Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

In all the busyness of the end of year I managed to go to Belgrave Heights Convention this afternoon. In the meeting we were asked these questions today:
  • What resolutions do you carry?
  • How are those resolutions impacting your life?
  • What secret legacy do you hope to leave for future generations?

Amongst many things, one of my major new year's resolutions this year is this:

To be a better person on December 31, 2006, than I am today through prayer, Bible reading, and service to God and people. I feel that the world moves at a faster pace now, but some things should never change.

I think I'll spend some time in the next few days drafting out more new year's resolutions. So what are your resolutions this year?

Friday, December 30, 2005

Loneliness And Solitude

Although I miss my mum very much, I actually quite enjoy being alone at home. I was discussing solitude and loneliness with a friend today. We discussed that while there is some similarity between solitude and loneliness, and it is true that the two at times do converge, but the experiences are very different.

The word alone occurs frequently in the Bible, but only in very few cases can it be equated with loneliness. Jesus said, "You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me" (Jn. 16:32). Loneliness is the result of the absence of personal intimacy or meaningful activity. Solitude is not being in the company of others.

The followings are some differences between loneliness and solitude:
  • Loneliness is a negative experience, while solitude is often positive and renewing.
  • Loneliness brings a feeling of desolation and depression that can be destructive. Solitude can generate a sense of solitariness that is both creative and motivating.
  • Loneliness is involuntary, unwanted. Solitude is voluntary and deliberately chosen.

God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18). But there are times when the heart craves solitude. Following His claim that isolation was not good for Adam, God created "a helper suitable for him." We were created social beings, capable of loving and having relationships with both God and our fellow men and women. Our full creative purpose can never be realized by itself, only in association with other people.

Being alone involves only physical separation, but being lonely includes both spiritual and psychological isolation. It produces a solitude of heart, the feeling of being cut off from others whom we should like to have as friends. A certain degree of solitude--being alone with one's thoughts--is a normal state. It is essential to the cultivation of the inner life. We all experience times when it becomes essential to have time alone. Without this time, the spiritual life will lack depth and freshness. In such a period of solitude we will find a welcome alternative to the race of busy life.

We need to be alone to discover and confront our real selves. A time of solitude can often lead to invaluable reflection, self-analysis and a fresh outlook on life. That's why I enjoy posting on blog so much, as it provides an opporunity for me to slow down, reflect and have solitude.

What about you?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia Posted by Picasa

Last night I watched the "The Chronicles of Narnia" with some friends. It was a magnificent and well-produced film based on C.S. Lewis' book "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe." C.S. Lewis created a land of magic and wonder called Narnia, and since then many readers (and now many who have seen and will see this movie) have discovered / will discover the wondrous world that exists beyond the back of the wardrobe. It's about the story of four siblings - Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. They find their way through an old wardrobe into the world of Narnia. There, they unite with Aslan ('the Lion King') to fight the White Witch and save Narnia from perpetual darkness.

I really like the film, and can identify with all four children at various times:
  • Peter - is afraid even though he has got what it takes to be the King - an honour given by Aslan.
  • Susan - is cautious, doubtful and boring at times.
  • Edmund - is disobedient, pretentious and proud.
  • Lucy - with child-like faith, shares her spiritual experiences with others, is loving and compassionate.

The symbolic meanings in the book / film touch me a lot: Aslan's sacrificial love, the simple but powerful faith of Lucy, the power of the sword (sword of the Spirit), and the fact that once a king always a king (child of God) etc.

In His books, C.S. Lewis argued that humans long "to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own." We were made for awe. Unfortunately, the modern privileging of scientific fact as the "only" reliable type of truth often tries to push aside the competing truth claims of intuition and revelation. The longing for transcendence -- the desire of human nature to move beyond that nature into something beyond - will not be denied.

Some of my reflections from this film:

First, audience response suggests that most people want to believe in a world like Narnia -- they just lack the eyes to see the similarities between that world and our own. For example, the thought that someone might love them enough to die for them is the basis of many appealing and timeless romances -- how much better to discover that Someone already actually has.

Second, like Lucy, the believability of our story often rests on our credibility as tellers. We can only tell the story well only if we are passionately committed to it. Not everyone who loves Narnia will want Jesus -- but the connection some people may feel with Narnia may make it easier to introduce Jesus, and the fictional account of Aslan might (paradoxically) make discussions of Christ’s work to save us seem more present and real. Let the book, or the movie, do its work -- drawing people in and making them feel and think. Afterward the opportunity might arise to introduce your own story.

Yes my own story is a personal, gripping tale filled with temptations, evil deeds, a Suffering Savior and Triumphant Lord. It is a story in which I am a participant, fighting my own daily 'battles' while being transformed into the image of Christ. It will someday end with the final victory of good over evil.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Merry Christmas

Rachel and I in Royal Botanical Garden in Melbourne. Posted by Picasa

Had a wonderful Christmas. My good friend Rachel gave her heart to Jesus on Christmas Day, and that was the best Christmas gift I got. Really there is nothing more joyful than seeing a new life in Christ. And it was a divine appointment that we met at the Open Stage during the he/she/it Fringe Festival season at Melbourne University, where I was one of the crew for he/she/it, while Rachel was a student there. Since then God has drawn us close together. His fingerprints have been on both of our lives. Praise the Lord!

On Christmas night, I enjoyed hosting the Christmas dinner for brothers and sisters in Christ (those whose families are overseas) in my apartment. It was fun to spend time with them eating, chatting, singing and seeing the Christmas lighting show down the road. I had lots of fun and meaningful sharing with them. My cooking was not particularly good, but happy that I was able to serve them. If you want to share our joy, you can have a look at the photos here.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Strange Way To Save The World

Got this from a colleague of World Team International . It was written as a dramatic reading for the Christmas program at a church this weekend. It's meaningful and thought provoking. Enjoy....

The Christmas story is a parade of paradox: a King born in a stable…royal messengers sent to lowly shepherds…the plan of salvation for all people entrusted to a powerless conquered nation.

It’s not how we would have done it, it’s not the story we would have written. Ordinary people asked to carry out a plan meant to impact the whole world! In fact, most of us would say it was a plan destined to fail, a strange way to save the world! And the parade of paradox marches on.

Let’s pause to consider the creator of this plan. He is an artist. He is the Creator God. Just like any artist He left his own personal imprint, a small reflection of Himself in all that He created. And He took great delight in all that He made.

When this Creator God crafted the earth, He left His creative imprint on all that He made. He weaved an intricate and awe inspiring tapestry of color and culture. When we look at our world – at all peoples present here – we see the imprint of The Artist represented in each people group on earth.

The brilliance and radiance of His created color can be seen in African dress and dance, His profound philosophy and wisdom are pursued by the Chinese, His passion for music, dance and romance we see celebrated in Latin America, Our Creator’s inspired ability toward art and poetry we find embraced in Europe, and His love of freedom and grace we experience here in North America. We all bear the imprint of The Artist….This Creator God . . . the Same One …Who came… to us…the Creator joins the creation . . . as a helpless infant in a stable. And the parade marches on.

When the angels announced the birth of our Creator – they announced it as Good News for “All people.” The prophet Isaiah announced that He would be a “light for the Gentiles, that [He] may bring…salvation to the ends of the earth."

We, His people, have experienced intimacy with this Creator. His plan that none of us would have dreamed could succeed has done just that. The wisdom of God is foolishness to men! He is doing what He said He would! The Creator became part of the creation to live a life that could not be ignored; to share a message that grabs the imagination; to pay a price that is unthinkable. And the parade marches on.

His brilliance. His radiance. His color. His romance. His philosophy. His wisdom. His music. His art. His love. His sacrifice. His IMPRINT on the creation. The brilliant tapestry of His handiwork – the delight of His artistry! He has communicated Himself to us… so that we can communicate Who He is to all people.

For God so loved the world, that He sent His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. He came to save the world. When God touched the earth – he touched ALL people.

That is a parade of paradox. That is a strange way to save the World…using a small baby and ordinary people like me and you. In His cosmic creativity He birthed the message of salvation two thousand years ago that is changing lives and transforming cultures still today. His parade of paradox marches on!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chalk Circle

Winston Churchill said, "No act of mankind is 'history' until celebrated by artists and writers." I really like this quote.

Today I caught up with my artist friends Beverly and Diana in Southbank again (remember them? refer to Chalk Circle Arts and Pavement Arts in my neighbourhood ) . It was such a lovely day, and we had a drink together in the nearby cafe. As usual, it was fantastic catching up and chatting with them. They are great company, lovely and talented. To my delight, Bev gave me one of her prints as a Christmas gift. That made me a happy chappy hehe. I also spent a couple of hours with them by playing an African instrument (it was from another artist in the area who is Bev's friend) and singing Christmas songs while they were painting. It was fun, and I felt pleased to be able to spend time, befriend and connect with them. It was such a joy and privilege to be part of the chalk circle today.

Lord - You love Bev and Diana so much, and me too =) Please bless them, amen!

Please see below for more of their arts, and go to the CHALK CIRCLE website. They are great! Enjoy.....

Bev and Diana Painting Away In SouthgatePosted by Picasa

Having Fun with Bev on the pavement Posted by Picasa

"The Christmas Present From Bev - The Print" Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Salt Of The Earth

In my previously post Salt, Light and City On The Hill, I wrote that salt conjures up the concept of social action, and being Christ to those in need. I thought more about it these last few days, and God reminded me again that we have a mission, a ministry, a task to perform. As Christians we are not to live for ourselves alone, because the gifts (as Christmas is drawing near, we ought to think of the first and ultimate gift that God gave us - Jesus Christ our Lord) we have received from God are for the sake of others. The gifts and blessings are not only for our personal enjoyment.

As well as giving taste to food, salt is a useful perservative. One way in which we will act as 'salt of the earth' will be by our witness and commitment to all that brings healing, justice and hope, in the midst of so much that is corrupt and decaying. But we can only be salt for a corrupt and decaying world if we really are in the world, engagin it at all levels and in all places.

In much of our contemporary church (probably including my own), the salt seems to be in a jar with the lid screwed on tightly. One of the great challenges facing us is to get the lid off and to let our saltiness be known. Just as the salt that is to be mixed with the world must be truly salty, the disciples who engage the world must reflect, with faithfulness and integrity, the qualities and character of Jesus.

Oh Father God, help me to truly be the salt of the earth, reflecting and embodying the likeness of the Lord, and not just plastic replica. In Jesus Name, amen!

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Life Of Purpose

The quality of a life of purpose is measured not by the number of tasks accomplished, but with whom they were accomplished and the learning and connection that went on in the process.

What do you think of this quote? Do you agree?

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Christmas is a time of bright lights, Christmas trees, decorations, shopping and gifts. A time when people think mainly of things they want. But really, there can be no Christmas without Christ. Below are of some words that represent the Christmas meaning using the acronym CHRISTMAS.

C -Christ
God gave the first Christmas present, and said "you shall call his name Jesus"

H – Heart
Christmas should be a heart affair. God gave from his heart -he gave the best he had - his only Son. We must believe and receive Jesus into our heart. God says "My son, give me your heart" (your whole life). (Proverbs 23:26)

R -Ruler
The Jewish people expected an earthly ruler to come and save them, but Jesus didn't set up a kingdom on this earth to rule over. Instead, He wants to rule in our hearts. One day, when Jesus comes again, He will come as ruler. The Bible says Jesus will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11) We don't need to wait until then. Let us allow Him to be our ruler right now!

I- Inn
There was no room at the inn for Mary (and Jesus!). I am sure the innkeeper didn't realise who he was turning away. Many today are like that innkeeper. Jesus is knocking at the door of our life. Will you turn Him away, saying there is no room?

S- Star
A star led the wise men to Jesus. Today we have the Holy Spirit to lead us closer to Jesus. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill our life so that we will know more about Jesus.

T – Tree
We decorate and hang gifts on trees at Christmas. God hung his gift on a tree - the cross. But many of those looking on didn't admire God’s gift; instead they mocked and laughed at Him. And yet He prayed, "Father, forgive them,for they don't know what they are doing".

M- Manger
Jesus left His home in heaven. What a contrast between the glory of heavenand a manger -an animal's feed box. How Jesus humbled himself and was prepared to give up everything! He didn't come as a master, but as a servant. Those of us who want to follow Him are told, "Let this attitude be in you which was also in Christ... who took upon Him the form of a servant..." (Philipians2:5-9)

A -Angel
The angels came with glad tidings of great joy. They told the shepherds where and how to find Jesus. Today we have this ministry -to share the good news about Jesus, and we must tell people where and how to find Jesus.

S -Saviour
The real reason Jesus came to this earth was to be our Saviour. Explain why Jesus had to die, to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins.

Meanwhile, I know everyone is busy at this time of year, no matter which hemisphere you live in. But I hope you'll also take/make the time for silence, reflection, and rejoicing in the Saviour's birth. I know of so many people who are going through hard times just now--some are life and death situations, others are grieving, anxious, sad or alone. My prayer is that whether this is one of your best or worst Christmases on the outside, nothing will keep it from being one of the most meaningful on the inside. God Bless you as you celebrate this Christmas!

O Come, Let Us Adore Him...and let us truly give our hearts to Jesus in this Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2005

World Team Australia Website

After some training on the Mambo Content Management System, I have finally started on the challenging yet wonderful journey of managing and updating the World Team Australia website. You know I can really sense God's presence as I go around adding information to the site. You are all welcome to read the website (still at its early stage of development) at

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Salt, Light And City On A Hill

A friend and I were chatting, and we talked about the three pictures that Jesus used to capture the main ways Christians ought to live in this world:
  1. SALT: that conjures up the concept of Social Action. As we become a part of the real world and relate to those in need we are salt to those around us. Let us never give up on feeding the poor, visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the naked, and providing drink to the thirsty. When we do that, we do it for Christ Himself.
  2. LIGHT: that creates images of causing darkness to flee and truth to be highlighted. As we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus, we are indeed light to the world. You don't have to curse the darkness as a Christian. No. Just shine the light. Darkness disappears of its own accord! Share the truth and love of Christ, and fulfil that great commission!
  3. A CITY ON A HILL: this reminds me of community and the visual impact true discipleship brings to the world. You can not hide loving community between believers who live differently to the rest of the world around us.

I reckon all three are vital to a full expression of our faith. Jesus gave all three images in Matthew 5:13-16. Lord, help us to take on board all three to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world and a city set on a hill.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Participating With God In Mission

I am one of many who always grapple with issues related to mission. I often reflect on how finding key words greatly assists in articulating the subtle, and not so subtle, issues involved in understanding how God might have us engage with the world for His purpose.

Two key words I learned from my lecturer at Bible College are futurum and adventus. Futurum defines how God works out His purposes in and through the everyday events of life. It is mission that occurs through the ordinary and the routine acts people - both local church members and organisational structures. Adventus, however, involves those specific times when God intervenes directly and dramatically (Exodus 3, Isaiah 6 and Acts 2). It is mission that occurs through the extraordinary and unforseen interventions of God.

In our mission activities we must learn to faithfully serve God in the ordinary and routine activities that He has called us to do. But let us also be those who long for, and anticipate, the unexpected in-breaking activity of God. Mission must include both these aspects - God's extraordinary work and the everyday instrumentality of people and their organisations.

So which out of the two do you think is more important in your spiritual life?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Things That Stick With Us

You know, there are certain things that stick with us, the shapes of our eyes, a culture that once was and will never be again, defining an age, our upbringing, background and history, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, windows 98, feminism, the World history, and of course our personal acheivements, life's highs and lows, disappointments and frustrations also stick with us.

Today, I received an invitation from Melbourne Pastors Network to pray every Friday for Jesus to reveal Himself to Muslims in Australia with a focus on their key leaders. The followings are the invite, and I am committed to be involved in this prayer network as I know the impact of this will stick with me for all eternity. I'd like to encourage you to join this if you feel led. Here it is....

Join 1,000,000 Christians every Friday in prayer for:

1. Holy Spirit revelation and blessing to the Muslim community in Australia. That they might sense love and not fear from the Christian community.Especially for the MUSLIM LEADERS who attended the Prime Minister’s Summit in August. (See list: month pray for IKTIMAL HAGE-ALI , who is the Deputy Chair of the NSW Youth Advisory Council. She was appointed to the council by the NSW Government.

2. Compassion and wisdom for Parliamentary leaders in their relationship to the Muslim community and for those who work with them.

3. The protection and strengthening of our Christian heritage .

RACIAL & RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE ACT - GOVERNMENT REVIEWSome church leaders and some other faiths recently met with members of the Dept of Premier and Cabinet and the Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs to hear the government's views on the act. Despite previous appeals against most of the act by churches, the amendments raised by the government were basically to provide stricter penalties. The church representatives were able to present a detailed submission and justification for major changes or a complete removal of religious aspects of the Act.
Please pray for this on-going negotiation which will have great implications for the Church in Victoria.See:

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Word Of GOD For the World Of SPORT

Regardless of whether or not you are a sports fan, it will have been hard to miss the news that Melbourne, Australia is preparing to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Over the next few months, thousands of athletes, spectators and visitors will begin pouring into Melbourne in readiness for the 'kick-off' in March.

As a person living in the neighbourhood of all the happenings during the time of Commonwealth Games, I have a very strong burden to reach out to the community with the message of the gospel. I am hoping to be involved in community celebrations when the Queens baton comes through my town, invite people to come and watch the games in my home as a community, pray for the games, for the chaplains and outreach teams, perhaps organise a festival through my own faith community and World Team, or be involved in exisiting activities organised by Quest, Bible Society, Fushion, and other churches in the city. I really want to bless the ground in Melbourne by prayer walks with other intercessors as well.

The Motto for the Games is "United for the moment". It's such a great motto isn't it? I pray that churches, Christian and mission organisations can truly unit together in developing appropriate and sensitive outreach programs and relationship building activities that are in line with the community celebrations and spirit of the games.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Stir Your World

Today I received a letter from Tim Costello (CEO of World Vision Australia) letting me know what they've done with the money I raised for the 40 hour famine back in August. Here it is:
  • help the people of Mozambique and Tanzania with seeds, training in modern farming techniques and access to clean water all year round so families can grow their own food, have a more nutritious diet and be less vulnerable to disease and drought.
  • provide assistance to families living in poor countries that are hurt by emergencies with food and medical supplies and support the Global Rapid Response Team who get to emergencies around the world within 12-24 hours.

Thank you to those of you who sponsored my famine (which I reported previously in my blog here, here and here). Re-reading these past posts made me realise once again how gracious and merciful our dear Lord is =)

To my surprise, I received World Vision's 40 Famine Award - Apple iPod mini music player, which was given to the top 25 money-raisers in Australia. And the interesting thing was, it got to me a day before my birthday. And THAT was the best birthday present! I am VERY's not because I won an award. It's because many kids were helped as a result of the money raised. I'm really humbled by this great experience from God. It's certainly greater to give than to receive.

I encourage you to STIR your world!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Inner Journey

I liked (and still do) the feeling of being used by the Lord. I thrive positive feedback. But when I get criticism, even when it is constructive, I find it hard to swallow. I praise the Lord for this brother in Christ's criticisms this week. Even though I was very hurt by them, and I cried over them and my heart almost broke, I was able to come out of the situation and reconciliation knowing more about myself, my weaknesses and mistakes. And I know (and love) the Lord and my friend more as a result of it. Truly I am thankful for that!

I was walking along Southgate. I realized that I was really grateful for my God, my family, friends and for life. I missed and cared for a lot of people, yet at times that could really give people pressure (especially because I tend to be over enthusiastic /zealous about things of God). I mumbled a prayer, "Lord, thank you for accepting me and loving me unconditionally. Thank you for helping me to accept myself too, even my medical condition, my mood swings, my past traumas and failures. Father God, please change me, mould me and make me, to be your servant. You are the potter, and I am the clay. Help me not to be someone who only enjoys positive comments, but someone who welcomes constructive criticisms with open arms. It's my desire to glorify You, serve You, please You and enjoy You! Help me to hear Your voice my Lord."

John Eldredge wrote, "In order to take a man / woman (may I add) into his /her wound, so that he / she can heal it and begin the release of the true self, God will thwart the false self. He will take away all that you've leaned upon to bring you life." He continues, "This is the critical moment in a man's life, when all he has counted on comes crashing down." Eldredge described perfectly what was happening to me.

I give thanks to my Father in Heaven with all my heart. He loves me no matter what, even when He disciplines me! (Hebrews 12:11)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Acceptance Poem

Life is a roller coaster. One day you think you're coping with life, then you hit a wave and you go down and come up again. The pain is there and you feel it ... and there is no escape, except in Jesus Christ, who is truly my hiding place.

I went through some 'ups and downs' this past week. Ups came from the love, friendship, encouragement, affirmation and gifts that many of my friends and family (locally and globally) gave me for my birthday these past few days. The down side started off by an unexpected email from a long-time-no-see brother in Christ, whom I led to the Lord about three years ago now. His emails outlined criticism and things that he didn't like about my personalities. Seriously, that really got me off guard! After reading his emails a few times, I couldn't help weeping for a while. Mind you I haven't cried for a long time. Then I started worrying about my medical condition. Am I seeing another episode / warning sign coming up again? I am thankful that we were able to reconcile through prayer and conversation through emails. And we forgave each other. That was such a wonderful feeling. Through it all, I praise the Lord for all these encounters. Romans 8:28 always applies =)

I have written a poem in my personal journal regarding my heart's journey. Hope to share it with you all:

I have learnt a lot from the past week.
I have learnt not to be so weak.
I have learnt to be strong and fight.
Fight for the skills to think right.
Nothing can ever be that bad.
It's okay to be sad.
I know that life is precious.
It should be highly cherished.
We should embrace it.
Although sometimes you feel that you hate yourself.
Deep within, you really love yourself.
Even if you reach over that emotional wall.
It still can be hard, no one said it would be easy.
It takes time to heal those wounds even if they make you feel queasy.
Love yourself first before loving another.
Above all that do not forget no other.
Accept yourself for who you are.
You are what you are.
No one can change that.
And that's a fact.
I was given a bookmark for my birthday,
which says:God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Life is full of challenges and I can accept that.
Sometimes I succeed for that I take off my hat.
Sometimes I fail but life's like that.
It's okay to be me.
Even though at times I feel I am not one, I am not two, but three.
I accept the feelings I have and the problems I face.
I am learning quickly how to rely on Jesus to give me his grace.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Emptiness & Meaning Of Life

On Sunday in CCBC Dr Kit Ho (a lecturer from China Mission Training Centre) shared about the meaning of life according to Ecclesiastes. He talked about what "Emptiness" means -
  1. Emptiness is not a lament of the depressed
  2. Emptiness because there is nothing at the end
  3. Emptiness is a description of the virtual reality

The author of Ecclesiastes said that life is meaningless. Dr Ho said life is just like bubbles (virtual reality). He urged us to:

  • Put our life in God's hands
  • Enjoy our life with simple joy and gratitude
  • Help others (Happiness is helping others)

What do you reckon?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My Seven Secrets

In response to two of my blog buddies Kel and Keasty's tag, I'm going to give the shortened version of the sacred 'sevens' we are:

  1. One thing that attracts me to my husband: well, i can't tell you, cos i don't have one.
  2. One thing to do before I die: 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. One thing I cannot do: roll my tongue (arggg....i tried many times in vain!)
  4. One thing I say most often: that's cool!
  5. One book I love: The Guardians of the Great Commission by Ruth Tucker
  6. One movie I would watch over and over again: A Beautiful Mind
  7. One blog buddy I would like to tag: Rodney from the Journey (but all of you are welcome too).

Thank You

I mentioned in my previous post "Thoughts in anticipation of Christmas" that I plan to thank those people in my life who have given me the gifts of their time, and of their friendship, and of their love this past year, which are some of the greatest gifts of all.

So now I'd like to formally thank all of you blogosphere mates, readers and commenters who have been such an encouragement and blessing to me this year. Your gifts of time, friendship and love are much appreciated. So often when I am feeling a little 'blue' (you know what I mean), your personal emails, comments and prayers have sustained me and cheered me up.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Prayer Over The City Of Melbourne In Rialto

View from Observation Deck in Rialto Posted by Picasa

This morning I took part in an hour of Prayer & Worship at the Observation Deck at the Rialto Tower with the Transforming Melbourne Pastors Network, which aims to see Church impact Melbourne as a United Missionary Movement through the unity and prayer of churches of all denominations. I was so blessed by that one hour.
The focus today was to pray specifically for "QUEST", which is the combined churches Commonwealth Games outreach. I was very touched by the amount of commitment and work already put into place for this. The time of prayer with other intercessors this morning from different churches all around Melbourne was such an encouragement and blessing to me personally. And prayer walk initiatives in my own neighbourhood eg: Federation Square, MCG, Rod Laver Arena, Botanical Gardens, Queensbridge Square (which is just outside where I live), Exhibition Centre, Telstra Dome, Swanston Street, Docklands are well underway. I am so going to take part in them. And I encourage you all to join me too. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact me, or Quest direct. Their website is:

I heard that last year more than 60 people, from Australia and other countries, both young and old, travelled to Greece to run Awakening festivals at the time of the Olympics. The connections made with local people and the thousands visiting for the Games resulted in a newly emerging work in Greece where the church once again found a place in the community.

I am so convinced that the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne is another opportunity in a series of strategic moments. The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March 2006 offers the opportunity for the people of God to find their way back to the centre of their local community and culture, their proximity space. There are going to be over 70 nations represented here during the Games. If you are in Melbourne, I’d really like to encourage you to take part in this mission outreach. If you are outside of Melbourne, your prayers for the this lovely city before and during the Commonwealth games would be much appreciated.

Dear Lord, we delight to do You will! Father, we pray for unity! We pray that your Church in Melbourne would shine like the dawning of a new day! We ask that your Church be a witness during the Commonwealth games. May your Church see this opportunity as a time to fulfil your great Commission to "Go" into our world, and make disciples of all nations! Jesus make us One! One in heart! One in Mission! May the world see Your Church in loving action...Together, we pray for your Church to have eyes to see this divine appointment you have graciously given. Together, we declare this time as a time of Harvest! In Jesus' Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thoughts In Anticipation Of Christmas

Tonight I did some soul searching in anticipation of Christmas. I reflected on last year around the same time. I was depressed! And I was sad. I missed my dad who had gone on. And I thought about good friends and relationships that were no more. There was also disappointment in myself and in the choices that I had made.

This year things are different. There is a happiness in my heart towards the celebration of my Lord's birth. I plan to thank those people in my life who have given me the gifts of their time, and of their friendship, and of their love this past year, which are some of the greatest gifts of all.

The sights and sounds of the festive season are starting to emerge day by day. I believe the buying of gifts, decorating for the season, visiting family and friends, and helping those in need can be events through which people are open to encounter Christ anew. I think these expressions of anticipation and preparation for Christmas are important.

The use of Christmas lights can be a great sign of anticipation of the Light of Christ that was manifest in the world that 'first Christmas'. We as disciples of Jesus have a great gift to give a society of consumers: a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and sharing the love of God. We also have a chance to let Christ to become more present in our own hearts, homes and community in this blessed season. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season. And He is the meaning of Christmas.

So what are your thoughts in anticipation of Christmas?

Nyugen's Hanging

I received an email from some friends today, who said that they had given the Singapore owned Optus the flick in light of Van Nyugen's hanging. Nguyen claimed he was trafficking heroin to help pay off legal fees incurred by his twin brother Khoa. According to the news, the Prime Minister John Howard said he hoped the strongest message from the death would be to convince other young Australians not to get involved in drug offences in Asia.

I felt a deep sadness and distress when I saw Nguyen's mum on TV, after she had seen her son for the last time a few days ago, having held his hands. Today was a tragic and miserable day for Australia and the world, yet seriously I feel very ambivalent about it. I agree that the anti-drugs message and the anti-capital punishment measure are both important issues. The Australian government called Singapore's plan to hang Nyugen "barbaric". Many think it's a needless death, but don't we all need to be responsible for what we do? I am puzzled!

What do you think? Should Nyugen have been hanged or not?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Missional Model

I had some friends over for dinner tonight, and we had a great discussion about the ministry of Jesus, and how we could learn from Him. We talked about the Missional Model, which is one that focuses on the principles that Jesus taught His disciples. Jesus led His disciples by example in living out the Kingdom of God by being a servant to all He met. His servant leadership was sensitive to the people He came to serve, but was not dictated to by popular trends (and how often we do that in our ministry!). He listened to those on the periphery and the marginalised (tax collectors, foreigners and sinners etc.) and encountered them with the gospel. He saw their needs and responded in kindness. Through His ministry Jesus presented the gospel in a living and tangible way.

This is so important!I reckon the gospel 'bridge' must be two ways - not a monologue, not a debate or an argument, but through interaction, connection and dialogue - building relationships by listening and serving. The Bible is full of stores of God connecting and interacting with people. We need to re-tell the stories of this relationship and interation. The Trinity is a great example of community, interaction, and relationship. To be effective in sharing the good news of Jesus with friends who don't know the Lord, the Missional team must become a living, breathing gospel by being present within the community that they are called to, embodying / witnessing Jesus Christ (if necessary use words!) through faith and love in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring transformation and hope.

What do you think of this Missional model?