Monday, April 27, 2009

penang! =)

hullo everyone, greetings from the island of good food! =)

the past week had been a lonely, dreary one for me as The Wife left me forlorn and alone when she went back to penang on monday. she claims that it's tit for tat, as i too often leave her alone when i go for my camps.

tit for tat, butter for fat
you kill my dog, i kill your cat

she went back to penang because it's her semester break now.

anyway, after a sad, bleak week of The-Wife-less-ness, i took a bus up to penang on friday evening and am now blogging from DAP island! =) i took leave for monday-wednesday, so The Wife and i will be going home to seremban together on wednesday.

we've had a relaxing time so far. we've watched quite a few movies, as The Wife's father has an extensive dvd collection. yesterday we watched Inkheart, which has a plot failure. the movie ends in a way that makes the viewer ask, "if they can do that to beat the bad guys, why didn't they do it years ago?!?"Bold

it's like those ultraman series where ultraman has to have his chest-light blinking before he brings out his super-power move and kills off the rubber monster. he could have done that at the beginning of the fight; but no, he has to wait until he's almost going to die first. (sorry to any readers who are ultraman fans, lol!=P)

apart from Inkheart, we've also watched Marley and Me and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Marley is a feel-good movie that i enjoyed, because it reminded me to appreciate the simple things in life. Benjamin Button was a good story, but i'm still pondering what the whole point of it was. i think that it carried a message about all of us being different and being alone. need to think abit more about this though...

besides that, i've been doing a fair bit of reading. have re-read "the Rediscovery of Genesis", which is about how the story of genesis was discovered in the ancient chinese ideogrammes, and am thinking of making a session or a sharing out of it. it would be an interesting topic for students who are literate in the chinese language, and i hope it may help open some of them to the gospel of Christ. am also re-reading "The Fight" by John White, as i'm supposed to facilitate a book study on it at a camp at the end of this year. and am also re-reading "Anne of Avonlea", which is just for fun, but is really good for my spirit - her idealism and optimism are infectious! =) lastly, am reading "Sacred Pathways" by Gary Thomas, which is about how different Christians have different ways of approaching God. for example the naturalist would feel closest to God when appreciating the beauty of nature; the traditionalist when participating in liturgical worship; the activist when confronting evil and injustice in God's name, and etc.

lastly, what would penang be without her glorious food? i've been enjoying the delicious home-cooked meals that The Wife's mother cooks for us. besides that, a couple of nights ago we went together with The Wife's parents and some relatives for a teppanyaki buffet dinner. only RM20 per person, eat all you can! and senior citizens have a discount too, only pay 14 ringgit! we ate until we almost burst. =) and yesterday we went to air itam to eat what is purportedly the best asam laksa in penang. it was indeed delicious. and while we were there, i bumped into gideon.

Image taken from

gideon's an old friend from sitiawan. well, he's more of an acquaintance than a friend... he's about 4 or 5 years younger than me, i think (sitiawanites, please feel free to correct me... i've become quite blur about how old everyone is). we used to play basketball together back in the old days when i had a fully functional knee. so we chatted for a while and i found out that he was in a college in KL studying optometry. then i asked him,

"so, are you still going to church over in kl?"
"no la"
"why? go la... we have alot of sitiawan friends going to dumc right? follow them la"
"erm... i'll try... eh got to go already la"
"ok bye"

now, i know that one can't judge a person summarily and say that they are spiritually in bad shape just because they don't attend church. there are people close to me who seldom attend church and yet maintain a true and living faith. some of them are, however, making efforts to come back to church, which i applaud (you know who you are! keep it up, lol). this is a phenomena that will only increase in this age of postmodernity and the emergent church. i understand, and i'm sure God understands too, that sometimes there are certain factors, mitigating circumstances, valid reasons and etc for people being absent from church.

nevertheless, i continue to believe that our faith must have an element of community to it. we are not just indivudual christians but a body of believers. and therefore whenever i meet old friends or acquaintances like gideon, i always try to encourage them to come back to church. i'm not really sure if it makes any difference, if an encounter of a few minutes like that will actually cause him to think about church and his faith. i also am concerned if i'm too 'pushy' that i might offend people and cause them to go further from God instead of drawing them back to Him. but i just do what i can and pray that God will use my feeble efforts to do His work and His will in their lives.

do pray for Gideon and all of your own friends/acquaintances who are like him, ok? pray for yourself also la, if u fall into that category! heheh. and pray for The Wife and I: after we go home on wednesday, we'll be off for a church camp on 1-3 may (friday-sunday). i'll be doing a couple of youth sessions there, and the Wife will be facilitating and assisting in a couple of children's sessions. i'll be doing some games too, which are meant to enable campers of all ages to have fun together. do pray especially for The Wife - she's not very experienced in children's ministry and is having butterflies in her stomach.

'til the next post - God bless! =)


Lisa ^^, said...

I haven't watched Inkheart yet. And I soo want to!! I like Brendan Fraser. ahehe So I don't really care!! wakakakaka XD

Ooh, I loved Marley and Me too!! I cried at the end tau...Such a sad ending, even though you knew it was coming since the day they got the puppy. But oh, the leading up to it was sooo sad! He was with them through thick and thin and the ups and downs (sometimes the cause of them) but he was always there. Awwwwww. :)

Benjamin Button was something more of a very very tragic love story to me though. ahaha Very strange and curious love story. :)

Arnan Koh said...

so nice can go penang. I wish i could go too.. maybe next year when after exams and when they go play floorball...

like the way you talk about your wife... make it sound so cute...

tenandtwenty said...

hello sieh jin (my maiden comment on your blog!)

I get what you mean about the whole goingtochurchdoesnotmakeyouachristian thing.

And how sometimes it just sounds "forced" and superficially (as I like to put it) "constipated" of a question. But it's something we ask anyway (?) simply because we/I don't know how to put it more tactfully in terms of "checking up" on people and how they're going with their whatapiousword WALK.

I don't know about you but it might have to do with being uprooted and transplanted ever so often in the last few years that I think the idea of "church" itself has decreased somewhat in terms of spiritual value for me.No roots etc and even when I go back to Sitiawan it is a bit of a sore point for me that I feel so disconnected at times and alone surrounded by people that I know but never quite hung around long enough to truly know them and have a functional r-ship with them.

But then again here I am encouraging people to find their community and support in church. (i suppose it does work if people there are keeping you accountable) in my case the people who walkwithme and are my racepartners have long since left wesley and so I find my church in them and gmail (haha)

ahaha, what I think I'm trying to say is that church is a place to build community for yourself then others (?)

anyway, I actually started off wanting to tell you that I liked how you put theimportanceofchurch into words!

Rasa Malaysia said...

Hi there,

If you wanted to use my image, please provide proper credit with the name of the source: Rasa Malaysia and link to Just hot linking to my image is not right, because you are using my bandwith without proper credit

siehjin said...

lisa: The Wife cried buckets at the end of Marley too. guess it's a girl thing, lol. and ya, benjamin button is basically a tragic love story, but i'm sure it contains a deeper message... just like romeo and juliet might carry a message against deeds of vengeance and family feuds.

arnan: thanks for the comment! =)

tenandtwenty: indeed, your maiden comment! and a nice, long one, too. =) hopefully time will come when you can settle down somewhat - of course we never really fully settle down, as we're called to be sojourners, but still "somewhat" - and put your roots down somewhere... finding "virtual church" through gmail, msn, skype and etc is fine and good but somehow i don't think it can fully take the place of "real church". thanks for commenting! =)

rasa malaysia: done. sorry.

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