Monday, January 31, 2011

Insights from Day 6 at CN705

  • Sexuality: Excessive denial a major weakness, and our silence about this topic will be our greatest downfall.
  • Steven Berglas (of Harvard Medical School): The Four A's of Success: Aloneness (loss of accountability), Arrogance (loss of humility), Addiction (pursuit of novelty), Adultery (pursuit of pleasure)
  • Pastors are more likely to attract transference than any other helping professionals. And it is the reason for many extra-marital affairs for pastors.
  • Only honesty and a matching ruthlessness in our quest for biblical truth can provide a balanced and healthy sexuality for both men and women.
  • H.B. London: Some sheep bite.
  • We need to laugh more. Ministry is often too serious and we lost our humour along the way.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Insights from Day 5 at CN705

  • The coffee industry will be today's tobacco industry in the future.
  • 2Cor 2:15-16 - The fragrance of Christ is from the perfume used to anoint a dead body. It is fragrance of life and the aroma of death at the same time.
  • Anger as feeling is always valid – but may not be justified (misperceptions etc). One feels for a reason – even if its not a good reason. But anger as behavior is seldom valid – except in extreme cases of self-defense or danger.
  • Anger is like a boomerang - you throw it out to hurt someone but it came back to hurt you.
  • We should never equate the wrath of God with human anger. There is no such thing as "righteous anger", only "anger of the righteous one."
  • Justice does not need to be motivated by sustained anger.
  • The angry feeling is neutral, but it is dangerous.
  • 雅各書1:20 人的怒氣並不成就 神的義。
  • Anger can be a conditioned response. It can be unlearned - just like temper tantrum.
  • Ventilation does not release the anger, it rehearses the anger.
  • No mater how terrible things are, always greet your spouse with a smile when you go home.
  • Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you back.
  • Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Forgiveness is a personal and private decision and only involves ourselves. I cannot request the other party's apology or confession as a condition for our forgiveness.
  • God has forgiven us before we confess our sins. Our confession is a requirement for reconciliation, not forgiveness.
  • Forgetting has nothing to do with forgiveness. Forgiveness is not emotional but an ethical choice.
  • Forgiveness doesn't take a long time. It is just a decision in a moment. But it may take a long time to bring yourself to the position where you can forgive.
  • Don't tell the person that you have forgiven him/her unless they ask you for that. Write down your forgiveness and get rid of it. Don't ever send it. Otherwise you are just punishing him/her.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Insights from Day 4 at CN705

  • To grief is to understand the meaning of the our loss to us. We need to know what we are saying goodbye to before we can really say goodbye to end the depression.
  • You cannot move forward with your life without grieving your loss.
  • Finding a substitute is just short-circuiting the grieving process. By substituting you are holding onto your loss and the depression can never end.
  • We create unnecessary losses by not adjusting our values from previous depressions.
  • After all the psychological issues are sorted out, what we are left with are theological issues. There is no solution and hope except to submit to God's sovereignty.
  • We do not need cheap "bible verse" comfort, but we need to process our losses with biblical truth.
  • Reactive depression is a tool for self-growth. We learn more from depression than from success.
  • In the digital revolution, change is coming not just to how we counsel, but what and who we counsel.
  • Facebook Depression is already a proper diagnosis.
  • Texting has a reward reinforcement pattern in our brain similar to slot machine.
  • We believe that we are good at multitasking. Scientific studies show that we are not (35% worse performance when multitasking).
  • Multitasking improves our feeling (it makes you feel capable), but destroys our productivity.
  • Multitasking is an addiction.
  • The brain is not designed for multitasking. Period.
  • When multitasking, we are using the more pleasant tasks to help us sustain the less desirable tasks. This is not helpful in our character development.
  • We are distracting ourselves to death.
  • We are taught to value multitasking because it creates more business.
  • Two-thirds of US undergrads now score 30% higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory.
  • Instead of using the Web to learn about the wide world, the young use it to gossip about each other and follow pop culture.
  • Students now are using drugs like Adderall (for treating ADHD) as neuro-cosmetic to compensate for their loss of intelligence and attention due to their digital lifestyle. This is crazy.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Insights from Day 3 at CN705

  • God is not so much interested in what you do but who you'll become.
  • Surviving ministry is a matter of surviving depression.
  • It is a high priority for pastors to prepare the people to deal with loss.
  • Within 5 to 10 years, every teenager will be on antidepressant.
  • Spurgeon: "Repose is as needful for the mind as sleep is to the body. Our Sabbaths are our day of toil, and if we do not rest upon some other day we shall break down."
  • Disillusionment is inevitable when we “idealize” a calling.
  • Abuse and misuse of our physiology is too easily “justified by our cause”.
  • Everybody needs to be an expert in sleep. Seriously.
  • Sometimes God do not prevent us from the consequences of our stupidity, but this is not for punishment but for discipline.
  • Exercise plays a critical role in the regulation of our cortisol level.
  • Some sleeping pills are just anaesthetics. They are not giving you sleep but are just shutting down your brain, which doesn't bring rejuvenation.
  • Chronic stress can reduce the size of the Hippocampus in our brain by 30%, which reduces our ability to learn and to forget. Yet this is reversible by physical exercise, and by experience of love.
  • Stress relates to the issue of control. To what extent do you have control over your life? We feel stress when we feel lack of control (helpless and hopeless). Therefore, the janitor is more stressed then the CEO, and the pastor is more stressed then the janitor (because s/he has the most bosses)
  • If you surrender to the symptoms of depression, you will probably get through reactive depression sooner.
  • Female feels their depression; male acts out their depression (such as through rage and addiction).
  • Most male depression cases were misdiagnosed because all tests and assessment methods are female-based.
  • We have adopted a theology and psychology of "feeling good" and it is tragic. Feeling good is of lowest priority. Survival is.
  • Studies show that just by talking to a patient can change the biology of his/her brain. That's why psychotherapy works. That's also one of the reasons why preaching works.
  • An observation: The classroom projector is not working but it is ok, because only 2 person in our class of 25 do not have a laptop in front of them with the powerpoint file already distributed to them through the class online forum. The 2 person who don't have a laptop use iPads. So we don't actually need the projector. It has become obsolete.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011








原文出自「光明女樂」blog by 黃明樂

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Insights from Day 2 at CN705

  • The primary function of the brain is not to remember but to forget.
  • Feel-good movement cushions dysphoria and avoidance of anger, sadness and anxiety.
  • Feeling bad is an important alarm system that causes pain to prompt changes.
  • By encouraging cheap success it has produced a generation of very expensive failures!
  • James Packer: “The shift of Christian interest away from the pursuit of holiness to focus on fun and fulfillment, ego-massage and techniques for present success, … is a sad and scandalous fact, and one that needs to be reversed.”
  • The human brain is designed to deliver happiness.
  • Depression can in fact be a healing emotion – if you cooperate with it.
  • Contemplative spirituality is much needed in this highly stressful world for us to maintain our mental and emotional health.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Insights from Day 1 at CN705

  • The pastoral ministry is one of the most (if not THE most) emotionally hazardous vocations. (Hope: But it needs not be so)
  • About 20 years ago, one-third of evangelical pastors have extra-marital sex with a member of the congregation. (Hope: It has improved since then)
  • We are facing an unprecedented period of conflict between clergy and the people.
  • Our digital lifestyle, because of the neuroplasticity of our brain, is robbing us of our ability to contemplate and threatening our capacity for spirituality. It is also making self-care a lot more difficult. (Calling: "Be still.")
  • We have to learn to live within our limits.
  • "My prayer to you all is that you will die before you are finished."
  • Success is a bonus given for our faithfulness, not the reward.
  • Resist the obsession to be successful, because it only sets us up for profound burn-out.
  • "All that is not the love of God has no interest to me."
  • "The usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine." It is not our responsibility to make sense of my life.
  • Finishing well starts at the beginning.
  • We have to learn to manage our pleasure system.
  • Boredom is a gift God has for us. (The brain as a machine needs to have its down time.)
  • The point of going on a vacation is to be bored. (AMEN!!!)
  • There is a connection between boredom and holiness ("Be bored and know that I am God"). Don't entertain people in worship, bore them into holiness.
  • Play to an audience of one instead of to the grandstand. (And we have to identify our grandstand.)
  • "I used to do conferences together with Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. They did their things and I corrected them." (To those who don't get it, this is a joke.)
  • (This is for my dear brother Felix) "Golf is not a game worth pursuing."
  • "I believe the telephone is Satanic and demon-possessed."


Friday, January 21, 2011


如果這世界有上帝,我就不能像佛門人仕說甚麼生老病死苦本是人之常態。我怎能停止在接受生命常態的地步而不去問生命的主宰個究竟。這樣問其實是信心的表現,我信上帝,我信生命比死亡更好,我信友情,我信親情,我信有夢想有愛的人能為這世界帶來光與熱... 我越信這些我就越顯得不信上帝,不順上帝。我越信慈愛善良我就越不信慈愛善良的上帝,我就越要用信心來生活,我要用近乎迷信的信來對付自己的不信。所以我要等,我要等一個答案。[...]


原文出自「講台上下」blog by 陳華恩


Tuesday, January 18, 2011





其實廣告是塑造思維的好工具。透過廣告來創造消費需要我們都明白,透過廣告來塑造公眾思維是我們要多加對抗的戰場。這個廣告表面上有道理,在推廣我們都要為自己的利益發聲,好像很開明。但是廣告內沒有人提出對整體有利的意見,彷彿我們沒有人關心其他人的需要,彷彿我們不用關心社會整體的利益。這個就是政府現今的管治策略,把公民社會不同群體拆散,只看到自己群體需要,只爭取自己群體的需要。其實群體面對著差不多的問題和需要,但大家都各自修行,中正政府下懷。結果,反高鐵是80後的事、The Icon是有錢買一千萬單位的中產一族的問題。但上面的中環OL其實也可以關心舊區重建強拍的問題、足球員也可以要求訂立競爭法、小學生亦可以提出普選、伯伯和婆婆可以關注西九發展,而我,當然可以對抗地產霸權,一年唔幫襯大地產商。


原文出自「一年唔幫襯大地產商」blog by 龐一鳴

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Monday, January 17, 2011

words that heal

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -– at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do -– it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.
US President Barack Obama

Remarks by the President at a Memorial Service for the Victims of the Shooting in Tucson, Arizona

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Monday, January 03, 2011

CN705 Reading Notes (4)

I want a revival that, like a summer shower, will purify the atmosphere of our churches everywhere, and which will awaken the dormant forces of our people young and old. I want something so general and so divine that it will be uncontrollable. I want something that will reemphasize old-time moral and spiritual values. Something that will reform and regenrate down and out sinners and save respectable worldlings. Something that will bring in the youth and the little children. Something so attractive that it will break over into the circles of the pleasure-loving. Something that will set people on their back tracks to make restitution for wrongs committed. Something that will bring God to bear upon cultural problems like divorce and racism. Something that will inject old-time honesty, veracity, and purity, and other-world-mindedness in our preachers and people. Something that will make the namby-pamby, soft-handed, compromising, cringing sort of Christianity as obsolete as Phariseeism was on the day of Pentecost. Something that reveals a minister's credentials by souls saved and established in Jesus Christ.


Neil B. Wiseman, quoting J. B. Chapman, They Call Me Pastor


Saturday, January 01, 2011



約書亞是摩西一手提拔的助手(民十一28),跟隨摩西三、四十年。約書亞的按立禮是隆重的,摩西在全會眾之前,委派他「治理會眾」,做「羊群的牧人」。[...] 不能說約書亞做領導不如摩西之處是他沒找接班人。他沒把打來的江山為霸業,而解散以色列人,著他們去佔各自的地業。


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屹立半世紀 遊客熱點



連鎖店天下 店員冷冰冰




只有20呎的舖位在彌敦道站穩逾半世紀,店內無「有型有格」的射燈,只有幾條實而不華的光管。一對對自家設計的繡花拖鞋,質地有布有膠,款式有男士功夫鞋、女裝平底鞋任君選擇,賣39至280元,豐儉由人。廠房在香港,加工在內地,招牌大無畏寫上「Made In Hong Kong」(香港製造),鍾球說:「我擔心客人以為是內地貨嘛!」





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  • 正如林一峰話齋,閱讀,也是一種 state of mind。
  • 所以不限文字,還有聲音影像一切雜崩能東西,都在涉獵反思消化乾坤大挪移之列。
  • 看重的只有一個字:Insight


I work at Westside Baptist Church. Of course, that doesn't mean they agree with everything I post or link here. Everything here is my personal opinion and is not read or approved in advance. Consider yourself warned.