Showing posts from March, 2008

An elephant with horse blinders and Nikes eating ice cream

My onslaught of work shows no sign of abating. I had thought with the deadlines met last Friday, I could breathe a bit today but not a chance. Anyhow, I am still hanging on by eating an elephant, putting on horse blinders, wearing Nike shoes and eating ice-cream with a foot in front. pearlie

Sunday spree

I decided to do something we have not done for a long time - spend Sunday afternoon in town. Calvin and I headed to Bangsar Shopping Village after attending church and was greeted with a most pleasant surprise. As we were walking towards the concourse area of the mall, we saw someone playing at the piano. I said to Calvin the one thing I always say to him when we see someone at the piano in the mall - go learn your piano well and next time you can play in malls to earn some pocket money. As we were walking towards the baby grand, I realised the pianist was none other than Colin, Janet Ng's son, whom I blogged about just yesterday, whose book I bought and finished reading just yesterday. Janet Ng, Harvest of Love , 2005 Janet Ng quit her full-time job to devote her everfy to nurture her visually-impaired son, Colin. Harvest of Love is an inspiring real-life story of how Janet went against all odds to help Colin pursue tertiary education in music in Malaysia where there is hard

So many good things!

I had such a full day today it may be true that I have enough content for the next one month. Alright, I am exaggerating but it was. I collected a big box of books from Kar Yong . I had breakfast with him and engaged in bible talk. He agreed to take up a biblical session in my church. I attended a workshop on " Writing Effective Testimonies " by Angela Little . I met Melissa - my first blogger friend meeting. I wrote my first paragraph of a real testimony as a ghostwriter. I met Fung Bo Bo who also attended the workshop. I also met Rosalyn, an ex-colleague. I bought Tony Anthony and Angela Little's Taming the Tiger . I bought Janet Ng's Harvest of Love about her son, Colin. I had a nice chatty dinner with Melissa. I came home and finished reading Harvest of Love. It gripped my heart. I will write about these in days to come. At home, I spent some time with Calvin and at bedtime, I read to him Exodus 30 & 31. He was as usual full of questions and this time a

For Whom Would Jesus Vote?

I have been spending time off and on, in keeping up with the current local news in Malaysiakini , as well as reading thoughts and opinions over several blogs. As much as the topic of politics now interest me, I began to also ask questions concerning my stand as a Christian. At this time when I am still asking questions and finding my role, responsiblity and identity as a Christian in the context of government, I was grateful enough not to be put in a position where I had to choose between a Christian MCA candidate and a PAS candidate. I did a search today and found this article most helpful. For Whom Would Jesus Vote? Single-issue politics is neither necessary nor wise. A Christianity Today Editorial November 2004, Vol. 48, No. 11 It has become a cliché for Christians to ask, What would Jesus do? But as we close out one of the nastiest campaigns in memory, it might be timelier to ask, For whom would Jesus vote? Many Christians think they at least know for whom the Lord would no

Don't look

Things are seriously piling up, from all sides, and I am trying not to think. I am a procrastinator, a last-minute person, a perfectionist, I mull, and I ruminate. How in the world am I going to get things done. My one post-it note on my work-stuff is so long it won't fit into my computer screen. Don't look, don't think, just do. pearlie Photo © 2007 Richard Dudley


I received these in what I call "fwd-emails", which usually go poof! into the recycling bin. However, I looked these through and thought they were brilliant! Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth? A. Ruthless. Q. What do they call pastors in Germany ? A. German Shepherds. Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible? A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation. Q.. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible? A. Samson. He brought the house down. Q. Which Bible character had no parents? A. Joshua, son of Nun. Anyway, it was not a really good day today and I needed the laughs. pearlie

List of Fives
cc. Melissa, Julia, Kar Yong,
Reb, Kevin, Kansas Bob

Randi Jo tagged me and I thought this should be fun. So here goes: What was I doing 10 years ago? March 1998 1. I was recuperating from the birth of our son on 20 Feb 1998 2. I was undergoing the confinement period in my in-law’s home 3. I was getting used to having someone to care for 4. I was learning how to bathe a tiny human being 5. I was breastfeeding 5 things on my to-do list today 1. Getting client reports out of the way: I was just commenting that I need a truckload of motivation to get myself moving to work on these reports 2. Drive Calvin to the center for his piano class this evening 3. Kick start on my stalled John assignments and get moving again 4. Did I mention all the reports I have to do? 5. All of the above Snacks I enjoy 1. Ice cream 2. Cakes - butter, cheese, carrot, chocolate, spice. 3. Chocolate 4. Cheezels !!! 5. Tong sui (literally sugar water , Chinese sweet soups) particularly wheat, peanut, black sesame and black bean … yum yum! Things I would do i

Unconcious sins?

SH and I were debating about knowledge of sin in reference to Lev 5:3. I began reading Henri Blocher's Original Sin today and found some very interesting verses. Psalm 19:12 (NASB) Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 1 Corinthians 4:4 (NASB) For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Numbers 15:27-29 (NASB) 27 'Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one year old female goat for a sin offering. 28 'The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven. 29 'You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them. pearlie

Easter Sunday
Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

Mark 16:6 Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. pearlie

Holy Saturday
We will remember the cross

We spent a quiet day today. I am having a headache and a bit worried about tomorrow's line up. We will be having our Easter Service at 6.30am as a Sunrise Service, where SH and I will be transferring our membership officially over. Then I have to rush over to our family church where Grace Notes is helping out the church choir in their Easter Service. We are singing "Mighty Cross, A Celebration of the Tree of Life"*. I am doing a short one-page solo piece entitled, "We Will Remember the Cross". I am freaking out because I keep forgetting the words and it is at my most challenging and weak range: the G and A above the middle-C are my horror notes. We will remember the cross Lifted high upon the hill We will remember His loss And the blood that's pleading still O the wonder of his suffering love And the crown of pain he wore We will remember the cross of our Lord (David Baroni and John Chisum) I need your prayers. But most of all for the message of th

Good Friday
All have sinned

USA Today published today in their website: Has the 'notion of sin' been lost? By the look of it - notion of sin? - I am afraid it has. The same subject of sin was brought up at dinner. SH was asking if Lev 5:3 is a principle that confirms that if we do not know that we have sinned, we are not guilty. A plea of ignorance? Leviticus 5:3 (NIV) Or if he touches human uncleanness-- anything that would make him unclean-- even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty. His line of question is this: if we do not know that we have sinned, have we sinned? Are we guilty? The examples he gave are two. (1) A man who has been indoctrinated since young to rid of one particular race, send thousands of people into gas chambers. He did not know and does not see that he is doing anything wrong because he has been taught from the crib that such and such a people must be eliminated. (2) A baby without the capacity to reason, does not know wrong from right, did some

Maundy Thursday
At the Garden of Gethsemane

At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked if the cup can be removed from him, but yet not his will but the will of the Father be done. "It symbolises neither the physical pain of being flogged and crucified, nor the mental distress of being despised and rejected even by his own people, but rather the spiritual agony of bearing the sins of the world, in other words, of enduring the divine judgement which those sins deserved ... in Wisdom literature and the prophets the Lord's 'cup' was a regular symbol of his wrath." (John Stott, The Cross of Christ , 76) Jesus took on the wrath of God that is meant for us. At the cross, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, " Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? " (Mark 15:34). For far too many times, I was being told and retold that Jesus was reciting Psalms 22:1 without much being reminded of the reason for it being uttered. John Stott himself said that while t

Holy Wednesday
Jesus is Lord

Carson in his teaching session on Revelations 13 strongly calls for us to lead a life that reflects what Christ has done on the cross - we must live a life that either proclaims that Jesus is Lord or the beast is lord. There are no two ways about it: it is one or the other. So what have I been doing? Do I think, say and do things that reflect Christ? Do they testify to the truth that is in Christ? Do I passionately endure and be faithful to the gospel of Christ? Do I bear up under the pressure in faithfulness to display godliness and obedience to the gospel of Christ? How I live bears testimony to who rules my life. If the answer is no , it is then without a doubt that the beast is lord. The beast is lord if I have tacked God to only when I am free, the beast is lord if I have a need for prayer only when I am in trouble, the beast is lord if do not take pain to think and reflect what the cross means, the beast is lord if I abbreviate the cross to just an ornament I hang around

Holy Tuesday
Jesus of the Scars

Jesus of the Scars If we have never sought, we seek Thee now; Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars; We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow; We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars. The heavens frighten us; they are too calm; In all the universe we have no place. Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm? Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars we claim Thy grace. If when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near, Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine; We know today what wounds are; have no fear; Show us Thy Scars; we know the countersign. The other gods were strong, but Thou wast weak; They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone. by Edward Shillito (1872-1948) pearlie Photo © 2007 Herman Brinkman

Holy Monday
Because of the blood of the Lamb

I was having problems with getting the mp3 player to work properly in my car but I finally got it settled and in good timing too. I did not have anything planned for the Holy Week. Without much of a thought, I proceeded on with the rest of Carson’s mp3s on Revelations 12. As it turns out, the message was a resounding one: The Evil One has been defeated. He has been thrown down and he is full of fury. He knows his time is short and therefore he is taking the opportunity to pull down as many people as possible. Over the centuries, ever since Jesus' crucifixion on the cross and his glorious resurrection, the Evil One has been actively doing that. But the redeemed in Christ has been defeating him and will continue to overcome him. This is because of three things (Rev 12:11). Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. It is first and foremost, the

Palm Sunday

We had Mr Selvaraj as our guest speaker today who spoke from Luke 19:28-40. He drew our attention to Jesus, the 3 groups of people and the donkey: 1. Jesus, as the epitome of total submission to the Father's will Philippians 2:1-11 1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedi

Politics 101

I was never interested in politics. I am not sure if I can really pin down all the reasons why but I can say that it mainly has to do with the masquerading two-faced quality of human beings, regardless of which side they are in - what is being said may sound acceptable but usually just on the surface. What goes on with the undercurrents is what we should be vary of at all times, and I find that exhausting to keep up, and so I didn't. Not until this recent elections. The recent happenings in Malaysian politics is something very significant. It has been 39 years since the racial riots of 1969 that are without a doubt still fresh in the minds of the more senior generations. I grew up being reminded of it by my late grandmother. But that generation has almost passed on. It is highly possible that the younger generations now are not even aware of it. The intensity of the memory has faded. In this current milieu, add on the freedom of press via the internet, Malaysians are more vocal an

Justification in the Pauline Corpus: Day 7

We had the final installment of classes on Justification today. I was a bit disappointed - firstly, I missed the first hour of class because I also have choir practice, about the same time, same day. I did not want to miss practice because for one, Easter is so near and we are not ready and two, more importantly, a choir is a unifying body: merely one member missing is like one part of your body missing. So I decided to turn up half for each - I am not sure if that is a good idea though. The second thing was that in all the hum of activity lately I forgot to bring my Pillar commentary on Ephesians written by Dr O'Brien for his autograph! How could I? But I got a picture though, albeit not very good in quality. For what I got out of attending the second half of class is however, quite important. Dr O'Brien talked quite a bit about justification in our living and preaching. One very important question to ask is after all we have learnt and will learn about justification, gra

Justification in the Pauline Corpus: Day 6

I am taking class in a more relaxed manner come the 6th installment of class, having resigned to the fact that it might be just beyond my abilities to tackle this one head on. I am releasing some stress by affirming myself that I do not have to take this credit if I find that I can't cope, what with 4 assignments still pending, two of John's and two more of Psalm's. But whatever the case, if I do decide to work on this, I will tackle the assignment on the comparison between E.P. Sander and Paul - on how Sander's views that in Second Temple Judaism gaining "salvation" is described in terms of "covenantal nomism" where one "get in" by grace and "stay in" through obedience to the Torah can be squared against Paul's teaching on salvation. In my opinion, this will pave for me a stronger foundation in the traditional understanding of justification and the New Perspective of Paul, that is, if I decide to tackle this head on. Nevert

Tears of joy!

I posted this 1 ½ years ago. Just imagine, the last time they had good news was 1 ½ years ago, and they are still hanging onto the Lord and trusting him. I believe there are times, they just want to give up, but they have no one to turn to but God and God has not failed them. They finally heard the sweetest words they have been waiting for all these years, they have been waiting 5 years in Malaysia to hear it, more if you count the time before they came over here in transit. They are now being issued international passports and all set to fly to Canada, in the next few months. This is wonderful news. pearlie


I dare not entitle this post "Justification in the Pauline Corpus: Day 5" with what I am going to post here. I stumbled upon this video some weeks ago and simply loved it. I am putting it here because in a way, I am like that Kiwi trying to wade myself through the myriad theological thoughts and teachings on justification, sanctification, redemption, reconciliation, salvation, propitiation, expiation, imputation, penal substitution and on top of all that the New Perspective on Paul, with not only its own version of justification, sanctification, redemption, reconciliation, salvation, propitiation, expiation, imputation, penal substitution but also Second Temple Judaism and covenantal nomism. Whoa! Kiwi! © 2006 Dony Permedi Music by Tim Cassell Quite dismal to think about it, if I were to build and gather up accolades only to meet my death if they were accomplished for my own purposes. So, God help me. pearlie p/s I was explaining to Calvin how I connected the animation


I was just telling a few people today that I wished I were omnipresent! But what a havoc it would be if God designed us that way. For the fun of it, what do you think would be the worst disaster if we were all omnipresent? pearlie

Worship in Spirit and in Truth

Pastor Chris’ reiterated his call to us to be serious in our worship through his sermon today, “True Worshippers” based on John 4:23-24. John 4:23-24 (NAU) 23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." I remember someone telling me that we usually misinterpret worshipping in spirit and in truth . I cannot remember what it was and if I now perform a simple exegesis by looking at the verses themselves to derive its meaning, I saw it as follows: Worship Him in Spirit I have usually taken it to mean to worship him in a spiritual manner. But now I think it is not. If we look at v.20-21, “ Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither

The Rakyat has Spoken

It was "Justification in the Pauline Corpus, Day 4" and I found this lecture the most interesting one - touching on imputation of righteousness, justification and works. But that is definitely eclipsed by Malaysia's 12th election that was held today, nationwide. It is the most exciting watch in my lifetime as a Malaysian citizen and voter. The Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition suffered much in losses even though they have won a simple majority - what with 30 parliament seats, of which they won 29, Sarawak with only a population of 2.4 million (a 2006 estimate), compared to 22 seats in Selangor with a population of 4.8m (a 2007 estimate). Thank you for giving us up-to-date live reports on the election results and going-ons. The mainstream media is as expected utterly hopeless. I have been also updating myself on what had been happening in the Seputeh parliamentary seat , where I placed my vote in this morning. I have heard about it and seen

Calling on the Saints

It was the body of Christ that picked up the pieces after a rape left me in shambles. by Heather Gemmen Wilson Christianity Today , February 2008, Vol. 52, No. 2 My husband had gone to a meeting at church and my children were asleep down the hall when an intruder entered my bedroom, waking me from a deep sleep. In the dim light reflecting from the hallway, I saw his silhouette—and vaguely perceived that a tall man with bulky arms stood just a few feet from my bed. I didn't scream. For a few naïve moments, I didn't understand what was happening. "Who are you?" I asked. The ugliness of his laugh shocked me into wakefulness. I sat up quickly, and he yanked a knife out of his pocket. "Oh, no," I whispered, holding my hands up toward him. "No—don't do this." Some have suggested that the church was partly to blame for my rape. They have a point. My husband and I had moved into the inner city as penniless college students, planning to leave as so

Justification in the Pauline Corpus: Day 3

Where do you go when you get lost in a town? An information stand. A directory. But where do you go when you get lost in a jungle? Nowhere, stay where you are and pray? I checked this blog , and it says amongst others to: draw attention, get along with the wildlife and keep a sense of humour. In class, I did not quite draw any attention, i.e. I did not ask any questions - not because I didn't want to - I don't know what to ask! But I got along the the "wildlife" alright - i.e. the notes, the contents, the lecture, whatever, I just went along with it. And I kept a sense of humour. Right here: the perfect place to do it (and whether or not I am humourous is not the point). We touched on faith and justification today. What is faith? Luther said that real, true Christian faith is not simply that you believe Christ is a man, but Christ is the man for you . It involves wholehearted trust that God is on your side. Calvin said that faith is the firm and certain knowledge


Two textbooks were listed as required for the “Justification in the Pauline Corpus” classes I am currently taking. Stephen Westerholm, Perspectives Old and New on Paul (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004) John Piper, The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007) They are not easily located and finally I had to fork out RM108 to get Westerholm’s book from Canaanland that had them flown in. I started reading it before classes and before long found myself more scanning than reading. I just got hold of Piper’s book yesterday (also from Canaanland), and read about 40 pages of it this morning. It is a good book. For someone who has not spent much on this topic of justification and who is quite new to the New Perspective on Paul (NPP), I feel that Piper would be a good start. He gives a good introduction and also lists out a few NPP issues that he deals with in the book: The Gospel is not about how to get saved? Justification is not how you become a C