Archive for September, 2008

Moist chocolate cake

Here is my attempt at Chow’s recipe of the moist chocolate cake.  It’s a very simple and quick recipe – all over and done with within the hour.  Plus it’s a hassle-free recipe – I found all the necessary in the pantry, no butter to melt or eggs to beat up!  Very yummy 🙂

Here’s the link to the recipe.


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Faith like the Cannanite woman

Today’s sermon is on Matthew 15:21-28.  It is about never giving up in our prayer to the Lord and the importance of our faith as Christians.

A Caananite woman approached Jesus and His disciples on their way towards Sidon and Tyle from the sea of Gallilea, asking for Jesus to heal her daughter.  She was a Gentile.  Jesus’ response was that His first calling was for the people of Israel, to save the descendants of Abraham.  When He told the Caananite woman this (I take my hat off his honesty!), it didn’t deter her from further plea; and her faith moved Jesus therefore her daughter was healed.

The most wonderful thing about this account was the faith of this Caananite woman – she wasn’t one of the many who has seen with her own eyes of Jesus’ miracles, nor has heard with her own ears the teaching of Jesus and she wasn’t a Jew who has a heritage in David’s lineage.  But yet she openly acknowledged Jesus as Lord and believed wholeheartedly in His power and sovereignty.  I wonder how many of us can relate to this – we are in a generation where books on bible studies and Christian living fill our shelves, we are told over and over again of God’s characters in the church and conferences; but yet our faith is no where near this Gentile woman!  Perhaps you are not in the same boat as I am; I can recall the number of times I had turned down callings to serve – “not now, when I’m one day equipped enough in my knowledge of God, I will be able to serve better”, or the many cell group evenings when I could have shared my testimony – “what I have been through is too small, when God has put me through bigger things I would be able to share more then”.  This is what I lost – opportunity to experience how big God is!

The God we know is much bigger then we can ever imagine – after all, He is the Creator and Lord over heaven and earth – how can He ever be finite, as we have imagined Him to be???  The Canaanite woman didn’t think so?!  Jesus told her “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, but that didn’t turn her away.  The God she knows (and it’s not because she had attended church, conferences or reading Christian books?!) is much bigger, more merciful and gracious!!!!  She asked with confidence that the Lord is generous, kind and willing to save; so nothing was stopping her from her plea – not her circumstance (the disciples were telling Jesus to send her away), nor her heritage (she is not an Israelites).

We only need our firm and unwavering belief to bring us through any difficulty we have; because when we have this faith, we can bring our burden before God and wait on Him to deliver us from it.  It may not be immediate – Jesus didn’t do or respond the Canaanite woman’s first plea – but He will surely give us what we need, according to our faith.

What an awesome God we know!

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I have this healing story to share.  It is most amazing – I love the Chinese words for “amazing” or “miraculous”, “shen-qi”; the word “shen” means God.  In saying something is miraculous, God is glorified first.

I had this infection in my eyes since late July.  After seeing the doctor and applying the eye drops, it sort of went away for a while.  Before my joy of the recovery could fully blossom the strands of redness would return and I would go through the whole routine of eye drops application.  This went on for about a month or so and I declared I have had enough of it.

So this time round I was determined that either I’ll live with red-eye the rest of my life and stop taking notice of it, or I would do something about it.  What could I do though…..

That night I went to bed and I prayed before falling asleep.  As I prayed I aired my frustration to God.  Something the pastor preached in church a week ago crept up in me.  That day’s sermon was on Peter’s miraculous walk on the Gallilea sea.  Jesus had sent the disciples into the stormy sea and after a night of praying, He went out to the disciples and was walking on the water of the stormy sea.  This was no ordinary visit and no doubt the disciples were puzzled as to whether it might be ghost rather than their Master who was reaching out for them!

Jesus called out to them and Peter replied, “Lord, if is you, tell me to come to you on the water.”  In his heart, Peter believed that it was indeed Jesus, and he believed Jesus would answer his prayer of “come to you on the water”.  The message for us is this: when we pray with complete faith, Jesus will answer our request.

As I remembered this message, I was eager to give it a try.  At that point I felt that my heart was filled with faith, something similar to Jesus’ command of “have a childlike faith”.  I prayed for healing, as simple as that.

At that instance, I felt a pinch in the corner of my “bad” eye, as if a needle was poked into it.  What followed was a clean and healthy feeling around the eye, something I have not remembered for awhile yet.  A voice was there in my head, “your eye will never be bad again, ever.”

I used to wonder how others know for sure something has come from God.  But when I heard these words that night, in bed, after my prayer; something in my heart tells me that it is God who’s talking to me, the answer to my prayer because of my faith.

Despite the fact that I still occasionally doubt this miraculous healing, I am luckier than Peter (he fell into the water as soon as his mind began to sway) and indeed the red eye never strike again.  I’ve heard of worship songs about how gracious and faithful God is despite our unfaithful hearts.  That day I realized the same has happened to me – despite my unfaithfulness.

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I was at home one day and for some reason felt that I could do with some music.  I found an old CDs from the corner at home, of Andy Lau.  Hmmm… never remember having such an album?  Popped it into the computer and sure enough, the music was not foreign.  As the music played it was as if I had travelled back in time to those days when these ballads were hit singles.

There is something about music.  It tells a story – of the songster as well as the person listening to it.  At that moment the music brought me back to those days, memories of my friends, feelings of the circumstances and experiences of the younger days.

I love reminiscing and I do that a lot.  Photos and songs usually bring me back to those events.  My husband once dreamt of past events, as if a relm of film was projected onto the screen.  For me it’s different, I felt as if I was living it again.  In the past, reminiscing was usually about things I wished I had done differently – it was about regrets.  Nowadays, reminiscing is about thanking God – if only God had overlooked me I wouldn’t be where I am today, knowing who I am.

I would like make this blog my memory bank – instead of listening to mouldy songs to remind me of the things I have been through or lessons I’ve learnt, let me pen them down here.

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My attempt of the cassava cake.  We found the cake best consume when it’s cooled because it is chewy and firm.

You can find the recipe here.

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I love bread, any type of bread.  My favourite would be the pineapple buns from the Chinese bakery, but the recipe looks too complicating.  A good sister introduced me to her recipe of making these Chinese buns and they were lovely!  I used the bread machine to kneed so the “hard work” was deciding on what the toppings should be!

In the photos there are the cheese and bacon buns, red bean paste buns and the pork floss buns.  They were a sell-out and my hubby reckoned it was better than the bought ones (he’s always one of my fans :p)

Try out this recipe yourself and you’ll be surprised 🙂

Thank you sister Lee Ping!

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One day in Sydney

I am on leave and had a breakfast date with one of my dearest girlfriends in town today.

Travelling as a visitor to CBD Sydney is very interesting on a weekday morning.  Everyone rushes to get off the train and running to be the first in this rat race; the coffee queues at take-aways piling up into the walkways while there are some who are walking and trying to read the morning paper at the same time (!?).  In the middle of the Queen Victoria Building where I waited for my girlfriend there hangs a nice old-fashion clock from the ceiling.  It chimed every half an hour and being a visitor, I was quite amused by such a landmark.  How interesting – I once was one of those within the crowd, rushing about to get to work from Monday to Friday in this exact building.  Never did I remember this landmark and so bemused by it!?  Such is the difference between a visitor and a dweller here – when I go to places with the mindset of a visitor, I pick up its beauty easily; when I’m here to stay, I can’t help but notice all its flaws and cracks.

After an hour of girl-to-girl talk (and an energizing muffin!), we parted way.  Ghee, isn’t it fantastic to be with girlfriends?  We seem to know exactly what each other has been through and how each other feels – I think this is the most amazing thing about women’s friendship.

Since I had the morning all to myself, I decided to go around the CBD on foot. Again marvelling at the busyness of the city I used to live in and the shops I used to buy from. Maybe it’s the breakfast this morning, I began to reminisce the years in Sydney – Wagamama where James brought me out on our first dinner date, Soup Plus where we had the many nights of good jazz and warm dinner, church in the city on Friday nights….. you know that feeling of going back in time?

Something on the radio brought me back to now – MV Doulos is in town and it’s docking in Sydney for its last time! While it is so near, let’s take a look at the ship. A friend of mine spent a year on it and that’s how I learnt about it. On the way to the ship a visitor on his way home stopped me to talk to me.

“Do you know what ASAP stand for?”
“Um… As soon as possible?” I answered.
“No, Always Say A Prayer! God is alive today!”

I beamed at him and he beamed back – this is heaven here on earth if everyone has such an intimate relationship with God!

Stories of the crew and the ship line the walkways on board and it is such an amazing feeling to learn about all these people, who have lived here to serve and minister to those who are yet unsaved. I really like its motto “bringing knowledge, help and hope” – I went through the bookshop and bought a few books on the stories of Doulos crew.

My day-tour concluded here, on a train back home, pulling out of Circular Quay station revealing the beautiful sight of the harbour. What a lovely city!

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