Friday, July 31, 2009

Sovereign Hands

There have been countless times that I’ve wondered about what my future holds. I’ve thought over what I want to study and work as. Well in general, I know I’m pursuing music. I have also told myself: If there’s anything worth studying in this world, it’ll be God’s Word. In whatever I do, I’m gonna’ hang on to that. But anyway, when talking about the future, like nearly everyone else, it seems pretty fuzzy.

We humans live our lives following the clock. What will we do without our clocks telling us the time? What if tomorrow’s sunrise doesn’t come? Can we wind the clock to bring the sunrise? No, of course not. Well my point is, if we can’t control tomorrow’s sunrise, we can’t control our future.

Human beings have made so many great discoveries and inventions, yet no one can control or comprehend the invisible & marvellous workings of our universe. Okay, so we know how it works, but no one knows WHY it works in the first place! We foolishly think we are “in control”, and countless times we find ourselves wrong because the truth is, we are nowhere near “in control” of anything!

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

Many times I also worry about what God’s will is for me.
But thankfully I realize that it’s no use to worry about my future or what God’s will. I need to live today and do what I can with what God has given me and enter the doors that are already opened. As long as I place my full trust in God, with child-like faith and without questioning His authority, His sovereign hand will guide me in the right direction.

The comforting thing is I know that even when I go off track or make wrong decisions, as long as I come back to God and seek His word, His grace and truth will always guide me back on track again. After mulling over this for some time, I thank God for opening my eyes to see the plain truth that I have missed.

“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ's sacred blood. God always knew he was going to do this for you. It's because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.” 1 Peter 1:18-21 [The Msg]

Do not fear what the future holds, for it does not hold anything. Rather, fear our sovereign God, for HE is the One who holds our very future, IN HIS SOVEREIGN HANDS.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Great Ocean Road Trip

Last Saturday our family and a group a uni students (some of which make up the young adults cell which my dad recently started in CLIC) went on a day trip along the Great Ocean road and to the 12 Apostles.

We drove along Great Ocean road and enjoyed some really beautiful sea views all the way. It took us about 4 hours drive to arrive at the famous 12 Apostles (or rather, 11 Apostles, since one had collapsed). Haha. We arrived at sunset and I had just enough time to snap some really breathtaking shots with the golden glow of the setting sun. But unfortunately, the sun set quickly and we didn’t arrive in time to snap nice shots at several other lookout points.

Dad says we’ll certainly make another Great Ocean road trip some day and make sure we have enough time to snap all the photos we want and enjoy the view of the 12 Apostles at every lookout point. I’ll look forward to that. Now, I can’t wait to show you the pictures and some videos!

Stopping by a lighthouse on the way.
We stopped by at a waterfall along the way. It was definitely quite a miserable looking one compared to the many we've seen in M'sia and other places. Haha.

We had such beautiful blue skies and sea view while driving along the Great Ocean road.

Dad and Nick Lee.

Goofing around on the edge of the cliff! :P

We had such beautiful weather that day. And it wasn't super windy as I expected.

A nice shot with Oke. She's a uni student in Monash and she's from Nigeria.

We finally arrived at the 12 Apostles stretch at sunset. This is our first breathtaking view! The rolling and crashing waves were magnificent.

What a beautiful sight! I was squeling with delight at the thought having the opportunity to take photos of this awesome place.

We arrived at the perfect time of the day.. But since it was sunset, I have to scramble to take these photos. Every moment counts cause' the beautiful warm glow of the sun is dimming.

I wish I had all the time in the world to snap at a thousand and one different angles! I'm certainly going back there again.

My favorite shot. Thank God I snapped in time. 30 seconds later, that majestic golden glow had disappeared! I think that was the special ingredient that made this a great photo.

Its almost fantasy-like, isn't it?

Amazing stuff.

I'm alone in the picture because I was the first to run out to the view point. Charlene was so nice to run after me so I don't get lost. xD She took this picture. Haha. The sun was setting fast, I really was scrambling to the next spot so I won't miss the sunset shots!

Its almost like those moments that can usually only be seen on TV!

Good thing they managed to catch up with me and snap this shot before the sun went down! We're definitely coming here again. Haven't taken enough photos yet. =)

Till the next post, have a nice day! God bless. =)

My First Solo Performance

Phew, after performing Chopin’s Impromptu No. 1, all I could think of was the mistakes I made and how by God's grace He kept me going.
Haha, seriously! Thankfully, no one actually noticed the minute mistakes – except my teacher, of course. The first thing I did when it ended was silently thank God for keeping me from stopping the flow even when my mind went blank because I lost focus or looked too much at my hands. Haha.

It was my first ever solo performance. My teacher invited me to play at the school’s annual Gala Soiree, which features the higher level music students. I knew I had to do it. It’ll be my first ever solo on piano, and one that I’ve been praying for. Ms Birze said it’ll be a good opportunity for me to also prepare for the VCA audition (that’s another thing I must write about soon, haha).

I practiced and practiced and practiced, yet there are still parts that are not “refined” enough. I prayed countless times, God help me. Please help me! I know nuts about this. I still know nuts each time I start a new piece. Haha.

On the night of the performance, I felt strangely calm. God help me!!! While waiting for my turn, I was trying hard to keep calm. Haha. When I started playing, the the grand piano strangely sounded so loud. For brief moments I kept concentration by closing my eyes – immerse yourself in it, Janielle. You’re performing for your audience, but you’re really simply shutting them out of the picture in order to perform.

In 5 short minutes, it was over! I felt like I didn’t make the most of it. xD For the Gala Soiree, there were only 16 performers and out of it, 4 pianists. I thought there would be more! I thank God for giving me the opportunity through Ms Sandra. Now I finally have a taste of what’s it like to go up there and throw in your best to play a piece from memory. What if I forget...? That ugly thought constantly nags me.

On a happy note, I find out after that that I was the only one performing from memory! Haha, I sure felt pretty good then. Now, as much as I hope there will be more opportunities, I am actually dreading having to perform like that again. It’s nearly a life and death situation. Just one wrong note, and its ruined. No kidding man.

Here’s a video of my performance. I used to wonder when I’ll finally be able to play like one of those mad composers, hunched over the piano with their heads bobbing up and down, left and right, so very immersed in the music. Well, now I’ve got my wish. Hahaha.

At the grand piano with my awesome piano teacher, Ms Sandra Birze.
Jess Farrell and I. She's a year 12 student and she rocks in piano and flute! To my amazement, she's actually preparing to take AMUS (one level higher than Gr 8) for BOTH piano and flute.


Two of us with Mrs Carrington, our violin teacher.
Ms Sandra Birze with Janna and I. =) I'm so glad that God sent her along our path. He answered my prayer. In half a year, she's already helped me and Janna make such great leaps. She's the bestest teacher in the world!

Hmm, now that I’ve got that over with, my NEXT nerve-wrecking roller coaster adventure is the Victoria College of Arts audition. I’ll tell you more about that soon. =)

Have a smashing weekend. God bless! ;)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sydney & Hillsong 2009 Part II

On the way to the arena one morning, I spotted a beautiful rainbow! It was a fully arched rainbow!


Joel Houston, the leader of the Hillsong United band

Chris Tomlin, during the Creative stream

Joel Osteen, one of the guest speakers

Louie Giglio

A snippet from his Indescribable video

Our God is amazing, the Creator of the heavens and the whole universe. Yet, the amazing thing is He cares for us and He hears my prayer. I know He is God and He is real to me!

Jentezen Franklin

Darlene Zschech

Faith + Hope + Love

Last night of the Hillsong Conference!

On the last day, I met up with my cousin Eugene and his wife Wai Teng. They were holidaying in Sydney too.

Eugene and I with St. Mary's cathedral in the background.

Its beautiful!

I love this shot! The door is so beautiful and it looks as if it leads to a different world.

Hehe, I really wanted this shot. I already pictured it in my mind when I saw the beautiful cathedral doors. :)
Finally, a shot with Charlene! :D

At the Museum station with Charlene and Nick.

What a classic! Love it :D

With Char, Nick, and Daniel

Our last shot before arriving at the airport!

It was a memorable trip. I thank God once again for the opportunity. Now I’ve been back to school for a week. It’s getting busy again. Yesterday I had a performance with the Symphony Orchestra at the Music educators conference. It was quite a privelege for our group to perform for the top music people from different parts of Australia.
Another highlight coming up would be tomorrow's Gala Soiree. My teacher asked me if I wanted to perform solo with Chopin's Impromptu in A flat major at the concert, which features all the higher level students of every instrument. Man, I was a bit nervous cause' it'll be my first time performing solo! But then I thanked God for opening the door even though I'm quite a new student in Blackburn High. I commited the opportunity to God and I decided I must give it a go! So yeah, I've been practicing until I can play with my eyes closed. Hahaha. Await my update on that soon! You guys have a nice week ahead then! God bless. =)

The Visitors