Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boring Palmy butt of all jokes? NOT!

For those of you who do not know, Palmerston North, NZ or locally known as Palmy has been my home for the past 5 years. Whatever others have to say, i know this is a great place to be and i too consider myself very much blessed to be placed by God here. I know, i haven't posted stuff in a while though i have a few ideas...nevertheless, i thought this could be a quick simple post when i came across the article today. I might post again after i finish my writeup...ek..

In all good humour, typical of kiwis i find in general, here is someone taking a dig at us! =)

Taken from (22/06/2009 - Travel)

Every country has them – communities that are the butt of all jokes because they're as dull as dishwater, an eyesore or simply in the middle of nowhere.

In Australia, the northern NSW town of Goodooga took the crown a couple of years back as The Most Boring Town in a newspaper poll.

Some would argue Queensland's Townsville or Ipswich, NSW's Dubbo or Kempsey, or even the national capital Canberra could give it a good run for its money.

In New Zealand, there is no debate. There's just one, Palmerston North, and you know that because it's hard to find a newspaper that doesn't take a regular swipe at it.

Palmerston North, 140km north of Wellington in the North Island, wins on many fronts.

It's as flat as a pancake and rates among the most consistently overcast towns in the country.

It's also the windiest, worse even than New Zealand's famously blowy capital.

And it's notoriously boring. Just ask British comedian John Cleese who nicknamed it the "suicide capital of the world" after visiting in 2006.

"If you ever do want to kill yourself but lack the courage, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick," he said.

"The weather was grotty. The theatre was a nasty shape. The audience was very strange to play to."

At the time the city fought back, with the mayor saying such insults were "complete and utter bollocks" and officially naming the local rubbish dump Mt Cleese.

But the bad rap stuck, and it was enough to bring the jokes out from behind closed doors and on to the front pages of New Zealand's newspapers.

Wellington newspaper The Dominion Post seems to pride itself on a weekly piece to dish the dirt on the oddities of the town Kiwis call "Palmy".

Take the news last month that the local council had a superstitious policy of banishing the number 13 from house numbers.

The bizarre regulation is apparently in place so people with triskaidekaphobia – a fear of the number 13 – are not deterred from buying homes with that number on the letterbox.

Then there was the quirky pattern of thefts involving the street signs Whisky Way, Nirvana Court and Moonshine Valley Rd.

But taking the cake was the angry motel owner from Palmerston North who made the front page for banning any resident from a nearby town, Wainuiomata, from checking in.

The story made for great entertainment and not just because the owner lived in Palmerston North – he was also an Aussie from Sydney.

As one caller to New Zealand talkback put it: "To take a swipe at Palmy and Australia in the one go is just gold."

Palmerston North has a population of 78,000 and thanks to a big uni more than half are aged under 25. So there's really no excuse for being boring.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Jeremiah School Experience

I would not do justice to my experience at Jeremiah School (JS) if I did not begin by recounting some events which occurred a year prior to my time at JS. At that time, it all began with me pondering the things I could possibly be doing in my summer holidays the following year. A thought came up suggesting that I could possibly go on a short-term mission trip for 3 months. I knew some friends who were planning to go to Taiwan for this purpose and the prospect of joining them there was beginning to excite me. However I still had some reservations. First of all, I had to somehow raise about NZD 4,000 to fund my trip there and secondly I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go on a mission trip there for a people I did not have a particular passion and heart for. So amidst all that, I realized that it was really beyond my control and committed to giving this issue to my Father in heaven for Him to sort things out for me.

Fast forward a year later, I had just gotten back to Malaysia for a 2 months holiday and was immediately whisked off to Fraser’s Hill for the annual Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP). It was there that I got a brief re-orientation to the local scene of things and the state of youths in Malaysia. After being away for 4 years, I was actually more acquainted with things at New Zealand and had lost touch of matters back in my home country. It was there that my burden for the youths in Malaysia started to grow but deep down God re-assured that my place for now was serving in New Zealand. It was also there that someone suggested that maybe I could help up at JS to pass my time in Malaysia but I shortly dismissed the thought as I had to return to New Zealand in the middle of February and I also wanted to spend time with my family while I was back.

About two weeks later, out of the blue, my mum suddenly suggested that I help up at JS saying that it only lasted a month. I was puzzled (as I was told earlier that JS ran for 6 weeks) but yet also a little excited as well with that news. My mum had no knowledge that I had actually entertained that idea not too long ago! So I quickly called up Choy Quin the current principal of JS and found that it was in fact 6 weeks long. However she re-assured me that I could still participate even though I had to leave halfway through it and that JS actually needed 1 more male mentor. With that, I was given about a week to decide whether I could take up the offer or not. After seeking the Lord on this issue and His confirmation in the form of my parents consent, I went for the mentors briefing session shortly after Christmas. After a two hour long session, I was in! To make my inclusion into JS all the more interesting was that JS was only about a week away and the dateline for mentors registration was all the way back in October. After that briefing session and another, a day before the actual JS start date in Port Dickson, the task ahead looked really daunting as this was my first time doing this sort of thing. Amongst us mentors, we enjoyed a close fellowship to the point that we were able to support each other in ministering to the JS participants as well as providing a listening ear to each other. This was truly one of God’s great blessings to me during my time at JS which has enabled me to endure the whole month there.

As for the occasions spent with the JS people, many a time it was most challenging and frustrating but at the same time encouraging and enjoyable times were spent with my mentees. Just to see them possessing various qualities of mine; both positive and negative, was truly a unique opportunity and this has allowed me to relate and empathize with them, alluding at times to some of my own personal struggles and triumphs from previous experiences. Having said that, they too have humbled me many a time thus showing me the areas in my life which I should be letting go to God to work on. I too learnt lots from the many sessions at JS but the sessions which had a real impact on me were ones which talked about the current state and needs of Malaysia; politically, socially and economically. This caused my heart for Malaysia to continue to grow and if you are reading this, please pray that I would never loose my heart for Malaysia and God will one day provide me with an opportunity to come back and serve in Malaysia.

In closing, my experience at JS has been truly an awesome and rewarding experience. I feel that in many ways it has been God’s answer to my prayer a year ago as not only had I a heart to serve my fellow countrymen especially the youths but God also provided for me the means financially, physically and spiritually to serve Him as best as I could at JS.

-soli deo gloria!-

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2 John 1 - 13

Reading and understanding the bible is one thing....but to have it actually hidden in our hearts is another. As the proverbs goes;

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you
(Proverbs 119:11 - ESV)

Through in the armour of God, the Word of God is our sword. I have almost like medieval fantasies since i was little so maybe i can illustrate it this way: Well, so back in the day, (well i suppose only fantasy really) there are different kinds of swords. Normal ones, standard issue to the lowest of the knights order to the legendary makes only wielded by the chosen heroes of old, imbued with spells, runes and refined in the furnaces of the ancients by people of old who no longer walks the face of Earth.

I suppose i can draw a rather rough parallel between that and the word of God within us. To those of us who open the bible only on sundays and quote maybe just John 3:16 to the fervent street evangelist or apologist who can readily quote verses with an unerring ease. Of course in the case of those people mentioned, this ability of theirs cannot easily be obtained overnight in a sudden rush of enlightenment to read the Word but only through the power of the spirit working the lives of these people as they daily meditate on God's words and take on various parts of the Word to heart.

A book which i have been reading as well 'The Great Omission' by Dallas Willard, talks about the spiritual formation of the whole life and whole person of men (or women) being of utmost importance in becoming a true disciple of Jesus and not a mere 'Christian'. One important aspect of spiritual formation is bible memorization (this is in fact a key fundamental point before we can proceed on to anything else). He even goes on to say that if and if if if if...he had a preference for only ONE spiritual discipline in life (God forbid that it were so) he would choose bible memorization.

Anyway, that has been a challenge for me personally and has been something which i have been working on for the past year but over time, i tend to slack a little and it is then that i really thank God for friends that he has placed in my life who had a similar challenge and are able to walk with me on the path of hiding God's words in our hearts. Of course glory to Him for His continual encouragement to me to press on through various other means. So with a friend we thought maybe we could do a whole we had not done anything like this before, something small would be great and so 2 John was chosen.

I have never really been a fan of totally memorizing something without understanding it and so throughout the time memorizing the book, the act of understanding a verse and commending it to heart has really forced to look critically at each word in the sentence and having a greater understanding of it. Just merely reciting it over and over again in my head also seem to allow me to really feel the emotions and thoughts of the letters author that have been poured out onto papyrus for our benefit which begin from a tiny inspiration from God

So without further a do here is...2 John 1 - 13 (ESV):

The elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom i love in truth and not only i but all those who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever.

Grace, mercy and peace be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son in truth and love.

I rejoice greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth , just as we were commanded by the Father. And now i ask you dear lady, not as though i were writing you a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that you walk according to His commandments, this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning so that you should walk in it.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world. Those who do not confess the coming of Christ Jesus in the flesh, such a one are the deceivers and the antichrists. Watch yourselves so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who has gone on ahead but does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God but whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Though i have much to write to you, i would rather not use paper and ink, instead i hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of you elect sister greet you.

Phew!...that was 13 for something longer...2 Timothy!

soli deo gloria!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From Christianity to Badminton...?

Well...aside from the 'occasional' posting my thoughts and apologetics stuff, for those of you who do not know me yet, another thing i have a passion for is BADMINTON! Besides the fact that i come from a country that is badminton mad especially when the Thomas Cup comes by (our version of the World Cup), it has been a sport i have always enjoyed playing since i was a little wee fellow.

Note that i enjoy all sports in general (haven't found one i didn't like yet, hmm...maybe lacrosse) and i feel that sports overall for me is a God given outlet to remain sharp both physically and mentally (yes...and the best sport of all for me,badminton, is a thinking game too!) as well as an avenue i can relieve my 'stresses' of life =)

For all you other badminton fans out there, this one is for you....

Just copy the URL into your address bar, play and pass it on!
First badminton flash-based game that i have ever come across, note that the link is for the v.2 of the game, v.1 is a lot harder to play let alone score, trying it the first time...

Another random post...enjoy!

soli deo gloria!

Friday, July 20, 2007

It has been a while...a random thought the title has been a while since i last blogged. Indeed i never thought much about blogging and would rather sit and chat away at my usual Robert Harris (decent coffee they have there) joint.

Just putting this out there, though i doubt anyone would notice this for a while, if anyone chances upon this, do post your thoughts...

It would just seem to me that the reason why Islam sees God as being able to wipe away our sins at a mere snap of a finger should he wishes to is because they see God as this ruler of the universe likened to your regular king in times past. If one of this kings subjects were to disobey the rules of the kingdom or say the king's will, if the king is merciful, he may pardon his subjects if not it of to the dungeons.
But in my opinion, doesn't that make his will (or the law) a separate entity from God himself? Which also means his will (or the law) would seem to be of another force of its own of which God has no power of or in other words as it does not influence him in any way (ie - breaks his heart) there is a separate force behind the will and the law....?
However, in contrast, the God of Christianity sees sin as a breaking of God's heart. Sin or the disobeying of the will of God of Christianity is going against whatever goodness there is in his creation (God the creator means that creation is part of himself). Therefore, sin is a blemish to his 100% wholly divine nature. In other words, the will (and the law) are one with God as it is part of him and it is in his authority. Sin, like a blemish in his wholly divine nature is only repayable through justice being done and the atonement of it by the sinner.

This is of course where Jesus Christ comes into the picture.

But somehow...i just can't help but imagine, from the time of the birth of Jesus through his ministry till calvary, it was as though the whole universe stood still observing for 33 years of human history. The seraphs and cherubs watched with bated breath at what each moment of Jesus life would bring. How would Jesus respond to his many temptations?

What if Jesus sinned? Surely that would upset the entire form books of the universe....

soli deo gloria!

God Bless =)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

" I am the way, the truth and the life...."

No...I'm absolutely NOT trying to alter the words of the bible for my own gain nor am i trying to start a new religion of blogger-mania.

There is only ONE! My Father, friend, counsellor, Lord and redeemer. Call Him a religious fanatic/madman or God, basically anything at those extremes but NOT a good teacher. He never left that option for us.

"I am the way and the truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me."
John 14:6

For more information on the origins of the excerpt in the previous post or if you think i'm not making any sense, contact me on

God Bless

In The Begining...was a need...

In the begining was a need, the need was with the owner of this blog and the need was to post in the PNOCF website. Out of this need came

Finally...despite much cynicism, i'm now part of blogger-mania....Father, help me...