Sunday, December 30, 2007
After much research and consideration, I have decided to be a student of Success University, which is also an Internet home business opportunity.
The curriculum of Success University has been designed with one thing in mind - to teach you the right kind of knowledge that will raise the level of success in every area of your life.
It's my conviction and belief that knowledge alone won't make you wealthy (not just material wealth, but wisdom and spiritual wellness). In today's world, you need to THINK in a different way to achieve real success.
There are over 50 amazing experts who collectively have helped millions of people achieve astounding levels of success. Through the courses, you can learn about leadership, attitudes, techniques, methods, and strategies that will skyrocket your success in virtually every area of your life!
Come and join me in enrolling in Success University, so we can learn and grow at the same time.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
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 experience 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 20, 2007
Christmas greetings to you as you celebrate this special time, where all around the world Christians remember the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord, the Saviour of the world. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” That is the best gift we can ever get. Hallelujah!
Another year is coming to an end. As I look back over this past year, I see that God has brought closure for some ministries but opened new doors for me to serve Him in different areas of ministries. I am thankful that God has been blessing me and enlarging my territory, not only in the 4 walls of church buildings, but in the market place on peope’s turf as well!
Personal / Local Missions Outreach
I am continuously building friendship with artists from various circles in Melbourne, including visual artists & buskers in Southgate & Southbank area in my neighbourhood, as well performing artists. Starting from 2007, I am officially part of the crew, serving as the Volunteer Pastoral Care Worker and Front of House Coordinator for Candlelight Productions, which is an arts and entertainment, education, media and merchandising community and theatre company. We aim to build healthy community, nurture creativity and encourage an attitude of service in the arts, whilst striving for a high standard of excellence in our work.
I have also been reaching out to my business circle in my network and tent-making business. God has really taught me a lot through them in terms of personal development, team work, dynamic living and vocational mission. I am very thankful for that.
A new initiative for the Docklands Community in Melbourne is the Docklands Community Choir, which is intended to lead community events and perform at local functions. This Christmas, Docklands will be transformed into festival scenes of celebration. I have recently joined the Docklands Community Choir and have been really enjoying the fun, friendship and fellowship with the members of the community.
As a missionary friend of mine said, “no angel of the Lord this year. No sky full of a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and singing….since that eventful night so long ago, God has given us the responsibility of proclaiming the good news.”
This year, World Team has organised different trainings and focus mission nights. A number of missionaries have gone to the mission fields, and a few getting ready to go in 2008. It has truly been a humbling, and a great learning experience to journey with these obedient and faithful servants of God.
I have had the opportunity to represent World Team in various missions seminars, conferences and mission networks in different churches and Bible Colleges in Victoria. It was also great to have some World Team missionaries visit Melbourne and share with us about the needs of the harvest fields during our annual dinner in November as well.
World Team, in partnership with many churches & organisations, is also going to participate in the 2008 China Games, which is going to be special historical moments and opportunities for long-term impact in serving China.
My prayer is that the Lord's grace and peace be with you this Christmas season. Also, let us rejoice together as we testify to God's blessings, thanking Him for His continued provision throughout 2007, and look to Him in excited anticipation of further revelation of His glory in the harvest during 2008. Thanks for partnering with me in participating in our dear Lord’s Great Commission.
The following is from the World Team family in regards to looking at Christmas from a different perspective:
How do you celebrate Christmas? Each one of us celebrates the birth of Jesus in a myriad of ways: Some gather with family on Christmas day; some serve at a soup kitchen to feed the poor; others spend the day with elderly parents who live in a nursing home. The celebrations all look different, but there should be one common thread that runs through them all...Christmas is not about us.
The very act of the incarnation demonstrates an "others-focused" perspective. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. So during this season, as you gaze in at the baby Jesus and give thanks for all that he has done, remember to then look out to those who do not know him. Look out to your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth. What part of your celebrations this year will be focused on others?
Monday, November 26, 2007
Paul’s examples show great insights for the emerging church on how to engage in ministry to postmodern culture. The emerging church in a postmodern context should learn from Paul to be mobile missionary, to find words or images that are relevant and meaningful to postmoderns, to contextualize the gospel, to trust the Spirit, to focus on unity, five fold leadership and discipleship. If the emerging church can learn from Paul in these areas, it will certainly become a radically different ecclesiology that reflects the call to mission in a postmodern context.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Larry DiAngi said in his book "The Magic is in the extra mile" that our mind is like the muscles in our physical body. With proper care & exercise, we can strengthen them. I agree with him. We certainly need to care for and exercise our mind. In fact, our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical habits have either made us stronger or weaker in different areas of life. Our true identity, ability, strength, purpose, fulfillment and much more are on the inside of us than on the outside.
I believe that the way we feel is a byproduct of our thoughts. The thoughts that fill our mind and the way we feel at any given moment do not have to be things that are happening to us. There is a difference between being a person who is taking action in life and being a person who spends more time reacting to people and circumstances. I used to react a lot, now in God's strength, I am gradually learning to respond and take action proactively. It is really not easy given my sanguine personality type, but I know that all things are possible and that God's grace is sufficient for me.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I believe that we need to be thinking about what our legacies will be, throughout all the days of our lives.
"What will be your legacy?" does not have a single answer or a right answer. It's not like a math problem with a formula we can offer. Asking the question about legacy brings forward another central observation. Being a leader brings with it a responsibility to do something of significance that makes families, communities, work organizations, nations, the environment, and the world better places than they are.
Each of us has to answer these questions for ourselves before we can change the world, make a difference, and leave a legacy. I learned that if we are going to be authentic in our leadership, we have to be willing to serve, and mobilize others to serve a purpose.
We'll all be remembered for something. The question is, for what? What will others say about you when you're no longer around? Each of us lives on in the memories we create, and in the lives we touch. We guarantee that what people will say about you will not be about what you achieved for yourself but what you achieved for others.
I have decided to leave a legacy in my life to serve God and others.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
In a nutshell, the learner path leads to learner questions (eg: what's useful here? what happened? what can i learn? what are my choices, what's best to do now); the judger path leads to judger questions (eg:who's to blame? why am i such a failure? why are they so stupid? what's wrong with them? what's wrong with me?). These paths / questions cause us to either choose or react, which will cause very different outcomes.
I'm putting these ideas into practice and find them very useful in my attitude, interpersonal relationships, work, ministry, and business.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Thomas Kuhn popularized the concept of "paradigm shift" in 1962. He defined paradigm shift as "one conceptual world view is replaced by another". It is a change from one way of thinking to another. It's a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It is believed to be driven by agents of change.
One example is the printing press. Books became readily available, smaller and easier to handle and cheap to purchase. Similarly, agents of change are driving a new paradigm shift today. The signs are all around us.
Another example is the introduction of the personal computer and the internet have impacted both personal and business environments, and is a catalyst for a paradigm shift. It has been said that change is the only thing that is constant.
I personally have been through quite a significant number of paradigm shifts in the past few years, including the areas of my spiritual life, ministry, mission and business. My way of thinking has been transformed as a result of a number of change agents (mentors & heros), whom I am very grateful for.
One classic statement is a good example of my paradigm shift:
WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS
HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE
WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS
HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE
Have you experienced paradigm shifts in your life?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Laurie Anderson is a multi-talented artist. Her artistic career as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, vocalist and instrumentalist, along with over the past thirty years, has made her one of today's premier performance artists. she has created a number of groundbreaking works ranging from spoken word performances to elaborate multimedia events.
Homeland is Laurie Anderson’s latest production. Somewhere between epic poem and music concert, this production looks at 21st-century American obsessions with security, distance, information, the relationship of fear and freedom, the increasing acceptance of violence and the persistent new language of war.
Homeland was not only entertaining, it was very thought-provoking, and challenged me to think about the issues that people in the western world faced as well.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
There are another 3Ps that I am committed to in order to achieve balance in life. They are: Pray, Participate and Play. Why these 3P's? Well praying will connect us to God, partcipate will ensure that we engage in what we are called to do. But why play?
A good friend of mine wrote a very meaningful article in a magazine called "Play in God's playground". Leng is a musician. Her experience has been that when she has no words to say to God, she can still meet with Him by playing an instrument. In those moments, she believes He plays with her and through her. And She asked a thought-provoking question. "Does God play?" What do you think?
We may know God to be loving, holy, just, faithful, mighty and merciful and merciful, but can we say god is playful. I believe that playing is a means of relating to God and of worshipping Him. It's so true that we are sometimes at risk of taking ourselves too seriously. I agree that we are created not only to plan and pray, but to participate and play as well. We have been given the freedom to play. As Leng said it beautifully, "His play is extravagant and beautiful, for none of His Creation was born out of necessity. He is the initiator of all play and invtes us to play with Him in respectful stewardship of the freedom and resources He has provided."
Monday, October 15, 2007
Fabulous Audrey gave me the Nice Matters Award, which is an award for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Oh I am so humbled to receive this award! Award, your recognition and inspiration is such blessing to me dear sis!
I'd like to now pass this award to all my blogger friends and readers. You have all been a source of inspiration to me one way or another.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Nelson Mandela, who was wrongly jailed for almost 28 years, yet when he was finally released he wasn't angry. He came out with a desire to serve and help. He even invited his jailers to his inauguration when he was elected president of the Union of South Africa.
Jimmy Carter, who created an incredible team to build thousands of homes for the poor through Habitat for Humanity. And he won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work facilitating peace talks in troubled areas of the world.
Jesus of Nazareth selected twelve inexperienced people and developed them into leaders who would carry on after he was no longer in bodily form. When people asked him questions, his answers always showed a servant heart. 'How do you lead?' 'By following.' 'How can I be first?' 'By being last.' He even said that he had come to serve, not to be served, and he showed that by washing the feet of the disciples.
Martin Luther King, Jr had a powerful vision - a dream that one day people wouldn't be judged by 'the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.' He saw the future, and engaged others.
The acronym of the word 'SERVE' was used to describe these great leaders' attitude of service to others:
S = See the future
E = Engage and develop others
R = Reinvent continusously
V = Value results and relationships
E = Embody the values
I really like what Martin Luther King, Jr said, "everyone can be great, because everyone can serve."
Thursday, October 11, 2007
What a privilege and pleasant surprise! I was given the above award. Thanks so much fabulous Pia for that. I am so humbled!
There are many fabulous people in the blogosphere, amongst them are: Audrey, Corry, Kc, Rodney and Amanda.
You're all fabulous blogger friends!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
but for those in whom He can be wise;
He is not looking for those who are talented,
but for those to whom He can be all sufficient;
He is not looking for those who are powerful,
but for those through whom He can be almighty.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I received a message from a business partner today, in which our life is liken our car. I found it quite meaningful:
Just like your car, your life needs fuel. The fuel can be found in the value of healthy living.
Just like your car, if you put the wrong fuel into your body, you get poor performance and a shorter ride.
Just like your car, your life needs maintenance. A consistent exercise program provides your body and your life with the maintenance it needs to run smoothly, operate efficiently and stay in good working order.
Just like your car, your life needs steering. You are the driver of your life, and as the driver, you get to choose the direction your life takes.
Just like your car, without active physical and mental involvement, your life goes nowhere.
So, if you are unhappy with the state of your life today and ache for a better life tomorrow, make today the day you begin to give your life a tune-up and get it back on the road! The time is now, your engine is running and a better life only awaits your instructions.
Friday, October 05, 2007
I am amongst the exiles: Christians who find themselves caught in that dangerous wilderness between contemporary secular Western culture and an old-fashioned church culture of respectability and conservatism. As a follower of Jesus in the new world around us, I want to live missionally in this post-Christendom context. I want to embrace a dynamic, life-affirming, robust Christain faith that can be lived confidently in a world that no longer values such a faith, especially in the business and artist circles that I am involved with (host community as Frost terms it). I am accepting the risks and making the leap, despite the difficulties and challenges, as I am convicted that this is where God has called me to be.
The biblical, Christian impulse to draw near to those who don't know Christ, described as incarnational ministry & missional living is the way to be. There is a whole world of professioanl Christians who live primarily in the church or the Christian academy, but who never seem to embody the ideas of incarnational Christian witness. On the other hand, there are people who are reading the Bible and intuiting new ways to create proximity with not-yet-Christians on their turf. These exiles often don't feel appreciated or understood by the conventional church, or their professional Christians counterpart. Sadly their other Christian friends think their ideas and lifestyle too radical or too unsafe to accomodate or too compromised etc, without trying to understand Jesus' example of incarnational ministry.
I like the four aspects, described by Frost, regarding Jesus' example of incarnational ministry:
(1) An active sharing of life, participating in the fears, frustrations, and afflictions of the host community......
(2) An employment of the language and thought forms of those with whom we seek to share Jesus.......
(3) A preparedness to go to the people, not expecting them to come to us.....
(4) A confidence that the gospel can be communicated by ordinary means, through acts of servanthood, loving relationships, good deeds.....
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
One of the things that I am addicted to lately (which kind of replaced my time on the blogosphere) is facebook, which is a social utility that connects me with the people around me. If you like to connect people all over the world, this is a great tool and fantastic way to keep in touch. If you have it, please add me through my email. I am on it almost everyday now. It's lots of fun but time-consuming to say the least :)
Meetup groups help people find others who share their interests or causes, and form lasting, influential, local community groups that regularly meet face-to-face. Meetup groups believe that the world will be a better place when everyone has access to a people-powered local Meetup Group. That's the goal.
The meetup groups in Melbourne that I have been attending these last few weeks include photography, new-in-town, graphic design, coffee meetup, women are fabulous friends, thai and chinese cultural groups. Through these, I have met new friends, learned and shared with the members, and my life has certainly be enriched, and hopefully I will be able to make a difference in their lives as well.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I'll focus on that for the next few weeks, and so I won't be updating on this blog for a while. Would appreciate your prayer support for my 42 day challenge and beyond, and feel free to send me comments on this new blog too:
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
God said to me when those times happened in my life, "I will give you special strength in those times. Imagine that your life is a walk along the shore with me. If some days there is only one set of footprints in the sand, it's not because I have left you, but because I am carrying you!" This is referred to in the poem "Footprints in the Sand". I have two pictures of "Footprints in the Sand" - one in my living room, one in my bedroom. They are great reminders from God :)
"My gift of undeserved grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Count on it!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
When I read James 1:1-11, James said, "count it all joy when you fall into various trials". We don't choose to have trials, but we can choose how we respond when trials come into our lives. Someone paraphrased it like this: "don't resent trials as intruders, but welcome them as friends!"
Selwyn Hughes said that trials are our friends and will bring us joy if our goal is to become more like Jesus. But if our goal is to avoid problems and struggles, our trials will seem more like intruders.
In my life, I have battled with frustration, apprehension, fear and anxiety. It is easy to fall into the trap of doubting, fretting and wondering if God has forsaken us. But it's important to refuse to be discouraged and focus on how God could use the trial to make us more like Jesus.
Let us 'count it all joy' by faith, by resolution and by reckoning. And as Hughes said, we shall then surely find that God will make the reckoning real!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
It is apparent that we are in the midst of a significant shift of opinion with respect to euthanasia. The growing public acceptance of euthanasia seems to some to reflect a breakdown in moral consensus.
I believe euthanasia is never God’s will. The concepts that doctors should not be free to give terminally ill patients lethal medication, and that there should not be guidelines for legal or non-criminal euthanasia come out of the view of a human person having fundamental dignity because he or she is created in the image of God.
In order to help terminally ill patients, it is important to relate Christian faith and biblical understandings of God and humanity. The belief that life is a gift of God is foundational. Therefore God alone has the power to take it away.
It is evident that the terminally ill patient has very special needs which can be fulfilled if we take the time to sit and listen and find out what they are. Attitudes to dying and death can only change if there is a new awareness of their meaning and the implications they have for people who must face the crisis of dying. Instead of participating in assisted suicide and euthanasia , physicians must respond to the needs of patients at the end of life. Patients should not be abandoned once it is determined that cure is impossible. Patients near the end of life must continue to receive emotional support, comfort care, adequate pain control, respect for patient autonomy, and good communication.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Look back and thank God.
Look forward and trust God.
Look around and serve God.
Look within and find God!"
"I asked God, 'How do we get the best out of life?'
'Face your past without regrets.
Handle your present with confidence.
And prepare for the future without fear!'"
"Without God, our week is:
So, allow Him to be with you everyday!"
Life is short, so forgive quickly. Believe slowly. Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably. Never regret anything that makes you happy.
Have a wonderful day and a full journey of life!
God bless you.
Friday, June 29, 2007
This new show is called "THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST" - The Complete Bunbury Experience.
It's Oscar Wilde's classic, but combined with a whole 19th century experience for the audience - ballroom dancing, croquet, cucumber sandwiches... It promises to be a lot of fun and we're all pretty excited about it.
August 16th - Sept 1st
Memorial Hall in Hawthorn, Melbourne.
Book it in! Tickets go on sale soon - you can book it through the website, or contact me personally. For those of you not in Australia, I am so sorry that you'll miss out (unless you want to fly to Melbourne to see this wonderful production. Trust me, it'll be worth it hehe).
watch www.myspace.com/candlelight_productions for more info
or email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org to be
kept in the loop.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Few of these prophecies include:
(1)Israel becoming a nation (1948)
(2)Jerusalem recaptured (1967)
(3)The world is heading towards a cashless society
(4)Global climate change
(5)Instability, lawlessness (immorality and violence)
(6)Heading towards one word-religion & one-world-government
(7)The Gospel being preached around the world.
These are just a few signs fulfilling Biblical prophecies. Those who are spiritually minded can read the signs of the times because their mind has been exercised with spiritual things. Believe it or not! We are living in exciting times! This is the best time to be alive. The prophets of old and the apostles would have loved to be around now.
Remember, the Bible says, "those who know their God will do great exploits" (Daniel 11:32). Those who make themselves available, they will experience the supernatural power and ability of God flowing through them (Psalm 110:2-3). This is the great commission (not omission) regarding winning souls for God.
Friday, June 08, 2007
After thinking through it, I understood that there were a number of spiritual issues portrayed in the movies, such as hell, fear of death, fear of judgment, and eternal life. The movies talk about the different ways that people 'imperil' their souls (both explicit and subtly implied). Hell & publishment were portrayed as a fate worse than death. One insight is that it's extremely important for us to guard our immortal soul because, eventually, we will give account for it. I reckon these movies represent a great opportunity to ask about the state of people's souls, and what our response should be to God's tremendous gift.
I am reminded to take care of my soul, respond to God's gift of eternal life and His amazing grace and unconditional love. There is no possession in this world valuable enough to warrant risking my soul. Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" It's true that nothing physical on earth will make the final journey with us anyway.
What do you think?
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Media, marketing and advertising have a lot of impact upon our lives, dreams, values and expectations. So how are we supposed to live out our faith in a world like this? Some good questions are explored in this DVD, which keep me thinking. Eg: where do I find contentment and happiness, in a society where hyper-reality is often portrayed as the ideal? How do we as Christians express our faith in a meaningful and relevant way? How is Christianity related to a consumer world?
Sunday, June 03, 2007
The production is set in the background of the Vietnam war during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon, Vietnam. MISS SAIGON is a romantic love story between a young Vietnamese woman who is working in a Saigon nightclub, and American GI. The American Army fled Saigon a few years later, so the soldier have returned to America and believing MISS SAIGON is dead. He was depressed for a whole year, and finally moved on to marry an American woman. When told that MISS SAIGON has borne him a son, and is alive and living in Bangkok, the soldier and his wife go to Bangkok. MISS SAIGON is desperate for her son to have a future in America with his father and is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to achieve this hope. The story ends tragically, but beautifully as well.
I highly recommend anyone to see it.
Friday, June 01, 2007
I find this quote meaningful. I love it and what it stands for. As a marketer, I love to help others to make best possible decisions. I believe that the term "marketing" isn’t just for marketers. It’s a part of our everyday lives. We are all marketers on some level; whether we are selling our ideas to our school or work board, local church or in front of a group at our office, the truth is, virtually every interaction we have has an element of marketing. The only marketing that works effectively is that which helps people make informed decisions.
What do you think?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Norman Wright divides the communication of people into five levels:
(a) The lowest level is simple greetings. For example: “how are you?”, “good morning!”, “goodbye”, “have you eaten yet?”
(b) The second level is exchanging information. For example, “who and who has just had a baby girl.” “just now I saw two groups of young people fighting.”
(c) The third level is to express some opinions. For example: “who and who has just had a baby girl. In this day and age, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a boy or a girl, the most important is that the child is healthy.” “just now I saw two groups of young people fighting on the street. Recently there are many incidents like this, happening amongst Asian young people. I think it could be because they can’t adapt to the new society, and can’t find their new identity, so have learned from other friends out of frustrations.”
(d) The fourth level is to express personal feelings. For example, “who and who has just had a baby girl. I am so excited for them, they have been waiting for this child for a long time now.” “just now I saw two groups of young people fighting on the street. I was so frightened, when I saw them fighting like that, I was very sad and shocked.”
(e) Lastly, the highest level is to share personal feelings without reservation. For example, ‘who and who has just had a baby girl. I am so excited for them, they have been waiting for this child for a long time now. Seeing their smiles, I am so happy for them, and I can sense their satisfaction and happiness.” “just now I saw two groups of young people fighting on the street. I was so frightened. They are so young, yet fighting each other, on one hand I was very sad and shocked, on the other hand I felt sorry for them. If they have good guidance, and warm family to help them focus their energy on studies, good entertainment and social life, then this kind of thing will not happen.”
We also realise from the Bible that God is a God of feeling. God expresses His wrath to the evil every day (Psalms 7:11); God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5); He is a God full of love, He loves the world and sent His only Son to them (John 3:16); He loves His citizens (Isaiah 62:5).
We are made in God's image, and we are to be Christ-like, so I believe expressing our feelings is important. What do you think?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The Bible is quite direct about our responsibility to care for and protect the earth. In Genesis 2:15, God commands Adam to take care of it. According to many biblical scolars, we must not only be concerned with production, but also with the protection of God's creation. Dominion is never given for the purpose of exploitation. Other passages mention not only the goodness of creation connected to God (Genesis 1), but also His identification with creation and its renewal (Col. 1:15–17, Isaiah 65:17 and Rev. 21:1). In fact, Scripture references the earth 863 times, compared with 494 references to heaven and 537 to love.
We also have the responsibility to the poor and disadvantaged, those who would most likely be impacted by implications of climate change.
Most Christians are among the world's wealthiest citizens, and they are under pastoral leadership. So it's pastors who have the opportunity to make a significant impact. And it's the pastor who takes the lead in mobilizing his or her congregation to care for matters outside the church—issues that non-Christians also care about. Let's face it, they're not expecting the Church to be concerned about the environment, much less take visible action.
The followings are some of the things that I've been learning recently about how to tackle climate change:
1. Replace all light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
2. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
3. Minimise energy usage.
4. Buy energy-efficient products, think energy savings.
5. Don't leave the water running even when showering, shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth.
7. Track your utilities.
8. Commit to tackling climate change.
9. Look for creative ways to link conservation with love of God and neighbor. For a Christian, these acts are about moral obedience and love, not cultural conformity.
So how do you think that your congregation, church and faith community is involved in these environemntal issues?
Friday, May 11, 2007
The evening's program will run for 1.5-2 hours with a variety of other performances including playback theatre, circus, music and dance performance.
Date:Sat 19 May, 2007
Venue:Truth & Liberation Concern, 265 Canterbury Road, Bayswater, Victoria
Time: Doors open 7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Cost: Adults $15; Conc/ under 18 $10
Guest performances by: A Good Red playback theatre company, Sarah & Mel, Circus Acrobatics and more
2006 - 2007: Broken - Down - Silence
Why do you keep staring?
Just back off will ya?
What's your problem?
What are you lookin' at?
Do you see me differently?
Watercarriers' newest work is a 25 minute high energy contemporary dance piece. It incorporates stunning photography in multimedia and an eclectic and memorable soundtrack. Its original, collaborative choreography involves a greater physicality than previous works.
Broken Down Silence is an evocative work that depicts snapshots of Australian subcultures. With content specifically looking at youth homelessness, indigenous culture, ethic multiculturalism and asylum seekers, the Watercarriers seek to challenge themselves and their audiences on our views of each other. Broken Down Silence stirs emotion and gives an audience space to reflect and respond as deeply as they wish.
Are any of us all that different? Or is it just what we see?
More information about CAF, A Good Red and Water Carriers is available at www.christianartists.com.au
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
When we start to blame, we start to shift responsibility from ourselves to another person or situation. As Christians we are capable of being responsible. The Christian philosopher, Michael Keeling, wrote, "We are responsible for our actions in the dynamic sense that we can overcome both the external pressures of society and environment and the internal pressures of genetics and psychology and begin to act, by the power of God in us, as people who have nothing to fear and nothing to lose." We, by the power of God within us, can take ownership of our feelings and reactions.
Ownership or responsibility is vital because, like M. Scott Peck wrote in his book The Road Less Traveled, "many, so many, seek to avoid the pain of their problems by saying to themselves: 'This problem was caused me by other people, or by social circumstances beyond my control, and therefore it is up to other people or society to solve this problem for me.'" We can not solve our problems by ignoring them or blaming external things. If we do not take full responsibility for ourselves, we are choosing to make our lives less than God intended. So when we take responsibility and ownership for ourselves we become entirely responsible for our lives, not only for our actions but for our failures to act.
So do you take responsiblity or blame others?
Thursday, April 26, 2007
In His introduction, Ray Gingerich said that violence over the past two centuries has not served humanity well. As Christians we must either change our strategies and our theology or the Christians witness in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace will be overwhelmed and smothered in the avalanche of violence that is pouring down upon us. He claimed that power as violence has had its time in history; and it has failed! With the explosion of the first nuclear weapons, and their horrible destruction, Albert Einstein said: "Everything has changed, except our thinking."
Many ideas and opinions were explored and debated during this meeting. One particular confusion was 'the riddle' of the Pacifist Jesus and his Warrior God. Apparently much work has been done within the past half century, especially in Anabaptist circles, to enable Christians to see a nonviolent Jesus in both his teachings and examples. This ethical dualism / paradox / dilemma in which a God of violence and acts of violence is embraced as theological and ethical necessities is contrary to the teachings and examples of Jesus.
I am interested in your thinking about these issues regarding war, power, justic, biblical violence and non-violence. Please let me know of your opinions in the comment.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
In the introduction of the book, Alan had the following two quotes, which really made me think:
"A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling.
. . . [We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment."
Hans Kung, The Church as the People of God
Yes that's true. I am by nature quite an organised & structured person, but this reminder from Hans Kung tells me the importance of not be too rigid in my approach, and the longing for certainty! Flexibility is the key for mission work.
"After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force. . . . The movement is natural, arising spontaneously. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results."
Ancient Chinese Saying
With me in a new season of my life and ministry, this ancient Chinese saying really encourages me (although I am Chinese, I haven't heard of it until I read this book - thank you Alan). The powerful light, the spontanesous movement, the new thing and the turning point are want I am looking forward to.
Alan asked the following important questions in his book which really provoked my thinking (especially in the context of the contemporary Western world / church):
"How did the number of Christians in the world grow from as few as 25,000 one hundred years after Christ’s death to up to 20 million in AD 310? How did the Chinese underground church grow from 2 million to over 100 million in sixty years despite considerable opposition?"
Monday, April 09, 2007
I find the quote from John Irving so true. He said, 'Holy Week is draining; no matter how many times I have lived through his crucifixion, my anxiety about his resurrection is undiminished - I am terrified that, this year; it won't happen; that, that year, it didn't. Anyone can be sentimental about the Nativity; any fool can feel like a Christian at Christmas. But Easter is the main event; if you don't believe in the resurrection, you're not a believer.'
Yancey suggests another way to look at the world - taking Easter as the starting point, the one incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like lava beneath the crust of daily life.
After this Easter Sunday morning of celebrating Jesus' resurrection, I renewed the way I approach life - I re-committed myself to involve Him in every aspect of my daily life: spiritual, physical, social emotional, mental (personal growth), family & relationship, ministry, financial, business and community. I will call upon the Lord on all aspects of my life, I will bring all my decisions before Him, and I will not accomplish my ministry, business and work with my own abilities and resources.
Dear Lord, please help me to totally depend on You and trust in You as I learn to take every daily issue of life to You. Amen!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in onto the crashing waves.
To step out of my comfort zone into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is and He's holding out His hand.
But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed.
The waves they keep on telling me time and time again. "Girl, you'll never win!" "You'll never win!"
But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!" The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory". Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.
Thank you Lord for your awesome and beautiful voice of truth! I love you with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. I know I am safe in the crash waves, as You are the Lord who can calm all the raging seas.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Earth Hour is a fabulous opportunity for you and your family to do something about climate change. On one night, in one hour, more will be done, more will be demonstrated, and more will be learned than through a hundred 'talk-fests'. And you can help make it happen.What is Earth Hour?It sounds simple, but it is very, very dramatic. At 7.30pm on March 31st 2007, we will be encouraging companies, government departments, individuals and families to turn off their lights for just one hour.If we meet our objectives during the first Earth Hour,the savings in green house gas emissions will be the equivalent of taking 75,000 medium sized cars off the road for one whole year! Now that's something worth doing. Why? The facts are alarmingly clear: The climate is changing!
- The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 1990. In fact 2005 was the hottest year since record keeping began. (Australian Bureau of Meteorology)
- Almost 70% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions come from energy production. (ABS)
- More than 95% of the Great Barrier Reef will have been destroyed by 2050 if carbon dioxide emissions aren't reduced.(WWF-International)
- One million species worldwide are facing extinction due to climate change. (University of Leeds)
But not everybody listens to the facts. Earth Hour is your opportunity to demonstrate how a simple change in our way of life could change, and help save, our planet. The goals of Earth Hour:
Households: Most of us use unnecessary electricity. Appliances on standby, old style light bulbs, lights left on when we're not using them. Earth Hour will help us all to realise just how simply we can make a dramatic impact upon global warming (and our own powerbills). We will see it in action.
Companies: We want companies to be involved. If every company in Australia turned off its lights when the buildings weren't in use, and combined it with energy saving technology, we would save between 2 and 4 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses every year. EarthHour will show companies just how easy that is.
Power Companies: We will be asking power companies toprovide special deals for companies and households to switch to Green Power. To make it an annual event: Out of the 8,766 hours in a year, let's give one back to the earth.What you can do: Sign up to Earth Hour and Pledge to turn off your lights on March 31st from 7.30pm to 8.30pm by logging onto www.earthhour.org You will receive all the information you need to make Earth Hour a great success (and to cut your own energy bills in the long term).
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Will I do what Simon Peter and Andrew did - immediately leave their nets and follow Jesus? (Matt 4:19-20). That is a tough question! But when Jesus called the disciples, they immediately left everything and followed Him. And that response was the beginning of a journey that ended up changing their lives....and the course of history.
I believe there is a valuable lesson in this story. That lesson is to learn to follow fast!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
How are you? I trust that this letter finds you in peace, health, joy and happiness.
I think most of you know that I will be finishing my service as the Creative Arts Coordinator in CCBC at the end of March and will focus on my mission endeavours in World Team and beyond afterwards.
During the CCBC Missionary Convention many years ago, God said to me, 'the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field?' (Matthew 9:37-38). During that time, I dedicated my life for God's service. I thank God for the opportunity to be serving in CCBC as the ministry staff for the last 3 years. It was through my serving Him that made me become more aware of my own responsibility in advancing God's Kingdom.
As I approach a new season in my life and ministry when I finish my contract with CCBC, my passion for the future is to focus on the participation in the sending process as one that challenges & encourages people into missionary service, whether it's through praying, supporting or actually going to the mission fields!
A New Season (Personal / Local Mission Outreach)
My desire is to have 'mustard seed faith' and I know that God is always with me, and has my best interests at heart, so I don't have to fear. As well as being a mission mobilizer with World Team, I will also continue to spend time with not-yet-Christian friends as a sent one, amongst my business and artist friends. Some of these friends are sceptical or even frightened of anything related to 'church', but thank God that He has really opened the door for me to build relationship with them and witness to them. Would you please lift me up as I seek to minister to these people in the marketplace, on their turf, beyond the four walls of the church building.
In my everyday life, I believe in the importance of enthusiasm, integrity and having a deep passion for everything I do. Treat people the way you expect to be treated and above all, have gratitude, faith and remember to "walk your talk". This is something I am committed to do, even though I have been feeling a bit anxious in approaching this new season of my life. However my weaknesses and frailties remind me how great our God is! I am convicted that God's grace is sufficient for me! :)
John Stott writes ...'Mission is integral to authentic Christianity; Christianity without mission is Christianity no longer."
Last week, I attended one of our interns Rachel Kerr's graduation ceremony at Bible College of Victoria, and felt very touched and proud of her. Seeing her heart for mission and the willingness to serve God wherever He calls her made my eyes go teary. Please pray for Rachel as she continues seeking God's will in her life.
Our missionary apprentices Joel & Elly Henson have been accepted as World Team Australia missionaries and will be seconded to Helimission, who work closely with World Team in church planting among tribal groups. We are organising a Focus Mission Night for Joel & Elly soon. Please pray for them as they continue to seek prayer and practical support for their ministry in Papua, Indonesia.
Deb & Luke Muir went to France in February. They have had a great time of exploring future ministry opportunities in Paris. Pray that the Lord will help them to process all that they have learned and experienced, and that they will know and follow His direction for future ministry.
World Team is also going to facilitate the comprehensive mission nurture course "CLIMAT" (Church Linked Mission Awareness Training) in a church in Footscray at the end of March, and in the next few months, we will be facilitating the training in various other churches & small groups as well.
In April, World Team will be participating in and serving through Explore Mission Network and Explore Mission Mentors Conference. The Explore Mission Network is an initiative of AFES Victoria as they seek to mobilize, raise up, equip and send out a new generation for all kinds of mission. I would like to encourage you to attend this year's Conference (13-15 April) in Melbourne. Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information (plus please email me your postal address if you would like me to post out a copy of the conference brochure to you).
I appreciate each of you and your support & prayers as I continue on my journey. I feel so privileged to serve the LORD in these days, and I praise Him for His grace and blessings in my life.
World Team Australia: www.worldteam.org.au
World Team: www.worldteam.org
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Wikipedia states that 'divine grace' refers to the sovereign favour of God for humankind — especially in regard to salvation — irrespective of actions ("deeds"), earned worth, or proven goodness.
More broadly, divine grace refers to God's gifts to humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More narrowly but more commonly, grace describes the means by which humans are saved from original sin and granted salvation. This latter concept of grace is of central importance in the theology of Christianity, as well as one of the most contentious issues in Christian sectarianism.
Eugene O'Neill says, "Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue."
U2's song "Grace":
What left a mark
no longer stains
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace finds goodness
Philip Yancey in his book "What's so amazing about grace?", says that the proof of spiritual maturity is not how "pure" you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace.
What does grace mean to you? Have you had any personal stories about grace?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
We were made in God's image, we are His conduits and vessels to reflect Him through our lives as Jesus lives His life through ours. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of the Almighty. We are a carrier of the gospel and Christ Himself. We are the Ambassador's for Christ.
Of course we are not perfect. We are all work in progress, under construction and in process. And this is OK. Praise God that our failures and sins don't negate the presence of Christ in our lives. They show why we need Him, because we cannot do it ourselves. He is the vine and we are the branches, without Him we can do nothing. God is perfectly capable of being all these things in us, in spite of us. That's why we are the mission!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I have been reminded lately that no matter what the circumstances are in our world, we need to give thanks to God, count our blessings and be content. No matter how negative things seem at the moment, there is always good to be found in any situation. Those who can balance the bad with the good are the ones that find peace of mind and love of life. And finding that balance often takes a purposeful effort! I am committed to making an effort daily to see good (God) in every circumstance and seeing good (God) will help me appreciate this wonderful opportunity we call life. Let's do that together my friend!
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
- My attitude as I begin a task will affect its outcome more than anything else.
- My attitude toward others determins their attitude toward me.
- My attitude is the major difference between success and failure.
- My attitude can turn my problems into blessings.
- My attitude can give me an uncommon perspective on life.
- My attitude is my best friends or my worst enemy.
- My attitude, not my achievements, will give me happiness.
- My attitude will change when I choose to change it.
- My attitude needs continual adjustments.
- My attitude is contagious.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
He has a formula for living a joy-filled and happy life, which he calls "dynamic living". He said that we can all become all that we were created to be.
His formula is this: DL = (GGE + PS) x PSI
DL = Dynamic Living
GGE = God Given Equipment
PS = Principles of Success
PSI = Proper Self Image
The 10 principles of success are as follows:
- Giving - whatever you give, you will receive.
- Exclusion - Get rid of what you don't want, to make room for what you do want.
- Creation - Decide what you want, define it clearly and write it down.
- Visualisation - Get a clear mental picture of what you want.
- Command - Whatever you speak becomes reality.
- Action - Do it now.
- Faith - faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
- Enthusiasm - Give everything you've got to everything you do.
- Self-Discipline - Do what needs to be done when it ought to be done whether you like it or not.
- Persistence - I will...until , never give up.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Recently I have been learning quite a bit about the concept of delay gratification & patience. I learn that good things come to those who wait and it's worth it. However, knowing this concept and applying it to my life and ministry sometimes takes on a different perspective! I keep asking myself, 'why is patience so hard for me? Why do I want what I want, right when I want it? Why can’t I just sit back and trust the Lord’s timing over my own urgency?'
During a business seminar a couple of weeks ago, we played a game where some people were blindfolded. The leader tied a thick bandanna around their eyes and the people would be guided by an un-blindfolded partner through an obstacle course. The entire point was to learn to trust the teammate's voice and instructions. It's a lot like that in our spiritual lives. We, as Christians, are blindfolded. We can't see the entire picture. Our view is limited, and we're stumbling around, confused as to which direction we should go. And unfortunately, more often than not, we tend to ignore the voice of our Lord instructing us. We'll never cross the finish line by stubbornly insisting we can manage on our own. God sees the entire path before us. And we have to trust Him. Whether that means waiting, walking, crawling, taking baby steps, running, etc.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
What exactly does the fear of the Lord mean to you?
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Burro: smarter than a horse, refuses to get into overload, if you put too much on the back on the burro he just sits down, he knows when enough is enough.
What are the pros and cons of each? Please let me know of your thoughts in the comment below.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Life Rhythm Theory says that our lives are affected by our thythm on such a sustained but less than obvious way. We may adopt or adapt to a different life rhythm for a season that may not be fully natural even if not wholly unhealthy. However, peak efficiency, energy and satisfaction in life are more likely to be achieved at the kind of life rhythm one “naturally” is aligned to. More often than not the problem is a matter of rhythm rather than pace. We have to manage the rate and sequence the beats of life come to us in a way that matches our internal ability to not only handle them, but harness them.
I also believe in the theory that it takes 21 days to form a habit. A few months ago, I started listening to helpful and encouraging CD's everyday for my personal growth. This may not seem that remarkable - but for me it is a new experience and rhythm of life, which really helps me a lot. I have also established new rhythm of saying hi and speaking to strangers (when the opportunity comes). Nothing amazing has happened yet with any of the people I see each day, but I'm amazed at the opportunities that have opened up to meet some great new people as a result of disciplining myself to establishing a new rhythm and by being open to meeting others whose lives will intersect with mine as a result.
What about you? What is your rhythm of life?
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
Matthew 13:1 is such an ordinary statement that we would not think that there was any great spiritual principle in it, but This verse intrigues me. It tells me that if we want to lead people to Christ, we need to spend time where they are - on their turf!
One of the most common things said by Christians who know they should be sharing Christ more, is that they don't have any non-Christian friends. All their friends are church-friends. I believe there is a simple solution: to that problem - that is start spending time with non-churched people! To do that, we need to go where they are.
Like Jesus, I have been "out of the house" and gone into an environment where there are many non-churched people lately. In seminars, in their houses, in social settings, and on their turf! I have built the acquaintances into friends, I have been looking for ways to share with them in normal conversation what my relationship with the Lord means to me. I have also been learning to do as much listening as talking.
I am committed to go to people's lives, build redemptive relationship with them who need the Lord.
Friday, February 02, 2007
- Remember the true power of making decisions with massive action.
- Realise that the hardest step in achieving anything is making a true commitment.
- Make deicisions often.
- Learn from your lessons of decision making.
- Stay committed to your decisions, but cultivate the art of flexibility.
- Enjoy making decisions.
What do you think of these 6 keys?
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This particular paradigm shift started off with a conversation with a businessman who used to be a minister in a church. He said, "if a disciple is someone who loves God, loves the world they live in and loves their fellow believers; then I can't see why someone exclusively focusing upon doing church based ministry is responding in a more dedicated way than anyone else." I must admit I have been thinking that way for years, but what he said is so true.
More and more I realize that, in terms of mission (or loving the world), it is more advantageous to actually be in business than locked away in church ministry.
I have read Mike Frost & Alan Hirsch's book "The Shaping Of Things To Come" a few times. They claim that the basic mission principle is that if you want to be effective as a missionary you have to have proximity with those you are reaching out to.
I think businesses are places where Christians need to be in, not just to put food on the table and to help fund real ministry, but as a primary place of ministry/mission/faith itself. I also think that business, commerce and enterprise is perhaps the most powerful influences on our society in the west. The church used to play a major role in society, but now it has become the fringe of the society.
Businesses are now taking on the role of providing avenues for social concern and welfare, sometimes more so than the church and the government. I believe this will continue to happen in the future. Some business people do want to make a difference. They often just need to be encouraged to do so and see ways of ethical, life giving business to be modeled for them.
Mission and business are not necessarily mutually exclusive. They can be mixed together. Recently I actually did something that I thought I'd never do (since I quit my marketing executive job at Optus years ago to study at Bible College): I started a business!
When I start to be involved in the business, I'm beginning to see that rather than these being temptations or distractions from a life with God - they are actually quite often God at work within and around me. Now I see myself as a part time tent-maker business person or (in mission term) a bi-vocational missionary.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I have a goal after this workshop: to have every person I encounter experience some of God's love through me.
I WANT TO FLOW GOD'S LIVING WATER THROUGH TO EVERYONE AROUND ME!!
Dear Father God, please fill me up and provide all the living water my fountain needs to overflow into other people's lives. I want to PASS IT ON!! Lord, You have unlimited strength. Oh Holy Spirit, You are the only reliable source of fulfillment. Help me to see people as You do. Give me Your perpective on the people I meet so I can see them as You view them. Lord how I want to have genuine compassion for acquaintances and strangers in my community. This is my heart and ernest prayers. In Jesus name, amen!
Saturday, January 27, 2007
This year's winner is Prof Tim Flannery, who had helped millions of Australian better appreciate and understand the environment. He has encouraged Australians into new ways of thinking about our environmental history and future ecological challenges.
Tim is one of the world's leading scientists and an internationally acclaimed explorer and environmentalist. He has shown that human activity is drastically altering the Earth's climate and these changes will have a devastating effect on life on this planet unless we change our behaviours.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I don't know about you, but certainly in my life, God has at different times called me to leave my comfort zone to start new seasons / ministries / ventures in life. When we leave our comfort zone, our vision is enlarged, and we learn things that we woudn't have expected to learn in our own comfort zone. It's like what Jabez's prayer to ask God to enlarge his territory. As our horizons are broadened, God gives us opportunites to grow, to be transformed and equipped to serve Him better.
True it is hard to let go of the familiar and to face changes in lives. God understands that letting go is difficult, but He has called us to move on to a new life without looking back. And I thank God for that! I know He will give me the strength and grace to do whatever He calls me to do, now and in the future. What about you?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I read an article by Rick Warren regarding new wine & new wineskins today, which really challenged me. Pastor Warren said, there are three new "wines" that we will have to face in 2007: new problems, new pressures, and new possibilities. To handle these new challenges, you'll need the new "wineskins" of creativity, conviction, and courage.
I know that with these new wines, my old ways of thinking and paradigm, old attitudes will not work anymore. That's why the Bible says, "The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them." (Proverbs 18:15 LB).
In my new 'tent-making' business endeavour and relationships, I am open to new ideas and paradigm shift (new wineskins for new wines). I pray that the Lord will give me the creativity, conviction and courage to handle the problems, pressures as I welcome new possibilities for growth.
Towards the end of last year, God gave me the picture of Joshua and his tribe stepping into the Jordan River as they start a new season. I have also stepped out in faith to the business world, where I need to build contacts, networks and people. There's always an element of risk in any new venture and idea, but I trust that the Lord will see me through it all. Hosea 10:12 says, "Plow new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessing your devotion to me will produce!" (GNT). That is so true!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Among men there are few
as gentle and kind
as this man I know -
the man of the narrow road.
It is surprising to find
a core of strength
hid within the benevolent shroud -
he goes on when others may falter.
He is one who has served in authority
and willingly passed the staff to another.
He doesn't seek his own
but treasures God's will above all.
Vision for him is kept alive and fresh
when others can't see it at all:
he is passionate
but doesn't put it on parade.
He does to go where others may not
he goes according to the Call:
he doesn't wait for the approval of critics,
though he values the counsel of the saints.
His common prayer is that of joy
for himself and those around him,
in spite of many trials and tests -
some of which have come through friends.
Among men there are few
as gentle, strong, and faithful
as this man that I know -
the man of the narrow road.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I confess that when I don't live in God's strength (but on my own), I often lack the spirit of power, of love and self-discipline. When that happens, I often experience timidity in life, in ministry and in business.
Kc asked if self-discipline is related to submission in the comment of my previous entry. That really got me thinking about self-discipline in depth. The Greek word for self-control (the fruit of the Holy Spirit) comes from a root word meaning "to grip" or "take hold of." This word describes people who are willing to get a grip on their lives and take control of areas that will bring them success or failure.
In a CD that I heard yesterday, the speaker said that the most valuable lesson that we could learn is the ability to make ourselves do the thing we have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. It's always hard to have the self discipline. Hard work is really the accumulation of the easy things we didn't do when we should have.
John Maxwell said that self-discipline is the price tag of leadership. There are two paths that people can take. They can either play now and pay later or pay now and play later. I think the concept of "Pay now, play later" is an important self discipline. There is really no such thing as a "free lunch." A business associate said something which really makes sense - A person without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself. He belongs to whatever can make captive of him. When we pay later the price is greater (consider the interest rate of your credit card).
I am committed to doing the things I have to do that causes growth and help me achieve my goals and God-given dreams, rather than just doing the things I like to do. That really takes self discipline. I pray that I can always take hold of my life in submission to God so that I can truly have the self discipline - after all, the water does not flow until the faucet is turned on!
Monday, January 08, 2007
One of the goals I have this year is to acheive a balanced lifesytle in all aspects of my life: physical, mental (personal growth), spiritual, family, financial, business / career / ministry, community, and social / relational / emotional. I have been reading the scripture and books, and listening to CD's about personal development, and how to grow in these areas.
In regards to personal growth and mental wellness , the above scripture in 2 Timothy 1:7 gives me the key. I thank God that He has given me a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. I know that without Him, I can do nothing. And the other day I learned from a CD that the big five challenges and difficulties in life are discouragement, change, problems, fear and failure.
I believe that life has a divine purpose, so the greatest mastery over life for me has come through understanding my God, and to live my life according to God's plan, principles and purposes. There is a season, there is a time for everything. Knowing what time and season it is in our lives and seeing what our life is through His eyes and trusting Him for that ! I normally cope with stress by managing my day, taking rest breaks, doing things that are relaxing, not draining on the battery and going out with friends, trusting God and His Word. Getting into the Bible, knowing that He is in control.
While Mastery Over life means ruling and controlling over life, according to Keith Sehnert in his book Stress / Unstress, the greatest stress factor is the loss of control. In my own observations, some people just seem to handle stress better than others. Certain life habits can prepare you well for stress: they give you a kind of cushion for the hard knocks of life.
- Follow an exercise program each week. This can undo some of the damage stress does to your system, lowering blood pressure and strengthening your cardiovascular system.
- Eating nutritionally balanced and healthy meals. If you put good stuff into your body, your body will put out a good effort for you, particularly in times of stress.
- It is easy to depend on nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine in stressful times - none of which are healthy to your body. Stop depending on them in stressful times and go for healthy lifestyle!
- Take regular breaks during the day in order to relax. You will be more productive over the long haul. Remember the Sabbath and keep it free from work activities. You need time to hang out with friends but you also need time alone.
- Assert your feelings in appropriate ways. Commit to honest, accurate communication. Couch your criticism in praise. Speak the truth in love.
- Place a high value on your primary relationships, and set aside time to work on improving them. Supportive friends, family members and partners can cushion the blows of life,empower you to face your daily challenges, and undergird you with a sense of security and significance. Don't take your friendships and relationships for granted; make them a priority. Have fun. The best relationships are those with laughter,with people who can have fun together. Be an encourager and a servant; seek the well-being of the other.
- Have work / business or a hobby that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.
- Have a strong faith. Stress comes when you sense you are not in control. There is comfort, though, in knowing that God is always in control. Set aside a regular time for prayer , bible reading and reflections. Rest and listen to God. Take time just to be with Him. Breathe your prayers. As you go throughout the day, take your prayers with you. Pray with others. You can cope with stress much better by joining others in brief times of prayer.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I truly believe that as Christians, we already have all that we need to make real progress in life. The following important but old virtues can help us make our new year a great one if we embrace them in a fresh way.
* faith - When we have more faith, our lives will progress. Embrace the gift of faith, and realise that it's essential and the foundation for all other virtues.
* goodness - Set out to be good by getting to know the One who is good – Jesus. If we learn to love God, we can then love other people.
* knowledge - Pray for the knowledge you need to be wise, and the humility to always remember that knowledge is a gift from God.
* self-control - Be self-controlled because we are grateful for the salvation you’ve received and want to thank God by pursuing holiness, because our prayers matter now and for eternity, and because we need to resist evil that is seeking to destroy you.
* perseverance - Don’t quit in tough situations. Don’t let setbacks defeat you. Remember the value in suffering: it refines your faith, it perfects your hope, it deepens your intimacy with Jesus, it trains you in holiness, and it weans you from sin.
* godliness - Develop Christ-like character and make our relationship with Jesus our top priority in life, and give His guidance precedent above everything
* kindness - Remember that God loves all people – they are all His children, made in His image. Decide to care for other people no matter what, recognizing that we can’t truly love God unless we also love the people He has made.
* love - Love unconditionally. Instead of waiting to feel love for someone, decide to act in love toward that person no matter what. Love the “least of these” (people you’d be tempted to trample or sidestep without love, such as prisoners, homeless people, or refugees).