Wednesday, August 15, 2018

CCF: Live God’s Purpose - Be Salt and Light

By: Paul Tan-Chi

“The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.” – Rick Warren

Is our world getting better? In terms of technology and innovations, maybe yes but statistics tell us that in terms of suicide rate, divorce, incarceration and HIV/Aids, all these problems are increasing in count today more than ever. What does these stats tells us? Because of SIN our world is decaying. But this is only true if Christians in this world will not do anything. History accounts the great impact through the lives of Christian in children, women and education.

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how [e]can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. – Matthew 5:13
There are few good uses of salt in this world. It is a good preservative, an antiseptic, it adds flavor to anything and it creates thirst. As believers of Christ one of our purpose is to create thirst for people around us, for them to have desire to know about the faith that we have by living a life that will draw them to Jesus Christ.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  – Matthew 5:14-15
Light’s purpose is to illuminate its surrounding. Regardless of distance, whether you are near or close the source of light, you can still see the light in total darkness. Because the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness. As Christian we are to reflect the love of God to the darkness around us.

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12
Lights operates on a distance while salt impacts those who are close and near to it. As salt of this world we have to go out of the salt shaker, have encounter and contact with the people close to us so we can interact with them and show them love just like how Jesus loved them.

In Matthew 5:13, the Bible also gives us a warning about salt losing its taste. Chemically speaking salt or Sodium chloride is a very stable ionic compound, but it will lose its saltiness when you allow impurities to be added. Spiritually speaking, when we allow impurities of this world to penetrate our Christian life, we compromise, we lose our effectiveness.

Similarly, it’s not the ship in the water but the water in the ship that sinks it. So it is not the Christian in the world but the world in a Christian that could potentially hinder his/her influence. 

16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
The purpose of good works is not for us to be saved. For Christians the ultimate purpose of good works is to glorify God. We do good works out of the love that overflows from us, the same love we receive from Jesus Christ.

At the same way we should not go to church for the sake of going to church. Be the church wherever God has placed you to be. Because the world will not come to you to understand your faith, Christians should step out to the world and share the gospel. It is time to go out of the salt shaker!

We are not called to save the world, but we are called to make a difference. We can’t do everything. But we can do something. What we can do, we ought to do. That’s what being salt and light is all about.


Transcribed by:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Pineapple Story


Image courtesy of thechangetrend.com

Tonight I heard about "The Pineapple" story in our GLC 3 class. This is true to life story about a missionary named Otto Koning who lived in New Guinea, now part of Indonesia.

Otto grew pineapples on the island and loved it. However whenever the pineapples began to ripen, the natives would steal them from his garden. He became frustrated and was angry on the natives to the point of getting a German Shepherd dog to protect his pineapple garden. This spanned for seven years while Otto preached the Gospel to the natives and in this whole time not one got converted.

After sometime Otto flew to United States to attend a conference. It is in this conference, that God spoke to him realising he was frustrated over his situation because he thinks he owns the pineapple garden and everything it produce. After much thinking, he gave his garden to God. Although natives stoles his pineapples, he no longer got angry because he now realise that God owns evert fruit that grows in his garden. Soon the natives started having problems among their tribe and thought that Otto was the reason for their problems because he gave his garden to his God. Natives thought that the calamities their facing was the result of what they did to Otto's garden. As a result the natives started bringing back the fruit from the garden because they didn’t want any more calamities.

One native said to Otto, “You must have become a Christian, Otto. You don’t get angry anymore. We always wondered if we would ever meet a Christian.” 

After surrendering his garden to God, he witnessed his first conversion and many began coming to Christ.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. – Matthew 10:39

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Music: 2002

Recently I am addicted to this song by Anne-Marie with collaboration of Ed Sheeran. This month they release an acoustic version of the song which felt more real. I could listen to this song the whole day like literally. Enjoy!


2002

I will always remember the day you kissed my lips
Light as a feather
And it went just like this
No, it's never been better
Than the summer of 2002

We were only eleven
But acting like grownups
Like we are in the present, drinking from plastic cups
Singing, "love is forever and ever"
Well, I guess that was true

Dancing on the hood in the middle of the woods
Of an old Mustang, where we sang
Songs with all our childhood friends
And it went like this, yeah

Oops I got ninety-nine problems singing bye, bye, bye
Hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride with me
Better hit me, baby, one more time
Paint a picture for you and me
Of the days when we were young
Singing at the top of both our lungs

Now we're under the covers
Fast forward to eighteen
We are more than lovers
Yeah, we are all we need
When we're holding each other
I'm taken back to 2002

Dancing on the hood in the middle of the woods
Of an old Mustang, where we sang
Songs with all our childhood friends
And it went like this, yeah

Oops I got ninety-nine problems singing bye, bye, bye
Hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride with me
Better hit me, baby, one more time
Paint a picture for you and me
Of the days when we were young
Singing at the top of both our lungs

On the day we fell in love
On the day we fell in love
Dancing on the hood in the middle of the woods
Of an old Mustang, where we sang
Songs with all our childhood friends
Oh, now

Oops I got ninety-nine problems singing bye, bye, bye
Hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride with me
Better hit me, baby, one more time
Paint a picture for you and me
Of the days when we were young
Singing at the top of both our lungs
On the day we fell in love
On the day we fell in love
On the day we fell in love
On the day we fell in love
On the day we fell in love, love, love

Video courtesy of Anne-Marie channel.

Monday, July 9, 2018

CCF: Keys to the Kingdom

Image courtesy of whwc.org

BE THE CHURCH
Keys to the Kingdom (Acts 10:1-48)
Bro. Popit Aragones


Acts Chapter 10 chronicles a significant milestone in Christian history as it marks the beginning of sharing the gospel to the Gentiles or non-Jewish people. In the previous chapters of Acts, the early church took time to accept that salvation is open and free for all regardless of race and nationality.
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
-- Acts 10:1-2
God choosing Cornelius who is of Roman descent, a commander of 100 soldier, exhibits God’s character of impartiality and justice. But although Cornelius is a religious and generous person, Acts 10 highlights that good works does not equate to saving faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. -- Hebrews 11:6
The ancient Romans does not believe in one true God and were polytheistic but Cornelius being a proselyte or a convert earnestly seeks the Lord. And God in His loving character rewards those who sincerely seek Him. For if you seek Him, God is more than willing to pour out His heart to you. Do not for a moment doubt that God will deprive you of His wisdom and presence.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. -- Matthew 7:7
Old testament books like Deuteronomy and Leviticus clearly accounts what food Jewish people can partake that are acceptable to God. But beginning in Acts 10:9, Peter is being prepared by God to reach out to Gentiles and use the analogy of food in His vision to Peter. Peter strictly follows the kosher dietary laws and at the same time believes that Gentiles are unclean and they should not associate with them. But the Lord is slowly opening Peter’s heart for the Gentiles.
And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?”(Thus He declared all foods clean.) -- Mark 1:18-19
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -- Galatians 3:28
Acts chapter 8 accounts Samaritans who are racially mixed society of Jews and pagan ancestry have received the Word of God and it was Peter and John who came and prayed for them. In the same chapter Philip shared the gospel to a Eunuch who is a convert to Judaism. All these accounts gradually open the eyes of Peter and immersed him to the Gentile society. The same way how God prepares us in every situation, challenges, decisions and trials of our life. Believe that He will not give us anything that is beyond what we can handle. He will give us grace just like how He prepared Peter.

There is no partiality with God.

Similar to how Peter accepted Cornelius invitation and went to Caesarea to share the gospel to the Gentiles, we should also learn to remove any prejudice with other people.

Why Peter?
Why did God choose Peter to share the good news to the Gentiles? Why not Paul or Philip who is already in Caesarea during that time? Peter shared the gospel to the Gentiles because this is God’s promise to Him. Peter holds the key to unlocking the door of heaven to the Gentiles.
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” -- Matthew 16:18-19
Peter’s life resonates to us. Peter left the boat to walk on the water to Jesus (Matthew 14)—and promptly took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink (verse 30). Peter took Jesus aside to rebuke Him for speaking of His death (Matthew 16:22)—and was swiftly corrected by the Lord (verse 23). Peter drew his sword and attacked the servant of the high priest (John 18:10)—and was immediately told to sheath his weapon (verse 11). Peter boasted that he would never forsake the Lord, even if everyone else did (Matthew 26:33)—and later denied three times that he even knew the Lord (verses 70-74).

Just like Peter, we too lived an imperfect lives. But just like Peter, the Lord is giving us the same keys that can unlock the doors of heaven by sharing the gospel to our family, relatives and friends. God choose us not because of our abilities but because out of His love for us.

Why Cornelius?
Just like Cornelius, we have our own households. When God saved you and me, He is thinking of your family as well, that they too will hear and accept Jesus through your life.
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:31
First hand faith is essential. Saving faith in Christ is not a group discovery but an individual encounter. Borrowed faith will never be enough, you need to have a personal relationship with Christ Jesus. As we become believers saved by the grace of God, we become influencers – faithful bearers of the keys, instruments of the Lord and vessels of God’s message to our family and people around us.


Transcribed by:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nine Rules from Chris Pratt

The "Jurassic World" lead star Chris Pratt accepts the MTV Generation Award during the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018, in Santa Monica, California.

And here is some practical, humorous and biblical words of advice from Chris for the next generation. I love this guy.



Christ Pratt said,
"I accept the responsibility as your elder, so listen up. This is what I call 9 Rules from Chris Pratt, Generation Award Winner.
Number one. Breathe. If you don't, you'll suffocate.
Number two. You have a soul. Be careful with it.
Number three. Don't be a turd. If you're strong be a protector. And if you're smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be a weapon and do not wheel them against the weak, that makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.
Number four. When giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a little piece of hamburger, they won't even know they've eaten medicine.
Number five. It doesn't matter what it is. Earn it. A good deed. Reach out to someone in pain. Be of service. It feels good, its good for your soul.
Six. God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do
Number seven. If you have to poop at a party, but you're embarrassed because you're gonna stink up the bathroom, just do what I do. Lock the door, sit down, get all the pee out first. And then once all the pees are done - poop, flush, boom! You minimise the amount of time the poop is touching the air. Cause if you poop first, it takes you longer to pee and you're peeing on top of it, it's stirring the poop particles, create a cloud. Goes out and everyone in the party would know that you poop. Just trust me, its Science.
Number eight. Learn to pray. It's easy and it's so good for your soul.
And finally, number nine. Nobody is perfect. People are gonna tell you, you are perfect just the way you are. You are not! You are imperfect. You always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way and if you're willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. And like the freedom we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else's blood. Do not forget it. Don't take if for granted.
God bless you."

Credits to MTV Youtube channel for posting the video.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

World of Dumplings

Pan fried, deep fried, baked, steamed or boiled. Dumplings are so diverse, they come in different forms and influences. Different cultures have their own version of preparing dumplings.

Chinese - Wonton
Japanese - Gyoza
Italian - Ravioli
Jewish - Kreplach
Polish - Pierogi
Koreans - Mandu
Indian - Samosa
Spanish - Empanada
Nepali - Momo
Turkish - Manti/Mantu

Alan Davidson, food historian accounted that dumplings were originally made and consumed by peasants or the poorest people in a society during the 13th century Mongols. This is their way of preserving limited supply of meat by stuffing them inside a dough and a way to make them feel full easier and longer.

This long weekend, thanks to Hari Raya, had all the time in the world to prepare and make my first homemade dumplings. Preparation includes watching youtube videos on the different techniques of wrapping a dumpling and watching variety of dumpling recipe.




200-300 grams minced pork
1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
1 bunch cilantro, sliced thinly
1 package of tofu, crushed by hand
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soya sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 egg
1 pack of dumpling or gyoza wrapper

Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Use your hand to incorporate all the elements until fully combined. Place one tablespoon of filling on each dumpling wrapper. Use water to seal the sides of the dumpling and make the pleats.
There are different ways to enjoy these babies. You can boil them, deep fry, steam or pan fry until bottom becomes brown then pour water in the pan to steam it.





Friday, June 1, 2018

Music: The Greatest Showman

"The Greatest Showman" blog-entry fever is not over yet. Here's three of my favourite original song that made a deep connection with me from the greatest soundtrack of this movie. Enjoy!

A Million Dreams
Written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Sung by the young P.T Barnum(Ziv Zaifman) to his future wife Charity(Michelle Williams). Later on the songs joined by no greater than old  P.T Barnum(Hugh Jackman).  He tells her of his dreams for the future and explains his confidence that if they work hard for it, they will come true.


Rewrite the Stars
Song of forbidden love written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. A duet between Zac Efron (playing a rich white playwright called Phillip Carlyle who becomes P.T. Barnum's partner) and Zendaya (who portrays Anne Wheeler, a poor black acrobat and trapeze artist).



This is Me
Rousing song of self-acceptance written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Sung by Hawaii native Keala Settle who portrays the bearded lady, Lettie Lutz in the movie. "This Is Me" is a fight song for people who are not accepted by society.



Reference: songfacts.com
Credits to Atlantic Records for the publishing the OST audio.