Virginia Satir’s “Your Many Faces”

Each one of us has a medley of “faces” that composes our individual personality: intelligence, anger, love, jealousy, helplessness, courage and many more. In this book, Stair points out that “When I fully acknowledge all of my faces and the fact that I am in charge of myself, then I can allow myself to feel different ways at different times. I can admit that I am capable of errors as well as great success. I can then afford to accept myself as a person, and I can more easily grant you the same possibilities. I can deal with real things rather my fantasy of them…Everyone, no matter what age, has new things to discover about themselves – and the more that we discover, the more interesting we become to ourselves and to others. To the degree that we accept ourselves with all our parts, we become whole, loving beings in relation to ourselves, which helps us to become more real and loving to other people.”

Being and accepting ourselves are not the same as being selfishness. Jesus teaches us to love others as we love ourselves. Do we know how to love and accept ourselves including the part(s) you may like/admit?

Responsibility and Power

In his book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”, Mark Manson points out that “We do not always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond,…The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives…Often the same event can be good or bad, depending on the metric we choose to use. Nobody else is ever responsible for your situation but you. This is because you always get to choose how you see things, how you react to things, how you value things. You always get to choose the metric by which to measure your experience.”

Manson’s writing causes me to recall what Randy Pausch said in his work, “The Last Lecture”, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” Randy is the great example how we can take the responsibility or/and choose to make response to what happens to us in a meaningful and powerful way (for Randy is cancer).

Yes, we have the choice. Yes, we can be powerful. Our life will be transformed by accepting the responsibility to accept and face what happens to us,

Thom Rainer’s “The Post Quarantine Church”

Although we are not sure if and how the Covid19 Pandemic is going to be over, Thom’s discussions in his book are good reminders for leaders as the churches gradually return to in-person gatherings.

Thom rightly points out that he new normal of the post-quarantine church does not look like the old normal of the pre-pandemic church. In order to grasp the new opportunities the new normal is bringing us, Thom advises us to 1) gather differently; 2) reach the digital world; 3) reconnect with the community near our churches; 4) take prayer to a new and powerful level; 5) rethink our facilities for emerging opportunities and 6) make lasting changes that will make a difference.

In fact, these are the areas the churches have been ignored for years and the new normal is waking us up to make responses to the rapid changing of the world.

The three layers of the self-awareness onion

In his book “The Subtle Art of Not Give A Fuck”, Mark Manson talks about self-awareness. For him, “self-awareness is like an onion”; the first layer of the self-awareness onion s a simple understanding of one’s emotions; the second layer of the self-awareness onion is an ability to ask why we feel certain emotions (this layer of questioning helps us understand the root cause of the emotion that overwhelm us); the third level is our personal values that determines the nature of our problems and then the quality of our lives (for him, values underlie everything we are and do).

I appreciate and resonate with his thought, especially on the importance & role of “values” in our lives. In fact, honest self-questioning and having a deeper knowledge of our own values are difficult. The journey of discerning and learning our own values leads us to be our true self, understands why we feel, think, say and do in “that” way, and even adjust our values.

Do you aware of your own values?

Derek Lin’s “The Tao of Daily Life”

In chapter 1 of this book, Lin wrote, “When the rationality of brain utterly fails to grasp the Tao, the heart will step in to embrace it with a way of knowing that is beyond knowledge. Feeling is the key”. Instead of “feeling”, I believe “experiencing is the key”. The “experiencing” I am talking about here is to live in the presence of Tao fully. In this way, Tao is experienced in our thinking, feeling, speaking, listening, walking…when we live fully in the moment of our life.

貪便買不了好茶

有一日在本地一家華人主理的大型超市看到有大紅袍賣,而且價錢不貴。 武夷山出品的大紅袍是烏龍茶的一種,又有茶中狀元之稱。只因其名氣就買了一小盒。 回家打開一看一聞就知道自己“錯了”。 在這個消費商業社會,那可能以廉價買到美物呢? 看來不能貪心便宜和方便,要買還好茶,還是要到茶莊那裡買。

孫寶玲牧師寫的女兒戀愛了

因為女兒進入青少年期,所以孫牧師這本書的題目已經吸引了我。 本書其中一個重點就是作父母要學習放手。 在放手之前,難的是要先學習放心。 放心兒女們其實是可以面對困難和跌倒的。。。這樣我們才能更認識,明白, 尊重和信任我們的兒女。這不正是青少年所想要和需要的嗎?

Responding to the anti-vaccine rally

After I read this news, I have the following thoughts:

Yes, I totally respect and value the importance of freedom and choice and I also believe love over fear. But how do they value the safety and health of others and their own? How do they define freedom and choice? How do they understand and interpret love and fear? In order to fight the COVID19 pandemic, do they have any other workable solutions other than vaccinations and social restrictions? I do know many people deny the seriousness of the pandemic; they do not believe the public/scientific statistics; some even do not believe anything about the pandemic at all…I also wonder if they themselves or their beloved ones have been infected and hospitalized.

At the end, I do want my “normal” life back too and I do feel very challenging and difficult in the past months. But I do cherish the limited freedom I am having now, at least for now I can visit my parents and I can go out for grocery/shopping/jogging… I also appreciate the efforts of others, especially frontline healthcare workers. Let’s keep hope alive when we are in the dark and let’s walk together on this journey.

紀伯倫的詩,“孩子”

黎巴嫩詩人、散文家、畫家紀伯倫有一篇被冰心翻譯成中文的詩,“孩子”:

“你們的孩子,都不是你們的孩子,

乃是「生命」為自己所渴望的兒女。

他們是借你們而來,卻不是從你們而來,

他們雖和你們同在,卻不屬於你們。

你們可以給他們以愛,卻不可給他們以思想,

因為他們有自己的思想。

你們可以蔭庇他們的身體,卻不能蔭庇他們的靈魂,

因為他們的靈魂,是住在「明日」的宅中,那是你們在夢中也不能想見的。

你們可以努力去模仿他們,卻不能使他們來像你們,

因為生命是不倒行的,也不與「昨日」一同停留。

你們是弓,你們的孩子是從弦上發出的生命的箭矢。

那射者在無窮之中看定了目標,也用神力將你們引滿,使他的箭矢迅疾而遙遠地射了出去。

讓你們在射者手中的「彎曲」成為喜樂吧;

因為他愛那飛出的箭,也愛那靜止的弓。

因為他們有自己的思想。

你們可以蔭庇他們的身體,卻不能蔭庇他們的靈魂,

因為他們的靈魂,是住在「明日」的宅中,那是你們在夢中也不能想見的。

你們可以努力去模仿他們,卻不能使他們來像你們,

因為生命是不倒行的,也不與「昨日」一同停留。

你們是弓,你們的孩子是從弦上發出的生命的箭矢。

那射者在無窮之中看定了目標,也用神力將你們引滿,使他的箭矢迅疾而遙遠地射了出去。

讓你們在射者手中的「彎曲」成為喜樂吧;

因為他愛那飛出的箭,也愛那靜止的弓。”

雖然這是一首上百年的詩,但作為一名兒子和父親,我認爲並不過時。 作爲兒子,我一直渴望作那隻射出的箭;作爲父親,我盼望我可以成爲那滿的弓。 但願那射者,生命的創造主幫助我可以成爲這樣的箭和弓。

Kahlil Gibran’s “On Children”

Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist wrote a poem called “On Children”:

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
     And he said:
     Your children are not your children.
     They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
     They come through you but not from you,
     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

     You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
     For they have their own thoughts.
     You may house their bodies but not their souls,
     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
     You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
     You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
     Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
     For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

Even this poem was written long time ago, as both a son and a father, I think it is out of date. As a son, I always want to be that arrow; as a father, I hope to be that bow. May the archer, the creator of life help me.

掃心地

曾經聽人唱過一首這樣的佛教兒歌,其實也是為所有人寫的 ”掃心地“:

掃地掃地掃心地 心地不掃空掃地
人人若把心地掃 烏雲煩惱皆遠離
人人若把心地掃 烏雲煩惱皆遠離
掃地掃地掃心地 心地不掃空掃地
人人若把心地掃 遠望高山變平地
人人若把心地掃 遠望高山變平地
掃地掃地掃心地 心地不掃空掃地
人人若把心地掃 世間皆成清淨地
人人若把心地掃 世間皆成清淨地
掃地掃地掃心地 心地不掃空掃地
人人若把心地掃 朵朵蓮花開心裡
人人若把心地掃 朵朵蓮花開心裡
朵朵蓮花開心裡 朵朵蓮花開心裡

在我們還未覺悟到達”本來無一物“的境界前,勤掃心地是我們修行的目的。 或者這也是我們得道的需要。 以後我會多分享修心地之道。

Joe Amaral’s “Understanding Jesus: cultural insights into the words and deeds of Christ”

I just finish reading this book that really has been stirring me to “learn more about our Jewish roots as the people of God as we follow after the One our Hebrew Christian brothers and sisters call Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah”. As what Wayne Hilsden wrote, “Joe Amaral sheds significant new light on the person and work of the Messiah and by digging deeper into the Hebraic roots of the New Testament text”, I strongly recommend this book to you.

瘋牛症:人類違反自然規律要承受惡果

今天在電臺聽到一位醫生論及瘋牛症。 牛是草食動物,但一些畜牧業者为了提高生產效率(如補充蛋白質攝取、平衡必需氨基酸),會將其它動物的肉和骨头混合,製成肉骨粉加入饲料中,而當中可能含有病死動物。病死動物若包含因搔癢症而淘汰的動物,其病原體與狂牛症同為朊毒體,帶病原體肉骨粉污染了飼料後,牛隻長期食用就可能感染狂牛症。 而人食用后會受感染的機會高。 從這這一角度來説,瘋牛症是人類違反自然規律多導致並要其他人一起承受惡果。

因爲貪婪和無知,想想,我們又做了多少違反自然規律的事?