Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: February 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Cures to Depression and Anxiety (Part 1 of 2)

No, I'm not a doctor but have you heard sometimes people say that "the best doctor is the patient herself?" Oh well, maybe that's not a popular notion after all.

Let me then put it this way: I realize that I should be careful here addressing the matter of depression and anxiety since obviously I'm not an expert, who can medically help anybody in that sense.

However, I must say that due to the simple fact that we all live in a convoluted cosmos, a complex system of living in the world, we're all bound to suffer from some extent of depression and anxiety. I'm making tons of generalization since I'm simply referring to the overall condition of human race. Mrs. L's husband once said, "Anxiety is the totality of the natural human life."

So the easiest way to talk about all these is for me to share with you what happened this past week. Yes, I was a basket case indeed.

I was reading Psalm 90:10 - how our years are short and transient; if because of strength we could live another 10 years, our pride in those years would just be more labor and sorrow. Labor and sorrow were the exact two words that characterized my week.

Things happened. I got more added pressure at work. I was restless within due to family issues. I was disappointed with other things that did not work out the way I'd like them to be. My comfort zone was no more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Knowing Our Conscience (Part 2 of 2)

The Education of Our Conscience


The Holy Bible
There needs to be the acquirement of the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah through our reading, studying, enjoying, and experiencing His Word in the Bible. How we need to be reconstituted with and by the Word of God. How we need to read the Bible and being educated in God's language.

Now that I consider more, if all the consciences (if there's a plural form of the word) on this earth are properly functioning, we would not need any human government. Everyone would behave. There would be peace and order everywhere we turn our head, but that is not the case today - is it?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Knowing Our Conscience (Part 1 of 2)

Few days ago I was having a fellowship with my Christian companions. We got into this matter of "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience" (Hebrews 10:22). One of them brought up the etymology of the word, "conscience". So I decided to do some homework on it.

The Etymology of Conscience

The Latin word for "conscience" is conscientia. The preposition com-/con- means "with" or "thoroughly," meanwhile scientia means "knowledge" or "knowledge acquired by a study." So literally, the word "conscience" means "with knowledge."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Singing the Word of God

Have you all heard about sing-reading?

Sing-reading is simply singing the Word of God. 
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God." (Colossians 3:16)
It's quite simple, so I'm going to do a little demo here.

My little disclaimer: I'm neither a singer nor a songwriter, the point is to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Just make up your own tune and sing the Word of God with grace in your hearts to God.

Here we go! This is sing-reading Psalm 84:4-5.
"Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will yet be praising You. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion."
(If you can't upload the video, click here: http://youtu.be/DoUvom1iocY)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Secret of Secrets - Until I Went into the Sanctuary of God

secret of secrets

A lot of times, this is my case. My faith would anchor me into trusting in His perfect heart toward us, that He is always right, that His purpose can never be thwarted. Yet many questions would still linger:

Why does my family have to pass through these complex sufferings? Why did one of my relatives die young? Why can my parents be successful in their business? Why do they have to always end up in such a dire situation?

Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then I perceived the secret of secrets. I became clear once I entered into this realm, the realm of my spirit and the church. Just like in the Holy Place mentioned in the Old Testament, within our spirit and in the church, there is the shining of the golden lampstand with the seven burning lamps of fire, of which the fuel (i.e., the olive oil) is God Himself. I learned that the secret of secrets is God's eternal purpose, His heart's desire, His arrangement to work out His heart's desire, and thus, which path we should take for the journey before us based on this purpose of God. He strips His seekers from the temporal, earthly, physical blessings so that we will not be distracted from the absolute enjoyment of God.

When I see this secret more clearly, I cannot help but utter these words to God:
"Whom do I have in heaven but You? And besides You there is nothing I desire on earth. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:25-26) 
"But as for me, drawing near to God is good for me; I have made the Lord Jehovah my refuge, that I may declare all Your works." (Psalm 73:28)
The seemingly suffering psalmist in Psalm 73 went into the sanctuary and there was a revolutionary turning point, from a troublesome sight to a deep appreciation of God Himself as the rock of his heart and his portion forever. I felt like this became my experience as well. I'm slowly seeing that God is my portion and that there is no place for another kind of enjoyment.

I confess that I have not attained, yet by seeing, I am gradually entering into the experience of enjoying God as my ultimate portion. May the Lord continue to lead us to see the particular perception in the sanctuary of God, the secret of secrets.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Secret of Secrets - Why Bad Things Happen to Christians?

secret of bad things happen to Christians
"Certain secrets in the Bible were not made known to us until we came into the twofold sanctuary - our spirit as the personal sanctuary and the church as the corporate sanctuary."
This morning, I was struck by this sentence from my morning devotional book. The statement refers to chapter 73 of the Book of Psalms, beginning from verse 16 until the end of the chapter. The psalmist was faced with a dilemma. He began the psalm by saying, "Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart." But then it became a "troublesome task" in his sight to understand why the wicked could live so prosperously while he, a genuine God-seeker, suffered.
"When I considered this in order to understand it, it was a troublesome task in my sight, until I went into the sanctuary of God..." (Psalm 73:16-17)
This is not a mere doctrine or theory. I believe most of us have the same question. Why do bad things happen to good people? Or more specifically, why did God strip Job from all his material possessions, including his own family and friends? Why do Christians suffer while others lavishly live their lives? Job acknowledged that although he knew God's purpose was always right, he did not understand what was hidden in God's heart regarding all of his sufferings,
"I know that You can do all things, 
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.  
Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?  
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,  
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." (Job 42:2-3)
Please read the continuation of this post: Secret of Secrets - Until I Went into the Sanctuary of God.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spiritual Revival and Restoration

spiritual revival

When I hear the word "spiritual revival," I immediately think of a big Christian movement involving a large congregation of some sort. These words come to mind: dynamic, animated, exuberant, explosive, extraordinary, and so on. Being revived definitely means "being made alive." Well, I have experienced "being made alive," everyone. I don't know about you but as a God-seeker, sometimes I would come to the point of feeling dry and numb within. I mean outwardly, I would still read the Bible, pray, fellowship with other Christians, serve in the church, shepherd others, but inwardly, I would have this sense of numbness that's rather difficult to describe. Strange, right?

That happened to me recently. I did not know exactly why such feeling lodged in my heart since I was actively participating in different spiritual activities, church services, you name it. I tried to ignore the way I felt inside, but as time went by, the feeling accentuated. Until one morning, I came across chapter 80 of the Book of Psalms, and I read verse 3:
"Turn us again, O God, and cause Thy face to shine, and we will be saved."
I had to deliberately sit in my chair and stop all of my activities. I realized that I longed for a restoration. I wanted to be restored to the joy of His salvation, to be saved from my dullness. I sat before the Lord. With my whole heart, I prayed that verse, word for word, to Him. Guess what, my entire inner being was truly restored and revived.

Today I read Psalm 80 again. In several versions of the Holy Bible, including NIV and ESV, the phrase "turn us again" is actually translated "restore us." Then I came to a realization what had happened to me before. No matter how involved I was outwardly with spiritual activities, my inward being was turned away from God. I did not give Him the preeminence in my being. I forgot that He did not care for the outward things. I forgot that He's a living Person inside of me. It was like doing things that I thought would please Him, without ever personally asking Him what He really wanted. 

The last three verses of Psalm 80 read:
"Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,  
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.  
Then we shall not turn back from You;  
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.  
O LORD God of hosts, restore us;  
Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved."
Christ is the man of God's right hand (see Acts 2:32-33). When we give Christ the preeminence in our being, we shall not turn back from God. When we exalt Christ, we will be revived, restored, and saved. Lord Jesus, You are at the right hand of God. You have the preeminence in my private life, family life, and church life.