Saturday, December 30, 2006
"The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, or a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past. Nor can we change the fact that people will act a certain way. We also cannot change the inevitable. The only thing that we can do is to control our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you -- we are in charge of our attitudes."
Do you agree? And what is your attitude in life?
Friday, December 29, 2006
Neil Cole's teaching on church planting starting at the grassroots level is inspiring. He talked about a number of principles for planting highly reproducible indigenous churches:
- the importance of a healthy biblical understanding of the local church;
- the importance of evangelism that results in churches;
- the importance of identifying and reaching persons of peace;
- the importance of leaders being raised up from the harvest to be sent back into the harvest field.
- the importance of a healthy “DNA” (Divine truth, Nurturing relationships, & Apolostolic mission).
Rather than focusing on only planting one church, Neil has a passion to see the multiplication of disciples, leaders and movements, which I think is so essential in God's Kingdom! And that is also the purpose of World Team (and mine too)!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Napolean Hill said that analysis of over twenty-five thousand men and woman who had experienced failure disclosed the fact that lack of decision was near the top of the list of the thirty-one major causes of failure. Procrastination, the opposite of decision, is a common enemy, which practically every person must conquer.
If that is true, making right decisions will change our lives to the better. To get on the road to success in any endeavour we need to make decisions.
I look back on my past, and realise that I had to start getting more decisive (I used to be quite hesitant in making decisions). Not all of my decisions worked out but I managed to form a habit of making decisions and being decisive and I focused on making the right decisions according to the will of God (or so I believe).
I find that starting with small decisions and expand from there helps me in life, minstry, relationships and business. I guess once we start making the right decisions we'll see our life improve in every area. Let's face it indecision and procrastination don't get results! There are no rewards when we're indecisive and procrastinate, and it can be frustrating to others and ourselves.
What are your experiences in decision making and procrastination? And how do you overcome the difficulties related to making decisions?
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
While the Christmas lights were spectacular in Hong Kong, I personally enjoyed the homely and cozy atmosphere of "The Boulevard" in Ivanhoe. I think it's the best of Christmas Lights in Melbourne (if not Australia). The decorations & lights in every home on the street are all diverse and beautiful. I really enjoyed walking through it with some friends on Christmas Eve!
Although Christmas can be over-commercialized, but as always, there is truth hidden in the bright lights. The Lord Jesus, who brought light to the world and forgiveness of sins through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. But it doesn’t stop there. His is a gift that keeps on giving. It keeps on giving because his life is born in all who believe, and his presence in the world is perpetuated by the spiritual gifts he gives all believers by which we reach out to those around us.
Oh Father God, thank you so much for the greatest gift of Your beloved Son Christ Jesus, the light of the world.
Monday, December 25, 2006
With today being Christmas day, and I happen to be spending it home alone tonight, I am having quiet and peaceful moments resting, thinking and reflecting on the reason for the season again. Really Christmas is not about food (Christmas pudding or Turkey), trees, lights, and commercials for the biggest 'whiz bang' ever invented. It's actually all about JESUS - the living Word of God.
God reminded me today that HIS Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrew 4:12).
I catch myself at times being more attracted to the internet; reading magazines, books; watching movies, DVD's or TV; or listening to personal development cd's or radio than reading the Bible. As we approach the beginning of a fresh new year, I am committed to reading the Bible in one year through the one year bible blog again (I encourage you to join me too). I hope to be held accountable and will also put comments on the blog.
May God bless you and yours in this festive season, as you reflect on the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us - Jesus, the Son of God.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
My dear brother Simon & me in Hong Kong, in the midst of enjoying a yummy dinner!
- Keep looking at Jesus who is the point of all that happens this season!
- Focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
- Joy = Jesus first, others second, yourselves last.
- I want to reach out and touch someone each day.
- “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10
Jesus I appreciate YOU heaps. Thank you for coming to this earth, humbling yourself, becoming a man and allowing us to be reconciled to GOD.
I had a great time catching up with my family before Christmas in Malaysia. In the photo: Connie (my mum), me, Johny (my brother), and Zion (my lovely nephew)
Merry Christmas! As we celebrate & remember Jesus' birth during this season, may you all be blessed to be in his presence today and every day!
Wishing you so much love & blessings, joy and peace…,
great health, immense happiness, abuandance and grace....
this Christmas and right throughout the New Year.
May 2007 be the year that many of your dreams come to fruition.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened . . . (Luke 2:15)
People - Attend worship celebrations and other events that celebrate the day, even if you are far from home. The journey is best taken in the company of others.
Tradition - What "makes" Christmas for you? Handel's Messiah? A special ornament on the tree? For many, it's the food. Some tell stories, some re-enact the stable scene. Honour your traditions -hold on to them. They add warmth to the journey.
Music - Put on some of the great music of the season.This journey is along a road filled with singing. Let your voice be added to the chorus.
Generosity - Obey any impulse to be generous, even to those who are not expecting generosity from you. "When in doubt, shell it out," one of my crazy unclesused to say, and he was right. Tip freely. Christmas is a time for liberality. It makes the journey to Bethlehem easier for others and more fun for you.
Healing - Take the opportunity to restore a lost personal relationship, to mend a broken friendship. Take the initiative, without worrying about who was right or wrong in whatever it was that divided you. Get past it, and forgive.
Discipline - Keep your wits about you. Do everything in moderation, the Bible says, like eating, for example - or drinking - or driving. We can over extend ourselvesin a hundred ways on this journey, thinking other people's joy somehow depends on us. In fact, we simply add hazards - for ourselves and others -on what is meant to be a road of peace and joy.
Smile - Erase the frown of worry from your face for the season. Think about what children see when they look into your face, and consciously make it a smile. Determine that only kind words will come out of your mouth - no criticism,no complaints. Decide to let more love into your life - love for God, for God's children, for life itself. It was for them that that he came - and for you. Smiles carry us far on this journey.
Which out of the above 7 things are important to you on your journey to Bethlehem?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Moses asked God to show him His glory. And God promised Moses to make all His goodness pass before him. Moses needed to know more of God. He had subsequent and frequent manifestations of God's presence and power as circumstances required. Sometimes alone, sometimes in the full presence of all the people. On awful Sinai He moved in thunder and fire, and the congregation quaked at the terror of the Lord.
Moses prayed, and prayed with great earnestness --'God show me Your glory.' And God always did!
I am committed to always going to God, as Moses did, with the prayer, 'Show me Your glory,' and I trust that He will never deny me.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Dr. Al Siebert suggests a unique five-level program for becoming more resilient:
- Optimize your health
- Skillfully problem solve
- Strengthen your three inner selfs (self-esteem, self-confidence and self-concept)
- Unleash your curiosity, the power of positive expectations, integrating your paradoxical abilities and allowing everything to work well
- Strengthening your talent for serendipity and mastering extreme resiliency challenges and our transformational breakthrough
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Somebody is very proud of you.
Somebody is thinking of you.
Somebody misses you.
Somebody wants you to be happy.
Somebody is celebrating your successes.
Somebody admires your strength.
Somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
Somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
Somebody wants to protect you.
Somebody wants to be forgiven.
Somebody wants to laugh with you.
Somebody wants to share their dreams with you.
Somebody treasures your spirit.
Somebody praises God for your friendship and love.
Somebody can't wait to see you.
Somebody loves you for who you are.
Somebody loves the way you make them feel.
Somebody misses your guidance and/or advice.
Somebody has faith in you.
Somebody trusts you.
Somebody hears a song that reminds them of you.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Hong Kong is often described as a city where East meets West(that sounds like me too - well I'd like to think that I have a good mix of the Eastern & Western aspects of the culture in me hehe).
The people of Hong Kong take their food seriously. These last couple of days, I have had Yum Cha (Dimsum) breakfast. And it's simply yummy!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
What attracted me most about Danielle was her intelligence, perserverance, and an unquenchable spirit with self respect, even in difficult environment (ill-treated by her stepmother and stepsister, as the servantmaid). She offers a good role for today's girls. I myself also aspire to her. "Ever After" is also a wonderful love story. Its theme of true love triumphing over huge obstacles is so touching, and that is something I strongly believe as well!
I had a great evening celebrating D's and my birthday watching this wonderful film.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The author (nicknamed 'J. Simth'), belongs to the leadership group of international missionary organization, and has many years of mission experience in China. Simth talked about two main points in his article.
China is gradually becoming a sending country from a country who receives missionaries. In the past, thousands of western missionaries have sown gospel seeds to China. However, this trend has been changed these days. Many missionaries have been sent from China to Jordan, USSR, Afghanistan, and Pakistan etc.
Simth said that comparing China and America, China has more potential in mission. China’s economy has increased 10% in the last 6 years. Not only that, China’s tourist figure will reach 115 million in 2020; Apart from that, half of the population will live in the city. According to the speed of the economic development in China, the economy in China may be 75% more than America in 2050. Therefore, Simth guessed that in the next 30 years, comparing to America, China will continue to grow in the area of mission.
Simth shared that in early 2005, a team of Chinese missionaries came to Pakistan, which had been ruined by the earthquake in December 2004. They brought along blankets, tents, food, bible and Christian readings etc. The local citizens opened their heart to accept the gospel. Every time when the rescue team from China came to where they lived through the 4 wheel drive, they would shout happily, “Christians have arrived!” They would run towards the 4 wheel drive, and hope to get the help from the name of Jesus.
Simth said that Christians in China have become more passionate to go to East Asia and Middle East. In the missionary meeting in June, there were pastors from Chinese house churches, Korean, and American Korean. They have shared together their heart and burden for the missionary work through Chinese churches, and talked about the difficulties in the process, the latest development and future plans. They are convicted that although they are not sure of the direction ahead, God has already put them on this path, and will continue to guide them.
Dear Lord God, may You continue to bless the missionaries all over the world for Your Kingdom's sake!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
- Access to nutritious food and supplements
- Access to clean water
- Access to decent sanitation facilities
- Access to medical treatment
Resolving these problems is not difficult. The technologies exist. The problem is the inability of the poor to access them!!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
This then is how we know that we belong." (1 John 3:16-18 NIV).
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1Ti 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
1Ti 6:19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Poverty is one of the great evils of this day and age. It is the absence of the well-being God intends for humankind. The Bible provides an image of the world as God intends it to be - communities of people engaged in a loving, worshipful relationship with God, enjoyingthe fruits of an abundant earth and the deep bonds of love with one another. Poverty exists wherever this vision doesn't.
Therefore, I truly believe in a holistic approach to make poverty history (something I first learned through the subject Holistic Ministry, when I was at Bible College) - including relief (meet the immediate material and physical needs of the poor), development (address the underlying causes of poverty), emotional, mental, and spiritual growth etc.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
International superstars Bono and The Edge from U2 and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder had the crowd in raptures early as they teamed to play Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World.
The concert was awesome, and the message of the importance of making poverty history was shared!
I believe the main message from this should be for the younger generation to step up and support this cause.
Tim Costello's passion and commitment to the cause was amazing. He said that his generation has had a go, but they have failed on the moral issue. They now pass the baton on to the younger generation to Make Poverty History.
All the young people out there, please be part of this, and get involved in contributing to make poverty history.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Luke 5: 1-11 which records Jesus' activities among the fishermen at Lake Gennesaret. In light of urban challenges, this passage can really be seen from the perspective of vocational mission.
I was thinking: "Does Jesus target the fishermen as a vocational group? Does his mission have a vocational focus?"
It is not difficult to find answers to these preliminary questions. Jesus calls his first four disciples from the fishing profession. His call to Peter is repeated three times, and each time the encounter occurs in Peter's workplace (aka business environment). The calls are meant for Peter to follow Jesus as a disciple, first of all in his workplace where he is to be a fisher of men and later to feed the Lord's sheep gathered in the fishing village where he grew up. If you read through the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was always in various towns on the shores of the Galilee Sea. It's clear that Jesus' ministry has a strong focus on the fishing occupation. With one third of the first twelve disciples being from the fishing profession, it shows Jesus' determination to reach this group (sub-culture) for His Kingdom.
I believe that the workplace, the market place and the business world are rather important mission fields in the cities. People in these mission fields don't come into the 4 walls of our church building. We need to go to them! Urban mission differs from rural mission in that cities are densely populated with many professions with business from various networks. Urban missionaries need to learn the art of knocking on and opening the doors of various professions. I believe that a ministry call does not negate the original vocational call. In fact, I would say that it may be better choice for 'full-time' ministry workers to be in the workplace or business (on people's turf), rather than leave their profession, in order to fulfill their calling. In so doing, they serve as models for church members in fulfilling God's bivocational calling upon their lives.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I have been learning so much about health and wellbeing / wellness through the business I am in lately, and I am very grateful for that.
According to integrative medical practitioner Dr Doris Brownless, the guest presenter of the health and wellness meeting that I attended on Monday, optimal health might mean different things to different people. It might mean having a diet with more fruits and vegetables (we need 3 cups of vegies and 2 serves of fruits every day). Or you might be eating a healthy diet but need to incorporate daily exercise in your life. Clearly, a personalized health program is required – taking into account your specific health and wellness needs by choosing the best dietary, lifestyle, rest and relaxation habits for you – then, select supplementation products to support your healthy life. They are essential for wellness. In the past, people focused on having their illness cured, but now many have realised the important of keeping well. I have been really feeling the benefits of nutritional supplementation that I am currently taking, as it gives me so much more energy and vitality for my life and work.
I am also learning to be a weight management consultant as a tent-making part time project. I love my new life and I love the fact that I can share God's love through this, as many of my business associates and clients are people from various parts of the world. I am also happy that I can learn to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and to help people to lose weight and be healthy, while assisting them with their goals as I acheive my desire of making a difference in people's life.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.
Love's as fierce as fire, Love is fire:
All sorts - infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when desired,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.
Love's as fresh as spring, Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering 'Dare! Dare!'
To sap, to blood,
Telling 'East, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.'
Love's as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medical nerve of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Lately I have been reading, learning and attending seminars about health and wellness, as I feel that health is extremely important. So how do we achieve balance in our health? And how can we feel "in control" of our future health and well being? How do we achieve optimal health, increased energy and live longer, how to have good diet, reach and stay on our ideal weight, and how to manage ongoing health and vitality? Farmers teach us that to achieve balance, diversity, protecting our forests, and organic agriculture are vital. Soil needs to be balanced, farms need to be organic, no infecticides.
I will write more after my next seminar.... in the meantime, please feel free to sharemwhat you think about health and wellness.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny…
because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment…
because you “deserve better than this.”
I cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing…because you are too full of you to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness…because you refuse to admit when you are wrong.
I cheat you of vision…because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship… because nobody’s going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love… because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven… because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.
I cheat you of God’s glory… because I convinced you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you.
Untrue. I’m looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…If you stick with me you’ll never know.
I've made a decision to not let Pride cheat me....Lord please help me!
Monday, October 30, 2006
I learned about the idea of 'displacement' through Bible College. I was reminded of that this morning. Mission begins with the 'displacement' of the Son of God. 'God so loved the world that he SENT his only Son...' (John 3:16). The history of the Christian community is full of sending, going and receiving. Much of this movement has been within cultures. Like church leaders in China travelled, often at great risk, to minister to unregistered group of believers, even in the dark days of the Cultural Revolution.
But much of this travelling, this displacement, has been between countries and cultures. I learned that at the very core of Christian identity lies an all-encompassing change of loyalty - where we are (in our own culture and comfort zone) to a new culture where we are called (in a different culture or sub-culture and out of our comfort zone). I've been experiencing this displacement recently, and God has opened doors for me to be out of my comfort zone.
What about you? Are you willing to go out of your comfort zone to where God has called you to - within cultures, a different culture or sub-culture?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
No To Poverty
I'm committed to make a difference in "Making Poverty History" - whatever that takes. Lord, please help me!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Three weeks ago on a beautiful Thursday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of meeting two of my fellow blogger friends Rodney , Thomas and their families in Southgate Foodcourt. What a wonderful thing to put names into faces! I was really busy that week preparing for the World Team Panel & Pancakes Focus Mission Night, but was sooo glad that I was able to 'squeeze' a little time out that afternnoon to catch up with these two great guys and their lovely families. The meeting was quite short, but it was wonderful nevertheless.
Rodney and Thomas, it was very nice to meet you and your families. I hope to see you all again.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
According to Gore, the USA is presently ruled by people who would rather serve monied interests than the people. He said that we have entered a period of consequences, if we don't do something about it, the environment of our next generations will be totally destroyed.
What do you think about this issue?
Monday, October 16, 2006
YOU MUST MAKE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES
Your destiny isn't a matter of chance,it's a matter of the choices you make.
Success isn't something you wait for,it's something you must pursue.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities to be successful.
Seize common occasions and turn them into great ones.
Opportunities sometimes come disguised in the form of misfortune,or temporary defeat.
Start where you are.You are, at this moment,standing right in the middle of opportunity.
If you act on your dreams you can live them.
What do you think?
Thursday, October 12, 2006
In Genesis Lounge
During the Black Stump Festival, I was serving in the Genesis Lounge, which is a wonderfully creative and peaceful space for stumpers to relax and enjoy God's Presence in a quiet tent. Basically if offered worship in the mayhem.
In GL, there was creative worship space, stumpology (where people can write their poems on a lovely poem book), clay sculpting, prayers in a net, sandtray confessions and remembrance stones, foot plastering, painting, with poetry and painting workshop.
More photos can be seen here.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
My friend Ross has written an entry about the mission night. Thanks for your support Ross!
Monday, October 09, 2006
It has been nearly five hundred years since Martin Luther, who began the Reformation (1517) that changed the whole world.
It has been more than two hundred years since William Carey’s Modern Mission (1792).
The revival of Wesley, Fletcher, Finnay and Moody etc has been gone for over two centuries now.
In this day and age, the Western Christian world is like ‘an old person without fuel’, who has gradually lost their first love, enthusiasm, faith and heart of redemption. Some still have a bit of fire, in the hope to retain the disappearing sunset; some are struggling in their faith, tradition and morality; some are like a kite without string, follow the wind of the world, sin and unbelief! In the midst of this huge storm of “unbelief” and “anti-God” mentality, most churches have lost the courage to ‘fight against this battle’. Most cannot go against the current, let alone being the pillar of witness.
In the 19th and 20th century, J. Gresham Machen, A.W. Tozer, Francis Schaeffer, and Carl Henry were the leaders who tried to fix these serious problems. In the 21st century, the ‘heroes’ in the church have gradually been disappearing. The church has lost its influence. It follows and is led by the world.
Since the beginning of the church, in relation to the vision of global mission, Satan has been using politics, culture, racial differences and indigenous religions etc to destroy and stop the frontier mission work, so as to stop the spreading of the gospel.
Recently, Satan has used a second strategy, and that is to attack the ‘backyard’ of global mission, and to attack the Western Christian countries. For hundreds of years, Western Christian countries are the starting point of global mission and the gospel. Satan attacked them by destroying faith, morality, family and misleading the youth.
This is a powerful strategy. Western Christian countries have been falling one by one. Countries in Western Europe (eg: the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, The UK, Sweden, Norway etc.) have legalized homosexual marriage. The United States is following suit (May God protect them). If the society of a country has become “Sodom and Gomorrah”, can they still engage in overseas mission?
Because of the ‘break down of the backbone’, there are churches in the Western countries where global mission is disappearing without reasons (in fact disappearing with reasons), mission has become the past!
We would like to appeal and warn the churches (no matter Eastern or Western), our spiritual warfare is two-folded:
Frontier – continue to be involved in global mission, preach the gospel, plant churches and train workers.
Backbone – protect the Christian faith, morality and culture. Be alert in these areas!
May God revive this generation, starting from our churches!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
It was an awesome weekend to say the least. It was surely the best 4 days of Australia's best Christian Music, Arts and Teaching I've ever experienced. The Music, the various artistic shows, the Bible Studies and Workshop Electives are all fantastic. I will share about the various insights and photos in the coming days.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Fear is common to all people. It is an emotion that has been built into every person as a protective mechanism. People have all sorts of internal fears, including a fear of change, a fear of making a decision, a fear of taking on the responsibilities that are perceived to go with a promotion or a move to the next level in life, a fear of discomfort, or a fear of putting something at risk, a fear of failure and a fear of embarrassment. Some people don't even know what they are fearful of. They are just 'fearful' people.
Fear causes a person to cancel an appointment, fear keeps a person from doing his best or giving his all in life. Successful people don't quit when things get tough. Successful people overcome their initial fears and do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do! Fearful people don't take risks.
Have you ever felt those feelings of fear and hesitancy to start something new? A new ministry? A new business? A new relationship? Or a new career? And how do you overcome those fears?
Friday, September 22, 2006
- 4 minutes of cardio - high-energy aerobic training (think H.E.A.T.!)
- 3 minutes of toning - Resistance for increased muscle strength
- 2 minutes of core strengthening - Abdominals, hips and back
- 1 minute of stretching and deep breathing
Total time: 10 minutes a day - 6 days a week
Total benefit: A quick, convenient, fun way to reshape your body, your health, and your life.
I also learned that the protein plus diet is a balanced, healthy eating plan, which is fantastic!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
One of the themes of "Waking Life" was a challenge for us to return to a life of 'the now (presence)'. There are many philosophical ideas within the context of the film, portrayed by a young man's dream world. The idea of a 'Holy Moment' was explored, whereby the film director, through the characters, shares that God is present in all things. Hmmmm.....this is a thought-provoking idea isn't it? What do you reckon? Is God present in all things? Or to put it in another way, do you see God in all things?
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Drumbeats That Changed The World
"The man who beats the drum does not know how far the sound will go." - Congolese Proverb
In 1995 two mission families, with a combined legacy of 200 years of missionary service, fused (married) to become the World Team we know today. A host of faithful servants of God have gone on before us, carrying the Gospel message to all who have ears to hear. We will never know how many listened, but we believe God blessed the effort.
Jesus invites us, "Go, work today in my vineyard." And so we continue the legacy, carrying the banner into the dark places of the earth, trusting Christ to call out His own from among the nations.
In the short years since merger, God has opened wide the doors for new ministries among the working class in Taiwan, Cambodia's Khmer people, 10/40-window Internationals in New York City, and Muslim peoples in Central Asia and Africa, people in the dark continent of Europe (both Western and Eastern Europes), as well as South America. And God is mobilizing a dynamic new missionary force from places like Indonesia, Suriname, the Philippines, and West Indies etc.
This book includes a partial history of World Team's deep missionary roots in Regions Beyond Missionary Union and Worldteam is below. You'll meet ordinary people familiar with failure, fear and triumph. Woven throughout is God's redemptive plan for drawing the nations to Himself. RBMU International traces its roots to Harley Bible College in London, founded in 1873 by the Irish revivalist H. Grattan Guinness.
Worldteam was formed in 1928 as a small Bible Institute in central Cuba by Elmer Thompson and B.G. Lavastida.
To enjoy even more of this amazing story, request a copy of World Team's 'history book', Drumbeats That Changed The World. Written by Joseph Conley, former RBMU missionary to Peru and US Director, Drumbeats is a fascinating missionary narrative.
To request a copy, just leave a comment here, and I will get that to you.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Poverty can be defined as the absense of the well-being God intends for humankind. The Bible provides an image of the world as God intends it to be - communities of people engaged in a loving, worshipful relationship with God, enjoying the fruits of an abundant earth and the deep bonds of love with one another.
Poverty exists wherever this vision doesn't. This means that to some extent we are all poor. Nonetheless, poverty in its most terrible forms exists when this vision is chronically lacking in multiple dimensions at once.
Tragically, that is the reality for many of the people in the world today. Over one billion people struggle to survive on an income less than $US1 a day. Another billion live on less than $US2 a day. Deprived of the abundance of the earth, their health breaks down, social structures collapse around them, and the daily struggle for survival makes the development of their full human potential impossible.
Christians are called to respond to the poor with compassion and generosity. What can you do?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Thomas Kuhn wrote about Paradigm Shift during the early 1960s, and explained how "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions" caused "one conceptual world view to be replaced by another view."
In laymen terms, Paradigm Shift is a popular, or perhaps, not so popular shift or transformation of the way we Humans perceive events, people, environment, and life altogether. It can be a national or international shift, and could have dramatic effects -- whether positive or negative -- on the way we live our lives today and in the future.
I have been through quite a number of significant paradigm shifts in my life. What about you?
Monday, September 11, 2006
- Ferocious Love - Isaiah 49, God's love is extravagent, piercing and passionate.
- Monotonous - Hebrew 13:8, God's love does not change, is unconditional and unfailing.
Praise the Lord!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
But, we must know how to ask the right questions. If questions are asked from the viewpoint of open-mindedness, of trying to learn—then the resulting answers can help to produce a mindset that is optimistic, hopeful and full of possibilities for the future. These are known as “Learner” questions. If, however, one asks questions that seek to assign blame (either to the questioner or the questioned) and are based on negative reactions (“What’s wrong with them?”)—the resulting mindset will then lead to failure, inflexibility, stress and a sense of severe limitations. These are known as “Judger” questions.
How do we avoid being Judgers and instead become Learners? The answer lies in “QuestionThinking,” a practical, easy-to-use methodology for transforming thinking, action, and results through intentional and skillful question asking. We need to consistently choose the questions that can lead them to personal and professional success.
Marilee Adams suggests twelve top questions for change, which I found very insightful:
- What do I want?
- What are my choices?
- What assumptions am I making?
- What am I responsible for?
- How else can I think about this?
- What is the other person thinking, feeling, needing, and wanting?
- What am I missing or avoiding?
- What can I learn from this person or situation? from this mistake or failure?from this sucess?
- What questions should I ask (myself and /or others?)
- What action steps make the most sense?
- How can I turn this into a win-win?
- What is possible?
What do you think of these 12 questions?
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Just off the east coast of Camarines Sur is the island of Catanduanes, where Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) are held throughout the neighborhoods as a tool to share Jesus with children and start regular adult bible studies. This past May a VBS was held in 6 different neighborhoods where nearly 500 children participated. As a result, 2 new adult bible studies have started!
Is there a part you can play in what God is doing in the Philippines? By praying, supporting financial, or actually going?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
His friend John Stinton, who was with him when he died, said, "one problem Steve had was that he couldn't sit still for five seconds and because the weather was bad today and for the last couple of days, he'd been liked a caged lion because he hadn't really been able to do anything much in the way of filming. So he said, 'Look, I might just go off and shoot some segments,' anything that would keep him moving and his adrenaline going and that's what happened..." It seemed, on the surface, to be these silly character flaws, and not the stingray, that got him in the end. His death is of course a tragedy. He was only 44. He was a happy husband and father of two great kids. He was a great conservationist who, had he lived, could have done so much more for wildlife preservation.
However Scott Adams said, "Steve Irwin's death is a reminder that everybody's life is like a puzzle, and that we are not here to rate others, only to improve ourselves. I was quick to dismiss Irwin as a numbskull nutcase who got what he deserved—until I looked at myself and realized that I am certainly no paragon of wise living. Something tells me that the ebullient, passionate, adventurous-to-the-end Mr. Irwin was too busy living to pass judgment on how others spent their time. That—and not his risk-taking excesses—could be the real lesson of his death—a lesson we all could learn."
What do you think?
Monday, September 04, 2006
According to Robert, Christianity is a set of emotions (whatever else it may be). He says, "If I don't love God and my neighbor, abhor my sins, and rejoice in my redemption, if I am not grateful, hopeful, and at peace with God and myself, then it follows that I am aliented from Christianity."
What is needed to overcome this alienation, says Robert, is "a reordering of our passions and attitudes such that we will have a use in our life for the beliefs of Christianity and the language of faith."
I agree with Robert. I believe that the Christian passions and attitudes fuel us to experience such emotions as gratitude, hope, and compassion - above all, the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) - rather than greed, despair, and anger etc.
Father God, please nurture in us Your passions, attitudes and positive emotions through the development of a deepening of our spirituality. In Jesus' name, Amen!
Friday, September 01, 2006
- Visionary - committed to growth, looks beyond problems to causes, and develops precise solutions to success.
- Teacher - imparts wisdom, maturity, and skill to others, validates direction; and ensures completeness.
- Server - sees and meets others' practical needs, frees them to accomplish their goals, and invests time and energy in their success.
- Organiser - visualises final results and directs resources for the successful completion of goals.
- Mediator - deeply loyal and compassionate, analysing the benefits and problems of a given direction.
- Idealist - seeks excellence in thought, word, and deed; identifies problems as they arise and speaks truth boldly.
- Provider - resourceful, prudent, and thrifty, constantly ensuring the best use of all available resources.
What do you think? And if you are a leader, what kind of leader are you?
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I shared a meditation that I learned, which is believed to be one of the doorways to wellbeing as we connect to Jesus. It's called Selah Meditation. Here goes:
“Selah” is an ancient Jewish musical term found in the OT book of Psalms (or songs) that means “to pause and contemplate that which was just sung.” It has formed part of Jewish and Christian traditions for centuries. We cannot fully absorb the meaning of the biblical text nor can we hope to hear from God and the truth he wants to speak to us unless we are willing to pause and contemplate.
This form of meditation does not seek to empty our minds but rather calls us to enter the place of SELAH – which stands for: Stop, Enter, Listen, Apply, Humble. We are to Stop and Enter God’s presence and have our minds renewed as we Listen to His voice of truth. Then we are to Apply it to our lives and Humble ourselves by believing and speaking out Spiritual truths rather than our own ideas.
Then I read the following scriptures and invited the community members to meditate using SELAH:
John 6:47-51 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”
John 14:1 Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Romans 3:21-28, “….now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. Ro 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, Ro 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Ro 3:24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Ro 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—Ro 3:26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Eph 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
You can give it a try if you like.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Exercise should not be painful, time consuming, expensive or even boring. If you are anything like me (who have been lacking exercise, and hence physcial stamina), I'd like to encourage you to get moving.
Ok, it's time to be honest. Are you as active as you possibly could be? One of the main reasons our obesity rates are so high is because we simply do not move enough. It seems, with all our modern day technology at our fingertips, we don't really need to move to do things. Many of us say we are too busy or tired to exercise, however, if you knew exactly what being more active could do for you, chances are you would change your mind in an instant. (like I did!)
Regular exercise can have the following amazing benefits:
- increase your metabolism to help you burn faster
- help you achieve and suntain weight loss
- help you sleep more soundly
- reduce lower back pain
- guard against cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure)
- increase "good (HDL) cholesterol
- help fight off depression etc....
National health guidelines suggest we should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 3-4 times a week. Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous, difficult, or challenging - it just needs to be regular. It's one of my goals to keep moving and being more active. What about you?
Sunday, August 27, 2006
People need people and friends need friends
And we all need love for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or on worldly fame,
But just in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers-
For only the knowledge that we're understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life's greatest need
When we "lock up our hearts" and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind
Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware
That life's completeness and richness depends
On the things we share with our loved ones and friends.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
- exists to take the gospel to unreached people groups
- aims to plant new churches by working together with partners from around the world
- is committed to life long training
- aims for church multiplication
- values the church as God’s strategic agency for reaching the world for Christ
One of the highlights of working with World Team is the opportunity to know about the stories of many faithful missionaries. An inspiring story is the Yali story - an incredible & amazing transformation of stone-age cannibals to people who live in faith, hope and love.
Unless the gospel is preached to those who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, they will perish for all eternity. Let's pray for the unreached peoples of the world!
Friday, August 25, 2006
Alain de Botton is a highly respected writer. He owns his own production company, which regularly broadcasts documentaries based on his own works. The film talks about how theories of philosophers such as Epicurus and Socrates etc. can be applied to our modern everyday lives, especially the concept of happiness. He also talks about ideas of unpopularity, feelings of inadequacy, financial worries, broken hearts and the general problem of suffering as an opposite of happiness. This film has both been praised and criticised for its therapeutic approach to philosophy.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
- Leviathan (sea monster): Job 41:1
- Yam (sea personified): Dan 7:2,3
- Tanniyn (dragon): Ps 74:13
- Tehom (chaotic ocean): Ps 33:7
Then he went on to discuss the two Greek words used by Aristotle, "Phronesis and Techne". They are two ways of dealing with life. Phronesis is the reality that the earth moves, so we need to move as well. Consequently movement brings growth. "You can only walk through a river once." On the other hand, "Techne" denotes rigid, structure and not changing or moving. He used the treadmill as an example that we need to keep moving in order to move forward, if we were to stay still on a treadmill, we would fall. That really makes sense doesn't it? We also discussed the following questions (perhaps you can let me know of your thoughts too...)
- Is the dynamic (chaotic?) nature of God part of what it means to be made in his image?
- Is so, what does that mean for: ethics, forgiveness, and how we approach one another?
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I believe an intercessor must have love. Otherwise, their prayer is in vain. As someone said ( I can't remember who though ....), one of the hardest and the most important works for this sinful world is the work of intercession, the work of going to God and taking time to pray and lay hold of Him. Oh may God give us the great gift of intercession, a spirit of prayer and supplication!
If you want to be an online intercessor, please feel free to join Corry and Kc's prayer list here, where we intercede for one another.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
"Is there any significance of the cross (as opposed to a stake) other than being historically and biblically accurate, and more torturous?"
Please understand that the question is not asking about which one is historically/biblically accurate, but what sets the cross apart. David has found information on the web which have all been debates over cross versus stake, not what sets a cross apart. One of an intersting sites David suggested is called Jerusalem Burial Cave Reveals:Names, Testimonies of First Christians, although it was merely referring to crosses as being an early-christian symbol.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
First of all, we had a time of meditation / contemplation led by an accredited Journey Therapist. It was a gentle, meditative healing modality, and it was facilitated with grace and respect and gentleness. According to her, the Journey is about Freedom . . .Freedom to live our life as we’ve always dreamed it could be. It is believed that the possibility exists for us all to become absolutely free, whole and healed. We are capable of getting to the root cause of these issues, resolving them, letting them go completely, and setting ourselves free to live our life at our highest potential, as a full expression of our true self. It was nurturing!
After that, we embraced silence through poetry, art and music. There was the awakening to beauty in nature, people and the arts, the discovering healing, inner peace and joy, as well as offering inspiration in meeting life's challenge. We listened to poems read, and music played while enjoying the images of beautiful works of Monet, Courbet, Turner, Pissarro, Manet, Munch, Sisley, and Constable projected.
The my friends Linda and Marg performed two beautiful liturgical dances, where I could see that their movements were really worshipful acts. They were so inspirational!
Silence is really golden!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Jesus' whole life was a witness to his Father's love, and Jesus calls his followers to carry on that witness in his Name. We, as followers of Jesus, are sent into this world to be visible signs of God's unconditional love. Thus we are not first of all judged by what we say but by what we live. When people say of us: "See how they love one another," they catch a glimpse of the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced and are drawn to it as by a magnet.
If we want to visualize a ‘typical’ contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a Brazilian favela” As of 2000, only 39% of the world’s one and a half billion Christians live in the industrialized West. By 2025, fully 70% of Christians will live in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. (Cited by Ian Douglas, “Globalization and the Local Church”, in Stackhouse, p.203).
Father God, may Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Fasting is the abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. Jesus’ teaching on fasting is related to his teaching on giving and praying. Fasting must centre on God, with our eye singly fixed on Him. Jesus cares for the poor and marginalised, and so should we! My experience in terms of fasting has been that each time I do it, God always gives me a renewed sense of conviction to serve Him and His people as I spend time in prayers. So prayers and fasting do go together, and God honours that!
Every time when I fast and pray, I sense an intimate closeness with Christ and feel an increased effectiveness in intercessory prayer and concentration. I believe the discipline of fasting can transform us into Christ likeness as well.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I'm going to do the World Vision 40 Hour Famine in August this year (this weekend). I'll be going without food for 40 hours to raise money to help feed hungry kids. Just $40 will help feed and care for 8 children in East Timor and Southern Africa for a whole month. To find out more about how the funds raised are going to be used click on http://www.worldvision.com.au/40HourFamine/about_funds.asp.
Could you please support me by giving a donation?If you can, simply visit the World Vision 40 Hour Famine website (http://www.40hourfamine.com.au) and click on Donate Here. Donations are tax deductible and the minimum amount is $2. You will receive a receipt as soon as you've made the donation.When it asks you for the Famine Number, please enter 26183760-3. This makes sure that the donation is recorded against me and that I'm sent a record of your donation.You can also go directly to the donate screen by clicking here https://famine.worldvision.com.au/famine.cgi?a=SPONSOR_&p
Thank you very much!
Monday, August 14, 2006
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
If you want God to lead you in life, put Him first in everything!
"He will make your paths straight" - that is, the way forward will be obvious to you, and God will remove the obstacles that would keep you from following His will for you. It sounds wonderful doesn't it? But why are we not experiencing it every day? Notice that there are three conditions to this promise.
"Trust in the Lord". When you sense Him leading you and you don't know where you will end up or how you will get through, obey Him anyway. Act on the reality that God is there. If He leads you, you can trust Him. This is not just verbal trust, but the kind that is with all y our heart!
"Don't lean on your own understanding." Don't try to be the master of your own fate. Don't get the idea that you can plan your way through life. Recognise that you desperately need God's hand in your life, both guiding you and enabling you.
"In all your ways acknowledge Him." Make sure that your life shows that God is the One you honour, love and obey. Meet these three conditions and you can rest in the reality of God's guiding hand.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
In the sinful nature of humanity, greed and selfishness is a disease that grips the hearts of many people. We live in an age that tells us that happiness can be found in what we possess and therefore "the more we possess the happier we will be". For many people financial wealth is the goal. Personally, I think our lives are not determined by what we possess but by what we give away, which determines our happiness.
Financial wellbeing, rather than financial wealth, should be the goal. The goal to achieve financial wealth is often based on fear and discontentment, and financial wellbeing is based on generosity and joy. Financial wealth is a grasping, clenched fist, while financial wellbeing is an open generous hand.
Financial wellbeing is not found in the amount of money we have or don't have, the goods we own, the income stream we can achieve or the shares we invest. Rich or poor alike need to receive the gift of being generous like God. It is obtaining the God given desire to be generous and the power to fulfill that desire as we give to others.
For God so loved the world that He sent His only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The opening showed John in a black suit coming out from 'a black hole' with his hands during a thunderstorm. Then Revelation 20:7 appeared on the screen, "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison". Out of all the epiodes we saw, the one that was most full-on and confronting was the last episode on exorcism. It showed the scene of John's exorcism by Bob Larson. It was really dramatic and realistic.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
- The biblical worldview says: “Serve the one true God – the Creator of the universe – alone. Since God loves you personally, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. God’s rules are good and are for our good.”
- The Haunted worldview says: “Eclectic. Syncretistic. Don’t judge anybody. Get in contact with spiritual power, which spiritual power works for you.”
- The What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) worldview says: “The physical world is the only reality. You can only know what is material. Any appeal to spiritual reality is outlawed from the start as mere superstition, hype, hokum, wishful thinking, or deception. All morals and ideas of good, evil, truth, and beauty are man-made.”
- The Dueling Yodas worldview says: “Good and evil are in an eternal battle in a moral universe, but neither side ever wins. It is an eternal struggle.”
- The Omnipresent Supergalactic Oneness worldview says: “Absorption of all things into pantheism or monism. Evil and good are only apparent opposites. There are no innocent sufferers, since suffering is exactly proportionate to one’s karma. You create your own reality with your mind. You are ‘God,’ but so is that cockroach scurrying across the floor.”
- The Designer Religion worldview says: “It’s okay to mix and match religions. Never judge anybody. Get in contact with a spiritual power that works for you.”
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Imagine you were the eagle, what would you do?
Saturday, July 29, 2006
In preparing for the facilitation of the World Team CLiMAT training, I went back to read one of my favourite books "Guardians of the Great Commission" by Ruth Tucker. She said that women have played an outstanding role in the modern missionary movement. Dana Robert shows that women's mission theory was holistic, with emphasis on both evangelism and meeting human needs. With their holistic approach to missions, women were committed to healing. They have been permitted great latitude in Christian ministry with their work ranging from support efforts behind the scenes, pioneer work, evangelim, church planting to Bible translation, teaching in seminaries, preaching, organisation and training on the home front, women's work for women, orphanges and children's work, health and humanitarian services, linguistics, literacy, missionary writing, fundraising to urban ministry etc. Since women were less involved in denominational activities and more focused on human need, it was easier for them to be ecumenically minded and risk cooperation for common purposes.
Helen Barrett Montgomery's saying decades ago is really challenging to me personally. She said, "We have done very little original work. We have made very few demands upon the brains of the women....and as a result, we have been given over to smallness of vision in our missionary life."
I pray that God will give women in this emerging postmodern age the courage, wisdom and strength to go forward in missional outreach, never forgetting the remarkable heritage that is ours.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Where does the source of my value come from? Does it come from my work? my ministry? my friendship? my performance, past experiences, how much I am loved, cared for or missed?
Stripped of anything that makes me who I am, I reckon my source of value and identity must come from who I am in Christ, not what I do, the ministry I am in, or even the significant relationships that I have with people. I think that is it! It is impossible for me to know even myself fully, let alone people around me. Only God knows me fully! Every one of us is subjective, but who we are in Christ is the truth, the reality of our existence.
How about you? What is your source of value and identity?
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Since then, I felt that I had done quite a bit of 'travelling' in terms of my journey in mission and ministry. To simply put it, I am one of many who constantly grapple with issues related to missions and ministry. God called me to mission through Hudson Taylor's biographies many years ago. Without Hudson Taylor, we Chinese people wouldn't have had the opportunity to hear the gospel. I sensed that God was calling me (as a Chinese person) to 'return the debt' to the nations.
More than four years ago, I attended a Christian arts seminar in Cooma in New South Wales. Michael Frost was the main speaker. That was the first time I'd ever heard of the so called 'alternative ways of being / doing church'. I was blown away and challenged by Mike's messages. I came to know a bit more about the concepts of emerging missional church through study, books and blogs.
I really want to "cast off anything that hinders....", and I start to wonder if "church systems or programmes" do hinder more than help in terms of missional efforts in God's Kingdom. They're not evil or necessarily wrong in themselves, but God's attitude towards us is not based on how well you've fit into the church structure (as some believe so). I think 'sacred space' doesn't have to be within the four walls of the church buildings. As a friend of mine said, "Non churched people could actually teach the Church a thing or two about building community, generosity and making a difference in the world we live in. " More and more I think sharing and living out the Gospel in everyday language and in the natural rhythms of life would have more impact than just working in the church office. Mission is really about asking 'what is God doing around me' and then seeking ways to join in those things. That is my intention and my prayer. The process of grappling and wrestling with all of the baggage I put on myself, and the church's role in this has been going on for the last couple of years in my journey.
Hence moving back from being a full time paid Christian worker to a different journey is not beyond question. I must admit though that I am on a crossroad, and still haven't made up my mind......
Tell me oh Lord how You want me to live Your life.....
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
- God gives each of us a unique personality. Most of us don't know much about our own personalities. I think knowing more about our personality -- who we are and how we interact with others -- is very important.
- I Cor. 11:28 says, “Let a man examine himself...”. According to our personalities, our “work” on examining ourselves will differ from another’s. How we perceive reality, how we react to life, how we look at things will impact throughout the frame of our personality. I think knowing our personality type can assist us in knowing how to face difficult situations.
- No personality type is “good” or “bad”, that none is better or worse than any other. Accepting ourselves is the first step in accepting others. Every one has both strengths and weaknesses.
- God has given us gifts according to our personality.
Ro 12:4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
Ro 12:5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Ro 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
Ro 12:7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
Ro 12:8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
- 4 Jobs You Have Had In Your Life:
- 4 Movies You Could Watch Over And Over:
A Beautiful Mind, Beyond Borders, Passion of the Christ, Joy Luck Club
- 4 Websites You Visit often:
Google, Living Room, World Team, CCBC Xanga
- 4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now:
in my bed, Greek Islands, Taiwan.... come to think of it, I should be quite happy where I am now :s
Feel free to consider yourself tagged!
Monday, July 24, 2006
•Not just in the NT….but in the OT
•Not just a formula….but the heart of God
•Not just to share….but to live
•Not just for heaven….but for this life
•Not just for Non-Christians….but for Christians
Sunday, July 23, 2006
McLaren uses a scene in the story of "The Wizard of Oz" to make his point. When Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal that the great Wizard of Oz is in fact a very average person hiding behind an imposing image. The 1940's world was a world immersed in modernity. The film exposes the Wizard as a fraud, expressing a relentless doubt and displaying an early pang of discontent with its dominant model of larger-than-life leadership. The answer to this problem appeared in the next scene. McLaren said,
"At first glance, Dorothy is all wrong as a model of leadership. She is the wrong gender (female) and the wrong age (young). Rather than being a person with all the answers, who knows what's up and where to go and what's what, she is herself lost, a seeker, often bewildered, and vulnerable. These characteristics would disqualify her from modern leadership. But they serve as her best credentials for postmodern leadership."
McLaren says that Dorothy is a bit disoriented, and she gathers other needy people in the belief that all their needs can be fulfilled in a common quest. Dorothy doesn't have all the answers and can't solve all the problems, but she believes that somehow they can journey together. McLaren lists a comparison of this post-Wiz leadership to the original modern leadership model, which I am very challenged by.
1. From Bible analyst to spiritual sage
2. From Broadcaster to listener
3. From Technician to spiritual friend
4. From Warrior/Salesman to dancer
5. From Careerist to amateur
6. From Problem Solver to co-Quester
7. From Apologist to apologizer
8. From Threat to includer
9. From Knower to seeker
10. From Solo Act to team builder
As Al Rogers said, "In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." I think that is very insightful!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
I was reminded today that too much of our time is spent in trying to chart God on a grid, and too little time is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe. By reducing Christian spirituality to formula, we deprive our hearts to wonder.
As I shared previously in my posts, I have been grappling with a number of paradoxes of faith and spirituality. Today I heard a still small voice telling me: "There are things you cannot fully understand, and you must learn to live with this. Not only must you learn to live with this, you must learn to enjoy this." What a challenge! Well the chances of any of my theology being exactly right are extremely slim, but I know that God has things figured out, and I just need to simply trust Him, worship Him and love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
Friday, July 21, 2006
A. W. Tozer said that organization is necessary but dangerous, and I think that is so true, and offer a wise balance. The key with both leadership and organization is to seek forms, styles, and attitudes that serve, not that dominate – and that are flexible, not new rigidities. This approach, of course, is what Jesus taught and modeled.
I find the following quote from Brian McLaren very meaningful, it gives me a perspective that encourages me to continue seeking balance as I proceed my journey with the Lord, although this journey is never easy:
"we are all in process, and we move forward like inexperienced canoe-paddlers at times, veering toward one bank, over-correcting toward the other, and so on. With experience and time, instructed by both internal self-examination and constructive external criticism, I trust that we will develop a smooth, graceful, and balanced stroke and move strongly forward in our adventure, enjoying both the journey and our companions, in the joyful presence of God."
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
- A Gospel leader always goes back to the basics. As John Newton said, our hearts are 'prone to wander' and we always need our heart warmed by the Gospel. In the midst of busyness, are the 'eyes of our understanding' on the Lord or are we overwhelmed by the 'stuff' in our lives? The Gospel leaks out of us everyday! We must put it back in! After all, we work, but we work because it is God who works in us, changing our minds and emotions so that we regain our spiritual balance, enabling us to live for the praise of His Name (Phil 2:12-13)
- A Gospel leader asks God to help him or her be willing to lead out of weakness, not out of their strength. Are we willing to let God help us give up the idol of having to control life and live out of our human resources apart from Him? Is our model of a leader the charismatic CEO or someone who really sees his need for Christ? Even people in the church do not want this kind of leader!
- The Gospel leader needs to be willing to take risks. While we often criticize Peter for his lack of faith when he was trying to walk on the water, he at least stepped out of the boat. What does risk-taking look like for the Gospel leader? Just a few ideas: the willingness to lovingly confront and stretch people, to stand for what is right but recognize our own personal failings.
- Leaders living out of the Gospel should reflect an attitude of humility. Both Peter and James remind us that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. John the Baptist acknowledge that "He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease." Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 that we must be "completely humble."
- Gospel leaders feel the pain of this sinful world. The more the Gospel works on us, the more we realize we are family. It will drive us to Christ for more grace and draw us to one another in mutual interdependence. It will help us feel the heartbeat of God for the lost sheep which surround us.
The Gospel leader will begin reflecting these characteristics as he aligns himself and herself with our Father. Such attitudes and actions will flow out of workship, going back to the basics, longing for a time of solitude to let God change ungodly attitudes, to learn to live and even rejoice in weakness, to take risks, to walk humbly before our God, and to embrace the pain of this world, knowing that our Savior sustains us and helps us look beyond the pain to the hope that lies before us.