Monday, March 28, 2011

a short thought ramble...

today was a "I know that God loves me day"... n he loves me because he has brought people in my life who encourage me in my walk of faith, who help me distil my thoughts that are latent and weird and remind me that in this weird strange world, we are all somehow interconnected.

Back to my warm sunny island. Feels weird, as though I have never been to Germany before, everything feels rather dream like, from a room that looks the same ( perhaps a million times neater) as I have left it, to driving around to regular places and meeting people... I had to look at pictures in Germay to remind myself that time in Germany was actually real, despite ppl here not being part of most of my experiences there...

Marriage. A couple recently got married. I can't believe it happened and am quite happy for them. I was the official photographer with a camera I met the night before (not the best idea), the receptionist and games person. haha... What I have been thinking about since the wedding was the sermon with thoughts around vulnerability and sacred places.. This was a wedding that had people from different faiths, different cultures and different backgrounds...

I think that it takes a lot of courage to be sincerely vulnerable....To be real while in one's wedding is to allow oneself to be extremely vulnerable... "I promise to love you through the good and the bad (how often do you say I love you to one another, much more in front of ppl!!!)".. The pastor officiating the wedding talked about the wedding being a sacred space (Where God is present) and to remember this space where love is celebrated, in the life to come with all that is thrown to them... Well, this is me listening to him and taking pictures at the same time so it might not be fully complete or fully understood...

The idea of sacred space has been in my mind for a while, how does one have this space to let God work, what are our duties in helping create this space when working for a place like World Vision? I am currently procrastinating about my report (or letting my brain mull over it) Christian Commitments is such a personal thing at the end of the day. How can an organization facilitate this? Being trained to be a do-er, I very much wish to prescribe some "lessons/thoughts/modules" etc.. but at the end of the day, if there is no space for God to be God.. we would just have added work/ritual/KPI etc to something without adding value.... I don't know. feeling bit humbled at the complexity of everything...

I am thankful for time as a guinea pig. :) but also know that alternative paradigms of thinking will make me less Singaporean.... am thinking bout what a pastor friend in Germany reminded me about, how I would be different despite the environment that I am returning to being the same, how my thought processes might have changed and how I would need to refigure "what a peirong is"... My sister reminded me bout how my parents had to get used to the idea of my frog and I am reminded how I have grown weirder as time gone by, as well as the love and support of my parents..

Life as a journey. Fascinating. thankful God sends people at some moments in life to lift up my spirit, to remind me bout some thoughts and also for sentiments sometimes when I feel like "this is what I am supposed to be doing at this point in time"....

"Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art.. How great thou art..."

ps: I am sooooo thankful that the English language has done away with the thee, thou, thy. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

if tomorrow never comes.....

.... will you know i love (her)you  ?

Haha, yes, a very kitschy song from Ronan Keating.... No, this is not a mushy post about romance. At least not the full extent.

I am suddenly gripped by the fragility of life... or perhaps existence. I am still bit shaken bout what is happening in Japan. Here in Germany, its interesting the coverage on the Nuclear Power plant. Perhaps I am too young to understand, or have been successfully brainwashed on "sacrifices" for the sake of efficiency. I know its bad, but cannot understand the irrational fear that the Germans might have of Nuclear Energy.... yes, Japan. an earthquake, a Tsunami, a Nuclear Power plant threatening to explode, tremendous snow making rescue efforts difficult... with me learning German black humour, I have been thinking "pick your way to die"... we watched the moment of Silence in Japan on news and can't help but feel sad too. I am suddenly scared that because of their culture of "resilence", "dignity" and "courage".... this is going to increase the number of suicide cases ( which Japan is notorious for).. apparently we can google (or internet search in Japan,not sure they use google) suicide potions out of household products...

Nearer to me, we have Libya, all the whole of the North American/Middle East section falling apart. Going out with somebody who studied political science for the longest time, I have heard a few conspiracy theories on what he thinks is going on and how I shouldn't trust anyone etc. Hmmm... In anycase, as though Natural Disasters are not the only way to "die"... perhaps the government (or the powers that govern) might. haha. We note that the foreign minister of Libya doesn't speak English, but the rebels trying to use a gun can... What makes a government, a government? What gives it right to govern? What if the people want a different thing from the powers that govern. does it still work? I always have had my reservations with democracy.. .but what is the alternative. (today, I read the Worker's Party website and listened to a you -tube video)

.... so, yes yoyo, news is HIGHLY depressing.And yes, I try to not watch it. But when I am here, the only thing I can watch without active listening (ie non German) is BBC, CNN, Aljazeera, France 24, CNBC... its either shares falling, or the world coming to an end. (good thing u sent the thumb drive then! thank you!!!)  and thank God for apartment therapy ;) .... I also cannot help thinking about "Eschatology" (end times talk). Is any of these symbolic of the end of the world? Or is news just linking the world soo much better with the help of Facebook, Google Earth, Tweeter, such that everything feels so much more real and relatable.

I dunno. Don't have an answer, though I have been asking myself if I am living my life as I would if the world ends today or soon. I have played the last day of my life in my head many times.... Somehow, I will be able to go to Disneyland(Happiest place in the world) for a while, and also be able to tell everybody that I really love how they have been important to me, and I hope that they know I love them heaps too... and after that, find somewhere quiet and die peacefully with perhaps the love of my life or by myself. haha. yes too many hallmark movies probably and yes, life doesnt happen like Hollywood (or soapy taiwanese/korean serials)

It gets to me how I have friends in different parts of the world (and the fact of me potentially marrying a German). This is something I find extremely intriguing, but also makes it very likely that I won't see everybody I love and have a "one" place that I can be when this "last day" happen... I want to be able to teleport...maybe FB is the answer to that virtually. haha..

With regard to life, somedays, I do feel like I am floating/drifting by. Its difficult with accountability sometimes when I am not plugged into a fixed routine, and that not being my natural self... I wake up, say a prayer, read my devotionals and then turn on the laptop, wash up and come back curling on my bed to work.. sometimes (ok, most times) i look for something to eat on bed. haha. Yes, my mother might kill me if this was me growing up.. Ever since I can remember, she has been trying to instil structure in me ( i can remember nap time as 2pm, practice piano at 8pm and sleep by 930)... haha. unfortunately, this is something I am still struggling with, and with conversations sometimes at 12am, waiting for calls at 4am, this further reinforces my driftiness.... Anyhow, my point is, some days float by before my knowing feeling it.

If the world is truly coming to an end, what would I do different? .... is the current thought in my head..

My auntie jokingly told me the other day on Facebook to get married. haha. yea, i think that is something I might do different, instead of being the  very cautious me....I want to be free insted of overthink. Today, beetle and I painted a picture for her father. I very much admired her free-spirited way of painting and wished I was less overthinking everything....

Will people know that I have tried with my heart to be sincere and true. Somedays more successfully than others. For the people that I love, will they know how much I love them? and for those I have hurt badly... will they know that I in my heart ask for their forgiveness, pray for them and think best thoughts of them... wondering what I could have done differently and hoping for that one day in some utopic world, where we can be friends again... Am I doing what God has made me in this world to do? Somedays I wonder if doing research is loving God... or am I just being selfish... If research is what I am to do now, I pray/hope that my brain wonders less and I am able to fully concentrate...

haha. yes, heavy stuff today. I think i can especially reflective as I prepare mentally to transit worlds. I am not very good at it and can always improve... for those in Singapore.. see you very soon :)
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

is this better??

haha. i basically waster my time but watever, it makes me happy. tonight i went for art class, finished my flower as well as touched up on frankenstein..

This is just a little part  of it :) painted with crappy kitchen light so want to check again. but maybe no energy already. haha. lets see la.

I learnt something in the few art classes I went for.. to not always be so angstlich.. something that i try constently to breakaway from..

Nite world. Happy birthday darling frog! (though I don't think you read this... haha)



ps: Singlish strikes at 4 in the morning... zzzz

Monday, March 14, 2011

Needs help

Ok, I kept trying to correct e painting and now when I look at it reminds me o Disney movies where e girl will spooked with e branches lookin scary in the forest.. feeling bit frustrated with myself at its end results. ...

I think I over painted and made them to thick... Any ideas how I may rectify this without it lookin like Frankenstein branches?!? ;(




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Hingabe = Devotion

Writing my paper. I feel like a kid that goes, when I grow up, I will be a doctor. haha, a FRAUD! :( I was reading the Sociology of Religion, trying to understand how this might be different from theology, and how this links to what I am trying to figure out.
My professor thinks I am not critical enough, "why did you write this there? what is its point? I don't want you to report". Gah. I dunno how to give my opinion...hmmm, I think I am doubting my abilities at researching when i spend most of my time dozing at the literature. I need to remind myself why I am doing this. No, not a glorified housewife ( as my boss puts it ), no, I don't really care for the "credentials of being a professor"(sounds weird).... there is a part of me that wants to be part of inspiring young minds of the future. And IF i am thinking of exploring a relationship with my current frog, I am trying to merge ideals here and to live strong. Haha.

With this wavering, I included a "when I grow up" section on this blog... Want to remember to not freak out and die ever so quickly. Even when there may be more words than pretty colors in what I do... Even when I feel like am treading over 2 worlds and an alien of both.. even when I sometimes choke up...

Today's church service (in GERMAN) was about the woman who broke the Alabaster jar of oil at Jesus's feet. The pastor contrasted that with the following section, Judas, whom upon seeing the act, made the decision to betray God...For the pastor, Judas was not innately bad, he had been in Jesus's inner circle and if anything was impatient regarding this revolution. When is Jesus going to show himself strong? With the woman's waste of 1 year's wages, that was enough for Judas to take things into his own hands... perhaps force Jesus into action.. The pastor ended with asking us where our devotion was...In Jesus the person or the ideology..  (i think this is it, again, the sermon was in German, so I am sure I am missing out some parts...)

Not sure how this links to my thoughts but I guess it spoke to the little heart. To remember to stay devoted to God despite it costs, its timing and its form....

Ok, maybe i should start posting thoughts from my essay/work, just so I won't feel so lonely in this process. At the current moment, I read 5 pages (ok maybe less) of big (sometimes dead) scholars and try not to fall asleep. I am waiting for the flow of thought that comes ever so seldom to take me and have me write away.... Wheeee.

Back to Identifying Characteristics of Religious Organizations.... happy week ahead!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leidenschaft= passion

I think perhaps the German translation for passion makes it more realistic.... That when one has passion, leider or suffering is part o it....

Learning to appreciate e German language:)


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

difficult...

some days. it gets particular difficult when cultures collide
When right n wrong is blurred and there r no standards since they r socially constructed
breathe....

Friday, March 11, 2011

.. Road Trip... Antwerp:)

We went to Antwerp over last weekend, to check out the city, apparently the capital to the Flemish people (Dutch origins ppl living in Belgium)... Snippets of time there.


Dinner....by e Cathedral... (didn't eat much since tummy was still queasy)


Strange statues pokin out o buildings all over...

The main statue with the cathedral as backdrop.. The houses remind me of Amsterdam. At least at the old quarters..



Apparently there is a story line behind intricate carvings.....(Cathedral)



Belgium waffle.. Haha tastes e same everywhere... Hmmm.. i think i look happiest with food. :)


View outside the cafe. Just before we headed back..



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and i think to myself.. what a wonderful( big, strange, awesome, scary) world...

Hello to the end of another week in Germany. It has been a quiet week by and large with peeks of spring here and there. I am quite intrigued at how what seemed like dead twigs and branches are suddenly filled with green buds/shoots and looking less dead. This change of season is indeed a lot more uplifting than when leaves were falling desperately during the onslaught of winter.

Some current musings (this feels like the hip word to use. I would use thoughts.. but anyway)

- Big big world. I am still fascinated at how the world is made up of so many different contexts. This week, I had a call with China, Laos and Indonesia about how they go about with strengthening our Christianess in their offices. I am humbled at the work that is done, intrigued at how diverse each context is and just generally grateful for this experience.

- with this middle east uprising ( I am told it is the Jasmine flower revolution), i am faced with what it means to be democratic and have been wondering if its good/bad... I have also been reading bout the manifesto of the main opposition in my lsland country as well as the way my government has gone about staying in government... It has also been interesting that China is now on alert that these revolutions do  not happen to them. Hmmm... I think I am not made for the political world. It breaks my heart to see people dying in Libya ( when i say lets pray for ppl, my frog says i remind him of his grandmother!...) and to hear governments have long extended conversation on what is the legal right thing to do.... Hmm. Difficult to understand. The idea of power is intriguing. it drives people to do very strange things...

- Life is unpredictable totally.. but yet we need to have a general train of thought. Tough cookies, my heart goes out to the people in Japan. to people who have suddenly found themselves in refugee camps in Tunesia, escaping from the civil war in Libya. Or even in Christchurch... Difficult, to have everything you own be left behind/washed away by the Tsunami, or just gone... This brings even stronger that our anchor needs to not be of the things of this world. "where moth and rust destroy".. it needs to be bigger than that, because these things do disappear...

I feel daunted in this scary world, but this week has been nice. I have seen God's hand in the shoots of the trees outside my apartment, in the conversations had.... I feel bit sad that my life revolves around 2 different continents (literally) and that to be in 1 place means not in the other (haha, obviously), but I need to remember that if he has gone before me, and prepared this. I must trust that his hands will be in it one way or other.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

To market to market to buy a fat pig

Ok maybe not... Went flea market shopping on Saturday, first time in my city( I dunno if I stay in a city or town ... Can't tell)
It was a glorious day... Would b a sin to not go out...




I came bk with this :) for 15 euros.. There is a little (ok maybe not too little broken piece)... But wow this lamp is making me happy... :) (despite the frog thinking it reminds him of granny stuff..)



 

I also bought some posters from Etsy. Different and hopefully less granny-esque... This is the collateral damage of staying indoors. hehe. :) But this lamp is making me sigh each time i look at it. :)
ps: My next post shall be something more erm, intellectual. haha.

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