What is 'Bon Odori'? Originally a
Japanese Buddhist observance honouring the spirits of ancestors, today
it has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which Japanese
return to ancestral family places, and visit, and clean their ancestors'
graves. In comparison to the celebrations in Japan, the festival
celebrated in Penang and Selangor is less associated with Buddhism and
more with Japanese culture. Held mainly to expose locals to a part of
Japanese culture, the festival provides the experience of a variety of
Japanese food and drinks, art and dance, with the vast number of
Japanese companies in Malaysia taking part to promote their products.
And the upcoming Penang YOSAKOI Parade 2013!!! 19th January 2013!!!
Since I got pregnant, my OB as well as everything I read (online and books) and everyone I met stressed on being "hydrated". Even though sometimes you know it, but you can't do it. Yeah, I knew I had to increase my intake of fluid, but with the changing hormones - I just couldn't do it.
Water tasted so bitter that I would put a little, tiny bit of salt or squeeze a lime - so that I can drink some. Mama milk was out of option - I would throw up. Pregnancy goodies like -chicken soup and so on would make me dizzy.
At about week 12 - my OB couldn't find the baby, she said, "Can't see clearly," (maybe the water is low). Since then I have been drinking more water to keep myself as well as the baby hydrated. Being the first-time mom - I was worried. Went online - logged on to babycenter.com and read all that I could on amniotic fluid (the water in the womb). Now what does this water do to my baby and why is it important? Let's see...
It cushions the baby to protect him from trauma (if I take a tumble, for instance).
It prevents the umbilical cord from becoming compressed and reducing the baby's oxygen supply.
It helps maintain a constant temperature in the womb.
It protects against infection.
It allows the baby to move around so that his muscles and bones develop properly.
helps the digestive and respiratory systems develop as the baby
swallows and excretes it and "inhales" and "exhales" it from his lungs.
Well, I am not good with understanding and explaining medical science with theology, but when my OB couldn't find my baby at week 12 - that's when I realised how important it is to remain hydrated, and how important this water is for the baby - a water that gives LIFE - it's like the living water that gives life. Water that sustains life.
Jesus said something about the living water, didn't he?
Maybe this is what he meant when he said, "I am the living water". When Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman in John 4, he talked about the living water - the living water that would quench her thirst - the living water that would become a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14). If we compare the amniotic fluid with Jesus' living water we can learn that this living water that Jesus promises...
It cushions a Christian to protect him/her from trauma (if you take a tumble/ back slide, for instance).
It prevents a Christian's calling from becoming "compressed".
It helps maintain a constant communication with Christ.
It protects against bad /sinful influence.
It allows a Christian to move around so that his/her faith in Christ develops properly.
helps to meditate the Word and experience the Holy Spirit to develop the Christian's life and mission - to accept (swallow) God's will and let go (excrete) selfish desires. "Inhaling" his presence and "exhaling" the rest.
A pregnant woman - a mother - has to keep herself hydrated to keep her baby healthy, growing and alive. Similarly, one must replenish the "living water" - Christ himself, as much as one can, to keep oneself healthy, growing and alive in Christ.
My hubby found this in my mailbox today. So excited to see a big envelope - a big stuffed envelope addressed to me :D .
I couldn't figure out what this was about. I checked the sender's address and it was from Canada. I wasn't expecting anything from Canada. Even the sender's name didn't ring a bell. There was no swap name or any detail on the envelope. I opened it carefully not knowing what was inside.
While opening the envelope - I was still thinking that this was a wrong swap. I didn't sign up for any craft or craft supplies swap. I went through each item carefully thinking, "Oh no! I'll have to return this to the person who sent this to me. It's a wrong swap." ;(
It wasn't until I read the note in the envelope addressed to me that I realised that this was for me. It was ALL for me. It wasn't the wrong swap. I had forgotten all about it.
Isn't this like an answered prayer? We ask God for many things desperately and persistently and after sometime we go about with our day to day life forgetting what we prayed for. But Christ is faithful and he doesn't forget our prayers. AMEN!?
During my first trimester when I couldn't eat anything at all and food became my number 1 enemy, most of the time I survived on bread. Since nothing tasted good, and with my tendency to throw up - bread and such were my only source of energy. Consuming bread would give me 20-30% extra energy than usual.
I was reminded of this declaration by Christ, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty, " (John 6:35) and it dawned on me that this is what Jesus meant when he said, "I am the bread of life," or "I am the living bread," (John 6:51).
If having one normal chapati / roti / bread can make a difference in my health - and if Christ is the living bread and the bread of life, then I'll never be sick, never be weak. I'll be strong in him if only I could "have" him and "consume" him.
What would be the best gift for a girl? - we can easily count on our fingertips.
But when it comes to the selection of a gift for the beloved males in our family - we seem to struggle at each occassion. Well, I was struggling with the same issue few months ago.
During our 4 years long distant courtship, my husband and I never got to celebrate any of those special days and occassions together. For our first anniversary, I was really struggling on what to give him. Something that he would like and appericiate, something that would not collect dust after sometime.
Learning from past experiences, I have understood that the best gift you can give someone is something that THEY like - irrespective of how silly, inappropriate and irrelevent it might seem to you. For example I would like to send some really nice stationery (pens, stickers, notepads, and cute stuff ) to my cousin but she hates it; she prefers dolls, teddy and soft toys - those are what makes her happy.
So after much thought this is what I have selected as our first wedding anniversary present for my beloved hubby. And it was a SUPER HIT!!!
He loved it, enjoyed it, posted it on facebook and tagged all his Transformers buddy.
As for me: Mission Accomplished!!
How do I know what to get for him? Well, be interested in what he is interested in ;)