Thursday, January 7, 2010

Diversions & Digressions

Nope... I'm not talking about JPJ or PWD nonsense in Malaysia and I'm not talking about taking short cuts out of legendary traffic jams in Malaysia. The latest Allah issue has escalated into the burning of the Metro Tabernacle's church administration wing. We can expect more of such colourful news.

In mass communication and journalism lectures, this is called "agenda setting" - of course, we know who's setting the agenda. But with the web boom - only those who wish to follow the agenda would be diverted and distracted.

Let's watch what happens next.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dying to Live

How many of us are dying to live well?

We hear people saying they're dying for a piece of chocolate cheesecake or something. But dying to live? Hey, I'm already living it up, they say. But O really?

What does it mean to live well?

Napolean Bonaparte once said: Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.

Interesting to note that Napolean relates dying well to living well. To fear death is to live defeated and ingloriously... and ultimately, to die NOT just once, but daily.

AS we face the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, BEFORE we consider what resolutions and goals we will make... shall we for a moment ponder over the fears in our life that has caused us to flinch and dodge and duck and flounder and feign and fault and .... the whole of 2009, my gosh!

Unless we hold up our fears to scrutiny, we may plan and plan and plan, but in vain, because we would lack the guts to see through the beautiful plans we draft.

For until we are ready to face down our pretensions and futile preoccupations, we would have allowed, before 2010 even dawns on us, another year lost.

Napolean Bonaparte also said: Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the latter than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never.

And my friend, time is lost when we vacillate in the mirage of false hope that we can live well at the expense of a lost cause and no cost.

What is our cause? What cost are we willing to bear under?

Are we really dying to live? Or happy to plainly exist?

The Apostle Paul declared: For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is This It?

Reading Titus Loh's blog planted a smile on my face. The little I know of him helps me picture the journey he must have gone through the past months, if not years. And now, for some flash in the dark reason, he sees the light at the end of the tunnel he thought he was in, and decides it's time he makes his move.

So he exhales with a breath of fresh vigour and say, I will resurrect my blog!

For the rest of us who go through the winding trails in life's tortuous treks, once in a while, we ask the perennial question: Is this it?

What next?

As I celebrate my birthday at the stroke of midnight, and cross over to the next phase in my life, I too ask this question, what next? Is this it?

Any wise thoughts out there to a cryptic question or two?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Now?

Just when I was beginning to ease into life in Melbourne with my family.... I was reminded that I began this year staring at deception as never before. It's here.

Not that you can see it. But it's here.

I was up in Shepparton and around the area for about 35km radius... delivering building samples... that I got sobered up as I drove and walked the streets. Lots of thinking time. And when I got back to my nice hotel room, tired but alert, thinking...

Night cometh when no man can work.

Watch and pray my friend, for what truly matters... and ask yourself: What now?

On the way home, I stopped by the town and saw this fascinating display of cows. So I got down and snapped with my mobile. Last shot... what a reminder... what now?

What next?

You'll see soon enough...

A Mona Lisa cow?

A cow from hell?

A ferocious tiger cow?

Spider man cow? Cool...

Oooooh.... can you guess this one?

Iron cow?
And Ooooohhhh....
A smart cow!

What a gaudy looking cow?

And a carnival cow?

I like this one best. Iron cow.
But what's next?
What kind of cows can we find out there?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Winter's Coming

Winter's coming and so is pig flu virus.... but thankfully it's not pandemic.... yet?

Snow has fallen around larger Melbourne. This would be our first winter in our new home. With temperatures dropping to 7 degrees and freezing water gushing out of the taps, I shiver a the thought of attempting my first dive in winter. Or should I.

Back in 2004 when we visited China and Korea, we hiked up a two peaks in Sokcho and Jeju Island and braved the cold amid cutting wind on the Great Walls of China, I was casually wearing a singlet while the locals wrapped themselves in pullovers and jackets with hoods and gloves.

Fast forward to the future, which is now, I tried to do the same, and while my ageless spirit says no worries mate, my aging Asian-made body says no way man!

Somehow, the cold is now colder than previously. And with body aches and tendonities straining at every joint.... I realize that this is it.

So should I be doing things I did previously. Why not? Should I be doing things the same. Mostly not. Should I be doing old things in a brand new way? Definitely. Should I be doing new things? Yes.

Winter's coming for sure this season. And I will be living it a whole brand new way....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

War Criminals on the Loose

Hamas militants must be sniggering at latest news reports of Israel coming under fire for deliberately targetting civilian infrastructure in Lebanon.

It was reported that human rights group Amnesty International has called for a UN investigation on Israel's indiscriminate attacks on homes, bridges, roads and water and fuel plants.

Apparently, if Israel intelligence cannot accurately direct their highly sophisticated firepower to pick off militants holed up in the suburbs of normal peace-loving civilians, then every Israeli attack becomes a war crime.

What is puzzling is Amnesty International doesn't find it criminal that the militants were using civilian suburbs as a safe base to launch attacks into Israel territory.

Common logic dictates that if gunman holds a family in a car hostage (whether the family in the first place consented to being held hostage or not) and drives around shooting pedestrians on the streets, the police will have to take out the gunman as quickly as possible, even if it means potentially harming that family.

Some people may argue that the safety of that abducted family is paramount. But while the debate goes on, more pedestrians are being mowed to the ground by sporadic gunfire. By which time, if the police fail to act swiftly, more people would have died on the streets than the family of three or four in that car.

What is interesting is, the police is seen as the criminal, but the gunman who holds that family hostage doesn't become the issue at all.

Perhaps my simplistic perspective of this state of affair does not adequately explain the international scenario that spills over every day for the past decades. But then again, what's the point?

Should Amnesty International call to attention Hamas militants and their associates' war crimes or is is perfectly acceptable that these freedom fighters continue to hide behind the skirts of every daughter, mother, and grandmother in Lebanon, as they fire away in relative safety?

In any case, perhaps that the ploy of the militants. To draw the ire of the international world everytime civilians die. At the expense of Israel.

Do I sound like a zionist?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Almost Five Months

It's been almost five months since we made our move to Melbourne. Almost unbelieavable that our first month of vacationing in the Yarra valley and bushland regions have eased through a scorching summer into the routine of everyday life in cool autumn.

I am thankful our three girls have taken in the breadth and length of their initial transition so well. Janielle played the first time in church on her violin with the worship team at Casey Life International led by Charlene, who introduced a song she wrote. Really a beautiful piece that I can't see any less than those done by professional Christian song composers.

And Janna has also started on her violin and what is wonderful is she's enjoying the experience.

Jirene is just soaking in all the fun in school and the new learning curve that is unlike her previous homeschool.

We are praying naturally for them to move on either to select schools when they could focus on music and other pursuits that would prepare them for life and ministry instead of going through the usual regiment of earning their degrees to earn a better living.

And so we will anticipate God's further providence as His promises unravel down the path this year.