Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Do It

This was a reflection upon a book Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. I recommend this book to those out there who are seeking God's will.

Reading this book made me take the leap of faith. After all, I don't know the specifics of God's plans in my life. All I know is that He wants me to choose what I like, what pleases Him, and what will bring me closer to Him.

In the end, God cares only for your progress towards holiness, intimacy with Him, and growing to become more like Christ. The little details is life, though it is important, isn't the Major thing in life, because He is a great God, He will take care of the details and somehow weave them all together to create a beautiful picture. But holiness is something that WE, based on our freewill, choose to do, so that, He cares a lot about.

Rather than being afraid of choosing the incorrect thing, let's take that one step with faith and wisdom, such that even when it somehow is not the best, it will become a learning process where we become closer to God. Rather than wishing that God will speak in a loud voice over Choice A or Choice B, let's use our God-given brain and make that decision, with the motivation to please God, to make ourselves more holy, and trust that God will be with us whatever it is that we choose in the end.

Just do something. Don't wait because you're afraid of the imperfect or incorrect choice. God is sovereign, so as long as you have weighted your decision wisely, consulted with people in regards to the pros and cons, go ahead. Every decision involves a loss, and our brain will take care of that discomfort when you are unconscious of it (the automatic attempt to resolve cognitive dissonance), so you will be surprised at how un-painful the decision that you have made becomes later on.

If there has been something that is tugging at your heart, listen to it closely, use the resources available within and outside of you, and make that decision. Don't wait for the burning bush or the lightning from the sky. Just do it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Conversation 4/18/2010

Today's conversation at church was inspiring. So here's some points that I would love to share. All materials here are taken from my senior pastor, so I'm giving him the credit for them.

There are 7 mountains that God's people should conquer and be at the top:
1. Business: This talks about the riches and wealth that will support the other mountains. Money made should finance godly projects and deeds in the other mountains.
2. Religion: This is the honor of the bride. Religion shapes culture, culture shapes practices, practices shape the health of the people - spiritually and physically.
3. Family: This describes strength. Godly family will produce godly generation, which will impact the community and culture.
4. Education: This is wisdom. Think about all the philosophies and intellects that will be produced for the nations with the people's level of education and understanding of God's creation! Things of the earth will be used effectively for godly outcomes.
5. Media: This describes glory. The media, when used to portray the Truth, will bring glory to God. The amount of people who are influenced and impacted by junk in the current condition are immense, if instead, they are influenced in a good and godly way, think of what may happen.
6. Government: This is power. Policies implemented may kill or save millions of people. People at the top of the nation control how things should work for the people.
7. Art: This describes praise. Many art pieces in the world mocks at God, while they should have been used to praise God. Imagine the art pieces in the Cathedrals or paintings in the past - they were used to bring a godly experience to people.

Everyone has been called to conquer the different mountains, and these mountains will be conquered by God one day. The question is, will you be there when that happens?

We have all been called to be conquerors, not escapists. And the path of Christianity is not one that is calm and happy; it is, in fact, filled with violence. The kingdom of heaven suffers violence (Matt 11:12), because there is a fight that is going on as to who will be at the top. Are we going to let ungodly people be at the top to control us when Jesus has died, risen, and given us the authority to be at the top of the mountains?

The devil will give us an offer as we make our way to the top of the mountain. As we climb the hard path, the devil will offer us short-cuts, and he will offer us the power and everything in the world in exchange of our worship of him. This is exactly what he did to Jesus: offer Him the world and all of the power and glory so He doesn't have to go through crucifixion, in exchange for His worship of him. However, it is important to know that who we worship on our climb to the top will be in control of us when we reach the top. Do we want the devil or Jesus to be in control when we have conquered the mountain?

Life is about fighting for kingdom, power, and glory. But who are we using it for: Jesus, or the devil?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Somber Easter

So often we fast forward Jesus' story to the resurrection and forget that there had been a death - a significant death, such that when we celebrate the resurrection, we are also celebrating the death.

And the death is nothing to be celebrated, really. We can celebrate it because we have seen the ending. But imagine if you had been the mother, father, or the disciples of Jesus. Your son, teacher, best friend, mentor, had died - and he died in the most gruesome way. Imagine the sadness, the tears, the heartbreak, the pain, etc. Imagine and feel the magnitude of pain involved.

Yet we celebrate that death with much joy, because we have seen the resurrection. Perhaps it was too painful for us that we have chosen to ignore the painful side of this story and rush towards the happy, victorious ending. Or perhaps we do that because we only want the sweet side of our faith. We only want the part where there are happiness, successful promises and blessings.

But at least for this time, remember what you are celebrating. Remember the sufferings that Jesus had to go through. Remember the death that had come before the resurrection. Remember that our God is a God who suffers; this path that we have chosen to follow promises nothing but pain and persecution, and the only consolation is God's presence, peace, and joy amidst the sufferings.

Let's have a somber Easter this year in remembrance of what Jesus had to go through to get to this point.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Voices Past The Noise

As I drove to my friend's funeral service today, I rolled down the window of my car while driving on the highway. The air conditioning was too heated up and the hot air was blowing out and fiercely blowing onto my face. I had to turn it off and depend on the wind that blew into the car as I flew by at 70miles/hour.

I blasted my music so I can hear it, passed the noisy wind that shook my windows. Then, Hillsong's music started playing, and a light bulb appeared. Another insight from God came unexpected.

When things get heated up and we tried all kinds of ways to save ourselves from pain and stress, the external factors might seem really loud. But perhaps God's been blasting His voice so we can hear Him above all these distractions. And sure enough, when I came to a halt and stayed still (you know how traffic is really bad in California), not fighting against the current, I realized how loud the music had been.

It's like God's been there all the while, but His voice are covered by the distractions and noises from the outside. So what do we do? I suggest that we should always be aware that God's always trying to talk to us. When we realize that, we will be more sensitive to His voice and search for it amongst all the noises thrown at us. And of course, sitting still and staying within God's presence during bad times, instead of trying to fight them off alone.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why?

Today I found out that a friend has passed. A couple of days ago, she took her own life, or so it seemed.

Was Jesus there when she planned her death? I believe that He was. But why was it that He did nothing to stop her, if He is as great as He claimed Himself to be? He could have shown up and saved her... So why?

I believe also that Jesus was in pain when He watched her take her own life. Jesus might be suffering even more. I believe that if Jesus really cherished and loved us, He would have done everything to stop this untimely death. If He is the God of Life, then He would have chased Death away. If He does everything for the best outcome possible, does it mean that her death is better than her living? So my question remains, why?

In the end, I can only ask what happened in between the time that she took her life and Jesus trying to save her. I'm not sure if there will be anyone at all who can answer the "why" questions, but perhaps one day Jesus will reveal the answers Himself.

Rest in peace, my friend. Our encounter was brief, and our contact was limited. But I wish that I could have been there for you when you went through difficult times. Please forgive my lack of awareness. I will keep in prayers your family, sisters, and people whom you've blessed with your presence.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My New Fetish

Paraphrase Of The First Psalm
Robert Burns




The man, in life wherever plac'd,
Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!

Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Casts forth his eyes abroad,
But with humility and awe
Still walks before his God.

That man shall flourish like the trees,
Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.

But he whose blossom buds in guilt
Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
Before the sweeping blast.

For why? that God the good adore,
Hath giv'n them peace and rest,
But hath decreed that wicked men
Shall ne'er be truly blest.