Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Miracle of Alvin

On Sunday, someone shared the most powerful testimony I have ever heard in my life so far. It was a first hand testimony of someone whose life was literally saved by the Lord.

Alvin was a young chap who was doing some renovation work for one of the church members when he suffered sickness that resulted in collapsed lungs.

Ending up with 2% lung function, he had to be put on a lung machine in the hospital to help him breathe. Pastors and church members alike prayed for him, but there was no improvement. Put on sedatives, he ended up in a 2 month coma instead, and became a shriveled 40 kg of skin and bones.

One night, the lung machine failed. He stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating.

Alvin found himself looking at his body on the hospital bed and the nurses rushing in to check on him.

The nurses called the doctors. They took a look and asked the nurses to wait another 30 minutes. Alvin tried desperately to go back into his body, but to no avail. He prayed to God to help him, but no answer came.

30 minutes passed. The doctors came in, and pronounced him officially dead, at 11.45 pm. They switched off the lights in the ICU room and left.

Alvin was left alone in the room with his body beside him. He prayed to God to take him to the better place, since his time has come. Suddenly, a bright light came out from the wall.

Alvin walked towards the light. And woke up.

The next morning, the doctors could not believe that he was alive.

Months later, they also could not believe that he had recovered 90% of his lung function.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leadership & Obama

An article at the Huffington Post today caught my eye, and I think succinctly sums up Barack Obama's leadership of America so far.

I have never thought much of him during the campaign last year, when I was actually rooting for Hillary Clinton, who, despite labels of being a bookish technocrat, actually showed much more passion and conviction.

True, Obama often tend to speak more eloquently than Clinton, but does he have it inside? Is it in his bones? I have more than enough first hand experience of leaders who can speak really well but clearly is unable to follow them through with real, preserving action.

His actions thus far has been too data driven and too reality driven, not that data and realism are bad things, but if they are the only considerations, then he is not leader, just a mid-level manager.

Vision, passion and beliefs are all things that come from the gut, and not from dry data. Out of these things come courage, conviction and boldness to act. And most important of all, it is critical to get a sense, a feel, if you will, of the people that you are leading, otherwise leaders will end up barking up the wrong tree.

I really wish Obama well, but I am afraid he will end being remembered for being too cautious, too timid, in a turbulent time in the world where bold and courageous leadership were needed.

I end with a quote from the article:

"...a transformational president has to move the Congress -- and the public, if need be -- beyond the limits of where they thought they were prepared to go."


I guess in this age of overcommercialization, my story is not really such a surprise after all.

It started innocently enough. On Sunday I had a slight sore throat, but was beginning to get the chills and body aches. Come Monday morning, I decided to see a GP at Pusat Bandar Puchong. The lady doctor I met seemed skeptical of my condition, it sounded like she thought I was just trying to get an MC to avoid work on a Monday morning :)

Nevertheless, she declared that I had a viral infection and gave me some Panadols and NSAIDS. Now for those of you who do not know the difference between viral and bacterial infections, in terms of treatments what it means for the case of bacterial is that you get to have antibiotics to help you, while for viral you basically have to rely on your body's immune system. She even checked my throat and declared it "nothing".

I was miserable the whole Monday despite the medication, and on Tuesday, decided to go back to the same clinic. This time it was a male doctor. Again. he took a look at my throat and didn't think it was serious. He thought the NSAID I was prescribed was not suitable and gave me another type.

So, again, I spent the whole of Tuesday with body aches and fever, cursing my immune system for not doing its job. Finally, at 6 pm, I decided to go to a hospital to do a blood test (just in case its dengue) and a second opinion.

The lady doctor took a very close look at my throat, and said "You have very bad tonsilitis, can already see pus coming out". I was like, huh? I told her my GP said it was viral infection. She just smiled and didn't say anything. The dengue blood test confirmed that I was fighting a bacterial infection.

So, finally armed with some antibiotics, I suffered for another 1 hour before it kicked in. Relief, at last!

So, lesson learned. Don't trust your GP 100%. If you have doubts, always get a second opinion, after all, its your body and your health.

But I still don't understand how two different doctors from the same clinic can get it wrong. Maybe they think alike? Maybe they were just too overloaded and had mentally formed certain opinions about people like me? Anyway, having lost my trust, I doubt I will be going there anymore.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


No, not promoting an old Terminator movie. but something that I have been involved in for the past one year :)

I think a lot of us grew up with more questions about the meaning of life, God and the hereafter than we could manage to cope. With the busyness of our lives, they tend to stay in a corner at the back of our minds, to be taken out and thought about once in a while.

I was in this same boat, until I encountered someone who decided to fearlessly take on these questions. If dinasours lived millions of years ago, how can we reconcile it with how God supposedly created us? Does science make belief in God irrelevant? Is there a God, and if there is, why should we believe and worship Him?

Dr. Ron Choong is one of a kind, someone who dared to face these questions head on and was able to gain clarity and understanding to them.

If you've ever been haunted by any of these questions, why not take the opportunity to hear what Dr. Ron has to say? He will be in PJ, Malaysia in January 2010 to do a series of seminars that covers these topics. You can get more details and register at the ACT Asia website.

Just in case you're wondering what T3 stands for - its Thinking Things Through. So be warned, the seminars are not the usual Christian talks, they will really make you rethink your ideas and presumptions :)

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