Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Yesterday, i talked extensively with joram on clothing and distraction in church. our conversation wasn't by any means limited to distraction of the alluring sort - in fact, that wasn't even the reason why we started talking about this. we were talking about flat-out distracting clothing, or at least, what was distracting (and therefore worth comments) to some and not others.

joram thought that it's ok not to care so much because it's not really what you wear that matters, but of course, who you are. that is true. ultimately, it ought not matter. and realistically, no one should be judging each other's dress code. but the nuts and bolts of it often prove trickier. i eventually drew on semiotics to argue my point. my point is that everything you wear (if you wear anything at all) produces meaning. in other words, when you walk into church, your entire appearance is a "text" that people read. we produce meaning in everything, and there is no way we can prevent ourselves from producing such meaning.

in the same way, meaning is consumed by people. and (in a very death-of-the-author postmodern way), there is no controlling what meaning anyone consumes from you. put differently, the moment the text leaves you, anyone can infer and construe whatsoever they like about your text. such being the case, there is no controlling what one person may think about your dressing from another.

we then talked about how well we refocus back to God after getting distracted by someone's appearance in church. the more seasoned among us might not stumble so easily. the sight of FCUK emblazoned in bright red across the chest of a church going teenager may take under five seconds to steer away from. the novice (or in fact, the traditionalist) may find it harder, and may even be disturbed by the tshirt right through worship, sermon and lunch.

of course, i eventually steered the conversation to the whole area of responsibility and caring for each other's focus on God. for me, i'll try my best to dress in such a way that nobody needs to have a response to my clothing, and therefore, can respond in their entirety to God. i think this is the only loving way to dress for church.

but anyway, it was in this frame of mind that i approached church today, and mighty late i was as well. so, sat at the far-flung regions of our new sanctuary, i was confronted with a wailing baby and two noisy eight year-olds. distraction indeed! and as pastor expounded and expounded on the word of God, among the things on my mind were a) why isn't this parent carting this wailing baby out of the sanctuary, and b) what can i do to keep these two boys from drowining out pastor chew.

now, there is a time where one's faculties of selective hearing allows one to silence every distraction and focus purely on the desired sound. but there also comes a time (or an amplitude) where no amount of selective hearing short of that inspired by the Holy Ghost Himself can help one sift the garbage from the flowers. which made me consider the reason why God allows such distraction to enter His sanctuary in the first place. surely, He is testing me! correct? correct? actually, i can't say for sure. but i do know that i was tested. and my impatience for those kids i had to snuff out and put in place graciousness, and my frustration at the wailing baby, i put out in place of sympathy for the parents. it ain't easy, mind you. i make it a special point never to look in the direction of a crying babe in church because i think if i fix my eye on the preacher, i'll help my ears fix themselves on the preacher's words too. but golly gee, when everyone in front of me is turning around, and this infant's call continues to soar, it's really, really hard to hear.

so yes, this related very much to my conversation with joram. if someone walks into church in a bikini, it's gonna get really, really hard for pastor to hold attention (alluring or not, as the case may be). if someone came in in a ballgown with those fluffy 16th century skirts, it would be equally hard. i've seen churchgoers wear some of the most distracting clothes - brightly emblazoned FCUK tshirts being one of them - into the service and frankly, i think it's childish. it's inappropriate, rude and flat out childish to draw attention from the Almighty Most High to oneself in the name of individuality, freedom and fashion.


Genusfrog [ 10:28 am ]


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