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Monday, April 16, 2012
This is an (edited and extended) excerpt from one of my recent prayer newsletters that I have sent out...
GRACE in 2012
I have a strong sense that one of the big things that God wants me to learn this year is the virtue of grace. It has been creeping up in almost every area of my life. Let me explain further:
Church and Ministry
After a lot of self assessment, I have felt that one area that I need to grow in my leadership skills is the concept of grace. I am a very logical, common sense and strategic thinker, which usually does not leave much room to express grace to those around me. In ministry, I have to communicate and deal with a lot of different types of people, and sometimes this is quite hard - manoeuvring through different personalities, different ideas and thought processes. God has been teaching me to allow for the different ways He has made each and every one of us, as long as all of us are focusing on His glory and building His kingdom. This has been an area which I think God wants me to learn to deal with better.
Church and People
With going to more services on a Sunday and talking to many different people, I feel that God is teaching me to be more gracious to those I come in contact with, whether it be tolerating their differences or being able to empathise or sympathise with others. Many people come from backgrounds and have quirks that I am not used to, but I need to show love as Jesus did - to everyone unconditionally.
I’ve recently moved out and am living with two Christians who are both close friends. Even though we are good mates, we all have different expectations and ways of doing things. I have lived with just mum and dad for most of my life, so I have not had other people constantly to deal with at home. Now I do, and I believe through this experience, God is teaching me to be gracious in this setting. God's also teaching me to decide what matters are small (and can be tolerated) and what matters are big and need to be dealt with.
God has really been convicting me to truly grasp the grace He has shown me through Jesus on the cross. Being a logical thinker, sometimes I take for granted this undeserving free gift that God has given me through Jesus. God wants me to be truly impacted and changed because of grace demonstrated through Jesus. He wants me to truly understand the immeasurable grace shown to me on the Cross of Christ, and to have a true desire to seek and reach the lost.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Top 20 Jeremy Lin puns from newspaper headlines:
1. "Linsightful Lessons of Linsanity" -- Huffington Post
2. "New York Knicks Legend Willis Reed Gives Ringing Lin-dorsement" -- ESPN
3. "Lin-credible That Race Is Being Raised in NBA Again" -- Philly.com
4. "Lin-conceivable Puns Have Run Out for Jeremy Lin?" -- USA Today
5. "A Good Linvestment: Five Pun-Based Endorsements for Jeremy Lin" -- SB Nation
6. "American-Born Linderella Is the Pride of China" -- NPR
7. "Just Lin Time: Knicks Phenom Saving Season" -- Chicago Tribune
8. "A 'Lin'spiring Story" -- Yale Daily News
9. "Lin-vestigating History" -- ESPN
10. "Lin Your Face: Jeremy Lin Impressed by Witty Linatics" -- Gothamist
11. "Amasian!" -- New York Post
12. "Minyanville Presents: The Jeremy Lin-dex" -- Minyanville
13. "A Lesson in Lin-guistics: The Best (And Worst) Jeremy Lin Puns" -- Time
14. "We'll Lin and Bear It Today" -- NorthJersey.com
15. "Jeremy Lin's 'Linning' Streak and 8 Unbelieveable Active Runs Around the NBA" -- Bleacher Report
16. "Is Super Lintendo All-Hype or the Real Deal?" -- The Renegade Rip
17. "Lin-sational Knicks Knock Off Lakers" -- TucsonCitizen.com
18. "Linsanity: Need Some More Linnovative Puns?" -- City News Toronto
19. "To Linfinity and Beyond" -- News12.com
20. "ThrilLIN'" -- New York Post
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Jeremy Lin has been causing storms in New York City over the past week. He came from nowhere, undrafted and in the developmental league, to starting for the New York Knicks and scoring over 20 points in his first five starts as point guard for this NBA team.
He's the first Asian-American to break through into the NBA and the first undrafted player in 30 years to make such an impact in basketball. Asians have gotten behind him. New York has gotten behind him. What is amazing about this guy, is that he is a different kind of superstar to the usual sports sensation. Listen to what he says after his 38 point haul over the LA Lakers:
"I wish that people would also give a lot of the other players on this team credit. I think there’s too much attention coming my way and... I mean you have Tyson (Chandler) who’s been playing like an all star all year and you have guys like Shump (Shumpert) and Landry (Fields) who play unbelievable defence. They move the ball, I mean, what’s happening right now is more than one person, and that’s what I think I wish we should talk about more.”
This guy is marked with selflessness. Why? He's a follower of Jesus, passionate about the gospel and the glory of God! Praise God for our brother who is witnessing to many sports fans and players in the states! Here is a refreshing quote that shows where he is coming from:
"We as Christians are called to be humble. And if we really understand the gospel, we will be humble."
All Glory to God!
Friday, January 06, 2012
In a 1976 lecture, English Literature Professor Clyde Kilby gave ten steps on how to stay alive to the beauty of God's world:
1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above me and about me.
2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle and an end. I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death, when he said: "There is darkness without and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendour, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing."
3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.
4. I shall not turn my life into a thin straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do.
5. I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.
6. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their "divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic" existence.
7. I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, at least for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the "child of the pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder."
8. I shall follow Darwin's advice and turn frequently to imaginative things such as good literature and good music, preferably, as Lewis suggests, an old book and timeless music.
9. I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, "fulfill the moment as the moment." I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is just now.
10. Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life in the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls Himself Alpha and Omega.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
When do you think is the most defining point in history? As a follower of Christ, my answer to this question undoubtedly is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
John Chapman's recent book "Making the most of the Cross" explains a series of important truths which come out of the belief that Jesus did die and rise again. Chapman's argument through his book, is that if Jesus actually did die on the cross, and rise again from the dead, then His death and resurrection is the most important and most life changing event in the whole of history.
I really enjoyed reading this book and being reminded of many truths that I hold firm to because I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. In particular, I was able to ponder and marvel at the fact that Jesus took my sins (rebellion against God the creator) away on the cross by dying in my place, and He rose again to prove that death had no hold of Him. I was also able to think through the whole concept of Jesus' substitutionary sacrifice and again praise God for His love and mercy.
One thing that I found great about this book was that it seemed very sensitive to those who may be reading and learning about Jesus for the first time. The text in the book is written in a very simple manner, without much Christian jargon, but packed with many real life and personal illustrations, which allows it to be a good resource for those who may be new Christians or those trying to find out more about Jesus. The book is less than 100 pages long, which made it a very easy read.
If you're looking to be reminded of the importance of the Cross of Christ, or you are trying to find out more about this history changing event, or you want to give your friends who are interested in religion something to think about, I would very much recommend this book to you!