Monday, June 2, 2014

CJCU Revisited - May 26 2014

It was a trip suggested and assisted by a long time friend of mine who thought it’d be interesting to pay a quick and unannounced visit to the school where I have spent three semesters learning, growing and teaching.   

A few quick and surprising hugs from students and advanced students/pastors gave me the feeling that somehow I was the one who had been long lost and finally found the way home.

I remembered most of their names and even a few term papers that were presented, discussed and cherished.  It felt like yesterday and at the same time it felt like from the previous life, if there is one. 
“Things have been challenging,” said one of the co-workers solemnly.
- That’s part of the life.

“Please pray for us and pray with us...” said another.    
- Always.

“Remember we used to say ‘Jesus loves you.’  And you turned around and told us that the question among us should be ‘Do we love Jesus?’"  
- I do remember.

“We will be graduating in about a year from now.  Would you like to attend our graduation ceremony?”
We’d try - as we never stop growing and learning.

“It seemed to me that the outreach to the community services would never end,” commented a pastor/student
- Better reaching out than sitting around and wait.

Many more waved at me with surprises and smiles as they passed by, just like the good old days. It reminded me the words of the famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, “Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”   

Where else does one find the hope of the humankind other than the young and the innocent kids?

I spent some time in the office of the chaplains; the office and the hall of the Department of Theology; a quick hand shaking and greetings with the new president; the office of the vice president; and with a few old friends in the conference room, talking and mostly listening to their stories.

As expected, some stories brought us tears while we gracefully shared.

We are all in the stories and are also the story tellers at the same time. 

All the stories share the same title. 

It is called LIFE.

CJCU is changing; Taiwan is changing; and the world is changing, rapidly as ever.

Faith in God, however, has never changed.
       9:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday, May 26 2014

Return to  ---> Home Page 陳中潔

Friday, May 10, 2013

Along Came an Angel

“Did Burger King marry Dairy Queen?” asked a five year old girl.
“Yes, they did,” the father answered with sincere smile. 
He was not teaching her, but learning from her.

Most kids still believe Santa Clause, miracles and angels.
I envy them.

Then I met a few pastors who are still believers of miracles and angels. 

This is a story about their experience of meeting the answers of the prayers and an angel.

In August 8, 2009 a powerful typhoon hit Taiwan and caused the now infamous “88 Flood” (88水災.)  A few local pastors near Chia-yi County by the Ali Mountain worked with the locals and the aboriginals to save lives and provided food and shelters during that critical time.  At that time the daily afternoon summer thunder storms became a real threat to their effort of securing the paths along the hills.  These Presbyterian pastors decided to get together and asked God to stop the northwestern thunder storms (西北雨) from certain periods of time for certain villages, between 2 PM and 4 PM, and they got their prayers answered.  They secretly told me afterward, that it was hard to believe…

Jesus said, Let the little ones come to me, and do not keep them away: for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matt 19:14)

Then they have new challenges.  One church has provided a semi-furnished building as settlement for aboriginals (原住民安置所) who lost their shelters during the flood.  Another church out-reach institution also provided the mustard seeds for them to grow and make some profits.  But where is the needed fund?  Not enough.  Again, they turned to God.


All fish were born swimming. 
All angels were created flying. 
But Mr. C that I have known for more than forty years is a new kind of angel.  He walks down to the earth like most of us.  He worked his way up.  Fortunately for many, when he retired, he becomes a head of a foundation which provides charity funds to many non-for-profit organizations all over Taiwan and beyond.

Then on one occasion, Mr. C met these pastors unexpectedly.  They ate simple meals and talked, and he listened with great interest.  And Mr. C was touched with their efforts to give helping hands to the less fortunate.   They stated the situations, and he answered with promises.
As all angels, Mr. C kept his promises.

Mr. C once asked me how to pray.  “Use your heart, not your words. God would understand you completely,” I said.  

He did.  And God seemed to understand him too.

Along came an angel, or angels, flying or walking, unexpected, but not surprised. 

God bless them all.


Monday, March 11, 2013

The Journey Continues...

After three semesters at CJCU, my wife and I bid goodbye to the CJCU community as my journey took a big turn.  And shortly after, I ran into a sudden realization (頓悟) that every journey simply continues no matter where you are and what you do.

And like the stories in the Bible, they continue till this day.

My courses at the CJCU involved with the Bible (the Old Testament and the New; their interpretations and applications), the formation of the spirituality and the early Christian missions. 

There was one thing in common. They all dealt with stories:   

  • The stories of the people of Israel and the stories of the gentiles.
  • The stories of love and hatred, of obedience and rebellion, of trust and mistrust.     
  • More sad stories than the happy ones, just like all human stories.
  • Some stories are heard more often than the others, but each has its point made.
As some friends told me before that they seldom heard me preach the messages of justice.  I humbly agree.  I do not quite understand the point of justice, Godly or humanly. I just preach what I think I can understand a little - about love.

According to the estimate, there are more than 7 billion people on the earth.  There are at least seven billion stories to be told.  

The stories of the seven billions brothers and sisters are to be shared.  Like the stories of the Bible, they too are our stories.

Take no small measure of the human stories - these stories are also God’s stories. 

God’s love stories – that how the journey continues, always.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

新約導論 - What We Have Covered


舊約 新約的關鍵/核心區別是什麼?

基督誕生前後, 有什麼文化,政治和宗教的因素影響到基督教

闡釋約翰福音 馬太/馬可/路加福音的差異點

闡釋路加福音 馬太/馬可/約翰福音 "復活記載" 的差異點


我們不再有歷史上的耶穌, 我們如何建立我們的信心?

[使徒行傳] 值得提及的主題是什麼?



[基督論]是什麼? 早期基督教議會的爭論點在那裡?

耶穌, 彼得, 保羅, 希伯來書和啟示錄的福音中心思想是什麼?

解釋這門課程 [新約導論] 的座右銘

  *** Comments during the final exam:

1.      I never expected that a pastor-teacher had more Biblical questions than me - 學分班學生
2.      Put aside the methodology of the course, I admired the passion of the teacher - 牧師班學生
3.      If there is a second chance, I'd need a bigger head to absorb a course like this - 大二學生A
4.      Now I read the Bible with new perspectives - 大二學生B

Additional comment:
Thank God/gave us a happy year full of wisdom and thoughtful curriculum/with the expectations of the future;
We will meet again/we'll miss you.
Will think of the things you taught in the class/we love you.
You are like our grandfather/you always taught us words of wisdom.
Let us see the wisdom of God again.
If you have the opportunity to come back,
you can continue to teach us.   - 大二學生 L Y T

New! For answers please visit


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Angels, Unrecognized

They could easily be passed by the church standards as the non-believers.  And they actually are non-Christians.  They don’t talk like one of us, and they don’t act like one of the so called Christians.

Here they are, seven of them, my high school (南一中) classmates.  We have met as a group less than eight times in the last 53 years.  And when we met, we still called each other the nicknames we used to call when we were in high school.  We shared different jokes now and then with certain respect unknown to the outsiders. 

We also shared the memories of our few friends who were gone prematurely years ago.  When we were together, we laughed till our tears dropped.   We are, after all, grandpas now.  But we still act like the growing young adults facing the world with those never ending wonders.  When we were together, looking at each others, silently wondering what the heck happened in the last 50+ years…

And most of all, we stand together with good causes.  Like the charity drive for the scholarship of the needy students of the Dept of Theology at CJCU (長榮大學) since last summer.   It was not the first charity they have faced. And just the three of them came up with more than 20% of the grand total of NT$500,000.  

They would certainly go as angels unrecognized most of the time.  And they did.  They don’t look a bit like angels.  Like most men over 70’s, they just look old.  They don’t even have enough sideburns, let alone the wings, to show off. 

Simply put, unlike angels, they don’t fly.

Still, their hearts and their deeds are flying high like angels.

Angels are, more often than one may think, passing by unrecognized. 

Love, hearts and deeds of the angels are always felt and recognized, universally.

Like here and now, Tainan, Taiwan, 2013…

Sunday, December 23, 2012

So this is Christmas...

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over over
If you want it
War is over

- John Lennon

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Little Angel and a Kitten 小天使和小貓

Dear Din Din:                                                                    

點點, 你雖然是一隻貓, 卻帶給我很多歡笑和淚水哦!
我雖然不知道你現在在哪裡, 過得怎麼樣; 但我相信你一定在天堂過著福快樂的日子.

現在, 小點點已經變成大點點囉! 點點, 你看我幫你想了好多個名, 有笨點, 呆點, 可愛的點, 大點, 小點, 大笨點, 花花 ...
若我喊一聲點點, 你會回答我嗎?

時時刻刻陪伴我的點點, 我真的好想你, 也好愛你啊!

點點, 我希望你現在是在一個讓你很快樂的國度. 我用我對你真誠的感情和愛來告訴你

想起你洗澡洗到一半, 跑出來還滑壘的模樣了...J

“You would never die on my mind or in my heart." 

  - by Sophie (age 11)

耶穌說、讓小孩子到我這裡來、不要禁止他們.因為在天國的、正是這樣的人。(馬太 19:14)

Jesus said, Let the little ones come to me, and do not keep them away: for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matt 19:14)