September 28, 2004

I'm now paying for yesterday's exertions. The walk to Kien's place was unbearable to begin with and it was made worse with constant contractions in my thigh muscles. To top it off, it began to rain and there I was, trapped in the cold rain, my muscles readily twitching and contracting whilst I was desperately trying to reach the other side of a busy highway. When I did reach the doors where Kien was waiting, I muttered a silent prayer of thanks that I made it there in one piece. Quite a simple 10 minute walk made treacherous by a severe handicap.

Rain fell today like it hadn't been raining for 10 years. I pulled the curtains apart at 9am only to find the sky covered in a grey canopy. Dreary if you ask me. Somehow, I managed to get down to doing some readings and finishing up holiday assignments before I started to chill out in the afternoon. Days like these get me melancholic and contemplative and my mind started to drift and wander.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. - 1 Corinthians 13:3-7

How's that for a perfect picture of the perfect love? Wow. If only I could love someone like this. But of course, I am only human. Then again, I can try, can't I?

Traveller fell apart at 11:04 PM

September 26, 2004

After months of spending time in the suburbs and city, I finally got the chance to enjoy the great outdoors when I went horse-riding yesterday. It was slightly traumatic at first because in the beginning of the day, one of the horses went crazy and started galloping off with someone on it. The girl eventually lost her balance and got thrown off. Thankfully, she sustained no injuries and managed to get over her subsequent induced fear of the horse. That aside, the country was just lovely. As I trotted slowly along the picket fences which lined the immense farms on the landscape, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. And it was lovely. It was perfect. This must have been what God meant by "He saw that it was good" after creating such lovely scenery. And at that moment, I offered a silent thanksgiving to God for creating such magnificent landscapes for us to enjoy. The rolling hills, the cows grazing in the distance, the blue skies above and 20+ degree temperatures and to top it off, I managed to break into abit of a gallop at the end of the ride.

I think my idea that I'd have been far better suited to live in Medieval times has been reinforced. While trotting along on my horse, I began to feel the joy people in the past must have felt when they owned a personal horse and were able to gallop through forests and rivers. Let's put it this way, I'd much rather ride a horse than a car! I think the problem with modern society is that everything is based on efficiency and speed. People want to get from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible. What they fail to realise, however, is that it is not the getting there which matters but how you get there ; be it crossing lakes, rivers, mountains, valleys or forests. Perhaps though, I am romanticizing the Medieval ages and am forgetting the many hardships they once endured which have now been solved by technology.

We drove down the mountain after lunch to a tranquil seaside town facing Port Phillip Bay. While enjoying my ice cream and walking down the jetty, I caught a glimpse of a family enjoying their time together down by the beach. And I thought to myself, when I have a family in future, I'd want to do the exact same thing. I'd want to bask in their company on the weekends and do stuff together because there'd be a time when the children would stop wanting to go out with their old parents. I guess this is life, we've got to make the most of the time we're given with our families. My only prayer is that going into the intelligence community will not distance me from my family in future.

Church in 30 minutes. I should be leaving. Later.

Traveller fell apart at 8:49 AM

September 23, 2004

I'm reaching a stage in my life where birthdays don't seem to matter to me anymore. Not mine at least. Today's supposed to be my 21st birthday, the Big One, the embarkation on adulthood and yet, I feel not the slightest bit excited about it. What are birthdays after all but anniversaries of your entrance into this world? Even if I told the person next to me that it was my birthday today, all I'd get would be a handshake and a wish. Sheesh, I can pretty much live without that really. A birthday is just another day for me. But for those of you shrieking in horror at my nonchalance towards my own birthday, here goes. Yay. It's my 21st birthday today. Woo. Happy Birthday to me.

The past two days in Melbourne have been overcast, after the initial two day preview we had of Spring. I don't really get it over here. Suddenly the temperature goes up by 2 degrees and it's a virtual flesh parade. Skirts, tank tops and hot pants suddenly become the flavour of the day. Even if it's 17 degrees out there! I guess over time the Aussies have grown used to the cold and can actually take wearing the bare minimum in such conditions. Me? I'm sticking to my long-sleeved shirt and jeans coupled with a sweater for good measure. It's not yet time to take my bermudas out, not with the temperature hovering around the 17 degree mark.

Leaving for cell group now. Heard we're painting the banner for "40 Days Of Purpose" tonight. Hope it's fun.

Know how people sing the traditional Happy Birthday song? I'd prefer this over my birthday cake.

Stereophonics - Have A Nice Day

bah badada bah bah badada
bah badada bah bah badada
bah badada bah bah badada
bah badada bah bah badada

San Francisco Bay past pier thirty-nine
Early PM can't remember what time.
Got the waiting cab, stopped at the red light
Address unsure of, but it turned out just right.

It started straight off, "coming here is hell"
Thats his first words we asked what it meant
He said "Where you from" we told him our lot
Ya' take a holiday, is this what you want...

To have a nice day.

Lie around all day have a drink to chase
"Yourself and tourists, yeah thats what I hate".
He said "We're going wrong, we've all become the same
We dress the same ways only our accents change".

So have a nice day.

bah badada bah bah badada
bah badada bah bah badada

"Swim in the ocean that'd be my dish
I'll drive around all day and kill processed fish
Its all money gum, no artists anymore
Your only in it now to make more
more and more".

So have a nice day.

P.S. I'm wishing for a drumset this year. Badly need one!

Traveller fell apart at 5:09 PM

September 21, 2004

I'm irritated with the "flyer people". They stand by the road, stick out their hands as if in an attempt to hand you something actually worthwhile and sometimes, try to use the flyer so they can garner your attention for those few minutes. Today in school there was some campaigning for Student Body Elections where people in green, red and purple would clog up the entire entrance of the campus centre in a desperate attempt to give their sales pitch to you. This is not limited to Australia though, it happens all over the world I gather. Back home in Singapore, too often have I come face to face with "flyer people". They stick the paper into your face and expect you to actually be interested. Sheesh. As such, I have come up with four ways in which to avoid these pests.

1. Try to have something stuck in your ear.

When you seem preoccupied with your music and look like you can barely spare the time to listen to their nonsense, it's quite unlikely that they'll walk over to bother you. That's definitely the case for Singaporean "flyer people" since they're so timid and easily frightened. In Australia, however, having something in your ear does not hinder them as they will attempt to catch your attention anyhow.

2. Plot your path and tread carefully.

Do not allow yourself to be caught out by the "flyer people". Often, they have a strategy where they clog up choke points and attempt to position themselves tactically where they can continue to bug you even after you get past the first person. When you approach a "flyer-infested place", do remember that the back door and the road less travelled is often the better one. Try to plot your path so you will meet with either none or the minimal number of these pests.

3. Do NOT smile at them.

Often, we feel like life is good and we just want to go out there and smile at everyone. Well, wrong choice buster. To these "flyer pests", a smile is inviting. A smile means "I want to know more". A smile can mean 10 minutes of your time wasted on nonsense. Do NOT smile at these people. Preferably, offer them a scowl and walk on your way. The scowl will often inform them of your intention not to stop for any gibberish on your way.

4. Most importantly, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT.

I cannot stress this enough. Making eye contact with "flyer people" is fatal. It signals intent and draws them to you like bees to honey. Look straight ahead and focus on the road ahead, or pretend you are heavily involved in some other activity. Pretend that their existence is marginalised and you will find that you will walk on rather undisturbed.

Somehow, I've managed to combine all these four steps into a magic formula for staving off these pests. Now, for those of you who've worked as a "flyer pest" before, please do not be offended. I'm sure there have been times when you have been irritated by these individuals and just wish there was some way to ward them off. Well, here it is. Enjoy.

Traveller fell apart at 4:32 PM

September 20, 2004

The lone figure gingerly stepped up to the parapet, feet quavering in the strong breeze. He was afraid of whom or what he might catch a glimpse of, images which he knew, could potentially scar him for life. Yet, there was an unknown force, pushing and prodding him ; urging him on even. Shuffling his feet, he began the slow and steady walk to the edge. Suddenly, the knees gave way and he sank down into a crumpled heap on the cold stone floor. Nevertheless, he felt driven on and attempted to use both arms in an effort to steer himself forward. Crawling. Struggling. Exhausted.

The scene outside was unbelievable. The sun seemed to have gone behind a cloud cover which seemed endless. He propped himself up on the railing and craned his neck in order to see further. The scene shocked him and he reeled back in utter disbelief. "No! What manner of abomination is this? Why have you brought me here? This is not the world I know!" Still, he felt the urging to study the scene carefully. And he did. Then it hit him. This WAS the world, seen through the eyes of God. Where every sin was magnified and scrutinised. As he surveyed the horrid expanse, lips began to quiver. Wives cheating on husbands, children not honouring their parents, friends deceiving one another, colleagues backstabbing each other... the list could go on. Yet deep down, he knew in his heart, this was the world he had grown up in. This was the World He Knew.

Collective Soul - The World I Know

Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don't know why

Are we listening
To hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I've been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one...into one...

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know
Oh it's the world I know

I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don't know why..don't know why...

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know
Oh it's the world I know

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world belo
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know
Oh it's the world I know.

Oh, it's the world I know too. The world we live in everyday.

Traveller fell apart at 11:01 AM

September 16, 2004

It's been a hectic few days for me. Assignments were pouring in through the cracks in my disjointed reality like water and I was struggling to scoop them into buckets before dispensing with them out of the window. Thankfully, through God's grace, I managed to complete and hand in my Psychology and Communication Studies assignments today. Celebrated by going out for a buffet with Keith and gang to commemorate Sue-Ann's birthday. The food in the Thai restaurant was heavenly and although I didn't eat much of the curry, whatever I tasted of it was enough to make me wish I didn't have such a weak stomach.

But I have a confession to make. For the past few nights, owing to my busy schedule and rushing for my assignments, I haven't spent as much time talking to God as He would have liked. In a way, I feel guilty because being busy is no excuse to put God on hold. I realise that my blog may have become boring since I started trusting in God again ; but frankly, I could not care less. I love God and I want to proclaim it to the world if possible.

Michael W. Smith - Heart Of Worship

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless Your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm coming back to the heart of worship,
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

Traveller fell apart at 12:48 AM

September 14, 2004

Why can't everyone write songs like The Goo Goo Dolls? The lyrics on this song are just.....amazing.

The Goo Goo Dolls - Name

And even though the moment passed me by
I still can't turn away
'Cause all the dreams you never thought you'd lose
Got tossed along the way
And letters that you never meant to send
Get lost or thrown away

And now we're grown up orphans
That never knew their names
We don't belong to no one
That's a shame

But if you could hide beside me
Maybe for a while
And I won't tell no one your name
And I won't tell 'em your name

Scars are souvenirs you never lose
The past is never far
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
And don't it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are?

You grew up way too fast
And now there's nothing to believe
And reruns all become our history
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio
And I won't tell no one your name
And I won't tell 'em your name
I won't tell 'em your name
Mmm, mmm, mmm

I won't tell 'em your name...


I think about you all the time
But I don't need the same
It's lonely where you are come back down
And I won't tell 'em your name

Traveller fell apart at 8:17 PM

September 11, 2004

September 11th. A day of infamy for most Americans and yet, it was a day of joy for me. It was the day I made the decision to accept Jesus once again and got myself baptised. The day started off really in a rush because Chung Wei came down to my room at 7:55am and knocked on my door when we were supposed to be leaving at 8am. Little did he know that I overslept and really only woke up when he knocked on my door! Antonius was downstairs waiting when we bundled into the car and shuttled off to Malvern for the baptism.

When we arrived, I was shocked to see that there were more people than I'd thought there would be. Almost four times the number of people I expected and I was so afraid I'd choke on my words when it was my turn to give my testimony. But amazingly, I didn't. I kept my cool, through God's grace, and began to deliver my testimony. Although it wasn't a great one, but I felt that it really meant alot to me and I guess that's all that matters.

The baptism itself was fun. We were singing songs and there were people strumming on the guitar as I was baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The immersion in the water was brief but when I did emerge from it, I felt refreshed. Like some sort of dark curtain had been drawn and the sunlight streamed in endlessly.

To end this post, I'd just like to thank Antonius, Chung Wei, Keith, Kien, Ivy, Ruth, Chinling, Christian, Ian and anyone whom I forgot to mention who turned up. I will be concentrating on developing myself as a Christian so I can better serve both my Christian brothers and sisters while ministering to those not saved. Praise God for He is good.

Traveller fell apart at 5:17 PM

September 10, 2004

The amount of hate and inhumanity in this world continues to shock me. Just yesterday, the Australian embassy in Jakarta was hit with a bomb blast which shattered windows for hundreds of metres around. This incident, coupled with the recent Russian schoolchildren fiasco has once again brought terrorism to the forefront of world affairs. Yet in the midst of these attacks, there seems to be a rising wave of anti-US sentiment which to be frank, confounds me.

Everyone seems to be blaming George Bush and the allies for their role in Iraq which brought about the wrath of Islamic extremists. Or did it? Prior to George Bush even being elected, there were already acts of violence carried out. What do these terrorists really want? It is a common misunderstood fact that all they want is to be left alone. I do not agree with this. I remember reading an article in the Straits Times which cited a top JI leader as saying that the ultimate aim which they hoped to accomplish was the establishment of a pan-Islamic state across Asia. So who are really the ones fighting for our freedom now? Us or these dastardly terrorists who are attempting to impose Islam on us? It is shocking how people seem to be bowing to terror and blaming their respective governments for placing them in danger.

Even now, as this current election in Australia gets underway, if Mark Latham were truly elected and if he were to fulfill his campaign promises by pulling out Australian troops from Iraq, what would be the consequences? No doubt it'd leave a gaping hole in US-Australian relations not to mention the fact that these terrorists would begin to see the United States as an increasingly isolated and vulnerable target. I'm not being pro-US here but I think I'd much rather have them in a global hegemony than some Taliban-style government. It is imperative, as I see it, that we help and protect the United States and ensure that this wave of Islamic extremism does not spread to our shores.

Because in the end, it is everyone who will be wearing headscarves, dealing with curfews and compelled to obey Islamic laws. If we allow Al Qaeda to have their way, that is.

Traveller fell apart at 11:26 AM

September 09, 2004

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Amazing what life would hold if we'd just learn to take that little leap of faith. I'm taking that road less travelled in a month's time when I decide to get baptised. Would you?

Traveller fell apart at 11:34 AM

September 06, 2004

This is for you Dad.

Father Of Mine

I remember when you would sit by my bed
And you would tell me all about this great big world.
How you seemed to be there
A man so full of strength
Rest upon your shoulder be led by your hand.

Sunny days when we laughed and played
Taught me right from wrong how to be steady and secure.
And you kept the strain of the world away
You met the ends never once asking for more

And I never knew, never realised just how much you'd sacrifice.
Give me all the things you didn't have.

What kind of man would do that for me?
Give me everything so willingly
Whose delight is just to see me grow and shine.
What kind of man would have such love?
That to see me smile is reward enough
I'm so blessed to have you here father of mine.

There were days when you thought
That you couldn't take no more.
So much pain thrown your way
Yet you stood firm as before, picked me up above the floor.

What kind of man would have the patience?
To see my moods and know what they meant.
Understand when to stand in and when to go.
What kind of man could trust another with the heart of all he's been working for?
Let them spread their wings wide and start to fly.

In Memory : 21st August 1949 ~ 14th February 1998

Traveller fell apart at 7:02 PM

September 05, 2004

Today's service at church was wonderful. It touched my heart in more ways than one and on several occasions, I had to stop the tears from flowing. Today was a Father's Day celebration and although I don't normally get this emotional during Father's Day, I did this time. Firstly, there was the beautiful song written by Adrian which totally moved me. It went something like "What kind of a man would do that for me? Work long hours and still be there for me". It was then that I had to admit that I miss Dad terribly. Yes, I know I've been through this many times. I constantly write in my blog that I miss my father and that I wish he were still here to see me grow, get married and be a grandfather. But the fact remains unchanged, he is gone. He won't ever see his grandchildren nor give me a pat on the back on my wedding day. But there was something I realised. Dad had never left me, he's been here all along, kept within me. Trying to guide my path and hoping that I continue on the path he set for me before he died. And at that moment, I smiled to myself and felt this warm aura engulf me. Perhaps it was Dad, perhaps it was God. It felt as if the years of darkness which built up a wall around my soul were being melted by the rays of light and warmth coming from around me. It was magical. Heavenly even.

Then a member of the church (shan't name her) went to the podium and shared with us a testimony of her life before she came to Christ. Her story really moved me and demonstrated to me how God can really love one so steeped in sin and hatred. And I got down to thinking, how my life has been filled in so much dread, darkness and sin. If there is hope for her, surely there is hope for me. Some glimmer at least. For this dark, nether soul entrapped within me.

One thing's for sure, I'm troubled. Today's message resounded very very deeply within me. I need to ponder over this.

Traveller fell apart at 2:05 PM

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