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.