Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

The future is full of hope and dream for this little boy. I wonder if he is waiting for his future bride?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. -The Bible (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)  We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

There is a Chinese saying, you can be full by drinking water if you have love. See the almost empty water bottle behind this couple?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

As I stumbled upon these two benches in a forsaken village @HK, there and then aroused in me a sadness to this neglect. It is not just that I can’t sit on them anymore, but it caused me to reflect upon my own brokenness and neglect. No matter it is the eye glasses I sat on or a conflicting relationship. Once it is broken, it will never be the same but the good news is- it can be restored. How can you mend a broken heart? With the unconditional love of Jesus!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing

I ‘ve just finished preaching two sermons yesterday on ministry as worship and service. One of the minor points is the second greatest commandment given by Jesus in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I am trying to practice what I preached to love myself, so I finally cut up this precious grapefruit which I have been saving for the right moment to savor. After taking this photo, I am enjoying its refreshing taste. Yes, indeed refreshing, satisfying in body, mind and spirit!

10 minutes later… REFRESHED!!!

Label and Love

by Judi Chow

Americans tends to be adventurous, creative, and fun. I was with a group of American pastors and missionaries not long ago. The topic of praying for the nations came up. Someone in the group suggested looking at the labels in our clothes and praying for that country. Immediately, everyone around the dining table reached over to the next person, grabbed them by the collar and checked for the label. A label identifies a country, but a person can also be labeled just as I did at the very beginning with Americans.

One of my favorite author Max Lucado, in his book, A Gentle Thunder: Hearing God through the Storm also talked about labeling. He explained why we label,“It’s easier to talk about a person than to help a person. It’s easier to debate homosexuality than to be a friend to a gay person. It’s easier to discuss divorce than to help the divorced. It’s easier to argue abortion than to support an orphanage. It’s easier to complain about the welfare system than to help the poor. It’s easier to label than to love.” (p158)

Missionaries have been labeled as the “poor missionary.”  That’s why people have sent used tea bags and old clothes to missionaries. (Translation: Oh, they cannot afford anything new.)
Missionaries are self-sacrificial. (Translation: They are on call 24-7.)
Missionaries are studious. (Translation: They are old-fashioned.)
Missionaries are spiritual. (Translation: They have a direct line to God.)

Labels can be good or bad; either way it puts people in a box where we judge them by their outward appearance through our filters. Jesus has set an example for us when He looked beyond the surface of Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary, Martha, Peter, Thomas, you, and me! Yes, it is easier to label than to love, but Christ calls us to love before labeling.

Honor and Glory

by Judi Chow

The Olympics has come and gone. I watched athletes as they tried to make that one perfect performance for which they have been trained all their lives. Why? They’ve been told to go for the gold, to bring honor to themselves and glory to their country. No matter what event it is, one slip of the hand, one shuffle of the feet, one misalignment of the body, and one can be dropped from the gold to no medal. I watched athletes proudly gazing at their country’s flag rising as they stood erect at the winners’ stand after receiving their medals. That is the moment of honor and glory as the gold, silver, or bronze medals were awarded.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (I Cor. 9:25)

Well, besides that crowning moment of honor and glory, besides the medals, besides the perishable crown, what else does the Olympic athletes hope for? Sporting goods companies signing them on to be their spokesperson, commercial contracts, interviews, ultimately fame and fortune. That’s the payoff they are hoping for from years of discipline and hard work. The shooting stars shine brightly but for a moment, after a few months how many of us will remember them?

What is the incentive for us to pursue the imperishable crown of glory that cannot be seen nor touched during this lifetime? It seems so far away, so intangible, so… dare I say, useless! I am sorry to say we are human beings who are bound by this physical world, attracted by the finer things in life, and fueled by the praise of men. That still small voice seems so distant, so faint, and so hard to hear! Yet, if we stop, pause long enough to listen… our Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something great in three simple words. “I… LOVE… YOU!” He is not far away. He is empowering us as we try to reflect His glory and tell of His love. He encourages and comforts us when we are weak and weary. He is cheering us on and ensuring us with promises such as “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

His constant abiding is the reason for us to run in such a way so as to win that race. The material things in this world can please our senses momentarily, but only the spiritual fellowship in Christ can truly satisfy our soul! That imperishable crown will be given to us when we meet Him face to face as His way of saying, “Good job, my son, I am proud of you, my daughter.” I look forward to THAT moment of honor and glory.