Random Thoughts before picking up Gareth

I was tremendously encouraged, blessed and energized by the kind words offered in Messy Christian’s post on “Church of Bloggers” . When some of us started blogging and I speak especially for myself, I don’t think we could imagine some of the “blessings” that came out of the exercise-discipline-habit-obsession?! It’s always nice when someone else mentions you in their blog especially when it’s on the “blessing” side of the spectrum 🙂

Nice to get quoted in the LWF News (hehehe) on “LWF Study Team Considers Lutheran “Grammar” to Engage Current Ethical Topics”. I said nothing profound just some genuine hopes that we grassroot fellas truly benefit from the hard work from those at the top. The quote made me feel someone actually listened and felt what I said was important.

Last night, I also enjoyed the energy bubbling in our last Baptism & affirmation class (classically called catechism). Still infected with the Luther Bug, I actually read through some parts of Martin Luther’s Large Catechism (which was designed for pastors) and found it refreshing. The Group has glued pretty well and I believe it’ll will morph into a genuine missional community as a LiFE Group.

Slowly, I’m settling into my “normal” life and ministry mode. There have been some disturbances in my system maybe because after being away, one is more sensitized by stuff that I have not felt so strongly about in the past. Here’s a sampling ..
– I was troubled to look with “fresh” eyes some pamplets promoting some Christian meetings and was struck by the lack of Christ-focus and the overwhelming personality focus and human centredness.
– Walking through a Christian bookstore, I wished that some good books to be present because somehow if that’s all the Malaysian Christian public is digesting then it’s a sad state of affairs. I feel God has better goodies for people who are open to be “shaped” by His agenda.
– May Chin told me about some interesting comments and conversations she heard on “Christians”, it convinced me again that many “versions” of Christianity displayed by well meaning and maybe sincere believers do not represent the best that the Gospel has to offer. We are seen as people who talk much but do little, proclaim one message but live another, and we’re quick to give advice, answers, and instructions or solutions without really listening and connecting with those around us.
– I was appalled (again!) at how ungracious and unkind and downright ungodly Malaysian Christians can be towards other people (especially their fellow brother and sister in Christ). Rumors unchecked and spread, dogmatism on areas where actually there’s a good variety of solid options, power-play that stiffles creativity and stops healing possibilities, the list goes on. Worse is when we hide behind so called intellectual-issue based discussions.

The UK-Germany trip helped me unplug and gain some perspective for me personally which I much needed. In the process I felt that coming back there’s fresh “perspective” on other matters as well. It’s not that there’s nothing good happening in Malaysian Christianity but there’s much that will harm us and stop us from truly living to our God given potential from the grass-roots to the top!

Well, no matter what… it’s good to be plugged back into “home improvement” realities. I pray that there will be ordinary people amongst us that will do what’s needed to see “better Christians, more Christians in community” emerge “for the sake of the world” and “for His glory”… Amen

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3 Responses to Random Thoughts before picking up Gareth

  1. Messy Christian says:

    I was appalled (again!) at how ungracious and unkind and downright ungodly Malaysian Christians can be towards other people (especially their fellow brother and sister in Christ).
    Heh. Can personally relate. Recently had conversation with Mum, and for some reason I answered a question I’ve been asking myself for some time – why do some Christians act this way?”
    I told my Mum: “Because they’re afraid … they’re afraid that if they truly embrace the life of grace, they will do something wrong and God will not love them anymore, so why risk it?”

    And in their zeal to keep in line for Christ, they look at others as well, measuring others by their standards and thinking it’s their duty to keep their brothers and sisters in Christ in line so that God can love them too.

    At least that’s what I think 😉

    Feel the same way about books at our Christian bookstores too, though I think Sufes seems to have some hope in it! AFter all, found books on the emergent movement there!

  2. Ben says:

    Right on the bookstores and ‘atmospheric condition’ here — high pressure!

    Still have yet to visit 1 Utama ‘2’ again.

    (I realize sometimes that I’d once fit your descriptions almost perfectly… trying to emerge, as you and many others too)

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