I remember the day I accepted Christ. I was at this IV-retreat as a freshman in college. There were only two non-Christians there and I was one of them. But after a culmination of struggling with the purpose and meaning of life and reading up and I guess God just working in my heart, I was challenged by the room-mate they gave me, if I wanted to accept Christ and I did. Incidentally, this room-mate later became my small group leader and he currently works for Coke as a Financial Controller at their Thailand office. He recently also had a set of boy-girl twins through IVF. Anyway, that morning, during the morning worship, I remembered telling God, “Why is it that these Christians around me are so emotional and they seem to feel you and experience you as if you are next to them. But I don’t feel anything. When I accepted you, I didn’t feel anything or hear anything! Nothing! Is this real? Or are they just emotionally weak?” I prayed, “Lord, let me experience you!” In the midst of the worship, I just felt this stirring in my heart and I grasp what a wretched sinner I was. Then the first tear trickled down my cheeks and then the dam broke. I told you I don’t cry well! Snoot & saliva and the guy beside me, someone I barely knew, put his arms around me and I just cried. God became real! Then the pastor spoke on John 21 and my heart was strangely warm. Perhaps that was what these disciples of Emmaus felt when Jesus spoke to them. I realized that I was like Peter in John 21 and I responded and told God that I wanted to feed his sheep. It was in that moment then I felt called to full time ministry. This is another story that perhaps I will have an opportunity to share in future. But in that moment, not only was my mind informed, but my heart was touched. Allow the message of the Cross to burn in our hearts.
10 February 2008 DCFC English - Mark 5 21-43 ~ White Water Faith
In Tokyo and wanted to take the subway and see what the rush hour was like. Mistake!
People in uniform and white gloves. Oh! I have seen this on TV. It always looks so funny when the TV shows these people pushing the commuters into the train carriage. They push with one hand, two hands, with their backs and all sorts of ways. No matter what, by the time the train alarm for door closing goes off, they always somehow manage to fit all the people in. Then the camera would show those people in the train all crushed up, against the door, against the window - like a tin of sardines - it was really funny.
Now, here I was with my pretty wife and a busy Monday morning at 9.00 am. Somehow, it didn’t strike me that I would be one of those people whose face gets pressed up against the window. I thought I could out maneuver them. We got ourselves in a good position and when the train came, we managed to get in early. There were no sits, but we managed to settle ourselves into a comfortable corner near the other door. Mistake No. 2. Suddenly, more and more people came in and the carriage was so crowded that there was not enough standing space, yet more people came. And yet more were standing outside. I was thinking "Hey, no more space! Don't come in anymore!" Then the officers in white gloves began to do their jobs and they pushed and they pushed. Amazingly, all those people standing outside managed to get in. It was as if they were prepared for this. They just stood they like spineless leaf stalks. When those officers pushed, they just went along! I was no longer comfortable and found my back crushed against a man who was pressed against the door! And in front of me, there were 3 ladies, one right in my face, the other two on my left and right, pressing against me. I never felt so violated before.
It was terrible and I wished somehow I could get out of this, but I could not move.
Once my wife and I were in Tokyo and we wanted to try the famous rush hour squeeze. You see, we have seen the rush hour scene on the trains in many Japanese movies and wanted to experience for ourselves what it is like. During rush hour, there are so many people that the trains would be packed till the passengers are unable to board the trains. Then officers wearing white gloves would come along and push those outside the train in. Amazingly they manage to squeeze at least another 50% in. I thought it looked quite funny so we decided to try it out. We went at about 8.30 that day and there were truly a lot of people. But being a typical Singaporean, I thought, I cannot lose out to these Japanese. So skillfully, we maneuvered to the front just as the train was pulling in. When the doors opened, we rushed in but to my dismay, we were just a little too slow to find a seat. So I found a comfortable spot by one of the train metallic support and stood there. I was going to stand my ground and survive Tokyo rush hour. People started to pile in and eventually I was backed into the metal support. The train was already full, at least by my definition, but there were still many people outside. Then like in the movies, those white gloves officers came along. Everyone was ready for them except me. They just stood like flaccid leaves and with one pushed more people than I could imagine fit into the train. Almost everybody got in. I was squashed by three petite Japanese ladies up in my face, to the left and to the right. There was absolutely no concept of private space and I could identify what each lady ate for breakfast by their smell of their breath. The only part of my body I could move without being accused of molestation was my toes.