Archive for September, 2010

Welcome Aaron Lim

Last Sunday, I became an uncle all over again. Aaron Lim was born in Singapore and is no doubt doing what babies do best: being a joy to his parents. For my sister, her usual discussions about the meaning of life and the universe will be temporarily put on hold. Instead, it will be placed by questions like: “Did he poo?”, “What colour is the poo?”, “Whose turn is it to change the diaper?” and of course, “Did I just feed him from my right or left breast?” It’s not easy being a parent …

We miss being kids

“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”- before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecc 12:1-7)

If I did this now, it'd be silly. But you know what ...

This is the day

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Childlike not childish

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Now’s the time

I think a lot of the problems we’ve been experiencing come from the fact that no one embraces the miracle and amazement of the present. So many people—steampunks, fundamentalists, hippies, neocons, anti-immigration advocates—feel like there was a better time to live in. They think the present is degraded, faded, and drab. That our world has lost some sort of “spark” or “basic value system” that, if you so much as skim history, you’ll find was never there. Even during the time of the Greeks, there were masses of people lamenting the passing of some sort of “golden age.” But I’d never go back and live in any other time than teetering on tomorrow; this is the greatest time to be alive.

Comedian Patton Oswalt in this month’s GQ

From the office of Josh Boston

Interesting stuff from San Diego based designer Josh Boston. Website here. Flickr account here.

Stuff Christians wear

For some reason, a lot of Christian t-shirts take on existing logos and add a Christian twist to them. I always thought we worshipped a God of creativity, a God who created the sun, moon, stars and objects tinier than the eye can see. And the best His followers can come up with is something that imitates the world? 

Imagine if all worship songs borrowed tunes from existing music. Or if Christian films looked suspiciously similar to the plot of Avatar (which actually feels similar to the plot of Dances with Wolves but you get the idea).

Perhaps some of us fail to see the beauty and majesty in art. In doing so, we are in danger of becoming what CS Lewis calls “… a mere trousered ape who has never been able to conceive the Atlantic as anything more than so many million tons of cold salt water.” (The Abolition of Man)

Or maybe it’s because we categorise what we do as Christian and non-Christian. The t-shirt above is clearly Christian. The stuff we see on say, Threadless are non-Christian. But what if the t-shirts in Threadless were designed by believers? Are they then ‘secular’ just because there is no explicitly Christian theme? All things done/ created/ produced by believers are sacred: ‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ 1 Cor 10:31.

However, if it’s something so outwardly Christian, shouldn’t there be something more? Why do we not put equal – if not more – effort compared to the stuff we do that is ‘secular’? I mean, we are talking about the greatest message the world has ever heard and this inversion of popular logos has kinda been done.

Maybe we didn’t know or realise we could be creative when it comes to Christian themes. Maybe we think church is boring and therefore produce similarly boring objects. I could go on and on ‘… but what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.’  Phil 1:18

The same CS Lewis also warns that an artist’s creativity may draw him away from God and become his idol (The Great Divorce). That’s probably true in my case, but I fervently pray it’s not so. May my eyes be opened to see the Giver and not the gifts. May we always know from whom and for whom are we given our artistic talents. May this generation glorify You in all things, O Lord.

I’m glad I got it off my chest. Now where did I put those drawings …