HOMAYGASH

Dear Readers,

I’ve been working on a project for over a year now. I’ve been pushing myself to write a book. Or something close to a book. The project went into a coma for quite some time. However, I decided to breathe life back into the “book” and now lo and behold — “It is finished”.

Almost finished. I asked some literary inclined friends to have a look at it and give constructive feedback. I still need to proofread the whole thing too. And write an author’s note, acknowledgment, or —

HOMAYGASH, totoo na ba ito??? (Is this f’real???)

Really, I’ve been doing this project mostly because I wanted to prove something to myself — that I can come up with more than literary blog pieces. But now, I’m thinking about venturing to self-publishing. But are my stories good enough?

I get terrified thinking about it. But at the same time I’m all giddy and then —

And then I get terrified again.

I need help. I’ve got a lot of questions. Should I stick to eBook formats or should I try making physical copies, too? Will my faith and wallet allow me to do so?

This all feels surreal right now. I could back out any moment. Seriously.

But I seriously, seriously, seriously want to push through with this.

And write more once I’m through.

HOMAYGASH.

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Bungkus (Takeaway)

A week has passed and I am still singing that song – 10,000 Reasons (co-written by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin). It’s my takeaway tune from this year’s ICPM. More than having a melody which has hit me (and I believe everyone else) with a serious case of LSS, the song has wordings which have left significant marks on my heart. 10,000 Reasons basically sums up my ICPM 4 experience.

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning / It’s time to sing Your song again / Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me / Let me be singing when the evening comes

It’s a brand new season. There’s no doubt about that. A new day has dawned upon my personal life, a new day has dawned upon my work and my ministry – sometimes I have to pace myself (and all those involved) so that I (and most often, we) could keep up with all the changes taking place. But truly, it is time to sing His song again. I’ve fallen silent for a time, but I have to keep singing. I’m unsure of the things awaiting me in the road up ahead, but, yet again, I have to keep singing. I have to. I want to. I resolve to be so filled with gladness, to be so overwhelmed by gratitude, to be so overtaken by love that even through lonely or pain-filled nights, I will keep on singing.

Bless the Lord, O my soul / O my soul / Worship His holy name / Sing like never before / O my soul / I’ll worship Your holy name

It’s all about worship. It’s all about pouring out our lives to the King of Kings, showing forth His glory by simply being who we are created to be. I loved Kuya Paul’s session about convergence. He said, “Convergence is the point where all our talents, gifts, experiences, uniqueness, and personalities ALIGN for us to perform our GREATEST WORK.” I am still mulling over my five stones. What are in my hands? What do I have which I can use to topple over giants, to conquer my mountain, the mountains of – *gulp* – education and arts?

I have yet to make those things clear in my heart, but one thing is for certain: I will sing like never before. In all the things I am doing right now, I am determined to give my 100%. 100% in my relationships. 100% in my work. 100% in my ministry. 100% in everything. I want to live a life of excellence once again. I want to start asking questions the way Kuya John Eric asks them, I want to run the extra mile the same way Ate Visiel showed us how.

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger / Your name is great, and Your heart is kind / For all Your goodness I will keep on singing / Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

I shall do all these things because there are ten thousand and more reasons for my heart to do so. Because above all, God is GOOD. During one of the times of worship, I just felt Him saying these words to me – “I have always been faithful.” He reiterated those words when Kuya Lester honored us and asked us to stand up during his session. And I held on to them and saw a glimpse of them coming to life during the parade of nations.

“I have always been faithful.”

And on that day when my strength is failing / The end draws near and my time has come / Still my soul will sing Your praise unending / Ten thousand years and then forevermore

One day, I’ll get married. One day, I’ll have kids. One day I’ll move out of Malaysia, perhaps go home, perhaps move on to the next nation. One day, all my kids would have grown up and would have families of their own. And then one day, all the insurance money Wilbert educated me about will prove to be very useful.

One day, I’ll look back at these moments of my history and see them as significant but nonetheless mere memories.

But still I shall keep on singing. Ten thousand years and then forevermore.

Bless the Lord, O my soul / O my soul / Worship His holy name / Sing like never before / O my soul / I’ll worship Your holy name

And so I will bless Him. Let my life be simply full of praise. Let me be unstoppable, as I was during our amazing race when I tore the back of my favorite blouse just to get hold of the elusive Thai elephant. Let me simply sing like never before.

Heartfelt thanks to all the speakers who poured out their hearts during their talks and sessions. Hats off to the organizers who made all these things happen. Tight hugs to the big ICPM family, you are all my heroes and inspirations. And so much love to all the people who have run this race before me, who are running the race now with me, and who will keep on running with me.

Let’s all sing like never before.

With Cristina Joy. Thanks to Ate Kim and Kuya JM for the mugto eyes photo! :D

With Cristina Joy. Thanks to Ate Kim and Kuya JM for the mugto eyes photo! :D

Stronger

Stronger through the trials
Stronger through the pain
Stronger through the testing
Stronger through the rain

Stronger through the battles
Warriors victorious
We’re shouting out a triumphant cry
To a winning God on high

CHORUS
Let this song arise
Lord we gladly pay the price
Oh to You we set our eyes
You’re our greatest prize

Oh You change us from glory to glory
You give us hope, life and victory
You give us strength upon strength
And joy with no end
Freedom to live and to be