Monday, July 28, 2008

Words of Wisdom

The Bible contains a wealth of wisdom. This week, I've selected a passage from 1 Corinthians 13 on love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

When I reflect on the characteristics of love mentioned in the passage, I realise that this standard of love has high expectations. I confess that I often fall short of this standard, especially with my loved ones. Have you noticed that often, we are more impatient and unkind with our loved ones that we are with strangers or acquaintances? Let us pray that by the grace of God we will be able to love with this kind of love.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Holy Alphabet

I received this poem from a friend. It blessed me and I hope it will bless you too.

A lthough things are not perfect
B ecause of trial or pain
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D o not begin to blame
E ven when the times are hard
F ierce winds are bound to blow
G od is forever able
H old on to what you know
I magine life without His love
J oy would cease to be
K eep thanking Him for all the things
L ove imparts to thee
M ove out of "Camp Complaining"
N o weapon that is known
O n earth can yield the power
P raise can do alone
Q uit looking at the future
R edeem the time at hand
S tart every day with worship
T o "thank" is a command
U ntil we see Him coming
V ictorious in the sky
W e'll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high
Y es, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

Poem by Cindy Blackamore

Monday, July 21, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Change is the essence of life
Be willing to surrender what you are
For what you could become

Honestly, most people don't welcome change. Fear of the unknown can be paralysing. Change is painful. Better to be in our comfort zone.

Let's not miss out on opportunities that change presents. Embrace the experience and see what you could become!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bali Day Excursion

Here are some pictures from my day trip out to the North East of Bali.

Barong & Keris Dance at CV. Catur, Eka Budhi, Batubulan Village
The Barong play represents an eternal fight between good and evil spirit. Barong, a mythological animal represents a good spirit. Bali, unlike the rest of Muslim Indonesia, is predominantly Hindu and is steeped in mythology. Don't worry if you don't understand the language. When you buy your entrance tickets, you will receive a description of the various acts (available in multiple languages).

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary at Padang Tegal
(Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana)
As the name suggests, monkeys are king here. Visitors can feed the monkeys with bananas and yam!

It is a peaceful sanctuary. The trees are really old.

The mythical stone dragon is quite amazing.

Ubud Palace

Ancient architecture

Funeral Pyre

The prominence and wealth of the person who passed away determines the height of the pyre. The richer, the higher. This picture was taken outside the Ubud Palace.

Padi Terraces in Tegalallang Village
In Malaysia, we are used to seeing padi fields on flat land. In Bali, due to the shortage of land, the villages plant padi on hill-side terraces.

Kintamani Volcano

Despite sunny weather at the rest of the Bali Island, it is usually cloudy at Kintamani Volcano. I enjoyed a cup of Balinese coffee at the Gunung Sari Restaurant whilst taking in the awesome scenery and cool weather.

Spice Village

On the way down from Kintamani, we stopped by one of the many spice villages. Above pictures - raw coffee beans and man roasting coffee beans over stove. Prices of the spices and coffee for sale are at a premium.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Banff, Canada

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Psalm 33:6

I marvel at the Lord's creation each time I travel. Truly, all creation shouts His praise!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Balinese and Indonesian Cuisine at Made's Warung

Made's Warung (Pronounced as Ma-Day) was recommended to us by an Indonesian. When the locals recommend it, you can't go wrong. We went to the restaurant in Kuta. They also have a branch in Seminyak. Made's Warung was established in 1969 and started off as a roadside stall or warung. It has now evolved to a cosmopolitan restaurant serving local and international cuisine to cater to the international visitors to Bali.

The restaurant is spacious and airy, with both indoor and outdoor seating. We opted for local Indonesian and Balinese cuisine. We really enjoyed the sate at Bumbu Bali so we ordered the pork sate here. We were not disappointed. The sate was grilled to perfection - the meat was moist on the inside and golden brown on the outside. The peanut sauce was creamy and had a wonderful flavour. (You really must buy the roasted peanuts in Bali)!
Another winner in our books is the ribs in young papaya soup. The ribs were so tender. The young papaya tasted like Chit Kwa (Chinese cucumber).

We couldn't resist the Indonesian Nasi Campur (Mixed Rice). The white rice was served with an accompaniment of small portions of meat and vegetable dishes, topped off with sambal (chili paste).

And to finish off the meal, we had the Black Rice Pudding for dessert. The pudding was served with freshly grated coconut and was rich and creamy. Beautiful!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Words of Wisdom

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. Seneca

Santorini, Greece
How true! The fresh sights, taste of novel cuisine, experience of different customs and cultures stimulates our five senses and our mind. When I come home from each travel, I am enriched by the encounters with the people and cherish the memories of my experiences there.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fresh Grilled Seafood at Jimbaran Beach

No visit to Bali is complete without a meal at one of the restaurants in Jimbaran Beach. If you want to catch sunset, be there by 6pm. It also helps to go early as the restaurants are very popular with both tourists and locals alike.

We went to Menega Cafe, which was recommended by an Indonesian acquaintance. The wooden tables are set on the beach itself, lit by a candle in a jar. The gentle seabreeze provides natural air-conditioning, whilst the sound of the waves lapping the sand is the background music. Later at night, a trio of musicians will go from table to table to entertain the patrons of the restaurant (for a tip of course). They will oblige you with your choice of songs. All in all, an almost perfect ambience for relaxation and enjoyment of dinner with the exception of the smoke from the grill.

Ambience aside, the quality seafood is the reason why people come to Jimbaran. It's so fresh. Lightly marinated with Balinese herbs and charcoal-grilled to perfection! The sauces that accompany the seafood are excellent. I'll let the pictures do the talking. I was so engrossed with the food, I almost forgot to take pictures. Please pardon the half empty plates!