Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday... Great~!

My initial plan for this week's holiday was not to see the sunlight at all. Get myself stuck in the room with a book in hand, that sounded really great, huh? On Monday we had homemade burgers for lunch and dinner. Yesterday, on Tuesday, I got instant noodles and two bulls'-eye... yummy to the max. Tuesday was more exciting rather than sitting at home. I do enjoy both sitting at home in peace and quietness and I enjoy going out frolicking in the sun. We were at Logo's Hope again. My third time. This time round we had to queue up. The queue took around an hour. I have been trained to queue when I was in Singapore but of course I get others to queue on my behalf while a few of us went to fool around with my camera. Whoa~! Look at the massive human traffic. Surely there must be a lot of bookworms in this little island and I thought there aren't many readers in this country. But if you stand and observe, I did stand for less than 5 minutes before I dashed off again to one corner to do something else. Most people came down from the ship empty-handed. Mostly bought one or two books only. Oh.. that's what we did during the hour-long queue. I was busy with my camera while they were busy jumping around. I wished I was the one jumping but nobody knows what I want in a photograph. That's kinda upsetting to know. The whole ship was so crowded it was suffocating at one point as I can't stand crowded area. Makes me wanna push everyone away so that I can have more breathing space. In some of the passers-by conversations, there was one lady who made a sharp remark that there wasn't anything to see on the ship. What a horrible thing to say~! There are so many books up there that I can gladly empty all the shelves and bundle those books home in less than 30 minutes. All in all we had a great time on the ship with the ice-cream cones, popcorns and cheez-it. The ice-cream tasted different and we had the salty popcorns instead of the caramel popcorns in cinemas. Dinner was even better. We had some scallops to chew on and ordered lots and lots of food. Penang... the food haven...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irresistible Guidance... Chris Tiegreen...

Boasting About Tomorrow...

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

[James 4:13-17]

Balaam wanted to accept Balak's payment for cursing the Israelites, so he went when called. But an angel stood in the way of his donkey and would not let him pass. [--> Balaam and his Donkey]

Jonah wanted to get as far from Nineveh as he could when God called him there, but a storm and a fish dictated otherwise. He became a very reluctant but very effective evangelist. [--> The Story of Jonah]

Paul wanted to travel through Asia Minor preaching the gospel, but the Holy Spirit would not let him. There was a better plan. A vision directed his party to Europe, and a new frontier for the church was born. [--> A Glimpse into Paul's Work]

Those examples vary in their godliness, but not in the means to their direction. Each had plans that didn't fit with God's greater agenda. God got them where He wanted them to go, either with or against their will. His agenda prevailed.

So it is with our plans. We determine the direction we want to take, and God intervenes. Sometimes it is even a godly direction, as in Paul's attempts to evangelize Asia Minor. But if God really wants to accomplish something, and our plans do not fit His purposes, His purposes win. He will intervene. Human will cannot thwart His overarching plan.

We can never take that principle as an excuse to pursue our selfish interests. God wants us always seeking His will and obediently following it. But as much as we try to perfect that process, there is usually an element of insecurity in it. We are rarely absolutely sure of His directions. Even so, He determines our steps. We are not puppets, but His will cannot be usurped. The only question is whether we will be flexible and seek to fulfill it or stubborn and seek to defy it. Either way, whether in rebellion or compliance, God will accomplish His purposes in this world when He sets His mind to it.

Trust God's guidance, even when you're unsure of it. He will fulfill His plan. Open your heart to go wherever He takes you, and let Him lead. If a sheep strays from his fellows, the shepherd sets his dog after it... to bring it in again; even so our heavenly Shepherd

~ Daniel Cawdray ~

Monday, August 29, 2011

... And I Dream of Being an English Lady...

When you can't ship yourself out to England fast enough, you have to dress up like one to appease your mind. Thank God I can still fit into those skirt and blouse but it felt like the buttons were gonna pop off anytime. Gracie supplied me with the lovely hat. And we were kinda surprise by our abilities to eat. We ordered so much like we've just come out of the wild. The small table for 3 couldn't fit all our plates so we were shifted to the double tables. Just three of us with all the food costing around RM104... we're really very good. See... that's Gracie on my left. She just told me that's she the authentic Nyonya. She should spend all her time chopping and preparing delicious food in the kitchen but she can't cook. Surprise... surprise... and she has been coming to the Teochew kitchen to have a taste of authentic Nyonya cuisine... what a total opposite... I, on the other hand, have no idea what Teochews eat... but I will figure out about that pretty soon.

Spiritual Anxiety... Chris Tiegreen...But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

[Romans 3:21-31]

The gospel takes a lifetime to really understand. Perhaps we will always be exploring its depths and never finding its boundaries. Though we try to rest in the salvation God has offered to us, it still hasn't completely sunk in. We try to earn it, if not by legalism then by proving the earnestness of our faith.
How do we compromise the purity of the gospel? Every time we look at ourselves to see if our salvation is genuine, we have compromised it. When we asked whether we've done enough good works, we've made salvation something to achieve. When we ask whether we believe strongly or purely enough, we've made salvation a matter of our own resolve. Either approach will give a deep sense of anxiety; they both base salvation on the fickle heart of a human being.What does it mean that God is both just and the One who justifies? It means that the same One who demands holiness accomplishes it for us. The same One who orders a sacrifice of blood provides the sacrifice of blood. He requires of us perfection; in Jesus, He offers His own perfection in our stead.The remedy for our salvation-anxiety, whenever it creeps back in, is to fix our eyes on Jesus. Don't look within at the quality of your faith, and don't look at the abundance of your works. Look at Jesus. Count on what He has done. Rest in His work. Know that He has satisfied God fully - for you.
Justification takes place in the mind of God and not in the nervous system of the believer...

~ C. I. Schofield ~

Fabulous Monday...

A fabulous Monday, my second day of holiday. I've been waiting for this whole week since 6 months ago. I have eyes for the Year 2011 holidays since November 2010. I'm mad about holidays nowadays.

Today started really well. I woke up around 12 noon then started reading on the book which I have started yesterday. Today's plan is to stay in the house and be oblivious towards anything that happen outside of the house. I'm staying in the heart of the city and I'm not bothered whether it's in a horrible bumper-to-bumper jam or the city is completely empty as most of the city dwellers and holiday-maker have arrived to support our economy by having a shopping spree whatnot with the ongoing sales. At 2:30 p.m. I was thinking about food. My kitchen is close for the week but we need food. So I rummaged through the refrigerator and huge freezer to find these burgers made earlier, a few months back in fact. There are no leftovers in the refrigerator as all my pots and pans were licked clean by guinea pigs of all ages.

I've bought a metre of cross-stitch cloth yesterday to pick up on my stitching again. My fingers itch to stitch. We've even have our hotel room booked for the December holidays. It's my first time booking so far ahead of time and most rooms have been booked earlier... *sigh* I'm still a very spontaneous and last minute person. Now, I have to draw up an itinerary for the holiday as to make full use of the time. I hope it won't be too rush as I do not enjoy a rushed holiday. I prefer a relaxing one where time is not my enemy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Logos Hope...

The largest floating bookshop is here in town. Berthed at Swettenham Pier from the 25th of August to the 25th of September. That's Logo's Hope. I have been waiting for it since it should open to the public on the 19th of August. But due to some 'technical problem', it was not to be so. The vision of Logos Hope is to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people around the world. Even though the weather here has not been very friendly for the past few days, there were still many visitors to the ship. The condition of the bookstore was better compared to Doulos which was quite hot and narrow. I was seeing stars after looking at so many books in neat rows of shelves. I was so excited with the CDs and books, especially devotional books which I can't get it anywhere in the bookstores on land. Moreover, the price of the books are really cheap. As the ship is travelling from one country to another, it's hard to put a price tag with the local currency on all the books. Thus, they are using the unit system of 100 units for RM8 which is really really cheap. Most books range around 200 units to 400 units. Of course there are Bibles which cost around 1500 units which my pineapple insisted on wanting it... I do not know what words to use to express my excitement to find so many books in a ship. It's overwhelming. I'm going again to grab more books to fill up my shelf. So far I've bought RM630 of books. It's kinda shocking as I grabbed every book that I wanted from the shelves and put them into a basket. I've seriously not seen those books anywhere in the market so I must have them. I don't know when Logos Hope will berth at this port again so I don't want to take the risk.

Penang Bridge...

I used the Coastal Way and the Jelutong Expressway daily... without fail. Every Saturday nite, when I'm the passenger instead of the one behind the wheel, I will look out to the Penang Bridge and wonder how some cars get underneath the bridge. The orange lights along the bridge makes it so magnificent. I'm very sure if I'm seeing it from the airplane, it will be breathtaking. You don't know how crazy I am just to snap some photos. It was pitch dark and I was standing out at the sea on the floating cement planks. It was wobbly as the waves were not that friendly yesterday night due to excessive rain for four days straight including today. I was trying to get the best shot and fidgeting with the camera's light exposure. It was so wobbly my legs started to feel like jelly. I couldn't think of what will happen if I were to drop into the murky sea water. This is my first time standing under the bridge. Because the bridge is connected in parts, the tyres will make thumping sound when driving on those metal bars across the bridge. From below, it sounded more like the train chugging on the tracks. We have very good imagination. We were afraid that the car will jumped off the bridge and land on us down below. There were quite a handful of people down there. Beer cans were strewn everywhere. It's not a good place to go alone. Not safe. They were quite rowdy yesterday nite, celebrating birthday and with beer cans in their hands. We left abruptly after snapping a few more photos. It's not good to mingle around and invite trouble. I guess many people have not been to this place. We created a stone-throwing competition to see who can throw the stone the furthest... spent at least an hour there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Time....~!

I'm madly clicking away and planning for holidays. I can't wait to put my footsteps all over the globe but I'm not good in making early planning especially booking a flight half a year before it takes off. I'm trying very hard to start making plans. I prefer being spontaneous but to travel abroad, it's not wise to be spontaneous... I can't even decide which place to go first... I feel like going all at once... :D Wish life is that fun~!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Facebook Addicts Anonymous...

It's no longer Alcoholics' Anonymous that we need but instead we need Facebook Addicts Anonymous. Have anyone seriously set this up? If not, I'm going to start this, adopting AA's 12-step programme. I have been away from Facebook for 2 days. I get really depressed whenever I'm on Facebook and looking at people's photos thinking how good and how unfair life is. Life is unfair. We don't always get what we want. But I shouldn't feel that way and I think there are people who are depressed looking at my photos, too. So, today is the second day. Today is the third day. I'm going on Facebook tomorrow. One step at a time. I can't stop myself from going to Facebook 12 days in a row or stop completely. Everything should be done in moderation so I'm starting with 3 days first. I feel good somehow having more time to do my reading.


Bang~! The wooden door shut tightly with a loud bang. I have very fast hands when I'm in a hurry. So fast it frightens me. My right hand was about to reach for the padlock with the key stuck in the hole but then my hubby and I were staring at the padlock. There's no key. I don't have my key in my bag. He didn't have his bunch of keys with him. And I'm going to be late for work. All the keys are in the house and we're standing outside of the house.

After watching so many movies, we tried to break into our own house. We used whatever cards we have, trying to slide it in. We used the plastic ruler until it broke into pieces. I was about to break the door. Then, we started praying for wisdom. And wisdom was what God gave us. We removed one of the many windows, stuck one arm in and turned the knob. Viola~! We broke into our own house in less than 5 minutes. That got me thinking. If I can do that easily, anybody can break into my house. I don't feel safe anymore.

Abused, Broken and Completely Destroyed...

This is not just merely a book. This is about the life of Peter Tyrrell. His account of abuse and corporal punishment in Letterfrack, a Catholic school for the very poor children of Ireland. How sad it is to read about how he torched himself up because no one refused to listen to his plea. It is not surprising to read that this little boy does not believe in God at all for the Catholics, who are so religious, tortured the children and beat them up for nothing. Sadists, I should say of these people who mishandled the children. I wonder how's the system in Ireland is now. Are they still using corporal punishments in school?

When a child is abused constantly for years, the child will be broken physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually thus, the child's life is completely destroyed. A child should be nurtured in love and that child while flourish in life.

...And To Hell They Will Go...

After living in Penang for my whole life, I just realized that this whole Island is so steep with idol worshipping. Satan is worshipped in the open area along the main roads. This month is the Hungry Ghost Festival, the 7th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. At the strike of midnight, the cymbals clanged to release the devils from the pit of hell. Now, Penang Island is one tourist destination earmarked for the heritage zone and the street food. I think we have lost all the lustre and this little island is now giving life-changing tour of Hell.

It's so surprising to read about it in the newspaper and to know that there are so many people eager to go to hell. Well, are they planning on what to bring when they die and really end up there? And meeting your loved ones down there? Are these people so shallow-minded that they have never heard of the familiar spirit? If you're going to meet your grandfather down there, I really pity you. It must be a pitiful sight to look at. Why are these people so eager to go to hell? I wouldn't want to step in there at all.

There's a very high chance the spirit will not return. Isn't that sad. You'll be dead and stuck in hell forever, not knowing how to go to heaven. I seriously can't understand those who are taught that after they die, they're going to hell. That's really depressing. And by doing a lot of good work only then they have a slight change to enter heaven. If not they will end up to be an animal. Argh~! And how are you going to measure the amount and quantity of good work? A rich person will be able to do a lot of good work but that wouldn't be fair to those who can't afford to even feed themselves yet they have to show kindness by feeding others' so that they are able to enter heaven. No chance at all...

Jesus offers to be a bridge for us to be in heaven in God's kingdom. The way to heaven is not measured by the merits in our lives, but by the grace of God. I hope that those who will be going for the hell tour, if they manage to come back to this earth, they will come crawling to Jesus and repent. A little bit of fire hurts but burning there for eternity... one have to do some serious thinking if one thinks that staying in hell is a good place and the only place one can go. There's always a choice to be made, you either end up below or above.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Making A Difference...

"When we do the best that we can, we never know what mircale is wrought in our life, or in the life of another"

~ Helen Keller ~

To Cathy Glass,
What you've done cannot compare to those who are high on top of the corporate ladder. You've done more than anyone could ever do in another person's life no doubt how small the life is. There's no price tag to a life. There's no limit as,"This is it! I shouldn't help more as they're not my children". You have given them a place where they can call home no doubt it is just temporary. They're given the warmth of love and the care that their own parents can't show them. I respect you for who you are and for what you have done.

I have always like reading true stories. The experience of others penned down is priceless.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Time Flies...

This is so frustrating. I wanted to blog yet on the other hand, I can't seem to find any extra time doing so. I have the photos ready but halfway through I don't even know what I want to write about. I know for sure that I don't have to please anyone in my blog. I'm free to write anything that I want to. Tomorrow is a public holiday but I have 3 hours of work, replacement classes. I'm going to make sure next year I don't cancel any classes so I don't need to replace any. Then, I'm going to cook out a storm in the kitchen for my loved ones and off to the cinema. By the time I'm done with everything, it will be really late already.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Winning Malaysia for Jesus...

Dare to dream and dream for the highest~! I always think how come Hillsong never come to perform in Malaysia at our stadiums. Other countries have Christian concerts in stadiums... countries like Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, the Philippines and even in Indonesia but never here in Malaysia. Now, Malaysia will make history when Penang hosts the first ever Christian concert at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA). The date has been announced. It will be on the 5th of May 2012, next year. Mark it down and remember this date and start praying for our country. Pray for souls to be saved. This will definitely bring a huge wave of change that we ever needed. God is here in Malaysia and from here He will start something tremendously big, incomprehensible and all will be in great awe and everyone will bow down and acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ as the king of kings and the Lord of lords. Let the floodgates open that many will receive Him into their lives. The change will start here as we're drawing near to an end. All should be given the opportunity to know the truth and the truth will set each and everyone free. No one should be forced into a religion. Christianity is NOT a religion. It's relationship between the Creator and His creation. We worship the living God. As how it is written by King David...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Queen of Marinade...

Now, this is the best way to cook. Start marinading not a few hours before like what's written on the recipe page. I start marinating a few days before. You'll have the most delicious food that you can ever imagine. I just came back a few minutes ago and in another 4 minutes it will be midnite. I will have to be the slave to the kitchen until late at night which I don't think I will mind because I want more time for myself on the weekdays. I don't want to rush and wake up early in the morning just to go straight and get myself busy in the kitchen. Life shouldn't be spent doing one thing only... and I don't think I will want to blog everyday about what I'm cooking. Since I'm doing Nyonya cuisine for these few weeks or maybe for the whole month, I will want to write about some other things other than food :D

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nyonya Cuisine: Otak-otak...

What's with the name otak-otak? I'm too lazy to google it up and see what it has to say about the origin of the name otak-otak. In direct translation, the Malay word 'otak' means 'brain' in English but there are only brainless ingredient to make a nice and creamy otak-otak. Look at that... I know it's nice. Thank you for the compliments. That's the result of a heavy labour in the kitchen... actually it took exactly 10 minutes to cook but the preparation takes at least half an hour. Oh, just look at that. By now I realize that nyonya cuisine relies heavenly on shallots, galangal, turmeric, belachan, garlic and dried chillies and not to forget the lemongrass. Of course for different dishes there are a little difference in the ingredients as well. See those leaves on the right. Those are kadok leaves which my kids were asked to pluck them from the edge of the drain. They grow wild as not many people want to plant those kinda leaves anymore. Nyonya cuisine is not one where people would want to spend so much time preparing. It's easier to eat in restaurants. The main ingredient in otak-otak is FISH~! You will have to clean those fish yourself. Cleaning doesn't mean washing the fish under running tap water or removing the scales. No scales for this kinda small fish. Cleaning a fish means decapitating the fish in a gruesome way. You can opt to use a knife but I prefer using a pair of sharp scissors. I have no skills in using a knife. I always imagine slicing my fingers along with everything else thus, the use of scissors is more relevant. Now, cleaning the fish means chopping off the head with no feelings at all. By the time I was doing the third fish, I felt like puking all over. But after the 10th fish, I got the hang of using my power to chop off the fish's head *sorry fish* then cut a slit on its abdomen to remove the intestines, bile and all those yucky stuff. To make really good otak-otak, you have to make sure that they're wrapped in banana leaves. To do so, I stole a banana leaf from the neighbour's banana tree. Hhhmmm... I didn't really steal it, just cut it off without asking permission. Anyway the banana tree is planted on a common ground of the apartment building. I have no skills in wrapping otak-otak. So I used coloured staples and tried my best to make it into a small little sampan. As long as the otak-otak is not leaking out then it is good. I just want the egg custard to form in the inside without pouring out all over the steamer. Steam it for 10 minutes... and you'll get what I've shown you in the first photo.