Friday, 24 February 2012


Who would’ve thought this day would come? 

And though it matters very little (now), it does put a smile on my face =). But seriously, who would’ve thought this day would come? 

What vivid memories! I swear I was plucking microfibers from polymer melts only yesterday and I’m certain I’d do it just as well if I were in the lab today. How time flies! Has it really been that long? 

I do wonder, I really do. 


Tonight I’ll dream dreams where the water flows ever so gently o’er the Thames. Oh, sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines..

Happy V-Day all, hope you’re sharing the love. And let me do my part:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

That’s the way He loves us. But read it again. That’s what we are called to- the constant wooing, the constant forgiving, the constant yearning for the purity of your partner, the long-suffering, the constant loving- what a high call! Of course, this is about marriage, but it’s always helpful to have a reference point. Some ideals are simply worth keeping.

Oh, who am I to give advice? So take it from a married man instead. Here’s a book for all the hopefuls on a beautiful V-Day: a sweet and bitter providence by Piper. You can download the free PDF book here (it’s free and legal but buy it if you can afford it). I really do hope that some of you will pick this book up because I think it gives some insights on how a God-centred relationship would look like. Let me whet your appetite with some choice excerpts:

“The question this chapter answers is, What do a God-saturated man, a God-dependent young woman, and a God-exalting older woman do when they are filled with hope in the sovereign goodness of God? The answer is that they manifest what I am going to call strategic righteousness. 

By righteousness I mean a zeal for doing what is good and right—a zeal for doing what is fitting when God is taken into account as sovereign and merciful. By strategic I mean that there is intention, purposefulness, planning. There is a kind of inactive righteousness that simply avoids evil. But strategic righteousness takes the initiative and dreams of how to make things right.… 

I imagine her pulse racing as Boaz awoke. Then come the all-important words: “I am Ruth . . . spread your wing over your maidservant.” I picture an immense silence for a moment while Boaz let himself believe that this magnificent woman had really understood—had so profoundly and sensitively understood. A middle-aged man is interested in a young widow whom he discreetly calls “my daughter” (2:8; 3:10–11), uncertain whether her heart might be going after the younger men, commu­nicating with a subtle word picture that he wants to be God’s wings for her. Then a young widow gradually reads between the lines and finally risks an interpretation by coming in the middle of the night to take refuge under the wing of his garment. That’s powerful stuff! Anybody who thinks that a loose woman and a finagling mother-in-law are at work here are missing something beautiful. All is subtle. All is righteous. All is strategic.. 

Don’t be like the world. Be like Boaz. Be like Ruth. Profound in love. Subtle and perceptive in communica­tion. Powerful in self-control. Committed to strategic righteousness.”

Wouldn’t that look beautiful? Profound in love, subtle and perceptive in communication, powerful in self-control, committed to strategic righteousness. Let’s all be that.


May all of you have a lovely Valentines Day. Here's a piece of my heart: 

Monday, 13 February 2012

A Valentine's Day story

Because V-Day is just round the corner, here's a short story I wrote some years ago which I still enjoy reading =). 


In a time not too long ago, in a land not too far away, there lived a man and a woman. But they weren't just any ordinary man and woman. You see, Mr Prince was the perfect man- Mr. Prince was single, had good features, was very rich, a good listener, well mannered and love to help out with the housework. He was a dream come true for the ladies.

Ms. Princess too was single, and was the most beautiful woman ever! She was so exceedingly beautiful that people from distant lands heard of her beauty. She was proper, intelligent, had a good sense of humour and thrifty with money- a dream come true for the men. She was fit to be married to a prince.

Most importantly of all, these two people were madly in love with each. They were such a fitting pair, so suited for each other, a perfect fit. 

But their happiness was short lived for the big mean baddie tore them apart and kidnapped Ms Princess. The big mean baddie was the local town bully who loved to pick on everyone. It thrived on taking away people’s happiness and loved to see people in sorrow. It commanded a big gang of little bullies called badlings which wreaked havoc wherever they went. They would knock over old women crossing the road, they would steal the clothes that were hung out to dry, they would take away the children’s toys and candy. They were a real mean bunch, and now they’ve taken captive of Ms. Princess.

The big mean baddie locked her up in a tower so high in the clouds that no eye could ever see, nor any man could ever reach. It was guarded by countless of badlings so that no one would ever reach her. Poor little Ms. Princess was left all alone, sobbing and wailing- in the tower so high in the clouds that no eye could ever see, nor any man could ever reach. But she never gave up hope and waited for her prince that will one day come and save her.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prince was feeling so distraught that his beloved princess had been taken away. He was filled with grief at the thought of the suffering that Ms Princess had to endure. He knew that he had to save her, and that’s what exactly he did- he was going to save his princess.

He wasted no time and made preparations for his journey. In haste, he gathered some food, put on his most comfortable walking shoes and he picked up his trusty old sword. He also brought deodorant as he wanted to smell good when he finally met the princess and he brought along a small colourful box. He put it all in a bag, said a short prayer for success and was on his way to save his princess.

He spent countless of days searching high and low for his princess. He never rested, nor did he sleep for there was no time to be wasted. Whenever he felt tired, he thought of his princess and the thought of her inspired him and gave him strength to go on. The more he thought of her, the more he was filled with determination to continue his journey.

Alas, he finally saw the tower in the distance and he rejoiced. He did not fear the numerous badlings that were guarding the tower for his princess was within reach. He readied himself, and drew his sword and faced the legion of badlings that were coming his way.

The first badling approached and they engaged in battle.

He swung his fist.
The badling leaned backwards and felt his knuckles swish past its nose.
It was furious and kicked back.
He ducked.
He drew his sword, lifted it high and with one mighty swing, he crushed the first badling.

The other badlings came charging at him. Mr Prince was outnumbered a thousand to one, but he didn’t fear the badlings for the love for his princess blinded his fears. He engaged them head on- the thought of retreating never crossed his mind. The badlings attacked Mr Prince ferociously. They swung their weapons at him but Mr Prince overcame every single attack. Their attacks, he parried with his trusty sword. He maneuvered his body skillfully dodging all their advances. And with his sword, they struck his enemies one by one by one by one by one. He emerged triumphant over the badlings.

The big mean baddie saw all of this happening and was boiling with rage! It grumbled to itself and complained ‘if you want a job well done, you got to do it yourself’. It picked up its weapon and headed to the battle field.

From afar they saw each other and they inched closer to each other with every step taken. Finally, they came face to face- the hero of the day, and the kidnapper of his beloved princess. They stared into each other’s eyes for a long, long time. After realizing that neither would flinch, they drew their weapons and the battle begun.

He swung his sword.
It blocked.
It swung its pitch fork.
He parried.

And their battle carried on. It was a long and tiring one- it lasted 3 days. Finally, the decisive moment came. The big mean baddie swung its weapon striking Mr Prince’s heel. He screamed in pain for it really hurt! But Mr Prince didn’t give up. He couldn’t. His princess needed him. Again, he lifted his sword up high and with one mighty blow, he crushed the big mean baddie’s head. He defeated the big mean baddie once and for all and the battle drew to a close.

Mr Prince looked around at the battle field. The felt the sweat on his brow and the wind on his face, he heard the trees swaying and saw the ground was blood soaked red. The air- it smelled. Yes it smelled. It smelled of victory!

Now all that Mr. Prince had to do was to rescue his princess from the tower. Yes, the tower that is so high in the clouds that no eye could ever see, nor any man could ever reach. But you see, Mr Prince was no ordinary man- he was the perfect man. And so the ascent to the top of the tower began. He climbed the narrow stairway that spiraled all the way to the top, one step at a time.

Meanwhile, Ms Princess high up in the tower was watching all that was happening down below. She heard the crowds cheer when the big mean baddie was defeated and she knew that her prince will be coming soon to save her. So she groomed herself, and did her hair, put on her makeup and perfume. Her heart was beating with anticipation, awaiting her prince to rescue her and release her from the tower which kept her captive. Yes, the tower so high in the clouds that no eye could ever see, nor any man could ever reach.

Mr Prince on the other hand wasted no time hurrying up the stairs. The only thing that kept them apart was time. The faster he could reach the top, the sooner he’ll see her princess. He eventually reached the top of the stairway and now, all that separated them was a door.

But before he broke down the door, he strew open the contents of his bag. He grabbed his deodorant and applied it, making him smell really really good. He also grabbed the small box wrapped in colourful paper. Now, he was all set to break down the door. He took a few steps back, and charged at the door with all his might. He gave it a mighty kick and the door came down. Behind the door was his beloved princess and they were finally reunited.

They spent many hours catching up, telling each other how happy they were to see each other again and they professed their love for each other. Amidst their chatter, Mr Prince then remembered the small box wrapped in colourful paper which he brought along. He reached for it and offered it to Ms Princess. In it was a ring! And there and then, on the tower so high in the clouds that no eye could ever see, nor any man could ever reach he proposed to Ms Princess, and she accepted.

Many months later their wedding day came and the groom awaited her bride in the local church. And he waited, and waited and waited.. And he’s still waiting.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Of houses and homes..

All ye readers out there, some interesting things happened over the past weekend. Here's the shortest possible summary: a group of young, energetic adults (called E.P.I.C.) decided to build a house for Mr. and Mrs. Alfred who lives in Kuala Kubu Bahru (see picture). 

If you're wondering what this is all about, read more about EPIC here (E.P.I.C. is the acronym for Extraordinary People Impacting Community); hopefully that'll set your bones a tinglin'. But of course, you want to hear some inside stories, so let the stories begin.


I happen to be carpooling with the co-founders of EPIC on the way to KKB and it was a great opportunity to find out more about what it's all about.On the surface it may seem that it revovles around the building of houses for the poor and the under privileged- that much is true. But truth strikes deep, like a well. Over the weekend I had the honour of going that much deeper, and believe me when I say that there's much more to go. 

Of course, it wasn't EPIC all the way. As with many great things, EPIC too started small- just a group of friends who decided that they wanted to do something more than just be passive listeners. It started off with simple visits which then progressed to painting houses and then they decided to take the plunge to see how far the idea'll bring them.

One of the things that struck me was that they didn't have it all figured out. This may seem slightly confusing, but what I mean by this is that these people have deep questions (as with all of us). The building of houses isn't the answer to their questions but it's a part of their greater journey to find the answer. And that made complete sense. After all, aren't we all fellow travellers on the journey of life ?

The rest of the team were just as passionate about it and the solidarity was bordering spooky, almost cult-ish. Of course, I exaggerate. But tell me it isn't: a group of almost strangers deciding to give up their 4-day long weekend to toil in the sun, get dirt on their hands, to build a house for another stranger whom they've never met before in their life. And all of that done whilst having great fun. 

So here's a bunch of people who sincerely want to make a difference, and I think that over the weekend we managed to do just that. We finished building the house (might I add: a pretty good looking one) in just under four days, wich is a great achievement by any standard.  But what is a house but a structure of metal and wood and screws and nails? In the end, us building a house matters very little, but I think we did well- we were building a house that others may build a home. 


So that sums up my EPIC weekend with some EPIC people building an EPIC house (yes, it's cliche, but it's also very apt). 

I bet I know what you're thinking: where do I sign up? Fret not, just get in touch with E.P.I.C. here. E.P.I.C. is always looking to make superheroes out of us ordinaries. 


And here's what you listen to when you build a house, but listen to this instead if you're building a home. =)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Can we fix it?

a·bil·i·ty/əˈbilitē/ (n): The capacity to do something.


Will be putting these hands of mine to some good over the next few days. I'll give you a clue, it has to do with: