=188= Worship on/off stage: Refreshed

Hahahahaha! I just had the best set that I ever played for and I am filled with so much joy!

Rehearsals and sound check were smooth and that is worrying sometimes because I am just scared that I will be unable to replicate it in the real set. This set, I did not replicate it at all and that is good. The first song was a little difficult for me, because I kept feeling like we were rushing, so I kept bobbing up and down so as to keep time, but we reached a very nice tempo, but I cannot really keep it cause I was unfamiliar with it!

Then I actually blundered on a fill for one of the slow songs; I started the build up too early! Somehow or another my reflexes took over and changed it to quite a nice dynamic fill! Then I recall, at one part doing the build up when it is supposed to be a full groove then a decrescendo. However, it worked out quite well! The drop of dynamics are always great, we pulled out well and it sounded great!

I also recall when it was the altar call, I decided not to play because it felt like a tender moment. Then they repeated the verse almost like a license for me to play! So I did and I realised that the cajon is such a beautiful instrument! It is able to add dynamics well, yet still being soft enough to not hinder the atmosphere. I am so glad I bought Hazel. It is not by chance that I bought a $99 splash then a $350 cajon! They compliment each other so well! The splash is loud enough for me to do swells and have sustain. 10 inches splashes are really a beauty. I find 8 inches like Leb’s has too little sustain for the job. It may be good for short accents so it can be used differently compared to a Drumset, but a 10 has much more versatility to it! My cajon has enough bass and snare to do a great job. So much body and attack! Then on top of that, my cajon is much lighter than the other cajons that I have ever used! This duo is really nice! Thank you Lord for blessing me!

The silence was good. I remembered I had something I wanted to do with the youths if I ever got to MC. I wanted them to give God a minute of silence or a silence offering. I knew how easy it was to be loud and crazy and hyped up, but it was difficult to be still and quiet. So I wanted to do that. When I heard that PJ wanted to do that, I was very excited! The past few weeks hasn’t been good. It has always been days of tiredness and stress. I was very stressed about serving today as well, cause I still had so much work to do. It was VERY nice to, like they said, to take all your worries and burdens and throw it away. When they off the lights, I saw Choo and Daniel kneeling down. I wanted to as well. So I took off my earphones, stood up from my cajon went to the side and kneeled. This was an act of surrender. That naked I came naked I go. It was good.

After “One thing remains” I was supposed to die down to no cajon again, but I dunno why I played the bass on the 2 and 4 and was better for the transition to the other levels of dynamics!

The second last song was supposed to end high then we straight away go to the last song, but we did not because Eugene came up to the stage already, because we ran over time. Then we got told that the last two songs are going to be exit songs. There must be some misunderstanding because Shavinn said, “did you all think it was over? It’s not! We are going to let it go now!”

Then the last song, “Freedom we know”! WOW! Hahahahaha! Oh gosh, after playing that song I can’t stop laughing and smiling! I was very scared for starting the song because I am scared that I would start the wrong tempo then we play it too fast. Thankfully, it only happened in sound check. During the song we simply played and worshipped God. I stopped caring about if I sped up or if I slowed down. I simply worshipped God. Of course I still took note of the punches of the special beat in the song and made sure that it was on time! Being able to hear the different instruments individually was very encouraging to me as a musician. I was able to hear Daniel’s bass lines then loved the guitar’s plucking and the keys’ lines. The energy from the congregation was so much that the entire worship team was panting and laughing! After I saw how many people were jumping in the first chorus I was very encouraged! That led me to stand up during the stop start for the song—something I only ever saw Josh do! I have no idea why playing cajon the same way would be so tiring! Haha! Perhaps I was so excited that I started playing harder and moving around more! I wanted to jump, but I could not! I saw Daniel jumping up and down with his bass seeing him worship was awesome! Everyone just smiled and laughed after the song! I really liked the tight ending with everyone crashing out! I think I hit my cajon with all my strength and that felt REALLY great! Sounded really nice!

Lord, I want to worship you like this every set! It was VERY refreshing and my joy overflowed! Thank you God for giving me rest and joy even when I am in such a difficult season! Thank you Lord!


=187= Words of Melancholy: Tired

For the longest time, if anyone showed some care and asks me how am i, i would naturally say that i am alright, i am just tired. Today, I am just really really really tired. I am not alright.

It isn’t much, but i really want good sleep that will give me good rest. Lord, please give me rest.

Father, i have no idea what kind of person i want to be in LC. I suddenly become this awkward person with a little of everything. I am a little of the jester, a little of the mature, a little of the caring, a little of the brother, a little of the joker and truthfully, it does not blend well. Well, Lord, may you reveal little by little what i should do.

Little by little Lord, please refine my heart and make me become a better person. May this state of weariness stop. Give me energy Lord!

Thank you Father!


=186= Thanksgiving of the Week

Thanksgiving 25/1/2015:
Rested well, really need eye wash though
Caught 116
Got a seat on 116
Managed to squeeze into the MRT
New mouse was so fun
Finished AEA
MDA was good
Managed to get 90 for quiz
Has fun playing Fun run with friends
Practiced up to 185 Bpm for practice today, was really good
Gid protected me
God gave me a way out from temptation
I am so glad that Aaron encountered God
Thank you for encouraging me.
Had a great time in QT
Managed to write something to Esna
Had a nice time chatting with Mindez
Failed horribly
Still had great rest please redeem me Lord, thank you!
Caught 43!
Got a seat on 43
Won the last match of floorball
Had a wonderful time with Pei Han and Mindez
Got on 154
Had a short nap
Filmed my video
Practiced drums
Was able to play hands down I think 70% well! Was good! 🙂
Managed to do MDA assignment
Had a good rest
109 took 3 minutes only
But I am still gonna be late.. :/
Nope! Got to school on time! 😀
Managed to complete another part of MOL
Saw something beautiful
Had dinner with JED! Council was nice
Had quite a fun time laughing
Really need to get my act together
Got to sit on my favorite seat on the bus
Got chicken wings at home for supper
Apologized to C
Woke up early today
Saw an email Esna sent me
Watched several videos
Got to 109 perfect time
Got a seat on 109
Brought Laptop on the right day!
Nice lunch
Had nice convo with Timothy
Gotten quite alright results for DEP
Went to Mustafa
Bought the watch for Jia Jun
Had bad news that I need to play two solos from grade 3, to take grade 4
But drum lessons were still great nevertheless; very productive and efficient!
Caught up to 107
Got home had quite a good time of practice
Nice dinner
Taught my cousin homework
Realised how horrible my technique was, really need to work on single stroke 16th notes again! Step my step, I want to play hands down! :<
Had QT, was nice!
Managed to finish my work on time! Thank you Lord for being so faithful! 🙂
Had a fun chat with C
109 took only 2 minutes
Got to school on time
Managed to finish one MOL revision
Quiz was alright
Nice warm lunch
Managed to get the crackling from my radio receiver
Finished AEA tutorial
Had quite a nice chat with Nok Wan on the bus
Practiced for an hour on a drum pad
Had a VERY good sleep
Had a swim
Good lunch
Prepared for cell lesson tmr
Had a practice session
Had punggol nasi Lemak for dinner
Bought my stuff for tmr
Well rested
Managed to reflect on the past month
Nice breakfast!
Had a nice walk to the petrol kiosk with Arel, Joseph and Royce
Had a wonderful time of cell, I thought that everyone really enjoyed themselves
People were attentive to my debrief
There were some conflict among my cell kids, I am glad that they reconciled.
Lord, please bring forth reconciliation in their lives, may they please be good friends! Lord, it is good that their conflict was expressed, but Father, please give both of them the chance to be good friends again. Father, please give them love for each other. Lord, please stay with them.
Had a nice time with my cell in push
Service was linked to my lesson
Lord, when I jump, I jump for you, no one else, not the congregation, not the worship team.
Had a good time of lunch
Had a good chat with Esther on our way there and Jerome on our way back
Had an hour nap that kept me well rested!
Nice dinner
Managed to kinda finish AEA and wrote up a script for MDA!
Lord, please bless me!
I am enjoying the conversations that I am having! Thank you Lord!
Malachi 1:6-14, Lord, allow me to offer proper sacrifices Lord!
Thank you for this week!

=185= Words of Melancholy: Consequences

Everything we do is a choice. Oatmeal or cereal, highway or sidestreets, kiss her or keep her. We make choices, and we live with consequences. If someone gets hurt along the way, we ask for forgiveness, it’s the best anyone can do.
Ned from Pushing Daisies

This quote captures a lot about how we should live our lives. Christian or not, there are consequences with what we do. We will hurt someone inevitably and asking for forgiveness is really the best we can do. May we become more of a man!


=184= Melancholic Reflections: 5.30-7.00

Haha, well, my stupid body has issues, it doesn’t sleep when I want to and wakes me up at unearthly hours. Instead of just lazing in bed trying to go back to sleep, let me reflect.

The past month has been one crazy ride. 2015 started and I am still catching up. Mainly because I am a realist—I think logically and sometimes I think of the worse outcome. Recently whenever someone asks how can I pray for you? I will answer, “please pray for me, I am dying under the pressure now…”

Stupid me agreed to taking grade exams this year. It really is one of the things that I am dreading. To top it off, last Thursday I found out that I need to play two extra solos because it is MDS policy that I do that if I want to jump to grade 4. It was already a bit of a disappointment when I heard that I need to do grade 4 instead of 5. I mean, well, grade 5 would enable me to work part time in MDS and having a part time job teaching drums sure would not hurt. However I understand that I haven’t been taking grade exams and I grade 4 would be a better choice for a better score.

Then, the never ending load of projects and assignments. Every week is an storm with everyone in class rushing through tutorial and work. Sincerely, can’t you guys pace us better?

Then ministry. While ministry is a wonderful place for me to rest, burdens from it are upon my heart. For CL-ing, my heart longs that my cell will come together and love one another. That the sec 2s will be close to the sec 4s. That the sec 2s will have an encounter with God. That the sec 4s will be mature. It has been one heck of a journey with the sec 4s. They have seen me grow and they have seen through all my lame jokes and antics. They know what kind of a person I am and because of that I have to be real to them. I cannot approach them the way I will approach let’s say a newcomer; I have to love them in whatever way I know how. CL-ing has been a great experience so far. Lord, will you please bring harvest? My heart burdens for you, but I have close to none leading capabilities. I will lead, but I will love. So it really is very difficult for me to discipline them. Lord, how can I lead and love and discipline at the same time? Please teach me how Lord. I am weak but you are strong. Please give me the wisdom to do so.

Worship leading has its own burdens too. I hate to know how weak a musician I am. The past year has been good, I became more confident and I was able to conquer a few songs that I could not play for heck. I began using the metronome. I started to listen out to the other instruments apart from my own. I started to learn how does a song flow and started to give suggestions. After all of that, when I am stripped down, I am still a weak musician. I see more and more new musicians step up and I see how fast they progress and I just feel inadequate. I remembered asking T during the concert how long has he been playing drums, he answered 3 years. That shocked me, I mean in 3 years and you already started teaching drums in MDS? Man, it took me so freaking long to get where I am and I still had to wait. Recently, I have been trying to play hands down by dashboard confessional. This song intrigued me when Leb first played it for us when I was still in the training band, mainly because I was unable to play at that tempo at the time. I mean 16th notes for 188bpm? Nuts! However, recently I noticed that I was able to play the songs that I never could(awakening, rapid hope loss, a lot of the Lifehouse stuff) and that I was getting faster! So I decided to try hands down. I wasn’t able to play the 16th notes part, but I was able to play the rest of the song. So I was really determined to play it. I started practicing with the metronome at high tempos from 175 onwards I got to 200, but my 16th notes still aren’t very clean. I could play the 16th notes part for like I think 2/3 bars then it will go down the drain and sound like bird shit. So I listened out to my notes while practicing on a pad, I realised that my left hand is being lazy and would speed the entire notation up. Like it would use the double stroke technique, but because it wasn’t very developed, it doesn’t sound good at all. So I slowed myself down, set the metronome for 16th notes and I realised that my 16th notes are only clean up to 130 Bpm. So I have been practicing my 16th notes and my hearing. My arms are going through a workout everyday. To play fast you need to hear fast. So I hope by the end of this journey to play hands down my capacity to play punk will increase!

The Lord always gives me things to ponder about, the most recent is the stewardship of my spiritual gifting. I realised that I have an ability to converse with people. Becoming awkward or saying weird or random things to help them relax then asking questions to start conversation. However recently it has been brought to my attention that my method might not be the best. First of all, doing all these extra antics and jokes points the attention to me, not God. While I do enjoy making people laugh, I must realise that my gift is for God not me. When I make people laugh the attention is brought to me and that for me is my stumbling point. Second, I must realise how doing all these affects my ministry. While it allows people to relax around me, it also strips away my authority with people. I need to think of what kind of person/leader I want to be. Do I want to be your best bud? Or do I want to be your best leader? Do I play with you? Or do I challenge you to do something? I mean I would really want to have both friendship and authority, but there is a line. If I fall on one side, I lose the authority. If I fall on the other, I am afraid I might scare people away. I am not sure which hat I need to wear, but I do know that I need better stewardship of my gifts.

On the other hand, I am very thankful for another pillar for the moment. I pray that I will continue to see the greatness of our God! 🙂

My Lord, please stay with me. Give me the strength to move on with this year. When I open the cubicle door and start running in that corridor, will you please catch up to me and lead me out? It is a crazy world out there and I am overwhelmed. Be by my side Lord. I give thanks! 🙂