not by might or power, but by the Spirit of God that I study.

That as David told Goliath that Goliath came against him with sword and spear and javelin, but David came in the name of the Lord Almighty, of the armies of Israel, whom Goliath despised.

So do I come to school by might, power and expect to do well through my hardworking-ness? Or am I waiting on the Lord and expecting to be delivered by His power and nothing else, all the time working hard?

Questions, questions. Thoughts, thoughts.

Next week's gonna be a lil tiring. Potentially have something on every single night, and Sat morn too. BSF on Mon, BSF seminar on Tues, LTB on Wed, prob tution on Thurs, if I stay back on Fri for Crusade, Sat LTB.

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

Question is, do I have the joy of the Lord? And how I must seek that joy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Of School and Jonathans

Hey all.

Haven't been updating due to school and all.

Was a rather productive past 3 days I guess. Of seminars (that's what they call it here in SMU- no lectures or tutorials. Something in between.), time spent with Crusade friends, studying, meeting up with some old pals here and there.

Am just praying that as I carry on, I do not lose my focus on God. This concerns me deeply. Was just reflecting today, as I was in the MRT going home- whether I was really focused on God throughout the day. And didn't quite think so... When I'm focused on God there is peace. I'm not fazed by obstacles... etc. I see things in perspective. Today in my lessons I kinda saw things from very human viewpoints... need to see things from God's viewpoints. And I really do need to focus on God, keep my eyes on Him.

Today in particular was a packed day. In the morn I had LTB with Chloe.

Lunch went down to Sunshine Plaza for Wanton Mee with Michael, Sarah, Christabel, Chloe.

Went Croom to study a bit.

Management Comms with Christabel.

Dinner with Michael, Christabel.

And met up with my old pal Gabriel Low from BSLC days at Plaza Sing. So he kinda dined together with us. But really, most of it was just Gabriel and I on one side and Chris and Michael on the other.

Then went Starbucks with Gabriel. It really was a great joy to talk to this bro. Last time I saw him was when he came down to raid my unit.

I guess one of the things I remember him for was how he really spent time to talk to me in those BSLC days. One of the dry periods in my life. How he brought me over to his home one nights off and we had this really long talk in the ground floor void deck of his house. I still remember the night quite vividly. Heavy rain and all. Remember sitting on his bed in his house, looking at the raindrops, feeling the cool wind in my face. Basically thanking God and savouring the book-out moment. Looking at the rain wash the civilian buildings from up in a high-rise HDB, the neon and white lights of Singapore at night. The whole scenery streaked by falling raindrops. Yeah, that experience meant quite a lot to me, cuz those were trying times for both of us in army, and I guess our fellowship really strengthened each other.

Had this long talk with Jie Hau on Monday as well.

And Jia Hao many days back- that was last week.

Seems to me that God has been giving me many excellent moments with people who were Jonathans (as in Jonathan and David?) in my life at various moments.

Of course then I have the other group of Jonathans who've been around me quite a bit these last few months. Caleb, Jesh, Lowell, Daniel Li, James etc etc. Bros, I really thank God for these months of enjoyment. Of laughter and fun. Of hammock nights and stayovers and cooking late into the night. Of Wayne and Dex and Jesh coming over for movie marathons and the like. Oh man, God has been good to me. I think that the break between NS and Uni life was really a most wonderful period of growth. Invaluable.

Sleeping soon- don't wanna push myself too hard. But am looking forward to tomorrow.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man
For God will bring every deed into judgement,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil

.... things are going well. And from experience, storms will approach. The sea can never be calm for too long. God gave Asa peace till the 35th year. And then there was a royal mess (sic) up in 2 Chronicles 16. That even as God gives me peace and rest for now, may I be very careful to honour Him. May I be prepared spiritually, mentally, to face the next major hurdle, the next faith test. It shall come. The day a Christian stops getting these challenges is the day He enters into glory (which is Uncle David from SU's very apt and polished euphemism).

Okay okay, must force myself to sleep. Right... after I check a few things and view my Facebook.