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Showing posts from 2015

Goodbyes

The goodbyes were in order. 

First WY and Hilda, then church, followed by ICM (oh gosh I really miss those life-ly bunch), then KH and NY (missing them already). 

Was kinda sad-confused when I woke up in the cold just now after coming back from Tap Mun. This feeling called 失落 in Mandarin. Guess I was expecting to meet the peeps from ICM for one last time, then Evelyn or the guys. Was still processing what was said last night too. Dragged my feet to Streams of Praise conference alone while trying not to feel lonely. 

Okay so this is the back story.

Today's message is a very simple one which everyone needs to hear but probably finds it trite. Father loves you. Our Father God loves us. Such a wave of goodness and love washed over me just now, even as I knew that my heart was wavering. His love is so so great, I can't even :')

The conference was in Chinese/Cantonese and somehow these verses in Chinese spoke so deeply to me. 

"神 啊 , 你 的 意 念 向 我 何 等 宝 贵 ! 其 数 何 等 众 多 !我 若 数 点 , …

Merry Merry Christmas

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The transformation was complete when I added the green sash to my Nepalese outfit. I was ready to be open and friendly like my friends were. 

It was an awesome awesome night. Singing Angels We Have Heard on High, dancing freestyle mimicking the other two's graceful movements, laughing with Adarsh. Just basking in the joy of Christmas, singing Gloria in excelsis Deo and meaning every single line. There is just so much to give thanks and praise to God for. Thank You once again for this Christmas which reminds us of how Your great salvation was in the form of a baby. Jesus, Son of God deigns to step down from His heavenly throne to dwell among sinful man. For this reason, my soul shouts: Alleluia! 
I felt so free just dancing like that, enjoying my body, enjoying my movements, enjoying the attention, and the flow between those dancing. Never felt like this before. This must be a bit of what Heaven feels like, no barriers and no strangers. Praise God for the glorious inheritance that we…

Exchange Life: No Bakes

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It is almost a need to bake or make something sweet, at least once a month. But given that I can't get my hands on an oven here, I had to be creative. What I've made over these 3 plus months:


Steamed matcha cake, with a rice cooker!


Coconut kaya on an induction cooker. 2.5 hours stirring the mixture non-stop. But the results were well worth it. For those that are yet to be enlightened on the beauty of kaya, it is a coconut spread found in SEA! We use it as a bread spread.


White chocolate peanut butter bars <3 They were Abby's and my contribution to the Christmas potluck at IBC and they were gone by midway of the potluck. Loving those swirls that glams up the entire look, plus they are so easy to make!


Parfait pie. Made them today and it basically just involved melting, mixing and processing. Easy peasy.
Now for the recipes!
Steamed Matcha Cake (Adapted largely from here)
2 cups AP flour 6 tablespoons matcha powder 4 teaspoons baking powder 4 eggs, lightly beaten 18 table…

Throwback Sunday

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Feeling sonder again. 这次不是伤悲,而是比较positive. (Strange eh, I start blogging in such a rojak way only in a foreign land)

sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

12 more days. Before I end a chapter of my life in Hong Kong, and go back to Singapore. My mind automatically added to "face the shit in Singapore". 

Honestly am feeling quite apprehensive. Dust from old things I thought were buried in the past for good stirred up as I tried to prep myself emotionally for terminat…

Journalling a Hedonistic Day

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"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." Luke 21:34

Having purely pleasurable days like can also be good for the soul. But I put that verse from my quiet time yesterday as a reminder- especially not to let my heart be weighed down with dissipation; those needless thinking.

It was really a fun day out food hunting- Sharetea taro milk because I had intense craves, chocolate chip egg waffles, egg custard 烧饼, 猪扒菠萝包- that alone for lunch. And then Hong Kong style zi char for dinner with traditional dessert after that.



Walked around the Sham Shui Po area which I am not exaggerating when I say it has EVERYTHING. Clothes, shoes, textiles, even industrial-kind drilling machines in assorted colours.


The best part was exploring the bead shops in Yu Chau Street and ribbon shops in Nam Cheong Street. The rows upon rows of beads and ribbons unlock the little artsy chi…

Running in circles

The exhilaration was real, The feelings were real,  I thought to myself, Where will all these go.
I hid the Christ in me, And threw myself into the potent pool,  Yes enjoyed myself for a moment still.
Chasing the wind everyday, Knowing that it was not the way, Running in circles, Refusing to be gathered.
The cost is real, The feelings are real, But the goal is greater still. So Abba I pray, Keep me close.

矛盾

I remember how much I liked this phrase when we first learnt it in Chinese class. Then in university I learnt the more technical term of cognitive dissonance. And 矛盾 grew larger to occupy permanent brain space. It has always been there as a part of me; I might just have been real comfortable in my own world with its safe goodness in community work and Christian friends.

It struck me today: Have I become someone so different? I'm not sure. This uncertainty is telling too.

I wish I could be stronger yet I wish it wouldn't have to be so hard.

对与错黑与白,似乎还存在。不过好像是在无情感的空间。安慰自己,深有感触的心活出更微妙的色彩。

还是矛盾。觉得累但是不可以这么容易累但是我真的好想就让河流带着我走。



Cat

Funny how one of the most defining ways I conceptualise myself was concretised by a question posed while I was waiting groggily for a flight in Beijing airport.

"Kang is like a cat. The sociable kind who seeks company but happy wandering alone too. Grounded by soul-refreshing relationships with God and friends, she is not afraid to do things (most of the time).  Don't fully know what is inside (not fish) but Kang knows that she is Kang as cats know that they can just be cats and not dogs though people compare the two."
Now Cat is restless, seeking company. From a specific person. And it kinda sucks because at a deeper level that takes x 10000 more effort to summon, she knows that it is not him she seeks but something else. That temptation is almost too hard to bear. Almost.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a wa…

I Need

"If we ask God for greater wisdom and discernment, what should we expect to receive? A steady stream of mind-bending, confusing answers that are difficult to understand and work through because our powers of discernment are trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14)."Jon Bloom, The Unexpected Answers of God 

I even need to ask God for strength to dare to continue asking for this wisdom. 

We shall not cease from exploration

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And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time
When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree


From T.S. Eliot's Little Gidding. 
And at the end of this leg of exploration is to give a better answer to 'Who am I ?' 



To Laugh

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How am I different now from the Kang in Singapore? Fresh from the trip of a lifetime in Mongolia and intentionally being still and think this chilly Sunday, I might have an answer.

That is to laugh. 
To let myself laugh, in spite of everything that has happen, is happening and will happen.  Was generally a serious kid and then I got into social work which I love. But guess because of this tender heart, the judging area of my frontal lobe worked harder while my jovial side of the brain was intentionally unstimulated.
A model I'd emulate is the leadership in Island Baptist Church. There are pressing ministry needs, trouble, and perplexity. Yet each Sunday in church I was sure to have a few good laughs- they could find always find something to laugh at.
To laugh at myself. Simple as that.
To laugh unabashedly. Guess I am hesitant to really laugh because it is an open expression which makes me feel vulnerable sometimes. But I observed that this true laugh from within does draw people in b…

experience

It's been a filled week- and now winding down, preparing for Sunday, I am in a contemplative mood. Against the strains of Coldplay I pause and have no words to describe my experience.

Ah wait I have- existential psychology.

My Mitwelt and Eigenwelt- interrelationships and my relationship with myself- seems to be coming together in a more congruent way.

I realised something in myself which affects how I relate to people and vice versa, but the links are not clear yet:

Shame
A memory often revisited and pondered over:
I was wearing a thick jumper (probably ugly), holding my Mum's hand as we walked to kindergarten where I would be brought to Snow City later on. I can hear. A child can hear "Why is she wearing such thick clothes in such a hot weather?"

I don't know why this memory is associated with shame for me. I know that I feel shame for myself and my parents.

Coming to awareness of this and acknowledging this shame has really helped me to be more authentic- and r…

970X, 970, 8X, 23, 37A

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Think my first week here has been defined by buses. Starting with 970X which landed me at the picturesque West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade when kiasu me intended to head to school the day I touched down to register. 

After that it was a string of mini buses, cross-harbour buses, city buses that I hopped on and off without thinking too much until I realised how expensive they were :o 
970 is my favorite bus so far. Brings me to school and back, brings me to Inner City Ministries, comes pretty fast. I had a good time with the ICM staff and the Nepalese children yesterday. Would have been better my nose weren't running and head wasn't so leaden that I was almost impatient with those boisterous kids. So thankful to see 'real-action'. I guess every ministry, from prayer to running Sunday School for Christian kids to engaging a marginalised community is real action. 
Whether its the naughty Doldo at Kids' Club or the shy Ruth at Sunday School, the change is equally mira…

To Get It Out of Mind // To Remember Forever

She must be really hot, I thought. That dismissed her in my mind as I quickly shifted my eyes and body to face the counter. Now, what drink should I get? My tactic worked for she did not approach me and I was left in peace to choose an awesome drink that was reasonably priced yet imbibed a sense of luxury.

A pricked conscience. I pretended to check the laptop left for grabs at the backache-inducing coffee table. There she was, just standing there, extending her hand towards that Malay chap sitting diagonally from me. He shook his head and hurriedly refocused on his book? notes?

Oh, she didn't close her bag! Her wares were up for grabs like my laptop. I should tell her.

She turned. She saw me looking, so I pointed at her bag.

Now our bodies were parallel, and my mind stopped as thoughts and conditioned response skidded and collided inside. I could not turn away anymore.

Her misshapen red shirt was wet in front. Saliva trailing from her half-opened mouth joined with the large semici…

A story I told 5 times already

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Today was in school at the unearthly hour of 7.45am, to start the first shift of Directions booth. Think it was the lack of sleep these past few days; I had a fleeting existential crisis when my Dad announced that it was time to wake up.

So I was just there, thinking I will make the most of this long 'unproductive' time but not really expecting much. Had a pretty good time getting to know fellow VCFers and also! telling Nathene about my idea to get the whole CG to support a child through school + pray intentionally for him/her through Care Channels International.

But the highlight was really engaging this freshie who needed to get somewhere for an interview. She was sweaty from walking (I think) and seemed rather flustered. Just really thankful that we had a good conversation during our 5 minutes walk to her destination, aside from the fact that I helped her in a tangible way. I'm not sure where it will lead (if it is even in my place to see where this will lead), but was…

Pre trip

"Whoa no pre trip??"

A response that I got when I told my fellow HKU exchange kids that I will be arriving, now that I checked the semester dates properly, on the very day school officially starts (praying I don't have Monday classes).

Though I don't really like the term 'pre trip'. Makes me think of the psychedelic experience you get with LSD trips- where a distorted reality is better than the here-and-now. Just because I am in a foreign land doesn't mean that I can care less about justice, suffering, the gospel- which is the reality.

But to be honest, I think I grappled a bit with FOMO-
I must go to Mongolia I resolved, roughing it out myself no less because it will really be pretty cool. Impulsive, naive me was annoyed at the concerns of my parents and friends when I told them about Mongolia. I see pictures on Instagram of beautiful portraits in beautiful places, and compare these places to Hong Kong.

My pre trip thus far consists of meeting friends so…

Table for One

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It started with this: Table for one please. 

Picture taken while waiting for a smaller table- I nearly walked out when I saw how bustling it was and there was no cosy loner corner for me. But by now I am wiser- it really doesn't matter how many social norms I break if I am doing what is right and good for me.

So I sat alone, taking in all the beautiful things in this beautiful social enterprise cafe. Crossings Cafe employs at-risk youth and students with special needs from Assumption Pathway School. 

Lunch Special: Coriander Fish Fillet with Spicy Tomato Sauce// with salad and mashed potato 

Was 90% full nearing the last 2 bites of my fish but decided to order dessert anyway heh. 
Panna Cotta of the Day: Teh tarik panna cotta

You can see how I feel about it.
Part 2: Tolma the Explorer
Supreme Court library which is what I imagine the Hogwarts library will feel like- a lot of ancient incomprehensible books.



At some point I was literally tired of taking photos because that meant ra…

One tab closed

(After I blog this I shall disconnect, and try to process things with God.)

Perhaps I am burnt out, I tell myself. But it's okay not to think about it now. I do want to be fruitful for God and perhaps being burnt out is a natural consequence- there is so much to do.

I am glad these questions about toil, salvation, pain, brokenness, human relationships came as they do now. They put things in perspective when I see the world as it truly is- neither with rose-tinted glasses nor despair- because Jesus, the light of the world has come.

In any case, I feel like there are so many tabs opened in my mind these few weeks. So I am glad that one tab has been closed. Thanks bro. For the grace shown, for speaking words not in haste (unlike the impatient me), for sharing.

Yes, one tab closed. I wouldn't have it another way. But God, bring me through whatever lies ahead.

Really Cannot Tank

What I keep thinking this past week. Yet God keeps pushing me to it.

Feel feel feel. I don't want to do anything anymore.

<later>

I still do feel like crap. Another question throughout this day is: How can I be authentic without affecting people with my feelings? Like, if people ask me if I'm okay, what do I say?

'I feel like shit and I don't want to talk?' --- No answers/still processing.

I need Jesus. He knows what I am going through and He has been broken for others too.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33b

There is grace to help in time of need, just like in The Deathly Hallows when Harry decides to lay down his life to save his Hogwarts comrades (Hebrews 4:16).

So like how the ghosts of Harry's loved ones gave him comfort at this time of need, I was buoyed by different forms of encouragement throughout today.

(Wong, 2015)

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"Not to be so preoccupied with Why and What God is doing in my life? but rather to just trust in Him to lead us in the right path, walking moment by moment in God's grace and in the fear of the Lord.  This calls for walking by faith, and not by sight. This calls for a very moment-by-moment living, with God and for God. This I believe will eventually unfold, as we look back, into a beautiful picture of God's handiwork in our lives." (Wong, 2015) Typed this on my phone this Wednesday; inspired by a friend's wedding video where they traced their grace-filled lives-


So many decisions I made without a clear sign from God. Yet His grace, love and sovereign power worked so beautifully so that I stand today- a child of God.  

 The very pivotal decision to ultimately chose Social Work. It was kind of a no-brainer then, and now. But I have asked myself (and still do sometimes), can I love this much, can I see the deepest hurts and still say that God is good, can I hope aga…

Hibernate

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That was what I really wanted to do, many times this past few months of 2015. The last weekend of May I literally slept it away (Yes, that was the week I wrote my previous post which was brimming with passionate adrenaline).

Fast forward to this weekend.

Saturday

Woke up at 7am to travel to Aljunied for Playmax 4 briefing. Got horribly lost even with Google Maps when walking through many Lorong Geylang Roads.


But I was feeling inquisitive and didn't mind it one bit (except for the fact that I was running quite late). Walking through the roads with the temples, migrant worker hostels and jumbled mix of buildings, I felt like I was on an adventure.

Hightailed back home to make onde onde, buoyed by the wonderful opportunity to fulfill Jesus' commission in such an exciting way.


Life lessons from making onde onde:

1. The recipe looked so easy I cannot resist making it because onde onde is like the trademark of a domestic goddess; alas the too-easily-thrown-together skin was meh- Shor…

With my bear Bestie

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I am going to present in the AGM in  an hour's time and just did a quick run through but I still feel like I need to process my thoughts first.

Spent a long time on the poolside chair at Y Rooftop today- thinking, praying, sensing within myself.

I think it is also the many things that happened all at once that pushed me to just stop and think. I need space. It can be self-centred at first, this need, but in the end something comes through from God.

So today found out that:
- Agnes' cousin who had slipped into coma and the family needed to make a decision on whether to take her off life support.

- Belvia's friend whose mum had died after a brain tumour operation

- My intentions to serve, to journey with the committee I am working with has been misunderstood (I had vibes about it but I have been putting off confronting these feelings)

- The Pres is quite a nice person whom I can open up to (but I didn't really until the latter half of the lunch)

- I still have that feel…

Sebuah lagu yang menunjukkan bagaimana aku rasa

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Aku tahu aku blog banyak kali baru-baru ini. Tetapi aku (1) perlu praktis bahasa Melayu (2) berasa sangat tertekan- terlalu banyak perkara di atas minda aku (3) lagu ini berkata apa yang aku rasa tentang dia- jadi aku hendak menulis. Harap ini akan membuat aku berasa lebih baik.

Tuhan, aku tahu berliau tahu segala sesuatu, dan semua perkara akan membaikan aku.

Untuk dia: Biar aku mencintaimu biar tiada siapa yang tahu. Biar aku mencintaimu dalam diam ataupun bisu. Sehingga tidak menyakitkan apabila bercakap tentang kamu.


1 Corinthians 8:1b

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The theme of these past 4 days in Shang Hai. No coincidences with God; 1 Corinthians 8 was my QT reading as I held on to my luggage on the near-empty morning train.

"Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up."



Some thoughts before I knock out: 1. Was struggling with whether I should make this blog private or at least remove its link from my FB (which I had put in vain intentions in the first place). 
2. But the purpose of this blog now is really to edify people- that my walk with God can encourage and spur other Christians on towards love and good deeds, and be a testimony to those who have yet to know Christ.
3. But but but, other than my dear friends Clemmy, Jas and Bennie if you know me personally and are reading this now please please don't discuss any of the blog's content with me. Thanks. (This is meant to be an absolute, non-negotiable request: please give my autonomous face)
4. Other than that, I am fine with being out in the open. Not boasting but really, I am s…

Haha it's okay lah

/idiom/
A common Singapore phrase

Used superficially to hide hurts and deflect further questionsUsed self-righteously to say that though one is hurt/wronged, one is benevolent while wishing hard that the other party is seen as an asshole Used impatiently to prevent others from doing the work one knows he/she can do in a fraction of the time, not thinking about building others upUsed as one ought to, to say simply: God is in control, and therefore all is well

study break

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People showing competence in self-regulation have, among other things adaptability. I think I'm quite good at reading emotional currents but not influence.

The kind of very applicable stuff that I've been studying for 3 days straight. It's so utterly common sense that one gets dreary from studying. 
So I decided that I shall post trivial things like the recipes I have adapted- learnt that to relieve stress, do something different to treat yourself. 
(N.B. By no means am I downplaying the importance of studying all these; negotiation and conflict resolution sounds like stuff we pick up but are actually skills that need to be honed. Really love how social work modules spur self reflection and that what is taught is so congruent to how I think the world should work.)
Vegan Banana Chocolate cupcakes (Adapted from Joy of Baking and Eggless Cooking)
Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup v…

what gives me the feels

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I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.

Eduardo Galeano




When life gives you bread, make bread pudding.

(Afterthought: Or rather, when God gives you bread, ask Him what to do with it. And my family was blessed through this-- parents went to Botanic Gardens to feed the koi fish with the leftover bread crusts & we had a lot of fun making stuffs from the bread.)

Sunday: Copied this quote into my journal-
A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:

1. they are facing only one direction,
2. they can never turn back, and
3. they no longer have plans of their own.

They longer any plans of their own.

Monday: Already felt like I got backstabbed by God yet the bread distribution was far from smooth (chaos?). Felt more upset as I thought about what was happen…