another saturday meeting, this one is just too long. some of the problem with meetings are: 1. you got to be there, because you've made a commitment to be there; 2. you got to be there on time, when most people are late; 3. you got to pay attention, to avoid being disrespectful; 4. you got nothing else to work on, with the exception of occasional tweet with family member; 5. you got to sit the whole time, unless you got to go; 6. you got only one place to sit for the whole duration, so you keep shifting your weight around so your butt won't fall asleep; 7. you got to talk and make sure people think you are paying attention and that you are somewhat intelligent; 8. you got food in front of you as temptation, so you got to eat and eat and eat; 9. you got food full of carb that gives you sugar high for a little while and then make you drowsy later; 10. you got to think about all the work you have to do later, maybe way into the night, because you are in this meeting. however, i'm grateful i can serve along side my friends who love the Lord and willing to spend 8 hrs minus 1 with me. have a good night rest my friends.
my uncle elder Peter passed away 1/1/2011, at 99 years of age, that is 100 years old according to Chinese calendar. pretty interesting huh! well, he lived an amazing life with many accomplishments. what's most amazing about him took place these last 24 years of his life, since his wife, my aunt Francis, passed away. before she passed away from an unexpected heart-attack 24 years ago, she'd always urged him to put his years of theological schooling (15 years in all) to work by writing and publishing them, because there were very limited Chinese theological work available (that's true even today). he'd always refuse her. but since her death he gained a renewed sense of purpose at 75 years of age to start his writing career. he finished one book a year, publishing them using his own money and distributing them to his friends and churches. He ministered to countless Chinese Christians around the world with his writing, until he could no longer see from his earthly eyes these last few remaining years. all together he wrote 18 remarkable commentaries and theological treaties in chinese. now, that's pretty incredible! what an inspiration! uncle Peter and aunt Francis prayed for our family for years until our whole family came to the Lord. today they're with Jesus and i miss them both. i am grateful for such faithful witnesses of our Lord. the Bible said "Abraham died at a GOOD old age."
she had a dream that made her think about her years. in her dream, she sees a very decorated coffin. interestingly it has an entrance. people can come in and out of that beautiful coffin. some people would go into the coffin and take a break and relax enjoy its beauty and then walk about. she woke up from the dream and felt the Lord was speaking to her. well, this is her explanation. some people live their life preparing for their end, purchasing a nice coffin and decorate it. some even enjoy sitting around it and enjoying the decor in and around their coffin. what a wasteful life? no matter how you decorate that coffin its only a vessel for death and it will never amount to anything. so she says, i've lived 70 years and most of those years i've wasted away building my coffin, even as a Christian. now i'm going to redeem those years, because Jesus can redeem those lost years. so i'm going to let Jesus redeem my years for the next 7 years, each year for ten years. anyway, she's committing to going on mission for 3 months in Taiwan and see if that is where God will have her. so, what do i think about all this? it's coming a little too fast for me. i just commissioned my daughter to the mission field last june, now my mom is leaving in march. i think it's a little too fast. but i don't think God cares too much about how i feel on this matter.
tonight i went to yet another banquet for the pastors and leaders of the church. just in case you don't know what GLACMA is, it is greater los angeles chinese ministerial association, of which i'm a member. my seminary bought a ticket for me to be at this well attended event for almost 400 pastor and lay leaders in Rosemead. many prominent figure heads were there. in addition to celebrating the 32nd anniversary they're also celebrate the 20th anniversary of pastor Morison Chiu's ministry at GLACMA as the general secretary. he's a good guy very genuine and not afraid to call it as it is. so tonight he gave some words as a reflection of this 20 years of ministry. he addresses the condition of the chinese churches in america with the following four observations. 1. the noticeable aging of the congregation. 2. the disappearance of the 2nd or 1.5 generation. 3. the secularization of the church. 4. the loss of core strength in the church. i think he is right on and here's my response to his 4 points. one of the reason we have aging congregation in the chinese churches immigrant church is because we are losing our 2nd and 1.5 generation people. and one of the reason we are losing 1.5 and 2nd generation folks is because we are irrelevant to the dominant culture and we're losing our congregation to the secular world by giving in to their values. and one of the reason we are experiencing secularization of the church is because we have lost the purpose and mission, which is the heart of the church. if we don't know why we do church here in america, don't do it. the church exist for a purpose…TCM.
just came back from a 30 year anniversary celebration today. i know they're not perfect but it was beautiful to witness their love for each other in the lives of the people they touched over the years. see, when you love someone with such purity and passion, it penetrates through the disguise of all the people around you. love and love extension is only the natural outflow of someone who submits them self under the perfect love of God, in Christ Jesus. in a sense, they couldn't help loving other people. not bad for 30 years, huh? i like that couple and their family a lot. the only problem…it was a buffet. and i ate too much.
just came back from a six hours meeting (more tomorrow) on business as mission. aside from all the program and discussion, the heart of today's meeting wraps around building solid lives. anything else is just fluff. seriously, you can have all the world class programs and it would mean nothing without some genuine life transformation.
marketplace ministry is no joke. can you stare your employee or employer in the eye and tell them you're a christian and you're proud of it? that takes some guts and hardcore life transformation. i know we will never measure up to Christ's perfect ways, but these are folks you spend 9-5 with everyday for 5 days out of a week. you probably spend more time with them than with your own family. they know your temperament, your core values better than anyone. you can't fool these people. so whatever you do's got to be real. no Sunday christians on the weekdays! marketplace is no joke.
so, what did i learn and propose in the meeting today? well, it's coming from all sides for me lately. i think God wants us to transform the marketplace by making disciples first. once these disciples become mature, they realize their call as an apostle in the marketplace, shining as lights for Jesus. the next step is easy. show them how to be a good steward of God's resources building on kingdom wealth principles and living out the glory of God. every christian business men or women need to know these valuable principles from the Word of God. teaching them would be easy, once they're committed disciples of Jesus.
in response to the overwhelming controversy on the Wall Street Journal 1/8/11 article by Amy Chua, i have to say, "if performance is the only yardstick by which a society measures success, then she's right." however, i have a feeling that she's wrong. her loosely defined "Chinese Mother" is herself, because she grew up American thinking she's Chinese holding dear to an ideal to out perform the loosely defined "West." has she succeeded? No one knows. she's the story teller and she's gotten the accolade to prove her point. i wonder if her daughters understand anything other than performance driven "self-esteem," like their mother. of course, mrs. Chua has done well for herself and now her new pet project is her children. i wonder what's next, grandchildren? one day, someone might introduce a non-performance driven way of life to this misguided family. what will they do, then?
success and performance is an addiction for many in our society. they live in desperation anticipating the next high through their endless pursuits. working hard is not their problem, but to what end? will they seek the truth? when will they find true contentment and peace?
just came back from all you can eat Korean Bar-B-Que. i don't know about you. sometimes, after a good meal, i feel guilty all over. it has nothing to do with the excessive calories now i need to burn off and even less about the money spent, but someone needs to explain to me how i can do this with a clear conscience as a Christian. where is the line drawn on gluttony? when does enjoying food become a sin? when does enjoying anything become too much, an excess? how about the principle of stewardship and the command to love thy neighbor? when i eat too much am i being a good steward of God's blessings? how about the millions that die from starvation, does my lifestyle bring shame to my faith? he
just came back from cmc2010. it was a chinese christian mission's conference in the East Coast that takes place every three years, organized by Ambassador for Christ (PA). in 2011, they will be coming to san diego for the first time and if God so willing i will be a part of the planning team.
as for cmc2010, i have a mixed feeling. i loved their NextStep program, which was their counseling program that takes place concurrently during the conference, where the NextStepper gets to meet up with a trained NextStep Advisor 1on1 for 30 minutes to talk about their calling or commitment for God and receive recommendations and prayer. it was tremendously rewarding for me to meet so many people who were ready to serve God with their own heart wide open. but, something bothered me and I didn't express it under the last day when a member of the planning committee asked if i could give him some feedback. so I gave it to him.
i don't know if it's fair to expect the conference to address what i think is the most pressing missional concern for the chinese immigrant christian community, but that was what reverberated in my mind and heart throughout the whole conference. although there were numerous speakers that came and spoke in the plenary sessions and the workshops, few actually touched on the subject of generational disconnect among the immigrant churches and the church's relevancy to their larger American context. when will the immigrants realize their call to discipleship began with their call to make disciples of their own children? by making disciples of their own children they began a cross-cultural ministry that will pass on from generation to generation. they don't need to cross the ocean to minister to people cross-culturally. all they have to do is to bring redemption to their own homes, the result of this missional effort will outshine all their current global ministry 100 times.
if you are not building a multigenerational ministry that last, you are in a ministry that is perpetually building and rebuilding brand new ministries for a single generation. and no wonder, the english ministry for the immigrant church have and will continue to do poorly. even the church plants will take on the same ailment as their founding churches.
© 2014 by Community Christian Center