Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beginning with this Scripture

The sermon this morning was by a pastor from Melbourne, Rev Dale Stephenson, who spoke about the apostle Philip in the book of Acts.

The lesson I learnt was from Acts 8 where Philip was led by the Spirit to "go over and join this chariot." (v. 29) He found the Ethiopian eunuch in the chariot who invited him in and read to Philip a passage in Isaiah about the Jesus.

He asked Philip, "about whom does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?" Then Philip spoke and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

"Beginning with this Scripture": God leads us to work where He is already working.

Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel. He will not disappoint.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Askt - another journaling app

I am currently using a couple of journaling apps and I just happened to find another interesting one call Askt.

I use Momento to write my journal. It also include my daily blog post in it as well to give quite a nice round up of my days. It has become a must-have app for me since I write as a therapy to manage my emotions and thoughts.

Surprisingly, I am still using Highs and Lows, as I document my highest and lowest point of my every day. I find doing that help bring meaning to every one of my days as I live them. It also helps me realise that some days are kind of wasted but on the other hand these mundane days are also days that give me a sense of peace and thanksgiving to God who is always so gracious and faithful.

Askt is quite intriguing. It gives you one question every day and gives you space to type out your answers. And as you come back to the same question in the next year and answer it, you will see how you may have changed.

I am just on day two with Askt today and I look forward to the next few days' questions. I do think it will actually my interest as long as the other two journaling apps.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Word Lens

Something really funny and interesting happened in CG today. Someone brought a box of cherry jaffa cakes which they bought during their trip to Austria to share with us.

One of us took out his Android phone, took a picture of the ingredient list in German, highlighted the words by swiping the lines with his finger for the translation to English to appear in a text window. He then jokingly said, "iPhones can't beat this!"

And I obviously took the challenge and said, "Of course we can!" (Notice I used "we", as if me and my iPhone are one...err, sorry hubby dear...but you know what I mean.)

I know I have my Word Lens app stashed away somewhere in my iPhone and there it was in my Travel folder.

It uses the phone's camera and translate the words in real time. They were all so mesmerised but the few who just came back from Austria so wished I have told them earlier before they went because they were practically typing every word into their iPhone to be translated!

Anyway we soon discovered the app is available in Android as well.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

What else to read?

Now that I have finished reading my "must-read" book list - not difficult since there only two titles in it - what will be my next read?

I am now finding it tough to get book recommendations. I use now but I must say, it still can't compare with the days when I scour the book stores for interesting books. It somehow felt better in the real bookstores. However, on the other hand it is so much easier to just pop into a site than into a store.

But maybe it is time I take a look at the pile of books and ebooks I have bought but not read.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Couch Potato: Guilty

I have been taking leave from work - basically just to utilize my annual leave but I spent time at home. It's good except that there is nothing much to do except be a couch potato.

This is bad. Can't wait to get back to the office and gym in the morning.

Photo source:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tsunami, Caught On Camera

I watched the movie, The Impossible, again.

And this time I checked the YouTube for some related videos and found this documentary, made about 5 years after the disaster - Tsunami Caught On Camera.

It's a documentary made up from footages and live videos taken by the victims themselves.

It was a very moving piece and those scenes will certainly never be forgotten for a long, long time. And this year will be its tenth year anniversary.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Movies: over and over again

I am the kind that watches movies or even some TV shows again and again and again. Do you?

My husband and my son don't. They find it a waste of time. But I find it comforting but of course it has to be movies I like.

I am even the kind who can forget how the movie goes even though I've watched it before. And for those I remember, I watch it from different angles, notice things I have not noticed before and I pay more attention to the dialogues.

I do waste a lot of time now, don't I?


Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Education Plan

I attended a seminar in church today on "What to do after Form 5/O Levels?", which was very much an eye-opener for me.

Back in my school days 20 over years ago, there wasn't much of a plan. My parents didn't do any research. It basically just boiled down to whatever appears as the the next step, just take it.

As such, I did not realize there is much to do with regards to my son's education plan. But now I know and there is much for me to do - to perform some research, to talk and help my son discover what his interests are and what options he has for a career.

There is much to do and I'm glad I know that now and I'm glad I'm given a good head start with what was shared during the seminar and I'm glad it is not too late, but it is time to start.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Led by the Spirit

We complete one bible study chapter in one sitting in CG today, which is something that has not happened before! So everyone was quite amused and glad. We are moving quite slowly but steadily in our bible study, and so it was a good experience to complete one lesson in one sitting.

The take home from the lesson for me was this: the phrase "led by God" and "led by the Spirit", whilst it usually means God leading me to make a decision has a more holistic meaning in Scripture.

Being "led by the Spirit" means living a Christian life. It means putting to death the desires of the flesh, living in Christ, being sons of God, being heirs and co-heirs with Christ and suffering with Christ in order to be glorified with him. (Rom 8:13-17)

That is what it means to be led by the Spirit, not so much being led to say something, or take this job, or marry this person. I'm not saying it is not, it's just that these are a smaller part of a whole.

Let us be led by the Spirit everyday of our lives.

Oh yes, one more thing. As it always happen, I have friends who asked me why they have landed themselves in problems and bad situations when they felt they had been led by God into it in the first place. Well, it will be interesting to note that the phrase "led by God" and "led by the Spirit" almost always refers to both the leading of Israelites out of Egypt into the wilderness and leading of Jesus into the wilderness. So don't be surprised if you have been led into the wilderness too.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

I mentioned two weeks ago that I should give up on young adult fiction and read more serious books. I find that I am getting lazy in my reading and had preferred easy-reads - those that I can speed read and those that does not need much thinking. I felt I must stop reading those and get back to proper reading.

And I am glad I read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. It was a very interesting and engaging read and as I read it, I noticed how prophetic the book was. It was written about 61 years ago but most of what I read are very reminiscent of today's world.

Here are several of his predictions that is true to us today:

• Seashells and thimble radios, which they wear in their ears --> our earbuds and Bluetooth headsets

• Viewing screens that take up the entire wall in their houses --> our large flat-screen televisions mounted on our walls

• Talking to their friends through the digital walls --> our Facebook

• People taking part in real life games as seen in the digital walls --> our reality shows

• The loneliness the husband felt as the wife was constantly on the thimble radio and with full attention on the digital walls --> our being glued to our devices that we've lost quality in our relationship with our close ones

• Automated banking machines --> our ATMs

• The banning of books and the dissemination of non-combustible data so that they will be chockfull of information but not give them slippery stuff like philosophy and sociology --> our dumbing down of information into broad, repetitive and simple

It's quite eerie reading it and seeing so much of our lives now had existed in that book written in 1953, it's just amazing.

My next serious read? George Orwell's Animal Farm!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's our 20th year

My husband and I aren't much of a celebrant, but it's our twentieth year wedding anniversary after all and we decided to at least go out for dinner.

And I also have a splendid idea. We lost our wedding rings several years ago when our house got burglared. And we never did get them replaced.

I shall go get them tomorrow.

But most of all, I thank the Lord for all these years He has so graciously given us, the joys and the pains, the ups and the downs, the smiles and the frowns, all good things come from Him. With this, I pray for more years of growing and being together in love and in Him. Amen.

Photo (c) The Cake by Mildred

Monday, September 08, 2014

月光光, 照地堂 Bright moonlight, shining on the ground

I learnt a Cantonese children's poem when I was a wee kid - 月光光, 照地堂 - literally, bright moonlight, shining on the ground.

I was just three years old then, I think, when I could recite it in full. I still can.

I am being reminded of it today, being the Mid Autumn Festival (though the poem refers to the lunar new year eve) - the night sky tonight is so clear and the moon is so round, full and bright.

In relation to the poem, this is a lovely Cantonese lullaby, quite nicely done, in the same theme, and with the same opening.

Here are the lyrics and literal translation. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

月光光 照地堂
yut6 gwong1 gwong1 ziu3 dei6 tong4
Bright moonlight, shining on the ground

haa1 zai2 nei5 gwaai1 gwaai1 fan3 lok6 cong4
Little Shrimp [a term of endearment given to the child], you obediently go to bed

teng1 ciu4 aa3 maa1 yiu3 gon2 caap3 yeong1 lo1
Tomorrow mother needs to quickly plant the seedlings

阿爺睇牛去上山崗 啊...
aa3 ye4 tai2 ngau4 hoei3 seong56 saan1 gong1
[Paternal] grandfather watches the cows will need to go up to the small hill, ah...

haa1 zai2 nei5 faai3 gou1 zeong2 daai6 lo1
Little Shrimp, you'll soon grow tall and big

幫手阿爺去睇牛羊 啊...
bong1 sau2 aa3 ye4 hoei3 tai2 ngau4 yeong4
Help your grandfather watch the cows and sheep, ah...

月光光 照地堂
yut6 gwong1 gwong1 ziu3 dei6 tong4
Bright moonlight, shining on the ground

haa1 zai2 nei5 gwaai1 gwaai1 fan3 lok6 cong4
Little Shrimp, you obediently go to bed

teng1 ciu4 aa3 maa1 yiu3 bou6 yu4 haa1 lo1
Tomorrow your mother needs to catch fish and shrimp

阿嫲織網要織到天光 啊...
aa3 maa1 zik1 mong5 yiu3 zik1 dou3 tin1 gwong1
[Paternal] grandmother weaves a net until daylight, ah...

haa1 zai2 nei5 faai3 gou1 zeong2 daai6 lo1
Little Shrimp, you'll soon grow tall and big

waa6 teng5 saat3 mong5 zau6 gang13 zoi6 hong4
Row the boat out to cast the net and becoming an expert

月光光 照地堂
yut6 gwong1 gwong1 ziu3 dei6 tong4
Bright moonlight, shining on the ground

年卅晚 摘檳榔
neen saa maan, caak bun long
During the Lunar New Year eve, harvest the betel nuts

ng gong fung sao dui moon cong long
The abundant crops fills the granary

老老嫩嫩喜洋洋 啊...
lou lou luen luen hei yong yong
Everyone, young and old alike, is beaming with joy, ah...

haa1 zai2 nei5 faai3 ti mei mai ngan lo1
Little Shrimp, quickly close your eyes

一覺瞓到大天光 啊...
yaat gao fan dou dai teen gwong
Sleep until the daylight comes, ah...

Source: Lyrics/Pin Yin (pin yin without the tones are mine) and translation


Sunday, September 07, 2014

A Wasted Day

Another day let slip! Its hours have run,
Its golden hours, with prodigal excess,
All run to waste. A day of life the less;
Of many wasted days, alas, but one!

Through my west window streams the setting sun.
I kneel within my chamber, and confess
My sin and sorrow, filled with vain distress,
In place of honest joy for work well done.

At noon I passed some labourers in a field.
The sweat ran down upon each sunburnt face,
Which shone like copper in the ardent glow.
And one looked up, with envy unconcealed,
Beholding my cool cheeks and listless pace,
Yet he was happier, though he did not know.

~ Robert Fuller Murray


Saturday, September 06, 2014

Ten Books that Affected Me in Some Way

I received a Facebook tag from Ee-Tan today to list out 10 books that affected me in some way.

Well, Ee-Tan, you got me at "books". So this post is in dedication to you, Ee-Tan.

I listed these 10 books that have been influential to me. Well, not all of them have been directly influential to me but most have at least affected me in some ways.

The Holy Bible and featured here is The ESV Study Bible
It goes without saying that The Holy Bible tops the list. Read it since I was a kid and reading it now and will read it till my deathbed. It is the living word of God that feeds and nourishes me, corrects me and directs me in the right path. With it I speak and pray to God and with it I embrace the Gospel of Christ for life everlasting.

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence of Jesus by Lee Strobel
Check out my book review here.
As mentioned in my review, this is the book that is the catalyst of my faith-seeking-understanding pursuit to seek Christ and seek life. I owe a lot to this book that started me thinking seriously about my faith.

People of the Book, A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Check out my book review here.
This tops my list in the novel category. Firstly, it is a book about books. And secondly, it has amazing characters and an astounding storyline about lives in different times tied to this one book that exist through its fictional history (it's based on the Sarajevo Haggadah, a real book by the way).

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Check out my book review here.
He is my all-time favourite author and this is just to include one of his book to cover all his other books that held me amazed at both the glory and marvel of God and his astute brilliance as an author for the decade long period of my faith-seeking-understanding time.

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
Check out my book review here.
Ken Follett was the one who started me on historical fiction but it was this book that really hones it on. (I just realised there is a pun here since both books by Follett and Falcones are about sculpturing and building of cathedrals, and so pun unintentionally intended!)

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie A. Helgoe
I still remember quite clearly the time when I was reading this book and how I have personalized some advice I got from there. The one thing that I have ingrained deeper in me is the practice of journalling.

Genesis: Beginning and Blessing by R. Kent Hughes
This is an amazing book. It brought to me an in-depth study of the book of Genesis like never before. I suppose Genesis has been for me since my childhood days a book of stories and important stories they are. Hughes has however, brought me much need thought and lessons, both theologically and practically. I remember reading the last several chapters on Joseph and Tamar and Joseph in one go, and with tears rimming my eyes.

Redeeming Love, A Novel by Francine Peters
Check out my review here.
I must say I should have listed Francine Peters's Unveiled: Tamar instead of Redeeming Love but I'd say both have a special place in my heart. She brought life into the stories of these people, Hosea and Gomer, and Tamar. Her version of Tamar and Hosea-Gomer has really opened my eyes with regards to the salvation and redeeming love of Christ.

Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace by Kenman L. Wong
Check out my book review here.
I have always been wondering about what it means to work and I always felt like a round peg with a square hole when it comes to my career. Through the years God has opened my eyes through what he has brought me through in my working life and he has resolved it when I read this book. I am now at peace.

Bethlehem to Patmos: The New Testament Story by Paul Barnett
This is one of the earlier books I read as a result of reading Case for Christ that was memorable. It covers an overview, forest-view, bird's eye view of the New Testament from Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus to Patmos, the Revelation visions of John. For the beginning of my journey to know more about Christ, this has given me a good start.

Going through and thinking about these books again has built in me a desire to reread them, and read them again I shall, especially those I have read a long time ago.


Friday, September 05, 2014

My son's choice of apparel

My son who does not care two hoots about what he wears now has a specific preference for a brand.

It was just not too long ago when I suggest we go shop for some new clothes, he would dismiss it with a wave. But now when I say, let's go get you some clothes in Uniqlo, he'd be more than happy to go.

But he is still quite simple in his clothing needs.

He just want plain round neck black or dark grey tees and dark coloured shorts. Nothing else. He think he now has 10 of the exact same tees, but who's counting.

I am not too keen on the selection of clothes in Uniqlo but I got for myself today two pairs of pants that actually fit me. Quality is quite good but selection is still limited.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Gym Balls

I have been using a gym ball on and off during my personal training classes. I've used one for weight training this morning.

I also rested a bit while sitting on it and it felt so comfortable I've decided to purchase one to use at home. Although some have warned that it may not be suitable ergonomic and biomechanic wise.

Photo source: Public Domain Pictures

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Our beloved Manglish

We Chinese in Malaysia have a weird sense of the English language sometimes.

My son speaks excellent English but when I accused him of finishing all the cans of Coke in the fridge today, he denied it by saying, "Where got?", which gave me a good laugh as he does not really speak the Chinese language.

"Where got?" is a direct translation of the Mandarin na li you, which denotes a denial.

Here's more of how we localize the English language:

Don't want for "bu yao", meaning I don't want it. And we say it so quickly it actually sounds like "doe one"!

Don't have for "mei you", meaning I don't have it.

No need for "bu shue yao", meaning I don't need it.

See how for "kan je me yang", meaning let's see how it goes.

Why like that? for "wei she me je yang", meaning why is it like that?

He come already and I here already for "ta dao le" and "wo lai dao le" meaning he has arrived and I have arrived.

Got meh? for "you ma?" in asking if the matter or person or whatever, is in existence or if it's happening.

I want for "wo yao" meaning I have a need for it.

You go see for "ni qu kan" meaning you go and have a look.

I'll be sure to add on as I encounter them in my conversations with my fellow Malaysians.


Note: apologies if my han yu pin yin above is not accurate.