Playmax 2015 (PM4: The Game Changer) – 18th and 19th June 2015, St. Andrew’s Cathedral

SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, SingaporeHad the most fun day at Playmax 2015 (facebook), a bi-annual carnival organised by Singapore Youth for Christ at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, City Hall.

"You are in Sectore #21". SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, SingaporeThis was no cheesy funfair, but a life action role playing game (LARPG). Was incredibly impressed by the military-steampunk sets and costumes – built mostly from scrap and cast-offs,

SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
heehee - water closet. SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
the graphics and music and dramatic sequences that moved the narrative along,
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
the seamless game play, and the very fun station games…all done by the staff of SYFC and volunteers, over the course of 2 years.
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
Here’s the narrative context:

More than fighting oppressive regimes in a fictional world, trying to change the course and ending of our fictional raider/resistance etc. lives, there’s trying to change the course and ending of our real lives. And this isn’t about fighting whatever happens to be the popular “oppressive regime” of the day – that merely replaces one “oppressive regime” with another – and this isn’t just limited to political oppression but dietary fad oppression, relationship oppression, career dis-satisfaction oppression…

It is realistic to say that we will not be completely happy in this world. There will never be perfect peace, justice, love, relationships…yet our yearning for them suggests that there is some residual knowledge, common to humanity about how things once were – when God first created a world, a perfect world.

What happened? Well, rebellion happened. A wrong rebellion against a God who was perfectly good and perfectly loving, yet accused of being corrupt and oppressive. And so man destroyed the rest of creation. Cue: natural disasters and man-made disasters. A life lived in fear of being killed by accidents and the evil of others. A life hurting from broken relationships, and hurting others in turn.

No good can come from being separated from the God we rebelled against.

But then imagine this God is so good and so loving that he is determined to bridge the gap between evil sinful humanity and his holy self.

SYFC's Playmax 2015, PM4, St. Andrew's Cathedral, SingaporeHow can this be done? By someone taking our rightful punishment (eternal death) on our behalf!

Who could possibly do this? A man so perfectly pure and obedient that he himself isn’t guilty of any sin – God’s only Son, Jesus the Christ.

Through His life on this world, Jesus showed us what the perfect world ought to be: he healed the sick, enabled the blind to see and the lame to walk again. The good news he brought was that someone at last had come to change the course of the world that was only getting more evil all the time.

By Jesus’ death on the cross, he paid the punishment that was meant for us because of our sin. If we accept this, we are brought back into relationship with God!

By Jesus’ resurrection, he proved that he had conquered death and is alive to bring us who trust in him, into a new world that we can look forward to.

This Lou Fellingham song, via Phatfish comes to mind:

There is a day
That all creation’s waiting for,
A day of freedom and liberation for the earth.
And on that day
The Lord will come to meet His bride,
And when we see Him
In an instant we’ll be changed.

The trumpet sounds
And the dead will then be raised
By His power,
Never to perish again.
Once only flesh,
Now clothed with immortality;
Death has now been
Swallowed up in victory.

We will meet Him in the air
And then we will be like Him,
For we will see Him, as He is,
Oh yeah!
Then all hurt and pain will cease,
And we’ll be with Him forever,
And in His glory we will live,
Oh yeah, oh yeah!

So lift your eyes
To the things as yet unseen,
That will remain now
For all eternity.
Though trouble’s hard
It’s only momentary,
And it’s achieving
Our future glory.

Nathan Fellingham
Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music
CCLI Number: 3359080

Showing the Londoners Around Singapore in One Long Day

Two batches of Londoners descended in Singapore over the last month. It was so great to see them, but it made me incredibly homesick for Old Blighty.

Where to bring foreign visitors in Singapore? How to give them a sense of what Singapore is like outside of the constructed tourist attractions?

Singapore as Financial Hub

We started from the Central Business District – the shiny skyscrapers full of hardworking office bees that made Singapore a “financial hub”.

Tour of Singapore: Starbuck matcha lattes at One Fullerton
Tour of Singapore: Starbuck matcha lattes at One Fullerton

Singapore as Tourist Hub

Then a visit to the amazing loos in Fullerton Bay Hotel or Fullerton Hotel to freshen up (a highlight of their trip said two of them), before sipping matcha lattes (“we don’t get this in London”) at Starbucks, One Fullerton, and catching up (and charging phones).

Then on to the necessary cheesy photos with the Merlion and the ArtScience Museum and Marina Bay Sands:

Tour of Singapore: cheesy photo pitstop with ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion

Singapore as Juxtaposition Between Old and New

After, a stroll contrasting the colonial buildings and new modernist ones, munching ice-cream sandwiches from the S$1.20 ice-cream uncle: the Victoria Concert Hall and Victoria Theatre, the Old Parliament House and current Parliament House, the Old Supreme Court and current UFO Supreme Court (a trip to the top allows a good view of the city – but no photography allowed in the building), a peek into the unopened National Gallery.

Singapore as Multi-Racial and Multi-Religious Society (and “Foodie Hub”)

Then a rest stop at St. Andrew’s Cathedral with the sun coming through its lovely stained glass, throwing colours all over the pews:

Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore: stained glass colours, St. Andrew's Cathedral
Tour of Singapore: St. Andrew's CathedralThen to Maxwell Market for delicious chicken rice and other “hawker delights” like char kway teow and chai tow koey, and refreshing ABC (apple, beetroot, carrot) and carrot-orange juices, before popping over to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple:

Tour of Singapore: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Tour of Singapore: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Tour of Singapore: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Tour of Singapore: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

We’d wanted to check out Lepark at Pearl Bank Centre as an example of how old buildings were being repurposed by young indie folk. Alas, they were closed that day:
Tour of Singapore: Pearl Bank Centre

Ah, some nasi padang washed down with bandung and teh tarik and milo dinosaur at Kampong Glam, off Arab Street

Tour of Singapore: teh tarik at the sarabat stall in Kampong Glam
Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore

before being kitted out with appropriate wear for the Sultan Mosque:
Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore
The visitors loved how friendly everyone in the temple and mosque was – how they didn’t have to worry about appropriate wear beforehand, and how willing to answer their endless questions. “Can we take photos here?” they’d nervously asked the docent at the mosque. “Only if you post on facebook!” came the cheeky answer.

A gander down self-consciously hipster Haji Lane, then we stopped off at Raffles Hotel for another freshening up (without a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar this time):
Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore

Before heading to Ku De Ta atop Marina Bay Sands to watch the sun set and the lights about town come on:
Tour of Singapore: Marina Bay Sands
Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore: Marina Bay Sands
Tour of Singapore

Tour of Singapore: view from Ku De Ta atop Marina Bay Sands

Across the bay for some satay and tourist touting on the street next to Lau Pat Sat:
Tour of Singapore: satay stick trophies next to Lau Pat Sat

Thence to Little India (a little too late for the Hindu temples, sadly), for gawking in amazement at the flower garland makers, some (erm, North) Indian on banana leaves:
Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore: Apollo Banana Leaf Curry
Tour of Singapore: Apollo Banana Leaf Curry - box of mints
Tour of Singapore: Apollo Banana Leaf Curry - after-dinner mints

A spin around the amazing Mustafa which had almost everything anyone was looking for, then to Geylang for pek at the red-light district and a dessert of the king of fruits – durian! and its friend the jackfruit:
Tour of Singapore
Tour of Singapore - Geylang jackfruit