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 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When you start to lose your friends




People say as we grow up, we will start to lose our friends. They will go one by one; some will have their own family; some will walk to another journey. What if you and your friends work in the same company? Will the friendship be different when you meet them in your workplace – especially when you went away for a period of time? Will a position affects a friendship?

Sometimes, it is a struggle to maintain a friendship and in the same time when you have to do your responsibility as the one with authority. This is where friendship can sometime be affected; and this could be the time when you lose your friends. But how? You still have to ensure things go in order. Which one to choose? Especially when you are in ministry – God or friendship?

The ironic thing is that, we all know what need to be done when things need to be done. We all know decision need to be made. We know all these in theory and common sense (sometimes). BUT when we are the one which decision is upon us, or affected by the decision, we feel dissatisfy, unwilling, and affect our perspective to our friend whom is our leader.

My question is, “Why we reacted like that?” As the one who receive the consequence of the decision, I think we need to think why the leader who is our friend needs to make such decision.

Decisions made by us as leader, will really affect the friendship that we have throughout the years before we become their leader.

What to do? I always try to live a life that pleases God not man. When I need to make decision, God or friendship, I will choose God as in the priority of the ministry. If decision made really affect our friendship, I can’t help, because reaction is on their side which I could not control it, but to think that God is showing me who can really be my friend. Surprisingly, my friends now is those who have the same experience as me to the same group of people.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Strength of trust

I'm entering my fifth month here, and for more than four months I've not been updating my blog. The major reason is because of busyness and things that I've gone through that affected me not to have the mood to write. Of course another major reason is tiredness - physical, spiritual and emotional. Apart from that I have been cultivating to write journal in a book - what I feel, the thoughts that came across my mind, I wrote it down. I was influenced by the guest that I met, Dr Johnson who literally whatever he saw he wrote it down and drew it out.

Now, there is one thing in my mind. I was thinking of a scenario. A scenario about strength of trust from two people who are serving the Lord. I'm going to simplify it here.

Both serving the Lord. One have a sum of savings which relatively can be used for emergency, the children's education and so on and so forth. Second one just have no saving; struggling to save, even to use. I'm not trying to do comparism here - indicating I'm the second one or the first. What I want to share here is the effectiveness when we ask people to trust the Lord so that when we comfort or encourage people, we can be aware not only people's background, but also ours.

Now, when suffering comes, and a question is ask to these two people, which one do you think, that they struggle more to trust the Lord? You have your answer.

I'm also not trying to say that the second person who serve the Lord has not been blessed. In fact, if you want to say who really rely on the Lord and trust in God's provisions, I think is the second person.

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...