Thursday, February 28, 2008

Apologetics In The Service Of God

From Brian, blogging from UK, shared a good article that reminds us of the need for an apologetic that is sensitive to non-rational factors (e.g. psychological, sociological and hamartiological [i.e sin]):

"In my experience, I find that this is true, non-Christians enjoy being part of a loving Christian community, but they also do want to know how Christianity answers the big questions and the claims it makes on our lives. "Defeater beliefs" need to be dismantled: the belief that Christians are arrogant can be dismantled both by seeing Christians love their neighbour and serving each other in humility, as well as a more cognitive understanding that the gospel Christians believe is actually one that sees

- everyone, including themselves, as sinners, i.e not just failing to love God but actively hating him

- giving Christians no basis on which to peddle their superiority over others, but a basis which recognises their profound need of the mercy of God

- and therefore humbly accepting the grace and forgiveness Jesus offers as a gift through his death in my place, finding significance in him rather than in feeling superior over others

- And also the basis for why Christians want to share their faith with others, not because they want to impose their beliefs on others or because their religion is better, but because it is good news!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Prophecy of Isaiah

Course Description: In the book of Isaiah God revealed His plan for Israel and the world from the 8th century BC to the coming of Christ and the creation of the new heavens and new earth. He also assured the completion of this plan by demonstrating His control over history. Luke and Acts is an account of the fulfillment of Isaiah 40-55. Hence without Isaiah we may misunderstand Christian salvation and mission.

By studying Isaiah in its historical, literary and theological contexts this course seeks to make plain the meaning of the prophecies, which are mostly expressed in poetry. Thus much attention is given to how to interpret poetic prophecies. The prophetic books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel will also be briefly considered in order to present God's plan for world redemption more completely.

Instructor: Dr. Leong Tien Fock
Dates: 27 March to 29 May 2008 (7.45 pm to 10.45 pm)
Venue: First Baptist Church, Lot 8 Jalan Pantai (9/7), Petaling Jaya
Cost: RM130 for students who wish to attend the classes (no exam/assignments)
RM240 for students who wish to apply this course into existing degree program
Credit: 2 credit hours

Closing Date: 20 March 2008.

Contact: For more information or to register, contact the Registrar, Ms. Doreen Chan, via h/p at 016-2830918 or email

About the Course Instructor
Dr. Leong Tien Fock is the Research Coordinator of the Malaysia Campus Crusade for Christ. His PhD is from the University of California at Los Angeles in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Dr. Leong has taught at various seminaries in Malaysia and Singapore.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Reasonable Faith Weekend

Date: May 16-18, 2008
Venue: Hotel Puri Melaka, Malaysia
Camp Fees: S$180.00 (Singapore), RM290.00 (Malaysia)
(Fee includes accommodation, course materials, meals and tea-breaks)

If you are in fulltime Christian work, please ask us for the special rate.

Exciting Topics This Year:
- Genesis (LT Jeyachandran)
- “Imago Dei: Basis for Universal Human Rights”
- “Homosexuality: Nature or nurture?” (I’Ching Thomas)
- “True for you but not for me: What is the basis for morality?” (Brian Thomas)
- "Faith at work: Redeeming work” (Soo-Inn Tan)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Politik Yesus

“Adakah Yesus Politikal? Satu Perspektif Perjanjian Baru" oleh Dr Lim Kar Yong
Pensyarah Pengajian Perjanjian Baru, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia

Mukaddimah Bahagian 2 Bahagian 3 Bahagian 4 Kesimpulan


Saya teringat membaca kenyataan seorang paderi injili yang berpengaruh bahawa gereja tidak sepatutnya melibatkan diri dalam politik. Menurut paderi ini, misi, tenaga dan pelaburan gereja bukanlah untuk membersihkan korupsi masyarakat, tetapi untuk menginjili masyarakat. Malang sekali, pendapat ini juga mencerminkan banyak di kalangan kita. Adalah malang sekali apabila pengajian tentang Yesus diadakan di bawah pengaruh ajaran gereja, ianya diadakan melalui rangka teologi gereja tersebut. “Pemahaman rasmi” tentang Yesus adalah baginda adalah Anak Tuhan yang telah mati di kayu salib untuk penyelamatan manusia.

Pemahaman ini juga menganggap bahawa Injil dan kitab-kitab lain adalah bersifat keagamaan dan harfiah semata-mata. Meskipun pendekatan teologi ini adalah selaras dengan pengakuan iman ortodoks, pendekatan ini hanyalah mencerminkan perspektif yang kurang tepat tentang Yesus – perspektif yang saya tertarik untuk sifatkan sebagai proses pelembutan “Yesus spiritual”. Inilah Yesus yang dikatakan oleh Scot McKnight, “disifatkan hanya sebagai guru spiritual, seorang yang hanya berminat tentang kehidupan keagamaan dalaman dan disiplin keagamaan individu”

Pagi ini saya berharap untuk memikirkan semula pemahaman kita tentang Yesus. Merujuk hasil kajian tentang Yesus dalam Sejarah (Historical Jesus) dan perkembangan kaedah social-scientific dalam pengkajian Perjanjian Baru, kami berharap dapat berefleksi tentang persoalan “Adakah Yesus itu Politikal?”. Atau dalam kata lain, wujudkah ruang dalam iman kita untuk Yesus sebagai politikus, di samping Yesus sebagai guru agamawi.

Sebelum kita bermula, mungkin adalah baik untuk saya mendefinisikan maksud “politik”. Dalam kajian sejarah silam, menurut Aristotle, politik difahami dengan ertikata yang luas di mana objektifnya adalah untuk merealisasikan idea kehidupan ideal dalam sesebuah masyarakat di satu-satu bandar. Di samping itu, politik juga boleh difahami dengan maksud yang sempit sebagai seni memperoleh dan mengekalkan kuasa. Saya lebih suka berefleksi tentang Yesus Politik dalam ertikata yang luas.

Politik bagi saya bermaksud, hal-ehwal umum, kerajaan dan sivil. Dengan definisi “politikal”, saya tidak memaksudkan bahawa Yesus menubuhkan parti politik atau melancarkan pemberontakan terhadap Rom ataupun Kota Yerusalem. Dengan definisi “politikal”, saya mencadangkan untuk menerokai Yesus dalam sejarah sebagai seorang yang mempunyai misi kepada negeri Israel untuk memanggilnya untuk bertaubat, dengan amaran hukuman Tuhan yang mendatang.

Jadi two persoalan yang ingin saya terokai adalah:

1) Betapa banyakkah kesedaran yang ditunjukkan oleh Yesus dalam misi-Nya kepada Israel, sebagi misi politik?

2) Apakah persepsi orang ramai terhadap Yesus sebagai politikus melalui ajaran-Nya dan perjuangan-Nya?

Kerana kesuntukan masa, saya mencadangkan untuk menerokai 3 aspek dalam kehidupan dan pelayanan Yesus, dan mengakhirinya dengan implikasi kepada Gereja pada hari ini.

1. Kesedaran diri Yesus terhadap misi-Nya
2. Mesej dan Ajaran Yesus
3. Aktiviti dan Perjuangan Yesus

Terus baca di Cahaya Nusantara

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Listening To The Voice Of Jesus

From Rachel: Dr Gordon Smith recently gave a 2 night seminar in Singapore based on his latest book: "Listening to the Voice of Jesus: On Prayer and Discernment". (Night 1 Message & Night 2 Message). These recordings were meant for those who were not able to attend and interested in Christian Spirituality & Spiritual Direction, thanks to the PA crew of True Way Presbyterian Church.

Dr Gordon Smith is the President of reSource Leadership International and the Former Dean of Regent College.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vote Wisely

Christian Federation of Malaysia: As our nation prepares for the coming elections, we call on all Christians to be conscious of your responsibility as good citizens and to exercise your right to vote. Do familiarize yourselves with biblical principles on issues central to you and our nation, information on candidates and programmes of the various political parties. Pray for discernment and foresight.

In order to cast votes responsibly, we invite you to prayerfully CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

A. What the bible says about our primary concerns

Based on the opinion poll commissioned by The Star newspaper, the cost of living, social issues, crime rates and illegal immigrants are central to the concerns of the survey participants. As Christians, we are also concerned about issues which God is concerned about.

In the Bible we learn that God is righteous and just, merciful and loving. Whilst he has given us freedom of choice, he wills a good life for all human beings in a society that is spiritually and morally grounded.

God desires peace and goodwill among all people. In and through his love, we are called to cultivate neighborliness, and promote harmony built on mutual respect.

The threat to God's creation is apparent today. God has called humans to act as responsible stewards. The protection of the resources of the earth is for the benefit of all God's creation.

B. Political Parties: Their Policies And Delivery of Promises

Assess the political parties on the basis of their policies and promises, their stand on various issues related to justice and fair play, citizens' rights, national unity, economic development, protection of the environment and welfare of those who are sick, disabled and poor. Is there integrity, honesty and efficiency? Have the
parties delivered on their promises? Do their political views and policies reflect God's standard and Christian values?

C. Candidates

Examine carefully the ability of candidates, their standard of accountability, integrity, values and leadership skills. Pay attention to their past performance and for their stand on issues related to constitutional rights, civil liberties and the freedom of religion. Have they been consistently accessible and available?

MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PRAY for candidates in your constituency, the issues herein highlighted and the outcome of the General Elections. Set aside time to pray daily. Organize and participate in local church prayer programmes. We owe to God, ourselves, our future generations and our country to exercise responsibly our privilege to pray and our democratic right to vote. We aspire with all Malaysians to live in a nation, where all citizens may enjoy freedom, love, justice, peace,
stability and economic prosperity.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia joins all other Malaysians in expressing the wish that the coming ELECTIONS WILL BE FAIR and there will be no attempt by politicians to publicly misrepresent or miscast any particular issue, or subject any community to unfair and adverse publicity for the purpose of political gain.

MAY GOD'S SPIRIT GUIDE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU to make wise decisions in casting your votes. May the results of the elections be fair and representative of the will of the people of Malaysia, trusting that God's purpose will always prevail above the affairs of human beings.

Grace and peace to all. Thank you.

Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing, SJ President
Bishop Datuk John Lee Vice President
Rev. Dr. Thomas Philips Vice President
Rev. Eu Hong Seng Vice President

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Redefining Success For Malaysia

We all want Malaysia to be a successful nation, but what is the definition of success? This article from Sept 07 issue of Kairos magazine (written by Steven Wong) listed six acid test questions as we evaluate how 'successful' we are as a country.

"Nation Building - With or Without God?" From NECF: Most of us are used to thinking of history in linear terms, with a beginning, a middle course and a specific end. This view is actually based on the Judeo-Christian perspective Prior to Christianity, the Classical Greek thought supported a cyclical view, in which historical events were repeated over and over by consecutive societies. The Eastern view of history is quite the same. Even so, not everyone who adopts the linear view finds God in history.

The humanist believes that humans will continue to evolve upwards until they attain perfection and paradise, the perfect society. The Marxist believes that the dialectic of class struggle will eventually produce the classless society (communism), which is their version of the perfect society. Both ideologies are based on the theory of evolution which does away with God. On the contrary, Christians believe that God is active in history. George Bancroft, an eminent historian in the 19th century said, “Providence is the light of history and the soul of the world. God is in history and all history has a unity because God is in it.” The providential view of history is the correct view of history. The end of history, or His Story, is the resurrection and judgement and the eternal life beyond for those who believe.

One area we can very clearly see God at work in history is the march of the Gospel. God has determined the time for each nation to hear the Gospel. He directed Paul and his companions where they should preach and He is still directing missionaries today.

Do we see God’s hand on the nations, and on our nation too, or do we think God is interested only in Israel? Do we need to spend more time studying our nation’s history to see where God is leading our nation and the Church in Malaysia? Do we believe that we, in cooperation with God, have a role to play, a part in shaping history? Or do we think as like the humanists or Marxists that we are but helpless spectators in the inexorable march of history? Our belief will shape our action.

Christian Engagement in Politics

By Ong Kian Ming (Source:

Politics? Mention this word in polite Christian company and you’re likely to elicit two kinds of responses - Cynicism, disdain and condescension on the one hand and apathy, ignorance and indifference on the other. The sanitized and white washed walls of the Malaysian church seem too pristine for politics to have any relevance in its midst. And yet, can we be true to our calling as Christians to be ‘salt and light’ to the world if we continue to ignore an area that affects so many aspects of our lives?

Locally, municipal councilors and state assemblymen ensure that rubbish is collected, water is flowing, and drains and roads kept clean. Sometimes they can make a difference whether a dioxin-spewing incinerator is built in our backyard or somewhere less hazardous. Nationally, MPs and ministers are responsible for good governance, political stability, economic development and social welfare. On the religious front, protection of the constitution safeguards our freedom to assemble, to worship and to express ourselves. Yet, we often take these things for granted.

Cynicism that leads to criticisms without action or indifference that discourages positive engagement will result in the continuation of the status quo – where politics is untouched by possible ‘salting’ influence of God’s people.

Why do Christians in Malaysia fear to engage themselves in this arena? Marvin Wong, in his recent book 'Between Friends,' argues that the Malaysian church has remained passive about politics because Christians fear being persecuted. Christians fear sharing the truth, or standing up for the minority, if this means going up against the ruling elite. ‘The result of this is a church that tends to engage with the government only in narrowly defined spheres, namely areas that directly impact itself,’ writes Marvin. ‘But a continuation of this trend will eventually destroy the church’s witness to ‘the world’ and her credibility to speak on behalf of others for truth and justice.’

Indeed, in my own church, which had a negative encounter with the law during ‘Operasi Lallang’ in 1987 where one of our pastors were arrested under the ISA, any talk of political engagement is quickly toned down and the presence of Special Branch officers and the heavy hand of the law often cited as reasons for caution.

The first step to encourage positive engagement in the political arena is to raise the level of awareness on the need for such engagement. And I hope that some of the examples used in the first part of this article have at least tickled your curiosity to think and pray more on this issue.

But perhaps I can afford to be a bit more optimistic when I say that the level of political consciousness among Kairos readers is slightly higher than that of the normal Malaysian Christian. Perhaps the next question that many Kairos readers are pondering is this: ‘How can I make positive contributions and engage in the political arena?’

Great question. There are more ways than people initially reckon to engage constructively and positively in the political arena in this country. (I defined political engagement in this article as engaging with any government authority be it at the local, state or federal level) Indeed, with the proliferation of new technology, the channels open to us to engage has increased to our advantage.

Firstly, we can start positive engagement in our respective workplaces where possible. Many of us work in jobs that require us to deal with government departments and sometimes even politicians. What kinds of standards do we demand of ourselves and of our government counterparts in our engagement with them? Do we acquiesce to the under the table ‘demands’ in return for a speedier processing of our applications or do we stand firm in obeying the letter of the law? Are we tempted to gain an unfair advantage over our competitive rivals in bidding for government projects? How we behave when we deal with government officials is a direct reflection of how much we are ‘salting’ their world.

Some of us might be civil servants ourselves in positions to control how government expenditure is channeled and how government policies are designed in our respective departments. How do we use or abuse these opportunities? Do we take hold of this chance to put in place structures and policies that ensure transparency, good governance, responsiveness, efficiency and checks and balances?

A Christian brother who is a senior civil servant in a policy making arm of the government showed me a plan to enlist the residents in a particular municipality in a major Peninsular Malaysian town onto a website aimed at increasing the responsiveness of the local authority to problems in that area such as clogged drains, fallen tree branches and potholes. If this pilot works, it would drastically improve the service levels currently provided by the municipal councils and local authorities in our areas. Note that this salting effect does not seem to have any obvious ‘spiritual’ contribution to God’s kingdom. Rather the effect is to bring the local community and the local authority closer together.

Two particular professions need to be highlighted because of their unique position in engaging with government actors – lawyers and journalists. Both are in a unique position to bring up cases where injustice has occurred, where abuse of power has taken place, where good corporate governance has not been followed and the list goes on. They can act as checks and balances on the different arms of the government machinery. They can lobby on behalf of those whose voices will not normally be heard. But to do so in the context of Malaysia where there are some existing constraints will require much Godly wisdom and courage. I am encouraged by the example of some Christian lawyers who have not been afraid to work on apostate cases, who speak out for good corporate governance and to stand up against injustice where it has occurred.

Secondly, we can get more involved in the affairs of our local communities to improve our living conditions by cooperating with and keeping accountable our local service providers such as Indah Water, Alam Flora and our local municipalities, just to name a few. Christians should not restrict themselves to the four walls within the church building but should venture out to serve in their ‘Rukun Tetanggas’ (RTs) and their Resident Associations (RAs). I am encouraged by the example of the president of my own Resident Association who is a brother in Christ. He works actively in his own church helping children with learning disabilities and also works tirelessly to look after the needs of the residents in his area by engaging with MPPJ, the local police as well as the local political representatives.

Thirdly, we can voice our own opinions on issues that concern us as individual citizens and as Christians. I observe some familiar names in the letters section of the New Straits Times, The Star and online newspaper whom I know to be brothers and sisters in Christ sharing their opinions on a diverse range of topics from teaching Science and Math in English to the state of tourism in Malaysia to human rights and many others.

I am seeing more and more Christians coming out to share their views in an unapologetic and unashamed manner. More seem to be aware of their rights as citizens and are not afraid to voice them out, many of them through well written and well thought out letters. The recent ban on the Iban bible (which has since been lifted) prompted a barrage of letters on the website criticizing the move. The proliferation of emails, and the Internet has also allowed ordinary citizens including Christians to organize themselves in cyberspace. I set up a petition at as a means to make more Malaysian Christians aware of this issue as well as giving them a channel to voice their concerns. In one week, the number of signatories had increased to 1500. By sending out emails to friends and through yahoogroups, news about this petition spread overseas prompting many Malaysians living overseas to sign up and share their views.

The proliferation of ‘blogs’ or online journals has also made it easier for Christians to post their views cyberspace on issues that concern them ( Yahoogroups allow special interest Christian groups to exchange information on the latest news updates, prayer points and organize meetings online.

Fourthly, we can join NGOs in areas of engagement which we feel most passionate about. These NGOs may or may not be run by Christians or organized along biblical principles. These can range from social concern (Malaysian Care, Malaysian Aids Council) to human rights (SUARAM, HAKAM, ERA Consumer) to women’s issues (AWAM, NCWO) and so on. Kairos itself is a Christian NGO that tries to provide resources for people to think about how to engage with wider society. NECF too provides resources and research in areas and policies that affect the church and beyond.

Fifthly, we can take the step of joining political parties and engage in the political process directly. It is not possible for everyone who joins political parties to be state assembly representatives or Member of Parliament nor should Christians go into the political process thinking they can only contribute if they are YBs. Christians who enter into the political process should have their eyes wide open. They should constantly examine their motives on why they feel called to contribute to the political process directly. They should be serving a wider agenda, not only of their own narrow political interests or that of the party that they belong to. That agenda should be God’s agenda or what He has impressed on these individuals to do for Him in their respective political parties.

I’m encouraged to see committed Christians such as Lee Hwa Beng (MCA), Tan Kee Kwong (GERAKAN), Teresa Kok (DAP) who are involved in the political process as either state representatives or MPs straddling different political beliefs. I’m also encouraged to see a crop of younger Christians who feel called to serve God in this area.

Sixthly, and lastly, we should continue to uphold our political leaders in prayer. We should pray that God would continue to give them wisdom in the administration and running of the country. We should not just restrict ourselves to praying for the leaders in government i.e. the BN although the burden of running the country sits heaviest on them. We should also pray for the political leaders in opposition including PAS (which runs the states of Kelantan and Terengganu), Keadilan and the DAP for them to exercise their wisdom in their role as opposition representatives.

And if you are convicted of the need for Christian engagement in the political arena, pray too that God will show you how he wants to use you in this area.

About the author:

Ong Kian Ming currently works for a non-profit think tank that does work in nation building. God willing, He hopes to do his PhD in political science in the US next year.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Tragedy of Restlesness

By Dr Y.Y.Yap

Source: Around The Fire. "The Tragedy of Restlesness" was delivered at the Headstart Leaders' Spiritual Retreat, 16-18 September 2005.

If I were to ask you to just rest and do nothing all of today, what
will you do? Grab a newspaper, turn on the TV, logon the web, maybe do some shopping or balance your accounts?

If I told you, your food & clothing for all of this year is taken care of - what will you do with your life? Book a holiday? Climb the Himalayas? Read all the books you've bought in the last year? The tragedy of our ultra-modern life is there simply is no time for rest, and even if there was - we no longer know how to.

Our culture is such that we are constantly distracted - by ads, news
flashes, SMS-es, latest movie releases, etc. We have made life so
zippingly fast-paced, that we can't catch up with ourselves any more. Anything we do, buy, read today is obsolete by the time we lay hands on it - somebody is inventing something better right now, a new discovery is being published today, the way you operate has been superceded by a smarter method.

Sadly, though we are so breathless playing catch-up trying to stay focussed we no longer know what is rest much less how to get it.

At a time when we need to recover our humanity and meaning the most, we are swept away by a tide of artificial substitutes. Hollywood, MTV, the tourism and food industry make sure of that. What entertainment and every kind of sensual indulgence offers is a quick-fix, temporary relief, fleeting moments of pleasurable but imaginary escape which leaves us only more hungry, empty and lonely than before. But then, we've got to get back to work - who has time to think about it?

In a similar situation of exhaustion and starvation, Jesus, recognising the urgent need for recovery and nourishment intervened:
'"Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." (For
there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)

And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. (Mark 6:31-32, NASB)'

I love the passage for what it doesn't say as much as what it does.
Jesus doesn't say, 'Go away for awhile and come back ready to work again.' He doesn't send you away only when you are fatigued beyond use, and for the sole purpose of rehabilitating the workforce. And it isn't one of those company motivation and indoctrination retreats just to make you more aggressive and productive.

The invitation is threefold: it is to 'come away' (NASB) - drawing
away/detaching ourselves from the work when it has become damaging to the soul. Work itself is not the enemy, it is when work has overtaken the heart that perspective sorely needs to be restored. There are warning signs and we must learn to recognise them.

Secondly it is to 'come with me' (NIV) - a leaving of the things that have robbed you of your inner joy and tunneled your spiritual vision, to return to the real heart, purpose and goal of our lives, Jesus.

And thirdly, for a good reason: 'they had no leisure so much as to eat' (KJV). No leisure, so much as to eat! This rendition in the KJV makes a sharp point and Maslow would be quick to point out - that if the disciples were so consumed by the work they couldn't even eat, you can imagine how spiritually and emotionally starved they must have already become.

We will explore in further sessions this important invitation. What are the things that erodes our lives, keeping us from our true identity and a growing intimacy with God?

In the face of massive opposition and danger, David says: 'One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,' but if he can't get that, he'll settle for just one day. 'Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.' (Psalm 84:10, NIV). He makes the difficult choice of choosing, like Mary, 'the better thing.'

In my final year of Masters, I suffered a serious health problem. I was so stressed from working on my final dissertation, and studying for the exit exams, and leading a church, and speaking in the student CF, I developed peptic ulcer disease that required large doses of opioids for pain-relief.

In that difficult period going through gastroscopies, ultrasounds and drug therapy - I discovered I also had gallstones and fatty deposits in the liver. I was obese, and the repressed stress had been burning away at my stomach lining. I was forced to work through the deeper issues at work.

By God's grace and much, much love from my wife and others around me, I soon realised I was chronically depressed, easily irritable, quietly bitter and prone to rage. Compulsive overeating was one of the complications of my masked depression. Coming to terms with my adrenaline addiction and stress-burnout pattern, I learnt some crucial skills for early recognition and intervention. The first few months were tough-going, subjecting myself to rigid monitoring and journaling my feelings, but in time the hard labor bore fruits of much peace, improved relationships, and best of all - I lost
20kgs of weight!

You may not have come to such serious consequences of stress-burnout in your life, but we all need to learn the skills of recognizing it, hearing Jesus' invitation to 'come away' and give ourselves permission to rest. We need to move from denial, through anger (blaming everyone else for our restlessness), to acceptance (that we need rest), to change (taking responsibility for getting rest.)

For Reflection and dialog:
1. Have you suffered burnout recently?
2. What steps led to it? What were its consequences for you?
3. Were there early signs of stress and burnout for you?
4. What steps do you need to take to 'give yourself permission' to rest - do you have difficulty doing that?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Politics: Perspectives and Priorities

Dr Ng Kam Weng of Kairos Research Centre will speak for 1 1/4-hr and take questions for 45 minutes. He will speak on the
(1) Bible and politics,
(2) the nature of Malaysian politics and
(3) issues in the coming general election.

Date: 23 Feb, Sat,
Time: 3pm-5pm
Venue: TTDI Gospel Centre,
20 Lrg Datuk Sulaiman 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 KL
Invite your church members and friends. FOC.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Malaysia Adalah Hak Bersama

Oleh Wan Saiful Wan Jan dan Tricia Yeoh.

Artikel penuh di sini

"Apa yang perlu kita lakukan sekarang ialah menerima hakikat bahawa semua rakyat Malaysia, Melayu atau bukan Melayu, adalah juzuk-juzuk penting dalam negara kita Malaysia. Maka kita harus berhenti mensensasikan perkara-perkara emosional seperti isu kaum dan agama, dan menghapuskan segala prasangka.

Kenapa setiap kali kita bercakap mengenai Islam, maka kita sengaja menimbulkan isu murtad? Kenapa setiap kali kita bercakap mengenai penganut agama Hindu ianya seolah-olah mereka mahu menimbulkan kacau bilau? Kenapa setiap kali kita bercakap mengenai kaum Tionghua ianya seolah-olah mereka merompak kekayaan negara? Kenapa setiap kali kita bercakap mengenai penganut agama Kristian, ianya seolah-olah semua umat Islam mesti sangsi terhadap mereka?

Kedua-dua kami adalah daripada bangsa dan agama yang berbeza. Tetapi kami bangga untuk menyatakan bahawa Malaysia adalah negara kami yang kami cintai. Kami tidak mahu berdebat mengenai mana yang lebih betul, Islam atau agama Kristian. Tetapi, kami yakin bahawa adalah lebih baik sekiranya nilai-nilai mulia yang boleh dicerna daripada kedua-dua agama ini diolah untuk sama-sama memperkukuh kedudukan Malaysia di mata dunia. Nilai-nilai mulia seperti keadilan dan integriti sememangnya dikongsi bersama, dan inilah yang sepatutnya diberi tumpuan.

Sebagai seorang Muslim dan seorang Kristian, terdapat pelbagai perkara yang kami sama-sama persetujui dalam rangka menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara yang maju dan berdaya saing menjelang tahun 2020. Contohnya, dalam menterjemahkan prinsip keadilan kepada polisi negara, kita perlu berusaha memastikan setiap rakyat negara ini mendapat kesaksamaan peluang. Usaha membasmi kemiskinan mestilah dijalankan secara sama rata dan merangkumi semua kaum dan agama.

Setelah lima puluh tahun merdeka, sudah sampai masanya kita menjadi lebih matang. Malangnya, politik perkauman dan politik keagamaan nampaknya masih lagi menghantui kita, baik dalam sembang-sembang kedai kopi mahupun dalam diskusi intelektual. Kita masih lagi dibelenggu sejarah lama. Belenggu ini perlu dihapuskan jika kita benar-benar mahu melangkah kehadapan.

Kita perlu menerima hakikat bahawa setelah lima puluh tahun merdeka, Malaysia bukan negara untuk satu kelompok tertentu sahaja. Malaysia bukan milik mana-mana individu atau kumpulan. Rakyat Malaysia terdiri daripada pelbagai kaum dan agama. Malaysia adalah hak kita bersama. Tidak ada sesiapa yang boleh menafikan hak seorang rakyat dalam negara yang kita miliki bersama semata-mata kerana perbezaan agama atau bangsa.

Sebagai rakyat Malaysia, golongan minoriti perlu sama-sama memainkan peranan untuk membentuk Malaysia menjadi sebuah negara maju menjelang tahun 2020. Golongan minoriti dan majoriti perlu berkongsi tenaga dan buah fikiran. Semua pihak perlu memberi cadangan dan perlu mengkritik. Cadangan dan kritikan yang diutarakan mestilah dilihat sebagai tanda bahawa kita semua sama-sama berusaha memperbaiki negara ini.

Muslim dan bukan-Muslim, Melayu dan bukan Melayu, kita semua adalah rakyat Malaysia dan kita semua mempunyai hak ke atas Malaysia. Sudah tiba masanya kita merungkai belenggu perdebatan yang berlandaskan kaum dan agama. Setiap seorang rakyat Malaysia mempunyai hak yang sama, tidak kira sama ada mereka dari golongan majoriti mahupun minoriti."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Movie Screening

It’s final!

The Agora @ Penang 2008 inaugural meeting will be a private screening of the movie Amazing Grace. Details as follow:

Date: 17 Feb 08
Time: 4.30 pm
Venue: FES Northern Office (click on the poster above for maps and contact numbers - in case you can’t read the map)

Due to limitation of space, we are extending the invitation to this private screening on a FCFS basis. Just drop me an email scheekeong (at) gmail (dot) com or call/sms any of the phone numbers in the poster for confirmation of attendance.

See you there!