Friday, February 24, 2006

Off on a trip...


Going up to the mountains for the weekend. No entries until I come back. Have a great weekend ya'all... :P

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Closures

In the journey of life, often there are events in our lives that we can't comprehend. There are times when our walk seems to be between reality and dreaming, but yet we carry on, often basing our journey on so-called "faith", or at times, "assumptions".

That's why I feel that closures are important in our lives. It acts as a checkpoint for us, telling us where we are, and often, where we need to go. For example, I consider that funerals are important, especially if the departed is someone close to us. Funerals acts as a closure for us, to inform us that this person has passed on, and that we now need to move on in our lives without the person.

Another example of closure is weddings. Weddings announce that the newly-weds are no longer in the "singles-market", and are now "off-hands" to anyone else who are still hoping for a chance with either of the couple.

However, what we often we miss out are closures in our own personal lives. Most of the time we either take things for granted, or make convenient assumptions. Here's a good example that most of us are often guilty of: Forgiveness.
Being humans, it's almost impossible to avoid friction or conflict with each other, unless of course we live on a desert island and have a basketball (Wilson) as our best friend. And the best (or worse) part of this is that, it takes very little to start a conflict. It could arise from a word, deed, OR a non-word (silence) or non-deed. We could either say or do something at the wrong time, or NOT say or do something at the right time. And in this world, people seem to be able to take offense so easily. The bible says here that when we've wronged someone, it is important for us to resolve that conflict before the sun goes down (less give the devil a foothold). However, I know many (including myself) too often not do anything about it (on the pretext of letting the person cool down) and just let time help all of us to forget about it. Usually we just avoid the person for a period of time. Then, when we come together again, if the person talks to us, we assumed that he/she has forgiven us.
This is why I believe closures are so important. Unless an active role has been initiated to resolve the issue, the issue remains as it is. Closures in forgiveness communicates the desire to reconcile and repent. I like the way John Ortberg puts it: 'Forgiving someone says:"I give up my right to hurt you back for what you've done to me."'But until it is done, the wronged stays wronged, and the unforgiven stays unforgiven.

We can even extend closures to relationships, and to be more precise, in dating/courtships. Some people take on relationships without knowing which boat they're on, and which port they're planning to embark. So, what we have is a bunch of people floating adrift in the sea of confusion, with no direction and just hoping for some kind of 'wind' to push them to the 'right' direction. This of course will just lead to more chaos. Closures in this example allows people to know what's going on, and how to move on whereever they may be.

I guess being non-expressive of our intent is generally an Asian characteristic, where we tend to be subtle about what we feel, especially if the 'feeling' can cost the loss of 'face' value. However, if we can master the art of balancing the art of communicating effectively while maintaining control of our cool, closures can definitely help us move on in our lives because it sets us free from the bondage of assumptions.

What do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday Humor...

Somethings for you to read to past time on a hot humid Monday... Enjoy! :P


These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things
people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published
by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges
were actually taking place.

Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July 15.
Q: What year?
A: Every year.

Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
A: Yes.
Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A: I forget.
Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that you've
forgotten?

Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
Q: How long has he lived with you?
A: Forty-five years.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that
morning?
A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.

Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the
occult?
A: We both do.
Q: Voodoo?
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.

Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he
doesn't know about it until the next morning?
A: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?

Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?

Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
A: Yes.
Q: And what were you doing at that time?

Q: She had three children, right?
A: Yes.
Q: How many were boys?
A: None.
Q: Were there any girls?

Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
A: By death.
Q: And by whose death was it terminated?

Q: Can you describe the individual?
A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q: Was this a male, or a female?

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice
which I sent to your attorney?
A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Q: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
A: Oral.

Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the
autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law
somewhere.

"Heaven" - Live

"Heaven"

You don't need no friends
get back your faith again
you have the power to believe
another dissident
take back your evidence
it has no power to deceive

I'll believe it when I see it, for myself

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive

I sit with them all night
everything they say is right
but in the morning they were wrong
I'll be right by your side
come hell or water high
down any road you choose to roam

I'll believe it when I see it for myself

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive, yeah

darling, I believe, Oh Lord
sometimes it's hard to breathe, Lord
at the bottom of the sea, yeah yeah

I'll believe it when I see it for myself

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset
I can see the sunset
I can see the sunset
I don't need no one
Ohhhh
I don't need no one
I don't need no one
I don't need no one
To tell me about heaven
I believe
I believe it, yeah

A Christian's response to the recent Islamic caricatures

The following is an article by Pastor John Piper regarding the recent turmoil that has been caused by the Danish cartoons on Muhammad. Read on to see how we as Christians should respond...

Being Mocked: The Essence of Christ’s Work, Not Muhammad’s

February 8, 2006

What we saw this past week in the Islamic demonstrations over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad was another vivid depiction of the difference between Muhammad and Christ, and what it means to follow each. Not all Muslims approve the violence. But a deep lesson remains: The work of Muhammad is based on being honored and the work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very different reactions to mockery.

If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation. This was his saving work: to be insulted and die to rescue sinners from the wrath of God. Already in the Psalms the path of mockery was promised: “All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads” (Psalm 22:7). “He was despised and rejected by men . . . as one from whom men hide their faces . . . and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

When it actually happened it was worse than expected. “They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. . . . And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they spit on him” (Matthew 27:28-30). His response to all this was patient endurance. This was the work he came to do. “Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).

This was not true of Muhammad. And Muslims do not believe it is true of Jesus. Most Muslims have been taught that Jesus was not crucified. One Sunni Muslim writes, “Muslims believe that Allah saved the Messiah from the ignominy of crucifixion.”1 Another adds, “We honor [Jesus] more than you [Christians] do. . . . We refuse to believe that God would permit him to suffer death on the cross.”2 An essential Muslim impulse is to avoid the “ignominy” of the cross.

That’s the most basic difference between Christ and Muhammad and between a Muslim and a follower of Christ. For Christ, enduring the mockery of the cross was the essence of his mission. And for a true follower of Christ enduring suffering patiently for the glory of Christ is the essence of obedience. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11). During his life on earth Jesus was called a bastard (John 8:41), a drunkard (Matthew 11:19), a blasphemer (Matthew 26:65), a devil (Matthew 10:25); and he promised his followers the same: “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household” (Matthew 10:25).

The caricature and mockery of Christ has continued to this day. Martin Scorsese portrayed Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ as wracked with doubt and beset with sexual lust. Andres Serrano was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to portray Jesus on a cross sunk in a bottle of urine. The Da Vinci Code portrays Jesus as a mere mortal who married and fathered children.

How should his followers respond? On the one hand, we are grieved and angered. On the other hand, we identify with Christ, and embrace his suffering, and rejoice in our afflictions, and say with the apostle Paul that vengeance belongs to the Lord, let us love our enemies and win them with the gospel. If Christ did his work by being insulted, we must do ours likewise.

When Muhammad was portrayed in twelve cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the uproar across the Muslim world was intense and sometimes violent. Flags were burned, embassies were torched, and at least one Christian church was stoned. The cartoonists went into hiding in fear for their lives, like Salman Rushdie before them. What does this mean?

It means that a religion with no insulted Savior will not endure insults to win the scoffers. It means that this religion is destined to bear the impossible load of upholding the honor of one who did not die and rise again to make that possible. It means that Jesus Christ is still the only hope of peace with God and peace with man. And it means that his followers must be willing to “share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).

Footnotes


1 Badru D. Kateregga and David W. Shenk, Islam and Christianity: A Muslim and a Christian in Dialogue (Nairobi: Usima Press, 1980), p. 141.

2 Quoted from The Muslim World in J. Dudley Woodberry, editor, Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road (Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1989), p. 164.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Photos from Hong Kong

What a trip it was, the best I'd say that I ever had. Why? Because the love of my life, Angeline, was there. And such good timing as we were able to see each other on Valentine's Day. Here're some of the photos that we took. If you think it's too mushy, please call 1-800-GO-FLY-KITE, and rant there. (Operators are standing by...) :P





Sunday, February 12, 2006

She said "YES!!"

I kneeled before her, and asked her "With what you know of me now, and with what you foresee of us in the future, will you marry me?" She thought for a while, still surprised as she didn't see it coming. Then she replied "Yes, I will!"

I then put my hand in my bag, and grab a box, opened it for her and showed her the diamond ring that I've bought a month ago (with the help of mom.. Thanks mom!). I took the ring out, slip onto her finger, and it fits perfectly (Phew..). Then I turned my eyes and looked at her. She smiled, and radiance shone from her face.

This is the happiest day of my life.

"... and God will cause all things to work together for the good of those who loves Him, and have been called according to His purpose..." - Romans 8:28

Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Questions of Life Forum gone... sigh...

Just found out that the Question Of Life forum I started 2 months back have just been wiped out... without notice given... sigh...

Apparently, they'll close your account when they find it to be inactive for a week. I wished they would have informed me when they applied that policy. Well, what can I say? They didn't charge me for the forum, so I guess I can't really complain.

Sigh...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Delirious?'s comment of KL


Check this out:
http://www.delirious.co.uk/tourdiaries/world_06/kl.html

Love this part where Stu (Stuart) Garrard (Guitars, backing vocals) commented about Malaysia : "...So another new country. Another culture to taste for the first time. Another set of people to be humbled and inspired by. It's very emotional to sing History Maker to people who as Christians are in the minority and are up against so much..."

Gotta love them...

Pregnant!

To the surprise of our family, one of our member was found to be with child, not one but SIX! I was flabbergasted. How did this happen? Taking a deep breath, then I realized who the father was. And thinking further back, I guess they must have "done it" during those short moments they were together. I guess chaperoning can only go so far.

Anyway, the babies were safely delivered. Below are some of their photos. Oh yea, before I forget, I'm actually referring to my pet rabbit, Oreo, and the male culprit, Harriet. :P

Here's the new mommy, Oreo.

The culprit, i mean, new daddy - Harriet.

New kittens, and still nameless.

Now I know why they are called a 'litter' of kittens - they look like litter thrown all over.

Proud mommy of six.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What is love?

I thought this was cute...

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

"Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way."

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs."

"Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don't yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings."

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

"When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared they won't love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more."

"There are two kinds of love Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them."

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."

"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

"I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her."

"Love cards like Valentine's cards say stuff on them that we'd like to say ourselves, but we wouldn't be caught dead saying."

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.

"God could have said magic words to make the nails fall off the cross, but He didn't. That's love."

What are your definitions...?

"Better Than I" - David Campbell

Currently hooked on this song... check it out here.

"Better Than I" - David Campbell

I thought I did what's right
I thought I had the answers
I thought I chose the surest road
But that road brought me here

So I put up a fight
And told you how to help me
Now just when I have given up
The truth is coming clear

You know better than I
You know the way
I've let go the need to know why
For you know better than I

If this has been a test
I cannot see the reason
But maybe knowing I don't know
Is part of getting through

I try to do what's best
And faith has made it easy
To see the best thing I can do
Is put my trust in you

You know better than I
You know the way
I've let go the need to know why
For you know better than I

I saw one cloud and thought it was a sky
I saw a bird and thought that I could follow
But it was you who taught that bird to fly
If I let you reach me will you teach me

For You know better than I
You know the way
I've let go the need to know why
I'll take what answers you supply
You know better than I

Note to self

Note to self:
Don't ever again leave an uninsulated 9-volt battery in pant's pocket filled with coins...

(It can get very hot! Sooo not good for leg...)

Friday, February 03, 2006

On Forgiveness

Got this of one of the bible studies I attended with Ambrose when I was there last year in Brisbane.

"Forgiveness"

Forgiveness means resolving to live with the consequences of another person's sin. You don't forgive others for their sake; you do it for you sake.

12 Steps to Forgiveness
  1. Ask the Lord to reveal to your mind the people you need to forgive.
  2. Acknowledge the hurt and the hate.
  3. Understand the significance of the Cross (Hebrews 10:10)
  4. Decide you will bear the burden of each person's sin (Galations 6:1-2)
  5. Decide to forgive.
  6. Take your list to God and pray the following: "I forgive (name) for (list all the offenses and how they made you feel)."
  7. Destroy the list.
  8. Do not expect your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other person.
  9. try to understand the people you have forgiven, but don't rationalize their behavior.
  10. Expect positive results of forgiveness in you.
  11. Thank God for the lessons you have learned and the maturity you have gained as a result of the offenses and your decision to forgive the offenders (Romans 8:28-29)
  12. Be sure to accept your part of the blame for the offenses you suffered
-Taken from "Victory over the Darkness" Chapter 11 (Pg 192-195)

On Prayer...

... and yet, we always leave prayer as the last resort...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Zeal for worship

"May our zeal in public worship never exceed our zeal in private worship" - Quoted by Beth Moore from her Passion 2005 sermon