I remember how I felt after discovering the gospel of Christ. It felt like tons of weights had just been lifted off my shoulders and that I don’t have to live aimlessly for my selfish desires anymore. My insecurity — my constant inability measure up to everyone’s expectations, including God, was nailed to the cross as Christ finished the work that I could never do (Colossians 2:14, Romans 8:2-4). Then I realized how the gospel is not only a beautiful narrative, but more importantly it has the power to change every fiber of all our being (Romans 1:16).
The experience was quite distinguishable from the moments after reading great stories, watching inspirational movies, or listening to brilliant soundtracks. Unique from those entertainments, my whole life was changed not because I decided to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a music track; not because of my doing, but His. And what was it that He did? He gave me grace — the grace to know Him, the Maker of the whole universe, the One who formed me and the days that are ahead, the One who is eternal and is sovereign over everything. I was given a precious gift of knowing God Himself and enjoying Him. This led to many hours spent studying the Bible, which was a delight.
An issue recently arises as a Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast gets adapted into a live-action movie. In the new adaptation, a character is introduced as “Disney’s first gay character.” A lot of questions then come up regarding how Christians should respond to it. Should we boycott the movie? Will it be okay to see it? Should I rebuke my fellow friends who decide to see it?
Firstly, something should be made clear — the Beauty and the Beast is not the first movie that includes values contrary to the Scripture; many are playing in the theaters and spread around the internet for everyone to see. A better question to ask might be: How should Christians watch movies?
I have been pondering over this question for quite a while. I myself love movies, more than most people perhaps. I am mainly fascinated by the amount of efforts the filmmakers put in order to turn their visions into a reality — birthing visual spectacles followed by melodies playing out harmoniously throughout the movie, stirring up the hearts of the audience. Personally, watching movies has been a special moment where I can appreciate the works of various people who each has a unique story to tell. Continue reading
In Mark 5, Jesus worked wondrous things before a large group of people. Described in the passage are three miracles: the casting out of demons (v. 13), the healing of “a woman who had had a blood discharge for twelve years” (v. 25), and the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter (v. 41). Despite the different nature of each wonder — one showing Christ’s authority over evil spirits, the other showing Christ healing a diseased person, and the pinnacle of all these wonders, bringing someone back to life — there’s one common thing that we can find in the text; the three key characters who witnessed these miracles fell down before Christ.
When it hurts, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the lingering pain. Hope seems so distant; if any, the only glimmer of hope is of a hypothetical reality when the pain goes away and life goes on like a normal day. Truth be told, it is hard to focus on anything but ourselves as we try to define the hurt that alienates and fills up the mind with a strange kind of juice. We may think we are the exception — that we’re the most miserable person walking on the planet. But we are not the exception — everyone has been there as well. Maybe not to the point where everything is identical, but everyone has their own share of the same breed of pain. Like the problem of sin incessantly trying to penetrate our skin, going deep into our hearts, we’ve all been there. There is none but one exception, Jesus Christ. Continue reading
This is a short contemplative text written in form of a prayer. Inspired by writings about singleness especially from a Christian perspective (I wrote this the day after Valentines Day so there were quite some!), I decided to publish it as a personal reminder and hopefully, you will benefit from it as well. Continue reading
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
I recently realized the huge need of memorizing the Scripture. Not so that I can be someone like the guy Denzel Washington plays who is able to recite the whole Bible, but rather to simply be reminded of the truth in the midst of constant distractions in this fast-paced world. Paul himself says that we should take the Word seriously, which is part of the armor of God as he put it (Ephesians 6:17), that we may be guarded from the evil one (Ephesians 6:13). And these couple of weeks, I have been been reading articles and listening to messages that encourage Christians to start memorizing the Scripture. Continue reading