Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why I believe in Intergenerational Discipleship

Background

Coming from a non-Christian background, I began experiencing faith at the age of 13, even though I became a follower of Christ with an “owned faith” at the age of 19. I had been probing my faith at the age of 16. That was the period when I ran away from God. However, I thank God that, by His grace, He blessed me with a community of faith to bring me back into His presence, and today I can serve Him and write this thesis. I thank God for his bringing me back to the faith that I once had before I ran away from the Lord. This was the period when I was in the stage of “searching faith.”
Later, I went through John H. Westerhoff III’s “Stages of Faith Development.” Even though Westerhoff’s model is proposed to be applied in terms of physical age, yet it is also applicable in terms of the spiritual age of a person, as it did in my case.  
            What led me to study the importance of Intergenerational Worship (IGW) can be traced back to the period in my life when I started to serve in the campus ministry in what was then Inti College Malaysia in Nilai.[1] I had one question, “Why had so many students who were from Christian background left their faith, or why do so many of them feel so reluctant to go to church?” I felt that, had a person been raised in a Christian family, they should have owned the Christian faith and been serving God passionately by the time they reached this college-going age. I did not find an answer to this question until I responded to serve the Lord and was transferred to the Church of Our Holy Saviour in Labuan, where I served in the youth and children ministries.[2] My concern for the youths was that, when the time came for them to move to Kuala Lumpur or other parts of West Malaysia, or perhaps overseas for their studies, they would continue to worship and serve the Lord. I then realized that, in order for them to find a sense of belonging in church, those serving in the youth and children ministries must intentionally spend time with them in order to disciple them. They must be intentionally taught to love the Lord and to serve Him.
In 2008, in order to create awareness for the importance of IGW, the Diocese of Sabah organized the first children conference with the theme of “Children Can Worship.” It was an initial step to mobilize the churches in the Diocese to encourage children to worship together with adults. It was through this conference that I was made aware of the importance of IGW, and it answered the question I had asked above.
            I am convinced that a person’s experiential faith is important for their spiritual formation. One’s experience of faith is the foundation of nurturing the faith of that person. This foundation must be intentionally built by equipping themselves with the Word of God. Despite going through a stage of “searching faith,” they would eventually return to the Lord one day because of their experience with God. They would know the praiseworthy acts of God, just like the Prodigal Son, who came back to his father when he remembered how much he could have, should he return to his father. The youths who would be going to a big city like Kuala Lumpur for their studies would have their faith challenged by all kinds of temptations or ‘Baals” offered by the city, which will be examined in Chapter One. Their priorities might change if they were not careful and if they lack a proper foundation in their faith. This younger generation cannot be lost, for they are the future of their churches.




[1] Inti College Malaysia is currently known as Inti International University.
[2] The Church of Our Holy Saviour is an Anglican church situated in the Federal Territory of Labuan.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

How long and how far?

Righteousness is not an easy path to follow,
To live in righteousness, your life might filled with sorrows,
Sorrows that come from the enemy of righteousness, wickedness,
Sorrows come simply because righteousness could not agree with wickedness,
Even the humble King David cried, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?  2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? (Psalm 13:1-2)

When you choose righteousness, your will know who are your true friends,
Because of fear, your friendship ends,
“How long, O Lord? How far, O Lord? That this path of righteousness will end?
So that I can meet You on the other end”

Why wickedness appear in the path of righteousness?
Why righteousness did not appear in the path of wickedness?
Why righteous men must suffer and wicked prosper although it is just temporally?

It is understandable that suffering because of righteousness is for the sake of Christ,
Perhaps, the sorrow would not be heavy if it is caused by people who do not know Christ.
Instead of going through the sorrow together, why people who knew Christ want to cause sorrow to their brothers and sisters more than those who do not know Christ wanted to?


How long, O Lord? How far should I walk?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tribute to the Late Bishop Albert Vun

15 July is a date I will never forget because 15 July is the day when I start my fulltime ministry 7 years ago. 15 July also marked my 7 months of ministry in Good Samaritan Church. On 15 July 2014, our dear Bishop Albert Vun has gone with the Lord after battling with cancer for nearly 10 months.

I thank God that I worshiped in St. Patrick's Church in the year of 1998 - 2003 until I leave for study. I can remember vividly how he preached the Word of God with passion. I was as young as 13. In 1999, he was the speaker of a youth camp in St. Patrick's Church. It was through this camp that I got closer to the Lord. He was preaching on the book of Jonah. I remember many important thing that he has said such as "Every Cell is a Church, and every Cell Leader is a Pastor." I also remembered that he is a very patient man. I still remember that in that camp we accidentally kick the football and hit Andrew his youngest son until he fell down from his bicycle. At the same time he concerned Andrew, at the same time as well, he didn't want to release his anger to us.

In 2005, I had the opportunity to have lunch with him at IKEA with Jonathan Tse and Eric Ling. He asked me why am I following these two man and was in church? I told him frankly I skipped class because there were no students attended the class because CNY is coming. He also make sure that I refilled my coffee in IKEA 3 times so that it worth the money.

2005 Christmas Eve I was invited to his house for dinner before the service starts. Unforgettable moments. I still remember in 2010, 5 years after that, saying to him, Bishop these 4 warriors are still fighting. He tell us to stay strong!

In 2007, I was interviewed together with Cynthia (my fiancee), Kitt and Nicole because four of use responded to fulltime calling. That short meeting has impacted me a lot to continue to serve the Lord. He told me to obey God's will than my will. Although he wanted to be a missionary in Thailand, but he was elected as the Bishop of the Diocese of Sabah at that time. I still remember he was using Nokia N95.

In 2008, I was "interviewed" by him again because I started my relationship with Cynthia who was then one of his staffs in the Diocese office. As I was in his office, before he says anything, he commented on my clothing and my punky hair. And he said to me, "I treat Cynthia as my daughter". At that time I felt honored. Because of that meeting, I was sent for vocation interview and then was sent to STM for theological study.

During my studies in 2009-2011, on and off I will go to airport to fetch him to church. In that journey I will update him about my progress. And he will always share his vision to me which basically to grow the church, the young people, do not lose to the world and so on. Sometimes we talk about investment as well when he found out that I studied finance before. He was surprise with my analysis which relatively in the same opinion with him. He will not allow me to pay the toll for him. I still remember he used his GPS in while I was driving. I didn't know that his GPS was equipped with alarm if I exceeded the speed limit. One time the alarm rang and triggered him. He woke up and say, "Ka Seeeennnggggg! Slow down" 

When he knows that I go back to KK for holiday, he will spend his time with us over lunch or dinner. It was through these personal times with him that I get to know him better.

I remember after my first year of study in STM, I do not have a laptop yet. I ask from him if the Church can help me to get one laptop. He gave his personal laptop to me. Although it was old, but it helped me for one semester. He is a generous person. He always concerns the welfare of the church, the clergy and pastors, the students and their family. He always give the best in term of quality to people.

Once I graduated from seminary, I served in All Saints' Cathedral in All Saints' Day 2011 which was the Centenary Celebration as well. From then, I serve closely with him. I became his chaplain. I drove him to the places he needs to go. He never waste any time to mentor me and to disciple me. Even a short 10 minutes drive. Every Christmas and Chinese new year, he will remember me and Cynthia. 

He always make sure I preach strong and powerful message. Always called me to his office and asked these few questions: how many sermon have you listened? what have you learnt? have you memorized scriptures?

One of my preachings he was there in the Wednesday Morning prayer which we use to training graduates and clergy. I knew I preached terribly and did not make enough preparations. He rebuked me in front of the senior clergy. I felt disappointed with myself. I knew I have disappointed him. But with a humble heart I take that as a lesson that I never want to go back again. From there, I put my best effort in my sermon preparation. After that I also found out that he asked others if I am okay. He asked other why my preaching was not up to standard that day. I felt that he really concerned me to the end.

Towards the end of his life here on earth, I managed to spend time with him. He knew that I was pressure and stress in ministry. He whatsapps me "Do not be fret. I am praying for you. Let me know if you need to talk." Now, he is praying in heaven with Jesus for me. His last advice to me was "Be strong and courageous. Stand firm. Build the Church. Know your position in Christ". We had Holy Communion together on that day.

Although he was in sickness and pain, I will never forget that he said, "I will give every drop of my energy to the church!" He meant it. I did it. Preach his last sermon with power! He challenged us to serve God in time of suffering when God take away something from you. "Will your serve God for nothing?" That was his last challenge for us.

When I was down and stress up to a point that I want to quit this ministry, his life spoke to me to continue on. His life pointed to Jesus to endure. He inspired me to serve faithfully even when it is tough!

I thank God for his life, his teachings, and mentoring and his leadership. He has been a spiritual father to me. He has been a friend to me. I will never forget all the moments we cried together in prayer for the church and diocese. I thank God that my marriage counselling was conducted by him. I have truly learnt a lot from him.

I am glad to serve beside you. I treasured every moment of it because I surely learnt something form you. I will never forget when you say, "Learn from this ahh Ka Seng"



Your legacy and passion will pass on to the next generation. We will see the completion of the House of Celebration which has been your burden and desire.

We will see you again Bishop. Thank you for your prayer of blessings upon Cynthia and myself. How we wish to have you to conduct our wedding. But we know you are in a better place. Now you know the answers on the pearly gate. I know you are praying for the church and diocese together with the angels.

Amen.
Ka Seng

Friday, February 21, 2014

God was there in your failure

I am currently attending the Eagles Leadership Development Program in Bali. It is a wonderful place. I thank God for such a good timing for me to partially take a break from ministry.

In the first day of retreat, Peter became a significant person in my reflections. I have been reflecting about his life and ministry - from his calling from Jesus until he disown Jesus. We can learn three things from Peter's failure as disciple.

1. God Knows That You Will Fail

Matthew 26:34   "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you (Peter) will disown me three times."

We need to know that all of us are subject to failure.Many great people went through failures before they succeeded. Jesus knew that Peter will fail him - disown him three times.

2. God Were There When You Fail
Luke 22:61  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times."

One important thing we need to know as well is that God were there every time we fail. I want to share why sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fail because we think God is a loser. Imagine the scenario Peter was in. He saw Jesus was being beaten, weak and helpless. Peter saw this and doubted.

Sometimes, when we face difficulties and when God seems like a loser, we would fail God. But once you fail, you need to remember that God already knew that you will fail.

3. God Is Still With You After You Fail
John 21:17   The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 

Most of us would think that once we fail God, God will leave us. In fact, failure is a transformational moment in our lives. Three times Peter disowned Jesus. Three times Jesus asked if Peter still love Jesus. 

Before this, Peter was afraid to die because he knew Jesus. But after this incident, Peter recovered and transformed. 

John 21:19  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" 

Isaac

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Isn’t It Time for You To Quit Daydreaming And Get To Work?

Isn’t It Time for You To Quit Daydreaming And Get To Work?
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
— 1 Timothy 4:7

When the time came for our family to move to Moscow to start our next church, my wife and I knew that God wanted us to turn over the care of our large church in Riga, Latvia, to our associate pastor. After serving as a son in the Gospel for many years, he was as well-trained and prepared as anyone could be to step into the position of senior pastor of that church.
My associate was so excited. Just as we were certain he was the man to lead the church, he was convinced that God had chosen him. This was the day he had dreamed of for so long! After serving me for so many years as my associate, he would finally step into the senior pastor position and lead this great church. The vision of God was exploding in his heart as he dreamed of what would be accomplished in the ensuing years.
So with great reverence, my associate and his wife knelt on the platform of the large auditorium before the Riga congregation; then Denise and I laid our hands on him and installed him as the leading pastor of that congregation. After turning over the church to his care, my family and I turned our attention to the new work God had called us to establish in Moscow.
After the first year of leading that church by himself, my former associate told me, “Rick, I had no idea how much responsibility is placed on the senior pastor of a church. I thought I understood so much, but now I see that there was so much I never comprehended. It was only after you left and the whole weight of the church became my responsibility that I really began to realize the enormous responsibilities of a senior pastor.”

I listened with great interest as he continued to give me his views about leading a large church. Then he said to me, “You know, it finally dawned on me that this wasmy responsibility and that I couldn’t depend on anyone else to lead this church. As pastor, it’s up to me to guide and to see that things are being done correctly. It’s a huge responsibility to lead a church — much bigger than I ever realized!”
That conversation made me think of what Timothy went through after he became the pastor of the church of Ephesus — the largest church in the world at that time. Imagine how extremely stretched Timothy must have felt as he led the world’s largest and most famous church! Yes, he had served at Paul’s side for many years and was as prepared as anyone could possibly be for such a task. But now Paul was gone, and all eyes were on him!
The demands placed on the pastor of a large church are immense. His care for the church is nonstop. Twenty-four hours a day he must be available to the members of the congregation. Leaders must be trained; rebels must be corrected; and finances are needed to pay for the church as it grows. And in addition to church responsibilities, the pastor is most often a husband and a father as well. He has a massive church family to oversee and manage, and he also has his own personal family for which God will hold him responsible.

Timothy was just settling into the job of senior pastor when Paul wrote him the letter that became the book of First Timothy. At the time, Timothy’s responsibilities were increasing daily. His massive church was becoming even more massive as it continued to grow. He was constantly training new leaders and replacing old, rebellious leaders who thought Timothy was too young to be pastor of such a prominent church. And in the midst of it all, Timothy was learning how to cope with being the most visible Christian leader in a large metropolitan city. It was in the midst of these developments that Paul wrote to him and said, “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what these old wives’ fables were. However, it seems that Timothy may have been so exhausted that he was starting to daydream about finding an easier and more trouble-free way to do his job (like all of us are tempted to do from time to time). I have personally wondered, Was Timothy tempted to daydream about life in the ministry becoming simpler? Was he hoping that things would eventually become a lot less hectic, demanding, and complicated? If Timothy was thinking along this line, his musings would definitely fall into the category of a fable!
When God trusts you enough to give you more and more responsibility, it always demands more of you, not less. I gave up the idea many years ago of thinking that life would eventually become less demanding. Ministry is work, and none of us should ever forget that fact!
If you are mightily anointed by God, it is just a fact that your schedule will get busier, your demands will increase, and your challenges will grow. But as long as you allow God to develop your character along the way, you will find that you’re able to successfully manage anything He puts on your plate!

Paul ordered Timothy to quit fantasizing about things getting easier, telling the younger man to “…refuse profane and old wives’ fables….” The word “refuse” tells us how strongly Paul felt about Timothy’s frame of thinking. It comes from the Greek word paraiteomai, and it means to reject, to refuse, to rebuff, to decline, to snub, or to decisively turn away from something. It denotes the attitude of a person who is so disgusted with something that he has resolved he will have nothing to do with it. His feelings about this issue are so pungent that he sharply rejects what is being offered to him and vigorously declines any form of participation in it.
Whatever these “old wives’ fables” were, Paul viewed them as extremely detrimental — so much so that he strictly ordered Timothy to reject these notions. To better understand what these “old wives’ fables” might have been, let’s see what the words “old wives” and “fables” mean in the original Greek.
The Greek word translated “old wives” is grauodes, which comes from the wordgraus, the word for an old woman. But when the word graus becomes grauodes, it denotes anything that is old-womanish. The word “fables” is the word muthos, which typically describes fictitious stories and is where we get the terms mythsand mythology.
The word muthos describes legends, folklore, or fairy tales — the kind of stories an old woman would tell to entertain her grandchildren. One New Testament Greek scholar speculates that Paul was saying in effect, “Timothy, it’s time for you to quit fantasizing that you’re going to escape hard work and find an easier way to do what God has called you to do. Why, this unrealistic kind of thinking is the stuff of fairy tales! You’re thinking like an old woman who tells fairy tales to children.…

Instead, Paul challenges Timothy to adjust his thinking and to take a different approach to the challenges he faces. Rather than pray for these challenges to go away, Timothy should embrace those challenges and use this time to develop himself. This is Paul’s message when he tells Timothy to “…exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” As noted earlier (see November 3), the word “exercise” is the Greek word gumnadzo, which describes the strenuous physical exercise required to produce the finest athletes.
When you are physically or mentally exhausted, your mind may be tempted to daydream or to wander to other places. It is amazing how the mind tries to escape from reality. But rather than let yourself float away on a cloud of fantasy that doesn’t help you fulfill your God-given assignment, ask the Holy Spirit to help you see things realistically. That’s the only way you’ll be able to put your whole heart and soul into completing your task exactly as Jesus wants it done! You can do great things for God’s Kingdom, but it will require both concentration and commitment!

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Lord, help me to stay focused on what You have called me to do and to embrace everything that comes with Your call on my life. Forgive me for the times I’ve tried to find a shortcut to avoid responsibility. I want to put my whole heart into the race You have set before me — to fulfill my assigned task fervently, passionately, and with the highest level of excellence.
 I pray this in Jesus’ name!

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I confess that I am both faith-filled and realistic about what God has called me to do. I realize that it’s going to take hard work and commitment to take this assignment to the high level that God expects of me. I refuse to shrink from my responsibilities, and I choose to put my whole heart and soul into the task Jesus has given to me.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

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1. Have you been trying to mentally escape from the responsibilities of your life? Have you been living in a fantasy that things are going to change without any effort?
2. What do you need to do to bring concrete change to the challenges you are facing in your life? What steps can you start taking today — right now — to start turning things around for the better?
3. Have you considered asking a close friend to help you focus on the things you need to be doing to get things moving in the right direction in your life? Who is a friend you could depend on to encourage you to take the right steps toward needed change?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It is hard to please woman

"Someone" sent this list to me.

HOW TO MAKE A MAN HAPPY

1. Feed him
2. Sleep with him
3. Leave him with peace
4. Don't check his phone (Msgs)
5. Don't bother him with his
movements
So whats so hard about that
?

HOW TO MAKE A WOMAN HAPPY

It's really not too difficult but.... To make a
woman happy, a man only needs
to be:

1. a friend
2. a companion
3. a lover
4. a brother
5. a father
6. a master
7. a chef
8. an electrician
9. a plumber
10. a mechanic
11. a carpenter
12. a decorator
13. a stylist
14. a sexologist
15. a gynecologist
16. a psychologist
17. a pest exterminator
18. a psychiatrist
19. a healer
20. a good listener
21. an organizer
22. a good father
23. very clean
24. sympathetic
25. athletic
26. warm
27. attentive
28. gallant
29. intelligent
30. funny
31. creative
32. tender
33. strong
34. understanding
35. tolerant
36. prudent
37. ambitious
38. capable
39. courageous
40. determined
41. true
42. dependable
43. passionate

WITHOUT FORGETTING TO:
44. give her compliments
regularly
45. Go shopping with her
46. be honest
47. be very rich
48. not stress her out
49. not look at other girls
AND AT THE SAME TIME, YOU
MUST ALSO:
50. give her lots of attention
51. give her lots of time,
especially time for herself
52. give her lots of space, never
worrying about where she goes.

BUT MOST OF ALL IT IS VERY
IMPORTANT
53. never forget
*birthdays
*anniversaries
*valentine
*arrangements she makes. —


When I see this, I got few reactions and thoughts. First, woman is 10times harder to please. Second, woman never pleases man. Although there are five ways, but looking into 53 ways to please woman, in the end, man will not be pleased. For example, how can a woman feed man if woman wants man to be a chef (7)? How can a woman not bother with his movements when woman wants man to a companion? Woman requirements also contradicting. How can a man gives compliment yet also be honest? You understand what I mean here right?

Isaac

Friday, February 1, 2013

God heard our cries

Exodus 2:23-25   23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.  24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.  25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Judges 3:8-9   8 The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.  9 But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them.

1 Chronicles 4:10   10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 

These are only few verses that shows to us when people of God cried out to Him in time struggles or suffering, God hears their cries and deliver them. God hears our cries and responded to our cries but interestingly, when Jesus cries out to God when He was hung upon that cross, God could hears it, but He did not respond to it. IF God responded to it, then sin could not be broken.

Mark 15:34   34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"-- which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Imagine how painful it is. Jesus responded to our cries - the cries of bondage of sins, being chained by the power of darkness. Jesus responded to our cries by sacrificing Himself on the cross. And when He cried, God did not respond to him, but rather to our cries. Because of what Jesus had done on the cross, God hears our cries.

Isaac

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stick-man and fat-man


This is my reflection on the political situation in Malaysia and how it affects the church. It has been a while that I was reflecting on this issue. I am particularly reflecting on how people (especially church members who have been affected by political situation) view on a person who has been blessed by God, and a corrupted person.
The Bible clearly mentioned that if a person obeys the Lord, blessings will come upon us – not only spiritual but also physical. Physical blessings could be a tangible evidence of our obedience to God.  
Deuteronomy 28:1 -2 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
We know one of the reasons why the Lord prospers us – so that we can help the poor.
Now, just imagine this. A ‘stick-man’ obeys the Lord, and the Lord blessed him physically – health or materials. This ‘stick-man’ became a ‘fat-man’ after being blessed. That is the result.
What about politics? It is generally accepted that when the citizens saw a fat minister, one word came to their mind – “CORRUPTION”.
Again, just imagine this. In political arena, a corrupted ‘stick-man’ will become a ‘fat-man’ because of corruption.
Here is the thinking error which members could bring into the church - when they only focus on the result – the ‘fat man’ as a corrupted person not as a person being blessed by the Lord.
This is a paradoxical equation: ‘stick-man’ + obedience = fat-man; but fat-man does not necessarily mean corrupted stick-man.
This is an error when we bring in this thinking that happens in our current political situation. If you see a government minister driving a luxury car, using luxury stuff, staying in a mansion and others, the word corruption came into our mind. We bring the same thinking into church when we see the pastors or the fulltime staffs using latest gadgets, or even using an iPad to preach, we accused them of corruption rather than seeing that as a blessing from God as the results of their obedient to God.
The church is an institution of God; the government is an institution of man. We cannot bring the same thinking into the church. But we certainly can bring church thinking into the world. What happen in our country now is not so much to get people to be responsible to vote. But what matters is to get Christian to be responsible to spread the gospel to this nation – cultural mandate which has been given to us.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Theology and Methodology

This is just a reflection on our church, All Saints' Cathedral equipping course on Bible Overview. It is a 2 weeks condense course. We had just finished the first week. Here is one of my reflections on the course.

After the incident in Garden of Eden, where man had sinned against the Lord, the rest of the bible talks about  God's gracious action to reverse the effect of human's sin and to establish a new creation. This was taken from Moore College's ITB, Introduction to the Bible.

As I believe that there should not be dichotomy between spiritual and physical, my reflection would be the practical side of this spiritual action from God. One example would be in this scenario:

Imagine you are to stay in your friend's house for a certain period. Your friend provides you with a good place - clean and tidy. And during your stay within the period of time, you have messed up the whole house - the house is untidy and unclean. Therefore, as God's action in the world is to reverse the effect of human sin, our action "to reverse this effect of human sin" which we have caused - the untidy and unclean house, is to clean and tidy it. It is just as simple as that. God's action is to reverse the effect so that we can live like Adam and Eve were in Garden of Eden - to be in the presence of God. Our action to reverse the mess that we have caused is to clean it as it was before when our friend gives us the house to use. Cleanliness is next to holiness.

The word of God becomes alive only when it is being practice in our lives.

Isaac

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Humility

What is justice? And what is not justice? What is fair, and what is not fair? All these questions were the beginning of the struggles that I've gone through significantly for the past 6 months.

Personally, I won't jealous if people, be it if they are Christian or non-Christian, who are not in the fulltime vocation, with the luxury things that they can enjoy; because I know it is a great honour and privilege to serve God.

BUT, what if in fulltime vocation, you see other people are enjoying those luxury things than you do? There are few reactions. Firstly, on the positive side, you will think that God has blessed and rewarded him because of his faithfulness.Second, you might be contented with what you have and not focusing on them.

What if, when both reactions come together, and with people who are enjoying this, are the people whom you worked harder than them, more effective, efficient, and more competence with them? You will start to ask God, "Why You have not blessed me?"

This is the struggle that I've been through. When I see surrounding, people are enjoying with their gadgets, and what you have is a pile of responsibilities. I started to self-pity myself. Why other are have that and I having my slow laptop, old fashioned phone, etc. And I try to justify to God that I've been generous to His people - giving away 2 laptops to those who need it knowing that I won't be using that; bless other people with whatever way that I can. All I got is just a free meals which happened most often.

Often I try to be positive, and to content myself not to indulge with all these. But as you keep yourself away from this thing, it will come to you and caused you to self-pity again. When you self-pity yourself, you'll tend to find way to comfort yourself. One of the ways is, how to improve the things that I have. When I found out the solution and proud of it - using less money to make your computer fast for example, things fail you. I don't know why when you thought God has given you a way to comfort yourself, God frustrates the plan. And you blame God and say, "IF this plan is going to fail, why you give me such thinking. You think I have a lot of money?" That's my reaction.

I became so angry, so disappointed with God. So often, it is pressuring for you to force yourself to reconcile with God because Sunday is coming, I need to serve; or tomorrow I need to preach, or lead worship, I need to say sorry to God no matter what. By doing so, most of the time, I make myself to an undealt problem with God. This is the struggle as well. You know you can't live without Him, but you felt disappointed with Him.

This thing has taught me one important, simple thing - HUMILITY. It really takes great effort to humble myself to realize that God frustrated my plan and to know that He has a greater plan. I have no idea why I don't have such things, but I do know that through this, I've learned an important lesson which if I have thes material things, it will make me proud and self-focused.

Ka Seng