Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Carrot cake

Had a treat awaiting us when we went to Wai's place for cell group: the carrot cake made by Pastor Andrew's wife, Cheryl.

Trust me, it was NICE~~ =)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Relief

=) =) =)

Thankfully the 'damage' done wasn't so great, but I still will have to be careful in the way I treat others, and that will still be hard...

So much for 'being a gentleman', according to what I learnt in JC.

But still, thank God for making me realise it, even though it's a hell of a painful process.

=) =) =)

How to be in a large group

The continuation article from the article on how to be in a small group. And yes, I didn't write this either ;) Although not as 'powerful' as the other, but nevertheless still gives some very good pointers on thinking through about loving others, in a large group setting. Hope this article will help you (whoever reads this) too.

=====================
The very topic of church raises an interesting conundrum. Why do we call our small groups 'Bible study groups' or 'cell groups', and our larger meetings 'church'? Is there a fundamental difference between them?

It's hard to imagine the authors of the New Testament thinking so. According to their writings, 'church' was a word which simply meant 'getting together', and there were on size restrictions on what constituted a 'getting together'. All you needed were some people in the same place at the same time meeting in the name of Christ. As Jesus said, "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20).

In terms of what these 'get togethers' were for, they would have put it something like this: "We get together (i.e. have church) for mutual encouragement, to build the church, to spur on another on to love and good deeds. The idea is for each member to contribute to the common good, according to the gifts God has given" (cf. 1 Cor 12-14; Heb 10:24-25).

In other words, the meetings we have in small and large groups have a great deal in common, especially in terms of their basic purpose. The main differences between them are pragmatic. In the small group, it is easier to relate informally, to talk at length about particular issues, to answer individual questions and so on. In the large group, there are efficiencies of scale such that a suitably gifted Teacher can effectively teach a large group of people. Of course, we ourselves will be encouraged and taught and stimulated to love, and we need this to keep going in the Christian life. In particular, we need the regular instruction, correction, rebuke and exhortation that comes from someone teaching us the Bible. The large group also helps keep the whole group of people together, rather than the small groups each splintering off into independent units.

Much of what we said in our last article ('How to be in a small group') also applies to the larger group that we normally call 'church'--perhaps it would be better to refer to them as small church and large church. As with the 'small church', the overall goal of the larger gathering is mutual encouragement and edification; and the responsibility of each member is to contribute whatever they can for the good of others. In fact, it's worth repeating the key sentence in our first article--that the primary reason we go to 'church' is "to give us an opportunity to love and encourage other people in Christ. It's not about Me; it's about Them. And it's about Them because of Christ." Even so, this is not really our focus in going to church. The encouragement or teaching we receive is not really our concern. That is for others to worry about. Our purpose is to focus on others, and on what we can do for them.

This will work itself out in many ways, but here are six.

1. Turning up for others
When the kids are complaining, the body is weary, a leisurely morning in the bed beckons and the sermon series is on the significance of blood in Leviticus, then what person other than a stubborn religious zealot would go to church? Answer: the person who goes not for themselves but for others.

If our primary motivation for attending larger gatherings of our Christian brothers and sisters is to love and encourage them, then we will go to great lengths to turn up--at the very least because not turning up is such a discouragement. You can't love, care for and encourage other people if you're not there.

2. Sitting with others
Having other people as our focus when we go to church will influence our behavior in all sorts of minor ways. It will even change where we sit. Rather than treading the familiar route to 'our' pew, the one we sit in every week, with Bill and Freda on our left, and the Tans in front, we will think about where we might sit that would be most helpful--next to that person over there whom I don't recognize (and who is probably a visitor); or next to Mike Wilson whom I haven't seen in church for a while; or next to the Lims because I know they've been going through a really tough time with their daughter and I'd like to have a chat with them about it afterwards and pray with them.

3. Welcoming others
This is related to the last point. If our focus is on encouraging others, we will be on particular alert for those who are new in our midst. We will do whatever we can to make them feel at home in what might be a strange environment for them. We will sit next to them, explain what is going on if they look lost, share our Bible with them, introduce them to our friends afterwards. We might even invite them back to our place for lunch. If our focus is on helping this new person become a part of our church, then these sort of things are the least we can do.

4. Listening to others
There are two forms if listening that are powerfully encouraging to others.

One is listening to the sermon. An active, enthusiastic listener, who is obviously paying attention, thinking, and perhaps taking notes, is a great encouragement to any preacher. It spurs him on. It also encourages those sitting around you, just as our bored or distracted fidgeting will dampen their enthusiasm.

The other form of listening is our attentiveness to others after the formal part of the meeting. There is nothing more deeply encouraging than someone who simply listens, who is genuinely interested in what is happening in your life, who is ready to hear and only then to speak according to the need of the moment.

5. Talking to others
When we chat to others after our church meetings, what is it that makes it so hard to get past chit-chat and yesterday's cricket score? It doesn't seem right to have just been glorying the riches of God's Word, and then to find nothing to say about it to each other.

Often this is because we are just a little inhibited about starting up such a conversation. For the sake of others we need to learn to do so. Pick an aspect of the sermon you found particularly stimulating or challenging or even incomprehensible, and ask your friend about it. "I didn't know that the Jewish form of Jesus was 'Joshua'. What do you reckon that says about the Old Testament Joshua?"

6. Praying for others
Since God is the source of all encouragement and all hope, we will of course pray during our gatherings. We will give thanks for all his benefits and draw near to him in faith to make our various requests.

Prayer is one more area in which we can act for the sake of others. Even the hearty 'Amen' we say to each prayer is an encouragement to those around us. And there are plenty of other opportunities for prayer during our gatherings.

During the meeting we can pray for people we see around us, for any non-Christians present, for our Bible teacher as he speaks, for the congregation's responsiveness, and so on.

As we talk with others after church, opportunities should also arise to pray. Even a casual conversation about 'how your week was' will yield a number of things to pray or give thanks for. Don't be embarrassed--why should you be? Just pause then and there to pray together.

When we go to the large group we call 'church', we're not spectators. We're players. We go there for the sake of others, to lay down our lives for them as Christ laid down his for us. In the language of Romans 12, we go as living sacrifices, which is our spiritual worship.

writer | Tony Payne
Matthias Media 1998

Christ Hacks: Tips on walking with Christ from fellow Christians

Christ Hacks: Tips on walking with Christ from fellow Christians

A website worth checking up upon from time to time, it was started only recently =) Will be adding it into my list of links.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A recursive relation

Just a thought:

As part of our Christian walk, we meet fellow believers to encourage them in their Christian walk...

And that Christian walk also is encouraging others in their Christian walk...

So...We not only encourage others, we also encourage them to encourage others!! ;)

Lol...I'm not crapping here ok! In the field of ER diagramming, this is called a recursive relationship, because as we encourage others, others also encourage us. (ok, the last part was out of point)

Friday, August 26, 2005

How to be in a small group

I didn't write this article! But still worth sharing with you guys. A very 'powerful' article (I wonder why).

=========================
Another year, another Bible study group. Time to sign up, turn up and get things rolling for another year. Ho hum.

Time also perhaps to ask some questions about your small group. Is it really making much of a difference in the lives of its members? Do you feel as if you just go along because that's what you're expected to do? Does the group have a clear purpose, or does it just exist because it has always existed?

More to the point, what part are you going to play in this year's group? What can you be doing to make the group a success? There are many books and guides and training materials for small group leaders (like Growth Groups from Matthias Media), but what about the humble group member? What can each of us be doing to make the most of out small groups?

Why go in the first place?
People go to small groups for all sorts of reasons to fulfil expectations, to make friends, to pursue romantic possibilities, to receive encouragement and counsel, to learn, and so on.

While most of these might be perfectly acceptable reasons to join a small group, the first and indispensable reason must be clear in our minds. Our primary reason for belonging to a small group is to give us an opportunity to love and encourage other people in Christ. It's not about Me; it's about Them. And it's about Them because of Christ.

This after all is what the Christian life is about. Our most basic principle is to love other people as Christ has loved us, to lay down our lives for them as Christ did for us. This applies as much to small groups as it does to marriages, families, workplaces, and larger Christian meetings. We go to small groups not primarily to have our needs met, but to meet the needs of others. Of course, we have needs too, and no doubt they will be met along the way--but we can let others worry about that. In fact, paradoxically, the more we focus on loving others, and doing whatever we can for them, the more encouragement and strength we find ourselves.

There are many ways we can love and encourage the other people in our groups. Here are five powerful ones (complete with alliterative titles).

1. The power of presence
This is the simplest and most obvious, but is no less powerful for being so. Just being there each week without fail is a powerful encouragement to the other members of the group. In making the group time a solid commitment, to be missed only in times of emergency, you send a very clear message to the other members: "Being with you matters very much to me. Unless something very important comes up, you can expect me. Encouraging you is a top priority."

Conversely, inconsistent attendance sends a somewhat less encouraging message: "I don't mind coming, but it's not that important. If I feel a bit tired or something else crops up, don't expect me. Being with you and encouraging you isn't really a very high priority for me."

Turning up regularly requires no extraordinary gifts or talent, but it is a powerful way of loving other people.

2. The power of preparation
Most small groups complete their evening's Bible study with a plaintive plea from the leader for people to read the passage and prepare for next week's study. The leader knows full well that most people won't, but there's no harm in trying!

However, preparing for the group time is another powerful way to love the members of the group. Of course, having read the passage, or done the homework, greatly increases the benefit you yourself receive from the discussion. More importantly, however, it equips you to encourage others by what you say. Rather than throwing in whatever occurs to you at the time, you have actually thought about the Bible passage and the issues that it raises. You are much better prepared to say things that stimulate and encourage and teach others if you have bothered to give it some thought beforehand.

3. The power of prayer
Paul's friend and fellow worker, Epaphras, would have made an ideal small group member. According to Paul, he was always "wrestling in prayer" for the Colossians, that they might "stand firm in all the will of God". Paul was able to vouch that in doing so, Epaphras was "working hard for you" (Col 4:12-13).

Praying for others is hard work, but real work. It is one of the most loving things we can do for our fellow group members, not only because it is through our prayers that God does his work in people's lives, but because it is such a quiet, inconspicuous form of ministry. Making a casserole for someone, by comparison, is much more satisfying--you see something very tangible for your efforts,and you have the pleasure of delivering it to the person and receiving their warm expressions of thanks. Prayer has none of these rewards. You do it for one reason only: that you care for that person and want what is best for them in Christ. And so you pray for them.

4. The power of personality
The alliteration may be starting to stretch a little thin here, but the point is solid enough that a powerful way of loving others in your small group is to be willing to share your own life and personality with them.

This is by no means an easy thing to do. Many of us would much rather keep quiet and not give too much away. However, by opening up and sharing our lives and thoughts and struggles and joys, we do others a great service. We not only show them that we have the very same struggles that they have (but thought they were along in suffering); we also encourage them to open up as well.

Of course, it is anything but loving to indiscriminately dump everything we are thinking or feeling onto the group. We need to heed the advice of Proverbs and think carefully before we speak; as well as the words of Ephesians 4: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Eph 4:29).

5. The power of love
Whatever you do in the group--every word you say, every action--do it for the sake of others. Look for how you can support and help the leader. Look for ways to care for the members of the group--those who could really do with a phone call or visit; those who would benefit from having someone to pray or read the Bible with; those who need financial or other material help; those who just need a friend to have pizza and a video with.

Belonging to a small group can be a very demanding exercise. It can cost us our lives, because that is what it means to be a follower of Christ--to lay down our lives for the sake of others. If we grasp the possibilities, small groups represent an enormously fruitful opportunity for doing just that.

(Matthias Media 1998)

POTD 260805

Making full use of the umbrella...

...indoors. ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

POTD

Y'know, there's two types of boliao-ness: one being the type that takes photos of sheep shaking their head to the music.

The other being the type that takes photos of those who're taking photos of sheep shaking their head to the music.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Siao eh

Went running (for the first time in months) in school today, after the cell group, with Dong Wei. I never knew that I could run and talk and think at the same time without passing out.

The weirdest conversation topic went on during the run though: regarding the C++ program that he could compile but not run.

And you thought that "computer geeks" only chatted about computer stuffs whilst munching on junk food.

Final installment

The third post.....copied again without permission. =S
===========

Dating: Technique


All too soon, it was time to move indoors for a caffeine boost to tide us through the rest of the work day. Having looked at Target and Timing, we considered how one might start a dating relationship.

The right way to start a dating relationship is a just a subset of the right way to live life. The general principle is to love your neighbour, which includes the Target of your venture. Other-person-centredness is the command of God, the design within which we are to find happiness and the cornerstone of the community that Christ's blood enables us to live in.

One aspect of loving our neighbour is helping them live in a right relationship with God, under God's rule. This means aiding and encouraging them to faith and godliness rather than putting out stumbling blocks for them to trip over.

Right. So a walkthrough might go something like this:
So you see this girl. You're attracted to her. And it's difficult to be clearheaded about not rushing into asking her out on a date.

But remember the general principle. It is your responsibility to love her and care for her by going about it rationally and biblically, not in blind pagan lust.

Absolute Purity
First off, treat everyone with absolute purity (1 Timothy 5:2). The girls in church are not potentials. They are not wares in a shop for you to feast your eyes on and consider with intent to purchase. They are first and foremost your sisters and you are to think of them as such with pure love.

Friendship and Fellowship
Establish a friendship. Relate to her as you relate to any other sister. Afterall, she is not your potential girlfriend. She is a sister like all others. Encourage her to focus and depend on God like you would any other sister.

It is not true that a romantic, exclusive relationship will enable you to get to know her better. It may be more emotionally exciting but the emotional excitement merely blinds you to the illusion and infatuation of being too close too fast. Objectivity is required in making godly loving decisions and much can be known and deduced about her in group settings.

Remember that the point of friendship is not to acquire a girlfriend who will later become your wife. The point of companionship and fellowship in the body of Christ is to build each other up in love and good deeds, teaching and rebuking, encouraging and correcting each other so that we grow together in love for each other and knowledge of him.

If that is the point and the primary purpose for being in a group, then you should not flirt from DG to DG, bible study group to bible study group, social circle to social circle, looking for one where the pickings are good. That would be a disgusting display of self-centredness and mercenary lack of love for your church family and a glaring testimony of your idolatry of marriage.

If you are lonely, identity and comfort is to be found in God first, then in the family God gave you, the Christian community Christ died for.

[A word to the wise, said Cappucino Cad: flirting from flower-bed to flower-bed whiffs of desperation and alerts the lasses that you view them merely as objects of your lust. Even if the sweetest of them attempts to be understanding of your urgent need to find a wife, your actions bespeaks of your untrustworthiness and instability. Who is to say that your lust will stop once you find a wife? Perhaps you may be doing your rounds of the flower-beds again after a few years. Lust is not stopped by marriage, but by repenting of it.]

No Cleavage Please
As a brother to your sisters-in-Christ, you are not to show your cleavage to them. Girls are apparently wired different and common understanding has it that they are stimulated by emotional connection and by warm touch and are excited by being pursued. Doing or saying anything that stimulates them in that way would therefore be as vulgar a come-hither signal as having a bosomy girl rub her aforementioned bosom in your face, then say with great consternation when confronted,"But I was just being friendly!"

Late night talks and intimate sharing in the name of counselling and caring for one another must be done with wisdom. Singling one girl out of an entire group to talk with throughout an outing or constantly asking a girl out one-on-one is showing male cleavage.

Some guys try to limit the damage by alternating between warm closeness and cold distance. Unfortunately, that's apparently the equivalent of a girl flashing her boobs at you every once in a while.

Then there are other guys who attempt to do more gentle damage control by reminding the girl every now and then that they aren't interested in her in "that way" and implying that she is being ungodly and unreasonable in assuming that they were. I'd think that'd be the same as a girl baring loads of cleavage then accusing you of being ungodly and unreasonable by having a physical reaction.

Girls are wired differently and are stimulated by different things. The cause and effect may be illogical to you but that is how they function. The kind and loving thing to do is to take their differences into account when you interact with them and not continue doing whatever you want, however you want.

Not Even a Hint
Even if you are genuinely interested, avoid saying and doing things that express your feelings toward her. This includes flirting, dropping hints of the depth of your emotions, encouraging people to talk about you or treat you as a couple. [Friends, teasing a girl and a boy who are not dating about their suspected couplehood is very not helpful to everyone.]

Target and Timing zun
In time, if she proves to be a Target and the Timing is zun, then wait for what? Go and ask already lah! Wait someone take. Can kiasu a bit anot?!

What is this "scared spoil our friendship" business? If you both talk about it and she disagrees that this is the best way to go for both of you, then you are two mature people who can go on being friends without any awkwardness. She has to trust that that is the end of your venture for now and if she is squeamish about it thereafter, maybe she isn't the Target you thought she was, so your attempt was useful anyway.

If you're actually scared of being rejected, heart-broken and disappointed and having to leave that social circle. Then you'll have to consider why: have you made marriage your life goal so that any "defeat" makes you bitter and downcast? Has marriage become your idol? Then perhaps you are not ready for marriage. You should spend your time on God who matters more than any human can and should matter.

[We all agreed quite sian to flog dead horse but should say that conversely: married men and single girls, don't pressure the single guys lah. If the guy doesn't get off his butt, he's just not that interested lor. As The Marxx suggests, it could well be for ungodly reasons. I have never known a guy who didn't swing into serious action when he was really interested. But pressure a guy to go when he's not ready and it's tears and recriminations all around in the end.]

Successful Dating
If she agrees to start a dating relationship, what would you consider a successful one? Although dating is done with the intention of marriage and finding out if the other is suitable as a marriage partner, the success of a dating relationship should not be defined by whether or not there is a marriage proposal, a diamond engagement ring and a nice church wedding.

Possibly, a successful dating relationship is defined by how godly and loving your conduct was in the relationship and whether you ultimately made a wise, God-fearing decision about marriage.

In dating, as in every other aspect of your Christian life, do nothing out of selfish ambition, do nothing that follows the ways of this world. Instead, do everything according to God's grace, in holiness, always watching out for her and in your thoughts, motives, words and deeds, doing what is best for her godliness and growth.

That's a bit waffley. So loads of "courtship" books try to nail down specifics (a popular bugbear is sexual sin) by listing down regulations:
"Don't hold hands."
"Don't lie in bed together."
"Don't park your car in a secluded spot."
However, like the Colossians' "Do not taste!" "Do not touch!" rules (Colossians 2:20-23), these regulations have an appearance of wisdom, but lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

The problem lies not in our lack of willpower or slack discipline. The problem lies in our old sinful selves still insisting on following the ways of the world and our lusts of the flesh.

You don't need a list of "do's" and "don't's". Rather, set your heart and mind on things above. Put to death everything of the earthly nature and clothe yourself in virtue (Colossians 3:1-17). Waffley. But it's a holistic approach to life. In fact, it should be part and parcel of your life, not a list of rules and regulations.

Boon Yong once suggested that your conduct during dating should be such that if she gets married, but not to you, her future husband will be able to thank you in his wedding speech for taking care of her.

Target and/or Timing buay zun
If Target and/or Timing buay zun, then donch care lor.

You are complete in Christ as a single. You are as happy and satisfied as you can be. Marriage will not make you more complete nor happier nor more satisfied. Marriage is an unnecessary appendage to your wholeness, your fullness, your value and your contentment and joy. All that is already found in God. In any case, marriage is only temporary (it only lasts as long as you live in this life). Invest and store up on the eternal things!

Your view of love must not continue to be distorted by the world's view of romantic love. Finding romantic love is not your highest calling and snagging a girlfriend/wife cannot be your life's goal.

As with everything else, we understand love by looking at God. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). And God's ideal for love is not romantic/erotic love between sexual partners. Said Jesus:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
True love for another person is the sacrificial love that is to be found between friends. So stop looking for love in the wrong places!

*******

Then we legged it back to the office double-time!

Friday, August 19, 2005

"The Son of God" is coming to Suntec City

It's known that in these last days (between the first coming of Jesus Christ 2000 yrs ago, and His coming again in glory), there'll emerge various false prophets (intentionally or not) and various false/half-true gospels, all of which are not a faithful representation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, if at all.

Even so, it was completely shocking to hear that a particular category of people (who claim to BE Jesus Christ themselves, but are definitely not from the things they say/do) still exists today, reading in a forwarded email about this guy.

This person (Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy) is coming to singapore, and no joking about it, he openly proclaims that he's the son of God in flesh in his website, with (implied new, other than what has been proclaimed in Jesus Christ) "divine revelations from the Father".

Be aware, and do be discerning in what you hear/read, even from this guy.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

For The Love Of God - Aug 18

Regarding Romans 8...

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR Christians to be “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37)? A considerable body of thought pictures a special group of illustrious Christians who “live above it all,” powerful in confronting temptation, victorious in their prayer lives, fruitful in their witness, mature and faithful in their relationships; And non of that is what the text says.

First, the “us” to whom the apostle refers includes all Christians. All Christians are the ones whom God has foreknown, “predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,” called, justified, glorified (8:29 - 30). The people referred to are not the elite of the elect; they are ordinary Christians, all genuine Christians.

Second, the actual evidence that they are “more than conquerors” is that they persevere regardless of all opposition. That opposition may take the form of horrible persecution, of the kind that Scripture describes (8:35 - 38). It may be some other hardship, all the way to famine. The glories of life will not finally seduce them; the terrors of death will not finally sway them; neither the pressures of the present nor the frustrations of the future will destroy them (8:38). Neither human powers nor anything else in all creation, not even all the powers of hell unleashed, can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:39).

Third, as the last sentence already makes clear, that from which Christians cannot be finally separated is the “love of Christ” (8:35) or the love of God in Christ (8:39). At one level, of course, that is simply saying that no power can stop Christians from being Christians. That is why we are “more than conquerors.” But that point could have been made a lot of different ways. To make it this way, with an emphasis on the love of Christ as that from which we cannot be separated, reminds us of the sheer glory and pleasure that is ours, both now and in eternity, to be in such a relationship. We are not simply acquitted; we are loved. We are loved not simply by a peer, but by God himself. Not is this a reference to the general love that God has for his entire creation.

What is at stake here is that special love, that attaches to “all who have been called according to his purpose” (8:28).

Fourth, the guarantee that we shall prevail and persevere, and prove to be “more than conquerors” in this sense, is nothing other than the sovereign purposes of God (8:29 - 30), manifest in the death of his Son on our behalf (8:31 - 35). “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (8:32). No greater security is imaginable.


Copyright 2005 D.A. Carson

The second installment

The second installment of the three T's (regarding dating) arrives...gotten from here.
=================

Dating: Timing


By the time the sun came up and al fresco chilling was a possibility, Pre-dating Woe-ed Man had figured Target was worth a shot and was still keen to continue his venture. So Lager (Lard-butt) Lad continued:

Christian relationships are to be very different from pagan ones. Instead of being marred by selfishness, self-centredness and gaining what you can from a relationship, you are to center on God and what is best for the other person in the relationship.

In considering whether to take your friendship with her to a different level, how can you be centered on God and do what is best for her?

  • effect of dating relationship on her relationship with God: is she a new Christian or a Christian who has just started taking her faith and her relationship with God seriously? Will starting this relationship take away time and energy from her getting to know God better and building a strong foundation for her faith in the solid study of God's word and living out her faith in a wide community of believers? (Don't kid yourself that you can lead her in bible studies and be her mentor. Both your motives will be confused and uncertain.) If she is desperate for a relationship or marriage, she will depend on you rather than depend on God. She will love you more than she will love God. You will be more important than God in her life. You will become her idol. By asking her to be your girlfriend, you will be consciously setting yourself up as a false god and taking her away from the true and living God. Her relationship with God should be strong enough to that your intrusion into her life will not usurp God's rightful place in her life.
  • effect of dating relationship on her overall situation: is starting this relationship now best for her? Is she already going through a period of high stress, upheaval, change?
  • how will expressing all your feelings for her at this point in time in her life serve her?
  • how will starting a dating relationship now affect your relationship with God?
  • if all goes well, will you be prepared to marry her in a year or two? To lead her gently and lovingly to grow in Christ? To serve her with everything you have and to lay your life down for her even at the lowest point of your marriage when she hates you and wishes to ruin you?
  • are you prepared emotionally to enter a dating relationship? Are you stable enough for what might be a lifelong commitment?
  • if neither of you are ready for a relationship, then are you being impatient? Could it be due to your own selfish short-term desires? What are you motives for wanting to start the relationship?
  • how well do you really know her? How real is your perception of her? Has it been blinded by sheer emotion and rose-tinted glasses? Have you considered her in the harsh cold light of day? Have you observed her in various situations? Have you sought the counsel of objective third parties? [Note: parties eager for you to marry cannot be considered objective third parties.]
  • how solid is your friendship with the lovely lass? Are you rushing into a relationship before you have a good foundation of mutual camaraderie, respect, appreciation of each others' good and irritating points and failings and weaknesses? Do you really care for each other as brother and sister?
  • how certain are you about Target? Do you have unresolved nagging doubts? Then don't waste her time but continue to get to know her better in group settings.
  • have you prayed about it and committed this venture to God?!!
The myth of romantic love (itself merely a modern Middle Ages concoction) is that love just happens, at first sight, with a shot of Cupid's arrow, is inexplicable and beckons irresistibly. We are not victims of circumstance. We are responsible, self-controlled beings who are committed to God and the well-being of others. This means that we do not follow whatever stray emotion that might be equally brought on by a tummy-ache-inducing badly-cooked fish or an endorphine-producing molten chocolate baby cake. We are not to behave like animals in heat but are to make sound rational biblical decisions based on God's word and objective evidence so that we do what is good and right under God for us and for our sister-in-Christ.

[Ed: This might sound coldly utilitarian but I do know of married couples who'd started dating not having any romantic feelings for each other. But they both appreciated that they were travelling in the same direction, were committed to God and committed to seeing if they could help to build God's kingdom together as a couple. And in the course of dating, they fell in love. Of course their marriages aren't all fun and games. No marriage is. But their strong common basis stand them in good stead: they resolve problems, conflicts and miscommunications without horrid personal attacks and emotional blackmailing and make up some of the loveliest, sturdiest, most loving marriages I have seen.]

Template updated

Am in the process of updating my template, and putting (back) in the links.

Do let me know if there's anything that can be changed, or to be added...thanks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Urine-Powered Batteries Developed for Cell Phones - Mobiledia

Urine-Powered Batteries Developed for Cell Phones - Mobiledia

Imagine...when our handphones need charging, we errr....relief ourselves on our phone (battery).

Finally, a better power source as portable as the phone itself.
=D

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Road Ahead

Now that the road has been identified (supposedly), the cat does hope that it'll be able to take steps progressively to avoid it (even though it will be hard)...

With God's help.

Another copied post, but worth a read, and think

Taken from here without permission ;P
=============================

Dating

A particular morning's storm heralded the approach of one bone-chilling day too many. Quaking in the unrelenting cold of the office, almost freezing my extremities off, my old riding injuries started flaring up. So we did what a bunch of sensible people would do: I slapped on an analgesic/anti-inflammatory patch and we headed down to the nearest pub to shoot a bit of pool, noosh on steaming hot Irish grub, lamb stew and butter chicken, watch re-runs of the Tri-Nations on cable.

Lulled into a confessional stupour by the good food and drink, and the collegiate warmth of congenial mates on cushy chairs, someone related his pre-dating woes.

We dating veterans who'd been there, done that, given and received small mounds of the usual love tokens and furry toys, well-versed in the cheesy vocabulary of sweet nothings, and who had been fairly bemused by the obsessiveness with which Christian singles seemed to insist on talking about dating and boy-girl relationships, nodded sanguinely. No longer part of the dating game, we endeavoured to administer beery love and objective advice.

The purpose of dating is to find a marriage partner, intoned Boddington buddy, wagging a fatherly finger. Dating is not just for fun. You do not date to pass the time, or because you're feeling lonely, or because of peer pressure because everyone else has a girl and they keep asking you when you are going to get one. You date with the intention, as far as possible and if all turns out alright, of marrying the lass.

Why did Pre-dating Woe-d Man want to get married? Would he serve God better as a single and be more single-minded about what God rather than be distracted by his wife as a married? Would he be more concerned about the matters of eternal value as a single rather than be concerned about how to please his wife as a married? (1 Corinthians 7)

Hearing his answer, we then, in an affectionate display of our Singaporean-and-one-Chris-Chia-sermon-too-many-ness, administered the 3 T dating advice:
(1) Target
(2) Timing
(3) Technique

Target
It is important to acquire a spouse properly in wisdom and not blindly in lust like the pagans (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). [Yes, nice cushy chairs and warm food in the tummy do that to us.] Because dating is with a view to marriage and marriage is for life, therefore dating is not to be entered into lightly or frivolously.

Our romanticised ideal of a girlfriend/wife (long flowing hair, big innocent eyes, clear rosy kissable cheeks, tall, slim, busty etc [Note: if lady is tall, slim and busty and is wearing stilettos to boot, Confucius he say and gravity dictates that she will fall over very often. Which won't help her face much.]) is often very different from what God says matters:
  • noble character (Proverbs 31:10): not aesthetic beauty, not as a trophy so your friends can gasp and wonder how you managed such a catch, not school smarts or a high IQ, but noble character. It's not just ticking the boxes: she goes to church, she goes to DG, she does one-to-one bible studies, she helps at the old folks'/orphans' homes but find out how God figures in her life and in her decision-making.
  • hardworking: under God, is she a slacker and a sponger who lives off the charity of others so she can laze at home with imagined complaints? He who does not work, should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
  • sensible: how is her economic sense? What does she do with her money and how does she spend it? Does she plan to save, to invest, to give to God's work? How does she make her financial decisions to save, invest or give to God's work?
  • prudent (Proverbs 19:14): does she weigh things up before speaking or acting? Is she wise in the LORD (ie. does she fear God) in all she does?
  • priorities: what are her priorities in life? Career, money, the approval of others, your approval, power, appearing godly, getting married? How does she use her time and resources? Does she live just for her own pleasure and happiness?
  • other-person-centredness: what are her topics of conversation? Is she someone who is not self-centred, who doesn't talk about herself all the time? Does she care for other people even when she thinks no one is looking?
  • helper (Genesis 2): can you have confidence in her...to help you in your work of taking care of God's kingdom? Can you be sure that if you stray away from God, she will help to bring you back no matter how much you hate her for it at that point in time?
  • what kind of mother will she be? Will she be able to bring up your children up in love and in the instruction of the LORD? Will she patiently discipline them? Will she put you and them before her career that she worked long and hard to build up? (Titus 2:4-5, Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 22:15)
  • faithfulness: is she faithful to God? Will she be faithful to you? How does she work out difficulties and conflicts? Does she pretend they aren't there? Run away? Hide? Push the responsibility? Blame others? Is she steady? Stable? Responsible? How does she chose her friends? Those that are most fun and happening? Those that are rich and generous? How does she treat her friends? Is she loyal and does she take care of them and hold them accountable? Do they grow together in Christ? Does she betray them, emotionally blackmail them or manipulate them?
  • of course these were just some general areas to consider. Everyone is a work-in-progress and every believer is being sanctified daily. But the main general criteria must be that she is someone who really fears the LORD in her life and is struggling and taking positive steps to live for him and under him.
Loads of Christian books then turn on the "Christian Humility" on the selector and urge him to prepare himself for marriage by getting into shape too.

With such surfeit of humility, we therefore humbly suggested that such urgings were a complete load of rubbish. The Bible doesn't tell us to get ready for marriage. Marriage isn't supposed to be anyone's goal in life at all. Our relationship with God is the most important thing, so if we are to be concerned or obsessed with marriage, it should be our marriage to God. So stop all that nonesense about preparing yourself for your future spouse. Unless of course that spouse is Christ.

Singlish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Singlish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ever seen Singlish being defined technically? Lol...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Random articles

This is really a good way to "waste" some time, click as many times as you wish ;)

Wikipedia: Random Article

Friday, August 12, 2005

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bday

Went for PrincessAddie's birthday dinner today. It was certainly good to see the group again, after so long...and to see that they are still in fellowship with one another as close as before =) Didn't manage to talk much to anyone in particular then, but hope to find the chance to along the way, since not many of them blog much also.

On another note, my sore eyes are almost completely ok liao! Thank God!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Two Red-Eyed Monster

Will be going to see an eye specialist on wednesday, if my sore eyes' condition doesn't improve.

It has been a week already, since last monday when it started, and vision is sometimes a bit blurry.

Not that I'm too worried either, my life was never in the control of my own hands.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Heb 10:24

Was embarrassed, shocked and appreciative all at the same time when a certain member of the church gave a whole bottle of vitamins, just two days after having seen the condition my eye (now eyeS) was in.

Well, even though it was quite paiseh, but I accepted the gift in the end anyway, so as not to disappoint her or to discourage her from doing likewise to others in the future.
=)

The love of the members for each other are certainly something I've never seen before, the concern shown when a new member amongst their midst doesn't come for even one day is certainly something to ponder about...

Well, hope to be able to encourage whomever I can, in the ways that would be the best for them in the future...

(will share an article up here soon I hope, long-time readers of the Briefing would probably find this familiar?)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Recovery

Am still recovering from wilfully walking into holes, whilst thinking about it still. Pardon me if I don't make much sense here these days.

In the meantime, will be leading the first Romans study next monday (the first time since dunno how long liao) , and will have very little time to prepare for it as much as I'd want to. Hope I can explain it clearly then =S

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

...

Don't know how to put this, but it certainly is a weird thing, to put away your own struggles for the time being, and to keep one another in prayer, whilst all just being there for someone else, and to receive a brother into the country.

But that's the focus when the church gathers: others.

Being confronted with (such) a dilemna may prove to be distressing, but I think that it has shown me in a very real way the love of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for people.

But in the meantime...the battle with the (wretched) body still continues, and the journey continues up the hill.

The Alpha Course Examined - Tim Chapman

Currently reading this.

Star War Episode III: Backstroke of the West

Read this copied post, crack a side.

Monday, August 01, 2005