Friday, November 27, 2009

Precious Moments

I came home close to 1am.
I didn't get to check the mail today.

But there is a letter for me on the study table.

It's a tiny envelope.
With Cornell's logo on it.

It's a rejection letter.

But it's okay because I have a God who's bigger than Cornell :)

I found one of my favorite children books. On the first page, I wrote with my very best handwriting - To: Jessica From: Fat Chet Date: May 1, 1997 :)

Ya, I like using smiley faces since I was 9 :)
And referred to Papa Loke as Fat Chet because he bought me a book during Labor Day 1997.

Reading it now, I realize there is so many lessons I missed as a kid. It's a simple book with size 16 font but it still teaches me new things now as I go through it. Just like how everyday God reveals new ideas and thoughts to His people through the Bible.

One of my favorite poems in the book -

A Shepherd Song

What does a shepherd feed his lamb?
Good green grass or gooseberry jam?

What does a shepherd tell his sheep?
"Stay up all night" or"Go to sleep"?

What does a shepherd like to say?
"Find it yourself," or "I'll show you the way"?

What does a shepherd like to do?
He likes to whisper, "I love you."


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Decision, Decision, Decision

I've finally decided.


The past few days have been very physically and emotionally taxing. I guess it felt like I was back in college with a fixed (tight) schedule because I was running back and forth between attending church and attending to my family. I was so tired I overslept for two mornings and missed the service I was suppose to serve in. Gosh. I felt SO guilty. On top of that, I didn't know that my dad is coming back for the weekend and I forgotten about my dad's birthday. I would think that his birthday is on the 23rd of November but my mum would tell me its on the 22nd; it happens every year. So to make things worse, that night I was suppose to be attending the final service with friends I invited earlier. So.very.guilty.

Sometimes when we say "Father, I'm going to give my life to you, I'm going to surrender everything into your hands", we tend to forget sometimes that everything includes our worries, fears, sins, and guilt. We get overly righteous that we start thinking we can handle those by ourselves and God just needs to sit there receiving all the glory and praise for the good works done through us. Well, it's not like that. He loves us like a Father does His children and He wants to take away our shame, worries, fears, sins and everything else unpleasing to Him. And we need to learn to give it up; including the pride of thinking we can master everything in our lives without His help.

I had long, long, longggggggg chats with my dad about religions, my major, careers, universities plans and departure plans to the states and even longerrrrrrrrrr ones with my Dad. I never had so many questions in my life I couldn't answer tugging at my heart; and they were demanding answers urgently because time is running out.

The only reason I haven't broke down is because of Him.
His faithfulness and unfailing love.
Like Siew Ling said, "if not for clinging on Him, I've fallen FLAT on my face."

Last night while praying on this again, I was reminded of Pastor Victor's prophecy during the 'Why Love' camp back in August - ".....you'll have lots of questions about your universities, your finances, so many questions. But God wants you to know, He has prepared everything for you. It has all been planned out for you. All you need to do, is just walk into His plans. He's asking you to TRUST in Him. Trust."

So last night, I told God, "I'm walking into Your plans right now."

So people, you may stop asking me where am I going to. I've decided, I'm going to University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Nope, my other letters have yet to arrive (State University New York Binghamton emailed that I'm accepted but no offer letter yet), but when they do (FINALLY) arrive in my mailbox later, I will not change my mind. I've set my heart on going to UNL and I won't change my mind! (Yes, I'm gonna keep telling myself this)

Sigh.
GOD please help.
Grant me willingness and obedience to follow Your will.

Help me face things I'm not ready to.
Help me draw strength and courage from You.
Help me discern what is right and true.

I need Your grace.
I desperately need Your grace.

Today, I finally had some free time after settling my visa application materials. I played with an 8-year-old for hours and wondered how come children never do get tired. They are not stronger compared to grown-ups biological speaking but have all the will-power in the world. They know less than us adults yet their faith is stronger than any knowledgeable smarty pants. Is that why Jesus said the Kingdom of God belongs to children?

I've always felt that children are such fragile beings. One small move could break them. Once broken, things wouldn't be the same again. Hence, I see that every thing done to a child carries great significance whether we know it or not. As children grow old, they learn more; they become broken repeatedly, they become jaded - they become adults. I think that is why we are called by Jesus to be born again in Spirit. We need to unlearn everything taught to us by the world while we were in flesh; we need to be reborn in order to see the world with fresh eyes.

I felt lighter after playing with the kid; I felt like walking to my favorite coffeehouse enjoying my own company. The kid told me I've been magnifying the wrong things; need to be born again, Jessica. Need to magnify the LORD.

Yup, I'm going to UNL.
God is always having the last laugh.
I bet He's laughing right now! :D
And I hope to be laughing along with Him if I receive my letters the day after my visa is done!

My God is so humorous.
Oh how awesome is my God :P

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rejoice!

For our God died for us on the cross,
obtained victory over sins and was resurrected!
For our sins have been atoned for!
For we pray to an amazing God.

Worship!
Sing His praises and bring Him glory.
Not only in times of happiness, but

In times of uncertainty, SING!
In times of discouragement, SING!
In times of sorrows, SING!

Unspeakable joy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Help me Bless Your Heart

As You have blessed mine.


Whenever I start to complain,
this picture never fail to bring me back into focus.


People:
Hey Jess! When are you leaving?

Me:
Next month I guess.

People:
Oh. Which university are you leaving to?

Me:
Err...... Don't know.

People:
And.........you're leaving next month?

Me:
Errr..... I guess.......

Waiting...

I get these questions on the average about two times daily. The thing about trusting God is, you really, really, REALLY gotta put your whole trust in Him. You have to face that uncertainty -not only questions from yourself but crazy load of questions from others; you have to face certain discouragements - "Wah! Until now also haven't apply visa, want die ah?!?!" And most definitely, after a period of waiting, when the right time comes, you have to make that first move in times of uncertainty, the first move that will be the deciding factor. It has to be a leap of faith, because there is no land before you.


Jesus: *walking on water*
Come, walk towards me.

Could be me:
Errr Jesus, this is water You know. H20. The daya apungan (I studied Physics SPM in Malay) is not strong enough to lift a human body one You know. Some more I've put on some weight lately, will jatuh inside one!


Of course, this is not how it goes in the Bible and you might even laugh because of how absurd it sounds. But that is how many of us are today - we think we know better than God. Ridiculous eh?

After praying and waiting for months now, I had an epiphany today. It said something like, "Hey gurrrrrrrrrrrl, you have already received 54783 signs, how many more do you want? Make your move already!"


What is this?! #12345


What is this?! #54321


So...
Jessica,
what is it gonna be?


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling out to one another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."

Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal on his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"

And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Isaiah 6: 1-8

I cried when I first heard this few months ago.
It still grips my heart every time I hear it now.
Will I go for Jesus Christ, the one who died for me on the cross?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Gonna Be F.U.N.


credits: nataliedee

*happy voice*
F is for friends who do stuff together.
U is for You and me.
N is for anywhere and anytime at all! Down here in the big blue sea!

*angry voice*
F is for the fire which burns down the whole town!
U is for uranium! Bomb!
N is for no survivors!

*goofy? voice*
F is for frolic through all the flowers
U is for ukulele
N is for nose picking, chewing gum, and sand licking. Here with my best buddy!

I kinda feel like I haven't been having fun for a long time.
Like fun, like laughing, like nose picking silly fun.
Instead, I've been burying myself under loads of work.

Last semester, I only have time to think when being stuck in jams or bathing (yes, I do bath!) But now, I have all the time in the world to think. And.....I'm not feeling too good. Free association is happening way too often; I might even be turning schizophrenic. Many thoughts which I've tried to suppress (or repress, Freud help me out here) are beating crazily at the door. And I just wanna retreat under my bed like a scared little girl; I wanna regress, go back being the goofy me before all this drama (yes, Freud, you win with your defense mechanism).

Me:
I must have faith. I must have faith. I must trust You, Father. I'm going to walk on water towards Jesus like Peter. I won't be like Peter, when the wind blows and waves come in thick folds, I won't be scared! I will have faith Lord! I will certainly reach You!

God:
Jessica?

Me:
Yeah?

God:
Have you even stepped out of the boat yet?


All I really need to know
Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can't see what's ahead
And we can not get free of what we've left behind
I'm reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret

I can't see how You're leading me unless You've lead me here
Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led
And so You've been here all along I guess
It's just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get

Hard to Get by Rich Mullins

"I am Your maidservant, may it be done as You have said."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Asked For Wonder

"It is not said: Ye shall be full of awe for I am holy, but: "Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2)."

Wow. Do you see it?
How great, how great is our God.

"We live by the conviction that acts of goodness reflect the hidden light of His holiness. His light is above our minds but not beyond our will. It is within our power to mirror His unending love in deeds of kindness, like brooks that hold the sky."

Spiritual Anthology of Abraham Joshua Heschel

To know that a sinner and commoner like me can be as Holy, Holy, Holy as He is, is beyond my comprehension definitely. But, it is not beyond my will. And I shall will for it with all my heart, mind and soul until the day I finally get to meet my Creator.

Pieces falling from me
You can have them for free
Never felt so complete
Pieces falling from me

I asked God for His wonder.

He answered.

We stayed in the Palm Garden Lodge which has, in my opinion, one of the friendliest people in Cambodia! It's a guesthouse so it doesn't have the formality and hostility of a big hotel, you get to meet travelers from all over the world who you can easily talk to. The people of the guesthouse are bunch of good people who will always greet, talk and listen to you even with their limited English vocabulary. Plus, it's cheap! - rooms for $7usd onwards. The place is small, quiet and clean; provides free flow of coffee and tea all day long plus free breakfast daily. I felt as if I died and went to heaven!

The small cafe I spent my mornings reading with coffee. Mornings start early because the sun is up pretty early compared to Malaysian time. By 6am, the whole place is bright. In Malaysia we gotta wait til' 7 because according to Ben we follow West Malaysia's time zone.

The place is surrounded with so much green. I'm missing my mornings there already.

Er. Yeah. I took these pictures off some traveling site. Heee.....

We visited many places in Cambodia; but the best, the best has to be the Angkor Archaeological Park. The place is just so incredibly surreal, totally unbelievable. Didn't have my own camera because the brother dropped it into the South China Sea, but hope you enjoy these pictures taken from the internet! You have to see these places yourself, the pictures aren't doing them justice. (AirAsia giving away free tickets 11th Nov! Go check it out!)

This is Bayon. One of the (many) temples in the park, also one of my favorites. Every prasat (tower) has four faces, each carved on four sides of the tower. There are 54 prasat in the temple which totals to 216 faces.


A closer look. It's quite difficult to imagine these are all carved out of stones by hands at a time of incredibly limited technology. Standing in the midst of these 216 faces, I felt consumed by the place.


This is one of the 12 steps up to the 3rd level in the Angkor Wat temple. Back in time, the 3rd level is only accessible by Kings and High Priests. These stairs are STEEP, seriously. The steps are high and really tiny! One slip and its 65metres down. I really wonder how the King climb up these things.

This is one of the gates (south) entering into Angkor Thom which was the capital city to the Khmer empire.

Now, this is really weird! This temple is called Ta Prohm. It had it glory days where it was the treasuries to store treasures given to temples in the surrounding villages. Now the whole temple is slowly being consumed by trees with its structure being held together by the tree roots.

Weird eh? There is not only two of these but MANY.
It is as if the whole temple is being eaten up by the tree roots.


Angkor Wat is the biggest religious monument in the world; while God's temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed twice and is now no more. I asked God why? And I learn that we don't need it anymore because we have Jesus. The veil has been torn from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross so we can have immediate access to God, to His holy presence. Now, the Holy Spirit dwells in each of us. Indeed, how bless are we.

Above all, I felt such a strong need for God in Cambodia. Millions of tourists visit the country every year but most of the nation's people are living on less than $1 per day. Children as young as 6 or 7 will be selling postcards or souvenirs at tourist sites wearing no shoes or slippers. Many don't have opportunities to formal education, even if they do, they cram classrooms filled with rubbish and limited number of desks. People there live simple lives with little or no education but remain such genial, good people (well, at least all those I've met are). They live holding hopes for a better future; and I pray that our Lord God be their hopes and Jesus to be their future. Hopefully and prayerfully, my next trip to Cambodia could be on mission trip.


A 'Petrol Station'. $1 for 1 litre of gasoline.


Throughout this trip, I'm constantly reminded that my life is not mine but God's. That I'm living on His time; I'm on God's timing. Time that is too precious to even let one minute slip away being idle, to stray from His will.

Living is not a private affair of the individual.
Living is what man does with God's time,
what man does with God's world.

Again and again, I'm humbled by His revelation. I learn that I really am not as strong as I think I am, but He is strong. I am not as smart as I think I am, but He is ever wise and intelligent. I am not as good as I think I am, but He is always good and only good. And I'm called to be like Him; one day, all my weaknesses will be made into strengths by His power.

I just need to will it.

I'm learning to be willing. To put up my sail even when His breathe is not blowing in the direction I want to go. My Father always knows best. So I'm gonna let Him steer me into uncertainty, for when Christ is in the vessel, I can smile at the storm =D

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Time Off

A much needed one.

Reflection.
Rejuvenation.
Reevaluation.

Music, books, coffee and God.
Life is feeling goooooooooood =)

His beauty is inexplicable.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Friends By Default

Fear God, and you'll have nothing else to fear.

I discovered cheap gelato in Taipan! Patisfrance - the bakery beside Maybank and across Starbucks. 4 scoops for only RM9.60 and it tastes good too!

I haven't laughed so much since the past few months until Monday night's dinner with Daniel, Nad, Hafi, and KC. They reminded me the good company of friends and the endless silly laugh
ter that comes with it.

My year in Inti passes me by so quickly, before I know it, I've been friends with Nad, Hafi and KC for a year now. Though I didn't bother making friends then, they put in effort to ask me out for lunches and events countless times to which I 'politely' decline. Only after Hafi complaint (countless times) that we never have lunch together after 6months being friends that I caved in. Only after KC pointed out that the number of friends I have in Inti can be counted with one hand (with one finger to spare) that I realize I really am a social hermit.

Well, of course lah...
She didn't count my Psych text and History text, I consider them my best friends!

I used to recognize Hafi and KC as 'friends by default' - Hafi is my friend because we share at least one Psych class every semester and similar point of views on education and assignments. KC is my friend because we are both high achievers (that's what Lee Chan Yu says because he cant understand how a Psych major and an Advertising major can be friends, one is *supposedly* quiet-observant and the other is action-power packed). But now I recognize them as 'friends who stuck around' even when our conversations revolves only around classes, lecturers, university choices, and assignments.

And I'm ever grateful =)

Our only group photo and its without Daniel (the konon birthday boy)...
hahahahaha
Credits: Daniel

Now here is another one of Nad's quotes -

Nad: (giving directions)
When you see Shell take a left turn, then take a right turn, you will see a building that is...err...in the process of....err......building. Go straight, then you'll see the shop. It has a big green fish, you cant miss it, it's a big fish.

Have a great holiday people!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness!

Right after our Philosophy paper 31st October 10.30am -

Nad: I'm finally feeling what everybody else felt!

Did you know?
The US constitution of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is actually written based on Locke's philosophy of government, though his actual social philosophy is life, liberty, estate (the right to own property). Thus, people say the US government is actually a big social experiment for Locke's philosophy.

But Locke's philosophy did not come out for exam...after those hours...

But that's okay because I'm HAPPY. For once, I feel so free! I feel so LIBERATED. My mind is empty! No more university applications, no more deadlines, no more tutoring, no more meetings, nothing! For once, my pockets are not filled with receipts recycled as to-do lists. For once, my car's backseat is not filled with notes, books, documents and random snacks.

I was so happy after the exam that I couldn't stop laughing while driving home.
I laughed and sang out loud to songs I've never heard of on the radio, I just couldn't stop laughing and singing.

Me:
Once upon a time,
JESSICA LOKE FINISHED HER FINALS AND IS ONLY WAITING TO LEAVE FOR THE STATES!
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA
ENJOY YOUR FINALS!

Shiny:
You talk some more I take knife and stab you.

I haven't felt this happy for a long time. But I know well, it is only happiness. It is fleeting. Fleeting like most people's desire to do this and that during the holidays, but the desire fades away on the second day of the holiday itself. So amidst the singing and laughing, I prayed to God to grant me His joy. I only remembered this prayer now actually, it only goes to show how forgetful we humans are yet God is ever faithful because He never forgets.

I was running late this morning to church, and praise and worship has already started. So, I rushed to parked my car, ran all the way to the hall. Heart racing, mind running. But, as I stepped into the hall, at first sight, I was awestruck. My heart stopped, my mind cleared. I just stood there, basked in the wonderful presence of God. "How beautiful is our God, how very beautiful and awe-some He is", I kept thinking.

Joy overwhelms me to the point tears filled my eyes.
I can only smile, lift up my hands high and worship Him.
This is joy.
Joy because His love resides in me.

Father, I thank You for I pray to an amazing God.