Wednesday, December 19, 2007

lo hon ko

Despite being on leave today, I had a pretty full schedule that kept me occupied the whole day from morning ‘til night. So yeah, it was pretty much a work day for me after all.

Project M is coming along fine. We had some minor hiccups today and a spanner or two thrown in the works, but I think we’re still on track. It’s been great fun working with the boys too and we’ve had some good times pulling out silly ones and laughing through the sawing, cutting, painting and tying. Thanks so much, guys. I’m really looking forward to seeing to fruits of our labour! =)

As a treat to ourselves, we caught a movie in the evening together with Keith. Scooted down to Mid Valley to watch I Am Legend. Won’t spoil it for anyone but my thoughts about the movie are – same old premise, but great acting. I mean c’mon…it’s Will Smith! Should you be expecting anything less from the man these days?

Dinner conversations followed through on a thought that I’ve had of late. Of late, I feel like I’ve been peeling out the drier outer layers of an onion to discover the fresher layers inside. I’m uncovering treasures hidden around familiar places. In short, it’s been pretty cool.

So to you AND to you: We’ll do dinner or drinks again one of these days okay?? =)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

refreshing irony


I survived Youth Camp 2007! Three crazy, hectic days of fun and learning!

Despite the crazy schedule, it’s ironic that camps like these keep me sane, especially during this extremely busy period that I’ve been going through. It was refreshing to get away from my responsibilities at work and elsewhere, to just enjoy to weekend with the youth and have my batteries “re-charged” somewhat. Haha.

Sure. I’m beat. I’m tired. But deep inside me, I have been refreshed to get myself going again. Reflections on Philippians 3 came up pretty often through the sessions, sharing, as well as the camp song, and it was good to be reminded to be reminded of “forgetting what lies behind”, “fixing our eyes on the prize”, “counting all things but loss for the sake of knowing Christ” etc.

Great stuff.

But more than that, I am so glad to see God moving among our youth that I thought I just had to get all this out of me before going to bed. Joel rightly pointed out a thought that had been lingering in my mind during this camp, that it is so humbling to see God at work in the lives of the younger youth in building them up to be useful servants for Him; That lives are being transformed before our very eyes!

I was so encouraged in seeing dorm sharings being initiated by the youth themselves despite the weariness of a long day. I was so glad to see so many of the younger ones stepping up to the challenge of organising such a wonderful camp this year in the absence of the “old guard”. There were minor glitches here and there, no doubt. But boy, did you guys make the camp rock!

And the closing sharing was just marvellous. I don’t think I can recall a time during any youth camp when we had so many youth willingly coming up to share something that they had learnt or experienced over the last few days, whether light-hearted or serious. And yes, again, the younger ones had good representation.

So YFers, if you read this, I just want to let you know that two passages from the Bible came to mind as I was typing this: the words of Moses to Joshua just before Joshua was to take on the reins of leadership in leading the people of Israel across the Jordan and into the Promised Land, and Paul’s encouragement to Timothy –

“Be strong and courageous.”
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Here’s a big pat on the back because you all deserve it =)


Some pictures...

The bus journey was pretty uneventful, so we entertained ourselves.

Walk like an Egyptian.

I don't know that they were doing. Praying over their food??

Pass the ball. No hands!

New game...Landmine.

2007. All of us.

And finally, one of my favourite camp shots...

I simply call this one "Rejoice"

Saturday, December 08, 2007

tick tock

In His time
In His time
He makes all things beautiful
In His time
Lord, please show me every day
As You’re teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time

Be still my heart.
All will be beautiful
In His time.

Friday, December 07, 2007

caught up

After three consecutive late nights at work, I decided that enough was enough. I left the office at 7.00 p.m. yesterday (relatively early by CF industry standards!) and went straight home. It rained throughout my journey. Not surprisingly therefore, traffic was heavy, but with the pitter patter of the rain outside, it gave me time to just sit back, relax, and think.

Popo wasn’t at home so I got some yong tau foo that mum had brought for me last weekend, and made it into a soup dish with some noodles. Cut up about a dozen pink jambu air and I had a pretty decent dinner going. With that, I just chilled out the whole night watching Chef at Home and Chef at Large. How nice was it to just sit back and do nothing! I certainly could get used to this!

Read Isaiah 6 before going to bed and was caught up with the message of God’s holiness. Meditated on verse 3 and was trying to imagine the seraphs flying around the throne of God whispering to one another, “Holy!”, “Holy is the Lord God Almighty!” and for the first time, I understood (or at least I thought I had a better inkling of) how they felt! They really must have been so caught up with an understanding of God’s holiness that all they could do was to repeat all over again “Holy! Holy! Holy!”. Almost like how we double up our praises when we talk about something that we really love. “That was fantabulous! Super friggin’ good!” Okay, maybe not exactly the best of examples but you get the point. No? Come and see me then on a lesson on theology.

I took half a day off today just to recuperate further and get some more rest. Woke up at 10.00 a.m. (what bliss!) and had breakfast. Watched the financial updates on Bloomberg TV and was glad that the market went up again, as my investments. Also managed to get my packing done for youth camp. And now with time on my hands, I blog.

I will have a few more hours of work later before I call it quits for the weekend. I’ve got a get-together to attend tonight that’s organised by one of the legal firms that we work with. I’m looking forward to some good company, food and wine. A deserving treat after a long, hard week.

The weekend beckons. I’m diving in!

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings; With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

And they were calling to one another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.


Monday, December 03, 2007

feeling a little blue on a Monday night

Dad, mum and the rest of the family went home today and I’m missing them already. A duality of emotions always strikes me whenever they make these short visits. On one hand, I’m glad for the time that we get to spend with one another. However, the time is often too short and is quickly divided up like a pie amongst others also clamouring to catch up with them. Call me selfish, but I sometimes do wish I had the pie all to myself.

On a lighter note, the Chongs are planning a trip to Sipadan next year and God-willing, I’m going to have a few fellow divers in the family by then! It was amusing seeing Unc Robert all excited talking about diving over breakfast this morning. Said he would probably be getting his licence with the kids early next year. Jack is also planning to get his soon and I’m gonna push Poh Nee to get hers soon as well. And I’m wondering if Victor will be back around then. It would be sooo cool to dive with family!

Anyway, it’s 10.30 p.m. right now and I really should be in bed resting. My head is throbbing and I am feeling that all-too-familiar ache in my body. Not a good sign. Not good at all. With so much to do these days, I’m praying that the Lord will sustain my body before letting me crash gracefully after the Christmas rush.

My thoughts these days are still on getting the manger up and on building that door structure. The wood for the manger arrived last week. Looks good. I’m looking forward to putting everything together with the boys sometime this week or next. The door on the other hand is still in a state of flux. Apparently, my salvaged door frame will be making its way to church this week, but I still have not gotten a definitely confirmation. With the deadline looming closer, I could very well worry, but I’m choosing not to. At least not yet. I’m going to have to find some time over the next few days to think through my ideas a little deeper. I’m also still looking for that next elusive free slot that I can take a day off from work.

Work…ah, yes. Speaking of THAT that wouldn’t let me go. I’ve got another independent advice letter to rush out by tomorrow. Spent the whole day today building up my arsenal of weapons to tackle this particularly tricky letter for a new client in Sarawak. Tomorrow I put my thoughts down on electronic paper. Pray my thoughts flow smoothly.

Speaking about praying, I think it’s time for me to meet my Maker. We’ve been having a rocky relationship of late, but I’m hoping to do something about it.

Forgetting what lies behind
Setting our eyes on the prize
Always keeping our eyes on our Lord Jesus

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lord for the years

Lord, for the years Your love has kept and guided
Urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way
Sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided
Lord of the years, we bring our thanks today

Lord, for that Word, the Word of life which fires us
Speaks to our hearts and sets our souls ablaze
Teaches and trains, rebukes us and inspires us
Lord of the Word, receive Your people’s praise

Lord, for our land in this our generation
Spirits oppressed by pleasure, wealth and care
For young and old, for commonwealth and nation
Lord of our land, be pleased to hear our prayer

Lord, for our world where men disown and doubt You
Loveless in strength, and comfortless in pain
Hungry and helpless, lost indeed without You
Lord of the world, we pray that Christ may reign

Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us
Self on the cross, and Christ upon the throne
Past put behind us, for the future take us
Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone

Hours after the last notes of “Lord For The Years” rung through the sanctuary of Petaling Jaya Gospel Hall this evening, its words still play on loud and clear in my ears. Indeed, many agreed that it was a very apt closing congregational hymn for the dedication service of our new church building.

For me, apart from being totally bowled over hearing tonight’s 500+ strong congregation sing this rousing anthem in celebration and remembrance of the Lord’s goodness to us as a church, and also in re-dedication of our lives to him, it also caused me to think again about God’s goodness and faithfulness in my own personal life, and how too I really ought to re-dedicate my life to Him.

The Lord indeed has been so good and has provided in ways that have amazed me, especially this year. Unfortunately upon reflection, on my part, I realised that I certainly haven’t done enough justice in being thankful to Him for His bountiful provision.

Today’s church dedication service somehow brought that back into perspective, and I am thankful that it did. The Lord’s love has indeed kept and guided us all these years, cheering and inspiring us all along the way to do great things for Him. And here we stand today, as the church of Petaling Jaya Gospel Hall some 48 years on, with so much to look forward to as we move ahead into the future.

Today, here I stand, exactly 6 years today since I passed through the waters of baptism, being reminded of God’s abounding goodness. I’m actually smiling to myself typing this =)

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

chilling at Chiling

What started out initially as an exciting plan to go white water rafting over the Hari Raya weekend fizzled out due to lack of interest and also the ever-so-important cost factor. Nevertheless, with my mind already geared up for a solid outdoor workout, having already done Bukit Tabur again on Saturday, I managed to round up several like-minded accomplices who were keen on re-visiting the Sungai Chiling falls again.

The last time I had been there was close to a decade ago. And with the advent of the Internet, it was obvious that it was probably no longer going to be as idyllic as I had remembered it to be. And so I had to keep my expectations low, not really knowing what to expect of our trip.

The first big difference that I noticed was the presence of a dam in the vicinity of Kuala Kubu Baru. Well, I definitely don't remember seeing this monstrosity of a structure there the last time.

The man-made lake caused by the dam. The pebbles on the ground were just too inviting.

Same ol' Chiling or not, the trip provided yet another opportunity for me to have some fun with darling Miss Nikon. Conditions were challenging though as the journey to the waterfall required us to hike through sometimes thick foliage, and also make several river crossings. One slight mistake could prove to be fatal...and expensive.

Still, it was a good experience and I managed to snap some shots that I was satisfied with. Here are some random ones.

A bustling community of (ouch!) red ants.

Follow the leader.

The start of the trail towards the waterfall.

First river crossing.

Entering a bamboo forest.

Catching a glimpse of the river.

And we're finally there!

Macho pose before taking the plunge.

The Sungai Chiling 2007 gang: Shobana, Nick, Hans, me, Aleena, Shern Yau and Beng Weng.

'Til the next time!
2007.10.15 Sungai Chiling waterfall

Sunday, October 14, 2007

three times and counting...

Date: Saturday, 13 October 2007
Venue: Bukit Tabur, Melawati Ridge
Participants: Nick, Hans, Aleena, Wei Lin, Shobana, me + my trusty Nikon D80

One of the main draws of Bukit Tabur is clearly the scenery.

Powder blue skies.

Forget your manicured nails.

My favourite "Lord Of The Rings" stretch. Expect elves to prance out from behind the trees.

Silently waiting to unfurl.

I bled for 4 hours plus!! Me no likey leeches.

2007.10.13 Bukit Tabur again

Sunday, October 07, 2007

preaching the Word

It's a wrap!!!

And WOWWWWW! What an experience!!!

I don't know how I managed to pull through so smoothly today, but somehow it was almost a "Zen"-like experience on stage this morning! If you prayed for me, it must have worked, so thanx a bunch!!

To God be the glory!

Monday, October 01, 2007


So quickly and September has flown past us. Only three more months to go before we welcome a brand new year!!

Yikes! Where did all that time go??

Speaking about time, I'm counting down the days.

Six more to go. Yes, only six more days.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

of legendary monsters and sunken Khmer cities

While the National Day parades and fireworks were going on in KL, a bunch of us took a drive towards the East in line with the Government's Look East policy. Heh. We ended up at Tasik Chini, with its fabled Loch Ness-ish monster and sunken city (they just had to have one up on the ol' loch).

We stayed at the Lake Chini Resort, which was probably provided the most decent accommodation in the vicinity. Of course, we're REALLY talking in relative terms here. The place wasn't really a "resort" in the full sense of the word.

There were 13 of us so we took up 2 dorms.

Shortly after dumping our bags in our dorms upon arrival, we headed down to the lake to check out the activities that were available for us there.

A half-group shot at the jetty.

Tasik Chini boat ride.

Lau sok, in his penghulu kampung pose.

Managed to catch this decent shot of a lotus in bloom, from the moving boat.

After an hour plus, we headed back to the "resort".

Sunset at Tasik Chini.

Mesmerised by the sunset? Hans thinks not.

There was nothing much to eat at the "resort" so we decided to drive out for dinner. After half-an-hour of hunting for food in the vicinity of Tasik Chini, we came to realise that the place was pretty dead. After all, we're talking about a place with an average population of less than 50 in every square kilometre. It was 9 o'clock and with stomachs growling and patience quickly eroding, we made a decision to take the 45 minute drive to Kuantan for dinner.

Fast forward through travel drama, group politics, car games, and a short trip back to civilisation, we headed back to the jungle for our first night in Tasik Chini.

The weather was good, the stars were shining, the moon was out, and the floating jetty beckoned to us. And so the more adventurous ones among us grabbed our pillows and sleeping bags and ended up sleeping on the jetty underneath the stars that night. With the platform bobbing gently on the water and a cool breeze blowing, it didn't take long for us to fall asleep. My watch showed 3 am the last time I glanced at it before drifting away into slumber.

After about 3 measly hours of sleep, I woke up with dew on my face and my sleeping bag. It was foggy and the atmosphere around us was almost surreal. We woke up hoping to catch the sunrise but unfortunately, the fog was too thick.

A room with a 360 degree lake view!

Eerily beautiful.

After washing up and having our breakfast, it was a brand new day ahead of us to conquer!

Being the city folk they were, doing the 1-2-5 pose while jungle-trekking was no sweat.

Silent waters.

Fast forward through dinner, Tasik Chini monster stories, chilling at the jetty, a heavy downpour, and a night walk (with no torchlights) on a trunk road with the dense jungle, glowing fungus and fireflies all around us. Day 2 came to a close.

Day 3 brought us back to Kuantan for gastranomical delights! Being unfamiliar with Kuantan, we called back to friends in KL who were more familiar with where we could find good food. We ended up at Chilli Restaurant along Jalan Besar. Spread was really good, but I felt as if we were compensating for our supposed 'malnourishment' in Chini.

Erm, just realised that this is not exactly the most-flattering picture of Lau sok! Haha...

And then we headed to Teluk Cempedak...

They have beaches like this in Kuantan??!! WOW!!!

Hans with our kite.

Lau sok as David Hasselhoff.

I like this shot. Faye, Carrie and Daniel fight for the kite.

Just chillin'.

More photos...
2007.08.31 - 2007.09.02 Tasik Chini and Kuantan

Yeah. I love holidays.

Don't get jealous now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

shanghaied to Shanghai

Ni hao! Huan ying! Xie xie! Xiao long bao!

It was only to be short business trip to Shanghai but considering I was several thousand miles from home, I decided to make the most of it.

And so, 15 minutes after checking into our hotel rooms in Chuansha, a medium-sized municipal in Pudong, Shanghai, we ventured out for food!

Sui jiao i.e. steamed meat dumplings. I remember it cost RMB1 (approximately RM0.50) for a plate of 8. Dunno why I see more here.

Work aside, I managed to catch up with Uncle Yun, Aunt Karyne and U-Minn on Sunday, which was pretty good in retrospect as it turned out to be the only day that I could really say I had a taste of Shanghai.

They came all the way from Puxi (the part of Shanghai on the other side of the Huangpu River) to pick me up, and then we drove back all the way to Puxi, towards the city centre. There were a few things struck me about Shanghai - towering skyscrapers, multi-level highways, horrendous drivers, and good food.

What about the famous Shanghai girls you wonder? Strangely, I only noticed them in Din Tai Fung, Xintiandi. That's where we ended up having dinner on Sunday night =)

I have never been to Dragon-i back home, but who cares about Dragon-i when you can do Shanghai...IN Shanghai! And Din Tai Fung doesn't stray far from the top echelons of Shanghai cuisine.

La mian. A must.

Synchronised xiao long bao eating.

Uncle Yun and Aunt Karyne stamp their approval. Heavenly xiao long bao in foreground.

All the walls in Din Tai Fung are covered with caricatures of famous people who have been there. See if you can identify the ones here.

A very unique dessert with rice wine, fermented rice, egg white, wolfberries and black sesame tang yuan. Nice!

A quiet corner in Xintiandi.

The Bund on the banks of the Huangpu.

Across the river from The Bund, skyscrapers soar in Pudong.

I had a first-hand taste of Engrish in Shanghai as well. From the pictures below, it's clear they have a long way to go.

(The visitor invites the register)
Spotted at our hotel. Who am I supposed to invite?

(The net lives the fashion network to live your eyeball)
What the??

(Everlasting and Unchanging Amusement Co. Ltd.)
How's that for a name of a nightclub?

(Please dial 68346000 if you find the water quality problem)
I'm still looking!

So quickly and it was time to go.

Shanghai Pudong Airport. It's huge.

The journey home.

Saved memories in a blue SD card...
2007.08.26-28 Shanghai