• Christ and Church Life and Building Spirit and Bride

    基督與召會
    生命與建造
    那靈與新婦



    As a lover of Christ and a pursuer of truth, I write down my joys, memories and reflections.

    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recently Viewed

  • Recent Posts

  • Advertisements

A Steve Jobs’s quote

You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.

And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.

Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.

And it’s that process that is the magic.

Though Steve Job was speaking of designing a product in the physical realm. I learned a few things that can be applied to building up the church in the spiritual realm.
  • There is a need for use to have a vision. (The church as the body of Christ.)
  • There is a gap between a vision and its end goal (the New Jerusalem).
  • The realization from a vision to the end product (new requires skills (gospel preaching, laboring, eldership, shepherding, perfecting, prophesying, etc.)
  • The skills required to build up the church is not some kind of textbook knowledge or some formula that can be applied without considering the practical situation. The skills required are learning to depend on the living Christ to discern each situation and people, and act according to the Lord’s leading and presence.
  • This is because Christ is the only and chief builder of His body, and He alone knows people’s heart and expose all the situations.
Advertisements

What I learned this weekend

  1. I need to find and reaffirm my identity as a Christian. Determining one’s identity simplifies a lot of decision making.
  2. I am an adult in the church life now.
  3. I should have a sense of ownership for the church.
  4. Christ and the church is my top priority.
  5. Be a brother with a spirit to take the first-row and to shoulder the ark in the church life.
  6. Time management is important; Prioritize according to the following: God, marriage, family, and work.

屈原的天問與耶和華的回答

天問

曰遂古之初,誰傳道之?
關於遠古最開始的一些情況,是怎麼樣敷演流傳下來的呢?

上下未形,何由考之?
像那種天地尚未形成的景象,又是根據什麼去考察出來的?

冥昭瞢闇,誰能極之?
世界既然還是晝夜尚未分明,那種混沌暗昧誰又能弄得清?

馮翼惟像,何以識之?
最初天地間只是朦朧的大氣,這無形的景象又該如何認識?

明明闇闇,惟時何為?
像這樣的晝夜交替川流不息,這種情況又是誰製造成的呢?

圜則九重,孰營度之?
據說天是一層一層共有九重,又是誰在那裡營造管理的呢?

惟茲何功,孰初作之?
像這樣宏偉壯麗的偉大功績,最初又是由誰來創造建築的?

九天之際,安放安屬?
天高九重那裡才是他的邊界,層層天又都是安放什麼地方?

隅隈多有,誰知其數?
天的角落彎曲處據說那麼多,是誰統計知道了真實的數目?

天何所沓,十二焉分?
天在什麼地方與地相互承接,十二個時辰又是怎樣來劃分?

日月安屬,列星安陳?
太陽月亮都是安放什麼上面,浩繁的群星又是怎樣來擺設?

出於湯谷,次於蒙汜;自明及晦,所行幾里?
暘谷出來的太陽蒙汜才休息,自升至落一共走了多少里路?

夜光所德,死則又育?厥利維何,而顧菟在腹?
月亮有何德行為何死而復生?月中黑影難道是兔子在腹中?

何闔而晦,何開而明?角宿未旦,曜靈安藏?
為何天關閉就黑打開就明亮?東方未亮太陽躲藏什麼地方?

..
九州安錯?川谷何洿?
九州究竟怎樣劃分給以界定?河流峽谷又是怎樣定其深淺?

東流不溢,孰知其故?
水流汩汩地向東流不再氾濫,誰又能知道究竟是什麼原故?

東西南北,其修孰多?南北順橢,其衍幾何?
東西南北的長度到底哪個長?南北承圓形展開究竟有多廣?

何所冬暖,何所夏寒?
在何處冬天暖和夏天卻嚴寒?

延年不死,壽何所止?
如能長生不老壽命可有盡頭?


《天問》是詩人屈原的代表作《楚辭》中的一篇,全詩373句,完全以問句構成,一口氣對天地、對宇宙起源、天體結構、日月星辰運行、對自然、對社會、對歷史、對人生提出173個問題,被譽為是“千古萬古至奇之作”。

屈原以被造者的身分向天發出吶喊。以屈原之智, 自然無法獲得答案。但聖經中的第一句話, 《創世記1:1》, 豈不已清楚的表白了?

起初神創造諸天與地。

《詩篇 19:1》說

諸天述說神的榮耀,穹蒼傳揚祂手的作為。

《以賽亞書 40:21-22》又說,

你們豈不知道麼?你們豈沒有聽見麼?從起初豈沒有人告訴你們麼?自從立地的根基,你們豈沒有明白麼?祂坐在地的大圈之上,地上的居民好像蚱蜢;祂鋪張諸天如幔子,展開諸天如可住的帳棚;

再者, 耶和華在約伯記38-42章對約伯的回答, 似乎對屈原的天问作出了跨時空但負責任的交代:

38:1-2 那時耶和華從旋風中回答約伯,說,誰用無知的言語,使我的旨意暗晦不明?

38:4-7 我立大地根基的時候,你在那裏?你若有聰明,只管告訴我。你若曉得就說,是誰定地的尺度?是誰把準繩拉在其上?地的基礎置於何物之上?地的角石是誰安放的?那時晨星一同歌唱,神的眾子也都歡呼。

38:8-11 海水衝出,如出胎胞;那時誰用門將海關閉?是我用雲彩當海的衣服,用幽暗當包裹海的布,我為海定界限,又安門和閂,說,你只可到這裏,不可越過,你狂傲的浪要到此止住。

38:12-15 你出生的日子以來,曾命定晨光麼?你曾使曙光知道本位,叫這光普照地的四極,將惡人從其中抖出來麼?地面改變如泥上蓋印;萬物出現如衣服一樣。亮光不照惡人,高舉的膀臂也必折斷。

38:16-20 你曾進到海的泉源,或在深淵的隱密處行走麼?死亡的門,曾向你顯露麼?死蔭的門,你曾見過麼?地的廣闊,你能明瞭麼?你若全知道,只管說罷。往光之居所的路在那裏?黑暗的本位在何處?你能把黑暗帶到本境,看明達到其屋之路麼?

38:24-30 往光分開之處的路在那裏?往東風在地上分散之處的路在那裏?誰為大雨分水道,誰為雷電開道路,使雨降在無人之地,無人居住的曠野;使荒廢淒涼之地得著灌溉,青草的嫩苗得以生長?雨有父麼?露水珠是誰生的?冰出於誰的胎?天上的霜是誰生的?諸水隱藏,凍結如石頭,深淵表面凝結成冰。

38:31-33 你能繫住昴星的結,解開參星的帶麼?你能按時領出十二宮麼?能引導北斗和隨它的眾星麼?你知道天的定例麼?能在地上建立天的管治麼?

38:34-35 你能向雲彩揚起聲來,使充沛的雨水遮蓋你麼?你能打發閃電,叫閃電行去,並且對你說,我們在這裏麼?

38:36 誰將智慧放在人的懷中,將聰明賜於人的心思?

40:1 耶和華又回答約伯說,
40:2 責難的人,豈可與全能者爭論?與神辯駁的,可以回答這些罷。

楚辭. 屈原二篇

漁父

屈原既放,遊於江潭,行吟澤畔,顏色憔悴,形容枯槁。

漁父見而問之曰:“子非三閭大夫與!何故至於斯?”

屈原曰:“舉世皆濁我獨清,眾人皆醉我獨醒,是以見放。

漁父曰:“聖人不凝滯於物,而能與世推移。世人皆濁,何不淈其泥而揚其波?眾人皆醉,何不哺其糟而歠其釃?何故深思高舉,自令放為?”

屈原曰:“吾聞之,新沐者必彈冠,新浴者必振衣;安能以身之察察,受物之汶汶者乎?寧赴湘流,葬於江魚之腹中。安能以皓皓之白,而蒙世俗之塵埃乎!”

漁父莞爾而笑,鼓枻而去,乃歌曰:“滄浪之水清兮,可以濯吾纓;滄浪之水濁兮,可以濯吾足。”遂去,不復與言。


卜居

屈原既放,三年不得複見。竭知盡忠,而蔽障於讒。心煩慮亂,不知所從。乃往見太卜鄭詹尹曰:“餘有所疑,願因先生決之。”詹尹乃端策拂龜曰:“君將何以教之?”

屈原曰:
卜居吾寧悃悃款款,樸以忠乎,將送往勞來,斯無窮乎?
寧誅鋤草茅以力耕乎,將游大人以成名乎?
寧正言不諱以危身乎,將從俗富貴以偷生乎?
寧超然高舉以保真乎,將哫訾傈斯,喔咿嚅唲以事婦人乎?
寧廉潔正直以自清乎,將突梯滑稽,如脂如韋,以絜楹乎?
寧昂昂若千里之駒乎,將氾氾若水中之鳧乎?與波上下偷以全吾軀乎?
寧與騏驥亢軛乎,將隨駑馬之跡乎?
寧與黃鵠比翼乎,將與雞鶩爭食乎?
此孰吉孰兇?何去何從?世溷濁而不清:蟬翼為重,千鈞為輕;黃鐘毀棄,瓦釜雷鳴;讒人高張,賢士無名。吁嗟默默兮,誰知吾之廉貞?

詹尹乃釋策而謝曰:“夫尺有所短,寸有所長;物有所不足,智有所不明;數有所不逮,神有所不通。用君之心,行君之意。龜策誠不能知此事!”


以前中學時讀此二篇, 總覺難懂, 不知其意, 最近重讀, 有些新的體會。 屈原的兩難是:應”舉世皆濁我獨清,眾人皆醉我獨醒”? 還是”聖人不凝滯於物,而能與世推移”?

基督徒在世也面臨同樣的兩難。聖經裡答案是有, 只是二者兼顧,要求更高更難。馬太福音 5:13-15 主說,

你們是地上的鹽;鹽若失了味,可用什麼叫它再咸?既無任何用處,只好丟在外面,任人踐踏了。你們是世上的光。城立在山上,是不能隱藏的。人點燈,也不放在斗底下,乃是放在燈檯上,就照亮所有在家裡的人。

表明我們在世上是為主作見證的。但腓立比書 4:11-13 保羅又說,

我並不是因缺乏說這話,因為我已經學會了,無論在甚麼景況,都可以知足。我知道怎樣處卑賤,也知道怎樣處富餘;或飽足、或飢餓、或富餘、或缺乏,在各事上,並在一切事上,我都學得祕訣。我在那加我能力者的裡面,凡事都能作。

這也指明基督徒不求與眾不同, 而求能在各景況, 並在一切事上都應付有餘。屈原的兩難在於, 是取辨明是非善惡而犧牲高位? 還是犧牲道義而求生存? 基督徒卻沒有二選一的限制, 雖得二者兼顧, 但目標乃是主的榮耀。此外, 基督徒的祕訣在於主內在全備的供應, 如保羅在腓立比書 1:19-20所說,

因為我知道,這事藉著你們的祈求,和耶穌基督之靈全備的供應,終必叫我得救。這是照著我所專切期待並盼望的,就是沒有一事會叫我羞愧,只要凡事放膽,無論是生,是死,總叫基督在我身體上,現今也照常顯大,

總結, 基督徒的目標乃是彰顯主的榮耀,  不在辨明是非善惡, 而基督徒的祕訣, 乃是基督”那加我能力者”, 而不是依靠自己的能力。

30 attributes of love

1 John 4:8
He who does not love has not known God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16
And we know and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.

  1. Love is of the Spirit. (Romans 15:30, Colossians 1:8)
  2. Love is of the spirit. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  3. Love is of the heart. (Romans 5:5)
  4. Love is eternal. (Jeremiah 31:3, 1 Corinthians 13:8)
  5. Love is uttermost. (John 13:1)
  6. Love is exclusive. (Matthew 10:37, Luke 16:13, 1 John 2:15)
  7. Love is unconditional. (Romans 5:8)
  8. Love is selective. (Romans 9:13, 11:28, Ephesian 1:4, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
  9. Love is genuine and truthful. (Romans 12:9, 2 Corinthians 8:8, Ephesian 4:15, 1 John 3:18, 2 John 1:1, 3 John 1:1)
  10. Love is kind. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
  11. Love is not jealous. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
  12. Love is provable and recognizable. (John 13:35, 2 Corinthians 8:24)
  13. Love is inseparable. (Romans 8:35, 39)
  14. Love suffers long. (1 Corinthians 13:4, 7)
  15. Love approaches and resembles. (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-10)
  16. Love acts, labors and serves. (1 Thessalonians 1:3, Galatians 5:13, 1 John 3:17-18)
  17. Love gives oneself up. (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 12:15, Galatians 2:20, 1 Thessalonians 2:8)
  18. Love lays down the life. (John 15:13, Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:16)
  19. Love gives all. (John 3:35)
  20. Love covers and bears. (Proverbs 10:12, 1 Corinthians 13:7, Ephesian 4:2, 1 Peter 4:8)
  21. Love believes and hopes. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
  22. Love joins together and builds up. (1 Corinthians 8:1, Ephesian 4:16, Colossians 2:2)
  23. Love constrains. (2 Corinthians 5:14)
  24. Love gives comfort and hope. (Philippians, 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:16)
  25. Love refrains from anger. (Hosea 14:4)
  26. Love knows and discerns. (Philippians 1:9, 1 John 4:7)
  27. Love does not work evil. (Romans 13:10)
  28. Love does not seek its own things. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
  29. Love does not stumble. (1 John 2:10)
  30. Love has no fears. (1 John 4:17-18)

Some reflections after the training

  1. The Lord’s commandment for preaching is still calling. It is good to be reminded that preaching the gospel is not something good-to-have or something for special group of people. It should be an essential part of any Christian, not only due to the Lord’s commandment but also due to the empathy and love to the souls of the unsaved.
  2. Perfecting implies multiplication, which means that we need to perfect others to do the same work or carry out the same service as we do, such as preaching the gospel, teaching the truth, etc This is the way to  multiply for His increase, not just add.
  3. For some reason, I begin to realize or appreciate the fact that we human beings are made to contain God and love God: there is much joy for an unbeliever to turn to and to believe into the Lord, and there is even greater joy for a Christian to love the Lord with a fervent heart and to serve Him with the full strength. It is a natural calling.
  4. After consecrating many times, somehow I still feel some reservation. Though I am aware of the reservation, I don’t know exactly what they are, and it doesn’t seem I can do much about them, as if they are part of my very being. Alas, I can only leave them to the Lord to deal with. May the Lord continue to work Himself into me as my salvation. May the Lord gain me completely.
  5. I begin to appreciate the matter of opening one’s home for preaching  gospels or perfecting others. It is at homes that both God and people find their rest; it is at homes people build up the relations. I think it is the only way to sustain growth and increase without dropping people and not to be constrained by physical space. We should move from meeting halls to homes, from big to small, and from meetings to people.
  6. I was touched by Br. Paul’s testimony, of his humble heart, of his appreciation of the ministry, of his openness and reception of all the saints, especially of his preaching the gospel in a normal and common way.

Lord, I love You so much. I give my whole being and whatever I have to You. Do open my eyes to see Your worth so I would run after You. Make me an empty and open vessel for Your purpose and usage. Let there be no reservation, no holding back, no hesitation. You are always my choice, my preference, my priority, my love, and my hope. Lord! I long for Your return. Amen!

Some reflections after the earthquake in Japan

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory, Because we do not regard the things which are seen but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

While many great earthquakes have occurred lately throughout the earth, the one in Japan seemed striking the world the most; what sabotaged Japan could sabotage any other country. After this natural disaster, I had 2 thoughts.

The first thought was that the created human race needs to be humble before the Creator God. It is ironic while human beings thought they have conquered the nature with their powers of science and technology, Japan, the leading country in many fields of technology, appeared so powerless and helpless before the power of the nature, and the Japanese appeared so small and weak before this catastrophic event. It is a good time to wonder: Have the advancements in science and technology blind us from their limitations? Have the rapid accumulations of knowledge make us forget how little we know compared to what we don’t know? The truth is that the pride derived from our past scientific advancements, though seemingly great, has blind us and cause us not to submit to our Creator. This calamity should be a merciful reminder and a humbling experience to the humanity.

My second thought is that we need to think fundamentally even before calamity or death hit us. Too many minds are occupied with the things which are seen, not the things which are not seen, regarding the things which are temporary, not the things which are eternal. We pursue worldly pleasure or sinful indulgence, not divine enjoyment or godly living, being obsessed with earthly career, wealth, or status, not heavenly joy, peace, or love. Too many times we are so protective of our opinions, preferences, or self, yet there are plenty of things that are critically important: how about the earthly ones, such as family, friendship, and dream? How about the heavenly ones, such as God’s purpose, the Lord’s interests, the furtherance of the gospel, or the building up of the body? What a pity! Why does it have to be in those painful moments and great sufferings that people look up something beyond their own concerns. Let’s all find out and start to care for what really matters, even during the peaceful and painless days.

We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, and consider these disasters as merciful reminders, and sufferings as opportunities to turn to our spirits and look up things beyond ourselves. May the Lord abound His mercy and grace upon us.


My Lord Jesus.
Continue to have mercy over the human race.
Keep us open and humble before You.
Soften the hardened hearts.
Restore the minds and spirits.
Heal the sick, strengthen the week,
Claim Your lordship over this earth.
For You are the Lord of heaven and earth!

I pray that Your body be built up, Your bride prepared.
While praying for Your grace and mercy
over these lands and people,
I also pray for Your return and Your Kingdom.
Oh! Reveal that glorious day of Yours,
according to Your will and timing.
To You be the glory, honor, might, and wisdom
Forever and ever. Amen.

%d bloggers like this: