=237= Words of Melancholy: AcheivementsΒ 

Applying for the scholarship just makes me feel horrible. I realized that for the past two years, all my accomplishments are not recognized by the school. I mean, how can I put down Cell Leader for Footsteps for 2 years in my application form? How can I put down Drummer for CAMY for 2 years?

To the school’s eyes, service in church is nothing and it just made me feel horrible. In the past two years, I worked my hardest and did my best for the cell, for CAMY and for school. Sure, I did growβ€”I learned how to teach better, learned to have a better walk, learned how to be a better musician, learned people’s skills and more about Godβ€”but I could not put that down in the application. My hard work in the past two years is worth nothing to the school. Do you understand how it feels to have your hard work to be unrecognized? 

My best achievements that I could put down were from secondary school back in 2012. When I put it down, I just felt weird, why in the world am I putting something that I did years back? 😦

When I saw that your CCA points will be a huge criteria, I am just saddened by just how the world is. I am sad that without a certificate, without physical proof that you do something, you can’t apply for anything. I definitely improved in my drumming, but I haven’t took drum grade exams since Grade 1, so I can’t put grade 4 which I would be taking or even grade 3 because it is untrue.

The only points that I have gotten are from the PFP orientation camp with me being an OGL and I honestly hated the experience. It was draining and I do not have the energy to do it. The people weren’t very nice as well.

It is not that I don’t want a CCA, it is because it happens so late and I live so far. I already have little time for family, with a CCA, it is going to kill me and I will have no time for them.

It certainly is a thankless job, not only that, it is a job that can’t get me anywhere or give me anything. Despite of that, I will still continue to serve God. Always remind yourself that even though your hard work may not be recognized, God can see. Remind yourself that you are getting treasures in heaven. Remind yourself constantly if not the bitterness will go into the ministry and poison it.

I broke down in front of my Mum yesterday. I need someone to listen. Not someone to solve the problem. There is no need to try to solve it, but there is a need to listen out for my heart. Try to listen and not probe. Instead of asking me to repeat/saying “HUH?”, keep quiet and listen. Don’t ask questions until I have finished talking. Do not interrupt me. Let me say what I need to say. If you want to help, stay quiet until I have calmed down then suggest. There must be a reason why I am always so calm and now I am making a big fuss. Don’t use it as a time to tell me to stop making a big fuss, there must be something wrong. Change your tone, don’t approach a weeping person with the tone of a choleric. Change the volume as well, a loud volume while I speak is not good. Approach them with comfort and love.

Sometimes, if you can’t hear, don’t raise your voice, wait for a time where the situation is less distracting to hear. No way is it possible to hear someone when it is distracting. Don’t get annoyed or irritated when you can’t hear; don’t get angry, be a bit more patient.


=235= Stories to Tell: Judgement

it is another day in the village named, “Jidto”. Peter and Ben were meeting up in the morning, an unsual sight.

There were two men that needed to settle something, they therefore went to Peter for his wisdom and discernment. This time, however, Peter could not make a proper judgement, so he bought it to Ben for his input.

The case went like this. Both men were fishermen. They were in fact partners. One day, they had a huge load of fish and they were expecting to get a good profit from it. They both agreed that the load had about twenty fishes in it. The first man claimed that he brought the whole load and sold it in the morning. However, it turned out that the market owner was unwilling to pay for everything that they caught, so instead of making a huge profit, it barely covers the cost; instead of 100 silver coins or 10 gold coins, they only had 55 silver coins. The second man was angry with the first believing that he must have kept some of the coins. Peter had trouble with this case because both party’s story were just as likely. He asked the market owner and the market owner claimed that he paid for what he got. However, he couldn’t remember exactly how much he paid for the fishes. He remembered that he paid for the fishes close to noon, for he remembered that once the first man left, the bell rang. The first man explained that he was held back because he was talking to a friend before he went and sold the fishes.

When presented before Ben, Ben could judge based on the emotions that neither was wrong, but the first man was hiding something. And so he asked the man, “who is this friend you were talking to?”

The man replied, “He is a close relative of mine, his name is ‘Dan’.”

“What were you two talking about?” Asked the judge.

“We were chatting about our families.” The man answered while figetting around. 

“For almost four hours?”

“Yeah, I went to his house for a while”

“So what did you talk about there?”

“I told you, about our families!”

“What about your families did you two talk about?”

The man stayed silent.

“Let me repeat myself, what did you two talk about?”

The man stayed silent.

“Excuse me sir, but you have to answer me, if not I will not be able to give you a proper judgement”

The man sighed. “We were talking about our financial problems.”

“What kind of financial problems do you or Dan have?” Asked Ben.

“I have very little, but Dan was going through a lot of debt. Almost 50 gold coins.” Answered the man.

“So what did you do?”

“He had two kids and a wife to feed and he doesn’t have a job because no one would hire someone that looks like a beggar!” He said without answering the question.

“What did you do” Ben said firmly.

The man sighed and finally said, “I gave him half the fishes for him to feed the family and for him to sell so that he has enough to pull through the crisis.”

So after understanding the situation, Ben asked another question, “So why did you lie?”

The man answered, “I need my share of coins to support my family as well, if i give everything to him, my family might starve!”

Ben analysed the situation and decided for the judgement to be that he will not get his share in this load of fish and for the next 10 loads of fish that they catch, he will get a lesser share. Instead of fifty fifty, he will only get thirty percent of it; enough for him to get by, but not too much such that he doesn’t get his punishment.

When the judgement was put in place both men were satisfied with the result and returned home. Peter however found it unwise to give the first man such a partial sentence. He believes that if one isn’t punished properly, the first time they commit the crime, they will not learn their lesson and would commit it again. Upon hearing his opinion(they were walking), Ben accidentally tripped over a chair and fell flat down! Both Peter and Ben laughed! Peter helped him up and they both say down. Ben started to explain his sentence. Ben told Peter that he thought it through. If he had jailed the man, the second man would have trouble finding another partner to help him fish and the man would have trouble to support his family. If he had ordered the Dan to return the money to them, Dan’s family would still starve. By having a more lenient sentence benefits both menβ€”the first men would still have enough to survive, the second would have a greater share of the fishβ€”and Dan’s would not starve to death.

Ben told Peter that his focus was not just to make a judgement that is right, he had to ensure that all parties would be able to live decently. Ben told Peter that the criminals that he sent to jail are human too. Some of them had families to take care of. Some commit the crime just to be able to support their families. So Ben made it a point to ensure that these family members gets taken care of. He told Peter that instead of just focussing on the fact that he cheated the money away, we should also see that he had the compassion to help Dan.

When Peter heard this, he agreed and approved of Ben’s judgement. Peter then went to Dan’s place and offered to make clothes for the whole household. A week later, the first man came to Peter and told him that Dan had found a job! He is now working in a farm as a helper and is receiving a stable salary.

In response to the news Peter and Ben when to their usual bar and celebrated!


=234= Stories to Tell: Peter and Ben

There was a boy named, “Peter”. Now, Peter was the wisest in his village. He was commented for his amazing discernment and wisdom. He once managed to lead a party of lost hunters back to the village. Another time, he was praised being able to judge whether a person was guilty or not just by analyzing a person’s behavior. However, Peter isn’t a judge, he was simply a tailor, always making clothes for people.

Now Peter had a friend named, “Ben”. Unlike Peter, Ben isn’t wise. In fact, Ben isn’t smart at all. He once thought that birds came from butterflies. He is clumsy as well and would get into a whole lot of trouble because of it. Once, when he was visiting a friend’s house, he accidentally broke a vase. Haha, the friend was furious! Ben however is a judge in court. Though Ben isn’t smart, he is able to feel emotions rather quickly and accurately, hence he was able to become a judge because he was able to empathize with the victims.

Peter and Ben had a very interesting relationship. They had been friends since they were eight and has kept the friendship going. They would meet together in a bar for a drink every week just to talk to each other. Though Peter was recognized as the wisest man in the village, Ben doesn’t feel inadequate. Though Ben is the official judge of the village, Peter doesn’t feel inferior. Sometimes however, Ben do feel that he is unable to make a judgement because of all the emotions both parties have. 

One day, two ladies went up to Ben to settle something. One of them had lost fifty gold coins two days ago and the other lady was thought to be at home at the time, so the woman accused the other lady for stealing her coins. The other lady however claimed that her child was ill that day and she was at the doctor’s place.

Ben was puzzled. He thought about the different situations. Could the first lady be lying about her coins? Could it be a scheme altogether? Could the second lady be lying about her child being sick? Could it be that her child was sick and she took the coins for payment? 

Troubled, he postponed his judgement to the next day. He met Peter in the bar that day and told him about the case. He then told Ben, “why not simply ask the doctor if she was there?”

Ben jumped up and exclaimed, “Yeah! That would solve everything!”

Therefore Ben asked the doctor and the doctor said that she was there and she did pay with coins but she paid with silver coins. He remembered vividly because of the amount of silver coins he received that day(one gold coin has the same value of ten silver coins). His fee was three gold coins and he received thirty silver coins. Now that ruled out the possibility that the second lady had stolen the gold coins. However, he was puzzled with the first lady’s emotions and so he sat down with her and asked her questions to help her remember where she left it. Turns out, she passed the money to her husband that day to pay for a new table for her place. She simply forgotten because her husband never mentioned anything about it.

With this case over, Peter and Ben met up in the bar again to drink and celebrate.


=233= Thanksgiving of the Week

Thanksgiving 26/4/2015:

Lazed in bed
Decided to just go drum lesson first!
109 came fast
Reached MDS quick!
Drum lessons weren’t smooth though… 😦
Off form with the metronome and with the solos…
When home
Went for a 2.4km run again! 12.40! Cut 2 minutes 5 seconds! πŸ™‚
Food after a work out is awesome! πŸ™‚
Watched Code Blue!
Watch TBBT
Took a short nap!
Watch another episode!
Practiced, but was so tired, so I spent time just jamming instead!
Went for dinner! πŸ™‚
Got home
Code Blue is really nice! πŸ™‚
Woke up
Breakfast was good!
Caught up to 109
Got in the MRT, it is suffocating… 😦
Got onto 66, got a seat!
Got to school a bit late, but not really as well, cause the teacher came in late too
Had early lunch!
Managed to edit a bit!
Went off to G2
Met Shena
Had a nice time chatting with her!
Went for dinner!
The MyMix thing was quite distracting… :/
Really quite difficult to teach The trainee and follow the worship leader/MD at the same time… :/
Thank God that I managed to pull off the set well!
Though I was hitting too hard, time to learn restraint and finesse
945 came quick
Argh… Left my earphone case at chapel… 😦
Managed to discuss with Shavinn and Choo about the metronome!
MRT came fast! 
Reached school!
Managed to edit a bit!
Lunch was alright luhh… Sad that Malay food is so bad now… 😦
Managed to do up the report
Managed to finish the video! πŸ™‚
Took 66 instead of 985 because it is gonna take 10 minutes
I managed to catch up to 985! πŸ˜€
My case was there! πŸ˜€
Got to Clark Quay on time!
Had the fish mc spicy burger for dinner!
Had a wonderful time with JED! Council 2014! πŸ™‚
Caught up to 103!
Took 116!
Bumped into Shee Kei on the bus
Exporting took really long…
Exported in time!
Presentation was not bad
My bag is soaked with water… 😦
Got Co-op vouchers!
Helped out PSP
Nice chat with Jun Yi! πŸ™‚
Wanted to run but it rained
Failed… :/
Watch TBBT and Code Blue! NICE! πŸ™‚
Curry for dinner! SOOOO good! πŸ˜€
Caught up to 854
Great time of cell!
Nice chat with Daniel
Nice chat with Phyllys and Steph
Got to church
Set was good! πŸ™‚
Good dinner!
Got to church
Cell was a bit messy
Played for a few songs
Set was kinda bad for me.. 😦
A little chat with Joel
Got back
The noodles were good!
Took a little nap
Dinner was nice!
Found out that Guitar 77 has clearance sale Tmr and is selling my snare for like 160…. 😦
Then, they are selling the Mapex Falcon double pedal for like 271! So I am so gonna get it Tmr!
Watched Star Awards
Watched like half an episode of Code Blue!
A lot of feelings are being roused up… 😦

=232= Worship on/off Stage: Probation

Seeing the probationees playing drums while I guide then seeing Josh and Leb just made me remember my probation period. I remember how horrible I was! HAHA!

Why did I try out for drums in the first place?

Well, during Bare Bones, the Lord spoke to me, “What have you been doing for me?” I honestly had no answer. All I did was go for cell all year long. Not serving. Not doing anything. When that question came to me, I just broke down. That was why I decided to go for drums. I used to have this desire to audition for both vocals and drums after secondary school, but this moment with the Lord changed that and I just went for it.

My audition was really humbling. I didn’t know 6/8 so I had to ask and get help. I asked so many people. I asked Marcus Goh. I asked my teacher, Jenny. I asked James Pang. I asked Leb. Then when we got to it, even then I failed. We had three songs. Two selected songs and one choice song! I did decently for the selected but I got quite confused because I lost count. So I was like, “should I continue? Or should I stop then start again?” So I was like… Argh…. 😦

Somehow or another I got into training. It was with the adults and I actually thought that it was a good practice! After all, it would have brought everyone in the ministry together! There is no “youth is better” or “adults is better” concept for we were all trying to be able to play for service! The experience was really good!

Then came probation, it was REALLY humbling. It was me coming into a band that obviously knew what to do and I was simply just there spoiling the music, wasting my trainer’s time on the kit! It wasn’t because I wasn’t trying my best; I was. However, people don’t realize that there are certain issues. First, I am new to the music thing. I do not know much of the lingo of the band. I have little idea if it was my playing or the band’s fault. When they were brainstorming for different parts(for example, confirming chords), I took it as a message that I was doing something wrong and they were thinking how to help me. I always see my trainers playing certain stuff when there was time, but I did not know that they were playing that when no one is discussing stuff. I thought when they were confirming chords it was alright for me to play little stuff here and there; unknowingly, I was disturbing the band. Sometimes I feel that the drum shield makes me silent, but it really doesn’t.

Then, there was so much going on… I need to keep time. I need to care for dynamics. I need to be able to fill properly. Then, there are those difficult stop starts/punches etc etc. I had no idea how to play them. With so many things going on, it was REALLY tough to play anything well. Every alternate week just felt horrible, with me just really sad that it had to go the way it did. It only gotten a bit better when Mel moved up to YA and I was under Nell. Perhaps I am more familiar with the people in the ministry? Nevertheless, it still took about another 4 months before I ended probation.

Ever since then, it was one heck of a journey. It has been almost 2 years serving! Wow. I never would have imagined that I could play as well as I could today. There were several milestones that I never noticed until I reflected.

First was confidence. For a drummer, confidence of what you need to play is key. Someone that doesn’t keep time properly, but is able to be confident about dynamics can sound better than a person who is keeping time but with no/little dynamics. Slowly, I somehow or another managed to learn dynamics! This then came with an internal metronome, after a while, I was able to tell the difference between the counts, rather than taking the crash as a reference!

Then, next is special stuff like stop starts and punches. I really can’t get it right when I first started. It was like, wait, what count is that? Then after serving for a while, I realized that they were doing the same kinda stuff! Like stop starts are generally on the same count, punches are just on lyrics and you need to practice that!

Then, song form. I never knew that there was a standard song form! Then some where along the way I kinda figured it out!

Then, it was suggestions to the band. I never did become vocal for suggestions until last year. For I felt quite inadequate to do so. There are people way more qualified to do so. They were trained with chords etc etc and I was just a drummer. It took much probing and time before I was comfortable giving suggestion to support the band.

Time keeping. Wah, this is the area that has been my weak spot for the longest time. In probation, I could not keep time; always speeding up or slowing down. Then when it has gotten better and I started serving, I still couldn’t keep time properly… :/ it was only last year when I started with the metronome when I felt exactly how horrible my timing was. I realized that I was keeping time with the vocals; following them unconsiously. It was when Isaac told me to follow the click and not the singers that I realized that I was following them. It was then a fun journey with the metronome to improve my timing. The results had been quite good! My timing has definitely gotten better from last year! Still need much more practice though.

Using the metronome also reveals that sometimes it is not the instrumentalists that are speeding up or slowing down; sometimes, the singers themselves are speeding up. 

It is understandable luhh, Chad Smith once said that playing music is like breathing. It is natural to speed up a bit and slow down a bit. He referred to the old rock bands when the metronome technology isn’t that developed yet. They would speed up together a bit in the chorus then when they go back to the verse they would slow back down a bit. A metronome will not let you do that. While that is true, it should NEVER discourage people from using the metronome! I mean, the drummers back then did not have this tool! You have! Why not make use of it and be an even better drummer? Then, you must realise that even though they were speeding up, the drummers back then had to have a good sense of tempo as well. No matter what, a drummer cannot speed up like 5bpm! So even though they were speeding up, they were still in total control of their tempo. A drummer still needs to be the time keeper and his strokes still need to be on pocket.

While I am not particularly aiming the vocalist; I am not aiming them at all! Haha! I just want to point out that they can do their part to help us keep time as a band. Why not practice with a metronome? I mean they are affecting the tempo, with them leading people to sing along, perhaps even more so. It might be a good practice to learn how to work with a metronome. After all, if you ever get to record something, you will have to eventually work with one, so why not start now? It might be distracting at first, but nothing you learn will be easy the first few times you try it out! So try it! It will help with your singing and helps you surpport the band better!

The metronome has transformed from a hated enemy to a well loved friend. I have been practicing a lot on a drum pad and simply just practicing even strokes and instead of annoying me, it has been motivating me to practice even more! With the help of the metronome I will be a better musician!

Somehow, I quite prefer a horrible player with a good heart to a wonderful player with a horrible heart. Well, I hope that I will always be playing drums from an outflow of joy from my heart! πŸ™‚ thank you Lord!