Monday, October 31, 2005

Free & Unbound

I am a bit worse for wear this morning. Sunday was rough...and after the chaos that engulfed quite a few of us we all kinda needed a good nite's rest. Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep-must have been the adrenalin still pumping.

Despite the madness and tension leading up to last nite, all went surprisingly well. God is good...Jacob did a great job leading worship and to his surprise, there were a few more people who turned up for team other than himself! Ian debuted on drums and he did a great job. All in all the service was great.

Megan did an amazing job with dinner last nite. Seeing as it was mostly a one (wo)man show, it was a wonder that she wasn't stressed! But then again, it is Megan we are talking about. Thanx Megs. Thanx goes out to Sarah, too, for stepping up and giving Megs a hand or two when she needed it.

Started a new series on Freedom last nite. Melissa preached a message on renovation-renovating our thinking, ways & lives. What I got most out of it was renovating my thinking. It's something that most of us struggle with and I am no exception. For those who know me well enough, I can see you nodding your heads furiously. Despite how well I accomplish anything, I always find a fault (even if there isn't one), focus all my attention on it and make the biggest deal of it.

But it's times like that that I forget that I am the of God's work and His work great. Actually it is beyond great, there is no word that can describe how wonderful His work is. And it's not just me, everyone is the result of His work. And because God is perfect, none of us are mistakes. We are all put in this world for a reason-each one for a different reason. So, though it might not be easy to renovate my thinking starting with small steps always help. And I must say...though I still have a long way to go to where I need to be, I am getting better...

Thanx for the message(s), Melissa. You did a fantastic job at both services.

LONG day ahead today. Been up since 5.30am and am already at uni. So, I'll be "trying" to get some more essay done before Gastronomy at 10am. Then I'll be heading to the Aust High Comm to sort my visa situation out, then it's Beverage class til 4pm. I am also coaching tonite from 4.45pm to 8pm and the day is rounded off with a cessionchow meeting. I don't see myself getting home til 9.30pm! Sleep in is looking good tomoz...

Saturday, October 29, 2005


The past few weeks have been rather hectic. Not surprising really. It's that time of the semester where assignments are all due in and exams to follow. So, it's 3 more weeks (including exams) til the end of the semester. It's all very exciting but I'm running on a really short fuse. With 3 essays due in the next 2 weeks and exams in the third week, that's not all that's on my plate at the moment. So I'm kinda in stress mode-getting short with people and irritable. Not good, I know but I am trying to keep my cool.

Last Friday, Melissa & I had our usual fortnightly meeting. Well actually, it wasn't usual. Melissa invited me over for dinner. So it was dinner with Melissa, Jacob & Melva. Jacob cooked dinner and it was REALLY yummy (despite the fact that it was a little too spicy for me)! After dinner Melissa, Melva & I headed to the lounge to watch America's next Top Model. Then Melissa & I had our little meeting, which we finished up just in time for Rove. David Hasselhoff was on so we just had to watch Rove!!!! But all in all it was a great nite. It was really nice to be invited for dinner and not have people wondering whether or not their food is good enough for me just coz I am a chef! Thanx guys...

Exam week is Nov 14-Nov 18. The current line up is Pastry practical (this assessment scares the crap outta me! I am not pastry chef material so I just hope nothing goes wrong) & theory on Wed, IT exam on Thurs (this is the stupid paper that I have to re sit the exam for coz somehow my exam got deleted off the database!) and Gastronomy on Fri. I will have an exam for Beverage too but the date is yet to be confirmed. So it'll sit nicely in that week some where...

What else is on the plate for me? Well, that week is also the week when we will be having our next cafe at cessioncommunity. And when cafe comes round, it means that I will be on full force for bout 2 weeks before the actual date recruiting people and cooking round the clock. Cafe was originally planned for Nov 27 but coz I was gonna be away then it got moved to Nov 20. I'm glad they moved it coz it means that I can be part of an amazing event but at the same time it's more stress...It'll be good though.

SO, that week is going to be interesting. I'll be juggling exam study and cafe organising. The day after cafe, I leave for Melb! So I'll be worrying bout packing for 3 weeks too. It will be interesting to see how I come out at the end of it all. This is advance warning for those in Melb: Jean may be crazy when you see her!!!

Well, I booked and paid for my plane ticket on Thursday. It was very exciting! Unfortunately, this thing called a visa has decided to put my plans on hold for the moment. The travel agent tried to apply for the visa electronically but the Aust High Comm wouldn't approve of it. So I had to return the ticket, get a new itinerary and head to the Aust High Comm on Mon. It shouldn't be a big deal but some prayers would be much appreciated. I'll update you on the result when I get it sorted out.

Also on Thurs, I had a one on one meeting with Juanita. Juanita is currently the ministry leader of cessionchow, which is one of the ministries I'm involved in. So over she came at 8.30am on Thurs and we talked. I had an inkling about what is was about and it was exactly what I thought it was! Well, Juanita took on the role of ministry leader when it first started coz there was no one else to do the job. For a while now, I knew she wanted to pass it on and start up another ministry. So, we threw some ideas around and when I get back from Melb I'll be taking over some responsibilities, such as menu planning and rostering. And as 2006 rolls around, I'll pick more and more up and eventually take over the running of all of chow. However, this won't happen til I am finished at uni.

Last nite, I cooked for the Dunn's. I headed over at bout 5pm but no one was home. I finished off the rest off my errands and went back to their place but still no one. So I hung around for bout 30 mins but no one came home...Oh well, it was Lamb Navarin & mash for dinner last nite!

Tonite, I'm off to do my first shift at a place called Celcius Gastrobar. Dad works there too so that's how I got the job. It should be interesting. I'm kinda rusty in terms of working the hot line so I hope that there won't be any major hiccups.

But before I head out to work tonite, I'd better get my ass into gear and work on my essays. So that's me for now...

Monday, October 17, 2005


You may be thinking, "What the.....?" Well, Supersize me is the title of the current series we are tackling at church. We are concentrating on the Holy Spirit-who he is, what his role is etc. The first two weeks were an absolute blur to me. It was really hard trying to make sense of it all and whenever I thought I came to some sort of a conclusion about what the nite's message wasit just wouldn't make any sense. Those were quite fustrating and challenging weeks.

However, last nite was amazing! Ryan led worship with Sarah and I on vox. It was Sarah's and my first time singing together and we had a blast. Sarah did a great job on harmony (even if she may think otherwise!). So many came up to us after saying we did a good job. It was so encouraging and up lifting. It's people like that that remind me, time and time again, why I love cession SO much. These people are real...not fakes. They are not hiding behind masks.

So tonite Brett spoke on the Holy Spirit as oil-how the Holy Spirit is the giver of gifts. What impacted me most was the songs Ryan chose for the second bracket of worship. The song that hit me most is called Blessed be the Name of the Lord. I'll give you the words...

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord Blessed be your name

How appropriate-the bridge especially so. How often do we sing songs like that? And how often we only give God lip service but not actually heart service? Do you really mean what you sing?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Just a quick update

Well, it's come to the end of the first week back at uni and I'm pleased to inform you that it's been a blast! Well...most of it anyway. To my surprise, I've been digging my kitchen classes more than I thought I would. Why I say that is coz we've just started our Patisserie component and I HATE making pastry by hand with a HUGE passion! However, I have been doing rather well and the product is turning out reasonably well....I just might start loving Patisserie.

On Wed, we made short pastry, from scratch and by hand, and turned it into a Parmesan & Thyme Tart, a Spinach & Feta Tart & Parmesan Sables. Today it was sweet pastry, also from scratch and by hand, and turned that into a Caramel Walnut Tart & Lemon Curd Tartlets. They were yum! Deadly but yum...

Gastronomy oral presentations are becoming a real drag but it has to be done. I can't wait til all assessments for this paper is over and done with-I hate them! On a happier note, in Beverage class, we have started our Wine component. We did our first wine analysis on Thursday. Most of it was new to me but some of it I knew already through a lot of cooking/food programs I fill my brain with. It was a good class and I'm looking forward to the rest of the semester.

Talking bout the rest of the semester, I will be done with this semester in bout 5 and a half weeks. This also translate to.....I'm off to Melbourne in 5 and a half weeks!!!!!! I'm SO excited and I really can't wait. I think my friends are getting quite sick of me mentioning it, actually. But they understand where the enthusiasm is coming from.

I had some amazing conversations with some really good friends from Melbourne over the past week or so. Had our usual amazingly long 3 hour chat with Kath before my birthday. I always enjoy those chats coz, without fail, everytime we finish off the conversation I am left feeling very encouraged. Kath was my room mate for a whole year back at PLC and we share many fab memories. Then I called Mrs O on my birthday and, that too, was as always a lovely chat. I love catching up with how she's going and she always feels me in with the latest PLC gossip. It's funny how I get information before most people at PLC even do! The last phone call I had to Melbourne was to Tania. Great friend she is...We hadn't caught up in bout 3 months so I thought I'd surprise her with a call from across the Tasman. Another lovely chat...

It's times like this that make me miss Melb even more! But I guess this way it makes me realise how much more important they are to me. As the saying goes, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder..."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Back to uni!

Well, I'm finally back at uni. I am so glad to be back and have been looking forward to heading back into madness after the first week of holidays. I know......I can hear SO many of you saying "Jean, you are insane!" but what's new? REALLY?!

I have just managed to get my stupid oral presentation typed up so I'm blogging as a reward...I had to do something productive during my 3hour wait for class! So it's gastronomy and beverage class today. I'm also meeting up with Sarah (I can't wait!) and back to seeing my lovely girls at gym tonite.

The second week of the holidays was much the same as the first-boring! The only exception was that I had my birthday on Friday so I went out for afternoon tea with Liz, Juanita and Sarah. It was the highlight of my holiday and day and I had to great time. Thanx guys! Dad came back on Saturday, which was excellent! I love having the whole family together...Then last nite I was on chow duty. Fish pie was on the menu and it went rather well despite a few hiccups.

We started a new series at church last week: Supersize Me. I'll give you a run down on it when I get my head round all these questions I have in my head. But til then....

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My family

Since I've started blogging, it's all been about what's been happening with me. So I thought it would be nice to share a little bit about how the Lord's hand had worked in the lives of the rest of my family. But first, a little background info...

Let's start with dad. He grew up in a family of 12-my grandparents and 10 siblings-in a little town bout 30mins from KL city centre. He left for Melbourne for uni studies in 1975 and was there til 1979. While in Australia he gave his life to the Lord and he met my mom there, too! They got married in 1981 and, I think, spent a year or two working in Melbourne before heading back to Malaysia to settle.

Ok, I'm gonna digress to mom for a bit now then I'll link them both up again. Mom grew up in a Christian home with 1 older brother and 2 younger sisters and of course my grandparents. She lived in KL city centre most of her life and left for Melbourne to uni in 1975, too. She finished her studies before dad did and applied for PR, which allowed her to hang around in Melbourne to work while dad was still studying.

SO, they were back in Malaysia probably about late 1981-early 1982. From what I have been told, they attended church an a regular basis and hung out with friends etc. Then I came along. I never remembered dad ever going to church while I was growing up. I think it was my mom's parents that got me going to church; so you can say that I have always been around church . Even though mom and dad didn't go to church, we were raised in a good Christian environment and I have to say that they did a rather good job (I think so anyway). 3 years later, Ian came along. It was the same routine with Ian as it was with me.

About 1996, we shifted to a slight bigger place and just down the road was a new church. Mom was invited to go by a friend and we (Ian and I, dad was out of the church going scene for a long time now) tagged along. I rather enjoyed it and a couple of years later I became really involved with the youth group and worship team. Mom eventually stopped attending coz she didn't feel comfortable there. So that was mom out of the church scene too! Ian was always more interested in sleep so it was me that was left going to church.

In 2003, mom and Ian moved a little closer to me-they migrated to NZ. I don't know how, but mom found ECW. They were located in Bucklands Beach but moved to Botany. This was handy coz now church is only 2mins away! Mom's been attending ever since. She is not too involved in the church as such but she has taken on the responsibility of BSF admin coordinator for her class. This is just so amazing to me because from seeing her not going to church at all while back in M'sia to now being invovled in the Lord's work, I just find that really cool. Apart from what she does for BSF, she is also an ESOL tutor. This means that she teaches English to new migrants for free. She is currently tutoring a Croatian lady and they are both having an absolute ball.

Then Ian. Where do I even start?! As much as Ian is a pain, I do love him. To see him grow from year to year has just been such a testimony in itself. I would have never thought he'd wanted to be involved in the worship team let alone be excited bout church every Sunday! So now, he's playing the drums for the 10am service and is really trying to play for cession too. He practices everyday (which often drives me up the wall) and I just think it's amazing how far he has come.

Now dad relocated to NZ with us this year to go back to uni to pursue his first love, (well, maybe second!) cooking and food. So since he's been here...he goes to church EVERY Sunday! I couldn't believe it when it first happened. Now, he not only goes to church every week he is also always wanting to see what he can do to help me out for chow. Recently he has had this burning desire in him to do something for the less fortunate-possible even volunteering to cook for them. We'll see what comes of it.

*I do apologise for the photo! It is rather ancient but I don't have a recent one.