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Showing posts from 2010

Life

Being free flow in a structured environment. Being structured in a free flow environment. Life is really confusing. pearlie

Lost things have a life of their own

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Oh wow ... we've found our Nintendo DS Lite! Unbelievable. We've lost it one and a half years ago. We brought it to Melaka during our church camp and when we got back we could not find it. We've searched everywhere - in all the bags, in the car, to no avail. And suddenly it reemerged. I kinda have a feeling all the while that it is somewhere waiting to be found. Yay! pearlie

I know it is cliche-ish, but time really flies like nobody's business

It's November already? pearlie

A Thousand Words #126

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pearlie Photo (c) 2010 Aneta Blaszczyk

Love in the hard places

D.A. Carson wrote a book entitled Love in Hard Places . The book is described: Too often the Christian version of popular culture's sentimental view of love is that, of all things, Christians should be nice. After all, people ask, isn't the Church about forgiveness? Aren't Christians supposed to love others without condition? This book not only focuses on the aspects of Christian love that are not easy--such as when it comes to loving our enemies, and even forgiving those loved ones who have hurt us--but also helps readers understand, then, what biblical love really is. As author D. A. Carson points out, thinking seriously about Christian love soon embroils us in reflection on justice, revenge, war, the authority of the state, forgiveness, hate, and much more. This book shows some of the important ways in which the love of Christians is a reflection of the love of God, and enables believers to develop an appropriate understanding of how to love in the hard places of life.

I wish I had more time?

I have heard this many times and I have also said it many times - I wish I had more time. But imagine, if we were to have more time in a day, the week should be shorter because we just cannot work longer hours for 5 straight days. So think about it, would it be any better if we have 48 hours in a day, twice as long as what we have now? We should only work 3 days in a week and rest one day. We'd end up with a 192-hour week instead of a 168-hour week. We would have an extra 24-hour rest time, but would life be any better? I don't think so. So I think I will stick to have we have now. However, I am firm believer that time is relative - I had such a looooong week that it felt like a month! So in that sense, when someone says they wish they had more time, you need to ask him what he actually means by that. pearlie

Petrol thieves?

I was involved in a minor accident and I took my car to the Honda workshop in Jalan Klang Lama to get my bumper and back panel fixed. I have a strong suspicion that they stole my petrol in the event. I collected the car after a week and noticed that the petrol indicator was down by one third. I remembered it was a full tank when I brought it in but I dismiss it as I couldn't believe anyone would go so low as to steal petrol and thought I must have been mistaken. I just refilled my tank and as usual I logged it into my iPhone Gas Cubby app. It was then clear that they did. The calculation of km/l has gone down quite substantially. What should I do now? If I make a complaint and continue using them, the workers may decide to be mean and do more harm than good. But if I don't do anything, it goes against my principles. So it looks like I am going to make the complaint and use another car service provider, which is a shame because I had liked this one and they are conveniently

Little Gidding V by T.S. Eliot

Alex posted this in the comment page of my last post and I found it brilliant. Thanks again, Alex. Little Gidding V by T.S. Eliot We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, remembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half heard, in the stillness Between the two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always-- A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of things shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. pearlie

I am back!

I have not flown around for quite awhile ever since I left KPMG but now that I am back into HR Consulting and Training work, I am back at it again and I am back in the game! But for the first time, I flew in and out on the same day, and it is dead tiring. I woke up at 4.30am, got into a cab at about 5.15am to head off to the airport. Hopped into a plane at 6.15am and arrived in JB safe and sound. I spent the whole day in a client's place and felt alive again as far as my consulting veins are concerned. Flew back at 9.20pm and arrived home at 11.30pm. Wow, what a day, what a tiring day. pearlie

Headless chicken...

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...I was wondering where and how this phrase came about and found out that there was actually a real headless chicken that existed before, but whatever it is I have been running around like one lately. pearlie

I am a son of God

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14 pearlie

Come, Lord Jesus (Great is the darkness)

This is an excellent song with great lyrics and a good tune. It is written by Gerald Coates and Noel Richards. I have not sung it for awhile now and I have forgotten how to. But I going to use it during my worship lead in church tomorrow morning. This is 2010 and I have Youtube to the rescue. Verse 1 Great is the darkness that covers the earth, Oppression, injustice and pain; Nations are slipping in hopeless despair, Though many have come in Your name Watching while sanity dies, touched by the madness and lies. Chorus Come, Lord Jesus, come, Lord Jesus, pour out Your Spirit we pray; Come, Lord Jesus, come, Lord Jesus, pour out Your Spirit on us today. Verse 2 May now Your church rise with power and love, This glorious gospel proclaim; In every nation salvation will come To those who believe in Your name. Help us bring light to this world, That we might speed Your return. Verse 3 Great celebrations on that final day, When out of the heavens You come; Darkness will vanish, al

The Reader

I have been putting off watching The Reader even though I knew it had good ratings and I like Kate Winslet's work. The movie deals with a 36 year old woman (Hanna) who has an affair with a 15 year old boy (Michael) and I have serious problems with that. But since I have some time today and a mood for a more serious movie, I watched it. By the time the movie ended, my head felt like bursting thinking about it but not knowing where to start. For one, it is what a reviewer called a "sentimental-erotic fantasy". But more than that, one of the message of the movie is that Nazi workers in the death camps were only carrying out their duties, and that include sending the Jews to their deaths. But does that not diminish the horror of blatant genocide? When the guards were on trial, Hanna who was one of them, asked in rhetoric, "What would you have done?" Moreover, why did they not unlock the door of the burning church that caused the death of 300 inmates? They retor

The Big Bang Theory and Personality Types

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I fell sick today and ended up staying at home watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory. It was hilarious! The sitcom is about two Caltech geniuses, one an applied physicist (Leonard Hofstadler) and the other a theoretical physicist (Sheldon Cooper) who live across the hall from an attractive blond waitress and aspiring actress (Penny). There is also their two other work colleagues who are good friends, an aerospace engineer (Howard Wolowitz) and a particle astrophysicist (Rajesh Koothrappali). And this is my absolute favourite line from the 6th episode: Penny had invited them to a Halloween party and they all ended up in Flash Gordon costumes. They were discussing what they should do and Raj suggested, " We could walk right behind each other all night and look like one person going really fast. " Absolutely priceless! The characters are really interesting and I tried typing them using the 16 personality types. Here is my take, If you watch it and if you are into persona

Sentimentalism and the Cross

I am just wondering, can there be any space for sentimentality in the saving grace of the cross? What I mean is, for people who feel unwanted -- not necessarily actually unwanted, but those who just feel down in the dumps -- is there space for, "Hey, but Jesus loves you. He died for you on the cross." Or is the cross removed from sentimentalism and should only be focussed upon strictly on justification, redemption and penal substitution? In short, does sentimentalism cheapen the cross? pearlie

A Thousand Words #125

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Pearlie Ng Photo (c) 2010 Alek von Felkerzam

Thy paths drop fatness!

Read this in the morning and it really spoke to me: Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, Daily Readings Morning, 18 October “Thy paths drop fatness.” Psalm 65:11 Many are “the paths of the Lord” which “drop fatness,” but an especial one is the path of prayer. No believer, who is much in the closet, will have need to cry, “My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me.” Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy-seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought. Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the believer strong—if not happy. The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord . Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come because you are an adv

Beat plowshares into swords OR swords into plowshares?

Coincidence? Sometimes there are coincidences, sometimes not. Last week, one of my colleagues uttered out of nowhere the phrase "beat their swords into plowshares". We were both quietly working on our computers and suddenly it just came. I asked him why he said it and he simply replied, "Oh! A song, but it was the other way round, 'beat plowshares into swords'. Something is not right somewhere." I am not so familiar with the prophetic section of Scripture and so I did a search in my Bibleworks and showed him: Micah 4:3 and Isa 2:4 have it as "beat their swords into plowshares", whilst Joel 3:10 do have it the other way round, "beat plowshares into swords". So, we have both. But why he brought it up, I still have no idea. I would have just let it rest except that the preacher in church this morning brought up the same phrase. He was not preaching from it - he was just using it peripherally to refer to his point on peace. But to me, it

A Thousand Words #124

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pearlie Photo (c) 2009 Bev Lloyd-Roberts

You got to be more like us men

What I went through today reminds me a lot of a House M.D. episode I have watched: Season 5, Episode 12: Painless At Cuddy’s house. She was at home with the baby after a home inspection to see if she is eligible for adoption. The inspection was earlier than expected and she did not have time to clean up her mess at home. T here’s a knock on the door. Cuddy sees who it is. Cuddy : It’s open. [Wilson enters carrying a giant, stuffed duck. She laughs.] Thank you. Wilson : Is it too big? Cuddy : She’ll grow into it. You can put it there. [She points to a chair.] Wilson : I take it the home inspection was pushed back. Cuddy : I passed. Wilson : You do realize that's a good thing? Cuddy : This place was a disaster. I had to stash a dirty diaper in my briefcase. Wilson : So you buy another briefcase. Cuddy : I let House supervise himself. That’s like handing a 12-year-old the keys to the liquor cabinet and the car. Wilson : You passed the inspection. The patient lived. The ca

ENFPs: are you one?

I have become quite fascinated by ENFPs. Here is how TypeLogic describe an ENFP. ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They want to both help (at least, their own definition of "help") and be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. They are interested in new ideas on principle, but ultimately discard most of them for one reason or another. Social/Personal Relationships: ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to the more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As mates they are warm, affectionate, and disconcertingly spontaneous. However, attention span in relationships can be short; ENFPs are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting about the older ones for long stretches at a time. Less mature ENFPs may n

Presuppositions, huh?

I read this in page 44 of Graeme Goldsworthy’s “According to Plan” in Chapter 3, “How Can We Know?” on the topic of “Presuppositions”: Presuppositions, then, are the assumptions we make in order to be able to hold some fact to be true. We cannot go on indefinitely saying, “I know this is true because…” In the end we must come to that which we accept as the final authority. By definition a final authority cannot be proven as an authority on the basis of some higher authority. The highest authority must be self-attesting. Only God is such an authority. The presuppositions we must make in doing biblical theology are those of Christian theism. The alternative to this is to accept the presuppositions of some form of humanism. Either we work on the basis of a sovereign, self-proving God who speaks to us by a word that we accept as true simply because it is his word, or we work on the basis that man is the final judge of all truth. The Christian position, to be consistent, accepts that the

Tête-à-tête

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I haven't had a good long chat with my sister-in-law in too long awhile. It was pleasant and nice to catch up. pearlie Photo (c) 2005 Lotus Head

The Plan or The Drama?

I have a book review to work on for my TEE module on Bible Theology. The list of books to pick from consists of: (a) G Goldsworthy, According to Plan (IVP, 1991) (b) T D Alexander, From Eden to Promised Land (IVP, 2008) (c) M Strom, Days Are Coming (Hodder & Stoughton, 1989) [= The Symphony of Scripture (P&R, 2001)] (d) E P Clowney, The Unfolding Mystery (IVP, 1988) (e) V Roberts, God’s Big Picture (Paternoster, 2009) (f) C G Bartholomew, The Drama of Scripture (Baker, 2006) I have briefly checked out all the books, and decided on either Goldsworthy's According to Plan or Bartholomew's The Drama of Scripture. I bought both the book, started on them and like them both. Now I am not sure which one to pick. Though they speak of the same topic, i.e. the bible story as a whole, their approach is different. Goldsworthy goes into it by giving an excellent and simple introduction on what biblical theology is and why is it important to us. He then tackled the storyl

Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

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I was up for preaching this morning and I have been mulling over Genesis 2 for about a week before this. I had wanted to preach from the three parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Lost Son but later settled on selected passages in Genesis 2 that focused on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I chose this because I felt that God had impressed it in my mind that it would be a timely message for all of us, though at the start, I did not know what I will end up with. As I begin to work on the passage, I was still unsure why a tree and why knowledge of good and evil. As I spent time reading into the verses, digging into the commentaries and reflecting on what it all means, I have learnt so much! My sermon was entitled “In the Beginning” and it ran more or less like this: If you like numbers, today is a very special day. It is 10-10-10, perfection, which is just perfect because this morning, we go will back to the very beginning where it was perfect. But then, it all went

Nature Walk

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It has been awhile since I went for a photo shoot. Here are some which I have taken during the last trek I did with some friends in FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia), a forest reserve near the city. This is the highlight of FRIM. They are the Dryobalanops Aromatica trees, locally known as Pokok Kapur. They have a nice-smelling exudate known as camphor , one of the main component of making ointment. The phenomenon you see at the tree canopies is called "Crown Shyness". The reason for its name is because the leaf tips of the trees shy away from each other, hence forming the neatly lined gap. I took this at the waterfall. I had to stay very still so that this dragonfly won't fly away. In fact, it stayed there for quite a long time. On the way down from the waterfall, this monkey was just by the side of the walkway. A couple of young adults were feeding it some biscuits. I had not packed my camera and took the closest shots I could with my 90mm. I was a bit

Excuse me???!!!

Calvin and I was in Steven's Corner in OUG today when I could not believe what happened. One of the restaurant waiters was taking our order patiently (we are somehow quite particular how we want our dosai ) when the boss suddenly redirected the waiter to handle something else and he took over to take our order. So I had to start over, but when I did, giving him all the details from beginning, he said "Faster, faster". ???!!! I don't create scenes or I would have just got up and walked off. I didn't. I still want my dosai but it will be the last time I'm there. Then later, someone called me "useless". ???!!! I shouldn't have bothered but it got to me. pearlie

Trust, trust, trust

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made them known to you today, even to you. Proverbs 22:17-19 pearlie

Pastoral Leadership & Ministry

My Pastoral Leadership & Ministry assignment is due on 28th November 2010 and I have just passed it up! This is a record for me. I have never ever handed in any assignments until the very last week or even hour, if emailing is allowed. Being an INFP , with an extremely strong P, I have this need to wait until the very last moment just to be satisfied that I have had access to whatever material I can get my hands on and that I have included whatever I deem valuable into the assignment. To me, early submission is an ineffective use of available resources. But submitted it I have. I have no choice actually. Taking a TEE programme on a part time basis, we cannot have more than 3 modules pending on hand. Including this Pastoral module, I have 4. But STM is lenient for students who are about to graduate. Now that I have handed this one in, I have 3 more with assignments to work on: Exegesis of 1 Corinthians , Biblical Theology and Major Religion in Malaysia. And I need one

MS Office Home and Business 2010

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I finally went to the store and got Microsoft Office for my netbook - the Home and Business 2010 version. OpenOffice was good but very limited in what it can do. I have sort of gotten used to Office 2007 (though I still need to squint my eyes and look for stuff I am used to in the older version). I'll see how Office 2010 will fare - I was told that Outlook is much better in this new version. pearlie

A Thousand Words #123

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I have begun something new and this is the time to watch and learn. pearlie Photo (c) 2005 Angel Norris

God Spoke to Me

Lately, I have been very worried about what I hear said very often: "God told me that...", "God has revealed to me that...", "God spoke to me that..." followed by either a personal interpretation of verses from Scriptures or something out of nowhere or even from sermons which to me are anecdotal at best. I am struggling with this because I know God can speak to anyone in any way He wanted to but how would I know what that person said is really something God has spoke to him directly or something he worked out in his own mind? I wouldn't know now would I? Moreover, I am even careful with my own thoughts to differentiate which are the promptings of the Holy Spirit and which are just my own thoughts and desires. Sometimes I can't even tell and as a result I have to be more focussed on His word on one end, and have myself more attentive to Him on the other. What one of my friends said is true: she said to me that whenever anyone tells her God spoke

Movie: Catch Me If You Can

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I watched several DVD movies today, and none of them as interesting as "Catch Me if You Can". It is based on a true story of "a former confidence trickster, cheque forger, skilled impostor, and escape artist. He became notorious in the 1960s for successfully passing US$2.5 million worth of meticulously forged checks across 26 countries over the course of five years, beginning when he was 16 years old. In the process, he claimed to have assumed no fewer than eight separate identities, successfully impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, a Bureau of Prisons agent, and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing airliner and once from a US federal penitentiary), all before he was 21 years old." It is very intriguing and to top it off, he is now a multi-millionaire providing legitimate consultancy services in security. Certainly gives a new perspective to the word "consultancy". pearlie Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Ab

A Brand New Day

This is a new day Tis but tied to the old Still all in disarray Yet much will come unfold The sky is bright All things aright Hope it stays that way It is a brand new day (c) 2010 Pearlie Ng All Rights Reserved

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

by John Rutter Vocals by The Choirboys [2005] pearlie

Squeezed dry

I have been so busy at work I feel like I have been squeezed dry by the end of everyday. Not a very good feeling. I can't wait for things to taper down so I can get back to living again. But one good thing is that I am back here blogging, though I do need to spend a bit more time in the blogs that I follow, but I am getting there. pearlie

68 + 12

A grandmother off on a holiday with her 12-year-old grandson. Cute, eh? pearlie

A Thousand Words #122

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pearlie Photo (c) 2006 Troy Newell

Unforgiveness

Today's sermon was a pertinent one. Whilst the title went along the lines of Christian being taken captive to do the devil's will (2 Tim 2:26), the clear message was that unforgiveness opens wide the door to the devil's scheming in our lives. Unforgiveness is a very human thing. When we see that something is done wrong against us, there is a barrage of emotions that would flood us. How we handle these emotions is very important. But in the heart of it all, we must decide to forgive--it is not an option, it is a command from God (Mark 11:25). Forgiveness is a decision, even though we do not "feel like" doing it. We must decide and make up our mind to forgive and only then do we deal with our emotions. So first and foremost, we need to get past our raging emotions to obey and forgive. That is definitely easier said than done - the mind would be raging through all the unfairness, the injustice, the abuse, and the heart would be locked in unforgiveness. It would tak

How I wish I could!

I blogged about Thomas Tallis's O Nata Lux last year when my friend Alex sang it in a group and I commented how I would love to sing it too. I actually got invited to sing it! Now isn't that wonderful, except that rehearsals is 10,000 miles away :( "It's a small world after all", but not small enough :) pearlie

A horrible day is a cupcake day

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For the record, today is quite a horrible day. Nothing disastrous or devastating actually happened but the day left me with a horrible feeling that I find hard to shake off. Things people did, said and implied left a bad taste in my mouth. I did not have time for any dinner before I had to rush to class this evening, or it will be good if I can just have a cupcake to dispel it. pearlie Photo (c) 2008 Benjamin Earwicker

Letters to Juliet

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Calvin completed his exams today and we spent the evening watching TV. One of the movies was Letters to Juliet . Kansas Bob reviewed it a few days ago. I am watching it for the second time and I am still loving it. It is sweet and predictable - not everybody's cup of tea but it's definitely mine. The movie features a wall in Verona, Italy where women write letters to Juliet about their yearnings, questions and loss in their love life and paste it on the wall. A group of 4 women collect the letters every evening and reply them as Juliet's secretaries. Here is where Sophie who was visiting Verona with her fiancé discovered them and in the course of involving herself with their work, she discovered a 50-year-old letter written by a 15-year-old girl, Claire. Sophie replied her and here the story ensued with them looking for Claire's lost love. Now you can see I am a hopeless romantic. pearlie

All spent up

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Lately, I've been all spent up by the time the day is over. Today's the worst. pearlie Photo (c) 2008 Vivek Chugh

UPSR 2010

The Primary 6 national examinations started today and Calvin said it was tough. When I met up with the other parents in my workplace whose kids are also taking the exams, I seem to be cool about it when they were all worried and flustered. I guess I have been cool ever since I was 11 taking my then version of national exams, followed by the SRP and SPM and STPM and university exams and I hope I can be cool throughout for all my son's future exams, but something tells me I won't be. pearlie

A Thousand Words #121

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Wow! I haven't done "A Thousand Words" since Dec 14, 2009 ! pearlie Photo (c) 2007 Sanja Gjenero

Poetry to God

I learnt a bit about the Sufi when I took Ministry in a Pluralistic Context last year and we touched on it again today. I was reminded of my life as a Christian as well - there is a lot to learn from them. For one, the Sufi put themselves under the tutelage and guidance of a shaik or spiritual leader - it will be hard to find any such person in our churches these days whom we can call our mentors. They are ascetic, simple and quiet in their way of life. They were not content with just an exterior life of being a Muslim - it must also be lived out in their inner life. They are also well-known for the poetry they wrote: So long as we do not die to ourselves, and so long as we identify with someone or something, we shall never be free. The spiritual way is not for those wrapped up in exterior life. ~ Farid ud Din Attar The Jesus of your spirit is inside you now. Ask that one for help, but don't ask for body-things... Don't ask Moses for provisions that you can get from Phara

Recitations

This is not new to me but I am learning to appreciate it. The Arabic language is regarded as a highly perfected language. I have yet to really take in what it means to have a "highly perfected language" but I think it means a language that is highly developed, one that is pure and not borrowed, one that is beautiful and that has captured every sound. I have grown up hearing the azan or call-to-worship every now and then as I was driven past mosques or when I watched television in my childhood days. With satellite TV though, there is less of it these days. For old time's sake, I went to check it out in YouTube and found this. Doesn't it sound lovely? I also found this - a recitation of Surah 36:1-12 of the Qur'an. This boy's voice is wonderful and his recitation incredibly well done. pearlie

TEE on full throttle

I have been blogging about my TEE classes as I went about in the past 4 years (oh my, have I really been blogging that long?) but ever since I went reticent in 2010, I have not talked about them - wish I did. I am back into being more hardworking this year as far as my theological study is concerned. After the Ministry in a Pluralistic Context module I took in July/August 2009, the following modules I attended were Pastoral Leadership & Ministry in May 2010, 1 Corinthians in June/July 2010 and Biblical Theology in August 2010. I am about to complete my Pastoral Leadership & Ministry assignment but I have not touched anything on the other two. And today is the first day of the Major Religion in Malaysia module. We had the introductory session today and it was really very, very interesting to learn about Islam in Malaysia. For one, it is one of the fastest growing religion in the world right now and one very important realisation about the religion is that to the Muslims,

What have I been up to?

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Some of you have been asking me in the midst of my blogging absence what have I been up to. In a healthy way, many things have been happening whilst in an eroding way, many things have also been happening. On top of that, there is going to be a huge change very, very soon in my life -- a good change -- and I am looking forward to it. I am not sure how it will turn out in reality but as my idealistic way of looking at life, I certainly hope it will turn out to be the best phase of my life. But I have learnt to not over expect anything and leave it to God to lead me in life that is everlasting in Him. One thing is for sure, I really hope I will come back to a regime of daily blogging (but what is it that I hear tweeting and facebooking about the almost-demise of blogging?) pearlie Photo (c) 2007 Jef Bettens

Our image of the church

I'm trying really really hard to get on with my Pastoral Ministry assignment. I am reading Donald E. Messer's Contemporary Images of Christian Ministry (Abingdon, 1989) and find that it is an excellent book. I may actually find myself quoting him in every other sentence as I write my paper, which I am trying hard not to do if I want to pass this module. This I must quote here: One's image or vision of the church is indeed pivotal to one's image of ministry. History abounds with evidence to confirm this theory. If one's model of the church is primarily that of a visible institution, complete with constitution, rules, rights, an powers, then one's understanding of ministry is likely to be hierarchical, managerial and dogmatic. (Messer, 81-82) He is spot on. pearlie

Today is π Day

Found this and got this from Wikipedia: Pi Approximation Day is observed on March 14, because of the Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes' first rough approximation of π as being 3.14. (A few years later, Archimedes was able to calculate a much better approximation of π.) However, this date may be considered misleading, because 22/7 is actually a closer approximation of π than 3.14 is. Thus, a "correct" Pi Day could be found in the European calendar, 22/7, or July 22. And it is Pearlie's Day as well - no approximation about that :) pearlie

Life as a Photographer

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I started on photography back in 2008, and where I am now as far as the graph is concerned is "Dammit, I suck". pearlie Graph sourced from Lenscratch

e-Books vs. Printed Books

Which would you choose? Would you rather buy an e-book or a printed book? Why Printed Books? They are personal I have a relationship with my books. I spotted them, I acquired them, I read them, I noted on them, I referred to them and I grew with them. (I was re-reading Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline, some weeks ago since I last read it in 1985: I was so amazed reading what I wrote in that book 25 years ago.) I can never give them away. Each book has its story, and I don't mean its content. They are social Books are conversational pieces as well. When I have visitors (which is rare though), those who are book-lovers themselves would congregate in my mini library and chat away about books. They can be a heritage Some say this but I am not so sure about this one. I look forward to passing on my collection to my son, but would he have the same interests as I have so as to appreciate the collection that I have, and even if he did, wouldn't he require newer ed

Again, on pulpits

Life have certainly taken a different turn for me lately as far as my blogging is concerned - i.e. I wished I could spend more time thinking and writing but alas, by the time I get back home, my mind would be too fried to do much else. However, what has been still burning in my mind is the treatment of pulpits in churches. I know the 1st century churches most probably do not have pulpits, and I know contemporary speakers these days desire to be more hip and happening and would traverse the entire chancel area to deliver the sermon. Maybe I am a tad too conservative. I get repelled by that. I always treat the pulpit as a symbol of the centrality of the Word of God and every speaker should respect it and stand behind it and to deliver God's message to the people in humility. In a sense it is more than a place to put your notes, it is submitting to the fact that we are only but a mouthpiece for the message of God to the people. I suppose I would be ok with a church without a pulpi

ABCs then and now

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Someone sent me these. Quite amusing. Quite true too, viewing Gen M in the context of educating them. pearlie

Bad emotions

A bad emotion is like a hole, the moment you let yourself in it, there is no coming back. Therefore, only stay by the sides knowing it is there. Just don't fall into it. pearlie

Some very interesting people

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I have not touched my camera for such a long time I feel quite out of touch as far as photography is concerned. I got my camera out today wanting to go to the bird park for some shots but sadly, it rained. But what I did not realise was this whole bunch of photos which I took some months back, which much to my delight turned out quite OK -- the thing is, my photography skills and outcome has been pretty dismal lately to say the least. But to me, these shots are interesting only because of the subjects. She is I think one of the most pretty woman I have ever seen around. He looks quite worried. I pray and hope all is okay by now. Ah ... getting the perfect shot. I know the feeling. Negotiation in progress ... what do you think they are negotiating on? Stocks? Bonds? Done deal ... please get it delivered first thing tomorrow morning. pearlie Photos (c) 2010 Pearlie Ng

Change

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They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. (Andy Warhol) ... but with Christ in you. pearlie Photo (c) Craig Goodwin

Are you a tea person?

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I have not been blogging much and do allow me with a little of indulging here :) I have always had a penchant for tea. I love browsing in tea shops when I go travelling and I'd end up with boxes and boxes of them in variety. That was many years ago. Now I am back at it, with a little more insight to it, thanks to the Internet. These are my favourites, at least for now: Camomile I know - it is not really considered as "tea" but a herbal infusion. But still, it has a lovely flavour and it gives me a very soothing and calming effect. Lady Earl Grey I used to love Earl Grey Tea - tea with oil of begamot orange. But Lady Earl Grey is wonderful, it is black tea with oil of bergamot, lemon peel and orange peel. Genmai-Cha And this is my all-time favourite - green tea with roasted rice. Smells heavenly! Making tea is something I look forward to doing: boiling the water, picking the tea I feel like for the time, infusing the tea and enjoying the aroma of it ... hmm,

No running, stand firm

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What happens when you are faced with impending problems? Do you face them head-on or do you want to run away? Whilst it is tempting to just pack and run, we have been time and again being reminded from Scriptures that we are to be on our guard, stand firm in the faith, be men of courage and be strong (1 Cor 16:13). And in Ephesians 6, we have the armour of God that we are to put on and again to stand firm, with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sandals of readiness from the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. So no running. Stand firm. pearlie Photo (c) 2009 lettieb

My everlasting TEE

I have started taking my Masters in Christian Studies under STM's TEE since 2003 and this will be my 7th year, the last year given to complete it. But I am still short of 2 core modules and 3 electives. I will be applying for an extension and I will need to put in more effort so that I will complete it in time. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. By the way, I have just obtained the result of my last paper, where I have done a comparative study on Buddhist and Christian meditation. I have really enjoyed writing the paper, which include two interviews with practicing Buddhists on the topic of meditation. I found that Buddhists must meditate as much as Christians must worship. And I worked it in the paper how we as Christians can relate to Buddhists through this topic. I have begun to understand both Christian meditation and Buddhism a bit more, and that I feel, is a good thing. pearlie

Life in harmony, life in one song

Harmony is something that is very important to me. I get extremely stressed out when I find myself in disharmony. It is very hard for me to be in disharmony as how it would be difficult to be in a hall filled with musicians and singers each playing and singing their own tunes, their own songs. Can you imagine how jarring that sound can be. But sad to say, much of this world is in disharmony. Each person is playing their own tune, singing their own songs, at their own beat, at their own volume. They just want to be heard and they just want attention all to themselves, not realising that he is not the only one around. If only everyone of us can listen and play our lives in harmony with one another, wouldn't we be creating beautiful music? You can play a different tune, we all do, but in the right beat, in the right tempo, in the right volume at the right time. Then we will sound like one song and be in harmony and it will be beautiful. Paul said in Romans: Live in harmony wit

ESV Bible for iPhone

Crossway has just made available an offline ESV Bible for iPhone. Compared to the other bible apps I have used, it has the best user interface. The chapter flows continually without having to click on a "next" button and wait. You'd just scroll and read on. There is also an option to add your own notes to the verses that come with links to their cross reference verses. The only weaknesses are: (1) there is no indication on the verse stating that you've added a note (2) there is no back button after clicking on a cross reference verse But all in all, I will be using this app during Sunday worship, though I might be still getting frowns from others thinking that I'm texting on my phone when I'm actually following the sermon with my ESV Bible. Link: http://www.itunes.com/app/esvbible pearlie

Before you point your gun at me

I have asked questions about pulpits , but before I state my mind, let me say that based on what I have encountered so far, most Christians have somewhat lost their hold on the traditions of Christian practice and religion. But at this very mention of "traditions" and "religion", I believe snipers are now getting prepped up, ready to assassinate my thoughts. So let me first explain where I am coming from before you point your gun at me. I am a person who likes to delve in history, but I am quite ignorant about it since I was never taught history when I was at school. Don't ask me why, I have no idea - sadly, it just wasn't a subject. History fascinates me now. We are a people bound by time and as such, we are a people of history, whether we like it or not. The word of God as given to us in Scriptures is locked in time, in history. The letters, the songs, the laws and commandments, the accounts, the narratives are all in relation to the milieu of the peop

Pulpits in churches?

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What do you think about pulpits in churches? Do you think they are an essential item? If you preach and there is a pulpit, what do you usually do and why? pearlie Photo (c) 2007 Terri Heisele

Have you prayed about it?

Have you ever thought that we can use the phrase "I prayed about it" to justify what we want to do, and the phrase "we need to pray about it" to disagree with what the other person is saying? pearlie

Blogging about not blogging

I am not sure if it is the same for everyone but I believe we have our seasons of life. We usually do not realise that it has changed until we notice things aren't quite the same anymore. Some things may still be there but the colour and feel of these things that remain would have changed somewhat. We might obliviously just get on with our daily lives but haven't you ever had an inkling or a whiff of thought that things just aren't the same anymore? Looking back at my own life, I can see several season changes in my life, and this round a quite significant one. Many things have changed in this new season of mine and one of which is that I have stopped blogging daily, and quite abruptly so, I must say. It isn't obviously a huge thing. Some of you may even think, Ah! Such a triviality. But nonetheless, it is somehow significant for me. I used to blog religiously. I must not and cannot miss any one day. I made it a point to document my day. I see that I spend time

The LORD's gift of a psalm to me today

Psalm 9 For the director of music. To the tune of "The Death of the Son." A psalm of David. 1 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. 4 For you have upheld my right and my cause; you have sat on your throne, judging righteously. 5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. 6 Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. 7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name wi