Archive for April, 2007

Overview of Psalms 51–72

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

# Read Psalm 51:1-19

~ Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. … Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:4, 10

I do not like it when someone points out my mistakes. It’s worse when my sins are exposed. My first reaction is to hide in shame and guilt. And yet, what is needed is to face myself. What have I done? Whom am I responsible to? Where do I go from here? Psalm 51 gives us the prayer language and the process leading from repentance to restoration.

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Are you WHO you blog?

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

1. What made you decide to blog? When did you start to blog?

I started off blogging using Blogger in 2002. A little later there was this younger friend Kiffer whom became my tech guru who offered me to use his webspace and helped me set up “Movable Type” and showed me some basics in using the tools for blogging.

Here’s what I wrote on my first post on August 22, 2002 entitled “Start”:

“I just decided to start my own weblog. Karen Ward from ELCA was the first person to nudge me in this direction. The Newsweek article sparked a greater interest. Ah! I dunno what I’m getting myself into … well … let’s see what happens. Just came back from pre-natal class with May Chin, it was fun. The refreshments were good!

Two years later this is what I wrote here “Thoughts from a 32year Old: How broadband & blogging changed my life”:

“… At first, I just wanted to have a “place” to “record” down my moments and reflections. I never thought it actually gave me more confidence in my writing (which I still think it sucks!). The more delightful and surprising aspect is how new “friendships” (to many to even link now) that are formed by a “generous” exchange of ideas and links (and love/respect/encouragement/correction?!). I find my horizons constantly “expanding” and more multiple “connections”in terms of ideas and insights. And of course, in a context like that, I believe some “butterfly effect” kind of change (for the better of course) is happening! Some of this has spilled over even to others in the church and now we even have a BLC community blog …”

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The Emerging Church Movement: A Quest for Authentic Faith and Community

Friday, April 13th, 2007

We have often been asked what the Emerging Church movement or the emergent conversation is all about. We usually hesitate in our response since we are still grappling with what it means, even as efforts are underway to unpack and articulate this recent phenomenon. You may have come across buzz words such as “missional”, “postmodern”, “postcolonial”, “contextual”, “friendship”, “local”, “justice”, “safe place”, “culture” and “story” that are often used in the context of discussions about the Emerging Church movement. In this article, we have put together excerpts and references that explore the subject in an exercise likened to ‘eavesdropping’ on the conversation. We will also share some developments that have been taking place here in Malaysia.

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13 Lessons I’m (still) Learning since the turn of the Century!

Friday, April 13th, 2007

The title for this piece could have been “13 Things I’ve Learnt the Past 5 Years” or maybe “What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary” – something like that. But, after some thought these titles don’t REALLY represent where I am right now or how I view the growth of a human person. I have not learnt the follow 13 lessons in its fullness (as if I got it all figured out – in fact, I’m still learning and discovering the depth of these insights). Who am I to even think I know better then the seminary (as if I learnt nothing there – I fondly appreciate all the seeds planted in my life in those memorable 4 years – it’s more hopeful when I see us mutually learning from each other now!).

 

So, I decided to write what I’m ACTUALLY learning and discovering day by day, layer-by-layer, deeper and further since the year 2000…

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The Potent Life

Friday, April 13th, 2007

“… The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

~ Matthew 13:34 (NRSV)

INVISIBLE SIGNIFICANCE

A computer virus can’t be seen by the naked eye but wrecks havoc on my computer system when its infected. We live in an age when “security” is also used not just to protect ourselves from the threat of terrorism but also the vulnerability of our computer programs especially in our vastly connected world of the internet. It’s amazing how something so small and seemingly insignificant can have such worldwide impact.

In our so called medically advanced world, we were still brought to our knees by the whole SARS episode and now we read about the bird flu crisis. Who could imagine a whole epidemic started through a single sneeze? It’s astonishing how something so hidden and invisible can affect so many lives.

Perhaps, if Jesus were to re-package our little parable today he might say, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a virus …” and reworks what to many of us is an “evil” and “bad” metaphor to communicate to us the nature of the Kingdom of God and how it works hidden from our superficial way of looking at what’s important in life.1

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Second Thoughts on Children and More…

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Malaysia
Second Thoughts on Children and More…

by Sivin Kit

“The church’s ministry to children is broken…It’s broken when church leaders and senior pastors see children’s ministry primarily as a marketing tool…Something is broken when we trivialize God to our children…It’s broken when we depend on our programs and our curriculum to introduce our children to God—not our families and communities…And perhaps most importantly, it’s broken when the church tells parents that its programs can spiritually nurture their children better than they can.” —Ivy Beckwith in Postmodern Children’s Ministry

My involvement in church as a child was sporadic, preferring basketball and kung fu on Sundays. I started attending regularly as a youth. After seminary, my main focus was as a youth and worship pastor; so it wasn’t until recently that I even really thought much about children’s ministry.

Like in youth ministry, people who are passionate about children’s ministry desire something that goes beyond mere babysitting. They’re concerned about a fragmented, or departmentalized, view of adults, youth, and children. Rich Melheim from Faith Inkubators shocks me with this statement from the U.S., though we in Malaysia seem to be no different:

“The church is the last place in America where all six living generations are gathered together every week under the same roof. And what do we do the moment we get there? We segregate them into separate rooms. That’s bad stewardship. Worse. It’s stupid.”

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