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A Christmas Carol December 22, 2007

Posted by peterong in Reflections.
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A Christmas Carol

By Christina Rosetti (1830-1894)

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

 

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prayers in the midst of absence… December 11, 2007

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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A few days after giving a talk at Youth With A Mission, I got an email from my good friend Chris about this shooting and it has brought me to share in their tears and loss of those lost in this senseless shooting. Please pray for the community and the family…this echoes so much these past years as we hear more and more deaths from shootings…

Here is the New York Times article about this.

Abandoned English Chapels, Mahalo, Hairdresser Evangelists, Tummy Rumbling, and “Can God be Trusted?” December 6, 2007

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Had a tough day trying to organize my fundraising plan for the upcoming ministry year and was falling behind on some meetings. I prepared my talk to students attending Youth With A Mission’s (YWAM) Discipleship Training School. I rushed out of work and was blasted with cold and remembered how my good friend Amy was blessed to do missions in Hawaii and it was my way of dedicating this time to an organization that blessed her. I was invited by Tom and Valerie, staff workers with YWAM New York, to offer some time to share my testimony with this group of students. I confess I was distracted and in some ways wanted to work on some prepping for the rest of the week. As the students started walking in, with their knit caps, scarves, gloves and their “Christmas” mugs, I saw their heart to give 6 months of their young lives to minster to this city in which I love. As I introduced myself, I found out there was a girl from Swizerland, some folks from the west coast, a girl from England, a Canadian (I know, God even loves Canadians…calm down, it is just a joke), a girl from Hawaii’s Big Island and this one girl who was from a tiny obscure town in Texas. (more…)

Powerless December 3, 2007

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Rants.
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Here is my semi-weekly blog on some rants and things that came across. I got a “boycott” emails forwarded from a  “Christian” activists named Dr. Bryan Cutshall (who is he?) It was to address the atheist agenda that Golden Compass seem to be promoting. The the email mandates us with this bold statement:

“THIS IS A MOVIE THAT WE MUST PROTEST AND OPPOSE AS CHRISTIANS.”

It has been confirmed by snopes dot com that the upcoming movie “The Golden Compass” is a vision by the author to promote atheism for kids. It is also making its waves on youtube with calls to boycott the movie. Although I agree that we should be mindful of thematic and some dangerous overtones of films for children but as adults I think we can discern and make sound observations without being in danger of becoming an atheist.

Is this the whole Christian vision and mission to boycott a movie? Is that where our energies are to draft up letters so that we can feel protected by such sinister (yes I am being sarcastic) forces out there as a film with a white polar bear. Yet, we don’t really feel too empassioned when we watch films promoting violence, adultery or greed. Those we are fine with…because it stars our favorite stars from People magazine.

And we wonder why a city who sees our Christianity and conclude by saying we are “powerless.” Yet, when we look at the poverty in our own neighborhoods, the sex trafficking in our business districts, genocide in Sudan, and/or our overlooking of the violence in our poor communities. We don’t forward those call for our action.

I often say that being Christian is like being a Star Trek fan. The source materials is pretty amazing but the people who love it are a bit strange and you don’t really want to be associated with them. These “boycott” emails makes me question much is this about Jesus or the gospel but rather, when we are honest it is about our superiority. Our desperate clinging to be on the “winning” team. We love Focus on (not Jesus but) the Family ministries because they can help us find the next thing we can blame for our moral decline in our society.

Pastor Ro preached on the ministry of grace yesterday and I am haunted again. He reminded us that our greatest gift we have to give to the world is Christ and it is the distinct power of the gospel to show grace. To take our faith so seriously that we are willing to do more than push a “forward” button on our email’s but to move us to availing ourselves with possibly dying for others.

I receive another email about how Christians should not be doing Yoga from this article but I am too tired to go into it…or rather, it is not worth going into…there are so much more important things…no?