Contemporary Christian Acappella Vocal Band from Singapore!

Monday, November 28, 2005

wedding pix...

...that you didn't see last Saturday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I'd often had this discussion with my mentor Sidd. What part of being a christian is culture and what part is true faith?

I guess this is the fundamental issue that cause protestanism to splinter off into a myriad of 'sects', Presbyterians, Methodists, Brethren, Baptists, Evangelicals, Anglicans, Episcopalian and that's just the beginning.

Sometimes, I'm not surprised by why we have trouble converting people. What's the difference between all these divisions? why do we even have these divisions? Does anyone have the monopoly on truth? If they don't, by what right does one go out to 'convert' others to their faith? The whole issue of the subjective faith comes to play.

Many of the divisions in the protestant faith a cultural... I went to school 4 hrs drive from deeply Amish communities, and more than one occasion, have driven by horse driven carts with all manners of reflectors attached but no electric bulb. I've often asked myself, "what makes me different from them?" Am I less likely to be go to heaven because I've failed to follow certain practices?

I suppose if we took the lowest common denominator, "Accept Jesus as your personal saviour". But this dumbs down many of the other aspects of christianity, the community, the works of faith.

Sometimes it's all too confusing, and many times I've listened to sunday morning sermons with advice and guidance that are mostly cultural... Lyn's had pastors that admonished 'cookie monster' from sesame street as demonic because it was a monster, and yet others that objected to harry potter without giving an credible rational for such an objection.

When I hear instances of these things happening, I feel several things. 1. Shame, for having the same faith as these people. 2. Anger at these people who blatantly imprint their personal (and cultural) preferences on others in the guise of 'faith'. 3. Sad that we (I) don't do anything to correct such people in order to give them 'respect'.

Christianity is so embedded in culture (having assimilated many others into it's fold) that it's hard to tell the difference.

BRMC installed a Christmas tree (which is an established pagan druidic ritual). We all celebrate 25th Dec as Christmas (which is also the pagan date of the vernal equinox and most theologians regard August as a likely month of Jesus. Or even this shocker... The name 'Jesus' is a typo.

The name of the person we call 'Jesus' in the bible is actually Yeshua, which translates to Joshua. The name 'Jesus' is actually a latin translation error made in the late 600s, when bibles were very rare and always hand copied.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Christmas time

It's Christmas time!
What do you want for Christmas? BTW, this is in no way a hint for people to get gifts for anyone... it's just purely for fun.

Just for fun here's my list of one 'want' from the following categories:

1.) Object
2.) Personal improvement
3.) For someone else
4.) For many people

My list:

1.) Xbox 360
2.) Xbox 360 games so I can improve my reflexes.
3.) a second controller for Xbox 360 so that person can play with me
4.) many controllers for Xbox 360 so that many people can play!!!

ok ok

really really.

1.) Xbox 360 (really! ;) )
2.) Re-learning discipline
3.) Tina's mom to get well
4.) Agapella to get start off next year with a big bang!

Long Overdue Memorium for Mab

Mab will live in our hearts for a long long long time... :'-(

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

our latest spinoff

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Gilly Wedding Photo

Friday, November 04, 2005

Happy Festivities!????

Happy Deevali & Hari Raya Puasa to all frens out there!!

Yesterday I had a terrible shock! I got a call from a friend who was looking for 'kaki' to play some mahjong. I know this friend pretty well and thot, "ah, why not, I've got nothing on today anyway..."

So I went over to her place, all set for a friendly enjoyable game of mahjong... I had to drop lyn off first, so I arrived late.

When I got to her place, there was a rather tan, fit looking 'ah beng' having a smoke outside her place. He took one look at me and said, "You're late."

I thought to myself, "erm... ok, I wonder who the fourth person is..." I stepped in to the house, and see my friend already engaged in a table with 3 other gals. My table is next to theirs, with two other intimidating 'ah beng' types, exchanging friendly banter in hokkien.

I sit down, one of them, hands me a small stack of chips and goes on to explain their denomination to me. He ends off by saying, "This is tree hunred... ok?" Meanwhile, I'm dumbfounded, I stutter, "Dollars??" He gives me one look and says, "Ya Lah!" The other guy opposite him chuckles, "No... Pounds".

I'm in shock!

See in mahjong you can have different types of wagers. I guess and friendly wager would be something in the realm of 5cent/10cents, 10cents/20cents or even 50cent/1dollar. But yesterdays game played 1dollar/2dollars. Which may be the norm to some, but certainly not to this novice who suddenly felt like he was in a lions den with 3 hungry lions.

But since I agreed to come and play, i decided to stay anyway...

The pace was fast and furious. many a time, the guys would wait for me to finish my stack or to play my move. To their credit, they were patient. Never once did they chide me for being slow or stupid (despite obvious mistakes I made).

I was so spooked that when Chris called to ask if I had any plans for dinner, I said emphatically,"YES! WITH YOU" Thus limiting the playing time (and damage to my wallet). The ending was far less dramatic. I lost $77 in the span of 2 hours. I won 3 rounds (amazingly) but they were small wins...

Moral of the story, always find out what the stakes are before you enter the game...

But I guess this is like the hot topic of the day. Gambling in Sunny Singapore... I guess the fundamental question is, is gambling (in of itself) a bad thing?

Coming from a economist perspective, gambling is all around us. Everytime we take part in a lucky draw, we gamble. Everytime we bid for a flat or COE, we gamble. How come? well let's take the COE bidding for example. If I were to make a small wager of say $50 for a COE, the chances of me getting it is very low. Sure, I won't have to pay the wager if I lost, but if I did win, I'd have to pay. So I bid something reasonable like $20,000. This way, I'm sure to win and I'm prepared to pay $20,000.

It's like buying the $2 lottery. If I were to buy 1 ticket at $2, I probably won't win. But if I were to buy 10,000 tickets, I'll probably win something.

So then, back to the bigger issue. Is gambling in of itself a bad thing. I know I don't speak for every christian, but my personal take is NO. Gambling is not in of itself a bad thing. When I play the occasional game of poker or mahjong, I actually prefer a small wager. It could be 1cent/2cent, 5cent/10cent or whatever. The point is for there to be a wager, for then, the game would be played differently and more seriously. For people who profess to enjoy gaming for gaming sake, then this is the best compromise... a low wager so that it's not oppressive, yet with a wager, so that the game is played well.

The fine line is then what is a 'low wager'? for regular everyday people like us who earn a salaried income, $1/$2 might be average wager (though not for me). But if I were a property tycoon, then having a $50/$100 wager could seem low to me.

I don't think such subjective measures are meaningful and indeed helpful in determining the right level in which a wager should be set. Perhaps one could look at external factors to determine the wager, like GDP, average national household income, etc.

Where am I going with this? 2 words... Integrated Resorts

But, hey it's still 3 years away... we'll see.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"I will sing of the Lord's great love forever;
with my mouth i will make Your faithfulness known through all generations."
Psalm 89:1

May we all have a song in our heart, a smile on our faces, and the Lord's praise on our lips this new day =)