Sunday, February 26, 2012

A weekend of children

I love children. Just a short blog post on why.

Children are adorable.
Saturday afternoon, my roommates and I visited a family in South Austin for a light lunch and fellowship. Much of our time was spent playing (and taking countless photos) with their precious two-year-old. I think he was being extra cute because he knew we'd squeal at his every action.

My BFF/roomie/cousin Jo and baby Kaison

Children are unbelievable.
This morning, I served with the 1st thru 3rd grade Sunday school class as I usually do once a month. This age group is so fun because they say the wildest things. I learn so much. Today, I was carrying a Starwars-themed Lego man during class when Josh asked me to see it. Apparently my little figure was sporting a Mark-48 machine gun, one of the top 14 deadliest guns in the world. He then segued to a vivid personal story of shooting a possum.

The 8-year-old gun guru

Children are fun.
This afternoon, I was happy to babysit my sweet Ben and Aliyah. Whether we nap, watch Sesame Street, or build forts, I am always guaranteed a good time. Their home is my home away from home.

Tomorrow is their mom's birthday, so we made a surprise chocolate cake from scratch.
These pros did most of the baking. (I did most of cleaning.)
M&Ms were the kids' idea.
He insisted on test-driving the candles.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Did Jesus come to fulfill the law or abolish it?

In a Christian Students on Campus bible study last week, I finally understood how Jesus dealt with the law.

In Ephesians 2:15 Paul tells us the Lord “abolished with His flesh the law with its commandments".

However in Matthew 5:17 the Lord Himself proclaims, “Do not think I have come to abolish the law or its prophets; I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”

Does the Bible contradict itself? Of course not. If there is one thing we can always trust it is the validity of the bible. (Isaiah 40:8)

The question: Did Jesus come to abolish the law or to fulfill it?

I'd like to disprove this false dichotomy and say, yes. Jesus came both to abolish and to fulfill. While He abolished the ORDINANCES of the law, He fulfilled the MORAL of the law.

Through His death, the Lord Jesus did away with the ritual commandments. Colossians 2:14 says the Lord has eliminated the Judaic ordinances by nailing them to the cross. These include dietary regulations, circumcision, and observance of the Sabbath. They are no longer needed.

Keep in mind, this only speaks of the ordinances in the law – that is – the religious obligations. The moral commandments are still in place.

Jesus upheld the moral law in a three-fold way. Good morals are still needed to live out the kingdom life.

1) Jesus kept the law’s moral standards.

2) He fulfilled the requirements of the law through his death on the cross for us. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. He died in our place to satisfy this righteous requirement.

3) He complimented the old law with His new law. Matthew 5 shows us that the Lord actually introduced a higher standard.

For instance: the Old Testament law forbade murder. The new law forbids even getting angry with your brother. The old law forbade adultery. The new Law forbids even looking at a women, lest you commit adultery in your heart. 

While the Old Testament law deals with outward actions, the New Testament law is concerned with the intentions of the heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Food for Thought: Away in a Manger

This time of year many Christians contemplate the birth of Jesus. The details, like the angel’s song to the shepherds or the gifts of the wise men, are familiar from childhood. Even the apparent minute details of the Bible have significance.

From His lowly birth to his shameful death, Jesus lived a life of rejection. We all know that Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room at the inn. But why in a manger? I assume the feeding trough was a better option than a dirt floor, but surely there is some significance to this small point; God isn’t One to waste words.

A manger is a feeding trough for animals. This implies that Jesus came to us as food! God doesn’t just want to be the Creator in heaven but our content within us.

Furthermore, Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem. This fulfills the prophesy in Micah 5:2 concerning the Lord’s birth, but it also points us back to the Lord’s purpose. Bethlehem means “House of Bread”. Why is that significant? In John 6:48, 57 the Lord says:
                  “I am the bread of life.”
                  “…so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.”

Jesus was born in a feeding trough, in the “House of Bread” because he came to be nourishment to man.

The Lord did not stop as a loaf of bread, but went smaller still in Matthew 15. In verse 27 the gentile woman likened the Lord to crumbs that have fallen from the table. The God of this universe came as a crumb, small enough for anyone to take in. This means regardless of our status we are qualified to partake of Christ and enjoy Him for all that He is. Eating is something normal and necessary for our physical life. Our spiritual life also must consist of eating and feasting on the Lord.

I hope you’ll remember this as you take time to honor and celebrate the Lord this week.

Bible references: Luke 2:7, Micah 5:2, John 6:48, 57, 15:27

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Noodle-making in Queens, New York

Today, I was in Flushing, Queens running some errands with Ina and company. Flushing is said to be one of the most diverse neighborhoods in NYC, but I didn't stay long enough to really notice anything but an abundance of Chinese and Korean people, shops, and restaurants.

Here's a videoclip of a man making the noodles I had for lunch. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simsbury, Connecticut

I am on the East Coast for the next week, visiting my lovely friend and roommate, Ina. Here are a few nice things I like about her small town, Simsbury, CT.

1. The weather. I anticipated snow, but apparently Connecticut is having an unnaturally warm December. Nevertheless, I love the cold weather. Unlike the typical Texan, Conneticuters are always prepared for snowfall.

I learned that this intimidating massive contraption is a snowblower. 

2. Holiday Decor. No tangly lights or oversized blowup Santas. Just simplicity and elegance.

(The owner of the house was pulling into her driveway as I snapped this one. That was awkward.)

This is the Flower Bridge in Simsbury.

which brings me to...
3. Colonial-style Houses! So adorable but very expensive. I had a hard time choosing the top four.

(Continuing the holiday theme with TEN wreaths.)

This one has a balcony over the door!

4. Mom-and-Pop places.

Like coffee shops with a little living room and books on shelves.

Or stores that sell un-pasturized local milk.

And pizza places with yummy eggplant fries. :)

Tomorrow, I'm headed to Rhode Island!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reminders on enjoying God

Psalms 34:8 Just taste and see that the Lord is good
This meatless burger might be tasty but our God is even tastier. :)

 Genesis 2:9 And God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground, trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden [was] the tree of life...
I'm not sure what this film is about but I can guarantee you that it is NOT about God Himself as the Tree of Life, the real source satisfaction, for man to partake of and enjoy!

Isaiah 58:9 Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say, Here am I...
Romans 10:13 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
At any time, we can utilize our "call box", our human spirit, to call on the Lord, that is contact God.
This is the secret not only to our daily salvation but also our enjoyment of God. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We are God-bottles.

Today in a bible study, along with a few other members of Christian Students on Campus, I shared about God's purpose. We had a demo with water bottles to make the message more clear. :)

The bible shows us that... God's eternal purpose is to have a group of people created in His image and likeness to be filled with Him as life to express Him and represent Him. For the sake of keeping this post as short as possible, I am not typing out the verses, just referencing them.

God is like the perfect water bottle. We are like the empty water bottle, made in His image (Gen. 1:26).

Genesis 2:9 says man was placed in front of two trees - the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life, which represents God Himself. By eating of the tree of life man would have fulfilled God's purpose. But that didn't happen. Instead, man disobeyed God, ate from the wrong tree, and became a sinner. (I glued dirt all over the bottle. Sticky business.)

Two crucial aspects as to how this vessel^ is not fulfilling its purpose - it is dirty (a sinner) and doesn't contain the right element (God's life). Despite the two problems, God continued to carry out His plan by sending His Son to die on the cross for us (Heb. 9:22), so our sins would be forgiven, washed away (Jn. 3:16, Acts 3:19).

Praise God, we are justified when we repent and turn to God (Acts 3:19)! However, God doesn't want us to stop there. Man is back to his original state, in front of the two trees. Man needs to be filled. 1 Corinthians 15:45 tells us Christ became a life-giving Spirit. As the Spirit, God can now fill us with Himself (Jn. 20:22).

By being continuously filled with more of God's life each day, we can express Him. Yay!

How does God dispense His life? With our cooperation. By our reading of His Word (Col. 3:16), and by our fellowshipping and spiritual building up with other believers (2 Tim. 2:22, 1 Pet. 2:9). 

Let me know if you'd like a more in-depth explanation or have any questions. :)