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Showing posts from August, 2011

The Economist:
The minister of magic steps down

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I was reading with the headlines yesterday about the resignation of Steve Jobs, but no one but the The Economist has captured the sentiments so well - "The minister of magic steps down." I wish him well. Apple and The Economist: two of my all-time favourite corporations. One with amazing products and creativity that propel and stimulate my days, and the other with amazing writing and creativity that propel and stimulate my mind. Click here for The Economist article. pearlie

It all comes to nothing

I really do not like working with MS Powerpoint - it is really limited to be used to generate documents but that is what I have been using for almost a year now. It is a requirement and a norm here to submit documents and deliverables in MS Powerpoint format. I missed using MS Word and Excel. Therefore, I was pretty excited to start working to analyse an Excel sheet this morning, and that is practically what I have been doing the whole day. But alas, no matter how good the tool is, it is still the content that counts. I could not get any valuable analysis or conclusions out of the Excel sheet because of the poor quality of data and hence, nothing to include into the Powerpoint document I am suppose to update. As such, I have been working hard for one whole day but nothing came out of it. Which means, in the eyes of others, I have not done anything. However, at least I can proof that the answer to the question cannot be derived from that particular set of data, and ther

I used up all my sick days...

The Bitbook (like Facebook or Twitter) of the Bitizens from Tiny Tower, the iPhone game am still at, is quite entertaning. This for example, is hilarious: "I used up all my sick days, so I'm calling in dead." pearlie

A Prayer

Psalm 25 (ESV) Teach Me Your Paths To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed,none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it

My day of languages

If I were to mark each day of my life with a theme -- well, I actually have been doing that in a sense with the title of my daily posts -- then today will be the Day of Languages. It began when we had a discussion among my colleagues about the Malay language - one of them commented that it does not have an original word for "bag". It uses a loanword: beg . Later, I remembered Pastor Marvin (of Pantai Baptist Church or PBC, where I am attending for now) had announced that he will be speaking on the topic of the Bible this coming Sunday, in conjunction with the 400th year of the publication of the King James Version of the bible. I am looking forward to hearing it. Other than its spiritual aspect, the history and the technicalities of the Bible takes a very special place of my interests. It reminded me of two books I have read before -- The Story of English by Robert McCrum and In the Beginning: the Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language,

Gaps in my brain

Why is it that you find what you are looking in the last place you look?! My memory is failing me. I spent the whole evening looking for my computer charger cord. I tried tracing my steps to no avail. I finally checked in the most unlikely place and there it was. Then I remember putting it into a paper bag. I packed the paper bag aside forgetting what was in there. I leave gaps in my brain. pearlie

Restoring, bearing and sharing in a local church

The sermon today completes the exposition of the Epistle to the Galatians. Paul in the last chapter sums up his overall theme and message of the epistle, i.e. the gospel is not a religion. It is not some laws and regulations that you can adhere to and as a result gain acceptance. The gospel is the salvation of God that happens at the very core of our being, that we are first accepted because of Jesus and as a result we desire to keep his commands. What struck me though was the pastor's exhortation from Gal 6:1-10. The passage can be summarised as follows: (1) Restore your relationships with one another (v.1) (2) Bear your burdens with one another (v.2-5) (3) Share your blessings with one another (v.6) The thing is this: in order to carry out all three, one has to be attached and active in a local church. Walking in the Spirit also means walking in the faith community, where there is mutual accountability of one another. I am in a lurch at the moment - not being sure of where a

One Down, One More to Go

I finally sat down to work on my assignment. I have been procrastinating it like there's no tomorrow. I am glad I got down to work on it today from 11am to 11pm and completed the one on the Gospel of Mark, with another one to go. I should hit the iron while it is still hot, which means I must do this again tomorrow. Though I would need more than a 12-hour stretch to complete the second one on 1 Peter. pearlie

Actually, that's not in the Bible (CNN Belief)

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I found this article in CNN Belief blog. What do you think? Actually, that's not in the Bible By John Blake, CNN (CNN) – NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible. “Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season. “This, too, shall pass.” Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there. Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches - all types of people - quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scho

The Feeding of the 5000 according to John

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The sermon text this past Sunday was taken from Matt 14:13-21 about the feeding of the 5000. I obtained an article from ATLA Serials , but based on John 6:1-15 by Gail R. O'Day, Professor of Preaching and New Testament in Candler School of Theology.(1) I made a parallel comparison of the feeding account: (Click on image to enlarge) The professor's take on the John passage is interesting. I agree with her that comparing with the Synoptic Gospels, John tend to leave a lot of gaps and include several mentions that are not in the Synoptics: 1. The Passover was at hand (v.5) 2. The testing of Philip (v.6) 3. It was a boy who has the 5 loaves and 2 fish (v.9) 4. Jesus gave thanks for the loaves rather than saying a blessing (v.11) 5. The people saw it as a sign that Jesus is the Prophet who is to come into the world (v.14) 6. Jesus withdrew because he perceived that the people are about to come and take him by force to make his king (v.15) Let me see what we hav

Tiny Tower

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My son introduced me to this game and now I am kind of hooked on it. It is something like Farmville though simpler and not as complicated, and not so much of a time waster, albeit still a potential. I wonder how many floors I'll build before I am done with it. I've built the 9th. pearlie p/s (24/8/2011) I am not at Floor 24. Getting a bit tired of it already.

Why the change?

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The route that usually take me just 15 minutes to get me to where I am headed is now taking me almost an hour. Sigh... pearlie Photo (c) 2008 drouu

Logorrhea

I learnt a new word: logorrhea. It means speech that is pathologically incoherent and repetitious. It's wearisome volubility. And I had to suffer a big share of it today. It was painful. pearlie

The Body, the Church

My family church celebrated its 44th anniversary today. Grace Notes was invited to sing and so I was there. It has been awhile since I have attended Sunday service in this church and even though I spent more than half my life there and even though I call it my family church, I did not know half the people in the service. It has now became a reality to me that the church is the faith community and not the structure. The longer you spend away from the community, be it physically or even mentally, the further you will feel in relation to it. pearlie

A Thousand Words #138

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pearlie Photo (c) 2008 Zsuzsanna Kilian

"...but in spiritual matters you will think yourself into cotton wool"
(Oswald Chambers)

God as always has his way with me. I had prepared some devotional readings for Grace Notes to use every Wednesday to set us first in the presence of God before we practice and rehearse our songs. I have been taking it from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening: Daily Readings but have recently changed the source to Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest . The readings are shorter but the language is quite up there. So I spent some time looking through each of the ones I've selected to simplify the language where I can. Chambers is wonderful with his words and lessons. I was being chastened and corrected by most of them, even though my intention of reading them was only for editting purposes. The Lord has indeed spoken. These two hit me quite hard today: _______________________ Imagination V. Inspiration (Sep 14) "The simplicity that is in Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:3 Simplicity is the secret of seeing things clearly. A saint does not think c

A song to laugh at myself

Sing a song of sixpence My day was in a daze Four and twenty hours Being stuck in a maze Oh I feel so stupid What have I here to bring Won't it be a humbling thing To set before the king Don't mind me - it's just one of those days and I am laughing at myself... pearlie

The Whole Earth Had One Language

I was "chatting" with a good friend via emails when he brought up the topic of languages, of how he was revising his skills in the Tamil alphabet, something he had not done since childhood. I told him that I too am limited in the usage of the Chinese language, and isn't it interesting that we all now speak in one global language, English. I began to wonder: if God dispersed the people of the world by language, what happens now that almost the whole world is using one language? Gen 11:1-9 (ESV) 1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face

Dying to self?

Someone said this to me sometime ago as something I needed to do - die to self - and I have been keeping mindful of that lately. However, I know that we weren't commanded to die to self in the Bible. It is the denying of ourselves that was the command. It is the denying ourselves of our desires of the flesh and being dead to ourselves. We are alive because Christ is risen, we are not dead. It may be just a matter of semantics. I found someone writing about it here . What do you think? pearlie

A daily reminder to myself

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pearlie

The Circle of My Relationship with Jesus

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I completed my retreat today - I have mixed feelings about it. For one, I signed up for a silent retreat but it turned out not a silent one. Silent retreats are a blessing for introverts like me who sometimes feel drowned in the sea of extroverts, God bless them, they are everywhere! The theme of the retreat was Friendship with Jesus Through Spiritual Exercises. I tend to be careful about the theme of friendship in relation to Jesus. If I am not mistaken, Jesus does not call himself our friend. He only called us his friends. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go a

Grace and Power

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Cor 2:9 pearlie

He gave me...

Beauty for ashes Eternal life in Christ Quiet moments with the Father Unity of the body of Christ Indwelling of the Holy Spirit Everlasting love of God Truth in the Holy Scripture pearlie

Why do you think God created the universe?

I know I did say in May that silent retreats will be an annual thing for me but it looks like I am taking on one more this year. It was the experience that I had in May that prompted me and also it was the topic of this retreat that attracted me - Friendship with Jesus, through spiritual exercises. I must say that I was not in agreement with quite a lot of things during my first silent retreat here last year because the topic was with regards to teaching and doctrines. The Catholic father did have views I did not agree with. But I thought it may not go so wrong with spiritual exercises - as it was in May and I hope the same for now. The spiritual exercise we did this evening was a meditation on the Holy Spirit who hovers over creation, with a purpose to know and recognize our God as the creative God. The exercise taught and reminded me of two things and more: 1. God created space Not space in the sense of the universe, but space in the area we now have. I have not thought about God

A Thousand Words #137

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pearlie Photo (c) 2007 Jose Bernalte

Word Removal Tool to Aid Memorization

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Do you take the effort to memorize bible verses? The younger you start the longer they stay in your brains. The few verses that I memorized in my younger days are still with me, but the ones I have memorized later in my life have disappeared. The church I now attend does a bible verse memory execrcise every Sunday, by the pastor before he begins to preach. And I have picked it up again, using the Bible Verses app in my iPhone, which is good because apparently the act of memorizing using a word removal tool really aids in memorization, not flash cards. For a web-based tool, I think this should be available - www.mybiblememory.com pearlie

Enjoy Your Assignments

I need to kickstart my assignment engine so badly. I have 2 more assignments to pass up before I could graduate. I had initially decided to tackle the question on the differences and similarities of the portrayal of Jesus in Matthew and Luke - but I somehow could not get it started. I tried. I read, I researched, I started on the assignment but it got nowhere. So I thought I had better look for an option. I started thinking about this other question about looking for the themes of Mark in its prologue, and before I knew I was enjoying my assignment again. When I told Melissa that, she laughed at me commenting that people do not enjoy assignement - but I do! And when I don't, something is not right somewhere as it happened with the Matthew-Luke question. I am now deciding on the 2nd assignment - should I take the one on apostasy in Hebrews or social discrimination in 1 Peter? The Hebrews one sounds more enjoyable. pearlie