#10 God’s words

Psalm 73

The Tragedy of the Wicked, and the Blessedness of Trust in God

A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Truly God is good to Israel,

To such as are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

My steps had nearly slipped.

3 For I was envious of the boastful,

When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no pangs in their death,

But their strength is firm.

5 They are not in trouble as other men,

Nor are they plagued like other men.

6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace;

Violence covers them like a garment.

7 Their eyes bulge[a] with abundance;

They have more than heart could wish.

8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;

They speak loftily.

9 They set their mouth against the heavens,

And their tongue walks through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here,

And waters of a full cup are drained by them.

11 And they say, “How does God know?

And is there knowledge in the Most High?”

12 Behold, these are the ungodly,

Who are always at ease;

They increase in riches.

13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,

And washed my hands in innocence.

14 For all day long I have been plagued,

And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”

Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.

16 When I thought how to understand this,

It was too painful for me—

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;

Then I understood their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;

You cast them down to destruction.

19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!

They are utterly consumed with terrors.

20 As a dream when one awakes,

So, Lord, when You awake,

You shall despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved,

And I was vexed in my mind.

22 I was so foolish and ignorant;

I was like a beast before You.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;

You hold me by my right hand.

24 You will guide me with Your counsel,

And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?

And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

26 My flesh and my heart fail;

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;

You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;

I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,

That I may declare all Your works.

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#9 One of my favorite quotes


Just thought of sharing my favorite quote. I don’t usually have favorite quotes but I find this coming to mind frequently and I love the essence of it – working on something significant and giving your best. So I shall store this as my favorite quote haha. 

Life takes energy and no matter what you do, you’re gonna be tired, so why not get tired doing the things that matter?

The last word of that quote – Victorious. 

#8 It’s been donkey years!!

So… I decided that I can’t just let this blog die. Haha I’m here to revive it with my first post of 2016! Sorry that I’ve been really bad with this blogging thing.

It feels like not that long ago that we were in Dec 2015, but in the blink of an eye it’s already March 2016! :O So much of the year has passed already. Some buzzwords for the year – PHD, New Season, Harvest Mentality, Gift Mentality… It’s gearing up to be a really exciting year, and I’ve gotta get a move on it!

Today I finished reading Good or God (it was on my February reading list so I’m a bit delayed) and I gotta say that this is a MUST-READ for everyone. It’s so relevant for our day and age and it brings us back to the basics of what it means to have a relationship with Christ – pursuing Him, pursuing holiness, pursuing what is of God rather than what we ourselves deem is good. I can’t summarize it for you but I trust that it will stir your heart, mind and spirit as it did mine.

On the note of reading books, I’ve decided to compile a reading list for myself so that I can keep to the plan of reading 2 books every month. I went to take a look at the Bookstore (or is it called Shoppes now?) over the weekend to see what books they have there. And I have some books I bought previously that I’ve not read either. I shall be more intentional about reading so that I can grow, as SPs always say that

Leaders are Readers

and this is part of my plans for ‘Making Progress’ this year. If anyone has any book recommendations, please let me know as well!

This week I also received my BF Finisher memento, and I am so glad!!!!!!! My puzzle is complete. I think that BF really stretches me to be disciplined, to save, to not spend unnecessarily, to be creative in thinking of ways to earn/save more money. Even though we’ve moved into our New Home already, I’m still looking forward to more BFs. God has put it into my heart to pray and prepare for BF2016, so I’m going to do that. I also have dreams for future BFs!! Learning to dream bigger because our God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, so why restrict Him, right?

May your week ahead be filled with big, bold dreams and actions to bring you closer to them! And of course, to be guided by godly wisdom and love.

#7 Picture time

I have so many photos in my phone… So instead of trying to write about everything that happens, let me show you some pictures. They are in random order.

One morning out in Xiao Guilin trying to be healthy with my mom and bro. This is him pointing at the air. 

We love to squeeze our mom! Teehee

One day at the Clementi Swimming Complex. I love to swim but I haven’t done it in a very long time

With the amazing young adults in D and DS zone!

Dinner post service with the zone eating leg porridge

Cute painting/printing I saw in a shop

Pre CG activity, guess who?

While on a run. Nature is beautiful, no filter needed

My funny colleague. Every time I tell her that she’s so classy, then she comes and makes a face like this ><

Alvin completed his BMT training and is ready to serve! Bravo

With the zone at a movie outing. Actually I forgot what movie we watched. Oh I remember now, the one where the lady ran in her heels throughout the whole movie even when she was running from dinosaurs.

One day when we were out and went to check out the newly opened place. Love these people!! We bumped into some friends too

At my colleague’s wedding. It was breezy and beautiful~

On another run… Haze please go away

Preparing for Project Smiles! Team Sunny! ☀️

The red briefcase that reminds me to work hard and to appreciate what LKY has done for all of us

Lunch prepared by my friend. What a spread! It was super yummy

D and DS Uni chalet – oh, to be a student again!

It was durian season and we introduced our Korean friend to durian. Haha I think Cindy will kill me if she sees this picture posted

That’s all for now! A break from all the wordy posts.

#6b It’s been ages

*crickets*

… …

Things have been busy and a lot has changed, yet life is still quite the same. Isn’t it funny how life can just pass you by, and you realize that while you didn’t do much with your time, others around you have been relentlessly pushing on and growing day by day?

What matters is what we do with our time. I’m always amazed by people like SPs and the SLs and many others who are able to do so much with the same 24 hours everyone has. While they work a full time job, they are also able to take their masters in divinity, do lots of book reviews and readings and homework, spend time with their families and do housework, and even go exercising. When I see them I’m reminded that life is really what you choose to make of it. So time to get off my butt and get cracking! 🏃🏻🏃🏻

This reminds me of the saying that I first heard from Bishop Dale Bronner:

The difference between who you are now and who you are in future is the books you read and the 5 people you spend the most time with.

I’m sure I didn’t get that quote word for word, but you get the gist. I’m thankful that I have great role models to look up to in life and character, not just career or success.

See you soon!

#6a Who Am I

2 Samuel 7:18-29

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord God? 20 Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant. 21 For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. 22 Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name—and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land—before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods? 24 For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God.

25 “Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. 26 So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You. 27 For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.

28 “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant. 29 Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

—–

Who Am I
by Casting Crowns

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt?

Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I’m calling.
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
And You’ve told me who I am.
I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I’m calling.
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
And You’ve told me who I am.

I am Yours.

#5 Climbing Mt Kinabalu

Last month I spent some time to think about my life and write down some plans. Out of the many things I wrote down, one of the personal goals under ‘hobbies/interests’ was to climb Mt Kinabalu by June next year. I shared this plan with some friends, and they were excited and wanted to do it together. We decided to go on this adventure next February around the Chinese New Year period, and even talked about the physical training we would do to prepare for the climb.

Then, last week an earthquake struck in Sabah (where Mt Kinabalu is) and resulted in the deaths of several children and teachers who were on a school trip to scale the mountain. Many of them were on the via ferrata route when the earthquake happened, a highly steep route with little vegetation but made safe due to steel cables pegged into the rock wall. This was the same route I was planning to climb as it provided a unique experience of mountain climbing (not every mountain is via ferrata certified). After the news was released, there was an outpouring of comments on social media in Singapore, and everyone had something to say about it. I read of many parents questioning why young children were climbing such dangerous mountains, of why the school would propose something preposterous like that. Some said that as a parent they would never have allowed their child to go on such a trip. I wondered if perhaps they were right; were twelve year olds too young to attempt it? Also, I must admit that the accident made me have second thoughts. It put a little fear in my heart that maybe I should reconsider, that perhaps it was reckless of me to want to climb the mountain. Maybe I should just get these silly thoughts of wanting another ‘adventurous expedition’ out of my head.

Via Ferrata - Mt K

via ferrata, which means iron road

MtK peak

The view from the peak of Mt Kinabalu

(photos not mine)

Then I read this blog, and it just put things back into perspective. (Click on title to read entire article)

Falling Rocks and Throwing Stones | #SabahQuake

The rocks have done enough damage. Don’t allow it to further kill the spirit of adventure and discovery in our youths.
The last thing we should do is to shrink back and start bubble-wrapping our kids.
We must not succumb to fear and start playing safe.
We must not over-react and over-compensate, allowing Mount Kinabalu to cast a looming shadow over our next generation. Let the avalanche come to a halt at the foot of the mountain. Don’t allow the fear to cascade down into the hearts and minds of our youths.

It was a totally unexpected accident. Even five-year-olds have climbed the mountain before; twelve is not too young. If someone dies in a car accident, am I not going to sit in a car then? If people die after running, am I not going to exercise then?

Reason and logic reigned again. Of course it doesn’t mean that I am going to be reckless and take unnecessary risks, but I shouldn’t let fear dictate my life. And the response to this tragedy is not to start to bubble wrap ourselves against any possible harm, but to improve and see how we can prevent such tragedies from happening again (I’m not just referring to the earthquake but to any accidents in general). That’s how we don’t let those lives go in vain. Let’s go on to make things better, to live even better. That’s how we honor their memory, their sense of adventure, their courage, and their selflessness in their last moments. People say your true self comes out when you face death. If so, I think those teachers and children are admirable and we should live on in honor of their memory.

Sabah quake: ‘One day, I’ll return to Mt Kinabalu’

Chantal Phuay, twelve-year-old: “We see and comfort each other. One day, I’ll go to Mount Kinabalu and try it again just to ensure that the TKPS spirit continues.”

That’s the spirit!

#4 Same Same Yet Different

Time may pass and people may change, but some things remain constant.

Recently I discovered something surprising. In my first post here I mentioned how I have not blogged in ages and that I’m a private person, right? Well, one day as I was reading Sharon’s blog on Tumblr, I wanted to like a post and had to get a Tumblr account to do so. And you know what?? Turns out that I actually already have a Tumblr account that I forgot all about, and that I had private two blogs on it! I had created them about five years back and wrote in them for a while before I forgot about them entirely and erased them from my memory. So it was quite strange to be reading something I have entirely no recollection of. Hahahaha. It was quite amusing to read those old posts, cringing at the old me who is actually not that different from the current me. So probably in a few years’ time when I look back on my posts here, I will cringe as well. But they were good records of the things I was going through and how my life was like then, since as you can tell my memory is not the best.

What really struck me was the similarity between my old blog and my current blog, the old me and the current me. I even numbered my posts the same way (#number what post) and the style of writing was similar. All the posts were private so that no one could read them. It has been five years, they’re completely gone from my memory, yet now when I write I still do it in a similar manner.

It made me wonder, how much have I changed as a person from five years ago? Have I become a better person, have I grown in my character, or am I still the same as before? I hope that I’ve grown and matured, that I’ve better character now than before. The older I get, the more I am determined that I want to be a person of good character. The best thing is that I know that I can. I sit under the teachings of my wise Pastors who not just teach me spiritual things, but also disciple me in my character. I have leaders who sow into my life and care for me personally. How lucky I am! I never want to grow older and start to think too highly of myself, becoming unchangeable and stubborn in my ways. May my heart be humble and my attitude teachable, that my Pastors and leaders can still speak into my life even when I’m 60! ^^ And of course, the ultimate teacher is Jesus and the Word of God.

I love this verse in Hebrews 4:12.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It was one of the scripture memory verses that I had to commit to heart for AMT (or BMT or something) and as I broke it down part by part to remember, it created in me this awe and reverence for the Word of God. It is living and powerful. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Many people keep the thoughts and intents of their hearts hidden (me included). Other people only see your words and actions, the external things, the things you choose to reveal. But God can see right into us, right into who we are, and there is no hiding from Him. You may only think it but not say it out loud, but to God it is the same. Doesn’t this just put the holy fear of God into you? It certainly did in me. It makes me want to walk right with God inside and out, not for man to see, but for God who knows. And it also reminds me of God’s love ❤ for me. He sees me and knows me inside out, and He still loves me. That’s unconditional love! I don’t deserve it, but I’m thankful for it. God is so good!! I want to love others like that too.

#3 Cooking for Family

I have a group of friends from university who love to cook or eat (some, both). While we were still in uni, we would organise occasional get-togethers at someone’s house, where those who could cook would try out some new recipe, while those who couldn’t would do the dishes. I missed the first few sessions as they were usually on Saturday nights, but when they changed it to Friday I tried to go for as many as I could. As you can imagine, I was usually among those clearing up and washing the plates after we had eaten our fill and could stomach no more. The dishes were a hodgepodge of whatever different people felt like cooking, though there was always a level of coordination to get the different food groups covered (and ensure there was dessert, of course).

As the group was quite big and the recipes adventurous and slightly ambitious, we always ended up in one guy’s house which had a well-equipped kitchen. He was generous to open up his home, and he loved hosting us and more importantly, cooking new food for us. Sadly (for us but not for him), after we graduated from uni he decided to go overseas to further his passion for cooking at Le Cordon Bleu or some cooking school. Our cook-outs, as we called them, were no more. Everyone also got busy and it was hard to arrange a common time as well. 

Recently as I was thinking about my skill set, I decided that I want to be able to cook a few ‘signature’ dishes. I might not have a whole repertoire of dishes that I can cook, certainly not those complicated laksa/chicken rice, but at least something presentable that I can whip up if there is a potluck and I need to bring something. Also, I want to be able to prepare a meal for my family to eat together at home instead of always having to go out to overpriced restaurants for food that might not be that healthy or nice. So I thought back to the cook-outs and remembered this particular dish that my friend attempted based on a Gordan Ramsay recipe, salmon en croute. He said it was pretty simple if you’re not making the shortcrust yourself. So I went to google the recipe (see video here) and I’m going to prepare this for my family for dinner the coming Monday, since it’s a public holiday. 

I’ll keep you posted on how that attempt goes 😁 *fingers crossed*

—–

Update: I cooked the salmon en croute and it went well! Yum yum. I still have the pastry skin in my freezer and the mustard seeds so I shall attempt it again. 

  
 With some imagination it looks like this 😂 

#2 I Must Make This The Path I Choose

This song has been on my heart today. The lyrics speak to me; I may have been a Christian for some time, but I still sin and need God. There is still ugliness in my heart and selfishness in my soul, and I know everyday that I need a Savior to redeem me. There is still much to grow in, and that fact brings me joy and hope.

I will choose this path, again and again.


He is No Fool
by Scott Wesley Brown

I’ve lost track of all the Sundays
The offering plates’ gone by
And as I gave my hard earned dollars
I felt free to keep my life
I talk about commitment
And the need to count the cost
But the words of a martyr show me
I don’t really know the cross

For he is no fool
Who gives what he cannot keep
To gain what he cannot lose
Yes he is no fool
Who lays his own life down
I must make this the path I choose

Obedience and servant hood
Are traits I’ve rarely shown
And the fellowship of His suffering
Is a joy I’ve barely known
There are riches in surrendering
That can’t be gained for free
God will share all heaven’s wonders
But the price He asks is me