What if today was my last (as a parent)?

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I tucked my son into bed last night, as I usually do. But as I returned to my room, I felt that there was something heavy on his heart that he may want to talk about, so I returned to spend a bit more time with him. I’ve learnt that there are times when it’s those quiet moments before sleeping that children do spend time thinking about ‘big questions’ and some of our most meaningful heart-to-heart talks happen at that time (though it at first seems like a mighty inconvenience to parents).

So I lay down next to him, wondering how to get him to share with me.

“I was thinking… if you and mummy die, we’d have no one…”, he said.

Unlike Barney, I didn’t have a happy, chirpy, positive response for him. I just hugged him and we both let our tears find their way down our cheeks.

It is true, isn’t it? If my wife and I die, who would be there for them? Maybe they’ll be sent to welfare services to be fostered into other homes. I don’t have the confidence that the assembly or assembly members would ‘adopt’ guardianship over my children. Who would want them, all four of them? What would happen? Would they be separated? Would they be abused? Would they be able to cycle and play together? Would they be able to sing and play together anymore? Would they be abandoned? Will there be any more joy? Their lives will never be the same again. What would happen?

There seemed to be a little disappointment in him that I didn’t have a near immediate answer. This one required a lot of sensitivity… without sacrificing reality.

I finally answered, “Son, you’re right. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We can’t be sure of where we will be. But that doesn’t mean we have to be afraid. We believe in the Lord Jesus, and He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. What ever happens, good or bad, we believe and trust that He is preparing us for it. He is able to, He has, and will, take care of us. The bible also says, ‘Cast your worries upon Him, for He cares for you’, so yes, I’m as worried as you are, but lets tell it to God coz He cares for us. And if you believe in Jesus, and I believe in Jesus as our Saviour, if we are separated by death, we’ll meet again and never be separated again.

Wasn’t the best reply, but it was the best I could muster. Good enough to get a kiss from my son. We prayed and cast this issue before Him, coz He cares.

As we hugged each other to sleep a different thought went through my mind, one that is the actual point of this narrative – as a parent, if I knew that today was the last day with my child, what would I do differently? Would I nag or scold as much? Would I shoo them away for asking me, “what is Monday?” Would I be as annoyed by how slow they eat? Would I kiss, hug and play with them more? Would I be more patient? Would I take the time to go for a walk with them?

What if today was my last day as a parent?

P/S: As I drifted to sleep, the Lord laid this verse on my heart, and it gave me some confidence.

Philippians 1:21-25. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.

My master was so very poor

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1. My master was so very poor,
A manger was His cradling place;
So very rich my master was
Kings came from far to gain His grace.

2. My master was so very poor,
And with the poor He broke the bread;
So very rich my master was
That multitudes by Him were fed.

3. My master was so very poor,
They nailed Him naked to a cross;
So very rich my master was
He gave His all and knew no loss.

– Harry Lee

Jesus Satisfies – and that is a lie…

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Now, that must be the boldest blog post title i’ve posted yet.

The story below is one that never fails to stir me…

I was having meetings in a church in San Jose, California, some years ago. One night the leader announced that a certain young lady would sing a solo. She was very beautiful, and had a carefully-trained, well-modulated voice, and sang very nicely. The title of the song was, “Jesus Satisfies.” I was quite moved by it myself, and hoped others were. At the close of the meeting I asked any anxious ones to meet me at the front or to remain in their seats. I noticed a young woman sitting by herself, and so I went down to speak with her. I said, ‘Are you anxious about your soul?”

She looked at me and said, “Well, yes and no. I was anxious; I came to this meeting with the thought that I would like to become a Christian, but if ever I become a Christian I want to be a different one from Miss So-and-So,” and she gave the name of the young lady who had sung the solo.

“Oh,” I said, “you are acquainted with the young lady?”

“Oh, yes.”

“But you don’t like her particularly?”

“Oh,” she said, “she is my best friend.”

“But what do you mean, then?”

“Well,” she said, “it is just this. I believe a Christian ought to live a different life from a worldling. I am a worldling, and I do not profess to be anything else. I have been trying to find satisfaction in the world; I confess I have never found it, but my friend, Miss So-and-So, got up and sang, ‘Jesus Satisfies,’ and that is a lie; He doesn’t satisfy her. She professes to be a Christian, and she often tells me I ought to be a Christian, but when I go to the theater I always find her there, when I go to the ball I find her there, when I go to play cards she is there, when I go into anything of the world, she is always there. What difference is there between her and myself? The only difference I can see is that she professes to have something which I do not profess to possess, but it does not do anything for her. Her life is just like mine.” – HA Ironside

It scares me to think of how many souls have I may have turned away from Christ because of my unseparated lives.

How do you feel after reading that story?

His doom is sure

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The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
– A Mighty Fortress is our God, Martin Luther

What victory! We ought to be living in the light of this don’t you think ?

Dare us preach the wrong gospel?

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Sometimes, it just feels easier to tell people about God’s love, and how kindly He is, and how much He wants to bless them and heal them and make them happy in life.

Let’s just skip telling people about righteousness, judgement and repentance – it makes people uncomfortable and not want to come to church.

Let’s just have them think that they can be saved, if they would just follow Jesus. No need to teach that they need to confess sins and repent of their offenses toward God.

The danger is…

I believe there will be lots of church-going for a little while after the rapture of God’s people; those left behind will be crowding into the churches as never before. I think I see the Rev. Mr. Smooth-things standing in his pulpit, with pale, wan face. He looks at scores of parishioners he hasn’t seen for many years and thinks to himself, “Now, I have to explain to these people. I have been telling them for twenty years that this talk of the second coming is false.” People who believed in the second coming were looked on as idiotic ranters who didn’t know what they were talking about. I think I hear mutterings down in the congregation: “We trusted our souls to you. You had been to the colleges, seminaries, and universities, and read a whole library of books. We believed you when you told us the old idea of salvation by the blood of Christ was all worn out and that we could save ourselves by culture. We believed you when you said Christ’s second coming was only a fantastic notion. Now explain this to us. – H.A Ironside – Commentary on Revelation 6.

 

So, let us get back to the faithful preaching of the gospel – whatever the cost.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes… Rom 1:16

Worship

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“But in worship — considered in and by itself, in the proper significance of the act — we lose sight of ourselves and our blessings, and are occupied with what God is in Himself, and what He is for us as revealed in Christ.” – E.Dennet (emphasis mine)

He will come for us

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A little iPad artwork I did with the kids.

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1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

What a hope. What a blessed hope!