From the monthly archives:

June 2008

Jesus Loves Soccer

by pomankwan on June 30, 2008

Recently, I found a good life story (testimony) on the blog by Jeromy Johnson who is one the authors of Mending Shift http://mendingshift.wordpress.com/about-mending-shift/. I shared his blog  with the seniors during our Sunday fellowship yesterday. I choose “soccer” as the theme for it was the date of the Euro 2008 Final.  One senior said that we should cancel our programs and let the residents to watch soccer. I agreed that some residents might want to watch the game, but we still provide activities for those with different interest. I also shared Jeromy’s blog with him. He just laughed and left. I invited my co-worker who is a coach of a junior soccer team to read it to the residents. She enjoyed the reading and resonate with the message. I hope that my co-worker will know more about how we practise our faith i.e. following Christ is Not the head knowledge, doctrine, Sunday worship, targeted evangelism, etc. but our daily walk with Jesus - love God and His people.  I am inspired by people like Ka & Jeromy who can integrate their faith in Christ with their leisure activities. I totally agree with Jeromy saying:

“The funny thing is this. We value our friendships so much that we are doing all we can to not let them become polluted by becoming marketers of our church, seeing our friends as holy-projects or people to win-to-Christ (as if they are prizes at a fair), or sinners to be fixed; but seeing them as God sees them…people whom he loves. We want to be human to them and we want them to remain human to us. We recognize that we have been given a precious and holy gift in these friendships. With this recognition comes a tremendous amount of fear and respect: we respect our friends deeply and we fear anything that might turn them away from us and the hope we have, Jesus. Our goal? To be friends.”

Here is Jeromy’s blog, enjoy & get inspired

Soccer. The World loves it; America is learning to love it. I personally never liked it. For me, the few points earned require way too much running. So when my seven-year-old son approached me two years ago saying he wanted to play, I was less than enthusiastic. If soccer played at a professional level didn’t appeal to me, the thought of soccer at a five-year-old level repulsed me. In fact, some people have nicknamed this “level” of soccer, swarmball…the entire field of kids clamoring around one ball. But I must say, though I still do not particularly like soccer, I have grown to love it. I think Jesus does to.

In our lives, God has taken something as ordinary as soccer, two teams kicking around one ball, and made it holy. And isn’t that what he does? Make ordinary things, holy? You see, two years ago, the kids and parents on this soccer team were just faces to us. We were a group of individual strangers sitting in collapsible fabric chairs watching our individual kids, who happened to be playing on the same field with the other stranger’s kids, try to kick a ball. But something began to happen over time. We began to talk, laugh together about our kids, learn each other’s stories. The holiness of friendship began to invade the game.

We began to look forward to seeing our friends during practices and games. Our kids began to come over to each other’s houses. We ran into each other in Target and TJ’s. When baseball season rolled around, most of us signed up for the same team (which causes me to think that Jesus loves baseball too). Then we actually began to plan times where we could be in each other’s company, not just relying on the chance meetings and sports. Sometimes it would be coffee, or a walk, or dinner, or parties. And slowly, as the friendships deepened so did the level of sharing of our lives and our stories. God began to show up. Mysteriously, with great gentleness and respect, he began to invade our friendships. We felt, and feel, as if we were just watching God appear during conversations and our time together; we simply have to be open to what he was doing.

The funny thing is this. We value our friendships so much that we are doing all we can to not let them become polluted by becoming marketers of our church, seeing our friends as holy-projects or people to win-to-Christ (as if they are prizes at a fair), or sinners to be fixed; but seeing them as God sees them…people whom he loves. We want to be human to them and we want them to remain human to us. We recognize that we have been given a precious and holy gift in these friendships. With this recognition comes a tremendous amount of fear and respect: we respect our friends deeply and we fear anything that might turn them away from us and the hope we have, Jesus. Our goal? To be friends.

So that is why I love soccer, even though I do not like it. It is also why Jesus loves soccer…because he loves them, our friends.

How Is your faith integration process so far? Have you ever tried the R.E.A.L. thing yet - 

Reflection.Eating together.Action.Listening to God?  If not, why not?

1 comment

poor jesus…

by Lon on June 30, 2008

Just a thought on the message last Sunday.

The question of whether God blesses good Christians with wealth? Well if so, then Jesus probably wasn’t a very good Christian, eh?

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Hebrews 3

by Lon on June 30, 2008

If you’re following along, Hebrews is no light read.  It is dense with meaning, symbolism, especially with it’s references to the Hebrew Scriptures (The Old Testament).

Some reflections

- What is the ‘heavenly calling’?

- It’s interesting to note that Jesus is described as an apostle

- If the “Builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself” – Where is more emphasis and honor today, the church and all it’s activities, or Jesus Himself?

- What does it mean to hold on to our courage?

- Is God being reactionary as he makes an oath in anger? What does it mean for an unchanging God to actively respond to us?

- Could it be that the sins of others are my responsibility? The Scriptures here call for us to see to it that no one has a sinful, unbelieving heart. How do we fulfill our calling to point people to the Living God?

- There’s several references here to the hardening of the heart. Reminds me of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened. Quite possibly as we refuse to respond to God, there comes a point where there is no turning back?

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Solar Crash!

by dimshie on June 29, 2008

it brought me great joy to be given an opportunity to bring glory to our God with the creativity He’s given us…christian/non-christian…it’s a gift to all from God…and it’s crazy beautiful…

and i have an idea for this thing…but i think i will need to hold auditions for this…hahah…i need a guy (some fabulous candidates: phil, lon, ian’s friend – douglas) to wear a speedo and let me paint him into a meteor and then he can either choose to crash live in front of the audience that night or we’ll make a video of it…now don’t worry….u won’t be doing that for free…this post will host a petition for this act and all proceeds will go towards the water system…i will provide the speedo and the body paint (could tempera work?…i’ll find out)….

i will start by sponsoring $70 to petition for lon to do it live

p.s. all u fashion designers out there…let’s do a fashion show for solar crash!…that’d be soo cool!…and in reaction to conservation we will use second hand clothes to make these pieces…so if you have some clothes that you don’t need anymore…gimme gimme =)

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freaky chipmunk in the bathroom

3 comments

This is an interesting article I read.  Check it out!

http://www.discoverychannel.ca/reports/article.aspx?aid=9570

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Some Tuesday Reflections

by sockacoach on June 25, 2008

Happenings:

  • Life group leaders gathering for this Saturday is postponed. Most of you cannot make this day.
  • Aaron’s (from previous prayer requests) open heart surgery has been successful though with minor complications. He is now at home recovering. Continue to pray for his health.
  • Vicky and Lindsay are doing well in Lima. Mother Theresa’s Home for the Dying and Destitute is situated in one of the worse areas in Lima, please pray for safety.
  • The 1st TenderCare Sunday worship for the Cantonese speaking residence has an attendance of almost 30 seniors. Two of them are English speaking that prompt us to prepare some English hymn sheets for the future. One-on-one translator perhaps is also needed if this continues.
  • Pray for Sophia’s epideral cortisone injection on Thursday.
  • Pray for the recovery and rebuild work at Sichun, China and Myanmar. We have donated (one thousand dollars each) to the relief works in these countries through the Red Cross.
  • Pray for Henry Chow, Stephanie Tung and Janet Wong (Rosewood Baptist) on their upcoming missions trip. Henry Chow: Chibougaumau for construction work. Stephanie Tung: well drilling in South America. Janet Wong: Benin, missions work. 

10 Great Ways (and counting) to Change Your World

  • Pray.
  • Help the poor, the widows, and orphans.
  • Forgive those who hurt you.
  • Give generously.
  • Work responsibly.
  • Rest well.
  • Dream.
  • Mentor and be mentored.
  • Invest wisely.
  • Doing little things well.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Listen more and talk less.

and … your continuing input …

Basic Christian education, anyone?

Perhaps one of the most frequent questions that I got asked by fellow pastors and church leaders is: how do you do Christian education if there is no Sunday school or Bible study groups in your church?

I can understand the concern behind this question: it is easy for your church people to go astray if the truths of the Bible is not taught systematically.  I appreciate the concern. I also understand that this question is raised with an underlying conviction that knowledge equals transformation. It means that the more knowledge a person has, the more the person will get to know the truth. The outcome: being able to live the right kind of Christian life. Hence, little chance for the person to go astray.

Yes, this is a good argument. For example, if people will have more knowledge on AIDS, it can prevent the spread of the disease.  Education is the conduit to deliver the knowledge to people. So far so good.

However, let us not forget that truth discernment may not necessary come from knowing the hard facts. As a bible believing Christian, it comes from a total surrendering and believing in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” (John 14:17) Furthermore, life transformation comes from the believing and yielding to the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19)

Where do all these lead us?

First of all, the more facts a person know of the Bible may or may not help a person to discern truth. It may also not transform a person. The many Sunday schools and Bible studies have been reduced to discussions in the ivory tower with little connection to a person’s life. The many so-called applications are at times too generalized and not getting into the depth of a person’s soul.

Secondly, truth discernment and life transformation can happen more often when a person is living the kind of life that Jesus modelled for us. It is through living out the experiences that truth can also be known. We cannot truly know what is true if the hard facts of the Bible simply stagnated in our heads. Therefore, I would argue that encouraging and moving people to live Jesus’s kind of life is a more effective way of Christian education. Give more time to people out of the classrooms is a way to facilitate Christian education rather than stiffle it.

Thirdly, we do still need people to get involved in some form systematic Christian education. This relates back to Ephesians 4 when one of the gifts of Jesus to the Church is that of ‘teaching’. There are those who are called by God to teach; of course, not only to deliver the hard facts of the Bible. The failure of Christian education in the Church has more to do with not realizing the different learning styles of individuals. The cognitive mode of teaching and learning can only be connected by a very small population within the Church.  When Christians talk about ‘basic teachings’, it is mostly referring to this mode of teaching and learning. Then the ‘basic teachings’ for the early Christians is really this: Jesus loves me this I know and I will live my life imitating his life. Truth discernment and life transformation will come as a result.

Unfortunately in today’s Christian world, we are microscoping on worrying not knowing the truth as in hard facts; on formulas and methods in transforming our lives to the extend of missing out the basic of Christianity is really to live out the life of Jesus. We have focused on something only the Holy Spirit can do and neglect what we must do. We find comfort in getting the truth through cognitive learning alone. End result: shifting the goal of the Christian life from that of living out Jesus to forever truth searching in the four walls of an institution and building that we call ‘church’.

Conclusion: I would rather take the risk of using the New Testament as a model of basic Christian education than following something that has prevented the Christ followers to life out their potential in the past few decades.

Basic Christian education, anyone? Jesus love me this I know and I am to live my life modelled after Him, who is Lord and Savior of the universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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love incarnate

by pomankwan on June 24, 2008

I went to the viewing of my friend’s wife who used to be my client. Her husband and I attended the same community church. That’s how our rapport were built in different situations and locations. His wife had a brain tumor for more than thirty years since her mid thirty. Because of her sickness, her husband had to look after all the kids like a single parent. By that time, he worked as a vice principal of a school in Richmond Hill. He has been looking after her for more than thirty years. He visited her in a regular basis when she was in nursing home. He modified his van in order to bring her for outings. He is just love her the way as she is healthy. He devotion was obvious, and was appreciated by people around him. Her death was such a strike to him as a caregiver. He cried as he disclosed her death news to me. I was almost I tears as I hugged him. I told him that I can resonate with his lost, sadness and grief. Undoubtedly, his wife will be missed by friends and relative,  but he has set a living example of the Love of God. A good model of what marriage is all about. His testimony become the most powerful gospel to people.

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