Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Bali is full of colors. But I believe Bali is also very beautiful in Black & White. Like the Bedugul Temple. We had lunch nearby. It was a misty day around the lake. Perfect for B&W photo.
Even at the beach. I change upon this dog fetching a tennis ball out of the sea! The poor guy was fighting the big wave for more than 30secs before it could secure the ball solidly in its jaw.
Bali is also full of HUGE statues erected at almost all the biggie roundabout. They are supposed to depict scenes from their myths and legends.
Taman Ayun temple. A private temple built by a Balinese king more than 500yrs ago. In the middle is the temple priest... Somebody should tell him about my High Priest, my Jesus.
Another angle of Taman Ayun temple.
Tanah Lot in B&W.
Errr... this photo is actually in color. We found this poor fish on the beach caked in sand. No idea what species is this. Funny teeth though.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Was in Bali last week. Bali has a population of 3.2 million and 95% of them are Hindus... and I gotta tell u, this land is FILLED with temples. From every street corner to every mountain to every lake to every home. No kidding. The Balinese build them literally EVERYWHERE.
From the top of this exotic rock formation (Tanah Lot)...
To this small altar somewhere in an unknown alleyway... The Balinese make offering to their gods everywhere.
EVEN on the streets! They make these little baskets with a variety of flower pedals inside them and place them everywhere. U can find one in front of EVERY shop too. So u gotta watch ur steps!
But at the end of the day this is where they end up.
On my second day in Bali, a thought came to me: Bali is an excellent example of how ancient Judah & Israel must had been like in their days of rebellion against God.
1Ki 14:23 For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree.
The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, the God of Moses & Joshuah - LOATHES them:
Deu 12:2 "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.
I pray for God to send a great revival in Bali.
Beside temples, Bali of course is famous for its beach. But alas, this trip, my only access to them are those public ones. Meaning, nice but not as nice as those u see in postcards or promotional adverts. This one is Kuda beach early morning.
Jimbaran beach. Love to photograph these kids playing.
Dinner at Jimbaran beach. Very cool.
Another MUST DO thing in Bali is SHOPPING of course. From the ultra-ultra high end to the flea market, Bali has an awesome selection.
Be prepared for some "persistent" seller. My advise is, sometimes it is OK to buy a bit "more expensive". We are the blessed. So what is that extra few dollars? Insignificant to most of us but everything to many of these less unfortunate Balinese.
Example: this AWESOME looking kite. I bought 2 at Rp 40k each. Half an hour later I found another stall selling the same kite at Rp 20k. For a split second, I felt "cheated". But another split second later, I realised what is that Rp 20k (RM 8) when: 1) I love the kites, 2) my kids will LOVE them, 3) I can't find this design back home, 4) I make that Balinese boy happy with the profit... I was elated again.
Security is VERY tight and VERY visible in Bali. Almost every restaurant has one or several security people manning the entrance. This is for obvious reason after the 2 tragic terrorist bombing incidents in Bali.
Thus, another must see place is - "Ground Zero", the tragic 2002 terrorist bombing at Legian Street. The Indonesian government has erected a memorial for the 200 over victims who died. Rather than taking a cab, I decided to walk. And u see A LOT by walking.
As I get closer, the street is packed with actions. There are many bars & restaurants. But according to the locals, the crowd is still way below as compared to the days before the bombing.
After more than 20 minutes' walk, the memorial loomed into view.
I was happy I was able to explain some of the "why it happened?" to my friends. And more importantly, the direction of the future of the world. It will be dark indeed. Especially one without Christ Jesus.
In all fairness, the Balinese people are very friendly people. They have a sense of the fear of God, and they have a very elaborate outward form in worship full of exotic rituals and ceremonies. But these forms are ultimately futile. Men's salvation is ONLY possible thru the atonement sacrify on the cross by Jesus Christ.
Would I want to visit Bali again? Hmmm...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
This is my DREAM lens (thank u, honey!). The demand for this lens is so huge worldwide that Nikon has not been able to produce it fast enough for the past 18 months. For instance, u can't buy one over the counter in whole of NYC! But I got one in Kuching. Hallelujah!
Over the weekend, Maxis put up a fabulous music festival for the locals. There were some "big names" but somehow I enjoyed the folk dance the best.
Among the "big names", PowerStation is one of them. The duo from Taiwan was doing a great job entertaining the crowd.
There were also some local "big names". (I throughly enjoyed shooting with my "retired" Sony H1 all over again with its huge zoom and big aperture. All pix here are taken by H1.)
The crowd was big & engaging, the DJ was good... And I was able to find my way all the way up unto the stage with the "big names" doing what I enjoy - photographing...
The ONLY downer was the huge downpour on the first night which lasted for more than an hour. And I couldn't help but overheard an interesting conversation - the event organiser had actually engaged a "bomoh" earlier to pray for no rain. Hmmmm....
Monday, June 11, 2007
Last week, my church invited Ps William Lau over for his ministry - Elijah Challenge - equipping and training "ordinary" believers to be healers the Bible way. Both the pastor and the wife conducted a three night long "seminar". But, alas, I wasn't there! :(
But praise God I was back in time for the 2 nights of "Healing Crusade".
Over the years, Kuching is greatly blessed by quite a few healing rallies. Praise God for that. But rather than waiting for the next big rally, imagine if ALL the believers in Kuching are able to rise up with such mountain moving faith and start to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers... Glory be to God when such a day arrives! (It may come sooner than u expected)
Death & sickness are part of this fallen world as a result of sin. It doesn't matter how young u are, or how moral u are, or how much ginseng u consume... death & sickness will still find u. The people of the world might seek the answer and hope in the latest medical breakthru or the latest fad in healthy eating or the most qualified doctors... NOTHING wrong with them per se, but as believers in Christ Jesus, we have SO MUCH MORE! Our HOPE is in the LORD.
It angers me to see so many sick needing help. Especially the young ones. My heart aches for them. Bible says the devil comes to steal, kill & destroy (John 10:10) BUT Jesus came that we may have LIFE & have it MORE ABUNDANTLY!
I may not fully understand why some were healed and some were not healed in the 2 nights. But I know Jesus HEALS! The Bible says: and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1Pe 2:24)
Am I glad to see so many healing testimonies for the 2 nights! Hallelujah! And I understand some of those healed were not even believers! O the GRACE and MERCY of God. One thing I know, they didn't remain unbelievers for long ;)
Glory be to God, we have quite a few people coming up to accept Jesus as their Lord & Saviour. Did they believe cuz they witnessed the miracles? Did they believe cuz they were healed? Perhaps they might not "realise" yet, but by accepting Jesus as their Lord & Saviour, they themselves are going to partake the BIGGEST miracle of all - Salvation.
I know the day will come when there won't be anymore sickness nor death. Will u be there with the believers who have been bought by the Blood of the Lamb? Have u accepted Jesus as ur Lord & Saviour? Eternal life is a FREE gift of God fully paid for by Jesus on the cross. Will u accept it?
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
Sunday, June 10, 2007
On Monday, the last day of the Gawai break, we went to Santubong. The kids here in a hurry to "refuel" as they wanted to enjoy every single second playing.
As the kids were busy playing...
...someone is always busy keeping an eye from the side...
The kids had little patience for any interruption when playing... not even for photography :(
But someone is always patiently keeping an eye...
...especially when it was a "Red Alert" day...
...so sometimes she sat closer to the actions...
And when the kids are ready to call it a day... she is instantly there to give them a hand... or a towel...
It is quite amazing the amount of stuff she can carry...
Praise the Lord for the long break and praise the Lord for my wife... Ya, she doesn't have much patience for photography either... :(