Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Holi Holiday

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We had an awesome holiday in Chennai, India. Just family. People make it sound scary and weird, but it was surprisingly amazing! I loved the colors, the sights, cows and honking, especially the food. I wouldn't necessarily stay there my whole life, but it was good for a visit. Learnt alot about Indian culture too.

I tried to take as many pictures of Indian lifestyle, the real stuff. Didn't buy very much, so pictures were my souvenirs. I may even make this into a scrapbook of sorts, i think. Sorry about the heavy editing, makes it seem more colorful than my digi cam can.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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You know i've been reading about all these banning, banning people from preaching the gospel, banning people to say things as according to the Bible, banning people generally from having any sort of Christian opinion. Why is it okay for the rest of the world to have their opinions, make laws to express it or cancel laws that don't express it, and try to stop everyone else from opposing their opinions in the name of freedom of speech or the right to whatever? Hello? Don't we have rights too or a right to an opinion too? And when does it become okay for anyone else who happens not to be a Christian to complain about Christians being offensive in what they proclaim, but at the same time they can go on being offensive about Christians out loud in whatever way they like? I just find this all completely topsy turvy. It's like some circle of crazy that will never end.

I guess i may sound silly, saying all these things about the gospel, Jesus, seemingly making all these claims about God. The basis for it: The bible told me so. Call me silly to have an opinion based on God's Word. We'll see, won't we?

Funny thing is, it's a blessing to Christians when these things happen. In history and til the day Jesus returns, these things have only resulted in more and more people becoming Christians and growing to be stronger Christians. Read the Foxes book of Martyrs, or Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves. We have the eternal assurance of our salvation, thanks to the blood of Christ. We can never die. So go on preaching it brothers and sisters. The world can do what it can, but
our God rules this world. 

from a show that also has a lot of unfair and loud opinions about God and Jesus and Christians, the lyrics to Loser Like Me:
Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth (so everyone can hear)
hit me with the worst you got and knock me down (baby i don't care)
keep it up and soon enough you'll figure out,
you wanna be, you wanna be
a loser like me... a loser like me

Monday, March 07, 2011

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Have thought about everything i mentioned before. It's not just a problem with the gospel. It's a whole framework of thinking that's wrong. I see how much work God needs to do in someone before they come to realize that they're not all that, they're not God and they need to submit. Thank you Lord for disciplining me in the many years that has built up to this moment. When the necessary things like understanding the nature of justification, sanctification, perfection and maturity or even more like the nature of truth, revelation or the doctrine of Scripture, if these things are not there, people really just can't get it. Understanding that we don't have to do anything to gain favor with God (or with man for that matter, which is much less important than God) is foreign. All you end up with is an anthropocentric view of life, which is arrogant, proud in itself and can't be taught. Pity. It's a lot like Ahaz, Hezekiah, Assyria, one day God will whack you and that would be it. Better to understand the sovereignty of the One Creator God now before that happens. Scripture puts it all to us clearly. We just don't bother to find out. We just say that's vague, don't know, can't be bothered to find out what it says, can't read it, oh it's sealed, can't even open it. Isaiah is blowing my mind about all this. Everything just pops now, right before my very eyes. The nature of seeing the world and reality through God's eyes, as Isaiah did. Realizing when reality has been topsy turvied by sinful people like us and seeing clearly through to what is the only solution to all this rubbish. Seeing the problems for what they really are and gaining strength from God who is the only comfort to us in this ridiculous situations. Having vision that is God-centred, God-focused, and not navel-gazing. So much more to say, but Isaiah has said it all, 1 Thessalonians has said it all, the Bible has said it all. God has said it all, take it or leave it.

strength in God!

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some people think they are sinless.
some people also think its possible to try their best to be good.
some think that sinning against people is not sinning against God.
some also are obsessed with the fact that everyone in their life has sinned against them.

i think it's deluded.

only God is sinless.
No one is righteous, not even one.
And sin is defined as rebellion against the Holy God.
There is no way for us to pay for our sin.
It's too much.
Everyday our debt to God grows.
Only the sinless Son of God can pay and has paid for all that we've done.
David says 'Against you alone have i sinned" and he's right.
Whatever you and i have ever done to ourselves or to others, none of that is as important as the fact that everything we've done is rebellion against God.

What kind of perverse gospel is it that people subscribe to? Its not a gospel at all.
For while we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly, the sinners, the enemies of God.
His blood, his sacrificial death takes our place.
Because of what he has done, we are now assured of no more condemnation by God, where we ought have suffered the wrath of God, we are now freed. We are reconciled and have peace with God, since we are JUSTIFIED by God. My price is paid, i have nothing more to answer for. Nothing that i can do to further compensate for my past, but the blood of Christ has accomplished it all.
To subscribe to anything other than this, is heresy. Outright denial of the gospel of Christ.

I rejoice in this suffering, this persecution. It has only made me more sure that i am forgiven. I have comfort from God. I have strength in Him. I have confidence that i am no longer condemned by God. I am clean in His eyes.

And honestly, that's all i need to know. For the eyes of man are blind. They will keep seeing but never perceiving, always hearing but never understanding. The wisdom of God is portrayed in Christ's work in me, but those who are blind will never understand it. Will never see it. Will even ignore God's glorious work, in order to bring forth their own perverted form of justice.

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely. Only the Holy Servant of God will bring forth RIGHT JUSTICE, and i look forward to that day. It is a pity for those who claim to believe yet still find ways to work their own sanctification, their own holiness. Do you not know you can never do it? Do you not know that no matter how many people you apologize to, even the ones you have wronged, it won't make you right with God? I know what you want, but what you need is to trust God's work of sanctification. Can you imagine, calling God's immense payment, restitution if you will, cheap grace?

Christ crucified, i'm justified. 
Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be til i die!

What is thy only comfort in life and death?

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What is thy only comfort in life and death? 
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Psalm 51
        Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
       Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
  Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
  Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
  Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
  O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
  then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Romans 5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

midnight mumbles.

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127 hours taught me a lot about Isaiah. It's when man is led by their selfishness, arrogance and pride to situations where they're stuck deep in affliction and suffering, that's when man realizes they are no more than a speck on the face of God's earth and develop a deeper respect for God. You have to come to a place where you are face to face with the fact that you are nothing, you can't do anything to get yourself out of the horrible situation you're in. In that time, the only response to God is "Thank you", turning to the One who's struck you (sorta like the moment after he cuts off his hand and says thank you to the rock) and be repentant. It's sad that we take so long to repent, who knows how long after that point of repentance it will take for us to fall into a crevice again.

As an aside, i realized something else about respecting God. Sometimes i wish that Christians who date non-Christians would have a little more respect for God and the church that Jesus died for. It's nothing personal, you see, but what's at stake is your own faith, trust, dependence and godliness (not to mention not glorifying God as you should). Understanding the nature of being bought by God, set free from slavery to be God's servant/slave, OWNED by God, that should change your perception of how you live your life, who you choose to be with etc.