September 2010


Was eating dinner with my friend when the restaurant was showing the MTV of Wong Lee Hom called 柴米油盐酱醋茶.

I was telling my friend that those are the 7 essential items to the Chinese in their home, which are namely Firewood (柴), Rice (米), Cooking Oil(油), Salt(盐), Soya Paste(酱), Vinegar (醋), Tea (茶).

These are known as the “seven essential items” (AKA 开门七件事) when string together represent family/married life or simply the needs daily life. I found the MTV pretty sweet, so I decided to make a translation of this song.

At the same time i was writing to another friend who was talking about how unrealistic is love and marriage..

As I wrote once in a blog entry about The Christian View In Relationship. Personally i believe whether a marriage life works out or not, depends on how the couple decided to deal with the mundane issues of life together. I have seen many couples that succeeded, as well as a fair share of couples who failed.

I must admit that the MTV although is very well filmed, does give people a very wrong impression that it is easy to achieve the objective to grow old, and keeping the marriage vow that “Only death do us part”.

Personally i believe that a couples love must progress through the 3 stages of love, which are used in the Greek language. They are namely Eros (Physical attraction, I try not to just use sensual here), to Phileos (Mutual beneficial relationship, usually found among friends) to Agape (Unconditional love, similar to a parents love to a child) .. then it is possible to achieve that.

haha but i guess lets just enjoy the song as it is and keep the discussion short 😉

Title:柴米油盐酱醋茶 Firewood, Rice, Cooking Oil, Salt, Soya Paste, Vinegar, Tea
Artist: 王力宏 Wong Lee Hom

(*)
小时候你想要什么
xiǎo​ shí ​hou​ nǐ xiǎng ​yào shén ​me​
我要一台大大蓝色的飞机
wǒ yāo​ yī tái dà ​dà lán ​sè​ de​ fēi ​jī​
带我环游世界
dài wǒ huán​ yóu​ shì ​jiè
到地球每一个角落
dào dì ​qiú měi ​yī gè jiǎo ​luò​
在蓝天白云中穿梭
zài lán ​tiān bái ​yún zhōng​ chuān ​suō​而长大以后我想要什么
ér zhǎng ​dà yǐ ​hòu wǒ xiǎng ​yào shén ​me​
我要一台小小红色答录机
wǒ yào yī tái xiǎo ​xiǎo hóng ​sè​ dá ​lù ​jī​
和你一起录下
hé​ nǐ yī ​qǐ lù xià ​
喂我们现在不在家
wèi wǒ ​men xiàn ​zài bù​ zài jiā​
蓝色变成红色因为你
lán ​sè biàn ​chéng hóng ​sè yīn ​wèi nǐ​(Chorus)
柴米油盐酱醋茶
chái mǐ yóu yán​ jiàng cù​ chá​
一点一滴都是幸福在发芽
yī​ diǎn​ yī dī dōu​ shì xìng ​fú​ zài fā ​yá​
月儿弯弯爱的傻
yuè ér​ wān​ wān ài​ de​ shǎ​
有了你什么都不差
yǒu ​le nǐ​ shén ​me dōu​ bù ​chà​

(Repeat * and Chorus)

给你快乐无论白天黑夜
gěi​ nǐ​ kuài ​lè​ wú​ lùn​ bái ​tiān hēi ​yè​
握紧双手就算刮风下雨
wò jǐn shuāng ​shǒu​ jiù ​suàn guā ​fēng xià ​yǔ​
我就是要你
wǒ jiù ​shì yào nǐ​
要你待在我身边
yào nǐ​ dāi​ zài wǒ​ shēn ​biān​
保护你直到永远
bǎo​ hù nǐ zhí ​dào yǒng ​yuǎn​

(Repeat Chorus)

月儿弯弯爱的傻
yuè ér​ wān​ wān ài de​ shǎ​
没有一个理由
méi ​yǒu yī​ gè​ lǐ ​yóu
活的那么复杂
huó​ de​ nà ​me fù ​zá​
有了你什么都不差
yǒu ​le nǐ​ shén ​me dōu​ bù ​chà​

(*)
Remember what you asked for
when you were young?
You said “I wanted a big blue
coloured plane,
to bring me round the world
to every corner of the world,
to soar among the white clouds
and the blue skies”As we grew up, what did
I wanted?
I just wanted a little red
answering machine
to record with you a simple
message saying
“Hi, we are currently away from home”.
I changed blue to red
because of you(Chorus)
Firewood, Rice, Cooking
Oil, Salt, Sauce, Vinegar,
Tea
Every bit and drops carries
a bud of blissfulness
The Moon turn crescent
as love turn foolish.
With you by my side, I am
in need  of nothing

(Repeat * and Chorus)

Giving you happiness day
and night
Grasping tightly your
hands in winds and rains
I just wanted you to stay by
my side so as to  protect you
forever

(Repeat Chorus)

The Moon turn crescent
and as love turn foolish.
There is no reason
to lead a life so
complicated.
Having you by my side
I do not lack anything

Personally I am having problems translating “月儿弯弯爱的傻” so if you have a better suggestion feel free to suggest

Spiritual leader always views himself as just a overseer of Gods flock, not an owner (Acts 22:28). Jesus calls himself the true Shepherd.. and at the same time, Peter uses the same analogy in 1 Pet 5:1-4.

This is a beautiful analogy, as I remember once I was watching a documentary on the Bedouins. They were tending their sheep in the same way since ancient times..This is usually a family affair, with the Father as the chief shepherd.. The children in the household are shepherd too.. and they move in front and behind the flock, to ensure that when they are moving, no sheep gets to leave the flock.

They shepherds were working in the desert dry land, and would need to seek pastures to lead their flock to everyday.. The shepherds would also inspect the pastures and cut away grass that may hurt the sheep before sending the sheep into the pastures (This is what David meant in Ps 23:5, that the shepherd prepares a table before him) . So we are just the little shepherds like the children, reporting to the chief shepherd (the father).

As we can see here, a church leader must always be full of love, and never lacking in it. A spiritual leader must always be ready to lay down his life for his sheep. Just like what Jesus mentioned in Jn 10:15.

Learning from Apostle Paul
This brings to my mind some of the words spoken by Paul with to the churches

"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved." (2 Cor 12: 15)

"My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you" (Gal 4:19)

"For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ." (Php 1:8)

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness- besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Cor 11:24-28)

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, [ that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. (1 Cor 9:19-23)

Do you know what drives the love of Pauls for the church? Lets hear him once again

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Cor 5:14-15

Blog In The Series

Effective Spiritual Leadership (Part 1/3)- Fundamentals of Christian Leadership
Effective Spiritual Leadership (Part 2/3)-Humility Required Of A Spiritual leader
Effective Spiritual Leadership (Part 3/3)-The Love Of A Spiritual leader

This is a hymn that i personally like alot, but its so hard to find a youtube version of it until i stumbled across a recording of it done by a choir.

The lyrics of this hymn is based on 2 bible verses which i love very much

With what shall I come before the LORD,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:1-2)

Sometimes we wonder how we can please God, what must we do in order to be pleasing before God..

Over here the hymn writer makes use of the verses in Micah int he old testament to remind us that God just wanted us to be just in what we do, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.. as well as the book of Romans in the New testament where Paul reminded christians to be a living sacrifice

To me this hymn is so self-explanatory that any other writing from me will be a waste of time.. so lets enjoy this hymn.

Title: A Living Sacrifice
Lyrics : Unsure but inspired from Micah 6:6-8 and Rom 12:1-2

What shall I bring to the Lord?
What should I offer Him?
Should I come before Him with burnt offerings in atonement of my sins?
Shall I bring my treasures to lay at his feet?
Shall I offer them up in the flame?
What sacrifice will please the Lord and bring glory to His name?

He has shown you O man what is good
and what does the Lord require of you?
But to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God

What does the Lord require? What is a living sacrifice?
But to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly,
walk humbly with your God

So let my life be guided by your love,
let my eyes be fixed on things above.
May all that I do bring glory to you,
my Lord and king.

Let me walk by faith and not by sight.
May I reflect your glorious love
always striving to obey, mercy in every way

May I be a living sacrifice, I pray!

He has shown you O man what is good
and what does the Lord require of you?
But to act justly, to love mercy and to walk
humbly with your God,
with your God!

As mentioned above, a Spiritual Leader spends alot of his times serving the others. As he is always serving, never for once will he thinks that he is a very outstanding while everyone else is weak.

I would imagine him constantly reminding himself "we are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.(Lk 17:10). He would always esteem others better than oneself . And will think not only of his interest but the interest of others as well (Php 2:1-4).

Given someone with such a mentality, he would never insist things like "Its either my way or the highway" and nor will he feels that everyone around him is weak in faith and is incapable of doing things. A spiritual leader will never berate an co-worker or look lightly upon the work done by others. He will try his best to leave peaceably with everyone around (Rom 12:18).

Whenever theres a dispute or contention among co-workers, a spiritual leader will always exhort with humility in mind and always be a peacemaker.

This quality is very important to spiritual leaders, as they will find themselves at the forefront of many church work, and one of the most dangerous crisis that can before a spiritual leader is the "Superman Syndrome" A state of mind where they feel that they are the only one that is good enough to handle the problem, and every of the co-workers cannot seems to match up to him. They may even reach the stage like the low point of Prophet Elijah, when he claims that he was the only one zealous for the Lord, and everyone else isn’t. (1 Kings 19:14)

Learning from Moses
When it comes to talking about Humility as a leader.. The name Moses seems to always come to my mind, especially with the story of Miriam and Aaron maligning Moses recorded in Num 12: 1-16

This is a very key moment as Moses, Miriam and Aaron are siblings and God has appointed them as leaders of the people at the very beginning of their journey from Egypt. At that time Miriam started to find fault with Moses about his Ethiopian wife, Miriam was reemphasising the fact that God has spoken to them also, and it was purely out of jealousy against Moses. Perhaps it was because Miriam was not appointed as one of the 70 elders who are ordain at Num 11:24-25.

Unfortunately, Miriam did not notice that it was God who did the choosing and not Moses, as God place the same spirit which is in Moses onto the 70 elders.. including g the 2 that was not among them in the tent of meeting.

It is evident that Miriam was the mastermind of the accusation to Moses in Num 12. She was instigating Aaron as well.. unfortunately, Aaron did not speak out for his brother, nor did he make a stand (that’s similar to the incident of the golden calf isn’t it?)

Here the bible testify of Moses humility in Num 12:3.

Moses kept quiet to their accusation and in the end, it was God who heard it and punished Miriam by causing her to be leprous.

i guess Moses must be very sad, as the people who speaks against him are actually his siblings, which i feel is a hurt worst than being attacked by any members of the community. But yet, Moses prayed and cried out to the Lord to have mercy on Miriam.

In the end, this incident clause the Israelites to stay in Hazeroth until Miriam is recovered.

In fact Moses had an intense love for the people around him, over here you can see his love for Miriam his sister, despite the hurt she had clause him. I remember one of the greatest show of love from Moses is at mount Sinai when he pleaded with God 40 days to forgive the people of their sin regarding the golden calf.. Moses went to the state to ask God to blot his name away from the book of life to save the people. (Ex 32:31-32, Deut 9:15-21)

This would lead to my next discussion, about the love of a Spiritual Leader

Lately, i have been observing how church leaders were doing, taking care of the members.. I have seen good ones, as well as ones that are not too well.. and also some who ruled the church as if it is a little fiefdom assigned to them by God.

That makes me wonder and think, what did the bible say much about spiritual leadership? What are the qualities of a spiritual leader, and are there any examples that we could follow? So.. after considering the verses, i decided to list out the verses connected to Spiritual leadership.

Fundamentals of Christian Leadership
The fundamentals of Christian leadership is by large very revolutionary compared to the common leadership concepts in the world.. Such can be seen clearly by the words of Jesus

"But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mk 10:42-45

"Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves." Lk 22:24-26

These words are spoken by Jesus, on 2 occasion, once when James and John requested to sit and the right and left hand of the Lord, and on the last supper.

Leadership in the church is not meant to control or have Dominion over others (1 Pet 5:2)

Therefore, the very first pre-requisites of being a spiritual leader.. It begins with serving the church with love. This is often link to humility, which is a Christian virtue that now seems so obsolete in a world where everyone is suppose to package himself as the most effective workers and boast about their achievements in the workplace and life.

In a secular type of operations, we tend to place alot of emphasis on the commanders and leaders, for them to give the right direction, the right orders.. and liken to a military settings, orders from leaders are meant to be obeyed and not questioned. This let to many church workers who are just enlisted in the army of the Lord to serve as if they are Commissioned officers and all other members are are just the men.. And sometimes they even reach a stage that there are so many commanders within the church, that the "man" receives multiple and conflicting orders from multiple commanders.. Perhaps, its about time for all of us to rethink that two phases spoken by Jesus, and start to learn more about Christian Humility

Lately i was travelling down from a spiritual convocation, there was a sermon talking about the queen of Sheba and what modern Christians can learn from her.. Jesus commended her for that effort to come from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon (Matt 12:42).. and Jesus himself is greater than Solomon

Before we start, maybe lets take a look at a few verses regarding where Sheba is, and what can we know about the place. We would also look more into the wisdom of Solomon

Kingdom of Sheba
The land of Sheba is only mentioned in a few documents, the Old Testament of the bible, the new testament (Referred to Jesus as “Queen of the south”) and Habeshan history. Generally the Hanbesha people are found mostly populating in Ethiopia. Possible location of the kingdom are Ethiopia or Yemen

According to the prophets in the old testament. The kingdom of Sheba is a wealthy merchant state and they deal with spices, precious stones and gold ( Eze 27:22) Other goods commonly associated with the kingdom are Incense (Is 60:6) and Frankincense (Jer 6:20). These makes the country a very rich and affluent state.

Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon’s wisdom is not like any to be found on earth, When Solomon became king, he requested it from God (1 Kings 3:1-15).. This wisdom from above is very different from the wisdom on earth (Jas 3:13-18)

Much of Solomons wisdom is written in the book of Proverb.. In that book, Wisdom seems to have a personality and is liken someone calling out to the reader. Lets look at how wisdom introduce himself in (Prov 8:22-36) from here we can gather
1. Wisdom was there with God in the beginning (Prov 8:22,27)
2. Wisdom created the world (Prov 8:30)

Now look at John 1:1-5, does that ring a bell too?

Such is the wisdom that the queen of Sheba seeks.

Qualities of the queen of Sheba

The queen of Sheba had many qualities that is applicable to Christian in the modern world, personally after reading her stories in 2 Chron 9:1-12 and 1 Kings 10:1-13. I can gather the following qualities

1. To be able to overcome all obstacles to seek for truth
2. A curious heart test the truth to be convinced.
3. A heart of praise for God

Seeking The Truth Despite Obstacles
Sometimes when we read the story of the old testament, we forgot that the trip from Yemen or Ethiopia is not as simple as air travel we had now… considering the fact that the queen of Sheba is a lady, and travelling with many precious stones, spice and gold (2 Chron 9:1)

Actually, if Sheba is a city of merchants, i can imagine that it is a very wealthy city, and queen Sheba would have a grand palace with all the comforts that she wanted.. Yet to seek the truth, she decided to travel a huge distance, enduring the roads of peril.. I guess her entourage would be the target of many highway robbers and raiders.

Sometimes, in our daily lives, we should access ourselves to see if we had the heart like Queen Sheba, do we seek the truth in the bible as diligently as her? Have we allowed many obstacles such as tiredness, boredom, hinder our quest to learn the truth in the bible?

Perhaps it is a time for us to emulate the heart to seek the truth from the queen of Sheba.. She was commended by Jesus for that as well. (Matt 12:42)

A Heart To Test The Truth
The queen of Sheba had heard many stories of Solomon (2 Chron 9:5) from her own land.. but she did not want to just believe it.. rather she came all the way to the land of Israel to test the truth for herself.

She actually prepared many question for Solomon before setting off (2 chron 9:1-2) and when she had a chance .

In our present world, Jesus has once told us, that there will be many false Christ and false teachers (Matt 24:4-6). Even while the apostles preach, they know that one day, salvage wolves will attack the flock of God, and hurt the flock (Acts 20:28-31).. Elder John also mentioned about Anti-Christ that are in the world (1 Jn 2:18-27)..

Therefore the defence for a Christian is to know the word of truth, and to be grounded firmly on the teaching of the bible. (2 Tim 3:16). And we are not to believe in everything thing spoken, we must test the word, and even the spirits to ensure that they are from God (Gal 1:6-10, 1 Jn 4:1-4)

This attitude of Queen Sheba is also found in the Bereans, who always examine what Paul preaches with great interest and search the scriptures to see if they are true (Acts 17:11)

A heart to Praise God
In 2 Chron 9:8, after examining and listening to the wisdom of King Solomon, the queen of Sheba understood that Solomons wisdom did not come from man.. And she knew that the source of Solomons wisdom comes from the Lord his God.. Therefore, she also praises God on her own.. There was a legend that is was because of that, the land of Ethiopia had many people who followed Judaism, and some even speculate that the Ethiopian Eunuch who serve under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, is actually one of the descendant of early converts to Judaism, as he is definitely not a Jew.

But the praises for God from the queen of Sheba is a sincere admiration of God.. Christian of the present day should often ponder over the wisdom of God found in the bible and to praise God. Just like the queen of Sheba.

I guess my sharing about the queen of Sheba will end here, as a conclusion, maybe i would just like to get all of you to read this famous verse in Proverbs about relying on God and not our own wisdom

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
Prov 3:5-7