Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Faithful God

My Faithful God

When I was weary and broken
You caught my tears in the palms of your hands
You carried me through the fiercest storm
You are the God who heals my disease

Now I stand surrounded
By the power of your love
I'll raise my hands
To worship my King

Your love is like an ever-raging sea
I can't resist it
It washes over me
You hide my fears and failures
Behind the rugged cross
My soul it sings
What a Faithful God!

I will run and not be weary
I will walk and not be faint
For my God is faithful
He will carry me through

-------



Today was rather unique. I decided not to go for soccer training. I picked up a minor ankle injury a about a month ago. I thought it would get better after a few days, but it didn't. I continued to play soccer/futsal. Consequently, i gradually aggravated it
to the extent that it's sending out excruciating pain signals whenever i stretch it. Ahh... i don't want to be limited by an injury; or worse, to be restricted from ever kicking a ball again because of it!!

So, i decided to take a break from soccer today. I had plenty of study to catch up with anyway. HOWEVER, i ended up spending an hour or so "revamping" my room. I rearranged my desk and lamps, organised all the junk on it, rearranged the pictures on my wall, and vacuumed my room :D

That took me a solid hour. Then, i hopped on my guitar and started to worship God. I intended to spend about 30mins with God before starting on my study, but i ended up composing a song for 2-3hrs!! (yes, it's the song that you see above) haha!

Dinner time.


ps. Jesus loves you VERY much.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy 19th Nick! =)

Soccer buds.. Happy 19th Lobes! :)


Uncle Jin (middle man) flew over for a day on business. I realised that i've never had a real conversation with him. I guess I was too young and immature back when i was in Singapore.


That pretty girl in the beautiful blue dress on the left is Em. She's the future CEO of Maccas. (Coke and Ice anyone?)


That's us at Melissa's house (it's more like a Mansion) before the formal.

Nicky in his B'day present! Sup, homie?

ft. tb alv + extreme r@ger Darth Aud!


Nick and Serene. Franny, get outta the picture! :P


We "broke" Franny's jelly heart. Aww.. (that is funny)


Alvin: That's a shattered heart.


-

The average lifespan: 75 years
.

No. of days in a year: 365
26,700 days.

2, 306, 880, 000 seconds to live.

-


Nick's surprise party was the first successful one that i've witnessed. There's an interesting sotry behind the surprise.

Serene had been planning this for quite some time, but Nick coincidentally found out a few days ago. It took quite a bit of wit on Serene's part (all credit to her). See, Nick knew that we were going to throw a surprise party for him, but he didn't know WHEN. Subsequently, Serene planned a premature "fake" surprise party while we were playing soccer last night to disguise the real surprise party this arvo.

We were having a fun time playing futsal until the lights went out at 10pm. Amidst the pitch darkness, Serene and a couple of girls brought in HAMBURGER CAKES with sparkling candles on them. Fortunately, the disguise worked, and Nick was genuinely surprised today.

I had a fun time at Nick's place despite feeling rather sick (i'm suffering from over exersion coupled with a lack of rest). Shared many laughs with Nick, Aud, Stan, Sha, Iain, Daniel, Serene, and JP.

Highlight of the day: Nick's lightsabre battle with Aud.
video

Adri and Aaron stayed over last night after soccer. Jerusha went to bed early cuz she had to wake up for tuition today, so Adri came over to my room and we chatted till 2 in the morn - "sempiternal love", "vituperations", silly songs that i compose, and grand dads is all that i can remember; the rest was just a blur.. I was wayy too tired.

At 2am, YES, 2AM, she was still hungry and was craving for her favourite Mee Goreng.

Adri: ^^ Meee... Gorreeenggg??? Pllleeeeaasseee (^^,)

So Mee Goreng it was. I cooked a good batch this time (Ann, i'm ready for rematch!) We watched August Rush as we ate. I dozed off soon after.. keeping my eyes open was harder than not closing them. (that wasn't meant to make sense)

I woke up at 8ish. I felt sooo tired and i just wanted to lazy around for a bit. Guess WHO comes rushing in.. Adri jumps on my bed and starts kicking me off -.-"" I ate her egg sandwich.

Ahhh.. uni's already taking its toll! I'm gonna spend my Sunday studying about muscle creep, low back injuries, stress-strain curves, fatigue failure...

"If i were a muscle, i would be on the verge of undergoing fatigue failure"

the house of fun

je ma'pelle adrienne ft. Isaac

yes well im not actually allowed to do this but whatever (:
atm at the Ho twins house and am currently not doing any productive (ie. not planning some mass sabotage on their beloved rooms) cuz i have netball in about 10 mins..

ISAAC JUST ATE MY EGG SANDWICH !
nottee !

btw we would just like to say to you, we dont appreciate ppl who tend to have a "repertoire of vetuperation"

BUT we do believe in sempeternal love (btw if the spelling is all wrong)


anyways au revoir !

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Irony


Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made

Were every stalk on earth a quill

And every man a scribe by trade


To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry

Nor could the scroll contain the whole

Though stretched from sky to sky


I got that poem from Yvonne's blog. She's an amazing writer/journalist. Her blog posts will shrink any ego and make one's vocab like a bottle of water floating in a vast sea.


Life's an irony because we human's are intrinsically corrupt.
Yet we refuse to admit to this simple fact
And make countless attempts to rectify this incorrigible problem
Which inevitably turns around and bites us in the backside.
Irony.


My first lecture back at Uni was on eicosanoids. What are they? See if you can figure them out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Size: Ronaldinho

The new look: These shirts are available in sizes small, medium, large, extra large and Ronaldinho


That's a real quote from MailOnline. It's amazing how this sensational footballer can drop from a platform of such fame and honour to a ditch full of criticism and disappointment. I, for one, used to really respect Ronaldinho. The things he did on the pitch were simply breath-taking. Yet all it took was one bad party to ruin his reputation.

It's quite scary when we realise how real this concept is in our own lives.

It takes years of joy and sorrow to build a relationship, but only a moment of folly to shatter it.

I've kindda deviated from my main purpose of posting that picture of Ronaldinho. I just realised that i'm slowly progressing into the "ronaldinho" size, and i'll be taking a few measures to get back to a "medium".

Monday, July 21, 2008

Friends.. Em.. Joce.. Jan.. Ann.. Dani.. Adri
















Don't you just hate the times when you just can't seem to spell words that you use frequently in verbal communication? Each of us deal with this differently. Some of us look up a dictionary, others ask someone else, adri does this:

isaac: so you've got your dad's friend to cheauffeur us?

adrienne:erm well my dad's friends chaffeour to chaeoufoiaug us

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today was my first day back in Uni. Semester 2 seems like a very daunting hill to climb - Anatomy, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Behavioural Science and more Physiology. I know it's gonna be tough; but it's these tough hills we climb that enable us to get higher. And wiping off the horrid sweat off our foreheads at the top, we can look back and fill our hearts with content.

I think these hols have been one of my most fulfilling ones. I've gone through them without any regrets whatsoever. I've done almost everything i wanted to do.. caught up with the friends that i haven't seen in a while.. got closer to God.

Thanks, Lord! :)

Quite a lot happened over the course of last week.. let me try to recall.

Joce stayed over at our place for the whole of last week. I took her down to the city for the first time on Thurs. We went to MC at night to watch The Dark Knight with Kai, Jan, Ann, Chris, and 2 of Kai's high school friends. I must say that i was rather impressed with The Dark Knight; FINALLY a movie worth every penny!

Ann and i showed Joce around the city before the movie. Actually, it was more like i was showing ann and joce around the city! We took joce to the tourist info centre, NGV, walked around Fed Square, TRIED camwhoring for a bit along the Yarra, ACMI (ann claimed that there was a mickey mouse statue and a cool taxi arcade game.. never saw anything remotely blue, red or yellow) Then we went to Nelayan for dinner! I LOOOVE the beef curry there. Just thinking about it is making me hungry!

After the movie, the wannabe-cool twins, joce and i went down to Southbank for a bit. I wanted to show joce the spectacular view from the St.Kilda road bridge. haha! I was particular fascinated with the lighting of the farris wheel. Oh, we bought some chips from Lord of The Fries: Fries - MEDIOCRE. Belgium sauce - VERY MEDIOCRE.

I managed to play Futsal twice last week! Booyah! So yeah, i managed to catch up with my MHS and Physio friends then. Oh, the highlight of the futsal sessions was the time when we decided to play for DRINKS! haha! Everyone started to get soooo into it! These were the teams:

PHYSIOS

Nooren
Dan
Nigel
Nick
Winsen
Isaac

THE HARDCORE GYM JUNKIES

Tom Wang
Jamie
Will
Peng
Hao
Jack

haha! It was an INTENSE match that went on for a whole hour. Everyone was screaming whenever they received the ball near the end of the match; which ended 7-5 in our favour. Booyah! :)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I went to Em's formal at The Sebel at Albert Park on Saturday. That turned out to be a lot more fun than i expected! I didn't know too many people there, but Em's friends were amiable and very easy to talk to. The food was pretty good. The options were Chicken or Lamb. Em (President of the "Say No To Food Wastage" Union) wanted the Lamb so badly that she was ready to fight for it with her steak knife!

haha! I'm not one for dancing, and i'm not much of a dancer... but i had quite some fun going crazy that night. haha! The music wasn't the best.. it was more rockish than R&B; but it was fun just mucking around with Em and her friends.

We headed down to Max Brenners after the formal. Em's heels were killing her feet so I had to walk really slowly with her. ahh.. i could feel her pain x.-" She got pretty cut when we found that Max Brenners was CLOSED when we got there. (The website said that they close at 12am. It was 11.30pm when we got there). So, we walked (slowly again, because of her heels) back to MC to catch the train. haha! Weirdly, the highlight of my night was walking with her after the formal. She's nice to talk to. The night was freezing cold, but it was warm walking with her. I thought it would be awkward since i hadn't spoken to her in a long while, but it felt as though we were picking off where we left off.

Thanks for the night, em :)

I wanna finish off with birthday wishes for 2 very special people:

Jin:
I'm sorry that i couldn't make it for your birthday party on Sat. I hope you didn't get yourself too pissed! Just wanna thank you for being like a bro to me, for all the fun soccer games, for all the practical jokes, and all the laughs. I'll never forget the times i would go to your place after school and then head up to Greensy for indoor soccer! happy 19th my dear friend! :)

Daz:
If you didn't give in to your vivacious desire for the Pope, we would've shouted you dinner/lunch on your b'day! :P Happy 19th, bro! I really enjoy your unique sense of humour. You're such a easy person to talk to. Thanks for listening to my rants, and for always being there :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Duck Flies Down Under..


"Some times things aren't the way they seem to be It's times like these that make life interesting."

Joce's FINALLY arriving in Melbourne tonight! Her plane touches down at 1.30am today. It's 12.22am now, and i've got about 20mins before i leave so i decided to blog about the past few days.

I managed to catch up with quite a few old friends on the weekend. Anthony called me up while i was at Fungus on Friday night and asked if i wanted to catch up with him and Marcus. I hadn't seen Marcus and Anthony in quite a while cuz they go to Monash. We were gonna go fishing, but that plan didn't come about :(

Antho was kind enough to be the driver that night. The 3 of us were pretty shocked cuz all the pubs were closed at 12.20am that night! Malibu, Shine, etc. were all deserted. So we ended up at Airstream, which was also about to close. I got a long island ice tea (4 shots; as recommended by Antho), Marcus got a beer and Antho got himself a lemon lime bitters. We couldn't stay for long.. so we headed down to Maccas for 20 McNuggets and 2 serves of large fries! haha! It was good catching up with them after such a long time.

We encountered a few bogans at Maccas -.-"" One of them played a fool with Marcus. He slid a food tray over and demanded that Marcus slide it back.. so there it was.. a bogan game: food tray sliding! haha! Marcus was afraid that he would become agro so he just obliged to playing the utterly boring game. Ahh.. i detest these bogans.

We crashed at my place at about 2.30am and chatted over popcorn, beer and some wine. haha! It was then that Antho warned me about drinking "spirits, wine and beer" together. I had had all 3 - I don't think i was drunk though. haha! Anyway, thanks a lot guys.. i really enjoyed myself! :)

I was pretty wrecked on Sat.. so i slept till 1.30pm. The most surprising of phone calls woke me up. It was Em. She asked me to her formal this Sat. o.O" Kindda last minute, but besides that, i haven't seen her in ages! Nevertheless, she's a nice girl.

I got another chance to catch up with some other Monash friends that night at Banh's Pho Party!!! haha! It's the 2nd time Banh's cooked Pho for us but i couldn't make it for the first party so i didn't know what to expect. Chenna, Mohawk man, Banh, Antho, Talon and i were the MHS old boys there. I got to meet some of Banh's Monash buds. I can't remember them all, but i do remember Tim, Felita and Judy.


The Mohawk man's got his thumb up and his mohawk down

Antho, A. Huang, me, Banhy, Talon, A. Chen


Yea, i must say that Banh's pho's simply sensational! Traditional viet style! Oh, he made these yummy fried dumplings for us that were delicious! It was heart-warming to finally have a good chat with the Mohawk man after sooo many months of not seeing him. Learnt that he was doing well at uni, can't hold his liquor AT ALL (he got drunk on a SIP of white wine), and is a gambling addict! haha! He brought a full poker set to the party that night.. and yes, that was my first time playing poker. Exhilarating is how i'd describe it.

Well, i'm off to pick the duck up! :)
We weren't gambling by any means! :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hancock - Proud Peacock - Night Walk

I got to catch up with both my lil sisters, Dani and Adri, today. We watched Hancock at Century Walk.

Movie Review:
Decent storyline. Good graphics. So unrealistic that it makes you feel quirky. Brilliant ending (this made my $12.50's worth).

7/10


Oh.. i spent soo much money today. First, sha and i paid for Dani's movie ticket cuz she's such a nice person (adri had to pay for her own ticket!!!). When we sat down.. the annoying girl HAD something to say.

Adri: Hey! We don't have anything to munch on! We've gotta get popcorn! *Looks at me expectantly*

Isaac: *looks away*

THEN,

Dani: Oh yeah.. we don't have popcorn!

Very well.. so i went down with Dani to get some popcorn. The Medium Combo, which consisted of a Coke and a large popcorn, cost me $11!!! LOL! That's such a rip off! But it's okay.. as long as they're happy.

Adri had been telling us a whole heap about this Vietnamese restaurant called Proud Peacock (Yes, you're not alone on that.. it IS a weird name). So, we decided to go check it out. We gained a pretty bad first impression from the dirty windows, but the food turned out to be absolutely DELICIOUS! We had Diced Beef on Red Rice.. YumM!!! That was one of the most scrumptuous meals i've ever had! Adri somehow knows the owner of Proud Peacock. And apparently she's kindda depressed and all because of many private circumstances that i do not wish to divulge. Anyway.. here are some of our convos:

#1

Adri: *walks up to pay the bill and has a chat with the depressed owner*

Dani: *sniggers*

Sha: Why are you laughing?

Dani: I hope she breaks down, cries and decides to shout us a free lunch.


#2

*We were served some extravagant desert: chocolate sticks, mini M&Ms and Jello*

Isaac: Wow! This is pretty cool!

Dani: Yea, i think we only got it because Adri's here.

Isaac: It makes me feel like a proud peacock!



We left the Proud Peacock feeling proud as ever and we ventured into The Glen to pay Audrey a visit at Gloria Jeans. She was working there.

Aud: Hi! What would you like?

Adri: Uhh.. I don't know! Let me decide.. (oblivious to the long queue behind her)

Sha: Adrienne!!

Zac: Could you get me a chilled cookies and cream shake please?

Aud: Yea sure.. anything else?

Zac: yea, a smile

Aud: =D Anything else?

Adri: Err... let me think

Dani: -.-" You're gonna get her fired!


I could see that Aud's boss was getting rather cheesed. So we left her alone, sat down, shared the chilled shake (cost me $5.60!!! whoa!) and chatted for a bit.

Dani left earlier cuz she's a good daughter and wanted to prepare dinner for her parent's 20th anniversary. haha! i've got such a thoughtful lil sis!

We ran into sooo many pple at The Glen today. Amongst the lot, were Jan, Ann and their posse of Glennie friends. We stood beside the escalator and chatted... for a VERY long time -.-"" haha! It was funny to see how Adri flirted with Joshimoto.

Adri: Hi! My name's Adrienne. I think i saw you at Highsong last year!

Josh: Yeah! I remmeber you too! You were wearing the same outfit! (LOL!!!!)

Adri: NO!!! It was wearing something similar, but not the same! (she was obviously lying)

Josh: Could i have your number?

Adri: Yeah sure! *winks*


That's when I came to the conclusion that Adri's easy.


Jan, Ann, Sha and I decided to walk home. We waited till 6.20pm for Aud to knock off and we headed off. It was terribly COLD but I had a pretty good chat with both Jan and Ann. They're real people:

Jan: Ohh!! Look at the possum! So cute!

Ann: How do you know it's not a cat?

Jan: No! Look! It's a possum!

Sha: Can you hear that? I think it's shitting...

Ann: *bright eyed* Oh yeah!

Isaac: Yum...

------------------------------------

Here's a MSN convo i had with Adri yesterday:

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:23:38 PM)
do you really wanna come?

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:23:41 PM)
lol

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:23:45 PM)
even my own brother wouldnt do that

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:23:45 PM)
for the fungus one

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:23:50 PM)
then you can give me that movie ticket

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:23:50 PM)
well unless its all guys 8-)

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:23:51 PM)
:D

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:09 PM)
erm..

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:12 PM)
of course it's all guys

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:19 PM)
no girls wanna play soccer

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:24:21 PM)HAHA.
okays 8-)

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:24:26 PM)
well not going anymore :D

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:26 PM)
unless you wanna play baddie

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:32 PM)
okay.

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:47 PM)
i've gtg now

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:24:51 PM)
cya

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:25:18 PM)
oh!

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:25:21 PM)
i might invite jon lee

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:25:22 PM)
lol!

isaac - adri owes me 1 movie ticket + hot choc says: (2:25:32 PM)
heard he's a good player..

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:25:40 PM)
haha nah tennis :D

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:25:49 PM)
hahaha zomg

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:25:58 PM)
did that least sentence have a double meaning?

je m'appelle adrienne says: (2:25:59 PM)
hahah

Monday, July 07, 2008

Camp Howqua '08!

How brightly the Moon shines
In the midst of a pitch black night!

Yet it's radiance and glory
Mask its deepest plight.

For it mourns in lonesome sorrow,
On each and every starless night.

-isaac

The night sky at Mount Howqua was littered with MILLIONS of stars. These bright twinkling objects, that fascinate the inner child in every heart, filled EVERY corner of the pitch black sky. I traveled up to camp a day early with the set-up crew of 16 people. I saw them, and the milky way, as I looked out of the window of the van. I thought of how lonely the moon would be without all these vibrant companions. The brighter the moon shines, the more attention it attracts. However, fewer stars are visible, and it's left standing alone in a eternal void of blackness. In the same way, we have to be careful of being too self-centred (of shining too brightly!) and make a genuine effort to love and encourage those wonderful stars around us.

Here are just some excerpts from my experience at Camp Howqua:

Aud was the one that inspired me to write that short poem up the top. She really reminded me of the importance of friends. I was given the opportunity to song lead in a morning worship service and I was soo busy with the camp preparations the week before that I couldn't find time to seek God for the appropriate songs. So i frantically gathered some songs the night before. (with the input of Bryan, Nick, Aud, Alv, Gab, Aviel) Well, I was feeling really during the worship practice the next morning as it was my first time song leading. And as you know, i'm not a very good singer :( Unexpectedly, Audrey managed to see through my bold front and spot my rabid anxiety. She explained the hand-signals that i needed to know and gave me all sorts of non-verbal encouragers. Unexpectedly, that calmed me down and enabled me to just lose myself in worship. Well, we stuffed up the ending of Pick It Up, and i believe i sounded like a croaking frog on steroids, but i know God was glorified. And that's all that matters.

Over the past month or so, and while working in the set-up crew for camp, i realised that Stanley's actually a very sentimental person. I used to think that he was pretty uncaring, unloving, and all the other UN-WORDS that make a person look like a real heartless dufus. (No hard feelings Stan). As i got to know him more, I've found that he has such a love for God and a love for the highschoolers at Fungus. He just expresses this love in very absurd ways.

As he says: "I may not like you, but i do love you."

I mention this because i've had a long overdue dislike for him, and it's really not good to have a bad impression that arises whenever you see that person. It really feels like an unnecessary load has lifted off my back. haha! I was so surprised when he came up to me during camp to ask for a massage cuz of severe pain in his shoulders O.o"" His shoulder muscles felt like the inexplicably tough steaks that we got served at camp. I don't know how he got them that tense! I lay him down beside the fireplace and delivered some deep stroking. haha! Before i know it this big 188cm dude with a heart of stone whines and groans like a little child suffering from constipation.

I thank God for ALL the AWESOME dudes in my dorm: Alv, Hanley, Gab, David, Aviel, Josh, Keean, Tim, and Daz. I was given the opportunity to co-lead the dorm with Keean. I got to know each of them so much better as i led the daily devotions.

I saw a genuine interest to know more about God in each of them, especially Josh and David. David was so eager to do devotions at 2AM on the last night!!! What a hunger he has for God!!!!

Hanley and Tim were newcomers, but they managed to fit in just right. Gab,

Aviel and Alv have a comparably deeper understanding of God. But I sensed that Aviel's deep understanding wasn't matched by a some extent of love for God. His passion has somewhat simmered down along his walk, but i pray that it would be revived.

Gab knows God. He knows he loves God. But I sense a hint of rationalisation within him that might just hinder his walk. I pray that he would fall so very much deeper in love with Christ.

Alv's so much deeper than he seems. He LOVES God SOOOOO MUCH. But just as we all do, we need reassurance.. God's taking him through a walk of faith this year. I pray that he would stand firm for it is only by the testing your faith that perserverance is developed. Only by perserverance will we be made complete; not lacking in anything. (James 1)

Keean. I actually came down with an unknown allergy on the 2nd night of camp when my eyes suddenly become TOTALLY SWOLLEN mid-way through a sermon. It got to the extent that i had to close both my eyes to avoid irritation. As i couldn't see, I gave Keean the opportunity to lead devotions that night. He started off well but struggled to explore the deeper aspects. I see the potential to lead in Keean. I pray that God would teach him how to exert his leadership in the right ways; to grant him words of wisdom in the adequate measure. But Keean, the onus is on you to seek God through his Word and to fall deeper in love in the knowledge of our true and living God.

Daz. I admire his pure heart and his willingness to learn. The fact that he could come for camp is a miracle in itself, and will forever remain in my testimony. I know that God has a GREAT plan for him. I pray that he would seek God continuously and find Him.

I reckon our dorm was the most fun and exciting one of the lot. On the last night, we plotted a rampage on Daniel and Shaun. They managed to win the hair-shaving comp against 101 (you might see Nick, Daryl, Adel and Andrew walking around with bald heads). But that wasn't the result we wanted to see. So, with Daz's AWESOME camcorder on night vision mode, we gave a threatening intro, infiltrated Shaun and Dan's dorm and decked Dan. Our intention was to pin his down prone on the ground and snip off a bit of his hair, and basically to scare him shitless. haha! Well, we managed to pin him down and scare the crap outta him, but Qynn stopped us before we could proceed any further :( haha! I felt a huge sense of guilt after. But i gathered that we didn't have any malicious intentions, and what's a camp without a bit of fun? All the footage is on Daz's camcorder.. i'll upload it soon.

I was so occupied during camp that i struggled to find solitude with God. I had to dorm lead, worship lead, MC for the theme night dinner, prepare for the group skit, etc... And i thought to myself that it would be such a great pity and an irony if i don't get to seek God with all my heart on a camp like this! There was such a deep craving my heart to seek God alone.. At 9am on the 2nd morning, i grabbed my guitar, my bible, a notebook and pen and ventured out into the wilderness in search of God. It was the dew on the green grass that brushed against my toes felt like icy cold darts. It was a bad idea to wear thongs, but i couldn't care less. I found a nice wooden table, sat down and started to worship God. "Jesus, Lover of my soul," i sang as i admired the river, the mountains, the clouds that hovered just above my head, the trees, the stillness and freshness of the air.. and the sounds... the song of birds; the cry of the river. As i sang and worshipped God i felt LOVED.

I asked God about several things that were concerning my heart. Regarding my future, God said that he has placed in the right where he wants me, but i should be READY to GO when he calls. It wasn't "if" he calls, it was "when" he calls. Regarding the affairs of my heart, He warned me about a girl in my life, and not to take things to a the next level. Then i believe the Holy Spirit came upon me, and i started to write a new song (something that i haven't been able to do for a long time). It was 11AM when i got back; i had lost track of time. I had missed morning worship. But i encountered God and NOTHING can ever take that away from me. Remember the allergy that caused my eyes to swell and become like goldfish eyes? I was healed. Praise God!

In the Wilderness

The sparrows they sing in the morning
The sun always keeps on shining
The trees raise their hands to you
O my God, how they long to worship you!

You know my weakness
You know my shame
Yet you love me the same
O my God, how great is your Name!

Lord I stand here
In your presence
And I'm calling out to you.
Love unfailing overwhelms me
As I look upon the cross
How you looked on me with mercy
And you covered all my shame.

4/7/08
* Written by the creek at Mount Howqua. For the God who loves me despite my weaknesses; despite my shame.

The campfire on the last night was an experience that i will NEVER forget. It took us some time before we got our fire ablaze. There was some sort of competition between Nick/Qynn's fire and Gab/my fire. haha! They got theirs raging earlier than ours, but when our reached its prime, everyone started to flock to our side. It was late... 1AM or so, but our hearts were pumped full of excitment as we sang ALL SORTS of songs. haha! From Waltzing Matilda to the Malaysian national anthemn, from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to Confidence by Teddy Geiger. We had a really fun time singing together. Aviel, Alv, Sha, Chris, Daz and I took turns to play on the guitar. I sang so much that i lost my voice that night!

Yes, one final exerpt. On the last night, Pastor Chris was moved by the Spirit to open the altar to anyone who wanted to confess their sings, ANY sin that was preventing us from really connecting with God. Oh, and believe me when i tell you that the presence of the Holy Spirit was OVERWHELMING that night. Obviously, everyone HAS some sort of secret sin. I didn't think I would respond, but i felt convicted by the Spirit and before i knew it.. i was kneeling.. crying. I cried sooo bitterly that night.. Initially, i cried because i felt that i had let God down.. but with each proceeding sob i felt overwhelmed with love and forgiveness. It was the deepest cry i've ever had.

Then Chris told us to form small groups and pray for each other. In my group of 4 were Kai, Chris, Nick and myself. Boy, how fervently we all prayed that night. Nick, how God is really doing a work in him. I believe that God planted a heart of love and compasssion in him that night. Chris, he's been such a good buddy to me. He's so smart, yet so humble.. I pray that he would fall so much deeper in love with Christ. Kai, the purest of hearts, was someone i didn't know much before camp. But i'm so glad that i got to know such an open and honest person. On the first morning, he came up to me while i was reading the bible and he asked if he could do devotions with me! haha! I was sooooo shocked! But gladly welcomed him. Oh, how i wish God would grow that burning passion within his heart!

Through this camp, i believe that God has taken me to a whole new level in my walk with Him. He's shown me that he wants me to lead and not to dwell solely in my personal spiritual growth. Leading my dorm group, Kai's request to seek God with me, teaching Franny and Hue to play the guitar have somewhat instilled a passion within me to see these people grow in Christ! I pray that this passion would grow sooo much more.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Strength

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me -
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me, and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but i was afraid
Ambition called to me, but i dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire -
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

- Edgar Lee Masters

I finished reading John Eldredge's Wild At Heart last week and i must say that it has encouraged to look at life in a totally new perspective. He's made me aware that we serve a God of danger and adventure. He has put into the heart of every man a desire for a battle, and it is the deprivation of this that is making most men (including me) bored with life. Eldredge has inspired me to seek God for an undiscovered strength that i may become a true man, an adventure to live for, and a beauty to rescue.

One vital lesson that i've learned from Eldredge's wisdom is that above all a woman looks for in a man: height, looks, charisma, etc. many fail to recognise their need for a man's strength. It would be utter folly to think that "a man's strength" refers to the size of his biceps and the width of his shoulders.

The main reason why many relationships don't last is because the men lack strength, they don't think that they have what it takes and hence, they seek validation in women. They think that they are "strong" because a girl loves them. Ponder that point.

"Most men want the maiden without any sort of cost to themselves. They want all the joys of the beauty without any of the woes of the battle. This is the sinister nature of pornography - enjoying the woman at her expense. Pornography is what happens when a man insists on being energized by a woman; he uses her to get a feeling that he is a man. It is a false strength, as I've said, because it depends on an outside source rather than emanating from deep within his center. And it is the paragon of selfishness. He offers nothing and takes everything."

Isn't it sad how true this is? Eldredge states that every woman needs to know that she is exquisite and exotic and chosen. She seeks validation to the questions: Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me? It's rather easy to give affirmation to these questions, but very few men have really fought enough battles, relied on God enough to find their true strength. Here's what happens when a man fails to meet a woman's desperate cry to be fought for.

"When a man withholds himself from his woman, he leaves her without the life only he can bring... A man who leaves his wife with the children and the bills to go and find another, easier life has denied them his strength. He has sacrificed them when he should have sacrificed his strength for them. What makes Maximus or William Wallace so heroic is simply this: They are willing to die to set others free."

Eldredge speaks of a battle to fight, a journey that all men have to go through in order to find their true strength which stems from Christ. It is a tough battle which breeds tough men.

"The masculine journey takes a man away from the woman so that he might return to her. He goes to find his strength; he returns to offer it. He tears down the walls of the tower that has geld her with his words and with his actions. He speaks to her heart's deepest question in a thousand ways. Yes, you are lovely. Yes, there is one who will fight for you. But because most men have not yet fought the battle, most women are still in the tower."

Eldredge's wisdom has brought comfort to my heart. I'm in no way the "alpha male". God hasn't made me tall. Neither has he given me any part of David's dashing charm. I'm not the funniest of guys nor the sportiest of them. Yet i am comforted by the fact that true strength does not stem from one's physical strength or gung-ho attitude. Instead, it's derived from one's ability to humble themselves before God, to surrender it all to Him in faith, to fight the battle, and at the very end to remain standing; victorious.