I remember the I was sharing about the song “The Living Years” I was talking about the fact that if we open up the quarrel, between the present and the past, we would only sacrifice the future and its the bitterness that last.

I remember this old story about the Civil war general Robert E Lee
Following the Civil War, Robert E. Lee was visiting in Kentucky where one lady showed him the remains of what had been an enormous, old tree. This tree stood directly in front of her house. She bitterly cried to General Lee of how its limbs and trunk had been shattered by Federal artillery fire. Having poured out her anguish she looked to the old soldier for a condemnation of the North. Following a brief silence, Lee responded, “Cut it down, my dear madam, and forget it.”

It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to take root and add bitterness to your future. Memory is a marvelous thing, particularly when it brings us wisdom or joy; however, forgetfulness is equally marvelous for it allows others to succeed where once failure reigned.

Jesus also encourages us to forgives, Matt 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Seventy times seven does not mean 490 times, but rather it means it must be forgiven completely. Jesus follows it with the parable of the unforgiving servant. Matt 18:23-35

The purpose of this parable is to tell us that God being the master, had forgiven us of a debt that we are unable to pay. Therefore, who are us not to forgive our fellow man, whose trespass against us is much smaller compared to the trespass we had against God.

In the Lords prayers, Jesus taught us to pray in this same manner “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”.

In fact, if we want our prayers to be effective before God, we must learn to forgive (Mk 11:25-26) this principles also applies to when we serve God and make offerings to him (Matt 5:23-25).

If after reading all this, we are still unable to forgive, lets us all remember the words of Jesus on the cross, Lk 23:24
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Jesus had offered us the ultimate reason why people cross our paths. Usually the other party is ignorant that his action had clause grief in you. And even if the act is done deliberately, we should still learn to be nice to our adversary, just like what is written in Prov 25:21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.

When ever we decided to allow the other party to win, God being a righteous judge, will always find his other ways to reward us.

Clara Barton, Red Cross founder, was asked if she remembered an especially cruel thing done to her years before. When she seemed not to recall it, a friend asked, “Don’t you remember?” “No,” said Miss Barton, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

Since God has forgiven us, is it now time that we forgive others so that we can get on to a bright future. Is some cruelty holding you back? Forgive and Live.

Therefore let us all learn to apply this to our lives and learn to live peacefully with everyone. Amen

This is the extract of the story in the “Romance Of 3 Kingdoms”. This scene happened after the famous battle of Red cliff. In this story, after the battle of Red cliff, Liu Bei started to expand his power to the South of Jing Zhou.

This scene happened at the battle of Chang Sa. At that time the city is govern by a very weak warlord known as Han Xuan. However, the city was able to hold up despite the weak leadership due to the fact that it has a valiant old General called Huang Zhong protecting it.

In this battle, Liu Bei sent his General Guan Yu to attack the city, and you can see the result of their duel. Apparently, the ancient warriors do not like to take advantage of their opponent even in a duel. this is why Guan Yu did not attempt to slay Huang Zhong when his horse stumbled.

However, Han Xuan wanted Huang Zhong to use his excellent ability as the archer to shoot Guan Yu during the duel. However, Huang Zhong wanted to be fair and to return his opponent the favour by deliberately not loading his bow and to only hit the helmet of his opponent.

This angered Han Xuan and he wanted to execute Huang Zhong, which cause his entire army to mutiny and killed him. The rest of the stories tells us how Liu Bei convinced Huang Zhong to join him.

What we can learn in this,
1. Even when faced with a enemy, you should always show grace and not to believe that the ends justify the means. However, this attitude is no longer favored in the business world anymore.

2. Always lead your organsiation in fairness, and learn not to be picky on the faults of the employee. Should Han Xuan showed a bit more grace, I guess his troops would not have executed him. Let say if he is successful in killing the old general, I am sure he wont be able to hold Chang Sa with his remaining generals.

3. Be wary of just listerning to stories, according to History Records, Han Xuan is actually a warlord who loved the people, this battle did not occur, in fact, it was Huang Zhong that convinced Han Xuan to surrender, and they both continue to serve as officers in the Shu Kingdom. In fact the people at Chang Sa built a worship hall in his honour.

Part 1

Part 2

This is an old hymn that is often sing in every Christian funeral. It is often links to the ship Titantic as it was reputed to be the final hymn played by the Titanic Band before the ship sinks. Although there was always some dispute as some of the survivors heard a different hymn. But the Band Leader Hartley reportedly said to a friend if he was on a sinking ship “Nearer, My God, to Thee” would be one of the songs he would play.

This song is written in the context of the story of Jacob found in Genesis 28:10-20.

Jacob story began at Gen 25. He started to contend with his bro over who is the firstborn even in the mothers womb (Gen 25:21-22) There God already said that the older will serve the younger. Then Rebekah their mother gave birth to this twins, one called Esau and One Called Jacob. Although Jacob must have heard Gods prophesy, but he did not really care about God.. God to him was the God of his fathers. He depended alot on his own deceptiveness. He once cheated his brother of his birthright (Gen 25:29-33).

Later on, Rebekah his mother heard Issac their father asking Esau to hunt for food. so that Issac can eat the game and bless him. Rebekah wanted Jacob to deceive his father to get the blessing. Rebekah dressed Jacob up in his Brothers clothing, used sheep hair to disguise Jacob to make him feel hairy. Rebekah prepared food and asked Jacob to bring it to Issac. Issac blessed Jacob instead of Esau (Gen 27:30-35).

This actions incurred the wrath of Esau the brother, and he vowed to kill Jacob. At this time Rebekah heard Esau and have to send Jacob away from his home. This is the first time Jacob is left on his own in a foreign land. He had never really learn to trust God, and there he comes, setting a stone as his pillow he fell asleep.

Title: Nearer My God To Thee (The Words in Italics are not found on our hymnbook)

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear steps unto heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv’n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

That is when this God, that he never ever tried to know, appeared before him, he saw for himself a great staircase, which lead to heaven. And Angels are ascending and descending from it. And God said

“I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen 28:13-15)

Jacob wakes up, and he marveled at this, however, he did not called God his God (Gen 31:42).. But he made an agreement with God, that if he were to return here safely, he would come and offer his offerings to God. Thus he found the strength to move on with his life onward

Over here we can see how much God loved Jacob, although Jacob doesn’t really knows him, he still choose to protect Jacob, and comfort Jacob. He promised him never to leave him. Long before Jacob even called him “My God”. This offer is extended to us today (Rom 5:7-9)

It is up to us to receive the love of God, to trust him once again, and believe that he cares for us (1 Pet 5:7)

Lately I was wondering, when Jesus was on earth, there were already many sects of Jewish leaders that were taking care of the people. However, when Jesus was on earth, he was rebuking them a lot for being hypocrite, and oppressive to the general populace.

Sometimes I wonder, why would the Jewish people at the time of Jesus subject themselves to such people? My own feeling is, these religious leaders and sects did not started out being hypocritical and evil. I guess over time, the original mission and purpose was lost, and generations come and generations go, many traditions are slowly added and many people failed to see the purpose in what they do, this is similar to the story I mentioned in the post “What is the church and her objectives?

Over here, I decided to start doing a bit of my own research about the various sects, as I believe they must have started out with something good. This is meant to serve as a warning to Christians on how a good thing could potential be made bad over a long period of time.

In order to understand the life and times at that time, the following
major world events from the time of the Babylonian captivity till the time of Christ

1. After the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, Ezra and Nehemiah
    came back to rebuilt the city of Jerusalem, the temple and restore
    the faith of the people
2.The Jews still have some form of religious freedom during the time of 
    Persians and Alexander the great
3. After Alexanders death, the Land of Israel is constantly the
     battleground between the Selucids and the Ptolemy Empire
4. Among the kings, there was a man Antiochus IV Epiphanes tortured
     the Jewish people very badly, even brought a pig to be sacrifice in
     the temple of God
5. Finally the jews rebelled, under the leadership of Judas Maccabbee
     they vowed to keep their Jewish traditions. Forming the Hasmonean 
6.  Many years later, Roman General Pompey the Great, attacked the
      Land of Judah making it part of the Roman Empire
7. Rome installed many puppet Kings (IE Herod), and the Jewish
     nation yearned for a Messiah even more

In the next few posts, I will be sharing about the Origins of the following Religious Sect
1. Pharisees
2. Sadducees
3. Essenes
4. Zealots
5. High Priest, Chief Priest, Priest and Levites
6. Scribes

I was wondering what to do for the coming few weeks, mainly, I would like to write a bit of character studies. I am planning either the following

1. Take a more detailed study to the story of Les Miserables. I just realised the character portrayed in the Musical is actually very developed in Victor Hugo’s actual novel. So I am actively looking into a more accurate translation of the novel. I tried looking at the on-line translation., and I realise its a bit hard for normal reading due to grammatical differences between French and English language. Does anyone has a spare translation to spare?

2. Take a study of a few biblical characters and see what can we learn from them with regards to our daily lives.

 Meanwhile stay tuned.