Monday, 27 June 2011
Here are the five things that are common between you and a pencil…
1. A Pencil Has PurposeGod made a pencil to make its mark in this world. Early on, it must establish its purpose—it’s not a backscratcher, or a toy that you twirl around your finger, or a can opener, or (sorry for the grossness) an ear cleaner…
If a pencil diverts its purpose, it will destroy its very existence. It you use it for something else, it will endanger its life. The pencil gets broken and you won’t be able to write anymore.
In the same way, you need to establish your purpose. You can’t be distracted, or you endanger your very existence. You must be focused on one thing. What is your one thing?
I don’t know about you, but I like to be with people of purpose. Who know their one thing. Because they are focused on one thing, they are excellent people. They move with direction.
I ask you again: What’s your one thing?
2. A Pencil Has PriorityThe inside of a pencil is more important than the outside of the pencil. Because the insides are connected to its purpose. On the outside, it could be have dirt, have bite marks, have chipped paint, but that doesn’t matter as long as its insides are working.
Like the pencil, your purpose is connected to what’s inside you, not what’s outside you.
What am I saying? Your money or your house or your car or your watch or your cell phone won’t make you happy. It’s what’s inside you that will make you happy.
The Divine imprint is in you. Inside you is the image and likeness of God. The Bible says “Christ dwells in you.” (Colossians 1:27) and that you are the “Temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Value what’s in you more than what’s outside you!
3. A Pencil Needs PainA pencil has to go through painful sharpening if it’s to be useful. If it doesn’t go through pain, it won’t be able to fulfill its purpose.
In the same way, you need to prepare yourself to go through painful sharpening—if you want God to use you. You will go through trials to test you, teach you, and train you to be better than you were before.
Look back into your life.
There must be a reason why you went through what you went through. There’s a reason why you went through that molestation, that separation, that abortion, that deprivation, isolation, that temptation, that purgation, that tribulation…
I was molested as a child. I will not wish it on my worst enemy. Yet I am able to speak words of healing today because of the pain that I went through.
4. A Pencil Needs PerseveranceIf it makes a mistake, the pencil doesn’t give up. Why? Because it knows it has an eraser. The pencil simply erases its mistakes, and moves on. It doesn’t beat itself and condemn itself and say, “Oh, I’m so terrible. Why did I make a mistake? I’m a total failure.” No such words. When it makes a mistake, it simply erases and moves on.
In the same way, when you make a mistake, God gave you an eraser. It’s the most powerful eraser in the world. It’s called forgiveness.
God forgives you. And asks you to forgive yourself. And asks you to forgive others.
Use your eraser everyday!
5. A Pencil Needs PowerA pencil left by itself cannot fulfill its purpose. Because its power doesn’t come from itself but from the hand that holds it. For the pencil to make its mark in the world, it needs to allow someone’s hand to hold it.
In the same way, you need to allow God’s hand to hold you so you can fulfill your sacred purpose.
Are you allowing God’s hand to hold you, direct you, and use you now?
Friend, let God hold you now.
May your dreams come true,
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
The house churches in Henan never pray for a change of government, but rather they pray God would save the souls of the lost in China! In fact, many Chinese Christians pray persecution will continue in China, because they are afraid if life becomes easy and their faith does not cost as much, the church will get lazy and fall asleep. They pray their attitude will be one that embraces suffering as a gift from the Lord. With that attitude, they are willing to go the extra mile, and there is nothing evil men or the world can do to them.
Brother Shui lived in Fangcheng County in southern Henan Province. During the Cultural Revolution, Christians were often forced to parade in public wearing large “dunce” hats, made of heavy bamboo. The people came out to mock and abuse the “criminals” who wore them. When the time came for Brother Shui to be paraded in public, the police were unable to find a spare dunce hat for him, so they made him walk without one. This deeply upset him, because he wanted to bear the reproach of the Lord. Each prisoner’s crimes were written on their hat. For Christians they often wrote, “This person believes in Jesus.” This was meant to be a humiliation, but many believers wore the hat as a badge of honor for their Lord. It was a witness to unbelievers, who could clearly see the peace and joy on the faces of the Christians compared to the other criminals. Brother Shui cried out , “O Lord, why did you forget me?” On the second day a dunce hat was found for Brother Shui, which made him so happy. His face shone with joy and tears welled up in his eyes as he paraded through the streets, now he was considered worthy to fully suffer for the Name of the Lord.
After the ceremony Brother Shui asked the police if he could keep the dunce hat and take it home when he was released from the prison, as a reminder of his “crimes.” The police found this request very strange, but they consented! When he returned to his farm, his neighbors were amazed to see Shui tending his cows and sheep while wearing the dunce hat! For him it was a treasured souvenir of when the Lord allowed him to suffer for the Name of Jesus. His neighbors thought he had lost his mind, and that he was a shameless man. They despised him. But Brother Shui was a man who loved Jesus with all his heart. The government was infuriated when they saw Brother Shui embracing what was meant to be his humiliation. They realized they could do nothing to make him change his ways or renounce his Lord.
The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man.
Brother Shui wholeheartedly served the Lord for the rest of his life until he went to be with Jesus last year, leaving a testimony of courage and faith to many believers.
Bind Man Healed
In 1966, in Nanzhao County (Henan Province), in a small town called Yunyang, one brother also had the experience of wearing a ‘dunce hat’ and being paraded through the streets for the Gospel. This brother was blind and couldn’t see a thing. Everyone knew he had been totally blind for many years. The people came out and beat him on the back and on the front, smearing dirt and rotten things on him, and riled against him. Two guards were placed on either side of him in order to lead him forward. Suddenly this brother began to shout, “Please don’t guide me anymore! I can see! I can see!” God had miraculously opened his eyes right in the midst of his persecution! This brother is still alive today in Nanzhao, and can still see!
Monday, 13 June 2011
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, as vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.
E'er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose it's power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.
William Cowper (1731-1800)
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
About 30+ years ago, in Henan province in China a teenage boy, later to become a mighty evangelist, knelt by his bedside praying for a bible. He had seen his father healed of cancer a few days before when his mother prayed for his healing in the name of Jesus, and he wanted to know who this Jesus was. In those days in China there were no bibles, during the cultural revolution they had all been burnt and all the missionaries expelled, executed or imprisoned. In his small village no one had ever seen one, although some had seen handwritten passages many years before. He began what was to become a 100 day fast as part of his prayer for a bible. He neither ate nor drank all day and just had a bit of rice in the evening. By the end, almost delirious with hunger he had a vision during his prayers where he saw his bible being delivered to him. As he woke from this vision, there was a knock at the door and two men entered and handed him a red bag with his bible inside.
An old evangelist from another part of China, who had suffered terribly for his faith during the cultural revolution, but had managed to successfully hide his bible by burying it in the ground in a can, also had a dream. He had seen the boy’s house, the village he lived in and the province and the Lord told him to send his bible to this boy. He asked two Christian friends to deliver it to him , the ones who knocked on the door 100 days later.