Saturday, June 27, 2009

Only God Knows

The internet is overflowing with posts about Michael Jackson. Eh, I also want to write some of my thoughts. Haha. Boy, isn’t MJ one over-talented guy? Sadly, he’s another star with one of those tragic endings and a sad story. Honestly, I know nuts about his songs or even anything much about him, but like many of you out there, I was jolted back to the reality of life.

Isn’t he the King of Pop? Hey he thought he was Peter Pan! Whatever king you are, death doesn’t spare any man. Yeah, I guess it’s easy for me to say that. I’m turning sixteen and sometimes I also think I’ll live forever.

Honestly, I never liked Michael Jackson. I don’t know his songs. I don’t care that he’s the King of Pop. I thought he looked like a mask of a man with a plastic nose – in other words, pretty freaky. I read the newspapers about the stuff people accused him of doing. I didn’t like him. However, it really doesn’t matter what I think of him. Or what you think. Or what the world thinks.

I can’t judge Michael Jackson based on his appearance or his songs or what the papers say about him. Isn’t that what we all do? But now I realize that ultimately, only God knows a man’s heart. Only God knows what went wrong. Only God knows you and me from the inside out. He knows us even more than we know ourselves.

People say Michael Jackson’s songs and legacy will live on. Sure it will. But life still goes on. We all have our own worries and hopes. People will soon get over it and there’ll be another King of whatever-you-name-it.

Proverbs 24:12
If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tomorrow May Never Come

I came across Zoe Ng’s blog yesterday. Nearly a month back, she wrote about a friend who had passed away in a biking accident. He was a 16 year-old guy called Yu Vern. My eyes popped out. Hey, oh my gosh, I thought, I think I know him! I read on in disbelief. I remember Yu Vern. He used to be in the same home school center as I was, same with Zoe and Soph and the other GRC-ians. I remember talking to him a few times. He wasn’t a loud guy, but I thought he was quite funny at times. I never really knew him more, though.

As I continued to read on in Zoe’s post, my heart just felt a teeny burning sensation. Although I never really knew him, I just felt really sad. Later on I read some other posts by his sister and his friends – and I felt sad for them. May God sustain and be with you guys through this time.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I kept thinking about it. Some part of me wished I didn’t find out so I wouldn’t have to worry about such things that most of us don’t like to think about. But then, isn’t it just something that will stare you in the face at some point in your life anyway?

Really, really, no man can ever know what will happen next or even if tomorrow will ever come. So why should we boast about planning to go here and there, and doing this and that when we don’t even know if we’ll live to that day? I know, it’s just something we don’t want to think about. But of course, God’s word also says that we should not spend each day worrying about the next. Live today to the fullest – which we all fail at doing, most times.

I think we just need to constantly remind ourselves that only God knows how long we’ll last and our purpose here on earth. So wouldn’t it be useless to make our own plans and do as we please then? Certainly! In everything we do, God should be the center of it. He is our Maker and Creator. The best thing to do is to seek Him and know His will. We ourselves won’t know it, and neither will anyone else.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-14)

Pondering on it the whole night, I was also reminded me that we should never, ever take people around us for granted. Yea yea, we all do. Sometimes we’re all just so caught up doing our own thing that we barely speak to our own family about what’s going on in our lives. How can that be? I am certainly guilty of not paying more attention to help my sisters and appreciating my parents.

Once we realize that we really may not have all the time in the world, our focus and priorities will reshuffle. Ultimately, what matters to me and you? Family, friends, fame, money? Is God in control or are we holding on to what we think are ours?

Hmm, we’ll have a long think about that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Winter Begins

Man oh man, its already halfway through June 2009! And by the way, winter is here.

I hate to have to wake up in the early morning cold. Seriously, I now wish I had been more grateful to wake up in the “normal” temperatures in summer or back in M’sia. My dad always laughs at the way I sleep. I’ll cover my whole body – even my head – and wrap myself like a mummy in my heat-trapping blanket. Yeah, no wonder I dislike waking up and getting out of my warm cocoon.

Oh and I just realized that I’ve been already getting used to wearing 4 to 5 layers everyday. EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! It’s so troublesome, I tell you. Anyway, I’d better not complain anymore or else I’ll become more depressed about it. Hahaha. We still have until September to survive. =D … =/

But yeah, we are actually coping surprisingly well with winter, considering it’s our first.
In the morning, we can even see “smoke” when we talk. Haha. It might sound fun. But remember, it’s really COLD. It’s a biting cold – in a sense that my fingers have a stinging sensation because of the cold.

Anyway, here’s another update other than winter blues: my mum has found a job! It’s a part-time telemarketing job. While we thank God for this opening, one of my parents still need a full-time job to fulfil the PR requirements. So yeah we’re praying for that. And for me, other than teaching piano, I’ve been trying out some work experience at an ice-cream outlet called Wendy’s in the mall near our house. It’s a pretty fun job. But I still need to beat my blur-ness at times… Hahaha.

Well, I gotta’ go now. Have a nice weekend, folks!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seeing Light in the Dark

Today, I strangely decided to turn off the lights when playing the piano. I sat in darkness for a minute, soaking in the “stillness of the moment”. Don’t you think that’s what we all need sometimes? Just to be silent for a moment and hear the music inside. =)

You know, my piano teacher and I have one cool thing in common: we both like to play in the dark – or at least in natural light. Ms. Sandra told me that when there’s artificial light, its light particles clash with the sound particles. Something like that. I should do some research on it. Interesting stuff. Oh anyway, back to…

It was quiet and dark. There were no distractions. AND THEN, inspiration struck! I suddenly “heard” a faint melody – an imaginary tune in my head. I then placed my fingers on the keys that I thought would produce the same sound and mood of music that was conjured in my mind. Amazingly, the notes were a perfect fit! I loved it. It’s been awhile since I’ve composed something and played it with real expression!

This sort of musical inspiration rarely strikes. I am amazed that the pre-conceived tune can be generated through my fingers. And it all starts from merely being still and quiet. But, it doesn’t happen all the time. And that’s what fascinates me.

In relation to that, I was struck by a wonderful insight later on. A sentence dropped into the surface of my thoughts saying:

“It is only in the darkness that you can see the light.”

I pondered on this strange sentence for a moment. Seeing light in the darkness. Have a think about it. Do you find it true? I could relate it easily to my experience at the piano. When the lights were out and there were no distractions, I actually saw that flicker of light in my mind’s eye – and the music began.

This brought to my mind the fact that I am always so distracted by the noise and flashing lights of this world that I fail to hear God’s still voice or see His Light. Doesn’t it hold true for all of us? God’s light no longer glows on our faces and makes any difference to people who do not know Jesus.
It’s also true that many times we only “see the Light” in our dark moments and troubled times. I think that’s why oftentimes God has to allow us to fall into our “dark moments” so that we can see His Light in our lives once again.

The sentence continued bugging me. I decided to turn to God’s Word and see if this could’ve anything to do with it. And remarkably (!) when I “randomly” flipped through Psalms, my eyes fell on Psalm 112:4. It says,

“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.”

My eyes nearly popped out. I was thrilled! Then I knew that surely this insight was not based on my own intelligence. It was already in God’s Word ages ago! No wonder the Bible says that the wisdom of man is foolishness with God. I am reminded again that the wisest thing to do when you’re unsure about something like this is to check with the Bible.
I hope you’ll also discover for yourself many hidden treasures in God’s Word. It’s never ending, my friend!

God bless and have a marvellous week ahead. ;)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Performance at The Arts Center

Hey there y’all! Man, I’ve sure been missing in action. I’ve been occupied with so many things. I never go online on weekdays and the past two weeks I hardly even managed 2 hours on weekends! As you know, I’ve just started playing oboe, and I’ve been trying to rearrange my timetable to squeeze in practice for another instrument. Haha, I know, sounds like I hardly have a life. Well I have to admit, sometimes I do feel like that.

To really pursue music, I need to have the passion for it man. But I guess if I didn’t have the passion for it, I wouldn’t have made it up till now. Anyhow, without God answering my prayers and opening all these opportunities, I wouldn’t be anywhere in the first place. So yes, I’ll continue to play.

I am just reflecting on these past few months since we came here. This year is just filled with so many first time experiences. It’s unbelievable that half a year has already passed! I’m in the middle of my semester test now. In just 5 months, we’ll be celebrating our one year in Melbourne. I want to enjoy this year, but it seems like there are just so many things I’m occupied with that I can’t fully savour every bit. Grr.

Anyway, my latest “happening” event was a performance with my school’s Symphony Orchestra at the Melbourne Arts Center in the city. It was so cool! The hall was so huge and there were 4 levels of audience. When we were performing, the audience looked like a big black hole. I could barely hear myself when I played. But it was such a nice experience. To perform at Hamer Hall in the Victorian Arts Center – what an opportunity!

This concert is called the Eastern Metropolitan Region Concert, where around 850 students from 60 schools around Victoria come together in various bands and orchestras to sing, act, and play music together for this one night concert at the Arts Center. It was a great first time for me.

My family was there for the concert. My dad took a few pictures only cause’ cameras are not allowed. Anyway, here are some nice ones. =)

That's the Art Center. The blue spire. It changes color every now and then.

It's beautiful :)

Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Wailes. We were the last to perform. We played Starflight Overture and Star Trek - Through the Years. And we also played the finale song for the end of the concert.

Posing for a shot in Hamer Hall at the Arts Center. Don't they look so stylo in their boots!

Ooh don't you like my red coat. It's my first one. Haha. Okey dokey. Its bedtime now!!! Hopefully you’ll hear from me soon again. =P Have a fun weekend. ;)

The Visitors