Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

Advent and the Bb

Grace Notes was in Wesley Methodist Church Seremban this morning, being invited to sing and attend service together with the church. Rev Ronald Yap preached on Mark 13:24-37 with a sermon entitled "Stay Awake". It was a sermon for the first Sunday of Advent and I've learnt something very important. Advent is a season of the Christian church year that leads up to Christmas. The word is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus that means "coming". I've always thought of Advent as a meditative period as we prepare for Christmas, a time to recommit our lives to Christ and be thankful for his coming to us as a Savior. I just found that the Latin word adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia , which I do know refers to the second coming of Christ. As such, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. It "offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and

Chicago Fire

Image
I got myself too caught up in this television series. pearlie

One in the company of many

We had a discussion about the order of salvation in CG today, which I didn't contribute much. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm taking a wise strategy in keeping my thoughts at bay just because I hate conflicts. I am banking on the agree-to-disagree position but it does not seem to be working as I am beginning to feel ostracized. I like what Roger Olson said. I know I've been quoting him a lot lately, because he is the only person who has a blog that I can refer to to keep sane in the onslaught of Calvinistic theology recently. He said,"God is sovereign and can work outside our theological boxes which are necessary but not prisons for God’s grace." It's just that I find the Calvinists' definition of the sovereignty of God ironically a tad too limited for them to understand where Arminians are coming from. So I have chosen to shut up. With the reality that I'm outnumbered, I felt I'm being put on the outside, or maybe I've put myself outside. T

Ideation

Image
One of the 34 Gallup StrengthsFinder themes that fascinated me today was Ideation. I have seen it in action in a couple of my friends who have Ideation in their Top-5 Strengths and it was very fascinating to observe. They can practicality and simply connect two or more unconnected items into one brilliant idea without much of an effort. I have it as my #8, not a Top-5 but nevertheless still one of my dominant themes. It does come into play when I put my mind to it. And I find it easier when I am in conversation with people. I found this quote. As much as I like it, I'm not sure if it jives with what Gallup has with the Ideation theme. What do you think? pearlie

Down once a year

Image
I think I have mentioned before that I get sick quite badly once a year and these two days are bad. I have food poisoning, again. pearlie

Family

Family is not an important thing. It's everything. ~ Michael J. Fox pearlie

Am I a sleepwalker?

Image
Dreamland, Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall I read this book back in 2013 and regretted not blogging a review about it. I have forgotten most of what I have read and I will no longer be able to come up with a review now but all I can say is that it was a fabulous read. However, I am bringing it up here because I am reminded of these few things that I read. Sleep is an amazing thing that God created us to do. And till now, scientists still do not know for sure why we sleep. You may say we sleep to rest but the body is quite active and does many things while we are sleeping, including the brain. And one thing that it does is that while we sleep, we go into a state of paralysis so that we don't act out our dreams. But in some people, it does not work properly and so they sleepwalk. People who sleepwalk obviously do not know that they do it. They might find bruises on their body and find themselves sleeping in a different place when they wake up. I found a

Best Crabs, Ever

Image
Grace Notes will be singing in Wesley Methodist Church Seremban next week and we took a trip there today to do a sound check. We did not stay long as the sound man did take quite a long time setting up the mics, and by the time we figured out where to stand as a group, and how we sound, we had to leave as the next service in that church was about to start. The church apparently has at least five if not six services every Sunday and I must say it is the most utilized church I've been to. With us having to travel so far for just 15 minutes of practice, it is good that we decided to have dinner in Seremban. We headed to Seremban Seafood Village, the originator of the delicious Baked Crabs. And it was the best crabs I have ever eaten, ever. And I will be back! pearlie Photo source: Travel Findbulous and OhFishiee

How Deep

pearlie

Explaining Sin in a Chinese Context

We discussed about our conversion experience in CG today, but I didn't say much because (1) I wasn't feeling well and quite soon into the study, I felt feverish and (2) being a "third generation" Christian, my conversion story is rather boring, but I must admit I'm indeed very, very blessed. Being born in a Christian family, I was brought up in the faith and I became very active in church, which contributed to my growth in Christ. I was uncomfortable in one phase of my life for not having a specific date of conversion like most of my friends. But I remember the very moment when I finally became convinced and settled in my heart and mind that my conversation is a journey, and that I am saved by the grace of God. My faith journey started right when I was exposed to the faith by my parents to Sunday School to Youth Fellowship to the undertaking of my Masters Degree in Christian Studies right up to that moment of realisation where I finally felt confirmed I belong to

I got thrown into the water

The funniest thing happened today, and it happened without my knowledge. My hubby practically threw me unconsciously into the water. Unconscious because I didn't even know it and I wasn't there to defend myself. He was at a lunch with whom he called a very staunch Calvinist, who in my opinion does not know enough about Arminianism to refute it. My husband unknowingly tread waters he should not and got himself caught in a debate where they will be no end to it, especially if both parties do not fully know the subject on hand and when there is a lack of respect for each other's position. I seldom want to get into a Calvinism-Arminianism debate unless it is a round table discussion, where all parties have spent enough time researching and knowing all positions, including their own. I truly respect my fellow Calvinists for I know they are intelligent people and I would also expect the same from them as I do regard myself as an Arminian who is just as smart as them. "Staunc

Who's Sinking Your Ship?

I thought this was brilliant. pearlie

Finally, an hour

Image
After almost 10 months of working out in the gym every workday, albeit with several breaks with the longest one during the last two weeks, I finally did an hour on the stationary bike at a moderate level of 5. For a person who practicality hated exercises and had no shame in being sedentary, I've certainly come a long way. pearlie

Listen! We are not always right

“Everybody thinks their opinion is the right one. If they didn't, they would get a new one. ” ― Anne Lamott "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." ― Socrates "Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment." ― Proverbs 9:10 (NLT) I sensed today that it's a sad truth that everyone, including myself at times, always think we are right. Isn't it more prudent to listen and learn from others? pearlie

Just a thought

As much as it should not be out of convenience that we attend Sunday worship in church but with the recent change of worship time in Pantai Baptist Church (PBC), it has been tough for us. PBC used to have two English services on Sundays: 08:45, which we used to attend and 11:00, which we deemed too late for us. It has recently been changed to one service on Saturday at 17:00 and one on Sunday at 11:00, and we have no choice but to settle for the Sunday 11:00 service. We used to get ready in the first instance we get up from bed, first for breakfast and then immediately to church. Now, I do feel rather slow and lazy having several hours to kill before starting off to church. Church is no longer the first thing we do every Sunday, not counting breakfast, and I'm not comfortable with that. I am a person who adapts to changes quite well but this is one change I find hard to get used to. I don't like to do this but I'm actually thinking about visiting other churches...just a tho

Movies Galore

Image
The Hundred-Foot Journey Someone recommended me a movie about a Michelin star restaurant, and since I'm half a foodie (meaning I'm one, but compared to my friends, I'm actually not one), I thought I'd get a copy and watch it. Verdict? Well, it has a nice story but for me, it was spoilt by the actor Manish Dayal and his wooden acting. Helen Mitten and Om Puri were brilliant and the scenery and cinematography was fantastic. That's about it. And since I was disappointed by it being so mediocre, I had to salvage my movie mood and ending up watching the following four movies! All of which I have but waiting for the right time to watch them. 3 Days to Kill This did not get a good review in Rotten Tomatoes, but after The Hundred-Foot Journey, I actually did enjoy it. It was not suppose to be funny but I found it to be quite funny and sometimes quite cheesy as well. But I enjoyed watching it though. Edge of Tomorrow Then I decided to go for it and watch a "

A Hymn Festival by Singapore Bible College Chorale

Image
I attended A Hymn Festival by the Singapore Biblez College Chorale in Wesley Methodist Church Kuala Lumpur this evening, conducted by Joel Navarro. It was a lovely and splendid time of classic and contemporary hymns from the Gregorian piece Ubi Caritas to Horatio Spafford's It is Well With My Soul to the African gospel Jesus is the Roc k right up to Stuart Townend's modern hymn Speak O Lord . I have a recording of their first song--sorry I missed the first part. pearlie

A horse and an owl

I have had my experience with narcissists but never have I been so frustrated with someone who is this narrow and closed minded. I found this article from Forbes and it is interesting to see that the author Steve Berglas, has grouped them under the following animals: 1. Gorilla "A narcissist. He won’t tell you he cannot handle the truth but, rather, will simply start beating his chest, growling, and snarling in ways designed to intimidate and then some." 2. Fox "A form of denial that trumps the truth far better than ostrich-like hiding from it is flat-out rejection of it predicated on nothing more than personal preference. You see it all the time as “sour grapes” or, “I don’t need to hear that crap… that’s not where I live…”" 3. Horse "There is no doubt that trying to manage someone who mounts intense resistances to facts calls to mind someone who is as “stubborn as a mule” or acts like a horse that has been led to water but refuses to drink. These equines are

Using Waze

Image
I have been driving my son to work for his Work Experience Programme for almost two weeks now. His office is in the heart of the city and it takes about one and a half hours to get him there! I am now a regular Waze user. I used to only switch it on for directions but now I put it on every time I get behind the wheel because it gives me a good gauge on the traveling time and the different routes I can take. But the interesting thing was this: almost every time when I use it on our drive to his office, Waze sent us through a variety of routes and for someone who is horrible in navigation and road directions, I really get to learn new routes. Anyway, his two-week long programme will end tomorrow, being his last day of work. I hope he has managed to get a good feel of what it is, what it means, and what it takes to have a job. pearlie

A Thousand Words #159

Image
pearlie

Meetings, meetings, meetings

Image
I had four back-to-back meetings today from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, the first time without a break ever since I started work here. Actually, come to think of it, the first time ever. And now that I've moved from consulting to corporate, all I keep ending up in are meetings. pearlie Source: Tom Fishburne

World Without End (mini-series)

Image
I finally managed to watch World Without End, the mini-series. It was quite a long while ago when I read the book and I do not remember much of what I read. As such, it was quite an enjoyable watch. The plot was well paced for the eight-part series, and the development of the characters quite well done, and well played by the actors. For one, the characterisation of Godwyn and his mother, Petranilla was very interesting. I'm amazed at how malicious and evil they can be, how they can justify lies and murders with religion, how they can justify their evil acts through which they obtain what they think is their right and privilege. Of all the characters, the character development of King Edward III was the best. I had expected more from Merthin, but sadly he was quite disappointing. The king was more interesting as he struggled to first remove himself from his mother's apron, to take his rightful position as king, and finally to grow and mature in his reign. The

Interstellar

Image
My hubby got home early this morning because his weekly golf game was a no-go as it was raining heavily. On a separate note, the fact it was raining this morning was really amusing to me because I actually told my colleagues yesterday that even though it is the raining season now, and even though it may rain in the mornings, it most probably will not. And it has to rain the very next, this morning! It is like God showing me who is God. Oops... Anyway, my hubby got home early and suggested we go to the cinema and watch Interstellar. I'm glad we did--the movie was downright spectacular. I did mention before that even though I am in the midst of two boys who are science fiction fans, and even if I don't mind it, I do not like it that much if it gets too technical. But Interstellar has the people touch and the drama that really drew me into the story of the father and his daughter. I was so immersed in it and unlike most movies where I can mostly figure out what will happen

I've now done a full circle

I had an interesting day today because for once I was on the other side of a proposal meeting. I was on the consultant side before, bringing proposals to the prospective clients, whereas today, I was the client, taking a look at the presentations of three prospective vendors. My take-away from this experience are these three points, which is really a no-brainer at all: 1. The expectation from the first vendor who presents is very high. I had extremely high expectations from the first vendor I met, but it was a letdown, bringing me to my next point. 2. The professionalism of the vendor counts a whole lot. The familiarity of the vendor on the subject matter count a whole lot more. You have to really know your stuff, and you need to give me the confidence that you can solve my problem and bring solutions. 3. You have to keep to the point, and even if you want to be creative and give me something fresh, it must hit the nail in the head. And this was the fault of one of the vendors. They w

Roger E Olson's Blog

I can't remember whether or was a Calvinist who inadvertently introduced me to Roger E. Olson's blog or I have found it myself, but found it I did and it is an excellent find. It comes highly recommended and so far here are a few of my favourite posts: What’s Wrong with Calvinism? Reading Is Fundamental (And Not Reading Is a Recipe for Failure) Arminian Theology: Prevenient Grace and Total Depravity (Including a Review of a New Book about Prevenient Grace) What Is a “Spirit-filled” and “Spirit-led” Church? Part 1 and Part 2 (The only complaint I have are the many unnecessary and unbecoming advertisements and sponsored articles that accompany the blog.) pearlie

Ignorance

We know not what we do not know Oblivious we to life's mystery We listen not what we ought to hear We see not what we ought to see The gold we hold so dear to heart Is it gold? I say it is, you don't? You hold to yours and I to mine We seat ourselves on our own throne We think we know what we know Unawares we are to time's eternity We think we hear what we hear We think we see what we see The gold we know but really do we? We guard them with our mind's frailty But so vast, so utterly vast it is Beyond what we can ever think it to be All rights reserved © 2014 Pearlie Ng

Bible Society Malaysia 30th Anniversary

Image
pearlie

Prevenient Grace by W. Brian Shelton

Image
Prevenient Grace, God's Provision for Fallen Humanity by W. Brian Shelton Description: If human nature is utterly sinful, how can any human being comprehend and respond to the gospel? This paradox has been debated by theologians for more than five hundred years, and Wesleyan-Arminians have answered that the Holy Spirit enables every human being to accept God's call to redemption. This concept of prevenient grace is the most significant difference betwen Calvinist and Arminian Christians. I was reading Roger E. Olson's blog when he recommended a newly published book that is finally an indepth scriptural exegetical work on the subject of prevenient grace. In the book, Olson said, "I am often asked to recommend a book explaining the Wesleyan-Arminian doctrine of prevenient grace. Until now I have not been able to. I am grateful to Brian Shelton for satisfying this greatly felt need. His book is erudite but easily understandable, convincing but irenic, and completely bi

Jesus, Thank You by Sovereign Grace

I have not led worship for 4 years and finally I'm back to doing it this weekend, both for the Saturday and Sunday worship. It is something I enjoy doing and I'm privileged to be able to serve God in this ministry. We used the above song Jesus, Thank You by Sovereign Grace, an excellent piece on the saving grace of our Lord Jesus. pearlie

Book Review: Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology

Image
Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop Noel recommended me this book by a very brilliant writer, minister and PhD holder, Dr. Mildred Bangs Wynkoop (1905-1997). I recommend this book to anyone who wants a short and summarised read of the life of James Arminius, and a brief history of how Calvinism and Arminianism came about, as well as their theological characteristics and differences. I can't say enough that she was brilliant. I like how she brought out the historical background of these different thrusts of theology and insisted that one needs to know its history to fully understand where each is coming from. Failing which she referred it to as "confusion of mind which ignorance of historical fact engenders." She also touched on Theological Provincialism where, "Lifting one aspect of doctrine into a central dominating position, away from its proper place in the whole doctrine, is provincialism. Such theological provincialisms are not nec