According to Acts 13,
Barnabas visited Pisidian Antioch on their first journey to Asia Minor,
having first arrived in Perga on their journey from Cyprus. From Perga they
would have followed the Via Sebaste to Antioch. The book of Acts states that on
the sabbath Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue in Antioch and were invited
to speak to the people there. Their message was so well received that on the
following sabbath “almost the whole city gathered” to hear them (13:44).
Possible site of the synagogue where Paul preached his first sermon.
| 16 June 2013 | read more
These troglodyte cave-cities were
excavated as early as Hittite times, and expanded over the centuries as
various marauding armies traversed Central Anatolia in search of captives
and plunder. There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia and the widest
one is Kaymakli underground city, while the deepest is the Derinkuyu
| 30 May 2013 | read more
Antioch was one of the three
largest cities of the Greco-Roman world, along with Rome and Alexandria. It
was part of Syria and it was also known as Syrian Antioch or Antioch of
Syria (there were at least 15 other cities named Antioch in the ancient
world). Known as Antakya today in the Hatay province of southern Turkey.
Photo shows entrance to St. Peter's Church.
| 29 May 2013 | read more
Lifesprings Canossian Spirituality Centre, Singapore
“O God, you will show me the path of life and fill me with joy in your
| 16 April 2013 | read
more articles on
photos from my trip to the Bible lands
| 04 April 2013 |
Conversations with my granddaughter: On
Hello little one,
Here we are, both of us all ‘dressed up’ and ready to go out. You must
wonder why we have to wear all these uncomfortable clothes just to go out. I
am sure you are just happy to be wearing only your t-shirt and pampers.
Grampa too. Wearing T-shirt and pants, that is, not pampers. The reason is
that, little one, this dressing up is to make us beautiful. I know, little
one, we are already beautiful. However, for some strange reasons, big people
think that smart clothes and even additional things like jewelry and makeup
make them beautiful.
| 18 February 2013 | read
Conversations with my
Lead us not into temptations
It is the human Jesus who resisted the
temptations of Satan by his lived experience of the Scriptures. This gives us
hope that we can resist temptations by (1) knowing ourselves; (2) developing a
plan to resist; (3) avoid temptations; (4) resist and pray; and to (5) get the
help of theirs.
| 17 February 2013 | read more
Grampa is very proud of the way you are walking now. We are all amazed that
over a few days, you have progressed from a few hesitant steps to walking
confidently with exceptional balance. Now that you are walking, we have
bought you new shoes to protect your little feet. Floors are not always
smooth. There are floors that are uneven and even have sharp things that can
hurt you. That is why you need shoes, especially now you are venturing
outside the house.
| 30 January 2013 | read
Conversations with my
photo credit: iStock Photo
Growing spiritually deeper in Christ may also be understood as
growing deeper in faith, spiritual growth, maturing in Christ,
discipleship, and Christian spiritual formation. I prefer the word
Christian spiritual formation as we all are being spiritually formed
from the moment of conception whether we know it or not. Our minds
and hearts are continually being informed, formed and transformed by
our parents, spouses, children, society, culture and many other
influences we are exposed to everyday. Christian spiritual formation
has the nuance that this formation and transformation is the result
of the cooperation of the Holy Spirit and the person who is being
| 26 January 2013 | read
Hello little one,
It is wonderful you are starting to walk on your own. As you pick
yourself up and move forward by placing one foot before the other, I can
see that you are learning to maintain balance by adjusting your arms and
your body. It is obvious that you are not doing it consciously because
you are more focused on getting to where you want to be. Day by day, I
can see that you are improving your balance. Soon, little one, you will
walk as well as all the other big people. I will not be surprised you
will soon be running.
| 23 January 2013 | read
Conversations with my
Unveiling the Glory
Text: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Growing spiritually is co-partnering with the Holy Spirit
to transform us by removing the veil and revealing the glory (Christ) that is
within us. Growing deep in faith spiritual involves two components, three
dimensions and four principles.
| 13 January 2013 | read
|The Storm on the
Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt
The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake which is surrounded by high mountains.
The Sea is at 680 feet below sea level while the surrounding mountains may
reach 2000 feet high. The air at the height is cool and dry while the air at
the Sea level is hot and moist. There is a huge drop in temperature and
humidity. The difference result in strong winds that cause sudden deadly
storms on the Sea. A small boat such as the one above will be in great
danger. Mark described one such episode:
| 5 December 2012 | read
executive director, liturgist and chief gardener of
Mustard Seeds Associates and her blog
Godspace is a one
of the innovators of the contemporary Christian contemplative tradition.
In this delightful book which is aptly named Return to our senses:
Re-imagining how we pray, Christine challenges our perception of how
and why we pray. Christine argues that though there is great value in
verbal prayers, there is more to praying than using our cognitive
“senses.” To her, our sense of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste
are also means to praying.
| 4 December 2012 | read
The Eye Witnesses
Text: Numbers 13:1-33
We are God’s witnesses. The world will mostly know God
though what we reveal to them through our lives as His witnesses. To be
effective witnesses, we need to see through the eyes of faith.
| 25 Nov 2012 | read more
download audio (mp3)
There may be an unidentified epidermic of infanticide in the country.
Occasional cases come to light when the victims (dead newborn/babies) are
discovered in the trash, drain, toilet, bags and other places and are reported
in the press. The mothers are often unmarried adolescents who became pregnant
and did not know what to do with their unwanted pregnancies.
|08 November 2012} read
A Man Called Barnabas
Text: Acts 11:19-24
Barnabas was a good man, full of the
Holy Spirit and faith.
|18 Sept 2012 | read
| 19 August
2012| read more
| 19 August 2012 | read
Every time I read the account of how the brave men of Jabesh-Gilead went by
night and climb the city walls to cut down the bodies of Saul and his sons,
I cannot help but wonder why would they do that? Infiltrating an enemy
fortified city is dangerous work and all these just to ensure four dead
bodies has a decent burial? I also wondered why any of King Saul's mighty
men did not attempt to salvage their king's honour?
An incident early in 1 Samuel 11 in Saul's life threw some light on the
| 24 June 2012 | read more
In Homer's great epic, the Odyssey, Odysseus, king of Ithaca, sets sail
to lay siege to Troy, leaving behind a young wife and an infant son,
Telemachus. However, he also leaves behind his trusted friend to
instruct, train and guide his son to be the future king. "I leave with
you this son, whom I so tenderly love; watch over his infancy if you
have love of me, keep flattery far from him; teach him to vanquish his
This man's name is Mentes (Greek) or Mentor (Latin). Thus the word
"mentor" entered the English language. A mentor, as defined by the
Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is a trusted counselor or guide. A
person who is being mentored is called a protégé.
| 12 June 2012 |
Last year, I made plans to travel to New York in the middle of winter to
attend a 2 days retreat with Eugene Peterson. The fact that there will be
200 other pastor-leaders present did not deter me. It will be unlikely that
Eugene will have time to spend personally with me. What did deter me were
the comments of one of my friends. While not specifically referring to my
decision, he mentioned the word ‘celebrity-sighting.’
Maybe Zacchaeus was also afflicted with a similar condition of ‘celebrity
sighting’. He must have heard of this miracle working itinerant Rabbi with a
large following. Maybe he just wanted a glimpse of this man. So knowing
Jericho, he chose a good vintage point – a sycamore tree. This is the tree
we were brought to see in Jericho. Now the poor tree must be the most
photographed tree in the world (if it is the correct tree!)
| 15 June
2012 | read more
Standing in the heat of the desert surrounded by
these man-made monuments on natural mountain ridges, I cannot help but
be overwhelmed by the flow of history around me. Human empires rise and
fall. Hopes of men and women, both great and small, either fulfilled or
dashed. In the midst of this, human living goes on. Men and women get
married, have children and then die. Another generation arises to carry
on. Places mentioned in the Bible are real, not some fantasy dreamt of
by some kings or politicians. Yet, behind these big and small
narratives, I sense the Hand of God. God is involved in shaping all
these little narratives into His grand narrative – the History
for His beloved creatures. Jehovah Nissi “The Lord is my Banner” which
stresses that God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the
one who fights for His people (Ex. 17:15).
|exit to Outer
Siq with view of al-Kanazneh
| posted 4 June 2012 | read more
Mt Nebo is 1,000 meter-high mountain at the northern
end of he Dead Sea. Presently it is sited in modern Jordan. At it peak,
we can see across the Jordan valley to Jericho (City of Palms) and
Jerusalem. We can also see the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. On a
clear day, the site offers a panoramic view of the land that God has
promised to the Israelites. Moses must have very good eyesight to see to
the very borders of the Promised land!
June 2012| read more
more Bible Lands
Madaba is about 32 km south of Amman. It was a
Moabite town that was captured from Sihon the Amorite by the Israelites
(Num 21:30). We went there to see the Madaba Mosaic Map. This map is a
floor mosaic on the floor of St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church which
was built over a Byzantine church which was erected around the 6th
century. It is believed to be the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land.
As buildings erected in Jerusalem after 570 CE are conspicuously absent,
it was probably created between 542 and 570 CE. The floor mosaic was
rediscovered in 1896.
posted 2 June 2012 | read more
Amman is the capital of Jordon. Jordan is mainly
desert except for the Jordan valley which is watered by the River Jordan
and is a fertile area which produces fruits and vegetable. The ancient
people of Jordon are the Ammorites who are the descendents of Ben-Ammi,
the son of Lot and his younger daughter (Gen.19:38). The son of Lot and
his older daughter is Moab who is the father of the Moabites (Gen.
19:37).The land of the Moabites lies between the Amorites in the north
and Edomites (descendent of Esau) in the south. All these people
provided challenges to the Israelites, the descendents of Abraham during
the exodus. Somehow ancient quarrels are never forgotten. Saul protected
Jabesh-Gilead against Nahash, king of the Ammon (1 Sam. 11:1ff) which
made him a popular hero, popular enough to be confirmed as king.
| posted 1
June 2012 | read more
more Bible Lands
My country, Malaysia, does not recognised the
political nation of Israel and hence we, Malaysian, are not allowed to
visit Israel. There is only one country which was printed in our
passport which we cannot visit – Israel. So it was with joy that I
learnt last year that Malaysia has begun to issue special pilgrim
permits to Christians to visit Israel for religious pilgrimage.
| posted 30 May 2012| read
more Bible Lands
Increasingly, I find that many of my patients' parents have googled their
children's problems before bringing them to see me in my clinic. Gradually,
I have been eased from being the first and primary source of healthcare
information by Dr Google. Should I be concerned?
| 03 May 2012| read
This is a letter written by my dear friend, Assoc. Prof. Wong from Monash
University Malaysia in response to an inquiry by Daryl.
Your aunt has asked that I share with you my thoughts
on medicine and medical education today.
Apr 2012| read more
Despondency in Gethsemane
Matthew 26: 36-46
Jesus’ temptation in Gethsemane is the
crisis point in salvation history and encourages us to watch and pray.
| 24 March 2012 | read
I slept, but my heart was awake.
(Song of Solomon 5:2 RSV)
| 12 march 2012 | read more
Random Musing on Valentine’s Day 2012
Valentine's Day, was a Christian feast day, usually observed on
February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named
Saint Valentine. There are numerous early Christian martyrs who
were named Valentine which includes Valentine of Rome and
Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who
was martyred about AD 269. Valentine of Terni was bishop of
Interamna about AD 197 and may have been martyred during the
persecution under Emperor Aurelian. The feast day was first
established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted
from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul
| 14 February 2012 | read
Book Review on The Life and Ministry of John Sung
Lim Ka-Tong, 2012, The Life and Ministry of
John Sung, Singapore: Armour Publishing
The sanctifying work of the Spirit finds its expression in
rejoicing, prayer and thanksgiving. We must not quench the Spirit.