Thursday, March 30, 2006

Arts A-live

Arts A-live logo Posted by Picasa

These few weeks saw me busy preparing for the Arts A-live courses at work. These courses are going to take place on Monday 17 April. The vision of the Arts A-live is to develop genuine and dynamic worshippers through various training courses. The courses were planned and conducted throughout the year to enable brothers and sisters to learn arts in its various forms, and minister to the church as well as amongst the crowds in the wider community.

I believe that we can move from being just a spiritual seeker to being a creator (as an artist), sustainer, and nurturer of the beloved community, working to provide a home for to friends not yet met. We aim to raise Christ-like disciples and communities to impact all nations through creative arts.

God wants us in creative ministries to fulfill his purposes in Worship, Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry and Fellowship. He has given us a ‘set of tools’ to carve out His craftsmanship. There are three types of courses provided – short courses (to allow people to gain knowledge of creative arts), training events / seminars (run by the professionals in the field of creative arts locally or overseas), and learning through participation in the creative arts teams (project base).

On April 17, we will be having workshops on the following:
  • CCBC Creative Arts Ministry – what is creative arts? vision, mission (purpose), core values, worship and creative arts ministry, philosophy of ministry, strategy & the attitudes of serving.
  • Drama – the 7 basics of drama, expressions and emotions

May God use these courses to build up more faithful, diligent and effective ministers of Christ!

What do you think of the "A" logo above? It was designed by a good friend, and it's very meaningful.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lessons Learned

I read in a Christian magazine today about the life lessons that a minister learned, before he went to be with our Heavenly Father recently. And these lessons are very important and inspiring:

  1. The Importance of Understanding the Basis of our Acceptance by God
  2. The Importance of Having a Sense of Purpose and Vision for our Life
  3. The Importance of Family
  4. The Importance of Depending On and Honouring the Holy Spirit in Christian Service
  5. The Importance of Personal Devotional Life

What do you think of these 5 lessons?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Way Of Life According To The Celtic Church

At Living Room we had a gathering where the practice of the Celtic church was shared. Below is a summary of it:

The Celtic church affirmed and used the ministry of the Anamchara or soul friend. A Soul Friend needs to be a mature Christian who is in sympathy with the aims of the Community. (S)he does not need to belong to the Community of Aidan and Hilda but it is clearly helpful if they do. Each member of this Community will have a Soul Friend to work with them in developing a Way of life that is personally suited to them. The Way relates to the following ten areas of life, and is reviewed at agreed intervals.

1. Life-Long Learning

  • Daily Bible reading is at the heart of this way of life.
  • It is essential that study is not merely as an academic exercise.
  • Whatever is learned should be lived.
  • Celtic practice of memorising Scriptures, and learning through the use of creative arts is encouraged.

2. Spiritual Journey

  • Meet with our Soul Friend at least twice a year.
  • (S)he is someone who is familiar with the Community of Aidan and Hilda and seeks to discern with us where we are on that journey, what the Spirit is doing in our lives, and how God is leading us.
  • The Soul Friend gives guidance on two disciplines which the Community considers to be important:
    (a) Regular retreats, with regular days of quiet and reflection, and also an annual retreat. (b) Pilgrimage to tread in the shoes of Christ or his saints in order to make contact with the many rich experiences which are to do with being a pilgrim. Such pilgrimages draw us into deeper devotion to our Lord Jesus and will inspire us to mission. Members might seek out communities of prayer.

3. Rhythm of Prayer, Work and Re-creation

  • Prayer: The use of daily patterns of worship and regular prayer is encouraged. Ways of praying will vary according to temperament. The Community encourages a renewal of 'all kinds of praying' (Ephesians 6.18), from contemplative prayer to celebratory praise.
  • Work: We welcome work as a gift from God. Every member should engage in work, whether it be the routine activities of life or paid employment. Work motivated by values which conflict with the Way should be avoided as much as possible. In humility we accept what God gives us.
  • Rest: The hours of rest and recreation are as valuable as the hours of prayer and work. The Lord Jesus reminds us that 'the Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath' (Mark 2:27). In the Scriptures even the land was given a Sabbath in the seventh year (Leviticus 25: 3-5). The need for rest was built into creation (Genesis 2: 1-3). A provision for this kind of rest, which is both holy and creative, should be part of each member's personal Way of Life.

4. Spiritual Initiatives through Intercession

  • Engaging in and becoming familiar with intercessory prayer is important. We do not project on to the supernatural what belongs to the sphere of human responsibility. We affirm national initiatives in intercessory prayer.

5. Simplicity of Life-style

  • We wish to 'live simply that others may simply live', to avoid any sense of judging one another
  • Common responsibility is to regularly hold before God our income, our savings, our possessions, conscious that we are stewards, not possessors of these things, and making them available to him as He requires.
  • A simple life-style means setting everything in the simple beauty of creation. Our belongings, activities and relationships are ordered in a way that liberates the spirit; we cut out those things that overload or clutter the spirit.
  • We are not seeking a life of denial for we thoroughly rejoice in the good things God gives us. Our clothes and furniture should reflect God-given features of our personalities.
  • There is a time to feast and celebrate as well as to fast. Our commitment is to openness. We stand against the influence of the god of mammon in our society by our life-style, by our hospitality, by our intercession, and by regular and generous giving.

6. Care for Creation

  • God's creation as essentially good, but spoilt by the effects of human sin and satanic evil.
  • Ecologically aware, to pray for God's creation and all his creatures, and to stand against all that would seek to violate or destroy them. We look upon creation as a sacrament, reflecting the glory of God, and seek to meet God through his creation, to bless it, and to celebrate it.

7. Healing Fragmented People and Communities

  • The spirit of self-sufficient autonomy is renounced, and holistic approach and ministry of Christian healing are encouraged.
  • Seek to become more fully human as we grow in Christ, and we believe that 'the glory of God is seen through a life fully lived' (Irenaeus).

8. Openness to God's Spirit

  • Allowing God to take us where the Spirit wills, and being open to the leading of the Spirit are essential.
  • The gift of prophecy is honoured.
  • Seeking to cultivate an interior silence that recognises and sets aside discordant voices, to respond to unexpected or disturbing promptings of God, to widen our horizons, to develop 'the eye of the eagle' and see and hear God through his creation.

9. Unity

  • All fellow Christians are not 'strangers but pilgrims together'.
  • The Celtic church honoured, trusted and went with the grain of the human communities it worked amongst, and seek to cultivate a solidarity with all people in everything except sin, to value all that is truly human in them, and to shed attitudes and practices that put up barriers between the church and the people.

10. Mission

  • 'The whole created order may be reconciled to God through Christ' (Colossians 1.20).
  • Living as one Christian community so 'that the world may believe' (John 17.21).
  • The goal of the way of life is to develop a disciplined spirituality to be effective in witness to Christ in the world.
  • The Celtic church evangelised from grassroots communities which springs naturally from the community of the local church, and out of the Community.
  • Believing that the Holy Spirit leads the church into new initiatives to bring God to the people.
  • Faith is shared wherever opportunity is given. Evangelisation is not simply a duty, but because the Spirit of God is giving us a heart for the lost.
  • Mission also includes speaking out for the poor, the powerless and those unjustly treated in our society, and to minister to and with them as God directs.

So which out of these 10 points do you see as important for your faith communities?

Monday, March 27, 2006

A clearer picture of the 'flying angel' Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Flying Angel

"Flying Angel" Posted by Picasa

This beautiful 'flying angel' was in the Myer Music Bowl during Festival Melbourne who was performing during the intervals of the musical performances. This image of her reaching down to the kids reminded me of God's love and His Incarnation. What do you reckon?

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Tribal Expressions

The Tribal Expressions - the business of art and culture in Indigenous Victoria, Australia was one of the highlights of Festival Melbourne. The Showcase was presented by the Koori Business Network for the Office of Commonwealth Games Coordination under the Respecting Indigenous Communities Strategy.

These expressions include various materials like quotes, statements, painting, sculptures and performing arts. Most of the art works were inspired by the Australian Indigenous culture, and were representations of people's perspectives, how they saw the world through Aboriginal people's eyes.

I could see that the XVIII Commonwealth Games have had a profound effect on Melbourne. Like the motto of the games, "united by the moment". This event has been a unifying and inspiring force, as it has presented opportunities for people to connect. Experiencing Indigenous Victorian culture through the Tribal Expressions exhibition and showcase events was great. The artefacts, ceramics, visual arts and performing arts at different venues in Melbourne surely showed me how talented our Aboringinal people are, and it was an awesome way to celebrate the diversity of the cultures not only in Melbourne or Australia, but across the Commonwealth too.

I am thankful I have had the opportunity to enjoy the Tribal Expressions - as to me the concept of a 'tribe' is extremely important, even in EC / faith communities. You know I now see that I have various circle of friends in various 'tribes' and you blogger mates are certainly one of them. Thank you all for being in my tribe! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Emerging Church In Postmodern Context & Clergy

Garth from emergingBlub emailed me a very interesting link to The Krow's site about "The Fallacy of Ordination" , which talks about the origin of the term 'clergy' & 'pastor'. According to these people, the origin of 'clergy' came from 3rd and 4th century Roman influences, rather than Paul's understanding.

I am doing an essay on emerging church (EC) in a postmodern context based on Paul's examples about the establishment and growth of new faith communities, so this is quite relevant. The EC (which is often without 'clergy') may well be more closely aligned with Paul's teaching than the current models of church institution. Wow that is really a challenging thought to me personally! I will need to chew on it and do more research on it.

If you have any ideas on EC, postmodern context, Paul's examples, clergy etc, I would be very interested in hearing them. Please send me a comment on your opinions.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Conedancers Posted by Picasa

One of the street theatre performances during the Festival Melbourne that I enjoyed was "Conedancers" outside the Arts Centre. It was really interesting! Two aerialists bathed in music and light perform a duet in and around a high inflatable cone. Conedancers begins with a boy and girl caught in a ritualised folkdance halfway up the side of the cone. As they become carried away by their passion, they express their love to each other. Acrobatic and upbeat, passionate and moving, this was really a spectacular performance of suspended choreography.

This performance got me thinking about expressing love and being authentic. Gandhi said: “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave”. Let's be brave and tell your loved ones that you love them!

My blogger friends, I love you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What Is Your Love Language?

I enjoyed reading Dr Gary Chapman's book "5 Love Languages". He said that to truly connect with a loved one there is one simple fact: you need to know and speak his or her love language. A love language is the way we express our commitment, and it can be learned or changed to touch the hearts of those we love. Whether you’re a child, a spouse, a parent, or a single, the five love languages are the same:

  1. Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation
    Verbal compliments, words of appreciation, and encouragement
  2. Love Language #2:Quality Time
    A central aspect of quality time is togetherness, which has to do with giving our full attention to the other person.
  3. Love Language #3:Receiving Gifts
    Gifts are visual symbols of love, which have great emotional values.
  4. Love Language #4:Acts of Service
    Acts of service are things that you do for your loved one. Such actions as cooking a meal, washing dishes, cleaning the house, mowing the grass etc.
  5. Love Language #5:Physical Touch
    Holding hands, kissing and hugging are all ways of communicating emotional love.

So what is your love language?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Festival Melbourne 2006

Festival Melbourne 2006 is twelve days of non-stop music, dance, circus, street theatre and visual arts from all the corners of the Commonwealth that are adding an extra sparkle to the whole Commonwealth Games experience. I have been taking part in some of these arts events, and they are great! Best of all, everything's free during the Games!

Heavenly Father, I pray for everyone, especially the international visitors to Melbourne. I pray for all those athletes participating in the Commonwealth Games, that they would be safe, and that their eyes would be open to the witness of Christ's love and grace during their time here! Lord Jesus Christ, shine through Your people in this city that people would see You! Pray that all the venues for the Games would be protected by the Name that is above all Names. May your Kingdom come, and Your will be done right here in Melbourne. In Jesus' Precious Name, Amen!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Where Does Your Heart Go?

Where Does Your Heart Go? Posted by Picasa

Today my mentor Professor Brown was preaching at CCBC on the topic of "where does your heart go?" based on the Scripture from Matthew 6:24-34.

Mt 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Mt 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Mt 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Mt 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
Mt 6:28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Mt 6:29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Mt 6:30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Mt 6:31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
Mt 6:32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Mt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Mt 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The following is the summary of the sermon:

Your “Heart” is in the driver’s seat - it controls your whole person:

What Jesus says is up to date.

  1. Finance
    The passion to become wealthy: you can’t take it with you!
  2. Food
    The media appeal to our desire to eat well. 20% of Australians are overweight.
  3. Fashion
    Big business. We cannot rival nature. To be neat and clean is sufficient.


  • Our world shows us the folly of our fancies.
  • God provides adequately for birds, flowers etc.
  • Our interference is futile – fertilizers foul rivers; Cane toads have become a threat.


  • To fill our hearts and minds with our fancies leads to disaster.
  • God or mammom. “God’s Kingdom” is where God alone is King;
  • Righteousness is Godly living.
  • Don’t try to carry excess luggage.
  • We are not to sit and be idle, but do what the King commands.

This was a great reminder for many of us. If we focus on God's kingdom and righteousness, even our fancies (finance, food & fashion) which are by themselves futile, will be added to us!

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. " (Matthew 6:33)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Decision Making

There are times in my life where I go back and forth to decide whether I should do this and that, while often times I just make up my mind and go for it. This morning, I received an email forward from a good friend, and it really got me thinking. I would like to share it with you:

Elijah went up before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing. (1 Kings 18:21)

A long time ago, when the world was young, the birds and the beasts were engaged in a bitter war. The bat, not wanting to be on the losing side, whichever that might be, tried to be on both sides. Whenever the birds won a battle, he would fly with them, telling everyone he was a bird. When the beasts won, he would walk around, assuring everyone that he was a beast. It didn't take long for the bat's hypocrisy to be discovered. He was rejected by both the birds and the beasts. From that day on the bat has had to go into hiding. To this day, he lives in dark caves, only daring to come out at night."

Don't waver between two opinions today. Instead, follow God wholeheartedly. It could well be that at work or at home today you will be very tempted to flit back and forth from one 'camp' to another 'camp'. I encourage you not to do that. Make up your mind right now whom you will serve and live for today - and then stick to it. Will it be Almighty God? Or will it be the other enticements around you that can trap you in their web - money, pleasure, position, power, 'saving face' even when you know you are wrong, and so on. It's your call - your choice. But remember, eternal consequences could well be at stake here either for you or for other people. Yes, let's make wise and God-honoring choices today, and everyday!

What do you think?

Friday, March 17, 2006


Dear Lord,

My friends are important to me!

Lonely roads are hard to walk!
When I fall down, I need someone to hold me up
When I am hurt, I need someone to comfort me
When I am alone, I need someone to keep me company
When I am happy, I need someone to share with me

Good Friends:
When I am in pain, they share the burden with me
When I succeed, they won't be jealous of me
When I fail, they won't leave me
When I am proud, they rebuke me
When I am wrong, they correct me
If I have wronged against them, they forgive me

My Dear Lord:
Before I have others' friendship, please teach me how to be other's friend
Not looking at others according to:
what they wear
how much knowledge they have
how wise they are
how pretty / handsome they are

Help me:
not to be proud of my strengths
not to look down on others' weaknesses
not to boast about my success
not to forget others' blessings

Teach me:
to speak gently
to have a kind attitude
to be cheerful
to be faithful

Even though I may not do anything big for my friends, lead me to give my care, concern and prayers !
I long to be a blessing to all of my friends, my loved ones!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Four Things Meme

CB had a four things meme on his blog, and he had an “open tag” invitation, so I volunteered to tag myself, as the questions are quite interesting. So here we are:
  • Four jobs I’ve had: 1. Proof-reader 2. Waitress 3. Marketing Executive 4. Tours Coordinator / Guide
  • Four movies I enjoy: 1. A Beautiful Mind 2. Romero 3. Lost in Translation 4. Jesus Film
  • Four places I’ve lived: 1. Kowloon, Hong Kong 2. Windsor 3. Hoppers Crossing 4. Thornbury
  • Four shows I watch: 1. The Great Outdoor 2. Dancing with the stars. 3. Home & Away 4. Amazing Race
  • Four places I’ve vacationed: 1. Malaysia 2. Paris 3. London 4. Gold Goast
  • Four websites I like: (apart from all of my lovely blogger friends' blogs, which are too many to list) - 1. Google 2. One Year Bible Blog 3. Prayer List 4. World Team International / World Team Australia
  • Four of my favorite foods: 1. Sashimi 2. Soy sauce or fried pigeon & Salad 3. Durian 4. Chicken's Feet
  • Four places I’d like to be right now: 1. Peru 2. Switzerland 3. India 4. actually, come to think of it, I am very happy where I am right now - Melbourne is a great city!!! I am content :D

Ok, I'm going to make this an open tag invitation too. If you are interested, you can just do this on your blog, and let me know. Hope to hear from you soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

United By The Moment

Commonwealth Games Live Site @ Federation Square Posted by Picasa

Today (15th March) was the first day of the Commonwealth Games, and although it wasn't a day off for me, I went straight to my neighbourhood - the Federation Square - after work where one of the Commonwealth Games Live Sites was.

A friend and I went to "Time Out Cafe" in the square to have dinner, and it turned out that there was a TV screen in there right in front of us. We got to see the opening ceremony there, with some performances (it was quite interesting to see a Melbourne tram with wings, as well as many other things with wings hehe). The Melbourne skyline erupted in a blaze of fireworks as the city celebrated the groundbreaking Opening Ceremony to mark the start of the XVIII Commonwealth Games. Athletes and people from 71 nations have come to Melbourne to take part in this event.

I had a great night! And I am so glad that although many of us are not in Melbourne, I can share with you on my blog here. :) You know what? I feel that truly the mission field is on the door steps of Melbourne. During my days off, I will be serving as a volunteer for the 'Word Art Games Exhibition' with a visual artist David White. His works will be exhibited at three city locations. The Games' motto is 'united by the moment'! May we pray and serve together, so that people are not only united by the moment, but eternally in Christ! Please pray for those who outreach and serve during the Commonwealth Games.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lent and Everyday Spirituality

Today I was reminded of the season of Lent again. Lent has traditionally been a time for followers of Christ to deny themselves of a worldly desire or pleasure. It's a time in which we focus ourselves more intently upon God without all the distractions of our normal lives. The self-denial of Lent enables us to more fully understand Jesus’ self-denial in going to the Cross. Lent reminds us of our reliance on the Holy Spirit, and not our own achievements, to keep us in relationship with the Father and His Son. Even though Lent is an old tradition, I believe it does allow people's spirituality to be awakened if they engage with it. I believe that Lent shouldn't be celebrated only by a few followers of Christ, it should be accessible to everyone, as I think it can help people to grow in God's Presence.

Apart from denying ourselves of pleasure (or fasting), we can actually do something proactive to celebrate Lent. You can get some good ideas through the Lent Calendar 2005. There are some really meaningful activities worth participating.

One of the examples of the activity was this: Think of a disease that has affected those you love. Press the mute button during TV commercials, and spend the minutes praying for people who suffer from that disease.

I went to St Paul's Cathedral yesterday, and I was invited to write down a prayer for people that I knew who were sick. I didn't do that in the church, but when I saw this suggested activity on the Lent Calendar, I thought of my dad, my grandma and some friends who had died of cancer.....and I spent time praying for those who suffered from cancer right now. Really life is so short and unpredictable! We need to treasure everyday, and cherish the people that we love. Just the other day, I was discussing with a friend about what we would do if we only had one day left to live.

What would you do if you only had one day to live? What's the priority of your life?

Monday, March 13, 2006

World Team Camp Photos

World Team Camp participants Posted by Picasa

More photos can be seen for the great weekend here :

Please pray for World Team Australia as we continue to promote Christ's cause by mobilizing His children to live and work cross-culturally in mission for His glory.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Show Your True Colors

Geographic Channel states that all animals show their inner feelings through outward behaviors, but only human beings can choose not to show their true colours. It is possible for misperceptions or misunderstanding to occur. What we don't know about others may weaken the relationship. At times, our actions don't necessarily reflect our genuine feelings or personality. The potential trouble lies in not being willing to drop the facade of being your best possible self to reveal your usual self. Some people seem to fear that such a metamorphosis would be far too frightening and threatening for the other people to take.

I read somewhere that the truth seldom hurts as much as trying to avoid the truth. Many of our problems can be resolved only after we take a long, clear look at ourselves and the personalities of the people we care about. Do you agree?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Finding God Everywhere

Have you ever realised that God can be found everywhere, from the most obvious places, to the most unexpected places? This idea came to me as I started reading Philip Yancey's book about it. God is not only to be found in great majestic cathedrals , supernatural visions or inside the four walls of the church building. We can find God in the wonders of His creations (eg: koala, polar bear, beautiful sceneries, the blue sky, platypus, elephant, the beach, the clouds, the sun and the wind, butterflies and people etc), in the middle of idealism, renaissance or cultural revolution, in the oppressive prisons of Peru and Chile, in the slums of Manila or Calcutta, even in the plays of Shakespeare and Hollywood movies (eg: Bruce Almighty), and of course in God's Word through the Bible, and His people. And yes if you look at the mirror, you can even find God in yourself, because we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). As we discover God's fingerprints or footprints in all different places, so our understanding of God's beauty, love and power continues to grow. Truly God can be found everywhere. He is really close to us, and may not be as far away as we think. Praise God for that!

So where are some of the unlikely places that you have encountered God?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Money Talk in LR

This Tuesday at LivingRoom we had our big gathering where a sermon on money and generosity was preached by Darren Rowse. The following is a summary of the sharing:

  • There are 2350 verses on money in the Bible. In fact, the topic of money and possessions appears more than almost any other topic (it's second only to 'the Kingdom of God'). So we can see that money is something on God's mind quite a bit.
  • Some words / ideas of what the group thought of when they thought of money include consumerism, security, power, happiness, status, evil, sign of achievement or success,"If you have it, spend it!", "if you don't have it, there is something wrong!", money is a private thing.
  • Messages that the church tells us about money include: money is a sign of blessing, "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: (1 Timothy 6:10), it's hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, prosperity doctrine, poverty theology, tithing etc.

Darren talked about 7 themes of money and giving:

  1. Everything is God's, including money of course (Psalms 24:1, Haggai 2:8)
  2. Motivation is more important than the act (2 Cor 9)
  3. Giving is in the same context as needs (Acts 2 and 4)
  4. Secrecy and humility (Matthew 6)
  5. There is an impulse towards simplicity
  6. Reward and blessing (Matthew 6)
  7. Sacrifice (Luke 21)

So what are your ideas about money, and how do you feel about money personally?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Games Is Coming To Town

When a big event like the Commonwealth Games comes to town, it's really exciting, not only for the locals, and also people from many nations (there are athletes coming from 71 nations for the Games). There will be numerous activities going on during the time, whether it's table tennis, aquatics diving sport, swimming, squash, synchronised swimming, gymnastics or non-sporting events like arts or shopping, really Melbourne city is going to be 'a happening place' from next Wednesday onwards for over 10 days. And I heard a rumour that ballroom dancing will be destined for inclusion in the next Commonwealth Games. Wow! All the more reason and motivation to learn ballroom dancing right?

Apart from sports, arts is going to be another big thing during this period. Groundbreaking work by artists from many countries across the Commonwealth will be available during the games, which include special exhibitions, artist and curator talks, live performances, film screenings and education events etc. Visiting International and local exhibiting artists will provide insight into their practice.

My visual artist friend David White will have the 'Word Art Exhibition' during the games. His works will be exhibited at three different location in city venues, and I'll help him be the greeter for the exhibition. I am so looking forward to all these. Let the games begin!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bruce Almighty

Last night the movie 'Bruce Almighty' was shown on national television. And I really enjoyed watching it! The story was about Bruce Nolan, a TV reporter, who is not satisfied with almost everything in his life, and always complains about God. God appears in human form, giving Bruce the almighty powers, and challenges Bruce to take on the big job of running the world to see if he can do it any better.

One of the central messages and the tagline of this movie is "if you want a miracle, BE A MIRACLE!" And that really hit home to me! I do believe that we can be a miracle and make things happen with God's help, and in God's strength. Towards the end, Bruce realised that he needed to trust in God, and not try to be god himself. It's probably a common mentality that if people could run the world, they would certainly make it better. Some would end world hunger, some would make world peace, and others would just fix the problems in their own lives and relationships etc. But few people would ever consider the burden and awesome responsibility of the universe's most absolute and supreme power, and how would prayers be answered? Surely only God can do that as He is the Creator. I liked the fact that Bruce learned what was important in his life, and he said a really good prayer from his heart, wishing the best for his girl friend before going back to the 'earth'. That was really touching!

I think `Bruce Almighty' is both meaningful and humorous. It also reminds me that God does have a great sense of humor. Do you agree?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Paul The Theologian and Missionary

Yoohoo!! I've gone back to Tabor Bible College again, after over two years since my graduation. This time I'm doing a special intercultural studies elective called "Pauline Theology and Mission Practice", which is a subject that will help the students to:
  • Outline the basic principles of Paul's missional theology and practice;
  • Examine the process of conversion in the two-thirds world and the western world from a Pauline perspective;
  • Discuss specific issues and problems relate to new church communities in a variey of contexts.
  • Assess the role and ministry of a missionary or missional practitioner in a variety of settings;
  • Understand the qualities appropriate and convictions required for those working in a missional context; and
  • Evaluate approaches to the establishment of new churches in the light of Paul's theological and missiological perspective.

I had such a great time during the weekend schools on Friday and Saturday. The notes, class discussions, powerpoint presentations, DVD, and informal interactions with other students were all so enjoyable. I am really looking forward to learning more about Paul - the great apostle, theologian and missionary.

As part of the assessment of the module, we have to do a creative project about one aspect of Paul's life, mission, ministry or theology that has impacted me. We can write a poem or a song, make a video, poster or painting for it. I am stratching my head now!! :-) Please send me a comment if you think of any good idea for my project hehe.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Wonderings About Luke 5:1-11

I'm wondering:

Verse 1: what people had heard about Jesus that made them want to come and hear Jesus teach, and what God's message is? What would Jesus tell people?

Verse 2: how hard nets are to wash? if the fisherman enjoyed themselves?

Verse 3: what Peter was listening to and what he thought about that?

Verse 4: what goes through Simon's mind when he heard Jesus asking him to row the boat out into the deep water....what goes through your mind when you heard Jesus speaking here? I was very challenged by Jesus here, what about you?

Verse 5: what makes you too tired as to make you start complaining even before you realise who it is you're complaining to?

Verse 6: what rips your nets?

Verse 7: if you ever ask for help?

Verse 8: how it feels to know the truth about yourself and to know its wrong and to be guilty?

Verse 9:how surprised you would be to see a miracle, the power of God at work in your life?

Verse 10: what the oppsite of fear is?

Verse 11:what it means to leave everything to go with Jesus?

Tell me what your answers are to these wonderings if you like.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

BYO Worship in Living Room

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent. After a bit of rest, I attended Living Room last night again. It was another BYO Worship night. The idea of these nights is to bring along something to do as a group that will engage people in some connection with God (the last BYO Worship we did was recorded here).

This time, we did it without a set theme, but interestingly what we came up with seemed to have a common theme. The followings were what we did:
  • we had a teaching on what Lent is, and then some ash was being put on our foreheads as we were told to "turn away from your sin, and turn towards the gospel".
  • The other BYO worship was a visual presentation on Jesus' 40 days in the desert (representation of 40 days of the season of Lent). The pictures were drawn by a Christian illustrator, and they were very inspiring!
  • we had a guided imagination & meditation on Luke 19:27-44.
  • I shared some of the wonderings I had from Luke 5:1-11 (email me if you are interested in what they are).
  • A poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay was read. This poem had been shared by Brian Mclaren the previous week when he had been in Melbourne. The images of the poem were beautiful. Then we were also reminded of Psalms 119:105 and John 8:31-32.
  • someone shared some tomato relish that she had made which was a tradition from her grandma, who used to give away jars to the family.
  • Our last BYO worship was the story of how a member of LR worships God through his involvement with sports - in playing in a touch footy team in his neighbourhood and his involvement as a coach of a cricket team of young kids in the school that he teaches at.

I really enjoyed the night. It was very inspiring and challenging. May God Bless you all during this Lent Season!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More Wedding Photos

The Couple With The CCBC Family Posted by Picasa

Received an email from Kevin the groom, who sent us the following link
of over 350 photos from the wedding (obviously it was chosen from over 1500 photos all up!!)

Please note, there are TWO volumes (2 albums) in this link.

When clicking on the link, select VIEW PICTURES, and then click on SLIDE SHOW.


Beyond Borders

During the World Team mission camp, we watched the Hollywood movie "Beyond Borders". Beyond Borders is a romance film focusing on two people who are in the world's most dangerous places. Angelina Jolie acts as an American living in London, who is married to a wealth British guy. When she encounters Clive Owen, who acts as a doctor, whose impassioned plea for help to support his relief efforts in war-torn Africa moves her deeply. As a result, these two embark upon a journey of discovery that lead to danger, heartbreak and romance in the far corners of the world.

This film also talks about the differences between the wealthy and the poor. As the movie suggests, people often discover that the materially poor are often spiritually rich while those that are wealthy physically are often (or can be) spiritually poor. That is really an irony! It reminds me of the fact that our lives in the wealthy west are so trivial and we need to understand just how blessed we are. We can all grow richer when we reach beyond borders, and share what we have. Together we find new meaning for our lives and the strength to build a world where God's peace and justice reign. May God's Kingdom come (beyond borders) on earth, as it is in heaven.