Man overboard !

 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

 I remember having a conversation with a younger brother once. I distinctly recall asking him a very strange question. It went something like this. “Are you a dismembered limb?” Naturally, I didn’t give him any context. So I referenced the above passage. We were talking about becoming a member of a church.

  I think about all these christians who are not involved in a church. They say, oh, I serve outside the church… or they say, I go to church on Sundays. But I don’t think they know what I’m talking about. Or if they do, they’re just playing dumb. I regularly ask friends whether they have been serving the church. Maybe they think it’s a legalistic question. But if you want to know how someone is doing spiritually, you ask them about ministry. Dig around a bit and you’ll find all sorts of interesting landmines. But back to the point, there is no dispensable member in the church. Every member of the church is INDISPENSABLE. You, yes, you. Do you realize that the church needs you? But I suck at ministry, you say. How about a little bit of scripture for you?

On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…

What do you think about that? Hopefully, you can take His word on it. What is next from there?

But God has so composed the body, … that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

We are to care for one another. But don’t imagine that saying hi and making polite banter with the person sitting on the pew near you is enough. That’s called politeness and we can be plenty polite to people we don’t care for at all… I’ve worked long enough in customer service to know. Rather, I want us to picture the church as a family. our family. Because in Christ, we are all in God’s family.

Application

  • Become a member of a local congregation (family).
  • Love each other (your family is still your family, no matter what they may or may not do).
  • Be gracious (bestow honor on the less honorable, modesty on the unpresentable).

Posted in Jesus | Leave a comment

Mysterious ways…

you know… God works in mysterious ways.

and every once in awhile, God lets you catch a glimpse of Him at work.

It started as a reading 3 separate bloggers.
3 different windows into lives united only by the blood of Christ.
Yet somehow, they’re are now all at the same church…

God, won’t you bless f3c?

Posted in Jesus | Leave a comment

Friday October 10, 2008

This is an iron-sharpening-iron moment. Please standby…

We call ourselves followers of Christ. But I have to ask… really? You think so? Maybe because all too often, I have to ask myself. Are you following? I want to seriously consider how we make decisions… the little day-to-day decisions. Coffee? Tea? Water? or perhaps… Buy? Save? Invest? Borrow? I’m not trying to say that one of them is a better choice. I’m asking where your decision making nexus is located.

I’ve always been interested in learning about how people think. What makes them tick. I remember this one conversation with a gal. We were discussing a situation after the fact. So she was talking about the facts about the situation and then she told me how she had decided to proceed. So I asked her, how she arrived at that choice. And it was simply, “It felt right.” I’m not trying to make her look bad, but seriously… How do you even start to discuss something when the support for the decision is purely emotional? There’s no point of reference. It’s just pitting one person’s feelings against another person’s feelings on the matter. Have you seen how arguments become circular and there is no honest move to compromise? I think it is because we want what we want and there is really, seriously, no way to discuss or compromise with someone who takes that kind of stance.

I haven’t forgotten the left-brain dominated people. ^_^ Yeah, I must count myself among them. We have this idea that logic is the best way somehow. We can reason our way to the wisest decision. But this assumes we somehow know it all. But we don’t… as much as have individual expertise, the range of knowledge is so specific that honestly… I think the best thing logic can come up with is pragmatism. Just go with what works. But there’s a problem… How do you know it’s actually working? You don’t. We rationalize when it’s convenient for us. We say it’s logical, but really the problem is our basic assumptions. If your assumptions are off one iota, your extrapolations are going to be way off. So try to follow logic and you may end up a madman knowing neither right nor wrong, or you end up eviscerating yourself by saying there is neither right nor wrong.

To sum it up, when we just follow our emotions/logic, we fulfill those times described in the Old Testament, “everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes.” So what other choice remains? I’d like to summarize it simply. Jesus is Lord. I think that this has yet to sink in fully for me as well. But I’m trusting that we will recognize His voice when he calls. And we will follow…

————

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/08/13/lw.adultery.confessions.whats.next/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/08/12/studentsteachers.online/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/sports/olympics/21protest.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=all
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/2613399/Mosab-Hassan-Yousef-son-of-Hamas-leader-becomes-a-Christian.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/nyregion/13detain.html?pagewanted=all
http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/08/26/o.divorce.dreams/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/08/25/manta.ray/index.html
http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/19/smallbusiness/make_sleep_work_for_you.fsb/index.htm
http://www.slate.com/id/2198942/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1051871/Stalins-mass-murders-entirely-rational-says-new-Russian-textbook-praising-tyrant.html
http://www.nysun.com/business/unthinkable-happens-manhattan-apartment-prices/84900/
http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=august2008-10-things-banks-will-not-tell-you&split=0
http://www.newsweek.com/id/156372/page/1
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1051981/Why-men-women-choose-partners-look-like-parents.html
http://www.slate.com/id/2199258/pagenum/all/#page_start
http://slatev.com/player.html?id=1784543751
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7616346.stm

Posted in Jesus, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Light

     You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

— Matthew 5:14-15 (NIV) —



Each one of us displays a bit of the glory of God. Little shards & reflections of His character glitter throughout our personalities. God doesn’t call for us to hide away from people and become some sort of hermit. We are all different kinds of light and when we come into contact with people… there’s going to be an interesting reaction.

For some people who’ve been stumbling, we’re a godsend. Suddenly they can see the path before them and they find themselves drawn closer. They blink their eyes, trying to get accustomed to the brightness, trying to see things that only tripped them up in the darkness.

But for others, it’s not as pretty. They come closer and they sometimes find that their own character is illuminated. The ugliness that hid so well in the shadows cannot find refuge from the ray of light that pierces the darkness. They are repulsed at this image and run in the other direction.

There are many different kinds of light. Lasers that can cut through things with precision. Bonfires that burn with crazy intensity and set off nearby tinder. Candles that sway wiith the breeze slowly burning down to little nubs.

What kind of light are you? And what kind of reactions have you gotten?

==== Online Tidbits ====


It seems OAKs produce acorns.
A deceptive heart (Lady’s perspective)
Fertility & Fashion
Would You Like To Know Women Personally?
Back when I was your age… we used to play this game called tag.

Posted in Jesus | 6 Comments

Mission

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

— Mark 12:28-31 (NIV) —


Jesus is a nutcase. Or… He really is the Son of God (which consequently that makes me the nutcase, go figure.) But the more I think about it… the more this resembles a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) It’s kinda like a taratula… It just looks more intimidating the closer you examine it. But there is an interesting thing about BHAG’s… The more of a challenge it is, the more likely it is to bring out the very best in those striving towards it.

So for all those Jesus followers out there…

  1. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength.
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Creative abilities to find fresh ways to love others & God.
Passions to drive you toward doing more than you can imagine.
Strength to overcome obstacles in the way.
Weakness to keep you humble and reliant on God’s providence.
Discipline to keep going when everything seems to be pushing you the other way.
Vision to keep you on the right path.
Comrades to bolster your morale.
Leadership with unquestionable intergrity.
An objective worth dying for.

I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around this passage for awhile now. I guess it’s just one more reminder that God doesn’t think like a man. His ways are not mine…

Posted in Jesus | 9 Comments

What fills you?

I remember making fun of how the Amish live such  backward lives.  (I know, retarded…) But I  have more respect for them. Their focus on peace and on community.  It seems almost cultish, heck it seems crazy to me and I took a really close look at them, being a Mennonite, myself.

But when you take a cup and you jostle it… you really find out what it’s filled with. And for this particular group of Amish, it amazes me… It just bowls me over. They really are out of this world.

=== Online Tidbit ===

“I hope they stay around here and they’ll have a lot of friends and a lot of support,” Daniel Esh, a 57-year-old Amish artist and woodworker whose three grandnephews were inside the school during the attack, said of the Roberts.

Posted in Jesus | 17 Comments

REPOST-..Bitter..Irony..

I found myself tasting bitterness on my tongue today and it wasn’t the flavor I usually use.
So here’s an echo I found in my history.Dad. I’m tired of parables.
It’s so sad… so very sad.
I’m road weary.
I wanna go home.

== Echo from November 16th 2005 ==

I read this passage and I found it bitterly ironic. But for all the bitterness of it, I cannot taste even a hint of cynicism. It resonates with me… I find myself speaking generally about something specific in my life. Or telling the truth, but hiding the whole truth in plain view. How I know that what I say can be taken one way… but I can mean it in a completely different way… and I won’t explain unless asked or I really trust you. I’ll let you think what you wish…

() <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< ()

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

— Matthew 13:10-15 (NIV) —

Posted in Jesus | 2 Comments

Self-inflicted Preach

He will come and save you.

Amen, Amen.

P.S. Sorry for missing last week. Just couldn’t get the steam to get my thoughts out. (My excuse is that I’m helping out with the Midautumn Festival on Sept 30th in Philly’s Chinatown.) I’m working on something about identity, Christ and names… I hope you guys like it rare, cuz I don’t know if this thought is fully cooked yet.

Technorati Profile

Posted in Jesus | 9 Comments

smells like something died

I was sitting in the middle of my room and I noticed a subtle odor wafting in the breeze. It smelled reminscent of B.O. Being a fellow well-versed in the timing of things, I decided this was nature’s subtle way of telling me to do my laundry. So I took all my laundry, washed it, and hung it out to dry.

I walk back into my room, sit down in the same spot and there it was again… that slightly nasty smell again. So I thought, maybe it has something to do with the plants sitting on my window sil. So I pick them up and sniff them, they smell a bit like fertilizer. So I took the plants and sat them on the floor.

I walked back to my original spot and sat down. It seemed alright, but every now and then I would catch that odor again. I sniffed outside my window, the air smelled clean (well, as clean as philly air gets anyway.) I couldn’t understand it. Where was this strange smell coming from?

So I stepped back and tried to look at this with new eyes. And there sitting near my window sill is this teapot. It’s actually a stainless steel teapot. I’m thinking, maybe this teapot? I open the lid and my nostil hairs practically curled. It’s like that one time the sewage pipe backed up into the house… Evidently, one should never put rice water (you know, the water that you normally pour out when cleaning the rice?) into a watering can (or in this case, a stainless steel teapot).

Moral of the story?

Amuse me reader, make one up.


===========================================================================

American-English Rant

<SARCASM>

Awesome is just something cool.
Daddy is just a sperm donor.
Beauty is just pretty.
Right depends on your point of view.
Wrong is just a personal feeling.
Tradition sets the values and ideas that are proper.
Religion makes you a good person.
Faith is a girl’s name.
Love is the word guys use to get into a gal’s pants.
Equality is another way of saying conformity.
Feminism means bashing on manhood.
Man is a guy with lots of muscle and little brains.
Woman is what a lady becomes after losing her virginity.
Chivalry is chauvanism in disguise.

</SARCASM>

I’m a bitter wordsmith.

Posted in Jesus | 15 Comments

Best Man N Resolution

-= Resolution 06: Status Report =-


01. The battle has gotten more consistent. Still stumbling, but my heart, spirit & mind seem to be getting cleaner and clearer with time. No doubt, it’s still ugly in here, but there’s definitely something going on in there as well. The fight no longer seems so one-sided anymore. On a side note, I’ve actually been able to appreciate beauty w/o stumbling a whole lot better. Just have a thought like… “She looks good…” and just leave it at that.

03. hmm, I got called an @$$hole by a taxi driver. So I think I’m backsliding on this one. Not to make an excuse of it, but it seems to have gotten worse after I started chilling with BS. I wonder if there is any correlation…
04. Been praying about it and actually tried just talking. Very slow progress. I’d rather her just shut up and do what I’m asking/saying. Not very loving… I know.
05. Housing market is still painful. I don’t know what kind of progress I can make on this one unless I start learning how to build a house with my own hands instead of hiring contractors.
06. Guh. I have no discipline. I’m down to 38.
07. I chatted with PY once about sarcasm/cynicism/sin. Not sure about the mentorship department. PY is going to be busy with a church plant, but the UC site is getting some new servant-leaders. This might open some opportunities. Gotta keep my eyes peeled.
08. I dunno… does my fam in Christ feel the love? I want to start discipling… taking some brothers out to lunch and the like. I’m not sure about my treatment of the sisters… that’s just a big fat question mark.
09. Progress… I played a little with a friend’s lil sis. But otherwise, I don’t think I’ve gotten any better at loving little kids.
10. I think I just need to set a date and do it. October?
11. No movement. No progress. This one’s a sitting duck.
12.
I did some reading / research. There is more chi / ying / yang and stuff than I wish to learn. Unless I find something more application rather than theoretical, I might just drop this one. Still the question of who would be a guinea pig. Who wants a plebian to mess with their chi flow?

===========================================================================

-=Best’s Man’s Advice=-


I recently rearranged my room and uncovered the musings that eventually became my best man’s toast/speech. I’ll refrain from repeating the awkward intro (yes, I get stage fright.) and the awkward, yet engaging insights into my best pal’s personal life. I’ll skip down instead to the advice I gave him for his rite of passage from singledom to married life. (It does beg the question, how I, an unmarried man, am qualified to give such advice…)

In no particular order:

  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. ( No, I’m not really talking about dishes. )
  • Women love the little, simple things. ( This is actually what my best friend told me a long time ago. )
  • Flirt with your wife. ( Keep up that romantic spirit! )
  • Step Up and be a man! ( No explanation necessary, I hope. )
  • Reassure her that she’s the #1 woman in your life. ( Your wife should have NO doubts in this area. )
  • It’s not what you say, but how you say it. ( Truth with love. Men tend to forget the love part. )

The Toast:
May your love, joy & devotion to each other deepen, no matter what may come.

-= Online Tidbits =-

Cell phone secrets
It gets harder to get married by Elvis.
Stealth Mode part II
Balls, get some.
Jesus Camp
When you divorce me… (Warning: possible tearjerker)
Microsoft High (practically in my backyard…)

Posted in Jesus | 9 Comments