Random Thoughts with a full stomach


Nowadays, Gareth initiates lots of conversations … and it usually starts with a question.

After allowing myself to “feel” or “identify” with the tragedies I’m either reading or am in touch with, it makes some other requests I see as trivial and selfish. We have so much, from the cash in our wallets to the cars we use to shuttle us around. And yet, there’s so much complaints and excuses coming out of our mouths.

Some of my friends get more emails which tell them how evil and unjust the world is. I need to pray for them so the “stuff” won’t poison them. There are other friends who are simply caught up in the rat race and they need to get some of these emails and be moved by what they read. Too many of my friends probably are in a state of “numbness”. I wonder is my patience running thin? Some go around shouting out how they love God … but …

I’m looking forward for the time 4 of us will be going up to visit the Orang Asli (or Orang Asal) companion congregation and spend some time with the lady pastor there. Can we reimagine a new way of partnership and learning? Can we be open to discern what God’s spirit is doing and saying when we are there?

Had an interesting breakfast with a stranger today. Two of us. Two religions – a Muslim and a Christian. Two races – Malay and Chinese (well according to my ID card – Hokkian?). Two occupations – a businessman and a pastor. Two sets of meals – toastbread and roti chanai. One conversation over breakfast – we talked about life, work, and family. We laughed about our common interest in photography – he’s a pro, I’m an amateur. He was surprised I am a pastor. I was surprised he has only one child. He made room for me to join the table for breakfast, I made some room for some conversation. I liked it … I need more of this.

Had supper with a couple whom I can’t remember when was the last time we ate together. Good food .. and good to catch up. so much has happened.

News of loved ones in hospital is more and more frequent these days.

Got an SMS where a friend will appear on TV tomorrow. All the best to her. She’s the best. While not everyone can be like her, but we can all learn from her. As far as those who are younger than me, I find myself challenged when I see how she is progressing. She’s a rare gem. But I pray more gems like her will emerge in due time.

While there’s a lot of news or stories which can easily weigh me down these days, but there’s always little “good gossip” which does wonders for me. For example, I found out tonight how at least 4 more BLC members went to join the games activity with one of the children’s home last Saturday. Of course, I’m glad 3 guys are following me tomorrow. I was happy to serve with two couples who were more than willing to step in when necessary to fill the gaps where our worship ministry is concerned. I think there is a ministry of filling the gaps at times .. we must affirm those who operate out of servant hood.

Yesterday, it was good to listen to two brothers talk about how they want to move forward and facilitate a way for us to move from talks to even baby steps. So often, what we have is “verbal or intellectual masturbation” where NOTHING is done. Not even a prayer.

My brief reintroduction to Chinese classics has sensitized me once again to the virtuous life. And so much of “pop Malaysian culture” today, especially the “it’s all about me” kind of culture is making me puke. Worse is when self proclaimed Christians are running around … not only washing dirty linen in public (hey we all know our imperfections) but being proud about it that is drives me crazy… now that stinks. Am I switching to a ranting mode? Restraint … breath slowly .. fresh air in the highlands will do me good.

There’s so much wrong with our world. There’s probably not much we can do to make dramatic changes but at least we can start being part of the solution than being stuck as part of the problem. We are tempted to be paralysized by our analysis … or worse without intelligent analysis .. it’s mere uninformed opinions which not only doesn’t stimulate but it’s just some sounds coming out from our teeth … or words keyed into cyberspace. If I’m going to dwell in this kind of time wasting self-loathing activity … I think I must have lost my humanity … in fact, if there’s nothing more than that load of “garbage” (skybalon?) I’m producing … it’s toxic not just for me but those around me.

Listening to Lewis Smedes (mp3) again in the car did me much good … he reminded me of “Keeping Hope alive”. Hope and the stuff Smedes highlighted in the sermon oozes the toxic from our system … though real limits and pain are not ignored but our view of life and vision of the present is shaped by a presence and promise beyond our own inadequate selves.

I think I had too much to eat tonight …

with that .. good nite.

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