Monday, March 19, 2007

Unfailing Love

You have my heart,
I am Yours forever.
You are my strength,
God of Grace and Power.

Everything you hold in your hands,
Still you make time for me.
I can't understand..

My heart quivered as i listened to this old song. I know i've blogged about it before, but it never fails to touch my heart. God's unfailing love for me never changes, no matter how much wrong i've committed against him, no matter what i've said against him.. he still forgives.. because of his unfailing love. Who am i that He should love me this much?

I spent the last week back in Singapore. I received the news that my grand dad had passed away while i was on the plane. Well, i was sad, but i wasn't shocked as i had already been expecting it for a long time waiting. I didn't understand at first. I was praying relentlessly, day and night for God to heal him; to work a miracle that will be seen by many unbelievers that they too may come to believe! But i've learnt that God has His will, he gives and takes away as he pleases... and He does all things for the good of those who love him. I know my grand dad was suffering terribly from the cancer in his lungs, and i know he really wanted to be with Jesus more than he wanted to stay alive and endure the pain. I guess God granted him peace. He passed away peacefully in his sleep, in his bedroom, in a comfortably and restful posture.

I made a mini-testimony, a small tribute for my grand dad. There was a period of time allocated for anyone to make brief speeches about recollections of the times spent to my grand dad. Well, i was really eager to share about what a great man my grand dad was! So i got up there immediately, only with a slight hint of hesitation; which was naturally in a crowd of more than 40 people.

I remember going on a holiday to Thailand with my grand dad once, and he were at a street market. This lady was selling a cushion for $3. My grand dad took a firm glance at her, looked at me and said, "this is how you bargain". He picked up two cushions and said, "two for $3".

haha! That made me laugh my guts out! My grand dad had a knack for pulling these kindda corny, yet funny joke outta nowhere. He always had a smile on his face, i can hardly remember a time when a frown darkened his face except when he was struggling with that horrid disease - cancer. I told the audience that my grand dad was a GREAT inspiration to me because he spent about 3 hours everyday just reading the Word, and he showed avid enthusiasm in it. His thirst for God's Word was undying, and that was what inspired me to read God's Word everyday; no excuses. Even when he was suffering from that dreaded disease, he still found time for God.. with the very few moments that he had in each feeble day, for every moment God kept his eyes open and his mind fresh, he would thank God ever so much for it. That's my grand dad.

I ended my speech by saying, "I know all of you have come here to pay your last respects, or a tribute, to my grand dad. But what would please him most, more than your visit here, is that you would take something away from his life, so that he would not have lived in vain. He's inspired me to read the bible everyday, and i urge you to do the same."

My grand dad was a great man who served a great God.

On my way to church that Sunday, i decided to jot down whatever came into my mind... something that i haven't done in ages. See, this blog has it's limits because lots of pple read it, and so i can't be too personal. But here's what i wrote that Sunday:

"I arrived in Singapore 40 minutes earlier. The flight had the usual turbulence, 2 fantastic movies (The illusionist & De Javu). The note of DEATH was struck just moments after we walked out of the baggage terminal. The blow was anticipated; but it was much weaker than predicted, much like the taming of the suspense conjured up by an inflating balloon on the verge of popping. There's life. and everyone takes it for granted. Yet there's Death; which sends shivers down the tingy spines of half the total inhabitants of this doomed planet: A quarter maimed by hunger, they spend most of their time searching desperately for shelter, looking intently for their next source of liquid substinenece. Shame. It's such as these that care for life, and yet lie in the wait for the joyous grip of death which delivers them from the torment of the undying cravings deep in their abdomens, and the pains of hopelessness - a flame on a matchstick floated in a sea of hopeless destitute."

I know it's kindda random. No comments at the moment.

It's cultural diversity week and the SRC in my school have organised a couple of events to celebrate the occasion; one of which will be a mini-soccer 7-a-side tournment consisting of four separate teams:
- Wogs
- Skips
- Asians
- Curries

lol! I was laughing my head off when Stevie told me about it! It sounds more like a racial battle than a harmonious gathering of the different cultures. haha! Well, racism is more evident than what everyone thinks it to be.. there are a lot of bloody racists in my school that flaunt their racist remarks publicly thinking that it's perfectly fine since everyone regards them as mere jokes. Well, it all starts with an idea which will eventually grow into a reality. Provoke a sleeping giant and prepare to be clobbered.

Stevie, Tommy, Jase and i are the only asians in the soccer team now, and i often hear the other team members making really crappy remarks about my close friends.. about their lack of skill, their weaknesses and flaws, etc. Sigh.. i can't help but cease the opportunity tmr to teach them a racial lesson. Sigh.. why do we have to do this???????????????

yea, it seems like a joke when the entire school will be watching us play it out... but is it really a joke deep down in their hearts??? i see a lingering passion deep within everyone (i'm not excluded) for their own race to be dominant.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Touch from Heaven

I'm flying off for Singapore really soon, so i've gotta make this quick. I did pretty well in my races on Thursday. I picked up 2 second-placings and 2 third-placings. I'm kindda disappointed that i didn't win a single race :( Anyway, my grand dad's health has deteriorated, and he's not expected to last another week. That's the reason why my entire family's making a last minute flight back to Singapore.

Ever felt a touch from heaven? I was feeling dejected yesterday, there was a lot on my heart and i found it extremely hard to worship God at Fungus yesterday. It was then that i decided to kneel and pour my heart out to God. It was then that i felt a touch from heaven. It's been a long time since i've cried ever so deeply, but it really got all the bad emotions out; all the stress that's been accumulating due my workload, the troubles with my friends, and other pressures. I felt unworthy to praise God, but he told me that he loves me and that "everything's going to be okay."

I just finished doing my Quiet Time with God, and i read 1 Samuel 17 - the story about David and Goliath.

"David said to the Philistine, ' You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but i come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God for the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." - 1 Sam 17:45

"'All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands.'" - 1 Sam 17:47

Amen to that! The battle is the Lord's. He is my strength and my shield, of whom, or of what should i fear when the Lord is with me?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Power and Corruption

The recurring theme of Power and Corruption was the focal point of Shakesphere's famous plays such as Macbeth and Julius Caesar, and it still is surprisingly evident in our everyday lives. Despite the fact that we study it as a historic theme, it exists in every dimension of modern day society. I used to think that it'll never get to me or any of my good friends, but i should've thought otherwise. Friends that grew up trusting each other would soon be tugging and biting at each other's heals.

I thought Turk would be an ideal Soccer Captain as he's always been pretty down-to-earth. But he's changed a lot ever since the responsibility of organising and coaching Futsal and Soccer was thrust upon him, ever since those 3 condemning words: "Captain of Soccer" was sewed onto his blazer pocket. Sigh.. The North Sydney dudes are coming over on the 24th of March, and we've yet to pick a Futsal team. Turk's been threatening to drop all the players because of the slightest of reasons, he's more cocky than ever before on the pitch, and there's this new flare of arrogance that overwhelms me whenever i talk to him now that he's "captain of soccer". I still respect him as a friend, but i'm shocked at how Power can actually Corrupt someone that i thought would be immune to it's vices. I'm regretting now going for Captain of Soccer, but then again, am i better off not pursuing that icon that has destroyed the humble souls of many?

I haven't blogged in such a long time, and sooo much has happened. I don't know where to start. I guess i should state that i'm STILL crazy about soccer. I've joined a church league team, along with Qynn, Shaun and Nick (who has pulled out due to a serious ankle fracture), called NQA; short for Not Quite Asian. haha!

It's the time of the year for new records to be set and old ones to be shattered in the House Athletics competition. It started yesterday and will end tomorrow. I was entrusted with the 110m Hurdles, 100m Individual and 4 x 200m relay in the U-17 Age Group. People keep bagging me about not having the "previledge" of competing in the Open Age Group. I thought about it for a bit, but it didn't bother me much. It's one of those things that galvanises a tinge of sentiment and then lets it cool as a simple realisation.

Well, yesterday was a day that will be imprinted in the blueprints of my mind for all eternity. As one of the fastest runners in my house, i felt a great sense of responsibility and authority being placed upon me. I remember my time sitting in the stands as a timid Year 9 kid admiring the great feats performed by the atheletic Year 12's. Now it was my turn, my final House Athletics Competition.

My nerves constricted and my stomach was in a nervous mess as i prepared for my 110m Hurdles event. I started off poorly. The hurdles were a little higher than last year, but i over-estimated them a little too much; i lost a lot of ground to my opponents as i spent a lot of time suspended in the air. haha! But i managed to get my rythmn right halfway through the race and i managed to do a few perfect leaps. I caught up a few positions and came third in my heat. That qualifies me for the Final event tmr... it'll be tough for me to win it, but i'll pray and hope God will help me through.

The best was yet to come as i calmed my sore muscles for the much-anticipated 100m individual races just 50mins after my hurdles event. There was a sense of intense compeititon and reverence as the fastest runners in the school from all the age groups marshalled at the starting line. I knew i wasn't the best sprinter coming into the race, i was ranked fourth in the school at that time behind these people:
(Based on last year's times)
1) Dillan (some new kid) - 11.2 secs
2) Matthias Poi - 11.47 secs (Record breaker last year)
3) Tim Albinston - 11.49 secs
4) me! haha! - 11.7 secs
As you can see, i'm a LONG way off from the elite.

I prayed really hard just seconds before the gunshot. It was my first time running with spikes (borrowed from Daniel, thanks bro!). I looked at the finish line and then glanced back down at the starting one. BANG! I blast off the blocks with a near to perfect start! Picking up momentum, i could hear all my friends cheering me on from the stands. I couldn't believe it! I was coming first! In front of Matthias! I took a quick glance back to make sure he couldn't catch me before dipping for the finish.

11.38 secs. Yep, i wanna thank God for that because i could never have done it without him. It was my first time winning a 100m event! Despite it being a heat, i was greeted with a rapturous roar from the spectators, soooo many pple (teachers and students) came to congratulate me. Almost the entire school recognises me now. Well, this relates to what i said in the first paragraph. Power and Corruption. I could feel a sense of pride creeping up my blushed-red face as i accepted numerous greetings of praise and congratulations. I LOVED it when pple praised and recognised me, and i wanted to be praised more!

But it was at those points when i realised how foolish i was. How foolish of me to look at the arrogant and express indignation towards their pride and arrogance? I thought it would NEVER get to me, but it did! I was astounded at the mighty grasp of pride and the extent to its corruption. It was then that i realised that no one is exempt from its snares, and no one should ever claim to be. I pray for God to grant me humility, for the proud will always be despised and they will be brought low, but God looks at the humble. He is pleased with them, and he will exalt them in his time.

Next up was the 4 x 200m relay. Another race that "thrust" me into "fame". I won't bore you with long elaborations. Here's what happened. The first two runners weren't that fast and we were last to change over at the 3rd runner (Chris Gan), but Chris managed to catch up. I got the baton equal third. The guy in front was 40m ahead of me and the 2nd dude was 20m ahead. The changeover wasn't fantastic, but i ran as hard as i could, blitzed the 2nd dude and was catching up to the 1st dude, but ended up finishing a few metres shy -.-" Oh well, it was a pretty good comeback, but we had to settle for second placing :) Thank God for that too!

Tomorrow's the day of climax - The final day of Athletics. I'm in three events tmr:
1) 110 Hurdles Final
2) 100m Individual Final
3) 4 x 100m Relay

Yea, three huge events. As it stands, i don't think i'll be able to win them all. Tim Albinston made a new record of 11.22 secs for the 100m, Dilan clocked in at 11.36 secs, 0.02 secs faster than my Personal Best of 11.38 secs. So yea, it'll be a close race tmr, but i wanna commit it all to God :)