Monthly Archives: May 2007

Kids today..

What influences kids the most today? Is it their peers, family members, TV, music or something else?

So here’s a short story of what happened on the Wednesday of the second last week of school, i.e. 9thMay2007, coincidentally my Dad’s birthday now I think about it.

Anyways, me, AJ and BB (names initialised to conceal identity) are walking into school after lunch, and so there’s this bunch of students (Yr8s according to CC) sitting at the steps. And of course, being impossibly dense, they’re blocking the path. So while I’m there signing everyone in, AJ starts walking down those stairs.

More like tries walking down those stairs. And then one of the Yr8s tell some friend of theirs, can’t recall the name, to get out of the way. So I’m right behind AJ and I open my mouth and say,

“Yeah. Stop blocking the stairway.”

I take a few more steps when suddenly behind me a voice rings out, extremely clear.

“*@#^ off!”

So I’m pretty shocked. Now it’s one thing to be told that jokingly by a friend. But from a Yr 8 kid who’s half my size and 6 years younger??

In disbelief, I glance around. “Pardon?”

“Yeah. *@#^ off!” was the reply. And then his bunch of friends start laughing. As if they scored a victory over some sixth former. Blah.

Now several options ran through my head at this moment.
1. Instinctively turn around, pick the boy up by the scruff of his shirt, and ask him the question one more time. Now this would have been a great option, except I think it’s also classified as assault.
2. Turn around and confront him face to face, while his friends scatter and make a run for it, abandoning their smart-mouth friend to confront my wrath. Problem is, my thoughts were so scrambled at this point that my smart mouth wasnt in the mood to give someone a lecture.
3. Walk away. Give him his moment of immature triumph. This pettiness is way below me.

So I picked option 3, since I was facing the opposite direction anyways. Was too lazy to turn back around. Of course as I walk down that extremely long – and really Malaysian uneven – pathway, I was happily considering Option 2. But I guess as the distance grew longer, I kinda felt a bit..sad.

It’s kind of sad the kind of kids we have today. Now of course, it’s possible that this happens in an international school anyways. But i doubt that too.

So why is it that kids have such ‘smart mouths’ nowadays? Why are they so immature. Just two days later, on a Friday, they were fighting with the two protagonists being cheered on by their friends – wait a minute, I thought they were all friends? Or is it that this is the ‘cool’ group and everyone wants to join in. So they’re not really good friends but just a bunch of kids who are trying to fit in with the popular guy/girl and the popular guy just loves being the center of attention (probably the same guy with the smart mouth) but otherwise has no good friends.

Well that’s my theory of school society in any case. But it’s kinda sad that the lower years are becoming quite immoral. Why do kids feel the urge to turn to all kinds of stuff like sex, drugs, what they think is cool rebellious disrespectful behaviour, e.t.c.?

Mmm. Well. Kids today. What can you say?

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The end – not quite but nearly there

So school ended on Friday. It was quite a riot. Crowded corridors, balloons everywhere, and people chasing and being chased around. Quite an apt ending to years and years of school.

And well here I am. Well there I was. Actually both apply. Anyways, I was looking forward to better hours but I guess the consensus is that everyone will miss the spontaneity of school. The really random things that happen that makes life interesting. Especially further math sessions and the random chats, and attempts to avoid the lesson and go out for lunch, and the really random constructive vandalism of the room we’re in.

I most definitely will not miss the canteen. I will not miss the homework. If someone misses them, like BB, I will laugh in his face.

Um yeah quite random that. There’s also the fact that I think my arms will finally be stain free every Tuesday and/or Wednesday. And I wouldn’t be so bruised by the random limb extensions of a certain trio.

It is little things like this that I will always remember. Although I don’t think Andy would be flattered that every marker pen reminds me of those econs lessons sitting right next to him. But the big things like friends are still around, so here was the question I was thinking about. Is it school that I will miss, or is it the fact that you meet your friends everyday that I will miss?

Irrespective, haha, here’s to a good 7 years of post-primary school education. Now just for those pesky exams. They better not try to be smart with the papers this year, especially those further math examiners.

Not another one already??

As quoted by Ben Bradley.

Mmm. Here comes the overdue breakdown of Utd’s season so far. Watched them got dumped out of the CL. Was quite resigned to the defeat, seeing as how Milan played a fantastic game. Ahh. To imagine a trio of Kaka, Ronaldo and Rooney – makes you want to drool. That is if they play for ManU. And the rain kinda added to the drama of everything.

There have been a few ups and downs in the premiership run in, but I can safely say I was confident we would win the title that weekend. Thus when Vassell stepped up to take that penalty, I had the gut feeling he would miss. Destiny awaited.

And the FA Cup’s coming up. Lol. It would be fun to crush Chelsea’s miserable season. But the problem with that is the harder they fall, the harder they bounce back. So there’s a danger there.

And my predictions as to who the transfer targets are? I have no clue to be honest. But I would like: Hargreaves, E’too and Robben. Then we’ll truly rip apart defenses. Only problem is that these three have not had the best fitness records in recent times. And that raises the question of where does Giggs and Scholes go? Will Ferguson let loose the brutal axe? Doubt it, not with the way they can change games. And maybe a right back would be good. Neville’s not going to last much longer.

Football aside, I can’t believe that as of this writing, I only have 6 school days left in my whole life. Haha. Of course there’s the revision for the exams, but still. Lol. With regards to that, I would still like a Sloman.

Again as you can see, this post is degenerating into mumbo-jumbo. So here’s something for everyone to think about. This topic came up in my math class the other day. When we grow older, let’s say 30 years from now, will our kids look at us the way we look at our parents and claim how ‘outdated’ we are? – of course this doesn’t apply to all parents.

My opinion was no. We grew up in the age of technological exploration and as such have the skill sets to adapt to changing technologies. Before I went on to say that the generations below us are now in fact spoon fed on how to do stuff. Lol. I wonder how true that comment is. Then we went to the topic of music. This one has my interests quite piqued actually. Our parents usually label our music today as noisy, but that’s because instruments like the electric guitar and drums weren’t played the way they are played today, especially with the countless pedals being produced nowadays for electric guitarists. My opinion is that music has reached its zenith, where it becomes near impossible for new genre’s to be produced. We’ll see blending happening and consumer’s tastes being divided into many different blends, with no one blend achieving dominance over the other unless a certain band or two become extremely popular.

Mmm. I should keep this blog running for another 30 years and see what really happens.

The devil loves mirrors

I believe that Satan wins a battle whenever he gets us to look in a mirror at ourselves.

When we get so caught up in our individuality, we lose sight of a lot of things.

Which in fact leads to one of the most dominant worldviews of religion today – that we earn our way to heaven. Having to do good works to satisfy God’s demands. Thus when we believe in a certain religion, we are condemned to a life of slavery and struggling to do good against our inner nature.

I would have to agree that we enter a life of slavery, and I do agree that our inner nature always fights against our wanting to do good.

Except for one thing.

Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2: 4-5

In that one biblical statement, the root of the Christian faith is summed up. God is the judge yes, but he is also merciful. And because He loves us, he made us alive with Christ – now this is the key part, because no one can come before God except through Jesus – even when we were dead in transgressions – it is a fact that we are all dead in our evilness. Nothing we do can save ourselves, no matter the number of good deeds, we are inherently, by nature, evil.

And it is by grace we have been saved. Grace is an amazing thing isn’t it. It’s just like saying George Bush captures Osama bin Laden, then says, alright you’re off the hook.

I myself, for one, would be outraged. And unless you’re an Osama supporter, you would be horrified at this act of grace.

Except that God did that for us. It is by His grace we are no longer judged, as long as we are in Christ Jesus.

Many reject this simple offer, because they believe that it is too good to be true. We humans are by nature suspicious of offers too good to be true, because we think we are being conned. And this is exactly what is happening, but it is the devil that is the conman – he arouses our suspicions so that we become wary of this simple offer.

Someone once said, that in fact, this is a story too good to not be true. And this grace is indeed too good to not be true. Redeemed and the way to heaven open for us. It is too good to not be true. The inner child in us seizes at this opportunity, just as how a sick man would seize any cure within grasp in his desperation.

I’m not saying the Christian life is free of suffering. In fact, contrary, it is full of suffering. After all the Bible says that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. The early Christian church suffered much. But what is suffering, when compared to the joy set before us? The Bible describes the kingdom of heaven as a treasure hidden in the field, which a man sold all he had in order to buy it after discovering it. Jesus himself even rebuked this notion of sacrifice, saying that “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” This is in fact quite a bold statement and there is much truth in it.

If small things can give us so much pleasure and joy, then what about the greatest thing there is in the universe, God himself? Because through Jesus, we can in fact come before the throne of God and call Him father. That relationships is our conduit, our river of joy.

That’s probably Satan’s greatest deception! Christianity is not about legalism. It’s not about do’s and dont’s. It’s a story of grace and love, it is about the hope of eternal joy. It’s about exchanging the temporary pleasures of this world for what satisfies forever. And when this joy in God bubbles up in you, it overflows to other people. This is what love really is. It is not a willpower religion. It is a fight for joy. And the fight only begins when we choose to accept Jesus as our Lord, as our Saviour and as the thing we will treasure most above all else. Then the Spirit of God comes and dwells in us, and the fight between the desires of our flesh and the desires of God
take root. But it is a battle that can be won, and will eventually be won, if we look to God for strength to run this race with perseverance. So that at the end of our lives we can say that I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. And then we are reunited in heaven with God.

I know that this doesn’t even begin to touch on many of the issues. Such as that that man is by nature evil. Or the contradiction that God needs us which is not true. But there is one message I want to get across. There is a story too good to not be true. And if you’ve read it, and its knocking at your door, it is a once in a lifetime offer of grace that you don’t want to miss. For those who have lost sight of that grace and got caught up in the legalism, the do’s and dont’s of Christianity, now is the time to turn back in your pursuit of joy in God.

This is not a joyless life. And I can testify to that. So look at all those mirrors that reflect the fact that you’re not good enough to go into heaven and say: I know I’m not good enough but I know the One who is more than good enough for me.

The weekend is out

The weekend is coming to an end.

I could also say the week is coming to an end, i.e. it is the end of the week, therefore it is the end of the weekend.

Then we have the people who will argue that Sunday is the first day of the week, although that is indeed what our calendars try to impress upon us – as you can see, it starts with a red S, not a M.

Mmm. Ramble time over.

It was a nice weekend. Youth group at church watched Luther. That was a pretty interesting movie. Just wondered whether the real Luther was as eloquent in his speech as he was in his writing. But the movie was quite inspirational in a sense. One of the modern heroes of the faith.

Wanted to watch Spiderman 3, but the queues are horrible. Which remind me of a newspaper article where kids were crying because they couldn’t watch the movie as they couldn’t get tickets. Moral of the story: reserve in advance.

I’ve always liked the weekends. Being with my church family and all is very refreshing, when you are among like minded people, pursuing the same passions.

And speaking of that, school is over in two weeks. Maybe I’ll come to miss the weekdays too.

Book I’m currently reading: When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. A must read. After reading the book before that: Desiring God. Both are by John Piper. I blame/thank Matt for his influence in this regard.

I’m not quite in the frame of mind (nor do i have the time) for a philosophical post. So I think I’ll go to bed now. Currently trying to get into the habit of waking up early. Devotion times in the morning are highly recommended but I’m always just too tired – I’m the kind of person who falls into the category of “I can stay up but I can’t wake up”.

As for summer plans – yep I’m already thinking about summer – there are a few things on my agenda. After Kinabalu – the weeks before that will be spent getting into a bit of shape and finishing my driving – I’m planning to do something constructive. Not sure what that will be yet. Maybe learn a skill in who knows what. I also have to wrap up a few unfinished things, such as certain videos for those of you who kinda know what I’m referring to. And then who knows from there? Would also be a good time to read all the books on that recommended list for Cambridge. Bleargh. Quite an exhaustive list. Lol. Hope they’re interesting.

I’ve finished the Command and Conquer 3 campaign. Pretty enjoyable game. Although it’s distracted me from my studies. I highly recommend it, although it must be said I’m at heart a C&C fan. I’m also pretty thankful that the football season wraps up on May 19th, before the exams, so that’s one less distraction – although i was looking forward to proving the Ellis Football-ExamGrades correlation wrong.

And finally, to wrap up my ramble. I know i did say end of ramble at the start, but how was i to anticipate that this post would end up with more ramble. And since we’re on the subject of anticipation, I’m looking forward to Remedy. Hahaha. Should be a fantastic album.

What is your temperament?

I spent the last three days at my church camp. Which means one thing: I didn’t get any work done. Bleargh.

Anyways, a brief overview of what we did. We had lots of fun and really interesting main sessions and workshops. One of them was about identifying your temperament – which for the sake of time had apparently been shortened considerably.

So the temperaments are described as the fundamental determinants of who we are – our actions, our personality, our motivations, e.t.c. And we have roughly 4 temperaments. To keep this short, I’ll summarise what they were: the first is the ‘sanguine’ or ‘happy-go-lucky’ person who tends to enjoy life and is generally the life of the party, making friends easily and generally plunges headfirst into everything. The second is the ‘choleric’, who is brilliant in leading others and solving problems, matching intuition with ability to almost always make the correct decision. The third is the ‘melancholic’ or ‘serious and sensitive’ type, the latter which more or less sums up what he’s like. This type of person tend to be more intelligent and excels in many vocations, with a tendency to desire perfectionism. The fourth is the ‘phlegmatic’, who is the ‘cool and steady’ person, taking life at a slow and steady pace. This person is often the quiet, reserved person who observes everything, analysing and evaluating everything at his own pace. And thus he makes a good listener, and often a good giver of advice when asked.

Of course all these 4 temperaments have their downside. These are logically deriviated. For example, the sanguine person tends to be restless and unable to stick to a single task, always wanting to jump from thing to thing in search of fun. The choleric always tends to be right, and is driven to maintain his ‘rightness’, thus often trampling on those who get in his way, adopting a sense of superiority and never willing to experience defeat in anything. The melancholic who takes life too seriously ends up being all bottled up and self centered and worrying too much about things. This person would also be called ’emo’. Lol. And the phlegmatic tends to border on being sluggish and lazy, wasting much time, and in his relationships tends to be stubborn, not willing to listen to advice.

So anyways, there I was looking at the bunch of characteristics. For the sake of length, I have in fact shortened the list of attributes that might help to determine the make up of your temperament. And I was wondering what my temperament was – by the way, there are two: one is your primary and one is your secondary. Haha. For those of you who know me, I’m definitely a choleric. Mr. I’m-always-right, I can do everything myself and no problem is too big that I can’t solve it. What I’m trying to figure out is what my other temperament is. Am I melancholic or phlegmatic? I have the strengths of a melancholic but none of its weaknesses, yet I also have SOME of the strengths AND half of the weaknesses. As I see it, the balance is finely poised. In short, I’m both slow and steady in my ways and also serious and sensitive, when I’m not my choleric, overpowering self. Mmm. The vote seems to be swinging heavily towards melancholic.

But how about you help me decide?

I will see about posting a more comprehensive list.