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Showing posts from October, 2010

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