Archive for November, 2008

two towers

Warning: cheesy ‘How Lord of the Rings is like our spiritual walks’ post. You have been warned.

Right before thanksgiving break, my apartment and I ensued in what we called… LOTR madness. i.e. for twelve straight hours, we sat glued in front of the television watching all three Lord of the Rings movies (extended versions, thank you very much) in succession. Of course, around 2am on Wednesday morning we all fell asleep towards the end of Two Towers and opted to continue the next day.

Being an avid LOTR fan in my high school days, the movies got me thinking about the series in general. Because I was at work, I missed part of the first movie only to catch the entirety of the second — which was somewhat disappointing since I thought I liked TT the least out of the three.

I love beginnings because they’re new, exciting, hopeful, and momentous. I love endings because they’re definite, exciting, hopeful and momentous. What I didn’t like about Two Towers is what I often dread about life — the broken mess that is often the in betweens. Because when I think about it, I don’t like middles… they’re often just that — at the edge of hope and despair, where you know there is an end and a hope and a return of not just the king of Gondor but THE KING and yet. . .

It’s these middles that I dread yet it is here we grow, mature, and perservere. There is uncertainty yet certainty of an end… desperately wanting yet being slightly out of reach. It’s in these trenches of anxiety mixed with fear, failure, and the brief glimpses of light and triumph where I spend most of my days walking and living and breathing and being. And that… in itself makes the end that much more worthwhile.

 

“You cannot live your Christian life as a debt owed in fake gratitude. ‘Serve Jesus because He died for you!’ only gets you so far. Because those are just feelings, emotions that spur you towards repayment to an infinite God… and when those feelings fade, there is guilt. No, you must see the end goal, the prize, what His death has accomplished and that is GOD himself… that is how we live.”

 

life is war. it is not just that. but it is always that. — jp

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heartbeat

i truly believe
that deep down inside
beyond the makeup and grades and boys and compliments
every daughter just wants to know
that she’s Loved
that she’s beautiful 
and that she cannot be measured by anything she accomplishes or does but only by who she is…
a Daughter of a Father.

 

 

if you close your eyes and listen real close
you just might hear your heartbeat
and may its rhythm lull you to rest
on this peaceful, unsettled night
for it’s the whisper of His love for you

in christ alone

There is a richness in what it means to know Him when the perils of hell are close at hand. This past weekend, I was able to participate in an inter-faith in which only 4-5 Christians… out of over 100 differing people, representing over 20 faiths. And as I am sitting there, slowly chewing on my naan and hummus, listening to how all religions really lead to the same place, people sharing about their odd dietary restrictions that bring them joy, everyone sharing and noddly gleefully or that certain truths that may work for one person may not work for another person, I found myself saying something similar to the following:

“Hey guys… I have a question for you. I know this dinner tonight is to promote interfaith and peace and learning and I’m all for that but… I fail to see how all religions are supposed to ultimately be the same. In our pursuit for truths within religions, how can all religions which hold very different truths all lead to the same God?”

*blank stares*

“So for example — the persona of Jesus. In three of the Abrahamic religions which easily constitute half the population of the world, He is a radically different person. In Judaism, he’s a mere historical figure — a person who lived and died. In Islam, he is a prophet yes, but nowhere near in status as Mohammed. In Christianity, He is the son of a living God who has lived, died for our sins and was resurrected. How can these all be truth?”

I think my proclamation shocked most of my table which consisted of: a buddhist monk, a mormon, a roman catholic, a unitarian, a christian scientist, a jew, a hindu, and a roman catholic/explorer of faiths. Even if I were not a Christian, I simply do not believe how any truth can be relative! It’s like ‘choosing’ to adhere to the laws of gravity or not. On Monday during lunch, I tried explaining to a dear friend of mine why I share the gospel with her every year even though she shoots it down — If I didn’t try sharing this truth with you, I would either be a liar or a hypocrite — a liar because I simple don’t care about your soul and what happens to you when you die, or a hypocrite — that I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is a universal truth that affects the entire world.

 

I hope the Lord can grant me this kind of urgency as I enter almost my last semester as a college student…. I remember one of my deepest regrets from high school was not being bold enough in the faith. 

 

//

 

there are these times
when i know You are good
and sovereign and worth it

 

but these times i find myself asking
are You worth the sacrifice

shame
disownment
letting down my professors, my peers,… the world?

in CHRIST alone….

brownian motion

Sometimes, I think if I were still a non-Christian, I wouldn’t like Christians very much. 

 

 

 

What a sad thought…

the rock obama

(title quoting grandson Piper’s mispronounciation of the name :D)

I caught the flu on Tuesday. But stayed barely conscious to go to Dave’s football game on North (where they lost in the finals.. =/ to a pretty obnoxious team. but anyway) and to watch the last two hours of the election, culminating in Barack’s speech in Grant Park. Times like these make me wish I could still be in Chicago and see history in the making.

Now, I’m not a huge political junkie. I didn’t even vote this year because my absentee ballot would still be in Illinois (or Cali.. I’m actually not sure now) and wouldn’t make much of a difference. I never cast myself on the political left/right meterstick and may never be a strong stance of anything. But I do say this: For those who are vehemetly against Obama, take one day, one week to rejoice in the fact that within a nation where your children will grow up and know that a man of color can become the most powerful man in the nation. Rejoice in the fact that even though right now in the United States slurs, extreme prejudices are rampant in the Bronx, in Compton, in city slums where the color of your skin defines what worth you have, will not define opportunity in the future. Rejoice in the fact that this new generation, my children and yours, will grow up where equal opportunity is the norm and not blissful thinking.

For for those who call themselves bible-believing Christians –adhere to 1 Tim2. Romans 13. Therefore whoever resists the authorities reissts what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. I am blessed and humbled by my Christian brothers at school who are avid McCain supporters who take this loss with grace and the knowledge that GOD is still sovereign. Christians of America, please do the same.

 

EDIT — great post by Thabiti Anyabwile — http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/11/thabiti-anyabwile-day-after.html

question of wills

Question. As a small group leader in an asian community affiliated with Intervaristy, is it wrong for me to ‘teach’ doctrines of election and justification by faith alone if I hold them to be truth? (I use ‘teach’ loosely as in, if they ask questions concerning election & depravity, I answer them from a Reformed point of view). I ask this because the half of the people in my small group hold pretty fervently to the idea of free will (i.e. being able to choose our own salvation without interaction from God)… the other half, I think don’t care either way as much. In the beginning I acknowledge that is remains a somewhat controversial issue, but that I believe in election as truth. 

 

So what would you do? Present both views without bias? Or emphasizing what you deem as Truth knowing your sg might revolt o_O