header copy

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the Truth in Love

I think its time I put a little more substance back in my blog entries. I certainly don't mean to appear 'deep' and sophisticated but I feel that I should express more of myself and my faith here. This post is rather long, but I think it needs that length to express what I truly feel.

You see, I was reading the book of Ephesians in the bible recently, and its been good as there have been several things I've picked up but I wanted to share a few portions in particular that caught my eye because I guess they pricked me a bit more than the rest at the time.

First, let me put down the few parts I'll be focusing on:



Ephesians 4:2-3
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:15-16
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

Ephesians 4:25
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin.": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Ephesians 4:29, 31 & 32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with any form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.



Actually, just looking at it, there's plenty I can absorb or learn, but it all ties back to the title. Speak the truth in love.

For me, I'm a person that tries, to the extent of my ability to uphold what I believe to be truth, let it be joyful or hurtful. That truth then, becomes a form of knowledge, or what some people might say as information with application.

The thing is, what do we do with that piece of truth that we hold? How do we use it? Do we use it as a weapon of hate, or do we use it as a maker of peace? Many times I form opinions or perceptions about people in my mind, some of it I know to be true and I cannot help but feel like wanting to just shout and scream at them. My heart tells me, "Its fine! I mean, come on! It's true! This guy is like that! You should just give it to him"

Somehow or rather I won't, maybe because I'm afraid or I just apply that head knowledge that says, "It's just not appropriate". Nonetheless, that feeling of hate is certainly there and my head will start to go off in such a malicious direction.

There are times I feel injustice or feel angered by people, their attitude when they just aren't doing what they should. Admittedly, sometimes I just get so angry that I begin to wish for the worst of things to happen to them.

I become self righteous, overconfident in my own strengths that I fail to be humble and gentle. I forget to be patient and to bear others with love as God has done with me. I forget that the truth is to uplift, not to degrade others.

I need to learn how to speak the truth for the reason of love and not for hate, to edify and not to destroy. I really do want to have that attitude, to use the truth in love, not with malice.

This year in particular, I've had this problem with anger for one reason or another and it bugs me because I don't seem to be able to shake it off. From reading Ephesians 4:29-32, I've learnt that I need have more of a forgiving heart, to be less critical and more understanding. Kindness and compassion are two traits that I need more in my own attitudes. Even more than that, I need to rid myself of my pride and self righteousness.

I guess I've been going along the lines that truth equals justice and everyone should be punished accordingly. I still believe that each person is accountable for their actions, but what I've realised is that God is kind and merciful too. There are plenty of times I've done wrong, but I haven't been condemned by Him. Yet, He continues to be faithful and blesses me with his mercy and grace. If God has been able to forgive me that much every time, why shouldn't I do the same for others?



Dear God, help to be more patient, to be peace loving, kind, forgiving. Help me to be more like You, to give grace, to be merciful to those who don't deserve mercy. Let me speak Your truth in Love to others so that they may be strengthened by it. I surrender my life to You, my pride, my self righteousness. Mould me into the person You want me to be so I will live in a way that pleases You.




Amen.



Friday, October 23, 2009

a Couple of Days ago,

I had a bit of this



but more of this




and it was rather

Saturday, October 17, 2009

21

Well, I guess 10th October is kind of a landmark this year for me. It was my 21st birthday. Didn't really have a clue as to what I'd do to remember it, but I guess a few nice people decided it for me. =)

Wai Nyan and Felix picked me up from church after NSt, just to give me a short birthday treat at the Curve. We went over to Baskin Robins where Wai Nyan would treat me to some ice-cream. We met up with Philip who joined us as well, and we walked around for a bit. I went over to MySciFiFan at Cinileisure for a bit, just to see if they had anything new in the 3.75 inch action figure category for Star Wars. So after that, we walked around IKEA helping Wai Nyan try to come up with some sort of idea of a present for a few friends, nothing special really.

So we left after that in Philip's car who'd drop be back at my place. I took out my keys not expecting too much more than what'd already happened.

I walked through the front door, sensing a dull thin air for a moment and suddenly, "SURPRISE!!!"


Surprised I was, definitely.


Everybody popped up from behind the curtains, behind the sofas, behind the door even! The first person to appear, Jon greeted me, "Happy birthday dude."

A huge grin went up on my face, and it didn't stop for quite a while. Genuinely shocked, I was pretty lost for words with what to say. Everybody noticed my very *surprised face* (didn't think I could reference my birthday experience to Arby n' the Chief, lol).




Took a couple of photos, and went on to dinner, which was also super awesome, haha! Cocktail sausages with onion and potatoes, salmon, lamb, angel hair pasta. I think some of the Hearts peeps enjoyed it more than me! It was really nice, just to have people around to celebrate my birthday.



Later on I brought them up to my room just to have a little look see, a number of them also wanted to see my Star Wars collection, hahahaha! The funny thing was when Beatrice mistook a metallic English warrior mini figure souvenir my mother got from England as C3PO, lawllzzz. The other random thing was when Angel and Bernice took a look at my closet (not that they WENT to see it, its just there and the closet door is transparent, so yeah), they saw the ironing board and asked, "Christon, you iron your clothes on your own?"

"Oh um, yeah, I do."

"Oh, that's very good" the both of them said (lolololololololololololololololololololololololol).

Anyhow, after chilling in my room for quite a while, we went back down, started with that party game where each person tells a sentence as part of a story. Halfway through (I don't why I didn't predict this), the birthday cake came out, a nice tiramisu my mother had made, and looked simply awesome.



The most ANNOYING but I guess amusing thing for everyone else was that the candles were rigged. The candles aren't the ones that you blow off once and then they come back on again. These were the ones where the tiny flames are SERIOUSLY STUBBORN, and I must've taken like two whole minutes to blow the thing out!



As I was uploading this photo to illustrate the blowing of the candles, as you can see in the photo, Beatrice was recording the whole thing (I am seriously hoping that video doesn't exist anywhere else other than her phone, lawl)! 0.o



So next came the birthday speech, and to be fair, I kind of have to apologise for making one that was rather..... I don't know, it didn't seem good to me thinking back about it, but you know I was just so overwhelmed by the whole thing, still kind of stunned by the surprise. Other than that were the questions which were mostly from Jeannie I think, that was only to be expected I guess. And again... Beatrice is recording everything.... (I am in good position to be blackmailed lolololololololololololololololololololololololol).



But anyway after all of that, we went on to play Mafia, which I haven't played in AGESS... I can't even remember the last time I played to be honest. In the first place though, I've never been a good Mafia player and I think it showed that night when I killed Yee San, a fellow civilian, lololololol.

It all ended after that, with everyone leaving shortly after the last round of Mafia. It'd been a pretty long day, but a superbly awesome night. Thank you all for making it happen. =)

Oh, and thank God, I'm still alive and well after 21 years, hehehe.




Wednesday, October 14, 2009

lawl


Did you know:



That P1 Wimax is 42 times faster than dial-up?



Don't you think that is the most pathetic advertisement for any type of broadband service? That's just as good as asking, "Do you know that a car is a lot faster than your feet?"

I just couldn't help but blog about it when I saw the advertisement on TehTarik TV during lunch.

One

I really like what my senior manager said in yesterday's meeeting.

One of the issues being discussed in a meeting I was in recently and is probably an issue in every other corporation around Malaysia and the entire globe was integration and standardisation. Everyone is well aware that achieving this in one way or another for many aspects of business, if not all helps save a lot of costs. And I thought the concept he rode on was just marvellous.

"Kalau kita jadi 1 Malaysia, and we also have 1 PETRONAS, we also want to have 1 Carigali lah! Make it all the same, I don't want PMU different, SKO different... "

It was a humorous moment and one I think appreciated by just about everyone in the room.

It really is a great thing to have to ride on, One Malaysia. It may not be something drastically new, but it really is something fresh that a lot of initiatives can ride on, let it be government driven or not. This is especially since the top leadership of the nation owns this statement. It is something that gives people an incentive to say, "If they're doing it, why can't we do it?"

Regardless if you believe it to be nothing more than a political ploy, are you going to sit there and criticise it, or are you going to make use of it to help Malaysia achieve more? I'll say this, lets make use of the opportunities laid right in front of us and make things happen instead of being a self righteous critic of everything we see.

Monday, October 05, 2009

a Mix of Music

I have this friend, his name's Felix. To be frank, I'm not sure how I met him exactly, but we definitely knew each other from church. He's a young man from Sabah now living in Malaysia's capital city, slowly but surely asserting himself into the local music industry.






The way he's pushing through into the scene, isn't exactly by being a musician as talented as he is. He can play drums, any type of guitar really (maybe except classical guitar and banjo, but if he really wanted to he could), even a bit of piano (and jazz at that). What Felix has been getting into as of late has more do to with mixing music.


What is mixing music? Basically, it is a form of music editing that makes a song sound different from a live performance on television and the crystal clear audio that you hear on a CD. Even if you have albums of live performances, these are also edited, mixed and mastered so that it brings out a good live sound in contrast to hearing the sound off a YouTube video where even if you have high definition cameras, it still captures sounds that may be a too loud like overwhelming bass lines and so forth.

Getting back on point, Felix had given me a very generous suggestion about a month ago. He said, "Hey, why don't you come and record one of your songs at my place la?"

To be frank, I'd never given much thought of doing that because I didn't think that I'd get the chance. Another factor was cost as well, but Felix came into the picture and changed all that.







I told him I was very keen on the idea and I'd record something with him. This was delayed for a while however, because for a time, logistics and timing just weren't quite right for about a month, until last week on the 27th of September when I finally got to go to his place to put something down in his bedroom studio.


DI Box for the guitar



I learned something very important about myself, which was about keeping timing. I admit with the song Hearts United, I've been rather inconsistent with the timing each time I play it, whether at a performance or in practice. I never really sat down to be decisive on how it should be exactly and that cost me during the recording. Even without that issue though, just tracking the guitar was something that I couldn't do properly with the metronome going through the headphones. Its something I really have to improve, it was a rather important lesson learnt that day.


The magic box that takes everything in

Eventually, I recorded the guitar and vocal track without using the metronome and Felix was able to make something nice and simple out of it. I admit though, it would've been a lot better if I had kept time better. Its definitely my aim for whatever that I record next.




Microphone with filter


I bumped into Nick Lee (a local music producer) in church on Sunday and he asked me, "So Christon, how was your demo recording?"


"Well, it was a good experience, I learnt something about myself.."


"Keeping time eh," he replied with a huge grin.


"Yeah, that's right."




Mixer software

I just got the mixed track from Felix on Friday and to be fair, as much as I've said in this post it would have been better if I was able to track with a set timing, I was happy with the end result for that session. For me, it's been really addictive and I've been listening to it over and over again. Felix had already warned me, "I'll tell you, its addictive, because you'll be like, hey, my own recording, hahaha!"

That's my first experience tracking anything with some real quality recording gear and mixing software. It was a really good one for me I'll say, hopefully there'll be more opportunities in the future.


Felix editing my tracks

By the way, for anyone who'd be interested to liaise with Felix for these kind of matters, especially sound engineering related matters you could probably drop him a line at his blog: http://felixvoon.blogspot.com/


Thanks Felix. =)