I’m really not lovable. A top recent celebrity news is that Demi Moore was hospitalized for inhaling laughing gas on Jan 23. Reports of her being depressed, not eating, losing weight, began surfacing since she announced her intention to divorce her husband Asthon Kutcher because of his infidelity after 6 years of marriage. She is 49. He is 34. After their separation she said, “What scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not lovable, that I’m not worthy of being loved. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.” What sad words! She echoes correctly that man is sinful (Rom 3:10-12,23). But she does not know of a love that is greater than all our sins. Continue reading →
Greatness and Shame. Joe Paterno (1926-2012) died yesterday. No one can take away his greatness as a head football coach of Penn State for 46 years. No one is likely to ever surpass what he achieved at one university. Yet, 2 months before he died, he was “dishonorably” fired, because of an ongoing sex scandal involving one of his assistant coaches who is presently being investigated for sexually abusing at least 8 boys over 15 years. As a result, Paterno’s name will be forever associated not just with “great coach,” but also with “being fired” and “sex scandal.” As a result, though Paterno died of lung cancer, some say that he died of a broken heart. In Paterno’s own words, he acknowledged that with hindsight he did not do enough.
Real happiness. As I have been studying the little letter of Philippians, it is quite fascinating to me that Paul was truly such a genuinely happy man. He knows a peace that is beyond knowing, a peace that passes understanding, and he comprehends a peace that is beyond comprehension (Phil 4:7). He is truly content (not complacent), regardless of his circumstances (Phil 4:11-13). He has a joy that is not forced, and that is bubbling and overflowing (Phil 4:4). He experiences all of this “real” peace, contentment and joy while he is in prison! How is this possible?
If you intend to go and see The Descendants do not read this, for it contains movie spoilers. It won the Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture drama, though “Moneyball” and “The Help” were also excellent movies. George Clooney also deservedly won Best Actor for his lead role in the movie. My last movie review was The Social Network, which was about how Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook.
This post is my 2012 reflection and prayer for myself and for my local church community: West Loop UBF Church. We had prayed that 2010 may be a year of the Gospel and that 2011 may be a year of Grace, in order for us to renew the limitless grace of Jesus in our own hearts, and not suffer from CFS: Christian Fatigue Syndrome! For 2012 I thought it appropriate to pray that it may be the year of Sanctification. (This sounds really scary, especially for me!) As I began reading and reflecting on sanctification this year, I felt that perfectionism was a real enemy of sanctification.
What is sanctification? Continue reading →
Let me first explain to those who are not living in the U.S. and who are not fans of the NFL (National Football League), because you may not know who Tim Tebow is. Tebow is one of the biggest stories in the NFL at present, especially after a spectacular overtime win against the highly favored Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. This game has been called one of the most remarkable performances by an athlete and one of the most remarkable finishes to any game in sports history.
To those who have not heard of him, Tebow is the quaterback of the Denver Broncos, and he is perhaps the most well known Christian in the U.S. today because he always professes his faith publicly whenever he scores a touchdown and whenever he speaks. (At the time of this writing he has over 800,000 followers on Twitter and over 1.3 million subscribers on Facebook.) After a score, he would bow on one knee in prayer, which has been nick-named “Tebowing.” After every game, whenever he is interviewed he always says, “First I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” Continue reading →
During the holiday break, I did a lot of reading, praying and thinking. I happened to come across a preacher named Eric Ludy and the Ellerslie Church. After watching hours of his sermons, I have both inspiration and questions. I’d like to hear our reader’s thoughts and reactions. This is a follow-up to the last mid-week question on Different ways to present the gospel.
Continue reading →
Today, my friend Henry Asega gave the first sermon at West Loop UBF Church for 2012 and read what has been called “a Zimbabwe Covenant.” I was moved and touched by it. Read it slowly, thoughtfully and reflectively below:
“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die is cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus. I will not look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.