Thursday, September 29, 2005


A lady named Claire, posted a comment on Frank's blog in response to Frank's post of 'How Can We Know There Is A God?" and in her comment it was full of questions. These weren't just any old questions but rather very valid and good questions. This got me thinking..."Why don't I ask these questions?". It's not like there is a clear cut answer to those questions.

I used to think that I got it all figured out and that Christianity was a very clearly laid out religion and all you have to do is follow the 'rules' and you'll be sweet. And so, when a question like "How do you know that God cares about you?" would pop into my head I would tell myself coz the Bible says so, the pastor says so and I would feel really guilty questioning God like that. So I would just brush it off and then another question like "What happens when you encounter a situation that you feel that God isn't enough, when it says very clearly that He is enough and that you don't need anything/anyone else?" and I'd go through the same process of feeling guilty and brushing it off.

SO, reading Claire's comment really got me thinking and also reminded me of something I read during my devotions: Honest doubts are ok. Why? Well honest doubts can lead to a greater understanding of God and to a greater relationship with Him. It may also lead to a new level of trust for the Lord. Thanx very much Claire, for getting me thinking and reminding me that asking questions is ok and Frank, thanx for getting the ball rolling.

Well, it's coming to the end of my first week of holidays now. It's been very low key and, I know this may sound crazy but hardly surprising, I am going insane with boredom! But the weekend is looking up-well, kinda. I've been down with a cold, that has been trying to strike for the past month but wouldn't hit. That shows how much my body needs rest, huh?! So, the weekend...I'm hanging out with Sarah for the most part tomorrow and I now have Saturday free coz Leadership Training has been postponed til Nov. Looks like I have to tackle some assignment. YUK! Then Sunday. Got a baby shower to go to and I'm looking forward to that. Also, I have been rostered on to sing for cession but I'm not sounding too crash hot at this point in time so we'll have to see. However, I have a strong hunch that I'll have to get someone to replace me. Aahhhhh.........good times.

I'd best be off then. And remember, keep asking!

Monday, September 26, 2005


Firstly let me try to define 'Missionary'. According to 'missionary' means One who is sent on a mission, especially one sent to do religious or charitable work in a territory or foreign country. This would be the more traditional meaning of 'missionary' and what most people would be familiar with. BUT, that is not the only definition of 'missionary'. This past two weeks, I have come to learn a new meaning of the term 'missionary'. It is living a life with a purpose (this purpose varies from person to person as God has a different mission for each of His children) and making the most out of the gifts He has given you to further His kingdom.

Last nite was The Great Omission: Part 2 and it was another great service. We had some people from the community share a little about what their mission in life is and how they've come to realise that the deep desire they have in their hearts in actually a mission that the Lord has called them to. This really sparked the question and got me thinking about what my mission in life is.

I have always known that God has a plan for my life and that what ever happens along the way-good or bad-that it will work out well for His purpose. But being human means that we will always question Him, beit His timing or His direction, especially when things don't seem to be going the way we want it to. So last nite's service helped reassure me that the desire I have in my heart will be my mission in life and that it will unfold and happen, in due time, because it is Him that has planted that desire in my heart.

However, it is good to keep in mind that His plan unfolds in His time and not ours. So be patient. I know it's not easy and at times it is fustrating (and this is coming from a person who hates waiting) but I guess it is in this time of waiting that we learn lessons that we need to be better people, better children of God and most importantly to be better missionaries to the people we come in contact with each day.

So what do I think my mission/purpose in life is? This current series really got me thinking and this is one hard question to answer! But I will attempt to answer this question to the best of my ability:
To most people, when I say chefs and kitchens, the picture they get in their mind will very often be a very crude environment filled with swearing, flying pots and pans & remarks that are filled with hurt and discouragement. Unfortunately, in 95% of kitchens that is and has always been like that. And this is something I have experienced myself and, I think most will agree with me, that is probably not a very nice thing to have to go through day in day out. So this leads me to what I think the area in which I have been called to. I have never liked this picture I have painted for you and I have never thought it was necessary either.

Recently, I did a few shifts in the kitchen at the Willow Park Christian Convention Centre and they proved my point right! I was delighted to see that there is hope...We had to cater for a function of 260pax and throughout the whole day there was not one word that came out of anyone's mouth that was degrading, mean or discouraging. So that is my deepest desire, at this point in my life, to make a change in kitchens where I work and show them that it is possible to change the stereotype that chefs have been labeled with.

Don't get me wrong though, I do have some level of respect for chef like Gordon Ramsay & Jamie Oliver. However, my respect for them only stops at their amazing talent to create and produce the fabulous food that they are capable of. Why? Because how they achieve what they achieve is done is a manner that I don't see as necessary.

So, if there is one thing that I can leave you with in this post is that as you go about your lives each day, ask your self this question: "Is what I say edifying the person I'm talking to?". Everything you say has an impact on some level to the people around you, whether it is a negative or positive impact. I struggle with encouraging people, especially people I don't see eye to eye with, so I am by no means saying this is easy but take a small step each day and it will get easier.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The end is in sight...

Well, where do I start?! I'm still at uni waiting for dad to finish class so that I can give him a run down on the exam I have just sat and he is about to sit. We have a deal going-I help you, you help me. I was surprised how well I did cramming at the last minute. So we'll see but I'm quite sure I'll get the 90% we need to pass the paper.

Finally got that stupid assignment handed in today. I am so glad that it is over and done with! Can say it was a very good job but I was beyond caring. I just wanted it out of the way. I still have to give a speech on it after the break so hopefully that will make up for the rather bad attempt of the essay. At least I crap on better by speaking than I do writing...That's always a bonus.

So, I finish up for the term tomorrow. Woohoo! The holidays are looking really good at this point. I see a lot of sleeping (coz I have incurred A LOT of sleep debt over the pass few years and I tend to use holidays to try and sleep it off). But firstly, I'll be doing a lot of hanging out with friends and just chilling for the most part.

I'm looking forward to this Saturday. The itinerary for the day is going for the Mercy Walk. It is a 5km walk organised by Mercy Ministries to raise money so that they can set up a home in NZ for young women in crisis. Then it's off to the Jones' for the Games nite and just hanging with the rest of the church family. Between the walk and the games nite, I'll prob chill out with Sarah or clean the house! Doesn't sound like a very nice option but it has to be done.

So yes...the end of the year is approaching at a rather scary pace. However, the next few months are looking good. Finishing up with the written papers for the Diploma, heading to Melbourne for the World Champs and catching up with friends and family and just the excitement of knowing that a new year is approaching and wondering what the Lord has instore for me.

It has been a fantabulous year and a half in NZ already and I'm looking forward to the next phase of life.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Melbourne here I come!

Well, it is exactly 2 months today til the World Champs officially kick off in Melbourne. It starts off with podium training for the men, then the women and then the games begin. Competiton starts with Men's qualifiers, Women's qualifiers, then continues with Individual All-Around Finals for Men & Women and lastly if finishes off with Apparatus Finals for Men & Women. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! I bought my tickets for the Games bout a month and a half ago and the next thing to do will be to get my air ticket...I can't wait!

It's been a very stormy weekend-both weather wise and matter-of-factly speaking. The weather has been insanely yuck, with really strong winds topped with showers every now and again. We are defnitely back into winter; well actually, we didn't have a winter this year.

Had the elections this past weekend too. I voted for the first time and I have to say, it was an interesting experience. Back in Malaysia, I never really took much notice or interest in elections but this time it was quite different. I actually sat in front of the tv and watched most of the live coverage about how the votes were going.

National started off with a REALLY good lead but Labour caught up rather quickly to even out the votes fairly well with Labour only leading by 1%! However, that doesn't mean they have won. There is still a huge amount of Special votes to be counted and that will not be finalised til Oct 1. These votes will ditermine the next government. So in the mean time...we wait.

Started a new series last nite: The Great Ommission. It was a fantastic start and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. *If you are itching to find out what the series was on...feel free to pop round to Brett's blog for an excerpt. It does however, come with a warning! WARNING: some sections may be rather graphic for some people's liking!

So, it's a long week ahead as I finish up on assignments before heading on holiday for 2 weeks. It will be a much enjoyed break, that's for sure. But first, I have to get through this week before I get to enjoy the holidays...

Monday, September 12, 2005

The road we've traveled

It was party central at the PAC yesterday as ECW celebrated it 5th birthday. The service started at 4pm-a fab sleep in for the 10am congregation an a nice early evening for cessioncommunity.

To start off the service, we were treated to a black light puppet show which was spectacular. Fantastic job guys! It was then followed by a representative from each congregation-10am, 2pm & cession-telling their different stories of the journey of the church. It was amazing to see where we've come from and where we are at now. What was even more amazing was discovering the possibilities of where we might be headed in future! The service concluded at about 6pm and the whole family enjoyed the wonderful array of food that was brought by everyone. It was a good time of fellowship.

What excites me even more would be the future of cession (led by the amazing duo, Brett Jones & Melissa Powell). I first joined cession about 3 weeks into the plant. It was a relatively small church then but since that week, it has grown very quickly-both physically and spiritually. We have had 2 baptisms, 1 licensing, countless number of births, 4 dedications, 3 weddings with another 2 coming up & a missionary out in the field already....Go Tina! It's been a fantastic year and a half already and who knows what the Lord has installed for us next...

Well, long day today. Been at uni since it's classes, meeting up with Sarah later & then off to coach and see my lovely tackers tonite. Unfortunately I don't get home til 8.30pm!!!! Oh's all good. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't so occupied anyway.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Good times

It's been such a stark contrast between today and yesterday. Don't get me wrong-I'm really glad that today has gone by so well and my heavy heart feels a lot lighter!

So what have been the happenings...Uni finished extremely early today so I was able to head on home at about 11am instead of the usual 3pm, managed to catch up with Sarah & a rather relaxed nite in.

We had a great kitchen class today. We cooked a TexMex chicken dish, a Salmon with Tequila & Lime Vinaigrette dish & a Pork with Onion Confit dish-all turning out like they could be sold in restaurants and the lecturer was very pleased. It's our last class today before our assessment on Wednesday. I'm not too worked up about the assessment as such but rather how well I'll do. I'm one of those real bad perfectionist and want to get 100% every assessment and if I don't I'll be giving myself crap for it til the cows come home...So, no theory class today coz the time was assigned to revision (like anyone went home and studied!).

Then later in the day, Sarah and I headed out for coffee. We spent a good amount of money and time together! Recently, we started an accountability partnership and had our first official meeting today. It was good. I guess at this stage it isn't really keeping each other accountable but rather getting to know each other at a deeper level and also for each of us to have someone to confide in and be really transparent with. *That's the way I'm seeing it now but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Sarah* So, hopefully as time goes by and as we develop a deeper friendship, we'll be able to keep each other accountable in various aspects of our lives. I'm very much looking forward to when we get to that stage of our relationship!

It's that time again when Melva runs Cell Leaders' Training for current and upcoming cell leaders and it's happening tomorrow. Because it's a whole day thing, lunch is part of the deal and Melva gets me to sort lunch out for them. So I've just spent the last couple of hours in the kitchen cooking and it's been a fab therapy session! Talk about cheap therapy... :P I do love it when I am asked to sort out a meal for a bunch of people. There's just this great satisfaction in knowing that you prepared it and people are gonna appreciate it. There's a little more cooking that needs to be done but I can't tackle it til tomorrow before I head over to Brett's so I've got all this time to chill! A fantastic feeling...

Well that's over & out from me

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The people we cross paths with

Some things have been happening in the wonderful world of Jean this past few days-some good, some not so good.

So lets start with the good first. The girls at gym had a competition about a week or so ago. The weeks leading up to that comp, I worked their little butts off and they trained really well. I'm very proud of being their coach and at this recent comp they blew me away. They competed really well and even came back with some medals and placings! They are competing again this weekend, so hopefully they'll do as well of not better. These girls often make me wonder why they keep coming back to gym and wanting to train with me...I am a tough coach-I don't give in to excuses, I work them hard, I have them sit in splits for 15 mins every nite! But I guess it's probably coz they love the sport enough to know that hard work is needed to progress and get results.

Of all the girls I coach, there are 2 that are extra special to me. (I know as a coach you are not meant to have favourites but I can't help it.) They never seem to want to go home after each session, they are always persuading their parents to let them stay longer and their parents are fab too! I always get a sincere 'Thank you' and it makes me feel really appreciated.

On another not so good note, I've been having issues with a uni mate and tonite it's just got worse. We haven't been talking to each other and for the past few hours we have been having a slight go at each other over txt! Not good...

We started of on a real good note just a year ago when we both started this course. Being so naive I probably didn't see past her 'niceness' and earlier this year I saw her true colours. I tried to work it through but it just hasn't been the same. And this semester, it's just gone down the drains.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I didn't play a part in this relationship going to the dogs. But I've tried to salvage it and everytime I try it just slaps me back in the face and I just don't see myself taking anymore of it. So as of today, I think it's officially over.

So..........what am I trying to say here? I guess it's got me thinking about the different people we encounter each day. Why are we blessed with such amazing people but at the same time have to deal with not so amazing people? It is definitely easy to be nice and encouraging to the people who reciprocate that. But how do you go about dealing with people who just seem to constantly be takers and not givers in the relationship? There is only so much you can give until you have to take.

What do I do with this uni mate of mine? Is the door close for us and is there a lesson behind all of this or are we still to be friends?

Monday, September 05, 2005


Well, just got home from our monthly chow meeting after an extremely long day. It was a rather productive meeting but I am knackered.

I always love our meetings. We don't just cover the running of chow but also the more important stuff like what role does God play in the different areas within chow itself. That is what I find really cool-being able to reflect and see how God has worked within the ministry and also what areas we still need working on.

A great reminder that we are not to rely on our own strength to get results but on the One who intended them. All in all, it was a fab follow up to our most recent leadership training...

Finally, it's up!

A little bit bout me is probably the best place to start. I grew up in Malaysia and lived there til I was 15. I then moved to Australia for 4 yrs, 3 of which were spent in boarding school. And before you start forming ideas in your head about what it was like, I'll help you out. They were the best 3 yrs I have had so far, meeting knew people, learning about a new culture, growing up and just loving life.

After boarding school, I was adament about staying in Melb and not moving to NZ but obviously that didn't quite work out-the Lord had other plans and I had to give in. I finally moved across the Tasman and took half a year off while I sorted out life in NZ. I'm currently living in Auckland, NZ with my family. Am in my second year of a Diploma in Culinary Arts aka Chef School. I finish this diploma about June next year. What am I gonna do when I finish is a question on God can answer.

The passions in my life, in this exact order....God/church, gymnastics & anything relating to food-this includes slaving over the stove for hours! Call me crazy, I know! But I find it very therapeutic...

Gym. I was a gymnast for 15 yrs. Started as an extra curricular activity and ended being a sport I absolutely love and competed in it for 10yrs. Because I love the sport so much I have taken up coaching the sport as well so that I can pass on my love of the sport to others. And just to put into context how much I love the sport, I would eat sleep talk gym 24/7. And I am serious-just ask my room mate from boarding school. She'll tell you that I'm not lying. I have stopped trainning which is a bummer but as you get older I guess you've just gotta learn to let things go...I still coach though.

Food. I have ALWAYS loved food for as long as I can remember. I also remember being a real pest in the kitchen when I was younger but I guess that's a good clue that I was meant to do what I'm doing. Growing up in Malaysia, you are spoilt for choice and quality when it comes to food so growing up there probably added to my love for it. Cooking has been in the family for a long time now so how fitting but be a chef. I just love playing with the ingredients and turning each ingredient to look nothing like what it originally did but still taste like what it's meant to taste like. Ahh......the joys of food. The satisfaction you get from knowing that you created something that will in turn satisfy someone else is something that makes cooking for people so enjoyable.

God. I was born into a Christian home but never really took it seriously til I was about 14. I decided I would get my life straight and got baptised. It was going alright but in hindsight, I never really understood a lot of what was going on. So when I left for Australia I went off the tracks. Don't worry...I didn't do drugs and get drunk etc but I was church hopping, trying very hard to look for a place to call home. But that didn't seem to work out and I just gave up and didn't give much thought bout God. It was like that til bout Jan this yr. So moving to NZ hasn't been all bad. I've found a church that I love and, without any reservations, call home. I'm invovled in 2 ministries which I have a burning passion for and I have made a fab bunch of friends through being involved. They are great-they keep me accountable and make sure I don't go crazier than I already am!

SO, since Jan this yr I decided that I was gonna really knuckle down and really give my life to God for good. It's been going good for the most part. It's not easy that's for sure. I have up days and down days but I see it as a journey in which I'm learning what I still don't know about this being we call God and why I give my life to Him. Although it's been a roller coaster of a journey-emotinally, mentally & physically-I do enjoy it. Friends that I've had have been an amazing support system and I have also gained some friends in this process of discovery and questions.

Well, what my posts will be like in future is a mystery to me so don't expect too much...But this will be a good way for my friends, esp those overseas to know the going-ons in the wonderful mind of Jean (which really isn't a whole lot)!