Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Prayers which stretch your faith

After going through a string of God-ordained events which resulted in me surrendering my closest rights and dearest desires to the Lord, I must say that it’s because of these events which made me walk even much closer to Him.

The greatest challenge is to obey God. It’s not merely a “Yes, Lord” or “No, Lord” affair. It involves more than just that. It’s submission and surrender. Submitting to His will and surrendering all to His hands.

Obeying God is loving God.

15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14

Definitely easier said than done, that’s why I know it’s not easy. It may cost you sweat, tears or even blood. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it.

I may miss having those things which God has taken away, but I know that He does this because He loves me. But the joy from what I gained far outweighs the pain of what was taken away. I’m now much closer to God and realized that if it’s not for Him taking those things away, I would not have prayed some of the prayers I prayed recently, not have the magnitude of faith I now have and not have such a closer encounter with His love and all.

God has answered my ‘dangerous’ prayers and will answer some of them in the time to come. Prayers which stretch your faith. Prayers like:
  • “Dear Lord, my desire is to have , but not my will but Yours be done”
  • “If only You could place me in a situation whereby I will be living on the edge and have nothing to rely on except You.”
  • “That instead of asking You to satisfy my desires, Lord, help me to satisfy Your desires.”
  • “That I rather You not give me what I want so that I can love You wholeheartedly than for me to have my desires met and then straying away from You.”
Because You are more than enough for me. Your joy’s my strength and Your loving kindness / love is better than life.

Previously, there were certain areas of my life which are not pleasing to God. I was quite sick of it but still went about my wrong ways. After this incident, the things which I hold on so tightly to were uprooted and God gave my spirit a good scrub.

It’s painful but necessary. Good thing is that I am no longer hiding things from my Master and that I have a clean slate with Him. No more guilt, nor shame, nor hardness of heart.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Okay ah, I tell you ah. This blog is no more. This one is transfer to another one.

The address ah, is this one: http://dominicsoh.multiply.com

Steady ah? Don't say I never tell u...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Lord gives and takes away

21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1

Every good and perfect gift comes from above. And if the Lord takes away some things from us, we must know that they are effected with His good intentions in mind.

Today, a very close brother and cell-mate of mine, Timothy, left for Brunei for good. Just when we got to know each other much better after the mission trip (which was a few months back), he has to leave.

Just as much as I long for him to stay longer, or even a little while longer, I still know that it is His will which will overrule all.

21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Prov 19

Some things which happen around us we will never be able to understand even with the greatest of all intellect. For the wisdom of man is foolishness in His sight.

Despite the shortcomings in my knowledge and wisdom, I still know that His plans for Timothy are good and purposeful. Not my will but His be done.

Definitely his departure isn't the end, but only the beginning. We may be separated by great land masses and bodies of water but we are still one in the body of Christ. And thank God for advancement in modern technology which makes telecommunication so much more accessible.

So, we aren't really that separated after all, aren't we?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ever since I bought a canister of hello panda (tasty biscuits with creamy chocolate filling), I just can't stop. Give me Max Brenner's and I can stop, because I don't want to eat too much and then feel jaded about it.

But that canister of evil...the biscuit pieces are so small, eat one, eat one more. One more's never enough. Even though the chocolate quality isn't actually worth mentioning, it's a simple pleasure to have it in this isolated campus (from the rest of the world).

There's countless pieces in that canister and having one more won't make a difference. Yeah right...only one day and I have finished around 2/3 of it. Hmm...


Stayed back with my friends after the Materials Science lecture to ask the lecturer some questions. When he finished his explanation and we finished our inquiries and all, he mentioned the benefits of attending lectures.

May sound like a no-brainer or something you don't need to know, for some. But I think it's like reassurance - that your trip isn't in vain.

Pay careful attention to the lecturer. Not only on the topic and subject discussed but also the level of emphasis on the respective topics. It's already a hint - if you can spot it. Since our exams are internally set, that means hints will definitely come in handy.

Like if he skips this page but focuses on the other, you should know what's crucial and what's not.

"Study smart, not hard" he said.


Fencing @ 6.30pm @ sports and recreation centre. Got to get moving soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Getting things in order

27 Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Prov 24

Another streak of wisdom from one of my favourite books in the Bible.

In short, get your priorities right. Do things in order. Important ones above and trivial ones below. You know the drill.

Like what my secondary school vice-principal told us during an assembly gathering. Get your priorities right. Imagine a bucket (your life or available time, so to speak) and rocks of different sizes (things to do of varying importance).

Put the bigger rocks in first, then the pebbles and finer sand particles will fill up the gaps in between the boulders. Do it the other way round and you won't even have room for the large rocks.

Get the idea?

For some of us, we can start by putting God first. For others (like me), we can start by stopping procrastinating and whiling our time away.

The time (life) you have is God-given and bought for a hefty price (the blood of Christ). Use it to the fullest extend unto His glory and you will be storing up for yourself treasures in heaven.

Honour Him and He will honour you in return. To God be the glory!

Monday, August 14, 2006

What a Monday...

Packed from 8.30am to 5.30pm, except for a 2 hour break in between (1030-1230). But I spent that amount of time queuing up to collect my laptop. Started queuing from 1030 plus till 1145 plus, I guess.

Thank God I survived the long and pain-staking wait. Got the laptop but suffered from my occassional gastric surges. Didn't feel very good from then on.

Didn't have a proper lunch except for a sandwich from the vending-machine and some chocolate wafers. Ate them during tutorial cause I didn't have time for lunch. Hope I didn't give my tutor a bad impression by munching from my doggie bag while he's talking about some tutorial proceedings.

After the tutorials there's 3 hours worth of lectures (1 hour math, 2 hour economics). Math was a free period cause the lecture was cancelled as the other group was a lecture behind. But there's still the econs one. Felt a little unwell and fatigued as well.

Skipped archery at 6.30pm. Went straight to hall and configured my laptop. Played the guitar and did the more challenging chords. B7 and F. B7's coming fine but I need more practice for a smoother and crisper sounding F.

But I thank God for all He has seen me through so far. And thanks, Dad (both down here and up there) for the laptop.

I think I've got to get a printer next, to print my notes from my hall straight - saving me the hassle from the long lines at the printing shop.


Thank God also for seeing me through last cell's worship. Was my first, but definitely not last. There's more to come and I surely look forward to the future ones.

There are a few gliches here and there, but they are all technicalities, aren't they? Thing is, as long as God is glorified, I'm happy.

Now, back to work.

  1. Organise notes
  2. Tutorials
  3. Read up for coming lectures

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's about giving your best

In worshipping God, it's about giving your best. It's about doing your utmost. Because the Lord deserves everything you have got.

Whether you have much or little, many or few, give Him all you have got.

I suddenly pondered on this some time ago regarding my guitar playing skills. I'm merely a 3-month-plus old guitar player - still considered a beginner and have a long way ahead. Many strumming patterns I don't know, many songs I haven't heard and many chords I couldn't even imagine.

But something struck me when I meditated on "giving your best for God". That means if I only know a handful of songs and a few chords, then I should use that to give Him the glory He deserves.

Just like the widow (in Luke 21:1-4) who gave 2 copper coins to the temple, we should learn from her and put in our best efforts to please the Lord. That in itself is an act of worship. For she gave more than the others because she gave all she had.

Moreover it's the heart that matters.

As long as the heart is obedient, willing and humble before the Lord (and not man), it will be pleasing to His eyes.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Col 3

When I place my focus on God and with the desire to magnify Him, the human and technical aspects of worship take the back seat.

You play with your fingers
You sing with your voice
You worship with your heart

People notice the minute details
I struggle with the technicalities
God sees the heart

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Where I place my Eyes on

Where you put your eyes on determines your focus.

I did mention that I was kind of affected by the scrutiny of others and their opinions.

This goes to show that instead of looking at Him, I'm looking around. Instead of focusing on Him, I use my attention span to take notice of the things around me. In turn, I get affected and my worship to Him would no longer be wholehearted.

I need to place my eyes on God. To enthrone Him in the center of my life and my circumstances. To place Him on top of my priorities. Because the things of this world shall fade away, but He will remain.

Once I focus on God and God alone, I have a purpose worth living and dying for. He is my worth, my meaning, my significance. Apart from Him, I have no good thing and I have nothing. With Him, I have everything. He gives me a reason to live for and that reason will not wear away as long as I continue to fix my eyes on Him.

The moment I take my eyes away, shift my attention, I get distracted. The noise and temptations of this world begin to take footholds in my life and I get blinded to my true purpose.
To go up, look up.
To get lost, look around.
To go down, look down.

God is the only thing worth living and dying for. Humanly goals and ambitions can entice you to pursue them but they are merely temporal. They only bring you earthly rewards and meaning. But Christ can give you eternal, supernatural and spiritual significance if you focus on Him and let Him rule your life.


My life be lifted high
All I have is Yours
I lay down and surrender
My life is in Your hands

Future, hope, plans, ambition
You take charge of them all

Your will be done on earth, in heaven and in my life
Make my life glorify You

Teach me how to be humble and recognise my weakness
Your strength is made perfect in my weakness
Your glory is made perfect in my meekness
Your wisdom is made perfect in my foolishness
Your sovereignty is made perfect in my limitations

Make my life glorify You

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stand and Stare Syndrome

It's in Singaporeans. Some...but not all.

It is something which rather pisses me off. Something (out of the blue) happens and all Singaporeans can do is to stand and stare. That's all. They aren't doing anything else which helps rectify or make things better.

If you aren't making yourself useful, then stop glaring. You can look, but don't stare. Move on. You aren't going to improve the situation by just looking.

There are some reasons behind it, I guess:
  • curiosity 1: Oh dear...what in the world is happening?
  • curiosity 2: Wah!! This kind of thing not everyday can see one! Must see somemore!
  • timidity/cowardice
  • indifference 1: Don't know what to do, so how to help?
  • indifference 2: I help later no reward one...
  • indifference 3: I can help but I can't be bothered
  • pride/arrogance
Scenario 1: I'm painting my house's gate

Neighbours walk by. One neighbour I know says hi. Some go about their own businesses. Some walk pass and glare.

What's the problem?

You're making me feel very uncomfortable and nervous. I'm doing my own stuff and I do not need your scrutinizing eyes. Shoo! Go look somewhere else, lah!

From their looks/stares (I think):
  • they're judging my painting skills
  • they're coming up with an idea of my family's level of affluence from the quality of my gate
  • they're wondering why don't I have something better to do
  • "Aiyah...don't know how to paint, don't paint lah...Ask someone more skillful to do the job for you."
Scenario 2: You drop your books/notes/stuff in a rather crowded train carriage

From their looks/stares (I think):
  • they want to find out what's going on
  • "I wonder if he needs help."
  • "Wa lao eh...drop your books, so noisy leh...I trying to sleep lor..."
  • "Aiyah...carry so many things for what? So troublesome..."
  • "Your parents never teach you how to hold things properly, ah?"
  • "Wah!! You still using that calculator? So outdated sia!"
Scenario 3: I'm reading my Bible and minding my own business

From their looks/stares (I think):
  • "Wah! So holy!"
  • "How come that book so many words and the words so small, one?"
  • [certain people] "BLOODY INFIDEL!!!"

Haha...or perhaps I'm thinking too much...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Speak the truth [in love]

Christians have to learn to speak the truth in love.

2 parts. Truth and love.

6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Col 4

Some lack truth, some lack love. Some even lack both.

But even if the gist of the message is truthful, we sometimes forget to add in the 'love' part. For myself, I'm okay with it. Sometimes, I'm even addicted to it.

I appreciate serious talk and comments from others. I have been pulled one side and told off before. Zero love, zero tact, zero diplomacy, pure, blunt truth.

Really brushes hard against the sensitive side of me. But still, it's for my good and from their good intentions. So, I'm grateful after all.

Real close friends make the truth element clear when they have something important to tell you. They never neglect the facts. They don't let the sugar-coating mask the truth.


But some people....hai...speak falsehood bluntly. I do sometimes, though. Neither healing nor encouraging nor supportive nor optimistic nor edifying.

Some people are un-sensitive. Maybe it's just them. But we still have to love them no matter what.

We have to:
  • love them
  • forgive them
  • accomodate them
  • respect them
But that doesn't mean we have to:
  • like them
  • talk to them (unless they come to us)
  • mingle with them always
  • give in to them
Human issues. People problem. Very difficult to handle.

Lord, teach me how.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Can't help it lah. Bad food tastes so good. Chocolate, fudge, brownies, mudpies, etc.

But they are real bad.

I'll usually eat all the sinful food first, then ask for forgiveness later.

Yea...and foods of repentance come next. Fruits, vegetables and all the greenies.

Bad food means bad throat means bad voice. Stupid phlegm has been there for the past couple of days. Can't sing that high [as before].


How dare you not practice what you preach?

I need to:
  • get my life and priorities sorted out
  • sleep and wake up at healthy hours
  • have a sense of urgency in the things I do
  • not spend too much time in the bathroom
  • cycle aimlessly one day

"It doesn't matter whether you play well or not. If your heart is right with God - sincerity and authenticity towards Him - it will sound nice to Him."

"Heck what other people say. It's the Father whom you are pleasing."


One more lesson and the Believer Music Beginner Guitar course ends!

Next stop's Worship Dynamics I.


"School's gonna start, huh? Why so reluctant? God has placed you there for a reason. So face it, embrace it, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and He will see you through it all."

"You hahh somemore!"

We stand and lift up our hands

For the joy of the Lord is our strength

We bow down and worship Him now


I don't think I'm going for my school's orientation camp. Too long. 17-22 July. 6 days, leh...


Every breath we breathe, we breath for Him.
Every step we take, we take for Him.
Every move we make, we make for Him.

There's a reason why you are still alive. Heart's beating, lungs are expanding and contracting. You wake up for a reason. There's a purpose in your life - whether you know it or not.

If God:
  • didn't have anything in store for you,
  • wasn't gracious,
  • has no purpose for you,
you would be dead long ago!

So, be a good steward of your God-given resources. Your life, money, talents, etc. You waste it, you'll explain and account for it later.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

These books nice...got many many songs. Many songs inside I like. So I want them.

Problem is, WorshipTogether.com doesn't ship them internationally (to Singapore, that is) except for the US and Canada.

Hai...wonder if Borders has them.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Leaving for the Varsity Camp soon. Then mission trip after that.

Things to do:
  • Materials for devotion and team quiet time
  • Personal testimony
  • Consolidate materials for sharing
  • Condense and then memorise skit's script
  • Practice "God of Wonders" for guitar lesson
  • Learn "Let my words be few"
  • Learn chords B7 and F

Monday, June 12, 2006

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.
Prov 23

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12

My brother.

Who loves to play computer games (Gunz and Maple Story) and lying plainly to me and my parents.

He's so good at lying that his conscience doesn't prick him anymore and he can do that without twitching his eyelids.
  1. He knows he has work to do.
  2. He is capable of doing that work.
  3. He has more than enough time to do that work.
  4. We reminded him to restrict his leisure time.
  5. We told him in the first place already.
  6. We constantly remind him.
  7. We constantly pray for him.
Yet he still dares to spend the majority, if not all, of his time on computer games. When questioned about his work, he dares to lie.

He has no grounds to defend himself.

I have to step in and intervene. I can't keep quiet and just watch him waste his life away.

Now my voice and palms. Next time, I'm using the rod.

I just can't stand it when people take the nice-ness of Christ in me for granted.

They can disrespect me all they want. But they shall answer for their irreverence towards God when the time comes.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I finally got to enjoy a full day's worth of rest. After rushing here and there - from home to church office - to make bookmarks.

It was definitely an enjoyable experience working with fellow cell-mates. Colour copying, tearing along perforated edges, laminating, pen-knifing, hole-punching and threading. Lots of laughs, corny jokes, ice cream, root bear, artery-clogging snacks and hospitable church staff around.

In the midst of so much work, I did show signs of breakdown - bad attitude, whining, exhaustion, etc. But the journey was definitely not travelled in vain.

The Lord's really answering my prayer - when I told Him that my free time (when clearing ORD leave) would be for Him. Not part time jobs, no time for myself.

And I got what I asked for.
  1. Varsity camp publicity
  2. Skit/platform announcements
  3. Making church camp bookmarks
  4. Going for church camp
  5. Going for varsity camp
  6. Sec 4 cell visitation (this Sat)
  7. Mission trip
  8. Helping out at JOW (Jesus Only Way)
Sometimes, my head feels like it is going to blow. But if it has to blow for the Lord, then let it be.

Still learning the C and F chords. Will be able to play more songs once I know those chords well. Finger dexterity and strumming patterns come in handy as well.

Yup...back to worship training...

Monday, May 29, 2006

You, ah....play game some more lah! Playing your whole life away!

Wait Jesus come...and ask what you have done for Him. Then what you tell Him?

"I got level 56 Paladin, ah?"

Wake up your idea, lah!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Top Distractions for now

1. Guitar
2. Miss Swan videos
3. mrbrown's podcasts
4. DeviantArt

8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. Matt 18

Hopefully, the list doesn't increase.

Now, back to publicity work...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I think I need my own guitar

Been practising and playing on my Dad's guitar. I think it isn't for beginners. Requires more pressure and exertion on the frets just to let it sound right.

Tried playing on other guitars....simpler, lighter ones. And yes, it's much easier to play on those. I think the strings are closer to the fretboard.

But I really thank God for all the progress I have made and been through.

I think one day I'm going down to Peninsula Plaza to get my own one.

Yup...got to get back to publicity work soon...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Lesson of Humility

34 He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. Prov 3

12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matt 23

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Prov 11


I never dare except any commendation or praise from fellow man again. Whatever good works I produce - they all come from the Father. God is working through me. I'm just a medium for Him to minister to others.

I never dare say that:
  • I am good
  • I can
  • I am able
For all our skills, talents, abilities, strength, competence, wisdom, knowledge, giftings, etc, come from God.

To say that I am fine by myself is irreverence to the Lord. It's a self-centered, despicable remark.


27 ..."With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10

2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." Psalm 16

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. Prov 21

5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Cor 3


There are so many opportunities for us to make choices. [1] To think that God is responsible for it all and it's only possible because of Him. [2] To think that we are good because we can.

The Lord indeed provides me with an abundance of humble pies. Humble pie buffet. All you can eat...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Quick and brief updates.


Prayed for God to open doors to ministries for me. Many opened. One open door came up to me.

Kah Woon introduced me to Victor Seet. Victor's supervising at least one Sec 4 cell. He happens to know that the Sec 2 cells are in need of new cell leaders (especially males because majority of leaders are female down there).

Victor was told about my situation - willing to try out new things while firm commitment comes later. He suggested I sit in for a few of the Sec 2's cell meetings.

The Sec 2's meet on Sat afternoon which means I can't attend my current cell if I go for their's. And when I'm fully integrated with the Sec 2's as their assistant cell leader, I will have to detach myself from NTU cell.

"To embrace the new is to release the old."

Really need to pray and seek God's wisdom and discernment about this. Whatever He says, I pray that He will give me strength to obey.

Not my will but His be done.


Lots of free time coming up. Clearing leave before ORD.

But realised I'm not that free after all. No part-time jobs for me. Treasures in heaven are better.

Guitar lessons. Can't wait to start. Been practising on my Dad's acoustic at home. Learnt some of the basic, common chords (A, D, G). Fingers painful. But no pain, no gain.

"Though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name."

It would be a new avenue for me to worship God. Not to impress others or make myself feel good, but to glorify God. I'm doing it for Jesus.

Varsity Camp publicity. Helping out David with whatever creative juices I have left. That means I need to rely on God's creativity and inspiration. Due in some days time. Need to hurry.

Photoshop. Haven't touched in a long time. Need to get back to it to do the publicity designs for the Varsity Camp.

DistractionDomain.com. Hai....So much backlog. Got new design idea up my sleeve. But this site is far down in my list of priorities.

Jogging. Yes. Either in the morning or evening. Incoming flab. Your body is the temple for God's spirit. Present it to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing in His sight. Therefore, I need to stay fit and healthy.

Bible study and God's Word. Nice. Can never have enough of them. God always gives me the chance to apply and share whatever I learnt. Can't wait to attain more wisdom.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1


That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Exactly one week since the Surrender

Precisely 7 days ago, on 19th April 2006 (Wednesday), I surrendered my life, my all and my everything to God. I recommitted my self, my life, my being, my service, my thoughts, my actions towards the fulfilment of His Will and the extension of His Kingdom.

Surrendering means trusting and thrusting everything in and to God.

I discarded some things which would take my focus away from God - computer games. Yes. I threw every single CD or DVD which I could find in my room. As I walked towards the rubbish chute with those disks, I felt a little ashamed by what I did with the resources God blessed me with.

Stupid, demonic, fruitless games. They almost cost me my 'A' levels and my faith.

13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Cor 10

But thank God, He provided a way out for me before I was totally enslaved by that RPG.

With God's help, I took a bold step of faith.

In all I do, I do it unto and for Him. In all I do, I try my utmost not to doubt or worry or fear.

I live my life and my days from then on this verse:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov 3

I pray everyday with faith, with confidence and with conviction. I placed the Lord before me and my ways and never looked back. And God is faithful, He did answer my prayers. Praise be to Him!

I never want to question or doubt God anymore. I don't want to be anxious or worry about anything. I want to trust in Him and Him only.


The world torments the body,
The demons torture the flesh,
But my faith shall not falter,
My spirit lives with the Lord forever.

Shadows engulf me from the outside,
Suffering strike me from the outside,
Death humiliates me from the outside,
But the Lord dwells inside me,
I shall not fear.

The devil takes away my family,
The world plunders my possessions,
The people steal all my finances,
But I have God,
So I have everything.

Your will be done.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Daddy's home and he asks his 4 kids whatever they want.

Child A: I want a toy train set!
Child B: I would like to have the Luke Skywalker action figure.
Child C: I want to go to Disneyland, Dad.
Child D: Daddy, I want you!

What is provision compared to the provider?

I want to be like Child D. So what if I have the train set which I always dreamed of? If it's broken, it's gone. But if I have Daddy, I don't have to worry about anything at all.

I want to lean on God, and on God only.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6

Because once I have Him, I don't have to worry about anything else.

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6

Because once I have Him, certain things of this world (like fame, fortune, pleasure, power, etc) would seem trivial compared to what I can get from Him.

Not my will but His be done.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I bar RPGs in Jesus' name

In the past week, I installed an RPG (Role Playing Game) named The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I must say that I was addicted to it.

There was so much to do (in that 'world'). Train up your character, collect powerful items and artifacts, complete countless quests, slay demons and sorcerers, etc.

The list of possiblities is never-ending.

Playing this game is sinful in nature.
  1. It places you above God - that you are in control of the 'world' you are in. Do whatever you want for whatever you desire. Want something to happen? Not need to pray, just cast a spell.
  2. It takes you away from God - one more minute in the game is one less minute spent with God.
  3. It does not glorify Him - completing quests results in fame and fortune. For who? You, not God.
  4. It does not fulfil His will and expand His kingdom - when playing, I'm not worshipping God, praising His name, living a Christlike life, proclaiming the Good News, etc.
  5. It focuses on the evil one - demons, imps, dragons, orcs, trolls, elves, etc. Creatures which are not of God.
No wonder after many hours of gaming in the day, I can't sleep peacefully at night. I feel scared at times. My spirit feels disturbed. I'm not as open and receptive to His Word in church.

Truth is, IT'S SO NICE TO SIN!

19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. Romans 7

But there is hope.

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phi 4


Moments ago, I cleared my hard disks of all games and unrighteous files.

From then, I felt so liberated, so light. Such great a burden being lifted off me. Also, I have more hard disk space now - for photoshop, of course!

Praise the Lord!

Not my will, but Your's be done.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Complacency and Lowering Expectations

If you're in the Armed Forces long enough, you will realise that many survive on complacency.

Maybe it's just me and my unit, but it's sad though when you really want to give your best shot at something and then your platoon-mate goes, "No need lah...like that can already. No need so garang (enthusiastic) one..."

I admit, sometimes when I'm feeling really down and lazy, I feel how they feel. But on the other occassions, I just can't stand this kind of people who drag you down.

I can't stand people who settle for less. Those buggers just want to relax and forget it all. Pushing work around and disappearing when the going gets tough.

"Get it over and done with."

Very ambiguous.

May mean simplicity in thought - do what you need to do and get moving. There's a lot more work to be done.

May mean complacency - wholehearted effort and half-hearted effort still get the job done. Half-hearted one, lah. It's easier.

When things have to be completed by a team-effort, I feel an urge to approach these people and get it sorted out once and for all.

Then they feel offended - that you are not appreciating their efforts. They sulk and whine and demoralise everyone else. They nag and complain and undermine everyone else's efforts.

Bloody, difficult people.

It's hard to be human.

There's more. You've got to forgive them, tolerate their nonsense, bear their insults and most of all, LOVE them.

That's when you really need His help.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Paint Splat 2

White space for everyone!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Piss-off to Peer Pressure

Being human is difficult.

If things are only between you and God, then everything's good, everything's fine.

But now there's other people and they are of all different shapes, sizes and attitudes. You now have to thread carefully.

The problem I have is with peer pressure.

I hate it.

But usually I try to be nice to those who induce it upon me. They are my friends after all.

Thing is, it's hard to say "no" at times, sometimes, most of the time and for some, all the time. You have your own beliefs and intentions but you don't want to disappoint others. So, how?

"If your friends are true friends, they will understand." Bloody cliche. I didn't say that it's wrong or what, but sometimes, even the best of friends won't understand, I think.

One of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit is gentleness.

Not weakness, not brute strength, but strength under control. You have your convictions and they have theirs. Difference is, you do not get influenced or overwhelmed by their views, yet you still respect what they have to say.

Pretty difficult to achieve, huh? In times like this where pride, power and pressure overflow the world.

That's why gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It's something supernatural. We can't do it by our own sheer willpower.


I don't know whether you have experienced this.

You say, "yes" and something tells you that you're one who tries to satisfy all - you have no mind of your own. You say, "no" and something tells you you're being nasty and not respecting your friends.

Not sure whether that 'something' is just me or what. By the way, I tend to think too much. I have a split personality - I don't know why. I can hate and like someone at the same time. I can have two extreme, opposite views on something.

I think have said enough...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Urban Resonance

Embracing the street life.

Something greyscale for now. This piece was conceived purely by the grace of God. I was sourcing for images and photos to manipulate and had some difficulty in doing so.

Played around with the images I found to be suitable but stumbled here and there - designer's block, that is.

I felt like halting this project and doing something more constructive, but I stubbornly played around with different styles. What a rough design journey.

And...here it is.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Impending Doom

Minimalism - with space for icons.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Let the Music play

Third creation - after inspiration and perspiration.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Noise in the House

Second creation. Just trying out some new and used-before styles and the combination of them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I forgive the egg-thrower

Moments ago while I was doing my quiet time, someone from the ground floor through an egg into my room (2nd floor).

I was noting down a bible verse and then, "piak". A shattered egg on my floor, just below my cupboard. The broken shell was here and there and the affected area was flooded with egg white and yolk.


Earlier on in the day I read that God uses circumstances to develop our character. He places unlovely people around us to cultivate love in us. He places us in chaos and disorder to seek true peace from Him.

And He puts troublemakers around me to mature in me patience and tolerance.

People who sin and trespass on you with malicious intent.


I flipped His Word and this verse came out:

13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Col 3

Praise the Lord!

Dear God:
  • You have once again upped my patience
  • You were there to help me forgive others
  • because of You, I didn't curse that person
  • thank You, for providing me with this circumstance.
Dear egg-thrower:
  • you are forgiven
  • please do not waste food
  • may God impress in you the value of food and provision
  • don't do this to others (the consequences may be worse)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Very sian!

I'm very tired now. Since Sunday, I guess. Been moody as well. I think it's my time of the month.

Going to rest early and meeting some of my friends for dim sum buffet in the morning. Honestly, I'm not 100% enthusiastic about it. But, oh well...

Got too much things in my head lately as well. Thinking too much also. Worrying at times.

God, I need You! I am weak, but You are strong. Praise the Lord.

just for fun

There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk. "Only the Ten Commandments." Answered the lady.


Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."


A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter. Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: "I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses."

When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note "I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. "Lead us not into temptation."


There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."


A Sunday School teacher began her lesson with a question, "Boys and girls, what do we know about God?" A hand shot up in the air. "He is an artist!" said the kindergarten boy. "Really? How do you know?" the teacher asked. "You know -Our Father, who does art in Heaven... "


A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. "Reverend," said the young man, "I'm so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip."

The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's the same in my business."


A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, "I know what the Bible means!" His father smiled and replied, "What do you mean, you 'know' what the Bible means?" The son replied, "I do know!" "Okay," said his father. "What does the Bible mean?" "That's easy, Daddy." The young boy replied excitedly, "It stands for 'Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.'"


Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about. The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt."

Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the Pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about. He said "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Paint Splat

Here's the result of playing around with Photoshop. Vector art. Simplicity and minimalism.

Friday, March 17, 2006

What an exhausting week. Thank God it's over.

I long for:
  • more of Him
  • much needed rest
  • new quiet time material
  • chocolate
  • sushi
Also, I better get back doing graphic design. Gotta polish up my photoshop skills.

I have a feeling that He's going to use that in me to serve Him.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

5th March 2006. The day I officially started doing my quiet time.

I did it before, but that was like 3 or 4 years back. Then I lost my fire for God. Came 5th March when I decided to make an effort to study His Word, I have never looked back ever since.

There's some much to learn, there's so much to apply. As a Christian, I should NOT only attend church and cell and keep receiving knowledge and blessings from Him. Not saying that that's bad, but I should take a step further to give what I have received from Him to benefit others as well.

He does not bless me to make me feel good. He blesses me to make me and blessing, bless those around me and make Him feel good.

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise

It's sad that some of us keep demanding more from Him when He has already given us so much. Count our blessings, please. And use them for His glory.

The quiet moments I spent studying His word were really fruitful. He speaks to my heart in ways which I never experienced before. Now I know, He has His answers in the Word and He's just waiting to point me to the relevant ones (for the moment). That's how He speaks to me. And almost all cases what I studied applies to what I'm going through.

Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

I must say that these couple of days spent in intimacy with Him cannot be compared to the rest of my days playing around with my spiritual life. I didn't take Him seriously last time, that's why I wasn't as close to Him as compared to now.

I long to be with Him only. But somehow, the world will try all means to pull me away...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

just for fun: an explanation of life

Before I head back to camp, here's something I found in my inbox.

On the first day God created the dog.

God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said, "That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I'll give you back the other ten." So God agreed.

On the second day God created the monkey.

God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?" And God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow.

God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty." And God agreed again.

On the fourth day God created man.

God said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I'll give you twenty years."

Man said, "What? Only twenty years! Tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back and the ten the monkey gave back and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You've got a deal."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I Stand In Awe

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful of comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp you infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you.

Two things happened during service today:
1. I went to the front during worship
2. I cried to the Lord

I decided to take worship seriously. I didn't just went through the motion like I did countless times before. I also got real with God - face to face.

It's just Him and me. No one else. The people around me didn't matter. I made it a point to not just sing songs because the tune's nice but to sing them because I meant it. Because it came from my heart.

They projected the lyrics on a giant screen. Two purposes. [1] So that you will know how to sing the song and [2] you will know what you're actually singing. That explains the not going through the motion part.

As the songs progressed, I paid close attention to what I was singing - from the individual words to phrases of the song.

Many phrases were things like:
  • to praise You
  • to magnify Your name
  • to give thanks to You
  • to bring You honour
I realised that those phrases had verbs in them. They are actions which we ought to do. I look at my life and I must say, I did badly in many aspects. Here I am singing this to Him, and there I am doing something else.

I got real with God and He got real with me. I felt so vulnerable.

There I was thinking that I'm great, I'm good, I'm sufficient, I'm better than many other people. And then I thought again. Those things didn't honour Him in any way.

I then cried to Him. I suddenly felt so small, so insignificant as I stood before Him.

And that song "I Stand in Awe" struck my heart. Who am I compared to Him? And I don't deserve to stand in awe. I should go on my knees.

Yet, I'm also reassured that he forgives and will always welcome you back into His embrace. How wonderful.

I'm glad God respected my seriousness. If you want to draw near to Him, get right and get serious. You won't regret it.

Transformed by Trouble

  • God uses circumstances to develop our character

    • He uses them more than us reading the Bible, to make us more Christlike

  • life is a series of problems

  • problems are normal

    • "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trail you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." 1 Peter 4:12

  • God uses problems to draw you closer to Him

    • "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

  • problems force us to look to God and depend on Him instead of ourselves

  • problems are just incidents in God's plan for you

    • "We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son." Romans 8:28-29

  • much of what happens on Earth is evil and bad, but God specialises in bringing good out of it

  • everything God allows to happen to us is for His purpose for us - to be more Christlike

    • "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4

  • circumstances are temporary, but character lasts forever

  • since God wants to make us like Jesus, God will take us through the same experiences Jesus went through

    • "Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:17
Responding to Problems as Jesus would

1. remember that God's plan is good

  • For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11

  • the secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward will be eternal
2. rejoice and give thanks
  • thank Him that He will use your problems to fulfil his purposes
3. refuse to give up
  • "...because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:3-4

  • if you are facing trouble, don't ask, "Why me?". Instead, ask, "What do you want me to learn?"

Friday, March 10, 2006

If he doesn't care, should I?

I'm supposed to meet an old friend of mine at Plaza Singapura at 1pm. But I messaged him that I could only come at 3.

It all started a few days back. We chatted on msn and decided we should catch up with each other, since it's been a long time. He sounded so enthusiastic to meet me. Well, if he's showing interest, then on my part, I ought to respond to that interest by making an effort to take some time off to meet him.

Fair enough.

I messaged him the meeting time and place just yesterday. No reply. I then called him yesterday. No answer. I called him twice earlier this morning. No answer. I messaged him the new meeting time. No reply.

Sometimes I just wonder if my God-given kindness is being taken for granted. That I'm always the one trying to please people. That I should change my ways to suit their ways. That I'm the one putting in the effort which some others suck dry.

Maybe, I'm thinking too much - like I always do. The problem with my mind. Sometimes I take things too seriously.

Perhaps his mobile phone died.

But he could still make it a point to call me, to msn me, to email me, to acknowledge that he received my message or just to follow-up on discussing where to meet. If only he could do his part, then.....

I think I should stop.

Never delay goodwill

Proverbs 3

27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it; when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" - when you now have it with you.

Its amazing how God can speak to you in his many wonderful and mysterious ways. You read His Word and suddenly a verse or two jumps out and rings a bell.

"How relevant and applicable, to my current context." You whisper.

The essence of these two verses simply states that you should never delay goodwill. Do what you can do today. Why wait for tomorrow to come?

Many times I play the waiting game. I think I still have time. I procrastinate. I wait for tomorrow and when tomorrow comes, I wait again.

Somehow, reality gives me a tight slap. I recover and before I retaliate, I realise that tomorrow may not come. We just assume it does. We are taking God's grace for granted. How foolish of me.

Even the secular world says, "Live your days as if each was your last."

How true. And now the Bible confirms it.

Distorted Army Propaganda

Some images I found which makes fun of the Armed Forces. At the same time, they also reflect the realities which servicemen like us see - invisible to the public's eye.

I think I'm gonna get sniped once I step out of my door.

Faith of the Space Marine

If you don't know, this unit's from Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, a real time strategy PC game.

This fella is the grunt. Its fighting capabilities are decent. Its sturdy and will fight till the last drop of blood. Other than attributes and properties which make this class a formidable fighting force, what inspires me is their faith.

Their faith to their emperor, that is.

If you use them during the game, here's some of their lines:

"Ever vigilant!"
"For the Emperor!"
"Stay Vigilant, brothers."
"Onward, to glory!"
"Fear our wrath."
"None shall stop us!"
"For the glory of the Imperium."
"We are the Emperor's chosen."

Their fighting spirit is impressive. They fear no enemy, for their deaths bring glory to their king. Their discipline is of the highest standards - that they rather be "crippled in the body, than corrupt in the mind".

Although its only a game, I sometimes wish I had their kind of motivation. And their faith.

If they are so willing to die for their emperor (who's probably made of flesh), why am I not willing to die for God (who's omnipotent and eternal)?

[Seriously digressing and daydreaming] If one day I have to put on some kind of armour, pick up my rifle and fight God's enemy, what would it be like? I'm not talking about man's enemy (like infantry, tanks or planes), but God's enemy - demons, imps, hellhounds, and the devil himself.

Imagine on the frontlines taking aim from your weapon. The ground trembles and cracks. Crimson beams of light pierce your retinae. Demons are unleashed. They are more than ready to consume human flesh. And torment the spirit inside. Their frenetic bodies charge towards the human garrison.

Placing all man-ly hatred and differences aside, humans have to unite for the last time. Its now or never. People panic. They suddenly realised that all earthly possessions are temporary and that life with Him is eternal. Without that, they all go down. They all go to where those demons came from. And they will be there for a long, long time.

Once those desecrated beasts come within range, my commander gave us the orders to open fire. "Not my will, but Your's be done." I murmured, before I squeezed the trigger. Steaming empty cartridges fell onto the ground, just as some beasts did. But behind the fallen ones, more of their comrades charged toward us. They were getting closer, yet our ranged weapons couldn't hold them off.

Those which came close pounced and ripped apart our fellow infantrymen. There was blood and guts everywhere. Their fangs and claws defeated human armour like a hot knife through butter.

I was getting more and more anxious. I tried to make my shots count. More men were wasted. The commander was getting stressed. His face told us that we would meet our end very soon.

Before the hellhound pins your down and gives you the kiss of death, are you ready to meet your end?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm not that effective after all

Just when I thought that God has made me mature, I found out that there's more to be done.

Yes. God did shape up and harden my character through suffering and hardship. I did become more patient, more tolerant and more understanding. I put my utmost in whatever I do. Fine. But the story doesn't end here.

I look around me and there's a lot more to be done. Friendships and relationships to be touched by reconcilation. People around me to influence in a positive and encouraging manner.

Reason being, it all starts with me. I'm not stating that I'm weak or what, but I'm merely being real.

Take for example: a person who doesn't take his work seriously.

What we usually do is we stand from the sidelines and start blaming the person. We reveal his mistakes and expose his vulnerability. We rebuke and curse him.

"Its definitely his fault."
"Its always him."
"Ahh...he's just brought up that way. That's why."

Wake up, shall we? Stop blaming if you don't plan to rectify the situation. It doesn't help improve anything when you just stand there and shell those remarks of yours.

Ask yourself, "Have I done anything to help him?" and "What can I do to help him?"

If you aren't useful or if you think you can't help (according to your abilities), then move aside.

Be proactive and seek to understand his feelings. Understand what he is going through. Once you are able to see things from his perspective, then maybe he's not that bad afterall.

If we did make the effort and things don't improve the way we want them to, don't feel bad. This isn't failure. God has the solution, nevertheless. But at least, you have done your part. And once you do your best, God will take care of the rest.

But how about those people who don't even deserve our attention, but are still getting in our way?

I don't know lah....I'm only human.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fatigue and Disappointment

Fatigue. Its a packed week in camp, for our platoon especially. We have parade rehearsals and that stupid chemical exercise. Feels like I'm losing my breathing space as the days go by.

The Armed Forces came up with a safety guideline which was to ensure that participants to any activity (not matter how tiring or sadistic) should have at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Many times, this guideline has been broken, if not severly bent. But for this week of ours, we do satisfy that safety regulation.

Problem is, we don't have much of a life. Time's usually spent waiting for orders to be passed down to us, waiting for things to happen, travelling from camp to home and back again (and its really far for people like me). Time's being spent rather unconstructively. And you thought that the Armed Forces was effective and efficient.

Disappointment. Hard and harsh times bring out the true colours in all of us. Myself included. I may have lost my temper, thrown my frustrations all around, cursed others directly and indirectly, etc. But thank God, I'm more patient and tolerant now.

Point is, people around me start to show signs of bad attitude, poor discipline and lack of motivation - to say the least. They begin to take things for granted and do things for the sake of doing them. That's one thing I really hate.

They got the entire purpose wrong and their attitudes are not right. Some throw their seniority around and expect leniency.

Worst of all, some feign illnesses (which they don't have in the first place). Sick bastards. They pre-plan a few days before. And when the hectic days arrive, they strike. They visit their neighbourhood polyclinics, make up some story telling the doctor they're not well and walk out with an MC.

Even worse still, they seem so proud of it. Dammit! This is the part I hate most! They go around boasting that on so-and-so day, they won't be around. Some go further to say that even though they are absent physically, their spirits will be with us.

Yup. They are simply numb about how the rest are feeling. They don't know what we are going through.

Nevertheless, I still respect those who endure and press on despite the circumstances.

Oh...how I long for the weekends...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

We don't suffer for nothing

How true. He doesn't let us suffer in vain.

1 Peter 4

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Some pointers:
  • do not be suprised if you're undergoing hardship or suffering
  • rejoice that we suffer what Christ has suffered
  • those who suffer for Him are blessed
  • those who suffer for Him should continue to be faithful and do good
The 2nd and 3rd verse mentioned assures us that we do not suffer for nothing. If we are to become more Christlike, we must not only act like Him, but also to suffer like He did.

Nevertheless, the world will still make our lives difficult somehow. The degree of suffering depends on the people around you, the state of governance in your nation, etc.

Various degrees of suffering:
  • humiliation
  • criticism
  • persecution
  • execution/martyrdom
The list isn't exhaustive. Still, the road isn't going to be easy. But be glad that at the end of the day, when He comes and picks us up from the dumps, we will be blessed and shall see His glory.

It doesn't end yet. Despite all suffering, we are still to be faithful and do good. That explains why this life on Earth prepares us for eternity. It's the full-dressed rehearsal to get us ready for the actual show - the real one. The hardships in this world will harden and mature your character and you shall bring that character into eternity - not fame, fortune, education, material possessions, etc.

Happy to be Using my Voice, if possible

Yesterday, after our drill training when the RSMs (Regimental Sergeant Majors) debriefed us, they asked the entire contingent whether we had anything to highlight or bring to their attention.

I rose my hand and stood up. I told them that our guys will be having a MOPP 4 (Mission Oriented Protective Posture level 4) training tomorrow. In layman terms, MOPP 4 is basically our chemical suits - for use in a CW (Chemical Warfare) environment. Rubber gloves, gas mask, boot covers, protective coveralls, etc. Anyway, this training was for an exercise which we are going to have around 2 weeks later in base.

Point is, there's this MOPP 4 training on Tuesday and on Wednesday, drill rehearsals resume. Concern? We fear we may not have sufficient rest.

What happened later doesn't really matter to me. What I'm glad for is that I spoke up. I stood up for my fellow platoon-mates. I made a decision of not suffering in silence. I made a proactive choice. I have a voice and I'm happy I used it.

Thing is, many of us in the Army have chosen not to speak up (myself included, in some circumstances). We have our own reasons. Many, think that things can be better. Some, think that its possible to take action to make things better. Few, take that action.

I understand. Regarding those who refuse to voice up, I know how they feel. They fear that after offering their suggestion, things may get worse. Superiors may come up with a more adverse consequence to your action. Then, your friends will think that you're trying to "act smart" once again. However, if things do really turn out for the better, your friends happily accept the positive change and forget that you're really the one who triggered the change.

Typical Conversation

Officer: How's training today?
Men: (F*cked up, man!) Outstanding, Sir!
Officer: So, are you guys very tired?
Men: (Of course! Can't you read faces?).........No, Sir..
Officer: Hey, are you all sure?
Guy who speaks up: Erm...actually, training was a little too tough for some of us, Sir.

Reply 1 (ideal/desired consequence).

Sir: Hmm...in that case, I shall implement more breaks in between intervals for your speedier recovery. If you all put in your 150% effort and all goes through well, the next training day will be an off day for everyone.

Reply 2 (realistic/most common consequence).

Sir: Icic. In that case, you all will book in a few hours earlier to rest, since you guys say you're tired. Fair enough?

Therefore, in the Armed Forces, its best to watch your tongue. Sensible stuff doesn't mean the right stuff - to those without common sense, that is.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Initiation and what to expect

Its time to get back blogging. The last time I effectively blogged to a recognised audience was some years back. That time I didn't really know what I was doing or talking about. Updates were sporadic, entries were immature - sometimes filled with vulgarities.

Well, I was younger then, and not very sensible.

Let's get serious. Bloggers have a responsibility. Your users (audience) are people with emotion, reason and feelings. We can't just blog what we like to. Topic-wise, yes. But there are some things we have to keep in mind.
  • Users can misinterpret our thoughts, possibly resulting in unthinkable consequences.
  • Users appreciate maturity of thought. Don't just tell them what you did in the day or how you friend offended you. Go deeper. Analyse the situation. Was it really your fault? What do you plan to do next? Ignorance or reconciliation?
  • Users want to learn something. Something that matters to them. Provide constructive discussions and debate about the issues which you are addressing.
And so, let's get started.

Sunday, January 01, 2006