Showing posts from April, 2007

Exhaustion vs. Excitement

I think the key word for the past few days is: exhaustion. I still am, exhausted, what with 2 client meetings today but I better find something else to talk about! How about my exegesis paper? I think I will be taking the one on James 4:4: KJV : Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. NASB : You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. NIV : You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Adulterers and adulteresses vs. adulteresses vs. adulterous people : this will get me into textual criticism, word study of adulteresses and, the study of the cultural and historical context of that time. Oh! Isn’t it e

Disciple-Fisher of Men

The speaker spoke on Luke 5:1-11 today. She shared with us her experience in spreading the good news bringing more people to believe in Christ. We need to be always ready to share the Word, to be disciples ourselves and to develop a compassion for others to reach out to them. When I look at the passage, what we need to first look into is the context. If we look at the chapters preceding Luke 5, Jesus had just begun his ministry, he was teaching in synagogues. He has yet to call his 12 disciples. He was soon driven out of a synagogue in Nazareth, and he went on to Capernaum, Galilee. The people there were amazed by him, his teaching, his healing and rebuking of demons. The crowds searched for him. Then it was at the Lake of Gennesaret that the people were pressing around him and listening to the word of God. He was by the lake and saw two boats. He got into one. It was Simon's. Jesus was at Simon's house before, healing his mother-in-law from a high fever. It was from this b

Biblical Interpretation: Day 4

It is exhausting. I mean, other than the 6 hours of sleep I have every night for the past 3 nights, I think my mind has been busy working for the other 16, say with 2 hours on the usual stuff like eating and cleaning. So by this morning, I am almost like a zombie to say the least. And on top of that, my PC almost crashed, with our presentation paper and slides still in there. Thankfully, one fellow student helped and got it working again, and we got to present our exegetical work on the 1 Cor passage. The module has been intense but it was good and it was actually fun. Staying in STM has been a good experience. It is such a nice thing to wake up with singing birds. The only problem I had was the musty smell in the room. My room The view from my room Isn't it spectacular? At least I think so, compared to the view I have at home. pearlie

Biblical Interpretation: Day 3

Kar Yong has been a slave driver. There was so much to do today. We have 2 daily assignments and an exegesis to complete. One assignment is to identify the figures of speech in Psalm 1, which was okay until he had to make us give a running commentary as well, and that took time. The second assignment was to take a look at the 4 prologues and 1 epilogue of the gospel to find if they give any clues to the content and intent of the gospels. We also have group work to come up with an exegesis paper on a biblical passage. Ours is 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. We have somewhat completed the work though I have not finished with the presentation slides. I need to turn in now. It will have to wait until tomorrow morning. With regards to the morning lecture, we looked into historical and cultural context and it is a very interesting subject. I am very new to this and so unexposed to it. There is no other way but to read, read and read. I will get back to this topic on this blog one day. Just not toda

Biblical Interpretation: Day 2

The day passed by pretty fast today and I had good fun. Here’s a summary of the class. Grammatical Structure We need to observe how phrases, words and sentence construction connect and relate to one another. One of the ways to help us uncover the grammatical structure of passages is by way of sentence diagramming. It is particularly helpful with Pauline writings. There are several ways to do sentence diagramming. What we are doing however, is just sentence flow – simpler and less complicated. According to Kar Yong, seek ye first the Main Verb, the Object, Subject, and the rest will be added unto you. The rest being the modifiers, i.e. the prepositional phrases, adjectives, adverbs, dependent clauses. Word Study Words can contain several meanings and when we read bible passages, we need to determine the most likely meaning of the words. As a general rule, the usage determines the meaning of the word and not the other way round, that is: the meaning of the word should not determine i

Biblical Interpretation: Day 1

I know I really enjoy biblical classes and I thoroughly enjoyed the biblical interpretation class today. Compared to the Christian Theology class I attended, I think I can conclude that I enjoy biblical classes more. I will think of a reason why later. Right now, I am just too exhausted, especially after spending about 3 hours on our daily assignment on a textual criticism of Luke 10:1 and Ephesians 1:1. Here is a gist of what I have learnt today: Introduction There is a tendency these days that Scripture is wrongly applied and even abused. We therefore need to sharpen our skills in biblical interpretation in order to be more in the alert when we read, when we are in discussion with others on biblical texts and even when we sing songs. Songs take a very important and crucial part of our lives – for example it is during our hard and difficult times that songs stay close to our heart. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the songs we use are at least theologically sound. An exa

Biblical Interpretation: Here I come

There is a fourth reason why I should go for the Biblical Interpretation module. (The other three are found here .) After paying the fees, I suddenly received news that I might have an important meeting to attend tomorrow or Friday. Attending the meeting would mean that I would have to miss at least half a day's class given that the classes are held in Seremban (about an hour and a half commute from KL). I would rather forgo the entire course. But after much prayer, both mine and my very good friends' (Julia, Lee Mei, Noel and Alex), the meeting is not happening on these dates and I am free to go! Therefore, there are now four good reason why I must go for this module. I have also decided to stay in campus ( another last minute decision). Usually I would do a daily commute but this time I did not feel like driving so far to and fro for 4 days. And I think it will be a great experience being in campus again, albeit for only 4 days and 3 nights. pearlie Picture from http:


I had not been able to reflect much today. I only got some lousy chocolate. My colleague went for a holiday and unintentionally bought something she thought was Toblerone. I tried some and it did not go down well. Not that I want to spiritualise everything I see but it does remind me of false prophets. What Peter says in 2 Peter 2:1-3 is very clear: 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. This is what I found in Ezekiel 22. I have not really studied this before and I would need to, soon. 6 They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say,


I attended two Sunday services today. My neighbourhood church is being constituted into the local conference as a full-fledge church and service was arranged to be held at 4.00pm and so I decided to go back to my old church downtown KL for its 9.00am service. Since the inception of a new pastor into that church, I have been looking forward to hearing him speak as I heard he is good, especially in his expository sermons. However, it was not meant to be. Attend I did but time was spent with two church members sharing their experience in going on a short mission trip to Northern Thailand, short as in a one-week trip. So by the time the pastor took the pulpit, all the time he had was enough for him to close the testimonies with a few words on mission. And this is not the first time I am missing on his sermons. Looks like I have to try harder. But about short mission trips, I am not sure yet of my take on them though. It may have its purposes but I question whose needs we are meeting, be

Best friends

Calvin is having his best friends over for lunch, friends from church and from school. He got this mommy busy cooking his favourite food for his favourite friends but the kids are more into playing and games than food. Looks like I will have loads of leftovers to last till tomorrow. pearlie

A Thousand Words #25

pearlie Picture by Oliver Brandt

Just 2 more months

I took Christian Theology 1 in January and it is already April and I have only 2 more months to work on 2 assignments. 1. A reflection paper of about 1,000 words based on topics of discussion during class. I think I will be doing one on the deficiencies in the different forms of Church's corporate worship today in terms of the reflection of God's immanence and transcendence. The other one which I may also think about doing is to reflect based on my understanding of the purpose of God's plan, how life of my faith community should look like. The first one would be good for me to work at because of my involvement in the worship ministry whereas the second one will be also close to heart with my recent change of my faith community so to speak. 2. A theological essay of about 2,000 words. There are 10 questions to choose from and the one that attracted me sounds like this: defend the divinity of Jesus Christ by presenting the possible historical bases for this claim. A big

I'd regret it both ways

Today, I signed up for Dr Lim Kar Yong's Biblical Interpretation on 25-28 Apr - as usual a last minute sign up (I almost always register at the last possible date). I was reluctant because this course is going to be tough - but I would regret if I don't sign up as much as I would regret if I do. Three things made me decide to do it: 1. My plans for a holiday during this period failed. There is no running away. 2. I already have the 3 required text (Carson's Exegetical Fallacies , Fee's NT Exegesis and Klein's Introduction to Biblical Interpretation ) 3. I enjoyed myself working on one of Kar Yong's pre-course reading materials. It was a mixed feeling really - I was aghast as well as amused. You can check out Kar Yong's website if you are curious. Click on Hermeneutic/Biblical Interpretion, Report on Babylon . See if you find it as amusing as I did. Noel commented that it borders on being comical. Just taking a look at the course outline and course re

The problem of Job

I did not bring anything else to read in the train yesterday on my way to and fro work, other than my bible and I decided to read the book of Job. I had posted in March 12 that I am beginning to understand why Job. But I have not finished it. I am not good in reading poetry, I get lost not knowing what they are trying to say or imply. So I went looking and found quite a good article in entitled An Argument of the Book of Job by David Malick. Here are some of the things he mentioned: “The reasons for suffering in a person's life are not necessarily related to human explanations of personal unrighteousness, but are within the scope of God's good and powerful providence resulting in the defeat of evil and glory to himself.” There are 3 rounds of speeches in Job, with each increasing in intensity: Round 1: deals with Job’s limits of understanding It generally affirms that God punishes the wicked and blesses the good, therefore Job should repent. Round 2: dea

What is knowledge?

Maybe it is because it is a Monday. I woke up with a dreaded feeling today though I am not sure what should I be worried about. I do think it is because it is a Monday but I also think it is because of my slack in spending time in prayer. I began reading the Proverbs during my morning devotion and found them refreshing, in that I am reminded that wisdom comes from the LORD and the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. What is this knowledge that Solomon is refering to? Common sense? Common knowledge? Academic knowledge? Street-smart knowledge? Prov 2:6 says " For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding ." The knowledge therefore refers to the knowledge and understanding that comes from God. However, I still feel that it is quite difficult to pin that down because it is still subject to the way we all interpret and read it differently. Oh how we need to ask God for understanding and discernment and the Holy Spirit to lead us into thi

Christian Pilgrimage

The preacher asked us this morning if we have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress . I read the simplified version during my early teen years. Does that count? The sermon this morning is based on Micah 7:8-13 particularly the first 2 verses: 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! …… Though I have fallen, I will rise. …… Though I sit in darkness, …… the LORD will be my light. 9 Because I have sinned against him, …… I will bear the LORD's wrath, …… until he pleads my case …… and establishes my right. …… He will bring me out into the light; …… I will see his righteousness. When we commit our lives to God, it is not so much a “happily ever after”, there will be hard and tough times and we need to know how to respond to our God. The Christian pilgrimage is imperfect. “ Though I have fallen … though I sit in darkness .” The preacher reminded us that Abraham, the Father of all nations, lied to save his own skin; David, the man after God’s heart, committed adultery, committed murd

Great is Thy Faithfulness

We had a farewell barbeque party for 2 friends who will be going to Canada soon. It is the never-ending love and faithfulness of God that we are thankful for, it is God we are all indebted to. Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be. Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me! Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! pearlie

A Thousand Words #24


Pictures of Labuan

I was given a short tour round the island yesterday and I took some pictures. The Beach Labuan (pronounced as Laa-boo-arn ) is a small island, with great beaches, but laden with jellyfishes. Labuan is the Malaysian off shore banking financial hub but good for fishing as well. The Chimney The Chimney is an artefact from Labuan's coal mining era (1847-1912). During that period, Labuan was used as a coaling station for ships sailing in the Far East area. The Labuan War Cemetery and Memorial I was brought to visit the Labuan War Memorial , where the graves of soldiers who either died in battle or captivity during World War II lay here. The remains of the Allied troops were gathered from all over Borneo to be interred at the Cemetery. The place was constructed, and is maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Labuan War Cemetery and Memorial is visited very regularly by War Veteran groups, especially from Australia who have included Labuan as an important destinat