Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Aggravation: The same someone calls again at 3 am in the morning, and asks, "Hi, is Joe in?"
Frustration: Someone else calls in at 4 am and asks, "Hi, this is Joe. Did anyone call me?"
Monday, December 27, 2004
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear saviour's birth
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
Till He appeared, and the soul felt it's worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night o holy night
O night o night divine
I don't know why, but I've always liked this song. It sort of captures the grand, excited, wanting feeling that we all should feel knowing about the birth of Christ.
Reminds me of a sermon a while back. It started, "What does Santa Claus, Log cakes and Christmas trees have in common? They have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas." What was the original Christmas story about? It was about the sacrifice of God, coming down as a child, knowing He would eventually die on a cross. It was about the Saviour's love for us, great beyond all measure. And we would do well to remember that, to not focus on the eating, and the giving, and the Hallmark bits of it.
Still, that does not mean I don't like the secular aspects of it. I really appreciate all the cards and stuff that I received over the weekend. It's just that we should know where our focus should lie.
Remember Christ our Lord. All hail the Prince of Peace.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
The other thing I want to say is that I'm proud of him. We have our differences, and there was a point of time when I was jealous of what he could do that I could not (not Halo 2. Something else) but I'm glad for him. I've seen him grow up from a small punk that threw a book at me, to the God-fearing leader that he is today. And what brother could not be prouder of that?
They say that some twins are so close they can almost think what the other is doing. I've got proof that brothers can be that close too. There are so many times when I can just do something, and he'll react in the way that I know, and he knows, he should react. (Especially during games like Halo 2, MechAssault, Captain's ball etc etc) All we have to do is look at each other, and we can know more or less what the other's going to do. Well, yes, of course that isn't always the case. But hey, for a pair of brothers, I think that's pretty good, hmm?
He has his drawbacks of course. But those are for him to reveal, not for me. Suffice to say that he is all a guy could need in a brother.
I must be getting old, getting all sentimental like that. Bummer.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Some of you may be surprised, since I appear happy almost all the time, or at the least, sort of lethargic. Well, just in case you don't know, expressionless does not equal emotionless. So though you may have only seen two of my expressions, I do go through the same range of feelings that you all do. Well, ok, most of them.
So I dunno why I felt so down today. I mean, the day started off SNAFU as usual. I was supposed to be able to take leave today, but the replacement guy didn't know he was on replacement etc etc. Then in the end, I just took half day off. Went over to Woodlands Mart to have lunch with Frankie and Emily and a few others, then went home after that.
It was after I got home I think. SMS a bit, then it started. This little voice telling me I was a fool. So I tried to drown my sorrows in Starcraft, but after that, when I had to go out, it came back, worst than ever. It bugged me all the way down to town, as I had to go buy some stuff, and every part of the way, it was just bugging me. A bit irritating, if you ask me.
On the way back also, the little voice at the back of my head going over and over again. Really felt depressed. Which is unusual, since I'm not the depressed kind of person. So anyway, it just sort of bothered me all the way back till now. Now that I'm actually doing something, and actually thinking (yes, even though I am in the army, my brain still functions quite normally thank you) the voice goes away. Hopefully, it will be for good.
Now this whole thing is a major problem that some people face. Especially since this thing can actually lead to a realyl bad case of self-pity, which I have had to fight with on more than one occasion. My advice to you is that if you ever hear a voice like that, you can be damn certain it's not from God. So shut it out. Start praying, or singing, like Aggie says, think positive thoughts. This thoughts that come are the kind that can lead to suicide, so please don't listen to them.
Hope my veterancy will be able to help someone out there. heh...
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.- 2 Tim 2:22
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Anyway, this was the first time that youth camp seemed to pass so quickly. Maybe is cos I got too much practice watching time fly in camp. Maybe it's cos it was such a fun time that time flew. But whatever the case, it seemed exceedingly short. Ha... Maybe it's cos I'm getting old...
Anyway, we got to meet new friends, and got to know some of the other youths better a bit. And got nice food, and played fun games and had nice music and etc etc...
The whole camp was pretty fun, but I personally feel that the best bit was when Jun Yong agreed to pray to receive Christ with Sam and Jarrell. The next best bit was when Leon showed positive signs. heh... As for the camp in detail, here goes
First day: Reached church a bit late, got to know my group ppl, then went up to play games in Bethel. Wasn't too bad, just that my ppl in camp got some problems here and there, and I got disturbed. Anyway, after that we went to Sembawang Park for a spot of games, and we did fishing... which I might add, is rather relaxing, and I actually have a mind to go and do it again some time. At night, Brian managed to get himself 6 stitches... kaoz eh...
Second day: Early in the morning had a briefing about the "Amazing Race" that we were supposed to have. Quite sian, cannot bring wallet, I feel sian already. Anyway, we went to town, and did some stuff. After that, we went to Labrador Park for some other games, was raining, and they gave us the wrong address to go to. So we waited for a while for the rain to stop. Then we walked to Carpark B. The scenery was nice, and had a time to catch up with Jessica, Jie, Eunice and a few other ppl. Played boogie at night, damn near kena killed by mosquito... got back, and got to bathe before knocking out.
Third day: Morning had to rush through breakfast cos got practice for the worship. Then we headed to Wild Wild Wet. It wasn't a sunny day, actually rather cold if you asked me, but it wasn't too bad. Though the place was a little smaller than what I expected. Had quite a good time playing with friends. After that we went back and got ready for Omega Night. Forerunner came down courtesy of Sam, and they put up quite a good performance/worship, though I wish we could have done like a stupid comedy thingy like we always do...Jun Yong accepted Christ right about now. Anyway, as is customary, we slept very late (or technically, very early) and despite my original intentions of sleeping early, I ended up sleeping at 0430 hrs liddat. Had quite a good time with friends who stayed up, even though I dunno why but my group the three younger guys slept early. By right should have been me.
Last day: Had some more games in the morning, went to Fushan to play. I did something really stupid, and got a bruise for my troubles. Anyway, it was kinda fun, though the Milo Coffee Whipped Cream concoction smelled rather vile... Went back and had lunch and worship and finally went home after a few last pictures.
Now today, in themorning, I had to wake up real early, cos had to go to Sentosa for the ITI family day... still quite stoned out. But got to play beach volleyball with some of the guys, and managed to get a sunburn. And then had worship prac for service. And that's why I need to go sleep real soon cos I'm playing tmr.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Kong Kong is a pretty nice place. Quiet and all that. Went up with Cheryl and Mindy rather late in the morning (around 7.30 am like that) and we managed to get a cab to take us there... Almost fell asleep, but as a veh. comd., I'm not supposed to fall asleep, a restraint the two sleeping beauties sitting behind me certainly did not face...
Got to Kong Kong around 10 liddat. Went to join then and then got worship and BS. Then got lunch. P.J. really knows how to order seafood. So lunch was pretty uneventful, except that Nemo spilled coconut juice all over herself, then when I tried to help her, I managed to spill it on myself too. So my going home pants cannot use to go home...
Then went to play games, see the kelong etc etc... at night got BBQ, and can see that some of then really know how to pack away seafood... The fire they made also very good. The barbeque very hot, dunno how they did it lor... Then got BS again, and then as in any youth activity, the last night is meant for games and talking and fun etc etc. However, being the old man that I am, I fell asleep early at around 2.30 am.
After that we came back to Singapore, then said bye, and promptly met each other again at about 8.00 pm for JPM. And the camp t-shirts came in. They are very nice, dunno why Sulwyn said she thought the design a bit bold, but the words were sticky i.e. they stuck to my back. A bit irritating... haha...
So anyway after that can go home and sleep and this morning had to go to camp for a meeting in which I was involved for maybe 5 mins, but I had to sit in for about 3 hours... haha... army administration...
So just to tell the youth camp comm that the camp almost here, please continue to persevere, to make sure the thing is successful, and that His word may be spread to the unbelievers. Ha...
Monday, November 29, 2004
The day started well enough. I mean, I knew it was my birthday today, but it really kicked off when I went into the toilet in the morning, and saw a MAD book with "TO: DANIEL" written on a scrap of toilet paper... Only my brother would do something like that to me that early in the morning...
Before we left home, my parents gave me another present. So good right, can get presents like that...
Then go church, also quite happening... You actually won't believe the number of people who accepted that my birthday was on 31st November... haha.. really sorry guys... Some like Edmund noticed straight away that there was as much a 31st of November as there was a 30th February. Others like Cheryl, felt something was wrong, but just couldn't put their finger on it. And yet others... heh heh... let's not go around naming them, shall we?
Grace made me some jelly!! I was so touched... *sobs*
So anyway, had a time of sharing with Joshua, Brian and Linus. made me realize I'm actually very much of a loner... no like really close friends to hang out with regularly (see Vera and Joanne) heh...
Anyway, went up for service, then Yongling surprised me with her card as well as some stuff from Skye, whom I know from Sam's that concert a while back... So touched again... *sobs*
Worship was pretty good, then got to practice with Farand and Shaun and Caleb and Joy and Winnie and Jessica for Youth... Was fun, then the Youth Worship also quite happening... Then sign up for Kong Kong.... above 18 yrs liao, don't need parental consent... hahaha.... Now have agreed to meet Mindy and Cheryl on 021204 at around 0630 hrs to go up...
Went down for CG after that, and as they did during Sulwyn's birthday last month, they tried to surprise me by amking me sit in G3 and wait. Unfortunately for them, they turned off the fan too early, and I turned on the fan, then decided to go borrow the air-con controller from the office, and as I happily walked out, I bumped into the whole group of conspirators(Aggie, Jan, Sulwyn and Zoey) thus springing their ambush too early... haha... also cos Edmund and Reina didn't do a very good job of keeping me occupied...
Anyway, they forced me back into the room, and told me to act surprised, which I think I did pretty well... then after that they gave me a book and prayed for me... So touched... *sobs*
After which I really was surprised, cos Sam and Vera and Yongling and a whole other bunch of them came into the room with another piece of cake and sang happy birthday to me again... Even more touched *sobs*.. sam told me to "Make a fish" before I blew out the candle, and I think I made a pretty good fish out of a scrap of paper... haha...
So anyway, I am really grateful to God that despite the fact that I am still by nature, very much a loner, there are still that many people that actually bothered to remember my birthday... *Crying uncontrollably*.. It is a blessing to know you guys. Thanks for making my day... haha...
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Bad news: My passport will have to be manufactured in the US of A, as compared to last time when the US embassy could make one in a couple of hours. So, if I did go and get my passport changed on account of my signature, it would take 10 days to 2 weeks for the thing to come back, meaning that it wouldn't arrive in time for Kong Kong. They can issue a temp. passport for immediate travel, but I can't put stamps on that, and I need a re-entry stamp to return to Singapore after that.
Good news: I can sign back my old signature! haha... Must be cos the way I sign was imprinted, so that even though I hardly use the style of signature anymore, it wasn't as hard as I imagined it to be.
Good news: I changed my ATM card. As some of you know, my old ATM card had a massive crack next to the magnetic strip that extended almost halfway down. And while that did not knock the card out of commision, I certainly did not want to encounter a situation where I needed it to work, and the crack failed me...
Good news: Went to church to help out in the Bible Sports Programme... It was nice to be able to meet up with all the guys and gals of Youth Min who were helping out. (I also got dragooned in cos Mum was helping out) So it was nice to be able to just chill out around there.
Bad news: Some of the kids were rowdy. And I mean traumatizingly rowdy... And despite the fact that I am usually a nice guy (it's true ok! Don't give me that look!), I had to help them manage the kids. And I probably earned a rep as a "fierce uncle", thanks to the fact that I had to threaten and scold them, and also to Yongling, who told the to "Listen to Uncle Daniel".. But the kids were traumatizing... I'm scared of having to help out like that again... For the whole story, you can talk to me, or Raymund Mok, or Amanda, or anyone who was there...
Good news: Not all the kids were rowdy. Some were downright nice. Like during lunch, there was this child(Ann) who was sitting with us (Rachel, Huimin, Sulwyn, Jess and me) and she was just quietly eating fries, but she offered fries to us... haha.. I must be getting old, feeling all sentimental like that...
Good news: I got a new backpack. From the army market near Golden Mile Complex. And I didn't have to spend a bomb, as I had considered, cos I didn't buy anything from Sheares Tech. I mean they sell really good stuff, real quality, but a small pouch costs $50!! And anyway, most of the stuff looks good if you're in army fatigues, but you would look downright ridiculous if you were wearing civvies and carrying something like that..
Good news: I got to meet Auntie Eng and Uncle Bill! Old friends of parents, they came back from America to do something, and we went for dinner. It was nice to talk to them again, even though their son, Paul, whom we as kids usually play with, didn't come as he was still at NorthWestern...
Bad news: I think brother cannot go to Kong Kong. Cos parents not letting him. bother...
So overall, after averaging it out, that should have made this a good day, right?
Friday, November 26, 2004
My signature was originally a cursive form of my Christian name. And I thought it looked pretty good. All was well till Secondary school. (That's course up till then, we were forced to use thumbprints, irregardless of whether we had signatures or not, much to our displeasure). Anyway, finally came the day that I had to make a new passport. So me and parents toddled down to the American Embassy (I am American, in case you don't know or don't believe) to make the new passport.
Anyway, there, the customer service officer told me that I had the option of signing the document, or using my thumbprint. And of course, being the geh kiang little idiot that I was, I decided to use my signature. Many thanks to the officer there; he did tell me that it should be how my signature would look for a long time coming, since the passport would expire in 10+ years...
Anyway, back to present day. Youth Min going up to Kong Kong on 1st December. I can only go on 2nd December cos my unit has an out-pro on 1st December. But I digress... Anyway, I took out my passport to ensure that it was still valid (OK, so actually Mum took it out), and there, horror of horrors, I realized that my signature was actually a horrible little squiggle that with great imagination, could be construed to have been my name... I mean, in army, since I have to sign documents regularly, I've gotten a newer signature, based somewhat on the old one, but newer, more streamlined, more stylized, looks a lot less like a squiggle...
NOW I'M IN TROUBLE COS I CAN'T FLUIDLY SIGN BACK MY OLD SIGNATURE!!!!!
Bummer... hence I will be going down to the American Embassy to see if there is anything that can be done. Hopefully they will be able to help me, but security is a whole lot tighter now, and the passport situation may not be so easy to resolve, no thanks to that idiot Osama and his minions...
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Anyway, thank goodness for brother and Joanne, who are willing to help me to go and add on all the add-ons, and tie up all the loose ends that can be tied up and etc etc. Which of course, still doesn't mean this thingy is fully complete. After all, I am rather illiterate in the area of computers, and this is only the second day of its existance....
Anyway, my expertise in the area of Microsoft Word has enabled me to utilize the posting abilities of the website!! (i.e. I have no problems with basic typing per se) hahahaha.... I feel so secure....
So ya. It's gonna take awhile more to make this thingy a whole lot more presentable. Hopefully it will be before I've lost the novelty of the whole keeping a diary thing. If you want, you can go take a look at my brother's or friends' blogs.... if I could just figure out how to use the html to link them....
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! - Ecc 4:9,10
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Anyway, point to note is this. Always do your warm-up and cool down. CAUSE NOW I'VE GOT MUSCLE ACHES FROM THE RUN FOR FUND!!! It's not that bad really, what with my finely tuned muscles and excellent physical prowess... (Yeah I know. Gimme a break. This is my online thingy, I get entitled to my own delusions, don't I?)
Anyway, the run for fund was kinda fun. Pacing Jessica (She makes me sound so noble, when actually is also cos I'm bad at running...) was fun. Get to talk to her. long time haven't had to oppurtunity to talk to old friends. And on the way back also got the company of my shortcake... haha... she had a good time lor... never run, but eat alot while we all are running...
That's about all i'm gonna say. No, i'm not going to start wrinting about my personal fears and my love life on this thing. I have an image to uphold. So go bother someone else, someone less conservative or something.