Friday, December 31, 2004

reflections on the heavenly

This morning I closed the little blue book that I have held in my hands so very often over the last two weeks. I had just finished reading The Heavenly Man ("THM"), a book on the true life accounts of Chinese Christian, Liu Zhenying, more popularly known as Brother Yun.

THM took me on a roller coaster ride through Brother Yun's life. If there is a book that you must read (besides the Bible that is), this is it! Read it and be prepared to be challenged!!

It began with how he as a young lad witnessed his father's miraculous healing by Christ, and how he then decided to follow Christ in faith.

It spoke of his passion for the Lord, and how he fervently sought the Lord and hungered for His Word.

It told of the remarkable growth of the Chinese Christian church and the incredible opposition that followed, physical and spiritual, from within and without.

It relayed details on the persecution, pain and suffering that Brother Yun and many other Chinese Christians went through, and how during those times they still glorified the Lord with their testimonies.

It put me to shame as I read about how Brother Yun faithfully obeyed the Great Commission by witnessing for Christ everywhere he went, even in the prisons when he was undergoing great persecution.

It humbled me as I was reminded how our churches have much silver and gold, but had lost much of its zeal for the Lord.

It showed me despite all the wrong and suffering in the world, we have a God who is still in control today! His ways may not be our ways, but God's timing is always perfect!


An excerpt from The Heavenly Man:-

"We have also come to understand that the past thirty years of suffering, persecution and torture for the house churches in China were all part of God's training for us...

Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, "I've been praying for years that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in freedom." This is not what we pray! We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, "The government will be on his shoulders." - Isaiah 9:6

God has used China's government for his own purposes, moulding and shaping his children as he sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

Don't pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn't pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.

This is true freedom!"


Great stuff eh? Certainly helps us see things in a different light.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

of tongues

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. - Proverbs 15:2

A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. - Proverbs 15:4

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. - Proverbs 21:23

Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity, the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. - James 3:4-6


I've learnt that sometimes it's better to keep silence than to defend oneself.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

it was

Of yet another round of Christmas food binging...

Of leftovers that never tasted better...

Of Benny's catchphrase of the night, "Drip and die!"...

Of Za's good christmas-tree-design watermelons...

Of Marie's bad christmas-tree-design watermelons...

Of a pink ostrich strutting around nonchalantly...

Of the screamer Wong sisters at the foosball table...

Of sleek moves on a PS2 dancemat...

Of the scrubbing of floors and Za washing Lala's feet...

Of a great time or worship and prayer...

Of fancy ribbons and kaleidoscopic wrapping paper...

Of presents ranging from the conservative to the zany...

Of our introduction to the latest in the Pooh collection, Stripper Pooh...

Of Anderson, the Ballerina Princess in a pink tutu...

Of a gathering of close friends...

It was.

Monday, December 27, 2004

snapshots of a disaster

The world's biggest earthquake in 40 years hit southern Asia on December 26, 2004, unleashing a tsunami that crashed into Sri Lanka and India, drowning thousands and swamping tourist isles in Thailand and the Maldives. The earthquake measured 8.9 on the Richter scale.

Locals and rescuers carry a girl from the Marina beach after a tsunami hit the southern Indian city of Madras.

A hospital employee gestures to visitors, unseen, at the mortuary of a government hospital as he tries to assist them in identification of unclaimed bodies of victims who died in a tidal wave at the Royapettah Government hospital in Madras, India.

The scene at the Marina beach in Madras, India, after tidal waves hit the region.

A woman weeps showing what is left of her home along the coast in the southern Sri Lankan town of Lunawa.

Undated handout photograph shows a Mexican couple Jacobo Hassan and Karen Michan. Jacobo Hassan is still missing after the resort island of Phi Phi was hit by a devastating tsunami, while his wife is receiving assistance in Phuket.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Is Christmas an occasion for gluttony? Or is it a huge marketing gimmick designed to milk every penny from our pockets?

I like the food!

I like the presents!

But let's not forget that...

Christmas is Jesus.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

at Putrajaya

A sprawling corporate booth...

A hearty lunch...

A sleepy afternoon...

A speaker drones on about organisational efficiency...

Just some excerpts of day spent at the Palm Garden Resort, Putrajaya for the National CEO Summit 2004.

Just another hour and a half to go =)

Friday, December 03, 2004

peculiar dreams

Sometime between 3.30 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. last night, I dreamt peculiar dreams.

It was something of an "Alfred Hitchcock slasher meets Stephen King horror" kind of dream.

Yup, I'm weird.

Memories are vague right now, but I remember a lot of blood and gore, with senseless mass killings in a building. Think it was a house. My house me thinks.

I remember that several cars were stolen, so I guess this must have been a robbery cum murder thingy. I think most of my family members were dead, except for maybe my dad, whom I remember was still with me before I woke up. There was also this creepy feeling that surfaced on and off throughout this dream...the feeling that "something" was lurking around, hence the Stephen King horror part.

I also remember that I was spared. The reason's a little cliché...

Just as the baddies were approaching me, one of them saw my tattooed arm and turned "best-friend" just like that, coupled with slaps on the back, bear hugs...ughh. Yeahh...I killed your family but now I see your tat and we're best of friends! =p It was with that that he let me off, with my dad who was still with me.

If dreams could be interpreted sensibly (not any new-age inanities pls), I would like to know.

and then i saw...


It felt odd leaving the office on Wednesday and Thursday evening.


Almost deja vu.

And then I realised...

...that I could see the sun!

Ok big deal for most, but BIG-A-DEAL for me 'cos I've been so used to leaving the office late...really LATE.

Seeing wispy clouds and birds dotting the sky at 6.15 p.m. in the evening was an experience relived.

Those crazy days are OVER...well, at least for the time being.

But that's good enough for me.

Monday, November 29, 2004

b-z s a b

It is now 6.48 p.m. on a warm Monday evening. The day has just passed by in a flash. Now where did all that time go? And where did those spots on my face come from? Hmmm...

The last few weeks have been a killer. I've been constantly buried up to my neck with work and crazy deadlines. Well, not many people fully understand the nature of my work, but it suffices to say that sometimes it's not the quantity that really gets to you, but the surrounding work pressures i.e. the many parties involved, the massive coordination required, the millions at stake, along with the reputation of the firm, myself, etc.

I'm tired. I need a break.

But I'm also grateful.

Grateful for the enormous experience gained throughout this exercise, though painful. Grateful for the weekends, which help me maintain my sanity.

I'm grateful for the occasional friend who's willing to lend a listening ear. Grateful for...

Time check 8.54 p.m. I continue this post.

Grateful for the juicy garden salad and pesto chicken ciabatta that I've just devoured.


I'm grateful because through the storm...

YOU shone through.

Friday, November 19, 2004

seeking the sun

Sometimes it takes a storm
To really know the light
The scent of rain, the weight of clouds
Pulling down the skies

Sometimes it takes a storm
To know how you feel
To understand indigo, and the varnished sun
Lighting up the fields

Monday, November 08, 2004

Amos 5:21-27

The Word of the Lord, taken from Amos Chapter 5...

v21> "I hate, I reject your festivals. Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies."

v22> "Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings."

v23> "Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps."

v24> "But let justice roll down like waters of righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

v25> "Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?"

v26> "You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves."

v27> "Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus," says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


25.10.2004, a snappy cafe/bistro on a hill, light drizzle, AM Shakes, PM Shakes, Gelato Frules, Anderson's drink-gone-wrong, Kok Weng's drink with raw bananas, paparazzi cameras, bloodthirsty mozzies, a birthday cake for three, an attempt to sing "Happy Birthday" in parts, great company...

Just some memories of a night out @ Gusto for the October birthday boys...
1. Benny (18th Oct)
2. me (22nd Oct)
3. Anderson (25th Oct)

it's supposed to read "Happy Birthday Guys"

Kapten dan kek

the "look-alikes"

Lala, Marie and Wenz

It's nice to be remembered...thanx again =)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

lack o' meters

I don't suppose I've mentioned that tragedy #7 has just struck me car!

Well, actually it's just a "mini" tragedy...but definitely still something to make me whine about!

*SIGH* My speedometer (the one measuring speed) is K.O. and my odometer (the one measuring distance travelled) doesn't work anymore. Well, I'm not really too concerned about the odometer, but the speedometer (or rather the lack of it) makes things a little difficult on the road.

At best, I can only try to guess my speeds based on the RPM meter (i'm sure there's a "something"-meter word for this) but it's still unsettling not knowing how fast I'm travelling. For example, I was driving from Kota Kemuning to Damansara Perdana (quite a distance) the other day and I got there in around 1/2 an hour. Hmmmm...

Was told by a colleague that it would probably cost me around 100 bucks to get this thingy fixed. I think I'm fast approaching net cash outflows for this month =p

The Jason Pity Fund is still open for donations.

taking flight

Flight no.: MH 608
Date: 25 OCT 2004
Time: 1725
Seat: 20K

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

on a wet Friday night

NOT an ice-cream cake!

eat me!

the spoons move in for the kill

Lala goes bonkers!

the gang @ Swensen's

To all who made 22 October 2004 special...THANK YOU!!!

Friday, October 22, 2004

why cry?

Why cry?
Wipe the tears away
Why cry?
Your sadness saddens me so
Why cry?
When you have the everlasting arms just waiting...
The everlasting arms of Jesus...
Just waiting to hold you.

Now if only you knew...
If only you knew how much i've prayed for you...
If only you knew how much He loves you...

Why cry?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

on a Wednesday morning

Saw this emblazoned on the cover of a spare tyre behind a popular four-wheel drive...

"Nissan Teranno is for the car enthusiast who wants to feel the beat of life in his own life"

"Feel the beat of life in his own life" what is that supposed to mean? Talk about a silly...AND TACKY slogan for a vehicle.

Anyway, I just realised that I've been SO BUSY of late that I've actually not updated my blog in quite awhile. Now, that's certainly a disservice to my faithful readers, right...ha! Btw, I received a surprise e-mail from an "old" friend (ok ok...not that "old" actually..hehe) yesterday saying that he had discovered my little presence on the world wide web. This is what he had to say..."Definitely a very interesting read and I get an automatic update on what's going on in the life of jv without even making a call. Your entries are actually quite engaging". Well Mr L, I would like to hope so too...haha ;)

Anyone interested in a little Bible quiz? Hehe...I'm presently setting test questions for my Sunday School Standard Sixers. Kinda having "fun" with it also. Certainly beats preparing for the usual Sunday lessons...or maybe it's just a nice break from the usual routine. Here's a taste of what they'll be getting this Sunday...

1. Then I will take you for My people, ______________________, and you shall know that ____________________ (Exodus 6:7)

(a) and you will be like gods; I am the Lord your God
(b) and I will be your God; you shall have eternal life
(c) and you will be like gods; you shall have eternal life
(d) and I will be your God; I am the Lord your God

2. John the Baptist was clothed with ___________ and wore a ___________ around his waist (Mark 1:6)

(a) cotton garments; snake
(b) sack cloth; cotton belt
(c) camel's hair; leather belt
(d) sheep's skin; leather belt

3. I (John the Baptist) baptised you with __________ but He (Jesus Christ) will baptise you with __________ (Mark 1:8)

(a) water; the Holy Spirit
(b) water; fire
(c) the Holy Spirit; water
(d) fire; water

4. What was the occupation of Simon, Andrew, James and John (disciples of Jesus Christ)?

(a) Jewish priests
(b) tax collectors
(c) carpenters
(d) fishermen

Pretty easy huh? Should I up the level a little? Did you get all of them? No checking your Bibles! Gasing folk...hope I don't hear of a black market for the test questions =p

I'm only up to question 6 at the moment. It's still a long way to go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Malaysian Idol, Genting and my car again...

It's Tuesday and I'm still feeling the effects of the last weekend. Ok ok...I was already a little under the weather even before that. All that produces a very sleepy jv. at work, accompanied with heavy panda eyes. Need...caffeine... *slumps on keyboard*

Malaysian Idol

Malaysian Idol rocked Malaysia last weekend. Was up in Genting over the weekend for the show with Gabriel, Wenz, Yun Fern and Gabe's family. Thanks go out to Danny for the tickets =)

And what a show it was. It was a Friday showdown between two of the series' biggest voices...Jac (Jaclyn) and Dina (Faradina). From her performances throughout the competition, it was clear that Jac was the favourite to nail the accolade of being the first Malaysian Idol. Nevertheless, the memory of Jac sitted in the bottom 3 for two of the earlier weeks hung a cloud of uncertainty on the Malaysian voting trend.

Dina started off strong with the song penned for Malaysian Idol, Gemilang. With her powerful vocals, it was definitely one of her strongest performances in the competition so far. Her second song, Jelingan Manja (a classic by Saloma) was supposed to have added to her building momentum, considering how she well performed it in one of the earlier Spectaculars. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Dina only managed a lacklustre performance that "wasn't cheeky enough" according to the words of Fauziah Latiff a.k.a. Kak Jee. Dina tried to win back fans with yet another song that she performed in the Spectaculars...Hit 'Em Up Style by Blu Cantrell. It was bad to say the least...coupled with a equally dodgy outfit.

Jac took to the stage with the judges' selection, Tunggu Sekejap by the late P. Ramlee. Her rendition was awesome, and she claimed the song as her own. It was classy, sophisticated and sultry. Just Jac at her yummy best! She chose to sing When I Fall in Love second...the song popularised by Nat King Cole. Nice. A very elegant delivery. Roslan Aziz: "mengkagumkan" (awesome). But the best was truly yet to come. Jac just totally showed her mettle as the cream of the competition with her final number, Gemilang. She pushed the soaring ballad into a climax that brought the 6,000++ capacity crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. It was just WOWWWWWW!!!

When the results were announced the following day, Jac had won over 76% of the approximately 1 million votes cast. She wrapped up the show with Gemilang once again...with the other 11 finalists on stage with her. In the words of Paul Moss, "It was a spectacular end to a wonderful competition." Jaclyn Joshua Victor had become the first Malaysian Idol.


Driving up to Genting was unchartered territory for my Proton Wira. Was hesitant to drive initially but agreed in the end. It wasn't too bad. Plus it rained going up the...nice =)

Save for Malaysian Idol, we didn't do too much in Genting. Played some bowling...charted my worst ever score btw. Did some rock climbing...a warm-up for Kinabalu next year perhaps? ;) Some gun shooting and DDRing at the apartment wrapped up our fill-in activities.

Woke up early Sunday morning to prepare for the drive back to PJ. The morning was cold and foggy when we started our descent from Genting. Visibility was so poor that we could hardly make out the road in front of us. We even came across a Putra that had crashed in to a tree probably just awhile ago. Prayed a silent prayer for safety. Soon enough the mist cleared and we were zooming down the hill. Heard that church camp 2005 is gonna be at Gohtong Jaya. Looking forward to that one =)

My car again...

Tragedy struck my car again last weekend. Yes, my faithful metallic grey Proton Wira that accompanies me almost everywhere. On Sunday, I parked my car along Jalan Gasing instead of my usual spot at the back of the church building. After the morning worship service was over, I went with Yun Fern to the car to get her stuff.

It looked like my car. Yet different. Upon closer examination, I discovered that someone had ripped off my car's front bodykit. Now all that's left are nails sticking out...really ugly nails...UGHH!! Well, that makes it the 4th tragedy to strike my car in a month.

Honestly, I'm tired. Tired of worrying where to park my car. Tired of having to send my car to be fixed. Tired of having to trouble people with my inconveniences.

Now I just pray my new Bridgestone tyres don't go.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


I received a call from Benny last night, bringing news that Uncle Saw (one of the senior citizens from my church) had just passed away. It was pretty surprising news, especially since I last saw him on Sunday looking very much in good health. is fleeting indeed. But we are immortal until He calls us to go.

One of my car tyres also "died" this morning on the way to work. Actually, it was already showing signs that it was time to go. For the last 2 weeks or so, I've had to pump air into it every few days to "prolong" its "life".

This morning, its time was up. It gave up its last breath of air (literally) somewhere along the KESAS expressway. Thank God the nearest petrol station was only about 1 km away. When I arrived at the petrol station, I tried resuscitating it with the air pump but it was already too late. My Goodyear Eagle F1 205/45/16 had passed away.

P.S. No disrespect to Uncle Saw. He will be missed.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

shi dai qu

Le Cabaret Shanghai
An evening of dinner, song & dance featuring soprano Tan Soo Suan and Dua Space Dance Theatre with Dama Orchestra

Come and celebrate with Dama in a scintillating presentation of evergreens that will sweep you off your feet. Relive the bygone era of "Old Cosmopolitan Shanghai" entertainment - a colourful spectacle of cabaret and dance numbers made famous by legendary divas, like Ge Lan, Bai Guang, Li Xiang Lan, Jing Ting, Phang Xiu Qiong and others, during the heydays of old Shanghai (in the 30s and 40s) and Hong Kong (in the 50s and 60s).

Yes, it's shi dai qu (popular Mandarin Golden Oldies) with its dancing shoes on. Come and experience the sizzles of the old China musical dance hall of those golden years. Hum along. Swing in rhythm. And jive to those beats. Your evening will never be the same. It's the ultimate Shanghai Night. So make a date with the Gang ….. at Le Cabaret Shanghai. Simply unforgettable. And truly memorable.

Ahh...don't we love generous clients =) Went for the charity gala premiere of Le Cabaret Shanghai (LCS) on 24 September 2004...courtesy of a generous client (I'm in merchant banking ok...don't be getting any ideas).

Being at my first Dama Orchestra production and having heard so many rave reviews, LCS turned out to be a little disappointing. The music was good, the soprano was almost faultless in her delivery, but somehow the show just didn't engage. Thinking back, the hearty dinner before the show probably left most of the audience sedated in their seats. The applause was so half-hearted it was embarassing.

Nevertheless, kudos to Tan Soo Suan for her almost spotless vocal performance, combined with all her sashay-ing with the dancers. Pity it wasn't the right audience.

Photos are up.

Monday, October 04, 2004

wonderful grace

We have family worship a.k.a. led worship session every first Sunday of the month. Keith had the honours of leading worship yesterday with the theme of "GRACE". On Saturday, I received an SMS from Keith. It went something like "can you share some thoughts on grace from Eph 2:3-9?" I hesitated. As much as Eph 2:3-9 is very apt in a discussion on God's grace, I didn't want to go through the usual doctrinal motions on grace. Most Christians already understand that anyway (I should think). So I decided to share on what God's grace means to me.

To me, grace is knowing that God accepts me just as I am. What you see is what you get. Yes...just ol' undeserving ME. Most of us seek the acceptance of our peers...yours truly included. In that, as much as I claim individuality, I am somehow indirectly molded by my surrounding influences just so that I can conform and accepted. But isn't it amazing that God accepts us just as we are...with all our flaws and iniquities? Look at what Jesus did to His disciples. Some were fishermen, some were tax collectors. Certainly not quite the kind of people you would expect a renown teacher to associate with. Nevertheless, Jesus took them as His disciples and worked His transforming power to change them into an empowered people. We should expect Jesus to do the same with our lives!

Grace is also not easy. Imagine someone mocking and spitting at you, punishing you with a whip tied with shards of bone, and finally nailing you to a rough wooden cross to die. It's really something when you are so close to your point of death, and some of your last words are words of forgiveness to your tormentors. I certainly struggle in showing grace to the undeserving. I am only too quick to snap back at someone who has just insulted me. It is with this realisation that I am so ungracious, that God's grace becomes something so almost unfathomable.

But we have a God of love.

Do you know Him?

Friday, October 01, 2004

feeling overwhelmed

Have I gotten myself involved with too much? There just seems to be so much to my workplace, in the community of the church, with friends...

Lord, I pray that You will be my source of strength.
I pray that You will help me prioritise my time well.
I'm tired.
Somewhat overwhelmed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

in a pickle

It rained last night...although I actually only noticed it this morning when I was about to leave the house. For a brief moment, I was at a crossroad...and a tricky one too. Should I go on MC today? After all, I am "sick" right? I've been sneezing like crazy for the last two days! Yeahh, I'm probably sick. Am I? Is my forehead feeling a little warmer than usual? Not quite, but it's probably bound to get worse later, especially with this rain! How about that dang throat? Barely an itch. Rats.

Would I have been able to get an MC under my circumstances? If I lied, maybe. But that wouldn't have been right then, would it?

"Beep beep"

I unlocked my car.

Shifted the gear into reverse.

Out of the driveway, and off to work.

Hello Wednesday.

Monday, September 27, 2004

hello world!

Can you see this??