Cafe Hopper Gets Spiritual – Reflection at Starbucks

I must say that there is a strong parallel between coffee drinking and spirituality. I woke up this morning around 5 and I heard the rhythmic raindrops outside my window. I felt so comfortable listening to the raindrops falling and realised how blessed I am in The Lord. For a good many years I have not felt this way. I continued to roll in my bed and bathing myself in this divine bliss. Oh yah, because God sent the rain, I was so not going to the Cathedral for my service today. Believe me, I really wanted to go for my service.

When I opened my room door, I was greeted by Toffee, my little toy poodle. Every morning she will wait for me to come out from my room faithfully without fail…well unless my mum ground her in the kitchen. Toffee never fails to greet me with lots of leaps and bounds. I decided that since I am not going to the Cathedral, I might as well go down to Starbucks and do some reading. I packed with me my old, tattered Bible and techy iPad. I am a strange person, I usually have my Our Daily Bread on iPad and prefers to read the Word from my physical copy Bible. I never like the idea of digital Bible. I like to feel, touch and experience the Word of God.

The reading for the morning was from Psalm 51 and it speaks about David and his sin. I was once again moved by David’s repentance and reflected on that. The Lord reminded me of His grace and compassionate in forgiving us and cleanse us when we truly repent of our wrongdoings. I was very moved by the message. Of course, I had my sips of coffee as well. I felt as though God reached out His might hands from His throne of grace and touched my feeble heart. The touch was so tangible that I almost tear.

I then started to worship God with a few songs from YouTube, songs from Psalm 51. I must say that Keith Green has a way to soul-bound you with his voice. He is just so gifted and inspired by the Holy Spirit. When I heard his version of Psalm 51, my spirit was so bound by the words and the music, and of course by the Spirit of God. God, help me to stay true to Your Word. I held my old, tattered Bible and was reminded how I delighted in the Word of God as a young Christian back in the 1990s. I was even reminded of my faith back in the 1980s as well. I believe that King David was also reminded of the joy of his salvation when he repented before Almighty God.

I guess, coffee really has away to bring us closer to God. This morning was indeed a coffee time well spent with Jesus. In fact, I felt that he was just sitting right in front of me the whole morning. Like it or not, God is everywhere…. The next time you visit a cafe, invite Him along and you might just have a very different encounter of His Presence right there. Go experience Him over a cup of nice, hot latte….☕☕

The gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper: Its all about love…爱情这一回事!

I am back. I am writing on my blog again. I have not log in for a good two to three months and I realised quite a number have posted on my blog. Thanks to all who left a few lines here…really appreciate that. I have to write a few lines of English so that my English speaking audience know where I have been these few months. I have been very busy with my new job and I must say that I am really enjoying my new job. Since I have been busy, I have not really been cafe hopping…how can that be right?? As a cafe hopper I should be hopping around cafes right. I will! I have not forgotten my mission of hunting down the many hidden cafes in Singapore and of course, Thailand as well. Many things have happened since I returned from Thailand and I must say that I really thank God for all that He has done. Let me settle down as soon as possible and I will continue to fill the pages of my blog with lots of exciting stories.

从泰国回来后,我常常在听一些怀旧的老歌。其实那些歌曲也没有那么老!从中我也领悟到很多关于爱情这一回事!从 “领悟”到 “剪爱”,在从这两首歌到 “至少还有你” 我都有许许多多的感触!有苦过也哭过,有开心过也遗憾过。这种种的情绪上的过山车都让我明白了许多事,并且让我学着更坚强也更对生命有不同的见解。从前我以为张开双手我撑得住未来,现在我明白了,人生往往有许多事不是你说了算的。很多时后,我们伤的很深是因为我们还没有学会放下和解放!爱情可以是一件很沉重的事,它也可以是一件飘入毛羽的竟界。有些人可以对爱情轰轰烈烈,而有些人却不敢靠近它。爱情可真是矛盾的一件事。现在我只能说得是,我很想去好好的爱一回。我很想轰轰烈烈的去爱。这可能会到至很深的伤,可是 “谁不是用伤口交换未来” 呢?我知道这听起来很放纵,就让我难得糊涂一次吧。

the gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper Review: ‘爱自己’论 (续在续)

我们也说到多爱自己一些,你也会对别人好一些。很多时后我们处事待人的方试跟我们对待自己的态度有很大的连系。我们会怎么对待一个人或一件事请和我们那些所为的’不合理’要求是有关系的。 如果说一个常常认为自己很笨的人,当他对待人的时后往往会想法子要遮盖他的所为的’不理想’,应此他会不由自主的会想要表现一翻。可是因为太过想要表现,有时会弄巧成拙,搞到一踏糊涂!相翻的,如果一个有自信的人,因为不觉得自己缺发什么,他对人也会比较自信,也不会太过要表现自己!当然有些很自信的人也会因为太过自信而变成骄傲,自大,这就不好了。

the gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper Review: ‘爱自己‘ 论 (续)

昨天说到一大堆马桶论。今天让我们来说说为什么我们会有这些‘不合理’的要求?人本来就是一种不容易满足的动物。上帝给了亚当和夏娃一个这么美好的花园,丰衣足食,不愁吃也不愁穿,但他们还是不满足。他们要更多但不一定更好的。人会有对自己的‘不合理’要求是因为我们不满现状。我们一直以为我们现在所拥有的是不够的。其实你想想:我们为什么要的更多呢?别误会,我不是说上进是不好的。我赞成进步与发展,但在进步与发展的当而,我们要懂的知足常乐。当你知足的时后你就拥有全世界。记:人心不足蛇吨象啊!

the gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper on a mini Food Trail in Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima)

I walked out of the Alpha Students’ Centre, thinking of just having something simple for the evening. The stall that I normally frequent happened to be closed and I decided to walk down further to a little mini street paradise just at the junction of Soi Sam Sip Gaan Yaan and the main road. Honestly I didn’t want a heavy meal this evening. I ended up having a little feast, hopping from stall to stall. I started with the stall that always display this whole lot of pork trotter, selling pork trotter rice and wanton noodle. I am not a fan of pork trotter so I gave that a skip. I decided to use my sign language to order whatever I think is possible to order. I pointed here and there and the lady seemed to understand what I was trying to order…actually I didn’t even know what ordered. I sat there and while waiting for my food to arrive, I decided to order my favourite som tum again. This time I told her “mai phet” meaning non spicy. Last night I ordered from the same stall with “phet” and trust me it was spicy!!! Miraculously I finished the som tum last night.

My “finger-pointing” food finally arrived. It turned out to be a very decent bowl of wanton noodle with roasted pork on top of it. I must say that I don’t normally enjoy soup-based wanton noodle. This is one that I enjoyed and it was really tasty. The soup is very rich and the ingredients compliment each other very well. The noodle is of the right texture…it doesn’t clog together and you can taste the soup in every strand of noodle. There’s so much of ingredients in it that every mouth of it is great. The som tum this time round tasted much better without “phet”. It’s crunchy and the veggies are very fresh. I thought for a moment that was it for dinner. I decided to walked down to Seven-Eleven to get some snacks for myself. Before I could reach there, I stopped by at this stall that sell all kinds of satay like stuff, like fish balls, fish cakes, fried wanton and etc. I was so tempted…no I was tempted indeed to buy two sticks of it. I actually tried them yesterday and it was really good….so I decided to buy again today. So, since I got this as snacks, I would suppose that’s it. No….it didn’t end with the satay.

Before I could turn into Soi Sam Sip Gaan Yaan, there is this stall that sells dessert. They sell toast like those in toastbox (Singapore). I was tempted again to order a set to try and I did. Trust me….this stall is not inferior to toastbox. The toast is crunchy and with all the spread…mine! This is a perfect dessert after dinner. I was given a little surprise. The stall owner made a pot of tea for me after the dessert…you tell me that’s not value-added service?The tea was just perfect to make you feel less sinful after a heavy meal like this. Guess what? At the end of it, I still headed down to Seven-Eleven to buy a pack of snack just in case I really need it tonight.

Mine! That was really a mini food trail. I think I have tried almost everything along that small stretch. Look at the pictures below and you will know how much I have enjoyed my dinner tonight. Thank God for such a time.

the gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper in the Land of Smiles (Thailand)

Its been about one month since I first arrived in Bangkok on the 3/12/2012. I still remember that it was right after my Standard Charted Full Marathon. Before I could be fully recovered, with all the aches in my muscles, I made my way to the airport. The impact of the 42 KM and slightly more was still on my body but still I felt a sense of relieve to be leaving the country to doing something very different in my life. This is really something that I have never tried….to leave home for more than a month and to step into unknown arena. But I must say that this venture has been a very fruitful one and I have learnt a lot about overseas works and I have also discovered a lot about myself. Trust me, there is so much of dying to self and being alive in God. I am not just saying this out of my head knowledge of the Bible. Dying to self is not something for the Apostles of old…it is real and everyday I commit a murder…sometimes with great violence I killed them. Sometimes the process can be very bloody and of course some are easy to kill. There are more to be killed…I don’t know how long more before the killing stops. I am sure that as long as I am alive, I will kill!

I have left Cornerstone Students’ Centre as of 14/1/2013 and I travelled up to Korat on my own. I have never done that in Thailand and that was the first time. Turned out that it was not difficult to travel from Mochit to The Mall in Korat. The nature of the work in Korat is very different from Latkrabang. In Latkrabang, the work is more direct as far as teaching is concern. In Korat, there’s alot of pioneering works to be done, such as BB, Boonwattana and etc. My every week would probably be packed with many activities and meeting with various people to build bridges and establish connections. I sort of like it so far.

This is my second day in Korat officially and I am sure that I will be expecting exciting times ahead. May God bless my journey here in Korat!

the gatekeeper