Apr 27, 2009


Obedience; an obligation humans have always approached with much discord. It is a rarity for mortals to opine that absolute obedience can be a necessity. Yet, all that sustains life is thoroughly dependent on non-negotiable conformity to the rules of nature. Imagine if the laws of gravity or physics or elemental behavior were somehow varied on their own volition; the chaos that would be engendered. But still, we premise upon our own abilities to think and our right of choice, to define, vary and navigate our own obedience.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Gen 3:6)

Reading the Genesis account, there are many who would champion the right to partake of the “fruit of the knowledge of good and evil”. Was the tree not good for food? Was it not a delight to the eyes? Would it not make one wise? Why, can we not know good and thereby also evil? All in all, what was so wrong with the fruit? After all, it was accorded similar prestige to the tree of life. We are not convinced in the matter of having to obey absolutely, that one rule. Does absolute obedience bear any relation to submission? Is obeisance not premised on obedience? Does Creator prerogative have to prevail? We also fail to appreciate that severe consequence of the earth having to be completely deluged by a flood only a few generations later. Some have posited that the flood is inconsistent with a loving God.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Mat 6:10)

Is absolute compliance an aberration? The heavens obey without variation. Planet earth has been spinning on her axis for at least 3000 years. She has been orbiting in this galaxy, in conjunction with all other planets and bodies in the entire visible and invisible universe. And it would appear that she has not varied any of her speeds (orbital, elliptical and axial) within the span of recorded history. If she does decide to change today, then all navigation would be rendered amiss, and I am told that the momentum change alone, would trigger total collapse. Evolutionists argue that 3000 years is only a blip since carbon-dating has suggested millions of years. Yet, if we accept expanding the time reference, how then do we substantiate the significance of a human life-span, projected to be at 70 years only. The psalmist in humility enquired “what is man, that Thou art mindful of him”. Observe the “what” and not the “who”. Are we then, the miniscule existent who audaciously thump our noses defiantly, insisting on our wisdom and right of choice?

And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. (1Sa 15:22)

King Saul would not understand that “obedience is better than sacrifice”. It has always been far more expedient to offer the burnt offerings of bulls and rams. The wicked who enrich themselves corruptly, will not find the task of procuring animals for sacrifice too onerous a task. Burnt offerings were a pre-cursor of the Ultimate Sacrifice, not quite the object of the LORD’s pleasure. One would be wise to also keep counsel, in knowing that all Job’s earlier children perished, despite Job requiting burnt sacrifices in anticipation of their misadventures. It will be the colossal naiveté to propose, that the Creator LORD of LORDS, the personified Truth, Justice and Righteousness, could be persuaded by the mere smell of burnt offerings.

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. (Heb 5:8)

This makes for concerned consideration; if the Son had to learn obedience, can we expect to be exempted and not accordingly tasked? There are plenty of good things that we can submit; to be good for food, a thing to be desired, delightful to the eyes, able to make us wise, successful and rich even. Why, we can, confidently propose that pursuant to our accomplishing, all that we, would find desirous, we, will be able to make even better contributions and sacrifices.

To obey is preceded by hearing; are we familiar with His voice? When and what, was the last we heard? Who do we listen to? We are taught that we should be always thankful for His grace and it is indisputable that we are saved only by grace. Yet, does grace reduce, by any degree, the requirement of obedience? Is obedience negotiable? Can it be piecemealed? Can it be deferred? Can it be navigated? Is there such a thing, as a small thing?

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Mat 7:21)

God bless.


Apr 26, 2009

Photography Workshop

Yesterday, Uncle Vincent gave us an interesting workshop on the basics of Photography.
Honestly, I have never imagined that there is so much visualising involved in taking a photograph.
Uncle Vincent pressed that it Photography is an art.In which the photographer tries to show people something that is sometimes, only visible to himself.

He talked about a lot of techniques, The Rule of Thirds , The Golden Mean, a variety of composition rules in general...
For those of us who were there, we had a lot of fun. Learning and experiencing for ourselves the art of photography.

Here are some of my selected pictures....Only two turned out pretty well.LOL
It all started when Uncle Vincent asked us to go out and take a few shots of whatever inspires us.So, we went. As we were walking, Ian got inspired. He said " Greg I got an Idea!! Come."
Then, He jumped over the fence and start taking some pictures, and so did I.

In my mind, i said "omg, of all things u go pick the drain...LOL". But to my surprise, it didn't really look like a drain, but more of a pathway kinda thing. And it turned out pretty well.hehe.

Well, we had a lot of fun. Hey, Lets make it such that all of us can post our pictures up here also. For those of you who came, pick one or two photos and write a paragraph or so of how u arrived at taking those photos.Add in captions if you wish. email them to the ttdigcytm@gmail.com and I will post them up ASAP k.

Reporting in,

Over and out.

Apr 20, 2009

Study to be approved

Watching accomplished musicians, gymnasts, sportsmen, poets, linguists articulate their science often leaves us in wonder. How magnificently these artists know, and perform, with such skill, precision and finesse. Practitioners of every discipline under the sun, expend much time and effort into studying and perfecting their skills; the building blocks, building strength, time and efforts taken to digest, to understand, to appreciate, to investigate, to deliberate, to practice, to overcome, to bring the body into subjection.

Every discipline is premised on texts and traditions laid down from antiquity. Studying has always been conceded and construed to be a tedious bore. In any discipline, the basics are foundational. No wise structure is built without firm foundations. The progress of growth in knowledge is organic; on a daily basis, building block on block, step by step, the meticulous completion of chapters and scripts. Short-cuts are inadvisable. Knowledge cannot be fragmented or rudimentary. There is required, much work to invest in the accumulation of knowledge and skill.

Knowledge is far diverse from skill. Skills denote a practiced, proficient, exponent, capable of profound appreciation, investigation and application. Head knowledge is not the equivalent of skill.

An accomplished athlete does not always make an Olympian; Modern-day Olympians religiously and sacrificially train for gold. Few will succeed in their chase for this earthly trophy. But Olympians are still mere mortals. Early Olympians only got laurel wreaths. We have the promise of eternal crowns!

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Mat 16:26)

The apostle Paul calls us “spiritually discerned”; we know the importance of spiritual matters; the necessity of being in the word, the call to study and to be tested, to be approved workmen. Spiritual men and women are not accidents of nature. They are, by His grace working in them, taught, sanctified and set apart for His use. Barring places of high illiteracy, it is an abnormality to find His workmen bible illiterate. Would we expend this breath that we have been given to the study of His word, to become able defenders of the faith, to become faithful bearers of His gospel to all the world?

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

It is right to spend time in study, and in the pursuit of good worldly things. Whilst we are often faulted for not expending enough time on secular school studies, let us also not evade the fact that we study our bible even less! And what if we succeeded in gaining the whole world?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (1Co 9:24-25)

Let’s take out our bibles.

God bless.


Apr 16, 2009

Interesting Article to share

Came across this article worth consideration.

"""Memo to Worship Bands
Five sound reasons to lower the volume.
John G. Stackhouse Jr. | posted 2/02/2009 10:41AM

Can you hear me? You can? I'm sorry if I am shouting, but I have just spent half an hour in a church service with a typical worship band, and my ears are ringing. I'm sure to be fine in a minute. Or hour. Or day—I hope.

Why does everything every Christian musician performs nowadays seem to require high amplification?

I was at a Christian camp not long ago where we gathered to sing around a bonfire. Guitars appeared, but just before I could get nostalgic and suggest we sing "Pass It On," the microphone stands appeared, too. Apparently three guitars for 40 people were not enough. No, they had to be amplified.

I am not 110 years old, friends. I grew up in the 1970s with fuzz boxesJustify Full, stacks of Marshall amplifiers, and heavy metal bands loud enough to take on Boeing 747s and win. I have played in worship bands for more than 30 years, and like lots of juice running through my Roland keyboard or Fender bass or Godin guitar. Furthermore, I'm a middle-aged man and my hearing is supposed to be fading. But even I find almost every worship band in every church I visit to be too loud—not just a little bit loud, but uncomfortably, even painfully, loud.

So here are five reasons for everyone to turn it down a notch—or maybe three or four.

First, I know it's breaking the performer's code to say so (the way magicians are never supposed to reveal a secret), but cranking up the volume is just a cheap trick to add energy to a room. The comedic film This Is Spinal Tap showed us all the absurdity of using sheer noise to compensate for a lack of talent. (The knobs on the band members' guitars and amplifiers were modified to go to 11.) Do not compensate for mediocrity by amping it up to MEDIOCRITY.

Second, when your intonation is not very good—and let's face it, most singers and instrumentalists are not anywhere close to being in perfect tune—turning it up only makes it hurt worse. If I hear one more "harmony singer" have trouble deciding whether to hit the major or the minor third and instead split the difference at a scalp-tightening volume, I think my head will split also.

Third, the speakers in most church PA systems cannot take that much energy through their small, old magnets and cones, especially from piano, bass, and kick drum. So we are being pounded with high-powered fluffing and sputtering—which do not induce praise.

Fourth, consider that you might be marginalizing older people, most of whom probably do not like Guns N' Roses volumes at church. And if you suspect older congregants may be secretly delighted behind their tight smiles, ask them. I dare you.

Fifth, let me drop some church history and theology on you. By the time church music matured into Palestrina and Co. in the 16th century, it had become too demanding and ornate for ordinary singers. So Christians went to church to listen to a priest and a choir.

The Protestant Reformation yanked musical worship away from the professionals and put it back in the pews. Luther composed hymns based on popular melodies, including drinking songs. Calvin insisted on taking lyrics from the Psalms. This was music in which almost anyone could participate. The problem today, to be sure, is rarely elaborate music. We could use a little more artistry, in fact, than we usually get with the simplistic and repetitive musical figures of many contemporary worship songs.

No, the contrast with the Reformation is the modern-day insistence that a few people at the front be the center of attention. We do it by making six band members louder than a room full of people. But a church service isn't a concert at which an audience sings along with the real performers. Musicians—every one of them, including the singers—are accompanists to the congregation's praise. They should be mixed loudly enough only to do their job of leading and supporting the congregation.

Now, I like Palestrina and I like good Christian rock. So, church musicians, if you want to perform a fine song that requires advanced musicianship, by all means do it. We will listen and pray and enjoy it to the glory of God.

But when you are leading us in singing, then lead us in singing. And turn it down so we are not listening to you—or, even worse, merely enduring you. I know that is not what you want to happen. But I am telling you that's what is happening.

Sorry, again, for shouting.

John G. Stackhouse Jr. is the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. His most recent book is Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World (Oxford University Press).

Copyright © 2009 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information"""


Apr 13, 2009


“I am sorry” is often just a sorry excuse.

Proponents have pronounced that we are all averse to apologizing. Yet, have we not noticed how easily some do say “Sorry”? It is more probable for a “western” assimilated individual to apologize than for an “eastern”. The “eastern” clam will not apologize to evade the loss of face, stature or blatantly to not admit any wrong-doing. He may however by his further actions try to make amends but will not vocalize or admit his errors. It may well be that culture plays a role, but man has since the fall, always sought to evade taking responsibility. But a more “enlightened” individual can use “sorry” quite surreptitiously. “Sorry” is not a license.

Man’s heart is wickedly deceitful and oftentimes difficult to decipher. With their ease of demonstration, their laissez-faire; “sorry” does not seem the hardest word to say.

What do we really mean when we say we are sorry? I have come across the phrase “I am sorry” only once in the psalms. The word more frequently seen is “repent”. Repentance is not only about sorrowing over, it edicts restoration and compensation. Repentance mandates a “turning away” from the error; it requires an appreciation of the sinfulness of our wrongs. Repentance also does not negate the consequences, a fact we often gloss over or wish. There is always, the promise of forgiveness, but additional grace and mercy is at His supreme pleasure. Forgiveness was not provided without cost.

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:5)

So, between the clam and the spout, where would we position ourselves? In the multitude of words, there is room for error and sin. We are told to mean what we say; that our “yes” be “yes” and our “nays” be “nays”. And what of our “sorry”?

Are we truly sorry?

God bless.


Apr 6, 2009

Born Again 2

Have we been born again? Have we been born of the Spirit? We would not confirm or equate rebirth with infant baptism. The Brethren will wait for persons to make their own professions of faith, in the saving knowledge of the Lord, in their time. The frequent encouragement, on occasion, has been to promote the “sinner’s prayer”. Understandably this simple “prayer” is a convenient and useful tool introduced to facilitate evangelistic mission.

There is however, some controversy in the promulgation of the “sinner’s prayer”. A one-time man-made decision, accompanied by the recital or repetition of such a prayer does not properly signify birth in the Spirit. Is this “prayer” the passport to heaven? And if one has never known nor recited such a prayer ever? Has the Great Commission been reduced to getting people to repeat a couple of lines? It is no Herculean task to coax a band of small children to recite this “prayer”. Ask the majority of especially young children at a Sunday-school if they love Jesus. Would we then, not be gravely misleading, when we erroneously confirm salvation pursuant to this recital? It would be wise to question; how many will prudently examine their salvation, how many others have, at one-time, said the “sinners prayer”. Of eternal consequence, would it not be wise to consider and examine?

When a child is born, it would be only a matter of time before it will make noise. It will cry; out of cold, hunger, fear, loneliness, detachment, what-else? Being alive, it will audibly demonstrate, by hollering, if left unattended. The new-born will not only need to be fed but will make demands for such feeding. The babe will also seek attachment and desire to hear the reassuring sound or voice. He will seek the comfort and warmth of the parent. It has been said that a baby is comforted, merely by listening to the familiar heartbeat of his mother. It is no exaggeration to surmise that a babe would recognize his mother’s voice.

These vitals would more accurately confirm life. Do we recognize and seek the voice of our Parent? Do we know His heartbeat? Do we feel cold, fear, loneliness outside of His care? Do we hunger and positively seek to be fed? Are we growing daily in His image?

Reality can prove most disquieting and revealing. Of the truth, we do not always miss His heartbeat nor seek to hear His voice. We can be more at home in "Egypt" than long for His courts. We seem to need no sustenance and do not feed voraciously on the bread of life. Our life is marked more by sin than righteousness. Is our being alive, premised on a prayer recital, or on life’s vitals? Consider what the Lord Himself had pointed to the rich young ruler who had asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life”. His requirement was for him to “sell all you have” and “follow Me”. In the Gospels, “follow Me” was preceded by repentance, by denying oneself, and then by the requirement of taking up the cross. “Follow Me” is also in the active, not a one-time or on-off mode. There are firm words, by the Lord Himself regarding “turning back”. There are sufficient examples of those who had left, from following Him, others who have been shipwrecked and those who were never of His flock. To premise one’s salvation on a prayer recital, however sincere, does not quite provide much standing, when examined from scripture.

Having been born again is confirmed experientially by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. We may not be able to explain, but we would know for ourselves. More importantly, we would show signs of life. Let us not reduce or mistake salvation for a superstitious, one-time recital of a few lines.

How do I know that I am a follower of Christ? If not by following still?

When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (Joh 10:4)

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation--(1Pe 2:2)

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (Joh 14:18)

Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1Co 15:49)

God bless.