Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bananas 🍌

是一个美好的一天。睡到9点,赖在床上想着昨天也真是美好的一天。唱着歌与神父说话,再用彩色笔记下心中的感触。

发电邮给社工系其中最喜欢的教授,做一点admin,哦,是午餐时间了。肚子饿了。 把最讨厌吃的香蕉切成片,放进烤炉里要烘干,便出去了。

在口福吃幼面,不知为什么特别好吃。去Giant买做蛋糕的材料回家,啊,好久没烘焙了。打着牛油的声音好好听,扑鼻而来的蛋糕香让我知道味道一定不错。
是真的很不错 😙
 
把蛋糕切了放进盒子里准备明天带给朋友和家人,想到他们吃的样子有开心的感觉。匆忙赶到荣耀堂赴约,本来因为第一次和牧师说话还有些心急,不过聊了超过一个小时。感恩。

Banana Squares with Nutella (adapted from here)
 2 1/2 cups flour (280g flour)
250g butter
1 1/3 cup castor sugar
4 bananas
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
About 1/4 cup Nutella

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 12 inch square cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment (if you don't have, just butter will do! More washing up for you)

2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs with a little flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Fold in the remaining flour, baking soda and bananas. Pour into the tin and spread evenly. Use a teaspoon to add dollops of Nutella into the batter and run a spatula through it to spread it more evenly. 

3. Bake for about 40 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.
 
 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hi, Pi






An irrational number | I wonder when that memory on the bus became significant. Like the never-ending decimal representations, peering into that blip of time that has accrued layers of meanings over time I emerge with a thread with an end that only God knows. 

There are still new digits being computed for pi. Pi is not mysterious but is known, yet that depth I do not yet (?) have.

It was so hard to write those lines. Sometimes I would put my face super close to the mirror, and it becomes a stranger to me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rage

I am writing this mostly out of a sense of rage. I feel angry. Very angry. This Monday I first learnt about this revolting phenomenon happening in rural India called the WhatsApp sex videos. This term is even a euphemism for the horrible,terrible, absolutely crazy, heart-twisting thing that is happening. On Monday when I read the BBC article because it was shared by a friend on FB, it was mostly okay.

"Read it and weep" was the accompanying blurb my friend wrote. And I did. Before I read it I prayed, prayed that I will still see His Sovereign hand in this (depraved) world. Was then reminded of Isaiah 65: 17-25.

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more."
Isaiah 65:17-19
Today reading and seeing the vivid details in Al-Jazeera, I was seized with a deep sense of rage. Of which now as I type I realised may not be as righteous as it seems. After sharing the post on FB I was scrolling through the Newsfeed and actually getting more angry at the things being shared. And I got angry that there was only 2 likes to my Monday share while my birthday post on Lim Min's wall got so many likes.

Reflecting on yesterday's Fellowship Teaching on Nehemiah in light of this, and my prayer to God just this morning, I realised that there is a strong drive within me. That can be triggered emotionally quite easily. For good- CASA Clementi, Special Seeds, Project Masterpiece. For worst- a sense of cynicism and doubt toward God, an anger toward people that sometimes scares me, a fear that God is not there and there is nothing to life but this, a bulldozing of people instead of a love for them.

Yes, that's why Jesus is so lovely. He combines that deep conviction and emotions with a deep sense of love for people. He does not tear them down in his zeal. He trusts the God of the process, the sovereign God who controls the powerful kings of history and works in individual men. He is so much, yet deigns to tarry with the disciples that are slow to understand. Thank you Jesus.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mongolia


A realisation again as I was in the prayer meeting: I am constantly in that state of not being sure whether God will save. This posture of seeing that God can not extend salvation to people. Because as I was praying for the new students the fact that it is only God who saves was so evident. What can I say? This is my God. The sovereign God. He is mighty to save, His love endures forever, and He is good. At the same time, there are people whose hearts He hardens. There are times when He is not present, His hand too short to save. There are times when His presence is withdrawn from His people. But God, I know you. I know that you love us- the scarlet thread of love woven throughout the Bible.

Whether he knows or not does not matter. What matters is that I guard my heart and he also guards his. 

Wrote this in Mongolia this June. Two more weeks before the end of my second last semester, so in a reflective mood. And also bcos I left the house in haste this morn and forgot to bring a book so am just left in a quiet classroom with Aaron doing his work.  Looking back I think the fear is mostly gone.  Some of it is still there... But experience and the Word have shown me vividly that God is love. God is love. How great is that. For our good and for Your glory do You work. So thank You my Father. 

The second part, well I think we have been doing it quite well. But I would admit  that sometimes I wonder if I'm being congruent. Mostly yes I guess but perhaps it's because I don't really want to really feel how I feel. Thinking about it is fine. (I wonder what's my MBTI now, have I changed?) I'm pretty contented with the current status :>

Talking about change, people have told me that I have. Become happier. And I would like to think my sense of humor has increased heh. Becoming quite a troll to some people especially yen yen haha. Guess that flows from a deep joy. The exhilaration of seeing His hand and His ministry and people who are for God. Ribuan terima kasih Tuhan.

Hello to you who are reading this in the valley (mostly to myself when I reread this heh) - even in the valley He is faithful...  I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened to see the hope to which you are called and His incomparably great power for us who believe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From Creation to New Creation

"the day of small things" Zech 4:10
As I stalk myself (reading past posts and flipping through my journal) and reflecting on the Word during QT I realised that something that keeps coming up throughout this semester so far is-

Small things in the lives of individuals are weaved together into a beautiful narrative that is also in the Bible, of creation to new creation.

How is God telling me to respond? As I do more fun stuff in the next few weeks- exam blessings, thesis (yeaa I guess its fun) and project work, I haven't really had the time to sit down and reflect/pray/think.

Have to really think about my future professional trajectory now- literally forced to. SunRay Scheme and PhD in Hong Kong (?!). Both of which I initially viewed with trepidation and don't really want to think about. But these are really great opportunities and I should appreciate them as such. So thank God.

If anything, I can trust in His providence, shown so tangibly this week thus far.

But how ah. I really am not sure about myself, what I really want, what I am able to tahan.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Food: A Liminal Space


Liminal space: an in-between space of both becoming and transition.

It struck me as I was thinking about how we conceived the almost-crazy idea of doing a mini social enterprise (what is thesis. what is year 4. what is Exco lol), that food has been central in many things. Looking at photos of food from the past 2 weeks (mostly this week), I begin to see that food has created a liminal space.

With HX: Engaging with social issues as a Christian



A clearer shape for hitherto subliminal thoughts, yet not fully formed (would they?)
The act of food instagraphy as a metaphor for this generation
To think! Alone!
The becoming of a community. Usually begins with food.
A simultaneous reflection of who we are and want to be
 (Do I sound like I am super deep yet HAHA)

(But I am. Deep deep in God's love)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To Noeó Jesus | Afterword

To be completely honest, I didn't feel very much. In the sense of deep empathy and emotions. Perhaps that's why I am not seized by the urge to write down my experiences. Perhaps it is because it is 'nothing new' to me, having been in social work for 3 years now. I could even tell Bernice, 'I can almost predict the trajectory for Z., that he will go back to drugs again.' (Okay I recall a bit of emotion when I said that)

But because I promised Abraham to send him reflections, I shall write stuff down.

Thinking back at my own experiences throughout the two days and that of the few others that I heard from, I have been wondering,"What we have achieved?" We have these stories of people. Mostly their sorrows and challenges, but also their joys. What do we do with these stories? I realise that I have this strong, if not easily articulated conviction that we are all connected, each one of us.

Don't think it is coincidence that I plucked out The Kingdom of God (eds. Morgan & Peterson, 2012) which I bought at the book table as a freshie in VCF FOC:
"Being human means seeing oneself in connection and relationship to others... persons in community bear [God's] image."

"The interconnectedness of human persons is the image of God"
 (Bradley, pp236) 
And as I think about the profoundness of that second quote, it struck me that solidarity and community is both a task and a gift for us. We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves and it is precisely through obedience to this command that we know God more intimately. He is the Triune God- three Persons and yet one God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit existing in perfect love. We see each person as image bearers of God but 'not simply that each person bears the image of God' (Bradley), because God is too great for individualistic conceptions of Him. Rather, striving for solidarity and experiencing community, we catch glimpses of the beautiful Triune nature of God. Not only that, we participate in this Triune nature as we lay down our lives in the service of His people in love and joy, seeking to glorify Him. Is that not fellowship? (Wonder and joy.)

As time layers over my memories, it may be hard to remember the exact details of each individual that I met, and I would probably never cross paths with them again. I'd rather focus on viewing these stories in light of the grand biblical narrative of which I am also a part: 
How does God view these individuals? Do I need to change how I view and feel about them? How is God calling me to respond? 

It was when we were heading back to Macs after having failed to find any homeless individual that I spied N. as he was laying out the cardboard on the floor. One of the first things he told us was "I am homeless". Subsequently, we found out about his coloured life. Membership in a gang, fights, family rejection, living on the fringes of society, staying in the lives of his 2 children without a place to call home or a handphone... I dare not say I empathise because his experiences are so different from ours.One thing he repeated throughout our conversation was "I am an ex-offender." I am an ex-offender without much to offer, so there is little place in society for me. I am an ex-offender, and nothing much can help me. (I am an ex-offender, rather than a father?) I could link all these back to what I learnt in the module Rehabilitation of Offenders- these are the cracks which ex-inmates fall through, the self-labelling, and how desistance does not cover this man's experience of having turned over a new life but still under the label ex-offender. More importantly I think, is the renewed desire to learn more so that I can apply this knowledge in the future. 

It is in this way that I pray those who came will be able to make sense of their experiences, and truly, all praise to God for these revelations.