Monday, June 30, 2008

Many things happening, much to learn and experience

Everglow Camp.

I didn't expect the bonding within the committee to be so strong that whenever I see them in the post-camp light, it still feels like we still running the camp itself.

One amazing thing I took home from the camp was the ability to exercise and see the value and potential in being consistent in things.

Lessons learnt. Not merely about spiritual climaxes nor emotional highs but the willingness to keep the fire burning even when the 'mountain-top' experiences are over. That we'll still run the race and stay true to our commitments and convictions even when people or things tell us to do otherwise.

Friendships. Not merely restricted to roles, responsibilities nor context. If we became friends in Everglow, we are friends in church, in the hawker center or anywhere else. And we'll keep it that way! ;)

Eye for details. Better to over-check than to under-check. Don't assume nor presume. Even God works with the details - cells, molecules, electrons, positrons, quarks, etc - and He's wonderful at it. It's the details which power the bigger picture. Just like the individual pixels which make up the entire image.


God's supernatural amendment of fractured friendships.

Recently, I've experienced the 2nd occurence of this. I can only stand in awe that God is One who will work and move at His perfect timing. That if you surrender anything to God, be prepared to be blown away.

Just as I was close to forsaking and giving up on a friendship, God came to the rescue. Could it be because I casually asked God to fix it if possible, even without much hope nor enthusiasm? On the brink of walking away, I thought that perhaps this was the way to avoid future or further conflicts and rough scrapping between the both of us.

Not really a cold war per se. But something like "let's talk only if there's a need to" and "flee from existing social setting if necessary to avoid 'weirdness'".

But now I'm able to look at the person in the eye when conversing. Previously I talk with my shield before me and sword in its shieve, but now I've somehow left my defences behind and extended myself in the interaction process - the way true friends do it.

Hmmm....I still don't understand the reason for this happening...but it's supernatural and good, for sure...


The band.

5 of us. And I don't think we'll be calling ourselves "The Rubber Band".

Yes, I'm enthusiastic and excited about it, but I'm concerned about the intricate details of it all. It's one thing to move ahead and be willing to learn along the way (this is a GOOD thing), but it's another thing to plan well, forsee the things you will encounter and estimate the costs.

Even though our scheduled first meet up and jam session is more like "see-how-it-goes", but I have to be firm with fellow members that it is something that we are SERIOUSLY going into. Yep, it's a commitment...

All in all, I'm truly grateful and humbled that we are willing to do something about our musical talents - to take it to a higher level and to be open to learn new stuff along the way. I'm not sure how things will be like, but I'm sure it will be challenging, stretching, enriching and eye-opening.

Onward to our first meet-up then!

Monday, June 09, 2008

commitment to the bloody surrender

2 Cor 12:9-10 - But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Usually when I read the above 2 verses I see them both as God's strength being perfected in our weaknesses. But today He's showing that to me in a different light.

When we become more Christlike, other than being transformed into His image and bearing characteristics more and more like Him, another thing you can be sure is that you are gonna face insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties, etc like He did.

Facing these like He did is not a bad thing, but neither is it easy. But one can ALWAYS choose to do things OTHERWISE. Obedience is a choice. If it is forced, it is not obedience, it is obligation.

In the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ, I have seen countless fall away because they choose NOT to follow His ways. And the choice is very much clear - you follow Him completely or you don't. Anything less than a wholehearted desire to follow Him is as good as losing yourself to this world.

But those who choose to obey the call and walk the path faithfully deserve my utmost honor and respect. These are the people who bleed, sweat and tear on the "road marked with suffering". As I learn to journey on the road of bloody surrender, I realise that death is something very normal.

Die to yourself.
Die to your desires.
Die to your time and resources.
Die to the world.
Die for Christ.

Putting away all the externalities and superficialities, I realise too that the sweat, blood and tears of sincere service and faithfulness is indeed very valuable and precious in God's eyes. And as I draw closer to Him, I too value these more in my fellow comrades in service.

In the past I would think they are crazy people with no life. People who just didn't know how to take things easy and relax. People with too much things to do reflecting some sort of bad time management.

But once I step into similar shoes, pick up my arms and charge into the frontlines with them, I then realise the BEAUTY of COMMITMENT.

Honestly, I'm very sensitive physically, emotionally and spiritually to the word, "Commitment". Not because I can boast that I have it all, but it's something that I desire to have more of and something I really treasure, respect and honor.

Commitment is when you want something, you walk towards it and keep walking towards it till you get it. Anything less is bears no commitment at all.


Last Friday evening was indeed a very difficult period for me.

In short, someone seemed to challenge my leadership position, forced words into my face in front of others and offered some not-really constructive advice/suggestions (on impulse).

I haven't been infuriated in a very long time. And when I do, it is either [1] the person is very "skilled" or [2] the situation is darn critical.

It seriously and literally felt like a spear was lunged into my heart. On the way home, my emotions were really cracked up - on top of feeling exhausted from the weeks' activities.

I was close to the brink of retaliation, which I glad I did not. Instead I did something drastic on the train ride home. Rather than spending time emo-ing and over-questioning God why this was happening, I choose to bless the person in God's name. I choose to forgive the person despite my current state of mind and emotions. I will still lay down my life for that person (to honor an old commitment).

I was trying to picture the scene when Jesus was mocked, spat at and flogged by Roman legionnaires. I could have hurled my spear at that person; Jesus could have just dumped those soldiers in hell. But He choose to forgive them. He choose to let go.

It's kind of interesting because some weeks back I was teaching a lesson on forgiveness - that it just boils down to our own personal choice. Others can do WHATEVER they want, but the choice on how to respond is up to us.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

back to pushing pixels

Honestly and sincerely speaking, I've missed doing graphic design. And the past few tasks assigned to me for my project really got me back to it once again.

Playing around with fonts, colors, shapes, shades, transparency settings, stock photography, and other image/graphic manipulation software and techniques seem to teach me that the skills and talents given to me by God is supposed to be harnessed and used.

If I have kept quiet when our group was facing certain design and publicity needs, this skill set of mine would have not be further developed and our company's (fictitious one, though) image would have been less professional.

Nuff's what I did the past week for design and publicity...

Now, I'll be working on the "company's" website....