Tuesday, December 25, 2012

For Unto Us A Child Is Born


Today is a extra special Christmas day for me. First of all, Pastor Gideon's message from Isaiah 9:1-7 really spoke to me because verses 6-7 are some of my favourite verses from the word of God. I cannot remember the countless times when these verses have ministered to me, strengthened me and given hope in difficult times.

Secondly, I was also very touched when he shared his testimony of the goodness of God upon him and his lovely wife throughout the pregnancy and birth of their newly-born fourth child, Jayden. I couldn't help but cry throughout the testimony. Hubby said that I looked a real mess after the service.

And thirdly, today is also the day my grandson is dedicated to the Lord because Caden's first month anniversary happens to fall on Christmas day. How timely and appropriate that we can rejoice and, without sounding blasphemous, echo Isaiah on this happy morning, "For unto us a child a born, a son is given."

Thank you Lord for my grandson...my best Christmas gift ever.

I'm A Santarina!

It was Christmas Eve. Due to an emergency I became a replacement Santarina!

Realising that I am no Santa Claus, and Hubby is on the mainland for the day, I called on Baby Sis to help me deliver...nasi kunyit.

Yes, this Santarina's assignment was to deliver nasi kunyit for her grandson's Full Moon. What a privilege!

Baby Sis canceled her 3pm appointment in order to ferry me around. She said that it's an honour to be called on at the last minute because that shows how comfortable and at ease I am with her. Isn't she an angel?

With Baby Sis at the wheel battling the Christmas Eve traffic, I was able to phone the recipients to check whether they are home while we are on the way from one place to another. That was a real help because I cannot imagine driving and calling and parking the car and sending the gifts all by myself.

We didn't have time for lunch because we were in a rush to deliver the nasi kunyit before the curry turns bad. Then God sent another angel to our rescue.

Priscilla called to ask whether we had eaten. She said she was cooking spaghetti and invited us over for a meal. Where can you find such kind and loving people like that? I am truly blessed to have these two angels in my life.

Santarina crossing the road with the remaining boxes of nasi kunyit. We couldn't leave them in the car while we have lunch.
At the end of our delivery route both of us were worn out. Believe me! Santa Claus cannot be real because there is no way a person can deliver presents all over the world within the space of a few hours.

I went back to office with a headache and had to go back and rest before dinner. But it's all worth it because...
I love you Caden Kan JiaZhi.

Blessed Full Moon!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shocked

This morning Poh Lin attended service at TOP. After the service she came to us and said that she had a shock when she heard me being introduced as the speaker.

She said I was funny. I suppose giving people a good laugh is preferable to making them cry.

The last time she came to TOP, she also got a shock when she saw Hubby playing the guitar as part of the worship team.

She told us that she didn't know that we are such a "talented" family. And she is impressed.

So the Lord sprang two shocking surprises on her last two visits to TOP. Hmmm, I wonder what God has in store for her next.

I'm A Rush-ian!

It's the time of the year when I become a Rush-ian. Rushing here, rushing there, rushing everywhere, and yet getting nowhere.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I have not bought any Christmas presents yet. Very paiseh receiving presents and not giving any in return. Gila masuk saje.

Before I know it Christmas would have come and gone. And from the look of things, Chinese New Year will just be another day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cousinship

If two persons share a common pair of parents, they are brothers, sisters or brother and sister. Cousins, on the other hand, share a common pair of grandparents. These are elementary relationships that we are familiar with and that are pretty straight forward. 
 
But have you come across mention of first/second/third cousins, once/twice removed?
 
I have often read of such relationships and I am intrigued by them. After much procrastination, today I finally decided that it is time to end my ignorance. 

Here are my findings. 
Cousin (a.k.a "first cousin")
Your first cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.
Second Cousin
Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins
Your third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, fourth cousins have the same great-great-great-grandparents, and so on.
Removed
When the word "removed" is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. You and your first cousins are in the same generation (two generations younger than your grandparents), so the word "removed" is not used to describe your relationship.
The words "once removed" mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. This is because your mother's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference equals "once removed."
Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother's first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

Relationship Charts Simplify Everything

Now that you have an idea of what these different words mean, take a look at the chart below. It's called a relationship chart, and it can help you figure out how different people in your family are related. It's much simpler than it looks, just follow the instructions.
Instructions for Using a Relationship Chart
  1. Pick two people in your family and figure out which ancestor they have in common. For example, if you chose yourself and a cousin, you would have a grandparent in common.
  2. Look at the top row of the chart and find the first person's relationship to the common ancestor.
  3. Look at the far left column of the chart and find the second person's relationship to the common ancestor.
  4. Determine where the row and column containing those two relationships meet.
Common
Ancestor
Child Grandchild G-grandchild G-g-grandchild
Child Sister or Brother Nephew or Niece Grand-nephew or niece G-grand-nephew or niece
Grandchild Nephew or Niece First cousin First cousin, once removed First cousin, twice removed
G-grandchild Grand-nephew or niece First cousin, once removed Second cousin Second cousin, once removed
G-g-grandchild G-grand-nephew or niece First cousin, twice removed Second cousin, once removed Third cousin

Source: http://www.genealogy.com/16_cousn.html

If you want to be more precise...
First cousins can be classified two ways: patrilateral or matrilateral, and cross- or ortho-cousins. While ortho-cousins are children of two brothers or two sisters; cross-cousins are children of a sister and brother. Someone is your patrilateral cousin if you are first cousins through your father (and your father’s brother or sister); someone is your matrilateral cousin if you are first cousins through your mother (and your mother’s brother or sister).
Source: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/relation.htm
And now for some application: 
  • My daughter and the children of my husband's brother are patrilineal ortho-cousins.
  • My daughter and my sister's children are matrilineal ortho-cousins. 
  • My daughter doesn't have any cross-cousins on either side of the family because her dad's sister does not have any children and my brother is not married.
  • The relationship between my daughter and my first cousins is first cousin, once removed.
In accordance with Chinese family hierachy my daughter still addresses her first cousins, once removed as uncle or aunt. Socially it sounds strange to introduce someone of your own age or younger as your uncle or aunt. Introducing them as your cousin saves you a lot of explanation but the traditionalists will be horrified. It's a no-win situation.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IWA Christmas Morning at E&O Hotel

Last Monday (10/12/12) Lillian gave me a treat to the IWA Christmas lunch held at E&O Hotel.

The IWA choir carolling in the foyer

Baby Sis, as usual, must dress to the theme. So that morning she raided one of her Christmas trees and made herself a crazy hat that won her first prize

Be my guest!

Turkey with cranberry sauce served with the most delicious chestnut stuffing ever, lasagna and other dishes that I cannot remember

Mini-mince pies, Christmas pudding and cookies...sweet endings to a wonderful lunch

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Standing In The Need of Prayer

I recently learned the importance of praying for myself 'cos I am a fallible human, living in a fallen world amidst other fallible beings.

Praying for others is well and good but at the end of the day...

It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord,
Standing in the need of prayer.
It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord,
Standing in the need of prayer.

Not my father, not my mother, but it's me, O Lord,
Standing in the need of prayer.
Not my sister, not my brother, but it's me, O Lord,
Standing in the need of prayer.

- lyrics from the song "Standing In The Need of Prayer"

If I don't pray for myself, who will?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Salvation Has Come To This House

Halfway through our reunion dinner last night, we received this piece of wonderful news.

God is so good and He is indeed a God of signs and wonders.

I am so encouraged because this is the first time that I have heard a first-hand testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ appearing to pre-believer in a dream/vision that eventually led to salvation.

Truly all things are possible if we only believe.

Luke 19:9-10 (NIV)
[9] Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house..... [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

First Reunion Dinner for CNY 2013

We had an early CNY reunion dinner tonight to coincide with my sis-in-law's and also Terence's family's visit to Penang and all of us received our first angpows for CNY.

Yes, my sis-in-law being the eldest in the family distributes angpows to everyone, even those who are married. Besides my paternal aunt, she is the only one who practices this unusual custom.

Of course we're not complaining 'cos people like us who have long been disqualified from receiving angpows also untung!

Our first angpows for CNY 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

Romance Is Still Alive

I read this on one of my Facebook friend's post on Saturday. She is one fortunate girl to have found a such a brave and wonderful guy who would go through so much effort to proclaim his love for her publicly. I am glad romance is still very much alive today.
the deepest heartfelt thanks is not even close enough to how grateful i am for all your well wishes!

it was an amazing surprise to start off my favourite time of the year. Aaron Goh was a sneaky little monkey who managed to get the whole cast and crew of Wild Rice's Hansel and Gretel to spring this on me.

it started off with the curtain call at the end of the show when the lead said there would

be two free tickets to their next production for whoever was sitting on the seat number they had randomly picked. surprise, surprise they called out my seat number. so here i am, thinking to myself 'oh yay! got prize!' (i've never won anything from these lucky draws before) and skipped my way up the stage.

after a few jibes at how i looked familiar, they asked me how i came to know about the show and i said that the lead keyboardist was my boyfriend. that was his cue and he came out from the wings singing! i was in shock! i seriously thought i was being pranked!
i must have looked really silly with me alternating between asking 'what's going on??' and having my hand clapped over my mouth in shock.

he ended the song by going down on one knee amidst the cheers of the cast, crew and audience. and the rest, as they say, is history :)
Congratulations, Grace and Aaron! I am so happy for both of you. Keep it up and I am sure you are both going to build up a great repertoire of memorable moments to share with your children and grand-children.

*****

Those who are interested may watch the video here. I believe this shouldn't be an infringement of privacy since it was posted on Facebook and Youtube.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Broken Vessel

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. [10] That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

There are certain days when I feel more inadequate than others. Today was such a day but God once again proved Himself faithful even when I am not.

In the days leading to the preaching of today's message my prayer was, "Lord, I come before you with a broken and contrite heart, to ask for Your Word in season for Your people. I ask this, not for my sake, but for the sake of Your people who have gathered to hear from You."

As I stepped into the sanctuary this morning, the Lord began to minister to me through the worship. He stilled the churning within my soul and granted me peace. Thus encouraged by the Lord I was able to share a message on the sons of Issachar with Calvary Assembly.

During altar call I asked the people to respond in 3 areas. No one responded to the call for salvation. if I'm not mistaken there were no pre-believers in the congregation, but I still had to ask.

On the other hand, there were many who requested prayer because they are moving into a new season. And there were also a few who wanted to take their service to a higher level.

But among those who came out for prayer during the altar call was one who correctly discerned the heart of the message today. He asked that I pray for the anointing of the sons of Issachar to be on him.

How my heart leapt when I heard that! He is such a wise and discerning man so it was my joy to pray for a double portion of the anointing of the sons of Issachar to be on him.

After the service I was absolutely thrilled when God sent two persons to tell me that the message was the word in season for them.

God still uses broken vessels. Isn't He simply too wonderful for words?

That's me giving Lucas, my interpreter, a hard time reading from 1 Chronicles 12. Notice the LCD in the background with the photo from my Facebook. That's Pastor Roland's handiwork.

A Day of Rejoicing

I received this wonderful testimony from a close family friend today.

Praise The Lord ! He alone is greatly to be Praised! This morning around 4am The Lord appeared first in the dream then in person to my mum! She was so excited that she missed call me during the service and I listened to her testifying to me after the service. She saw a tall man in white robe standing beside her smiling at her then she woke up but when she opened her eyes she still saw Jesus standing beside her smiling and bending His head looking at my mum. Since then she could not sleep and is still full of energy. We are making our trip up to Penang to visit her. Pls join us in prayer. Hallelujah !Our Lord reigns!in fact my mum was with hospitalized on Thursday for very high bp of 200. I began to pray for her till 2 :30 am on early Fri morning. I thank GOD he is ministering to my Mum :) Yong Ling

God is good! He is faithful! And ALL His promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Honest Man

A few days ago I went to the Cheah Yew Shop in Jalan Fettes to buy lunch. After packing my lunch the young man told me that it costs RM4.50. So I grabbed some ringgit notes from my wallet and passed them to him. He took the money and said, "Auntie, why are you giving me so much money?"

I thought I had given him a ringgit or two more but the note he returned me was a RM50 note! In my hurry, I did not realise that there was a RM50 note wedged among the blue ringgit notes.

"Thank you," I said,  "And God bless you, you are an honest man."

Honest people like this young man ought to be commended and he makes me believe there are still a lot of good people out there despite some of the horrors we read in  the newspapers.

Slow Me Down Lord

This morning I was led to this poem that is so timely as we enter into this season when the frenetic countdown towards Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year begins.

Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down,Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my harried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, admidst the confusions of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music of the sighing streams
That live in my memory.
Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep.

Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations of slowing down to look at a flower;
To chat with an old friend or to make a new one;
To pat a stray dog,
To watch a spider build a web;
To smile at a child;
Or to read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
Into the soil of life’s enduring values
That I may grow toward the stars
Of my great destiny.

Wilferd A. Peterson

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Countdown Begins

Weekly Christmas With the Community (CWC) meetings have begun since last week.

Practice for CWC Nyonya dance has commenced since last Sunday with many more practices to go.

9/12 Wedding at Alor Setar.

10/12 Family from overseas arriving!

11/12 - IWA Christmas breakfast at E&O Hotel
- Deadline to put presents under the Christmas tree for office exchange of gifts.
- Early family CNY reunion dinner.

12/12 Lunch

13/12 Lunch

15/12 Combined Cell Christmas celebration with Fettes Park cell.

18/12 Office Christmas celebration. We open our presents!

22/12 Christmas With The Community.

25/12 Christmas

31/12 Watchnite

See the list above I also panchet di. But first there's this list below to work on ASAP.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dillip And Evelyn From Perth

Lillian invited me over for lunch with Dillip and Evelyn from Perth. After a lovely Malay lunch which they really liked very much, we had a great time chatting over coffee, tea and coconut water.

On the way back from their visit to the Khoo Kongsi, Evelyn couldn't resist buying 3 coconuts because they are so cheap. According to her, they normally cost AUD2 each, and that's when they are on sale.

Dillip and Lillian
I like people who think and during our conversation Dillip asked a very interesting question: Why are all the cannons at Fort Cornwallis located on the North Eastern side of island, facing the mainland? Why not on the western side facing the open sea? Did the British only expect an invasion from the mainland?

Hmmm, I never really thought about that. I suppose it would be easier to invade Penang via the narrow channel than to go one big round to the other side which, incidentally, has never been heavily populated. It also makes more sense to protect the northeastern part of the island where the population is densest and the commercial district is located.

His wife Evelyn is Teong's latest good friend. We told her about Teong's eccentricities and she confidently replied that if she can handle Dillip, she can handle him! Haha, looks like he has met his match.

Teong and Evelyn
My afternoon was spoilt by work problems that cropped up and required my attention.

Anyway I left with a splitting headache and is running a fever now. Gotta take care 'cos my friend's boss tested positive for H1N1 last week and was admitted into hospital.


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas has always been a grand celebration for my sister, ever since we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Her Christmas trees (one is not enough, she must have two trees) are always up early and they stay up until Chinese New Year is over.

This is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tree in honour of the Queen who celebrated her Diamond Jubilee this year. There are always lots of presents under the tree but she has been too busy to get around to buying presents so the tree looks kinda bare for the time being.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Tree

And this is the Empress of India tree. Notice that she even wrapped a saree round the table on which the tree is resting. Among the decorations are the cutest little hangers with little party dresses hanging on them. I should have taken photos. 

Can you see the hanger with the party dress in front, next to the gold snow flake?

Jazz Charity Night on 30 November 2012

We were privileged to be the guests of Grace and Boon Hoe for the Jazz Charity Night held at Bayview Beach Resort in conjunction with the 9th Penang Island Jazz Festival.
This is my lovely and grace-ious hostess
Hubby and I
The rest of the people at the table who we know were Chee Keong, Priscilla, Jacob and Helene. We also met Mary Ann, Boon Hoe's sister-in-law and Cindy, Boon Hoe's youngest sister who looks like she is in her thirties. I didn't believe it when she said she is nearing fifty.

I am always impressed by these people who can "hide their age" so well. Being slim is a great advantage because most middle agers, like me, are beset with middle age spread. :( And that gives away our age. Boo hoo hoo.

The opening act was a local jazz singer but, poor girl, most people were concentrating on the food. I also couldn't get her name because there was so much echo from the mic.

Then Mezzotono, a 5-piece a capella, group from Italy took to the stage. They were fantastic! Their harmony was superb and I am amazed at how they could produce the most incredible sounds vocally. Their show was a delight to watch because they also injected some comic moments into their performance. I am sure we would have enjoyed the show more if we understood Italian or the barese dialect they sang in.

Mezzotono from Italy
The main act was the Estudiantina Ensemble from Cuba (pronounced KOO*ba). They perform in authentic Cuban Traditional Guaracha, Bolero, Danz√≥n and Son styles that were performed by estudiantina groups that were popular in the eastern region of Cuba during the late 19th century.

The Estudiantina Ensemble from Cuba
Again we didn't understand a word they were singing. Such a waste, because they were singing from their heart so there was a lot of emotion involved. The only familiar song we knew was Besame Mucho which was also sung in Spanish.

But whether we understood the lyrics or not, music is a language of the heart and soul. We felt the emotions even though we did not undertand the language. And the rhythm, yes the rhythm and the beat, got me swaying to the music and tapping our feet.

Thanks again Grace and Boon Hoe for jazzing up our night!






Mong-cha-cha Tourist Guide

Jean, my best friend at Maui was in Penang recently and we managed to meet for lunch on Tuesday, 20 November.

I wanted to take her to Tan Jetty for Thai food and also introduce her to a spot of local scenery. Unfortunately the shop was closed and so we ended up at China House. In hindsight it was a better choice because she loved the place and she still managed to take photos of the jetty area.

After lunch, as we were walking back to the car we saw a crowd gathering at the Beach Street/Armenian Street junction. Being kaypo, we went over to have a look. Lo and behold, it was the location of one Penang's famous street art!

Jean was ecstatic with joy because she wanted so much to see this particular piece of street art that gained attention due to it being vandalised not long ago. PTL! He gave her the desires of her heart.

So this mong-cha-cha tourist guide did well that day. And here are some photos taken by Jean of her tourist guide for the day chasing after the children on bicycles.

I Have Decided

...that from now on this blog is going to be all about inconsequential thoughts, humdrum happenings and general information.