Thursday, May 31, 2012

Birthday Love, Bye Shan Shan & JB

I can't believe I just turned 23. I just can't believe it. I still feel 21- and that's just sad. 

On my birthday, I didn't take leave from work. At night I just had a little BBQ at my place with friends and cool peoples. Here are some people who stayed a little longer till the end. I had a really fun time and barely took any pictures all night. I probably would've ended up with no pictures at all if not for Amanda who volunteered to take pictures for me. 

And the reason why I have a towel wrapped around my shoulders is because I got thrown into the pool toward the end. 

That's to be expected right?

The problem is, I was actually chewing a fishball before Huey suddenly grabbed me by the waist and I had no time to swallow my food. I was so afraid of choking that I ended up spitting out my half chewed fishball onto the floor right before landing in the water. 

I told people not to bring things, but they all didn't listen. 

It was very heartwarming to read all the cards though =) Thank you guys for making it a special time!

Shan Shan's leaving for Japan for a missions trip, so we met up at Mind's Cafe to bid her farewell. 

Played a really confusing game of True Colours, but overall a fun night!

On a random note, my dad's been going on a JB frenzy recently. We now go to Malaysia at least once a week for supper after work. 

My passport is going to get stamped up with Malaysian stamps before it expires I assume...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


If people at my workplace don't consider me as a Christian, have I already become a stumbling block to them? 

The reason I ask this question is because my boss said something to me yesterday that got me thinking. He said that he knows a girl that might "actually be more Christian than [me]".

More Christian? I thought aloud to myself: is there such a scale to measure who is more Christian than another?

A few minutes later, while still conversing, my boss then said that he felt like the way I was talking to him was as if I didn't think he was a Christian. He then asserted that he IS one and that only God can judge.

I suppose that means he felt judged as I was talking to him.

Still, 1 Corinthians 5:12 says "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

This puts me in a predicament. If my boss is claiming to be a part of the holy universal church of God, I should be subject to his judgment and vice versa. But this gets more complicated...

He later proceeds to say that some people are in the camp of taking Scripture as Law and he thinks I am one of those people. (I told Eileen I wasn't sure if this was a compliment or not), but one thing is for sure. He distincts himself as one of those people who do NOT consider the Bible as absolute law. Instead, he believes only in loving God and loving others. While I agree with his last statement, I somehow sense that he believes in "Love God & Love others" as much as people believe Obama is a Liberal without understanding what being a Liberal means. 

The irony of it all? I don't know what to say to him because I used to be just like that. Seeing and hearing, but never understanding. 

If you're gonna ask me how I know he doesn't understand? This is how: 

"My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water" (James 3:12)

"By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" (Matthew 7:16)

I know because of the fruit he bears. 

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlesness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:19-24)

These were the very same verses that woke me to my blindness. 

I just can't believe how I used to live in the world and professed to be of Christ, yet I did not resemble anything like His offspring anymore than I look like the child of a blue-eyed Swiss. Now I feel like I'm meeting someone as exasperating as I am. Maybe my boss frustrates me because we are so much like each other. Stubborn, always think we are right, need to argue until we are right...... I see now the depth of patience that others needed to have when they were around me! 

But what now?

I don't know why this week seems so spiritually tough, but even as the battle rages, I will pray and trust that God will put the right words in my mouth and give me courage to speak at the right time. Over all this, I pray I will put love because love speaks louder than any language in the world. 


One more thing.

I was quite bothered when I looked at my calendar and realised that there was hardly any green (I use green to mark anything I do that concerns Jesus Christ). The greens were mostly all on the weekends. Most of it was orange (work-related) or pink (fun stuff like skating). 

Perhaps I've been spending too much time focusing on the wrong things. It's time for a shift!

Back in the U.S., there was so much green. What happened? I don't know. But I'm gonna make space for God now.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Lately I've been feeling disapproval coming from everyone. Whether those people really are disapproving of me or not, I just felt that I wasn't "good enough". Even for the people who should care the most about me- I just felt like I was invisible. 

I'm turning 23 tomorrow and with each year that I grow older, I feel like I'm getting further and further away from everyone. 

Worst of all, I felt like I couldn't talk to God directly for the past two days or so. 

But God works in mysterious ways...

Today in church and in various other places, He reminded me yet again of one absolute truth: that is, He is the ONLY one in the entire universe who could ever know what is going on in my heart. Not only that, but He is the only one who could truly have the genuine energy and initiative to care

You know how people don't like to hang out with friends who talk too much? I'm usually that friend who talks too much. 

Yet no matter how much I talk, I always get the sense that no one really hears what I'm saying, or they always miss the main point. Truthfully, that frustrates me more often than I'd like to admit. Misunderstood... mistaken... misinterpreted... 

At the end of the day, my heart just feels so bogged down and tired from trying to prove myself to everyone around me. What's the point? Since nobody could ever really understand... 

That's when Jesus comes and reminds me that He's the only one worth talking to. Even without words, He already knows. With Him, I don't have to pretend or put a mask on. I can be completely honest with Him. "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD." (Psalm 139:4)

So the question begs- why don't I spend more time with the closest friend/relative that I could ever have?

I don't know. But when I do, all the troubles in the world just seem to melt away...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Netball & Basketball

Finally! A weekend where I didn't skate at all!

Saturday morning, I went to my ex-secondary school Tanjong Katong Secondary to meet up with some alumni netball players and the current team.  

It was nice to get to meet the current team members, most of whom aren't even sixteen years old yet. 

Man I feel old...

Got to see some faces that I haven't seen since I left TK.

Thankfully, unlike my primary school, TK hasn't changed much over the years. The campus grounds still look the same as when we left it about eight years ago.

It was a surreal experience to be back here again with the same people that I used to see everyday. It was as if we never left.

How I miss those days!

The current teacher in charge of the netball team is Ms. Syikin. She's really sweet and actually organised this entire event for the current team of champions and for us (alumni).

I couldn't believe the amount of work that went into preparing the library for the celebratory lunch.

Someone had painted the lanterns into paper netballs!

We watched a video about the current TK team.

So this year, TK netball made history by winning the C Div championships against long-time giants Nanyang Girls' High, 32-25. Not only that, but they won the finals without losing a single game before that!

I'll just say that the team has come SUCH a loonnggg way and I am very proud to have been included in a small part of the history and tradition. Great job girls!

The principal even came to give away prizes for the girls who won this years championship. 

Back then, we'd never experience this kind of support for the netball team. Apparently this principal had been to several games to support the girls. Years ago, our principal never did that. I was pleasantly surprised at this change. It really means a lot when parents, administrators and teachers show that they care in the welfare of the team. 

 The alumni that showed up.

Current champs.

Met Mr. Anwar who is a familiar face.

Our made-up team of alumnis, "Powderful", won third place out of four teams that morning against the current TK netball girls. Not too bad considering that we're old and crickety eh? Our prize was a small packet of chocolates and snacks. As you can see, Ruth is very excited about it.

We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather all morning and afternoon. 

After the games and lunch, Fat, Nurul, Ain and I went to Bedok Central to chill.

Just like the good ol' days of carefree secondary school...

In the evening, met up with Benedict, his booboo and Kat for dinner at Mana Mana Beach Club.

Talia and I were dog tired.

All day Sunday I was in church and Enkoosh (who is visiting from Jersey) came with me to House of Bread as well. 

After House of Bread, I rushed down to Sakae Sushi in West Mall to hang out with the girls from Davidians (group in church). I was about an hour late and they had started eating sushi before me. Check out the crazy pile of plates they created!

After getting bubble tea at Gong Cha, we walked to the basketball court area next to the community centre to chill.

It's been even longer since I've been in the Bukit Batok area. I consider this neighbourhood as the place where I spent most of my childhood. Since about twelve years ago, things have changed a lot. Even the basketball court looks unrecognisable.

I guess if there was a word to sum up this entire weekend, it'd be "nostalgia".

I revisited lots of old haunts and reconnected with friends that I used to see daily or weekly. In a way, it's nice to see each other again and to talk as if time never passed. But on the other hand, it's bittersweet to know that those times can never return and we are getting further away from them with each second that passes.

I just want to be a kid again...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weekend In Review

It seems like more and more of my blog posts are just turning into reviews of what I did over the weekend. I suppose that makes sense since I'm working all day during the week anyway. After work, I don't do much besides skating. 

Well last Monday I went with Chen (colleague) to meet up with a prolific user of our app- PG. It was the first time we'd met him offline and I must say, he's not much different from what I thought he'd be like. I could even recognise him off his profile picture! 

We had ramen at a restaurant in Cuppage Plaza that I'd never eaten at before. The restaurant, Gyoza Na Ohsho, is an informal little place on the first floor with a nice selection of ramens cooked by Japanese chefs (served by filippinos). I ordered chili ramen and it cost $12. All the basic ramens cost $12 while the more special ones (I assume they're more special) cost $15. 

Overall I thought this place was pretty good. Cuppage Plaza has a lot of hidden gems I suppose... Gotta explore this area more!

So I've been rollerblading almost every night. Nothing new, I know.

One of my favourite places to skate to when I'm alone is the East Bay Gardens overlooking the Singapore Flyer. It's next to East Coast Park and there is a path that you can take over a bridge towards Marina Barrage.

The reason why I love this place is because it's usually devoid of noisy people. The couples who do come here for "pa tor" are very unassuming in their dark corner benches- leaving me virtually whole peaceful waterfront to myself.  

Tuesday night, the moon was gigantic.

It's so nice to find a place in Singapore that is not crowded (like ECP) yet well-lit enough to feel safe.

Not to mention, the views across the river are quite stunning. 

Can't believe how much the Marina Bay area has transformed in slightly less than a decade.

 All this "wildlife" that's here right now, wasn't here too long ago...

That Tuesday night, my dad and I went on a totally impromptu trip into Johor Bahru, Malaysia for supper. He drove me home from East Bay Gardens to grab my passport before we zoomed over the Woodlands Causeway towards yummy and cheap food.

Went to a street vendor for wanton mee.

Papa decided to try the BBQ grease truck parked on the side.

You get to pick whatever you want before they barbecue it for you. Most of the skewers were seafood skewers.

Even though it was almost midnight, the tables and chairs were mostly filled with Singaporeans. All the cars parked along the side of the road were Singaporean cars as well! 

I don't blame Singaporeans for wanting to eat here though. Look at how much our food costs. And keep in mind that this is in Malaysian ringgit! Divide the amount by 2 for a rough estimate of how much all this costs in Singapore dollars, or divide by 4 for a rough estimate in US dollars.

My dad and I each got a plate of wanton mee.

This bowl of wantons in soup came with it as well.

Our BBQ skewers were amazing.

Everything was dipped in a kind of soy sauce mix which gave it just the right level of saltiness.

Soft shell crabs on a stick. Ate the thing whole.

Love the old school chopsticks.

After getting gas in Malaysia (which is half the price in Singapore), we went back home. I went to sleep about 01:00 that Wednesday morning.

The rest of the week went by like a blur and by the time Saturday arrived, I didn't want to do anything else by relax.

The weather was perfect that afternoon.

The boys had a lot of fun in the pool.

At about 14:30, we started getting ready to go to ECP for their rolerblading lessons. 

I really wanted to skate, but my entire body was aching severely from rollerblading about 40km on Friday night. It was insane! 

Nevertheless, my addiction to skating couldn't keep me from going to ECP where I met this lovely cat.

In the daytime, Xtreme Skate Park is overrun with young kids. And when I say young, I mean anywhere from four to fourteen. Some of the real "pros" in the skate park happen to be plucky seven year olds who don't seem to get the concept of pain or gravity. 

Man, this place makes me feel old...

After some time in the skate park, I wandered off towards the water. Thankfully, the weather was slightly cloudy and breezy. Still, I was sweating like a pig (random thought: do pigs even sweat?).

There was some windsurfing thing going on by Castle Beach.

ECP is always a blast when it's nice out on the weekends!

On Sunday, I cooked borscht for my friends at House of Bread. It's the first time I'd cooked borscht since I came back to Singapore and it turned out quite alright. 

I've never been to Russia, but sometimes I feel like I miss it haha!

After House of Bread, we went to Dave and Sarah's place for a farewell BBQ for them. Dave and Sarah aren't regulars at House of Bread anymore, but I see them at the baptisms and other meetings. They're Americans who are teaching in Singapore, but now they're going back to Virginia. Though I haven't known them for a long time, I've grown to appreciate their presence as shining examples of Christians.

Quite sad to know they're leaving actually... So soon before I've even got to hang out with them more.

Welp, people come and go in this life. But in heaven, we'll be together for all eternity! =)