Thursday, December 13, 2007

In solidarity with the fallen....

On a bleak day such as today, words are hard to come by to reflect the turmoiled emotions within. Oppression abounds ceaselessly within the confines of this land I live in. When man can execute without conscience upon another an act that deprives the other of his right to live as a free man, surely brokenness has immeasurably befallen upon tanahair ku. Wherefore is your dignity as a human being, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi? Where has it gone? For what has the devil promised in exchange that swayed you readily in submitting to his evil will to soil your hands with the blood of others? Do you consider this fair trade? Failure to justify this will equate to failure to have God's grace availed to you.

I am not personally acquainted with the 5 persons who have been incarcerated. I have never met them. Nor have I ever heard them speak. But my faith advocates one to not just love God but also, to love your neighbour as yourself. And so for them, I post this out today in solidarity. I know not what is happening to them at this hour of time in writing. I know not if there will be unspeakable acts being inflicted upon them; not unlike those sufferings that past detainees had reportedly been subjected to. The situation seems hapless and grim.

A friend was kind enough to dedicate a song to me in recent days. In another lifetime from the past, I have learned to experience music as a source that solace is able to feed from. And so as I seek meaning from the words to this song, I shall also pray for my 5 HINDRAF brothers for today's gross miscarriage of justice.

Who here among us has not been broken
Who here among us is without guilt or pain
So oft abandoned by our transgressions
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

There are no strangers
There are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but hallelujah
There are no orphans of God

Come ye unwanted and find affection
Come all ye weary, come and lay down your head
Come ye unworthy, you are my brother
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

O blessed Father, look down upon us
We are Your children, we need Your love
We run before Your throne of mercy
And seek Your face to rise above

Words & music by: Avalon

Almighty Lord my God, I commit to thee the oppressed.
In times when you hear cries of sufferings, lift their burdens.
Should harm's way arise, protect them O Lord. Shield them.
In your infinite mercy, I ask thee of this.
Amen.

A gentle reminder, dear PM....

Alberto Fujimori (11 December 2007)
Fujimori: A Classic Case Study
The former Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimori,
has been sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of power.



Dreaming.....
And hoping.....
And praying.....

That inevitably hitherto
A time and instance such as this
Will befall upon those with arrogance

For the lies they've spun
And for the abuses they've committed
Against those whom they've pledged to serve

For they will be judged
In this life, by their peers
Misdeeds forgotten not by history

Now lest they forget
Be reminded worse will still be to come
When in afterlife, they are judged by the Maker

Lord have mercy on your souls
Though undeserving as you are

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random Rants

Just a quick one before rushing out to join friends at a dinner party.

Caught this load of crap on Bernama news and got too irritated to bottle it in and to ignore taking a potshot at it.

PM, DPM Praise Samy Vellu For Dedicated Service To Nation, People "
Click here to read the stupid article"

There is so much to be said about this sod; albeit, in a negative sense. So I'm just gonna echo Patrick Teoh's blog name to sum it all up in one word.

N I A M A H ! ! !
"Click here for Patrick's blog"

How addicted to coffee am I?

As someone who need several shots of caffiene injected into his bloodstream each day just to keep the old engine running, this is either wrong or it means that I still have a 23% chance to be "reformed". Reformed? Oooo...how apt a word as the Reverend keeps reminding us that Reformation Day is just around the corner.


"Rate your dependency on coffee here"

Hmmm... I wonder if there's an online method to gauge the level of my dependency (read: addiction) on nicotine?

Friday, September 21, 2007

The one on Merdeka eve.....





This was the other cake.....







And the food to go along with it.....







The mess we made thereafter.....







And of course, a great coffee to go with it.....




Thanks for that wonderful evening, guys. You know who you are.
Much appreciated.

BLC Taiping Retreat 2007 (Part 3 of the final part?)

After Camp Effect
It’s edging close to three weeks since Camp 2007 ended…and I’m overdue on completing my reflections on the event. Not that I’m offering any excuses but I had to allow a few other events of significance to take precedence over compiling my final thoughts. Not least of all was at the workplace; for
which, upon my first day’s return to the office after Taiping, I unequivocally and unhesitatingly informed the company that I was leaving. And I summarily executed that decision too, in a manner most rejoiceful, 6 days ago. It’s kind of lengthy to go into details. So, I won’t. Abstractly, let’s just say that you know things have turned the corner when work practices/ethics begs questioning and/or are in direct conflict with one's faith. Nothing explosive, mind you but for my own peace of mind, I prefer not permitting my walk with God to be compromised.

I’m not going to chronicle about the remaining events of the three days of camp. There’d be too much to write and most of it would not necessarily bear witness to the rest of my own personal experience. Notwithstanding, for those who may wonder at what had transpired at churchcamp to have led me to adopt such a life transforming transgression as to choose to give up what other third parties would deem a pretty cushy job, I’m happy to advise that the answer is ‘NO’. No, as in I did not have any supernatural visitations (nor hear any strange voices) telling me to quit my job.

:P

However, there were other inclinations that had surfaced during those few days, but none more important to me than what I will share with you below.

Re-engaging God
In the few months that preceded the retreat, I had become acutely conscious of a wedge that had come between the faith that I serve and my way of being in the real world in relation to the former. Unfortunate as it seems, this consequence stemmed from my work as there was an unanticipated cost attached to the job; a price that I had not expected to be compelled into paying as part of the package. At this juncture, I once again decline to go into details. Suffice it to say that if the work and the promise of inevitable high rewards had meant more to me, I would have had to willingly succumb to oft accepting morality conflicts as a trade-off.

Now fast forward to a quarter of a year later. By now my instincts were ominously overclocking, indicating that I was already adrift off the shore. And slowly but surely, widening cracks appeared. I was beginning to feel worn down and it showed. Outwardly, my behaviour had become erratic on unwanted occasions, while decision making became unexplainably convoluted at the worst of times. Though not entirely lost at sea as yet, I had to be mindful of it; for I was aware of where I was headed if I did not throw caution to the wind. My spiritual health begged re-examination. Heck, I had even begun skipping Sunday worships involuntarily and I detest doing that.

The sojourn in Taiping had been lively and nothing short of fun. It was also shorter by a day compared to 2006 and I was sorry to see it end when it did. Regardless, as it was still a church based gathering by nature, it provided an avenue for me to return to the fold; to reconnect with spiritual roots. The prayer workshops conducted by our guest speaker (whom I must commend for never creating a dull moment) and the devotional sessions spent with my assigned camp sub-group could not have manifested itself more timely and evenly in my quest to re-center and endear my way of being with our Holy Father again. The theme of the retreat had been “To Pray and To Love” but for one who had been as spiritually challenged as I had been for this spell of time, the pivotal crunch came when we were posed this question, “Do you know where you are with the Lord?” When it was highlighted, it brought to the foreground for me a self-confrontational naked truth that resonated louder than all other existing aspects at that particular moment in time.

A God of Surprises
So it
was to this small town that I came, asking for the Almighty to surprise me. As always, He did not fail me. He responded in no small measures and in more ways than one. Notwithstanding His generosity, there were several notable things that stood out; each leaving its own signature footprint on me.

The first of these was a motley crew of seven other people with whom I will be sharing my thoughts with, and with whom I shall have to work hand-in-hand with for the duration of the camp. This was the sub-group that I had mentioned earlier. Each of us were randomly selected and banded together. Quite honestly, with the exception of my Godsister-in-Christ, I knew very little about the others. But for the Holy Spirit anointing us with the elements of fellowship, this would all change rapidly. Very quickly, we learnt to knit ourselves together into a single identity. And in tackling the task the group had been assigned with for the retreat, we gelled when it mattered most. Indeed, being with and working in unison with this group of wonderful people turned out to be an incredible source of joy. At this point, I have to confess that the human weakness in me will always cave in and resort to intentional disassociation from the mainstream whenever I feel vulnerable. I become ill at ease with others around me. But this time, the abundance of goodwill generated by my fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ was a factor that was not lost on me. Sheepishly, I have to admit to ceaselessly drinking from the pool of blessings that spewed forth from this pool of goodness. I suppose this was the lesson our Lord God intended for me to learn when He created the space for me to re-immerse myself into community by full association. And community is what really matters at the end of the day, is it not? No man is an island, as the wise would say. And so as I end my thoughts regarding Camp 2007, one of the things I ought to do before signing off is to acknowledge this sub-group who regarded and unconditionally accepted me as part of the bigger body of Christ through whom we share. Regardless of whether they were conscious of it or otherwise, I would like to thank them for the contributions they have made to my life at a time when I most needed it. Thank you, Bawi-li.

Oh, and then how's this for surprise #2….






An unexpected celebration.....









A candlelit cake.....




All round well wishes in the midst of the entire churchcamp gang bellowing out a song. I may have just turned forty three but this left me speechless. Irredoubtably speechless and happily stunned.

Thank you, God.

You’re just too good to me!
I am in awe of you.

"How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this? "
Lyrics from Everything by Lifehouse

Conclusion
Oh, regarding what had been troubling me earlier? Let’s just close that chapter of my life by saying that I’ve never been happier to leave a job to renew my journey with God. ;)

Amen to that!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

BLC Taiping Retreat 2007 (Part 2 of ?)

“Wettest” Location in Malaysia
Another well known infamous trait associated with Mob-town is its rainfall. Long established as the “wettest” region in Malaysia, it receives almost twice as much rainfall as any other place in the country. So having been pre-warned, few among us from the churchcamp gang dared ride into town that Friday afternoon without being armed with an umbrella or two. Afterall, we did have that little outdoor activity to worry about as we assembled at Taiping’s fabled Lake Gardens for icebreaker games.

Mind you, the skies looked gloriously dry that day; and defying the odds, it remained that way for the rest of the day too. I could not resist but reflect why. Once again, I remind readers that we are talking about Taiping here. The very same Taiping where the locals are known to put a wager or two on whether it’ll rain on any given day and at any given time; even to the specific hour and minute of when the first drop would fall, I was told. Really, I kid you not.

Anyway, why did the Lord have other plans for this day? If it was so much as due to His divine intervention, why, one would asked, did He want to buck the trend? Why tilt the balance? What was He after?

A serious thinker could (and one suspects, maybe would) dig deep and probe even deeper into DNA for nano-atomic answers. Hark, for a serious thinker, indeed. And that I am not. I have no capacity, nor the stomach. Not since a long while ago. These days, I’m more intrigued by how to arrive at simpler answers. At this juncture, I’m reminded of this joke someone told me a few days ago. It went like this…

A question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” was posed to Aristotle, ex-President Clinton and Colonel Sanders. Undoubtedly, each arrived with different opinions.

Aristotle: “It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.”

Clinton: “I've had so many chicks. I can't remember...?”


And the all-time winning answer was…

Colonel Sanders: “I missed one?”

Muahaahaha…

But seriously folks, humour aside, I think the most appropriate and suitable answer would be a common sensed based reply. An answer that is simple and logical to all minds. Something not unlike what a kindergarten teacher may answer her 6-year old pupil. Something that one’s mind wouldn’t have to bend over backwards for. Something like, “Because it wanted to get to the other side...”

Sweet!

And so maybe it is the same for the Lord. No overly strenuous explanation. That He did what He did to not allow the games to be aborted for the simplest of reasons. And that was because it gave Him great joy to watch His children play. Regardless of how farcical and mindless the nature of the games was.

And so He made it that it did not rain that day…but unfortunately for the rest of Camp 2007, it was just for that day. Heh!

Friday, September 07, 2007

BLC Taiping Retreat 2007 (Part 1 of ?)

Man: “Life is so scary. And so confusing. I wish things could be more clear.”

God: “There is nothing scary about life, if you are not attached to results.”

Man: “You mean if you don’t want anything?”

God: “That’s right. Choose, but stay on the path of ‘don't want’ after that.

Cameron Highlands 2006.
I had attended churchcamp there last year, and had enjoyed that experience immensely. More so, as it had been my first ever.

Taiping 2007
Now, exactly twelve months later to the day, Camp 2007 beckoned. I had been unsure about what to expect this time. I don’t know (and won’t know) about the outlook of others, but unlike the cool and idyllic holiday setting of 2006, this year’s chosen venue was the small town of Taiping; an eon old relic town enclaved midway up the northern region. The name Taiping comes from the Chinese word Tai-Peng which means eternal peace. Ironically, its history was anything but such. Word has it that this sleepy hollow was birthed during a notorious era when warlords battled one another for the much coveted prize to control the lucrative tin-fields. A slash, slash here and a chop, chop there. Not much different from the typical blood and gore stuff that reeks out of HK gangster movies.

TAIPING (a.k.a. Mob-town). Heh! :D

Anyway, I digress.

Casting aside the infamy of the location, there was further reason for my slightly left-of-center pessimism regarding Camp 2007. I had, in the fore year’s event, experienced a spiritual “high”. And the source for that may mostly be attributed to the presence of a particularly skilled guest speaker whom my church had invited. Renowned as he was for his oratory deliverance, he had impressed most of the participants; leaving upon us his indelible mark. Heck, tickled I am still each time the word “plumbing” is uttered, for it fastidiously serves to remind me of what transpired during the “Men’s Only” workshop session.

And so, herewith, this gave rise to a mini dilemma. That is, if I choose to attend Camp 2007 carrying the expectations of Camerons 2006, I may become vulnerable to disappointment if the event failed to live up to its billing. Wary and worried as I was about being disenfranchised with church retreats, I thought I’d strike up a deal with the Almighty. And so I said, “Abba Father, I give thanks for the gift to attend this year’s camp but if I may, I’d like to go with NO EXPECTATIONS. I only ASK TO BE SURPRISED by You, and for this, I also ask for You to CREATE OPENINGS in my heart and in my mind to receive as such. Amen.”

3 Days Later
And with that, I scooted off to Taiping and returned 3 days later fully renewed with my second consecutive “high” in two years.

Conclusion
“God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.”

(To be continued…)

Perhaps, an all-Malaysian 'Unifying' Barbecue?

I'm not normally given to reproducing news reports unnecessarily but this one struck a chord. So I find myself asking "And why not?". Afterall, we do live in "Boleh-land" and eating is a passion with its inhabitants. Ok, ok, it's also my primary passion. There. I've admitted it. Happy now? :P

TUTU PRAISES 'UNIFYING' BARBECUES

Archbishop Desmond Tutu at a barbecue outside his office
Archbishop Tutu's favourite sausage is a beef boerewors
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has become the patron of South Africa's Barbecue (Braai) Day, saying the pastime is a unifying force in a divided country.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate celebrated his appointment by donning an apron and tucking into a sausage outside his office.

"This is something that can unite us. It is so proudly South African, so uniquely South African," he said.

Braai Day takes place on September 24, which is also National Heritage Day.

Organiser Jan Scannell said the idea was not to have a mass braai, but rather many small ones with friends and family.

'Wonderful institution'

"There are so many things that are pulling us apart, this has a wonderful potential to bring us all together," Archbishop Tutu told reporters on Wednesday.

"We have 11 different official languages but only one word for the wonderful institution of braai: in Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, whatever," he said.

Sometimes I am surprised when people say, 'You are our patron'
Archbishop Tutu

"We've shown the world a few things. Let's show them that ordinary activities like eating can unite people of different races, religions, sexes... short people, tall people, fat people, lean people," he added.

The retired Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, who won the Nobel Prize in 1984 for his anti-apartheid struggle, continues to speak out against injustice at home and abroad.

He is linked to a peace foundation and HIV and TB centres, and he is patron to a number of organisations, including children's hospitals, hospices, nutrition clinics, orphanages and a soccer team.

Darn! It's past 1 in the morning now and this blogpost has made me hungry. Where the heck am I gonna find me a hotdog made of beef boerewors sausage?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm sorry....

"Aside from that, I can think of no other words. Yet, I know that despite the infinite times I echo those words, nothing will bring you back. I'm so sorry.

It's been more than 2 days now since that tragic accident. An extremely haunting period for one to live through. The depression is filled with much mixed emotions, and all of it is entirely guilt and remorse. Absolute.

Forgive me, Father. I have sinned. Whether I had intended or not intended for it, I have taken a life that I had no right to take. I didn't know. I could not possibly have known that it was lying on the ground beneath the car. Regardless of the price, Father Lord, I will gladly answer for it if it means redeeming that poor soul into your everlasting Kingdom. Please Lord, by your grace, I ask of you.

Amen."

This guilt ridden note is written consequent of me unwittingly running over a baby kitten while reversing my vehicle two days ago. The animal endured much suffering and pain before dying within a few minutes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another Malaysian politician talk cock

Aiyoo...!!! Not another mindless politician uttering nonsense (see below). Beh tahan liao. Lord, have mercy.

Senator Proposes Relocation To Solve KL Flood Woes

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama) -- A senator Monday proposed that Kuala Lumpur be relocated to solve the problem of perennial flash floods in the federal capital.

Senator Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said that geographically Kuala Lumpur was located in a valley and exposed to floods as the densely populated city was becoming more congested.

"Rather than spending billions of ringgit on flood mitigation which have yet to be proven effective, why not relocate the capital and name it `ibu kota tanpa lumpur' (capital city without mud)?" he said, much to the delight of members of the Dewan Negara.

Dr Mohd Puad referred to the massive flood in the capital on June 30 and said he attributed it to the failure of the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) to drain off the floodwaters.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Territories Ministry Yew Teong Lock said the floods occurred two weeks before the SMART facility was completed and that as such it could not be deemed ineffective.

"According to Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the Drainage and Irrigation Department, the SMART facility, which was commissioned recently, can prevent massive flooding in Kuala Lumpur," he said.

Replying to a supplementary question, from Senator G.K. Loga Chitra, Yew said no compensation would be given to shopkeepers who suffered losses due to the floods because it was a natural disaster.

To Loga Chitra's original question, he said plans to overcome flash floods in Kuala Lumpur entailed short-term measures such as regular maintenance of rivers and drains as well as long-term measures such as upgrading of drains, and building more retention ponds and flood control pump stations.

-- BERNAMA

As an aside, GE seems to be coming up soon. Hope the electorate will be more matured in who they vote in this time. Adoi..!!! Now it seems that I'm the one talking cock. Malaysian voters matured? Too early in the day for me to be daydreaming, I suppose. ;)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007

WHAT TYPE OF CHRISTIAN AM I?



PROTESTANT
NON-FUNDAMENTALIST

You are a Non-fundamentalist Protestant. You don't really have a lot of formalized clergy. Your worship is pretty free in terms of what and how you worship. You love the Bible. Your pastor preaches almost an hour. You don't receive Communion all that often and you don't really care to either. Jesus is your life and you pray to Him a lot like He's your brother.
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by myYearbook.com

This predictor is "so-so" only leh. Two parts were inaccurate. Here's why:
  1. My pastor DOES NOT preach for a whole hour; he only clocks up three quarters of that at best, but this is probably due to the deep rooted subconscious Anglican Communion inclined type of Christian in him (;P); which, depending on what the occasion is, can be a tad too long, especially for sleep deprived kitties like yours truly. Ermm.... HINT! HINT! Hehe... ;)
  2. Meow-meows do receive of and also, greatly believe in the Holy Communion. Of course they do. If not, how else can one explain why is it that all of us felines can so easily obtain the "LULUS" seal of approval on our visa applications to enter Heaven when our time here on Earth is done (Note: read my earlier post below). Sadly, I have to report that dumb canines also enjoy the same privileges. It's just "so-so-so" not fair. Sigh.... :<

What does my birthdate mean?

Now, am I really, really all of the below?
Birthdate: 31st August


You're a pretty traditional person.
If it's lasted, it's probably good.
You seek stability - both in your career and your romantic relationship.
In return, you're very loyal and predictable.
Which is usually a good thing.
Without a partner, you feel lost.
Being with someone is very important to you.

Your strength: Your dependability
Your weakness: You hate being alone
Your power color: Midnight blue
Your power symbol: Shell
Your power month: April

Click here to check on your birth date

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Meow of Noble Descent.....

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
His Grace Lord Millemeow the Kind of Mousehole by Sea
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Another of the Rev's playthings.
How apt the mention of the word mouse? Purr....fect.... ;)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Liverpool FC: You'll Never Walk Alone

Ninja!

"Mourinho insist better team was knocked out???"

Oh, for crying out loud, would you shut up already, Mr. Mourinho? The fact is you've not earned your ticket to Athens, and you keep reinforcing to the rest of the world what a pitiful bad loser you are. Enough said.

The Parody Motivator Generator


The Parody Motivator Generator

Amongst other things that the Reverend has introduced in his blog (see Frequently Visited: Sivin Kit's Garden) the last couple of days, I picked this one up. It looks mildly fun.

As an aside, after seeing the outcome that he has had with the others, I think I'll give the nerdy TV character Heroes and the very chillingly scary Paloozahead a miss though. ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Acknowledgement

A further search on Google revealed the following:



Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson

from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The Dude....


I've always liked Samuel L. Jackson, the actor. There's always an intensity and a high degree of masochist grit to each of the roles that he portrays (save for that cheesy character of Jedi Master Mace Windu).

So I reached home tonight a little after 9, flicked the tube on, and there he was on HBO; the Dude himself. This time he was Coach Carter, a high school basketball coach with unorthodox means. I hadn't caught this one when it was released way back then; though I did have some inkling that it was based upon an actual person who lived on the other side of the planet. So I planted myself comfortably down on the sofa to be entertained for the next 90 minutes or so (minus the soda, the popcorn and the potato crisps coz hey, this isn't TGV, you know?).

Now, here's the twist for me. At the end of the show, though stellar as Sammy's performance was, I think another character nicked the best lines to the movie. That would probably explain why my thoughts kept wandering back to this one particular scene. It involved what one of his charges in the movie had recited, and I simply couldn't resist the urge to Google it. It goes like this....

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking,
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were all meant to shine, as children do.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

Now, how's that for a super dose of self-empowerment. Or as a pastor well known to me recently said, "Cowabunga!" ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Animals go to heaven too....

An address in the Lord's kingdom

24 hours ago, in some kopitiam somewhere, a group of Christ followers sat down with a Reverend for supper (or was that dinner? NVM.) To some, this will probably sound even a little irreverent but somewhere in the midst of sharing, someone had said that animals go to heaven too when their time in this temporal world is done. Yes, yes, I know. I can hear it all the way from here too. The sound of a bobtailed zealot Christian going "What the f***??"

Anyway, "Yo bro', peace be with you too!" (not that I'd give a toss about what you think) but for those who likes animals like me-self, it gladdened my heart when I heard that statement. Coincidentally, only just a few days ago, I had gone into a Christian bookstore when I inadvertently caught a glimpse of something that caused me to backtrack 2 steps for a second look. It was a bookmark. Printed on it was a picture of 2 demure looking cats; one of which looked very similar to my beloved late Millemeow (darn, I miss that cat so much). It was just one look and I don't know what moved inside of me but I found myself uttering the words "Oooo..he's made it to heaven." And you know what? Forgive me for my self-indulgence but I felt comforted in that instance. Very, very.

So, call me "mou liu" or "sot plug" but as I sat down tonight reflecting on those 2 coincidences, I could not help but think of how kind God has been by creating this therapeutic space for me; by allowing these thoughts to form and to take shape so that I will have some means of closure. Thank you, Father.

By the way, the bookmark somehow found its way to the cashier's till and into Zhie Zhie's care, Mille. Maybe now she may find peace and be "complete" with her loss of you too. And if she did as I pray that she would, a blessed Easter this will certainly be indeed.

Amen.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Easter bunny gift.....

Last Sunday marked the beginning of the joyous Easter season. You can sense an air of festivity about it, and yours truly was very much in a gay mood over it; and with good reasons too.

The first was that I had reached my 1st year milestone as a reborn Christian; though not unscathed. Carrying the invisible mark of the cross on my forehead throughout that year, I was "roughed" up a little during the 1st half of the year but then as God's grace would have it, I was also allowed to be "polished" up a little as well in the latter stages. Hmmm... All in all, it's not been a bad year at all for a newbie Christ follower. Thank you Abba, for all the lessons that you have taught me and will continue to teach me. :)

But then I digressed; for the intention of today's article was not meant for self-celebration. Instead, most notably, it's meant to illuminate the rebirth of my 2 new Godsisters, Choo Ki and Parri; for whom I am certain that God will be please with. And how apt that they were chosen to be baptised on the same day as the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28

*Thanks Bob, for unknowingly providing me with this perfect chapter and verse a half hour ago. ;) The Lord is good and He provides for me. Amen.

** Ooops...left out a word of thanks to big Al-"bert" for supplying the pics. Sorry ar. Hehe... :)

End of Lent.....

Lent has ended. Whoopee!!!

Huh??? Whoopee??? This ought to confound the diehard Christians a little. Hehe... ;)

Not that I've fasted or held any indulgence in abeyance over the last 40 days (though I did try to curb my dependency on tobacco; for which, I'm sad to report that I've failed miserably again for the umpteenth time), but Lent is not exactly a period of "easy living", especially when church sermons and/or the diehard bunch keeps "quietly" reminding one about it; or worse, it becomes ingrained into one's subconsciousness. Akin a pesky fly swirling over decomposing flesh. Eeewww... yucks!

As an aside, that last metaphor reminded me of the Monkey God swotting away the fly scene from a Stephen Chow movie titled "A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box". An absolute riot that movie was. Hehe... :D

I know, I know. I've a warped sense of humour. So please indulge this sinner and go with my flow. If not, you may deem this as a nonsensical piece and stop reading it.

Onwards.

So as I was afore implying, Lent is not the easiest of period within the Christian calendar year for a Christian to be living in. Don't do this, can't do that, refrain, abstain, dll. As a reborn yearling, I'm half clueless about the key answers to this. An absolute donkey, I am, I admit. Maybe it's time to engage in more theological studies. Delve into "intellectual masturbation" (IM), so said my pal Al (sorry dude, I just can't help dragging your name into this but this terminology is far too descriptive and to much of a hoot to be left out.) :D

But seriously folks, would more reading and learning help? Far too often for someone like me, the greater the overload of information attained from devouring "deep" books, the more inane (or insane) I become. Thoughts become clouded, choices irrational and judgment erratic. I'll choke. The thing is I'll probably become far too embroiled in the "fluff" of the philosophy than to embrace the more important aspect of practising it. Worse, I may not even possess the required rudimentary foundation for grasping it in the first place. And so what happens next due to this unwarranted overzealouness is that I fall over the edge, plant a seed within myself to develop a 1st class skill for ranting, and eventually "de-church" myself and enrol into the darkside of the realm of Darth Vaders (or in this case, the pinky Hello Kitty Darths).

Ok, ok. This is not a pretty picture....and the pink is a very scary thought for a piece of macho skybalonhead like me. So with that, we can safely scratch this option off.

Ok. What next then? What are the alternatives for me and those like me? Well, this is what I think is open and available. For starters, let's begin by believing in ourselves. That we do not need to be armed by reading tons of literature to adequately fortify ourselves before we can start the simple task (yes, it's very simple actually) of spreading the Good News for others. Believe it or not but a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed a school of thought that we begin best by beginning from where we are now and who we are now. That one need not be equipped by a vast ocean of God speak in order to touch the life of another and leave it better than when we found it. So, let's not give ourselves reasons that we can use to bind and stop ourselves. Let's not presume that without formal training or an overdose of theology, that we are handicapped from answering the Lord's calling. The Lord God has His reasons for everything that happens in each of everyone's lifetime. Who we are is just His instrument for making it happen; to bear and deliver His message.

Oh, by the way, when I made mention about a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was making reference to a period in time from the past that is slightly more than 2k years ago. Back then, there was this bloke called Jesus, who by tapping the "source" of love that is within His heart, started a ministry where He miraculously touched the lives of countless many. Not too bad for someone with no formal training, huh? ;)

Enough said. Tap your source. Go touch someone's life.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Warmly yours,
An IM-less donkey

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sure has been a long time...










As the title implies, I have been absent for a while now. I'm not a quintessential blogger anyway. I only write when I'm inspired, and these days, very, very few things inspire me.....except God and.....ermm....??? Okay. Maybe I should leave this part out.

I scooted off to Camerons with my pastor and another couple of church friends a week ago for a visit to an Orang Asli (OA) village. Returned the next day and a few days later, the Reverend sent me mail asking for my thoughts regarding the trip. So this posting is just to share a little about the trip. Anyway, this was how I replied.

What were your immediate thoughts and impressions after the visit?
Personally, this had been quite a revealing trip. Maybe it was catalyze by the company (read: fellowship) of you 3 other guys that kept me in the spiritual mode; and for that, I am very thankful.

Revisiting the OA village a second time, I learnt a lot more about myself as I learnt more about the former as individuals, as a group and as a community. Although much was not voiced out by them during conversations, I do sense some of their worries flowing undercurrent. I cannot know for certain what it may be. Could be it may be partly caused by the fact that their village population is beginning to dwindle (afterall, they are down to only 12 families living there now); maybe they are partly concerned over what the future holds for their next generation? Maybe other stuff, etc?

I very much enjoyed the overnight discussion we had at Lakeview. Certainly I must have savored it, for if not, I don’t think I could be kept awake till 5 o’clock in the morning. Besides, how often does one get to keep the company and pick the brain of his church pastor for some spiritual guidance and wisdom? Hehehe… ;)

Where did you "see" or "sense" God at work at Batu 20?
Maybe because I’m a “kaypoh” by nature, I think I was the first among us who walked to the back of the village where the church was located. And boy, was I surprised by the sight before me. Back from when I first visited the camp during BLC’s Aug/Sep ’06 Camerons retreat; back from when the church was nothing more than a zinc roof over four stilts with an earthen floor; I was stunned by what stood in front of me. Fui-yoo! My fellow BLC-ians should see it again now. God’s finished article.

Notwithstanding the visual impact, there were other instances. For one, how can one not remember to mention Pastor Timah for her dedication and commitment to the Lord’s calling? This lady’s ministry actually involve administering to 3 different churches in Cameron Highlands. Oh by the way, that’s the least of the things that she does that one should be impressed by. Wanna know how she moves around all 3 sites? Sites from which distance is not measured by the few hundred yards but by miles? No car. No motorbike. Just the pair of feet that she was born with. Personally, I can’t help but be awed as I watched her walked home after we bade our goodbyes. And yet, townfolks like us b**** about having to climb a few flights of stairs. Sigh….

How has this trip impacted you in anyway?
A recurring question kept popping up whenever I reflected over this trip…and it made me remorseful (and yet, grateful) in a certain way. The question is not important. What’s important is the realization to what that was asked, and that was “Why do we keep asking God for more when we already have so much?” Coincidentally, I read a friend’s (and soon to be God sister-in-Christ) blog posting today titled “My Poor God” (www.minishorts.net). A part of what she had written probably reflects upon the said question. So, I’ll just copy and paste it here. You guys can think about it and come to your own conclusions.

“Many folk-religionists I know are a strange lot, because their version of God is rooted in modern-day materialistic tendencies. 'If you burn enough paper gold coins, God will be very happy with you. For Pai-Thee-Kong, for example, you can never burn lesser gold than you prepared for last year. You really don't want to make God angry and unhappy.' Pardon me but it sounds more like bribing some heavenly kingdom God to take care of you. I suppose it's probably a very M'sian culture, with money, anything can. Even making God happy can be done by paying money. Oh and it seems to be that when God is happy, you will get more money. Religious piety is represented by the exterior blessings God provides, if you strike lottery, for instance, God has cast His favour upon you. Fall sick, or get into an accident, for example, and the rationale is probably that you displeased the Gods.”


What do you "hear" God saying to you and to us?

“Can we do more?” Did God say that? I think so.

On the one hand, the OAs are a blessed lot in the sense that because they are free of luxury items, expectations for more does not exist for them. However, on a social platform, they are quite deprived of basic amenities. I was very, very encouraged when I learnt that the church hall doubles up as a school classroom for the young ones; the OAs’ hope for tomorrow. But I was saddened when I discovered that these kids have no proper furniture or materials to aid them. They don’t even have a blackboard. And I’m naturally assuming that they are learning to read and write by sitting on the floor of the church hall. Imagine having to crouch over just to practice how to write.

Once again Abba Father, forgive me….but I feel ashamed for asking and wanting more.