Letters of Life

Look Back in Wonder

For as long as I have kept journals, I would at this time of year, turn back the pages to remember the things that took place over the last 12 months, to reread about things that mattered so much that I would take the time to write about it, in an effort to acknowledge its existence, to capture a word picture of days and nights that mattered to me.

This year is significant in that for the first time, I am posting about my year’s lookback, something that was by it’s very nature intensely personal. But a blog is for sharing, and if you are reading this, it is my way of saying thank you for being a part of my life.

The big event in January was the New Life Fellowship Conference, which saw the seven New Life churches celebrate its annual get-together. I met up with old friend Mara, from the Phnom Penh church, and he said something significant: That seeing us was like seeing family again. I had the good fortune to meet him and Leah again when I visited Phnom Penh in November, and I realized then, that Phnom Penh, and Cambodia in general, is a place that, despite its heat and squalor, occupies a deepseated place in my heart.

Highlights musicwise: The songwriting course I attended in February lead to a lot of good things happening. First off, I was deeply influenced by Martin Tang, the cool Christian composer/arranger who showed what being a witness for Christ in the secular music industry could be like. I learned what the heart of worship meant, and how I needed to change my way of thinking. that God doesn’t want my sacrifices of song or even heavy practice if He isn’t *all* I am seeking. Through the songwriting course, I also met a great vocalist, Renee, who is now my vocal teacher. And of course, writing songs. . . Best of all, my skills grew in leaps and bounds, much to the astonishment of those around me, especially myself. For that, I have to thank my very dedicated music coach who is a dear friend. And discovering what the heart of worship is about…of giving God sacrifices of the broken spirit and a contrite heart, which He will not despise.

Other seasons in 09 include the privilege of doing a bible-study with a friend, and sharing the reality of Jesus in our lives. One spin-off of this was that my dinner-repertoire improved significantly during this time, much to the delight of the children. Because after a while, pasta and baked one-dish meals can only go so far.

Travel wise: Jakarta in April, with church pals Leng Leng, and Gloria, where we met up with Luki and Lucy who were on term break. Visiting Bandung and seeing Gerrit and Julie, and Carl.

Highlights writing wise: Ironically, the more time i spend on writing, the less of a piano student I feel. Is it really true that these two skills will never meet? But they do. In songs. In music and lyrics that go together like bread and butter, or soap and water. I am contemplating talking about my musical endeavors in this space, but I’m not sure yet if that’s what people want to read about or if that’s what I want to explore. But its early days yet, and I’m game for anything.

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