Cherokee Legend Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youths' rite of Passage?
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone.He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm.
The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he satstoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he couldbecome a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.
He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching overus, sitting on the stump beside us.
When trouble comes, all we have to dois reach out to Him.
If you liked this story, pass it on.
If not, you took off your blindfoldbefore dawn.
Moral of the story: Just because you can't see God,
Doesn't mean He is not there.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
coming through your door.
The place to be happy is here,
The time to be happy is now,
The way to be happy is to
Make others so.
In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told.
Charged with mystery, compassion and enormous power, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks the listener questions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned. Above all, this book is about how stories become stories.
In this article we are going to share with you the Church of almost 200 years old, built in 1816. This historical church is one of Penang's major beautiful heritage landmarks and reputed to be the oldest Anglican church in South East Asia. It is none other than St George's Church in Penang. No wonder that St. George has also served as a fountain of inspiration to writers (like Shakespeare), artists and musicians.
The most famous depiction of St George Church was his battle with a ferocious dragon (such as the one shown here from The Catholic Community Forum).
It is located at the corner of Lebuh Farquhar and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, both roads are historically significant in this part of the world. Your tour to Penang will not be completed if your tour did not cover this area.
This piece of history, resembling the early 19th century Church, will be restored through on-going restoration works. The full beauty of this church will be revealed once the restoration project is completeed as scheduled in November, 2010.
This restoration works will bring back its former glory. This grand restoration works include cleaning and restoring the roof's Marseilles tiles, using the 'cocoon' method for salt desalination on the lower parts of the church walls, restoring parts of the interior as well as door panels and repainting the church.
This church survived through second world war, when it was damaged by 6 Japanese bombs which, fell into its compound. As a result, the pitched roof was significantly damaged at that time. This could have caused the clock to be either destroyed or removed. Now, effort is made to place the replica of its 1.2 m original clock, which was portrayed by a water colour painting of the church showing the clocks facing north, south, east and west, drawn by Mr John Turnbull Thomson, an influential British architect and artist who lived from 1821 to 1884.
Luckily, other areas of this church are well maintained as the church was constantly used by churchgoers before they moved their services to the Parsih Hall while the restoration work is ongoing.
Though my stay in Penang was only four days and three nights, I find it meaningful and fulfilling as I have the chance to recall my old memories.
The danger of detailed indwelling of His words may cause element of pride to creep into our life so easily without our knowledge. The danger is so rampant and may cause the Big picture of His fundamental principles to become blur and evaporate from our hearts, so to speak.
From the surface, everyone maybe talking differently. But they are actually talking about the same issue with different perspectives, according to their individual level of understanding. As none of us is perfect except Christ, this indicates well that He is holding the wild card and none can be independent from Him. As such we need to seek Him and cling to Him closely so as to walk with Him without any distraction. Look at the example of King David, who had clung to Him so closely yet he committed a couple of serious sins.
It is crystal clear of our sinful nature, the tendency of such sinful act is extremely high. This has been well substantiated in the Scripture pre and post Christ. For instance, Peter had even denounced Him three times after He was prosecuted, the one who had spent time with Him during his (Peter) life time. Don’t mention about us, who has no such privilege.
Wouldn’t you agree on how He constantly reminds and cautions us about the human's sin, which normally operates against God's characteristics that are full of abundant love and slow in anger. He wants us to trust God and ask God to intervene, so that we can walk in accordance with His will, and not our will. Through alignment to His perspective that we are able to walk by faith, and not by sight.
Our greatest enemy is our own selves, which is invisible inside us. Inwards rather outwards. Which is always misunderstood by us as if it is derived from external forces or circumstances, rather than ourselves. As such, this had been addressed by Matthew in 16:24 - self denial before we take up the cross. As we usually act or pretend to be good with God. Alternatively, we make our own god which is fully controlled by us, and not the other way round. No surprise to me that so many gods were created by humans in the past (Read the book of Romans) till to date.
Denial of oneself is the very 1st step in taking up the cross, deny yourselves and your thoughts. In endeavoring to attain the real knowledge from God, we must be very careful in using our wisdom to interpret the Scriptures according to the way we believe rather than the common understanding of the crowd that is pleasing to our ears.
Deny, in like manner, your own power. Cherish the deep conviction that it is those who are weak; those who are nothing that God can use. No wonder that God always use the weak to perform the miracles, contradictory to common understanding of strong person who has so called talents in a particular field as we normally understand. By believing so, it may undermine God's power. Continuous denial of your own power is the way to draw the power and grace from God. His grace will make anyone lacks nothing no matter what condition he is in. Despite his physical body may cry out in pain. However, the inner man inside him will stay dominant and help overwhelm his pain. As such, he can cry out rejoice, the way so many saints have experienced. It well illustrates the norm and the power of God's grace. That is very crucial to have these two perspectives from our eyes.
That's why trusting in Him wholeheartedly is crucial so as to let him take the lead always. Hasn't He demonstrated to us that He can overcome all temptations because He obeys His Father, who is inside Him.
He shall grant us “Special Goggles” so that we can see the invisible. So that we are able to see how He dwells with us clearly. He wants us to pray for that particular person and keep on trusting Him to do the miracles if it is His will.
Blessed because you can see all these things.
Blessing is not equal to our human understanding of comfort.
Blessing is something to put our soul to good rest, peace of mind. Once you have tasted the sweetness, you will never want to let go.
Even gentiles also aware of the wisdom that the greatest enemy is their own as the saying that no one can stop you - rain or shine, but yourself.
As such, we need to clean and clear those impurities with the assistance from the Holy Spirit, which is the whole plan why God planted this spirit in human hearts in the first place. It also affirmed why we always long for Him.
At last but not least, we pray that this article is able to assist you to see this big picture clearly by now. We pray in Jesus' wonderful name. Amen.
Answer is definitely No if you are referring to the real intention of the Living and Mighty God. He is very consistent with Holiness - abundance of love and slow in anger. Because of His characteristics the fallen angels took advantage of Him and wanted to be god as well. He sent His only son to earth to redeem our sins is also part of the BIG picture He initiated from day one. As the Mighty God knows everything in the first place, he knows how the fallen angels and human beings think from day one.
This can be seen by how God chose his people as advocated in the Scripture, as follow:-
By men’s nature – unless the person is drawn to Christ granted by God.
In Exodus 7:2 -5 Now we know that God did this for His own glory and as a sign to both Israel and Egypt .
In this case, God knew that Pharaoh would not hear and bow to Him. God knows that the Pharaoh will harden his heart which is already desperately wicked and will do harm to any person who does not obey him. After Christ, we should take the interpretation that his sin destroy his ownself. However, if you view from the Law through Moses, it is acceptable that this is due to divine judgment repeated in the Scripture.
God have given humans the free will. In this sense, he will not revoke the free will which He has given though His covenants. He knows that those who refused to listen to Him will naturally face disaster. God intervenes to rescue His people out from Egypt as they cried for His help. You can see how He parted the red sea to allow them to cross over and not others who chased after His chosen people.
As such, you can see that sin can come in so many different forms, with and without the individual's knowledge. In the above case, we were told that Pharaoh feels uneasy when he see the numbers of Jews multipied. God knows every heart and Pharaoh's heart is also not an exception.
That’s why we have to constantly deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Him as we have inherited Adam's sin. You can see that pagans also recognize that the greatest enemy is sin of themselves. – invisible to them. And yet sins can manipulate the minds so as to achieve some extraordinary achievements to certain extent. The difference here is that they pushed themselves to achieve them, not in our case where God is using us, as the vessel to do His work, and not our work.
Here, once we open our hearts to Him and He shall make all these visible in our eyes and we are able to see things from His perspective. By grounding our hearts with His word and leading us to trust Him more. We shall then always let the spirit take the lead, rather than our flesh. Never underestimate the power of sin, we cannot see on our own eyes, we need Christ to make it visible. Wouldn’t that this point has been well demonstrated in scripture.
At the same time, we must be cautious too as the devil can also quote bible very well. He (God) warns us about these things out of love, so that we don’t fall. He understand ourselves more than us. He knows how many hairs each of us have, far better than us. Such a illustration can be obtained through Jesus' own experience where the devil also tried to tempt Him on three occasions. He knows that the devil will tempt Him, so do us.
Again, we will receive His blessing of protection from the devil who cannot touch us because we belong to Him. Similar to the story line of a wolf. It claimed to have similar status like the tiger when it bring the tiger to the jungle and claim that every other animals was running away from it similar to the tiger.
That’s why we treasure His relationship very much. It’s more than just a political relationship, which goes deep into our hearts. Internalisation to be Christ like - the goal for every Christian.
If we understand that no one can come to Christ provided it is granted by God. On our own will, we are incapable to do so. This is the result of the sin committed by Adam and Eve.
Consequently, we want virtually to have unlimited power and authority within the sphere of our domains. – the danger of our own self desire. And the only restraint on our self wickedness is the holy arm of God. In this sense, the free will given to us is to choose whether to follow God or follow our own selves.
Will in the verse should be read as passive hardening. God does no violence to Pharoah’s will. In the above case, Pharoah chose not to obey Him and follow his own will which brought self destruction to himself.
Similarly, once freedom of our flesh takes the lead, and not spiritual, then we are certainly exposed to sin.
Now we can clearly see how God let the evil inclinations and evil intentions of fallen men to bring about his own redemption. Or so called free will of man. Similarly for Judas’s case. It must be reminded that God never coerce any evil thing on him, rather his own evil action that brought him self destruction.
God gives mercy to the elect by working faith in their hearts. He gives justice to the reprobate by leaving them in their own sins. One group receives mercy, on the other hand the other group receives justice. No one is a victim of justice. We can’t complain that there is unrighteousness in God.
Today, I just shared with another new Christian friend, Mr. Ho, I met yesterday. In our conversation, somehow we spoke about my still born child case which happened more than a decade ago. As a result, I took a legal suit against the private hospital, doctors and everyone involved in that incident, which I filed in two years later after I gathered all the correspondence and reports from them.
However, due to numerous reasons, such as misplaced files - according to my lawyer and the case was delayed for nearly a decade. I patiently waited and in the years I completed my legal studies. One day before the hearing date, I received a shock reply from my lawyer, who withdrew from representing my wife. I was at loss and pray to God. He came to rescue me and related the whole incident on how His son, who is innocent but yet prosecuted by human beings- His own creation. He showed me how He exercised His Grace through the whole incident which made me truly apprehensive. He, being Sovereign and Mighty God yet do not exercise His authority to kill those people, who prosecuted His Son- Jesus Christ, when He has justification to do so. But He decided otherwise.
Second point is that He revealed to me that if He opted to destroy all these people, He is no better than human beings, who will normally behave in this manner. In my child's case, I was the key witness at the whole scene from 6:00pm till the early morning of the following day. During that day, so many unbearable mistakes were made by the hospital staff, who even over-ruled my suggestion of requesting to inform the gynaecologist much earlier. As a result of such delay, my child was dead 10-20 minutes before birth, which left a vertical scar of more than 6 inches at her stomach. They all expressed their condolence to me and assured me that they have done every possible means and their best to save my child, which I totally can't accept. I disagree with their explanation. Sorry for me to say so, but I have to tell you the truth and my real feeling at that time.
Lots of inconsistency were found in the written reports I received from the gynaecologist, the expert's opinion and the domestic enquiry committee which made me doubtful of these reports. However, God's grace that I received made me withdraw the case.
Today, we share with you the real experience that illustrate how powerful is His grace that changed me so much. It was better to surrender this heavy burden to His shoulders, who will deliver justice accordingly. Prior to this, I must confess that I was very emotional and full of anger when I touched on this incident. I have to admit that partially it is my fault for suggesting this so called "better equipped" private hospital which I believed in, but turned out to totally different in our experience.
The lengthy time taken in locating the machine is obviously a negligent act in view of my wife pregnancy situation, even normal people can sense that urgency. However, the senior mid wife, which I cannot understand at all thoughts otherwise without assigning any reason. At the day of discharge, they dispensed the wrong medicine to my wife, which they explained that the medicine is only vitamins. Luckily, another patient's husband discovered the mistake and informed me to rectify the error. This has been furnished in one of their written explanation. To me, what is the point of consulting a doctor, and not taking the medicine the doctor prescribed. The more I think about it - they really insulted me in every aspect. However, God's grace again came into the picture. He requested me to forgive them for their foolishness.
He further convinced me that He is in control of everything. He who gives life to every creation has every right to call them back at anytime for His purpose - meant for good. Just trust Him and continuously walk by faith, and not by sight. now, this event does not hurt me any longer.
The above incident turned out to be an excellent illustration to me as how powerful is God's grace and I write to share with you the way God has touched me in this connection.
So, do not use any unfortunate event as an excuse to abandon Him, but submit to him more so that He can reveal the truth to you. The same way He has been taken through.
Thank God that I dare to come forward, through His grace, to share this miracle with you, with the hope that it will touch some of your hearts, the same way as it touched my immediate family members. It all began, one evening after I came back from work, I rushed my family members to dine at Subang Jaya without any prior advance notice. Without much delay, my kids went into my car, followed by my wife. After a certain distance of travel from my house, my wife began to realise that the wired tag from her new pair of shoes have not been removed although they had been paid for. As usual, she began to nag about it. I tried to keep her silent, followed by my second son, who offered her his scissor which he found in his school bag. She tried but to no avail. My eldest son then proposed that I show him the super power from the mighty God, whom I accepted not long ago, to resolve the existing issue. My spontaneous response to him is that God does not need to interfere in the issue directly, but occasionally make use of everything to get things done on His behalf. Immediately after my explanation, I then noted the illumination of low fuel indicator light suggesting that I need to go to the nearest petrol kiosk. I then proceed to the nearest petrol station at Jalan 223. While I was filling my car with petrol, my wife went to the cashier for help. Surprisingly, she returned back with a smiley face, indicating her issue had been resolved. She then revealed the whole incident to us in the car. She told us that when she approached the cashier for help, she replied in Bahasa Malaysia "Where to find a plier in the cashier counter". With hesitation, she pulled out the bottom drawer and unbelievingly saw a plier there. She told my wife that she was surprised to find the plier and offered it to my wife. I told them that this is no coincidence, but rather a miracle. To me, coincidence is an insult and undermines God's power. This is nothing new to me as there are abundant evidences recorded in the scriptures. Since then, they began to consult scripture occasionally. Thank God for answering many prayers, whom I know lots of my sisters and brothers in Christ have been praying for me since I accepted Christ. Praise the Lord. Thanks for your precious time and hope to see you again for other testimonies. Please put forward your testimonies here.
Last Sunday, my family attended our Sunday service at the DUMC church, Section 13, Petaling Jaya.
The sermon for the week was centred on the importance of human life, which made us so excited to share with you. Its importance was well entrenched in the Scriptures as follows:-
1. Life comes from God and belongs to God (Genesis 2:7).
Here, you may able to see the rationale why many countries are moving away from death penalty for serious crimes. This move has been advocated by the International Human Rights Association and the voice has been well accepted worldwide. Their arguments is in line with Scripture.
Second issue is involved with greater sensitivity on the status of abortion. Here, it is very much dependent on the circumstances. If it is life threatening to the mother, then the case may be treated differently. Similarly treatment should be also extended to rape victims. Their choice of keeping the baby is dependent on the mother's will. They can choose to give the baby up for adoption after the delivery.
2. Human beings are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26,27)
God appointed human beings to be the trustee for all other creations on earth. As such, human beings is God's treasure.
3. In our body is the precious life-blood which God puts in us. (Genesis 9:5,6)
One thing is certain that no matter how advance is our technology, we cannot produce anything identical to the nature. For instance synthetic rubber is not as hard as the natural rubber. Worst still, scientists cannot produce blood and that is why all hospitals frequently ask the donors to step forward to donate blood whenever the blood bank runs low, despite we have entered into 21 century.
4. We do not have the ability to reproduce human lives that are eternal.
We cannot produce blood through our own invention, nor can we reproduce human beings in the laboratory. We are very certain that we cannot do this in the future as well.
5. Inherent in every human being is the potential to change the world for good.
This is something very great that the Mighty God has given to all human beings: the ability to cope with changes for good. This attribution is solely contributed by God to human beings with the following features:-
1. Rationality - this enable us to use this to the maximum for the good of human beings through our brain - the great gift from God.
2. Morality - God calls the shot and not anyone of us. In this connection, He gave us His Word. Everything and anything should be looked upon from His perspective.
3. Creativity - Inherited from Him so that we can use our creativity to cope with the changes and for our good.
4. Eternity - no matter what, our hearts always long for Him.
5. Personal - so that human can build relationship with God directly. We will step forward to be His witnesses from generations to generations so as to glorify Him, and not us.
Hope the above discussion has given you an insight of the importance of human lives. We also pray to Him that He will reveal to us should we have any different interpretation. We pray in His wonderful name. Amen.