Friday, April 24, 2009
Last Saturday, my dad organized a simple youth meeting at a park near Monash Uni in Berwick. Our youth group in CLIC is just starting out, and there are only less than 10 of us including my sisters and Claire. My dad will pioneer this youth work and it’ll be exciting. I find it rather overwhelming at the same time.
Compared to the youth group I previously was involved in, CLIC youth is miniature! Haha. Well like I said, we are just starting out. Everything that's big had to start small some time ago... We will do what we can and trust God to give the increase. We’ll be the ones who will help start a youth church. There is not much to build on. My dad has to start from scratch. This is our chance to truly build our foundation on Jesus and nothing or no one else!
Last Saturday at the park, our youth group met for the second time. My dad has pulled together a few uni students who will help him with this new work. For now, there are just two other people my age, a few younger ones like my sisters and the handful of uni students.
I came to realize that God had been preparing us to come here these past 3 years when we were with Grace Assembly. I was blessed with the opportunity to follow my dad and to help out in the youth groups in Klang, PJ, and USJ. It has been an awesome experience and I’ll never forget the people whom I’ve crossed paths with. My sisters and I have learned to be versatile and adaptable to mix well with different groups of people. Now I see that God has been preparing us for our time here. It’s exciting!
I am amazed at how God led us here to CLIC. We never expected coming here. But I believe God has a purposeful plan and we’re here to serve for a reason.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I finally got the chance to visit Planetshakers church in Melbourne city this week and last Sunday. On Sunday, our whole family took the train to Hisense Arena where the special service – before the 4-day Planetshakers ‘One’ conference – was held. John Bevere was speaking, and it was really great to hear him after reading one of his books.
Planetshakers was everything I expected it to be – lots of flashing lights, loud praise and worship, jumping, plenty of hype, and all that. Haha, I thanked God for the opportunity to visit. They include a lot of praise & worship throughout their service. Honestly, I actually find the music too loud. You barely hear yourself. Yeah, I know, that’s the point, right. x)
Anyway, I really enjoyed John Bevere’s preaching. Initially for the first ten minutes, there was a lot of hoo-hah and fun. But after that, it was the real him, judging by how he writes his books – like my dad said. Haha. He included Scripture verses throughout his message, and it was pretty deep stuff. The crowd became quieter after that. Haha.
I told you I went twice, right. Well, the second time I visited was on Thursday – the last night rally of the Shakers conference. I joined the ECC youth group that night. The arena was packed. About 10,000 people, I guess. Glen Berteau preached, and he was a funnier & more entertaining guy for the crowd. Everyone was laughing and clapping nearly the whole time. It was good. A lot of hype. Sometimes I think it’s too much – well for me, I get distracted from the real message.
Anyway, here are the few pictures I snapped. =)
With my sisters on Sunday night.
Oh man, guess what, school’s starting tomorrow already! Haha, I was just starting to enjoy my holidays! Felt like going back to the ‘home school days’. :P Well, God has been awesome to me. Hope you guys have an awesome week. Turrahs. ;)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Picnic at Dandenong Ranges
For the holidays, we have been planning to visit this place called Dandenong Ranges. So on a beautiful and sunny blue-skied day, we drove up to Dandenong Ranges for a picnic. It was only about 30 minutes from our place. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as great as we expected, after so many people told us it’s such a nice place to visit. Haha, my dad laughed and said, I guess since we’ve visited so many other places, our standard has gone up already. Well, we were expecting something more spectacular. xD
Well, it turned out pretty okay anyway. It’s one of those rare places where you find really tall trees and it’s like a forest; whereas most of Australia is made up of bush land and small shrub-like trees. Haha. Oh well, at least we can now tick off Dandenong Ranges from our list of parks and places to visit around Melbourne.
I did manage to take some neat bird shots out of the hundred over I deleted after that. Haha. As usual, that’s what it takes. But it’s fun to snap pictures here. There’s always a park nearby and of course, there’s your own backyard!
So here go the pictures. By the way, there are two sets of pictures. The first set is Dandenong Ranges, and the second one is Cardinia Reservoir, which we visited the day after with some church friends. (:
The noisy screeching Cockatoo.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Today is Saturday – the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It might not be the exact dates of Jesus’ death on the Cross of Calvary and His resurrection 2000 years ago; nevertheless, these 3 days are significant because it reminds us of God’s amazing grace. Yes, His saving grace that was demonstrated to us through Jesus Christ.
By far, I think this year’s Easter is the most meaningful for me. It is not because of any wonderful event or miracle or person, but yesterday at the Good Friday service I just felt truly amazed and thankful to God for being so real in my life all this while. It is such a meaningful experience! I wish so much that everyone on this earth will experience God for themselves!
When I was younger, I accepted God’s saving grace and I believed in my heart that Jesus Christ died to pay for my sins and that He raised again. Now I suddenly realize that I am so, so blessed to have this glowing hope and purpose in my life. I am starting to wonder how so many people out there can go on with their lives without connecting with God! It’s so saddening!
In Australia, Easter is a pretty big thing. Well, it’s a “big thing” in a sense that people buy loads of chocolate eggs and “Easter bunnies” to celebrate this mere occasion. It has totally lost its meaning for most people! Easter has become just another holiday and an occasion to indulge and stock up on chocolates – seriously. Haha.
But hey, Easter signifies a new day for me! It reminds me that even in the deepest and darkest hour, God is still alive and that there is always hope. I reflected on how God has carried me through this few years. Boy, I was so overwhelmed. It has flown by so fast, and yet we know God’s hand was guiding us all this while.
About a year ago, I was uncertain about what the future will hold for me. I was afraid that things wouldn’t turn out as planned. I prayed and asked God to direct my steps. I recognize that God gives us the liberty to plan our path, but ultimately, He’ll be the one who opens the right opportunities to direct us.
So in that uncertain hour one year ago, I decided to open my Bible. To my delight, when I “randomly” turned a page – well I believe God predestined it – a highlighted verse flashed before me:
“Fear not, for I am with you,
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you.
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
~ Isaiah 41:10
Man oh man, those words were silently read, but they boomed so loudly in my heart and resonated deeply in my spirit! It was incredible. It really lifted me from my faithless anxiety. I was so grateful to God for this encouraging word. My whole being was consoled by it and I had a sense of purpose again. God opens our eyes to His word in the timeliest manner. He never fails to answer when I am wavering in uncertainty!
One year later, our whole family is in Melbourne. We could never have imagined settling down so fast and all that has happened these 5 months. Man, I just realized that April marks us staying here for half a year already! Haha, scary huh. Anyway…
Remember that tomorrow is a new day because Jesus is alive! I don’t know what tomorrow holds, neither do we know when our time is up, but I need not fear because God is always near. If you don’t think He is, maybe you should consider pushing yourself to draw near to Him. God always has open arms for those who turn back to Him.
Will you be one of them?
Friday, April 10, 2009
After the camp on Monday, we decided to take a drive to the beach before leaving Phillip Island. Man, it was so, so windy! My face ached from the numbing cold. Haha. It would surely be nicer in summer.
My fingers were so numb while snapping pictures. At first the sky was really cloudy and downcast, but I prayed a lil’ prayer that the clouds would clear a bit so at least I can leave with a few good blue-sky shots in hand. And amazingly, the clouds cleared a bit, and the sun peaked out for a while. It was just enough for me to get some clearer and brighter photographs. Yippee yay! :D
So here are the pictures. =)