Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Whispered Into The Kingdom

I read in an article that the gradual process is the way in which the majority of people discover God and the average time taken is about four years: missional models (or models of evangelism) which can help people along the pathway are needed. So the implication is that most people are whispered into the kingdom slowly and graciously. Therefore a spirituality of engagement is important.

Do you agree?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Secular And Sacred

Madeleine L'Engle said in her book, Walking on Water, that there is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.

Emerging missional churches embody the desire to remove secular space. For these faith communities, there are no nonspiritual domains of reality. It was said that "secular space is as a bubble in the surround water. It is a place where God has been excluded."

What do you think?

Day By Day

I have been skim reading many books lately for my tutorial paper and major essay for my studies (in fact I just spent the whole night doing that). Started to ask myself, am I reading for the sake of the assignments and gaining knowledge, or am I reading to know Christ Jesus my Lord, so that I can see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly, and really practising what I read??

Ecc 12:12 “Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”

1Co 8:1 “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

“…..but love builds up.” I reckon if the motive of seeking knowledge is love, then knowledge will bring healing and harmony. Reading then is not just a logical activity, it’s also a discipline of godliness. Study is the challenge of the beginning of knowledge, it’s also the opportunity to serve the Lord and people.

I feel that this season (especially after Easter) takes me away from contacts with people. I have been mostly working alone in the office or at home (or in the library for that matter) rather than spending time with people (well I have been away from contacts with people on the blogosphere too). I am an extrovert, and constant time away from people makes me restless, and yet I need to be away from people to do the things I am involved in. I feel that people are so important, and spending time together is where meaningful interaction and connection take place.

One thing that I find challenging is that I am experiencing an inward change of heart and paradigm shift in various contexts, which is not often easy, but I think is important for me to know God, myself, the people around me, and in fact the world better. I really need the wisdom to recognise God's fingerprints in my life, and also know what He's doing around me, and get involved in those things He wants me to (isn't that the meaning of mission - to follow Jesus' footstep?).

Day by day, dear Lord, of you three things I pray - to see you more clearly, to love you more dearly, to follow you more nearly, day by day!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Need Nothing

I've written this poem based on Philippians 3:4-11, hope to share with you.

I Need Nothing

I need nothing I don’t need
Any reason to put my trust and confidence in the flesh

I need nothing Nothing other than
Being completely united with Christ, sharing in his sufferings, and becoming like him in his death

I need nothing I don’t need
All those things that I once thought was valuable – for Christ’s sake they are now mere garbage

I need nothing Nothing other than
Knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, and the power of his resurrection

I need nothing I don’t need
A righteousness of my own that comes from the commands of the law

I need nothing Nothing other than
The righteousness that comes from God and is through faith in Christ.

Hey I Am Back :)

Finally I heard from blogger this morning, and I was told that I actually had two usernames (how that happened I have no idea). I am so glad I can blog again. Thanks for all your prayers, especially my prayer partners.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sharing At MCBC

Melbourne Chinese Baptist Church. Posted by Picasa

Praise the Lord that I was given the opportunity to share with the brothers and sisters in Melbourne Chinese Baptist Church (MCBC) on the Great Commission tonight on behalf of World Team. It was great to meet the youth group as well as other young people from different fellowship groups.

It was encouraging for me to see their enthusiasm and passion for mission. It was really amazing to see God's work among His people (some of them have gone to various short term mission trips). Their generous financial support and offering for the work of World Team really touched me as well. It's such a privilege to serve the Lord alongside them.

Dear Father God, You have called us all to the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. Help us to just consider our personal commitment to Your mission and show us Lord what we must do, show us Lord what we must say, and show us Lord what we must give for the sake of Your Kingdom.

Please Lord, don’t let us be caught up and seduced by the comfort of the western world, or our own comfort zone. Please Lord let us commit today to your passion, your burden, and your heart for the world that you sent Jesus for.

Help us Lord. I ask this In Jesus’ Name. Amen!

The Lord Bless you!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

My Heart's Journey

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my sanity to keep.
On Lord, I don't want to lose my mind.
Your peace I do need to find.

I pray I find a little quiet. Far from the daily busy riot.
May I lie back--not have to think
about what they're stuffing down the sink.

Yes, now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know--
I must have lost them long ago!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Having A Break

Posted by Picasa

Recently I have been quite swamped with busy-ness. Tonight a still small voice came to me: "Be still and know that I am God. You are precious and loved. You don't have to involve in ceaseless activities to be valuable."

Because of that, I have made an executive decision (well I'd say a decision inspired by HIM) - I am going to have a break, so my posts here will not be as regular from now on. I'll still be around every now and then, but for the next few weeks, I am going to rest more, have solitude more often, and take more time out to be still.

Kitty's Update & Prayer Requests

Living Room
I've been enjoying and participating in Living Room regularly, which has been a good source of support and encouragement for me. I am really enjoying the friendships, while seeking to engage the local area in Melbourne.

Prayer Points:
Pray that God will use LR as an emerging missional church to fulfill His Great Commission.

My Postgraduate Studies At Tabor Bible College have been really stimulating, challenging and enjoyable! Pauline's Theology and Mission Practice focuses on the principles of the missional theology of Paul as they relate to the churches that are the product of mission in the two-thirds world and the contemporary western world. We have been discussing and grappling with issues related to a variety of settings (both overseas and in Australia contexts). I am now in the process of writing four book reviews, doing essays on Paul's strategy and approach for urban church planting, as well as emerging church in a postmodern context, which has really opened my eyes and broadened my horizon and understanding of mission.

Prayer Points: pray for Kitty's studies, so that she can put into practice what she learns in her ministries in mission.

I have coordinated and facilitated the Arts-Alive course (click for photos), which is a series of training modules for brothers and sisters who are interested in learning more about how to serve God through the creative arts ministry in CCBC. I have also been leading worship in the traditional cantonese service as well as in the English worship celebration on Sundays. I also enjoy serving in sermon interpretation, and some translation of drama scripts, and retreat / cell group materials etc.

Prayer Points: pray that God will bless Kitty's ministries in creative arts, worship, and interpretaion / translation in CCBC to glorify Him.

World Team
A number of exciting things have been happening in World Team Australia. After our "ZAP" Training, we continue to develop a comprehensive mission nurture course called "CLIMAT" (which stands for Church Linked Mission Awareness Training), and in the next few months, we will be serving a few church groups by facilitating this course in their church venues. I will also be sharing in MCBC on May 12 on the Great Commission and the work of World Team in unreached people groups.

World Team also took part in Swanston Street Church of Christ's 35th Missionary Convention, where we partnered in promoting Missions and God's Kingdom in their Missions Fair, which is a key feature of the convention. I have been encouraged by the messages and the response during this time. Swanston Street Church of Christ hopes to plan a short term team in partnership with us in the not too distant future, which is really encouraging!

In June, the World Team Taiwan Field Director Robb Branch and his family will come to Melbourne to share their mission of reaching the working class in Taiwan. The Lord is doing amazing things in a fast pace over there in Taiwan. For many years churches and missionaries are having hard time to get in the working class community. Now they are seeing breakthroughs, and so Robb and his wife Holly would like to share God's movement in Taiwan when they come to Melbourne. We have organised for them to share in a number of Chinese / Vietnamese churches already, if you are interested in having them share in your cell groups / services, please don't hesitate to contact me.

In talking with the WT account manager about my support level in World Team Australia and looking closely at my present regular support, we've established my financial support need is still lacking quite a bit every month. I praise God for the faithful supporters and good friends who give every month. But for those who've been asking if I need financial support, the answer is Yes! If you'd like to be part of His provision please contact me for more information.

Prayer Points: pray for Kitty in her ministry roles as a mission mobilizer with World Team. Remember her as she continues to update the World Team Australia website. Pray that she will have the wisdom in her interactions with people who are interested in mission, and that God will provide all her needs.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Attachment And Detachment

The concepts of attachment and detachment really intrigue me! The Bible said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21).

We desire to have the people, events, and things that we lack, but after we have tried our best to obtain them, we realize that they are not that special, or are not as ideal as we imagine. But we hold onto them, we are not willing to let go, and we live in the fear of losing them. These people, events and things have become our attachment. I think the motivation behind the life of attachment is fear.

According to some, detachment is an important discipline in devotional tradition, and is a path that leads us to be more intimate with God. They believe that since we attach because of fear, we naturally become afraid of entering the ‘darkness of detachment'. The prelude of detachment is often the disappointment of lives. We have various kinds of disappointment towards ourselves, others, church, relationships, marriage and career.

John the Cross described that as “lacking the desire for everything”, and starting to understand that the real satisfaction comes from God Himself, then we start to gradually release those people, events and things that we used to hold onto in the past, and focus on seeking Him. In the past, our desire was like a spoiled child, trying to find excitement and happiness recklessly.

Detachment helps us to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and through that brings healing of our souls. Since our psychological health is largely influenced by the object that we choose to attach to, if we place all our spiritual strength on various attachments, and request them to give us emotional satisfaction, our hearts will unavoidably experience conflict and anxiety. But if we put all our spiritual strength on God, only want to glorify Him, fear Him, rejoice in Him and hope in Him, we will experience wholeness and peace in our hearts.

Do you think it's true that we can only love God and people (the Great Commandment) when we detach from the people, events and things that we are attached to?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Paul's Conversion

During the intensive class on the weekend, we discussed the five ways which shaped Paul’s conversion:

(1) Paul was confronted with the living Christ – the fact that Jesus was alive revoluntionalised Paul’s life. His conversion radically transformed his life.
Do you have a conversion experience which transformed your life?

(2) Salvation was revealed as a new way – Paul’s before and after statements (Eph 2): darkness to light, dead to alive! The old way can’t be compared to the new way. On the Damascus Road, Paul encountered God in a radical way.
In the same way, God constantly confronts and reveals Himself to us, and we need to change the ways we do things to be aligned with Christ.

(3) It is God who takes the initiative and people respond.
How do you respond to God?

(4) Reconciling grace was the central issue behind Paul’s theology
How do you see grace? Is that central to your theology?

(5) Jesus is Lord – “Lord” is the same word for “Yaweh” in the Old Testament. The word “Lord” carried with it tremendous meaning for the Gospel and Kingdom of God. Every area of Paul’s life is touched by Christ’s Lordship.
Is Jesus your Lord? Is every area of your life touched by Christ's Lordship?