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.