A new season dawns. Another day or two marks the end of three years in Grace Assembly.
Just last week, we went to The Lemon in Shangrila to celebrate change. Hmmm. Zesty and fresh. We're looking ahead to a year of taking dominion in Christ.
With this, I will also shift my focus in blogging. No longer will it revolve just around the church or for church people or youths, it will focus on things that matter to me. And oftentimes, it has to do with asking hard questions about what does really matter in this short sojourn we all make on planet earth.
God bless you all my friends and join me on this new journey.
If for some reason you my find my reasonings hard to digest, you're welcome to personally inquire beyond my rhetorics.
But for those keen to know about my diving trips can check out my temporary blog at nichediver.blogspot
Fide et Labore!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
A new season dawns. Another day or two marks the end of three years in Grace Assembly.
Posted by John Beh at 7:39 PM
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Knees knocking, saliva dripping, hands clammy, eyes glazed behind his trademark blue-tinted glasses, Zlwin will be braving the JPJ's warped assessment one more time.
Let's pray he will get the right examiner this time. Let's pray he will meet the standards. And let's pray he will return celebrating!
Posted by John Beh at 10:31 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
Solomon spoke of the little foxes that ruin the vineyard.
Paul warned the Corinthians against the little yeast that works through the whole batch of dough.
We are familiar with the proverbial drop of spoilt milk that sours the barrel.
The road that leads to perdition is broad and inviting. The slope so subtle that only a marble can show when it rolls down the path of least resistance to warn us.
Resistance hardly necessary until the momentum picks up. Then it comes futile.
What are the distractions in your life that takes you away from all that really matters.
When we finally catch outselves saying, what does it matter anyhow? a little too late.
In a little while, we will understand what must soon take place. If it's not really too late.
Let's pray it will not be.
2 Chronicles 7:14 When God shuts up the heavens so that it will not rain, or send locusts to devour the land, or a plague among his people. When his people who are called by his name, will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then will He hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.
May the God of mercy and compassion be merciful and compassionate to us who call on his name.
AS it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the last days....
Posted by John Beh at 8:44 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Complex circumstances. Chartered Outcome.
Last night's late news alerted Malaysians further to the intricacies of politics.
The much awaited outcome of Perak's situation unfolded. And sighs went around.
"All is lost," many quipped. But really?
It's not over until it's over when it is over.
Yesterday, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang ordered his party assemblyman to stay away from the swearing-in of the Mentri Besar – but they chose to defy him.
Today, Kit Siang apologises to the Perak Regent for his statement over the appointment of Perak Pas secretary Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as Mentri Besar.There is more than meets the eye.
Keep watching. And praying.
Posted by John Beh at 8:00 PM
Here are the details for YAF Retreat 2008. Taken from Klang YA President Hwai Tah's email!
Date: May 17-19 3D/2N (Sat - Mon). Monday is Wesak Day.
Place: Eagle Ranch Resort, Port Dickson (see http://www.eagleranch.com.my)
Cost: RM235 Price covers everything: accomodation (dorms), meals (buffets), hall facilities, variety of telematch games (facilitated), Go Kart and transportation (44-seater, air-conditioned bus). Complimentary facilities include swimming pool, jacuzzi, beach volleyball, basketball, futsal.
Other chargeable activities include paintball, horse riding, archery, canoeing (fish pond and sea), rafting, map reading/compass march, tracking, obstacle course, flying fox, absailing etc.
This retreat is open to Klang, PJ, USJ young adults and college students 18 and above.
Targetting 50 ppl. The workshops' theme focus is on 'Relationship Enrichment' conducted by non other but our beloved Ps John.
Registration starts this Friday in cell.
The planning team agreed that the full amount ie. RM235, which is transferable but non-refundable, is to be collected.
Cell leaders, please appoint rep from your cell to do this.
Availability of places is on 'first-come-first-served' basis. You can forward this to your cell members and friends who may be interested.
Posted by John Beh at 12:40 AM
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Under the state constitution, the menteri besar has to be a Malay Muslim, but there is a provision that allows the Sultan to waive the requirement.
None of the 18 DAP elected representatives are Malay Muslim, even though the party controls the most number of seats in the new state government.
It is learnt that the three of seven Malay Muslim PKR assemblypersons were ruled out as they are deemed not to have suitable paper qualifications. This makes Mohamad Nizar, 51, the frontrunner as he has academic credentials and ranks high in the PAS Perak hierarchy.
Observers have noted that the three parties cannot automatically nominate Mohamad Nizar for the post, or the DAP would suffer severe political repercussions.
What's the outcome? What does it matter?
The outcome is certain. It has been decreed.
Offering the MB’s post to a Malay, either to PKR or PAS shows that DAP respects the state constitution of Perak. This gesture of DAP will win over Malaysians' hearts for sure, in particular, the Malays. This kind of gesture of DAP will also result in more Malays and Indian being endeared to the new move.
Ultimately, if a Chinese is appointed as MB in this new season reflects change.
Posted by John Beh at 9:27 PM
In last year's Merdeka Day 50 hour fast and prayer celebration, the pastors were given diferent states to pray for. I was given another state, I can't even remember which it was. But I distinctly remember asking Pastor Lai Leen to give me Perak instead.
Because Perak is the state to watch.
I distinctly remember praying a different prayer for the nation. That God will move the Perak royalty to initiate changes to the nation.
I believe this impression is shared among those who are watching the signs.
In fact, I'm wondering what's the possibility of the Perak regent Raja Nazrin Shah becoming Prime Minister. Is that allowed for under our constitution? If the laws of the land say it's not possible, then it must surely be otherwise.
One of the winds of change sweeping the world is a rising of leaders in their 50's. Not the older ones. Can you start counting who they all are?
Watch the United States. Is Obama in his 50s? Watch Australia. Is Kevin Rudd in his 50s?
Maybe those who you'd like to research a little bit check out the world leaders and the direction things are going. Let me know will ya? :)
A little background into Malaysia:
Malaysia has a unique system reflecting its history and the federal nature of its constitution. The nine sultans take turns to become king of Malaysia for five years (out of 13 states).
more to come....
Some facts about Raja Dr Nazrin Steven Shah.
Raja Nazrin, who was born in Penang on Nov 27, 1956, and received his early education from St John's Institution (Hey I was a Johanian too!) was appoint the Crown Prince of Perak when his father Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah became the ninth Supreme Ruler (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) from from 1989 to 1994.
When he married Zara Salim Davidson on May 17, 2007, Raja Nazrin declined state allocation for the ceremony. Bernama reports: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=261511
more to come....
Posted by John Beh at 9:10 PM
Have you been to Phuket?
I'm planning another dive to Phuket at the end April.
Here's some helpful information for those of you who are keen.
Nothing like doing your open water certification and straightaway exploring the exciting depths of the Andaman!
And instead of stressing out in an intensive 4day3night diving course on a local island, enjoy your 5day4night dives and holiday. Kill two birds with one stone.
How do you do it? Sign up for a customised training. Master your dive theories and practical dive techniques in the comfort and safety of a nice swimming pool first. Give your friendly diving coach more time to help you be a better diver.
What's your investment?
Only RM650 to getting your PADI Open Water Certification.
Five dive theory modules, quizzes, and a final exam
Five confined water practical dive technique modules
Inclusive of pool rental, dive equipment and personal gear, tanks, belts and weights
When you're ready to make the trip, (depending on luxury level) the cost ranges from a low RM700-1200 for a complete 5day4night certification package:
Four required assessment/training dives and additional FUN dive or more (subject to weather and time constraints)
Accommodation including breakfasts/lunches
Transit to/from jetty and/or dive sites
Rental of tanks, belts, weights, equipment, and boats,
PADI fees and your PADI Diver Card
FOR those of you who are certified divers and want to join me for some fun dives, it's as low as RM700-1500 depending how many dives and what type of dives you'd like to make!!!
From the choppy currents of Koh Doc Mai that will swirl you past a wall of aquatic splendor, to exploring the 83meter-long sunken Kingcruiser wreck 33meters plus deep that is home to variety of sea life, and other exotic dive sites.
Posted by John Beh at 2:30 AM
Saturday, March 8, 2008
At 4.03am, triumphant PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim described the victory of the opposition parties in five states and its breach of Barisan Nasional’s two-third majority in Parliament as “a defining moment” in the history of the nation and the opening of “a new chapter.”
Our prime minister only has these words to mumble: "We’ve lost, we’ve lost" - 4.12am
These were the only words which Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could muster when quizzed on the ruling coalition’s shocking defeat in five states.
So what does it matter that the turn of events spell a different future for Malaysians?
Posted by John Beh at 6:11 PM
Friday, March 7, 2008
Today I cast my vote with my wife at our designated polling centre in Cheras.
Barisan supporters wooed us to vote for change chiding others at the centres to give Dr Jefferey Goh a break. After all, what has DAP's Tan Kok Wai done for Cheras folks?
Guess beside whose face I marked my cross?
While the rest of the country shuffled to the polls, the rest of the world continue to reel from the endless waves of bad news.
Top UN World Food Program official Josette Sheeran said the world's economy "has now entered a perfect storm for the world's hungry" caused by high oil and food prices and low food stocks. That simply means record high food prices and resulting inflation are set to continue until at least 2010, fuelling a "new hunger" across the globe and anarchy on the streets of poorer nations.
Rev 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
The poor will be poorer and the rich will wallow in more wealth.
In Jerusalem, a gunman, who once worked as a driver in the same college, opened fire with an automatic rifle at students in the Jewish religious college library killing eight girls. Palestinian Hamas supporters celebrate the killing. Meanwhile, violence in the Hamas-run Gaza strip continue to escalate with the Israeli government vowing intensify major offensives on the city and the occupied West Bank.
For the dead, life ends. Chapter closes. Curtains. Game over.
What does it matter to you and me?
And in Baghdad, the death toll rosed to 68 when the whammy from double blasts tore through a packed shopping area, making it the deadliest attack in the capital for nine months. The bombs wounded 120 people. The horror unleashed hours after a brigade of 2000 US soldiers were withdrawing the capital.
Senseless killings persist.
The list goes on. You name any country in the world today that is not hit by some kind of madness.
What does it matter?
Life goes on meanwhile in our backyard. Pottering over our cute little bonsai.
Our upcoming vacation. Our next business deal. Our new job. Hmmmmm.
Perspective. O God, we need perspective.
Posted by John Beh at 10:11 PM
Monday, March 3, 2008
Aha. Who's this muscleman? Bet you can't recognize him without his pink outfit!
Moray eels the thickness of your fist abound in the nooks and crannies if you slow your finning long enough to
peer through the cracks. Always fun to stick your finger at them for a tempting bite!
Jeff holding the standard underwater hovering position. Excellent buoyancy control!
Yellow spotted puffer fish are among the many exotic sea life around here. Tasty but deadly if you sliced and cooked them the wrong way. The Japanese and Koreans are known to love these buggers. When we were in Korea last year, the wet markets were selling them by the buckets.
Hmmm. Recognize who this one is? It's funny how a mask and a regular could conceal your identity so easily.
Who's this cool slit-eyed dude holding his position in a steady hover? I'm sure you could identify this one.
What's this!? Tempting to grab and shove into a grub bag eh. Lobster hunting anyone?
Carl shot this from the bottom. Certainly not one of the sea beauties, Shannon and Wenshu, trying hard to blend in with the underwater flora and fauna.
Aha! That's me in my usual tropical underwater garb. Much more relaxing diving in Ts and pair of shorts if you enjoy the cold. But gotta watch out for the jelly fish and other stinging stuffs.
Aha! Nothing like SYTs to add color above the underwater world on the journey to our dive sites. Snorkelers Shannon and Wenshu.
The fish here is so friendly that if you make friends with it over a banana or bread slice, it'll let you play with it!
Opening a bottle of coke using a bottle of mineral water. I did it! Our six-footer host Carl Richardson could do the trick with anything.
Jianz in one of his pensive moods. I like this shot.
Sidney and Sean dropping off into their first dive on the sandy bottom of Racha Yai. Jeff finning in the left rear.
Perfect spot for buoyancy check!
A pretty clown fish in a quivering in blossom of sea anemone. This is when you take off you glove and caress the slimy blue portion and the sticky green strands. But be careful! You could get nasty stings...
I got seared once and the rashes lasted two weeks!
Jeff (and the other guys) exploring wreck off Banana Rock at a depth of 22m.
It's always a thrill to hover around one of these sunken barges and watch the
underwater creatures settle in their new home. Here the visibility drops to 5 meters.
A dazzling shot of a lionfish in all its cocky splendor up close.
But don't be fooled. These buggers could give you sting that hits 9 on the richter scale! Thankfully I haven't experienced this kind of shake up.
The closest was jabs from sea urchins that left black poisoned looking blotches on your skin.\
Posted by John Beh at 3:20 PM
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Justin's friend, Bruce passed away just before CNY from dengue.
When I read his blog, I was impressed by his way of expressing his feelings. His poems are really something.
Bruce Chan-(1987 ~ 2008)
"Bro, Bruce is dead..."
That's what I got from the sms...
He is only 21...
Isn't that too early for him?
The weakest kind...
Even a mosquito can take your life...
You can die anywhere...
The question is...
"Are you ready for that?"
"Are you sure where you going after that?"
Words left unsaid...
Dreams left unfulfilled...
How does it feel when you know all your friends and family came to see you,
talked to you but you couldn't give any respond?
Not even until the last breath...
Tell me about it Bruce..
Sorry my friend...
I hope you rest in peace...
Posted by John Beh at 10:49 PM