Monday, June 26, 2006

Bonus Daddy Points...

On Saturday for bringing the kids to the Central Fire Station! In case there are any Singaporeans reading this, this place is a "MUST VISIT" - every Saturday morning, it's open house and the firemen show off all their latest equipment and let the kids climb onto the vehicles, squirt water out of the hoses/water guns,and even bring the kids up on the hydraulic ladders! This is a picture of R1 and R2 pretending to drive the "Red Rhino" or Light Fire Attack Vehicel (LFAV) for the the technically inclined.

And this is what this cool vehicle looks like. It's supposed to be a point vehicle in fighting hard to reach fires - all it carries is 50 litres of water, so there is a very cool water mist gun attached that the kids get to squirt (and adults too if they ask nicely). :)
Sunday morning started with a heavy downpour, which petered into light rain in the afternoon, bringing nice and cool conditions (by tropical Singapore standards) for a 11km even as the kids napped. Praise God!

On the spiritual front, I am sticking to my plan of daily QT - reading and praying - and I am beginning to understand why Paul wrote "it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:13) Truly it is the Lord who works in us to draw us near to Him. All we need to do is to make the commitment to be serious about Him. Praise God!

Not much to report on Monday, 1st day back at work is always "exciting", and it looks set to be a busy week, but I am thankful to be in Singapore this week. Until next time, train safe and God Speed!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Prayers Do Work!

Thanks for the excellent prayer support - did not have time to post yesterday, but R1 woke up yesterday morning WITHOUT a hint of the fever and R2 is perfectly fine too. If you have not been following the posts, R1 started having a nameless high fever on 20th night, and by 22nd morning, he was perfectly fine! In my QT, I came across Matthew 4:23-24, which reminded me that Jesus healed all kinds of illnesses and everyone who came to him for healing. I am not too fussed about what it was that caused the sudden fever, as there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is healed. What an awesome God we have - He involves us in prayer to build our faith and delivers us from illnesses. To celebrate, we brought the boys swimming! :)

The whole subject of healing miracles is one of great controvesy, and I know I will not be able to do justice to the subject even if I wrote another 10 posts on it. There are still some very tough questions like what place does medicine have, and why are there still sickness and death in this world, etc... Personally, I think of doctors and medicine as blessings from God - He made us smart enough to help ourselves, so we should make full use of that. What does not get practised enough sometimes is the parallel action of praying for the sick as commanded in James 5:14. Which brings us to the tricky question of if God heals, why is there still so much sickness and death in this world?? I really don't know... I think part of it is probably that we live in a fallen world and there are consequences of that - e.g. if I choose to abuse my body, I need to recognise that there will be consequences to my decisions. This does not explain why a lot of children are still lost to illnesses (especially in this part of the world), I guess some things will just have to wait till we meet our Lord to find out. What I do know is that we prayed, and R1 is healed, and I have been blessed to see enough healings to be convinced that they are not just a random occurences.

Another area of thanksgiving is that after writing an ode to my holiday, my last few days of leave actually turned out beautifully! I have been spending time with the boys in the day, getting my QT and training in, AND even squeezing in time to work at night. :)

Speaking of training, I cut short my run last night (set out to do 10-11km, ended up with 5.7km) as it was getting late, and right after starting out I remembered that I have not done my QT for the day (yes, I am guilty of not being consistent to my stated goal of training only after QT). While I could have prayed/medidated as I ran (which I do sometimes), I did not start the run with that intention and so it felt a bit like offering a stolen sacrifice or a sacrifice with defects (Malachi 1:13-14). I am not saying what I did is right, perhaps just that I am more anal than I thought. :)

God is good, and I am confident that He will keep you safe and speed you in your journey. Amen!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An Ode to My Holiday

Working parents, you know how it is - doesn't matter if you are still on leave, but the holiday is over when urgent text messages from work start coming, and/or the children start getting sick. In my case it was BOTH - text messages from the boss, and R1 getting a mysterious high fever last night - that told me the holiday was over.

Spent the morning trying to balance work, taking R1 to the doctor (they think it could be a virus), and trying to seperate R1 and R2 (keyword being "try"). But, I am still hopeful to squeeze in some swim drills (which I badly need, judging from my last 1.5km swim time) and of course my QT, so that today will not be a total washout in terms of my stated goals of Intentional Discipleship & Triathlons.

Still, I am very thankful for the short holiday because it gave me much needed time away from work with the family, and also time to do a checkpoint on my journey in Intentional Discipleship & Triathlons. The short on the Spiritual end is that I need to get serious about prayer (un-abridged version in my previous post), and on the Tri end, I am coming to the conclusion that I will focus on training (which I enjoy) and not racing for now.

Not sure if this sudden high fever that R1 has got is a call to prayer, but would appreciate your kind prayer support for healing. Oh, and thanks for the prayers for R2 after his fall. Went to the dentist yesterday and she thinks the tooth is fine and should heal completely in a few more days. The lower lip has also healed beautifully, Praise God, and thanks for your prayers! Prayers DO WORK! :)

Thanks again for the tremendous support and encouragements. Remember to make time to do what your heart tells you to do today, and may the Lord keep you safe and bring you beyond even what you dare to ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!

Train Safe and God Speed!

P.S. I did get in the swim drills afterall! I know it ain't much compared to the mega drills of the tri-bloggers out there but I'm rather chuffed with myself. :D Praise God!
  • 25mX10 = 250m Front Crawl Warm-up
  • 3 sets of 25mX4 = 300m Kicking Drills (with Kick Board)
  • 3 sets of 25mX4 = 300m Arm Recovery - "Chicken Wing"
  • 3 sets of 25mX4 = 300m Arm Pull - "Catch Up" (with hand paddles)
  • 25mX10 = 250m Front Crawl Close

Monday, June 19, 2006

Spiritual Checkpoint...

This is afterall a blog on Intentional Discipleship & Triathlons, so I feel I have the acountability to update you on my Spiritual journey into Intentional Discipleship. :)

  • I may have shared sometime back that I am (slowly) reading thru the bible (for only the second time ever), and I am happy to report that today I finished going thru the Old Testament! Can't wait to start on the New Testament tomorrow. Just like the last time, I am following this chronological reading plan. I find that having a chronological reading plan makes reading the Old Testament much easier as it presents the events as they actually happen in the course of time. If you have not tried it, I strongly encourage you to do so - there are lots of on-line and published chronological reading plans, and they do make understanding the Old Testament MUCH easier.

  • However, unlike the last time I used this plan, I am not giving myself the pressure of finishing the reading plan in a year, but taking my time and focusing on letting the passages speak to me. I have found that it helps a lot just to keep a journal of 3 main headings - "What is God Saying to me?", "My Response", and "Lessons Learnt" - as I read. It forces me to think and pray about what God is telling/teaching me thru His Word. Try it, it really works! :) Another thing I am doing differently is that I am using the New Living Translation (NLT) Bible this time, which I find easy to read, while giving an added perspective to the same passages that I read last year in the New International Version (NIV) Bible.

  • While I have found reading His Word to be very rewarding (especially when I am consistent with it), I have been getting increasing concerned about my (lack of) prayer life. This concern has been bubbling over for sometime now, and I finally gave voice to it at my last Care Group meeting last Friday. The group must have been praying hard for me, because on Sunday we had a surprise visiting pastor (Pastor Benny Ho) who decided that he would give us a sermon on "Prayer that Prevails". How cool is that? Praise God!

  • It was a simple sermon about praying
    PROPHETICALLY - Prayer being a powerful means to birth forth God's will on earth;
    PASSIONATELY - Prayer being an intense and passionate communication with God;
    PROACTIVELY - Actively looking for God's answer even as we pray;
    PERSISTENTLY - Praying till we have an answer;
    but the sermon spoke to me in a very personal way as only the Holy Spirit can. Truly our God is an awesome God, and when He speaks, we can't help but to hear Him. :D

  • The funny thing is, when I sat down and comitted to consistently praying for the 3 most important things in my life - Salvation for my parents, Well-being of my family, Personal Walk with God - neither work nor triathlons came up at all. Go figure!

Until next time, train safe and God Speed!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Starting Over...

I posted sometime back that I have opted out of the only Olymptic Distance Triathlon in Singapore - The OSIM Triathlon (a.k.a. Singapore Triathlon). Just did not feel I was ready for it with all the interuptions to training that my business travels brought. I will be doing at least one Sprint Tri this year, but that's it for my (depleted) racing calendar this year. :( That's the problem with living in Singapore, I guess, there aren't that many "mass participation" Triathlons in this region.

Been feeling quite frustrated with my training this year. Feels like so far it has been pretty much stop-and-go, and I'm feeling really bummed that I have to pull out from the OSIM. I'm not much of griping sort (I hope, although my wife will probably disagree), so I'm just gonna make use of this holiday at home to put it all behind me and START OVER. I have already reported 2 runs (5km and 10km) and a swim (1.5km) so far this week, and today I decided to go for a bike ride.

As I sat on the floor putting on my shoes, I looked up apprehensively at my bike. It was reminding me of its carbon DNA, bladed fork and racing pedigree, while looking down with disdane upon my soft thighs. I was wondering if this would be a good ride, or if I will find myself wondering why I even bothered, but I've got the bottles filled and the tyres pumped so off I went.

Well, I am happy to report that 2 hours later, I rolled back home a tired but happy camper. And as I took off my shoes, I looked up at my bike (which I have not named and probably never will - but that's another story), and it didn't seem that haughty anymore. It's still a racing stallion, and I am still not much of a rider, but I think we reached a common understanding today out there - as long as we are giving our 100% and having fun, not much else matters. I think I am beginning to like this new attitude. :)

Until next time, take care, train safe, and God Speed!

Friday, June 16, 2006

3 Days Before I Go Back to Work...

And that's me and the boyz in the zoo this morning! R1 is in the black rain coat while R2 is in yellow, and I am the overgrown kid in the pink child-sized poncho that just happened to be in the car. It was kinda dissappointing at first to arrive at the zoo in the midst of a downpour, but we were soon thankful for the rain as it brought unusually cool weather. It also chased away much of the usual visitors and we had the place to ourselves for the 1st couple of hours which was really nice. Thank you, Lord!

Even the penguins look pleased with the rain, don't you think? In case anyone starts thinking that they may be ill treated in the Singapore heat, they do have their own air conditioned enclosure right next to the pool, so they are usually cooler than the visitors. :D

The weather was so nice and cool that we stayed longer than usual and even squeezed in an elephant ride with our buddies!

On the training front, I am proud to report that I did head out and got in a 1.5km swim yesterday, and a 10km run today. Best of all, I managed to do my QT before my run today. Yay! Praise God! Hope this discipline lasts! ;)

Train safe one and all, and God Speed!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Effects of Business Travel

  1. Training gets neglected - just look at my training log at the side bar on the right. :( I think my motivation has dropped significantly since deciding against the Singapore Triathlon. At this point, it looks very much like I will not be doing any Oly Tris this year, only Sprints. Sigh... I am getting a lil burnt out from the business travels and have been away from the family so often that I cannot bear to go off and train by myself when I am back. Perhaps I need to get R1 started on a kid's fun tri next year so I have a betta chance of having time for an Oly Tri... No more excuses I simply have to get back on the saddle and start TRAINING!

  2. It seems my absence from the kids on business travels and my resulting eagerness to spend time with them when I am back are a lethal combination - I become an over-eager parent who is not used to taking care of them. So, somehow when I return from business trips to play Dad, accidents happen. The last one was in April when Dad forgot that 3 year olds can't really pull on the brakes on the handlebars. Witness this latest beauty on R2's lower lip - the poor kid fell on his face, almost biting thru his lower lip, this time because Dad was stupid enough to wrap him in a huge towel - impeding his ability to walk - after swimming. Things like this REALLY make me feel like kicking myself. He is a tough lad though - lots of blood and tears at the fall, but now he is eating well and pretty much back to normal. He still complains that one of his front teeth hurts 2 days after the fall, so please pray that his tooth is alrite and do pray for speedy healing for my lil soldier.

  3. Quiet Time (QT) with the Lord takes a beating. Must confess that I have not been consistent with my QT for the last couple of months now. When it is late at night and I have just got back to the hotel after a LONG day, and I know there is an early start the next day, the temptation to skip QT and just unwind is great. Like the missed training, there are no valid excuses here, I just have to get my act together and prioritize what is important. The fact is that I am too busy NOT to do QT - too many things go wrong then I miss my time of re-balancing my life with the Lord. I just got to remember that!

But enough griping from ol' Nitrox. Train safe everyone and God Speed!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Can anyone say...


When it comes to sun creams, our motto is "Better safe than sorry".


Train safe and God Speed!

Friday, June 09, 2006

World's FASTEST Tri Blogger

Read them and weep - 857km/hour (532 miles/hours)! ;D

Sorry guys and gals, I had some urgent emails to send out while flying back from Finland and now have some spare Wireless LAN connection time left, so I thought I will pull a fast one (please excuse the poor pun).

My holiday with the family starts tomorrow, so I am REALLY looking forward to getting back home.

Dearest ST, R1 & R2, if you are reading this, I MISS YOU!

Train safe and God Speed, everyone!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I am thankful for...

  1. This notice in the hotel lift which tells me about the brand spanking new treadmill in the gym just waiting to be tested - was able to get in a 5km run this morning. Praise God!
  2. Fresh fruits at breakfast - the weather in Helsinki makes it tough to get fresh fruits (check out the brown banana - which thankfully was perfect inside). Praise God!
  3. The long days here (the sun rises at about 4:00am and sets at 11:00pm), which allows me to share these nice pictures of Helsinki city centre even at 9pm at night. Praise God!

I am still feeling the effects of jet lag so I will stop and head to bed. Feels really weird going to bed at 11:00pm and the sun is still up! :)

Oh... and if you haven't already, check out how Iron Pol ended up RUNNING the bike leg of his first ever Sprint Triathlon. An epic adventure. :D

Train safe boys and gals, and God Speed!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Global Day of Prayer

But I spent it on a 20 hour journey to Finland, which started with a 13 hour flight next to a couple that somehow had to go to the toilet every 1-2 hours! As you can imagine I spent much of the flight crawling in and out of my cattle class seat - that's getting in and out TWICE each time they had to go to the toilet. :(

13 hours later, I landed at Frankfurt for my 4 hout transit before the next flight. Couldn't help taking a picture of the shower at the transit lounge - truly God's gift to the weary traveller! A shower has not felt so good in a LONG time. :D

Finally arrived at the hotel 20+ hours after leaving Singapore, and so soon as I got into the room, I knew there was no way I would be heading out for dinner. I usually try not to nap at all the 1st day to get over the jet lag, but as you see from the state of the bed, this time I conceded. (Please excuse the underwear and socks hanging out to dry - although the company pays for laundry, I still can't bear to pay the exorbitant laundry fees for stuff that I can wash in 5 mins.)

So here I am, 28 hours after leaving Singapore, feeling old and tired, missing home terribly, having a bit of a sore throat (which I blame on the dry air in the plane), but very thankful for the free broadband that connects me to two very comforting things - familiar music on (my favourite is the "Best Mix" channel) and of course all of you, my blogging buddies. Funny thing is that with the solitude on long business trips, they are sometimes a enforced bonding time with the Lord, and with my work schedule lately, this is probably exactly what I need right now.

I gotta do some emails before hitting the hay, so take care my friends, train safe and God Speed!