You are on page 1of 36

CAN LOVE TURN TO RAGE?

GOLD COAST BEYOND THEME PARKS TIM HUGHES ALBUM REVIEW YOUTH CAMP PHOTOS

line
MARCH 2008
A PublicAtion by AlDeRSgAte MethoDiSt chuRch
MicA (P) 062/08/2007

活力线

evil
IS THERE REALLY SO MUCH IN TECHNOLOGY?
THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

WE SP ON Y
PS BER NARD

PLUS!

A DAY WITHOUT TECH. POSSIBLE? ARE YOU A NARCISSISTIC BLOGGER?

IS GOOGLE GOD?

co contentS
MAR.
COVER STORY

TWENTY ZERO EIGHT ISSUE SEVEN

LET THE WORD BE YOUR TECH MANUAL
With easy access to the internet, many churches have a powerful online presence. of course there are others who are addicted to the internet and computer gaming. Pornography too, is so easily available. how do we make the best out of technology rather than fighting it?

13 Is Google god?

FEATURES

Alvin chua embarks on an experiment to find out if the claims of the church of google are true. gracia chiang looks at the conundrum christians face in the world of the blogosphere.

15 Who Are You Blogging For? COVER STORY

10
Technology can be used to draw us nearer to God, or it can lead you away from God.

PAGE

23

Stripped - From Technology

Fay yeo journals what it is like to live for a day without touching her handphone, iPod or computer.

REGULARS
5

AROUND ALDERSGATE

As we bid farewell to familiar faces in the church, we also welcome new ones. A chinese member shares about night lessons in trinity theological college. A look beyond the regular theme parks in gold coast Australia. We suss out restaurants that serve up good ol’ home-cooked food.

29 LIFE STORIES

25 TRAVEL TALES 31 ALL ACCESS

cover illustrations by MARCUS HUANG

FOREWORD
编辑的前言
科技-有人对它百般赞扬并无 抑制的去追求;有人对它感到畏惧 和不信任。在现代的新加坡,我们 technology — some rave about and pursue 都乐意或无奈的接受了一个事实- it relentlessly; some are fearful and distrust 我们 不能 在没 有科 技的 情况 下生 it. in modern Singapore, whether gladly or 活,除非全球暖化问题把人类打回 reluctantly, we are resigned to the fact that 石器时代。 unless global warming knocks us back to the 我父母和祖父母那一代的生活 stone age, it is practically impossible to live 很大程度上受到收音机、电视和电 without technology. My grandparents’ and parents’ lives were 话的 影响 。我 那一 代则 是音 乐电 shaped to a large extent by the radio, television 视、录像机和walkman随身听。如 as well as the telephone. My generation had 今这 一代 所拥 有的 新科 技种 类繁 MtV, video recorders and the walkman. the 多,是前所未有的。这是属于互联 generation today is unprecedented in terms 网、iPod、 iPhone、影像下载和社 of the vast amount of technology available to 交网络等等的一代。 it. to this generation belongs the internet, 那科技到底是人类的福 the iPod, the iPhone, on-demand 星还是祸根呢?就如任 streaming videos, social networks PLEASE 何工具,若是理解或 and the list goes on and on. WRITE TO US AND 使用错误,它将会使 So is technology a TELL US HOW YOU 我们生活失去重点、 boon or a bane? like any FEEL. E-MAIL US AT 品德和使命感。好 tool, if mismanaged or liveline@aldersgate.sg misunderstood, it can rob us of 好使用它,我们将会 our sense of priority, character WE’D LOVE TO HEAR 体验个人和共同的成 and mission. use it well and FROM YOU 长与发展。 you’ll experience personal and 至于教堂,基督教徒 corporate growth and development. 在把不变的佳音带给变幻 For the church, should technology 无常的一代时,应否因科技而改变 change the way christians bring the 传教方式?我们该如何管理科技的 unchanging message of the good news to 使用?在这一期的《活力线》,请 this constantly changing generation? how 阅读牧师对科技的看法,向Gracia should we manage technology? in this issue 学习如何把科技应用于伸延服务, of liveline, read Pastor’s view on technology, 和追踪Fay的二十四小时“禁科 learn how gracia uses it for outreach and 技”生活实验。 track Fay’s 24-hour technology fast. if technology has changed you, for better 如果科技改变了你,不论是好 or worse, do share your experience. or if 是坏,我们欢迎你分享你的经验。 you’ve a different perspective on this topic, 或许你对这个课题有另一番见解, email us liveline@aldersgate.sg 请电邮:liveline@aldersgate.sg byby Leslie Chiang LESLIE CHIANG

eDitoR’S

EDITORIAL TEAM
Advisor Editor-in-Chief Editors Pastor chiang Ming Shun leslie chiang Shirley Pee Andrew Ang Derrick ho geraldine Ang gracia chiang loh Ka Wai Rudy Wong teresa chong tiffany Ang yee Minyi yip Poh lin Pastor chiang Ming Shun Alvin chua eric chiok Fay yeo Paulette Khoo tang Shuk yee tan Jia Rong trudy tay 林志刚 叶定 杨正轮 Marcus huang

Contributors

Sub-editor

if you have enjoyed reading ‘liveline’ and want to contribute a short write-up on your bible reflections, your Pastoral care group (Pcg) activities or even share some ‘favourite makan places’ or a great place to shop, do drop us an e-mail to let us know. We’ll be most happy to liaise with you for your valued contributions. you can send your contributions to liveline@aldersgate.sg

CONTRIBUTION OF ARTICLES

line
liveline is a publication of Aldersgate Methodist church, Singapore. Views expressed in liveline are the contributors’ and do not necessarily reflect that of the church or the editorial team. Materials in liveline may only be reproduced with permission from the editorial team or the contributors. Printed by Pica Digital Pte ltd MAR 08 liveline

01

GLENN LIM is an inspiring role model and gifted public speaker. As a young rock musician, he came close to a life sentence for importing drugs in his youth. thankful for his second chance, he has made good and has since served as an itinerant keynote speaker, trainer, counsellor and ambassador. glenn has been recognised for his efforts in youth outreach and rehabilitation through his many diverse creative platforms, working closely with many government and community agencies.

PASTOR ANDY LOH is a young and dynamic leader with a passion for children and families. he heads the Sidang injil borneo Kuala lumpur, SibKl’s children’s church. Andy began his ministry years back in Alor Star, Kedah where he served in Superkids church under the guidance and leadership of Pastor clarine chun. in the recent years, god has been using him to impact many children and children workers throughout the country with his gift of communicating god’s truth.

REFLECTION

PAStoRAl

SOME THINGS JUST DON’T CHANGE
FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR CHIANG MING SHUN

What a completely new year this is turning out to be! there are new faces in the office. not only did Pastor bernard leave us, the chinese preacher eddie goh also left. We now have a new chinese preacher, Mrs cheryl chan, and a new staff member in charge of Pastoral care groups, Mrs Paulette Khoo. We will also welcome two new student interns in the church office, Ms Joyce huang and Mr Shawn Ang. And the theological student we support in trinity theological college, Ms teresa Wilborn, will graduate to follow god’s direction for ministry. Plans are also underfoot to renovate the church. We can look forward to a new office, new rooms and a new paint job! but our mission and vision remain the same. We aim to impact lives, both in church and in our world. So this year our church theme is, “Pursue Righteousness”. We take this from Philippians 3:7-11 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for

the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. We want every single member to lead lives worthy of our faith, every single member to be serving faithfully. christianity is not a spectator sport! the sermon topic at our church anniversary is “Pursue Righteousness”. our church camp’s theme is “Pursue Righteousness”. All church committees and ministries will be working towards this aim. how about you? Why don’t you join us in this journey of discovery and growth? god has so much to offer us in abundant living, so let’s live for him!

We want every single member to lead lives worthy of our faith, every single member to be serving faithfully. Christianity is not a spectator sport!

MAR 08 liveline

03

Tired? Need rest? Come to the Fire Place Healing Service. The quarterly “Our God Heals” service was kicked off last March. Since then, many have been healed — physically, emotionally and spiritually. Lives were set free and restored by faith in Jesus’ name. Isaiah 53:4-5 tells us that “Jesus took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” for “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities…the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are HEALED.” If you’re in pain, ill, beset with the difficulties of life, want release from physical, emotional and relational problems or just tired; come find rest in Jesus, the Great Physician. Come experience the healing touch of the Lord.

有些事是 永而不变

好个全新的一年!   不只是赵伟君牧师走了,华文部的伍显芬传道也走 了,办公室里出现一些新的面孔,华文部来了曾惠良传 道,新职员王秋英负责牧养关怀小组,还有一个实习生 黄宇欣。 我们资助的三一神学院学生Ms Teresa Wilborn就要 毕业,并将遵循上帝的指引去事工。   我们也计划装修教堂,并期待着新的办公室、新的 活动室及新的墙色。不过,我们的宗旨和愿景不变,目 标是在教堂内和社会各个角落影响生命。   今年,我们教堂的重点是“追求正义”,它取自腓 立比书3:7-11。 “只是我先前以为与我有益的,我现在因基督都当 作有损的。不但如此,我也将万事当作有损的,因我以 认识我主基督耶稣为至宝。我为祂已经丢弃万事,看作 粪土,为要得着基督。并且得以在祂里面,不是有自己 因律法而得的义,乃是有信基督的义,就是因信神而来 的义。使我认识基督,晓得他复活的大能,并晓得和他 一同受苦,效法他的死。或者我也得以从死里复活。” 我们要每个基督徒凭借信仰,有意义的生活。每个 教会成员都能一心一意侍奉上帝,因为基督徒不能只旁 观而不参与。   我们教堂今年周年纪念的经文主题是“追求正义” ,我们教堂的假日营主题也是“追求正义”。教堂的所 有活动小组和事工,也都会朝这个方向筹划。   你呢?为什么不和我们一起参与这个发现与成长的 过程?上帝赐予我们很多,让我们能丰盛的生活,因此 让我们用生命来荣耀主。

fire place
Healing Service

fire place

Saturday, 5 April 2008 5 to 7pm Aldersgate Methodist Church

Our God Heals

04 liveline MAR 08

FREEDOM IN CHRIST SEMINAR

ARounD
AlDeRSgAte
HAPPENINGS IN AND AROUND CHURCH

Respond to God not just as an intellectual; but also as a human being

PARKED IN FREEDOM
When it comes to finding freedom in christ, who better to address and teach this than Dr. Dave Park. on 29-30 Dec, in partnership with campus crusade for christ, Aldersgate Methodist church hosted Dr. Dave Park, who spent two days with us teaching on the topic of freedom in christ and breaking free from bondage. having co-authored a number of books with neil Anderson on the topic, he greatly blessed us. our worshippers were also very ministered through his Sunday sermon. besides helping us understand and live victoriously based upon our identity and inheritance we have as children of god, Dr. Park also held two separate sessions first with parents and then with the youth leaders from youthphoria.

ALDERSGATE

AROUND

CAMELOT

CONQUERING
FIVE DAYS. nine warring houses. 96 brave knights. All in the Quest for camelot. last December, youthphoria’s annual camp ended on another high. With a record number of campers and in an inaugural collaboration between youthphoria and the children School, new friendships were forged and others strengthened. Most importantly, theme talk speakers Pastor bernard chao and his wife, Ai Jin, issued a challenge to the youths to reflect on their identity in christ and grow deeper roots of faith. — Gracia Chiang

YOUTH CAMP 2007

ODES TO JOY
The following were baptised by immersion on 15 Dec 2007
• chae Meng Kern • chua chong yuan Alvin • goh inn Peng • lam Woei Xi, Sarah Kathleen • lim-chua Sok hwee • liu li Jia • loh Jun hao • loh Jun Ming • chung Kim chuan, Michael • chung-yap Siew tin • Kang Min Rui, Diana • goh Ming hui, Kenneth • goh Wei yi, Joanne • yee Minyi, Maegan • tung hui chung, Dennis • John howe • chung yong Xiang • chung Zheng Sheng • chung Si yee, Rachel • lim yi en ian • Sui yihao Abraham • Sui yijie Alexander • yeo Fay • yeo Ruth
outdoor activities were not only faithbuilding exercises but opportunities for them to encourage one another as they rooted for their teammates.

Dragon boating and having to build a raft out of pipes, ropes and barrels sure fostered unity among the campers.

the main highlight of the camp was finale night where houses huddled around a campfire, each presenting a short item.

06 liveline MAR 08

FAREWEL L PASTOR BERNARD

THE GREAT SPY EXPERIMENT

CALL US kaypoh, but we just needed to know if our expastor is fitting well into his new environment. because if he isn’t, then we might have an excuse to get him back to us. So liveline sent in our paparazzi TIFFANY ANG to find out how he is coping at trinity Methodist church.

ONE MORE TIME
Dear Aldersgate, Two and a half years have flown by so incredibly quickly, but, thanks be to God, also fruitfully. It has been an amazing adventure of faith, grace, and of love. I thank you all for welcoming my family and me with warmth and much love. I thank you even more for giving me the permission to minister with you and to you. Adding to that, you have also ministered to me. You have helped shaped me as a disciple of Christ and helped me in my spiritual formation as a pastor. I will be eternally grateful for that, and for your openness, your spiritual unity, your humility in the Lord and your patience towards me. AMC is poised to grow exponentially – both in depth of spirit, and scope of witness. Don’t blink now! Don’t settle for the mediocre. Live magnificently! Live as a people who understand and act according to a faith in a God who will do more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). So many people who come to AMC cannot help but experience your warmth, hospitality and the love of Christ in you, and they have written and testified to this. The challenge is to actively bring the aroma of Christ to AMC’s neighbours - the people living across the road, the thousands of workers and researchers in Biopolis as well as the offices cropping up around the Dover area. With many educational institutions in the vicinity, Aldersgate is well placed and endowed to serve as an unofficial “university chapel”. May the Lord amaze you as you take Him at His word – being both hearers and doers of His Word. Amen! Pastor Bernard

like in Aldersgate, Pastor bernard has to attend three services, every Sunday, ending his day of work at 1 pm.

before the end of the church service; Pastor bernard calls upon the congregation to spend a quiet moment with god.

“i want to get to know every church member’s name in the quickest time possible,” says Pastor bernard as he rushes to the door after the church service ends.

MAR 08 liveline

07

ALDERSGATE
2008年1月20日,主日崇拜结束 后,随之而来的是一张张令人回 味无穷的照片在荧幕上出现。弟 兄姐妹们嘹亮的歌声以及带着一 些眼泪的分享,用以欢送在雅德 门卫理公会 - 华文部服事了6年多 的伍显芬传道伉俪。 让我感恩的是,从弟兄姐妹的分 享中,看出他们明白传道与传道 娘对我们教会的那份关爱。当中 使我感触极深的,是章明舜牧师 说到伍传道是位祷告勇士,及振 邦兄言到传道的用心良苦。 大约3 - 4年前的一次祷告会, 当传道看见教会增长缓慢,弟兄 姐妹们火热欠佳。传道忽然一边 祈祷,一边哭泣。之后,维忠弟 兄带领我们为传道祷告。当时, 只有一个人,是跪在地上为传道 祷告。她是我们永远怀念的亚毛 姐。这位姐妹在大约2年前安息 主怀,她虽然才信主1-2年,却 是位笑口常开,喜乐满溢的年长 姐妹。在那次祷告会,上帝透过 这位姐妹,在属灵上给了我一 记“重重的耳光”。 一位年事已高的姐妹,竟然愿 意放下身端,跪着为一位比她年 轻的祷告。而我这位在教会长大 的基督徒,对上帝仆人的那一份 爱戴及尊重竟然远远不如一位才 信主1-2年的姐妹。一位为教会 流泪的祷告勇士,一个为我们哭 泣的牧者传道,他的那份爱心是 日月可鉴的。若问我这6年多, 在教会里对神有所亏欠的地方, 肯定少不了此事。 “温柔体贴,善解人意”用 以形容我们亲爱的传道娘,实不 为过。我想,这是神的恩赐,许 多弟兄姐妹(包括本人)极愿意 向她倾出心事。记得有一回,一 位弟兄因言有不慎,使小弟我数 日来为此事耿耿于怀。传道娘很 主动地向我伸出援手,给于安慰 和祷告。她就像我们的妈妈。对 于他们,吾众何其依依不舍。可 是,神的道路与意念远胜吾等千 万筹;与神国的鸿图大业相比, 咱们的儿女情长是何等微不足 道! 在此,深深祝福伍传道在三一 卫理公会的服事。原神继续以祂 的恩典伴随伍传道及传道娘前面 的事奉道路。在此也求神让我谨 记此教诲,希望雅德门卫理公会华文部的弟兄姐妹,能一样爱戴 及尊重即将来我们华文部服事的 新传道,尽所能给予他最大的支 持。 — 主内 叶定

AROUND

一我伍 显 位们芬 传 极的道 爱牧伉 俪 者

FAREWEL L EDDIE GOH

曾惠良传道自我简介
我来自长老会荣耀堂,就是我的丈夫(陈福长牧师)事奉的教会. 在全时间事奉之前,我在私人机构的人力资源部工作,直到主呼召我.我 就报名进入新加坡神学院接受神学和事奉装备,并在2000年完成道学硕 士课程. 毕业后,神带领我到一间浸信教会担任传道兼教会行政(2000~2003), 协助牧养青少年,妇女以及年长者.之后,我在众圣之家(疗养院)担任院牧 (2004~2007),牧养老弱者及职员,为他们预备每早的聚会及每主日的崇 拜,并与教会义工和神学院学生一起同工,向未信主的住院者及外籍职员 传福音. 感谢主引导我到雅德门教会服事祂.深盼神使用我领人跟随主耶稣,借 着我赐恩福.

WELCOM E CHERYL CHAN

08 liveline MAR 08

tech no logy
pg10-28
illustration by MARCUS HUANG

THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

A gift from God or modern day's evil? In this issue, we explore the big 'T' word. Whether you're a selfrespecting technophile, or a selfprofessed technophobe, one thing's for sure: There's no running away from technology and we'd be better off learning to make the best out of it rather than fighting it. What does the Bible say about using technology? Where can one find Christian resources on the Internet? Why does Google claim to be God? These and more in our tech special.

MAR 08 liveline

09

STORY

COVER

word
let the
THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

be your tech manual

by PASTOR CHIANG MING SHUN

The world has changed beyond imagination since I was a boy.
When i was in school, i was fascinated by gregor Mendel’s experiments in my biology textbook. he was an Augustinian monk in 19th century europe who discovered how genes worked as he selectively cross-bred pea plants. i was very impressed by Mendel’s attention to detail and his meticulous recording of data. twenty years after reading about him, i can still remember what he did. today, Mendel is considered the ‘father of genetics’ and genetic engineering is commonplace. Scientists have developed a calcium ‘super carrot’. by altering a gene in the carrot, they say that someone eating the modified carrot will absorb 41 percent more calcium than if they ate an ordinary carrot. Scientists are also working on broccoli to make it contain more sulforaphane. this compound may help people ward off cancer. During my teens, my parents gave my brothers and me a british Sinclair ZX81 computer. it was a small black box that i had to plug into our black-and-white television. it had no video card or sound card. it came with a small printer that used only expensive thermal paper. the ZX81’s RAM was all of a grand 1K. but i was mesmerised. i even learnt how to programme it to play a ping-pong game.

10 liveline MAR 08

Technology can be used to draw us nearer to God, or it can lead us away from God.

now, as i sit in front of my friend’s X-boX 360 playing “gears of War” with wireless controllers, i wonder at how technology has improved. how far we have come! our knowledge advances at a break-neck pace. the practical application of our new knowledge has improved the quality of life for many and made it very comfortable for those who can afford it. i say “those who can afford it” because this technology is not available to all. living in Singapore, we may be unaware of how privileged we are. We are generally well-off in Singapore, compared to many in the world. there are still a lot of poor and hungry people out there. not everybody has benefitted from the knowledge and technology explosion. And of course, from the dawn of time, not all technology has been peaceful. there have been great technological advances in weaponry and munitions, leading to unprecedented carnage in war. yet some argue that these advances have led to other peaceful inventions and i suppose there is some truth in this. technology is neutral - it can be used to give life, it can be used to kill. i heard of a woman who had assisted reproduction six embryos were implanted in her with the hope that one or two would develop. All six developed into foetuses. the doctors said it would be dangerous or impossible to deliver all six, so she aborted four babies. how do we decide such things? no wonder the late American 5-star general of the Army omar bradley once said: “the world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” We need standards and values to direct the

use of technology. We need guidance. Where better to get it than from the Word of god? Possibly quoting a popular saying of that time, the apostle Paul wrote in 1 corinthians 6:12-13,“‘everything is permissible for me’ - but not everything is beneficial. ‘everything is permissible for me’ - but i will not be mastered by anything.” he came to this point again four chapters later, “‘everything is permissible’ - but not everything is beneficial. ‘everything is permissible’ - but not everything is constructive.” (1 corinthians 10:23) in chapter 6, Paul was talking about moral values. in chapter 10, Paul was involved in a debate about whether christians should eat food offered to idols. his concern throughout was our christian witness. While Paul was talking about food and culture, we can easily apply that to technology today. We have to recognise that not all uses of technology are beneficial and that we should not be mastered by technology. technology can enable us to do many things, but it is there to fit our agenda, not to drag us along dark unmapped roads. instead of using technology to exploit the world and benefit only certain groups of people, we should use technology to transform the world for good, for the betterment of all humans. technology can be used to draw us nearer to god, or it can lead us away from god. With easy access to the internet, many churches have a powerful online presence. you can hear sermons or read devotions online. if you want to find out how a hymn or a song sounds like, the internet is there to help. if you want to find out what a full, traditional service sounds like, online digital radio is just a few clicks away. there are also all kinds of bible software available. you can improve your bible knowledge, even learn a biblical language. of course there are others who are addicted to the internet and computer gaming. Pornography, too, is so easily available. Maybe one way out is for parents to exercise more control over the technology. children may be far better at mastering technology, but parents should guide them in how it should be used. We should continually be asking ourselves, “is this technology beneficial and constructive? how can i use it to improve my walk with god? how can i use it to benefit others?” As Paul put it in 1 corinthians 10:33, “For i am not seeking my own good, but, the good of many, so that they may be saved.” let’s do likewise.

MAR 08 liveline

11

STORY

COVER

让圣经成为你 的科技指南
章明舜牧师
当我还是个小孩子的时 候,这个世界的发展就已 经超乎想像。 求学时期,我对生 物课本中孟德尔(Gregor Mendel)的实验深感兴 趣。这名19世纪的奥地利 修士,对不同品种的豌豆 进行长期的杂交实验后, 发现了遗传定律。我对孟 德尔细致入微的观察、记 录和分析,留下深刻的印 象,因此阅读他的研究20 年后,还是对他的研究, 记忆犹新。 今天,孟德尔被誉 为“现代遗传学之父”, 而遗传工程也受到认同。 最近就有美国科学家表 示,已培育出一种转基因 的超级萝卜,并声称和普 通萝卜相比,吃新种萝卜 可吸收多41%的钙质。科 学家也正在研究椰菜花 的“改造”,让它含有更 多的莱菔硫烷,一种可能 有助预防癌症的化学物 质。 记得少年时期,父母 给我们兄弟几人一台英国 的Sinclair ZX81电脑,那 是个小小的黑箱,必须驳 接到电视上,它没有视频 卡和音效卡,配套的打印 机也只能用昂贵的纸张打 印。然而,我还是被这台 记忆容量只有1K的电脑 迷住,甚至学会如何编写 程序,在电脑上玩乒乓游 戏。如今,我已能坐在朋 友的X-BOX 360游戏机 前,用遥控器玩着“Gear of War”,现代科技真是 一日千里! 我们正以空前快速的 进度获取知识,新知识的 运用也提升了很多人的生 活素质,但不是每个人都 可以获得新科技的便利, 我们也许没有意识到,住 在新加坡有多么幸福。 和世界许多地方相 比,新加坡人一般上过得 不错。放眼世界,很多人 仍面对贫困和饥饿的煎 熬,不是人人有机会接触 知识和科技。当然,也不 是所有的科技都会给人类 带来和平,好比武器开发 上的高科技,就在战场上 引发空前的杀戮。有人会 争辩说先进科技也带来有 利和平的发明,这确实也 有些道理。 科技是中立的,可以 用来救人,也可用来杀 人。我听说有个妇女,被 植入6个受精卵,本是希 望其中一两个能成功,但 结果6个都成长为胎儿。 医生认为要让全部生下来 会有危险,或者说是不可 能的,于是妇女将其中4 个堕胎。究竟,我们是如 何作出决定的? 难怪美国5星上将布拉 德利(Omar Bradley)这 么说:“世界有辉煌的成 就,卻沒有智慧;具有能 力,卻失去良心。我们的 世界虽是个核子巨人,但 在道德上却和婴儿无异。 我們对战争所知的比和平 更多,知道残杀更过于生 命。” 我们需要一套标准和 价值来指导科技的使用, 我们需要指引。还有哪 里,可找到比上帝的话语 更好的指引? 使徒保罗在哥林多前 书6:12-13中写道:“凡 事我都可行,但不都有 益处。凡事我都可行,但 无论哪一件,我总不受它 的辖制。”他在4个章节 之后,再次提醒:“凡 事都可行,但不都有益 处,凡事都可行,但不都 造就人。”(哥林多前书 10:23) 保罗在第6章谈论了道 德观,并在第10章对基 督徒是否应吃祭拜过偶像 的祭品进行辩论。他所关 注的是我们必须为神作见 证。 虽然,保罗说的是食

物和文化,但我们可以此 类推,用在今日的科技 上。我们必须认识到,不 是所有的科技都有益处, 我们不能受科技辖制。科 技可以促成很多事,但它 的存在是为我们办事,而 不是把我们拖进黑暗无名 的道路。于其用科技开发 世界后,只有少数人受 惠,还不如用科技把世界 改造成一个有益全人类的 地方。 科技可以用来拉近我 们和上帝的距离,也能使 我们远离上帝。由于轻而 易举就能上网,许多教会 都有很完善的网站,你可 以在网上听道或读经。如 果你想知道某一首圣诗或 歌曲的旋律,网上就能得 到帮助。又或者你想知道 传统的崇拜是怎样的,网 上数码广播在弹指间就能 给你答案。网上还有各种 软件,让你进一步了解圣 经,甚至学习圣经用语。 当然,也有人因为科 技而沉迷于网际网路和电 脑游戏,还有伸手可得色 情照片。也许其中一个办 法是家长加强管制,就算 孩子是科技上的高手,家 长还是可以指导他们如何 正确的使用。 我 们 必 须 不 断 自 省,“这科技是有益处和 可造就人的吗?我要如何 用它来改善和上帝的关 系?我要如何用它来帮助 他人?”正如保罗在哥林 多前书10:33中说的:“ 我不求自己的益处,只求 众人的益处,叫他们得 救。” 让我们也遵行圣经的 教导。

12 liveline MAR 08

THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

IS GOOGLE GOD?MAYBE.

can google be god? Matt MacPherson thinks so. in fact, he is so convinced that he started the church of google. i, on the other hand, beg to differ. on its official website, there are nine assertions about google’s divinity. “We at the church of google believe the search engine google is the closest humankind has ever come to directly experiencing an actual god”, are the introductory words on its homepage. let’s begin with the most intriguing assertion, which professes that google answers prayers. “Ask google and She will show you the way”, the website declares. Ask any question and google will furnish you with a list of websites that might contain the information you are looking for. taking up the challenge, i googled “healing for my sprained knee”. Short of expecting a miraculous healing of my knee, i was hopeful for at least possible or constructive suggestions. the top result was a blog entry about a sprained knee. At least i know i’m not the only person with a sprained knee. not quite an answer to my prayers though. i then googled “i need rest and peace” which listed morbid answers such as “rest in peace” because of its inability to process conjunctions such as ‘and’. All these go to show that if we ask for something more specific, google cannot help. i’m thankful that our god works differently. google merely points at possible answers without knowing our true desires but god meets our deepest needs. he doesn’t simply answer any of our whimsical prayers. As once pointed out by Pastor Ming Shun, god gives us what we should have prayed for. When we pray for

by ALVIN CHUA

patience, god gives us opportunities to cultivate our patience instead of patience itself, a prime example of our almighty god working in our lives.. the website also asserts that google is the closest thing to an omniscient entity. there is some truth in this, but knowing all facts on the internet does not make one omniscient. to be omniscient means to know all that happened in the past, all that is happening now and all that will happen in the future. While google might know the past and present, it can hardly predict the next person to turn up on MSn, much less shape the future of every single person on earth. A next claim attempts to prove that google is omnipresent. however, it does admit that google will only be omnipresent when Wi-Fi networks enable all people to access the search engine from anywhere on earth. Fortunately for us christians, our god is contactable from all locations, all the time. All you need is a prayer, no equipment required. yet another claim states that google is potentially immortal because “she cannot be considered a physical being”. because it is spread across countless servers and its damaged servers can be replaced by another, google will never die. how ironic. having to be so reliant on mortal employees to maintain one’s immortality is quite unbecoming of a god. on the other hand, our god is eternal. isaiah 26:4 says, “trust in the lord forever, for the lord, the lord, is the Rock eternal.” Finally, Matt and other believers argue that google exists and the amount of evidence that proves its existence is far more sub-

stantial than that which proves the existence of any other god worshipped today. Seeing is believing, no faith required, it says. if only it were as easy to lay claim to divinity. Jesus said in John 20:29, “because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” For all its claims, the church of google is not affiliated with google inc, the company that maintains the search engine. isn’t it sad that the entity that you worship does not acknowledge your existence? like an illegitimate child with no share of the father’s inheritance, is there hope in worshiping a search engine that cannot do more for you beyond a network signal? My faith stems from a personal relationship with the Son of god. i am a child of god.

CAN GOOGLE MATCH UP WITH GOD?YOU DECIDE
Here are some of the claims on thechurchofgoogle.org website that argues why Google is God
GooGle is potentially immortal. She cannot be considered a physical being such as ourselves. her algorithms are spread out across many servers; if any of which were taken down or damaged, another would undoubtedly take its place. google can theoretically last forever. GooGle remembers all. google caches webpages regularly and stores them on its massive servers. in fact, by uploading your thoughts and opinions to the internet, you will forever live on in google’s cache, even after you die, in a sort of “google Afterlife”. GooGle can “do no evil” (omnibenevolent). Part of google’s corporate philosophy is the belief that a company can make money without being evil. AccordinG to google trends, the term “google” is searched for more than the terms “god”, “Jesus”, “Allah”, “buddha”, “christianity”, “islam”, “buddhism” and “Judaism” combined. god is thought to be an entity in which we mortals can turn to when in a time of need. google clearly fulfils this to a much larger degree than traditional “gods”. evidence of google’s existence is abundant. there is more evidence for the existence of google than any other god wor-

shiped today. Surf over to www.google.com and experience for yourself google’s awesome power. no faith required.

14 liveline MAR 08

WHO AREYOUSELF OR OBSESSION BLOGGINGMINISTRY PLATFORM FOR?
by GRACIA CHIANG

THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

I

So when i set up my second one a year later, i set a clearer vision it is not just e-mail accounts that need passwords nowadays. i this time. it is a site where i look at the world through the lenses have at least two friends who have “locked up” their blogs in an of a christian. i love to write — so blogging fits perfectly as an attempt to screen eyeballs, only revealing the secret key to those evangelism tool. yet i don’t want to alienate non-christian readers, whom they want reading their most intimate thoughts. that is so i keep the religious epiphanies minimal. i believe that if you certainly one way of approaching blogs, but i choose to go down pique the interest of your readers with common ground, they will a different road. be more willing to listen to your nuggets of christian perspective While i don’t go around waving my uRl in strangers’ faces, i am in small doses. more than happy to share it with anyone who asks. Knowing that My blog is an archive of experiences. there, i chronicle my i am reaching out to a wider audience than just my friends helps ups and downs through pictures, jokes, travel stories and more, me to be accountable for what i write. it reminds me to be thankful for the smallest of blessings that have come my way in the past week. it reminds me not to throw I kNOW PEOPLE WHOSE BLOG ExISTS TO FEED a pity party because that is not what a victorious THEIR NARCISSIST DESIRES WITH PHOTO AFTER christian life is about. it reminds me to use it as a PHOTO OF THEMSELvES FROM EvERY ANGLE platform to affirm and encourage those i love. POSSIBLE. yet i have friends whose blogs are emotional outlets for spewing vulgarities because typing isn’t throwing in, every now and then, how god has been faithful. as bad as uttering them. i’ve come across blogs with rants that can this shows that christians have fun too! i try to be honest and go three page-long. i know people whose blog exists to feed their candid about my feelings. i want to illustrate how christians are narcissistic desires with photo after photo of themselves from still humans and will go through moments of pain, stress and every possible angle. loneliness like everyone else. the conundrum for christians with a blog really, is what kind but what i am careful to do is share how god is present with of content to put onto the blogosphere. Post lengthy paragraphs me in the midst of all that. yes, i struggle in life but i find joy and about why others should know christ and the label of ‘holy Joe’ strength in god, my comforter. will stick, with no one ever taking a second glance at your blog. Striking the right balance in content is no easy task, but at least talk about your life without the mention of god, and you are no i know what direction i’m headed in. i will never put the chains on different from the sea of secular blogs out there. my blog because that will defeat its raison d'etre. it is my shot at it all boils down to what you want to achieve on your blog. using new media for witness and outreach. My first blog in 2004 ended up being a whiny soapbox where What will you use your blog for? i lamented about school, my tuition kid and other responsibilities.

MAR 08 liveline

15

the devil
THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

IS IN THE EMAIL
byTANG SHUK YEE

16 liveline MAR 08

If the devil ever had favourite haunts, they have got to be: one, behind the wheels and two, in cyberspace.
the former is an open and well-known fact and requires no further elaboration. every regular Singaporean driver, including godly christians, had his day of cursing and swearing at those take-your-own-sweettime pedestrians, the cut-into-my lane taxi uncle and the don’t-know-what-she’strying-to-do lady driver. the angel-turned-devil syndrome is, however, not unique to drivers. With the convenience of email and SMS (short messaging system), human relationships have increasingly been reduced to virtual, impersonal and frequent exchanges of bits and bytes, culminating in a unique phenomenon of global connectivity, yet local disconnectedness. A grand academic discourse? this is but an encapsulation of what is being played out every day in our homes and offices. Recently, the Sunday times hunted down two sisters who represent a new generation of cyber socialites, whose KPi (Key Performance indicator) is popularity, measured by the number of friends collected on their Friendster, Multiply, MSn, or other online networking sites. in the case of these two sisters, who are mere teenagers, they have a combined collection of 16,000 friends, and new ones are being added every day.

global connectivity alright, but auld lang syne to the good ol’ soulmate. And if this example seems dramatic, we can look closer to the way we have used email and sms to replace phone calls, meetings and walking over to a fellow colleague’s workplace. if you find yourself emailing a colleague who sits right next to you, you know you have caught the bug. As human interactions are increasingly conducted with ease over the distant and aloof cyber-world, observers bemoan the rise of flaming in written communications. Flaming occurs when one user sends another an angry and/or antagonistic message. While talking in person or over the phone discourages exaggerated hostility or impolite outbursts, typing an unhappy message to another person is far easier. that is probably when the evil one will smirk and say, “gotcha!” christians are called to love thy neighbour as thyself. i believe this message is as relevant in days of horse-drawn carts as it is in today’s world of gigabytes and intel chips. yet, how often have we fallen into the email trap, deceived by the seemingly emotionless and anonymity of the tool, and in the process losing all grace and love? i have personally received countless cold and even curt-sounding emails from good people, christians and non-christians. What went wrong? Perhaps, they thought emails do not carry emotions. Perhaps, they prefer to keep emails emotionless. or yet, perhaps, they thought one ‘shouldn’t read too much into it’. i beg to differ. i know many friends who have agonised over seemingly cold or nasty emails and SMSes from people they love or care about. in James 1:26, James exhorted us to “control our tongues”. in the context of new communications, perhaps we can extend this to typewritten text as well. As a community, we can practise graciousness and love toward each other, giving glory and honour to our lord Jesus even in the virtual realm.

Is godly email possible? Can one convey grace and love through SMS? Here are 10 suggestions to increase the graciousness index in our cyber communications:
Never reply a SMS or email in your anger. once sent, like words spoken, they are irreversible. Mending the hurt later is akin to gluing pieces of a broken mirror. Try to address the person by ‘Dear/ hi XXX’, using his/her name as much as possible, especially in the first email/ SMS. Be diplomatic and tactful in your choice of words. Words like ‘may’ and ‘could’ are useful in softening a negative tone. Phrases like ‘you may want to consider…’ are especially helpful when giving comments or suggestions. Picture your recipient when typing a SMS or email. by having a face to it, it reduces the likelihood of your degeneration into cold and impersonal sentences. Always affirm the good in the email or SMS. Say something like: “your proposal is very concise and clear. Perhaps you may want to consider some fine-tuning here…” Typing ‘sorry’, ‘please’ and ‘thanks’ never hurt anyone. Avoid single action words such as ‘Reply.’, ‘explain.’, ‘Respond.’ as they sound commanding. Pay attention to the use of punctuation. A ‘…’ tends to tone down a comment while a ‘!’, not to mention ‘!!!’ accentuates it. For informal emails, try using simple emoticons to convey emotions. Adding a ‘:)’, ‘;)’ or ‘:P’ immediately uplifts the mood of the email or SMS. Put in some ‘energy’ in your emails/ SMSes. consider ‘thanks.’ and ‘thanks!’ Which seems more thankful?
This article was first published in the December issue of Faithlink, a magazine of Faith Methodist Church.

MAR 08 liveline

17

wo
THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

基督徒与 科技的反思
林志刚
18 liveline MAR 08

在科技日新月 异,几乎每天都 有新的科技产品 推出。身为基督徒的我们,也无 可避免的被卷入这一潮流当中。 科技标榜着让人们可以活得更舒 适、更方便。不论是个人、环境 或社会,科技都起了相当大的影 响力。现在,让我们来反思科技 如何促进我们基督徒的生活以及 其中的一些陷阱。 电视可以说是现代家庭中一 件非常普遍的电器。很多小孩子 在很小的时候就与它为伍。现代 的父母有时为了方便起见,就把 自己的子女“交托”给电视。而 孩子往往都被电视中色彩缤纷, 夸张渲染的卡通人物给吸引住。 年纪小小的孩童并不能分辨这些 卡通片中所传达的信息是否是正 确。如果他们花太多的时间看电 视,将会影响视力,也会影响头 脑的发育(因为脑袋缺乏思考) ,再加上通常卡通片的画面都很 快,这将导致儿童将来在学习上 面对不能集中的问题。不论是做 事或读书,现代的儿童在集中力 方面比上一代儿童差了许多。我 想这跟电视媒体有很大的关系。 所以父母在选择电视节目方面就 得非常谨慎了,如果在孩子年幼 的时候让他观看圣经卡通故事节 目,我想可以让他建立信仰的基 础,也能灌输他正确的价值观。 手机带给我们很多的便利, 让我们可以随时随地与他人取得 联系。现在的手机功能越来越 多:上网、听歌、看戏,样样都 能,将来肯定更先进。如果善用 手机可以让我们过得更美好,传 一封关怀的讯息给身边的朋友, 一句鼓励的话也能让别人拥有好 心情,何乐而不为呢?此外,一 些手机可以安装圣经软件,在等 车、上班或上学途中可以思考圣 经中的话语并得着智慧,也可以

听听讲道录音,让自己每日与主 同行。 在这个标榜个人主义的“i” 世代,人们变得越来越自 我。iPhone, iPod, 卖得满堂 红是因为广告无形中传达了拥 有“i”让自己更加出色、与众 不同。结果在这日新月异的科技 之下,人与人之间的距离确实被 拉近了,但更多的人单单顾念自 己的事,凡事以自我为中心。正 如提摩太后书3章2节所说“因 为那时人要专顾自己 、贪爱钱 财、 自夸 、狂傲 、谤渎 、违背 父母 、忘恩负义、心不圣洁” 。我们都要时时警惕这些末世的 征兆。还有,我想提醒各位弟兄 姐妹们应该更有智慧的使用神所 赐的金钱,并不是为了炫耀才冲 动买下。很多人都爱花钱买这些 科技产品,但他们都没有想想自 己到底需不需要。 现代人一旦有点闲空时间, 就会打开电视、电脑、游戏机 来“轻松”自己。适量的娱乐可 以为生活增添一些乐趣,但物极 必反。看太多电视,头脑会变得 不灵活,因为大多数的电视节目 都不需要用脑袋来思考,久而久 之我们就变得迟钝了。电脑,游 戏机,电视等,都让我们忙得“ 不亦乐乎”,一不小心我们与主 亲近的时间就越来越少了,这也 是现代科技产品对我们基督徒日 常生活的负面影响。现代人每天 一大早到公司就得面对一个小框 框 - 电脑。不论你是上班一族或 是在籍学生,电脑已成为我们生 活的一部分。虽说网际网络让我 们掌握了通往知识的大门,但是 我们最后得到的到底是有用的资 讯还是垃圾呢?因为网络里资讯 爆炸,若不谨慎分辨,到最后, 我们只浪费了更多的时间阅读一 些无聊的八卦新闻或游览色情网 页等,那我们与不信的人,又有 什么差别呢? 俗语说“水能载舟亦能覆

舟”,同样的道理身为基督徒的 我们要晓得凡事都能做但不都有 益处。有家庭的弟兄姐妹不妨试 一试在主日崇拜结束后,回家不 看电视,孩子不玩电脑,我相信 一家人肯定 有更多的时 间坐在一起 来沟通,一 来能促进彼 此间的关 系,也可以 跟神建立更 密切的关 系。 我们不 能只沉迷于 科技。须知 道科技只能 回答“能” 与“不能” 的问题,从 来不问是否 可以或不可 以,或者应 不应该。比 如说进行“ 人与兽的结 合”的研 究,在科技 上也许办得 到, 但是 在道德、原 则方面其实 是违反了创造主的自然原则。所 以将来如果遇到这些情况,身为 基督徒的我们要清楚表明我们的 看法和原则。 可以预见的是,将来科技与 我们的日常生活将会更加的密 切。我们应当像罗马书12章2节 所说的一样“不要效法这个世 界,只要心意更新而变化、叫你 们察验何为上帝的善良、纯全可 喜悦的旨意。”不论科技如何进 步,我们应当晓得如何有智慧的 使用,而不要沦为科技产品的奴 隶。
19

MAR 08 liveline

PLUGGING INTO
ONTHE INTERNET

THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

GOD’S POWER
Think the Internet is full of ungodly trash? Think again. Our editor-in-chief, Leslie Chiang, trawls through the Web and unearths some of these gems that Christians can cash in on.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Pornography is a major issue in today’s sex-crazed world and xxxchurch.com wants to tackle that. Dubbed the “#1 christian porn site”, this tongue-in-cheek website provides an open door for porn addicts to get help for their addiction and also to come to the knowledge of the saving work of Jesus christ. check out “Pure online”, a 30-day online recovery workshop complete with streaming video and study materials. Perhaps one of the best resources that this site offers is the really cool X3watch, a software available for free download on both Pc and Mac. When installed in one’s computer, it acts as an accountability buddy that records the date and time when you access a questionable site. An accountability partner of your choice will receive a notification email containing all questionable sites that you visited. this information is meant to encourage open and honest conversation between friends and help you in being accountable to another brother or sister for your online exploits.

xxxCHURCH.COM

EVANGELISM

For those of us who have a hard time locating a gospel site in chinese, this site is a god-send. if you still haven’t figured out, its name comes from the Mandarin translation of its english counterpart, www.lookingforgod.com. Renshishen is an attractively designed site that provides a clear presentation of the gospel for Mandarinspeaking pre-believers. one of the main attention-grabbers is the personal testimonies of popular artistes like taiwanese singersongwriter David tao and hong Kong tVb actress Ada choi. if you’re like me who ends up tongue-tied whenever it comes to sharing the gospel in Mandarin or dialect, a possible solution is to refer that friend to a site like this and follow up by asking what he or she thought about the site.

RENSHISHEN.COM

20 liveline MAR 08

LIFESTYLE

this website is chock-full with christian resources. From christiancentric topics like leadership in church and faith in the workplace, to more general ones like music, parenting, global warming and even the uS presidential elections. What i especially like is the movie review section. My favourite part comes at the end of each review where the writer throws out discussion questions in relation to the movie. i find these questions really good for pondering over and they serve as excellent conversation starters among those who have watched the show.

CHRISTIANITYTODAY .COM

PRAYER

WORSHIP

this is my favourite source of contemporary christian music when i get tired of my MP3 collection. Perfect if you need some music as you work on your computer. Available round-the-clock, enjoy familiar favourites from artists like Mercy Me, casting crowns and Stacie orrico.

955thefish.com

ever promised someone that you’ll pray for him and then realised much later that you’ve forgotten all about it? you will find echoprayer.com very helpful. the echo Prayer Manager is a web tool that allows you to key in prayer requests and set reminders for them. Registration is free and you’ll be given a virtual prayer organiser. For example, if you have committed to pray for a certain item every Wednesday, setting a reminder will prompt echo to send you an e-mail every Wednesday with the prayer item you have listed. there is also a built-in journal that allows you to record answered prayers. Prayer items you indicate as ‘Answered’ will automatically be captured in the journal. the developers have plans to include a new feature that will allow you to send prayer requests to your friends via e-mail — very useful for prayer coordinators!

ECHOPRAYER.COM

MAR 08 liveline

21

Stripped
THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

Who says you can’t fast from technology? We, the sadistic LiveLine team, challenged FAY YEO to go cold turkey for one day.

22 liveline MAR 08

January 20th
00:00
Just heard the clock strike twelve. It’s going to be a miserable day; I’ve agreed not to use my phone, computer or iPod. Imagine...24 whole hours :( Hmm...maybe I can make the day shorter by fast forwarding every clock I see by an hour or two; or maybe five. This reminds me, since I don’t have my phone I will have to constantly ask people for the time and I won’t have my phone’s six snooze alarms to wake me up for church.

18:09

Okay, maybe something good will come out of this. First, I actually did my homework. Then I left my Captain Ball’s game earlier than I would normally have since my family will have no way to inform me of dinner plans. When I got home, I almost turned on my computer to load pictures from my camera but stopped myself just in the nick of time! I didn’t use my camera at all today either.

Fay says:
WHAT AN ExPERIENCE.
Who would have thought i’d have so much trouble just staying away from technology? but it’s doing things like this that help people do a stock take of what they’ve been spending their time on. the computer can be highly beneficial if you’re surfing for educational purposes. What makes it “bad” is the constant usage of the computer even when we’re not doing anything.Maybe we’d say something like “i’ve got my social life to think of” but how much time do you spend talking to your friends online? And is it always those who are online that win the Ms. or Mr. Popularity award? Who counts the hours you are online? you might just seem like someone who has got nothing else better to do. i always have people telling me: “i always see you online” or “What else do you do other than going online?” What an insult! As for my mobile phone, i’ve got a habit of having it beside me even when i’m doing my Quiet time, and sometimes i even reply a message! but that’s gone now i either keep my phone on silent or leave it in another room. Spending time with god must go undisturbed! otherwise, how will we ever be able to hear what he has for us? For technology addicts: use the time usually spent on the computer or phone, reading a book. or spend time with god, take a walk, breathe in the fresh air, appreciate his creation. one day i will go on another fast like this and, this time, make sure i don’t break it. Maybe we should all have a day or two of technology fasting as a church!

00:15

18:30

I’m bored already!! And I have this urge to listen to my music. Sigh...a lousy alternative would be to sing to myself and hopefully not wake my brother and sisters who are sleeping in the same room : (

OH NO! Just realised I’m watching TV!! AHHHH...JUST KILLED MY TECHNOLOGY FAST DAY!!!!!!!!!!

19:55

09:15

Apparently I fell asleep after writing that smiley. But hey, I’m feeling ok! No urge to use my phone or anything else for now. Awesome! Ok, the truth is, I actually miss my computer. I wonder how many people noticed I wasn’t online or that I haven’t responded to their SMSes. WHAT IF NO ONE WANTS TO TALK TO ME ANYMORE?!

09:45

I was late for an appointment because I had NO PHONE to remind me.

11:00

Fay is a 15-year old whom God has blessed with many favours and talents. Like those in her generation, she lives and breathes technology; so much so that even she realises the need to re-focus. This challenge will certainly test her will to the limits.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I’ve decided to start hunting for presents this week. I think it’s easier to fast when I’m out. Next time I should plan a whole day’s worth of activities so I’d be so busy I wouldn’t have time to miss anything. I am still feeling very disturbed that I broke my fast…

22:07

Am really missing my music. I’m being driven to madness! Now I’ve to resort to enjoying my own singing :( My handphone is already by my side; ready to be switched on. Maybe my handphone misses me too. Didn’t realise how much I use it normally until today.

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!

13:30

I saw a friend using her phone and it didn’t feel good. I miss my music! CAN’T STUDY WITHOUT IT. A friend complained about not receiving my reply to her SMS; I’m usually the first to reply to her messages.

I just heard the clock strike 11pm! 1 MORE HOUR! I can hardly contain my excitement!

23:00

23:30

14:00

Half an hour more! Oh the joy of being able to touch my phone again. My fingers are really itchiiinng!

This is bad. I’ve resorted to doing my homework to get distracted...but...but..but…I NEED my music!

00:00 (Next Day)

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Check it out! 11 new messages! Wonder who messaged to say they’ve missed me. Time to reply!

MAR 08 liveline

23

OUT

Shout

TO JUST READ & LET LIVE?
By TRUDY TAY
it’s always nice to relax with the papers and a cuppa in the morning to catch up on world news and local happenings. Since i don’t have the luxury of time, i often end up scanning headlines and it’s pretty much the same issues over and over again. globally, people grapple with rising living costs, threat of recession, flood and famine, terrorism, war between neighbouring countries, environmental deterioration, etc. At home, we worry about our children’s education, retirement, rising transport and medical costs. And read with glee, the development of juicier news like the spat between quarrelsome neighbours, the high-flying professional who stole and the infidelity of a married man that led to violence and death, etc. So how should we, as christians, respond? Finish up our coffee and start the brand new day in the usual way? Read the papers with the bible in your other hand. Read the news with a sensitive heart to the things that happen around us. it is no coincidence that during the week when AMc anchored 24.7, our five speakers echoed one same point —“know what dwells in god’s heart”. how do the news affect our lives, our faith and our beliefs? how can we make the difference through prayer? What is our stand on contentious issues? Do we pray for god’s people to be bold and good witnesses? Pray for the church to make a difference in the community? Seek the lord for spiritual discernment as we read what’s published in the news and pray; enquire of the lord so that we

How do the news affect our lives, our faith and our beliefs? How can we make the difference through prayer?

will not be influenced by the opinions of the world. Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. then, you will be able to test and approve what god’s will is.” the one thing that came out strongly for me during the prayer week is that “ordinary people can do extraordinary things through prayer. (James 5:17) Pray deep. Pray persistently and unceasingly. Pray what is in god’s heart. Don’t look at people; seek and keep watch of the lord.”

24 liveline MAR 08

TALES

tRAVel

Gold Coast beyond
theme parks
By ANDREW ANG
Mention gold coast in brisbane, Australia, and chances are Dreamworld, Movie World, Sea World and Surfers’ Paradise quickly come to mind. last December, my family and i spent an enjoyable one-week vacation at this popular holiday destination and discovered there was more to see and do than just the sun, sea and theme parks. yes, the theme parks were great and the rides were awesome, at least for beverly, natalie and i. We had the thrill of our lives going ballistic on the likes of Superman escape – the 5-star rated rollercoaster that propels you from zero to 100 km/h faster than you can say “up, up and away” – and lethal Weapon, the ultimate hell-raiser that provides a lethal dose of adrenalin rush with its gut-spilling dives, bends, rollovers, side-winders, double-spins, loops and plunges. My wife geraldine, who’d rather have her feet firmly on the ground all the time, preferred to get her share of thrills observing the different forms of social behaviour on public display, such as that of a young chinese couple whose happy outing turned sour with a sudden and dramatic outpour of yelling, blame, invective, derision and sobs. interestingly, the spark that ignited the fireworks was one partner’s unhappiness over a photograph taken by the other.
MAR 08 liveline

25

TALES

tRAVel

Desert experience: laying foot on a seemingly infinite expanse of fine, soft sand.

Quad bike: biking is loads of fun on Moreton island.

Up close with dunes and dolphines
beyond the theme parks, we found other thrills and spills at tangalooma Wild Dolphins Resort on Moreton island, a short catamaran ride away from brisbane. During the day, a sand safari tour took us to tangalooma desert where we were greeted by a seemingly infinite expanse of fine, soft sand. our girls were thrilled about walking on a real sand dune for the first time. Sand tobogganing was a load of fun even though you might get a healthy dose of fine sand

in your mouth if you forget to zip it in the midst of your excitement. in the evening, the resort was abuzz with activities as tourists gathered and queued to get up close and personal with a group of bottlenose dolphins. these wild dolphins, much larger than those at our Sentosa Resort, apparently come to shore regularly every evening for their usual feed. in an orderly fashion, each of us was handed a fish which we then offered to one of the dolphins in exchange for a rare photo opportunity. Although we were strictly prohibited to touch them, such a closeproximity encounter with these friendly mammals was a unique experience for us all.

Toboganning: Also known as sandboarding, it requires keeping one’s mouth shut even when screaming. Wild dolphins: up close and personal with a bottlenose dolphin named bobo.

26 liveline MAR 08

Going for glow in the worms
back in brisbane, we joined a night tour to Springbrook national Park in search of glow worms. to me, this was one good educational tour. Armed with pencil-light torches, we trekked for more than an hour along a well-worn path in the dark of the rainforest, led by our guide who pointed out to us the many spots where we could find these unique insects. the glow worms, or more precisely, maggots of a mosquito-like fly, give off a bluish-green bioluminescence to lure their prey. the highlight (no pun intended) of the evening was the amazing

spectacle that awaited us upon our descent to a rocky overhang behind a small waterfall. there, in the pitch darkness of the small cavern, we witnessed a beautiful Milky Way of sorts, for all around us, on the ceilings and walls of the cavern, was a galaxy of tiny bluish-green lights. glow worms thrive on darkness, oxygen and moisture, and that cavern was their perfect breeding ground. During the trek, we caught sight of some nocturnal rainforest creatures, and also learned from the guide that tree vines twist in a clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere because of the earth’s spin. i have yet to verify the accuracy of this information though.

Photo by Phillie casablanca

Touch, taste and learn at tropical fruits paradise
i always thought macadamia nuts originated from hawaii till i visited tropical Fruit World, a 45 minutes’ drive from Surfers’ Paradise. this is home to the world’s largest variety of tropical fruits, including the Macadamia which is native to Australia and introduced into hawaii around 1881. After understanding more about the macadamia nuts, we were given the opportunity to pick up the nuts that had dropped from the trees and taste them raw after conquering the incredibly hard shells with the aid of nutcrackers. tropical Fruit World was both interesting and educational. After a brief introduction to a range of tropical fruits in season, visitors were encouraged to sample the freshly cut fruits before boarding a tractor coach to tour the vast plantation and orchards. other activities like a “jungle river cruise,” miniature train ride and a stopover to feed farm animals were also part of the package.

Macadamia nut: need to conquer the super-hard shell before you get to enjoy the delicious meat.

MAR 08 liveline

27

TALES

tRAVel

Chopper ride: An eagle-eye view of the land masses and water bodies around gold coast.

Above and beyond Dreamworld
it was at Dreamworld that geraldine and the girls had one of their dreams fulfilled, which is the experience of an eagle-view ride in a helicopter. it was not my first time in a chopper, but all the same, the bird’s eye view of the brisbane landscape with her pockets of land masses and water bodies was breathtaking and educational Five days were all we had in brisbane, and all too soon, it was time to head back to our daily grind. gerry, bev, nat and i had a most enjoyable and hassle-free vacation at the gold coast, and we thank god sincerely for this wonderful time of family bonding and sharing.

28 liveline MAR 08

STORIES

liFe

新修 神读 基心 督得 教杨 正 研轮 究 文 凭
在修读了两个 学期的《基督 教研究文凭》 ,感触良多。 希望在这里能 和大家分享我 心中的话。
在修读了两 个学期的《 基督教研究 文凭》,感 触良多。希 望在这里能 和大家分 享我心中


十多年的事奉生涯,酸甜苦 辣都有。神的恩典够我用,让我 仍然以热诚的心去事奉。我一直 有这样的心愿,希望能在神学 院参与夜校课程,提升我的事奉 素质。很感恩在我的朋友的鼓励 下,我报名了新加坡神学院的 《基督教研究文凭》。 此课程原则上是为新加坡本 地教会的长执/领袖而设,目的 为提供此等信徒领袖完整及高水 平的训练,使他们有机会接受类 似教牧同工们所接受的装备,以 促使教会的领导层能够更顺畅地 与教牧同工配搭、更有效率地推 动教会事工,进而使神学训练更 加普及化。课程内容包括圣经概 论、神学概论、门徒训练、基督 教教育、研经法、释经法、讲坛

事工、布道学等。 在这两个学期里,我共修读 了四个科目,分别为旧约信息精 华(二)、小组动力、研经法及 基督教教育概论。我第一次速读 《新译本》从旧约信息精华( 二)开始,旧约信息精华(二) 帮助我更了解智慧书和大小先知 书的背景和神学思想。小组动力 为我的小组事奉注入强心剂,让 我学习更多样化地带领小组,帮 助组员更健全地成长。研经法的 两大内容为归纳式查经法和字义

我也透过这个科 目和其它教会的 弟兄姐妹交流, 扩大我的视野 。
研究,感恩的是,我能应用所学 的于主日学教材;同时,学生们 也能明白并接受我的教学。基督 教教育周期是基督教教育概论的 课程内容,包括圣经的引导、年 龄特征、目标与目的、课程与节 目、教材与教法、行政与管理及 课程评估。我也透过这个科目和 其它教会的弟兄姐妹交流,扩大 我的视野。由于篇幅有限,我不 能详述这个课程给我的帮助和影 响。 现在知识水平普遍提升,时 代的考验严峻。我们需要更全面 的属灵装备来抵挡魔鬼的诡计。 神学院的平信徒神学教育对事奉 多年的弟兄姐妹是一个提升灵命 的平台。希望我的分享能鼓励弟 兄姐妹对信仰有进一步的反省。

的话。 我的事奉生涯从我中学生活 开始:曾经在自己的教会、学 校、年议会少年团契担任不同的 事奉,包括副主席、财政、灵修 组组长等。在大学期间参与小组 组长的事奉,也委身于雅德门的 小组组长、主日学老师、主日崇 拜事奉等。

MAR 08 liveline

29

graphic by Magdalena tworkowska | istockphoto.com

STORIES

liFe

HOW CAN LOVE TURN INTO RAGE?
nervousness, fear and a peculiar selfMy heart misses a beat consciousness grips as she takes the seat me as i ponder my two places away from interaction with her. Should i tell that joke me. Blood rushes to my bert told me last head as I anticipate her week? nah…she will i too presence. think toam tryinghow hard impress. about asking her about her family? then again… oh my gosh, she’s looking at me!! oops! i hope i wasn’t staring. Maybe she knows i like her. Maybe she noticed me too… yes, i have fallen in love with her. truly, madly, deeply. Although my feelings are unknown to her and i don’t know how she feels about me, i think of her constantly. i dream up romantic moments and think about how we could be spending time together. For all of my life, i’ve avoided being ‘emo’ (emotional), taking pride at being rational and task-oriented.yet, my feelings for her had completely torn my rational self to shreds; i would have plucked a star for her if she’d asked. Since doing that is impossible, i have had to be satisfied with doing sweet things for her like offering to carry her bag or driving her home. My mind goes strangely berserk and a sudden jealous rage overwhelms me whenever i see her talk to another guy — i

By TAN JIA RONG

envision doing a chokehold on him. even if it was my best friend she was talking to, jealousy and suspicion would still cloud my heart. Quiet times with god seem to focus on finding out if she is “the one” (god, give me a sign!) i desperately try to focus my thoughts on god during worship and not steal glances at her. Does love require so much emotional and mental anguish? how should i as a christian respond to these love sick emotions that are obviously interfering with my life? After much thought and prayer, i realised that the key response is love. love that is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. love, that does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Admittedly, it is easier said than done. i just cannot seem to act normally around her or even grunt a ‘hi’ to my suspected love rivals. yet, true love requires me to put on these attributes towards god, her and others. if i truly love, i know that i should not envy when she picks up a conversation or hangs out with others. i believe that love is an act of the will. Just as christ loves us and died for us ‘while we were yet sinners’, we need to show love too. yes, even to wish her well in her relationships. i try to guard my heart and ‘take every thought captive to christ’, to ensure that my thoughts about her are godly and honouring of a sister-in-christ. i’m learning to rejoice in ‘the joy of (my) salvation’ and be thankful for what god has blessed me with. i trust that god has a plan for me and already has ‘the one’ in store for me. even if we may never become a couple, i put my faith in god who knows better and cares for all my needs. After all, who loves me more than god?

Just as Christ loves us and died for us ‘while we were yet sinners’, we need to show love too.

30 liveline MAR 08

graphic by Dean Murray | istockphoto.com

ACCESS

All

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
By ERIC CHIOK
This mega church’s children’s ministry team has remixed most of the tracks so as to make it more relevant to the kids of today. even the classic song, “My Redeemer lives”, has been given a complete make-over, with a strong pop/dance accent. i can’t help but draw a direct comparison to popular kids show hi-Five. however, the track, “god So loved”, based on the famous verse John 3:16, easily became my favourite because of its clean and simple acoustic guitar sounds. coupled with the children’s choir in the background, it’s not hard to sense the simplicity and Hillsongs Kids sincerity of the children’s worship.

CD REVIEWS

BOOK REVIEWS by SKS booKS WARehouSe

TELL THE WORLD

THE BIG QUESTIONS Jonathan Hill

This is the third album from tim hughes, who also wrote classic worship songs such as “here i am to worship” and “consuming Fire”. hughes has musical influences from bands like u2 and their signature rock style defines the sound of this album. two songs that really stood out for me are “happy Day”, an infectious rock tune, and “Justice of god”, that speaks about the ERIC’S church’s responsibility to remember the less fortunate. CHOICE i don’t think we will be hearing much from this album being sung at our services here, but, it is a great album Tim Hughes to have nonetheless and if you are a fan of bands like HOLDING NOTHING BACK Delirious!, you should definitely own a copy of this.

PREPARE FOR RAIN Michael Catt

Sherwood baptist church has already challenged hollywood with their two ground breaking movies - Flywheel and Facing the giants. this is the book that tells the story of the two brothers armed with the passion to make god-glorifying movies.

All books are available at SKS Books Warehouse Tel: 6227-9700 MAR 08 liveline

Desperation Band features the trio of Jon egan, Jared Anderson and lenn Packiam, who brought us worship songs such as “Amazed” and “i Am Free”. however, this album stands above their previous productions because this album was written and recorded in the midst of a difficult time and the raw passion and sincere lyrics really brings out the heart of the band and you can easily see why the album was titled “everyone overcome”. on a sour note, most of the tracks sound a little too much like ‘hillsong united’ and did not feel fresh musically. however, there was The Desperation Band one track, “counting on god,” that is a delightful EVERYONE OVERCOME surprise, with its indie-rock beat and an infectious melody that will have you singing that song in your head for days.

A brilliant book that presents arguments both for and against some of the perennial issues that have provoked theologians and philosophers for ages. in very simple language, philosopher Jonathan hill’s work will appeal to readers who want to engage with the great minds and think the issues through for themselves.

31

ACCESS
LOBANG CORNER

All

NOTHING BEATS HOME-COOKED FOOD

For this issue, after all the feasting during chinese new year, we bring you two great family restaurant-finds for the simple home-cooked food that our grandmothers used to cook up. our food investigator GERALDINE ANG checks them out.

MOOI CHIN PALACE RESTAURANT
Mooi chin was established on April 15, 1935. For those of us who can remember the restaurant’s humble beginnings, it was located at the corner of north bridge Road and Purvis Street back then. it is now located at 390 Victoria Street, #03-12A. Since its establishment in 1935, Mooi chin is now in the hands of a second generation owner Mr. Michael Wong. the restaurant specialises in hainanese cuisine. the chefs cook with flat pans instead of woks. this, together with careful control of the flames, distinguishes hainanese cuisine from the rest. All the old time favourites are still on the menu — Pomfret Sambal, hainanese Pork chop, chicken with Soya bean Sauce, ox-tongue Stew, hainanese Mutton Soup, and Fried Fish Maw with cabbage. best part of the meal is the restaurant bill. While you cannot expect much in terms of decor and ambience, their value cannot be rivalled. For $10, you get a decent size plate of hainanese pork chop. For $14, you get the fried fish maw. overall, a meal for eight people costs below $100!

390 Victoria Street #03-12A Golden Landmark Hotel Tel: 6392 1600 / 6339 7766 Operating Hours: Daily: 11am - 10.30pm

We shift gears from Victoria Street to a quiet housing estate off upper thomson Road. Meandering down estate roads like Munshi Abdullah and Kalidasa Avenue, we find a humble café within the Singapore teacher’s union building serving up authentic home-cooked fare from tasty fish head curry, chunky fish-filled otak, fragrant chye poh egg, sedap sambal kang kong and the best fried bronzed chicken wings you can get in the neighbourhood. entering the café is like walking into a 1970s swimming pool café setting. While the décor and ambience is nothing to shout about, you have to sink your teeth into the home-cooked fare that they dish up to appreciate the fuss!

SALT ‘N’ PEPPER CAFé

Salt ‘N’ Pepper Café 162 Tagore Avenue Tel: 6452 3415

32 liveline MAR 08

UPCOMING
EVENTS

APR.

TWENTY ZERO EIGHT

16 & 30 May Pcg Visitation 18 MAY WScS Sunday 19 to 24 May Aldersgate convention

APR to SEPT companions in christ course 5 APRIL Fire Place healing Service 5pm AMc Sanctuary 11 & 18 APRIL Pastoral care group Visitation 19 APRIL Family life outing inaugural Senior’s gathering 25 to 26 APRIL Pcg leaders’ training (i) 27 APRIL Missions Sunday

24 MAY Aldersgate Service
A Vision of Worship Speaker: Rev Dr ben Witherington, iii 7.30pm to 9.30pm Wesley Methodist church

//THU & FRI, 10 & 11 APRIL 2008 // 730 PM
//THE MAX PAVILLION
@ THE SINGAPORE EXPO HALL 10

// INTRODUCING YOUTH ALPHA

JUN.
15 JUNE Father’s Day

TWENTY ZERO EIGHT

7 to 10 JUNE AMc church camp 13 & 20 JUNE Pcg Visitation

MAY.
11 May Mother’s Day

TWENTY ZERO EIGHT

seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis for priority entrance

FREE ADMISSION

REGISTER NOW
http://www.alpha.org.sg/wcps/

4 May 29th church Anniversary Speaker: Rev Dr Wee boon hup

23 JUNE Pcg leaders’ Quarterly Meeting 28 JUNE Fire Place healing Service tRAc laity Seminar

14 May lcec Meeting

Aldersgate Methodist Church 雅德门卫理公会 98 Dover Road Singapore 139647 tel: 6773 1964 • email: liveline@aldersgate.sg www.aldersgate.sg