Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Youths' level of faith dependent on community

A survey of 80 teens (10-20 year olds) from various faith communities, including Christian and Mulsim, conducted by a professor from a Mormon university found that parents, religious leaders, a faith community, rituals and traditions, faith tradition or denomination, God and sacred texts are crucial to a young person's faith.

It also found that
Keeping the traditions and a strong relationship with their church community not only helps teens in their faith commitment but also gears them toward seeking a religious network once they leave home and go to college – which tends to be a period when many either leave faith or place their faith on the backburner.

(read more)

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Singapore General Elections 2011

I'm really quite excited with the upcoming General Elections 2011. For the first time in my life, I'm eligible to vote, as I'm under Sembawang GRC, which is being contested by SDP this time round (in fact, 82 out of 87 seats, compared to 2006, 47 out of 84, and 2001, 29 out of 84). For the previous 2 elections, I was living in Novena under Tanglin-Cairnhill, which has been moved around from being a SMC, to part of Kreta Ayer-Tanglin, then now Tanjong Pagar GRC (which has never been contested, even this round, when the opposition team missed the submission deadline by 35 seconds!).

One of my schoolmates is even running under WP for East Coast GRC. You can find out more about him, Gerald Giam, at his socio-political blog here.
Blogpastor has written an excellent and succint summary of key issues to consider as Christians when voting in our General Elections. You can read it here.

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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Extravagant worship

Recently, there was a commotion in the media about the Ministry of Manpower buying designer Herman Miller chairs priced at S$575 for their civil servants. People were asking if this was really necessary, and whether the government should be spending so much money. On a more personal note, my wife is expecting our first son, and we recently attended a public talk on storing of a baby’s cord blood in private banks. The suggested fee worked out to $1k for enrolment, and about $250 a year for 1, 5, or even up to 21 years. Of course, the organizers, who represented a particular company, would strongly encourage and convince you that it is really vital and beneficial for you to store your baby’s cord blood, as it can be used in future for medical treatments of possible blood-related diseases. These two incidents caused me to reflect about the worth or value that we place on items, or what one would be willing to spend for a certain quality of item or service.

The passage for today's sermon (Mk 14:1-11) contrasts a woman who anointed Jesus with perfume, and Judas Iscariot who agreed to betray Jesus. Interestingly, the jar of perfume the woman broke was priced at 300 denarii (about $6000, a year's wages in those days), and it was Judas himself who complained (Jn 12:4), only later to agree to betray Jesus for a thirty silver coins (about $600). Perhaps to those present, the woman had wasted this precious perfume and money pouring it all over Jesus, but Jesus accepted her sacrificial offering, as she was symbollically anointing or blessing Him (in preparation for His burial). I wonder if we were living in Jesus' day, would we have felt or said the same things as those present?
Read the full article >>

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