Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happiness

What's the difference between pursuing spiritual goals & material goals? Between godliness & wealth, while not diametric, what is worth pouring one's energy into?

For the love of life, do something that will bring you lasting happiness. We say this but won't you just live it??

Quit the lousy feeling and get the groove back on. If you've tried something and it didn't work out, just shrug it off and move on.

Like a retro techno-beats song that echos... "Got-ta move on... Got-ta move on... Got-ta move on..."

Others can see the unhappiness ON you already. So quit saying "I'm okay" when you're not okay.

Lesson learnt from yet another movie last night: Don't keep hanging your hang-up because for all you know, it's not justified at all and you could have thrown it out a long time ago.

Get over it! Move on! Cheer up!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Matter of the Heart

Our actions & words can betray what's in our hearts. But what's really brewing within? What thoughts are going through?

Maybe at the subconscious level, even we don't know ourselves. Maybe that's why we need an other to show us what we're really exhibiting.

A man without a vision will always return to his past, this has been echoing within, since I heard Dr Bernard's podcast message. Progress comes of a desire to get better coupled with a ruthless cutting off of poorer ways. Advancement should come of one's own agenda...what if I have no agenda?

What if I'm dissatisfied pushing another's agenda? The Son does what He sees the Father does. Sounds like the pattern in life.

In the next Timothy Keller message I heard, he spoke of sonship. A son is one who has access to the father--Keller used this great illustration of how while he might ignore his spouse waking him in the middle of the night to ask for water, he would definitely respond to his son's request for water.

The Father is not one who would give hard non-satisfying stones in place of sustenance-giving bread. Do I--do we--know that?

We speak of love. Beyond the lips, what is love really? Forgiving & tolerating any and all mistakes? Sayang-ing and providing emotional balm any time it's needed? Offering ready company and attention? Sounds more like infantcare/childcare.

The Father wants us to grow up, to grow strong, to grow closer... Have you, have I, have we grown this year?

Push to grow & keep growing, crucially, in the right direction and season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 days to Christmas

Yesterday I heard another sermon podcast by Timothy Keller of Redeemer Church. The Prodigal God, it's called (get it a la iTunes).

We're all (errr, believers) familiar with the story of the prodigal son. As Ps. Keller points out, it's easy to spot yourself in the prodigal son "younger brother" syndrome. But there's an "older brother" syndrome that traps believers in a self-righteous mindset that's also unappreciative of the Father.

Instead of behaving like a son that the older brother's entitled to, he's behaving like a slave and resenting his spiritual "duty". Thing is, this older son's just as lost as the younger, Keller points out.

Earning our right before the Father, judging ourselves by the amount of prayer, good works and good attitude... The believer's walk should focus on the beauty of adoration. Maybe this is the struggle for those like me who grow up with a legalistic inclination.

Listening to Tomlin's Glory In The Highest, I ask myself, how do I glorify God? Browsing John Sung's biography, seems he interprets that as his life work of winning souls. That is important, but I don't think it's the end-all. Sung emphasizes that spiritual gifts are important but love is the greatest gift of all.

Love of God, love of men, reconciling differences--after all, we all stand before God as equal one day.

In stressful times, tempers flare, spiteful words erupt. But it would be naïve to dream of a lovey-dovey work environment.

Perhaps how we glorify God is simply how we live with love each day. Love, the commitment to doing our best. Love, the consideration for others. Love, keeping watch over loved ones in prayer. Love, asking what's on God's heart and He's placed in the hearts of shepherds He's appointed.

Our favourite Christmas ballad goes, Have yourself a merry little Christmas now. Make it merry & blessed, be happy and keep finding meaning in the everyday.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rampart

Leaving office now at 4plus in the morning. It's less of having many things to do but rather feeling weighed down. Met Dan for lunch and talked about having the balance in our lives to pursue own interests. Choices, I said, it's up to us, really, to stay or to go.

Checked out a new "instrumental" CD which I usually avoid, because they're usually bland stuff. But this one's lush, genuinely moving orchestral motifs really got me. Reminded me of my friends too. Highlight of the day, I say.

Now, I'm reminded that I gotta be like Habbakuk to watch & listen.

Watch & listen. To without & to within.

Ssshhh.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ramble

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Substance

Over the past 6 months, I've seen more about myself, corrected myself. Stretched, yeah, and then feeling sore, sometimes utterly spent and discouraged and contemplating a way out.

6 months in, I'm still here. Move on beyond Why, now it's What's Next? What Now?

Sermon after sermon, week after week, resolve after resolve... No, it's not about feeling emo. Dad gave my good advice almost a week ago, to the effect of "Rise above how you feel."

What have I done? is what I'm thinking right now. Logical but not rational, inspirational but not spiritual, radical but not...clear.

Discern, clarify, determine, decide and do.

Thrive

By Switchfoot

Been fighting things that I can't see in
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

I've been awake for an hour or so
Checking for a pulse but I just don't know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
A steering wheel don't mean you can drive
A warm body don't mean I'm alive
No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I come alive when I hear you singing
But lately I haven't been hearing a thing and
I get the feeling that I'm in between
A machine and a man who only looks like me

I try and hide it and not let it show
But deep down inside me I just don't know
Am I a man when I feel like a hoax?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
A steering wheel don't mean you can drive
A warm body don't mean I'm alive
No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I'm always close but I'm never enough
I'm always in line but I'm never in love
I get so down but I won't give up
I get slowed down but I won't give up

Been fighting things that I can't see in
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
A steering wheel don't mean you can drive
A warm body don't mean I'm alive
No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I want to thrive not just survive

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I've Decided

By Galvin Sng

Friday, November 18, 2011

Better?

When you keep feeling inadequate and failing to please, should you still try to get better?

Name me a few characters that never failed to get better in their quest for meaning.

Thoughts that normally don't fill my mind now do. Negative and non-edifying, they gotta be dumped and replaced.

I can get better, I can learn from mistakes, you are here to help, you know my weaknesses...

Thought of giving up returns. What am I working for? Am I in the wrong place?

God help me. And I need a life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hands up

How do you get people to volunteer to meet needs?

Step 1 - Identify your willing people. What character qualities are necessary? What about skills? Level of availability?

Step 2 - Decide how you're going to call them out. How are you going to mobilise them? And train them--character and skills withstanding?

Step 3 - Call them.

Step 4 - Equip them, empower them, inspire them, encourage them, know them, befriend them... What's your real motive now?

And there's a crucial prior step of seeking and defining a worthy vision. That's right, the V word that's oft said.

Hey, V also stands for Volunteers. Now, make sure you live out the example that paint with your words. Don't be hypocritical.

So is that it?

There's a journey of learning, a journey of building.

Start with the willing, persist with your will, and dream big.

To be lived.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Processes

This thought occurred to me while on the loo: Why do we (my company) pay so much attention to details? Because we want the product and outcome to come out to be of a particular standard and quality.

Nit-picky? Fussy? Yes, with reason. Anal? Oh yeah, sure I gotta be. If I don't, someone above me will.

Don't expect handouts along the way, or live without outlaying any effort. Ditch the wrong beliefs and sow the seeds of faith.

Success, victory and breakthroughs come through hard, effective work and pushy persistence.

Seethe with righteous anger if you have to. Stamp on in authority. Live with vitality.

Be purposeful, absolutely so. So that you don't lose your edge and your dream.

Live--by the process you need to achieve the outcome you want.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Park Bench People

By Joses James

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Running a race

In a race, you're thinking, will I make it? Can I meet the timing I had set?

Songs, memories, thoughts... Am I in the wrong race? Am I in the right race? Who can tell me?

Who's cheering you on? Who do you see? Actually there are others that you don't see, but they are there.

Put in your heart, soul and mind. Strength and creativity. All to bear.

Balance is the key. Keep the fellowship or lose it. Find solace where it's available, not where it empties your heart.

Yeah.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Word, the Man, the Way

Reading the crucifixion in a matter of minutes while remembering it was a whirlwind sequence of events. Imagine you're one of the disciples and Jesus tells you, I'm going to die. Imagine you're a bystander witnessing Jesus tried by the Sanhedrin. Remember the parables He told just before those God-willed events.

Did Jesus know exactly how everything would pan out? From the rooster crowing to His betrayal to His crucifixion to resurrection to rising to glory??

Internal struggles with obedience and choices, external stoic facade--at least that's what many of us imagine--and an unwavering focus towards the cross and everything it stood for.

The Parable of the Talents (or Bags of Gold as translated in the newest NIV) speaks of 2 men that received resources and were faithful in getting to work right away and being fruitful and also confident about it! Who doesn't want to be like that?

The Parable of the Wicked Servant and the account of the Sheep and the Goats speak of having mercy and love. Who prays often to be able to love but feels he's not measuring up to it?

Wherefore does it start a change, a switch, a shift, a deviation from habits and standard practice? Change is born of a desire to...well, change. If not, it's forced by circumstances.

Gotta keep reading, keep meditating and living in joy and fulfilment.

Let it be.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What sets you apart?

Money? Possessions? Yesterday I spied a young chap in his 20s driving a sports car. Capability? What makes a leader a leader, able to effect, to decide on goals and get the results in spite of the problems?

Faithfulness. If the world were to close its eye, what would you be up to? Being sharp. Am I putting in my heart & mind, anticipating, planning and endeavouring?

Being dependent on God. Like totally. Not just words leaving one's lips, but a true attitude and way of life. Determining, listening, following and producing.

Things To Do abound...by the dozens of dozens of dozens. Am learning to prioritise.

Desire drives action. What are you looking for? What do you want to achieve?

Faith is...stretching out to grasp His hand.

So stretch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life is as boldness does

It sounds sexy to declare that you're bold and daring. To say that you're creative, progressive and visionary.

Living it is an entirely different story.

Why are we where we are? Are we the victim of choices made while we were hapless?

Surely there's a purpose behind my being here and doing what I do. Do you not see it? Do you not seek to live it?

The day we die and go to heaven, what will that day be like for you? For me?

What can we live for that warrants giving our all? Yes, that elusive calling that many say they do not know.

The need is the call, have you heard?

I need you, I call you. Ha!

God needs you, God calls you! Ha, you follow? Or harrumph, let's see about that...

What's the most crucial quality that decides your destiny? I believe it's willingness. Yes, many things are factored in, such as faith, commitment, smarts etc. But willingness? It's like the rudder of a ship. You don't see it immediately but you sure see where he's heading!

Decide to dwell on the positive, major on what matters to your Superior, persist till fruits are born and do your best, no matter how you feel.

Get better, not bitter--have you heard this?
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ps Kong - 17 Sep (Sat) - Wisdom

Wisdom is a gift from God. Solomon asked for it.

Wisdom is better than gold, better than strength.

There was none like Solomon after his time.

Pro 30:24-28 - 4 things caught his attention. 4 little creatures, so insignificant, yet got the attention of the world's wisest man.

Some scholars say that if you can understand these creatures, you'll understand the entire Proverbs.

1) Ants

An ant can lift many times its own weight!

They have houses and structure. They are wise in their...

PREPARATION

During summer, they store food for winter. Eventually winter comes...no food, it's unbearably cold.

Their message: You got to prepare for the winter season.

Every failure is a stepping stone to success. It's okay to fail--as long as you fail forward!

Improve your EQ and emotional relationships because they will determine how successful and happy you'll be.

*Must improve interpersonal skills*

God has put eternity in my heart. Like the ant, we got to prepare for our life in heaven. Seek the Lord!

Heb 9 - Look for Him.

Lk 22:9-12 - Look for 4 things:

- City: Seek righteousness
- Man with pitcher: Submit yourself under a spirit-filled ministry
- House: Fellowship, connected with one another
- Upper room: To serve and minster--OVERTIME

Upper room is a place of power!

*Live with urgency! Because one day you stand before Jesus.*

Remember: Winter will surely come. Eternity will come. Prepare and prepare and prepare!

2) Rock Badgers

Feeble, yet make home in the crags.

It is very vulnerable and timid. It's slow-moving!

It acknowledges its weaknesses. So it seeks protection from the rock.

Everyone has a weakness...

Make the rock your HABITATION

Whatever your weakness, make the Rock your protection!

Psa 61:1-4 - What are you building your life upon?

3) Locusts

Unity: Agreement = Power

UNIFICATION

They have no king or leadership. Alone, a locust is powerless.

When locusts come together, they become the great army of God!

They work and flow together.

2 can put 10,000 to flight!

Individual tools can't do much until they come together!

Pro 6:16-19 - In every church, there are people seeking to sow discord. And it is an abomination to God.

Satan's strategy is to Divide and Conquer.

*Stay connected*

4) Spider

DETERMINATION

Nothing can sweep a spider away.

A spider just keeps weaving its web and staying in the king's palace.

In any trial, don't give up!

*Take hold of your calling and destiny of God!*

*Dont quit!*

Edison, Einstein, Beethoven, Disney all didn't give up!

Gecko - Secretes a solution in its hands to cling.

Faith is clinging on to the promises of the bible.

*I will still hold on!!!*

Gal 6:9 -
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Friday, September 16, 2011

To Confront Or Not To Confront

We are relational people. We are also imperfect people. Faced with behaviour that's less than what's becoming, what do you say to correct it? To correct him or her?

The word of God is active and alive. Let it uncover our inner being. God doesn't want to harm us or belittle us, but only to better us.

We might be task-oriented, but God's always destiny-oriented. So don't be afraid of being corrected and humbling yourself to change, willing yourself to try something different.

Faithfulness is this, I guess.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Honestly

How honest are you with yourself and with others?

Just started reading this book, Honestly by Johnnie Moore, who starts off sharing his personal crisis of faith, sparked by his parents' divorce and then asks, are we living out what we say we believe in?

Recently a friend shared how his fellow member was so frustrated while trying to organise a gathering among the group, he exploded and posted an uncensored rant in their Facebook page. My friend mentioned something in this person's rant that got me: that others weren't doing what they espoused.

Can I end up praying one thing, repeating that one thing, yet living altogether a different thing? A person of faith's gotta have faith. A person loved gotta love others.

Reputation speaks a lot. What do others remember of you? What does your boss think of you?

Can life be simpler? Sure it can. Find a field somewhere and rear your own crops for subsistence.

Get better? Yeah... Do it.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Divine Connections

Pray for divine connections. Get divine connections.

People of the same spirit draw together, move together in one direction.

You never know how God can move you, move on your behalf, move others.

Move.

Our God moves. Surely, not glacially, on time, in season, on target.

Am I being flown on an unseen autopilot or am I flying my own?

I don't understand everything. Do I need to? I'm not the brightest or boldest. Yet in the fullness of time, everything I have gone through comes to bear.

Live for the things that matter. Love the people that matter. Make wise choices and stay committed.

God, help me to move in the might of God and with divine strategies.
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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Soaring

Isn't it amazing that a hunk of a plane--fuselage, hull, cargo, passengers--can take off into the air, propelled by comparatively tiny but powerful engines?

Exploiting physics and aerodynamics, we owe it to man's willingness to imagine, persist and innovate.

From what starts as a vague dream with raw starts, sophistication kicks in as the creator learns to grasp rules, principles and the knack of taking off into the sky--literally and metaphorically.

What keeps us from imagining? Thinking possibilities? Serving a God of no impossibilities, yet we naturally limit Him and ourselves. Easy to blog about, takes a lot to confront and change.

Let's aim to soar upon creativity.
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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Be Strong

One of those days and moments that you're asking why why why and want to cry cry cry on the sofa.

Fulfilment comes from, not a day packed with tasks, but when God says well done.

How do you know you're on the right track? First you gotta see the track, seek clarity and direction, and check the signs I guess.

Sigh.

Did You choose the wrong person? I can't help wonder. But I know the answer.

Be strong, bold, persistent and creative.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Condition

Struggling from task to task, I'm losing sight of an easier, more efficient way to do things. Be smarter, ask for smarts, look smart. For now, it's just smarting, lacking sleep and progress in good order.

No matter, you've got to try and keep trying. And don't give up. Most importantly, see the need beyond yourself. Bill Wilson says, "I have to go." In spite of age, dangers, real wounds, you just have to keep going.

Now go get better, bigger, brighter!

But don't lose sight of what you're doing it for. Is that happening to you?

Leaders lead forward. Every hero of faith mentioned is a leader. Am I a hero? Are you a hero? What makes a hero? Certainly the willingness to stand for something.

Make something your mission. It doesn't have to be a great and noble thing. Even something small can be significant.

Now what season am I in? In a thick season, that's for sure.

Thoughts, tasks, issues, replies...What can I keep my head above the water, above the thick of things where there is air and clarity?

The condition within--heart, soul, spirit, body--affect the conditions without. We should know this but like an onion, not every layer peels off easily. It's not that you'll cry but that there's a season for that too. Is this an excuse, masking a reluctance to deal with issues?

I hope not.

Condition, conditioning, conditions. Identify the issues impacting you and others. Else breakthrough will be elusive.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Life Lesson

It's only when we are accountable to others that our character begins to be shaped.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Morning

Live out your dreams & plans. Just be bold and do it. God moves when you move in faith.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Unlearning

When you realise the tasks at hand demand a new you, when you realise it's absolute high time you drop the old way of doing things, when you are urged/prodded/kicked into doing...SOMETHING, that's when change is fomented.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Growth (again)

We all work for a better life, don't we...

...don't we?

Without progress--the desire and ability to progress--what else would keep us going?

More money? Better work-life balance? Children who can enjoy a better life? Fulfilling a Grand Purpose? Doing good so others can enjoy a better life?

What's the alternative?

Do nothing. Do the same. Do a little more?

Should we expect radical improvement? Certainly!

Do we work radically hard? Of course!

So...what gives? What's keeping us--me--back from breaking through?

Progress is the keeps of hard workers (check), smart workers (err, check), anointed workers (hmm, check), selfless workers (hmm).

If someone else isn't up to par, or so you think, what do you do?

1) Give him a shelling
2) Give him encouragement
3) Teach him how to progress
4) Give him incentive
5) Threaten penalty...
(repeat ad infinitum)

To what extent do you do the above?

Change, challenge, progress...at the heart of it, yieldedness, methinks.

Friday, July 15, 2011

10 ways to be productive

Courtesy of the 99percent.com

Here are 10 laws of productivity we’ve consistently observed among serial idea executors:

1. Break the seal of hesitation.
A bias toward action is the most common trait we’ve found across the hundreds of creative professionals and entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed. While preparing properly as you start a new project is certainly valuable, it’s also easy to lose yourself in planning (and dreaming) indefinitely. We must challenge ourselves to take action sooner rather than later. The minute that you start acting (e.g. building a physical prototype, sharing a nascent concept with your community), you start getting valuable feedback that will help refine your original idea – and move forward with a more informed perspective.

2. Start small.
When our ideas are still in our head, we tend to think big, blue sky concepts. The downside is that such thinking makes the barrier to entry – and action – quite high. To avoid “blue sky paralysis,” pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept. Can you trial the idea of a multi-day festival with a smaller performance series? Take an idea for a skyscraper and model it in miniature? Work out the flow of an iPhone app by sketching on paper? Once you’ve road-tested your idea on a small scale, you’ll have loads more insight on how to take it to the next level.

3. Protoype, prototype, prototype.
Trial and error is an essential part of any creative’s life. As Ze Frank says, usually when we execute an idea for the first time, it kinda sucks. The important thing is to synthesize the knowledge gained during the process to refine the idea, and create a new-and-improved version. Serial idea-makers like Jack Dorsey, Ben Kaufman, and Studio 7.5 all attest: Prototyping and iteration is key to transforming a so-so idea into a game-changing product. Rather than being discouraged by your “failures,” listen closely and learn from them. Then build a new prototype. Then do it again. Sooner or later, you’ll hit gold.

To avoid 'blue sky paralysis,' pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept.


4. Create simple objectives for projects, and revisit them regularly.
When working on in-depth projects, we generate lots of new ideas along the way. This can lead to a gradual expansion of the project’s goals, or “scope creep.” This insidious habit can make it impossible to ever really complete anything. The best way to avoid it is to write down a simple statement summarizing your objective at the start of each project. (If you have collaborators, make sure there is agreement about the objective.) And then – this is the part we overlook! – revisit it regularly. When scope creep starts to happen, you’ll notice.

5. Work on your project a little bit each day.
With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice – developing a new business plan, writing a novel, or just learning a new skill – it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum. Just as when you run everyday, the exercise gets easier and easier, the same thing happens with your brain. Stimulate it regularly each day, and those juices start to flow more freely. As Jack Cheng argues in a great blog post, “Thirty Minutes A Day”: “the important thing isn’t how much you do; it’s how often you do it.”

6. Develop a routine.
Part of being able to work on your project a little bit each day is carving out the time to do so. Routines can seem boring and uninspiring, but – on the contrary – they create a foundation for sparking true insight. In his recent memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami writes about how a rigorous routine – rising at 5am and going to bed at 10pm every day – is crucial to his impressive creative output. (In a side note: Alex Iskold derives a series of lessons for start-up entrepreneurs from Murakami here.)

7. Break big, long-term projects into smaller chunks or “phases.”
To help manage expectations and stay motivated for year-long or even multi-year endeavors, break each project into smaller chunks that only take a few weeks or a month to complete. The dual benefit of this approach is: (1) making the project feel more manageable, and (2) providing incremental rewards throughout the project. It’s crucial to pause periodically to take stock of what has been accomplished – even if there’s a long way to go.

With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice, it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum.


8. Prune away superfluous meetings (and their attendees).
Few activities are more of a productivity drain than meetings. If you must meet (and this should be a big “if”), make sure everyone knows what needs to be accomplished from the outset. If people are present who don't help out with achieving that objective, let them leave. Qwest COO Teresa Taylor, recently interviewed in the NYT's Corner Office, starts her meetings with the question, "Do we all know why we're here?" and then follows with, "Does everyone need to be here?" To trim the runtime of internal meetings, you can also try the standing meeting.

9. Practice saying “No.”
Creative energy is not infinite. Seasoned idea-makers know that they must guard their energy – and their focus – closely. Take author Jim Collins for example. His books Built to Last and Good to Great have sold millions of copies. His business acumen and insights are in demand. Yet, “even though Collins demands over $60,000 per speech, he gives fewer than 18 per year.” More than that and Collins wouldn’t have enough time to focus on the research and writing that yield those bestselling books. When you’re in execution mode, keep in mind that “unexpected opportunities” also mean distraction from the work at hand. Saying no is an essential part of the productivity equation.

10. Remember that rules – even productivity rules – are made to be broken.
Did we say develop a routine? This and other tips here should only be followed as long as they are working. If forward motion has become impossible with your current routine, try something else. Whether it’s taking a long distance trip, popping into the art museum, walking around the block, or talking to a perfect stranger, make sure you occasionally shake up your normal routine. Breaking habits offers new perspective and helps recharge us to head back into the fray.

Hollow by Cut Off Your Hands

Cut Off Your Hands - Fooling No One from They on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Be Energetic

Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.
~ Philippians 2:12-13 (Msg)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In the end

Who knows how we'll end up in end?

A glorious, magnificent step to a new day? Or cast aside into the deep?

I'm tired. Physically.

Need hope to keep me going, faith to keep me working. And... love?

What gives bigness of heart? Shoulders for others, on top of one's own load.

End of a day marks the beginning of another.

Enjoy the pursuit, we are told. Move in the direction of your dreams, we are reminded.

*sigh*

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Way of Life

Today I saw 3 air-con technicians come into my office and 2 risked their lives. One had to climb up a ladder and standing almost 2 meters higher, he extended upwards to reach the ceiling air-conditioner. Off-balance would mean off-ladder.

The other's task was more daunting--as the compressor was mounted outside the window, he was to perch over the slim window sill to unscrew the compressor cover. Did I mention it's an old building with a simple window frame? The other technician had to prop up the window pane (it swings upwards) while grabbing his buddy's pants. 10 minutes in, I heard the supporting technician complaining his hand was trembling.

My dad says that many years ago when he used to climb trees, he fell from one. Stunned and paralysed momentarily, he said he couldn't move. He tells me maybe I wouldn't be around today if something had happened to him.

We all have a way of life. You and yours. Me and mine. No matter how connected we think we are, some paths will never meet.

What opens our eyes, mind and heart to another's realm? A care for others? A willingness to get into another's shoes? A realisation that it's really people that make us human? A hunger to do business and make money? A drive to make a difference?

Reading Thomas Friedman's book and he writes about the Chinese duplicating the American consumerist way of life. What is enough to bring contentment?

Passion and drive are great...necessary for meaning in life! But where do you draw the line?

Passion vs. Passivity. Purpose vs. Plodding. Prayer vs. Powerlessness.

Perceive. Position. Produce.

Choose a way of life that'll be praiseworthy and productive.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Man of your word

Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Your 5 minutes be 5 minutes and not 5 hours. Tomorrow mean tomorrow. Get it done means completed and ready.

Promises and estimation of time are what we frequently give. How hard do we hold ourselves to them?

Let your words be like gold, carrying weight and value. Not fluff that's airy and inconsistent. Do you want people to trust and respect you? Or to dismiss and take you lightly?

It's gonna take commitment, discipline, organised thinking and most of all, a personal of becoming a man of your word.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Learning

One, think like a start-up. Feel like a start-up. Take on the heartbeat of the company.

Two, be inquisitive. Learn how things work, why they work, when they work.

Learn to learn. Get better.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Prospering

How can I prosper, keep on prospering until I become very prosperous?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Face-in-Hands Moment

Intent and clarity need to guide busy-ness and activity to produce fruitful productive work.

I'm working, you say.

Working on what? What are you aiming to achieve?

What drives you? Keeps you up at night. Determined to solve that nagged problem. Applying different tricks till it works.

Tired-ness sinks in. You wish. You wonder. Your head whirls.

Hope. That snatch and glimpse of a future that's bright, glorious and totally incomprehensible! Who you are then won't be who you are today!

Don't just say "Interesting" but can you live out the "Nothing is impossible" attitude?!

A faithful spirit, a clean heart, a desparate cry, a trying-and-keep-trying...

Originality is the stuff of hard work--in a foreign and uncomfortable place. Sleepless, no doubt.

Specificity beckons while bigness of thought looms.

Surrender. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender.

Surrender.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thought

What is ministry?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Imperfect

How perfect is perfect. Getting things right, pleasing the One, right living... Yes we know life isn't about living by rules and regulations. After all, it's for freedom that we are set free.

What makes us feel that we've missed the mark? Did someone wave the finger or furrow brows in disapproval?

I want to progress. Now, it's easy to grow comfortable where one is. Yet it's tough to conquer new ground. Vision, goals, strategy...it takes effort--time, energy, resources, teamwork.

Gotta be clear where I'm heading. It's becoming clearer, but so is the task list.

Like lego bricks--okay, real bricks, lay the foundation, pillars, walls, doors and windows of your dream one by one.

Some days it feels like you're just mixing cement, other days it's like a tonne of bricks on your back, and sometimes there's someone yelling at you from above, and other times you just want to slack off.

Whatever it is, watch for what you're building, how you're building, because your building will be tested--in this life and on that Day.

Who are you fighting for? What are you fighting for? Why are you fighting?

Onward, onward, onward.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Remembering

Leafing through yearbooks, recalling faces, places and events, I have to dig deep to refresh memories of days long past.

These days, I'm straining to clear today's demands while trying to be certain of tomorrow's hopes.

The question always remains: What am I living for? How do I get to those distant dreams?

Through faith and obedience, someone pointed out over a text message.

Life, a series of steps and hopefully few missteps, is--should be--about moving forward, onward...

Sermon after sermon, day after day, change and transformation come through decision, dedication and dogged drive.

I wish...for closer company to see one through.

Thoughts on a slightly cool evening.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Where Do I Art?

The combination of PASSION and ART is wat makes someone a Linchpin
~ Read in Linchpin by Seth Godin

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Showers

Courage, commitment, creativity and conduct--lessons of the past 3 weeks.

#1 - Courage - Do you dare to pursue what you want? Wait, do you know what you want?? Do SOMETHING even if it costs you. Why else would you bother, if not for a life well-lived?

#2 - Commitment - What takes highest priority? Is that thing/activity/habit really so important? Can you re-evaluate and re-order your life?

#3 - Creativity - Creating something from, well, not always nothing. But can you think alternatives and possibilities? And always consider win-win solutions, especially for the ones you serve? What are the goals anyway? What avenues are available to you?

#4 - Conduct - You affect the environment, i.e. other persons, the atmosphere. Too often we neglect this. And what attitude do you carry? Lone ranger? Meek servant? Warm, genuine personality who's available to connect?

Happy-ness gotta be pursued. So, pursue it with all your heart!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Note to Self

Learn to listen.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thought

"Bait the hook according to what the fish likes, not what the fisherman likes."
~Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Morning

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Revelation Song

By Jesus Culture

Breathe in Me

By Abundant Life Church

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reflections on Manhood

This morning I read 1 Samuel chapters 9 & 26 about Saul and David in their pre-king states. Both due to be kings: One handsome and tall as befitting a king yet became selfish and unrepentant. The other, of very unroyal upbringing, yet as we know, truly sought God heart and soul.

Three thoughts passed my mind:

1) Why does God set Himself up for disappointment? Does He take chances? After all, we--man--get to choose our path.

2) God expects us to honour our appointed leaders--even if it's one who schemes and is out to get you. Post-elections ponder...

3) Saul had no idea what was coming his way. He was focused on his task of finding his father's lost donkeys. And somehow thought his family unworthy, although Kish's family is described as wealthy and influential.

Manhood. Who is the man we follow? What lessons do we have to learn?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hiding Place

By New Life Worship

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NewSong & Band_C

Checking out music...





Friday, May 13, 2011

Cirque Éloize iD

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flying

40min to take-off.

How am I feeling? Sleepy.

Slept all of 25min this morning--felt like a wink. Why does this always happen before trips? Serious note to self: Must prepare ahead and not sweat the small stuff.

My remaining days at work were spent mostly uploading documents, catching up with key people and finishing up final bits of work.

After the last farewell lunch, hours of paper shredding, obligatory form-signing, I took in one last look, last breath of the place and decided it's really time to let go and move on.

Trudged across the same bridge a different man. Different from what I started--then again, it was probably fomenting the day I stepped in.

Be not afraid.

See you from the next continent.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Come and remind me...



"You are for me" by Kari Jobe

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Words

If you had positive influence, things would go your way. People stop to listen when you speak. Lives would be touched. Souls would be uplifted.

How influential are you, asks this article.

Your degree of influence boils down to how open others are towards you. How much can you change this? Is it how well you know them and their interests? Your sincerity and motive in relating to them?

At the end of the day, when you leave an environment, what's the response you get?

I suppose it takes a deep but simple shift in values and even self-image for this ability to kick in.

Thoughts of the day: Don't underestimate your ability to influence. Put the interests of others first.

Yes it's easy to pen and mouth these, but I think it takes a true servant to live this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Being Childlike

When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:11 (Msg)

Being childlike is not the same as being childlike.

As a child, new to the world, exploring, playing, running, jumping from high places, putting your fingers where they don't belong, dancing uninhibitedly to music... These are all things that we used to do.

A child, a toddler, he bends down, fingers and holds something, looks at you and waves the thing in glee, laughing. Growing up, his curiosity isn't easily sated--what's this, why, how long, really?? His imagination is wild, colorful and incredible.

Learning from mistakes and imitating others--usually a hero or friend--he's actually discovering himself.

What happened to the propensity to pretend, to try, to do things without fear, to do the things you enjoy, to dream, to learn from teachers, to make your parents happy, to wake up to a new play day everyday!

As we say, growing up, innocence is shed and we're supposed to become wiser and in tune with our mission in life. Yes, lose the childish immaturity. But if we totally shed the childlike-ness, do we become old, wizened and uninteresting? Not even dreaming and imagining?

A child picks himself up after falling. Sure he bawls and cries for daddy. But within the hour, he's up and running again. Even the arm cast is a thing of boasting!

Grow up but don't grow up. You know what I mean?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Copy Brief

'I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.'
(from 'Elephant's Child', Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling, 1092)

Coded or coding?

Given a chance to make a difference, would you go all out and give it your utmost?

Discovering your constraints, the pain of failing, the depression griefs that bubble up...would you keep fighting?

And it doesn't have to be perfect. But rather that you have tried.

And keep trying and trying. Because success never comes without repeated tries. Incrementally it comes.

Seriously, give it a shot. Your best shot. And even then, new surprises await you.

Don't end life in regret. The first fruit is love. Accept who you are. Don't be so hard on yourself. The end isn't coded and final yet.

Remind yourself: What's possible?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thinking of Success

You need brains to be rich and powerful. Is it just brains alone though?

Watched Limitless with my bro and wondered aloud en route home, do smarts determine a person's place in life and in society?

Intellectual capacity, efficiency and ability to connect-the-dots...we already have it, don't we? Latent and untapped, what's the trigger that transforms potential into potency? And what's holding us back? For sure, distractions (like Facebook) and emotional prisons don't help.



Below are pointers picked up from the show on being effective in one's life--easy to state, takes effort to follow through consistently:
  • Be organised - Be neat and remove clutter from your life.
  • Be intent - Be determined and focused on success
  • Have an action plan - Identify the resources and skills you need to succeed
  • Be networked - Get connected and know that no matter how smart you might be, you need others to pull you up.
  • Be fruitful - Don't waste your time and energy on distractions that don't add any value to you or others around
  • Be open to trying new solutions - Who knows exactly what panacea awaits you?
  • Be prepared to work hard - Period.

Final thought to ponder: How do you define success in life? Money, fame, power, influence, having changed the world?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time of Your Life

By Green Day

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

When Interest meets Skills meets Opportunity

By Scott Belsky on finding your sweet spot at work or for that matter, whatever you do:

As you contemplate your next career move or a new project, you should take the intersection of your genuine interests, skills, and opportunities into consideration.

Contemplate the three circles of the Venn diagram above  –  one circle encompasses your genuine interests; one, your skills; and one, the stream of opportunities available to you. An intersection between just two of the circles doesn't cut it. A love for basketball and a connection to an NBA scout won't help you if you lack the skills to play ball. You need to find YOUR trifecta.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Assess, Plan & Take Action

Read in "The Artist's Guide":

You may feel burdened with counterproductive beliefs that keep you from succeeding. In spite of the things that have gone well in my life, I still struggle with mine. My demons and my inner critic make me feel unworthy and incapable of reaching ambitious goals. Sometimes I feel as if I have one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake at the same time. I have learned to listen to my unpleasant critical inner voice to help me understand how it influences my behavior. Through planning and taking action I have learned to override and silence it. For a delirious moment, my foot is completely off the brake, and I'm gleefully shooting ahead.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Do for one...

Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.

~ Andy Stanley

Dear

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Love

Can a man be trained to detach his emotions and isolate himself from others? What touches a man and returns his humanity to him?

Have you experienced something ripped out of you, something you chose to give up and wretchedly torn from you?

Can you allow yourself to love?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saved to save others

Watched Charlie St. Cloud and this thought struck me:


Just as how Charlie the protagonist was given a second chance to live after a horrific crash, aren't we also saved from death and called to live a meaningful life?

Weighed by remorse, Charlie made a pact with his young brother's lingering spirit to meet everyday to learn to play baseball--that was his brother's dream when still alive. Eventually compelled to breach this promised appointment, Charlie rose to head out to sea and save the sailor girl whose shipwrecked person was projecting a plea to be found.

It seems such an apt metaphor for this life: Saved to save others. Don't get hung up on past failures. Do what you gotta do and sail out to the life of adventure awaiting you and those you save.

Thou art released

Catharsis. Mixed thoughts. Uncertainty.

What cause do you live for in life? Given our brief existence, one shot at life, the person you are and could become, our calling, at first elusive, should become clearer, usually at pivotal moments.

Mid-life crisis, you ask? But hey, everybody, at one point or another, would ask this and should: What is my purpose in life?

When realisation comes, do you embrace it and take the first steps into your definite calling, fraught with uncertainty? Do past defeats and memories of former deeds grip you clawtight? Catch this: They let go when you let go. They let go when you let God.

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
~ Isaiah 43:18-19

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Heart

What does God look for?

This is no preaching piece. I'm really wondering just what gets His eye and heart and attention.

Is it faithfulness and dependability?

Is it willingness to trust Him and take that step of faith? Well, in short, faith.

Is it fruitfulness, the ability to apply your talents and bear results?

Is it integrity, being faithful even when no one's looking?

Is it courage and standing firm in the face of attacks and danger to self?

Is it persistence when things aren't going how you expected?

Is it knowing God's word, what it reveals, what He's saying to you and your situation?

Is it being obedient?

Is it knowing God's heart and what matters to Him?

What would Jesus do, goes the adage.

So what should you and I do?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gungor

Friday, March 25, 2011

Know Thyself - The Power Is Yours!

Do you know your strengths? The themes of your life? Your values and philosophy in life?

Reading Tom Rath's Strengths Finder 2.0 and completing the self-revealing questionnaire, it's made me more conscious of who and what I am, as well as who and what others are.

Parts of one body, each comes with different strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests and life experiences.

In an ideal world, we have perfect understanding of each other and seamless collaborative powers. Kinda like Captain Planet, haha.

From here to the ideal world, it's for us to bridge the differences among us and make the most of our relationships. Sounds simple but there's so much more to it than we realise--how we affect one another, how we lead others, how others lead us, the "right" questions to ask or say, the situations and circumstances that energize us or don't energize us etc.

The key is this: Know thyself and take active steps to maximise and better thyself. You will be blessed, others too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Art works

Art speaks.


Collective ideas. Deep set beliefs. Observations. Aspects of life represented.

Social movements, history, culture, identity...

When you walk away from an exhibit, what gripped? What lingers? What haunts? What continues to ring?

Ideas, words, images, be careful what you let in through the eyes, ears and heart.

An artist's work shows what is in his heart, in his soul. In expression, he seeks sympathy and resonance. So, in gazing, you're really being invited...to accept his message.

"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." ~ Matthew 12:34

Be savvy for your own sake.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Walking

By Mary Mary

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Responsibility

When you're called and appointed, how do you know your responsibility?


How do you know what you are to do?

Do you stand still while figuring it out? Or can you keep moving while working it out? What confirmation would you want?

And when no one's looking, do you still do what's right? What's the price to buy your integrity?

Responsibility's a big word, a heavy load...is it really?

We aren't called to climb the mountain of self-justification by merit and works--a gift is a gift is a gift. Just accept your authority and blessing. Period.

Can you shine where you are placed? To make positive the negative?

Breaking forth to a new level demands a new way, new thoughts, new attitude, new relationships, new knowledge, new commitment...a new you? Well, you're still you. Yet you're also become the you you're meant to be.

So back to this thing called responsibility. If you've started something, surely you're responsible to see it through. If you're given responsibility, then surely you're expected to fulfil what's asked of you.

Thoughts random? Not really. Like a jigsaw, the pieces fall into place little by little. You're not expected to complete it on your own. But really to connect and commune with God who'll guide you along.

Note to self: Connect.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Can you play music?

For the love of music and connecting souls through music... Talent, musicianship, singing through your instrument... Man was made to sing, to find rhythm, to make melody, form harmony, and keep doing it ad infinitum. Ad lib makes it all the more varied and interesting!


What's life if our eardrums are not constantly stirred by good stuff?? Amazing stuff! High energy stuff! Stuff that leaves you bopping and humming the next day and many days more...

It takes passion, hard work and actually a persistence to keep moving even when you trip and fall. No doubt about it. A clear goal, persistent passion, courage to try, openness, mutual chemistry and a lifetime of preparation--ingredients for a life....

Why do some acts dazzle but others just fizzle and drizzle? What makes for excellent showmanship? Energy? Creativity? Sincerity? Being talkative?? A great smile???

Can't live without music. So what should I do? New pursuits beckon!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Don't be a griper

What's kept you going all this while?


What do you do when negative thoughts and feelings begin to surface?

Well, stay positive. Confess the positive. Believe the positive. And do the positive.

Be fruitful and be a peacemaker wherever you are, whenever you are.

Positive strives to beget positive. Being negative and unable to let go surely will only beget more negativity.

What path are you treading on? And where are you headed? Remember this and focus.

Even the act of trying is a kind of focus.

"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

"But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble." (Proverbs 4:18-19 NIV 2011)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

House rules

When you see a rule, do you break it?


Why do rules exist? What do they serve to do? To protect, to guide, to optimise, to set apart, to try?

Why do people feel uneasy when they break a rule?

Who sets rules? What guides the setting of rules? Why do rules matter?

Should everything in life have rules? After, peace usually only comes after law and order are in place.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Every Erhu needs an audience

Soliciting views and feedback, what's the most effective way? Sharing thoughts and ideas, how to engage others? Building ties and rapport, what's it to you?


Communication is two way or rather multiple way, reiterated and repeating. Is someone helping you to improve your thought process and point out the key areas you ought to consider?

Like a lonesome Erhu in an echo-less valley, dearth of feedback, well it kills--progressively. No city's really an island. No person survives alone, not in this ultra-saturated world of social media and apps galore anyway. Even our eyes and countenance communicate more than we actually say.

Touch base all you want, friends. Don't lose that which is important and necessary for continued growth and advancement.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Springs of life

Heard this at cellgroup last night: "Your circumstances change only when your thinking changes."


We all desire to have good things in life, to do well, to establish well-being in every area. For me, that includes spiritual well-being, to be fruitful and effective in my life.

Last night, I was reminded of how we ought to focus on the eternal, on the things that matter. For one, relationships and friendships matter--encouraging and building up those around me.

Why do we do the things we do? Church, work, cellgroup, family, friends, play... There're so many things demanding our time. What should take priority?

And what's the right attitude to have towards others? Especially our leaders, overseers and elders.

How we think determines how we live. What we say and believe determines what we head towards.

"Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23 (Amp)

"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world." ~ Matthew 5:8 (Msg)

What is success against the backdrop of eternity? Get it right within and you'll get it right without.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Giant versus Giant

You oughta be careful asking God to speak to you through a book. Because when He does, it can get uncomfortable.

Reading Erwin McManus's Chasing Daylight on taking risk and advancing in the face of uncertainty... Well, it sounds bold and appealing until you actually start to take it seriously.

When do we start living? When did security become a comfort zone? How do I know what to pursue? Well, we don't. He, God, paints a path. Lit only just enough to allow walking, do I follow?

Sing......

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Norwegian Wood (2010)

What is materialism?

Having lots of money isn't materialism. Neither is making lots of it or spending it on expensive goods or enjoying the process of shopping.

Since love is a commitment to something at the expense of self, surely it's the same with the love of money and material goods.

How do we know what we pursue isn't vapour? That what occupies us day after day is not frivolous but a worthy pursuit that will bear fruits that remain?

So where the sense of guilt come from when we spend on an unusually expensive item or series of items? Perhaps it's the innate prudence that cries for self-control in the face of future needs and worries.

Well, we know we shouldn't be defined by things--not to let them have us. Yet sometimes we don't even realise we've been had. By our things, that is.

If you were to lose everything you have--absolutely everything--would you still be you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In with the new

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Will to Win

Beat up and bloodied, promises unfulfilled, how would you feel?


What do you gun for in life? How hard are you willing to try?

Winning and losing. Losing and winning. Fast is slow and slow is fast.

What's waiting to be conquered?

How hard will you train, hang on to your dreams and put up a good fight?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What does it take to complete a race?

A will to succeed. A resolve to improve. A humility to ground you.

Fitness and strength can be trained--it must be!

Knowing your self--your body, your limits and your personality.

Preparation is key, certainly. Mental, physical and not least, spiritual.

Friends cheering you on, keeping your own pace, running with the Divine...

Racing on. Pick your challenge and complete it to the best of your ability.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Theater

Before the rain, a gusty wind.
Leaves, twigs, they dance and spin.
Sideways, upwards, rolling, floating.
The wind, the wind, our mighty fiend.
Commuters irked. Vendors dread.
Heaven's gift, fierce and free.
Mercy, mercy, let life live.
Wash the filth, but leave us be.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Will To Live

Recently I heard it said that we are given 25550 days to live--that's 70 years. Is that too short for you?

In 127 Hours, Aron Ralston, a lone adventurous climber who, as skilled as he is, gets pinned by a boulder in a steep ravine. He eventually expects to die but then discovers how he can free his arm by breaking it and cutting it off. Simply put, the will to live is powerful.

If I had only 24 hours left to live, what would I do?

What would you do?

Not perhaps but certainly it's time to change my view on living. To separate the things that bring happiness and the things that lasting joy. To live for the things, the people that really matter.

All of us have habits and preferences that shape how we live on a daily basis. Well, how important are they, really?

Living, the will to live... Make this life count.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Good Grief



Completed Comfort by Ann Hood. She writes about how she coped or couldn't cope with the sudden loss of her 5yo daughter, Grace, Gracie, her Grace. Raw yet elegant, it affected me--the grieving, the pain, depression, trying to find hope again. Odd because I'm not mother or father who has lost a child. I believe many have found comfort in Comfort.

By Your Side

By Tenth Avenue North



Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

(Chorus 2x)

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

(Chorus 2x)

You Are More

By Tenth Avenue North

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Self-Acceptance



Accepting love is accepting an other who accepts you for who you are. If you can't or don't accept yourself, then can you open your life to receive the other?

Watched Love and Other Drugs and other than lots of skin and sex shown, it's really about acceptance. A suave and successful man who feels the need to prove himself so as to earn his parents' approval--he can't state his strengths and good points when asked. A woman struggling with the onset of Parkinson's and the pain of being rejected by the ex. They struggle to accept themselves & eventually each other.

You know, the view from above is usually clear and unobstructed. You get to look across to other structures and recognise the activities of others from that vantage point. Can we see our own lives from above? Well, you know what I mean.

Without love, we are nothing. Seen the world? Real knowledgeable & well-spoken? Yet not doing what you feel should be done... So with love, what are we? Can we really build a life with no regrets? Read this quote recently: You find strength when you are loved, courage when you love someone.

Accept it. Accept self, accept love, accept the other.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Questions on leadership

Questions that occurred to me in the course of 2 weeks in camp. Questions to ponder answers to.

1) What makes officers assume positions of leadership and authority? How do you ensure they carry themselves with dignity and responsibility? By the weight of the authority and powers vested in them? Then what motivates exemplary, selfless behaviour? What about personal pride and concern for others, do they come from within? Is it high EQ and good character that make excellent officers?

2) What do you do with people who don't work well with other people? If they don't take instructions well, how do you still bring them along and not leave them out? How do you bring them from "I" to "We" towards a common objective? Self-awareness is well, self-developed right, what about other-awareness and other-orientation? I guess it takes some other to come alongside to inspire this self to change.

3) Are you afraid of hard work, dirty work, dangerous work? Might we have a mantra where work and challenges are readily embraced? Rewards and recognition help to shape a culture that loves to work. Oh, not forgetting a revelation of the right perspective regarding self, others and the possibilities.

4) Do you lead by example and active involvement? When you do--or fail to do so--people remember it for years. A leader's presence--and absence--is tangibly felt, even on the ground. He sets the direction, the tempo and success markers. He engages positively and defines roles and expectations. A good leader is one who pulls and brings others up together with him. Realise this: one's solo efforts can bring success but with a leader's help, progress can certainly be spurred and hastened.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ready?

"New triggers momentum," says Andy Stanley in his leadership podcast.

Instinctively we resist change. Change is risky. Change is costly. Change is uncomfortable.

We know this yet we squirm when change comes to us.

Through the years, we learn methods, ways and mechanisms to cope and make things work. We learn from experiences to spot problems and then solve and pre-empt them. We adapt, improve and gun for mission completion.

Then a fundamental shift happens. The bigger the shift, the deeper we got to adapt. At the depress of a finger, off we go, ricocheting into a spiral of buzz and activity.

What do we want to change into? Deja vu, we've asked this before. How do we get there? How do we get others to come along? Are you given the authority to initiate change? Have you an action plan and a set of clear objectives?

So...what makes one, person or agency, embrace change while another fight against it?

(ponder)

There is a time for change. Epochs mark human history. Separated by pivotal moments, borne by persistent individuals, directed by the Divine, are you ready when change comes?

It's easy to point out the failings of others, of your organisation, of your government. Question is, what are you gonna do about it? Do you have the unction of conviction and boldness and the Solution to "do something about it"?

Forty-nine weeks of the year remain. Still unclear what you should pursue? Whatever you have, write it down, tell someone about it, imagine it--your greatest wish--coming to pass. Then kickstart something to kick yourself in the direction of your dreams.

You need it. More than you might know.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Perspective



By Ji Lee

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Of Men and Leadership

If you had men to command, how would you lead them? 3 men? 10 men? 20 men? 100? 3000?


Structure, roles, expectations, planning, preparations, regulations, shared understanding, familiar faces, art of communication---ingredients for not just achieving objectives but building an enduring organisation of men to fulfil its mission.

Lessons along the way:

1) Separate planning from admin and define clear roles for each. Planning the direction forward and paving the way of advancement, while admin ensures the people are prepared and keeping in line. Different strengths and personalities serve the demands of each role. Can we expect one to be rotated to perform another?

2) Being decisive and involved is a function of risk-taking, focus and ownership. What makes someone step up to take the lead? What makes someone notice a need and resolve it? Is it independence of thought, innate sense of responsibility and the willingness to bite the bullet?

Be the change you want to see, it's said. Can a ripple of intent change effect progress in an established eco-system? Define your mental model first before you answer that. Transformation is kindled during pivotal moments, yet it takes persistence and progressive work to make it great.

Seek insight, wisdom and discernment of the season. Strength comes from clarity of purpose and commitment of hearts and minds. So build strength where it's needed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Exalt Thee

Composed by Pete Sanchez Jr.

For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods

I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Ready To Grow Up

What is growth?


Our physical bodies were programmed to grow into a shape, a structure, a system. What determines its growth pattern? Nourishment? The image set before it? The inner desire to grow? Sufficient space to grow in? Others who spur it to grow through their own growth?

What do we grow into? What do we want to grow into? What do you see yourself as? What do others see in you that you seem to underestimate? What triggers your growth?

What resonates with you? Bold, raw ideas? Comprehensive considerations? Words of piercing conviction? Encouragements and concern?

Having grown, we often forget how we used to be. Well the person we are is absolutely not the same as the person we were years ago.

That said, growth should be deliberate, focused and well...consistent. Don't be a two-headed monster or change for change's sake.

Keep looking forward. Keep growing.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

雨の味 (2008)


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Does he love me?

Do you wonder if God truly loves you?


If you do--that God wants only the best for you--then why do we struggle everyday?

Do you know His heart? What He feels towards you, what He thinks about you, what He's trying to tell you?

If someone wished you "God be with you", do you wonder, isn't He already with me, or do you think, sure, that's up to God?

Is God passive? Does He wait for us to fulfil certain conditions before moving us along? Or is He actively working in our lives? Then what part do we play?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The heart longs ever so faithful

A deep hunger within stirs, lulls, moans for satisfaction. Neglected and unsated, the same wounds and issues go unhealed and remain unresolved. In circles you go till breakthrough is wrought.


Now the heart is a funny thing. It cries, it laughs, it weeps, it calls for attention, it gets bored, it gets tangled in woes and worries. Draw on Life and let dreams fill you. Draw on pain and it will prick you.

Fire breeds passion. Iron sharpens iron. Faith inspires purpose. Surely one heart can gel and connect many others! Loose your vision, be specific and call others to might! Winsome wins hands down!

Inspiration. Desperation. In transition. Transformation.

Let your dream be revived and revved to fruition.