Sunday, February 07, 2016

My First Attempt at Live Sermon SketchNotes

Christianity and Culture: compatible or incongruent? (Colossians 2:6-23)
~ Pastor Phillips Koh

This is my first attempt in sketching sermon notes. It's not great but I really had fun. And contrary to what I thought, it actually helped me keep better attention on the sermon. I did not drift (mentioning it means I usually do!) It also helped me understand and remember it better.


Saturday, February 06, 2016

My CNY Song: 上帝的兒女何等有福

zai ya li zhong reng neng ping jing 
(in times of stress still be at peace) 
zai mang lu zhong reng neng you xian 
(in busyness of life there is release) 
zai shi bai zhong reng neng huan xiao 
(in times of failure there is still joy) 
zai bi po zhong reng neng yi li 
(in persecution we still stand strong) 
shang di de er nu he deng you fu 
(Children of God, how blessed you are) 
you fu, you fu 
(how blessed, how blessed) 
shang di de er nu he deng you fu 
(Children of God, how blessed you are) 
you fu, you fu 
(how blessed, how blessed) 
shang di de er nu he deng you fu 
(Children of God, how blessed you are) 
zai jue wang zhong reng you pan wang 
(in deperate times hope still sustains) 
zai leng mo zhong reng you guan huai 
(in loneliness His love remains) 
zai kun jing zhong reng you chu lu 
(in times of struggle we find a door) 
zai si wang zhong reng you sheng 
(in times of death there is life) 
shang di de er nu he deng you fu 
(Children of God, how blessed you are) 
you fu, you fu 
(how blessed, how blessed) 
shang di de er nu he deng you fu 
(Children of God, how blessed you are) 
you fu, you fu 
(how blessed, how blessed) 
shang di de er nu he deng you fu 
(Children of God, how blessed you are) 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Yee Sang at Di Wei Chinese Restaurant

My mom wanted to have yee sang today (even though it's not Chinese New Year yet, restaurants are already serving it). My son and I wanted to go to Jaya Grocer at Empire Shopping Gallery. And so we decided to have dinner here, in Di Wei Chinese Restaurant.  

The yee sang and food here was so good that my mom decided to have our pre-CNY eve dinner here tomorrow. Why "pre", it's a long story. Suffice to say that I'm glad we are having Chinese for our CNY tuen yuen fan rather than Japanese as per my brother's plan. 


Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Profundity of Sadness

I don't feel too well lately, both physically and emotionally. Nothing to it though, just the periodic ailment I get once in awhile. I found these quotations quite profound nonetheless. 

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness. 
~ Jonathan Safran Foer

The longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes.
~ Nikolai Gogol

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
~ Oscar Wilde

There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.
~ Nicholas Sparks

I do not believe anyone can be perfectly well, who has a brain and a heart
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Roast Chicken with Two Lemons

This is my all-time favorite roast chicken recipe - Marcella Hazan's Roast Chicken with Two Lemons. 

When I was researching the air fryer before buying it, I found that it can actually roast a chicken. And so I have been looking forward to trying out this recipe in my air fryer. The trick though is that the air fryer I bought isn't too big and so I could only fit in a small chicken and one lemon. The results was spectacular. The skin was delightfully crispy, meat succulent and drippings flavorful. 

And it's the simplest roast chicken recipe ever. All I did was to rub the entire chicken inside and out with lots of salt and black pepper. Then press the lemon on the table and roll it firmly to release its juice within. Poke the lemon with many holes with a toothpick and pop it into the chicken cavity. Seal the chicken with a toothpick and put it into the air fryer. Cook it for 45 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Serve hot.

If you need the recipe using a conventional oven, there are a few more steps. Here's the recipe

My husband loved it. He even said it was better than Nando's, our favorite roast chicken! I'm so pleased. 


Monday, February 01, 2016

Trying out being crafty to being booksy

I said yesterday that I'm getting behind in my reading. That is true but I have been thinking about getting into crafts this year and that means I will have to cut down on my reading. I won't have time for both. 

I've posted two days ago that I need to get back to cooking and that will be my Project #1 Back to the Kitchen

My second will be Project #2 Start to Knit Again. I came across an article several weeks ago that people who knit are happier people.  I've knitted once a really long time ago. And I remember it was quite therapeutic for me. It will also be a memorial for my late grandmother who taught me that first time. I have been missing her lately. I just went to a knitting supply store nearby and found out that this is going to be one expensive hobby. A ball of yarn actually cost as much as RM40. To make a scarf of a decent size would require 10 balls of yarn and that will cost me up to RM400. It's crazy! So I bought a much, much cheaper range just to try it out. And if I like it, I will then invest in the more expensive kind. 

I found this photo in Kar Yong's Facebook, and I thought what an amazing piece of work by Claire Khoo. It's a live sketch and I thought it an excellent way for retention and for taking notes. I want to try it out and so this will be my Project #3 Take Sketch Notes Though I'm Definitely No Artist

Okay, having three new projects is definitely being too ambitious but let's see how it goes in the next couple of months, shall we?


Sunday, January 31, 2016

End of January and I've not read a single book

I've been quite pleased with myself over the past few years for catching up on my reading, all thanks to the mobile and versatile electronic books. 30 in 2012, 30 in 2013, 56 in 2014 and 41 last year, I've never read so much in my entire life. 

But I have not read any in the whole of this month and it's not a good start of the year. For one, I've got myself into too many things and my plate is really, really full at the moment and what more, with free internet streaming, I've been spending too much time on TV. 

I must do something about it.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

I haven't properly cooked for the longest time

I used to bake and cook so much. But every since I started my work in consulting, I stopped cooking. That was a really long time ago. 

Recently I had wanted to get back to cooking but I needed something to kick start me on. I heard my colleague talking about her air fryer and I thought hmm, maybe it's time I got caught up in the kitchen scene. Kitchen appliances have gone a long way since. 

I did some research and got myself the Phillips Air Fryer and I'm loving it. Had I known it to be so useful, easy-to-use and versatile, I should have gotten the XL model. 

This was what I made today. It's Luca Manfé's Mother's Meatballs. 

Here's here how to do it using the air fryer:

And here's the recipe: My Mother's Meatballs

It was yummy delicious!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Abide with Me O Lord

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

~ Henry Francis Lyte


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Fox and the Star

I found out about this book today. I have no idea what it is about but the cover is just spectacular. I must soon get a copy.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chromecast did not work

We got for ourselves a Chromecast adapter on Sunday but it did not work. It started ok but when I wanted to stream a movie it wouldn't connect to my phone and then all it casted onto the TV was alternating green screen and black. We got it changed yesterday but it was the same. It gets connected for about 10 minutes and then it will be disconnected. Nothing we do will reconnect it, even switching it on and off. 

My husband had been at it for hours trying to get it to work till he was just too frustrated. Arrgghh!!!


P/S 27/1/2016: my hubby finally managed to get it to work. I don't know what adjustments he did, but it far so good. I just feel that for this branded product, it should work better. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

No lazying today

It's a public holiday today and I was out practically the whole day, which is unusual. What I usually do during off-days is to stay home and just rest, but I will end up watching TV the whole day and really regret it. But I'm glad it was not so today.

For one, we went shopping! I seldom go shopping with my husband--it's not a preferred activity for him--but we were at 3 shopping malls in one day! For very, very specific purposes though. We were at KLCC to get the ChromeCast adapter replaced. The one we bought yesterday was not working. (It is still not working but that is a different story.) Then we were at Low Yat Plaza. My husband wanted to get some cables and a new tempered glass protector for his phone. We had lunch there. We then decided to go to Sunway Pyramid because I wanted to get an air fryer. I know, there are nearer electrical stores around but I was more used to Sunway Pyramid and what more, we got a good deal and lots of free gifts from our purchase in the Aeon outlet there.

And two, I again had an amazing choir practice on Handel's Messiah led by Chi Hoe Mak. It was just fun and I had a great time singing together.

It was a good day.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Televisions through the decades

Ok, I admit. I'm a TV addict. But which of these TVs have you used before? Mine would be from the 1970s. And I still remember one in a red plastic box with only a 12 or 14 inch screen. But I think I've used one from the 1960s with sliding doors that cover the screen when not in use. Yes, sliding doors!

And how we have watched TV has also changed so much over the years. From national free channels (RTM's faithful TV1 and TV2) to private free channels (TV3 in 1984) to paid cable (Mega TV in 1994) to paid satellite (Astro in 1996), all timed and scheduled kind of entertainment, up till now with online streaming. We have the local but limited iFlix and NetFlix was just made available to us some weeks ago. 

I certainly wonder how will it be a decade from now. 


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Medical Checkups

How often should we perform a medical checkup on our body and from what age should we start? 
Check it out here


Friday, January 22, 2016

Praise the Lord, A Prayer

Prayerfully I kneel before you Lord, I become
Rested, renewed and restored
All that I need you will provide, so
In you my soul will I abide
Surely sovereign you are magnificent, and
Everlasting, all-knowing, omnipotent
To you anew each day I come, yet
How much more you are and then some
Each day I seek of you
Lord and each day I yearn for you
O God so much I need of you, I
Rest in you
Delight in you


Thursday, January 21, 2016

There is just too much mail

What do you do with your inbox when you do your email housekeeping? Or do you even do it at all?

I need to because there isn't much memory in my inbox though it is way more than when I was working in KPMG, way way more. But I still need to do my email housekeeping in order to keep my inbox lean and efficient as well as to make sure I have read and responded to all my emails. 

But there are just so many of them. 

I used to keep them in specific folders before but not anymore. I now follow the gmail way - I just put the emails I have attended to in just one personal folder, one or two for each year's worth, all received and sent emails. I never delete any emails. 

I try to do that every week but sometimes I don't. There is just too much!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I almost gave up singing in a professional choir

I posted only a picture of the coming production of Handel's Messiah on Monday. I did not say anything about it because after attending one practice session that same day, I felt lost and I did not know if it will be wise to continue with it. In addition to feeling lost, the pace of the practice is too fast for me, more than I am used to, and the piece is one tough one.

So by the end of Tuesday, I've decided I will pull out. But I wasn't 100% sure about it and so I thought I'd leave it till today to inform the conductor, Paul Baker. Except that I spent the whole day today titter-tottering between staying and pulling out. I wanted to but my inner voice kept saying no, stay on.

I have drafted a text message to be sent to the conductor to pull out but every time I wanted to send it, I stopped myself. I keep feeling that it was not the right thing to do. This happened the whole day today.

By the time it was 4pm, I felt it will be too late if I had not sent it out already because practice will begin today at 7:30pm. I felt I must be fair to Paul and inform him quickly. So I just sent it out without much thinking any more.

It turned out that my inner voice was telling me the right thing - I should stick on. The conductor graciously sent me a reply saying that he understands what I'm feeling and encouraged me not to pull out. He said that it is normal for us to have cold feet in the beginning but it will be all worth it in the end.

And so I turned up for practice and I was so glad and so thankful I did. We had Chi Hoe Mak as our choral master today and he was simply excellent. I have learnt most of what I know from Joanna Lau, my choral group Grace Notes conductor, but Chi Hoe brought more technicalities to it and then more.

I am still reading Willard's book, Hearing God and from the chapter where he touched on our inner voice, I now know more of what he was saying:
I believe I can say with assurance that God’s speaking in union with the human voice and human language is the primary objective way in which God addresses us...the familiar King James Version of Proverbs 20:27 says, "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly." This is possibly better put in the Jerusalem Bible: "Man’s spirit is the lamp of Yahweh, searching his deepest self."

I will surely have regretted pulling out and I am glad God spoke through me, and for Paul to be understanding and gracious.

If you are in town on 18 or 19 March 2016, you might want to come listen to the majestic and brilliant work of Handel, the Messiah.

For more information, call 016-537 2599 or visit


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Buying ebooks

Buying ebooks in is not fun anymore. There were many promo codes that I could use to get good discounts, but not anymore. And as a result, ebooks are expensive, what more with the weakened Ringgit.

However, in helping a friend find a book he needed, I just found out that Amazon have extended the sale of ebooks to other countries including mine. And the beauty is even though there are no promo codes available, the prices are generally very reasonable.

And since I have yet to complete my collection of the Preaching the Word Commentary Series, I checked up on it. But to my shock, the prices has really gone up, both in Amazon and I wish I had bought them all back then when I had unlimited-usage promo codes. I can't afford them now at more than USD30 per copy, in ebook format no less.

I bought the copy on Exodus for just USD6. It's now selling at USD33! Are you kidding me? An increase of 450%? This is too much.