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Showing posts from September, 2009

Relooking into the marketplace Part Two: The Cross

Just before I continue from where I left off last time, I would just want to make a disclaimer here. I am currently not working and I have to admit that I have no much experience in the marketplace. What I am writing here is really a result and reflection of what I have read and studied from the bible and what I have heard from teachings and seminars, together with my own limited experience in the marketplace, namely my school up to now and also what I have heard from people all over the place.

We looked into identity and mission last post. Before I actually carry on with the rest of the marketplace reflection, I think we need to know what does it mean to be disciple of Jesus.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of …

Relooking into the marketplace Part One: Identity

I have always been interested in learning more about the marketplace and how, as Christian, we can influence the marketplace. I learn quite a fair bit reading books written by Ed Silvoso, Lee Strobel, Henry Blackaby etc. I learned quite a bit also from a recent seminar in my church conducted by Benjamin Pwee. As I look into the theology of the marketplace, I have decided to consolidate my thoughts and post up this for us to relook into the marketplace and what it means for us.

First thing we need to look at before seeing where we are and what the marketplace means to us is to first define what is the marketplace. Let's us first take a look at a list of name:

These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Why is this…

Open thy eyes and understand thy Scripture

In Luke 24:45, it says, "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." This happens after Jesus resurrected and appeared in front of the disciples. A similar thing happened before that in Luke 24:32, "They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" "

I was just thinking, today we read the bible but do we open our mind and understand the Scripture? Do we open our eyes 'wide wide' in order to see what God is doing in our lives through the word? I was thinking about it. Sometimes, people leave church for numerous reasons, and one reason is because other people leave church. But when we make our decision according to the decision of other people, I wonder are we really making a sound decision that is based on our understanding of the Scripture? These people can be people who have proclaimed that they want to understand the Scripture.

I bring out t…

Wonderous

Who compares to You?
Who set the stars in their place?
You who calmed the raging seas
That came crashing over me

Who compares to You?
You who bring the morning light
The hope of all the earth
Is rest assured in Your great love

You are magnificent, eternally
Wonderful, glorious
Jesus
No one ever will compare to You
Jesus

Where the evening fades
You call forth songs of joy
As the morning wakes
We Your children give You praise

According to Ravi Zacharias, it is that possession of the mind that enchants the emotions while never surrendering reason. It is a grasp on reality that does not need constant high points in order to be maintained, nor is it made vulnerable by the low points of life's struggle. It sees in the ordinary the extraordinary, and it finds in the extraordinary the reaffirmation for what it already knows. It clasps the spiritual soul and is felt in the material body. It interprets life through the eyes of eternity while enjoying the moment, but never let the momentary vision exhaust t…

Joshua 15:20-63

This is the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, clan by clan:

The southernmost towns of the tribe of Judah in the Negev toward the boundary of Edom were:
Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor), Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, Baalah, Iim, Ezem, Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon—a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages.

In the western foothills:
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim) —fourteen towns and their villages.

Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel, Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah and Makkedah—sixteen towns and their villages.

Libnah, Ether, Ashan, Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Aczib an…

Personality and intelligence

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On Twitter

Some of you all might know that I am on twitter now. The purpose is so that I can tweet my thoughts as I go on the move and when I am in some more conducive places, I can blog out my thoughts with something I can refer to....

The deficiency of the English language: worship

"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."


The English translation, NIV, recorded this incident of Jesus meeting the Samaritian woman as such. Now take a look at the The Message version:

"Oh, so you're a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?"

"…

Era of the thinking Christian II

Can faith and reason be the same side of the coin? I talked about how Christians should think and be able to reason their faith previously. But I realised that not enough attention has been given to the issue of faith and reason. so the question, can faith and reason be at the same side of the coin or are they opposite?

Think about Noah for a second. When the whole world has not seen rain, he was asked by God to build an ark in the middle of dry land because God was going to send down the rain. It took him some years to build it and imagine what his neighbours had said. Faith and reason?

Think about Abraham. God asked him to sacrifice his son, Issac, to Him. He has waited years for this son, his and Sarah's offspring, and this son is the promised one from God. Yet as he moved up the mountain with Issac, and as Issac asked him about the question of the sacrifice, what reigned, faith or reason?

Jump a few centuries ahead and look at Moses. He seen the burning bush and God told him to…

Era of the thinking Christian

I am thinking about this and I think I should write this down in my blog for all to know what is my position towards this issue.

Let me begin with a story. A few months ago, I had a discussion with a brother regarding reason and faith. He argues that faith itself should be unreasonable and irrational, while I argued that faith can be reasoned. I would concede that at the end of the day, faith can only be reasoned to a point when irrationality has to take over, but we can still provide reasons for our faith. Faith can be reasoned, will be reasoned and should be reasoned.

Why? Today, people are bombarded with numerous information. And people can ask a thousand questions about religion, let alone Christianity. Questions like 'do God exist', 'how can I believe in the supernatural' and 'is the gospels history' will be asked by believers and non-believers alike. There are also weird questions such as 'is it right to set up a church in a shopping mall'. The pe…

Numbers

As I was walking home last night, God impresses upon my heart to think about the issue of numbers in church. I once heard several comments that the church sometimes gets obsessed over number and everyone sort of becomes a statistic. In short, church growth is a number game.

As I think about the issue, God draws me to the following passages:


Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.


And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.


These verses come from the book of Acts, chronicling the growth of the early church. To those who says that church is all about numbers, I have one thing to say. That is I agree with them totally. It is about numbers. And hear me correctly, a church serious for God should be concerned about the numbers. Any church not concerned about numbers is a church suspected of forgetting the divine grace of Jesus. And yet the church is also not about numbers. Why?

Simple, I will put it this…

One backlash

I am currently reading the book 'Experiencing God' by Henry Blackaby and I must admit that I am greatly refreshed by what Henry Blackaby is teaching in this book. He makes a very good point that we need to allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit instead of planning things and allowing our human factor to limit what we can do for God. And I am greatly surprised that God has been speaking to me regarding some of the points in the book recently, although this is the first time I picked up the book.

A sister in church once told me about what Blackaby wrote in this book. This was during one of the sowing seasons. She mentioned that we should pray and see who God is leading us to instead of just planning and focusing on the group of people whom we are supposed to focus on. While I agree with this, I soon realise that what Henry Blackaby says in his book has a secret backlash. That is, believers can use 'waiting on the Spirit' and 'seeking God's will' as an e…

Actions and hearts

I am thinking about the message from the national day rally about religious harmony. The question I think we need to pose to Singaporeans is whether there is really religious tolerance and freedom in Singapore to speak about and whether PM Lee has a point when he singled out some examples.

I will answer the first one. There is limited religious tolerance and freedom beyond the public statements and displays. I am not saying that the government persecutes religions or what. In fact, I thank God that I am able to pursue any religion (other than weird cults) in Singapore freely. Yet, move the camera and perspective to the family and one will see the limitation of Singapore's supposedly freedom of religious worship. Since I am a Chinese, I think I will stick to this side of the story before I expand my discussion.

As a Chinese in Singapore, one is expected to participate in ancestor worships or follow the family's practice of buddhism or taoism or Chinese syncretism. Although most…