Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hammock Party II

Alright, this hammock party took place on the night of 13 Mar and the morning of 14 Mar. That's Friday and Saturday before VBC.

So since Caleb asked for the picts, here they are. And I shall include an accurate (well, rather accurate) account of what is going on, before the whole storyline is changed on his blog...

Of course Zapper1988* was noticeably absent. Probably blazing blasts across the blistering sky**, with some "cursed catatonic fool"** somewhere else.

Nah, he was babysitting.***
So, James, Caleb, Lowell staying and I staying over. Aaron, Wayne dropping by to kindly resup us.


Us, walking towards the location. Apparently there's a pretty well worked out squatter settlement, so to speak, around there. 2 vagrants who were saving a space for a 3rd vagrant at the pavilion... so this time we took the bbq pit area instead.
The beginning of our approximately 15-course dinner****, lasting from 10p.m. to rougly 2 a.m.
We had about 12 types of dishes. The main cook being Caleb, who cooks rather well. I did one dish. But I have a distinctly different style. I just throw whatever I think might be nice in... and eat whatever comes out.
Oh yes. If I had been born a century earlier I am convinced I would have invented Rojak.
This time it turned out pretty good though. My dish was luncheon meat plus egg plus lots of cheese (5 slices I think) and honey.
Okay, this one is still the 2nd dish I think. Maggi noodles in campbell soup I think. Most of the food pictures are with James.
Quote of the day: Psst... Did you know that the secret of Lowell's strength is his long hair? Haha.
Caleb: Resup...
Drinking mushroom soup.
Our cooking facilities. Keeping it all simple. The whole idea is that we just sit around and talk into the early morning, while eating non-stop.
Hmm. Were just thinking. This is something we can continue with into our adulthood. Maybe bring our families in future (God-willing) along or something. Then we'd take up a whoooole part of the beach. But quite an idea man. Oh well, but so far we're only at Hammock Party II. Many more to come.
Luncheon meat! Most convenient. Oily, so no need to add more oil when frying... also pre-cooked. But unhealthy though.
Chef at work.
This is still dish no. 2.
Well, had cai xin after that, then fish, then tau pok with honey, then pork chop, then nuggets, then cheesy omelette with luncheon meat, then the same with honey, then some more noodles, I think. Hmmm. Seems like I missed out a dish or two...
Right so after that we slept. Woke up at about 8 plus a.m. for QT. Cuz besides godly, edifying fellowship and healthy fun the other purpose of hammock party is to spend some time with God.
That's James sleeping.
Lowell sleeping beside me. We're sharing the same 2 trees.
Caleb.
Okay, Quiet Time's starting.
Everyone's waking up.
Starting to remove our stuff.
Hmm. Just heard over the news that will have to apply for camping permit along the beaches... So is hammocking considered camping? My answer: NO. Well, at least that's what I think. We're not occupying any space on the beach leh. Haha. We're just occupying some air space about 50 cm above the beach!
Breakfast was chocolate cookies. Chips ahoy and something else. With hot milo, and honey water.
And then we started off with activity no. 2. The highlight of the morning. Joseph's birthday.
Caleb and I had a nice little jog to church to fetch Joseph.
Joseph getting out of car upon seeing Caleb and I: "Cough cough cough. I'm sick. I got medicine"
Caleb: "Orh ok, I'll take the medicine for you first, get changed into PT kit"
Joseph does so. Before we start, sees aunty Lynda.
Joseph, looking real sick: "Boss ah, does my voice sound funny to you?"
Aunty Lynda (getting the hint just by looking at Caleb and I): "No leh, where got?"
Joseph tries to convince aunty Lynda that he's sick. Trying to worm out of his splendid birthday party. Fails terribly. We start our jog.
He coughs all the way along the job.
So poor thing.
Academy award for best actor
Oscar Awards for best sound editing
Golden horse Awards for best male lead
Special mention in the papers. Voted by Time as the most touching motion picture of the century.
1st task complete: a run from church to the beach in front of Wayne's house.
And here's Joseph stretching after the run...
The run was just a warm-up
James activity:
James: "Do you know how blessed you are to have friends like us to celebrate your birthday? So now you must sing a happy birthday song to yourself toward the sea, because without us, there'd be no one to celebrate your birthday for you."
Joseph (is forced to sing):
"Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to lonely
Happy birthday to me"
Lowell's station
Lowell: "There are so many people along this beach who want to wish you happy birthday, except that they don't know it's your birthday. Go find 5 people of different races and get them to wish you happy birthday."
I must compliment Joseph on his extremely sporting attitude. I wonder if I would have done the same...
Anyway, he completed the challenges till now. Although noticeably he had stopped coughing. Haha.
Below is Caleb's station. Filling a bucket with water. Using cups with holes.
Okay. This one is already my station. Which consists of physical activity for 2 min followed by 2 min of memorizing a Psalm. Which will go on indefinitely till the Psalm is memorized.
Which of course, is extremely beneficial to Mr. Tiew. See, so welfare.
Louis the caterpillar was telling me he was so proud of Joseph for memorizing the Psalm.
Using his fingers to aid him in memorizing the psalm. Louis, Caleb, James, Lowell and I are still trying to figure out to this day how a person can possibly use all 10 fingers and then all 10 a second time to memorize a 6 verse psalm.
Louis: Sheesh. I have roughly 16 legs and yet I don't see how I can use all of them to memorize the Psalm.
Next we had the man carry the bucket of water all the way to Wayne's place. Not bad huh? Sporting, this brother of ours.
At the lift landing, Joseph presses the lift button.
ding!
Us: "Well, I know you think we're going to use the lift. But noooooo, we have to climb up to the 6th floor."
And so we climb.
6th floor.
Angela: Okay. Since it's your 20th birthday, you have to climb to the 20th floor!
Awright. Joseph can still take it!
Joseph runs. Flies, rather. Up the first flight of stairs. His garang-ness and agility after such a long work-out astounds me. My chin drops, touching the floor. Either our friend has gone crazy or he has the hidden talents of an Olympic sprinter and hurdler rolled into one. Could this be a true? Or was it just a sweet dream?
Me: Wow.
Lowell: Wow.
Caleb: Wow.
James: Wow.
And then cruel reality brings us crashing down to the ground.
Joseph starts to walk after the first flight.
Us, thinking: "Okay, well at least the poor fellow is still in his right mind. He is still himself."
Making our way up.
To the 20th floor!
Where Wayne and Angela had prepared the cake.
And where we were wondering what we'd do on Joseph's next birthday. Well, if he even decided to show up, that is.
Me whispering in to James' ear, then Caleb's: "Eh, Joseph hasn't coughed till now leh"

Me, aloud to Joseph: "Eh, Joseph, how come you never cough already?"

Joseph: "Cough cough cough"

The rest of us can't take it already. Haha.
But very well done bro! Proud of you!
Quite a nice view.
After that James, Caleb and I went off for the VBC comm meeting.
Oh well, just for interests sake. The last I knew Louis went on to become a butterfly. He wanted to know if someone had transformed as well.
Well, I smsed Louis back: "Aiyah, just wait for NS to come lor. Tell your great great great great great great great great great grandson to follow up"
Loius: "LOL"
That's all for now.
Jokes aside, thank God for Joseph. He's been a faithful servant of God in CM all this years. And been very kind to ferry us around in his car. Been a constant companion for half a decade to many of us.

*Jeshua
**His msn nic
***His reason for not coming
****Just one of the things he missed out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The water bag burst

Well, the teacher I'm replacing went into labour at about 4 plus this morning. So got an SMS at 0420 HRS. So yay, I've got a job. Thank God, cuz I was really getting restless at home. So most excellently someone's got a baby and I've got work.

Teaching today went rather well I'd say.

Realised that will be starting some camps for SMU as early as late July. That's earlier than I thought. Wondering how ready I'd be for university. Well, but at least by teaching History I'm studying academic stuff, so at least my brain gets working, proper grammar and all.

Have happily discovered that Jie Hau and Jing Jie will be going SMU as well. Good brothers from the cell we had in JC. Wonderful times we had.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hmm

Well, I don't quite know what to write on my blog these days. I don't want to put nonsense up here. And yet many of the things that have been going through my mind recently aren't things that would be appropriate to put in a blog.

In more ways than one, I find myself back in the same spot I was 2 years earlier, before NS. I find myself in a closer walk with God again. Well, I'm a little bit sick these couple of days. And I just get the idea that the Lord is teaching me to put Him ahead of my exercise. I really love to exercise these days... so I guess perhaps God is saying love Him more than exercise?

And my ITB is feeling kinda tight these days as well. Oh well. I'm like eh Lord, don't like that leh... don't play until like that leh

VBC opened up my eyes to the way that God works. On the second and last day of the camp, His presence was really there.

The Spirit of God was showing me when the afternoon Praise and Worship started that Satan was feeling extreme irritation when the kids all started to praise God. And I just began to understand in greater detail how powerful a weapon praising God is. Psalm 8:2- From the lips of children and nursing infants You have ordained praise.

And then after some discussion, we actually changed the whole concept of the body ministry that afternoon to become Praise and Worship flowing into body ministry. I can tell you, the Holy Spirit was there. Many kids were ministered to. And the Lord was just showing me that when the Holy Spirit moves and ministers amongst kids (or any other age group, for that matter), He doesn't need our help.

The kids, it was so lifting just to hear them share what they felt as they experienced God's presence. Some were like "I feel happy" or "I feel good". That's how they describe the presence of the Holy Spirit. And we explained to them what they were experiencing.

And then when we let them sit down and ask the Lord to reveal to them. That part was awesome.

"Jesus told me He loves me"

"Jesus told me to be quiet"

"Jesus told me to behave" (okay, this one was hilariously accurate)

Wow. The earliest that I experienced God like that was perhaps Pri 2 lor. And these kids got into the presence of God so early. God is so wonderful.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

VBC

Thank God for the wonderful things that He has done in this VBC. He provided for all of us so amazingly. So many children were touched by the Holy Spirit.

This VBC was like Gideon's battle. All the odds stacked high against us for the glory of God.

I am truly concerned about certain things in CM. Especially that which I shared on the 2nd day's morning prayer.

So blessed

Just want to thank God for all the blessings He has given me. And yet let me remember 1 Corinthians 4:7

Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why then do you boast as if you had not.

Want to thank my family and all my friends in church who went the extra mile to make my birthday special for me. Of course, birthdays have never really been important to me, to be frank. Have never thought too much of all this, since what really matters is the blessings in every day life. With such good a family and friends, I seriously don't quite need a birthday.



Many thanks to Lowell, Caleb, Jon Tay, Aaron, Dexter, Jing Yang, Jeremy Leong, James, Jeshua, Sabrina, Angela.



Thanks for the cake.
Above: Men's pride in progress

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Been reading

Over the past weeks I've been doing some reading. Well I just finished Screwtape Letters, kindly loaned to me by Yim. A rather good read. It's yet another work by C.S. Lewis.

Yesterday was in church to settle some stuff for VBC. It's next week. Am quite looking forward to it.

On a more immediate timeline, am looking forward to hammock night tomorrow. Something I really enjoy. Hopefully we will be able to talk about stuff that is more inclined towards eternity. Hopefully we shall strengthen ourselves for His service tomorrow, and not just have fun alone. Fun per se is wonderful, but let it not stand in the way of growth.

Probably gonna cover a few old books on the Minor Prophets of Israel or something like that for next week and beyond. Hmm, BSF has yet to contact me.

I was just thinking how wonderful it was to be in civilian life. It's been a full month since my Operationally Ready Date. But I really must consider whether I am making full use of my time. Indeed I have been praying for my time to be well used.

So in the past month, I have read through 1 Christian literature book a week, been consistently doing bible study and quiet time (but admittedly often hitting an iron ceiling- yet I've learnt that this, in a roundabout, yet ironically necessary fashion, helps me to grow), been out exercising (thought still not as fit as I would like), been meeting up often with the guys from church, met up with my ODAC friends, been doing programs and some sort of an S3 role for VBC.

Those are the main things. Screwtape letters opened up my mind to the sheer reality of temptations that we are facing. And so often we are very much unaware of it.

I wish that I were spiritually stronger. But of course what I truly mean is that I wish I felt in control and without temptation and facing no opposition in any and every area. That of course, must be the antithesis of true spiritual strength. For as a (in my opinion) much more worthy respectable Christian wrote "for when I am weak, then I am strong." Spiritual strength grows at exponential rates in the face of adversity. Just as it is a wonder how sunlight, of the scorching afternoon kind, which brings sweat to our brows, can be of any good to plants, whereas in reality it really makes them thrive, so is adversity to our spiritual strength.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

.

Went fishing...

Went BSF yesterday night. Thought it was quite good actually.

Well I finished reading Passion and Purity 2 weeks back. Now I'm going through Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

Revising my History stuff so I can teach my students too.

It is very queer, my life now. I only ORDed less than a month back but I'm already so used to civilian life.

VBC's on 17 and 18 March. Looking forward to it.

Man, it's really quite a challenge to keep feeding myself with God's word. But it's a necessary challenge.