this girl is super pretty and her voice is totally the bomb as well! but really... when i looked into the full video, something very new about worship sprung up in me. about how the song is literally draggy and all she does is drags her voice over it all. and using the hall's natural reverb and echo to echo it all around. i understood a little more about how God really uses YOU, in her case, her voice itself, to draw people to him.. even the lyrics and style of the way this song is sung is very worship and "crying out" oriented.. beautiful stuff. it did make me cry.. but of course its obvious why, at my current state. a lot has happened recently.
Thank God for showing me this at such an apprioprate time, he is the God of Grace.
Posted by keithc at 8:43 AM
Friday, April 17, 2009
it just occurred to me that
even Jesus fell while carrying his own cross. Jesus is so much more like me than i thought..
Posted by keithc at 11:28 AM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
urghh these few weeks i honestly dont have the mood to blog though many many many things have happened. and many many things have struck me.
remembering what pkm said on inaug night once again, this time im denying myself for my sake:)
so it starts from orientation on 31st march. the worst orientation ever in terms of programme and planning.... too much waiting and wasting away. but my class was overly enthu! if it were my jc class attending this, everyone would have ponned after the 1st day. but this class made me attend, surprisingly! and though we wasted away, we wasted away together. (what does that mean anyway.) all in all, it was important still because of the new classmates and the course briefing. im fully sure this course is what i want to do... and while i may have second thoughts on NYP, whether SP or TP would have been a better choice, im sure this course is the right one, and that should come first always.
that same week i had an intensive time of playing for worship because of the 2 adults' service for palm sunday and trackers grad night. was very tiring!! i think im getting shorter because i keep carrying the guitar and bass around, its quite sian. and recently too i've been having many impressions of just enjoying worship, the music and the flow and playing up on stage because it is something to be proud of after all, all the many prayers of humility and submission has given me an impression that i'm reduced to nothing but a mere tool. i am a tool for God, but im not a mere tool, no. i chose to be there and i know God credits those who serve him according to his heart and desire for honouring Him... this would also help me burn out less...
speaking of burn out, because school hasnt started and because im now more... stripped, i havent burned out in a long time, ptl:) also able to volunteer more on sundays which i dont commit to, which is quite a blessing!
so trackers 09 has ended, another batch graduated. recalling the days before my time at 08, indeed God has been faithful throughout! and at grad night my heart just poured out with joy because i've witnessed another batch of youth once again, on fire and totally devoted to God. it is a rare thing to see, especially within our local churches. and very very encouraging of course. i will strive much more to maintain that vulnerable heart all of them have, one that is always open to God's direction and leading. one that always surrenders, always yields, always prays and desires to honour God more than anything else. and it was such a new thing to me last year, to be really literally down at the feet of Jesus, pleading and petitioning for the change in ourselves, his will in our lives, personal revival and so on. i love this, i love God and the wonderful work he has done in people's lives.. the many fantastic testimonies from all of us as individuals indeed compile up a volume of God's faithfulness. it is totally right to brand trackers as a journey of faith! hahahah now many (ok not so many) 08 friends are talking about how i've been DIFFERENT because of trackers 09! ahhaa nono my life changed in 08 so 08 will always be more remembered! but peeps from 09 has blessed me tremendously, in terms of growth... man i've spent a total of 4 months excluding internship of my life just doing bible study and 2 mission trips.. cant believe it, that God really placed these plans ahead of me and let it all fall nicely to align with the free time i have since poly starts much later.
so i went back again to sengkang primary on tuesday and wednesday to help out, i must say slowly the kids are growing on me, their smiles and their faces which i have seen so often since the week before. but all in all, im still not into this ministry yet, just making myself available to do what i can. hmm doing what i can has been quite a main theme of this year for me. for trackers, it started like that. doing what i can, for pkm and the mentors. for the help at sengkang primary as internship as well. for grad night, even for ministry in agape... whenever i can, i do.. but of course im more aware of my breaking points nowadays, and have been saying no to some things as well... the only time i broke that "doing what i can do" attitude was during the mission trip since the mission trip was for a purely deliberate cause. i had to break all that down and determine why i went to myanmar.
and on thursday, i spent it with the trackers crashing matthias house at 7am for his bday! cant believe i left house at 600 la! i was insane hahaha. but because all of the trackers guys will be going off to tekong this week, i really felt like seeing them before it all ends. and i know, i know once army starts its more or less the end for trackers to meet up at fixed timings. its super difficult to maintain such relationships especially when we move on all together in our lives, meeting different groups of people and changing as individuals as well. but the important thing i've learned is to REMEMBER. to REMEMBER the great times spent with each person, to remember how that person has touched you, and also how God has used him/her. its not really about meeting up all the time when it comes to maintaining relationships... i still remember each tracker i've invested time in in 08...
in the aft, i went to pass my stupid basic theory evaluation. cant believe we actually HAVE to study for it... considering i failed the first time. stupid stupid stupid evaluation!! think im gonna give driving a break after btt, its really quite a waste of time.
then went out with kaixiang and jacob in the afternoon, my cell mates who are most neglected.. i've been wanting and waiting for an opportunity as well, and it came when they asked me first:) so i just went around walking and wasting time with them, asking them stuff along the way... it was still a good time of fellowship and i know, i know and understand and empathise exactly what they lack in church. went to maundy thursday service together, and once again got touched by God and how he did such a lame thing- washing of the disciples' feet even when he knew he was going to die soon. he just HAD to "demonstrate the full extend of his love", and that is servanthood. i just cannot imagine honestly, how
"Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." John 13:3-5
Jesus knew he had power and authority, SO he washed his disciples' feet. does that make any sense to you at all?? its totally contradictory right? such is the love of God, the one trait that makes Jesus different from all other beliefs and religions. LOVE AND SERVICE is second nature to him!! this revelation opened my eyes to YET another perspective of God... one i cannot fully grasp. i understand that i can never understand. not yet.
the LCEC washed the congregation's feet that night, to those who were willing to humble themselves to being washed. and humility is mutual, Jesus demonstrated humility to his disciples, but it also takes humility to let Jesus wash your feet, just like Peter who was so embarassed to let him wash his feet... i was surprised Pastor got down so quickly and easily as well, becoming a professional foot washer the very moment he left the pulpit.
and after friday's good friday service was caleb's bday celebration.. haha the clique's bday outings are getting more fun, especially at night when yanling and samuel got really high and we all started taking stupid photos! caleb also towards the later part of the night. and i rly cant believe the guys of our clique srsly, enping caleb samuel daniel u guys are SICKK la hahaha. crapp i shall pretend we didnt even TALK during that night. hahah really enjoy it whenever there are stayovers. i still havent treated them to ice cream.. sometime in the future!
and on saturday, stayed over at night at church with kiat and tracy lois and sistle. i think it was a good time for me to just review how seriously am i treating christianity, and more importantly Jesus' death on the cross.. it is after all, the basis for our faith. if there was no cruxifiction, there would be no forgiveness and righteousness. if there was no resurrection, there would be no victory in our lives after being forgiven... its a fantastic before-after plan, and both work hand in hand. more on this tomorrow!!!
Posted by keithc at 6:43 AM
Friday, March 27, 2009
you stand aside. you play the lowest frequency. you play the simplest stuff, though you are capable of much more. everyone asks you to tone down, but in actual fact they are much louder than you. everyone acknowledges your importance, but nobody acknowledges your skill. but you know you have the power to make or break the team. you know you are an asset. you are always felt but never heard. you are a bassist :)
God thank you, for this gift.
Posted by keithc at 9:52 AM
Thursday, March 26, 2009
this week has been awesome... though ya more than half of it was kinda unprepared and stuff.. but it really got better as it progressed.
this week i've committed myself to help out at a primary school as internship, because i didnt want to be doing nothing.. despite pastor's warning of burn out and serving so much though (everyone) hopes i'm resting well and preparing for the next phase of life, i still went ahead to take up this internship for this week. basically, we organised basketball matches on the primary school court and arty farty activities for the kids during their recesses, with the intention of building relationships with them. im very encouraged by the seed God had planted in guo nian, wei chiang and jason as they planned the activities and all to really help the kids. its like, i didnt really feel that kind of compassion for the children, misled and little as they are, i couldnt look into the future, what kind of impact we'd be having on them when they grow up. but i had fun with them still, interacting and listening to their jokes and stories.
that was in the primary school. yesterday, i went to another location in this place called Djoy. it was an after school care for children, and i think most of them came from dysfunctional families.. it was then that i saw a whole new bunch of other kids, naughty, impatient, hyper active and really disobedient. i manhandled a boy out of a room because he refused to get out when he wasnt meant to be there. talked to a boy who screamed into another boy's ear and was unwilling to apologize. talked to the boy who was crying because he got screamed at, and was totally unwilling to forgive, even if the other boy did apologize.
but one thing caught me here, i asked him if he thought he was a good boy. he said no. at least he acknowledged humans are all naughty at times! but when i told him thats why everyone needs forgiveness, he remained silent. to forgive is really difficult, even though you know its good and you also want to let go of painful thoughts and memories..
and lastly, helped an elderly aunty clear up her home. well.. not really cause she doesnt want her home to be cleared. her 2 room flat was stacked full of rubbish she picks up everywhere!! like totally, up to the ceiling. worse than BB's sharity gift box! ok imagine this: your storeroom. its full of extra stuff lying around right? but all stacked neatly and high in the storeroom. almost like a neat junkyard. and that's just one small room tucked away in some corner of your beautiful house. her house WAS the storeroom. all the plastic bags with extra stuff inside. some of them were damp and wet with I-DONT-KNOW-WHAT-THAT-LIQUID-IS, some of them dusty and laden with cockroach shit, all junk. spoilt rice cookers, fans, cans, etc. cockroaches running everywhere, just like that. and she blocked up all her rooms with junk that she could only sleep on the small space of floor in the living room. my friends spent the whole of last week clearing the living room, and when i went there, we were clearing the kitchen. and the other 2 rooms were still packed full of junk. how could anyone live in that crap! it was worse than a slum! all the insects running around, the smell! altogether, we emptied about 30 HUGE TRASH BAGS OF RUBBISH from her unit. it was hard work and im sure i lost so much weight, more than all the basketball playing this entire week. when we left the aunty alone after walking with her to sell off her load of cans (they paid her 2.10bucks for that), we said a prayer for her. it was after that that she wept and told us about how her son couldnt take care of her. (he'd come "home" occasionally to smoke and sleep for a day or two before disappearing again) she was usually cheery and happy, and stubborn about us throwing away her stuff, but at that time she revealed the crux of why she lived in that dump, that her son didnt take care of her, so she basically had to make a living with that junk. just that sometimes, shes so weak she cant even walk to sell off those stuff..
so i encountered both the young and old this week, and all along i tried to keep the attitude of "doing the work of which the father has sent me", and not think of many things that may have made me sidetrack, but the second verse that kept popping up in my mind was "train a child in a way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (proverbs 22:6) and "remember your creator in the days of your youth" (ecc 12:1)
and i kept thinking of how it is so easy to backslide over the many years of our lives. how our hearts can be so hardened over years of hiding/ fleeing from acknowledgement of our need for God, wallowing in our own self-created Gods, weird ideologies, thinkings and thoughts. eg, like how that old woman thought she owned a lot (because she could sell them), when it was all junk. how if we dont keep remembering our creator, eventually we would forget him, and subconciously make ourselves other Gods which we wont even be aware of, and drifting away from the one true love. then we'll be caught in our own world satan made for us, of hopelessness, of discouragement, of nonchalence. "no use one la", "its always the same", "life sucks".
and such adults exist. i know some of them.. seeds are sown but not all of it falls on fertile ground, and wastes away. anyone can believe in Jesus christ and be saved, but not many remain in Him, and allow Him to remain in them, before bearing fruit, fruit that will last. (john 15:5)
that gave me my heart for the children, that it is so important that they are trained in a way they should go, and that from the word of God. and if they do not, what will happen? will they become like the son who left his mom alone to collect junk and make a living? will they have children and leave them in the lurch so they become impatient, violent, and disobedient?
it is just so different when you are there yourself, to see the aunty's tears, to see and smell her house, to communicate with children, good or bad. Christ loves them all and so should we. and it has been a great experience, though i know i havent been still before the Lord enough times because im way too tired this week. i still need to learn to be the Mary.
also, got to interact more with the trackers once again, with weichiang, guo nian, jason, ashley, lynnette, gareth, matthias and tiffany. another group of ppl that adds more dimension to trackers 09 for me:) im truly blessed in many ways from each of their lives.. OH and lois and janice though i see them every week:) and dionne and her friends, thanks for volunteering!
God please continue to show me what your plans for me are, and what i can take home from this week of internship. and help me to be mary, to just be silent and sit at your feet, because only one thing is needed. (luke 10: 41-42)
In Each Hand A Cutlass, a local band... their music is awesome, very alternative with the ambient keyboard and guitar sounds.. the very genre i'm in love with! totally drives me high! this is the kind of sound! pls hear it ppl! its kinda a half dream to be able to play in such a band like this live. besides enjoying the stage, you enjoy the music while playing... whoaa. after some thought, i distinguished the kinds of bands that i like already. usually people just put everything they listen to, but i want to be specific and not just throw out jason mraz (yux) or jonas brothers (yuxors) or paramore. here goes! in no order of merit!
coldplay, dream theatre, muse, linkin park (i chose my childhood rock band well), paramore, anberlin, abitof U2, incubus, maksim, circa survive.
i know i have more to add to the list, but havent really sifted out yet because music is such a diverse thing these days, post rock/post hardcore/ alternative metal/ progressive metal/ alternative rock/pop/ hardrock is totally mixed these days. generally stuff that sounds technically difficult, awesome with creative elements, ambient/weird, heavy but musical.
Posted by keithc at 5:47 AM
Friday, March 20, 2009
saying goodbye is scary.
today i sent a long-time church friend off to country X. She wasnt a very close friend, not to mention she only started coming back to church not long ago. and i regret not catching up with her enough, to make her more comfortable in church once again, and just hanging out because somehow, even after years of change and growth, i feel like she's family. and in such long-lost friend cases, usually people would move on without thinking of much, just like in slumdog millionaire, how the brother treated latika as dead, as a long lost friend, and moved on with his life. but no, when i reflected and remember how i used to talk with her online, even after she left church, the occasional HIs and casual chit chat, there was something in me that urged me to it, time and again. i have a soft spot for my friends who knew God once, i think. and now she's (i think) in country X, going to start life all over again for the next ___ years. leaving her troubles, problems, worries and everything for now, and moving on as well. when she told me how she kept photos of the last event we had together as memories, my heart kind of broke. it was barely a few months of reunion after years, and only one encounter of going out together, and she was already feeling like there is something to remember here amongst the church people.. i really dont know what probed me to do it, but i really went down to the airport so early this morning (of course i arranged for a car ride, thanks alan!). i dont know if its a kind of guilt i felt, or the times when i held many grudges and anger against her when i was still much younger and kinda hated her in the past (she was my childhood arch enemy), and forgot, but never forgave her. Or perhaps God is really giving me a portion of his heart recently. i've realised slowly that im able to feel for individuals lately... i felt a friend's heart broke and her fears when she was praying. i felt another friend's sorrow and loneliness in a mission trip when she was sick and had to be "quarantined". i felt compassion for a nation. i talked more to someone in church who was constantly neglected.. i sat down and prayed with another who had issues with his future. i sat to eat with a once backslided friend who STILL feels neglected. i used my failing example as a gauge for my parent's. i havent done such stuff before! it is truly the spirit that leads and enables! and slowly but subtly, i think i've been making small but deliberate effort to feed the hungry, clothe the naked. to sit and eat with the rejected, lonely and outcasted. slowly but subtly, my eyes are being opened to things and needs i've never seen before. perhaps God has given me this 'tainted identity' now for his greater purpose? perhaps he has plans that are subtly forming up and solidifying.
i did a search on "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" and i found verses from matt, luke and mark. but i shall use the one from matt because of the additional phrase that i highlighted. by the way, jesus was eating with the sinners and despised people of society.
Matt 9: 11-13 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
firstly, Jesus didnt come to screw the sinners up. no, he came to lead them to repentance, which is by no means a painful trial in which you confess everything and make yourself worthy to repeat all the bad sins again, no. repentance simply means, finding the way back to God. therefore, Jesus' ministry was specifically to call the sinners.
in modern day context, 'sinners' has become too serious a word. we despise such people and they are condemned, assiociated with vices like sex, drugs, rock and roll, and so on. but no, the 'sinners' here simply referred to people who were more lost than anything else. the sick, not the healthy, who needs healing in his soul/heart.
this verse struck me hard in more than just one way. it was really jesus' mission to save the lost, heal the sick. specifically, the rejected, neglected and outcasts of society. it could have been anything else! to save the world. to heal all the sick. but it was specifically that! just to the lost!
and in the church, shouldnt we be making a more deliberate effort to reach to the outcasts? in a book i've read, it is researched that the more left-out people in church dont stay, simply because the support and love they need isnt coming from the church. the church today is a big, cool clique. they are nice and friendly and loving to each other, but not active in doing exactly what jesus did. to deliberately sit with the sinners and lost ones. the diseased ones that are lonely and outcasted. what is the church for when the very people who need help isnt receiving it? more so, even as my own life has been tainted, i think i've been able to feel and identify how the outcast in the church feels. but its ok, im not affected. its just that now im able to understand the lost better. a new perspective hit me, Jesus as the "church rebel". he didnt conform to the elite-ness of the pharises and just won debates by word of mouth, but he practically LIVED it out. MADE HIMSELF UNCOMFORTABLE. LAID DOWN HIS RIGHTS FOR OTHERS. because he had compassion for the lost. and because he had compassion for the lost, he himself became one of them.
"i desire mercy, not sacrifice" it is written in the old testament, in Hosea 6:6 (read all of Hosea 6 to have better contextual knowledge).
Jesus asked the pharises of that day to meditate on what it meant. Do you believe scripture still speaks today? Mercy, not sacrifice. him who has ears, let him hear.
Dear friend, though you wont know this blog, in a very strange way, i feel this sense of loss. like a new friendship picked up for one day, before it being put on hold again. such touch-and-go feelings, i just pray and release you to God's care. i could only do that much, to send you off haha. please take care, and have a great time at country X. and we're always keeping you in prayer!
Posted by keithc at 9:14 AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
im. not. sure.
this is all i have to say for the upcoming month that i'll have here in singapore. its like rojak, a mixture of everything and i only have plans for up to monday. it was kinda pissing how my parents slammed the idea of me going to myanmar again, its like they just repeat the cassette tape in them everytime i mention "go back to myanmar". they'll be like, no keith. no. its very dangerous. no. and they dont even give me a chance to talk about how safe it is over there, the things i'll be doing over there, how i totally long for something meaningful to do as i spend my month, and how God would be able to take care of me. its just so unfair at times, and what can i say, they are bad parents? no they are good parents because they care that much. so am i suppose to be happy or sad? i should be happy because im so fortunate to have such parents. but deep inside every angsty teen, the automatic reaction would be to rebel. im always prone to such tendancies i confess, i can easily submit to leaders, pastor or whatever, but when my parents come into the picture, i just dont want them to have their way handling my life! somebody please tell me this is normal. or is it only me behaving like that? i hate it when i do something deliberately wrong, then something goes wrong. then a parent comes and say "see, see never do what i told you. now u regret" honestly that totally swipes off every inch of my pride. its humiliating. and how i just wish for one chance to get back at them, that kind of vengeful feeling that wells up in me is overwhelming and nothing but ungodly.
and the next moment, im in my room in tears because i cannot control my feelings. im a kid. i can control my actions, to bring myself into my room before i explode. but im sad that im really just a kid. i cant see the big picture and still think my parents are too much. im a kid. i only see things from my perspective and hence, their imperfection. what makes it worse is that you know your parents arent good examples. they are screwed in some areas that makes them incapable of having any power over you in that area. let me give u a biblical example.
david, in the bible when he committed his sins of murder and adultery, he was forgiven and life resumed and he was righteous in the sight of God again. but the legacy it left behind, nothing could stop it. when one of the other sons of david raped tamar, a daughter borned out of another wife, (indirect siblings, in a sense it was incest), david couldnt step in to judge. that resulted in absalom, david's eldest son, killing that brother. (murder, amongst the brothers). this would have hurt david the most to see his sons commiting his very own sins, and yet, he had lost all moral authority to do anything about it.
what does this show then about obeying your parents? especially when your parents have lost that moral authority to govern you? i can only safely say, stick to the scriptures. even up to now i struggle with "obey your mother and father", because i feel its just not justified when they cant live it out, but i know when my law comes from the word, it is safe.
wow i have digressed. so back to the upcoming month, while i feel God may not have spoken to me about what to do, so far he's placed several things to take care off. its coincidental how jason at this time would send an email asking for help. while debbie's church has found someone to fill up a position to go to myanmar. how gareth has also offered me a place to help in his internship at kkmc, and how theres a nice free day for my churchies to go out together! man i really miss them, because the past few sundays (about a month or more) has totally been touch and go, and there's no real follow up and quality time spent since 2009 started. i hope thurs will be a good time to catch up more in depth. thinking about this leads me to remember pastor kaiming's no.1 quote on his facebook page, "the righteous shall live by faith". i found it weird because its like u can take the sentence for what it is, but why "righteous" and why "faith"? its like.
fill in the blanks. the _______ shall live by _______. (3m)
i can almost put anything in there and it'll still sound good. and right now, the "live by faith" seems to be clinging on to me because i really feel like im living and moving by faith for now. not knowing anything, hoping that i can grow and do productive things for the Lord. but on the side of righteousness, i still cannot grasp. i needa keep praying, and when God does convict me of things, i really need the strength to submit to it. purely, no more holding on to anything else, no more rebellion.
what the, i need those muscles -.-
hmmm pure rebellion. paramore and hey monday are great bands that sound and look alike. hmmm.