Posts

Showing posts from January, 2017

Drums, books and an awful salesman

Image
I got a bit bored staying at home today, having the day off, and decided to go for a walk at the mall. And off I went to Suria KLCC. First, I got to watch this awesome drums performance at the concourse area. Too bad I was watching it from the second floor and what I captured here is an aerial view of the performance. But I loved it! Then I was at Kinokuniya, my one and only favourite bookstore.  It was nice to be in a bookstore again, though I did not get many books, just one. Kindle books, especially those on sale, are so much cheaper. I noticed a couple of titles which I got from Kindle probably $1.99 or $2.99 were selling at RM80 and above! Next, I went to take a look at some smartphones for my mom. Her phone is not working very well and we thought it's time she got a new one. She wanted a simple one and so I went to look at the lower end models. To start with, I was at the Samsung flagship store. I saw the J2 series and its quality looks bad. But the sales service was worse. T

The Prodigal God?

Image
The Prodigal God, Christianity Redefined Through the Parable of the Prodigal Sons  by Timothy Keller My husband and I will be participating in a covenant group in church studying and discussing The Prodigal God written by Timothy Keller. We will however be watching a video a week for six weeks.  But I have always wanted to read Keller's books but haven't got to it and so this will be a good opportunity to do so.  So I bought a copy today. It's a short book and I was halfway through in no time. But I decided not to go so fast and stopped midway.  It is a very good book. Simple but profound. I can imagine there will be loads of thing to discuss, to unpack, to agree and to disagree.  The title of the book itself is thought provoking. We've always known the parable to be The Parable of the Lost Son. But Keller said the focus isn't so much on the younger son but more on the elder son.  Keller was right when he said that the "younger brothers" of those d

A church: sharing what we have in common

I was  all into chiasms  when I was studying (part time) in a seminary. I would always try to see if there were chiastic structures in the bible passages I studied. A  chiasm  is the figure of speech in which two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point; that is, the clauses display inverted parallelism.  So when today's sermon by Matthew Bellville began with a look into the chiastic structure Acts 2:41-47, I was quite enthused. The passage is about the early believers forming a community, a church. And with the chiastic structure, the focus of the passage is in v.44. Acts 2:41-47 NLT  [41] Those who believed what Peter said  were baptized and added to the church  that day-about 3,000 in all.       [42] All the believers devoted        themselves to the apostles'        teaching, and to fellowship, and        to sharing in meals (including the        Lord's Supper), and to prayer.            [43] A deep sense

Our Annual Chinese New Year Family Gathering

Image
Like every year, my relatives from my mom's side gathered in my uncle's house for the Chinese New Year to 拜年 baì nián and to enjoy each other's company, my one uncle, three aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.  My cousin brother organized a gift exchange amongst us beginning with a lucky draw and here are the shots we took of the lucky ones. The prizes are small but fun and useful stuff. I hate my picture to be taken but I kinda like this shot where I picked up the lucky prize of a toothpaste and toothbrush travel set. Very useful but amusing as well.  Then it was time for the gift exchange. The gifts ranges from Kit Kat chocolates to bunny pillows and Hello Panda cookies to Spotify gift cards: And here are the happy people... ...and the three pretty girls.  pearlie 

Spaghetti Yee Sang?

Image
  My mom stuck to her  decision  and we had our reunion dinner in a fusion restaurant, Take Eat Easy in Pearl Point Shopping Gallery. They also serves yee sang and so we ordered one serving.  However the yee sang turned out to be spaghetti yee sang, which to us sounded and tasted weird. Only my husband found it good.  But other than that, it was a good dinner and family get-together.  pearlie 

How many words do you know?

Image
I was chatting with a friend and we were talking about our command of the English language, in particular the size of our vocabulary. This made me very curious as to how many words I know. I obviously can't count it, and so I did a search and found this website:  http://testyourvocab.com . It is a very interesting site. All you need to do is to pick out words you know the definition of, and it will give you an estimate size of your vocabulary.  According to the test, it seems I know about 25,500 words and that is equivalent to being a native speaker. I know I am not technically a native speaker, but I still regard English as my first language.  How many words do you know? pearlie

If you want your music, use your earphones

Image
I have a colleague who plays music from her computer at work and it really irritates me. I feel that we need to respect each other in the space that we share, including the-what-I-shall-call-it the "sound space". Maybe I am more sensitive to sound. I once found out about being  misophonic  and that it really irks me when people watch videos or plays music through their smartphones in public areas, that I had to be exposed to the sound pollution. Why I think it is important to respect each other's space is because we all live and operate together in the environment we are in and we need it to be optimal in order to be productive.  One good example was what happened today: I came back to my cubicle from a stressful meeting and I needed to get something settled quickly. As I logged into my computer, what I hear playing in the air was Bach's Toccata and Fugue! Take a listen here, if you don't know it, and you will know what I mean.  I couldn't concentrate because

Why do I always gravitate myself to sad songs?

Image
I am currently getting too obsessed with this song. It really makes me want to cry. And yet, I can't stop listening to it.  Kim Kyunghee - And I'm Here pearlie

A Thousand Words #196

Image
  pearlie

So we think we are so great

Image
Today's sermon was an exposition of Luke 4:14-40 and the speaker, Brett Hartman, has approached it in a way I have not thought of before.  He explained the passage as follows: Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth and when it came to the reading from the prophets, he took the scroll and read from Isaiah, "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD's favor has come." Jesus then gave an exposition of the passage saying, "The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!" The people were amazed and they were happy with what Jesus has said. They see themselves as good people, under the oppression of the Romans. And so they were waiting for the Messiah to come save them, and to proclaim the year of Lord's favour on them.  But Jesus see that they h

Restaurant hunting for reunion dinner

Image
  My mom and I were planning for this year's reunion dinner. She used to cook and have the dinner at home but in recent years, we decided to eat out and not slog so much in the kitchen.  However, my mom kept changing her mind. We first wanted to just pre-order and take-away  poon-choi and yee sang and have it at home.  But before I could do that, she made a booking in a restaurant near home for a Chinese set dinner.  That's not the end of it, we were having lunch in a western dining restaurant this afternoon and suddenly she said we should have it here and that there is no reason why we should only have Chinese food.  I am flexible myself and said, why not. Well, she might change her mind again. We'll see where we finally end up in.  pearlie 

Enjoy Your Work

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. ~ Theodore Isaac Rubin Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  ~ Steve Jobs You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you.  ~ Maya Angelou Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.  ~ Confucius Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  ~ Colossians 3:23-24 pearlie

The whole church should grieve together

Image
  My good friend Ee-Tan's close and beloved uncle had passed on, and I was there for the wake service today to be with her and to offer my condolences especially the family. I remember Rev Wong Fong Yang had once talked about wake services and how the whole church should be there for the body of Christ to console the grieving, even if we do not know them that well. We are after all one body in the Lord, and we should be there to grieve together. And I agree with him, I haven't been good in this regard and when I reflected on it, I would like to emulate that.  It goes without saying here that Ee-Tan is a dear friend of mine and of course I am there for her. There is nothing else I could do.  And wake services always make me think of my own wake service. How would it be? Who would be there?  pearlie

At a Chinese village for lunch

Image
I do not like my photo to be taken but my colleagues and I were checking out the Chinese New Year decorations at the mall where we work and Berjaya Times Square has really outdone itself this year, and so why not, I thought.  Its decoration theme is a Chinese village with shops and stalls and carts and produce stands. Visitors are allowed to immerse themselves into the scenes for their photos to be taken.  This is my favourite shot. What would you suggest as a caption?   pearlie

My training challenge

Image
I was facilitating a training for managers on communication, influence and teamwork today and I was quite stressed out about it because of the topic on communication. Being an introvert, communication does not come easily to me. But through the years, I have developed my ability to communicate well in small groups. But I would choose not to relate to a large group of people unless I really have to. With that as my challenge, I have obtained content for the 1-day training from so many sources for just a 1-day training that it's almost going overboard. I hadn't realized it until I listed them out. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, et. al. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lenzioni Type Talk at Work by Otto Kroeber, et. al. Games People Play by Eric Berne I'm OK-You're OK by Thomas A. Harris Games at Work by Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read Unmasking the Face by Paul Ekman and Wallace V. Friesen The Like Switch by Jack Scha

Languages: speak to their hearts

Image
  I love this quote by Nelson Mandela: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." I think it's everyone's dream to speak multiple languages.  I was introduced to  www.italki.com , a language learning community social website, by my good friend Ee-Tan back in  April 2014 . Didn't realized it was so long ago. I was hoping I was able to sustain my learning of languages there but it remains a pipe dream. I wasn't able to put in the time and as Ee-Tan have told me, to learn languages I need to be more serious about it and it would work better if I got myself a teacher. A teacher, maybe not yet. But I do need to get more serious and keep at it. But mostly to keep it fun. pearlie 

A Thousand Words #195

Image
pearlie

Though we are many

Image
I learnt this song many years ago. I can't remember when but I think it was when the group Vineyard visited us and taught us this song. I like it so much it has stuck with me all these years. And whenever I find the chance, when the theme is right, I will use it for worship when I get to lead in songs.  Though We Are Many - Tom Inglis pearlie

My most favourite melancholic song

Image
I would always listen to this song when I am feeling melancholic. I love the melody, I love the lyrics - no need to say goodbye.  The Call - Regina Spektor pearlie

Migraine and memory loss

Image
I have had migraines since my university days and I've suffered through them with as little medication as possible. I would usually just take painkillers and once in awhile I'd take migraine pills when it's really bad.  I took some yesterday and I noticed something quite unusual. I found that I could not remember the simplest of stuff, yesterday and today. I was in a few conversation with my boss and colleagues and I could not remember names and words.  I did some research and learnt that memory loss is one of the many side effects of migraine medication.  I think that is quite scary and I will now not take any until I really, really cannot stand the pain.  pearlie

Walnut Cafe & Bar

Image
My son and I had dinner in Walnut Cafe & Bar in Bandar Puteri, Puchong. The food there is quite good and it was quite crowded.  Lemon Grass White Tea in a barrel  Spaghetti Carbonara  Soft Shell Crab Risotto  pearlie 

From aerogrammes to messaging apps

Image
  In my project to learn a new language and to improve my dismal command of the Chinese language, I made some friends in italki.com today and chatted with them on and off for the whole day yesterday.  It was good to connect and make friends to speak the languages we want to learn and from whom we are free to ask questions. But I just realized something interesting that only people my age would understand. This in comparison to my childhood days when I was writing letters on aerogrammes with pen pals from the other sides of the world is just amazing.  We now can have conversations with anyone anywhere in real time. No more composing of long letters, no more travelling to the post office, no more waiting for a reply.  How things have changed.  pearlie

Is learning a new language difficult?

Image
I happen to see this video in my YouTube page today and found it good. I especially like his 3 golden rules to learning a new language: live the language, make mistakes and make it fun.  pearlie 

Do not be derailed from our walk with God

Today's sermon was on Luke 4:1-13, on Jesus's temptations. It is interesting for me because this pericope of the Gospels have always intrigued me: why should Jesus be tempted and what were the implications of the temptations?  We see here that Jesus was tempted both of his Sonship and Messiahship. He suffered through it all and is qualified to be our Saviour and Messiah. He shared in our humanity and suffered through the most extreme form of temptation. As much as the first Adam has failed, the second Adam was victorious. Satan's desire is for us to fail and be derailed from our walk with God.  So it is of great importance for us to find out for ourselves what does it mean for us to live as an obedient child of God. Satan would always want to drive a wedge between us and God. What are our weak areas or even areas we think we are strong, that nothing with move us? Based on Jesus's three temptations, we need to be careful about: 1. Being tempted to use our own power and p

Mikey's Original New York Pizza

Image
  My son told me that pizza is best in Mikey's Original New York Pizza in Midvalley. I am not so keen on pizzas anymore after eating loads of it when my son was growing up. But since he said this is really good, I gave it a try.  I must say, it is indeed very good. I ordered a slice of Tony Soprano Pizza. Its base was crunchy and topped with pepperoni and beef and tomatoes, it was yummy.  pearlie  Photo source:  EatDrinkKL

Ringing in the ears

I got to know about someone who can't sleep at night because of tinnitus or ringing in the ears. It must be a bad one if one can't sleep because of it.  Sadly, there is no cure yet for this condition and the only thing that may help is to listen to something else that will help cancel out the ringing.  The app I like best is  Brain Wave, 32 Advanced Binaural Programs  by Banzai Labs. If I need to get to sleep I'd listen the sound of rain, which gives a very comforting feel that helps me sleep. If I'm reading or at work, I'd either listen to the forest or the sound of a running brook.  But these days with Apple Music, my favourite songs work too.  Anything is better than constant ringing that won't go away.  pearlie

Going by gut feel

Image
I have made many decisions in my life by gut feel and I just made one today. I have felt I need to do something about it but I still gave it a try and I was right, it is a right thing to do.  Do you depend on your gut feel when you make decisions? Inc.com has this  article  and it says, "There is no such thing as a purely logical decision. The brain uses a combination of logic and emotion when making decisions of any kind. That specific emotion, innate to us as humans, is intuition. We possess the capacity to feel, and thereby the ability to know things without consciously reasoning. The 'gut feeling' is real, and we use it all the time." I depend on it quite a lot. I tend to have a feel as to what I think should or should not be done. But sometimes I may depend on it too much and make the wrong decision.  As such, when it is a big decision that I need to make, I'd then pray about it a lot, talk to my husband and mentors before I do anything.  But I'd still go

Are you a traveler or a tourist?

Image
Most people I know love to travel. I don't travel much, though I would love to. I think it is because I see myself more a traveler than a tourist. And what a traveler needs most is time and money. And those are what I don't have.  I would love to spend three months in a place and live with and live like the locals. I would want to immerse myself into the culture and learn their way of life.  Maybe later in life I may get a chance to do this, at least once in my life.  pearlie Photo source: Getty Images

Time is sprinting faster away from us the older we get

Image
We had dinner with my mother-in-law yesterday and she said something quite interesting: she felt that the years go by so fast once you've hit age 50.  Well, time is subjective and it does travel faster the older you are, and so by the time we are in our 50s, I can imagine time sprinting away before we can catch up with it.  2016 sure passed by very fast for me and it's a new year now and this too will be gone in no time.  This reminds me of one of my favourite books which I should read again,  Time Warped, Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception  by Claudia Hammond.  As summarized by  brainpickings.org , "As we grow older, we tend to feel like the previous decade elapsed more rapidly, while the earlier decades of our lives seem to have lasted longer." When time actually feels faster as we grow older, it is then more important for us to spend it wisely and treasure the moments we have with our loved one.  pearlie

My projects for 2017

Image
I gave up on making resolutions years ago, since I don't keep any of them for long. And what my hubby told me is so true: if you want to do it anyway, you won't need any resolutions, and if you do not want to do it, making a million resolutions won't help.  But at the start of the new year, I do think about what projects I would like to start and see if I will form a new habit or learn something new as a result.  I started on three projects  last year , to get back to cooking meals for the family, to start knitting and to take weekly sermon sketchnotes. I only somewhat succeeded in one, that is I am cooking more now but still not enough. I gave up on the other two, with no regrets. I soon found out they are not the things I really wanted to do anyway.  I haven't really mulled over what I would like to do in 2017 yet but I have three things in mind.  It goes without saying that reading is on top of the list. With the amount of ebooks I have been buying from Amazon, I hav

We are sons of God

Image
It is good to start the New Year on a Sunday, beginning it with corporate worship and the preaching of the Word.  We began with a song of calling, Lift Up Your Heads . It's an old song by Don Moen but it's the first time I've heard and sang it. A very appropriate song to start the year with! Don Moen - Lift Up Your Heads Rev Wong Fong Yang spoke today from Luke 3:21-23, on the baptism of Jesus. Rev Wong asked a very good question: why would Luke include this in the gospel, the fact that Jesus was baptized and seen as one baptized amongst sinners when he has no sin? John the Baptist was reluctant to do it, as we read the same account in Matthew, but Jesus insisted that it should be carried out as required by God.  Rev Wong suggested that Jesus did it in solidarity of the human race and from it we can also see the three eschatological signs: - the opening of heaven - the descending of the Spirit - the audible voice from heaven The voice from heaven said, "You are my dear