Of Insomnia, Single-hood and Orchard Central

Hmm I had insomnia last night. I think because I had a pretty long and exciting day. And I was up awake thinking what to do. Should I watch drama? No, that would cause me to stay up longer because one korean drama episode typically lasts an hour. So I thought aloud, “I can’t sleep, should I read? But just thinking about the books I have to read just makes me want to sleep.” HAHAHA.

I was thinking about the books on fashion I borrowed from the library. Various titles about textiles, designers and fashion culture. I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll say it again, haha. That they aren’t boring books in fact they are very interesting it’s just that once it becomes reading material it generally becomes boring. Oops. I have to admit I’m not a very studious or motivated student. :* But this semester I really want to excel, so I really need to put in a lot more effort in my studies than I am right now.

So basically I stayed up reading “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris. I remembered it being and good book and wanted to read it again before I pass it to a friend. I’ve actually gotten the gist of the book so I could vaguely remember the concepts within the book. I’m the kind of reader that reads for the gist of the book, digest it and makes it my own knowledge. So my knowledge is a sum of many digested knowledge and very often I can pull stories and tell you the gist of things and what about in my own words and cannot remember exactly where it’s from.

It’s a good book. Reading it again reminded me that it’s not what I need to do about singlehood but what I can do with singlehood. It’s one of the books that I’ve read that made me certain that I don’t need to date and to a large extent have little or no desire to date. There are many convincing reasons for me, a few being that I am better able to seek God and serve God in my youth because I am single, the freedom of singleness allows me more time to develop skills and knowledge, I do not have to suffer the pains of heartache from breakups/unsuccessful loves, I am guarding and preserving my heart for my partner/husband to be and perhaps most importantly I think is that I am not mature enough for a relationship. There are of course other reasons like I am not tied down to one person and accountable to the one person and hence I have the freedom to meet and make as many friends and develop many meaningful and fruitful friendships.

I believe that the time will come when I am older God will provide a bf so I am not worried or anxious to find one.

So far this week has been a pretty fruitful week. Met up with an old friend for lunch ytd before a bible study session with Xue and then it was class before heading home for dinner. Ok I wasn’t very productive last night. 🙁  I need to plan my time at night and be more productive!

Bini, Desmond and I went for Blackmarket No.2 opening at Orchard Central tonight and it was pretty crowded. Saw our fashion tutors and popular fashion people. Urban writer Rohai was there covering the event on video. It’s nice to see a growing interest in local design although I must say they are priced pretty high and some designs are not worth the price. It’s really difficult to sustain a local (read Singapore) brand. It requires a lot of passion, effort, successful business strategies! I am impressed with Blackmarket and I really wish them well and hope they go from height to height. 🙂

After checking out the event for a short while, Bini introduced us to a wonderful place for dinner, Sarang at the highest floor. It has wonderful ambience, serves delicious food and is not crowded! 😀 Desmond introduced us to a hidden gem of the Orchard Central basement that is an interesting mish-mash of Aegean Sea mural in one area, red-bricked country walls with ivy growing in another and lightning resembling those from a hotel lobby. Very queer but beautiful nonetheless.

The Aegean Sea Mural.. Will upload the other queer sights on fb as well as pictures of celebrating not-so-surprise-but-sweet Jing Wei’s birthday from tuesday night!

Toodles~!

Bye Bye Tampines Ama

My paternal grandmother passed away last Friday evening. We affectionately call her Tampines Ama because she used to stay at Tampines. The name stuck even though she moved to Buang Kok a few years ago. The past few nights have been spent at the wake, entertaining my parent’s friends, chit-chatting with relatives and watching the Taoist procession take place.

My grandmother was 85 when she passed away. She suffered from throat cancer in the late 90s and since then speaking would require great effort on her part. The last few years her eyesight also deteriorated so there was minimal communication with her in her later years. There was also very little communication with her to begin with as I was very young then. So there is little sadness in parting with her and perhaps more relieve that she does not have to suffer ill-health on this earth anymore.

My grandmother had 8 children in all, 6 sons and 2 daughters and my dad’s the second eldest. She was only 19 when she had my dad! Our family history is rather complex, as my grandmother remarried after her first husband passed away. And my great uncle and my dad were quite “havoc” when they were younger. Hahaha.

I shall reserve the more juicy parts of the story to share with you face-to-face, whoever’s keen to know. 😉

I was slightly dreading to attend the wake because it was in Taoist style and because my family’s christian, we do no follow the procession. The wake and funeral was done in a grand affair and I couldn’t help but notice the irony of such a grand send-away upon my grandmother’s death. Why can’t Chinese appreciate the living in a grand way rather than in their death? Can the dead appreciate the filial piety of the living in parading in circles, folding and burning paper ingots and house and mountains? Wouldn’t a visit while she was alive, a harmonious gathering be more meaningful?

Of course there are reasons as to why Chinese do things this way. Matters of pride. Maybe my grandmother believed in Tao-ism and wanted to join her husbands. These questions can only be pondered upon by the living. And these are but some of the questions that ran through my mind as I saw my relative busy-ing around the wake, a cohesive-ness that was not seen before and perhaps not to be seen again.

Perhaps the most important lesson I brought home from the funeral was that ultimately it is relationships and not traditions that matter. I believe it is more so in my generation. A generation that is increasingly inquisitive and less superstitious. Can worshipping your human ancestors really bless you monetarily, etc? What is the point of attending a familial gathering just because we share the same blood? Rather, I would attend a gathering with friends whom I am closer with and feel more comfortable with.

But God didn’t place us in families for nothing. If we are meant to be salt and light of the world, all the more we need to be in our own homes and among our own relatives. I am praying for my relatives, that when the next funeral comes around, we are no longer burning house, gold and silver mountain made of paper but we are thanking a God for receiving a beloved relative that created the heavens and the earth. 🙂

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
-Psalms 121:1-2

Desire for Excellence

Before you read on, I want to add this caveat: This is one of those post under “emo” and to be taken with a pinch of salt in terms of what’s going on in my brain. It’s a result of being sick, tired and insomnia.

It’s 3.55am and I can’t sleep. I watched Monga with my sister earlier. It’s a show about brotherhood and friendship in Taiwan gang triads in the 70s. It doesn’t have much link with what I’m going to post, but just so you know.

School’s so far so good. Although a far share of drama already happened/happening from friends/classmates. Classes are interesting and relevant, classmates and tutors are friendly and to a certain level, engaging. So school’s pretty much all a student can ask for.

Being down with cough and flu this week really makes me and the week dull. It really sucks to be sick. And being sick really makes me lethargic all the time from the time I sleep to the time I wake (and mostly experiencing a “rude awakening” cause already late for meeting friend for lunch before school) hahaha. Last week was really much better in terms of waking earlier to prepare for school etc.

A lot of things I need to be reflecting on but I don’t know how and don’t know reflect to what end and even if I can do anything about it after I reflect so I basically just didn’t reflect. Hahaha. Although I know I should just do it nonetheless, don’t worry too much and just trust God that He’ll work all things out and not rely on my own wisdom or strength to carry through things etc. But it’s still difficult.

Amy says she couldn’t understand why I always cry saying I feel alone when I am not and so I explained to her when we met on Monday morning and I cried all over again after like what, a month? I tried really hard not to but I still did because I just couldn’t hold it in.

Now reflecting upon that, isn’t it
true? At the end of the day, unless you’re married and even if you’re married, you’re still alone. Only you are accountable for your own actions, for your own spiritual life and the steps you need to take, the tasks you need to complete. I guess I’ve just been waiting and hoping for things to happen(?) but life doesn’t happen that way.

Although I may add, maybe things aren’t supposed to happen this way but it did, and God allowed it to happen. And that I am not painting a pretty picture of myself because I see a realistic view of myself and that’s flawed. And I know it.

So well getting to the whole point of this post as well as the end of it is that I desire for excellence, to be excellent in everything I do but it’s so hard.

Redemption Anticipated By Selwyn Hughes

Hii I am back~ for a second follow up post for today. I shall clarify, Dione (HI THERE!! :D) didn’t ask why God allowed evil but rather what to say when a friend asks her why God allowed or even created Serpent the devil in the first place. The QT material I will painstakingly post here may not be a direct answer to the question but I think it sorts of address the  topic/issue at hand. Enjoy!

Day 65 | Everyday With Jesus | One Year Devotional | Bread for the Journey.

Firstly… a passage of the bible for reading and meditation…

Colossians 1:15-23 (New International Version, ©2010)

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a]your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Why was it necessary  for the Lamb to be slain from the creation of the world? When God created the world and laid down the broad beams that formed the universe He foresaw that evil would enter His creation and prepared for it by building into it a cross.

Couldn’t God have made a universe in which sin and evil were impossible? He could have done so but just think what kind of a world it would have been: one in which creatures would have been like robots and responded to His commands in the same way that the computer on which I am writing these lines responds to my touch. By creating the universe and endowing creatures with the dangerous gift of free will God brought into existence the conditions in which evil became a possibility. Evil was not His intention. Yet, for a reason known only to Himself, He decided that by creating a universe in which evil could break out, greater glory could be gained for Himself  and a higher good achieved for humanity than if He allowed it to remain uncreated.

In designing the universe, however, God made sure that that the possibilty of sin was met by the possibility of redemption. Thus those broad beams on which the universe is built are in the shape of a cross. And as we shall see a little later, you don’t have to look very closely at the universe to observe that. Like a watermark in paper, the cosmos has a cross imprinted in it. It is not something imposed on time but exposed from it.

Additional bible passages:

Deuteronomy 30:1-19 (New International Version, ©2010)

Prosperity After Turning to the LORD

1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

The Offer of Life or Death

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Joshua 24:15 (New International Version, ©2010)

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

1 Kings 18:21 (New International Version, ©2010)

21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

Psalm 119:30 (New International Version, ©2010)

30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.

The last part of the devotion just reminded me of Louie Giglio’s sermon where he showed a picture taken by NASA. Here’s the scientific website I got the picture: http://www.scienceclarified.com/Bi-Ca/Black-Hole.html And here’s the write up for the picture:

An image of the core of the Whirlpool galaxy M51 (NGC 5149) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows an immense ring of dust and gas that is thought to surround and hide a giant black hole in the center of the galaxy. (Reproduced by permission of National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

What we really see though, is a picture of Christ on the cross existing when the universe was in its infant stages. God has planned for redemption from the beginning!

God’s word is sweet like honey

When I was in one of my lowest period of my life last year, my sister, Lu Jia, wrote me a letter. I will not go into details but as I re-read the letter I went to read up more on the bible verses she quoted.

She quoted 3 passages in the bible.

Ezekial 2:4-7.

4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.

2 Tim 4:2

2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Ezekial 3:3

3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

But what struck me as I was just reading these in my bible was what was between the quoted Ezekial passages in Ezekial 2:8.

8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

I am ashamed to admit that at that time I  chose to rebel and refused to eat the scroll that God has given me. Although at that time I didn’t come across God’s instructions in Ezekial 2:8. I really can’t second guess if I had read that verse what I would have done. Would I have repented then, or not?

Looking back, I actually felt more upset with God after reading my sister’s letter and kind of threw it aside. For one it struck me really hard that God knows what I am going through, the words were like hammer hitting the nail home. I was told to not be afraid, despite God knowing I am tasked to preach to unresponsive, ungrateful & rebellious people, I was instructed to eat the word so that I could be prepared in and out of season to continue to do God’s work.

In my self-centredness all I could see was in my misery, God asking me to eat His word, so that I could speak to His people and that was beyond me. I felt that I needed help, I wanted attention and someone to feed me, nurse me back to health.

What I neglected to see was that only God’s word could nurse me back to health. And he was telling me to do just that. But I was blinded by my self-centredness and chose to rebel.

I thank God that I now know God’s word is powerful, that He wants to speak to me about so many more things and impart His wisdom. But I need to continue to work and persevere in my discipline to eat His scroll. I need to be inspired by those who continually feed on His word and be encouraged to do likewise. And, I need to wait upon the Lord and listen to what message He wants me to impart to the lives around me.

A long post but I hope you have been encouraged by it.  🙂

School is starting tmr (or later rather) at 11.30! I plan to go earlier to settle admin stuff and after school meet Dione to watch Kong Hee’s sermon!!! A CD Jie jie passed me eons back but in my then laisse-fairness never got down to it! Have a great and blessed week my beloved friends!

FOR MY JIE JIE

My sister Lu Jia and I with her new toys Minilove (my gift to her) and Giraffe no.6 (she doesnt give them names).

6 Jan’s my sister, Lu Jia’s 23rd birthday!!!

Happy Birthday again Jie Jie!!! Thanks for being such an awesome sister buying me strawberry polar puff cake, random gifts (!) and sharing and listening to my happy/sad thoughts/complaints. I really enjoyed spending more time with you last year and here’s to an even more awesome year of sisterhood together! HAHAHA. I know you like being 23 (Er jie told me so on msn and how you think being 4, you can’t clean your backside) and I can’t wait to be 21 and legal too! Hahaha. Love you muchie!!! xoxoxo

HAPPY 2011!

Art Meet Up Rach, Jon, Martin, Yu Ting, Steff, Guang, Guo and Ian! Too bad Ms Chan and Ernica couldn’t make it! The next time we meet we should plan like a BBQ or a movie cum picnic something. Sorry ah my plan very chill onex. Just coffee/tea/talk at TCC and some doodling gift letter. HAHA. It was good meeting up! We’ve definitely changed, like I’m less hyper, Guo talks more, Jon is more holy while Ian became more wild… One thing I’m sure of from this meet up is that we sure are as comfortable as old souls when we meet. It was just good to chillax talking about videos, showing/seeing work, talking about our works – or lack there of, talking about entertainment and inspiration, about friends, family, neighbours and the list goes on. It was good. Hope to catch up more on their lives and I actually really hope we can get together and work on something in the near future. For now, we will all help Steffi and ourselves with her upcoming VoxArt project! 🙂

These are some “chicken little” new DIY new year cards I handmade and gave some of my dearest girlfriends in church! 😀 My sister Lu Jia says they are “obiang” breaking my heart… Dione says it’s true, adding on “You want an honest friend!” HAHAHA. Yes my dear…

My new year week has been spent on packing my room. I think this round has taking the longest record, about a week and I’m still not absolutely done. Due to lack of inspiration of how to organize my room/stuff. 🙁

But I had a super week! Catching up with old friends on facebook! My pri and sec school friends alike. On wed, I had lunch with Dione at Bedok Point Bishamon’s Ramen shop. Their Salmon Ramen Salad has the sesame flavour reminiscent of the squid dish served on a cold plate at the start of Chinese wedding banquet. We enjoyed it. And then just shopping chilling all the way to Tampines. I will really miss Dione when she leaves!!! 🙁 I spent Christmas day, New Years Eve and New year week with her! 😀 BFF. Hahaha.

Xue Li came over today and we started on a new bible study material , Thessalonians! Yay! (although I must note we left Genesis bible study half way we must work to get that back on track someday) It’s a book written by Paul encouraging Christians to remain faithful in trial, a reminder useful for old and new christians a like! And the study material teachings practical biblical steps of how we can! It is very encouraging to see growth in someone whom God has entrusted you to. God is the one who causes the growth, hallelujah! 🙂

A few of my 2011 Goals

  • Read the bible in a year
  • Encourage one friend a month
  • Learn french
  • Practise Guitar
  • Exercise once a week!

xoxo