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Showing posts from July, 2014

Power banked but under the bus

I am liking the Highs & Lows app, especially today when there were really a very delightful high and a very distinct low. I'll start with the low. I felt like I was being thrown under the bus. This is the very first time I have ever used this "bus" phrase, and I really understand what it means now. I was truly thrown under the bus. It happened when someone complained about something I have done and this other person, who is suppose to at least protect my interest, not only took the other person's side in the matter but she began to dismantle and sabotage my work. I could not do anything but to stand there and take it all in. I have never felt so helpless in a long while. On the contrary with my high, I have successfully logged in and purchased two units of Mi Power Bank last week. Imagine how difficult it was to do so as it was all sold out in just two seconds after it was put on sale online. Yes, they were all gone in just two mere seconds. However, in all my e

Difference between coaching and mentoring

Someone asked me what the difference is between coaching and mentoring. I was not able to give a definitive answer. But now that I check Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring by David Megginson and David Clutterbuck, here they are as quoted: Coaching relates primarily to performance improvement (often over the short term) in a specific skills area. The goals, or at least the intermediate or sub-goals, are typically set with or at the suggestion of the coach. While the learner has primary ownership of the goal, the coach has primary ownership of the process. In most cases, coaching involves direct extrinsic feedback (i.e. the coach reports to the coachee what s/he has observed). Mentoring relates primarily to the identification and nurturing of potential for the whole person. It can be a long-term relationship, where the goals may change but are always set by the learner. The learner owns both the goals and the process. Feedback comes from within the mentee — the mentor helps them to d

My device nostalgia

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I have been labeled a very gadgetry person. But I suppose by the real gadgetry people's standard, I am not at all. But I have been quite dependent on my devices and apps. Mostly because I am not a detailed or a disciplined person and so I make use of what I have to manage that part or my life to at least put everything in order. I could not imagine what my life will be like without a calendar, reminder lists and alarms, note pads, GPS, camera for scanning and OCR purposes, journal apps, packing lists, password lists, and read-later apps. It all started with my first PDA, the Palm V. I can't remember the exact year I got it. I'd estimate it at year 2000. Palm V (2000) I must say I had not won anything in a lucky draw in my life till this Palm V. It's quite an interesting story. I received a letter at work inviting us to an introductory meeting of something, which I can no longer remember. The weakness of the letter was that they put the note that there will be a lucky dr

My Journaling Attempts

I found quite an interesting app that I am beginning to use: Highs & Lows . I started writing in a diary back in my school days but my sense of discipline is pretty low and it didn't last very long. I picked it up again when I got my first PDA, the Palm V. I have started work by then. And even though I did not journal everyday, I kept at it every other day or week and since then I have moved those digital pages of journal from device to device and app to app until they are all now stored in my iPhone Momento app. In the midst of all this, I picked up blogging in 2006 as part of my journaling and I am thankful I am now back to keeping a daily blog, at least for now. So this Highs & Lows app intrigued me. I have only a few days of entry but so far it does help show the colour and feel of the last few days I have spent. I will try to be disciplined and keep it a daily for as long as possible and see if say in a month's time or if it does last longer, in a year's time,

Sharing of a Prayer Book

I have been using the new Echo Prayer Manager for a month now and so far it has been good in keeping me in my prayers. I then tried to search for an app our CG can use and share to pray together. The Echo Prayer Manager do not have a sharing feature yet, nor does it have an Android app, but according to their website, it is in the works. Evernote would be the next best bet but we need to pay to upgrade to have that sharing feature. I tried Wunderlist. It does have a sharing feature and I added some people into my list. However, my friends at the other end were not able to get it working. The other list apps all require upgrading and payment. Looks like we will have to wait for Echo Prayer Manager for its next update features while we settle with our normal book and pen. pearlie Update (10 Aug 2104): now that the thought going digital in keeping our Prayer List is in my mind, I can't seem to let it go. And since Echo Prayer has not ventured into Android yet, and half the people in

Death for food

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I was in a Chinese wedding dinner this evening and we were served a suckling piglet. I felt guilty looking at it. I felt guilty both for the piglet and myself: the poor piglet having to die to be food and me eating this fat laden food after all the gym-ing I've done. But I felt more for the piglet. I've seen chicken being slaughtered before, back in my school days when I watched my late grandmother slaughtering one. I was ok with it then. But I have not seen the slaughter of a pig before and I am not sure if I want to see it, much less the slaughter of a piglet. And here I am eating one. I found this interesting article: A day two pigs would die: ethical slaughter . And I began to wonder why God allow us to eat meat. To eat meat means an animal has to die. The verse where God said meat can be eaten is found in Genesis 9:3, "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." This was after the flood in Noah&

Gallup Strength: Input

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When I talk about the Gallup Strengths these days, and was asked about my take on it, I tend to end up talking about my Input strength. When I first got the assessment results, of all the top-5, this was the one that befuddled me the most. What? Me collect things? No way. But soon I realised I actually do, and a lot of it. Maybe I am so natural about it, it didn't register. I think a better word for Input is Resourceful. I have checked with several people who knows me and with whom I worked with and they agree that I am someone who is pretty resourceful. Need something? Need an idea? Need a tool? Need a solution? Need information? Need anything? I will surely find you something. It may not be exactly what you are looking for but I would hope to give you enough options to find something useful or for you to have an idea where and what to be resourceful yourself. I have been subconsciously aware of this strength of mine because it has been awhile now that I am mindful to

Lonely, Mr Lonely

Talking about songs that have been filling my mind these few days, this is the other one. I got to know it when my then colleague used this as her phone ring tone. That was back in year 2005. It used to irritate me when her phone rings. It is plaguing me now, nine years down the line. pearlie

Thank You Lord for the Trials that Come My Way

This song has been staying with me these few days. I was the song leader in CG last week. The song just came to me and I decided to put it in the song lineup. I have never sung it or heard it sung in church for the longest time. It is a very, very old song sang during my youth fellowship days when I was in my teens. So imagine my amazement when it was sung on Sunday during worship. Coincidence? I doubt it. It is my firm belief that God had a message intended for someone, though I will not be able to confirm it. This will stay with me for a long, long time and my prayers will always be with that person. This is the only video I found with the "bridge" ending tune I usually sing to: THANK YOU LORD Copyright 1972 by Lexicon Music, Inc Verse 1 G7 C D7 Thank You Lord Bm Em For the trials that come my way Am D7 In that way I can grow each day G G7 As I let You lead C

Today is Pi Approximation Day

22/7 is pi approximation. Pi approximation is the approximation of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet, representing the letter P. P is the first letter of my name, Pearlie. Pearlie is happy today. Today is 22/7. pearlie

A Thousand Words #152

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pearlie Photo Karl-Erik Bennion , 2003

Potato Couch Weekend

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I still wasn't in the mood to go back to my serious reading and I have tried reading five novels but none caught on and so I ended up spending time catching up on The Big Bang Theory. It is no surprise that this sit-com is a hit. The characters are splendid, the dialogue superb and the acting spot on. So, yeah...I spent the whole weekend being a potato couch. Thankfully, I am still going to the gym every weekday. Phew! pearlie

Will I ever write poetry again?

I read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars yesterday morning in the gym instead of my regular read on Exodus . I was too tired--being a Friday--and found Philip Graham Ryken's Exodus, Saved for God's Glory not sinking in as I read. I had wanted to get some time in during my lunch hour to read a few pages but I was invited for lunch by a colleague. So after CG--where for once I said yes to a cup of coffee because I didn't mind staying late into the night reading--I got home, washed up, snuggled into bed and read for two hours till nearly 2am before I dozed off. I woke up this morning at 5:30am. Too early but what the heck, I might as well read. I finished the book at 8:20am. I was crying buckets. John Green is one of the better writers I've encountered in a very long time. Excellent writing. Take his poetry for instance. I attended a performance by the Trinity College Choir a few years ago. They were so good I decided I will not sing anymore. I read John Green not

I never learn

I find myself always jumping into something without first deliberating if it is the right move. Well, if you know about the Gallup Strengths, Deliberation and Strategic aren't high on my list. I must do something about it and figure out how to compensate for my lack of it. But for sure, I must be more mindful and think before I leap. pearlie

The Fault in Our Stars

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I was a bit bored today reading very serious books -- on Exodus and on Heaven -- and I thought I'd look through my books and pick up something light and interesting. I settled to try out a few pages of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. I am already looking forward to watching the movie. But I thought I'd take a look at the book first. The thing is, if I read a good book, I will watch the movie, though I will have very, very high expectations from the movie to live up to the book. But if I watched the movie first, I will not read the book. So I had better look at the book before the movie is premiered. Upon reading the first few pages I was already captivated. John Green has a voice I like. I look forward to reading it in the coming days but I have a strong feeling that it will soon reduce me to tears. pearlie Note: my subsequent post to this book

A Thousand Words #151

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pearlie

Finally, card begone!

My first credit card I believe was back in 1991 when I started work. I got it from Hong Leong Bank, and all it took was a copy of my graduation certificate. After which, I got a second card in 1994 through my then employer's bank, Standard Chartered Bank. I gave up the Hong Leong Bank card not long after because I found myself always having to drive to the bank in the heart of the city to its drive-through counter for payment and their officers weren't too friendly. That was then, before e-banking. But I held on to the Standard Chartered Bank card until today when I successfully cancelled it! Yippee!!! I've called in many times over the years to try to cancel it only to have them delay it by various offers, which I reluctantly consented. But I finally did it today and I'm very happy - because I seldom use it in the first place and I find their services wanting. The worst being this: I've had this credit card for the last 20 years. Sometimes they would ask me verific

Hospital Visit

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Two of my very close friends have been admitted to University Hospital Petaling Jaya, one who successfully underwent a fourth surgery for a hip implant on Saturday but who still need care and observation in light of his Parkinson's Disease, whilst the other has been in ICU cum HDU for the past 11 days as a result of multiple complications due to a botched up procedure in the same hospital. I finally had the opportunity to visit the latter today and grabbed the chance to visit the former as well. My prayers are with the both of them for full healing and recuperation, and their exhausted wives for strength and peace of heart. In my books, these two women are absolutely amazing. pearlie

Pain, Suffering, Death and Salvation

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I used to devour C.S. Lewis's book after book a decade ago, when I found the joy of reading theology. I remember reading A Grief Observed with a very basic understanding of its depth. I read it like any other book and moved on. It is ten years later now when I found out from reading Andre Agassi's Open that there is a 1993 movie about C.S. Lewis's life with Joy Greshem. It's entitled Shadowlands . I managed to find a copy of the movie and I've just watched it. With that, even though I have many books lined up to be read now, I'm putting A Grief Observed ahead in the list. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis A classic work on grief, A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moments,” A Grief Observed an unflinchingly truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sen

Blessings by Laura Mixon Story

I am in the worship back-up team for tomorrow's service and was in church for practice today. We are to do this song written by Laura Mixon Story entitled Blessings . To me, of all songs I have done for Sunday worship services, this is by far the most difficult. The song's difficulty level was multiplied by three more factors: (1) only one singer knew the song, all other singers and all the musicians did not know it, (2) we don't have the music score and (3) we only had half an hour at the most to figure out and learn the song. But I must say, the song is quite good, with amazing lyrics. pearlie P/S 13/07/14 we did it fairly well considering the above, though we came to a completely stop in the mid of the final chorus in the first service! Oh dear...

Book craze

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My good friends know that I used to buy print books like crazy. I buy books that attracted my attention and I buy them four or five at one go every time I visit the bookstore and I used to go there at least once a month. I do that because whenever the book stores carry the titles that I needed or I thought I needed, I would grab them before they run out. If I don't I would never be able to buy them when I needed them. Most of the time however, I just wanted them. The buying behaviour changed when I went electronic. Since the titles will always be there, I can wait and will only buy them when I need them. With an exception. Sometimes I come across good promotion deals that if I don't make use of them, they will expire. Therefore, I do find myself book binging at times, but still, it's not as bad as it was with print books. As mentioned a couple of days ago, I am now reading Randy Alcorn's Heaven . It is an excellent book, and I am learning many new things. I like his wri

My crazy high personal standards

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I am in the midst of administering a workshop for work. I am stationed in a hotel function room making sure things are running as they should be for the workshop that is facilitated by my company's director. With the time I have on the side, I brought work to do--I have so much of it--but I find it hard to concentrate while the workshop is ongoing. So I decided to do some run-of-the-mill work that does not require that much thinking. With that I spend almost the whole day reformatting organisation charts uninterrupted. This is good as I will not be able to do that in the office. On a different note, being in a place out of the usual, I can get out-of-sorts. In my trying to make sure everything is running perfectly, I got careless and dropped my iPhone cable yesterday and lost it. It is a small matter but being who I am with very high personal standards (as explained by a DISC guru whom I totally agree with), I was extremely angry at myself. The thing is I was trying to stop myself

MeetUp of a Book Club

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I was introduced to MeetUp recently. It's an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. I joined last month and among the (very) few groups I signed up for is a book club. I have never been in a book club before and I was quite looking forward to it. The book for June last month was Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy . The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy . by Douglas Adams It was an interesting read, but it took me quite awhile (12 days!!!) to complete it. As it is with science fiction, I tend to get lost more easily and I have to pay more deliberate attention. Moreover, I made a big mistake in checking out IMDB on its movie. I found that Martin Freeman played the protagonist role of Arthur Dent. It kind of spoilt the book for me. Don't get me wrong - he is one of my favourite actors, but having his face in my mind as I read the book definitely muddled my reading experience. I di

Enough durians for the year

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I used to look forward to the durian season every year. Other than savoring the most delicious fruit in the world (not to some though), it is definitely a time of friendship and camaraderie--because normally, no one eats durians alone (unless you can't help it but buy the pre-packed ones in styrofoam containers). I remember the time when the durians that we bought were kampung durians, hence we wouldn't know what we have until we open up the fruits and try them. Everyone will surround the person who opens the durians and watch in silence too see what is in there--and then taste to see whether it is good or mediocre. Those were the good and fun times. I don't very much look forward to it any longer because I have to watch my diet since durians are really the most unhealthy fruit as well. It is one fruit that is both high in sugars and fats, and absolutely piled up in calories. So nowadays, if I were to eat durians, they have to be really, really, really good. The Musang Kin

My comfy corner in Heaven

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I have always wondered how heaven is like since I was very young. I wondered if I will still know who I am, that is if there were no tears and no sin, would I be still me? Will I remember my sad past in nostalgia and still not feel even some kind of sadness? Or worse, will I not be able to remember at all? Then over the years, I begin to have a firmer picture of heaven, as an actual place where I will still be who I am, with the full presence of God with us. And I will have with me all the treasures I have accumulated while on (the old) earth, like love, patience, kindness, etc. I will get to do stuff I love to do. And most probably I will have work but work that is joyful and fun! I will have all the people around me whom I do not have to second guess because our relationships will be perfect and transparent. I do not have to worry about making anyone angry or feel bad because we will be in an eternal spirit of giving and love. That is my current understanding of heaven. So when the C

Silent Retreat Day 3

The place I was in for the silent retreat is an Ignatian retreat house. I like the place because of its quietness, being close to nature in the jungle and its landscaping. But however, that's about it, I'm afraid. Other than the excellent retreat on Praying Ways led by the Cenacle Sisters, which I attended in May 2011, the rest of the retreats I attended in this place had me having issues with their theology. I do have good moments with God but I am always aware of teachings that is not aligned with what I was taught. Well, I can't complain since I asked for it and I had freely signed up to attend. Anyway, it is not my place to say anything at all, being an "outsider". But I will make a few observations about this particular retreat here: 1. I find that the retreat focused a lot on framework and tools, not very much on Scripture. 2. I was a bit disappointed not being able to take the communion. I understand and respect their decision. But after I had taken communi

Silent Retreat Day 2

Coming here on a last minute basis, I came to the Lord this morning asking him what he desires of me. It got it resolved to two items, one of which is to re-center my life in him. I began by re-looking into my "life line" which I keep track under this free Apple app call LifeTrack . I updated it and realised that I have not been in a silent retreat since my last one in Chiang Mai in December 2011. And what is more amazing is that I have been to three silent retreats in year 2011 alone. I did not even realise that. Then there was none till now, two and a half years later. This augments the need for me to re-center my life in God. I've had several major things that happened in these two and a half years, among which are changing jobs three times, one of which involved being laid off. And one good thing is that I have started attending a care group under PBC in this period and I am still faithfully attending it. My life is full of stuff to do at the moment, at home, at work,

Silent Retreat Day 1

I had a really long day today administering a workshop session for about 30 people. I have been doing that since Wednesday and I am totally exhausted. And as it is with most Fridays, I spend the evening with close friends in CG in a warm hearth of friendship and brotherly love. Instead I found myself in a group of strangers. Maybe it is because this silent retreat was a last minute one, of which I have had no preparations made. I know I did say that I am a queen of last minutes yesterday. It's just that when I am finally here, I felt so uneasy and out of place and in my tiredness, I did not recognise what it was and it was indeed unnerving. Introductions with the few people who spoke to me were really awkward. My deepest apologies to them. But I am more settled down now that the time is silence has begun. The time of solitude that I am yearning for is now here and I am feeling more at peace. But the thing is I am so tired I want to get to sleep but I can't. My mind is just too

An answer to a prayer

We all know that God work in amazing ways and he does. I have not been to a silent retreat for a really long time and suddenly I had this urge to be silent and to spend time alone with God. So I popped an email to Margaret of Maranatha Retreat House on Monday for the retreat this weekend. I wasn't expecting much and true enough, it was full. The amazing thing however is this: I received an email this morning from Margaret telling me that there is a last minute pull out and if I would be interested to go. Last minute stuff usually works for me. I texted my husband if he can manage with me gone for the weekend. He, being a last minute person himself, was ok about it too. And the next thing is to really decide if I want to go. Margaret gave me a name, Mary, and contact number to call, without much detail. I could not get Margaret on the line and so I called Mary. It turned out that it was Mary's friend who pulled out and as a result Mary had to pay for the entire twin sharing room

How I choose books to read

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For me, it is quite a challenge to find books that are interesting to read. It is so because the moment I start on one, I will push myself to finish it no matter what. So it will be an awful experience if I find out halfway that the book does not meet up to my expectations. But finish it I will, unless it is really, really, really very, very, very bad. So the trick I use is to first read the first page and if I find myself reading on, I will go for the whole chapter and then decide if this is a book I will invest time in. How then the author pitch the plot or premise in the first page and chapter, or even the first sentence is therefore very important to me. If he is able to keep me reading, he has that voice that I am looking for. And as I have blogged before , I now use book recommendation tools in www.GoodReads.com and www.WhatShouldIReadNext.com . With that, I am currently reading this book by Brent Weeks, recommended by GoodReads.com. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks I am very

Samplings on the Fourteenth

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I had the privilege to have lunch in Samplings on the Fourteenth this afternoon. It is quite a special fine dining restaurant with a very apt name. It is a learning kitchen and restaurant as it is staffed by a team of culinary students of the Berjaya University College of Hospitality. It is aptly named Samplings because the menu is different everyday and it is indeed a daily sampling of the students' creation guided by a master chef. The restaurant setup is simple. Not too posh but nice with a good window view of the city. I ordered the scallop for starter, and the chicken roulade for mains. And silly me was so hungry I just dug in and forgot to take a picture of the chicken roulade. I am not a photo foodie anyway. I remembered to take a photo each of the starter and dessert only because the other three ladies at my table were busy taking photos of theirs! The scallop was really delicious. I can't remember what it was served with. Definitely some eggs and maybe some beans under