Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Tapestry* - Carole King

"God's plan is like a beautiful tapestry. And the tragedy of being human is that we only get to see it from the back. With all the rugged threads and the muddy colours. And we only get the hint at the true beauty that would be revealed if we could see the whole pattern on the other side as God does".

Matt Murdock quoting Father Lantom (Daredevil s03e13)

*The title song of the brilliant album of the same name.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Don't give up on us* - David Soul

We were sharing this morning on what was the highest point we experienced in the past month. Both my wife and i shared the thing. It was the elections - when we found out that the opposition (now the government) has won.

There were so many other possible 'high points' in the past month - but this takes the number 1 spot for me.

To be honest, I have given up hope of Malaysians ever making the decision to change the government of the day. It has been the same party since independence in 1957 - 60 plus years!!!! All my life literally, it has been the same. And it wasn't all bad.

But things started going downhill. And it has come to a point when the racism, the corruption, the arrogance, the injustice, the abuse of power is no longer tolerable.

We thought that the last elections was the time! Ini kalilah. But the government then pulled up all the tricks under sleeves and our hopes were dashed again.

I wondered why God did not answer my prayers. I wondered why God could still tolerate the kind of things that are going on in our country when even we sinful creatures could not.

Of course it must have angered and upset him. And he did answer my prayers - he said, wait. Something that is very difficult for us.

But when it finally happened, it all made sense why this time is the time and this time was a better time.

Being hurt so many times in the past, my defensive mechanism did not allow me to harbour realistic hopes. Seeing comments of apparently educated people who did not see a need to change the government didn't help. Seeing all the dirty tactics being used - re-delineation, the mal-apportionment, the money thrown to win (read: buy) votes, the clearly biased Elections Commission - it was clearly a David vs Goliath battle. But how can i forget that David did overcome Goliath in the end?

The day (middle of the working week!) came and Malaysians went out to vote. I remember taking care of the girls while my wife went to vote first. I carried the little until she fell asleep on my shoulders. And as i thought of what was happening in the land, and of what the future holds for my children, i cried in fear.

This board is used to teach my daughter new English words and new Bahasa Malaysia (BM) words. She is better at BM as phonetically, BM is easier to read. For today, I added in a new BM phrase which she could read easily.

Then it was my turn - i went.

It was heartening to see so many proudly showing off their fingers on social media because it shows that so many actually do care and recognised the importance of voting. So many are actually happy to be in a long queue because that means many care for the country and recognize the importance of their right to vote.

Still, i didn't want to believe until it was confirmed. The opposition were claiming victory but the Elections Commission refused to acknowledge it.

So stressed. What did I do? Baked a cake! So that my wife and I will have a cake to celebrate or to drown our sorrows with!!!

Then I went to sleep not wanting to care. I did my part. If Malaysians did not want a change, then we get what we deserved.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and checked the results - yes, it really is true. The opposition has won - the fact that EC refused to confirm it also meant that they could not deny it! I heard my wife come out of her room and i went downstairs to look for her. We saw each other and we did not need to say anything - we went to each other and hugged each other tightly, my wife crying in joy. What a moment!

When asked a few weeks ago, I said that while I hoped for a change, i didn't think a change will happen this time round. I was wrong. I gave up on Malaysians, i gave up on there ever being a change - but thankfully, God did not give up on us.

I can't remember being so happy at being wrong!!!! Thank you God!

Well done to all those who voted. We all made the difference. Be proud of ourselves as Malaysians. Betul-betul ini kalilah!

*The challenge for this post was to choose which song best describes my feelings and thoughts - Anything is Possible, Against All Odds, Winds of Change, Can You Hear The People Sing, Finally, etc. I decided to choose this old song by David Soul, a song that always reminds me of my childhood when i first heard it.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

I swear* - All-4-One

Would anyone swear on his own daughter's life? Well, he might, if he was truly desperate! Of course, the other view is that he would do that because he is really convinced about what he is swearing about. But still, to bring in your daughter's life?

That's how much Harry Kane values getting credited for a goal that was given to his team-mate. Instead of being contended that his team won because of that goal, or taht his team-mate did all the work to strike the ball so well, he really wanted to be credited for that goal because it apparently grazed his shoulder(?) or some part of his body as it was going into the goal. It clearly was not a significant contribution as the ball was clearly going into the goal.

But no. He went all the way to lodge a claim to be credited with that goal. Swearing on the life of his daughter. Man, he really is desperate to win the golden boot award!!!!

The result? Well, he got it! And perhaps it may help him to win the golden boot award. But at what cost? He was instantly ridiculed by not just fans but fellow players and former football greats! Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker made jokes about it. Other players joined it. What a desperate person he is.

And it didn't stop there. After his poor performance in the FA Cup semi-finals last weekend, even the FA made fun of him, where Chris Smalling was apparently asked what he had in his pocket and the reply was 'Harry Kane'!

This is so different from other players who truly celebrate their team-mates goals. Firmino, Liverpool number was remembered when he shielded his team-mate's Mane's goal bound shot into goal. he could have physically pushed it in and claimed it for himself - and apparently got a goal bonus (45,000 pounds, i think) but he didn't. The Liverpool trio are well known of being so unselfish and really playing for the team, no for individual glory.

*A hit song back in the early 90s, when you can hear it being played daily on the local radios in London.

Monday, 23 April 2018

All you need is love* - The Beatles

My wife and I finally had a chance to watch a movie at home - and i suggested that we watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

I suppose this is a good time to give the spoiler warning!!!! I'll be giving away big parts of the plot in this post so be warned!

We thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was really brilliant! It really was the worthy winner of the BAFTA Best Movie Award. The Academy Award winning performances from Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell were pretty good (not as good as some other Oscar winning performances, though, IMHO).

But not just them - the entire cast played their parts brilliantly. Woody Harrelson was better than his usual dependable performance and deserved all the nominations for best supporting actor.

The cast also won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Samara Weaving stole the show at times with her portrayal of a dumb blonde that was utterly hilarious.

The writing was so good - drama and comedy. I really liked how the story went. It was not predictable and it did not have a conventional ending. My wife said that at the end of the day, the movie belonged to Sam Rockwell's character.

I really liked how his character developed - i really hated him, and then i really felt for him.

To me, this was a story of giving people second chances, of not judging too quickly.

Sam Rockwell's character, Jason Dixon, was totally unlikable. To me, anyway. I was cheering away inside when he appeared to get what he deserved and was sacked from the police force. But the movie showed that he can change.

The turning point was when Woody Harrelson's character wrote him a letter. Here is the contents:-

Jason, Willoughby here. I'm dead now, sorry about that. There's something I wanted to say to you that I never really said when I was alive. I think you've got the makings of being a really good cop, Jason, and you know why? Because, deep down, you're a decent man. I know you don't think I think that, but I do, dipshit. I do think you're too angry though, and I know it's all since your dad died and you had to go look after your mom and all, but as long as you hold on to so much hate, then I don't think you're ever going to become, what I know you want to become - a detective. 'Cause you know what you need to become a detective? And I know you're gonna wince when I say this, but what you need to become a detective is love.
Because through love comes calm, and through calm comes thought. And you need thought to detect stuff sometimes, Jason. It's kinda all you need. You don't even need a gun. And you definitely don't need hate. Hate never solved nothing, but calm did. And thought did. Try it. Try it just for a change. No one'll think you're gay. And if they do, arrest 'em for homophobia! Won't they be surprised! Good luck to you, Jason. You're a decent man, and yeah you've had a run of bad luck, but things are gonna change for you. I can feel it.

If this was a true story, Dixon was really fortunate to have someone like Willoughby to look over him, to see through the hate, to understand and realise the potential and to make the effort to help him change.

Many people are like him - decent but have had a 'run of bad luck'. They need love to be able to show love.

And he did change. And he did forgive. And he did ask for forgiveness.

So although we never get to find out who the murderer(s) is, that was not the point of the show, i guess. It was great to see Dixon and Hayes ride off together as friends despite all that had happened.

Yeah, all we need is love!

(Pics obtained from various places online)

*Their classic brilliant song. Love it!!!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Worthy is the Lamb* - Hillsong

Thank you for the cross, Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

Thank you for this love, Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious
High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb

*The title of the song in this post

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

What is love* Haddaway

What is love? I thought of blogging about this as today is Valentine's Day!

And where better to get the answer than the Bible!

Found this on social media
The pic actually summarises what 1 Corinthians 13 say about love - love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing. It rejoices instead in the truth. Love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things.

What wonderful and glorious truths. Too often, love has been misrepresented. Love has become selfish. Love only thinks of its own. No, that is not love.

The Bible tells us that God is love. And therefore, these descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13 are actually descriptions of  Jesus himself.

And it should be our goal that it describes us too.

As i think of myself as a husband, as a father, as a son, as a brother, as an uncle, do I love like how God wants me to?

*Released in 1993 when i was at London and peaked at no. 2 in the UK.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Twenty* - Natalie Imbruglia

Nothing is stopping this man! 19 was like a dream too far. But now it's already 20. The most number of Grand Slams by a man.

Pic taken from BBC Sports

I can just use all superlatives i can think of to describe him - and no one will argue with me.

But to add to all his virtues, he is such a wonderful humble man. And that is why everyone is happy to see him achieve this milestone. I remember when he won his 18th slam last year at Australia too and i questioned whether he should go on to try for a 19th.

This win was especially special to me too - to be able to watch live him receiving his 20th grand slam, with my daughter. I took the time to explain to her that this is the best tennis male player ever. That's a name she won't be forgetting for a while as she was also cheering his name together with me.

It was also very touching to see how much this meant to Roger - seeing him break down like that, shows how much love and passion he has for the game and how much it meant to him.

Pic taken from BBC Sports

And finally, to see him share the moment with his parents - i can't imagine the pride his parents must have to see their son achieve so much.

The whole thing left me misty eyed too.

Well done! I'm glad to have been able to share in this historic moment.

*A track taken from her 4th studio album

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Put your hand in the hand* - Anne Murray

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: 

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” 

 And he replied: 

 “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” 

 (Minnie Louise Haskin) 

I love this quote. It reminds me that darkness is inevitable - and that i should not be hoping for light but to put my trust in God when i go through even the valley of deepest darkness. Just like how i used to be afraid to go into the dark kitchen at night, all fear is gone when my father took me by the hand and walked with me into the kitchen.

I go into 2018 with my hand in the Hand of God.

Blessed New Year to all of you.

*I didn't know that she was the original singer of this popular old song.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Who needs sleep?* - Barenaked Ladies

So after the previous post, my condition just went worse. The medication did not help at all.

By the time the weekend came, i was so unwell that i spent most of the time in bed, sleeping. It was really bad - so bad that i actually dragged meself out of bed and went to see a doctor on Sunday. Only that they were all closed - and it did not help that Monday was a public holiday for us too.

Spent so much time sleeping. I really couldn't do anything else - not even watch TV or look at my phone. The pain in my sinuses was so bad - that one day, i was lying in bed in tears, longing for relief from the pain.

I was finally diagnosed with sinus infection and put on a course of antibiotics. Thank God that my condition improved after that and by the end of last week, I was feeling good - it was a strange sensation not having my nose congested!!!

Looking bad, it was probably God's way of making me rest and sleep. The past half year has been really challenging. Last month was really tough, with the working trip to Singapore. The demands of work has been increasing and increasing, and i do not get any reprieve when i get home as then the demands from the girls come. Then when they go to sleep, it is back to work again.

I think my body was really suffering and in dire need of sleep. The sinus infection did not affect the other parts of my body - but it was enough to knock me off my feet and ensured that my body gets the rest and sleep it is craving for.

Bad time management, unrealistic expectations placed upon self - all these just made the body weaker and weaker. Who knows what would have happened to me if i did not have the sinus infection!

Some times, i don't know my limits but thankfully, i have a heavenly father who knows - and will make sure i don't push myself over it.

I was talking to some colleagues last week and they were saying that everyone had fallen ill badly this semester as it has indeed been a very trying one. I'm thankful that i have been generally well.

*Taken from their 4th full length album, their most successful which contains their popular One Week.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Unwell* - Matchbox 20

I'm sick. Been fighting it for a while but physically, i cannot take it anymore.

Thankfully, it is not so bad. After all, i am at work now - and being as productive as i possibly can. And the best thing is that the two little girls are recovering. In fact, the older one is more or less recovered and the smaller one is on the way there.

Since October, it has been really bad, though. They have been sick - taking turns or doing it together. The worst was when the older girl had to be hospitalised. Poor thing.

The good thing was that once she was hospitalised, she started to get better. She was severely dehydrated and putting her on the drip really helped. I had to stay the night with her at the hospital but everything was fine.

However, they continued to fall sick - visiting their doctor became a weekly ritual! Having said that, it was always very nice to see the grandfatherly pediatrician. He is so knowledgeable and so calm and reassuring. and the girls enjoy the playthings he has in the waiting room.

For mummy and daddy, we get to go to the nearby shopping mall and have our dinner there!

But for now, mummy and daddy are falling ill - thankfully, the girls are fine. Cannot imagine how it is to take care of the small ones who are sick when we ourselves are not well.

*One of my all time favourite songs!