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Showing posts from August, 2014

UntukMu Malaysia

Music and Lyrics by Daniel Zhen-Wei Eh pearlie

How do you spend your weekends?

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I was checking out weekend practices around the world when I also found the stats above on how Americans spend their weekends. It may or may not reflect how it's spent here in Malaysia but for me I'd gladly be the 12% of "avoid seeing anyone". I have been invited to concerts and weddings and get-togethers. I'd of course attend weddings of close friends, which only happens once in a blue moon and that's all. I have turned down concerts and any other invitations. But me being me, I do feel bad about it though. And I have not told them about my need for weekend downtime. I wonder if they would understand it if I did tell them. It's just that I spend at least 10 hours a day, Mondays to Fridays, with people, people and people and I want to spend my Saturdays and Sundays alone (except for a couple of hours on Sunday for church service and on some Saturdays for worship practice when I'm scheduled to serve). I love my alone time at home. I read, think, write

Young Adults Fiction

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Lately, I found myself reading books for teenagers and I must say I feel a bit embarrassed about it. I've just finished reading Ann Brashares's Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants . I like the movie better. I've read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and loved it. I've read these because of the movies I've seen or about to see. I've even read a kid's book: Henry Cole's A Nest for Celeste . I've stuck at it because I loved the pencil art in the book and it was nice to go back to the innocence of childhood. I suppose in reading them, I also wanted to check out what kinds of books are out there for my son, though I strongly doubt he will ever read these books. On the other hand, he seems to be more interested in books like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and George Orwell's Animal Farm. And I must also admit I have not even read these two books. And now I think it's time I get back to more serious stuff, and these two books may be a go

Kedai Kopi Ming Sing, Jalan Ipoh

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This used to be my breakfast haunt from 2011 when my son started school in that area, to 2013. I would drop him in school and go there almost every day for my usual breakfast before going to work. I only stopped going there when I joined the gym. But I dropped by this morning. I had a meeting nearby and thought I'd skip the gym today and give myself a good breakfast treat. I must say I really missed the place and the food. I ordered my usual dry beehoon with char siew and fu chook with liong cha . Wish I had more space for the curry laksa too. Hmmm...I shall go there again soon, when I feel like missing gym... pearlie Photo source: Bangsar Babe Kedai Kopi Ming Sing 456, Batu 2 3/4 Jalan Ipoh 51200 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tel: +603 40429329 GPS Coordinates: N 3 10.764 E 101 41.033

What makes you loyal to a product?

You know how you hate it when you walk into a store and the sales personnel makes you feel like you don't deserve to use their products? That was how I felt I when I walked into a MAC store today when I had wanted to check out some compact powder. I am very simple when it comes to cosmetics. To me, it is as long as it does what it is suppose to do and since I am not one who want to spend time touching up, it must last till the day is out. I am running out of face powder and so I thought I'd try something I've not tried before. First, I checked out Shu Uemera. The girls there were genuine and nice, even when I have not bought anything and was just looking. Not so with the girl in MAC. I read people quite well and all I could sense from her is disdain. I am not going there again. Why when I am clearly not appreciated. It's time I head back to the Shu Uemera girls. pearlie

Walk the walk, not walk the talk

I just found out that the phrase "walk the talk" is listed in Paul Brian's Common Errors in English Usage . The correct usage is actually "walk the walk". It says, "Aristotle’s followers are said to have discussed philosophy while walking about with him—hence their name: “peripatetics.” I suppose they could have been said to “walk the talk.” For the rest of us, the saying is “if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk”—a modern version of old sayings like “actions speak louder than words” and “practice what you preach.” Another early form of the expression was “walk it like you talk it.” Many people now condense this to “walk the talk,” which makes a sort of sense (act on your speech), but strikes those who are more familiar with the original form as confused." But "walk the talk" is so commonly used in my working place now that it will be useless to change it. And reality is I truly wish people will just walk the walk or w

Pearls before swine

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"Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you." Matthew 7:6 (ESV) I never thought much about this verse, not until a few years ago when my mentor referred to it when I was frustrated about some people I was with. And I am again reminded of the verse today. What it means is that "holy and valuable things (the reference is primarily to teaching, probably) must be given only to those who are able to appreciate them. C.f. Paul's emphasis that only the 'spiritual' can understand spiritual teaching (1 Cor 2:13-16)." (R.T. France, Matthew , Tyndale New Testament Commentary) And this hits the nail in the head. I find it so frustrating at times when I talk to some people, or in some cases when they talk to me. And sometimes they actually sound like Frank Sinatra's My Way . I heard that song too many times over karaoke in my early career years, and had hated it so much, and I w

The Love Test

Pastor Marvin's sermon today is a continuation from last week, a second and closing part to the topic of "Test Every Spirit", based on 1 John 4:1-8 . (The mp3 sermon for Part 1 is here . I will append this section with today's sermon when the link is up.) He refers to Jonathan Edwards's four ways to test the spirits taken from these verses in the 1 John epistle. They are: 1. The identity test 2. The association test 3. The biblical test 4. The love test Check to link provided above for Test #1. For the other three tests, as promised, I will post the link when it's up. What I like to bring up right now is my thoughts today on Test #4, the love test. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8 (ESV) What Pastor Marvin said this morning reverberates with me because I have been evaluating my relationship with s

Games that stick with me

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I was feeling unwell over the past few days and feeling all the more worse today and so I stayed in bed. I ended up wasting away in iPad games. There were quite many games that I like but these were the few I have been playing for a long, long time. When in Rome by Realore This is a strategy game in the Roads of Rome series. Every level, you will be given several workers to achieve several goals with the time limit given. Unlike the other games below, this is one game I have not played more than once, only because I have not finished it. I have started with Roads of Rome 1, 2 and 3, and now I'm playing When in Rome. Tower Defense by Com2us This game was introduced by my husband and I am still playing it after completing all the levels. I have not tried the challenge levels yet though. He has tried several tower defense games and this is by far the best of them all. Plants vs Zombie by PopCap This is my all-time favourite. I am still playing it even though I have completed many, man

A Thousand Words #154

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pearlie

What to do with the cat?

Morning comes elegantly strutting in a cat I see So high its head held its face full of glee Yet in no time at all it begins to hiss Out springs its claws there's no more bliss Baring its teeth it looks for its prey Every creature now hidden out of its way O why does it have to be like that Maybe there's no other way but for that cat So shall we try to appease with tender loving care Or Shall we leave it in its own basket its castle in the air? All Rights Reserved © 2015 Pearlie Ng

Weeping Angels

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I used to like stone angels. Not that I have seen many real ones, but they are really good photography subjects. I used to like stone angels until Doctor Who 's Weeping Angels. Nowadays, whenever I see a picture of a stone angel, I remember those totally scary Weeping Angels. They are predatory creatures that resemble stone statutes. They have been persistently nominated as one of the most popular and frightening Doctor Who monsters. pearlie Photo (c) Elisabeth Fuchs , 2006

I'm now a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach!

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I have made it! It all started on 10th April 2014 when I attended a breakfast talk on the topic "Achieve Higher Level of Performance through Strengths Based Development" where I was really attracted to the Gallup philosophy and concept. I took the assessment on 17 April 2014 , attended the Gallup Strengths Accelerated Coaching Program from 2 - 6 June 2014 , passed my coachee evaluations on 14 Aug 2014 , took my examination yesterday and received a pass today! So I am now a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. And it has just been four months! The first thing to do will be to develop a profile to post it in Gallup's list of coaches. I am very excited, and looking forward to more coaching sessions for anyone who is interested. pearlie

And I Quote #2

If you’re always bored then you’re always lazy, if you’re never bored then you’re always in some kind of drama. pearlie Source: Joyce Riedl

Weekend lunchtime

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BBQ Soon Hing at Puchong Jaya pearlie Photo (c) 2013 Chan Chiew Soo

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Wasn't he absolutely talented? Sorry I couldn't find a clearer copy of the clip. pearlie

That's indeed very long

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The Chinese language never fails to fascinate me. As much as I dread learning it back then, it still astounds me in its beauty and depth. Like the word for "long" here. I am not sure what the character is made out of but it has a "high table", "changed person" and "death". How does that spell long? Another source states that originally this was an old man with a stick in his hand and with long unkempt hair. Whatever it is, "long" certainly has that feel to it, that you are on a high table and you can't get down even after your changed, your mind or your being, even unto death. Now, that's what I call long. pearlie Source: www.zhongwen.com & www.chinagram.info

On my way to be certified!

I got this in the mail this morning: Congratulations for having been successfully evaluated by the individuals you have coached. You clearly have the ability to effectively coach others and help them improve their lives via strengths-based development. Woohoo! But I was surprised as I do have two more to go, whom I will still coach and have them evaluate me because I have promised and committed to them. In fact, I have five and maybe six more coachees to coach. And I am looking forward to it. And I am going to prep up myself to complete the exam this coming Monday. And if and when I pass the exam, I will then be a certified Gallup Strengths-Based Coach. Yay! pearlie

We are never content

I was set to finish reading Chapter 36 of Philip Graham Ryken's commentary on Exodus, and I did. (But I must say, with the help of Kate in VoiceReader ). What made me think this time was from the point of the whining Israelites. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, 'What are we to drink?' (Exo 15:22b-24) If I were them, I would have said why didn't God provide good drinking water in the first without us having to ask him, because he already knows that we need it! We have no water for three days! I don't even need to ask! It's a given! It does not work that way, not with them, not with us. But we certainly expect it, don't we? We want everything ready at hand for us. We are really a very pampered generation. Gone are the days where we do all the things ourselves. For most of us, wherever we go, we are waited

Moses and the whiners

At the rate I am keeping up with the commentary on Exodus by Philip Graham Ryken, it will be a lifetime before I complete all 102 chapters. I am only at chapter 36 today, and I only barely read the first few pages before my mind got stuck and became busy with this one thing. But I do think this is good, because devotional reading and studying of God's word takes time and much thinking and mulling, and application. The chapter is entitled "A Bitter Complaint" on Exo 15:22-27. The portion that made me stop and think was this: Whining always sounds childish. Consider the bumper sticker on which the word “Whining” is superimposed with a red circle slashed by a diagonal line — “No Whining!” It is not hard to guess who is inside the car (usually a minivan). Children are notorious for whining. To be guilty of this sin, as the Israelites were, is a sign of spiritual immaturity. One day the people were dancing on the beach, singing praises to God; but only a few days later the

Coaching Session #3: This is All Me!

I had another session of coaching with a very good friend this evening, and it was a really interesting and enjoyable one. By the way, she is always enjoyable to be in company with, and now I know why: Positivity is her #4 talent. Before our session, she texted me saying that her disagrees with her top 5. I replied saying, "Hmmm...interesting. Can't wait for the session. It will certainly be interesting." And indeed it was. When we met, she gave me what she thought was her top 5, after going through the materials she printed out. Her Gallup StrengthsFinder results were: 1. Ideation 2. Relator 3. Significance 4. Positivity 5. Achiever And she felt she has these instead: 1. Positivity (#4) 2. Achiever (#5) 3. Empathy (#26) 4. Responsibility (#9) 5. Developer(#22) But after I explained to her what Developer and Empathy were - the rest are her dominant themes anyway - she understood it a bit more. I have basically explained how she thought those were her

Coaching Session #2: What a set of talents!

In my effort to get accredited as a Gallup Strengths Coach, I need to coach six people and receive good evaluation from them. I have stepped up in my coaching appointments, as the initial few who agreed to want to be coached weren't so forthcoming in even setting a date to meet. As such, I even managed to get three appointments set for today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, which is absolutely wonderful. I just completed one a couple of hours ago, and in the short time it was arranged, my client was only able to complete the assessment this morning, and she had not shared it with me until I reached her place. But with one look at her top-5, I went, "Wow!" As much as all the Gallup themes are neutral, there is no one theme better than the other, her combination of top-5 is pretty impressive. They are: 1. Strategic 2. Futuristic 3. Analytical 4. Relator 5. Achiever I must say four of those are what every corporate professional desires to have. And thes

A Thousand Words #153

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pearlie Photo (c) Nick Cowie 2004

Why so downcast O my soul?

Psalm 42:11-43:5 (ESV) Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. pearlie

The power of asking questions

Coaching is different from counseling but they are same in one way: coaches and counsellors do not give advice, but prod and ask good questions to help the clients find and own their solutions. Here is what Tony Stoltzfus says in his book Coaching Questions: A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills on why ask questions: Why ask questions, anyway? What's the benefit of using coaching questions instead of advising or telling in a mentor or consultant role? Quite simply, questions hold the power to cause us to think, create answers we believe in, and motivate us to act on our ideas. Asking moves us beyond passive acceptance of what others say, or staying stuck in present circumstances, to aggressively applying our creative ability to the problem. Questions also redefine relationships between people. When I am advising, mentoring or consulting, I'm the expert. My role makes me your superior (at least in knowledge). But when I'm asking you for your ideas, I'm a peer. Q

One of my most fatigued weeks by far

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I could not understand why I am so fatigued this week. I am usually bright and energised Monday to Wednesday, and only starting to slow down on Thursday and all tired out by Friday, waiting to be recharged over the weekend. I googled "fatigued for no apparent reason" and checked out this page: 8 weird reasons why you are tired all the time . (I have checked other more serious sites, but the reasons are too serious -- I will go there if I feel I am a serious case.) Of all the 8 reasons given, the most probable one is #1 You're Dehydrated . It is true I really don't drink enough liquid. The other reasons are probable, except for #6 You’re not working out , since I am still working our every weekday morning, unless there is a public holiday and I have events at work -- which is practically the whole of last week. So what I will do now is to stay hydrated tomorrow and see if I have a less fatigued than usual Thursday. pearlie Photo Superburg 2009

Just when I thought

I always seek for perfection For the ideal I always have to remind myself In this fallen world Nothing, no one, is perfect Just when I thought Things are running smoothly I trip and fall Just when I thought Things are all in place There comes a storm Just when I thought I couldn't be happier Life gets ripped apart Only the Gospel of Christ Can I firmly stand on Only by His blood Am I made perfect And only by His grace Am I called a child of God All rights reserved © 2014 Pearlie Ng

If you can't take it...

I like the movie Ender's Game when I watched it last year, and even now as I encounter life situations and read the current news, I remember certain scenes and lines from the movie. I did read the book after watching the movie, but the movie left a more significant and lasting imprint in my mind, maybe because I watched it several times. Like this scene, which stuck with me from the first time I watched it. The kids were in their classroom with a teacher and one of them, Bernard, being a bully, sent out a text about Alai who threw up in an earlier flight in space. "Look out! It's the captain of the Vomit Comet." Of which Ender responded with, "Bernard is living proof that chimps still fly into space." Bernard spoke up, "Who sent this?" When the teacher found out what happened, she smiled and said, "Oh, if you can't take it Bernard, don't dish it out." Which I find very applicable in real life, especially when it co

Book review: Girl with a Pearl Earring

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Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier I talked about my reading of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring yesterday , and I was right. It is an absolutely excellent book. I was updating my GoodReads account when I read this gentleman's review, and he literally took the words right out of my mouth. David M. Perez's review of Girl with a Pearl Earring Another one of my wife's recommendations (I read a lot of books that way), I picked it up from the bookshelf the night we came back from seeing the film with Scarlett Johansonn and Colin Firth. I loved the movie--it was just so incredibly sumptuous--and was curious to know the story in the novel, which I knew from experience, and from my wife's continuous comments, would be different, more detailed . I was right. Chevalier has won a place in my heart and bookshelf. Her novels are well-crafted, simple to follow, and addictive ; Girl was no exception. The story of the maid Griet in 1600's Delft,

It is a good book day

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I spent the day completing a book I started five days ago, started and completed another book and started on a third one, which I am certainly looking forward to continue reading in the next few days. Artist of a Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro I was alright with this book by Kazuo Ishiguro. I find his writing elegant and crisp, even though it is a book about an elderly Japanese man reminiscing his life and living his days managing his relationships amongst others with his two daughters, a son in law and a grandson. I learnt quite a bit with regards to the Japanese culture, worldview and mindset. It is amazing to me how they communicate with each other. I found that they are not straightforward at all. They spin and turn and it actually began to frustrate me. I wonder if it is a Japanese culture as far as their communication style is concerned. The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier When I finished reading Ishiguro, I was still in a reading mood and started hunting for my next

Salvation in Christ through the Holy Spirit

We were studying on the Holy Spirit in CG lately, in line with the Holy Spirit sermon series by Pastor Marvin, and I discovered something interesting this evening. I have studied the book of Acts in TEE before, but I never saw this till now. It was stated in our bible study materials that the phrase of being baptized in the Spirit was only mentioned in Acts in two places: 1:5 and 11:16. Acts 1:5 is the precursor to the Pentecost in-filling of the Holy Spirit for the Jews and 11:16 the interpretation of the in-filling of the Holy Spirit for the Gentiles. As such, I see that the significance of the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" as the salvation of Christ and for both the Jews and the Gentiles: not as an emphasis on the baptism of the Holy Spirit as much as it is to mark the salvation for all mankind in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Peter underlines this with his truth in his sermon in Acts 2, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the for