Story of the field mice.

(This is the English translation of my preivous post)
In a certain field was a village of field mice. They lived in burrows. Their diet was mainly grass seeds and roots. Their lives were mostly worry-free except for a hawk living in the nearby woods. This hawk was always lurking around in the hope of catching some mice for food.

In the mouse village, each mouse had its own strengths and occupation. Hulky was the strongest, he was responsible for tunneling.

Fatty had the best taste, he was the chef.

Spectacle had the best eyesight, he was the sentinel. Every time when the mice went above ground to collect food, Spectacle would keep watch at the burrow entrance. Before the hawk could approach the mice, he would warn them, telling everyone to run back inside. Generally the mice never wander too far away from the burrow. So the hawk had little chance of catching them.

The oldest mouse in the village was the mayor. When he was young, he traveled a lot. Therefore he was very knowledgable.

Speedy was the mayor’s son. He was the fastest runner. What was his occupation, you might ask? Well, he was a thief. He was very sneaky, so he was rarely caught. The few times he was caught, he was let off easy on account of his father being the mayor.

One day, Speedy went to Fatty’s kitchen to steal food and was discovered. Fatty was furious and was chasing after him. In his haste to escape, Speedy ran outside of the burrow to the open field, trying to escape to the woods.

Fatty was going to chase him down. But before he ran too far from the burrow, Spectacle, who was keeping watch, suddenly cried out, “The hawk is coming! The hawk is coming!”

This sent Fatty scurrying back into the burrow. Before he went back underground, he looked back and saw the hawk quickly closing in on Speedy. He thought, “Speedy is dead! ”

In fact, the hawk did caught Speedy and took him back to its nest. When the hawk was about to eat him, Speedy begged for mercy. “Brother Hawk, How mercy on me! As you can see, I am small and thin. I won’t make a good meal. You’ll still be hungry after eating me. I promise that if you let me go, you’ll have mice running to you every few days. You can eat mice to your heart’s desire!”

The hawk was enticed by his offer, and asked, “Really?”

Speedy replied, “I guarantee it with my life. If you let me go home, mice will volunteer themselves for your enjoyment. I only have a small request: Can you shake the branches, so that acorns will fell to the ground?”

The hawk said, “That is easy!” It patted its wings, shaking the branches vigorouly. And soon there were plenty of acorns on the ground.

Seeing his chance to escape the hawk, Speedy come quickly descended to the ground. He picked up two large and fragrant acorns, and went back to the burrow.

Inside the burrow, the mice were mourning the fate of Speedy. Fatty personally went to the mayor’s home to apologized, “I am responsible for Speedy’s death! Sure, he stole my food, but stealing food is not a crime that is worthy of death. I should not have chased him. I should not have made him ran outside and be eaten by the hawk.” And he started wailing.

Just as every one was mourning, Speedy’s voice came in from the outside, “Don’t cry! I’m okay! I am back safe and sound!”

Every one was amazed. They surrounded Speedy and started to ask him how he escaped from the hawk’s claws.

Speedy answer with pride, “Because I ran! The hawk was not fast enough to catch me and I was able to run all the way into the woods. When I was inside the woods, I found a lot of acorns on the ground. There was only one of me, so I only managed to bring back two acorns. Fatty! I stole your food and I was wrong. Please accept this acorn as my apology. The other acorn I give to my most beloved Daddy – the mayor! ”

Because the mice had been living underground, most of them did not know what acorns taste like. The mayor, with his vast experience, explained the nutritional benefits of acorn to the mice. Fatty was of course hugely relieved that Speedy returned safely. He used all his cooking skills on his acorn so that every one can have a taste of this novel delicacy. The mayor also donated his acorn for everyone’s enjoyment. Unfortunately, there were too many mice, so each of them could only have a small bite. Nevertheless, the taste of acorn was memorable.

After dinner, Speedy stood up and said, “Folks! The fact that I came back safely proves that the hawk is not as scary as we believed. If we run fast enough, we can go to the woods to collect acorns. Starting tomorrow, I will be your running coach. May we eat acorns everyday! ”

The mice were intrigued by the prospect of eating acorns everyday. The mayor also sparked their interest by praising the benefits of acorn as if it was food from heaven. The next morning, there was a large group of mice following Speedy into vigorous training – with dreams of running faster than the hawk, and winning acorns in the process.

Three days later, Speedy thought the opportune time had come. During their morning practice, he told the mice, “After three days of training, we have significant speed improvements. I believe we are now fast enough to out run the hawk. Let us start our first acorn run today at noon. Let us we bring back our acorns from the woods! ”

At noon, a group of more than thirty mice ran out of the burrow together under the leadership of Speedy. They ran straight towards the woods. What a sight! Even the hawk was admiring the running mice. It knew it had to be patient, so it waited until the mice are halfway to the woods before it attacked.

Hulky was one of the running mice. Although he had great strength, speed was not his forte. Moreover, he had to work his tunneling job, so he had less time to practice than the other mice. Consequently, he was the slowest runner and became the hawk’s lunch of the day.

The remaining mice reached the woods. They were overjoy to discover acorns everywhere. They gathered as many acorns as they could carry. When they were ready to make the return trip, the hawk was already full, and it did not attack them.

As soon as they returned to the burrow, the whole village exploded with joy. The happiest of them all was Fatty the chef. He spent his day planning for various acorn recipes: acorn pie, stir-fry acorn, acorn stew. He was anxiously waiting for the arrival of his main ingredient. With the acorns were there, they were ready for the acorn feast!

Everyone enjoyed the feast, but a few of them remembered of death of Hulky. In the middle of the feast, the mayor stood up and addressed the mice, “Today, we have entered a new era. We have a new source of food which is more nutritious. Henceforth, we will be more healthy, more energetic, and can run much faster! In the outside world there is a famous scientific principle called ‘Survival of the Fittest’. One of us was sacrificed today because he could not run fast enough. This is living proof of ‘survival of the fittest’. From now on, for our survival, we have to run faster!”

That day began a “running fever” in the mice village. Speedy naturally became the village hero. Only Spectacle remained skeptical. Because of this, he quarreled with his wife. He said, “No one in this village knows the attack speed of the hawk better than I. No way can Speedy out run the hawk! It must be a lie!”

His wife said, “He brought home acorns, didn’t he? What proof do you need? Now every mouse in the village is eating acorns. We are still eating grass roots. The mayor says that acorns are rich in protein. You can go ahead and be a coward. But our kid can not do without nourishment or he will grow up thinner and weaker than the others kids. If you do not bring back the acorns, I will divorce you!”

When his wife mentioned their kid, Spectacle’s heart softened. He said to his wife, “For our kid it is worth the risk. If I die, I die!”

One week later the stockpile of acorns was gone. The mice once again had to collect acorns. This time Spectacle was also involved. When the hawk saw Spectacle, it recognized that he was the sentinel. It reasoned, “If I get rid of him, it will be much more convenient to catch mice in the future.” So the hawk picked its target. Poor Spectacle did not even have a chance to scream.

Since then, the mice regularly run into the woods to collect acorns. With Spectacle out of the way, Speedy can now sneak out and make contacts with the hawk. He informed the hawk everything regarding the movements of the mice. The mice on the other hand, had no idea of Speedy’s secret dealings and still regarded him as their great hero. Some mice wanted to emulate the success of Speedy and started their own running schools. Under the co-operation between Speedy and the hawk, one by one these competitors became empirical proof to the principle of “survival of the fittest “.

One day, when Speedy and the hawk had one of their secret meetings, the hawk said to Speedy, “We are perfect partners! Thanks to your arrangements, I am now having too much to eat. Remember the last time you asked me to take care of the fat mouse? Eating him really drove up my cholesterol! At this rate, I am afraid I will soon be too fat to fly! Honestly, I feel sick just seeing a fat mouse.”

Speedy replied, “Fatty tried to buy acorns in the black market from another supplier behind my back. Ha! He gets what he deserves! Don’t worry about your weight problems. I will take care of it! I guarantee that beginning next week, your diet of mice will be sweet, tender, and healthy! Top quality stuff! The best of the best for you my dear friend!”

The hawk said, “That’s great! It is such a pleasure doing business with you!” Then Speedy quietly returned to the burrow.

The next morning, a huge poster appeared in the village:

“Give your children a head start in life!!!”


A Parable for the children but not intended to be read by the children

Sorry for not posting for so long. I was working on a “major” work, and here it is –

(I am posting the Chinese version first, English translation to come probably next week)













老鷹説:“這事易辦!” 他拍拍翅膀,樹枝就大力的搖動,很快就有好幾個松果掉到地上。


在地洞裡,田鼠們正為較腳的命運傷心。肥仔親自到村長家求饒。他向村長説:“較腳的死,我的責任最大。不錯是他偷我的食物,但偷食物也罪不至死。我不應追他,弄到他逃出洞外,給老鷹喫掉。” 説罷放聲大哭。












在松果宴上,大家都開懷的大快朵頤。但也有少數的田鼠為大強的犧牲而傷心。席中村長站起來,對大家説:“我們田鼠村今天進入了新的紀元!我們有了新的更有營養的食物來源,從今以後我們將會更健康,更有活力,也跑得更快。外邊的世界有一句名言,叫作 ‘物競天擇,適者生存’。今天有田鼠犧牲了,是因為他跑的不夠快。正好証明了這一條真理。為了田鼠的未來,為了我們的生存,以後我們要愈跑愈快!”




一星期之後松果喫光了。田鼠們又一次出發去收集松果,小明也參與其中。老鷹看見小明,認出他是放哨的。心想:“把他解決掉,以後抓田鼠就方便多了。” 老鷹認定了小明,集中攻擊,小明連喊救命的機會也沒有,就成了老鷹爪下的亡魂。

從此以後,田鼠們定時的跑進樹林收集松果。沒有小明的哨站,較腳就可以悄悄的和老鷹聯絡,把田鼠的消息告訢老鷹。田鼠們沒有懷疑較腳在背後弄鬼,依然把他當成大英雄。有些田鼠,看見較腳的成功,也學他開辦跑步學校。在較腳和老鷹合作之下,這些競爭者都一一成為了 “物競天擇,適者生存” 的實證。



老鷹説:“那太好了!我們合作愉快!” 之後較腳便悄悄的回到田鼠洞中。



Why would you want to see God?

Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God. – Matthew 5:8

When modern day western Christian read the verse, we tend to think of this verse as a promise to an uplifting worship experience – we sing of praise songs with loud music and those who have pure hearts enjoy the experience deeper because they can feel God’s presence.

I am quite sure the original audience of the sermon on the mount did not think that way. So what did it mean to “see God” in the first century?

To begin, attempting to see God was (and still is) a fearful, dangerous and often fatal, venture. Our God is a holy God and the bible has ample evidences that even prophets and apostles fell down in mortal fear when they encountered God.

So why would one want to see God? In Chinese there is a phrase “上訪”, which means “upward visit”. Imagine you are a poor Chinese peasant. A powerful real estate developer took your farm by force and bribery. What are your options? You can try sue the real estate developer in the district court. That usually does not bring favorable results. What you would need to do is to take the train to Beijing and make your appeal to the officials in the central government. Maybe you can find the sympathetic ears of some one who is powerful enough to make a difference.

The situation of the original audiences of Jesus probably resonates closer to the poor peasants of China than to praise singing worshipers. They were poor Jewish peasants being oppressed by both their own religious leaders and the Roman government.

The message of Jesus to those people was “God is King”. The Kingdom of God is here, and God is in charge. He is making judgement from His throne. You, though you are poor and powerless, can see Him and plead your case to Him as long as your heart is pure. He is our advocate, we are no longer helpless.

Why would you want to see God? When you see Him, what is your plead?

Survival of the Fittest

Last Wednesday was the last day of school for my daughters. To celebrate, the school had a talent show. Obviously, some acts are better than others but it was a lot of fun for everybody. I noticed two girls whose act was just upstaged by another boy. The boy was singing a similar song with more spectacular background music. The two girls looked at each other and said, “we should do this next year!” then sang along with the boy. Not a hint of envy or any negative sentiment.

Later the same week, I had dinner with friends sharing news from Hong Kong. Kids in Hong Kong begin their struggle to get into good schools from birth. Kindergartens have entrance interviews and parents send their two year olds to intensive training to prepare for those interviews. When they come to elementary school, the kids are competing not only in academics, but also in music, sports, experience in world travel, as well as how much their parents donate to “selected charities”.

The most destructive aspect of the theology of evolution (I distinguish between the theology of evolution from the science of evolution) is not that evolution teaches us that God did not created the world. Most people still believe that God created heaven and earth. The most destructive aspect of the theology of evolution is the concept of “survival of the fittest”. Survival of the fittest has permeated through our culture and done damage in our business lives, our political systems, and our education.

Survival of the fittest belongs to the theology of evolution, the science of evolution teaches us instead “survival of the collaborative”. In real life ecosystem, species live in collaborative balance. Without wolves, the sheep will grow too numerous. The grassland will be damage, the ecosystem collapses.

Survival of the fittest teaches that there is no friendly competition, every competition is a fight to the death. Loser don’t deserve to live. We don’t live by words that come from the mouth of the Lord. Grace has no place in life.

Because it is survival that we are talking about, we have to win at all cost. Cheating and backstabbing are just tools of survival. We have to turn everything into competition. Education is competition, music is competition, arts is competition, beauty is competition, worship is competition. Life is one big season of “Dancing with the stars” or “American Idol”: you don’t get the votes, you are eliminated. Bye bye, sayonara, good riddance, go rot in hell for all I care.

Survival of the fitness deny us of grace. We are not allowed to show grace and to receive grace.

We like to think of life as a rat race. And we are all too eager to enter our kids into the same race too. Let me remind you that if a rat starts racing against other rats out in nature, that rat would probably become afternoon snack of some bird of prey.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (I Peter 5:8, John 8:44)

What is God doing in China?

The question “what is God doing in China?” has many answers. Here are some typical ones.

Answer 1: “God is doing wonderful things in China! Last summer our church sent a mission team to China. We cannot share the gospel openly there, so when we go we serve by teaching them English. Nevertheless, our last mission team got the chance to share our faith personally with a number of students. 16 of them accepted Christ! Praise the Lord!”

Answer 2: “God is doing wonderful things in China. Christianity is the fastest growing religion there. Some reports say that there are 70 million Christians in China while some say the number may be as high as 130 million.”

Both good answers, each of them reflect a different perspective. But let me introduce the perspective of Gideon, a friend of mine:

Answer 3: “If you want to know what God is doing in China, turn to the book of Exodus. Modern China is quite similar to Ancient Egypt. Each of them was/is the biggest economy of their time. 99% of the workers work really hard without receiving the benefit of their labor. Their products are shipped overseas so that the other 1% become rich and powerful. In order to keep the economy going, the government build massive infrastructure projects employing more slave labors. If you want to know what God is doing in China, just read what God did in Egypt. God never change, what he had done before, he will do again.”

Do you think that God only cares for Christians or do you think that God cares for all people, especially the poor?

Do you think that God only cares about religious lives, or do you think that God care about economics, international relations, and social justice?

Do you think that God has changed so that He deals with us differently from the way He dealt with previous generations?

Is your God big enough for this world?

BTW, can you tell me what God is doing in your church?

False sense of freedom

It happened again last night. There were no Celtics or Bruins games and the Red Sox had an afternoon game. So in the evening, I could find nothing interesting to watch on TV. I have hundreds of channels on cable but nothing to watch.

Obviously cable has not given me entertainment freedom. If none of the hundreds of channels is interesting, the freedom to choose among them is a false sense of freedom. If I had the energy, I could serve myself better by reading a book, or better yet write something or shoot the next viral video. But I did not have the energy, so I just vegetated on the couch staring at a meaningless screen as a faithful member of the Society of Overweight Americans.

What I just experienced yesterday evening probably is representative of a large segment of our lives: choices pretending to be freedom. In a world driven by monolithic giants, consumers are not really free, they just have the illusion of freedom.

True freedom is not measure by the number of choices presented, but by the diversity of capability generated those choices. Choosing between McDonald’s and Burger King does not generate a high degree of freedom. Choosing between a larger variety of food (e.g. Italian vs. Chinese) entails more freedom. Having the ability to purchase healthy food and cook dishes according to one’s particular taste provide significantly more freedom. Freedom is not measured by number of choices or quantity of products but by their diversities and capabilities. Freedom is not enhance by consumption, but by creativity.

Consider China. With the economics boom, the average Chinese have much higher purchasing power than she had a few years ago. However many of them have to flock to Hong Kong and even overseas to buy baby formula. They breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, eat untrustworthy food. Money does not buy freedom – trustworthiness and truthfulness do.

Here in America, we value democracy. However we are continually being taught a “democracy of consumers” instead of “democracy of citizens”. We superstitiously believe that democracy equal voting. So we believe we are free because we can go to the voting booth and select between a politician with an “D” and a politician with an “R”. When both parties are equally untrustworthy, are our choices truly free?

True freedom is not choosing between “D” and “R” the way we choose between McDonald’s and Burger King. True freedom is to be a citizen instead of a consumer. True freedom is to running for office yourself if your have the ambition or to love your neighbor when your ambition is not as grand.

Let us not be deceived by the false sense of freedom promised us by consumerism. Instead, let us truly exercise our freedom by being active agents of God in this land.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

No trees to be found

Beijing Olympic Square

Most people remember the glorious 2008 Beijing Olympics. The majestic event demonstrated the rising power of this nation. But upon what principle is this earthly glory and power built?

I recently toured the Olympic Square in Beijing. Look at this panoramic picture, what is missing?

(That is my family in the foreground, the Water Cube in the far left and the Bird Nest in the middle.I am missing because I am the one taking the picture).

Have you notice the color green is missing? There is not a single tree, nor there is any patches of grass in this super-sized  square. I checked on Google Maps with their aerial pictures – there are trees around the artificial lake, and trees lining the highways surrounding the Olympic Square – but inside the square not a single tree.

I once was given a lesson on architecture by the famous Chinese evangelist Stephen Tong. He asked us why there are many ancient architectural sites in the Western world (e.g. Acropolis of Athens, Colosseum of Rome – both of them around 2000 years old) while relatively few survived in China. (The Imperial palace in Beijing is only a few hundred years old). His answer was, “Chinese believe that living people should live in buildings that are built from living materials, i.e. wood. Therefore even the palace for the emperor were always built with wood. Chinese do build large stone structures – we use stone to build tomes.”

The creation of God is full of life. The creation of industry is devoid of life.

I am also reminded that as Christians we are called to be builders. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, 1 Peter 2:4-10) We are called to build God’s house with the most precious material – with our own lives.

So what is your house made of? What is our churches made of?

Chinese New Year Greetings




 12 我知道,世人莫強如終身喜樂、行善。 13 並且人人吃喝,在他一切勞碌中享福,這也是神的恩賜。




屬靈操練 – 第三課:資訊時代的屬靈操練



  • 是:守安息是十誡其中的第四誡
  • 否:歌羅西書 2:16-17


  • 不用守猶太人的禮法。但安息的意義超乎禮法
  • 每人可按自己的方法守安息,但不要陷入律法主義


  • 出埃及記 20:8 -11
  • 申命記 5:12 -15
  • 利未記 25
  • 利未記 26:33


  • 現代生活愈趨複雜
  • 日常的生產會有「副作用」和「負債」。
  • 安息是讓自然恢復消除「副作用」。


身體的需要 – 睡眠 –運動 –感官過勞
資訊超載 (Information Overload)


  • 指定的時間內,不接收有關工作的資訊
  • 須要有妥善的安排
  • 對個人及工作都有裨益

Media Fast

  • 在一段時間內,全家不以電子媒介作娛樂
  • 最好有教會的支持


  • 個人、家庭、公司、教會都是有生命的体系。(Living Systems)
  • 生命系統自然多產,但亦需要休息
  • 守安息是必須的誡命
  • 活躍的安息是:
    • 主動回饋「生產的負債」
    • 主動聆聽
    • 全然的依賴


This is part of my Sunday school class notes.


  • 屬靈操練 Spiritual Discipline
    • 習慣而刻意的屬靈活動。Intentional habitual practice of spiritual activity.
  • 傅士德 Richard Foster 把屬靈操練分成三方面:
    • 內在操練:默想、禱告、禁食、讀經
    • 外在操練:簡樸、獨處、順服、事奉
    • 團體操練:彼此認罪、同心敬拜、門徒訓練、與眾同樂


  • 把屬靈操練當成律法
  • 不明白屬靈操練的社會影響力
  • 以為屬靈操練是德行
  • 注重屬靈操練,不見耶穌
  • 只注重一種的屬靈操練,不明白整全屬靈操練
  • 以為屬靈操練的專家可以明白所有屬靈操練的途徑
  • 只學習屬靈操練,不認真實踐



  • 申命記 5:12-15 (安息日)
  • 申命記 6:4-9
  • 哥林多前書 9:24-27
  • 提摩太前書 4:8
  • 歌羅西書 2:20-23