Posted by: shantortoise | March 11, 2009

Marley and Me

I just caught the show today. Really nice show, though a friend of mine said that the book’s much better, may start reading it. But yes, nice show and I sobbed really hard just now. Hope didn’t scare friend :p

What made me thinking when I was in the shower (I like to think in the shower, that’s why I take v long) was the part when Jenny was tired, frustrated and upset about having to take care of the kids and having a ‘crazy’ dog around in the house, she wanted John to send Marley away and when John put him away with his friend and the couple talked things out, she said something like, “I didn’t know it was this difficult, nobody told me.” And John replied, “Maybe people did tell me but we were just too excited to listen.” (Frankly, I can’t rem the exact words, lousy memory, but it’s something of that meaning :p)

It got me thinking how often do we usually not listen to advise but insist on our own ways. At least that is nothing new to me at all. I do that so very often in my life! First, it was choosing my secondary school, my mom wanted me to go to Nanyang but I insisted on going to RV. Then people said that I should not get a non-Christian boyfriend but I got one. Then when I was to choose my uni course, my parents pointed out that I was obviously better in my sciences, do I really want to go to Arts and do psychology? Then my job, did I really want to be where I am now?

For a period in my life, not long ago, I thought that my life was full of regrets ‘cos I did not really like my choices. Maybe Nanyang was better, so was Science or even at some other workplace. But recently, I looked back and realised that if I were given a chance to choose again, I will actually not change my choices. I learnt much in RV and made wonderful friends. Though I’m doing more social work related stuff now, I would still want to be Psychology trained than social work trained, I like what I studied (though I can’t rem much of it now) and some of my training would still be useful in what I want to pursue. My current workplace might not be where I’d want to stay for long but it had given me a very good overview of the sector and what I might want to do next.

Like the couple in the show, even though they did not listen and maybe at some point in time regret having not listened but they learnt to overcome things together and moved on. I realised that I really don’t listen, not all the time though, to advice. I do not plan, I plunge into things, do things my own way and make mistakes, regret or not, and then learn. I learn this way. It may not be so for everybody but I learn most effectively this way.

Haha.. Oops.. Realised that I actually didn’t have any point to make except realising what a person I am.

Anyway, a lot of times, in our society, we are not allowed to learn things this way. We get penalised for our mistakes. I thank God that my parents have either given up or me or loved me too much to still bear with me and how I make decisions. I realise that I do grow up well. I wonder how many of us or even the society will allow people to try, make mistakes and then learn. Can we learn to be more forgiving?

Posted by: shantortoise | February 5, 2009

A song to share

I have bad memory.  Not sure if I have shared this song before. But it is a very beautiful song so I will share it (once again). I first felt God’s real presence when I sang this song in a camp. I could see God’s love through His creation.



轻轻地说声爱主        这是从内心发出

望着天看着白云        它就像主的慈爱



主的爱比天还高        似海洋深难以忘怀

我的灵要歌颂你        在早晨时也在夜里

伫立海边观看潮汐    浪卷起浪也消失


Hope you can also see God through His creations.

Posted by: shantortoise | February 4, 2009


It is way past midnight now so I’ll keep this short and go to slp.

It is birthday time again.. Feel really old. But other than feeling old, there’s always a very warm feeling to birthdays, ‘cos I realise that many friends remember my birthday (credit to Facebook too). Friends whom I have not talked to in a long time will come by to wish me happy birthday too.

However, about 10mins before midnight just now, I decided to savour the last moments of being 24 by going back to God in prayer. As I was praying, I realised how much God has loved me and taken care of me! The past day, let alone 25yrs of my life will never have been possible if not for Him!

Frankly, at this age, I do wish to find somebody to be with. Been saying to myself the past week or so that I wish to find somebody who likes me, will pursue me and cherish me, and seriously hoped to find that person soon. But as I prayed, I realised how much I had forgotten God! He has pursued me all my life, He has loved me all my life but I am always going away from Him and yearned so much more for someone else.

I tend to yearn for things and people whom I do not get but neglect the things and people around me. I definitely neglect God! I feel the terrible hurt of being neglected but yet I have done so to God so very often!

On this very day, I am grateful to my family and friends for wishing me. But the ‘person’ that I want to thank even more is God.

I can never love You like You love me but I want to thank You, love You and walk in Your ways as much as I can.

Posted by: shantortoise | December 12, 2008


A church friend’s mom passed away a few weeks back. I didn’t get to go to the wake but my parents who went told me that my friend’s brother looked happy at the wake. I wondered if he was putting up a front. Then I walked past a christian wake on my way back from work. If I walk past it earlier in the day and knew that it was a wake, I could have mistaken it for some celebration for a joyous occasion. Not just for the trays of food but of the smiles on the faces of people who looked like hosts. They wore genuine smiles on their faces.

I stopped to make sure that it was no wedding celebration. I guess that’s the difference between christians and non-christians, we have hope that death is not the end of everything. And we have the hope of meeting again in heaven in future, death is just a passing phase.

It’s X’mas soon, apart from showing appreciation to family and friends and giving gifts, perhaps it’s a good time to remember Jesus, the man whose birthday we are celebrating. And also remember how he gave us such hope through His death for all mankind. X’mas is a joyous occasion, whose birth, death and resurrection gave us the joy in all occasions 🙂 Merry X’mas everybody! 🙂

Posted by: shantortoise | August 16, 2008

In His time

Singapore has won in the women’s table-tennis semi-finals!! We’ll be getting a medal after 48 years!! This is exhilarating! I’m really excited about it, I was so loud when my colleague called back to tell me the news that my other colleagues thought that I struck Toto or something :p And I am still excited about it now.

But I’m not going to talk about that.

My boss told the department yesterday that she’s tendered her resignation. I was away when she announced that so she told me separately after I came back. I really did not expect that. I was upset that she was leaving.

Not many weeks back, I just found out through a series of events that my boss was the nicest one around and yet she had decided to leave. She’s really a funny and nice boss, you can read more about her here :p However, I understood her reasons for leaving and it was also better for her to. I would also wish her all the best.

Despite saying that, I was still upset each time I thought about it. But my friend pointed out when we were going home together that it was good that this is happening after I’d resolved my issue of leaving or staying. I would likely contemplateleaving if this had happened a few months back. The thought of leaving did not even cross my mind this time.

I really thank God His perfect plan and timing, I really could not imagine what things would be like otherwise. I am still upset but yet thankful. God has His plans and His time, often out of imagination or expectations.

Posted by: shantortoise | August 4, 2008

What I read

Not sure how long this post will end up being (‘cos I’m copying it wholesale) but I would like to share something which I read today, from the book, ‘Shining Like Stars’, about pressing on. This had inspired and challenged me. I hope it does the same to you too.

What can we learn from the lives of persevering saints?

1. God has his own timetable. As Eugene Petersen puts it, ‘Discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction.’ We are often governed by a desire for a quick fix. Samuel Escobar remarked shrewdly that the only thing discovered in the twentieth century was speed. God has his own timetable and sometimes grows a work more slowly than we would wish. As Scriptures says, ‘We shall reap if we faint not.’

2. We must believe in the promises of God. When you hit tough times, remember God’s promises and hold fast to them. Hebrews 10:35-36 says ‘So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.’

3. It is good to keep a sense of perspective. When we feel ready to give up, the enemy can hit us with a sense of isolation, like he did Elijah (1 Kings 19). God had to remind him that he had several thousand servants still in Israel. It is easy to feel we are the only ones going through a particular experience. We need to remember that others are going through the same thing and that the Lord Jesus has also run this race.

4. We should maintain a thankful spirit. Every major challenge is an opportunity for growth. No-one ever achieved godly character through the laying on of hands. Charisma may come in an instant, but character takes a lifetime. As Peter Kuzmic from Croatia has said, ‘Charisma without character spells catastrohe!’ When we are under pressure, when our dreams and visions seem to have died, when everything seems almost too hard to bear, this is the seaso that forms character. So be positive and look to God with a spirit of thankfulness. As Scripture says, we are called to ‘give thanks in everything’, or in the midst of all situations, (not just some).

5. We can know God as Father. When I first read John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, I wrote to Hugh Goddard, an IFES worker then pioneering student ministry in Lebanon. I explained that I had discovered I was a slave, a duolos, of Christ. He quickly wrote back to me to say ‘If that’s all you are, you are no different from a M. You are not just a slave, you are a son.’ He was right. This assurance of being sons and daughters of the living God gives us an urgent desire to press on and to bring him glory and honour.

6. We must work to finish well. In everything God gives us, there is a finishing line. Jesus was given work to do by his father and he knew he was going to be able to say ‘It is finished’. For all of us, in every vocation, there is a finishing line, a moment when we too can say the task is completed. We must make every effort to keep running until we have fulfilled God’s calling to us in that vocation – until we have completed the task, or handed the baton to someone else who can go on to complete the task.

7. Some sow, some plant, some reap. Our task may be to sow, with others carrying on from where we leave off. I remember a cross-cultureal worker in Iran saying, ‘I’ve served for forty years and seen very little fruit. I don’t think I have even done much planting, but I have cleared away a lot of rubble so someone else can come in and build.’ That shows God’s sense of timing, an awareness of one’s own small contribution, and a resolve to lay the groundwork for others.

Ultimately, ‘cos Christ died for my sins and reconciled me back to God, I have hope of the future. I know God loves me, things may not unfold the way I thought it should, but God has His best plans for me. I may think that I do not have the capacity to endure the ‘sufferings’ that I am given, but God will give me such capacity to go through it and He will go through it with me.

Posted by: shantortoise | May 29, 2008


I haven’t written here in a long long time.. I’d been good. I did stuff, contemplated things and learnt.

Time really flies, come this weekend, I would have been with my workplace for 10 months.  In comparison to my peers in other departments who have been working with the ministries and the organisations, I don’t seem to know the sector still.  Many times I would feel that I have been 混水摸鱼-ing..

Doing coordination work for departments and looking at research matters of the sector, I could not see the relevance of my work and how it could help people, which definitely hurt my motivation to work effectively. Together with the facts that I was not prepared to stay in this job for long right from day one, and quite a number of my peers in the private sector had changed or are switching jobs, I probably had attitude problems toward my job.  So I contemplated moving somewhere else too.  I even put my plans into action by starting to train for the physical proficiency test on Monday.

I had previously shared my plans with a few people and they either encouraged me or did not make much comments.  But somehow I did not feel convinced.  Then I met up with a senior on Tuesday and shared my plans with him.  He turned out to be the second one to discourage me (the first one being my mom, who was really worried that I will make a rash decision as I always do).  He shared his experience at one of his workplace which he could not see the relevance of his work too but he learnt from it and could make a more informed decision about whether or not to stay.  He encouraged me to stay for at least two years before reviewing my direction.  He convinced me and I felt settled at that point in time.  Even though I had not really prayed about it, I felt more at peace.

Then my boss asked us to start thinking of where we will want to go by the end of her two years’ term with the department, as my department may either expand or close down. I was quite taken aback at that timeline, I may not even have to make a decision myself by then! (Whoever’s from my workplace and reading this, you are to keep mum about what my boss said!  This was shared only within my department.)  The timing was so exact that I do not believe it was a coincidence, I believe God is showing me His ways.

Having decided to give myself two years, I went to work happier and more motivated today. I was able to put in more thought into my work.  I would still pray about the initial four options that I had and ask God to show me His ways and learn to be obedient to His ways.

Posted by: shantortoise | April 21, 2008

Still Afraid

I went for the last VCF council session on Wednesday. A year 1 shared at the end of it and challenged us all, and CF about the urgency of reaching out to the people around us. I was deeply challenged and reminded of why I joined exco two years ago. I was deeply burdened from that day onwards.

However, I know I that I’m usually afraid to tell people about my faith ‘cos it’s out of my comfort zone and I feel that I do not have enough knowledge to. And true enough, two days after the council session, on Friday, I was doing an external course for work. I was reading a Christian book and left it on the table. My trainer came over, picked up the book and asked me about it, but my first instinct was to run away. I gave her a short answer and turned to go but I hestitated ‘cos I knew it was the chance to talk to her about it. In the end, I still went off. When I went off, the verse in 1 John came to mind, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I immediately regretted my action and asked myself why did I have to fear? But it was too late to go back in and engage in any conversation, the opportunity was gone.

Even though I had the strong burden in my heart, my old self really stopped me from doing anything. It felt really like “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. I knew that by myself, I really am still my old self, which is utterly weak, timid and fearful. I can do nothing apart from God. I can only pray that God renew me, show me His love that drives out all fear and compel me to tell others about Him. This is not just His love for me but His love for others and my love for the people around me.

I want to tell my friends about God, not because I see them as targets to spread the gospel to but because I know the good news and I want to share the good news. But I need the courage and the love from God.

Posted by: shantortoise | April 1, 2008

God’s Works

Really excited about it! Want to thank God for being so real!

A friend of mine has been facing a lot of problems at work, on the project that she’s assigned to do. She’s given last minute notice to fly to China for some short-term assignment, expected to schedule meetings after office hours so that other work can be done during office hours and have a lot of work to do. I didn’t know how to comfort her except to tell her to consider quitting. But she doesn’t want to be a quitter.

So I could only tell her that I’ll pray for her, even though she’s not a christian. It’s been a month or so. The only solutions that we could see were either to quit or to just stay on as long as she can. But God had better plans, yesterday, she was told at a meeting that the company wants her to be based in China for a few months and if she refuses, she will be rolled off this project! Which is what she wanted!! Her HR manager doesn’t think she’ll be blacklisted if she refuses to go. God provided a way out for her that she doesn’t have to quit nor to stay on this project, something which we did not expect to happen!

Yesterday, she told me to continue to pray for her. I was so excited to hear that! ‘Cos I just prayed on Saturday for God to give me courage to share about Him and I believed He’s already paving the way for me.

God answers prayers. I believe He loves my friends more than I do. I believe that He will continue to lead the way.

Posted by: shantortoise | March 9, 2008


Was our church’s youth service’s first anniversary today, 8 March, and those serving in the service were called up to read the order for dedication.  The part that’s supposed to be read by the pastor struck me quite deeply because other than it being for ministry workers, I thought it reflects our walk and life in God as well. It reads as follows:

Brothers and sisters, let us claim the covenant God has made with his people and accept the yoke of Christ. When we accept the yoke of Christ, we allow Christ to guide all that we do and all that we are, and Christ himself is our only reward. Christ has many ways for us to serve him; some are easy, others are difficult. Some receive applause; others bring only reproach; some we desire to do because of our own interests; others seem unnatural. Sometimes we please Christ and meet our own needs; at other times we cannot please Christ unless we deny ourselves. Yet Christ strengthens us and gives us the power to do all these things. Therefore let us make this covenent with God our own. Let us give ourselves completely to God, trusting in God’s promises and relying on God’s grace.

Been having some problems with work. But the last few sentences struck me as I read, “Sometimes we please Christ and meet our own needs; at other times we cannot please Christ unless we deny ourselves. Yet Christ strengthens us and gives us the power to do all these things.” Have to consider and meditate upon that.

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