Monday, February 25, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008



I thought I knew what I was letting myself into when I told the group of climbers I was taking up Mount Kinabalu that I was going to climb it twice over three days with them as there were 2 groups going on 2 different times. Many thought a 53 year old like me was crazy to attempt such a feat. Those who had climbed the mountain before thought I had gone mad. After I made the announcement, I started to wonder if I had done the right thing as doubt after doubt filled my mind.

I flew to Sabah early to prepare for the two climbs and I was lost in a world of uncertain feelings about such an attempt. What was worse was the accident I had three days before the climb when I tripped and fell into a deep drain and almost broke my knee. I could not walk properly the day before the climb, such was the pain I had.

At the lowest point of feeling unsure about the whole venture, I drew on my belief that my God would heal me enough to allow me to make the climb and I dwelt on my experiences in the MLM arena where belief and a total commitment to the objective made it possible for me to reach the unlikely summits of success in this flimsy field. I was accordingly inspired!

At the starting point, I banished all thoughts of failure from my mind and I stamped out the possibility of giving up at any point on the climb. I made up my mind then that I would succeed no matter what else happened on the climb. As I made that decision, wave after wave of positive endeavor came over me and I felt my spirit began to rise to the certain heights of unwavering commitment. I knew then that even if I had to crawl up the mountain, I would do it and reach the summit not once but twice.

What a change came over me. When the positive rises up within us to replace the negative, our complete disposition changes! I simply looked up to the summit of that great beautiful mountain and declared with complete certainly that I would be at the top. Right then, I knew that I will reach my objective. What a wonderful feeling it is when you have such confidence in any venture.

Every step that I took became a confident step. Every steep incline became a leap forward. I looked ahead to every little progress and every difficulty became a step of opportunity.

I started encouraging others and helped them up. There was joy in the effort and the feeling was exhilarating. As I stood on the summit on the first climb, I looked down the entire way to the mid-levels and declared that I will be up again. Going down and reaching the second group of climbers, I turned back up and made the ascent without any feeling of discouragement. Such was the desire that I couldn’t wait for the summit to come into view a second time.

The second time on the summit was special. I knew as I felt the wind blowing into my face that there would be many more mountains for me to climb. I have no fear as I look at the seemingly insurmountable objectives in my life. I know that I just have to keep taking the small steps with zest and enthusiasm and the big steps will come into view. What a feeling it is!

Welcome to the world of possibilities!

For those of you starting out in the path of A NEW CAREER OR A BUSINESS VENTURE, the feeling is the same. You will experience doubts and uncertainty and you will find the objectives targeted almost impossible. You have a choice. You can choose to look at the difficulties or you can choose to look at the opportunities. Only you have the power to make the right response.

Be a Man and a Woman of purpose! Choose life! Choose health! Choose success!! God bless you.

We get labelled all the time.....

My puppy is called Kow- Kia
My Kitten is called Niao- Kia
My Piglet is called Too- Kia
My Chick is called Kuay-Kia
My handphone is No-Kia
People who read this poem is Gong-Kia
If you laugh you are ...........Siao-Kia

Funny as it may seem, we get labelled all the time

Monday, February 11, 2008

When I fall in love....

I am still in Singapore and will be back in Kuala Lumpur on 14 Feb just in time for our super concert to raise money for the Orang Aslis. Over Sunday, I went to the City Harvest Church at the Expo grounds. In fact, we went early and then slipped into the wrong church (FCBC). I thought something was not right so when Pastor Lawrence Kong came to the pulpit, I knew we had gone to the wrong sanctuary.

Right after the meeting ended, we went next door to the City Harvest church where the message had just began. All-in-all, it was two benefits for the price of one. Pastor Lawrence Kong spoke on "Waiting before the Lord" and it ministered to me. Sometimes we are just too anxious and we do not wait for the right timing. It was all so true when he spoke of the numerous occasions when we will not wait for God to direct us and we would just do it in the power of our own intelligence and reasoning.

Pastor Kong Hee spoke on Genesis 38 where Judah had three sons. It was interesting. It was a message about us so often applying double standards in our lives. It was also about our own wicked desires taking priority. Judah applied one standard to others and another to himself. When Judah failed to keep his promise, he fell and when that happened, he denied his own wrong-doing until it was exposed.

The lesson was he repented when he realised that he had done a great wrong. 42 generations later, Jesus was born out of this lineage. When Judah failed and messed up, he did not quit. He took accountability and was responsible.

Pastor Kong Hee exhorted Husbands to be responsible. We have to love our wives , lead them and keep our promises to them. He ended up by asking all married couples to repeat the marriage vows again. It was really heart-warming to see spouses repeating and perhaps remembering their obligations.

The song, "When I fall in love" was beautifully rendered by their Choir's Assistant Director.

I was touched and I felt that the message was speaking to me in a very strong way. God bless you all.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

On forgiveness.....

Everytime I think of this word, I realise that it is something that is really hard to do. It is easy to say that we forgive but when the thoughts start to flow in our minds and the unhappiness again come into our thoughts, the welling up of feelings of unforgiveness is so easy to bubble over.

We are at best human and in the "humananess" of our 'psyche', it is always much more convenient for us to assign blame and responsibility for the things that happen in our lives to others. The unfortunate justifications that take place is evidence always of the fact that we have been contributory to the wrongs that have occured.

Words that are said are hard to retract. everything said in retaliation always leave scars that are hard to erase. Such cutting words are like tattoos etched into the skin. You haev to cut it up before the marks can be removed.

Over the past few days in Singapore over this Chinese New Year period, I have been seeking God for answers and for him to help me deal with the lesions of unforgiveness that are still with me. Everytime I pray for divine help in this area, I see a finger pointed at myself. Everytime I ask for revelation, I see myself. I can explain away my roles in the travesty of injustices that have taken place but the truth is I have been as much a culprit as I have been a victim.

If I could, I would go back to everyone I may have seemed to wrong (does not matter if I think they have been at fault) and apologise to them. God way is for me to say "sorry" and to ask for penance to be paid. I pray that the people I haev stepped will forgive me and accept that I am repentant. I no longer want to see how "right" I have been. I only want to see how right God is when he encourages me to ask for forgiveness.

I pray that God will continue to direct me in this very delicate area and cause a harmonising of discord to come forth. Forgiveness lifts that heavy load from us - a load of unnecesary conscience that cluster our lives further. I pray for such a lifting of that load that is still with me. May his mercy endure forever.....

Sunday, January 6, 2008

It's all in the decision.... once it is taken, the rest follows

When you want to do something different in your life or if you want to do something extraordinary, it's actually much simpler than you think! All you need to do is to decide. There is great power in the act of making the decision. Time and again, I have found that if I am willing to make a decision, things actually will fall into place.

Mount Kinabalu East is a serious mountain climb where you have to use ropes and ladders to make the climb. The trail follows the same West trail (where most people make their climb) until you trek past Gunting Lagadan and almost hit the ropes. That's when you turn right and trek down past some waterways and ravines. Then it is a straight-up climb which stretches for almost 2,000 feet.

Although I love adventure, I am not an out-and-out Adventurer. When the suggestion of climbing Mount Kinabalu East came to me, I dismissed the thought thinking it was crazy for me to consider it. Still, the thought won't go away and it became a small obsession for me. "What if I trained hard for the climb; what if I did regular work-outs to build my strength; what if I focussed on getting assistance on rock-climbing techniques" were some of the thoughts that stayed. The "What ifs" came fast and frequent. if I had dwelled on the what ifs, I would probably have never climbed Mount Kinabalu East.

As with every other major undertaking I have taken on in my life, I knew I had to just make a decision. And that's what I did!!! I told everyone I knew that I was going to climb Mount Kinabalu East. It was a blind and crazy decision and that's how it was done. I JUST MADE THE DECISION!

Everything else did follow the decision and the plans started taking form and format. Even though the planned trip was 6 months away, I started moving. The plans, the preparation, the training, the focus, the determination all came together. The excitement soon followed and although there were plenty of doubts, there was no turning back

Everytime, we make a decision to do something that seems somewhat crazy, there will be plenty of doubts that will follow us. I had my fair share of doubts but because there was now also purpose in the whole scheme of things, every doubt I had was quickly dealth with. As the vision of reaching Mount Kinabalu East grew stronger, the resolve and the dedication grew bigger.

Success is all about making clear commitments and then when the decision has been made, we should be willig to pay the price required for that success. Those of you who have made that decision to climb Mount Kinabalu with me will understand what I am talking about (after the climb has been made). I have no doubts that all of you will make the climb successfully!!! The lessons for life that we will learn will help fortify us for the future. WE will learn that with faith, hope, courage and resolve, we will be able to tackle most things that come our way.

Monday, December 3, 2007


“Pinch me”, I say and no one can make me believe I will have two crazy adventures in two weeks. Just to weeks ago, I posted my blog on RIVER TSUNAMI – 5 seconds from certain death.

Today, 24 November 2007 is another crazily unusual day. A group of us from the Rotary Club of Bandar Utama had gone in to what is probably one of the furthest Aborigine tribes in Malaysia – the Jehais. In a remote corner on a breathtakingly beautiful lake on the Malaysian – Thailand border, we had driven 6 hours across what in the last part of the journey is no more than a Logging track.

We had made the trip early on the morning of Friday, 23 November 2007 in a convoy of 3 Four-wheel drive vehicles. On that first day itself, we had a few narrow encounters. As we drove on the timber trail, suddenly out of the blue would come these huge timber trucks who would bear down on you. It was a terribly frightening experience, especially on hill-slopes where there was little traction. I was driving the 3rd vehicle and in one instance, I just narrowly avoided hitting one of the logs that was protruding from one of these huge timber “monsters”. What an adventure even before we arrived.

When we finally arrived at our destination, we found about 100 malnourished, totally neglected Aborigines. As we spoke with the Pastor who was helping them out, we found that all past effort to try and help them had failed because they simply lived in another world.

Our mission was to bring some relief to them them and although it was not an easy task, we had a great time with their children – all 40 of them. They were just like any other children, gaily laughing and prancing about. My heart went out to them and as I sang with them, I felt so alive and vibrant. We gave them gifts and had meetings with their leaders. Life is all about giving and so long as there is a big enough heart in us, others will be blessed.

A night out in the Malaysian wild is truly a great experience. The moon was a huge ball of yellow and as its rays reached down to light up our campsite, we could not but help marvel at how God had created nature so wonderfully. We had been warned not to wander too far off from the village because there had been previous encounters with Tigers and also wild elephants.

With such an advisory, we decided that gathering around in the security of our raised open hut was perhaps the best thing to do. Soon enough we started singing songs of old and many of us re-lived many of our childhood days once again. We slept almost at 3-00 am. The hard ground on which we slept was a reminder to us of how blessed we all are in the comfort of our homes.

As dawn broke, I caught a glimpse of dancing rays darting across the skies shielded by a layer of mist. I could not help praising God for giving me such opportunities to encounter the best that nature had to afford. We could not imagine what adventure would await us a little less than an hour later.

We broke camp at 8-30 am and decided to drive to the nearest town of Grik for breakfast. I went on ahead of the other cars as I was tasked with taking a Pastor Henry to Grik. After an hour of driving, Marios, our friend from Nigeria said that he had seen some elephants by the roadside. I decided that I should turn around and bring my Grandson Daniel (who was with me on this trip) to see the elephants.

On that first “pass”, I drove to about 20 feet from the large whitish-grey wild elephant who seemed to be the head of the pack. I wanted to take some nice shots of it. Suddenly without warning, she gave a loud trumpeting cry and came fast towards us. Marios who was seated on the left side screamed to me to step on the gas. That was really frightening but more was to come……..

On the return pass, I also slowed to shoot some pictures and that was when that ‘lead’ elephant got really agitated and she now started to charge at us. That huge elephant almost got to us as everyone in the car shrieked for me to drive off as fast as I can. The elephant ran with us for about 50 meters. We barely escaped from its wild trumpeting charge. As we reached safety some 200 meters down the road, we turned back towards the elephant and it was still trying to come to us.

We had a really narrow escape and as I drove with still trembling hands towards Grik, I knew that this was a really narrow escape and by God’s grace, I had a glimpse of what it was to face death or serious injury just a whisker away. It was a scene I will never forget. It almost rivaled the river Tusnami that I encountered just 2 weeks earlier. God is good!

Ong Hock Siew