Friday, March 30, 2007

Beauty in ministry.

Work has demanded my weekend time for the past few weeks. Even though I've had to give up Saturday morning hockey with the cousins, the work has been good. With deadlines coming up in about a month and a half, I have to finish three videos, so I've been going from location to location grabbing footage to use.

The most compelling place I've gone to so far is San Francisco's CityTeam where they do ministry work in the low-income hotels along 6th Street. These hotels consist of low-lit hallways and thin walls. One-person bathrooms are shared by all, and the showers don't have locking doors. The room is just big enough for a bed, a table, and a chair, and most are only lit with the resident's television. What got me the most was the smell - a mixture of body odor, rotten wood, and urine. I've encountered similar smells before down an abandoned alley or an unkept public bathroom; such odors should never linger where someone sleeps.

I walked with volunteers through these hallways listening to them offer food and prayer. The group that day were regulars who knew the people living in these rooms, and it was encouraging to see people of wealth build relationships with those who can barely afford a lamp to light their room. These volunteers are truly acting from their hearts as they hand these people groceries. The volunteers come as messengers of Christ, praying with these people and lifting them up. They come, in all their success, to offer a Life in that they can only hope to fully succeed. They come, in spite of all they own, to tell them of a Home even they long for with every part of their being.

Lord, take us home!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Respect the Old Ones.

You begin to realize the impact one artist has in the music industry - in this case, the Christian music industry - when he can bring five major artists or groups together to sing one of the most well-known songs in its genre. Now that's a powerful song!

Friends 2003

This version of "Friends" is like revisiting those first five years when I was beginning to define my musical taste for the very first time (and yes, Kuya, I owe you for bringing me into CCM as it began to boom). Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Avalon, Point of Grace, and Mac Powell, the lead singer of Third Day...simply amazing.

Michael W. Smith, I salute you.

Could have most definitely done without Avalon, though. Yeah, most definitely...

Another song that brought together an ensemble of amazing musical artists is "All for Love." Man, you can't go wrong with Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, and Sting singing together as one. Yeah!

With all my love,

P.S. It's been quite busy around here with my job. I'll have to write about it in my blog sometime. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The greatest fear.

"I think one of the most simple ways to think about hell, without having to deal with all of the problems that arise out of explaining and interpreting all this imagery that's so ghastly, is to just think of this concept: That God is just; God is holy. And if God is holy and God is just, I'm gonna have to stand before Him. And I'm not just, so whatever happens in that environment is bad news. And it's a dreadful thing to contemplate: To ever think you're going to have stand naked before a righteous and holy God. My only hope is to have my sin covered by one who's acceptable to God - being covered by the righteousness of Christ. And I say to people, '"Think about it! What would you do if you had to stand before God...naked?'"

-R.C. Sproul

This scares me deeply. I've always been fearful of the idea that I was not a child of God afterall, and I would face the eternal punishment of God when my life ends or Christ returns. But I do have the confidence of the Spirit in me guiding me through my life, so even when I sin and fall back to square one, I know that God is still with me. :) Yet I will continue to strive to be someone God can always call one of His own.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fill me.

Last week, I drove down to So Cal to visit friends. It was cool to see the college buddies, and to get back into that college state of mind...except now I had money to spend. I love it.

I got to visit the church I regularly attended in Ventura too, and that was great. I miss being involved in a church, so it was fun to visit EPC. Especially since the worship band I was part of lead worship that Sunday. :)

The sermon wasn't life-changing or anything, but Pastor Anderson did make an interesting point that made me think a little bit. The sermon was on John 6:35 and 6:55-56, and one thing that Pastor Anderson said was the the disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about. Which is mostly true. The disciples weren't very sharp, but considering that Jesus was trail-blazing a whole new theology for Christianity, it's understandable why the disciples were confused all the time. The fact that Jesus taught in such a strange style probably didn't help either.

Anyway, that's beside the point. I really gleaned on the thought that the disciples hardly ever understood what Jesus was talking about unless He explained it them or until Jesus' ascension. At that point, the Spirit came down and filled the Apostles. With the direction of the Spirit, they were able to go out and preach everything that Jesus taught. It's not break-through thinking, but I really love the idea that we cannot be witnesses of Christ at all without the Spirit empowering us with the words to say and the actions to do.

Along these lines, I've also been listening to the Ligonier Ministries podcast with R.C. Sproul, and he talked on the "The Authority of Apostolic Teaching" (you'll need to scroll down and look for the titled podcast). Go have a listen when you have the time.