Monthly Archives: November 2015

This is not a day care. This is a university!

I came across this blog today and initially I was confused. Did someone really complain to the President of a University that they are victims, because of a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13? Looks like intolerance is reaching new highs (or new lows).

This is from the blog http://www.okwu.edu/blog/2015/11/this-is-not-a-day-care-its-a-university/

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

Dr.  Everett Piper, President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

This is not a day care. This is a university!

Supposedly a joke, but…

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard, when suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing and stopped, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After several hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate, the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.

Bumper Sticker

What more?

As I was struggling with sin, it was very difficult for me to come into the presence of the LORD to seek His guidance. I was pulled in all the directions. Though many times I had dedicated my whole self – my soul, my spirit, my body and my mind – to God, I fell back into sin.

Of course, I did have my own excuses for falling into sin. “I am falling into sin, because my flesh is used to that. Once my flesh is crucified with Christ, sin shall have no dominion over me.” Except, I had crucified my flesh with Christ innumerable times.

In between, I had this trouble: am I waging a lonely battle that I am certain to lose? Will I lose my redemption? As I was struggling with these thoughts, I came across this Christian classic: “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners” by John Bunyan.https://i0.wp.com/www.allyoucanbooks.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/book_cover_medium/ebook-cover/Grace-Abounding-to-the-Chief-of-Sinners-by-John-Bunyan.jpg (If you want a free copy of this book, click on the book cover on the left or here.)

I was surprised to find that one of the great Christian saints had to struggle so much with sin and that I am not alone in this struggle. Most importantly, it is not a battle I am meant to lose.

Meanwhile, I was getting warnings from my preachers and every one who knew me and who knew my struggle with sin. Shockingly, the more warning I received, the hardened became my heart. That scared me a lot. Why am I not scared of the punishment I was going to get? Why is my heart so hardened?

As the internal struggle went on and on, the less time I spent on reading the Bible. But one day, I finally took the Bible and started reading. And I was so sure that the LORD is going to speak to me through His Word and reprimand me for my stubbornness.

God did speak to me through His Word, but surely not in the way I was expecting. HE spoke to me through the first part of Isaiah 5:4.

What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? (MKJV)

In those words, I didn’t hear the commanding and booming voice of our LORD. But I heard the plaintive voice of Jesus as He cried, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”… “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

I heard Jesus asking in a plaintive voice, “What more could I do for you?”

I didn’t sense any rebuke in that voice… instead I saw the grace that was in His eyes when He looked on Peter after he denied Christ thrice (Luke 22:61).

And that love and mercy, the grace and the pain in that voice, broke my heart. With no second thoughts, I left that sin then and there and moved on.

For, what more could Jesus do for me? HE endured so much suffering for me. HE died for me. HE gave His life for me. HE even shed His last drop of blood for me. And, HE is still interceding for me. What more could Jesus do for me?

And whenever temptation comes across my way, my soul asks only one question: what more could Jesus do for me?

https://i1.wp.com/img08.deviantart.net/5533/i/2009/238/a/3/eli__eli__lama_sabachthani_by_christians.jpg

A message from God through a child

Yesterday, I was very down as I was battling with depression. This whole week, I was suffering both physically as well as spiritually. Though there were moments of freedom, they were few and rare. It has been a while since I had such trouble with depression and hence had forgotten how stifling it could be.

If you had suffered from depression, you know what I mean. The thoughts keep spiralling from one mistake to another and it just kept bringing me down and down. Finally I didn’t even had the strength to say a small prayer; but in all these, our LORD God is Love and He does not change. HE never leaves us nor forsakes us.

By yesterday afternoon, I was feeling very down and physically I was feeling very weak. But my 30-months old niece, Irene Charlotte, insisted on playing with me and, I guess, she has a Irenebottle of Boost every hour as she is a bundle of energy. Obviously I could not keep up with her.

Suddenly she realized that I was not myself and looked at me intently and said, “Uncle, you know that Jesus is praying for you, right?” and went back to playing as before. Needless to say, those words, that Jesus is praying for me, shook me and soon, I was out of my depression.

Yes, dear friend. In our depression, we may feel as if we are left alone and are forsaken in this world. But Jesus never leaves us. God never forgets us. Our LORD is mindful of our troubles and our Saviour is interceding for you and for me, even at this very moment.

May the grace of our LORD be with us. Amen.

Who am I going to be? Chief Butler… in His time

And in the vine were three branches. And it was as if it budded, and its blossom shot up. And the clusters of it brought forth ripe grapes. – Genesis 40:10 (MKJV)

Who am I going to be? The chief butler or the chief baker?

Not only in his dream, the chief butler saw a vine before him; he also saw that the vine had three branches. It was as if budded, then its blossom shot up and finally the clusters brought forth ripe grapes.

Of course, it was a dream and hence all these would have happened very fast. But there is something in that dream – the sequence in which everything happened. First a vine had to bud, then blossom and finally give forth to ripe grapes and it happened in the dream in the very same sequence.

When we keep Jesus Christ, the True Vine, before our eyes, we expect miracles to happen right away. While there is nothing wrong in that, we need to wait for the appointed time the LORD has for each thing to happen. Our LORD makes everything beautiful in His time.

Sometimes, we need deliverance right away. We know the time we have in hand is very short. But we see that the LORD is working slowly, through process, not realizing the hurry we are in. That is, in a way, pride in us acting out. The LORD knows better than us – all the time.

So, let us trust in our LORD Jesus Christ. And let us trust in His timing too.

Ecc 3_11

Psalm 32:1

Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalm 32_1

Isaiah 8:17

I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob.
I will put my trust in him.
Isaiah 8_17

Psalm 25:5

Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

Psalm 25_5

Psalm 124:6

Blessed be the LORD, Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.

Psalm 124_6

Who am I going to be – Chief butler??? Hopefully so

Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me.” – Genesis 40:9 (NKJV)

Who am I going to be? The chief baker or the chief butler?

According to his dream, the chief baker relied on his works to be redeemed before his king. But the chief butler had a slightly different dream. In his dream, he saw a vine before him.

As I come in to the presence of the most Holy God, do I come in, trusting in my works? Or do I have the True Vine, Jesus Christ, before me? There is no other way to enter in to the presence of our Father in Heaven. Only through Jesus.

I may be suffering a lot. I may be persecuted for my beliefs. Or I may have become a mighty prayer warrior. Whatever be, none of these must be before me, when I come to the King of kings. Just the True Vine, Jesus Christ, Himself. Only through Him, I receive pardon for my sins; I am cleansed and declared righteous. Only through Him, I have become a child of God. Only through Jesus Christ, the True Vine. 

John 15_1