Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Without Excuse

This Saturday we decided to go to Philly and do evangelism with our brothers from Grace Missionary Church at Center city Philly, at the Galleria Mall. There we met a group of young musicians, waiting at the train station in the mall. We had the opportunity to ask them if they believed that God exists, but they all answered that He did not.One girl said she knew God did not exist because she had never seen God. That it was all just a fairy tale.
This is what I would have said to her, had it not been for the circumstance of the encounter (they were annoyed by our presence and walked away).

"You say that you know God doesn't exist because you haven't seen Him. But we cannot say that just because we cannot see something therefore it doesn't exist. Take music for example, I cannot see a sound wave yet I know it exists because of it's effects and that it can be measured. But an uneducated person unaware that sound waves can be measured and who is deaf, could say that sound doesn't exist because he/she cannot experience it nor knows that it can be measured. But we know that just because this person cannot hear sound, and is unaware that it can be measured, sound doesn't exist.
see in the same way, you would have to know all that there is to know to say that you are certain that God doesn't exist. And we both know that you don't know all that there is to know. So in fact it is simply not possible for you to say with certainty that He does not exist. But I am here to tell you that He does exist and He has made himself known through His Creation(Romans 1:20), His revealed truth in Scripture (Heb 1:1-2) and His Son Jesus Christ(John 1:1-5), and now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.(Acts 17:30-31 ESV)"
Instead at the prayer meeting after the afternoon ended we prayed for her and the rest of the young musicians and we prayed for Philadelphia, that the gospel may go forth and God may bring salvation to many.

*Image by: David Castillo Dominici Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, October 10, 2011

What if?

After we left occupy Philly Friday night, my husband asked "can you imagine if these people ruled our country?" And this not in a positive light. Here's an article that explains very well the sentiments of my husband's question: http://gostandspeak.com/OccupyWallStreetArticle.pdf
Us Christians have been so distracted with the entertainment of this world, being numbed by the entertainment that even the church brings us, and we have forgotten how the early Christians were "turning the world upside down" (Acts 17:6) with the gospel and NOT conforming to it or even imitating it. We admire missionaries for the work they do in foreign countries yet, completely ignore or forget how we can transform the world around us with the gospel right here at home without having to travel thousands of miles to a foreign country.
While I disagree with the underlying motives and worldviews of many of the protestors, I applaud their desire to go out and try to make a difference, to stand up for what they believe is wrong. Christian have the gospel, the power of God unto salvation(Romans 1:16). The Gospel is what transforms wicked hearts, and we should be out there proclaiming the goodnews of the gospel and pray that God will save and transform many. Always doing it for God's glory and not hoping in this world but in the next. And having full confidence that God will make all wrongs right, the wicked will be punished and Christ will reign(Rev 11:15).

Friday, September 30, 2011

Why do we sit still?: 180 Movie

Three years ago I was on my last year of medschool rotating through the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital for my internship. I wrote a blogpost about a beautiful baby girl who was born premature at 24 weeks. The baby survived, but because her little lungs were not mature enough, and we didn't have the respirators she needed to be on, the baby only lived for around 18hours. It was an amazing thing to see her crying and trying to breathe, at barely 24 weeks. It begs the question, when does the baby become a human being? When it is out of the womb? after 30 weeks as some would love to say to justify their sin, or calm their conscience? After he/she has a heart beat? Who knows? This movie parallels perfectly the holocaust that is abortion with the holocaust of Germany. The same excuses that can be given for one can be used for the other. "Well I don't think jews or blacks or down syndrome or mentally challenged people are human so I think I will kill them. Well poor people or aids infected people will have a bad quality of life so I think it's better to just kill them." Sounds far fetched right? well that is the same logic behind abortion.
Please do not sit still any longer while thousands of babies are being killed in the womb. Do something! Spread the word.
But I do think that we need to do more than just spread the word, but to provide actual solutions to the problem of abortion. We need more counseling clinics, some of these mother's are poor and cannot support their babies even if they did want to keep them, something should be done about that as well. Education is needed, liberalism teaches that promiscuity is fine because morality is just based on what feels good, or as long as it doesn't hurt anybody(anybody but the baby in the womb of course). Just handing out condoms doesn't do it, it doesn't slow down promiscuity, it just makes it easier and acceptable.
But more than social reform what the world needs is the gospel, and good works such as social justice should accompany the preaching of the gospel.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October Unprocessed 2011

I have signed up for a challenge for the month of october to eat unprocessed foods. I thought it might spur me to write more on my once-cherished-but-now-abandoned blog, and to help me make wise, conscious decisions about what I eat and cook for my husband. While I try to lean towards healthy foods and home cooked meals, it is very easy to go for sweet treats and processed foods to cut my cooking time in half and whip up a delicious dinner or breakfast or dessert. So with this challenge I will be sticking to healthy, whole foods recipes and a little creativity, while trying to stick to our monthly budget. I also want to think about doing things more for the Glory of God than for my superficial and physical benefits. Which brings me to the question, how can I during this month glorify God through eating unprocessed foods? Soon you will find out as I blog about my experience.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Asaph's Cry in light of Injustice

Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
Psalm 73: 1-13

How many of us have felt like Asaph? Like there is no justice in the world? the wicked prosper, you see them get rich or get away with murder, you see how they have all they want in life and never seem to struggle. They never seem to deal with disease and, unless they have some sort of accident for drunk driving or overdosing on some drug, they usually live long. And yet those who trust God and are faithful to Him by His grace suffer persecution, sometimes live in poverty, are accused unjustly, are afflicted with disease, are scoffed and scorned, and it seems as though the more we trust and live for God the harder it gets.
See, Asaph saw how those who scorned God, those who were wicked and did many wicked things boasting in their wickedness and proud of it, were prospering. They were getting away with their wickedness, oppressing the poor and God's people, and spoke haughtily saying there is no knowledge in God and thinking God does not know the things they do . And so naturally the people saw how the wicked prospered and they turned to follow them thinking surely this is the right way.

"All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed the generation of your children." Psalm 73: 13:15

And Asaph envied the wicked, he thought surely all he had done to honor God was in vain, how can the righteous be afflicted and the wicked prosper? How many of us have felt this way? But oh my friends it is foolish to think like this, just like Asaph says a few lines later, it is Brutish to think this way. Because when we realize their end, when we know what will happen to the wicked, to those who die without Christ, we are humbled just as Asaph was. It is no good thing that awaits the wicked. People may get away with murder or adultery, or lying, or stealing, or any wicked thing in this world, but when we all stand before God in the day of judgement ALL things will be laid bare.

"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done." Revelations 20:12

"But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Psalms 73:16-22

So what should our response be when we see things like this? First of all we need to realize that we don't honor God because of the good things we will receive in this world that is soon to perish, we honor God because of what Christ did on the cross for us. We love and honor God because HE loved us first. Because HE redeemed us. Because HE died for us while we were yet sinners. Let us not forget, EVER forget, that:
"we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:3-67

Asaph knew this as well, even back then in the old testament times, this is his response:
"Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.Psalm 73:24-26

And finally what of them? the wicked? shall we leave them to their wickedness and let them perish? I know if someone hadn't prayed for me or witnessed to me I should have been as one of the wicked, I would've perished and gone to hell rightfully. But my friends whom God had delivered from their sin prayed for my soul and witnessed to me and God was merciful to save me, so according to what God teaches us in scripture I say we do what Christ has commanded us, "we should love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who abuse us"(Luke 6:27-28). And while a specific person might not be OUR enemy, they are God's enemy, and we should pray that God will deliver them from their wickedness just as He delivered us. And if we are given the opportunity we should witness to those who hate God. We should proclaim the loving gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for the wicked and rose again defeating the power of sin and hell so that we may have the hope of eternal life and forgiveness of sins in Him.

"For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works." Psalms 73:27-28

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

On the eve of my departure

[54] And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” [55] Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” [56] But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” [57] They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.”
(Genesis 24:54-57; Genesis 24:58-59 ESV) [58] And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” [59] So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men.
(Genesis 24:54-57; Genesis 24:58-59 ESV)

All day today I could only think of Rebekah. Rebekah, unlike me, never knew her husband before she married him, but there was one thing she did know: it was the Lord's will for her to go with Abraham's servant to be wed with Abraham's son Isaac.

"Rebekah must leave her family and country in an act of faith in order to journey to Canaan and marry Isaac, whom she has never met."1

Her family was not yet ready to part with their daughter, but Rebekah was, and she left her family and homeland to a land she did not know trusting in God and knowing she was to fulfill the purpose for which she was created, to be a wife and bear children, children through which God's promise of a Messiah would continue.

The reason I thought of Rebekah and Isaac's love story is because, just as we can see from the Biblical account how God orchestrated their story, I have seen how God has orchestrated Penn and mine's love story from the beginning, and like Rebekah I too must now leave my family, and country in an act of faith to the man whom I have met and have loved for the past 2 years and a half. Like Rebekah I too am leaving to fulfill the purpose for which I was created.

[20] The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. [21] So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. [22] And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. [23] Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

[24] Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

And because it is in Christ that I am trusting, i'm leaving everything behind with joy in my heart and peace of mind. Now by this I'm not saying I will not miss my family, because I will, I'm not saying I will not miss my church family, because I will, I'm not saying I will not miss my friends, the food, the culture, the ministry to the women, because I will most definitely miss it all; but I am saying that when that moment comes, I will turn to Christ for strength and lean on Him and my (future) husband for comfort.