Monday, March 26, 2012

My Cerita

On the 23rd March 2012, the Catholic Undergraduate Society of Universiti Sains Malaysia (CUSUSM) held its 5th official Friday gathering. This event being the fifth of such for this Second Semester of the 2011/2012 academic year was handled by a team of first year undergraduates under the guidance of Miss Vera.

The theme which we had to revolve our gathering around was none other than “My Cerita”.

We discussed the underlying meaning of this theme over the several times we met and came to a conclusion that it offers whole different understandings to each individual and it would be next to impossible to capture and present the essence of this subjective matter in just one Friday gathering.

We therefore reflected upon the theme and according to what it means to each one of us, we decided to plan and execute items which we hoped will be able to convey messages which would in turn promote further reflections among those who were present.

The gathering was started at 1300 hours sharp with “Big Fish Small Fish”.

In contrary to the seafood dish it may seem to sound like in name, this was actually our ice-breaking activity to enable members to rid off all their perplexity and strains. This was a simple game actually which required concentration, proper pronunciation and a great deal of mixed-up hand actions. It wouldn’t be unfair to claim that we were actually replacing your stress with another one J

While that was going on, we were blessed with the presence of a postgraduate student from Bali, Indonesia.

Francis, who is pursuing his doctorate in Economics was then invited to introduce himself. We really were honoured by his presence and we hope to see more of him during our future activities.

A CUS trip to Bali perhaps, Joe?

XD We all have Eyta Tracy to thank for bringing him to our gathering. Thanks Eyta!

We then proceeded to a soulful Praise and Worship session conducted by our very own gifted Alyssa Ng. The opening song was “Hosanna”. Natra Joseph followed up with an opening prayer requesting for God’s divine presence to flood BT150 while our gathering is in progress.

The first item was a video entitled “Strangers”.

Strangers - Inspiritional Video from seluanpegak on Vimeo.

It depicts the life stories of various individuals who knew not that by some twists of circumstances that they are all actually linked in the spirit.

The power of sharing is illustrated here.

When one chooses to stand amidst the calamities of life and is courageous enough to bear witness to Christ, lives will be touched and changed for God speaks to us in mysterious ways. Also, a good deed can travel in resemblance to a chain reaction and it might eventually return to us. Therefore, we should always be wary of our thoughts, speech and actions as besides mirroring ourselves, we could also make or break possibilities created by our Creator.

Alyssa then presented a very informative slideshow regarding St. Joseph of Cupertino, the patron saint of aviation and education. It was obvious that we learnt a lot. About not covering the syllabus and hoping a spotted question would be asked, well..we don’t really recommend that. Faith does miracles, yes..but at the same time, we also need to do our part. So yeah, don’t try this at home..

Next, we had another video about a train, a father, a son and a random bunch of people.

A Father Sacrificed His Son from seluanpegak on Vimeo.

Quite a number of us have already watched this video before this screening but we hope you have gained benefits from it nonetheless. The sacrifice by the Father of one whom He loves most dear so that the salvation of us sinners can be attained.

Personally after watching this video, I felt that continue living in perverted ways is a shameful thing to do after the ultimate sacrifice made by Christ to pardon us. It’s a weird thing somehow that despite knowing all these, we are still guilty of a great deal of ill-conducts.

This goes to show that Satan still has a strong grip and we need to do something to reverse this. Why not this Easter? Why not now? J

When in doubt, always ask :

What Would Jesus Do?


You’re sure to get back on track.

Alright everybody, it’s time for games! There isn’t any name for this game actually. Or perhaps there is but we just don’t know about it. Lol. Anyway, the members were divided into 3 groups and were made to sit in long rows with their respective leaders seated on the extreme right seats. The leaders were then invited in front and were allowed to look at the most random drawing in the world :P

Upon returning to their seats, they were then to whisper the contents of the drawing to the person seated next to him/her. This relaying of information goes on until the last member hears the message. Then comes the fun part. The last member has to produce a drawing based on whatever he has just been told and the masterpieces were then compared with the original. There was a short sharing then on the pros (hehe) and cons of gossiping.

As it was already nearing 1430 hours, we were unable to conduct our final item which was planned to be a group activity where groups will be given real challenging situations and they have to discuss what to do and how to act. The situations are as follows :

1. One night while driving, you were too sleepy and you drove past a traffic light junction when you should have stopped. Luckily enough, you escaped from anything untoward but unluckily enough, a policeman saw you and orders you to pull over.

He then approaches you car and indicates that he wants some “extra allowances”.

What would you do?

2. Your whole family are professionals. They have steady jobs with great incomes. Unlike them, you dislike everything that is related to studying. Instead, your passion is to play football. One day, you are offered a contract to play professional football. You know, however that your family is unsupportive of your ambitions.

What would you do?

3. You are a volunteer at a charitable organisation. Your organisation receives plenty of donations from the public. One day, you learn that the administrators of the organisation are using the donated items for their own personal needs. They then claim that they are not receiving enough help and make requests for further aid.

What would you do?

4. Your good friend just bought an iPhone 4S. You like the phone very much. One week later, he lost the phone while waiting for a bus in Komtar. A few days later, on the way back from church, you saw a man in that area selling second-hand phones. They must have been stolen ones. You recognised your friend’s iPhone.

What would you do?

5. You have a best friend whom you’ve known for more than 10 years. One day, you learn that he is secretly a drug dealer and he is highly-ranked in his syndicate. If charged, he could be hanged.

What would you do?

6. You are a parent of a teenage girl. One fine day, your 16 year-old daughter confesses to you that she is pregnant. It has been 3 months and the boy responsible for this has disappeared without a trace.

What would you do?

It took us ages to come up with the situations above and we hope you find it helpful to think about them. Hey, most things happen to us without us even wanting it to happen. So yeah, be prepared. Hehe.

Hint : WWJD?

Announcements were made by Alvin. Joe then presented us with great news – the profit figures of our breakfast sales the previous week. We then proceeded to the closing part of our gathering which was another round of Praise and Worship, this time conducted by Natra who led us through “Who Am I?”.

Jessica then said a beautiful closing prayer which concluded our gathering.

But wait, there’s something more I’ve forgotten to add.


We would like very much to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation and warmest gratitude to each one of you guys. Every little bit that you do means the world to us and we are glad to have been given this opportunity to conduct an event of this magnitude. It wasn’t easy since there were many other things going on around us (PharmNight and MCB preparations) but anyhow, things just worked out, we had awesome awesome meetings and Friday went smooth. We hope. XD

This report was prepared for the purpose of the CUS blog by :

Alyssa Ng

Jessica Olivia Francis

Natra Joseph

Joshua Anantham

Thank you and God bless you all!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Starting Point Where I Spread My Wings.

Greetings, and Shalom to you readers! My name is Deejay and I am one of the first year junior for CUSUSM this year of 2011/2012.

This would be my first post in this blog, and I am blessed to do so. I love writing cause this is one of the things I would do when I am stressed out. My hobby, to be exact.

Okay, so, on the 16th of March 2012, I was one of the juniors conducting the CUS Friday Gathering, alongside with Tiffinny, Aubrey and Flora. My heart is excited of being of the ones to conduct the gathering, but my mind always reminds me "Can I do this?"

I honestly would like to point out that I'm not an avid reader of the Bible. I do not own a Bible. I know there are such online Bible webs, but I would rather open up my Facebook, Twitter or my Email Account whenever I open the web browser.

And so, I felt rather scared of conducting such gathering, cause I'm the one who should be conducted, not conducting.

But with the help of the seniors like Helen, Elo, Vera, Alvin, and others, along with Tiffinny's enthusiasm made me calm down, and try to do my best in conducting the gathering.

The theme for the last Friday Gathering is Prophecy - 2012/End of Time. I was like, "okay, one theme that I wasn't familiar with... great, just great..." But then, I try to stay positive. "Ah, this could be easy! I have Tiffinny, Aubrey and Flora to back me up. And God as well. I can do this!"

We decided that Aubrey will play the guitar, Tiffinny will do the ice-breaking (in such a unique way, fuuuhhh), Flora will conduct the group discussion, with Tiffinny helping to explain bout the discussion, and I would be doing a short video on the prophecies of the end of the world. Oh, and Aubrey will give a video as well about the good thing in life.

We started with Tiffinny's ice-breaking - Sway! Everyone was encouraged to do the stretching by swaying their moves through Michael Buble's Sway. This is one of Tiffinny's idea of creating some difference in the gathering, as well as making it more interesting. I'm quite okay with her idea, its fun! Don't know about the others, though. Joe's seems to enjoy the swaying, haha.

Then we started our opening song, Bapa Yang Kekal. A huge thanks to senior Jasper for helping us out in playing the guitar along with Aubrey. Then Flora started the opening prayer.

And then, I started the a short video to open up everybody's mind on "What does prophecy means for you?". Actually I just extract some scene from the documentary movie Nostradamus: 2012. Actually I don't know much about the prophecies of the end of the world. So, I was wondering the same question when I made this video myself! Here is the video that I shown:

And then Flora and Tiffinny started the group discussion. 3 groups are divided to discuss on "Imagine the world will end in the next 10 months. What will you do?".

Fuuuhhh, a lot of unique answers were given. The most popular answers would be something like 'spend time with my family + friends + love ones'. Some wants to travel to somewhere, be it India, Mount Kinabalu or around the world. I personally, wants a six-pack before the world ends! Haha! And some even wants to get married before the world ends! I guess somebody's long for an 'I do' events, huh... Haha!

I would love to list down ALL of the answers here, but there's too much, I guess. So, I'm just gonna share out the most interesting answers. Without revealing the names, of course.

"Apologise to each and everyone that I ever met in my life."
"Eat chocolate and gain 10kg." (errr....) 
"I will live as though I do not know the prophecy. Because I don't think that I can make any difference if it really happens. So I will just live and survive to have my own better life."
 "Remind myself each day that I need to be a good man for when I stand before God I cannot say 'it is not convenient to be good at the time' or 'I was ordered to do so by others', that would not be enough. For my soul is my responsibility alone." (my personal fave)
"If I got 10 months left, I will leave this USM and meet all my family member, my love one, my relatives and my friends. From there I will be starting to prepare myself in terms of spirituals, in the same time I will be tempted with the world lifestyle, example money, career, and entertainment."
And after that, Tiffinny did some sharing. I don't think that it is appropriate to write what she shared, let it be between her and us who went for the gathering, as well as Lord Jesus who will always remains with us everytime, everywhere, everyday. But I do wanna share this:

"God made us like this for a reason. He gave men two eyes so that one eye could look forward and the other eye to wink at a girl. (err....) He gave us two nostrils so we could smell the scent of our loved ones when we hug them or when we kiss them. (wow...) He gave us two hands with five fingers each, so that when we forget to bring our rosary for prayer, we can use our fingers instead." - Tiffinny Shally

Tiffinny is a really good speaker. She is most passionate in talking in front giving speech. And the above speech is the example. Plus, she teaches us about how our hands represent in our prayers.

  • The thumb is the closest finger to us, thus represent the need for us to pray for our closest companions. Our family and friends, for instant. 
  • The index finger is for our teachers. 
  • The middle finger; if you notice, is the tallest fingers among all. Thus, it represents the need for us to pray for our leaders.
  • The ring finger; if you notice, is the hardest finger to use when you are playing a musical instrument. Thus, it represent the need for us to pray for the weak ones.
  • The pinkie, is the smallest finger and the furthest one from us as well. Thus, it represents us, ourselves, reminding ourselves to always put the others first, and us last.
  • Our palm have curves for a reason. It represents the need for us to pray for the souls in the purgatory. It is said that each prayer that we make for the souls in the purgatory could send many to heaven. We could use the The Prayer of St. Gertrude:
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."

And then, Aubrey shows us the video to show that we should appreciate what we have while we still can. And the video really touches me, I honestly shed a drop of manly tear watching the vid:

 And then the closing song "I Offer My Life" is sung. Again, with the help of Jasper (THANKS!!!). Tiffinny ended the gathering with a closing prayer.

And that's about that for the last gathering! Forgive us if there's anything wrong while we conducted this gathering. I too noticed that the theme was a little bit off. But what our intention is that whatever happens in the future, the end will come, so we need to be prepared. Do what we desire while we still can!

Forgive me if I write something wrong in this post. Do comment my mistakes, as mistakes could evolve into experiences. Thus, it could make us do better in the future.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday Gathering And Saturday Meditation

Shallom Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ...

It might be kind of late in updating a post about the recent Friday Gathering (yesterday - 09 March 2012), but there shouldn't be any problems to share the joyfulness we've encountered during the gathering rite. Hahaa. The theme for this week Friday Gathering is "Life In Big Ways" and I'm personally felt glad over the efforts made by Joe, Catherine Mau and Silverstar to bring out some activities for this week gathering. Thanks a lot to all of you! Not to forget, Elovera as P.I.C for the music and her music assist - Arthur James. Dearest thankful too, for those who've attended the gathering, it was great to see you all again! ^_^ And yes, Happy Birthday to Rosita Bunga, she has officially turned 20 by 9 March 2012! Rosita, thanks for the cake, wish you all the best in everything! My regret is that I didn't manage to capture those moments. Haiz. Haha.

Anyway, as I browsed through some daily meditation newsletters in my email inbox, I felt like as if I am called to share this to all of you today - Saturday, 10 March Daily Meditation - "I Will Arise and Go To My Father".

Gospel Reading: Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable:

And he said, "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, `How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."'

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced  him and kissed him. And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.

"Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I  might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

Old Testament Reading: Micah 7: 14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest  in the midst of a garden land;  let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt I will show them marvelous things. Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins  into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.


How can you love someone who turns their back on you and still forgive them from the heart? The prophets remind us that God does not abandon us, even if we turn our backs on him (Micah 7:18). He calls us back to himself – over and over and over again. Jesus' story of the father and his two sons (sometimes called the parable of the prodigal son) is the longest parable in the gospels. What is the main point or focus of the story? Is it the contrast between an obedient and a disobedient son or is it between the warm reception given to a spendthrift son by his father and the cold reception given by the eldest son? Jesus contrasts the father's merciful love with the eldest son's somewhat harsh reaction to his errant brother and to the lavish party his joyful father throws for his repentant son.

While the errant son had wasted his father's money, his father, nonetheless, maintained unbroken love for his son. The son, while he was away, learned a lot about himself. And he realized that his father had given him love which he had not returned. He had yet to learn about the depth of his father's love for him. His deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed on the husks of pigs and his reflection on all he had lost, led to his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father.  While he hoped for reconciliation with his father, he could not have imagined a full restoration of relationship. The father did not need to speak words of forgiveness to his son; his actions spoke more loudly and clearly! The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet symbolize the new life – pure, worthy, and joyful – of anyone who returns to God.

The prodigal could not return to the garden of innocence, but he was welcomed and reinstated as a son. The errant son's dramatic change from grief and guilt to forgiveness and restoration express in picture-language the resurrection from the dead, a rebirth to new life from spiritual death. The parable also contrasts mercy and its opposite – unforgiveness. The father who had been wronged, was forgiving. But the eldest son, who had not been wronged, was unforgiving. His unforgiveness turns into contempt and pride. And his resentment leads to his isolation and estrangement from the community of forgiven sinners.

In this parable Jesus gives a vivid picture of God and what God is like. God is truly kinder than us. He does not lose hope or give up when we stray. He rejoices in finding the lost and in welcoming them home. Do you know the joy of repentance and the restoration of relationship as a son or daughther of your heavenly Father?

Our Prayer:

"Lord Jesus, may I never doubt your love nor take for granted the mercy you have shown to me. Fill me with your transforming love that I may be merciful as you are merciful. Amen"

Psalm 103: 1-12

Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
Who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Source: Don Schwager Daily Meditation, Kairos-Eme Website

We might be quite familiar with the parable of the prodigal son, right? Few weeks ago, if you still remember, Alvin (our president) has showed us three videos portraying about this parable. :) Imagine that we're on the side of the son, we might think that we are not worthy to be home again. We felt so much shamefulness and guilty that we couldn't bear the thoughts and expectations of being rejected. But the son eventually came back, yet he didn't expect to be accepted as a son again - Realised on how he had done big mistakes, he humbled himself, he just wanted to be one of the servants of his father. Instead, his father accepted him, and held a merry to celebrate his homecoming. This is the 'Father', that Jesus want to introduce to all of us. He is always be waiting...

As for this week' Friday Gathering, we've been asked to describe in ONE WORD what is LIFE for us. It was pretty amazing and great to see on the results - Challenges, Challenging, Awesome, Wonders, Complicated, Music, Move, Expectations, Stress, Vogue, Care, Meaningful, Inevitable, Chocolate and few more - Yes they are all about Life... We experienced them in our daily life. There are sweet and bitter moments, as a chocolate might taste in your mouth, and there are ups and downs, which many times we might found life is so complicated, stressing us out. We begin to question, why? why? and why? But, there's always something behind everything. In every situation, even in our deepest wound and disappointment - no matter what, there's HOPE in God.. As He is always waiting for us to come back home again... :)

May this Lent Season would bring us into remembering more of God's kindness to us. He gifted us His only son, how great is His love to us! (^_^).. Next week gathering, we would be bang-ed with a wide discussed issue in this world nowadays - Prophecy and 2012 (End of Times?). Therefore, do make sure to come, mark your calendar - 16 March 2012 - I have a date with CUS ok! Hahaha.

Have a great weekend Everyone! Rejoice in the Lord Always. Adios... (^_^)