Friday, September 30, 2005

5 Things (4)

5 things that attract me to other people

  1. Commitment and love for God
  2. Warmth and friendliness
  3. Good sense of humour
  4. Wisdom & humility
  5. Nice smile

Be Strong

I really like Delta Goodrem's song Be Strong. Hope to share with those of you who feel week like I do at times ....

Are you swimming upstream in oceans of blue?
Do you feel like you're sinking?
Are you sick of the rain after all you've been through?
Well I know what you're thinking
When you can't take it
You can make it
Sometime soon I know you'll see 'cause when you're in your darkest hour
And all of the light just fades away and
when you're like a single flower whose colours have turned to shades of gray
Well hang on, and be strong!
We're taking each step one day at a time
You can't lose your spirit
Let live and let live forget and forgive
It's all how you see it
And just remember keep it together
Don't you know you're never alone'cause when you're in your darkest hour
And all of the light just fades away
When you're like a single flower whose colours have turned to shades of gray
Well hang on, and be strong
No you're not defeated
And soon you'll be smiling once again
Then you won't have to feel it
Let it go with the wind
Time passes us by
And know that you're allowed to cry 'cause when you're in your darkest hour
And all of the light just fades away
When you're like a single flower whose colours have turned to shades of gray
Well hang on and be strong!
oh oh hang on, hang on be strong hold on and be strong

Thursday, September 29, 2005

5 Things (3)

5 things I cannot (but would like to be able to) do:
  1. Swim
  2. Speak French
  3. Play Guitar
  4. Perform Stand Up Comedy
  5. Read Hebrew and Greek properly

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Medical Condition

'A great yearning for something took possession of me. I could not explain it, nor could I sleep for it sometimes, and had to pray to God to take it away, for it was consuming me. But there was no sign of blessing!'

Everyone has ups and downs (including those related hormone changes in adolescence and to the menstral cycle in females). However, extremes in mood swings (or 'mood episodes') refer to a medical condition that is widely out of proportion, or totally unrelated, to what's happening in your life. These swings affect your thoughts, feelings, physical health, emotional health, behaviours, and day-to-day functioning and can be extremely disruptive to your life. It can also be very disruptive and distressing to your relationships and family. Every time you experience symptoms at one extreme for at least 1 week, it is called an episode.

If you have read through my profile on the right, you would have read that I had heart surgery and a medical condition....I'm not sure if you have wondered what it is. Well I would like to share with you. In fact, I've posted about it in my 18th post. I have been thinking about this entry for many months already. I thought that if this blog is to serve as a help to those struggling to find out what it means to be God's people in this time and place, I should really open up. I have struggled with Bipolar Disorder (depression and mania) for a number of years now. And I've been seeing a counsellor & doctor for a while to work through the condition. It has been tough going but also rewarding (I have known myself so much more through the process). Yes I know that I still have a long journey ahead, but I am thankful that no matter what happens, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. And HE will never leave me or forsake me because I have this illness.

I thought I needed to blog this because the Australian statistics on mental illness say that 1 out of 5 Australians have some form of mental illness. So I suspect that there are many of us who are in the blogosphere who might be facing similar issues. Hope this helps others on the journey! And for all of you who know me and have suspected something was wrong for a while, you were right!

BD is a treatable disorder and usually requires long-term management and treatment. According to research, many people with BD are creative and intelligent and with proper management of their condition, lead full and productive lives. That sounds good, but I also have experienced the painful and upsetting mood swings, and at the same time, have caused pain to others as well! :-(

I wonder what the future holds? There is such a prevalence of mental illness in the world. You would have to think that there are so many Christians who are facing this too. What do we do? How can we create environments where these sorts of issues can be discussed without anyone feeling alienated? Does the church handle it better, worse or the same as other secular contexts ? How do we create environments where leadership in the church / faith communities are able to be open about such things?

I pray for a journey towards wholeness and a deepening sense and love for God, self and others. Also I would like to say to those who struggle with mental issues, be encouraged, I reckon that there are more of 'us' than we realise and that if you suspect you are struggling, talk it through with someone.

Just as I was writing, my dear friend Sondy sent me a text with the verse in Isaiah 46:4, which encouraged me a lot. "Even to your old age and gray hairs I AM HE, I AM HE who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

Praise the Lord. I am thankful for all eternity!

5 Things (2)

5 things I can do:
  1. Sing
  2. Smile / Laugh
  3. Cry
  4. Play / Have Fun
  5. Teach

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do Not Fear My Dear

Isaiah 41:10
The Lord has comforted me through this verse. I must admit that I still do have fear and I am dismayed at times in my life, yet I know that My God will strengthen me and help me in times of need. I've experienced that numerous times in the past, and I trust that His promise will always be fulfilled. Praise you Lord! Posted by Picasa

5 Things (1)

I've been tagged by John (Thanks Dekker!) to do this thing which had been going around the blogosphere for a while. This tag consists of answers to 7 x 5 things as follows:
  • 5 things I plan to do before I die
  • 5 things I can do
  • 5 things I cannot do
  • 5 things that attract me to other people
  • 5 things I say most often
  • 5 celebrity crushes
  • 5 people I want to do this
I am going to post each of the 5 things everyday for the next 7 days, so stay tuned and come back here regularly for my answers. Here goes the first 5 things:

5 things I plan to do before I die
  1. Find out the will of God in all aspects of my life, and follow HIM
  2. Promote Christ's cause by mobilizing a generation into mission, and to declare the Godly truth about life to the world through creative arts
  3. Write a book or three (or if I don't get to do that , I'll just keep writing on blogs hehe)
  4. Travel
  5. Learn to play guitar

Monday, September 26, 2005

Chasing the Dragon

I was supposed to have dinner with Kel , but since I had a bad fall when tripping over the wire of the digital projector (and as a result had a bruise and swollen lip, hence needing more rest), so I stayed home instead tonight. I spent the whole night reading Chasing the Dragon and the story of Jackie Pullinger (thanks to Kel's kindness of leading me the book once again).

Jackie Pullinger went to Hong Kong (against all odds) as a missionary. For many years, she served the drug addicts, sex workers and triad gang members of the Walled City. I was very inspired by her commitment, servanthood and faithfulness to serve God and the fringe people. Jackie also talks about how people who go on short-term mission trips would go into the Walled city, and be disappointed because it is not what they expected. This really got me thinking, many people go on the mission fields thinking that they would do ''GREAT THINGS" and become "GREAT HEROS" who are admired by many, yet found that they need to be servants, not powerful leaders. This is a great reminder for me to minister as God's servant.

Inspiring Quote

"… now we should live when the pulse of life is strong. Life is a tenuous thing… fragile, fleeting.

Don’t wait for tomorrow. Be here now! Be here now! Be here now!

What have we to offer, really, other than who we are and what God has been pouring into our lives?

The Victorious Trinity has planned on us being here now, “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)"

(John & Stasi Eldredge)

I am committed to offer myself and be here now!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Storytelling of Daniel - Dream Interpreter

Tonight some friends and I went to a storytelling performance of the Book of Daniel Chapters 1-7 of The Backyard Bard.

Simon Camilleri (the director and founder of The Backyard Bard) wrote in the program, 'If you've ever wondered, "Who is God?", then know that God doesn't want to leave us in the dark. Throughout history, the Creator of the Universe has gone to incredible lengths to clearly reveal to us His identity. The Book of Daniel is a genuine historical record of God doing just that. The stories it contains tell of a God that speaks, a God that acts, and a God that cannot be ignored. This is the God that Daniel says, "holds in His hand, your life and all your ways."'

I met Simon during Ignition Creative Artists gathering back in April, and was very inspired by him. The worshop that I did with Simon on storytelling was very impactful for me personally. I learned that being a story-teller requires one important quality - 'being able to SEE and let the audience SEE as well.' The story-teller should not be the focus, but the STORY itself. I was very touched by the concept! I could truly see that in action tonight. Simon and his cast certainly allowed us to see the story of Daniel through their story telling. I also found this is a very amazing way of presenting the Word of God. And the God of Daniel also used this storytelling to reveal Himself to me tonight in the same awe-inspiring way He had for Daniel, and the Backyard Bard. I am convicted that this is a powerful way of communicating the spoken World of God. Since it is such a great biblical experience that I have had, I would really like to involve in a ministry like this.

Daniel - Dream Interpreter Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

World Team Mission Training - Xtreme 2 GO!

Today we had the mission training day at the World Team Australia office. It was the pioneer version and first group training since I started working with World Team Australia 17 months ago. The contents included worship and devotion (on the important core value of 'Gospel'), biblical understanding of mission, history, ethos and DNA of World Team, personality profile (DISC), team work, church planting continuum, medical concerns and survival, prayer, understanding of gifting, cross-cultural living and coping, cultural responses and expectations, short term details and ZAP. We all had a meaningful time of sharing, learning and fellowshipping together.

Some of the Xtreme 2 GO! photos are here.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Great Reminder

"Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life." (Henri Nouwen)
It's a great reminder isn't it? Is your life full of activities and events? Or one that is with solitude?
Well it's time for me to have some solitude and quality time with the lover of my soul now :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

he/she/it @ Melbourne Fringe Festival

he/she/it @ Melbourne Fringe Festival

'Boys and girls, the gloves are on! The battle of the sexes has never looked uglier...Join us ringside to watch corporate supermen and wonderwomen strut their stuff and engage each other in a battle of egos for three rounds.'

he/she/it at the Melbourne Fringe Festival
is a serious comedy about being a he, being a she, and what it is all about. This show talks about the brokenness of the sexes and the dysfunctional relationships that result.

The director of this show is a good friend of mine, so even though I am pretty busy this month, I've agreed to help him with front of house service with ticket box and at the bar without hesitation when he invited me to do so. The other reason is that he told me he/she/it is essential training for anyone considering engaging for a bout or three with the opposite sex. Of course I didn't want to miss it :-)

Well tonight was the open night for he/she/it. I am really glad I went. Apart from being able to serve the community of Candlelight Productions, I was also able to catch up with some of the friends that I met at Ignition. It was so cool to be around a large group of talented and committed people who are all so into performing arts, acting, writing, directing, multi-media, DVD production, audio-visual and events management etc. I am so glad to be part of this community.

The show was excellent (I got to see it during rehearsal, as well as in between serving in the front of house). It was really moving, the acting was simply superb, the script was so well written, and the whole crew was very professional and powerful. As one of the people said, "I was almost in tears." And I can certainly relate to that!

So if you are in Melbourne or Victoria, I would highly recommend that you take part in the Melbourne Fringe Festival, especially he/she/it.

Venue: The Open Stage, Melbourne University, 757 Swanston St, Parkville VIC 3010
Dates: 22 September – 8 October (Thursday – Saturday 8pm, Saturday matinee 4pm)
Tickets: $18.00 adult/$14.00 conc/$12.50 groups of 6+. 2 for 1 tickets on opening night & matinees
Times: 08:00pm (10:30pm finish), Matinees 04:00pm (6:30pm finish)
Bookings: or 8412 8777
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Contemplative Night

Last night we had a contemplative night at Living Room, where each of us spent time during the meeting in silence doing various things. There were newspaper, many different books, candles, list of illustrations, Bibles of different translations, postcards, notepads, even cushions and pillows etc.

Each of us went through a kind of a journey, where we just picked some or all of these things to engage in. I went through the followings in order:

  • skimming through Operation China by Paul Hattaway (of special interest was the Uygur people group), then Lonely Planet Western Europe (of special interest was London)
  • gazing at the candles and reflecting on Jesus as the light of the world, and spending time in prayers
  • going through the list of illustrations, and really enjoyed a picture which shows that creativity is a divine spark
  • reflecting on a quote: true spirituality is obeying the commands of scripture and effecting change in the real world, not hiding behind religious experience.
  • reading through Matthew 28:19-20 using Eugene Peterson's "The Message" which really inspired me
  • started reading C.S. Lewis 4 Loves: affection, friendship, eros and charity and decided to borrow it to read through in details
  • Cutting various postcards and putting them on a sketch book
It was a relaxing yet powerful way of spending time with community members in God's Presence (the interesting thing was that we didn't even have to chat with one another). Just being together was time well spent. I really enjoyed it, and I am thankful and feel blessed to have this group of friends!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Missos To Paris / Europe

The Eagle's Child referred to this article which talked about France as a missionaries desert and Europe as the Dark Continent. She gave us a challenge about "Go into the whole of Paris and preach the gospel!?" which I can resonate so much after having been to the World Team Paris Conference and the mission field myself just in June this year.

Truly missionaries are needed both in our own backyard, in the western world as well as in the third world. I pray that the Lord will send out more harvesters to all these fields, and like what The Eagle's Child said, from Australia, too, missionaries go to Paris.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Dutch Masters

I had an 'arts date' in the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). It was tiring (cos there were more than 100 art works and decorative objects by great Dutch artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Pieter de Hooch and Jan Steen from the 17th century), yet it was so inspiring and refreshing for me personally.

NGV Director Dr Gerard Vaughan says:"We have secured some absolutely amazing works - masterpieces that would not normally leave the walls of this great European gallery. Displaying lavish still lifes, revealing self-portraits, insightful portraiture, humble and reverent genre works, and masterful cityscapes and seascapes, this exhibition powerfully captures the vivid images of daily life in The Netherlands during the 17th century – a period often referred to as The Golden Age ".

Thanks Chin Hor for this lovely photo. He took it when he was in Melbourne. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Share An Opportunity (SAO)

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." - Matt 19:14 (NIV)

Yesterday we had the SAO Sunday at CCBC (not SALE, but SAO hehe), where we had a drama skit and my beloved mentor Professor Brown was sharing about the needs to support third world kids who are in poverty.

According to the SAO website, "currently around the world more than 121 million primary school-age children are out of school (State of the World's Children 2005, UNICEF). They are not receiving the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty through education - but we can all help, as individuals and as groups. SAO Sunday gives us the opportunity to focus on solutions, as we Celebrate Children. It also gives our children an amazing opportunity to reach out to others throughout the world."

If you are touched to sponsor a child, you can go to this website to do so.

Posted by Picasa

Chinese Moon Cake Festival

Today is the Chinese Moon Cake Festival. It is called the Moon Festival because a special kind of sweet cake (yueh ping) is prepared in the shape of the round moon and filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds and duck eggs. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. A secret cake strategy was planned to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. When the time for the year's Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. Whether this sweet Chinese version of ancient Europe's "Trojan Horse" story is true, no one really knows.The moon plays a significant part of this festival. In Hong Kong, any open space or mountain top is crowded with people trying to get a glimpse of this season's full moon. I know many of my readers are not from Melbourne. The moon is round and the world is small. I hope we will cross paths one of these days.

Behind this festival are many legendary stories. One of which tells of the romantic love story between the Weaver Girl (who lives in the moon) and the Cowherd (who lives on earth), and they only get to meet once a year on this day. I wonder how you would feel if you only get to meet the people that you love once a year?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Prayer For The Rich And The Poor

Lord, I pray that you would awaken people and churches in rich countries to recognise their responsibilities to work for justice for the poor, as well as give and support the poor in practical ways, so that poverty can really be history. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 16, 2005

Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

I am really looking forward to March next year. The 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne from 15 to 26 March will provide a great opportunity to catch up with overseas and interstate family and friends (I already have a number of friends and my brother told me that they would most likely be here then). As well as bringing the city together, the games offer the chance to share in sporting history and experience one of Melbourne's biggest cultural and entertainment programs full of festivities and parties. With 4500 elite athletes from more than 71 Commonwealth countries competing, Melbourne will be a buzz, so if you plan to come and visit Melbourne, secure your tickets now.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tabor Missions Week

Tonight I attended the open night of Tabor Missions Week, and was glad to catch up with some of my old friends there. The theme for this week has been "Creative mission in a changing world." Various missionaries shared their stories which were all very inspiring. The followings are some of what they shared tonight:
  • Creativity is closely related to context, reflection and the Holy Spirit.
  • The importance of responding to the whole person (both physical needs and spiritual needs).
  • Transformation is through the encounter with the livng God through Jesus!
  • It's important to find creative strategies in mission.
  • The most significant things in this world are changing.
  • It's a broken world because real people have their hearts broken.
  • There is only one answer for the brokenness, and that is the person of Jesus Christ.
  • We need to go out of our comfort zone to share the message.
  • New birth is the closest thing to creation.

Great reminder for me: 'Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."' (John 20:21)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Creation Vs Evolution

Dr Carl Wieland (CEO, Answers in Genesis Australia) was sharing at CCBC last weekend. He is the founding editor of Creation magazine, which is published quarterly and covers readership in 140 countries. The magazine brings you insight about Creation on a solid scientific foundation.

According to Dr Wieland's presentation, people believe in science because hypothesis can be proved through scientific methods. However, evolutionists claim the non-existence of Creation and yet they cannot prove its non-existence. In contrary, more scientific evidence has been revealed supporting the idea of Creation. Following are some of the interesting scientific evidence:
a) Dinosaur
Fossils of dinosaur containing soft tissues have been found. This challenges the idea that dinosaurs existed some 65 million years ago.
b) Structure of human bones similar to animals' means we share the same ancestor?
Having the same ancestor means there is the same genetic pathway and same basic construction pathway when embryo evolves. This however is not proved. So far, fossils found can be categorised into different groups, but no fossils have ever been found that link two different groups. Therefore, this shatters the fundamental presumption of Evolution.
c) Fossils
- Geologists suggest that layers of rock can be formed rapidly, not necessary taking millions of years
- There are living things that have never evolved. Fossils of some sort of termites were found and it's proved that it's exactly the same species that still exists in Darwin. Even the bacteria that helps it to digest is the same
- Plenty of fish fossils were found. It is common knowledge that when fish dies, it floats, not submerges. It is proposed that if this is to be done artificially, the fish must be covered in mud and dry the mud quickly so as not to let in oxygen that will erode the scale and skin. Therefore, evoluntionary ideas cannot explain this phenomonen.
- Darwin said wholly soft creature cannot be preserved (like jellyfish) as it will disappear so soon. However, fossils of jellyfish have been found, even with wave trail around it. This indicates that fossils do not evolve from millions of years, but a rapid process causes this.
- There are also fossils of some marine reptile in the process of giving birth. We all know there is difficult labour, but is it gonna take millions of years if evolutionists are right?
- More and more scientific evidence has given support to a well-known story -> Noah's Ark
d) Radioactive Carbon 14
It has been proved that the half life of radioactive carbon 14 is about few thousand years. Therefore, if evolutionists are right, we shouldn't be able to find a single trace of this substance in things like oil, diamond etc. However, traces of carbon 14 were found to be present.
Living creatures are not just bunches of hardware. They are software. All biological molecules carry with them some sort of programs and information. It requires intelligence to develop such programs. Living creatures don't just evolve or develop those programs themselves or through mutation. So, where can we find the answer? The Ultimate Creator of this world.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Purposes of Creative Arts

Today I was going through some of my past entries of my journal where I wrote about the purpose statements etc when I started working as a creative arts coordinator at CCBC over 16 months ago now. The followings are some of them:

  • I believe the dream (purpose) for our creative arts / drama team is that the church will be filled with the most wonderful, powerful, expressive, evocative and anointed creative and performing art imaginable - that people who have never been to church will be amazed and deeply moved by it.
  • And that those of us who are in it (writers, actors, poets, musicians, singers, dancers, painters, mimers, filmmakers, playwrights) can totally sell out to the gospel, take our art out into the world and touching and speaking to the world just the way Jesus did - amongst the crowds in the wider community.
  • My dream is that as an art production team (Christian writers, performers and artists) / community / cell group, we can proclaim the Godly truth about life (to Christians and non-Christians alike) from the highest possible platforms and media, and that the wider community will be impacted with a message of hope and love.
  • We can move from being just a spiritual seeker to being a creator, sustainer, and nurturer of the beloved community.
I thank the Lord that He has taught me many lessons during this journey, and more and more I see my inadequacy, yet I know that when I am weak then I am strong in Him.

So where are you on your journey or creativity right now?

Monday, September 12, 2005


Make Poverty History Campaign Day
Posted by Picasa
Last Saturday (September 10) was a campaign day for Make Poverty History. I participated in Tear Australia's 'Monsoon' assimulation game where we walked in the shoes of an indian farming family and explored issues of poverty, justice and faith under the fickle Indian monsoon. We also did a prayer reflection walk through the eight goals of Micah Challenge.(which I encourage you to sign).

I also learned how to make an origami woman and a child using coloured paper, and how to put a sari on :-)

Make Poverty History Campaign Day Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mission Field On The Door Step

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Moving With The Cloud

The following devotional by Os Hillman really encouraged me, as I am going through a time similar to the Israelites where I need the guidance of God through the cloud.

Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. ~ Numbers 9:21b
God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and they had to pass through the desert on their way to the Promised Land. God was their guide by means of a cloud that appeared overhead. When it moved, they moved. When it stopped, they stopped - sometimes a day, a week, even a year. Imagine living with the uncertainty of this situation. One day you work at getting your "house" in order, only to have to pick up the stakes and move. Your ability to plan is totally gone. But even greater is the temptation to move when the cloud did not move because you felt it was time to move. For the Israelites, perhaps the grass was no longer green. Perhaps the water was not easily accessible. Perhaps the bugs were a problem. Whatever the case, they were strictly prohibited from moving if the cloud did not move. It is still the same today. We are not to move unless the Holy Spirit instructs us to do so. We are not to make that business deal on the basis of whether or not it makes sense, but on the leading of the Holy Spirit's "cloud" in our life. It is a difficult process to move only when we are directed, and to remain if we are not. The pressure is always upon us to move, to plan, to act. But if we act, we may move into a place where the presence of God may not be. Hence, the rub. The Christian workplace believer must learn to move when God says move; it is a sign of complete surrender and dependence on God's Spirit to direct our steps.

Lord, am I sitting under Your cloud? Have I moved when You said stand still?

What is your experiences of moving with the cloud personally?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Contentment 2

Yesterday I asked the question, "if everything were taken away from you, what would remain? Are you still content?" Honestly I don't know the answer to that myself.

I was feeling a bit 'down in the dumps' this morning, and was going through some emotional turmoil today. The thing about pain in life is that it seems inevitable. But the mix feelings, the dilemmas, the mistakes, the sorrow, the confusion, the hurts, the failures, the disappointments which leave us upset, in agony, in helplessness can all be used by God to mould us, to strengthen us and to guide us. Yes I can testify that, I have experienced that numerous times in my life. I do trust God can turn the most painful things in life into some of the most beautiful experiences! Romans 8:28 has always been one of my my favourite verses. However, it has also been my experience that when the heart is shouting in pain, it's not easy to be content. Arggggg!!!

I was reading "Insight's Bible Companion For Women" tonight for the last two hours, and these words of wisdom really challanged me. "Contentment doesn't mean complacency. It doesn't mean you've given up hope that God will grant your wildest dreams. It just means you've decided to live by faith."

Lord, I've decided to live by faith no matter what. I trust that You are good all the time and You are always faithful. Give me the strength to release all my needs to You and be content I pray. In Jesus' Precious Name, Amen!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I've been asking myself, "Kitty, do you have enough contentment?"

Philippians 4:12 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (NIV)

Contentment is knowing that no matter what you gain, no matter what you lose, you are a child of God. If everything were taken away from you, what would remain? Are you still content?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Creative Process

According to an 'unknown author' quoted by Susan from A Booklook, "The creative process is ... terrifying because you don't know exactly what's going to happen or where it is going to lead. You don't know what new dangers and challenges you'll find. It takes an enormous amount of internal security to begin with the spirit of adventure, the spirit of discovery, the spirit of creativity. Without doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness. You become a trailblazer, a pathfinder. You open new possibilities, new territories, new continents so that others can follow ... Most all creative endeavors are somewhat unpredictable. They often seem ambiguous, hit-or-miss, trail and error. And unless people have a high tolerance for ambiguity and get their security from integrity to principles and inner values they find it unnerving and unpleasant to be involved in highly creative enterprises. Their need for structure, certainty and predictability is too high."

Wow I can identify with this. Truly the creative process is a fulfilling one. I always believe that since we are made in the image of the Creator God, we are all creative one way or another. Yet I do agree that the creative endeavours are somewhat unpredictable. And I have found that the more I am involved in creative endeavours (mainly drama, writing, multi-media and music), the more I've become less structured. I don't know if I have an enormous amount of internal security, but I found that the spirit of taking risks is essential for creativity. I pray that I can have more of that from my Creator!

So how do you think about the creative process?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Spirituality Yarn

Tonight I participated in Indigenous Hospitality House's 'Spirituality Yarn' in Drummond Street, Melbourne (one of the community members of LivingRoom is a resident there). The Indigenous Hospitality House (IHH) is unique. According to the host tonight, the house was set up by a Bible Study group who read a report by Koori workers in city hospitals identifying a need for appropriate housing for indigenous people visiting their family in hospital. Since it was started in mid-2001, the House has had nearly 500 guests, ranging from single mums to family groups spanning three generations.

The IHH invites indigenous Christians to share their personal story of faith and spirituality, in the hope that by learning about their faith journeys, their wisdom about reconciliation and justice we might be able to deepen our understanding of our place in the story of Australia. Everyone brought a plate and we shared a meal together, then we sat down around the bondfire for a casual address by the speaker (who this time is Grant Paulson - the associate Pastor of Collins Street Baptist Church). He has also worked for the National Indigenous Training Association coordinating their Community Leadership Development program. His story really inspires me and gives me a better understanding about the hurt and emotions that indigenous Australians have gone through, and how God's people should engage in the reconciliation and healing of the past hurts.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Changed Life

I watched "Enough Rope with Andrew Denton” on ABC tonight. Andrew interviewed Johnny Lee Clary, the former Grand Dragon of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), who shared about his change of heart and his work as an evangelist.

Johnny Lee Clary changed from hatred for all humans not white to absolute love for all humanity — red and yellow, black and white. The White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan shared that he was taught racism as a child during the interview. At 11 years old, Johnny witnessed his father's suicide. His mother then abandoned him. When his father died, she immediately sent him to live with his sister in East Los Angeles.

At 12 and 13 years, young Johnny learned brutality, racial division and hate on the streets of Los Angeles. Street gangs were divided along race and ethnic lines, and he grew to despise nearly all non-whites. Clary said he was alone, and failing in school. He then joined KKK, challenging teachers at school regarding the accuracy of history on the Nazi holocaust against Jews in World War II and fomenting hate toward his black classmates.

Johnny said his conversion began slowly with an appearance on a radio talk show. Appearing on the show with Johnny was a local black pastor, who would engage him in ways he hadn't prepared for. The black pastor told Johnny he loved him and reached to shake hands.

The FBI was becoming more and more aggressive making weapons cases against Klan members. It became apparent to Johnny the FBI would see him in prison if something didn't change. Hence Johnny resigned from the Klan. Then, those he had recruited turned on their former leader, saying a true Klansman wouldn't abandon the organization because of the threat of imprisonment. And for the first time in a long time, Johnny was truly alone and without friends or family, again.He turned to alcohol and was once prepared to take his own life. Instead he prayed, opened a Bible and began seriously to read the scriptures. "I had a Bible; everyone in the Klan had a Bible," said Johnny. "We didn't read them."I read that Jesus died for all people," said Clary, emphasizing the word "all." He began attending church and became a serious student of God's word. His life has never turned back since.

Praise God for transforming this man's life. Today he's an evangelist sharing the gospel wherever he goes.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Shoes Polishing Machine

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I was chatting with the drama team last week over dinner about new creations in technology nowadays, and one of the design students told us that she had to think of a totally new design as an assignment, and that reminded me of this interesting shoes polishing machine that I came across in Paris. I've never seen anything like that! It polishes your shoe within seconds. Very cool!

Can any of you guys think of something that is non-existent now but can be beneficial to the world?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Faith, Experience and Choice

Jim Douglass, an experienced minister, has once said that even "if we have a clear mountaintop experience of certainly there is always the valley of doubt."

And that's so true! I believe that no matter what revelation or calling we have, we need to make a decision to run with it. Experience does not determine choice; choice determines experience. As human beings we are convinced by experience. And yet, faith has to override experience.

My 91-year-old mentor Professor Brown told me that strong emotion (which I seem to always have) can at times hijack faith and pull us in a direction of our own thinking / agenda. We can be overwhemed by our own reasoning, which functions on the basis of our experiences.

Salvation is the saving or the soul and my soul is my responsiblity. Jesus Christ has made salvation possible by defeating he powers of death. It is now my task to apply, by faith, the reality and the possibility of the salvation of my soul. As we work out our salvation, God is working out His purpose. Hallelujah!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Stop Taking Things for Granted

A friend told me last week that he had changed his mobile phone again (he has only used his last phone for about 7 months). He always likes changing things because 'he is tired of old things' , mobile phone, computer, car, stereo, digital camera even his house.

He told me he's considering moving out of his apartment. He lives in a lovely apartment with a great view overlooking Albert Park. I asked why he would leave such a beautiful place. He said, "well, it was great only in the beginning, but now it's just the same old same old. I can't see it anymore."

“I can’t see it anymore.” That's it, isn't it? He fails to notice the blessings he has. He thinks of his home as merely a place to lay down his head. Nine people out of ten would have jumped at the opportunity to rent my friend’s house, yet he does not appreciate its virtues. I told him there is really no point of moving, as he will get tired of his new place before he knows it.

Human beings have this capacity to take things for granted. Most of the time, we only miss things when we lose them. The most compatible intimate becomes boring. Miracles like the daily sunrise and sunset fail to amaze us because they’re just routines! Repetition and time dull our sense of wonder.

When something becomes familiar to us, the wonder we have projected onto it is lost. We see it without the overlay of our imaginings. I am certainly guilty of that. I just got my damaged car back from the insurance company yesterday. Oh man! How blessed I felt when I re-started driving my little starlet again after nearly two weeks without its company. I must admit that after driving this little car for over 6 years, I have surely taken it for granted. When I was driving it again this morning, I remembered the excitement of the first day when I drove it. Plus this little car has allowed me to serve friends and pick them up etc. This has really reminded me of an important lesson: stop taking things for granted. I believe one of the good ways of stopping taking things for granted is to maintain a fresh perspective on the things we have by living life with a thankful heart. Do you agree?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Happy Spring

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Today is the first day of September, which is the first day of Spring in Australia here. May you have a great and fresh start in God's blessings and grace!

Kel shared with us about her Spring Challenge today, where she picked fresh lavender and daisies from her garden and gave each person she works with a spring duet bouquet. How creative and wonderful!

In order to celebrate Spring, I wrote the following poem :-)

His love for me is like gentle breezes and creeks flow on a new spring day.
My Love for Him is like plants in the garden, with all the happiness that's above the ground.

Watching all these early buds and swallows, feeling my heart's growing joy!
The joy showers and flows from my heart as clusters of daisies show their beauties.
Burden is what I feel, as I gaze these eternal harvest fields.
It's longing for all things that a life as such could give glory to You O Lord!
There are, in my tides of words never let outside, I could love everyone on earth, yet, it would remain a lot of it inside.
Show me how to love as You first loved me!

Happy Spring everyone! How are you going to celebrate this Spring?