21 February 2011

Asian Gourmet Hut

Asian Gourmet Hut, a BYO Chinese Restaurant at 12 Mitchell Street, Doncaster East, is a small restaurant hidden away among a small cluster of shops and restaurants known as the Jackson Court.

We heard/read about the place from A Daily Obsession and what caught my attention was that the owner of the restaurant also blogs; Precious Pea. Thought we check the place out, since we were in the neighbourhood. We were there, way before the dinner crowd, that is, just after 5:00 pm. Well it was probably early for dinner, but like I said, we were in the neighbourhood and really did not fancy cooking on that day.

The place was air-conditioned for the day was rather hot and has a simple deco with soft Cantonese music playing in the background. It was rather relaxing sipping Chinese tea with the background music playing.

We ordered two dishes to go with rice; the Eggplant with Salted Fish and Minced Pork and Chicken with Cantonese Sweet Sauce. Simple dishes packed with flavours.

15 February 2011

Seasons of Life - Embracing Change

Romans 8:37 (NIV)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
In life, change is inevitable. Change happens all around us everyday. Some we notice immediately, others we notice with time; fashion change, technologies change, cities and places change, seasons change and people change. Yet, change is something that not many of us would willingly embrace without some resistance; the cosmetic and fitness industry are examples of our attempts to resist aging.

We are built to want to hold on to things that we like or are familiar with, yet at the same time we are willing to embrace change when something new and better comes along. However it should be recognized that not all changes are necessarily for the better. The debate is still out with regards to nuclear energy, for example.

For better or for worst, change is inevitable and I have recently come to learnt a new perspective about change.

Another way of looking at "change" in our lives is to look at them as "Seasons of Life" we all go through, that is from winter to spring to summer to autumn ....and then the cycle repeats itself, but never always the same for each season.

When God created us in his image, he gave us also the freedom of choice. That freedom empower us to choose our path in life and often the choices we make brings about changes in our lives, that is we embrace change ....or we choose to stay as we are, but I would not necessarily say that, that in itself is a bad thing. It would very much depend on what that change is and when the change is best to happen, hence, requiring us to discern God's will on the matter.

But as Christian, change is an integral part of our walk with God if we are to ever grow from glory to glory and from faith to (greater) faith. We are His church, and in 1 Peter 2:9 we are " ...a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

Though we have the freedom of choice, as His church and as a Christian, we should recognize God's sovereignty in our lives. That is also to say that God will use His people to spread/declare His message and His Name to the nations, whether we are willing agents or not. Whether we volunteer to do His work or not, has never been the deciding factor in God's work to make known His message and His name to the nations. It’s right there in the Bible, but I never did see it in that light, till now.

While Abram (later named Abraham) may be a willing participant in God's redemptive plan, Joseph, Daniel and Esther were not volunteers. Joseph was sold by his brothers to Ishmaelite traders (Genesis 37:28). Daniel (Daniel 1:1-6) and Esther (Esther 2:5-8) are exiles from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.  They did not choose the change in their lives. Change came upon them, but they in time embrace the change or seasons of life and played a significant role in God's redemptive plan.

You may say that I am not Abraham, Joseph, Daniel or Esther. Then have you heard of the Israelite slave girl who announced God's healing power to Naaman, the leprous commander of the Syrian army (2 Kings 5). She made known God's Name to Naaman (2 King 5:17) and to the Syrian king and people when he returned.

Basically I am saying, embrace change. However should change happen upon you, embrace the change and use that opportunity to declare God's work in you and allow Him to work through you for His glory. It would not be easy, life never is nor will it be so, but God always enable and empower. Realize that you are an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of your testimony (Revelation 12:11 NIV). You are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Roman 8:37 NIV). With God, you can only move forward/ahead.

Again I say, as a Christian, change is an integral part of our walk with God if we are ever to grow from glory to glory and from faith to faith.

11 February 2011

He Reigns - [Music Video] - The Newsboys

Isaiah 16:5 (NLT)
then David's throne will be established by love. From that throne a faithful king will reign, one who always does what is just and right.

Luke 1:32-33 (NLT)
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"

Revelation 11:17 (NLT)
And they said,
"We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the one who is and who always was,
for now you have assumed your great power
and have begun to reign

04 February 2011

Seasons of Life

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, He called them together to describe what they had seen

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted.

The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen, but only one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree or a person by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfilment of your fall. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don’t judge life by one difficult season.

Persevere thrrough the difficult patches and better times are sure to come sometime.

Contributor - Anonymous

The following are a series of writings/posting by Mark Connor, the Senior Minister of CityLife Church, Melbourne, on the "Seasons of Life" that we all go through.

Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 1
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 2
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 3
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 4
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 5
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 6
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 7
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 8
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life - Part 9

01 February 2011

Sassafras - A Day At A Village

Sassafras is a quaint little village located in the bushy and scenic Dandenong Ranges, 43km east from Melbourne's CBD (Central Business District).

Today Sassafras is a popular tourist destination. Its commercial centre is based around the junction of the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road and the Mountain Highway and features a diverse collection of boutique stores including Devonshire Tea outlets, nurseries, antique and craft shops.

When Melbournians talk about devonshire tea, the place that comes to mind most, is Sassafras - Miss Marples Tea Rooms; a beautiful two storey English Tudor style house that serves the devonshire tea among other items in its menu, to die for. Hence, you'll sometime see long queues outside the tea room. People are willing to wait to get a seating for their devonshire tea.

However brunch was what we had in mind, so we headed off to Fortnums restaurant, 100m further up towards Olinda along the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road, from Miss Marples Tea Rooms. You cannot miss it.

Our choices were the Fisherman's Lunch; a selection of crumbed calamari, scallops, prawn cutlets, crab meat and white fish accompanied with chunky potato wedges served with a tartar sauce and Beef Burgundy Pot Pie, Tender beef and vegetables in a hearty red wine sauce, served in a crock pot with a pastry top and accompanied by chunky cut wedges and a side salad.

Well, after the somewhat heavy brunch, checking out the boutique stores, antique and craft shops were our way of walking-off some of the calories from the brunch.

Simply Sassy is a fashion accessories store, just next door to Fortnums. What I remember most of it are the jewelleries that were on display. Handbags and scarves were the other prominent items.

Of all the shops in Sassafras, what got my attention was this antique store with a leafy shady courtyard, behind some shop houses along the main road. It has a small fire going in a huge "bowl" of sort and the smoke from it adds to the fragrance in the air.

It has all sorts of things on display that might interest you; ranging from the outdoor furnitures, accessories and sculptures, even a life sized Ned Kelly to homewares, dolls, clothings, magazines and books including comic books.

You could even toast yourself a mash-mallow, compliments of the store and soak in the peacefull surroundings while you wait for your partner or friends do their window shopping.

The Map to Sassafras, Victoria:

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