Happy New Year. Be blessed and be a blessing!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Report of Final CA of 2007 (Part 1 / 4)

ej, i noe u'll like this very much... 6 pages long of report... bryan, u rockzz!!

Every tale has an ending. Every journey has a finishing line. For us senior Ausmatians, our one and a half year journey in CA has come to an end on this memorable day. Yes, it’s the final CA meeting of the year, and also the final CA meeting for us senior Ausmatians. It’s a sad thing I know, but then, let’s not jump to the sad part just yet. Rather, let’s have a glimpse (or semi-analysis) of the various activities and presentations carried out in this last but no less exuberant and fantastic CA of the year. The theme chosen for this CA service was “The Heart of Servitude”.

As usual, we had our faithful drivers transporting all our fellow worshippers to New Life Restoration Centre. Credit goes to them for their hard work and dedication. (Not easy being a driver you know!). Upon arrival, everyone (well, almost everyone) had dinner and pre-service chit-chatting. The service kicked off at 8.00 p.m. (± 5 minutes) with a welcome speech and an opening prayer from our MC’s for today, Anderson and Melanie. To get the ball rolling, Erica then led in the games session.

The Groovy Games Session:

In today’s games session, Erica had everyone labelled with a coloured sticker. Each of the colours represented something. For example,
Blue = CD player
Yellow = Helicopter
Then also got Toaster, Screwdriver, etc.

Then, each brother and sister had to find a partner and remember their partner’s sticker colour but not tell his/her partner the colour. Everyone had to act out the object which his/her partner’s colour represented. Like you could spin yourself around if your partner’s colour represented a helicopter. Everyone had to find other people who were acting out similar actions and finally, everyone got into their respective groups.

Next is the crazy part of the game. The game went like this. Erica would name certain objects. The groups have to compete among themselves to produce the required objects to Erica, upon which they would receive points. For example, if Erica named “book” then the first group that presented her a book would get points. Sounds simple? Well, yeah…only that some of the objects she named are pretty uncommon and “interesting” like secondary school ID cards, or Giant Shah Alam receipts, or those papers you get when you test out perfume in supermarkets. But yet, some people still managed to produce these items. Amazing! It’s only after this game that I realised how much stuff people actually have on them! Lol.

In the end, the Screwdriver group won. (No fair…They were so close to Erica. Haha.) But anyway, the game was pretty fun, enjoyable and, in my opinion, an “eye opener” to remind people to clean up their wallets and purses. ^_^

Then, the ball was passed on to Erin and Calvin on the worship team.

The Powerful Praise and Worship

The worship team for tonight comprised of seniors, who all gave their best in this last CA of the year. The worship songs for tonight comprised of several songs, which were “Most High”, “Now that You’re Near”, “Potter’s Hand” and “Burning Heart”.

These songs were nicely picked by our song leaders Calvin and Erin to suit the theme of this CA.

“Most High” kicked off the face-paced rhythm of worship as servants of God by acknowledging God as being the Most High and worthy of all praises. And being servants of God, we want to “see His face” and “know His ways”. We want to “know His power” and sing “a new song of praise that He put in our mouths”.

The fast-paced worship was sustained by the next song “Now that you’re near”. After we have been transformed into servants of God, “everything’s so different”. “We are not the same” and “our lives are changed” as we grow more and more each day to love the LORD and want to serve Him freely.

The rhythm then shifted from vivace (fast and lively) to adagio (slow) with the next song “Potter’s Hand”. By being servants of God, we allow him to “take us”, “mould us”, “use us” and “fill us”. We allow Him complete control of our lives and allow Him to shape our service, just as a potter has control over the pot he creates. Yes, we want serve the Lord freely as we allow Him to “call us”, “guide us”, “lead us” and “walk beside us” in life of servanthood.

The final song for the night was “Burning Heart” which, in my opinion, was a really powerful song. Despite all the hard times we go through, we want the God to “give us a burning heart”. Here’s an excerpt of the song.

Lord, please give me a burning heart.
That will burn through every lie.
Burning with passion, soaking with love.
Pouring out truth that comes from above.

Lord, please give me a burning heart.
That will burn till I see you face to face.
Burning only for you and all that you love.
And my heart will be, my heart will be like yours.

Yes, we want the Lord to fill us with a burning passion to continue to serve Him not just halfway through but to the very end of time when we “will see Him face to face”. This was a medley with another part of the song. Again, this song is really powerful and evocative. The ending really ignited a strong desire in everyone to just want to serve Him.

I will always praise You
I will always glorify Your name
In every circumstance
To find a chance to thank You
I will always love You
I will always worship at Your feet
And I’ll obey You, Lord
I was made for You.

It was amazing to see everyone praising God will all their hearts, leaving behind their worries and troubles, coming so freely before Him and just want to give praises to Him. Towards the end of the worship, everyone remained in a prayerful state and surrendered all troubles, worries, fears unto His mighty hands. The praise and worship session ended with offerings being made and the last song being sang one last time.

Overall, the worship team really did a fantastic job. So did everyone who joined voices, minds and spirits in praising Him.

The Praiseworthy Presentations

After everyone had a great time worshipping God, the time had come to enjoy several performances dished up by several dedicated seniors. As the projector was initially not working, our beloved brother Anderson tried to entertain the crowd by cracking some jokes and trivia questions. Haha. Great effort on his behalf to get everyone in the mood for the presentations.

The first performance was a touching and inspiring dance by our beloved sisters Erin, Eunice, Grace and Shiau Hooi, who all “berpakat” to wear black. It was a great performance, reminding us about the Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for on the cross to save us from sin and to give us a new life.

The second was a video presentation composed by our brother Jim. It was an awesome 13-minute presentation depicting the wonderful journey of CA from the start of this year to the previous CA meeting. Truly, it brought back wonderful memories of the fun and laughter during pre-CA meetings, the actual services, or even when it’s just during the ordinary days. It’s nice to hear Joash’s singing to de-stress and to be reminded of Jeffrey’s crab-walking, or Eileen with her green octopus, Besides the fun and laughter, we were also reminded of the countless blessings CA has brought, the friendships that were forged and the opportunity to worship God together.

The two awesome performances were truly eye-candy and certainly got everyone excited.

The Message to the Multitude

Sadly, this meeting was coming to an end. But certainly not before a message from our all-time beloved pastor David Tham. As the theme of this CA was “The Heart of Servitude”, Pastor David started off explaining the differences between “serving” and “servant”, as written in Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. “Serving” alone means you get to choose who, when, where, how you want to serve. However, being a “servant” means surrendering completely to God and allowing Him to decide these questions for us, serving when we are CALLED to serve, not just when we FEEL like serving.

Then, the pastor describes three characteristics of being a servant, given the acronym “FAT”. Well, fat isn’t all too bad, according to pastor. After all, the Bible tells us that the FAT portions of calves were burnt as a sacrifice to God and it was a pleasing aroma to Him (Leviticus 3:16). J

F – The feature of faithfulness

Can we be trusted? Do people have faith in us? Are we there for people rain and shine? Will we work something given to us to the very end? These are some of the thought-provoking question regarding to the first attribute of being a servant. To delve further, pastor cited the parable of talents (Matthew 25: 14 – 30). Pastor David emphasised to be faithful with what we have, no matter how little. Then, we shall be the ‘good and faithful’ servant of the LORD. Everyone has AT LEAST ONE talent, even if it’s something seemingly small, like having a sweet smile or being an organised person. No matter how little or small the talent is, what matters is the faithfulness in serving to expand God’s kingdom. If we are faithful with little, we will also be faithful with much.

A – The attribute of availability

Availability does not mean serving full time but serving fully, maximising our time to serve. Serving the Lord will certainly cost us something be it time, money, life, etc. But we need to be reminded that EVERYTHING comes from God and it is only appropriate we use these resources not for our own selfish purposes but for God’s purposes. The sacrifices we make for God in serving Him will never be in vain because it is recorded in God’s book of deeds. Plus, serving becomes worship when done for the Lord. So the big question: What can we offer to serve God?

T – The trait of being teachable

In serving, we must always be teachable and this requires humility. In this, Pastor David pinpointed two major barriers associated with this. The first is the superiority complex, which means a person has a mindset that he is always right and he can ignore whatever comments or opinions of others. The second is the inferiority complex, in which a person has the mindset that he is inferior compared to others, and when he is commented or criticised, he will easily get discouraged and feel sidelined. The key to being a servant is that we must always be open to the opinions and corrections of others so that we can make improvements to our service.

After exploring the key characteristics of being a servant, Pastor David emphasised that the act of ministry is truly the act of serving and ministers are really just servants despite the fanciful calling. According to a certain principle which is described by the pastor (which I have forgotten the name), only 20% of people in a business company actually serve. However, this is not the case for the church. Every member of the church is called to be a minister.

In conclusion, we must be faithful about every area that we are called by God to serve in. We should also take time to contemplate our talents and use our God given talents to serve God.

The Timeless Moment of Prayer and Blessings

After the eye-opening speech from our beloved Pastor David, the time had come for prayers and blessings. The pastor prayed for everyone so that God may grant each and everyone one the heart of a servant. Next, he prayed for the Ausmat and ALG seniors who are leaving that they will keep on burning for Christ and become living testimonies to the people around them in our respective destinations.

The Replenishment of Refreshments or the Chore of Cleaning Up?

It’s sad fact, but the service has finally come to an end. Most people adjourned to the fifth floor for refreshments while some stayed back to help clean up. For me, it was the latter choice. I was not aware of the happenings on the fifth floor during this time since I spent my time downstairs, but I’m sure they were having lots of fun and laughter. After cleaning up, all of us downstairs joined hands in a circle of prayer to again pray for the Ausmat seniors who were leaving.

Well, after the prayer, I still had some time to check out how things were like upstairs. Sadly, the people were already leaving since it was getting late and people were rushing to get back before curfew. There was nothing left for me to eat as Leon greedily munched down the last piece of sponge cake upon arrival. Haha. But then, at least I still managed to have to 2 cups of juice.

Finally, the transport crew got everyone back to their respective hostels safe and sound.

Reflections on Relativity

After all has been said and done, it’s time to reflect on the countless blessings that CA has brought. For us Ausmatians, we have fought the fight, we have run the race and we have kept the faith. Now it’s time to pass on the baton to a new generation of juniors. We will always miss CA for the joy it has brought in our lives as we gathered together to serve God, for the numerous friendships forged along the way and for the wonderful family of God where we could lean on for comfort and encouragement.

For me personally, CA has been the place for me to get to really know God. Looking back, I realised that God called me out from the darkness into the light in this place known as Shah Alam. And I’ve found my first ever family in Christ in CA. The people there, through their countless sacrifices, and inspiring attitudes, have really been great encouragements for me as I grew in my faith towards God. For that, CA will always be a dear part of my life forever.

Although it’s a sad thing to leave CA, there are better things that God has in store for us in Australia or New Zealand. The journey ahead is far but God has great plans to prosper us. Though the roads may be rocky and winding with numerous obstacles in the way, God will give us the strength to finish the spiritual race that started when He first called us to Him. Along the way, we will surely encounter more people for us to inspire as well as more people who will inspire us, which will undoubtedly make our journey one that is filled with amazing possibilities. As C.S. Lewis puts it, “the end of a chapter in life is just the beginning of a new and more exciting chapter”. As this chapter of our spiritual journey closes, there will be even more exciting ones to come as we strive to grow more and more like Him.

No matter where we will be, our prayers will continue to be with CA. May it continue to be a beacon of light in the darkness of the sleepy place called Shah Alam and may it continue to touch and inspire many more people to come to the Almighty God. Amen.

In His service,

Brian Chee Nee Hou


Eu Jeen said...

YEAH! this one lah called full report.. ahahahah.. made me feel like i was there myself O_O. got typo in the worhip part though, fast paced worship instead of face paced worship. unless its something a music illiterate guy like me would not know of. hehe XD
Bryan! thanks for such a great report! i could even benefit from the message this way. i especially liked the part about giving things your all. putting the best effort in what you are given to do/handle.
all the ausmatians and alg super seniors, give thanks for all the good times you had in CA ^_^!

Eu Jeen said...

hahaha my own typo above there. worhip... is worship sorry.

Leen said...

I agree with Eu Jeen!

This is a wonderful FULL report on CA. Thanks, Brian.

Bye to ALG super seniors and AUSMATians! CA will miss you all.

As for me, I definitely have to keep this part in mind:

I will always praise You
I will always glorify Your name
In every circumstance
To find a chance to thank You
I will always love You
I will always worship at Your feet
And I’ll obey You, Lord
I was made for You.

Pat said...

thanz... will edit it now... there's 3 more coming up... i sort of force (again) ppl to write but this time i ask 4 person wif 4 different perspective to write about the last CA... so keep ur fingers crossed...

Eu Jeen said...

hohoho.. at first i thought the 1/4 is a joke.. O_O.. GREAT! can read more.. hahahah

Brian said...

No probz. =)

Praise God for giving me the words to put into this report. I was wondering what to write.

Ya...it's fast paced worship, not face paced. Whoops. Too excited edi. Haha. Thanks for the correction.

Anyway, hope you guys are doing great there. Everyone here got exams coming up. All the best ya. Keep in touch. God bless.

onerous said...

a question.
what if i simply want to go to ca once to observe. without participating in dinner, games, singing, prayer or anything. just sitting quietly at the back watching. perhaps videoing. would that be allowed?

cal said...

'Brian', not 'Bryan'

talking about typos...haha

Pat said...

oh.. i din notice its brian... both pronounce the same right???

Eu Jeen said...

onerous, i believe your question could be answered if you approached a CA member personally and tell them. ^_^

onerous said...

why personally? a lot of people here are ca members right? someone should know..

Eu Jeen said...

onerous, im sure the ca people would like to know why you want to do whatever you're doing. besides, having you together makes you ca's responsibility and if any mishap happens, we would have to own up for it. furthermore, though many have read your question, i believe the reason for not answering is because we as students in this student organized fellowship do not feel as if we would be in the position to 'allow' you to come as we make our decisions collectively. no one person holds special authority to 'allow' you to come. im sure you understand. so just meet up with one of the committee members!


HeartzOfGold said...

hi onerous!

the doors of CA, is open to anyone at anytime.

and we in CA work together to make everyone be a part of it, and to be a part of the community. like a family, where every member works with each other for each other, and others in return, to be a blessing to each and every one.

we hope that by participating with us, you would be able to just let down your hair and have fun in CA. like wat Eu Jeen said, we are in no position to actually say 'what are the things you can or cannot do' especially if it's not wrong at all.

we have had observers in the past, but they are mostly outsiders from other colleges. so brother, if you are most pleased by doing what you wish to do, we are then and again in no position to stop you. we just hope that you will have a great time yourself there in a way that would suit you best.

but again like what Eu Jeen said, come talk to us! if there's prob something bothering you, maybe we can help to listen and trash it out together. and just one more thing, if you don't mind sharing: why would you prefer to sit back and observe? any special reason for that?

keropok lekor said...

Hi, this is your AUSMAT 16 senior.. hahaha.

I must say that I am impressed with how CA has become today. All glory to God. But do not let it end in INTEC, but to bring the passion to grow deeper overseas.

If got anyone going to NZ, make sure direct them to me ok?

hahaha. Joash should have my email.