Sunday, April 29, 2007

How To Save A Life

More satisfying than the first gulp of cold coke on a hot summer day. More delightful than a warm kiss. More comforting than a firm assurance that a girl/guy out there loves you more than you know. More exhilarating than scoring a hat-trick in a local derby. That was somewhat close to the extent of my elation last night.

Eugene (15) and his brother, Edmund (10), came to our fortnightly cell group meeting last night. During our cell discussion, my mum noticed that they were more enthusiastic and more eager than the rest of us. They took the initiative in answering the questions raised by my mum, and had no qualms about memorising memory verses. My mum told me to speak to Eugene; firstly to inquire if he was a Christian, if not, then secondly, to ask if he wanted to receive Christ. I felt timid. I didn't even know him well! Why should he be open to me? Who was i to converse with him over the most delicate of topics involving life and death?

But I knew i had to.

His genuine openness and eagerness to share his stance on Christianity, as well as, to hear what i had to say on the matter, spurred my spirits. I was praying desperately in my heart for the Holy Spirit to work in him, and to speak through me. We chatted for 10 minutes or so before i popped the question. My heart was racing like a limp racehorse, itss tired legs dragging it back; no motivation except to escape from the crackle of its jockey's whip.

"If you had a chance to," i asked, " would you say the Sinner's Prayer and receive Jesus Christ into your life, as well as, the gift of eternal life?" His answer dealt a massive blow to my unbelieving expression; like a rappler to the nuts that didn't hurt. Shortly after, he was repeating the sinner's prayer after my mum.

I can't remember the exact words, but it was simple, something like this:

" Dear Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that i am a sinner. I thank you for dying on the cross for me. Would you please forgive me and come into my heart. In Jesus' name, amen."

The inexpressible joy that overwhelmed my faithless heart was boundless! Praise the Lord!

There's nothing more that shall ever please me more than to see a life saved, a lost soul snatched away from the clutches of satan and placed into the loving hand of God.

It's unbelieveable that obtaining eternal life is as simple as that! The bible says "Trust and believe, and you will be saved." How much does it take just to close your eyes and say that one minute prayer to God? Look around you. Surely there has to be a God. Now you know that that God loves you. Trust me, take the first step, say the prayer above, and you'll NEVER regret it.

I lacked faith, but God proved me otherwise. It's so true that the Holy Spirit is the one that works in the hearts of others, all you have to do is muster up the courage and offer God your mouth. Praise the Lord! Surely, my heart will rejoice in his unfailing love and every breath in me will whisper, "How great is my Lord?"

How To Save A Life?
That's How!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Friends? or Simply Acquiantances?

That's Val's reponse to Fru-Gal. What a timid heart she has! :P
An attempt at the rainbow..
The tennis crew.
The "bully of the playground" on the fly-fox!

Adrienne was trying on my sister's glasses. I told her that i wouldn't put it on my blog. But i think she might have heard me wrong.

Adrienne tried my glasses on. Again, i told her that i wouldn't upload it on my blog, but she might've been hearing things. And she was reading my smses!!
That's Fru-Gal, the frog that gave Val the fright of her life!

That's Daniel moments before getting nutmegged :P
A semi-successful attempt at a rainbow by Wesley!

The hols were fantastic! Well, at least i wish i could say that with some conviction. Sure, there were a few Futsal games, some lunches and some gatherings with friends, but most of my holidays were spent isolated in my tiny room studying -.-"

I guess all, or most of, the other year 12's were all studying too so i shouldn't indulge in too much exclusive self-pity. haha! I thank God for giving me such good friends to cheer me up in my most solemn of moments.

Daniel came over a couple of times because his parents weren't at home. We got to know each other a whole lot more, and i appreciate him so much more. Though he can be rather irritating at times, i wouldn't mind him as a younger brother :)

Him, along with Ven, Val and Wesley came for tennis games rather frequently. Hmm... Ven's really nice to talk to, and she's always full of enthusiasm whenever i speak to her. That injects some energy into my veins whenever i'm feeling lethargic. Val. Well, what can i say? Her unique laughter brightens my day.

Wesley. He's only the most innocent and adorable guys you'll ever meet! haha! I love it when his gluttony overcomes his curteous mannerisms at the dinner table! 9 out of 10 times you'll find him scrummaging through the food before we say grace! Aww, i wish he was my younger bro!

Anyway, i really thank God for these pple. They added a cheer to my sullen holidays.

I can't help but feel that i've grown more distant from my school mates. We were so close over the past few years, but i don't see any of them in any of my classes, except for Dazza. And i think that's affecting all my friendships. Sigh.. Anthony, Jin, Phan, Marcus, Harish, Tommy, Joe, Duc, Jase, Stevie, Banh, Victor, Jonno, Jamie, etc. I hate it when there are awkward moments with nothing to talk about... it never used to be like this.. until i stopped having classes with them.

It really pains me to see all these friendships fading away slowing, day by day..

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Different View Towards Death

Charmaine and Aunty Sarah just dropped us a surprise visit. They got back from Singapore last night. I must say it was good to see both of them again. I spoke to Aunty Sarah for a bit while Char and Sha (it's funny how Venetia, Charmaine and Jerusha can all rhyme: tia, char and sha) went to Sha's bedroom.

I read Audrey's blog a few days ago, and the contention in one of her post was that dating isn't as important as developing a wide and firm base of friends that you know you can trust. Lots of friends have popped by these holidays, and i find myself thanking God for them in my prayers, something which i've never done before.

I don't know, Aud. Would you rather have someone you can spend the rest of your life with or a bunch of good and trusty friends that you can only see several times a week?

One thing that strike me most is the "goodbye" that sparks the beginning of the end of every meeting. I hate that because it makes me feel like i'm losing something.

This feeling of uncertainty creeps over me because i don't know if we'll continue to be good friends the next time we meet. Or will something happen that turn the best of friends into eternal archrivals?? You can never know. You may be all happy and fine today, but sad and depressed the next.

I guess everyone longs for someone else that really ("really" isn't the right word, "geuine" suits my cause better) cares, loves them altruistically; someone whose love for you is unfaltering, unfailing. Someone who would still love you no matter how much you piss them off.

Graham Greene puts it this way:
"A chance of death? Why should i want to die when Phuong slept beside me every night? But i knew the answer to that question. From childhood I had never believed in permanence, and yet i had longed for it. Always i was afraid of losing happiness. This month, next year, Phuong would leave me. If not next year, in three years. Death was the only absolute value in my world."

Here comes the astonishing part:
"Lose life and one would lose nothing again for ever. I envied those who could believe in a God and I distrusted them. I felt they were keeping their courage up with a fable for the changeless and the permanent. Death was far more certain than God, and with death there would be no longer the daily possibility of love dying. The nightmare of a future of boredom and indifference would lift. I could never have been a pacifist. To kill a man was surely to grant him an immeasurable benefit. Oh yes, people always, everywhere, loved their enemies. It was their friends they preserved for pain and vacuity."

Someday i'll understand...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Is the Bible Real?

Hey guys, i hope you liked the futsal compilation. I'll attempt to make another one next week! If you haven't seen it, scroll down to the previous post! :)

There's a much-neglected section in the Fungus website ( called "Ask Dr. Fungus". Dr. Fungus is this anonymous bible wiz that'll answer any questions about the bible or about your personal life. He's REALLY good, and he's extremely efficient in his responses. So, you know where to go if you're in a dilemma and have got no where else to turn to!

Well, i posted a question a few weeks ago, and i was positively astonished by Dr. Fungus's intricately craved out answer which adequately met all that was puzzling my heart. Have a read.

I wrote:
"Hey Dr. Fungus, Here's one to quench your thirst for questions.

I was trying to get some work done in the library today when a few of my friends started a debate about God and whether the bible is real or not.

You've gotta bear in mind that my school's full of fact-based pple and 'faith' is a severely obsecure term. One of them asked me, "How do you know that the bible is really 66 books written by different authors at different time periods. Maybe one person wrote it altogether, an awesome plot and all." Another showed me the newspaper today and referred to an article that claimed that the coffins of Jesus, ' his wife Mary and his brother James' were found.

He then asked me, " How can you prove that Jesus rose from the dead? And he didn't have an affair with Mary?" And i asked him, " So what if Jesus HAD HAD an affair with Mary?" A question that i couldn't answer when he threw it back in my face.

Yet another asked, " Carbon dating of various fossils have shown that the earth is a few million years old, very much shorter than the thousands of years the bible claims it to be. Therefore, how can the bible be real?"

Also, just a personal question: "Books like Genesis, Job, Samuel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and many others are written in the third person and this person seemed to be able to describe the FEELINGS of the character. But how would this person know what the person is feelings, OR even what ACTUALLY happened at those times! For example, how did Moses know how God created the world? and HOW he created it. How'd he know that Eve was formed from the rib of a man, and that God took delight in his creations?" It would be great if you can answer my queries. Thanks!

He Replied:

That's a good question Isaac! Its almost been a year since I've got a question on this forum, let alone a few!

Ok, you asked...
1. "How do you know that the bible is really 66 books written by different authors at different time periods. Maybe one person wrote it altogether, an awesome plot and all."

The Old and New Testaments were given through 40 different authors, located in Asia, Africa and Europe, over a 1600-year time span. Centuries ago, Jews and Christians had to settle which writings were inspired by God and which weren't. But there were many more writings floating around than we now have in our Bible.

The Jewish community met about A.D. 90 to decide which writings were authoritative. The books of Moses? No question. The great prophets? No debate. But other books were discussed more. The collection of writings that was selected is what we now call the Old Testament. Christians had a harder time coming up with the New Testament, because early Christianity was an underground movement; Christians couldn't even hold public meetings until the 4th century. But 2nd-century bishops (overseers of groups of churches) were already writing to individual churches saying, "Read these books, don't read those books"—even before there was an "official" New Testament. So, there were already books considered authentic and books considered fraudulent. Now, you must ask, how did the church decide which books were authentic and which weren't?

It boils down to two issues: historical credibility and spiritual benefit.

Historical credibility simply means asking, "Does an apostle—one of the 12 disciples or Paul, for instance—stand behind this writing?" Matthew was an apostle, and he was with Jesus, so his book holds a lot of weight. Mark wasn't an apostle, but he worked with Peter, and Peter was with Jesus; that's why Mark's book holds weight.

Many books claimed "apostolic connection," but some of those claims—like the Gospel of Thomas—were fraudulent. Which brings up the spiritual benefit issue. Wise bishops in the early church examined these writings and asked: "Is Thomas really the author? Does this writing reflect the spiritual and theological commitments of the other books?" With the Gospel of Thomas, the answer was "no" on both counts.

Your friend also asked, how you might know that the bible isn't just a awesome complilation of stories. Well, Bible's writers(even over such a long period of time) all convey the same basic message: the God who created the heavens and the earth wants to know people and has provided a way for people to know Him.

Beyond its unique authorship the Bible also has the number one track record for fulfilled prophecy. Old Testament prophets gave over 300 specific prophecies about the coming Messiah, all of which were perfectly fulfilled by Jesus Christ hundreds of years later. These and the many other fulfilled prophecies show why the writers could say, "Thus says the Lord..."--they were speaking for the One who knows "the end from the beginning."

Also unique to the Bible is its confirmation by archaeology. Archaeological finds have consistently confirmed names, historical events, and geographical details exactly as reported in the Old and New Testaments. Though archaeology cannot prove the spiritual truth of the Bible, the discoveries do show the Bible's reliability as an historical report. More on archaeology.

Also, unlike any other book, the Bible has been remarkably preserved over time. Thousands of accurately hand-copied manuscripts are in existence today. In fact, there are over 5,000 manuscripts of the New Testament (compared to only seven existing manuscripts of Plato's writings). And when the text of all these volumes is compared, one finds a 99.95% consistency.

2. " Carbon dating of various fossils have shown that the earth is a few million years old, very much shorter than the thousands of years the bible claims it to be. Therefore, how can the bible be real?"

Well, carbon dating is well used in science today to determine the age of objects. However, what we fail to see is that, like any other science, it has some assumptions for it to hold true. Radiocarbon dating assumes that the carbon-12/carbon-14 ratio has stayed the same for at least the last hundred thousand years or so.

However, the difference between production and decay rates, and the systematic discrepancy between radiocarbon and tree-ring dates, refute this assumption. Instead, the evidence for change is entirely consistent with a recent Creation and catastrophic Flood. Production of carbon-14 began only 6,000 years ago—the approximate time of Creation. Roughly 1,500 years later, the Flood upset the entire carbon cycle. As the discrepancy between "specific production rate" and "specific decay rate" shows, the Earth is still in the process of attaining equilibrium.

Further, we know from the radiocarbon dating of tree rings that as we go back in time, we find less and less carbon-14. If there was less carbon-14 in the past, then there has been less decay in our samples than the equilibrium model assumes. And if there has been less decay, then the samples are not as old as they may seem. Carbon dating assumes that nature works today the same as it has worked for millions of years, yet the facts do not support this contention. It should not cause us to abandon the facts of biblical history.

There's more to this question, but its all quite "sciency". All of you might start drooling on your keyboard. But if any of you are interested I could hook you up with some interesting reads on the web. Email me anytime!

3. "Books like Genesis, Job, Samuel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and many others are written in the third person and this person seemed to be able to describe the FEELINGS of the character. But how would this person know what the person is feelings, OR even what ACTUALLY happened at those times! For example, how did Moses know how God created the world? and HOW he created it. How'd he know that Eve was formed from the rib of a man, and that God took delight in his creations?"

The bible contains two things: (1) known facts; and (2) revelation. What is the difference between the two?

When we say that the Bible contains “known facts,” we mean that it contains information known to the people of that time and place. For example, if the Bible mentions people known as Hittites (Exodus 23:28 ), then historical records could verify their existence. If the Bible mentions that the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus commanded that a census be taken at a certain time (Luke 2:1), then we could corroborate the truthfulness of such a statement.

But to say that the Bible “contains” known facts, implies that it also contains something else. That “something else” is revelation. By definition, revelation designates the unveiling of facts and truths to man by God—facts and truths that man, on his own, otherwise could not have known. Revelation has reference to the communication of information.

Compare and contrast the following. When Moses wrote in the book of Numbers about Israel’s wilderness wanderings, he did not need revelation from God to do so. He was their leader during that period, and simply wrote what he observed as an eyewitness. When Luke penned the book in the New Testament that bears his name, he did not need revelation from God to do so. He acknowledged as much when he said: “It seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus” (Luke 1:3, emp. added). Luke had been on certain of the missionary journeys, and thus was able to write from firsthand experience.

On the other hand, notice Moses’ statement in Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong unto Jehovah our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (emp. added). As an illustration of this fact, we may observe that Moses would have had absolutely no way to know the details of the Creation week (Genesis 1:1ff.), unless God Himself had revealed those details to him. Nor could the apostle John have described in such a beautiful panorama the splendors of heaven (as he did within the book of Revelation), unless God first described to John the splendors of heaven. On occasion, the various Bible writers could, and did, place in print what they saw, or what they had been told by credible witnesses.

When they penned such matters, they had no need of revelation from God, since they wrote from firsthand experience. At times, however, they wrote about things they neither had experienced nor had been told by others. When they did so, it was God’s revelation that provided them the information they needed (Amos 3:7; Daniel 2:28; Ephesians 3:3-5).

Phew that was one lengthy post! Hope I haven’t bored you all too much. But it’s really good to question why you have faith in something and be able to tell your friends about it without doubting too much in yourself. I highly suggest you guys try to attend the apologetics classes in church if you are interested in topics as such. Feed me more questions! Any kind at anytime.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

North Sydney Futsal Video!

I spent an hour or so last night compiling my first-ever video clip! I never knew it could be so much fun. Remember how i sat out in the last match of the Futsal comp due to a groin injury? Yea well, i took the liberty to film my friends in action! Enjoy the clip and be sure to read the post below! :)

Oh btw, Dan stayed over last night and he snored like a hippo!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wonder Debut Goal... a Mate from Sydney... and a robotic hatrick!

"How gracious is my Lord who listens to my cries even when i've sinned against him?"

That's Crown Casino from 300m up in the air!

Remember the pointless journey to Smith Street a few weeks back? Yea, this was the angry mob. Look at the hatred and digust in those eyes!
View of the office buildings (Optus, AWP, Isaac Holdings, Isaac FC., etc) from the Rialto Tower
Srini (the notorious gaybo) giving Arj a sensual massage! lol! I took a video of it. Srini caught red-handed in his gay exploits! haha!
View of the fire show along Southbank from the Rialto Tower

I don't know if anyone still visits this stagnant blog. I've been way too busy to even check my email, much less to express my feelings and emotions on this online safeplace. I just came back from a tennis game with Venetia, Valerie, Wesley, Daniel and Sha. It's been such a long time since we hung out together like this.. i miss those long drives out to the beach... those barbeque dinners. Anyway, i was feeling too tired to blog when Emmeline jumps outta the green manikin icon on the bottom right of every normal teenager's computer and starts confesses her dire boredom just to stress the importance of updating my blog. So, here it is... thanks for your inspiration Em. These few weeks are easily summed up with three phrases: A robotic hat-trick, A Mate from Sydney and a Wonder Debut Goal! :)

Well, i was feeling really nervous yesterday because it was the beginning of the church league season which i had just joined. For all of you who don't know, i recently joined a soccer team called NQA (Not Quite Asian) which plays in a mini church soccer league consisting of 8 teams. Qynn drove Shaun and i down to the pitch at Ashwood and we met the rest of the team there. I was shitting in my pants not because i lacked the skill, but because i DIDN'T KNOW HALF MY TEAM MATES! LOL! I've never trained or played with half of the team! How are we supposed to win the game???!

Anyway, i learned their names 10 minutes before the game. God graciously gave me a really good memory then because i was able to memorise their names. For most of you who know me well, i'm TERRIBLE with names. I literally forget names seconds after they're told to me!

We started off with a bang. I made several runs down the left-wing (it was my first time playing on the left of the midfield). I hardly got a touch of the ball, but i managed to make some nice tackles covering for Beven. 10 minutes into the game, my groin injury started acting up, and i grew breathless, so i subbed myself off. Our team continued to create many chances: Shaun scuffed a few sitters and Isaac (another Isaac. PS. all Isaac's are cool!) hit the crossbar with a sensational looping strike!

It was a stalemate as the two teams jogged off the pitch for the half-time break. Qynn was fatigued and Vic told me to replace him in the middle of the pitch -.-""" That's a HUGE responsibility; filling in for such a reliable player in Qynn. The pain in my groin kindda faded to a slight tingy sensation whenever i took a stride, but i decided to play for a while more just to give myself a little chance.

10 more minutes passed, and we were mounting MORE and MORE pressure onto our opponents. Then the break came when i exchanged a SPLENDID one-two pass with Lukey, i took a glance at the far left-hand corner as i struck the ball as hard as i could from a one-step run up on the edge of the penalty box. The ball deflected off the thigh of a defender and rappled into the back of the net! I was wide-eyed in disbelief when i saw the keeper rooted to the ground. LOL! I can't describe the elation that SURGED through my veins.. Such EXCITEMENT accompanied the sudden adrenaline rush that blew me up on cloud 99! It was my first proper goal in a competitive league match! All my fatigue faded away as my teammates surrounded me to pass on their congratulations.

We managed to spring their offside trap as Shaun held his composure to roll the ball comfortably pass a stranded keeper. Then Lukey sealed the game off with a AMAZING first-time volley into the bottom left-hand corner! 3-0. The ideal scoreline for our first match as a team! Keep it up NQA! Well done team!

The robotic hat-trick is a reference to Peter Crouch's three SPECTACULAR goals against Arsenal last night. Nick, Josh, Shaun and i watched the ultimate THRASHING of Arsenal last night. Boy! The double backheel by a combination of Pennant and Arbeloa ripped the Arsenal defence apart like a finger through a wet piece of toilet paper stained with arse chocolate! Liverpool was deliciously awesome last night! =)

Andrew, my North-Sydney billet, came over last Sunday for the North Sydney Sports Exchange hosted by my school. We spent the first day playing soccer with the Fungus pple. Then we spent that night playing a FIFA 07 tournament at home. He's grown SOOO much since the last time! He's about one and a half heads taller than i now -.-" and he's TANK too!

Just to sum up how the sports went. Andrew won his Discus event by a mile as North Sydney High claimed the points for Athletics. I played Futsal for Melbourne High. We had 10 pple in our team: Turk, Chalky, Laios, Johnny, Jase, Kev, Martin, Stevie, Brad and myself. I was in the starting line-up for all three games! :) Well, it was a BEST OF 3 GAMES. We lost the first game 5-4 because we weren't organised, but we hit the post 4 times.. so we deserved to win. We really took it to them in the second game. We were OWNING them so hard in the first half and were leading 4-2 at half-time. I was feeling really tired, so i subbed off while Laios had to endure with his fatigue in the second half. It was then that we lost our lead in a disappointing match that ended 4-4 -.-""

This meant that we had to win the last match by AT LEAST 2 goals to win by goal difference. Winning by 1 goal would only have given us a draw. I suffered from a semi-severe groin strain in the second game, which prevented me from kicking the ball! I had no strength left in my right leg! So i decided to sit out for the 3rd game. Well, my replacement Johnny, played the GAME OF HIS LIFE! Everyone played SOOO WELL in that last game, which really earned us a much-deserved 9-6 victory!!! Booyah! This meant that we claimed the points for Futsal, winning on a goal difference of 2! :) I feel quite bad because i was one of the few on the team that failed to score, and the only game when we played well was when i was not playing!! :(

haha!! Andrew and i joined Tommy and his billet, Josh, for dinner at Tommy's cousin's Jap restaurant on Monday. Aww! The food there is ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTUTOUS! Tommy's dad gave us a little treat, and Andrew took full advantage of that!!! lol! He had two bottled drinks, a fried ice-cream and a Sashimi Bento Set! haha! I don't he was full even after that! Andrew! You eat so much! I ordered Fried Chicken with Thin Noodles and Tommy ordered Fried Pork with Thin Noodles, and we shared a little. Josh had black bean beef noodles. haha! So much for eating at a Jap restaurant!

Tommy's dad was kind enough to drive us down to the city after that. We went up to the Rialto Towers along Collins Street. Aww man... i COULDN'T BELIEVE my eyes from up there! Boy! The tower is 300m + high and there was this open-air balcony that we could stand on. Man, the wind 300m up in the air was rather chilly, but the experience was one that i will NEVER forget! Looking down on Flinders Street, Southern Cross Station, Crown Casino and Bourke Street from a bird's eye view gave me a totally different perspective! The city was VERY well-lit. The road lights stretched for MILES... it was very much like the blue horizon that you would normally see at the beach, only that the horizon wasn't formed by the separation of air and water; it was made up of the radiant orangy city lights and the vast black night sky. Beautiful! :)

Well, thanks for coming Andrew. I had a great time hanging out with ya. I hope you enjoyed your stay! :)

Oh yea, it was my Best Friend Jocelyn's birthday last Saturday. I sung her a birthday song via the net! :) Thanks for always being there for me Joce!

The hols have come. It's not going to be an enjoyable one cuz i'm gonna be studying all the time (hopefully productively). So yea, for all of you who aren't in Year 12, have a great holiday! :) Don't waste time doing nothing, make use of every minute God has so graciously given you! :)