Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Midweek Meditation: "Praying Through Hard Times"

I asked God to take away my pride and God said, "No."
He said it was not for Him to take it away, but for me to give it up.

I asked God to heal my disease and God said, "No."
He said, "Your spirit is whole, your body is only temporary.
Through your afflictions you will learn to help others who also suffer."

I asked God to grant me patience and God said, "No."
He said that patience is a by-product of tribulation.
It isn't granted; it's earned.

I asked God to give me happiness and God said, "No."
He said that He gives blessings; happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain and God said, "No."
He said, "Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me."

I asked God to make my spirit grow and God said, "No."
He said that I must grow on my own,
but He will prune me to make me fruitful.

I asked God if He loved me and God said, "Yes."
He said, "I gave my only Son who died for you.
You will be in heaven someday because you believe."

I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me and God said,
"Ah...Finally you understand..."

- Unknown

Monday, February 01, 2016

BookPastor >> "Just Show Up" (Kara Tippetts)

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on November 4th, 2015.


TITLE: Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together
AUTHOR: Kara Tippetts
PUBLISHER: Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishers, 2015, (192 pages).

This book begins with a somber greeting: "Hi. My name is Kara Tippetts, and I may not be alive when you read this book. I hope so, but I don’t know. That decision is in the hands of the Author of my life—His name is Jesus. I trust Him with every ounce of who I am."

With these words, Tippetts begins this book with hope, that even when she does not know what to do, what to say, or what to answer, just showing up is already a blessing in itself. It is also a step of humility to come as we are to say: "I'm here. I may not have the answers, but I'm here." With "Just Show Up" as her principle of perseverance through the ups and downs, and especially the suffering moments of life, cancer patient Tippetts shows us what perseverance means amid the pains and sorrows of life. Tippetts died on March 22, 2015, but not without touching the lives of many. Through this book, her life continues to influence many even after her death. Written with Jill Lynn Buteyn, author of inspirational novel, Falling for Texas, this book is an honest down to earth retelling of the struggles through the tough times of life by simply walking together and being present for each other.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Midweek Meditation: The Gospel Prayer (Phase 4 of 4)

Phase 4: Praying for God's glory
Continuing with Pastor and author J.D. Greear's teaching on the Gospel Prayer, this week is Phase 4.
  • "As I pray, I'll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection."

    PRAY: As I pray, I will measure your compassion by the cross and your power by the resurrection. What will I attempt for God as I view the world through the lens of his compassion (as measured in the cross) and his power to save (as measured by the resurrection)?
This prayer shows us how we are saved in Christ, as Jesus at the cross saved us from our sins. At the resurrection, we dwell in eternal hope that what Jesus had promised, he had accomplished fully and completely.


Monday, January 25, 2016

BookPastor >> "Character Formation in Online Education" (Joanne Jung)

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on October 31st, 2015.


TITLE: Character Formation in Online Education: A Guide for Instructors, Administrators, and Accrediting Agencies
AUTHOR: Joanne J. Jung
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2015, (144 pages).

Is it really possible to have Christian Formation happening in online education? If it is, how do we go about doing that? With firm conviction, author Joanne Jung believes it is entirely possible and doable. Jung teaches at Biola University as an Associate Professor in the Biblical and Theological Studies department. With a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary, she is particularly interested into spiritual formation and Puritan piety. Through this book, she extends this interest into the online arena. Other than the usual "face to face is better" argument, Jung puts forth other compelling arguments for an online involvement.
  • It allows students who needed time to process to come back to the teacher with questions. Students need not be restricted during the limited class time.
  • It increases participation level above the typical 15%
  • It gives teachers an additional resource for teaching, to use online resources to teach and to maximize face to face opportunities for teacher-student interactions
  • It enables students to get to know their teachers beyond the classroom setting.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Midweek Meditation: The Gospel Prayer (Phase 3 of 4)

Phase 3: Asking for God to Bless Others
Continuing with Pastor and author J.D. Greear's teaching on the Gospel Prayer, this week is Phase 3.
  • "As You have been to me, so I will be to others."

    PRAY: As you have been to me, so I will be to others. What I have, I have because Christ gave up everything for me. He was rich and for my sake became poor. We who live by his death should therefore no longer live for ourselves, but should lay down our lives and resources for others as he laid down his for us.
This prayer reminds us that prayer is stretches beyond the individual, to incorporate a heart-felt concern for the things that God cares deeply about. It helps us remember that as we take care of the things that matter to God, we also trust that God will take care of the things that matter to us.


Monday, January 18, 2016

My Son's Commissioning (17 Jan 2016)

Yesterday was a proud moment for my wife and I. My son commissioned as an officer after 38 grueling weeks of training, both locally and overseas. He has done well and yesterday, he was commissioned among 582 officer cadets (OCTs). Among them are 454 (army), 66 (navy), and 62 (air force). Below are some video clips of the happy occasion.

A) Excited parents waiting from as early as 3pm. Parade starts at 1741 hours.

B) The contingent marches singing the OCS song.

C) My son is among the five carrying the parade colours. He is behind the one carrying the Singapore flag.

D) Singapore President doing the review of the contingents

E) Religious leaders from different faiths praying for the about to be commissioned officers

F) The Commissioning Moment (After the reciting of the SAF Creed)

G) Slow Marching Out by the Newly Commissioned Officers (99/15 cohort)

H) Parents Fixing the Epaulette. We got lost in the crowd and couldn't find him. Thankfully....

I) Finally .. . .. ..  (If you are interested, here's the officer's creed)

J) Proud Moment for Us

All smiles around.

Congratulations Aaron! We're so proud of you.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Midweek Meditation: The Gospel Prayer (Phase 2 of 4)

Phase 2: Seeking God is Joy Itself
Continuing with Pastor and author J.D. Greear's teaching on the Gospel Prayer, this week is Phase 2.
  • "Your Presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy."

    PRAY: You are all I need for everlasting joy. In Christ I have all I need for a life of joy and purpose. I don’t need the praise of men or the accumulation of riches or anything else. So, in Christ, I can give up all that I have, because in Christ I have all that I need."
This prayer reminds us that prayer is a relationship that seeks after God's joy, God's approval, and God's presence.


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