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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
What does it mean to "be a man"?
You may seem man when you're with the guys, but when you're alone, do you still feel man?
Biblical manhood calls for rising up and taking authority. How is this different from the kind of brash maleness that women have been subjected to for the last 5000 years?
This Friday and Saturday, I'm going for our church's men's camp. But it's been quite a while now that these questions have been on my mind.
I grew up with four strong-willed sisters, a very gentle mum, a self-professed workaholic dad and a brother who dislikes anything macho. It has been a tricky affair negotiating my manhood. What I've observed from my dad is that a man works hard for his family, teaches his kids (about pop songs, world wars and shakespere), and determines the disciplinary tone in the house - that's been great!
But while relevantly replicating what I've learned from my dad may have to wait a few good years, I'm finding being a 25 year old single man quite a challenge. I mean, I go out there and interact with fellow young men, many whom I consider "more man" than myself, and I wonder what makes them who they are and I who I am. And then I go out there and interact with young women, and I become aware of this whole idea of who women are and what separates them from who I'm supposed to be.
Before I go on, let me set one thing straight: gender is influenced by both nature and nurture. There's no two ways about it. No number of pop psychologists can deny the fact that a man is born of the male sex and together with that comes a physique that predisposes a man to certain things. Likewise, no number of biologists can deny that as a boy grows into a man, his idea of maleness is shaped by the men he sees (and apes) along the way.
Now that I've got that out of the way, let me make a controversial (but funny) statement, which I think cracked Mel up a few days ago. Recently, I've learned so much about being a man from pastor lee choo.
Yea, you read that right. Pastor's wife. I think we've all learned so much. How does this happen? There's so much to learn from her because she is so Biblically woman! That's why! It's hard to find 21st century women who are strong, courageous, driven, dynamic and ambitious who at the end of the day submit to their husbands and allow them to take authority. When I consider ps lee choo, I realise that Biblical womanhood (and Biblical submission) is nothing, absolutely nothing like what the world thinks it is. If women all over the world could be empowered like ps lee choo and still be submitted (not submissive), then no one would have a problem with the whole idea of Biblical female submission. She's everything feminists want without being everything feminists are!
Am I detracting? Perhaps a bit, so let me draw it back. When we understand what God made women to be, and what women are called to, we also understand the flip side - what God intends for men. I have learned so much about being a man from observing ps lee choo because as I witness a mighty woman for God standing up for women everywhere, it gives me a good idea of what being a man ought to be.
I've never been closely led by any strong man before. Fuyee my cell leader is strong, still, I've not been led by him long enough, consistently enough for me to fully learn Biblical manhood from. I didn't have to learn about manhood from a female pastor if I spent more time with my male pastors but ps chew isn't the one working closely with the young adults, so understandably, I learn from ps lee choo instead. It's a bit of a roundabout but I'm learning.
Now, on Friday, I hope to be able to learn straight from the man's mouth at men's camp, because ps chew is going to be taking 200 of us men through a range of male issues at the camp. I do want to hear it from the real and really strong men. There are lots of guys I admire in church - strong influential men who are models of who I want to grow up to be like. I need to surround myself with such men.
Incidentally (and not in any way accidentally), the young adults in my church are doing this talk show called Living Room in two months, I'm in the committee. This episode is about gender identity, and this is exactly why all this has been on my mind, and why as a group, we've been discussing and learning so much from ps lee choo, who is guiding us through gender identity issues so thoroughly.
So it's all been timed very aptly - this is the year I grow into a man. I'm attending my first men's camp this weekend and I somehow ended up on a committee doing a talkshow on gender identity. Indeed, God is faithful. And the circumstance I've found myself in convinces me that His call for me to rise up as a man, to take authority, to increase in strength and to grow as a leader has never been louder than now. In fact, it is so loud, it ought to be deafening. And the only reasons why I've not been any faster to act is because I've been deaf or blur or both.
But He has called me to be a man. I'm learning so much about what being a Christian man is that if I were to blog about the details, it would take a series lasting a few weeks before I run through all my thoughts. And I'm still learning, heck, I've just started. And I will come good, I promise. And when I come good, you will know it.
You will know it from a mile.
Labels: gender, identity
6:47 pm ]
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
DAY 5: PRAYING FOR OUR MAMMONWhile driving to work today, i remembered that they were talking about the ringgit getting unpegged from the dollar.
I'm no financial watcher - these things will affect me and i should probably keep a closer eye on them, but i do pray that God will keep the ringgit strong. I'm convinced that God is faithful and if His people here in malaysia display the character of Christ, he will honour this country. I believe that as his children, the church stands in the gap and intercedes for the entire nation, in prayer and pleading... that, in a way, is what this whole 40 day prayer and fast is all about.
and what of money? is it ok to pray for money? it's ok to pray for resources, that i believe. but money - that wicked thing that has led so many astray. today's idolatry is the idolatry of the buck, isn't it? well, i'm equally convinced that God was behind malaysia's exceeding prosperity some 20 years ago and the fate of our country's financial and economic stability again now lie in His hands - what doesn't? and so, after how many years, the ringgit has been unpegged, and correct me if i'm wrong, left to fend for itself like some lost teenager among grown men in the city of foreign exchange. it's strange. but i know we need help.
"So I pray, Lord, that You will watch over our national currency. Protect it from ruthless speculators who will dump it and pick it up as they please - Lord, this is the currency of a people who love You. At any case, I love You, and this is my currency. As You've prospered us in the past, Lord, prosper us now - and let an increasing strength of our ringgit be a sign that You care for this country, that You are withholding Your wrath against any lawlessness on account of Your saints who love You. Let it be an assuring reminder that Your grace has place in Malaysia, even in our finances. On behalf of everyone who holds local cash, I give You the highest praise possible. In Jesus' name, Amen."
2:14 pm ]
Friday, July 22, 2005
DAY 1: KL IN, KL OUT
Last night, when i left home, i looked into the night sky from my driver's...
3:01 pm ]
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
BROKENNESS AND AUTHENTICITYI just wanna chat a bit about brokenness and what it means to a Christian.
I need God - fullstop. if i don't have him, i vanish, perish, the works. i'm finished without him. i need him in all the small things, and needless to say, all the big ones as well. but i got a bad habit - i am forgetful.
Every once in a while, when my life starts swinging upwards, when things look good, i forget that i need God. worse still, i forget that he is the very reason why my life has gone good. a few things happen as a result of this.
1. i start thinking that i did it
2. i start to focus on what i can do
3. i depend on my own strength and ability
4. when i rely on my own strength, i'm also stuck with my own weaknesses
5. my own weaknesses eventually lead to my mini downfalls
6. i realise that i can't make it on my own
7. i turn to God and let him help me back up
problem is, there's always an 8. i forget and depend on myself all over again. which is the disappointing part.
Brokenness is the stage 6 in my list, when you are really whittled down, when you know your own limitations (and when you fully appreciate God's limitlessness), and you are so humbled by the great gulf in size, so touched by his desire to bail you out and in such a mess that you don't mind letting him help (heck, don't mind? you'd die for some help!). the state of brokenness is defined by the breaking of self-ability and pride.
i've been brought to that state so many times. i've fallen on my knees alone in my room, bawled my eyes out, got up, went to bed and bawled myself till morning and so on so forth, and this is the state that he wants me to be in. not because he is a sadist and longs for me to be in pain, but because when i'm not broken, i'm so full of myself, it's just disgusting. why? because i don't deserve to be full of myself, it's his work all the time anyway. i'm convinced that God wants me broken at all times because when i'm broken, i'm nice to him. i go back to him. i need him. and like all relationships, i know there's something in him that needs me and longs to be needed. why shouldn't he break me when i get all puffed up and forgetful? he should! i hope he always does. because the day he stops breaking me, i think that's the day he gives up on me.
i like feeling broken. when i feel broken, i feel distinctly close and intimate with God in ways i can never know when i rely on myself. i feel loved. i feel his affirmation, telling me i'm alright. what good is that? is it cosmetic? is it just a feeling? no. it's empowerment. my brokenness, and subsequent reliance on him, empowers me to go headlong into the emotional battlefield of this world - whether it be in families, friends, colleagues, strangers - survive it, and much more - triumph in it.
i'll tell you what's cosmetic - cosmetic is trying to hold it up on your own when all your chips are down, and even when a human, much less God, offers help, you reject it and try to put up a brave front. that is cosmetic. and i've resolved not to live a PR life. i've resolved not to be a fake I'm-doing-well-on-the-outside person. is it easy? no! i go out there and fake it all the time. we all do. but i must do something about it. my life is too precious to trifle with, and my relationships with those i love is too precious for me to go about faking it with them. i love them too much to lie and pretend that i'm something i'm not.
5:14 pm ]
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Last night, i dreamt that i needed brain surgery. In my dream, i remember...
2:58 pm ]
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
YOUNG MAN CLAIMS HE IS "ALRIGHT"Tuesday, Cyberjaya - The young man who has been posting in this blog all day has revealed in a press release that he is "alright". Fergus Ong, 25, who had "a rubbish day" yesterday has come out to thank all who called him worried, but wants to tell them that he is in good hands.
"Apart from a distinctly hollow feeling in my stomach, which could very well be attributed to a lousy lunch, i am feeling alright", Ong said. "I'm not always completely honest here - i play with my cards very close to me, and i only give peaks to the few i trust. sometimes, when i come on here and put honesty on the table, it can sound quite frightening, and rightly so. sometimes, turmoil and its resolution lose a lot when translated into words on a screen".
Ong also gave glory to God, of whom he says "has been like my best friend, and in fact is". He has been performing his duties at work as per normal and is looking forward to applying the "attitude of brokenness" spoken of on Sunday by SIB pastor, Dr Lew Lee Choo.
"Pastor Lee Choo said that you don't need an event to be broken, it's an attitude", continued Ong. "But I just had a conglomerate of small events and now I think I have the right attitude. They tell us to trust only in God, but it's always just a cliche until it becomes real to you".
Labels: defeat, survival
6:56 pm ]
God please get
my feet back
on the ground!
Labels: defeat, survival
6:19 pm ]
PM: YOUNG MAN DESPERATELY SEEKS JESUS IN A TOILET
Written at night. It's happened again. I drove for twenty minutes home fro...
Labels: defeat, survival
2:51 pm ]
AM: YOUNG MAN FINDS IDENTITY IN A DREAMY SMSWritten in the morning
I'm still using my first identity card. The one we all had to make when we were twelve. Do I hate it? You bet I do. I dunno, apparently you were supposed to renew them when you turned 18 or 21, whichever it is, I would have been in Melbourne then and, hence, the embarrassing state of my public identification right now. But a new identity card is already in the loom - I should have long completed my new MYCard, and I will soon. I'm looking forward to it. I'm gonna have a real recent photo on it, my details will reflect who I am now, not who I was then. It's exciting. Like a validation of my present person, a fresh update 13 years overdue.
This past weekend, ps lee choo talked about the potter and the clay. The most striking image I left with was that of a potter unsatisfied with his almost complete vase breaking it down completely to start all over again. That was really powerful for me, because in some things, I know I am a perfectionist, and in some things, I can be a bit slip-shot. When ps lee choo told us of this scene that she saw, I knew instantly that this potter was a perfectionist at his craft.
I praise God that our identity shaping means so much to Him. Yesterday was a real case of the potter breaking down what seemed like a reasonably decent vase in the works so he could restart, rebuild and refashion an even better piece of vessel. I questioned all day, all night, and even while I slept last night I must have been asking questions, because the answer came to me in a dream.
Early this morning, in my dream, I received an sms on my phone. I opened the message and it read "Problem. ID". This baffled me. But as I prepared for work this morning, as I type this in the car, it no longer baffles me. God has to break me because my identity is not yet fully formed in him. I awoke this morning with a desperate knowledge that I had only one identity - I am God's child. That's it. There is no other identification that can so absolutely determine the security and future of my personhood. Sure, I will always be someone's friend, someone''s kid, someone's brother, and one day I'll be someone's husband and someone's father. But these are not identifications on which I will stand. No, never.
In my ridiculously broken state right now, I know that God doesn't keep the options wide. If I wanna be secure with who I am, then this is who I am, first and last: I am God's child. He loves me, He protects me, He gives me purpose and He gives me future. He makes my life meaningful and He affirms me, affects me, attends to me. No other person can ever love me like how God loves me so I won't kid around a fictitious sugar-coated syrup drenched world. this is the cold hard truth of ultimate belonging.
I'm looking forward to being rebuilt from scratch. I'm anxious to see what kind of man God has in store for me. I'm secure that whoever he is, the man God is making me into is far more man than who I currently am. Now, when I go to change my identity card, it will make sense. A man renewed everyday, rebuilt from a broken nobody in nowhere, it will make every perfect sense.
6:19 am ]