The Trials, Victories & Adventures of Los PaulOS

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1 John 4:18

Friday, July 29, 2005

Saying Goodbye...

How do you begin to say goodbye to someone whom you never got to say goodbye too.

It all began when I was still studying in Melbourne, Australia. I got onto IRC and waited for my then girlfriend to appear in a “chatroom”, I think then it was on DALNET, Mamak or something like that. I saw this name listed in the chatroom, “Equinox”, I found it interesting because I had been taught geography by my own dad, and immediately recognized it and struck up a conversation with this person.. I found out that she was a student in doing her A Levels/Matriculation just before leaving for UK to study Economics with a JPA scholarship at Cambridge. This was honestly a very smart person I was talking to.

We got to talking and our friendship grew because of similar backgrounds, coming from similar parentage (i.e. mixed parentage). We called each other “kopi susu”. We promised to meet up when I got back to Malaysia for the summer holiday in December. We met, and I discovered that she was VERY VERY tall. She towered over me at 5’11”. Needless to say, I was surprised, and the first words out of my mouth “You’re very tall” and that didn’t make for a good first impression I must say. But she was not at all disturbed by it.

She went off to UK soon after that and I returned to Australia. Our friendship continued through emails and IRC. We shared our struggles in our studies, in my long distance relationships struggles, her family struggles etc. Needless to say we became fast friends who confided in each other. Years passed and I finished studying and started work, went through a breakup and she was still there for me.

Needless to say that I did grow to have feelings for her. It seemed, unreal to actually grow close to someone who was so far away. I even “infiltrated” her family, namely her dad. I helped her dad by repairing and servicing his computer from time to time, because he needed to get in touch with her via email. So I got to know her dad.

Through my “successful” career years, where I was enjoying “single and yet lonely” life, making friends and partying we kept in touch quite closely over email. My feelings grew and grew and then I confessed the feelings I had for her. And no guesses for the response, she could not reciprocate because she said that she was “selfish” because she wanted to concentrate on her studies and future career. I replied honestly saying that I understood, but I just had to let her know. From there we grew to become closer friends where we’d confess our struggles and secrets to one another. I was still a backslidden Christian at that point.

She continued to remain in UK after her Economics degree to continue her Masters under scholarship again. * I told you she was smart*.. So I remained here, started coming back to the Lord and continued to share with her about my faith journey back in faith. While she continued to excel at her studies, she was also excelling in swimming and rowing in her varsity. I was completely impressed. During her summer holidays whenever she came back we’d go out together for some arty shows, dinner etc. She graduated and then started working in a high profile job, traveling around Europe etc. All this while, I still had some sort of secret wish that she’d come back and we could maybe meet and who knows ;)

I got retrenched in the meantime and thus started my downwards career spiral, and I got a job that was near to her dad’s house. In May of 2002, I decided pay her dad a surprise visit to just inquire how she was doing. I was surprised to find out that she had come back from the UK, leaving her high-paying bank job to come back and be with family. We were both busy with our jobs, and we talked on the phone and promised to meet each other. She did say she was searching for meaning and direction in life.

This continued till June, when I decided to surprise her on her birthday, to call her and see how she’s doing. As I drove to my cousin’s place in OUG, I called her phone. A male voice answered the phone, and I said that I was looking for her, and wanted to wish her Happy Birthday. The voice on the other end of the line said stoically “Didn’t you know that she took her life 2 weeks ago?”. The voice belonged to her brother. Her brother advised me not to call his dad so soon, as they were still in shock. I wanted to know more, I wanted to visit. I was too stunned, I called Chris, and he spoke words that just reassured me that all things happen for a reason. I didn’t want to believe that she would take her own life. I battled all the reason in my mind, and just resolved to let it be. I mourned her for the next few months, regretting not meeting up with her.

I did as much as I could to search online about her. A cousin of hers blogged, writing about the circumstances under which she had passed on. The circumstances in which she passed on were quite questionable. A friend who heard about the way she passed on gave me information. All in all the information seemed similar, that she had passed on in her sleep, while her room was filled with aromatherapy vials and burners.

That happened more than 3 years ago, and I’ve still not been able to meet her dad, I just didn’t know what to say to him then. I still don’t know what to say to him. But we have called each other, and he does sound very much better than before. In fact he sounds more self confident now than when I met him many years ago.

So my dear friend, I only have one regret in my friendship with you, is that I never got to share the Love of Jesus with you. Even I knew that you were interested in getting to know Him, I never shared about Him directly with you. For that I am sorry. So, even if I never got to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ personally with you, I pray that in the final months of your life, that you had made peace with the Lord, and that we’ll meet one day in Heaven, and we’ll have a great big laugh at how worried I was about you and all the silly stories we shared over the years. I miss your company, your wisdom, your laughter, your encouraging words and your honesty. I will miss the growing years that we’d go through as friends. I miss you my dear friend, very much. Goodbye at last my dear Kopi Susu.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Straight As An Arrow..

I was just talking to Coolcat, and we got to talking about her "favourite question".. ha ha ha..

And she suggested to blog about it.. so the content in this blog can be a bit graphic in nature.. ha ha ha ha.. be forewarned.. he he he

My first "gay" encounter was in a train station in Melbourne at a MET station called Richmond. I had always heard about gay people, but I never did see them and dismissed it as a kind of a myth. I was there in Melbourne, about only 2 weeks into my tertiary education. And as I stood there in the cool autumn afternoon, I saw 2 guys, walking up the stairs, hand in hand together, thought "That's queer... " *pun intended*.. They stood about 3m away from me.

So, I tried not to look directly... (as all good Malaysians do .. they'll pretend not to look and peer out of the corner of their eyes.) To my shock, these 2 guys, started smooching "passionately" as the "French" do...

Man, my stomach just turned!!! It was no doubt that I was "homophobic" and "Straight as an arrow".. I tried to walk a bit further away, but still curious. But I guess what was gross was that these 2 Caucasian men were fully bearded! Ugh!

*I told you it was graphic in nature*

So I rest assured from that time onwards, I knew I was "Straight as an arrow" and "Homophobic"...

But more importantly, how'd I get over my "Homophobia" ? Well, that's reserved for another blog..


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rain Rain Go Away

This blog is about how it rains when you've just washed your car.. will continue more later.... *grin*

Lina, Rina and I made plans to go watch a movie.. War Of The Worlds on the 9th of July. And so we did, off we went to the new GSC 2-Utama Cinema. I arrived late, because I had to go grab some items to prepare for my colleague's wedding later that day.

I drove my car to the old wing of 1 Utama, and confidently produced my CARS card that I obtained in December after it was nicely soiled by somebody. This card entitles me to get a wash, polish, vacuum etc all for just RM35. And I get to do this as many times as possible within this year.

Anyways, I leave my car there to be polished, had a nice movie and lunch with my 2 friends, then I go and pick my car up. It's all nice and shiny. I drove it here and there feeling very pleased with the car.

Drove the nice shiny car to a wedding and back. Oh.. so nice.. so shiny.. so clean..
and guess what.. that night.. IT RAINS!!!.. It had not rained for a week before that.. and it rains!.. What gives lar...

And on top of that.. it rains almost everyday for that following week...

Update :
After a whole week of rain.. I drove my now slightly grimey car out to Subang Jaya - Kota Kemuning for some work and then for lunch with a cell member.

After having a nice wonderful lunch with my cell member, I made arrangements to go to Bandar Tasik Selatan for another appointment, I was not sure how to get there from Kota Kemuning, so I loaded a "Tiger" into my tank (i.e. Esso-lah).. then .. zoom-ed here and there looking for ways and means to get to Bandar Tasik Selatan via Kesas. In my mind it should be easy, but I think I took a few wrong turns.. etc etc.. then I was at Salak South toll just past the Nirwana Memorial centre. I was waiting at the toll booth for the cars in front of me to take their turns. Then suddenly this van (Pasar Malam van) starts to reverse (for who knows what reason).. and i slammed by horn.. alas it was too late.. and BLAM!!! smack right into my bonnet. I wasn't angry, but more like "Hallo.. why you reverse!?!?"

So got out, talked to the uncle who was quite apologetic, his wife also came out. We talked and negotiated, we decided to get an opinion from a nearby mechanic as to how much it'd cost to repair the damage. The mechanic estimated it to be in RM300-400 range. The uncle discussed with his wife and agreed to give me only RM250. Incidentally it was the uncle's birthday that day when we exchanged IC numbers and contacts in case we were to report it to the police. I wished him "Happy Birthday" but I apologised that this happened under these circumstances.

I agreed to it (after consulting Johnny of C.O. Motor).. (he gives me a good price for prime quality work).. took the money and zoomed off to my next appointment. I'd send my car in for a paintjob the very next morning.

I thought, "Rats! my car is gonna be in the workshop for a few days and getting to office would be a hassle".. But thank God for my housemate who sent me to work the next day and picked me up from work after that.

Amazingly, the paintjob was done in less than 24 hours, spick and span, and got my door panel guard (which dropped about 3-4 months ago) fixed.. for an attractive price of RM100 only!!

Now, question is.. what do I do with the RM150 excess? *sigh*.... My car is in need of service and new set of tyres, plus an extra burden this month because we couldn't find a housemate.

How do you decide on stuff like this? ;p... *btw.. i dunno where I put the Uncle's contact*

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Blogs I Read...

I thought I'd dedicate an entry about the blogs I read..

First thing in the morning.. of late.. the first blog I read.. is my own blog..
Sounds narcissistic right? he he it's because I wanna see how ppl have responded to what I have written.. however, after HeartCore, I pray the Prayer every morning, and it has made a significant difference not to the circumstances but to the way I respond to circumstances.

Anyways, before I get sidetracked and "cheong hey" again.. the other blogs I read regularly are

1. Coolcat's ~ Why? She's kinda I dunno, someone who can understand my corny jokes (and even though she rolls her eyes at my jokes) she still laughs at them. heh heh heh. But in all seriousness, her articles are thought provoking with a twist of humour and hope in it. Thanks Coolcat for brightening up my day everyday with your stories and reflections. *plus she likes cats.. and I like cats too*

2.ThatJames ~ Mr LoopyMeals.. man.. he's one cool dude and his blogs are as funny as him. Well, he's funnier.. :P His adventures with his kid and his beautiful (yes she is.. he hides her face in all his blogs)... The blogs are real, funny and indeed has a myriad of ppl from all walks of life commenting. His food entries are really good.. especially EuroDeli and Hakka Cottage Noodles

3. Mr Yahkid ~ An indeed admirable young man, who has my utmost respect, I wish I had his wisdom when I was at his age.. Heck.. I wish I have the wisdom he has right now. heh heh heh.. Yahkid thanks for being an inspiration....

4. Doc V ~ Another remarkable young man who blogs about the life and death situations he faces each day. Indeed, there are lives that lie in his hands and he shares honestly how he feels and the challenges he faces when some other comrades in his profession has a disjointed heart from people. It is indeed a tough situation to be in as Doctor who cares for his patients. Indeed Doc, I resound what I said to you.. "Hang in there, you'll be indeed a doctor that is the heart of it all a true doctor"... and I am sure you know who your source is, the physician who came to heal and mend the broken hearts of the world.

5. Jotay ~ Her blogs are exciting, telling tales of reflection and her family, and her job indeed a good way to see her writing skills being put into a blog for many to read. Indeed creating an impact in the lives of persons around her.

I try to read other blogs but there just are so many to read, I try to read those that are updated regularly, I must say that I am a sporadic blogger depending on how free I am to blog. Indeed tonight is a free night... it's 3am and I am still blogging.. ha ha.. Enough time for 2 LONG blogs.

Yes Darth Cheong Hey.. strikes again.. muahahhaha


HeartCore Resonating : A Personal Assessment

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I took half the day off and a little "drama" ensued as we (Rueben & I + the other Advance Team ppl) prepared to go for the camp. We left at 2pm and reached there at about 330pm. We checked in got and received our name tags and Camp Memorabilia (pic above).
Then we got the stage prepared, wired up everything (with the help of Andrew Tan, an ICOM student/grad). He helped me EQ the hall, which was good.

I kept getting updates from Drill Seargeant Jun Wei who routed his troops into the bus and brought them all safely to camp by 630pm. Everything went well and we had our first session with Uncle See Lok.

It was indeed marvelous. Before he introduced himself, he made a few very interesting points, about Prayer, Being A Servant of God at All Times, God being Relevant in all things (Col 3:17), and he set the expectations for all

  1. We should all be thinking for ourselves
  2. We should all be thinking for ourselves with God
  3. Learn to coach each other with the things we have thought through
  4. Execute them and put these things into action

He also asked 7 pertinent questions relevant to College student (in retrospect, these are the questions I should've asked myself when I was in College & Uni)

Rating them from 1-4

1 Not Important to me
2 This would be nice
3 I desire this quite a lot
4 This is very important to me

*I hope I am not infringing any copyrights by typing this questions out ha ha ha*
(My HONEST answers in brackets)
  1. I would like to overcome the challenges of my studies to get good results (3)
  2. I would like to start well and be successful in my work life after graduation (4)
  3. I would like to gain relevant knowledge, skills and experience for my future work (4)
  4. I would like to have my own car as soon as possible (2)
  5. I would like to have a nice and suitable wife or husband not too long from now (3)
  6. I would like to have a sufficient amount of money, a house and other nice things (3)
  7. I would like to make some changes in my college lifestyle before I graduate (4)

To me these are pertinent questions at my stage of life too... I just changed "college" or "studies" to "work" etc etc.. whatever that is logical.

*obviously #5 was a favourite questions amongst all the campers*

We worked through these questions, in a Coach and Coach-ee format, i.e. listening and responding only by asking leading questions etc. I paired up with my buddy J-Son, but we couldn't follow up because he left camp early.

After doing this.. we went on the next point/question

The 8th Question : Did you know that God cares for you & already knows these questions you have?

So we were asked to honestly answer. There were a host of example answers.. from

"I don't know, I know but not believing in it, I think I know and I am trying to believe, I believe wholeheartedly etc"

My answer : Yes I know God takes care of these things (and I wanna believe but it's hard coming)... *I hear a voice saying.. Patience Young Padawan*

Scripture Text for HeartCore camp is Matt 6:33 ~ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Uncle See Lok, led us to read the preceeding verses, because we're not meant to read the Bible in just verses, but as a whole book or at least a chapter to gain a better understanding of the verse. The Bible was never written in chapters or verses from the beginning, it was only done in the past 100-200 years to ease referencing and reading.

So we also read

Matt 6:31 -33

31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

His emphasis was on the words in bold.

Our Father knows we need all these things.. so don't worry & ultimately.. Seek His Kingdom first

So the key point is this.. SEQUENCE... .get it right first. Seek His Kingdom first otherwise "worry" will get to you!

Fear and worry is not being complete in Christ whilst, having Faith and seeking Him first is coming from the point about being complete in Christ.

So the Key Learning points are as follows :

  1. Sequence : Seek God First, because He knows best
  2. Source : Worry ~ not being complete in God results in lack of peace, Faith ~ being complete in Him
  3. Way : Jesus is the way! Approach on the issues in life in the Kingdom Lifestyle. WWJD
  4. Needs : Then these things you seek will be added unto you. (i.e. in His way)

So we were to ask ourselves,

  1. What is the one thing you have discovered about yourself?
  2. What is the one new thing you have picked up tonight?

To me :

  1. I have learned that I got somethings a bit off.. I need to ask God, no matter what, coz He's my source. I need to get my Sequence right
  2. He is relevant in all my decisions. And I need His wisdom

I shared these points and turned all these into a discussion and we had a great time at cell reckoning these issues we have in our lives..

I am glad I went for this CYZ Camp, because God is relevant no matter where you go, whether you're ministering or being ministered to , or washing toilets or counting nuts and bolts. You are significant, because God is relevant!

More to come later.. Praise God in all things!!! *excited about Camp Echo this coming saturday*


Monday, July 04, 2005

Forgetful.. But in His Presence

I've been quite forgetful of late. But as the title says, Still in His Presence..

Incident #1 :

I came back from Sekhar and Sue Ann's wedding late Saturday night and parked my car in the porch.. And the next morning, realised that there was a pool of oil & water under my car streaming down to the rear tyres.

I was of course concerned. I then reversed my car out of the house to discover that there's a lot of oil residue on the porch floor.

I grew even more concerned.. So I popped the hood then, checked the oil level and it looked pretty decent. But decided to top it up with some of the leftover oil I had in the cannister. So I opened the oil inlet, and topped up the oil and then quickly closed the hood and rushed off to church. Drove around whole week, preparing to go for CYZ-HeartCore camp.

On Friday, 24th June, I decided to top up the coolant and windshield water. Then I looked at the Oil inlet, to discover that I had not closed the cap back onto the Oil inlet. Horror almost overtook me with the thought "Where's the Oil Cap?!??!" , I calmed down and just, cooly looked and found it cradled nimbly in a mess of wires next to the oil inlet. I quickly took the oil cap and covered the oil inlet with it. It was understandably oily because of all the oil that was spewing out of the oil inlet.

I checked the oil level, and discovered it to be.. well within the safe level. Praise God...

I drove to PD that day and back on Sunday without a hitch. Praise Be to God... of course my passenger Rueben was praying hard after I told him what had happened. ;)

*The oil patch that was under my car was because my housemate's car that was left in the porch for 1 week.. had sprung an oil leak, thus the huge oil patch in the porch. The condensed water from my air cond dripped onto the oil patch making it look like my car had a massive oil leak. I came back late that night and did not realise the oil patch.*

Incident #2:

Today, I was supposed to go to Cyberjaya to deliver and demo a product. So I busily prepared for my trip, but being mindful of Him at all times, the HeartCore prayer.. does put things into perspective and we do see His presence working wonderfully...

So, I tried to leave in the morning but the demo product still had to be tweaked by the developer, so I only got the product ready by 3pm. I carried this 5 foot tall demo product down the stairs, loaded it into my car (erhem yes, it can fit into my car) along with my notebook and other stuff. I started my car without any problems.. drove about 40m to the next office to get the DO (Delivery Order) for official reasons.

I got the stuff, and then got into my car, preparing to leave for Cyberjaya. I inserted the key into the ignition and turned the key.. .and *click*.. again.. *click*... it sounded like something from the movie "Casino".. was the car gonna blow up? hmm .. Anyways, it was a clear sign that my car's battery was dead as a doornail. Then alarm went off that sounded like it was a dying cockrel crowing. *heh heh*

So, what could I do, all sweaty and hot, I took my notebook out of the car and walked up to my office and told my colleagues that I could not go to Cyberjaya. I was undoubtedly irritated, that I actually snapped at a colleague who is kinda "helpless" in a lot of things but also very last minute in asking questions. She asked me for something and I just told her that I can only give the thing tomorrow. I had to sort out the issues with my car first, because it was parked in a position where it was blocking some cars that were parked in front of my office.

So I got a mechanic (Choon), to come and have a look see at my car. So he proceeded to change my car battery (about 1-2 hours later after I couldn't start my car). And NOT to my surprise there wasn't any battery water in the battery. I had been meaning to fill the battery with battery water, but I used my battery water a couple of months ago to help my housemate with her car. After that I forgot that I had to fill my own battery.

I could whinge and whine about "Why is this happening to me?" "If I had only NOT helped my housemate" etc etc.. , but Presence Living demands to look beyond this. I learnt a few things..

1. It was 3pm, if I went to Cyberjaya, I'd only get 1hours works done at the most
2. What if my car couldn't start when it was in Cyberjaya? I'd be in a more perilous situation
3. What if my car died-ed half way.. even worse!!
4. What's done is done.. and nothing I say now can change the past, Deal with it.
5. In that moment I snapped at my colleague, I missed out an opportunity to be a blessing. (I did offer to help when things settled down a bit.. but she had already obtained help from someone else)

So... what did I do? I got a dry cell battery.. ha ha ha.. no need to remember to fill water into the battery anymore.. Hopefully for another 1-2 years. It cost me RM145 as opposed to a "wet cell" battery for about RM120.

While waiting for the car to be repaired, I had the opportunity to catch up with one of the JC (Juara Cerdik is the kindergarten under my office) teachers, one of the keyboardist in church. She was just waiting outside the kindergarten, to escort the kids to their parents car as each car turned up. It was good to catch up and then tell her about one of my friend's who had just started work in the kindergarten... she was pleasantly surprised. I pray that my friend and her will hit it off as good friends.

Funnily, as I started to blog, I wanted to put a reminder in my schedule to refill battery water into my battery monthly, BUT ... that's how forgetful I am.. Why do I need to put battery water into a dry cell battery.. ha ha ha.. I guess I could put a reminder as to the time when the battery is reaching 1 year old. Better do that NOW, lest I forget!!!

I must say thanks to my colleagues and my cell member(via sms) who encouraged me even as I looked & sounded a bit irritated with this incident.

Live in His Presence even when you don't think He's there..

Thank You Lord for being there.. .and reminding me not to lose my temper or my cool.