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Archive for the ‘Reflections and Creations’ Category

… North Shore Chinese Christian Church.  There exists a drastic difference between walking into a congregation where it seemed as if half or more of the parishioners were children under the age of 12.  This Lord’s Day I returned to church where I first met Jesus and perhaps when regeneration first took place in my heart ten years ago.  As I stood singing in the time of praise and worship I could see down the rows of pews ahead the many small eyes looking back at me as parents held their children in their arms.  It was as if half the congregation worshiped facing the front of the sanctuary and half worshiped facing the back.  I had almost forgotten this picture of the NSCCC congregation as I’d resided in a body of Christ that consisted primarily of college students and young adults for so long.  An incredible feeling of awe and thankfulness arose in my heart as I realized how much God was really using this church to raise up a new generation of believers and workers for his kingdom.  And I was also awakened in that moment to the burden of those in my generation and ones before me to be true worshipers in spirit and in truth- for indeed it is these little eyes that are looking back at us, watching and learning what it means to stand in the congregation and worship- that are going to be the bearers of the Gospel in the future.

… and the words “the children may now be dismissed to Sunday school” resulted in a mass exodus that I could only describe as a stampede of tiny feet and giggles that left half the sanctuary empty.  I couldn’t help but to smile.  It is my prayer that one day these flurry of feet would sound like the marching of the army of the Lord and those giggles grow into shouts for Christ’s glory and praise.

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Luke 18:15-17

15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

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…  yesterday I found myself sitting in the middle of a tranquil Saturday afternoon, the sun-lit afternoon smiling back at me with a warm and radiant light.  The light sound of running water from my fountains whispered into the background of my living room and the light piano of Keiko Matsui flittered softly from the speakers that sat to the side of my desk.

These were the kinds of afternoons that I had longed so much for in the middle of the year in the midst of all the running about and works of the hand, sleepless nights and endless meetings.  I had yearned for a time to be alone and to rest simply in the solitude of my home without burdens hanging over my head.  Yet I find myself now restless, heart divided and for some odd reason incredibly unrested despite the full night’s rest before and a lightened load of physical work.

… and it is the sermons I had heard from that morning that echoed in my mind… Piper’s passionate voice exhorting his to live lives fully given unto the Lord.  To live lives in full recognition of the grace given to us; that we would not live lives of works for letter but fully in recognition of the salvation already obtained.  His exposition of 1 Corinthians 9 spills over with a love for others for the sake of the Gospel with full recognition of the grace given to us but also the immense calling for us Christians to run with all our might for there are indeed eternal consequences to the way we live both for ourselves and for others.  He then quoted a resolution of Jonathan Edwards- “Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.”

And it is with this in mind that I do reflect upon times of genuine joy in my life, those the moments of sweat and toil- be it by hand or prayer- that push me to such an exertion that at the close of the night or the wee hours of the morn I can do nothing but thank the Lord as I lie exhaustion upon my bed.   Those moments of joy are obtained only by the grace of the Gospel in the heart and love for God and his people.

Yet I do confess that those moments are far too often sparse and melt away under waves of bitterness and tiredness, a complaining heart and an exertion of human strength.  It is with an utter humility that I ask of God that I would not make my prayers into mere works and that I would not make my service into mere busyness.  In those times I’ve found that the harder I ‘try’ to ‘worship’ the further that heart slips away from me.  The harder that I try to ‘love’ the more I make people projects rather than see souls.  It is only when my eyes and heart are fixed wholly and solely upon Christ’s grace and ask of him to glorify himself in me and in others that any I feel any semblance of worship in my heart.

So it is with these thoughts that I am reminded of God’s grace in allowing me to serve and to see his power made perfect in my weaknesses and to remember that the Christian life is lived by grace and grace alone.  And it is with these thoughts that I realize the reason I feel guilty for failing over and over again is because my pride has gotten in the way of grace and that my human strength has replaced any dependence I had on God.

Therefore I myself must resolute indeed to no longer complain or be bitter when placed under the responsibility of service.  I must resolute to live under unimaginable grace with all my might whilst I do live.  I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to rest in comfort away from him; I’d rather stand through scorching heat and freezing rain, watching for him and serving him and his people while I await for his return.

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Psalm 84

My Soul Longs for the Courts of the LORD
To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.  A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
2My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
Selah

5Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Selah

9Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

10For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
   No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

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