Sunday, January 20, 2008

Joy in the Winter

Sometimes, we find ourselves in the "winter" season of life. It's really unpleasant to be out in the cold, especially if it's all by ourselves. We wander around in the cold, hoping to find a burning fireplace to warm our freezing hands, a comfortable warm bed to snuggle into, some thick winter clothing, or at least a nice cup of hot chocolate.

"Winter" could be any point of life in which we're down in the slums, or when the things around us seem to be turning against us, leaving us to "shiver in the wilderness". We frantically search for a comfortable zone to fall back, our hearts cry out for help that doesn't seem to come.

But we who are in Christ know that, even if there's seemingly no places of refuge for us, God has prepared fireplaces for us to keep us warm. As long as we walk in Him, He will provide all that is necessary to sustain us in the journey with Him throughout the "winter" into the "spring" of life.
By allowing ourselves to face the "winter" by putting our complete trust in Him, we can be assured that He will not allow us to perish in it but instead come out in better shape than we can ever imagine. We can be joyful in the "winter" despite all the coldness and bitterness around us knowing that the God of all the whole world, who has control over all the seasons, is with us guiding our every step and giving us the strength to go on.

In the end, we come out thankful for the things we have. We come out loving God more for the many blessings which He has poured out to us. We come out appreciating the warmth of "spring" more after facing the iciness of "winter".

Basically, that's my theme for my next painting - "Joy in the Winter" finished on 19 January.

O child of God, wait patiently when dark thy path may be,
And let thy faith lean trustingly on Him Who cares for Thee;
And though the clouds hang drearily upon the brow of night,
Yet in the morning joy will come, and fill thy soul with light.

O child of God, He loveth thee, and thou art all His own;
With gentle hand He leadeth thee, thou dost not walk alone;
And though thou watchest wearily the long and stormy night,
Yet in the morning joy will come, and fill thy soul with light.

O child of God, how peacefully He calms thy fears to rest,
And draws thee upward tenderly, where dwell the pure and blest;
And He Who bendeth silently above the gloom of night,
Will take thee home where endless joy shall fill thy soul with light.

- Fanny Crosby, 1886

Until next time!

Brian Chee

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chapter 5: Seremban - The Land of 'Siew Pau' (Part 2)

In the previous post, Jia Ji was facing execution. Did she survive? Let's find out... worries. She's still alive. Looking like a usual. Lol. She's gonna kill me if she reads this.

Haha...anyway. Enough of this side story. Let's get back to the second part of the main storyline.

16 December 2007

This is the most eventful day in my Seremban trip. We started off with a simple breakfast of bread with bacon and eggs. Our first destination for the day was this place...the Police Headquarters, where we had a few photos with the policemen. Nah...just kidding. I took this photo from inside the car. Haha.

Actually, our first destination was this youth park. We had a stroll around the park.

Here are some of the sights around the park.

The playground

Calvin and Jeremy playing on one of the contraptions

A wooden bridge

A hanging bridge

Some of the buildings there

A speak on display

Some photos of the concrete pathways

A peculiar leaf-shaped structure

There's some kind of leaf design on the floor

Bahagian Pengindahan Bandar

One final glimpse before we leave

After visiting the youth park, we visited the lake garden of Seremban. But going into the gardens, we took some photos outside the park.

A water fountain

Wisma Negeri

A war memorial

After taking these photos, we went into the park. The first thing we came across was this line of stone columns.

Next, we encountered this amazing waterfall.

Here are some of the other sights around the park.

The 'Hanging Gardens'

A flight of stairs

A fountain without water

Some trees

That wraps up our exploration around the lake gardens. Calvin's dad drove us around Seremban. As we passed by the museum, I caught sight of it and hinted it to Calvin. So, we decided to visit the place.

We visited this place called the stamps and philately gallery. There were all sorts of postage related exhibits on display.

A postman's bike

Some postman uniforms

Some old stamps

Two wooden mailboxes

An Olivetti calculator

Apparently, they even have a place in the Malaysia Book of Records
for the Longest Stamp

We then visited other places around the museum.

A model Negeri Sembilan house

Some stone tablets

Yea! Sabah's on their map too! =)

After seeing the inside of the museum, we checked out the exhibits outside of the building. We decided to explore this replica of a Negeri Sembilan house.

Some photos of the exterior of the houses

Their woodwork is amazing

Posing like 'bersanding'

Calvin and I climbed up to the attic...

...but apparently, there was nothing there

Some more shots around the house

Next, we checked out some of the other exhibits.

A traditional boat

Some more stone tablets
A row of cannons

After browsing through all the exhibits, we checked out their souvenir shop.

Lol...trying to pose like Jay Chou in his latest album

Having fun with the toys...i mean items =)

By the time we finished touring around the museum, we were hungry so we went to have lunch at Jusco. We walked around the place for a while as we were unable to decide where to eat.

Restaurant Street

We also came across this poster of Calvin's church's musical

We passed by the arcade Jia Ji wanted to play that but it's only for kids. Haha.

Next, we browsed through this shop

Some of the items on display

Finally, surveyed the restaurants again, one particular shop caught my eye. It advertised a blue-coloured drink, which I found very peculiar. In the absence of any competing choices, we decided to have lunch there.

The blue coloured drink, called "Blue Ocean"
It has a lemony taste

My lunch =)

After lunch, we were really rushing against time, as we had to send Jia Ji and Jeremy to the bus station by 2.30 p.m. They had a bus to catch back to Ipoh. But of course, no journey to Seremban would be complete without visiting their famous "Empayar Siew Pau". That's why I called it "The Land of 'Siew Pau'" following Calvin's suggestion. Haha.

After grabbing some 'siew pau', we were on the road again. We were rushing to the bus station. We arrived there about 5 minutes earlier. After sending Jia Ji and Jeremy off, Calvin and I decided to take a stroll around Seremban before his musical practice at 3.30 p.m.

One of our destinations was the Seremban railway station.

Then, we took a stroll around Seremban. Here are some of the interesting landmarks of the city.

The Church of Visitation, a Roman Catholic church

Wisma Punca Emas

Seremban Specialist Hospital

Seremban City Council

PKNNS Complex

SMK King George V - The school where Calvin's dad teaches
If you view the larger picture you can see the words of Julius Caesar: "Veni, Vedi, Vinci" (I came, I saw, I conquered)

Seremban fire station

I've been trying to take a photo of this sign for many times
Finally, I succeeded

The new bus station, Terminal Two

St. Paul's Institution

SMK Methodist (ACS) Seremban, Calvin's alma mater
After touring around Seremban, we sent Calvin to his church for musical practice, Agape Gospel Assembly.

I was feeling tired after the day trip, so I decided to go back home to have a short rest before tonight's musical. Ya, I'm watching it for the third time. Haha. An ardent supporter.

Since this night was the last night of the musical, I decided to take more photos. I brought my camera the night before but I forgot to insert the memory card back into my camera after I transferred photos to my laptop. At around 7.15 p.m. Calvin's dad sent Calvin's mom and I to the church to watch the musical.

Here are some of more photos of the musical.

Before the start of the musical

The MC welcoming the guests and announced the start of the musical

The praise and worship session before the musical

The starry night sky during the musical

The shepherds went to Bethlehem to worship Jesus

The angry King Herod contemplates his actions against the newborn King Jesus

The three wise men go to Bethlehem to worship Jesus

The three wise men and their families, relatives and friends

The banners coming in to join them

Now the choir is singing a medley of Christmas carols

The last act of the musical, where all the cast appeared on stage

After the musical was over, I gave them a standing ovation. It was kinda awkward because I was the only one giving it. But I didn't care. I've seen them perform for three nights. The amount of work they put into this really deserves some compliments and commendations.

As the night before, Calvin's dad picked us up at 10.45 p.m. We went home to have some supper.

After chatting a while, we hit the sack. My trip to Seremban has almost reached its end.

17 December 2007

It was time to fly back to Sandakan. After visiting 5 different towns/cities in 3 different states in 18 days, I was ready to go back to Sandakan.

In the morning, we woke up and had breakfast of 'loh mai kai' and 'dim sum'.

After breakfast, I loaded my luggage onto Calvin's dad's car and got ready to leave. Before I left, I took some photos of Calvin's house. Look at all the books he has in his house! Amazing!

He has books in the living room, in the study room, in the kitchen, in his bedroom. Wah...really a bookworm's heaven.

He also has a cat pen with 8 cats.

After that, we left for the airport. We came across some of these attractions along the way.

Signboard to @enstek City

Sepang F1 Circuit

The AirAsia Shuttle Bus from KL Sentral to LCCT and vice versa

After about 30 minutes, we arrived at the airport. We unloaded my luggage and proceeded to the check-in counter.

My luggages

The entrance

After checking the notice board to make sure my flight was at the correct time (2.00 p.m.), we proceeded to the check-in counter.

As usual, the airport was really crowded.

After checking in, Calvin and I bade farewell to one another. I, then, proceeded pass the security check into the departure hall.

The departure hall

At 2.00 p.m. the gate was opened and I boarded the flight back to Sandakan. I reached Sandakan airport safely around 5.00 p.m. After grabbing my luggage, I met up with my parents who were waiting for me at the airport.

Finally, I was home.

The End.