The Silver Bullet

The “silver bullet” is a term we assign to a “one-size-fits-all” strategy for the things we do in our lives. Typically, we lump similar tasks and actions together and we train ourselves to treat them all like the same thing – to do them with the same approach, method, or mentality and hope to reap the same rewards from each of those tasks. The main benefit we see from living our lives with a “silver bullet” mentality is that it allows us to get more things done in life. We can be more efficient in saving time, energy and money (all valuable resources) by recycling our methods and strategies for multiple things. As a simple example, parents can feed their two children two different dishes for lunch, or they could adopt a “silver bullet” mentality and cook the same thing for both their children. We hear our parents complain about this all the time, that it’s much less time consuming to cook one thing (but make twice the amount) than to cook two different things; not to mention that it may be cheaper to cook in bulk rather than in small quantities. But what does the Bible have to say about this sort of mentality, and how are Christians meant to use or not use this “one size fits all” strategy?

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SMAC Wisdom Camp

If you want a more concise recount of our church camp I recommend you read Sharon’s one. This one is not for the faint-hearted haha! Oh and trust me, it will be full of surprises.

 

I will not divide this post into 3, one for each of our three days over the weekend, because we only had the night of Friday and the morning of Sunday so it’s not really three days; it’s not even two for that fact.

 

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Theme Song

Our camp theme song was “We Belong to the Day”, completely fell in love (or “Suki ni natte shimatta” – recognize this Sharon?) with this song at next gen, Shaz probably did too which is why it became our camp song for this year. But that’s not what I meant by this subheading. I, too, always have a theme song for each small section of my life, something out of my usual routine. If my life was an anime then I’d be shoving new theme songs customarily whenever there was something random and long, like this camp. Last year the theme song was “ALONES” by Aqua Timez; usually the theme song is one that matches my emotions at the time, which it did last year, check the lyrics. But I don’t choose the song, it’s just whatever song I’m obsessed with at the time; it’s always strange coincidence that the lyrics match how I feel. So this year my personal theme song was:

 

Sakura Rock by CHERRYBLOSSOM

Download available here.

 

Romaji lyrics

aitakute koishikute hanarete
ano hi wa mou konai

 

toushin dai no jibun tooku no kimi ni te o furou agero
PUT YOUR HANDS UP. YEAH. OH.

 

awai kaori ga tadayou kisetsu ga meguri kuru
kokoro hazumaseteita koro ga ima yomigaeru yo
hajimete koi o shitanda nanimo kamo kagayaiteita
sukoshi no jikan de sae mo issho ni toki o kizandeita

 

sakura saita ki no shita de kimi no koe o
harukaze ga jamashite kikoe nai
sayonara janai to negatta

 

aitakute koishikute hanarete
ano hi no egao ga maichitte
itsumade mo to chikatta kimi wa mou inai
kanau nara sakura ga maioriru rainen no ima mo
kata narabe shashin demo toritai na ano hi wa mou konai

 

aitai mienai te no hira
hora hanabira sora ni hikaru hoshi ga
kizuguchi o tsuzukun da
mou koi nante shinai yo
kimi ni ichiban ii takatta

 

ame ga futte futanin de haitta kasa mo
machiawase shita ano eki mo
mou hitori ja ikitaku nai yo

 

suki datta kakokei na tegami wa imasara iranai
wakaregiwa yasashiku suru nara soba ni ite hoshii
kuru hazu no nai basho de ano hi o matteru
hitori bocchi no boku o
omoide no ano kyoku o chiisai koe de utau

 

mou koi nante shinai yo nante tada no uso de
mou wasurerare nai nante tada no joudan de
wasuretaku nakute kekkyoku kimi ni koishite itai yo

 

aitakute koishikute hanarete
ano hi no egao ga maichitte
itsumade mo to chikatta kimi wa mou inai

 

RAJIO kara ano kyoku futanin de ita heya de
shizen to namida ga afurederu
wakaregiwa no egao ga ichiban itoshiku mieta

 

sakase you sakura ga maiorite
yowai jibun kara nukedaseru
namida no oto kanaderu senritsu o utau
RAJIO kara haru no uta mou sonna kisetsu ne
sayonara o gutto nomikonda
omoide no ichi PEEJI iro azayaka ni nokoru

 

 

English Translation

I want to see you, I miss you, we’re apart
That day will never come again

 

My life-sized self, I’ll wave to you in the distance, raise your hand
Put your hands up. Yeah. Oh.

 

The season comes when you can smell something faint in the air
Now I’m reliving that time when my heart was full of life
I fell in love for the first time, everything was shining back then
Even if it was only for a short time, we made our mark together

 

Beneath the blooming cherry blossom trees
The spring breeze blows and I can’t hear your voice
I prayed you weren’t saying goodbye

 

I want to see you, I miss you, we’re apart
That day’s smiles flutter to the ground
You promised it would last forever but you’re not here anymore
If my wish comes true then cherry blossoms will fall again next year
I want to take a photo side by side, that day will never come again

 

I want to see you, I can’t see what’s in my palm
See? A petal, the stars that shine in the sky
Just poke at my wounds
What I wanted to tell you the most
Was that I’d never fall in love again

 

That station where we’d meet
And hide under an umbrella in the rain
Is a place I can’t go to by myself anymore

 

“I loved you,” I don’t need a letter with that past tense phrase
If you’re kind when we break up, I’ll want you to stay with me
I’ll be all alone in a place where you’ll never return
Waiting for that day
And sing that nostalgic song in a quiet voice

 

Saying that I’d never fall in love again was a lie
And I was joking when I said I couldn’t forget you
In the end, I don’t want to forget you, I want to love you

 

I want to see you, I miss you, we’re apart
That day’s smiles flutter to the ground
You promised it would last forever but you’re not here anymore

 

I’m in our room as the radio plays that song
And the tears begin to pour on their own
The smile on your face as you left is what I miss the most

Let’s make the cherry blossoms bloom and fall
I can escape my weak self
I’ll sing a melody with the sound of tears
A spring song plays on the radio, it’s that time of the year again
I’ve accepted your goodbye
A page in my memories will always be colored bright

 

Lyrics by ryougi on 8th March 2009

 

Personally I didn’t know the lyrics to the song and now after reading them, they strangely do mirror my feelings over the weekend; scary. It’s a cute song, ending 8 of the anime Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

 

 

Friday Afternoon

Okay no more delays. Actually let’s start a bit before camp to uni. Had a classic 9-1pm day, 4 hours straight no break. Then went to have lunch with Kelvin, Tim, Jono, Andy. Tim seemed fairly “impressed” with being able to organise 5 people to have lunch together, considering our failed attempt to meet up during the mid-sem break. And I agree with Kelvin when he said: “I just said I was going to have lunch, it’s nothing special.” But bottom line is it was great meeting up to have lunch finally! We’ll have to better sync our timetables next semester.

 

I was pushing the time a bit too far because Nat’s mum said she’ll pick me and my bro up at 3pm; remember: I ended uni at 1pm. Luckily Kelvin also had to leave a tad early so then I wouldn’t have to be the loner that had to leave first. I got home at about 3:20pm, I said that I would to Nat, but I thought I’d actually get home slightly earlier than that. Luckily Nat’s mum didn’t arrive until like 4pm, gave me some time to sleep a bit; it’s been such a tiring week.

 

Might as well bring in the “Jacky” incident here.

 

I have no idea what happened, I thought he had organised everything with Billy and stuff. We had transport arranged and everything for him, and yet he didn’t tell his parents that it was organised T.T” Geez, I went to a lot of trouble calling up Jess at such late notice to organise travel and stuff, and he just pulls out at the last minute. What I hate is people who waste my efforts for them, or people who just waste my effort full stop. It was annoying working things out and then in the end he didn’t come. And probably good too because Nat’s mum didn’t have space in the car for him, so IF he had shown up, I wouldn’t know what to say to him haha!

 

The trip took an hour and so, we were the first ones there >.<” We stayed in umm…a different lodge to last year, closer to the volleyball pit. And here is some more stuff that you didn’t see. After we unloaded everything, checked the rooms and such, we started preparing food and guess what? The cold water tap was broken; broken as in the knob would turn but the metal bit underneath it didn’t. So we had no cold water and I ended up burning myself in hot water trying to wash the lettuce haha! It then came down to me and Nat filling bruit bowls with water from the cabin bathrooms and then pouring them into the kitchen sink; yes that happened, few saw it happen.

 

Eventually people arrived, I can’t remember the order; actually Ed and her mum arrived first, then I forgot the rest. Dinner was rice, with chicken corn sauce and my mum’s chicken wings (why is my mum’s food always the first to go o.0”?) We had a fair number of people at camp this year, so many that this year we had to rent an extra lodge (just a small one); it was the one sort of behind our lodge; I think we shoved the older guys in there haha; us senior guys got shoved in a room FAR away from the noisier girls 😛 and by that I mean Athena and co. and potentially Nat and Eva haha!

 

After dinner we all bummed around, some of us actually starting to study; whipping out our books and all and just getting into it. Kenny was a bit confused at the chaos from everyone arriving late and all; and finally we had an official start at like 9pm; we just had an introduction and that was about it. The rest of the night was free time sort of and we just studied away. Somehow I felt Friday night was wasted because we didn’t do anything camp-related.

 

One funny thing the entire night was this: At some point during the night,    a praying mantis had managed to make its way onto Jess Luk’s back; when we noticed it it gave us a shock.  The praying mantis stayed on Jess and eventually made its way into her hair. She didn’t bother removing it or anything, calling it her pet for the next hour and so. And frankly, it was literally an “hour”. The praying mantis stayed on her for at least an hour. Sometimes it would run around and fall off her, but then she’d offer her finger and it would immediately climb back into her hair. It freak ed a few people out, like Donna. Just to cut things short; it seemed as if woman and bug were becoming fairly close, until it was nearly time to sleep and Jess realized she had lost her pet praying mantis. Oh wait hang on, there it was! Stuck on the bottom of her sandal. Yeah, kind of a bad way to treat your pet, duh! She merely tossed it in the bin, not a flashy funeral for a pet huh?

 

Saturday

Saturday was our main and only complete day. It started with breakfast, which I was late for. Oh no wait before I get to that; let’s backtrack to Friday night.  The rooms were okay, except the showers were really really annoying. At least they weren’t as bad as those communal showers up in Katoomba for next gen. But these showers had a really really weak spray even I could…oh, nevermind =P But yeah showering was a tad annoying; but at least it was better than not showering at all, like for DoE. Oh and if you’ve been reading this post carefully I’ll reward you with this piece of random information that no-one noticed the entire time: I was rushed in packing stuff for camp and in my haste I accidentally forgot to bring spare underwear and stuff. So I was stuck with the same pair of underwear and singlet for all three days hehe ^^ my bad?

 

Anyway soon after breakfast we had our first session. The funny thing was that our speaker for this year, L.J. Custodian,  was a no-show in the morning. He was still apparently on his way; which was funny. However, when he did show up he looked nothing like his photo on Facebook; which goes to reinforce the suspicion that nobody looks like their profile picture on the Internet.

 

Over the course of the day his talks were really good; I particularly liked his tone and pace for his speech. His peaking qualities were very good and clearly different from Kenny so I guess it was a bit easier listening to the talk because it was a new voice. He went through several books over the day (remember, he gave three talks in the one day!) on Job and Ecclesiastes, and one more, someone help me remember haha! But yes it was a good variety of talks from different parts of the Bible and he managed to tie in wisdom very well from all three talks.

 

After the first talk we had Bible study. We leaders had actually tried to prepare for them all on Friday night; but we only managed to get through the first one; by then I was just too dead tired, hence waking up really late on Saturday. I was really having a hard time leading my Bible study group even though there were fewer guys than I had anticipated. But I was dead tired and obviously I perform bad when tired.  We barely got through the first study and I had to really rip answers from them because they weren’t talking much.

 

If I remember right, the second talk came straight after and my group was like: “Are you serious?” Clearly they too were tired from the Bible study, and I knew they were; so it was hard pushing them for the day. The second talk came just a s the first and afterwards we moved again in Bible study groups; that is perhaps the most awkward arrangement of events I’ve seen for a church camp; two sets of talks and Bible studies one after the other T.T” The second study had more discussion-type questions so my group did better here; we finally played into the serious stuff, which was ethics and morals. All I had to do was ask them a scenario question and they’d be talking for a while which was exactly what I wanted. It might not have been Bible-centered but I do have to start somewhere with year 7-9 kids right?

 

Our group had to serve lunch as well so we wrapped up our study as quickly as possible. I was satisfied with what they had accomplished in that half hour. We had sandwich wraps for lunch, you know, your ordinary sort of kebab thing. I’m surprised that my group was willing to serve the way they did, good practice for the future haha; and yes finally we had food for ourselves at the end. The kookaburras also saw us eating and they can by too. It seems they’re more attracted to humans now. I fed one and two more flew by next to it; oh no, I ain’t feeding any more of them haha, my food!

 

After lunch we chilled around for a while until we came to our afternoon game. Funny how lots of people brought their cameras, or had phones that could take decent pictures. Maybe Jess made a lucky guess. We played scavenger hunt for about an hour; finding random stuff all over camp. Unfortunately the things on the list weren’t random enough so that we’d have to look to other people for help. Ha it would’ve been funny if we had to interact with the other camp groups there, although it wouldn’t be nice.

 

Some funny things on the list included a picture of Kenny without his glasses, someone with their toes in the toilet bowl (one group actually had someone shove their foot into the water!!!), and other minor funny things like having a team member tied to a pole, and the entire team doing a handstand at the same time. There wasn’t much competition strange enough, like Kenny eventually donated his face to every group; and we all ended up helping each other find things that other groups couldn’t find. I guess that is ultimately the idea we want to encourage at a Christian camp but then I still believe there can still be fair hard competition while still showing for your competitors.

 

In the afternoon, some people decided to study; hey we have our mid-semester exams this week; and in fact at this point in time, they’re tomorrow for me T.T” so yes we tried to utilize as much time as we could to our studies; it almost became a study camp like every other year haha! It was rather funny. But our study session was mostly disturbed by everyone else who was outside playing grid-iron, with really loud voices as expected. I don’t quite understand why the players say those weird numbers for their “play” and I’ll wager that Kenny didn’t either; with his constant “ready?! 2-4-6-8-HUT!” That was funny to listen to.

 

Eventually it got late and we had dinner. It was our Saturday barbeque dinner as like every year. and every time we keep forgetting to figure out a way to ventilate the area; because our lodge is sealed by windows and all and the smoke from the barbeque just filled the entire lounge area. So everyone sort of suffocated a bit during dinner; oh well. One funny thing here as well: We were all filling out a card for L.J. to thank him for speaking to us. Nat Siu took the card over to the table where L.J. was sitting, she didn’t see him and was like: “Hey guys have you filld the card out for…” *no response* “What’s wrong?” *sees L.J. “Oh!…” *walks away* priceless moment that was!

 

Night Time Games

Well first off at night we had our third talk; man I swear the kids would’ve started wearing out from being spammed by talks all day long haha! Such rigorous training in wisdom. But yes this would be L.J.’s last day, he left soon after. And then we had our games night. I gues it was better to have formal games rather than just play cards and stuff; which we rarely got the chance to.

 

First off we played massive human knot. I’m trying to work out the optimal number of players; last time at Peer Support Leadership camp our groups were about 16? Yet on Saturday night we had more than 30 people partake, which was really rowdy. And then we also had people of different sizes, who sort of got swallowed by the mass and all; they seemed pretty squished and neglected because no-one could see them haha! After 10 minutes we hadn’t solved it; but instead we managed to excavate like small circles of people which was rather funny; like small circles of three who were simply stuck and not connected to the bigger knot.

 

Jess had to call the game off because we weren’t really close to finishing; well we were but somehow there was a strange knot that couldn’t be fixed, not sure if it’s “mathematically” possible to have no solution to the knot; I’m fairly confident that they’re all solvable somehow, oh well. Our second larger game was one of those team games. My team comprised of me, Nat, Sharon, Erica, Marcus, Esther, Kylie and I think I’m forgetting someone smaller. Marcus named our team “GG no re” otherwise expanded to “good game no remake”.

 

Round one was exactly like that TVB game show; Kelvin help us out here. February, weeknights 10:30pm Hong Kong time. Jess got the idea from that show. Basically one person from each team would be given a word or phrase; and then they’d have to say that word with their head in a bucket of water. Had her instructions been more clear I would not have stood up for it. And so stupidly enough; this was the result:

 

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My word was “Zephaniah” which my group failed to guess; it was hard I reckon. And honestly I have no idea how I could’ve possibly made it easier for them o.0” The other groups did better; I can’t exactly remember their phrases but the other groups got them, for 1 point haha! Oh well.

 

Round 2 was telephone charades; just acting out a movie title and passing the message to each group member and then the last person has to guess it with whatever eroded message they get. Our team got “Star Wars” with Erica as our lead actor. Things went quite well until it came to, well, me sort of. Sharon gave me a weird swinging action which according to her was meant to be a sword action; fair enough, but I accidentally reproduced that with a bit of hip thrust; so without going into further detail; Marcus copied me and turned our entire act around haha!

 

The videos for other groups will be posted below this post.

 

Again we got 0 for this round while other groups were on 1.5 – 2 points. And yes we were clearly dead last but somehow I had anticipated that the third round would somehow make the first two rounds redundant. That’s what happens when you make up game within 1 week’s time, it is far from perfect, and probably never will be; but you can be sure that there’d be heaps of improvements possible.

 

Round 3 had a maximum of 14 points; see? Told you the first two rounds were redundant. But they were fun still. This time we were given like a piece of paper in those freezer sealable bags which were then frozen in a block of ice. The objective was to melt the ice and then complete the sheet of paper, which had questions on it. I can’t remember the questions all too well (it’s Friday atm) but it was mostly trivia. We filled them out as best as we can; and we felt fairly confident that we wouldn’t come last at the end of the nigh. Jess said there would be a punishment for the losing team; the hell we were going to lose!

 

Long story short we ended up on…something; and guess what? We came 3rd! Just beat another team by 0.5 points! There you go: GG NO RE! I promised Nat we wouldn’t lose; and surely I say, I stuck to it haha!

 

And here’s what happened to the losing team:

 

 

Will continue this later yet again.

 

Summary

Okay, let’s go to the END of camp. Overall, I thought the camp was a bit packed; a bit too intense most of the time and simply not enough time to have fun. If we had extended the camp so that it started a bit earlier and ended a bit later then we could have an activity on Friday night and that would’ve made Saturday less packed. I mean come on, we had THREE talks on Saturday and TWO Bible studies; and one after the other I tell you. My Crossfire group was fully dead after the first one and I barely kept them together for the second one.

 

Other than that I guess the camp was fun; our limited number of games was fairly exciting; they always get rowdy but that’s the point. Don’t worry Sharon I have videos, but I’ll upload them another time when I’m not busy. I think finally we picked a worthy topic; I can’t exactly remember the other camp themes but I think this one is more applicable as long as we maintain the ideas after camp; like keep reminding everyone about it.