Sunday, December 5, 2010

God heals!

Second half of the year, I faced a hard question. The question arose from an incident over a controversial song. Most of us know the controversial song from Hillsong entitled "Healer". The question came when my friend and I were discussing about it. He recognizes that the song is controversial, but, he adds on, that God can use the song to heal people with the main reason that through this song, many people were healed. This was the question which is in my mind until recently: The song, Healer heals a lot of people. My question is that, why a song which was written with false testimony can heal people?

I've been pondering about it. During one of my devotions, I got an answer: it is God who heals. I have doubt because my focus is on the song which heals, and I did not focus on God who heals. I believe all those who had been healed either from singing this song or just listening to it, was healed by God. It is not the song which heals, but God. By saying this, I am not saying or encouraging people to simply write songs to manipulate people psychologically, but songs must be written firstly through the meditation of the Word of God and with our experiences with God. This is what is lacking in today's Christian songs!

Question came now, will I use the song in church. My stand is, I will not! Because it is God who heals by His grace and His will. Our focus should not be with the power of the songs, but our focus must be with the power of God who heals!

God heals,
Isaac

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Effort Based or Academic Based?

After receiving my year one, first semester results, I was disappointed with the results that I have for one of my subjects. This subject requires us to do 2 weekly reflections: one on the lecture, another on the book. Except for one week, I never miss to hand-in any of my reflections on time. At the end of the day, I got a B+ for that subject. I thought it was alright. But when I got to know certain people got an A- for that subject, I began to question the marking system in STM. I question because of the character of the person who got that result: always rushing assignment in the last minute. I try my best not to compare, but recently the negative feeling was so strong in me.

I admit my English is not that best, do not have solid reasoning skills, and I do not have the ability to make argument or debate, or may I say, twisting facts. But in every assignment, I put all the effort that I can; try my best to reason beyond my ability; read more books that I can. But, sometimes, or perhaps, the school does not recognized this; those who do last minute assignments; it can be one night before the due dates; or sometime taken lecturer's grace for granted, can get higher marks than those who put a lot of effort in it! I can understand if it is only one or two assignments you did that. But if you do it in every semester for every paper, I think the school seriously need to think about this.

This is not the character formation that a seminary should produced. To be minister of God, we need discipline in serving. If the students can do this in seminary, and yet is not being told that they have discipline issue, I think, then they will have problem after they graduated from the seminary: preparing last minute sermon, only read the Bible when preaching day is approaching, and etc. If the seminary's vision is to equip God's people for ministry and mission, then I think the seminary should be able to identify the people, and take action on them.

I encounter only one lecturer that will judge our assignments based on our effort. Being an 'A'- student does not mean that you are a good minister and justify your pastoral hearts in the field. Excuses like, "I only can do my works last minute when there is pressure on me" is not valid at all!

I think our works should be evaluated based on effort too. If I've been evaluated on purely academic, I think I will not be able to achieve the requirements here. This is the hidden curriculum that we have to learn while doing the works of God including study: paying all effort in this studying ministry.

Servus Servorum Dei
Isaac





Monday, September 6, 2010

Worship

John 4:23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.



Disclaimer!!
Make sure you read this if you cannot sleep at night!!



Three weeks ago, the passage on John 4:23 came to my mind during the church service. I've forgotten where the verse came from. They next day, as I was doing my devotion, I read this passage again. I was wondering what God is trying to speak to me.

In the midst of pondering the passage, another passage came to my mind, Colossians 3:16. Gosh, so I keep on pondering the relation with these two verses.


As I study the verse, Col. 3:16 I began to see some light. It is so true that, if you keep on meditating or reflecting on certain verses, it will speaks to you. That is the power of God's Word. In Col. 3:16, "The Word of Christ" is the subject. The main verb is "to dwell" (imperative/command). The Word of Christ must dwell in us richly. When the Word dwells in us richly, the next three verbs are the consequences: to teach and to admonish, and to sing (all three are in participle form). [I know is a bit academic here, but to be faithful to the Word of God, we do need to go back to the original text to have a better insight]

Recently, I've encountered a lot of "debates" or "insights" of what worship is? I believe these two verses have spoken to me. Our worship, our preaching, our giving, our daily life and etc is the consequences of the Word of Christ that dwelt in us. We can't just worship the Lord just because of our feeling as Christian that God loves us, therefore we worship him. But we must let the Word of God dwell in us, and with conviction, from inside out we worship our God. Not only in worship, but also in preaching. How can we preach unless the Word of God dwell in us and has convicted. To dwell in us, it is not just having understood the passage, but from inside-out, in practice, we are able to show what has been dwelt in us (1John 4:16b, 20 - God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him; if someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen).

What then shall I say? (wow! Like St. Paul arguing certain issue, :D) Am I saying that the Word of God is the most important? Yes! Last Friday, there was a person was arguing that in a service, everything is important. She said, we cannot say the Word is more important than worship, and worship is more important than any other "items" in a service. I think she got it wrong! In a service, all that we are doing are the consequences of the Word that has been dwelt in us. I believe that everything that we do in a service must be Christ centered, and the CLIMAX of the service is the Word of God (the reading and preaching) because that is where the word is proclaimed to us (the Reading) and where through the preacher, we believe that God is using him to reveal the Word to us so that it speaks to us in our current context which in the end lead us to Christ who is our stronghold, and in Him we shall not be afraid (Psalm 27:1b).

Conclusion? Our worship, preaching (or even sharing in a devotion), is the effects of the indwelling of the Word in us. By then, true worshipers that have understood the dwelt Word and practice it will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Therefore, we need the Holy Spirit, our Helper, the Spirit of truth (John 15:26) who will remind us what Jesus had taught us (John 14:16) to worship God our Father. Worship not just as in singing praise and worship, but also in prayer, preaching and our daily lives.

Our action: Read your Bible and pray everyday so that God's word will dwell in you richly!

Isaac


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Syncretism?

I wonder what would John Calvin says a bout this or even the Presbyterian?

Monday, August 16, 2010

I just need a prayer

I began to understand the book of Job slowly now. I'm having severe back pain now. It affects my breathing and my left hand movement. I posted this in FaceBook. Only two people offered their prayer to me while others were analyzing the cause of the pain and if I say something some replied me "faith without deeds in nothing". How ironic that people can use scripture for their own benefit, benefit in defending their analysis is correct.

The cause of my back pain is more towards the bed's slats were put wrongly! This has caused my bed sink in the middle! Moreover, I do not have a flat platform on top of the slats! How ironic again that this seminary is lead with a lot of 'doctors'! but do not know how to put a bed slats! Second cause is of course the mattress itself which has been used for more than 10 years. If we ask for a change, it will be replaced from the one in the store room. What is the point?! To change a new one perhaps it will took months to be replaced. Need to go through a lot of meetings perhaps to decide whether need to buy a new mattress or not! Is not that I do not try, but this is the nature of this place and the system here! If we ask for a better one, perhaps the students will be judge why we asking for a luxury stuff and began to tell their old story 30 years ago! Moreover the mattress is neither made from latex or fiber. It's just a foam! Imagine it has been used for more than 10 years by more than 100 people include some campers!

Anyway, I find explaining all these is meaningless. Perhaps, it is better for the three friends of Job to continue remain in silent rather that start their speeches and analyzing what happened to Job, maybe he has sinned against God or just be patient during this suffering. I think, none of them can understand Job more than God and Job himself.

All I need is just a prayer that God will heal me not analyzing from people! It is easier to say. Try and feel the pain!

God please heal,
Isaac

Saturday, August 7, 2010

knowledg-ed but no wisdom?

Since I am free now, let me update my blog now and share what is in my mind..:D

In my wisdom literature class, I learnt that wisdom is not about head knowledge but how we deal with our daily practical life.

I don't know whether is this funny, but this is what I observed in STM itself! There are a lot of intelligent people here. Knowledgeable, very passionate especially during debate to prove their ideas is right and etc and etc.

Imagine this situation, an intelligent person who obtained a doctorate in their lives and do not know how to use simple things such as a microphone or even handling a projector! This is what I observed. Do we need a PhD in handling a microphone? Isn't it is a sad thing where you have the most knowledge and couldn't handle simple things in life. What hidden curriculum that we can learn from here if the hidden curriculum is so important? Just focus on study and filling our mind and ignore the small and simple practical things?




Thursday, July 22, 2010

Children and Adult

Last 2 weeks, Ps. Stella was preaching about Children Worship in FCC. One thing I discovered and I asked myself why I didn't see this during my research. I keep on finding facts to prove that children can worship. But one question is that whose problem when the child could not worship? Is the adult! not the children. The children are not given the chance to worship together in the service.

I was leading worship in the chapel today. I sang hymns and one song that I've sung during the Children Worship Conference. I arranged the songs in the way the songs would give us the feel. One hymns that I sang is "Joyful Joyful We Adore thee". I find that most of the time when we sing this in chapel, is more solemn or more lamenting. How can we sing Joyful song with lament mode?! The form of the music indeed plays an important part in worship. I'm not saying that I use music to psycho the people to worship, or to stir their feeling, but this is the gift of God that has been given to people and we use it. The modern form of music shows another important thing that playing piano alone will not show us; team work! Why people in STM complain that the worship is so noisy? Obvious reason is that we do not have good sound system!

I've been out of topic now. But that is what I am struggling here too. Back to children and adult. Second song that I sang is "I will offer up my life" by Matt Redman. The struggle when I was leading in STM is almost the same in All Saints' Cathedral, difficult to get the people to sing whereby in Psalms it is a command to worship HIM! I sensed that the atmosphere is so different in chapel just now. Not all, but some are so skeptical while worshiping. When we sang this song in the Children Conference, the atmosphere was so different. I personally cried and was touched by the Spirit. I felt the strong assurance in God while worshiping with the children. But I can't sense it just now. I think is because of the simplicity of the faith.

May the Lord have mercy on us.
Isaac

Monday, July 5, 2010

Learning Theology through Steward Group Duty

Theology that learned through book I think is only stop at head but not hands. Theology, I think, is best learned through the simple thing that we do in our daily lives. I remembered my first day in All Saints' Cathedral for practical, I asked one question "how can I learn theology through folding the bulletins?"

Last week was my steward group's turn to do our duty. I was so encourage by one of the members, saying that she is so happy whenever she saw the forks and spoons are so organized because she said that she knew that this person must have "use his heart" (transliteration from Chinese) or put in effort in doing this, and she said that in STM I'm the only person who does that. Then I gave a reason to her, how can we study Systematic Theology and we do not behave systematically? Through this act, I know that God is an organized God. Just look at how He plans for the Ark. Therefore, I always sigh when I saw the forks and spoons are in a mess!

Second thing that I can put my theology into practice during duty is that God is a God of grace or perhaps He is not a calculative God. If He is calculative, then all of us will live under His wrath! Even single thing that we do will be wrong even though we think that it is right. I say this because every meal in STM we seemed to have only 20mins to eat. After 20mins, second bell will ring and the door will be closed. I've observed that some people really so particular with the time because if many people are still eating then they can wash less. They are so calculative! I think the vision of our student body is not clear to the community here, "Sharing God's grace". I told my group members that they can ring the bell, BUT not close the door. Washing few more plates won't makes any difference after having washed all other plates! Don't be so calculative. Share the grace. I think we have to think like this: we have been served by five different steward groups and we serve for one week only. Compare the 5 times you receive and 1 time you give. Why do we need to be so calculative!

Theology affects methodology. How you treat people or how you behave affect your understanding about God.

James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

Isaac

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is my mind polluted or the people?

Before I enter the seminary, I have this in mind that the life in seminary will be better than the outside world. Things go to the opposite side. Sometimes people in seminary are far more worst than the people at outside. I really could not imagine this because the seminary is a place where all the future pastors and priest to be trained! How come it has not become a place where it suppose to show the character of a loving Christ?!

Is my mind too perfect or naive, or is the problem with people? Or perhaps seminary is just a place for academic rather than training up our faith?

Isaac

He Knows

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

He knows my pain, he knows each tears that fall, he knows and he knows.
Isaac

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Semester 1 Year 2

This semester is ending tomorrow. So, what have I learned? Am I still the same like last year did not learn any spiritual thing but only academic from STM? This semester I have changed my perception. I've learned spiritually. A lot indeed. I think, I have learned more in my character building through STM be it academically, spiritually or through fellowship with friends and lecturer. Just share something that I've learned:

1. Mark subject - This is the first thing to share not because I got a good mark for MARK from Dr. KY, but is because through out the process, I learned one thing which is very important: are we an outsider or insider. Studying theology, are we closer to God or further away from God even though we always study His word daily; or will we be like the women at the end of Mark, run away because they were afraid? This subject really challenges my life as Christian, a disciple and minister of God.

2. Fear God and obey His commandment - As I've shared in previous entry, even though the world seems to be unfair to the righteous, even though the wise and fool have the same destiny, those who chose to fear God are far wiser than those who did not.

3. Remember God - While I was preparing my Homiletics' preaching assignment on Joshua 5, one of the things that I reflected is Remembering God especially mentioning about circumcision and we have been talking of this for a month!! potong potong!! Although we guys always joke about it, but one thing that I reflected through the word circumcision is that it is not only the sign of covenant that God has made to Abraham, but is also a sign for us to remember God. Here is the "18sx" explanation. I believe guys will always see his "little brother" whenever we go to toilet and do our small business or "pay our water bill". Whenever we pay our water bill, we will see the mark of covenant (if you are circumcised). I though of, whenever the Jews saw this, they remember why they being circumcised. And this is how I memorized the hebrew word for rememberזָכַר, zakar. You can check this word in internet.:D

Hmm..After all, studying theology is not only fun, but we have to reflect it in our lives.

Happy Holiday.
Isaac

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ecclesiastes

I've been struggling through the Book of Ecclesiastes last two weeks. It is interesting to go through it and study it in details. Of course as I am writing this, I am writing with many regrets because I should insert this thoughts into my assignment. Anyway, I just want to share some of the thoughts that I got and some "enlightenment" to the difficulties that I've encountered when I was doing this assignment.

The Qoheleth started with a "big sigh", "vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity"(1:2) and this question, "What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun" (1:3). And at the end of the book, he summarized it with this in 12:13, "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."

I am not quite satisfy with the conclusion that the Qoheleth made at the beginning because I couldn't understand it and accept it because just because everything is under God control, then he made this conclusion.

I've posted the question in FB and I got this answer, "If he dieth, he dieth a little wiser". At first I could not accept this answer because I was questioning that what is the point of being wise if you have died?

Keep on questioning really can help you to find an answer. I got some enlightenment when I questioned about the wise and the fool. I got this answer, "wise people will choose to fear God" even though there are a lot of unfairness in this world. I mean the fool are wise if the choose to fear God. The world define wise as not being stupid, but to be wise in God is to choose to fear him. With this answer I can understand why Qohetleth came to this conclusion even though the rich and the poor, the wise and the fool, the clean and unclean, those who offer sacrifice and those who didn't will come to the same end, DEATH!

After all, life is not really meaningless if we choose to Fear and Keep God's command. Notice, it is our whole duty as a man

Isaac

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Children

I've been playing with Keegan these few weeks. As I observed, he understood things but because of his limited vocabulary, he finds hard to explain what he understands. Another thing is that he can remember a video that I've shown to him: exactly from beginning to the end with the sound effect some more!

Yesterday both of us were watching "The Lion King" together. I can understand the whole movie. I asked some questions to him, and he can answered. I asked him because he is more towards Chinese background. I was really impressed with the ability of a child.

I'm currently working on my thesis proposal on children. I am focusing on the importance of intergenerational worship to the children. So please pray for me. I thank God that I am seeing the progress daily. And also thank God for the lecturer who has guided me although we have some "bad blood" before. But, in order for the Lord to mold our character, He purposely put us into this condition and with this people.

I end this post with some sharing from George Barna on why Children are matter to God.
  • Children are a gift from God. He grants children to adults as a special sign of His love to us and as a means of personal fulfillment (see Deut. 7:13; Ps. 127:3)
  • Adults receive special blessings through their children. God provides supernatural benefits of many types to family and friends through children, and He matures us through the challenges of parenting (see Num. 5:28; Deut. 28:4, 11; Lam. 4:2)
  • Children are desirable. From the beginning of human history, God has instructed us to have children. In fact, the intentional decision of a married couple not to have children is viewed as a bad choice (see Gen. 9:7; Deut. 6:3; Luke 1:24-25).
  • Children need to be taught how to think and act in relation to God and His ways. One of the greatest adult challenges is passing on appropriate knowledge and behaviours to their progeny. We were created to be in relationship with Him, so our understanding of His nature and expectations is a significant undertaking (see Exo. 12:26,37; Deut. 4:9-10;6:1-7; 31:12-12: Ps. 78:4-6: Prov. 22:6).
  • To have a fruitful relationship with God, children must be taught to obey Him. Obedience is one of the central duties of humankind. Throughout Scripture, God exhorts His people to be raised to follow His commands and reap the benefits of such obedience (see Prov. 8:32; 19:26; Jer. 2:30; 3:22; Eph.6:1; Col. 3:20).
  • Children are so valuable to God that He commands us to protect them. Parents are supposed to ensure the spiritual and physical security of their children (see 1 Sam. 20:42; Ezra 8:21).
  • God wants to have a genuine relationship with His children. Accordingly, He describes how children may enter His presence and enjoy His company (see Pss. 8:2; 34:11; 103:13; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 21:15; Mark 10:13-16).
  • God loves children enough to ensure that they receive discipline. Regardless of the manner in which that shaping s provided, it is a reflection of His passion for a child’s well-being (see Prov. 3:11-12; 13:24; 19:18; 23:13; 29:15-17: Eph. 6:4).
  • God enjoys the nature and personality of children. The Scriptures specifically identify attributes such as sincerity, humility, naivete, vulnerability and simplicity as qualities found in children, and He treasures these characteristics (see Matt. 18:3; 19:14; Phil. 2:15).
Isaac

Monday, April 12, 2010

God's faithfulness

Yesterday, Bishop preached in FCC. I din't expect that. Why I say that I din't expect that is because firstly, we have a good chat. Really din't expect that..:D Secondly, God has used him to ministered to me and challenged me..Really din't expect that too..His life has been an inspiration to me. I am sad that many people have misunderstood him. I do not want to say why people can misunderstood him. I think only time and the future generation will know in the end why he is a great man..

As he shared yesterday that he memorized the psalms and one of it is Psalm 91, this morning I give myself a challenge to memorize it too. One verse comforts me and assures to me a lot. Psalm 91:4 - his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Only God who is faithful in our life. Only he is the one who never leaves us nor forsakes us. But many time we put our hope in the unfaithful one, things that will perish rather than imperishable and the faithful one. Many times, I seek my own way to solve my problems rather than relying on his faithfulness. But the Lord promises, his faithfulness will be our shield and rampart. Amen!

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Isaac

Monday, April 5, 2010

2 years

This month marks our two years of courtship. I thank God for her because through this relationship, we are as iron sharpens iron. We grow together towards maturity. We tolerate with each other weakness and even style of handling problem. Guess what, we are still writing love letters to each other.:D

We have started our relationship in long distance (that time not really long, Labuan-KK), and now we are still in distance (this time really long, KK-KL!). Even though we are at distance, it is amazing how God sustains our relationship. A lot of sacrifices have been made. I will make every effort to go KK to spend time with her. Even though sometime we are caught up with works while I am in ASC, but in the midst of work we still able to spend our time.

Two years. All these are nothing but the grace of God in us. May the Lord continue to sustain us.


Isaac&Cyn

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Should we stay in peace?

Last week was a tough week for me and also for my classmates. We've struggled for the Church History exam. One of my thoughts while I was reading and doing my revision is that should we stay in peace. I've noticed that during the first 2oo years, the Christians were persecuted and yet, they still hold on to their faith (some of course denied it due to fear of persecution). Once we came to the Christian Emperor, Constantine, we noticed that there were peace for the Christian or everything starts to go smoothly. During this time there were a lot of debate, theological debates on Trinity and Christology. It has created a lot of division just because they have different view on these issues. The Arian and The Nicea Council, the Nestorians and Cyril and etc etc. Of course I won't deny that they have gave big contribution to today's doctrine. But I think, they have fallen or influence by the Greek culture, the philosophical debates and have forgotten what is our mission on earth. It reminds me of my NT Exegesis that I've done last year on 1 Corinthians 1: 26 - 31.

I will call last week as "Unity Week" because two sermons on Unity were preached which I will preach on it too for my Homiletics class using Philippians 2: 5-11. I really agree that unity is the evangelistic tool for the non-Christians. Through division, how can the kingdom stands? How people see us as Christian?

Sometimes, I think that when our lives is so comfortable, at peace, we tend to focus on other things than preparing for the coming of the Lord. We should live as though Jesus will be coming on tomorrow. This is what my lecturer said, the view of Eschatology has changed when Jesus seems to delayed his coming.

What I've done is to not let myself in peace or comfort in order not to lose the passion and the intimate dependency to the Lord.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why need to hide?

Today I had a conversation with my girlfriend and touched on a topic which is interesting. Someone criticized my girlfriend on her appearance, wearing too simple. To be a good boyfriend, I comforted her and said, "Only those who thinks that they are not perfect will do a make-up on their face with several inches of powder." She laughed. :D.. I continued, "If you think you are perfect, why you need to hide. Even when you wear simple, you look nice and beautiful"

It is true indeed, if a person feels some part of her (or his)body is not perfect, they will cover it. Of course, simple make-up is enough to make you look afresh, but please, not the extreme one la.

After sharing this, I watched this in facebook which I think will be a good illustration..:D

See the difference. I cannot stand with this. She took 5 mins to make-up her eyes only. Before make-up look like zombie..

Isaac

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Just want to share on my reflections on being poor in spirit. I quote this from Monika Hellwig on the "advantages" of being poor.

1. The poor know they are in urgent need of redemption

2. The poor know not only their dependence on God and on powerful people but also their interdependence with one another.

3. The poor rest their security not on things but on people.

4. The poor have no exaggerated sense of their own importance, and no exaggerated need of privacy.

5. The poor expect little from competition and much from cooperation

6. The poor can distinguish between necessities and luxuries.

7. The poor can wait, because they have acquired a kind of dogged (persistence in effort) patience born of acknowledge dependence.

8. The fears of the poor are more realistic and less exaggerated, because they already know that one can survive great suffering and want.

9. When the poor have the Gospel preached to them, it sounds like good news and not like a threat or a scolding.1.

10. The poor can respond to the call of the Gospel with a certain abandonment and uncomplicated totality because they have so little to lose and are ready for anything.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My first disciple

Since I left Sandakan, one person keep on messaging me every night before he sleeps. I taught him to play guitar while I was in Sandakan. Wherever I go, he follows me. He has seen how I serve the Lord. In fact, during my presence in Sandakan, he went to 7am service for the first time. He never been to any services, only to the Sunday School. His mum feels weird too. The people around keep on saying that I have a brother just because our name sounded like a brother.

I think I have left a legacy there for a person, I don't think only one; now whenever the youth saw me online in facebook, they will ask me to play Left4Death game.:D I order for this person to message me, he has to use English because I'm a banana and his English is poor. Therefore, for past two months, I've seen he has been improving his english. Praise the Lord!

What have I said, is not to glorify myself, but I saw how God works in peoples' life through me.

Isaac

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Charles Simeon Con't

I was thinking what are we going to do for tomorrow pastoral group. Either play a game or do some reflection. I decided to do a reflection on Charles Simeon. This person really inspired me a lot as I read more about him.

As I read what John Piper has commented about him, I was touched with his life and perseverance as a rejected-friend and rejected-priest/vicar. I wonder how can this guy can stand for such "persecution" surrounding him yet he still can have the passion to continue to preach!

John Piper says that "Simeon saw his suffering as a wonderful privilege of bearing the cross with Christ.": One striking witness to this was during a time when the university was especially cold and hostile to him. He reflected on his own name "Simeon" which is the same as Simon who was compelled to bear the cross for Jesus. And he exclaimed about that text: "What a word of instruction was here - what a blessed hint for my encouragement! To have the cross laid upon me, that I might bear it after Jesus - what a privilege! It was enough. Now I could leap and sing for joy as one whom Jesus was honoring with a participation of His sufferings." (Moule, 59f)

This person is really positive in thinking and during his hard time. I think we should have the same attitude as Simeon. We should see that it is a wonderful privilege of bearing the cross with Christ. We must be able to see that in time of our suffering, we are actually bearing the cross on our shoulder. Having faith that God will deliver us through times of suffering, we must persevere!

Isaac

Friday, February 19, 2010

Charles Simeon

I got to know this guy from Dr. Paul Barker. I read his biography, and one thing I learnt is his patient in times of suffering.

The lonliness as a Christian that Simeon experienced as a college student was replaced by the active opposition of his new parisioners. The congregation did not care for Simeon's biblical preaching and would have preferred the assistant, Mr. Hammond, to become rector of the parish. They showed their displeasure toward Simeon by not attending and locking the small doors of their pews (which most churches had at the time). At times, they even locked the doors of the church to prevent Simeon from holding additional services. Simeon persevered, however, and remained rector of the parish for 54 years, gradually winning over his parishioners and making a great impact that reached well beyond Cambridge.

In April, 1831, Charles Simeon was 71 years old. He had been the rector of Trinity Church, Cambridge, England, for 49 years. He was asked one afternoon by his friend, Joseph Gurney, how he had surmounted persecution and outlasted all the great prejudice against him in his 49-year ministry. He said to Gurney, "My dear brother, we must not mind a little suffering for Christ's sake. When I am getting through a hedge, if my head and shoulders are safely through, I can bear the pricking of my legs. Let us rejoice in the remembrance that our holy Head has surmounted all His suffering and triumphed over death. Let us follow Him patiently; we shall soon be partakers of His victory" (H.C.G. Moule, Charles Simeon, London: InterVarsity, 1948, 155f.).

I've lost my patient a lot whether in ministry or in relationship with friends. I always talk about "hey! I'm hurt now. You must say sorry!" Impatient causes me to become more and more individualistic. Is all about my feeling, my rights or this is what I want! I've forgotten what pain that I have compared to the pain that Christ bore on the cross. I've forgot what rejection it is compared to the rejection received by Christ on the Cross.

Pray that in this Lent season, I can persevere a Christ did.

Isaac

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Everything has changed

Today is Chinese New Year Eve. This is my sixth year not going back for Chinese New Year. I suddenly missed my CNY while I was a kids or should I say while my grandma is still around. While my grandma is around, my uncles and aunties will be at our house from CNY Eve till the 15th day of CNY. That time still not a Christian yet, so my family was gambling while we as kids was playing Micro Genius or play the fire crackers. The thing I missed is the reunion time that we had together.

But, when grandma had passed away, everything changes. Though the first year of CNY after she passed away we still meet, but it started to fades away. Our relationship with my aunties and uncles start cracking just because of property and money issue. This is one of the reasons that I don't want to go back. I am sad to see my family situation now. As for now, the reason is that the ticket is very expensive.

I always ask God, what can I do to restore this family? Although my cousins and I had grown up, but I still wish to have the reunion time together. Probably during my wedding? :D

Lord, in Your Mercy
Isaac

Monday, February 8, 2010

No slippers = no Crocs

Last week an announcement was made regarding wearing slippers and t-shirt without collar. I felt that that was directed to me. Not that I am sensitive, but I am the naughty one who always wear slippers and t-shirt. Sometime when I try to obey the rules, I saw something that brought me back to wear slipper. I always say this to those who wear Crocs SLIPPERS or ASADI brand with Crocs style. I said that this is a compromise version of slippers. Imagine how you wear a crocs and a slipper, it is the same way how you put your feet on it.

Now, what do you think about this? Allowable?



Isaac

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sick for more than a week

I started to sick since last Sunday. As I woke up early in the morning, I got sore-throat and my bones were aching. Then I need to drive all the down to Sunway from Seremban. Half way of the sermon, I cannot stand for the pain already. I kept on searching for medicine in the church but there was none. SIGH!! Have to wait for the van to return so that we can go back to Seremban. 9pm, the van hasn't come back yet. Luckily got another car we can use. On the way back, I suddenly realize that I have my medicine in my bag which I put it in last two weeks. Another SIGH!!!

Back to seminary, took shower, took medicine and directly went to sleep. Slept until the next day. And I thought I'm getting better. Next day got sore-throat and started to cough. Third SIGH!!! Cough makes me could not sleep well. Every day feel so tired! And here are the effects.

Sleeping in Chapel!!
Sick, still need to study!!


So today, I don't care anymore. No worries for assignment or whatever. I rest and rest and rest. Sleep Sleep Sleep.

Isaac

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

They did not realize it

Today I am so blur that I thought our breakfast starts at 7am. Because I am on duty today for breakfast, so I woke up at 6am to go and prepare. I finished everything at 645am and waiting for my partner to come. Then suddenly I realize that breakfast at 730am!! Sigh..So, I don't want to waste time, I did my devotion there while waiting for the time to pass.

An interesting thought came to my mine as I read John 5, when Jesus healed the paralyzed man in Bethzatha (Bethsaida). Once this man was healed, he take up his pallet/mat and walk. The Jews then rebuked the guy, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." As I read this verse, the thought came into my mind. Actually the Jews are working too. Well, I don't know who are these Jews. Probably they are the "someone else goes down ahead of me" when the guy wanted to go into the pool? or probably the Pharisees (this what actually came into my mind).

A lawyer works is to exercise the law when it is needed. So do the Pharisees. Their job is meditating the law and make sure that everyone is following it. When someone breaks the law, they will be on duty (WORK).

So when the Pharisees in the Gospel rebuke Jesus on healing in Sabbath, they did not realize that they too are 'working' while rebuking people.

Matt. 7:4-5
4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Isaac

Thursday, January 14, 2010

10 Jan 2010 Sri Indah Vision School Opening Clip




Isaac

Decrease Selfishness

One of the commandments that my pastor gave me when I told him that I've started a relationship is DECREASE SELFISHNESS. Recently I've been thinking of this since I came back to STM. I've been thinking that living in a community, we should not be talking what is the individual's rights rather we must talk about what is our responsibility. Bishop Robert Solomon has inspired me while he was explaining "forgive us our sin". He said this is not an individual sin but rather a corporate sin. This is how it inspire me that we should not talk about individual's rights, but we must practice community's responsibilities.

I think when we talk about our rights, it will always be on the things that benefit us or satisfy us. It never be the advantage of the community. On the other words, we are selfish! Responsibility is something that we work it out together for the benefit of community.

Yesterday, we had our vote whether or not today we can have our gardening. The president is concern because the compound is "dirty" in the sense that the leaves is all around the compound. I've raised my hand to agree to have gardening. My reason is that I just can't stand to see something is messy or dirty, therefore I want to have gardening so that the compound will be nicer.

I'm slowly learn how to be afresh by the Lord in my spiritual life. Yesterday, I've learned a great thing that really changes my spiritual walk with the Lord. I know last year I've shared that my spiritual walk is dry after one year study in STM. Actually it is not the matter with the place or community, but it is the individual themselves. We can't blame others. I remembered what Dr. Kar Yong commented on my post when I started my second semester, "Individual can change the community, we do not need to wait the community to be a better place." Now I really agree with it.:D

Back to the great thing that changed my spiritual walk. Yesterday, in my first theology class, Dr. Ong said something struck me. You can get the best theology in the field, with the farmer! Therefore, best theology is not in the books, but is in the field. Living with what is surrounding you! I think it answers a bit my question in John Gospel and Epistle, why the word "DWELL" is so important.

Decrease Selfishness
Isaac

Let's learn Hebrew

I'm taking Hebrew this semester. Last night I was having fun learning it. I think when we learn a language, we cannot stress ourself up. Learn it relax-ly. One of things I always keep in mind in learning language is, "DO NOT ASK WHY!!" This is because language is a fix stuff. They had been set like that. Last night Rabbi asked us to find a tune, I found one in youtube, although it is different from what he taught, (5-5-5-4-4), but at least we have a tune in it..:D


יִצְחָק = Isaac

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bandar Sri Indah School Dedication

Tomorrow marks our Diocese history after 9o years, we are able to see the vision fulfill! Pray that God will bless the school. Pray for all the teachers and principals.





To God be the Glory!
Isaac

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Children Worship Conference

I've promised to update some pictures for the Children Worship Conference in my postbeginning of December. Before the conference, I went to Kudat for a children camp too. Had a wonderful time with the children. It has taught me a lot about children. I made a hypothesis during these two camp and conference: strong children ministry leads to strong youth ministry, and strong youth ministry leads to strong church. I do not know how much you will agree with me, but I have this conviction to believe this is true. The reason I made this conclusion is because I observed that church with strong children ministry, they have youth serving in church whether in worship team or other ministry and they are one of the pillars of the church. They are the the future leader and minister of God.

As I was joining these two events, one verse keep on in my mind: Matthew 19:14 - Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Nothing much to exegete, but let the verse speaks to you itself. Don't want to talk much, share some picture and video
At Kudat Son Shine Camp

After one whole tired day, Rev. Chin blessed us with wonderful meal in Kudat! YUMMY!!

from left: Nga Choi Ham Ng (bean sprout with salted fish), pork ribs and vege.
Deer meat. Thumbs up!
This is super duper fresh from the aquarium! Kerapu!!
Before and after..
Coconut pudding. Kudat is famous with their coconut productions.
Our breakfast. One of the famous food! Home made!!
St. James Kudat. The church design looks like COHS and Good Samaritan.
The Children in Kudat
........................................................................................................

At KK
Ice breaker
Children from Sandakan, COGS
Ps. Stella's sharing and children listening and paying attention. I am amazed that the children are so quite while listening.
Workshop. This is Sign Language/ Dance

..............................................................
Videos



One of my favorite songs in the camp!


Super Strong God!! Children Can Worship!!
Isaac

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back in STM

I've back in STM. My first feeling was, "this place again, sigh." I spent last five days in KK with my love one. Although is not really one of the sweetest time among all the time we've spent due to argument and and pressure on works, but we've gone through the toughest time among all together. I praise God that through this five days, God let me see that she truly truly has been grown spiritually and emotionally. I thank God for her! Sometimes, it is not the good time that we spent that helps us to grow, but the bad time too. Of course don't always argue la. I really wish that we are together now, going through this together. This month has marked our 21st month together. Sometime both of us still confused why we are together, because we are really from different world. Thank God that through the same passion, He had brought us together.

I hope I will go through this 15weeks faster so that we can spend time again.

Miss
Isaac

My personal thought on current church

# 还我教会  Personal reflection on church. (Posted 1 year ago) Matthew13.58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of f...