Writing to the
Christians in Corinth about spiritual transformation (2 Corinthians 3:18), Paul
notes that ďwe, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lordís glory, are being
transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the
Lord, who is the Spirit.Ē It is Paulís intention to emphasize (1) that in
spiritual transformation Christians (individuals and the Christian faith
community) will be transformed into a likeness of Christ, (2) that this
transformation is an ongoing process, (3) that it is Trinitarian, (4) that the
Holy Spirit is involved in this transformation, and (5) that Godís glory is
Never before in the history of mankind has so much information about any
individual is available on the Internet to those who know how to search for
it. Similarly, never before are there so many platforms for individual to
self-disclose or reveal themselves in a frequent or even the minute to
minute moments of her/his life. Such platforms such as Facebook, Tumbr,
Twitter, Linked In, Youtube, Whatsapp, blogs, and websites are receiving a
continuous stream of really personal information, some of which should be
kept private and confidential. There are many reasons why people do this.
Some of these reasons are connecting with others, self-affirmation, seeking
affirmation, marketing and boasting. In this climate of apparent Ďopennessí
how does the spiritual discipline of secrecy fits in?
Hello little one, how pretty you looked in your
red kimono when you celebrated your third Lunar Chinese New Year (2014). Grampa noticed that you especially enjoyed receiving the angpows,
red packet containing money that were given by the married and elders to the
unmarried grownups and children.
Sometimes during a noisy party or a particularly stressful day, we
automatically want to sneak away from all the noise and stimulation to
somewhere quiet; away from the crowd. It is just our brain trying to protect
itself from overstimulation. Away from the crowd reduces stress on the
brain, allowing it space to think and listen to itself. This is the basis of
the spiritual discipline of silence and solitude. It is time away from the
noisy busy world to a place where we can hear ourselves think. It is also
during silence and solitude that we can hear Godís voice. It does not matter
if you are an extrovert or introvert, we all need times of silence and
The Great Wall of China is one of the great feats of engineering of the
ancient world. Built of bricks and stones, it is a massive man made
structure that can be seen from space. Beginning in the 7th century BC, this
13,171 miles long fortification stretching from the northern eastern borders
of China to the west was built to keep out the northern nomadic tribes.
These tribes were making incursions into the Middle Kingdom. It was so
effective that legends claimed that the walls were never breeched. The
northern tribes were only able to gained access when corrupt officers or
traitors opened the doors of the wall from within.
Christian spiritual formation community (SFC) matrix contains the components of
practice, worship, and instruction in the context of a community. The goals of
the spiritual formation community matrix paradigm are that members of the faith
community (1) grow into Christ-likeness, (2) become a people of God, and (3)
build the kingdom of God and heal the whole of creation (shalom). Its
essential components are the spiritual formation elements interacting in a
spiritual formation community (more on this later) that acts as a crucible for
CSF in individuals and the community itself. The faith community is central in
May God grant you, little one, the ability to discern who the true
superheroes are. These are the ordinary big people around us who strive so
hard to make a better life for others. Do not be deceived by the false
superheroes on pedestals that have clay feet.
Advent is coming back to base, rest and equip for another year ahead.
Advent is homecoming. Christmas is home base. Then living forward to another
quest; another year ahead of discovering the transcendent and immanent God
in our daily lives.