A fresh start.

Hi everyone! I know I have been inactive on this blog for a really long time, but in case any of you still follows this blog and sees this – I just wanted to let you know that I started a new blog (literally like 30 minutes ago)!

I will not be removing this blog, but neither will I be using this for future posts anymore. So if you would like to, follow my new blog instead!

See you around, readers.

The Movies of Q3 2017

Hi readers! It’s the first day of July; which means we have officially entered into the second half of the year and also a brand new quarter with brand new movies to look out for! Here are some films from around the world I am interested to see.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I think “interested to see” is an understatement for how I feel about this movie. No, I am more than excited to watch it. As a fan of Marvel Studios’ works, 2017 has got to be one of the most “blessed” years for me. It’s only been a couple of months since we had Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and now, we are going to have Spider-Man: Homecoming. This is a fresh & different origin story for Spidey, Tony Stark is going to be in it and Tom Holland plays & fits his role so well. Do we need more reasons to watch it?

Dunkirk

The Dark Knight trilogy. Inception. Interstellar. You have probably heard of and enjoyed these films a lot. Well, behind all of them are a great team and the amazing director Christopher Nolan. And now, he has a new film. With that alone, I am already sold for this movie. But considering how it is also based on an inspiring true story about the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from a difficult situation, I think this will be something I’ll catch the moment it releases.

The Dark Tower

Now this is a film that really intrigued me. Based on the highly acclaimed The Dark Tower series by famous author Stephen King and serving as a continuation of it, this movie brings to the big screen an even bigger universe full of characters, worlds and stories to discover. Blending multiple genres such as fantasy, science-fiction, horror and Western, this looks to be a cool movie to get into the cinema for.

Wind River

I know what you are thinking – Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch solving a crime together. Haha, though a movie with that plot would be pretty awesome, this is nothing like that. Starring familiar actors Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, this is a crime thriller that will appeal to people who enjoy mysteries, just like me. Sure hope it releases in Singapore soon!

American Assassin

If you have watched him in the Maze Runner films, you would know that Dylan O’Brien is a young rising star. But this time, instead of playing a teenager in a dystopian world, he is an American assassin (duh), trained to fight and thwart terrorists operations. I am personally looking forward to seeing the character developments and interactions in the movie. Hope that us Singaporeans will get a release date for this film too!

Stronger

I always loved movies that are inspirational and uplifting. So I am glad to see that there is one we can look forward to in the next few months. Based on a true story from the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the film tells the story of Jeff Bauman, a victim who lost both his legs in the incident, yet showed the world that what doesn’t kill you, truly can make you stronger. Jake Gyllenhaal is going to be phenomenal in this, I just know it.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

“Being a Kingsman is more than the clothing we wear or the weapons we bear. It is about being willing to sacrifice for the greater good.” One of the best spy movies I’ve watched in recent years is back with a sequel! The first film had some of the greatest action sequences, musical scores and unforgettable moments I’ve seen in any action movie, and I can’t wait to see more of it again in The Golden Circle. Never has suits and umbrellas been so cool…

… and I guess if I can catch all these films, it will be cool!

And that is my “must-watch” list from July to September. Maybe you will enjoy these films too? Haha. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

Freedom

Based on a sermon by Pastor Lia.

“But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”‭‭ – Psalms‬ ‭22:3‬

God isn’t just found in our hearts, in the Bible, in church or in Heaven. He also lives in our worship to Him. Wherever His name is lifted on high, there His presence will be.

The Christ-centered songs we sing alone in our bedrooms or together with the congregation in church are not like other songs.

It is not for good vibes, fun or hype. It is neither for a performance, nor a karaoke! It is a form of praise the Bible describes as something that welcomes God to take a seat in our midst.

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:11‬

In the presence of God, there is fullness of joy! We get to experience a true joy and sense of freedom no other thing in this world can give. Once you have experienced the pure pleasures of praising Him and being in His presence, the pleasures of this world will fade in comparison.

If you have never encountered Christ before in the way that I’ve described, believe in Him. Seek Him with all your heart and lift up His name in songs of praise and I assure you, your life will be changed from the inside out.

It really isn’t hard to worship. In fact, we have the privilege to do so anytime, anywhere. Put aside all distractions, press in and focus on God.

As we do so, especially as a church, there is great power. Remember that once we step into church, we are a part of a big family. And though God will impact individual lives, we must now think for the people around us more than just ourselves.

When we worship and lift up praises to Him, we are actually giving to build the faith atmosphere in the house of God. The Bible says that “without faith it is impossible to please Him”. Instead of just receiving from the atmosphere, we are producing an atmosphere in which God can move to touch the lives of others.

“Let God arise, Let His enemies be scattered; Let those also who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, So drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭68:1-2‬

Worship is powerful. Worship is warfare. A man’s worship can bring the presence of God that holds power to change lives and drive out evil. Imagine a church of thousands united in worship. We will shake the gates of Hades.

So the next time you hear a church singing passionately and loudly, don’t be taken aback. We just can’t help but praise Jesus.

Pardon the noise. It’s the sound of freedom.

Arise

Based on a sermon by Pastor How.

“The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭14:2-3‬

Through the ages, God has always been looking for that one man or woman. He constantly searches for that one person who would rise up to make a difference in their generation. Just one is all God needs. Though not many, there are heroes throughout history who have answered His call.

Today, God continues His search. He looks at our schools, workplaces, army camps, communities, businesses, and even social media for the ones who would make a difference in this generation. It’s time for us to arise.

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” ‭‭- Ezekiel‬ ‭22:30‬ ‭

God is just looking for one! One can make a difference. However, there is a short universal supply of young men and women who will seek God and hear His call. We can be the ones to do so. Instead of thinking it’s someone else or anyone else, why not think it’s no one else… but us?

There is great need around us in these times. And only the love & power of God displayed through us can comfort and restore hope in the people around us.

“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” – Genesis 2:4-6

In the Bible, rain speaks about revival. God wants to send “rain” into our classrooms, offices, homes and lives. He wants to bring love, joy, peace, faith, miracles and reconciliation, among many other things into our midst!

However, God does not send the rain when there is no man to till the ground and do the hard work. Instead, He sends a mist. A mist is nice, but it’s nothing like rain. So the question is – do we only just want a mist in our lives? Or do we want to experience a rain too?

Don’t be satisfied with just a mist, reader. Arise! Arise to serve, lead and pray. If there is no one to take care of a harvest when it comes, it will all rot and perish! In the same way, if there is no one taking care of a revival when it comes, it will fade away.

God is waiting for us to rise up. If nobody is going to do anything, let us do something. Around us, people are hurting, dissatisfied with their lives, struggling with insecurities, trying to find a meaning for their existence; the list goes on and on.

All they need is for someone to rise up, love them and point them to Christ. Of course, it might not be easy all the time. But with God, all things are possible. He wants to change history and the world through us.

Maybe we won’t change the world as how heroes like Martin Luther King Jr. did. But we can change our world and make a difference wherever we are. It all starts with one. With one, God can multiply.

I believe the church that I belong to already existed in Heaven and in God’s imagination a long time ago. But before it became a reality, He was waiting for someone to rise up. And my pastors did. They worked hard, believed in the next generation and loved people despite their flaws. Even today, their heart for God and for others remain the same.

That’s why God sent the rain. That’s why I have a church now to call Home. That’s why I’m here writing to you today. So if you want great change, miracles and revivals to happen in your life and around you, arise. Seek God & His direction and go.

Never think that you are not good enough to do something significant. Here’s one last verse to encourage you.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” – ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭

Even though the apostles Peter and John were presumably uneducated and untrained, they could still make a difference! The Bible even mentioned that God impacted 5000 people through them.

What does that mean for us today? It means that it doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, you can make a difference. It doesn’t matter whether you have a diploma, a degree or a PHD, you can make a difference. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in church for a year or 5 years, or if you see yourself as trained or as a leader, it all doesn’t matter! As long as you are with Jesus, He will be with you and you can do anything.

So what are you waiting for? Arise.

The Movies of Q1 2017

It felt like yesterday that we were just talking about movies at the end of 2016, but here we are in February 2017! Here are some movies I’m looking to watch from now all the way through to March! Maybe you would be interested in watching them too?

The Space Between Us

If you know me, you will know that I love anything that has to do with science-fiction. And this is why I’m excited for this movie. It’s probably going to be my first sci-fi film of the year! But more than that, it’s actually a romance film. Telling the love story between a boy from Mars and a girl from Earth, I’m hoping this film will be as beautiful as it looks.

The Lego Batman Movie

A spin-off from 2014’s The Lego Movie; what else is there to say about this? It’s LEGO and it’s Batman. This combination is going to bring loads of fun to the big screen and I can’t wait to just catch it with my friends who love animation!

John Wick: Chapter 2

If you would love to have a good action film to watch over Valentine’s Day this year, you have one. A sequel to the 2014 hit film John Wick, this action thriller looks to slay once again. Starring The Matrix star Keanu Reeves, John Wick: Chapter 2 sees the returning of a legendary hitman and his face-off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

Logan

For some reason, watching this trailer gets me slightly emotional. Maybe it’s the fact that this will be the final portrayal of Wolverine by Hugh Jackman. Maybe it’s the reality that this will be Patrick Stewart’s final appearance as Professor X. Or maybe it is the knowledge that this will be the conclusion of Logan’s story after 17 years. Whatever it is, I’m watching this.

Before I Fall

Imagine for some reason, you get trapped in a day, having to live it again and again and again. How would you make this day different and special each time you live it? Before I Fall explores that idea and looks to be really interesting. Got to catch it!

The Shack

Based on the book of the same name, this movie talks about a father’s journey through loss and his struggle with faith. Looking at the trailer and reading just the synopsis of the story, I can’t help but feel this could be one of the most uplifting films these next few months.

Table 19

Now this looks really light-hearted and interesting. This film talks about the story of an unlikely group of friends who met at a wedding table reserved for the most “unwanted” guests. What kind of sparks will fly and what tales will follow from their first meeting? We shall find out in this comedy film starring Anna Kendrick.

Kong: Skull Island

Set in the same universe as 2014’s monster film Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island brings the iconic beast back on the big screen! I remember when I was really young, King Kong (2005) was one of my favorite films as a kid. So I’m just excited to see what fresh take this film is going to have on Kong. And not to mention, it has a stellar cast too!

Beauty and the Beast

Now this is one of the highlights of the year for me in terms of movies. It just looks so amazing and seems to pay so much homage to the original animated film that we all watched when were little. The cast is so fitting of their roles, the visuals are stunning and the soundtrack so beautiful. I think we are all going to feel really nostalgic when March comes.

Power Rangers

As if the last 2 films I talked about weren’t enough to bring back childhood memories, here comes another one! Every 90’s kid would remember the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, so this film would be another major throwback for many of us! Can’t wait to see a whole new portrayal and imagination of our childhood superheroes.

Life

Probably the second science fiction film that I’m going to watch this year, Life explores the possibility of alien life (hence the name) in space, and as seen from the trailer, things don’t go very well for the scientists. Looks like an intense thriller I’d like to catch for sure!

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The last film on this list is going to have to be this drama film set in World War II. Based on the true story of how a couple saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during the Occupation of Poland, this film is going to portray both the terrors of war and the existence of heroes in our world.

And that’s it for my list of movies to watch until the end of March! Do you have any movies that you’re looking forward to that isn’t listed here? Let me know your thoughts and as always, thank you for reading.

Why I Enjoyed: Hacksaw Ridge

This is a spoiler-free article. 

Hi reader! How are you? It’s been 4 months since I wrote to you through this blog, and the last time I did, I was telling you about some upcoming movies. Can’t believe more than a quarter of a year has passed again, but today, I’m going to be talking about one of those movies that has recently hit the shores of my country. It has been the talk of the town and especially among my friends in the past few weeks. By now, you would know that this film is none other than Hacksaw Ridge.

Starring Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge is a film that tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian who served as a combat medic during World War II – never using a single weapon.

This was the first film I’ve watched in 2017 and I had zero regrets doing so. If you haven’t caught it, I highly recommend you to do so. Here’s why.

1. It’s very Real

img05

“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.”

This is a film about real people and real events. It’s about war. And though I’m not a fan of gore, I must say that the depiction of war in this film is very real. You could just feel a heaviness in your heart as you watch it. What a reminder to us that hate, violence and conflict is never fun or a solution without cost.

2. It’s Engaging

img10

“While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it.”

As soon as you step into the cinema and the film starts, you’ll be hooked. That’s exactly how I felt. If you think only the battle sequences will grip you, you will be pleasantly surprised that that’s not the case. From the start to the end, I was fully engaged (you can ask my friends who were beside me). It is an intense war film yes, but it is also one with a compelling story.

3. It talks about Love

img01

“Please Lord, help me get one more.”

Even though Hacksaw Ridge isn’t a romance film, it is still essentially a film about love. There are a handful of tender moments between Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer’s onscreen characters, but more than that, this is a film about a man’s love for God and the lives of others before anything else, even before himself.

4. It talks about Convictions

img04

“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”

If there’s one word I can use to describe this film, I think I would choose “inspiring” above any other word. And that is mostly because of the portrayal of Desmond Doss’ unwavering convictions. Without spoiling the details so that you can be inspired firsthand, all I can say is, go watch the movie yourself!

5. It honors real world Heroes

desmond-doss

“With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.”

Probably one of the best things that I loved about this film is how it gave honor to one of the greatest heroes in our history. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in what Desmond Doss believed in. He’s still a hero. And I’m glad that that are people celebrating him and his deeds even today. Because what we celebrate we elevate. If we stop honoring our heroes, soon we will not have heroes left to honor.

Have you watched Hacksaw Ridge? If not, go catch it with your family and friends this weekend!

The Movies of Q4 2016

Once again, another quarter of the year is around the corner. And with it, comes many more movies we all want to watch. In fact, I think these next three months could be the most exciting season for movies this year, judging by the amount of movies I am looking forward to. There are in total 12 (the most there has been on my quarterly watch list this year) films that I think would end off 2016 pretty well! Here are the reasons why I am going to the cinema this holiday season between October and the end of December.

The Accountant

This year seems to have been a really busy year for Ben Affleck, in a good way. After appearing in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, the actor is going to appear in yet another three films in the next one year. More than that, he is going to direct one of it as well as the upcoming Batman movie which he is also starring in. The Accountant will be the latest film to feature his talents as an actor and I think the film has an interesting vibe to it and I can’t wait to see it. Watch the trailer above.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Tom Cruise is back and he still doesn’t look his age. Taking on the role of Jack Reacher once again, he gets involved in what seems to be a conspiracy and must uncover it to clear the name of a friend. From the trailer, I honestly think that we will see one of the coolest cinematic heroes of the year from this movie. That confidence and that skill is just epic.

Doctor Strange

As you all would know, every installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets me pumped. And this is no different for Doctor Strange. What’s more, the cast looks amazing. We have Benedict Cumberbatch, one of my favorite actors playing the titular character! What did we do to deserve this? LOL. But jokes aside, I am excited to see a new hero on the big screen, and the film just feels very different from the rest of the MCU films. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to affect and shift the universe around it.

Hacksaw Ridge

Once in awhile, you get one of those films that teaches you something and inspires you. Hacksaw Ridge looks to be that kind of film. Starring Andrew Garfield, the film tells the true story of Desmond T. Doss, an American soldier who refused to use any weapon or to kill during his service in World War II. I can’t wait to see The Amazing Spider-Man actor once again, but most of all, a movie about staying true to your personal convictions would be something I’ll definitely watch.

Arrival

2016 has so many science-fiction films, I’m not even complaining. If you thought that movies like Independence Day and Star Trek are the last of movies like these that we will see in 2016, you’re wrong. I love Sci-Fi movies and would gladly watch a good one any day. So that is why I am happy to say that there are three more science-fiction films to watch just in these next three months alone! The first one is Arrival, and unlike the action packed spectacles we have seen this year, it looks really different and intriguing.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter was my childhood as much as I know it is for most of you reading this. So you would understand the nostalgia that you get while watching the trailer for Fantastic Beasts right? Especially when the recognizable soundtrack plays? How can we miss this film? It is a spin-off and prequel to one of our favorite stories! Set in the same universe as the Harry Potter series, but in an earlier era, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is probably one of the most anticipated films of the year. Got to catch it!

Moana

Walt Disney Animation Studios are back! It seemed like only yesterday that we were talking about Zootopia, and now we have another Disney animated film on the horizon. But I am happy though. It is like a blessing to have two Disney animated films in one year alone. What’s more, it seems that Disney has been doing a consistently good job with their recent animated features. From Frozen to Big Hero 6 to Zootopia, all of these films were so different in concept and plot, yet Disney delivered. I believe that Moana will be the same. New idea, new story, new princess and The Rock. What could go wrong?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The exciting movies just keep coming and coming, doesn’t it? We have Marvel, Disney, Harry Potter and now we have Star Wars. What a crazy last quarter of the year it will be. Rogue One tells A Star Wars Story that takes place between Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars saga. If you’re a fan of Star Wars like me, you would know what I am talking about. If not, go watch some Star Wars. You know not how exciting life as a Star Wars fan has been since The Force Awakens last year. And the best thing is that it’ll continue for years to come.

Collateral Beauty

Imagine being able to meet Love, Time & Death as actual people and having a conversation with them. How would your life change? This movie explores that idea and looks really profound; the trailer gave me the chills. If there is a movie that I will watch this Christmas season (other than Star Wars), it will be this one. Love the cast, love the ideas and love the setting. A must-watch for me.

Assassin’s Creed

To all the gamers out there, I know this is one movie you’re looking forward to. Personally, I enjoyed Warcraft earlier this year, so I’m hoping that Assassin’s Creed will be good too or even better! This will be my second time seeing Michael Fassbender this year after X-Men: Apocalypse, and I am looking forward to seeing a cool performance from him as well. To the general crowd, yes, Assassin’s Creed is a video game. And now, it’s going to become a movie too.

Sing

Disney isn’t the only one that are releasing two animated movies this year. The makers of Despicable Me who are most recently known for The Secret Life of Pets, are going to give us another treat in the world of animations. Sing looks to be a movie about chasing your dreams and has a lot of singing too! It’s like The X Factor with animated animals and a story. Haha, looks like we are going to be occupied with animated films this holiday – Moana on Thanksgiving and Sing on Christmas.

Passengers

Remember what I said just now about science-fiction films? Here’s another one, and probably the last one that will be released this year in the Sci-Fi genre. While Arrival has a mysterious and dramatic feel to it, and Rogue One feels big and epic, Passengers comes in to offer a different taste of a science-fiction thriller. Starring beloved actors Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, it seems to be one heck of a ride. And honestly, if this is the last film I will watch this year, I don’t think I’ll mind at all.

So what do you think? Isn’t the last quarter of 2016 the highlight in terms of movies? Let me know what movies you would include in your “must-watch” list!