Monday, August 28, 2006

A love story... (Conclusion)

For those of you who have been following this story this far, I commend you. I was worried that it might get a bit draggy at first, but my reason for writing this is just to write some of the events that occurred to me in the past few years so as to have something that I can remember by in the years to come.

I last left off in my previous entry somewhere in the year of 2002. I left the good old USA and came back to Malaysia to start life anew. A good friend of mine has managed to help me secure a job at a local assembly plant. My previous 4 years of working in a factory in the states has left me with nothing to prepare me for what's in stored in my new job. Working in Malaysia is just so different. It took me awhile to adapt to the working conditions there. And it wasn't just work that I had to adapt to. I was even getting stressed driving on the road. I could not get use to Malaysian drivers who were obnoxiously rude and inconsiderate on the road. I recalled visiting a doctor and he told me that my blood pressure had gone up in the 2 months of working. I wasn't surprised, as I was really getting stressed out from all angles. Even at church, I was having trouble there. Things were not going well as I planned it to be.

And all this begin to affect my relationship with Angeline. She came back during the winter of 2002 for a short break. Things actually went well between us during that time. I recalled buying her a diamond ring before she left. But when 2003 came, we begin to drift apart. I'd blame my job for the strain, but the truth was, it me who was not being able to handle the pressure of this new environment. Living with my family was also proving to be difficult. I recalled having several arguments with mom, and my younger brother at that point of time was just testing my patience to all levels. I literally broke down. During that time, Angeline was beginning to ask me about our future together. She wanted to know if there were any wedding bells in the near future. I said yes, but I told her I wouldn't know when. I told her that it'd be a great if she were to return home after her graduation, get a job, then we could plan our wedding. She insisted that the wedding should be planned first before others. I could not comply to her demands, and she could not with mine. This 'discussion' eventually became a full-blown argument which lasted for about a month. In July of 2003, I decided that I've had enough. I was being weary of attacks from all angles. Even Angeline was in my eyes 'attacking' me. I felt alone. And I was fed-up. I pulled the plug from our 5 year relationship and told her that I want out. She then pleaded for me to reconsider. I was adamant and did not want to reconsider anymore. I've had enough. I was tired and hurt. A few days later, Angeline called me again, and while crying, pleaded for me to reconsider our relationship. I recalled just cooly telling her on the phone 'no'. And I asked her to stop calling me.

What I've learned later in the years to come from other friends was that Angeline was devastated with the break-up. She had put her all in the relationship. In fact, months before her graduation, she had spent lots of money to acquire household items such as bedspreads, comforters, pots and pans that she planned to furnish our new home with. When I broke off the relationship, she just like totally lost all hope. She was totally crushed, because she never imagined that I would abandon her.

On my side, I erased every memory of her from my life. I deleted her emails, contact from ICQ, and any trace of her from my PC. I removed all the photos of her that I've had in my house and stashed them someplace else. Any item that reminded me of her was gone, and out of my life. It was difficult for me, but I knew I had to do it because 5 years of memories is a long time. And Angeline was my first real love, but I needed to forget her and move on.

When my mom came to know about it, she scolded me about it. She questioned me on my reasons, but I just gave her some stupid reasons to shut her up. Even my grandma was unhappy with my decision. My grandma had met Angeline on a few occasions, and immediately also fell in love with her. So now, not only did I disappoint Angeline, but everyone else in my family, and her family also. Angeline's mom even called me to ask me to reconsider. I refused. I was already too deep in my decision. I refused to listen to anybody else's advice or viewpoint.

However, a few months later after breaking up with her, I begin to miss her again. There were a few occasions that I'd ponder of whether I've made the right choice, or whether it was just a prideful mistake. I didn't dare to think about it, and I was too proud to change my mind. But deep inside, I missed her. I felt so alone then.

And it was in this emotion that I ended up in an unwanted relationship. It lasted for about 6 months before somebody from church with guts decided to ask me what am I doing. I then came to a place and begin to realize that I was in that relationship not because of love, but out of selfish reasons. I broke that relationship in July of 2004.

In 2005, I ended up in another relationship with a non-Christian. By this time, I've already given up on the ideals of 'Christian relationships'. I was at a place where I tried to convince myself that I should not take the bible's saying of 'unequally yoke' too literally. I justified my situation, and I gave in to my flesh. Some people from church came again to ask me what I'm doing. I just shut them up with some stupid reasons again. However, this relationship lasted about 3 months before she decided that it was going no where, and broke it up with me. I was crushed then. But somewhere deep inside me, I knew I deserved it for all that I've done to the people that loved me in my life.

This had to be the lowest point of my life. I begin to question myself. I questioned God. I recalled sitting one night alone on my bedroom floor. I asked God why is this happening to me. And then, I begin to cry my guts out. I felt so ashamed of what I've done. My heart was just filled with regrets and hurts. I hated myself and I came to a place wondering if there was any hope left for me. I pleaded for God to forgive me. But nothing came. My face was stained with tears and my nose and throat choked with phlegm. I yearned so much for His peace and love. But nothing came. I thought God has left me. But He didn't. He was there. In fact, He was doing all He can to prevent me from doing something stupid.

In case you didn't realize, we're actually already in 2005. That's like 2 years since I've broken up with Angeline. Angeline had went on to join YWAM in 2004 and eventually became a staff there. We actually have met on 2 occasions. I recalled in 2004 when she dropped by in KL, and I went there to meet her because I needed to pass her keyboard (which I was keeping at my house until then) to her. It was an interesting meeting because I recalled sitting down with her at one of the cafes in the airport, and before we left, I told her I was wrong, and asked her to forgive me. She said she has forgiven me long ago. We also managed to pray before leaving our separate ways.

Coming back now to 2005, me sitting and sobbing on my bedroom floor. And out of nowhere, the thought of Angeline came back to me. Until today, I don't even know how it happened. Except for the 2 brief meetings in the 2 years we've broken up, we totally excommunicated each other, well, at least I did. We've not been talking or even emailing. Whatever news that I knew of her were from friends, and vice versa. And yet, out of nowhere, memories of her begin to fill my mind. I begin to realize that I actually do miss her a lot still, even after these 2 years.

It was also during then that I begin to seek God to ask Him what these all means. I've been thru tragic relationships, and I did not want to get involved with any of that again. It was during this time that God begin to show me the significance of being selfless in a relationship. This is something we all know too well in theory, but so little of it in practice. I begin to examine myself, my motives, and before I knew it, I was talking to Zoe and asking her bout Angeline. Zoe had been Angeline's closest comrade, being with her through the happiest and darkest moments of her life. It's funny that I could communicate with Zoe, but dare not even send Angeline an email. I recalled asking Zoe if Angeline was with somebody else already. Zoe told me no. That little glimmer of hope made me smile, until she said that Angeline was actually still considering a certain person. Then, I was like, oh well, at least I tried. But over the next few months in the mid of 2005, I talked to Zoe and told her of what I've been through in the past 2 years. I confessed to her of my stupidity in some of my decisions, and she listened with much sympathy for me. Who knew, that a while later, she began to talk to Angeline about me. And before long, Zoe passed me her MSN contact and I made contact with Angeline after 2 years.

It was awkward at first. She didn't really want to talk to me. I was trying to be friendly, but I guess she might have thought that I was weird. But little by little, our conversations thru the MSN which generated about 30MB of chat files allowed us to see a part of each other that we never saw before. I learned so much of her that I never knew before and so did she of me. A couple months of chatting then led me to confess my feelings for her. At first, she saw no possibility of anything good happening with us anymore. She was a missionary in Hong Kong. I was a salesman in Malaysia. It was like "For what do missions and sales have in common..." (2 Corinthians 5:14) to her. Her heart was already sold to the lost souls in China. And she knew that I couldn't, and probably even if I wanted to, wasn't ready to go where she wanted to go. Which was true, in a sense.

However, I told her to keep her mind open, and that I wasn't forcing her for a decision, but just for a consideration. In fact at that point of time, I myself was actually even convinced that this could never happen. But something just kept pushing me and making me take the risk.

November 2005, KLIA. Angeline was on furlough and was passing through KLIA during her 2 weeks break. It's been so long since I've last seen her, and even longer that I've last desired her so much. When she showed up at the arrival gate, it was awkward at first, but we quickly got reacquainted again. I took opportunity of every single moment during her transit time to just talk to her. And it was during then that Angeline told me "I've thought much about your proposal, and I think it could actually work." I was at first aghast. That's because I didn't hear it right. Then when it hit my head, I nearly fainted. I asked her to clarify herself again. Then she said "you know, you and me, i think it could work out". I wanted to ask her to clarify again, but I knew she did punch me for asking her to repeat it so many times. I was elated. Elated could not even describe what I felt. I was just dumbstruck happy. And it was in that fateful airport, that I laid a plan before her, which include marriage and life together serving God full in ministry. She was excited of it as I was.

Angeline went back to Hong Kong that November, and we continued to communicate through the internet until February of 2006, when I went over to Hong Kong with a ring, and proposed to take her as my wife. We then planned for our wedding to fall on the 11th of November this year. It has not happened yet, but we're already so happy that we could be together and look forward to a future together.

In case you haven't realized, this love story is not about me and Angeline, but it is actually the love of my heavenly Father, who through it all, have given me second chances after second chances to start anew. His immeasurable mercies that has been poured out from the cross which my Savior had died to forgive my sins was the only thing that kept me going each and every time I fell. And it was thru the love of Christ that Angeline could actually forgive me, and also give me a 2nd chance to be with her.

I love Angeline now more than I ever have in the past 7 years. This is because I've begin to understand the love of my Father. And it is His love, that actually allowed me to love Angeline more than I ever could on my own. Someone once asked me who I'd look for as a life partner. I replied "someone who loves God more than me". I can never sustain my love for Angeline on my own. But as long as both us continue to remain in God's love, I know that we can definitely go through anything.

Thank you for taking time to read all these. I pray that God will also in your own life, tell His love story to you.

The End...?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A love story... Part 3

In my previous 2 entries, I've failed to include some of Angeline's descriptions. I'll try to do it now. Among the many other girls that I knew then, Angeline stood out in her own way. Angeline came from a town where in the fashion sense, bigger was better. My early memories of her was that she was always wearing an over sized unisex T-shirt and with a giant red overalls. She didn't really bother to follow the latest fads or having the need to look like the other girls. Basically, she was a really carefree person. And she had this really really long hair. Reminded me of Rapunzel.

She had special talents too. She was amazing at the piano. She was also particular about the chords that were used in songs, which contrasted me. I didn't care about 7ths in the chords or the whether was it a low 'C' or a high 'C'. I played more for fun. She was a perfectionist. And she was the only person I know that had actual formal training in typing. If I'm not mistaken, she could type like 80 words per minute or something like that. I could probably do that, if the 80 words were the same one, and they had only one letter.

Now, back to where I left off. I last mentioned that Angeline was sort of in a dilemma in making some decisions in her life, which involved her relationship with this guy. And Angeline has asked to see me to tell me something. When I met up with her, she told me that she has decided to break-off her relationship with the other guy. And she has also decided to start off with me. I was happy then. More like overjoyed. But little did I know, was that that joy would only last for a while.

Summer of 99 was when I first introduced Angeline to a family member. Angeline and I made a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for my sister's graduation. Strangely, that would also be our first and last time making a trip on the airplane together, at least for the next 7 years. Angeline met my sis and we took plenty of photos together. The photos were sent home and my parents had it framed on a wall for the next 3 years. My mom fell in love with Angeline immediately.

However, in the months to come, I was beginning to have doubts about my relationship with Angeline, and so was she. We decided on several occasions to break up, and just like the relationship, the break up didn't last very long either. And I soon found myself riding a roller coaster. We came in and out of relationships like a revolving door. There were so many issues, and back then, we were very emotional people and we never resolved anything constructively. We sought through arguments and 'silent treatments' to communicate pain and dissatisfaction. And this went on for quite some time.

In the winter of '99, just before going home for a short break, I told Angeline that I did not want to continue the relationship anymore with her, and to some extent as I recalled, she agreed also. When I came back to Malaysia, I caught up with what I missed for 2 years now already. And this included some other 'unfinished business'. I met up with some friends which sparked some other romantic interest. And I was in a position where I was just seeking to meet my own needs and feelings. In other words, I was just being plain selfish.

I returned to Lincoln after the millennium celebration. Lucky for me, the Y2K bug didn't really caused much havoc. Back in Lincoln, I took some time off from seeing Angeline, but it wasn't really long after that, that we're back together as a couple. Yet, our problems never really resolved. We were still going in and out of our relationship.

However, its not always just gloom and doom in our relationship. We had some good times too. I recalled spending alot of time taking her shopping, at the electronics store. Ok, maybe it was something that I was more interested in, but she caught abit of it along the way. We were also involved together with Xtreme, a campus Christian ministry. through Xtreme, we've managed to be involved together in many aspects of serving, like in worship, bible studies, and missions. We also managed to make a few trips together; Passion's One Day 2000, Habitat for Humanity project in Mississippi, white water rafting in Colorado, to name a few.

And yet, tthrough all this, there was still something missing between both of us. It was like although we did so many things together, yet, we still found it difficult to trust each other completely. I'd call it, the 'Missing Link'.

In 2001, I was due to graduate. My parents came over, and this was their first time meeting Angeline in person. My mom was very fond of her. I guess to some extent, more fond of her than I was. After my graduation, I took a short break returning home to Malaysia. Angeline also dropped my place before returning to her home in Sibu. While she was here, my mom treated her like her own daughter. Like I said earlier, my mom was very fond of her.

I returned to Lincoln in 2001, and continued working part time at Molex, where I did my internship earlier on. I was also at the same time job hunting, wanting to look for a full time job, until that fateful day on September 11, where some terrorist decided to alleviate me of any possible hope of permanent employment in the US by hijacking planes and flying them in to the World Trade Center, which eventually, cause the US to enter into a time of recession.

Without a chance of getting a permanent job in the States, I was forced to returned to Malaysia. My work permit was expiring and I didn't want to overstay either. Angeline was still in the middle of her Masters program then, and thus, she needs to complete it first before deciding on anything. Before I left for home, Xtreme decided to throw me a farewell party, which also coincided with the July 4th celebration. I recalled watching the fireworks with Angeline that night. I felt happy then. A couple of months before that night, we've been talking about our future. We never really decided on anything, but we sort of just discuss it and just to see what the possibilities are. And it was also a wonderful time for me because we didn't really argue on anything then. We really just got along well with each other. It was also on that night that I wrote a farewell poem. I wanted to recite it at first, but I guess I didn't have the guts to do it then.. It went like this:

"A Goodbye"

The time has come
I need to go
I need to go
Do I want to go?
Yes I do
No I don't
My heart is torn
I'm happy
I'm sad

A new chapter I must face
And I know I can by His grace
But why am I feeling dazed
With just the thought of leaving this place?

Is it because of the car that I used to drive
Or my "second home" aka Best Buy
Or maybe its the weather, both wet and dry
Or for the chance of the "American Dream" before I die?

Four years have come and gone
And thank God that I have grown
To realize that despite the things that I have owned
The best are still people I have known

People who were in this chapter of my life
Some brought blessing and some brought strife
Many have become my friends but only one will become my wife :)
Happy, sad, joyful, mad... ahh... isn't this a wonderful life

To those who walked with me
Thank you so much for blessing me
To those who I didn't get to spend much time with
Another chance in the future is my wish

So, what lies for me in the future?
I can only say is that I'm not sure
But in my mind this is what I picture
That one day in heaven we will all be together

I left the US on July 5th, 2002. I've not gone back there since. And what awaited me in the months to come was something that was totally unexpected to me...

...to be continued...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto

Pluto today after been in existence since the dawn of time, got its status removed as a planet. Its now being down-graded to what scientist term as a 'dwarf planet'.

Reuters states the reason: "Pluto was disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's. Xena also does not make the grade of being a planet, and will also be known as a dwarf planet" ...and some other bla bla reasons.

It's funny, cause I have always perceived Pluto as a star...


It's Friday. Somebody stop me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A love story... (Part 2)

It was the winter of 98, hence signifying my presence in the US for almost a year. Many of my peers and friends either went back to Malaysia for the Christmas break, or took vacations to some other parts of the US. I didn't go, cause not only was I not invited, but even if I was invited, I could not have afforded it. Yea, it goes to show that I wasn't really popular then. And yet, I could not have cared less about it. That's cause I was slowly developing my 'relationship' with Angeline. We did not start out dating, but rather, as most people during the internet boom, we chatted alot online. Using ICQ, we converse about almost everything. I learned so much about her then. I learned that she was an avid X-files fan. And she was not just into the show, but into every aspect of the show. She took notice of everything; from the producers, to the music directors, and to the smallest casts and it was Angeline that taught me about spoilers. I've never knew of such things before, where u could read about certain episodes before they came out. I also learned about her acute affections for cats. And here's the strangest thing, its not the feline animal that's she really interested in, its in the attitude of the cat that she's most fascinated about, and to some extent, begin to develop it on her own personality. At the same time, she also begin to learn alot about me, about my past would-be relationships that never worked out, my faith, and my passion for things that makes the eyes of geeks open wide, and yet, i would deny being called a geek.

It was during that winter too, that me, Angeline and Zoe also became good friends. We would have meals together, and made attempts to travel in the nearby vicinity using a car that belonged to Angeline's housemate, who was coincidentally on vacation during that time (good for us).

However, another thing that I learned during that winter was that Angeline was actually still attached to somebody. And while I was begining to feel an attraction for her, Angeline was still trying to figure out her own position in her then current relationship. The situation was strange for me, and for her too. You see, Angeline had been involved with this guy for quite some time now. He graduated during that winter and left for home. However, when he left, they didn't quite plan out their direction in the relationship, and Angeline in one way or another took it as a break-up, or some what like a hopeless situation. But Angeline still in a way pledge her allegiance to him.

Let me now fast forward a few months. By now, it was early of 1999, and Angeline and me had sort of like begin to have a relationship that was of more than just friends. But I recalled sometime during the end of January or early of February that year, that while visiting Angeline in her home, a delivery of roses came for her. And it was from her boyfriend. And it was not me, as I was not officially anybody's boyfriend yet. She received it in shock, as she did not expect it, and also find it strange as she recalled him as a person who was very careful with money. I was abit confused at that point of time, still trying to understand my position in her life. But I chose to be silent about it, and allowed time to make the decision for me.

About a month after the flowers, Angeline received news that her boyfriend would be returning to the US as he had managed to find a job in Omaha, an hours drive from Lincoln. At this time, she was being more frantic than me. She didn't really know what to do now, as his coming back would change everything for her, and for me. I recalled myself taking a very passive role, and for me then, it was like just 'cae sara sara.. whatever will be will be'. That's cause I don't really know what to do. I didn't even know what to think.

However, a week before the boyfriend came back, I gathered all my courage, and asked Angeline to meet me at Wendy's restaurant. We ordered some food and after me beating around some bushes, I tried to pop the question. It was difficult for me then, but when the bush was flat and I could not run around it anymore, I asked her "Do you want to take this relationship to the next level?" I asked her because I wanted to know who I was to her, and also because her boyfriend was returning, and I wanted to know if there was any chance that she would leave him for me. And strangely, before she answered me, I recalled vividly hearing Mr Big singing over the radio, the song "To Be With You", where the chorus of the song went:

"I'm the one who wants to be with you,
Deep inside I know, you feel it too.
Waiting on the line of green and blue,
Just to be the next to be with you."

Angeline then said "No." I asked her to reconfirm her answer, and again she shook her head and said "No." Dissapointed, we left Wendy's and went our separate ways. My walk home from Wendy's that day had to be the longest one. So many thing went on in my head. I had so many 'why' questions but with no answers. I was sad and depressed. But being me at that point of time, I've thought myself as being out of Angeline's league anyway. I've never had a girlfriend before her, and for some reason, I guess I was already expecting to be rejected.

Angeline's graduation in Spring of '99 had to be the weirdest experience I ever had. Not only did the boyfriend returned, but Angeline's parents also came for her graduation. Angeline's parents then was more concerned of her boyfriend's faith, and took several attempts to tell him of the gospel. While Angeline was frantic of the whole situation, I basically just took a position of an observer. At that point of time, I've already accepted my situation, which was me not being able to be with her. Her boyfriend at that point of time was only trying to understand Angeline's position in all these.

Then, I recalled during one of those nights, I was driving alone with Angeline after her sending her parents to their hotel. I tried talking to her about her situation in all this. She was confused with everything that was going on. Her parents didn't agree with her present relationship. She on her part still felt obligated to him because he was her first love, and vice versa. She did not want to hurt him, but she was also fearful of the realities of the future then. Her faith was also on the line, as he was not a Christian, and she was. I then told her this "You should really consider what your parents have said, and that you should not compromise your faith in this. Choosing to leave him doesn't mean you have to be with me." She responded in silence, faithfully as what a cat would do. I've said what I needed to say that night.

A few days later, Angeline said that she wanted to talk with me. From her expression, I'm guessing that it was something important...

to be continued...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A love story...

It was the winter of '98. I arrived from Malaysia in the small city of Lincoln, Nebraska, host to 200,000 corn fed and bred, die-hard 'Husker' fans. I was taking up an engineering course at University of Nebraska - Lincoln. This was my first time travelling so far away from home. The furthest that I've travelled before here was Thailand and Singapore. But it was a dream come true for me. I've always longed to visit the "land of the free" and "home of the braves".

The first thing I did after enrolling in my classes was to get a part time job. I knew that the money my parents gave me were only sufficient for tuition and other basic stuff, and if I wanted to spend on anything extra, I'd have to earn it. Gathering information from the senior students there, it seems that more Malaysian students tend to work at the food service. Immigration laws prohibits international students to work more than 20 hours/week, so I signed up for 20 hours of work at the food service of two different halls.

I reported for work on the first day, and I was stationed to clean the pots and pans. No complains there, I figured as I could just clean it all by myself. Dad has always told me that "anything that's worth doing, is worth doing well". That's why I made sure that if I were to clean the pots and pans, I would clean them well. And they were clean alright, only that I took a tad too long to clean it. It wasn't long before the lights of the kitchen begin to go out, and I was still not done. I turned around and I noticed two persons standing by the dishwashing machine, waiting for me to finish. And I noticed that one of them was a girl. "Looks cute" I told myself silently. But I had other things on my mind. Like the pots and pans, and the person needing to lock up after me.

Aside from studying, I've tried to make a point to make sure that I find myself Christian fellowship. I can't remember very well how things went, but I was invited to join a fellowship named 'TGAN', an acronym for 'Tabernacle of Grace for All Nations'. I recalled for the first meeting, I was told to wait at a certain place, and someone would take me there to the meeting place. I waited there at the appointed time, and I noticed the same girl that I worked with at food service approaching me. When she got near enough, she looked at me, and without saying a word, somehow she assumed that I would understand enough to just follow her. I followed her, but for some reason, she kept her distance by walking about 5 feet away from me. "Friendly.." I told myself. When we reached the hall, I met some other people at the fellowship and lost sight of where she went. I had a good time there at the TGAN meeting.

It was the summer of 98, and me and some bunch of friends decided to take a tip to fly over to the desert of Arizona to earn a few credits for our degree. Before flying, I've also managed to get myself involved in the Malaysian student association there. Who knew, the girl that I worked with at the cafeteria, whom later I begin to address as Angeline, was also part of the committee. And also who knew that we would be teamed up to work together to organize a welcoming party for the new students.

Our first communication was thru email. I don't recall speaking to her before the emails. I could have, but certainly, it didn't leave an impression on me. But her emails were definitely impressive. Not only was the English impeccable, but she had a cute ASCII text art of 2 fingers showing the 'peace' sign as her email signature. Back in 98, that was cool.

I returned to Nebraska sometime before the summer ended and helped Angeline organize the welcoming party. If my memory served me right, it was held in Trago Park. I guess the party went quite ok.

Then came Fall of 98. For me, it had to be the most enchanting moment in my life. I was invited to attend IVCF's fall retreat in Iowa, and for rides, I was put together with Brian Galaznik, Zoe and Angeline. Again, who knew. Zoe was becoming Angeline's best friend then. Brian had a car, and I didn't. So off we went up to Iowa. The journey there was amazing. I was amazed by the trees changing colours and how the entire landscape from green had changed to golden brown. The air was cool and refreshing.. ahh.

During the retreat, I guess I was more attracted to Zoe than Angeline. Partly because Zoe was more outspoken, while I still didn't know how Angeline sounded like. Zoe responded well to me in conversations, while Angeline reserved her conversations with Zoe. But it was during that fall itself, that something was happening between me and Angeline.

...to be continued...

Petronas ads for National Day 2006

Check out some of these ads that have been planned to be aired on TV during our National Day celebration. Click here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Google Earth Updates for Malaysia

For those of you who makes use of Google Earth, you can try checking out images for Malaysia as they have updated some of the locations with high resolution photos. They've included places like Melaka town, Port Dickson, some parts of Kuantan... however, still no Klang yet. I guess they're not interested in where bakuteh comes from.. hehehe... have fun!

Here's a satellite shot of PD Beach Resort, where we had our church camp this year...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Glory Of Your Name

The Glory Of Your Name
Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels

Verse 1:
It was in the way You came, As a lowly babe
That Your glory was displayed
And it was in the sacrifice
Of the purest life
It was in Your Father’s will obeyed

Chorus:
The perfect Lamb that was slain
And there’s the glory of Your name
No other one, no other way for me to see
You took my place, You are the way
And there’s the glory of Your name
Yes, there’s the glory of Your name

Verse 2:
It was in Your victory, risen for the world to see
That all who would believe could enter in
And it is in the passionate price
Now demanding all my life
And beating in the chambers of my heart

Bridge:
And there is nothing in this world
That could take the place of You
That could take the place of You my Jesus
And there is nothing in this life
That could take the place of
One life, one love One power to save us all
One hope, one truth
And one glory in it all
One glory in it all

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fall

Of the four seasons that I've experienced in the US, fall, also known as autumn, has to be my favorite one. Since my first fall in 1998, I've loved that 3 months of the year, which takes place from early September till end November.

I adore the leaves on trees that changes from green to golden brown. And then, one by one, they will start to fall off and begin to fill the landscape with its color. The grass will also begin to change its color in preparation for the cold days ahead.

Another thing about fall that I like is the weather. It's comfortably cool. At least where I was anyway, that in Lincoln, Nebraska. You could either choose to put on a sweater, or not. Either way, the light breeze of cool air always brought refreshment, especially after enduring the hot days of summer.

The thought of Thanksgivings and Christmas also always bring a cheerful mood to me, knowing that days of celebration are ahead.

I miss those days...

What is an IE?

Many times, people have often come to me and ask me what was my educational background. The moment I tell them that I took up "Industrial Engineering", I'd like get a blank stare from them. Often, they would reply asking "Is that like Mechanical Engineering?", I would say, yes and no.

My good friend Vai Seng recently sent me an article regarding this issue, and though long, I thought that it clearly describes what an Industrial Engineer is. This would be useful for those of you studying, who are still choosing between majors. Anyhow, here it is:

Student’s IE Answer to “What’s an IE?”

Industrial Engineer. A very impressive title. Slides easily over the tongue. But what is one? Must be an engineer, but what type?

“Industrial” brings to mind bellowing smokestacks, mighty gears turning, the screaming of a steam whistle, forges flaring, millions of fellow workers building a stronger nation, the American way of life!....all very soul stirring, what does an IE do?

First, let’s see if we can find a niche for the IE in the vast engineering disciplines. There are four main fields:
Chemical: Bubble-bubble, toil and trouble. If it's sticky, gooey, gummy, grubby, bubbly, they're in it;
Civil: Bridge builders, architects-to-be, road makers, stress and strain types;
Electrical: Zap! Crackle!
Pop! AC/DC! Tiny black boxes with tiny black boxes
within;
Mechanical: Clink-clank-clunk! What makes
the world go round: gears, spindles, sprockets, and spanners.

Others seem to consider the IE as a sadist whose biggest kick in life is making people work faster-for-lesser. “Efficiency Experts.” The management's stool pigeons. “Young wet-nosed punks to tell me, after 10 years with the company, that I'm working too slow!”

These people are entitled to their opinions, but for those that have no idea at all about the difference between an IE and the other engineers, probably 90 percent of the people in the world (89 percent of who have never heard of IE's), the following may help. It is an attempt to describe some of the many different parts of being an IE, stressing the difference between IE's and other engineers.

The IE brings a sense of business reality to the other engineers. The IE straddles the vast gap between practical managers and the development engineers. He is the guy who tells the EE that his solid gold, platinum plates, lithium-line relay contacts in a design are being replaced by tin ones. “Is that third brace really needed?” This is where the IE's training in the various engineering fields comes in handy. He is a translator. The engineer can communicate with an IE when he may be unable to show the non-engineering boss what he is trying to do. And visa-versa, the IE can bring the word from above to the engineers, reminding them that they are here to make money. Also, the IE has a sporting chance if the engineers try to snow him with technicalities; they do not know what he may know.

He is a step backer. He takes the proverbial one step back. He gets the big picture. Often people working intensively on the details of a project or design fail to see where they are going overall. While the ME is wondering if the right-torque framastan should have 5 or 6 spokes for the wombat model, the IE has decided that the fritler doesn't even need wombats.

An IE is a people buffer. Not only does he work with the bright shining, purring machines, but also with their hairy, ham-fisted operators. Is Joe Blow working as fast as possible with the thingie cutter? How much should he be paid? Per piece or not? Call in the stop watch people, the IE's. They will help you set up work standards for comparison, they will suggest ways of job evaluation, possible incentive plans to use, etc. Joe Blow may complain at first, but the IE's help him, too (if, admittedly, he's not part of the dead wood trimmed away), (that is life, Joe), as more efficient work is usually easier work.

Most IE's really don't go around pulling wings off flies, kicking old ladies' crutches, etc. They're are more or less human. They don't want Joe's job. They want to find faster, cheaper ways to do it. Also, safer ways, which brings up the next topic:

An IE is a people protector – safety. Keeping Joe Blow's paws out of the cutters “field of authority.” If not for Joe's sake, then it is at least more efficient. Many people consider safety as a joke –never take it seriously, like security. “Hah, the rope will hold, whatch’a worrin ‘bout?” IE's make Mr. Blow safe if he wants to be or not. The IE's ears perk up at the sound of “famous last words…”

An IE can be a plant planner. Building a factory? Should the tinker-tuners go near the fudge-forgers? Should there be a moving belt or a passageway? How much? How soon? Which way? Where? When? Don't ask the Civil Engineer – he's trying to keep the roof up; the ME's unsticking the door life; the EE is working on the lights, the ChemE is making smoke in the basement….well anyway, it is the IE who's had the training, he is the dude who coordinates and plans. It is his neck if the feather fluffer winds up next to the molasses mixer. His training includes human factors as well as traditional engineering knowledge.

The ME may see no reason why he shouldn't have the walls painted black to absorb heat, but the IE will also balance in the effect it will have on employee moral. Also, where will you put the plant. Once the plant is located and built, it is very expensive to correct any major errors. An IE would be a valuable asset in designing the assembly plant.

He can be a sampler. Who decides, out of 100 wombats, how many samples must be take to be 95 percent certain that 90 percent of the goods are good? A good IE can. He has been trained in statistics, probability, and reliability. Practical, applicable statistics, too, as opposed to what a math major would get. The other engineers? They may have at most 3 hours of statistical theory. Not much of a confidence there.

An IE is a betterwayer. She has “Is this the best way?” constantly rattling around in her head. Here, perhaps, the difference between and IE and the other engineers is less than noticeable. All engineers try to come up with better methods of making something happen. The ME's, EE's, etc., have the advantage of technical knowledge in their own fields, but the IE may be able to pull something from, say, the ChemE's and apply it to an ME's problem. The IE's big advantage comes in after the prototype is made. He knows the assembly line better than the other engineers, and can see a great use for the new No. 1
zoot sticker in the No. 3 wombat assembly line. The IE has ideas on what to do with the engineers' new ideas.

An IE is good at maximizing. If you want to ship your fresh wombats, and route A takes 3 hours at $4 per wombat, route B makes 6 hours at $2, and route C takes 4 hours at $3.50 each, and you lose $1 for each hour a wombat is outside, what is the best route? This example may be simple, but when you consider a plant's normal production of wombats per day, and all the various methods of transportation available, it gets very sticky.

Many people would be surprised at the elaborate formulas IE's use to solve these types of problems (when they are not pulling wings off of flies or winding their stop watches). You just can not pull the answer out of your hat. The other engineers could possibly “plug and shove” to get the answer, but an IE is trained at it.

One main difference between IE's and other engineers is ladder climability . An EE can look forward to being head of the EE department someday, but that is usually about it. The IE finds it a comparatively easy transfer to management; she usually has a foot half-way into management to begin with. Her background will be an asset. Also, she may be a bit more open minded that the EE, who would favor his old department. An IE's “old department” is the whole plant.

Another important difference is survivability. An IE is like a cat – he can always (well, more often than not) land on his metaphysical feet. His knowledge can be used in almost any field, from industry to hospitals, from military to research projects. If the rubber market drops out, he can jump to, say, aeronautics. The ChemE, however, will be caught in a fairly specialized field, and he may go down with the rubber duckies.

Now then, many IE's are not going to like the fact that we may have brushed over lightly or even skipped their pet IE subject, but it is hard to cover IE’ism completely, which brings up the next characteristics of Industrial Engineering.

Indefinablityness. One of the most frustrating characteristics of Industrial Engineering to some, but appealing to others, is that IE cannot be defined in a little capsule summery. There are no definite boundaries to IE. It is so wide, from management to time study, from quality control to design analysis, almost anyone can find her niche sooner or later.

An EE is an EE with fairly predictable limits, but when you say “I am an IE,” people still haven't gotten you pinned down, pegged away in a mental cubby hole. You are an unknown factor, they don't know what to expect.

The world needs non-superspecialized engineers – people who can get an overall view, bring together the specialists, and handle new, presently unforeseen and unpretrainiable events.

I hope it has given you at least some vague idea of what an IE is and how she differs from other engineers. I admit it is biased, if not a little aggressive, but then many an IE walk about with a large chip on her shoulder, because when she says, “I'm an IE!”, people still say, “Whatzat?”.

Based on: Ronald Smith contribution “A Student IE’s Answer to “What’s an IE?” in the book Intro to Industrial Engineering and Management Science by P.Hicks

Monday, August 14, 2006

Limitation to kindness... :P

A couple is in bed sleeping when there's a rat-a-tat-tat on the door.
The husband rolls over and looks at the clock, and it's half past 3 in the morning.” I’m not getting out of bed at this time," he thinks, and rolls over. Then, a louder knock follows.
So he drags himself out of bed, goes downstairs, opens the door, and there's a man standing there. It didn't take the homeowner long to realize the man was drunk.
"Hi there," slurs the stranger, "Can you give me a push?" "No, get lost. It's half past three and I was in bed," says the man as he slams the door. He goes back up to bed and tell his wife what happened and she says, "That wasn't very nice of you. Remember that night we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick the kids up from the baby-sitter and you had to knock on that man's house to get us started again? What would have happened if he'd told us to get lost?"
"But the guy was drunk," says the husband.
"It doesn't matter," says the wife.” He needs our help and it would be the Christian thing to help him." So the husband gets out of bed again, gets dressed, and goes downstairs.
He opens the door, and not being able to see the stranger anywhere,
He shouts, "Hey, do you still want a push?"And he hears a voice cry out, "Yeah, please." So, still being unable to see the stranger he shouts, "Where are you?" The drunk replies, "Over here, on the swing."

Christian Quotation of the Day - August 13, 2006


Avoid idleness, and fill up all the spaces of thy time with severe and useful employment: for lust easily creeps in at those emptinesses where the soul is unemployed and the body is at ease; no easy, healthful, idle person was ever chaste if he could be tempted; but of all employments, bodily labor is the most useful, and of the greatest benefit for driving away the Devil.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
-- 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 (NIV)

Friday, August 11, 2006

'A History of Conflict' - Israel and the Palestinians


Check out this link to learn more about the history behind the Middle East conflict. This summary was put together by BBC.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Quote

Got this from my inbox today, from CQOD (Christian Quotation Of the Day)

Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust, not in the living God but in dying men. The unbeliever denies the self-sufficiency of God and usurps attributes that are not his. This dual sin dishonors God and ultimately destroys the soul of man.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Knowledge of the Holy
[1961]

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
-- Hebrews 3:12 (ESV)

A lesser heard viewpoint

Here's a lesser heard viewpoint of Israel's stand, especially in the midst of the current Israeli - Lebanese conflict. Local and international media views tend to be very biased and one sided. Read this and make up your own mind.

Here's the speech titled "Counter-Terrorism Speaks Out" by Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese.

Don't miss the interview.

Love

1 Corinthians 13 (NKJV)

The Greatest Gift
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9
For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

As stated. No comments needed. Do you have love?

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Every Morning

In Lamentations 3:22 - 23, it says:

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
(NKJV)

Isn't it great that we have a God that gives us new mercies every day? It is God's mercy that we have this morning to wake up to, and this day to live.

It's Monday, and I pray that your week ahead will be one where you can constantly see the mercies of God working in your life!

Carpe Diem!