Archive for January, 2009

On Taking and Giving

21/01/2009

After all that ranting about having something “stolen” from me, I decided that I would do something totally opposite to what the perpetrator did – I am going to GIVE something away in response!

I came across this event that is taking place and decided that I would join in. Called “One World One Heart” it encourages people to give away something. This means that on February 12, 2009 I will be giving away something special!

I will give away this cute little purse!

giveaway

I bought this lovely handmade and practical gift during my trip to Thailand. But I wont be just giving away the purse. I was brought up with a tradition that when you give away a purse, you have to put goodies inside. Often it would be money, but in this case, you will get a surprise instead!I have lots of little things that fit into this purse ready for the winner….

Does it sound too good to be true? Well fear not. This is for real! You can check it out in this site if you’re doubtful.

PhotoClick on this and it will take you to more info.

“What’s the catch?” I hear you saying now. The answer is, “NONE”.

All you have to do is to comment in this post. ANYONE can stand a chance to win this. For yourself, or for your loved one. I just need you to put your contact down. I will need to get hold of you after the draw if you are the winner!

Now, before you click on that logo, put your post in the comments. Then go have fun!

Plagiarized!

20/01/2009

To plagiarize

is to use and pass off

(the ideas or writings of another)

as one’s own.

That is exactly what has happened with one of my posts in my blogspot.

I posted it this morning and shortly after, Hubby came online from his office to tell me about this dastardly deed. He saw someone visiting my blogspot from another country, and out of interest, clicked to see where from. Suddenly he was linked to another site, where word for word, this thief had taken my writing, put into his/her domain, and applied to be approved to a post-paying company!

Well, this-this-THIS (better not use the word I want to use!) does not own any site of over six hundred and fifty posts unlike my blogspot! Also, the act was obviously committed almost from the moment I posted it because the WRONG LINK was copied! Oh yes, the links work. But there were specific links that were supposed to be used… I amended it once I realised my mistake!

I have written to the post-paying company, with certainty that this ahem-ahem-AHEM will be found out for the you-know-what that he/she is!

Hubby wonders how many visitors to my sites do similar things.

So now I want to let the whole world know this has happened!

If you, my friend, want to SHOW SUPPORT AGAINST PLAGIARIZATION, please drop a comment here! And pass the word round.

Thanks!

Esther’s Story

19/01/2009

Remember I wrote about Esther towards the end of last year (post Christmas) and even into the new year? You can read more about her story here, here, and here


Yesterday, this newspaper carried her story too, from the organ transplant point of view. Isn’t this a beautiful photo of her?

estherWhat the newspaper article couldn’t capture was how her parents could not have made it thus far without their faith in and relationship with God. They cannot understand. They continue to miss her dearly. But they know their little girl is safe with Him.

What the reporter couldn’t imagine was the dignity in which her parents conducted themselves throughout the most difficult time between Christmas and New Year. They hardly slept, they could barely think straight. But just as gold comes out pure when put into fire, this couple did just so.

What the report couldn’t do justice to was the immediate impact of Esther and her parents’ gifts – it was not just to the recipients. The staff involved were so touched, they attended a simple special thanksgiving service for Esther’s life held on the ward. They stayed back during their shifts and came back from their time off to be present. They spontaneously formed two lines of escort as her parents left the operating theatre with her after the harvesting of her organs, giving them a salute fit for a queen.

And now, the ripples of Esther continue to radiate out.

May they never fade.

This Chinese New Year

18/01/2009
Look at what you can do with a mandarin orange!
You’d never think that peeling a mandarin can be such fun!
See how creative you can be!

This is for real!
Look! It’s possible to do it!
And this young lady did!!!!!

Respond or React

17/01/2009

When you are asked an awkward question, how you reply shows a lot. Do you react defensively? Or do you respond appropriately?

A reaction is like a knee jerk. If you have ever been to the doctor’s and they have had to test your reflexes, then you would have met the patella hammer. The patella hammer is used exactly as the name implies – the doctor will use it to tap a specific part of your knee. When that happens, your foot is automatically jerked up.

Hence the term knee jerk. It’s involuntary.

When we first discovered this as student nurses, (in my past life!) we used to tap one another’s knee just for the fun of it. The best reactions came from those unsuspecting souls who had their legs crossed. We would even use our hands to “chop down” quickly for the desired reaction. The poor victim would be teased whether caught out or caught defensive.

Similarly, when a person reacts to something said or done, that means the person probably hasn’t prepared for the words to come, or the event to happen. The immediate speech or action of the person would indicate the innermost thoughts and emotions of the person. Good or bad, right or wrong, it will show.

Like when I was asked an awkward question just now. Twice.

I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t know how I ought to answer. I didn’t have the right answer.

The first time it happened, I found myself blabbering away.  It sounded hollow even to my own ears. I then changed the subject.

Shortly after that, I faced my second awkward question. Again, I found myself muttering away, playing games with words, walking away as I did so.

Ground open up to swallow me.

Later I texted someone to seek advice. Sound advice came.

Just smile. Say little. Just smile.

Tomorrow if I am faced with another awkward question or moment, I know what I’ll to do – Smile.

Let them react.

In Preparation for Chinese New Year

16/01/2009

I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately. Part of the fun of making cupcakes is the icing after. I enjoy doing them. Here’s a selection of what I have done last year.

I have been experimenting for Chinese New Year too! These are my attempts at the lanterns. I needed to get a special nozzle size No 2 for this. I used to use a Nozzle No 1 but it was really too fine for the work I wanted to do.

cny013

This is my attempt at firecrackers! The red firecrackers are done with Nozzle No 5 and the yellow “explosions” are a star burst nozzle.

cny022

With all my baking and icing, together with flowering fruit trees outside the house, we have had a lot of ants visiting. The ants are God’s way of fertilizing the flowers so that they become fruits. But these ants are not satisfied with the nectar from the flowers. They love my icing and cakes too! So I have had to make little moats of water to balance my cakes on. They can be pretty precarious!

That is, until now.

Dear Hubby saw this at the top shelf of our local supermarket and decided to get me two!

cny051

What’s so special about this? Take a closer look!

cny061Yes, it has its own built-in moat! With less than a third of a cup of water, the moat and its crevices are nicely filled up.

Now I can bake even more!

A Cat with Character

15/01/2009

Some years ago, Mittens came into our lives. She is affectionately called our Miracle Cat because I once ran over her with my Kenari when she was a kitten. Obviously she lived to tell the tale. Subsequently, even though she had actually been run over her abdomen, she went on to have a litter of kittens. This is a tale we often regale our first-time visitors. We never tire of it!

Mittens is unlike other cats. This is how she sleeps. Sometimes she even lies on her back!

mitts011

And when she is annoyed with my camera, she closes her eyes! Just look at her!

mitts02

She is such a pampered cat though. A poignant mew from her would cause my children to grab half a handful of her food to give her. Her abdomen looks pregnant! Her purrs are often heard and felt.

I have been told that cats’ purrings are good. In fact, there are sites that was lyrical about it. This one  advocates having a purring cat to soothe your baby to sleep.

But from my personal experience as a former midwife in England, I have found that babies and cats don’t always mix. In fact, we often tell the mothers-to-be to prepare cat nets for their newborns. Catnets are special stronger nets which cover baby’s prams/cots so that the cats cant get to them. That’s right the cats can get jealous! Especially if the cat was the “only child” before the advent of baby!

Not that Mittens ever had cause to be. My youngest as around before she was. They are good friends instead!

Wow

14/01/2009

2 Corinthians says “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech”

What a packed sentence!

The earlier “Therefore” implies the preceding sentences are pivotal. The preceding verses are what the rest hinge on. This part is crucial to grasp before embarking on the next.

Since” – another emphasis on the parts before.

“We” – that’s you and I who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ. Yaay!

“Have” – what certainty. It’s already obtained.

“Such hope” – not a wishy-washy “I hope it will not rain even though it is cloudy”, or “I hope that I can find a parking space”, or even “I hope this tastes nice”. Rather, it is certain hope. The hope that there IS a new covenant in Christ.

On such basis, we can “use” – i.e. a proactive action is required. There is a sense of wielding something. Something that has to be picked up.

And at the end of the sentence we see it – great boldness of speech.

Boldness indicates Courage; bravery; intrepidity; dauntlessness; hardihood; assurance. Reminds me of this picture.
Hmmm Not sure if the cat was bold or foolhardy but the dogs are certainly well trained! For the sake of this study, let’s say the cat is bold!

It reminds me of the boldness of a lion, as found in Proverbs 28:1b “the righteous are as bold as a lion”.
So secure in the knowledge that we have a hope, we can speak boldly….

Not just when standing in public or when we are put in a position where we have to defend our faith. But also when we are in a difficult situation, as were my friends whose toddler died. They spoke boldly of their faith without reservation, and did not fear who their listeners were.

By the way, boldly doesn’t necessarily mean loudly.

Above the Law

13/01/2009

I was scrolling through some blogsites. Came across this one from Heartlight. Thought it was worth sharing. I had heard a sermon last Sunday about “Love God, Make Disciples and Transform Communities.”

When you hear of someone being “above the law” or “above the rules,” what comes to mind?

Perhaps the person who cut in front of you in traffic; she must think she owns the road. Maybe the white-collar crooks who poked holes in your retirement; they knew the rules about insider trading and honest bookkeeping but simply decided to violate them. Yes, there are people who break laws and breach the canons of ethics. They don’t care who gets hurt. They’re only looking out for themselves. But, there is another way of being “above the rules.”

One can function at a level higher than the rules demand. Maybe we’d say “above and beyond” or “going beyond the call of duty.”

The person who borrows your car to run a quick errand fills a near-empty gas tank before bringing it back. A stranger stops to help when you are stranded beside the highway. You put a quarter in a parking meter for the car next to yours because you see the time has expired.

You can spot the difference between the two attitudes a mile away. The former won’t help with rush or crisis situations at work because “it’s not in my job description.” The latter never bats an eye about pitching in or staying late because the good of the company trumps convenience and protectiveness.

Couples determined to work things out by the rules of fair play are a counselor’s nightmare. She doesn’t think she’s getting what she deserves. He is convinced he is doing everything anybody could expect. So the battle over rights and duties, expectations and demands is on.

Few couples wind up in that same office or in divorce court when he is looking for ways to surprise her with kindness — only to be outdone by her creativity in showing how much she loves him.

Churches are afflicted with the same problem. The term is “legalism” for trying to fix, place, and set in order by laws. Its opposite is not liberalism but “grace.” By the rules of time and place, Jesus should not have prepared food on the Sabbath or stood in the way of a mob intent on stoning a woman who had been caught “in the very act” of adultery.

Jesus was above the rules. He wasn’t arrogant, self-centered, and willing to break the laws of heaven or earth. But he knew that law’s higher purpose was always to protect, empower, and love people. Thus he associated with, showed kindness to, and made disciples of people who had been rejected by most

We must guard against making the rules hateful by losing sight of people.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”

In the Dark

12/01/2009

The lights were out. Our dinner was potentially spoilt (See The Hinge!)

As I got the candles out, Arrow #3 had to do her homework in the semi-darkness.

A short while later, she rushed to me and asked, “Mommy, may I have the camera please?”

As I passed it to her, I asked her if she had finished her homework. Yes was her reply. That’s why she was asking me for the camera.

So I asked her what her subject was. It was, after all, very dark to be shooting images with my little camera. Or so I thought.

She said, “Oh, some thing”, non-commitedly, as youths often do.

Pointing the camera to a candle nearby, I heard a soft click, which was followed by a squeal, “Oh, it’s so nice!” Out of the corner of my eye, I dimly made out her figure as she jumped up and down in delight.

Then she ran upstairs.

Later, I saw the results of her work.

Who would have thought my little camera could do this?
Impressed though I was of her photography skills, I was far more touched by her irrepressible personality.

Despite the darkness and heat, and having to do her work in not-so-nice conditions, she didn’t grumble. Nor did she kick up a fuss. Instead, she made the most of the situation and carried on!

That’s a lesson we could all learn – never be put down by circumstances around us. Instead, we should be showing the example, like lights in the darkness around us. Especially in these not-so-easy times.