Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Good Old Days...

It's hard to find time to blog nowadays. I'm at the Brownless library right now.. at 9am in the morning and i'm not in the mood to start work just yet. So i thought i'll just blog a little about what's been going on in the past few weeks.

I've been attending a Level 2 First Aid course for the past two days from 9am - 5pm. It's an extremely dry and boring course, but i've gotta go through it cuz it's a requirement for my Physio course. Despite the unbearable boredom, the skills that Frank taught us were rather essential such as; the proper way of treating burns, bruises, cramps, deep cuts, fractures, heart attacks, strokes, shocks, epilepsy, asthma attacks, bites from poisonous animals, and how to apply special bandages.. and esp. CPR. One interesting fact that i got out of the course was that most of the time, CPR doesn't resuscitate the casualty. The common conception that the casualty will just spring back into life, cough out all the water in his/her lungs, and turn to give you a kiss for saving his/her life only happens in movies! Sorry to disappoint! However, CPR is still effective as it acts as a manual heart that essentially sustains blood flow in the body while professional medical help is on the way - those 5-7 minutes is vital because the brain can't live for more than 3 mins without oxygen.

I organised a session of Futsal last night with my old Melbourne High soccer buddies, at the old place - Tommy, Jin, Phan, lil Joe, Tom, Dan Lim, Jimmy, Shane, Seb, Luke, Jase, Banh, Daz, Brian, Garvin and myself. It was good playing futsal with them again after such a long time. My heart of overwhelmed with feelings of nostalgia accompanied the emotions of exhilaration and excitement that we all once shared together as we stroked the ball around skilfully. It was particularly good to see that Dan, Jimmy and Shane were all doing well with school and all. Ahh.. These memories of soccer and futsal with you guys will remain deeply buried in my heart for the rest of my life! :)

The Easter weekend was a particularly enjoyable one. I've been wanting to go for a long trip out to the beach for a VERY LONG time, and last Saturday, we finally made a day-trip down to the Mornington beach. It was our first time trying to fish from a jetty, and we weren't getting much luck in the first hour or so. Subsequently, Val and Char gave up because the fish just weren't biting. Nevertheless, the rest of us battled on.. and in the next hour or 2, the fishes were practically JUMPING INTO OUR BUCKETS! lol! Nic started pulling up truckloads of fish - Bass Whiting to be exact! She was like a Whiting magnet! The whiting would bite just SECONDS after she cast her rod in. NOT EXAGGERATING. It was as though the whiting were so eager to get a glimpse of her that they gladly hooked themselves to her line! Uncle James was having the time of his life too! He made several multiple catches with 3-4 whitings hooked onto his line at a time. In the end, we caught 120 fish! :))

Oh yea, i was busy unhooking all the fishes so i didn't get to fish as much. But i wanted to catch at least ONE whiting, and i wanted it to be exciting. So i told Nic and my mum that i would kiss the first fish i catch! haha! Soon enough, i felt a nibble at my line, i pulled it up and there was my first whiting! The only problem was that i had hooked on it rather badly, and it was bleeding profusely -.-"" Nevertheless, i gave it a bloody peck. haha!

We got tired of fishing after a while, so we made our way down to the beach while our parents continued loading up the buckets with whiting. I really enjoyed myself at the beach, just chatting and taking photos with the girls - Sha, Val, Char, Wei Ling and Nic. The photos are on my facebook. We spent a few hours just watching the sunset and the moon rise by the beach. It was an extraordinary sight..breath-taking.

The Good Old Days... i wish they'll never go away. Yet i'm thankful that they actually do, because i wouldn't appreciate them as much if they didn't.

Friday, March 21, 2008

God is Faithful

The two weeks have been rather hectic for me, but i wanna thank God for it. This was the week that i plummeted down into my lowest of moments psychologically. I don't think i've ever been this emotionally devastated in my entire life. I'm used to suppressing my feelings, and trying to stay happy despite the most horrid of circumstances. However, i couldn't help myself through this one.

The main cause of my close shave with depression is my conception of friendship. It's hard to make good friends at Uni. I've had the honour of getting to know a some good people in my Physio course: Josh, Matt, Winsen, Mary, Nooren, Anita, Tim, Jack, Erica. But it's hard to form long-lasting friendships at this stage in life... as for now, i can't see my friendships with these people developing into life-lasting ones simply because it's like a "touch-and-go" routine where you see them for a few hours each day and go "see ya tmr, bud!".. and the cycle repeats itself like a boring routine. But i'm not putting a lid on these friendships just yet... who knows what might happen!

This started me thinking about who my true friends really were... In reference to "true friends", i mean friends that i can feel truly comfortable with, confide in, trust in. Friends who love me, and who i love and treasure deeply. I thought about it hard, and i came up with just a three people: Joce, Tommy, and Tim (the giant midget). Harish, Jase and Anthony were really close friends now, but Hash is doing NS in Sinagapore now. I don't get to see Anthony much cuz he's doing Comm/Law at Monash. And Jase is too busy with his gf, Viv.

I was really disheartened because i used to hang out with the "MHS Soccer Dudes" so much, and we always had each others backs and all. We played futsal, had lunches and hung out so much together... to the extent that i kindda took it for granted. I really miss you guys. Thankfully, i still get to see some of them in Melb Uni occasionally like Stevie T, Turk, Tommy, Jin, Phan ( on sat), Jonno, Jack, lil Joe, Jase. But we seem much more separated now..

I felt very low and dejected because i felt that i didn't have any true friends. Sure, it would be so much easier if i started going clubbing, swear a bit more, and be satisfied with "cool" and "casual" friends instead of deeper and more meaningful friendships. Most of the Physios are all about getting drunk, having a fun night out, grabbing a quickie, chop and change gf's along the way.. but i want something much deeper than that. So i prayed and i put my faith in God. It was a real struggle putting my faith in him because of his intangible nature..

Mon got a lil bit better when i got to have some meaningful chats with my friends at Uni - Josh, Matt and Winsen. On Tues, Chris and I joined a Christian Union bible study group. There were only about 7 of us, but i absolutely enjoyed the fellowship and discussion with the people there! Chris and i went down to the Gloria Jeans on Swanston Street to grab a cup of iced coffee, and we had an awesome chat. Weds was pretty good too, got to know Matt a whole lot more.

Thurs was a complete MIND-BLOWER. I was going to study for a bit before meeting up with Tommy and Jin, but i ended up having coffee with Nooren, Mary and Anita. I got to know them a whole lot more, and they're REALLY REALLY interesting people. Mary and Nooren told me a lot about their Mauritian culture, their way of life, their opinions about Aussie culture, and even their obsession with BOLLYWOOD! haha! That was hilarious! After that, i met up with Jin and Tommy for lunch at this place called Kun Ming (we used to go there quite frequently back when we were in Highschool). Having lunch there really brought back some precious nostalgic memories of the past.. it was a true delight catching up with them. After that, we went to the Law Library to study for a bit. I think the best part of the day was when Tommy and i had a long chat in the cold outside Seasons while waiting for my mum to come. We chatted about a LOAD of stuff. Tommy, thanks for everything bud.. i thank God for you! :)

Had a good chat with Nic yesterday too... started off with the weather being too cold for her to the extent that she decided to skip her tutorial... to the fact that she turned herself into an emo by cutting her fringe off, painting her eyelids black, and pricking her fingers with a sewing needle... to my comment that she belongs to the Emo Corner at Flinders Station... to the fact that she looks like a clown (all she needs is a red nose!).

This entire week serves as a testimony that God hears my prayers and that he's always faithful. I thank God for all my friends. Thank God that nic's chose to come tmr too! Hope she'll enjoy herself.

God's faithful, isn't he?

I wrote this song today:

You Rescued Me

Lord, I'm lost without you
I don't know what to do
All my friends have moved on
And I'm just left on my own
Teach me to be
Just who you made me to be
I wanna live like you
So won't you make me brand

Today, though I'm weak and weary
I'll say, that the Lord is my strength!

You are my God
My Faithful One
Your Love is all I'll ever need
You carried me through
When I couldn't see
You heard my cry
And you rescued me
Lord, i'm grateful

God + zac

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

First Days In Melbourne Uni

I'm already feeling pretty drained at the end of my second day in Uni. I've got to get into the habit of sleeping early now that i've got 8am lectures on Tues, Weds and Thurs; which means that i'll have to wake up at 5.50am in the morning -.-""

How am i coping with Uni?

Well, the first two days of my 4 year tenure in my Physio course has really been hectic. I've been getting to uni as early as 8am and getting home at around 7pm on these two days -.-"" Also, it's been kindda hard finding new friends that i can truly feel comfortable with. I've made quite a number of new Physio friends, but it seems like all of us are still heavily bonded with our own friends from high school.. and we tend to want to hang out with our old friends during our breaks - i won't exclude myself from that group.

I found my PBL and Prac groups rather interesting so far, and i'm anticipating an enjoyable year once i get to know my peers a little bit more. It's going to be a different environment for me, and i'm going to have to form a different kindda culture in my friendships now that most of my friends are going to be Aussies rather than Asians. That'll be rather exciting and daunting at the same time.

While the PBLs and Pracs seems interesting, i find the lectures to be TERRIBLY BORING! haha! Especially the lectures in Principles of Biomedical Sciences -.-" The lecturer's entertaining and the content sounds interesting. However, I can't understand most of the stuff he's on about most of the time due to my virtually non-existent knowledge of Biology!!! Ahh!! I was very frustrated and depressed yesterday, but i prayed. And i put my mind to studying again. I borrowed Jerusha's Bio text book today and spent about 5 hours or so doing a self-conducted crash course on Biology. haha! It was tough, and kindda depressing to be studying so hard on the 2nd day of school, but i was able to grasp quite a bit of the fresh bio knowledge.. and it all seems to make sense now. It's not over though. I've gotta keep up with the pace lest i fall behind next week!

Joel, John and their family flew back to Singapore on the weekend. It's been fun having them here. Sleeping on the floor on the nights that they were here eventually took its toll on my mood, but i guess it was offset by John's eccentric nature and Joel's peculiar humour. John taught me how to make a special concoction of Milo, coffee, Nutella, water, and condensed milk. It tasted pretty nice actually. Joel was always cracking me up with his sarcastic remarks, his strong desire to DRIFT, and his constant cravings for ALCOHOL! Joel, you alcoholic! :P

I went on a Fungus leaders retreat to Mount Martha with Qynn, Sonja, Nicole Tan, Nicole Kee, Sue Ann, Adora, Pete, Zimmer, Will, Chara, Yvette, Vernis and Bryan. The view from the beach house that we rented was extraordinary. It overlooked the mountains, the local town and the sea! It had all the facilities one could ever dream of, including a balcony, all the channels on Foxtel, a pool table, a mini-bar, bicycles, trampoline, and even a SPA! haha!

We got to spend some time to get to know each other better. We created "story boards" of our lives which contained all the significant people, places and events in our lives. It was rather sentimental thinking back and reminiscing about all the nostalgic memories of the past including my granddad, lobby 7, east coast park, St. Andrew's, fishing at the canal with my friends, LWCC, the quarrels and significant scoldings that i had, etc. Then we shared our story boards with some of the others.

We drove down to Sorrento for a fish & chips lunch one day, and we played beach cricket along the beach at Portsea. I thought that it would be a terribly boring game, but cricket's actually pretty fun. Especially when you've gotta avoid stepping on all the sharp shells and seaweed on the beach before making a heroic drive for a catch!

Oh! One AMAZING thing that i managed to do was to watch an ENTIRE SUNSET! I spent a whole heap of time with various people in the Spa, which was located on the balcony which overlooked the entire area including the mountains and the sea. The view was breathtaking! Adora and i soaked in the Spa from 5pm to 8pm and we chatted while watching the sun slowly move down the sky, merge with the horizon, and then disappear into the deep blue sea. Oh, how i wish i could've caught it all on camera!

During the retreat, God reminded me that the year's going to be a tough one and that i'll be exposing myself to the arrows of the evil one by taking a step up into leadership at Fungus.

Ephesians 6:13-20 says to "put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand..."

Basically, I noted these things:
  • The "breastplate of righteousess" guards my heart and ensures that it always seeks after God.
  • Defend myself with FAITH; which comes from perseverance and trust in God.
  • "Helmet of Salvation" - Take comfort in my salvation and do not let the evil one deceive me. On the contrary, to let the JOY of my Salvation fill my heart when times are tough.
  • "Sword of the Spirit" - Hide God's word in my heart so that i might not sin against him. To embed scripture in my heart and use them to combat temptation.
  • Pray in the SPIRIT - Cover all my actions and activities with prayer lead by the Spirit and accompanied by faith.
  • Be Alert to the sitations and emotions or others, and pray for them that the Lord might shield them.
Adora and i also sat down to chat about our goals for our little discussion group at Fungus through the year. We came up with three:
  1. To motivate them to love the Lord and to actively seek after his Word daily
  2. To develop close and personal relationships with each of them
  3. To create an open and transparent attitude in the discussion grp so that no one will feel inhibited to share their worries or troubles.
I woke up early one morning and i sat on the balcony to admire the beauty of the God's handiworks. It was then that i was inspired to write this poem:

My Faithful God

The mountains, the seas
The creatures and the trees.
They lay in still adoration,
For the One who made them be.
They wait upon the Lord,
All quiet and still.
For they know that He is faithful,
He provides their every meal.
He makes the sun rise in the morning,
Bringing light for all to see.
He creates fresh dew,
To feed each thirsty tree.
My God is faithful,
With each breath He sustains me.
I wake in the morning,
For He has willed for it to be.
His mercies are new each morning!
His faithfulness never ends!
How foolish am I to doubt!
My Saviour, My Lord and Friend.

+ zac

Vietnam Video - Part 2

This is the 2nd part of the Vietnam trip. I made this video using iMovie 08, which i reckon is pretty dodgy. Apple has tried too hard to simplify it for the common user; to the extent of taking out the timeline manipulation feature! -.-""

Anyway, enjoy! :)