Lost In Beauty-
Sunday, December 23, 2007
When I first heard that Arrow's year end camp was going to be an Adventure Camp, I was extremely disappointed. As I was serving in Dare, we just had a Dare's Adventure Camp in June and I was so looking forward to a relaxing History Makers' camp in a hotel. After getting over my initial hesitance, I signed up for Arrow's Adventure Camp (without thinking)... and lived the remaining days in regret and dread. Just kidding... I was exaggerating...but...occassionally, I did have second thoughts about the camp.
But I have to say this. Daddy God is really more than faithful. I felt that I have risen to another level during the camp itself. On the first day, we went through training sessions which taught us what to do if there were dog/bee attack. We were taught how to read maps too and have to go through obstacles challenge. We had to go through the swinging tunnel of tyres, cross the bridge of tyres that are hanging above ground, climb up suspended nets and climb over the 'low' wall with the help of our good-natured gentleman brothers. The day ended with us planning for mission 1 where we will have to go to many different cities, Besor etc. to get allies and finally to Zion to rescue our royal King and Queen. We were to start off no later than 8am. Lights off at 12 midnight.
However, 1 hour later, we woke up at 1am to the furious and frantic banging of the doors by our trainers, shouting that we have to set off earlier than planned. Everyone rushed to dress up, get their backpacks and ran to the field. Even though everything seemed so alien to me, my cg, known as Charlie 1 for the camp, brought forth much humor to me. For example, everyone was in their full gear: shirt, trackpants, sportshoes/boots and backpag and it was a hilarious sight to see Jimmy, without any backpack... and he was just holding an empty mug. I nearly got the shock of my life when I asked him what he was doing with his mug and he answered me: " For milo." I couldn't help it. I just started laughing. The camp trainers were doing their best trying to create an atmosphere of stealth and urgency of attacking enemies in the darkness and here was our good friend with his hilarious ways. Don't get me started on his other antics. When we reached Besor and entered the gates with all the eerie lights, everyone was just silently following Coach Jo (who was upkeeping her act of a fierce and no-nonsense army commando) through the place. And from behind me, Jimmy whispered, " Hey Steven! Camera....quickly take photo! Later no more opportunity." The idea was really funny. Imagine the whole group stopping to quickly snap a group photo at 2am in the morning in the midst of enemy's territory.
All in all, the route march was one of the most memorable event of my life. How can I ever forget the 12 km walk with all the various obstacles? (keeping our balance on a swing, standing on a horizontal pole on a curved shape semi-circle, doing leopard crawl under nets to find the key to unlock the locks, being carried through holes in the net etc. ) The company was excellent, the humor, the encouragement and the drawing of strengths together in a corporate way from the Lord himself through the singing of praises above the ferocious barking of wild dogs. Jia How and Jerome, being our map-reader and pacer, led us to reach the campsite at 7a.m; we ended up being the earliest and waited for our other Charlie groups for 2 hours, of which we enjoyed our blessed nap of sleeping along the roadsite beneath the wide expanse of the blue sky. It was definitely something to be remembered for ages to come. When the rest of the Charlies reached, we had to rush into the campsite and complete a series of obstacles and ended the day jumping into the mudpool and crossing it while holding our backpacks above our heads. We were drenched all the way down to our shoes with mud, but amazingly, I found the mudpool most refreshing. And praise be to the Lord, after lunch, we got our blessed beauty sleep from 2 to 6pm. After which, there was another fun training session which involves crazy people taking turns to run around and shout "On!". I thank God for the guys who were in such remarkably good spirits considering the fact that they have been through similar things in army before. Imagine that Issac actually took leave from army to come to this camp. Hahaha but God never shortchange His people.
That night, Coach Jo and Pastor Benjamin shared their hearts on the camp with various cgls coming forth to share their portion too. We felt so inspired to receive our portion outside our comfort zone. Joseph even declared that he was ready to uptake mission 2. After which, Sam Chan declared that mission 2 was cancelled. Unbelievably, some of us even felt the smallest tinge of disappointment. Wahaha the night ended with us breaking into our groups and share with each other. I got what I wanted from Daddy.
I knew I had to leave on the third day for Dare leaders' retreat and I wanted to have my portion before I left, and I did. I went through the most tiring yet memorable route march with my fellow comrades, and I did not miss out on the sharing, which was really awesome. It's amazing to hear how each and everyone of us received so much, just on the 2nd day of camp.
Daddy is more than faithful. Previously, during the camp, I was worried about how I was going to leave the camp (which was situated in the middle of nowhere) and make my way to YWCA, fort canning lodge. There was no other Dare leaders to go with me and no one to offer me transport. At last, I really decided that there was nothing I could do, but to really just trust in the Lord. And Daddy is true to His promises. On the night of the 2nd day, Tsu Ting came up to me, saying that she has just been invited to the retreat as well! I was amazed, cos it was truely a last minute thing for her. Not only now I have someone to go with, but transport was provided by her mum! Not just out of the campsite, but all the way from Sarimbun to YWCA! God is indeed gracious. It was totally unexpected and undeserved.
Even though, I missed the third day of fun, what with the blindfolding, the walking through dirty canals, and the anointed campfire session (which I heard that many, including guys, cried when they were touched by the Lord)... I believed I had the best of both worlds. Dare leaders' retreat was my first retreat ever and it was so anointed! I've gained much during that one day, through Pastor Daniel's sharing, and through fellowship with the other leaders. Being an armour-bearer first internalise Jonathan's vision (in this case, your leader's) and that is when we step into the role of Jonathan and become a leader to others. Foremost, the Lord prioritises ministry to Himself than ministry to others; He values our relationship with Him above all else.On the last day, I came back to join my Charlie 1 for service at the Rock. And I guess it was because I really had such a high expectation to receive from Pastor Benjamin, that I really received such a tremendous portion. It felt so surreal to be sitting among my peers and not youths, to be receiving from Pastor Benjamin, instead of Pastor Daniel. I used to take Arrow (then known as Campus) for granted. Now, I grasped every minute of it with a hungry spirit. I love the part on memorising does not change perception. It is when you meditate, that your perception will be change. A change in perspective: from a perspective of a stumbling stone to that of a stepping stone, from a setback to a comeback, from a victim to a victor! And such a change in perception will cause the word of God to become a revelation which will then become a revolution in your life.How do we keep seeing what God has on the inside of us? How does the spirit of wisdom and revelation open our eyes of understanding? The key to the impartation of the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that our eyes may be enlightened is that we hear... and understand. To hear with my heart is to ask the Lord: "Lord, which part of the sermon are you speaking to me? How does this apply in my life?"
In revelation, it is WHO do I say that Jesus is. It is not what others say or think of him, but it is what I have caught in my own life personally about Jesus, who is the living Son of God. When you have the consciousness that you are reading God's love letters in the Bible, you begin to have revelation. It will transform and excite you!Worship was really different. It was just so heartfelt in the tangible presence of God. The anointing oil service was awesome. Coach Lewis prayed for me, to receive the power and love from Daddy. At the later part, Pastor Benjamin asked those who have the desire to serve in ministry to come forward. At first, I was hesitant, cos I was asking Daddy if I should go up since I'm already serving. And with such clarity, I heard this word from within: "Go." I thought I was imagining things, but then, I heard it again. So I went forward. As I was standing there, I told Daddy that I want my inner vision to be restored, I want to be used even more mightily by Daddy in the coming year, and I want His anointing so evident in my life. Just as I finished, Pastor Benjamin came to pray for me. He said one sentence: "Her gifts be awakened." And I was slain. Went down peacefully. And arose with the certainty that Daddy loves me. I have an almighty God on my side. Who will be against me? No one.
I truely enjoyed camp this year. Really had a very different experience from last year and all the camps combined. I know why... because our God is so good, that it just gets better and better each year :) Praise Daddy! More to come, amen!
the beauty exposed ;
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Dear Daddy God... You have really been so good to me. So much favour, so much grace... love that was demonstrated through many different people in different walks of life, just for me... countless episodes of you telling me that you love me, in so many ways... some that my eyes were opened to, and some, that I've never realised... even up to now.
It's approaching the end of the year soon...and if I were to look back... with a heart of thanksgiving, it will definitely take hours.. or even days to recount your fingerprints on my journey in life in this year. 2007 definitely has been a year of new beginnings. So many things to share... and I'm really at loss at where to start. Will have to take time to really pen down all that is in my heart... but for now...
I just want to thank everyone of you... who has blessed me with their friendship and presence, some way or another. Yesterday was 15th Dec, my birthday. My heart is just so filled to the brim with Daddy's love... and to all those who contributed in His plan for me... a BIG THANK YOU to everyone!!!!
For the first time in my life... my birthday was celebrated 7 times. The number of perfection. And every one of them bore special memories for me. The first was actually celebrated on the 25th Nov. It was the most hilarious celebration. Due to some funny mistake in the database, the Almighties (the sec 2 Dare leaders) thought that my birthday was on the 15th Nov instead... I was just having an innocent dinner with the group and Coach Hee Jhun was classic. He kept on asking (with this hugely suspicious smile) if this month was a special month for me. I was confused... but could not figure out where he was heading to. And to my utter shock, I heard someone coming from behind me with a cake and everyone just started bursting out into a joyful birthday song for me. The only thing was...it was the wrong month. After much tears of laughter... I cut the cake with the warm feeling of Daddy's love for me. Felt tremendously blessed. God indeed has a sense of humor.
The 2nd time they got it correct. After Dare service, we had a meeting cum fellowship session at Gloria's Jean which ended at... 1am! LOL. I went to the ladies and came back sooner than the rest expected. I saw their shocked faces, but didnt think much of it because at the same moment, someone at the other end of the table was asking for Gideon. Everyone including me, turned our head to his direction. At that very same moment, we saw the waitress handing a lighter and a candle to Gideon. There was a strange silence at the table. Before we could even react, Gideon came back to our table, sat across me, without realising that anything was amiss, or that I was back from the ladies...he asked nonchalantly where to place the candle. And then he looked at me. And went OHHH NO! Haha, and no one could keep in their laughter anymore. The entire table roared with laughter. Coach HJ was laughing the hardest... everyone was just shaking.... nonetheless, the celebration was another classic.
But just felt so warmed by my endearing Almighties leaders. Felt so loved by Daddy through each and every one of them. What a sweet and precious family.
Ahh... Shanthi, Peixian and Evangeline were really sweet too. Together with my daregroup, A2J, they collaborated another celebration during dinner at Millenia Walk foodcourt with the dare youths. It was so heartwarming to see my own daregroup (A2J), ex-dg (Zoefied1) and even Peixian's and Evan's dg rushing over to just sing me a birthday song and bless me. I was really stunned and was in a state of bliss. It was really amazing how that day turned out. In the morning, I was just telling Daddy that how I'm going to spend my birthday serving Him in Dare...but Daddy just made it such a special day in my honour. All glory to God...the best Dad in the world.
And the celebration didn't just end on Saturday. I thought that I was going to meet my CGL, Tim Ang, for just a short moment after 3rd service today... maybe to collect a card of well-wishes from my cg members. But what I really didn't expect, was that my entire cg pre-planned a surprise. I was in the arcade watching my youths have a game or two. And behold, while being distracted by Joseph and Pris, my cg came into the arcade with a beautifully lit up cake and a jar of blessings. It was another hilarious episodes because picture this... in the midst of all the noise of the arcade environment, they had to sing an extremely loud birthday song in order to be heard. Seeing my beloved NTU-C cg all gathered in that arcade.... gosh... I just felt so tremendously loved, blessed, and privileged. Lord, I thank you for all these precious people. Who made time to be such a blessing to me, to demonstrate such love. It's truely by your grace because I know that I'm deserving. All of them are your birthday gift to me. And I thank you for that.Thank you Almighties. For your open arms. For your love. For everything. You guys rock as my 2nd family!!Thank you A2J -> I feel so blessed to be spending my birthday with you guys. I thank God for you guys, from the bottom of my heart.Thank you Dare youths & Zoefied1, for the songs, for your hugs, your blessings, and your presence. Special thanks to Rachel, Charmaine and Emmeline, for your gift of love.Thank you Edmund and Nicholas, for always addressing me as your beloved da jie, and for coming all the way to Suntec to join me for Dare service. Felt so touched by your card and your awesome gift.Thank you NTU-C!!! Thank you Tim, Yuan Zhen, Pris, Charlene, Justina, Joseph, Hansel, Issac, Gerard, (did I miss out anyone? Wahaha if I did, then you know it's you that I wanna thank you too!!) Thank you beloveds. For being an awesome bunch of buddies whom I enjoy being with, and receiving from each and everyone of you guys. Thank you, to everyone who sent me greetings. (And that includes, Pris, Jo, Ruth...) Thank you Pammie, for your precious heart, for organising a dinner for me tomorrow. Thank you for your time and love.And last but not least, a big thank you to my family. For being so supportive, and understanding. Thank you for your gifts, prayers, and precious time spent together to watch a birthday movie with me, even though it was 1a.m when I came back from my Friday dinner. Knowing that I will be out the whole Saturday, you guys supported me and loved me. Thank you. I love everyone of you. Thank you Daddy, for every single one of them. Thank you for my blessing. :) With a heart overflowing with love, joy and peace, I shall end here today. Praise you Jesus!
the beauty exposed ;
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This is my prayer to You.
To just bury my heart so deep in You...
that a special guy will have to go through You,
to get to me.
the beauty exposed ;
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Yes, I was missing for months... missing from blogging because I was so busy... busy with exams... haha from the 15th - 30th Nov was exams exams exams! But looking back...2007 was really the year of new beginnings... so far...I'm into my 2nd year of Computer Engineering... one more semester to finish year 2.... and you know what? Daddy God is really unbelievably good to me! Each sem gets easier and easier...year 1 sem 1 I was struggling with my new subjects but come year 2 sem 1..by right, it's supposed to be more difficult...but in fact it was easier! I don't deny it, there were challenges here and there but on the whole God was with me, every step of the way... and here I am, another sem conquered by the grace of God. Praise the lord!!!
Just came back from Bangkok... yes, I was whizzed away for a blessed family holiday immediately after exams!! Had an awesome time shopping and eating with them from the 1st - 6th Dec. I had a fashion makeover...wahaha! All thanks to my mum for her choice of new clothes and accessories... Awesome taste. All in the name of fun, here are some photos!! Whee....
Reached Singapore on the 7th Dec about 1 am.... whee.... 14 hours later... I was with my caregroup watching Enchanted at Cathay...the movie was wonderfully enchanting to our spirits... the guys were super funny dancing away after the show...especially Joseph, who kept bursting into dreamy romantic songs unexpectedly throughout the day... It was a poignantly sweet NTU caregroup session at SMU that night... cos it was my officially last cg session with them...(BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'M NO LONGER A PART OF CG THOUGH!! Haha, I will be going Arrow Adventure Camp with them from the 18th - 21st Dec! Whoo hoo!! God help me. Lol) Hmm... the next time there's cg, it will clash with daregoup in future... but I really thank God for my caregroup. They are really a precious bunch of people where their presence are such a joy and blessing to me. Tim rocks as our cgl!! Whoo hoo...such an anointed lamer who cracks people up...haha in fact, come to think of it, I think our whole cg inherited the corny jokes from him...which he inherited from Pastor...lol :)
The next day, 8th Dec, Saturday... was DG outing!!! I was supposed to meet A2J (Addicted to Jesus), my new daregroup for an outing of fun right after they came back from Encounter Jesus Camp -> which I didn't get to go because it clashed with my exams. Was really sad and disappointed at first because I wanted the opportunity to get to really know them better...they will be with me till they graduated at Sec 4 (which is..about 3 years cos they will be Sec 2 next year) way to go A2J!!!! But praise the Lord for supernatural favour!!!
Initially, I wanted a quiet fellowshipping or go to settlers' cafe to hang out and have some good fun. But guess what??!! Of all places...they chose to go to the Escape Theme Park...which I've heard so much about..but never bothered/dared to go before. Haha, I was extremely horrified and my heart was pounding so badly as I went to sit at the rainbow and the viking boat. Amazingly, I enjoyed the adrenalin rush and was busy laughing the whole way through! Shaun, one of my youths, were screaming while covering his eyes: "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!!..O Lord, O Lord, O Lord!!!" The other youths were screaming their lungs out at the same time... it was terrible yet so enjoyable at the same time... really an oxymoron.
And now they come to the next part...this huge ride called the INVERTER. It actually hangs you upside down hundreds of metres above ground. Horrifying...and I was determined not to go up there... I didn't have the guts! Remember, it was my first time at the Escape. And horror of all horrors...dear Arena and Laura DRAGGED me... I mean...literally dragged me screaming and kicking all the way to the queue and blocked me from escaping...never knew that Arena was so strong...wahaha scary also...it was extremely funny...Tsu Ting and I were bemoaning the fact that because we were leaders, we had to set the example... haha then before the ride started, I was praying fervently...if I survived, God is good man...haha and praise be to Jesus, not only I survived, but I enjoyed it!!!! I even took the ride another time!! Wahaha, when the inverter hung upside down, looking at the sky was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed the theme park..not to mention my 3 cheeky boys... all ganging up to drenched me with their water sprays... couldnt even open my eyes to drive my boat away... lol... praise Jesus for such supernatural bonding with A2J... I love them all!!! :)
More to come!!! Praise Daddy!!!
Thank you Daddy, for my very own precious beloved A2J!!!
the beauty exposed ;