Archive for August, 2007

One Year Later

It’s been one year.

One year since you left us. And here I am, in our living room, writing in the silence of the morning. All is quiet. Save for the gentle whir of the fan overhead, I am all alone. Mummy is in South Korea, Wei is out with his bass guitar and Yun’er is asleep. Kor and Joanne, I reckon, are asleep as well, in their new home.

I know you were listening as Kor talked about you during his wedding. You were smiling down at Mummy as she sang of Jesus as well. Tell me, Papa, what is it like up there with Jesus? Do you enjoy long talks with Him as the both of you stroll down the cobbled pathways of paradise? I remember that you said you wanted to read all the books you’d collected over the years once you retired. You possessed most of the finest literature crafted by men on earth. Classics, poetry, plays and philosophy. I don’t think I even finished one of them. Yet I’m certain all you choose to do now is to sit with Jesus and listen to Him.

When I went to visit you today, I saw a girl’s niche on the same wall. Her photo, shaped into a heart, showed her as young and beautiful. She was not on the wall one year ago, and I realised that she was the same age as me when she passed away. Ironically, she departed from this world on your birthday. I later found out that she, too, died from cancer. As I looked at her youthful face, I felt a fleeting moment of sadness for a girl taken away so young. But that feeling quickly passed, for I was reminded that she, too, is now cradled in the bosom of Jesus. And where she is right now, there is no more pain.

A pale rose was slipped into the nook in front of your niche. As I stroked its plastic pink petals, I absently wondered who placed it there. Perhaps it was Mummy, or the columbarium caretakers, or one of my uncles and aunts. It didn’t matter. I looked at your face in the photo, unsure of how old you were then, and I realised that it didn’t matter as well. You were always my father. Even when I thought I hated you, even when I felt I would never live up to your expectations of me, even when every effort of mine to make you proud ended in bitter disappointment, even when I thought you were a hard man who would never understand his children.

It didn’t matter in spite of all the even whens. Because I recall my childhood when you would lift me up and laugh that big, booming laughter of yours. I like to think that I have the same kind of laugh as well. I loved your smile when you laughed, because I loved what I saw being reflected in your eyes. Even as I grew up.. you still remained as that tall, towering figure to me. We were almost the same height, but I always felt small before you. I would look at you and wanting to be the man you were when I was a child. But when I went to a neighbourhood school and topped the level in English, or when I went on to poly and got gold medals in karate, I never saw that look in your eyes again. I decided then that I would never become the man you were.

But you would always be that tall, impossibly strong, intense father of mine. Even when you lost so much weight from your sickness, I never lost that sense of awe of you. I think the phrase ‘larger than life’ fits you rather well.

You will always be my father, Papa.

And so I find myself loving so many of the things that you did when you were younger, even though my abilities seem to pale in comparison to yours. I love to write, as you did. I love to draw, as you did. I love reading, as you did. All that ever since I was child. I still do. Now, I am even starting to love photography, as you did. Apart from our features.. I often imagine myself the child most similar to you.

Today, as I was quietly speaking with you, a old lady walked past the room. I looked up upon hearing her footsteps, and we acknowledged each other. She had on a navy blue fisherman’s hat, tortoiseshell shades perched neatly upon it. Her clothes were simple if not functional, and she had on a pair of sensible-looking shoes. She smiled slightly; I returned it, nodding. As she trotted off to a niche in the other room, I smiled to myself, because I noticed that there was no grief or anguish in her eyes. Perhaps, only perhaps, the slight tug of sadness that one experiences as we miss someone we love.

In that nondescript, chance meeting, the old lady and I were not unlike; I imagine that some sort of unspoken understanding existed between us for those short moments. If there began a conversation between us, I suppose this would what we would say to each other:

Yes, we are not here to grieve, nor to mourn. We who live, who continue, only come here to remember.

And I went there not to weep, for the weeping was done. Nor to lament, for there remains nothing to lament. I went there.. to remember.

And I remember you, Papa.

It is one year later, more than two hours after I began writing this. Here I am, in the living room, writing in the silence of the morning.

I am all alone, save for thoughts about you and You, and I dream of Heaven.

* * * *

If you’re still reading this, thank you for finishing the entire entry and allowing me to share.
Perhaps if you’d read my previous entry, you’d now know what I was talking about.

A year ago, I wrote about the days leading to and from my father’s passing. These entries remain significant, because I have emerged from them only more than blessed. Only good has come from it. Also, it was when I first met Coach Maddy personally and truly I thank God for placing such a blessing of a mentor in my life. If you read them, you’ll understand why:

1: i am my father’s son
2: a death in the family
3: eulogy to papa

Tonight, I am your friend on Multiply whom you might not have met or spoken to before. I am your classmate who gives you his opinion on your design work. I am your frisbee opponent who limps off the field after fifteen minutes.

I am your fellow Bedok-dweller and Manchester United fan whom you ask to see my sprained ankle. I am your fellow film-buff friend who bought you the t-shirt you wore today as a Christmas present.

I am your brother who shows off his ping-pong-ball-sized ankle swell to you when you come home. I am your brother, who asks you what kind of sandwich you would like for breakfast tomorrow before your prelims.

I am your colleague who tells you that I might be on MC for a few days. I am a stranger who limps into the coffeeshop to buy coffee. I am your regular customer whom you automatically make kopi-peng-siu-dai for, and ask why I am hobbling.

I am your team-mate in the office who asks you about photography. I am your CG-mate who listens enrapt as you share. I am everyone I have just described, and a prodigal son no more.

For most of all, tonight, I am my father’s son.

Resting in Him

Birthday weeks are always something to look forward to. Honestly I find myself not expecting anything from anyone.. exactly why, I’m not sure. There are still ‘traditions’ that extend from my younger days, such as giving dinner treats to my buddies from primary and secondary school. Birthdays are a good opportunity for a meetup, nonetheless.

This year, I find myself.. overwhelmed. The best gift-giver this time, now that I am able to witness this person’s goodness with far more clarity and assurance than ever before.. is Jesus. He has led me so far and with such faithfulness and love, that the only thing I can offer is return is gratitude.

I can receive birthday gifts (or any otherwise) from certain people for one year, and never get any from those people again. I suppose this is why it is said that we have friends in the season we are in as well.. though that thought may be a tad dismaying, some of us may realise it to be true.

It comes back to this: nothing on this earth is a constant because everything physical is in a continuous state of motion. Flux. Change. Atrophy. We see the people around us age. Crow’s feet appearing on once luminous skin. Hair once dark as coal becoming dusted with grey.

But we who can call ourselves sons and daughters of righteousness have a hope, because of Jesus alone. It is He who remains constant; for He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. The same Love in his heart that moved Jesus to give up his life for the propitiation of our sins still beats for us today. And so will that same Love continue, for tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow.. days and days that stretch forth into eternity.

For example, my friends that I have now or will have in future would possess a certain opinion of me, whether good or bad. Opinions, misconceptions, preconceptions or what-haves-you.. they are nothing that won’t change with time. On the wonderful flipside, Abba’s good opinion of me doesn’t. It’s as simple as that, because it isn’t me, it isn’t Jianzhong that maintains it. It’s Jesus.

So I find myself wrapped in the loving embrace of peace and joy.. with a sense of destiny. This year is truly is a year of new beginnings, because the year before was one I now liken to the return of the prodigal son. What I lost or missed out that year, I see how Jesus is restoring and rejuvenating now in 2007.

I love how our peace and joy, this state of divine rest, is not tied to our circumstances or state of affairs. This rest is not based upon having fat salaries, the hobnobbing with society’s elite, the stock market, fancy holidays, cars or getting ahead of our peers. It’s a rat race (the reason of the use of such an analogy should be fairly obvious) and I never want to be caught in it.

You know how Pastor tells us that when Abba looks at us, He sees not us in our fleshly selves? He sees Jesus instead of our wretchedness because we are clothed in the robes of Jesus’ righteousness that was bought for us by His blood. I love that. I just know that I know that this sense of rest arises because I discover my validation, my vindication, my identity and my destiny in Jesus.

So when I look at Jesus and behold His wonderful countenance, I also see… myself.

I see Jesus and me intertwined. There is no separation between us; we are One. Bridegroom and bride, bound by the unbreakable covenant of Calvary. Everything that He possesses, given to me. A kinsman redeemer like no other that has or will ever exist on this earth.

And this why I have this rest. It’s no longer about me, you see. It’s all Him.

August Days

It’s been a good week.

Spent the birthday going to JB alone and hunting for new shoes. Then hung out with the primary school buddies at Geylang – bought durians and ate Lorong 9 beef hor fun (rice vermicelli) and the tao huay next door!

I also brought out my dad’s old Canon EOS750 – an SLR with no manual exposure controls.. so it pretty much functions as a point-and-click. I developed the film and scanned it, but my scanner is an old bit of machinery, so it didn’t bring out the colour of the photos. I had to tweak it in Picasa to make it look closer like the developed photos.

August Days

Wondering About Corrinne May

It’s 4.55am.

Late nights like this put me in the mood to read. To trawl through my smorgasboard of links and read whatever catches my fancy. During such a time I prefer reading blogs, especially of people I know or am familiar with, which led me to Corrinne May’s blog. Not that I know her – but I enjoy her entries very much. She writes like any of us would – telling a story of her world filtered through her own eyes.

Slices of her life. Be it at the recording studio, a chronicle of the day’s events leading to and from her recent performance at NUS, or time spent with her husband’s family in Malaysia. I get drawn into her world so easily.. and she writes with a simple eloquence that is reflective of her own songwriting.

“Kavin left me to record the piano in solitude
while he went to the gym. It proved to be a good thing.
It’s so much easier to get into the mood of the songs,
and to put in the feel of the songs when I’m just
sitting there, by myself with the piano, free to
express all the nuances of the song, with no one watching.
Just me, the piano, and the song…” – Corrinne May

It reminds me of how I am when I write. The expression, I daresay, is the most wonderful aspect of the journey. Myself, I prefer guitars, but there is something about watching a lady playing a grand piano that just gets to me. It’s almost transfixing.

I suppose it’s how fascinated I am with music and how people can just be so good in their playing of the instruments. To me it’s like telling a story, but without the words. Perhaps it is that inexpressible quality which makes music seem almost magical to me. It’s really not about favourite genres or singers when it comes to my music tastes – I usually don’t know how to answer people when they ask me what kind of music I like – I simply reply, ‘Music nice then I like lor.’ It just comes down to that certain something that catches my ear and makes me sit up and listen, be it the lyrics or the melody, and just enjoy the song.

I may not be able to play music very well, or know it like Rob Fleming/Gordon, but I love it all the same.

My autographed ‘The Gift’ CD 😀

Her blog: Corrinne’s Musings – A singer/songwriter’s life

Review: Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Oh, how I hate Hollywood!

When I watched this latest travesty of a comic book film, I realised how much I detest Hollywood and particularly its number-crunching, money-making machinery.

This is not a film review. It is a tirade, fiery and passionate, of a man railing against the Man. Seeking vindication for this inglorious mess of a motion picture that puts on the mask of the familiar and possesses little else of substance.

Hollywood, you grand and frivolous woman! You have yielded to me the wondrous works of Batman Begins, Hellboy, Blade, 300, V for Vendetta, Spider-Man 1 & 2… but you have broken my heart again and again. You skulk now in the underbelly of capitalism, seduced by its deceptions and flattery, relinquishing the magic of storytelling. You have whispered lies in the guises of Elektra, LXG, Superman Returns, From Hell, Ghost Rider and Punisher, ripping apart years of comic history, the work of the finest of writers, the adventures and travails of its characters and the thousands of memories formed from its now-yellowed pages. You have let us down yet again.

You gave Johnny Storm the powers of the Super Skrull. You thought it clever, but you made the Comic Book Nerd from the Simpsons weep, and my comic geek heart sob. You put Jessica Alba in a role she couldn’t be less ill-suited for, and only for the pure cheesecake! You made the Thing into a Little Thing. Poor Ben Grimm! You who can stand man-to-ma.. err gamma-irradiated-monster-to-cosmic-ray-irradiated-monster to the Hulk (pre-World War Hulk, actually).. reduced to being mere inches taller than the Human Torch. The Silver Surfer made less human than a robot. And what’s this nonsense with Galactus, the Devourer and Eater of Worlds being a cloud of smoke?

You’ve done it again, Hollywood. Now give me back my childhood.

Rating:

Will You Believe?

I loved the production team’s concept for Arrow on Saturday. To witness fellow youths performing, it was a dream come true for me (now I remember Nikki telling me that this is a year of dreams come true – I agree!).

It has been something in my heart to see happen in our youth ministry. I remember months ago, probably way before I started serving, I wrote in to then-Campus and suggested that we have regular open mic sessions in our ministry (see under Music). The idea is not slickness or polish, but rather, expression. And not restricted solely to music, but poetry readings or even plays! Nothing is too big for us to dream, nor for our Father to fulfill!

I used to think that people who loved being on stage were simply glory-hunters or attention-seekers yelling, “Look at me! Look at me!”. Watching the auditions for shows like American Idol only compounded that thought.. but the Lord showed me otherwise. Take for example my own love for writing. Talent is not the important thing here, but it’s having an avenue where I can express the desire in my heart to write. Thanks to the technological advancements of the late 20th century, I have a computer where I can write easily without my fingers cramping (I don’t like writing with a pen anymore). I have the vast expanse of the internets where my writing can be put ‘out there’, through blogs and websites like FictionPress.. which is all analogous to a stage performance.

My point is this: It’s about expression. It’s that can’t-really-describe-it sense you get when you finish a story or a blog entry. The soaring in your soul when your fingers dance across the guitar strings, making music that is your own. The delight when you a sing a song even when no one’s around. It’s a sense of rightness and belonging when you do what you love.

It brought to mind Charis’ entry when she wrote about her experience performing a song during then-Campus. She quoted Huilin who told her, “It’s one thing to have talent. It’s another to celebrate that.”

It’s in my heart that we would have this sort of ongoing, regular sessions in the tradition of open mike nights. I think that when we celebrate each other’s gifts (talents ARE gifts from God), we are de facto celebrating Jesus’ finished work in our lives. It all comes back to pointing people to Jesus. Giving glory to Him. Shining the Light of our Saviour through what he has placed in our lives.

Yesterday was a fulfilment of this dream I harboured for our ministry. As I worked with the logistics team to set up the inner foyer for pre-service, I felt a deep gratitude welling in my heart. It was like getting a backstage pass to the best concert on earth! Personally I’m someone who enjoys getting right into the heart of things – I like finding out the “whys” and “hows”, tapping into the crux, the essence and the heartbeat. So being right there and involved in the setup.. I realised that I was a part of it, because He made sure that I would be! What an honour and joy to serve 🙂

Kudos again to the production team for transforming the inner foyer into a sanctuary. Gentle candlelight, enveloping red-hued glow, coffee tables and pillows all made for the dreamy ambience. The crisp, softly resounding melody from an acoustic guitar filled the air (I am unfairly biased towards the acoustic) .. and songs were sung, songs that told of Him. Before my eyes, I witnessed a dream come true.

Again, I was a witness to His goodness and faithfulness. I honestly thought that the suggestions I wrote in would not be taken seriously. I even remember telling God that, “If I ever found another church that’d be doing something like this, I’ll leave New Creation for that church.” (Well, this is another story)

I see the events yesterday as a step forward in the right direction. It might be a small one, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t a great one (remember Pastor Lian’s sermon on ‘big’ opposed to ‘great’ things?). I’m believing that we are moving into something bigger and bigger. Things are happening in the spiritual that we aren’t fully aware of yet.

I’m ready. Will you believe with me?

Starbuuuuucks!
The CG won this at Shining Lights 🙂
Assorteds Set

A Shining Light

So it all came down to this.

Five weeks of hectic planning and preparation for a full day of fun, learning and worship. An opportunity to integrate the freshmen in their period of transition into NUS, but more than that, to show them the love of God expressed through the people around them. To lift up Jesus and point them to Him: the City of refuge where they can be real, without any hint of self-consciousness; real people with real lives, led by a real God.

I shan’t go into the details of the Shining Light’s ’07 orientation just yet. I just want to dwell upon how Jesus reached out to me, even in the midst of my serving. Speaking of serving, the Lord showed me the hearts of the people, the vessels that He used to bring Shining Light’s ’07 into existence and into success. No pride. No ambition. Just a desperate desire to exalt Jesus.

Abba revealed to me how that in spite of the surfeit of plans that we can make, it can all but crumble in a single moment. I saw Grace personified throughout my sourcing for the required logistics, the most challenging of which was for the talent showcase and praise and worship. There was so much lack.. but again, His provision and faithfulness shone through: reminding me again how the term ‘shining lights’ is so deeply personal and symbolic to me. It is true that we are shining lights, jars of clay bringing forth the light of Jesus in the dark places. Yet the light is also a beacon of hope, warmth and comfort. Do you know how, in the wilderness, people would light campfires at night to keep away predators such as wolves and other beasts?

Fire. Light. Granting protection and safety. Light that both sustains and gives life. Jesus.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

That verse reassures me because it tells me that our self-made plans can only bring us so far, but our Father will use any and every circumstance to work good and bring to fruition His purpose for us. In hindsight I am grateful for the trying circumstances I went through; for if everything went smoothly and without a hitch, how can Christ be exalted in my life? For me, there would be no testimony, no experience of Grace made real before my eyes.

As I reflected upon this with Abba, He told me: ‘How can I not move? Do I not love these people who have put aside the time to attend this orientation? How will I surely not move and work all things to good when my love for them is beyond all that they can ever imagine?’

It humbled me, because when we serve we occasionally, perhaps inevitably, fall back into our strength to accomplish the tasks given to us. We forget that we have easy access to Jesus and the unquenchable power of Grace that is realised in our imperfection and weakness.

All of my failings/surely would have drowned me/but You made a way

And made a way He did. Jesus got cut off from our Father, the fellowship they shared torn apart at the seams, that ours with Him would be made whole. That we now could have this free and unrestrained access to Him.

Where would I be without You here in my life?

So even as I served, I saw His love made real to me when He ensured that there would be a way to me that I could receive of His abundant love. Such love! Such grace! Even as I write this, I feel tears stinging at my eyes and my heart overwhelmed. How privileged and honoured I am to be able to stand in His presence and sit by His feet!

Being so busy with preparing the function hall for the afternoon and evening events such as the seminars and worship, I had to sit out other events such as the games and also stand by to assist if there were any hiccups. I hardly spoke with my CG and ate lunch and dinner at the sidelines during the event going-ons.. I even forgot I had to go to the restroom! Yet even in the midst of all that, I received so much more than what I thought I had missed out. Even if you asked me if I’d rather be participant than a server, I’d say no. I’d go through everything again in a heartbeat.

It wasn’t because everything went smoothly with nary a bump in the road. There were many moments where the annoying screeching noise resounded through the speakers. Too many a time there were when the singing got drowned out by the sound from the amplifiers. I was really at my wits’ end, because I didn’t know what to do. I never learnt a jot about handling sound equipment. All I knew was, “Alright, this wire goes here, that wire goes there. Extend the cord when it’s too short, put a couple of adaptors here.. coil up the excess wires and try not to let them get entangled. These funky knobs are for the volume.. okay then! Let’s power it on and let ’em rip.” That pretty much sums up my experience.. or lack thereof.

Not quite the guy to ask to take charge of the sound equipment, eh?

My heart sank as I pondered upon the words I wrote earlier the night before, when I said the praise and worship was going to be life-changing. I was thinking that I’d have to eat my words and cram every single one down my throat. I was despondent; if people were going to walk away shaking their heads and thinking they just went through a lousy if not the lousiest praise and worship session in the history of their church-going experience, it would be entirely my fault.

That’s it, I thought. This will be the first and last time anyone is going to put anything in my hands, much less invite me into a commitee. I would be the one people would making the sign of the cross in their heads when my name came up. I’d be that guy.

But the Lord caught me whenever I started following that train of thought.

“Look around you,” He said.

I paused my internal fidgeting and scanned the function room. The spotlights and candles hanging from the ceiling gave out a soft glow that illuminated the faces in the room. It felt as if we were encased in a warm little bubble that was both cosy and inviting.

Right at that moment Lionel’s voice disappeared from the speakers, and I winced. It was then that I realised that I was truly hearing the chorus of voices from all the people. It was as if Abba opened up a window for me to see what He was seeing in this room, one of the hundreds in a school of twenty-three thousand students. The voices joined together in the praising of His name were almost transcendent, but how much more so to our Father?

I saw hands raised high and palms lifted towards heaven. I saw that havoc-looking dude I glimpsed earlier in the day with arms outstretched and singing his heart out, no doubt consumed in secret communion with Jesus. I saw a face covered in tears but never before so beautiful.

“Step back and let Me step forward.”

Before my eyes, I caught an all-too-fleeting glimpse of what grace was about. In my own imperfection and inability did I witness how Jesus’ grace poured forth in that place. It was never about the music. It was never about the numbers. It was never about making sure I had all the bases covered. It was never about me at all! It was all ever about Jesus lifted up and glorified as He reached to each individual heart.

I saw desperate people who were searching for the answer to who they were, looking for the purpose and meaning of their existence on this earth, or just seeking a touch from heaven to rejuvenate their jaded hearts.

We didn’t come to leave here entertained or worship under any other name
We’re crying out for You alone
You are holy Lord

Even as the songlist was played out and we moved into prayer and ministering, the presence of God never left. This was when I felt Jesus reach down into that deep hole I had dug around myself and pulled me out into His light.

“There will always be a portion for you, Jianzhong. Now just slow down and let me love you.”

As Coach Maddy called out for people who wanted to prayed over in the area of self-consciousness, I had a mini-battle between my heart and mind.

Heart: That’s me! Let’s go!
Mind: No! You’re a server remember! Go up there and catch people!
Heart: The time is now.

Okay, I thought. I’ll go.

Mind: Hey! Why are you so selfish? You’re putting yourself ahead of the participants!
Heart: Now is the time for you to receive, stop debating it and just go already.
Mind: So much for selflessness eh? Fruits of the spirit, my !@$. Wait lah.. go if more people go up!
Heart: This is your portion. Don’t think; just GO.

This was when I caught sight of Cheryl shuffling out from her row. I couldn’t see her face clearly, due to the dimness of the room and the fall of her hair. It was such a powerful thing for me to witness as she walked slowly to the front to the open space before the stage. I wondered: does it really matter what people think of us when we want to seek Jesus? Why be self-conscious when we know that we are so precious and so beloved to Him? For a moment I saw Abba smiling down from heaven on Cheryl. How beautiful she looked to Him!

I noticed someone else going up, but I didn’t know who it was. Without even bothering to think about it, I walked to the front. If I knew I needed to be there.. why else should I hesitate?

Trembling as I stood there, feeling naked and exposed to the hundred-odd people in the room, I thought my knees would give way. My arms were shaking as I lifted my hands as I readied myself to receive.

The words ‘Just slow down and let me love you‘ echoed in my head. Then I felt Joe’s hand on my shoulder I think. As he started praying over me, the tears came unbidden to my eyes. I didn’t even realise it, but the anointing was just sweeping and engulfing me. I didn’t even know I was weeping until I felt the tears streaming down my chin. I see now that it was Jesus speaking to me through these precious leaders. Joe spoke prophetically into my life, telling me of the hope and the future that I have in Jesus. That He was not done with me, and there would yet even much more to come. That my self-consciousness was something that He took upon Himself at the cross.

I think now that it was Love made so tangible that my body was overwhelmed. You know how we can cry when we are overwhelmed with emotion? I don’t think it’s easy for men to cry – it’s not a chauvinist thing – but I believe it’s because we not wired to be driven by our emotions.

When Joe finished his prayer, I was thinking absently whether I should go to back. However I didn’t, frankly because I wanted to wipe away my tear-streaked face and waiting to get a hold of myself before I did.

Yet I didn’t get a chance to take even a step back. Jesus wasn’t done yet! My eyes were closed but I felt like Coach Maddy was almost dashing to me as she came to where I was to pray over me. I felt her hand upon my head, and as she spoke I knew it was Jesus again speaking over. This time, it felt less like a prophetic word than assurance, confirmation and just.. Love.

As Coach spoke, the tears began flowing freely again. Just like before, I didn’t even realise it until the tears were dripping down my chin. I think I would’ve sobbed like a baby had I not consciously restrained myself. The love of God was so apparent and so, so real.

“You’re not trash,” Coach said. She had said more, but that statement alone was enough to engrave itself upon my heart.

“You’re not trash.” she said again. The tears were running freely down my face as I felt His love so fiercely like a blazing bonfire within. As Coach finished praying over me, I stepped back and aside. I never thought that I could receive so much in such a brief amount of time, especially as I so caught up in serving.. I mean, I knew it possible but until then had never experienced myself.

There is still so much to say, but at that point I remembered something in the Thailand mission trip video we had played earlier that evening that really struck a chord in me:

We went to give.. only to find Love awaiting.

I realised that that was me. I came to serve.. and found Jesus with all of His love, waiting to serve me.

As I laid in bed that night, staring at the ceiling and feeling wonderful after a shower, in spite of the numerous aches in my body, I thought about the day that had passed. It went well enough, I thought. I hoped everyone went home taking something from the orientation. Then, what came to mind again was the blog entry that I was talking about earlier, the one in which I said that the praise and worship would be life-changing for the people at Shining Light’s 07.

We won’t know yet whose life was changed, I wondered. Maybe someone will write about it.. I thought about the Word that was prayed over me and how grateful I was for leaders like Coach Maddy and Joe whose purpose was to exalt not themselves but only Jesus.

And right there and then, it dawned upon me that perhaps most significantly, it was me whose life was changed.