Friday, December 23, 2011

Pretty bag

Potential inspiration for e wedding invite:) pretty...


Back to thinking.... Maybe I m better at groupwork!!!

—-- Artikel wurde auf meinem iPhone erstellt

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

y solomon asked for wisdom

.... Now O lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?...

Solomon knew his place "little child" as well as the situation that he is in. He understands the context of the situation (great Israelites, too numerous to count or number) but does not shun from it. Asking for wisdom is a response to his context, as a means to do what is for him to do well.

I think that asking for wisdom is especially special as well since Solomon was just made king. Instead of believing in the power, riches, strength that comes with the role, Solomon fully accepts his need of God's strength in this.

To never take for granted that God's strength and glory is what I need. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a wedding site.

We have been looking around for a place to marry. Friends as well as my mother have provided different suggestions on different beach locations. From the north of Singapore, one sees malaysia, from the west, many different cranes, south, cranes/Sentosa and east, parking lot of ships. I am grateful for the company, but feeling little let down by what I see..

How important is the site where the wedding is held? There are some places around the world that touch my heart, below is one of them, found during the trip in NZ. Still praying and hoping for the "perfect place".


At the end of the day, it is God's blessings that is the most important. I shall not forget that... Thankful for pastor who will marry me :) 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

it's getting real

I bought a dress. It was a very good deal in Singapore considering the very commercialized wedding business. I also had the blessings of impt people to buy it. As my brother received news about the dress, I sent a picture of the dress to him and we both had a "moment". He had goosebumps, and I wanted to cry. This getting married business is worst than hormones.... Finding myself with a myriad of emotions all the time.Need to get self more put-together.

I guess a dress makes this less of a figment of my imagination. It makes it real. I am feeling bit scared for today. The what-ifs r messing my mind. Why my frog and not any other man? (esp when he is so occupied with so many other things with life) How do I stay faithful to him in this day and age and what does this mean ( no more interaction with other people? What does it mean to be married?!)

Both Zechariah and Mary asked the angel questions regarding what he said to them, Zechariah was punished for his unbelief but Mary was not. Below are the 2 questions asked by Zechariah and Mary...

Zechariah's qn: "How can I be sure of this, I am old man an my wife is well along in years. "
Mary's qn: "How will this be, since I am a virgin"

Some of my initial thoughts...

1) Zechariah was looking for reassurance in his question, he based his thinking on human logic. What the angel is saying is humanly possible, but not likely.

2) Mary was looking for logic in what the angel told her. While greatly troubled, she believed and tried to make sense with what the angel said...Perhaps there was doubt, nevertheless, she had enough faith to try to understand this proposition which is illogical with her human mind.

Does God speak to us the way he spoke to Zechariah or Mary some many years ago? I tell mr frog that if I did not believe that God called us together, there is no way I can do this.But somedays, I wonder if I am being illogical and self-willing things to happen....

I think I need to pray and trust God more in this process. And yes, the sale of a dress has invoked so many different emotions and thoughts in me... :) 

Monday, December 05, 2011

thinking of being married..

I went to the church I grew up in. In many ways, I consider this "home" but for all sorts of reasons, thought that it was better to move on. I guess that I have entered a new phase in thinking and would consider going "home" if I were in Singapore longer. However, I do not regret exploring as it definitely strengthened my faith in different ways.

Home. It's been a fuzzy feeling to be home. I think because I come home thinking that I am closing one chapter officially and starting another, everything feels very poignant. Be it feeling that this is not going to happen next time, or questioning myself about the decisions I have made in life, I find myself looking at life now through rose tinted glasses...

I thank God that he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He is around despite the changes in life. I am also reminded that I can only be me and that "pandering" or wishing that I am a different me does not make things any different because God made me me. ie I should just walk the road ahead of me without questioning my "weirdness"

While increasing my knowledge and options on what to do with the wedding, I have not really made real progress with tangible preparations. I find myself reminding myself that at the end of the day, God's blessings as well as family's blessing are of utmost important... the rest are details that are nice to have, but not paramount.

:) So happy to be back and to be skipping winter! 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My little friend

While a source of worry at the start, she has been one of the best things about life in Germany. A child's love is innocent, easier to understand devoid o weird social norms....




This is us preening, which is apparently more impt to her father than to her or me:)

Her pictorial illustration. Note my multi-tasking abilities according to her...


—-- Artikel wurde auf meinem iPhone erstell

wedding thoughts

Some progress as my darling frog had some time to think through what it means to be wedded to me! I am happy for the last weekend where we managed to think through some further details...

- Translation of the introduction of the website to German. He thinks that in time, more of the website will be translated in German... This is a good place to look for some engagement photos that might most definitely replace pre bridal photos... If you are interested:
http://www.projectwedding.com/ourwedding/dirkpeirong/welcome

- Figuring out our wedding verse. I had some ideas and for the longest time, I really liked Matthew 6:26 and thought about a "bird theme" for the wedding.This however was not enthusiastically shared and so the hunt for a verse continued. I thought about Joshua " Choose now who you will serve, as for me and my household we will serve the Lord", but felt that it might come across as a little too ahead of our time, or too "holy"instead of the focus on "partnership". I guessed the frog also wanted something about the attitude that we should have as a couple. I liked 1 Corinthians 13:13, having gone through a myriad of emotions in the past weeks but we agreed it was a tad too common. We finally agreed on the wedding verses in Romans. While it is about love, perhaps less use, but has been something that I liked Also, this verse reminds me of my father, who always says that Love is about dying to self.

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- Honeymoon! (Part 1 at least)... We booked a tentative villa in Bali and but should be able to cancel it if a better deal comes along. :)

- Figured out Pre-marital thoughts.. well sort of at least. We initially wanted to find my old pastor in the UK but unfortunately our schedules do not match. He mentioned that the best he could do was to email us some homework and perhaps we could discuss over skype/facebook and it likes! Yes it is definitely not ideal and yes, it would be great to have someone to process these thoughts with us, but considering that I am coming home in 11 days time, we will have to somehow make it work... 

I think that wedding preparation is perhaps the first time that we are forced to have "joint decisions". Unlike many other decisions, it has been 1 making the decision/ or has a bigger stake in the decision and the other playing a more supporting role. However, during the wedding preparations, there has been the need to "talk it through" and to figure out what is important and to come to a compromise.. Not so easy but it has been interesting...:) 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Autumn/Jewish memorial thoughts



Autumn feels sad though beautiful. It is a good reminder that nothing last forevers. This was taken on my walk around Berlin. Jewish memorial. It is quite magical with the sunlight reflecting of the blocks. It feels like a new beginning, a sense of hope and beauty, despite the atrocities that has happened. 


The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8 (The verse that is in my mind as I watch leaves fall)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sometimes, ppl r nicer than you think they are...

I am allergic to people whom I think will gossip, or share my life without my wanting. Haha, yes, its part of human nature, but I think that they are some people who are more disposed to it than others.

My frog told a lady who has such a disposition about our wedding and I got really worried. I guess I didn't want to be judged, or to have to justify my decision.. but with him telling her, I really needed to confront the situation and tell some people else they might be offended.... Today, I took the "plunge" and told her. She was really sweet and supportive. She is probably one of the few who knows about his life at the point that I met him and so, understands the situation. 

Yes, people talk, sometimes against my wishes, but they can still be nice.. and I will need to learn to accept them (ie invite them for the wedding! haha) 

My life in the next months can only be exciting. :)

Qn to frog: Why do we want to marry instead of just remain girl friend/boy friend. What changes?
frog: This changes our perspective in the way that we approach life... we can make more long term decisions, planning etc.

Brain in overdrive with the repeat of questions. I pray for stillness and faith....  

Friday, October 21, 2011

need to stay calm and still...

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

role of a wedding

decisions decisions decisions.

So easy to be self absorbed and think I WANT THINGS MY WAY! stomp stomp stomp :)

at the end of the day, wat is most impt to me would be

- happy parents
- God to bless the day
- a cosy time with people i love

Need to remember this is not about the place, the costs involved and/or other external factors....

ok, bye bye plan of Batam. me thinks. 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

what does it mean to be a woman...

A Rant.

I don't know what it means to be a woman.

I know what it means to be a child of God: love him and follow his commandments

A daughter: honor my parents

But a woman in today's day and age. No clue. I have glimpses here and there but no real clue. Sometimes I scare myself but to be honest, I find it easier to find male role models instead of women. I have a few men in my life i consider God sent, fatherly figures who have taught me the value of being me, of God's will being manifested when I do not give in to fear but rather be bold and courageous.  I find men who go against all odds to please God inspiring and endeavor to be like that.

But women. Its hard. Are we defined by the relationships we have? The decorating, cooking, household chores, the million acts of kindness that go unnoticed? I think that I would fail the exam of "traditional woman", and I think I would be kicked out of the school of proverbs 31 women.

Haha. yes, you know where this is leading to. I told my auntie who was brave enough to bring this up that  it is impossible to be this woman. To even think to be like her means to think of self as a failure. Why have a standard that nobody can live to, she sounds like a mini God. the ability to do everything but not asking anything in return...

Today I was really angry because I spent the past days trying to arrange my schedule to meet frog's, and he conveniently forgot that he agreed on this schedule. It is not a big thing but it felt quite unreciprocated. Unequal efforts on the same matter. For me, I knew that a "i am sorry, I forgot" from him, would help make me feel better but of course, this did not happen. I thought about the million bad things that this could mean, from 1) maybe he is egoistic, 2) maybe he doesn't love me, 3) maybe i am an evil person.. and more toilet worthy thoughts, ie nthg edifying... I was angry that I had to be the one to give in...

What does it mean to love even when u do not feel loved at the moment? It is perhaps more difficult when I am a highly affective creature, ie I FEEL ALOT. Maybe this is not a question of the role of the woman. But since I am one and I am trying to deal with the future man, it is convenient to think of it together. How do you feel "secured" in this very fallible human love, How do you love without "wanting something" and fighting tooth and nail for it? Especially when there is so much pressure that "since he is the one u chose, pls choose wisely,... which translates to if it doesn't work out, there is only you to be blamed" How do you know that he really loves you. How sure are you that you want to marry him?

Between the frustration, tears and despair, what was encouraging was for all the God-like things that this proverbs 31 woman did, her husband praised her because she feared the Lord. Fearing the Lord was seen as the sum of all that she did. The culmination of the good work she did be it the land that she bought, the purple linen that she made, the waking up at ridiculous hours. She feared God in her conduct in this relationship.

To fear the Lord. to fear God in a relationship that is supposed to be one of the closest in this human world. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking how difficult this would be,..isn't he supposed to be my knight in shining armour, make me laugh when I cry,...(says goodbye to Hollywood). but also hope, that perhaps it is not the different "women activities" that I will be ultimately judged on, but rather if I feared God. (its a separate post to consider what it means to fear God)

Maybe in my next post, I will talk about some influential women in my life. And what I have learnt from them..

May God grant mercy to my soul. peace. peace. peace. peace. peace. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

a prelude to a happy beginning...


2 days ago, a dear friend from Singapore came up to Germany for work. He was coming my way and knowing his photo taking hobby, we asked nicely if he could take some fotos... Besides the fact that the frog darling doesn't look into the camera, I am happy with the pictures.. These are some that we have "rejected"... 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

the culture piece

I can't imagine how organizations do it. Work in different places in the world and make sense. I am trying to make sense of 2 different countries culture and am finding it a big challenge.Deep Breaths.

I called home a few days ago after talking to my aunties to find out what my parents wanted in terms of wedding preparations. I found out wedding symbols unknown to me. Most of what i know about these rituals come from watching channel 8 serials... (i remember some show where bride kowtows to some chicken in replacement of groom) or watching what happened in past weddings... My family has never been super traditional but at some points, I know that my mother believes that the traditions are very important... and so, I need to respect that... So, apparently, the groom's family is supposed to pay for x. no. of tables to the bride's family for the wedding dinner. On top of that, the groom is supposed to give a significant sum of money to the bride's family as a token of * i have no clue* but the bride's family shouldn't take the whole amount but only some to show that they are not selling their daughter...

In the German tradition, the bride's father pays for the wedding since apparently, the bride is too priceless and cannot be bought. Rewind a few generations before, the bride's father would pay for the wedding and perhaps give the bride a dowry which contains jewellery and some household stuff since the groom will be receiving a portion of the father's land and will begin a new family there.

I have been feeling stressed as 1) I have just realised these norms, 2) I am surrounded by people who do not have the same norms, and instead have very different ideas about money, the relationship of the family to the couple etc. Sigh. I need grace and peace to not freak out too often, feel weird or be sad.

Bloop.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the turning of a chapter...

I don't think I have fought so intensely with anyone before... that anyone has forced me to grow up more, challenged my view of what love should contain, and at what cost should one love... that I have been so challenged before on whether he is the one, and if this would have been a wise decision...

But I have felt the silent whisper of encouragement and peace, the unwavering support of parents who sometimes think I am nuts but have more faith in me than I have in myself. Friends who sometimes say/think I am mad, but still love me... I have grown up enormously and have felt God's peace in my heart.

Yes, I said ok (not really yes but ok)... to a question asked in privacy (since he was forbidden to ask in the restaurant else I might not be able to swallow my food), with a ring, kneeling and an impromptu speech. An elaborate engagement is apparently not the culture of the Germans but he has tried to please me... I remember a conversation few months ago where I told him it was ok to not get me a ring with a ridiculously priced stone, but I was perhaps not convincing enough since I sort of teared in the middle of saying it.He felt that I would not be able to go home if I had no stone in tow, so decided that we would not be having this conversation again.   With a planned "surprise date" from the man that doesn't really do surprises, I had the day to think about the concept of marriage, what makes another a fine person to marry and why had I not done it earlier.

It was funny that the day started with a random skype chat asking me if I was married. This from a man who heard a rumor many years ago that "congratulations was in order" and congratulated me on skype. Unfortunately, it was the time of a breakup instead of congratulations when he skyped me then. This time round, he has moved to Nairobi, a son all married and thought he would check in on me... When he found out that I was more serious about the subject once again, he gave his 2 cents worth that marriage is good for all sorts of reasons but he named companionship as one of the key ones... (Ecclesiastes, cord of 3 doesn't break easily)

It continued with me sharing with some people in my life of the suspicions around this "surprise date". Perhaps to help me breathe and to remind myself that they might/will still love me if i make this transition, perhaps to get some moral support on this very strange day... Another esteemed wise person in my life talked to me about marrying a person with the same values, to get you through life, in its ups and downs.. We talked a little bout cross cultural relationships and how that might add a new challenge (his wife is chinese, he is indian)...

Besides going through this very wild ride with this man-frog, where life is never dull ( he is in Africa at the moment), I was also wondering why him and not anybody else (say the darling I had many moons ago). I felt a sense of guilt about my wanting to say yes to this man-frog, when I had said no earlier to a very fine man who bought me a little blue box... I am thankful for the idea of a different season of life as proposed by another dear friend. Yes. I do think I am in a different season of life, and perhaps in this season, I am ready to move on, instead of mourning my loss of youth as I was then.  For the record, I am happy that my darling many moons ago has moved on and is doing well (though no idea if I shd invite him for my wedding, any ideas anyone? :) )

I am still trying to get used to the ring. It is feeling less surreal but still weird. My frog will soon cease to be a frog, but would become a husband (shudder). He is no longer my open secret, but instead a large part of my identity will depend on it. He has graciously agreed that I could keep my name (apparently taking the husband's name is a big deal for Germans) but I told him being an official "peirong gerlach lin" sounds tooo weird. Nobody will take me seriously.. (Or perhaps Gerlach lin peirong?!)

throughout the chain of events, something else has also been very evident to me. Life does not stand still for just one event, however big and important it is. As much as an engagement is happening, there are still battles that need to be fought, work that needs to be done, and people in life that need to be loved... I wonder if this is what it means to be "adult", the simultaneous things happening in life instead of just "concentrate on your exams". Just before our surprise date, he had this phone call that was disturbing for him. Just after the surprise date, I had an exam of sorts that I needed to prepare for. While we can appreciate the moment, there were (and there will alway be) all these different/unrelated things that needed to be done. I think that it is really a challenge to appreciate every moment instead of being distracted by everything out there. I wonder what God would say about this.

I have been asking my darling if he thinks that God is happy with the concept of us. I hope God is. I feel humbled at the chain of events that has lead me here. I can never orchestrate any of this by myself. I am happy to see His hand through the different events. I am praying that God will teach me to continue to trust him with this new chapter of life... which for the next months mean research, wedding preparations and move to Brussels, and learn French... GREAT *roll eyes*

Ok, with this blogpost, I have officially "processed" the piece of news,.. and wow. I'm engaged!!! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am blessed.

In awe of God's goodness and faithfulness. He has been faithful in the last year. 
Thinking about the future. Reminding myself that God who was faithful, will continue to be faithful.


I am so happy that he is real in my life. :) 


    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34

Sunday, September 11, 2011

cry baby

I think I cry a lot more when I am stressed. Please pray for focus as I need to submit my paper to my professor very soon. and start with my German studying. :(

breathe in and out... 

Friday, September 09, 2011

the Lord is my strength and my song

The Lord is my strength and my song,
my every present help in time of need.

The Lord allows angels from faraway,
through watsapp, email and facebook.

The Lord collects my tears in a jar, no drop is wasted.
Even if the jar is overflowing- he simply gets another.

The Lord is good and understanding,
I am not too much, too complicated, too inadequate for him.

The Lord loves and His love endures forever,
even when human love can be conditional, and sectioned.

The Lord has a plan, even when I don't understand
He sees the point, even when I cannot.

The Lord is my strength and my song,
without him I am nothing.

( A psalm from Peirong, remembering that the Lord is good) 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Inspirations...

When I am in a crappy mood, I sometimes look for a video clip and listen to Obama talk... He is very inspiring and makes me feel better, as a bastion of some sense, good in this world. I don't think he is perfect but he inspires me...

Today I looked at the SDP website and saw Vincent's speech. It almost had the same effect on me. :) To work towards some good and to do it despite challenges.

I wonder who might be president of Singapore, while largely a ceremonial figure, any other person elected besides Tony Tan will be "shame shame" for the existing establishment and will definitely begin a new chapter.

Democracy... a double edged sword. Arab Spring, US political impasse, Euro debt crisis, Internet censorship in China... What good is power if it can't be organized effectively. Is it then acceptable to decide for another? Or to block information because it might lead to weird(liberal) thinking? 

I have no clue but continue to be fascinated.  Interesting world we live in... 

********
My friends,


It is the SDP family which gathers once again to celebrate, among friends, our nation’s forty-sixth birthday. And so I want to speak to you as family.

The General Elections just passed were for many of us a defining moment. Our party’s vote share, despite a very negative campaign by the other side, increased by 14% and we were able to showcase the Singapore Democrats as a serious party of thinkers and doers.

And in fact, some of our policies, even without being in Parliament, are being adopted.

There is a ministerial pay review occurring. Mr Vikram Nair and BG Tan Chuan Jin are holding Town Hall meetings; the PMO has been slimmed down substantially; and certain members of the PAP front bench have been sacked. Sorry, they stepped down. I stand corrected.


But it was a defining moment for another reason. I experienced, and I am sure you did too, a feeling of mission, a true sense of determination, hard work, cooperation, and a willingness to do whatever the party called us to. A true sense of gotong royong, the community mentality of everyone coming together for a common cause.


And I can never be too lavish in my thanks because those of us who worked in the background of the campaign did so without any desire for thanks except that the cause of democracy should be served.

This is the kind of Singapore that we, not the PAP alone, but we, the people of Singapore, built in these last forty-six years.


Each time I watch our National Day parade and the focus given to the men in white, I say, they have had their reward.

Each time they tell us they will only serve the community if we give them millions of dollars, I say, they have had their reward.


Each time I pass their lavish houses with the police pondok in front, I say, they have had their reward. 


Each time I see their grandiose motorcades with the traffic police blocking the traffic, I say, they have had their reward.

 
But each time I see a beggar on the street, an old lady selling tissue paper, an old man collecting cardboard, I say, their reward has not been earned.

During our Community Service home visits these last 3 months, we have met families who struggle to pay for healthcare, who don’t know whether their rental home will be secure from one year to the next, their children failing in school because they cannot afford a table to study at, I have felt, their reward has not been earned.

We will only come to truly celebrate our nation’s birthday when none of our brothers and sisters has been left behind, forgotten, ignored because they are no longer productive economic digits.

 
Today, this evening, we come together as a family of men and women – and children – who believe that no one should be left behind. And I think it is fitting at this dinner to record my thanks to the many, many volunteers who stepped up since the elections to carry out our work among the people of Singapore.

It is a spirit of service, a spirit of sacrifice, an imagination of the future we want to share with all our countrymen and women, that has motivated them, motivated you, and today, on behalf of the party, I say a grateful thank you to each and every one of you. And a thank you to all of you who continue to support our vision through your presence here.

Our party, our family, are a people who do.  
But we are also a family of people who think. Last year, and in the run up to the election, we occupied the intellectual ground when we published our Alternative Economic Strategy and our Shadow Budget, not to mention our election manifesto.

In a short time we will be releasing our submission on ministerial salaries; and our Alternative Healthcare Plan is now being written, under the able supervision of our Policy Committee.

 
But we have not come here merely to celebrate. We have not come here merely in the hope of seeing Dr Chee dance the ronggeng like last time. We have come here because our party celebrates our community, celebrates humanity.

We have come here to reaffirm our commitment to the civil liberties of every Singaporean, whose birthright was written into a cheque that the bank of our nation did not cash for so many.

We have come here because we know our work is right, and you have joined us to stand on the side of the Singaporean people, to reaffirm our dedication to the human rights of each and every man, woman and child, because you believe, as our whole family of democrats do, that without an assurance of dignity, of equal access to the full range of liberties and rights, our nation cannot come into her own, cannot grow up, cannot face the future that is to come.
 
A future, I might add, that has entered a new period of instability. Instability of the dollar, of new global political motivations, of changed economic priorities, of shifting power bases.

As history has laid down very clearly, without an acknowledgement of the importance of every individual, we run the risk of trying to build the future on a bed of shifting sands, a future without intrinsic values, a future where only might is right.

I would like to invite you, on our National Day, to reaffirm your dedication to the cause of democracy, to the cause of the people.

The road ahead is still long and it will not be without challenge. I ask you to keep the flame burning, a flame the people of Singapore have helped us to light, to continue your volunteer work with the party, your moral support, your financial contributions.

It is you that keep our party alive, and through you, the hopes and dreams of the people of Singapore.
 
I would like to say one final word; I hope you won’t mind.

A few weeks ago Dr Chee celebrated his 49th birthday. And in the hustle and bustle of our day-to- day work, it is easy to forget to say these things so I take the opportunity here:

That we have achieved what we have, that the Singapore Democrats have arrived as a serious political force, that our organising capacity has grown by leaps and bounds, is tribute to your able and dedicated leadership.

The watershed of 7 May was in substantial measure a result of your input into the political terrain of our community, a result of your having expanded the discourse and pushed back the out of bound markers. We do not recollect your work lightly and we thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, my friends, on that note, it is for me a great honour to welcome you to our inaugural Singapore Day Dinner. Eat, drink and enjoy, because tomorrow, we set our sights back on the road to 2016. Thank you again for your presence with us this evening.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Life as a pilgrim

 Lately I have been thinking about "stability", "change" and "uncertainty". What does it mean to be in a fellowship of believers when I know that I will not be in the fellowship for long? What kind of relationships should I build that while fleeting, is deep and strong and bounded with the love of the Lord? 
Below are some thoughts from Paulo Coehlo. To live life as a pilgrim. Challenging, difficult but also inspiring. I pray for further wisdom and strength! :) 

*****************

I’m a pilgrim writer and that inevitably appears in the way my characters deals with space. I’m in constant movement and very often I find that my characters need to equally find themselves in a journey. I believe that we are constantly experiencing transformation and that’s why we need to let life guide us.
Every day is different, every day can have a magic moment, but we don’t see the opportunity, because we think: ‘Oh this is boring I’m just commuting to work.’
How many interesting people you are missing, just because our parents told us “don’t talk to strangers”?
You must get as much as you can from any journey, because – in the end – the journey is all you have. It doesn’t matter what you accumulate in terms of material wealth, because you are going to die anyway, so why not live?
You have to look at life itself is a pilgrimage. Therefore, start moving, start talking to strangers!

Monday, August 01, 2011

change and energy

something is taking up my energy. I am exhausted. fatigue. cant get out of bed. hmm.

In july I successfully started my running "hobby" for my mental health

In August I am starting my German class (in a few hours time).

living the day to day and trying to be mindful of the God who is maker of all things big and small.

Faithfulness, energy and a warm scarf i need for today... summer in Germany = 13 degrees... not cool for tropical girl.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chris Tomlin-Enough w/lyrics


Dear Lord, I can't breathe. pls be super present in my life. help me through this... :(

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moral Circles.

I think that watching CNN, living in Europe, coming from Singapore, being chinese but not a Chinese from China, studying about culture.. makes me question my right or wrong sometimes. Perhaps coming from a catholic kindergarten and primary school, to a methodist secondary school, to a give me an A or die Junior College; from attending a 7 day adventist church to the salvation army to working with World Vision has something to do with the thoughts in my brain...

Is abortion bad? My christian faith says a child is a gift from God, not for one to kill at one's own will. Having said that, can I project my faith on another who might for their own situation, while they understand a child being innocent, might find the reality something they do not want... say if they were impregnated by their rapist, or if they were single mothers where a baby might mean social expulsion, or if there is something wrong with the baby...

Is gay marriage bad? Brad Pitt says he won't get married unless all is afforded the chance to marry. I can understand that line of argument, that all shd be given the right to marry if they love each other... My mainstream christian understanding however thinks of gays as weird, wrong and perhaps endorsing their love with something as sacred as marriage might comes across as sacrilegious....

Universal rights of Children. There is a UN Resolution that talks about universal rights. Right to education, food etc. This resolution is applicable for all children around the globe and has been used as a basis for have children to go to school, to be having fun etc. Is there something as basic as Universal Rights?

So, I dont know. Right for me might not be right for you. Pluralism. I decide is the core of my paper. How does a Christian deal with differences? Today, I introduce the concept of Moral Circle. I quote largely from the book "Cultures and Organizations" - Geert Hofstede.  I think it makes a lot of sense...

The Moral circle is the key determinant of our social lives, and it both creates and carries our culture. People draw a mental line around those they consider to be their group. Only members that are in have full rights and full obligations. The boundary of this circle is made from Religion and Philosophy. Religion and whatever the specific beliefs of a particular one, plays an important role in creating and delineating moral circles

The leader work towards redefining the boundaries of the moral circle that they lead. The book talks about Bush, the talk about the axis of evil etc against leaders like Obama who tries to make everybody friends... 

It is also argued that much of people’s social activity is spent explicitly maintaining symbolic group ties which reinforces  the  Moral circle. 

So the qn will be. How do we treat people who r in diff circles? How do we define rules/regulations for all? A dear friend whom I looked up to for his love for God one day stopped loving God or going to church altogether. He told me he can't go to church or believe in this God, he could not see how God could be relevant to the lives of people in villages. How he could not look at someone doing their daily life and condemn this life as "he is going to hell".... I had no words for him. I know how some evangelists will say, this is what compels us to action. But I am not the person who is comfy with the 4 spiritual laws or to go around converting people. I almost feel like who do I think I am, that I know better than them on what works for them. I come from affluent Singapore where our worries are not the same.  What are we converting them too? Telling them to love a Jesus where there are temples and mosques around, or that they might end up being killed or ridiculed for no end.What does this mean and why shd they.. How do we show them that a big God loves...

Anyway. thought no. 1: The Moral Circle.

A walk in e park

Church is in the evening today, I kicked myself out to enjoy the sun behind the rain that is supposed to come for most of next week. I am so happy I did it... Note to self. The waking up, kicking self out of bed, cajoling self is the hardest part. Once you are at it... It is easier..




trusty flip flops and book to read. Glad for it...




 Love love the sky. Clouds were amazing. Felt close to God. In a chair that made this the view...





Flag of Japan... they just beat Germany last night during world cup! felt torn on who to support. But i think my Asian brother got my final vote!! Yay Japan :)




My flower viewing. I love the App in my phone. It looks nicer than in real life. :) 




Check out the bee. And this is a real Lavender plant. :)




Acorns. Hehe i brought home 3.. Shh. not sure if it was not allowed but it was all over the place. I hope they won't miss them... 




At the entrance and exit.




How to not fall in love with the very inviting park. 




Pretty flowers... 




I have never seen a blue hibiscus until here in Germany. hehe. I only know the flower names of those we learnt in Science in Primary school. After that, they are pretty flowers. :)



Grateful for this very difficult week. I feel like I can do it now. Whatever it is. I think its important to apply my mind, to be intentional about life. That means for now at least

- Doing things I absolutely dread by remembering that this can also be seen as an act of worship.. ie there is a point to doing it.

- My mind is connected to my body.... so I shd eat well. This week I tried to cook different things. haha,  since I spent good money buying myself a stove and an oven. I shd try to enjoy its existence.

- Run. Because this is a mind exercise. To stretch that will, to strengthen it. to do it just because. Mirakumi's book is good. I think I might do a book review. I relate to him. The solitude life, and how to add running and routine as a way to take care of self, in a weird way to live

I am reading Coehlo's book. I see that I can also learn something from him. Feeling more hopeful now. :) And life is worth the living, just because He lives...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

sagely wisdom

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Confucius 

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Technology as one of my best friends

My sister and brother will know that I am normally the least keen in technology... stuff at home is solved between the 2 of them and I normally just magically wait and hope for Disney Channel to appear on tv. Suddenly, I find myself spending all my time with a macbook, an iphone, using skype, msn, facebook, watsapp, blog, korean dramas etc. I find myself grateful for technology and the access it gives me to the world out there...without getting out of the house.

I need to learn to live here in Germany. I think that this "crutch" to my world at home makes it easier for me to ignore the sunshine outside and to hide in the comfort of my apartment. I am not predisposed to making friends easily, my autograph books when I was in school had too many "I think you are "weird, strange"... I think I talk to older people better, or people not in the same stage of life as me as I do not need to feel so weird or judged. Haha. The feeling of being not enough, unloved, scared watever.... I need to kick myself out of this apartment and be brave and say hi to people.

So difficult. But that I shall do. God says nobody lives life alone. Let alone me. Instead of thinking I am not good at being sociable, being sociable I shall be. I m not going to worry about the person being a "circumstantial" friend, or if the person is frivolous or scary or German or watever.... Each is a child of God, hence an equal to love.

Having said that, I also think that I am supposed to spend this time brave and willing to spend time alone with God. I am thinking of buying the desert fathers book, something meditation something. To enjoy this season of relative peace with God instead of wishing to be somewhere else. I want to go take pictures of nature, because that is his perfect and good creation. I want to enjoy the summer and the sun.

Life is good. To remember and be grateful in all circumstances!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Wakey brain...

Sleepy brain needs to work...meantime, some Fotos from iPhone

Philippines

We went to the Northern tip of the Philippines, road trip after the wedding... 


Pink flip flops travels the world with me... 




Clearwater bay, Disneyland Hong Kong

Where rich people in Hong Kong go for seafood... 



When you wish upon a star...

good bye in many different languages... 

Weekends in Germany

Free moving hungry deers, with dears wanting to feed them, and me trying to run away from them... 

"free coffee" from my overpriced telephone contract. sigh...

Back to using e brain....

My very messy table, I have tried to clear it a little... maybe it will help with studying! check out my chair that is supposed to encourage me from getting out of bed and onto the chair! 
:) 
—-- Artikel wurde auf meinem iPhone erstellt

Friday, June 24, 2011

these foolish things, remind me of you.

Hello from Germany. Listening to jazz, staring at the leaves swaying left and right and trying to finish my report for real.

I am currently in the process of many half baked thoughts, though unable to see any to fruition. I like the chinese word for distraction, split heart... since I feel very much like that. My heart is in a million places, hence perhaps causing my head to be as well. It's hard to get clarity in the things i am doing... Writing on my blog will perhaps keep me accountable, by reclaiming some brain space with bringing some thoughts to fruition.

this week i had the opportunity to play host to my little cousin and her friends. I included my frog in this hosting escapade and I must say he scored for being an entertaining European. I told him that after backpacking around, they might be interested in meeting someone "local" and he could play that role.. We were having this discussion when he chanced upon a grilling pan and wanted to buy it.. Seizing this opportunity, I said that perhaps we could inaugurate the pan by grilling some sausages for them...  He must have either bought the idea or decided that saying no would be too much drama, in any case, he was presented as our chef for the day...

Frog was quite a hit and he made them laugh ever so often... during the course of the week, it was interesting to note the dynamics all around. I was quite fascinated at how they could get along and that both parties had fun. He was quite happy to share all things European, and once in a while say something funny to solicit a laughter or 2. They were quite happy to play card games with him and do more girly stuff. After the first night of sausages, the girls cooked for us for a few more nights and him being around made the dinner more "balanced". They were happy for him to try the food and receive praises here and there.

In being the "older" cousin, I related to my cousin (and by extension her friends) like she was my little sister, though they are not little anymore. I took the role of making sure they ate, knew where things were in the apartment and making sure they were safe. haha. Definitely not the entertaining cool European that frog was. Definitely not the sweet young thing.

I think that I am reaching an age where I need to transition gracefully from being a "sweet young thing" into something else. With the first signs of not having the perfect memory, little wrinkles around the eye and the "love handles" that are harder to ward off (people telling me i have put on weight is not cool when i am not Yang Gui Fei). From wanting to be older and seen to be more matured, I can finally understand why women spend large amounts of their money in beauty products, why botox, liposuction and other beauty enhancing stuff is such a lucrative business.

I don't consider myself particularly super vain (besides taking part in a certain contest!) and have always wanted to be seen to have more of a heart/mind than be judged by my looks. But now that this alleged looks is fading, I find myself being scared, and wondering what the right response should be.

It is a scary transition that I think needs a "strategy" and be "managed" before it goes out of control. I don't intend to spend all the money I don't have on creams, neither do I plan to obsess about beauty. But I am acknowledging that this is something that have been in and out of my mind...

How do I cultivate the gentle and quiet spirit that is of great worth in God's sight (1 Peter 3:4-5 I think.. was a camp verse when I was in secondary school)

I think that it is key to remember that I am a child of God, nthg can separate his love from me. And to hold it very close to my heart. This week, I was painfully insecure with what I was doing, not sure that the person I was doing the report for was happy with my work, whether I was interpreting what the theologians were saying well and if I was able to write ok. I even fought my frog because he did not say the right reassuring words and so it equated to " you don't love"(yes, I am the silly one) but my point is, it is so easy to go downhill and I am reminded that because I am God's child, I do not need to freak out. While feelings are real and will plague me, the knowledge that He is mine, and He has it sorted out needs to transcend these feelings and be seen in my action.

I am also thinking about the "pure spiritual milk" that I am supposed to crave. I am trying to fight the change of crazy amount of activity in Asia to suddenly facing myself the whole day. I dunno wat to do with myself! It is so hard to establish a routine and to abide to it. I need to be intentional to have God in this mix when I am lonely, ill discipline or just feel like doing nothing. Somedays, I feel like Germany is like Singapore in that it is more difficult to live out my faith in these developed worlds. Yesterday was a Public Holiday for some catholic church festival but the number of individuals who observe such festivals is nominal. With the comfy life of the west, it is difficult to remember and to openly attribute success to God without sounding pretentious, or sounding ashamed for being "uncool".

Ok, time to go back to the report. I pray that as I embark in this season of life, I will be able to do it with his strength, and faith to remember that He has gone before me!!! :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

living in between cultures...

Hofstede says that studying culture without feeling culture shock, is like swimming without water. This feels a bit like a SAT type of question... My immediate thought to this quote was wat would happen if I am living AND studying culture... and what does this feel like? I think that studying has helped me to put into perspective the living that I do...

Literature has it that Culture is a way that we make sense of the world, where at its core, there r shared assumptions shared by individuals in the same culture. example " family is important, money is necessary for life,  we need to constantly fight for our survival, ie we have no other choice..." This shared assumptions in my mind results in basic expectations that people r supposed to live out... such as, spend your free available with family... I am currently thinking that when we cross culturally, we question the basic assumptions and expectations and reach a place of perfect storm. What someone else takes for granted, is now considered and needs to be negotiated.  If the negotiations takes place well, yay to all. if not... I think this might result in people fiercely holding on to what their way is and not accepting anything of the other party.

... coupled to these culture wide expectations are personality differences in priorities and preferences.... All this makes it even harder to work together, live together or play together... What is happiness for a couple? What should be provided in a Job Description? What does it mean to be Christian? What does it mean to be friends?.......

I think my studying makes me question things more critically and the literature around provide me a framework to think through my thoughts. i think that maybe with all these differences that I am faced with, I am finally comfortable to think that its ok to be different, as well as wonder about the principles that should guide my thinking around differences that I personally and culturally do not accept.

Ok, maybe sleep a little before facing the world again. I am thankful to God for his blessings here around home. (ard = Asia) In a hallmark card, this will read, thank you Lord for your handprints all over.

humbled and willing to continue trying... 

Friday, May 27, 2011

i interact, therefore I am...

Relationships i am thinking is what makes the world tick.

The relationship with God - reminds me that I am his child, and his love motivates me to act.

The relationship with my family - reminds me that I have a family, that whatever comes between us, be it personality, life choices, far distances, I cannot change the composition of my family and will need to learn to love them for who they are.

The relationship with my friends - reminds me that I have a choice, that I have made the decision to love, and count them as important to me, more so than the average person walking down the street. that the beauty of this decision is that the other person, my friend, chose to reciprocate and together, we can walk life's (season) journey. (this formulated while exploring the topic amongst people I consider my best friends)
.
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the list goes on with my relationship with where I m brought up, where I have been educated, the frog that I am with etc etc...

I am currently reading something about Social Constuctionism, and the author has argued that what is constructed is dependent on the current social relations...For example,  Democracy being the preferred model of governance was a a legacy from the British, as a prerequiste for relinquishing power over our little tiny dot...

currently thinking about my research topic a little more. How is this related to my research? to the whole conversation on the "christian identity" of the organization. Some current thoughts include:

1) Who were the "players" that constructed this identity. Why is this Christian and what were some circumstances in constructing this?

2) How does this look like in a context where the "Christian identity" would need to be shared and reinforced in places like Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia etc. Where the population is mainly from a different predominant faith and perception of Christianty can be very different from this identity that is set up.

3) As an individual who professes to be Christian, what does this mean to me in my day to day interactions with someone else. Does the relationship differ depending on the faith of the individual?

I was sitting beside an American lady who was into "Monastic living" ie being a monk on my way to Bangkok and after a while, started asking her different questions as to what she was up to, and some of her thoughts. That was a very fascinating conversation. She was brought up Christian but felt that Christianty did not provide her with answers in her life. She was particularly unsettled with the finality of heaven and hell, and not being provided with a second chance... She began with Zen Buddhism ( think Japanese Buddhism) and converted to the Thai type of Buddhism after reaching a plateau with Zen Buddhism.... This from what I have gathered from her and I am sure I am simplyfying what she said..

World Vision has begun Inter Faith dialogue and my question to that is "to what end". What are our motivations of that and how does this benefit the way we work? Some offices work provide an Orientation such that staff will understand the type of community that they are working in, while other offices work with Inter Faith leaders in generating understanding on Children issues/values.

I read in one of our WV literature that our Christian Witness needs to provoke the question where God is the answer. On the one hand, I am quick to judge the imperfections of our staff in "provoking the question" when I am privy to the naughty things that they are up to, yet on the other hand,  I feel humbled that God would use people, as imperfect as we are, to do that...  The question would then be... how do we develop our staff to provoke this question? Who is asking the question and how should we prepare to know them?

Some ramblings of an individual thinking through her research project. Today is a I am in awe of the diversity that God has created day.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

being gay...

My crush has surfaced our assumptions about gays and our reaction towards them, whether we should vote them into parliament and what this might mean. Some of my very premature thoughts as I am supposed to work a bit more and sleep. The cough doesn't go and I feel groggy!!

I write as an individual who has gay friends that I sincerely love, and while sometimes feel like I do not know what to do, I am constantly challenged on my "stand" of why, of what it means to love, yet disagree with their lifestyle

Rationale. While I understand the argument that individuals are born gay, this is their sexual orientation etc, I disagree that they do not have a choice as this is "natural", and struggle to think that they will burn in hell for their sexual orientation... Haha, what does this mean? I think this means that everybody has a predisposition, some very heterosexual, while some more bisexual, and some I think might be more homosexual. I am thinking that in light of Romans 1: 21-27, individuals who might be more bisexual or homosexual might be more experimential and wonder why not. Why should a relationship be heterosexual? Why is it wrong if it is homosexual.Who/what is the society to say that it is wrong?

I think that as a society progresses, individuals are more able to "self actualize" instead of being bogged down by the other basic necessities, this allows them to be who they think they are, and in my little mind, this is why developed societies have a larger number of gays. In one sense, I think it is great that people have no fear to be who they are, and are encouraged in their self actualisation process, wihout feeling that the society is homophobic, and that they have to forever be guilty for who they are.

My stand. I must confess that I am not the most judgmental person in the world, if anything, I err on the other end. I struggle with what's right/wrong and think that life is shades of gray. live and let live. I may also add that boundary making might not be my best skill. However, based on the way that I make sense of my world. I need to love. I want my reaction to reflect the knowledge that you are a child of God, and because of that, I love you. While I do not accept your lifestyle, I respect the work that you do and treat you as an equal, instead of a sinner that is lower than me, and to whom I cannot talk to without feeling weird.

I guess the difficulty will then be, what does it mean that I do not accept your lifestyle? I guess this would mean that you know clearly that I think that you having a same sex partner is wrong, and that at the end of the day, if I believe that my God has made the right and wrongs in my life because he knows whats best for me, being gay cannot be the best thing that God has planned in your life. However, I do not feel that it is my space to shun you. judge you but rather to love you for you, and if to evaluate you for a job, especially in a non Christian environment, to evaluate fairly based on your knowledge and abilities.

This is much easier said than done. I think it might be awkward to be around gay people because they are different from me. However, I cannot let this difference drive us apart. How can they know of the God who loves me if the first message that I tell them is that being gay is a sin. And because of their sexual orientation, whatever they do do not add up to anything?

What more in a democratic Singapore. where it explicitly writes "We the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people. Regardless of race, language, or religion, to build a democractic society, based on justice and equality...." We have made it clear that we want our diversity to be our strength... so at a time when there is somebody different, but presents itself as a possibility with the relevant knowledge and abilities, is the person being gay the only reason to "pass" on this? What does this speak of to our children? Sure I don't want them to be gay when they grow up, but I do want them to be tolerant of the differences in a multi cultural society, to not be judgmental and to be able to live with people not like them.

Difficult. But perhaps to me, a person who passionately believes in human rights, equality of life regardless of where they come from and applies this to his life gets my respect. I see in him a man whom I can call a role model in promoting these values to the young in Singapore.

So gay or not gay, I am still a little smittened by you, person with the same birthday as me! :)

when 28 sounds a lot older than 27...

hello from the Philippines where I am here to learn bout suicide care, pastoral care and all things staff care.... I am trying to think of the link and how this might impact/ be influenced about the work that is done by the Christian Commitments department.. I think there is a lot of thinking involved, and perhaps, I need to do a better job at thinking faster ( if I don't want to think that I am not up to it...)

So, I just turned 28. And I am grateful for all the love shown through efforts of meal plans (despite busy work schedule,studying for exams), surprise cakes and just greetings of love on the phone, facebook that reminded me that I am not alone... It was nice to feel loved on a day like that! :)

I am sharing the room with my friend from Laos who has fallen asleep, wishing to dream of her husband and her son... we talked about the circle of life, and she encouraged me to not be afraid of life as it enfolds, that family, being a mother is a natural progression of things... haha... We talked bout the common friends that we both know, and also how their lives have progressed. some happy, some not as happy.. I am reminded that at the end of the day,... office politics come and go, but people still need to continue to live their lives... and that it is the relationships that reman at the end of the day...

Politics. Happens in the office and now in my little red dot. I am generally fascinated by the current elections in my country and people who know me will know I am having a mini crush on one of the gay candidates; that I think that the current ruling party needs to wake up and that we need a more representative voice in this country.

I love Singapore, and think that the love for this country increased while I have been living primarily with my suitcase during the past few years...people interested ask where I am from or what Singapore is like. Sometimes, Singapore is in China for them, sometimes, Singapore sounds like Narnia. something unheard of, perhaps like Vanuatu, Tahiti or somewhere exotic and faraway... When confronted with these questions, I think about what my response should be, while being mindful of the audience that I am confronted with. Short of being clean, efficient, small, and that it is a show of efficiency in this part of the world, what else do I say Singapore is? Today, my new colleague from the US commented that during his very short visit to Singapore for 2 days, he has heard many unsolicited comments from people in Singapore "promote" singapore, we are the best in x,y,z...  When I talk to my frog, he mentions that all I talk to my friends about is CPF, and property prices and money (and variations of financial talk like insurance)

So with this elections, perhaps I am thinking we can right all the perceived wrongs that I have seen, and make it a place that "I can call my home" (though ironically, I am not sure if I am going to stay in Singapore forever and ever...). I have been influenced by the Middle East Revolutions, elections in the "free world" and consider Obama one of my heros.. (now I am wondering if I agree with all that he does but I consider him a hero for having the guts to step out to do what he believes is right)... So, in the same token, I believe that all people have a voice, and if we as a country has chosen democracy as the medium whereby this voice is heard, we need to use democracy wisely, and as fair as we possibly can.. such that everyone's voice can be heard...

I am still thinking how this extends to media as we have seen how the STimes have not been the most fair, though I am not sure what fairness is. I speak to individuals that I find sometimes exasperating because they have believed the propaganda that we have been taught, and have not seen/heard enough to think otherwise. I respect them for not voting opposition just because, though feeling bit over zealous about my cause that I need time to calm myself down and not chew them up. I have wondered if this is how the evangelicals (or even the crusades felt) when somebody doesn't want to believe in the good news!

So in short, since many have expounded in long facebook notes..some of my political views... (just for record sake since the election fever will die in 4 days time)

- I support the SDP. If I can go vote along party lines. They get my vote, because I subscribe to a Competent, Compassionate and Caring government. (haha, 3 Cs of their website, tho not sure if I got all 3 right)

- I believe the govt's role is not to make money, but to secure the future for all. I am not really convinced that the Govt's role is in investment and if they should choose to do that, this should be channeled to GICs,temasek holdings etc. Essentially people who are able to do this professionally, instead of this being done by ministers and civil servants working in town councils...

- I understand the need for policies and structures, and am not disputing the successful implementation of policies. I believe that MPs of PAP could be doing this very well and this standard differs based on the type of MP elected. I however also believe that there is a space to challenge these policies and structures and perhaps this is the main reason why I am in favor of the SDP. The very reason that annoys people, I see in that courage to do something unpopular, and perhaps even legally wrong... But whose laws are we operating on? And why were these laws instituted? To protect a constitution/system? Is this constitution/system fair? right? just?  I see in Chee Soon Juan a man who stands by his beliefs, despite the difficulties that he has faced... No, I am not advocating that all rules should be broken, but rather, advocating that there are things out there that we should stand up for, despite human structures not promoting it...

- I also believe that SDP has very thought through solutions and a well crafted manifesto. True that this is not tried and tested, might also be true that this might be sounding bit socialist and not promoting of free trade with talk of minimum wage etc. But I do believe that these solutions are more inclusive, humane, and thinks of us as more than just numbers, gears in a well oiled machine. Some of the "traumas" in my little existence include time in NJC, when I felt intensely like my sole existence was to generate "As" , or the monetary value of my parents residential property was more important than any other reason for staying in some place. No, its probably not the government's fault for all that has happened in my life and I do believe that I am well adjusted in the Singapore system, having gone to the right schools, stayed in the right areas and mixed with the right company. However, I believe that there is more to life. True I find this most in my calling to my work and to my God, but I am thinking that this doesn't need to weigh in so hard for a young adult thinking what they want to do in life. Our life decisions should not be measured by our monetary value before our better senses try to remind us what we want to do when we grow up.

- I believe that God has called us to different professions, some to child care teachers, some to professors, some to lawyers, some to artists and some to pastors. While recognizing that the salary of these jobs might be different, I disagree that individuals need to be so penalized by the choice of profession they choose. I believe that they should still be able to fulfill their God given potential without having to overtly feel guilty about the choices they make, or worry about their family if they make it. My tuition kid wanted to be a child care teacher when she was growing up.. Now, because of the low pay of the profession (where she can't live a decent living in a 3-4 room flat, support her family as a filial child should), she has decided that she should study accounting as this is where the money is. I understand the rationale rationally... though I can't help but think, after all the efforts of my forefathers, my generation still does not feel empowered to fulfill their God given potential, or is made to feel guilty to do so. I admit that our government is doing more to this end, perhaps I am being impatient or overly harsh. But I guess I hope to think that the culture here would not be so afraid to fail ( because life has heaps of that), and that we would be challenged to try our best and be what we were made to be...

Ok, enough political talk. Political talk is scary. I can see why this is considered taboo in some cultures, it goes to the core of what a person thinks/does and because of its sense of urgency, sometimes, it is difficult to be neutral about it. Today, I think one of my friends married a woman in the right family as he was advancing his political agenda in his war torn country in central africa... (bizarre) I am also thinking that because it is so core, this is where we can be real friends, instead of just talking about the weather, where we can go for our next holiday, and what our bonuses might look like...

In this year, I want to learn to be grateful for the little things. I feel the age where I should know what I want to do when I grow up, and go do it. ie get married, have babies, have a real job and settle down. haha. I think i have 0 out of 4 and on days it feaks the daylight out of me. I wonder what I have done to become so alternative and if I have messed up so much in so short a time. It doesn't help that people do not know where some of my thoughts come from or I feel alien to people I have grown up with and whom I have loved for most part of my life. But yes, to feel grateful about life and not to take things for granted. Was talking to my roomie bout miscarriages, injustices, and the general bad things that happen to them (she was recounting bout individuals in the office). I need to start being grateful for the blessings that I have instead of thinking that I am entitled to them, and when they disappear, start being grumpy and jaded.

I have been feeling old and no longer the sweet young thing. I used to wonder if this is what God wanted me to do when I grow up and I guess I have grown up suddenly. To respond to this without feeling fear (of is this what I want in my life), of resolute (after running for a long time, fatigue sets in and I need to continue to rally myself on) and a sense of wonder (even when flying with a cold and irritating the man sitting beside me). I think that life is a gift and it is so very important to life everyday as is a gift... because time is short and one day before you know it, all the SKIIs in the world is not going to help with saggy skin.

Good night world and thank you Lord for your blessings aplenty!


Monday, April 18, 2011

The reason I live...

Knowing you, Jesus, Knowing you. There is no greater thing, you're my all, you're the best. You're my joy my righteousness... and I love you Lord.

Frustrated at how I feel like a football. Frustrated that money is seen as what solves the problem. Frustrated that life doesn't always work in the way you want it to... I need to remember the reason for what I do. Even when ppl r being evil/mean. I need to remember to let pride/self dignity/indignation go, and instead remember that my savior was also humbled.

To remember that my God was not a God who sought to be served, but came to serve.

Focus focus focus!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

an airy fairy post.


Hello happy Friday. Glad its friday tho my life continues without apparent structure...

Life in Singapore has been intense. From meeting people to working on endless projects to pretending to study to thinking bout politics. Intense... i guess the thing that has been illusive was sleep.

People I love... I think that coming back home after a certain time away is always challenging. This has been something that I have been thinking about and thanks to my frog, arrived at some form of peace. Here at home, it is obvious the different paths my loved ones and I have taken,  where similiarities fade and differences become more pronounced. It is easy to judge and wonder what I am in their life. I most definitely do not fit in the everyday life and in the course of these weeks, felt frustrated as a burden...

I am reminded while talking to mr Frog that love is love. yes it is difficult to not judge the choices they have made for their life (esp in light of the crazy life that I have chosen), but my role as their ad hoc friend is to love. And this love does not take the form of telling them what to do, but rather a love that accepts them for who they are. True acceptance requires a lot of grace and humility. Humility to know that I do not have the best answer and grace to live out this knowledge.

Perhaps another element of coming back is the obvious life that I have not chosen. I felt sad for the HDB flat that I might not buy in the new future.. or the conversations on what to do with my CPF, home loan etc  that I will not have. My little tiny dot will become more foreign to me and I will need to again review my role in this place...

Another thing that has captured my attention while I am here is the GE. hehe. I think its fascinating that people are excited (Orchid revolution?!) and that there might be a real fighting chance that something might change. In most of my discussions with people I have met, I have tried to engage them politically and it has been interesting the varied responses. I am scared for the opposition. I hope that some voice will be made that the recent developments in the little red dot is not something that benefits everybody in society.

(ps: the link below makes me sound very legit.. haha Yahoo Article: PM Forum

Democracy.. a very strange word that we are supposed to be. I told mr Frog that one of my biggest contention bout our democracy here in Singapore is that we r supposed to be democratic when we clearly are not ( MPs retiring after 20 yrs of active service without first being elected due to walkovers ) He laughed and said that North Korea is a democracy as well... I guess that for all that the word brings, every country needs to figure out what this mean for them. From my little Political Science lesson 101, western european democracy hinges on  (liberté, égalité, fraternité), determined after the French revolution freedom, egality and brotherhood while in America, only freedom and egality... I wonder how we would define our democracy and what this will look like in time to come.


I like the article about big/small democracy democracy in action.... and was thinking about my work today. We were trying to implement something and the boss took contention with the word "consultative". He essentially said that he had no patience for it and that the individuals are paid to do the job, so why consult.... While making my job potentially harder, I wonder if this is also a potential reflection of the upbringing that my govt has inculcated here in little red dot. As a young "gen y" individual, I personally find it very hard to swallow, to not be given the time to be heard and to potentially be told without asking. Is this perhaps why the young are quite frustrated with the existing situation and have been talking bout change ( at least the netizens)... and my final thought is whether this is "right".. the want of a voice, of being important enough to be consulted with and be taken seriously...

Final thought. If wanting somebody who is happy to do just as they are told... i am wondering why my govt is happy to be so open to just go for it.sending individuals oversees and getting "western education"... Wont it be easier to go with the China model where people are told openly that they are communist and these western thoughts are not applicable to them.

Life's strange. Important to have an anchor in life as one ponders in the amazing different things that the brain absorb.

Good night world and have a happy day.