integrity

That was the topic of the sermon at Calvary Church, Damansara Heights at the 5 pm English service just now. I thought it was quite interesting, something to think about at least. I’ve been trying to find a church that I’ll be comfortable in.

I haven’t been to church in a long time. It’s 18 years by my count, excepting the time I went to Wesley Methodist Church in Sibu last time I was back to visit my mom (and I thought it was election time too).

calvary church bukit damansara

I’m not used to loud and expressive praise and worship sessions – I was raised as a Christian, went to Trinity Methodist Church in Kuching and Wesley Methodist Church when I was in Sibu. They’re both UMC sister churches and we use the hymnal – usually droll but somehow peaceful hymns.

This is totally different. However, I think that the ability to unlearn and relearn new things is a prerequisite in this fast moving social media age and I found myself enjoying it by the second song (which I would really like to know the title of).

I’ve been procrastinating in going back to the church – I left the congregation when I was 12 coz I didn’t believe in it anymore. It’s more than just knowledge, it’s the hypocrisy and politiking that I see which made me lose faith in Christians.

I’m sure I’ve said this before but one thing my dad said that caused me to reevaluate is – Don’t look at the Christian, look to Christ.

…also I have my own personal reasons for going. You can call it the opiate of the masses but there are no atheists in foxholes too. ;)

eucharist
Nifty way to hold the Eucharist cup.

However, I’m still trying to believe. I think I’m moving towards that direction but I don’t think this church would be a good fit for me. I prefer to contemplate in a quiet setting and speak to my personal savior and this isn’t very conducive to doing so. It’s also an Assembly of God denomination which has doctrinal differences from Methodists, the biggest one being:

The Assemblies of God believes in the Pentecostal distinctive of baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

That goes against everything I believe in. I find that churches like these tend to coerce people to do so (speak in tongues) which leads to a lot of people faking it to make it. I was at a seminar a while back in Sabah where a Canadian group came to speak – they’re also Pentecostals and during a blessing session, everyone (about 300 people) fell down, “consumed by the holy spirit”.

I didn’t. There were people behind me waiting to hold me and one of the pastors whispered to me – “Just lie down”.

I don’t want to coz I didn’t feel the touch of the Lord. I was the only one standing in a group of 300 threshing and moaning people. The sheer pressure to join them is quite incredible and I believe that’s what most people were going – just succumbing to the pressure. I stood my ground though. It was hard, and I’ll be lying if I said I didn’t feel self-conscious but I don’t want to pretend to do feel something I don’t.

I won’t judge, Matthew 7:5 says the famous words about that but in matters of faith, I ALWAYS defer to my dad. He’s hands down the most pious person I ever met – a True Believer. I trust him in these matters.

calvary church damansara heights

Thus, I’ll probably be still searching for a church that fits the doctrine I believe in. I can’t say I’m a Christian right now, and I’m still trying to reconcile God with science, life and sociology – things I believe in like evolution, LGBT rights, massive allegations of fund mismanagement (hey, they’re human and humans sin).

I also want to make sure that I’m doing it for the right reasons and not using religion as a crutch to get me through some hard times.

I’m really opening my mind here after 18 years (it’s actually longer, I stopped believing but continued going) of being an agnostic atheist – I want to believe and I know it’s not your prerogative to show yourself to me God, but you know, it would help a lot, especially right now.

I’ll end this post with a prayer. ;)

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Heh! It’s actually non-religious, it started from AA but I learned it in NA, it’s called the Serenity Prayer and AA/NA isn’t a Christian foundation – it accepts people from all faiths and religious discussion is prohibited.

wesley church sibu

It has been a while since I last attended a church service. By “a while” I actually mean 18 years (!!!). I stopped going when I was 13 – it used to be a family affair before that. We’ll all go for the 7:30 am English worship service followed by brunch.

I’ve been meaning to find a church that I’m comfortable with in KL and made a promise to myself that I’ll start looking last Sunday but since I was in Indonesia, today was the first day I stepped foot inside one.

wesley church

Wesley Methodist Church is a relatively small assembly in Sibu that my family goes to. It can best be described as a conservative Methodist church with strong fundamentalist teachings. The service is very orderly, quiet and steeped in tradition.

I told my dad of my intention to join them for the morning service – my dad is very involved in the church, he’s one of the ushers today so we had to go earlier. I wolfed down a huge chunk of chocolate generously spread with peanut butter (buried would be a better word, I scooped up a good quarter of the contents of the jar) and we all arrived well before the service started.

I was surprised that a lot of the older members of the congregation still recognize me. I didn’t see a lot of new faces, it doesn’t attract a lot of young people due to the reserved and orthodox nature of the church.

church sarawak

Don’t expect loud music and fervent singing, it’s all about solemn hymns with subdued piano music here. I don’t think the church believes in any music written after 1900. smirk

I did enjoy the service though. I sat beside my mom while my dad was performing his duties as an usher. I remember as a kid, we always looked forward to eating at our favorite places right after Sunday service but I quit going to church when I went to high school.

I went for brunch with my parents at my dad’s favorite kampua place after that. The kampua is quite different from Sibu’s normal kampua. It’s somewhere in between kampua and kolo mee. This is the part I miss the most, spending quality time with my parents!

church brunch

I got my mom and dad batik from Jakarta and we’re going to have a nice sit-down dinner later to celebrate Father’s Day.

It’s good to be back! :)

Getting up close and personal with Mary Fatima.

st_john_tower.jpg

There is a mysterious upper level at St John’s Cathedral. I wasn’t
aware of it until a warden told us that there are more seats upstairs.

st_john_upper.jpg

Sure enough, there it was – an outcropping overlooking the ground level.

st_john_ladder.jpg

I was attracted to this ladder on both sides of the level.

ladder_climb.jpg

I peered up and it seemed to be the ladder for the bell towers.
Curiosity impelled me to brave the bird poo stained ladders and climb
to the top of the right one. The ladder goes up to a level overlooking
the book store. One of the attendants heard my less than subtle ascent,
peered up questioningly and frowned in my general direction.

bell_tower_journey.jpg

However, I was not to be dissuaded from my quest to the bell platform, so I scaled the next ladder, and then the next.

bell_tower_platform.jpg

Soon, I reached the last ladder leading up to the bell, which seems
to be sitting on top of a wooden support. I climbed up the last ladder
to present to you…

bell_tower_view.jpg

A view from the top. Wait ah, the bell photo is coming up. You can
actually fall into the book store if you wanted too, just keep right
while falling down and you’ll drop right through the top of the book
store. You might break a couple of bones and possibly injure something
other than books.

st_john_church_bell.jpg

Here is the ancient looking church bell. I suspect it’s not used
anymore due to the impressive layer of bird droppings on the stair
steps and railings. There is an inscription on the bell itself:

st_john_bell.jpg

The bell is called Mary Fatima.

Novo Millennio Ineunte

celebration_book.jpg

The wardens passed us this booklet today. It says:

Silver Jubilee of the Pontification of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Eucharistic Celebration
10:30 am, Sunday 26th October, 2003
St. John’s Catheral
Kuala Lumpur

There is a typo on the glossy cover, if you haven’t noticed. It says
‘Catheral’ instead of ‘Cathedral’. I kinda had my own private pursuits
(the abovementioned journey to the bell) and also zoned out a bit so I
wasn’t sure what was going on but there was this scene at the end:

eucharistic_celebration.jpg

There were “light refreshments” served after the event at an ad hoc tent erected on the lawn after mass.

refreshment_tent.jpg

They were giving away cincau drink (without cin cau jelly)/lychee drink and curry puff/a slice of cake.

tent_food.jpg

The volunteers with the tables of packet drinks and pre-wrapped food.

Anytime is Makan Time

maju_curry_house.jpg
Restoran Maju Curry House
I had Special Beriyani Majura. Today’s special is Nasi Beriyani Ayam Kampong.

special_beriyani_majura.jpg

I like how they have these boiled quail eggs in the rice. Very nice indeed.

nasi_dalca.jpg

There was a Nasi Dalca selection beside it and I took another drumstick. It looked good in the gravy. This is my plate:

beriyani_ayam.jpg

There was also a plate of sotong curry which we shared. It had large complete sotongs with everything intact.

sotong_curry.jpg

restauran_maju.jpg
Anytime is Makan Time.

The End.

stjohn.jpg

It’s Sunday today and this is the first time in recent memory that
I’ve been to church. Granted, my eyes glazed over sometime during the
middle of mass, but anyway…:) I moved out of the hotel early this
morning and put my stuff at my gf’s place and now I’m updating at
Richard’s room. I’m bunking with him until the room vacancy at my gf’s
house opens up at the start of next month, about 7 odd days more.
Anyway, the mass was held at St. John Cathedral, somewhere around the
Kota Raya area as far as I could ascertain.

cucount.jpg

Well, I was with my gf, her brother (Richard) and her brother’s gf
(Alice). Mass was followed by lunch at CU There, somewhere near
Petaling Street. It was air conditioned and the interior and ambience
is interesting to say the least.

cuint.jpg

There is a wall filled with scribbles of love messages from couples
and the rest of the real estate is covered by posters of artists of all
sorts. There’s also a music area:

cumusic.jpg

and the toilets are covered with jokes…

cutoilet.jpg

I had the prawn steak (RM 7) because I was really interested in how they could come out with a prawn steak. This is the dish:

prawnsteak.jpg

Recombined prawn steak…that’s recombined prawn meat patties, my
friend. A steak produces expectations of a single piece of cut meat. ;)

Anyway, here’s a photo of us:

cuall.jpg

From left: Louisa (my gf), Richard (my gf’s brother and my room mate
for the next week), Alice (my gf’s brother’s gf) and Huai Bin (me).

Later, we went to Sunway Pyramid, where there was dance performances
and two highly doubious Malaysian Book of Records entries. I got
pictures of everything, but those would be up tomorrow because I’m very
tired, as can be seen by my terse sentences. :) I’ll turn in early
tonight and wake up tomorrow for a whole new effort in sending out
resumes. Later.

sunwprev.jpg
This will be up tomorrow.

Oh yeah, just watched on Edisi Siasat about the Africans (Nigerians?
Afica is a continent…the reporters are no better than the people
saying Asians (a diverse classification which spans from India through
Hong Kong and down to Indonesia) is the source of trouble in a lot of
Caucasian countries) who started a bit of trouble at Jalan Alor at the
hawker food center…I’m not sure when that happened but me and my
digicam missed it. :( Not that there’s anything newsworthy unless shots
were fired, but still, it would make a good update. I won’t go into the
racial vilification and distrust this produces, I’m against that of
course (the expose ends with “Be carefull of people of African
descent”), but sixthseal.com is just about personal stuff, drugs (by
veritas) and news that I happen to witness. :p

One last thing, sorry about the photos being dark…I didn’t realize
it on my monitor (with big ass gamma), only realized it here. Will take
that into consideration in the future. Here at sixthseal.com, we always
aim to please. or something. ;) Nevermind me, I’m too relaxed right now.

sibuxmas.jpg

Above is the Christmas tree at Wisma Sanyan that I took several
weeks before, but never posted up. It should have been taken down by
now though…at least I think it has. I’m feeling rather uninspired
today and went browsing thru my sadly sparse (due to an accidental culling
[sixthseal.com]) collection of Sibu photos for one which I haven’t
posted yet, since I haven’t taken much photos since I came over.
Hmm…I’m rambling. Anyway, I have a supervisor meeting at 8:15 am
again tomorrow, which means I’ll need to be up by 6 am for my daily
upon-waking-up bowel movement, so I’m heading to bed. Meanwhile, amuse
yourself with Trinity Methodist Church’s collection of MP3 sermons
[tmc.org.my]. Our family used to go to this church before we moved to
Sibu. Several of the (guest?) sermons are done by pastors which used to
be attached to Wesley Methodist Church in Sibu, like Rev. Lenita Tiong,
Khoo Ho Pin and Tie King Tai. For some reason, there has been no
recently added stuff though.

Church of Christ Fellowship, Clayton

I’m feeling rather lethargic now after dinner. I had 5 hours of sleep last
night coz I wanted to finish the second Artemis Fowl book before I went to
bed. Finishing a book always makes me feel strangely empty though. I’ve
been known to read through a series of books and then start with the first
one right after finishing the last one. Heh. Anyway, I remembered why I
loved Artemis Fowl so much when I read the first book. It’s very witty and
a good “cheer me up” book. The funniest line in the book goes to the part
where Artemis Fowl goes “I suspect I’ll view Captain Holly Short in a
different way once puberty hits in 8 months”. Heh. Well, I did to go
church this morning. Had to pull myself out of bed to catch the 9:30 am
bus. The church in question is of the Church of Christ denomination, which
is quite similar to Methodist. I’m sure there are differing doctrines but
it’s pretty much the same to me. It’s located behind the Coles in Clayton
and about 50% of the congregation is composed of younger people.
Interesting. They have a really rousing hymn too…goes something like
“I’m full of fire for Christ or something”. Fun. Anyway, they have “church
lunches” as well, where people stay for lunch. It’s free for visitors
(A$2.50 otherwise) and it was rice with 3 drumsticks, a fried egg, some
cabbage, 2 pieces of buttered bread and lots of sauce. Pretty good, and
their pastors were really full-on too. Reminded me of my church back in
Sibu. Oh, there was a really big spider on the wall of my stairway when I
got home today. It was absolutely huge and it’s not those thin spiders
too. This one had a large abdomen and long sturdy legs. Nasty. I had to
give it a wide berth every time I passed by. :(

Size comparison: Look at the automatic door shutter. Damn, that’s a
huge spider.

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