Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Confidence for 2009

Today, I read about the disciples struggle with the wind across the lake as recorded in Mark 6:45. They were scared that they would drown. Fortunately, Jesus saw their struggles (he was not in the boat). He walked to them and calmed the wind. As I face the uncertainty that the new year will bring, I am convinced that he will see my struggles and come over to calm them. This is my hope for the new year.


When I first read the story of the servants who were hired at different times of the day from Mathew 20, I agreed with the servants who grumbled when the land lord paid each one of them the same wage. I reasoned like the servants in the story that if I am hired at 6am, I should not get the same pay as someone hired at noon. The logic being that working longer entitles one to more pay. Not so, according to the economics of Jesus. You all get the same pay!
This story was amplified by a catholic priest as follows (I must say, I was most blessed by his message). He said the most difficult challenge we face as believers and non believers is to be happy for others. When we stand in a long line at a grocery store for example, we get angry when all of a sudden people behind us are called to a checkout that just opened. As well, we get angry when 2 days after we buy some item, we see it going on sale and probably don’t feel like telling the next person that the item is on sale. We just don’t want the other person to be happier than us. This is the essence for the grumbling in the hired servants’ story. The hired servants is a story about getting in the kingdom of God. It doesn’t matter when one is saved. Those who have been saved many years ago will get eternal life just like those who got saved yesterday or today. Thus the last will be first, the word of God says. Gracious as He is, there will be rewards that will be given in accordance with how faithful we have been.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Tonite, I drove around with my wife looking at Christmas lights. We saw many symbols of Christmas depicted by the lights, many of them not mentioned in the Christmas story. For examples there were lots of rendeers, bears and of course St Nick. Clearly, the Christmas story has taken a new meaning. At City Hall, the greeting is no longer "Merry Christmas" but "Seasons greetings!" This is clearly a dramatic shift from the traditional Christmas we know. Fortunately, lights are still burning. They remind us that the light has come in the world even though the world has chosen to misrepresnt this light with symbols that do not represent the light. Yes, our tour of Christmas lights around the city also showed typical Christgmas symbols such as the shepherds, angels, the manger and of course the baby Jesus. This was refreshing.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


In spite of the differences in terminology to what we celebrate around December, it still remains Christmas. The date may not be correct but we know that He was born of a virgin Mary and His name was Jesus Christ. Wise men brought Him gifts and people today exchange gifts at Christmas more than any other time. One story goes like this. A little boy who had grown up in Sunday School woke up on Christmas day and found many presents under the tree. They were more tha he needed. He started to cry and said to his mom. "I have all these presents but what did Jesus get?" The little boy decided to give his heart to Jesus. What a lesson! Think of what you can give to Jesus this Christmas. After all, it is His birth day we celebrate.


"Only a fool tests how deep the water is with both feet." African saying

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Paul is a common name. The Paul that I lknow best was once called Saul. When his life changed, he was renamed Paul. How his life changed is another story. Let me just say that he got in trouble with the Roman authorities for preaching about Jesus. Verdict was to die by beheading. While awaiting death in a prison he wrote a letter to his friends at a place called Phillipi. He started by saying that he was very happy to write to them from prison. This got me thinking. What would Paul be happy about in a prison cell? He could have shared how tough it was but nay. I reflected on how many times I have been in a fix and shared my circumstances in graphic detail to people who cannot do anything about my situation! Paul chose to spur others to doing good things by writing a letter of love and hope to his dear friends at Phillipi. After reading Paul's letter (Phillipians-by the way, my Bible Study group is studying this great epistle) , I realized I am a victim of self pity or just plain sympathy seeker. Paul was not. What a guy!Thanks, Paul ans see you there some day.