amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · weekly photo challenge

Dronesville adventure #22: rounded up last but not least

Rounded up last but not least. rounded car
When I hear the loud speaker blasting “No body moves! You are surrounded” I duck to the ground and my left hand shoots up as it has been ready for this moment of encounter. The snag is that it does not hold a gun. My companions do the best they are trained to do too. The drone surges upward and immediately becomes out of sight with its load of gold. The Dronesville mascot dog, Gracie, does her usual vanishing trick by darting with near speed of light (exaggerating here) into a bush. His Lordship keeps on walking as if nothing happens. I remain frozen on the ground with the vision of a car racing through my mind.

I admit I do have a way to get out of a mess. I have tried before and it sometimes works. You guess rightly, I can envision a way out in my blogging. So, here is this rounded car racing toward me out of nowhere. It does not hit me when it arrives because I am inside the car. In fact I am driving it. I can hear the wind giving way on both sides. I can hear sounds of moving obstacles parting, as the car zooms forward to an unknown realm.

As you can see from the picture, this car is a vintage beauty.

(To be continued?)

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A MARKETPLACE KINGDOM SOUND · finance for millenials · millennials · undeserved favor

Money Mastery for 2017

A MARKETPLACE KINGDOM SOUND -What we need in 2017!

A Kingdom Wealth Perspective

Can or should Christians make money and become wealthy? A friend introduced me to information and teachings which answer these questions. The teaching is good. This is the first time I hear of such clear and credible and convincing Biblical based very practical financial investment guide on whether Christians should become wealthy and most importantly HOW TO DO IT. The teaching is from someone who has made it. His name is Billy Epperhart.

Here are some of his sayings:
Making Sense of Making Money for Making a Difference
MONEY IS THE“MIDDLE MAN”
MONEY PREVENTS US FROM HAVING TO CARRY CHICKENS WITH US TO BUY THINGS
MONEY HELPS US TO KNOW THE VALUE OF THE THINGS.
“ONE MAN SAID, “I WAS PUT ON EARTH TO GET RICH. TO COLLECT THE MONEY THAT ALREADY HAD MY NAME ON IT. AND THEN GIVE IT ALL AWAY.”
“WORK” IS THE SAME WORD AS “WORSHIP”
“To…

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amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

millennial short story

Fun!
millennials then and nowHere is the whole series of the fun-filled and futuristic adventurous Dronesville’s story which involves a young nerd and a group of retiree teachers who are striving to become technology savvy!

https://wheniamsixtyeight.wordpress.com/category/millennial-short-story/

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · young in heart

we search for memes-millennial jokes (Dronexit#22)

millennials then and now“A joke a day keeps the doctor away. LOL.”
“I am part of the millions of my generation who are addicted to meme culture. I follow more than 30 Instagram “meme accounts,” a combination of funny pictures mixed with relevant commentary. My generation turns to memes — our version of “joke searches” — so that we can connect and relate.”

Today I receive the above quotes from a millennial fellow nerd, saying exactly what I intend to do here as I switch off my history mode. The problem is what kind of joke am I in now? I have no joke right now as I cannot access the internet. My phone is restricted to receiving the social media group chat called Dronexit# which some nerd meme-jokers set up for me just for the laugh. No it’s not in Instagram or anywhere you may want to access. It is a private network. Anyway my own mind data storage is overloaded with historical quotes and keeps unloading right now.

Here is a good quote from an American WWII veteran.
An 18-year-old Bronx kid named Al “Duke” Dellaera recalls the initial hours that kicked off a grueling, six-month battle that helped turn the tide against the Axis Powers in World War II. Seventy years later, the Guadalcanal Invasion stands as a seminal moment in World War II, the beginning of the end of Japanese naval dominance in the Pacific Theater. It was the Allies’ first engagement with the Japanese Imperial Navy, which had for months been establishing bases and dominance throughout the Pacific Theater, threatening supply routes between the U.S. and Australia.
“There was so much action going on that you didn’t dwell on anything,” Dellaera remembered. “But believe me, I was afraid a lot of times before things got started. I’m not afraid to admit it. But when action started, that fear left you and you concentrated on doing what you had to do.
“They were desperate days,” he added, recalling times when he subsisted on maggot-infested oatmeal. “You’ll eat anything when you’re hungry. But I wanted to be there because the country was at war and I felt it was my duty.”
During one nighttime patrol along the Ilu River, Dellaera saw a “shadow up ahead” in the grass, just shy of where heavy vegetation began.
“It turned out to be a Japanese soldier … so there we were, face-to-face more or less, about 25 to 30 yards apart. He stopped and I stopped, and we just stayed there quietly. And he was probably thinking, ‘Did I see something there or was it my imagination?’ And I was thinking the same thing.”

The worst thing is I am still stuck in the history of heroic acts of the young people of the past. I have been teleported to Solomon Islands. On July 6, 1942, the Japanese landed on Guadalcanal Island and began constructing an airfield there. More than 11,000 Marines U.S. marines landed and launched a surprise attack on August 7, 1942 and took control of the air base under construction. The U.S. forces quickly took their main objective, the airfield, and the outnumbered Japanese troops retreated, but not for long. Reinforcements were brought in, and fierce hand-to-hand jungle fighting ensued.

“I have never heard or read of this kind of fighting,” wrote one American major general on the scene. “These people refuse to surrender.” The Americans were at a particular disadvantage, being assaulted from both the sea and air. Both sides endured heavy losses to their warship contingents. However, the Japanese suffered a far greater toll of casualties, forcing their withdrawal from Guadalcanal by February 1943. In total, the Japanese had lost more than 25,000 men, compared with a loss of 1,600 by the Americans. Each side lost 24 warships.(Quoted/excerpted from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-forces-invade-guadalcanal)

Being a present day nerd and am stuck in this 1940s history of real war, is the most difficult and challenging impossibility that no nerd, however brave, would want to go through. There is only one thing I was good at. I can operate my digital robot as a sensor to detect the concentration of enemy forces in a location despite the jungle terrain. My solar power robot works well for this function only. So as I march in the swamp with the marines I function like a first rate metal detector. In today’s picture you can see a typical nerd (not me, of course) in striped pajamas with a cup of coffee. Well, it illustrates how incongruous a nerd is in the midst of brave marines charging at the enemy’s territory. LOL. (My many fellow nerds old and young are rolling on the floor in laughters or rather hysterics, for which I subsequently receive positive ‘like’ comments.) (To be continued)

Joke

Note: dictionary definition of memes
meme |mēm|
noun
an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
• a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
DERIVATIVES
memetic |mēˈmetik, mə-| adjective
ORIGIN
1970s: from Greek mimēma ‘that which is imitated,’ on the pattern of gene.

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · weekly photo challenge

Spy suspected, London Christmas 1940 Dronexit#21

evening crossingSome nerds have called up and complained that I now sound more like a second or worse rate horrible history writer than a futuristic tech know blogger on drones and robotics. They criticize that this Dronexit# blog is way too ancient even where the more senior nerds-to-be like my former English teacher and her fellow retiree teachers are concerned. They want to know when am I going to revert back to the really foolish but lucky amateur nerd who is also a treasure hunter like perhaps second or worse rate Indiana Jones or at worst a second rate Johnny England. “What is the point of getting stuck in heroic WWII’s history which no one reads today? Who is reading your nerd blog? Neither the pre-millennial (everyone 35 and above) nor the millennial. I receive lots of LOLs from cronies who hate horrible history. Ok, I hereby throw up my hands and give up my horrible history addictive ranting for a while. (BTW, a medium-senior early retiree nerd-to-be has even declared that the photos are ugly!)

So I just wrap up what has happened so far in this blog and call it a day. For the benefit of the young nerd-to-be who specializes in finding loopholes in even blogging ranting stories, yes, my mobile phone resumes functioning today and that’s why I can receive all your social messaging good (hardly) and bad (plenty) etc. As to how come I can post my blog daily as usual while being stuck in the remote 1940s? Good spot. I have no answer too. I suggest you ask WordPress. It’s their secret. Well, I can suggest my explanation using a old psychological term, telepathy, of course, a kind of mind transmission using brain power before we had internet or other digital/tele-communication means. I teleport my thoughts to someone who has a high-tech psyche-receiver which in turn posts it to WordPress. Elementary. Who is that someone? Hahaha. You guess.

We arrive at England on the morning Saturday,October 5, 1940 but I am immediately detained by the coast guards who place me in separate secret police custody and taken to London. Obviously I look more like a spy than the father and daughter who have proper papers on them to prove they are British citizens. We part company and I thank them for the delicious Tandoori chicken meal and the faith-filled boat ride with the giant birds who come for our rescue. Am I now Johnny England or James Bond? I wonder. They do not remove anything from me. They seem to be oblivious of my two high tech gadgets: the mobile phone and the robot which doubles up as a time travel portal. Despite their futile but intensive interrogation and unbelief of who I really am, and despite the food shortage, they give me enough food and a single room in confinement. They later receive the command to take me to London. They eventually escort me to the underground shelter near St Paul’s Cathedral London. I arrive there on the evening of 29th December 1940.

I quote this following historical passage which best describes the fateful night which I stumble upon. “It had been a Christmas underground for many people, who slept in underground stations or festively-decorated air raid shelters. For two nights, the German bomber planes had not come, and the anti-aircraft guns remained silent. That peculiar silence had already been broken as dusk fell on 29 December. The enemy aircraft had returned, dropping incendiary devices and parachute mines in many tens of thousands. Their target? The City of London. By 1830 GMT on that cold Sunday evening, the Square Mile was in flames. Banks, offices, churches and homes were under threat. Bombs rained down on the cathedral. Volunteer firewatchers patrolled its myriad corridors, armed with sandbags and water pumps to douse the flames. At about 2100 GMT, an incendiary device lodged on the roof. As it burned, the lead of the iconic dome began to melt. But luck was on the side of the firewatchers. The bomb dislodged, fell to the floor of the Stone Gallery, and was smothered with a sandbag. St Paul’s was saved.”

(Above WWII information was quoted/excerpted from: How St Paul’s Cathedral survived the Blitz: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-12016916)

st paul 1940

p/s: sorry, nerd pals, I am still on horrible history to wrap up this episode. Next episode will be purely futuristic, I promise. Anyway the lady who complains that my photos are ugly should be pleased with today’s photos. This photo of St. Paul’s Cathedral in flames is not mine. You just have to complain to BBC if you like.)
(To be continued)

Morning

 

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · young in heart

The stubborn battle of Britain (Dronexit#20)

Stubborn
Hms_rainbow_bow“On the sea of turmoil some hang on to life stubbornly and live on.”(Stubborn millennial’s lesson.)The day of the week was Friday,October 4, 1940. HMS Rainbow was a Rainbow-class submarine built for the Royal Navy during the 1930s.The boats were armed with six 21-inch torpedo tubes in the bow and two more in the stern. They carried six reload torpedoes for a grand total of fourteen torpedoes. Rainbow served in the Far East until 1940. She left for a patrol off Calabria on 23 September 1940 and was due to be back in Alexandria on 16 October, she was last heard from on 25 September. She is believed to have been sunk on 4 October in a collision with the Italian merchant ship, Antonietta Costa, which reported striking an underwater object at 03:30, followed by a huge underwater explosion on that date. (I quote this part of the history because it is sad and seems that the British and Allies have lost ground to the enemy forces.)

But all is not lost for the good guys as evidenced by history. The Battle of Britain was a stubborn battle involving major air campaign fought over southern England in the summer and autumn of 1940,  between July and October 1940. The Germans began by attacking coastal targets and British shipping operating in the English Channel. They launched their main offensive on 13 August. Attacks moved inland, concentrating on airfields and communications centres. Nearly 3,000 men of the RAF took part in the Battle of Britain. While most of the pilots were British, men came from all over the Commonwealth and occupied Europe – from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Belgium, France, Poland and Czechoslovakia. There were even some pilots from the neutral United States and Ireland. Many people worked to defend Britain. Ground crew – including riggers, fitters, armourers, and repair and maintenance engineers – looked after the aircraft. Factory workers helped keep aircraft production up. The Observer Corps tracked incoming raids – its tens of thousands of volunteers ensured that the 1,000 observation posts were continuously manned. Anti-aircraft gunners, searchlight operators and barrage balloon crews all played vital roles in Britain’s defense. Anew danger had arisen. From the start of the war German submarines and surface craft, defying the convention which prohibited undeclared minefields dangerous to peaceful shipping, began to lay mines in British coastal waters. In September and October (1939 or 1940?) 59,027 tons of shipping were sunk by mines off the East Coast, in the Thames Estuary and elsewhere.

Well, I just think I might as well quote the above from horrible history in my mind data base so that other millennial nerds know what I am talking about. Crossing the channel in October 1940 is as easy as a nightmare. Mines underwater. Enemies’ planes overhead. The Christian Tandoori chef and his daughter are stubborn people. The man says, “We must cross tonight. We shall make it home alive!” The daughter nods her head and says, “Amen!” What option does a nerd from the future have against such stubborn and determined mind-set? NONE. So I nod my head and say, “Amen!”

My robot and mobile/cell phone remain quiet and still. They seem to be hibernating and I cannot get any signal at all. I am stuck in this 1940 horrible history whether I like it or not. But I can assure you it is very exciting and meaningful. It is far more interesting than playing the drone, the robot, and the Pokemon Go. The night becomes the most memorable night of my life.

As you can read from the picture I have included “close to death, six exhausted, freezing airmen are plucked to safety after surviving 11 days in a dinghy using their pants for a fishing net and their shirts as a sail.” “One can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of hopelessness and despair the men felt as day after day went by.” “Although they kept up morale by praying twice a day, two men became delirious.” This is real life. A stubborn struggle to hang on to life and hope, in the Atlantic 400 miles south west of Ireland. With limited supplies and no way to send an SOS, what followed was a desperate attempt to keep the crew alive. During the 11-day or­­­deal the men were capsized by huge waves, kept awake by freezing spray and had to bale out using their boots. They sucked rain-soaked handkerchiefs for water and tried to land fish in a pair of pants on a pole. But their only catch was foul-tasting jellyfish. After waiting close to the crash site for a week in the hope a search party would spot them, the survivors made a sail from two shirts to blow them towards safety. The dinghy’s speed picked up to two knots and after four days they were spotted by a British destroyer.*

What happens to our own tiny fishing boat and this fateful night? All I can write down is our captain is a brave man and he does not give up. He braves the dark night, the treacherous english channel waters, the threatening bombers, the deadly mines, and the worst of all, the fear of imminent death. It has taken him the whole night to battle the sea and its danger.

As we near the English side and see dawn, a German bomber appears overhead and we know all hopes are gone. The man and his daughter continue defiantly looking up and praying. Suddenly we hear another kind of engine. No, they are not engine sound. They are sounds from seven giant gulls. The winged giants fly powerfully and fearlessly towards the bomber head-on! The sight in the grey dawn is spectacular. The gulls look transparent and blend with a small round patch of blue sky that it brings with it but we can clearly see their outlines. They fly like they are the RAFs or even better. But they are not cold machines or hardwares. They are live birds. They are invincible. The bomber spots the giant birds and tries to fire at them in vain. The bomber panics and turns tail but it is too late. The birds encircle the bomber and capture it with their gigantic wings, forcing it to lose its engine power and plunge perpendicularly into the channel with an underwater explosion and sinks into its watery grave.

What do we do on the little French Brittany fishing boat? We give a standing ovation to the birds (or angels?). They fly over us and escort us until we reach British shore. It shows that it is good to be stubborn at the right time for the right goal after all. (To be continued)

~~~~~~~~~~~
(*The story about the six airmen surviving miraculously on a lifeboat is quoted from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/amazing-story-downed-world-war-7579828)

“On the sea of turmoil some hang on to life stubbornly and live on.” (Stubborn millennial’s lesson.)

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor · weekly photo challenge · young in heart

unsung hero’s praise (Dronexit#19)

Praise
impossible sea“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
(Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express) Looking at the formidable raging sea on this side of the channel, my heart sinks. It is an impossible task to cross tonight. Yet the man and the girl are full of hope. This is what they say to me, “Don’t give up, stay positive and speak good words.”

The man who cooked the delicious Tanddori chicken and Naan bread is not the British soldier who did his solo escape from Dunkirk to England in 1940. This man is an Anglo-Indian chef stranded in the European great war and is determined to take his daughter back to England where she can be safe as she is half Jewish. His English-Jewish wife died in the war and he has vowed to keep the daughter alive.

My mind is full of stored data and as usual, I try to browse through and search out the more positive ones about making the impossible become possible. “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!” (Lewis Carroll)
“Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the “impossible,” come true.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up)

The man and his daughter have a story to tell. But they are not telling much. Instead, they read the Bible, sing praise hymns and pray. I keep to myself and cannot help but wonder why I am here. Why me? Why do I appear and cross the channel with them tonight under such precarious condition. The Great War is raging. There are mines under water. The Nazis strafing the waters around you, bombs landing nearby. The weather seems unpromising too. Everything seems to go against us three going to sea and crossing the English channel. Then the man says, “come, it’s time.”

“Nothing is more imminent than the impossible . . . what we must always foresee is the unforeseen.”(Victor Hugo, Les Misérables) Their house is quite near the sea. They have hidden a boat at a deserted spot. It is a small 1940s fishing boat which the Brittany fishermen commonly used. The man says it was badly damaged during the fateful evacuation at Dunkirk!

Late May, 1940, was a desperate time for the Allies. France, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Norway had been invaded by the Germans, and Holland and Belgium had formally surrendered. Strafed by the Luftwaffe, hopelessly outgunned by the German Army, the troops of the British Expeditionary Forces retreated to the beaches of Dunkirk, France. There was little hope of rescue by navy ships because of the shallow waters of the channel. A call went out from the British Admiralty for small boats that could be used in the rescue of the trapped British and French soldiers. Then came a miracle, over 800 boats–pleasure boats, fishing smacks, trawlers, lifeboats, paddle steamers and many other types of craft, captained by sailors of the Royal Navy and by ordinary civilians–set sail to save these men by either transporting them directly back to England or ferrying them out to British destroyers waiting offshore in deeper waters. 338,000 British troops were saved from annihilation from the Nazi onslaught in June 1940 by the “little boats.” (This paragraph is quoted from: https://theyearoflivingenglishly.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/memorial-day-2013-dunkirk-englands-finest-hour/)

The nameless chef volunteered to ferry the British troops too during that rescue operation. His boat was badly damaged. He has since repaired it and is now ready to take his daughter back to England. “You will witness the impossible coming to pass tonight.” The man is confident. Then he says, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Yes, we set sail towards England at midnight. (To be continued)

Note: Is this going to be a miracle? The fact that I am still alive and writing this Dronexit# blog means it shall be a miracle. I even anticipate hearing my senior family members singing endless praises to God when I safely return to my timezone at the end of this time travel adventure. I am an optimistic millennial, remember?

amateur nerd · millennial short-story · undeserved favor

Winter craving (Dronexit#18)

Craving
hungry drone
I don’t know how long I have waited at the coast. The snow comes and the cold starts creeping in. I browse through my brain data base on horrible history, and find this information that immediately causes shivering down my spine: “The winter of 1939/1940 was one of the coldest on record, with persistent cold weather from 22nd December through January. Temperatures were the lowest for at least 100 years in many parts of Europe. It is now theorized that the intense military activity in the North Sea was responsible for disturbing the sea temperature and therefore the climate. The loss of heat from the sea led to more cold air from the arctic being pulled into the European region, resulting in much colder weather overall.”* I have a jacket on but it is not enough to ward off the cold. Even though it is only October I can feel that the winter has arrived earlier. My robot time portal cannot be reset to return to my time until three days later. I cannot override its setting. I have no choice but to move myself from the coast and seek a warm shelter if any.

As I walk inland I see trees with branches laden by heavy snow! There are very few houses and none have their lights on. The roads are empty of lives. It looks as though the War’s rampaging flood has devastated the whole countryside, leaving ravaged faces of despair on nature herself. To be honest, I am a millennial who has had very secure and well provided and pampered life in my youth. My working life was comfortable too. Even when I trotted round the three continents to hunt treasure I always had reasonably good food and shelters. My folks and my employers took good care of me. The world that I have lived in has been sensible up to now. I cannot make sense when I look at the great wars. I never like them and now find myself stuck in one! And the worst thing is I have no food. I crave for a freshly cooked, warm creamy, mixed seafood Spanish chowder served in a bread trencher. Or savory and fast kedgeree- Curry, fish, eggs, and rice make for an easy, mouth-watering British take on Indian cuisine. OR ANYTHING HOT. Even a Nashville Hot featuring a perfect blend of spicy cayenne and smoke paprika!

As I stumble on I see this girl again. She seems to expect meeting me on this deserted road, “Nice seeing you again, come with me.” We enter a tiny cottage which seems to be in darkness. But I see light after we enter and the heavy wooden door closes behind us. Someone is cooking at the stone stove. It is not really a stove. It is an Indian Tandoori stove and the man is bending over the opening. I smell Tandoori chicken***. My craving is soon over as I am well fed with chicken and a bread called Naan topped with garlic and green pepper. A surprise dessert too in the form of Andes chocolate mints**. But this does not make sense. I am in France eating Indian food and a chocolate first introduced in 1950? I must be dreaming or fantasizing in my virtual world. whatever it may be, I am enjoying myself after all. (To be continued)

About this picture: I took the Indian food pictures recently in a tropical country. The winter picture was taken last winter in USA by a friend. The really heavy snow came a day after I left.

The following info is from Wikipedia:
**Andes Chocolate Mints are small rectangular candies consisting of one mint-green layer sandwiched in between two chocolate-brown layers. The candies are usually wrapped in green foil imprinted with the company’s logo. First launched in 1950, they are produced by Tootsie Roll Industries and made in Delavan, Wisconsin.
***Tandoori chicken is a dish originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in South Asia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Western world. It consists of roasted chicken prepared with yogurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.
*winter weather passage quoted from: http://ww2today.com/a-cold-winter-arrives-in-europe

amateur nerd · social messaging journal for future · undeserved favor

A young nerd’s quotes

Jefferson Bethke“We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phone, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are.”

“I hear a lot of people say that the fear of death and the fear of public speaking are two of the main fears in my generation, but I disagree. I think it’s the fear of silence. We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phones, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are. We fear silence like it’s an invisible monster, gnawing at us, ripping us open, and showing us our dissatisfaction. Silence is terrifying.”

“Trying to live without community is like trying to live without oxygen. We weren’t created to do it.”

“Without the rain there is no beauty in the summer. Rain gives depth, it gives beauty, and it gives roots. If a plant is only exposed to sun and no rain, it becomes dry, flimsy, and dead. Too many times we curse the rain in our lives-suffering, trials, hardships-but the truth is without rain nothing grows.”

“When I was trying to earn Jesus by being good, I missed the real Jesus who wants us to love him and serve him not for what he gives but for who he is—dangerous, unpredictable, radical, and amazing.”

“One of my favorite things about following Jesus is I get to drop the act, admit I’m not good enough, walk in freedom-and that’s good news.”

The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. I’m not an employee. I’m a child. It’s not about my performance. It’s about Jesus’ performance for me. Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who struggled. The me who was messy. ….. He loves me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up.”

“How stupid would it look if when someone broke a hand, the foot started criticizing the hand? That what we look like when Christians begin to criticize the church. One part of the body should lead itself to the healing process of another hurting member. That’s love. That’s the gospel. And that is Jesus.”

“I was just lying there, swimming in my own shame and guilt, when this still small voice whispered into the depths of my soul: I love you. I desire you. I delight in you. I saw you were going to that before I went to the cross, and I still went.”

“In a weird way it seems the only qualification for us to be justified is to be ungodly. It’s like God is saying the only way to qualify is to admit you don’t qualify.”

“So what do we do then? What do you do when the only thing you want to do is yell at God and tell him how awful it is? You do exactly that. Cry. Yell. Scream. Be honest. Be transparent. And be vulnerable. For the first nineteen years of my life, I wanted God to give me an answer, but now I’ve found it is better when I get him. An answer isn’t going to bring that spouse back. An answer won’t ease that pain. But what will is God’s Grace in the depths of our souls.”

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep lowing concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

“But I always wonder why we Christians are the ones who get slapped with the too-narrow-and-exclusive card when everyone’s point of view is the same. Think about it: Every worldview is exclusive to itself. Even by that classmate saying I was arrogant for thinking my was right, she was doing the same thing-saying I was wrong, and she was right. How arrogant of her-not really, but according to her own logic. yes.”

“God’s grace is so much more powerful of a motivator than fear. Love is the deepest motivator. Only love can produce not only willing obedience but also lasting obedience. If you are being motivated by fear, rules, anger, or some other emotion, it usually only lasts while that emotion is there. Love, being a state of the heart, lasts even past the initial emotion.”

(Above quotes are taken from Jefferson Bethke, Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough)

amateur nerd · social messaging journal for future · undeserved favor · writing

an English language savvy young football nerd

football coach pray
football coach prays

Can a football nerd be good at academic study and nerdy interest simultaneously? The latest answer is “Yes”. A thirteen-year-old fan of a football club spent about a month doing her revision seriously and got A1 for her Math, Science and English. She made a significant jump from the bottom Ds to ranking with the few A1 elites in her class. How did she do it? She made a deal with her mom. She wanted a TV with subscription to Fox Sports so she could watch her favorite European football live matches. It was an impossible deal unless a miracle happened. It did. She now has her TV with Fox Sports. It just shows how the right kind of motivation can work wonders. Of course, credit must be given to her elderly grandma and grand-aunt, aunt and others who diligently prayed for her to succeed. Why? Are they football fans too? No. They prayed because at year-end there will be a streaming between arts and science in her grade. She comes from a family of scientists* and no one in their ‘rightful-scientific’ (quoted from the scientific family senior) mind can envisage her going into arts stream. Besides the kid said adamantly she has to be a scientist because she cannot (or rather is too layback to) memorize historical names and dates. Was her result a fluke? No. this kid is intelligent and masters her language well. She likes math and science so there is no fluke. She just needs a push to study and sports channel has given the right push at the right time. One main reason why she needs to watch now and not in future is that all her favorite players are retiring soon and she may not have a chance to see them play next year. So she is happy watching football now. Her folks are all happy that she can become a scientist if she continues to adhere to the deal and work diligently on her school work. Her language is good and she is creative too. She has been selected to join a summer class on creative art (with focus on writing poetry) this coming June in a good university. After all, it certainly looks like all’s well that ends well.

p/s: *the only exception is an arts or rather literature-inclined senior in the family who laments that there will be no English literature successor after all.

amateur nerd · social messaging journal for future · undeserved favor · writing

amateur nerd’s English experience: the power of “e”

communicateTo keep my former English teacher updated regarding the fruit of her many faithful efforts in building a people (class) with some semblance of being educated (through the learning and correct use of English language), I would talk about my Dell PC keyboard and English writing today. During my previous posting to one of the poorest countries on earth, when one of the regular power outage struck while I was cooped up in a box-size room with my PC plugged into an extension cord on a pitch-black night, my first thought was to find the portable emergency light which was somewhere near the end of the bed. I tripped and fell with the PC in a crashing fall. My head hit the corner of the bed and the poor PC fell from somewhere on a tiny coffee table near the bed and incurred damage too. After that I found someone who could repair the PC but not the keyboard. The screen cannot close properly too. Anyway I postponed changing it. My head was repaired alright. But the keyboard started to show some signs of malfunction. I discovered that some alphabets refused to  respond to my typing no matter which angle or corner and with what degree of strength I tried to tap or hit. I managed to avoid using some of them by substituting words with similar meanings. But one major alphabet which cannot be substituted effectively is the alphabet “e”. I practically used all my English vocabularies to think of replacement words without “e”. The essay or blog came out nonsensical. Good for my own laugh and nothing else. Even humor is lost without the use of words with “e”. I resorted to copy and paste to temporarily put back the “e” words. Later someone lent (and then gave) me a portable keyboard, which unfortunately has broken down by now after my long voyage home. After I was finally given a MacBook I started typing with fluency and with gratitude. All the “e”s come back and are my friends again. I cannot imagine any language without the English alphabet “e” or its equivalent. try talking without it and you will know what I mean. Here is my random list of common words (without the use of a dictionary) with the alphabet “e”.

the, we, she, he, me, they, there, english, american, european, west, east, economy, money, mother, father, friend, love, hate, dare, please, success, overcome, gentle, live, positive, esteem, especially, special, heaven, eat, taste, test, experience, examination, exercises, care, help, cater, needs, mean, define, destiny, fate, relieved, belief, useful, nice, see, smell, hear, ears, eyes, enjoy, correct, address, employment, government, toilet, where, here, seven, one, three, five, eight, nine, ten, bless, yes, saved, delivered, freed, tree, glee, flee, smile, rejoice, be, mine, redeemed, healed, divine, eternity, Amen.

Moral of the story: I cannot imagine a world without the many things we have taken for granted. Even the English alphabets or any common signs and symbols human use to communicate to one another. How did human first learn to invent this? There must be an awesome inspiration from the Creator of human (with words and sounds.) (BTW, a way to appreciate the indispensability of one alphabet to the English language is to play scrabbles and remove the “e”s. Alternatively take one paragraph anywhere and delete the “e”s and see the resultant product.)

p/s: I have used English as an example as this is an English blog.

amateur nerd · social messaging journal for future · undeserved favor · writing · young in heart

WHEN I AM SIXTY-EIGHT

wheniamsixtyeightI never thought I would one day reach this age, at least not so soon. It seems I have only taken a short walk. but now i suddenly arrive at this junction and find that i cannot reverse or turn back. my hair has turned snowy white beside my right temple overnight. Looking back at the 68 years it was like a mere sigh in the night, just as the psalmist has discovered three thousand years ago.

Earth man tends to think of time within our known world and indeed it’s framed in a rather short span for each living creature. No matter how much each man tries to stretch his span, perhaps by a few years or even ten or more, still it does not count much in terms of the actual span of existence planned for each soul in the eternity of God.

Suddenly I have to answer some pertinent questions, who am I and what shall I become in the remains of my days on earth? How shall I live my remaining numbered days until I cross over to the unnumbered days of eternity?

Today is my last day of 67th and a question came while I was walking on the treadmill, what shall I leave behind to my successors if any? A very young one recently DECLARED in the family group WhatsApp chat that she was ANGRY for not having a TV to watch her favorite football team playing, “AND EVERYONE IS LIKE/SLOWLY DYING//” (referring to her ‘aging’ football icons who have announced their forthcoming retirements one by one). She is worried that they are growing old too soon and she would not have good football to watch when she grows up, the younger generation being what they are today, she aptly judged.  Even a thirteen-year-old worries about human icons growing too old to play football one day and perhaps even dying. This one certainly knows what good football should be like. The other day she lamented that she was born too late and that she should have been in her mother’s generation because she had missed out watching such quality football and now all she has are leftovers and the players are growing old.

Coming back to my own growing old. What am I doing here typing away on my 2016 MacBook using the latest Window Office Word program? I was almost asleep just now but a notification of a mobile phone message woke me and now I am wide awake. I just look at the time and it’s 12:45am. So I am officially really chronologically 68.

Why do I use Office Word when I can use my MacBook Pages? Why did I insist on installing the Word program on my present and first MacBook two months ago? But I have been a user of Word since its coming to being. How could I suddenly stop? After I received my Mac I learned every relevant function like a typical teenager would do if he had received such a generous gift! I use the mac daily now. but I miss my pc that runs on Widow OS. Somehow I still miss the old (about two-year-old) laptop and the faithful days she has served me mainly in processing my writing hobby. Pity she fell to the floor and hit her head badly during a power failure in one of the poorest countries in the world when I tripped over the extension cord in the dark. Now the “e” refuses to budge. I had to copy ‘e’ from somewhere and paste onto my writing. Quite a task until I got my Mac.

What an interesting or boring topic I am ranting right now. Lately someone in the chat group prompted all of us to update our WhatsApp so our chats, videos, photos etc. will be encrypted end to end. Otherwise someone else can access and eavesdrop. That started a panic and everyone of us updated. Then something strange happened. When I wanted to use WhatsApp google drive prompted me to backup and giving me the options of frequencies only (daily, weekly, or monthly). There was no other option. So I clicked monthly. Another strange thing happened. WhatsApp wanted to access my google drive. I could not access WhatsApp until I acceded to its request (demand). What was I to do? So I emailed my family chat group old and young near and far. I informed them to start using Facebook messenger to reach me if any. I also took action into my own hand by deleting all my google drive data. One of my contemporary told me she uninstalled WhatsApp from all her phones. She then reinstalled in one phone dedicated to WhatsApp only! while I was getting ready to go out and get another phone for WhatsApp only someone from a younger generation emailed and gave me and the group sensible advice and urged us not to panic. His advice calmed me (us) down. And now I am using the same old WhatsApp again without doing the drastic move of getting a dedicated WhatsApp mobile phone. However, since two members did not update their WhatsApp in time so I went ahead and deleted them so our chats could be encrypted from end to end. Later they updated and rejoined. Now my headache is one closest buddy refuses to update her WhatsApp. So my messages to her are reduced to minimal and in my own codes. (She has since refused to read my coded messages or chats).

This blog is free flow and refuses to follow any spelling, grammar or any other forms of English language rules. So my retired English teacher neighbor blocks away must not read and try to correct by WhatsApping or FaceBookmessaging or Hangouting or Twittering or Weiboing or Lining or whatever modern social messaging Apping me please. Don’t attempt to come with your umbrella and check if I happen to venture into my garden and give me a whack on the head too. My faithful dog gracie can spot your scooter from a km off. She is smart, you know, having a smart owner. She knows a variety of languages too due to the in and out of guests in my humble abode. Of course her mother tongue is English.

Well that’s enough ranting from an up-to-date and futurist sixty-eight. What a way to start a new year.

p/s: someone just called and queried whether this one was written by the youngest member of the chat group (the thirteen year old football fan).