December 2011


This is a hymn that I learnt to sing in one of the hymnal sessions in the theological course. As the year is drawing to the close, I just really felt like singing this .

Year 2011 has been a very eventful year, its marks the second year of me trying to live in a foreign place. As the year draws to the close, I was doing a quick recall of everything that has happened.

Generally I thank God that he had made this year relatively peaceful. Though there are also times of difficult trials, I wonder what’s Gods scorecard for me is like? Have I been passing his expectations of me in trials? I certainly hope so though i am sure there must be a few that i have failed to do what God would want me to do.

But at the same time, as per my previous post, I am aware of the many challenges that lies ahead for me. I am sure that God will have lined up new trials and new test to help me see my own faith.

In as much as the world want to believe that God only dispenses good things, but then we know that God often gives trials to Christians to test us and to help us see the part of our faith that needs conditions. Just as what Moses describes how God trained and taught the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness

“As an eagle stirs up its nest,
  Hovers over its young,
  Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
  Carrying them on its wings,

  So the LORD alone led him,
  And there was no foreign god with him.” – Moses (Deut 32:11-12)

This journey was never meant to be easy, thats why Paul describes that heavenly walk as a race and he describes his attitude in life is just like one who disciplines himself to train for the rest (1 Cor 9:24-27)

No one who ever undergo training will say that it is a enjoyable feeling, Jesus once said this

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me. “ – Jesus (Lk 9:23 )

Just when we think that it is impossible, that is when we have to study the scripture and read about the many who had gone before us in that path,  just as the Author of Hebrews said

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Author of Hebrews (Heb 12:1-2)

This is the verse which is quoted in this hymn, let us enjoy the hymn together.

Title : 感恩
Artist :王子音乐

让我们背起自己的十架
奔向那摆在前头的路程
仰望创始成终的主耶稣
脱去缠累放下重担

ràng wǒ ​men bèi​ qǐ​ zì ​jǐ dì​ shí jià​
bēn​ xiàng nà​ bǎ zài ​qián​ tóu dì lù​ chéng​
yǎng ​wàng chuàng ​shǐ chéng zhōng dí​ zhǔ Yē ​sū​
tuō ​qù chá lèi​, fàng ​xia zhòng​ dàn​

许多人成为我们的见证
他们像云彩围绕着我们
单单存着一颗感恩的心
时时感恩 每时感恩

xǔ ​duō rén chéng ​wéi wǒ ​men dì​ jiàn ​zhèng​
tā ​men xiàng yún ​cai wéi ​rào zhe wǒ​ men​
dān ​dān cún​ zhe yī kē​ gǎn​’ēn dì​ xīn​
shí​ shí gǎn​’ēn měi​ shí​ gǎn​’ēn​

(Chorus)
感谢主即使天色未常蓝
感谢主纵然路旁有荆棘
感谢主因为主已经应许
日子如何力量也必如何

(Chorus)
gǎn ​xiè zhǔ jí ​shǐ tiān ​sè​ wèi​ cháng lán​
gǎn ​xiè zhǔ zòng ​rán lù​ páng yǒu jīng​ jí​
gǎn ​xiè zhǔ ​yīn​ wéi ​zhǔ yǐ ​jīng​ yīng ​xǔ​
rì ​zi​ rú ​hé lì​ liang yě​ bì rú ​hé​

(Repeat From Top)
(Repeat Chorus)
(Repeat Last Line)
(Repeat From Top)
(Repeat Chorus)
(Repeat Last Line)

The Translated Hymn is like this

Title : Thanksgiving
Artist: Prince Music

Let us all take up our own cross
and run the path that is set before us
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
to lay aside every weight, and the sins that ensnares us

For we have many witness that went ahead of us
They are like clouds that surrounded us
All we need is a heart of thanksgiving
To give thanks in all circumstances

(Chorus)
Thank you God,  even though the skies are all gloomy
Thank you God , even though there are thorns at the wayside  
Thank you God, for you have given your promise to us
“As your days, so shall your strength be” (quoted  from Deut 32:25) 

(Repeat From Top)
(Repeat Chorus)
(Repeat Last Line)

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On Wednesday I was sharing with a group of friends about the works of the devil. 
We studied the works of satan recorded in the scripture, but as we are reading it  I cant help to share with the class that in the modern era, the devils are much more subtle than what we can see in the scriptures, he no longer appears with big horns and a trident, and nowadays demonic possessions are not as common as other works from the devil.  Therefore I would like to share them with you

New Challenges For The Year : Facing The “New” face of Christianity

So i was sharing with them that the modern works of satan are much more dangerous  than demonic possession. The reasons is because when we see a demonic possession, we know we are face to face with the devil but yet now he no longer wants to confront and fight against Christians directly.

Nowadays he choose a much more subtle strategy, to come into the church as ravenous wolves, deceiving Christians into not follow God. He appears as sermons speakers who teaches destructive teachings to the members though on the outside they appears meek and humble, serving God but yet if we were to look carefully into their actions, you will detect hypocrisy and malice. Sometimes they even had signs and miracles  accompanying them.

They worked by guiding the church into believing that social justice is more important than the reward in heaven, they teach that it is shameful for Christians to be suffering or to suffer need and that they can always ask God for material blessings and only in the abundance of such blessings can God be glorified.

They offer a modern theology which is “allergic to the term bible study” and can only take it positive message. they attacked Christians who chose to follow the instructions of Jesus by  by branding them as “faithless” , “practicing asterism”,  “blindly following the book” and “denying the saving power of God”.

From the look of it, perhaps keeping the faith would be more and more difficult, and sometimes perhaps we would have more and more thorns along the way.

New Challenges For The Year : Facing The Apocalyptic Fanatics

Not forgetting that the year 2012 is the favourite doomsday cult year, with the Mayans, Hopi Indians and other new age wannabe. Hence there will be alot of talks of giant comets hitting earth, Aliens descending.

At the same time, there will be Daniel and Revelations Wannabes who goes around predicting more and more about the famous beast and his 666.

I am pretty sure that the next year they will be really all fired up in their research on the internet and unfortunately this tide will also affect the church.

Of course, I do not intend to turn this blog entry into a long discourse about the end of the world, and I do not intend to contradict any new age believers and their doomsday theory

At End Of The Day

Nonetheless, I do believe that the end times is a times of great peril and destruction. Hence I would just like to share some of the words spoken by Jesus and the Apostles about the challenges I was talking about

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. “ -  Jesus (Matt 24:5-6)

“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand” – Jesus (Matt 24:24-25)

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father   only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” – Jesus (Matt 24:36-39 ) 

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” – Paul (2 Thess 2:9-12)

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we[b] do not lose those things we worked for, but that we[c] may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresses[d] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” – John (2 John 1:7-8)

Conclusion

In face of these new challenges, it is necessary for all of us to be grounded in the truth in the bible. Let us not be “allergic” to bible studies but rather study the word of God and understand it.

Remembering that we search the scriptures, for the same let us not receive the same comments spoken by Jesus to the Jews who persecuted him and wanted to kill him

“But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.  You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” – Jesus (Jn 5:38-40)

Let us hold fast to the word of God, for it it through it can we be saved (1 Cor 15:1-2)  let us follow the exhortation from Paul

“Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil.”  – Paul (1 Thess 5:19-22)

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” Paul (2 Thess 2:15)

This is a request from the friend, in response to the earlier hymn translation i did.

this is a hymn that talks about the True Peace Of Jesus as well

Title: 祂給你真平安
Lyrics : 盛曉玫

来到主面前,
仰望主恩典,
这世界虽然有苦难,
在主里却有平安,

擦乾你眼泪,
交託你一切,
耶稣能平静风和海,
祂给你真平安,

给你真平安,
给你真平安,
纵有狂风巨浪,
耶稣同在,
就有平安,

给你真平安,
给你真平安,
纵有乌云阻挡,
耶稣同在,
就有平安,

Narrative:

耶稣能平静风和海
祂也能平静你
生命里的风浪
耶稣赐你的平安
不是人所能给的
那是世界所夺不去的Narrative Ends:

耶稣能平静风和海,
祂给你真平安

lái ​dào zhǔ miàn ​qián​
yǎng ​wàng zhǔ ēn​ diǎn​
zhè shì ​jiè​ suī ​rán yǒu kǔ ​nàn​
zài zhǔ lǐ​ què​ yǒu píng​’ān​

cā ​gān nǐ yǎn ​lèi ​
jiāo tuō nǐ yī​ qiè​
Yē ​sū néng píng ​jìng fēn hé​ hǎi​
tā gěi nǐ zhēn píng​’ān​

gěi nǐ zhēn píng​’ān​
gěi nǐ zhēn píng​’ān​
zòng​ yǒu kuáng ​fēng​ jù​ làng​
Yē​ sū tóng ​zài
jiù yǒu píng​’ān​

gěi nǐ zhēn píng​’ān​
gěi nǐ zhēn píng​’ān​ ,
zòng yǒu wū ​yún zǔ ​dǎng​
Yē​ sū tóng ​zài
jiù yǒu píng​’ān​

Narrative:

Yē ​sū néng píng​ jìng​ fēn hé​ hǎi​
tā yě​ néng píng ​jìng​ nǐ
shēng ​mìng lǐ​ de​ fēng​ làng​
Yē​ sū​ cì nǐ de​ píng​’ān​
bù shì rén​ suǒ​ néng​ gěi de
nà ​shi shì ​jiè suǒ duó ​bù​ qù​ de
Narrative Ends:

Yē ​sū néng píng ​jìng fēn hé​ hǎi​
tā gěi nǐ zhēn píng​’ān​

The Translation are as follows

Title: He gives you true peace
Lyrics : Sheng Xiao Mei

As we come before the Lord
Looking Onto the grace of the Lord
Though we face difficulties in this world
But we have peace within the Lord

So wipe your tears dry
and to entrust everything to him
He could calm the wind and the seas
He can give you true peace

Giving you his true peace
Giving you his true peace
Though there are violent storms and huge waves
Whenever the Lord is present
There will be peace

Giving you his true peace
Giving you his true peace
though the dark clouds hinders your path
Whenever the Lord is present
There will be peace

Narrative:
Jesus could calm the winds and the seas
Likewise he could calm
the storms in your life
The peace that Jesus gives to you
Is not what anyone can give.
It is something the world cannot take away
Narrative ends

Jesus could calm the winds and the seas
He can give you the true peace

Survival and Godly Life

Recently a friend shared an article on Face book entitled “ I didn’t get where I am today by being nice…

It talks about the fact that good natured and nice people earns £4500 less than their more ruthless counterpart. And it gave the readers a whole list of “Bosses from Hell”

I remember a friend of mine who gave up his comfortable live back at home, and choose to demote himself and work in a place less ruthless than his home town. Indeed, in the world of corporate greed and globalisation, it has turn the workplace into a place where the ruthless survived better.

There was another buddy of mine who lost his managerial job because he choose not to engage in corporate blame pushing . Finally he was overwhelmed by the blame and he ended up burnt out and left his workplace. He would rather lose his job than to direct the blame on his subordinate and to treat them unfairly.

As I was reading the bits and pieces of what the “bosses from hell” is capable off, and the achievements that they have achieve. I cant help wondering how many people are suffering under them. In fact, if one is working long enough we know that people that are unreasonable usually survive longer than the others.

Indeed, the modern office does not like qualities such as, fairness, justice and honestly. They are quick to push blames to others, busy writing emails saying “I did not do it, its not my fault” and the modern office rewards the people who do not work by giving them good performance rating (as you cant screw up if you never did anything) while persecuting the rest who are trying to do duties by pushing the blame onto them and starting massive email wars with others.

The way of survival in modern office is to ignore everything and be mediocre in what you are doing.  Not doing anything will usually prolong your job, as you are less likely to be a target of Corporate blame pushing.

However, this is contrary to what the scriptures tells Christian workers.
“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,” – Paul (Col 3:22-23)

However, to be able to do that mean that you would not be able to live long in your workplace

I remembered the words of Paul

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” –Paul 2 Tim 3:12-13  

The Descendent Of Cain and Seth

Looking at the achieve the article wrote about the “bosses from hell” I cant help but refer to what Moses wrote about the descendent of Cain in Gen 4:16-24.

Just a quick summary of what is going on in Gen 4. After the death of Abel, God gave Cain a mark, and from then on, mankind is divided into 2 fractions. The descendent of Cain and the descendent of Seth. These descended are described in Gen 4 and Gen 5.

Lets take a look at the descendent of Cain. Here are the summary of some of the descendants of Cain

1. Enoch : The first person who build city, a master city planner builder.
2. Lamech: The first person who practice polygamy, violent in nature. .
3. Jabal: The first entrepreneur, as he dwells in tents and keep livestock
4. Jubal: The first musicians celebrity
5. Tubal-Cain: The first blacksmith and metal worker

Ironically, many of what they were doing were against the commands of God, God wanted the people to populate the world, and they started to use music for secular purpose and they all life full of excitements, they went against the rules of one man and one wife.

They all led lives that had big impact on mankind isn’t it? AT the same time, you if you are looking at the descendent of Seth, there is only did a few thing

1. They are born
2. The have children
3. They died.

Please do not misunderstand that Christians are not suppose to be musicians, city builders, tradesman or entrepreneur. But what i was trying to say is that, the people of God did not glorify in their achievements in life. They lead a simple life following the commands of God and they are not at all bothered about, getting to the top.

what does this had to do with us in the present world? So far i can think of a few points.

What do we want to be remembered for?

The news article, Gen 4, all talks about the big achievements of the people of the world. They are remembered for their glorious achievements, but yet they all seems valueless in the face of God. At the same time, the people in Gen 5 were remembered by God as his truth followers. and they became the line of Godly people remembered by God.

God once spoken through Prophet Malachi

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another,
  And the LORD listened and heard them;
  So a book of remembrance was written before Him
  For those who fear the LORD
  And who meditate on His name.
  “ They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts,
  “ On the day that I make them My jewels.[a]
    And I will spare them
     As a man spares his own son who serves him.”  
  Then you shall again discern
  Between the righteous and the wicked,
  Between one who serves God
  And one who does not serve Him.” – Malachi (Mal 3:16-18)

So let us learn to be valuable in the eyes of God.

I remember I was writing about knowing the peace of God at October of 2011. Not too long ago, i was listening to a sharing regarding a hymn from my church.

Many of the Chinese hymns written in my hymnbook are the results of the first believers who were moved by the Holy Spirit, they reworded some of the popular Christian hymn of their time and there were also occasions where they took tunes from Chinese folk music and and wrote the lyrics.

Sometimes we are  unable to figure out where did they get the tune from or was the tune composed by them.

One of the hymns that is like that is titled  “主赐真平安”. Our modern hymnbook translated the title as “Jesus gives me peace” but as I was looking at the lyrics written, it seems to me that the translation is very far away from the intended meaning.

The first believers who wrote the hymn was singing about the things that happen when they chose to follow Jesus, and how some of the problems were more than what they can bear. They were in fact singing about how how they receive their peace from Jesus.

The lyrics of the hymns was not a fantastically worded.. but it is written so that anyone can easily understood the meaning conveyed. One does not need to be a literacy talent in order to understand what our first believers wrote.

As I was singing this, I remembered the time when I was feeling all alone in my work for God, and i was facing countless of oppositions from other members of the church.. and i was despairing and I asked God to comfort me.

So that morning when i was reading through the hymnbook.. i suddenly started to sing the words of this simple hymn.. and when I sing it with my heart. I realised that the peace of God is not one that is like this world, it is not about escaping from suffering, but rather it is to give us strength to face it.

I just would like to post this simple lyrics out. I have decided to re-translate the hymn so that the English speaking brothers and sisters can understand the original lyrics better.

Title: 主赐真平安zhǔ cì​ zhēn píng​’ān
Inspired Verse: Jn 14:27

Stanza 1

为信主遇逼迫, wèi xìn​ zhǔ​ yù​ bī ​pò
我心似作难; wǒ​ xīn​ sì zuò nán​;
想念主被鞭打, xiǎng ​niàn zhǔ bèi biān ​dǎ
我心便平安。 wǒ​ xīn biàn píng​’ān

Stanza 2

为跟主撇一切, wèi​ gēn zhǔ piě​ yī ​qiè
我心似作难; wǒ​ xīn​ sì zuò nán​;
想念主无枕处, xiǎng ​niàn zhǔ wú​ zhěn chù​
我心便平安。 wǒ​ xīn biàn píng​’ān

Stanza 3

为传道受苦难 wèi chuán ​dào shòu kǔ ​nàn
我心似作难; wǒ​ xīn​ sì zuò nán​;
想念主钉十架, xiǎng​ niàn​ zhǔ dīng shí jià
我心便平安。 wǒ​ xīn biàn píng​’ān

*Chorus

主赐我真平安 zhǔ cì​ wǒ zhēn píng​’ān
主赐我真平安, zhǔ cì​ wǒ zhēn píng​’ān
主所赐的平安, zhǔ suǒ cì dì​ píng​’ān
与世福无关; yú​ shì fú​ wú ​guān​
在主里蒙保守, zài zhǔ lǐ​ méng​ bǎo ​shǒu​
永远的平安。 yǒng​ yuǎn dì​ píng​’ān​

Title : The True Peace From God
Inspiration Verse : Jn 14:27

Stanza 1
To be  persecuted for my belief,
that’s more than I can bear
But whenever I recall the stripes of my Lord
I found peace within my heart

Stanza 2
To lose my possession for the sake of following God,
that’s more than I can bear
But when I recall my Lord without a place to rest his head
I found peace within my heart

Stanza 3
To suffer for the sake of preaching the gospel
that’s more than I can bear
But when I recall my Lord nailed on the cross
I found peace within my heart

*Chorus
My Lord blessed me with true peace
My Lord blessed me with true peace
The peace which the Lord blessed me with
has nothing to do with material blessings on earth
To be preserved in the grace of the Lord
will be peace forever.

As the tune of this hymn is unique to my church, there is no way i can find a youtube that sound similar to it, hence I can only share the lyrics.