afternoonsnoozebutton:

A pastor in Seoul, South Korea has created a “baby box” for people so that people who would otherwise abandon or kill their newborns can leave them somewhere safe instead. The box has a light, a towel lining, and a bell rings as soon as a baby is placed in it so the pastor, his wife, or one of his staff can come and get it right away.

Lee Jong-rak started the box in 2009, and has welcomed all babies, often disabled or the children of single mothers, that have been placed in the box since. The babies are given a loving home, food, and shelter in his orphanage. Currently, an average of 17-18 babies are placed in the box every month. 

One mother who had considered poisoning her baby before she heard about the Baby Box left her baby in the box with a letter pinned to his clothing that read: 

‘My baby! Mom is so sorry.
I am so sorry to make this decision.
My son! I hope you to meet great parents,
And I am very very sorry.
I don’t deserve to say a word.
sorry, sorry, and I love you my son.
Mom loves you more than anything else.
I leave you here because I don’t know who your father is.
I used to think about something bad but I guess this box is safer for you.
That’s why I decided to leave you here.
My son, Please forgive me.’

- ‘A single mother’s tearful letter’

Lee Jong-rak is the subject of a documentary called “The Drop Box”, which I haven’t seen - but I can recommend this 13 minute Dateline video. You can find the Facebook page for the BabyBox here.

Gospel and Social Justice

For the glory of God to shine through, it isn’t simply reliant on self works. In other words, its not just social justice, but social justice and the gospel. You must in all things, listen and be guided by the holy spirit! Did you know, in the Scriptures, poverty is mentioned about 2100 times? We are definitely called to give and minister to the poor, even though within the church there isn’t a huge emphasis on it.

In John 1:12, it states that we are children of God. This means we are not simply just servants but of God’s Family!! This differentiates us in the sense we work and serve not out of duty, but love. Its like the insider vs. the outsider! We are connected to one another! As well, this also means that we get our energy from the Lord. We serve in our sphere of influence and it should not be a burden, but a natural flow of our lives in Him. 

Some points to keep in mind are that in this field, you will naturally find yourself living a life of humility, heeding to the gentle and apparent voice and presence of the Holy Spirit. You will be transformed through the process as well too! 

To do God’s work, is a struggle. Its an inner battle of the heart to relinquish the reigns of control, and to depend FULLY on Him, and not on your own abilities and skills. Its natural to let Jesus, be the Living Word in your heart. When He has become real, apparent and solidly present in your life, your actions will revolve around that! Its very genuine! 

Lets go to the basics. The word gospel, in Greek, also means evangel, evangelist etc. It means god + spell (aka story). It is the origin of God’s story, and in that we know about how he sent His Son to die on a cross for all the sin in the world, for all the people. In that, it is like God’s grace to us, and can be seen as the purpose of justice and good deeds. 

It also reminds me of the differentiation between justice and righteousness. They are typically put together or mentioned in conjunction, as to also put in similarity God’s standards and his fairness. As he is fair, we should also be fair to the people around us too :) Justice can be seen as the reward or penalty for something that has happened and the quality of being righteous. 

We are called to love our God, and to love our neighbours. In that, Shalom, the word defines the peace that is communicated among people, relationships and with God. Here are some encouraging verses. I challenge you, that as you look at these verses, try to define the action verbs! Dig to the depth of what the verse is saying :)

- Deut 15:11, Luke 4:18-19,

- Psalm 68:10, Acts 2:45

- Isaiah 25:4, Galatians 2:10

- Isaiah 58:6-7, James 1:27

- Micah 6:8, 2 Tim 3:16-17. 

In witnessing and testifying to others, to bring together the good deeds and good news, is good relationships between you and the person, and you and God. With bringing the gospel to people, it will require lots of witnesses and people. Its a community effort and each person has an important role. When one person steps forward, humbles themselves and builds a strong relationship with a non-believer, through the extra-mile help and work, these will leave a lasting and meaningful impact on their lives. They do soon believe :) 

All in all, remember, it is not just by your own abilities and works that they are brought through, but by the work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives and hearts. Don’t burden yourself with the thought that you have to accomplish all these large goals by yourself! He is by your side and He will guide you, to become and do what he truly intended for you to do. Blessings :)

The Gospel is so much more wonderful and powerful than we ever dare imagine

I was at an amazing, culture shaping, gospel centered retreat this past weekend. One great study and sermon given by one of the speakers takes a look at - Acts 3:1-12a! Please enjoy and take a read!

The Gospel drives us and we have resources for all. For the beggar, he lost hope and as he expected little from the passerby, he received the greatest gift of life. There are 3 points we should keep in mind. 

1. We expect little from the gospel, under-utilizing its power.

We often look to other things to satisfy us. We are people who aren’t just satisfied with our lives. As example, students will take exams for the courses they are taken. What does an exam test? Concepts, ideas and they are measures of our knowledge. Sometimes, they can be a measure of our worth and ability to define what was learned. They can, at times control and drive us in negative and positive ways. 

To be satisfied, we look for it in wealth, approval, identity, relationships, people, jobs or pride. It is believed that through these things, we have meaning! In our lives, we want to be helpful, to do something beneficial and contribute. Often times, we look back and don’t think the work we’re doing is enough. 

But have hope, as the power of the gospel can break through that. Remember to preach the gospel to yourself, daily! We are not defined by our identities in the world (which are that of status and recognition) but rather, in Christ. As children of God, we are called to a bigger purpose - radically different from the world. 

2. You can’t not praise and witness without releasing that joy of the gospel.

In Acts, the beggar was doing exactly that! In v.11, he CLUNG to Peter and John as his life was forever changed. From the spark and curiosity of the crowd, Peter took that opportunity to preach to the crowd. 2000 men came to believe, and as we believe in the Gospel, it’ll drive us to missions. From personal experiences and the reality of the Gospel in your life, you will want to naturally sacrifice and share that joy that you have with others.

In Acts 4:3, the Jewish came to Peter and John in trial as to  intimidate and to the crowd’s surprise, the beggar was also standing with them. They were bearing testimony, willing to sacrifice all and be persecuted together. Fortunately, they were released but even through that test, they stood strong. 

In your life, you might deal with financial, emotional/relational, physical issues and struggles in your walk with Christ. But remember, count them joys and blessings. Continue to encourage your brothers and sisters (Hebrews 3:12)

3. We think that this is just a miracle - however - it isn’t just physical, but spiritual too.

The beggar was a cripple, and this is like a sin or alienation. The community would isolate those who were sick and diseased as they believed God was punishing them for their sins. From the healing, he nows shows restoration in both the physical and spiritual body and soul. 

Because of sin, our relationship with God is broken. This miracle is a sign that, the Kingdom of God is here. Here on earth. Available to all. Jesus came back to restore all, to redeem the world from sin and to restore. He is using the church, his body to bring that renewal. Cultural renewal. 

In all things, give your best to God in all you do, as we are called, may our lives reflect his glory and majesty. His blood is sufficient for you and me. I ask you, are you in different ways, actively pursuing the welfare  of others and neighbours? Life is full of risks, but expect great things from God. Take them, as you are in Him, having nothing to fear. You have nothing to prove about yourself to the world as nothing can take your inheritance away from your faith. Stay strong and be encouraged!

Acts 3:6-10. 

Acts 3:6-10. 

Just put aside the next 2 mins, 54 seconds of your life, and watch this video as Matt Chandler encourages you and your faith. Powerful message on forgiveness.

Try placing “I or my” instead of “They or Their”.
It makes this verse, such a personal statement.

Try placing “I or my” instead of “They or Their”.

It makes this verse, such a personal statement.

Have a blessed day, dear brothers and sisters! He has risen!

Do you ever find yourself taking control over a situation out of fear or insecurity that the given opportunity may leave? I’ll admit, I do it time to time. Maybe not in an obvious way sometimes, but when I reflect back afterwards, I can see my fingerprints all over a situation rather than God’s mighty hands.
Sometimes surrendering my feelings, worries, and fear just gets me even more anxious. What if God doesn’t have a good plan for me? What if I have to lose something in my life? What if I have to take on these extra responsibilities and endure more suffering? We often find ourselves saying the “What if’s” – a phrase which shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary! It’s a sign for me when I catch myself muttering it, to step back, and remind myself about whom I am referring to. Why should I doubt  in God’s perfect and splendid plan? Who am I to say my ideas and plans are better than his vast knowledge of all things – from which HE created and brought to life. He LOVES US and wants us to rest in the comfort of knowing that he is continuously in control even when a situation may seem out of our hands. In all things, submit your situations and troubles into his hands as you give him the reins from your hands. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3:5-6

Do you ever find yourself taking control over a situation out of fear or insecurity that the given opportunity may leave? I’ll admit, I do it time to time. Maybe not in an obvious way sometimes, but when I reflect back afterwards, I can see my fingerprints all over a situation rather than God’s mighty hands.

Sometimes surrendering my feelings, worries, and fear just gets me even more anxious. What if God doesn’t have a good plan for me? What if I have to lose something in my life? What if I have to take on these extra responsibilities and endure more suffering? We often find ourselves saying the “What if’s” – a phrase which shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary! It’s a sign for me when I catch myself muttering it, to step back, and remind myself about whom I am referring to. Why should I doubt  in God’s perfect and splendid plan? Who am I to say my ideas and plans are better than his vast knowledge of all things – from which HE created and brought to life. He LOVES US and wants us to rest in the comfort of knowing that he is continuously in control even when a situation may seem out of our hands. In all things, submit your situations and troubles into his hands as you give him the reins from your hands. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

- Proverbs 3:5-6

(Source: simplyheavenlyfood)

As I sat around this bonfire with other brothers and sisters in Christ, it reminded me about how much god desires us. How much he desires to be in a relationship with us and to fellowship with us as often as possible. He really does want all of us, and everything in our lives. 

As I sat around this bonfire with other brothers and sisters in Christ, it reminded me about how much god desires us. How much he desires to be in a relationship with us and to fellowship with us as often as possible. He really does want all of us, and everything in our lives. 

'Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'
- John 8:32

'Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'

- John 8:32

Father, I’d love for you to engrave these words into my heart. I pray that you continue to renew my soul daily, for I am needing rest. My mind is buzzing with the worries of my day but in you, I have faith in your plans. Thank you so much for everything that you have done in my life, and all the countless blessings I have. They are abundant and rich with the joy you still continue to place in my soul. I am so thankful to know, and be often reminded of my identity in Christ - may I continue to lift that up daily. For in your loving and caring arms, I find rest, Thank you for this wonderful day you have given me to continue to seek you and your face - and may I press on to know the depths of your heart. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.

Father, I’d love for you to engrave these words into my heart. I pray that you continue to renew my soul daily, for I am needing rest. My mind is buzzing with the worries of my day but in you, I have faith in your plans. Thank you so much for everything that you have done in my life, and all the countless blessings I have. They are abundant and rich with the joy you still continue to place in my soul. I am so thankful to know, and be often reminded of my identity in Christ - may I continue to lift that up daily. For in your loving and caring arms, I find rest, Thank you for this wonderful day you have given me to continue to seek you and your face - and may I press on to know the depths of your heart. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 
- 1 John 3:1 

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 

- 1 John 3:1 

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."        - James 4:10
So many times, I have caught myself being boastful and prideful about my own accomplishments and what I have been doing. I want to remind myself, that ultimately all good things, gifts and blessings come from God and are not of my own doing. Let us all remind ourselves to not bring attention to ourselves and our ways, but bring light and glory to His kingdom and His wonderful ways. To those who act humble, with a peaceful heart and who hope in the Lord, He will lift continue to renew  their hearts (Psalm 51:10) and give them strength (Isaiah 40:31).

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."        - James 4:10

So many times, I have caught myself being boastful and prideful about my own accomplishments and what I have been doing. I want to remind myself, that ultimately all good things, gifts and blessings come from God and are not of my own doing. Let us all remind ourselves to not bring attention to ourselves and our ways, but bring light and glory to His kingdom and His wonderful ways. To those who act humble, with a peaceful heart and who hope in the Lord, He will lift continue to renew  their hearts (Psalm 51:10) and give them strength (Isaiah 40:31).