Thursday, December 31, 2009

Supernatural Hope for 2010

As we look forward once again to the turning of the calendar, many of us have come to the threshold of 2010 carrying heavy concerns either for ourselves– or for others.

So it might be worth thinking together about a statement that the Apostle Paul wrote in the middle of his own problems and concerns for others. The words I’m thinking of occur toward the end of his letter to the Romans. No stranger to trouble or conflict, he wrote,

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Rom 15:4).

A few statements later he again expresses that desire for his readers when he writes,

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit” (v 13).

Have been thinking about how the Scriptures (v4) and Spirit (v 13) Paul is referring to are a basis of personal patience, comfort, and hope– that is “supernatural”…

How do the Scriptures give us perspective? How do they put us in touch with the Comforter we need? How does this inspire the courage that is necessary to patiently endure our fears?

As we move to the end of the year, would be interested in hearing from those who have begun to get even a small glimpse of how– through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures– and the “Comforter” Jesus promised– to find hope.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 secs on the surf board

Surfing in Cherating. Well, I almost did it...was standing on the surfboard for 2secs before getting dumped back into the sea.
Had my first taste in surfing over last Christmas weekend. Drove to Kuantan with Michelle after a nice Christmas lunch with her parents at Plaza Damas. We tried a Jap-Western fusion lunch at La Yosh restaurant.
In Kuantan, we stayed with the MTB gang; Kenny, Debbie, Lee, Yap & Lydia. Too bad we were not into we missed their ride at Sg Lembing. So Sat morning after breakfast, the MTB gang went one way and surfer wannabes went the other. Together with Bernard & Lina, off we headed to Cherating.
I must say surfing is a lot harder than it looks. I decided to do some open water swimming instead while Michelle became a surfer girl.
As for me, I tried and was a 2 seconds surfer. Bummer!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Meaning of Christmas

It's the time of the year where everyone wishes each other "Merry Christmas" and it's everywhere.

Merry merry merry merry Christmas!!!!

Yes, it's a nice warm feeling but does everyone know what Christmas is all about?

Merry Christmas...what does it mean??

Happy New Year is...well, what else but a new year according to the calender we are using.
Gong Xi Fa Cai...chinese celebrating their new year according to the lunar calendar
Deepavali...celebration of good over evil
Hari Raya Aidilfitri...time for forgiveness and strengthening bonds with each other not just a one day celebration. We should remember it everyday for it means the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God, for God loves us so much that He send His Son down to earth to be born as a man. Why?

Read on...

By Martha Noebel - It's that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.

Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

Luke 2: 4-19 says:"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." I John 1:9

We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.
Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a "Merry Christmas." The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Good Shepherd

The qualities of a good shepherd are: to protect, provide, care and unite with deep and personal dedication to his sheep to the point of risking his life . Jesus, the Good Shepherd died for us, so that we can gain eternal life . Are we not infinitely blessed and eternally indebted to Him?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To be or not to be...

Ironman Langkawi 2010 is less than 3 months away and I'm getting scared. Haven't done serious IM training, unlike last year where by now I was in Putrajaya roads at least 3 times a week. To do 1 discipline is fine but 3 in 1 in an iron distance is getting on my nerves. I'm getting worried...scared...totally not confident at all.

Today is the far. Planned to clock at least a 3hr ride but it all vanished when I instead did a 3hr sleep overdose! Oh no! Oh crap! Oh how!?!?!?!

Hmm...there is the 12hr Putrajaya walk tonight so maybe I should clock some mileage there.

Monday, December 7, 2009


In today’s Gospel, Jesus cured the blind man because of his strong belief that Jesus could cure him . When we pray to Jesus for our needs, we are called to focus on developing our relationship with Him and not solely on our needs . We should not be self-centred when we pray .

Sub4 but no PB

10km - 53min
15km - 1.19
20km - 1.44
30km - 2.33
40km - 3.40
42.195 - 3.53.32

Report coming soon...

Friday, December 4, 2009


Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009

Race: Full Marathon 42.195km

2nd marathon in Singapore
What is it gonna be?
How long will I take?
Is it a fast or is it a LSD?
1 more day and I'm gonna find out!
Just keep on rollin!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Under 10km!

The past two Sundays has been Dukethon of 5km and KLAVA Back to Nature Relay of 3.39km. Add both and it's still under 10km! With SG Marathon coming up, there has been no 25km or 30km LSD. This is by far my worst prepared marathon. No expectations then. Will treat it as part of the Ironman training for Langkawi in Feb2010. Anything of sub4.30 will be a year end bonus!
It was a carnival! Great atmosphere created with drum performances, hot air balloon ride, clowns, car audio and modification exhibits with stunning looking Myvys and Kancils.
I'm the guy in blue...if you can spot me! Hahaha! Khoo is with white cap. He was always ahead of me and the gap grew further & further as the race went on. At the end, I was nearly 1min behind him. Mich sayuring guys from the start.

Sleeping on the run?!?!?! Finished 17th with a time of 19.54...a sub20! Yahoo!

Got 4th! 23.33!! A sub 24! Congrats but amkan cos the prizes were for podium only. Haiya!!!
Post race makan was as if we did a half marathon!

KLAVA Back to Nature Relay
The RED Pacemaker Army

Passing of baton after a fast & furious 1st round in 13.32
Handing over to Mich after a 14.14 lap.
Determination painted on her face. Go! Mich! Go!
Mich managed to hold on the 2nd position and to top icing on the cake, the last 100m was a sprint to the finish. She did 17.40 Well done luv!
Team Pacemaker Network MR.K
M = Michelle R=Raymond K=Khoo

Veteran Champion and Overall Champion. They simply smoked everyone...they were just too fast.

Trophies only for the champions in each category...sob...sob...we were so near yet so far...sob...sob...but it motivates us even more for the next relay! When ah?
All pix courtesy of Tey, the super ultra running cameraman. Thanks a bunch!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jesus' Tears

In today’s Gospel, Jesus weeps over His impending suffering and death . However, Jesus is also weeping for the sinful ways of humankind that is causing so much suffering and pain in the world .
Jesus is challenging us, “How can we be agents of God’s peace, love and truth daily?”.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

10 more days & 3 more months

10 more days to Singapore Marathon and I got to admit this is the worst preparation I had or should I say...NO PREPARATION at all! No 30km or even 25km LSD this month.
What I had was speedwork of 5km Dukethon and 3.2km KLAVA relay for the 2 weekends before embarking for the 42.195km.

Same goes for Ironman Langkawi on 27Feb 2010.

3 months to go!

No 3km swim
No 100km ride
No 30km run
No brick


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Global Warming faster than expected

Tuesday November 24, 2009
Climate change quickens, seas feared up 2 metres
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is happening faster than expected and at worst could raise sea levels by up to 2 metres (6-1/2 ft) by 2100, a group of scientists said on Tuesday in a warning to next month's U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen.
Waves wash over rocks that fringe Sydney Harbour in this October 27, 2009 file photo. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files)
In what they called a "Copenhagen Diagnosis", updating findings in a broader 2007 U.N. climate report, 26 experts urged action to cap rising world greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 or 2020 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
"Climate change is accelerating beyond expectations," a joint statement said, pointing to factors including a retreat of Arctic sea ice in summer and melting of ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica.
"Accounting for ice-sheets and glaciers, global sea-level rise may exceed 1 metre by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 metres considered an upper limit," it said. Ocean levels would keep on rising after 2100 and "several metres of sea level rise must be expected over the next few centuries."
Many of the authors were on the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2007 foresaw a sea level rise of 18-59 cms (7-24 inches) by 2100 but did not take account of a possible accelerating melt of Greenland and Antarctica.
Coastal cities from Buenos Aires to New York, island states such as Tuvalu in the Pacific or coasts of Bangladesh or China would be highly vulnerable to rising seas.
"This is a final scientific call for the climate negotiators from 192 countries who must embark on the climate protection train in Copenhagen," Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said in a statement.

Copenhagen will host a Dec. 7-18 meeting meant to come up with a new U.N. plan to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. But a full legal treaty seems out of reach and talks are likely to be extended into 2010.
"Delay in action risks irreversible damage," the researchers wrote in the 64-page report, pointing to a feared runaway thaw of ice sheets or possible abrupt disruptions to the Amazon rainforest or the West African Monsoon.
The researchers said global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were almost 40 percent higher in 2008 than in 1990.
"Carbon dioxide emissions cannot be allowed to continue to rise if humanity intends to limit the risk of unacceptable climate change," said Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California.
In a respite, the International Energy Agency has said emissions will fall by up to 3 percent in 2009 due to recession.
The report said world temperatures had been rising by an average of 0.19 Celsius a decade over the past 25 years and that the warming trend was intact, even though the hottest year since records began in the mid-19th century was 1998.
"There have been no significant changes in the underlying warming trend," it said. A strong, natural El Nino weather event in the Pacific pushed up temperatures in 1998.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heaven on earth?

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. —Colossians 3:2

The Singapore developer of an extravagant condominium advertised its new project as, “Rediscover Heaven on Earth.” I suppose it meant to convey to prospective buyers that their purchase would be so luxurious that it would be like living in heaven while here on earth.
Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, was an extremely wealthy man (Eccl. 1:12). He tried to find heaven on earth and had the means to live as luxuriously as he could wish (2:1-10). Yet he wasn’t satisfied. So disillusioned was he with life, he described it with just one word—“vanity” (or “meaningless”). And he repeated the word eight times in chapter two alone. As long as he looked only at life “under the sun” (2:18), he felt hollow and dissatisfied. All of his striving was ultimately futile. There would come a day when he would have to relinquish his possessions and leave them to someone else (v.18).
If you are a Christian, you can look to Christ’s promise of a heavenly home He has gone to prepare (John 14:2). That’s why Paul advised those who are enjoying what God has given: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2). Don’t try to find heaven on earth. You won’t—no matter how hard you look! — C. P. Hia

Lightly hold earth’s joys so transient,
Loosely cling to things of clay,
Grasp perfections everlasting,
Where Christ dwells in heaven’s day!

Those who have their hearts fixed on heaven will hold loosely the things of earth.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Powerman 2009

Powerman 2009...

Carbo loading was great!
Nothing much to say except...
1st run - ok
1st loop bike - ok
2nd loop bike - permanent resident Mr. Cramp woke up
2nd run - Mr. Cramp had a party in Lumut with Ms. Cramp and crampy kids!! That means I paid the price. Bummer!

Power gang

My splits...
Run 1
Time: 00:48:15 Pace: 4.23
Pos: 79 Gen Pos: 73 Cat Pos: 23

Time: 02:06:11 Pace: 30.4kmh
Pos: 161 Gen Pos: 149 Cat Pos: 60

Run 2 - here's where I koyak or hit the wall. Walked most of the 10km with cramps on both legs.
Time: 01:14:06 Pace: 7.24
Pos: 186 Gen Pos: 152 Cat Pos: 52

Finished together with Roger

Pos:143 Gen pos:124 Cat pos: 45 Finish time 4:13:11

Post race...McD

Friday, November 20, 2009

Live Life To The Fullest

In today’s Gospel, Jesus emphasises that we should not speculate about future happenings; they are beyond our control . Thus, we ought to live each day fully and faithfully as God wills of us . This will bring us peace daily instead of the anxieties of living in the uncertainties of the future.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awana Trailblazer 2009

No action from tomatoman except shooting THG in muddy action using Michelle & Lydia's cameras...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Who is blind?

LRT train approached Kerinchi station, an old man got up and slowly inched his way towards the door with a walking stick. The train stopped, door opened and he walked out slowly.

Guess what?

He is blind.

I was stunned. It made me think...who is actually blind in this world today?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Is Allah a copyright?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Malaysia withholds 'Allah Bibles'

By Robert Pigott
BBC News, Religious affairs correspondent

Muslims take part in Friday prayer at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur
About two-thirds of Malaysia's population is Muslim

The Malaysian government has refused to release 10,000 Bibles which it seized because they contained the word Allah to refer to God.

The government, which is dominated by Muslim Malays, claims that the word Allah is Islamic and that its use in Bibles could upset Muslims.

The Roman Catholic Church is challenging the ban in court.

Religion has become highly sensitive in Malaysia, where about two-thirds of the population is Muslim.

Religious minorities have accused the government of undermining their rights.

The government has impounded Bibles before, intercepting 5,000 in March as they were imported from Indonesia.

Church officials say that although the word Allah originated in Arabic, Malays have used it for centuries to refer generally to God, and Arabic-speaking Christians used it before Islam was founded.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia said the religious freedom guaranteed by the Malaysian constitution was meaningless if people were denied Bibles which used their own language.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kinabalu Climbathon 2009 - Day 3

Day 3

2 weeks after the strenuous climb and my dislocated & fractured finger is able to bend a little without pain. It is getting much much better. Phew!Powerman...2 days away so I'll be gentle...

2 days after the clumsy fall... down 8steps on a steep staircase.

This is my souvenior from a failed to achieve climb. Oh yes, I failed to reach the 4095.2m summit on time. At the cut off time 2hr30min, I still have 2km to go and that distance is the toughest climb after Sayat Sayat checkpoint.

Mens open
Time limit to reach summit 2hr30min
Time limit to reach finish line 2hr
Total time limit 4hr3omin

A first try to something totally different from my usual flat road runs is this 23rd Kinabalu International Climbathon - The World's Toughest Mountain Race.

This climbathon's slogan is "Are you tough enough?"

Well, I was tough enough to give it a try but I was not tough enough to reach the summit in the Open category given time. It's mind boggling just to know I have such a SHORT time to finish this race. So, not being too ambitious, I set my target as...Laban Rata in 2hr30min, taking it easy since training for this climb was only a handful and none ever surpassed 1hr climb... :P

Tony, Yip & myself met Tey, Yee Choi & Annat LCCT on Fri morning. Breakfast at McD was Yee Choi's story telling time. His expedition to Everest base camp kept our ears glued. 2 weeks of hiking and in a way, training for climbathon, was filled with achievement, success but sadness and fear were not left out either. 2 members of his team had to be airflown back to Kathmandu due to severe altitude sickness.

Kinabalu...altitude sickness? Oh no!

We met climbers at Sabah Tourism Board office to catch the bus to Kinabalu park. Met a few fellow ironmen, marathoners from KL. At registration office, we were disappointed to find no T-shirt was included in this year's event.

Mens open took place on Sunday 25thOct, a day after Mens Veteran & Women Open. My uncle Peter was kind enough to come all the way from Lawas to give his support.
From left : Shazly, Yip, Uncle Peter, me, Joe

7am sharp...bang! We're off. The 1st km on tarmac and so we sprinted. Crossing Timpohon gate was a descend before crossing a stream signalling uphill all the way. Yes, all the way.
As the climb started, I tried to pace myself. Reaching 4.5km, left calf gave a sudden twitch which made me slow down. Air gradually got thinner not to mention the temperature dropping. 5km and quads joined in the twitching game. I knew it was coming. Cramps! Why can't they leave my legs alone???
Reaching Laban Rata at 1hr57min meant target achieved. But legs were crying. Gunting Lagadan, 2hr5min, rested 5min and that's when the top10 skyrunners went pass going down as if they were doing 100m sprint. Amazing!

The next 30min was the toughest climb I ever experienced. Thin air, cold & freezing, cramped up legs, every step my lungs were screaming for oxygen. Making situation worse, the sky opened up with drizzle and wind factor made the temperature dropped further till I could feel it down to my bones.2hr36min...race closed. Sayat Sayat was 300m ahead, summit 2km further. Not this time...

Going down looked daunting...big steps down the mountain! Poncho I was wearing was flapping non stop catching wind. That was partly why it felt more difficult going down.
Talking about being difficult, I made it worse. Fell down wooden staircase like a bag of tomatoes!
Whacked my left hand ring finger full force on my fall beside my poor butt getting the beating down 8 steps. As a result, my finger was dislocated and fractured, butt got knocked out and I was practically stunned for 5min. Sat there blurred. I was amazed there was no broken bones, no splashing blood, my head was still intact and I was still in 1 piece! Phew! Thank God for that!

My ring finger was bent downwards. Dislocated till I couldn't straighten it. And that's what I had to bear all the way down to the finish line, not forgetting the pain in the ass...literally!!!

10km to finish line with my fingers all wrapped up. Crossed finish line in 4hr47min for a total distance of 17km as opposed to the actual 21km.

Waiting for medical attention and St John's crew directed me to Ranau Hospital

I take this medal as a reminder of what I have to do next year. Reach the summit on time and come down without falling!

Mount Kinabalu...I'll be back!

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