Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Mighty Pen

My faith went downhill recently but thank God, I discovered this blog and the TJC e-library’s vast reading materials.

But something amazing happened last night. While I was reading the e-library’s articles, I held a pen and placed it in a writing position. Still feeling rather down, I decided to utter a silent prayer to God. I asked Him what He wants me to do.

As I began to pray, my hand automatically pushed the pen to move forward bit by bit. I was still praying and the pen continued its movement. Finally, it stopped moving because a heart shape, the symbol of LOVE, was formed.

God wants me to love Him and others more. 🙂

A Birthday Readjustment

On birthdays people often take time to think about their lives–the part which lies behind them and the part which is still to come. Some make resolutions, for this is their personal “new year”. Lately, as I came to this point I realized that in the past few years of my life I tried a lot to improve my personal cultivation with little result. The reason for that, I realized, is that I am setting up too many complicated rules for me to follow. The rules turn out to be a hindrance to my spiritual progress, as I would get discouraged by tripping up on small things.
Also lately, I was reminded both by a sermon and a church sibling to keep things simple and stick to 1 Cor 10:23:

All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit. All things are lawful to me, but not all things build up.

In this verse Paul gives us a clear guideline to follow: judge our actions by whether they profit (are beneficial [different translation]) ourselves, our mind, body and soul and whether they build up others, for our actions always have some bigger or smaller effects on others which we may not even anticipate.

So for my personal “new year” I thought it would be nice just keeping to that verse. And to you all a belated Happy Birthday!

The Thorn In My Hip (2)

To see part 1, click here.

After my experienced sports medicine doctor scribbled down sparse notes as I detailed the last six months of pain, he took one look at me and told me the problem with my hip was in my feet. In fact, he advised me that any time runners complain of a problem in the ankles, knees, shins, or hips, the feet are the usual suspects.

This sounded so familiar to me, because I remember pastors teaching at SSC and NYTS that many problems we encounter in this world stem from a spiritual problem. An illness, a conflict with a co-worker, a crumbling relationship with a significant other, chronic anger, depressed outlook, a quick temper, or a mouth that can’t stop from spewing unedifying words. These problems are all rooted in a faulty foundation – disobedience to God, dissatisfaction with God, laziness, lack of compassionate love, jealousy, and pride.

Jonah found himself in the dark, wet, gooey bowels of a great big fish. Foundation? Disobedience to God.
Joseph’s 11 brothers wanted to kill him. Foundation? Jealousy.
Miriam and Aaron were unhappy about the status of their leadership positions. Foundation? Pride.
Disciple John, “Thunder”, wanted to punish people who challenged Jesus. Foundation? Lack of compassion.

Every problem has a spiritual source. What is it? What mistake did I make? Or did I? What does God want me to learn?

The first step in connecting the dots between the problem and the source is self-examination. Once we start the search, God will help us find. He might use the movement of the Holy Spirit, a message in a sermon, or an experienced church member. Start the search and God will allow us to see the problems as an opportunity to repent and to rely on Him. He will give us wisdom and patience to resolve and to learn from our problems. He will give us the strength to pray for the problems our brothers and sisters are facing. Can we connect the dots from the hip to the feet?

“Why should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD; let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.” (Lam 3:39-41)

Jesus Christ’s Precious Gift of Life

Sunday November 26, 2006

I logged onto gmail to find an email from a friend, saying good-bye to me, to six other girls, to the world. “Before I died…” he titled it. It was only after I finished reading the short email did I realize that he really meant, “Before I commit suicide…”

My heart stopped. I couldn’t feel anything, neither grief, nor worry, nor sorrow. Time halted as my brain whirled. I called Amy, a good friend who was also a recipient of this email, hoping she would know what to do. “God,” I prayed, “keep him safe. Keep him safe.”

Amy had found the email earlier than I had and had already contacted Public Safety. She reassured me that they were combing the university campus, looking for this friend, that when he was found he would receive the help he needs to overcome the depression and loneliness plaguing him.

We could only hope, and pray.

Two hours after my friend sent his suicide note, he was found. The university’s public safety officers had found him, I don’t know how. I was there when they took him in for his own safety. I gave him a hug to let him know I cared, I wanted him alive, I wanted him well. I gave him a hug to let him know that no matter how much I cared, God loved him infinitely more, that he must live the life Jesus Christ blessed him with. After seeing my friend safe, relief flooded my heart. I could feel again.

“Thank God. Thank God.”

It is now four hours since the email was sent. Though I don’t know where to go from here, I know only this, that life is precious. I feel it even more keenly now that a friend almost took his with his own hands.

This friend is Christian. Yet he forgot that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He forgot that Jesus Christ died so we might live.

I pray he remembers. I pray God will give me the strength, wisdom, and compassion to help him. I pray he lives.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.