Posts

Ravi Zacharias. 1946-2020.

Image
Growing up as a teenager, I believed, but doubted. I wanted to know for a fact that Jesus and all of this was real but felt it was just too good to be true. I just had "blind faith" and hoped it was all real even though I had some serious doubts of the claims. But at some point in high school, I knew that was a childish approach. During one of our Winter Retreats, our cabin leader talked about some points on how to defend the faith. I remember asking him, "How do I research more?" He said, "Look into 'apologetics.'" Never having heard that word, I jotted it down in my journal: "Apalagetix." 
Our pastor introduced us to a book called, "Jesus Among Other Gods (Youth Edition)." It was there that my skeptical heart found peace. Are you questioning? Doubting? I encourage you to doubt those doubts and seek answers. Do not settle for what you think is right or what society tells you is right. Ask the hard questions, then seek out the a…

Family Devotions Dry?

I hear this quite often:
Dear Pastor Sam, We tried implementing family devotions. It started off well! But as the weeks went on, my kids became less interested. Since they weren't engaging, it has made it difficult for me to prepare and to be honest, I'm not super excited. It has just become a thing we schedule out of our week to do. We are all physically there, but mentally checked out. It feels like I'm the only one that still desires to do it, but that desire is quickly fading. Help?
Does that sound like you? If so, let me encourage you by saying that this is a struggle for many Christian homes. What is working against you? Unbelievers. This is a difficult one. The desire and longing for God and His Word is not going to be beating from a heart that is dead. Asking your family to be excited about God's Word is like asking a dead person to breathe deep and smell the sweet aroma of Spring air. Satan. Think about what is at stake for the Enemy! Strong Christian homes build …

Huuummmm...mmmmeditate

When we hear "meditate," we think yoga, Buddhism, incense, cross-legged, Zen music, and bamboo. Or at least that's what comes to my mind. This is due to the influence of Buddhism/Daoism in Hollywood, but also comes from my (and maybe your) Asian background. Our extended family is heavily Buddhist and I have seen a good bit of that style of meditation.

It is strange to read passages in Scripture calling me to meditate because I use to link that word to the Buddhism! So what is Biblical meditation? Although there are many directions, I'll focus us on one. First, let's examine these two verses:

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
-Psalm 143:5

On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
-Psalm 145:5

One way to meditate upon God is to remember His work. King David writes this looking back at what God has done. Why is this important? Is the purpose of it to reminisce? How…

Tired

Oh boy, I'm tired. Aren't you tired?

Tired of:

bad newscontradictions among expertsmissing out on life-moments (birthdays, graduations, summer trips...)cooking 3 meals a daymeetings and more meetingstrying to take care of everyone in the house ...and the list seems endless. In talking to many friends, it seems like this season is busier than ever. Yes, you may be working from home, but it isn't as relaxing as you had imagined. Your days have started to blend. Your motivation has dropped. A friend described this season as being "busier than ever, but boring and it all feels so meaningless. " 
Let me invite you back to Scripture, a passage so familiar we often don't even think about what it is saying: Psalm 23The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

This is so different from what many of us are experiencing…

In Christ

Moss, Mississippi (April 13th, 2020) A vicious tornado went through the quiet town of Moss. A family survived because they climbed into a concrete bunker-- a tornado shelter-- and remained in there for the duration of the storm. While the rest of the house was wrecked, the family and everything in that bunker was left untouched. Read the rest of the story here.
Many have looked at 2020 and said that this is the end times. Tornadoes, flooding, viruses, earthquakes, etc... And they are right-- because the end times started when Jesus left (Hebrews 1, Acts 2, 2 Tim 3, etc). But there is a Day to come that will be the ultimate return of Jesus. No matter what your views of eschatology are, there is a mutual understanding that Jesus will return.

Revelation is scary book to read in conjunction with Daniel. It paints a picture of God's wrath that will be unleashed upon the Earth. Those who stand in His way will be struck down. No mercy will be shown. It will be a dreadful, dreadful day.

The Voice

Do you remember when you got in trouble and your dad raised his voice? Remember the fear and anxiety?

Lately, my Daughter has figured out that she can push her step stool up to the kitchen counter and help herslef to all sorts of treats. My dad caught her and told her to put the candy back. She ignored him. He warns her, "Your dad's coming." She calls his bluff. I hear this from the living room and in my best "dad-voice," sternly say, "Hey! What did grandpa ask you to do?!" I didn't have to show up. I didn't even have to get up. She frantically put it back and climbed down from the stepping stool while on the brink of tears.

Psalm 29:
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the…

He "suffered along with"...

We heard about what’s happening in Italy and how doctors had to decide before shift who gets to live and who dies. We didn’t believe it, yet here we are. They already determined earlier that day who gets to live and who gets to die… and they unanimously agreed whom they weren’t going to save that day.  There wasn’t a ventilator around as he fought for each breath as if his life depended on it. His condition worsened and a ventilator wouldn’t have helped. 
The mother stands 6ft away-- proper social distancing-- and watches her son. Close enough to see him suffer, but not close enough to hold her baby boy. Time was running out: hypovolemic shock and hypoxia starts to set in as VQ mismatch causes tremendous amount of stress to his cardiac tissue. Which will fail first? Lack of oxygen to the brain? Or will he be too tired to draw the next breath? Will he go into cardiac arrest? 
He dies. Alone. The body is taken by the government. It wasn’t until later that evening that the body was release…