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Showing posts from 2017

Angels We Have Heard On High

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LSP is peeking out behind night sky
Christmas is 23 days away! Strangely quite excited. Not because I have anything planned on Christmas day, but now that I think about it, the entire season and its feels. 
Don't we all have moments where everything feels in sync, where you feel so congruent with where you are and what you are doing there and then? I had many such moments during the 2015 Christmas month- 

Choruses of Gloria in excelsis Deo in what feels like perfect harmony as we stood under the highway named euphemistically "Downtown"

Dancing in Nepalese traditional clothes at Temple Street
Hikes with friends
And in 2016 too; though it was a more subdued mood and I wasn't thinking about Christmas at all-  Like the day when I cried when listening/singing "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and yearning for shalom
The mornings and nights at Anntic 

December this year is gonna be busy and tiring I expect. But there is really so much I look forward to (saying now…

Diversity

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Random thought bubbles in my head: 

Through Kairos I realised that diversity in unity really excites me. I love how God's mission is for all ethnos, to bring out the beauty of each culture as they turn to worship Him.
Drawing from the last session of Kairos, to illustrate my future in light of the Kairos experience:



Hmm but at the same time I feel like I have romanticised diversity- thinking about how it was hard for me to really recognise and affirm the different strengths of people I am working with.

It was really great to interact with people who are not Chinese, not Christian for this week (i.e. different from me). It's refreshing in a way to hear different views about things, to be challenged in my views, and observe a different way of seeing things from the other person's shoes.

Below is the drawing of my favorite place, done when we did group Interactive Drawing Therapy. Does that mean I can be comfortable anywhere as long I can have a nice bubble and feel connect…

A Leaf!

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(This is in reference to the lovely story mentioned in the previous post, really thank God for this 'leaf')

Just wanted to remember a day like this. Started off the day feeling a little cranky due to lack of sleep and physical exertion from the yesterday's Urban Hike. By the time I made it out of TJ office after an intense meeting around 1pm, my body was protesting.

So when I was back at my office I just kept putting off planning for the counseling session at 4.30pm. At slightly after 4pm, I was slumped on my chair holding the case file in my hands and asking myself what should I do with this boy (lol haha I am not a good representation of a counselor). Asked God also, my supervisor too.

Literally went up to him and said "I don't know what to do for my session later" Wise wise supervisor, he replied "Ask him what he wants to do. "But, he will just say he wants to go home." "Then ask him what he wants to do at home."

Anyway, I was half…

admin x angst

Today was one of those days I feel like I am pottering around, getting stuck and quite exasperated/frustrated at admin which distracted me from my so-called 'real work'. If there was a Tree I was trying to paint like Niggle, I lost sight of it.

But the whole point of this pithy post is more to share this very beautiful story 'Leaf by Niggle' by J.R.R.Tolkien which was like a douse of fresh cool water to my overheating brain.

Beautiful things

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优美伤感但带着希望的歌

What stood out in The Miracles of the Namiya General Store was how each character was connected by their acts of good will, and the affirming that each person's life is of such value.

Indeed, we do not know how our words can impact and change the course of someone's life. A very timely reminder for me to watch my words.

Thank God for the beauty in songs and movies, in the emotions conveyed through human voices, in the glorious light streaming through trees.

God is so smart

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I catch myself exclaiming this inwardly when I get the feeling that my prayers have been answered - which is a good thing right? - but there's a sense of being 'tricked' into something uncomfortable.

Surely this is one of the reasons why God says 'No' or 'Wait' to our prayers. We do not know what it means for ourselves when we pray for certain things, or perhaps we ask without being fully ready for the 'Yes'.

Anyway, just before I slept YW asked how come I got the feeling that it wouldn't be good for me to go for this Bible camp which I really took alot away from last year. Just vague thoughts about my participation not being very helpful for the other campers and not very aligned to the season I'm in so I didn't reply. This morning came the invitation to head the Discipleship Committee for church youth camp. Such is human nature: My first reaction was something like 'Wow! Good job, God! You answered my prayers in this way and now I …

Infantile Reflections

Having been a social worker for just close to 2 months, I must first apologise in advance if I make it seem as though I have passed a judgment or sound very coldly cognitive.

My peers' very raw experiences of witnessing family violence, together with the Rohingya crisis, stir up visceral emotions of anger, horror and helplessness. Of which, I am quite sure, a few degrees removed I am sure. This week during supervision I was confronted with the fact that I have been engaging the youths I am supposed to counsel in a more cognitive way, when the root of the issue are heart matters like belonging to a family, trust, and feeling loved.

"What is happening to you in the counseling room as your client shares this?" 
Social work is a spiritual journey, I am sure of it. We, or I, must confront the questions pertaining to God so as to forge ahead more boldly with the people we work with.

A lot of these questions start with 'Why'?

Ecclesiastes reminded me again of how I have …

Dreams

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Dreams verbalised to and encouraged by different friends. Vague as they are- do I even know what I am talking about?
"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
一步一步要凭着信心走 - 求神扩大我的心。
"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged until he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope."   Isaiah 42:3-4 (NIV)

Shalom

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Sitting at the window seat of National Gallery cafe now with the natural sunlight filling the whole space.
Such moments like that echo of shalom. 
Are they incompatible with the broken realities of the world?
This question I have struggled with in my freshman year as I come face to face with human suffering and broken families. 
I've thus far managed to come to a healthy (or so I think) tension where I know that shalom moments come by 'the slow, steady engagement with and practice of God's will' (Bruggemann, in Evangelism and Discipleship). Yet, have things become too convenient?
For convenience is indeed the goal of the dominant culture. 
There is no conclusion to this, for the corollary of the above statement is that because Christians called to the alternative of shalom, we are constantly reclaiming zones of alternative culture.

In the same breath I thank God for the blessings I have at work, of very cherished friendships and exciting projects, I wonder if I am al…

Divine Discontent // A Life of Generosity

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News of the Rakhine being stuck in no-man's land between border guards and the Myanmese army made me want to know where this border is exactly. Sometimes the amount of bad news from the same places everyday makes things feel 'standard'.

But no, part of our battle for the truth is that each piece of such news belies the lives of eternal souls. These souls have history of rich experiences, they can be so resilient, yet I can't ever imagine the trauma and its after-effects on them.

I was looking at those borders between the nations. Looking at the map, I understood better why Italy and France have so many Libya and Algeria refugees. Borders are a de facto part of the world. We don't really question the fundamental anxiety that's driving each country to protect its borders, do we?

I am part of the anxiety. Let the refugees in, and there will bound to be societal changes. Let the foreign workers come, but they are only acceptable if they meet our sector needs and d…

Dear Mongolia

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Dear Mongolia,

May I bless you. I cannot yet do that with my skills and I cannot speak your language, but more importantly I cannot see beyond even the next hour (thinking what am I going to do for this morning at work lol).

将来的事,除了耶和华,谁能测度?

Yet the skills and experiences that I acquire, the people that I meet, I know they are leading me on. Where, I do not know, but God knows. Maybe I will bless you from afar.


I really love your horses, yaks, cows and sheep, and the grandeur of the vast nature out there. (Sometimes more than your people, I confess) My heart sinks when I think about how the nomads are suffering because of the dzuds ("severe winters made worse by preceding droughts), and so many are flocking to the UB capital but face other kinds of hardships.

But perhaps, in that city that has become so familiar and dear, there will be a brighter light found among the city lights, that does not cease shining, especially in the darkest night.

Dear Mongolia, I guess I miss you. But…

Praise

"The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but man is tested by the praise he receives." Proverbs 27:21 Don't you find it interesting that the testing is 'praise' and not fiery trials? 
Constantly amazed at how the Word upends our notions and challenges beliefs so ingrained in us: of what it means to be blessed (Matt 5:3-11), of who is wise in God's eyes (1 Cor 2:6-10), our favoritism and who is blessed by our Father (James 2:1-5).
You see the depths of our hearts and You love us the same. In this age of post-truth, Your Word ever challenges the social norms and what we take for as "business as usual".

Half-Awake Prayers

By His great grace alone, God hears half-awake prayers. That is, those first few half-coherent sentences jumbled with other passing thoughts that my mind mumbles every morning.

"We are, like earthworms, cabbages and nebulae, objects of Divine knowledge. But when we (a) become aware of the fact... and (b) assent with all our will to be so known, then we treat ourselves, in relation to God, not as things but as persons. We have unveiled. Not that any veil could have baffled His sight. The change is in us." (C.S. Lewis in Prayer: Letters to Malcolm, emphasis added)

What an awesome gift and privilege prayer is - to be able to meet God face to face, even bringing incoherent babble or faithless (and thus empty) words at times.

Writing this in the morning before I prepare to head out for a new work day; it is prayer that makes me ready and refreshed for the work ahead.


God Spoke to Me Through My GP

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In more ways than one, God spoke to me through my GP. I had put off going to the doc's but well I really need to be well by Monday.

Somehow I have a slight mistrust of doctors, after a bad encounter at the hospital with my Granny's doctor and knowing that GP clinics are basically a business. Perhaps also from researching about healthcare for my thesis and stories from MSW friends.

I also hate waiting in clinics or bureaucratic offices. To me the feeling of waiting to be processed is quite disempowering. Yet, unpleasant as the waits are they are good because they remind me of how social service users have these waits in higher frequency, and much longer duration.

And then I had a seat which was great because I had brought my Bible to read. Quiet space is intentionally created and there in the clinic, truths were again spoken over me, echoing down the ages as I read the words (2 Corintians 9:6-15).

The most divine part was the conversation with Dr Gloria, who challenged my stere…

你会怕孤独吗?

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大姑丈问的这一句仿佛象征着世界会不断问我的问题。
Do I dare to make that resolution again, to wait on the LORD? You know, thinking about the vastness of Your plan for this world and our part in it, my heart is stilled. 

Like in Tap Mei Tuk where the cloud-covered mountains and gently lapping waters declare Your glory. How wonderful to know You and walk in Your ways! 
 "The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"  Proverbs 20:24 (NLT)
 I am ready to go back home now, to begin work and continue with ministry. There is a place for me there, and I will discover why these doors have been opened. 
P.S. I am very happy to share about stuff to do in HK~ It feels like a second home; I've had one of the best times of my life and precious moments of basking in God's creation here.

Going, To Say Goodbye

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Currently typing this on phone as I head out of NUS for the last time as a (graduated) student. Went back to drop off the Honours Room key and my heart feels like it wants to linger.

I look and finger the key a final time, and tell myself: This season has ended. And with that, the clang of the key and I walked away, no turning back.

Walking down the stairs I've climbed countless times (almost always in haste), I reflected that perhaps in this journey, I'll always be discovering that the next season is a more true calling/place I should be. And the previous one is there to prepare me for the next. My heart was screaming for time to stop as the HK exchange ended, and the first few months back were terrible. Yet that season of my life, which has just ended, has been one of the best. (Ha ha ha, guess what, I think I've said that for the other past seasons too).

What a beautiful adventure You have called us to, Lord. Joys and trials unimaginable, You show us who we…

Commencement // Project Masterpiece

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And with the last day of Project Masterpiece for the commencement ceremonies tomorrow, this chapter in NUS is really really coming to an end. These past few (crazy busy and blessed) days where I have been traversing familiar places in school, the memories attached to those places put a smile on my face as I recount my blessings. Perhaps it is only as we look back that we see, how beautiful the journey has been. But I have been immensely blessed to already know how blessed I am throughout university- because I have a clear vision and purpose for what I hope to do in NUS and where I want to be.

With my own commencement this Monday night, graduation suddenly becomes official (I have made a clear promise to myself not to take advantage of student card discounts anymore), which also means the imminence of work. I was reminded of it just now and I almost couldn't bear to think of how my life will be so drastically changed. Will I be jaded and cease to believe in why I started on the so…

O God Beyond All Praising

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Words: Michael Perry, sung to the tune of THAXTED

"O God beyond all praising,
we worship you today
and sing the love amazing
that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder
at every gift you send,
at blessings without number
and mercies without end.
We lift our hearts before you
and wait upon your Word,
we honor and adore you,
our great and mighty Lord.

The flower of earthly splendor
in time must surely die,
its fragile bloom surrender
to you, the Lord most high;
but hidden from all nature
the eternal seed is sown -
though small in mortal stature,
to heaven's garden grown:
for Christ, your gift from heaven,
from death has set us free,
and we through him are given
the final victory.

Then hear, O gracious Savior,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor
may serve you as our King;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we'll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty
and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful …

Faces // Love is not a thing to be so used

Maybe I write this post as a mini self rebuke, maybe an act of subtle self-glorification.

"A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fools' eyes wander to the ends of the earth." Proverbs 17:24 Feels like straight in the heart rebuke when I read it this morning.  Dear Mum and Dad, family and friends:
I am both sorry and not sorry. Which in effect is not sorry at all. And I am, in my better self, sorry for that. Sorry that I don't really care about the great mess in my room nor the fact that I probably lost my identity card. It really doesn't matter at the end of it, like I said to the utter dismay of my friends in response to the possibility of missing our flight back to Singapore. 
After awhile, it kinda sucks being seen as crazy/foolish/needing to be restrained. Of course, there is truth in it. (No, I shall not be tempted into emotional pride and feel like it's me against the world) Yet I hope that some of this other-worldliness is a vision lived out... …

海阔天空

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原谅我这一生不羁放纵爱自由。

 真的。

 但是,里面还是搏斗着。
 “一个不平凡的人啊! 难得难得,要是你是男孩子就会比较理想。因为,女孩子会有一点点不方便。”

原谅我这一生不羁放纵爱自由。 也会怕有一天会跌倒。

I attempt to twist my hands free from the firm grasp on my wrists- it hurt when I struggled. I never liked how I can't seem to be trusted to cross the traffic lights myself. 

My dress rode up a bit as I started to pedal the Obike. 他们一定骂我的。穿这样骑脚踏车!Yet there was a strange satisfaction in that act itself. 

Maybe that's why, I want to travel solo so badly.

原谅我这一生不羁放纵爱自由。

I really cannot help it.

//On brighter things: Watercolour inspired by the Amdo Tibetan print on the handmade Tibetan pouch - the seemingly lone flowers are linked together in a bigger tapestry.
Proverbs 3:19-20 before me while I painted: "By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew."

Hello, Jaded

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This should be for when I feel like I am not going anywhere, not making any difference, or not doing enough where I am in social work.

蜻蜓/pepatung/dragonfly
荷叶孤浮水面上,
带着莲花之盼望。
 水底海草蜻蜓迷,
 放纵自己去探索。

The most part of this month was grappling with wanting to be free.

Free to do what, and from what?

To do what I want, both in social justice and interfaith work and what-not to change the world, and more frivolous stuff like going where I want when I want (i.e. alone).

To be free from being bound to imperfect systems- in my mind operationalised as getting told what to do regardless of whether I choose to or not. (But the root of it is, I realise, I hate getting told what to do especially when I feel like it constrains the create-tive use of my time)

Are you truly free? 
For what seemed like a long struggle, I didn't want to accept that in many senses, I am not free to do as I please. Resentment would be riled up when I perceived that my time was given where I didn't want to. Angry at ho…

Dixit Insipiens

Still spiteful. The kernel of bitterness, resentment and self-pity burst open this morning and I was one with the pouring rain. I felt like Orual, holding that small, tattered book filled with complaints.

Is that how laments actually feel like? Such deep measure of grief tore through me that the loud sounds proceeding forth were so strange, yet that was my real voice.

Are we not one, made to live in harmony? I have already forgotten what it was like when the family was truly four. A gentle answer turns away wrath, as the proverb goes. Not much of that from me. The grief was poisoned till the torrents cleared away the layers hiding the resentment I guess.

Still hard to love. Almost like I don't know how to, for him anymore. Oh, Brother. Why can't you be like other brothers? I want to love you, Brother. You know we love you, Brother.



Till We Have Faces

And soon did I set out to procure the book, and now I have finished it.

It does feel like a few grand themes in my life are coming together- all of a sudden at times, and then so slow it makes me jumpy the other. I know it is a dangerous thing to say, especially regarding that which I hold cherished. And so with veiled words and a weak attempt at eloquence:

Pi, you have guessed it,
A mystery known and yet not.
But hush, don't be excited,
The main character is not him.

Simple Psyche with that meek beauty,
Or Orual (her name I turn over in my lips more than Psyche) the embittered,
Fox with his wise Greek sayings,
And the gods who did not answer till Orual got her answer in her complaint.

But no these are far from the main character,
Whom we (I) fail describing and have failed.
The story is now mine (and yours?),
With He who made Orual a Psyche.

Thus my resolve,
After which a realisation.
Till I have been cruel of heart (in the words of Orual still with veiled face),
Till I long for …

At the Jouney's End

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又回到这个温暖优美的家。不是我的家不过好像在这短短的 4 天里有那么多美好的时光。不是纯纯快乐的,而是有时带伤感的。


过了一年,回到这个地方,看到自己不是以前的我。
I think I have become in a sense more emotional, more attuned to my own sorrows and even seeing it's beauty. Still like being alone to think and reflect, but I have come to express some of these reflections, because I have learnt that first ministry cannot be done alone and second that there are people who care passionately about the same things too.


Hmm the pride is still there but the monster has taken on a different form. I used to not want to share both because of self-protection and the emotional pride: No one cares! Now that I am... So accomplished in the eyes of many, the pride distorts how I view myself. With such great blessing of various strengths comes that thorn in the flesh- and I was reminded again of His all sufficient grace. Power made perfect in weakness, and so let me boast about my weaknesses.

Looking and hearing at the new Exco share about their reflections on ministry based on th…

真的幸会了

The entire trip with the Hagar staff and supporters was a tremendously blessed one. Apart from seeing the wonderful work done, it was also meeting people that have the same heartbeat and have gone ahead of me.
Just wanted to write down how each of these people have touched my life, for that blip of shared time in Hanoi:
Firstly, it became such a joy being somewhat of a wallflower and looking at Lynette laughing so heartily at the smallest things. There was always something to laugh at or be playful about, and the van was filled with boisterous laughter throughout the 4 days. The sisterhood with Camy was also something so beautiful, and both of them really exuded that joy in service and in working for Hagar. It must have been a leap of faith to work in Hagar with only 3 staff and no office (until recently), being in the stable job of MSF. Kelda's dedication to take photos which meant she would always not have a nice shot of her inside the group photos was also something which caused…

They Say Love is Pain-

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-well darling let's hurt tonight. If this love is pain then darling let's love tonight~ (Let's Hurt Tonight, OneRepublic)


Painted this today morning against the background music of Sinking Deep/I Need You Now/Broken Vessels. A fountain. The three that remain: Faith, Hope and Love. Leaves of tree for the healing of nations.

Now that I have gotten things off my chest, I feel more at peace. Thank you, Evan. Thank You, Father for this mentor who is so similar to me, both in angst and in passion. I almost cried when she shared about Rev.Yap used to ask "Why you so not 乖?"

Really thank You, Lord, for You reminded me about my third resolution to spur my spiritual family towards love and good works. I know You would desire a willing heart more than a person with abilities. Empty empty all these things, without love.

So many points I felt like crying when talking to Evan. About the love for and angst over church, when she asked me what did I think God wants me to grow ove…

Saddle Pain in the Freedom of Rain

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I was still toying with the idea of taking my brother's bike out for an adventure while on the way back from hiking with the parents. The next morning when I woke up it occurred to me that I had already cycled around Hainan (on the main roads with the cars/motorbikes!). That sealed it, I'm going! This time, parents were duly informed (though not of the plan to cycle till Pandan Reservoir; didn't know I could make it that far too). I'm a naughty kid I know.
What I really wanted to say was, how enjoyable it was to cycle with the rain beating down on my skin. I was thoroughly drenched after 1/3 of my first leg up to Chinese Garden. I felt really carefree.
Though there was the saddle pain. Felt it keenly when cycling through the pouring rain along the straight canal path with my thighs feeling like they were gonna fail me. Less so, but felt it when admiring the post-rain glistening Jurong lake and pine trees (?). Saddle pain in Macs when basking in the post accomplishme…

Songs

The top few songs for the Coachella music and arts festival perturb me. Among them are Alone (Marshmello) and Scared To Be Lonely. When I was forced to sit through the second song in the taxi some time ago, I made a mental note to give it a listen again. Okay I think this is the point I should say that I am slightly more assured after finding out that RadioHead was the main opening act on Day 1 of the festival. Fake Plastic Trees was a earworm in yes, those angst teenage years. ("It wears him out...It wears him out...")
Continuing on with my judgment of English pop now, I really felt sad listening/watching the MV of these 2 videos. Not just these, but in generally listening to the pop music now, it felt to me like a kind of indication of a deep hurt in society. Not just a deep hurt, but there seems to be a sense of experiential satisfaction pursued in and of itself. My mind somehow thinks of self-harm ('across the river not down the stream'); has it become a kind of…

In High Places

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Have humans always been enthralled by high places? The Tibetans build their temples in the mountains to be closer to the heavens above. Today we trailed behind on the overwhelming kindness and generosity of a Vietnamese family as they ascended up the steep trail in Ba Vi National Park to worship at the shrine.

We had the privilege to be privy to this ritual for some special day. Looking at the offerings of money. fragrant branches, a whole chicken... and then their lips moving silently as they knelt before the shrine. What are they praying for, I wonder. How do they see themselves in relation to the gods they are praying to?


It was in that high fog-filled place that we had received so much grace freely given. We were so warmly welcomed into their fold, beckoned into the temple to see, invited (many many times) to eat their food, ushered up their van. At one point I remembered thinking: This is also a kind of shalom.

This short trip to Hanoi has really brought us to high places, both l…

Manusia Kesengsaraan// In the Hope room

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Hari ini Jumaat Baik. What a strange sounding translation of Good Friday. It is also strange that I am in Hanoi instead of Good Friday service. Listening to the intermittent honks from the traffic below our hotel and watching the sunlight slowly suffuse the 'therapeutic' room as Jas described. Dua kawan-kawan aku masih nyenyak tidur, seperti semua baik di bumi. Good Friday meningkatkan aku tentang Yesus Kristos terseksa di Calvary.

Thinking about it I realised that sufferings and sorrows are often reflected back to joy, in the Lord. Joy of a deeper kind, leaning on the full weight of assurance in a heartrendingly glorious eternity with our Creator.

Manusia kesengsaraan... Let my heart be broken but not despair.

I have come to see happiness with a tinge of sorrow, like the people sleeping in the streets even as I was really happy to be exploring places with my dear friends (I counted four in the short 2 hours we were out yesterday). And on the other side, sorrows …

Rest

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Because someone kept asking me to rest :)

This is my kind of rest and I foresee that I will be a fat Makcik in the future :o

Baking.

Eating. With good company, at a nice place. Licking batter off the mixing bowl is good too but I guess I have grown to enjoy people more.

Journalling, writing. More often in cafes now which is bad because it makes me plump and poor (good alliteration right).

I enjoy hiking and seeing nature too, but too bad I haven't really got the energy  motivation to do the local hikes. I miss waking up at unearthly hours and travelling on the MTR to hike legit mountains. I miss the carefree times, when I can just agree to a 12am hike after coming back from a short run in the cold. Well, no sadness in saying this. I have my Rest, in Whom nothing I have missed is lost.

FYI:
From Pioneer Woman, she's one of the first food bloggers that I followed at 14 years old. Recipe is diabetic though, cut back on the sugar like by ALOT.






Acknowledgements

And so. After exactly 24h from when I woke up yesterday, the work is done. Father, You have been so gracious to grant me the desires of my heart. When I have not always delighted myself in You. But still, You have given me such clarity of purpose, such strength, drive, such anointing of the Holy Spirit this semester. I guess that's why, in light of all these, 我要为自己别无所求. 不是不在乎,而是只要从神父手中领取.

I am thankful:

"Thesis is an individual research journey but I am triply blessed in this journey. My first supervisor, Dr Marcus Chiu, taught me to think more critically and pushed me to look beyond the superficial questions. What I'd thought was a straightforward research question became a conceptually fundamental one about human perception and behaviour. My second supervisor, Dr Choo Hyekeung, was ever so patient with my unprecise fluff and I owe much of my quantitative thinking and SPSS skills to her. I am also indebted to Mr Mohamed Naser, who made the research so much smoother and ea…

恩典的记号

Over breakfast with Dad, I got angry thinking about 大伯. There is still much unforgiveness and disdain for me I know it. On Saturday at the crematorium I was really trying hard to look at him full-on because I found that it was so hard to look at him with love.
So, I want to dispel any notions of romanticism in love within me. I still have this fuzzy-warm notions; which are not entirely unrealistic but they are sweet interruptions in the long journey of loving rather than love's characteristic. The very same Kang that discussed and affirmed that it is the church who extends scandalous grace to peoples that society will not and cannot care for, cannot have this thin definition of love.
不是讨人爱的才爱,爱是在那所谓不值得爱的最赤热. Perhaps for the love-er, this is a hard-won love. Further, it is not from ourselves, like we have this love without ourselves receiving it. It is really knowing that we are precisely also the ones so unlovable that Grace has found and redeemed.

Angst

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Partly to prepare myself for an interview for youth worker at Lakeside FSC, I revisited those songs I'd so identified with in my secondary and JC years. Realised that u still do. Linkin Park, Simple Plan, One Republic- the top 3 angst song bands for me. 

"I'm tired of trying to be what you want me to be // I've become so numb, I can't feel you there." (Numb, Linkin Park)
"But tonight I'm feeling like an astronaut, sending SOS from this tiny box. Cos I'm lost out there and the world forgot." (Astronaut, Simple Plan)
So I indulged in more of these emo-angst songs last night (way longer than just that one song because I was almost-desperately trying to find that song of which I could only remember the grave in the MV. It was Stop and Stare.)
Dangerous dangerous. As the lyrics play in my head and I associate them with things that I have experienced, they focus me on myself. 
But anyway. Aligned with the SW strengths perspective, it helps me iden…

清明,脆弱

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清明时节雨纷纷,路上行人欲断魂。借问酒家何处有?牧童遥指杏花村。

 好幽美的几句诗。

<subsequent images taken from the World Press Photo 2016 exhibition, gird yourself >


A strange kind of terrible beauty in this photo also. Ponomarev really composed it so beautifully; the horse bows its head, like how I'd imagine the hearts of the people. Yet the ethereal sunlight shines down on both the horseman and the people.






I stared at these nameless faces for a long time.

And then I saw this.

 And this. 
And this.

Was there the temptation to atheism again? I guess it was after Adam's photo while I was looking at the photos narrating the problem of sexual assaults against women in the US military. I just went "What the fuck, God." By grace, by sweet grace, it didn't end there, this almost-cowardly response.

I took photos of strength, of love, of resilience, of hope as well. Looked deep into these faces, as fleeting as those light-full moments were, there they were.



I reflected on the train back, that perhap…

Happy Social Work Day

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The convergence of social workers and social service professionals was such a joy to experience today- a large part was reconnecting with a whole bunch of people I got to know through these past 3+ years. Guan Zhen (she just sprang up to hug me awww T.T the laughter of joy from her), Joanne (she was from my VRU internship wayyy long ago before I started in NUS), Fiona (two of them!), and a lot of SW seniors.

The thought crossed my mind especially when I saw some people walking out to take calls (emergency client case?), doing work on their laptops during the dialogue (tsk tsk we never outgrow this multitasking right): How are each one of them doing with their baggage of life stories?

Read Psalm 90 on Monday and the first half (v1-10) reminded me that sorrows are a given for life on earth.

That question was actually thrown out because I was having a lot of fun including almost getting my fingers put into a very cute baby's mouth :> I would have allowed her to lah but my finger…

山雨欲来

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山雨欲来,暴风卷起, 到时还要敬拜。
 心有点盼望又害怕的感觉。不知即将要走在怎样的道路,是高山或低谷。

 也许会有因一波未平,一波又起的疲惫。到时还要歌颂。

 今天看到叔叔关于清明节的短信,刹然想到的。


好了,隐隐的悲哀到此为止。我在这段时间里是充满喜乐和蒙到神恩典的。

 呵呵年糕 <3 从荣耀堂回到家,厨房里是一盘的芋头炸年糕。近期来和家人有不少灿烂的时光。在校园里又有能祝福同学的机会,这个学期有了不少让我喜悦的友谊。还有!即将又要走在异国土上了。好兴奋,可以与知心友去越南,而也盼望能自己在香港去过的咖啡厅回首,祷告,阅读。

“你要保守你的心,胜过保守一切,因为一生的果效是由心发出。“      箴言4:33

也知道,会有不少诱惑。Treacherous heart apt to wander, let me not be caught in empty dreams. Both figuratively and literally. I had such a vivid dream that I could feel the hands' warmth even. 梦醒时,都不知道要怎么去理解。

劳累

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I knew I had an asshole side of me but I'd almost forgotten until today.

So nicely suppressed.

In a sense I am thankful for that because it reminds me that 我是人。是肉体的人,同时也是神的子女。

And while I am grateful for whatever life experiences and personal dispositions that I have, which made me who I am- a quick thinker who grasps things quite fast, analytical (?), able to look at macro stuff- I also know this has made me impatient, prideful, inclined to bash my way through things I don't quite know because I can't stand being meticulous about going through step-by-step (ref SPSS).

Legit ashamed of myself at project work today, impatient, silently judging my group mates (such an asshole right). Seriously, I need to learn more patience in order to build people up, to work together to get good things going, to love. Love is patient indeed.

It has been a long day.Woke up somehow at 5.48am, decided to do a truncated QT for more time to look at my data. Very notably, it was Psalm 147: "…

存心感谢

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啊~ 又到了拜六,坐在上个礼拜坐的位置。

 荣耀大君王, 欢迎你在我们中间。

你应许了我们,而且是远比我们敢想象或启求的。

 真的是化腐朽为神奇,哈哈想到这是我的华文老师跟爸妈说她不能做的。你在我们里面成了奇迹,通过这些渺小胆怯的心灵动工。

好期待主日,Sunday School 后要和姐妹们 (haha literally; it's Mrs Yong and Dilys) 去吃韩国buffet :> 然后回家,静静地在主面前。又是一个充满福分的星期。

 过后 | 贪吃记

在从小吃到大的咖啡店等爸妈,都说不饿。看到新开的中国拉面店,就叫了碗一起吃。妈妈说,没拿辣椒啊~ 我就去拿,不小心拿了一大把麻辣油,她竟然都搅进面里。惨了爸爸不吃了。

 流了大把鼻涕,舌头麻到痛,不过吃到很爽:
走过香味肉干店,妈妈问,要吃豆沙饼吗? 我说想吃旗子饼,那种没馅的。

 啊!妈妈就走向我因为怕衅臭从来都没去过的店铺,那个五金店卖各种各样的饼干酥饼,看了很开心。两个贪吃婆好像眼看就满足了,没有旗子饼。又走到另一个店铺,那边暖暖的,因为她再磨花生,香味莫名令我快活。又是不同的粿,在那里终于有我们想吃的。Angku kueh <3 一边走一边吃的零食最好吃。咬一口,喂妈妈一口,一人一半感情不散。

Mazmur | 灰心的诗篇

Praise the LORD.  Forget not who He is, our Creator God and Abba Father, Who shows Himself faithful at every turn, Who weaves together strands in the tapestry of grace.
Though my heart is shaken, it should not be moved, It's anchor held fast in firm assurance: our God reigns. O my soul, look to the Lord. He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Selah
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,  which cannot be shaken but endures forever (Psalm 125:1)  Return, my soul, to your sure Rest. He has chosen you to bear fruit that will last. Praise the LORD.
I thank God for His providences and encouragement today. Had a hearty breakfast with whole-grain bread and cheese/kaya combo that I really liked, and reached school at 8.50am (wayyyy earlier than for 9am policy class which I am always slightly late for). 
So I actually thought that Dr Irene Ng called me into her office to chide me about something (guilty conscience). But no, it was something that was on my heart and I feel so so …