So on Wednesday I celebrated Festivus. I hate what Christmas has become: a commercialized money-spending hog of a holiday.
I don’t give gifts. I don’t do cards. I don’t do decorations. I don’t sing songs.
But out of all that, I still remember the real meaning of Christmas. This is the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation. This is John 3:16. This is God loving us so much that He gave up what means the most to Him.
This is why Christmas matters to me.
Filed under Faith, Holiday
I am completely acting on faith in God.
About a month ago I was asked to seriously consider going to Urbana. I am very familiar with the conference that is held in St. Louis every three years. They have amazing pastors, speakers and a whole lot of workshops to really help people grow in their faith in Jesus.
I was hesitant to do it because I didn’t think I’d get the time. And of course, money was also an issue (even though half the cost was going to be sponsored by my church). But I decided that I can’t let my own fears stop me. I was going to act upon it even though I may not have felt ready.
So I put in the time off request at work. I left it in God’s hands. If I was meant to go, then God will deliver Urbana to me.
On Sunday I was part of this new Sunday School study and it was our first meeting. It was a basic overview, kind of like the first day of class. We talked about what we were going to study (the book of Galatians) and how we were going to do it (research some background, finding meanings of certain translations). I am pretty excited about this. It’s been a while since I really went deep into the word like this. There have been things similar, but nothing like this.
One of the examples to help us understand what was going to happen in the following weeks was to break down a line from the Bible and just see what we can learn and glean from it. We took the following line and studied each word individually.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.
Pretty simple line. Very commonly used line.
So we broke down the line analyzing every word, starting with “The” then followed by “Lord” and so on. It was nice since we got to look at each word and what we define each word as. Combining it together after all of that made the meaning of the line that much powerful. Continue reading
I remember my sophomore year. Or maybe it was my junior year. One of those years in college we invited a guest speaker to speak at fellowship. He was a pastor but admitted he didn’t feel like being at the meeting. He didn’t have the passion to preach. But he did relay one message. He was going to preach because he didn’t want people to go to hell. He wanted to share the gospel. He didn’t want anyone to leave without knowing about Jesus. He would not squander away the chance.
“I DON’T WANT MY FRIENDS TO GO TO HELL!” he yelled out. He said that at every opportunity possible, he would preach the gospel. He felt convicted to share the good news to anyone he saw. I admired that. Then I looked at myself and see how far away I am from it.
Where is my conviction. I sure don’t want my friends going to hell. Isn’t that enough already to motivate me to preach the word to my friends. Doesn’t that motivate me enough to at least try bringing up the good news? Instead I cost through life knowing that people I care about are going to hell.
That’s heavy. Salvation is that important to me. Yet here I am holding onto the word and not sharing it. Where is my urgency? Maybe I’ve been too careful for too long. Maybe I just need to trust God more.
That message still sticks to me. I still don’t know why I haven’t done anything about it yet.
OK, I just found out about this. Check out this summary of the nonsense in the tweet above.
First of all, I don’t drink coffee. I drink it occasionally but I never go to Starbucks because I want coffee. Never in my life have I ever desired to drink coffee. Most times when I do, I’m with people. I’m a social coffee drinker.
I am also Christian. I am a Christian who doesn’t care for coffee or what Starbucks does.
With that said, after reading the above story, I could not shake my head any more. If I did, I’d get whiplash. Is this really an issue? First of all, I didn’t even know Starbucks had seasonal themed holiday cups for Christmastime. I didn’t even know this was a big deal to people. Like if you showed me these cups, I wouldn’t even know they were supposed to mean something important.
On Saturday, I got to a free screening of the above movie. It’s really fascinating and I recommend you to go check out the trailer and see it. With the Twin Towers no longer in existence, it tugged on my heartstrings to see a movie about it and having the towers as a celebration of life.
With the idea of the towers in my mind still as I went into Sunday School, the topic of the Bible was brought up in preparation of the day’s sermon. The question asked simply was: “How would you explain the Bible to someone who doesn’t know what it is?”
That’s not an easy question. As easy as it is to talk about the Bible among Christians, it’s so hard to talk about it with someone who doesn’t know what it is. Even among Christians, do we actually sit down and talk and discuss what exactly this famous book really is about? We know what’s in it but what value does it hold?
Yet somehow, someway, the image of the movie and the actual story couldn’t leave my head. Why was this so important to me at this time? Then in my heart and in my mind, and possibly through God, I felt that the building was my starting point to answering this question.
Filed under Faith, Movies
I had heard about Greg Laurie’s Harvest for so long but I never had a chance to go to it because of work and distance for all these years. But for the first time ever, I had the time and I went.
I don’t really respond well to these big gatherings. There’s a lost intimacy to it at times but I still was curious. The drive to Angel Stadium wasn’t too bad and parking was only $5. But it was really me being curious about how people would react to an event like this. It was free, but how many people would show up?
The stadium was packed.