Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whats YOUR relationship status

Heres a little something i wrote for the CCF insight article in december. Enjoy!

What comes to your mind when you think about your RELATIONSHIP with God? I’m talking about Christians (Christ followers) not in terms of a religion, but as a relationship with God. I’m going to share with you a quote that my girlfriend shared with me.

Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they're trying to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take."
- Anthony Robbins

I know this quote was written for other purposes, but I’m going to use this to talk about a Christ follower’s relationship with God. Now I ask you again, what comes to your mind when you think about your relationship with God after reading this quote? Are you seeking after God in order to get something from him? For example, praying day and night for God to give you a really nice car for you to drive? Or for lots of money and an amazing career? Like it says in the quote, these relationships tend not to last very long. Chances are that if you begin to seek after God and seek after these things from him, and you don’t receive it, your relationship status on Facebook with God will be changing from “in a relationship” to “single” pretty quick.
“You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3
So what are these right motives you ask? Well I believe that we as humans are all created to worship. Now the subject of our worship is the tricky part. And when I say worship, I’m talking about investing all your time, talents, efforts into something or someone. Maybe its money, maybe its athletics, school, maybe it’s that celebrity crush or a girlfriend or boyfriend, but maybe that subject is supposed to be God.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who , being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.” Philippians 2: 5-11
So when you truly surrender your life to God (basically the choices you make in your life will be what God would want), you will slowly be transformed and your heart will be changed so much that you will desire God and your thoughts and prayers will be about God and for God.
Which leads me to the last part of the quote which says that you must see your relationship with God as a place to give. I mean God has already given to you, to everyone actually:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” 1 John 3:16a
God has given you a way, a path to spend eternal life with him. Examine your own relationship with God. Have you responded to what Christ has given you? I don’t say this because you are being forced to give back to Jesus, but if you earnestly say that you are in a relationship with God then naturally your response will be to give and to follow him. So the challenge is simple, to examine your relationship with God. Are you giving God your scraps off your dinner or are you presenting him with an epic bacon covered turkey?! Haha Well what I mean is are you willing to give God more time out of your life, more effort, and a humble and willing heart to serve him? If you’re reading this and don’t see yourself with this type of relationship, I challenge you to simply find out more about God through the Bible (and not just what other people say about it) and let your prayer be to ask God to reveal more of himself to you.
“We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

livin' life

o man... I haven't blogged in ages.. maybe close to a year! Maybe its time to start it up again. Anyways while reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan, i've been challenged. First of all, is that as Christians, we should be living a life that is so radical and different from the rest of the World that other people can see the transformation of God within us. The challenge is Am I living that type of life? Do other people see me as someone who is transformed by God? And this isn't something that is easy to do! Its so easy to follow the ways of the world to live life that way everyone else is living life, such as getting frustrated at work, being bitter at the person who talked behind your back, etc. But instead live a radical life where you permeate the fruit of the spirit (not fruits! but all of them at the same time) love, peace, joy patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22).

Next up is the challenge of moving away from inaction. According to James 4:17 if you know something as bad, but you do it anyways, it is a sin. As a christian, i've been learning lots the past couple of years and there have definitely been times where i've turned a blind eye to somethings in my life, so this will definitely be a challenge for me!

So my prayer requests are
1. Being able to put all my trust and faith in the Holy spirit to guide me to live my life in such a way that will show how God has changed my life and transformed me
2. To do what is right, no matter what other people will say or judge me by, by turning away from the sin of inaction.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Refiners Fire

At my retreat this weekend, the speaker said something that caught my attention. He said

“Christians look for transportation rather than transformation”

By this, he meant Christians want transportation into heaven rather than transforming themselves to become better people. Now when I say transformation, im not talking about listening to a sermon that completely change your life forever. Well im sure it may happen to some people, but for most, this will not happen. Im talking about changing your life little by little with God leading the way in order to become a better, happier and holier person. Im talking about tackling one sin at a time, with God’s help removing them from your daily lives. The very things that you know you don’t like about yourself, the qualities that keep getting you into trouble, keep you feeling depressed every night, keep you from living a joyful life.

With every step you take closer to God, every little change you make, over time; 3 months, a year, you will notice a big change in yourselves. I know I saw it in myself in just over a year. I saw it in the way I thought about the world, the way I treated people, the way I talked to people, etc. Although I still have a long way to go still!

But the point is, our time here on Earth isn’t just waiting to be transported to heaven. I remember either someone said, or it’s in the bible somewhere that Eternal life with God doesn’t begin when you get to heaven. It begins when you submit yourself to God and proclaim in your heart and mind that he is your savior, your king… your father

So the point here is that we’re not suppose to wait for heaven to start changing ourselves.. we re suppose to start NOW!.... like right after you finish reading this sentence now!!!

So start chipping away at those sins of yours, those character qualities that you possess that you know are bringing you down, it could be anger, a reluctance to forgive others, grudge holding, PRIDE…Laziness just to name a few that I could think of off the top of my head.

I will leave you with a cool analogy I heard at the retreat.

Person 1, lets say his name is Joe walks into a silversmith and observes the silversmith purifying a raw, dirty, impure silver ore.

The Silversmith builds a fire in the furnace and puts the ore into the furnace. And for a long time, all he does is put more wood into the furnace and waits and waits and waits and puts more wood into the furnace and waits and waits… eat, sleep, rinse and repeat (I know …it sounds just like a life of a student right?)

Joe says to the silversmith… how do you know when the ore is purified into silver?

The silversmith replies, when I can see a perfect reflection of myself in the silver.

Of course we will never be pure enough that God will see his reflection in us, but through persevering through trials, persevering through time, slowly refining ourselves and slowly removing our impurities and sins and becoming as pure as we can God can say that he’s proud of us for removing as many impurities while living in this sinful, impure world.

So be encouraged and go do the things that God has asked us to do … not to earn your way into heaven because Grace is a gift, not something that we need to or can earn.. it’s just given to us in a box wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper with a bowtie on it and all we need to do is receive and accept it,…. but we do these things because we want to say to God on that final day… I truly did try my best to transform into someone who you could be proud of and remove as many impurities as I could!

And for all of you asking how can we be expected to complete such a difficult task? No big.. just go out and be AWESOME haha!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When laziness takes over

laziness is a HUGE thing EVERYONE goes through, especially me. When im lazy, im reallly really reallly lazy. Like right now i work, i have nothing to do, well i had nothing to do for the past week, which is an extreme shift from the busy life i had for the past two months. But anywho, ive become lazy, which has shifted me from high energy mode to a tired, sleepy and complacent mode. The question is, how do we motivate ourself to do things? How do we overcome procrastination to get things done?

For me, Im still looking for answers to this, but this is what i have right now and they are three verses from the bible. For me, because ive been through so much with God, and watching sermons which logically proved that the bible is indeed a collection of reliable historical documents, why not turn to the bible to seek out answers

i remember from a sermon where john piper said "the bible is so thick because we have so many needs"

So my need right now, is to overcome procrastination

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Cor 10:31 NIV

"Whatever you do,work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men"
Col 3:23 NIV

In context, this its talking about how slaves should obey their masters and not just work hard when the master is watching. That can be applied to our own lives where sometimes we only do work when our supervisors, teachers, or parents are watching and the slack off right after they turn around to do other things. The challenge here is to Work as hard as you can as if you re working for God and not for other people. Of course if you dont believe in God you wont find this as motivation, but where im coming from is that how my life is playing out, there is so much evidence that God is truly working in my life that I cannot deny God's existence. And through coming to know God through reading the bible and just living my life out, i cannot help but learn about how much God unconditionally loves and accepts me and this was the turning point. I know its sounds a little weird for some of you but if you wanna know more, ask me about it and i can explain it in more detail. But anyways because of this Love that God has shown me, i will do my best in anything i do as if i am working for the Lord and not man.

Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.
1 thess 4:1 NASB

the key words that i like from this verse is EXCEL STILL MORE... no matter what we re doing and how we do it, there are always ways to get better at it. Take softball as an example. no matter how good you are, no matter how hard you hit, no matter how few errors you make (clearly not me, cause i make so many errors) there are always ways to get better and fine tuning yourself to make timely hits and smart defensive plays.

This is the same with Life. No matter how much we know the bible, no matter how good you are at your job, no matter how much good will you have, no matter how positive you are or if you have the fruit of the spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (galatians 5) You can always get better and fine tune it. None of us are perfect, in fact we are far from it. Its just that we re very lucky to have such a loving God to give us a chance to be saved from this world of sin and brokenness.

Sooooo go and live out your lives remember that you can EXCEL STILL MORE and do it all for the Glory of God!

Monday, June 14, 2010


o mann.. its been a month and a bit since i wrote my last post!! I think i usually post about 2 blogs a month when i was in school, but i guess now the work/summer life has hit me pretty hard. So ive gotten involved in a lot of things this summer and as you can see from my lack of blogging, ive been pretty busy. Well mostly busy, but also part slacking on facebook, msn, gtalk, sportsnet, etc.. just wasting my time away when i should be doing my devotions (Devos), blogging, more time chilling with friends and stuff that is actually useful.

My life for the past month as really been something... im currently playing in 3 softball leagues, coaching in one of those three, part of the leadership for the fellowship at my church, lead worship on some sundays, work (a 9-5 job). Well because of the job, i dont really have much time to do a lot of things that i would like to accomplish in a day (not that im complaining about having a job!). But what has suffered is my devos, working out and sleep. Three very important things to me.
For my devos, its important for me to have my quiet time with God, read the bible a bit, and just pray and see what God has in store for me this summer

For my working out.. i feel very sluggish when i dont work out.. Maybe theres all this energy in my thats just stuck inside and it feels restless and just wants to get out. Also having at least 3 softball games doesnt help either since i need to rest from those games

Sleep.. O man.. a lack of sleep is terrible especially when you get up at 6 30am.. im sure you all know what i mean

But because of a lack in all three things, two weeks ago, i experienced a major burn out, which resulted in me, sleeping for 11 hrs on a monday followed by 9 hrs on a tuesday (after work). And man it wasnt pretty.. God really humbled me down this time, that I cant do everything on my own, that My body is weak.. that i need to go to God for strength

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40: 29-31

Actually all three things devos, working out, and sleep are all vital parts of me, which are my spiritual, physical and mental well being. And because all three have been thrown out of wack, so was I.

So what did I do? I just prayed, prayed for forgiveness, for healing, for wisdom and for people to pray for me in my search to find a balance in these three things cause i know God wants me to be healthy in order to fulfill what he has planned for me this summer.

After that burn out, i am still struggling to keep all three in check, but i know with God's strength and prayer from friends i am definitely getting better at it, even though more things are being thrown at me left, right and centre!

So my challenge to you is to ask yourself.. are you sacrificing something important for things that dont really matter? are you giving excuses of being too busy to do the things you really want to do and the things you know you should do? If yes, get off your butt and go do them NOW!!!!!!.. kkthanxbye!

PS I want to leave you all with something really encouraging that my friend sent me:

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important, because are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind. Let it be something good. ( A NEW DAY, Dr. Heartsill Wilson)

So use your day for something Good and leave behind something that you will remember as important and never waste any day of your precious life! Like i wrote on an encouragement card that my softball team is handing out... GO FORTH AND BE AWESOME!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gotta pull them weeds out!

So, im done exams, and im back in Markham! and waiting for my marks to come out to confirm that i can graduate with my Bachelors of Science! YAY! i guess... except now im pulling out dandelions on my 2 weeks off before i start working!! I pull out ALL the dandelions in my yard.. and then guess what? the next day... theres like 30 more!!!!... I pull those out.. and then more and more... I think ive pulled out at least 200 dandelions in a span of 2 days (about 2 hrs per day)

I know while reading this you sense frustration and maybe a little bit of anger on how weeds like dandelions exists!!!

For those of you who have been following my blogs... i wouldn't have written this frustrating circumstance for no reason!
So here it goes:

"The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner's servants came to him and said, Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeks come from? An enemy did this, he replied. The servants asked him, Do you want us to go and pull them up? No he answered, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned: then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn."
Matthew 13: 24-30

This passage is a metaphor where wheat are Christians who have that intimate relationship with God and are really desire to walk through the Gates of heaven and the weeds are those who don't believe in God at all and don't care about heaven or God.

In the end the wheat will be harvested and brought into the barn (heaven) while the weeds are bundled and burned.

Ive been challenged by my housemates to write a letter to myself, well the ME in 10 years.. when im lets say 32. Where would i be in life, what career, family? Kids? What would i expect to be doing, what would i expect to have? ( to my housemates: I will get to this letter.. maybe tomorrow)

Anyways my question for you all is Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you expect to be bearing good fruit like growing wheat (Matt 7: 15-20) through mentoring the youth, leading cell groups, making disciples of all nations, loving others, loving God, etc Or are you going to bear bad fruit like the weeds that everyone wants to get rid of on their lawns by turning away from God, living in negativity, induce suffering upon others, doing things that hurt yourself or others, and a big one, Hating on others.

Are you going to be like wheat and be taken to God's barn or are you going into a direction where you will be weeded out and tied into a bundle and burned?

Think about it, write it down and read it in 10 years hopefully you will have lived life to the fullest and in joy and peace and then you can smile at the letter and believe you re living life in the right direction.

I mean i dont expect myself to fulfill all the things that i will have expected myself to do in 10 years, but i will probably be reminded of what i still need to do when i read that letter.

Remember, its better late than never, I'm going to be bold and say that it is possible to become wheat after growing as a weed for a long time... All you have to do is .....

"ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be open."
Matthew 7 : 7-8


peace out!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A present? But its not even my birthday!

So today was Good Friday and its good to remind yourself on why its called Good Friday. This post is mostly inspired by Pastor Ken Taylor from Creekside church in waterloo by the way.

Its funny how its called good Friday since Jesus went through so much pain and suffering before getting nailed to the cross.

Good Friday and Easter Monday (Should be Monday since Monday is 3 days after Friday and not Easter Sunday, which is the day of the resurrection which confirmed that Jesus is the real deal and not just some other dude!) are days where we remember that Jesus died for us in order for God to forgive us of our Sins.

Lets look at the concept of Forgiveness. Forgiveness is what happens when you say its ok for another person who has done wrong to you. For example, if person A gets punched in the face by person B and person A say its ok don't worry about it... It can be said that person A has forgiven person B. In order for Person A to forgive person B, Person A had to absorb something... and in this case, it was pain, some suffering.. maybe a bruised jaw and hopefully not.. some missing teeth? haha

The point is, for forgiveness to work, one must absorb something negative.. such as the pain Person A probably experienced.

So in order for God to forgive us of our sins, He has to absorb something. Jesus, who is God in human form according to the Holy trinity where God, Jesus and the holy spirit are one and the same absorbed some HUGE blows as Jesus was first tortured, then he had to carry that huge cross up a mountain (imagine doing squats with barbells except holding that form and carrying that up a hill! That cross was probably way heavier that whatever i can squat!) Then he was nailed to the cross where he was left hanging with nails at his wrists. You've seen Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ.. it wasn't pretty..

So God took this blow in order to forgive us and the act of Jesus being crucified is our sacrifice, our ransom and our substitute.

Although we have sinned so much against God and have turned away from God time and time again He still did this for us.. to save us from our sins. He was our sacrifice as in the past the Israelites would sacrifice doves for God. He was our Ransom.. because we are being held captive in this sinful world, but his ransom set us free. He was our substitute because WE were the ones that were suppose to go through all that. We were the ones who was suppose to experience all that pain and suffering, but because Jesus was substituted in our place WE dont have to go through that.

Why did God do this for us? Because of the Gift of Grace (God's unconditional kindness) Because he loves us THAT much

"I urge then first of all that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is a good and pleases God our Saviour who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2: 1-4

And that is the basis of Christianity... Love.. " and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" 1 Corinthians 13:13

Now that we ve been shown this Love by God... its up to us whether or not we choose to accept this Love, this grace... Kind of like someone giving you a present, fully wrapped on a normal day (not even christmas or birthday presents just a normal day, everyday!) We can choose to accept it and open the gift to look at its Goodness or we can just turn it down. Same thing with God's love and grace.. its freely given to us, we can either choose to accept it or we can turn it down. And thats another way God showed love to us.. he made us into beings who have free will instead of creating a race of robots just accepting every command (I would rather be a being with free will than a terminator haha!)

So my question to you is... now that you know what good friday is you want to accept that present? or are you going to turn it down?