Thursday, November 18, 2010

Construction underway

On Wednesday, I wanted to take advantage of The Face Shop's 20% sale so I drove down to it after work. Since I was in the area, I decided to swing by and check on construction.

 This bit was non-existent when I drove by 4 weeks before.

The left wing where my apartment will be situated, but one more level up ... and currently non-existent.

It seems that they have finished the length of ground floor's construction.

I'll be secretly laughing in my boots if they actually finish construction by June 2011. However, my current lease ends then, so it'll be best for all parties if they do. In the meantime, I'd been flipping through brochures for tiles and taps. I might want to scrap the tiles that they are giving to me as a package, and get some of my own instead.

I'd been having strange dreams this week, some of which I still remember clearly and others not. They don't make sense, and are really frown-inducing scenarios which I am willing to pay a million bucks to make sure that they never manifest. I think my psyche needs a long break, because even though I sleep early to ensure sufficient rest, my mind is very much conscious and producing all these appalling things. OK, perhaps I'm not helping with the things I feed to it ... yes, guilty as charged, Your Honour, so I shall zip it now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Everything nerdy

♫ KAITO - Cantarella

Flowers from a colleague as a gesture of thanks. I totally do not deserve it, but anyway, the flowers look lovely don't they? I didn't have a vase, so I grabbed an empty Coke bottle, washed it clean and cut it open. And tada, temporary vase to the rescue!

* * * * * *

I highly recommend John Eldrege's Walking With God if you want something to read. It's insightful and intimate, Eldrege allowing the reader into his mind as he contends with God, and strives to put Him first in his thoughts. He even documents his questions, his pressing worries, how he prays, whether he waits for God to respond, how long the wait can be, his struggles, fears and uncertainties, his hurts, and everything else. It's also presented in a good format, with narration and dialogue styles as appropriate. I find myself journeying with him over his one year as he journals, and it's not weary or repetitive. I'd learnt a lot from this book, especially the much unknown aspect of spiritual warfare, and what to do when one feels the onslaught. He pens the process in exact details; what he does, what he thinks, what he says, his queries and debates with God in real-time, what he is physically feeling, what's happening around him in the meantime. It runs like a movie. Really good stuff. It is way better than reading a one liner that says, "Pray when...". Obviously we know we should, but then what? And most importantly, how!? So, I'm really glad I picked this up to read, and I managed to finish it within a month.

The next book I'm going to read is Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages - Singles Edition. Well, there's been much talk about his first book but I never bothered to check it out during the hype. I think it is meant for married couples, so obviously it isn't applicable. Then I saw this lying on the shelves during my shopping spree at Koorong lately (thank you, 20-25% sale), so I thought I'd pick it up anyway. I have 21 books left untouched, and that is just shocking, I know. I receive books as presents, and I still have a Borders voucher which my lovely colleagues gave to me as a birthday present this year. Unfortunately, I either drive or walk to and fro work, so I lost the luxury of reading on public transport. Perhaps I can catch up on my books' backlog when I move next year. I wish I don't have to hit the textbooks during the week. Urgh.

I formed the habit of putting a book on the bedside table, so that I could read before I sleep. I aim to crawl into bed about 20 mins before my preferred bed time, and I read until I crash. It's the only time when I can do any non-academic reading. It's been fruitful so far, since I managed to finish Eldrege's book within a reasonable timeframe.

But I must say, the newest thing in my life so far is my purchase of Glo. It is a highly interactive form of the Bible, and I'd been having fun reading the Scriptures and clicking on relevant web articles, web videos (watching Max Lucado and others talk on the topic) and its own documentaries as well. Love it, love it, love it! There's atlases, pictures, and you can click on them to zoom in and see real-life 360º angles of places like Mt Horam, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Capernaum etc. They have walk-throughs on the streets of Galilee, how Peter's house would have looked like, and as you read through the Bible, they have all these accessible materials which you can play or look at to further enhance your understanding - historically and conceptually. You can scroll up and down, left and right in the temple where Jesus preached, see how the Pharisees were dressed up in those days, and click on prompts to read more. I even learnt historical tidbits about King Herod, the myths about The Three Kings and understood the dedication of the 3 friends who lowered their invalid friend through the roof after scrolling through the model of a house in those days. It's like playing an RPG game really, where you walk through streets, corridors, look up and down, read narratives and helpful guides as you go along. It was just pure win!

Glo also helps with your Bible Reading Plans, since it keeps track and prompts you which scripture to start and stop. Totally customisable. You can make your own notes if you have an ah-ha! moment when meditating or reading. I especially love the way it can sort the Bible by topic. You can choose something which you want to find out more, e.g. addictions (haha), and it goes into sub-topics. It then brings up all relevant scriptures, illustrations and web references. One amazing thing I got to preview was the ceiling painting on the Sistine Chapel in Rome. I could zoom in and marvel at each section, where there was also a short narration and history on what Michelangelo was thinking when he was drawing.

It was nice to see the famous 'God & Adam's fingers almost touching' section right up on my screen in clear HD quality, haha. But gosh, it was not only breathtaking, it gave me a newfound appreciation of Michaelangelo's gift. It is truly a stunning piece of art. Definitely deserves its place in history.

Anyway, I find it rare for me to be so pumped up over the Bible. Yes, I shouldn't say this, but the paperback Bible has never given me such an anticipation! I had pondered over Glo ever since I first laid eyes on the demo which was running in Koorong over the past year or so. I did wonder if it was too expensive and if it'd end up as a a 'dead software' on my laptop. After all, it's very resource-draining due to its capabilities. However, my laptop hasn't taken a beating from it, and I'd enjoyed myself so much learning a lot more about Jesus. I loved one session where I had the view of the Sea of Galilee before me (real life captures), and I could click to see the surrounds too. I almost felt the sea breeze, serious. I walked where Jesus once walked, looked at the view where he once looked and marveled, and I somehow got a sense of why God chose this region for Jesus's birth. It's not the same as being there myself, obviously, but this is really as good as it gets (without getting sand in my feet and dust in my eyes, haha). It updates itself every time you start the programme, so I guess it's really very up-to-date with materials and resources.

I'll shut up and let the promotional video do all the talking.

I got it at a 25% discount eventually, so I was going nuts about it. Yeah, I'm getting quite aunty-like. Anyway, without further ado, I'm going to start on my reading today using Glo, so I bid you farewell here.