Voice

Losing it.

Sound 10 years older now.

Worse… I have to use it well for the weekend.

Ish… better preserve my voice by not talking much.

(Is THAT possible? :P)

Cheapening of God (II)

Philippians 2:5-18 

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  (8)  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  (9)  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  (10)  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  (11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (12)  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,  (13)  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  (14)  Do all things without grumbling or questioning,  (15)  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  (16)  holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.  (17)  Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  (18)  Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

We do not question whether Christ willingly died on the Cross, and whether Jesus was fully aware of other possibilities. It is linked up with the fact that the work of the Trinity is mysterious in its intricacies, but not in its effect. Jesus was fully God and yet He had full freedom, yet went willingly, although all these (the plan of salvation) has been from eternity past. Bottom line; He was obedient to the Will of God, which God the Father, Son and Spirit had agreed upon from eternity past (before the foundation of the world). Yet, He was not a slave, but did it willingly with much passion (the Passion of Christ as is historically taught).

Is it a wonder that Paul here brings this into play in the life of the Christian in verse 12 and 13? Work out your salvation with fear and trembling… obey the Scriptures (which is God’s Words and Revealed Will), with much vigour and right motivation, with full acknowledgment that it IS God who is working in making you willing and able. Any contradictions? Spiritually, there is none whatsoever. Contextually, no true Christian should be burdened with the intricacies of the work of God to STOP him/her from doing good. It didn’t stop Christ from going to the Cross and fulfilling the Scriptures, did it? Yet it was a planned event from Genesis 3:15.

Marvelous Glory! God’s Glory!

When man is giving 100%, we know that it is because God has given 100%. No contradictions, unless you humanise God in a mold that limits His Sovereignty and thus make Him so much cheapen. The bible is very clear on these traits of our Lord and this is the sort of thing that drives the Christian onward. A good example being Acts 18:9-10  And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,  (10)  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

Human responsibility and God’s sovereignty. They really go hand-in-hand.

So go ahead and preach because it is God who Wills the elect and brings them to salvation. Go preach because God is the one who regenerates the heart to enable the people to cry out in repentance! What assurance that Jesus truly is mine in my heart for what He has done in me first!

What a caution for those who thinks it is by mere profession, who thinks they ‘know’ their hearts… who depend on the false notion of ‘once safe, always safe’ when they only see partly (in fact, they see the ungodly side) in physical responses. For time truly will reveal these ‘phony professions’ as what they are. Pity those who are never able to distinguish the truly backslidden from the unconverted; being confounded by human ‘willfulness’.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Samsung SCX-4521F

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We bought this monster last Saturday. That’s it… we have finally finished our shopping spree for our SOHO (Small Office/Home Office). This is our first Multi function Laser Printer. Yes… it is a LASER printer… why? What’s the rationale for plucking down RM800 of hard earned cash for this?

Simple; laser printing saves a lot of money.

A toner costs RM280. It can print 3,000 pages. Which makes one sheet of paper costing 9.3 cents.

A normal ink jet printer can print up to 300 pages. Catridge costs RM50. Thus, a single piece costs 16.7 cents.

Costs aside; the quality is much much better. Crisp printing. And this one does photocopying with the press of a button! What more can we ask for? 🙂

As you can see, the only downside to this model is:

  • No duplex (double sided printing, unless you do it manually)
  • No wireless connection (not a great loss for now, but yes, connecting through USB can be a pain when the laptop comes along).

We’re quite happy with the printer at the moment. The service centre is quite near, in PJ and the warranty is for a year. It is great to read off the paper instead of from the LCD monitor! Good for the sight, definitely! 

Did I mention a laptop? Yes… one is coming in 14 days time. Seriously a basic level one. Will review it when it comes.

If only I could also get a handphone! Hahahahaha…. yeah right! *I need to ‘accidentally’ drop my current phone (too sturdy of a Nokia!!!!) into the toilet bowl before I can get a new one!*

One can wish 😛

Internet Security, Facebook & Etc.

I teach these subjects in uni and have been an early adopter of the Net since 1994. I can still remember, it was that year that I started logging on to Jaring (Malaysia’s premier ISP) using my dad’s *secret login info* and entered into a whole new world of digital bits and bytes.

Just the other day, I had an interesting discussion on the integrity of using certain sites for social networking (to some degree this is true). Although I may sound like a proponent of everything Internet (heck, I’ve been blogging since 2002), the reality is, the Internet is as safe as using a handphone. And if you have been mixing with some of the ‘right’ people, you can see how ‘safe’ the use of mobile phones can be. (I digress, but it was in 1999, that I found that some fellow students could actually hijack another line, and thus not charged for a mobile call!).

Problems with Internet? IP spoofing due to raw sockets on Windows. Basically, the identify of a particular IP address can be falsified. Nowadays it is much easier, with freewares like the onion router network (Tor – go google this :P) and hackboxes with nice, simple GUI (Graphical User Interfaces). All this is due to paranoia of privacy. And whatever that is good, is most often exploited. That is why DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are getting common, and yet, there is not much that can be done to trace the perpetrators. It is the Wild, wild west of the Net era certainly!

Is there anything that is safe on the Net? Yes and no. Commerce can be done with some degree of security. The fact remains that security increases as transparency increases (a very accounting way of looking at things, surely). How can transparency be increased? By matching the online identity (IP address or even MAC address) with physical evidences (credit card, identification card, bank details, ownership licenses, etc.). But note that nothing is fully secure… all it does is to increase the level of confidence you can have on the particular medium.

Okay, so far so good. It does sound like you are able to do somethings without fear of being messed up by others, as long as the medium of interaction necessitates a high level of transparency. But here is where it all falls down; 2 main disadvantages to this –

One: The onus is on the service provider to ensure that the transaction or exchange is done securely (the increased level of transparency is given to the provider to facilitate this process). Which boils down to, how much can you trust the service provider? Even Paypal has its own anti-paypal sites. These service providers at the end holds all power to validate or invalidate your transactions as they see fit. Surprising, yes? But this is just the way the Net is at the moment. It’s the New Wild, Wild Net!

Two: High level of transparency increases the risk of identity theft. It is a custom for me to google and check for my name, every once a month or two. The amount of information we leave on the net is really huge. And remember that there is such things as packet repackaging (sniffing), where random pieces of information are often found lingering in a place it was not intended for. This is part of the basic structure of how the Net works. Facebook is not a safe medium to hide yourself. If you really don’t want people to know more about you, DON’T PUT ANYTHING ONLINE! Simple logic. You don’t own any of the servers that handles your information, and therefore you cannot trust them. Harvard University just got hacked (as of today, in the news). And the point is, information is as free for anyone on the Net. People can gather information on everything (even your identification card details, courtesy of our government!) and if I want to impersonate another person, it would just take me a day or two of hard online research to get the necessary details. Even fake credit cards can be bought online.

This is not a scare-talk article. I’ve done enough research to know the loop holes. So adequacy is important. Be bold only if you are a company with deep resources to bail you out in problematic situations. If not, I am truly sorry; the Net is just not safe (unless you know of ways to overcome the two main issues highlighted above).

🙂

14 years online and that is my conclusion. For now.

By the way, I have done many online transactions and involved in many nooks of the Net; newsgroups, usenet, IRC (even now, yes!), P2P, private networks, etc.

Manners

Some people cannot handle stress well. They become rude and forget all manners.

Not coping well with problems is never an excuse for being rude.

It is just plain laziness and a lame excuse. God help us if our society is inundiated by people of such dispositions.

Trapped Mindset

Some are trapped in the years and in the skin deep matters, that they are blinded to the treasures of depth, which only the Spirit reveals.

The result is mere adequacy.

O the deep, deep, depths of His Being frees the ignorance, paradoxes and powerlessness of such.

Amen. 

Shame(ful?)

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“I admit [after a long pause] I was very naive and very silly in the past, but I have grown up now,” Chung, 27, told a packed and frenzied crowd of international and local reporters, photographers and cameramen – without explicitly saying she was in the photos.

Gillian Chung on the compromising pictures of her and Edison Chen (They are big Hong Kong stars). More information here.

It is not a good situation to be in. To have your past revealed to the public. It never is. But I am sure many have the same details that seem nice at the time, hidden in the nooks, waiting to be revealed. Two responses often come up; denial on one hand. Vindication on the other.

Vindication comes in many forms; an excuse of what was wrong and a determination to ensure that it is the past, is most prevalent, even in this case.

The fact is that the worst offender is always God Himself. Shame in the light of the public is just a sense of ego. But the real shame is the one that is based on the Light of God, our Creator who we owe all things to.

That is usually the harder aspect to see.

It is easier (not easy) to merely react according to what the people would want, to satiate their own desire for justice. But far harder to respond in the ‘right’ manner to the One that matters.

Irony

God has one, and has opened the door for one soon.

I believe I’ll be booted out of it.

I seem to have a knack for it.

But then again, God overrules everything. Maybe He wants to give them a chance?

Let’s see how the reception will be; hopefully not a Lystra.

Those in the know, will know how to interpret this post. If not… move on to the next less-cryptic post.