CSA Voices

NTU CSA Voices is a blog maintained by the 17th Exco. This is the place for you to voice out your ideas, suggestions, sharings, and everything for the growth of NTU CSA.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Updates on Christmas Party!

Hi all CSA sisters and brothers :)
I'm glad to announce the details of our Christmas Party...

Date: 3rd Dec 2006, Sunday
Time: 6pm-11pm
Place: NTU Alumni Club (near Buona Vista MRT.. Walking distance)
Theme: Starry Starry Night
Dress code: Smart Casual, with something that has a star on it. It can be an accessory, a temporary (or permanent if u'd like) tattoo, a badge...etc. :)

Actually, we had a few suggestions for themes such as the following:
1) Mexican Fiesta
2) Retro
3) Nightmare before Christmas
4) Something about snow...

But after thinking and discussing about it, the SP subcomm decided that it was more appropriate to have our current theme "Starry starry night"... in relation to the star that led the shepherds to the stable where our Saviour Jesus Christ was born. :)

Well now that the technical details are over and done with =X we can get down to the fun part.. the planning of our activities! =D and you, yes YOU, can have a hand in this as well =D

So far we've come up with ideas such as limbo rock, obstacle course (don't worry it's not those v exhausting kinds we see at FOC.. just we haven't come up w an appropriate name for it.. just have to do certain stuff while holding spaghetti or something with a partner =P), and another game where we stick words on each others forehead.. then we try to make each other say that word on our own foreheads. Whoever says the word on their own foreheads will have to forfeit. =P Do you guys have any suggestions for more activities? =) Mayb games for grps of.. urm.. 2o people? =)

Well.. what do you guys think of our planning so far? =) Give your comments ya.. and pls contribute ideas for the activities if u all have any ok? =D Here is where u can voice our any thoughts (good or bad >.<) as well as suggestions.. and we really appreciate your comments! =)

So... I really hope u guys will come n support our christmas party :) and that u guys will have a smashin' good time that night as well! =D

Thanks!! =D

Cheers,
Cheryl Seow
~ Let us Build the House of God~

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Prayer of St. Francis

Nooooooo~~~~~~!!!!!

It's not the song :p

I just want to share the first time I know this prayer.
It wasnt from a song, or church, or mass, or anything related to christianity..
Back when I was in my first year of high school.. I wasnt catholic that time....my classmates and I, we watched a lot of chinese/Taiwan series (i remember, during that period, F4 from Taiwan was born :p). everytime one of my friend watch new series, he/she will discuss it in class..those who havent watch it, they will search for the vcd or borrow or anything, so they can watch and after one month, all students in my class know the story .. hahahahah.. actually, i dun like watching those kind of movies, but everyone was talking about it, so I HAVE TO know :p
anyway, it's just an intro...sorry...bad habit..i always start my story with longgg intro :p

so, there was this movie, the title was "Kabut Cinta" in Indonesia..in english will be...hmmmm "Love Mist"??????? i dunno hahahahaha.. can someone tell me what's the title in english?

there was one character,a girl, she often go to church and pray this prayer. that time, i didnt know the english version, since it was chinese movie, i just read the substitle. it went like this:

TUHAN, jadikanlah aku pembawa DAMAI.
Bila terjadi kebencian, jadikanlah aku pembawa cinta kasih.
Bila terjadi penghinaan, jadikanlah aku pembawa pengampunan.
Bila terjadi perselisihan, jadikanlah aku pembawa kerukunan.
Bila terjadi kesesatan, jadikanlah aku pembawa kebenaran.
Bila terjadi kebimbangan, jadikanlah aku pembawa kepastian.
Bila terjadi keputus-asaan, jadikanlah aku pembawa harapan.
Bila terjadi kegelapan, jadikanlah aku pembawa terang.
Bila terjadi kesedihan, jadikanlah aku pembawa sukacita.

In english, the prayer will be:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen


that time, my friend who has watched the movie, asked me to take note of the prayer, cos she said, it was very good (she was a catholic). so i did. and it was very good. when the first time i heard it, i didnt have time to take note.. i was touched, stunned.. it was such a selfless prayer.. like we're not thinking of ourselves at all..it's all for everyone else, for the world, for God.. sooo touchingggg........

that moment i decided.. it is indeed, what i want to be.. to be a bringer of love when there is hatred, to be bring joy to those in sadness, to be the peace of Christ in this world..but it's soooooooo difficult to be done...

then i start to forget about it.. about the prayer..

then i found it in our mass song book (like Breaking Bread in Singapore).. then i start to pray it.. then i forget about it again...><

then i came to ntu...

then i was introduced to this song Prayer of St Francis (Thanks to Anita!!)

then i know for sure, I wont forget about this prayer again...


yess
~Lord make me, an instrument of Thy peace~

Recalling “Let Us Build the House of God”

It has been about 2 months since the 15th exco passing over to the 16th exco. It is relatively a short period but nonetheless we have experienced so many things. Investiture, Activity Day I, workshops, census, and of course not forgetting all the weekly activities. And now that we have reached the end of the first semester, let us take a brief moment and reflect on what we have gone through together.

Let us recall our theme, “Let Us Build the House of God”. What is the “House of God”? Let us now see this in different perspectives. Personally, I think the “House of God” includes everyone of us. Each of us is the houses of God, the place where God can dwell and reign. Jesus has been more than willing to live in us. It is just a matter whether we want to build ourselves spiritually to provide a convenient place for Jesus within our heart and welcome him sincerely.

CSA is meant to facilitate this personal growth of every member through all the ministries. So, here are some questions to ask ourselves:

  • Have I been open to the community? To God?
  • What have I gained from CSA?
  • How far have I grown spiritually?

From another point of view, the House of God can also be defined as CSA itself. A strong house is built upon strong foundation, which is the church. All of us are the foundations of CSA. Exco alone will not be enough to create a 'big' house for everyone. But together, we can create a house which is peaceful, where everyone works as one, shares fun and joy together.

Talking about contributing to CSA, some people may wonder why the people now in the 16th exco wanted to be exco in the first place. Well, as for me, it was because I have gained a lot from CSA and I wanted to contribute something in return. It is His call and being an exco is my answer. Of course, you don't have to be an exco to grow CSA. Even the role of member plays important part for the growth of CSA. So, another question need to be asked is “What does God want me to do?”, “What am I supposed to do being a CSA member?”

It is indeed heartwarming when people are satisfied with our service. But, I believe everyone has his/her own expectations towards CSA. To be honest, the exco would not be able to fulfill all those expectations. Some of you may not agree with the way we do things. In that case, please kindly inform us so that we will be able to address the issue. An idea will forever remain an idea without being communicated. By voicing out your idea, you actually help the exco to stay true to our vision and mission. It also means you have involved yourself in building the House of God together.

In conjunction with the theme, I would like to invite all of you who have read this, to tell us how your experiences so far with our services. Feel free to post your comments under this topic. Your feedback will be precious to us and give us the strength to carry on and to serve better in the upcoming semester. The joy of being able to serve well will be our reward.

With love,

Alvin

Something........

Hi all,

It is just a small question that was suddenly stumbled on.

"What is the first and foremost thing that a leader should have?"

The interesting part, I believe, lies not in the question, but in the answers. Therefore, I really and humbly hope for your comment.

Thank you.

In Christ

Friday, October 20, 2006

As the dreaded 'E'-word approaches...

Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold, put your hope in Yahweh. (Ps 27: 14)

The psalms are an extremely rich source of prayer language, simply because the verses from there form such beautiful poems. Even translated, the splendour of the imagery and language used is not lost. Some of the most beautiful prayers can be found there.

However, what strikes me most is how ageless the psalms are. It is just so uncanny that the emotions, the sufferrings, the joys and trials of the Israelites all those years ago mirror our own life experiences today, even after all these years and all the change that has occurred. Indeed, it is somewhat of a comfort to know that in our troubles, that someone else was experiencing exactly the same thing thousands of years ago. Our life struggles are timeless.

Yahweh is near to the broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed. (Ps 34: 18)

While I doubt the Israelites had to worry about exams, I'm pretty sure they had much graver matters to attend to. Back when they were experiencing the toils of strife and exile, they felt that God had left them for dead, just like how we sometimes feel when the chips are stacked against us in times of stress or trouble.

Yahweh guides a man's steps,
they are sure, and he takes pleasure in his progress;
he may fall, but never fatally,
since Yahweh supports him by the hand. (Ps 37: 23-24)


However, God will never hang us out to dry. He's always there, through the good times and the bad. We will stumble along the way, but as Jesus has shown us along the way to Calvary, God knows what it is like for us. He will never give us a burden too heavy to shoulder, for He knows that the strength to carry on is inside us.

Commit your fate to Yahweh,
trust him and he will act:
making your virtue clear as the light,
your integrity as bright as the moon. (Ps 37: 5-6)

For my part, I put my trust in you. (Ps 55: 23)


We are in a relationship with God: He knows us and has empowered us with the strength to do what must be done. But without our faith and trust in Him, the relationship is just one-way traffic. We must believe that no matter what happens, it is all part and parcel of His plan. Every joy and every sadness. Every success and every failure. It is imperative to wholly trust in His plan which is above all human logic and comprehension.

And from that trust, He will reward everyone accordingly. Sometimes not the perceived reward we seek like in the parable of the vineyard labourers, but God will give us the ample return for our struggles. We just have to keep doing what must be done, and trust God's plan for us.

For you have been my help
In the shadow of your wings I rejoice
My soul clings to you
Your right hand holds me fast (Ps 63: 7-8)


Even in this trying period, where deadlines are approaching and pressure rising, may we always remember that God is with us, just as He was with the Israelites in their time of dire need. We may feel tired. We may feel directionless. We may feel that all hope is lost. We may feel like giving up. But we must counter these feelings of despair, and continue to soldier on. Because we must fight on, with the knowledge that God wants to give us our deserved reward, lift us up and see us happy.

All the best for your assignments, projects, quizzes and exams my friends, take care and God bless you all always. Let us fight the good fight!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yours Truly, The 16th Exco

Christmas Party, Exam Mass, getting a priest for the 1 week that Fr. Jivan is away, Census...

As I went through the previous exco meeting that we had on monday, from 7 to 11pm in a freezing TR, I started to think: whom we are doing all these things for...

We are doing these for you. For all of you, dear CSA Members. We are here not to run some organisation called CSA, but to serve the people inside CSA. Without you, there will be no CSA. You are the CSA. We are builiding a CSA where all of you can find a family or friends or spiritual growth or even simply fun.

Yours truly, 16th Exco - truly yours.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It Anyway

The verses below reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, and are widely attributed to her.
Some sources say that the words below were written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room. In any case, their association with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity has made them popular worldwide, expressing as they do, the spirit in which they lived their lives.
They seem to be based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way. Both versions are shown below.
___________________________________________
1. The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Friday, October 13, 2006

Christmas Party is coming!!!

Umm I know it is still more than a month away and someone may blame me for giving a holiday mood in this time of exam period hehehe. Nonetheless, the 16th Exco has started organizing it!!!

Q: So, when is it?
A: It is on either the 2nd or the 3rd of December 2006, just after we finish our exam!

Q: Why so early, I thought Christmas is on the 25th?
A: You're right, dude. Well, there are a lot of international students in CSA. During Christmas, they tend to go back to their home country. We want to share the fun to the whole members of CSA. So, we hope that they will be willing to delay their flight home just for few days to celebrate Christmas together. The more the merrier, isn't it?

Q: Venue?
A: It is still to be confirmed for now. We are working on it ;)

Q: Why are you telling us so early?
A: So that you can plan your holiday from now, of course! Now that we have told you about the date, please reserve that day for the Christmas Party, okay?

Well, that's about it. Don't forget about it when you plan your holiday, k? If you have any further enquiries, feel free to send comments below.

Alvin
~Let Us Build the House of God~

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Our Father

Our Father in Heaven,
There is an awesome privilege of being able to address the infinitely great and holy God so familiarly as “Father”. It also reminds us that despite there being 6.5 billion other people in the world, God’s attention to us is undivided because He is, Himself, infinite. The word “Our” reminds us of Christian unity and oneness under God. This prayer is not to be said with a selfish heart.

holy be Your name;
The whole purpose to our existence is that we may give glory to God as the work of His hands and as living testimonies to His goodness and His mercy and His power.

Your kingdom come;
We pray that God’s grace may find its way into the hearts of all men, to establish there his dominion of love.

Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
“Whatever you want, God, I want too, no matter how much it may hurt; I’ll trust to your grace to see me though”. Believing this will mean an end to complaints and self-pity.


Give us this day our daily bread;
“Bread” is symbolic of all our needs, both spiritual and physical. “This day our daily bread” is Jesus’ message to us to not worry. Today’s trials are enough for anyone; ask for what you need today; you and God can take care of tomorrow when it comes.

and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us;
We must forgive if we expect forgiveness: “For if you forgive men their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you your offenses. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offenses” (Matt 6:14-15)

Do not bring us to the test
“Preserve us from any temptation which might be too big for us and strengthen us with your grace against the temptations which do face us.”

but deliver us from evil.
“Protect us from all harm, O Father, from physical harm so far as it is in accord with your will; but especially from any harm that may touch the soul.”

Amen.
And so ending, we have said the perfect prayer!

*Taken from ACTS Materials for week starting 06/03/2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

You Are Mine

Hi! This is my 1st time blogging in CSA-Voices. Eh, since Bobby blogged a song in, I'll also want to! Actually, this song, I believe all of you knew it before I did. But this song(to me) gave me alot of courage. I got to know this song from Br. Sebastian when I went to a Thailand pilgrimage. That was before the time I enter Uni, everything were changing so fast that I couldn't find myself aceepting the changes. This song gave me the courage, saying, "Jocelyn, do no be afraid, I am with you!". Through this song, God let me understand that I'm not alone, He's with me!

You Are Mine
I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still, and know I am near

I am hope for all who are hopeless
I am eyes for all who long to see
In the shadows of the night,
I will be your light
Come and rest in Me

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see,
the lame will all run free
And all will know My name

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I am the Word that leads all to freedom
I am the peace the world cannot give
I will call your name,
embracing all your pain
Stand up, now, walk, and live

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

--Jocelyn

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Small Enough - Nicohole Nordeman.

if you do not have the song, add me on ur msn (bobb0002@ntu.edu.sg) and i will send u the song.

Oh, Great God, be small enough to hear me now.
There were times when I was crying from the dark of Daniel's den;
And I have asked you once or twice if You would part the sea again.
But tonight I do not need a fiery pillar in the sky.
Just want to know you're gonna hold me if I start to cry.
Oh great God, be small enough to hear me now.

Oh great God, be close enough to feel You now.
There have been moments when I could not face Goliath on my own.
And how could I forget we've march around our share of Jerichos.
But I will not be setting out a fleece for You tonight.
Just want to know that everything will be alright.
Oh, great God, be close enough to feel You now.

All praise and all the honor be;
To the God of ancient mysteries.
Whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history.
But tonight my heart is heavy,
And I cannot keep from whispering this prayer.
Are You there?

And I know You could leave writing on the wall that's just for me.
Or send wisdom while I'm sleeping, like in Solomon's sweet dreams.
But I don't need the strength of Samson or a chariot in the end...
*Just Want to know that You still know how many hairs are on my head.
Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now.

Sometimes, what I needed were not God who is almighty and powerful. I need a God who is intimate to me. Whether I fail my studies, or ACTS not working out, I don't care as long as I have this God as MY God, who embraces me.

*I interpret this as if I am lying down my head on God's lap, and God is caresing my hair and telling me "everything will be alright".

bobby

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

CSA Census 2006

For many of us, CSA has become an inseparable part of our life here at NTU. It is not just a club or merely a place of worship. To me personally, CSA is a place where we can find a deeper meaning of being a Catholic, a place where we can strengthen our relationship with Christ our Lord. It is a place where we can grow spiritually together as brothers and sisters. Yes, being in CSA is like being a part of a family in Christ. I believe many of you share the same feeling.

It is unfortunate that we are still unable to share this blessing with our brothers and sisters who are Catholics yet unaware of the existence of CSA. Perhaps, they are aware of it but they feel awkward and out of place when they went for mass for the 1st time (we have to admit that we do not always create a welcoming environment for newcomers).

With this concern in mind, the 16th Exco have decided to hold another census for this year. We are hoping that through this census we will be able to reach out to others outside CSA and share the joy of being a part of a Catholic community. By getting their particulars, we will be able to inform them about our activities in CSA and invite them to be part of our family. We also hope that our new ACTS system would serve as a follow up to this census and give our new members the first taste of being in a Catholic community on campus.

As this census is a CSA project, it will involve all ministries as well as its respective officers and subcomms. On behalf of the exco, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those who have volunteered to help out with this census. The census itself will start next week and we hope to complete it by the end of the following week. We will assign each census group to cover one of the 16 halls. Each group has the freedom to choose the day to conduct the census before the 2-week period.

This census is, so far, the only way for us to make CSA more accessible to people who are still not in our database. However, it is not about creating memberships and not about numbers. Our census is about us reaching out to others and inviting them to be part of our family. Let us, therefore, play our part in this meaningful project.

Warmest regards,

Marcel Prayogo


(For those willing to volunteer for census, please contact Marcel at 93446929 or Randy at 94833732. You may also express your interest through the comment section of this blog.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A little something...

Here's a little poem I dug up while clearing out my room today. I have no recollection who gave it to me (if it's even mine for that matter...) or when it was given, but I think it's a sweet little poem so I thought I'd share it with everyone.

THE MIRACLE OF FRIENDSHIP
There's a Miracle called "Friendship"
That dwells within the heart
And you don't know how it happens
Or when it gets its start

But the happiness it brings you
Always gives a special lift
And you realize that friendship
Is God's most precious GIFT.

Hope you liked it. Have a great week ahead people! =)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Are you jealous on my account?"

I thought this weekend's Scripture readings were a very good reminder of how we should not be close-minded to the working of God and His Holy Spirit just because it does not come to the "right person", or at the "right time" or the "right place". In this new academic year, let us challenge ourselves to look at people and situations not with our own biasness, but with the eyes of God - who can turn all things into good.