Thursday, December 30, 2010

Heaven

By Ian McIntosh


Mercy like a blanket warms my every breath
My anticipation has faded
All my striving comes undone
You are God who sits on the throne

(He reigns)

My every heartbeat catches in my chest
how can I not declare your works
You are just and fair God
Your grace has no end
You are God who sits on the throne

Sunday, December 26, 2010

See

Fed a diet of images, what does one see?


War, nudes, unrest, action, empty scenes filled with...stillness. Events, people, persons, preoccupation, inkling of moments to snap.

The art of seeing, a journey in vision. Changing technology, shifting frames, moving horizons. Yielding shot after shot of personal sights and visual songs.

Learn to see life and the likeness therein and the limberness thereof.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Light in the dark

A man steeped in self-doubt and near depression finds newfound faith in himself, revived purpose, a new direction and well, changed writing.

Frightened of poverty, now weighed by family financial burdens, he looks to what brings him cheer and happiness--that is, family, sharing and giving love and abundance in the house.

Now the darkness didn't seem so dark after all. A solution, maybe obvious, comes of one's own hands and abilities. Success came knocking as he simply did what he loved.

Read the story of how Charles Dickens found hope and inspiration as he rushed to write his ever loved tale, A Christmas Carol.

Success has its way of finding itself on one's doorstep, whatever the circumstances.

May you reach out to open the door just in time.

Of Volunteers and Passion

What's the difference between a volunteer and a full-time worker? Between one who offers his/her free time and energies and one who is paid for his time and energies?

Let's just say if both do the same work, invest the same effort, put in the same hours, showing the same degree of interest. So what's the difference?

I'm sure you can easily rattle off reasons like how a paid worker is a dedicated resource who's trained and expected to perform and contractual terms are also in place to ensure stability and continuity over time.

Does the difference lie in the assurance we have that the paid worker can perform because of his specialised skills and experience? Whereas a volunteer isn't as effective?

Well, hypothetically speaking, a volunteer can be trained to be effective. And a volunteer is generally expected to be able to perform and we can't always be making excuses for anything less than acceptable.

After a night of sleeping on the couch and 2 hours of ploughing through photos on the computer, I don't have the full answer. But I think herein lies the difference: It's really not about whether being full-time or not, it's the degree of passion and the extent of rootedness you have.

Why do we give of ourselves? What have we been giving of ourselves to? Would we continue to give of ourselves?

Look back and look beyond. The road ahead will surely be new and yet it will somehow look familiar.

Cheers to a better 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Purpose and power

When passion, talent and service collide, a potent mix results. Passion that fires you up, keeps you going, makes you want to improve, cheers you on.


Talent is what you're gifted to do. Possibly even just a small ability at the right moment makes a great difference.

Service in contribution of greater purpose. No doubt, labour and sweat are involved. Stepping out to serve others with little benefit to self.

Simple yet powerful when the right mix comes together. Can you help someone find this mix today?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Fullness

By Lovelite


VERSE 1
Here I am safe at last
In Your arms and in Your hands
My body's weak but You are stronger You will carry me

CHORUS
Because You
offer a life that is whole
You brighten my darkened soul
A mystery that I long to know
I am Yours

VERSE 2
Here I am full of hope
Not weighed down anymore
Knowing You changes me
Never let me leave

INSTRUMENTAL

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wishes, Goals and Resolutions

The year trots to an end. New resolutions are bubbling. Easy to set, fun to write, how hard do you/I want them to come to pass?


One thing I really want to change: To think positively and have an attitude of a change-maker. Talking to self, internal dialogue--it's extremely pivotal, the things you dwell and meditate upon, that is, reinforcing in the mind.

A friend blogged that often we set goals instead of making true resolutions. It's easy, too easy to write lofty goals down.

It's not just a wishlist which suggests passive acceptance of fate. It's not an empty confession of possibilities.

What makes the difference between fluffy stuff and reality? What's the price to pay, the labour of focus and resolve?

Say yes. Say let it be. Say I will.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homely sights

Neighbour's pink bougainvillea perched on the sill, silhouetted in light from without, wavering in the breeze.


Dad finally looking up from newspaper classifieds after I repeat myself. Glasses on nose, pen in hand, notepad on kitchen table.

Mom sewing on the living room sofa in front of the window. Glasses at the end of her nose. Intent yet enjoying her weekly blast of dong fang Billy.

Bro still on his bed at 11.35am. Mobile in hand, pillow in arm, he looks at me as I pass his room. The singlet-tan he got from the marathon still visible.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Love Is

What is love? Is it a feeling? Is it a choice? Is it acceptance? Is it commitment?

What makes one love others? Ephesians 5 tells me it begins when Christ's love is experienced in our lives.

Everyone's different. Every piece unique. Probably already knew that but fitting together takes...a heart with capacity for others.

Motivation? Surely not for one's benefit because others can see and sense that. What then?

What is love? Go figure. Go experience it. Go tell it on the mountain. Go give it. Go.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Manifesto

By The City Harmonic

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seeing is believing

What you see is what affects you. The images, behaviours, outcomes, emails, smiles, dressing, conditions, speed of replies...they shape and mould consciously and conjuredly.

What are you showing? Visual language communicates what goes unspoken. One's underlying condition, strength, tenacity.

Numbers speak, we know that. Performance records, appraisals, achievement reports.

Like Jacob and his goats, the splendour of Solomon's palace, the growth and dedication through the years...seeing is believing.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

To grieve with those who grieve

Losing a part of self, when routines, loves and favourites become meaningless and painful, finding something to occupy your mind.

I've not lost a close one before. I shouldn't know.

Where do you find comfort? In music, in moving, in movies or...

When it wells up within, who do you tell?

Dwell in the shelter, you want to. Dwell in sleep, you wish.

Monday, December 06, 2010

While running

Got this quote in my email today:
Thank God for running. It is the ultimate detox for me, whether my poison is bubbles, a foul mood, or a bad attitude. If I combat inertia, get out, and get moving, eventually every kind of toxin works its way out.
~Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

I can run without an MP3 player for long distances because thoughts and songs occupy me when I run. Sometimes my thoughts are clarified and resolved. Once after a 30min jog, I decided to attend cell group meeting. During yesterday's run, I thought about how manhood is a choice. Once I felt terrible after a run.

Running while thinking. Our soul needs to get out. Fresh air (exhaust fumes notwithstanding), nice scenery, new terrain, fellow runners though strangers...I guess this is solitude. Get away from deadlines, tasks, email, people...noise in general.

I like to run. I like to think. Yet I also acknowledge that alone, I won't find the peer challenge and the peer wisdom to get better. That's why it's high time to find running buddies who run like you, keep pace with you, train with you...does this mean I lose the solo runs? Doubt it.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Thoughts over 5h05m plod

  • Pre-race start, waiting for bro to deposit his bag. Where is he?? Must have gone ahead without me. Here I go.

  • 5.30am. Late start. Nice running down Orchard road under christmas lighting.

  • Not wearing specs--where are we??

  • It's blue everywhere. I see running buddies, couples, a few guys with funny gait...everyone looks young, lean and well, fit for running.

  • "those who wait on the LORD...They shall mount up with wings like eagles..."

  • Picture eagle soaring. Within.

  • Still picturing eagle.

  • Ooh, new east coast scenery :)

  • Some girl cheers from the side, "Keep going! Keep going!"

  • What a silent run in my mind. No song in my jukebox within. Suddenly Captivated starts to play. Followed by Shine Like Stars a la reggae beat, for some distance.

  • 13km to go! Last quarter leg to go. Can I clock 4h30m? Keep the pace. Picture eagle.

  • I run because I choose to. Not because I have to.

  • Throat and nose didn't act up this morning. Quietly thank God under breath.

  • Why am I torturing myself? Time to find new pastime...

  • Left thigh cramp. Urgh. Help!

  • I run because I can. So is this a good idea? I'm running today because He prompted me not to fall out. Definitely God's idea.

  • Walk. Jog. Walk. Jog. Walk. Dizzy. Jog. Walk. Dizzy. Shuffle uphill. Yay!

  • Final 2km! "I press on!"

  • Clocked 5h05m! Sugar low moment--dazed & vision's blurred. Sit down for 5min. Nice race official makes sure I'm ok.

  • Home-bound.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Brace yourselves!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Don't shrug

Day is over,
somewhat worn.
See tomorrow,
bright and morn.
Race on, race hard,
race to be.
Life aplenty,
time is not.
Words, choice,
song, poise.
Make it count,
make it count,
make it count.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Being a worship band

Chris Llwellyn of Rend Collective Experiment guest-blogs this:


On their band name:
"The 'experiment' in our band name refers to the fact that we don't have all the answers and are still working things out..."

On key elements of their album title

"Organic:
We think that the only songs worth writing are born out of authentic,natural connection with God."

"Family:
We share life together-eating meals, helping each other out financially, sharing our homes, talking each other through girl trouble(!) etc."

"Hymnal:
Our songs are meant for inclusion in the 21st century church hymnal..."

Read the full guest-blog here.

Cultural shift

What does it to change people and how they behave? The use of words, outlook and world view, the things they do, the things they don't do...all the intangibles that make tangible impact.


What is the outcome? How to get there? What can we achieve? Now it is both an art and a science to effect a cultural shift.

There are some who learn through observation and simply catch what is unsaid. Like witnessing the act of someone responding immediately to loud booming sounds that bear signs of danger. Are these folks rare?

We become the environment that we are soaked into. There is safety, there is comfort and each assumes the default mode in doing "the usual"...

So how we do effect change? It definitely takes intentional, persistent and pre-planned effort to do so.

Where do we want to go? What do we want to be? How do individuals answer this collective question?