=342= Worship on/off Stage: Voice


For Those Who Can’t Speak by Tenth Avenue North
I see the glory of the Lord every time the sun rises
I hear the unheard screams of a broken heart
Because every day a son dies
27 million slaves but no plantation
27 million slaves, all different races

This is not the picture the Lord painted in Genesis
Silence is our enemy, our voices can end it

I have dreamed of a kingdom coming where
Evil drowns in mercy streams
I want to see those rivers of justice
So I use my voice for those who can’t speak
I will use my voice for those who can’t speak

Yeah, yeah, when it’s all said and done
Yeah, I pray that everything we said is done
I don’t want my son to say I was one of the ones
That watched 27 million suffer and never say
No, no, I won’t be that
I don’t deserve a mic if I ain’t got no feedback
Bring back every girl from the west to the east that
He crafted for His glory, not for making you green backs

I dream that
Every ounce of brokenness and disease that
Bring that to the cross, believe that He redeems that
Sees that type of world that my daughters can breathe in
Where the beautiful feet that go where the needs at

Come on, come on
Oh, none of here are just a number
We all have a name like any other
There’s breath inside your lungs
And you are my brother
My God, when will we stand
Stand together

I want to be the kingdom coming where
Evil drowns in mercy streams
Oh, let me see those rivers of justice
So I use my voice for those who can’t speak
I will use my voice for those who can’t speak
I use my voice for those who can’t speak

~

Today God worked in me in such a different way. In case you don’t know, there is a gap between my lower jaw and upper jaw. This causes a lot of inconvenience. First, it makes my speech unclear which may result in some stuttering. I can’t speak like I want to. It really is quite annoying when I want to speak properly but I cannot. Like I know how to pronounce the word properly, but it is because of this jaw problem that causes me to roll certain enouces of words off, hence causing me to be unclear with my words.

It is bad enough to have a Mel brain that cannot tank thoughts, now I have trouble speaking too… -sigh- learning how to be less nervous and speak slower so that I can pronounce words properly. It is strange though. Getting used to it now.

Same for music, I can hear when something is off tune like 75 percent of the time, but I cannot sing. When I sing, I can hear myself going off tune and I just cringe. It is quite frustrating when you can’t get what you want out; can’t hit that note that I want to.

So frustrating when you want to do something but you cannot.

Today during the Emerge contact time, we had an extended time of worship. My singing was just so horrible. One, i don’t know the lyrics. Two, I cannot pronounce some words quickly enough. Three, cannot sing in tune. Like come on. I want to sing properly! Argh!

A few times I had a song in mind to sing, but I just don’t dare to sing out. Really scared man. So I just flowed with it.

Then, I saw Elvin go up to tell Alvin about the song he had in mind(at least that is what I think). Then Sis ZF asked me if I knew how to sing “I could sing of your love forever”. I said no, I cannot sing.

However, I sang anyway. I sang with my eyes closed. I think the key was in an awkward key for the song, I couldn’t sing some notes at all. I could hear ZF singing together with me, so that encouraged me a little. Hearing everyone singing together was encouraging. But I just cannot man.

I know where I want to go(direction wise) for the song. But I just can’t put it out of my system to lead people into worship. I want to, but I can’t and that is so frustrating.

Nevertheless, it happened. ZF did encouraged me after that, but I just cannot. I need to learn how to sing.

ZF jokingly said that she will make me her mouth piece.

Well, that led to this song! You know, “use my voice for those who can’t speak”

A bit out of context, but yeah I just thought it was a nice song with what happened today too!

Cell lesson was great! Like I just tried my game with them and it worked. They were engaged and managed to listen to my debrief points. That is why I love teaching in games, it is simple to catch because they get a chance to play and enjoy and at the same time learn the meaning behind the game. People are more attentive to what they had experienced.

I seen how more and more often in my life that God has been using my training in school for ministry. Recently, there is a lack of sound engineers in CAMY. I think all the trained SEs all went to YA service, leaving a lack in youth. As a result, more and more often people asks me to do sound check when there isn’t anyone else to do it. I am not complaining—I am glad to help—it is just interesting to see how more and more often that people now associate me as an SE. Some people actually thought that I learned sound engineering before drums! HAHA!

For those people who don’t know, disclaimer, I am not an official SE at all! HAHA!

I started playing drums during my holidays in Sec 2, I only started learning sound in the past 3 years. Like sure, I do get some training from my school, but I only got the flow and stuff recently. I think I only kinda got it when I was interning in church for the media team. I am still learning man.

I am now trying to learn how to do the DCA group thing that Leb does, I just got how to stop the buttons from blinking. I need to learn how to EQ an instrument properly. I am thinking very linearly now. Like I think in terms of frequencies. Like who cover what. If I only have a guitar keys and cajon. I will kinda boost the high mids for the guitar and boost the low mids for the keys, so as to cover most of the frequencies and not make it feel like something is missing. I now need to learn how to think more individual instruments way. Learn how each instrument should sound, what is like a standard EQ for them and work from there.

Need to step up my game for drums, for CL-ing and for SE-ing. We really need help guys, we kinda only have Andre for the SE in Emerge. More people need to learn how to use the board so that I can don’t sound check and play at the same time. It was so tough yesterday when I needed to do both. But stupid me luhh, should have just went and search for a saved file and use it! I just thought it would easier you know! Oh well! Things to learn from internship! 🙂

Kinda looking forward to internship!

I do have to stop ministry for a while. In a way, it is nice. I haven’t really gotten a break from ministry since I started in 2013. Let’s see what wil God unfold in this season. I am quite concerned over my own walk though. Like I am scared I will not be fed enough. Lord, stay with me and be with me, teach me how to feed myself.

I am concerned over the ministry too. Not sure what will happen, but you know, God s faithful and would provide! 🙂 Please don’t let my kids forget me!

Pray for me guys, I need all the prayer I can get. Gonna need the prayers for stamina.

Pray for the ministry too. Pray for God’s providence over the ministry.

Let’s just see how God will use me in this season.

Ok, let’s run the next stretch with God’s amazing power.

-Kelvin-

=341= Gear Talk: Canon FD 50mm f1.4

So yeah, I just gotten myself a fast prime lens! As I said before I wanted to buy myself a new lens. I decided upon a few lenses.

  1. The  Sony FE 28mm f2
  2. The Sony 50mm f1.8
  3. The Sony 18-105mm f4 G lens
  4. The 10-18mm f4

I kinda wanna buy the 28mm because it give me an equivalent of 42mm, which in reference is a very nice normal lens focal length(in between a 35 and 50). However, I tried shooting with that focal length with the kit lens, cannot get used to it. I guess it is a bad comparison because the aperture isn’t f2, but I found myself so used to the 50mm alr. Like I would walk in close to my subject only to realise that I am not close enough for the 28mm. I would probably get used to it if I used it long enough.

However, me being so used to the 50mm(or 75mm equivalent) alr, just got me thinking if I should just go ahead and buy the 50mm. It being just for APSC kinda kills the deal.

The 18-105mm is nice because it is a good range of focal lengths. I tried it in the store, the AF was off the charts! Super fast and nice. However, it’s f4… I kinda wanted something with a wider aperture. But not possible for the price I was looking for.

I wanted to get the 10-18mm so as to be able to get nicer landscapes/sunset/architecture/astrophotography shots. It being f4 doesn’t kill it because most often in such situations in photography, I need to cut light and not get more light in. So yeah, this lens is still what I want.

I dunno when, but I think when I saw Leb use a full manual lens on his A7, I thought maybe I should get a vintage lens that is fully manual you know, like since it does not have AF or any electronics in it, it probably would last longer(just like mechanical watches) and would be better quality, smaller and cheaper.

I saw this deal on Carousell, selling three Canon FD lenses for $550 together with the adapter for my mount! I did the math and thought that it was a good deal. Like I would be getting two nice prime lenses with one telephoto lens that can do macro. I enquired and waited, but no reply.

In the description, he wrote that either buy all with adapter or buy one lens for $200 each. I went to do some research and by research I meant watch YouTube videos and search online for reviews on the lens. It was suprising that they said that you can get the lens for as low as $50!

Hence, I went to search for the lens again this time specifying the series and model. People are selling it for like $150+ on the average! However, the best deal was one person selling it for $80! :O

I immediately enquired. 

This time I didn’t wait. I went ahead and searched for lenses. I searched all over Carousell to find cheap vintage lenses that I adapt to my lens. Criteria number one, it must not be above $150. Two, between a modern AF lens and a vintage fully manual lens, pick the manual lens. This is because it is fully manual, therefore, it means that I can simply buy a cheap adapter with no electronics or glass in between. This would ensure that I would stay in my budget. Three, since I am buying a fully manual lens, it must be good enough for me to get it instead of an AF one, hence, that means that I want it to be a wide aperture. From f2 and below. I mean like there isn’t much point to shoot a small aperture lens when your kit lens can go there right? Fourth, make sure that the lens has no or little fungus or flaws as much as possible.

I just went all out and enquired as many people as possible. I think I was that annoying guy that just enquired but never buys anything. Sorry! HAHAHA!

I went to a vintage camera shop and they sold the Canon FD 50mm f1.4 lens for $238! :O I was like, please let me have that $80 lens please! The owner was going to throw in a spoiled film camera body too! So if I just go and fix it, I will have a film camera!

Thank goodness the owner replied my enquiry and said that someone reserved the lens until Friday unless I would offer a higher price. I just couldn’t let this deal pass by. It is just too good. So I told her that the highest I could go was $90 and the rest was history!

 I got the Canon FD 50mm f1.4! :DDDD with a spoiled body for $90! A Canon f1.4 now will cost like $325USD! Sony doesn’t even have a 50mm f1.4! The f1.4s are insanely priced! Like all four digits man! I got it for two digits! Thank God! 🙂

Then I bought a $27 adapter from Carousell too! Not too shabby! It is metal! 🙂

  
Just look at that beautiful black goodness! 

The lens is SUPER good! Like manual focus is so much easier than my focus by wire kit lens! Having the aperture and distance on my lens just makes it easier to shoot. The bokeh was phenomenal! Like I can see the Super smooth rolling into blur. The quality of the blur was really pretty! I was able to shoot decent photos at night hand held too!

Just look at the photos, click on the link! Canon FD 50mm f1.4

The lens isn’t without down sides luhh! It is a bit hazy wide open. Like every photo just has a little slight glow to it! It seems like it is overexposed but it isn’t! Then the blacks aren’t very black because of the hazy glow. Not too big a problem I guess, just batch edit everything to dehaze by 30 and increase blacks by 40 in Lightroom and most of the photos will be fine. It cannot exactly handle backlit stuff because it blurs the background so well right, the lights at the back kinda leaks into the front, making it seem super over exoposed. Not anything that post can’t fix, but you know, I just wanna do as little post production as possible. It is about twice the size of my kit lens, hence I cannot fit the camera into the case I have… 😦 

So to compensate for the haze, I bought a UV filter. I bought another case too! Just so that I can fit my camera into my bag! So far so good!

Therefore:

$90(lens and spoiled body) + $27(adapter) + $35(UV filter) + $22(case) = $174 of goodness for my camera!

Overall, I think it was good money spent!

-Kelvin-

=339= Worship on/off Stage: What is Worship?

Just let me take a quick break from studying the horrible module to blog, I guess I need to. If you guys are reading this, I covet your prayers! 45% for an exam is extremely frightening. 😦

Well, being on the worship team, we kinda need to be sensitive to the intangible and move in the spirit. Sometimes, we tend to use super bombastic words to express ourselves. Somehow or another, it just becomes jargon. I just wonder sometimes when leaders grow old and be a bit more mature and smart with their words, have they forgotten how to speak so that people can understand them?

I like straightforward answers. Straightforward answers that can help people to understand quickly and learn easily.

Of course, I am not saying this because I am super good at being straightforward, I need to work on arranging my thoughts and simplifying them, it is really my flaw. I am saying this because the church isn’t just for Christians, it is also for the lost. We need to learn how to simplify things better to allow people to understand. 

Today, I just learned something about worship. This is a straightforward answer.

“What is worship?”

Worship is when you are tired spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically and you still come before God to praise and honour him. Much like when you don’t feel like doing anything because you are tired, but you still make the effort to speak to your family because you love them. Worship isn’t defined by what you want to do, it is defined by what you do even when you don’t want to do it. Worship is defined by love.

Not a complete answer, but if we wrote about “what worship is” we will take forever and ever(all of eternity) to write a book about it. However, this answer is my answer today.

Worship is praising and honouring God even when I am tired.

Oh Lord, I am so tired. Please hire me rest.

-Kelvin-

=337= Reflections: Can I Pray For You? 

Well, during some J333s, I would just go up to Kennaf to ask for prayer. Yesterday I didn’t, because I was already sitting beside him. He prayed for Simon first. I actually wanted to ask him for prayer, but I just didn’t dare. Instead, he just asked me.

“Can I pray for you?” He asked.

I was jut like, yes please, then I just said, “Same Thing”

I have been struggling with that for so many years that I don’t even have to say out what it is for it to be known by Ken.

However, I really just needed that prayer to move. I can’t be running on empty can I?

After the prayer, I just wanted to pray for Kennaf because he seemed burdened by something(or maybe he is just tired, HAHA). Even so he still offers to pray for me, so I just asked him. I asked him what do you want me to pray about? He paused and said something that was just, wow. “I want to know God more. I just want to learn more about Him everyday of my life.”

At the back of my head I was just, “How does he get that desire?”

I went through 2015, probably the toughest year so far and I find myself taxed. I find myself just so dry. Haha, I used to find words like “dry season” and “pruning” so badly overused. Like whenever a Christian is having a tough time, they are always going through a dry season and a season of pruning. However, I just think that “Dry” is the right word.

I went through 2015 and I just find my desire becoming less and less, just how does Kennaf have that desire?

I can tell you, I felt so inadequate to pray that prayer. So inadequate. Here I am, this guy with little spiritual fuel and I am here praying for this man that has fuelled his life with God so much and wants more. I just.

Oh well, it was good to be in the presence of the Lord.

Yesterday, I realised that F is slowly coming out from her shell and actually talking to me. Some people would just have that fake facade of laughing all the time thing going on. Because laughing all the time kinda makes you look extroverted, you are making use of the look of an extrovert to have the image. However, it is pretty obvious when you see if they ever have meaningful or significant conversations or just superficial talk. Such people tend to talk superficially so that they kinda test the water before diving in. Which technically isn’t bad, but it just feels like they are claming up to themselves.

I am slowly able to to sextuplet/triplet fills! A big thing for me because I have been trying for a long time now! I finally can pull it out in a song! Now just wait until I can during a rehearsal! 🙂

I had a wonderful dinner with Lim Yun and Shawn. We just discussed about what makes the other gender attractive.

It is funny because both Shawn and my first answer was “Looks” HAHAHA!

Ok before you guys judge us for being superficial guys, let me explain!

Looks matter at the first glance. “Being attracted” has several meanings. One, being attracted to someone because of her looks. Shawn said that guys are very visual people and I totally agree. Being someone that takes photos, I tend to shoot people that are interesting looking, very often, the  interesting looking people are good looking, that is because my eyes think that they look good and instinctively step in to shoot the character. Two, we know that looks isn’t everything. So the answer we arrived at is looks at first, but personality in the Long run. Actually the girls that I am attracted to, are girls that present themselves in a certain way. Not like, they are super elegant because they present themselves well, but like they present themselves in their own skin. With all their weirdness and quirks. They are comfortable to approach people as themselves.

This may be a bit bad to say, but I kinda think that christians actually have a harder time to be comfortable in their own skin. Like because we were called to love and called to be slow to anger etc etc. Sometimes you can see christians trying to follow such laws to the point where they are actually so nice that they seem a bit fake. Which in my opinion, is actually a good thing. People of the world are all about “being yourself” but we were called to not follow the flesh but to follow God. It is more important to do right than to “be yourself”. However, being yourself and real is attractive. However, this life isn’t our’s, so who cares about being “yourself”, you should spent more time being more like God. I am saying this because I found this about myself too. Learning to give more of myself by getting more from God.

So yeah, nice chat. I give thanks.

Haha, well, Shawn asked me if there was a girl and the honest answer is no. Like I am attracted to several girls, but I haven’t pursued any of them. I mean like if you are in my course, you will have no time too! That aside, I do enjoy spending time with certain people more than others! So yeah, let’s leave it as that.

Thankful for friends that talk to me/texts me. I just much rather text slowly than to have instant replies. I get to think and have more meaningful conversations! 🙂

Thanks!

In the side note, quite excited to be part of the drum try outs this Sunday! 😀 It has been a long while   since I was Sec 4 trying out for drums! So I just give thanks that I get the privilege to go the full circle and back to try outs! 🙂

I kinda wanna try Astrophotography, so wish me luck! I hope I get nice shots! 🙂

-Kelvin-

=336= Words of Melancholy: “Simple” English

Well, my mum asked me to help her interpret some instructions that she got.

I honestly think that the instructions’ sentence structure was just unnecessarily confusing. My mum just shut off(stopped listening to my suggestions) after i said that, saying that it is our English that is bad that we don’t understand. Saying that the instructions are in the simplest english already.

Well, understand this. What is a language for? To express yourself, to communicate and to help you understand one another right? If humans didn’t have words, we would probably express ourselves using body actions, which in essence, is a way of communicating as well. Hence, if I wrote something “simple” and people don’t understand, isn’t it just missing the point?

Simplifying a word, or simplifying a phrase is to ensure that people understand. If I simplify things to the point where people stop understanding me, I fail in simplifying, I fail in the language. Who cares if you got honours or A1 for english? If you can’t give instructions that people will  understand easily, you fail as a communicator. You will end up wasting more time explaining your instructions. SO what is the point?

Simple english isn’t just about using simple vocabulary. Simple english is also about phrasing in a way that people will understand. Simple english can also be good english. Good english isn’t having all the great vocabulary, isn’t about knowing how to phrase complicated sentences; Good english is english that can be understood.

That is also the reason you can find some lecturers with shaky english easier to understand than some “prestigious”/”sophisticated” lecturer with perfect english, but horrible at explaining concepts.

Generally, if most the crowd doesn’t understand you, you are the problem. Simplify your phrases in a way that people can understand. If you think that something is VERY similar to something, but no one else seem to think so, you might be the problem too. Ahem. If they are really similar, you are clearly not clear enough.

And seriously guys, why are we laughing at the actions of horrible lecturers that just suck at teaching? We are only encouraging them to teach the same way. Just no. Bad teaching doesn’t equate to funny. Stop.

Ok, ranting over.

-Kelvin-