Monday, December 19, 2011

Quick Thought: The Church of Today

After reading through a few church and ministry visions and goals...

I fear the day when our goals as the body of Christ is merely to be a 'positive influence' and to make people 'feel valued'.

Does that not undervalue the gospel of the Cross of Christ?

He came, He died, He rose, to be much more than merely a 'positive influence' and to make people 'feel valued'.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Call to Men to take Responsibility

This is a call to stoop down and to take the responsibility to be a leader—a servant leader in the various ways that are appropriate to every different relationship to women. It's a call to us men,
  • that we should take the risk of getting egg on our faces;
  • that we should pray like we've never prayed for help in this tremendous responsibility;
  • that we should be in the Word more than we ever have been to know what God expects of us;
  • that we should plan things more than we do, and be intentional and thoughtful and less carried along by the mood of the moment;
  • that we should be disciplined and ordered in our lives;
  • that we should be tender-hearted and sensitive;
  • that we should take the initiative to make sure that there is a time and a place to talk to her about what needs to be talked about—this "her" could be a friend, a date, a colleague, a wife, a sister;
  • that we should be ready to lay down our lives in discharging this responsibility to be the leaders God is calling us to be.

(from John Piper: Desiring God)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Suffering and Following Christ

I saw this phrase today on a magazine: "Suffering is a sure companion on every Christian's journey."

How true that is. Last week I was preparing for Sunday's sermon and was reading Paul's experience in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra in Acts 13 and 14.

Here's how it went down:

Antioch: Paul preaches the gospel. Jews stir crowd. Paul leaves Antioch. Paul continues to preach gospel.

Iconium: Paul preaches gospel. Jews stir crowd. Jews plot to stone Paul. Paul leaves Iconium. Paul continues to preach gospel.

Lystra: Paul preaches gospel. Jews from Antioch and Iconium follow Paul and stir crowd. Jews stone Paul. Paul lays 'dead' on the ground. Paul gets up. Paul leaves Lystra. Paul continues to preach gospel.

God never promised a cruisey ride. In fact, Jesus said "Anyone who wants to be my disciple must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me". The cross was considered to be one of the most powerful roman examples of execution. Paul's life is the example of a man who suffered greatly for the sake of the gospel. Who's willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


I don't know what some blonde fifteen year old in Sydney gets signed and is worth $20 million a year, while greater talents like David Choi, Kina Grannis, Clara C, Boyce Avenue, Jayesslee, Jason Chen, Megan Lee, etc. etc. rough it out....

Go youtube artists!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interesting Board Room

Board room of a gaming company's office in the outskirts of Shanghai, China. Glass table, glass floor. Only if the water underneath was actually blue!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Christian's Social Media Facade

As everyone knows by now, there has been a great change in how people relate to each other because of the social media revolution of the past decade. People communicate and are seen through filters such as instant messengers, blogs, facebook, twitter, and now google +.

There are so many church goers connected to these mediums, and I daresay, many of these people choose to post great theological, spiritual and Godly comments on their profiles.

Now, I'm not trying to knock these gestures down... they are very true and encouraging comments. Some people I know utilize this media to do great pre-evangelism to their friends and also encourage their brothers and sisters in Christ immensely. But sometimes, I find that some of these comments become a mere facade for the person posting. Because I know how some of those people actually go about living their lives, there can be sometimes a big discrepancy between the comment and the person. This person who is posting some encouraging verse, the next day, he/she is gossipping, not paying attention during sermons, being rude to other people, etc. etc. A person's social media status does not determine how they are living. In fact, when non-believers see this contrast of lifestyle and commenting, it can even dissuade people from Christianity! How a person lives their lives is by far more important than a mere comment or profile message.

We as Christians need to live out authentic lives that are the example of Christ in us. Let your transformed life do the talking. Don't fall into the trap of smokescreening your life by your social media profile. Live for the Glory of God only.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Interesting Quote about Sin

Stumbled upon this insightful quote about sin during my preparation for a sermon last week:

"Sin takes you further than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, costs you more than you want to pay."

Blog Ressurected!

I think its about time to start posting again :)

I wonder who still uses blogspot or checks this??

Final semester of architecture here we go!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Saw this comment in my youtube travels.. pretty interesting!

The Script taught me how to move on

Green Day taught me that government's gonna fail someday

Bruno Mars taught me to do anything for that one person I love

Eminem taught me that life is hard but you can make it through.

Taylor Swift taught me not every guy is going to treat me right

Rebecca Black taught me that Saturday is after Friday

Michael Jackson taught me to always love the people around me

Music teaches you stuff

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What does the Cross mean to you?

A couple days ago I heard a segment on the radio talking about what the cross actually means. I thought it was quite interesting as I had been thinking about that subject recently. The cross has so many different meanings in the world these days. Here are some of them:

- A symbol to distinguish christians
- A fashion ornament for celebrities and urban style
- A shorthand in writing for Jesus
- An illustration of Easter
- A sign for a church
- Something we link with Jesus
- The way Jesus died

I think we have all, christians included, forgotten the true meaning and significance of the cross. In the roman empire, crucifixion, or execution on a cross, was the most gruesome punishment considered. So much so, that roman citizens were exempt to being sentenced to death this way - subject to overrule by the emperor. The cross symbolised death in its most horrific form.

When we see a cross and speak of the cross, and even associate ourselves with the cross, we should be reminded of the lengths that Jesus went to take away our sins - his death on the cross. We should be reminded of the mercy of God - that we were destined to die, an eternal death, and God sent Jesus to take our place on the cross that we associate ourselves with. And we also should be reminded of our lives too - in light of Jesus on the cross. Our response is a life being a living sacrifice to worship God.

So what does the cross mean to you? Is it just two straight lines intersecting? Is it just an ornament? Or is it much more?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Balanced Life - Gaming

I like most of Mark Driscoll's stuff, but I think some of his spiels (as with other notable preachers) I think just go too much to the extreme. This is one of the dangers of teaching/modelling from one side of the spectrum to the other.

In this video, Driscoll says gaming is stupid, its an alternative to living truly for Jesus, amongst other comments.

I disagree with Driscoll in most of the comments in this video, and my concern is that people will either watch this and take his extreme stance, or be turned off from Christianity. There is no problem with gaming in itself. Games are great - they are a good way to relax, a good way to keep your brain ticking, a good way of playing with others. Just like anything else, when gaming takes over your life, or when there is too much gaming, then there are problems. Its like fat - humans actually need to consume fat as part of a healthy diet, but when humans eat too much fat, a lot of problems eventuate. The key is to have a balanced lifestyle and also making sure gaming has not become a little god in your life.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When We Were Young

This memory seemed like yesterday... now everyone's moving away, getting old, getting married, etc. etc.

I'm so happy that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ no matter what :)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Food for Thought

"We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone."

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Power of the Cross

Something has recently dawned upon me like one of those lightbulb moments which has reminded me of one of the essences of Christianity.

We have been hearing sermons and part of meetings relating to new year resolutions, new visions, new strategies, etc. etc. and we always tell people to step up, tell people to up their faith, tell people to trust God....

But all of this is useless if people don't understand the power of the cross.

Why would I really want to step up? Why would I want to be more devoted in my walk with God, more trusting of Him, more passionate about Him?

The reason why we put God first is because what Jesus has done on the cross. This is the only way people will 'press on', will 'tell the world', will be 'stronger' in their faith - through a total conviction that Jesus died to take away their sins and make them right with God.

Lets not forget the magnitude of what Jesus has done for each and every one of us through the cross of calvary.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Songs of 'Praise'

Last night, finally saw Chris Tomlin live with a bunch of friends. Darth Nolla gives a good review of the concert here.

I must say, I didn't enjoy the whole concert. The concert was of two halves, both in the way that there was a clear break between two parts of the concert, and also because of the distinct change in vibe/atmosphere/songs. I enjoyed half the concert.

Why do I say this?

First half of the concert:
- No mention of the cross, of grace, of price paid for us
- Frequent reference of focusing on us, on me, on my, etc.
- Shallow theology (if any at times)
- "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs
- Songs that just can't be sung easily, and with really obscure words and metaphors
- No flow of songs to nail a particular point

Second half of concert:
- All songs focused on our God, on Jesus, on the Lord
- Frequent mention of grace, on who God is, on who Jesus is
- Maybe not meaty theological stuff, but substantial theology through songs
- Songs had a progression towards the message, and out from the message to apply to current situations in our lives
- The lead singer (Chris Tomlin) was humble and his purpose was to lead people to focus on worshipping God
- The songs were a tad high, but were all easy to sing, easy to pick up, easy to join in

Praise God for God glorifying, Gospel driven, Christ centred song leaders and song writers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where is Jesus in the Church?

Had a long day with vision planning for SDBC Youth, Vision Sunday music practice, and a SDBC Worship Team dinner, and I had these separate thoughts that kept pointing to one question.

- What is in a vision or goal within a church that doesn't include Jesus Christ?

- Why do we sing so many songs that don't say anything about what Jesus has done for us on the cross?

- Do our lives, in our worship, in our life stories, in our words and actions, reflect the impact of the saving message of Jesus Christ?

I don't know if its just me, but where is Jesus in today's church? Where is Jesus in today's 'Christians'?

God's Word points to Jesus on the cross. The turn of history points to Jesus on the cross. The Holy Spirit is a witness to Jesus on the cross. Who, or where are we pointing to?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

True Christian Spirit?

On the way home today from BLT, I was astonished at all the cars parked outside my house and around the suburb. I knew it would have had something to do with the floods, but I had no idea what it was until I got home and asked my parents.

Mum responded me and said: "Volunteers for the flood recovery."
I replied: "Wow that's amazing, so many people!"
Mum again responded: "Yes, that's what they call true Aussie spirit."

Mum was right, Aussies have a great sense of comradery and mateship. But at the same time, I was a bit saddened. If Aussies can get together in the droves to help out those in need, why aren't we as Christians getting out there in droves and helping those around us in spiritual need.

Why aren't we moving in carloads to tell our neighbours about the saving message of Jesus?
Why aren't we packing the planes to share the gospel to the unreached?

Aussies who are great people, but largely nominal unbelievers, can be energised to do good works for the country. We serve and even greater power, the almighty sovereign God that Paul describes so strongly in Colossians 1. Its time to show true Christian spirit in getting out there and sharing the good news to the world.

Monday, January 03, 2011

What to look forward to in 2011

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.