Monday, February 26, 2007

Thoughts To Think

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Chinese Proverb

Why do I like these? Well. I have faced that I do a lot of complaining about the bad attitudes of people at church and the community in general. I also realise that this is totally hypocritical of me, as I am complaining lots about the whinging of others. So this is to stop very soon.

Ghandi is a dude (I wonder how many people have referred to him as a 'dude'. I did it to Jesus in an input I did at church last year.) who so many, including myself, admire. That quote can be taken up by anyone who has ever said, "I wish for something to happen". For me, for things to change at church and better attitudes to come about, I need to stop telling people to do it, and do it myself always. I'm sick of being a hypocrite, something I never want to be remembered as.

The Chinese proverb is the same. I can spend my whole life telling people about the 'darkness', wishing for something good to happen, for there to be a lighter better world before I die. But if I do that, I'll still feel like I wasted my life, because what use is me telling everyone that they are capable of doing so many things if I don't do them myself? I'd much rather be a man of action and few words than the greatest literate or philosophist and have done nothing except think.

Digger's Tolstoy Quote

I saw this on Digger's Blog, and really liked it. Since it's so short, I won't bother linking it, just copy and paste.

"If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly,
is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side"

Love it, so helpful on a few different levels (and also interesting considering he was himself an alcoholic!)

I also love it. I like to think of life as our 'journey', and that it twists and turns and weaves in and out of paths until we get to where we get to. I like to believe that God sets us a place we'll end up, as in the 'masterplan', but we have choice of which way we take to get there, and will experience all sorts of things before we get there. It's my way of explaining why I'm doing what I do now, even though just one or two years ago, I would never have even thought about doing this sort of stuff.

The Wrongness of Killing

I just had my first lecture - Philosophy 1010. We got given this hypotheticals, and were asked to make a decision based on two principles - 'Sanctity of Life', in which it is always wrong knowingly to kill an innocent person; and 'Best Consequences', in which one ought to act so as to bring about the best achievable outcome.

First hypothetical: "Trolley" or "The runaway train".
- You are standing by a railway track, with a lever, which will divert the trolley or train onto a different track.
- A trolley is coming now.
- Currently, the trolley is directed to head down a track where there are five people.
- The other track has only one person on it.

Do you A) Leave the lever to let the train hit the five people, as the course is set, or B) Pull the lever, kill one person knowingly and save the five?

As terrible as I felt for playing God and choosing, it is only a hypothetical, and I chose b.

Second hypothetical: "The Spare-Parts Surgeon".
- Five patients are in need of transplants in order to save their lives.
- One other patient has five healthy organs, which could be used to save the five.
- The surgeon can kill the one such that no one knows, and such that the five others are saved. Or the surgeon can do nothing, and the five will die, but he won't have killed someone.

So A) Kill one, save five. B) Kill nobody, but know that five will die. I chose B), because maybe it was in plan for them to die anyway, and it isn't my right to purposely take the life from the one person. But that's a bit hypocritical, seeing as I chose b the first time. Argh hard and confusing.

Interested to know what you would choose.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Well Lent has apparently started. Since I've only been convinced to jump on today, by several people severely informing me, "CHONG! You should be doing Lent!" So anyway, Mr. H2O has challenged me to do 100 pushups and 100 situps everyday, for the next 40 days. I shall do this, and when I come back, you will see how strong I am... through the tone of my blogging. Mr T. wishes he typed like me.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fuzzy Pad

I claim partial credit for the creation of this site, as it was made at my house, after I helped choose the name. But really, tis the brain idea of Jono Croxford, who has a passion for warm fuzzies and writes real good ones himself. Basically, a 'warm fuzzy' (some name I heard about when I came to church), is a letter, poem, or other usually written note that positively affirms another person.

Jono decided to set up a space where anyone can leave a warm fuzzy note to someone else anonymously. Nobody knows who sent each note, but it just feels good to get one, as well as give them.

It's another way to do a 'random act of kindness', just like the Free Hugs stuff. Visit FuzzyPad now and get writing.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Just a little samba...

This is something I saw today while doing the Youth Internship stuff at church. I like most of it, parts I especially like are highlighted:

Our deepest fear is not
that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves,
who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.

We are all to make manifest
the glory of God
that is within us.
It's not just within some of us;
it's in everyone.
And as we let our light shine,
we unconsciously give others
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Friday, February 09, 2007

To My Fellow Comfortable Christians

Sometimes I get too comfortable just rockin up to small group and church, and never giving back. This year I'm trying to change that, with the Youth Internship and the Garage, etc. I know that it not only strengthens my faith to be actively trying to help others grow, but it's an example to the people I lead that they can and should do the same thing.

Saw this on the World Vision site, Church section:

"Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:17

"Not every person is called to work in refugee camps, slums or other frontlines of poverty. None of us can end global poverty and oppression on our own. But together, we can each play our part living a life that brings God's love to the poor."

Not only is that awesome and relevant to doing stuff in the church, it's also true for getting outside the comfort of church and going to the people, instead of whinging about why more numbers aren't coming to us. Hooray for mission.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Standard Three

So anyway, (standard introduction... coming up:) I was talking to my friend the other day. Or tonight. Her name is émmaleé p. Wait, too obvious, let's say e pfefferknuckle. Better. She asks me, "If you had three wishes, what would they be?"

I thought about it, and I don't want to have to choose a cliché (note: fancy é) answer, nor do I want to have a materialistic answer. But what do I choose? From now, I am on a journey to decide these three. I shall take consideration of all ideas/anyone else's wishes, and eventually émmaleé shall have her answer.

For now, we play the waiting game.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

YouTube Crazy!

So I've unleashed a bit, but this will be the last one for today. This guy is pretty amazing, maybe a little lame that he spent so long working on his skills, but still awesome what he can do in Paint. Although, that's coming from me, who spend ages playing minesweeper one boring year, and tried on this ranking site. 4th fastest in the world for a month. That's the best pickup line I have.

Rap Impersonator

So I'm pretty much a YouTube pusher, if you've noticed. Ask Digger Randle, he loves it haha. Anyways, if you appreciate good rap, as I do from time to time, you'll find this pretty cool, as I do. The guy, Aries Spears, does impersonations, and this is him doing Jay-Z, DMX, LL Cool J and Snoop Dogg.

Free Hugs Campaign/Random Niceness

Most people know about this. A dude from Sydney, Juan Mann (haha I laugh at this, it's like one man, making a difference, you'll see after you watch the clips), started walking around Sydney carrying a sign saying 'Free Hugs'. People loved it, except the council banned him, because if someone got hurt they'd be liable. They said he needed $25 million liability insurance. Ridiculous. Anyway, he overcame it in a different way. I saw some people commenting the videos, saying they were 'nancy' and stuff, but they're just haters. I know how cool it is to have random people to random nice things for you. It's even just cool when there's a person who's willing to listen to you, often they're not that close of a friend. Last year when I went through a whole lot of stuff involving family, I had dudes who weren't my closest friends just sit and listen to me ramble, and it helped hugely. Just recently I've met someone who's told me lots about themselves, and I've told them, and I think it's cool that we can trust so easily. I don't really worry about if in the future it might be thrown back in my face. I used to.

There's an idea I have for the Garage on doing random acts of kindness, but we'll see. It might end up just being stolen from "Pay It Forward", but that movie might even end up being a movie theme study.

The Greatest Dunk Of All Time


I wish I had sweet skills

From the same site that gave us the animal hand paintings, these are origami creations that are ridiculous. It'd be even more impressive if someone told me they were all done with one piece of paper. Go [here] to see them.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Where are the leaders?

I always talk about this, but it's something I think should be talked about. So we started the Garage yesterday, and I am so excited about it. However, afterwards, I had a parent ask me, "What about my boy? Why can't he come down?" This was really confronting for me, because I didn't want to say, "He's just too old." The problem is, if we were to allow that boy in, then we'd have to make an acceptance of all boys his age, and the small group would become a huge group.

Another reason I felt bad was that I started the Garage with the intention of supporting the boys through the year pre-VCE, because those were the years I had nothing. But the reality now is that the boys in Year 9 and 10 are still stranded with not much. The problem is that while Matt, Jono and I are leading the Garage, there's nobody to lead a group for the left-out ones. It's not that we're the only young male leaders at the church, far from it. The problem is, the other males (including parents, who are more than capable of runing a small group and much more experienced than us) are either leading other projects at church, or just don't see themselves as leaders. That's something I always try to point out to people in my Africa Aid speeches - that they can lead, and most people can make fantastic leaders if they realise than can be.

One of the vision points for the Garage was to help the boys realise their potential as young leaders in church and outer community. Hopefully by the time they get to my age (making me sound old), or even earlier, they know how useful they could be, and show the next group of boys the same thing.

The first Garage

We had the first Garage session yesterday. The morning started with us leaders turning up, and finding out someone at church had gone into the garage, saw our couches, didn't know about them, and therefore thought it ok to just throw them out. Super. However, Mr. Albury, being the top youth minister and guy that he is, arranged for some new chairs to go in. (They're probably not staying though, so if anyway wants to donate furniture...)

When we came down with the boys, they seemed genuinely excited to be there, and I was pretty excited too. I think it will take a while for them to understand and embrace the kind of openness we're looking for, but that's fine, I wasn't that open at their age too.

We needed to clean up the garage, sweeping, vacuuming, window washing, etc. We paired the boys up, and let them get to separate jobs, but during this, they had to do something like the activity in Remember The Titans, when Coach Boon makes the African-American students pair with the white students and learn three things about them. After the cleaning, the boys came back with mostly surface-level things, but hopefully we'll keep getting deeper as the year goes. It was only the first session after all.

Anyways, I'm really excited about the Garage. It's going to be fun, and hopefully meaningful too. Next week we're going to a toboggan/waterslide park in Whittlesea, just for something cool to do.

I start my internship today as well, am quite looking forward to it.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Blessed to be a witness

One of my favourite songs ever. Awesome music, awesome lyrics, everything's good. It's a song I want played at my funeral. Make that wedding as well.

Here's the lyrics too:

Corcovado parted the sky
And through the darkness
On us He shined
Crucified in stone
Still his blood is my own
Glory behold all my eyes have seen

I am blessed to be a witness

Some have flown away
And can't be with us here today
Like the hills of my home
Some have crumbled and now are gone
Gather around for today won't come again

I am blessed to be a witness

So much sorrow and pain
Still I will not live in vain
Like good questions never asked
Is wisdom wasted on the past
Only by the grace of God go I

I am blessed to be a witness