Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tabernacle : Decoding Mission Impossible

The Tabernacle (model shown) was architected by God Himself. When Moses ascended to Mount Sinai immediately after leading his people out of Egypt, he received two important sets of instructions directly from God: (1) the Law (i.e. the Ten Commandments), and (2) the Tabernacle (i.e. the Tent of Congregation).

After receiving the Law, the Israelites naively thought they could keep the law, out of their own strength. But in the book of Exodus, right between the chapters about the Law and those chapters discussing the Tabernacle design, the Israelites departed from God by worshipping their own man-made idol, the golden ox. Little did they know that it was an impossible mission in keeping the Law by their own strength.

Fortunately, God provided Jesus as the better way to deal with our sins. The Tabernacle is an object lesson for Israelites on God's salvation; it is a picture, type, and shadow of God's plan of salvation in Christ Himself.

Through studying the Tabernacle, we hope to see God's salvation plan with better clarity. As a personal application, let us reflect on how much we really desire God's presence every day. Dig deeper on this : If God departs from you one day, can you really tell?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Keeping the Unity of the Spirit

As I ponder upon my experience in keeping the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:3), I see the picture of a multitude of Christians intertwining and forming the fabric of our lives. Everyone is striving towards a common goal - reconciliation with the Lord.

My related experience occurred during the critical vote for separating CSAF into two different fellowships - CSAF and CSYAF. Through this process, there were numerous town-hall meetings, heated debates and arguments, active group petitioning, etc. All in all, they reflected CSAFers' genuine concerns about the future of their fellowship.

Thank God, the vote that approved the separation was exactly 2/3 of the total memberships. No more and no less. God was indeed faithful. We peacefully evolved into two healthy and growing entities. It's all because of the unity inside the heart of every CSAFers - the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Former College Roommate

At the 2007 CSAF Chinese New Year Celebration night, there was a new face half-way through the program. He was looking for the English-speaking fellowship group but failed to find any. So someone invited him to join our Chinese-speaking group. I didn't even recognize him at my first sight - he was my former college roommate at USC, who led me to Christ in our shared apartment. I was aesthetic to see him again. His voice remains pretty much the same tone and slow speed. He asked me directly, "Just what actually prompted you to accept Christ that night?" I replied, "I was all along ready to believe in Jesus ever since my high-school years. In His time, God sent you to come along to close the "deal" that evening. It's that simple." God is good. We will definitely have some reunion gatherings to catch up with one another's life. And I'm eager to exchange our spiritual growth stories since the day we departed after graduation. I pray that we can be edifying to one another. Amen!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Speaking the Truth in Love

Eph 4:15-16 says, "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, ..., grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Recently, I tried to speak the truth in love, thinking that my words could build one another up. My words appeared to have back-fired; I was portrayed as needlessly spreading negativity. Nevertheless, I have peace in my heart. I also learned the proper principles for "speaking the truth in love": (1) the Contents must be True, (2) the Motivation must be Good, and (3) the Attitude must be Beautiful. What an unfathomable art in speaking the truth in love.

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." - Proverbs 25:11 (NIV)

Monday, February 05, 2007

CSAF Hand Motion Team at FCBC 55th Anniversary

The FCBC "Praise Celebration 55" on March 25 was a great success. Word is not enough for me to express my gratitudes for God's grace upon FCBC, and in particularly CSAF, as we celebrated His wonderful goodness over the past 55 years.

I am thankful for the overall sense of ONENESS, especially when AFers did their very best to sing and dance in response to His wonderful works among us. CSAF's hand-motion and singspiration were marvelous!

Thanks to all AFers who participated, especially:
... Afternoon Praise Celebration Committee - who labored through the planning since day #1,
... Grand Praise Team - who led the whole congregation into joyful praises,
... Powerpoint - which gingerly reminded us that "Wedding" is one of our many AF activities.
... Hand Motion/Vocal Team (incl. CSYAF's Gary & Janice He) - who demonstrated that true unity in the Lord also comes with the full package of wide smiles, heartful laughter, and beautiful choreography. A special thanks to Eva & Elam for helping re-discover AFers' hidden jewels (dancing talents).

I cannot wait to see the event's DVD capturing our presentation. From my vantage point on stage, everyone in the sanctuary was on his/her feet waving hands along with us. And the best of all, I haven't seen such a spirited participation in one accord during worship for a very long time. I'm sure that God is pleased as we offer our very best with gladness.

Below is the music links for the songs presented:

1. 冰天的太陽 -

2. 奇妙雙手 -

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Walk By the Spirit

Through the transcript of Minister Chris Tomokyo's sermon at the English worship last Sunday, I learned about 3 practical applications on "Walking by the Spirit" for the Thinker, the Feeler, and the Doer. If you are a Thinker, you should "Walk but Don't Stop", because you may be discouraged when your ideas didn't work the first time. If you are a Feeler, then "Walk but Don't React", because you rely too much on your emotions. If you are a Doer, then "Walk but Don't Run", because you will soon run out of energy.

God the Father will always have the best timing for us to effect great things in our life. God the Spirit will remind us the best way to walk by the Spirit. If we heed His Words often as taught in the Bible, we should be able to appraise all things and see the spiritual values behind them through the eyes of God the Son.