Sunday, February 19, 2012

...we do not lose heart...

 I've been a bit busy lately (see attached pictures for proof :) And no, I don't dress like this every day, but I feel like it's part of putting on my "armor."  Can you tell I'm really, really trying to make a point here? (all photos taken by LTS student Zo Hming. Thanks Zo Hming!)
-- Prison ministry last weekend. We are doing a baptism class and may be having an upcoming baptism. Here's a situation I never learned about in seminary: some of the guys who want to be baptized were already baptized once, but it "didn't mean anything" and... this seriously bothers a couple of them ... they do 
 not have a certificate.  So we'll be doing a baptism for some of them and an "affirmation of baptism" for some others.  And everyone will get certificates, although we'll try and make the point that it's what GOD does through water and the Word which matters, not who pours the water or how much water we use (no immersion baptisms allowed in prison) or the certificates, (or lack thereof!)

Recently read this quote in Christianity Today:

"For too long, we've called unbelievers to 'invite Jesus into your life.' Jesus doesn't want to be in your life. Your life's a wreck. Jesus calls you into his life."  -- Russell D. Moore

 I love that quote!  Because as a Christian, I hate the thought that anyone would think I would even THINK of asking someone to be more like me, or more like us Christians.  Yuck!  But to teach about becoming more fully human, like Jesus was fully human... that's interesting and exciting, and something worth talking about.
Last Sunday I preached at the Truth Church in Ma On Shan. Afterwards, I got to help give communion to three elderly women living in an "senior home".  Folks, these were the tiniest rooms I've ever seen, and furnishings were sparse, to say the least.  The food I saw being ladled out for lunch was, literally, gray.

But things were clean. And the three women were delighted to receive our company.  And they prayed the Lord's Prayer with gusto. (In Chinese of course!)  What a privilege!

Wednesday I preached in seminary chapel, which is always intimidating enough to remind me that I worry WAY too much about what others will think of me.

And Wednesday and Friday night I had my CANTONESE classes (yes, folks, I'm studying Chinese again, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  Why I put myself through this I do not know, but maybe, maybe when I told those three elderly women I was happy to meet them and I said it in their language, maybe that meant something to them.)

I hope so. 
"Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart." -- St. Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4:1

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