Thursday, August 31, 2006
I shared a meditation that I learned, which is believed to be one of the doorways to wellbeing as we connect to Jesus. It's called Selah Meditation. Here goes:
“Selah” is an ancient Jewish musical term found in the OT book of Psalms (or songs) that means “to pause and contemplate that which was just sung.” It has formed part of Jewish and Christian traditions for centuries. We cannot fully absorb the meaning of the biblical text nor can we hope to hear from God and the truth he wants to speak to us unless we are willing to pause and contemplate.
This form of meditation does not seek to empty our minds but rather calls us to enter the place of SELAH – which stands for: Stop, Enter, Listen, Apply, Humble. We are to Stop and Enter God’s presence and have our minds renewed as we Listen to His voice of truth. Then we are to Apply it to our lives and Humble ourselves by believing and speaking out Spiritual truths rather than our own ideas.
Then I read the following scriptures and invited the community members to meditate using SELAH:
John 6:47-51 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”
John 14:1 Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Romans 3:21-28, “….now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. Ro 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, Ro 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Ro 3:24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Ro 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—Ro 3:26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Eph 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
You can give it a try if you like.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Exercise should not be painful, time consuming, expensive or even boring. If you are anything like me (who have been lacking exercise, and hence physcial stamina), I'd like to encourage you to get moving.
Ok, it's time to be honest. Are you as active as you possibly could be? One of the main reasons our obesity rates are so high is because we simply do not move enough. It seems, with all our modern day technology at our fingertips, we don't really need to move to do things. Many of us say we are too busy or tired to exercise, however, if you knew exactly what being more active could do for you, chances are you would change your mind in an instant. (like I did!)
Regular exercise can have the following amazing benefits:
- increase your metabolism to help you burn faster
- help you achieve and suntain weight loss
- help you sleep more soundly
- reduce lower back pain
- guard against cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure)
- increase "good (HDL) cholesterol
- help fight off depression etc....
National health guidelines suggest we should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 3-4 times a week. Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous, difficult, or challenging - it just needs to be regular. It's one of my goals to keep moving and being more active. What about you?
Sunday, August 27, 2006
People need people and friends need friends
And we all need love for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or on worldly fame,
But just in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers-
For only the knowledge that we're understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life's greatest need
When we "lock up our hearts" and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind
Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware
That life's completeness and richness depends
On the things we share with our loved ones and friends.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
- exists to take the gospel to unreached people groups
- aims to plant new churches by working together with partners from around the world
- is committed to life long training
- aims for church multiplication
- values the church as God’s strategic agency for reaching the world for Christ
One of the highlights of working with World Team is the opportunity to know about the stories of many faithful missionaries. An inspiring story is the Yali story - an incredible & amazing transformation of stone-age cannibals to people who live in faith, hope and love.
Unless the gospel is preached to those who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, they will perish for all eternity. Let's pray for the unreached peoples of the world!
Friday, August 25, 2006
Alain de Botton is a highly respected writer. He owns his own production company, which regularly broadcasts documentaries based on his own works. The film talks about how theories of philosophers such as Epicurus and Socrates etc. can be applied to our modern everyday lives, especially the concept of happiness. He also talks about ideas of unpopularity, feelings of inadequacy, financial worries, broken hearts and the general problem of suffering as an opposite of happiness. This film has both been praised and criticised for its therapeutic approach to philosophy.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
- Leviathan (sea monster): Job 41:1
- Yam (sea personified): Dan 7:2,3
- Tanniyn (dragon): Ps 74:13
- Tehom (chaotic ocean): Ps 33:7
Then he went on to discuss the two Greek words used by Aristotle, "Phronesis and Techne". They are two ways of dealing with life. Phronesis is the reality that the earth moves, so we need to move as well. Consequently movement brings growth. "You can only walk through a river once." On the other hand, "Techne" denotes rigid, structure and not changing or moving. He used the treadmill as an example that we need to keep moving in order to move forward, if we were to stay still on a treadmill, we would fall. That really makes sense doesn't it? We also discussed the following questions (perhaps you can let me know of your thoughts too...)
- Is the dynamic (chaotic?) nature of God part of what it means to be made in his image?
- Is so, what does that mean for: ethics, forgiveness, and how we approach one another?
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I believe an intercessor must have love. Otherwise, their prayer is in vain. As someone said ( I can't remember who though ....), one of the hardest and the most important works for this sinful world is the work of intercession, the work of going to God and taking time to pray and lay hold of Him. Oh may God give us the great gift of intercession, a spirit of prayer and supplication!
If you want to be an online intercessor, please feel free to join Corry and Kc's prayer list here, where we intercede for one another.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
"Is there any significance of the cross (as opposed to a stake) other than being historically and biblically accurate, and more torturous?"
Please understand that the question is not asking about which one is historically/biblically accurate, but what sets the cross apart. David has found information on the web which have all been debates over cross versus stake, not what sets a cross apart. One of an intersting sites David suggested is called Jerusalem Burial Cave Reveals:Names, Testimonies of First Christians, although it was merely referring to crosses as being an early-christian symbol.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
First of all, we had a time of meditation / contemplation led by an accredited Journey Therapist. It was a gentle, meditative healing modality, and it was facilitated with grace and respect and gentleness. According to her, the Journey is about Freedom . . .Freedom to live our life as we’ve always dreamed it could be. It is believed that the possibility exists for us all to become absolutely free, whole and healed. We are capable of getting to the root cause of these issues, resolving them, letting them go completely, and setting ourselves free to live our life at our highest potential, as a full expression of our true self. It was nurturing!
After that, we embraced silence through poetry, art and music. There was the awakening to beauty in nature, people and the arts, the discovering healing, inner peace and joy, as well as offering inspiration in meeting life's challenge. We listened to poems read, and music played while enjoying the images of beautiful works of Monet, Courbet, Turner, Pissarro, Manet, Munch, Sisley, and Constable projected.
The my friends Linda and Marg performed two beautiful liturgical dances, where I could see that their movements were really worshipful acts. They were so inspirational!
Silence is really golden!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Jesus' whole life was a witness to his Father's love, and Jesus calls his followers to carry on that witness in his Name. We, as followers of Jesus, are sent into this world to be visible signs of God's unconditional love. Thus we are not first of all judged by what we say but by what we live. When people say of us: "See how they love one another," they catch a glimpse of the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced and are drawn to it as by a magnet.
If we want to visualize a ‘typical’ contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a Brazilian favela” As of 2000, only 39% of the world’s one and a half billion Christians live in the industrialized West. By 2025, fully 70% of Christians will live in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. (Cited by Ian Douglas, “Globalization and the Local Church”, in Stackhouse, p.203).
Father God, may Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Fasting is the abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. Jesus’ teaching on fasting is related to his teaching on giving and praying. Fasting must centre on God, with our eye singly fixed on Him. Jesus cares for the poor and marginalised, and so should we! My experience in terms of fasting has been that each time I do it, God always gives me a renewed sense of conviction to serve Him and His people as I spend time in prayers. So prayers and fasting do go together, and God honours that!
Every time when I fast and pray, I sense an intimate closeness with Christ and feel an increased effectiveness in intercessory prayer and concentration. I believe the discipline of fasting can transform us into Christ likeness as well.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I'm going to do the World Vision 40 Hour Famine in August this year (this weekend). I'll be going without food for 40 hours to raise money to help feed hungry kids. Just $40 will help feed and care for 8 children in East Timor and Southern Africa for a whole month. To find out more about how the funds raised are going to be used click on http://www.worldvision.com.au/40HourFamine/about_funds.asp.
Could you please support me by giving a donation?If you can, simply visit the World Vision 40 Hour Famine website (http://www.40hourfamine.com.au) and click on Donate Here. Donations are tax deductible and the minimum amount is $2. You will receive a receipt as soon as you've made the donation.When it asks you for the Famine Number, please enter 26183760-3. This makes sure that the donation is recorded against me and that I'm sent a record of your donation.You can also go directly to the donate screen by clicking here https://famine.worldvision.com.au/famine.cgi?a=SPONSOR_&p
Thank you very much!
Monday, August 14, 2006
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
If you want God to lead you in life, put Him first in everything!
"He will make your paths straight" - that is, the way forward will be obvious to you, and God will remove the obstacles that would keep you from following His will for you. It sounds wonderful doesn't it? But why are we not experiencing it every day? Notice that there are three conditions to this promise.
"Trust in the Lord". When you sense Him leading you and you don't know where you will end up or how you will get through, obey Him anyway. Act on the reality that God is there. If He leads you, you can trust Him. This is not just verbal trust, but the kind that is with all y our heart!
"Don't lean on your own understanding." Don't try to be the master of your own fate. Don't get the idea that you can plan your way through life. Recognise that you desperately need God's hand in your life, both guiding you and enabling you.
"In all your ways acknowledge Him." Make sure that your life shows that God is the One you honour, love and obey. Meet these three conditions and you can rest in the reality of God's guiding hand.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
In the sinful nature of humanity, greed and selfishness is a disease that grips the hearts of many people. We live in an age that tells us that happiness can be found in what we possess and therefore "the more we possess the happier we will be". For many people financial wealth is the goal. Personally, I think our lives are not determined by what we possess but by what we give away, which determines our happiness.
Financial wellbeing, rather than financial wealth, should be the goal. The goal to achieve financial wealth is often based on fear and discontentment, and financial wellbeing is based on generosity and joy. Financial wealth is a grasping, clenched fist, while financial wellbeing is an open generous hand.
Financial wellbeing is not found in the amount of money we have or don't have, the goods we own, the income stream we can achieve or the shares we invest. Rich or poor alike need to receive the gift of being generous like God. It is obtaining the God given desire to be generous and the power to fulfill that desire as we give to others.
For God so loved the world that He sent His only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The opening showed John in a black suit coming out from 'a black hole' with his hands during a thunderstorm. Then Revelation 20:7 appeared on the screen, "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison". Out of all the epiodes we saw, the one that was most full-on and confronting was the last episode on exorcism. It showed the scene of John's exorcism by Bob Larson. It was really dramatic and realistic.