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Friday, September 28, 2007

Grace, selflesness for my selfish weakness

Saw this on the Simply Younited blog and I simply had to post it here because it spoke to me immediately. I think for anyone who's wondered a bit about Christianity and would like to ask, "What's God like to you?". Well, I think the next few images accurately shows the kind of person God is to me, hope it enlightens you a little. =)

2 Corinthians 12:9 - "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

It's nice to post up stuff like this in the midst of business. Have a good weekend everyone. =)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Positively Refreshing

Fuh... finally something a little more happy to mention here after quite a bit. I think I've been bogged down in the past week or so. I was kind of looking forward to the weekend to play with the church band again. It was kind of exciting and scary at the same time because I kind of chose songs that were challenging to practice. Since we were practicing on Saturday night in church, I decided to go over to Javiar's room to practice so we managed to get a little work done there, was pretty happy, it was productive but of course, it was nothing like the setting we would be playing in.

Anyhow, it was a little dissapointing that Seok Yee our keyboardist couldn't make it to play with us. We couldn't replace her because it was a little too last minute and Vern was in Penang anyhow. That left four of us, but it was good Kuo Chun our violinist was playing so he could cover a little more for the keyboard.

The first order of things was to go to for dinner. We went to McDonalds, and it was pretty cool because Kuo Chun had these vouchers that could get us free burgers if we ordered large value meals so in the end the four of us ended up spending only about Rm9 each but we got much more than we could take, hahahaha! I think I ate too much and started to feel sick, but thank God for his grace, He sustained me through the night.

So we finally got into church, set up a little, played a warm up song and gathered around. I just shared a little bit of stuff from the bible with the team and it was good because even as I was sharing I think I learnt something for myself. What was encouraging that night was that I think all of us that night were very determined to give everything for God. We were just talking about honouring God with our lives and not just our music and I guess it was a wake up call for all four of us.

I think that was what made the difference on Saturday night. Practice went on very smoothly that night and I could see all of us were very focused and it does feel good when you see everyone like that. All right, so the second song did take quite a while, being stuck on just one verse but it wasn't long before we landed that song just fine.

So the next day came and I think everyone did manage to worship God and what was pretty cool was that I think people did enjoy it and got into it instead of going through the motions of singing songs week after week. I really believe that the band going into practice the previous night with the right spirit made a difference today when we played. I mean, I did ask a couple of people after what they thought about it and they did give a good response.

The whole service went on pretty well too and we soon went to hang out at Jusco for a while after that. I was very happy to buy two things, both music related. Firstly, I got to buy this CD off a band that I used to like quite a bit but I totally forgot about until now, haha! Finally, I got to buy the PAX 217 album entitled 'Engage', and I got it at such an INCREDIBLE bargain. Back then I would have had to pay a minimum of RM35 for the album. Today, I only bought it for RM5, hahaha!

Secondly, one of the pickups for the guitar in church is out of order so I decided to buy another one, but I found one device better than that. I found a contact microphone by Korg that detects vibrations of instruments and transmits those as signals back to whatever will amplify the sound. It's not very expensive at a price of RM38. It can be attatched to just about any instrument, violins, saxaphones, trumpets. As for guitar, it only has to be attatched at the headstock!! I was pretty amazed when I saw when the guy showed us how it worked on a guitar.

Well, that pretty much sums up my day, I'm pretty beat now, just came back from Ipoh actually but it was all good, hanging out mostly with Javiar, Witton, Jenny and Seok Yee. Well, hopefully a good week's ahead.

Think something just spoke to me, just this short statement:

This is who we are, we're the voices of the generation. We make the choices of a nation. Puttin' down all frustration - PAX 217

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wyclef Jean speaks

Watched Dave Chappelle's Bloc Party recently, Wyclef Jean {prominent rapper in Fugees} was talking to a bunch of young black teenagers and he had a word for them.

Wyclef Jean said this exactly, "It's good to see all these black people in college, y'all know what I'm sayin? And listen man, I'm gonna tell y'all like this. Don't blame the white man for nothin. GET YOURS. You understand? I came to this country, I didn't know how to speak English. I made something of myself. I went to the library, English is like my third language. I just learned how to speak English. So the thing about that white man, yo, the white man responsible for that, white man ain't responsible for shit. They've got libraries in the hood, and if they don't got libraries, tell your mayor, your government or whoever it is, the county put some motherfucking libraries in the hood."

I am done listening to non-bumiputera races complaining about the odds of them getting any favors from the government for whatever reason, businesses, scholarships and whatnot. Yeah, fair enough, I'll admit its biased, but some of these comments are coming from the people having a sponsorship from a partially government owned company. Dude, just suck it, you want to talk about this country being unfair and you want a change of government maybe just because of that? Well, let me tell you straight up, there's plenty of unfair stuff, in every single government ALL OVER the world.

Please, just 'get yours'. This country isn't so unfair that you can't make something of yourself because you're not a bumiputera. Just stop, really. Stop blaming governments or races, because ultimately neither can possibly be perfect to fit your "PERFECT" plans. If a young Jamaican imigrant who I believe has gone through more than any idiot who's been complaining about Malaysian social contract issues recently can say that the dominant race in his host country does not determine his future, what more you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting Out

Sometimes, when you're going through patches like these, you wonder and you really hope someone can come through for you. Sometimes its interesting when those you thought might be the one to do it don't or can't really help but its a totally different person(s) that does.

At this time, I'm frustrated, angry, sad, lost and a little depressed. All this comes at a time when I really need some direction, like a friend of mine who mentioned he'd like to know his specific purpose in life recently. Theoretically, I believe I know what I'm supposed to do, but doing it with such a heart burdens you more and continually thrusts this thought into your mind, "What you're doing has no meaning. Maybe you should just stop." It comes at a time, when you just cannot perceive the value of ANYTHING positive you do.

Maybe you think that right now, I should just have a break from everything like some people do. It would be nice to do that, I would like that, but I don't have the luxury. There are responsibilities that I'm committed to that demand I don't stop at this point in time. For me, going back doesn't take things off my mind, issues will remain issues until dealt with.

In a bittersweet kind of way, it was actually encouraging for me last night to find out that someone was going through the same thing I was, or even worse perhaps. At the end of sharing our thoughts with each other, she just reached out to shake my hand and say, "Press on brother. It'll be alright."

I think that was part of what I really needed this week. I didn't need someone to tell me what to do, because when in these situations, we all eventually figure out what we need to do, just that there's not much of a motivation to actually do it. I needed someone to encourage me and actually getting it lifted me somewhat. I won't say I'm 100% better off now, but I think I've got a little more spirit to push through the week because of those kinder words.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Getting more critical

This one's kind of related to the last one, but it's not about being lonely but more about myself. Again, somehow, I've drifted away in my thoughts getting the space to think about myself, trying to identify who I am and it's so tough. Let me start to explain why.

I just reflected upon this question, "Who am I today?" It's an interesting one to ask yourself because you look back and stare upon your past that has processed you into what you are today. The person that you look into that mirror is a result of everything that happenned before.

Today, when I started thinking, it was all about who I am as a person, the kind of character I have that I show to people, or have when I'm alone when nobody's looking. Sometimes, I'm a real shy person without anything to say, so much so that I can go almost a whole year without saying hello to somebody. Yet, sometimes if I want to I can intentionally get to know people and be friends with them. As much as possible, I try to give this positive outlook to peers, colleagues or friends. A lot of times, I feel that I do try my level best just to look good in front of others, so that they'll be confident in me. Yet, many times, when I'm sad, I just have to put on this face that tells people I'm all right because I'm thinking, "Why do I need to screw up another person's day with my problem?"

Then, I started thinking about why I do so many of the things that I do. It's all really been about trying to fit in with people around me. When people ask me what sports I play, I can list down quite a few but I never thought why I could play as many sports. If I look at it now, almost every sport I can play was introduced to me by schoolmates. One of the main reasons I ever played sports like basketball was because my friends in high school used to play it. In fact, that's the only sport I played in high school because my friends would play only that. A lot of my interests, hobbies, were also highly influenced by my peers, especially so for my interest in particular genres of music. Looking back, a lot of these things, were not really my own personal decisions, simply things I took so I could get in.

Even now, sometimes the decisions that I make, I sometimes feel I make them for the sake of friends, intentionally benefitting them more than myself. Why do I do that? Maybe its because I'm scared of losing relationships. I make every effort to try and make as much time for friends here in UTP, although it seems unwise to do so. It's just that so many of the friendships that I built, even close ones less than a decade ago, seem to be slowly fading. It hurts to know you don't share that special click or close friendship with that person anymore and it sucks when you see them again because you feel you've already lost the friendship.

That brought me to the question, "What am I living for?" At this point, I just don't know. I could possibly give stereotypical answers, but I wouldn't give it unless I meant it. Right now, I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. I have no idea whether I'm doing the right thing, playing the right role in situations I'm in. I just wish I knew what my role was, what part of the puzzle I belong to you, Ultimately, one big part of life is about your impact of your life on other lives. I just wish I knew where I fit so I could stop trying to do everything, meeting everyone.

At the end of all that, back to the first question, "What am I today?" I cant help but wonder if what I am today is just the simple result of peer pressure, just another one of those people that crave for the superficial attention.

When it's Quiet

It's been a little quiet the past few days. I've been abstaining from using my computer for all entertainment purposes and I've been keeping myself away from any form of music in the last three days. I think it's a whole new place that you get yourself into once you actually do that.

I discovered in the time that I was doing this, I got bored pretty fast at certain periods when I was free. The room was totally quiet and you could sense a very empty atmosphere. Sure, it was quiet and peaceful, but there was nothing going on, there seemed to be a void that I just wanted to fill.

For myself, since I hadn't many ways to entertain myself without using my computer, I just spent my time drifting away in my thoughts. I began to think about certain issues that are facing my right now, issues I might face in the future, and just the future in general.

The more I spent my time thinking, the more scared I became. It's a very dreadful experience when you start to realise and take stock of the many possible outcomes that could occur to me during this phase or the next phase of my life. Of course by this, I mean the negative outcomes. The reason why they first occurred to me and not the positives was because I believed the positive to be too ideal, too perfect, and unrealistic.

It came to the point where I actually started thinking, "What am I doing here?" For a moment, the things that I really want, or maybe just the thing's I'd like to have seemed impossible for me to have and it just ruined the moment. I think this is all a reflection of the knowledge of myself as to how imperfect I am, the many flaws I have that pull me back. These all seemed to say to me my efforts have been meaningless.

The scary thing was when I finally realised that, I am all alone. No matter who comes into my life, a parent, a close friend, a girlfriend, a wife or whoever, my life is still my own. The outcome of my life is still determined by myself, and that only you can make certain changes or decisions. Then it changed to me starting to feel lonely, then I asked, "Who do I really have with me?" I started thinking of all the friends then, and it still made me fearful because I couldn't really name anybody.

I would like to think I have a very selected few names in mind, but I don't even dare say if they would really be there or not, because I can't answer this question, "Who will still be there to comfort and encourage me when I make that mistake that just changes your entire perspective about me?"

I think I am my best 'devil's advocate'. It almost makes me want to hate myself, as much as it is pointless. It was one of those 'get real' moments.