Monday, August 13, 2007

Sunday night roundup

Its certainly been an eventful week. Top of the list was seeing my entire portfolio fall to the 20% mark. Seeing all that red ink made my heart bleed. I didn't anticipate the market to fall so badly over "old news". But the sub-prime mortgage problem was brewing for awhile. I should have looked at it more closer.

My patriotism got a good shot in the arm on Thursday. I was fortunate to get tickets for the National Day Parade - in the VIP area!!! This years NDP was special - done on the waterfront on a massive floating stage and at the evening, it was a kaleidescope of colors - from the standard red parachutists to the neon rainbow hue of the stage performers to the surreal golden glow of the jellyfish balloons and the fiery fireworks.

I sat with my Uncle's family in the VIP section, it was really cool. Lee Hsien Yang was sitting a few rows behinds us; and a stone throw away :) was the Prime Minister and the rest of Parliament. (No, the thought of throwing something at them during the Mexican wave did not occur to me. Anyhow with my wonky aiming I might have hit my Uncle instead.)

This may sound strange but I was very moved when our national anthem came on and seeing that huge red white star crescent flag stoicly fluttering by. You can see that in my video clip section.

Friday night I was given free tickets to the Newman Covergirl competition held at Zouk. Went  with my friend, Nick. It was a pleasant affair to see the girls in real life. I was surprised that the ones who looked pretty on photo were not so stunning; whereas two of the contestants who didn't look so great in the photo shot- looked spectacular on the stage. Calista Lim looked especially divine - I'm sure she would have won if a vote was done at Zouk. But alas all the votes were cast already. We didn't stay for long. My throat was bugging me again - and drinking all that alcohol didn't help.

Saturday... Ultimate Frisbee got fried good and proper in Sentosa. This weekend we played at the Back Island of Death (the original name for Sentosa - Pulau Blakan Mati). We started at 3pm. But to be frank I wish we had stayed in the shade for another two good hours. The sun was scorching!!!! You could fry an egg on the sand - but having no eggs we decided to fry our feet instead :) Alan can really move despite his rugby player girth. I need to get back to gym.

It was a miracle that I got to church on time today. I think God must have stopped time to allow me to get to church. Maybe He did. I had this strange feeling that He wanted me to hear the message today.

And it was special. Intead of the usual theological roundabout, we heard from a Malay preacher and his helper, a Ken-looking American missionary. For those who don't know anything about South-east Asia, Malay Christian preachers are as rare as diamonds. Most Malays are de facto Muslims. If any of them renounce Islam- they are ostracized from society and face violent reprisals. The Malay preacher did his message entirely in Bahasa. Initially, the congregation just didn't how to react. The last time someone preached in Malay at our church may have over 100 years ago.

He spoke of the difficulty of preaching to his community in Sumatra but he said that through love and care - the hatred towards Christians - came down. His wife and him took care of a village woman who was paralyzed - the rest of the village said she was cursed by God and feared to even touch her. She hadn't taken a bath in four years. In the tropical heat - now that's a horror. They washed her and helped to feed her. In time she came to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Meanwhile, their act of compassion surprised the other villagers and got them to re-think - hopefully in time they took will be Christians.

The US missionary spoke and he urged us to reconsider Jesus' last words- "the Great Commission" in which he told his disciples to:

"Go, preach the gospel, and make disciples of the peoples of the world, from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

In our case, Jesus may have said from Singapore to Johor and to Tibet.

Jesus' disciples, all Jews, had a hard time going out to tell the good news to non-Jewish people, esp. to Samarians whom they disliked. And are we no different from them? I must confess I would find it very hard to talk about Jesus with a foreign blue collar worker from China or India, issues of language and class just make it a mountain to climb over.

As for preaching the gospel to Muslims in Johor, Malaysia... that's almost like asking to be crucified. Hee hee, maybe that's what Jesus wants. Virtually all of his disciples got killed preaching the gospel. Christianity seemed to spread the fastest when Christians acted courageously in accordance with the Gospel - and suffered for it.

I think its time I did more praying.

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