Monday, December 24, 2007

Divorce: Harmful to Kids and the Environment?

Is divorce bad for children?? The data strongly suggests that it is. There is no shortage of studies that show a correlation between divorce and what social scientists call "adverse outcomes," such as drug use, teen pregnancy, depression, and other bad things.

Yet, even with the data, many scientists and academics decline to tell people that they should stay married for the sake of children.

If Americans will not stay together for their children's sake, would they do it to save the planet?

That is the question being asked in the wake of a recent Michigan State study. Researchers there found that divorce "exacts a serious toll on the environment." How? It boosts "the energy and water consumption of those who used to live together."



Why this should be the case is not hard to understand: Divorce turns what used to be one household into two. The efficient use of resources, including money, that comes naturally to families living under the same roof no longer applies. In its place are two of just about everything. The researchers calculated that, as the result of divorce, an additional 38 million rooms had to be heated and lighted.

The impact of this divorce-induced consumption is not trivial, they say. The researchers calculated that if divorced couples had stayed married, the "United States would have saved 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 627 BILLION gallons of water"—and that's in 2005 alone.

That is approximately as much electricity as American households use in three weeks and nearly as much water as all of American industry uses in an entire year.

Clearly, the study's authors were right when they said that after blaming "industries for environmental problems," it is time to look at the impact of households. But if you are expecting environmental groups to emphasize or even mention getting and staying married as a way to "save the planet," well, you are mistaken.

The head of the Earth Policy Institute told the Washington Post that "shifting to more energy-efficient appliances is the answer, not trying to prevent divorce or trying to make divorce more difficult." In other words, get divorced if you like—just make sure your new home has an energy-efficient dishwasher and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

No surprise here. Environmentalism, as Los Angeles Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez puts it, increasingly resembles a "religious awakening." But, like most modern religions, its aim is to make the adherent feel righteous, not to be righteous.

Thus, given the choice between personal fulfillment and "saving the planet," the choice is easy: The environment joins the kids on the list of those things whose well-being is sacrificed on the altar of our autonomy. Just as our children have to settle for "quality time," "Mother Earth" will have to be content with energy-efficient appliances and a check to an environmental group. Any real sacrifice is for other people to make.

Of course, that does not change the impact that our choices have on both people and now, it seems, the planet. We can violate the moral order for only so long before the stones themselves begin to cry out.

Copyright © 2007 Prison Fellowship

BreakPoint is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet. BreakPoint is a production of The Wilberforce Forum, a division of Prison Fellowship: 1856 Old Reston Avenue, Reston, VA 20190.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Face the New Year Without Fear

God's Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a New Year: "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

We can live this coming year without fear if we apply these four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.

The Contentment of His Provision
Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting what you already have. First Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content." If you know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. If you've got clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in your heart, you're rich!

Do you know why we have fear? Because we think our needs or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. Or we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are going to be taken away from us. The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Companionship of His Presence
I don't know what I'm going to face next year. But there's one thing I know, He will never leave me. Are you a child of God? He will never leave you either. Isn't that wonderful!

What's another reason we may fear in the coming year? Because we're afraid we're going to have to face something we don't understand, and we're going to have to face it alone.

When God's Word promises that God will never forsake you, it literally means that He will never abandon you. He will not give up on you. We need to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. When the devil comes and knocks at you heart's door, you can simply say, "Jesus, please go answer the door."

The Confidence of His Promise
We're going to zero in on a little phrase in our verses in Hebrews, "He hath said." A promise is no better than the one who makes it. Who says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"? It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. This is the confidence of His promise.

In the coming year, when you say, "God, I just don't have the strength." The omnipotent God will answer, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." When you say, "God, I'm afraid of what is going to happen." The omnipresent God says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." And when you say, "God, I don't know what to do." The omniscient God will respond, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." He himself hath said it.

The Comfort of His Protection
Hebrews 13:6 promises, "So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Now, put that with verse five which says, "He hath said."

Like I said earlier, I don't know what you're going to go through this coming year. But I know you can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, so I will not fear what man shall do to me." When you find your contentment, companionship, and confidence in Jesus. Then, you'll find your comfort and courage in Jesus.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Death of a Dream by Lynn Morgan

After my divorce, I had to find new hopes for the future. Lynn Morgan
Two days before my divorce was finalized, I came across a childhood picture of myself. In it I wore a bright, innocent smile, and my eyes sparkled with hope. As I traced that smile with my finger, I remembered my little-girl dreams of a lavish wedding shared with a handsome groom, a house surrounded with a picket fence, and a minivan filled with children to nurture and love. A happily-ever-after.

Losing the Dream

When that little girl in the picture grew up, she found her handsome groom and celebrated a wedding with all the trimmings. But our marriage was rocky from the start; my husband was unfaithful as well as verbally and physically abusive. As a believer who'd grown up in a strong Christian home layered with generations of enduring marriages, I simply didn't include divorce in my vocabulary. Instead, I worked hard to improve our troubled relationship, seeking both individual and marital counseling from church leaders and Christian counselors.

But after eight years of counseling, prayer, patience, and failed attempts at reconciliation, I realized I had biblical grounds to leave. So as an excruciating last resort, I separated from my husband and filed for divorce.

I wasn't prepared for how surreal divorce felt. While my life crumbled to pieces, the outside world continued unchanged. I taught students in my English classes about misplaced modifiers and comma splices. I chatted with coworkers about the weather and world events.

Memories—of my husband's hearty chuckle, his silly nickname for the dog, our week spent painting the house together—caught me unexpectedly as I drove to work, forcing me to fight back tears before my first class. Even a bad marriage has its good times.

A Comforting Presence

So much died with the end of my marriage—my relationship, my future dreams, even my hope for children—yet I didn't have the closure of a funeral. No condolences, flowers, or eulogies comforted me.

In the middle of all the pain, a jarring question arose within me: Who am I now?

I felt scared and alone, aching for a sign of God's presence. Then I remembered God doesn't promise freedom from trials and heartaches. But he does promise to be with us through them: "When [not if] you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:2).

In addition to God's comfort, my family became my shelter in those cruel months of the divorce, supporting me with prayer, encouragement, and loving hugs. Still, I felt a new awkwardness with them. Only weeks after I signed the divorce papers, I attended my cousin's wedding ceremony where I sat on a long pew with my relatives, all married. As I watched the bride and groom exchange marriage vows, I remembered my own wedding day. The memory stung.

The Identity Question

In the middle of all the pain, a jarring question arose within me: Who am I now? I was no longer a wife, a Mrs., a daughter-in-law. Divorce had stripped away my identity, leaving a gaping hole. Where do I fit in?

I began my search to answer that question the day after my final divorce hearing when I accepted a new job teaching international students. That same semester, I returned to school for my master's degree, reigniting my passion for literature and writing. These fulfilling pursuits led me to greater understanding of my talents and interests, providing significant pieces in the puzzle of my identity.

For the first time in years, I had the opportunity to take a good, long look at my life. With no husband and no marital responsibilities to distract me, I could discover what I enjoy and what I want from life. And I realized I was stronger than I'd thought and braver than I'd imagined.

Rays of Hope

After the divorce, I moved in with my parents for financial reasons. Their yard was dotted with tall trees where birds performed tiny morning symphonies outside my window. Every evening I watched the sinking sun light up their lawn with a golden glow. Somehow, admiring the strength of their huge oak tree gave me incredible comfort. Life did go on—leaves fell, birds sang, squirrels rummaged. And as each day passed, I realized I could go on, too.

My pain made me poignantly aware of what I usually take for granted—the orange glow of a sunset, family members, friendships, each breath.

Slowly I healed. Work gave me purpose. Memories of the marriage faded. Soon I was able to go through an entire day with true and sustained joy. I started to feel whole again as God renewed me.

Undoubtedly what comforted me most during the heartache of my divorce was God's constancy. Though the world around me was virtually unrecognizable, he never changed. My divorce made this truth clear: People may disappoint, hurt, and betray me, but God won't ever let me down.

The Little Girl

So, what became of that little girl in the picture? She's stronger now. She doesn't take family members for granted, and she values her relationship with God above all others. Although her little-girl dreams have faded and changed, they've yielded to new, realistic ones that offer gifts of self-discovery and purpose—and lead to a happily-ever-after of a different kind.

Lynn Morgan is a pseudonym.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ten career-damaging behaviours to avoid


“O, how full of briers is this working-day world!” is the famous Shakespearian quote from ‘As You Like It’. External pressures, thorns, obstacles and difficulties aside, how many of us are responsible for unwittingly hampering our chances of career success through our own misplaced and misguided attitudes and behaviours. Below are ten common faux-pas that can ruin a career and should be avoided at all costs.

1. Poor Time Management

Missing deadlines, failing to abide by agreed timelines, arriving to meetings late and generally disrespecting approved schedules is a surefire way to lose credibility and professional respect. Try to value each and every minute on the job and recognize the inefficiencies that arise from procrastination and slovenly time management and the impact these have on the organisation as a whole.

2. Failure to Deliver on Promises

A promise made should be a promise kept if your professional credibility is to remain intact. Avoid making promises you cannot deliver on. Unless you are known as someone who can be strictly depended on to follow through and deliver on time you are likely to be passed over for promotions and key assignments. When you do need more time or resources for an assignment communicate the requirement formally and professionally and manage the situation to show you are in control and will not be sacrificing on quality of delivery.

3. Poor Accountability

Accountability, a close reactive of honesty is an essential character trait in today’s workplace. Avoid becoming known as the sour apple who usurps all credit and circumvents all blame. If you have made an error, admitting to it in a timely manner avoids an unnecessary escalation, earns you the confidence and respect of those around you, and indicates professionalism, honesty and maturity.

4. Poor interpersonal skills

All research indicates that emotional intelligence and people skills are an essential ingredients for success in life and at work. Whether it is suppliers, clients, superiors, colleagues or subordinates you are dealing with the quality and success of that relationship will be largely predicated by how personable you are and how pleasant you are to interact with. If you have a reputation as someone who is difficult to work or interact with chances are people will start to avoid you and your success at mobilizing people or resources to further your goals will be severely diminished.

5. Poor team skills

A good team-player is able to work cohesively within a team framework and contribute, collaborate, communicate and challenge to meet specific goals within that framework. Inability to see beyond one’s self, work well with everyone, find the good qualities of others in the team, communicate persuasively and effectively, listen actively and attentively, give and welcome input, offer encouragement and assistance where needed and show respect, patience and courtesy inevitably leads to marginalisation and failure to meet personal and professional goals.

6. Lack of ethics or professionalism

Conducting personal business on the job and any other activities that show flagrant disrespect for company time, resources and property are both unethical and unprofessional. Chatting endlessly on the job, office gossip, wasting office supplies, laying about important work-related matters, back-biting the boss, spreading office secrets, routinely bringing personal matters to the workplace all fall under this category.

7. Lack of initiative

Complacency is a surefire road to professional mediocrity. To succeed it is essential that you continue to show enthusiasm, stretch the limits, be proactive and test the boundaries in the interest of innovation. Take responsibility for your personal and professional growth and continue to build momentum in your training and profession development activities. If you chose to simply lie low and casually bide your time while others race ahead in their careers you will most probably be overlooked for promotions and plum assignments and your skills may well eventually become redundant.

8. Inability to Handle Pressure

Every job entails a certain amount of stress and pressure and failure to recognize and handle the strain may lead to a pronounced and sustained decline in performance. Learn to recognize stress and cope with it professionally and effectively. Take breaks and holidays when needed, learn to manage stress and cope with pressure so that it is not an ongoing problem for you. It may be that the pressures mounting on you are due to poor time management or delegation skills or weakness in a certain area in which case developing your skills in these areas is highly advisable.

9. Lone Ranger Syndrome

Team skills are essential in today’s marketplace as is getting along with others and communicating your accomplishments regularly and professionally. Do not try to isolate yourself and excel quietly in private as chances are your performance will not get the exposure and credit it deserves. Personal marketing and effective relationship management are key to career success. Aim to regularly and professionally communicate your private coups to your manager and others in a position to help your career advancement and do not assume your great work and personal victories will automatically get noticed and given the credit they deserve.

10. Stasis

You may well be in your comfort zone and doing very well there but if you don’t challenge yourself in pursuit of further growth and development and continuously move forward and upward you may lose your equilibrium sooner than you expected. Have a vision in mind as pertains to your career and formulate a clear strategy and timeline for getting there which you can regularly benchmark and measure yourself against. Continuous learning, development and self-improvement is a necessity not a luxury for today’s ambitious professional and it is imperative that you keep abreast of the latest trends, tools and technologies in your field and not risk losing ground to the star performers who take personal growth more seriously.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wedding Check List

TIP: Schedule your final gown fitting and come prepared with the following items:
Shoes you will wear for your wedding - to ensure your gown is just the right length
Lingerie - a bra and slip can transform your silhouette and help create a perfect fit
Headpiece and accessories - you'll want to view your finished look

____ Gown (including Alterations & Bustle)
____ Hair Accessories (Headpiece, Veil & Blusher or other options)
____ Sash/Ribbon
____ Brooch
____ Flowers
____ Jewelry
____ Necklace
____ Earrings
____ Bracelet
____ Handbag
____ Gloves
____ Outerwear (Wrap, Cape, Bolero)
____ Garters (1 for you and 1 to toss)
____ Shoes
____ Lingerie (Bra & Slip)

For YOUR BRIDAL PARTY:
____ Bridesmaid Dresses
____ Color-Coordinated Shoes
____ Handbags
____ Jewelry (Necklace, Earrings, Brooch)
____ Hair Accessories
____ Ribbons, Sashes, Flowers
____ Outerwear (Wraps, Jackets)
____ Gloves
____ Flower Girl Dresses
____ Flower Girl Basket & Accessories
____ Junior Bridesmaid Dresses
____ Mother-of-the-Bride Dress

Other WEDDING ESSENTIALS:
____ Wedding Planner
____ Guest Book
____ Toasting Glasses
____ Candles

For YOUR GROOM & GROOMSMEN:
____ Tuxedos with coordinating vests and ties
____ Ring Bearer Tuxedo
____ Ring Bearer Pillow

For YOUR GUESTS & PARTY:
____ Invitations & Thank You Notes
____ Bridesmaid Gifts
____ Gifts for Groomsmen (Don't forget a gift for your groom)
____ Gifts for Parents
____ Guest Favors (if you have the budget)
____ Guest Book & Pen (oh...is better if you can get gold / silver color)
____ First Dance Music
____ Toasting Glasses
____ Candles
____ Disposable Cameras (nowadays lots of people get this and let their guest to actually take photos of the bride and themself... is a nice concept.. but i'm not sure this can be apply in Malaysia or not... hmm.. most probably.. it will disappear i think)

For YOUR HONEYMOON:
____ Special Occasion Dress
____ Jewelry
____ Handbag
____ Shoes
____ Passport

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How Do You Choose the Right Career Path for You?

Choosing the right career eludes some of us right up until retirement. Be one of the lucky ones who have truly found their calling. The following tips from Bayt.com should help.

Franklin D Roosevelt once said “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” Thankfully, we live in trial-and-error times where growth and change are expected and employers have learned to tolerate if not wholeheartedly appreciate and welcome the diversity in background and skills that come from career changers.

In lieu of life-long job and career stability, many of today’s professionals espouse a career trajectory that is open to responding to new challenges and opportunities as they arise. These may be motivated by entirely extraneous factors such as economic restructuring, downsizing, upsizing, the emergence of lucrative new industry sectors or motivated by changes in personal situation which could include age, changes to marital or family status, geographical preferences, new life demands, desire for better work/life balance etc.
Whatever the motivation, career change is no longer the frowned-upon sole recourse of the unemployed but a common turn of events and one that is expected to become more so as economies restructure at an ever more accelerated pace, information about alternate career paths flows ever more freely, work/life balance becomes an increasingly hot topic, and a booming global economy means opportunities abound.

A recent on-line poll run by the Middle East’s #1 job site Bayt.com covering over 1,420 professionals that enquired how often candidates have changed career paths in their life saw the majority of respondents have changed careers at least once and many had changed careers two times or more. Only 40% of respondents have never changed careers whereas 27% had changed careers once and 32% of respondents had changed careers twice or more.
So how in such times of flux and opportunity and in light of the vast amount of choice out there do you determine the right career for you? Below the Career Experts from Bayt.com offer some pointers as you approach this important topic:

DREAM

(Examine your passions and interests)
1. Read the current literature on career change – the whys, how-tos and whens. Books such as What Colour is Your Parachute are a great way to start the self-exploration process.
2. Ask yourself what you would do in an ideal world if money were no imperative. What would you do if you had a year away from work or if you could emulate someone who in your opinion has a dream job? Would you write poetry, run a global corporation, compete in athletics, design world-class architectural projects, publish literature, start your own little business, work with children, with the elderly, teach, heal, perform?
3. Ask yourself what tasks you ideally like to immerse yourself in. Do you prefer the analytical aspects of your current (or past) job, the administrative aspects, the leadership aspects, the coaching aspects, problem-solving aspects, decision-making in teams, writing, designing, co-ordinating, managing, creating, trouble-shooting etc. Where do you find yourself happiest and most comfortable?
4. Make a list of those aspects of your job or other jobs that you don’t like and wish to avoid.
5. Be honest with yourself, be creative and dare to dream as you think of what you would really like to do. The dreaming stage is not the time to focus – allow yourself to really explore all avenues of interest and be curious about new paths and possibilities.

DETERMINE

(Examine your values, priorities and skills)
6. Determine what your priorities really are. How important is work-life balance to you versus career growth or financial stability? How important is leisure versus work versus learning for you? Are you willing to put one or two on hold while you pursue a third or is your ideal life plan a blended one that includes the three? Are you content with financial stability or are you interested in huge financial gain? Are you interested in a job or a career? Is prestige and social status critical to you and how much of these does your career, past and potential, afford you?
7. Determine your real values and ask what career satisfies and is consistent with those. Albert Einstein’s advice on this front was: “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”
8. Make an inventory of your skills and strengths.
9. Take self-assessment tests to even more deeply understand what it is that motivates, drives and inspires you.

DIG DEEP/ DISSECT

(Examine alternate career paths)
10. Research alternate career paths – look at growth potential, job profiles, pay, benefits, mobility, work/life balance and all other issues that will determine your longevity in the career.
11. As you hone in on potential career paths obtain the maximum amount of information about these careers. Read industry blogs and websites, talk to people in the field, subscribe to industry journals and newsletters and leave no stone unturned as you familiarize yourself with the potential new territory.
12. Map your personal inventory of skills, interests, values against the requirements of alternative career paths.
13. Realistically analyse and make contingencies for those factors that impede your career mobility. These may be geographical mobility issues, financial limitations, family considerations, or education/ training issues. Look at occupational and non-occupational barriers to career entry and determine realistically how you can/will overcome those.
14. Seek counseling and advice. As you seek to reinvent yourself you may want to talk to a professional counselor formally, or informally to someone in your new area, an old colleague or a peer. Formal counseling is useful when trying to overcome mental blocks to career growth and advancement. Often, the biggest detriment to career development is low self-esteem, anxiety fear, inertia and the inability to deal with change meaningfully and constructively.

DECIDE

(Select the ultimate career path)
15. Let your natural instincts, your introspection and the fruits of your intense research guide the way. Many of us in today’s number-crunching world have learned to quell those very essential natural instincts that propel us towards leadership, happiness and success.
16. Don’t be swayed by external pressures. Often family, friends and society place undue pressure on a person to conform to or follow a certain career path. Pablo Picasso once said “My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”” .
17. Don’t let financial considerations alone guide you unless of course you have determined that financial gain in itself (with all its glories and trappings) is your overriding value, interest and goal in life. Oftentimes, short-term financial losses can be compensated for by the fact that you will eventually prosper most and acquire the most depth and skill in the field that most interests you.

DARE

(Confidently stride into your new career)
18. Believe in yourself. Have faith and be bold and brave as you follow your aspirations. Don’t let negative self-perceptions and external diatribes detract you from your true calling. After the homework, the reading, the research, the introspection, soul-searching, networking and analysis, close your eyes and find the person you always wanted to be.
Robert Kennedy famously once said “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Arm yourself with your dreams, your invaluable newly acquired self-knowledge and your rigorous research into the plethora of opportunities out there and don’t hesitate in pursuing the career of your dreams. Your success will thank you!

Amazing Book Sculpture Brian Dettmer

Brian Dettmer Awesome Book CarvingBrian Dettmer (born 1974) is an American contemporary artist. He is noted for his alteration of preexisting media — such as old books, maps, record albums, and cassette tapes - to create transformed works of visual fine art. See more of his works..

Amazing Book Sculpture Brian Dettmer

Monday, December 10, 2007

Breathless by Shayne Ward



The video for the brand new single Breathless - as seen on X Factor. Available for download from the 18th November, in the shops 19th November. www.shayneward.com

Saturday, December 8, 2007

New and improved AdSense features

AdSense for mobile now available

If you currently run a website designed for mobile phones, or are planning to set one up, you can now monetize your site with Google AdSense for mobile. Similar to AdSense for content, AdSense for mobile automatically serves targeted ads to your mobile webpages, enabling you to earn money while providing useful information to your users. If you'd like to learn more about the specifics of the program, check out the policies and requirements. Or to get started right away, simply sign in to your AdSense account, visit the AdSense Setup tab, and select AdSense for mobile as the product.

AdSense mobile logo

Announcing Video Units

We're excited to announce video units, a new way for publishers to enrich their sites with premium, relevant video content on an embedded YouTube player. We know one of your top goals is to enhance your users' experience, so video units allow you to choose which video categories to target to your site and which to exclude, as well as to customize the color scheme and layout of the YouTube player. Plus, the ads provided with the videos are highly targeted and non-intrusive. If you're looking to monetize and enrich your site with premium video content, learn more about video units or simply log in to your account to get started.

Choose your advertisers with Referrals 2.0

All publishers can now take advantage of the newest improvement to our referrals program: cost-per-action ads from our pool of AdWords advertisers. In addition to referring your users to our Google products, you can pick and choose from the many great products and services offered by our advertisers. You can match the content of your site and your users' interests by selecting the specific ads that you want to show on your page. Even better, you can place up to three referrals ads on your page in addition to your standard AdSense for Content ad units.

Adsense Referrals

To get started, just visit the AdSense Setup tab, choose Referrals as your product, and start finding the perfect ads for your site. You can also find out more about the advantages of referrals by reading our Inside AdSense blog post.

Get your ads in shape with rounded corners

You probably noticed the launch of our redesigned ad formats earlier this year, but did you know that you can customize the shape of the ad unit further by selecting between square, slightly rounded, or very rounded corners? To get started with these new shapes, visit the 'AdSense Setup' tab in your account. We suggest that you choose the corner style that best matches the look and feel of your sites.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Funny YouTube Costume


SOS - Crime Alert - Kidnapping case - Dora Goh Wei Wei


I received an SOS sms this morning from a friend working in Shah Alam about an eye-witness kidnapping case involving her colleague.
3 guys kidnapped a Chinese gal in a silver colour Toyota Camry (the boxy version) . The plat no. is 7641 (she did not see the three first digits because of the three guys were looking at her). Please report to the nearest police station if you see this car.
I’ve spoken to her while she was at the police station in Shah Alam.

The victim is Dora Goh Wei Wei, 25 year-old, 155cm with curly hair.
Please help to spread the words around and report to the police station if you spot the number, your help is much appreciated.



Please help to spread the words around and report to the police station if you spot the number, your help is much appreciated.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

iPOd: How to Charge iPod using Electrolytes and an Onion


See how to charge your iPod (or other mp3 player) for up to 20 minutes using electrolytes derived from Gatorade or Powerade which are then stored within the cells of an onion.

Watch Video here :

Charging iPod using Electrolytes and an Onion

How to Set Internet Explorer, Netscape to be Default Web Browser in Your PC



Here's a simple help to make Netscape or Internet Explorer to be the default web browser..



For Netscape:

In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users


In that directory, you will see your user folder, and inside is your 'Pref.js' file.
Right-click 'Prefs.js' and open it with Notepad


On the lineuser_pref("browser.wfe.ignore_def_check", true);

change the word true to false and save the file (ignore the text at the topof the file that warns you not to edit the file).


Next time you start Netscape, the dialog box will come up asking if you want to make Netscape your default browser. Choose Yes.More info





To make Internet Explorer the default web browser,
In Internet Explorer -> View menu -> Internet Options -> Programs
Enable 'Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default web browser'



Why Christian Women Marry Muslim Men by Mark Earley


It was while vacationing in Turkey that Miriam, a British subject, became fascinated with Islam. She was mesmerized by the beauty of the mosques and spellbound as she heard the daily calls to prayer. Miriam had been raised a Christian, but had turned against God when her mother died. The simplicity and security that Islam seemed to offer appealed to her: She decided to convert and married a Muslim man.



But within a few years, cracks began to form in her new faith. She felt that she could never be good enough to earn a place in Paradise, and that God did not love her. One day Miriam picked up her old Bible, and a few months later, re-embraced her commitment to Christ. But when Miriam told her husband what she had done, he promptly left her and their little girl. Islamic law required it: She was now an apostate.



Miriam tells her story in a new book by Rosemary Sookhdeo titled Why Christian Women Convert to Islam. What is shocking is how many of these women come from strong, evangelical backgrounds. Many converts, like Miriam, are brought up by Christian parents, accept Christ, and get involved in church activities. But as they grow older, their commitment fades, or they become disillusioned with Christianity. Islam, they think, may offer the answer.



Younger women often meet Muslims at college—men who convince them that there is really not much difference between Islam and Christianity. When their wives discover the truth that Christianity is not the same as Islam, it is often too late. Any children they have will be raised Muslim-and great pressure is put on wives to convert.



Some women marry with the best of intentions: Their husbands are recent Muslim converts to Christianity. The women learn later that they should have put off wedding plans in order to test the strength of this commitment, because all too often, these men convert back to Islam when their families pressure them.



The sobering truth is that the number of Christian converts to Islam is growing rapidly. Sookhdeo says that when her husband recently spoke at a major Christian conference, he asked the audience how many of them knew someone who had converted to Islam. Fifty percent of the audience raised a hand—astonishing!



Sookhdeo believes that some 30,000 Westerners have converted to Islam in the last decade—the majority of them women. Clearly, our churches need to do something about this. In Sunday school classes and youth groups, we need to teach our kids, especially our daughters, about the difference between Islam and Christianity. And we cannot forget the role that Christian education plays here. We must remind them of the Apostle Paul's admonition in Second Corinthians that we not be yoked with unbelievers.



As more and more Muslims immigrate to Western countries, Christians will likely find themselves mixing with them at work, in the college classroom, and in their neighborhoods. While we should welcome opportunities to develop friendships and share our life and faith, marriage is altogether different.



If you know young Christians tempted to marry outside the faith, talk to them. Pray for them. And ask your church family for support. We must do all we can to help our children remain faithful to the one true God and His only Son, who alone died for our sins: Jesus the Christ.



Copyright © 2007 Prison FellowshipBreakPoint is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet. BreakPoint is a production of The Wilberforce Forum, a division of Prison Fellowship: 1856 Old Reston Avenue, Reston, VA 20190.


Bread And Butter Pudding


Ingredients

White bread slices - 6
Butter - 3 tablespoons
Milk, hot - 2 cups
Sugar - ½ cup
Eggs - 4
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
Raisins (kishmish) - ½ cup

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Butter bread slices. Keep one slice on top of the another and make three sandwiches. Cut each of them into four triangles. Arrange the triangles in a baking dish so each triangle overlaps the previous one.
3. Take hot milk in a bowl, add sugar and stir till it dissolves. Break eggs into it and whisk to mix well. Add vanilla essence and mix.
4. Pour this mixture over the bread slices and press the bread lightly so that they soak up most of the milk. Sprinkle raisins on the top.
5. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for about forty minutes.
6. Serve hot or cold.

CHOCOLATE WALNUT KHEER

Ingredients

Dark chocolate, grated - ½ cup + 2 tablespoons for garnishing
Walnuts, dry roasted, coarsely crushed ½ cup + a few for garnishing
Rice - 2 tablespoons
Milk - 4 cups
Mawa/khoya, grated - ¼ cup
Sugar - 1/3 cup

Method

1. Take rice and milk in a deep pan and cook stirring continuously so that the rice does not stick to the bottom. Cook till the rice is soft and the milk reduced.
2. Add mawa and mix. Add sugar and stir till it dissolves.
3. Add crushed walnuts and stir. Transfer into a bowl and add chocolate and mix. Cool and chill.
4. Pour into individual bowls. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the top, place a walnut in the centre and serve.
MIXED FRUIT CRUMBLE

Ingredients

Apples, 1 inch cubes - 3 large
Pears, 1 inch cubes - 3 large
Ginger, chopped - 1 inch piece
Honey - 1 tablespoon
Orange juice - 2 tablespoons
Topping
Refined flour (maida) - 1 1/3 cups
Butter, softened - 1/3 cup
Almonds, flaked - 15-20
Porridge oats - ¼ cup
Mixed spices - 1 teaspoon
Brown sugar - 2 tablespoons
Honey - ¼ cup
To serve
Custard

Method

1. Pre heat oven to 175º C. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish.
2. To make the topping, sieve the flour in a bowl and rub in butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in flaked almonds, porridge oats, mixed spices, brown sugar and honey. Mix until well combined.
3. In a bowl mix together apples, pears, ginger, honey and orange juice. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish.
4. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the mixed fruits in the dish.
5. Bake in the preheated oven at 175º C for half an hour until the topping is golden and the fruit tender.
6. Serve it hot with custard.
SUPER MITHAI SUNDAE

Ingredients

Mini gulab jamuns - 20-24
Vanilla ice-cream - 4 scoops
Butterscotch ice-cream - 4 scoops
Mixed fruit jam - 4 teaspoons
Sponge cake, cubed - ¼ medium
Dry fruit chikki, crushed - ½ cup

Method

1. Take four wide mouthed stemmed glasses and smear the inside of each with a teaspoon of mixed fruit jam.
2. Layer each glass with few cubes of sponge cake, five to six mini gulabjamuns, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a scoop of butterscotch ice cream and garnish with crushed dry fruit chikki. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 12, 2007

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

7 Secrets to a Happy Heart - Strategies to cultivate true joy by Annette LaPlaca

Have you ever seen the movie Pollyanna? Child actress Hayley Mills starred as the orphaned daughter of missionaries who becomes the ward of her rich, embittered aunt. Pollyanna's infectious habit of being thankful transforms the crabby aunt, the crochety household staff, and the whole town!

These days, people use the label "Pollyanna" to suggest someone childishly naive in her ability to look on the bright side. But being happy doesn't require us to turn a blind eye to troubles such as gangs and crime and Columbine. Neither does it mean we chant shallow platitudes such as "Don't worry, be happy."

Like most attributes we long for (peace, patience, goodness), a happy heart takes root in the discipline of giving thanks. It's the secret weapon of the joyous Christian! But what is it about gratitude that creates a happy heart?

Happy in the Lord

Of course I was madly in love with my husband, David, when we got engaged. But that's nothing compared to the love I have for him now, after nearly 11 years of marriage. The difference? Gratitude! I'm thankful for the hundreds of times David's scrubbed the pots after dinner, for the times he's instantly forgiven my crabbiness, for the willing spirit he shows about helping my single-parent friend, for the amazing enthusiasm he brings to parenting our kids. As I think about the multitude of actions that prove David's love for me over the years, I'm filled with joy.

That's the way I feel in my relationship with God, too—and the reason I believe the Old Testament is loaded with verses that instruct God's people to "remember" his goodness, such as 1 Samuel 12:24: "Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you."

Whenever I struggle to feel joyful, I choose to reflect on how God always meets my needs. Time after time, I've seen God put forgiving love in me right where angry resentment had been half an hour before, simply because I asked him to.

As my relationship with God grows, my love for him becomes more deeply entwined with my gratitude to him. The more I remember his goodness, the closer I feel to his comfort, peace, and presence.

Happy with Others

It's easy to recognize how integral gratitude is to experiencing joy in God. It's less obvious to see how it affects my other relationships—but it does!

When I'm tempted to keep score with others, or resent a friend who talks more about herself than listens to me, gratitude helps me remember how "full" my cup is—how well God's caring for me. Then I'm better able to reach out to my friend without becoming bitter.

I once had a coworker—a woman I considered a friend—who unintentionally dragged me into her troubles with management. The result was a difficult annual review for me, and the postponement of a promotion I'd expected. Preoccupied with her own misery, she didn't realize what she'd done, so I couldn't expect her to apologize. I had to forgive her, of course—as a believer, I don't have a choice! But it helped me to look around at my other positive work relationships, at my marriage and beautiful kids, and realize God had given me so much. I was able to consider that whole episode a bump on the road and let go of my resentment against her.

Surefire Strategies

If developing an "attitude of gratitude" is difficult for you, take heart! You'll be surprised how a little bit of discipline goes a long way toward giving you a joyful spirit. Try these action steps:

1. Start a joy journal. Keep a small notebook by your bed, just for jotting down a few good things God's done for you that day. This doesn't take long—especially if you use one or two key reminder words. At the beginning, or on a day when your heart's heavy, this may take some work. But even on those days, try to come up with three items, minimum. It may help to look back over the other days' entries to spark "happy thoughts" of God's faithfulness to you. As your thankfulness "skill" develops, this exercise becomes a pleasure.

2. Play Pollyanna's "Glad Game." In the movie, Pollyanna plays a game her father taught her. He told her that in every situation, there is something to be thankful for, if only you look for it (1 Thessalonians 5:18). One time, when the little girl had been hoping for a doll to come in a supply shipment, she received a pair of crutches instead. Pollyanna chose to be thankful she didn't need them!

A few months ago, my father was diagnosed with the worst kind of leukemia a person can get. It's been rough sailing—with aggressive chemotherapy and infection setbacks—ever since. Of course I'm pounding the gates of heaven with my requests for his healing, but at the same time I've found some things for which to be thankful. I'm glad my father's a passionate Christian. I'm grateful we've had a good relationship, and that my husband and kids love him and know him well. He's good at Pollyanna's game himself. He may be suffering, but his attitude of gratitude comes through loud and clear during these tough times.

3. Look for the silver lining. My former coworker really seemed to loathe working in our office. Day after day, her list of verbal gripes grew longer, which didn't do much for my morale. Finally, I suggested she list what she did like about her job. The next day she surprised me by showing me her list. She admitted she'd been so busy focusing on her grievances, she'd forgotten to notice the good things in the office.

All-or-nothing thinking is common when you feel discouraged, but don't fall into that trap. There usually are a few times, at least, when things go right. So look for the silver lining!

4. Say "thank you" before "please." When it comes to prayer, don't jump directly into your list of wants and needs, no matter how pressing those may seem. God loves to hear us appreciate him! Start by praying the way Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 6:9-13, by honoring God ("Hallowed be your name"). Your praise will naturally include thankfulness for his faithful love, the daily help of his Holy Spirit, and his provision for you.

5. Remember the "Thanksgiving Special." For years I assigned myself the annual Thanksgiving task of making a list of "100 things to be thankful for." Why not compose a year 2000 list? I typically find the first 20-30 easy to come up with, then get bogged down in the middle. But all of a sudden I find myself remembering little things that have built my trust and confidence in God. I always manage to come up with 100. Give it a try.

6. Try a Scripture search. Remind yourself of the importance of "rejoicing" by searching the Bible—both Old and New Testaments—for God's instructions in this area. (Pollyanna says there are at least 800 "happy texts" in the Bible. I'll have to take her word for it.) It will spur you on to "consider what great things [God] has done for you."

I love 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 be-cause it reminds me it's God's will that I be "joyful always" and "give thanks in all circumstances." God wants me to have a happy heart as much as I long to be joyful. It's not all up to me; God's there, waiting to give me joy.

7. Just ask. When you struggle to obey God in the area of giving thanks, don't hesitate to ask him to show you how. He's longing to draw you close, to give you strength for the challenges of every day. So ask for his help.

What begins as an awkward discipline of thankfulness can end as a habit of happiness. Gratitude's been my secret weapon for finding contentment and joy; put it to work in your life!

Annette LaPlaca, a TCW regular contributor and freelance contributor to several magazines, lives with her family in the Chicago area.

Daddy's Poem




Her hair was up in a pony tail,


her favorite dress tied with a bow.


Today was Daddy's Day at school,


and she couldn't wait to go.







But her mommy tried to tell her,


that she probably should stay home.


Why the kids might not understand,


if she went to school alone







But she was not afraid;


she knew just what to say.


What to tell her classmates


of why he wasn't there today.







But still her mother worried,


for her to face this day alone.


And that was why once again,


she tried to keep her daughter home.







But the little girl went to school


eager to tell them all.


About a dad she never sees


a dad who never calls.







There were daddies along the wall in back,


for everyone to meet.


Children squirming impatiently,


anxious in their seats.




One by one the teacher called


a student from the class.


To introduce their daddy,


as seconds slowly passed.







At last the teacher called her name,


every child turned to stare.


Each of them was searching,


for a man who wasn't there.







"Where's her daddy at?"


she heard a boy call out.


"She probably doesn't have one,"


another student dared to shout.







And from somewhere near the back,


she heard a daddy say,


"Looks like another deadbeat dad,


too busy to waste his day."







The words did not offend her,


as she smiled up at her Mom.


And looked back at her teacher,


who told her to go on.







And with hands behind her back,


slowly she began to speak.


And out from the mouth of a child,


came words incredibly unique.







"My Daddy couldn't be here,


because he lives so far away.


But I know he wishes he could be,


since this is such a special day.







And though you cannot meet him,


I wanted you to know.


All about my daddy,


and how much he loves me so.







He loved to tell me stories


he taught me to ride my bike.


He surprised me with pink roses,


and taught me to fly a kite.







We used to share fudge sundaes,


and ice cream in a cone.


And though you cannot see him.


I'm not standing here alone.







"Cause my daddy's always with me,


even though we are apart


I know because he told me,


he'll forever be in my heart".







With that, her little hand reached up,


and lay across her chest.


Feeling her own heartbeat,


beneath her favorite dress.







And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,


her mother stood in tears.


Proudly watching her daughter,


who was wise beyond her years.







For she stood up for the love


of a man not in her life.


Doing what was best for her,


doing what was right.







And when she dropped her hand back down,


staring straight into the crowd.


She finished with a voice so soft,


but its message clear and loud.







"I love my daddy very much,


he's my shining star.


And if he could, he'd be here,


but heaven's just too far.







You see he was a policeman


and died just this past year


When airplanes hit the towers


and taught Americans to fear.







But sometimes when I close my eyes,


it's like he never went away."


And then she closed her eyes,


and saw him there that day.







And to her mothers amazement,


she witnessed with surprise.


A room full of daddies and children,


all starting to close their eyes.







Who knows what they saw before them,


who knows what they felt inside.


Perhaps for merely a second,


they saw him at her side.







"I know you're with me Daddy,"


to the silence she called out.


And what happened next made believers,


of those once filled with doubt.







Not one in that room could explain it,


for each of their eyes had been closed.


But there on the desk beside her,


was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.







And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,


by the love of her shining star.


And given the gift of believing,


that heaven is never too far.











They say it takes a minute to find a special person,


an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them,


but then an entire life to forget them.







Take the time...to live and love!







Until eternity. God bless!

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