Sunday, December 30, 2007

Living through stained glass

At the end of the year, people tend to reflect on the things they did in the past year and whether the year has been 'worth it.' Personally, reflecting on a whole year is nearly impossible - I usually do it on a daily basis - but for fun's sake, I'll list my memories of 2007.
  • Watching Roger Moore as James Bond with Chris, Tim and Mark into 2007 (and watching Chris' dinosaur hatch!)
  • Eating ostrich and camel burgers
  • Not being mean is a learning curve
  • Hoong Wai visiting me in KL
  • Graduating (and returning to London) (permalink)
  • Trying to get out of the CLP
  • Watching Home Alone 2 in Mongolia on my first night there
  • Drinking horse milk and realising I prefer riding them
  • Getting my hair cut, myself
  • Moving house
  • Being bitten by a horse on my back which resulted in a giant bruise (permalink)
  • The day Tyng Yng and I discovered we are 'soul mates'
  • Sitting for the CLP
  • Receiving Peanut Butter Kit Kats from Mark and Helen
  • Daim bars from Chris
  • Got my right index finger bitten by a horse (permalink)
  • Buying an electric guitar
  • Yorkies from Gordon
  • POTS 2007 (permalink)
  • 4 dogs died from poisoning
  • Having my wisdom tooth extracted and eating Kenny Rogers with Wai Nyan and Michael the day after
  • Photo taking in Sekinchan with Angie (permalink)
  • Horse riding in Ampang
  • Broke 4 pairs of shoes in 2 months
  • Drinking hot chocolate with mini marshmallows on Genting mountain (permalink)
  • Talking to Penny from the Cheshire Home in Selayang
  • Praying with Jay Mi at work
  • Teaching a random lady how to use the Internet at Starbucks
  • Making great new friends in church
  • Saying goodbye to Mark
  • Writing about Sarah for the Cicak 'Unsung Hero' competition (permalink)
  • Listening to Alveen and Ju sing in Red Box (karaoke)
  • Holding a (live) eagle
  • Dancing with 'Zorro' on stage in front at the KL Bar Council Dinner
  • Marcus visiting me in KL
  • Sitting in Starbucks with Lynn
  • Finding the EPF building in Masjid Jamek
  • Being taught how to kill a sheep/ goat/ cow/ camel
  • Horse riding across the Mongolian countryside
  • Whenever Elena calls me (permalink)
  • Making friends with Billy and Daya from Jaya Supermarket
  • Sitting in the middle of a rice feld trying to get a sun tan
  • Realising that Sunway Pyramid's ice skating rink shuts at 8pm on Friday night
  • Recognising roads in PJ and KL
  • Reuniting with Sharon and Steph in KL
  • Visiting Voon and Steph Yeo in Miri (permalink)
  • Riding a camel
  • Work, in all its mundaneness and fulfilment, is ultimately futile without God

It may sound like utter foolishness, but though I plan for the future, I live everyday like it were my last. It doesn't mean I'm nice all the time or that I find joy in getting up at 6am or that everyone is instantly easy to get along with or that past hurts disappear. It doesn't mean that I can stop sinning immediately or that I automatically do everything God wants me to do. It does however, mean that God is at the centre of my heart, soul and being. People often say that they'll wait til they're old and dying before turning to God (as if God didn't invent get out clauses!!!) so even if I assumed that ridiculous notion, I assume that I could die anyday and so every day I turn to God. Every day I turn to trust Him again. Every morning His mercies are new and fresher than freshly cut grass, morning dew or lavender scented linen. Every night His assurance convicts me and every morning His love gives me joy. There is absolutely no one who comes close to comparing with Him.

So, what are my reflections for 2007? That as I move into 2008 and look back into 2007 (and beyond), I see God's faithfulness, His graciousness and mercy, the humbling of my heart, the brokenness of my spirit and the strength of His. I am made aware of reality even as knowing God deeper allows hope to escalate. As I start work, I appreciate time and understand the concerns of 'grown ups' more. I may not have time or strength at the end of the day to verbally thank Him but He is at the core of my every thought and pierces bone, marrow, ligament, spine, nerve and tremor through and through, even in my dreams. Even when I sin in thought, speech and action, I am made aware of His presence and the sin hurts even more when I choose to ignore Him, knowing He is closer to me than I am to myself.

Even now as I type this, I know that all I ever want is to serve Him and do His will. What shape that may take in 2008, I do not know. I do not know if I will stop work, pass exams or leave this country. I do not know if sickness may claim more of my body or disillusion my mind. What I know is that it is neither my job nor my skill that ultimately provides for me. It is neither a degree nor a house that determines my worth. It is not cunning nor street-smartness that will help me survive. It is not wealth not the right ladder that will measure my success. When I say my hope rests in Christ alone, there is no plus or minus. My hope rested in Christ alone in 2007. My hope will rest in Christ alone in 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Riding on the Freeway

I dream of riding a black stallion which is mine, across never ending fields of green, all mine. I dream of buying home-made Belgium chocolate fudge from the local village. I dream of working in a corporate world... from home. I dream of Greyhounds and Bugattis and the smell of waffles, bacon and maple syrup. I dream of plush pillows and ethnic hand-made tapestry and lush carpets and bronze basins. I dream of marble and crystal sculptures of Hesphestes and Aphrodite and sea stallions of Poseidon, the smell of freshly polished wood and the smell of the flowers of the field. I hear the silence of a home in which I am not alone but find perfect solitude. I dream of a ever expanding library of updated editions, original copies and hand written manuscripts found by chance at a flea market. I dream of rosemary and roast, of chocolate mousse and apple pie, of cream and boursin and chives. I dream of skating and gravel, of wine and lemon rinds, scotch and rum, fireplaces and heavy oak doors. I dream of leather, down and silk. I dream of fleece and cotton sheets and velvet. I dream of mastiffs, danes and fluffy, wagging tails, black gums and wet noses. Wherever my dreams go, they come back to one picture; soaring bareback, defying time and space, astride a stallion whose soul has been entwined into my own as his dark mane swirling fiercely around is indistinguishable from my own.

So tell me, do my dreams mean anything? Don't tell me they're just dreams for dreams aren't worth having if they cannot be realized.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Invisible

I looked at you
But failed to see,
Your smile was sweet
But bent in three.
I looked and saw
And held your gaze,
But did not notice
Eyes gray with haze.
I smiled at you,
Held out my hand,
I failed to see,
You couldn't stand.
I stopped to hear,
And wondered why,
You couldn't speak,
You wouldn't cry.
I bought for you,
A pair of shoes,
I was so blind;
You looked so blue.
As the sun shone,
I thought "To the park today!"
To me it was luck,
Til your wheels got stuck.
I'm sorry for the times,
I'm sure you know,
When I was more
Pasty than gold.
When I purposed to,
And succeeded in,
Ignoring what
I thought were whims.
A bigger heart
You probably have,
Mine is too small
My vision too glazed.
My world too cherry,
My wisdom too neat,
That I couldn't see
That you are more than feet.
So in mourning a loss
I never had,
What is it worth,
To be this sad?
Is it grieving
over ignorance lost?
Or yearning for healing
Over usurped, a boast?
I can only breathe
A sigh of relief,
As you extend your hand,
And give me belief,
That though society gives you
No sacred place,
They are definitely in need
Of your patient grace.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Compartments

I tell people not to compartmentalise their lives and yet when I realise that my past and present might collide, I panic. I don't want people in my past to know people in my present. I like to keep them separate or if need be, in selected groups which I may choose to introduce to one or another group. I like to keep parallel relationships going without fear that the parallel subjects will meet and then share information that will inevitably lead to a change in relationship dynamics which for instance, is a situation I find myself in now. The world is WAY too small.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Resolutions

I know the New Year is yet to come but if I make this resolution after New Year, it will be too late. I resolve to finish writing all my Christmas cards TONIGHT! Despite my new guitar coaxing my to strum it. Despite Facebook enticing me with dreams that I actually own an amazingly skin-tingling, hot, orange Koenigsegg supercar.

Tomorrow during lunchtime, I will POST them and REGISTER to vote at the next elections. I'll tell you in the next post whether my resolve was resolute enough.

Monday, December 10, 2007

In my dreams

In my dreams... I can play solo guitar to any song I want then I wake up to reality and realise C# is very hard to play and that my fingers don't move as fast as I will them to.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Foolishness galore

"The idea that love is not enough is a particularly painful one. In the face of its truth, humanity has for centuries tried to discover in itself evidence that love is the greatest force on earth.
Jesus is an especially sad example of this unequal struggle. The innocent heart of Jesus could never have enough of human love. He demanded it, as Nietsche observed, with hardness, with madness, and had to invent hell as punishment for those who withheld their love from him. In the end he created a god who was "wholly love" in order to excuse the hopelessness and failure of human love.
Jesus who wanted love to such an extent was clearly a madman, and had no choice when confronted with the failure of love but to seek his own death. In his understanding that love was not enough, in his acceptance of the necessity of the sacrifice of his own life to enable the future of those around him, Jesus is history's first, but not last, example of a suicide bomber."

The above were the opening paragraphs to Richard Flanagen's book, "The Unknown Terrorist."

Firstly, seeing as Jesus is recognised as one of the prophets in Islam, I am surprised that the book was even allowed into Malaysia. Clearly, some feel that it is alright to publicly disdain and ridicule some prophets and not alright to draw pictures of others...

I would like to say that along with the likes of Richard Dawkins and Dan Brown, Richard Flanagen coins another perfect example of the lengths humanity would go to in order to deny the existence of God in their lives and His ingrained fingerprint in the blueprint of their souls. That man has used his God-given mind to deny God is testament to man's limitations for where it is easier for one to assume that something exists, to know its non-existence in any shape or form, physical or metaphysical, spiritual or psychological, is to render oneself God, for only God may decide whether something exists forever or not or whether it may come to pass or may never be.

God does not share our pettiness as the Greek gods do. God does not smite out of spite because He does not need to avenge Himself. He is God. He does not need validation nor seeks it. He is the One who validates and His validation carries the greatest weight because He is God. God does not need us to love Him but has chosen to intimately write an eternity with Him in our hearts.

Those who believe that love is not enough, are still unaware, lack understanding or wickedly deny the magnitude of Jesus' life, ministry, death and resurrection. Those who believe that love is not enough, have too small a view of love, too narrow a perception of its death-defying power, too shallow a concept of what it can achieve, too human an imprint on a quality and characteristic that started with and will end with an Omnipotent, unfathomable Being.

I believe (and I could be wrong) that Richard Flanagen merely flipped through a few pages of the Gospels and came to the conclusion, not reading them in sequence, content, context, setting or proper form that Jesus was a psychologically-disturbed man to be pitied. In order to know Jesus, I would suggest that Richard pray that God may open his eyes and mind (even if he may not believe in God it does not mean that God does not exist although having done that, Richard may feel foolish having just done something supposedly completely against his ardent convictions), start reading at Genesis and work his way through God's promises and man's continued defiance against God and how God remains consistently and persistently faithful. Perhaps, Richard has never experienced that sort of love; a love beyond the passions of the flesh, beyond even camaraderie or the deepest friendship or brotherhood.

As smart as Richard appears, his ill-informed logic does not make sense. If Jesus had created 'a god' to excuse the hopelessness of the world, surely hell would not be necessary anymore; the whole world would have claimed duress and been excused. If Jesus had been a madman, He wold have been the laughing stock of the village and not have thousands follow him. Israel may have been idolatrous but I am sure they had better things to do than follow a bumbling fool around and sit at his feet and listen to his teaching. Calling Jesus a madman, given the large following He had, including teachers of the law, is almost tantamount to denigrating the intellectuals of Israel of the day.

Lastly, suicide bombers sacrifice themselves because they believe that there will be something better waiting for them, a treasure as a reward for pursuing an ideology as twisted as Richard Flanagen's claims of Jesus. Ironically, the only line Richard got right is the most important; that Jesus sacrificed Himself to enable the future of those around Him, that we may be redeemed from sin, know the Father, and have eternal life. As God's hand was on King Cyrus in letting the Jews return from the exile, so God's hand is on Richard Flanagen and as much as he disbelieves God which, incidentally makes him more foolish than the devil if such a thing can be said, he still cannot help but proclaim that Christ died for those around Him. Even if man's brain, swollen with self-praise and puffed up with delusion, tells his hand to write an account against God, his efforts are in vain for if the stars in the sky that scorch our delicate planet and thundering waves that can crush the feeble works of our hands testify to their Creator, a great and awesome God, how much more man, who is like dust on the ground that rise and fall in the wind, be compelled to bow low and confess that God exists and that Jesus is His chosen King.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Guns and Roses

Going to attempt to buy an electric guitar tomorrow so I can practice tabs and be a rockstar. Yeah right.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I love me

Too often I complain... about myself. Too short. Too podgy. Too loud. Too tanned. Too rough. Too unrefined. Too uncouth.

A friend sent me a very disturbing picture (details of which I will not go into simply because it's the most revolting thing (I think) that could happen to a woman) and all I can say now is, God forgive me for not being more grateful and no matter what size, shape or form they'll ever be,

I LOVE MY BREASTS!!!!!

*Yeah, I don't normally scream that out on the streets but when one is truly intoxicated with conviction...

Monday, December 03, 2007

A constant I would rather do without

I get these headaches... I'm having one now. Sometimes my mind works clearest when they strike, except that every other part of my body is straining to keep up. My eyes are dulled by the throbbing somewhere in my head. Actually the throbbing is everywhere. I feel it in my gut, at the back of my throat, in my ears, on my fingertips. My tongue feels parched even though I keep on drinking. Water of course. Anything more than the still coolness of water tastes too strong. Too potent. Even thinking about other smells make me want to gag. Except eucalyptus. Or menthol. Or camphor. One might say I am addicted. I drown myself in the sharp smells of Chinese ointments to forget my headaches the way a drunk might guzzle beer to forget his problems. And then my mind controls my breathing so that I will relax - temporarily - so as not too irritate my upchuck reflexes but it's there. My toes are dry but my skin is clammy. Occasionally something rips through my head and I feel like a glass ball that has just been smashed against the floor. I feel the blood rush from my face and am sure at that point, my eyes dilate and I can pass for a dead man (or woman). Sometimes a certain numbness strains through my heart and I wonder if I am getting a heart attack or a stroke. The sound of the fan and air-conditioner are so loud I think of battle wars and Transformers killing one another but if I switch them off, I find myself drenched in sweat like a malaria struck weakling so I leave them on and end up having dreams which disturb my conscience. Sometimes I would rather do without my headaches.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spare the rod

Things in the papers do not attract me too often. The same old stories feature in a similar cycle. Corruption, promises, hypocrisy, death, crime, perseverance, hope, insufficiency read like well, the news. Today whilst waiting for my take-a-way however, my eye caught the front page of a newspaper the name of which escapes me and the caption made me pause for thought which, in turn, led to this entry.

There is talk it seems of introducing caning in girls' schools and there are some strong proponents of the topic. They offer excuses reasons of why we should implement this form of punishment previously only used on guys, on the fairer of the sexes. Among them is the notion that girls in school are now as notorious as guys and so a heavier punishment should be meted out to curb this so called unlady-like behaviour.

There are so many flaws to that one argument that everything from the gender of the speaker to the colour of her lipstick in the photograph (if it were a 'she' and if she were wearing lipstick) eludes me. All I could focus on was this absurd notion of distorted gender qualification that has been running havoc since the time of Eve.

Let me start off by saying that I do not approve of caning in girls' schools. If I had a daughter in an all-girls school and caning were to be introduced into the disciplinarian system, I'd go so far to say that I would take my daughter out of that school. There are several reasons why I do not agree with the concept of inflicting serious corporeal punishment on girls but the main point is this:


They are girls.

I do not care that the world seems to think that we are improving when history proves that if anything, we are regressing. We are regressing because where once we accepted our mistakes and tried to learn from them, now we gloss over mistakes and call it progress. Women's lib did nothing beneficial for women. On the contrary, it took away a great deal of worth attached to a woman's role in family, the community and society. It forced women to stereotype themselves according to guidelines set by male standards, demean themselves to delusional doormats and deny their God-given inheritance as nurturers and comforters. In short, it succeeded in indoctrinating women and society to believe as truth, the very values it set out to rebuke. Perhaps women's lib meant for something else to happen but sin at grass root level dictates that there can only be one philosophy for the rebellious soul no matter how much sheen is applied.

Equality and worth are not intricately linked to the roles imposed on us, on what we do and how well it appears we do them and as much as Bentham would have us believe, our worth is worth far more than our use. Girls should not be let to believe that they can only find their worth in jobs that men do be it in the corporate or military world. Girls should not be led to assume that motherhood is worth less than a 5 figure, 9 to 5 job or that it is a pity and a shame to step away from the corporate ladder in order to raise a family. They should not think that wearing pinstripes is more important than cooking or that a baby along the way is a liability.

I am against treating girls like boys and women like men because we aren't boys or men. I'm not saying there's a double standard to be had. There's just one standard; God's.

God made men to lead their creation and sin messed that up. Men now use their God-given strength to abuse and harm instead of to protect, shield and guide the fairer of the sexes. Women on the other hand, instead of allowing men to lead them, demand that they take charge and instead of nurturing life and supporting men, they use their God-given charm to manipulate and deceive in order to get what they want. So what you get is the mash we have now; men oppressing women, and women, not just retaliating or reacting to being treated that way but also actively demanding that they be made 'equal' with men. The irony is, they are already equal, if only they stick to their roles.

The fact that they step out of their roles make them less than equal. I think this particular irony of life is almost best summed up in C.S Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Edmund is told that he will be made prince of Narnia if he obeys the Witch yet he is already actually a King.

Treating girls like boys just because they behave like boys will not solve the problem. Where boys strive on confrontation, the nature of girls is such that confrontation will only make them more defensive which, is hardly the outcome desired.

So, in a nutshell, I say NO to caning girls in schools.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cicak Competition 2007


My unsung hero is the 'nobody' who helped a blind man through the Masjid Jamek LRT station last Wednesday, the 'samseng' who hailed a taxi for another blind man from Jaya Supermarket, the lady who offered her seat to a pregnant woman on the train, the stranger who puts in a kind word on a gloomy day. You are my heroes. Your random acts of kindness are unfortunately rare enough to be celebrated when they do occur, not that they shouldn't be celebrated if they grow more frequent. I yearn for the day when each would honour his fellowman, not merely out of duty or for fear of sanction, but out of the inclination of his own heart. Yet, the desperate truth is that, even if we were all to be model citizens, we would still remain white washed tombs; decaying souls in a seemingly eutopic society, if we do not turn to the one who laid down His life for us and gave us the very Law to love our neighbour as ourselves.

I can't believe I won. But I'm glad that it was for something worthwhile. Something which doesn't just affect me but also the people I care about. Something which will hopefully inspire others to awareness of our social situation. Something which builds and edifies, which is not self-seeking but others-orientated, not puffed-up but humble and grateful and thankful. I wish Sarah could have been at Madam Kwan's today because today was about her and her strength - God's continuous strength in her and through her - and also cos it would have been many times more fun (not that it wasn't) but we will, fingers crossed be meeting up at Christmas now that I can afford to. Sarah is a practical example to me personally to believe and be convicted that truly, "It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me."

Just stop it and stuff it

Frustration happens when things don't go the way we predict.

When the scanner scans the same document twice after 253 pages and you have to scan the lot all over again.

When the photocopier breaks down just as a client arrives.

When the lights go out just as the client sits down.

When fingerprints are left on a pristine surface.

When you realise you've catered for a 3-day weekend but only have two to spare.

When you feel unready to shoulder more responsibility but realise you're the only one shouldering the responsibility.

When the map reads 'right' but your brains thinks 'left.'

When loud, horrible music plays in the field next to the hall where you're having an exam.

When you get a work assignment 5 minutes before leaving work.

When all you need to make your day better is a thick smoothie and you don't get it.

Sometimes it's easy to complain. No, I think I'll rephrase that - it is always easy to complain. We never think people are performing well enough and get worried that we'll get the stick for others' under performance. I try to be gracious about what I think are failures that consequently affect me because I have been offered grace by a lot of people whom God has put in my life. I try to offer up my anxiety to God every night. I try to start my day with His word so that my focus is in the right place. Sometimes it is so easy to be gracious. For times like that I am exceedingly thankful but for the most part I pray for grace to be able to give grace and to give it graciously.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More photos of the past week(s)

This made me feel like I was climbing Tibet.


My 'chipmunk' pose at Batu Caves.


Angie and the chipmunks take 2 (L-R) Angie, me, Yee Li

Kolo Mee in Wangsa Maju and it was pretty good. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it was better than some of Kuching's own!


Shoe shoe is a dirty shoe, please go out and clean your shoe before I count to ten.

Sekinchan; the return

We all eat rice but how many of us actually know what rice plants look like; no, rice most certainly do not grow on trees!


I like this. Can't really explain why. Maybe it has something to do with being still and waiting...


Through a mouse's eyes...



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stones will cry out

We went to the Caves today and were greeted by a huge, 'gold'-painted statue of some Hindu deity; God's mountains are defaced by shrines and images who are given credit for the very life that is sustained by God Himself and that brings a pang of anger, sorrow and sometimes hatred to the heart. I sometimes wish I had the desperation that Phinehas had in 'protecting' the name of the Lord, to overthrow the shrines and demolish the pots that hold incense of hated offerings.

There were people praying, people being prayed over and people praying for others. Most of those prayers were in vain; the only ones that weren't in vain were prayed to the real God, the only God, the Living and True God. The Bible may warn us about other follies such as love of money and sexual immorality but it speaks with disdain and contempt concerning idols fashioned by hands and worshipped as gods:

Isaiah 40:19-20
As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.
A man too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot.
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple.

Isaiah 41:7
The craftsman encourages the goldsmith,
and he who smooths with the hammer
spurs on him who strikes the anvil.
He says of the welding, "It is good."
He nails down the idol so it will not topple.

Isaiah 41:22-24
"Bring in your idols to tell us
what is going to happen.
Tell us what the former things were,
so that we may consider them
and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,
tell us what the future holds,
so we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
But you are less than nothing
and your works are utterly worthless;
he who chooses you is detestable.

Hosea 4:12
They consult a wooden idol
and are answered by a stick of wood

Revelations 9:20
...they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk

Part of me feels angry that people can be so blind and so ignorant to the truth. That a reasonable human being can stoop to worship an equally debased and fallen creature stupefies the mind and yet it is the practice all over the world; the image of God bows down before a rotting piece of wood and calls it Lord. Heinous is the act and heavy will be the judgment. Sometimes part of me wonders how God can tolerate such profanity. What a stench they must be in His presence. Who can stand the fullness of unquantified wrath that burns against them? What prevents Him from striking the idols and rebellion where they stand, turning them to instant rubble, smoke and ash? In the presence of His Holiness, even the children who go to the temples and worship idols are not safe from His wrath. Youth is no excuse for the sickening pang of judgment that awaits those young and old alike, who have rejected God for a god. Sometimes I get so angry that I wish that fire would rain and obliterate them and their worthless idols that mock God and His creation from the earth. How we should all fear that day when God comes in judgment! And how can we stand before Him claiming any merit of our own?

Even we who claim to follow Christ are only deceiving ourselves if we think we can possibly say to the Most Holy God,
"Yes God, I believe I deserve to go to Heaven because..
I had 567 communions;
'converted' 14 people;
read the 95 theses 95 times;
spoke in tongues 297 times;
performed 5 pilgrimages;
said 7,834 rosaries;
turned missionary for 54 years,
read the whole Old Testament 87 times;
bowed 523 times;
preached 819 times;
tithed 649 times;
sang in the church choir for 32 years;
refrained from meat for 6,835 Fridays;
only skipped church 32 times; and
faithfully prayed for exactly 74 'lost souls' during my lifetime. Oh and by the way, thank you Jesus for dying for me which helped me get a kick start and a push in the right direction along the way."

I get frustrated when people who claim to know Christ refuse to admit to Him all glory in their lives. Instead, they take some for themselves, giving themselves a pat on the back for doing good works and being pious when actually they rob God of what is rightfully due to Him. I don't care for long words or theological jargon but sometimes I care too little for the people who care not.

Anger is usually the first emotion that hits me and the emotion that stays the longest whenever something is displeasing hence why it is so strongly integrated within my reactions to situations. However, I am aware that anger does not win people to Christ so as much as I can, I limit it to vents and rants to close friends and my blog sphere. To God who knows my heart so well, I need not vent my frustration as He feels the insult more keenly than I ever will but I wonder at the heart of God; that He who is held in contempt by insignificant creatures of twisted and demented hearts can still be merciful to them, choose them, cleanse them and clothe them in His righteousness. When I say 'them' however, I also mean me. My folly is great, greater still if I see the wickedness of the world and blog about it but do nothing.

The idol worship in this land provokes a great sadness, sometimes dismay and often hopelessness - not knowing how to react or what to say - within me. It is my prayer that when the Holy Spirit stirs me to act, though it may seem socially unacceptable, morally bigoted and intellectually narrow-minded, though my heart may be burdened and my feet heavy, I will abide as I am compelled.

Don't get me wrong, I am not holding a 'holier-than-thou' position or a 'worse-than-thou' position for that matter rather, this is merely an outpouring of mind and soul of unfolding events, trying to make sense of the bigger picture and as I am moulded by the Potter and being equipped for His purposes, to be the best I can be and to run this race and although I cannot yet see the end nevertheless by the grace of God, I hold it in view.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Once again

It has been yet another week since I blogged and I am starting to wonder whether this will become a regular occurence. I suppose this is what it means to live in the 'real' world. It doesn't help that I'm a workoholic. Note that workoholic and studyholic are not the same thing :p I have in the last week, started eating oats for breakfast and am cutting down on my very expensive juice from Juice Works. Was actually contemplating stopping for a while but the juice is really THAT good. However, 2 days ago, a newbie to the job made my breakfast 'Banana Blast Off' and put in more ice than banana leaving me with a drip of a drink instead of a rich smoothie. That kind of helped me decide to send my loyal month-and-a-half long, 6-days-a-week patronage. Have also started walking/ jogging with two other colleagues around KLCC gardens; 3 rounds make that 3.6km.

Going to Batu Caves tomorrow!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Recap

It seems impossible to believe that my last blog post was on Monday. I used to mentally scoff at people who said they did not have time or energy or motivation or anything to write about and now it might seem like I have crossed over. To quickly recap, even tough the week has been a blur to me, the highlights of my weeks have been:

Shopping with Tyng Yng: Unless you are of strong constituton and do not grow weary over (groundless :p) whines and whinges of being 'fat,' shopping with me is not a good idea. Oh, unless of curse, you wish to develop that sough after constitution or seek patience and cultivate endurance. our shopping trip more or less went like this:
  • Found DREAM dress but... it made me look pregnant; Tyng Yng can vouch for that. Memo to myself; when I do get pregnant, I know I'll look amazing in that dress.
  • Felt depressed after looking pregnant in DREAM dress so made a beeline to Delicious and had way to much to eat (punishing myself).
  • Passed Phenomenon or was it Phenomenal(?). By chance, came across a dress which, although not my DREAM dress, gave me my DREAM shape. Unfortunately, it costs about half of what I have in my account so I couldn't possibly justify that although I came close to...
  • Got depressed again so made way to Secret Recipe to eat large slice of caramel cake.
  • By chance, walked by a store where things were going for 70% off! Found a dress, which although was neither my DREAM dress nor gave me my DREAM shape, was irrisistably at my DREAM price.
  • Bought it and wore it tonight (the day after) for formal find raising function which had a fashion show thrown in and vain as I am, I thought I looked better than half the models who were dressed in what looked like dyed burlap sacks.
  • Unfortunately, my DREAM priced dress kept getting stepped on because of its long train which means.... I now need to find my DREAM tailor.
So much for my week. I seem to be spending more and more time at work; might as well live there and bring along my mini marshmallows...

Also, my FIFTH floor apartment is ironically flooded. Reminds me of when the house in Oval got flooded and smelt like a stable for weeks.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Photos of the not too distant past

After the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research


Angie and the chipmunks...



She'll be coming round the mountains when she comes....


A moment to myself; actually trying to hide from the camera



Abseiling

Corrections

Today I found out that the amazing Bukit Tabur I climbed was only 1,200 feet and not the 1,200 metres I had previously been led to believe. So much for great expectations. I met a guy at work today whom I assumed was someone called Kevin (Hoong Wai is going to laugh when he reads this because I first thought he was Kevin too). His name is Azizul, he works in the same office I do and to date, he's one of the coolest guys I know, from the little I know of him, part of the reason being, he's even more out-doorsy than I am and has suggested mountain ranges for me to exert myself on. He likened my amazing Bukit Tabur climb to a stroll which I got a bit indignant over (inside anyway) but it made me want to go all out and hang off a cliff by my fingertips or something. On top of the crazy hours we work at the office, he's also a journalist, has opened my eyes to a whole list of 100 top adventure books by National Geographic Adventure (which I hope to start collecting and reading with my next paycheck), cycles, took time to show me that I could see Bukit Tabur East and West (I didn't know there was an East and West!!!) from my office, pointed out all the erratic serrated ridges and told me their names and showed me other mountain peaks which were half shrouded in fog and cloud. To top the list, he reads while he walks. :) If he were Christian, it would have been knockout before the blow even landed.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bukit Tabur

The view from the 'nearly halfway point.'

Our second climb was more fun than the first. I woke up late AGAIN to my chagrin (my body is demanding more sleep by compelling my hand to turn the alarm clock off in my sleep). Pictures to follow with hopefully funny and witty anecdotes attached but for the moment all I have to say, despite the cuts and subsequent bruises and the soles of both my shoes nearly falling off, I had an incredible time. Angie, May Yin and I laughed so much about so many things, most of it being each others' silliness (mostly mine... like the way I tried to climb up an overhanging rock and had my butt facing the camera ala Bridget Jones) and laughing releases endorphins to help me be positive and face the rest of the week.

I am really enjoying work at the moment despite having to take work home and often thinking, at the back of my mind, on how to advise clients. I enjoy the juice-a-day regime I have started the last month and found out that the girl who serves me each morning is a Christian; she thought I was 18!!! I am getting used to my new cubicle on the 41st floor. When I was a waitress on the 33rd floor in the Executive Floor Lounge of Hilton Hotel, I had thought that that was the highest I would ever go but I guess it's pretty cool being so high up except when the fire drill is run. I am making friends. I am learning how to get along with my keyboard. The week I was dreaming of bagels, David bought me a bagel. Although it wasn't the type of savoury bagel I was looking for (Malaysia doesn't have that) it was the thought that counted.

However, there has been an area of concern for me with regards to looking after myself; my body is trying to catch up on sleep I am not giving it. It has been one activity after another the last month with hardly any time to rest properly. It might catch up with me soon but even though I know it, I can't seem to stop. Tonight for example, I have work to go through so turning in early is out of the question. Tomorrow, my whole day is packed until evening when I can return home to complete the work before Monday morning. Come Monday morning, the work cycle continues and this Thursday, I'll be off to climb yet another mountain during the Deepavali (Hindu festival) public holiday break.

I climbed Bukit Tabur (pronouned Boo-kit Ta-boar) today. Standing at 1,200m, logic tells me I've climbed more today than the 1,000 feet of Bukit FRIM 2 weeks ago. Tabur means scattered in the Malay language. It's probably because the mountain range is 'scattered' across a vast expanse. I'm feeling a bit 'tabur-ed' at the moment. Cutting it fine. Running it thin.

Speaking of running, tomorrow, I'll be running in the Terry Fox Run (proceeds go towards Cancer Research). Be there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday's child has far to go

Yesterday ended on a contemplative note; it was the end of the day, I was in a pharmacy having just had birthday dinner with a friend and was thinking about social justice when I saw a man steal a bottle of shampoo by hiding it under his shirt. I was half in shock, half tired and half scared (ok that's more than 2 halves but..). The worst part was I just stood there. I did nothing. I didn't call someone's attention to it. I hoped that someone else would notice and I was too scared to do anything. Coward. I can think about social welfare and wonder about injustice but when it's right in my face, I do nothing. I counted the cost. I didn't carry my cross.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Melting moment


About 2 weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to have my moment with my mug of hot chocolate on Genting Mountain. I did! And the best thing was, I had it with friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel

GOD GAVE US HIS SON (I AM NOT ASHAMED)

God gave us His Son - the sinless One to be sin for us
That we might be the righteousness of God
Your kingdom has come: we're being changed into Your likeness
Children of light, it's our time to arise

I am not ashamed: I know whom I've believed
For God Himself has come to me, now Jesus is my destiny
I know I am changed and all You've given me:
This hope, this love, this life - I can't deny Your power within me
So here I am - send me

Now we are in You and You have given us Your message
To tell the world: be reconciled to God
Your favour is here, in this day of salvation
Now is the time, let Your glory arise!

Purify us, Lord, so we're spotless and pure
And we hold out Your Word to this generation
How can they hear? And how can they believe?
How can they call on Your name unless we tell them?

Copyright Kate and Miles Simmonds 2002 Kingsway's Thankyou Music

Friday, October 26, 2007

The heel of the matter

My heels broke today. My nice heels. My fancy worker ones. On the way to the station. So I walked barefoot to the station. And up the stairs. And into the train. And I saw a girl reading a Bible. And I smiled. Cos there was another girl yesterday whom I saw reading the Bible. And I wanted to say at both instances, "Thank you for not being ashamed of the Gospel." She offered me her seat but I said I was ok. Maybe I should have said I was Christian. I wonder if she knew there was another Christian on that train. I walked barefoot past Juice Works to my office.

One of the assistants in the library at work insists that I have yet to return a book which I returned last week. I am not amused. Very not amused. In fact, very not amused is an understatement. I will try not to bear a grudge. If he asks one more time, I might have to pay the cost price of the book. And if I have to, I promise myself that I will buy my own set of dictionaries in whatever language I need and I will keep it under lock and key. I am reminded that my inadequacy and mistakes could cost someone else a lot more than lost sleep.

A co-worker and I prayed at work today. Right in the middle of the office. It felt good to be living in a parallel universe; to be in the world but not of it.

The cobbler couldn't fix my shoes. They're now sitting in a bin. I wonder if they feel useless.

If I were a man, I would find Gong Li fascinating. But what's to say that I don't already find her sensual?

The start of something new might begin come Thursday but I'll let you know if it does.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Worldly wisdom

The last two days have been packed back to back and tomorrow will be another day of the same. They have been packed not wholly because of work, but because for the last two days I have attended a 3-day long conference by Don Carson held in the evenings, which ends tomorrow. If you have yet to go, I do urge you to go.

Mentally, I am tired, physically, I am bruised (partly due to a minor incident in a van where my coccyx got hit hard and partly due to having to carry around a heavy laptop for work purposes) and emotionally I am, as always, hung in the balance; the possibility of me tethering over the edge is as likely as invisible wings sprouting, sending me soaring beyond probabilities. Spiritually however, I am, for the most part, content.

Last night I got into a conversation with someone who was giving me advice on how to live my life. He had wisdom. Wordly wisdom. He advised me to go into investment banking because, "That's where the money is." He reminded me that I had financial obligations to fulfil to my parents and brother. He discouraged me from pursuing Law because, "It brings no money" and he told me I needed to make up my mind. In some ways, he is right. I can't live as a fickle minded, unfocused person, gliding through life as if ripples don't matter and I do owe my parents a lot. However, the more he spoke, the more burdensome his words became and the more weight they seemed to carry. Within two hours, I was ready to buckle under the load of future anxiety, present uncertainty and past regret. It didn't help that at that point, we were driving through the ridiculously expensive Tropicana, where houses are all 5 times too big and look as though they came from different eras or from a life I was never and will never know or experience.

Like honey to the lips is God's word to the bitter. Like water to the tongue is His voice to the parched and thirsty. Like bread to the soul, does His word satisfy the hungry. By the time I went to hear Don Carson speak about Jesus yesterday, all I could think about was work, the time I was wasting sitting there and how much more weary the world looked. I don't even remember the exact words or phrases Don used - I wasn't even paying attention - but somehow, God's word spoke to my tired soul and by the end of the night I left refreshed and healed.

I asked God for new eyes last night although the eyes I want to replace are not my astigmatism ridden ones. I asked God to give me insight to His word and His call because I choose daily to heed no other. It is not easy. It hurts as I think of riches this world tempts me with because a part of me wants that badly but I want God desperately. It must seem like foolishness indeed to those who have yet to taste the peace that surpasses understanding for me to give up riches to follow my God (not that I have any riches to give up!) and I must seem like an idealistic, ignorant youth (I use the term youth loosely :p) to the seemingly wise and learned of the world. It is ironic that to the chaff, I am like chaff when I'm not.

I asked God to let me see the effect His word has on this world, to see the needy, to look for opportunities, to see people the way He sees them and to have the grace to love and graciousness to be so loved.

There has been an underlying 'calling' I have been sensing since POTs and I heard it again yesterday and today. I don't know how things will pan out but I think things will, practically speaking, look clearer in the next week or so as God gives me directions. Tyng Yng today found out that I can't find my way from the train station to a parked car even when I am given instructions 'live' by phone.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tumble dryer

I look forward to the day when a load of laundry will not bring about a guilty sigh as I begin the march to the launderette with my wallet. There was a time when I thought dry cleaning was for posh people and ironing was nothing out of the ordinary. But now, I dry clean a lot and wish that I could afford iron-free shirts. Maybe I should move so that I'll have more space to hang laundry and no have no convenient dry cleaner nearby. I look forward to the day when seeming drudgery becomes acceptable but by then, it might mean I would have finally 'grown up.' Whatever that means, I am trying to evade it.

There are people who accept everything life throws at them graciously. These are the people who look like they glide through life buoyed by a contentment and peace that arouses my curiousity. They look like they are secure in themselves... I might go to extend to say that I am almost completely insecure in myself but that I live vicariously through Christ in me. Even when I am 'quiet,' my mind races through a hundred different things and when I tell myself to, "Be quiet!" I wonder if either God's mirth bubbles or if His displeasure is awakened as I try become someone I am not, just because it looks more appropriate, more 'right,' more 'holy.' Sometimes I wonder why God surrounds me with 'quiet' people. People who look like they are constantly in the, "Be still and know that I am God" mode. People who as much as I sometimes want to be, know that I am not. I am more prone to running around in a field, trying to catch flickers of light through the clouds just because. Is it ignorance on my part or foolishness or abandonment of values which I should embrace but choose to ignore?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

1,000 feet



In preparation for our Kinabalu Conquest next year, Angie, May Yin and I climbed Bukit FRIM today. We realised that we were very unfit (a grandmother on a WALKING STICK could reach the top of the mountain and she stayed AHEAD of us...) and need more future training so in a fortnight's time we will be climbing Batu Caves. It might help if we did not stuff our faces with a lot of dim sum for breakfast.




Remember that DON CARSON will be speaking at Tropicana, PJ from this Monday-Wednesday. Go! Go! Go!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Going POT-ty

L-R: Jia Yin, Rosey, me and Esther.

Kai Lee and I; the stuff we got up to when the lights went out...


L-R: Kay Jin and Nobert


My small group; awesome bunch of people.




Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A burden in my heart, a burden lifted

Nehemiah 4:14
And I looked, and rose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses."

I have been to POTS (Professionals of Tomorrow) the last 5 days and things which have been hanging in the air, aimlessly drifting around in the space between my ears have somehow fallen into place, emotionally at least. I only ended up at POTS because Rosey said "Come! Come! Come!" and I said, "Ok," without giving much thought to why or what it was about. It turned out to be exactly what I needed.

One of the biggest issues I have grappled with in the last year is simply being in Malaysia. Putting Islamization, racial tension, the humidity and corruption aside, I have treated Malaysia like a pit-stop; a temporary place to pull-over before carrying on with other adventures in life. Whenever my parents mentioned work or long-term goals within a Malaysian context, frustration would bubble within as I felt cornered, a position I loathe being in and it didn't help that I felt that my parents were expecting things of me I didn't want to give; returning to Kuching for starters.

POTS helped me realise that I really do care for Malaysia as seemingly irreversibly problematic as it is. The first time we had to sing Negaraku in POTS, I couldn't bring myself to sing it. The words just weren't true for me. By the 3rd day however, the work and circumstances that God had been doing and had placed in my life began stirring and provoking my conscience and I had a lot of thinking and soul-searching to do which included the reality that Malaysia belongs to my Heavenly Father, it is my Father's world, and that every Malaysian is ours to claim in Christ regardless of race, creed or religion. By the 4th morning, through a passage in Nehemiah and another in Jeremiah 29, God lifted the biggest burden I have had since returning to Malaysia and now I can honestly say for as long as God leaves me in Malaysia, I will love her, defend her and ultimately stand up for Christ in this country whatever it takes and whatever it means. This is not some bravado or some impulsive proclamation riding the wave of a spiritual high. I say this with trembling because for months I have asked myself these questions,

"What am I willing to surrender?"
"How much am I willing to sacrifice for Christ in Malaysia?"
"Who am I willing to sacrifice for Christ?"

The last question was the hardest to answer. It is comparatively easier perhaps to give up part of yourself (for me anyway) and be self-abasing but can I say that I will be willing to give up someone else's life, job promotion, recognition or dignity because of my convictions? I know it sounds drastic, overly dramatic and such social implications by association probably wouldn't happen in my lifetime but it was a important issue for my conscience to tackle. Being the over-analysing thinker that I am, I left no one to chance; parents, family, church family, friends, workmates, even future relationships such as my spouse or children and have only recently come to the firm conclusion that, and I am not being fatalistic here, as God is sovereign, so God is in charge of the lives of the people I am concerned for. It is not that I have been released from responsibility of caring for and loving the people around me but I realise that each and every person I can think of has his or her own relationship with God and will be held accountable for their own actions. They have and will have their own walk and convictions to settle with the Creator King, which go into grounds that are not my call to make. In a nutshell, although I cannot hold a lackadaisical attitude towards the welfare of people possibly affected by the things I intend to do, God holds them in His hand and at the end of the day, I am accountable to God alone.

I do not know how long I will be left here. I do not know how this new burden for the people in Malaysia will relate to my desire to return to Mongolia or London. I do not know when I will stop feeling like an exile in my homeland. I do not know many things but one thing I know, echoing the song of the psalmist in Psalm 73:25-26,

Whom have I in Heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I
desire besides You,
My flesh and my heart fail;
But Gob is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Making moments

The leap of hope, the serenity of peacefulness, the pang of sorrow. I am not one to sit around and wait for moments to come to me. If I want to ride, I'll go in search of horses be it in Malaysia, Australia, Wales or Mongolia. If I want to have a random bus trip, I hop onto whichever bus comes my way and see where it might take me. Sure, there are some moments we can never foresee, some we will never be able to force without dire consequences and some yet which we never expected would happen to us but for the most part, I believe that if you want something to happen, make it happen. Moments can sometimes speak of eternal consequences like when I first accepted Christ into my life as my Saviour King. I remember aunty Mary and Cheryl and that tiny room that is no more in what used to be the main building in SIB, Kuching and am still gripped by the Person who first infected me with joy abounding. Emotionally, moments are strong creatures who outlast their more aggressive here-and-now counterparts. I think it's partly because moments live in memory and here-and-nows live in action.

Hot chocolate in Genting Highlands doesn't seem like a big deal but it's a moment I want to have. Whatever the moment may feel like, I am determined to sit somewhere on the mountain (even if it's on a concrete slab on the mountain) and sip hot chocolate and maybe feel the breeze whispering. So, I have bought my hot chocolate and will be bringing mini marshmallows in a sealable bag and a nice mug and hopefully, hot water will not be too hard to find. It seems too trivial but since life is made up of lots of little moments, I am determined to make the best out of mine.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Promises

I cannot promise to love you more,
I don't know that I can,
I cannot say I'll love you less,
I don't really know the man.
I cannot say I'll never leave,
Sometimes hearts are not that strong,
I cannot say I'll always be,
I don't even know where I belong.
I will never break your heart,
I don't know that to be true,
I don't know that I'll even try,
Salvage your soul broken in two.

I don't know how much we'll laugh,
Or how we'll cope through pain,
But whatever delights or haunts us both,
Will you stand by me in the rain?
I cannot say I'll love you forever,
Forever is just a song,
There'll be days that I don't want too,
Those days will seem too long.
All I can promise is my love for Christ,
So as I gaze into His eye,
I will still love you,
Above myself and I.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunburnt

I passed through my first work of week relatively unscathed; no partners have yet thrown me down 41 storeys of glass and steel-enforced concrete which is always good news. Some of them look like they could though, a thought which makes me nervous as I hurry back to my cubbyhole with my coffee. It is not that I'm a pushover but at this point in time, I would like as much legal experience as possible. It helps that everyone else wears those funny straight-up-and-down-cut things because when it becomes a uniform, stemming from duty rather than a want or desire, the dress code really does not seem to matter as much as it did before. Now, all I'm concerned about is making sure I have enough ironed cuffs for the next week. Those shirts are worked hard; on an average day (so far) I've gone home at 8.30pm.

Having said that, my social life has doubled since I started work, which the social butterfly in me thrives on. I met C for lunch, went for karaoke on Friday night and stumbled in at 5am, after 3 hours of sleep, A and I went to Sekinchan to photograph padi (rice) fields, walk in mud and watch dragonflies (pictures to follow). Padi field excursion was followed by beach trip to collect seashells, some of which I hope to make into a necklace. At 5.30pm, A and I met T for Tesco fever which, although resulted in happy purchases, also proved that Cadbury Highlights are harder to find than I originally thought. We also indulged in TGI Friday and I bought a Rubik cube to enhance my attempts at logic cultivation. Back home just before midnight and am VERY sunburnt.

Although knackered, I'm glad we went to the padi fields and beach today. A and I agree that Malaysia is beautiful if people only took the time to look. The sun was burning indelible marks on my skin, I wasn't looking my Sunday best and blisters were forming on my feet after having to walk barefoot through rock and dry grass but I was content. After a week of getting up at 6am and finding a balance between being responsible and paranoid, to be able to get away from the city and realize that I can still have my share of adventures was a relief. That I can yell into the breeze and have the comfort and solitude of nature there, supporting me, is truly God given.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sing your tiny heart out

Karaoke tomorrow. Red box. Buffet. A chance for my co-workers to see just how mad I am.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Private & confidential

The thing about working in a law firm is that I can't disclose stuff that's happened there and seeing as I now spend more time there than at home, I have fewer things to say... or fewer things I can say. I don't think less though... there're still people to see, people to meet, people to build and encourage, people to work with and work for, people to love.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Novelty

You know you're a corporate junkie when:
  • You get estatic when shown where office stationary is kept.
  • Your best friends are coffee, sugar and creamer.
  • Your outlandish striped shirt which you were worried would clash with everyone's sombre greys blend right in.... with the files.
  • You no longer care about what you wear as long as you're in a suit.
  • Lunchtime seems like a waste of time.
  • You think your boss is cool because he has an office all to himself.
  • You don't have an urge to blog or check emails whilst at work.
  • You cannot remember why you didn't want to be a corporate worker partly because you're too tired.
  • You get a kick out of the name of your printer.
  • The only time you see the sun is through the office window.
  • Spider solitaire doesn't tempt you as much as Civil Procedure.
  • Going back at 9pm seems too early.
  • One meal a day makes you full.
  • You dream of going to work and it's a good dream.
  • You get used to knowing nothing.
  • You think the IT guy is cute because he knows how to record voicemails.
  • You look at your phone ring without answering it because listening to it makes you tired.
  • Bed is for sleeping.
  • You get embarrassed when the photocopying machine rejects you.
  • Six hours is a LOT of sleep.
  • Saturday actually excites you.
  • Arranging a social on a Friday night makes you feel guilty.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hee hee

I only had 4 hours sleep last night; my body is trying to get used to waking up at 6am instead of sleeping at it; main point is that I am awake and have had my coffee fix. Cofffeeeeeee.....

Will probably be ridiculously early for work today but better early than late.

Newsflash!!!!!!! This year, Klang Valley Bible Conference's speaker will be DON CARSON. He will be speaking for three nights (Oct 22nd-24th, 8.15pm) on three passages concerning the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, admission free. He will also be conducting the Expository Preaching Seminar on Theology and Expository Preaching, cost: RM70. I strongly recommend everyone go to at least one talk. For more info, log on to KVBC's official website.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Maggie and me (mee)

It's Saturday evening and I have a date with Maggie (Mee). I could opt for a date with Horatio but on a Saturday night, he's probably solving homicides just he as does every time I see him. It does not really make for good conversation when someone is more interested in a corpse's ear wax than they are of you. Maggie and I think that we should toast some marshmallows over the stove after dinner since there is no one at home and we want entertainment. We tried toasting them over my lighter but it couldn't create enough flare to coat the mallow in crackling crispiness. I wonder what the fusion of cigarette smoke and toasted marshmallows will smell like. I think it will be funnier if we were drunk because then the likelihood of the marshmallows melting over everything would double and we will end up falling over one another, tipsy and giggling uncontrollably, trying to scrape the crystallised sweetness off the counter top. We might even dare one another lick the mess away without burning our tongues on the stove, all the while aware somewhere at the back of our hazy minds that we will get into a lot of trouble if we fail to clean it up in time. At times like this, I think of Eing and her homemade eggnog. Just another trickle of Tia Maria.... just a trickle more...

I have told Maggie that I will probably be seeing her a lot more when I start work because I will not have time to eat elaborate food. I think she's happy. She'll bring her friends round and they'll hang out at home til I return then we can indulge in some quality time together.

I think I am looking forward to work. I just need to figure out how to keep my trousers from being dragged across tarmac. I'll be wearing flat shoes to walk to work and then change shoes at work. My trousers are cut to accommodate my added heel height and so I am left with the dilemma of potential fraying if I cannot get my hemline to stay above ground.

Friday, September 28, 2007

GEL; memories

Part of G.E.L; Unfortunately Lok and Ryl were not in it, else it might have been perfect.

Blingo


The ring cost as much as the thesaurus. No, I'll rephrase that. The ring cost more than the thesaurus.

No, it is not a typo on bling, bingo or lingo. Rather, it is a new word I have coined to incorporate all three ideas.

Word: Blingo
Pronunciation: Bling-goh
Part of speech: Noun, adjective
Definition: A characteristic where one is defined as much by one's bling as he/she is by his/her brain.
Etymology: 2007
Usage: Slang
Example sentences:

I'm into blingo.
She's got blingo.
Her blingo's looking good.
I exude blingo.
You're improving on your blingo.
Allow the influx of new words to carry you to blingo heights.
I'm not a nerd; I've got the blingo.

Sometimes, it hurts

This is an early morning post, early because I am usually not awake until the orb has reached its climax in the sky as I fall asleep with the calling at the mosque (about 5.30am). My brain is still trying to make sense of dreams I had last night, my stomach is sated after 3 Freddos and a slice of mooncake for breakfast and my heart is.... numb.

This isn't the first time I've considered ending my blog. Logic dictates that if one posts stuff in cyberspace, gives that window of information an address and gives that address to others, others will have access to that information. Logic was never my forte.

On the one hand, I don't care that people know a million things about me. On the other, there's an expectation for people to remember what they know. Perhaps it is a quest to be known which, will only truly find its rest in the New Creation. A quest requires a journey to be made. A journey requires footsteps to be taken. I am taking a lot of footsteps. Sometimes I think that if I live less in cyberspace and more in real life, I could do more. Maybe go nude painting or skinny dipping or cow milking.

There is a restlessness inside that I cannot seem to rid and it is wearisome. It does not speak of rest, only exploration, it does not seemingly advocate companionship, only solitude. It is wearisome because as much as I sometimes want to get rid of it, it is part of who I am. If I could tear my heart out and survive, I would still be no more and no less restless than I am now. Maybe again, this is all hyperbole in my mind.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven." John Milton, Paradise Lost

I have been blessed with friends who know me better than I know myself and who say it as it is without making me feel like I need to go sacrifice myself on an altar. Their input in my life is invaluable yet even they cannot come along with me on certain spiritual, emotional and psychological roads. Sometimes it feels good to have friends around. Sometimes I wish I could lose my heart because without a heart I would feel nothing. Surely that would make life easier to bear.

Then again, I am being foolish. Even as I type I criticise myself for not being God-focused, for letting my problems seem bigger than which my God can handle. Why does God allow suffering? Most who bring up the question lend suffering a general magnitude which includes natural disasters and world wide illnesses such as cancer. However, I think real suffering comes from within. I don't have cancer. I've never been hit by an earthquake. But I am suffering. I wonder if suffering is merely God's tool of turning our hearts more towards Him. Being the naturally totally depraved creatures that we are, being turned towards God hurts our natural inclinations and so we suffer. I suppose in the big picture (with a dash of eschatological tension), suffering is not a punishment rather a process.

“Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell.” Satan

"There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that the star of Milton’s Paradise Lost is Satan. He’s intellectual and energetic, obsessed with the complicated notion of freedom, and hands-down the most articulate so-called villain in English literature.

I think about Satan when I think about my own internal state.

Everywhere I go, there I am. A change of scenery does not necessarily produce a change of heart or mind." Holly Chamberlin

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sarah La la la la la la.....


Today is Sarah's 23rd BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! How do I know that? Because I texted her yesterday to wish her Happy Birthday and she replied, "Erm Deb, my b'day is tomorrow..."

I have written a piece about her for a competition organised by thecicak.com. It's here.

Vote if you want to. Voting polls close 10th October 2007. You can only vote ONCE. If you're greedy (even if it's for someone else), all your votes will not be counted :(

There are other heroes listed as well. They're here. I think they're all amazing and I feel humbled reading their stories but at the end of the day, I know Sarah and so she is my unsung hero.

Advertising

For a tiny hole in the pocket of time, I allowed myself to be persuaded to put up advertisement "slots" such as Advertlet, Adsense and Nuffnang on my blog. Nuffnang had too many requirements within a page into signing up, Adsense had too many agreements which I could accidentally break and Advertlets insisted that my site and profile domain did not match. So in the end, I happily reverted to my usual; advertisement FREE.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Antz

Everytime the Bible talks about laziness or sluggishness or sleeping, I wince. I try to improve but then the lull of my bed and the anticipation of dreams which make my life more exciting persuades me back to slumber. So, one day, armed with camera, I decided to take Proverbs 6:6 to heart:

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!


I hope I have become wiser after this endeavour.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dippin' and dunkin'



When life gives you lemons, ignore them and buy marshmallows.

You will need:

A handful of mini marshmallows
Chocolate based drink like Milo, Ovaltine or Vico but preferably hot chocolate (except Sarah G; you can have a toffee based one)
Cinnamon and nutmeg powder
Your favourite mug

Follow instructions to make the hot drink.
Sprinkle marshmallows on top.
Shake cinnamon and nutmeg powder on top of marshmallows.
Wait for the fusion to melt slightly.
DRINK!

For best results, drink in cold surroundings, wearing your favourite socks dressed in comfortable clothes, whilst indulging in a media option or an intellectually stimulating book.

Personally, my combination will be Winter, in Primark's luxury socks, my KCLCU hoodie, watching the Wedding Singer or reading Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Reminiscing and warning

As I struggle with issues today, I like to read back on past blog entries and I am rebuked by my own words. Age maturity is definitely NOT a sign of spiritual growth. I used to be so God-focused and although I still love Jesus and know more about Him now than I did before, as James writes in the Bible, faith without works is dead. Everything I used to do resounded with Christ and now everywhere I turn, all I seem to see is obstacles shrouded in haze. What used to be filled with joy is now filled with fear and instead of just sitting at God's feet, I'm banging down walls while looking over my shoulder to ask Jesus to pass the mallet. That has got to stop right now. Even as I type this, there is a dull ache in my heart, as if my soul wants to reclaim something that I have gradually lost. Keep me in prayer.

Blessed be Your name,
On the road marked with suffering,
Though there's pain in the offering,
Blessed be Your name.

Which side of the force?

Come October, I will be taking a step I thought I, as a wishful-thinking eternal student, need never take; I will start 'officially' working. What is it in 'grown up' work that scares me, I do not know. Lots of my friends have started working, indeed many of them have been working for years and now own property, assets yatta yatta which I will admit I want too, if only it did not require having to work for it. Silly logic isn't it? Perhaps it is the responsibility that is frightening.

Perhaps it is having to trade in my hoodies and shorts for those suit things that spread vertical stripe love of orange, purple and blue. Everything is so fussy; the buttons, the stiff collar, the sleek silhouette the female of the sexes have to put up with, the ruffles... I found a shirt I really, really liked in Jusco but when I tried it on, I realised it was cut for a guy and sloppy work attire will never do. Maybe I could buy it as pyjama wear...

Perhaps, it is being under authority (I was never quite good at that... although whether this admission will be to my favour or otherwise, we shall possibly see in time).

Perhaps it is the idea of having to wear black and white although some will say that I could wear other colours within reason. As I shared with a friend the shirts I had bought, her first response was, "Wah, so colourful..." Oh dear. Here I was thinking I had done a good job at actually buying shirts for myself (something I've never had to do minus the school shirts we had to wear) and instead of looking professional, I might probably end up looking like a walking advertising board; law firm this way. Even my hair will have to be reconstructed; my last visit to Grandma prompted her to comment that no one would be able to see my face with the current hairstyle I sport. Maybe it is because I don't want anyone to see my face Grandmaaaaa...

Some offered a while ago, that entering the working world is akin to becoming a man or a woman. I suppose it would be the caveman's equivalent to his first hunt or her first child. There are many moments when I just want to play the village idiot so as to be left out of this natural hierarchy that occurs with the passing of time. I do not know why I am feeling as burdened as I am. A part of me, sometime ago, would have jumped at the opportunity to do what I will be doing soon. I wonder where that part is now, whether it will return, whether it was a part of me at all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wishes

Sala-gadoola-menchicka-boo-la
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Sala-gadoola-menchicka-boo-la
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It'll do magic believe it or not
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Now sala-gadoola means
Menchicka booleroo
But the thing-a-ma-bob that does the job
Is bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Sala-gadoola-menchicka-boo-la
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
Bibbidi-bobbidi
Bibbidi-bobbidi
Bibbidi- bobbidi-boo

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Darn it Nick Taylor, get out of my head!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Instant

Someone finally recognised my contribution towards the world of instant mash.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vision

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep or cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait til her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
-- Leisure, W.H Davies

Fugitive

I am running from something, only I know not what it is. I find myself drifting off and trying to thread together ends that seem to find their beginning and end in my mind. Maybe it is a who instead of a what that I am running from. Maybe it is a collective. Maybe I am running from reason. Whatever it is, my restlessness has got to stop at some point right? No one person has energy enough to keep running. To keep watching, wary that something is following, cautious that nothing get to close. My feet are ready to flee at a moment's notice and if I had bunny ears, they'd be twitching back and forth; you can already see it in the way I fidget when I'm watching TV, the way I hardly hold eye contact, always looking beyond my companion's shoulder, the way I rock back and forth from foot to foot. What am I looking for? What am I looking to? It once felt like rebellion but now I feel like a refugee. A refugee in my own mind.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

U-turn; "You turn!"

I could blog about how I think I am slowly getting addicted to CSI Miami after my housemate bought the whole 5 season box set. Or I could blog about my results which could make for more interesting news. But my affection for the taciturn, ginger-haired Horatio Caine with one liners that would drive me crazy if I knew him in real life will fade and my results will soon be forgotten but my brain is still working and I am still thinking about all things beginning with R ( see link to clear confusion).

It was overheard one woman saying to another, "I vowed to marry Bill for better or for worse. Never for a moment did I expect him to stay the same."

I sometimes wonder what people mean when they say they've found their soul-mate. Do they mean that they've found someone who understands them? Someone who sympathises? Perhaps someone who has the same values and goals. More often than not, they mean someone who complements them, who counters their bad points, who completes them. It is logical isn't it, to find someone who is the same, yet different from us. For instance, if I wanted to be more spontaneous, someone who was already spontaneous would attract me because he would be what I want to be more like. Many tend to forget that the wedding marks the beginning, and not the end of a sealed relationship. Many forget that as they change, so do their partners and both parties may not necessarily continue to complement one another as they evolve emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. What happens when the man or woman you married no longer complements or completes you?

Take Mr. Spontaneous whom I mentioned before. Let's say we got married and by living with him for a certain period of time I become more spontaneous myself. From my new standpoint (of being more spontaneous) I might look at him and think (or grumble), "He used to be more spontaneous..." Or, maybe by living with someone really spontaneous, I could become even less spontaneous than I was before and then my opinion would be that he has become ridiculously impulsive, even though in both scenarios, he may not have changed at all.

The problem with thinking that someone is perfect for us begins with us. Very few of us will remain stagnant in our perceptions, opinions, the way we interact with others and lifestyle. If I think that my partner and I will remain the same from our first date to the day one of us croaks, I would be guilty of either mad optimism or delusioned naivety. Unfortunately, most of the world, no matter how grown up they think they are (climbing the corporate ladder and all that), live in a Disney-like movie bubble where it doesn't matter to see the sequels, just as long as Prince Charming ends up with the girl (except in Shrek where Prince Charming is the baddie). They forget that there is life and a lot of it, after "I do." Even if she remembers whilst wearing rose-tinted glasses that there will be some sort of life after the big, white wedding, she would expect her partner to dance to her beat and her song and vice versa; "Afterall, isn't he or she my soul-mate?" Neither party wants to give in when it comes to loggerheads because they feel that they individually have a lot of life ahead of them to live, too many dreams to catch. The soul-mate is perfect as long as its life toes the preconceived line that each thought the other had agreed to. But once the soul-mate starts getting ideas of its own, it becomes a burden to bear and an embarrassment in public because it no longer fulfills its role of 'completing' the other person.

We hear thousands of divorces citing 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason behind the marriage breakdown. I wonder just how many of those couples considered the possibility of change in a relationship. A change in attitude, behaviour, characteristics and character ultimately leads to a change in the dynamics of the relationship. Although one may not know exactly what that will mean, will one be willing to keep on with the relationship regardless? If not, maybe the clause "for better or for worse" may need to be rewritten to catch foreseeable consequences.