Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post for 2008 - To Every Thing There is a Season, Ecclesiastes 3. 1-8

Well, today is New Year's Eve - a time to reflect on events that happened this year with opportunities to make New Year Resolutions. Drawing from these verses in Ecclesiastes, I find comfort. Comfort in God's Grace, Mercy and His Sovereignty.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Wishing You a Blessed New Year.

An Insightful Review of 2008

While there are numerous prolific and astute commentators, this article by Dave Berry deserves to be widely read - an apt yet entertaining description of events that took place in 2008. Click here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silent Night from North Carolina

We want to share our joy with you during this special season. The first part was sung in Dutch - that was why I was absent - and the rest in English.

Piano Recital

David has been diligent with practicing the piano. He recently - this past fall - started taking lessons from Karen Enzi who teaches Music at Montreat College. As you can see in the video, David is quite good and enjoys playing the piano.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Book Publication Update

My chapter contribution, see Chapter XVII Trusted Computing: Evolution and Direction of this textbook Cyber Security and Global Information Assurance: Threat Analysis and Response Solutions will be published April 2009.

I would like to engage in more writing in 2009, hopefully publishing a paper or two peer-review journal articles related to information security and assurance. There are a couple projects I will be wrapping up from 2008 that will hopefully be foundational work for the papers I will be writing.

This is a first for me - so I am thrill but humbled by this experience. Writing this book chapter taught me many things - diligence, perseverance, and timeliness among others. As I Corinthians 3: 6-8 says "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor".

What I want for Christmas?

Hannah and David have been asking me what I want for Christmas - they are so sweet. Now that they are older, they want to make sure Gerda and I receive some presents under the tree. In our family, we do not go overboard and get caught up with the shopping frenzy - I did ask for a pair of comfortable slippers and a bow tie - never had one and so I thought it would be great to add to my collection of 'regular' ties. Yet the greatest gift is freely given - the birth of Jesus Christ as Savior and Him alone for the propitiation of our sin.

I came across this fascinating 'toy' BIGDOG - well actually it is not a toy but an advanced piece of technology. Look at how 'life like' the legs are, it evens gallops like a horse - excelling in various real-life situations. According to the company, it is the "most advanced quadrupled robot on earth" and it continues to receive funding from DARPA.

I can see many applications of this technology both in humanitarian and unfortunately in war-time scenarios. I hope the technology be used for good rather than for evil. As Genesis 50:20 says "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Concert - Hannah's Violin Performance

Last night we were treated to a wonderful Christmas concert led by choir director Mrs. Cathy LaFrombois. The kids did a wonderful job performing - with numerous solo presentations - and we are so proud of them all. The featured video consists of two carols - On This Still and Silent Night arranged by Laura Farnell.

A special mention to Hannah Teo - as is presented in the video - she made us Proud! Hannah started learning the violin this past fall and as you can see, she is quite good at it. We encourage her to continue learning and playing the violin and equally important, that she enjoys and takes pride at it as well. Above all, that she delights in playing and serving - as King David wrote in Psalm 100:1-2 to, "make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing".

Monday, December 8, 2008

Montreat College Computer Information Systems Majors

Last night, we hosted a fellowship meal. Our last get-together was in August and I prepared barbecue. This time they requested Asian - we had Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers, General 'Teos' Chicken, Thai Red Curry served with Chicken and Green Beans and Singapore Shrimp (for those in Singapore, this is the receipe for the Singapore Chili Crab). For desserts, we had Pumpkin and Apple pies. Judging by what were leftover - actually not much - it was a resounding success.

Many of my students are from North Carolina and surrounding states like South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Yet we have one coming from Connecticut and far away countries like Sierra Leone, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. They are taking final examinations this week and then heading home to spend Christmas with their family and love ones.

These students have many talents and gifts and I know, in addition to my teaching, is to help them discover their unique role they play in God's overall plan. Each semester, we strive to learn about technology, its application in the corporate world and how technology can enable firms to be more competitive and productive - after all, we live in a globalized society. So I am blessed to be able to engage them academically, intellectually, spiritually, and equally important, set an example for them - it is certainly a calling and definitely more than a 'job' - a task I am eager to perform daily.