The modern day medium

“The Philistines set up their camp at Shunem, and Saul gathered all the army of Israel and camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets. Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.” His advisers replied, “There is a medium at Endor.””
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭28:4-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been pondering about Saul seeking a medium when God refused to answer him on what he should do when he saw a huge threat in front of him. How can this situation be reflected in our lives today?

Then I realise, we could have been "seeking mediums" too. The "medium" we could have been seeking in our modern day is the Internet and the "how to" articles — "10 ways to overcome your fear of talking to people", 5 steps to make people buy your idea". Sounds familiar eh.

Today, I received a piece of news which I made me feel lost and scared. I quickly Googled and sought out what people said on forums and did not seek God. Fears and nightmares clouded my mind… aren't I guilty of faithlessness and my lack of reliance on God? Like Saul, haven't I sought a "medium" to know what to do when struck with fear?

Tonight, I confess my sin to God. By the blood of Jesus Christ, I seek God's forgiveness, and by faith, I receive it. Let me focus not on what others say, but I pray for focus and faith on God, our Creator, our almighty and merciful Father.

Week before Good Friday

It is the week before Good Friday. And I am thankful that this week, I have some space to breathe after a packed, non-stop action week (was even called back for a work meeting on a weekend). Space to think and remember that this week, we are approaching a special day that is central to our faith — having Jesus die for us on the cross for our sins, as the ultimate sacrifice, that we may see God once again. 

It has been a beautiful week. Serene. Calm. For one of the mornings, I saw this beautiful sight from my window. As if God is inviting me to be with Him and stay in Him.

*bliss*

Hello, March

Hello there, March. Wanted to say hello before my blog grows cobwebs. Haven’t had a post since November last year! 

I really should try to write more often. Because I think writing in a blog helps me reflect, and when we reflect, we learn. Some highlights in the past few months:

1. Seoul trip with DR’s family (Dec 2016)

2. Birth of Jamie – Shumin’s little girl ( Jan 2017)

3. Learning how to manage less-than-ideal working relationships at the workplace, and in the process, becoming “thick-skinned”.

4. Learning basic Korean with DR – 안녕하세요 (I typed this using the Korean keypad, not copy and paste from online, ok!)

5. Embarking on a major work project that I would like to seek God’s wisdom on. It is exciting but the scale of it is rather daunting. 

Anyway, so my last post was my then upcoming trip to Seoul to DR and his family. It had been a good trip where I had my first skiing experience at Jisan Forest Resort! Skiing is fun, probably because I learnt how to stop my skis rather quickly (remember: adjust your legs in an inverted “V”, as if you want to pee). Hurhur. Photographic evidence below. 

This was me learning how to ski. The challenge for me was to go up the slope with those darn heavy skis… I really don’t mind going to a cold place to ski again though I must make sure I do proper warm ups. I had such bad aches after skiing… -.-”

Alright, signing off for now… I will leave you with a picture of my favourite drink in Seoul’s winter – hot sweet potato latte from Holly’s Coffee (about SGD$7+). You need to have it with almond flakes!

Lord, show me your glory

I was trudging my way back home on Friday evening after work. My day was mundane, my soul was down, my relationships were not exactly rosy and I felt unaccomplished in so many aspects. It was one of those days when you feel, you know, sian. I was dissatisfied.

So I requested to God, “Lord, show me your glory. I know when I see your glory, my soul will be filled once again.”

God replied, “See my glory in the cool evening breeze that you are feeling on your face. See my glory through you breathing and walking right now. See my glory in the house that I have given you. See my glory in your parents – I have kept your mother safe from an accident she met earlier this month.”

And joy and hope filled me. Because the Lord has shown His glory and love to me.

What to eat in New Zealand (South Island)

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN ONE MONTH SINCE I’M BACK FROM MY TRIP TO NZ!

Where did time go? Well, although one month has passed, I am still thinking fondly of that beautiful country. I had such a lovely time there, enjoying the crisp spring air and majestic mountains and lakes in NZ’s South Island. I think I may take some time to blog my trip itinerary down but it’s ok, I think I will blog about food first! So, people often wonder what they should eat in NZ. Is it going to be fish & chips all the way? Well, here are some recommendations!

1) Fergburger, Queenstown

Just try their classic – The Fergburger (NZ$11.50) and you will be an advocate! The lettuce and patty were so fresh, the aioli sauce so tasty and the burger buns so pillowy soft, I wondered “What food sorcery is this?” The burger was amazing. I wolfed the whole burger down on my own. Good thing is this burger shop opens till the wee hours of the morning. 

2) Taco Medic, Queenstown

At NZ$7 per taco, this is a hearty meal if you order 2. I ordered The Bushman (recommended by the staff) and The Stockman. Both were delicious but I personally prefer The Stockman. This meal is awesome when you sit at the lakefront and enjoy the sunset while eating.

3) Eden Alley (Korean food), Riccarton, Christchurch 

Riccarton is unofficially known as Chinatown of Christchurch due to its large Asian migrant communities. DR and I had our Airbnb stay for 2 nights around this area. Recommended by our Korean hosts, we trooped down to Eden Alley for some Korean food… The weather was cold so we needed soup to warm our tummy. And little did we know we would return again for the 2nd time because their oxtail and beef ribs clear broth (NZ$18) was sooooo awesome! I also enjoyed their kimchi jiggae (NZ$15). These soups came with rice and side dishes. Price-wise, I dare say that it is much more affordable than some Korean restaurants in Singapore! 

4) Kohan Japanese Restaurant, Lake Tekapo

Sushi. With a view. Of the gorgeous, oh-so-blue Lake Tekapo. Enough said. The Lake Tekapo Roll you see in this picture costs NZ$17. The portions are huge and I enjoyed having some rice, after eating steak, chips and burgers for the past many days. You can skip the sashimi (NZ$15) though because there is nothing special to shout about. There are better ones with decent portions in Singapore. 

5) Creme Brulee fudge at The Remarkable Sweet Shop, Queenstown

Sorry, no picture of the fudge but I find it interesting that the Kiwis like fudge. Fudge is soooo sweet but I understand people usually enjoy eating it with tea or coffee, like a dessert. I thought others might not like it due to its saccharine sweetness, so I only bought one. Never did I know the creme brulee fudge (NZ$6.80 per slice) would grow on me. I really enjoyed it after I brought it back to Singapore. The Remarkable Sweet Shop sells nougats too. I bought the nutty one which I gave to my mom. 

So, this is the introduction for now. I will add more to this list when I have some time. Hope this post has been useful if you are planning for your trip to beautiful NZ (:

When the worship song that you sing does not resonate with your heart

There are good days when your heart is bursting of joy, gladness and thanksgiving. On such days, oh, you worship with all your strength and conviction. 

But there are times your heart just feels accused and lousy. And when the worship song you sing is about loving God with every inch of your soul, and loving Him beyond everything else, deep in your heart, you feel that it is not true. That was what happened one Sunday morning – I felt like a hypocrite singing that I love the Lord with all my being when I know there are still things I care a lot about, things that I am unwilling to let God take over like my emotions, my fears. The struggle of sin was real.I felt accused. 

But that moment, I knew I needed to tune myself to God’s word. Romans 8:1-2 came to mind. God promised that He has and will set us free from the sin and death – I need the Holy Spirit to help me. So at that moment, I prayed to the Lord. I told God I needed the Holy Spirit to help me, to help me relinquish the control I wanted to have, and to help my heart yield to Him.

Then, I worshipped our Lord, knowing that I can stand before the Lord in the righteousness of Christ. 

Quick lowdown of our trip to Taipei

Here is a quick overview of my recent trip to Taipei, from 9 to 14 Feb 2016. Hopefully I’ll have some time (ok, more like motivation) to blog more in detail.

Hotels we stayed in
1. Smile Inn Taipei – 8/10. Points for the convenience as it is surrounded by a 24-hour McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Uniqlo, H&M, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi etc. Good, strong shower. Too bad our room doesn’t come with a window so we can’t wake up with natural light.

2. Nine Plus Spa Hot Spring Resort at Beitou (also known as Lotus Spa) – 2.5/10. Points given only because of the private hot spring tub in our room and a helpful shuttle bus driver. The cleanliness of the room and breakfast were terrible. The dim room looked like some old Chinese movie set, that I dreaded to open the cupboards and drawers in the room, fearing that I will find a skeleton. The wooden bed frame had such a thick layer of dust, that according to the Hubby, if you rolled it into a dust ball, you could make it into a small pillow. The breakfast items, comprising Chinese food like plain porridge, veggies, stewed pork, were mostly cold and too salty. No proper coffee and tea as well. They seriously need an overhaul for this hotel.

3. Hotel Fun (formerly known as ‘TW1 Hotel’) – 9/10. New, clean, bright, has friendly receptionists and is conveniently located at Ximending. Right below the hotel is Ay Chung flour rice noodles shop (or ‘Ah Zhong meesua’) and it is 3-min walk away from Ximen metro station. Comes with a window so we get to wake up with natural light in the room. Only minor gripe is its shower curtain which makes the toilet floor too wet and slippery.

How much we spent for 6 days and 5 nights in Taipei (excluding hotel + plane ticket) – about $1,000 for transport + shopping + gifts + food.

Things to buy in Taipei
1. Umbrellas at the underground malls of Taipei Main Station. A decent umbrella there costs NT$200 (about $8.80).
2. My Beauty Diary facial masks. To me, they are better than the masks from Korea. 
3. Bifido gummies (also known as Yakult gummies) from 7-Eleven.
4. Winter boots (if you happen to be there during winter).
5. Chia Te pineapple pastry. Be prepared to queue for them.

Favourite food/drink from this trip (list from both the Hubby and me)
1. Mister Donut’s cinnamon maple stick
2. 卤味 (braised pig intestines + noodles + veggies + mushrooms + beancurd + quail eggs etc) from Shida Night Market
3. Grilled squid from Danshui Old Street
4. Sea salt + matcha soft-serve ice cream at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store’s B1.  
5. 茶番’s matcha drinks. They need to come to SG!
6. Roasted sugar cane drink at Tonghua Night Market. Drink it warm.

Night Markets we visited
1. Tonghua 通化
2. Raohe 饶河
3. Shida 师大
4. Ningxia 宁夏

Tips for our next trip to Taiwan
1. Change money at Taoyuan International Airport – they have better rates than Singapore.
2.  Fly there not during major holidays. We wanted to go to Shifen to look at the old railway and sky lanterns, but the trains to this destination were all packed as we were there during their long CNY holiday.
3. Bring a luggage weighing scale. I thought my luggage was overweight. Turned out that I could put 5 more kg worth of things. Would have bought more My Beauty Diary masks if I knew I haven’t exceeded the luggage weight limit.

That’s about it! I will leave you with a picture of Ximending at dusk, taken from the hotel we were staying on our last day.

image

*wrote this post while on the flight back*

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