Thursday, December 29, 2005

A "Mary Moment" anyone?

I just received this article from Christianity Today's Leadership Weekly. It's another take on what Melissa was preaching about last week but it's also done a fine job of trying to explain what I was trying to get across on my last post.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Before I keep going, A Very Merry Christmas to all! It's been a very nice and relaxing day for me today one of the better Christmas'. There have been many years where there would be a big blow up between mom, dad, Ian & I during this time of the year and it's been great to not have that this year. Dad being back in Malaysia helped too.

Last nite, we at cession, had our yearly Christmas eve service and it was great. Started off with supper at 10.30pm. I was finally able to enjoy the joy of giving Christmas presents that I had been making over the past month. I had great fun making them and definitely enjoyed giving them even more. They were sitting in the lounge for a week or so and it was so hard not to spill the beans. Anyway, we then proceeded with the service at 11pm. Melissa finished off our Advent series: 10 Things I Hate About Christmas with a great message.

For the pass year, I've been trying to make sure that I am able to take something away from the messages preached every Sunday, process it and try apply it as I continue to travel on this journey we call life. And sometimes when I may not be having such a good day and not get anything, I'll ask around to find out what the message was about.

Last nite was a good nite also coz I was able to take something away from the message and have had today to process it. It hit me when Melissa share a poem by some Irish dude about prayer and justice.

Mary knew that it would cost here greatly when she was pregnant with Jesus and what would eventually happen. But she knew God enough to know that it will all be ok despite her circumstances and she was excited about Jesus' birth. If you were in her shoes, would you be as excited and at peace?

When you pray for justice, things may get over turned for the worse in the process before it all works out for the better. Are you willing to go through that time of testing that will cost you? Will you hang in there? Do you REALLY know God well enough that it will all work out for the better even though it may not seem that way at that point in time?

Change of template

Yes...I am officially an obsessive compulsive template changer. I think I've finally found one that I like rather than using a template coz there's nothing better. Anywayz, hope you like it too.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Our Gift

As promised, I will finally tell you what Sarah's and my gift was for the Gifts for Jesus service. But before I do that I'll do my best to fill you in on some of the other gifts that were brought by others...

  1. Ian & Aaron did a cover from a band call Acceptance with Aaron on lead guitar, Ian filling in at various spots and Ian singing! Ian was real good...Melissa even offered him a spot in the worship team...He was quite delighted. Aaron did a fab job on guitar-all in all they were great.
  2. Rhett did an amazing job at the teaching. Though short, it was the best 5 mins sermon ever! Rachel and I decided that he was a "Brett Junior" and from now on we are gonna call him BJ!!!!! He is so much like Brett, I found it quite amusing. Anywayz, he talked about giving and gifts (funny-ly enough) and how the greatest gift you can give anyone is yourself. How true...
  3. Frank shared a prayer by Bono. I found it very thought provoking and good.
  4. Juanita & Neta did a Samoan Slap Dance. Very well done indeed and definitely very original.

These were the few that really stuck out and struck a chord with me. There were a few others that brought lovely gifts too but as I was in a very stressed out state which resulted in a gianormous headache (I was worrying bout our gift) I wasn't quite with it.

SO here goes...Our gift: I kinda asked Sarah is she wanted to do something together and she very nicely said yes. We decided it would be cool if we wrote our own song (and I've always wanted to write my own songs & Sarah is amazing at it. She's written some GOOD stuff) and so we did. Overall we did a good job despite a few hiccups...Oh well, what can you do? I thought I'd share it with those of you so kind to read my blog so here are the words (if you weren't at church last nite, sorry you don't know how it goes but enjoy the words anyway).

By Sarah & Jean

Living a life full of uncertainty
At every turn I find myself incomplete
Darkness seems to consume all of me
And I can't help myself from falling down

But when I look at you
Your face speaks truth
I am renewed
You bring me something I've been needing
Some hope for tomorrow

Every journey holds a lesson to discover
Though it may be hard to find your way
In the end it will be worthwhile
With every step I take

Everything around seems to be changing
I never know what to expect
But You are the same always
The joy of knowing You are the only constant in life sax lessons are back on again with the same tutor. I decided that after my chat to him over the phone the other day I'd give him one more go and he turned up for our lesson today-much to my surprise. It went well and I'm looking forward to getting better. It will be fabulous when I am able to play in a band of some sort. We'll see what happens.

I had a great chat with Kath the other nite. It was great catching up with her again and just hearing how she is growing in her faith. Some great stories there. But most of all, I can't wait til she visits me and meets the crazy bunch of people, that keep me sane, I call my friends!

I start work this week at Celsius. I'm anticipating a very tiring 32 hour week for the next few weeks. However, it'll be good for replenishing much of the money that I've spent over the past few weeks, good training and a good way to keep me from boredom.

In the midst of the busyness of life, I have to get a Christmas cake baked for our Christmas Eve service this Saturday. It's my first go at it so I am expressing my deepest apologies in advance to those that I am inflicting my baking skills on this coming Saturday. How it'll turn out is a mystery to me!

Well, it's off to bed for me to rest up for the week...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Random thoughts

There's been quite a few things running round in my head so this post will be a mixture of everything and anything-basically nothing in particular...So here goes:

Champagne tasting a week or so ago was great fun! I had such a great time tasting some real expensive grog. Champagne is on Champagne if it is made in the region of Champagne. Everything else is called Sparkling Wine. So for $20 we tasted 4 Champagnes and 3 Sparklings accompanied with some real yummy food. It was the best spent $20! Apart from a very well spent $20, I had a great time with Melissa, Jacob and Becs. I haven't had a chance to get to know her so that was a nice nite to start. So anyone thinking of being very nice to me, you are very welcome to buy me a bottle of Taittinger or Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut anytime!

Melissa and I had our last meeting for the year yesterday and it was productive. We started talking through the 2 chapters that I've read of Richard Winter's Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and Perils of Perfectionism. As promised, here's the low down on what I have (been allowed to) read. From what I've read so far it's been rather insightful. He classifies people into 3 categories: the Non-perfectionists, Normal Healthy Perfectionists & Neurotic Unhealthy Perfectionists. And I think we all know which category I fall into! Anyway, what I really like is that he's been able to put into words the different characteristics-likes and dislikes, common behaviours, types of responses to situations etc for each category. Very uplifting. The most interesting thing so far was the study they did on some 6th graders. They classified them into the different categories and the outstanding factor that put kids in the Neurotic Unhealthy Perfectionists category was the presences of parental expectation and criticism. My instant thought was, "And I thought I was the only one!". So, it's been a real good read so far and I can't wait to keep going. Unfortunately, I am under strict orders to read ONLY one chapter a week.

On Sunday nite we continued with our Advent series and Brett spoke on Peace. What struck a chord with me was when he said, "To be able to have peace with others is to make peace with yourself first.". However, the questions that popped into my head were what is this thing we call peace? What does peace feel like and how do you know when you've attained peace? Anyone who has answers...fell free to comment. I would really appreciate it.

My sax lessons with the tutor I started with are officially over. He's stuffed me around after our first lesson and I've had enough. I gave him enough opportunities to redeem himself but he didn't. Therefore, I'll be asking my money back from him and looking for another tutor. Sucks but that's life, huh?!

I'm officially on the roster at Celsius. I did a shift during the day today and it was good. A nice slow lunch service. Looking forward to replenishing my back account! It's so empty it's not even funny.

Last nite Sarah and I finally managed to get together, amidst our busy-ness, to finish our gift for the Gift for Jesus service coming up this Sunday. No...I'm still not telling what we are doing until after Sunday. At this point in time I'm really liking what we've done, I just hope that I don't stuff it up! We'll see...

We finally sent the Gerten's off on Monday. It was sad to see them go but it's ok. It just means that there's more of an excuse for me to head to USA for a visit. Makes the trip more worthwhile when there are a few more people to visit-I have other friends there too. I'm looking forward to when they update their blog so that we can see what they're up to. *hint hint*

I received 2 amazingly thoughtful packages over the past week. They were both from Melbourne and both from friends at my old gym, BUGS-one from Wendy and one from Binni. They both contained World Championship merchandise. The best thing of all was the album that Binni put together! She got a whole heap of newspaper articles of the Worlds and compiled them into an album. I couldn't believe my eyes when it came! It really made my week and not going to Melbourne a bit easier to take. They were such thoughtful gifts and I really appreciate them. Thanx SO much!

I'm off to watch Narnia with Jenna now so I'd best be off.

Friday, December 09, 2005

An "I can't sleep" post

As the title of this post suggest...I have been trying to get to bed for the last hour and a half but have been very unsuccessful.

I had an AMAZING dinner at delicious tonite with the Gerten's as a going away present. It's the first time I've been there but have heard so much about it during this past semester from Ray McVinnie, my lecturer. And boy was that a great meal. I am SO full now that I can't even get to bed! I was originally meant to work tomorrow morning but thank goodness I don't have to anymore.

It was nice to hang out with Ryan & Angele again, tonite. I'm gonna miss not having the crazy Angele to entertain me and keep me sane and the quiet but sometimes very animated Ryan when they leave on Monday. However, the memories I'll have of the times we had together are beautiful. I'm lookin forward to either them coming back here for a visit or me visiting them in the US, which ever happens first.

I do apologise for the rather random post. I had to some how entertain myself...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Holidays happenings

The past week has been good but not all that eventful. Last Wednesday I met up with Melissa for our usual meeting (and for my hassling fix) and it was another very productive evening. I came away with another book to read: Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism. Melissa found that book and one of the first thoughts she had was me...Funny that! The thing is, Melissa was told to read it first but she was slack and made me do it instead...I am under strict orders to only read one chapter a week which I'm really struggling to do. I'm one to plough through books rather quickly so this is quite a challenge. Anyway, it's going alright so far. I'll fill you in once I've finished the book.

So I had my first saxomophone lesson last Friday and I had a blast! The good thing is that we have been able to wiz through the first half of the book due to my background in piano. And it's not that hard to play. I'm still working on the blowing through the reed but otherwise, I've actually surprised myself at how quickly I've picked it up. I have my next lesson on Thursday. I can't wait.

The service on Sunday was another good one-a nice continuation from the week before. It was a message on and of Hope. It's nice to be reminded once in a while that there is hope in the midst of all the crap that is going on-beit in the world or just personally. Thanx Melissa, it was a great message.

On Monday, Sarah and I had a brain storm and decided on what we were gonna do for the Gifts for Jesus service. I'm not gonna tell you what it is now coz I wanna keep it a surprise but I'll spill the beans after Dec 18. It's going really well, we were actually quite surprised at how far we got that nite. There's still more that needs doing but it's looking good.

Went into uni yesterday for our handback day. Wanted to make sure that I passed all my papers. And I'm very happy to say that I passed! Yay...No resits. Last nite we had our cell group Christmas break up. It was a great time filled with great food, games and people. I'm looking forward to starting up again next year.

I've been looking forward to tonite for a few weeks now. Melissa invited me along to go for a Champagne tasting class with herself and Jacob at their local bottle shop. I'm really excited. Having learnt about wines from France, Germany, Italy, NZ and Australia this past semester I wasn't passing up this opportunity. Don't worry...the Ass. Pastor is not taking Jean out to get drunk! Even is she wanted to she couldn't-Brett has been told about this 'excursion' so we'd get in quite a lot of trouble if we decided to be naughty!

The rest of this week is filled with a going away dinner, on me, with the Gerten's, a cessionconnect breakup/Christmas do and Sarah and I finishing up our gift for the Gifts for Jesus service.