Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bukit Gasing

Bukit Gasing. What is it? Where is it?
 Ok, I'll try to paint a picture hopefully we know where it is and what is currently going on making it a hot topic of discussion.
 - only 2km from where I stay
 - green lung in the middle of Klang valley
 - patch of hills which is still green
 - the border of Selangor and KL runs along the hill ridges
 - gazetted Selangor side, is only about 25% of the green hills. The other 75% falls under KL territory which the mayor has promised to protect but it's not happening.
 - KL side having bungalow development

Map of Bukit Gasing has a red line running from top to bottom. That's the Selangor-KL border.

Home to Bukit Gasing, that's one of my regular running routes. That's on road. Offroad trails are plentiful on the Gasing hills. Been doing trail runs there for years and still I've not covered 100% of the trails. I think I've only covered 80% of it.

Last Saturday, 24th March, I managed to group about 30 friends to have a fun walk/run in Bukit Gasing.This is to support Save Bukit Gasing group and also in conjunction with World Forest Day.
Many who turned up mentioned it's their 1st time visiting Bukit Gasing and some regular trail walkers were pleasantly surprised about the trail I led them on as they are always on the "highway" trail. I call it "highway" cos that's the widest and busiest trail on the hills. Normally I'll run the less trodden trails where it's just me and nature. I have a feeling I suffer from Biophilia, an appreciation of life and the living world, the urge to be close to nature!

Happy to see our effort published in the local dailies, Nanyang Siang Pau. Too bad no reporter from an English daily was there.

开发工程破坏环境 40人慢行保卫加星山

  • 由武吉加星之友所发起的支持保卫武吉加星慢行导览活动获得约20人的响应。
  • 杨坚华:武吉加星联合行动委员会不会放弃,继续上诉到底要求司法正视我们的安全。
1 of 2
这场由武吉加星之友所发起的为时1小时的慢行(slow walk)导览活动,于昨午举行,目的是希望让出席者了解加星的美丽。
居民担心发展过度土崩 杨坚华:继续上诉

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Forest Day

Today, 21st March, is World Forest Day

“Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness" - from ’Ode To Trees’ a poem by KAHLIL GIBRAN
World Forestry Day has been celebrated around the world for 30 years to remind communities of the importance of forests and the many benefits which we gain from them. The concept of having a World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971. Later that year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation gave support to the idea believing the event would contribute a great deal to public awareness of the importance of forests and agreed that it should be observed every year around the world. March 21, the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere was chosen as the day to be celebrated offering information about the three key facets of forestry, protection, production and recreation.
FORESTRY, more than other branches of agriculture, is an activity which needs to be brought before the public. But to make the practices and benefits of forestry comprehensible to the public is not as simple as it may at first seem. This is partly because of the long time scale involved in forest management compared to the increasingly rapid pace which modern man has come to accept as normal in so many other activities. In some countries there is also a residue of public suspicion of foresters as the "policemen of the woods" and this has to be overcome.
Every forester appreciates and understands the value of the forest as a source of raw material, as a provider of local employment and national income, as the great sponge which gathers and releases water, as the habitat for flora and fauna that otherwise would become extinct, and as the environment and atmosphere in which man feels uniquely at home with nature. If foresters and forest services talk in plain language about that which they know best, people will listen, understand and be with them.
Sir Frank Fraser Darling rightly says: "Man is weaned of the forest, and yet the forest is still very much a part of us." This is at the root of the concern of so many people today for the preservation of forests and other natural environments.
FORESTS are essential for life on Earth. They give us shade and shelter, refuge and refreshment, clean air and water. Today, with a growing global population and subsequent demand for forest products, the forests of the world are at risk from widespread deforestation and degradation.
A forest, which we usually think of in terms of trees, is in fact a complex, living community. Beneath the forest canopy dwell interdependent populations of plants and animals, while the soil that forms the forest floor contains a large variety of invertebrates, bacteria and fungi which play an essential role in cycling nutrients in the soil and the forest.
What can I do on World Forestry Day?
Celebrate World Forestry Day by visiting your local forests and learning more about the many contributions they make to our well-being.
Source: http://www.tree-nation.com/home

One of my favourite songs is Hijau (Green)
English translation in green

Bumi yang tiada rimba (world without forests)
Seumpama hamba (resemble a slave)
Dia dicemar manusia (tainted by humans)
Yang jahil ketawa (with evil laughter)

Bumi yang tiada udara (world without air)
Bagai tiada nyawa (resemble lifeless)
Pasti hilang suatu hari (one day it'll be gone)
Tanpa disedari (without realising it)

Bumi tanpa lautan (world without oceans)
Akan kehausan (will thirst)
Pasti lambat laun hilang (surely slowly will disappear)
Duniaku yang malang (my poor world)

Dewasa ini kita saling merayakan (nowadays we celebrate)
Kejayaan yang akhirnya membinasakan (successes which destroys)
Apalah gunanya kematangan fikiran (what's the use of matured minds)
Bila di jiwa kita masih lagi muda (when spiritually we are still immature)
Dan mentah (and raw)
Ku lihat hijau (i see green)

Bumiku yang kian pudar (my fading world)
Siapa yang melihat (who is watching)
Di kala kita tersedar (when we realise)
Mungkinkah terlewat (perhaps too late)

Korupsi,opresi,obsesi diri (corruption, oppression, self obsession)
Polusi,depressi,di bumi,kini (pollution, depression in current world)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Facing trial in life? Look to God for comfort

This is taken from Godlife

A God Who is Sufficient for the Pressures of Life

by Luis Palau on February 21, 2012
From the series Articles for Growth
Some time ago a friend of one of my boys put a gun to his head and shot himself. He was only 16 and the son of a wealthy, notable doctor.
A few days before this young man’s death, our local newspaper reported that a well-known clinical psychologist in Portland committed suicide, leaving this note to his staff:
"Tonight, I feel tired, alone, and suddenly very old. The full understanding of these feelings will come only when you, too, are tired, alone and old."
Suicides are increasing at alarming rates. French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre expressed the despair many feel when he wrote, "Now I know, things are entirely what they appear to be, and behind them there is nothing."
Thousands of people feel like Sartre, the clinical psychologist and the high school boy. They feel that life is empty. Overpowered by the idea of "nothingness," they kill themselves or seek escape through drug or alcohol addiction.

Why do people surrounded by friends and family suddenly despair of life itself?

Psychologists offer many solutions to that question, but only one true solution exists--Jesus Christ. Only He can meet our deepest needs when suddenly our world is falling apart.
God has plenty to say about our outer pressures, inner despair and everyday struggles. The following verses of Scripture could be entitled "The God Who is Sufficient for the Pressures of Life."
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort" (2 Corinthians1:3-7).

Are you hurting inside? Do you ever feel like giving up on life?

When a crisis arises, the worst mistake you can make is to pretend that nothing is wrong. To find relief from your problems, you must first acknowledge them and the inner despair they cause. Only then can you embrace the "Father of all mercies and the God of all comfort." Paul reminds the Corinthian church that it is God’s nature to be merciful. God Himself is the believer’s source of encouragement, consolation and forgiveness under all circumstances.
The secret of discovering God’s sufficiency is found in spending time with Him. Do you spend time alone with God every day? Learn to share all of your problems and needs with Him. Say, "Oh, Lord, I believe You are the Father of all mercies and the God of all comfort. Please help me today, especially in this situation."
You may be saying, "But Luis, you don’t understand. My situation is different." No problem is unique. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." For God, one situation is not more difficult than another. God testifies of His own problem-solving ability in all mankind. Is anything too difficult for me?"
Paul experienced desperate need--physically, emotionally and financially. Yet he declared, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). From personal experience Paul spoke of a God who proved sufficient for the pressures of his life. Even Paul was not exempt from the temptation to despair,but he knew how to flee to his Heavenly Father for comfort. How else could he write that God "comforts us in all our troubles" (2 Corinthians 1:4)?
Paul so knew God’s keeping power that he did far more than endure his problems. He was strengthened and blessed by them! In turn he was able to comfort others in their hardships with the same comfort he had personally received from God. Little wonder that in 1 Corinthians 1:3-7 the word "comfort" appears no fewer than nine times. And each time, the verb is used to illustrate how God stands beside us and encourages us in the midst of our severest trials.

Unfortunately, when many Christians face trials, they forget to look to God for comfort.

"I’m such a nice person," they say. "Why does God allow these things to happen to me?"
One reason we experience trials is to enable us to comfort others who are hurting. Christians who are walking with the Lord have much to share regarding the blessings God has given them in times of deep need or despair.
As a Christian, have you met the true Comforter?
Do others turn to you for counsel because they sense God’s comforting presence in your life?
Or are you a Christian who complains about everything? Do you blame God for your own failures? It must grieve our Lord deeply to hear some of the ridiculous things we complain about when He has given us so much. He must ache when He sees His children facing adversity yet refusing to call upon Him for comfort.
It’s powerful when a Christian can tell someone, "Because of a similar situation I’ve experienced, I think I understand what you’re going through. Let me share with you what God did for me."

In the ministry of comfort, God’s Word comes alive, and His promises become active and real.

Suddenly you understand why you went through your hardship. And, praise God, it was worth it!
Paul wrote that even the most severe pressures of daily life never separate us from the tenderness and compassion of our Heavenly Father. On the contrary, when we feel like our world is falling apart, God’s power and grace are magnified. As a missionary once said, "Peace is not the absence of conflict. Peace is the ability to cope." The God of all comfort can provide that "copeability" in the midst of any crisis.
Paul is not saying that we won’t face disappointment, suffering or conflict in life. But he is saying that no Christian need ever despair. Why? Because we worship the God of all comfort--the God who is sufficient for every pressure of life.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Running in the jungle at night?

Night time...yes!
Jungle...well, not the primary jungle where you'll find tigers or elephants or orang utans...it's just old rubber plantation which looked a bit like jungle and it comes with trails where MTBikers and hikers enjoy their nature escapade.

So, it's a night trail run. Yeah! At Kiara "jungle"!

These were the crazy trail runners...9 in all. Usually we do evening trail runs in Gasing hills. But for a change, we want something different, something more exciting, more adrenalin rush.
Usually in bike rides, we hear the slogan "No helment, no ride"
Night trail runs you'll hear "No headlight, bang your head" Hahahah! Seriously, without headlight means you can't see shit! Oh ya, it's true. You can't see anything including shit.

Weather was not on our side when we started. 8pm. Heavy rain in KL. Kiara was drizzling when we started. Trails were wet and some parts muddy. Slowly we could feel the rain getting heavier. I put on 2 Energizer headlights, still I wish it was brighter. When it comes to night trail run, a nightlight like what the MTBikers use comes in very handy. Their lights were blinding bright!

King Kenny MTBiker led us all the way. Fantastic! Night runs is different! You need 100% full attention on the trails. If not, smack, bang, splash...you're in the mud!

With rain getting heavier, lightning flashing and thunder roared, I felt as if I was in a werewolf movie. We ran and ran for our lives with werewolves chasing from behind. Hahahaha!
Maybe next time to make it more real, I'll play some eerie music from my phone. Not forgetting the long werewolf howl. Awooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

Till next night trail run, stay tuned!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fasting...does it have to be abstaining from food?

I received this in my email and it's something I must share in my blog.

The source is from 

Question: "Christian fasting - what does the Bible say?"

Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2; 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God.

Although fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything given up temporarily in order to focus all our attention on God can be considered a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when fasting from food. Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God. Fasting should not be considered a “dieting method” either. The purpose of a biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God. Anyone can fast, but some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example). Everyone can temporarily give up something in order to draw closer to God.

By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can more successfully turn our attention to Christ. Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want. Fasting changes us, not God. Fasting is not a way to appear more spiritual than others. Fasting is to be done in a spirit of humility and a joyful attitude. Matthew 6:16-18 declares, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
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