Tuesday, September 30, 2008

EduCare & WidowCare Fundraiser

As previously mentioned, here is the post on the Assemblies of God charity dinner.

I was contacted by the committee earlier in month to come give a testimony during the dinner about how EduCare has helped me. Rev. Jeremiah Kong who contacted me based on a list given to him did not realize that although I applied for the EduCare scholarship for my studies in BCM I did not get the scholarship. I informed Rev Jeremiah that I did not get the help, upon realizing that he apologized profusely. It really wasn't his fault but he felt so embarassed about it. I was already helping Shanti to find some PKs (pastors' kids) to give special numbers during the event, but I volunteered my help in any other way to Rev Jeremiah. He thanked me and apologized one last time before hanging up.

Few days later I got an email from Rev Jeremiah asking me to emcee the event. That was when I kinda regretted opening my big fat mouth. However I thought that if they felt I could contribute in this way I would give my time.

For those of you who are still blur let me inform you. Educare & WidowCare is a fund set up by the Assemblies of God of Malaysia to help our ministers. Many pastors who work in the outskirts do not "earn" enough from their job as a "minister" to support their families. So AG Malaysia wanted to help support some of our workers by helping them with their children's studies and also by taking care of some of the widows that are left behind. I understand that this might not add up for some of you. You might ask why God does not provide "properly" for these people who are working for him. I believe this would be one of the ways that God would use to provide for these servants. There is a general rule an there is always an exception to the rule. God works in different ways with different people.

Anyhow, I believe that Christians should be more sensitive. Keep your eyes opened, take good care of your shepherd so that they can minister effectively without external pressure or duress. Might discuss this more in another post.

Here are the event details:

Date: 22nd September 2008 (Monday)
Time: 7:30pm-10:00pm
Venue: Dewan Sivik, Petaling Jaya
Price: RM100.00 per seat
Estimated Attendance: 600 (60+ tables)
Guest of Honour: Yang Berhormat Teresa Kok

The event was to start at 7:30pm. I was asked to be there by 5:30pm. I met many who were part of the committee when I arrived. We were all there doing last minute preparations. I went over the script with Shanti my "co-host" and made some changes. Some of the people who were giving special presentations (including Juwita Suwito, also a PK) were also there setting up.

I soon realized that it will be an hour since the opening till diner will be served. Taking into account Malaysian's "flexi" time, it will be almost 9pm before anyone had anything to eat. That certainly worried me as I did not want to become the "hate figure" of the dinner. They will be seeing me coming up and making announcements but there will not be food. There would be many hungry (and angry people). I suggested to Shanti that it might be good to adjust the time so that there will be less hungry people. After some consultation, Shanti finally told me that the schedule will be adjusted as the guest of honour would also rather not give a speech to 600 hungry people.

Here's the itinerary for the dinner:

7:15 - Arrival of Guests
7:25 - Arrival of VIPs
7:30 - Opening Ceremony (Hip Hop Dance by Christian Dance Fellowship of Malaysia)
7:35 - Opening Address by hosts (Shanti & Lemuel)
7:40 - Opening Prayer by Rev Ronnie Chin
7:45 - Praise & Worship (Good Tidings, Shah Alam)
8:00 - Song Presentation: "I Surrender All" by Rev Sean Prasad
8:05 - Greetings by Rev Terrence Sinnadurai
8:10 - Speech by Rev Ong Sek Leang
8:15 - Speech by Guest of Honour (YB Teresa Kok)
8:20 - Dinner served
8:20 - Live Band Performance by X4JC
8:40 - Testimonies by
Rev Jeremiah Gan (his son recipient of EduCare fund)
Sis Sharon (recipient of EduCare fund)
Rev Ezra Muthu
9:00 - "My Love Gift" Pledge (Rev Terrence Sinnadurai)
9:10 - Table Lucky Draw
9:20 - Finale by Juwita Suwito

So that was the official plan. But when time came for YB Teresa Kok to give her speech she went on and on about her ISA detention. YB Teresa Kok who is the Member of the Selangor state Assembly for Kinrara, almost did not make it for the event due to her ISA detention. YB Edward Lee, Bukit Gasing State Assemblyman (who I just found out is my BCM classmate's father) was ready to stand in on her behalf. YB Teresa Kok, as we know was released and made it for the dinner. I do feel that it was not right for her to be held for such a long time for such menial issues. She spoke for about her ISA experience and how she felt God had helped her during her time in detention for about 25 minutes but only spoke about 3 minutes on the EduCare & WidowCare fund. The crowd sat and listened intently to her speech. In some ways she is like Malaysia's own Nelson Mandela, but of course Nelson Mandela is a whole other league. She did however pledge RM5,000 to the fund and applaud the efforts of the committee to take care of the pastors and their families.

So the schedule was screwed beyond recognition. Everything was pushed back, by the time we reached Juwita's part of the schedule there were few people left. Juwita was advised to do just one song, she decided to perform her song "Leading Change". Despite the 40-odd people left in the hall Juwita gave her best. It was like an intimate concert with her fans. Those who stayed behind had a chance to interact intimately with her while she sang. Those who stayed on screamed for more and Juwita duly obliged. By the end of it she sang 3 songs, everyone got into it. It was like a karaoke session with Juwita. I must say her attitude impresses me. She's such a pro, even with so few people she gave her 100% knowing that she was using her talents as God wanted her to.

So that was the EduCare and WidowCare Fundraiser. It is great that the Assemblies of God Malaysia is doing this for their credential members. We have to take care of our ministers. There were some Canaan Church people who were around, I caught a glimpse of Joshua taking some pix of the event. You can read his account of the event on his blog. The better pix here are from his flickr account, the sucky ones are from... "other people". I think I might have to get a camera of my own, can't trust anyone with their cameras. End up with no good pix, as you can see no picture of me hosting the dinner.

Anyway if you would like to contribute towards this fund, speak to your pastor. Or you could also visit the Assemblies of God Malaysia's website for more info.

For the more visually oriented:

Arrival of YB Teresa Kok

The VIP Table

Teresa Kok presenting gifts to some individuals and companies

Mikayla was not left out, she too will soon be a PK

Some PKs that were there. R-L: Shanti, Kenny, Reuben (I assume you know Melanie by now).

Juwita Suwito (center) with X4JC. Watch out for the release of X4JC's album at the end of the year

Mikayla and Shanti. Shanti was recently featured in a newpaper article.

My mother got in the action as well.

My mother wanted a picture with "someone famous"... I think she was talking about me.

Way better pictures from Joshua. Didn't find any of me though...

Friday, September 26, 2008


Breaking News!

You have to see this! This took place in Faith Charismatic Center on the 20th of September 2008. A day that will go down in history. I got an SMS from one of the TOUCH members, don't know who as I lost all my contacts. Sometime during the following week I got this video from Joseph Teng... Anyway, here's what happened:

Congratulations Joash and May (and all parties who waited so patiently for this day to come, especially Pastor Luke)! Well done Joash and May, you guys finally made it after so many years! I am happy for all of you.

I pray you two will continue to be faithful and to keep up your testimony as the two of you become one couple. This is a start of a journey, a long way to go, but it's going to be one heck of a ride.

Let me know if you guys need any help for the big day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Faith Fighter

This is so cool! If the previous post did not relieve you of any stress you should try this out:

So funny... Jesus kicked everyone's butt!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

Yes that was the story last weekend. Throughout the week the weather was scorching hot when the weekend came it poured so heavily with such heavy winds that Elroi, Bobby and I, who were initially watching TV, opted instead to be entertained by the crazy winds that pushed the potted plants outside my house over. Yup, that was the weather over the weekend.

My schedule was no different, I'm usually very relaxed (TOO relaxed for my liking) however this week it was absolutely choked up!

Pastor Daniel told me to plan a "Cat & Dog Seminar". It was to last from 19th (Friday) to 21st (Saturday) September. Had to plan for everything from the speaker's meals, transport and accommodations to the participants' registrations and meal. That's basically the whole gig. The seminar had a great message: Christianity is really not about us, it's about Christ (hence the name).

I will make another post on this seminar but for those of you who are curious, check out UnvellinGlory's website.

Back to my weekend...

After that very exhausting weekend of services, I also had to look forward to Graduating student's photo shoot. Yes, BCM students who are about to graduate are very vain. It's for BCM's Key Magazine. This happened on Monday 1:00PM-4:00PM.

Immediately after strutting my stuff for the cameras in BCM, I had to rush home bathe, dress up real nice, put on some more make up, and head off to Dewan Sivik P.J. for the Assemblies of God's EduCare and WidowCare fundraiser. YB Teresa Kok (yes, the ISA lady) was the guest of honour. This item would definitely have not made it onto my calendar if not for me hosting the event. Someone very nicely recommended me to emcee the event. For reasons I am strongly suspicious of Pastor Gideon Yong or Shanti (my co-host). when I find out who it is he/she is going to have to pay for this. Anyway watch this space if you would like to see some of the pix taken during the dinner. It will be posted as soon as I receive them.

Busy week for me, busy week for my blog as well... stay tuned for more details on the weekend.

Anyway this whole weekend turned out to be a series of great opportunities. I had the opportunity to plan an entire weekend of services; a chance to catch up with good friends, fellow "candidates for graduation", and future colleagues; and also an opportunity to host a very big charity event and make a difference for PKs (pastors' kids) of Malaysia.

It's finally Tuesday, and boy, am I glad it's Tuesday. For pastors and ministers it normally is a case of "TGIM" (instead of Thank God It's Friday), as Monday is usually the day off. However this weekend it's TGIT. I let out a sigh of relieve as I woke up today, but it was all premature... My baby got sick for the second time and it had to be today...

When it rains... it (absolutely) pours!

I look to you God... you are my strength.

Anyone reading this feeling like they need to catch a breath as well? Read this: Psalm 73

Verse 26 says:
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

... amen.

*Feeling better already =)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Worship Evaluation Form

In my attempt to grow the worship ministry in my church I decided to implement a short 5-minute debriefing session after each service. I wanted to minimize some of the mistakes that we were making (on a regular basis). I have had this idea for some time now (about 6 months ago) but have only recently implemented it (about 2 months ago). I have been weighing out the pros and cons and really thinking it through and how I should approach this.

So to facilitate the debriefing session I decided to come up with a simple "Worship Evaluation Form". It's so simple, it only takes 5 minutes to fill up. This was VERY important as I do not want to keep the worship team from their chance to catch up with other church members. My church's worship team has used the form and it has been so beneficial to us. It helps us as we prepare, it helps us as we play. It just makes us more conscious and more intentional in whatever we do. I would recommend worship teams do this. But please be careful to keep it short and sweet (KISS), and also to make sure your team is ready to take criticism. If you have taken these two steps you can gently introduce a debriefing session for your worship team.

Last Sunday I took it one step further. Apart from the debriefing session with the worship team. I also passed out another "Worship Evaluation Form" to certain members in the congregation and asked them for their honest feedback and comment. When we first introduced the debriefing we wanted to get feedback from people who were not part of the worship team as well. However I was careful to take it slow as musicians are often emotional people and I wanted to see if they were really ready to be criticized before getting random people to give us their thoughts. I also did not want to instill a critical spirit into the church members where they constantly judge and evaluate the team, nor did I want to distract the church members from worshipping to be judging or watching the team. I passed out the forms immediately after the worship session. However I am considering passing it out to them before the session next time so that they can be more detailed and accurate in their assessments.

It turned out very well, the members were honest and commended some efforts and criticized some others. I showed it to the team during the debriefing and they were all opened and receptive to what the members thought. We instantly made two decisions based on ALL the evaluations (even previous ones), that we 1) need to select more familliar songs and 2) more importantly, was that we needed to pray harder for the worship ministry.

The forms are available for download here (at the end of this post) if you would like to use them for your own church.

I'm sure some of you who read my blog are involved in the worship ministry as well. What do you think of this idea of a debriefing session or evaluating the team? Can the forms be improved?

Or perhaps you are also a member of Canaan Church and would like to give your opinion on the worship ministry, download the form, fill it up, and let me hear your thoughts.

My ultimate goal is growth.

Download the forms here:
Worship Evaluation Form (Team)

Worship Evaluation Form (Congregation)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worship List 080914

I felt that the church was going through a dry time. I personally spiritually dry. I think even my van felt that way this morning. My van overheated on my way to church and later the timing belt even broke! Double whammy. But I have my parents to thank, they managed to help get me to church by 8:50am (10 minutes before service starts).

Back to my point...

Sometimes there is just a season for these things, so at the moment my church is kind of dry. There are certain things in church that are dying and this is not necessarily a bad thing, somethings really should die. So in this season of dryness I took the theme for this week's worship session from Psalm 63:1-8. During the session I hoped to encourage my church members, especially those who are feeling dry, to come to the river of life and drink in his living water.

I pray for those who are, for any reasons, feeling dry. I pray that you will hang on to God during this time. After this there will be a season of growth and life. But God allows us to go through these different times to so that we can experience him in different dimensions and consequently grow. So hang on! He is faithful to carry us through.

Perhaps spiritually you are feeling the same way as I am at this moment. You may, or may not, be from Canaan Church, and I cannot be there to lead you in a "worship session". But you could still express yourself to God by singing some of these songs to him. I believe that as we earnestly seek him we will be satisfied. Here is the worship list:

  1. Better Than Life (G)
  2. Now That You're Near (G)
  3. Shout Of The King (G)
  4. God I Need You Now (E)
  5. Unto You (E)
  6. As The Deer (E)

I have included the setlist here for some of you who might be curious to know what the musicians and singers look at.

P/S: I got to use my new Shure Beta 58 wireless mic this morning as I led worship, it was the very first time for me. So happy! There was a better definition in the trebles on the Beta 58. There were some good comments after the service, which I was glad to hear :D

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Introducing... My Worship Lists

In my attempt to include more content in my blog I have decided to include all my worship lists in this blog. It will be like an archive of all my worship lists. Since I am more or less in charge of the worship team in Canaan Church I hope that as I write about some of the things that I do and some of the experiences that I post here will benefit other worship ministries. Maybe this site can become a very simple resource for some of the worship ministries out there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Singapore and Back

I recently made a trip down to Singapore from 17th August (Sunday) to 22nd August (Friday). Melanie and Mikayla were with me and so were some of our closest friends. Angela, Deborah, Ke Xin, and Keith makes the 7 of us. Keith was there to attend a seminar to upgrade himself, he is a hairstylist, Ke Xin invited us to accompany her. We also wanted to spend some time with Angela and Deborah before they headed off to England to continue their studies.

We were initially planning to stay in my aunty's condominium in Laguna Green but some last minute stuff came up and we ended up crashing in Leon Lim's apartment. Thank God for providing us with accommodations even at the very last minute. I also have Leon to thank for being so generous and hospitable to me and a the group of pretty strangers. I'm sure he enjoyed the company as well.

The trip was very relaxing. We had a very loose schedule. We just hung out together till we felt like going out then we would hit the shopping malls. We basically had no items on our itenerary:

  1. Meet with Leon to check out accoustic guitars in view of purchasing in the future

  2. Have a meal with David and Nechelle

  3. Have a meal with former Canaan Church members (Nancy, Richard, Nico, etc.)
No we did not even bother with Sentosa Island as we found it too expensive and did not find anything worth paying for. Rather go shopping! Shopping is great therapy, just took our minds off whatever was happening back home.

We had so much fun, won't bother writing it all down. However to share my experience in Singapore, here are some pix of the trip.

* I realized that I'm not really a photo kinda guy, will try to get more pix to record the moments.
** I will also need to use some web album to get my pix organized.

On the wobbly Aeroline bus to Singapore. Mikayla (and Angela) makes funny faces whenever a camera is held up.

Mikayla and me in Takashimaya SC after our meal with David and Nechelle Lim.

On holiday everyone is happy... until the crappy food arrives! Malaysia's food is WAY better!

Daddy's cute princess

Yes, that's how Mikayla spent most of her time in Singapore. I feel like a kangaroo.

The (new) Yee Family at Suntec City

The rest of the group. Keith missed out on the shopping attending his course.

Mikayla watching Koi fish in Suntec City's Garden

The fairy bear mooning everyone >.<

Canaan members now residing in Singapore. It makes me so happy to know that they are STILL serving God where they are.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My New Toys

My new toy is finally here!!! "It feels like Christmas" I told Steven Wong, our church sound man... really! Bobby was also waiting anxiously, but he was waiting for the other item that was arriving along with the Beta 58A.

I bought these on ebay few months back but the sellers would only ship to an American address. So San San, who was initially planning to come back for a holiday, said she would help me bring it back. So I bought the item and it was sitting pretty in her house till about 2 weeks ago. It arrived along with my "other new toy" - the Zoom 506 Bass multi effect pedal. The Zoom 506 Bass was purchased to encourage my church bassists to be more passionate about their instrument. I am basically buying this for Bobby to use. Timothy Raj and Derrick are also eager to try it out.

Anyway, here is a more (very) detailed description of the Beta 58A.

The Shure Beta 58A is a high-output supercardioid dynamic vocal microphone designed for professional sound reinforcement and project studio recording. It maintains a true supercardioid pattern throughout its frequency range. This insures high gain-before-feedback, maximum isolation from other sound sources, and minimum off-axis tone colouration. The Beta 58A has a shaped frequency response that is ideal for close-up vocals. The superb performance of this microphone is not affected by rough handling because of its rugged construction, proven shock mount system, and hardened steel mesh grille. Typical applications for the Beta 58A include lead vocals, backup vocals and speech.

• FeaturesSmooth, extended frequency response for outstanding sound for professional live vocal use
• Consistent supercardioid pattern provides the best gain-before-feedback among dynamic microphones
• Pneumatic shock mount reduces handling noise
• Frequency response: 50 to 16,000 Hz

This system includes:

Shure PGX4 receiver
Shure Beta 58A Microphone with PGX2 Transmitter
Power supply
User guide
Carrying case
Microphone clip

Technical Info:

Channel Frequencies:
Channel H6: 524.000 to 542.000 MHz
Channel J6: 572.250 to 589.875 MHz
Channel L5: 644.000 to 662.000 MHz

System Working Range: 100 m (300 ft.)Note: actual range depends on RF signal absorption, reflection, and interference

Audio Frequency Response (+/- 2 dB):
Minimum: 45 Hz
Maximum: 15 kHz(Overall system frequency depends on microphone element.)

Total Harmonic Distortion (Ref. +/- 33 kHz deviation, 1 kHz tone): 0.5 %, typical

Dynamic Range: >100 dB A-weighted

Operating Temperature Range:
18 deg. C (0 deg. F) to 50 deg. C (122 deg. F)
Note: battery characteristics may limit this range

Transmitter Audio Polarity:
Positive pressure on microphone diaphragm (or positive voltage applied to tip of WA302 phone plug) produces positive voltage on pin 2 (with respect to pin 3 of low impedance output) and the tip of the high impedance 1/4-inch output.

PGX4 Receiver:

Dimensions: 40 mm H x 181 mm W x 104 mm D (1.6 x 7.125 x 4.1 in.)

Weight: 327 g (11.5 oz.)

Housing: ABS

Audio Output Level (Ref. +/- 33 kHz deviation with 1 kHz tone):
XLR connector (into 600 & load): 19 dBV
1/4 inch connector (into 3000 & load): 5 dBV

Output Impedance:
XLR connector: 200 Ohms
1/4 inch connector: 1kOhm

XLR output:
Impedance balanced
Pin 1: Ground (cable shield)
Pin 2: AudioPin
3: No Audio

Sensitivity: 105 dBm for 12 dB SINAD, typical

Image Rejection: >70 dB, typical

Power Requirements: 12-18 Vdc at 150 mA, supplied by external power supply

PGX2 Handheld Transmitter:

Audio Input Level:
+2 dBV maximum at -10dB position
-8 dBV maximum at 0dB position

Gain Adjustment Range: 10dB

RF Transmitter Output: 30 mW maximum (dependent on applicable country regulations)

Dimensions: 254 mm x 51 mm dia. (10 x 2 in.) (including SM58 cartridge)

Weight: 290 grams (10.2 oz.) (without batteries)

Housing: Molded PC/ABS handle and battery cup

Power Requirements: 2 AA-size alkaline or rechargeable batteries

Battery Life: >8 hours (alkaline batteries)
What does all this mean? ...It means my mic ROCKS! Now to find my wireless guitar/clip-on mic pack. I'm already watching a few auctions on ebay now, hopefully I'll get as good a deal as my wireless handheld!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mikayla's First Fever

Susie our good friend and member of Canaan Church counted 8 months and 12 days. This is the first time Mikayla is getting sick. We were in Angela's car on our way to see Doc. Lim (not to be confused with our friend Doc. David Lim who is practicing in Johor Baru). All the "kai ma" are concerned and wants to be at the clinic, I think more busybody than concerned. She has a fever of 38.5 degrees Celsius and got her first dose of medicine - Paracetamol (a.k.a. Panadol, liquid form of course). Today is day two of Mikayla's fever watch. I'm home with her now. Normally she would be keeping my hands full. But...

Oh... she just O.M.M. (orh mm mm a.k.a. passed motion a.k.a. did her big business... get it yet?)... Time to clean up. Looks like she's still keeping my hands full...

Ok, done. Mikayla is all cleaned up. Yes, normally she would be making noise and I would not be able to take my eyes off her or she might roll off or crawl off the sofa that she spends most of her day on. But due to her fever she is weak and prefers to spend the day just lying still. She just went to sleep. Pray with Melanie and me, we know a fever is a small thing but being first time parents and this is her very first time falling sick, we're both naturally anxious.

God has kept Mikayla in good health so far. My parents told me that by this time my brothers and I would have been sick several times already. Doc. Lim shared the same sentiment. But Melanie has been breastfeeding her so far so it helped keep Mikayla healthy, however we now have no more choice and are transiting her to formula. Job well done to Melanie for keeping it up for over 8 months. Breast milk helps very much to keep babies healthy. Formulas have been said to be "heaty", so maybe this is why Mikayla is not well now.

Pray with us. I doubt anything major will happen, however I have some items on my schedule which I would have to let go if she does not get better. Melanie and I will also be able to sleep better at night. I believe now I can relate with and understand some of the parents out there.