Month: April 2013

dotting the ‘i’

Lately, I have noticed a pet peeve. Perhaps it’s the objective journalist in me but people who use ‘I’ or ‘me’ with no relevance to the conversation in a group, I quickly lose attention. And more so as a leader who works with other leaders.

The words ‘we, they and/or ours” indicates including the entire group instead of individual. After arriving home and feeling compelled to research “I” when Jesus spoke. Who was Jesus often referring to?

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Image

So, what does ‘I’ mean? Jesus recognizes, that even though he refers to himself, he refers himself to God because he knows he cannot do anything without his Father. This seems fair when he talks about his work, he knows he is the Son of God and nothing is done alone.

‘We’ is not just referring to a group, but also refers to the church. Church is not about ‘I.’ Often times, you’re referring to the people who have a relationship with God. Focusing too much on the ‘i’ will have unbelievers lose sight of who God is.

The best way to start, ‘Jesus’ instead of ‘I’.

Thoughts?

Honoring our creation

ImageA few months ago, I was chatting with someone and had mentioned my medication often changed my eating habits. Some days I could eat and others, I couldn’t. It was a major struggle without being judged or condemed by people who were simply attemtping to encourage me to eat. He looked at me and told me, “You’re not eating? Well, then you’re not honoring God.”

I went home later that day with what he said. For once, someone wasn’t giving me a lecture but sharing words of wisdom of how it affects my relationship with God. And truth be told, he was right. I wasn’t honoring God. So, that night, I prayed about how I could get better. How I can be healed, in order to take better care of myself. While I’ve read this scripture many times in the past, I never fully applied it up until this year.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body,”
– (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Let’s start with the first part. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
Talk about being blunt! Our body is a temple (host) of the Holy Spirit. It’s also sacred to God as Jesus lives in us.

We are not our own, once we accept Christ (who died on the cross and rose from the dead with the intention of our souls living forever). Our host allows us to interact with other believers and non-believers.

“Therefore, honor God with your body.” Because we are intended to have a purpose for our lives, we should honor our body.

My choice of skipping meals to remaining healthy, made me lose sight of what God intended for me. I barely had energy to even keep my attention span going much less serving Him. Therefore, I was unable to honor God.

Since then, I went back to the doctors and had testing done – only to find out the medication I was taking was no longer needed and was possibly triggering my condition. A few weeks after going off of the medication, I began to eat more. I gained a good amount of healthy weight. I felt better than I ever have, including more energy, less headaches and less seizures.

Taking care of your body is very essential to honoring God. The last post discussed the importance of remembering how God created us and perfectly made. He already designed us exactly how He wanted us. Why should we dishonor our Lord by not caring for His design?

I want to note: this post lead me to understand that being healthy is not for my benefit (though is useful) but for God’s benefit in serving His Kingdom. For the first time, I believe I am beautiful, because my attitude of how I see God’s design – began to change.

Even though we’re human, we don’t have to be destructive to God’s design. How can we work to better care for the ‘temple’?

This is my land

“Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land.  Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.[a] No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.

-Deuteronomy 11:22-25

First of all, the first highlighted verse talks about how we should love the Lord, our God. He commands us by walking in His ways (notice this is emphasized by Jesus in the New Testament too?) This verse adds by holding tightly to Him; in other translations, it says cling. God wants us to work with Him, love Him by obeying His command.

He promises that whatever befalls, nothing will come against us. By holding onto HIm tightly and trusting His very promises, everything is cared for. God has already said we must fear Him. Even the unbelievers fear and doubt God.

About two years ago, I was awaked to a very strong tug and realized God was trying to tell me something. A few months later, I moved to D.C. I had a meeting the day after I moved there at Gallaudet University. But it was shaken by a rare earthquake, at the very same moment I stepped onto campus. 

I don’t believe it was a coincidence that an earthquake struck the very moment I walked onto the campus. I believe this land is called for a much greater purpose and it wasn’t necessarily a warning or a threat as most people proclaim.

The verse also comforts us in times when we feel neglected but trust God that we can go to Him. Now that’s love! 

Mission

I spent the greater year getting involved in Human Trafficking causes, not just to learn but be active about what I learn and what I could do. But my skills and knowledge only limited my ability to work with those in human trafficking. Sure, it’s easy to post a blog or say something on Facebook; but is it enough? This week it occurred me what the difference was between mission and causes.

Missions is acting on what you believe and causes is to simply promote what you believe. Missions is meant to be carried out once you establish some kind of goal. Not that I didn’t know the difference before, but as many of us donate to causes all over the world, are we really taking action to fight for injustice in the world? What does it mean to take action to fight for the injustice? I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook and Twitter… it’s great to post info about our beliefs but most of us are just talk and don’t act on it.

It’s important to know the reasons we  should be pursuing our missions in life too. Missions is meant to make sacrifices, not for just ourselves or others but also for the sake of God. If we make sacrifices in missions, we must do it joyfully, intentionally and purposefully;  not as a sense of duty. Not just with human trafficking, but also with diseases, disabilities, poverty and so forth.

What can you do to make injustice an action and not just a goal? Start by praying (which is a verb) and is intended for action. Then do what God leads you to do.

Hopeless Romantic

If you’re the kind of person who loves chick flicks, you’re a hopeless romantic.
If you’re the kind of person who hugs people, even strangers, you’re a hopeless romantic.
If you’re the kind of person who writes poetry or creates art pieces, you’re a hopeless romantic.

I confess, I do not like chick flicks. Too much drama I don’t want to be dragged into. But I like shows like Gray’s Anatomy, even though parts of it reveal more than we need to know in our society. But because episodes such as when Seattle Grace was shot up,  in several scenes, a character name Bailey had to make decision to not only deny herself (by denying her career as a surgeon). In order to protect her patients and co-worker; even the ones she despised. It was probably one of the most heroic scene but sadden me when she held her co-worker in her arms as he died.
To me, that was more than a love scene. A Christ-like characteristic we should follow. 

What does it mean to be a hopeless romantic in God’s eyes?

Keep going… and there will be light

As an independent missionary for almost two years, I believed I found myself to the end of this season. It’s time for me to move on… or so I thought!

A group of us traveled a couple weeks ago up north to Mercer, Penn., Rochester, New York and New Jersey. It was one of the best trips I’ve taken (minus Uganda) bringing me closer to God and the people I was with. Towards the end of the trip, I had a decision to make about doing more mission work. 

And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.”
-Colossians 4:17

What does it mean to carry out the ministry that God wants me to? What does it mean for you as Paul encourages the churches to keep going in difficult times? Or times you don’t feel prepared for missions?