Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
For those of you who prayed for me, THANK YOU! Although I wasn't 100% recovered from my flu, the Lord's strength was certainly with me. Please continue to pray for me as I mobilize and encourage people to be involved in mission, and serve those who are interested in ministering cross culturally. Would appreciate your prayer for my work and ministries in CCBC as the Creative Arts Coordinator, as well as my outreach to the artists in Melbourne as well.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Dear Heavenly Father,Thank you for today that I can pray for Kitty, and thanks for inspiring and giving her burdens on various gospel needs around the world. Thank You for the burdens that You have given her, and I trust that You will use her for Your glory. I pray for her preparation today and tomorrow, as she prepares and finalise everything for the camp. I pray that You will give her good self-management and time management as she prepares for the materials and the sessions that she would be organising. Also, I pray that You will heal her, as she has flu and sorethroat. She would be needing to speak loud as she runs the sessions, and I pray that You will guide her to strengthen her as she speaks. Please give her the words to speak, as You are the one who will speak through Kitty. Lord, I lift Kitty in Your hand that You will give her wisdom and the words to speak as well.I also pray for the camp that Kitty will have good fun, food and fellowship with the WT team. I pray that You will give wisdom to those who would be facilitating their sessions that the words they speak will touch people's heart and mobilise them to participate and take part in mission in various forms.I pray for the whole camp as well as the safety of all who will be involved. Lord, may You guide them andmay You bless this time that they will be spending together as well. May You speak to those who will be attending in the camp and this will be a life changing moment for them too. Thank You for Kitty, and thanks for this time and privilege that I can pray for her too. In Jesus'name, Amen.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
- The Person
Peter was an uneducated tradesman, and quite unreliable.
He was now empowered by Christ . People noticed he had been with Jesus. God worked through him.
- The Out-working
How and when did Jesus work through him? Peter was now engaged in his own work. Notice how God’s call came to him through the needs at Joppa to which Peter responded.
- The Consequences
Marvellous things happen when Jesus is at work; even miracles!
Notice the greatest miracle was that people saw what happened, listened and responded to the gospel.
1. Identify your long-range goals: When would you like to be on the mission field?
2. Select an agency: This is an important step and you should set a deadline for choosing an agency. Most agencies will require you to participate in an evaluation/orientation program. When will you do that? World Team requires that you attend RACE (Reciprocal Assessment Candidate Evaluation), a 9 day orientation and assessment process which is offered three times each year.
3. College/Education: Are you currently a full or part time student? Do you need any formal and/or informal Bible education?
4. Work: Are you currently working full or part time? When and how will you transition out of that position?
5. Ministry Development: What specific ministries do you need/want to experience in order to prepare yourself spiritually for the mission field? Your church should be involved in placing you in ministry roles, guiding your growth and developing your passion for missions.
6. Debt pay-off: This requires a strategy which includes finding a job that provides sufficient income beyond basic necessities and reducing your monthly expenses. It is very important to have a plan to pay down your debt. If you have no debt, develop a savings plan in order to set aside money for your future.
7. Courtship/Marriage/Kids: Although these may be unknown items, it is very important to think through relationships and contingencies in your plan - it is not generally advisable to go into intercultural ministry immediately after marriage.
8. Personal development: While ministry and personal development can go hand in hand, your walk with the Lord is a priority. Prayerful planning for spiritual growth is a very effective way to become more Christ-like.
9. Short-term trip(s): Taking time to “experience” missions is a highly recommended step in working toward your goal. Even if you are not traveling to a place you might stay permanently, a “taste of the field” is the biggest reason to go on a short term trip. This could also be a “field visit” to meet the people you could (or will) be working with on the field.
10. Other: These may not be “essentials,” but are things you might want to do before you arrive on the field. Some examples include running a marathon, a camping trip with your dad, a retreat with your mom, learning sign language, etc.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
The lovely bride Angela and me :)
My dear friends Angela and Kevin got married last Saturday, and it was such a lovely and memorable occasion. I had the privilege of being one of Ange's bridesmaids, and journeying with her through the preparation of her wedding. It was great, and I praise God for this opportunity.
There are so many enjoyable and special moments on the day, and I can't really list them all here. So instead of writing, I'll just let you have a 'peek' of the day. Just have a look here. But this is only a tenth of all the photos....the professional photos are still to be developed, and they have taken over 1000 photos hehe :) I really can't wait to see them.
Lord, may you bless Ange and Kev as they embark on this new journey as husband and wife. Please guide them, direct them and help them to love each other as you love them. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
Thanks also for all your prayers for this special occasion, and for your support of me being the bridesmaid :)
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The view from urban seed top level
On the weekend, I went to a friend's housewarming in Urban Seed, which is a Christian not-for-profit organisation in Melbourne, Australia. They do street work, centred on Credo Café, have a residential community (where my friend is part of), run education programs with schools and other groups and advocacy work. Fantastic Ministry! May God use it mightily to bless many in Melbourne.
Hey friends, can you see the church in the middle of the photo above? That's where my dear friend is getting married this Saturday, and I'll be one of the braidesmaids. Hehe I am soooo looking forward to her wedding day, and feel so joyful for her.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Valentine's Day is to celebrate romantic love. C.S. Lewis points out in his famous book "The Four Loves", although romantic love can be exploited and used for selfish gain, it can also be a picture of the divine. It's through romantic love that we see, in human experience, glimpses of what God's great love is like. God created us for intimacy with Himself. As close as a husband and wife can get, it's probably not as close as we will be to God in heaven.
So how did you celebrate your Valentine's Day?
Monday, February 13, 2006
Celebration. Exploration. Revelation.
As part of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, over 2,500 world-class artists from across Australia and the Commonwealth will descend on Melbourne in March for the largest free cultural festival ever held in Australia.
Festival Melbourne 2006 will be an international spectacular with 11 days of non-stop music, dance, circus, street theatre and visual art from all the corners of the Commonwealth in a range of venues across the State, including the great outdoors. And, best of all, everything’s free!
I personally will be involved in a team, coordinating and presenting the 'word art games exhibition' with a famous Melburnian visual artist / painter David White. Approximately 15-30 of David White’s works would be displayed at each of the city church venues during the Commonwealth Games. Tourists to the Games, as well as local passers-by and church attenders, would be the viewers. We will also prepare a poster for A-frames or stand, to be set up on the footpath to invite people in. Other attractions may link to the exhibition at different times, eg. David speaking at a venue, Games TV screen, etc.
The Games' motto is 'United by the moment'!! May we truly work and serve together to promote this great motto.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
So what are your experiences of forgiveness? Do you have a forgiving heart?
Friday, February 10, 2006
There are many bible passages that I love, but the one that came to mind straight away is from John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth”
I love this passage because theological discussions about worship tend to focus on the mind, not the heart. But the words of Jesus resound the call to worship that transcends the intellect. Hence, true worship is more about the heart’s hunger for him, rather than the mind thinking right about God. In order for our every-day life to become an expression of worship unto God and to please God, we must worship Him both in spirit and in truth.
1. To treasure God’s presence.
God welcomes us into His presence. When Moses cried out to the Almighty and asked Him for His grace. God replies, “ My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:13-15). We should always treasure God’s presence and to have a hunger and thirst for the Living God.
2. To have a humble heart.
This is the very thing to which Jesus calls us all: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). We should worship God as children before the Father.
3. To sacrifice and expect something from God.
Hebrews 11:6 states clearly: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Worship always brings a sacrifice to God, it means in our every-day life surrender our whole life to God, or the biblical “sacrifices” like tithes or offerings. Malachi 3: 10 reveals God’s intention for our blessing and benefit.
4. To extend God’s love.
Worship should extend God’s love to others. This means to love the neighbours as well as to love and worship God. Extending God’s love includes forgiving others, seeking peace and reconciliation in our every-day life, assisting others in need and praying for and with people.
We can express our worship unto God in our every-day life in different areas.
Firstly, worship can be done individually. It is about our heart and our relationship with God. Hence whatever is happening in our lives, we will worship God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Secondly, worship can be done corporately. It is the one activity in which all Christians can join together and get involved in. It is important for the worshipping community to build relationships with each other and encounter God. It is a time where Christian fellowship can be nurtured, God’s presence can be practised, brokenness and wounds healed and faith grown. When people worship as a community, there is a dynamic to our worship that goes beyond our own individual faith and we can expect God to be among us.
One of the core values of World Team Australia (and mine) is prayer and worship, and certainly John 4:24 is one of the most important verses in the Bible about worship.
Do you have a Bible passage that you love? Please share with us.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Throughout this past year, my ideas about blogging have evolved to place more focus on the relational aspect of it. To me, blogging now is not just about sharing my own journey but that it is a medium that has an amazing potential to connect and engage people. I have had some amazing and rich discussion in various topics on many occasions. Even though many of us are from various parts of the world, or at least different suburbs or states if you are in Australia, the opportunity to engage with fellow blogger friends has been an enriching experience for me this past year. I am very grateful for my readers and blogger friends. I have been blessed enormously by both writing regularly here, and getting encouraging and kind comments from my blogger friends. Truly blogging is about mutual relationships, sharing ideas and experiences, building friendships and blessing one another.
I would like to thank my 'blogging buddies' for reading my blog, and your support and comments for this past year :)
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Karate at Southbank
Melbourne, being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, shows an abundance of diversity. And that really makes this city come alive. Last Sunday, which was the closing day for the celebration of the Chinese New Year Festival, there were a whole range of multicultural events / activities in Southbank - which I really enjoyed.
I embrace cultural diversity. I think we can learn so much from people from various backgrounds and cultures. In fact, in my ministry, I promote cross-cultural dialogues, life and work that are based on friendship and social interactions. I believe that the real beauty of diversity can be enjoyed only by destroying the walls of prejudice, judgement and opening doors for others. It doesn’t mean endangering your social identity; socializing with people from entirely different social and ethnic backgrounds is really an act of empowerment.
When we establish a cross-cultural interaction, it creates an environment that embraces the concept of mutual respect and acceptance of differences. All people's basic needs are quite common. Only prejudice or social fear blocks the channels of communication among them. There is major need to understand all aspects of diversity to build a healthier, more respectful society.
And of course, God so loves the world (which includes all cultures) that He gave...... so we should love like He does!
Monday, February 06, 2006
Some of you might know that there are five pillars of Islam, and the Hajj is the fifth one. The performance of the Hajj is obligatory, at least once in a lifetime, upon every Muslim male or female who is mentally, financially and physically fit to do so. It is believed to be enjoined by God to serve many purposes among which are the following:
- It is the largest annual convention of Faith where Muslims meet to know one another, study their common affairs and promote their general welfare.
- It is the greatest regular conference of peace known in the history of mankind. In the course of the Hajj peace is the dominant theme; peace with God and one's soul, peace with one another and with animals, peace with birds and even with insects. To disturb the peace of anyone or any creature in any shape or form is strictly prohibited.
- It is a wholesome demonstration of the universality of Islam and the brotherhood and equality of the Muslims. From all walks of life, from all trades and classes, and from every corner of the world the Muslims assemble at Mecca in response to the call of God. They dress in the same simple way, observe the same regulations, utter the same supplications at the same time in the same way, for the same end. There is no royalty, but loyalty of all to God. There is no aristocracy, but humility and devotion.
- It is to confirm the commitment of the Muslims to God and their readiness to forsake the material interest in his service.
- It is to acquaint the pilgrims with the spiritual and historical environment of Prophet Muhammad, so that they may derive warm inspiration and strengthen their faith.
- It is to commemorate the Divine rituals observed by Abraham and Ishmael, who are known to have been the first pilgrims to the first house of God on earth, i.e., the Ka'ba at Mecca (Makkah).
The principal story behind the hajj is told in Genesis: the parable of the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son upon divine command. Having demonstrated the conviction befitting a prophet, Abraham is then spared this obligation, and sacrifices a sheep instead. However, the hajj begins, fittingly, with Adam and Eve. Read more here.
According to Waleed Aji, the hajj was a spiritual retreat; an opportunity to look into one's soul and confront its defects without the distractions of the world. This self-diagnosis is not comfortable, but it is rewarding. Humanity's only hope lies in individual people confronting their own deficiencies.
I agree with him on this point, self-reflection is so important. Although we don't have a specific prigrimage obligation as Christians, I believe it's essential for us to have retreat regularly. This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.... (Isaiah 30:15). Surely faith only has value when it is living.
The discipline of solitude and quietness is not to escape responsibilities. It is the dissatisfaction of superficiality, to seek abundant life (John 10:10) and as a result, to be God’s vessel.
Without solitude, there is no prayer;
Without prayer, there is no love;
Without love, there is no commitment;
Without commitment, you can’t serve those in need.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
CATCH...the Vision CONSIDER...the Options DEFINE...the Obstacles DEVELOP...the Plan SEE...Yourself in Missions!
Contents: friendship stack, worship and devotion, video, skills required on the field, world view, specialised training, ministry development, spiritual development, Summary of what different WT teams are doing, Q & A times, games, ZAP Chart, reflective worship & communion, team work, time for outdoor activities etc.
Venue: Yarra Training Centre
Address: 111 Mangans Road, Lilydale Vic 3140
You are very welcome to bring others along. Please RSVP asap for accommodation, training manual and catering.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Chinese New Year Lighting Show
Happy Chinese New Year everyone. 2006 is the Year of the Dog. Melbourne has been known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. With this week being the Chinese New year, Melbourne's China Town, Box Hill and Southbank ( Southgate, Crown Casino and Melbourne Exhibition Centre ) are all filled with the New Year atmosphere. The lighting show at Crown is so spectacular. Some of my friends even said that it's more atmospheric here than in China.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The questionaire showed that I was 40% expressive, 30% each in amiable and driver, and not analytical at all (?? ). I was chatting with a new friend the other night, and after I discussed with him about psychology and philosophy etc, he said that I seemed to be an analytical kind of person. So I guess these kinds of personality tests can't be seen as 'the gospel', although they do indicate a pattern I believe.
According to this test, I am an EXPRESSIVE type (High Responsiveness, High Assertiveness). I guess the result is quite correct, as I do like other people's company, and I enjoy expressing myself (I have to be careful not to be too aggressive though). In conflict, I can become emotional, prone to exaggeration and unpredictable.
Summary of an expressive type:
Characteristics: People orientated, centre of attention, positive, emotional, talkative, enthusiastic, dramatic.
In conflict: Unpredictable, emotional.
Solutions: Allow them time to gain composure, Ask questions, problem solve.
Basic Need: Recognition
I agree with what Mark said, "It is yet another example of the way God made each and every one of us unique. We can work to improve our weaknesses without destroying our individuality. I'll bet it annoys God when we compare ourselves to others or try to be someone who we just weren't made to be."
Try the test yourselves, and tell me what type / style you are if you like: