He Is Our Grief Absorber

We know of shock absorbers.

I first came across this word in college when the seniors ahead of me wrote in their thesis acknowledgments the names of people who were their shock absorbers. These were close friends who listened patiently as they ranted about professors and thesis advisers who gave them academic hell.

Then of course there’s the shock absorbers for cars and other vehicles.

The point of shock absorbers is to lessen impact, to make collision less painful, less damaging. A bit similar to what Jesus was saying in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He offers wide open arms to those who have heavy loads to carry, those who have untold griefs bursting in their chests. Continue reading He Is Our Grief Absorber

Look Up, Christian, Look Up

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up. *

Enough looking behind your shoulders. There’s no use looking back at something you can’t change. The past gives no hope, only lessons to help you make godly choices in the future.

Stop looking around trying to gauge whether or not people approve everything you do. It is an exhausting way to live and you will never please everyone anyway. Live for the audience of One instead, seeking only what is honorable to Jesus. In the end, his opinion is the only opinion that matters. You will be surprised that unlike our parents, peers, and bosses, Jesus is way, way more gracious.

So look up, Christian, look up. Look to Christ who loves you without stopping, not to the past that haunts without mercy or the people around you that you couldn’t please anyway.

*HT: Sammy Lopez

Exhausted Hearts

Broken people with exhausted hearts, dead tired Christians almost at the point of giving up… do not lose hope. You are loved and cherished more than you can ever imagine. Jesus cares about you.

He knows the weary road you’ve traveled. He is familiar with the pain you are going through. He walked the thorny path you are walking in. He bled before a thorn pierced your foot.

Come to him, all of you who are weary and heavily laden. He will restore your strength. He will bind your wounds. He will put soothing balm on your bruises. He will refresh you with healing waters. He will put a pillow under your head. He will give rest for your souls. Continue reading Exhausted Hearts

Shout-Out to the People I Love

October 24.

There’s so much to be thankful for today. Every time I look back at the last few years of my life, I am amazed at how God brought me here by his grace. My heart overflows with joy right now. King David was right. Who am I that I would be a recipient of much of God’s loving-kindness?

I thank God for giving me one of life’s constant graces: the Agot family. I love this family to bits, especially during those times when we had our bitter fights and we were all sagging under the weight of our strained relationships. This family gives me a living picture of the triumph of grace over sin. Grace wins every time. We remain closely knit until today because God is the one pulling our heartstrings together. Continue reading Shout-Out to the People I Love

Why Some People Don’t Get Healed

As a pastor, this has always baffled me. I have had my fair share of praying for the sick when the patient instantaneously recovered. One particular incident that stood out in my memory happened years ago when I visited a home in the interior part of Samar. A young boy got so sick that he has been refusing food for days. When I arrived at their home, it was like a cloud of death was hovering over the entire household. Without much words, I went under the mosquito net where the child was lying, took the child in my arms, put my palms on both sides of his head, prayed a prayer of supplication, and commanded the sickness to leave him in the name of Jesus. I could literally feel the boy’s temperature going down while I was praying. When we said our Amens, the child asked for food. He lived.

I wish all my prayers are like that. I wish I could say that every single one person I prayed for received instant healing. They didn’t. Some are healed gradually. Some don’t recover at all.  Continue reading Why Some People Don’t Get Healed

How We Got So Good at Justifying Ourselves

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms (Wheaton:Crossway Books, 2005), p. 34

You will never make yourself feel that you are a sinner, because there is a mechanism in you as a result of sin that will always be defending you against every accusation. We are all on very good terms with ourselves, and we can always put up a good case for ourselves. Even if we try to make ourselves feel that we are sinners, we will never do it. There is only one way to know that we are sinners, and that is to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.

 

The Ministry of Competence

Dorothy Sayers (Creed or Chaos?, p56-7):

The church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him to not be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours and to come to church on Sundays. What the church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables.

Why Christians Should be Hardworking People

In his book Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller mentioned that work is as basic as food, rest, friendship, prayer, and sexuality. When people don’t work, they feel less significant than others who do. This is especially true for those who used to be busy but are suddenly cutoff from work.

We know this is true. We’ve all heard of elderly or handicapped people who are depressed because they don’t feel very useful anymore. Meanwhile, we also automatically place high value on people who hold important jobs. Subconsciously, we recognize that work factors into our perception of importance.  Continue reading Why Christians Should be Hardworking People