Mar 29, 2011

To worship as Your glory fills this place

Today was the first time I attended a CityHarvest-ACJC prayer meeting without having to leave halfway for Council, and I'm so thankful for it.

It was great. The atmosphere was great. Just eight of us, praying, singing - The one thing I desire in my life, Lord, to thirst and hunger after You alone - and the praying was soft at first, but when even two or three are gathered truly in His name, there He is amongst us. You could feel it in the air. He was there. There in the little classroom, in ACJC. And we began to pray more loudly, more courageously, more fervently. There He was with us.

We all took turns to voice out our prayer for God and the rest of us to hear, while the rest continued reaching out to Him in that personal way nobody else - not even ourselves - except God can understand. And I wanted to say something; I wanted to pray for the group. We were a special group of Christians; coming from a church of charismatic practices, of such free, unrestrained worship, a church where we truly experience God, where tears flow. Every church is different; you can't really explain it. We weren't placed in City Harvest or ACJC by random. Everything has its purpose - "you were never here by chance".

And I wanted to pray for us, this group of special people, blessed to have experienced Him and experienced salvation - a blessing many have yet to experience. But I didn't know what to say. As I prayed in Tongues with the rest, for a period of time my mind wasn't really focused on God - it was more focused on trying to come up with something to say.

And then I realised how wrong I was by even trying to do that. By doing that, I was doubting God's anointing and His ability to put the right words in me. I was relying on my own strength.

But submit it all to God - lift everything into His hands, and He'll take care of it.

And when the phrase "Religious emphasis week" appeared in my head like a light bulb that had suddenly been flicked on, courage filled me and I spoke out - in words, as a message to God as well as the seven others - unprepared, not knowing what I was going to say next, but knowing that there couldn't be a better prayer because it was the words the Holy Spirit was putting in my mouth. As I prayed, I found myself on the verge of tears. I found myself straining my voice, pleading. I found myself saying a prayer from a particular burden that had been affecting me personally, one that I previously couldn't put my finger on. As I prayed for everyone in the room, I knew this was my burden, what I truly felt in my heart but never knew how to express in words.

It was amazing.

The eight of us - we know what salvation feels like. Life before and after meeting Christ might not seem that drastically different to many around us, but we know how much it has changed in the way and reason we do things; in our conscience - that nagging voice that pops up when we forget; in our ability to hold on to faith - in our hope in a God we cannot see, yet can feel.

True salvation is something beautiful. Getting close to God, though, is something that takes a lot of time and perhaps some struggle and spiritual warfare. It isn't easy to build a relationship with someone you never see - it's easy to forget He sees all.


I've deviated so far from what I wanted to say that I don't even know how to continue or end this.


In God alone I place my trust

Power

Once, you had such power over me. You picked me up with honey-coated sweetness and then dropped me back into the cold black sea, but you kept me chained to you while you moved along. Or I kept myself chained to you.

Not anymore, really, not anymore, I've freed myself from those chains (finally) - but -

do you remember that night it was just you and me, like little kids having a little adventure -

do you remember all that crazy magic? It was magic. Anything could've happened.


Say you remember.


I look back at the pictures and find myself smiling again. Thankfully, though, you're a different person to me now. That person has died; he no longer exists. Thank goodness he no longer exists, and you aren't him. I've been freed from your chains. No, no longer do you have that power over me. No more wallowing in sadness while you don't notice. I'm saving my tears for someone who deserves it.


Now that it's all said and done
I can't believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down -

I fell too far, was in way too deep;
Guess I let you get the best of me

I'm finally getting better
And now I'm picking up the pieces
Putting my heart back together
'Cause the day I thought I'd never get through -
I got over you

Mar 28, 2011

Btw, a lot of stuff here isn't based on anything true.

Some people say love is blind.

I say the contrary. Once, I was blind; a girl of mascara and dresses, seeking what I thought was life. MTV and teen mags – they deceive; they tell a na├»ve thirteen-year-old that flirting and the “right look” and the right face wash would get you the little sparks they call love, and that was all that mattered. The veil over my eyes, over any excited preteen – you pulled it off, you opened my eyes to breathtaking beauty.

Boy, I’ve a confession to make.

Day One, you added me on Facebook and I thought it was queer that your profile picture was of a cartoon character. Day Three, I told myself that even if you looked really bad it didn’t matter; your personality shone through. Day Five, we met at the gallery and I wondered why anyone would hide that beautiful face behind Garfield’s – Day Six, you told me it was because you didn’t like how people judged you by your looks; your face wasn’t too bad but they needed to give your character a chance, too.

Day Seven, under the Orion and the diamond-studded sky, were you the prince the nine-year-old me saw when I closed my eyes at night? Of crowns and magic and glitter –

Of warm hands, of guitars and singing a dream -

“Shh, close your eyes”


Don’t loosen your grip on me – it’s stupid, but I want to know you’re there. What’re you planning, I’d like to know – but I trust you, and I don’t peep.

But when I feel your lips touch mine, I don’t have to open my eyes to see.

Mar 23, 2011

Mister Justin? LOLWHUT he's Smurfyyyy.

While interviewing J1 Council hopefuls today, I observed their passion for service and desire to make a change, and I realised that was the excited me almost a year ago. All the crazy ideas I came up with after being elected into the Exco. And I couldn't help but ask myself - what's happened to that girl? The girl who once enthusiastically brought up crazy ideas like Tuck-In-Your-T-Shirt-Like-A-Nerd Day and screening The Passion Of Christ for our Movie Under the Stars in collaboration with Religious Emphasis Week.

At least I'll still make sure Inception will be screened for our next MUTS - that's the one idea I won't give up on.

I still can't rest with the rejection of Weiliang's megasuperawesome proposal though. It's an amazing idea, got us all crazy excited when he told us about it. The reason for the rejection is something I can't be at ease with, especially when the idea's so fantastic. I guess I'm still the only naive one trying to push for it - I'd totally rewrite the proposal on his behalf if the teachers think it might make a difference - but after seeing the potential 36ths so eager to make a change and how strongly they feel about their ideas and their willingness to push for them, I realised we mustn't let wonderful ideas slip away so easily, especially when it's as awesome as this.

It's too awesome an idea; I can't rest with a reason like that for its rejection.
-


Tried to come up with something for the Commonwealth Essay - it's due really soon and I haven't begun on anything - the topic I've chosen (or the only one I can think about doing at all) is Girl Power, and I went wayyyyyyy off-topic. Maybe it's still kinda salvageable if I shorten the first lot and try and come up with a lot more rubbish for the second half (the part that has to do with girl power) with Amelia's help, but gosh it's hard. Girl power? Seriously? Should've thought about participating in essay-writing competitions earlier - now I'm stuck with the worst topics to choose from.

(P.S. I don't drink. At all. Neither do I know a single AC hockey boy personally.)

That’s the hockey boy.

The air is smoky, the disco lights are dim, but I’d recognise your almond eyes anywhere. Your gaze – penetrating, mysterious, like that of a fox. Jared. Jared the fox. You’re walking towards me. I never thought you’d look at me in the eye like that, like how your gaze is holding on to mine now.

You’re a tad tipsy. So am I. Hello, Jared.

“Rachel.”
You know my name. You’d know me; I’m Sarah’s friend. Sarah, the girl whose heart you broke three weeks ago. I’m the one you see drying her tears at the bleachers in the afternoons, trying to mend her soul. You horrible boy. I know what you –
your gaze cuts me off in my head. Those eyes of yours – there’s no need for words.

Boy, you’re close.
Your breath smells of alcohol. So does mine.

Your lips and mine – meant to be, meant to be. Boy, where have you been my whole life? Your hands, your lips – you’re fire, raging fire, and my heart screams a beautiful inferno. I’m drowning, drowning, but you’re all that matters.
*

The next night, we hang out at the park, a mild bottle in your hand and one in mine – for atmosphere – and we talk and laugh and laugh till dawn. You’re beautiful. And we talk for many nights afterward. And then one day you kiss me again.
*

“Yeah, she’s my girl”
We’re inseparable. I hang out with you and the other hockey boys, we laugh and kid around. “She’s hilarious, where’d you get her?” You laugh and put your arm around me. I’m flattered. I’m popular.

Not hurt yet. So blind, so blind.
*

Four weeks on and you’ve used the word “boring” on me once. Just once – just a couple of drinks and a lonely park and things are better again. Just a stroke on my cheek and my heart melts.

Blind.
*

Three and a half weeks on. We’ve been at the bar for a couple of hours and I notice you’ve been looking at the girl in the white tank top and Aldo heels the whole time.

Two days later, you say maybe we should take a break. I say nothing. I know you won’t return.

You leave me to curl up in the cold of the dark, dark night, to wonder how things even began.

Three weeks later, I’m at the bleachers with Sarah and there you are at the hockey pitch. You don’t notice me, but I hear every word.

“New girl… Maddie… nailed her last night” “One more prize to the collection, Jared?”

Now my blinds have been removed.

Rage builds up inside me. You disgusting, foul monster behind that mask of charm. You walk right through the glass doors to my heart, fill it with electricity. And then you crush it, trample on it without even realising, because you’re tripping over yourself, setting your sights on the next pretty girl.

Prizes. You and the boys speak of girls like trophies. Little medals for display, numbered off. You think boys have this supreme hypnotic power over these prizes. Just a gaze, just a kiss, and she’s yours up for show. You parade around with her, making her feel special when really, you’re just announcing your latest catch. Blind, blind girls like me, blind to your obnoxious personality deep inside. You assume you boys have all the power, the authority, to walk right in and out and leave a trail of broken hearts yearning for you.

No more. If there’s one thing to learn, it’s never to underestimate the power of girls. We’re emotional and vulnerable – but we’re also vicious.

You’ve crossed the line.

Mar 21, 2011

The Lion King Musical

was fantasy come alive.


I absolutely love how they did the giraffes - the people forming the body. But what I love even more is how they did this:


Each person carries three antelopes gazelles (:/) - one connected to each arm, and one on their heads. It's ingenious. It's amazing.


The one part of the movie I remember very distinctly is when Mufasa is taking his son, young Simba, home from the very dangerous encounter with the hyenas, and Musafa stops to "teach [his] son a lesson". As he prepares to talk to his son, the actor takes off his lion headdress. He is now a father.

To me, at least, it was incredibly symbolic. In the land of the play, Mufasa is king. He is looked upon with reverence. The hyenas are terrified of him. Yet when it comes to his son, he really is nothing more than a father, an ordinary father like all the other fathers in the audience - too afraid for his son's safety, yet too tender-hearted to scold the boy.


My favourite quote from the play -
"I will remember my pride."

By Nala, shouted with emotion in song. Said by a lion character, it's beautiful in its two meanings - never forget or doubt your self-worth; always remember the group of people to whom you feel a sense of family.

I love the phrase 'a pride of lions'. It's just such an apt collective term. Lions just... embody pride. The colour of their fur. It screams pride, glory. Glory. "A glory of lions" would sound cool too.

Remember my pride. The family of friends who never fail to be able to make everything better with a word or a hug or by just being there. Who understand when I lash out at them in a fit of anger. The ones who urge me to push on when they're reaching their breaking point themselves. The ones who know I'll always be there, and that they can count on me, too.

Mar 19, 2011

AND WE'RE MOVING TO SUNTEC

The atmosphere when we have services at Expo is actually pretty awesome. Because we're sitting pretty close to one another and we're usually at the terrace, it's great to jump along and sing our hearts out and pray as loudly or passionately as you want without being self-conscious. You normally can't jump comfortably because there's hardly any space; most of the time I'm jumping with my knees bent because the seats in front are in the way. It's fantastic. The terrace shakes when we jump; everyone feels it. We jump for God.

It's pretty amazing. At the Jurong West building, because it seats less people, the terraces don't shake and the seats are less squeezed together, the atmosphere isn't as awesome; it doesn't feel as fantastic.

Then again, it was at the Jurong West building that I responded to my first altar call three years ago, completely in tears. That day, Pastor Zhuang declared we weren't there by chance. I wasn't. It was the day I truly got to know God. It was there that I knelt. Wow, it was even there that I dared to walk to the front with Willie and Huiting, have hands laid upon my head, find myself on the floor, praise God for I wasn't afraid.

No, my first service at City Harvest wasn't by Pastor Kong. It wasn't a powerful long sermon by a pastor from overseas. It wasn't at Expo - packed, atmosphere-filled Expo. But does it all matter?

It's the presence of God that makes the true difference. That difference you feel when you realise your hair is standing; your heart is bursting; your hands are shaking uncontrollably. And there He will be tomorrow, at the Suntec Convention Centre.
-

It's been a great week - in terms of fun, of course; I haven't started on homework.
It seems to have whizzed by, so the following in small font is just for my own reference, when it's somewhere in Term 2 and I'm wondering what happened to that break I had:
Fri: Pierced ears(Hyun), mail-posting(Seokhoon), Kbox(Rachel & Teressa)
Sat: Church, Shashlik (Jacey)
Sun: THE AWESOMEST LAZIEST SUNDAY, watched Japan tsunami news all day
Mon: Also slack day?
Tues: Council meeting, Earth Hour CIP, Orchard(JiEn)
Wed: Dental (lol), Shashlik(family)
Thu: Smiley repainting, dinner with PRians and others
Fri: Exco meeting, dinner with OG
Sat: Church at Suntec!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Janice, Maddie, LION KING
Sun: Chiong homework, REPAINT SMILEY #2
Mon: Hope I've done my ELL homework and at least a bit of Lit reading


Okay so Smiley repainting was tedious (we used pretty small brushes, and Smiley is huge) but pretty awesome, because the PRians are equally as awesome:
And Emme was using the bigger brush.

And now we have to repaint it because we used wall paint, not road paint; it's slippery when wet.

OKAY. OKAY.

Mar 15, 2011

I know that somewhere out there,

there's a boy with a good heart of compassion and sincerity
and who understands that you can find beauty in the air;
and maybe he's lonely too, writing like I am, or praying to the same God I know, that someday

he'll find me.

Mar 14, 2011

new plaything

Now you can subscribe to my blog! :D
<---------------------

-

Seeing JJ again + pierced ears + random outings with people, because we refuse to touch our books for the next couple of days (or it's just me, really - everyone else is mugging. I refuse.)
- seriously, enjoy life while you can.

Mar 13, 2011

Japan.

‎"I'm looking for my daughter. Our home is gone, so she wouldn't know where to go."


(more pictures on Reuters.com, or actually, just about anywhere)


What if you were her, and what if all that was your house.

An old lady in search of her husband.

A hospital without electricity or medicine.

Skip the front part and just...witness the crazy wave take the island like a.....monster. And the huge fire - compare it to the surrounding buildings.


Devastation

Read the news for goodness' sake. Google 'Japan tsunami'.

The ignorance of some Singaporeans pisses me off.


The earthquake is crazy. 9.0. More than 200 bodies found in a new site today. 10,000 people unaccounted for in a town - that's more than half its population. Have you seen the footage? 10m high waves rushing over a wall, sweeping into a city at top speed like it was out of a freaking cartoon. Black water sweeping away vans, buses, friggin' ships. It's crazy. Now, a possible second nuclear explosion and second tsunami. Crisis at its most appalling.

Japan is such a beautiful place with the nicest people. Japan, stay strong. What more can I do? It's horrifying.


God be with them in this terror.

Ignorance. I hate ignorance. What if it had happened to us? We'd never know, really, until the Second Coming, because Singapore is sheltered from natural disasters. If anything happens to Singapore, we'd be frantic and very much at a loss of what to do.

Imagine the possibility of your life being taken away from you just like that. I can't. We're so used to such security. Safety - or our lives - is something we don't have to worry about, but when it might be taken away from you anytime, it's horrifying.

I don't know what more I can do to help than to write. Try and raise awareness. Spread the word and the prayers and the realization that we must never take each day of our lives for granted.
Wonder why all my statuses always receive likes and comments - except those that have to do with God or Japan. What's happening to us, are our lives becoming too immersed in our own personal little happenings to worry about natural disasters happening elsewhere?

People are fighting for their lives.
Pray.


This girl did a post (in Chinese) about the kindness, selflessness and graciousness of the Japanese even in this crisis. It took me a while to read it, but it was indescribably moving. You've no idea how much I love the Japanese. I'll translate parts of it because I know Chinese (especially Traditional Chinese) is a struggle for us, but it's a must-read, along with a few additions from something else my friend read:

The phone lines in Tokyo are unusable; there's only the Internet. People can only walk home. People worry about not having enough to eat; managers still dedicatedly keep their shops open, worried for those who might not have food.

Japanese triads help out in rescue efforts; some comment that their efficiency exceeds that of other relief workers.
Hundreds seek shelter in the square, but not a single person smokes throughout. Helpers run around, bringing blankets, hot water and biscuits to the people. All the men are helping the women; they run back to help women carry their things, help them connect their radios. A few hours later, everyone has dispersed - not a single piece of litter remains on the floor.

After the earthquake, Japan's 7-Eleven and other convenience stores provide free supplies. They're providing free food, water and telephone services to those who need it; the supermarkets open their doors to those seeking rest. All of Japan's vending machines' supplies were made to be free of charge. For those who don't understand Japanese, from the televisions come shouts of Chinese on how to seek refuge.

It's a Japanese crisis, but the world has gained a lesson.

You know.

'And I looked in her eyes and I saw her soul. Beautiful sad eyes. But we both couldn't stop smiling. I could've hugged her for an hour. It was bliss just being there, just looking at her. That was the first time I said "I love you"'.


You do know the uncontainable, bursting sweetness, sheer sweetness and the amazing beauty of love in its honeymoon phase. The first few months. The time you don't care what the world thinks, because you're the luckiest luckiest kid on earth. Everything's just so beautifully sweet.

Do you also know of the arguments that ensue, the wondering why you're doing this, the pain and the wish for things to be normal again? The little questions in your head, 'why', 'what if'. The inability to shake off the pain after a fight. Or, worse still, feeling like you just don't care.

Doing your homework or on MSN with a friend while on the other side of the line, she can't stop crying.

Do you also know the screaming heartbreak, realizing you're all alone now, the crying every night and swollen eyes in the morning that you try to conceal with laughter? The little things that remind you of the love you once had - a song, or two, or the entire friggin' range of Mandarin songs; a corner in school; a straw heart - and then you wish the pain was a stone you could pull out of your heart and throw far away. You want to rip your heart out. Breaking down randomly. Seeing her face one day and realizing you can't even bring yourself to say hi; you'd start crying. Wondering what you can do to fill that gaping, screaming, sucking hole.

Wondering if you'd ever be loved in the same way again.

Mar 10, 2011

(as fickle as a snail)

I just wanted to say, if you ever did to me what he did to her,

I'll cry and cry worse than she did.

It's a lonely road

Wonder what someone does when the loneliness is too much to bear.

When the loneliness is too much to bear.

(Shucks, I need to be 41kg again.)

It's been close to two years down this road. Before July 10, we met around six times a week - and often, it still wasn't enough. The first time in a year and nine months I went home alone, I realised how dependent I had become on the person I suddenly ripped myself apart from.

Not that I miss that person, of course. I don't miss the person or the times. It's all a good memory and nothing more. But love - when it's gone, after a year and nine months of hugs and tears and good-morning texts and affirmation - it leaves a dark burn hole. Like a cigarette burn through a white cotton tee.

Mar 4, 2011

To whoever wrote this: I wish I knew you

And if I could change the time, relive a single day;
I would go back to the day I met you.

And I would walk away.

Mar 3, 2011

Non-sequitur

Sheena read the untitled entry in the non-sequitur booklet and immediately asked if I wrote it.

The entry's anonymous because 1) it isn't based on anything true, and I don't want people wondering who the guy was and how scandalous my life secretly is because I wrote it without anyone in mind, while listening to a song (the song whose lyrics I end my entry off with - Almost Lover); and 2) because when a name's there, the attention isn't on the writing itself anymore. Especially for something like what I wrote... it's pretty scandalous if you think it was based on a true experience of mine. It wasn't.

But yeah I don't mind people knowing I wrote it as long as they know it wasn't based on anything true! Not really satisfied with how it turned out though.

Meanwhile, I'm in love with Marie's entry.

"remorse code"

Mar 2, 2011

The greatest liberty

An interesting tool of liberation we tend to take for granted: the body.

There was this girl I read about a long time ago who went for an operation under general anaesthetic but somehow, due to a dosage miscalculation or whatever, she was able to feel the pain completely even though she was fully paralyzed. She couldn’t scream for help; couldn’t do anything to stop or alert the doctors. She had to seek mental help to deal with the trauma afterwards.

This girl’s body had become her prison for a day.

Now, imagine: You’re on your way to school. A car you don’t see. In an instant, you become fully paralyzed. Weeks. Months. Your limbs refuse to move. Your eyelids refuse to move. You can’t respond, but you can feel. You can think.
Your angry, angry soul commands your body to move – get out of this darn bed and punch something hard. Yet your body isn’t a part of you anymore.

In a state like that, I’d want to cry at my situation at least. Saying I’d be frustrated at my helplessness would be an understatement – in my head, I’d be screaming and thrashing about. The intensity of my anger and frustration would reach violent levels – if only they could be. I’d just want to scream and scream and cry and run and run and run.

But my body wouldn’t allow me to do anything. All that screaming anger at the world building up inside me – I can’t express it. Held down by my own body. All that fire needing to be unleashed when I can’t do so much as blink.

I’d go mental in an hour.

Now, imagine going mental in a state of complete paralysis.

I’d scream for death. I’d scream to be freed from the confines of my own body, holding me down from releasing all that fire inside me. In Heaven my soul would be liberated.

Art. Dance. Dance is a form of expression. So is writing, the way I’m typing at the computer. Imagine being crippled. At least you still can cry.

Now imagine wanting to burst out in complete fury while physically, the only sign you’re alive is your pulse. Wanting to lash out and scream at the world while your body weighs your soul down like a thick slab of concrete.