Tuesday, 29 September 2015

How did Jesus become God? Is it Damaging for Children to be Bible Educated? and other questions that do not plague people

The two articles are polar opposites of the same question.

My main aim in producing such a stark comparison is to demonstrate how an idea, viewed differently, can have enormously varied end results.

Dr John Dickson is the co-founder for the Centre for Public Christianity and he invited Dr. Michael Bird to participate in the open discussion for this thread .

"Historian" Bart Ehrman has his say with his new book publicised with the Huff

A wonderful quote I agree with (with a my own paraphrase, of course) is, "It is not hard to make the argument that if Jesus had never been declared God, our form of civilization would have been unalterably and indescribably different." In my own paraphrase of this sentence, I would rather he said, "accepted" instead of "declared".

Then he gets a bit weird... as if he did not bother to read the Bible itself: "Many believers - at least very conservative evangelical Christians and others who have not had much contact with biblical scholarship - will be surprised to learn that Jesus did not spend his preaching ministry in Galilee proclaiming that he was the second member of the Trinity. In fact, as I argue in the book, the followers of Jesus had no inkling that he was divine until after his death."

Acquiescence of Divinity is not pronounced (or "declared") like a false god gaining followers or in the Papal tradition, white smoke coming out of the chimney. Time and time again, Jesus's Lordship is not only pronounced by Him in a synagouge, rather it was deciphered by His closest followers, it was evident to the Jewish leaders, it was witnessed by the on-lookers, it was broadcast by the people He healed and by the exorcised demons themselves and finally it was revealed by His resurrection.

Jesus did not BECOME God... HE IS.

I am begging the readers , regardless  of your belief status, to look at the source of the allegation.

I instill this ideal in my children. All ideas are worth considering. But when considering, you need to look at the idea as a whole and make a judgement call as to adopt this ideology or to disregard it based on its merits. (I know it sounds funny having a four and six year old listen to me intently as I mold their minds for logic)

Then, there is also this "scientific" claim : Religious Children Struggle To Separate Fact From Fiction

If you then investigate further the abstract reads: "The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children's differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories."

Why would you compare such a hypothesis on children who, by definition of law, are not even qualified to testify unless certified? The premise of the experiment has flaws, but the conclusion mass media has made about the inference is libelous at best.

I am a Christian. I am under NO FANTASIES that my faith is perfect. I am aware that in the pantheistic buffet that is our postmodern world Christianity is a sane, dare I say, logical choice!

I consider myself a fallen defender of the Christian faith. Not that I am out of the Lord's salvation, more that I am not the most desirable role model to follow. I know bits of history, bits about the bible, quite a bit about science and logic all bound by my love of Jesus.

TL;DR - DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE TILL YOU READ THE REFERENCES!!! Sheeple follow the crowd. Think for yourself and  make a decision based on the evidence provided.

Sorry Folks!!!!

Assessments, moving houses, selling laptops
Sorry folks... It has been, to date, 5 months since my last update! (29th April 2015 was the last... and when I was writing this, it was the 29th Sept)

Soooo busy that I have forgotten I have had not updated this webspace of mine.

Long story short, we have successfully delivered the laptops to LEAD Christian School!

I will post more pics once we have breathed in much needed air. Just so much stuff to do.

We're visiting the Philippines from 1 Jan till 20 Jan!! It should be a great time to take pics and post them up.

all for now!!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

It's over $9000 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Serious?? For shipping donated second hand laptops???
The computers are here!!! YAY!!!

We can go ahead and ship them bad boys.

Me: We're a not for profit that wants to ship 120 donated laptops to Laguna, Philippines.
Them: Do you use Li-Ion batteries?
Me: Yes! They are the most efficient way to power electronic devices now a days. Is that an issue?
Them: We classify them as dangerous goods. You need to fill in a waiver, mark them as dangerous and ship them separate.
Me: You do know that it's lithium ion... as in it is in a redox compound within a dry cell, wrapped inside an insulated container...
Them: What?
Me: Sure! re-packaging them now... how much is that again?
Them: around $7000 plus port taxes and GST.
Me: <dialtone> .......

So this conversation was around the end of March. Now 30 days later the Lord gave us a contact that can potentially give us the same service but for only $500 + GST. How?? Door-to-door delivery baby!! Love the Filipino networks.

However, I did pursue this avenue previously and received a similar answer to above. I have heard it mentioned that with prayer, coincidences happen.

I praise the Lord too for my wife's heart. As she created the LEAD video, she noticed the shoes on some students are worn out and in need of attention. So she reached out to our networks and collected outgrown shoes that would have been thrown away anyway. We collected 40 pairs so far. There will be a lot of very happy kids.

Real life really has a way to bring your intentions to a grinding halt. I am familiar with having multiple things going on. But this is the first time that my actions (or in this case, inaction) are going to impact families and children in this magnitude. Scary stuff.

My greatest hope is that the students we minister to take it on themselves to pay forward the blessings they have been given. May their hearts be bold enough to take hold the reins of their life's direction and with the Holy Spirit move in the direction that the Lord wants them to go.

We just need to look at a few generations to train and then they can find mentors from the previous batches.

The legacy I want to be remembered for, is the amount of love I have for the Lord manifested in my family and my ministry. Even if the Lord takes me away right now, I know that steps were taken towards the destiny He set aside for me.

Next Stop: Theistic Evolution! Why is this important??

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Victory - Praise His Name

The Concert went off without a single hitch. Performers were incredibly talented, the food sold well (we sold out of the Pinoy BBQ Sticks) and the lucky prizes went really REALLY well.

We profited $1209.10 for the night. PROFIT. That is a lot of money to allocate the transport of 120 laptops to LEAD Christian School.

Top this off with our Shoe Drive:

Who buys new school shoes for their kids each year? If you have a pair of old school shoes still in reasonable condition that you're planing to throw away or donate, please consider donating them to our Shoe Drive! In 2 weeks time, using the funds raised from our Restore Concert last weekend, we'll be sending XO laptops generously donated by One Laptop per child to LEAD Christian School in the Philippines. We raised more than we needed, and with those funds we'd like to also ship much needed school shoes to those same poverty stricken kids. Shoes can be dropped off to our church on Sunday morning from 9:30 - 12 noon (Rouse Hill Public School, Clower Ave) or to our kids club session in the Margret Catchpole room at Rouse Hill Town Centre from 2pm-3:30pm. Alternative arrangements can be made by emailing Lyn Vergara at info.at.sanctuary@gmail.com. Please share.

Lyn did the video above. She noticed that some children wore shoes that were quite old and worn. The Lord moved her heart and she initiated this move. I think we are up to 30 pairs of shoes already and the momentum is gathering.

If there is a lesson we learned from "Restore" it is that the Lord needs willing people. He will bless your work, you just bring your heart. Have the humility to allow the Spirit to move your heart to be in-line with His will.

Now it is just logistics!!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Restore Concert 28th Feb 2015

Hi all,

2 weeks before the big day!!!!

Restore seeks to raise funds for the Lead Christian School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna in the Philippines.

This school has been mentioned before as I had adventured into Metro Manila after the Tacloban mission.

It'll be great to see you there!!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

My Manifesto for Education - Reform and Renewal

The amount of useless memes in this blog....

Starting life in Australia as high school migrant, I have had a unique perspective of how different education and pedagogy are between the cultures. There are benefits and disadvantages on both areas. Furthering the idea, my personal Educational Manifesto is comprised of the following points:

1.   Education must shape the lives of its students
2.   Education must equip the students to create jobs for people
3.   There is no such thing as scarcity, only a lack of technology
4.   Teachers and parents need to work as a team
5.   Graduates are to subsidise their successors

Education must shape the lives of its students:

It has been said that primary teaches you how to follow instructions, high school teaches you to read the instructions, tertiary education teaches you to question the instructions and real life asks you for instructions. Aside for the previous statement attempting to be humorous, there are aspects of truth in a sarcastic statement (Freud, as quoted by William Berry). Socrates is recorded to have said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”. Education must shape the lives of those it teaches. Secondary education is an opportunity for young minds to expand into maturity by stimulating curiosity and interest. This leads to the need for education to be relevant and communicated successfully to each student as they are intellectually able to understand.

Gardner theorised that there are multiple intelligences. Classically there are celebrations for those who are academically inclined. In an address recognising him for receiving the 2011 Prince of Asturias Prize in Social Science, Gardner said, “What I was confident of, and remain confident of, is that, with respect to any individual, one cannot know the strength of weakness of a particular intelligence, just because one knows the strength or weakness of another intelligence.” In keeping education as a life-shaping force in the student, teachers need to realise that the lesson they may be trying to teach a resistant student may be because of the method of teaching as well as the lack of interest in the topic itself. This is not an excuse to misbehave, rather an opportunity to expand creatively presenting the same topic in a different manner, communicating to the student’s particular intelligence. Teachers must have flexibility in being able to assess the child’s ability and gauge if this topic is in harmony with the child’s main intelligence.

The instructors who are teaching need to have a passion for the subject such that their love for the topic shows in their methods of teaching. Socrates has once said, “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” Dr. Derek Muller obtained his PhD from the University of Sydney with the premise of using multimedia to instruct students about quantum tunneling. He also regularly updates a You-Tube channel called “Veritasium – the element of truth”. He asks, “What experiences promote the kind of thinking that inspires learning?” (Muller, 2014) Best Practice of involvement must be observed in teaching. A student engaged in curiosity will yield greater engagement than in rote learning. The purpose of secondary education is to equip students as they mature into adulthood. This prepares them for the decision making and the eventual repercussion of the decision they have made. Education is meant to provide the masses a means to improve them and to choose the direction of their chosen vocation. Allen has also said that education (Vocational Curriculum in particular) gives the students a chance to “make a contribution to the economic well being of society”.

Education must equip the students to create jobs for people:

In the historical sense, teachers are training students for current jobs that exists in the market. The relevance of this pedagogy was that areas of employment stayed constant for decades as was observed during the industrial (Modernist) age. Changes in technology occur so quickly that now it far outstrips curriculum. Point in fact, in 1991, B.A.S.I.C. programming language was first introduced to students and progressed into the coding language of Pascal. By 1999 Pascal has been outdated by C+ and 2000 graduates fluent in C+ now need to skill-up to other programming languages. This fast pace of change along with the uncertainty and seeming hopelessness has forged a post-modern attitude of relativism.

Teachers need to focus on the future when interacting with their students. The imagination and ingenuity of the children can be fostered by allowing a social collaboration, putting into practice a corollary of Vygotsky’s theories on the Zone of Proximal Development and Erikson’s theories on social interaction.

Essentially the students are eventually empowered to carry a creative streak to adulthood. In this manner each student has the potential to be an innovator of technology with an ability to be the employer, instead of the one seeking work.

There is no such thing as scarcity, only a lack of technology:

Economic Alchemy states that technology and innovation creates a near-infinite number of ways that resources can be conserved and stretched. The theory of Economic Alchemy was coined by Dr. Paul Pilzer in his book, “Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and practice of Economic Alchemy”. Pilzer stipulates that, “By enabling us to make productive use of particular raw materials, technology determines what constitutes a physical resource.” This attitude that there is no scarcity will encourage the students to think outside of the normal spectrum and progress their curiosity to enthusiasm. With enough support, that enthusiasm will turn into innovation. However, it is important to note that technology is a tool for education; it must always be treated as a tool, not a be all and end all. The heart of this movement will always be the willingness of teachers to buy into the idea and to passionately pass on this to their students.

Teachers and parents need to work together as a team:

The typical day allocates almost 8 hours of contact (8:30am – 4pm) for secondary students and their teachers. A teacher can be a major influence to a student. Nonetheless, the parent holds sway the student’s direction. There must be a partnership between the teachers and parents. The parents must act as an extension of the teacher’s ideas. That being said, Christian education and influence must be taught with the attitude of stewardship. We are not to force the children to “be” Christians, but be used by the Holy Spirit to spread the good news. As secondary students are questioning the validity of the scriptures, teachers need to be equipped to defend their Faith through apologetics training. Teachers should never assume that their authority and position as a teacher can give them the right to ignore the student’s questions about Christianity and Faith. Incorporating the parents also brings into view any potential issues caused by cultural backgrounds or any Faith beliefs that may be a hindrance to learning.

In the same vein, a sense of pride must be felt with the student’s origin. A person’s roots are a source of strength and pride regardless of where one came from. Parental support to the teacher through cultural insight will be invaluable.

Students also need to learn how to cope with disappointment. Communication between the teacher and parents can assist in the student’s ability to gain resilience despite the setbacks.

In terms of discipline, students need to know that their actions have a set of outcomes, both positive and negative. Some outcomes are consequences that require disciplinary correction. Collaboration in this matter strengthens the position of the teacher to impose the punishment but has the respect of the parent.

Graduates are to subsidise their successors

The choice of secondary education must be accompanied with the conscious decision of the student to give effort and do work. This attitude can be encouraged by the teacher through the lessons. Parents are also integral to the success of the student. They are reinforcing the ideals presented by the teachers, inculcating a deep love for learning and self-improvement.

The final outcome with all the ideals combined would produce graduates who posses attitudes of entrepreneurship, gratitude and generosity. Students who choose to matriculate are encouraged to do so, as well as those who would pursue a vocational tertiary education. The subsidy is purely voluntary but with the hope of the graduate’s willingness to participate as they, themselves were given the benefit. Comparing this model of finance with a complete socialistic method of “Free Education” the Danes have (Billing, S; 2014), the subsidy provided by graduates will be far more sustainable.

Economically, the subsidy provides the school with additional resources to invest in resources. Socially, the subsidy creates a culture of “Paying it Forward” where an act of kindness is performed without reciprocity. Potentially this gives us a generation of empowered job generators produced annually which impacts not only their circle of influence but on a national scale as well.


Billing, Soeren; Agence France Presse (18 Jun 2014) “ Free Universities and No Student Loan Deb is Hurting Denmark’s Economy”  http://www.businessinsider.com/free-universities-and-no-student-loan-debt-is-hurting-denmarks-economy-2014-6?IR=T

Muller, D. A. (2008); University of Sydney PhD Thesis “Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education”

Muller, D.A (2014); “”This Will Revolutionize Education” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEmuEWjHr5c

Pilzer, P. Z. (1990); “Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy”

Smart, S. (2007); “A Spectator’s Guide to Worldviews”

Zemelman, S; Daniels, Hyde, A (2012); Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in American Classrooms (4th Ed)

Kozulin, A., Gindis, B., Ageyev, V., Miller, S. (2003); “Vygotsky’s educational theory and practice in cultural context”

Duchesne, McMaugh, Bochner and Krause 2010; “ Educational Psychology”

Erikson, E.H. 1977; “The Life Cycle Completed: Extended Verison”

Film: “Coach Carter” (2005)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Don't Look Down

taken from http://hdwallpaper.freehdw.com/0005/3d-abstract_widewallpaper_road-to-the-horizon_43498.jpg

If you start going through a road full of obstacles and the prospects look bleak in the short term, don't look down. Look to the horizon. The future where you are headed is the goal. The mess you are going through at the moment is temporary. The goal you have, however, is still there.

The goal of my life has always been to let people know about Jesus's Gift of Salvation with the use of the skills he has given me. I've been doing a Grad Dip in Education for high school.

My passion is to teach the students how to look for opportunities to better themselves, for them to be prepared to create jobs when they are able to, for them to be contributors, for them to be business owners and most importantly, for them to know Jesus in a deep and personal level.

Having a Christ-centred worldview means for us to be able to live and decide using the Lord to guide our volition. This doesn't mean that the path He wants us to walk down on is easy.

We postponed the "Restore" Concert because I was due to hand in my major assignments for my Graduate Diploma the weekend before. I was also in need of getting more advertising and ticket-selling.

I have two more major assignments due by Sunday, 18th Jan, so I am expecting to finish that by Thursday.

Speaking of which, I wanted to share my manifesto with all of you readers of mine.

Watch out for the next blog post!!