=109= Melancholic Reflections: Off Stage

Ok, maybe I am not the best person to write this, but I want to. I want to record what I have learned from serving with drums in the Worship Team.

The role of a worship leader, including the instrumentalist and vocalist, is a difficult role. We may get all the limelight, but we struggle with things that many people don’t. First we have to sing/play/mix good. To create the atmosphere for worship is difficult, we struggle to work together to produce the best sound and atmosphere for people to worship God. Then, we have to sacrifice precious time to go for rehearsals. We spend Wednesdays to rehearsals then we have to rehearsal once again on Sat, play for service on Sat and Sun. Basically, Wednesday night, Sunday morning and the whole of Saturday is burned. Then, we need to be so much more aware of our walk with God. There is this phrase that is always around, “To lead someone to somewhere in worship, we need to be there first(take care of our walk firsts)”. It’s true, giving everything to God and just worship God on stage is a struggle as well. Sounds tough? It is, but I enjoy it thoroughly!

However, what if I told you, it is even more difficult than that?

There is a role for a worship leader on stage; to prepare for set, to be in tune with the spirit etc etc. There is a role off stage as well. When you are a part of a congregation in worship, you can play a part to lead people to worship. You can come to the front when the worship leader or emcee asks them to. You can sing loudly. You can clap loudly. You can jump when it reaches the chorus. Basically, do what you want the congregation to do when you are on stage, off stage.

It may sound like a hassle, but this is something all worship leaders on stage should do. How can you expect people to do it if you do not do it yourself? It will be hypocritical if you do not do it. Just try it, try leading people off stage to worship. You will enjoy yourself more and you will worship better too!

I remembered that I had trouble worshipping God off stage after experiencing God on stage during the first few months of serving in CAMY. Through trial and error, the way to experience God off stage the same way I experience God on stage is by leading off stage. Serve off stage. Open your eyes to see who needs prayer, sometimes they are screaming inside to ask for prayer. What frustrates me the most is that most people are able to see pain and hurt easily, it is the act of going up to a person and ask and pray about it that SOOOOO many people are scared about. Let me tell you, all those reasons are excuses. You just do not want to pray for them. Your pride and face is more important then their pain and hurt, and we wonder why people leave the church? Because the people in church do not act like the church.

I speak to the worship leaders, for we were called to a role of leading people to God. We are the people who have the responsibility to act out what we had learned and lead people to walk that way! It is a difficult role I know! I struggle with a lot of insecurities and had to sacrifice praying for my cell kids during altar call.

Perhaps this is what it meant by the Levites get no inheritance because God is their inheritance.

Let us take heart and continue and take on the responsibilities off stage!

=108= Words of Melancholy: Second Door

“How are you?” The voice spoke to the man

“I am fine, I am just tired.” The man replied.

“Tired of what?

“Tired of trying so hard”

“Trying for what?”

“To live this life”

The voice replied but the man could not hear.

“I am sorry, can you repeat?”

The voice tried again but the man could not hear.

“Argh, forget it, it is not like you understand anyway.” The man said while turning his back and head for the second toilet door.

The voice tried again, but the man was too far to hear it.

“I give up” said the voice.

The voice and the man had a long history together, it all began when the voice was in the toilet as usual. The voice had no body and memory of how he got trapped in the toilet. He tried to leave but he was unable to. The toilet was unique it had two doors but people seemed to only use one door. The second door was seldom used.

Being a voice with no body, the voice loved to play tricks on people; scaring people when they were in the toilet which the voice housed in. The voice was unable to get out of the toilet so that was probably why he picked up pranking people.

One day, the voice saw this boy with a grey t-shirt and blue jeans. He had a normal school bag and he went into the last cubicle of the washroom. The voice wanted to scare the boy like he was so used to doing, but something stopped him; he noticed that the boy was crying.

“Why? Why? Why?” The boy whimpered.

The voice was shocked, no one on his watch every cried that much in the toilet before. He wanted to comfort the boy but he had no body to do so. He contemplated speaking out but he knew that would scare the boy, so he did not. Hence, he simply listened.

The boy appeared to be arguing with someone with his words. He seems to be scolding someone but the last time The voice checked the only people that was in the room was the boy and the voice.

Now thinking that the boy is crazy, the voice decided to scare him anyway, so the voice spoke, “who are you arguing with?”

The sudden voice started the boy and the boy started to wipe his tears.
“I am alright” he replied.

Now the voice is surprised, no one on his watch was ever so calm as well. “Oh wait perhaps it was because I spoke words, he must think that I am in the other cubicle. Ah crap, now I can’t scaring him any longer” The voice thought to himself. “Oh well, if I could not scare him, I might as well have a good conversation with him.”

So the voice started to talk to him. He is finally having a proper conversation with a person in years. The voice found out that the boy was lonely. He could not speak to the girl that he likes for she is always with her clique. The voice gave great advice.

“You know right, sometimes in life, we do not always get what we want. I do not know what the outcome would turn out, but I know something is for sure, you will not be alone; even if you do not have a girlfriend, you have your friends and family”

The boy went away cheered up.

The boy returned to the toilet once again as a teenager after three years. He entered by faith that the second last cubicle user will be there. He said, “hey if you are there, please reply me, I really need someone to talk to now”

The voice recognized the teenager as the boy that once wept immediately and replied. This time, the boy was lonely again, but now he is struggling with issues with his close friends.

Once again the voice spoke,”Sometimes that happens. It is fine. Sometimes it happens so as to teach you what is more important. Your pride or your friendship. If putting down your pride allows you to have more friends, why not?”

Again the teenager cheered up.

Yet, he found it strange. Why did this person stay there for such a long time, three years! So he questioned. The voice did not know how to answer so he came up with unbelievable tales about how the second cubicle is a secret pathway to his secret lab. The teenager was no fool, he knew that it was a pack of lies, but since the guy in the second last cubicle has always helped him, he decided that in not embarrassing the guy was a way to repay him.

The voice assured the teenager that he will be there in the second last cubicle if he wants someone to talk to.

This started the journey. Whenever the teenager has a problem he would go to the last cubicle to vent and rant to the voice. The voice would then listen and talk him through. The teenager grew into a man and he started to have less time to go to the cubicle.

The voice waited three whole years for the man. He grew frustrated and wanted to speak to someone as well, but he could not, he could not speak to someone without scaring them, not even if he tries to act like he is in the next cubicle. So the voice grew quiet. He remained diligent for another two years.

One day, the man walked in. The voice recognized him but felt betrayed for not visiting him for so long, hence refused to reply him.
“Hey are you there?”

The voice remained silent.

“I am sorry for not visiting for so long”

The voice remained silent.

“I am really down…”
“I have no one to talk to”
“My fiancé just left me”
“I am lonely again, what should I do?”

The voice felt pity for the man and spoke once again, but this time he spoke out of the bitterness of his heart as well.

“You know, we all face rejection. You are not alone. I spent 5 years alone in this toilet with no one to talk to, you are lucky compared to me. All I want was someone to speak to. Someone to talk to to listen to me, but no one ever does. They all get scared of me. I want a friend but I get stuck in this stupid toilet where no one can see me. You think you are bad, I am worse!”

The man was shocked at how serious the voice was, but he himself was bitter as well, so he began to argue with the voice. After a long hour, they both grew tired of the argument and laughed to themselves.

“Hey can I at least see you?” The man asked.

“No you can’t…” The voice replied hesitantly.

“Why?” The man demanded an answer.

“You can’t see me”

“Enough with that! Your tales are getting too wild”

“It’s true…”

The voice now explained the whole situation to him, at for the could not believe it but he finally opened the door to the second cubicle and saw that it was empty. The man was initially scared but assured after he thought to himself that the voice has helped him so much through the years.

The man came constantly again. One day, the man walked in depressed again.

The voice took the initiative to start the conversation.

“Hey how are you?”

“I am alright, I am just tired”

This was the standard conversation they had from that day.

Until one day the man came with a slip of paper on his hand.

“How are you?” The voice spoke to the man

“I am fine, I am just tired.” The man replied.

“Tired of what?

“Tired of trying so hard”

“Trying for what?”

“To live this life”

The voice replied but the man could not hear.

“I am sorry, can you repeat?”

The voice tried again but the man could not hear.

“Argh, forget it, it is not like you understand anyway.” The man said while turning his back and head for the second toilet door.

The voice tried again, but the man was too far to hear it.

“I give up” said the voice, helpless to do anything.

The voice never saw the man again.

=107= Melancholic Reflections: Price

What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

Mine was ten copies of three paper each. Nope not even a cert, it was simply a photocopy of a lesson i prepared. What happened was that i prepared the lesson for the coming sunday, i was pretty proud of it considering that i found material online and used it. I compiled quite a few stuff and i enjoyed learning from the experience. I remembered it was on how to do QT.

I was pretty proud of it because i ran through the lesson with Kennaf and he liked it. So i actually went to bras basah to photocopy. I think it was during the chinese new year period, so most of the shops there are closed. Only one printing shop was opened at that time. So i went in there to photocopy it. I have NO clue how much was the rates were, so it turns out that it is 0.70 per black and white copy and 1.00 per colour copy. I had two black and white and one colour, so ten copies made out to be…. TWENTY FOUR DOLLARS!!!!!

Nevertheless, i paid for it. To give the company some credit, the paper were really good quality and the printing was one of the best i ever seen. It comes with a nice plastic cover. Very nice. Why this was the most expensive thing i ever bought is not because i paid for something expensive with a high price, but because i paid for something cheap with a high price.

Sometimes i just wonder, why would someone pay such a high price for something so useless? Then you see what can be transformed out of the useless and you just stare with awe. A beautiful stallion from a lizard, pretty good deal if you asked me, but the price for that is to burn it off first. (In case you do not understand this, go google “Stallion CS Lewis” and read it, it is very nice! :))

Ok, i decided that it will be better if i copied and paste it here, so here goes:

I saw coming towards us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder. Like all the Ghosts, he was unsubstantial, but they differed from one another as smokes differ. Some had been whitish; this one was dark and oily. What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience. “Shut up, I tell you!” he said. It wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. He ceased snarling, and presently began to smile. Then be turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountains.

“Off so soon?” said a voice.

The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of a tyrannous summer day.

“Yes. I’m off,” said the Ghost. “Thanks for all your hospitality. But it’s no good, you see. I told this little chap,” (here he indicated the lizard), “that he’d have to be quiet if he came—which he insisted on doing. Of course his stuff won’t do here: I realise that. But he won’t stop. I shall just have to go home.”

‘Would you like me to make him quiet?” said the flaming Spirit—an angel, as I now understood.

“Of course I would,” said the Ghost.

“Then I will kill him,” said the Angel, taking a step forward.

“Oh-ah-look out! You’re burning me. Keep away,” said the Ghost, retreating.

“Don’t you want him killed?”

“You didn’t say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that.”

“It’s the only way,” said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the lizard. “Shall I kill it?”

“Well, that’s a further question. I’m quite open to consider it, but it’s a new point, isn’t it? I mean, for the moment I was only thinking about silencing it because up here—well, it’s so damned embarrassing.”

“May I kill it?”

“Well, there’s time to discuss that later.”

“There is no time. May I kill it?”

“Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please—really—don’t bother. Look! It’s gone to sleep of its own accord. I’m sure it’ll be all right now. Thanks ever so much.”

“May I kill it?”

“Honestly, I don’t think there’s the slightest necessity for that. I’m sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it.”

“The gradual process is of no use at all.”

“Don’t you think so? Well, I’ll think over what you’ve said very carefully. I honestly will. In fact I’d let you kill it now, but as a matter of fact I’m not feeling frightfully well today. It would be silly to do it now. I’d need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day, perhaps.”

“There is no other day. All days are present now.”

“Get back! You’re burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You’d kill me if you did.”

“It is not so.”

“Why, you’re hurting me now.”

“I never said it wouldn’t hurt you. I said it wouldn’t kill you.”

“Oh, I know. You think I’m a coward. But it isn’t that. Really it isn’t. I say! Let me run back by tonight’s bus and get an opinion from my own doctor. I’ll come again the first moment I can.”

“This moment contains all moments.”

“Why are you torturing me? You are jeering at me. How can I let you tear me to pieces? If you wanted to help me, why didn’t you kill the damned thing without asking me—before I knew? It would be all over by now if you had.”

“I cannot kill it against your will. It is impossible. Have I your permission?”

The Angel’s hands were almost closed on the Lizard, but not quite. Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it was saying.

“Be careful,” it said. “He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you’ll be without me for ever and ever. It’s not natural. How could you live? You’d be only a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn’t understand. He’s only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn’t for us. Yes, yes. I know there are no real pleasures now, only dreams. But aren’t they better than nothing? And I’ll be so good. I admit I’ve sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won’t do it again. I’ll give you nothing but really nice dreams—all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent . . .”

“Have I your permission?” said the Angel to the Ghost.

“I know it will kill me.”

“It won’t. But supposing it did?”

“You’re right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature.”

“Then I may?”

“Damn and blast you! Go on can’t you? Get it over. Do what you like,” bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, “God help me. God help me.”

Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken backed, on the turf.

“Ow! That’s done for me,” gasped the Ghost, reeling backwards.

For a moment I could make out nothing distinctly. Then I saw, between me and the nearest bush, unmistakably solid but growing every moment solider, the upper arm and the shoulder of a man. Then, brighter still and stronger, the legs and hands. The neck and golden head materialized while I watched, and if my attention had not wavered I should have seen the actual completing of a man—an immense man, naked, not much smaller than the Angel. What distracted me was the fact that at the same moment something seemed to be happening to the Lizard. At first I thought the operation had failed. So far from dying, the creature was still struggling and even growing bigger as it struggled. And as it grew it changed. Its hinder parts grew rounder. The tail, still flickering, became a tail of hair that flickered between huge and glossy buttocks. Suddenly I started back, rubbing my eyes. What stood before me was the greatest stallion I have ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, rippled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinnying and stamping with its hoofs. At each stamp the land shook and the trees dindled.

The new-made man turned and clapped the new horse’s neck. It nosed his bright body. Horse and master breathed each into the other’s nostrils. The man turned from it, flung himself at the feet of the Burning One, and embraced them. When he rose I thought his face shone with tears, but it may have been only the liquid love and brightness (one cannot distinguish them in that country) which flowed from him. I had not long to think about it. In joyous haste the young man leaped upon the horse’s back. Turning in his seat he waved a farewell, then nudged the stallion with his heels. They were off before I well knew what was happening. There was riding if you like! I came out as quickly as I could from among the bushes to follow them with my eyes; but already they were only like a shooting star far off on the green plain, and soon among the foothills of the mountains. Then, still like a star, I saw them winding up, scaling what seemed impossible steeps, and quicker every moment, till near the dim brow of the landscape, so high that I must strain my neck to see them, they vanished, bright themselves, into the rose-brightness of that everlasting morning.

The Great Divorce by CS Lewis


=106= Comfort Songs: How He Loves Us

How He Loves Us by Jesus Culture
He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

And oh
How He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us
how He loves us oh

He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

And oh
How He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us
how He loves us oh

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking (ha ha)
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
when I think about the way

He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves yeah yeah

hey yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves yeah yeah
Yeah He loves us
He loves us
He loves us (ha)

[Kim Walker speaks]
His presence. His love.
Is so thick and tangible in this room tonight.
And there are some of you here that have not encountered the love of God.
And tonight God wants to encounter you.
And wants you to feel His love.
His amazing love.
Without it these are just songs.
These are just words.
These are just instruments.
Without the love of God, it’s just like we’re just up here just making noise.
But the love of God changes us,
And we’re never the same,
We’re never the same
After we encounter the love of God
We’re never the same after we encounter the love of God
And right now if you haven’t encountered the love of God,
And you would know,
Because you wouldn’t be the same.
You would never be the same again.
And if you, if you, want to encounter the love of God right now,
You better just brace yourself because He’s about to just blow in this place
And we’re gonna encounter the love of God right now.
So God I speak to all the hearts
And I ask God that every heart be open right now
Every heart be open.
Every spirit be opened up
To you God. To You.
And a love encounter
A love encounter from you tonight
A love encounter from you tonight God.

Yeah He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
Let it go deep go deep go deep

He loves us
Oh how he loves us
oh how he loves us
oh how he loves
His love is going deep
His love is going deep tonight
His love is going deep tonight
See the Father
Behold the Father
Behold the Father (ha)

I remembered how much i really enjoyed this song when i heard Alvin sang it. I found the original with David Crowder singing this song. Then, i saw on Youtube that Jesus Culture has a version of it! Being a Jesus Culture fan, i decided to hear it! Kim Walker’s voice is sooo nice! Then, i heard her speak, i cried. Amazing. How he loves us. How fitting for this season of moulting.  Thank you God.


=105= Worship on/off stage: Freedom

Nice! I enjoyed my set today completely!

Song list:
1. I’m not ashamed
2. The Difference
3. Where the spirit of The Lord is
4. Reign in us

I took the HD dry head for a spin. It was not durable at all, I already stretched the head. Well, still need to replace the head. Looks like only the Hydraulic Black is durable enough. Next head to try is the power center reverse dot!

This set is special because it’s the first set that Nell is leading after her trip and I had the privilege to serve alongside her. The cool thing about Nell is that she is sharp enough to hear all the wrong playing(both rhythmically and chords wise) and does her best to correct everything during the rehearsals. Then during the set itself, she just worships! I absolutely loved the free worship portion! Played so many weird thimble patterns that I never thought of playing! Very fun! 😀

Then when Leb comes up to me, -sigh- I knew I have soooooooo much more to learn. Interestingly he showed me so many cool ideas to work on.

Help me through Lord!
Thank you!

=104= Melancholic Reflections: Annoying

Well, today during rehearsals, Nell wanted us to share about what God has done in the past week and say “God is _______” to you.

When I heard the “God is ______” part I smiled to myself, because the first word I thought to myself is “annoying”.

Ok, before you report my blog post, let me explain. I speak of “annoying” not as a literal sense. I speak of it more of a friend sense. Like how siblings(or for me, cell leaders) say that their brother(or for me, cell kids) are annoying, but smiles while saying it. Somehow, while using words that can’t explain the meaning. They managed to bring forth a deeper meaning.

They, while saying it, do not mean that they hate their brother, in fact, they actually found it quite adorable. Like how girls always tell their close friends are irritating, but does not mean that they do not enjoy their presence. Interestingly, by saying these words(annoying, irritating), they actually reveal a certain bond that they have.

Saying words are different from meaning them. I have lost count the times that I have called someone annoying or idiot or stupid. If you take it literally, if I used the words, it would have meant that the person is really(certifiably) an idiot or a stupid person, in this case, you have lost the entire context.

Sometimes the people who are being ‘irritating’ aren’t doing it unintentionally. A lot of times, guys would play to get the attention of people(girls in particular). Many times, when people are being irritating unintentionally, people would be ‘kind’ not to say it out loud to make them aware of it.

I am thankful that when I was irritating without my knowledge people actually voiced out and told me. I remembered three incidents.

First, I was secondary one, I was really playful and naughty. So I began chasing(literally, NOT figuratively) girls around, calling them names. Somehow, I was close to the girls I chased around. Without me noticing, I became what I called, an Ass. I pressured my friend to let me copy his Chinese homework, I did a lot of stupid crap. One day, over MSN, I was talking to this one girl(whom I wasn’t close to), I forgot how the conversation began, but she said something that would change my personality forever(and I am thankful for it). “If you keep up this disgusting behavior, you will have no more friends left”. Very bluntly. Ouch. Well, I took it and decided not to do all those stupid crap that I used to do. So I withdrew from chasing them or calling them names. Without me noticing, I stopped talking to them all together. It is as though as me “annoying” them actually added to the relationship in more ways than I knew.

Second, I was in Boys’ Brigade. I was not picked as the CSM(the highest ranking person), but I had two posts(stuff I have to do). For the first few months, I began noticing what the CSM has done. I began to spot so many flaws. I personally wanted the DSM(second highest ranking) to be the CSM. So I became VERY arrogant. I began not to listen to the CSM’s words. Became an Ass again. Quite truthfully, I did not realize it until my teacher came and talked to me. Corrected me. So I became more of a servant to the company and I became (in my opinion) one of the best in my batch! 🙂

Third, was during a conference. I was eating with Josh Lui and I did a funny voice and they laughed the first time. But I continued with that voice until Josh said, “I know you hear this a lot, you are getting annoying”. Ouch. Yet, I am thankful to Josh for doing that as well, it has taught me the boundaries that I should not cross.

The points I wanted to draw out from these stories are:
1. Teasing or playing which leads to a party saying that you are ‘irritating’ can contribute to a relationship.
2. Many times when people are being seriously annoying, or more specifically, arrogant, they could be doing this unintentionally. Correcting them might do them good.
3. Not correcting people might not be ‘kind’ or loving to them. I once showed this point to a friend, sometimes when you hate someone, you are more likely to not talk to them. Talking to then might actually be showing love to them. When you truly hate someone, you will not even want to speak to that person. You will dread to talk to him/her. This is the kind of hate that I hope to grow for the devil.

Ok, but we have drifted quite far from the original topic. God is annoying. My reason for saying that was because he is so consistent and faithful, it irritates me. I read psalms and job recently and I saw something so ironic. “Will you let me alone for just a moment?” “Will you just look away”. I am scared that this is out of context. They seem to be aware of God’s omnipresence. “He is everywhere!” “Why can’t he just leave me alone?” “I don’t want to be righteous, it is too tiring, why can’t you leave me alone?” This brought forth a simple truth. God is omnipresent no matter we want it or not.

Quite often, when we talk about God’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience, we tend to speak out of adoration. This is good. It is good to adore God for His amazing ability and power! However, we tend to forget that God is all these things whether we want it or not. God is always present; God will be there to support you through, but that also means that God will be there when you do not want Him to be there. God is always powerful; He is has the power to change and affect the situation you are in, but that also means that he has the power to express his wrath(like seen in the flood). God always know everything; He knows the plans that He has for you, but that also means that He knows every sin you have done.

Sinning is definitely easier without God in the picture, but this is the funny part, God is never not in the picture. He is always there. It is only a matter of recognizing or knowing His presence. That is why people finds it more difficult to sin after God’s grace. You are made aware of a presence that is always there and He loves you so much he died for you and you will continue to kill Him if you sin. Hence, after being aware of this love, it is so much harder to indulge in sin and not repent before God.

I recalled that somewhere in this blog I talked about this as well. Sometimes, a moment alone is not what we seek. We seek quietness to gain composure; to have peace, so that we can think straight. However, composure and rationality cannot be gained by pushing yourself to dwell on the problem.

I recall another scene. During Leaders Retreat last year, I was really angry with something. I wanted to resolve it on that day. So when Sis Elsa asked if I am joining them for supper, I hesitated. Thank God Sis Elsa took that one extra step to ask if I wanted to talk about it. So much hurt and anger was released that I cried(ya, in front of Elsa, not proud of it). Elsa then told me that I can’t just stay there and emo about it. It is true, now that I think about it. If I actually went and get it settled that day, things would have gotten worse and that anger and hurt would never found it’s release.

In this kind if situation, you would really want to be alone, but God will not let you be alone. In this case, I actually give thanks that God never did withdraw his presence. If he did, I would have nothing to support on and move. It is strange, we are basically pushing the power that can help us and solve the problem away. How stupid of us that wants to replicate the same result without going through the right process. Being alone, stores up anger and one day, it will burst. Going to God in prayer and petition, allows you to burst beforehand, giving you absolutely no composure before God, allowing you to offer God a broken and a contrite heart. After you burst, you gain peace that transcends all understanding and have composure unlike any other, best example is Jesus in gethsemane, he poured his heart out to God, even sweat blood. After he prayed he gained peace to go on with it.

After my sharing, Nell gave a suggestion for a different word, “persistent”. Nah, I prefer “annoying”. Remember that I said it with a smile and a light tone! Just like how lovers would say that their partners are annoying! They say it, but they do not hate each other, instead, they are closer with each other than anyone else.

Let me end off with this:

God is annoying. He loves me so much that he does not leave me alone. He does not leave me alone for my sin. He wants me to protect my body, mind and soul. He does not leave me alone when I am angry because he does not want me to vent my anger in something else. Instead he wants me to give it to Him and have faith. God is annoying, because He knows it all. He knows my darkest secrets and would still love me. God is annoying, but I love Him for that.

=103= Words of Melancholy: Word

“Don’t do it
I love you
I love you so much that I died for you
Do not sin
Why are you hurting me, when I love you so much?
Change your stubborn heart
Turn away from your sins
Look away from what distracts you
Look at me
If you still can
Listen to me
If you still can
Allow me into your life
If you want me in, I will
I will give you power
I will equip you
I will comfort you
I will protect you
Listen to my spirit as you face transgressions
Worship me as you live each day!
Each day you will live with me
Give me your heart
I will transform it
I will turn it into a beautiful stallion
Though nothing in your life is beautiful
I will make the most out of what you give me
But how can I transform something out of nothing?
How can I change your heart when you don’t want to?
Will you give me your heart?
I will give you a new word
I will give you compassion for your lost sheep
I will use your heart to give to them
I will refresh you as you pray you will understand their feelings
I will be with you
Like how I was with David even after his huge blunder
I will bring judgement in the end days
Let me judge, me and me alone
Do not be paralyzed by the guilt the devil has put in you
The shame of sin grew from the the contrast of godliness and flesh
Adam and Eve hid because they felt shame
Opening eyes is my job, do not take my job
You think you have suffered?
I had to withstand the whining of this whole world
From the beginning, I have loved you
But how did you treat me?
By moving further away from me
By leaving my presence, so you can sin in peace
I tell you the truth
They is no way you can sin in peace
For I loved you too much to let you do so
Even if you are too far away
I will extend my arms to hug you
Let me love you
Listen, if you still can
If your heart isn’t stone cold
If your heart isn’t dead
If you still have my breath in your body
I am not too far
You are so small
You are small compared to the Earth I created
Yet, I love you more
You were made in my image
So why are you tainting my face?
Why are you tainting my name?
You want rest?
Why are you seeking rest physically?
Like as if you will be full of energy if you sleep
Remember the one who sustained you, was me
Even now, I am with you you
I will give you a new word
You may not understand now
But you will in due time
Wait for The Lord
Be strong and take heart
And wait for The Lord”

I received this word when I could not sleep on Saturday

=101= Melancholic Reflections: First Death

Once a manga goes successful for quite a while, there is always the first major death. But how one handles the first character to die can eventually make or break the series.

Dragon ball – first main character to die is Krillin. Being killed by Piccolo. The way they handled the death was stupid. To gather dragonballs to revive Krillin. I am not so much a fan of a series that is so unbelievable, where death is no longer an issue among humans because of the dragonballs.

Naruto – I think the first major death in the series is the death of the third hokage. They handled it pretty well! People reminiscing about their time with the third.

One Piece – The first major death is the death of Ace. This one death did the series really well! The writer has amazing ability to write back stories to give the character depth. He handled the death very well. By reminding Luffy that he still has his crew, it helped both the readers and Luffy get past the death of Ace! Can’t believe One Piece is still not halfway done. It is really good though!

Fullmetal Alchemist – first major death is Maes Hudges, Roy’s best friend, the overly obsessed father and husband who was such a nice guy(he would visit Edward even though he was busy). Interestingly, this drove Mustang to find out about the secret I the country. This death also reminded readers that Edward and Alphonse were children. Actually the series handled death really well. First death being Tricia Elric, brought out the desire of the brothers that wanted to bring their mother back to life. Then, death of Nina reminded them that they were humans, unlike many series that tend to push the abilities of characters too much.

Toriko – first major death being the death of the president. I am not sure why, but it seems that they did not have much empathizes on the death.

Well, these are only a few. However I do know that there are special cases that deaths were not that significant because of heir storyline, for example, bleach, bleach is a story about death reapers so to display death among death reapers is a bit difficult.

Well, hope in these four weeks there won’t be iconic moments in the mangas I read!

=100= Gear I Want: Audrey

Ok before anyone conclude anything, I just want to say that I love Audrey. She is absolutely beautiful. Her voice is so sweet! There is a problem though. I can’t stop hitting her.

Audrey is my snare drum’s name! 😛

I like to record down how I actually gotten Audrey.

I really wanted my own snare drum to use for church for years. I looked at tons of different snare drums; DW, Sonor, Magnetone, Ludwig, Gresch, Tama, Porkpie, Pearl, Yamaha, Mapex, Dunnett, etc etc. I always wanted one but could not afford one. The average price for a good snare drum is like $500. I could not save up enough for it.

Bro Leb’s Black Panther Cherry Snare is extremely pretty and nice. Bro Jon’s Akira Jimbo signature has like wood hoops and looked so cool as well. Even the church’s snare is better than mine; there is a DW Edge snare.

Being a student in My Drum School, I grew up(my drumming life) playing Mapex and being a huge fan of their innovations and sound. Like they say, ‘performance is everything.’ Being in My Drum School, I played all kinds of Mapex snare before. From like Low End snares to Steve Jordan’s signature(Yamaha) to like very nice Walnut snares! To top it off, Brandon Khoo and Leb both use Mapex as well, so I really wanted one.

Over the past few weeks, I started researching on snare drums and I saw the whole line of Black Panther snare drums. I found out that Brandon Khoo uses the ‘Blade’ snare drum; a steel 14 by 5.5 snare drum. I generally like a thicker snare drum. I really wanted one of 14 inches as well. So for like last year, I wanted the ‘Phatbob’, a maple 14 by 7 snare drum. It does look good at all. It is black and not fancy at all. I wasn’t so keen on metal snares as well(I heard metal gives off bad overtones). However, once I knew Brandon Khoo uses the Blade, I desired something similar as well, I decided to go for the ‘Machete’ the same material but an inch thicker(14 by 6.5).

Another reason for buying another snare is because i realised that the reason why my sticks depreciate so fast is mainly due to two factors. First, the height of my hi-hat(if it is too high, your stuck will come into contact with the edge of the hats, spoiling both your hi-hats and your sticks, not worth having the cool set up that Atom Willard has) and second, my snare at home is equipped with single flanged hoops; basically the rim is very thin, meaning more pressure on the stick and hence the damage is worse too. Mapex Black Panthers were fitted with Sonic Saver Hoops; the rims are more rounded hence saving your sticks.

Okay back to the ‘Machete’. Same problem with the ‘Phatbob’, the ‘Machete’ is too dull. So I did researched once again. The only snare drum that is 14 by 6.5 is the ‘Sledgehammer’. With brass and hand hammering, the snare looked sick. Like an amazing jaguar snare drum! Looks like the perfect snare? The cost is a hundred dollars more than the ‘Machete’.

I also looked at the ‘Cherry Bomb’, after all, Leb uses a cherry snare. But the snare is 13 by 5.5. Making it very small. And my favorite snare head in the moment(Evans Hydraulic Black) does not have a 13 inch version. So I needed to consider that factor as well.

The most common type of wood for drums is Maple and the most common size for a snare drum is 14 inches. I knew I wanted to be different. I wanted to have a snare of a different wood. However, before you think that going for the standard is bad, you must consider something. Why is it the standard? Why is Maple so popular among drums? Why is 14 inches so popular? It means that the crowd likes it. Although common, it means that it should have certain quality to it that drum companies tend to go towards that direction. Since they are popular, it means that drum companies are more accustomed to making these drums, hence the quality of the drum is more ensured as well.

Ok now this is the actually story. I found out that guitar 77 has a 30% discount on black panther snares. I calculated, the Machete will cost $468. In my savings account, I had $490+. I obviously can’t use up all my savings, so I called my mum up to ask if she could sponsor me 200 dollars. She agreed! So I immediately went to Guitar 77 to buy it! I tried the display set, the head was untuned the snares were loose. It was a horrible sounding snare. Yet, I could hear the tone of the drum and the little ring, it could sound terrific with tuning! So I still decided to buy it, but the display set was the last piece. I saw a very attractive snare on the top of the shelves. I thought it was a limited edition walnut snare. So I asked about it. It was a limited edition snare and it cost 350. I took it down to try, it sounded WAY better than the untuned Machete. And upon hearing that it was Walnut shell I was sold. I was a bit skeptical though, after all the price was cheaper than the Machete even though it was Walnut. He said that it was a hybrid, so that explains it.

However, it does not come with a proper case. So I had to go to Music Theme to get one, but none were suitable. So I decided to go to singapore drum shop to buy one. Well, I was really unhappy how he said my snare drum was expensive and that the USA made pork pies are only 480, that(my snare) is made in China. I am sorry I can’t afford the lowest range of your snare drums. -.- well, nonetheless, the snare drum case I bought is beautiful. It is purposely out of shape so I can put other things inside(drum key, muffler). Mike Johnston and Thomas Lang uses it as well!

Here is the deal breaker. I did some research. I realised that my snare was not walnut, it is maple. Well, not surprised, but I was really disappointed. But I found out that it was made out of 4.1 mm of maple and 3 mm of EXOTIC maple. Cool! Well, the sound it very nice! 🙂

I then brought it home the to church. I tuned it and when I heard it was beautiful. Very open and sweet! A huge difference between rim shots and normal snare hits! Very sensitive to my ghost notes! When I played it for sound check, I was so pleased with the sound! Bro Leb said it sounded like the church’s snare. Well, can’t dispute that, but I can promise that it is sweeter sounding than the church’s Yamaha snare!

Name of the drum. Well, I always envied guitarist who names their instrument. So I decided to name my drumset ‘Ruth’. After all, Ruth was very loyal to Naomi after her husband died. Ruth was such a companion to me. So I could not name my new snare Ruth. So I ran through names, I actually wanted a name with Biblical context. I was thinking about ‘Rebekah’, for she was a God given wife to Isaac. I also thought about ‘Sarah’, wife to Abraham, the lady who was so attractive she got two people sick because they wanted to hit on her(this is a watered version of the original story in genesis). When I saw the Machete, Rebekah seemed like the perfect name! Being metal and sexy you know! I then named the cherry bomb, ‘Emma’. Thinking of spiderman. And the sledgehammer, ‘Felicia’. Thinking of Felicia hardy from spiderman. As it looks like a cat, it is very much like black cat except for the black part!

However, getting my snare was a coincidence. So I did not prepare a name for it. So I bugged my classmates to give me good names. Then I bugged my cell to give me a good one as well! My cell was very supportive, they gave a TON of names for me. It got to a point when one of them got fed up and said, “I know what is it called! A DRUM!” Hahaha, her face was priceless! I thought of ‘Elysia’ the daughter of Maes Hudges of Fullmetal Alchemist, but it does not suit my snare, my snare is sweet, but not cute! I started to google for movies that I liked, I googled Liar liar. The name of the wife was ‘Audrey’! It just clicked! Audrey sounds terrific for my snare!

Audrey has an origin that meant ‘noble strength’. Wow! I loved the name! Audrey is perfect for the sound that it gave me! So I called it Audrey!

Well, loved it’s performance! Until someone gives me a better name for the drum, Audrey seems to be quite a solid name! 🙂