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Sunday, August 24, 2008

When our heroes fade away

It'd been quite a day, quite a night, and an eventful one at that. We'd just finished up our practice and had a whole night ahead of us. I was already tired, and then I received a phone call from my mother. The line wasn't very clear, and I had no idea what she was saying. I told her to speak louder and as I listened to what she had to say.. my heart just sunk deep. Maybe it didn't sink, but it definitely felt a whole lot heavier. It was perhaps among the most discouraging things that I've heard in a very long time.

I do not want to describe it to you, since I do not have credibility but I'm sure that these three websites are enough to convince you that what I'm talking about is true:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24216087-5006787,00.html

http://andrewmagrath.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/michael-guglielmucci-report/

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24212817-5006301,00.html

I felt dissapointed, having being lied to (not directly, but you get my point), because I heard about his 'ailment' a long time ago. I felt so angry at such an indecent act, especially more so for a leader in his community. I was furious, but I didn't let it out. I was angry that because of one person, that the name of the God I believe was tarnished throughout an entire nation.

Repercussions are huge, especially for the Australian church as a whole. There's going to be so much talk, so much anger, so much rebellion and impactful persecution towards the church, let it be physicall or mentally. It really is a big issue for Australia. Police investigations are going to happen even. Nonetheless for Michael, I am glad he has admitted the lie, and I hope that he will let God repair his life, and transform him from the inside out. Let it be clear that I am quite angry he did this, but I believe in God who loves, has mercy and grace abundantly that is more than sufficient for him. Will God forgive him? Without a doubt I know He will if Michael is serious about repentance. Will he suffer consequences? God will definitely let him reap the fruits of his own labour.

Coming back to Malaysia, plenty of young Christians know this man, Michael Guglielmucci from the church Planet Shakers that produces pop rock Christian albums that have some of his contributions. There's no question about the reaction when they find out, it's definitely not positive, whatever it may be.

This guy is a person, a lot of people looked up to. Personally, I didn't look up to him before this but his prominence in Christian circles is enough to make me notice and his lie simply cuts the heart.

What I want to say is this, wherever we are, and whoever we are, man fails us at some point. Sometimes, it's a small failure, sometimes its big. This time it was a big faux-pas and I admit, it's going to have an impact in Australia, or maybe beyond its borders. This is a really big reminder for me and EVERY single Christian or God seeker out there, is that, you can never look to man as the perfect answer.

In fact, such a thing is clearly stated in the bible:

Psalms 118:8-9, "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes"

Proverbs 29:25-26, "Fear of a man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Many seek audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that man gets justice"

The one phrase that keeps coming to my mind at the moment is, "Even when our heroes fade away, God you're here,"

My friends, especially for those who are Christians, please pray with me for Michael and his family. Secondly, pray for the entire Australian church that they will be able to stand up to any form of persecution and God's people will continue to stay strong, to continue seeking Him and not to be bogged down by this event. Thirdly, pray particularly for the younger Malaysian Christians that look up to bands from Hillsong and Planet Shakers, to let them see that this is a wake up call that you cannot look at bands as role models, but simply the big God they serve. Fourthly, join me in praying for Malaysia, that the churches of Malaysia will continue to look to God and not to rely on our own human strength.

There's not much left to say. However, I am confident of one thing, that in spite of what has happened, God can bring something awesome out of all this. I do not know what it will be, but I believe that God can even use this tragedy to do something greater beyond my imagination that will make God's name famous for the right things.

I have not blogged about my faith in a long time, not so sure why. Nonetheless, I believe this is something that needs to be mentioned, especially when people will know sooner or later. Whatever it is, the most important thing is I know that God's in control. =)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Futsal @ the Sports Complex & Lessons @ the v4c

Well well, I do have something to blog about this week. Apart from the usual mundane lectures that I've had, the beginning of this weekend seems to have brought about something..... more fun to do, haha!

Just last night at about 7 o'clock met up with a number of juniors and good friends for sports. Initially, we were all supposed to play badminton.. but it turns out one of the guys brought a football, so............... all the guys played futsal instead, hahahaha! The girls in turn went on to play badminton, I think I hardly saw them after we started until we ended. Man, futsal was just good, not too many of us, just nice to have a free flowing fast game.

It was literally the juniors vs seniors with the exception of Belden on our side. It was good because skill-wise both sides were balanced in terms of who was experienced and who wasn't. There was a lot of running, a lot of skill, showboating, goals, a good workout and importantly a fair bit of enjoyment. I think I haven't had that much fun playing futsal like that in a while. Usually I play with the guys who're a little more serious when they do play, this time it was just nice to enjoy. There's nothing wrong with a serious game, it pushes you to play your best which I do like, but it's also nice to just enjoy the game.

I take my hat off to Javier though, for playing in physically unfit and unwell condition in addition to the fact he was playing with sandals. I have to say, Saddam and Delmestiel have a knack for dribbling, I think they enjoy it, only Del has a bit of a habit losing the ball too quickly when he dribbles, ehehehehe, that doesn't stop him from doing it though.

That was the highlight of that night, the next morning was a different story when we started having the guitar lessons! Yes, a few of us are conducting guitar lessons for a couple of friends, which we hope will benefit our 'students'. Today, Witton conducted the first lesson, we had only two people to teach though, Mellissa and Daphnee. Even so, it wasn't easy for us since ALL of us are first time guitar teachers/tutors with this thing we're doing. Hopefully the first session was beneficial, Mellissa said it was a generally good start, hopefully we can build on that. I'm leading the session next week and I'm already wondering what on earth am I going to teach? First time for everything though, it should be exciting.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

In Ipoh Parade for Leisure (again?)



Hello hello! Once again, another update, twice in the same day! Well, I'm still in Ipoh, just another part of it. We've just moved from one mall to the other, from Kinta to Ipoh Parade, the other popular mall in the capital city of lovely Perak. As you can see, I've decided to camp in Starbucks where there's free WiFi while Vern get's her coffee so we have an excuse to stay. Basically, she paid for our internet fees, ahahaha! It's considerably cheaper than an internet cafe if we stay there long, which I think we are. =b




Here she is, Vern (wah so serious, gila.... must be doing something *humz) on her laptop while I'm using the one with the screen faced towards you. See the website? That's businessweek, one of my favourites of the moment. That's pretty much the best place to read real-time case studies that we find a long time later in future textbooks, haha! So many business news, controversial corporate level issues there, interesting to read some of them. Pity I don't have a really good in-depth understanding of planet 'Corporate', at least not yet. Sometimes I wish I have that Samuel Wee spark..

Anyhow, while I was over at Jusco/Kinta, got to catch up with two good friends, Keimelia and Jasmine over GoogleTalk and MSN Messenger respectively. It was nice to talk to them, after all, I talk to Kei very seldom these days. Kei's my high school junior, she's in her last year of high school, hence she is qualified to take the dreaded SPM examinations in November, haha! Poor girl, she feels the pressure from her friends and all, hope she does well, I know she can anyhow. Then there's Jasmine who left us in UTP for Sedaya in Kuching. She's got her exams coming and she's really into her biology I suppose, telling me how there's a formula for the teeth for lambs or something, very radical, haha!

I managed to get a pick from the music shop over in Jusco, too bad they didn't have that Jim Dunlop pick. Does anyone from Ipoh/KL know where I can get that whitish coloured nylon 0.5 mm, Jim Dunlop pick? I think for now at least, that's the nicest pick I've played with. I only discovered it when Khye Shin left it in my house. I think I left it in my house and forgot to bring it to UTP.

Before we leave for church later, I'll be heading over to Gladsound to see if there's anything new there. I haven't been in a Christian bookstore since I stopped working, lol! Not that I've never wanted to, just never had the reason, nor the car to do it. It's nice to hang out in such places actually, just see some of the cds and noteworthy books around.

Ipoh for Leisure



Finally! I am updating this blog for the first time since I've come back to UTP! A lot has happenned in my life on a social basis since then, and I'm really looking forward to this new semester. First things first though, right now, I'm in at the Jusco anchored mall, I think it's name is Kinta Mall, sitting down at the Big Apple store, using their free WiFi to blog this post.

I'm having my second round of breakfast here as Yoke Mun and Wei Vern are watching the latest Batman movie, Dark Knight. Why am I not watching it with them? Well, it's simple really, along with the whole bunch of churches in Malaysia, I'm fasting and praying for 40 days, and the thing I've chosen to fast is visual and audio entertainment. Basically that means, I won't be watching tv shows, movies, playing multimedia games and listening to music for and form of leisure purpose. The key word is not only the fasting, but it's prayer as well which really is the whole point of this thing.

Anyhow, getting back to life on campus, it's been quite an exciting time really, There are a lot of new people that I've met this semester, the juniors in particular, a really cool bunch of people. It's surprising this semester how there're a lot more non-Malays in this UTP intake. I believe it's a good thing, because if anyone had any belief of discrimination against other races regarding intake, this is a good way to put that all behind us. Once again though, the juniors are pretty cool, pretty sporting, that's what people say about every July intake, somehow January intake people are less..... exciting? They come from all over the place, let it be Selangor, Sabah or Sarawak, even from the lovely island of Pangkor!

One thing that was good for me about coming back is that I've exercised at least 5 times more than I have during my 2 months holidaying in KL. I've played a bit of tennis with my very familiar partner Vern, badminton with a nice bunch of church friends and futsal (played that the most so far) with a group of guys that are pretty good. I'm nowhere close to being as good with the guys I play futsal with but that really makes sure you put in your best effort and get a good workout to make sure the game's evenly balanced and no one complains you're the reason they lose, haha!

I've finally shown the guys here my new guitar as well. For those of you who do not already know, just about two months ago, I bought a new acoustic guitar of my own, a Taylor 214ce, it's nowhere close to the guitar that Daniel Tan or Jon Foreman is using but it still packs a good sound and I'm very happy with it. Tonight when we practice at church will be the first time I get to hear it on the system, hopefully it'll sound really good.


Oh, and another thing that's happened was the Passion conference, a Christian event that was opened specifically for college and university students. It was simply such an awesome time for us. You know, people living in the Klang Valley have it so easy to go for Passion, people from places like Ipoh had it really hard. You know we had to take a bus down in the afternoon from Ipoh to KL at Pudu, then rush all the way to Sunway and take another bus back to Ipoh at 11.30. It was absoltely crazy and because of that I'm sure we spent more money than anyone else in the Klang Valley to make sure we got to Passion, but I'm glad we all went from Ipoh together and absolutely no one in the world could deny that Passion was one of the greatest things that would happen in their lives. Can you imagine 4000 Malaysian students gathered in one Sunway Convention Centre hall and simply declaring, "You're the God of this city", simply amazing, the stand of a generation that says we love our God, we love our country and that we will fulfill God's will for Malaysia, absolutely outstanding. To see why I feel so strongly about Passion, go HERE and see how powerful that one event was that will spur us on to do greater things.

That aside, work's starting to come in, it's week three of proceedings in university now. I've got an important assignment for HSE, met two new people, Alan and Penny, seen them around, never got to know them, so it's nice for that to happen. One thing, Penny is pretty, haha! I don't mind if she somehow reads this although that's unlikely, I never complain about having group members who go easy on the eyes a little, she most probably has a boyfriend or something though, I don't know. ANYWAY, back on point, (distractions, distractions, women are so wonderful aren't they, after all God created the, lol!) I've got something pretty big for the Software Engineering subject and the mini thing for Corporate Finance.

On the musical side though, trying to write some songs, but I don't feel I've got the magic touch in the same way that I felt while writing the song Hearts United (my own song that I've felt the strongest about so far). However, I'll be playing Hearts United for the Rotaract Installation Night on the 6th of September, a solo performance, hopefully it'll be a nice experience. Hopefully God'll inspire and lead me to write good worship songs as well, besides the more reflective ones that are also inspired by my all time favourite band, Switchfoot.
Well, that's all for now I suppose. A lot more to write, but this is long enough. Oh, and Pn. Enaliza, if you're reading... I'll be mailing you soon, haha! Thanks for the drop by comment, it really means a lot to me, really. =)