Step outside into a dark winter night. Close your eyes and imagine the heat of Summer even as your rub your arms together for warmth. Can you feel it? Does a simple definition that heat is the temperature rising because of atoms rubbing together help you at all? Probably not. If you were successful in drawing more than a sliver of warmth from this imagining, it was probably due to thinking of the opposite: a warm hearth, the sun in your face as you lay at the beach, or the car burning you as you enter it after it's been cooking out in the sun for a while. That's because these contrasts help us more firmly entrench our feet into thee reality of either extreme. In Judges 4, we will see many such contrasts between the faithful God and His wavering people.
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13). For too long I've struggled with these verses,… Continue reading Faith beyond Salvation
My story is not about a dramatic before & after conversion, but the slow progression of a friendship that began when I was around five and the sweet experience of committing more of myself to Him each day.
This is the second thing I'm posting today as an apology for having been absent for so long--sorry! Please enjoy a poem I wrote for my family while I was in college. I Have Missed It All The first night I slept with two kind strangers And closed two tired eyes in sleep; I felt… Continue reading I Have Missed It All
If you were asked to picture the worst sin, what would you choose? Would it be murder? Genocide? Patricide? Or perhaps sins that are sexual in nature? You may be right, of course. These may be what John referred to as "sins unto death" (1 Jn. 5:16). But what we often neglect are the "respectable… Continue reading Genesis 11: The Height of Pride
A wave of interest about where we came from recently sprang up. It’s only natural, since the evolutionary story presented to us since childhood doesn’t answer how we fit into our convoluted world. In Paul Gaugin’s self-proclaimed finest painting, “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”, he answers the title’s… Continue reading Genesis 10: Table of Nations
I've been busy in Peru, but I wanted to take the time to share a poem with you on God's wonderful sovereignty, and how we can rest on Him amid our struggles.
God has big plans for all of us. In fact, God's revealed will for mankind can be found in all sixty six books of the Bible. But because this is a blog post and not a dissertation, here are three things that Genesis 9 reveals about God's plans for us!
Noah was stuck in the ark for 150 days. This seems like a lot of days for me, especially without knowing the end date. But we're called to patience and faith--so how do we trust God in the face of trials?
We tend to view acts of self-preservation as either heroic (hello, self-esteem camp!) or selfish (hello, self-effacing camp!). But where does God stands on this issue?
The news is a complicated medium. It’s meant to tell us the truth, but that rarely sells us as well as the exaggeration. But while many of us aren’t as villainous or as heroic as the news portrays them, we’re still capable of both extremes.
Some people may not agree, especially when you consider that would mean we’re all capable of atrocities like Hitler’s genocide, but there’s no other explanation to why both good and evil are possible. If it’s just some people’s nature to be evil, then why were they such normal children? And why was the “common man” persuaded to put them in power and keep them there?
It only makes sense if we all have both choices available to us. Here are 3 biblical proofs that we—not the circumstances or environment—are the problem:
When we think of Adam, we think of some distant Bible character who is long gone and dead. And while that may be true, he's not too different from the rest of us. Here are some surprising (but obvious) ways in which we're not too different from Adam.
We’ve all heard the story of Cain and Abel, but there’s so much more to it than murder. It’s the story of the progression of sin—and of the legacy of the godly.
When I was cajoled into diets by my family, I understood the reasons why--I just didn't care. When I looked at these rules, I only saw limitations.
This isn't an uncommon trait for a descendant of Adam and Eve.
Angels seem to be better than humans: they're stronger, smarter, faster, and taller--and yet God focuses His attention on mankind. Why is that? What makes mankind so distinct?
Many times, it feels like we live only for the weekends. When we’re at work (or school), we can't wait to go home. When we’re at home, doing paperwork or homework, we can’t wait for a relaxing weekend. And when we get to the weekend, we can’t wait for when we’re on vacation and have… Continue reading Genesis 2: God’s Rest
I was thinking of my life recently. Particularly, I was wondering why I care about God.
Please don't interpret that statement as sacrilegious. I simply mean that I wanted to know why I'd always felt God's presence in my life and why others act like they don't give Him a second thought.
It's not like I'm a specific breed of humanity: I wasn't born spiritual. Why did I care about God when so many people who were raised in Christian homes never did?
Sometimes we fear the will of God. It's like we think He has some horrible plan for our lives instead of the good that He promised us and is capable of giving to us.
But Genesis 1 alleviates some of these fears, reminding us Christians that we can trust in God because of His attributes. Now, let's answer the question: What is God like?
Friends are people that we like spending time with. When we wear masks in front of them, it's mostly to keep them by our side. And we choose our friends.
But we don't choose our peers. They simply live alongside us.
Often, we want to impress them, ignore them, defy them, or rise above them. And it's easy to wear masks in front of them because they don't know us well enough to determine whether we're telling the truth or not. Besides that, sometimes we don't think they're entitled to know our true selves. But that doesn't mean that we should feed them lies and deceit.
In last week’s blog post, we talked about the need to stop wearing masks before our own conscience. But of course, we also need to stop wearing masks before other people. After all, we're not helping them or ourselves when we lie to keep their approval or friendship.
In the end, it's not us that they're approving--it's the fake version of us.
Besides, lying to get man's approval isn't a very Christian-like way to live. As the apostle Paul said, “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10, KJV).
But what are the masks that we wear?
Sometimes, I see glimpses of a different reality, of a different person, from someone whom I thought I knew, and then I wonder which version is real.
suppose you could say my head is in the clouds, but the rest of my body is clinging to the middle—the norm—the average—the rut in which most people live their lives.
Long hours on a bus make me giddy. My mom, who'd sat beside me on a bus that day, could attest to that. But she didn’t comment: she just tried to sleep as we went from Chiclayo to Cumbemayo, Peru.
My bed at home is much better than my bed here, but that doesn’t mean I want to get up. My blue comforter is snug against my body, reaching all the way up to my chin; my fuzzy, pink socks lie warm against my feet; and one plain pillow hugs my head while I hug… Continue reading Leaving Your Safe Zone
As I meditate on God, I'm amazed at how God shows Himself differently to different people. To Paul, He showed His blinding glory; to Elijah, His flames of fire; and to Joseph, His blessed companionship.
I'm sorry for taking so long to post, but I've been in Peru to visit family and see Machu Picchu, making my life busy with random fun and relatives showing up in the traditional Hispanic fashion (unannounced). Besides that, I'm working to provide you guys a detailed study of Genesis 10, and for that, I'm… Continue reading A Minister of Light
*FYI, this poem draws heavily from the myths of mandrakes' appearance, magical properties, and danger. I even include how mandrakes smell like apples. Therefore, you may want to read up on mandrake mythology if you want to grasp this poem's meaning. The smell of apples draws her in, One whisper of “mandrake fruit unveils… Continue reading Why the Mandrake Screams
This is my testimony in Spanish. Éste es mi testimonio en Español. Mi grupo de estudio bíblico tuvo una semana de testimonios y tuve el placer de escuchar muchas de sus historias. Todos tuvimos el desafío de compartir nuestras historias, y como tuve un maravilloso momento de Dios hoy, el Espíritu Santo puso en mi… Continue reading Mi Testimonio