Sunday, September 6, 2009

balik kampung

I was up till past midnight yesterday (or rather, this morning), blogging some recipes in my recipe blog. As such, I woke up groggily around 10.30 am today. Opening one eye, I wondered whether I could take another "40 winks". However, the sun was already up and it was too lovely a morning to spend snoozing in bed.

Da was already awake and he was surfing the Manchester United website on our computer.

There is no English Premier League soccer match this weekend as the World Cup Qualifiers are being played.

I contacted my mother, my brother (LG) and LG's girlfriend (ZT) regarding lunch at our favourite coffee shop at Jalan Tua Kong. ZT replied to suggest meeting at 1.30 pm.

Last sunday, the drink stall lady at the coffee shop had requested me to let her have a butter cake recipe and I agreed. I had already printed out the recipe for her. I decided to take things one step further by baking a butter cake yesterday and I packed several slices in a container today to bring them to the coffee shop for my family and the drink stall lady to sample.

When we arrived at the coffee shop, it was drizzling slightly. A tent had been set up in front of the row of shops where the coffee shop is located. This is the lunar 7th month (otherwise known as "ghost month" or "ghost festival") and it is common to have auctions being held in public during this month. We saw large bottles of hard liquor and several other items being arranged neatly on a table under the tent. My guess would be that the auction would probably be held later in the afternoon today or perhaps tonight.

Our favourite "zi char" stall at the coffee shop was very busy today. As such, we waited nearly an hour for our food.

By the time we finished eating our lunch, it was too late to attend the 2.30 pm church service. As the next church service was at 5 pm, Da and I decided to drive by some new development sites in the East Coast vicinity.

We stopped at a development located along East Coast Road. The show flat did not seem to be ready yet. We took a peek at the land through the zinc door. The location of this development is quite good and you have easy access to buses along East Coast Road and Marine Parade Road.

After this, we proceed to Haig Avenue where there was an open house at the penthouse unit of a new development. However, there were so many cars parked outside the development that we decided to give it a miss.

A left turn here and a right turn there... and we ended up driving along Ceylon Road (where our current President lives). As we drove past his house, we saw a Gurka soldier guarding the house.

At the other end of Ceylon Road was another new development. Gosh! There are so many new developments coming up. We stopped the car in front of the development to check out the site. There were some brief details of the development put up on a board in front of the development but the show flat did not seem to be ready either.

Enough of development-sightseeing. We proceeded to church but were a little early. As such, we browsed some of the shops to pass the time. A video shop located on the 2nd storey was showing a video of a Michael Jackson concert. We did not stay to watch the entire video (okay, I will admit that we did stay for a few minutes) although there were several people crowding in front of the television screen watching the concert performance.

Time to sit at the feet of Jesus! We happily proceeded to church and found good seats. Yippee!

The person preaching at the pulpit today was the missions pastor. He rarely preaches in Singapore nowadays but I always look forward to his sermons as they are very interesting and the Lord always speaks to me through him. His main topic today was about going to the tree of life but as a side topic (well, I think that it was a side topic although he teasingly said that it was the main topic of his sermon) was on how to lose weight without dieting, exercise or any other human effort. It was an interesting analysis by him. Many a time, we take the effort to diet or to exercise. Why is this so? This is because we are going to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - we know that exercise is good for our bodies and we know that watching our diet may help to lose weight. There is an easier way - go to Jesus and let the Lord lead you by desires. If you do not desire to eat the sinful looking doughnut that is offered to you, decline the offer. If you desire to eat a plate of mee rebus, go ahead and enjoy it. The pastor threw in a teaser - he said that the fat belongs to God, so why are you keeping it in your body? *grin*

This reminds me of something. Over the years, my weight has been yo-yo. Exercise is such a chore for me and watching my diet does not seem to yield permanent results. There was a year when I slimmed down without effort and without realising it. I now realise that it was the year when I let go and did not consciously try to watch my diet or exercise frequently. Looking back and reflecting on what was preached today, I realised that at that time, I had indeed looked to the tree of life and let the Lord lead me by desires on what to eat or what not to eat. The more I put in the effort to slim down through dieting or exercise, the less results I saw.

Well, some food for thought for you to chew on....

The worship team in church today was led by the worship team from Hillsong Church (in Sydney, Australia). The worship leader was none other than Darlene Zschech. She is a pastor and an amazing worship leader. When I listen to her sing praise and worship songs, I am overwhelmed by how much Jesus loves me.

It was a wonderful treat for the churchgoers today when Darlene Zschech and her worship team sang three praise and worship songs at the end of the church service (instead of the usual one song). As such, Da and I stayed till the end of the third song. What an awesome time of fellowship we had in church today!

After church, my mother contacted us and informed us that my brother (LB) and his wife (MF) had arrived at my mother's home. Ah, so dinner would be a homecooked dinner by the Combined Chefs (that is, Grand Lady Chef (my mother), Head Chef (LG) and Young Lady Chef (ZT)). I wonder what they cooked?

When Da and I arrived, I proceeded to the kitchen to "nosy around". I saw a plate of vienna sausages.

I opened the door to the convection oven and saw a tray of baked chicken wings and a tray of sliced luncheon meat.

I opened the door to the microwave oven and saw two pieces of Muar otah.

The kitchen table looked like a production factory, with plates of rice lined in a row.

Would you like to hazard a guess as to the menu for our dinner?

Boy-Boy was in the kitchen and he kept looking up at LG and ZT.

Ah... these two youngsters were busy dividing the ingredients among the 7 plates of rice.

If you have not guessed our dinner menu by now, it is none other than nasi lemak. The several bottles that you see in the middle of the table are various types of chilli, including a bottle of "not so spicy" (in my mother's words) crispy shrimps that LB and MF bought during their recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

LB and MF had brought several dragon fruits which they bought from NTUC Supermarket. It cost them slightly more than S$1 for 3 dragonfruits. At this price, my mother was expecting that the dragonfruits would not be very sweet. However, we were very pleased to discover that they were indeed sweet.

(lyrics by Reuben Morgan)

Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me

Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Saviour
The hope of nations

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save

Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine Your light and
Let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen King

Through Jesus, the world is saved. With long life God will satisfy us, by showing us His Jesus. Salvation is here and He lives in me and through me. When Jesus is lifted up, good things happen to me. I see Jesus walking over the water of my life. God will give me fresh manna from heaven every day.

God answers my prayers above and beyond what I can ask or think.

Behold the Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.


No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin