Friday, May 17, 2013

East Asia School of Theology Commencement Day 2013

Dear God,

Teach me to pray. Teach me to be open to you and learn how to commune with you. I know you are my gracious Father and has been waiting for me to come to you for a long time. I am sorry Lord, that I was just too busy. I was too busy running after the minor things of my life that I forget the major things. I was lost in the forest because I cannot see it for the trees.

Dear God, teach me to depend on you in all things. It is so easy to slip into the 'working mode' and make all things happen by my talents and hard work. Help me to break this habit of depending on my own strength and not on your grace. Help me to develop new habits as I seek to walk closer to you.

Open my eyes, Lord, to the wonders of your creation. Often I am too hurried to stop to see your sunset or smell your roses. Slow me down Lord, that I may behold the wonders of your creation. Let me be appreciative and give me back the sense of wonder I had as a child. 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.


Thursday, May 09, 2013

A Gentle Soul Journeys On

  Dallas Willard In Memoriam

I am sure there many ways in which Dallas Willard will be remembered but to me he will always be a qentle soul who is a God-seeker. Most of his writings, teaching and preaching may be considered to be about spiritual formation but actually the core of Dallas' teachings is on seeking God. That is in essence what is spiritual formation.

I was seeking to learn more about spiritual formation and I found a kindred soul in Dallas when I first come across his writings and later in person in a conference in Los Angeles. At that time, spiritual formation was not widely known and was viewed with suspicion by the evangelical community. Yet Dallas was eager to share his understanding of what spiritual formation is, using psychosocial terms to describe a complex subject.

Dallas is a prolific written.His books stand proud on my bookshelf. I know I will always value them (especially the autographed ones) and refer to them again and again. 
1988. The spirit of the disciplines: Understanding how God changes lives. New York: HarperCollins.
1998. The divine conspiracy: Rediscovering our hidden life in God. New York: HarperCollin. 
1999. Hearing God: Developing a conversational relationship with God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
2002. Renovation of the heart: Putting on the character of Christ. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress. 
2006. The great omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s essential teachings on discipleship. New York: HarperCollins. 
Willard, Dallas, and D. Simpson. 2005. Revolution of character: Discovering Christ’s pattern for spiritual transformation. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
In a sense, Dallas is a pioneer, bringing us back to the wilderness of spiritual growth and Christian spiritualities. He had opened up a path to a better understanding of Christian spiritualities and discipleship in spiritual formation. He had blazed a trail for others to follow and to expand on the subject. May we be worthy to follow his lead.



Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Seminar on Book of Ezekiel

The book of Ezekiel is one of the more difficult book in the bible to study because it deals with fantastic visions, prophecies, and revelations of God. The Spiritual Formation Institute held a seminar on it on 27 April 2013.

The seminar was taught by Dr. Peter Lua, an Old Testament lecturer from Seminari Theologi Malaysia.
Dr Peter Lau is a trained medical practitioner who holds an MDiv from Sydney Missionary and Bible College and a PhD from the University of Sydney. He has been lecturing at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia since 2010. He has also taught at Sydney Missionary Bible College and the University of Sydney.

Dr Lua's approach to the book for the seminar was to have three lectures and two small group discussions.
The three lectures were
(1) Ezekiel 1: A Vision of the Glory of God
(2) Ezekiel 8-11: Not in my House
(3) Ezekiel 37: Give Us Life

The small group discussions were on Ezekiel 34 (Shepherds misbehaving badly) and Ezekiel 40-48 (let the good times roll).
The participants have had a good time at the seminar. Not only do they gain a better understanding of the book of Ezekiel and the man behind the book, they also have a glimpse of the mighty and awesome God who is behind the book and the man. The only complaint is that the seminar is too short. Many of the participants wished that it was longer so that they could discover more of the treasures that are there in this book.


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