Friday, 29 June 2007
So few days ago, one of our diabetes nurse needed to see a chinese patient who does not understand english fully. So my colleague asked me to be her translator.So we went to her house and have a clinical assessment with her. She is 72 and her husband is 85 years old. Her husband takes care of her. He is very fit and healthy. You wouldn't believe he is 85 if you meet him.This is my second time being a translator for the same patient.
Somewhere along our conversation, she said that she is fed up and unhappy. She has nothing to look forward to, she has been a diabetic for the past 20 years. Nothing thrills her. No joy. All she does is sit on her chair, watch the tv, had meals and nap during the day. Her eyes are not very good, so she doesn't read. She complained that she can't sleep at night.
I asked about her friends that she can hang around with. She said she doesn't have many. Even if she's been invited, she is not mobile, she get breathless easily and has backache. Travelling with cab cost about 10 pounds one way which is a luxury they can't afford.
I told her she has a lovely and caring husband. They have each other as companion, that is a great blessing already. She doesn't appear happy.
I ended the session by offering to visit her with my husband and we will bring Majung with us. Then we can play, without money. Her face lit up. A smile, and lots of thank yous. She needs friends and i am happy to offer her my friendship and time. I told Albert about her and he too is pleased with the suggestion. We prayer for her on that night.
Another day, i met a pharmacy owner in his mid 60s, planning to retire. He wanted to sell his business but he refused the transaction last minute. Reason? He wasn't sure what he is going to do with the 24 hours he had.
Life. Getting Old, retiring..... People become miserable and empty as they grow old. When they reach that part of journey, they say they have nothing to look forward to. Different people end the journey on earth differently.
A contrast is this man who follow Christ even to his 70s painted a total picture to me.
How can the quality of life be so different? For obvious reason, at this stage of life, external possession does not give one hope or joy.His face glows with joy, full of hope and not afraid to die. He has hope, he looks forward to the future, where he can finally meet the Creator face to face.
It's the heart that i am talking about.The joy and the hope of your being, at that stage of the journey.What it is? Where it is?
I do wonder sometimes whether Jesus and christianity is the truth. Could it be all made up? But when i look around me, when i observe the quality of life of different people who embrace different hope and faith, i am reassured.Their life and their being paint the true picture to me.It's not made up,the content and the words in the Bible are truth, the way. Someone who doesn't embrace this eternal relationship with the Creator feel their life is but a breath.
We were born, grow up, grow old, become sick and die.
What's the point? Good people die young or bullied, bad people survived and are rich. What's the point?
Reflecting on purpose, content , direction, hope of life....The outcome and how we end this journey depends on The choice we make. Rejecting to belong or ....
經文-translater by brother A
現代的教會的敬拜 , 有不同的形式。 隨著不同的敬拜形式，需要有不同的 配件, 設備 ("GADGETS") 。有時我在想如果沒有這些配件與設備，是否我們就不能敬拜。有聽人說, " 今日的敬拜沒有鼓, 好像是差一點味兒 !!!" 究竟敬拜是由音樂未起開始，還是音樂起隨之而有敬拜。無疑合適的音樂與環境能幫助會眾投入敬拜，但音樂只能幫助，不能令沒有敬拜生命的會眾產生敬拜。相反有敬拜生命的會眾，生命本身就是敬拜的流露。
弟兄姊妹, 敬拜是心靈向神的提升。當看到自己的不足，不配，但神仍然滿有恩典，心靈自然向神的感謝，敬畏。 真正的敬拜從心開始，不是從音樂開始! 真正的敬拜是從心靈的膝蓋向主跪下開始。
Worship: Truckloads of Gadgets -By Tozer
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. --Psalm 143:5-6
These people who have to have truckloads of gadgets to get their religion going, what will they do when they don't have anything like that? The truck can't get where they're going.
I heard a man boast this afternoon on the radio to come to his place because they were going to bring in equipment from Pennsylvania and Ohio to serve the Lord with. What equipment do you need to serve the Lord with, brother? Why, the dear old camp meeting ladies used to say, "See, this is my harp with ten strings and I praise the Lord!" And they'd clap their little old wrinkled hands with shining faces. What claptrap do you need? Do you need a bushel basket full of stuff to serve the Lord with?
Brother, if you have two knees and even if you're stiffened up with arthritis so you can't get on your knees, you can look up in your heart. For prayer isn't getting on your knees--prayer is the elevation of the heart to God. That's all a man needs. You can pray in a prison, you can pray in an airplane, you can pray in a ship; you can pray anywhere and you can worship God, because it's Himself that we want, Himself. Success and the Christian, 30.
"Lord, show me Yourself this morning. I don't have any 'claptrap' or equipment here; I just want to get on my knees and worship. I meditate on Your works, my soul longs for You, here in the quiet of my study. Amen."
By the way, the weather in London has been erratic.One day it's cold, one day it's hot, one day is blue, one day is grey. How true is it with life... Forrest Gump once said :" life is like a box of chocolate, you'll never know what you gonna get."
Thursday, 28 June 2007
I have subscribed to this dailybide recently. It's written by an experience youth worker who connects today's story with God's story with our story and their story. I really enjoyed reading it everyday. Today's topic is very interesting. Initially when i read about this roller coaster and our walk with God, i can't really put two together. Then as i continue to read, the mental image of seat belt, that keeps us from falling when we are on a rolle coaster becomes clearer. Indeed, staying close to God keep us from falling. This illustration of roller coaster is so creative and relevant. Enjoy !
If you like it, you can subscribe from here
Taking any wild rides this summer?
Fastest? Longest? Tallest?
Ask Duane Marden, the king of roller coaster math. Check out his rankings on the top U.S. thrill ridesWhen MSN City Guides went trolling for record-setting amusement park rides, we found ourselves on the fast track to a fairly humble-looking Web site called Roller Coaster Database ( www.rcdb.com). Drill into the site, and you'll find stats and photos on more than 1,900 coasters worldwide, all vetted by one very dedicated volunteer.
Amusement parks, you see, can be prone to a wee bit of exaggeration when it comes to speed and size, so RCDB founder Marden combs through submissions from some 100 coaster fanatics from around the world and tries to pin down the facts. He checks in with ride manufacturers and has even gleaned enough about coaster physics to know when claims might be stretching the truth.
"I call it amusement park math. At one time, every roller coaster at every Six Flags park did at least 65 mph"—or so they said, according to Marden. "At least I can look at a claim and say, '110-foot drop and 80 mph. That's not physically possible.'"
His own favorite rides? Among steel coasters, it's Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. "It's a big roller coaster, but it's not the tallest. It's very long, and it's very fast for most of the ride," he says. "When you get off that, y! ! ou know you've been on a roller coaster."
Jude 1:24-25 (NLT)
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
According to today's God's Story scripture, why can we trust God to keep us from "falling"?
God's Spirit gave Jude the words to write in this letter. God wants us to know that we don't have to be afraid of falling prey to false spiritual teachers if we trust Him and keep connected to Jesus (abiding in Christ - John 15).
Jude wrote to people like you and me - they were vulnerable to false "religious" ideas and to temptations to live an immoral lifestyle. Think about our culture. Every which way we look, we are bombarded with spirituality, most of which is from Satan, our enemy, not from God's Holy Word.
The basic philosophy of the secular world is that you should believe anything you want to believe about God, regardless of truth. If your belief is true for you and feels good to you, then you will be happy. If there is life after death, your chances are good.
That sounds like a thrill ride that guarantees you a fall that lasts forever.
Following Jesus every day can be a wild ride but you can be assured that God won't let you fall from His grace. When you receive His forgiveness through Christ's death and resurrection you become one of His children. The Father takes care of His kids!
As we abide in Christ, He empowers us to remain faithful no matter the temptations and false teachings that the enemy throws at us. The real thrill of this Christian life ride comes at the end - when we come into Christ's presence
How can you connect today's God's Story scripture to your own life?
- Stay buckled up in "the belt of truth" (Ephesians 6:14). God keeps us from "falling" as we remain in Christ. We remain in Christ by knowing and obeying His Truth - God's Holy Word. Is your time in God's Word sort of hit and miss? You need His "seat belt of truth" all the time. If you're spending time with Jesus in His Word every other week, try for weekly. If once a week, try three times a week. Soon, it will be every day, because Jesus knows your struggle and will help you.
- Pray right now for Jesus to help you. Confess any way in which you have recently been trying to "ride" life's ups and downs on your own rather than with Jesus.
- If you go on a ride at an amusement park this summer and find yourself spinning around, let Jesus take that moment to remind you of the scriptural truth we looked at today. God won't let you fall!
- Read the book of Jude (it's short) for a deeper understanding of today's scripture.
How can you connect today's story and God's Story and your story to others?
- You could go to an amusement park and hang out (but don't fall). Seriously, if you've been having any kind of spiritual discussions with someone and you go on a thrill ride together - it would be pretty natural for you to use this as an illustration to share more of your faith story with them.
- Make abiding in Christ (John 15) your constant discipline. As you stay buckled in the seat with Jesus, then connecting to theirsStory will be natural, because Jesus is in control of the ride.
About Daily DevosGod's Story is brought to you by Youth for Christ. YFC works with young people on campus and in the community in over one hundred countries around the world so that they might have an opportunity to become a follower of Christ and be a part of a local church.
Our writer,Byron Emmert, has been with YFC for over 30 years and has served as Campus Life Staff, in leadership for DCLA, and as an author and speaker.Byron is available for speaking at youth or adult events and conferences.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
for all You are to me,
For all thing You do
But i thank You most of all, Lord
For showing me how much i mean to you
Few days later, i had this conversation with Albert :" What is the difference between a 2 year old boy who knows all his alphabet and those who hasn't?"
"No difference." Albert replied.
Many parents would want their kids to speak ASAP, learn their alphabets ASAP, learn their maths ASAP. I asked a number of parents for hints and tips. Who doesn't want a child who can utter words and do their maths( if possible) at the age of 2?
Then it just occured to me that it really doesn't matter. Intelligence or skills or talent doesn't define our worth. We don't put a price tag on human beings, like how we place a price tag on products. The more function a product gives, the more expensive it becomes. The more intelligent or skillful a person is, he(she) worth more and consequently deserve more love.
Subconsciously, we buy into this idea.We worshipped intelligence, talent and we want our child to grow up having some of that. Like the video i mentioned earlier, the pianist who only has 4 fingers, physical disability does not diminish one's worth. I say that because i am a christian and i am the child of God. God's words tell me that we are all beautiful and we are all the same, the object of his eternal unconditional love. You and I worth the same because God created us in His image, we are His children. We don't have to "top up" our worth by proving to the world that we are invincible or smarter than our neighbours. More so, we don't have to earn others' respect by stepping on others so we can climb higher. We learn and acquire new skills and knowledge so we can better serve our neighbours, so we can help those who are in need. Those who are literate are not meant to boast about their literacy. We just happen to live in a comfortable family, just happen to be born in a comfortable country that can offer education. What is there to boast? Because we are literate, we are meant to help those who are not. We don't despise them because we have something that they don't. They, too , may have some other strength or skills that we don't. We all need each other. If everyone becomes doctor, where do we find architect and engineers that design buildings and houses for us?
This is a reminder for myself. If my child doesn't like biology or chemistry, that's fine. He (or she) can't stand the sight of blood, and have no interest in becoming a doctor. That's fine too. No matter what he does, he is still precious in the eyes of God and mine. His worth is define by who he belongs to, rather than what he has. Sometimes, the thought of maybe, i may give birth to a disable child comes to my mind. How would i respond ? Will i blame God? Will i become bitter? Do i have the right posture before God? Will i still please God with praises and thanks giving for this gift of life, regardless of the condition of the child? Can i see this child through God's eye?
These few days,i was reminded that nothing surprises God. Whatever that befalls me, the purpose is for me to know more of God's revealed character and transform my lens, that i am able to look at the world around me from God's eyes. He wants me to know more of His love so i can love others with the love that He gives me.
I no longer need to strive to be number 1, or becomes the richest or the smartest. I am who i am.. I praise God for my strength and i rely on God to show me my weakness and rely on His strength to help me overcome. He loves me too much to want me to stay that way. The same applies to those around me. Yes, my friend was right, it doesn't matter when he had his first flip. By the end of the way, it doesn't matter. Because our skills, intelligence and talent does not define our worth. It's to whom we belong.
"Since you are precious and honoured in my sight,
and because i love you....Isaiah 43:4
"For You( God through Christ) created my inmost being
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because i am fearfully and wonderfully made
your works are wonderful
i know that full well
My frame was not hidden from you
when i was made in the secret place
When i was woven together
in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be " Psalm 139
"Before i formed you in the womb i knew you
before you were born i set you apart...." Jeremiah 1:5
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
We all lived in the illusion that everything stays the same forever , or we would like to think this way. That's why we are shocked or we can't come to term with changes and uncertainties.
Job is a major element. We spent at least 1/3 of our lives at work. I have met graduates who felt depress or disappointed when they couldn't secure a job. They inevitably felt they were not good enough , and lost their confidence. Those of us who are in a job took for granted that redundancy will only happen to someone else and not me, as i am not that bad. We all would like to think we are secured, in our job, with secured income and ah ha.. the most important thing money.
It's an illusion to think that stability is a constant in our lives. One day, when we least expect, it will strike. How do we response to it? Do we immediately find ourselves in the pit of valley? Lost our confidence, lost our identity and purpose? As if our purpose is closely pinned to our job ? As if we are defined by our career? All our years of study, was it not because of a secured career? It's probably true if you are a chinese. This anchoring of our security on career and money is dangerous. Because, these anchors are volatile.
I want to be prepared, i want to have the right posture when i am in uncertainties.When i am being stripped of my job, or my comfort, i want to trust that God's hand is leading me. When i am can't see the future, when i am being blind folded, i want to rely on the hand that creates me, the hand that loves me is the same hand that leads me in the darkness, the same hand that leads me
to a place of stillness and rest
to a place where i truly belong,
a place where i will never be condemned,
a place where i don't have to strive to be good enough,
a place where i am loved, just the way i am,
a place of complete acceptance.
As the lyrics of my fav song goes:
There's a place that i know
where i need more often to go
A place of amazing comfort and rest
where a smile is never rare
and Your love( God through Christ revealed His love) is as free as the air
and i lack for nothing
when i see the love in Your eyes
and know that it's all for me
I fear nothing at all
when i'm safe in the
arms of My Father
and if ever i fall
i take comfort in knowing
that YOu are There
The joy of being blind folded is the comfort of the reliable Hand that leads me to Your presence.
Commentary: Let the Music Lead
It was a first for me. The couple started their wedding by summarizing their pilgrimage to God and to each other --- through Latin dancing.
Those of us who knew anything of their story recognized some of the moves they had worked in. These were two strong individuals and Latin dancing, a shared passion, was an ideal medium to tell their oft stormy story and its happy conclusion.
Then came time for the sermon. The pastor, an old friend, spoke from Ephesians 5: 22-33 and as all of us pastors do when we reach verse 22 "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord"(NET), we acknowledge how difficult it is for a modern audience to hear this in an age so sensitized to sexual discrimination.
The evangelical world is very divided over gender roles. The "complementarians" point to passages that seem to teach so clearly the leadership of males in home and church (1 Timothy 2:12-15; 1 Corinthians 11:2-4)). They point to the Trinity as a key source of their position pointing out that just as God the Father and God the Son are co-equal yet have different functions, so it is with men and women made in the image of God. Men and women have equal value but different functions. One of the functions of the men is to provide leadership. On the basis of their different roles men and women complement each other.
The "egalitarians" on the other hand point out to passages that say that in Christ, there is no longer male and female (Galatians 3:28). They point out that under the headship of Christ each one should use whatever gift they have been given to serve (Romans 12:3-8). If you have the gift of leadership then lead, whether you are male or female. Besides biblical leadership is not hierarchical. It is group leadership, and home and church should be led by leadership teams of both sexes.
This is a heated debate especially among evangelicals in the U.S. We in Asia are sometimes shocked to see the kind of name-calling that goes on in this debate. We are astounded that one's stand on gender issues is used as a mark of orthodoxy and that whole bible translations come into being as a result of this controversy. The nature of gender roles may be a matter of controversy. The call for charity is not.
Because evangelicals put such a high premium on Scripture the hermeneutical task must continue. We need to know what the Word actually says but we also need to know how to dialogue with others who do not see the issue as we do. And no name calling please. (I do not know whether to laugh or to cry when I hear the translators of the TNIV Bible accused of having caved in to radical feminism. Bruce Waltke, one of my professors from Regent, is one of the main translators and he is as complementarian as they come.)
I suspect the debate has been too man centred. After all, the main divide is not between man and woman. It is between human kind and God. And so the debate as to how a husband and wife should relate to each other cannot be divorced form the question of how they both are to relate to God.
In Latin dancing as in most types of formal dancing, the man is expected to lead. And the woman responds best to a partner that she trusts and respects. But really both man and woman are led by the music. The man's leadership in dancing is to help both him and his partner respond best to the music. In one sense it is the music that leads. (I first came across this metaphor in one of Larry Crabb's books.)
Therefore instead of always being concerned with the question of whether it is the man that is the head of the family or whether there is some dynamic cooperative leadership of both man and woman, why don't we first say that it is God that is the head of the family.
And while we continue to wrestle with whether the Scriptures support the complementarians or the egalitarians, or whether another position that synthesizes certain elements of both positions is closer to the Word, let us help all our people, including our husbands and wives, better hear the Divine Music. If all of us give ourselves to hearing and obeying the Word of God and aspire to grow in Christ likeness there should be more harmony in all our relationships including our marriages.
The over riding consciousness should not be "who is Boss" but that God is Boss and whatever my theological position on gender roles I am first and foremost a servant, a servant of God and a servant of my spouse (John 13: 1-17).
As I reenter the dance of marriage I am struck afresh by the wonder of having someone you love commit themselves to love you and to cleave to you. As we approach our first Valentine's day as husband and wife I am deeply aware of the fact that even on my best day I don't deserve Bernice's love and that I can never be good enough to be the leader and husband she deserves.
But we are very conscious that we belong to God and that as a family and as a couple we want to give our lives for His purposes. These are the overriding concerns of our lives. Daily we seek to hear the Divine Music and respond accordingly.
So Ken and Shirene, thank you for being brave enough and creative enough and skillful enough to express your lives together through dance. Ken you were given the mandate to lead the family. But if both you and Shirene give yourselves to hearing and responding to the Divine Music your dance will continue, and it will continue to be beautiful, and it will continue to be a blessing to you and to those privileged to be in your lives.
Monday, 25 June 2007
“So, it’s a man thing huh? Not just my husband”, I replied to L. “What a relief!”
It doesn’t feel good when others are being impatient to you when you just can’t understand or slow to perceive what seem to be so obvious to them.
My husband is smart, well, he is, we did IQ test together, and he scored about 130. He is a N in Myers Brigg, intuitive, which means he is very good as abstract, imaginative, concepts, sees the forest, instead of trees. While I, am a S, sensor, I am very good with details, facts, data, live by my five senses, sees the trees instead of forest.
So, coming to the story, he knows how to cut his hair. He normally trims his own hair, and he leaves the last bit where he can’t reach, to me. But me, being an S, I just don’t know how to cut his hair, especially the back. He told me the concept, never cut straight and chop the hair, but always 45 degree. I can’t imagine what could be, so I failed again. I just cut his in a straight line, from left to right, and that leaves him s “coconut hairstyle”. It looks horrible. Plus I use a normal scissors. He was frustrated because he just can’t understand why I can’t grasp the concept of hair cutting. He said he never learnt hair dressing, he just observed what the hair dressers did and he just “get it”. His frustration affects me as well. Because I also can’t understand why can’t he be patient with me, as I just haven’t grasped the skills, something that seems so obvious to him may not be obvious to me. Each of us just has different strength.
Having said that, this morning, the role reversed, this time between me and my colleague. I can’t stand my colleague, can’t stand working with him. We are working on the search strategy on prescribing audit. We were meant to write all the steps involved in search strategies for the software used by the GPs. To be honest, he annoys me a lot! Because he just doesn’t get it. Whether is shared, included or excluded , what should be included and excluded, what are we really including in our search. In the end, I have to pick up all his pieces, and consequently it’s been delayed. I lost it. I showed my frustration , my tone, my facial expression, my impatience. I know he is not happy with it, but I am clearly annoyed by his lack of perception. Why can’t he just understand if we include 100mcg and 200 mcg of steroid inhaler, and not put an age limit, it will defeat the purpose of us wanting to search for children who are on high dose of steroid inhaler? Sounds familiar?
As i spoke with my colleague in my frustration, this verse came to me :
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love, Ephesian 4:2All those theories and how I should be patient to him were floating in my mind asI talked to him in my unfriendly tone, but I can’t hold my frustration. *Geram*
So one day, I was the victim, the other, I victimised others. How familiar! I shouldn’t be treating others the way I do not wish to be treated. I am not there yet, I admit my weaknesses, and I am still learning to be
“completely gentle and humble, be patient, bearing with one another in love! Including my colleague.
Friday, 22 June 2007
how true how true... life , as i believe, is always about perspective and values, which then affect our priorities and our conduct.
It's all about the lens that we use to see this world and those around us
Our values and perspective is very much influenced by those around us. So the crux would be: who feeds into our values? With whom do we hang out most?
I have realised that the more i spend time with a being, the more i am influenced. Today, i've been thinking "what does it mean to walk with someone?" To walk with those who are sick, those who are hurting?
How do i walk with God? How do i see the world through God's eyes?
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
In times of hurt, loss, grief, the real us, the inner being seek encouragement, as RLS wrote, we seek fo cheerleaders, and support. Someone who will encourage us not to give up living, not to give up hope, not to be bitter, not to see the world and those around us as part of the situation that hurt us, and NOT to be selfish. Not to live our lives with this sentiment of " everyone is out there for themselves, to protect myself, i live for myself and no one else. Who cares? "
To live such a life diminish us from living the abundance life that God wants us to. We become less human when we become less Godly. We become less Godly when we stop loving others as our neighbours and stop loving the Creator.
I always believed that one do not know how to love others when one has never been loved before. One who lives a life of bitterness, or in broken relationships, be it family or friends, will not know how to love. One who has never been comforted will not be a comforter.
We are surrounded by people who has been hurt, who is agonising in pain deep within them. They are seeking, seeking for comfort, seeking for love, assurance, significance.
Today , i take comfort in reading this love letter from God, Yahweh, who said :
"Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you" Isaiah 46:4
A God who will
"Save his people , bless them, be their shepherd and carry them forever" Psalm 28:9
A BIG God with mighty hands, outstrectched arms, infinitely loving and faithful will carry the small me:
when i am too hurt, too crippled to walk the rest of the journey call life..
He tells me He will not let me go, He will carry me
When i have lost my hope and the meaning of living
He give me hope, because He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and future Jeremiah 29:11
When i am too afraid to give my fragile heart to anyone...
He tells me He will heal me with His infinite, unconditional, unfailing, everlasting love
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness" Jeremiah 31:3
Yes He attracts and draws me with his Love.
He will carry you, He will carry you forever, He will hold on to you when you are loosing your grips. This is what love is. This is who God, Yahweh is.
My friends who are in pain, in grief, take comfort in the promises of our Heavenly Fathe who says to you :
I will heal you with My love,
I will carry you forever.
I will turn your mourning into gladness
I will give you comfort and joy instead of sorrow -Jeremiah 31:13
We are in this together.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. --Genesis 1:27
I believe that He created man out of no external necessity. I believe it was an internal necessity. God, being the God He was and is, and being infinitely perfect and infinitely beautiful and infinitely glorious and infinitely admirable and infinitely loving, out of His own inward necessity had to have some creature that was capable of admiring Him and loving Him and knowing Him. So God made man in His own image; in the image and likeness of God made He him; and He made him as near to being like Himself as it was possible for the creature to be like the Creator. The most godlike thing in the universe is the soul of man.
The reason God made man in His image was that he might appreciate God and admire and adore and worship; so that God might not be a picture, so to speak, hanging in a gallery with nobody looking at Him. He might not be a flower that no one could smell; He might not be a star that no one could see. God made somebody to smell that flower, the lily of the valley. He wanted someone to see that glorious image. He wanted someone to see the star, so He made us and in making us He made us to worship Him Worship: The Missing Jewel, 3.
"What an incredible thought, Almighty God, that You desire and even in some sense need my worship! Be pleased this morning, Lord, as I do indeed smell the flower and see the star, as I 'admire and adore and worship.' Amen."
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
We had a crazy mad weekend, it's like a marathon. Maybe it's a healthy sign that we are still young and capable of doing such thing. Trust me, in spite of this proof of our vitality, it's not good.
We somehow ended up with a flight from easyjet which depart from from London Luton airport at 6 am on 14th June, Thursday. Now, let's start my story round the clock.
13/6 Wed 7pm : drove to Terry and Sammie's place straight afterwork. This is a farewell dinner for both of them as they are leaving London to HK to settle. It was planned a while ago, although it seems unwise to do this instead of getting as much sleep as possible for the early morning travel. We had fun and we left terry's place at 12 midnight.
1am: Arrived home, started packing for Budapest. I made a bad bad decision: i suggested arriving early at Luton airport and get some sleep there when Albert suggested having one hour nap before we head off. Oops, poor Albert! Sorry, that wasn't intentional. We slept over at Hong Kong airport peacefully, so i assumed Luton experience would be similar.
3am: Arrive Luton airport. Albert drove, hungry and tired while i slept in the car. The journey was too short for me to catch up on my sleep. Entered the main door and the first thing i saw was people sleeping on the very floor with their sleeping bag. I regretted immediately. Grabbed some food from Marks and Spencer and tried very hard to sleep on the chair. The arms of the chair was fixed, so we couldn't lie down like in Hong Kong. Such a shame! We just couldn't sleep.
4am: We checked in. With this new rule , we have to pack the liquid in clear plastic bag. I, too, assumed plastic bag would be provided in Luton, just like Hong Kong Airport and Heathrow. Alas! How wrong i was. We had to buy it., £ 1 for 4 plastic from a machine. We put in £1 but nothing came out. Silly! The next 10 minutes, we stood there, waiting for the staff to come to us, while we warn others not to use that machine. *Geram*
Monday, 18 June 2007
This is important in our relationship with all those around us. Only when we remember that all of us are imperfect, that we learn to bear each others' weaknesses, as clearly said in the bible.
Only when we remember we are imperfect that we forgive others. We may not fail in one area like our friends, but we do fail in other areas. Having one penalty in driving offenses is enough to disqualify us from having a clean record. All of us are weak in different areas, hence, the bible teaches and remind us to bear with each other and forgive one another. And all these means love.
We talk about love all the time, love songs, romance drama, love stories. All of us are hungry and seeking for love, looking for what love means. It's clearly written in the bible, in love, we are willing to overlook others' imperfections. As quoted by someone, found by Rachel
Love is not blind
It sees more
And not less
But because it sees more
It is willing to see less
This brings us nicely to this video clip of agirl who was born with 4 fingers in total, yet become the greatest pianist. Her mother sees her as beautiful. Her love for her wasn't conditional. It's very moving.
An earthly mother can do so much for her daughter, overlooking her physical disability yet, deep down, she is just like any of us, if not stronger and happier. We complain about too many things in our life, which doesn't really matter after this life.
Our Heavenly father loves us beyond this. The bible says Love covers multitude of sin (1 peter: 4: 8), and this is what love is : not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Because He loves us, he overlooks our imperfection. He sees us as the apple of his eyes, nothing we can do to make him loves us more. It's his nature to love.
Because He loves us, he sets us free from selfishness, envy, greed, insecurities, fear. We no longer need to earn acceptance and love from others, we are already the object of an eternal love.
Because He loves us, he doesn't want us to be hurt by others' selfishness and self-centredness, He heals us from disappointment and fear. He reaches us when we hide in our failure and past.
Because i am loved, i no longer seek approval and earn your love. Because i am loved, i am no longer bitter when others do not meet my expectation. Because i am loved, i no longer demand from others, for i know, we are all imperfect.
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins"
1 peter 4:8
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Worship: Honor This Purpose
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless." --Genesis 17:1
Without argument, most things are at their best when they are fulfilling their purpose and design.
For instance, a piano is made with a specific purpose: to produce music. However, I happen to know that someone once stood on a piano in order to put a fastener of some kind in the ceiling. Some artistic women have used piano tops as family picture galleries. I have seen piano tops that were cluttered filing cabinets or wide library shelves.
There is an intelligent design in the creation of a piano. The manufacturer did not announce: "This is a good piano. It has at least 19 uses!" No, the designer had only one thought in mind: "This piano will have the purpose and potential of sounding forth beautiful music!"...
Do not miss the application of truth here. God was saying to Abraham, "You may have some other idea about the design and purpose for your life, but you are wrong! You were created in My image to worship Me and to glorify Me. If you do not honor this purpose, your life will degenerate into shallow, selfish, humanistic pursuits. Men Who Met God, 23.
"Lord, so many lives today have indeed degenerated into 'shallow, selfish, humanistic pursuits.' Work through me this week to help people with whom I come in contact to see the one purpose for which You created us. Amen."
Today's "Insight for Leaders" is taken by permission from the book, Tozer on Christian Leadership
In the midst of all these constant changes, nothing is assured. We fear tomorrow which doesn't gurantee will be better, we fear giving our heart to others, we fear that they don't cherish our heart as much as ourselves. We live in fear, we seek for assurance, we seek for "i will, i do?".
In the midst of all these, do we live like people without home, in constant fear?
No. I don't, because i pin my hope in the constant eternal unconditional love from the One who creates me, who loves me, who never leaves me nor forsake me. I pin my hope in His promises, His words. With that, i find strength to face the future, i find courage to take risks in my giving, because i know my receiving is from Him and not from the receipient of my giving.
With that, in the midst of fear and volatility, i find hope in the One who loves me. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear... 1 John 4:18
I could sing of your love forever........
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. --Psalm 29:2
Yes, worship of the loving God is man's whole reason for existence. That is why we are born and that is why we are born again from above. That is why we were created and that is why we have been recreated. That is why there was a genesis at the beginning, and that is why there is a re-genesis, called regeneration.
That is also why there is a church. The Christian church exists to worship God first of all. Everything else must come second or third or fourth or fifth....
Sad, sad indeed, are the cries of so many today who have never discovered why they were born. It brings to mind the poet Milton's description of the pathetic lostness and loneliness of our first parents. Driven from the garden, he says, "they took hand in hand and through the valley made their solitary way." Whatever Happened to Worship?, 56-57.
"Oh Lord, we live in a world that has so totally lost its way! How few have any concept at all of their reason for existence. How sad to see so many all around us who 'took hand in hand and through the valley made their solitary way.' Use me today to direct at least one to the right path. Amen."
The whole import and substance of the Bible teaches us that the God who does not need any thing nevertheless desires the adoration and worship of His created children.
Whatever Happened to Worship?, 37.
Read about A. W. TozerJune 11
Worship: Made to Worship
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. --Psalm 14:1
Now we were made to worship, but the Scriptures tell us something else again. They tell us that man fell and kept not his first estate; that he forfeited the original glory of God and failed to fulfill the creative purpose, so that he is not worshiping now in the way that God meant him to worship. All else fulfills its design; flowers are still fragrant and lilies are still beautiful and the bees still search for nectar amongst the flowers; the birds still sing with their thousand-voice choir on a summer's day, and the sun and the moon and the stars all move on their rounds doing the will of God.
And from what we can learn from the Scriptures we believe that the seraphim and cherubim and powers and dominions are still fulfilling their design--worshiping God who created them and breathed into them the breath of life. Man alone sulks in his cave. Man alone, with all of his brilliant intelligence, with all of his amazing, indescribable and wonderful equipment, still sulks in his cave. He is either silent, or if he opens his mouth at all, it is to boast and threaten and curse; or it's nervous ill-considered laughter, or it's humor become big business, or it's songs without joy. Worship: The Missing Jewel, 6-7.
"Oh loving God, bring us out of the cave! Amen."
Today's "Insight for Leaders" is taken by permission from the book, Tozer on Christian Leadership, published by WingSpread Publishers
This Insight for Leaders devotional is also available in a print-friendly format here on the LMI web site.
Monday, 11 June 2007
The creative part worth remembering is that when we prepared the cake, i couldn't find any candles in my house! Oh dear, such a shame. In the end, i used the huge red candles which is喜喜. It looks creative, it looks great. Very memorable. We got the candles from a friend, Moody, who sent it by post all the way from Hong Kong when we got married last year. We havet yet to use it. So Saturday was a creative way of using those candles. When we took it out, Amy , one of the guest said it's from G.O.D. I looked at her puzzled. She said it's a G.O.D. design. I asked her :" You mean god? No, she said, G.O.D. is a shop that sells home furniture in Hong Kong, and its name is taken from the cantanese: G住O好D meaning literally means live better. For the first time, i looked at the labels and indeed it's G.O.D. orginal design.
That was Saturday. We drove two of our friends back so slept late. We could hardly wake up on Sunday Morning. Lots of determination to bid our farewell to the bed. Sunday School was great! Albert gave a small illustration on putting God first. He used grain of rice, a jar, and a ball. Grain of rice represent all the priorities in our lives and the ball represent God. So in lives, we have lots of priorities. In the first instance, we fit all our priorities first in life, with putting all the rice in the jar. Then, finally, we "fit" God in. But Alas, we couldn't close the jar, the ball was sitting on top of the rice.In the second instance, we first put God in, ie, the ball was in the jar, then we put the rice into the jar. Guess what? We could close the jar with the lid. Life is all about priorities.The order of priority is pivotal. Bible says you seek God and put Him first, you find life that last for eternity, you find guidance and wisdom, and once you've got God, everything else will fall into place. So if you wanna G住O好D meaning literally means live better, you need GOD and put Him first in your life.
We had Dim Sum with the young people in chinatown. We all had a great time too. The bonding among us is getting better, that's a good thing. The friendship is stronger. Sunday afternoon was spent being a tour guide. We brought Mdm Sze around China Town, Trafalgar Square, St James Park and Buckingham Palace.The weather was burning hot. I was her photographer. It's good to walk around the park and have a touch of the nature. Albert and I seldom go out, we like to stay at home, watch drama or sleep or tidy the house. Too lazy to go out there to smell the flowers and trees. So yesterday was a good exercise.
The highlight of this whole weekend was Sunday Night, we went to a famous chinese restaurant "Hakkasan". Its customers include people like Madonna, hong kong famous actress张曼玉Maggie Cheung.
Hakkasan received 2 michelin star in 2003, and it's 19th in world top 50 restaurant. We just happen to know the top chef in that restaurant. The design was great. Apparently, the owner spent 4 million pounds on the design, furniture, lighting, bar, etc.. The temperature was right. The music was audible, but not too loud and we could hold conversation without having to raise our voice.It feels like Kopitiam, but a porsh one.
Serving British customers, the restaurant is dark, with just a light bulb hanging from the ceiling on each table. Definitely not a typically chinese restaurant, well lited and you could clearly see what you are eating. Ha. The food was great. Our friend planned a 7 course meal for us, starting with Steamed Crab in eggs (not on the menu), Lemon duck, Lobster spinach soup with Nameko mushroom(japanese mushroom), Sa Cha Silver Cod, Hakkasan Spare Ribs( using preserved Pak choi), 3 types of Mushroom with Macademia Nut and Lily Bulb, and special wrap of beans and pork in glutinous rice( not on menu, specially made by the Dim Sum Si fu (meaning chef who specialise in Dim Sum). Two dishes which were not on the menu was specially planned by our chef friend. Albert and I enjoyed all of them, the best was Sa Cha Silver Cod, crispy on the outside, which was glazed in honey, and the meat was just so sweet and so tender. The chef controlled the timing very well. The fish was just cooked. Well, why am i surprised huh? He won lots of medal in cooking competition and of course, i am proud to be his fellow countrymen. It was really heaven.
Towards the end of our meal, our friend came to us and we express our gratitude. I asked him about the cod, he said he marinated the cod for a day with sa cha sauce and soy sauce. The meal was just so good. The bill wasn't cheap i have to say, but it's worth it. Much worth that the Savoy that i've been last Christmas, supposingly one of the branch restaurant by Gordom Ramsay. That was my worst eating experience which cost me an arm and a leg. So, yes, i recommend Hakkasan for good chinese meal and Dim Sum if you are willing to spend. Maybe one of those one off gourmet experience. Unfortunately, photo taking is not allowed in the restaurant. You can view it from the website http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/london/view/80677/Hakkasan, i tried copying the photo, but not allowed.
I had a great weekend, had a great wedding anniversay. Now i have to move on to my disastrous tidying and organising our junk in the store room.Cinderella gone back to...
Saturday, 9 June 2007
I repeat, I PASSED, not only passed for beginner 1 level, but i passed with level 2. ho ho ho!! SO HAPPY!!!Feel free to click for clearer view
I scored 80 out of 100 average of four parts: vocab, writing, listening and reading.
I can't help but take a photo of it.
I AM oN CLOUD 9 !
Thanks for sharing my joy . Toast!
Today is a good day. Praise the Lord!
Okay okay.. that;s not a propert one,more like an artistic view of the lovely books.. aah.. how i love them
The proper classic look is this
Those all combination of my books and my friend's, well those 3 white bookcase are all the hardwork of Albert.. which we bought from Ikea.. and of course, it's not enough to provide the roof for all these books, so my books have been upgraded from trolley to proper home, and some of my friend's books live on the trolley. This trolley is Albert's and it reminds me so much of Library!
Thursday, 7 June 2007
When I was a pharmacist in the hospital, I was in medicine information rotation. My senior pharmacist said I am suitable for the job because I have inquisitive mind. I like asking questions and I feel satisfied for the quest of answers.
I ask a lot of questions about my faith and Christianity too. I have doubt, good doubt. Doubt that consolidate what I believe and deepen my faith. Someone once said, , there is no answers to every questions, and part of living in this fallen world is living with the questions. Yet, that does not imply we should stop asking questions.
The worst scenario is not asking questions, of just merely going through the motion, of merely existing, and living life like a hamster.Questions are good, we question who we are, we question who our spouse are, and the hows. How do we love our neighbours, how do we overcome our fears and insecurities… etc
To be inquisitive is the beginning of a search, a search for belonging and a search for eternal love which is the God who love me,my home where I truly belong and being the object of love that last for eternity.
One of the item that we bought all the way from Hong Kong was a modernised mahjong table. It's made from a light weight material with borders, for the ease of arranging your own "cards". It was quite bulky and took a bit of effort fitting that piece into our luggage.
We were glad that our mission was accomplished.
As i mentioned earlier, London has a high turnover of people( this reminds me of apple turnover ha! i must be hungry) One minute they are here, the next, they leave. In these recent few months, i have been hanging out with Julia, and Mdm S. Julia has moved to coventry this week, which is quite sad. Mdm S is just stopping by in London from Johor as her daughter-in-law gave birth to a handsome baby boy last month. She will be leaving in September. Albert and I have been hosting them, showing them London and driving from one place to the other in search of good tasty food. In fact, we have this "Albert & Irene" London gourmet database", of where to go and what to order.
So last Saturday, we had a farewell for Julia. She had never tasted Bak kut Teh before, so we invited her and Mdm S over to our house for dinner. I cooked BKT from a reliable packet bought by my Mum. Highly recommended, truly authentic.I will reveal it later, when i get hold of the photo. After dinner, we had some exercise for our fingers. Yes Mahjung. We used our treasured light weight mahjung table. Albert then gave lesson for all 3 of us on mahjung.We had a good time, no money just played it as a game. Some people do not like the idea of playing mahjung. For me, it's a tool to chat and build friendship. We played 4 rounds, with Julia, being amateur ,winning 2 rounds. It was fun. We had a good time.We now have shared history of our times in London. Well Mahjung is good for elderly as well.. so they say.
Mahjung is closely related with Hong Kong culture. Housewives play mahjung while they chat and gossip. Men too. Everything is good in moderation. Only when we indulge in it and become addicted to it, then it becomes harmful. Same theory applies to money and the greed of money.
We had only played it once so far in our house, wonder when is the next, probably when we need to break the ice with friends.
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
Coming back to my story, I waited for Ikea delivery last Saturday. In the afternoon, albert came back from work, and he took a nap. Those brown boxes looked very tempting. So I opened the packaging of the billy bookcase, and started my own DIY, in Albert absence. When I was about to finish the whole process, I realised that I have placed the shelf insert inside out, which shows the raw ugly brown wood, instead of the nicely painted one facing outward. Poor Albert had to remove all the nails, and then change the shelf insert. Frustration.
Human beings. It’s always so much harder to undo the wrongs. Words that hurt others come out from our mouth without thinking, yet, we have to hesitate to apologize. Angry words are so easily spoken, yet to heal from the hurt takes so much longer. To hurt other takes seconds, to heal, sometimes , take months or years.
Human beings. The black dot on a plain white sheet of paper is always more obvious than the white background. One black dot just ruin the purity of the paper.
We always tend to focus on the black than the white. We are so quick to point out the faults and imperfection in others, than to praise others for their kindness, goodness, effort, and gesture of love. We see the black but we ignore the white, although, proportionally speaking, we see more white than black on that paper.
Okay I have digressed, I talk about life and human beings from DIY Ikea. So coming back to my story again, last night, we continued our part 2. This time we attempt to fix the wardrobe. Super hard work. I was living out the “no pain no gain” slogan. All the carrying, nailing and drilling. Still we couldn’t finish. It was approaching midnight and it would be inconsiderate to drill a hole on the wall. Neighbour may hear us. Tonight we will continue.
Now when I look at this particular wardrobe , I will remember all the sweat and time that we have laboured and the lesson on embracing and loving someone who is “weaker” by being patient to them . In this case, I am the weaker one as I am not very familiar with DIY stuff and physically weaker. Thank God, Albert has been patient with me, when I make the matter worst with my inexperience. Oh well, now I can say I know a little bit more about DIY, through the mistakes and experience, although I don’t deny that mistakes are evitable, but when it’s done, I can still learn from it. Yes, I am a follower of Christ, a follower of win-win.
Monday, 4 June 2007
The Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have begun thinking less of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this . Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you get neither.
Life is always about priority. Lots of things we could have done, lots of people we could have met. But we only have 24 hours. So it is indeed about priority. Life is also about purpose. When the purpose and aim is clear, we align ourselves with the purpose. We spend time and do thing in line with the purpose of our lives.
I had a chat with the teenagers in church yesterday. I ask not them not to become hamster on a wheel. Hamster go on the wheel and keep on running, but no destination just going round and round. So is our lives, if we do not know where we are going, and are unclear about our purpose in life.
Aimless beings, like hamster, go through the motion of life without knowing the meaning and why. Study, get good grades, enter into good university, study, have fun, explore the "pleasures" in life, work, earn lots of money (maybe, if the equation of wealth=happiness and satisfaction
What is the whole point of living when you know that you will die one day for sure. All that you do and accumulate end with your breath. Is there any point at all? Well, if we live like hamster, then yes, there is no point at all. But there is an alternative way of life, of living the life to the fullest, to be truly human.
I am worried that these teenagers before me today, will lost in the world that worship money, wealth and fame.
I am worried that they will loose sight of the things that really matters in life, a loving relationship of God and with their neighbours.
I am worried that they loose their conscience and integrity along the way and reject Christ in their lives, reject their Creator who died for them to give them a life that only has its meaning in Him.
I am in this path and in the process of discovery and living this life to the fullest, mind you, I also believe my life and meaning does not end with my death.
Speaking on death, it's not a favourite subject but I find a very interesting perspective spoken in the American series " Heroes" , Peter said:
"Death is the one thing that connects us all. It reminds us that what is really important is who we've touched and how much we've given. It makes us realize that we have to be good to one another."
Wow.Death connects us all. It reminds us that it's we,it's us, not you , not me only in this world. Christ showed us what love is, and how to live the life to the fullest, of sacrifical love, kindness, forgiveness to the antidote of bitterness and hatred for our own good. Not about accumulation of material possession, fame, wealth, reputation, it will go one day. The things that last, that matters for eternity is a measure of how much we have loved our Creator, our neighbours, our enemies and how much love we have given to them.
"Yet still we struggle to make a difference, to change the world, to dream of hope. Never knowing for certain who we'll meet along the way, who among the world of strangers will hold our hand, touch our hearts, and share the pain of trying."
Yet.. in spite of all these, we will try, we still hope, we still love, and persevere.
In the drama, Samantha said to Peter: "You're a real hero to care for a perfect stranger like this. "
That's the message of Jesus in The Good Samaritan, only that is more than stranger, it's loving your enemies.
Peter also wasn't sure why he was chosen to be the hero that saved the world, so he said
Charles: Because there has to be one that's good, there always has. And your heart has the ability to love unconditionally. Like I told you, in the end, all that really matters is love. "
And the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:36
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself"
That is the truth, words spoken from the mouth of God.
In the end,the narration from Heroes:
"But in the end, we find it only in each other: our shared experience of the fantastic and the mundane. The simple human need to find a kindred, to connect. And to know in our hearts that we are not alone."
That echoes our heart cries. We do have that hunger and need to connect, in our shared experience with each other. The ultumate connection that last for eternity is our connection with our Creator who loves us eternally. Only in this connection that life, death has its meaning.
Friday, 1 June 2007
So the equation looks like this: the more you spend your time, the more important that "thing" or person is to you.
Unfortunately, it's not always the case. More often, we spend a lot of our time on something or with people, who does not matter a lot to us.
Check check : how do we spend our time? What do we do with the time? Do we spend time with people who really matter to us? Do we spend time on matter that matters
These few days, I have to confess, I spend considerable amount of time on this blog. Deciding whether I should have table or not, whether I should have border, upgrading my template(finally) , still thinking whether I have made the right choice, whether i should stratigy my life into categories. Finally, after all those hours, I have come to a conclusion that it should be functional and easy to maintain, simple and easy to read. I envy other's blog, so nicely done, so creative.
But, a second thought on what really matters to me, I realised that it's my thoughts and views being voiced out here. Yes, the voice, not so much of my colour nor the border.
Also, I have also reminded myself to buy things that are functional,t hings i really need, instead of want, and, of course, spend my time on things or people or GOD who really matters. My friend once said, instead of spending £1000 on a LV wallet, you might as well place that £1000 note into your existing wallet. So instead of spending my time complicating this blog, I should voice out my thoughts.
I should also spend my time reflecting what really matters to me before i waste my life away.