Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve post

It's Christmas Eve and I'm just thinking of some of the stuff that's happened this year. Just in that reflective mood again. I like it that I don't really have much to do these two days, except to finish a short 1000 word report on HR. I'm already done with 600 words or so, so the next 400 should come quite easy.

I've been to Children's Camp, Spiritual Milk (the baptism class for Pri 6s) and YPM Camp. I've benefitted from all three and quite thoroughly enjoyed most of it. I'll miss Crusade Camp, but then somehow I guess it's good that I take a break from all this Christian stuff. To be honest, I think too much of camps and all (unless God calls one to take it all on) is a sure recipe for burn out. You get tired with what you should be enjoying the most.

Yesterday I was out playing soccer at the cage at Kallang with some of the church guys. Then we went to old airport road for dinner and a long chit-chat. As I headed home all I could think was, "hmmm... it's finally beginning to FEEL like the holidays."

This coming Sunday will be the last Sunday I have with my Primary 6s. You hear correctly if you sense a tinge of sadness. Well, I've prepared stuff to say a proper goodbye to them. And if I have time, I'll share it here after I give it to them.

So next week I'll be going back to reservist for just two days. It's nothing much, really. Just some briefings and IPPT and cohesion. But to be perfectly honest, when I first received notice that I had to go back (well, it was unofficial notice, only 3 weeks before, when it should have been 3 months), the first feelings I had were feelings of fear and dread. Of course it did not help that it was 2a.m. on the morning of 5 December and I was to run the Stanchart Marathon at 5a.m.

But over these past few weeks I've been reflecting on how God has always brought me through. All the fears I have in every situation are truly irrational because I forget to put the fullness of God's sovereignty into the picture. And so yes, I shall go back in prayer and with the right attitude.

If you're wondering, the NS Book Project is still very much alive. It is alive... and crawling. Crawling cuz as always it's been a bit slow. But we are still working on it, by God's grace and on a prayer. Though it's been a long wait and still is, I think the process and the lessons learned through it are worth it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A quick post before I wash up and hit the bed

Been having Spiritual Milk the last three days. I really really enjoyed the time I spent with all the Primary 6s. I truly love being with them. But being with Primary 6s is always slightly... bittersweet? Because they mature and then you grow so close to them, especially toward the end, with PSLE and children's camp and Spiritual Milk. Then you see them promoted to YPM. Some will stay. Others will eventually stop coming to church. It's been that way since my time. That was a decade back. Really aches my heart when some stop coming, but by then I have another group of children to look after and I can't run after so many people. (Though sometimes I wish I could keep calling all my kids from past years and make sure they come back to church and attend YPM stuff and all).

But of course, I'm physically tired right now. I guess there are the people who say that they're physically tired but spiritually refreshed. Perhaps that's true. But I've come to think that if I'm spiritually refreshed and allow myself to keep getting more physically tired (especially when rest is possible with proper planning), it will some how or other lead to the spiritual part being compromised.

(Right, my thoughts are slightly disjointed now. Hope they're still doctrinally sound. Will check them again if I have the time).

Lots of stuff going on. Might have some project meeting on Monday. Then Tuesday is IPPT. For which I have not trained. And the way it looks, I don't think I'll be training up for it at all. Had hoped to do a little speed training but have not been able to find the time. Wednesday to Saturday is YPM Camp. I'm kinda looking forward to just being a camper and receiving God's word and all.

Then a week or so of rest. Then I have a call-up. That one I'm slightly miffed because it's late, informal notification. Disrupted some plans. But then again I guess it might have its benefits.

And yes, quite sure I want to do Sundown Marathon. I wonder why myself. Perhaps it's because I like to run. Perhaps it's because I'm seeking something for a sense of adventure. And since I haven't been doing outdoor stuff for a while this is the next best thing? Hopefully it keeps me in shape.

Okay, last two disjointed thoughts of the day. (This post is like someone changing TV channels real fast. Everything is not linked).

1) Sometimes we talk so much about stuff in church that we leave God out. Sometimes we talk so much about the faults of others that we forget to remember that we should be talking with God about our own faults. Ultimately, I feel that unless God leads us into doing so, we should focus only on the proverbial plank in our own eyes. After all, that alone already takes up so much time. And I think that the thing about other people is just to love them (the hard part) and leave God to the changing of the person (which we try to do ourselves at times. We get the order wrong.)

2) Okay, this one makes sense to me now. (I don't know if I'll have to tear it apart tomorrow, but here goes...) No biblical reference as of yet, because I'm really quite tired at this moment. Sin, as they say, is independence from God. Trying to do things our own way and not accepting His ways, His words and His plans right?

So, how can ministry become sin? It becomes sin when we do ministry apart from God. We sin when we try to achieve things for God without His help. (Once again, I'm not too sure about the semantics and all, but this is just a developing thought. So DON'T take it too seriously for now).

Okay. Sleeping soon.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Stanchart and oh... I remember the toads

Yes, I finished Stan Chart today. But was rather slow. Because my running buddy got an ankle sprain. And he started limping from about 32 to 34 klick. We finished the first 21 klick running. I think we were at about 2.5 hours. Which is a slow, comfortable, steady pacing for me. Then we slowed down and ran-walked. Then his ankle started to get worse and worse. And then we had to seek medical attention, get the ankle wrapped up and stop once in a while. Worst part was when he was limping up slope.

Yeah, poor thing. But respect him for finishing. I think we took slightly more than 7 hours. A horrible timing, but it was a good experience and looking back, if given the choice, I would still have done it.

Then I had to walk back 1.5 to 2 kilometres to get our baggage from F1 pit building. Don't know what the organisers were thinking, to put the baggage collection point there when the race ended at the Padang.

Haha. My running buddy was commenting at about 38 klicks that he would never do another marathon again but by the time we got on the taxi he was considering Sundown Marathon. Hmmm... I'm thinking about Sundown now. Perhaps, perhaps.

Oh yes, forgot to mention one of my major achievements in camp. Catching two toads on the first night! First one was fairly easy. Gideon told me about it and then I caught it with a plastic bag. Wasn't sure what it was (still not very sure). As in, frog or toad, so always better to use plastic bag. Makes sure I don't get poisoned. =P. Second one was tougher. It was making so much noise inside the drain. I had to almost camp outside the drainage for 20 minutes before it emerged and I grabbed it. The way to catch such animals is to sort of corner. The difficulty comes from the fact that they are slippery and slimy.

I believe they're toads. But not entirely sure. See, frogs have smooth, green skin. Toads generally have bumpy skin.

Uh yeah, this is how a frog looks like. Can touch. Not poisonous. Will smile at the camera if coaxed- by a scary looking guy with a set of white fangs.

The other major achievements are bathing in an outdoor shower while it was raining (though the changing back into dry clothes part was tricky) and getting stung by a bee on the second night. That was quite an experience. (I keh kiang lah. Had caught a bee earlier in the night which was without a sting. I assumed that the second bee was the same bee. It wasn't). So I have now officially been bitten by a bee. (I was bitten by a python a couple of years back and also by a grass snake I was playing with two years back). Hmm. Perhaps God gave me those teeth for a reason. Maybe I should bite back at anything that bites me.

So yes, you can see why I thoroughly loved this campsite. (Boys Brigade Campsite at Sembawang). But unfortunately almost everyone else hated it. What a pity.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Children's Camp

My fantastic group.

Okay, CM camp is now over. I'm just so glad for all that God has done in this camp. And hopefully I'll be able to keep close to God even after this camp.

My group's guys on the bus ride back to church. Two peace-loving boys. And two constantly at war. Guess who they are. I was quite tired by then because I'd been fighting a sinus back flow and a little bit of a sore throat. But I had two capabale leaders so it wasn't a problem at all.

Tomorrow's the Marathon. Wheee. Looking forward to it.