Thursday, July 30, 2009

Failed communication with most people

It's a fact. I have heard this since I was a kid. The first recollection that made a huge impact on me was from a much older sister at church whom i admire for her talents and wits. She wrote me a note saying that one of my greatest weakness is that I come across most of the time as arrogant and difficult. I read it, locked it in my private "drawer -of-everything-important" and took it out to read ever so often.

Communication is not my strength (ironic for the fact that I am an interpreter by profession and linguistics is part of my post graduate pursuit). Guess all the knowledge in the world does not help one to comunciate better.

I consciously make the effort to express things as plain as possible. The response I get: Sam you make things complicated. When I try to ask for clarifcations, people think I am challening them with rhetorics. I tried my best to ask in the least intimidating manner possible. But I failed, time and again...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Memories are made of these…

My mind is in a mess, most of the time. Why is it so natural that the things I find it hardest to forget is how I have been mistreated and how I have treated others well, but it’s also the easiest for me to forget how others have treated me well and how I have mistreated others? Kyrie eleison

Saturday, July 25, 2009

God is Good but He is not Safe

The subheading of the pastor‘s sermon pierced my thoughts, the very fact that it still kept resounding in my mind after a few weeks bears witness to it. Thoughts like these don’t happen often and never expected attending a one off Sunday service at Kampar Methodist during the Festival of Minds at UTAR would leave an afterthought lasting weeks. I preached about God’s mercy and his righteousness but this very attribute never did come across so clearly than that Sunday.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! Psalms: 111:10

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Near Perfect Afternoon

Earthly Pleasures - my favaourite scones, yes I am a self declared expert on scones. The best ones is surprisingly not in the highlands. Carcosa has good ones but quite pricey. Stumbled upon the ones at Delicious at Midvalley. Good. The one at Lakeview is not good but the view make up for it.

Eternal Destiny - Having the chance to re-read Van Til's Christian Apologetics, the apologist I owe my entire system of how I see philosophy and theology in its organic relationship. A struggle since undergraduate days. Shall put in a nutshell some of the most important principles Van Til has laid down. Look out for it if you ever wonder on questions like authority vs reason and is there really a point of contact for Christians and atheist as well as agnostics.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pearl Corns of Cameron Highlands 珍珠玉蜀黍

Every other person who has been here talks about the corns. Waited for the rain to stop and charged to the night market skipping dinner to get the best of corns. There were so many stalls selling corns and at prices so varied, my skepticism went on high alert. I mean, how can they all be the same with such varied prices. One stall at RM 10 for 4 and not willng to budge an inch on the price while another sells RM 10 for 10! Randomly, I bought RM 10 for 7 (middle path?) and settled back because my back started aching a bit (still recovering from the fall during mountain biking). Still feeling something amiss, I stopped and asked. Here comes the revelation:

There are two types of so pearl corns - the ones from the highlands that takes 100 days to mature and each plant only bears one corn while the one brought up from the plains to sell takes half the time to mature and each plant can bear two to three corns each time. The practical difference for the one eating it? The real highland corns are much sweeter and juicier. But to the untrained, they look the same. What I learned from the sellers?

This is the 15 year old guy who sells real pearl corns. People there call him Ah Hong which he was quick to respond that it's just his nickname. Who would name their children Ah Hong he protested with cheekiness. Anyway, his dad owns the farm, and he claims he will be there to man the stall every night on Fri and Sat and the mornings of Sun. He reminded me to mention that his stall is the one next to the only home made ice cream stall (by the way, the beer flavoured ice cream I bought tasted terrible. Could not finish even half. Can you imagine Samuel not finishing his ice cream!)

The real on the right put next to the fake one. By looking, a fool would say it's the same. The intelligent will say they are similar and try to find the similarities. The wise, would look for the differences and discern the real from the fake. Now, says who philosophy is useless for daily life.

The kernels are bigger and the cob is smaller for the real one. But the real test is putting them into your mouth and taste the difference!

Beauty Pageant in Heaven?

A sign language friend initiated a message saying, “Hey, good looking.” I was dumbfounded. She must have gotten it all wrong, wrong window or wrong Samuel. Physical aesthetics has never been my trait. Then again, it could be the Chinese way of calling anyone in the street, leng chai or leng lui, for the sake of it. I am just thick skin maybe. Anyhow, it got me thinking. NO, not about how good I may actual look but about how God would have perceived beauty. Most of us would be familiar with the book of Samuel (yes, the prophet, NOT Samuel Chew) that the Lord sees not as man sees and that He looks on the heart. Certainly that’s a biblical truth.

So, what beauty pageant would there be in heaven if there’s really one? I once sat with a very old lady on the way to Singapore. Her feet was rather feeble as she was already way past 80. Though I was trying to catch some sleep, there’s just something about her that compelled me to start a small talk. Surprisingly, she started the chat instead (and I am pretty certain that it’s NOT because she thinks I look good). The more she spoke, the more I felt the joy that exuberates from her life. She is single and for many decades her life has been to serve the poor and wounded in India. To them, she also brought the gospel. When I reflect on her feeble feet as she was trying to get on the bus, I look at mine and felt ashamed. I’ve traveled so extensively but how often did I bring them good news. My feet may still be strong and brought me far, but how beautiful are they in God’s eyes. If there’s a beauty pagent in heaven, I feel unworthy of the preliminaries even.

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" Roman 10:15