Archive by Author | Being Isaac

Speaking to the Spiritually Blind

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other.  “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks Isaac H for submitting another great post- this one speaking on his personal journey on reaching people in a radical way. God may not call all of us to live in such a radical fashion, but may we all be willing to step out how He wants us to when He wants. 

glassesHave you ever had God ask you to do something really crazy? Like really crazy?? I did. I know not everyone can believe my story because it is unusual, but I feel as long as I follow after God and do what He ask me to do, then I not have to worry what other people think.

I had been fasting and praying for several days when God speak to me. He told me, “I want you to take out your contact lens and not wear any glasses for six month.”  I ask why He want me do this. He say, “When the people ask you why you not wear the glasses, you will tell them they are spiritually blind. You will tell them they need to get ready. The Lord is coming back soon.” I said, “I not can tell them this. They all will think I have lose the mind!” But God said, “You can.”

I decide to ask my mentor in America what he think about this. Does God ever ask him to do very strange thing like this. He said, God never have ask him to do this kind of thing, but if need confirmation to do maybe ask my pastor. He always teach me it is important to be under authority of your pastor.

So I ask my pastor and my pastor tell me God have already let him know that He would ask me to do some strange things that not many people have see before.  My pastor marked the calendar on his ipad and made me take out my contact lenses that same night!

I was afraid going home that night. It was hard to see. It was hard to read the signs. The familiar path suddenly seem very unfamiliar. The coming days were all very challenging to me. It was hard to see, it was hard to walk, and it was hard to read the emotion on people’s faces. But mostly, it was hard because the message I have to share. Almost every day someone notice I not see too well and ask me why I not wear the glasses. Because so many people notice, almost every day I have to give the message of be spiritually blind; the message to get ready.

I think this message would be very hard to give anywhere, but is especially hard to give in my country. In my country is so important not to lose the face, not to cause someone else lose the face, and to give face and save face. So people here is not too direct. We say things in very subtle way. This message God give me is so direct. It is a very hard message to give.  So every day I deal with the rejection. I meet the scorn. My direct message is cause them and me all to lose the face. And it make me sound very crazy. Almost every reaction I get is negative. People really think I have lose the mind. I can understand this reaction, but is still hard to take when it happen so much.

walking caneBut two time now, I have see the grace of God work through this message! One was a young woman I meet on way to lunch meeting. I was try to read the sign, but struggle because not can see. This young woman see me struggle and she read the sign for me. I quickly go the direction I need, but then she say why you not wear glasses? So I have to tell her God’s message. I was frustrated from all the rejection and I was frustrated from not seeing and I was frustrated because be late to the meeting so when I tell her, it was not in very nice way, it was in frustrated way I bark at her “You all are spiritually blind!” I was already expect her negative reaction and start to walk away. Thank God, He can still speak to people even when the messenger is so unfit! She surprise me by asking, “What do you mean?” So I say you need to get ready. She say, “get ready for what?” My tone is much softer now and I say, “You need to get ready for God. He is coming back soon.” She say, “What God is coming back soon?” So I tell her about Jesus. And eventually I tell her where my church is and when we have service. I was amazed when the coming Sunday she show up! In just a few services she was receive His spirit and get baptize in His name! She is now regular attending our church! Praise the Lord. This young woman have no idea what joy she bring to my spirit when she decide to give her life to Jesus! Every rejection was worth it for this one soul to come to know Him!!

Now, I have meet another person through this message God give me. This time I was on the street and I fell down because I could not see the step. So many people just walk by and not care I am hurt, but finally an old grandma came to help me. She ask me why I not wear the glasses. I tell her because God told me not to. She say, “What God tell you this?” I say, “Jesus”. She say, “You are the Christian then?” I say yes. And she ask me, “Why would God tell you not to wear the glasses if it mean you are going to hurt yourself?” I say to her, “So that I would have the opportunity to speak to you.” And I talk to her about God and gave her the information to our church.

This old grandma has come to the church for five times now! The first few service she just sit there. She doesn’t seem to listen to the sermon at all. She doesn’t seem to be interested at all. I not can see her respond to God at all, but she keep coming. This past week when she came, I saw her sing the worship song. It was not much, but it was MUCH! I saw her start to respond. I am praying she will continue respond and she will get baptized and commit herself to be a Christian and be saved!!

It is not easy to give God’s message. It is not easy to be rejected. But it is worth it! It is better to please God than try to please people. Every soul is so precious to God. God love every soul and not want see one perish. So many soul in my country is lost. They are in bondage to enemy and not even know it! They need Jesus.

If God ask you to do something, do not be afraid to do. He will give you strength and courage to do it. He will help you. You will find even if it is hard, it will be worth it for the Kingdom.

Isaac H lives in Taiwan and loves playing with his daughter while living for Christ with all he has.

Published with the permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 
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Being Isaac: StephenWhoElse “Cracked Pots”

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other.  “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks StephenWhoElse for submitting another great post reflecting on how it is HIM and not US. 

pots1

I just concluded 4 days at my church’s annual Vacation Bible Camp for children. During one of the sessions, the children were asked a simple question – “What is preventing you from being used by God?”

The answers were varied but typically along the lines of “I am afraid of being laughed at”, “I am afraid of being scolded.”, “I do not know how to”. Clearly there is a lack of confidence in the children – a lack of confidence in themselves. I suspect that if I were to pose the same question to a group of adults I will get similar answers too.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  

Let’s be clear – we should be confident in the ability of our loving Father God instead of having a lack of confidence in our abilities.

Paul reminds us that the Light of God has been placed in our hearts and now we can shine with confidence because it is not our light, but His.

Yes, we do have our faults, we make mistakes. During the camp, the worship team occasionally missed a few notes, forgot some words and messed up the actions. During the teaching sessions, I messed up my notes and the game I planned turned a little chaotic. Some of us got tshirts with the wrong size! Nothing done by human hands will be perfect. But that’s not the point.

We are fragile clay jars, cracked and chipped even though we contain the great treasure of the Light of God. But it’s precisely because we are cracked that the light can be seen through the cracks. God designed us with cracks so that His grace can be seen- so that we cannot boast of our abilities.

Friends, do not fret about your “imperfections” or lack of abilities. We are designed by God for His purpose and to do His work. Each one of us are designed for a special role that nobody else in this world of 7 billion people can do. If you shy away from carrying out what you are called to do – someone out there will miss out on hearing that special message you were meant to say to them. Someone out there will miss out on the interaction they were supposed to have with you.

And you will miss out on the opportunity to transform a life because you were not there when you were supposed to.

StephenWhoElse is a Sunday School Teacher and in his spare time he has a secular and less interesting job. He endeavors to write only what He reveals to him and gives all glory to God! See the original post at http://10seventeen.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/cracked-pots/ 

Published with the permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Being Isaac: A Buddhist turns to Jesus

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other.  “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks Isaac H for submitting this great post that shares your personal story with all our readers! 

I was born and raised Buddhist in the country of Taiwan. English is not my native language so forgive me for how terrible is my English. Growing up I never expect I would become the Christian. This never cross my mind. As a child I was taught worship idol. We had idols in my home and we went to temple and worship idols there. We had a lot of fear to make the gods upset or to dishonor ancestor and make them become hungry ghost. In my country we believe if you not worship ancestor after they died and give them sacrifice of food and money, they will become the hungry ghost and bring the misfortune to your life.

buddah1But I thank God that He sought to rescue me from this bondage of idol worship and fear. One day God send me a dream. The dream was to go to America. I did not know this was God send me this dream, but because the dream I decide apply to the school in Boston. I did not know this would changing my whole life. When I was there I met Rebekah L. She showed me what is love of Jesus. She show me not have to live in fear or superstition. It take me a very long time to believe Jesus. I did not reject Him, but I was afraid to leave my old tradition behind. Rebekah L did not give up on me and she continue to pray for my soul. I thank God!

cross1When I graduated from school I went back home to Taiwan. The family problem and the old life try to keep me from believe Jesus. But Jesus would not give up on me. He keep reaching for me. My family did not want me to become the Christian. They fought very hard to keep me in the old tradition. They are afraid when they die they will be the hungry ghost because if I’m Christian I not will worship them or burn the paper money for them. But I know that God is real. There is only one God! He came as a man, Jesus. He die on the cross for my sin. He raise again and we have opportunity and gift to eternal life if we believe Him and follow to Him! I will never worship idol again. I will only worship ONE True God.

It can be hard to be a Christian in this country, but it is worth every struggle. God has never leave me. I know He will never give up on me. I know my life’s purpose now is to worship Him, to live for Him, and to reach the lost sheeps in my country for Him. Please pray for my country Taiwan. Please pray for my people. They are spiritually blind. They not can see the truth. The truth is Jesus die not just for American, Jesus die for Taiwanese too. Who has God call you to reach? We all are called to be the witness. Let’s reach the world for HIM!

Isaac H lives in Taiwan and loves playing with his daughter while living for Christ with all he has.

Published with the permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

 

Being Isaac: StephenWhoElse “Surrender in Victory”

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks StephenWhoElse for sharing this great post about giving God the reigns of our lives! 

handprintOkay, let’s do a quick poll! Raise your hand if you believe God has good plans for you! Great, now raise your hand if you believe that God cares about all aspects of your life, big or small. Fantastic! Now, raise your hand if you are unhappy with your job, financial status or the current state of your life.

Whoa, wait a minute. That’s a pretty obvious contradiction isn’t it? How can a loving, well meaning God put our lives in such a mess? Is it a mess? By whose standard? Ours or God’s? We have not read the last page in the story of our lives so I guess we don’t know how it turns out do we?

If you, like me,  grew up watching movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars (the original trilogy, not the prequels!), you’ll see that the good guy never has an easy mission. They get thwarted, tricked, ambushed, beaten up, lose an arm, fall into snake pits but in the end guess what happens? The good guy always wins :-)

The story of our lives are still being played out and God, our sovereign God, has the final act already planned and we – the good guys – will win! Amen!

That’s well and good of course, but for those of us going through trials the suffering is very real, and painful. And not something we can brush aside with some feel-good words. Do we then reject these trials? What ought to be our attitude towards our struggles?

As Job said – shall we accept good from God but not trouble? (Job 2:10)

surrender

Even in the midst of our most painful moments, we can trust God. But know this : if we want God to steer us out of this mess we are in, we’ve got to handover the steering wheel to Him.. Only by surrendering our lives to God can we emerge from our trials in victory.

Let’s learn to trust Him by truly letting go and not try to “help out” by trying to do things ourselves. God does not need our help – He wants our trust and our surrender.

Father, thank you for your grace and love. Teach us to listen and give us the courage to obey what we hear. And help us to trust you in whatever situation we are going through. You have gone through whatever we can possibly face, and you understand what we are going through. Because of that we know you will help us go through it. Thank you Lord. Amen

StephenWhoElse is a Sunday School Teacher and in his spare time he has a secular and less interesting job. He endeavors to write only what He reveals to him and gives all glory to God! See the original post at http://10seventeen.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/surrender-in-victory/
Published with the permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Being Isaac: Joshua T “This Little Light of Mine”

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other.  “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks Joshua T for submitting this great, original post that challenges us all to shine for Him! 

candleWhen I was little at church, we sang a particular song. You might remember hearing it when you were a child. It is called ‘This Little Light of Mine.’ Although it’s a children song, it still contains things to teach adults. Mark 4:21-22 says, ‘And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.’

If you won the lottery, would you walk around and not tell anyone? Would you keep it to yourself or would you tell everyone about it? The same principle applies to Christianity. If you were saved from eternal death by Jesus’ blood, would you act like nothing is different and never share His free gift with anyone? Or would you leap with joy and proclaim to the world what God has done for you?

Many people are afraid to spread the Gospel. They are afraid of what people will think of them or of what their friends will say. I always recall this verse when I think of people that are afraid of being called a Christian. Mark 8:38 says, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

We have no reason to care what other people think of us. Just look at Jesus’ life. When He came to earth to pay for our sins, He was beaten, spit upon, and called many  names but He still loved them all.

Even on the cross, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:34)

Jesus loves us so much that He would die the most painful way imaginable for people that have sinned against Him. Think about that for a second. God, the creator of the universe, cared enough about you and wanted you to spend eternity in heaven with Him that He sent His ONLY son to die on the cross with your sins on His back.

Could you imagine having to give up your only child to save someone else? I can’t imagine the love that God must feel for us to have Jesus pay the ultimate price in my place. Jesus paid our debt.

We were bought with a price: Jesus’ blood. Therefore we are not our own. Romans 14:8 says, ‘For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.’

Nothing can make God hate you enough to not accept you into His family as a Child of God. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. (John 1:12)

We owe all we are to God, yet we act as if we can do what ever we want because it is our life. It is not. If you asked American, they would tell you to do what ever you wanted. Forget about the consequences. Who do you have to answer to? The answer to that is God.  James 4:12 reads, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

Bavarian Village on foggy Winter Day, Sun behind Mist

We must remember that God is our Judge and He will judge us. He will bring everything to light. Our lies, our sins, our mess-ups will all be judged, but there is the good news. Because Jesus died for our sins, we can be pardoned. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

Many think that their sins are too bad or severe that they can not be saved. But the Bible says differently. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ It is important  to remember that even though you have sinned, as long as you have received Christ into your heart, your sins are gone. They are not there anymore.  Psalms 103:12 confirms this, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

Will you be the light in the darkness?

Joshua T is a graphic designer in training who is seeking to glorify God in everything he does. He enjoys listening to music, such as Thousand Foot Krutch, KJ-52, and Relient K. Joshua also appreciates hanging out with his friends, and writing sermons for his bloghttp://flameministries.wordpress.com/.

Published with the permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

 

Being Isaac: Letting Our Light Shine

Editor’s Note: we are starting a guest spot called “Being Isaac” in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Our friend, Isaac S., has so kindly contributed this post as food for thought.

I’m new to the NYC area and one of the churches I’ve been checking out had this as the message recently. They’ve been doing a series on James and this time one of the focus verses was 1:27. Here it is quoted in the Amplified.

External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.

While it’s true we are saved by grace and not by works, the Bible supports us letting our light shine through the good works we can do. One thing I like about this church is their involvement in the community. Every month they have a free breakfast in a poorer neighborhood and it’s a great opportunity to let Jesus been seen through us.

The following Saturday I got up bright and early at 7:00 so I could try to be there before 8:00. The serving didn’t start until 9:00 but there was plenty of setup and preparation involved. The turnout from the church was about 25 people so all the cooking and serving stations were occupied. I ended up being one of the door greeters to the community room. This involved lots of smiles, playing with the kids who wanted our attention, and chatting with a couple of the girls who also ended up as door greeters.

Everyone who came through seemed happy to see us. By the end we had served a breakfast record of over 180 people! Toward the end the pastor came over to us to share this note a lady had given him. $5 was enclosed and she said her son loves coming here because it’s the best restaurant ever!!! It was pretty moving to read that and know we had such a direct and positive impact on them.

I don’t know if this is the church I’ll end up going to on a permanent basis. They are kinda far away and my beliefs might not line up totally with them. But helping them out with reaching the community feels good for the soul and lets our light shine just a little brighter.

Isaac S.

 If you are a male passionately pursuing Christ, we are accepting submissions at beingrebekah@outlook.com