Today, I walked along Bondi Beach and giant Scrabble tiles reminded me to “imagine”.   🙂

Sunrise over Darling Harbour.

Sunrise over Darling Harbour.

(The photo was taken at sunrise this morning from my hotel room. Yes, we overlook Darling Harbour. Sorry about the dirty window though. It’s been raining.)

    1. Being extremely comfortable in the “foreign” country. Intuitively knowing what the cultural norms are and how to get things done.
    2. Seeing old friends who I definitely don’t see as often as I’d like.  Finally meeting people I’ve heard so much about.  I feel blessed.
    3. A work lunch with 2 charming Italian men. It’s hard to beat dining al fresco on a sunny Sydney day.  I love how serendipitous meetings, led to lunch, led to an interesting brainstorm and now, we’ll see him in Singapore in January.  Brilliant.
    4. A meeting at a very posh 20th storey apartment. The living room overlooked the Opera House and the Botanic Gardens.
    5. A roommate with the same taste in music as you. The office laptops are becoming MP3 players.
    6. Food – It’s hard to beat Australian food, especially when it comes to freshness.  Have been to some really nice places this trip.  Yum yum.
    7. Art.  There’s a lot of art happening in Sydney while I’m here.  Sculptures by the Sea.  Monet at the Art Gallery etc.  Very nice.
    8. It’s been so bloody cold but being able to wear my boots is a plus.  I *heart* these boots.

    The downside is the relative lack of sleep and time to exercise.  I probably have been drinking more alcohol than is good for me.  Oops.  I’m also pretty bummed that I have had no time to shop.  I have to keep on reminding myself that I am here for WORK.

    Last day of meetings tomorrow.  So far, it has been a very productive trip.  I am pleased.

    Sydney Harbour at night

    October 26, 2008

    Could I have more photos of the Sydney Opera House?

    I’m at the airport with nothing to do but to wait for my flight out to Sydney. It’s funny how restless I get when you leave me alone for 2 minutes.  I really shouldn’t have packed my Bible into my suitcase. An hour with a cup of coffee, my journal and my Bible would have been divine. Instead, I wandered around the bookshop for half an hour. I got out because it was too frustrating. Too many titles that I want to read but of course it would be silly to buy a whole bunch of books just to lug around Australia and back.  I am already carrying 2 books in my bag.

    So I’ve settled at Toast Box, turned on my laptop and am now blogging. I updated my Facebook status (to say that I was leaving for Sydney) when I left the office and in the 1.5h it took me to run some errands and get home, I got a whole bunch of messages from friends who’d either be in Sydney or Melbourne while I’m there. People who didn’t already know I was coming. People I actually want to see. People who mean something to me. And I thought to myself, Wow. I am blessed. It’s nice to leave home and still feel like you are going home (if that makes any sense at all).

    The last couple of days have been rather busy and my brain (as usual) has been noisy but today, thanks to my office laptop and Wireless@SG, I’m (sort of) doing my QT and I have concluded that:

    “My heart is not proud, O LORD,
    my eyes are not haughty;
    I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
    But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
    like a weaned child with its mother,
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
    – Psalm 131:1-2

    The airport just announced the flight out to Amsterdam.  Ah… good memories and here is to a work trip that is even better than the last one!!

    I’m off to Australia in just under 6 hours.  This time tomorrow, I will be watching the sunset over the Harbour Bridge from the Sydney Opera House with a cocktail in my hand.  Life is good.

    This morning’s sermon was on 2 Samuel 12. No time so a couple of disjointed thoughts will have to do:

    1. v4 “the wayfaring man” Nathan used a traveler who was just passing through in his story to David – the fleeting desire juxtaposed against irreversibility of a dead Uriah.
    2. v8 “And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” This verse just breaks my heart. It also reminds that I should dare to ask of God rather than trying to willfully do my own thing, in my own way.
    3. v14 “The LORD also has put away your sin” David and Bathsheba’s next kid was Solomon and that God loved him. God was pretty serious when He said that he “put away” the sin.
    4. Fear of the consequences of sin alone just makes one superstitious. I have a real issue with this. Faith has to be more than a reward / punishment system. Shit happens. Even when you are obedient.
    5. I thought about a scene in the Sex and the City movie (I know, hardly the place to be getting spiritual insight) where Miranda tells Carrie that maybe it isn’t about apologizing but really to stop doing the things you need to apologise for.  The same thing can be said about repentance.
    6. The word “create” in the verse “Create in me a clean heart” (Psalm 51) is same word used in Genesis and conveys the idea of creating something out of nothing.
    7. 2 Samuel 12 really needs to be read with Psalm 51 for its full effect. It is very very very important to keep and protect one’s covenant relationship with God.

    That said, I watched The Kite Runner this evening and the movie spoke to me very deeply about the importance of doing the right thing in the eyes of God (regardless of the consequences). Probably more than the sermon did. Never underestimate the power of a good storyteller.

    Today, I walked around the Singapore Flyer. It was very cloudy (and somewhat drizzly).