Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Outer Journey

Tonight at our LivingRoom gathering we explored and shared our outer journey (ways in which we connect with our World). It involves a commitment to encourage and resource members on a journey of service, justice and mission to others. LivingRoom seeks to both provide opportunities for corporate mission and to support and resource individuals in their own daily mission. We seek to keep in balance our call to be counter cultural but also Incarnational and Relational in our outward journey.

Each of us shared about our own outer journey. I shared about my three parts, which include global (through my involvement as a mission mobilizer with World Team), local (through my involvement in creative arts and other arts endeavours), and personal (through my contact with the people in my community, and my friends). Other members talked about their journey of service, justice and mission through work, arts, hospitality, community, friendship, sports, etc.

It was very interesting and everyone was assured that the group would encourage and support one another's outer journey. I enjoyed it as I got to know other members of the community's ways of connecting the world. We also had a time of prayer especially for one of the members as she is going through some tough time with the illness of her dad.

May the Lord bless us as we continue exploring and journeying lives together in LR.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Melbourne and Multiculturalism

I heard today that Melbourne is the second most multicultural city in the world. I am not surprised! Melbourne is a city that embraces cultural diversity. It is this mix of different people and cultures that contributes to Melbourne being a vibrant and exciting place to live and work. And it's really good that the city of Melbourne provides facilities and services to cater for all people of all backgrounds, and to ensure members of the community can benefit from those services.

Once again, I just wanted to say I am proud to be a Melburnian.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Drama Fun

CCBC "Quest For Answer" Chinese Drama Team Posted by Picasa
Although the whole production was quite exhausting, it was actually really fun to work with this group of committed young people. Great to see many friends responded to the message too.

The English "Quest For Answer" is coming up this Sunday morning. You're all welcome to come along and enjoy!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Harvest Is Plentiful......

But oh, the workers are few!! Live 8 (Make Poverty History Campaign) showed us that poverty in this world is really at a crisis point. Something needs to be done, and we cannot get into a position where we acclimatise to the world's cry for help, where we fail to help because we feel as though our small effort will not really make any impact. It does, every little effort counts! Speaking of which, it's still not too late to support the World Vision's 40 hour famine fund-raising. If you are interested, please email me at

In my last post about the mission field, we discussed that mission field is really on the doorsteps in the west. If you live in Melbourne, you'll find that poverty is evident. From homeless and beggars, through to alcoholics and those with mental illness, there are people in our own backyards that need help and God's love.

When we think of 'missions', we generally think of third world countries and those suffering from extreme poverty. And while third world poverty is a serious issue, the fact of the matter is that there are just as many people outside our front doors that are in need of help.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Mission Field

You are now entering the mission field. Posted by Picasa

This photo was taken in a church in London. Nice reminder hey? And even more encouraging, it tells us that we are not alone, we are in good company, and we have a purpose in our lives. This sign really got me thinking: where exactly is the mission field? We always think of mission field as overseas or far away places in remote villages where people have not heard of Christ. Well it's true that those places are the mission field, but more and more it occurs to me as long as I step out of my home, my apartment, and my workplace (which happens to be a church and a mission organisation), I am entering the mission field. And the Lord is saying to me, "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (John 4:35 NIV)."

Lord help me to not only be confined in my own comfort zone, but open my eyes, look at the fields and go to the fields to share your love to those who don't know You!

Friday, August 26, 2005

God's Sense of Humor

Speaking of God as a humorous Artist in my previous post Art and Christianity, well His sense of humor has intrigued me at times. What amazes me is the number of people who don't think He has one. Well He made you and me, didn't He? And what about all those funny-looking creatives that keep drawing people back to the zoo? They are certainly proof of our Creator's sense of humor. Have you taken a close look at a wombat, a dolphin or a scorpion? They are hilarious in design! I honestly wonder if God didn't laugh Himself as He created them.

Can you think of other examples that God has a great sense of humor?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ordering Your Private World

This book talks about how to order your private world, which is the inner world of the spiritual. According to the author Gordon MacDonald, the private world can be divided into five sectors. They include (1) Motivation: deals with what makes us function. Are we driven people, or are we called people ? (2)Time Usage : centers on what we do with the limited amount of time we have in this life. (3) Wisdom and Knowledge: focuses on intellectual. The use of our minds for the purpose of growth is a necessary part of a God-pleasing lifestyle. (4) Spiritual Strength : concerning the spirit where there is a special, intimate place that we commune with God. It is referred to as the garden of our private world. (5)Restoration: draws us to rest, to a Sabbath peace where it’s recognized as a uniquely essential source of inner organization.

I agree with the author’s simple but powerful thesis: How can our outer world be orderly if our inner world is not ? I believe that the five sectors of our private world that need ordering as suggested by the author are the keys to personal development and christian witness and growth. He provides convincing arguments built upon examples from Scripture that line up with the Word of God and the experiences of the saints. It was a worthwhile book to read because it gave me such an insight on how to develop a disciplined approach to ordering my private world. I learnt that indwelling Christ, who enters our lives upon our personal commitment is the key principle of ordering one’s private world.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Art and Christianity

Art and Christianity are interconnected. More and more I understand that (thanks to the inspiration from my LivingRoom friend Michael's exhibition) to create a sculpture, to compose or sing a song, to act in a drama, to write a story, to paint a picture, to choreograph or dance, to design a powerpoint or multi-media presentation or to make a film etc. can all be incarnational activities. The artist is a servant who is willing to be a life-giver. As Madeleine L'Engle once said so beautifully, "in a real sense the artist (male or female) should be like Mary, who, when the angel told her that she was to bear the Messiah, was obedient to the command."

We are made in the image of God, and since He is the creator, we are all creative artists (or there is a creative artist in all of us). Creating is the act of God, it is core to His nature and so when we return to our Genesis we return to our Image Maker, the ultimate Artist. He made the elephant and the rose, the man and the woman, the seagull and the sea, the stars and the starfish, the koala and the clouds etc. He certainly is a humourous Artist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Miracle of Teamwork

I read an article of John C. Maxwell on "Teamwork and Leadership" in a magazine recently, and I found the following 8 points that he mentioned quite meaningful.
  1. My team makes me better than I am.
  2. My team multiplies my value to others.
  3. My team enables me to do what I do best.
  4. My team allows me to help others do their best.
  5. My team gives me more time.
  6. My team provides me with companionship.
  7. My team helps me to fulfill the desires of my heart.
  8. My team compounds my vision and my effort.

Which one of these 8 points means the most to you?

Monday, August 22, 2005

What Is Justice?

After getting involved in the Make Poverty History campaign, World Vision 40 Hour Famine and UNOH's Surrender Conference with Jackie Pullinger lately, I have been thinking quite a bit about the poverty and justice issues. I spent some time tonight reading through articles about the idea of justice on the internet. In the process, I came cross this article about 'what is justice' on Christianity Today, which really got me thinking.

The author Charles Colson (who has had thirty years of ministry experience in the criminal justice arena) discussed the classic definition of justice being "each person gets his due." He asserted that neither liberals (who think that getting their due means giving benefits to the needy) nor conservatives (who think that getting their due means punishing wrongdoers) have it quite right. He believes that biblical justice includes both punishment and meeting social needs, which is called "balancing the scales of justice" according to C.S. Lewis.

If that is the case, how can we truly balance these scales of justice? I really don't have the answer (and in fact pretty puzzled by it all), and wondering if any reader out there can give me some help in this.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Death & Incarnation Posted by Picasa

Last Thursday I attended one of my LivingRoom friends Michael's sculpture exhibition at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery. I really enjoyed his "re-creation". Michael is certainly a gifted artist / sculpturist.

As Michael has written in his program book, "The object is the incarnated, a paradox of the known and the unknown imaged forth. But how can this be? If a redemption is claimed, through the object, surely this is an assimilation known only by the hands of an idol-maker. Any hope of a transcending presence would be reduced into that of static materiality; an obvious and devious imitation."

I think the name "Vestiges" really suits the purpose of Michael's idea of the object as the incarnated, as the casket with the navigational star is a visible trace of something that once existed but exists or appears no more - "death!" Yet to me, the trace of divine presence reflecting through the remaining forms is truly an abstract idea, one that I need to continue to ponder to get a better and deeper understanding. Certainly Michael's sculptures have inspired me to reflect, and I am blessed to have this opportunity to think through the theology of incarnation with my own faith community. I would be interested to know Michael's heart-journey as he created the sculpture, and how the concept of incarnation has impacted him. I might interview him at some stage and report it here.

The concept of incarnation has been one that I've been grabbling with for a while. To me incarnation is to embody something in another (human or otherwise) form.The act where God united His Divinity with the human form of Jesus Christ is called the Incarnation. Many cultures (especially in the West) separate the sacred and the secular. We are called to be counter cultural. Incarnational living is a holistic way of life in which our entire being is shaped by God's kingdom.

It is not compartmentalised religion in which some space is allocated for God, with the majority of our life being run on our own terms. It is not segregated living, in which we remove ourselves from the rest of society. It is not holding mission meetings in tents, church services in warehouses, or trying to attract people to us. Incarnational living is being Jesus with skin on to all sorts of people, in all sorts of environments [mostly theirs] and in all sorts of ways.

What do you reckon?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Melbourne Writers' Festival

Melbourne Writers' Festival Posted by Picasa

I went to the MWF this afternoon with a new blogger friend The Eagle's Child. We participated in the 6pm session "The Artist's Life" with the panel of lady writers / artists including Alice Garner, Gail Bell, Shalini Akhil and Merlinda Bobis who had a fantastic discussion on the survival of the artist with Jane Clifton as the host.

I really enjoyed the event! It was awesome to see the varieties of female writers represented in this session. They were all different (in terms of personalities, writing styles and contents, backgrounds and age etc). Yet there is one thing they have in common, they enjoy writing (or as Merlinda beautifully put it: painting with words), and are willing to spend the time following this passion. And I can identify with them!

Their sharing about the survival of the artist inspired me a lot:
  • Shalini read some entries of her diary and talked about her suffering 'post published depression' and how she tried to come out of it. Her honesty and sense of humour was fantastic.
  • Merlinda shared her ideas about reconciliation for survival through words which become expression. She believes that price money and financial rewards are great, but the most rewarding part of a writing career is when her writing has inspired people in a way that she doesn't expect. Also writing is a great way of telling stories pushed down by the system.
  • Alice grew up among artists and had fond memories of spending time with grown up artists. Her thoughts of 'allowing time for ideas to germinate is part of the process' is insightful, and that material things don't seem to matter as much if we enjoy what we do is meaningful.
  • Gail shared how working with words can be so rewarding yet challenging, and the fact that we can be our worst critic, hence we need to be stronger than our inner-critic. As a writer / researcher she ended up in interesting places. She believes that the art keeps our souls alive.

The host Jane Clifton also commented that the art is a very important fabric of the society nowadays, and art / writing is certainly a privileged occupation.

The art is the only serious thing in the world, and artists are the only ones who are not serious - which is such a paradox! Would you agree?

Friday, August 19, 2005

What To Write About in Blogs

I've been really enjoying reading Darren's 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. So I thought I would write something about it too.

Thanks to Darren's encouragement, I started blogging about 6 months ago. Man! I am truly addicted now, and blogging has certainly become part of my life, and I LOVE IT! I've found that the more I write, the more contents I want to write about. Does that make sense? Well so far I write an average of one post a day. I constantly ask myself this question, "what am I going to write about in my blog?" As one of my poet friends taught me, just let your mind wander and let words come out as you start writing / typing, and you will find new ideas come out without even having to try very hard. Well you can write a blog to express yourself, to share links and photos, to share your opinions, to tell stories, to teach people something, to advertise products etc. In fact, one can create and write a blog for any reason they want. There are as many things to write about as there are blogs out there.

This is true! I've started to realise that writing opportunities are everywhere: in our daily lives, in work setting, in our own culture, in other cultures, in reading, in movies, in social environments, in the media, in conversations, in art exhibitions, in faith community and church, even in gossips. I reckon blogs are personal. Although I must admit that I almost subconsciously write to please a handful of people, building an online connection is really enjoyable, and if you're professional enough, you can earn a few bucks as well (or even six figure like Darren).

So write away, and have fun in the process! :-)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Jackie Pullinger

Jackie Pulliger Posted by Picasa

Jackie Pullinger is a British missionary who ministers with the drug addicts, sex workers and gangsters in the infamous slum area Walled City in Hong Kong (where I was born), and the author of the book "Chasing the Dragon" (which Kel kindly lent me to read). Last Saturday night I attended Jackie Pullinger's talk during the "Surrender" conference organised by Urban Neighbours of Hope in Swanston Street Church of Christ. Jackie's talk was on the topic 'Giving Our Lives Away'. She shared about her story - one of a journey into the unknown territory from the distant shore. Jackie talked about how people who would go for short-term mission trips hoping to do something amazing, but when realising that the work was not 'spectacular'' as they expected they would be disappointed, and would not continue.

During the conference, Jackie reminded us the followings:
  • Stop in a place of trust that He is a good God no matter what situations we are in.
  • Whatever God has for us is the best.
  • The heart of Jesus cannot be substituted by materials.
  • When we run out of everything, we get revived and grace from God if we trust Him.
  • When we run out of ours, we get HIS.
  • When there is no bottom-line, everything is a gift.
  • If you hold onto your rights, you are going to be myserable with the poor.
  • Jesus chose to die, it was voluntary. So should we!
  • In the spiritual realm, everything is backward - whoever saves his life will lose it, whoever loses it will be saved.
  • It is in spending our life, we receive it.
  • "Self-pity" is one of the most unattractive missionary qualities.
  • Jesus has been practising "not my will but yours" all His life. We ought to practise that too.

It was great to see many people were challenged to serving the poor during this meeting. Many people were in tears as they were so moved by what Jackie shared. Although not everyone is called to working with the poor, the inspiration is still there for us to serve our Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Caring and loving people we serve, as well as perseverance in ministry are of paramount importance. It's so true that ministry is about being willing to spend and give our life so God's will be done. As Jackie said, " much of God's work is slow work and we must completely give and expecting nothing in return."

Although Jackie is not the type of polished or dynamic evangelist type story-teller, she has certainly set a great example for us in terms of her willingness to follow God to the extreme. May God bless Jackie and continue to use her mightily to challenge and bless many!

Fondu & Focus

If you are in Melbourne, you are invited to World Team Australia's Fondu & Focus Experience

6:45 to 7:00 pm start - Thursday September 8

"Stories from the Mission Field"
Shared and presented by special guest speaker, Jessie Williamson (Experienced Missionary in Irian Jaya). I will also share my experiences in the mission awareness trip to Paris.

Address: 36 Barton St, Hawthorn (at the venue of Hawthorn West Baptist Church)

You are very welcome to bring others along. For further info, please leave a comment to me or email me on

Please RSVP - we will provide yummy Fondu for dessert and coffee, so let us know if you're coming so we can prepare :)

We look forward to welcoming you along with others to encourage and to be encouraged in the Lord.

Best Regards,
Kitty Cheng
Mission Mobilizer
World Team Australia (currently under construction)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Drama Performance

Quest For Answer Posted by Picasa

What are you seeking in life?

Location: CCBC (135 Capel Street, North Melbourne)
Chinese: 26/8/2005 (Fri 7:00pm), 27/8/2005 (Sat 3:30pm and 7:00pm) & 28/8/2006
English: 4/9/2005 (Sundays 11:00 am)

I'll be acting in English on Sunday 4/9. Please come along, so we can catch up too!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Precious Friendship

I knew Chin Hor through Sivin. Sivin is Chin Hor's pastor. I only met Chin Hor last Saturday during my 40 hour famine, and have seen him twice (on Sunday at CCBC and dinner tonight). But it feels like I've known him for ages. He is a film maker, photographer who likes taking photos non-stop wherever he goes (and that's really cool I reckon), drum-player, great talker, and committed Christian. We've had some really meaningful and excellent conversations, as well as some exchange of ideas and sharing of stories.

I am really looking forward to a long term friendship and meeting his beautiful girlfriend and Sivin in the future too.

Monday, August 15, 2005


I love Melbourne Posted by Picasa
It's such a pretty city, and mission is really on a door step.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Silver or gold I do not have, but....

Today at CCBC, Peter Misso shared a great message in Acts 3:

He talked about three "M"s which are important:

  1. Meeting - Place of meeting is important. This crippled begger chose the right place to be. And Peter and John were at the right place to bring the begger to the Lord. We need to be at the place where the Lord has called us to be.
  2. Message - The right message, the right people and connection can change our whole lives. This lame man met Peter and John. His life was changed forever. And it was the power of the message that brought healing to him. We need to ask ourselves: what is the message of my life? Our life is our message. We are an open door for the gospel to go through.
  3. Miracles - If we are in the right place and have the right message - God will do the work of miracles. Miracles are the ordinary in God's eyes.

What do you think of these three "M"s?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

"I was hungry, and you fed me...I was naked and you gave me clothing! "
Lord I love you! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 12, 2005

Wondering what hungry feels like?

Friday 12 August
8:00pm - I have officially started the 40 hour famine. My target is $960 (which will help feed 12 kids for 12 months). If you are interested in sponsoring me to make a difference in the lives of the world's poorest kids, please put a comment here and I'll contact you. Alternatively you can email me on

I am going to keep a log of how I spend the next 40 hours without food and what God will teach me!


9:30pm - the last hour and a half saw me chatting with a few people on msn and getting more donations for the 40 hour famine (so far I've raised $545.20). I have also started reading a book called "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough" by Elmer L. Towns - a book that Alex (my senior pastor at CCBC) gave me a few months ago. Thought it would be a good book to read while I am doing this famine.


11:30pm - the last two hours were spent reading more about fasting, and also chatting with a very good friend on the phone, talking about various interesting and intimate topics. Amongst others we also said a brief prayer in the name of Jesus for the poverty of the world to end.

I also thought about the "Make Poverty History" campaign again. During the campaign I pledged with thousands of other Australians in letting our leaders know that we:

*care about the needs of the world's poor;

*want them to commit money and take action to implement the MDGs (Milennium Development Goals)

*wear the White Band showing "MAKE POVERTYHISTORY"


Saturday 13 August

12:30am - Isaiah 58:6-7, "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"

That is exactly what Micah Challenge set out to do. The Micah Call is the first step of the campaign. It is a vision statement and it also tells our leaders how many Australians care about justice for the poor.

As well as sponsoring the 40 hour famine, I'd like to encourage and challenge you to sign the Micah call as well.


2:30am - I don't feel hungry, but I am sleepless! My heart goes out to the poor people in the world. Every single day, 30,000 children are dying as a result of extreme poverty. The G8 made significant commitments on debt and aid last month but fell well short of what they should have achieved, especially on trade. So there is still much work to be done. I just remembered the explosions of London and the unpredictability of life, and can't help but wonder: as Christians what should be our mission?

Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."


9:30am - During my devotion just now, I read about the plea of Abraham for Sodom (Genesis 18). This has reminded me that as we pray to God, we can talk with him as with a friend. The plea of Abraham gives me another example of prayer as conversation. How respectful Abraham is in his approach to God, yet he argues his case before Him with such incisive logic.

Gracious and loving Father, help me understand more deeply that though You are my Creator, You are also my Father and my friend. Teach me how to maintain the balance between awe for You and friendliness with You. I plead specially for the people that are in extreme poverty in the world. Lord may your Kingdom come in their midst through the love of your children, as you love every single one of them. In Jesus' Name. Amen!


1 pm - I took mum to see a chinese massage therapist for her back problem this morning. The therapist Dr Bill Wu has written a book called "Bible - The Lord's Word Is Beyond the Space and Time" (in Chinese). During the consultation, we had a meaningful discussion about the correlation between the Bible and Science, as well as the ministries of overseas students here in Melbourne.

My mum is enjoying her lunch at home right now. She gave a few sighs seeing that I am hungry! (hehe she's so sweet). Comparing to many poor people in the world, this is really nothing. I spent some time reading some Scriptures about the fasting of various biblical characters, including Samuel (1 Samuel 7), Ezra (Ezra 8), Esther (Esther 4), Elijah (1 Kings 19), the widow (1 King 17), Paul (Acts 9), Daniel (Daniel 1), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4 & Luke 1:15), and Jesus (Matthew 4:2). These gave me great insights of the importance of prayer and fasting. Will share more later.


Sunday 14 August

1 am - Wondering what hungry feels like? I have a glimpse of it now, cos all I can think about is food and sleep right now. I am hungry and tired physically, but refreshed and renewed spiritually. The Lord has taught me many wonderful things during the last 12 hours without food, which included celebrating Philip's graduation, getting more donations for the 40 hour famine from my blogging buddies and friends, meeting Chin Hor (a new friend from Malaysia), and going to the UNOH "Surrender" Conference with Jackie Pullinger. I'll leave it all till later to share the reflections.

Praise the Lord! So far God has given me the privilege of raising over $670 for this famine, which is about $300 away from my target. If you would like to sponsor, please let me know!_______________________________________________________________

7am - I got waken up by a dream. In that dream I was serving the poor with a friend. I was feeling hungry. The Lord reminded me of these verses from John 6:

Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

I was reading the devotional book "God Calling" just now - here is the entry for August 14:

LIFE, spiritual, mental, physical, abundant Life - Joyous Life, Powerful Life. Yes! these I came to give you.

My Heart was sad that so few would accept that gracious gift!

Think! earth's richest, choicest gift held out - free to all, and no man to care to stretch out a hand to take it.

Is that possible? My Gift, the richese Heaven has to offer, that precious Gift of Life, abundant Life - Man turns away from - rejects - will have none of.

Let it not be true of you. Hasten to take - to use.

I asked myself, how am I really feeling? I know deep down, I have a mixture of feelings - I feel a paradox of joy and agony - joy of having this most wonderful gift of all, but agonising over the need of the poor. Yet I sense that Jesus is sitting by my side, and sharing these feelings with me.


Hey you know what? I've made it :-) Praise the Lord Yeah! I’ve gone without food for 40 hours to help raise money for the hungry kids in Africa. As I shared above, I was hungry, tired, and even tempted but I was really energised spiritually and excited to have gone through this wonderful connection with God and people through this prayer and fasting experience!

Once again, just $40 will help feed 6 children in Africa for a whole month. To find out more about how the funds raised are going to be used click on h

So far I've raised over $1200, and yo

u can still donate if you want. If go to the website, you can enter my famine number 25197505-8. This makes sure that the donation is recorded against me and that I'm sent a record of your donation. For those of you who have sponsored me and donated, I want to say a hearty "thank you" on behalf of the kids!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Finding God in Laughters :-)

I reckon we can truly find God in unexpected places. One of which is in laughters. When you laugh (whether it's at yourself, or others), recognize the humor in our attempts to live in this fallen world and deal with our human foibles. Be grateful that God always stands ready to help us. Let humor melt away your stress.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What is Faith?

Faith Posted by Picasa

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)
"Faith is something you decide to do, not something you feel like doing." (Neil Anderson)

It's so true that faith is a journey not always known. I believe that faith takes risks. Working in a faith mission means that I don't get a standard wage, my 'income' has to rely on others' support. It has taught me so much about partnership and interdependence, but I must admit that I am a person who doesn't have enough faith.

The value of faith rests completely in the person given our trust - God. Trusting in God who sees where we cannot. The Scriptures teach us that God will direct our paths as we yield to His leading. Still, it is important that when God leads, we have faith and follow. I pray that I can be sure of what I hope for and certain of what I don't see.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sculpture Appreciation & LivingRoom

Jon Eiseman - Inner Landscapes Posted by Picasa

Tonight I went to see Jon Eiseman's exhibition of his recent sculpture with some of my LivingRoom friends at Gallery 101 on Collins Street. The venue was very nice and the scultpures were done very cleverly. The name of this show is called "Inner Landscapes", which is quite interesting.

As is written in the media release, "Jon Eiseman has continued to explore the shadow world of dreams and the subconscious. Eiseman’s figurative sculpture, cast in bronze, has a whimsical and poetic quality. He creates a spiritual world through his images of birds, boats and humans combined with his iconography of towers, trees, flags and hands. The work carries a loose dream–like quality, creating an open-ended sense of narrative, which intrigues the viewer.The solid figure of the urban man suggests contemplation and struggle – he seems lost within a dreamscape world. Enclosed spaces encourage the viewer to look more closely, to discover a new and mysterious realm within the urban landscape."

I've never known or learned how to appreciate sculpture, yet this show allowed me to have a glimpse of what it means by using sculptural arts to depict spirituality and emotion through extending beyond the physical. Jon's work explores the human condition in fulfilment, happiness and sorrow - emotions experienced within a lifetime. According to him, these emotions are conveyed through a surreal language, drawn from an inner landscape of the subconscious.

Seeing some of my LivingRoom friends' outer journey through this exhibition also gives me a more concrete and solid understanding of how missions can be done through common interests eg: arts and gallery. I would really like to explore more about this kind of ministry - going to artists turf to understand their hearts!

Monday, August 08, 2005

40 Hour Famine

Jesus cares for the poor and marginalised, and so should we!

"For anyone who's been on Mars for the last zillion years, the 40 Hour Famine is a fun way to do something real to help feed hungry kids. Going without food (or something else that really matters) for 40 hours is a great way to get a taste of what life is like for kids in some of the world poorest countries. "

Every $40 raised in the Famine will help feed 6 hungry kids for a month. Funds will also help poor families prepare for natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. This year, the money raised is going to support kids in Mozambique and Tanzania in Africa to help families grow more food. Many families in those countries are so poor that their children get only one meal a day. How unfair is that!

I will be taking part in the 40 hour Famine this coming Friday to Sunday. I'm looking for both team mates to join me as well as donors to give generously and graciously to this cause. My experience has been that each year I did it, God gave 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!

If you like to join me, I do have a requirement that you have to keep a honest log of how you spend that 40 hours. I will be doing that in this blog too, if you like to keep track of my journey. It will be particularly awesome to have some of you from different parts of the world to join me in fasting for 40 hours as well.

I am committed to this effort, not only that, I also donated money to others who are participating in the famine in my church as well. What about you? Are you doing something about it as well? I'd like to encourage you to do something to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

You can read more about the 40 hour Famine here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Chasing God (3)

Why do humans believe in a Higher Power? This is such a great question.

Without a doubt, the concept of God has been in human beings' heart for centuries. The subject is one of the most hotly contested debate, disagreement, and wars. In this day and age when human beings are at war with each other, ready to unleash devastating weapons that can wipe out entire countries. Violence is being mooted as a solution to peace and protection, and many people feel powerless to influence outcomes. Thousands and millions attempt for divine intervention. It has always been true that when we human beings are afraid or in pain we reach out for a power greater than our own. Perhaps never before in the history of the world has the sound of God's name been so loudly heard from people of all cultures and religions at the same time. Beliefs about God have divided humanity.

So what are your own beliefs about God?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Chasing God (2)

First time filmmakers Lenny de Vries (Holland) and Dylan Burton (New Zealand) set out on a worldwide quest to discover a paradoxically unifying principle that may well lie beyond the divisive interpretations of God. I wonder if that quest has been fulfilled through this film. Many people have said that the God / god / gods of the universe is the same one / ones whether you are a Muslim, Jews, Christian, Buddhist or a Hindu etc...but can that be possible?

I am really interested in what other people think about that. What do you reckon personally?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Chasing God (1)

I watched the film Chasing God last night, and it was really provocative. This film tackles the eternal question: Why do humans believe in a higher power / God?

The documentary includes interviews and opinions from the Athiest (Australia's Phillip Adams), the Sikh, the Buddhist, the Pastor, the Scientist, the Muslim, the Rabbi, the Guru, the Sufi, the Researcher(America's award-winning author Richard Heinberg), the Spiritual Elder and the Cardinal (The Vatican's Cardinal Francis Arinze).

The film also points out that humanity is being threatened, especially by war. In times of extreme upheaval, people seek solace in a higher power.Well over three-quarters of the world do. Could they be wrong?And if they're right, who is this higher power?


I really enjoyed the movie personally. "Chasing God" really took me on a journey of reflection (similar to the subject "World Religions" that I did at Tabor). It showed the landmark of the Vatican & the Ganges, The Wailing Wall & The Dome of the Rock Mosque, The Golden Temple & the Dalai Lama Temple in the Himalayas - followed by daring and provocative scenes of a world out of balance. It was both disturbing and facinating at the same time.

I will post more about my reflections on the film in the coming days.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bounded Set versus Centred Set

I was watching one of Michael Frost's talks on a video last night. He talks about the differences betweeen centred set and bounded set, which I found very interesting.

He said, "in the bounded set, it is clear who is in and who is out (fences, not wells), based on a well-defined ideological-cultural boundary --usually moral and cultural codes as well as creedal definitions.. but it doesn't have much of a core definition beyond these boundaries. It is hard at the edges, soft at the center."

The centered set, on the other hand, "is like the Outback ranche with the wellspring at its center. It has very strong ideology at the center but no boundaries. It is hard at the center, soft at the edges. We suggest that in the centered set lies a real clue to the structuring of missional communities in the emerging culture.

"The traditional church makes it quite difficult for people to negotiate its maze of cultural, theological, and social barriers in order to get "in.".. and by the time newcomers have scaled the fences built around the church, they are so socialized as churchgoers that they are not likely to be able to maintain their connection with the social groupings they came from...

"We propose a better and more biblical way.. is to ... sink wells. If you sustain your connection with the water sources, you will find a whole host of people relating to Jesus from different walks of life. We allow people to come to Jesus from any direction and from any distance. The Person of Jesus stands.. at the center."

Frost's conclusion is this: cultivate hunger, and provide the right kind of food and people will continue to relate to the center.

I found this concept very meaningful. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Inner Journey

Last night at our LivingRoom gathering we explored our inner journey together (ways in which we connect with God in our personal relationships with Him, which is part of the LivingRoom DNA). We decided a couple of weeks ago to go through the three journeys one week at a time.

So this week each of us brought a sample / symbol of that and shared it. I brought along my journals, a prayer, devotional books as the samples of my inner journey. Other members had notebooks, poetry, candle, books, words, phrases, photo album, nature sample, fruit tingles (tingle from the breath of the Holy Spirit), football, music etc. It was very interesting and everyone was very open about their inner journey. I enjoyed it as I got to know other members of the community's personal rituals of worship and connection with God. We also had a good time of prayer at the end.

We've also decided that each week we will do a bit of "inner journey stuff" five minutes before dinner. This could entail an activity that everyone can participate in such as writing, drawing, a walk down the street, discussion of a topic, dance, and meditation. Or it could simply be something that we talk about with images, words, and songs etc. I am really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Living in a Post-Christian Culture

I was skimming through Doug Le Blanc's article on "Living in a Post-Christian Culture" in Moody Monthly today. It's quite an interesting read. Doug suggests that many church members affirm certain beliefs on Sunday, but do not carry those beliefs into their everyday lives. Christians should “take the time to become sensitised to the different opportunities around us.” He thinks that our priorities should be to examine our own lifestyles, reach the unreached and to be culturally relevant.

What do you think of his assertions?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Conversation with God

Sometimes I ask the question,"My Lord, is this your will?"
It's then I hear you answer me,"My Precious still."
Sometimes I feel frustrated,cause I think I know what's best.
It's then I hear you say to me,"My Busy Child...just rest!"
My Lord continues to tell me:
"I know the plans I have for you,the wondrous things you'll see;If you can just be patient, Child,and put your trust in me. I've plans to draw you closer.I've plans to help you grow.There's much I do you cannot see and much you do not know. But know this, Child...I LOVE YOU.You are Precious unto Me. Before I formed you in the womb,I planned your destiny. I've something very specialI hope for you to learn.The gifts I wish to give to you are gifts you cannot earn.They come without a price tag,but not without a cost; at Calvary,I gave My Son, so You would not be lost.Rest Child, and do not grow weary of doing what is good.I promise I'll come back for you just like I said I would.Your name is written on my palm,I never could forget; Therefore,do not be discouraged when my answer is..."Not Yet!"