Saturday, 9 September 2017

Stop and Sea

Posted by Xian Jin

births every living creature,
casts the sea, sand and stone,
carves them each a certain feature,
a certain hue, a certain tone.

His light is a Ray,
it colours every detail,
it frees the birds at bay,
and darkness will exhale.

You know, He's in the stormy clouds
and in the choppy sea,
so why should you have any doubts?
Look up; it shines for me!

Smash, thrash, swish, swash,
the melody is more in than out;
Music gives the heart a wash,
Did you hear that din? Shout!

In the gale, He pulls you back,
when deserted - are you really alone? 
Remember, He's always on our track-
After all, He crafted our very bone.

-Xian Jin

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Beach School ~ 29th July

Post by Silas 

So it's the start of my brothers' school holiday, and my parents thought it nice to have a day trip to the beach to have a fun time. Here we are! Welcome, to Beach School Fun Day. This event was run by homeschoolers, and the students were given a chance this day to volunteer as facilitators. 

Bubbles!! Boisterous kids made a grand entrance for the Beach Day.

When I first heard the announcement, I couldn't believe my ears. I've always had an interest on how to start a fire. All this while I only know the theory of starting a fire, so I took the opportunity here to apply what I'd known, and what I learnt there. They did considerably well in guiding us, because I eventually managed to start a fire for the first time!

The Mangrove walk was quite interesting. Who lives in a sea pineapple above the sea, for instance. 

We also saw big holes left behind by people who had excavated the rocks to build the Melaka fort hundreds of years ago. 

It's a challenge to walk in the mangrove with so many protruding little trees that live on water. Don't be tempted to trample on this conglomeration of sticks - once broken, consider a tree lost.

I just realize that when playing frisbee you tend to make good poses. Do you see me? Look at my awesome stunts! 

I went for a talk about the various types of shells in Malaysia. It was a great effort, both the display and the presentation. Did you know that some of these innocent looking shells that you see washed up ashore are actually carnivorous? 

Talented students of Beach School showing off their bamboo musical skills. Look at him go, blowing the flute through his nose! Why, I can't even blow into the flute through my lips... What more with nose! Well orchestrated; it was music to my ears. 

We took part in a dragnet activity. I never understood what dragnet was until  today. Basically you just drag the net into sea, and you would catch some oblivious creatures (and some junk). Then add it into your growing collection of weird marine creatures. A good way of studying the ocean, I guess- start small. 

After all the fun games and activities, I knew what was the next best thing to do. Rest my case. Ahh~~!

An Amethyst Remembrance - 19, 23~25 Aug 2017

Post by: Silas

August, the most climactic point of this year. With an exception of my IGCSE exams, which is next year, I feel very much accomplished. There were two significant events that happened in the middle of August - my school's graduation ceremony and the annual camp. It was as if everything that we worked for had paid off. The emotions I felt were inexplicably ecstatic. 

First off is the graduation ceremony. After our performance last year, which went rather well, I was quite enthusiastic for the next one. However, I felt demotivated because the person that I looked up to when it comes to things like this was not around. So, I wasn't very keen to perform in this year's drama. 

But, I had to. I didn't want to leave my class hanging behind just because of my selfishness. So, I pushed on. Although the road was very discouraging - I have faced many obstacles in getting the team together on the same page. It was hard to bring the team together with my inexperience and limited support. But I continued to act against myself and pushed on. It's impossible to do so without constantly seeking the Lord. I realized that if we're focused on God, following where He leads us, we can overcome the obstacles that come.

After the ceremony, everyone did exceptionally well. We put on our best show and gave our all. I felt that the hard work we put into nurturing the seed we planted had paid off. The seed grew, and now it has fruits. 

Foto English Avenue.

I have to admit, it did feel glorious at the end. But in between the start and the end was just simply tumultuous. Many times I entertained the negativity, ending up in a worrisome and complaining spirit. The struggle was in the mind. I have always been too hard on myself, and so full of myself that I didn't give God space in my work. At the end of the day, I learn what it means to
"Pay attention to the Source, and He will look after the outflow"
After the ceremony, I felt the burdens of my heart rolled away. 

Foto English Avenue.

Second, is the annual camp. Initially, I didn't want to go. But Mom persuaded me to go, because "I didn't have any reason not to go...". So I went, but in my heart I wanted to relax and forget about the worries of the world. Reality clashed with Expectations, and soon we found ourselves plunging into strenuous activities, both physically and mentally demanding. As a result, I got fed up, and just didn't want to be part of the team. Again due to the time pressure and things that were beyond my control, I grew sour-faced. "Let them figure out themselves the solution. I've had enough of this. I can't take it anymore!" This was my reaction on the first day. Again, the battle was in my mind, but it affected how I spoke to others.

Foto English Avenue.

It took me awhile to realize that the problem was me, not my team. Sure, they were being very laidback, but I was too busy looking at the speck in their eyes I didn't realize sooner of the log in mine. So the next day, I allowed God to be in control of my life. The purpose of the camp was to enjoy, and that I did. Even though things did not go the way I wanted, I continued to encourage and encourage. And we did have an enjoyable evening. We learnt the importance of unity, and teamwork. We won't be able to achieve anything in the camp without going through as a team. For me, I understood more or less what it really means to wash other people's feet. Though I'm not entirely there, it had been a great milestone this year.

Foto English Avenue.

Looking back at those two events, I realized they both hold similar lessons. Everyone did something they had never thought they would do. I learn to open up with my friends and give my best in what I do. Sadly though, the events are over, and this poem by Emily Dickinson can relate to the emotions I felt: 

The Lost Jewel

I held a jewel in my fingers,
And went to sleep.
The day was warm, and winds were prosy
I said, "T'will keep"

I woke, and chide my honest fingers.
The gem was gone
And now, an amethyst remembrance,
Is all I own.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Sunflower

My grandmother planted a tiny orange seed,
Not really knowing the wonders of it;
A glossy Sunflower, fresh and new,
With golden petals, dressed with dew.

It grew and grew, from seed to life,
Sprouting new leaves, the size of mice.
Soon, very soon, the flower will bloom,
Even when our life is in gloom.

One month later, on a bright morning,
When the shrill cry of birds interrupts the sleeping,
And the morning sun starts to rise.
I walked into the garden with a cry of surprise!

So imagine life as Sunflower plants
To grow up and become daughters and sons.
We have ideas that can change our lives,
To do so, we need faith to contrive.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

It's been 2 months?! - 27th June 2017

Posted by Xian Jin

One moment I was wondering about what’s going to happen. Now, here I am preparing for my finals. It’s as if I’m on the express train of life. I remember how I was so undecided and unsure on what to do, what not to do, what to say, what not to say… etc before I entered college. Questions and doubts were floating like stormy clouds in my head, ready to pour. I had mixed feelings about starting school again, after 6 months at home- I left my job too, and missed it deeply (still do). Fast forward 2 months later, here I am, as busy as one can be with assignments, presentations, so on and so forth. It’s strange how time can pass so fast.

Despite having been here for over a month, I still get lost occasionally. This place is huge!!

I am really enjoying my time here, ‘even though’ it has only been a few weeks (or ‘because’, I don’t know which yet). I’ve fallen in love with the beautiful scenery of the lakes and trees, the ducks, cats, tortoises- you name it, you got it. Not to mention the people around me, who have been so friendly and caring. I’m glad I ended up here, and even more so that I took a course which was totally outside my comfort zone. 

I look forward to more walks across the bridge every morning, as if a pathway to a land unknown. Here's to more running from one hall to another, more classes where everyone but me seems to know the topic inside-out, and more adventures in the days to come.

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