Sunday, May 31, 2009

Richard Schmidt's God Seekers

Richard H. Schmidt (2008), God Seekers: Twenty Centuries of Christian Spiritualities , Grand Rapids, MI:Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Hardcover

This is an interesting book to read because it gives an overview of Christian spirituality by focusing on the biography of a certain person as representative of that spirituality. It is appropriate that the book should be entitled Christian spiritualities as each of the person mentioned represent a type of Christian spirituality. I am beginning to recognise and appreciate that there is not one Christian spirituality but many Christian spiritualities.

Schmidt offers the definition of Christian spirituality as "any spirituality which sees God in Jesus Christ." That's a great definition but it does not mention the role of the Holy Spirit and the telos of Christian spirituality.

There are 32 short biographies followed by a few quotations from each of the the person mentioned. Each forms a chapter and a type of spiritualities. The first biography is of Irenaues (early Christian spirituality) and ends with Rosemary Radford Ruether (Feminist spirituality). These make interesting reading but is just too brief. What make the chapters come alive is the beautiful line portraits of the persons mentioned drawn by Dean Mosher of Fairhope, Alabama where he drew from imagination, many of the the early spiritual writers who did not have any surviving portraits.

A good book for a general introduction to Christian spiritualities.

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The Pentecost Spirit

The latest from Thinking Faith...

The Pentecostal Spirit
How did the feast of Pentecost develop into the form that our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit now takes? In the first part of an article in which he unfolds our understanding of Pentecost, Nicholas Lash describes how a Jewish harvest feast gradually acquired new significance and changed over time to become Christian Pentecost, which we will celebrate on Sunday 31st May. Read >>

The Pentecostal Spirit: Part two
What does the account of the ‘descent of the Spirit’ in the Acts of the Apostles tell us about the place of the paschal mystery in the life of the Church? In part two of a study of the feast of Pentecost, Nicholas Lash explains that we cannot comprehend the sending of the Holy Spirit without recognising how it relates to the Easter event. Read >>

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Pentecost Sunday

For the Feast of Pentecost, I present the collection of slides starting with Holy Trinity picture, followed by the image of dove representing the Holy Spirit and collection of art clips of the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles and Our Lady gathered in the Upper Room after Our Lord Ascension. The next several images show descend of the Holy Spirit as hand painted in the manuscript of the Holy Scriptures. These are followed by Holy Spirit stained glass collection. The slide show is concluded by the vintage Holy Card of children receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The background music is Veni Creator Spiritus and Veni Sancte Spiritus chants by Benedictine Monks of San Domingo Silos Monastery and Come Holy Spirit hymn from the track "God of Loveliness" by Singing Nuns from Spokane, WA.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Movie Review on Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation also known in short as Terminator 4 continues the hugely popular Terminator series which started with the movie, The Terminator (1984).

The year is 2018 and the "future" largely anticipated in the three movies, comics, novels, and a television series is here. John Connor is a leader in the Resistance movement against Skynet, an artificial intelligence intent on the annihilation of all human beings on earth. Those who are familiar with the Terminator storyline will know that Skynet achieved consciousness in 2004 and launched all nuclear missiles causing massive destruction in a day called "Judgment Day."

I enjoyed this movie. The story telling is fast paced, with lots of boom and mayhem, plenty of new Terminator machines and a thought provoking plot.

[warning: movie spoilers]

Basically this is about redemption. What will redemption involve- for a person and for humanity on the whole? The movie begins in 2003 when death roll Marcus Wright, a convicted repentant prisoner signed over his body to Cyberdyne for research purposes. Marcus was executed by a lethal injection. Judgment Day happened the next year.

Marcus was awakened in 2018 by a Resistance attack on the lab which stored his body. As the story develops, he found that he was a cyborg with a human heart and mechanical body and a chip implanted in his brain. Unwittingly he was part of Skynet's plan to trap John Connor, who has by now became an influential voice of the Resistance, though not one of its upper echelon leaders.

Marcus Wright is the hero of this movie. He was given a second chance for life by Skynet. He used his life well in saving Kyle Reese, a teenager he befriended (the future John Connor's father) and John Connor. In doing so, he shows how human beings are different from machines. Human beings have free will, compassion and moral conscience. By saving John Connor, Marcus actually offers salvation for John Connor himself, and through Connor, the human race. Though the movie is appropriately named Terminator Salvation, it may also be titled Terminator Redemption.

Most if not all of us have regrets in this life. By our actions or inactions, we have hurt people and cause undesirable consequences. I wonder how will we redeem our regrets if we are given a chance. And if we are given a second chance at life, how will we live the new life?

As I have mention in finding biblical allusions in apocalyptic stories there is much we can learn from the Terminator series. John Connor is often taken as the archetype of Jesus Christ, the saviour of humankind. Personally the message I have is not that of John Connor at all. The message is our present civilisation that seeks to turn us into machines in the name of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. This is closely linked with our embrace of technology. In a way Judgment day have occurred because we have surrendered our individuality and humanity. Neil Postman mentioned 20 years ago that the media is entertainment. Well, the media have become entertainment with short sound bytes and talking heads.

More than that, we have become the media. We given up our individuality when we give up our privacy. Through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and through out blogs we open our privacy for the world to view. Through technology we also gave up our humanity. Social policies are determined by statistical analysis programs that determine the cost-benefits. People has become a number, a statistic in the enormous database, the ones and the zeroes that define our humanity in the digital era.

As the human fought back in post-apocalyptic Judgment Day, we need to fight back against the dehumanisation of our society. I am not a Luddite. I love technology as much as the next guy. However we must be aware of what technology is doing to us as individuals and as human beings.

"but we will stand against Skynet's army as one. And we will win as one. My name is John Connor, and if you are listening to this, you are the resistance."

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

PhD Dissertation Writing

Spent the last 5 days in my study writing my dissertation, all 277 pages of it.

Kids, don't try this at home. It's hazardous to your health!



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Science and the Mystic

Top Story
Image by Amanda Duffy
Science and the Mystic
What are we to make of the variety of spiritual experiences?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Downward Mobility

The Case for Downward Mobility
Why did Francis insist that his followers live in absolute poverty?

Francis was the son of a cloth merchant, yet after his conversion he wore a miserable, threadbare patched tunic.

When his father begged Assisi's bishop to stop his crazy son from giving away family property, Francis stood in front of the bishop and stripped himself naked to proclaim that he had no father but God.

Finish this article from

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Prequel to Terminator Salvation

The prequels are out and I am enjoying them. This novel is rather good reading.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Goodbye Ralph Winter

Reposted from Christianity Today liveblog

May 23, 2009 6:49AM
Missiologist Ralph D. Winter (1925-2009)

His vision for world evangelization was "breathtaking" and his influence "globally seismic."

by David Neff

Veteran missiologist Ralph D. Winter passed away last Wednesday, May 20. (Hat tips to @jhgrantjr and @edstetzer for alerting us via Twitter.)

According to the US Center for World Mission website, Winter died peacefully at home in Pasadena, California, "surrounded by three of his four daughters, his wife Barb, and a few friends."

Winter had been battling cancer and had been weakened by radiation treatments. He was 84.

In 2005, Winter was named by Time magazine as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals. His speech at the 1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is credited with focusing evangelical mission activity on "unreached people groups."

Time commented:

Even at 80, Winter generates new strategies from his California-based Frontier Mission Fellowship.

Trained as a civil engineer, linguist, cultural anthropologist and Presbyterian minister, he describes himself as a "Christian social engineer." Working through the William Carey International University and the U.S. Center for World Mission, which he founded, he is producing a new generation of Christian message carriers, some native, ready to venture out to places with such ready-to-be-ministered flocks as Muslim converts to Christianity and African Christians with heretical beliefs. Says Winter: "It's this movement, not the formal Christian church, that's growing. That's our frontier."

An abundance of information is available at, including a timeline of "milestone events" and an extensive autobiographical account of his engagement with modern missions and missiology.

Also worth reading: Pastor John Piper's personal tribute to Winter. "His vision of the advance of the gospel was breathtaking," writes Piper, calling Winter's emphasis on unreached peoples "globally seismic in the transformation of missions."


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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 21

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 21 (May 24 to May 30, 2009), is now available. The following articles are featured in this issue:

1 Timothy 2:8
A Sermon
By: Scott Lindsay
Webpage PDF Word

A Sermon on Isaiah 57:15
An Article
By: Geehardus Vos
Webpage PDF Word

The Doctrine of Original Sin
An Article
By: Jeremy T. Alder
Webpage PDF Word

Gilead's Balm
A Sermon
By: Murdoch Campbell
Webpage PDF Word

Freedom of the Will, Part I
An Article
By: Jonathan Edwards
Webpage PDF Word

They Will Rest from Their Labor
An Article
By: Kim Riddlebarger
Webpage PDF Word


Friday, May 22, 2009

Finding Biblical Lessons in Apocalyptic Stories

In his Christianity Today online article, Jesus and the Terminator, writer Peter Chattaway looks for biblical allusions in the Terminator stories. He notes,

In the first Terminator, Kyle is sent back in time to protect Sarah, and although he does not know it, he will also become John's father. Thus, the film portrays an annunciation of sorts. As the Terminator robot kills everyone who comes between itself and Sarah, the film evokes parallels to the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem. And just as the birth of Christ took place against the backdrop of a cosmic war in which the final outcome was never really in doubt, so too the birth of John Connor is soaked in the blood of battles he is destined to fight. (It's also tempting to suggest that John Connor's initials might have messianic parallels, but they are also the initials of writer-director James Cameron, so who knows?)

The sequels complicate matters in a number of ways, as more robotic assassins and more protectors go back in time to fight over John's life, but the allusions remain. The second film reveals that the day the war with the machines began is called Judgment Day. A spin-off television series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, also makes explicit use of biblical themes, partly because one of its lead actors, Richard T. Jones, who plays fbi agent James Ellison, is an openly devout Christian. Read more

I have been a fan of Terminator stories since the first movie (you may ask what I am not a fan of. Well, I must confess I am not a fan of watching football. No, don't throw that stone!). I have been reading Terminators novels, have my collection of the Terminator movie DVDs and Terminator comics. I even played Terminator computer games which I have truly enjoyed.

Sarah Connors remains an enigma in the series. According to Chattaway, Sarah Connors is responsible for the whole war! He derived this from watching deleted scenes in the T1 DVD.

Just as the Terminator came back in time to kill Sarah and prevent the birth of John Connor, thereby inadvertently drawing Kyle Reese back in time and guaranteeing the birth of John Connor, so too Sarah Connor tried to destroy Cyberdyne and prevent the birth of Skynet, thereby inadvertently drawing the Terminator towards the Cyberdyne factory and guaranteeing the rise of Skynet. And this point -- this similarity between the two characters' actions, and the consequences of their actions -- is underscored by visual motifs such as the phone-book scanning.

Read his article and link to YouTube to watch the deleted scenes and decide. For me, the Sarah Connors Chronicles now showing on television is giving me headaches in the way the Terminator story universe is being abused. Nevertheless, as a faithful fan, I shall continue to watch the television series.

All this to prepare me for the Terminator movie, Terminator:Salvation. Look for my coming review of the movie in this blog. In the immortal words of the Terminator, "I'll be back!"

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Speak the Gospel

Top Story
St. Francis Preaching before Honorius III, Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)
Speak the Gospel
Use deeds when necessary.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Movie Review of Angels and Demons

The movie version of Dan Brown (2000)'s Angels and Demons is being shown in cinemas with hardly a stir from the Christian communities. This is in marked contrast to the previous movie The Da Vinci Code. The Da Vinci Code caused so much controversies that I remember speaking to a capacity standing-room only audience about it.

In this movie, Tom Hanks reprises his role as Professor Robert Langdon, a Harvard University Symbologist. If you want to learn more about a secret organisation named the Illuminati, this is not the movie to see. If you are interested in the inner working of the Vatican, to discover if there is any conflict between science and religion, and if antimatter may be used as a source of energy, this is not the movie to see.

If you want to see how the excellent plot and story telling by Dan Brown is converted into a movie, this is a movie to watch. If you can suspend your sense of belief in reality and in problem solving, this is a movie to watch. If a middle age slightly overweight Tom Hanks running around Rome do not offend you, this is a movie to watch.

The movie is fast moving and involves Robert Langdon solving problems by using his knowledge of symbols. Though there is violence, there is no sex. Either Tom Hanks is incapable or there is no time is unknown. The movie takes place within 24 hours period.

I enjoyed the mention of numerous churches and locations in Rome during the movie. I have visited most of the places mentioned except the papal office and the Vatican archives. The movies never used any of the actual churches as locations. Still it is memorable to see the replicas on the big screen. I only wish I have visited the Vatican archives (not open to visitors) and see the archives for myself. Still it is good to see the artworks:

For a movie involving secret societies and conspiracy theories, it is worth watching. The company you watch the movie with is also important because it is more enjoyable with the right people.

Habakkuk and the Angel in Chigi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo

West Ponente at Saint Peter's Square

The Ecstasy of St Teresa sculpture at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria

Castel Sant'Angelo from the bridge. The angel statue on the top depicts the angel from whom the building derives its name.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Movie Review on Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The movie

The movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine attempts to trace in chronological order the life story of James Howlett Logan a.k.a Wolverine. For me, a fan of Wolverine , it has taken me at least three decades to learn the life-story of Logan. From Wikipedia

The character first appeared in Incredible Hulk #180 (October 1974) and was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita Sr., who designed the character, and was first drawn for publication by Herb Trimpe.Wolverine later joined the X-Men's "All New, All Different" roster in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975). X-Men writer Chris Claremont played a significant role in the character's subsequent development as well as artist/writer John Byrne, who insisted on making the character older than the other X-Men. Artist Frank Miller collaborated with Claremont and helped to revise the character with a four-part eponymous limited series from September to December 1982 in which Wolverine's catch phrase, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice," debuted. Read more

We have been offered bits and pieces of his life-story: he is a mutant with incredible healing power, strong, short, hirsute (hairy), invulnerable with adamantium fused to his bones and have claws coming out of his knuckles. And there is this continual battle in him to control the amok berserker beast inside him which tends to take over. He is an amnesic with no memories of his previous life. Over the years, we learned that he is the result of project X (a US government covert scientific experiment). We also learned of his adventures in Japan, and in Majipoor as Patch. Recently we get to know more of his origins after Wanda (Scarlet Witch) in the series House of M changed reality and Logan got his memories back.

More of the definitive biography here at Marvel Universe

Hugh Jackman gives a good performance as James Logan. However, IMHO he is still too tall, too handsome and not hairy enough as Logan. Somehow, the movie tend to give too much information so at times it seems like a documentary. The fight scenes are good. There are some new mutants featured but it is good to see some familiar figures such as Gambit and Sabertooth (who do not look like the Sabertooth in the X-Men movies and comics).

Wolverine, like the Hulk reminds me of our dual nature - the good and the bad. This is often portrayed as an angel whispering in one of our ears and the devil whispering in the other. What we become depend on who we listen to. Unlike animals which seem to have one nature, human beings have two. This is why I like the comics cover Wolverine Origins #1. In the reflection in the pool, the wolf has one reflection while a beast is reflected back to that of Wolverine.

I admire Wolverine because of his self knowledge. He knows that he is good but is capable of great evil. He knows that he is dangerous when he gives into his bestial side. I guess it is the same for all of us. We are all aware of the beast inside us. It may be an insidious anger which may flare out into a rage at a moment's irritation. Then we become like the Hulk. Or the capacity to do damage or a danger to others as in Wolverine. Comics (and movies based upon comics characters) have become the modern mythology. Characters like the Hulk and Wolverine have taken over from Odin and Thor or Zeus and Hercules as mythological characters which teaches us about our own nature.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reflections from Spiritual Formation on the Run (2)

More meditations from Pastor Paul Long

Here's chapter 12 from Alex Tang's
"Spiritual Formation on the Run" and some of my reflections. (BTW, I hope to blog on chapter 13 in a few weeks as they are closely related .... )

The Silence in the Noise

A legend has it that there was a temple built on an island which held a thousand bells, big and small, fashioned by the finest craftsmen in the world. Whenever the wind blew or a storm raged, all the bells would peal out in a symphony that send the heart of the hearer into raptures.

But over the centuries, the island sank into the sea, and with it, the temple bells. It is said that the bells continued to peal out ceaselessly, and could be heard by anyone who would listen. Inspired by this legend, a young man travelled thousands of miles, determined to hear those bells. He sat for days on the shore, facing the vanished island, and listened with all his might. But all he could hear was the sound of the sea. He made every effort to block it out. But to no avail, the sound of the sea seemed to flood his world.

He kept at his task for weeks. Each time he got disheartened he would listen to the village elders who spoke with passion of the mysterious legend. Then his heart will be aflame... only for him to be discouraged again when weeks of further effort yielded no results.

Finally, he decided to give up. Perhaps he was not destined to hear the bells. Perhaps the legend was not true. It was his final day, and he went to the shore to say goodbye to the sea, the sky, the wind, and the coconut trees. He lay on the sand, and for the first time listened to the sound of the sea. Soon he was so lost in the sound that he was barely conscious of himself, so deep was the silence the sound produced.

In the depth of that silence, he heard it! The twinkle of a tiny bell followed by another, and another, and another.., and soon every one of the thousand temple bells was pealing out in harmony, and his heart was rapt in joyous ecstasy.

This story teaches us two important lessons about listening and awareness. First, all of us have a desire to hear God's voice. We want to hear what he is saying to us. We want him to speak peace and comfort to our trials and tribulations. We have been taught early in our Christian life to set aside time for prayer and Bible reading. We call it the "quiet time.” We are told that if we have our quiet time regularly, we will hear the voice of God. If not audibly, at least we know that he speaks to us in answered prayers or through the Bible passages we read.

Two things can happen with our quiet time. One is that we come too busy and do not have time to pray and read the Bible. Then we feel guilty, and we think we have lost the opportunity to hear God's voice. The other possibility is that we continue faithfully in our prayer and Bible reading, but we find it dry and boring after a while. We also find that we do not hear God speaking to us. We must be aware that God speaks to us in many ways. He speaks to us through Word. He also speaks to us in our prayers, through other people, circumstances and dreams, and in our daily living.

For those of us who are too busy for prayer and Bible reading, aware that God still speaks to us in our busy lives. For those who disciplined in prayer and Bible reading, be careful that we do not try too hard. Like the young man on the beach who tried so hard to hear the bells by consciously shutting out the ocean sounds, we too may try too hard to hear God's voice. In the spiritual life, it is not the effort that counts. Spiritual growth is not something we build, but who we become. Sometimes, we try too hard in our spiritual life. For example, we want to have faith. Now, faith is not something we can create. There is nothing we can do to make us have more faith. Faith is a gift, something that only God can give. The only thing we can do is ask God for it.

Many of us live hectic, busy and noisy lives. A recent scientific study showed that cities have a high level of ambient noise. This level of noise can be disruptive to our well-being if we are exposed to it for too long. The noise can also cause deafness. Yet it is in our hectic, busy and noisy lives that God speaks to us. Unfortunately, many of us are already deaf to him because we have not learnt to embrace the noise until we can hear the silence within. The noisy world is like a weather storm, a typhoon. There is always a centre called the "eye" of the storm. This "eye" is a calm, quiet and peaceful area within the raging storm. We must learn to be aware of the noise around us. We can embrace the noise of the world and move beyond it into the silence within. It is in this silence that we hear the voice of God.

How do we not try too hard, and enter into the silence of our busy and noisy lives? We begin by being aware that God is in our busy and noisy lives. God is not only just present in church on Sunday. We do not leave God behind when we leave the church building after a service. God is not only present in our daily lives, but he is also speaking to us all the time. Speaking to God is prayer and Paul has taught us to pray "unceasingly." This means that it is possible to be speaking and listening to God 24/7. Since God is already with us, there is no need to try too hard to reach him. If possible, set aside some time for him alone; this is your quiet time. If not, listen for him in the happenings of your daily lives. Try to be aware of God's presence and voice in the routine, mundane activities of your daily lives. Catch a glimpse of God in a sunrise, a beautiful flower, a friendly smile, a loving touch, an opportunity to offer help, and an opportunity to receive help. When we become aware of God's presence in our lives, each encounter is dazzling, like a sudden burst of joy. Time seems to stand still. There a deep, warm silence. And in the silence you will hear the voice of God who calls you his beloved. It is possible to hear the harmony of a thousand bells.

BTW this chapter was "coincidentally" related to my last Sunday's sermon. :-) How amazing is that? To me it is, ok? :-)

I have been well aware of the fact for a long time that God speaks to us in that quiet gentle voice when we learn to be silent. Verses like "Be still and know that I am God", powerful episodes like God speaking to Elijah when he was depressed .... It has been a good reminder for me that in the hustle and bustle of life, I need to be aware of the noise around me and find God in the centre . As I reflected on this Psalm 29 added for me an additional perspective - that God can also be found in the noise and chaos! The LORD is in in control of all the "violence" and is Almighty. The more chaotic things are, the more I can be assured that God is still in control! Sounds contradictory I know but .... not sure how to express it :-)

I love to the reminder that I can and should try to catch a glimpse of God in everyday things like a smile, the sunrise etc. For me God blessed me by opening my eyes to something I have always seemed to miss until just a couple of weeks ago. THE RAINBOW! (Yes, I know the colours are wrong :-))

Now everyday I look out for rainbows (as it is the rainy seasons) and almost every day I see rainbows! NZ rainbows are incredible, I must try to carry a camera with me and take one and post it up! In Malaysia, I mostly see small incomplete looking faint faded looking ones. Here they are HUGE and WIDE so clear. I think it must have something to with the better air quality, and the fact that there are more areas where the land is level as well as the very low angle of the sun can be blinding) a few hours after sunrise and before sunset. It's as if the rainbows end is actually touching the ground.

Wow ... long post so I had better end here with this great true story from an old copy of Leadership magazine that has stuck to my mind for 20 years or more now. I can't find the actual original wordings now so excuse me if you have seen it elsewhere. This is my years of retelling of the story, adding my own sensory details :-) ...

Two friends were walking together along one of the busiest streets of New York city, during peak hours when the city was at its busiest and nosiest. As they were walking, one of them (who happened to be a Native American Indian ... a Sioux I think) suddenly stopped, grabbed his friend's hand and said, "Hey, wait, I hear a cricket!" His friend (sorry it is the white guy!) looked at his friend with disbelief and said, "You can hear a cricket? Here in the middle of the busiest street in NY city?" You got to be crazy. There's no a cricket here and even if there was, there's no way you can hear a cricket in the midst of all this noise. Why we can barely hear each other talking!"

His friend, unperturbed responds, "There is a cricket somewhere here. I tell you, I can hear it." He stops, listens intently and then with his friend moves towards a street light where there is a small plant next to it. They both bend down to look and to the amazement of his friend, there it was, a small cricket!

His friend looks at him with amazement and asks, How could you hear that tiny cricket in the midst of all this noise?" His Native American Indian friend looks at him with a smile and says, "You can if you ears are tuned to listen for such sounds." And then he continues, "Let me show you something". He puts his had in his pocket and takes out some loose change. Then he deliberately opens his hand and lets the coins drop. And immediately the people hurrying in the streets to get to their destinations, instinctively stop and their all eyes turn towards the sound of the coins hitting the pavement.

The man turns to his friend with a smile and says, "Despite their busyness and all the noise, people stopped and looked. It all depends on what our ears are tuned to listen for."

Paul's other reflections:
Omission and Commission
A Burning Bush

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Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime

Leonard Nimoy, who reprises his role as "Spock Prime" in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, spoke with SCI FI Wire's Staci Layne Wilson about the new movie and coming back to the franchise that made him famous.

read more from


Monday, May 18, 2009

What is Paediatrics?

Paediatrics is not the list of signs and symptoms that is listed in the textbooks or in an online database. It is a young child that suffers from what was described on that list. This child is dependent on adults; such as parents, grand-parents or others who love them, see to their needs and provide comfort for them. These adults in turn, reside in the context of relatives, communities, cultural and religious beliefs. A bigger circle will be the country they reside in, the standard of medical care and the availability of such care. Each of these factors affect the little chap who manifest these signs and symptoms that you have memorised. This little child has a name which is not a hospital bed number nor is it the name of a disease. He or she looks to you, with your evident-based medical knowledge, experienced clinical practices, and refined clinical acumen for help. They want to have relief from their sufferings so that they can get on with their business of growing up. Paediatrics is not about treating diseases. Paediatrics is about relationships.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Random Glimpses of My Desktop (11)

Under special arrangement with Japanese manufacturer Kotobukiya, DC Direct presents this deluxe 1:6 scale vinyl statue of the Batman. This statue stands approximately 11.5" x tall 11.5" x wide 10.25" deep and is packaged in a 4-color box. Only 3,000 of these hand-painted statues are available for sale and I got one of them :)

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Does Prayer helps Healing?

Does prayer help the sick? Read these articles and let me know what you think.

Top Story
What Do Prayer Studies Prove?
When a landmark study suggests that intercessory prayer may actually hurt patients instead of help them, you have to wonder.

read more

Related Elsewhere:

For more analysis of previous prayer studies, see

Christianity Today has more articles on science & health and prayer & spirituality including:

Man Up, Christians Resisting the health and longevity gospel. (March 26, 2009)
Does Faith Prolong Suffering for Cancer Patients? A new study suggests that cancer patients who are religious are more likely to seek measures that attempt to prolong life. (March 26, 2009)
Doctors Who Pray, Part 1 (of 3) How the medical community is discovering the healing power of prayer. (January 6, 1997)

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Mind and Space


Friday, May 15, 2009

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 20

Some interesting reading here

Reformed Perspectives Magazine Volume 11, Number 20 (May 17 to May 23, 2009), is now available. The following articles are featured in this issue:

1 Timothy 2:3-7
A Sermon
By: Scott Lindsay
Webpage PDF Word

The Assurance of Salvation
An Article
By: Sinclair B. Ferguson
Webpage PDF Word

The Heavenly Foretaste
A Sermon
By: Murdoch Campbell
Webpage PDF Word

The Lord’s Prayer, X
An Article
By: Robert Traill
Webpage PDF Word

His Number is 666
An Article
By: Kim Riddlebarger
Webpage PDF Word

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I cannot...

I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.

Thomas Merton

picture source


Monday, May 11, 2009

Googling for Answers

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

How to be the World's Greatest Mum

Sermon Statement

Seven principles of how to be the world’s greatest mother

Read more

Download sermon (MP3) here

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Vesak Day

Wishing all my Buddhist readers an enlightening Vesak Day.

picture source

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Jack Higgins' A Darker Place

I love Jack Higgins' books and this, A Darker Place (2009) is his latest release. Jack Higgins writes about tough men, often with military or paramilitary background who are trained killers. They are persistent, resilient and often are willing to sacrifice themselves for what they believe in. Unfortunately they often find themselves manipulated by power beyond their control. These powers are often covert operatives of the world's secret services. In each of these books, these hard men has to search and wrestle with their conscience to do what is right.

My favourite Jack Higgins book remains The Eagle has Landed and I loved the movie version staring Michale Caine.

Jack Higgins whose real name is Harry Patterson is one of the top selling Irish thriller writer in the world. He was in the army before he left to become a teacher and later found his true calling as a writer.

Series (from Wiki)

Paul Chavasse

  • The Testament of Caspar Schultz (1962) aka The Bormann Testament'
  • Year of the Tiger (1963)
  • The Keys of Hell (1965)
  • Midnight Never Comes (1966)
  • Dark Side of the Street (1967)
  • A Fine Night for Dying (1969)
  • Day of Judgment (1978)

Simon Vaughn

  • The Savage Day (1972)
  • Day of Judgement (1979) (a number of sources have this listed as featuring Paul Chavasse, but they are in error; this is a prequel to The Savage Day)

Nick Miller (writing as Harry Patterson)

Liam Devlin

Dougal Munro and Jack Carter

Sean Dillon

Rich and Jade (written with Justin Richards)

  • Sure Fire (2006)
  • Death Run (2007)
  • Sharp Shot (2009)
  • First Strike (2009)

Non-Series Novels

Writing as Harry Patterson

  • Sad Wind from the Sea (1959)
  • Cry of the Hunter (1960)
  • The Thousand Faces of Night (1961)
  • Comes the Dark Stranger (1962)
  • Hell Is Too Crowded (1962)
  • The Dark Side of the Island (1963)
  • Pay the Devil (1963)
  • Thunder At Noon (1964) aka Dillinger
  • Wrath of the Lion (1964)
  • A Phoenix in the Blood (1964)
  • The Iron Tiger (1966)
  • Toll for the Brave (1971)
  • To Catch a King (1979) aka The Judas Gate

Writing as Hugh Marlowe

  • Seven Pillars to Hell aka Sheba (1963)
  • Passage By Night (1964)
  • A Candle for the Dead (1966) aka The Violent Enemy

Writing as James Graham

  • A Game for Heroes (1970)
  • The Wrath of God (1971)
  • The Khufra Run (1972)
  • The Run to Morning (1974) aka Bloody Passage

Writing as Jack Higgins

  • East of Desolation (1968)
  • In the Hour Before Midnight (1969) aka The Sicilian Heritage
  • Night Judgement At Sinos (1970)
  • The Last Place God Made (1971)
  • The Savage Day (1972)
  • A Prayer for the Dying (1973)
  • Storm Warning (1976)
  • The Valhalla Exchange (1976)
  • Solo (1980) aka The Cretan Lover
  • Luciano's Luck (1981)
  • Exocet (1983)
  • A Season in Hell (1988)
  • Memoirs of a Dance Hall Romeo (1989)
  • Sheba (1995)

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