Another year for Thee


It is a very quiet Chinese New Year this year. I miss the Chinese New Years when I was still a kid - lots of angpaus, hoards of food and cookies, reunion dinners with my late grandma, my family and all my uncles and aunties, and fireworks!!! It is different now - I have to give out the angpaus, I am gaining weight and yet I don't think I ate that much, reunion dinners with my in laws since I am now married which is still nice, and no fireworks.

Anyway, I attended the Chinese New Year service in my family church on Sunday and was touched by this hymn which we sang:

Another Year is Dawning
Words by Frances R. Havergal
Music by Samuel S. Wesley

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

Amen ... another year for Thee it will be.

pearlie
Photo (c) 2010 Pearlie Ng

How do you pray?

I have said it many times: praying is hard for me, not impossible but hard both to faithfully practice and understand.

But how do you pray? How often do you pray? And what it is like?

Simple question but will there be simple answers?

pearlie

What is Eternal Life?

We have been studying John 17 in our Friday bible class for the last 2 weeks. I was looking forward to it because it is one of the most amazing passages in the Bible – it is the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus.

And what again got me focused was v.3: Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. And also the fact that even though Jesus was one with the Father, he spent countless times alone in prayer with Him. Which really says something: the life which we have because we believe in the Lord is not just a “life” but it is a relationship, and until and unless the relationship is being kept, nurtured and built upon, there will not be any relationship, hence no eternal life. Think of it this way: what and how are you going to say or behave when you finally meet God? Eternally unsure and distant like how unsure and distant you are now about Him? Or with an assurance that you know him and are close to Him that you more or less know what is in His heart? I won’t say that we will know all of God but at least we should have this eternal life that know him for who He is, through Jesus whom he has revealed Himself to us.

I know this sounds duh -- it is almost basic, but think again ... what have you been doing with this relationship?

pearlie

No theologian who has ever lived resolved this

I am not one who would argue for Calvinism or Armenianism on predestination. I find that we are all totally inept to fully understand the topic of the sovereignty and the grace of God put together. I was listening to Dick Lucas on Rev 3:14-22 this morning where he quoted a commentator* who said, “We got to find room for divine sovereignty and human responsibility and no theologian who has ever lived is able to resolve how to bring those together theoretically.”

What do you think? No one is able to resolve it? I kind of reconcile it with the fact that we have no way to save ourselves, and even if we can make the decision to believe in Him and so be saved, it is only made possible by the grace of a sovereign God. In a sense, yes, we will not be saved if we do not make the decision to believe in Him but we cannot make the decision in the first place if not for the grace of God. This God is both sovereign and gracious, and we cannot speak of his sovereignty and grace separately.

How would you reconcile it best you could?

pearlie

* He did not say (or I did not hear) who the commentator was. I could not google it either.

A Cleaner Look

I have opted for a cleaner look for pearlie gates and made some changes - except that I have not used the layout section of the blog for such a long time that I have forgotten much of what I have learnt before. I made a mistake and lost most of what I had in the side bar, and I cannot get the revolving labels to work ... I wonder why?

pearlie

Buddhist Meditation

Ah! I have finally managed to complete my paper on Buddhism and submitted it this morning. I was so sure I was going to forgo this one again as I have given up on the last two, one on "Paul Perspective on Justification" and another on "History and Theology of the Exile". I didn't mind not completing the one on justification but I wished I stuck with the exile paper. But never mind ... it was tough going at that time.
I picked the topic on meditation, got some books and journal articles, did some reading, and interviewed two practising Buddhists, one from Mahayana Buddhism and the other from Theravada Buddhism - I have certainly learnt quite a bit about the subject and the religion. I started off wondering what Christian meditation is too! And ended off concluding that we are no where near them in terms of it being a discipline.

I don't publish my paper online but if you would like to have a read, you could pm me.

pearlie