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Showing posts from September, 2016

A Thousand Words #191

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  pearlie 

Scorpion ★★☆☆☆

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  There is a new series running on iFlix called Scorpion. I thought it sounded interesting and began watching it. I found the pilot episode quite good and I had high expectations that it will keep me glued to the screen on stories about four geniuses solving crime and mysteries. But by the time I got to the fourth episode I was bored.  I think it had to do with the characters. I could not identify with any of them. They may be geniuses with zero emotions but there are shows with such characters that you'd love to hate but still find endearing. Sherlock is one example, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  Maybe it all boils down to the actors. They should get better people. pearlie

Trying to get over bad feelings

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I did not have a nice day yesterday when something that shouldn't have happened happened.  I felt bad about it and I didn't want to feel that way and so I kept telling myself that it's okay, but it was not okay. I couldn't for the life of me get the bad feelings off as much as I would want to. I tried very hard to get my mind off the matter but I kept going back to thinking about it.  I finally decided that I couldn't stop the feelings and that I would have to give it some time and ride along it without any frustrations until it dissipates.  That was yesterday evening.  This morning, on my commute to work, I thought I'd watch some TED talks in the car.  This video was a godsend. It brightened up my morning and then the whole day. And I thank God for it.  The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe by James Veitch I was laughing out loud towards the end of the talk but it was this very last part that I will cherish:  "Guys, just remember, whenever you feel weighed do

Be fair to yourself

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  pearlie

One of my favourite places: a good grocery store

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My colleague told me about De Market Taman Desa for awhile now and I finally had the chance to drop in over the weekend.  I am impressed. I found all the stuff that I needed, except kosher salt. But that is another story.        pearlie

With the barest of words and emotions

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  The sermon this morning was from John 19:17-42, the passage about the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Pastor said that it unusual that after spending so many verses telling us what happened to Jesus who was before the Jews and Roman authorities after his arrest, the passage here on the crucifixion seem anti-climatic with the barest of words and descriptions. But I find that most remarkable. With just a short passage, the apostle John gave us the most important facts about the crucifixion of Christ. With the economy of words, every sentence and verse, are packed and deep with theological truths. You can practically spend your whole life just studying each and every of these 21 verses in John, let alone the other parallel passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke. When I watched movie adaptations of Jesus's crucifixion, I always thought it interesting that the Gospels did away with the emotions, feelings, and sensations of the event.  With just two words in Greek, John wrote,  αὐτὸν ἐστα

Mushroom Risotto in a Pressure Cooker

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  I am not a very chinese Chinese but Chinese enough to feel oh so satisfied with a good bowl rice. So when I first tried a serving of risotto in an Italian restaurant—I think it was in G3 in Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar—you should see the contented look in my face.  So I wanted to try making it and I found this recipe I adapted from  Food.com  so yummy and good. And it gets done in 7 minutes in a pressure cooker. It's quick and easy.  Mushroom Risotto in a Pressure Cooker Ingredients   4 tablespoons olive oil  4 tablespoons butter, divided  1 medium onion, diced  2 garlic cloves, minced  250 grams mushrooms, portabella or shiitake, sliced  1 1⁄2 cups arborio rice  2 cups chicken or beef stock 1 cup water  1 -1 1⁄2 cup fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese  Directions In a presssure cooker, heat 4tbs olive oil and 2 tbs butter. Add onion and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add mushrooms and rice. Stir until rice is coated with oil. Add stock and water. Cover and cook under high press

Get your phone to read out loud for you

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  I read aloud my books sometimes to help me concentrate. It takes a longer time but it helps to keep me focused.  I have tried to get good apps to read stuff to me and I have downloaded both paid and free apps: 1.  NaturalReader  reads books. It's free but limited in the length of read time after which you will need to pay. I like it but it's not very easy though to manage what and where to read from. I find it difficult to read from anywhere I want.  2.  VoiceReader  reads text files. I like this because the voices that you can download are good ones, and they don't cost too much. My only problem with it is that it only reads text files.  3.  Speaky  loads webpages and reads it for you. I like it and used it quite frequently before. It uploads selected webpages from my Pocket account and reads them. But after a few upgrades, I found it quite difficult to use.  I found out some time ago that I can get my iPhone's VoiceOver to read me my books in iBooks. But I don't

Input and Maximizer at play

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I have completed delivering two modules of training at work and was brushing my next module when I thought I'd come up with an activity that involves creating a poster ad.  That was when I remembered the last time I went searching for such ads.  It was during the recent preaching seminar that I have attended. In one of the workshops led by Paul Barker on the applications part of a sermon, he gave us homework. We were to go look for advertisements that portray values, good or bad.  And it was my Gallup theme strength #3 Input and #7 Maximizer that was at play. My Input pushed me to spend almost an hour if not two till past midnight to scour the internet to find these. And my Maximizer insisted that I only give up looking when I find those that are interesting and unique.  Here they are: I thought this Facebook one was cute but not carrying a very positive value but a reality that most of us are so deliberately addicted to social media.    I felt this one minimizes the value of life.

A checklist of the M'Cheyne bible reading plan

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Mibipi App  by Geoffrey Dayley I was looking for a checklist app that will help me to keep track of my daily bible reading using the M'Cheyne bible reading plan, and found it in this simple app.  Though I wish it could be more, the app is the only one around, for now.  This bible reading plan is a good one. It is developed by a  19th Century Scottish minister, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, and it brings you reading through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. You read on average 4 chapters per day. Have you found any other good bible reading plans? pearlie

My reading not catching up to my buying

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  Cold-Case Christianity, A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospel by J. Warner Wallace Oh dear...I bought seven more books today. Noel tells me I'm addicted to books, especially these Kindle deals. It's madness.  But with such an interesting title like this one,  Cold-Case Christianity, A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospel , which has a foreword by Lee Strobel, who wrote Case for Christ that is catalyst to my learning more about my faith through these fabulous writers and their work, and with such a good deal at $3.82 after a 80% discount, how can I not get a copy.  I have started on it today and I think it will be a very good read.  But my colleague did ask me a very obvious question, where do I find the time to read to catch up with the number of books I'm buying? I really do not have an answer to that.  pearlie

A yearly journal of your life

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  Time really flies and it has been two years since I started using this journaling app call  Askt . I  blogged  about it when I started using it and amazingly, I've kept at answering its daily questions and have completed two years of it.  Some of the answers to the questions are unsurprisingly exactly the same, for example to the question "Do you like your mirror?", I have answered exactly the same thing in 2015 and 2016: "nope".  Some entries amuses me though. Like this one: "What do you hate to talk about?" In 2015, I replied "politics" but in 2016 I replied, I hate to talk about "boring stuff. Politics is getting interesting." And I promise I never look before I answer the question for the second time.  Here's to Askt for the third year round. I wonder how many years will I do this though.  pearlie

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible Kindle Version

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My good friend Noel has been recommending me this new NIV Zondervan Study Bible edited by DA Carson. I have tried the electronic trial version in my Tecarta bible app for three days but at $24.99, I thought I'd give it a pass for the time being.  I found out today that it was on sale in Kindle Amazon and bought a copy at only $4.99. It is good to save so much but it is challenging to use it in the Kindle version. I am not sure if I can get used to it.  In the Tecarta bible app, I can easily get to the books and chapters quite easily and the commentary section appears alongside with the verses.  The Kindle version is much more challenging because I can only get to the book via its content page, and then flip through the introduction section before clicking on the link in the list of chapters in the books. To get to the commentary section, I would need to tap on the number of the verse and then tap on the back button to go back to the verse.  In this scenario, a print version would s

How in the world did they scan all those books in Google

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  Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan I read  Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore  by Robin Sloan and loved it tremendously. It presents a story in a good mesh of the conventional and modern setting in reading. The protagonist is Clay who is a newly graduated designer who is also quite adept at programming. He lost his job and subsequently settled for the next one he could get - nightshift clerking at a 24-hour bookstore. A 24-hour bookstore!  I've never found one in my life, but this one here is a mysterious one. It concerns the books in the Waybacklist, what Clay referred to as the tall vertical shelves at the back of the store and a fellowship of readers called the Unbroken Spine. It's a clash between two worlds of old leatherbound books and electronically rendered ones, between codes in the pages of a book and codes on the screens of computers, between handwritten log books and a 3-D model of the bookstore, between a small dim musty decrepit bookstore and the

My Prayer for Malaysia

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  Our country celebrate itself today, being Malaysia Day. And I would like to pray for my country. I found a very good prayer here and it's long, but a good one:  A Prayer for Our Country and Our Leadership , but this is my short prayer for Malaysia: Our Father in heaven, we thank you that we are citizens of heaven as much as we are citizens of our country. While we are here on earth, we are grateful that you are Emmanuel, you are with us. We pray that your holy governance of the world will produce good and wise leaders, who will hold on to justice above their own desires. We pray that they will be pure in their intentions, and godly in their convictions. We pray that the people will find you, to find hope and finally peace on earth and goodwill toward all men.  Amen pearlie

Wonderful Things of the World #2: Hakka Lui Cha

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  I joined my colleagues for vegetarian lunch today, although I don't really fancy Chinese vegetarian food. I went for the company and it was alright. But it reminded me of what I really feel like having, Hakka lui cha or thunder tea literally translated, though there are the vegetarian and non-vegetarian variety. I especially like it because of the green colored broth packed with ground mint, basil and tea leaves. I can almost taste it now. My colleague, Teresa, who was also at the same vegetarian lunch, did tell me that her father-in-law makes it often at home. I'm still waiting for the invitation that sadly will never come.  So I found this  article  in The Malay Mail Online and I will surely check out those places for good servings of lui cha. pearlie 

Something I can't stop talking about: books and reading

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Those who know me well and those who follow my blog would know by now that I am a bibliophile, I love books. I like collecting them. I love reading them. And I can't stop talking about it. Whenever I run training sessions, I will take the opportunity to ask my classes who loves to read. The response? On average, only 1 in 20 loves to read. I had tried to convince my classes that they need to read, that reading is good for them. But by now I have already given up on it. Not everybody loves to read and so be it. I started reading from a very young age. The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Three Investigators, Nancy Drew and the Trixie Beldon series were my favourites. I then moved on to books by Sidney Sheldon, John Grisham and Michael Crichton. I started my goodreads account in July 2010 and I just noted today that I have read 332 books, and that does not include those I read in my childhood days. If I don't count all those beginning years, I suppose I would

A Thousand Words #190

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  pearlie 

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

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  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See One of my favourite movies is Memoirs of a Geisha though I only gave it a 3-star (out of 5) when I last read the book.  I wanted to look for a good novel along the same genre and so I opened up the Memoirs of a Geisha page in Amazon and scrolled through the list of "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" and found this book: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan , by Lisa See. I finished it in one day today, with it being an off-day from work. The book is good.  The story is about 80-year old Lily who wrote about her life right from when she was five, growing up in remote 19th-century China, in the Hunan province. She was matched with another girl, of the same age, to become a lifetime friend, a laotong , or literally "old same".  "A laotong match is as significant as a good marriage," Lily's aunt had explained. "A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and et

My family, my world

Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.  ~ David Ogden Stiers I'm every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.  ~ Alex Haley A happy family is but an earlier heaven.  ~ George Bernard Shaw I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.  ~ Barbara Bush A family can develop only with a loving woman as its center.  ~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.  ~ Charles R. Swindoll pearlie 

What you never realized about the writings of Tolkien and Lewis

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  A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and A Great War, How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 by Joseph Loconte The book started off quite interestingly but I soon got bogged down on the first few chapters about the First World War. I am not a fan of writings or documentaries or movies about wars and combat and so I got on quite laboriously in the beginning. I was however very adamant on reading this book about my two all-time favourite authors and if I had to read about wars, I will have to read about wars.  And I am glad I did. This book is exceptional. Very few books made me cry, and this one did. It spent quite a bit of time to discuss the war that both Tolkien and Lewis were in. It was an important factor, if not one of the most, that influenced their writings. Winston Churchill said that this "Great War differed from all ancient wars in the immense power of the combatants and their fearful agencies of destruction, and from

The struggle of wanting to be perfect

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  Disability & The Gospel, How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace by Michael S. Beates In reading this book I have gained a better understanding and more importantly, an acceptance of myself.  I have known that God works through us in our weaknesses but what if that weakness is a chronic one. How can we live and even understand when pain and disability is long term?  It's only when we experience such a life will we begin to know and understand the real perpetual struggle of those who are disabled. (The book uses the term disabled though I found out that there is currently this disagreement with the use of the label in a semantic sense.) What we can learn from the disabled is that they are a reminder to us that we are very broken in a lot of ways ourselves. Beates suggested that it is for that very reason that we tend to avoid or ignore those we see in wheelchairs or are blind or deaf.  We choose ignore them as a denial of the brokenness in ourselves. Or we ask the que

A book sale that goes on and on and on

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  I found out in the month of May that Kindle now sells its ebooks to us here in Malaysia but it took me awhile to realise that Kindle also offers daily and monthly deals. I found the  monthly deals page for non-fiction books  and when I'm at that page, it really feels like I'm visiting a book warehouse sale, albeit virtually. And what more, the sale seems to go on without an end in sight.  On my last count, from May to date, I have bought 58 Kindle books! At the rate I'm going, I'd most probably end up buying about 20 books a month. The average price per book I'm buying is about RM10 and with that I'd need a book budget of RM200 per month, and that I think is very reasonable. It has become normal for me that when I tell my friends about this, they'd tell me, "Oh! I prefer print books." But the funny thing I found out though is that most of them aren't even readers to begin with!  So I've resigned to the fact that I can only share this pass

A Hobbit and A Wardrobe: how did I not see it?

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  A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and A Great War, How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 by Joseph Loconte I have started reading this book that I recently purchased without much thought. I bought it because it was a Kindle Deal and because it's about two of my favorite people, J. R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Only now did I realise what the title is - a hobbit and a wardrobe...ahhh. I know, I know. It's there in huge typeset. But that's the thing, I don't really notice stuff that are too obvious.  pearlie 

Weird coincidences?

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People tell me not to believe in coincidences but sometimes things happen to me in such a coincidental way that I can't help but notice it. Or is it because of my connectedness, the fact that I am a natural at seeing connections in life? I started a new training programme at work today and I used the 16 type personality tool to help managers get to know themselves and their team better. After completing the day's session, I received this image below from Vince, a friend from my cell group. And later in the evening, I receive a hello text from my former staff who is currently a training provider of the same programme. Now, tell me that is not weird. pearlie

A Thousand Words #189

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pearlie

84, Charing Cross Road

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  84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff I have a list of books on books that I want to read, and I finally got to read this one today. I read the electronic version but I would love to get my hands on a print copy for keeps.  The book is non-fiction. It consists only of letters that spanned 20 years between a bibliophile scriptwriter in New York with a buyer in a bookstore in London. It began with Helene Hanff, the American scriptwriter who wrote the first letter in 1949 to Marks & Co., Booksellers at 84, Charing Cross Road, London. She was soon corresponding with the book buyer Frank Doel, some of the staff in the bookstore, even Frank's wife, daughter and neighbour.  It's been called a "charming record of bibliophilia, cultural difference, and imaginative sympathy," what with the entertaining correspondence between an outspoken New Yorker and a restrained Londoner or what she referred to as one with "proper English reserve". Here are some of my favour

My times are in God's hands

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  pearlie

I am broken. I am weak.

There are times when I feel fearful of the situation at hand, fearful that it will turn bad, fearful that I will end up in the wrong place, doing and saying the wrong things, fearful that I will lose control. But in actual fact, I am in need of God. I am broken and weak and in no way am I able to save or help myself. I need Jesus, his leading, his assurance.  Dear Abba, I am broken. I am weak. I need to realize that every day of my life and not to think that I am any good. But to know that my goodness, my capabilities only comes from you. You are the source of my strength. You are the source of my life. I am fully dependent on you. I can do nothing without you. I can only do what I do everyday through Christ who strengthens me. I am broken, in you I am made whole. I am weak, in you I am made strong. Help me live my life everyday in you and through you. Not fearing anything but trusting in you, my Lord, my God and my King. Amen. pearlie 

Hurrah! I've got more books

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I posted on  15 August  that I will get back to reading and with that I have read 7 books in August alone.  And what more with my discovery of this  vesselproject.com  blog that post daily Kindle deals, I have been buying books like there is no tomorrow. I bought 18 in August alone as what you see below. But to be more accurate, The Complete CS Lewis Signature Classics is 7 books in one.  So in total, I have bought 24 books in one month! Oh dear me... If this is going to be my norm from now on, I'll have more books than I can ever read in my entire life.  Oh wait, that already happened a long time ago.  pearlie