Counting Blessings

  1. Been staying in the office way past office hours (till 7ish kinda thing), which is against the principle I set out for myself when I first started working. But did this because it’s easier to crutch home when the trains are not so crowded. As a result, I had the opportunity to spend extended time with O as we both stayed back in the office after work hours the past few days. Thankful for the time together, though I still can’t quite put a finger to what makes her special in this organisation. But just, feeling glad :)
  2. Had an engaging conversation with an Uber driver this morning. So engaging that I got off the car happily and forgot to pay. I got in touch with Uber to rectify that mistake, so yes.
  3. When I left office today, the rain was just getting heavier. As I tried my best to hobble down the steps (with a guitar on my back, and thinking to myself I’d better not fall) so that I could get to the shelter as quickly as possible (I minded my guitar getting wet more than me getting wet actually), I suddenly sensed a presence behind me and the rain drops were gone. Well, it wasn’t a divine cloud that sheltered me and me alone, but still quite divine. A gentleman came up from behind and held an umbrella over my head. As I turned around, he told me to take my time lest I fall again. Thank God for the kindness showered upon me these days.
  4. For all the outstretched hands, the seats offered, the eyes that watched to make sure I will be supported should I need help, thank You for people who cared.
  5. Was at an impromptu worship practice for Sunday just now. Impromptu in the sense that I took over another brother just last evening. Yep, had issues with my sense of rhythm, again. But thankful for Wilson who was there as the cajon player. He broke down what others termed as “by feel” into numbers that I could visualise. He counted very patiently alongside me as I tried to catch the rhythm. Immensely thankful that he was there. I think whenever I play in a band, my favourite musician is the drummer. Simply because I rely so much on them; their presence really really boosts my confidence in playing so much more. It helped that Wilson’s a drum teacher too haha nurturing much.
  6. Got a GrabHitch just now, praise God! Second GrabHitch ride I’ve actually managed to get.
  7. More than getting a GrabHitch, it was the driver that made the trip and the night so much better. We had a chat and found out that 1, he’s been hitching people from our church 2, he’s a Christian too 3, he attends the church right in front of my house 4, he’s somewhat my neighbour actually. At the end of the trip, he carried my guitar up to my doorsteps for me. And for what was originally a $12 trip, he only accepted the $10 note from me. All these people whom God has provided along the way these days really make me feel like this world is a better place than I had thought. Heart melts really.
  8. Dennis’ encouragement that made this night a little better. I was feeling quite :( actually. I felt that everyone was just waiting for me to get it during practice just now. Then came Dennis’ text to say that he has heard the songs and know that it’s difficult to catch those songs given the limited time I had. Thankful.

 

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Counting Blessings

Living for God

Ever since Jerald spoke to me about finding the vision of my life, this idea has been lingering in my mind. I want to, but how? I imagine it to be something that I would definitely need to take time to be alone to do, but just by sitting there alone may or may not enlighten me in that sense. So what does it take to help me find a statement that would echo throughout my being?

What is the purpose of your life? To live for God! That’s what I’ve always said, and that’s also what I’ve taken for granted. When Jerald spoke to me about that, I began to ask questions about what living for God would mean. I don’t mean looking for the answer for all mankind, but the answer that would come from WX.

I began to see us as puzzle pieces. Each of us are designed with a unique calling. When we live our lives the way God had intended it to be, when we fit into the place where we are called to be, we help form a fuller picture. A fuller picture of… Heaven perhaps? Of what this world was intended to be like if all of us play our parts in the Kingdom of God. That is why, I believe, we have different interests, different passions, different talents, different gifts.

What would move me? What would propel me to go beyond my comfort zone? Michelle has said a few times that I am someone who runs towards my passion, who has a drive when it comes to something that I believe in. What would that be?

Living for God

Blackout

Was in the Northeast Centre today, somewhat because of its wheelchair friendliness. The moment I sat down in the service hall, Christopher came over and we had a little catch up. He asked, “How have you been?” To which I replied, “Quite good, because I had a 7 days MC and could work from home, so I had more time to rest.”

And during worship, two things came to mind.

The first was yesterday’s thought process at the traditional Chinese medicine clinic. The past few times I had a sprain and visited a TCM clinic, I would bear with the pain and smile and say, I’m okay. Yesterday, I totally shot up when they applied pressure on different parts of my leg, and I was shouting in agony, “ttt…ttt.ttttt…疼!疼!疼!” The doctor (CY’s mom actually) even asked me, “真的有那么疼吗?” 有!

Ya I said that. But when they were applying pressure on my legs, or when they did acupuncture on it, I tried my best to bear with the pain. It was very tempting to ask if we could take a break because I was in such pain that I had to grab my jeans and my hair to stop myself from moving about. But I told myself not to call for a break, and let them do what they needed to. It’s painful but it’s just for a short while and my leg will get better. I got through the 1 hour with that. At the end of the 1 hour, I was asked to try standing and walking. I couldn’t walk probably because I haven’t walked for 10 days, but I could stand without feeling as much pain as before! My leg got significantly better!

When I got home, it occurred to me that that’s pretty much like the pruning process that God puts us through, isn’t it? The past year has been a struggle to be honest. It got to the point that I got so tired and wanted to pull out of ministries and even community – like yeah, up till the week before I injured my ankle. I told some of my friends that sometimes I had wished God would take me home because I don’t know how long more I would last the race.

I wish I could press the pause button as and when I wanted, but I couldn’t. If I said I would surrender and trust, then pray, pray that I would learn to be still in God in the midst of the pruning.

The victory is sweet though. I don’t know if I’m entirely out of it, like finally, but I know God has been reassuring me of His presence, of Him still being in control. I’ve been immensely touched during worship and sermon for reasons I don’t understand. I feel drawn and captivated by Him once again. I have found freedom from my sins as well; this freedom is sweet.

The second thing that came to my mind during worship was that perhaps, this injury didn’t happen at a bad time, at all. I kept thinking it’s a bad timing to be injured. It’s a period when I’m rushing an annual report for my client and it’s a period where I have to be on ground pretty much. It forced everything to slow down as I spent the bulk of my time sofa-ridden almost everyday from 6 Sep till 13 Sep. But it suddenly occurred to me that God was trying to stop me in my tracks. At the rate I was going, I was close to breaking down. He had to force me to stop.

During those few days of not being able to move much, I had time to sit on the bed and have my quiet time. I could take time to simply, take time. I had home-cooked food almost everyday. I slept early, I woke up when my body felt recharged. Hence the reply to Christopher, I’ve been feeling quite good.

Immensely grateful for a God who loves me so so much. May I never lose the wonder of the cross.

Blackout

In Control

Realised yesterday that my recent downness could be an effect of a disrupted rest over the past 2 weeks. Yeah, I’m someone who knocks out and sleeps through the night, but lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to… nothing. Initially I thought it was the heat, then exercising too late at night, and eventually I realised it just kept happening each night.

Was at home yesterday and felt utterly down since the morning. Because I had an argument with my mom over the state of the house hur. Cell group mate asked how did I spend my day yesterday, and I replied, “Quarrelling with my mom.” Quarelled till I shut myself in my room, got angry at what she said, thought about leaving the house, thought about the imperfections of the church, etc.

That came in too early. When I realised years ago that I sink into negativity late at night, I would go to sleep if I had nothing occupying my time (e.g. assignments). But when I sank that low yesterday, it was too early, too much time for the day to go by, too many opportunities for me to sink even lower.

Came home from lunch and did my Quiet Time and, there was this sleepiness that came upon me. “Go and sleep, take a rest.” And so I did.

I woke up. Yes, what’s up now? The first thought that came was this – God is sovereign still, everything is in control, I’m not alone in these. That was reassuring, and changed my outlook the moment I left the bed.

That was also when I realised that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by whatever that’s going on in life. The conflict, the Christians, the family, the company. It’s almost as though I forgot that God is holding all these in His hands.

I lift my hands to heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
Though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

In Control

Hope in the Lord

Painfully aware of how hopeless everything in life is. Don’t wanna elaborate on this but yeah. Used to be somewhat afraid of death but recently I gained a new found understanding in what Paul said, “To die is gain.”

Well, not suicidal so don’t worry. I thought to myself these few days that without Christ, I might be.

But anyway, the hopelessness in life has pointed me to the unfailing hope that I have in Christ. Unfailing hope. This I am certain. For this, I am living.

Hope in the Lord

Life…

So, got bitten by a bat at work yesterday while trying to untangle it from a net it was trapped in. It bit through my gloves and left 3 punctures and 2 scratches. And I wondered if I would grow fangs become a vampire And that started a series of troubles in my heart pocket today. Thoughts that came across my mind when I was told the 3 rabies jabs cost $1.3k:

  1. Should I take a gamble and not take the jabs? By the time if I were to realise I was infected though, I will be dead. 
  2. But there are currently no symptoms and I got a feeling my boss thinks it’s silly that I took the jabs without any symptoms showing.
  3. This also made me understand why some people would rather risk their lives and not want to incur medical bills – I’m serious.
  4. What happens if I die?
  5. Maybe I should start writing a will just in case the virus takes control.
  6. What shall I write?
  7. Just today alone, I’ve already paid more than $200.
  8. What if I pay for more insurance policies using my remaining assets so that my family will get enough money when I die? Will that be a foolproof plan?
  9. If my company would not pay for this – hey wait why are we handling wildlife and not told to get rabies jabs – then if I were to save my life this once, I’d better save my future life and pocket by leaving.
  10. I got to be sure and be assured that my life is worth more than $1.3k if not why spend the money to treat this.

Bat-boy, the troubles you’ve given me with a simple bite isn’t all that simple :(

Life…

Mediacorp

It’s this feeling that… from the moment you stepped into their main lobby, till you exit an hour later, you’re just so fascinated by the sights and sounds around you. 

The Guest Relations Officer brought us up from the carpark to the waiting area. I walked past the radio section and saw the DJs with huge panels and gigantic microphones in front of them, and I just let out a WOAH. Clearly fascinated eh. Then the Producer came to meet me and brief me on the plans. Vincent used to be a DJ at SPH, then he joined Mediacorp a month ago, and he’s going to be a newscaster next month. His voice right, even over the phone before I met him, was that of DJ quality. Not kidding.

He brought me into the news recording studio. Before we entered, he apologised to both my bosses who had accompanied me there – ohyeah they were like my nannies bringing me to school and fetching me after – for forgetting to inform them that they were not allowed in the studio. One of them looked at me, concerned, and said, “You’ll be fine, right?” I replied jokingly, “Even if I’m not, I have no choice.” But yeah, that’s the way to life isn’t it. Vincent then assured her, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of.” Maybe he realised that sounded awkward. We entered the studio.

That was a huge room. Three cameras facing the hosts on the platform. Many screens showing what was going on on TV. Tons of lights with different tones shining in all directions. I looked up and that whole place was just filled with things (I have no idea what they were) hanging from the ceiling. I would have loved to take a few photos a photo of that place. Everything’s so new to me; never in my life have I seen anything like this before. I can’t even find the words to describe it – or maybe it’s just because my vocabulary fails me, as always.

I was invited to sit with the newcasters on the platform. Like, isn’t this the newscaster whom I’ve always seen on TV when I was young, and there, she’s a real person sitting right in front of me, HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH ME. I sat there and allowed them to ask me questions. It seemed like the show hasn’t started, because they were rather casual with the way they spoke to me, and touched up on their make-up several times in that conversation. Yes I mean several times like, she held up the mirror, tidied up something, put down the mirror, then other newscaster took over and did the same thing while the other carried on with the conversation, and then the first one held up the mirror again. That was what went on in that 20 minutes.

I was there just answering their questions and asking my mountain-tortoise questions, yet fearing that the cameras would reel at any time. So I spoke softly and rushed to finish my sentences – as if that would help if the cameras were to start reeling. Finally, I blurted out what I had wanted to ask since the moment I stepped into the studio, “Isn’t this a live news?” Both of them giggled and told me that newscasters were in the other room were reporting the news for the day. I see.

At about 6.55pm, we had to get ready for the camera to roll. So I stood behind the camera and watched the newscasters gave a brief introduction to the discussion topic of the day before entering into a commercial break. As I stood there, I asked the camera girl (pardon me, I have no idea what’s the right term for the role) about how they would select which cameras to take the image from, to which she replied that there was a director in a room within the studio handling this.

As we entered the commercial break, I was invited back to the platform to prepare for the discussion segment. I had the microphone clipped onto my blazer, and the newscasters carried on with doing their make-up and hair. The girl whom I spoke to then gave me a brief of the to-dos (like looking into the camera when I’m introduced, to count from 1 to 10 to test the microphone, to face the newscasters during the discussion) and the not-to-dos (like not leaving the scene until I was told to do so). The newcasters and I carried on with our chat in the last few minutes.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”, the camera girl counted down. And everything went live. I watched the screens showing what the audience would see. You know those animation thingy that flies in and out when you return from a commercial break? I was expecting for the usual news music; I thought newscasters hear that and use that as a cue to begin. But there was none. The studio was silent until the newscasters started speaking. Which was so unlike what we see on TV where there’s always some music in the background. 

What I thought would be difficult to last for 10 minutes actually overran – just like this. Must be the nerves. There was one point the newscasters asked me a question and I forgot what would have been my answer. As she went on with the question, I was like a crap, my head’s empty. So I MMMM, and thank God that by the time I finished my thoughtful sound (thanks, O’level orals prep for teaching us how to buy time), He had put in some words and reminded me of what to say. Phew.

The experience was. Wow. The previous two times, it was interesting to be a part of a production and understand how they work. This time round, it’s the experience of being in the studio and having familiar faces talking to me when I had never imagined that happening. Wow!

Mediacorp