What does it mean by being members of a church?

Our sermon in church today was based on 1 Tim 5:1-3 and Titus 2:1-8. And I find the words in Titus very good and instructive. 

Titus 2:1-8 (ESV)
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

I feel that being in a faith community gives us the privilege of being in a larger family in Christ and it’s something so good that we shouldn’t take it for granted, which we sometimes unconsciously do. 

Like what Titus 2:1-8 say, we should be building relationships in the churches we worship in together. 

But building relationships and building trust with each other takes time. And we don’t spend that much time in church. 

So I find that we do need to make an effort to get know each other, to talk to one another and to love them. 

It wasn’t brought up in the sermon but it does bring me to something I have not thought about in a long time: church membership.  

I have not put much thought into committing to being members of a church ever since we sort of got burnt in one. 

We are not negative about it. We just don’t think about it. And with that I realise we are not fully committed either. 

As such, I am now beginning to put some thought into why I am not thinking or considering being a member of the church we are currently attending. 

We have “visited” a church before this for more than 4 years. We left and now we have been in this current one for one and a half. 

We love the people and the place...so maybe it’s time we commit again. 


I have lazed it away...again


I find that I have this bad habit of extreme lazying, what my husband and I call it vegetating, at home during a long holiday.

As much as I tell myself I deserve a break after a full week of work, it’s hard to justify it when I ended up doing absolutely nothing in a longer break of more than the regular 2-day weekend. 

In this modern times, many do try to glorify laziness but however you put it, it’s not a good thing. 

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. 
~ Anne Frank

All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness. 
~ Mark Kennedy

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
~ Luke 16:10 (ESV)

A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
~ Proverbs 13:4 (NIV)

Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
~ Proverbs 20:4 (NIV)

The above two verses from Proverbs do speak to me particularly because I always feel that I have wasted my time away when it should have been put to better use—at least in reading or attending the online lectures I have already signed up to begin with.

But why is it I only realise it after and not before?


A yummy and homely CNY eve

We haven’t had a family reunion in my parents’ home in a long time, we usually eat out. 

But we had it at home this year, which was wonderful, except that I wished my son was here too. 

I was at the Ayer Panas Morning Market getting a roast duck from my colleague whose family has been selling it for years. 

Here is Jason busy serving his customers, and yup, that’s my roast duck there. 

It was quite crowded. 

The granny on the right was quite cute. When I arrived, Jason saw me and said hi. With so many people, I instinctively told him to take his time. But the granny indignantly said to me, in perfect English no less, “don’t ask him to take his time! I’ve been waiting here for too long already!” LOL Good thing she was good natured about it, and we chatted for a bit. 

My other colleague Teresa then came as well to get her share of roast ducks. 

Then it was time for our reunion dinner at home, with yü sang, pun choi, roast duck, vegetables and fruits. Simple but yummy and filling. 

Happy and blessed Chinese New Year all!


A Thousand Words #220

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone. 
~ Paul Tillich

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self. 
~ May Sarton

Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. 
~ C. S. Lewis


A losing battle to good food


I have so much snacks in the office and at home that I am definitely going to gain weight this Chinese New Year. 

I gained 2 kilos during CNY last year and I want to try very hard not to this year. 

But I think it’s going to be a losing battle. You just gotta given in to good food once a year. 

Photo: breadetbutter.wordpress.com

Be brave enough to live life creatively

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. 
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. 
~ Ayn Rand

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. 
~ Alan Alda

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. 
~ Steve Jobs


Read a book in a day!

My friend Ee-Tan posted two books in Facebook and one of them caught my eye. 

I have read a couple of books on defectors from North Korea but this is one I have not read even though I do have a copy of it. 

The Girl with Seven Names, Escape from North Korea
by Lee Hyeon Seo

I decided to start reading it and it is quite well written and easy to read, so much so I finished it in a day. 

I have read books in a day before, but not many and I’m quite happy to have done one this round. Though in my travel back from the US, I did finish one book in one day but that was quite an elongated day having traveled across the international time zone. So it won’t count. 

The book is quite engaging and you will feel like you’ve been alongside her in her journey across the different nations to finally reach South Korea. 

It would not be fair to compare between defectors, because their lives and experiences are different but I must say the other book I read, A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Kim Eun Sun, though not as well written, was more harrowing than Lee’s. 

And from our perspective, we would think that it would be an excellent idea for more North Koreans to defect to the South but after reading these books, I found that it may not be the case. 

Life for them in the South is usually hard and lonely, and it is very difficult for them to settle or to make a good living. Life for South Koreans themselves is tough and competitive, what more for the defectors who usually have no degrees, no family support or a good background to speak of. 

As oppressive and harsh life in the North was, many would wish they had never left. 


Rosak already lah...

I was watching a Korean drama when I saw this:

It is obviously a product placement but for any Malaysians who see this would chuckle and probably shake their heads. 

One must really be multi-lingual when it comes to branding. 

Really...they must. 

Note to non-Malaysians: meaning of the word rosak (Malay to English.)
1. Rosak - damaged, ruined, broken (of things); disrepair, bruise, frazzle, destroyed 
2. Merosak - deprave, deflower, corrode, botch, blight 
3. Merosakkan - destroy, desolate, deleterious, deface, damage 
Source: Kamus Online


Every minute of reunion is worth keeping

With my son now so far away in the US, I really felt it when I watched this short film. 

It is based on a true story, filmed using an iPhone X, and considering it’s filmed using a phone, it’s very well done. 

It’s about how a mother only had 3 minutes to see her son, and with the silly but endearing things that a mom would do. 

It’s short but be prepared with a good supply of tissues. 

Three Minutes - a Short Film by Peter Chan, Apple

And I really love the saying at the end of the film—every minute of reunion is worth keeping. 

It makes me miss my late grandmother so much. 

The Chinese New Year is coming. Get reunited with your loved ones, parents, brothers, sisters, family, friends. 

Tell them how much you love them. Hug them. Tell them how much you appreciate them. 

Every moment counts. 


Time to get back to my language learning?

I have been so busy getting my son ready for college and with the travelling and all, I have put my language learning on hold...for a bit too long though. 

My record has always been quite good until now. This is my flashcard review graph for the whole year and I have been progressing very well, until the past few weeks...

...where I have not reviewed my cards for more than 20 days resulting in a huge gap in my monthly review count. And I have never missed it for more than one day before. 

And as I have said many times, language learning is one of the most difficult things that I have done. And I have been asking myself if I should give it up. 

It’s so hard. 

I am still not speaking anything but English, Malay and Cantonese. 

A big part of me refuse to give up and so I’m back to reviewing my flashcards.

It is hard. I have forgotten so many of the Chinese words I have learnt. And now I have to slowly pick them up again. 

And with the harbinger of new technology that may very soon result in wearable language translators, we may not even need to learn a new language but I still find being able to speak a different language a really cool thing to do. 

But it just take so much effort. Is it worth it?


Way too much sleep

talked about my jet lag when I returned from the US last month. 

I gave it about 8 days but I was already feeling okay on the 6th day after I returned. 

However, there is one difference though. I find that I get sleepy very early ever since I am back, and that it quite unusual. 

I used to sleep at about 12am and I did that for several nights alternately but I was exhausted at 8pm last night and slept till 7 this morning. 

And that’s 11 hours of sleep. It’s way too much sleep. 

It’s now 9pm and I’m again exhausted and with a headache too. 

I wonder if I’m still under jet lag, albeit slightly. 


Oh so painful

I opened up my bank app this afternoon to transfer some money to my mom but saw that my credit card statement is already out, complete with what I have spent last month when I accompanied my son to the US. 

I took a look. 

It’s painful. 


Wonderful Things of the World #7: Loong Yuk Gon

Here is my 7th entry of what I think is one of the wonderful things of the world but I don’t know why so far they are all in the food category. 

Books are wonderful too but I would blog them as book reviews. 

Anyway, the Chinese New Year is fast approaching and it is only during the CNY that I allow myself to eat Loong Yuk Gon. 

Its name in Cantonese obviously belies itself. Loong (dragon) Yuk (meat) Gon (dried/jerky) is of course no dragon meat. It’s pork and there is the chicken version too. Not too sure about beef though. 

Which is your favourite?

We just bought some from Bee Cheng Hiang today, but my hubby likes those from Oloiya and my mom’s favourite is from Hock Seng Guan. 

The reason why I’m limiting myself to have this only during the CNY is that even though it’s yummy, it’s not healthy. 

But when are tasty stuff ever healthy?!


Why do we lou sang when it’s not even the Chinese New Year yet?

I remember we used to only lou sang during the Chinese New Year proper, which is only right because we lou sang to the New Year and not the old. 

So why do we do it now before the New Year?

What I can deduce is that the restaurants want to make more bucks with it since there is a high demand and I believe their profit margin is very lucrative. And for us consumers, we have more opportunities to eat it. 

We just had it for dinner today and it was really good. 


I just found out there is this thing called the Little Black Dress

...and I have at least 10 of them. 

What is it with women and little black dresses? 

I didn’t even know they are called Little Black Dresses or LBD until I googled it. It was apparently Coco Chanel who created the icon. 

Read about here in Smithsonian.com and this Wiki article. 

It is indeed women’s wardrobe staple and with my collection which I’ve purchased over the years, I can still wear them because they never get dated. 

How many Little Black Dresses do you have?


Driving on the other side of the road

Now that I’m back to driving on the usual side of the car and road, I couldn’t help but compare it to when I was driving in the US. 

I rented and driven two cars for a total of 3 days. 

Th first car was the huge 5.3L V8 engine Chevrolet Suburban and the second was the 1.6L Hyundai Accent and I must say that I prefer the larger one. It felt safer and no one honked me at all when I drove it! I certainly got honked at a lot when I was in the Hyundai. 

And I think I would have driven about 500km going around Monterey, Seaside, Marina, Watsonville and all the way up to San Francisco and back. 

I noticed these few differences when I was driving in the US. 

For one, it was definitely a matter of conscious competence and unconscious competence. I notice now that when I drive here in KL, I don’t think about it at all but I couldn’t not think when in the US. I was in full alert. It’s a don’t-talk-to-me-when-I’m-driving thing. 

Two, I keep having to vocally tell myself to turn into the right side of the road or I will head into the left. I and do at that every turn, “turn into right, not left.”

Thirdly, I need to look out for cars coming from the left, not right when I’m making a turn. I was not so conscious of this and I nearly got myself into a major accident. It was dark and the roads were empty. I wanted to turn left, but I looked instead to the right for cars. I started off and suddenly there was a car coming very fast from the left. Thankfully, I stopped in time. The car gave me a long loud honk as he passed by. And I went, phew! that was a close one. 

Fourthly, I notice that my brain took on a mirror image to what’s left and what’s right, so much so that when Google Map or Waze tell me to keep left, I’d keep right and conversely when it tells me to keep right, I’d think it’s left. Thankfully I have my son there to correct me. 

Fifthly, my car unintentionally kept moving to the right. So I prefer to keep to the right lane so that I have some space and I don’t keep swerving into other people’s lane. But I kept in the middle lane when I was driving back from San Francisco and I keep having to adjust to keep the car to the left. I got honked once when my car got too much to the right. Also, when I’m stationary and when I want to turn out from the left to the right, my son keep telling me I that nearly hit the cars on my right. Thank God I didn’t. 

And finally, when I was driving back from San Francisco in the night, my mind keep going into the emergency mode when I see car lights all coming from the right side of the road. Hence, the two-hour journey back was the most stressful one. 

My blood pressure would have been on the high side because of driving in the US. But it was certainly an adventure and an experience but I’d stick to the left road and right side of the car for now. 

Oh, one more thing to add is the funnniest and most embarrassing one: I’d walk to the wrong side of the car. 

And I did that twice so far. 

Once when the driver came to pick us up from the airport in Taipei, I walked over to the driver side and opened the door. I did the exact same thing when the Lyft (Uber alternative in the US) came to pick me up from the Monterey airport. 

It was so, so embarrassing!