Sunday, December 31, 2006

Still

Nightshot
Still
By Hillsong Australia

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, the predator was out on the prowl. Way too early to catch the fireworks, but welcomed by dancing rays of light, quietly sweeping across the sky to some whimsical behest.

Later though, the predator became the prey - dashing across the road with heart a-pumping to escape two perceived muggers in caps, sweaters and sneakers. "You're socially conditioned to be biased," someone remarked as this tale was earlier told...

This countdown night will probably be spent alone - but not lonely, for meditating with God is never boring.

Happy New Year, all! May you cross over rivers and mountains towards your God-ordained destiny in 2007.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thanksgiving

Boy at Play

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it...
Ecclesiastes 7:8
Was reminded during cellgroup that one should thank God for every little possible thing. So often I find myself struggling with negative thoughts - be it financial lack, pressures at work, inner lethargy, or the lack of romance - only to end those days feeling downtrodden and unaccomplished.

*WHAT DO I HOPE FOR?* was what I scribbled down. With 2 days left to the year, I truly have to answer this important question and as I do so, to determine to end the year in hope and faith.

An important question to ask next is *WHAT WILL I DO DIFFERENTLY?* As I matured, I began to recognize the flaws and idiosyncrasies of people around, especially my parents. But while it is easy to point out flawed or habitual thinking, now I tend to reflect first about my own self before speaking.

Change is neither automatic nor easy - such a cliche, but ever so true. Especially in renewing one's mind.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Last Friday of 2006



Cleared my room, or rather, part of my table last night. It's bittersweet rifling through artifacts from the past; found a letter I never mailed and scribblings of goals I'd set for myself in '96 & '04. Then organized the cards and gifts I received this year.

Spent the morning doing tech support for my dad after the new desktop came. Yup, whenever he yells helplessly from the room, I gotta respond. I'm really no technie but dad thinks otherwise of my computing degree. I expressed irritation literally - "I'm irritated" - to no avail.

Such pleasant weather today - the rain's finally stopped, a bright sky and a cooling breeze going through the house. Great for a swim, but didn't have time. It's funny, but time really does tick by ever so surely - it's never enough.

The weekend awaits, so does church and bookstore duty.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Oh Rainy Night

My Room
My Room, the bane of all housewives

Oh rainy night, the drops are loud and falling
It is the night of much wine, friends, re-vel-ry...

Feeling rather satisfied right now, must be the wine speaking. T'was good catching up with old friends & (relatively) new girlfriends. T'was an unexpected card that left me smiling :)

Today I'd spent half the day at church, serving at the bookstore. While it was a thoroughly enjoyable session, I went home feeling burdened - mainly by the admin work that was thrust upon me. It has been challenging serving in the bookstore - long hours, dealing with difficult customers, mastering countless procedures that seem to keep evolving etc.

The toughest thing about serving is learning to lean on God - lasting in the ministry certainly takes commitment and dedication to excellence in everything I do. That means leaning on God for joy and strength or else burnout is inevitable. What can I say now...

Me & Uncle Patrick
Me & Uncle Patrick, the BBQ perfectionist

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Goodbye, 2006



In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it
John 1:4-5

It's been a great year, did I say that already? Learning to lean on God for strength through dark times. Being challenged to grow beyond inadequacies and idiosyncrasies. Being healed of wounds unseen yet real as can be.

Of goals I set out to achieve this year, I've achieved only about 60%, I'd say. Time to reflect, review and redirect myself.

Had a wonderful Christmas service yesterday - worshipful songs, a modern and touching take of the Christmas story, priceless decisions to accept Christ, and great fellowship with ministry mates.

And oh, an unforgettable candlelight service - being one light among countless others, shining in the dark with hearts united. His presence felt beyond words.

Merry Christmas to one and all... my avid fans of ELE! :P

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Viewfinder



"We are the result of the choices we made yesterday" rang through my head last night, on my way back from the cellgroup's Xmas party.

Another weekend: meeting friends, meeting new people, attending church, busy at bookstore... what can I choose to do differently this time?

I'm certain various things are in motion, whether or not I engineered them. What's next? What's coming up?

Perhaps I'm experiencing year-end pre-resolution retro-musing syndrome. Whatever that means.

Gotta set some bodacious goals and achieve them this time.

Before that, wine anyone?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Still Photo-rabid

Got a new toy *grin*

Muse

3 Stars Arising

Juxtaposition 2

Breathe

Reflection 5

So... the year's coming to an end. But it's too late for retrospection. A ministry mate who was encouraging me to rise up beyond my feelings of inadequacy. Indeed, may 2007 be a year of confident striding towards divine destiny.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Photo-rabid

Was searching for another Sam Leong but stumbled upon this fella instead. Well, it's certainly nice to have an other half to share your hobbies with. His pics of travels and family just make me go...

Run!



SG Biathlon '07 on 17 Mar... Anyone?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Seeing Colour in B&W

12:57am What am I doing up, listening to BBC3 Late Junction? Must say, I quite like the pleasant jazzy numbers from the London Jazz Fest.

Been back at work. Have realized that procrastination hits me when I face any task I don't particularly fancy. One word - willpower.

So why am I still up??


Lately been appreciating quiet. Plain silent quiet, so I can hear myself think, and most importantly, just hearing from Him.


Women - can't live without them... except when they smoke.


Quaint attracts, doesn't it?


Perspective, that's what we all need. Remember, we're living on borrowed time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Memories

Servitude Down Under

Top left: Eager Beavers @ Rockhampton Motorcross Show (you should see our bored faces 1 hour later. BTW never eat ice-cream while standing within 10m of the race track, else vanilla becomes cookies&cream *yilch*)

Top right: Often baking under the unforgiving Aussie sun, must be 40 deg Celsius. Deadfall & thin trees litter the land - occasionally we hear a dead tree collapsing in the distance and it made me skittish while doing big business in the field.

Bottom left: Many hours idling while dangling in hammock. That's one not-so-insane pose - I claim heat-inspired madness! Come reservist, lotsa talk-cock sessions and fooling around - no matter if you're 35yo or 40yo, whatever helps to kill time faster!

Bottom right: Hungry goat @ Rockhampton Heritage Village. Though boring town, it does have some history as a mining town more than 100 years ago - the harsh conditions in which their pioneers endured while starting a new home in a harsh land reminded me of our forefathers' difficulties.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Viewfinder



After bible study @ YMCA today, the Orchard Christmas lights beckoned, so took a short walk. Reflected about some things that are troubling me. Also chanced upon a camera shop @ Le Meridien and the salesman was most helpful without being pushy - must be my blur newbie face.

Immediate homework: To scour DP Review to facilitate well-informed decision to invest $2k!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Servitude Down Under



No single word to describe

By day, punished by unforgiving UV glares
Smouldering road dust
By night, whipped by windy chill
Thank God for Baygon, Goretex and Milo!

Wonderfully blue sky
Big open fields
Mountains and vales a-rolling

Trees trees trees, green and waving
Others gnarled and frigid grey

Hurrying to toil,
Fatigued by fatigue and incredible inefficiencies
Interminable waiting, everywhere we go
Cursing, swearing, shaking heads

Freedom we crave and finally find
Swinging hammocks between trees, we slumber and laze
Except pesks abuzz - flies, mozzies, sandflies, ticks, spiders
Animals approach - lizards, emu, kangaroo
I swear I heard a dingo howl

Belt-tightening wonders of a combat diet:
Maggi mee and instant mixes we savour
Hard-tacs (some prefer mushy soft) we masticate
Ration packs we rip, uniform in colour and smell

The nights, unbelievably starry
Connect the dots… Orion’s belt, Big dipper
Now where’s Scorpio?
Spotting shooting stars by happenstance

Verse unfailingly brought to mind:
Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that – too many to count!"
Gen 15:5
Seeking refuge in the quiet and distant
Singing, praying, seeking, thanking
His presence near - undeniable and true
You’re amazing, Amen.

The usual cast, as colourful as always
Birds of a feather congregate
Jokes and banter abound
Horsing, crude, political

Reminiscing good time, bad times
Discussing gastronomy, what else?
And hobbies and relationships alike
Sharing lives and woes

Finally, Good day!
We scramble across dusty tracks
Pot holes and gullies no match for our fury
Racing back, relieved and exuberant

Battle scars abound
Sunburn apparent on noses and necklines
Flesh poked with angry swells

Now, spilling into sleepy Rocky, again bored
How many adult shops can one visit?
Art gallery discovered!

Back at the airport,
Fly me to the moon!

All in all, unfulfilling but insightful
Time a-ticking, not awaiting
The world surely passing us by

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Soldiering On... I'll be back!



Sorry, couldn't resist that liner.

5 hours more to take-off and here I am, still pushing paper. Before leaving the office, CH assured me that my efforts would be recognized. *blink and utter thanks*

Tired becomes me. Been up late fighting lack of sleep, flying kamikaze beetles and most of all, inertia. Didn't realize how I must have been holding up till I saw this verse...
The LORD is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him sincerely (Psalm 145:18)
...and tears came. Cried out to Him again during CG and V prayed for me.

In any case, this could be a good break from work after all, as disruptive as it may seem. Kangaroos & toady roadkill, here I come! 8-D

On a serious note, am glad for the love and concern shown of late. Lotsa well wishes, CG prayed for me, D prayed for me, parents are sending me off & will prob pray for me. Though I'll be missing an extraordinary service this weekend, am believing in God to carry me through and to draw me closer.

So am I really on the verge of something big? No idea. Faith and hope is all I have, at the moment.

Hasta la vista, baby! :)

p.s. back on 20 Nov, any kind soul wants to fetch me from the airport at 5am??

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Explore Singapore! Closing Extravaganza

Look out for this event under Explore SG!: INDIE GARDEN

Singapore Science Centre
15 Science Centre Road
Sat, 2 Dec 2006; 630pm till late
Exclusively for those aged 16 and above.Roam the Science Centre and Observatory at night, for free! Come party at the Eco-Garden with free gigs by Electrico, Astreal, Great Spy Experiment as well as Guerillaz. Dance till you drop to Poptarts’ unique blend of indie rock and more.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thank God...


For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
2 Cor 8:12
Thank God for a cellgroup leader who cares and who is loved because she first loved.

Thank God for constantly speaking to me about areas in my life that need to be committed to Him.

Thank God for peace after a night of good sleep and strength after a night of insufficient sleep!

Thank God for opportunity to serve and to have room to grow.

Thank God for a family that loves one another despite the pet peeves.

Thank God for friends who go back 9 years and can laugh and joke together while playing poker.

And of course, thank God for loving me :)

Now, onward, here I soldier!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lullaby...



Chanced upon this - Wake Up Wake Up, courtesy of Lullatone. Sounds like musical wind chimes, flitting about whimsically yet sensibly.



Also chanced upon this - Sleepless by Marconi Union. Evocative ambient, that's what it is.

Now you know you need sleep when your dad in the living room catches you nodding in the kitchen...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Love Thy Planet



Read BBC News: Global ecosystems 'face collapse'

The WWF's Living Planet Report warned that "warned that if demand continued at the current rate, two planets would be needed to meet global demand by 2050."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Good Times, Bad Times

Beach Bums & Babes

T'was 2 years later that we staged a repeat of sand/sun/sea/pool, albeit with one missing, causing wistful comments like, "Something's missing..."

Grow old with me, guys.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oink If You Are Singaporean



Read this amusing and thought-provoking snort to the call for more graciousness at home.

"The pig is a great animal. It’s omnivorous, it will eat anything, even shit. It’s a highly efficient food processing platform as well as being extremely low maintenance. Leave a pig alone and it will fend for itself. It isn’t clingy or needy.

This is exactly the kind of image that Singaporeans want to project to the world. We are efficient and low maintenance. We get things done fast, without hiccups, while retaining the ability to work independently and for comparatively low wages. We’re also willing to take shit from people. As a Singaporean, I’m proud to behave like a pig."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More Beer?

Oktoberfest

While R found catharsis a la John Lennon, I'm left high and dry...

Another one bites the dust... but to be fair, it's been some time. Now I ponder my own future and the pattern of things in and around me.

Indeed, "vanity of vanities, all is vanity." All I see is a mountain range surrounding me. Am I my own mountain to climb, I wonder.

Will power and resolve, that's what I need to summon right now. To break out, step out, confess and believe with all my heart!

Monday, October 16, 2006

IT at Disney



Read MIS Asia: Fact and fantasy.

The first two days of every new cast member's training is called Disney Traditions, which is a view of the company's history and culture, how to create a magical experience for guests and the trainee's role as a cast member. Local employees act as voluntary teachers a couple of days per month.

"When some IT people applied to teach the course and were nearly appointed, the HR people were surprised, describing it as a 'fantastic' achievement.

"I am encouraged to see IT people participate, but why should it be viewed as unusual? This reflects the 'back-office culture' of IT staff and I feel that the actuality, as well as the perception, has got to change," says Coker.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boost Your Life the Urawaza Way




Weekend's here! Read this - tips to improve your life.

Takeaway from last night's cellgroup message - keep an eye towards eternity in everything that I do. Gotta remember tt...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Only the fittest shall find marital bliss



Read this excerpt about the dating woes of graduate women and sanctioned "social darwinism".

Friday, October 06, 2006

八月十六

There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.

SG Biennale @ Tanglin Camp

After slogging at D's to setup her new sofa while threatened by her excited dog, popped down to Tanglin Camp together to check out exhibits there. Provocative's the word - from disgusting to politically subversive (IMHO) to disturbing.

八月十六

Headed down to the far far east for dinner. 'nough said :)


Saturday: Traditional Annual Arson Interest Group cum Mid-Autumn Festival.

八月十六

Sunday: Dinner with family! Also mom & pop's 28th Wedding Anniversary. Awwww :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

9859 days old

Phuket-Krabi 206

2 days more to... Mid Autumn Festival :) Someone just told me "30 is like the new 18, you're a teen!" Bought a Bengawan Solo green tea mooncake! Ok, think it's more sentimental than gastronomic value... 'nough said.

Received a mailer from ABRSM telling me about the latest in music syllabus, courses and education efforts. Hmmm, been ages since I last touched any musical instrument besides my handphone... Somebody sell them decent CRM software pls.

Now, back to ageing... Still single AND happy, still a humble civil servant though job scope's changed radically, still faithfully serving in church but taking on greater responsibilities, still blogging :)

Guess this year hasn't seen any majorly significant achievements for me. But God's constantly renewing my mind and correcting erroneous beliefs and thought patterns. To God be the glory! And I'm still looking forward to greater things!

I digress but check out this warm & fuzzy clay-animated ditty: Happy Tree Friends :)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Women à Flambe



After fried food, tiramisu complete with candle, cheesy movie a la 80s style, cigarette water masquerading as expensive cocktail. and 1 too many greasy pratas, conversation just isn't the same.

Relationships, food, money, relationships, men, women, relationships, work, finger-guessing, relationships... A full cycle of topics to talk about.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Belief






On this day-off, I trekked down to Waterloo St to check out some of the SG Biennale exhibits. Namely, the ones at Sculture Square, Church of Sts Peter and Paul, St Joseph's Church, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and Sri Krishnan Temple.

What was interesting, I thought, was the interplay between artwork and the religious scene - esp. at the Kwan Im temple and at the Sri Krishnan temple. A tad contrived, but point taken anyway. At the churches, was more interested in the chapels than the art installations. Pity huh?



Now all piqued and provoked, I trooped down to National Library to catch the The World Press Photo Exhibition 2006 (before it ends shortly this week). Soon enough, this ignoramus found himself staring at vivid potrayals of major events around the world. From tragic hardship to heartfelt grief to death en masse... struck by it all, my tears were almost coming. This came to mind: "For God so loved the world..."

Alright, enough visual, mental & emotional stimulation for a day.

Oh btw, I flunked my SBJ - again.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We



Finally finished reading We by Zamyatin. Didn't find it easy to read because of the written rambling thoughts of the protagonist. But otherwise was an interesting read - reputed as the grandfather of the genre about a futuristic dystopian state.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Already Back from Phuket Lah

Pardon the blog silence for the last couple of weeks. Been busy at work, then was overseas and after returning, spent my time editing my travel journal & my beloved pics.

Savoured wonderful sights, sounds & smells in Phuket island and Krabi and more in between. View full collection of pics here.

Phuket-Krabi 007
Customary window shot

Phuket-Krabi 014
Gem cutting & polishing - such delicate work.

Phuket-Krabi 010
Kid holding kid?

Phuket-Krabi 027a
Beach! Except it was monsoon season.

Phuket-Krabi 061
Admiring the scenery (Viking cave beyond)

Phuket-Krabi 080
The elusive streetside coconut ice-cream

Phuket-Krabi 116
Pig's trotter rice! Mmmm...

Phuket-Krabi 130
Good luck jasmine garlands

Phuket-Krabi 158
Big Head Ghost Cave

Phuket-Krabi 168
Limestone wonder

Phuket-Krabi 185
Cave guide and Nardia

Phuket-Krabi 194
Little Barney's

Phuket-Krabi 216
Serendipity - Island in the sunset

Phuket-Krabi 226
Karaoke machine

Phuket-Krabi 240
MK restaurant - Streamboat joy!

Phuket-Krabi 275
Shopping joy!

Phuket-Krabi 277
Reminders of the Tsunami

Phuket-Krabi 299
Countless tuk-tuks along Patong beach