Thursday, June 28, 2007

They sing their lives for God..

They're not some Chinese pop artistes. These two guys sing for God and their sole mission is to spread the Gospel through their performances.

I was so impressed by these blokes from Singpetra Mission (their website is in Chinese) last week when I brought my parents to their Chinese Golden Oldies concert that I went back again to watch the concert last night! After all, it was free :p and was held at my church..

Having been involved in gospel singing and evangelistic concerts for many years, Henry Chong, who founded Singpetra Mission, and his partner Raymond Looi, started a series of Chinese Golden Oldies evangelistic concerts last year - although the they are Singaporeans, Malaysia is like their base and they had been having the ocassional concerts at our church since the beginning of this year..

I know it's kinda bad but I really didn't expect that they could sing so well! Henry has got a deep, powerful baritone voice while i would describe Raymond's as soothing and sensual.. i prefer his voice actually. Yes, their vocals are no doubt better than many pop idols of today! On top of that, they also have great showmanship and exude such charisma and charm on stage...

But what was more impressive than all that is their testimonies. I mean here are two highly talented and pretty good-looking guys. Instead of pursuing a dream of seeking fame and fortune in the entertainment world, they have chosen the narrow path - that of serving God and spreading the Gospel. And their type of work is not without its fair share of hurdles and hardship, and they have no fixed income nor a proper support base.

For Henry who is already 42, he was not ashamed to disclose that he has no money, property or even a car and he even sacrificed marriage, `How can I afford it and who would marry me?' he said. As for the younger Raymond, he was recently offered a lucrative recording contract by a large music company in Singapore but he turned it down.. For these two, they are single-minded in their calling by God...and there's no looking back.

It's great that their Chinese Golden Oldies showcase had been very well received. Through singing (old) love songs, they were creative to link them to their faith and the Gospel.. and during each concert, there were people who came to accept Jesus.

Last night I came back again also because they were singing hymns and songs of praises. I thoroughly enjoyed myself..With just a guitar as accompaniment, the two of them took those familiar aged-old hymns and sung them from the bottom of their hearts with such feelings.. the music was moving and beautiful. And of course there were heartfelt sharing in between.

Their (tentatively) last show at our church will be on August 14, and I think I will be there again.. and hopefully will invite some Chinese-speaking friends to come along!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Jojo turns 4 today


He is always my first baby.. but he has been quite a monster, giving us a fair share of behavioral problems when he was growing up. But these days, Jojo is showing signs of maturity and stability. Yes, he is still very stubborn and once he grabs something he loves, he would never let go! But he has improved lots.. and is pretty well-behaved lately. Mom was so pleasantly surprise that Jojo did not rush out of the gate nor tried to squeeze himself into the house when she came home these few nights!

Jojo, you're a good boy coz you're a big boy now! :)

p.s. the poor thing is suffering from wounds again near his left eye this time.. had gotten him some medication and i hope it will heal soon..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

a small foot accident

Another silly `accident' happened to me - I sprained my left ankle yesterday evening. :(

A group of us went for a drink after a-capella practice and then as we were leaving Lotus, somehow I wasn't paying attention when walking down a few steps. And ahh..! i missed the last step and twisted my left foot! I thought I could hear `crunchy' sound of the tendon being twisted... And then I realised it was swollen a bit, quite painful and a bit hard to walk..

Thank God I was with a group of nice friends - someone got me a chair to sit on (in the middle of the passage way!) and another got me a packet of ice. I put ice on it for about 10 minutes and it felt much better. I managed to walk to the car which was driven to the door way..

When we reached church to get our own cars, I walked a short distance and the swelling came again! I was a bit lost as to how to nurse this sprain, and it was getting painful.. so my friend CH suggested that I should go and see a `tit tar'. Which I thought was a great idea as I had benefited from their skills in the past. Problem was I don't know any `tit tar' so she offered to accompany me to one which she knows of in PJ.

The first one we went to, which she had been to, had a waiting time of more than an hour! But luckily there was another nearby, which looks very professional too. So we tried `Oriental Tit Tar'. the `sifu' / physician, who mixes traditional Chinese medicine and Western chiropractic, was pretty impressive in his professionalism and skills. He assured me it was just a sprain and nothing was fractured (thank God) and went ahead to rub the sprained area in such a way that although it was painful, the whole foot felt much `lighter' and I could even walk quite normally!

Anyway, he went on to apply some smelly herbal medication and bandaged up the foot. The whole process took just minutes! Inside I thought he should spend a bit more time on it actually.. I was supposed to leave it for two days and then to come back for treatment again on Monday. He also gave me a bottle of alcohol to be applied to the area every four hours.

The total damage came up to be RM51. Definitely a lot more compared to the `tit tar' sifu I used to visit in my college days near my old home in Old Klang Road. But looking at the set up and the credential/experience of the physicians at `Oriental Tit Tar', I guess such prices are to be expected.

I can walk though with a slight limp and I know I would need to rest the foot more. But the annoying thing is I won't be able to workout for at least a month or two - well, not lower body anything that uses the foot!

Sigh.. just another of life's `little misfortunes'..

Do we look alike?

This thing is quite fun.. ended up using many different photos but there seems to be a common trait - i look more like Japanese than any other races! :p (or maybe there's just more Japanese than Chinese celebs)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Crossing the crossroad..

Am going down to Singapore again tomorrow for an overnight assignment!

Still haven't finished packing - i know, it's just one night but still have to pack right? :p came back from a fruitful Bible study/sharing/prayer just now and had my late late dinner..

It's going to be a busy coming week again looking at the amount of assignments i have at hands.. but I'm happy and thankful.

Well, it's a long story and I hadn't shared it here before.. just that lately i have been feeling quite confused and lost with the direction of my life. A few months back, I had thought I wanted to do something different.. it's quite a major decision. But as time passed, I was beginning to have doubts... I have prayed about it, spoke to my parents and friends.. but no solution.

Today, I finally am able to make a decision after being at the cross-road for so long. I had a long talk with a former pastor of my church over lunch. After listening to me (and of course he knew from way back), he offered some very wise and sound advice which sort of struck a chord too.. So in my heart I have made the decision and I feel a sense of relief and peace. I think it is all making more sense now..

Pardon me, I know to most of you, what i'm saying now does not really make sense. But it doesn't really matter.. what matter is I'm no longer confused and lost.. Well, in fact I'm also considering going back full time employment soon.. because realistically what I'm doing now is not financially sustainable..

There are more things I would like to share but not now... (haven't packed!!! :p) But I believe, whatever it is, the Lord will guide me one step at a time.

Okay, better go finish packing and rest earlier as I have to get up early to catch the coach this time!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Too brief an encounter with Maggie Q

What hiatus? :p

Gosh, I think I'm really addicted to blogging. Anyway, two articles which deadline is tomorrow are almost done. So guess I deserve a rest..

Hmm.. how shall I describe Friday's work trip to Singapore? Yep, it was tiring. I mean, getting up at 5am was a real feat for me. It would have been worth it though.. if the PC and interview could be a little longer?

After all the effort of taking an early flight down and back and all that, the irony was, it was the shortest ever press conference/interview I've ever attended!

Don't get me wrong.. Maggie Q was great. She looks way too cool but she does have a wonderful personality to boost - very amiable, chatty and no airs.. It was such a shame that we only had 11 minutes between seven journalists and her for the so-called round table interview. Really, she makes such a good interviewee, giving thoughtful, intelligent answers. It would simply be nice just to chat with her!

She loves to laugh and is spontaneous. Oh, she's really witty too. A Singapore reporter asked her between Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis, who is her cup of tea, she smiled and pointed at the cup in her hand: `this. I like green tea!'

The press conference was almost inexistent! Because it started a little late, and after the video clips showing, the emcee literally only let about 60 members of the press from Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore to ask TWO questions! Yes, can you believe that?

It already started when we arrived - no thanks to the half-an-hour flight delay. They showed the first 20 minutes of `Die Hard 4.0' - which was pretty action packed and violent (by my standard) But it was real action, and not the CGI type.

I love the fighting scene between Bruce Willis and Maggie Q. Wow, she really could kick ass! And poor ol' Bruce got beaten up good by a girl that's half his size, or maybe 1/3. Haha.

Since the interview was over even way before noon, we just hang out at the Four Seasons Hotel and had lunch - a nice buffet dessert spread that featured a chocolate fountain/fondue! And that was yummy.. :p

Our flight was at 5:25pm so we still had a bit of time to kill.. A few of us journos from Malaysia decided to window shop a bit. After all the hotel was just a stone throw away from the shopping haven of Orchard Road. And as we walked there, we realised it was actually the Great Singapore Sale! But too bad, my financial state does not allow me to really go shopping.. But I did end up buying a wallet though.. not the expensive type of course.

Somehow we ended up at Changi Airport quite early so I spent 40 minutes or so in the bookstore and bought a magazine.

I (and most of the others) practically konked out as soon as we boarded the plane. Again it was delayed.. I don't know why planes could never depart according to the stated time!

For the first time, and since I was without luggage, I took the Airport Transit home. It was pretty comfortable.. definitely beat sitting in a taxi which costs much more and had a such a long queue! Dad picked me up at the train station and I was surprise but so happy to see Jelly was in the car too!! ;)

I'm still not fully recovered from Friday.. had a nap on Saturday afternoon as well this (Sun) afternoon. A fellow-journo texted me after we went home on Friday and said this would be the `first and last time' she would take a day trip assignment to Singapore!

As for me, it would depend on what is the assignment. I would say meeting Maggie Q more or less made up for it - if only we had more time!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Short Hiatus (?)

Looks like this blog needs to have a short hiatus.

After a rather relaxing couple of days recovering from last weekend's busyness, it happens again! I'll be swamped with work and assignments till end of next week - or even beyond!

Within one week, I will be going down south twice - both very brief trips. This Friday, I'll be taking 8:05am flight and back in the evening itself - to interview Hong-Kong-model-turned -Hollywood-kickass-actress Maggie Q. It shall be interesting meeting her in person.. thought she was pretty cool in Mission Impossible III and now she'll be starring opposite good ol' Bruce Willis in the upcoming Die Hard 4.

But, waking up THAT early to catch a flight is not interesting at all! I calculated. I need to rise by 5am! For this owl, might as well tell me not to sleep the whole night....!

The next Singapore trip will be commuted by coach and with an overnight stay, to watch a showcase and interview a musician whom I've never heard off! But based on the photos on the press invite, violinist David Garrett looks quite a hunk - with shoulder-length hair. ;) I was hoping the trip would be a two- night-one so I could look up friends/relatives or maybe even go shopping. But alas, there'll be no time at all by the look of it. So now the only consolation is meeting the cutie in person. ;)

To think of it, I would be going to Singapore thrice in less than two months for this particular newspaper. Looks like trips to our neighbour down-south are not popular with the entertainment journos there.. Sometimes I wish, if only I were given trips to further places.. fat chance i know.

Traveling aside, the stress factor is that I have a number of other assignments that's due early /mid next week which i still have to start work on!! And of course I also need to write up on the Singapore ones as well.. To think of it, being a freelance could be as, if not more, hectic than being employed with a paper..

Unfortunately.. even if I work as hard or harder than I used to be, my earning is still miserable.. Yes, I know I've whined about this before. Guess i should be counting my blessings.. As one who can't stand routine, I am really enjoying my lifestyle now that gives me so much freedom... guess there must be some kind of trade off..

Anyway I shall not digress further. Here I'm telling myself I shall be disciplined from tomorrow onwards - forget about blogging for a while and simply focus on my work.

Unless, I really need a break.... and that's when blogging may serve to be therapeutic! ;)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

50 Years of God's Faithfulness

I seldom write much about my church in this blog.. maybe it's such a regular part of my life that it seems just normal..

But this I have to blog. Because this weekend, we celebrated FBC's 50th anniversary in a grand way - with the theme `Celebrating God's Faithfulness'. (Yep, my church is older than Malaysia by two months ;) )

Having been worshipping at this church since I graduated and a member since 1993, it's like an extended family of mine so naturally I feel very much a part of the celebration of this family turning big 5-0 and commemorates its Golden Jubilee!

On Friday, we had a grand formal dinner at the Sime Darby Convention Centre whereby close to 1,000 people attended!

The hall was decorated with many white and gold balloons - very festive feel indeed :) Our peer group has already bought 3 tables so we were seated among friends. Among familiar faces were also many guests - including our former pastors and para-church leaders etc..

We started off with a time of singing - the songs were the nostalgic type from the 70s! ;) The program included slide presentation from the past (albeit poor quality on our screen), a few testimonies by the more `mature' church members, a short message and in between, we had vocal and violin performances. And of course, food in the form of a 8-course Chinese dinner.

As the evening progressed, some of us including myself decided to socialise and made our ways to other tables to mingle around.. Somehow the photos I took were all with girls!! Guess we looked prettier when dressed up than the guys ;)

It was indeed a memorable and a nostalgic evening - and many hearts were filled with thanksgiving. A particular moving moment was when a sister paid tribute to all the past and present pastors by recognising each of them on stage.. and they rightly deserved a standing ovation from all! I had to sneak my way closer to the stage and managed to snap this not very good pix.

The next day, we had a special anniversary worship service in the afternoon in church. For me personally, it was the starting of a busy time! I rejoined the church choir a month ago to participate in singing for the anniversary and we had been working quite hard. And a week ago, I was asked to help to lead worship in songs for the service! By God's grace, I managed to gather a team quite fast and had our practice only on that morning itself.. indeed, it's an honour to be able to serve in this way during such a momentous occasion..

But... was so busy that I didn't get a chance to take any photo that afternoon!

The service began with the choir presenting two songs: our theme song `Great is Thy Faithfulness' and a song written by a former pastor of our church entitled `In Him'. It was a lovely song with deep and meaningful lyrics.. however the tune and timing were really difficult to sing! And although we spent so much time learning and practising it, unfortunately the result was still less than desired.. but I guess we've tried our best..

The congregation also had a good time of worshipping the Lord together, giving praises and glory to His name in one voice.. It was such a joy to see a group of older members presenting us `Voices of the 60s' with a medley of upbeat songs. We had a charismatic and great speaker, who gave us the message that again pointed to the faithfulness of God. The service then culminated with a hi-tea.

The celebration continued to Sunday's worship services. The choir was to sing in both Subang and Pantai centres. Incidentally, a few of us from the choir also belonged to a small a capella group and we had been practising a song for while to present on this Sunday too!

To me, it was the most challenging part because we had to be in Subang by 7:30am! I got up at 6:20am - a time closer to my normal sleeping time than waking time! But praise God, the singing went well early in morning even..

Here is a photo taken during a break between 1st and 2nd service - showing some choir members in our `uniform' - light blue top and gold scarf.

I also signed the Church Covenant today - it is to express the nature of a member's relationship with the church. Something new to me but apparently it was practiced in the church in her early days and now reintroduced.

We're indeed blessed by the many committed members who have served the church tirelessly over the years... and remembering the first batch of overseas missionaries and local people who formed this church 50 years ago. But above all, as reminded by our theme, it is God alone who has been faithful to us and preserved this church for His purpose..

And with that we are humbled.. Like the sermon preached this morning, lets move forward - by striving to love Him, obey Him and serve Him more and more in our lives...

Thursday, June 07, 2007


My darling Jelly turns 3 today!!

...and that would be, in human terms 21 years old! She's come of age!!

photos just hot off the oven.. taken today

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

8 Random Facts....(about me)

Okay, since at this moment I'm running out of ideas of what to blog about, I decide to be a good sport and do this meme that Pat has tagged me to do.

It's called `8 Random Facts' - hmmm.. now I wonder what really constitutes a `fact' - as it can just be a current perceived notion. Anyway, will just do it for the fun of it..

The procedure looks simple enough! There are 3 simple rules to follow once a person been tagged.

The Rules:
- Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.

- Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.

- Players should tag eight other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

So, here are 8 RANDOM facts about myself. (trying not to state the obvious ie. I'm a female, I'm from Malaysia etc.. but those who know me will straight away identify some!)

1. I am the 36th generation descendant of the first emperor (zhao kuang yin) of Sung Dynasty. Our family has preserved a concise family tree that traces all the way back..! That means I actually have royal blood. ;)

2. I love to eat and there isn't any food that i don't like! Yeah, I'm those what you call `live to eat' type. That says a lot about how difficult it is for me to shed those pounds!!

3. I've a low tolerance for slow and inefficient people, especially those in the service line. I will tell them off. (ok, i know I should be more patient and tolerant...)

4. I have developed a peculiar loyalty to Starbucks and its coffee. It's now my regular haunt to do my work. Even if I go overseas, I feel so happy and at home when I visit the Starbucks there! (in fact, I'm now posting this from a Starbucks near my place!)

5. I tend to deely-dally when getting ready so I always end up rushing when driving to my destination!

6. I have a weak heart and stomach - I fear to go on roller coasters especially those machines that take you all the way up and plunge you down! It's sure torture and I won't go on it even if I'm paid!

7. I have an owl-like sleeping habit. These days it's getting worse.. I don't go to bed before 3am or get up before noon.

8. I'm addicted to blogging and reading blogs. ('nuff said)

Finally... the eight people I would like to tag and I hope will be sporting enough to do it (hint, hint ;)) are: 1. chipmunkrock, 2. leymondcha, 3. lainey, 4. justjess, 5. bluerambutan, 6. su-hsien, 7. lynnee, 8. ruth

Saturday, June 02, 2007

a wedding and three movies

It has been another eventful week and I can foresee the coming week will be even more busy as far as work is concerned.

Yep, work has been coming in.. I shouldn't be complaining as at one point, I was worried I wasn't getting enough work thus enough money. Then as if God is answering my prayer... I will have four assignments to finish by next week at least!!

Ok! back to why I so titled this post..

A Wedding

Last Saturday we attended my cousin Sor How's wedding dinner. He tied the knot with a girl from Shanghai - they met while studying in the U.K.

It was a nice and classy dinner at the Reinaissance Hotel ballroom and the food was good (seldom you get high standard fare for a wedding dinner)! I was seated with all my cousins. It was four couples, me and a nine-year-old niece! But since we're family so I didn't really feel like a lamp post or anything; in fact, had a good time of catching up with one another.

Since we were the closest relatives from Sor How's mom's side, eldest aunt and mom decided we should stay back to take photos together with the newly weds..

Sor How and Xiao Ting with the three sisters - eldest aunt, second aunt (the mother of the groom) and mom.

A pix of the cousins and their other halves..

(left) The bride and groom. (right) Bride and groom once upon a time


3 Movies

I ended up watching three movies this week (in cinemas not DVD) And to think of it, the fortnight before, I happened to watch quite a number of performing arts shows.

Anyway, I (and probably the whole world) had been looking forward to this one.

So when a friend said he's booked tickets and asked whether I wanted to join them on Monday night, I was glad to do so! A good day too as I would be busy the few following evenings.

So did I like it? lets say this is defintely the BEST movie of the three. But hmm.. while it is entertaining, I would not say it's great - which i would not hesitate to label it for `Curse of the Black Pearl'. Basically I feel they just want to cram in too many things - subplots, characters, have it. And then at the end, it is just too complex and `rojak' even. Ok, i still love Jack Sparrow (who doesn't?) and even some cool characters like Capt Barbossa and Mr squid face, or even Sao Feng although his screen presence was small.. Oh, and of course the special effects were fantastic!

Ok, i am even contemplating watching it a 2nd time (if time allows) just because I think I missed quite a bit of the fast-pace, very happening scenes!

Then, on Wednesday, went with Lainey for this movie that I was just curious to watch.. since i also did a write-up on it. Was glad that she was gamed to watch `Ming Ming' - a stylistic HK movie starring the talented Zhou Xun and heartthrob Daniel Wu. I told her it's a fantasy-martial art-romance type of movie.. which turned out to be quite true. But definitely NOT your typical HK movie...

The whole movie was very artistically and stylistically shot - after all the director Susie Au is famed for directing music videos. It has a rather interesting though obscure plot. Dialogues were few and some scenes were pretty much slow moving. But what we could have tolerated as something unique and new escalated into something quite ridiculous..

About the cast, all I can say is Zhou Xun is still a very good actor while Daniel Wu is pretty much wasted in this movie - actually he wasn't even the male protagonist and more like a guest star.

Well, although i didn't really like it, at least it wasn't unbearable.. some people can even argue it is `unique' and `interesting' in its own ways..

But.....but, the same couldn't be said of this new movie from our neighbours from the South - which is only to be released next week.

Some people call it a `horror-comedy' - (as the roles are all ghosts!) But horror definitely it is not, and comedy? it has the most slapstick, stupid and preposterous content you can ever imagine.. and at many parts, crude as well!

Actually it had some promising ideas in the beginning - that's totally new and refreshing. But alas, the movie just detariorated along the way. No doubt the type of over-the-top comics and humour belong to Stephen Chow's `mou lei tau' genre. But at least those HK`mou lei tau' movies, while appear silly, are funny. The so-called jokes and comical antics in `Men In White', sadly were plain stupid and ludicrous - they fall flat at their face and really NOT funny..

Ok, it was a bit funny in the beginning but over all, this movoie was quite painful to watch, unless you can leave your brain at the cinema entrance first..

Since this was actually work, the ironic thing was we then had to interview the film director and cast members after the movie and hear them rave how they enjoyed working on it and how interesting they thought it is. I like the director and cast - they were amiable and chatty and have no airs at all! And they were all very open to answer all our questions.

Such a shame about the movie though..