The Dead Room (Heather Graham)

This the first time I read a Graham’s book. I’ve enjoyed this kind of paranormal stuff with murder and suspense all weaved in. It’s like the show “Ghost Whisperer”, and the author has written the protagonist in this story as an archaelogist whose job is digging up bones, so it seems most appropriate for her to be able to see the dead and communicate wiith them. But I’m not sure I like the ending. Though I like Matt, I like Joe as well, so I feel a bit disappointed the ending turns out the way it is. Yet it’s still a happy ending. And the part about the dead composer’s music papers found behind the walls – there’s no satisfactory closure on what was being done and what happened after. But overall it’s a good read from start to the end. It’s a page-turner and it will keep you in suspense until the very end. I didn’t treat it as a romance, but more a thriller and ghost story. If it had been completely a romance story, don’t think I’ll even read it.

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Love Above All

I’m so glad to receive a package in the mail from the RBC ministries. They sent me this “Quest for the Aucas – The Spiritual Legacy of Five Missionary Martyrs” DVD which I have previously requested for and thought they have forgotton about it.

I have previously watched the musical performance “Love Above All” at the University Cultural Centre, about 5 young missionaries killed savagly by the Aucas in Ecuador in 1956 when they tried to befriend these jungle tribal people to bring the Gospel to them, and therefore wanted to watch the real thing. Have also bought these below 2 books at the musical.

Both these 2 books are on my Bookcrossing shelf:

I came to know about this tragic story only after reading “Through Gates of Splendor”, and felt very sad how innocent lives were being taken just like that when they merely wanted to reach out to these Waodani warriors and befriend them, men from the most savage culture known only for hunting and killing.  Yet their wives could forgive their enemies and returned to the Ecuadorian jungles to face their husbands’ murderers with the power of God’s love instead of bitterness and anger.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.  Just wonder how easy can this be especially when innocent blood is wantonly shed?

And now in this “End of the Spear” written by Steve Saint, it’s about how Steve and his family went back to live with the Waodani warriors who killed his father Nate Saint and 4 other friends, and also on reconcilation how he comes to know what really happened on that fateful day in 1956. Did these missionaries really have to die?

Nate’s sister Rachel also went back to the tribe, befriended them and stayed there till a ripe old age, died and requested to bury there with his jungle family, at the same place her beloved bro Nate was killed and buried with the other 4 missionary friends. She came to love her Waodani family like her own, same as Steve & his family who didn’t want to leave.

Something unexplained & miraculous happened right after the spearing, and this convinced those killers that what they had done was bad. Read and find out. As well as the sorrows and heartache Steve & his own family had to go through. It’s really a fascinating and compelling read.

Fear Factor

This was the topic during our last weekend’s sermon at Trinity. It’s about faith, fear and building a lasting legacy in our life. Do not leave without a trace. God is calling us to build upon our Christian foundation, by touching lives and impacting destinies; by building God’s house and serving passionately. Yet, everytime God asks us to come out from our comfort zone, we run away. Just like Moses, the fear factor kicked in everytime God asked him to do something.

What came into my mind was the reality game show with the same title, where all the participants had to compete against each other to complete a series of dangerous stunts or eating disgusting and gory stuff to see who is the bravest and fastest to win the grand prize of big money? Continue reading

Do You Love God?

Have you ever asked yourself how much you love God? Jesus instructed in Matthew 22:37 that you should “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” So do you love God with your entire being, like He’s your lover?

If one day God wants you to offer your loved one like Abraham’s offering of his son Isaac as a living sacrifice, will you do as Abraham did? If you have to choose between God and the people you love in this world, who will you love more? Will you put God 1st? If your family stands in the way of your love for God, will you sacrifice your family?

It’s not easy to love God, as it’s not like God is in front of us and we talk to Him and see Him every day, with whom we have a special physical closeness. Though we do love God, we also love our family.

In Matthew 4:21, Jesus called James and John, sons of Zebedee, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And they immediately followed Him leaving their aged father behind. I wonder did the father curse them for being ‘unfilial’ leaving him alone to handle the family fishing business. Or was the father also a follower of Jesus and being a loving father, had readily and cheerfully released his children to the service of God. Did his business flourish ultimately with God’s blessings? Apparently, James and John loved God more than their own father. In this situation, do you think they had loved their father any less?

When you love someone wholeheartedly, you will show your love in your actions. You’ll want to spend more time with the person. Actions speak louder than words. If you love God very much, you’ll wholeheartedly do His will, give tithe or faith promises cheerfully, all the more when you see the Day approaching, and you’ll know you will be richly rewarded as you have done the will of God. You’ll read the Bible daily, pray to Him regularly and spend time alone with Him. You will be willing to bear His cross and follow Him. Jesus says in Matthew 10:37-38 that “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son and daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me”; yet, in Ephesians 6:1, Paul says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Clearly, loving God does not mean abandoning the love for our parents. It’s just love in a different way.

God loves us more than we love Him. If not, He wouldn’t have sent His only Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. This is LOVE, not that we loved God, but that He had loved us first. Our love could never be measured to His great love, and the only thing we can show our love for Him is by loving one another, including loving our family. Understanding this is fundamental to our hope for God’s love to be made complete in us.

Mid-Autumn Festival

 


Today (14th Sep, Sun) is the Mid-autumn festival, aka the Mooncake festival, because it’s the only time mooncakes are sold in the market. The actual date falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and is usually around September month in the Gregorian calendar, and this year it happens to fall on a Sunday.
Families usually celebrate this day eating mooncakes, pomelos and drinking chinese tea while gazing at the moon believing that there’s a moon fairy living in the moon with a jade rabbit accompanying her.

The legend goes that Chang-er accidentally swallowed the elixir of life which belonged to her husband Hou-yi, and her body started becoming light and flew up into the sky. The pill was given to the husband as a reward for his shooting down the scorching 9 sun relieving the people’s sufferings in the field. So, it’s said that every full moon, when you look at the moon, you’ll see the shadow of a woman that looked like Chang-er. And the round mooncakes eaten are symbolic of the moon which is especially round & bright on this day, meaning family unity and closeness. Pomelos are also eaten because the Chinese word “you” 柚 sounds like 保佑bao you (protection), so expressing the hope that the moon fairy will give them protection this day.

If you find this story just a mythology, what about the historical fact which sounds more like the actual reason for eating mooncakes and celebrating the festival.

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