End of Holiday

I’m now back in HCMC. Staying the night with my parents in their hotel. I guess in a way I do enjoy the classy life. I just found out that a friend in China is now a PA for GM in Beijing. Reminds me of the time when I was in Beijing. I definitely think that Beijing is quite a liveable place. Winters there are supposedly easier to get through because there is heating, whereas public facilities in Shanghai didn’t have heating due to the way the north-south boundary was drawn, for deciding whether to install heating.

Oh yeah, I bumped into the person who sat next to me on my flight to Singapore today on the way back! Nice pleasant surprise :)

Had a good meeting with a friend last night. He’s doing really well financially and just got a job offer from Microsoft. I think he is one of the few people whom I know who already has passive income at 24. As we discussed the possibility of having more income than you can spend and what to do with it, it spurred me to start taking serious steps towards generating streams of passive income to free me up to do whatever I need and want to do. E.g. reading, spending time with family, writing, designing, sharing.

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好好戀愛

歌词:

(女)我的天父,可否讓我好好地談戀愛,
不再流淚,不再傷痛,不再聚合又要分開。
我的天父,我只想要安穩地找個人來愛,
請讓我知道那個人在不在。
(男)我的孩子,難道你忘記了我就是愛,
學懂愛我,學懂愛你自己,你就懂好好戀愛。
我的孩子,何不嘗試安靜地慢慢去等待,
你就會知道那個人在不在。

(男)你是否願意相信,(女)願意相信,
每時每刻都在我手裏,沒有事情是太早或是太遲。

沒有事情是太早或是太遲。
(男)願意相信, (女)愛我的主,我願意相信,
萬事萬物都在你手裏, 我教你順服,我的旨意。

請教我順服,你的旨意。

First Thoughts of Blackberry Bold 9700

Just got a Blackberry Bold 9700 this week and have been trying it out. Honest first impressions? I’m not too impressed. Maybe it’s partly because I don’t have the Blackberry service, so I’ll find out more when I meet my other friend who’s also a Blackberry user later. To me, the Chinese functionality is definitely inadequate and inferior compared to my Nokia 8500 XpressMusic. Firstly, the preloaded dictionary is very limited, whereas my Nokia included phrases like “不好意思” which makes it a huge time saver. Also, with the Blackberry, I need to type the complete pinyin for the first word before any of the phrase recognition kicks into action. So to get “不好”, I would need to type “buh” before it shows up. However with my Nokia, I could just key in “bhys” and “不好意思” would show up immediately.

Yes, there are shortcuts but they have to be set up manually :(

Overall, an average grade. Of course I haven’t played around much with the apps yet.

Oh, and another negative experience is the poor synchronization with Macs. Ever since I started trying to sync my Blackberry with my Mac using Blackberry Desktop Manager, it’s really screwed up some of my data and isn’t as graceful as iSync.

Unless my friend gives me strong reasons, I think I will be going back to Nokia (or maybe consider Android).

听话

星期天我参加了救主堂的中文聚会。本堂牧师吩咐我们应该听话。他说,不但儿女需要听话,但父母、长辈也得听话。听话,就是得听从神的话语。听到但没去做,不算听话。

他说到在基督教家庭里,父母和儿女有时会因为有人没听话而产生隔阂。尽管双方都承认是基督徒,但是孩子在家里不孝、父母在家里不当好家长等。

针对孩子的,他给了下面的几点:
消极的:不可轻慢父母、不可藐视父母、不可叫父母担忧、不可离弃父母的法则训诲、不可咒骂父母、不可让父母愁烦
积极的:当孝敬父母、当听从父母、尊敬父母、使父母欢喜快乐、奉养父母

关于尊敬长辈,他说了一句话:“在白发人前站起来,在没发人前也站起来!”有意思吧!

恳求主给我恩典,让我能够听从神的指导。

真正的相信

今天一位姊妹对我说:“当你知道在圣经话语里是多么的美好时,是多么有力量时,是多么有喜乐时,你就会离不开读经了”

我很久已经知道了这个理念,因为之前也有别的领导这么对我说。我心里产生疑问,我是否太虚假了,就如法利赛人一样?在别人面前表演,让别人表扬?我是否真正的相信:基督为我而受难、这生命不属于我的?为什么连我自己的内心也看不清?

一天一天过着,时间滴答滴答过去,我生命到底算是什么?我是否在没益处的方面投入了太多时间?如果我不能信任自己,怎么能叫别人信任我?

中文在我心中的地位

今天下午我参加了救主堂的中文聚会。在聚会当中,我觉得我对中文的兴趣被搅动。尤其是在认识主这一方面。可能一个原因就是我第一次真的对中华文化感觉有一个呼召就是在属灵的环境里。就是在一个会议当中,先知对我发了预言说我神给我安排的道路就在中国里。

回到家之后,我在网上跟一位大陆的姊妹聊天,聊了聊,就问了她可否作我的中文老师,在语言方面领我。很感谢神给我这个机会认识这位姊妹因为她的信心给了我一个榜样。

接下来,我今晚跟我爸爸聊天(我回到新加坡的原因就是为了跟父母培养关系),他就跟我分享了,他今年在北京开了一场讲习会。有一位中国教授站在台上开始分享的时候,看了观众,就说:“我看到这里的人大多数是中国人,我就会用中文来分享”。下一位人开头说:“上一位教授用了中文来分享,我想我也照样做”!没想到在一场国际会议当中会发生这样的事。这简直显示了中国和中华的地位。

我真的在考虑该不该在胡志明市换成中文堂。毕竟语言是需要积累的,尤其是在词汇方面。主,请你来引导我走义路,走你的路。阿门!

Purpose

A few days ago, I listened to a few sermons from Covenant Life Church by Joshua Harris. He talked about not wasting our lives, and also the issue of self-control in a wired world. What really struck out to me was the need for purpose. Truly without purpose and direction in our lives, it is just too easy for life to pass us by without us noticing.

Unfortunately I notice that is is too easy for me to lose track of my purpose, without regularly keeping the vision ahead of me. There have been far too many wasted lives. Far too much time, cognitive resources that have been wasted because of the distractions of the good, that rob us from our destiny of the best.

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Stepping Out

Despite having been in HCMC for over 2 months, I never took to the roads by myself. I have been relying on my brother and taxis for getting around, which made me feel really crippled. Yesterday afternoon, while my sis-in-law was in the office, she asked if anyone was willing to go and buy a cup of sugarcane. There were reasons not to—I would be going by myself, I would be dealing with a fairly big bike..

Up till yesterday I had only ridden a motorbike in the compound that I live in, but never on “open roads”. And I realised that perhaps an opportunity was present to just step out and give it a shot. After all what was the worst that could go wrong? And in the end I went (with a little difficulty with the carpark ramp) without much problem.

Indeed, sometimes all it takes is a little faith and the courage to step out. All my years in Singapore and Australia with high safety standards, riding on a motorbike was never much of a thought. My first experience though was really with a friend in Australia who was passionate about motorbikes, my honours-mate who gave me lifts home when there were no buses. But I have learnt that putting my own hands on the handlebars for the first time is indeed gratifying.

Don’t get too comfortable where you are, because change is the only constant in life, and when you anticipate it and move with it, life becomes a whole lot more enjoyable :)

A New Chapter

On February 25th this year, I boarded a flight to Ho Chi Minh City with the intention of staying here for a few years. Although I enjoyed my two previous trips in 2008 and 2009, my greatest motivation for coming here was really because I believed this is the right path to take, to shape and mould me for my future.

Having been here for over two months has opened my eyes to the world around me. Indeed the voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes (Marcel Proust). Unlike previous trips to Cambodia and Vietnam, putting my roots down this time allows me to get to know the people and feel the heartbeat of the city. I do admit that language has been one of the biggest hindrances to doing almost anything here—interacting with people on a deep level, shopping by myself, transport.

Despite language barriers, I am thankful for the wonderful environment that I have been in. Two things that I absolutely love about this place are the food and the people. For those who have not tasted Vietnamese food before, the best way to find out is really to go to your nearest Vietnamese restaurant and give it a shot. You can start with their most famous noodles phở (pronounced fir without the “r”).

The Vietnamese whom I’ve met are also largely friendly and helpful. I have also heard some brief war stories and hope to be able to share them as I write over time :)