Friday, October 31, 2008

The picture...

I was talking to my sister yesterday and we were talking about the monkey picture that I put on my blog. I was asking her what do you think it represents? And so I want to ask you, 'do you have any idea of what it represents?' I would like to hear from you. hahaha

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where would the Road Now Lead?

I'm reading a very thick book at the moment; "Jesus and the Victory of God" by N.T. Wright and it is simply a massive book! I am now at page 301. It is a 700+ page book which simply is gigantic compared to my usual standards of reading. I have been reading this book like for ages and there are some things that doesn't make sense, because I don't think this sort of book matches the reading level that I am at. That shows how far behind i am. But the struggle will be worth it.

Anyway, reaching the 300 page mark there was something that caught my attention:

"The summons to following Jesus, going beyond the challenge to be loyal to his cause in one's own setting, thus focused itself more and more narrowly. Some were summoned to abandon all to follow Jesus; within that, some were called into a special and deeply symbolic inner group; within that again, some had a further symbolic, as well as humanly supportive, function. All of this prompts the further question: what would such followers have thought they were signing on for? And what impression would the average Galilean onlookers have received from this wandering prophet gathering followers whose loyalty went so deep as t override normally binding obligations."

It makes me kind of think, when one follows this Jesus guy, people like you and me do we really count the risks involved following him? Some might think that following Jesus is following a road that is always peaceful, always wanting to resolve conflict by just brushing it aside or with as much non-retaliation (by this I mean verbal) at all.

Looking at the story of Jesus in the Gospels, Jesus' call and challenge were really demanding and required the utmost devotion that one is required to conjure. That is why this question is somewhat disturbing in a sense taken from the excerpt above of Wright's book;

"what would such followers have thought they were signing on for?"

Reading the Gospels and the NT for that matter this question disturbs me to the core. Do I know what I am signing up for when I make the profession that I want to be identified with Jesus of the Bible?

Following Jesus as seen in the bible is enlisting yourself in a movement. But for much of the teachings we get, we are taught that following Jesus means conforming to institutionalized religion, and because of that there is a stagnant force manipulating the urgency of this movement-following Jesus.

I'm just perceiving that the times have tamed the movement so much that Christianity has become wimpy, soft and cuddly in my part of the culture. Christianity has become a tower, and it actually mimics the depiction of Babel.

Who will free us from this destructive form of false following Jesus movement to what the movement really is in its truest form? I hope we wake up from our drunken stupor, and put some sense in what following Jesus really is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Join in the Conversation.. Jesus Creed

I would like us to join in the conversation on Rachel's blog on a book that she is reading "Jesus Creed " by Scot McKnight. She doing a daily post chapter by chapter. What we have now is on Chapter 4. I would be great if we all can chip in this conversation, not for the sake of just commenting but as we build on conversation. I think, as we pry out the ideas from our minds into comments, we will broaden the mind of others and we also will learn from others as well.

I also want to alert us to the conversation because I would like to introduce us to books that can broaden our Christian understanding. This is one of the particular books that has deepen my Christian understanding, and I am believing it will do so for you too.

So, lets hop in on the band wagon and join in on the conversation!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Church...A Complicated thing

Talking about church is somewhat a complicated thing, because in some areas certain issues raise sensitive responses. So it seems at the moment it is better to talk about the catholic (I mean universal) church as a whole (that means regardless of context and particular situations)but that would not do justice to clarity, so where clarity applies let me simply revert back to church in my local context. Anyway let me revert your attention to an important article below. (I have provided links to the particular websites for your benefit so please click away)

I was reading a brilliant article by Ed Stetzer oddly titled "You Can't Love Jesus and Hate His Wife" . The article can be found just by simply clicking on the link that i provided above. Basically just to explain about Ed's article, he is writing on the trend that is prevalent in the western world that I would term as church bashing. The tone of the article simply sounds like the author has gotten tired of all the negativity that comes from Christians attacking the church. I believe the attack that he is talking about here is simply the growing disregard of the present generation towards church which simply turns to abandonment or disolusionment of the whole idea of church.

Stetzer, reverts us back to how scripture supports the 'concept' of church, in the words of Jesus, the writings of Paul and the NT's mention of her (church). The church is God's idea and not our own construction. I think some part of the disabandonment of church is simply how church is done today. This can be one of the issues, but I must add that it is not the only issue.
Stetzer has 4 suggestions in how the church can be a better bride. But i will not list them here. I will let your curiosity plunge into the article for yourselves. I like this statement made by Stetzer:

"And, let me say here, I have some concerns about how some churches operate - but I have tried to focus on how to help and not how to destroy."

Let me leave with you some thoughts:

1. The idea of church is God's not ours. We did'nt make it up.
2. Any concern that we have must simply be on how the church operates.
3. How can we help the church attain to it's divine focus?
4. How can we help and not destroy God's bride?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Books... Maybe a series of posts on what I have read

I am thinking on doing a series of posts on books that have revolutionized my thinking to greater heights and I hope that they probe interest in whoever is reading to expand their knowledge altogether.

Books are what I consider my treasure (apart from my PRS Tremonti SE guitar) at the moment because I am a freak for knowledge and thought expansion, whatever that means. I wonder how these writers come up with these brilliant ideas and let alone compile them into books! Phew. If there is a possibility later I would love to see me writing a book in the future.

Well reading and all that has cause me to be more open to opinions and other peoples ideas. I can say that I will be interested more in people who disagrees with my ideas and is willing to talk or write about it. I find that where we live in people get sensitive when they hear your point of views. But I am learning that these incidents will always be there.

I guess at the moment I see disagreements as a way to build on clarity because not everyone will know where you come up with an idea. It is good to lend a listening ear to disagreements. We do well to listen then just ranting out how we don't agree with a person. And if the conversation or written comments don't come to an agreement, then we should leave them there. How can we impose our ideas on people? What more if people are not willing to listen.

So for me books has saved my sanity with my culture here. Of always being afraid of popping up with the ideas that I have thought of. I guess there is a the generation that is afraid of questionings and there is a generation ripe for that sort of thing.

Anyway I am looking forward to post on the books that have challenged my mind to think.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stuff to do...during boring sermons

I saw this post here and found it hilarious. I would love to add to it but I will think about it later. Hope for the readers out there I am not implying that peoples sermons are boring. But there are sermons that are boring regardless if you are a Billy Graham or some standard preacher. Do you think Paul fits the category of boring speakers? He might have (someone did doze off and fall asleep and fell and died but thank God he rose from the dead after Paul prayed for him) hahaha. But hey this is just a joke so don't take it personally. I have seen people sleep during my sermons (the only few i preached that is haha).

Initially i wanted to do a post on this following the influence of the link above but I am afraid people might judge me for that too. So just enjoy a light hearted moment. Adios

What is the Price of Unity?

Phil 2:1-4
If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

The implication of the word 'If ' conjures a responsive answer, which is obviously 'yes'. Of course, we have been blessed by our experience mounting from being in Jesus-following Him, changed by his love, being in His community, welling in care and compassion. What Paul wants us to conjure up here is the emphatic answer-'Yes, this is all true for me'.

Because this is true, Paul states 'do me a favor', show the picture of unity out of your 'gotten anything out of...Christ '. Truly changed people of God really practice unity-'
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends'

We normally stop here in our reading because we get compelled with the picture of unity that is being mentioned here. Changed people of God must also show change in their communal living. This is beautiful and this is what is supposed to be, Christians should practice unity. But what is the thing that actually is the enemy of unity in the Body of Christ?

This is where we must read on, Paul tells us:
'Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.'

For unity to be living in the body of Christ, the individual's self interest must be buried. Unity is something that gets destroyed when people are not humble, when people are thinking of themselves and of how they can be elevated, how they can make a name from themselves. Please understand that Paul did not state here that only certain members are to check themselves here, like leaders to members or the other way round. The text says nothing about submission. It talks about unity and that thing that causes disunity- self interests of individuals. Paul calls us to check on ourselves-all of us, not just certain individuals but all of us.

Who better to tutor us on how doing away with self interest looks like then Jesus. I will let the passage itself comment itself because now it can be clear in telling us-if we want to maintain unity we have to remove self motivated interests and be selfless. This is what humility looks like.

5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Let us check ourselves whether we have simply let our self interests destroy the unity of His Body. That means every one, not just leaders but everyone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


James1:20 for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

Mark3:5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

John2:13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

Matt 21:12 Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

(Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48)

It is somewhat confusing when we read on the topic of anger in the bible. The bible seems to be confused in whether we are to be angry or not be angry.

Listing out some of the verses above make it more baffling. James tells us the
anger that we conjure does not conjure up God's righteousness. So at a glance we are put up with a reference that tells us our anger leads to the wrong way. Other verses also calls us to put it off 2 Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; 1 Tim 2:8.

Looking at the verses above they all are pointing to our own anger.The type of anger that is motivated by self, by us. An anger that is motivated solely by our own self agenda. By reading the verses in the paragraph above this is what i believe the type of anger that the the bible teaches us, because this type of anger deals solely with our own self interest alone.

There are some verses that talks about anger also, that is the reality of it. In a world like our anger exists and will not leave us. So the bible tells us:

26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil.
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

We can get angry, it is a reality but don't let it swell on to bitterness. That is what this verse basically means. Another on in James also tell us the reality of anger and that its existence:

19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

It simply tells us anger exists but make a proper assessment before it is manifested. This is being angry with a good reason.

So if i would weigh whether we can get angry or not the bible gives us a realistic look on anger.

1. Anger that is motivated by us is what the bible speaks against.
2. Anger exists and will not go away.
3. We deal with anger, by not welling it and let it lead to bitterness.
4. We do well to assess situations throughly before we jump into conclusions on being angry.

Jesus is a good example of what good anger looks like. We do good to reflect his actions and how he went about it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is a Greater Witness

Jn 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Jn 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jn 17:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: Jn 17:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This is my own reflection of a preaching I heard last Sunday. Coming out of the service it made me wonder what is a greater witness that the church can show or make to the society that it is living in?

Can we say a greater witness is through the music that we 'present' during our worship services? It can be a witness
with the way the music is played and the way the musicians are very skillful with their instruments. It can be a witness when we have singers with really good voices, who know the timings of the songs and people who sing in key. Sure, these are important considerations for witness but i have to disagree because what will make us different that what we already see and hear in the open?

Can we say a greater witness is through the programs we create? Programs are an important aspect of what we have as a church, and we do need these sort of events for some degree of where we are heading. These programs can harness vision, educate, equip, renew, rejuvenate and help the progress a sense community. But yet again other organizations also have these kind of things and they too have the same distinctions that I mentioned above. We still hit the same brick wall.

Can we say that a greater witness is the church building that we have? It can be but are we not competing with the world on this? What good is another building in the same nature of massiveness as shopping complexes or offices? If you say that the church is contributing to something important because of it's spiritual nature (in a sense it is) but still the other buildings, although they are not spiritual in nature contribute an important aspect on human life. Just think economy. So i would not agree that a building will harness a greater witness for God, that God and his church exist and are real.

To me I think a potent and real witness is
one of love-how we love our brothers. Love is a mixture of baggage-I mean the word. We get so caught up in how it is understood in the world that we loose some real sense of what it means to God. Love in how we show our brothers is in the sense of family. Bearing burdens, being with each other in tough times, having a really bad argument, being happy when your family is happy (sharing happiness) and all that sense of what we go through family. Love is the thing that works around these situations and always works to bring us together. I don't really see it as minimizing all the problems but a sense of working through the ugly and helping beauty to reveal itself.

Another potent witness for the church is unity. Unity is not what we hear on TV where our politicians are telling us to be united. Unity is almost always connected with uniformity. Unity is diversity, that is together in diversity. This is something very profound but the church has yet to archive this state. But will it ever? I believe it will if we stick with that Jesus told us.

So a potent witness for the church is more of how we show how we are as community. If we have a building and a cool service, these are added stuff, not the core. If we build or work out on the core the added stuff will come.

(Another greater witness is this post here. Read and be encouraged to act.)

I have to still clarify that this is the author's (Jonathan's) own reflection. It has nothing to do with saying that the sermon was not good. Read the post again. A reflection is simply an idea that i get from a given passage or page of writing or what i have heard people say, and with that idea I simply build on my own ideas which my thinking brain thinks through. If there is anyone offended about the post, what can i do about that. Just comment. It is as easy as that. Please know that this is a discussion Hubble and not a conspiracy act. I guess I am tired of sensitive people hounding me. pant pant.

The Danger of Reading

Reading is dangerous. Just a simple reminder, because they can really mess with your minds. I got this obsession of reading when i hit 20. I started reading late but ever since then I could not stop. It has become an addiction on me. Ideas are welling up with no outlet to channel them. I guess people look at me as someone who has low IQ. I guess because of the way I look (hahaha). Well if anyone wants please engage with me on books (well i only can read theology/ Christan issues kind of books at the moment, i am trying my best at other genre. I have trouble reading novels! I love stories but i just cant keep my head in novels. I wonder why? Any remedies?)

Other problems i face when i got this addiction is I am not satisfied with just the books we can find here in Miri (oops am i against Miri if i say in Miri there are limited books? Sorry Miri. I offend you because it is true. There are not MANY books that I can buy and get HERE!)

I'm so thnakful for the internet because via the net i can access information on unlimited numbers of books. I have brain hunger every single second!

But anyways I just want to state that books are 'dangerous' only if they influence you. Bad books. I'll just put the books as a skapegoat for the ideas that i am having (I know, what a lame excuse). But let me state this straight, if books don't conjure up influence that provokes action, simply throw the book away. What good is a book if it does not influence you to action. The wealth of knowledge will pollute in your mind if you do not act the things that influence you. It becomes just knoble ideas and no more. I think books were meant for reading but not reading alone. They are meant to stimulate our minds for action.

Oh and another thing, show me your book cabinet and I will tell you my ideas.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It takes 6...

It takes 6 from 1st to 10th minus the 72, so that equals 66, for monkeys to scatter.
The pearl was given to her but she turned into a swine, not literally but like one. Swines are also known as pigs to put it in more understandable terms. In Bahasa pigs are called babi or khinzir; in my native tongue it's simply called berek. So like a swine, berek, babi, khinzir, jani', (hahaha) they dont know the value of the pearl. Pearls are taken from oysters. I think from the sea and you have to pry their shells to get the pearl.I have not seen this in reality but I saw it on TV. Interesting. Pearls are expensive and hard to get. And from what I know pearls take a considerable ammount of time to form in the oyster. It does not happen over night. And people have to look for them in the sea.

So now you know that why pearls are expensive. But to simply give them out to someone who becomes a swine is just plain wasting. But that is if you know that they turned into swines. So if you don't know prepare to see your pearl be trampled underfoot by the clueless swine. So it takes
6 from 1st to 10th minus the 72, so that equals 66, for monkeys to scatter.

I love the stroy of the reformation where Martin Luther posted the 95. A small monk thrumping the Goliath and thus we have our Protestant movement.

Deitrich Bonhoffer is one of those people I admire. He wrote the book 'Cost of Discipleship' and was tru to its core. His conviction led him to the intention to topple Hitler but the plan bit and he was put in prison and later on hanged. He took the cost of discipleship.

So it takes 6 from 1st to 10th minus the 72, so that equals 66, for monkeys to scatter.

Jesus the ultimate mentor, also opposed the Jews of his day and led the 'rebellion' and the pharisees say it. They were so agitated that they stripped him and crucified him. But his story none the less ende with death but justice. Instead of dying he Rose up. Justice was being presented. So it takes 6 from 1st to 10th minus the 72, so that equals 66, for monkeys to scatter.

The Blue Parakeet by Scot Mcknight

This is somewhat a surface review of this amazing book by Scot McKnight! Thanks to Scot and Zondervan for making it possible for me to get an advanced copy to read and blog about. The book is so good that I will be getting a copy soon!

About the book; It is definitely a deconstruction of how one reads the bible. Upon reading the book I notice that there are a lot of passages in the bible that are somewhat off key with our basic systematic theology or neatly structured doctrines. There are passages in what McKnight calls 'blue parakeet'; these are passages that make us uncomfortable when we read them. Scot advices not to tame the bible but let the bible challenge us.

Scot proposes a three step pattern to read the bible; story, listening, discerning. The pattern helps us to get back on tract with treating the bible as more of God communicating with us and we in the mode of having a relationship with the bible as we read, listen, struggle through, get nudged, (namely all our emotions and thinking and actions interact with the God of the bible). McKnight is telling us again that the bible is not a rule book or what i sometimes hear from people; Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

Mcknight goes on and help us to see how this pattern works as he writes about women and ministry. Dealing controversial text and mining his way through what the bible is actually communicating to us.

My personal observation; McKnight is one of those authors who constantly challenges us to rethink. And what is more, he came up with a book on rethinking how we read the bible. I love the metaphor of the Blue Parakeet. I also see that McKnight tell us that the Holy Spirit has a role in helping us read the bible (this we often forget, being bombarded by methods). My only 'disappointment' for now is that I wish the book had more case studies rather than just one-women and ministry. Maybe in the revised edition McKnight will expand the book. I hope he does. To me the book was not Thick Enough. Well I guess that is McKnight's way of telling us 'Go and read the bible and apply what you have read'.

Overall the book is amazing but a tad too short. But regardless, I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in finding out ways to read the bible.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I don't know how to count...Let me teach you

1Co 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1Co 13:5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1Co 13:6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
1Co 13:7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Sometimes WE read only verse 4,5,7. And forget verse 6. Man don't we know how to count. Just follow the numbers. We read in progression. We read verse 4 then 5 then 6 and only then 7. Read all and don't skip.

Monkey business

"Just because a parishioner opposes a pastor on something, does not mean that he or she is unspiritual and lacking in commitment to Christ. Just as parishioners are not always right, so pastors get it wrong as well. The important thing in the midst of disagreement is to work through it in a healthy way and, then at some point, make a decision on what must be done. The purpose of disagreement is to come to a better solution, not to keep anything from happening at all."

Matt18:15"If your brother sins against you,[b] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. NIV
Matt18:15-17"If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend. If he won't listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won't listen, tell the church. If he won't listen to the church, you'll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God's forgiving love. Message

Thursday, October 16, 2008


How would you understand this word: Resurrection?

Do we think of it as our spirit only resurrecting? or Our whole body being resurrected.

It is normal for us to hear that our bodies are just a temporary home in which we live in at the time we are on earth. And when we die our bodies go back to dust and our real being is taken up with God. And we go to a place called heaven.

But this is not what resurrection means. What we understand reading the line above is what we might understand as after life. There is nothing wrong with after life as far as i am concerned. I believe that when we die our soul/spirit goes to God. But that is not what resurrection means.

The implication of resurrection is that our bodies will rise up again also. This is something that i learned from N.T Wright. So if i might rephrase after life, in N.T Wright's words, the Christian position is 'Life, after life'. It basically means after the after life, there is still another life. Where our bodies will be resurrected again.

If death is to loose it's sting, victorious over body and spirit, it looses its sting via the resurrection! Did you not wonder why Jesus, when he met the disciples, he is always depicted as eating. He even let them touch his hands and side. It also says that we are to receive a resurrection just like that of Jesus. If that is the case be glad that we will not just be resurrected just spirit only but in body too.


Truth, Offense, Correction

Today there are preachers who are afraid to preach truth for fear people will react and leave the church. The end result is a church of easily offended people who cannot grow beyond their inability to accept correction.—Francis Frangipane, A House United, page 119

I came across this in a blog. You can see it here also. I just found it interesting that's all. It makes me reflect on what is truth, how should it be presented?

Is there any possibility to relay truth without any offense?

How should we work on correction?

How should we respond to offense?

I would like to hear your views.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can I have tomatoes?...NO. We don't have a potato.

I was watching MTV the other day and they had 'Boiling Point' on. I like the show because it shows people looking really weird when they are angry. It's just utterly hilarious and stupid at the same time.

Well they had this Chinese guy as the actor (the one instigating a boiling reaction of people) working at a salad bar. They had vegetables, or whatever you put in a salad (you name it). So this guy is having problems with his English. So when a guy asked for tomatoes he went we don't have potatoes. So you can spell the irony here as the customer had a hard time communicating to this Chinese guy who was actually acting.

Make me wonder sometime. Do people interpret us right? I do hope so because like the guy on boiling point, he really had a hard time telling the Chinese guy! Hilarious.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yoda's advise for Blogging (young yoda that is). 'Blog you may...but come will trouble'

If I was Yoda, this would be my advise to Luke regarding blogging. 'Listen, you must, or pain you feel.'

Just to let you all know...some things i learned in my short experience while blogging...

1. Church, blog you don't.
Beats me. But that is the advise I hear from others whom have been approached. But why shouldn't we blog about the church? I guess there is a reference in the bible about blogging about the church. Let me see Revelation 23, Matt 29? Oh that must be extra biblical content. But anyway if you don't want to get the black list keep off the church subject. Talk about other stuff then like dating, cool rock music, goth clothing, anything but church or Christianity (I'm talking in a sarcastic tone).

2. Feelings, blog you don't
This will definitely get you in trouble. Feelings should be kept at bay because when people who cant handle the truth in you (this means how you really feel) people will think you are weird or sick or crazy. So be careful how you present it. Maybe what you can do is for example if you feel rotten (i think we will always feel rotten) we should not write 'Man i just feel really sick, pathetic, or shitty' (if that is how you feel). Instead write I feel so pleasantly good, I simply feel perfect every day and not a hint of bad vibe. I am always ok and will always be. See, with all the pleasent things like that you will ward off suspicion. But if you ask me I will be more suspicious if people are feeling this 24/7. Sicko!

3. BLOG, blog you don't!
Simply, if you want to ward off people reading about what you blog about the most simplest of ways is DON't BLOG! Simply by doing this you will ward off unnecessary criticism just because you wanted to post how you feel or what you are going through.

Well just three points that i could mention. Mind the sarcasm. What i am really implying is just to spell it out...if you don't mind your blog being found out continue blogging. If you are living in fear and still want to blog make it private. But if you are simply like me, just let it be read by anyone. That's if anyone is reading my blog. Hahaha. I'd like to think i do have some readers out there.

The force, be with you it will!

(oh and another thing if you read, try to impersonate Yoda whenever you read the green colored sentences.)

Misreading...Miss Everything

Have you watched movies where the hero of the movie is caught by the villain and he is sort of held at bay or something like that.

And because this hero seems to be a menace to the villains plan there seems to be only one option to stop the on sloth of the hero; hit him where he is weak (i.e. find his weak spot). If you are already familiar with hero villain feuds you will know the hero's weakest point: those people who are close to him/ her.

So in situation like this the hero might utter some very vicious words to his/her loved ones like 'I dont care for you', 'i hate you', 'i don't want to see your face again' or something like that. This is because the hero want to ward off those whom he/she loves from being harmed.

Of course the loved ones would feel really offended or baffled and walk off. Still suffering of the aftermath of the harsh words spoken. But what they don't know is it was for their own safety.

But as any hero movies go, the loved one will always be reunited with the hero and explanation will always be given. And because of that the loved ones will appreciate the hard gesture of the hero though the words were harsh there was in them love and protection.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Need your Prayers

Hey, if there are any blog readers out there (if i have any blog followers) I think this is somewhat a turning point in my life, and i need your prayers.

I might make a decision to move to West Malaysia. I got phone call just now about an 'offer' somewhere in Johor whether i was interested to start a church in Johor or somewhere near there. Something about being a full time worker under the Presbyterian Church there. They are also supportive of me going to further my studies also (which I am planning to do).

This sounds good. I want to make the right decision but I know i need direction to get the right direction. So if you do stumble upon this please pray with me. I appreciate your prayers.

And another thing is when should i tie the knot. When eh???

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Something we should Learn from

This is quite an interesting Video by David Fitch. Listen and learn, converse, critique (not Critic!) and if possible respond).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When Paul and others were un-Christlike (gasp Even Jesus!)

1 Cor 4:18-21
1 Cor 5:1-13 (especially vs.5,13)
2 Cor 13:2
Gal 1:8-9
Gal 2:11
Gal 3:1
Gal 4:20
Phil 3:2
2 Thess 3:14
3 John 9

Acts 15:36-41
John 2:12-25
John 2: 4 (he call his mom woman, so much for being an example)
Matt 23:1-39
Matt 16:23
Matt 3:7

Sometimes we have such a narrow understanding of being Christ-like that we make being a christian more like being wimps. These verses or passages paint another dimension for us to think about. Are Christians just nice or Like Jesus? Jesus was not nice. He was good. Jesus sometimes gave really strong rebuke, he made sarcastic stories, called people names, spit on the ground and used saliva and mud to heal, and to top it off really blew his head off throwing tables and livestock and money plus whipping the sellers in the temple! So much for example eh. So much for Jesus being meek eh.

The point is don't just settle for what we think Jesus has been in peoples mouths or tradition. Find out for yourselves. You could end up being offended by Jesus. But then again he is loving and all that. Try picturing how Jesus, his disciples, Paul and the other believers would look like with some of these passages.

I believe the bible, warts and all. Even the difficult passages. But sometimes they make me shudder and rethink a lot of things. Lets make God in his words teach us.

How to Make Money? and Loose weight?

Today I will be your wisdom teacher...

How to make Money?
Actually I don't have the answer to this question. But i do have some suggestions to keep your money! Here goes...

1. Don't spend more than what you earn!
2. Try to spend somewhere around the middle of the month (That is if you receive salary). I do this as often as I can. The reason; sometimes in the beginning of the month and we see something we are really crazy about, to discipline your will sometimes we have to take drastic measures. This is mine. It make me think through (maybe do some research whether I really need the thing. Sure enough when I do this I will (80%) not turn back and buy the stuff.
3. Don't gamble.
4. Be ruthless in how you do it. Hahahahaha

How to loose weight?
1. Loose rice. I mean eat as little portion as possible.
2. Lessen your eating habits. This is lessen the in between 'eatings'.
3. Eat at home.
4. Exercise.
5. To tell you the truth I am still learning all these things!

So anyway, this post is less on the sensitive issues that i usually post. So I will keep things balanced. For now. Well the next post will be on Forgiveness. I have been thinking through this issue for a while now. I guess i will post this tommorow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some BLogs/ Sites That Blows my mind BOOM

Jesus Creed
Alan Hirsch
Dan Kimball
David Fitch
Emergent Village
Brian Mclaren
Sivin Kit
Tony Jones
Doug Pagitt
N T Wright
The Resurgence

Ben Witherington
Rob Bell
Christianity Today
Alter Bridge

Moving from a Christian culture to the beginnings of Post Christian Culture...We are Heading there

The issue at hand; 'the church in a post Christian culture' has been widely acknowledged by the Western world. We can see evidences of this in Europe in particular where Christianity is simply something of a fad. But can we actually say that this kind of influence is infecting our local context/ place?

We don't have to be experts in this (although research would make our claims more authoritative), just to see the climate of influence the church has over society as a whole. Fewer and fewer young adults are attending church or attend on an occasional basis. Youths in particular are dwindling in numbers, and to think that does not alarm us! Soon, if we continue and allow this to prolong, eventually our churches will end up like the churches in Europe.

What are our current climate in expanding our christian influence at this point of time? This question is one that i would like to answer in the local context that I am presently in.

There is not much i would say in terms of methods. It has always been the standard of holding some sort of 'evangelistic rallies' or christian functions and encouraging members to attend with the hope that they will bring their 'non-christian friends'. This could be understood as 'invitation method'. But as it always goes not many 'non-christians' would feel welcomed because the intent is only that they get converted. Furthermore the context in which we invite is not contextualized. What i mean by this is we explain the gospel in our own jargons which people who are not familiar with those words will not understand a word.

Another difficulty with the 'invitation method' is that we put the 'non-christian' always on our turf. When i explain turf here i mean our church building or our programs. What about going on their turf for a difference? When i say this i have to explain otherwise people might think that i mean condoning going to stripper club, the pub or night club. So i better spell this first for people who think i am crazy. But regardless if we are to reach people now we have to think out of the box. We could either think of attending battle of the band as a bridge to create friendships. I say this because we have a lot of musical talents.

At the moment I just want to leave it here at the moment. Maybe if i am not that lazy i might have some other ideas to plow. Until ideas start pouring in.

Hopeful Theo

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OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations