For the first time in a long time

Today I looked in the mirror and asked myself, who am I really?

Slightly over two years ago after coming back from studies in Melbourne, I felt God calling me into full time ministry and was lead into to a job in that category. It must have been a miracle because the year before, God told me to scrap all the plans I had and to trust that He would give me a job. I trusted, He provided. I truly believed that I knew what God was saying and believed that no matter what the circumstance, as long as I followed, things would be okay.

Now two years later, I’ve turned cynical. What should have been a gift was more like a curse to me. I doubted that I could hear God, that I could trust that He was telling me things. It was easier to believe that the visions I saw were just hallucinations, that all those times I was given specific words speak or actions to carry out were just coincidence. Such things were crazy talk. I just wanted to be a “normal person”. I just wanted to be left alone.

But God hardly gives up on anyone and out of habit, I’d continue asking trivial questions about my life and He continued answering them in a non-trivial manner. He is annoying like that sometimes, though there is nothing wrong with it.

So today, as if forgetting I wasn’t unhappy with God at all, I dared to ask who am I really? Was who I was two years ago even real? Can I really trust You?

Then God reminded me again, I am who I am, read My word. After enough dallying and enough prompting, I gave in and let God do something I haven’t done in a while. I let Him give me a very specific page of the bible. Just because He wanted to and because He can. I flipped the pages and found myself reading Exodus 35.

It started out feeling quite dry but as I got to the end, I suddenly found myself getting excited about the passage. I went back to earlier parts I merely glossed over and read again with more focus. I felt like I really learnt something worth getting hyped about. Fine, I don’t really want to take the time to write it out but it’s something worth noting down and maybe sharing it on a blog no one reads.

I opened my laptop, logged onto wordpress, clicked on the “write” tab. Suddenly I was taken back to my time in Melbourne. I remembered sitting on my bed with a similar bible (the original was given away), doing my bible readings, getting excited over simple things, just being in wonder and awe of whatever God had inspired me with that day. I wondered, why did I stop feeling this way?

Then it hit me, I had been too obsessed over whether or not what I had interpreted was right. I cried.

Don’t get me wrong. My church friends and colleagues are nice people. But when you’re in a job surrounded by seminary students and bible college graduates, and peers who are in-depth bible fanatics or preaching in service, you start to think you should put a bit more effort into researching what you read. Worse still, I was taking classes on the side for a licentiate in christian ministry studying not just books of the bible, but items under Christianity one might find only in the text book of a seminary student.

Reading the bible alone felt insufficient. There were so many things to consider – bible commentaries to give more depth, finding out the original greek or hebrew word because translations aren’t good enough, one day I’ll learn greek or hebrew and read the original text. I felt that whatever I knew was never good enough. I thought what I felt inspired about might be historically inaccurate. I was caught up in the nitty gritty.

Looking back, it was ridiculous. All of it. I tried too hard to fit into the culture was in and in the process traded my own culture, which was perfectly good in its own way. And I think that’s what God was trying to show me. That that version of me was the person I lost but thankfully, now found again.

I need to continue reading the bible believing that the extra fluff isn’t important, but having God is all I need to inspire me.


Late night musings

Sometimes, one is simply inspired to write. Sometimes, one is not.

Given the number of articles, long or short, that I have to write for work, I wish I were more motivated. But in times of dryness, one simply stares at their laptop screen, longing only for words to magically appear. Eventually, swishing the keypad up and down. It is simply a way for me to satisfy my ADHD, it is a longing to be physically occupied. For my mental state seems so empty and devoid of understanding.

Click. Click. Click. Give me something to think. I need something to say, something to believe. At least in this moment, I must believe that this is worth something, that there is some meaning. The internet can be far more empty than you think. I sit and start questioning things that maybe I shouldn’t think. How pointless, how meaningless is my life worth living?

And so, fire away it does like a gatling gun. Tat-tat-tat-tat-tat. My thoughts transcend my mind, are born into reality, becoming an instant weapon. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. The sound of my keyboard, words dancing away. A dream, a song, yes this is what I’ve been fighting for. These words I’ve longed to say, they’re hidden no more.

I step back, proud of my masterpiece. Not bad for a mind gone mad. But no, I look up and see my enemy standing proud and unscathed. How can it be? Alas, 2AM too late and my mind wanders back to bed. The tale for tonight must end here, but perhaps I will win my battle tomorrow with a fresh mind instead.

Well. Fine. I’ll do it.

EDIT (26/02/2017): Clearly, I don’t finish what I start

As much as I suck at writing and hate doing journalling (and will likely drop this eventually), I figure it’s about time I started publishing this. Today I finally realised how difficult the passages in the daily readings of the Trackers are and so as a challenge to myself and an encouragement to them, I shall SOAP as much as possible.

…I have to read the journals of my Trackers anyway so might as well be open about it. Vulnerability is welcome in this team, you know? Yada-yada and all that jazz.

Today’s passage was Amos 1-2. Ooh. Scary. Not because of Amos Yee, but to put it bluntly the start has been very dry; one of those minor prophet books no one ever preaches from. Plus, chapters 1-2 are accusations against Israel and all her surrounding nations. Yikes.

Amos starts out by accusing the other nations of their sins and states that fire will be sent down on their walls and fortresses. He then ‘ends’ his accusations by addressing the sins of his listeners, Israel. Interestingly enough, this accusation is longer than any of the single accusations given against other cities.

Sometimes we are quick to see the surmountable sins of others before looking at our own individual sin. While it may seem like everyone around us is full of guilt and we could be nodding at each accusation. That is, until it is our turn to receive judgement. Having been caught up in what others are doing, we fail to see our own flaws and how we should be acting rather than concerning ourselves with others’ affairs.

Dear God, thank you that you are willing to show me my flaws and what I’ve done wrong. Help me to put away my pride that I may not boast in how I am better than others, but to acknowledge that I am just as much a sinner as anyone else. Forgive me for my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. All this I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Icarus flew too close to the sun

Icarus thought the sun was his happiness but he flew too close and got burned…

…not really. But recently I picked up my old lit book and started flipping through its grim, brown pages and begun seeing things my 15 year old mind was never capable of comprehending. The more I read through Fahrenheit 451, the more I appreciate the story, the characters, how much depth there was in them. Perhaps it is because reality has finally begun catching up on me and I see even more of Bradbury’s dystopian society in our world today. 

And suddenly, the thought that books in that world may have been a symbol for much more – values, morals that we once held to, simply burned and tossed out, deemed insignificant, that they could never be anyone’s happiness.

I’d like to think the world campaigns for equality, that everyone should be allowed to do what they want. But the hidden agenda behind most campaigns these days is the unraveling of the fabric of society. Morals are gone, insanity is abundant. The next thing you know environmentalists will be campaigning for all books to go electronic (I never seem to get through e-books, probably something to do with the screen lighting).

Still it’s a scary thought that Bradbury predicted this almost 70 years ago. I wonder, when I’m 70 years old will I see what I think I’ll see?

Even When It Hurts | My depression 

I know I’m supposed to be setting a good example and stuff but well, I figure most of the people reading this will be my closest friends anyway. It’s part of life and for me, this is real.

I didn’t really want to talk about this because it’s pretty depressing and gross stuff and I always thought that it would just go away after a while. But the darkness never lifted and I’m still torn so I await the day my cloudy eyes shine once again.

Tonight I went out for dinner with the cousin and honestly had one of the best nights I’ve had in a while. Just tried to put all my cares aside. Dinner was great, had ramen at Sanpoutei. The tsukemen which was great. I like the noodles a bit softer for Tsukemen cos when you dip the noodles in, they don’t get a whole lot softer like typical ramen which sits in the soup for a while.  

Also had some fried chicken. FRIED CHICKEN! That’s definitely one way to perk up your day. CNY clothes+shoe shopping was very successful and so I was generally quite happy.

Then I got home and because mum has been worried about me and been like, “We need to talk,” and blah so I told her about stuff that’s been happening and then it all just started coming back and I didn’t want to talk about it anymore so I went back to my room. But mum kept texting me anyways so everything really came back and there are things I remember even more clearly now that it’s back out and I hate it. I feel so upset and I’m just crying. For a moment, I felt like I might have understood why people cut themselves. You feel so much emotional pain that you need the physical pain to distract you from the hurt before you go insane.

No, I didn’t cut myself so don’t worry. I just made an emo instagram post and started writing this post which you’re reading now.

I can’t share everything – privacy issues and stuff so this is just what’s been happening concerning me stuff.

After all the stress with church stuff and work stuff, I think that was when my hair started dropping out. I don’t think anyone in my family took me seriously when I said that but it was pretty freaky. I’d run my fingers through dry hair and a whole clump would come out and when I woke up in the mornings I’d find this whole nest of hair on my bed. And that’s without knots in there. Gross much but I had to go on with life. My parents brought up a number of things like shampoo and not enough nutrients (which I’m supposed to be notorious for) but I felt like it wasn’t working. I’ve been using the same shampoo for over a year now so I was quite sure that wasn’t it and got quite annoyed at them continuously pointing out expensive shampoos that help with hairloss.

Nutrition wise, I tried taking some leftover vitamin B complex as well as some iron pills which I had neglected over December. Hair fall decreased for like a day or so and I was temporarily relieved till it started dropping again.

I’ve also been sick on and off the past two or three weeks with my throat hurting bad. Went around three weeks ago to the doctor but didn’t really get a lot better. Anyway, I had a fever on Wednesday night and yesterday morning so I just took it as an excuse to finally see the doctor. Good news is he said my hair won’t all fall out but it IS thinning. Take more vitamin C and B as well; double the usual amount cos I need to put back everything I’ve lost.

At least regarding my health, I feel a bit more reassured now. But I’ve been listening to “Even When It Hurts” by Hillsong the past two days and tears began falling out without me even knowing why. I haven’t cried like this for over a month but now I know; it’s because these wounds haven’t turned to scars yet. You don’t just look at them and remember how you got them. Yes, they still hurt and all along I’ve simply pretended not to care. I’ve simply pretended to be alright. But I’m not and I hope, that’s okay.

Thanks for reading.

Butter-fly (tri. version), Kōji Wada

Butter-fly keeps popping up in my head lately and I’ve always wanted to spend some time trying to figure out what it really was. Even though I’ve learnt some Japanese, at the back of my mind it’s still the gibberish my cousins and I used to sing when it came on the television. Except for the part that went “on my love”. That was when we all knew what we were doing.

This song just gives me the feels every time it comes on and reminds me of my childhood heaps. The tri. version only differs from the original in terms of musical arrangements but I love how they’ve given it a modern feel without taking too much from the original sound. I’m sure the translations out there have gone through many edits, but I thought I’d try putting my own out there and giving a slightly different take on things.

Well, that’s enough rambling so here it is, my translation of Butter-fly!

Song Title: Butter-fly
Music: Ikō Chiwata
Arrangements: Cher Watanabe

Vocals: Kōji Wada

頼りない翼でも きっと飛べるさ
On My Love

Even though this image tends to stay
Even if these wings are unreliable, I’m sure that they’ll fly
On My Love

ゴキゲンな蝶になって きらめく風に乗って
今すぐ キミに会いに行こう
余計な事なんて 忘れた方がマシさ
これ以上 シャレてる時間はない

I’ll be a spirited butterfly and ride this sparkling wind
And go right now to meet you
It’s better not to think about unnecessary things
From now on there’ll be no time to act cool

何が wow wow~ この空に届くのだろう
だけど wow wow~ 明日の予定もわからない

I wonder wow wow~ will I be able to reach the sky?
But wow wow~ I don’t even know what my plans for tomorrow are

無限大な夢のあとの 何もない世の中じゃ
そうさ愛しい 想いも負けそうになるけど
頼りない翼でも きっと飛べるさ
On My Love

At the end of this unlimited dream is the real world which contains nothing
That’s right, my love, it seems my feelings might lose but
Even though this image tends to stay
Even if these wings are unreliable, I’m sure that they’ll fly
On my love

ウカレタ蝶になって 一途な風に乗って
どこまでも キミに会いに行こう
曖昧な言葉って 意外に便利だって
叫んでる ヒットソング聴きながら

I’ll be a merry butterfly and ride on this earnest wind
Wherever you are, I’ll go to see you
These words I can’t make out are surprisingly convenient
I can simply scream out while listening to this hit song

何が wow wow~ この街に響くのだろう
だけど wow wow~ 期待してても仕方ない

I wonder wow wow~ if it will echo through this city
But wow wow~ even if I have my hopes up I can’t do anything about it

無限大な夢のあとの やるせない世の中じゃ
そうさ常識 ハズレも悪くはないから
ぎこちない翼でも きっと飛べるさ
On My Love

At the end of this unlimited dream is the disconsolate real world
That’s right, common sense, there’s nothing wrong with disappointment
Having been dyed by this image that seems to stay
Even if the movement of these wings feel unnatural, I’m sure they’ll fly
On My Love

無限大な夢のあとの 何もない世の中じゃ
そうさ愛しい 想いも負けそうになるけど
頼りない翼でも きっと飛べるさ
Oh Yeah~

At the end of this unlimited dream is the real world which contains nothing
That’s right, my love, it seems my feelings might lose but
Even though this image tends to stay
Even if these wings are unreliable, I’m sure that they’ll fly
Oh Yeah~

無限大な夢のあとの やるせない世の中じゃ
そうさ常識 ハズレも悪くはないから
ぎこちない翼でも きっと飛べるさ
On My Love

At the end of this unlimited dream is the disconsolate real world
That’s right, common sense, there’s nothing wrong with disappointment
Having been dyed by this image that seems to stay
Even if the movement of these wings feel unnatural, I’m sure they’ll fly
On My Love

Japanese lyrics re-typed from:

Please credit and let me know if you’ve used my translation anywhere. Thank you!

Late Night Musings: Life is just an Otome Game

I used to think that it would be nice to get married young; find a boyfriend, get married around 24~25ish. Then I got a bit older and the older I get, the more I think, “Meh, it doesn’t matter that much.”

One thing I would like to keep believing is that maybe ‘the one’ is somewhere out there. I just need to look out and wait for him. However, people always tell me there’s no such thing as ‘the one’ and that God has prepared many ‘the ones’, just that it depends on whether both of you say yes to each other.

Well if that’s true, I think I’d feel like I’m just playing some kind of Otome game where you’ve got a couple of guys to choose from. Depending on the type of person you are, you pick the characters you like and some might be easier to get a happy ending with than others. In which case, I just need to go through the characters until I can finally get one where I pick all the right responses. That’s kind of depressing in a sense and not really how I’d like to see my life.

Still, it would make sense as to why people date so much. Then what am I doing with my single life?

Lazy. I’m just lazy. It takes effort to go through an otome game too you know? But the difference is that I don’t have to leave the house for one of them!

So cheers to singlehood. Happy much belated singles day.

Blessed Rest

This weekend I finally got the chance to take some time off and do literally whatever I wanted. I was on top of the world simply over the fact that I had the luxury of choosing to sit down to read a book – and I don’t like reading. I feel so alive. I wanted to scream, “FREEDOM!” while running out of ACJC after cell group ended today but people would probably have stared and thought I was a maniac. The weather was good and the haze cleared up so that was a sweet bonus to my day.

I think most people take the weekend to do some R&R, some shopping, maybe even catch a movie. We all have a choice when it comes to filling up our schedules but somehow I’ve decided to fill up my weekends with church activities. Band practice on Saturday morning, some meeting in the afternoon followed by cell group straight after. The next day it’s either serve in worship or some tacklecamp related activity, if for some reason they both happen the same weekend it’s teach in cell group for the youths and if I don’t have a meeting in the afternoon there’s either’s leaders training or prayer walk.

Phew. Typing that out was more exhausting than I thought. I never quite realised how much stuff I have on the weekends. I think I lost some of my joy in serving because I’ve been running around trying to do so many things. I always question how I used to go weekends in a row serving at Bridge last time and without tiring out. Then again, some of these activities like camp planning take up my weekdays as well and can be quite a headache.

For a long time, I’ve been secretly hoping for a weekend like this because there’s always some last minute meeting or someone needs to be replaced in the band. I must have lucked out because most people are having uni exams but also, I decided to say no always say no to drugs to replacing someone this week. For what it’s worth, I think I made the right decision to stay away from doing anything that required me to think too much or stress me out this weekend. For once, I don’t have an excuse not to do the things I’ve been putting off like, say, write a blog post?

I definitely have to manage my time better by consciously putting in effort to create such weekends. I have to remember that I’m not an extrovert so I really need my alone time and that I can’t be trying to do so many things all the time.

A Liebster Award!?



I got a nomination from Nic and Eustacia, two of my best blogger friends and friends in real life. I’m quite sure I blog a lot of rubbish and just randomly blurt out my thoughts most of the time but thank you for always encouraging me to write. I feel a bit more motivated whenever I get an e-mail notification saying you’ve written a new post and it’s a constant reminder to me that I should write more. Hopefully I’ll become a better writer over time.

Thank you also to whoever reads my blog, remembering I exist and tolerating my nonsense. If you still drop by to look at old song lyrics I’ve transcribed or even translated, I’m glad it’s been of some help.

The word “Liebster” is german for “dear” or “beloved”. Can’t say this is an extremely prestigious award or anything but I definitely feel dear at the moment.

I don’t have many friends who still blog so although Nic kindly said I don’t have to nominate people, I’ll start by sharing the blogs of my nominators:

Manga, my life – The blog of an otaku. Contains reviews of mangas, animes and experiences at conventions. Check it out if you’re into such things!

With Love from Japan, Eustacia – The personal blog of an international student in Japan. She has over 1200 followers and it’s no wonder – she writes so well!

Some other friends’ websites that are currently alive and well:

Dreaming Through the Noise – A personal blog but if you search for old posts, you’ll also find beauty product recommendations and even a post on how to make sunblock from one of the smartest perfumery students out there.

Light of Goshen – Well thought out and researched articles regarding Christian viewpoints on current issues. A good way to expand your knowledge and have a bit of a think over important national (Singapore) and global issues.

Treading Bravely – A personal and reflective blog that always goes back to God. Also some lovely photos as she is an excellent photographer and designer!

I might decide to give questions later but I don’t think it’s necessary especially since this is pretty chain letter like and won’t suit everyone’s blog.

Pretty excited about this because it’s a happy post. Now that all the formalities are out of the way, I can finally get started!

1. What kind of music do you listen to?

OPs/EDs of anime I’m into at the moment on replay (seriously loving “Sugar Song and Bitter Step” by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN). Love Honeyworks and hope that I’ll have a free day soon to just sit down and go through the various songs I haven’t heard and learn them.

2. Is there a certain trend to the kind/type of characters you like in a story? (looks, personality, background etc.?)

When I’m reading books, I usually like the catalysts or side characters, people who get things going in a story. On the other hand, in mangas or animes, about 80% of the time I like the blonde haired guy. Surely there is a certain personality that goes with such characters. The weird ones? It’s usually true as long as they’re not the proud ore-sama type.
Yeah, I’m probably the one who’s weird.

3. What other interests do you have besides what you write about on your blog?

I actually have a lot of interests because I get bored easily and like to switch between tasks. When I have free time I like to do voice stuff like sing, or try to create or imitate a character’s voice. Otherwise, I’m usually interested in just lazing in bed 😛

4. Have you been to any sort of theatre production/stage show before? If so, what was it/were they?

I was thinking, “Does from Eve to Mary count?” and realised Eustacia typed the exact same thing! Oh but now that I’m re-reading the question it says “been to”. I watched Chicago, Love Never Dies when it first came out in Melbourne, Wicked (which I would watch again!) and Les Miserables (another awesome one). There was also a local one in Singapore which I unfortunately don’t remember the title to because I went when I was quite young.
In university, I went for two productions by the Chinese Musical Group (CMG?) in separate years. Not as bad as I thought and they had subtitles which helped me a lot.

5. If you could choose one superpower to possess, what would it be and why?

I always thought it would be cool to time travel because you’d get to see what happened and actually be there for big events. So little time and so many things to do but now I’m getting lazier and lazier by the day and find myself wishing I could teleport from place to place. It didn’t seem too bad when I was in Melbourne but the weather in Singapore is terrible and the sun burns throughout the year so teleportation FTW!

6. Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or a mix in different situations?

I always thought that I could be a mix but now I’m certain that I am an introvert. I can be an “extrovert” if for work purposes or social events when I either have to help facilitate or have no choice but to talk to people but I find myself really tired when I have too many of such events in a row. Definitely need to recharge every now and then by quite literally having no contact with anyone.

7. What would your dream habitat be like?

My dream habitat would be far away from civilisation, some place with clean and fresh air. I would honestly love any place blessed with the frequent sound of heavy rain and doesn’t come with mosquitos. Rain always cools things down and makes me feel relaxed, helps me sleep, makes me feel safe for some reason.

8. Do you play/have an interest in any sports? If not, are there any specific sports you’d like to try?

I really enjoyed kendo with MUKEN and wish I could have kept going but I’m so unfit now I’m quite afraid to even try anything XD

9. One thing on your bucket list.

Get married, have kids, have fun as I go along. Is that ambitious enough?

10. Besides English, are there any other languages/dialects you’ve learnt/are fluent in? If not, what other languages would you like to learn?

English, Chinese, Japanese, I can understand some Hokkien but not enough to hold a conversation. I always wanted to learn Italian because it seems pretty. Ridiculous as this may be, I wanted to learn Czech for a while because my Great-great-great-grandmother was from Czechoslovakia. A passing thought was to learn Hebrew so that I could read the original Old Testament text so hopefully I’ll be convicted enough to do that some day.

11. Why do you blog

I’m quite an emo person and as whiny as I end up sounding most of the time, it helps me feel a little better getting it out there even if it doesn’t make sense yet. Penning down my thoughts helps me to think better and sometimes helps me realise how stupid I’m being – yes there have been worse things than what I’ve posted. Bet you thought I was already crazy enough didn’t you?

Jokes aside, I hope someday I can look through what I once wrote and believe that I’ve grown somewhat and become a better person. Someone with less problems or a least better able to handle my emotions and reactions to things.

More promises

Finally a not so depressing post! Just feeling a bit itchy to write lately though I haven’t really got anything concrete down.

I was just talking to my brother about how there are so many 3ds games I want to play but they don’t have an english version yet. Most of these are supposedly having releases in 2016 which is very generic so I was whining about how I have no idea which part of 2016 they’re talking about. Will I get to play these games mid next year? Do I still have more than a year to wait? I’m dying here!

But my brother pointed out that there’s actually not much more left to 2015 which was kinda weird to me because, well, it’s true.

It’s not the end of the year yet but looking back, I really feel like I’ve done a lot but also nothing. I’m having a hard time believing what’s happened in my life and how surreal everything seems. I never could have imagined getting myself all the way here.

Thing is, I probably didn’t really do much. Call me religious or whatever but I really do believe that it’s only because of God that I’ve gotten where I am today. I’m really surprised but also grateful for the fact that I’ve been able to trust in Him to provide everything He said He would to me more than a year ago. God certainly doesn’t go back on promises He makes and just thinking about it makes me want to cry because it’s so wonderful that there’s a God out there who would really care for me.

I didn’t want to come back to Singapore but I trusted Him when He said that He’ll give me a job and all as long as I went back. I took it relatively easy and was like, “Yeah, ok,” but who says that, right? I had to convince not just my parents but anyone else who asked me about my future plans. The more I talked about it the more ridiculous it seemed even though I had peace in my heart about it.

Once again this year, God has promised me more things though I’m pretty sure some are way ridiculous and it’s made me question, “Why me?” because surely I’m special but not THAT special. But having seen how God has worked in my life makes me think that I can trust in Him for these crazy promises too and I really hope I get to see them come to pass some day.

These roads may seem to lead us elsewhere, but someday they will meet again and we’ll have an eternity to be together.