Tuesday, December 29, 2009

做人真的很累。

真是糟糕,20岁罢了都已经埋怨说累。剩余的人生怎么度过啊?

几个月前,我和我一位朋友聊天,也提到我感觉多么的累,多么的想放弃。
他说,放弃,不就等于停止生活了吗?

不,我不愿意只是单单生存着。我要充满生命力地活。

一次又一次的失败,每一次在脑子里都有这声音说:“你做人真是失败!”

失败的态度。失败的想法。对自己的失望也大大地沉压了自己的心。是自己给了自己太大的压力。

已经几个月了,还是不知道怎样平衡自己。记得妈咪整天唠叨地叮咛着:“成功是点点滴滴的,不是轰轰烈烈。

莫非,我得用我一世人来跟这问题奋斗?

忘了刚信主的时候,其中一个最喜欢的经文: "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. " (1 Peter 5:7)

还有,"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28)

看来神真的很关心我得需要,今天突然到处看到很多关于'rest' 的经文。
谢谢我的天父爸爸!:)


真是的。干吗硬要背着自己沉重的负担?

那么简单的东西竟然变得那么难。

虽然从小就非常讨厌‘负责任’这三个字。
我想,小学老师们都能用一个字来形容我 -

长大后,彼不得已必须放下自己的不喜欢,逼自己完成必须被完成的事情。时常忙到竟然放不下。久了,就感到好累。

不,算了。不应该埋怨。放下,看开点,把一切都交托给神。

大部分都怪情绪吧。它好像能够把我的乐观的能力全都吞没了一样。

感谢主在我生命里放了好多天使似的朋友来鼓励我。 :)

好吧。抬起头来,仰望着神。

"他对我说:我的恩典够你用的,因为我的能力是在人的软弱上显得完全。(2 Cor 12:9)"

不应该让神的喜悦给夺走。

再多两天,又是新的一年。

明天,又是一个新的开始与希望,新的挑战与奋斗。而且并不是独自一个人一步一步往前走 - 我有神为伴。:)

嘿,这大概是我六年级程度的华语吧。 :P

"一 概 都 是 藉 着 他 造 的 , 又 是 为 他 造 的 。" (Col 1:16)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Because of Love







That's Christmas for you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jingle Bells in the snow!

It's 4:11am in the morning now but i couldn't wait until the next day to post this up!




Conductor: Jason Loh (The coolest conductor ever!!)

The left-over choir:
  • S- Kimberly, Grace Khoo, Wei En, Christina Khoo, me.
  • A- Gretha, Elaine Ho, Wen Qi.
  • T- Byron, Ben Cheong
  • B- Ngee Zheng, Hon Chien

Hope you enjoyed the video! And that's my lil Christmas gift to you all i guess. heh.

That's just a tiny lil portion of joy, of my experience with the Solid Rock choir. It's been so much fun! It feels just like playing in the brass band. :) ...or maybe better. :D

(Solid Rock is basically a Christian Fellowship made up mostly by Malaysian/Singaporean/international students based in Nottingham University.)

The Solid Rock choir was 'formed' for the purpose of performing for the annual 'Reason For The Season' Christmas event earlier this month (pictures can be found in Facebook if it interests you).


But even after the event ended, alot of us couldn't bear to face the fact to stop singing together just like that because we just enjoyed it too much.

So, Jason arranged for us to sing carols at his church (The Christian Center, Talbot Street, Nottingham) at the entrance inside and just be a blessing to people coming in and going out. There are just a few of us because the rest of the choir have gone home/somewhere else for Christmas.



The story behind this video:

We were practicing inside halfway through when it started snowing! (It has already been snowing for the past few days.)

As jakun as we are, we became quite distracted (as we always do. I find it very funny that we're like a bunch of kids! Jason has to constantly 'lecture' and remind us to focus.) and a few people had this crazy idea of singing in the snow.

After awhile, Jason went like:" Okay, Let's sing in the snow."

And so we did! :D

Though it's just one song. It's too cold. :P

Thank You God for this joy, from being with this bunch of people i can call home. Well, it's been awhile that i haven't felt this at home. :)

P/S: Thanks Kimberly for uploading this video! :D


Merry Christmas y'all!! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Made in greatness and for greatness

I still remember the last sunday rainy afternoon in Malaysia.

We were having our (braised? I forgot the actual name and i googled it and saw the images. argh, BAD MOVE. I'm hungry enough already. :() beef noodles in a cafe in O.U.G with Summer, Roxanne and Galen.

And i asked this question about what defines greatness. (It was started by this video clip promo for YC camp earlier that day.)

I remembered Galen said:" Bigness doesn't equal greatness."

Which is so true.

A small gesture by someone could make a great differences in touching another person's life. So, stating the obvious, greatness is about other-centred-ness, for what use is it, if life is all about ourselves?

I guess in this hi-tech, fast paced world now, making a difference isn't just limited to people around us physically. Especially for us who're in the arts, people who write, draw, design, invent, create, build, make music, sing etc.. I suppose we usually 'feel' more and are more prone to being emotional (sometimes, in one way or another) - we need it to evoke inspirations to create to express ourselves or what we want to be known through various or combinations of mediums - words, colours, paintings, pictures, sound, music, photos, pictures, videos, movies, dramas, movements, dance etc etc. And those are things that usually makes us feel and just be human.
"...at the end of the day, the people who make an impact on your life aren't those who teach you the most or know the most or have the smartest things to say. It's the people who make you feel, who make you come alive and make you realize that there's so much more beyond yourself that you can be." 
- Crystal Cha
But i guess, those alone are not enough, we need to have a relationship with that something in order to evoke emotions because emotions and feelings come from our relationships with people and things.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

At the end of the day...


Great God who knowest all our needs


Bless Thou our watch and guard our sleep

Forgive our sins of thoughts and deeds

And in Thy peace Thy servants keep

We thank Thee for the day that's done

We trust Thee for the days to be

Thy love we learn in Christ Thy son

O may we all His glory see

Amen

- The B.B Vesper


Its tune has always been beautiful and haunting in my opinion. Only in recent years did i realise how much those words mean.

*Nostalgic*


That makes it something special i'll cherish and treasure, like the birthday cards and lil notes filled with simple words, accompanied with meaningful memories, still kept in my drawer in my room back at home. :)


Sorry non-B.B members, you wouldn't understand how much it means to some of us :P.
FYI, it's a song sang together as a prayer
after a long day at B.B, with caps held on our left shoulders, at closing parade.

What makes it better is the harmonising that sometimes happens. lol.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Assured much?

I still remember the day (not too long ago) when i broke down and bawled my eyes and heart out in front of my parents.

That never happened before - not in front of my parents (at least not during my teenage years?).

I felt so small and helpless. Like a small girl who wants her papa and mama to be there for her. (Sounds pathetic and silly, but sigh, those were one of the days where i refused to grow up. So much for becoming 20 years old. lol.) =/

All that was bottled up within me just burst through my will to hold it back.

I guess i needed some assurance.

No. Let me rephrase that.

I was unconscious that a desperate need of assurance was all i wanted and needed.

I guess you're never too old for some assurance ay?

Assured that you're loved, treasured, heard and known.



So much for being insecure. Hehe..



On another note, I'm SO SO blessed, and far from deserving it.

I can never say THANK YOU enough.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Masks



Wearing masks. As much as it is becoming a cliche topic, the issue is still very real.

We watched this video the other day in YC. Before i knew it, tears were flowing down my cheeks. Never thought i would forget about it so quickly, and i stumbled upon it yesterday night. It tugged at my heartstrings again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reminder to self


Was sorting and looking at old pictures printed months ago and putting some of them up on my "board" a few days ago.

I realized i have forgotten that, wow, i actually have been through quite a lot (i know it's very little by the world's standards, but hey, they formed a big part of me and are precious to me) learning, doing, playing, all the bonding with people, both good times and bad times.

And i realised (or remembered) that I actually have so much to offer. After all the self-bashing, I'd always like to be invisible, thinking that people don't really take notice of me, that i don't matter much, feeling and being insignificant. (Sad, i know.) It's the same cycle all over again, like how i was years ago.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry that i haven't been taking myself seriously.

I've belittled the skills and talents God gave me, and most importantly, my character and personality that apparently is unique and not be deprived to somehow "enrich" and bless the lives of people around me (by God's grace).

I've been very irresponsible. Knew it all along but somehow couldn't find the strength to pick myself up. All the laziness and procastination. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

So, come on you. You have so much to share and offer. Your life, your time, your capabilities, talents, skills, and just...YOU. Don't waste it.

---

Then again, why do i have to rely on what i've gone through to define who i am? Isn't it enough to find your identity in God? Why do we need to have unique identities? What defines it? The people in your life? What you do and what you are capable of? But can you imagine life without them? Why is it such a struggle to lose everything else and just be found in God? ...including your memory..

...thankYou God for this thing called memory. I wouldn't know what i would do without it. It's been depressing to not remember who you are and what you've gone through.

But Paul said:" Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.." (Philippians 3:13)

That just means not living in the past right? Or did he literally mean totally forgetting your past? What about remembering God's faithfulness and all?

Endless strings of questions, again. Not sure if i made the right decision to post all these up. =/

Someone enlighten me please.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

That plane ride

I just wanna say that, i had one of the most interesting plane rides. :)

Thank You God for answering my prayers, and giving me more than what i hoped and asked for!

A seat next to the window and right in front of the toilet (which means there're no more seats behind and we could lie down however low we want).

And next to a nice, friendly guy who's also a final year Pharmacy student in University of Nottingham (which means we actually have quite some mutual friends. Small world. And why is it that i always bump into Pharmacy students??)

And a bleeding wound on my gum (A minor trauma from teeth scaling the other day, and that's why it is good to be so near the toilet :P). That means i've been losing, tasting, swallowing and smelling big chunks of blood for more than 30 hours (Felt super sick of it).

Had very good conversations about lots of things - God (he's a self-confessed atheist), and life in general.

He said something that hit me that went across the lines of :"It's important to be both a good speaker and a good listener. Don't be afraid to speak because it gives a chance to other people to be a good listener."

And lots of other good reminders and stuff learnt throughout.

So, you might not realise it, but thanks Albert! For making this plane ride an enjoyable one for me, for helping me with my luggages, for calming my nerves (I got very scared when my gum was still bleeding quite furiously), for showing some magic tricks of yours (something he does best), and just being an awesome company lah :).

Oh, during the journey at night, it was the first time i could see a whole blanket of stars so clearly from the plane! Awesome-ness. :)

As usual, love the clouds too. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bracing myself...

*Takes in a deep breath*

...for at least another 10 months worth of a ride.

I will choose to rejoice. I will choose to stand on His promises that it's His battle. That pretty much placed everything in perspective.

...despite the several unexpected emotional outburst/release for the past few days. But some good probably came out of it. Sigh. (Okok, i've been sighing way too much. It's becoming my favourite word).

Time to put myself together again.

Bye Malaysia and everything that's in you.

And time to look ahead.

Hello UK, again. Hello challenges and growing up, and new lessons, experiences, perspectives and people.

And i choose to :).

P/s: I apologise if i haven't said bye properly to you or worse still, haven't meet up with you! Especially some of my TOA mates and my NS friends. I'm sorry!!! I've been terrible. Hopefully next year i'd be able to!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ah...can't help loving my sisters :)

The other day, while the rest of the family were busy with our own agendas after dinner, my younger sisters had their friend, aka the neighbour kid, over at our place.

As girls always do, they would play dress up, had their own fashion show and stuff inside closed doors of our room. (I was busy online outside in the open area as usual :P) But never did i expect them to come up with all these:







Not bad for a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old ay? But my first reaction was to laugh my head off lah! Especially at this one:

Sigh, kids these days.

No doubt about how adorable my sisters are of course. :D

They took my mum's Kodak digital camera, a portable spotlight and striped carpet from my parent's room, my pink caps (one of it is from 2006 B.B Pesta KL group singing competition) and pink ribbon (also a small part of costume from the same singing competition), my guitar, and they turned off the lights in the room except for the spotlight they 'borrowed'.

Seriously, i'm impressed. I wouldn't be able or even have the idea to come up with all that at their age. But i guess i could safely say that the blood of creativity runs in the family ;).

I was also stumped at the sudden realisation of how grown up they are now! Especially as i was talking to them and noticed the way they talk. They aren't the silly, annoying, small lil brats i used to know anymore. Especially my older younger sis, very soon she will be stepping into the world of being a teenager, growing up into a young lady, and.... okay, i refuse to think about it anymore.

On my youngest sister, very often i can't help but to smile or laugh at her cheekiness and innocence and i would wonder how would she grow up to be like. Sometimes i wish she don't need to, so that she won't need to face the world's cold, harsh, cruel reality. Sigh.

Even as i think of all these everytime, i would shed an imaginary (or sometimes a rare chance of a real) tear or two. *sniff*

I think i finally know a lil bit of how my mum would feel. :/

I wouldn't trade these 2 precious girls for anyone else in this whole wide world lah. Same goes to the rest of my family :) (though i remember when i was really really REALLY young, i'd always wish childishly that i could have a better younger brother, or a sister instead of a brother because he was always bullying me and we would always fight. Like really fight, literally, armed with anything we could get our hands on, eg.: badminton racket, wooden stick, books, etc etc. or just our fists. Man, those were the days.)

ThankYou God for giving these precious blessings, for this thing called family and for love. :)

And uh...they will laugh at these pictures in 10 years time :).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I will declare

Image by D Breezy.


This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is the God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Chorus:
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
!

Bridge:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship


(The Desert Song by Hillsong)

I've been overwhelmed and amazed at how God's been assuring and reassuring me, especially during camp. Even though it seemed like i've done everything i could do, and i kept trying and striving as though as i've not done enough, God says it is okay. It is okay to feel that way, it is okay to be where I am now. It is not my fault. I've forgotten to cast my cares and burdens upon Him. My faith had been shakened.

I've been afraid. Afraid that I did something wrong that made me end up where i am, afraid that i won't be passionate and on fire again, afraid that God isn't really the God i've known to be, afraid that it is my fault to feel so tired and weary and spiritually dry (which i thought shouldn't happen because we are to live victorious lives in Jesus), afraid of what is waiting ahead of me, afraid and tired of moving forward to face my giants.

Sigh, thinking of all that already feels so draining. =/

But God is faithful through it all. :) Because..

"No temptation (or trials) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (and tested) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
- 1 Cor 10:13
Sue Ann reminded me through her prayer that God's silence doesn't mean His absence.

Ps. Guy told and reminded us that even Moses needed a refreshing though he's been speaking to God face to face, and God gave him some drama to refresh Moses' faith. Even Elijah was tired, weary and depressed, God listened to his nonsense and gave him what he need - ALOT of rest and food, because he still have a great journey ahead of him (God's not done with you yet!). Even John the Baptist who knew Jesus from the womb, needed some assurance if Jesus is really the Messiah, and Jesus reminded him of all the things He has done.

He understands, and He will provide.

And that i am to press on and continue to dig until i find water.

About God's promise about the Promised Land, i've already crossed my Red Sea and I'm in my Jordan river right now, i need to overcome my fear and put my feet into the water.

Fear. Because of fear, the children of Israel didn't get to go into the Promised Land.

I've been seeing myself as small compared to my giants. I forgot to look at the greatness of my God instead.

It's time. Sigh (A relieved one mixed with the one where you get up from the sofa and start walking). It's time soon to step out and move forward again with my eyes on Jesus. It's time to embrace change while being steadfast and live and breathe in the One who never changes.
"He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake." - Psalm 23: 3

"He holds victory in store for the upright,
He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for He guards the course of the just
and protects the way of His faithful ones." - Proverbs 2: 7-8
Thank You Lord for ALL of Your marvellous goodness and abundant grace and over-flowing love!!! :))

ThankYou also for all the people that i had meaningful, encouraging conversations with during camp, for refreshing me and filling me up again though it's still in the process, for the fun and laughter and "bonding sessions" and just EVERYTHING lah! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

A place like no other

HOORAY! Malaysia is in her 52nd year of independence now :).

I am going to be biased and declare that Malaysia is the best country in the whole wide world! :) Minus the politics, the injustice, the education system and a whole bunch of ugliness of it.

Yes, we can't have everything. But Malaysia is beautiful and filled with so much don't you think? There is truly no other country like Malaysia.

As we move on to greater heights, times and seasons of change, or just clinging on to the hope that there will be change for the better,...

...remember the roti canai, the maggi mee goreng, the durian, the ice kacang, the pisang goreng, the sambal, the kari-kari, the rendang, the nasi lemak, the milo, the teh tarik, the asam laksa, the rojak, the satay, the ikan bakar, the char kuey teow, the pasar malam..(and the list goes on and on and on) - all you can find at the road side regardless of where you are in Malaysia, that brought (and is still bringing) all of us together. :D

I love Malaysia. I really do. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Remember this

























Image by Steven David Johnson.


Still.

Silent night.

Wind chime by the window resounding its sweet pretty tinkling twinkling bell voices.

Soft, mesmerising, inconsistent yet strong, sharp, significant..

Always fading away and showing itself again at the same time.

Very much like sea waves in the silent night. It twinkles and shines as each wave took turns bobbing up and down, reflecting and multiplying the stars and moonlight... Such beauty.

Feeling the cool breeze on your skin.

The sound of leaves rustling.

The smell of damp air.

Thunder rumbling far away.

Yet this feeling that they are coming closer with each passing moment.

It feels, sounds, and smells like it is going to rain.

---

Like the symphony of an orchestra, it started soft.

Sounds of busy scattering drops on rooftops.


And it slowly builds up...more, and more, and more, and MORE.

With some rumbling of the thunder here, and booming of the thunder there.

And here.

And there.



There's something calming and releasing about watching rain falls.

Big fat rain drops falling furiously unto the earth.

Like how crying soothes and releases the soul? Is is because of that?

Tears. Water. H2O.

Such a simple combination.

It feeds, moisturises, cleans, washes, purifies, carries, contains, calms, releases, gives lives, takes away lives, beautifies, damages, destroys... and so much more.

It could be passed off as nothing, to everything, to.. too much that it is powerful and violent enough that it destroys.

Wow. Who would've thought of such design, something so simple, yet so complicated, so capable of doing so much, so vast its usefulness are!



And now they become hastened whispers outside the window. Slowly fading away into nothingness.

Yet, it's just the beginning for those tiny drops of water.

....or have they always been here since the beginning?

The same old atoms and molecules?


It probably doesn't matter.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Safe

28th July 2009 10:04pm

“…And to all Malaysians, welcome home.”

Ah…those are one of the best words that I’ve heard after so long. I can’t help but smile like a retard, especially after catching the first glimpse of lights of Kuala Lumpur. And later on the sight of people, the sign boards, the ‘Malaysian-ness’ of everything, the sounds, the people, the smell.

Ahhh…NOTHING BEATS BEING HOOMMEEE! :)

I’M HOME! I’M HOME!

*Happyhappyjoyjoy*

Seven weeks and a day. I shall try my best to make the most out of it. :)

---

A funny scene after boarding Air Asia X:

“….Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to remind you that you are flying with Air Asia – the best low cost airline in the world.

*Voices of sheepish/sarcastic laughter and muffled voices of mumbles and exchange of comments.*

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, it's 5 weeks and 4 days left.

I've been really REALLY dreading to go back to the UK, still am. But a friend pointed out to me that i should break that. But i guess I'm still being stubborn and refusing to face the fact that i have to leave this comfy home soon. It was even depressing going into the airport just to send a friend of to U.S the other day.

Okay okay, i will eventually do that - looking at the brighter side and embrace the challenges, and the growth pain and blood that comes with it.

Like i already told some of my friends, it was SUCH a RELIEF the moment i touched down on KLIA. I didn't realise how stressful, tired and weary I felt. And how depressing my posts were. I've forgotten how to be myself. No, let me rephrase that, i've forgotten how was i really like, let alone being myself.

Now i'd say, it's been a painfully challenging year. I definitely got what i asked for - to grow up. There's been both ups and downs of course. But it felt like the downs outweigh the ups. I'm not complaining.

It's just that i didn't understand what i was going through (that's why i stopped blogging for a while), it was really confusing. Only when i'm home, after talking to some diserning friends, i begin to be able to start seeing things a little clearer.

I've been humbled and learnt to respect people even though they might seem insignificant or have a different point of view which i disagree.

I've learnt alot about myself. As much as i don't want to be like my parents, i still inherit their personality in one way or another. It's so.....weird..and awkward. But i've learnt to embrace it. And also to embrace who i am, both my strengths and weaknesses. And learnt that i have to make the extra effort to strike a balance in the way i see things, in the way i treat people, in the way i manage my life.

And alot of other things i don't really know how to put them in words. My perspectives changed, people become more valuable, growing up in Malaysia is one of the best thing that happened. Really really!

I have to remind myself that it's already August.

Whoa..

That's 2009 almost coming to an end!

*gasp*

Seriously..i didn't realise that.

It seemed like it's just yesterday when we stepped into year 2009.

As always, i am aware that God has been the one pulling me through. Now i could see how His breaking and making me again is for good - still in the process though. And how He brought people together and His timing is just so perfect and amazing. Also, His moulding and shaping us is an on-going thing, never ends until we leave this earth.

Hopefully, hopefully, i will be restored and renewed in time before flying back to UK.

I'm not ready just yet.

"Sometimes, many times, I get so engrossed in the stories of others that I forget that I have my own story to live too."
- Me (31st Jan 2009)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just for the record, it's one of those days

It was such a beautiful day today :))

Just lying on the grass, surrounded by the flowers, the trees, the sun, the clouds and the people..and the sweet strummings of the guitar....and the Holy Spirit Himself.








Couldn't be better. :)


P/s: Thankyou Suet Ling and her SLR :)
And God for His MARVELLOUS creations and EVERYTHING else!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On feeling happy

I want to laugh as we talk about the good old times, knowing that the same moments are running through our minds.

I want to laugh knowing that I’m safe in your warm strong arms that no one else’s can replace.

I want to laugh like it doesn’t matter anymore.

I want to laugh knowing that I’m no longer weighed down.

I want to laugh as I dance and twirl and whirl with you on the beach with sand between our toes, knowing that I’m yours, and you’re mine.

I want to laugh knowing that I’m home.

I want to laugh knowing that I’m no more feeling tired or dragged down.

I want to laugh knowing that all my strivings and struggles ended – victoriously.

I want to laugh knowing that only all that is good is left in front of me.

I want to laugh for real.


Maybe I can laugh as we run even when it’s gloomy.

Maybe I can laugh in the midst of my struggles knowing that I will come out victoriously.

Maybe I can laugh knowing that everything will be beautiful in the end – like how it’s meant to be.

Maybe I can choose to laugh now, just because YOU ARE.



"Life's not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
-Vivian Greene


"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come. "
-Proverbs 31: 25

P/s: Maybe I meant joy, not just an outward physical act.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bits and pieces from New Word Alive conference 09

If there's one interesting thing about NWA, it's the arts track.

(Forgive me if some parts seem out of place because I'm taking it straight from my notes. Trying my best to piece them together though =P)

For christian artists, (not just artists who paint and draw, but artists who also dance, make music, act, design theatres, write, sing, and the list goes on) we were given this question:
"How does your art function in the kingdom of God?"
Very simple right?

But as we were separated into smaller groups to discuss, we came out with more questions, but no answers.

Someone suggested that our roles are mostly to be sowers of seeds.

Another person suggested that our art is to be a catalyst of bringing the lordship of Christ to other people/ into the lives of other people.

And other person asked how are we to define art? What does art really mean? And how God meant art to be in the beginning?

We couldn't answer that for sure for it has been changing and developed so dramatically throughout the history of mankind. And different people has different views on what true art really is. Or is there such thing as "true art" at all?

And, "kingdom of God". What does it really mean? Heaven? Or is it just where God has lordship over? Someone suggested that the kingdom of God is in us/ in our lives.

About using whatever we have to bless others, what does bless really means?

The speaker, Ellis said to bless is "to make larger" and "cause to grow". And growing is painful.

And he posed us another question: "Is art a commodity or a relationship?"

But if you wanna define those words, he said definition is dead. Definition can be a (big) circle. The inside of the circle contains things which are acceptable and outside of the circle are things which are not. For example, banana, can be a ripe banana, unripe banana, big banana, tiny banana, red banana etc etc. But banana can't be a cup, that's totally out of the circle. But that doesn't mean it's evil. It's just not a banana, that's all. Get it? But the contemporary political/ social idea now accepts all. But absolute freedom equals death. So, constricting limitations are necessary.

Have a godly approach to everything.

And what is art? What does it mean? Art has form. A girl suggested that art is probably "a lie that helps us realise the truth?".

Meaning means relationship. Nothing has meaning in itself. God doesn't find meaning in His creation. He's the meaning. He defines Himself. I AM - "I am the purpose of my own being".

And that we have to be aware of the relationship between the creator, the creation and the viewer.

So does God has limitations as well? He doesn't. But because He lives within His promises, that's the only thing that 'limits' Him.
"Art is human deliberate human action."
It's not just pure imagination. It's not natural. And it's something spiritual as well. The key is responsibility. Art is something you're responsible for.

Human? what about God? In Ellis' opinion, God is not an artist, but He is THE Creator.

We are to live in the natural and the unnatural world.

We're guilty. But without guilt, there is no hope. Only when we're guilty, then only we can be forgiven, restored, and have hope.

If you're never wrong, then you're never alive, you'll never learn.

There were some who're comedians among us and one of them asked if entertainment is art as well.

He said entertainment is a hold between or engagement. A pause, or break. And we need it, it refreshes us. It's therapeutic.

Art should be active, responsible and interactive. The true finction of artist is to wake people up and to help them to be human. It probably should be something people can relate to? and not something to buy for comfort?

The general reality is good, true and beautiful. But it has been replaced by the gratifying, firming, and empowering - which is centred outside ourselves (more than what we actually are?). So, we have to be careful not to lose the reality.

As you know, the skills, abilities and knowledge we have comes from the Holy Spirit and we are to treasure, use and develop them. Not hide them, not think of them less than what the others have. And we are to take full responsibility of it.

If you bake bread, you'll have to know the nature of yeast. You have to know what it likes. It'll either be grumpy and will not grow and multiply, OR the other way and make the bread berkembang/rise. So, know what you like! And what you're meant to do.

There's a blibical mandate of creativity.

Is art for consumerism then? No, it's supposed to be other-centred - love.

He started telling us that parents ask him which shows/movies should they not allow their children to watch. That's not a bad thing. But if we protect ourselves, others in that way, by building a wall around ourselves, we're not fulfilling our responsibility? (to love/bless?) If we're doing that, might as well don't listen to ourselves because we're filled with filth and we're not edifying to ourselves as well.

Pop art is actually self-centred. People love it beacuse it brings so much comfort, as a form of escape?

The kingdom of God is a kingdom of other-centredness - love. Like Jesus, who spent most of His time with broken people, not sweet and nice people who're 'blessings' to them? We/ they are all wonderfully and fearfully made.

Be like children. Ask questions. The betrayed and fallen world made us afraid to ask questions.

The kingdom of heaven is not having walls around us, protected, having comfort or familarity, from the devil to destroy us. Walk by faith, not by sight.

We have to learn to submit, discover our limits and respect them.

Creativity must not be our God. We should be more creative because we have a God. Stimulate our 'neighbours' (or people who view/ experience our art) to ask questions - "Who am I as a human being?"

Be a blessing, to have people to grow and be more human.

Be a more God-shaped man rather than a man-shaped God. (er...actually i'm still trying to make sense of the 2nd part of this phrase =/)

How can art enlarge our life and blessings? Rather than reduces and curses.

Reality is expanding.

The heavens reflect the reality of heaven, where God rules from, where His throne is, where He dwells (He dwells in us christians as well!), "the dimension where God's will is done", the source of life that gives fruitfulness, connecting the seen and unseen. It's deeper. It's always been above and around you. Seasons and creations - they reflect the unseen of the gospel.

So the heavens speaks to us a deep sense of reality.

Ever thought of why Christmas is in winter and Easter is celebrated in spring? Because winter is like symbolising the end - of hardship, pain, suffering etc. And spring symbolises a new start/ beginning! It also means hope.

In Genesis, God commands us to fulfill the earth and order it. That we are to extend the rule of heaven on earth. We're the creatures God chose to do that, to work with and to have a relationship with.

I love this part:
"We live in a world where reality becomes what things are made of. But that is just actually part of what they are, what their true meaning is. Being worldly is to treat reality as if the world/earth is all that it is."
I wanted to ask him to quote a scripture to support that. But there wasn't time. I wanted to ask alot of questions as well. There was too much to absorb! And i think my notes left out quite an amount of important points just because i couldn't write fast enough. Should have been smarter to just record it! Bengang. =/

So, the way back to heaven is barred. His creatures in rebellion against Him. He decided to redeem.

The Holy of Holies - the connecting point from earth to heaven and vice versa. And then the incarnation of Jesus - fully God and fully man.

We live in a world where it's 100% reality. But in reality, the world we're living in is actually 200% reality, or even up to 900% reality!

It's actually deeper and thicker than what we think it is, than what it is made of. It's still physical, but more.

During Jesus' baptism - heaven's being torn open. The same thing happened during Jesus' cruxifiction (after he shouted "It is finished!"), the temple's curtain was torned open from top to bottom.

Now heaven is flooding into earth. And this same Jesus who has been taken into heaven, will come back. It's heaven on earth. Heaven coming to earth instead of us going to heaven. (New Jerusalem will be coming down from heaven to earth).

Heaven's poured out at the day of Pentecost. Heaven comes and fills God's earth with God's rule, then it's back to the Eden story again! (only with sin lurking around waiting to be defeated that is.)

We're the image of God. We're the seen expression of the unseen.

Glory actually means weight, depth, thickness, something profound.

Art talks about unseen things through the seen. The unseen is in rebellion as well.

Heaven is not an immaterial dimension of reality, for God did not redeem the immaterial? Heaven is invisible, but not immaterial.

Jesus has a physical body after ressurection. So where's Jesus' body? It goes with Him to heaven. That means heaven has physicality to it. Same goes with angels.

There're 2 dimensions of God's creation. We're the flat part, while heaven gives dimension to earth (us).



Heaven is weighty, and has access to all time and space on earth. So that means Jesus and the cross can work thorugh time and space as well/ moving between the dimensions.

The universe is inexhaustable. Can you imagine?

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,.." - Philippians 3:20

So live in a heavenly way. We're doing what we'll be doing when we're in heaven. (Living in the spirit, where the flesh(ly desires) is already crucified on the cross.)

When you're a new creation, it can be seen through the quality and fullness of your life.

"More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all." - 1 Corinthians 15: 15-28

We need to fix our minds on heaven. Learn to see the whole of reality instead of just the worldly point of view. It's bigger than earth itself. Expand our "flatland" reality into a 3D heavenly reality. It's the word of God or human beings.

Every time is static. Eternity, doesn't deny time but it's infinite.

Colossians 2:
"1I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ
6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made youc]"> alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.d]">

16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

20Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."

We are to be a body in a fullness of reality?

We watched a video of Dr Quantum visits Flatland to help us understand the whole concept of the dimensions.

It's the flatland, where only forward, backward, left, right exists. There're no such thing as up and down. And that they have no concept pf 3D objects.

I googled Dr Quantum and found the video in Youtube!:


Fear of the unknown?
"You'll have to become it to know."
:D

So, art is about serving others.

Someone suggested that we're being disobedient to God if we're not using our gifts given to us.

We are to ask ourselves: How are the people to be served? Who are the people?

Art is love and service functioning in the kingdom of God.

Have a deeper art to shine out. Let it provoke conversation and discussions of something/ issues, etc.

The way people read something is very subjective and personal. How can you communicate and let the audience relate, connect and be blessed? And how much of ourselves are coming through it? (We are to be light and salt of the world, not the other way round.)

If we're 'reproducing someone else's work, "Are ____ being played/made? Or (you/whoever) is playing making?"

For example in music, if a person were to play Beethovan's Symphony No.3 in E flat major 'Eroica' on piano - "Is Symphony No.3 in E flat major 'Eroica' being played?" or " (Insert your name here) is playing."?

To glorify God is to add depth of seen and unseen, being obedient, faithful, in the way you live your life.

Ask yourself what are the different ways we can glorify God?

Humanize each other. Know what it really means to be an artist servant.

Be saturated by God's work. Clean, create, increase the order and beauty of our environment. Are we communicating something that's real, true and glorious?

Know the steps/levels and your audiences' steps they're capable of. (To avoid letting your art not fulfilling its purpose.) For example, the stage design. Will it distract people from worshipping God in spirit and in truth? Or will it compliment and point them towards the beauty of God?

The question can also be turned into: "How does our deliberate human action function in the kingdom of God?"

Our art is not to pacify and put people to sleep, but to challenge them, make them grow, wake them up and help them to be human. Communicating is challenging, engaging. And art is all about communication. And art is also a language because the purpose of language is to communicate in a community.

On the issue of manipulation, there's nothing wrong in making the audience feel certain emotions (especially in music). Part of relationship is to have emotions. Art (music etc) enchance and help the audience feel what's going on.

Manipulation is getting people to feel one thing when another thing is happening.

On illustration for (story)books, it is to invite deeper exploration into the story.

Ask yourself whether what you make is part of a new creation?

In the process of creating, we grow ourselves.

In God's perfection, there're opportunities, not finality.

God's kingdom is alway expanding, growing and more glorifying. And we're part of it.

Beauty is:
  • Balanced
  • Coordinated
  • Rich
  • Deep
  • Dynamic
  • True
Have deeper aesthetics in what you do and make.

There's the reductionism that comes from the fall. All sin is reduction. It's taking something and making them everything.

--

Phew..that's about it from the art track. There's still the international track and 'evening celebrations' we have every night with great speakers.

If you're not in the area of creative arts, you're still an artist in your own way! Because art is deliberate human action. :)

So, unleash your creativity people! :D