Monday, May 04, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service ★★★★★

Oh, I really enjoyed this movie. It has a great balance of action and comedy, and it's a movie I really love to hate Samuel L. Jackson in. I so couldn't stand his lisp but he was brilliant. And Colin Firth was just perfect in it. An excellent spoof of a James Bond he was.

And I think I've just overused my superlatives already.


Sunday, May 03, 2015

O Banh Mi, Petaling Jaya

The O School Sandwich

I've tasted my first Vietnamese sandwich when I was in a business trip in Hanoi, and it was really, really good.

But the sandwiches in O Banh Mi in Petaling Jaya is not too bad actually. The last time I featured O Banh Mi here because of its egg coffee, and now I should also draw attention to its yummy O School: "the original Vietnamese baguette served with pates, homemade mayonnaise, hams, pickled radish and carrots, chili, cilantro and lemon grass. One sandwich fits all."

O Banh Mi
33, Jalan SS21/56B,
Damansara Utama,
Petaling Jaya.
Tel: +603-77328540.
Open: 8am to 8pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 9pm (Saturday and Sunday). Closed on Mondays.

Source: The Malay Mail

Saturday, May 02, 2015

I no longer have 20/20 vision

I have had a 20/20 vision all my life up till 2 years ago when my eye sight has deteriorated much. I now have both short and long sightedness with astigmatism to boot.

And in these two years, I have had three pairs or glasses but all three have gave way to my carelessness and rough use. I have just made another pair and I hope it will last as long as it lasts for other people. My hubby has been wearing his for the last 7 seven years!

I also got curious about the invention of eyeglasses and found this article on Timeline of Glasses.


Friday, May 01, 2015

Avengers Age of Ultron ★★★★☆

My hubby and I have not gone for a date in a long while. We went to watch Avengers Age of Ultron today. I'm not really a super hero fan but the the movie was alright.

It was a bit convoluted in some parts for me. I'm sure it's because quite a lot of things were lost on me because I don't follow the series that closely.

But all in all, it was entertaining


Thursday, April 30, 2015

My current favorite band: Gungor

I found out about Gungor in Spotify when I heard their song Beautiful Things. I liked it and thought that the lyrics were very creative. This video puts it up very creatively as well.

I then checked out their other songs in Spotify and begin to like their alternative feel. I was attracted to this one called Late Have I Loved You, and found the phrase quite interesting that I wondered how it came about. Moreover, it has very good lyrics and a very attractive tune.

I was reading Raymond Ortlund's commentary on Isaiah and found out that it was actually penned by Augustine who wrote about how God has worked in his life to remove idols and liberated him. Gungor rewrote it into the song. Brilliant!

And it was then that I understood the song:
Late have I loved you, Beauty so old and so new; late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.

Source: Raymond C. Ortlund, Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, Preaching the Word Commentary Series, quoting Henry Chadwick, trans., Augustine’s Confessions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 201.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Heart of It All

I believe The Heart of Worship song by Matt Redman is quite popular in churches.

I once had a friend who asked me what this line means: "I'm sorry Lord for the things I've made it." I'm beginning to understand her issues with it. As much as I read it more conceptually to mean that we are sorry for focusing on other things in our worship when God should be whom we solely worship, that sentence is a bit vague. Can the act of worship be made into other things? It seems to do the very thing the song is warning us not to: a focus on the act of worship rather than whom we worship.

But that is not why I'm bringing up this song. I was reminded of it when I was praying this morning. Time and again, I find myself searching for meaning in all that I do, my work, my time, my life.

I was reading a devotion on Isaiah 41:21-42:17 in Raymond Ortlund's preaching commentary. What he says here stirred my soul:
More than we realize, our hearts complicate the profound simplicity of faith in God. And then we wonder why we’re disappointed with life.

God has a blueprint for human existence. He knows how human beings and human society can be at their best. He knows how to make us happy and fulfilled. And through his servant Jesus he’s bringing his plan down from Heaven, to reorder human civilization in a beautiful way.

God wants to take us where we’re helpless without him. To live free of idols is a new experience for us. It’s a path we have not known. God is saying, "Trust me enough to follow me. I want to show you a whole new way to live. As I lead you forward, I will not forsake you. I will be God to you."

That’s a miracle we urgently need — to love the Giver more than his gifts, to see in God our only ultimate delight and every other joy he gives as just one more reason to glorify and enjoy him. That way, we don’t have to cling selfishly to his gifts. If he takes them away, we’re not devastated, because we have him. That is worship — to be so rich in Christ, so filled with a sense of privilege, that we actually become happy on God’s terms.

If you will trust him enough to dive into the Ocean, he will make your life a story of overflowing salvation.

I'm now singing this song differently, not only treating worship in only music and songs but in all areas of my life.

When the music cadences of my daily living fades away, I come to worship and offer my life to God through Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Saviour, my all.

Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, Preaching the Word Commentary Series

Monday, April 27, 2015

A timely reminder for myself

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
~ Isaiah 40:28-31


Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Noble Shepherd

The sermon this morning was based on John 10:11-18 on Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."
John 10:11-18 (ESV)

Now that I read the passage again, I realise I'm asking a very basic question: why did Jesus use the adjective "good" with his role as a shepherd?

The Greek word used here is kalos as opposed to agathos, in that it is a good in relation to being good and not shameful rather than being good and not evil.

A more accurate translation of the kalos would be "noble". Jesus the Noble Shepherd has died a honorable death for the sake of his people.

To understand it, I found this diagram quite useful:

Source: Jerome H. Neyrey, "The 'noble shepherd' in John 10: cultural and rhetorical background", Journal of Biblical Literature (June 1, 2001, p267)


Friday, April 24, 2015

How to be a great quality speaker?

I tend to feel that not a lot of people are good speakers. It takes quite a lot to be one. What do you think?

Four Qualities of Amazing Public Speakers


Thursday, April 23, 2015

7 Habits of Highly Effective People My Debut Day 2

I am got the hang of it today and made sure I knew what I was doing and not miss anything. Did I? Miss anything?

Of course I did!

But I will be more certain now of what I need to take note of in my next round.

But all in all, it is evident that the participants had a good time and I had a great time. More than I expected I would.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

7 Habits of Highly Effective People My Debut Day 1

I don't think I've over prepared. In fact, I'm a tad under prepared. I do not have any issues with the content. I shouldn't since I've attended this course six times since May last year!

The only issue I have was the sequenced activity and the scripted things to say at the right place and time. Since I've have been more spontaneous in my other training sessions, this is quite stressful for me.

But I must say, except for a few minor glitches, it went quite well. I have not been really training for awhile now, and I'm glad I'm doing it again.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Thousand Words #168

I'm afraid I'm over preparing for the training session tomorrow. I think I better just go to bed early.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Prepare, prepare, prepare

I've been prepped to be one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People certified facilitator in my work place and this will be my final leg of the certification.

I have attended the version 4.0 public course. Attendance to five of the version 3.0 in my company didn't count (five times because I was managing the sessions). I've gone through the 24 hours of video training. I've complete my one day teach back session. And now the final session is the facilitate my first class and if all goes well, I will be certified.

I'm talking these two days to know, frame and refine. To prepare.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review: The Uncommon Reader

The Uncommon Reader
by Alan Bennett

I woke up in the middle of the night and could not get back to sleep. And so I decided to continue reading and finished the last two chapters of The Mind at Night. I wasn't feeling any sleepier and thought I'd start another one and decided on The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett.

I found out about this book when I was reading the delightful Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn, where the Queen was discussing the book with the people she met in the train.

I found out that the title was the author's play of words in three ways. It's in contrast with the "common reader" referring to a person who reads for pleasure as opposed to a critic, or a set text that everyone reads in a group. But the significance is in its contrast between a commoner and Her Royal Highness the Queen, the Uncommon Reader.

I was delighted when I found that out, since I love reading (if you don't know that already!) and I am recently quite intrigued with the British monarchy.

The story began when the Queen stopped by the kitchen area in the palace when the dogs were making too much noise and it turned out that the mobile library had stopped by. Out of courtesy she got herself a book and from there, the Queen began seriously reading, and the book become more and more amusing as it went along.

The Duke, the household staff and especially her private secretary weren't too pleased with the new development, when she kept burying her nose in a book all the time. And I thought this too funny, from a non-reader to an avid reader:
‘To read is to withdraw. To make oneself unavailable. One would feel easier about it’, said Sir Kevin, ‘if the pursuit itself were less … selfish.’
Quite ironic, right?

Anyway, I managed to get back to sleep midway (and ended up with another vivid but disgusting dream, but that's another story) but since it's a 100 over-page novella, I finished it in the same afternoon.

A great read indeed.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Would you survive without your phone?

What would you do when your phone breaks down? Will you go into a panic? What is this thing we have with this small piece of machine that seem to control us? It's like we can't live without it.

I wonder how I would survive without a phone for one day?

I suppose if I don't have work to do and my family members are where they are suppose to be and I have access to either my books or the Internet, I'd be ok without my phone.

Well, my hubby's phone died today. He just went out and got a new one. Reason being he works with his phone like how we'd do it back in those days when we have our Filofax.

I can't argue with that. But his phone resurrected later in the evening.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chronic Complainers

I so needed this article today because I finally concluded that this one person i was with is a complainer.

Who is a complainer? Here is how Dr Guy Winch describes it in comparison with optimists and pessimists:

Optimists see: A glass half full.

Pessimists see: A glass half empty.

Chronic complainers see: A glass that is slightly chipped holding water that isn't cold enough, probably because it's tap water when I asked for bottled water and wait, there's a smudge on the rim, too, which means the glass wasn't cleaned properly and now I'll probably end up with some kind of virus. Why do these things always happen to met.

But the thing is I usually see the good in people and so I just nodded as he spoke and then I changed the subject several times before he goes into it again.

I must watch myself too, lest I complain too much in my engagement with others.

Source: Psychology Today

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

God has given us the signs of the days to come

Daniel: The Triumph of God's Kingdom
by Rodney Stortz

I started this book on 1 March and commented that I wasn't too happy with it. But now that I have completed the book, I gave it four stars out of five in

I have not been much into the prophetic portions in the Bible, finding it hard to understand with my limited exposure to that genre. But this book has opened the door for me.

Stortz has convinced me that I need to spend time studying it closely. He contends that God has revealed the future to us, albeit not in clear statements. But he has spoken about it and it is our duty to read and study it so that when the signs are before us, we will be aware that the end is near and the beginning is here.

I must say I didn't understand much of the second portion of Stortz's book, which means I will be spending more time with it.