lovely diacritic?


That UK Flag T-shirt
23 February, 2010, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Autobiography, Religion | Tags: ,

I was attending The Edge conference and was staying over at my childhood’s friend’s place since it is nearby. So I brought along only a few clothes for that short stay. On the 3rd day of conference while I was preparing to leave the house, I changed into this top that has the flag of UK. (An example of the shirt can be seen below. Grabbed from google images) So while i was taking out this shirt from my luggage, the thought strike me, “you are going to see someone wearing this shirt today.” I was like… okay… weird…. and whatever.

At the edge conference, it was Matthew Barnette speaking. I think he was speaking about your destiny that God called you to pursue. During ministry time he got the whole congregation to go up for ministry. so everyone went. He said stuff during ministry like “someone’s going to US… someone’s going to this place… someone’s going to be…” The day before, also during ministry, he did the same thing by getting everyone down to the altar. He said “someone’s going to South Africa to set up a business.” I was like yeah that’s me man. So cool. Set up business in S. Africa… That’s definitely me since I’m from SMU. Singapore MANAGEMENT Uni. So he was repeating these words again at the ministry. So this time the altar call about destiny, I went up thinking, “yes i know God, You called me to family counseling already. (It’s another testimony how God called me to be a Family Counselor) I know my destiny. But here I am, expecting to hear what more You wanna say.” Again Barnette was saying “someone’s going to be a pastor. someone’s going to South Africa.” “I was like yah… that’s me, you said it yesterday. I know.” Then after he said someone’s going to South Africa, he said “someone’s going to Australia.” As soon as I heard that, I cried. I just couldn’t stop crying. I was like what’s wrong with me??! It’s just a word Australia.

Then while I was crying, everything else blur out. Barnette’s voice blurred out, my awareness of people around me blurred out. So I started looking around the hall. Then I saw, the girl with a white UK print top! I was like okay…. “i knew that.” and “freaky!” After i came back to “awareness”, Barnette challenged people to walk up to the stage to declare what they heard God speaking. He pointed in several directions that he feels someone has heard God spoke. One of the directions was in my direction. I felt like he was pointing at me. I felt this tugging to go up but I was hesitant because there were about 100++ people infront of me! So jam packed. Had loads of “what ifs” in my head. What if I squeeze through the 100+ people and by the time i reach there ministry is over. What if all these are just emotions, i’m just crying for fun and it isn’t God speaking. etc. After several people went up, he closed the time and ended the service. I realised that NO ONE from my direction, NO ONE from the 100+ people infront went up to declare! The ones who went up were from all different parts of the congregation except mine.

Later on in the afternoon, we were sitting in an afternoon workshop. I wanted to tell people about what I experienced at ministry. The person I wanted to tell first was my brother since it’s just me that I need to tell things to my family first. But I was afraid like what if isn’t God and it’s just me crying for fun at the ministry. So during the workshop, while taking notes, sitting beside my brother, I started to draw Australia flag. I was carrying a multi colour pen so I could fill in the colours too.

Strangely, I couldn’t draw the top left hand corner of the flag! I just didn’t know what was inside. So i asked my brother, what’s in that corner. He was like dont know. That’s weird because he’s a pro at flags. When he was younger he had a chart of flags and their names and he even can draw the weirdest flag like saudi arabia. Now is just australia flag like how could he not know?! So oh well. forgot about it, didn’t tell anyone.

When i reached home i eagerly searched on google. The top left hand corner was actually…

UK flag. The same UK flag on the top i wore at the altar. The same UK flag top I saw the girl wearing.

Too much coincidences I thought. But i was still like, NO. This isn’t from God. I was telling Him, God i want you to show me from the scripture that “you are going Australia.” Obviously that’s impossible. Instead He gave me the word from Deuteronomy 7. The whole chapter spoke to me.

zooming in to v7
The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;

I really felt inadequate to be called in the area of family counseling because I do not have the most perfect family in the world to be able go out there and counsel other people’s family. But this verse simply encourages me sooo much.¬†And the rest of the verses, v12 – 26, is about blessings of obedience.

So i was like okay, i know it’s from You God.

Few days later then came Youth Camp.

The first night Jeremy Seaward message was about True freedom. During altar call, he gave an opportunity for people to DECLARE WHAT DESTINY GOD IS CALLING. I was like, “oh man… not again?! i’m totally not saying. NOT SAYING!!! blah blah blah blah.” (acting like a child trying to block out the naggings of its parents) then after a few people declared, i was like ok. looks like You want me to declare huh. Like declaring is to make a statement so that my destiny isn’t just a moment of encounter. By declaring it’s like making a promise that you will pursue it. Okay then. Do or die. So I just sayed “Family Counselling. Australia.” After the session Shalyn said she got the strength to declare her destiny was because she felt soooo much strength from me when I said that. I didn’t even realise. That was really encouraging to hear.

So for now I’m still waiting on the Lord because I don’t know when am i going Australia. For how long am i going Australia. and for what purpose am i going Australia for. But it’s been an exciting journey to see what God has installed for me! ūüôā I’m so in awe to see how the Holy Spirit, the Word and God work together in my life.



I’m going to SMU. (:
26 June, 2009, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Education | Tags:

A continuation from my previous post about the journey of my univeristy application.

I am so glad that this journey of university application has been a fulfilling one. I get to know God even more and my character has definitely been shaped.

On the 26th of May, I received news that I made it through the audition for USYD Sydney Conservatorium of Music audition. I really thank God for that because before the audition the manager told me that there are only 8 Singaporeans in the conservatorium. Really all glory to God for my successful audition. As soon as I heard the news, I seeked God about the direction and He spoke to me through Tim Hugdes’ God of Justice (We Must Go).

I thought to myself, “Is God asking me to go to USYD since the song titled “We Must Go”. But nah, it is kinda extracting out of context. So I waited upon God to reveal more things.

At Church camp during the 2nd week of June, Pastor heard from God and prayed for clarity of mind for me during¬†ministry time. Yes, prayer¬†was answered and things all fell into place during the Eagles’ Programme just this week. God spoke to me and 3 dilemmas in my life were settled.

One dilemma was about accepting USYD. The word is from Hebrews 11. It is about the past characters from the bible who acted by faith and in the end not getting what was promised by God. One example from that passage is about Abraham. By faith, Abraham obeyed God and was going to sacrifice Isaac. He was promised to be the father of nations yet he did not get what God promised. (It later happened through his son, Isaac, after he passed on.) In my interpretation, by faith, I applied for overseas universities and went through the procedures of auditions and write-ups. And at the end of this, I am not getting what God has promised. As what the scripture says in Hebrews 11:39-40:

And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”‘

It may seem illogical to have even started on the process in the first place but if I were placed in that part of my life again and know I’ll end up at SMU, I’ll still apply overseas university if God ask me to. Simply because I believe God has plans for me to take on this journey and indeed, I have learnt so much, in the areas of knowing more about Him, knowing more about myself and knowing more¬†about other people.

The second dilemma was about confirming SMU. During the Eagles’ Camp, I learnt about experiencing holy dissastisfaction and it is one roadsign of the place where I am called to. I discovered that¬†the reaction I have towards a group¬†of people¬†I see is a kind of holy dissastisfaction. By taking Social Sciences in SMU, I am one step closer to that place of calling.

Lastly, the third dilemma was to join Eagles’ Programme for the next one year. I went back to the song, “God of Justice (We Must Go)” and read the lyrics in detail. It was actually speaking out reaching out to others.

God of justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

We must go live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken, we must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action, we must go

To act justly every day
Loving mercy in every way
Walking humbly before You, God

You have shown us, what You require
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out, Lord

That spoke to me in such a way that I must join Eagles’ Programme since it is about leadership, reaching out to others. To me, it is speaking to me that I must go to reach out to others. Definitely¬†through this programme, I will be able to do so. On top of that, it means I have to study local university because it is a one year commitment.

Therefore, I am going to SMU.

Thank God for taking me through this journey.

Decisions are hard to make for some can be very major. I am so glad to have God to be able to give me clarity in my decisions. I know my future is certain and secured in His hands.



(bah)
25 May, 2009, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Autobiography, Religion, Technology | Tags:

Type that in MSN messenger and you get an emoticon of a sheep. It is on my peronal message now and it reminds me of the song “Shepherd of my Soul”. It was a song during last Sunday’s worship and I was truly¬†ministered. It reminds me to be submissive and to follow wherever God may lead me.

 

Shepherd of my soul I give you full control,
Wherever You may lead I will follow.
I have made the choice to listen for Your voice,
Wherever You may lead I will go.

Be it in a quiet pasture or by a gentle stream,
The Shepherd of my soul is by my side.
Should I face a mighty mountain or a valley dark and deep,
The Shepherd of my soul will be my guide.

Shepherd of my soul Oh You have made me whole,
Where’er I hear You call how my teaars flow.
How I feel your love how I want to serve
I gladly give my heart to You O Lord.

Be it in the flowing river or in the quiet night,
The Shepherd of my soul is by my side.
Should I face the stormy weather or the dangers of this world.
The Shepherd of my soul will be my guide.

 

I think the lyrics of the song was inspired by Psalm 23.

Today in the MRT, I was thinking about University of Melbourne and worries all flooding in again. God used a very interesting way to speak to me. There was this lady wearing a T-shirt with Psalm 23:4 printed on it. It reads,

“Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” (NLT)

“I will not be afraid” stood out to me.¬†Interestingly, how this NLT version was different. Usually in¬†most other versions, it is “I fear no evil.”¬†If it was in the other versions, I would not be reminded of the verses God gave me when I first got the offer from University of Melbourne, which¬†I even blogged about it in “Don’t be afraid.” Why, how could I forget. Thank God for reminding me of the word He gave me last time. He truly touches me.

So once again, I dedicate myself to God that I will not be afraid and to follow wherever He leads me.

(bah)



Don’t be afraid.
21 May, 2009, 12:11 am
Filed under: Autobiography, Education, Religion | Tags:

Looking back at my previous post, One Way, God has certainly brought me through an amazing journey. He instructed me through John 6:12 to apply for all the universities that I can and I obeyed. Now He has blessed me with so many openings. The universities I got are SMU SOSS, NUS FASS, NTU Psychology, and the one that I just received today is, University of Melbourne Bachelor of Music! Praise the Lord for blessing me with so many openings that I never thought that I would get.

Before the reply from the Music Degree, I was kind of settled with SMU SOSS but I did not have 100% peace of mind. SMU has been my dream school since 2006 and the reason of choosing her is because of the electives they have (ie. Music, Dance, Art), the seminary teaching style, the CCA – InDanCity, and the distance. The only thing I did not like is the fact that it is 40% project work based and looking back at the experience I have in JC1 with H1 Project Work, I am not very keen in doing projects regularly for the next four years. But then again, I thought that I should counter my fear and overcome it because project work is inevitably part of working life. If I do not counter it now, I will have to do in the future. So I was settled with SMU SOSS without a 100% peace of mind for some reason which I do not know of.

Then I got the acceptance from University of Melbourne today! I totally could not believe my eyes when I read the acceptance e-mail and had to read it a few times before it sank in. (Because University of Sydney Bachelor of Musicology rejected me yesterday so my hopes kind of went down slightly) However, I got to accept this offer by 31st of May and pay a deposit of AUD$10,000. Gosh. And I cannot accept until the scholarship accepts me which will only be in July! I need the financial aid because just tuition fees alone ranges from AUD$64k to AUD$74k. So I went to seek God and asked just cast my cares upon Him (what I learnt in the last mentoring session I had) Basically talk to God about my situation and asked Him for a direction. He told me “don’t be afraid” through Chris Tomlin’s “On Our Side” and Psalm 112.

The lyrics of the chorus goes:

If God is on our side
We won’t be afraid
Though the mountains may fall
And the sky will crumble
There ain’t nothin’ gonna stand in our way

Psalm 112:8 says:

His heart is established; he will not afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies. (NKJV)

His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. (ESV)

Through this, I know I do not need to be afraid and just trust in the Lord. ūüėÄ

I am so excited to see what God has installed for me.



His plans for me just keeps unfolding and unfolding…
13 February, 2009, 2:13 am
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags:

As she enters the doors of Singapore Dance Theatre’s dance studio, there were so many professional dancers warming up, getting ready for their lesson. When they were taught new exercises say, once or twice only, most of them could get it and execute it immediately with the right techniques and very coordinated as one. WOW. Overwhelmed by their talents and the very fact that she is standing in the same room as them, her hands simply had to turn icy cold. Such untimely situation when she was just about to audition for the position as a dance piano accompaniment.

 

What was about to happen was something that she was mentally unprepared for. Improvisations, with beautiful melody singing, and the precise mood, tempo, style and dynamics. These were the expectation of the instructor. But these were the things that she lacked. With only experience in improvisation gained through 5 years of serving the Lord on the keyboard, all she could play in her nervous state was basic rhythms and restrained melody line. Looking around, she saw the dancers smiling to one another, with faces reading “What difference in style (and experience).” But she is cool with that for she knows it herself too.

 

Yes, all said from the bottom of my heart.

 

I’m thankful for having such nice hosts at SDT – administrator, dance instructor and piano accompanist. I knew that the audition could have gone worse. Maybe the dance instructor and piano accompanist telling straight in my face that I sucked and¬†to leave immediately so as not to waste anymore of their precious time. Yet I was given the opportunity to stay on for about an hour and a half to watch and learn how dance accompaniment can brighten the class for dancers.¬†I felt like I have just attended a lesson on accompanist for free! Such a blessing!

 

What went through my mind while I was sitting there watching was the word that God given me on Monday and Tuesday during my morning devotion. Both word were speaking about the same thing but I just could not apply them in my life. That was when it clicked. The verses are:

 

Phillippians 2:4 (Monday)

4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 

Ephesians 4:1-16 (Tuesday)

1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.¬†2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.¬†3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.4There is one body and one Spirit‚ÄĒjust as you were called to one hope when you were called‚ÄĒ¬†5one Lord, one faith, one baptism;6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.¬†7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.¬†8This is why it[a]¬†says:¬†
¬†¬†¬†“When he ascended on high,¬†
      he led captives in his train 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†and gave gifts to men.”[b]¬†

9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]?10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)¬†11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,¬†12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up¬†13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

From these verses, the word “humility” was right in my face. Again, I asked God to reveal in what area that I need to especially humble myself. So today it all unfolded.

 

Having to lead a life being regarded as the piano or music person in my circle of friends or even at home, very seldom I get to be the one considered to be with the least experience in the area of music. Also, the past events of getting through auditions as though I was walking through door frames with no doors installed certianly built up my confidence over the years. Indeed I was spoilt by such a surrounding. If any rejection comes by, my over-sensitive character will overwhelm me and send me crying home.

 

So, the scenario at the dance studio mentioned above was definitely something new and shocking to me. When I knew I could not make it, inside of me just kept praying, asking God to just have a miracle and let me through. But I was asking with the wrong heart/purpose. Going back to the word, I knew such prayers will not be answered as my purpose was selfish. Recalling the word “humility”, I decided to practise what I learnt, as what God commanded in Phillippians 4:9,

“9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me‚ÄĒput it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

I decided not to be prideful and to be open to advices from the experienced ones around me. Like a spoilt child, I could have shown discontentment due to the rejection but I did not. I am glad I obeyed God because I learnt so much from just an audition.

 

Thereafter, the piano accompanist being so nice, introduced me to some other ballet schools that allowed me to gain experience as a dance accompanist. I just want to thank God for placing me in such an environment with nice people. (Despite having the Arts industry to be regarded as very competitive and filled with bitchy people fighting for opportunities) Really thank God for not a tiny bit of that.

 

Come to think of it again, (God’s plans seem to have an unending of unfoldings) back in 19th January, last month, (I recorded such stuff in my devotional book you see) as I was seeking the Lord on the music jobs that I want to take, He revealed to me that being so broken, ill-confident and not acknowledging the talent He has given to me (refer to previous post) I certainly will not be able to get any music jobs.

 

The phrase “When you’re not filled, you can’t spill” which also applies to the action of sharing with you (spilling) about this is due to the fact that I am filled¬†by spending time with God daily.

 

 

Anyway, as soon as I posted that testimony of my deliverance from my Diploma dilemma (Yes, the previous post again. Go read it if you have not.), SDT called me in for audition. (People whom I have told them about the call ¬†knew I was over the moon and wanted to scream at the caller because playing “rubbish” (my lingo for improvisation) on a piano as a job is so called my dream job.) ¬†But if God calls me elsewhere I’ll go of course. And apart from that call, on that same day, Papa’s colleague wants to engage me as a piano teacher! Another job I wanted to take up during this break of mine. (Yes I posted advertisements around my block but no one responded) The special thing about this potential student is that she just want to try out piano despite having STRONG interest in it, and she is okay with NO long term attachement! EXACTLY what I wanted. Keen students with no long term attachement. What I wanted sounds illogical but MAN, I got it!

 

So I really really really want to thank God and can only do so this much by telling the world via the fastest and most accessible form of communication – the Internet. So glad I have God.



Why are you doing what you are doing?
9 February, 2009, 1:29 am
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags:

That question struck me during mentoring and it lead me to question in the area of my commitment to music/piano – Why am I pursuing music all these years?

 

My whole life (since 4 years old) I have been pursuing music and I really enjoy doing so. It is my interest and also I am the kind of person who must finish things to the very end. So after taking Grade 8 theory exam next month, I say I’m done with the “Grades pursuit”. At the same time, I’m starting on the next level, diploma in performance. Well, sure looks good when people ask what level I am in my piano. But actually inside me I was quite miserable.

 

Why miserable? Honestly, I do not consider myself as being talented then. The grades I obtained for the examinations were so-so, especially being surrounded by many musicians in my circle of friends, I say I am mediaocre. That it started snowballing since end of 2007 when I had negative thoughts that I should just give up pursuing Diploma. People around me discouraged me to drop ¬†because reasons like “I have gone a long way”, “It’ll be such a waste to just drop it” and other reasons along that line. Not knowing what to do, I decided to stay put and continue this journey, but feeling all drained on the inside as it was a shallow reason to make me carry on. It was sure a tough journey.

 

Finally, I hit my lowest during last week and piano lesson was HORRIBLE. My teacher noticed through my playing that I was distracted. Extra distracted compared to previous lessons with thoughts that I should just drop diploma. (Since what have been motivating me was the fact that I shouldn’t give up after such a long journey. Such a poor reason.) Anyway, speaking in musical terms, everytime before I play the final note of the phrase, there is this awkward pause I had and they sound like oh-I-forgot-there’s-this-note-left-I-better-press-it-before-anyone-realise-I’m-distracted. Yeah. My teacher laughed because it really sounded weird and funny to her. But it was totally not funny to me as I’m trying very ¬†hard to focus and not waste the $80 per lesson fee. I was even on the verge of tears because inside I was really feeling very terrible but NO WAY was I gonna cry infront of my teacher for the first time. Not only was my practical lesson horrible, so was my theory lesson. The mistakes I made were of Grade 1 standard mistakes? Additional or lack of one beat in a bar. What the. I was also quite appalled with my mistakes. Finally that lesson ended just like that. Like it was better off without it.

 

As soon as I got home I just cried out to the Lord and did solitude, asking God to speak to me CLEARLY so that I have His word to ground me and motivate me to go on a longer journey with a STRONGER spirit and with A SENSE OF PURPOSE in this whole music thing. Then He gave me Job 38 – 42. Lo and behold, the title is “The Lord Speaks”. (I do love such clear-cut revelation but I musn’t always look forward to this because God speaks in so many other creative ways too.) So the verses go:

 

Job 38

¬†1¬†Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:¬†2¬†“Who is this that darkens my counsel¬†
       with words without knowledge?

 3 Brace yourself like a man; 
       I will question you, 
       and you shall answer me.

¬†4¬†“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?¬†
       Tell me, if you understand.

 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! 
       Who stretched a measuring line across it?

 6 On what were its footings set, 
       or who laid its cornerstone-

 7 while the morning stars sang together 
       and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?

¬†8¬†“Who shut up the sea behind doors¬†
       when it burst forth from the womb,

 9 when I made the clouds its garment 
       and wrapped it in thick darkness,

 10 when I fixed limits for it 
       and set its doors and bars in place,

¬†11¬†when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† here is where your proud waves halt’?

¬†12¬†“Have you ever given orders to the morning,¬†
       or shown the dawn its place,

 13 that it might take the earth by the edges 
       and shake the wicked out of it?

 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; 
       its features stand out like those of a garment.

 15 The wicked are denied their light, 
       and their upraised arm is broken.

¬†16¬†“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea¬†
       or walked in the recesses of the deep?

 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? 
       Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death [b] ?

 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? 
       Tell me, if you know all this.

¬†19¬†“What is the way to the abode of light?¬†
       And where does darkness reside?

 20 Can you take them to their places? 
       Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

 21 Surely you know, for you were already born! 
       You have lived so many years!

¬†22¬†“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow¬†
       or seen the storehouses of the hail,

 23 which I reserve for times of trouble, 
       for days of war and battle?

 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, 
       or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, 
       and a path for the thunderstorm,

 26 to water a land where no man lives, 
       a desert with no one in it,

 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland 
       and make it sprout with grass?

 28 Does the rain have a father? 
       Who fathers the drops of dew?

 29 From whose womb comes the ice? 
       Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

 30 when the waters become hard as stone, 
       when the surface of the deep is frozen?

¬†31¬†“Can you bind the beautiful¬†[c]¬†Pleiades?¬†
       Can you loose the cords of Orion?

 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons [d] 
       or lead out the Bear [e] with its cubs?

 33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Can you set up God’s¬†[f]¬†dominion over the earth?

¬†34¬†“Can you raise your voice to the clouds¬†
       and cover yourself with a flood of water?

 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

 36 Who endowed the heart [g] with wisdom 
       or gave understanding to the mind [h] ?

 37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? 
       Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

 38 when the dust becomes hard 
       and the clods of earth stick together?

¬†39¬†“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness¬†
       and satisfy the hunger of the lions

 40 when they crouch in their dens 
       or lie in wait in a thicket?

 41 Who provides food for the raven 
       when its young cry out to God 
       and wander about for lack of food?

 

Job 39

¬†1¬†“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?¬†
       Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?

 2 Do you count the months till they bear? 
       Do you know the time they give birth?

 3 They crouch down and bring forth their young; 
       their labor pains are ended.

 4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; 
       they leave and do not return.

¬†5¬†“Who let the wild donkey go free?¬†
       Who untied his ropes?

 6 I gave him the wasteland as his home, 
       the salt flats as his habitat.

 7 He laughs at the commotion in the town; 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† he does not hear a driver’s shout.

 8 He ranges the hills for his pasture 
       and searches for any green thing.

¬†9¬†“Will the wild ox consent to serve you?¬†
       Will he stay by your manger at night?

 10 Can you hold him to the furrow with a harness? 
       Will he till the valleys behind you?

 11 Will you rely on him for his great strength? 
       Will you leave your heavy work to him?

 12 Can you trust him to bring in your grain 
       and gather it to your threshing floor?

¬†13¬†“The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,¬†
       but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers of the stork.

 14 She lays her eggs on the ground 
       and lets them warm in the sand,

 15 unmindful that a foot may crush them, 
       that some wild animal may trample them.

 16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers; 
       she cares not that her labor was in vain,

 17 for God did not endow her with wisdom 
       or give her a share of good sense.

 18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, 
       she laughs at horse and rider.

¬†19¬†“Do you give the horse his strength¬†
       or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?

 20 Do you make him leap like a locust, 
       striking terror with his proud snorting?

 21 He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, 
       and charges into the fray.

 22 He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; 
       he does not shy away from the sword.

 23 The quiver rattles against his side, 
       along with the flashing spear and lance.

 24 In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; 
       he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.

¬†25¬†At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, ‘Aha!’¬†
       He catches the scent of battle from afar, 
       the shout of commanders and the battle cry.

¬†26¬†“Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom¬†
       and spread his wings toward the south?

 27 Does the eagle soar at your command 
       and build his nest on high?

 28 He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; 
       a rocky crag is his stronghold.

 29 From there he seeks out his food; 
       his eyes detect it from afar.

 30 His young ones feast on blood, 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† and where the slain are, there is he.”

 

Job 40

1 The LORD said to Job:

¬†2¬†“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Let him who accuses God answer him!”

 3 Then Job answered the LORD :

¬†4¬†“I am unworthy‚ÄĒhow can I reply to you?¬†
       I put my hand over my mouth.

¬†5¬†I spoke once, but I have no answer‚ÄĒ¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† twice, but I will say no more.”

 6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:

¬†7¬†“Brace yourself like a man;¬†
       I will question you, 
       and you shall answer me.

¬†8¬†“Would you discredit my justice?¬†
       Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

¬†9¬†Do you have an arm like God’s,¬†
       and can your voice thunder like his?

 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, 
       and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, 
       look at every proud man and bring him low,

 12 look at every proud man and humble him, 
       crush the wicked where they stand.

 13 Bury them all in the dust together; 
       shroud their faces in the grave.

 14 Then I myself will admit to you 
       that your own right hand can save you.

¬†15¬†“Look at the behemoth,¬†[a]¬†
       which I made along with you 
       and which feeds on grass like an ox.

 16 What strength he has in his loins, 
       what power in the muscles of his belly!

 17 His tail [b] sways like a cedar; 
       the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.

 18 His bones are tubes of bronze, 
       his limbs like rods of iron.

 19 He ranks first among the works of God, 
       yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.

 20 The hills bring him their produce, 
       and all the wild animals play nearby.

 21 Under the lotus plants he lies, 
       hidden among the reeds in the marsh.

 22 The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; 
       the poplars by the stream surround him.

 23 When the river rages, he is not alarmed; 
       he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.

 24 Can anyone capture him by the eyes, [c] 
       or trap him and pierce his nose?

 

Job 41

1¬†“Can you pull in the leviathan¬†[a]¬†with a fishhook¬†
       or tie down his tongue with a rope?

 2 Can you put a cord through his nose 
       or pierce his jaw with a hook?

 3 Will he keep begging you for mercy? 
       Will he speak to you with gentle words?

 4 Will he make an agreement with you 
       for you to take him as your slave for life?

 5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird 
       or put him on a leash for your girls?

 6 Will traders barter for him? 
       Will they divide him up among the merchants?

 7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons 
       or his head with fishing spears?

 8 If you lay a hand on him, 
       you will remember the struggle and never do it again!

 9 Any hope of subduing him is false; 
       the mere sight of him is overpowering.

 10 No one is fierce enough to rouse him. 
       Who then is able to stand against me?

 11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? 
       Everything under heaven belongs to me.

¬†12¬†“I will not fail to speak of his limbs,¬†
       his strength and his graceful form.

 13 Who can strip off his outer coat? 
       Who would approach him with a bridle?

 14 Who dares open the doors of his mouth, 
       ringed about with his fearsome teeth?

 15 His back has [b] rows of shields 
       tightly sealed together;

 16 each is so close to the next 
       that no air can pass between.

 17 They are joined fast to one another; 
       they cling together and cannot be parted.

 18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; 
       his eyes are like the rays of dawn.

 19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; 
       sparks of fire shoot out.

 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils 
       as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.

 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, 
       and flames dart from his mouth.

 22 Strength resides in his neck; 
       dismay goes before him.

 23 The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; 
       they are firm and immovable.

 24 His chest is hard as rock, 
       hard as a lower millstone.

 25 When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; 
       they retreat before his thrashing.

 26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, 
       nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.

 27 Iron he treats like straw 
       and bronze like rotten wood.

 28 Arrows do not make him flee; 
       slingstones are like chaff to him.

 29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw; 
       he laughs at the rattling of the lance.

 30 His undersides are jagged potsherds, 
       leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.

 31 He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron 
       and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.

 32 Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; 
       one would think the deep had white hair.

¬†33¬†Nothing on earth is his equal‚ÄĒ¬†
       a creature without fear.

 34 He looks down on all that are haughty; 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† he is king over all that are proud.”

 

There are so many verses but they were all speaking about one thing to me. That is WHO IS THE GREATEST. And yeah, He is God. Also, being in the distracted state, it was so apt to have so many verses to resound until I was really focused on God and the word of God started to enter my heart. There are so many things that I cannot do and only God can do. So that struck me. Who am I in authority to speak such negative thoughts into my life that I am not talented? It was God who gave me the talents and who am I to say that I do not have talents?!

 

With that, I found new purpose in pursuing music, that is to tell God that I am cherishing the talent He has given me, and I’m not going to be ashamed of it anymore and just use it to the fullest. And that time spent with God ended with the final chapter of Job, Job 42.

¬†1¬†Then Job replied to the LORD :¬†2¬†“I know that you can do all things;¬†
       no plan of yours can be thwarted.

¬†3¬†You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’¬†
       Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, 
       things too wonderful for me to know.

¬†4¬†“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;¬†
       I will question you, 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† and you shall answer me.’

 5 My ears had heard of you 
       but now my eyes have seen you.

 6 Therefore I despise myself 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† and repent in dust and ashes.”

 

And that spoke to me about repentance. Another amazing thing. On that same day in the morning during my daily devotion, God kept showing me scriptures about me sinning and needing repentance. Yes, all man are sinners but I was totally clueless on what I need repentance on! So I told God to reveal which area in my life that I need repentance in. So I guess, God’s promises of asking with the right heart and He will answer was done because He broke me to my lowest state during piano lesson to ¬†make me realise that the sin was not acknowledging that my talents are a gift from Him. And that sin has caused me so much pain emotionally and spiritually whenever I think about Diploma in Performance.

 

It has surely been a long journey all these years of struggling whether to drop Diploma and now I am so glad I found a new sense of purpose with Job 38 -42 all ready to strengthen me if I ever feel discouraged again.

 

There is this song that my brother kept singing that night (ah, so much for one day to take but it was all worth experiencing) it was “You Shine”. Totally spoke to me¬†(the verse especially as it has the same interpretation as Job 38-41).

 

 

Why should I fear man,
When You made the heavens?
Why should I be afraid,
When You put the stars in place?
Why should I lose heart,
When I know how great you are?
Why should I give up,
When Your plans are full of love?

 

In this world we will have trouble,
But You have overcome the world!
You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

 

Why should I feel mad,
When You made the heavens?
Why should I be afraid,
When You put the stars in place?
Why should I lose heart,
When I know how great You are?
Why should I give up,
When Your plans are full of love?

 

You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

 

In this world we will have trouble,
But You have overcome the world!
You have overcome the world…!

 

You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!
You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!



Testimony By Neivelle Tan
21 October, 2008, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Religion | Tags: ,

Just watched a replay of “True Courage” on Channel 5 over lunch. I am so amazed that he could testify so clearly on national television. It was about his life story that took a major turn after countless encounter with secret societies,¬†near-death moments, revengeful people¬†and whatnot.

 

From the half an hour programme I watched, it all started when he watched his brother being taken away by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation. He was a young boy then. From that moment, bitterness grew within him and he was brought up to think that he had to have a fearless appearance in order to tell others that he is not afraid of anything. From what I think, he was afraid to have people to think that he is afraid. That was the fear that he could not overcome then. During his six years of education, he had gone through all sorts of punishment a student can get. This further built the revenge spirit in him. Finally after being expelled, he joined gangs, secret socieites. These could not satisfy his crave for revenge and instead, landed him in Changi prison a couple of times. More trouble brewed within the walls of the prison and he was faced with strokes of caning. Despite those painful punishments, he still held on to his strong front and told his inmates that caning was simply nothing. Just two weeks before his 18th birthday, he was charged with murder but because of the law, he was void off death sentence but only a lifetime imprisonment. Ultimately, he was thrown into the highest order of solitary confinement which made him claustrophobic. Nightmares of the fourwalls and ceiling closing up on him reoccurred in most nights, causing him to forgo his sleep instead. Finally he did something that he did not do for many years, he prayed. He asked God to get him out of the solitary place and on the 14th day of solitary confinement, he was released and was returned to his dormitory. I forgot if it is during the same confinement or not, but during one of the lock-ups, he recalled a hymn he sang in school. But the class never got pass the first line and he was desperate to look it up from the Bible for the rest of the lyrics. Upon giving up, he threw the bible and it landed and opened right to the page. It was Psalm 23.

 

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,

 3 he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† for his name’s sake.

 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.

 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† forever.”

 

I have a video of a really young girl reciting it from memory!

 

 

In the end, when he was released and was standing at the exit of the prison, he had to make a decision. Two cars were parked outside the gate to pick him, one was his buddy in the gang, and the other was a reverend from a church. Bidding goodbye to his buddy and old ways, he changed for the better.

 

Presently, Neivelle Tan opens his home to ex-drug addicts and preaches at Changi Prison. He could easily connect to these people due to his past and they were also conviced that he could identify with them.

 

These are some sites that talked about him too.