There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
- C. S. Lewis
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
- C. S. Lewis
If being matured means being able to lecture oneself into thinking sensible thoughts and feeling rational emotions, I’m obviously still a long way to that stage. I’ve been going round and round in the same perplexing and sometimes even paralyzing maze for a few years now, taken away with this struggle was what was supposed to be priceless joyous years of youth.
At some point, it felt right to admit: No, I’m doing no good despite my greatest efforts.
I know. I understand. It’s a common struggle of human beings. What you don’t have always seems like the best. Believe me, when your time comes, beautiful things will happen. Promise me you will be steady, ok?
A promise is a promise, right? You don’t break a promise you make to someone you love.
This year, cast away all the fears, all the pains, all the disappointments – We have a Savior who can “re-appoint us”! His mercy is new every morning, every minute we ask Him for it. Look to God. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything you could possibly imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). Expect Him to do great things in our lives this year, not because we deserve it, but because He is good! [Power Thoughts Devotional:365 daily inspiration for winning the battle of the mind]
As I was reading the Word I felt like He was asking me, “Why, my dear, are you so afraid?”
I’m afraid of many things in life. I’m afraid of failures, I’m afraid of rejection, I’m afraid of loneliness, I’m afraid of sufferings, I’m afraid of unreciprocated care… and I was reminded that most of my decisions in life, big and small, were made out of fear. But the Lord says we need not be afraid, because He’s taking care of us. He watches over us 24/7 with His undivided attention and divine love. If God, the Almighty God, is for us, who can be against us? Even if situation is unfavorable, even if we have many reasons to be soaked in tears, we can face the challenges knowing that nothing can ever harm us unless we allow them to, and we will emerge victorious, because God is by our side.
Hold on to the Source of Light, even in darkness.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
- John 1:4-5
Giving what little there is to give.
A camp fire.
Traditional Chinese lanterns.
Finally, the Christmas lighting!
You are the Keeper of the Keys
You are the Guard at the Gate
Waiting in line to get through the door
Is love. And also hate.
In line to enter is gentle peace,
And also violent war.
You must choose who may, and who
May not come through the door.
Intolerance tries to sneak through
On wings of fear, or pride.
It hides behind dreams of belonging,
And tries to sneak inside.
Oh! Be alert! You’re the Guard who decides
Who goes and who may stay.
You are the Keeper of the Keys to your mind.
Who will you let in today?
- From “Thinking for a Change” by John Maxwell
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8
In Prague, Czech Republic
In Salzburg, Austria
In Krakow, Poland
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In Pahang, Malaysia
When all the colours have faded, would you still see the awesomeness of this world, in its simplest form?
Photo were taken during a Sunday church service at International Baptist Church of Prague
As one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia, Penang naturally became one of our stops as we visited a few places during the summer. Penang is a vibrant city rich with cultures and history. The only downside, perhaps was the very humid and hot weather! Even a Malaysian like me felt uncomfortable at the end of the day after cycling and walking around George Town the whole day.
Having been a home on stilts on the shores for the Chew Clan community more than a century and is still now, the Chew Jetty has withstood the test of time and a strong testament of living heritage for Penang and the world to mesmerize. - http://www.visitpenang.gov.my/portal3/what-to-see/attractions/chew-jetty.html
Food and drinks
These are the things that you cannot miss in Penang. Just as an example…
Teo Chew Cendol at Penang Street
Old-fashioned Kopitiam (coffee shop)
Stalls by the streets @ Batu Ferengghi
A relaxing walk by the port
It took me a looong time trying to decide whether to join this trip. It felt safe and secured to be travelling in Europe, despite the language barrier, but somehow lots of possibilities crossed my mind about this trip (no offense, and indeed I’m a worrier, lol).
Thank God I made an impulsive decision, which led me to this beautiful island on the east of Malaysian Peninsular. Pulau Perhentian consists of two islands, the Small and Big Islands.
From Penang (which will be in other posts later), we took a night bus to Kuala Besut, which took almost 10 hours. We arrived at about 6am to this humble little town. Honestly, it didn’t appear to me to be well taken care of, being an important if not only portal to such a popular island for tourists, and clean public toilets were only opened after 8am! We spent a good few hours waiting for our boat to Small Island, so we had a simple breakfast in the town just 2 minutes walk from the jetty. Finally at 10am our boat ride arrived (it was included in the package bought at http://www.pulaupulau.com/ )
It was a 30-40 minutes boat trip as they had to drop off the tourists at a few resorts. The drivers were friendly and talkative if you start asking them questions about the islands and since many of them are locals, they sure know a lot.
As soon as we arrived, we were awed by the clearness of the sea water and the amount of fish visible near the boats.
In the afternoon we had a relaxing time swimming the private beach of our resort. It was covered with dead corals instead of being white sandy, but overall it was a nice experience swimming and sunbathing as it wasn’t crowded and the water was really clean. We could see fish swimming and some sea cucumbers. Some of us rent the life jacket at RM5 each just to be safe. Afterall, swimming in the sea was never the same as swimming in swimming pools…
The highlight of this trip was the snorkeling on the second day. The trips from our resort left at 10am or 2pm. We chose the Short Trip (3+ hours) which included snorkeling points at Fish Point, Shark Point, Turtle Point and Light House. It’s a good thing to know beforehand that the baby sharks don’t bite! Despite the names, only some of us saw one baby shark at Shark Point, we saw one big turtle at Turtle Point. Generally there were plenty of fish and at some snorkeling points the corals were very much alive and colourful! We saw giant corals at the Light House. We were lucky that there weren’t any tourist choosing the 2pm slot so the guide was free to ride us to other spots in the afternoon.
During the night we went to the beach for BBQ fish by the sea. As there was a long list of order and everyone was waiting for buka puasa, we waited for two hours before we could eat, but it was really nice to be chilling and eating and listening to the waves after a tiring day swimming in the sea. There were two BBQ restaurants in front of Shari-La Island Resort, Mama’s and Amelia’s, both very popular.
We also took a 15 minutes-walk on a pitch dark (!) small road to the other side of the island where Long Beach is situated. I was quite alarmed at first by the complete lack of lighting on the way but surprised to find that quite a few of others were taking the road to and fro the Long Beach as if it was normal to be walking in the dark. Some of them even had torchlight with them, apparently being well informed or experienced. Instead of being covered with corals,the Long Beach was a sandy beach, very comfortable to walk on. It was very happening at night with pubs opened for drinking and dancing.
We left the island on the third day and took a taxi to Jerteh (a bigger town, easier to catch buses going to other places, and it was 15 minutes car from Kuala Besut) and left Jerteh by a bus at night. As we haven’t bought bus tickets for our next stop, we had to leave the island earlier (at 12am) to make sure we secured the tickets we needed. It was a hassle to do anything online (for e.g. buying a bus ticket) as the connection was quite poor on the island.
Thank God for the safe and amazing trip to this beautiful island. I believe this is a must-go place to people who enjoy the sea and beach.
Cuti-cuti Malaysia~ =)