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

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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.