Category Archives: Quotes I like

Crossroads

I’ve come to the cross roads of my life, I’ve always knew what the right path is; without exception, I knew, but I never took it, you know what? Because it’s too damned hard. ~ Anon

Traversing a path made of principles that will lead to character.

Whose Image…

Matt 22: 15-22 – Paying Taxes to Caesar

Of all the times I’ve read this passage, never thought of it like this before. As shared by Ravi Zacharias and the story goes like this:

A group of people comes up to Jesus, and asked him, “is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?”
Jesus asked for a coin, then asked them, “Whose image on the coin?””Caesar’s”
“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Then they went away.

But had they been sincere seekers of truth, they should have asked, “Well, then what is God’s?”
And Jesus would probably reply with a question of his own…
“Whose image is on you?”

When I heard that, I had to stop the video and really just pause.
Whose image do I bear?

From a pure logical point of view, as a Christian, we bear the image of God, and by choosing God and be completely satisfied in Him, we also met the ‘worldly’ standard of ‘happiness’: satisfaction.

On the other hand, if i was a evolutionist, we bear the image of monkeys, and by choosing a Godless life, we might satisfy the worldly standard of happiness… but never the God’s standard of Holiness.

It’s a minimalist representation of why it is logical to be of Christ:
If there is no God, the Godly has satisfaction in this life, and nothing beyond. The Godless MIGHT have satisfaction in this life, and nothing beyond.
If there is a God, the Godly has satisfaction in this life, and is eternally in His presence. The Godless MIGHT have satisfaction in this life, and screwed for eternity.

This is by no means a good way to convince people of “why God”, but it is a minimalist approach to the philosophy.

But in essence.

Whose image do you bear? and what are you going to do with it?

Worth

Well, this post is long overdue (just like all the other drafts I have up here but never actually typed out :P)

The Ministry that I’m involved in had a leadership retreat last month, and we had an intentional time of solitude, to be silent and to spend it with God. Through some reading and praying and just general worship, this word came up:

WORTH

“Unashamed Love” is a song that we worship with often, the song says:

Worthy, You are worthy,
Of a childlike faith and of my honest praise
And of my unashamed love
Of a holy life and of my sacrifice
And of my unashamed love

We’ve always said that we should not sing those words if we don’t really mean it. But those words did not truly struck me until that afternoon.
He is a God that is worth everything.
He is worth a child-like faith.
He is woth a honest praise.
He is woth a Holy life.
He is woth my sacrifice.
He is woth my unashamed love.

If He is truly worth all that… then where is mine? Where is my child-like faith? my honest praise? my Holy life? my sacrifice? my unashamed love?

“Worship” is derived from the Old English word “woerthship.” So, when we worship God, we are proclaiming (or giving Him back) his worth.

Giving Him the worth, because He is worthy. There’s so much more I could say, but its not needed. All I really needed to do was to reflect on His worth.

Phil 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

 

 

Lessons From Superheroes

Most of us are fascinated by superheroes.

A superhero has “extraordinary or superhuman powers” and is dedicated to protecting the public.

I really can’t think of a good intro to this post, so i’ll jump straight in! 😛

What I really want to go through is some of quotes that i’ve taken to heart, and the lesson behind it as I have grew up being relatively familiar with superheroes; and they tend to make good movies.

I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one. ~ Superman in Superman Returns

I’ve explain this before, but really, the idea boils down to… Are people inherently good? or are people inherently bad? Why do we care?

The problem is that in the secular, North American culture, we really function on the notion that we are inherently good. The greatest sin we can commit nowadays is intolerance; and we claim the way to salvation is to release the inner good through self-help, self-esteem, and self-actualization.

I’m reminded of a study which goes something like this, which I don’t actually have the reference to:

Kids in 6 different nations come together to take a math exam. After the exam, everyone were asked this question: “Are you good at math?” 68% of the Americans answered Yes, yet they scored the lowest score on average of the 6 nations. Scoring the highest average, only 25% of Koreans answered that they are good at math.

In light of this, our belief about the self, does not actually determine how well we’ll live.

Have you ever willfully done things that you know are ‘wrong’? or just refrained from doing ‘right’? I definitely have, and quite often too. I desire to do good, at least most of the time, yet I do bad anyways, in direct opposition of my will (Rom. 7: 18-19). I’m also reminded of the verses that speaks to the evil of humanity. The heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9), It is full of evil and insanity (Ecclesiastes 9:3).

When one is completely truthful with oneself… we’ll hear the same cry, over and over again. We are ALL crying for a saviour, to deliver us from ourselves.

Coming to this realization that we are but broken men in need of a saviour, I am also encouraged by the following:

Because a weak man knows the value of strength, of the value of power. ~ Dr. Erskine in Captain America

It is through our weakness that we can feel power (2 Cor. 12:9-10), through our foolishness (Prov. 19:3) we can see wisdom (Prov. 3:5). We are powerless, but He lives through us to give us power; and precisely because we are broken, we can learn to love our fellow, broken, men (John 15: 9-13). To remind ourselves to remain humble in front of the throne, understanding that “The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints.” So that we can invite the sick and broken to be healed.

Remember, with great power. comes great responsibility. ~ Uncle Ben in Spiderman

This… quote is just awesome beyond words. It speaks directly to God’s people!
Why are God’s children so ineffective in this world nowadays? Because we simply wish for a safe, happy life, refusing to take our cross and flap our wings to fly. (more on this idea, see Francis Chan’s videos)

Jesus’ promise to Christians is that we will be doing greater things than He has done on Earth! (John 14:13) We read this lightly, but stop for a second. What did Jesus do when He was on Earth? Jesus turned water into wine, fed multitudes, healed the sick, cured leprosy, gave sight to the blind, let the lame walk and dance, drove out demons, raised the dead and so on. And we are to do things greater than such.

Excited?
Scared?
A bit of both?

You are given this power (yet it is also something i don’t claim often), and the privilege for a responsibility. To bring people into the kingdom and make disciples (Matt 28:16-20), To take care of the earth (Gen 1:28, 2:25), to love others as you have been loved (John 15:12), to lay down your life for friends (John 15:13), to take care of the poor (Jeremiah 22:16), to hold firmly on the truth that you have been given, so that you can encourage and exhort (Titus 1:9), and so on goes the list.

Craig Groeschel, in the epilogue of The Christian Atheist, outlined a visioned that he received from God. I do not have the book on me so I cannot give you the exact quote/story, but it goes something like this:

There are 3 lines in the sand, each represents a different kind of “Christian”. The first line is a cultural Christian, one who are by name only, if someone asks, they’ll say they are a Christian, they may go to church once in a blue moon on special occasions. The second line represents a Christian that gives a bit to church, as long as it doesn’t cost too much. They go to church more or less on a regular basis now. They might tithe, might help teach kids, might do something here and there, but they are more of a humanist Christian. I’ll give God what I have excess of, what I don’t want, what I don’t really need, so I can get on God’s good side. Craig also mentioned that most first line christians eventually cross the second line. But there’s a third line in the sand. It is the kind of Christianity that sees God is really everything you need, given everything to follow, regardless the cost. and to Craig, anything less than the actively crossing of the third line on a daily basis does not seem like true Christianity!

Because God saw you as someone worth dying for, we really should, nay, we NEED to see Him as someone worth living for.

To everyday proclaim that you will follow Him. To actively cross the third line on a daily basis; and when people tell you that you’ve worked hard enough, given up enough, say this to them in your best batman voice:

Not everything. Not yet. ~ Batman in Dark Knight Rises

Because you are, by definition, a superhero! 🙂

~John

Tuning Fork – quick thoughts

This is the logo of YAM, the ministry that I am involved in in my church.
Some of us lovingly refer to our logo as the ‘tuning fork’.

The Piano may be flat, but middle C is still middle C ~ Rev. Heidebrecht

As instruments of God, we often sound aweful; but middle C is still middle C. People are drawn to the music, and we can’t play that music if we are out of tune.

The World is on the way to Jesus, but they are tripping over me (us).

We are but beggars who found some bread, telling other beggars where to find it. ~ D.T. Niles (not exact quote)

The church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners.

We are not saints, but far from it. We are only Christians precisely because we realize how broken we are, and how desperate we need a saviour. So live and admit that we need more of His convicting and empowering love day after day.

~John

The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)Complete, Unabridged, Original Version.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

This prayer is right up there with the prayers I love. The most famous version of this will be the first little section, that section really just puts our lives into perspective, with a call to action.

But all that would be incomplete without the second half. The second half really talks about not Just doing the things in the top stanza, but also HOW to do it. It is the attitude of being satisfied in the Lord, living one day at a time, and fully trusting that He is the God that holds tomorrow, and He desires us to enjoy every moment that He brings into our lives. Praise and worship and give thanks in the good times, and turn back to Him and grow strong and intimate with Him in the hard times, for nothing comes beyond His will.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

~John

神說不 God said NO

我求神拿走我的驕傲,
神說不。
祂說,驕傲不是由祂拿走的,
乃是要我放下的。

我求神使我殘障的小孩健全,
神說不。
祂說,她的靈是健全的,
她的身體只是暫時的。

我求神賜我忍耐,
神說不。
祂說,忍耐是從患難而生,
不是賜下的,乃是磨練而來的。

我求神給我快樂,
神說不。
祂說,祂賜祝福,
是否快樂,取決於我。

我求神免我受苦,
神說不。
祂說,痛苦使你遠離世俗的掛慮,更加親近我。

我求神使我的靈命長進,
神說不。
祂說,我自己必須付出努力,
但祂會把我修剪,好結果子。

我問神,祂愛我嗎?
神說,是的。
祂賜下祂的獨生兒子,為我而死。
有一天,我必在天國裡,
因為……我信。
我求神幫助我愛其他人
好像祂愛我一樣,
神說,
啊,您終於明白了。