Post-Holiday Desert

Just came back from a two-day & two-night holiday. I can’t recall when was the last time May Chin, Gareth & I had a time like this. Timely!

Lots of much needed sleep … and lots of potato chips (i.e. Mr. Potato, Pringles & Roller Coaster, wow! wee!)

Amused by “overstatements” like this place is the largest whatever at the highest whatever … and then you see a pretty big area… but doesn’t feel like largest … another funny one was an arrow pointing to a “garden”, after stepping in it looked like BLC’s backyard (in space as well as plantation). I hate it when church & Christians talk like that as well…

Talked a lot (May Chin & Gareth), played a lot (with Gareth) … He had loads of fun with his dad), walked quite a bit …. ate quite a bit as well.

Munched a couple of newsweek articles in the bathtub …. the one on “Autism” got me thinking about Type-E (Emphatizing) & Type-S (Systematizing) in guys and girls …

The latest issue of “Cutting Edge” really nailed some important thoughts on Children ministry & what is true education in a Christian context (this issue is not up yet on the website).

Nothing much on TV … in fact nothing at all! (more time for talking & listening?)

Picked up Dallas Willard’s book The Divine Conspiracy again …. and decided to restart where i kind of didn’t get going the last time. Richard Foster, one of my favorite author and founder of Renovare says that “The Divine Conspiracy is the book I have been searching for all my life.” (wow! I must read this … ) … Some gems so far (I just managed until the Introduction, my comments in brackets):

“My hope is to gain a fresh hearing for Jesus, expecially among those who believe they already understand him.” (p.1, I feel FRESH is the word … there’s just so much noise and confusion nowdays even in the Malaysian Christian world. Worse is people dogmatically representing Christ when it’s just dishing out solutions reflecting more of their own values. OUCH! I want the Fresh hearing anytime! In fact Rev. Wolfgang’s message did that for me for a Gospel text))

“… Jesus and his words have never belonged to the categories of dogma and law, and to read them as if they did is simply to miss them. they are essentially subversive of established arrangements and ways of thinking.” (still on p. 1, Willard is nailing it again … how often we Christians miss it, and then those who are not Christians miss it as they try to figure out what we are saying … Change is needed. Humility precedes change …)

– “It is the failure to understand Jesus and his words as reality and vital information about life that explains why, today, we do not routinely teach those who profess allegience to him how to do what he said was best. We lead them to profess allegience to him, or we expect them to, and leave them there, devoting our remaining efforts to “attracting” them to this or that.” (p. 2, OUCH ! OUCH & triple OUCH ! This got me re-examining how I approached evangelism 7 discipleship the past three years … some gains & some losses indeed.)

– “More than any other single thing, in any case, the practical irrelevance of actual obedience to Christ accounts for the weakened effect of Christianity in the world today, with its increasing tendency to emphasize political and social action as the primary way to serve God. It also accounts for the practical irrelevance of Christian faith to individual character development and overall personal sanity and well-being.” (p.3-4, what a mouth full … to chew on! following up on the Bonhoeffer bug I caught this year … Obedience is a good word and a much needed word!)

– “The Bible is , after all, God’s gift to the world through his Church, not to the scholars. It comes through the life of his people and nourishes that life. Its purpose is practical, not academic. An intelligent, careful, intensive but straightforward reading – that is, one not governed by obscure and faddish theories or by mindless orthodoxy – is what it requires to direct us into life in God’s kingdom.” (p. 5, Go Willard … preach it brother! Again, the Scriptures play a central part in my quest for True Christianity plugged into my context!)

I admit that didn’t taste like desert … but a little buffet of goodies that require time for digesting …. that’s what a great book does to you … (especially ones you need to read again and again!)

Couldn’t do as much reading as I wanted to. But then, this trip was more of a family trip and I loved the time we could spend together, having meals together, play together, walk together … laugh together, pray together …. my personal spiritual formation was still there but family formation took precedence for the last two days. And that’s timely!

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