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Just watched End of the Spear with the Thurs Bible study group. In 1956, five young men risked & lost their lives so that an Ecuadorian tribe (with whom very few had ever had contact; a tribe known for their violence and killing) could *perhaps* get a chance hear and understand a message that Jesus wanted them to know. They placed themselves in an imprudent, vulnerable situation with wives and young children who needed them – why? Because of their conviction that the reconciliation and cessation of hostilities between the Waodani people and God was assuredly more important than keeping themselves (and their families’ interests) protected and safe.
When contrasted against my life now in 2012, it makes me wonder what I am convicted of and whether I am risking anything for things that are assuredly worthwhile. Like something even as small taking several minutes to even talk to and hear from God – or maybe I’m too busy for that…? :O
Screencap from End of the Spear (2005)
(Credit: Every Tribe Entertainment, Bearing Fruit Entertainment)
Ripped off from my own Facebook wall post (which was a re-post of my own retweet of @Lecrae). See why my blog is called “Total Rip-Off” now? 🙂
There’s something moving about LITERALLY seeing a MOVEMENT of men (watch till the end of the video for that). I love this song, but I still only understand like 50% of it 😛
RT @lecrae NEW VIDEO 116 “Man Up Anthem” http://bit.ly/rsRPhg #Manup
It’s funny how a lot of the artists in this video will move a hand back and forth according to the rapid beat as they’re rapping. I actually do something like that a lot when I’m singing/moving along to music.
Except half the time it’s to Taylor Swift (not rap) 😛 muahhahaha
I think all my life, I’ve always just done enough to get by. Even when it comes to spiritual things, that’s been true.
This is most clearly seen (literally) when you look at my room. As my cousin Sam has put it, “it looks like a bomb went off in there.” Ouch, lol.
But the short version is this: I think I’m starting to realize that life actually is broken – that it’s non-functional (even dysfunctional?) – when you don’t give all of your heart and life to Jesus.
You may think, “yeah, obviously. Didn’t you learn that in Sunday School?” But it’s not exactly intuitive. Partial commitment should yield partial fruit, shouldn’t it?
Yes, the Bible usually doesn’t use language that supports the idea of “partial” devotion to God. But if you think about it logically, what person can claim that they have ever been able to give all of themselves to God? (see Phil 3:12a, which supports the idea that we’ll never have “arrived” at that point of devotion. On this side of Heaven, at least…)
And if it’s theoretically impossible to give all of yourself to God, without holding back, then surely it’s understandable to just do “whatever you can” in your walk with God? Surely, God who knows us better than we know ourselves – surely He understands? (Even if you know deep down inside that there’s a lot more of yourself that you could surrender to Him; you’re just unwilling to…)
So, I guess I’ve always used that point to justify “just getting by” with giving God only whatever I could spare, heart-wise, to Him. It’s kind of like the mindset of the person who saves up for retirement or a college-fund for their kid by depositing whatever they can spare at the end of each month, instead of clearly setting out exactly what they are going to set aside to make sure they end up with enough at the end of the day.
But the point is that I’m starting to realize that, yes, I may never be able to truly give my all to Jesus in this life, but there’s still a certain quality or attitude of heart that God must want from me now, that I’m not yet giving Him.
I think as I do start doing that, God will come through. It will be worth it. (It’s scary to put one’s trust and belief in that, though)
Here’s a verse that I need to start believing and living out:
1 John 2:14b (ESV) –
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
(Jesus speaking in a vision to John in Rev 2:7 is pretty cool, too)
Overcoming is an idea that is sometimes a tricky concept for the Christian. How much of my Christian life is supposed to depend on me and my effort? How much is it supposed to be dependent on the One who works in me, “both to will and to work for his good pleasure?”
I’m not exactly sure. But I don’t have to be. I think it’s clear enough that what I am to do is to pour my my energy and effort into this – into pressing into Him – in every facet of my life.
So I’ll do it, and all the while plead with God to do His (necessary and enabling) work in me. And perhaps that is how God will choose to display His amazingness at this particular time.
Only time will tell.
P.S. Oh, and for those of you wondering what this practically looks like for me, I guess it can be summed up in one imperative: “Stop doing a half-a**ed job of everything.” Or as Russel Peters has put it, “Be a man! Do the right thing!” (in every task, and at every time – see how impossible this is?! But it’s the attitude and the mindset which I’m after…)
So… I just came back from the first night in a two-day conference being put on at my Church. As one of our pastors put it, it’s really just a conference being put on by “a bunch of friends” – mainly three young Church and lay leaders (one of whom I went to high school with, one of whom was born to my mother’s sister [aka he’s my cousin], and one of whom I know through Campus for Christ).
One takeaway for me from tonight’s 2 hour intro session could be summed up like this:
Remember when…? When you used to have that hope of fruitfulness in ministry? When you used to believe that security in faith was just around the corner?
Why Chinese Mothers are Superior – by Amy Chua – Wall Street Journal
I still haven’t read this article in it’s entirety. I’ve heard that it’s gone viral. But I finally read a bit more of it today, and the few paragraphs I traversed caused me to start talking to myself – loudly (to no one in particular) – and eventually infuriated me to such an extent that I found myself walking out to the kitchen, by myself, standing still and straight, with my right fist clenched tightly.
Wow. I guess I was angry.
The part I read was the difficult piano piece example, where Amy Chua basically threatens and terrorizes her daughter over a long period of time into performing what she thought was previously unattainable. And the satisfaction and boost in self confidence that her daughter gained as a result (as Ms. Chua claims, anyways) was seen to justify and validate her methods.
To that, I have a few thoughts.
- Machiavelli: the ends justify the means
- What exactly did she learn through this?
- My brother-in-law once told me that he believes your parenting philosophy reveals your true theology.
I will expand upon items #1 through #3, but that will have to wait for a later post. For now, all I will say is:
…that I pick fights with people if I sense that they are overconfident in their beliefs. I think I’m too sensitive about presumption and what I perceive to be an unhealthy lack of skepticism/uncertainty.
It’s not necessarily that I pick fights with the people, but I pick at the issue and try to convince them out of it. Sometimes it’s not even a belief that they have, but a belief of someone else that we end up talking about.
I think I have a good idea about why I’m oversensitive about it, but who knows if I’m missing out on a significant cause (see? I’m trying to be self-cautious in my presumption). In any case, who knows what’s the best route of healing and growth in this area…
(From my Facebook page)
Mobilize practical help for Metro Vancouver’s homeless
(http://www.refresheverything.ca/ugm – Union Gospel Mission)
“I’ve met the person at UGM who is spearheading this grant campaign, actually – it’s worth voting for! $100k would be enough to fund a SECOND Mobile Mission vehicle for a full year. The first one has already proven itself in action!”
Right now, they’re at #4 in the voting. The #1 choice will receive the $100,000 grant from Pepsi, so I would really like to see UGM’s Mobile Mission regain the top spot! I say regain, because earlier today they were at #1, but they’ve since fallen behind to:
- Windsor/Essex County Humane Society (Build a Veterinary Clinic Focused on Spay/Neuter)
- British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Help find long-term solutions to the tragedy of pet overpopulation.)
- Rainbow Youth Centre Inc. (Beyond “Canada’s Worst Neighbourhood”: Healthy Kids Under the Rainbow) – located in Regina, SK
All are good causes, although I must admit that I’m upset that 2 out of the 3 projects that have displaced UGM’s mobile mission are for helping animals instead of people. At any rate, I do think UGM has both the experience, the know-how, and the opportunity to turn a $100,000 grant into real, meaningful, and hopefully life-long results.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up to vote (like me)!
EDIT: You’re allowed to vote for 10 different ideas each day, so make sure you vote for UGM every day until Oct 31st!
Or, if you don’t feel like voting, then enjoy the cool pictures I’ve linked to below!
P.S. “Project Legacy” is an unofficial name that I totally made up. So don’t blame me if you ask them and nobody at UGM knows what you’re talking about 😛
P.P.S. Here’s a special treat – some images of the current ly only UGM Mobile Mission vehicle in action!
I took my first (non-mandatory) day off work this past Friday. My rationale was that I have 3 weeks of vacation per year, and you’re only allowed to get paid out for 1 of those weeks if you don’t take those vacation days. So, I thought that I had better start taking some days off. (Note: I still might take a week off to visit my sister’s little family and my friends in Ontario… but don’t get your hopes up yet; it’s just a thought right now)
As it turned out, the Friday I took off happened to be the last Friday of the month, which means that it’s the day that Union Gospel Mission here in Vancouver holds a small graduation ceremony for graduands of their 6-month addictions rehab program for men (they have a 3-month program for women, as well). Their program can fit 36 men at one time, so this Friday, there was one person graduating from the program.
I intend to blog more about this, but for now, I just wanted to give you this little preview, especially in the case that you’d never heard of UGM before. Oh, look what I found off UGM’s website… (Link: http://www.ugm.ca/ )
Our Mission Statement Union Gospel Mission offers hope to hungry, hurting and homeless men, women and children in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission by sharing and practically demonstrating the gospel of Jesus Christ, providing without discrimination:
- Basic necessities and practical assistance
- Effective recovery programs that offer freedom from addictive lifestyles
- Educational and job readiness programs that equip for successful living
- Outreach programs that provide encouragement, support, counselling, spiritual guidance and referral services, and
- Affordable housing through Union Gospel Housing Societies
Actually, one of the main reasons I wanted to go down for a visit (and tour) during their Friday grad ceremony was because I’ve been really curious about how “Christian” they actually are. Many, if not most(?) of our non-governmental agencies in the downtown Vancouver area are Christian in origin. They might have something about Jesus in their mission statement, for example, but I’ve always wondered about whether it really influenced how they helped people. I think NGO’s in developing countries might experience this too, but it seems to me that often “Christian” organizations doing this kind of work may focus on the humanitarian aspect and never really proclaim or tell anybody about the more meaningful kind of help (i.e. spiritual) that they need with respect to God.
So, even for an organization like the Union Gospel Mission, which has “Gospel” right in the middle of its name, I wasn’t too sure if they really made a “big deal” about Jesus when they worked with people, or if He was more just a “reason” or motivation in the background for the work that they do.
(to be continued…)
Hot from my Twitter:
ESV Bible + (ESV Study Bible) App – $9.99 for the next 48 hours on iTunes! INCLUDES ESV Study Bible notes, etc.! #fb #esv #esvstudybible
ESV Bible + app also has AUDIO (offline). VERY COOL. Still includes all the ESV Study Bible notes. iTunes link: http://bit.ly/9rNd00 #fb
EDIT: Ok, apparently one of my friends claims that the app does not have offline audio. Hmmmmmmmm.
This is now the cheapest way to get the ESV Study Bible, if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iTouch. Praise God!
For the iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/esv-bible/id383313652?mt=8
The only downside is that owners of the print copy of the ESV Study Bible still have to pay for this, and full price, to boot!
December 17, 2009 (CHQ, Metrotown Mall in Burnaby, BC) – On that day, I took the above screenshot after successfully completing the song, “World of Dreams”, on In The Groove 2 (ITG2). In case you’re wondering, ITG is basically a variant of the successful Konami dance game franchise, Dance Dance Revolution, and it involves stepping on the correct arrows on a dance pad in sync with music that is being played. I could do a little bit more explaining, but all you really need to know is that I have several old and new friends that play ITG/DDR, and I’ve always enjoyed the interesting community that forms around the game/activity/”sport” here in the Lower Mainland.
Some of my friends know that I’d been trying to successfully complete the song, “World of Dreams”, for what seemed like close to a year. It’s a song that is difficult enough such that I would fail it every time, but just easy enough to make me believe that I would be able to pass it any time now….
Well, awhile ago I finally passed it – but it was on a rare occasion where I was playing by myself, and I didn’t have a USB memory key connected to the ITG cabinet to record my milestone! Well, on December 17th of last year, I finally passed it for the 2nd time ever, and let me tell you, it was no small feat. If you look at the screenshot, you’ll see an indication at the end of the yellow “mountain-like” graph that reads, “barely”. That’s the computer’s subtle way of saying that you almost failed. What happens at the end of this song, is that a fairly lengthy and difficult sequence of arrows is cued up and half the time I don’t really know what I’m doing – I’m just flailing my feet around and trying to stop on arrows.
Before starting the song, actually, I remember praying. I basically asked God to help me pass the song, if He was willing. Why? Well, I don’t like losing, for one thing. And I would take it as an indication that I’m improving in my eye/foot coordination. And it would give me no small amount of satisfaction to know that I had kicked the stuffing out of this stupid, annoying little song – for the second time, no less! (Take that, “World of Dreams”! As you may be able to tell, I have some bitterness towards this song, since it’s caused me a fair bit of frustration over the 20-odd times I’ve played it, thrown my legs and feet around like a madman, and still failed miserably) I also tried to reason with God a bit, too (yes, that’s Biblical. I can go find some examples if you really want me to). I knew that this could be a good example for me to experience God’s goodness and answer to prayer, and wouldn’t it be great if we could see how God even cares about the fun things that we spend our time doing, and the little challenges that are often still too big for us? Wouldn’t it let us see, yet again, that God cares about His children, and that He is good? Now, of course, if God chose to let me collapse miserably in a tangle of arms and legs halfway through the song, I know that He would still be looking out for me. But wouldn’t it help me feel and experience that truth even more if He brought me through this silly little song with a pass? I think it would. So I asked Him if He would help me, and perhaps show His goodness to me in this small little way. And on December 17th, I got to experience just a little bit more of my relationship with the sovereign God of the universe who is good, glorious, and still interested in the tiny affairs of His children’s lives.
Praise God! Let’s dance.