Thursday, March 31, 2005

longdrawn 3

Come watch the debut of A Mantle The Sea, a PJGH homegrown band!

happy birthday Danny! (30 March 2005)

Was Keith doing a Para Para Sakura? Danny looks puzzled =)

The delicate art of eating chicken.

Tucking into yummy roast chicken that tasted strangely like char siew.

Going hysterical over my piece of pullet.

We decided to be "good Christians" this time around, so we got Danny a Bible ;)

Monday, March 28, 2005

an introduction to emergent

I was at CPK's place for a church camp committee meeting on Saturday. Over satay and pizza, I posed this question to him, "How would you describe the Emergent movement in a simple concise sentence?"

Seeking clarity as to what Emergent is all about is a pretty futile attempt. Brian McLaren, the author of the book A New Kind of Christian, resists calling Emergent a "movement". "Right now, Emergent is a conversation, not a movement," he says. "We don't have a program. We don't have a model. I think we must begin as a conversation, then grow as a friendship, and see if a movement comes of it." [1]

Despite its seeming lack of structure (at least not one that we normally associate with), Emergent does seem to thrive in exactly what is missing. The absence of formal boundaries does make way for open, honest conversations between fellow believers and friends about the various issues pertaining to the Christian church today.

I had the privilege of participating in one such "conversation" last Saturday at Bangsar Lutheran Church. After breakfast at Taman Tun post-Kiara, we found ourselves drawn to the informal meeting that we had heard about over the grapevine...dirty, sweaty bodies and all. Hopefully they'll welcome us in, just as Jesus welcomed even the lepers...heheh

After a brief welcoming address by Sivin Kit, the man I understand to be the main contact for Emergent Malaysia, this guy, Kia Meng shared his story and the lessons about his faith that he had picked up along the way. Later, we broke into smaller groups of 3 - 4 to share our respective stories, with the question "What Does it Mean to be a Christian in Malaysia Today?" providing some direction.

Looking around, it certainly looked like many interesting conversations were happening in the various groups. Keith and I were in the same group, together an Ipoh lass going by the name, Wan Ching (Ipoh gals seem to be EVERYWHERE these days!). Coincidently, we all share the commonality of being involved in youth ministry. With that common ground, we shared our concern in seeing the youth in our churches growing up all groomed to be "cultural Christians" (not a term that anyone mentioned that day, but one that I feel encapsulates the idea of being moulded by our surroundings and circumstances), yet not engaging in a real relationship with God.

We also heard some of the other groups share their stories at the end of the session. I think the general consensus was that the world is changing i.e. "the modern, colonial world is coming undone and a new postmodern, postcolonial world is emerging". [2] The challenge today is for the gospel of Christ to remain relevant to a generation that carries very different beliefs and values, and which requires different approaches, as compared to the generation that lived say, 20 years ago.

To quote McLaren, "Can I still call myself a Christian if I don't buy the whole package of what many call Christianity today, which includes a lot of modernity and has little to do with authentic Christianity?" [3]

Still, the waters should be tread carefully. I'd better be praying about this.



[1] Andy Crouch, "The Emergent Mystique", Christianity Today, November 2004, Vol. 48, No. 11, p. 36.

[2] Emergent Village,

[3] Glenn T. Stanton, "The Postmodern Moment", Christianity Today, June 2002, Vol. 46, No. 7, p. 53.

climbing up the walls pt. 2

We had sleepy eyes, half-wishing we were still in our comfortable beds at home.

On Saturday, we ventured up Bukit Kiara again, this time armed with a camera as planned last week. After the great time we had the week before in enjoying the sights, talking and just hanging out, we decided to go again despite the Kinabalu trip in June having been called off.

The meandering joggers' path.

After deciding to be a little more adventurous, we attempted a dirt trail off the main joggers' path.

The trail led us to the summit of Bukit Kiara, with quite a good view of the KL skyline.

Unfortunately, the trail was "protected" by vicious mozzies that attacked us in kidding! Check out Keith's hand.

Ugly welts on my leg.

Friday, March 25, 2005

that's why He came

For every broken heart in need of mending
For every lonely child who needs befriending
For every time the innocent will ever need defending
That's why He came.

For every dream that life has torn and tattered
For every hope this world has dashed and shattered
For every soul that needs to know he matters
That's why He came.

That's why He came
For all the lost and lonely
That's why He came
For all the questions only love explains
And so that when we need Him
We can call upon His name
That's why He came!

To do the perfect will of God, His Father
To face His death just like a lamb to slaughter
So He could pour out life like living water
That's why He came.

To be our Cornerstone and our Foundation
To be the open Door to our salvation
To be our Saviour and our Celebration
That's why He came.

To bring His light into our darkness
And His healing to our pain
To bring us hope when it seems hopeless
That's why Jesus came.

- That's Why He Came, Chris Machen

cross of love

Blood and sorrow flow
From the languid brow of Jesus dying
And tears from heaven's eyes
Are the anguished drops of a Father crying
Oh, why?

This must be a cross of love
For God to bruise His only Son
Jesus, what a sacrifice to reach us
It had to be a cross of love!

Emblem of His pain
Oh splintered wood of my transgressions
I'll never comprehend
Of an act so great gave love expression
Oh, why?

And the people jeered at Him
And mocked His holy name
For they knew not who He was
Or why it was it came
Some had come to offer help
To soothe a mother's pain
But as she watched her wounded Son
The comfort never came
Oh, why?

- Cross of Love, Greg Nelson / Bob Farrell

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

walking on

Walk with me quiet, walk with me slow
With watered down coffee and words of gold
I can feel the edges of these things
When I hear You speak to me, so walk with me.

Walk with me empty, walk with me strong
The hush of our voices when the day seems so long
It is like a balm, it is like a jewel
It unravels all I thought I'd knew.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

directions please?

I stand at a crossroad not knowing which path to take.

Lead me.

Monday, March 21, 2005

climbing up the walls

Training for Mt Kinabalu has finally kicked off! After weeks of procastination, my Columbias finally got a chance to play servant to my feet.

Did Bukit Kiara with Keith on Saturday. We had originally planned an early hike up there to enjoy the fresh air and all. But as usual, circumstances have their way of changing even the most fervent of plans. After the excuses of late nights, uncertainty of directions and keys going mysteriously missing, we finally set off only at around 9.00 a.m..

The hike up Kiara was pleasant. The slope was gentle and the trees lining the path provided shade from the rising sun. We also caught a few glimpses of the local inhabitants in the area...a frisky red-tipped squirrel and a whole family of monkeys! No tigers or giraffes in sight, unfortunately. Too bad.

Since Kiara didn't exactly leave us with burning, aching muscles, we decided to head to PB's to do some stair-climbing. Yeah, the challenging stuff. We zoomed up the 17 stories of the Perdana Condominium fairly quickly, even with some breath to spare. Not too bad...or so we thought. The second time up was markedly slower, and well, ummm...we had to stop after the third =p

Still being the first week training and all, it was good fun. Sure, my quads, hamstrings and calves are still sore, but the age old adage "No pain, no gain" still has some credit to it.

Hey, I'm already looking forward to this Saturday! Let's go!

Monday, March 14, 2005

seeking purpose

To fear of one day echoing the words of Isaiah, "I have laboured to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.".

To wonder if my lips can be moved to speak the words once spoken by Christ Himself as He struggled with His Father's will, "My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.".

And so my search continues...

...for a Purpose-Driven Life.

Thus ends Week ONE of my journey.

I covet your prayers.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

a trip back in time

Kuala Lipis is an endearing town that grows on you. There is something appealing about walking through the little alleys that criss-cross the ancient colonial buildings lining the roads. Life does almost fall into a standstill here.

This is a little late 'cos I had some strange problems in accessing Photobucket over the last 2 weeks. Anyway, here are some pics that I took last month while I was back in Kuala Lipis for grandpa's funeral.

You won't find any pics from the funeral though ;)

Only in Kuala Lipis.

One of my exceedingly adorable grand-nephews!

Time passes by slowly here.

Do things get less appealing with old age? I think not.

A moment created. A moment captured.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

smell the color 9

I was just listening to some old CDs late last night before turning in, and I got to this song by Chris Rice. Thought I'd share this 'cos I thought it touches on the questions some of us have in relation to knowing and relating to God (especially for those in the Plymouth Brethren circle ;) ).


I would take no for an answer
Just to know I heard You speak
And I'm wondering why I've never
Seen the signs they claim they see
A lot of special revelations
Meant for everybody but me
Maybe I don't truly know You
Maybe I just simply believe.

Cause I can sniff, I can see, I can count up pretty high
But these faculties aren't getting me any closer to the sky
But my heart's faith keeps pounding so I know I'm doing fine
But sometimes finding You is just like trying to
Smell the colour 9.

Now I've never felt the presence
But I know You're always near
And I've never heard the calling
But somehow You've led me right here
So I'm not looking for burning bushes
Or some Divine graffiti to appear
I'm just begging You for Your wisdom
And I believe You're putting some here.

9's not a colour
And even if it was you can't smell a colour, no
That's my point exactly.

- Smell the Color 9, Chris Rice

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

the week so far

I shifted back to my poh poh's place on Monday. And I really felt like a nomad this time. Leaving Kota Kemuning, the car was almost packed to the brim with my stuff...clothes, books, shoes and all. Even as I write, everything's still strewn all over my room right now. Didn't have the time to unpack and sort them out properly. I probably will have to get down to it soon. Hmmm...this weekend? Or maybe the next? =p

On another note, my work load has spiked this week as time draws closer to the targeted submission date for one of my IPO clients. So many documents to review, so many numbers to crunch, so little time.

The late nights are back.