Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Magic Word: "Perhaps"

One of the problems in life that we get into is the vicious cycle of depression.

The problem with the cycle is this, you are unsuccessful, you get depressed. Because you are depressed you don't attempt to reach your goals fully. And because of that, you get poor results. And the cycle continues.

Conversely, the virtuous cycle is one where success breeds success. You attempt something, you are successful, you become more confident, and your next effort is easier, you do better, you do it more enthusiastically, there will be people who will even help you. Because of that, you get even more success!

So what do we do if we're stuck in the vicious cycle?

The magic word is: "Perhaps".

Set small goals for yourself, and then say, "perhaps if I do this", "perhaps if I try it differently" by doing so you will be getting yourself into the virtuous cycle.

Don't give up. Your faith will reward you. Hope and faith work together.

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

(Mark 5:25-29)


1. How long do you hold on to grudges?
a) A day.
b) A week.
c) A month.
d) A year.
e) A decade.
f) A lifetime.
g) Generations.

2. Rank the following as the best way to resolve differences:
a) Mediation
b) Suicide bombing
c) Unforgiveness
d) Revenge.
e) Forgiveness.
f) Staging demonstrations.
g) Inciting others to hate them as well.

3. Rank The Following According To Level of Offensiveness:
a) Someone insults your religion.
b) Burning your country's flag.
c) Death threats to genocide your entire race.
d) Your embassy being stormed.
e) Bloggers.
f) Free speech advocates.
g) Terrorists.

4. Do you think thinking should be allowed?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) I'm not allowed to think about thinking.

5. At what point will your anger be quenched?
a) Only when he is dead.
b) Only when his family is dead.
c) Only when his entire race is dead.
d) Only when he gets down on his knees and crawls to me begging for forgiveness.
e) Only until I get the entire world to agree with me that I was right.
f) Only if I change.

Friday, February 24, 2006

You Know You've Been Watching Soccer Too Much When...

You see the sign above at City Hall MRT Station and think..."Chelsea?"

[For the uninitiated, Stamford Road + North Bridge Road = Stamford Bridge. Stamford Bridge is the playing ground for the Chelsea football team in England.]

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Free Salvation vs. Costly Discipleship

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today

Are Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips

Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.

That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

DC Talk, "What If I Stumble"

It doesn't cost anything to become a Christian, just say the sinner's prayer and you've got a ticket to heaven.

Yet, it costs everything to be Christian. You have to leave everything behind, and follow him.

And that is one of the paradoxes of Christianity.

I find that the church today emphasises the free gift of salvation too much at the expense of the cost of discipleship.

Salvation then becomes one of the items ticked off your "to-do" list. I'm saved, I'm okay, I'm going to heaven, hurray!

But the thing is salvation isn't just a decision you make today and get over with, like some kind of chore that you had to do.

Deciding to be a Christian isn't the same as deciding to take out the garbage.

Deciding to be a Christian is more like deciding to get married. It's a serious decision. It's a decision that will change your life. Very much.

A lot of people in the church are too complacent about their positions. We aren't seeking to be better, to be holier.

I would say to a lot of people now, "Think twice before you want to become a Christian".

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26-27)

The Great Commission has been watered down. Instead of going into the world to create disciples, we go out into the world to create converts.

Frankly, I am not overjoyed by the number of people "saved". I'm more concerned by the number of people choosing to follow Jesus.

A lot of people want Jesus to be their saviour, not many want Jesus to be their Lord.

I think of evangelism efforts more circumspectly now, I fear of the church falling into the same trap as the Pharisees:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." (Mathew 23:15)

Jesus wasn't concerned with numbers of converts as disciples, he didn't chase after the rich man who was still held by his riches (Mark 10:21-23) (but he still loved him), he layed the cost and told people to decide.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My Ideal Measurements

Find your ideal body measurements, i.e. your genetic potentail here:

My wrist is about 6.3".

Therefore my ideal measurements (if I were to target to look like a bodybuilder) are:

Chest: 41.2
Forearm: 12.0
Waist: 28.8
Thigh: 21.8
Hip: 34.9
Calves: 13.9
Bicep: 14.8
Neck: 15.2

I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off target.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Relationships are a dance

Marriage and relationships are a dance.

You must join the dance. You cannot stop dancing halfway and sulk in a corner.

One partner doesn't start blaming the other just because they are beginners. Concentrate on making the dance beautiful. The more experienced partner must try to cover up the mistakes of the other partner so as to make her look good.

In a dance, the lead must be aware of the surroundings and take precautions, he leads the way, just as in marriage the man must be the lead. You cannot have both take the lead.

Communication is one of the key elements in a dance. It's with the hand signals, the gentle but firm pressure on the back, that gives the signal for the women.

There is also the rhythm to communication, just as there is in dance. Get a rhythm in your relationships so that there is dynamism in your relationships, so that there is movement. Even the universe has its own rhythms.

Almost all relationships have some form of give and take. You don't keep accounts on who has done this or that, it is the end result that matters most, have you danced with passion and have you made the dance beautiful?