Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: May 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sanctification: The Flowing Water

Ephesians 5:26a - "That He might sanctify her; cleansing her by the washing of the water of the word,..."
I found this Bible verse today as I opened my morning devotion book. It was so timely for my post! This verse has pretty much everything I wrote about in my previous post - sanctification, cleansing, washing, and the water. Here is my interesting finding: many people identify the word 'sanctify' with 'to make holy', which is quite accurate based on its etymology (I won't get into the details on etymology today) but how exactly are you being sanctified, or being made holy? Only God is holy. So then, can you imitate God? Would you try harder to be a little bit holier today? Until when are we going to strive to be good, to be better? 

The truth is man cannot save himself. Watch my video in the previous post, and soon we'd come to a simple realization: there's a powerful dispensing of God as Living Water. Our being will be spontaneously, inwardly cleansed and transformed by our opening and receiving of the mighty flowing Water. How do we receive the Living Water? Let's talk about that another time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sanctification: Inflow and Outflow

This is the continuation of my post entitled "The Axiom: Man is a Vessel," how man has tried to fill himself with variety of content, to fill the vacuum within, the thirst and hunger deep inside. You may call this: every man's pursuit of happiness. But such endeavor has left us with a condition of a senseless contradiction. Man is filled, but not with the right content. Thus man has become full but still thirsting.

I made a video, which illustrates the process of thorough washing/cleansing by receiving the continuous dispensing of flowing water. The Bible claims that God has gone through a process to become so available to us. The God who dwells in the unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16) now has become the Living Water (John 4:14). This is the gushing up Water, ready to fill and to overflow. Many Christians talk about sanctification or renewing. These are big words, not easy to grasp though profound in their meanings. To me, the practical application of these big words is as simple as the illustration below.


(click here for Part 2)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

Wow, life is busy! I'm trying to make a video for my next post so that'll take a while. I'm currently doing a blogging project. It's not that easy to create a walkthrough for how to start blogging. Anyone who knows the best way how, let me know please. 

And then next week is a break from the routine! Hopefully it'll be a real break for me. ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Axiom: Man is a Vessel

Blaise Pascal talked about man having a God-shaped vacuum (click here to see Pascal's quote). So let's consider this for a moment. The proposed axiom: man is a vessel or a container. I'd like to deliberate a thought process based on this axiom.

First, based on that axiom, just like any other container, by default, man existed empty. This makes sense because we all have experienced how human being always longs to be satisfied, to be fulfilled, or I should say, to be filled with something.

Second, due to this sense of emptiness, man thus has tried to fill himself with education, relationships, entertainment, reputation, money, you name it. Nevertheless, the thirst, the hunger pang, the emptiness would return again and again. Seriously, isn't that our experience? Not knowing what exactly we're meant to contain, we become restless, trapped in a cycle of a senseless contradiction. We're like misused vessels, filled with things that just don't match with what we really are inside. In other words, we think a new car will make us happy but within a month after the purchase, we'd start rethinking if that new car is really what we want or need.

The dirt-filled glass above, is that who we are? Grossness is not the main problem here, what's really troubling is actually the apparent misuse of the container.

(to be continued, click here for The Process)

Friday, May 13, 2011

A True Worship (Part 2)

worship anywhere
Continuing from A True Worship (Part 1). Christians associate worship with a 'worship time' and a 'worship place' but the Bible qualifies 'worship' with 'in spirit and truthfulness'; this is the 'worship' that the Father seeks. John 4:23-24 transcend allotted time and physical space. Here, 'in spirit' refers to man's innermost part, which was created to contact God as Spirit. Meanwhile, 'in truthfulness' refers to the divine reality that corresponds with man's genuineness and sincerity, which is the Person of Christ Himself (Col. 2:17). 

So here what I gather so far: worship involves (1) a coming forward to kiss, (2) in spirit, and (3) in truthfulness. That being said, you can worship God in your spirit anywhere, anytime, in any outward form. You can be walking down the street, you can be sitting down, you can be lying down, you can be brushing your teeth, etc. In other words, 'worship' is not just an act but a living. And since it is mentioned in the context of a sinful woman drinking of the Living Water in John 4, 'worship' here does not imply mere fear and reverence of God but it is to contact God with our spirit in truthfulness, to drink of the Living Water. How refreshing and supplying!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A True Worship (Part 1)

"For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything." - G. K. Chesterton (an English writer who is famously known as 'the prince of paradox')
gospel of john
 A Codex on the Gospel of John
προσκυνέω (proskyneō) is a Greek word, which means 'to worship'. This is one of the words that is translated 'to worship' in the English New Testament of the Bible. Now if we break down the literal translation for this word, we have:

προσ + κυνέω = pros +  kyneō = (in English) toward + 'to kiss' 

The majority believes that this word is derived from an ancient Persian practice recorded by Herodotus, which involved something like "kissing the ground in the direction of the one I reverence or give obeisance to". So 'to worship' here implies not doing something for someone but prostrating oneself to a revered, superior being. 

John 4:23 intrigues me since it mentions concerning the Father seeks those who worship Him in spirit and truthfulness (or, reality). It's not that hard to physically bow down to the ground and give obeisance to someone. Many in history have prostrated themselves before God. Not to belittle this practice at all but the fact that the Father is seeking for those who worship in spirit and truthfulness implies somewhat of an unfulfilled longing, at least existing at the time the Lord Jesus spoke this word. I believe this longing still holds true in the present. (Click here for A True Worship (Part 2))

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Eternity in Man's Heart

Today let's observe history. Did you know that human civilizations throughout the ages left tons of records or remnants of some type of spiritual worship?

The ancient Greece left us with the Acropolis built over 2,500 years ago, with the Parthenon still standing today. There's a multitude of pagodas in the Far East. The Mayans were also deeply religious, there stand their temples in southern Mexico and northern part of Central America. We also have hieroglyphics showing how ancient Egypt perceived spiritual worship. The list continues! But at the end of the day, we can simply acknowledge that apparently, it is human to need God. Actually, within human there has been a longing for eternity.

human shaped vacuum

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
- Blaise Pascal (a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and philosopher)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Been sick for a while now...

Po was sick, so I guess I got it from her.
Turned on the Vicks Vaporizer.
Bought a new box of tissues.
Drank gallons of hot liquids.
Just waiting to get better.
But the weather isn't cooperating.
The wind blows the pollen everywhere.
Spent my days at home, slowly recovering. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - Reigning by Being Ruled

reigning

Continuing from Conversations with Mrs. L - A Turmoil in My Church Life, so she listened through the whole thing, which I expounded in tears. Then I asked her, "Mrs. L, I'm very grieved with the decision that they made. I feel like I should tell them more information so that they would have a better view on the matter." She smiled. She grabbed her own left arm and showed it to me, "Katherine, if the left arm is hurting, do you tell the other arm that it's hurting or do you tell the head?" I was taken back. I knew... that she knew... that I knew the answer. As Christians, as the Body of Christ, we only have one Head. Our Head is Christ. In other words, Mrs. L asked me to pray and to pour out all my heartaches to the Head. It dawned on me, I had been living in a world where everything needed to be verbalized or voiced out lest things would not get done the right way. Well, let's say things would not get done according to my expectations. I forgot... that I'm not the Lord, that the best I could do was just to let Him be the Lord. Also, when the Lord put those who are more mature than me to take the lead, I have no ground to rebel, even to revolt in an inward way.

I learned two more lessons. One, eventually as time went by, I realized my short-sightedness. The fellowship was actually thorough and carried out in much wisdom. Two, as a young person, I need to learn to live a life under authority before the Lord. You know, Mrs. L is small in stature - and that day, she spoke to me concerning a hidden, submissive life before the Lord -yet I felt like she was so big and her words were filled with real authority.

This may sound foreign to some but I had encountered and witnessed a profound fact: reigning by being ruled. What a contrast to our assertive behavior, our confidence to claim our rights and to put out our views!