Thursday, December 25, 2014

Candy Cane CHRISTmas Story

I read from an anonymous author sometime ago, "When man tries to reach out to God, that is called Religion, for we all fall short to His Holy standards. When God tries to reach out to man that is called CHRISTmas."

Indeed for the very heart of the bible supports this,

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -- John 3:16(NIV) 

CHRISTmas season is a great opportunity to share the gospel and love of Jesus Christ to our family, friends, colleagues and to every person God placed in our circle of influence.

You can be creative in your simple, special ways, I took advantage of the candy cane and the CHRISTmas story about Jesus Christ. The kids at the Sunday school was ecstatic, they loved the candy canes! On the other hand I was initially reluctant giving it away to my colleagues, as I am not sure how they will respond to it. But God rebuke me through one of the CCF preaching, my task is to share Jesus' story to them, it's God's task to work out on their heart. 

Looking back, I know this is something I'll be infinitely grateful I yield by God's grace. 
Look at the Candy Cane 
What do you see? 
Stripes that are red 
Like the blood shed for me 
White is for my Savior 
Who’s sinless and pure! 
“J” is for Jesus 
My Lord, that’s for sure! 
Turn it around 
And a staff you will see 
Jesus my shepherd 
Was born for Me!

Monday, December 22, 2014

CCF: Jesus - The Promised One

by Pastor Ramylal Fernando
Exactly ten years ago same month of December, when an unusual wave behavior was observed in the shoreline of Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Phuket, Thailand and Sumatra, Indonesia. Water from the shore strangely receded several meters away from the coastline. Most of the people run towards the shore to have a closer look in this unforeseen wonder. Then something devastating happened, giant breaking waves as high as 30 feet in other places rapidly surge the seashore ravaging all it passes through. This was the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, the most destructive tsunami ever recorded in history which took 350,000 thousand lives.
When you are presented with something great, how would you respond? Just like the initial reaction of most of the victims who were not aware of the coming disaster, will you approach the shore or run away from it.
Similarly, when we are presented with the greatest story recorded in the bible - the birth of Jesus Christ, how did we respond to it? While we have so many misconceptions about the true story of nativity: how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, whether Jesus was born in a stable, or if there were really three kings who visited Jesus on his birth. All these questions directs us back to the Bible, particularly from Matthew and Luke, where we can find accounts of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The story of nativity tells us that Jesus is the promised one.
1. He is given us.
a. A child is born
When God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus Christ, He did not just randomly picks a woman, God chose someone who is also seeking God for her to use her in His kingdom.
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. --Luke 1:28-31
If Jesus did not come into this world, the entire humanity is doomed. There is no reason to be hopeful. Sometimes we think that the biggest decision Jesus made was when He chose to die on the cross, but actually it is when he chose to be born of a man and enter our world.
b. A son is given
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. --Luke 1:35 
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. --John 3:16
The Bible gives us several accounts that indeed Jesus Christ is the promised one through fulfilled prophesies.


Prophecy
Fulfillment
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:28-33
Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Luke 2:1-7
Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely. And do justice and righteousness in the land.
Matthew 1:6
2. He is our great God
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. -- Isaiah 9:7
How great are His signs. And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And His dominion is from generation to generation. --Daniel 4:3
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. --Philippians 2:9-11
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. --Revelations 11:15
We can ask ourselves, If Jesus is God, and if He is the King of Kings, and if He is so great, what does it matter to you? What would you say about Him?
CHRISTmas reminds us not of what we have or have not given to other people but what God has given us through His son Jesus Christ. Christmas is not just the season of giving gifts, shopping, family reunions and lavish food in the table. It is remembering how God loved us and what He is willing to sacrifice for us.


May this season be a celebration of God's greatness in our lives, making ourselves available so He can furthermore use us. Recognizing that only God is great for He has given.
Transcribed by:

Choose to Obey

Image from keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
Oftentimes, what God asks you to do is inconvenient. Forgiving the person who hurt you, helping the person who once took advantage of you, confronting a friend who is in sin, encouraging a loved one who is in despair, helping a total stranger, loving a person who is unlovable.

When He prompts you about something, you do have a choice. Sure you can ignore that One still voice speaking to you. Brush it off and remain in your comfort zones. But along with this you have no idea what you could be missing out. How God can work through you to accomplish that something which may not make sense right now, but may transform you in a way you couldn't have imagine. Only until you yield to Him, then you can realize your full potential by God's grace and how this simple surrender can strengthen your faith and build your character. In the long run, all the inconveniences you choose to go through will be worth it, realizing that you put a smile in God's face. Hearing Him say, "This is my child whom I am pleased with."

However not choosing between obedience and disregard is still a choice. You may remain indifferent in what I am trying to communicate, again that is your choice. No matter choice you make, remember this one thing, there is blessing in obedience.

But just in case, you make poor choices in life, yes there will definitely be consequences along side it but one thing you can be sure of, God is the God of second and third and fourth and infinite chances.

I do hope that you will make that choice, an opportunity to honor God.

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9–11 NLT)

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Don't Want ...

I don't want my vacation to be grand, I want it to be memorable.
I don't want my relationship to be perfect, I want it to be growing.
I don't want my friends to be many, I want them to be real.
I don't want my children to be rich, I want them to be wise.

I don't want my body to be attractive and hot, I want it to be fit.
I don't want my career to be stable, I want to be continuously improving in my craft.
I don't want my future husband to be ideal, I want him to be a man of God.
I don't want my house to be big, I want it to be intimate and comfortable.

I don't want my planner and schedules to be full, I want to be engaged in something valuable.
I don't want to be wanted, I want to be loved.
I don't want my life to be lived, I want it to be worth it.
I don't want my wants to happen nor wish it to happen, I'll try my best to make it happen.

--Author: Girlie Mangalo

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Motivates You?

In my desperate search of something that might distract me after giving up my yoga classes for about a year now, I found this thought-provoking illustration from Dan Pink regarding the surprising truth about what motivates us. Results are mind-blowing and demonstration is practical, applicable not only to the corporate world but also to our normal daily lives.
People often say motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily. --Zig Ziglar
Motivation. This powerful word is what keeps us going, to do what we ought to do. To have good reason to wake up in the morning. To execute better and make that extra mile that keeps us apart from others. But in a world full of distractions and seemingly important things, where do we draw our inspiration?





The greatest take-away is when Dan describe the three factors that leads to better performance and personal satisfaction after taking money out of the equation. Autonomy. Mastery. Purpose. Autonomy is our desire to be self-directed, which is one factor to make employees engaged in their work. One day of autonomy can produces enormous things that never emerged. Mastery is our urge to get better at stuff. Finding something that is challenging, being able to master it and make a contribution. Purpose, finding that transcendent motive that directs the entire organization more than profit. Being involved in something that makes an impact and and make the world a little bit better to live. Three words, unlimited force, tremendous impact.