Archive for May, 2008

Recent thoughts

May 28, 2008

I just saw this sentence on one of my friend’s post.

“There’s no one left to protect me. I’m still a little person, in this big,big world. There’s only one person left who can protect me: myself.”

I wanted so much to tell that person that stop trying so hard. There will and always be God to shield you and protect you. In the end, i did not. Maybe in a way, i am like that person, trying to find my own ways to protect myself from the world, the hurts, the scars.

These days, it will really take all of my courage just to step foot into a church. I have forgotten how is it like to sing praises to Him. All the usual human emotions are being taken out from me. Happiness, sadness, joy or grief, i have forgotten how they are like. Is this the emptiness that some people are trying so hard to reach. My advice is stop trying to reach this stage, it is not a nice place to be at.

People sometimes choose to believe in God but deny the existence of the other. But in life, you cannot just do that. Just by denying the other does not cease it’s existence. Freedom is a precious gift from God that He does not want to take away from us. The freedom to love, the freedom to live, the freedom to enjoy all of His creations and the freedom to choose. Do not blame God for the evil that is born out of the choices by man. God gave this freedom to us and if we choose to do evil, He should not be the one to take the blame. He respect and love each one of us. When something bad happens to us, He weeps and griefs more that each one of us.

Just the recent natural disasters, when so many people died. It does not mean God is not there for them. Look at the number of people who survived and how they did that, one will know that God is there. If not, all surely shall perish and none will survive. Once again, no one in this world hurts more than God when bad things happen to us.   

Advertisements

The Five Stages of Grief

May 27, 2008

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance

The stages have evolved since their introduction and they have been very misunderstood over the past three decades. They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives.

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ’s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss.

Denial

This first stage of grieving helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle.

As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.

Anger

Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this?

Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.

Bargaining

Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?”

We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.

Depression

After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.

Acceptance

Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm that with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life at it was before a love one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves.

Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

Boring Holi…

May 27, 2008

Life is really stopping now for me. Just waiting for school to start again. Nothing much for me for the next 2 months. Maybe i pick up something new again. Time to hit the library. Catching up on my shows too. Criminal minds is way better than CSI. Thumbs up for it. My type of show. haha

Reading – 2

May 21, 2008

Can there be any doubt whatsoever that a powerful shaking and sifting is happening within the body of Christ today? And, it is our God who is using whatever means to sift, and it is He who is shaking the ‘tree’…All those who do not have their roots firmly planted in the Truth-The Word of God, are going to be shaken lose my friends–I really believe that. They will find at the end of this life, that they had been turned over to a strong delusion, all because they rejected the Truth.

Not in my 28 years of serving the Lord have I witnessed the sheer magnitude of the number of Christians who today, appear to have no respect for what the scriptures have to say on any given subject–In other words they accept lies while rejecting truth.

 

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth,.. 2Thess:2

This sifting and shaking is going on in many areas within the body–and it all comes down to the question, “whom do you believe; The Word of God, or man?”.

In Albert Molher’s commentary today, he takes on the Coming great divide within Churches, concerning the California Supreme Courts recent decision handed down on marriage–and what the results will bring about within Churches and denominations. I agree with him, its going to cause a great divide.

But I ask you–to look around, there are many issues today within the body which are also bringing about division. Not the least being what we are witnessing in these ‘revivals’ springing up world-wide: doctrines of demons being preached/taught, false prophets spewing ungodly words from their mouths, all in the name of ‘thus saith the Lord’ …etc etc etc…

I also agree with Albert Mohler, There is No Place to Hide; We have to take a stand on one side or the other concerning ALL these issues. I do not believe God is permitting anyone who claims to be a Christian to sit on the proverbial fence today. We either believe God’s word or we don’t;

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24

To serve Him means we hold to and believe His word over anything else, period.

From Albert Mohler blog:

When the California Supreme Court struck down that state’s definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman it announced a great social and moral revolution. Unless reversed by means of a constitutional amendment, this decision effectively redefined marriage and set a precedent that will reverberate across the nation.

At the same time, this moral revolution unleashed by the California court will also reveal a deep divide between churches and denominations. Issues of biblical authority have divided Christian denominations and churches and have been the focus of intense debates and controversies.

One unavoidable outcome of the legalization of same-sex marriage is that the great divide between conservative and liberal churches and denominations will become glaringly evident in a way that has not been the case thus far. The singular question of whether churches perform and recognize same-sex “marriages” will tell a much larger story.

At least until this new phenomenon, churches and denominations across the board shared an understanding of marriage and a vocabulary that included words like “husband” and “wife.” In the world before same-sex unions, that made sense. In a world without a shared understanding of marriage, even the vocabulary falls apart.

The Los Angeles Times offers an interesting look into the future in its May 19, 2008 edition. In the article, the paper reported on a cross-section of area churches, synagogues, and mosques.

From the article:

Pastor Gregory L. Waybright struggled from the pulpit Sunday to reconcile the laws of God with the laws of man. Though he wanted his church “to be a welcoming and loving house,” he told worshipers at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, the California Supreme Court’s decision last week to legalize gay marriage in California “is a contradiction of what God’s word says.”

The 4-3 ruling, which held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, has prompted conservative and liberal congregations alike to discuss whether gay and lesbian members will be allowed to wed in their churches, synagogues and temples.”

These are the kinds of issues every religion has to grapple with,” said James A. Donahue, president of the Graduate Theological Union, a Berkeley-based consortium of theological schools.

“How do you factor in the role of contemporary human rights, civil rights, the data about homosexuality” with “core traditions and beliefs?”

At Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church of Pasadena, the mood was celebratory Sunday, with Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” played at services in honor of the decision.

At Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood — which offers “outreach to the gay, lesbian and bisexual community,” according to its website — Rabbi Denise L. Eger’s e-mail box was filled almost instantly with requests from joyful congregants wanting to get married.

The polarity on biblical authority is glaringly apparent in this description of the coming reality in California — unless, that is, voters amend the constitution.

As the paper explains:

In recent years, conflicts over homosexuality and the Bible have unsettled many denominations, especially such mainline Protestant churches as Methodists, Presbyterians, Evangelical Lutherans and Episcopalians. Although the specifics vary, the controversies for all of these faith groups and for Conservative Judaism have revolved broadly around whether to provide official recognition to the unions of same-sex couples and whether to allow openly gay and lesbian clergy.

Thursday’s court decision is expected to add fuel to the debate, with several denominations poised to again take up gay-related issues at their national conventions this year. William McKinney, president of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley and a professor of American religion there, said the ruling was applauded on his campus, which is a multidenominational, theologically liberal Christian seminary. Yet he said he felt an element of trepidation as well.”

We’re celebrating it on the one hand,” McKinney said, noting that San Francisco’s 2004 decision allowing same-sex weddings had given many people, both gay and straight, new appreciation for the powerful symbolism of marriage.” On the other hand, though, this sets us up for another round of the culture wars,” he said. “As a straight, married man, I feel for my gay friends whose private life is once again going to be the subject of public debate.”

The issue of biblical authority is central to this controversy, as is almost always the case. This becomes abundantly clear in an interesting statement from a rabbi:

For Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, who heads the Conservative Jewish congregation at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, the court’s decision has changed the way he will handle celebrating the unions of gay and lesbian couples at his synagogue.  “I did not in the past. I will now,” he said in an interview. “I was really waiting for this [decision]. . . . From my point of view, it’s a very courageous thing and is part of the evolution of religious mores.”

Schulweis has been a rabbi for more than half a century and has seen his religion evolve, he said, first allowing women into the full “ritual life of the community,” then ordaining them as rabbis and cantors, and eventually embracing homosexuals.” It’s one of the most exciting parts of seeing religion as not static and inflexible but as sensitive to different times and different information and different knowledge,” Schulweis said.  “What in the world did people in the biblical time know about homosexuals?”

Take a close look at that question. When the rabbi asks, “What in the world did people in the Bible time know about homosexuals?,” he clearly indicates that he sees the Bible as a human book that reveals no more then the attitudes and prejudices and limitations of its human authors. There is no acknowledgement at all that the Bible reveals what God would have us to know about homosexuality.

That, in the end, is the point. Is the Bible merely a human book? If so, then marriage can be anything we decide it should be. But, if the Bible is the Word of God, then we are bound by it. It’s as simple as that.

As The Los Angeles Times makes clear, there is no place to hide.

 

Source: SOLA DEI GLORIA

风中的羽翼

May 19, 2008

黑夜过后太阳就要升起
暴风雨过后也就会天睛
让我们一起手牵手向前
彩虹就在我们心底
人生路一定有风也有雨
用泪水灌溉生命的勇气
用希望化作风中的羽翼
让梦带走心中的忧郁
你陪伴我穿越过高山和大海
我的心有你才会澎湃
我愿意放弃所有坚持和骄傲
相信你因为相信爱

人生路一定有风也有雨
用泪水灌溉生命的勇气
用希望化作风中的羽翼
让梦带走心中的忧郁
你陪伴我穿越过高山和大海
我的心有你才会澎湃
我愿意放弃所有坚持和骄傲
相信你因为相信爱
啊……啊……
你陪伴我穿越过高山和大海
我的心有你才会澎湃
我愿意放弃所有坚持和骄傲
相信你因为相信爱
黑夜过后太阳就要升起(太阳升起)
暴风雨过后也就会天晴(就会天晴)
用希望化作风中的羽翼……
让梦带走心中的忧郁
相信爱因为相信你

Readings – 1

May 14, 2008

By Anton Bosch

A toddler will eat anything. It does not matter if it is nutritious or poison, it has no ability to discern between food and poison.

As Christians mature in the faith they should learn to discern between spiritual poison and spiritual food.

“But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

The problem is that the vast majority of modern-day “Christians” are either not born again or have been kept in a perpetual state of babyhood, and are thus unable to discern the difference between truth and error. Because of this, and because we have a new generation of church-goers who do not know the Bible, false teachers have multiplied, and millions believe anything these preachers say.

Discriminating between truth and error is really not that difficult as long as we abide by a few basic principles…

The first of these is that truth is absolute.

I use the term “absolute” as the opposite of “relative.” For most people – Christian and non-Christian – truth is relative. We hear:

*-“Truth is relative to one’s own experience, background, culture and environment.”

*-“What is true for one person may not be true for someone else.”

*-“What was true in Jesus’ day or a hundred years ago, is not necessarily true today.”

*-“What is true in the jungles of Africa is not true in the concrete jungles of America.”

But truth is absolute. It is unchanging and it is equally true in every time, culture, or environment. God’s truth does not change or have a different meaning in a different environment.

What is truth?

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6).

The Truth is first a person – Jesus Christ. His Word is Truth.

Jesus said: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17).

Truth, the Person, never changes: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Truth, the Word, never changes. “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19)

The second principle is that the Bible is complete.

Many people think that God continues to give new revelation through prophets, preachers and visions. But that is a lie from Hell to move people away from the foundation of the Word.

Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son….”

Note that God has spoken. The Greek is very specific, this is past and complete. God does not continue to speak.

Yes, we refer to “God speaking to us,” but what we actually mean is that God is reminding us of what He had already said in His Word. Jude 3 says: “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

This translation is accurate in that the faith was delivered once and for all (eternity). It is not continually being delivered.

Theologians speak of “progressive revelation.” Unfortunately some preachers do not understand what the term means and assume that it means that God is continually revealing more and more of Himself. No.

He gave us the whole revelation in Jesus Christ which has been written down in the form of the New Testament, and that’s it.

The next time we will get any more information is when we see Him face to face. We can be absolutely sure that there is no further revelation between the Revelation given to John and the revelation of Jesus at His return.

Anyone who claims to have additional information that is not contained in the 66 books is a charlatan and a heretic.

In fact, the Bible several times pronounces a curse on any who add to, or subtract from God’s Word. (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Matthew 15:6-13, Revelation 22:18).

If a preacher is willing to subtract or change the smallest part of the Bible (a jot or tittle), then you need to be careful. If he will subtract in one area, he is capable of subtracting or adding in other areas. Once you undermine the smallest part of the Bible, then you may as well throw the whole thing out.

The third principle is that God does not change His mind.

What God has said is forever established and will never be altered in any way.

“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). (Settled means established, firm and unchanging.)

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good” (Numbers 23:9).

So, to suggest that God has a different plan for people today to what He described in His Word, or that He changed His mind, or that He is making up His plans as He goes along makes God a liar and a man.

He is neither.

His plans were established from before the foundation of the earth. He knew all the twists and turns that man and history would take from the beginning. He does not adjust or tweak his purpose as time unfolds.

If we can accept that God has no other plan, purpose or will for us than which is revealed in the Bible, and that any deviation from it in deed, word or principle is heresy, we will easily be able to recognize most of the error that goes around.

Don’t be fooled when men tell you that only the educated can understand the Bible. We can all understand it. It does not matter how clever the argument is presented. If its conclusion is contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible, it is error.

BUT there are a few simple rules that we must apply when we interpret the Scriptures.

It is often these rules that are broken in order to arrive at a teaching which is erroneous. I know that not everybody knows these rules or how to apply them. But every believer who faithfully reads his Bible will know enough to smell a rat and to be on guard.

I believe that no one can get into error by simply believing and practicing the Bible. God gives us enough information for each stage of our growth to protect us. Eve did not know the whole counsel of God, but she knew that God had forbidden eating of the tree. But, she got into trouble when she listened to the Devil’s version of what God had said. If only she had stuck to the simple truth God had given her, she would have been safe.

Every believer can ask this easy question: “Show me where it says so in the Bible.”

If the teacher cannot do so, or has to contort your mind or the Scriptures to get a square verse to fit into a round hole, then run for your life – he is dangerous.

God’s word is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It enlightens and leads us. It does not bring us into darkness, confuse or mislead us.

Trust His Word and if man contradicts His word “let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

(To Be Continued)

Thus says

May 14, 2008

Man says: “I do not believe that I am lost.”
God says: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, If you say you have no sin, you deceive yourself – The Son of man came to seek and to save that which is lost.”

 

****
Man says: “I believe doing right is the way to heaven.”
God says: “By works of righteousness shall no flesh be justified in His sight “ 

****
Man says: “I was born into a Christian family.”
God says: “Ye must be born again.” 

****
Man says: “I have a noble nature.”
God says: “You were by nature children of wrath.” 

****
Man says: “We owe it to God to build bigger and better Churches”
God says: ” …for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 

****
Man says: “There are two people[s] and paths to God”
God says: “Am I a man to have respect of persons? There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved

Beauty in Brokenness

May 12, 2008

One article that i came across :

Recently, I attended a retreat where there was a great deal of personal sharing. I sat amazed as I listened to women from every walk of life, most of whom were established Christians, share of heartache, pain, and various aspects of struggle they had either just come through, or were currently experiencing. I was overwhelmed by their honesty and by the poignancy of their stories. But even more than this, I was overwhelmed by the beauty radiating from within as they shared their stories.

Beauty in brokenness? Without glorifying suffering, there is an unexpected beauty that can shine through stories of struggle.

One friend is a paraplegic broken in the use of her body, and yet she has a beautiful spirit. Not limited by her brokenness, she uses her own difficulties to help others, and teach others about true ability and disability.

Tony Snow, the White House Press Secretary, considers his cancer a “calling” and in a recent article written in Christianity Today said, “We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out. But despite this–because of it-–God offers the possibility of salvation and grace.”(1)

That possibility of salvation and grace is beauty in brokenness.

Somehow, uniquely, God desires to use those difficult moments of our lives to bring forth something extraordinarily beautiful. Even the natural creation attests to this truth. In fall, we marvel at the gorgeous, lush colors of burnt amber, burnished orange, brilliant red, and bright yellow leaves, even as that beauty belies the slow and gradual death of those leaves. Winter buries those leaves under the cold, dark blanket of snow and frost. And yet, death brings forth life. Spring bursts forth year after year with jonquils, iris, lilies, and all the beautiful pastels of new life.

During a time of deep despair and suffering, King David wondered about God’s ability to be present in his dark places–to bring about beautiful redemption in the midst of brokenness.

He cried out to God, “Will your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Abaddon? Will your wonders be made known in the darkness? And your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psalm 88:11-12).

David wondered about God’s work in his life–had he been abandoned? Was God still guiding him even in the deepest, darkest places of brokenness and fear? And even in those places seemingly forgotten, would God continue to make things right? David struggled to see how beauty could emerge out of brokenness.

And yet, he later affirmed in Psalm 139, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there… if I say, ’surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”It is in those dark places of brokenness and suffering that God brings forth luminous light so that even the dark is illuminated.

 

The prophet Isaiah repeats this theme by promising one who would redeem the exiles, giving them “a garland of beauty instead of ashes” and “the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord… who summons you by name” (Isaiah 61:3, 45:3).

Perhaps, these were Scriptures recalled by the apostle Paul when he declared that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).

Indeed, Paul declares that “the God who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the one who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (4:6).

And so often, that face of Christ is demonstrated with beautiful radiance through the broken and dark places in our lives.

Today, if you are experiencing hardship, difficulty or personal darkness, seek the light and beauty of Christ, for he longs to be present to you, to give you a garland of beauty instead of ashes, to call you by name, and to bring forth treasures of darkness. He is there in the brokenness with you.

Great is Thy faithfulness

May 10, 2008
  •  
      Chorus
      Great is Thy faithfulness,
      Great is Thy faithfulness,
      Morning by morning new mercies I see:
      All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
      Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
      Chorus
      Great is Thy faithfulness,
      Great is Thy faithfulness,
      Morning by morning new mercies I see:
      All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
      Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
      Chorus
      Great is Thy faithfulness,
      Great is Thy faithfulness,
      Morning by morning new mercies I see:
      All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
      Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
  • Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my father!
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not:
    As thou hast been Thou forever wilt be. 

    Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

     

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

     

Thoughts on a platter

May 10, 2008

Sometimes even with a message of love, it would not be enough to get to a person’s heart. There is this strange thing about us, humans. We need to be ready to hear a message of love, before that message can get that our hearts. When the timing is too soon, we usually reject them, even if it is what we need to hear.

People usually fear to accept God in their lives because they fear of what God would want from them. Instead we seek others, others which will be more of a slave to us rather than a master. Others whom we ‘believe’ will help us to get what we want instead of what we really need. The truth is God does not requires anything out of us, He just wants to love us and give us what we really need in our lives. Too often, we are so caught up in catching up with others that we lose sight of what we truly need in our lives. We spend so much time in pursuing things that whenever we get hold of them, we still feel something is missing.  

In this society, there has always been this talk about survivors of the fittest. So much so that many will strive to be the first and the fittest using whatever methods they can think of. There is no merit in proving that i am strong by making someone weak. We all are equal in the eyes of the Father. I believe God is fair and He will not make us one lesser than the other. It is just so often that we fail to see the rest of the attitudes given to us by God. We judge by what we see and not by what we do not. Because of this, we miss out the wonderful things about life. Gifts that the Father wants us to have but we fail to receive them. Gifts that the Father wants us to share with other but often we take them whole for ourselves.