Wednesday, 31 October 2007

All Saints' Day (Nov 1st)

All Saints' Day, celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost in honour of all the saints known and unknown, remembers all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven (i.e. entered Heaven). Halloween is the day preceding it, and is so named because it is "The Eve of All Hallows" (All Hallows being another name for All Saints' Day). And All Saints' Day is tomorrow! So how do you plan to send ur Hallowmas (yep, yet another name for the feast day)?

Btw, All Saints' Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. And what is a HDoO, u may ask? Holy Days of Obligation or Holidays of Obligation, less commonly called Feasts of Precept, are the days on which, as canon 1247 of the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church states, the faithful (Catholics) are obliged to participate in the Mass. Moreover they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Day_of_Obligation). In other words HDoO are like Sabbath days (Remember the 3rd Commandment? "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy"?)

Today's Reading

Lookee here- more readings, this time for today Wed 31 Oct on Luke 13: 22-30

The Narrow Door

Then Jesus traveled throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” So he said to them, “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, ‘Lord, let us in!’ But he will answer you, ‘I don’t know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table in the kingdom of God. But indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Why it is wrong to hate Jews.

1) Racism is an ugly thing. Besides, to hate Jews is to side with Hitler and his Nazis. And since they killed millions of people, I'd rather not do that.

2) To hate Jews because they killed Palestinians is to say they have less right to kill Palestinians than Palestinians have to kill them. My opinion is no one have the right to kill each other. So until one group stopped killing the other I'll withold judgment on who's right and who's wrong. Besides, for Muslims to side with Palestinians because they are Muslims is the same as the Holy See siding with Irish terrorists just because they are Catholics. And since the Holy See didn't do that, (and if they had I'll leave the Catholic Church instantly), the Malaysian government had little justification in siding with the Palestinians.

3) Since when is it morally right for a race to be punishable for the sins of a few of them? Granted, Israel did do violent things to Palestinians in the name of subduing them, and "an eye for an eye" is never right. But those Palestinians never heard of peaceful resolution? Of Gandhi and his peaceful protest? Did they think that they would be able to cow an entire nation through murderous means?

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

What kind of person is Dr. M (Malaysia's ex-PM)?

He seemed a bit racist. This I got from his 2003 OIC Summit speech, and I quote:

"We Muslims are actually very strong, 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them...(they are) the enemy allied with most powerful nations." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahathir)

Now who can blame me if I call him racist? Except, of course, people who think he's right... and I've actually met one. A teacher, no less. Let's hope this teacher doesn't spread this type of idiocy around. Exactly why I think it's idiocy... let's talk about that later.

And he also seemed a bit of a hypocrite. I mean a person who says racism against the Chinese is bad but racism against Jews is ok ? What's that? And what about all those comments about Malaysia becoming a ploice state? Did he actually believe that Badawi can change a fully democratic country into a police state within a span of a few years? If Malaysia is indeed a police state, it's because Dr. M helped make it so... and Badawi is continuing his work.

But his daughter seems OK. And seems to love him very much. And that convinces me to give Dr M the benefit of the doubt. And besides, it's not Catholic to judge. And the state of Dr. M's soul is between him and God.

Today's Reading

Here's more readings for today Mon 30 Oct (Luke 13:18-21):

On the Kingdom of God

Thus Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the wild birds nested in its branches.” Again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all the dough had risen.”

From what I understand, the kingdom of God is more of a state than a place, much like a church is not a place of worship but a group of people worshipping the Trinitarian God. The kingdom of God produces a transformation for the better in those who receive the new life won by Jesus Christ on Calvary thru baptism and lifelong relationship with Him.

P.S. I'm thinking of adding more readings to this daily Today's Reading. What do YOU think?

Monday, 29 October 2007

Just so tired...

I'm tired. Not of the Lord or His church (that I will never be!), but of trying to be successful in the secular material world. I find myself weak and with no hope that I'll ever be stronger. I hear talks about money but they don't touch my heart 'cause I don't think I'll ever get that money. For unlike the promise of God I have to work hard to fulfill the promise of wealth and success- and I don't think I can. Now I'll bet u r thinking, "What a loser!" right now, and it's true. I AM a Loser. In fact I'll be suicidal except for the fact that the Lord doesn't want me to be so. Does the Lord want me to be wealthy and successful? I don't know. Does He want me to be a good Catholic? Definitely! Will I ever be a succesful, wealth Catholic? I have absolutely no idea. I guess I just have to trust that He wants the best for me, and being successful and wealthy is (hopefully) a part of that. I wish I know, though, whether I'll be successful and wealthy. Then I can go forth confident in my future instead of praying and waiting despondently on the Lord.

P.S. For those of u lucky enough to strive for success in everything u do without a moment's hesitation and/or doubt, thank the Lord for this ability. And pray that the Lord will instill such a motivation in the rest of us.

Today's Reading

Some more readings from the Bible for Mon 29/10- Luke 13: 10-17

Healing on the Sabbath

Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, and a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. When Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which work should be done! So come and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, and lead it to water? Then shouldn’t this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?” When he said this all his adversaries were humiliated, but the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things he was doing.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Something I learnt...

I recently heard an analogy about the Trinitarian God (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit):

Imagine your life is you sailing thru an ocean, and your goal (God) is an island in the centre of the ocean. Now you may be far from the island, and you may be near it. But the distance doesn't matter; just because you're near it doesn't mean you're gonna get there. Which reminds me of the parable of the Prodigal Son: the younger son would be sailing quite far away from the island, while the elder son would be quite near it. How then can you land on the island? By making sure you're always heading towards the island. So if you're far away but you faithfully steer towards it, you'll get there. If you're near it but you're not heading towards it, obviously you're not going to get there. So no matter what you do or experience, as long as you keep your sight focussed on Jesus (ask Him to guide you in your daily decisions and forgive you if you sin, among others) you'll get to Him eventually. And that means Heaven.

Today's Reading

Here's some more readings, this time for Sun 28 Oct (Luke 18: 9-14):

The Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Jesus also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I guess the message of this parable is if you think all you need is God's laws to enter heaven (live a good life, don't sin, obey all the laws of the church and the Old Testament), you are in for a rude awakening. You need Jesus and His guidance to enter heaven. And a prideful attitude is hardly gonna allow you to humbly ask Him 4 guidance.

Saturday's Readings

Sorry 4 posting so late- here's the readings for 27 Oct (Luke 13: 1-9):

A Call to Repent

Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!”

These verses should strike a chord with those who had lost friends/family recently...

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Is Jesus the ONLY way?

Jesus told us "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That seems pretty clear. But why did He say that?

For one thing Jesus also said that only He has seen God the Father, and thus only He can show Him to everyone else. For another (and this is in my layperson opinion) no other religion in my knowledge portrays God as Jesus portrays Him. Many religions show God as either all-too-human, detached from human existence, more of a concept than a real person, etc. In other words, no other religion has a God that is transcendent (someone we cannot even begin to comprehend) yet immanent (someone we can get to know like a close friend). Sounds paradoxical, right? But He is so. What other God is portrayed as stictly just yet extremely merciful, all-powerful yet humble enough to bow to death for us? Most religions portray God as one or the other, while ours portray God as BOTH. Wow. An omniscient, omnipotent being who cares for us like a father, never forcing anything on us, always patient, always loving. And we know this because Jesus tells us so. So if we want to know, love and serve this God, then Jesus is indeed the one and only way (and truth and life).

Legion Assignment (Fri evening Malaysia time)

Did my Legion of Mary assignment which was to visit Cheshire Home (which provides infirmary care for severely disabled patients needing long-term treatment or care) of Kuching. I didn't get to talk to most of the Home's residents (who were to shy to do more than look at me with puppy-dog eyes). I managed to make at least one resident happy: Monica. Uproariusly, lol happy. Hopefully that's substantial enough to fulfill my assignment requirements.

Today's Reading

Here's some more readings for Fri 26 Oct, this time taken from Luke 12: 54-59.

Jesus also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A rainstorm is coming,’ and it does. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and there is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how can you not know how to interpret the present time?
“And why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, so that he will not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!”

*A side note- do you know why 'cloud rising in the west' means rain and 'south wind blowing' means scorching heat? The answer lies in the geography of the Palestinian lands. To the west is the sea, while to the south is more desert. So any cloud coming from the west will be full of moisture, while wind from the south will have absolutely none.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Converting to lovin' Jesus

How real is a conversion to Christianity? And I'm not talking about us Catholics, 'cause with our year-long Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (a process through which interested adults are gradually introduced to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life) with its numerous liturgical rites, anyone undergoing it faithfully has got to be ready to be a practising Catholic. I'm talking about door-to-door baptisms and email asking people to say a prayer to Jesus as a way to become a Christian. Before I continue, I must stress that whether a person accepts, loves and fully trusts Jesus is between that person and Jesus, not matter how he/she was baptised. After all, the Bible (1 John 2:27) states that "Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him." And the Holy Spirit is 110% capable of teaching anyone to accept, love and fully trust in Jesus all on His own.
But let's get back to the impromptu-baptism business. Can we seriously expect people who received minutes of sales talk about Jesus to be ready to accept Him? Especially if they have been inculcated with beliefs contrary to properly accepting, loving and trusting in Jesus? If even priests with their years of inculcation to fall away from Jesus, what about the aforementioned people? Baptising these people without proper follow-up and inculcation into Christianity is only going to damn them. So for those door-to-door baptisers: are you ready to be responsible for the state of the souls of those you baptise? To stand before the Lord on Judgement Day and tell him that no soul you baptised was lost due to your ignorance and/or negligence? If you are, well and good. Do continue your good work. If not, you know what to do.

Questions, questions...

1) Why did God allow many Christian denominations? Are they equally valid? How true are they to Jesus' teachings? Does it matter?

2) Why are Catholics forced to defend their faith against cartain Protestants? Why are there no Protestants defending their faith against Catholics? Why is it that with so much material out there defending Catholicism Protestant still accuse Catholics of being non-Christian?

3) Why would anyone choose to say no to Jesus' love? Is there any alternatives to this love offered by other faiths and philosophies?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Something interesting...

Tonight I attended two talks, one on the Theology of the Body and the other on prayer. I'm not going to go into either in detail- just highlight some quotes I heard in the two talks:

1)The price men pay for sex is love, while the price women pay for love is sex.
Male lust is men using women for physical gratification, while female lust is women using men for emotional gratification.

Nowadays it seems that women cannot commit sex crimes, either the legal sort or the moral sort. Maybe it's because men are perceived as the ones getting the most out of sex, while women are at best persuaded and at worst coerced into the act. But people don't have sex all the time, and when it comes to the non-sex part of the non-platonic relationship, women are seen as forcing men to go along with their whims. I guess the first part the can be considered physical gratification (sexual arousal on his part alone) while the second part is emotional gratification (getting men to fulfill their emotional needs alone). But who says these two situations are natural? Not God, that's for sure. God (the Trinitarian one, at least) wants men and women to be equal partners in a sexual relationship. After all, with marriage man and woman are supposed to become one flesh, like they were before God separated Eve from Adam. Therefore lust is something people should avoid. And by lust I mean focussing on one's needs alone to the exclusion of one's partner's needs. Lust is self-love, and thus goes against Jesus' second commandement: Love your neighbour as well as yourselves.

2) Just because your life is shit doesn't mean God can't use it to grow flowers.
Your vocation is you working with God for His purposes.

Prayer is not for God (the Trinitarian one). After all, He not only knows how to do His job, He has done it for eons without your help or worship. Prayer is for you. Through praying for others we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us for the benefit of others, and such a working cannot fail to change us for the better. Prayer also shows us that we are weak and powerless sinners, and therefore we need God. It creates in us a humble attitude, which helps us to humbly ask Him to make our lives better instead of simply presenting Him a list of demands as if He's a divine Santa Claus. Such an asking allows us to hear God's voice gently telling us what He wants us to do and/or be. God wants to be our friend, and us to be friends with one another (I could use the word love here, but love have many shades of meaning while friend have very few shades of meaning). So next time we pray, why don't we talk to Him like we talk to our good friends: tell Him our problems and ask Him to help us? Let's let Him find solutions to our problems and don't do the thinking for Him.

Dumbledore is gay: The Impact of (IMHO)

By now most Harry Potter fans with internet access will know about Albus being gay (don't tell me you don't know who Albus is). There's nothing in the books that clearly shows that he's homosexual, though that doesn't mean JKR cannot perceive him as gay. After all, she wrote the books, so she should have the say, while the rest of us should look on, give opinion on, and nothing more. Interestingly, at least one actor from the Harry Potter movies thought that his character(i.e. not Albus) is gay (and portrayed the character as such).



What do I think of this? That should be obvious from the previous paragraph. But many criticized JKR's decision. Some say it's a kind of gimmick on her part. Others say she tacked it on at the last minute (actually after the last minute if u know what I mean). Even worse, there are some who condemned her action for antigay reasons. I group those people with the ones who consider the Harry Potter books as teaching witchcraft and banning them. I wonder how is Harry Potter different from countless other magic-practising protagonists of fantasy novels? Why is he singled out by those witchhunters?

Today's Readings

Here's today's readings (Thu, 25-10-07) taken from Luke 12: 49-53:

I have come to bring fire on the earth – and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished! Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! For from now on there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Thoughts on fantastical magic.

Why do I like magic? (And by magic I mean Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons magic, not wicca & folklore magic.) Maybe because of its reality-altering consequences (u can be anything u want, u just need sufficient knowledge and/or power). Maybe because a toddler with magic is far, far more dangerous than Batman mixed with James Bond at the height of their careers. Maybe because magic is encompassing (who wants to be Cyclops when u can be Mimic- I know, neither of them are magical people, but that's the analogy that sprung to mind).

Just a thought- western magic as popularised by 20th century novels and films are (I think) a recent creation. In the past western magic was more superstitious- no elemental bolts or telekinesis, just plain old curses, charms, potions, etc. All those alleged witches killed in the past were not hunted down because of their earth-shattering powers, but because they allegedly cursed this and concocted that. More like alchemists than sorcerers (what self-respecting sorcerer would bend over a smelly old cauldron while cackling and looking extremely warty? What, never thought of glamour spells? Enslaving others to do the boiling for you?)

Why 7196?

I bet some of u reader wanna know why my blog's URL has 7196 in it. Simple- I want an URL that's easy to type (7196 is easier to type than gathererofknowledge, don't u think?). 7196 also happens to be my student number when I went to UNIMAS (the Sarawakian university).

Some limericks 4 U

Limericks are "five-line poems with strict form and are frequently witty or humorous, and sometimes obscene with humorous intent" (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limericks). Below is a limerick on limericks:

The lim'rick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical;
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Here are some more examples:

1) There once was an old man of Lyme
Who married three wives at a time;
When asked, "Why a third?"
He replied, "One's absurd,
And bigamy, sir, is a crime."

2) There was a young fella named Weir
Who hadn't an atom of fear;
He indulged a desire
To touch a live wire-
Most any last line would do here.

3) God's plan made a hopeful beginning
But Man spoiled his chances by sinning;
We trust that the story
Will end in God's glory,
But at present the other side's winning.

4) There was a young girl of Natchez
Whose garments were always in patchez;
When comment arose
On the state of her clothes
She drawled, "Where Ah itchez, Ah scratchez."

5) A daring young lady of Guam
Observed, "The Pacific's so calm
I'll swim out for a lark."
She met a large shark...
Let us now sing the 90th Psalm.

6) A senora who strolled on the Corso
Displayed quite a lot of her torso;
A crowd soon collected
And no one objected
Though some were in favour of more so.

I pity the poor linguistically-challenged visitor who find themselves unable to appreciate the above limericks...

Today's Reading

Readings for today Wed 24 October (Luke 12: 39-48). Seems like a continuation of yesterday's reading (collectively titled Call to Faithful Stewardship)

But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Then Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” The Lord replied, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his household servants, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds at work when he returns. I tell you the truth, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave should say to himself, ‘My master is delayed in returning,’ and he begins to beat the other slaves, both men and women, and to eat, drink, and get drunk, then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know his master’s will and did things worthy of punishment will receive a light beating. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Thoughts on "Age of the Five" novels

Finished reading Priestess of the White, Last of the Wilds, and midway thru Voice of the Gods.

The series is quite interesting- it's basically about a continent divided along religious lines, with the North worshipping a Circle of 5 gods, and the South worshipping a Pentagram of 5 gods, and a group of neutrals (Dreamweavers) who range from those who don't worship any god to those who try their very best to stay out of the radar of the gods (so they won't get killed). The Circlians and Pentadrians are run-of-the-mill religious people- from the faithful and rational to faithdul fundamentalists while the Dreamweavers are idealized doctors- do no harm, heal anyone and everyone, no one should be forced to worship anything, etc. The protagonist is a priestess of the Circle and the rest any fantasy reader can guess- she became more powerful, got disillusioned of the gods she served, became more powerful, got attacked from all directions, and finally triumphed over her enemies with (of course) help from various friends. These friends include an amnesiac mentor-turned-lover and an old lady who dabbles in prostitution.

What I liked about the series is the relatively light tone. After slogging through dark and melodramatic stories like The Prince of Nothing series, it's nice to read about protagonists who don't brood all over the place. Also the not-so-novel idea of not-so-perfect gods. Many fantasy stories use gods as a literary device (as in The Prince of Nothing) so much that it's nice to hear from them. And they're funny. Like Hercules and Xena Warrior Princess funny.

Wanna know more about the 3 books? Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Five

Today's readings

Readings for Tue, 23 October - Luke 12: 35-38

“Get dressed for service and keep your lamps burning; be like people waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. Blessed are those slaves whom their master finds alert when he returns! I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, have them take their place at the table, and will come and wait on them! Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, blessed are those slaves!
Something for you to mull upon...

Monday, 22 October 2007

Today's Reading

Here's the reading for Mon 22 October. Catholics, enjoy.

The Parable of the Rich Landowner (Luke 12: 13-21)

Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But Jesus said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” Then he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” He then told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, and who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich towards God.”

My Confession

I'm a cheater. There. I've admitted it. I cheat in PC games because it makes my life easier. After all, I play games 2 relax, and the easier the game, the more I relax. I'm also interested in "tweaking" in games- hero stats, special powers, extra resources anything to make my gameplay easier. People have also accused me of this in real life. A certain person have commented that I like to take shortcuts (whatever that mean). But then, aren't we all? If the shortcut is legally and morally allright, then don't we take advantage of it? Fortunately not everything has shortcuts, or we'll be lazybones more interested in shortcuts than good, honest hard work.

Me Singin'

I like to sing. Especially hymns. Mostly because the lyrics are readily available. But I suck at singing. I have noticed other singers closing their ears when I sing with them. If that isn't a sign that my singing distracts their singing, then I'll like to know what it is. But I still like to sing. I should seriously think about improving my singing. Or people around me will flinch (physically or mentally) when I open my mouth.

2 b myself or not 2 b myself?

It's hard to decide when the yourself is considered by many to be weird. I've had people telling me that my weirdness puts others off- that they are rather uninterested in making/maintaining friendships with weird ole me. Which makes me sad, as I not only would like to have lots of friends but also find it difficult to make friends with people who don't approach me first with offers of friendship. Kinda paradox, ain't it? Ah well, at least I have a true friend in JC (the LoG/GtS). He loves me exactly for who I am. Besides, I shouldn't fit myself into a model of others' expectations of me- I've learned from experience that that is a painful thing 2 do. Besides, this is kind of a litmus test [any kind of social indicator used to classify someone either favorably or unfavorably] as those who would be put of by my alleged weirdness would probably not be good friends of mine, ever.

Time difference

Now the time "here" (as in Malaysia now) is Mon 22 Oct 3.09 a.m. I wonder what the time is on blogspot. Let's find out, shall we?

p.s. About 15 hrs difference- blogspot time is 15 hrs behind Malaysia time.

Today's Readings

21 October- Mission Sunday- Luke 18: 1-8

Prayer and the Parable of the Persistent Widow
Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but later on he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people, yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Just something for Catholics to reflect on...

Upcoming PC games

Here's some PC games I simply can't wait to get my hands on (4 now at least):

1) The Witcher - http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/thewitcher/index.html?tag=tabs;summary
- This one's different from other action RPGs (think Diablo) is two aspects (at least). The first is its game choices. They are extremely far-reaching, so no save the game, find ur desired conclusion and reload. The other is the skills learnt. From what I gather, it's supposed to be pretty realistic- u can see the difference between one stat less and one stat more.

2) Assassin's Creed - http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/assassinscreed/index.html?tag=tabs;summary
- This one's different as the actions in the game are pretty realistic- you don't climb a wall by clicking the wall, you move towards it and press certain buttons to grip this and step on that. And there's the sci-fi backstory in what is supposed to be a game set during the Crusades (yep, the Dark Ages one).

3) Spore - http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/spore/index.html?tag=tabs;summary
- Now this one's interesting. You get to play a species from its cellular state to it's space-faring state (yep, the one with spaceships).

Status of religious freedom in Malaysia

Here's a website talking about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_religious_freedom_in_Malaysia

Personally I think Malaysia is kinda ok in this respect. After all, we must remember Malaysia is only 50 years old. Young in terms of nationhood. Even the vaunted US of A wasn't much better when it was 50 yrs old. Hopefully (or should I say prayerfully hehehe) conditions will improve by 2020 (still remember Mahathir's Vision 2020?).

Some websites...

Here are some of my fav websites...

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page - An online encyclopaedia. Extremely detailed.

2) http://www.gamespot.com - A site reviewing video games. I mostly use it to check the playability of PC games I wanna buy.

3) http://www.tweakguides.com/ - A site with links to patches of games, among other things.

4) http://www.reelviews.net/movies.html - A site with reviews of upcoming movies. The reason why I like this site is that the reviewer is "noted for his lengthy and learned analysis of films and has kept an open mind in viewing films in all subjects. His reviews are frequently peppered with dry humor and offer extensive explanation pertaining to background information on a film. His articles often delve deeper than just the film itself, frequently offering background information or unusual educational tidbits" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Berardinelli). Yep, I do recommend him.

5) http://www.twiztv.com/scripts/ - For those who would rather read a TV show than watch it (like me- who wouldn't, with the actors' accents and all those ads), this website has quite a few scripts. It's not thorough, but it'll do (4 now...)

Learned something 2day...

Attended the Legion of Mary retreat for Kuching praesidiums today (FYI, Legion of Mary is an association of Catholic laity who serve the Church on a voluntary basis with Mother Mary as its head). Father Terry Burke [http://www.fatherterryburke.com/blog/index.php] (the priest conducting the retreat) mentioned something interesting about prayer.

Often we tell God what we need. We demand that God be our Santa Claus. We give Him a list of needs, and we beg/demand that he fulfill it. That isn't right. God isn't our slave/genie. We should tell Him what our problems are, ask Him to solve them in His own time and way, and trust Him to do the best 4 us. That's what I intend to do from now on.

Btw, I read somewhere that our perception of God can sometimes be linked to how we view authority figures, especially our fathers. Which makes senses, since we call God Father. So if we see our fathers as stern, unbending and authoritative, that's how we see God on a certain level. Interesting, huh? Not sure how accurate, though...

Sunday, 21 October 2007

My 1st day as a blogger...

My intention for this blog is for it 2 b both a diary 4 me and a resource for everyone. I'm gonna post things on religion (esp. Roman Cath.), reviews on books, movies and games, etc. Since I'm a Chinese-Malaysian Catholic who's interested in fantasy novels, role-playing and strategy PC games with a good story, movies and tv shows with fantasy element and a good story, AMWAY sales agent and Great Eastern Life insurance agent you'll be reading a lot about these here.

Daily Bible Verse

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