Monday, December 22, 2008

A home or merely a house for the Holy Spirit?

As far as my still able memory serves me, in my just over 2 decades of life do i not remember a holiday period that i felt bored. But i always remember and still get people telling me about how bored they are during their holidays. Not that they don't like it, but they just do not know what to do with it. So all they usually do is stay at home watch tv, play computer games, go out yamcha with friends, sleep for 18 hours a day, laze around like a bum etc. After 2 months (normal break), 6 months (SPM and STPMers) or for some 9 months of holidays. They look back not knowing what they have actually done. How sad..

On the other hand, i have been hearing about how busy some people are after their exams. They got a long list of things that they want to do. So many that many have told me that they feel more stress and busier than during exam periods. How nice for a change..

I have been more like the latter. I had a plan of a whole list of things that needs to be done. The very moment i handed in my last assignment for the semester i only had a moment for a sigh of relief. I had crossed the finished line, but now the real work begins.

One of my very first tasks was to attend a very much dreaded 'makeover' session which i was duped into on a recommendation by a friend. I shan't go into much detail but it was like torture to me. One of my friends even tried to encourage me by saying:' Maybe, it is a necessary grooming session.' Ah well, what comfort. But, it was an experience i would never forget for a lesson had to be learnt. Maybe not quite the grooming i had expected.

I was astonished at the magnitude of deteoriorating moral in the society that we all live in. Outward appearance has been place on such a high emphasis that we have somehow embarrassingly allowed ourselves to be influenced by it. Our judgemental mindsets eventhough never truly spoken in words (because Christians are supposed to love one another) has created a division of worlds, and people are trying to be someone else they are not. Forced to use phrases like 'Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder' to comfort themselves that someone out there, some where actually loves them. Then they spend all their time trying to emulate and copy models, celebrities or even popular classmates. I was also a judgemental person. I shamefully admit to the times even by a flicker of a second, sometimes unintentionally judging people based on appearance and using the standards of the world as a bencemark. Such is the impact of media and what we allow into our ear and eye gates.

Later, i read a section of the book, Prayer by Philip Yancey. A heart piercing reminder and follow up to my recent experience and conviction. And this is what was written.

'In the Last Supper conversation in which Jesus dequeathed his peace, he also promised a far greater gift; the presence of God, who would live not in some faraway heaven but inside us, in our very souls. He promised us the Holy Spirit, and the title he chose, the Counsellor, itself indicates one of the Spirit's main roles. The 'sense' of God's presence may come and go. Yet, the believer can have confidence that God is already present, living inside, and need not be simmoned from afar.

I have seen the evidence of God's presence in the most unexpected places. During our trip to Nepal, a physical therapist gave my wife and me a tour of the Green Pastures hospital, which specialises in leprosy rehabilitation. As we walked along the outdoor corridor, I noticed in a courtyard one of the ugliest human beings i have ever seen. Her hands were bandaged in gauze, she had deformed stumps where most people have feet, and her face showed the worst ravages of that cruel disease. Her nose had shrunk away so that, looking at her, I could see into her sinus cavity. Her eyes, mottled and covered with callus, let in no light; she was totally blind. Scars covered patches of skin on her arms.

We toured a unit of the hospital and returned along the same corridor. In the meantime this creaure had crawled across the courtyard to the very edge of the walkway, pulling herself along the ground by planting her elbows and drgging her body like a wounded animal. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was:' She's a beggar. She wants money.' My wife, who has worked among the down-and-out, had a much more holy reaction. The old woman rested her head against Janet's (Philip Yancey's wife) shoulder and began singing a song in Nepali, a tune that we all instantly recognised:' Jesus loves me, this i know, for the Bible tells me so.'

'Danmaya is one of the most devoted church members,' the physical therapist later told us. 'Most of our patients are Hindus, but we have a little Christian chapel here, and Danmaya comes every time the door opens. She's a prayer warrior. She loves to greet and welcome every visitor who comes to Green Pastures, and no doubt she heard us talking as we walked along the corridor.'

A few months later we heard tha Danmaya had died. Close to my desk I keep a photo that I snapped just as she was singing to Janet. Whenever I feel polluted by the beauty-obsessed celebrity culture I live in, i pull out that photo. I see two beautiful women: my wife, smiling sweetly, holding in her arms an old crone who would flunk any beauty test ever devised except the one that matters most. One of that deformed, hollow shell of a body, the light of God's presence shines out. The Holy Spirit found a home.'

Oh Lord, I pray for the times that i have shamed your name with my thoughts and have allowed myself to succumb to the world. Forgive me. Give me the strength and wisdom for my days ahead. That my life would shine the light of Your awesome presence. Being the true light among the darkness. Amen

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Pit

This is quite an interesting read. Simple but strong message on how man has complicated society when life is sometimes actually quite straightforward.

A man fell into a pit. These were the reactions of the people:

A Subjectivist type of person said, 'I feel for you down there' But did nothing.
An Objective person wandered by next, and said, 'It's logical that someone would fall down there.'

A Pharisee said, 'Only bad people fall into a pit,' and put his nose in the air and kept walking.
Then, a mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit.

A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on his pit, but was too busy interviewing everyone in sight to help.

A fanatic fundamentalist shouted, 'You deserve your pit!'
Then a government tax-man asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

A self-pitying person then whined, 'You haven't seen anything until you've seen MY pit!'
Then a Christian Scientist came by, and said, 'Just believe that you're not in a pit.'

An optimist said, 'Things could be worse!'
But the pessimist disagreed, and said, 'Things -will- get worse!'

A New Ager jumped into the pit to share the experience.
A conspiracist rubbed his hands together in glee, and said,'-They- threw you into the pit! I -knew- it!'

A Jew said, 'Why are we -always- in a pit?'
A Communist shouted 'Why are you in the People's Pit without permission?'
An Alcoholic muttered to himself, 'It's not -my- fault you're in the pit.....'

A Liberal said, 'Those Conservatives must have dug this pit!'
A Conservative said, 'See where Liberalism has gotten you?'

A TV Evangelist came by and promptly took up a collection from the bystanders.
A television news commentator shouted, 'Man in a pit! Why is the government responsible?'"

But then, a Good Samaritan came along, looked at the man in the pit and at all the others standing around pursuing their own agendas,and said, quietly, 'Here are two shovels. Let's get you out of the pit.'

Monday, December 1, 2008

Taking a short break.. but i will be back!

I will be taking a short break from blogging. Too many things on my hands now. Priorities! Coursework due next week and also the week after. Assessment day and interview for my placement job next year. Getting started on John Maxwell's materials to prepare for leadership training for next year. And a whole list of things that if i continue to list out, it will become another long blog post. haha.. Will start blogging again on the 17th of December, which is when my last assignment is due and my holiday starts. Woohoo.. till then brothers and sisters..


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ask and you shall receive.. but what do we ask for?

People have been congratulating and reminding me about how old i am because of my birthday. 21st birthdays are usually really big, because of a few things.
1. You are official legal (therefore, all under 21s are illegal)
2. You are eligible to vote
3. You can do practically anything you want without any legal objection from anybody
4. You can drink(alcohol) and watch(PG and X rated) stuff without risks of being arrested
The 4th one is usually the most popular.

Another question people have been asking is what did i wish for my birthday? I don't know who came out with the wishing thingy during birthday cakes. If you wish for something before you blow the candles, you will get whatever you wished for. To me that is total nonsense, it is just a myth to give hope to the hopeless. If that were really true, why would there be poverty? or sick people? So it is either untrue or people have been making stupid wishes.

I know my God promised in Luke 11:9 'So i say to you, ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.' I don't need to wish for things only on my birthdays, i can ask my God anything, anytime. Even the word 'wish' seems uncertain and not confident of actually getting something. But i am going to ask and believe that i am going to get what i asked for.

So, what do we ask for then? Will we get anything and everything that we asked for? Or do we only get what is in God's will? Let's take a look at Numbers 22: 5-21
'And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 5 Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! 6 Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak. 8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 So Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Look, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to overpower them and drive them out.’” 12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the LORD has refused to give me permission to go with you.”

14 And the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.” 15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’” 18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

Balaam was a prophet of the Lord judging by the statement from the king that 'whoever he bless is blessed and whoever he curse is cursed'. But, he had a weakness, which was greed for wealth.
1. Israel was God's chosen people
Balaam knew that Israel was God's chosen people and God would never allow His people to be cursed by their enemies. But Balaam ignored that because he was enticed by the amount of wealth he would get from just a few spoken words. He chose to ask God just to confirm. Alright, fair play to him.

2. God said NO! but hear Balaam's excuses
Balaam told the Moabites in vs13,'... the Lord has REFUSED to give me permission to go with you.' Using the exact words that he has just said, he is trying to act holy by telling the Moabites that the only reason he can't go with them is because God said so. Well, at least he got that right by obeying God. But i am pretty sure that it was eating him on the inside. The work 'REFUSED' shows reluctance and only because of authority, he resisted. The sentencing shows that he didn't really believe it himself. Balaam's reply suggests that he was hesitant and unwillingly complied.

The Moabites now returned with even more wealth and people with even higher status to deliver the offer. And this starts to get interesting. Instead of denying the offer straight away, Balaam chose to ask God again. Ridiculous!

3. Do you think God will change His mind because of more wealth?
That was a total insult to God. Who does Balaam think God is? He doesn't need wealth nor praises of man, He is the Kings of kings. But because Balaam was blinded by his own greedy desires and still wanted to seem 'obedient' unto to God. He nagged God.

4. God said Yes.
Incredibly, God gave in to Balaam's nagging. He allowed the desires of Balaam's heart.

Ask and you shall receive. Balaam asked and he received. He received the desires of his heart. In Ecclesiates 8:11 it says:'...therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.' That is the difference between God's perfect will and His permissible will. We still have our free will but unless we ask of what is in His heart, we are going down the wrong path because the hearts of men are evil.

Sometimes we are just exactly like Balaam. We don't want to disobey God because we fear Him. But we desire and are tempted by certain things that we know God clearly disapproves. We still try it anyway, in case He changes His mind. We still stubbornly nag Him about it so that we get the satisfaction without claiming responsibility for it. Then, when things turn out badly we just blame God and claim that we were just following His 'will'.

We need to constantly ask of God for wisdom. Be careful of what we ask, for it shall be given as promised. Guard our hearts and always ask for His heart. Don't try and act smart and question God. When He says 'Do it', just do it. When He says 'Don't do it', don't do it. Period.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change has come! But is it for the better?

The American people yesterday demonstrated their unique capacity for self-renewal by electing the first black man as head of state, not that many years after the country’s African-Americans were accorded full civil rights.
In electing Barack Obama president by a solid margin, accompanied by a congress with the biggest Democratic majority since the 1970s, Americans have signalled a dramatic change in the direction of the world’s sole superpower.
Two years ago, Barack Obama identified that the overwhelming sentiment in this presidential election would be a desire for change. His election campaign was based on the motto of 'Change we can believe in'. Throughout the campaign, he emphasised the urgency of this desire. The fact that he was a candidate with less experience in national office than any of his opponents in either the Democratic primary or in the general election, was turned from a potential liability into an asset that worked in his favour. The colour of his skin, regarded by many as an impossible obstacle to his ambitions, in the end served as the principal guarantee that he was a different kind of leader for a nation in crisis.
America’s yearning for change focused most closely on dissatisfaction with the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With their historic decision yesterday, the American people should certainly get change. Two questions however hover over the new president elect and his team.

The first is whether the new president will choose to rein back the economical and social agenda of the large Democratic majority in congress. Though they threw out the Republican party yesterday it is not at all clear that the American people endorsed a Democratic party policy that is committed to big tax increases on wealthier Americans and corporations, restrictions on free trade, renewed empowerment of trade unions and the appointment of judges likely to rule in favour of more liberal laws on abortion and gay marriage.
The second challenge is simply the massive task of restoring America’s stature and the country’s economic power and global political standing.
The country faces challenges on a scale no incoming president has had to tackle in a very long time. The economy is in a recession likely to be as deep as the deepest in the last 50 years.
President elect Obama’s first task will be to do whatever the government can do to lift the US and with it the global economy out of its slump. A programme of reform will be necessary to begin to restore trust in the institutions of American leadership.

Americans made history yesterday. Some may argue that it was on grounds of pure desperation or smart tactical campaigning on the side of the Democrats. Nevertheless, it was the 'right' man at the right time and an opportunity well taken. What type of change will be instigated in the coming months? Will it be for the better? Well, lets pray that it will be. God bless us all!

Link to Barack Obama's victory speech:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Courage my son, courage!

I have finally gotten my internet connection. I know its no excuse for not updating my blog, but it played a big part though. I have been really getting extra exercise with the 20 minute walks to university even though I don’t have lectures on that day. I go to university just to use the internet.

I have been struggling with quite a lot of things for the past few weeks. It’s basically about the path ahead. I am a planner, I plan things. If bits and pieces are lying around, I will put them together so that they don’t go wasted. The habit of planning has been heavily influenced by my dad, who used to get us to plan for the year ahead every year. First I have a master plan, which consist of major events blocked out throughout the year. The 2nd stage is the weekly planning, where I usually get my daily routine in place and I know what I have to do for the days of the week. The 3rd part is the planning, where I plan out nearly every single thing I would do for the day to the minute. It sounds crazy, but it can be done and I never waste time.

So what happens to people like us when we can’t plan? Or when we don’t even know what to plan?
We get stressed out. We panic. We go bonkers.

Unfortunately, that’s what I had to learn. God told me to do something, He gave me the confirmation to do it and I acted on it. I planned it all out, in the ideal sense at least. BUT, everything started to collapse. One by one, it all fell like dominos. It didn’t progress like I expected, not even a little. I know that the world is far from ideal, but still… I had the most difficult 3 weeks in my life that I could remember. Nothing seemed to be going right. So when the grand plan fails, all the added potholes show up in front of you, plus the Big guy up there stays worryingly quiet, I was totally LOST.

I started to lose confidence in myself. I lost faith. Did I hear God wrongly? After all that was said and done, maybe im not the right guy for the job after all. I doubted and questioned many things. I feared because everything seems to be in a mess. That’s where the evil one has triumph.
It was very emotionally draining as I struggled and tried to pull myself out of it. I shared with a couple of people where they encouraged me but it was still lingering around. That was until I went for CG yesterday night. It was a teaching on ‘Hearing the voice of God’. It was really a good session, but I was a little distracted. Then the leader led us into a practical session.

The 1st part was to pray and then be silent to hear from God. I have done this many times but it felt a little different this time round. I got the word JOSHUA. I had no idea what it meant so I flipped my Bible to Joshua 1:1. This is what it read:
"After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good COURAGE, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and VERY COURAGEOUS, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I was astounded. The words where hitting my face. But, I still sat in the room emotionless and trying to just let everything sink in. Nobody in the room had any idea what was going on with me, at least that was what I thought.

The 2nd part of the exercise was to continue. We prayed and ask of the Lord for words of encouragement for others in the room. When it was time to share, one of the said: ‘Isaac, I have something for you. The Lord wants you to have BOLDNESS and be COURAGEOUS for the things He has in stored for you.’

I was stunt and completely speechless.

The 3rd was to be continued as we paired up to pray for each other. As we prayed, my partner said:’ Isaac, be COURAGEOUS. For the Lord is with you wherever you go. Do not worry about the things ahead but stay strong and be COURAGEOUS!’

The 4th part, we switched partners and continued the exercise praying for each other. The 1st words that came out of his mouth were:’ Isaac, I have 2 words for you. FAITH and COURAGE.’

I WAS DUMBFOLDED. The word ‘COURAGE’ was directed at me 7 times in one night by different people. I repented and slapped myself right and left. It was pure foolishness to doubt God.

We serve an awesome God. He is our comforter and friend. He is our fortress and our strong tower. NEVER ever doubt Him. For He is with us, all the days of our lives. Amen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The journey back

It's Alive Again!! Well, it's never easy to revive a blog again after such a long lay off. Im so sorry but i really didn't have the time to sit down and pen things down. Many have encouraged me to share about my summer experience, but there is too much that i cant even begin to recollect. I could literally write a book entitled 'My Summer Experience' which could possibly be a best seller too. Not because of my writing skills, but purely the things that had taken place. As i reflect on my 4 months back home i should be coming out with a couple of posts along the way. For now, lets talk about the present and the future.

I had a terribly mixed feeling about coming back to the UK. So many things had happened and many more promised for the future. My relationship with my family grew to new heights, the rapport among my cousins tighten and the friendship with my friends strengthen. The goodbyes were hard to make and the Lord was gracious enough to allow my Visa to be delayed for 2 weeks so that i could prepare and compose myself. As i said my final goodbyes to my family as i walked towards the boarding gate, a sudden feeling of loneliness fell upon me. I had never felt anything like that in a long long time. I plugged on my ipod hoping to distract myself from the feeling and the 1st song that came up on the screen was 'Not alone' by BarlowGirl. At that moment, i felt as if God was sitting next to me and giving me a pat on the back. What followed was a great flight to London which i slept most of the way.

I touched down on Sunday the 5th of October. My friend Claris was kind enough to pick me up from the airport or i would end up lugging my 4 bags on the bus and back to Uxbridge. As i stepped out of the airport i was welcomed with the typical rainy and depressing English weather. What fun... I went straight for church after leaving my bags at my new rented house. I was greeted warmly by church members and friends. Apparently, the whole church has been praying for me to get my Visa. Not so that i could come back, but that they weren't protecting an illegal immigrant. hehe.. It was a nice gesture though. Worship service that day was awesome and it was good to be back on British soil. After the usual setting down of church, we adjourned to the pastor's house for lunch. It was a great time just to catch up with some friends. One of the leaders, Vijay and Pastor also discussed about my involvement in the church for the next year. It was an opening that i have been praying about for the past year. Praise the Lord! It looks like an exciting year ahead.

Dear Lord, I just wanna thank you for your graciousness and patience. Thank you for your awesome hand at work. I pray that I will continue to work in Your ways only as i look forward to the year ahead. Thank You so much. Amen.

My contact details:




Address: 19, Mill Avenue UB8 2QL Uxbridge, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What lies inside?

The last time i posted i was still on British ground but now.. I'm back in Malaysia!! Woohoo.. Its been great to be back home again. Like Dorothy said:' There is no place like home..' From the very moment i touched down, i have been extremely busy with the organising of the Malaysian Youth Prayer Gathering 2008. During the little times of leisure that i have, i catch up with the movies that have been on screen. One movie that truly stood out for me was IRON MAN.

Tony Stark is seen as one of the most famous man on earth. He is rich, smart and handsome. He has the American government at his feet because his company supplies weapons for the USA army. He has his own jet. He gets any woman he wants. He is every girl's dream. He is blunt with words, talks straight to the point and is described as the Da Vinci that never paints. He is confident, proud, classy and commands respect from all. On the outside he seems like a heartless freak that cares no less for others than himself. Even after his escape from the terrorist, Tony Stark portrays himself to the world as Iron Man. With all his charisma, confidence and ego, the armor of steel that he wears further enhances the person that he is. Someone who is indestructible and always saves the day. To the world, Iron Man is a hero. Tony Stark is the superstar. There is nothing he cant do.

Interestingly, there is another side that surfaces about Tony Stark. To the world, he is the Man. Nothing can stand in his way. But, at the end of the day, Tony Stark aka Iron Man is still human. There are not many people who knows and see this other side of Tony Stark. The only person who truly sees him for who he really is is Pepper Potts his beautiful assistant. Pepper was the only person that Tony revealed to about his new identity as Iron Man. When Pepper helps him remove the old 'arc reactor' at his heart, she does something really meaningful. She uses that old 'arc reactor' and makes a trophy with the inscription 'This is prove that Tony Stark has a heart.' Pepper is the only person that truly understand the heart of Tony. Many people don't even believe that he has a heart. Tony Stark seems indestructible on his heroics as Iron Man but what people don't see is the wounds and injuries that he gets after those exploits. It is only in the comfort of his home that all his vulnerabilities are surfaced. Further proof that he is still a human with a heart.

There are certain people that we often view as invincible. They are great and can do no wrong. Nothing is impossible with them. Everything they touch turns to gold. But one wrong move, and we criticise them to their grave. We often forget that these people are still humans. They are not perfect and will still make mistakes. I can confidently say that they are usually a different person in the confines of their home. A place they can just be themselves. These people have such a big heart for others to the stage that people even doubt the existence of their heart. They often portray themselves as emotionless beings for the sake of others. To be the source of hope and encouragement to those around.

Iron Man is made of steel. But what lies inside is still human. Just like everyone of us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Mother's Day is the one of the most celebrated events of the year. Price for flowers hike, chocolates are cleared off the shelfs, restaurants are fully booked and for some mothers it is the only time of the year that they get hugs from their children. Well, i hug my mum all the time but lets just say that she'll get a special one on Mother's Day. So this year, i'll like to add in a spot of fun for my mum and all the other mums..

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me LOGIC.“Because I said so, that’s why.”

4. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck,

you’re not going to the store with me.”

5. My mother taught me IRONY.“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

6. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

7. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

8. My mother taught me about STAMINA.“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

9. My mother taught me about WEATHER.“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

10. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

11. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

12. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.“Stop acting like your father!”

13. My mother taught me about ENVY.“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

14. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.“Just wait until we get home.”

15. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .“You are going to get it when you get home!”

16. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE .“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

17. My mother taught me ESP.“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

18. My mother taught me HUMOR.“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

19. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

20. My mother taught me GENETICS.“You’re just like your father.”

21. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

22. My mother taught me about WISDOM.“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

And my favorite:
23. My mother taught me about JUSTICE .“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”

Of course my mum is not like that but quite the exact opposite for most of them. Some of them are true as well. As we look back we certainly have heard some familiar quotes. This post is a dedication to my mum and all mothers!!

May God grant you extra patience to deal with us children.. God bless!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A total turn around..

Im back!! Its been some time since i wrote. Sorry for the absence because i was really busy with exams and house hunting. Why house hunting? Well, i was told as international students we would quite definitely get a place to stay on campus next year. But on Monday last week, i got a sms informing me that i won't be getting a place on campus. I was devastated. Real disappointed. I was houseless for next term. I panicked and sort to go out and find a house. Finding a house is not as straight forward cos thousands of other students are looking for houses as well. This news was all the more accompanied with extreme bad timing as i was in the midst of preparing for my exams. I was struggling with my revision too. What am i to do? God had other plans.

God miraculously provided a house for me and my friends. It is literally one in a hundred that you can get a house at this time of year that starts the lease in September. I actually had given up much hope of finding a house for September. I was even ready to pay 1 or 2 months of wasted rent. When we believe God always provides. We put down the deposit for the house on Wednesday. It sort of fits us perfectly as we will only be back in September and the agents have offered to negotiate an unlikely 10 month deal for us (most houses have a non negotiable 12 month contract). The house is also walking distance from University.

Exams also went more smoothly than expected. God really sustained me to be able to get through this period. I was able to focus and push on for the final exams. I have finished now. I still cant believe that i have finished 1st year of University.

But.. i think the thing that made my week was that Manchester United beat Barcelona to qualify for Champions League Final in Moscow!! woohooo... A fantastic game. When Scholes scored the goal, we were all screaming and celebrating for a good 2 minutes in a jam packed pub on campus. The feeling was indescribable. Only real football fans will be able to understand. At the final whistle, we were hugging, jumping and singing with each other in jubilation. We were congratulating each other with hugs n brother handshakes even though we din know each other. But we had one thing in common, we support Manchester United!! Come on now..

The amazing things is that God never ever short changes us and He even allows us to have some joy from things that we love. In this case, FOOTBALL!! Take a look at this

Last week i was..
1. Houseless
2. struggling with revision
3. Man Utd lost to Chelsea to lose a 3 point lead

This week i..
1. got a house
2. got pass exams quite smoothly
3. Man Utd beat Barcelona to reach final

How cool is that? God is truly faithful. I look back and i wonder why i ever worried about all this. Where was my faith? God has certainly brought me through this period yet again. God cares every single bit for us. Look to Him and trust him always.

Thank You Lord. Amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Look to Him..

I came across this the other day and i think is is fantastic. This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have heard...

A man went to a barber shop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: 'I don't believe that God exists.' 'Why do you say that?' asked the customer.

'Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.'

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barber shop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkept.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: 'You know what? Barbers do not exist.' 'How can you say that?' asked the surprised barber. 'I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!' 'No!' the customer exclaimed. 'Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.'

'Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me.' 'Exactly!' affirmed the customer. 'That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world.'


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tag!! You're IT!!

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post the player than tags 5 people and posts their names, than go to their blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they done got tagged and to ask them to play and read your blog.
4. Rules are meant to be broken.. teehee..
5. Who comes up with these games anyway? I’m surprised I got sucked into all this.

What was I doing ten years ago (1998 in general)?

1. Schooling in Sekolah Rendah Chong Eng
2. Busy making the school proud (Badminton, Ping Pong, Spelling bee, Story Telling, Music Band)
3. Bossy school prefect
4. The No.1 David Beckham fan (after that superb free kick against Colombia in the World Cup)
5. Daily football match with the wall in the garden

5 things on my to-do list today:

1. Get up early to help set up in church
2. Watch Manchester United whoop Arsenal yet again
3. Attend Birthday Party
4. Finish watching Heroes season 1
5. Organize my study notes

5 snacks I enjoy (I think this is a trick question. Just 5?!?):

1. Doritos (The best by a mile... chilli heatwave… drools..)
2. Fries (Thick British fries, not the silly French ones)
3. Err… food?
4. Fruits? It’s counted right?
5. I don’t really snack… really… seriously… I’m not joking… come on… you believe me right…

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Move Eden Community Services into a world class facility
2. Build a stadium so that churches in Kluang can worship together monthly
3. Support people who want to go to Bible College
4. Support people who have the heart to become teachers (better quality teachers in schools)
5. Buy over Manchester United

5 of my bad habits (Oooooh...):

1. Procrastination
2. Thinking too much
3. Lazing around
4. Lack of trust in others
5. Complacency

5 places I have lived:

1. Mother’s womb
2. House in between Revertex factory and jungle infested with snakes
3. Jalan Maju, Taman Kerjasama, Kluang
4. Kilmorey Hall, Brunel University, London
5. Short and long stints in many other places

5 jobs I've had:

1. Paper mixer, Calendar tear-er and glue-er at Boon Hwa Printers
2. Drinks maker and chef at Barneys Restaurant
3. Waiter at Roc Cottage Restaurant (London)
4. Volunteer at various places (Eden, Agape, STK, LIBT etc)
5. Renowned World Class food connoisseur… hehe… (still am)

6 people I tag:

1. Gideon (To post stuff more than 2 lines!)
2. Joyce (To post stuff other than pictures of herself.)
3. Wei Shin (To help him out with his monthly post.. keke)
4. Lisa (To give you something to share other than donuts and blaming the world… haha)
5. Seem Yee (Since she likes this tag thingy so much. TAG!!)
6. Kris (My new found typing pal!! )

Monday, April 7, 2008

As white as snow..

On an early Sunday morning, i got up to a pleasant suprise when i drew the curtains in my room. I was awestrucked to see the ground and buildings totally white and fluffy white falling from the sky. It was snowing!! It wasn't my first time, but i was still quite excited as most equater-ians would be. I was actually more shock then then excited because it had been a rather warm week and its APRIL! It should be mid spring by now.. I also dreaded the thought of walking 20 minutes to church with the snow blowing into my face. The walk to church was uneventful but at 8am the university was unusually filled with people taking pictures, making snowmans and having snow fights. Football training in the afternoon was quite an experience as it started to snow again while we were in the midst of a game.

As i told people back home about the snow fall, i would get responses like 'Wow, thats so cool', 'I want also', 'Bring some back for me?' etc. People are fascinated by snow. All first timers are. Even people who have experienced snow their entire life still do. Some people just enjoy gazing out their window as the snow covers the ground like a white sheet. But why are people so fascinated by this white thingy falling from the sky? If black stuff falls from the sky like rain, would it be appreciate as much?

Snow is white. White is the combination of all the colours of the visible light spectrum. White is technically achromatic and not a colour. White represents purity. White sooths the eye. White represents cleanliness. White portrays the symbol of a new beginning.

Have you ever thought why most walls are painted white? Why is paper white? Why is wearing a white shirt considered formal wear? Why does white have superiority over other colours? It was customary among Jews to wear white garments as a symbol of purity. Angels are believed to have no other clothes other than white garments, thats even if you believe they need any clothes. Holy Spirit is symbolised by a dove which is white in colour. When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, his clothes were as white as snow.

So why are people fascinated by snow? As snow covers everything like a white sheet over it. It somehow gives people the hope of a new beginning. The once dirty and ugly looking ground or roof is seem to be renewed. Snow serves as a reminder to all of us that our sins have been forgiven in Christ. We are cleanse and are pure again. As White as snow.

'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.' Isaiah 1:18

Thank you Lord for the reminder!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

A tribute to a brother..

Goodbyes are never easy. Personally, I really dislike it but it is a part of life that we must get used to and learn how to deal with. I have been reading this book 'The Way of the Wild Heart' by John Eldredge about a Boy to a Man's journey. It's a fantastic book. I would share about some of it another time but what the author rightly mentions is that in order for a boy to become a man, he would have to go through certain stages in life. He would have to face challenges and overcome them as part of a learning process. Of course there is no way to measure, but this process is evident. I am in that stage now since leaving home in September and now a great friend and brother of mine is taking that step now.

He is none other than Ryan. We knew each other since young from church and CBC. I wouldn't go to the extent to say that we grew up together because we weren't exactly playing buddies when we were kids. One memory I had about was during CBC camp at Padang Hijau many years ago. For those who have been, you will remember that we have such a thing called camp court to report those who broke camp rules. Ryan was THE ultimate rascal, he would be shouting 'CAMP COURT!!' for every single thing. I think if we had a title for 'Mr Irritating' he would definitely have won it hands down. No question. We also used to do a lot of acting together in church for CBC. Though he stated before than he disliked me for some reason but i think i was too hard not to love. haha..

Ryan has been a fantastic friend to me and i am sure to all of us who know him. We have grown closer as friends this past few years and even more so last year. We went for mission trips together. It's when you live with a person over a period of time that you really get to know them inside out. With Ryan around, there is never short of entertainment. Period. We worked together on the church opening event which was great. The best of all were the eating sessions we had together. He never thought someone would travel so far in the middle of nowhere to have mee soto right? haha.. On top of all that, Ryan miraculously was here in the UK in September which we did spend some time together.

This is a tribute to my great friend Ryan Nair. A man true to his word, uplifting to those around him and a heart of gold. A pure bred joker, a clown within and a fool for Christ nonetheless. A perfectionist at heart, a one word description of Ryan as i agree with Yosh would be 'Quality' in all he does. A class act in his specific field. Even though our partnership ends here temporarily, God willing our paths will cross again in the future.

God Bless you my dear Brother!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter weekend

It has been a great weekend for me. Many people call it Holy Week and in some sense it is. Its a good time to reflect what Christ has done for us but a celebration as well. I had passover meal with my cell group on Friday. On Saturday, i spent the whole dayhelping out in church to prapare for the evangelistic event in the night. While i was helping out, one of the leaders Vijay asked me:' Isaac do you mind doing the game show later?' This was 45 minutes before i had to do it. I agreed to help out and he asked me to throw in some jokes as well. I went up and did 'Inspector Muniandy'. The whole church nearly fell down with the laughter. It was really good and everything turned out well. Now, everybody speaks to me with an Indian accent. haha...
Celebrated Alice's birthday at an italian restaurant. Had one of my best italian meals whilst im here. The folded pizza was simply superb. I should be visiting there again soon.. haha..

While in church on Easter Sunday, Ps. Jennie invited me for dinner at their house after church. I was a bit reluctant at first because i was supposed to go watch ManU trash Liverpool with my friend after church. But i of course accpeted the offer. It was nice hanging out in pastor's house with both pastors while the others had their meeting. After dinner, we watch a movie called 'Gridiron Gang' with lead actor being Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. An inspirational true story that i would recommend all to watch. Got back to my room at about 1am.
For me, it was a fantastic weekend. I thank God for the church that He has provided me with. I thank God for the fellowship of His people. Friends in university that i can count on. Most importantly, showing me yet another window of apportunity. He indeed has Risen!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An experience to remember..

The 2 weeks of utter busyness is finally over. Assignments, presentation, training and work. I can finally take a breather. It is something that i have been looking forward to for so long. Time seems to just fly by. It feels funny some times, because the fact that i have overcomed the 2 weeks alive i seem to miss the busy times i had. Weird kind of feeling, but it happens. Don't know why, but this sort of feelings just cant be expained. Anyway, i handed in my last assignment on Thursday and had badminton training in the evening. We were gearing up for the finals in Sheffield on Saturday. We left campus on Friday afternoon in our mini bus. To be absolutely honest, i didn't really know about any arrangements for our trip. The only think i knew was our final opponents were from Univesity of Leeds. I thought University of Sheffield was the venue and we were goin to stay in their hostel for the night. But, this is what it turned out to be.

We were actually playing at the National British University Championships. A total of 20 sports were participating at the largest sports complex in the UK for 4 days. All the semi final and final events were played during that weekend. The complex was massive. It even had an indoor 400 metre running track. Sports like Badminton, Basketball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Boxing, Judo, Atheletics etc were going on simultaneously. Camera crews, newsmen and photographers were swarming the place. It was really a proper sports event. We were given special tags as participants so that we will be able to pass security. I was thinking to myself:' This is totally cool man!' To top it up, we were put up in a real nice hotel for the night. Apparently, Brunel University booked a hotel for all its atheletes in this £90 a night hotel. Totally totally unexpected.

We had to wake up real early for our match the next morning. There was a relatively big crowd that turned up to watch the match. But it was a proper badminton hall with proper auditorium style seatings for spectators. University of Leeds were much better and beat us in the final. Anyhow, we still got a silver medal. It was actually our first loss of the season as we had also won our 1st division league unbeaten. Nevertheless, it was a very good season for us indeed. I'm actually all excited to play in the premiership next year, but i really need to improve. After the price giving ceremony, we watched the badminton premiership cup finals. Boy, were they good! We watched a couple of other events like Basketball and Atheletics which Brunel were also competing before we headed back.

My experience in Sheffield was definitely one to behold. I really want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to be able to compete. I was actually a reserve and only selected by default because the Jordanian guy could not play. Thank God for this experience that He has given through playing for the university that has enabled me to travel around the UK.

'Thank You Lord for your bountiful blessings that overflows even beyond what we expect and sometimes handle. I lift Your name up high. Amen.'

Friday, March 7, 2008

STPM!! SPM!! and the best of all YF camp!!

Its been by far my busiest 2 weeks in University so far. I have 3 assignments and a presentation which are all due next week. Badminton training as we gear up for the finals next weekend, football training for our match against University of Hertfordshire in April. Not to mention the 2 nights of work at the chinese restaurant. Time is of the essence. On the other hand, i am really enjoying myself to the fullest. Opportunities like this don't come everyday and yet some of this opportunities have to be earned. I still have 1 more assignment to complete and the satisfaction of seeing a piece of work well done is certainly something special to behold. It is something that motivates me to work hard and give my very best.
Just thought i would drop a few words of encouragements to my dear brothers and sisters back in motherland.

YF camp!! woopeeee.. i think the last time we had YF camp was when i was in F2. That's an awful loooong tmie ago. I have always treasured the times we had at YF camp. The camp we had with AOG back then in Melaka, i still have wonderful fond memories and remains one of THE camps that totally changed my life. Back then i was the room mate of a certain clown whom you all might still know by the name of Ryan. Haha.. The bonding as a YF family that we had in that camp was excellent. Foundations of friendships and on the Word of God were made which still last till today. I challenge all of you to grab this opportunity to make this camp a milestone in your life. Be challenged, be refreshed, BE transformed by the Glory of our God. Lastly, make the camp a blast and enjoy yourselves.

STPM!! SPM!! argh..... yeah yeah.. i know the feeling. For some it feels that you just want the world to stop. For some it's:' Can't you just give me the results now? it's torturous i cant wait!!' Its a feeling that cant really be explained until you are actually in that situation. It's torture, nail-biting, hair raising, stomach twisting, brain squeezing and toe tickling but.. it is worth it in the end. In my experience and im sure you all have also experienced it is when people always say things like ' Dont worry la', 'Sure straight As wan la, u soo smart', 'aiyah.. as long as you have done your best'. As u might also agree, it doesnt help a single bit to our 'rojak' feeling. In some cases in might even make you feel worse because it brings back memories of the missed questions or the chapters that you skipped but ended up in the exam. hehe.. its hard to do even for me but i'll say it anyway.. RELAX!! It's just an exam.. You have your whole life ahead of you. Come on Now. It's only an exam, a ticket towards your university or college. The sky wont fall if you get a bad result. Whats a bad result anyway? It is tangible. Take this as a learning process in life. A stage that all of us will have to go thru in life. In University we face this every semester and im sure in the corporate world maybe even every single day. So.. Get Used To It!! Well.. just take it easy ok.. whatever it is you get, give Praise to the Lord!!

I really don't want Malaysia to flood again ok.. hehe.. All the BEST you guys and gals!! God bless!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My British badminton experience...

I have been having 3 days of full fledged badminton for the last 1 month. Our coach has been stepping up during training sessions which means we now train at least 7 hours a week. It has been tiring but good. Let's go back a couple of months back to September.
A confident Malaysian flew across half the world to take on the English in Badminton. Well that was not my main purpose but it was definitely on the agenda. I really wanted to test my standard in a different country. I must say i was pretty confident when i got here. I took a visit at the sports centre on my 2nd day here and saw people knocking about in the court. I walked up to tell the coach i was interested in joining the team and he told me to come for badminton sessions. It was not until i attended badminton sessions the week later that i realise how lousy i was. Well, at least i underestimated the english badminton players. I was even fortunate enough to get into the University team of 10. The Brunel Badminton team consist of a Sri Lankan, a Jordanian, an Indian, 6 English and a Malaysian. I realised that the Jordanian guy has played in international circuits before which includes the Asian Games. Out of the 10 in the team, 5 of them are basically National standard players. They were mostly former Junior National Players who didn't make the Senior Team. So basically it was the other 5 of us fighting for one place because only 6 get to play every week. So i was basically a back up player. The coach would also rotate us around when some of the first team players couldnt make the games. So i did get to play a couple of games. I also got to travel to other places like Reading, Imperial College and Royal Holloway for the away matches. It was a great experience.
Brunel were demoted last year from the premiership badminton university league. Because of the wealth of good players that have just came in this year, we easily won our 1st division league. We were basically champions even with 6 more games to go. As champions of our division, we qualified for the knock out tournament to be crowned champions of the UK. For the knockout stages, i travelled to University of Cardiff(Mum's uni) for our pre-quarter finals which we duely beat them 6-2. I was then dropped for the quarter finals because one of the first team players returned. I actually expected it but still continued to attend training to improve myself for next year. It was while i was training yesterday afternoon that the coach suddenly called me over. He said:' Isaac, i see you have been improving recently. So i have decided to let you play tomorrow but promise me you will play like hell tomorrow ok?' I nodded my head with excitement. The coach dropped one the first team players to let me play. Wow.. Therefore we played University of Leicester in our Semi Finals today. I play 2nd doubles and played extremely badly in our first match which we lost in 3 sets to the our opposition 2nd pair. We were tied on matches with Leicester and didn't give ourselves(my partner and i) much hope against their 1st pair. I told myself that i had to make less mistakes, focus and just do my very best for the team. We both played our hearts out against the top pair and our efforts were paid off when we beat them in straight sets against all odds to send Brunel University into the final. The feeling was just magnificient as the whole hall raptured into cheers as we congratulated and embraced each other on our fantastic victory. It was as if we won the tournament, but nothing was going to stop us from celebrating a fantastic victory and more so a ticket to the final in Sheffield.

For all those who think only the Chinese and Malaysians can play badminton, think again. Or at least the guys in my university are really good. I have learnt so much ever since getting into the team. We have a wonderful coach who volunteered to coach us as his job is to coach the England National Juniors as they also use Brunel facilities.

'I just want to Thank God for giving me this opportunity to play for the Badminton team. I want to use this gift that God has given me to glorify His name.'

Come on Brunel!! Let's be champions!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is it that urgent?

I was at work in the Chinese restaurant on Saturday night. It was really busy and i was constantly walking up, down and around the restaurant for a full 5 hours non stop. I was quite an experience and i certainly learnt a lot from it. But that was not it. A rather amusing thing happened as the night was nearing to an end. There was this family of about 13 people seated at the main table of the restaurant. I think they were celebrating the birthday of their father/grandfather/father in law who must be approximately 75 years of age. They were all having a good time and i still remember that old man downing a couple pines of beer. As everybody was waiting for their desserts suddenly, the old man started to fall forward with eyes closed. I was a mere 1 metre away from their table. I watched in a bit of shock while nearly every single person at the table stood up. Some just burst out crying, some quickly attended to the old man and the others turned to me and shouted:'Call the ambulance!!'. The chief waiteress quickly grabbed the phone and called for the ambulance. It must have been about 10-15 seconds when the family members kept asking me to call the ambulance. The worst thing was they kept asking me how long it will take for the ambulance to come. All i could answer was 'they are calling now' and 'ambulance should come soon'. They all suspected a heart attack. This all happened so fast and because of the amount of people crowded around the old man i couldn't really see what was happening.
Suddenly i saw the old man lift up his head and open his eyes. I think it was because of the bad odour from everybody that woke him. He explained that he was tired and opted for a 20 winks. hahaha.. i really couldn't believe it and nearly burst out laughing. Strains of laughter broke out among the family members themselves but some of the crying grew worse for some reason. Maybe that proves that tears for joy usually produce more tears than sadness. In the end, the ambulance still came shortly after. They still took the old man in a wheel chair and brought him to hospital just as a precaution. I also over heard the doctor asking the old man while wheeling him out saying:'Sir, you mean the food over here is that dodgy until you fainted?' Hahaha.. It wasn't the most pleasant thing to experience while i was there but how it all turned out, i found it rather amusing.

Another thing that happened during the week was a family friend that passed away. Uncle Ron was dad's former boss years ago in kluang. He watched me grow up and constantly came over to my house to play with me. I do not have any recollection of him and his wife, Aunty Damaris because they left kluang when i was still quite young. The amazing thing was that every single year after they left, they never failed to send us Christmas presents. They were close to my parents and treated us as their own children as they had none. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit them in November with mom and dad. I remembered that time while we were having dinner. I was truly amazed at the way he presented himself as a person. The knowledge he had of things was astounding as well and it must definitely be the amount of books he reads. When dad texted me on thursday to tell me about his passing, i was speechless. Thoughts ran through my mind wildly. A man that i have only met once a couple of months ago somehow has made quite an impact in my life. The promise that i made to him that i would visit him again soon to play chess can now never be done. The thing that breaks my heart is the fact that he hasn't received salvation. At least not to my knowledge. God have mercy on him, please.

Sigh.. I have been feeling really tired for the past week. Not only physically but more so mentally. Issues to deal with, assignments yet to complete, badminton and football training doesn't exactly help much. This 2 things that has happened made me think about life. It made me think about how unpredictable life can sometimes be. In church today, the speaker mentioned that according to scientist our world will totally poison itself in about 15 years time. Not 50, not 20 but 15 years. As i thought about it, there was a sudden urgency inside that leap in me. It seems so foreseeable. So near, so soon. The speaker then further pointed out the closeness of Chirst's return which relates to earth's self destruction . It's always the case of time is short but so much still to do.
We constantly hear this cliche 'Live everyday as if Chirst will be returning tomorrow.'
Are we that urgent for the Lord's cause? Is the return of Chirst important to us? Is it important to me personally?
The thing is that important will lead to urgent if nothing is done. But i think whether we like it or not it is entering the urgent stage already.

Lord, help us to realise the urgency of your return. Let us be ready and not regret. Amen

Monday, February 18, 2008

Alast.. the long wait ends..

It's been more than a week since i posted anything. Why? Simply because the last week has been the most busy week in my time here in UK. Last week, i actually spent more time outside London than in it.

Monday and Tuesday: Lectures at University. First day of work in restaurant on Tuesday.
Wednesday: Travelled to University of Cardiff(Mum's university) in Wales to represent Brunel in Badminton Knock-out Competition.
Thursday: Valentines Day! Brought Alice and Serena to visit Windsor Castle.
Friday: Day off from lectures but second day of work.
Saturday and Sunday: MANCHESTER here i come!!!

I went to Machester with my friends Joan, Serena, Alice and Rex. We left London in the wee hours of Saturday morning and the incredibly long bus ride resulted in us reaching Manchester with half day already gone. WE spent Saturday having a little tour around city of Manchester. We went to Europe's biggest shopping complex, took loads of pictures and played bowling. But the high point of Saturday was none other than Manchester United whooping Arsenal 4-0 in the FA cup. I was unable to get a ticket to the match but i am pretty sure that my presence in Manchester definitely spurred them on. Woopeeee!!

We had a lazy Sunday as usual but finally got out of the house to make my 11.20 booking of the Old Trafford museum and stadium tour. After all the patient years of waiting, the many dreams i have dreamt, the times i pictures myself running out the tunnel and finally the wait was over. I was standing in the Theatre Of Dreams, home of The Greatest football club on earth, MANCHESTER UNITED!! The museum and tour was great. The tour guide took us around the stadium which was absolutely magnificient. I could imagine in my mind the sort of noise and atmosphere during a match day. We got to go to the dug-out and run out the tunnel. I sat on Sir Alex Ferguson's seat at the dug-out.The best thing was actually being able to enter the players dressing room. The very jerseys that they wore for the game against Arsenal were all hung up on the wall. We got to take pictures with their jerseys and sat at their places. What an experience... We spent a good 3 hours at Old Trafford before we left to pack our bags for the trip home.

We had a quick lunch at Burger King before we hit the road with our 4.30pm coach ride back to London. It was there that our 27hour visit of Manchester ended. As i pondered on my short yet exhilirating experience in Manchester, i wondered why we even contemplated such a short and tiring trip. It is one of those crazy ideas that was decided at the spur of the moment. Something that is unexplainable and all achievable at a certain age. All in all, the most important element was ever present which was Fun. Even though it was tiring and not recovered from it yet, we all enjoyed a weekend out. During our tube ride back to Uxbridge from the Coach Station, we were actually discussing about our next trip. haha..

'Thank you Lord for granting us a wonderful time together. Thank You for keeping us safe. Thank You for the wonderful weather that u had provided as well. Bless You Lord. Amen.'

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Friends in need become a family indeed

Chinese New Year has always been one of the biggest festivals of th year for me. As i come from big families, it is usually a crowded period. I always remember that it will literally be only standing space in my grandfather's house on the 1st day of new year. What Great Fun!! New Year also feels like a few days in the land overflowing with ba kua and pineapple tarts. Instead of 10 glasses of water a day, its 10 cans of soft drinks a day. Casino has come not only to the door step but into the house. There is no such thing as sleep and it is when everyone seems to be contributing to your annual pocket money. What better day in the year than Chinese New year?

Unfortunately, it was not the case over here in the UK. There was still lectures on New Year's day. I had to work on New year's eve and the festive atmosphere over here was at an all time high of zero. The life of a student is definitely one of improvision because of the limited resources that are available. I had a simple New Year's eve dinner with my 'family' over here. Worked on New year's eve night at a restaurant. Spend 1st and 2nd day of New Year busy sorting my part time job and necessary paper work. Think about it.. isn't it sad? While you all back home are busy enjoying the gourmet food, soaking yourself in beer and working your liver triple hard with all the access sugar and salt. Here i am working my butt off and living on bread and water.

On Friday the 2nd the day of New year, my 'family' and i decided we should make the most of our time here in the UK. Enjoy ourselves, the pride of being a chinese must live on. We played cards, mahjong and all sorts of games thru the night into the wee hours of the next morning. The following day, we had our official Chinese New year dinner. Rex, Joan, Alice, Serena and i managed to cook up a menu of 8 dishes that night for dinner. I was quite astonished yet proud of our feat. After dinner we played games again, tell weird jokes, further stuff ourselves with junk food and ended up all lying on the floor near motionless so that we would digest better.

As i come to think about it. We are a bunch of 'homeless' people in a foreign country who come together as a family to support each other. We share everything together. We know each other inside out. We accomodate and help each other when in times of difficulties. We mourn and celebrate together. It is something i feel is unique. My friends and i have come together to be a family because of something we all have in common. The fact that we are away from home and are international students. Because of the common element it has drawn us closer to each other and it therefores makes us stronger. It is similar in the Family of God. The most amazing thing i realise is that whenever i meet another Christian, i meet the person for the first time in my life and might never even meet again but all we need is a couple of minutes of conversation and we seem like best friends. Why? It is because we have a common element in Christ that draws us closer to each other. It is a fantastic feeling to have. I think this can fully explain the famous proverb: 'A friend in need is a friend indeed.'
But i think for my case it will be more like:' Friends in need become a family indeed.'

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A day i will look back on..

Yesterday was one of my most enjoyable days in my time over here in the UK. It was nothing special or spectacular, in fact it was just a day out with my friends Alice, Serena, Joan and Rex. The weather in England is said to be one of the worst in the world. Malaysian will never really fully understand because it is always hot. Other countries have the 4 seasons of Spring, Autumn, Winter and Summer in a year. The English joke that they have the 4 seasons in a day. Sunny at one moment, raining the next. Temperatures can drop as much as 10C in a couple of hours. It doesn't usually rain heavily but it drizzles. The worst thing is that it can drizzle continuosly for more than a day with a gloom above our head. That's English weather for you.

Praise the Lord that He gave us wonderful weather yesterday. The sun was out, sky was clear, a perfect day to be outside. My friends and I decided to go out for a picnic. We didn't really plan anything, but we just wanted to go out, have fun and spend time together. We took a nice slow walk to Uxbridge. Went to tesco to buy some food for our picnic. Pita beard with salsa, McCoy's chips, egg sandwich and chocolate chip muffins were the several choices on our impromptu picnic menu. We marched our way to a nearby park and laid out our sheets right in the centre of the park. We were the only souls in the entire park and we knew the reason why the minute we sat down. IT WAS COLD!! We hadn't really realised it when we were walking but the wind was blowing and it must have been definitely less than 10C. There was a moment when an old couple were walking their dog. They had a good long stare at us. They were in full winter clothing and must be thinking :' What on earth are these 5 crazy chinese doing here out in the cold?'. We decided we will just stay and enjoy our picnic under the sun. Our picnic didn't last very long but we did cross the half hour mark and were on our feet once again. With numb feet and hands the walk back to town was unusually long and i walked into the first shop i saw just to 'defrost'. It was funny, because we all walked in to this grocery store with no intention of buying anything, stayed there for a good 10minutes and back out again. We were in Uxbridge town centre for the rest of the afternoon doing some shopping and enjoying the little children's carnival that was going on as well.

After dinner later that night, we played some card games. Rex would pop a lame chinese joke once in awhile, Joan would be busy multi-tasking, Serena would entertain us with her funny expressions and Alice would be busy blaming me for beating her in our card game. We just hanged out, relax and spent time with each other. Everything was just simple, straight forward and most importantly fun with company that you enjoy. As i reflect on the day we just had, i realise it is something that we will only do at our age. One day i would certainly look back at this day and think, yeah.. with a smile on my face. Thanks to you my dear friends for a great day out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

glancing back, looking forward

Holidays have ended, Lectures have started again. It seemed so long ago since i had lectures. I had my first lecture yesterday and it was as if it was first week all over again. Our new lecturer got to know all the students in class, going through introduction of module, discussed assignments and all the other stuff. Felt a bit weird having to begin something new again.

As i looked back at my pass 2 weeks of holidays, i feel a leap of joy deep down in my heart. The goodness of God is just unexplainable. If you had read my post before 'I'm free!! so what's next??', i had big plans for my holidays. What turned out was that events were altered quite drastically and i practically didn't follow my plan at all. Why? Because God had other plans.. Can't stop Him can we? Look at Jonah.. He was in the fish's belly for 3 days with all that stink.. God was kinder to me.. I was in my room for 3 days with an injured ankle..

My holiday turned out to be:
1. Injured my ankle, sat in my room for 3 days
2. Read 3 books
3. Mentoring Programme and Orientation for new students
4. Visited Herman and met up with cousin
5. Brain scan
6. Watch my first rugby game in a stadium

All in all, it was a fruitful 2 weeks. Kept me real busy and rather productive. As i look back, I don't think my holidays could have gone any better. I thank God for the lessons he has taught me. The experiences i had in the MRI machine. To top it all, the amazing atmosphere watching rugby in a stadium. As my new semester begins, I want to dedicate it to the Lord. I look forward to the rest of my first year in university. That all the things i do may glorify His name. Amen.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Life is like a box of chocolates

Time seems to fly so fast. Just 2 weeks i was wondering how i am going to survive my boring holidays. But my holidays were exciting, busy and of course nearly nothing went according to as i had plan. I have been involved in a Mentoring Programme and orientation for students who come in now. I has been fun, bringing them around and helping them get settled. I really am enjoying myself even though it's tiring and out of my way. I have also been planning with my friends about what we will be having for Chinese New Year Eve dinner. Hmph.. we will trying to make the most out of CNY over here. Keep up the tradition. Will be going to Chinatown to get some of those Chinese food these weekend.

I will also be going to have my brain scanned tomorrow. Why? Because one of the professor in university found out that I'm a genius. They want to run some test on me for further research. He said my potential is tremendous and might even surpass Einstein. (stares...) OK la.. Im going for a brain scan.Yes, that part is true. They are doing research on badminton players.They want to study how our brain functions that gives us the ability to anticipate where the shuttle goes even before it is hit. It's quite an interesting study so i accepted the offer.

Secondly, i have been invited by a family friend to go watch a Rugby Match in Watford. He is the director of English Rugby Premiership side Saracens. I bet it would be quite an experience. First time in a stadium and will be sitting in the box as well. Can't wait. hehe.. Since i came here, i have grown to love the game of Rugby even more. My biggest regret is actually not being able to play back in malaysia as it is not popular.

My new semester will also be starting on Monday. Classes will be quite different this semester as well. The time slots are more spread out, so it will be interesting. All in all, it certainly has been an interesting break. Full of suprises and unexpected turn of events. God certainly makes life exciting. Don't ever said that life is bored. Remember what Forrest Gump said.

'Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.' Forrest Gump

All of us only has one life to live. We can choose however we want to live it. Let's make the most out of it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back to reality

I left University yesterday for Central London. I came to stay with Herman for the weekend. I was quite a long journey because of the tube delays. A normal and straight forward 1 hour plus journey turned into a nearly 2 and half hour journey. I was quite content in my seat with earphones on listening to music and a book in my hand reading. I anticipated the long journey and sometimes really cherish this times alone where nobody will bother me with not much distractions. It's as if I was in a world of my own. The feeling is kind of like in the movies when everything around is muffled. People moving about, getting on and off the tube. All I see is people's mouth moving and all I hear is the music from my ipod and the thoughts in my head. Ahh... my own little world. how nice...

Just before the stop i was suppose to get off everybody in the tube got off. I pulled out my earphones, put down my book and i was back into reality again. The operator urged everyone to get off because there were some problems. Firstly, there was an assault in one of the trains. Secondly, one of Heathrow Airport's terminals were closed. I got off and just waited for the next train. There was a long delay but i got to my destination anyway. I told Herman about it and he looked suprised but i didn't put much thought about it. To me, it was just some hiccups on the london tube which was quite normal, nothing to worry about. However, while we were watching the news after dinner there was news of a plane that just crash landed. Heathrow Airport is very near my University and apparently it nearly crashed into a town next to Uxbridge but thankfully the pilot was able to land the plane inside airport grounds. Then it suddenly hit me. Thats why the airport terminal was closed and caused the tube delays. Then i remembered on Tuesday when i heard a loud blast while i was walking on campus. I seriously thought it was a bomb blast but it wasn't on the news. It is not very often that i have experienced front page news that are happening around me. Places that are in quite close proximity. It sort of reminds me of life on earth.

As Christians we are quite a distinct people. We just want to mind our own business and don't really want to mix with others. I realise in many churches, the leadership bombards their members with so many activities that they are rarely outside church boundaries. The mentality of many are to keep as many people in the church. The people on the other hand are also quite happy to be kept in as the famous cliche 'comfort zone' goes. Many are just so comfortable in the church that they see no need to go out and many a times don't really know what the real world really is like out there. Many churches today are like in the world of their own. They think that their church is ideal. They think just because they are Christians everything will be perfect. God will always shower them with bountiful blessings. I would like to liken this scenario to that of me being on the tube. I was listen to my music and reading my book, in my own little world. But in reality there was a plane that just crashed not far from where i was. Im sure people were talking about it on the train but of course i couldn't hear them.

I often hear speakers and read books that say 'move out of your comfort zone'. This has become so much of a cliche that everybody is using it. I myself use to like it very much too. But as i think about it, why do we have comfort zones anyway? Why are we getting comfortable when there is so much work to be done. As Christians we should be on our toes all the time, preparing for the mission that God has put us on earth for. As a reminder let's look at a couple of passages that Jesus gave us while He was on earth.

Matthew 28:19-20
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Jesus very specifically said the word 'GO'. He didn't say 'stay in the church'. WE are supppose to be out there, make disciples and teach. WE are supposed to be in the world among the people and not be caught up with only church activities.

Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Jesus commanded us to be witnesses to the world. For me it could quite simply be put :'... and you shall be witnesses to Me in Kluang, and in all Johor and Malaysia, and to the end of the earth.' In that context, looks like indeed we have lots to do.

Our life on earth is not going to be a walk in the park. There is a lot of work still to do but little time left. What are we going to do about it? Stop enjoying our own little world, pull out the earphones and get back into reality.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Do you seek ME for what I can do or do you seek ME for who I Am?

I have been spending a lot more time reading this pass few days. And through His Word and books written by His servants, God has been dealing with me personally. I now understand why until now i haven't even gotten a reply for a part time job, i don't think it's a coincidence. God wants to use this time to draw me back into perspective and nearer to Him. I was reading the book 'Drawing Near' by John Bevere and for the first time in some time, i heard God speaking to me ever so clearly.

'Do you seek me for what I can do or do you seek me for who I Am?'

I was awestrucked and immediately repented before God. God had let surfaced what was actually in my heart. I did not heed his pat on my back. I was constantly praying for God to provide me a job. But was that what God wanted me to be doing? The prolonged time that i was in my room because of my ankle injury was an opportunity for me to draw near to God once again. Let me share with you what God had taught me.

What is our motivation as a Christian? What should be our primary motivation?
Obedience is better than sacrifice. That would mean that if God says don't go to Africa as a missionary or don't start the 'feed the poor' ministry. Don't do it. We will always try to reason that these are for good causes but if God has made it clear, just listen. We often also need to examine our motives.

What type of Christians are we?
There are 2 types:
1. Those who seek God for what He can do.
2. Those who seek God for who He is.

Lets examine this with a familiar story in the Bible. In Exodus, there is a clear contrast between Moses and the children of Israel.
The Israelites can be compared to those who seek God for only what He can do. People who follow God but only for the salvation and blessings. They acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and saviour and look to Him for deliverance and provision but their heart is revealed by personal desires and actions. They still want to take control of their lives and think that they know what is best for themselves. The Israelites were like that. They cried to God for deliverance for hundreds of years and God answered them with Moses. They rejoiced and bowed their heads to worship. But suddenly everything changes when Pharoah rejects Moses' delivering word from God and adds the workloads of the Israelites. They were all so angry that they called judgement on Moses. But when Pharoah finally let's them go after the plagues they have a change in attitude again and were praising God once again and they were confident in Moses once again. When they get to the Red Sea and see the Egyptian army hot on thei heels. Once again they turn to Moses and curse him for bringing them out here to die. (Remember Moses was God's prophet so if they opposed Moses they were opposing God.) Then God intervenes once again by spliting the Red sea. When the Egyptian army was consumed, once again their hearts are changed and worship and praise the Lord once again. This happens again and again during 40 years in the desert with examples like the manna and the golden calf. Why didn't the Israelites ever learn their lesson? Because they were seeking their own desires and only cared for their own comfort. They are happy as long as God is doing what they wanted and unhappy whenever God wasn't doing what they wanted. They have placed their desires over His heart or presence.

Moses was different. He seeked God for who He was. The cycle of the Israelites were repeated many times and God was fed up with it and He told Moses in Exodus 33:1-3. He had promised the Israelites through the patriachs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the promise land. He was fed up with the stubborn Israelites and didn't want to go with them but instead send an angel to help them drive out the rebels to take the land. It sounds like a good deal right? which i think the Israelites would have taken it.
But Moses responded in Exodus 33:15. 'If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.'
Moses said that he would rather suffer in the desert than go into the land of milk and honey without God's Presence. What was Moses' heart's cry? GOD'S PRESENCE. He desired the Lord Himself more than His promised blessings. Moses had put seeking God above everything else.

Where do we stand? Which one are we? I admit that i was only seeking God's blessings. I seeked only the world but not the creator. If we looked back at the exodus story. There has been a misconception that God brought the Israelites out of Egypt to the promise land. God brought them out so that they could go to Mount Sinai. Remember what Moses said to Pharoah on God's behalf :' Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert.' He didn't say 'Let my people go so that they can go inherit a land.' God gives us the opportunities and longs for us to draw near to Him. He usually gives us hints which we need to identify and respond. I believe if He comes directly to us like He did to Paul on the road to Damascus, many of us will die of fright. God is calling us to Him constantly, that is His heart's desire. He wants to know us, He wants to be our best friend. Shouldn't our heart's desire be to seek Him as well?