February 18th, 2010

I read two interesting quotes last night (both lifted directly from http://www.htb.org.uk/one-year-bible/2010). I just wanted to put them here to remind myself of them.

To be faithful means to use the gifts and abilities that God has given us. Joyce Meyer writes, ‘Many people are like that third servant (who said, ‘I was afraid’, Matthew 25). They hide their talents because they are afraid – afraid of responsibility; afraid of judgment; afraid of what people will think. They are afraid to step out; afraid they might fail; afraid of criticism; afraid of other people’s opinions; afraid of being misunderstood. They are afraid of the sacrifice and hard work involved.’ (The Everyday Life Bible Amplified Version, featuring Notes and Commentary by Joyce Meyer, p.1540.)

I can relate to Meyer’s quote and the servant in Matthew 25:14-30. I have fears in my own life of stepping up, and not trusting that I have been given the ability for a reason. Meyer’s quote is a reminder to me that there is no need to fear because He blessed us, and gave us all we need to equip ourselves.

Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, led a team of over 2,000 scientists who collaborated to determine the 3 billion letters in the human genome – our own DNA instruction book. He says, ‘I cannot see how nature could have created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that.’ (Collins, The Language of God).

As for Collins, I like the idea that science and theology can mix. Obviously his mapping of the Human Genome was a phenomenal step in our understanding of biology, and for a man of his stature to have such strong beliefs in an ultimate creator is somewhat reassuring to me.




Hong Kong – TVBu in real life

February 17th, 2010

More than a month later I’m still dreaming about my trip to Hong Kong. I think I had such an amazing time there that I just had to write about it! Plus I’m just riding the adrenaline which comes with recently-rediscovering the joy of blogging.

I had only decided barely a week before flying that I would spend New Years’ eve in Hong Kong. What a rushed decision! I could not believe myself clicking “Buy ticket” on the Cathay Pacific website. I can barely remember the blur on that 27th morning when I made my way to the airport (partly due to the fact that I had barely slept the night before, but mostly from the adrenaline).

I actually saw this with my own eyes:

I know what you’re thinking. “What’s the matter with him?! It’s an AIRPORT. Has he never flown before? It’s just a photo of a walkway and a lot of people.” Well yes, that’s all true. And yes I’ve been to a number of different airports before. But I had seen this airport in a HK TVB series about a year ago – Triumph in the Skies!

Yes, it was based in HK and naturally there were many shots of the airport there 🙂 That was my first glimpse of TVB in real life!

And so began an interesting 5 days there. The MTR, sitting on one of those old red taxis, walking along the very busy streets! All that was lacking was a camera following me…

Queen’s Cafe

HK at night

HK at night (2)

I don’t have favourite moments, but I definitely enjoyed LKF and the egg tarts! If I ever get the HK secondment, I think that Tai Cheung egg tarts will soon become my daily staple!

It felt like such an amazing dream I didn’t want to wake up from…can’t believe it happened. Still can’t believe it happened. Really.

A message?

January 15th, 2010

Is someone trying to send me a message? Since my last post quite a few Christianity-related things have popped up around me.

Perhaps it’s just a heightened state of awareness and it’s purely my consciousness picking up things which are near the front of my mind these days. But then again, it’s just weird.

It started out with the book I was reading – Gandhi’s autobiography. Now I’ve been reading that book since mid-2009, and as I’m not a slow reader, it’s just purely that I wasn’t that interested enough to sit down and read. But about a week ago, the text suddenly jumped up at me as Gandhi started exploring his own faith, questioning Christianity and spoke of his own beliefs in God. What astute timing… coincidence 1? Maybe.

Coincidence 2 – Last Thursday, my first day back at work, there was a booth at Silks where colleagues were promoting a series of lunchtime talks called “Christianity Explored”. Title is self-explanatory. I was interested in attending, but with so much work it would have been very difficult to step away at lunchtime. Plus I feel like this journey for me, at least at the start, will be a fairly individualist and personal, engaging only close and trusted friends.

Then there was that article about Tiger Woods’ faith. According to the journalist, Woods is a Buddhist. But due to his recent transgressions, it was suggested that conversion to Christianity could offer Woods guidance, forgiveness and redemption. True that in Buddhism there isn’t the One Being to say “I forgive you”. Of course it’s not the same in Buddhism. It’s not about sin. It’s about recognising the cause of suffering and addressing that cause.

It’s most interesting because I don’t think I really understand the concept of Sin. Maybe in layman terms, but not to the extent the Bible teaches it.

And most recently was just last night when Reine and I engaged into a conversation about the history of Christianity, Islam and Jewism. We wiki’d quite a few pages like “Bible“, “textual criticism“, “Malaysian Chinese religion” (which turned out to be quite an amusing read!), “Chinese deities“, “Chinese gods“…

I felt like we were engaged in a proper conversation. It made me feel good to be teaching and educating her! I don’t want to be her lecturer, but her mentor – be someone to help guide her through life and grow as an individual and as my partner.

Back to the original purpose of this post, I don’t know what it is but I’m so curious these days. I want to learn and to know more! Not just about Christianity, but about other religions. I want to know what I believe.

Welcome 2010

January 10th, 2010

So here we go again, blogging.

For me, it’s just an avenue for release, nothing more. I don’t expect anyone to be reading this, and hopefully no one is tracking my RSS feed! I just want an online journal for myself. Somewhere to type my thoughts. I don’t know where else I’d put it!

There comes a point at the beginning of every new year when I am writing and have to pause, scratch out the old date, and insert the new date with the correct year. 2010 was no different. I managed to get through9 fulls days without having to re-write the date, but on the 10th day, the eraser was brought out and the date corrected.

What are my hopes for this year? I’ve had no easy 2009 that’s for sure. No it’s not the famine and the wars I’ve suffered, no plague or (serious) disease. But I still endured countless sleepless nights filled with stress and worry. I don’t want that. I truly don’t. Everyone says it’s a part of growing up. Well yes, it may be true that growing up necessarily reveals more and more problems in life, but the better part of growing up is learning how to deal with these problems effectively!

So I had turned to Buddhism over the past two years to try and understand the reason for my suffering. Whilst it has brought strength and wisdom in my daily affairs, I still feel a part of me is lacking the answer I seek. I don’t know what question it is I am asking, but there really is a void somewhere in my heart. It sounds cliched. Ah. Religion. The age-old debate.

Well for me I think there’s no harm exploring. There’s no harm in seeking knowledge. Since Reine is so keen on finding out more, I shall take the opportunity to join her. Let’s see what Christianity has to offer. Let’s see why about a third of the world’s population believe in this faith.

So the other two New Years’ resolutions I’ve made to myself are

a) to become healthier – eat more fruits, sleep earlier, become fitter; and

b) to learn mandarin – I really want to work in HK for at least 6 months of my life. I recognise that language will be my number one barrier and it’s only up to me to try and address this problem!

Here’s to my attempt and to a fantastic 2010!

Smart People

June 5th, 2008

This movie was brilliant! The most refreshing I’ve seen in a long time. The thing I liked most about it was the oddness of the whole thing. There wasn’t the false pretence of “perfection” that one often finds in Hollywood movie families. Instead, the three that form the Wetherhold family were a collection of completely different personalities, drawn together only by their kinship and the unexpected problems that life brings.

So much of the movie could have been a reflection of reality. The characters each have their own personality, brought to life by some excellent acting, directing and scripting. As time passes in the movie, each character realises something new about life, and yet clings like a rubber-band to their personalities. They don’t dramatically fall into some magical realisation of “the Truth”, but instead grow and develop slowly (as most people do) as life progresses.

Dennis Quaid plays the cliched professor who clearly knows his stuff, but lacks the social skills to impart his knowledge. In fact, there have been many a times when I’ve sat in my philosophy lecture wondering whether the person yapping away in the front of the hall had a life outside “office hours”. Ellen Page was a genius at her work, playing the unhappy, bitter, incredibly intelligent girl. I am told she plays a similar role in Juno, and was remarkable in that movie as well. Although I cannot remember Page in any other movies, I found out that she played Kitty Pryde in the third X-Men movie.

The only criticism I have to make is the choice to cast Sarah Jessica Parker. She clearly does not belong in the category of “serious movie” and should very much remain in the fairy-tale genre that has made her so famous. Like many actors and actresses who become instantly famous by a TV Series or movie, she will forever be acquainted with Carrie from Sex and the City. She will either have to change her face or improve her acting to break from this bubble.

iPhone 2

June 3rd, 2008

I’m really excited by the launch of the new iPhone that’s to be announced on June 9th. It’s supposed to be thinner, has more battery life and have way more functions than its predecessor. I was pretty convinced I’d be going for the Blackberry Bold in September, but since Apple is sneakily launching the iPhone 2 this early summer, I may well consider choosing the Steve Jobs option. The only thing I hope is that I can afford this beauty!


I got bored

June 3rd, 2008

So it’s time to start afresh. I’ve just renewed my website URL and hosting, and I might as well make the most of it! More to come in the next few days…

It’s a pity

June 2nd, 2008

Reine said to me “It’s a pity you don’t blog anymore”. So here I am, for the umpteenth time. Let’s try again.

I know I stopped writing because I had this fear of unknown people reading my posts and learning things  about me I didn’t want to be learnt. But the answer isn’t to stop writing, but rather to post topics of general interest that couldn’t possibly have a huge impact if someone found out. Fine.

But, what would I want to say here?

Right in front of me are my very final set of exams. Four papers, 9 days, 9 exam hours later, and I will be done with my student life. It’ll be official.

I’m trying to figure out how many papers I’ve actually set throughout my entire academic career. The answer is that I simply do not know because there have just been that many! I have this file called my “Record of Achievement” file which contains my academic certificates since I left school. I could look through this file, but those only span back about 8 years. And I’ve been taking exams barely a few years after I learnt to write.

Is it good to look forward to the next stage? The time of your life where the only exam you take is the exam of life: Where your “grades” get released the day you die and you’re judged for every little thing you’ve done throughout that time. Sure, the day before my school exam, it’s easy to say I’d prefer to be over and done with these papers. But I do feel that way. I just want to start a new phase in my life.

It’ll be tough, but if I am confident, I’m sure I can get where I want to be. When judgment day arrives, I’ll be ready with my Records of Achievement.

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