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Time for Goodbye

I love LJ. I have been with this blog probably for the longest time. And it brings a smile to my face whenever I read my past entries. But as life moves into the next stage, I want a fresh start. I am not abandoning this... no, but this is going to become the past memory. I will be back... to re-experience all these good moments... in the meantime:

http://c-lai.net

=)

^_________________________^

Not the most pleasant birthday, but it's all good.
I didn't get my wishes, but I realized that sometimes instead of focusing on what you want, we should focus on what we have. And indeed, I am truly blessed with all that I have.

Twenty-two years of my life, and it's all because of God. Without the miracles that happened 22-odd-so years ago, I wouldn't be here. Without that one particular miracle, there wouldn't have been clai dad, clai mom, and clai bro; without that miracle, there wouldn't be this awesome clai family.

On this special day, I just want to give thanks to my Big Daddy up there. Thanks you

有咁多人鍚... 真係好鬼 sweet!
But most of all, 有鍚, 真係超級無敵 sweet sweet sweet =D

Be Still

Be still and know that I am the Lord (Psalm 46:10)

It's funny how I always pick my most busy time to reflect. I am far from ready for my 2 midterms and quiz this week, yet I felt such a great sense of peace and just wanted to have some quiet time with God. So I have been thinking about the theme from our retreat. Indeed, when you helped to put this thing together for a few months already, the message it brings just don't seem to have a big impact (call that habituation if I may). But knowing the message is always different from living the message. We probably all knew that we should give our all to Him; we probably knew that His grace is enough; we probably knew that everything will be perfect if we just let Him do the work. Yet so often we still turn to our own hands and hope to acheive our dreams with them.

Dreams.. ah..
Who wouldn't want to acheive them?

We want to spread out our wings, yet we neglect the Creator that gave those wings to us in the first place. We want to fly to places no one else has gone before, yet we neglect the One that defined the sky limits. We want to explore freely and see what the world is like up there, yet we neglect the beauty of viewing the world from where we are.

Blinded by the whole future talk, I felt like I can find reassurance from my own planning. With plans, back-up plans, back-up back-up plans, and back-up back-up back-up plans, I have been overly frustrated in finding the best solution. But I have neglected to see that the best solution was placed in front of me all along. Doctor, PT, nursing, pharmacy, master, PhD... none of this matters anymore. There is no point in blindly chasing my so called dreams; the dream that really matters is the one that He gives. Whatever that may be, is definitely greater than anything I can come up with. And no, I am not being indecisive, and no I am not giving up. In fact, I never felt more firm - it's such a great joy (and not to mention the wonderful surprises) to just hand the power back to the One who knows you best, to the One who made you and knows what you were made for.

Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister His grace
No work too hard for Him
In faith receive from Him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Be still

Be still and listen. Be still and watch the amazing story that will unfold in your life.

終於 finish "boiling" ! (Yes.... I know I was suppose to be studying instead....)

喜歡 Alfred
喜歡 傻傻的申彩晶
喜歡 精緻的服裝
.. and 喜歡 王子

It's weird - I never thought I would like 王子. 律王子 is much cuter, nicer, warmer, and he's always there for 申彩晶... what more can you ask of a guy? Yet... life always plays games, because most of the time, the one you love don't love you, and the one that love you you don't love. 

Who would you pick?

I thought the end dragged too long though. I was getting tired of watching the misunderstanding between 信 and
申彩晶. Sometimes you just want to yell in their face - tell him/her already! But I suppose this is how reality is like. We are always so concern about our face that we never take the courage just to say "I love you" to that someone. Then we go through the pain of guessing and being jealous of inexistence problems and cry over them because we feel like we are going to suffocate to death. Yet sometimes all it takes is an "I love you".

Now.. I need to really study....

24 - 7 - 168

WOW - I don't even know where to begin. But like last year (I just read my blog entry on last year's retreat), God is really the big director of the retreat - everything just falls into place because of Him.

Day 1
Our journey started at Fairview, as we eat lunch and try to deposit the money. It's rather funny and scary at the same time - Aida, Mark and I were walking around with a lot of money, and I was so afraid of being jumped. Then we realized we couldn't even deposit the money there, and had a super hard time just trying to count the money. Hhaha~ I think for like half an hour, we couldn't understand why we were missing some money, until we found some money still stuck in Aida's folder thingy. =____='' Hahhah~

So this year, I am in Mark's car along with Daniel, Winnie, and Julia. I can't recall what we talked about... but there is one thing I remember: Mark's crazy connection with famous people! Mark, I want their autographs! Hhahaha, but at least I semi-know the people in Zion Noiz (yes, they are from my church).

The trip to Mill Stream was quick, and we got there in no time. Of course, that means free time!! Now, I wouldn't miss that good opportunity to play some sports, so immediately I rushed to the gym =P Then had an amazing time play basketball with the boys (and wow, they are soo good!) Arggg... but I feel bad... everytime I play with a bunch of boys I feel like I'm letting my team down and they have to play easy because "a girl is playing". And you know church boys, they are awesomely nice that they will just give you the ball and let you take a shot even though you suck. *Sigh* I hope you guys still had fun though, with me tagging along =P (Wow, I actually wrote the same thing last year..)

After some good exercise, we had a nice dinner. Actually this year I thought the food were a lot better than last year (though last year's was already pretty good). Our program started after dinner, with some crazy worship and games. Hhahaa, we actually went outside and built snowmen! Too bad the snow was too fluffy... but I still think we were pretty creative. Our group was actually going to make something like those boards where you can stick your head into a hole and take pictures. So it was going to be like you can stick your head out and take a picture as a snowman. But we couldn't do it in the end =( Oh well, I thought ours was pretty funny looking in the end, a small head with a fat body (and not to mention, the only standing snowman). Hhaha~ No one else seem to like ours though.. hahha

Cell group time was awesome too, as we were making the hand and sharing. I like how this year we had lots of sharing times with our cell group.

Night time came, and it's like tradition, we played killer. I didn't really play though - I wanted to be an observer mostly. You can really get a lot out from it just by watching the game. Just like what Hinson said, sometimes we just make up all these reasons as to why someone might be the killer... but really most of the time it's quite unrelated. In life, we are always blinded by explanations, but we don't see the real thing. We are so drawn into the details that we miss the big picture.

Day 2
For the whole retreat, we tried to bring out a point that so many times we rely on ourselves to do great things, but the ultimate plan is in God. And in the second day, I really could see that in action. Rev. Chung arrived late, and we had to do some switching in our program, so we had a cell group game first. We were caught by surprise since we thought we had the lunch time to prepare... but things actually turned out better with the change. Just like the game itself shows, many times we tried to use our own hands to achieve something... but we don't know if the result is sweet or bitter. But when we look closer, God's grace is just around us, neatly packaged, filled with sweetness, and reachable! We just have to make a decision to obtain it!

Sermon was great too - made me really reflect what I really need. I think when we live in the better part of the world, sometimes we don't even know what we need because a lot of our needs are met. Then we start to think that what we want is what we need. But in fact, that's not the case. So how can we expect to live life to the fullest without even knowing what we need?

Free time came next. For some reason, I just wanted some quiet time, so I went to the gym to shoot some hoops while thinking. I like that feeling - being in the gym by myself, just listening to the ball hitting the group and the hoop. It's a nice quiet time... made me think on some stuffs. Then a little later, the others came and we played some basketball, soccer, dodge ball, and etc. It was a good exercise! Too bad though, I didn't spend too much time outside like last year.. but some people went out to build a snowman =) Actually I just spend some time talking to Aida, it was fun too! ^^ Heheh~

The group activity at night was awesome too.. but too bad I wasn't really feeling well. Maybe I was just getting worn out, or maybe I just got sick because I was running around with my jacket inside the house. Then later, some people went out to watch stars, and I joined for a bit. It's nice to see the night sky, but perhaps I was tired and all, I didn't stay out too long. Oh well~

Day 3
Things were great as we were wrapping up the retreat. Seriously, I only realized we didn't have anything planned for closing until lunch time. (Aiya, we are terrible). So then Aida and I immediately started planning... and I guess we didn't need to worry at all (our Director will tell us what we need to do). As I was closing the retreat, I felt like God was just speaking through me. There were so many points that I didn't even think of when I was preparing, but I was just able to link everything together. The sharing was awesome too, even though it was short. Seeing God's work in many people is a great experience.. and really, it brings tears to my eyes to know that we are indeed fellowshiping with one another.

What can I say? God's grace wasupon us. And it is, and will be with us.

Thank you

Barnabus

It's hard being a Barnabus... 
I think I get discouraged too easy. Like here I am always trying to be encouraging, but some other people just kept saying harsh words. I wish they can be more encouraging too. Then again, as Christians, we aren't being nice because we want people to be nice to us; we do things because of God Himself; we don't do things for men, but for God alone. Tough lesson to learn indeed.

Anyways, off to retreat in an hour! Woot!
I can't wait - all these preparations, and finally we are going today! Hopefully God will really use me and the other staffs to really spread his Good News. And of course, I hope everyone will get something out from the whole retreat.

You Hypocrites!

If Jesus is to appear in front of you now, would he refer you as a hypocrite?

They were singing choruses when the two soldiers entered with rifles. The service came to a halt as the Russian soldiers stared at the believers with wild eyes.
"What are you doing here?" they shouted. "Worshipping your imaginary God?" The church members cowered in the pews, wondering if there were more soldiers and more guns outside.
"All those who are faithful to God, move to the right side of the church," said one of the soldiers, his face a mask of hatred. "You will be shot for your faith. You who wish to go home and keep your life, stand on the left side. You must decide to live or die. Those who are faithful to this 'God' will die. Those who deny him can live freely."
Ten minutes earlier, everyone had sung praises equally. Now it was question of life or death. Some stood to the left, looking sadly or waving apologetically to those on the right. Some stood on the right, their eyes closed in last-minute prayers.
"You on the left are free to go," one of the soldiers said moments later. Those people filed out, taking one last look at those who would soon be dead.
When only those on the right remained, the soldiers put down their weapons. "We, too, are Christians," they said, "but we wish to worship without hypocrites."
(from Extreme devotion)

Wow. Sometimes I wonder, can I truly say I am not a hypocrite? Can I truly say that every time I pray, everything I serve, it is from the bottom of my heart and that I mean everything I say or do? I think sometimes in the midst of all the work, you can carry away with just getting the job done. We like to put up a good show for God; we spice up the program, have fancy music, exciting activities... but are we just doing this for men, ourselves, or do we truly do this for God? 

"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'" - Matthew 23:5-7

It's always good to remind ourselves that it's not the outside that matters, but the inside. Surely we can all be worshipping.. but when the question of life or death comes in, can we truly stand firm with our faith?

I don't want to be a hypocrite.
I want want to face Jesus one day and have Him say "You Hypocrite!"

David Tao

AHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

David Tao is coming to Toronto for concert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But I can't go. 
Why? Because that night, we have TCCF 10th year anniversary! It's a big program too, so it's unlikely that I can just fly to the concert after since everything will end late.
 
NVM... maybe I'll be able to go after all.

Last time was Moses, this time David. I hope when Bosco comes, it doesn't turn out to be on a Thurs night.

Then again, it's always God first
Funny how I was trying to prepare something today about meeting someone famous. And I realized, yah sure we can meet all these famous people on earth, but so what? They are famous only on Earth... but are these things eternal? Instead, there's actually Someone out there that's wayyyy more famous, and He's inviting us to get personal with Him - our Lord Savior Jesus Christ! How great is that?!

You know... it's through these life decisions we can practice our obedience. I'm not saying it's bad to go to David's concert, or meeting any other famous people for that matter, but I'm saying, is God asking you to instead be somewhere else for Him?

That reminds me of something I heard during sermon today: Surely we can all serve God in ways we like to, the method we feel most comfortable, or in things we are most talented at. But it is true obedience and service when we say Yes to the Lord when He asks us to do things we never dream of doing. It's about the devotion to God, the love we have. If we really love Him, we will serve Him not because it's fun, nor because we are good at it, nor because we ought to, nor because no one else does it, BUT because we simply love Him. A good lesson to learn indeed.

Can you think of one thing you did this week that you did just because of God and nothing else?

Yet another "Conservation with Mom"

Mom is funny.

So today I got my grad pics.
Mom: *Looks at them* wow, you are pretty!
Me: No way! My smile don't look natural enough.
Mom: It's still so much better than the ones you took for highschool.
Me: =\
Mom: I like... this one, this one, this one.. *starts picking all of them*
Me: Well, you and Dad can pick.

Then later that evening:
Mom: See what did I tell you? You look pretty with hairstyle like this!
Me: ....
Mom: You should have listen to me when you were younger, than can look pretty!
Me: I thought you don't want me to look pretty, so don't have all these guys chasing me (ok, she did say that before).
Mom: Oh... yes.. that's true. Don't look pretty yet then. Wait till you grad! I'll make you pretty then!
Me: .....
Me: Actually there's this MSSU formal coming up... you know, where you wear high heels, dress up, put on make up...
Mom: Great! That's a good opportunity! I can make you pretty and guys will chase you!
Me: LOL

Mom is just too funny sometimes. She just wants me to be instantly pretty the second I graduate. Like don't want any guys to chase me while I'm schooling, but immediately after, she wants all these guys to chase me. Hahhahaha

I think she's slowly trying to womanize me =P

Oh, and of course, Dad is just as funny.
Apparently, he came home and didn't recognize those photos were me.

Everything comes with a price

They do, don't they?
Even with prayers, they still come with a price. The sacrifice, the pain, the story behind every decision. Then again, the reward is worth is all. The glory, the eternal happiness, the obedience in listening to Him rather than ourselves. In psych, we learn that this is hard... as according to operant conditioning, we tend to increase our behaviours when the pleasant consequences in close in time with the behavior. Perhaps that's why making sacrifices is so hard; the immediate pain is hard to deal with and the reward seems so far away. Though much of this is not possible with men, it is possible with God. And I know this is just going to be a major lesson in faith. To give in my 100% faith - not "I believe when I see things working", but "I trust even when things are not going the way I want them to". Yes Christine... when has He failed you?


On a random note:
Somehow I wonder what things would have been like if I had gone into engineering. I mean, I did get into engineering, didn't I? I still think it's such a cool thing to do to make video games, especially how all these new things like wii and ps3 are getting so hot! LOL