One of the things that I believe the so called traditional evangelical church of today is missing a strong relationship component. Not the time to try to expand too much on this but I do not want my life (or that of my local church) to go the way of "better" programs and activities and lose the personal touch, the individual and people / community focus. I think it is vital that as a pastor I be able to relate and be accepted by people outside the church (while still being "separate").
In a way, it's not difficult, but in a way it is also difficult... It's not difficult in the sense that everyone is made in the image of God. No matter how "different" a person may seem to be, we all share many common attributes that naturally allow us to connect with one another. What's is often difficult is making the "right connections". Often, what makes it difficult for me is my introverted nature (and I suspect strange as it sounds, deep insecurities) and the reality that genuine relationships takes time to build.
I find it interesting that despite the very real barrier of living amongst people of a different culture, there is so much commonality. Anyway, enough rambling on this ....
My level of table tennis has dropped badly. Have not played properly in a long time and yesterday was beaten lost by a couple of juniors in the school team. This is bad :-( Not in terms of ego but I need to up my game if I am going to be of practical help to them. Now where can I get in some decent practice? I am still not used to the new 11 game, 2 points change service system. Not enough time for an old guy like me to analyse the game style. And my bi-focals are not helping either :-) But it is nice that I am slowly getting to know some of the youth better.
Working on 2010's pulpit ministry has been interesting (though a bit tedious). Evaluating speakers and working out the schedule is not easy. It is going to be hard to cater for everyone as our church is so diverse in spiritual maturity, age, cultures and command of the English language. But the good part is, that it is very educational for me. I think I might be preaching more in 2010 and doing mini series as well ...
I am reaching the stage where I almost do not want to read any more news on Malaysian politics. It is so depressing and sometimes I even get angry. Even with the UMNO controlled (not led) government's decision to prosecute some of the cow head protesters (after dragging their feet and even defending them), I will not be surprised if they are acquitted or just given a slap on the wrist and the whole affair just brushed off as insignificant. Just look the photo of the six who are being charged. Repentant? Somber? Nah ... laughing, cocky and victorious! I suspect they know from past experiences, that with time and political manipulation, everything turns out ok. ..
I can tell that Malaysia is in a really bad way when a pro-government newspaper's online portal has no choice but to have such headlines ...
September 10, 2009
Human rights violations continue to occur almost on a daily basis in Malaysia, said Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman. As an advisory body without executive power, he said there was nothing Suhakam could do to ensure the Government responded to and acted upon on its recommendations -- the solution lay in the hands of Malaysian voters.