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Showing posts from June, 2015

Five Things About Pearlie

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KC Bob tagged me for a creative blogger award. And I thank him for his kind words to me as "a long time friend, thoughtful blogger and devoted follower of Christ." I decide not to tag anyone since I don't have many who are actively commenting here anymore. Only Bob and Susan and a couple of others who come by once in awhile. So here are my five facts: 1. I like to think and write and have been doing that with this blog since 2006. 2. I like to read...a lot. 3. I collect a lot of things, and facts, and articles, anything I find might be useful. 4. I sing everyday. In the car. In the shower. I sing to myself sometimes, like in taking to myself. 5. I am a night person, delaying sleep not wanting the day to end so soon. pearlie

I took the day off to think

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. ~ Henry Ford Our opinions become fixed at the point where we stop thinking. ~ Ernest Renan Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence. ~ Thomas Szasz The mind ought sometimes to be diverted that it may return to better thinking. ~ Phaedrus Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. If I look confused it is because I am thinking. ~ Samuel Goldwyn The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible. ~ David Ogilvy Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself. ~ Plato pearlie

Grace Notes in Penang, Day 2

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Grace Notes was also lined up to sing in Trinity Methodist Church's morning services, 9 and 11 am. We did quite alright this round compared to the recent couple of times in Ipoh and Shah Alam. All in the grace of God, in our worship and service to him, as well as sharing our talents with the people of God. The speaker for the services was Rev Dr T Jeyakumar and he spoke from Deut 6:1-25 on "Ministry to the Younger Ones", using the example of John Wesley and the Scripture passage in Deuteronomy. The message is one that should be driven home in every church on these two main points: 1. The duty and responsibility of teaching and training children in the Lord belongs primarily to the parents, not the church. And more than that, it is through us loving God, experiencing God, studying the Word of God, writing the Word, displaying the Word and speaking the Word at all times at home and out (v.4-9). Parents are to model a Christ-filled life to the children. 2. One of the most im

Grace Notes in Penang, Day 1

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We are in Penang and singing for the Trinity Methodist Church's Worship and Music Ministry Appreciation Night 2015. It is a good thing to acknowledge the sacrifice and service of fellow brethren in the offering of our time and talents to God. But God has done so much for us, what are these little things that we bring to him? It's only by his grace that we can come before him, to serve and to worship him. pearlie

Back to The Economist after 15 years

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I started to read The Economist rather inadvertently, when I graduated in 1991 with a degree in economics, not realizing that it's more on public affairs rather than economics, which is a good thing because I have gained much in my general knowledge and my command of the English language by subscribing and reading the magazine, usually cover to cover, for at least 10 years if not more I can't remember how much I paid for it then - most probably in the range of RM180-200 per year. When the rate went up and up and up, I decided to stop my subscription. It was getting too expensive. I have been wanting to resubscribe but with the annual subscription priced at RM600 and more, it is not justifiable to do so. But now, one and a half decade down the line, the price of the digital version is almost similar to its print edition back then. And I thought why not. So I just renewed my subscription, the digital edition, for just RM300 a year, so much less than the print at RM650 and print +

Proof that you should get a life

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I am a night person but I also wake up very early every week day to attend to my chores and duties before I arrive at work. As such, I am totally drained out by mid of Thursday every week. The Economist published an article in 2013, " Get a Life " and said: BERTRAND RUSSELL, the British philosopher, was not a fan of work. In his 1932 essay, “In Praise of Idleness”, he reckoned that if society were better managed the average person would only need to work four hours a day. Such a small working day would “entitle a man to the necessities and elementary comforts of life.” The rest of the day could be devoted to the pursuit of science, painting and writing. Russell thought that technological advancement could free people from toil. John Maynard Keynes mooted a similar idea in a 1930 essay, "Economic possibilities for our grandchildren", in which he reckoned people might need work no more than 15 hours per week by 2030. But over 80 years after these speculations people s

He Loved Me by Tom Fettke

I will be singing this in a duet with a fellow member of Grace Notes soon. The message of the song is that God has loved us by Jesus's death and resurrection. Nothing will ever separate is from the love of God. pearlie

Clocks are a must for some

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I found an excellent way to recognize if a person is a J or a P. Ok, I'm taking about the 16 types here, with the more structured people (J) compared to the more free flow people (P). I was trying to type someone when she spoke about how she refuse to even count the number of clocks she has in her house. She is a J for sure. I, being a P, used to only have one in the house! I have two now since my son insisted on having one in his room. I don't even wear a watch. Well, it does not mean I don't see the time. I do...in my phone and PC mainly. But generally, I'm not too really hung up on time. pearlie

Gifts are given to be given

I learnt a useful lesson today from Kansas Bob : gifts are given to be given. I never really thought of it that way. I know God has given gifts to each of us and I know it's for the edification of the body of Christ. But if you put it in simple clear English that you are given gifts to be given away, it certainly makes an aha moment for me. And with that, I read Matt 25:29 with even better understanding: "For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (ESV) The NLT version interprets it quite well in that same line of thought: "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away." Thanks Kansas Bob for the wonderful insight! pearlie

What a waste of time

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My son recommended me this new iOS game yesterday. Fallout Shelter by Bethesda I tried it out and found that it is an interesting mash-up between Sims and Tiny Tower, two games of which I have enjoyed very much - and so...I'm stuck with it now, playing hours on end to expand the vault and to make sure the dwellers are happy, working, growing and contented. The little simple (and useless) things that keeps me busy and occupied. But I think I've wasted too much time on it. pearlie

What should be optimised in a church?

I caught up with an old friend today who is now working in church and we discussed about the difference between working in a church and in the corporate world. I only had a few months of it to talk about, and even that, not from a church perspective but from a para-church organisation, which I worked in for a couple of months many, many, many years ago. I believe she has now been working in the church for almost half a year if not more. She found it hard to adapt to the difference. She raised a very interesting question - what is she suppose to optimise on while working in a church? In a regular company, she will optimise on efficiency, lowering costs and increasing profits. That was clear to her when she was working in one but now in church, she admits being pretty confused. She asked then, what would be the basis of making decisions? I suppose it's effectiveness and not efficiency which needs to be optimised by staff in a church settling? But no, I think it's both, towards me

Logos Free Book of the Month

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I have been using Logos products for many years now, since back then when I was studying theology in the seminary. I have those books and more in digital form in my devices now, which is sweet. And recently in the past year or so, Logos has begun to give out a free book a month, and in the last few months, the free books are coupled with another at only USD 0.99. I have been diligently downloading them and getting the 99 cents deal every month. I received a very interesting email today form Logos about their Free Book of the Month . It is an appeal for us to help them spread the offer, which is what I am doing now. The books from Logos.com are the good scholarly kind, and if you are interested in lighter editions, check out Vyrso which is also under Logos. They offer up to three free books a month! (But if you click the above Vyrso link, there should be a whole long list of free books.) I now understand why Logos is offering free books. Here was what they emailed me, "Our

Starbucks Deal

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pearlie

Think with reasonable thinking

I continued with NT Wright's After You Believe for my devotion reading this morning and it was about the renewal of the mind, in Romans 12:1-2. I like to think. Well, it is the number two theme in my Gallup StrengthsFinder report. And so I learnt a lot from this short portion of his thoughts on the topic, and I like what he said, interpreting Paul: "what matters is thinking...Don’t overthink what you ought to think, but think with reasonable thinking." There other interesting quotes from my reading are as follows: When Paul talks about the “mind,” he is not ranking Christians in terms of what we would call their intellectual or “academic” ability. Some Christians have that sort of mind. Plenty of others don’t. "The way the world is" is a powerful, insidious force, and it takes all the energy of new creation, not least of faith and hope, to remind oneself that the age to come really is already here, with all its new possibilities and prospects. The antidote to t

Putting on clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience

I decided to read a portion of Wright's After You Believe for my morning devotion and got these few verses I felt I should meditate on. Colossians 3:12-17 (ESV) 12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Compassionate heart, kindness, humilit

I am an Introvert

I read in BBC today that "Introverts need not apply to work at French beauty giant, L’Oreal. If they do, recruiters probably won’t select them, and should they somehow manage to get hired, they aren’t likely to thrive at the company" This is surprising - I thought anyone should know that you will need a good mix of personalities for any organisation to thrive. And it is relieving to hear that not all companies and not everyone think like that -  On the Job: Introverts win in the end . I like it when the team that I am in are a good mixture of both. Like in my team, I am glad and appreciative of my colleague who is the only extravert among us four. He is always dependable to get the team going and would voice up at the most crucial time to bring some cheer in any given uneasy situation. I believe he is also appreciative of the remaining of us introverts. We are the ones who would better manage and process a large amount of information, who listens well and who provide wel

Jupiter Ascending ★★★☆☆

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Jupiter Ascending My husband and I caught up with this movie and we found it quite alright. Not spectacular, just alright. Not really all that three stars but better than two though. But I like watching these actors: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Eddie Redmayne. However, I find Tatum not very inspiring here. I don't see any of the Tatum expressions that I find quite endearing. And I could not stand Redmayne here. I think that is a miscast. I cringed at all his scenes except when he was in combat with Kunis. He should just stick to drama films. pearlie

Here I Am Lord

I have not sang this song for so many years. I was reminded of it when the speaker spoke from Isaiah 6:8 some weeks ago. I was worship leading today and took the opportunity to introduce it to the congregation. Here I Am Lord I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry. All who dwell in darkness now My hand will save. I who make the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send? Here I am, Lord. It is I Lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, where you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart. I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne my people's pain. I have wept for love of them. They turn away. I will break their hearts of stone, Give them hearts for love alone. I will speak my words to them. Whom shall I send? Here I am, Lord. It is I Lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, where you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart. I, the Lord of wind and flame, I wil

Lazy Thinking

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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. ~ Albert Einstein I wonder if I have fallen into this category of people. I was checking my blog on the topic of heaven that I thought I might have written about, and I found two of it, one in 2008 and one in 2014 . The one in 2008 was more well thought of than the one in 2014, and today, I had thought of writing about heaven in the same line of thought but looking back, my writing today wouldn't have been so thought out. I don't think reading too much is bad. It's just that I know I've grown lazy in my thinking. However, trust my CG-mates to tease me for reading so much. They labeled me with this word: bibliobibuli. "They wander in this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing." Oh dear. Oh no. Really? pearlie

Lazy Furniture

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I have not been to IKEA for the longest time. I was there with my son today and this was something I really needed: an Ektorp footstool. The one that we have, a different model, which we have been using for the past 15 years, is broken. Its legs gave way. Time to get a new one. But footstools are such lazy furniture. pearlie

Lazy Pearlie

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pearlie

iOS Bible apps

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It is rare for us worshippers to bring our bibles to church or bible study these days. I remember being reminded to bring our own bibles to church rather than using the pew bibles, so that we can personalise our notes and markings in our own copies. But now, even though I can still see several senior folks bringing their bibles to church services, most, even the seniors themselves, are using bible apps in their phones or tablets. My son, though he is a techie, for reasons he won't explain, prefers to read print books. And he was lugging the thick and heavy hardcover ESV Study Bible to church every Sunday. Until he realized he has the exact same copy in his iPad! Now all our printed bibles stay at home, and we have many of them. Had we known...or rather, had I known... I purchased the Crossway ESV Study Bible app a few years ago and was using it until they discontinued the app recently and transferred it to their free app with in-app purchase options where I can restore the study bi

The Structuring of Organizations

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The Structuring of Organizations by Henry Mintzberg I rarely find any business books that interest me. I only had one, The Art and Science of Competencies which I still yet to get a copy, and now here's another which I just found out about today. It's a book published in 1979 by Henry Mintzberg, The Structuring of Organizations . I can't find an ebook version of it. It's being crazily priced at USD186.49 in Amazon. A better option would be to get it second hand in Abebooks.com, except the price is still pretty up there for a used copy. pearlie

Out of darkness into light

It was no coincidence. But guess from which passage was today's sermon preached from? The exact one I was meditating on over the past few days: Col 1:9-14. The verse that stood out for me today was this: For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT) Therefore, live day by day in joy and thankfulness with endurance and patience made possible by the power that God has given us. pearlie

Into the deeper end

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After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters by NT Wright I decided to get this book after all, and started on it this morning. In comparison, One Way Love is like being in the children's wading pool. No wonder I can finish it in a day. After You Believe is right there in the deep end of the pool (whilst NT Wright's thicker tomes are all like swimming the triathlon in the open sea). Tough but full of good substance. One full day and I've just read 17% of it. This will take time, but it's good. It's excellent. pearlie

Book Review: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World

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I must admit I have been drifting over the past few weeks, evidenced by the lack of substance in my blogposts recently. I found it so hard to pinpoint what matters most to me for the day, thoughts or happenings that meant at least something. There were none. Yesterday's renewal was so needed. As I pushed myself back into reading Carson's A Call to Spiritual Reformation , I was drawn to Colossians 1:9-14. I finished reading the book (or rather, I finished skimming it, as I found it quite repetitive the second round I'm reading it this time). I began to hunt for something that can help further uplift me in the presence of my Heavenly Father. I decided to check out Tullian Tchividjian. I remember reading Glorious Ruin back in November 2013 and loved it. In checking the available volumes in Kobobooks.com, I decided on this one, which proved to be an excellent pick. One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Tullian Tchividjian What attracted me to it

Renewal in Christ and joy in him

As I was praying today seeking for God's holy presence, he led me to these verses that brought me the renewal I needed. Colossians 1:9-14 (NLT) So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding . Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit . All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better . We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need . May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father . He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. (emphasis mine) pearlie

Power surge!

I came back home today and noticed that the row of houses where our home is were all in a blackout. My neighbours were out in the streets telling us there was a power surge and advised us not to switch anything on in the house. One of our neighbour's television already blew. Oh dear. That got me worried. I have not experienced a power surge before and I soon found out that it could cost us thousands of ringgit in appliance damages. The florescent lights in my house that weren't working before were flickering. It was really weird. We quickly turned off the mains and unplugged devices especially our computer and television. It was well past midnight by then. My hubby managed to fall asleep in the heat. I was too worried thinking about the damages to sleep and it was too warm to sleep anyway. Finally, after several rounds of checking the activity outside through my bedroom window, I saw the electrician with a neighbour walking and talking loudly. I got out of the house and saw lig

Good Movie Catch-Up ★★★☆☆

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Lucy ★★★☆☆ I quite enjoyed this movie, maybe because I like watching Scarlett Johansson. I find her so talented. But then again, my son summed up this movie perfectly as this: it takes 100% of your brain to turn into a USB drive! The Perks of Being a Wallflower ★★★☆☆ Quite a good coming-of-age story of a young man finding his space in life as he started his high school year, but yet with a past he needed to face and come to terms with. Saving Mr Banks ★★★☆☆ I must say this is a good story except I find that I do not like the protagonist. It is based on true events between the writer of the Mary Poppins series, P.L. Travers and Walt Disney, when they teamed up to put Mary Poppins on film. I find P.L. Travers a very sad and complicated woman. The Butler ★★★☆☆ This movie is based loosely on the real life of Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House as a waiter and butler for 35 years, serving 6 presidents. Whilst I find the movie just ok, it's quite amazing that th

The Pearlie Month

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I am not born this month but I shall make it my month nonetheless. To start with, I found these lovely quotes with pearls in them. Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare - and precious as a pearl. ~ Tahar Ben Jelloun All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography. ~ Federico Fellini For memory, we use our imagination. We take a few strands of real time and carry them with us, then like an oyster we create a pearl around them. ~ John Banville Well, for us, in history where goodness is a rare pearl, he who was good almost takes precedence over he who was great. ~ Victor Hugo And this gem of a quote I found will now be etched in my mind forever: Like a layer on a pearl, you can't specifically identify the irritant, the moment of the irritant, but at the end of the day, you know you have a pearl. ~ Ken Burns pearlie