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Showing posts from January, 2016

“A Man For All Seasons”

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Ever wondered why you are going through what you are going through? Are you thinking they are just random events in your life? Or, if you believe that God orchestrated them, that He was just toying with you? That the Lord was playing dice with your life? 
In the opening night of the Global Discipleship Congress last Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Dr. Ravi Zacharias (one of Christianity’s most famous Christian apologists and author of more than 20 books like “Why Jesus?” and “Can Man Live Without God?”) said, “Pain is a real part of life.”
In his talk, “A Man For All Seasons,” Ravi expounded on the life of Joseph the dreamer, a man who was not a stranger to pain. He pointed out that Joseph went through seasons in his life that brought out his character. And we will go through these seasons as sure as we go through summer, rain and more rain here in the Philippines.
Joseph did not come from an ideal family. Jacob his father stole the birthright from his elder brother Esau. Joseph and his sib…

Vulnerable

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There are times we are afraid to admit our brokenness because we thought people would reject us when they know what we are struggling about. Yet, according to Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (NIV) 
That’s what Pastor Steven Lee of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois called “redemptive vulnerability.” In his “Give Your Weakness to God” article, Pastor Lee wrote,  So what is redemptive vulnerability? To be vulnerable is to be susceptible to being wounded or hurt. In the context of community, vulnerability is opening up about one’s humanity. It’s to admit that we are not perfect people. We have not arrived. We are broken, unfinished people who live in a world that itself is broken because of the fall. We experience depression, burn out, cancer, sadness, death, grief, disability, disease, relational strife, loneliness, lust, anxiety, and the list goes on. [1]
We are to open up only to the level that we trust a person. We …

Broken For You

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Have you ever thought that God could not relate with our brokenness? Yet in the communion we have a visual reminder of our Lord Jesus Christ identifying with our brokenness.  For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24, ESV. Emphasis added.)The Lord’s body was broken for you and me so that broken people like us could be made whole again.
Broken things and broken people are the result of sin. Yet God sent his Son, who was without sin, to be broken so that we might be healed. … His death has made it possible for broken, sinful humanity to be reconciled to God and be healed. Without the broken body of Jesus, we could not be made whole. [1]According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made rig…

Confession

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Most of us now belong to the “talk show” generation. We are so used to the idea of no-holds-barred, bare-it-all interviews. Somehow, we brought that idea to the church. Yes, we are to “confess [our] sins to one another” (James 5:16a, ESV). But what does it really mean to confess?
To confess one’s sin is not just to open up about it. Sadly there are people who end up boasting about their sins. That’s not confession of your sins. That’s crowing about your sins.
In his “Has ‘Authenticity’ Trumped Holiness?” Christian author Brett McCracken warned,  Often, what passes for authenticity in evangelical Christianity is actually a safe, faux-openness that establishes an environment where vulnerability is embraced, only up to a point. … This dynamic reflects another problem: our skewed understanding of sin. It’s almost as if our sins have become a currency of solidarity—something we pat each other on the back about as fellow authentic, broken people. But sin should always be grieved rather than ce…

“To Break A Horse”

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“To break a horse” means to train it. It’s not to merely to subdue the horse. It’s to train it to submit. In general, a horse’s loyalty greatly depends on the type of training or breaking that it receives. Horses that are broken to follow their leader out of respect are much more enjoyable than those that follow out of fear. [1]Do you know that in the Greek the word “meek” refers to a wild stallion that trainers brought under control. Can you imagine the raw power that horses possess? Well, just watch a rodeo to get an idea of how much power a horse has. In fact, we use the term “horsepower” to measure a unit of power. A meek horse is not one that lost its personality or its power. It’s a horse that has learned to submit to its trainer, harnessing its power.
That is a picture of the breaking process that we go through in the hands of God. Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)He breaks us or all…

Brokenness

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Things break due to wear and tear or accidents. They usually end up in the trash. People are like that at times. Somebody wrote, In this world, broken things are despised and thrown out. Anything we no longer need, we throw away. Damaged goods are rejected, and that includes people. In marriage, when relationships break down, the tendency is to walk away and find someone new rather than work at reconciliation. The world is full of people with broken hearts, broken spirits and broken relationships. [1]Most, if not all of us who read this are broken in one way or another. We all have weaknesses. We all have failed. We all have sinned. We have hurt and have been hurt by others. We have not been whole from the start, anyway. We were born sinners. We are already broken the moment we were conceived. As we live our sinful lives and as we live in this broken world, we continually experience it.

But in the midst of all these, we can all experience grace. There is something about reaching a breaki…

Kintsugi

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That’s a Japanese word for “golden joinery.” [1] According to Wikipedia, “[It] is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum”. [2]
According to legends, a Shogun or a Japanese military dictator in the 15th century had a precious tea bowl repaired. But the repair got botched. “When it was returned, repaired with ugly metal staples, it may have prompted Japanese craftsmen to look for a more aesthetic means of repair.” [3] Thus, we now have beautifully repaired potteries with gold or silver cracks. 
Kintsugi reflects a philosophy that, instead of disguising a breakage, it highlights the brokenness of the vessel. In repairing the broken pottery as such, Kintsugi shows that there is beauty in brokenness.



Spiritually speaking, brokenness is beautiful in God’s eyes. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17) [4]When the righteous cry for help, the Lord he…