Category: Ponderings


Change in the horizon?

I just discovered my colleagues’ blogsite… many interesting thoughts inside. It was an interesting ponder to think about how people would react to the discovery of their personal blogs.

The latest blog made me think about my own career. I’m facing a similar sentiment as him – demotivated, discouraged, weighed down with too much work and plainly not having fun anymore.

Perhaps its time to think about change as well. Although I must admit it has its risks and much to think about now that I’m married. Sometimes it takes guts and preparation.

Praying for a light to dawn in my career life.

Weighed…

The psat few months, if not this year have been a challenge to me. With disappointments in work, the challenges of life, the state of the country around me and the passing of my grandfather has weighed heavily in my heart.

I wondered where Grandpa is now. Looking at his life through his memoirs, I see God’s hand on him. I wondered whether God’s hand was on him, guiding him in his last moments. I hope he is with God now. I place my hope on the God I know to be loving and merciful.

With so much challenges ahead, I’ve hidden myself behind the scenes for the past few weeks. The excuse of a Sabbath was used and the reason of being newly married was convenient.

Just a few days ago, I’ve heard in the music making reference to the term “burnt out” akin to spiritual death. I wondered if it was true of me. Although I know deep within, I’m slowly drifting away from the passion of God.

Realising the state of which things are going, I needed to do something. I prayed, I sang, I read. Its a struggle. A breeze of encouragement was felt by my barren and dry heart in the reading of the first few pages of Pastor Edmund’s book. A piece of poetry seems to speak to me…

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By Faith Not Sight ~ By Ruth A. Morgan

Sometimes I’m sad. I know not why.
My heart is sore distressed;
It seems the burdens of this world
Have settled on my heart.
And yet I know … I know that God
Who doeth all things right
Will lead me thus to understand
To walk by FAITH … not SIGHT.
 
And though I may not see the way
He’s planned for me to go,
The way seems dark to me just now
But oh, I’m sure He knows!
Today He guides my feeble step
Tomorrow’s in His right.
He has asked me to never fear
But walk by FAITH … not SIGHT.
 
Some day the mists will roll away,
The sun will shine again.
I’ll see the beauty in the flowers,
I’ll hear the bird’s refrain.
And then I’ll know my Father’s hand
Has led the way to light
Becuase I placed my hand in His
And walked by FAITH … not SIGHT.

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This is my journey to walk… not alone but with Him.

The Passing of a Great Man

On tuesday morning about 4 am, something happen to our family that would forever change us all…

I would like to tell you a story (a life story) about a great man. He was well loved by everyone and rarely would I find someone that would have ill feelings towards him. Everyone respected him with the highest regard. He was also a person to go to when one was in trouble. His son mentioned that he and his siblings would walk much faster than him when they go out because he was often stopped by people who would pay him respect and greet him.

He had one wife with 5 children and god-childrens some official and some not official I have no inkling of the number. He provided all that the family needed and even more. He made sure all his children was well educated and was given the best opportunities. And when his children all grown up, he was blessed with more than 10 grandchilren who loved him with all their hearts.

He had many values and principles in life and one of his outstanding qualities in life was integrity and righteousness. The times I’ve spent with him, he never waivered on those qualities. Not even in the stories and testimonies of people who knew him. He helped many people that came to him whether it relates financial, societal problems or life wisdom.

The many stories that he had in his life, he often told of this one story where he helped somebody and that somebody in turn saved his life twice many years later. It started before the Pacific war when he was young and lived in a house with a staircase. And there was a homeless man who would make shelter at the staircase whenever he was sick. He didn’t hold any disgust towards that ill man but instead gave up almost half of his pocket money for the man to buy some food. (2 of 5 cents) Those days, 1 cent could have purchase you a decent meal – he used to tell me. After many years, when world war 2 erupted, that man sought him out and later saved his life twice from the Japanese officers. 

His life was also marked with kindness, love and humiliy. And he loved telling stories to those who are eager to listen. You can see his eyes brighten up and his voice filled with passion each time he retold his stories. He taught his children to be kind to people and never to oppress anyone when one is rich and powerful.   

He came from a wealthy family and had a highly paid salary by the British government. He could have chose to be a wealthy and rich person but he chose to be content and happy. 

He had a colourful life (there were dark patches and many bright patches in the quilt of his life) –

He was a british army personnel. A gunner at the start of the world war two. A prisoner of war with the Japanese and he escaped. He was in the intelligence corps. He also became a paratrooper and a british commando (Chindits). After the war, he held many roles from police officer, Managing Director of a fuel company, fuel station owner etc.

Among the roles he played, the most important of all to me personally is that he was my grandfather. I never had any other grandfather but I felt he was the best grandpa one could ever wish for. I’m proud to be his grandson.

There are many memories I have of him. Some of the more memorable ones were spending time with him and grandma at his house when I was young. I use to have sleep-overs at his place. From some reason I find his place to be fun and filled with interesting things. I would sleep on the floor with a mattress in his room and I remember the nights with supper of Loh Mee with him and grandma. I remember heading down to the stalls next to the streets to buy loh mee, hot and very hot to eat back in his house.

I remembered there was an assignment on tokoh negara during secondary school and I did a piece on him together with my friend. We were trying to be professional about it and we asked many silly questions. He had a wall full of medals from the war. I remember a very long blade he used to keep by his pillow. Only recently I found out it was to ward off bad dreams.

There was the time when he gave up driving when he had a car accident with me in it. It happened in the day near Section 3 where we used to go for bak kut teh. He was so worried when the car hit my side of the door.

I remember him always poking fun of grandma when she irritates him. He loved her very much. Even in the final days, he was worried about her. They were married for more than 65 years. I remember his face when he was poking fun of her and often angry at her but a split second later he would smile and laugh cheekily.

There were only a handful of times that I remember taking them out for shopping in my working adult years. I wishes I had done that more often. They were memorable grandparents and grandson occasions. Each time I send them back to their condo, he would say “come again when you’re free” in cantonese and he would wave me off. I miss those moments with him.

If somehow he is able to receive my messages, I would say to him….

Lord, You are now in charge of his spirit. I trust in your mercy, love and your grace. I place my hope in You that grandpa is by Your side and look forward to see him again.

Liu Tam Choy (1922 – 2011)

Photography….

Reminds me that its a beautiful world…. Check out National Geographics Photography contest results for 2010

Click here for the amazing pictures..

Something is off…

 

Something is definitely off.. I can feel it. Or rather I can’t feel it.

I’m feeling stressed most times… blood pressure has been fluctuating. I’m losing my edge easily. Especially with my loved ones. For that I would like to apologise to those who are reading my blogs. Its been a slow eroding of my patience. I’m seeing it in my thoughts….

I could blame it on the stress. I could blame it on countless things and people. But in the quietness of the night, I realise I can only blame myself. My lack of fellowship with God. My mind and focus on the things of this world. My apparent lack of heart in the Word. I’m realising the effects…

Pray against the devil’s scheme. Pray against thoughtless words. Pray against unnecessary pressure from work, family and friends. Pray against worldliness. Pray against self-centredness. Pray against worthless counsels. Pray against death.

Pray it would not be too late. Pray for mercy. Pray for peace. Pray for love. Pray for guidance. 

 

Hah! Creative! 🙂

Heres the link. On a serious note – its good planning and preparedness. 🙂

Dream

Pastor Jim Yost today shared about common folk making waves in the kingdom of God. I was encouraged. And in the end, when he shared about going for our dreams, my heart’s string was struck and I remembered.

What was my dream? I had many dreams… speaking to a congregation of youths about life. Playing the guitar and leading worship & praise for God. I remembered reading, witnessing and hearing about the life of Steven Curtis Chapman, my role model. His family, his music, his testimony … Praise God for all that He has done thus far.

And to just strike another string in my heart, my Ellie bought me a gift. “Beauty will rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman. Its been quite a while since I’ve enjoyed Steven’s music. God often speaks volumes to me through his songs. Timely to receive such a gift when I’m starting my leave of one week today.

Will I still be able to chase after my dream?

Lost first love

Its been months since I’ve “penned” down any thoughts or reflections. I still do some reflection on and off. Nevertheless, I cannot deceive myself that something.. something very important has been lost.

I could say that its the weeds and thorns of the world that has held me back. That have taken hold of me. But those are mere excuses… I was already warned. Even from the very beginning, before I started my career or stepped out into the world, His Word clearly warned… be wary of the weeds and thorns of the world that distracts us from God. Lest we be lost in the suffocation of this wicked life.

Yet with all the warnings, with all the teachings, here I am. Lost.

The Word has said of the church of Ephesus… “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

Am I still salvageable? I pray I am still within hearing limits of God’s Word.

Tonight I asked God to take my heart and place it next to His once again. I want to be a man like King David. A man after God’s own heart. Though how or if my heart would conform to His heart, time will tell.

I can only pray and ask for His mercy for such a prodigal son. Pray for mercy and grace that I would not be too far beyond the reach of God’s whispers and voice.

Such a height have I fallen since the first year I fell in love with You.

Mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

More blessed to give

I had an idea for some time now… its comes in different thoughts and ideas but always the same principle. I’m thinking of the Lord’s teaching – ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ~ Acts 20:35.

I don’t think its a new idea and someone around the world would have probably done it. But if it is carried out and the idea spreads around the society and impacts its culture, all praise to God. 🙂

Part of the reason why this idea came up was because I observed that people groups and even generational groups today (in general, don’t shoot me.) are moving towards self-gratification, self-centredness and the “me first” attitude. Society are more concerned about material things or money rather than relationships. Observe the working trends, the emphasis on material things. The focus has definitely shift from the family, people and relationships. Even the family unit, the building blocks of society and nations, are in danger. Just look at the divorce trends and the compromises we have made in regards to the sanctity of marriage, BGR, sexual relations.

So… what has this got to do with “blessing to give”? I think it would be a good place to start if we were to shift our focus from ourselves to those around us. Hence give.

I was writing on the FB just now about how we so often forget that the faces we see each day, the guy who takes up our garbage, the lady who takes our Starbucks orders, the cashier at the counter, even the guy/ lady sitting in the next cubicle has a life of his/her own outside the working environment. Each is a father, a son, daughter, mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, wife, husband or a friend. We are all in desperate need of encouragement and a little cheering up at times. Imagine the smile and brightening up it would bring them if somehow a blessing drops on their lap. Blessings can come in many guises – maybe even a thank you note (well done, good job), or a cup of coffee (Starbucks/ Coffeebean) or a little card that tells them they are loved, or a seat given up for them or even as simple as a cup of cold water.

I wrote about the agenda of this “campaign-in-the-making” I was brewing with the fellow leaders… Some of the objectives of this idea was to:

(1.) Promote the teaching of Jesus “Its more blessed to give than to receive”. To help people discover what that really me…ans at the end of the day. The joy that comes with giving.

(2.) To help YA (young adults) nowadays to be more conscious of people around them, especially those in need. Sometimes, we forget those people that we work with or the people serving in the cafe or wherever, that there is a life behind those service and God has a gift for everyone. 🙂

(3.) It is also to promote the traits of generosity among our YA and next gen. To be less attached to things and more concerned about people.

(4.) See God at work around us and join Him. 🙂

(5.) To give a little encouragement here and there…

I too was saved from my self-centredness by God and one of the many teachings He impressed on me was to give of myself. Time, money etc. God used this teaching to mold part of me. 🙂 Praise God.

So more about these ideas… If we can get people to commit to the idea for say 1 week to bless ONE person each day, we can start a wall on facebook or a webpage to put down testimonies as an encouragement to everyone about people’s response after being blessed. 🙂 Did we see a smile? a slight jump in their walk? A little laugh? Dark clouds dispersing? 🙂 And this goes on for a whole week… the idea is picked up by others and emulate around society. And it spreads around the nation.. wow. 🙂 The catch. – we can only bless (with intention of this idea) people we don’t really know, strangers or perhaps people we are acquainted with. Family members and loved ones or closed friends are not within the scope of this idea. (Of course you can still bless them outside this idea). The blessing should be simple and can easily be repeated by another inspired person. 🙂

I wonder what would happen… hmmm…

The buried life… ?

I was chilling the other day in front of the tv after a long day/ night of work … a thing called “going into the cave” for guys. It seems to ring true for me. After a long stressful time, I would take some time to just relax… go back into my cave, settle myself before I come out of the cave into the real world…. so here I was chilling in my cave when this show came up – The Buried Life.. Although I don’t buy into their perspective that this life is the only life and we should live the fullest at all cost, their concept made me think a bit… As a citizen of the kingdom, this life is merely the beginning of my life … the 80-100+ years is a time of preparation for us for the coming kingdom and yet it holds many great things for us. God’s will for us is perfect and pleasing and good for our life… Its been a blast and still is, when I think about the things I’ve seen and experienced.. God’s grace. 🙂

So here this thought came in – what are the things you would like to do before you die? … the task in that night’s programme was “tell a joke on a late night show” something along that line..So they approached all the famous late night shows – Leno, Conan, Letterman etc… cut the story short, they ended up tellig the joke in Mexico. 🙂

Thought to myself – what are the things that I most want to do? Here goes…

1. Experience life in Tokyo (though not the metropolitan life – the slow peaceful life)

2. Visit Antartica and see the aurora.

3. To visit the largest aquarium or ocean park in the world. (I thought about swimming with whales or going into the deep blue sea but it still too big for me. Stupid Jaws show. I still find the ocean a fascinating place.)

4. Spend a few days in London and watch the theatre.

5. Visit Jerusalem and experience God there.

6. Visit new Zealand and have a drive all over the country

7. Spend a night on the sea, looking at the stars and go deep sea fishing.

8. Skydiving.

9. Learn to make a tray of sushi professionally.

10. Bring my parents for a “around the world” trip.

11. Witness my family members being baptized.

12. Raising 2 kids and watch them grow.

13. Visit the sakura gardens and drink rice wine during the festival there.

14. Retire as an owner of a cafe (serving choiced coffee, pastries and blues in the background) and growing old with friends and loved ones.

15. Write a book about life, love and everything I find interesting…

16. Travel many places, experience many things, eat many types of food and see many sights with my loved one. 🙂

.. thats about all I can think about for now. 🙂 What would you like to do?