A Year of Writing: Fool’s Bench

Hello readers! Like I’ve said before, time really flies. Exactly a year ago on this day, I announced and launched Fool’s Bench with my first 4 posts. And since then, it has become a weekly rhythm of mine to write something fun or inspiring to just share it with all of you.

At times, ideas came easy and I would have a lot to write about. On other occasions, I struggled to even type a word. But no matter what, I am so glad and thankful for all the support and encouragement I got in the past year from my friends and readers – you.

Thank you for your kind words, affirmation and comments every single week. It is because of you that I know I am making a little difference through the Internet. And that keeps me writing.

So I can’t believe it, but this is my 63rd post! And what’s a better way to celebrate this day than to look back at some (well, actually 30 lol) of the posts that were written here in the past year? Come on, let’s travel back to a year ago. 😄

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Written exactly a year ago at the launch of Fool’s Bench, this post describes what my church is to me.
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Originally a sermon by Pastor Lia, “Ambidextrous Faith” talks about having faith in our battles and finding strength in God.
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One of my first few attempts at writing something creative, haha.
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Written out of a personal revelation, this post shows you from just ONE chapter alone, how amazing the Word of God can be.
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On Thanksgiving last year, I wrote about my incredible pastors & leaders in church.
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One of my personal favorites, “Star Wars for Beginners” is to this date, the most read article on Fool’s Bench.
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Never too late to read my first post of 2016.
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My favorite movies from 2015!
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Memories.
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More than just a song.
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“Every saint has a past; every sinner has a future.”
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“You never get what you want in life. You only get what you prepare for.”
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“Why I Enjoyed” is a series of posts where I talk casually about recent movies I’ve watched. “Zootopia” is still one of the best in 2016.
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On Good Friday, I wrote a short post about our imperfect world and what we can do about it.
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The April Fools’ joke that pranked hundreds of people.
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Every 3 months, I write about upcoming movies that I am looking forward to.
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I believe. Do you?
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A post dedicated to Pastor Lia on her birthday this year.
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This is the second guide that I’ve written about a fictional universe. I’m such a geek.
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Don’t just breathe. Live.
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One of the funniest posts I’ve written. Or at least I think so.
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The 50th post on Fool’s Bench.
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First post after a one-month break. These people are awesome.
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Witness how “funny” me and my friends are.
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Could our current pain have a future purpose?
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Heroes can rise out of the most unlikeliest of places.
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Probably the most read post so far in 2016, this post like the movie, was a surprise hit among my friends.
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A new series of short posts that literally kills time with jokes – around 1 minute to be specific.
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Give with the right heart; give cheerfully.
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The last post of Year One describes the journey of a dream.

And that’s it for Year One of Fool’s Bench! Once again, thank you for reading and sharing, and I’ll see you in the next post. 😉

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Dreams

Dreams. There are so many kinds of them. There are the ones that you get while taking a nap in class and the kinds that you get when you get woken up by your teacher. What’s the word for that again? Oh, I believe it’s called a “nightmare”. 😛

Then there are those that you see in movies, you know? The kind that you struggle to understand? *cue Inception music* 😄 But what about those that you’re having right now as you’re reading this? Maybe you have a dream, and it’s not the kind that you have while sleeping. Instead, it’s the kind that keeps you from sleeping, because you’re just too excited about them.

Well, a wise man I know once said, “if you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” I have dreams too. And if there is something I’ve learned from the Bible, my Pastors and the history of my church, it is that dreams require patience, hard work and faith. But believe me, dreams do come true.

We just have to allow ourselves to go through a journey with our dreams! Let’s look at Joseph in the Bible as an example. From his story, we can learn that the journey of a dream goes through 5 stages – birth, delay, death, resurrection and fulfillment.

1. Birth

Joseph had a dream. He knew in his heart that one day, he will be an official, much like the Prime Ministers of our modern day. Do you have a dream? If not, get one and hold on to it.

Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.” – Genesis 37:5

2. Delay

Soon after Joseph told his brothers about the dream that he had, they got jealous of him. They threw him into a pit and sold him away as a slave. Because of this, Joseph’s dream got delayed for many years. Though most of us here will not be sold as slaves or anything like that, we must not be discouraged by delays and frustrations that will come when we chase after our dreams. Dreams do not come to pass overnight!

“Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.” – Genesis 39:20

3. Death

You might think that having our dreams delayed is bad enough, but more often than we would like, our dreams get dashed too. Joseph after becoming a slave stayed a man of character and honor. However, he was thrown into jail! That must have been the lowest moment of his life. He must have felt that his dreams were no more.

We might go through seasons when we doubt ourselves, when things just don’t seem to go the way we intended it to. We might even go through a huge setback like Joseph, and feel like our dreams are dead. But you know what? God will use these times to train us and build us in our character. We will learn to fight discouragements. Dream on!

4. Resurrection

As we keep our character and our dreams, God will remember them. Don’t forget that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life. He was crucified and killed, but He didn’t stay dead. He rose again on the third day! The problem with life is that it is has a way of killing our dreams. Sometimes, we just let our dreams die and stay dead. We must know that just like the God that we serve, our dreams will also be revived as long as we keep the faith.

If you feel that your dreams are dead right now, don’t stop believing. Stay true to your character and stay true to God. Joseph, despite being left in jail, continued to keep his heart pure and even cared for others enough that he would interpret their dreams for them. I believe it is because of the way that he responded to the death of his dream, that God revived it.

5. Fulfillment

And most of you would know the story. Eventually, Joseph helped to interpret the dream of Pharaoh and was promoted to become the Prime Minister of ancient Egypt. You know what we can learn from this? It is that when we make the dreams of others come true, God will see our character & heart and make our dreams come true.

So what is your dream? If you have a dream, go tell somebody about it. Find people who will encourage you, cheer you on, and even help you fulfill that dream. If you don’t have a dream, get one! And get a big one. Dreams will change the way you think, the way you act and the way you live. Dreams will change your life. I have a dream, and it is for this dream that I wake up every morning full of joy and full of purpose; it keeps me going.

Dream on, reader! 😉

10 Jokes Per Minute #2

A few weeks ago, I shared with all of you 10 jokes that can make you laugh (or angry) in approximately one minute. And since quite a few of you responded “pretty well” to it, here I am with the second edition of 10 Jokes Per Minute! lol


1) What do you call security guards at a Samsung store? Guardians of the Galaxy.

2) My friend asked me if I liked her new glasses. I told her “it’s quite a spectacle!”

3) The police came to my door to tell me that my dogs were chasing people on bikes. “No they aren’t,” I said. “My dogs don’t even have bikes.”

4) Why do the riot police like to get to work early? To beat the crowd.

5) How do self-absorbed people screw in a light bulb? By holding the bulb up to the socket and waiting for the world to revolve around them.

6) I wanted to tell you a joke about the iPhone’s headphone jack. But they told me to remove it.

7) What do you call dogs underwater? Sub woofers.

8) I don’t trust people who use graph paper. They’re always plotting something.

9) I can cut a piece of wood in half just by looking at it. It’s true, I saw it with my own eyes.

10) Thanks for explaining the word “many” to me. It means a lot.


And thanks for reading this too. It means a lot… I think! Haha! 😂

Best Finds: The X Factor 2016

A couple of months ago, we were given a preview of the new season of The X Factor. And since then, I’ve been looking forward to it. Finally, it has arrived and just last week, the first week of auditions were aired! Here are my favorite performances from Auditions Week 1.

Samantha Lavery

Watch as 16 year-old Samantah Lavery does her grandpa proud with an Ellie Goulding cover.


Christian Burrows

Christian brings everyone to tears with one of the most honest & heartfelt performances I’ve seen on the show.


Caitlyn Vanbeck

Line by line, song by song and Piece by Piece, Caitlyn will prove all of her bullies wrong.


Saara Aalto

All the way from Finland, meet the cheerful, bubbly and talented Saara.


James Hughes

If this was Britain’s Got Talent, the audience would have given a standing ovation upon hearing the first line.


Emily Middlemas

This performance is a good one to just sit back and chill to. Wish it was longer!


Rebekah Ryan

Rebekah deserves respect for just her courage and strength alone.


Why Do You Give?

Giving is something we do all the time. We give in the form of gifts, time, energy and finances. But today, I want to ask you (and myself), “Why do you give?”

Because while many of us give in different forms, be it to a cause we believe in, to our family and friends, or to the church, this is a very important question that we must ask ourselves so that we give with the right heart. From what I’ve observed from myself and also other people, there are usually 5 reasons why people give.

1. Insecurity

Some people give because when they look around, they see their peers doing it; and in order to sort of fit in or not appear to be selfish, they give too. And while in a way, it is good because they still gave in some way, this kind of giving gets painful in the long run. That’s not how giving is supposed to feel! I believe giving is meant to be a joyful thing.

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

2. Instruction

There are also people who give because someone told them to do so. Maybe it’s a parent, a senior, a leader or an elder. And while it is good that we obey all these people, we must also have our personal convictions in giving. If not, we will eventually be unwilling to give. Giving by instruction is one of the lowest levels of giving. Let’s not stop here!

3. Intention

Then, there are others who give with personal motives. They give out of their own will but there is an expectation for something in return. Some people give to their “friends” so that in the future, they will lend a helping hand when they need it. Some Christians give to the church and to God because they want to be blessed by Him.

While we will be blessed by our loving family and good friends and God will also honor our giving, we must not give with this dangerous mindset. Because there is always a possibility that we will not get anything in return! Are we going to throw a tantrum and stop giving then?

If we give with expectations to get something in return, it is NOT giving, it is buying. You go to the cinema, buy a ticket with your money and expect a great movie. You go to the restaurant, buy an expensive dish and expect a great meal. You go to the store, buy something with your salary and expect a great product. And if it turns out that any of them doesn’t meet your expectations, you’ll get upset.

But this is not how things work with giving! With hidden intentions or expectations in our hearts, we will not be giving, we will only be trying to buy people’s favor and God’s blessings. We want to be givers, not consumers.


So there are people who give out of insecurity, instruction and intention – motivations that makes the spirit of giving temporal, unpleasant and even selfish. But there are also another two groups of people whom I’ve really seen giving with the right attitude, and we want to be just like them.

4. Intimacy

The first of these two groups give because of intimacy. They give out of a heart of love and thankfulness towards someone. It is natural to give to someone whom we love or are intimate with! Have you ever seen how a loving couple would give to each other?

If you’ve ever wondered how to be a “cheerful giver” as described in the Bible verse above, this is it. When we give out of our hearts to love, we will do it cheerfully. We can give without loving, but we can never love without giving. There is a joy in giving to people we love. We are cheerful in doing so. Let’s give with a heart of intimacy towards our friends, family and God.

5. Involvement

Last but not least, there’s also a group of people who gives to be involved. They give to a disaster relief because they want to be involved in helping people. They give to a loved one because they want to be involved in their lives. They give to someone or something that once helped them and now want to be involved in doing the same for others because they are grateful. They give to a vision and a cause they believe in because they want to be involved in making a difference – in changing the world.

Today, let’s give out of intimacy. Let’s give to be involved in something greater than ourselves. Most importantly, give with a smile on your face. God loves a cheerful giver, but I believe a cheerful giver also loves God.

10 Jokes Per Minute

It’s a Friday night and I’m on a long bus ride home. What do I do? Share some jokes I found on the Internet with all of you of course! Random much? Well, wait till you hear these following jokes. 😂


1) Why do spies never use capital letters? Because they like to stay low-key.

2) 19 and 20 got into a fight. 21. 

3) If I cuold time travel, I would fix my spelling.

4) I went for a job interview today and the manager said he was looking for someone who is responsible. I told them that I was the perfect choice because in my last job, whenever anything went wrong, everyone would say that I’m responsible.

5) My friend asked me to describe myself in three words. I said “lazy”.

6) What did the Indian boy say to his mother before he left for school? “Mumbai!”

7) If right now I’ll get 50 cents for every Mathematics exam I’ve failed, I’ll have $6.30!

8) I once had a goldfish that could break-dance on a carpet; but only for like 20 seconds.

9) What’s heavier, a kilogram of bricks or a kilogram of feathers? A kilogram of feathers – because now you would also have to carry the weight of what you did to those poor birds.

10) People used to laugh at me when I told them that I wanted to become a comedian. Well, nobody is laughing now.


Alright, that’s enough for tonight. Hopefully the 10 jokes above have made your minute(s) reading them a little more joyful? Haha, have a good night and I’ll see you in the next post. 😄

Why I Enjoyed: Train to Busan

In case you’re wondering, this post is spoiler free.

It’s been a week since Train to Busan has been released in my country and it has already gained widespread recognition among critics and audiences. Almost everybody that I know of that have watched the movie recommends it. So of course, I got very excited and decided to catch it with some friends as well! And I did not regret it at all. Train to Busan is not your ordinary typical zombie film, and here’s why I enjoyed it so much.

1. It is not THAT scary

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As a person that can’t stand horror at all, I was pleasantly surprised to know that Train to Busan is more of a thriller than it is a horror movie. And that is why I even went to the cinema to catch it at all! While a lot of zombie films are horrifying, the “scare” factor isn’t the focus in this one. Just think Jurassic Park, but take away the Velociraptors and replace them with zombies. That’s the kind of thrill I am talking about. But I must say though, there are a few jump scares cleverly placed throughout the movie. 😄

2. It is watchable

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Gore is something that is frequently associated with zombie films and video games. And for some people like myself, it can be discomforting if brought to the extreme (even though the show/movie can be really good). Thankfully, Train to Busan balances out the amount of violence  & bloodshed, and tones it down a little bit in that area. Hence, it does not feature over-the-top graphic violence and gore, making the ride a little nicer. Oops, no pun intended. 😉

3. It engages you from start to finish

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Train to Busan isn’t just watchable, it is great. And that is because it keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Like I said, this movie is essentially a thriller. And I must say, it has done the “thrilling” part super well. Literally, from the moment the on-screen chaos breaks out to the very last frame of the movie, your heart is kept beating quickly and your adrenaline left rushing as you are immersed in the intense situations the characters are put in.

4. It is touching and emotional

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The reason why Train to Busan awed me is because it is different from many of the zombie films that I know of. If you think only romance films or family films can touch you and make you cry, be prepared to be proven wrong. Train to Busan shows that zombie films can hold more than just horror and thrill. Expect K-drama levels of emotions, people.

5. It features awesome actors as great characters

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One of the best things about the story of Train to Busan is probably its characters. They display both the worst and the best of humanity. The evil ones show us how the zombies might not be the real monsters in the movie while the good ones show us how selflessness is what it means to be human. You will hate a few characters but also love certain other characters.

So if you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend, this is a good one to experience. Catch the Train to Busan for a thrilling yet emotional ride.