Monday, September 20, 2010

TOTD: Mr. Bean's Church singing vs. the Book of Revelation

Dear Jesus,

It's been a while since I last posted... I didn't want to post an entry without recording another piece of music on soundcloud and thus completing my triple-artsy blogpost.  However, being busy with weddings, and now 2 courses at school plus full-time work etc. it seems like I'll put aside my artsy blog/music/poetry for now and just have regular posts.  But I wanted to praise You for Your answer to prayer from my last post.  Turns out my coworker's friend had a successful surgery and felt great afterwards, so Thank You.

Had a recent conversation with a buddy of mine and I mentioned how I liked going on daytrips and how I relax by reading the book of Revelation, to which he was bewildered and replied, "Why?!"   I gave the reason how I just started reading it backwards one daytrip and stuck to it ever since...but it JUST occurred to me the reason--i want to see Jesus more clearly in the book of Revelation which is comforting by far.  And here is my Christian INFP thought of the day (ie: TOTD):

Watch this Mr. Bean clip
Mr. Bean sings Alleluia at Church

Notice how Mr. Bean doesn't know the melody to the hymn EXCEPT the main "Alleluia" part?  Well I guess, for me reading the book of Revelation is like that.
I may not know what all the weird symbolic imagery is about, but when the main hymn comes about whose Name is Jesus, and I read the sections where He is  exalted and made much of, I sing aloud like Mr. Bean for it makes me want to declare His praise worthy of His kingship and supremacy.  In fact, I'd go so far and say that for me, it's in the midst of the ambiguous imagery described by John's visions that intensifies and makes more clear the supremacy of Christ!  Sort of like being lost, but once you find a familiar landmark or person--you rejoice even more!

Thank You Jesus for revealing Yourself, Amen.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Revelation 2:8-17 + followup prayer

Glory to God / Steve Fee by crashchords

Dear Glorious God,

Praises to Your matchless Name O Sovereign, Creator, God! Nothing surprises You for You know all things even before they happen. You've allowed certain things to happen though we don't understand why. I've just been informed that the couple I was praying for regarding the miscarriage--the wife is having extreme physical pain and is in surgery now. JESUS! You knew pain! You can therefore relate to her suffering--O LORD, with anguish and tears I'm about to say something I've never prayed before and just sounds awful. BLESS HER SUFFERING! Tie in up, wrap it in a bow and use it as a gift for her, that she may in turn give it back to You, with pain in her offering, as she wrestles with You like Jacob didthat she may share in Your sufferings, becoming like You in Your death, that she may then rejoice when Your glory is revealed!  O GOD ALMIGHTY, GLORY TO GOD FOREVER, and have mercy on us.  Use this to reveal Yourself, and to speak to the couple--that the roots of their faith will be entrenched ever deeper in the living water of Christ that can only be found in the gift of suffering that You have allowed us to share.  Strengthen them O LORD, that their reflection of Jesus may shine more brightly as You lead them through this valley of death, they will not fear for You are with them, Your rod and Your staff comforts them.

  • Rev 2:8 -  how You came back to life after You died is beyond me--but it points to Your superiority.  No other god in any religion compares to You.  Not hinduism, nor budhism, nor oprah-ism.  NO!  Jesus Christ alone supreme, preeminent gets all the glory and is the only way, truth and life--no one gets to the Father except through Jesus!
  • 2:9 - this verse reminds me that there will be persecution for the Christians even from those who claim to be Christians but aren't.  Give me an even more refined discernment that I may know the difference immediately and so warn Your sheep when the wolves come.
  • 2:10 - O Jesus, this is a scary verse.  When the last days are here, the devil will test us and You ask us to remain faithful unto death!?  O God, I have to be honest LORD, my first reaction is I don't know if I can.  Yet You gave Your life on the cross, so by Your grace and the Holy Spirit preserving me, I know I can give up my life for You.  In fact LORD, may I live my life now to practice what is to come--by dying to myself, and living as a living sacrifice unto You.  And then You reward us with a "crown of life"--to which I will cast them at Your feet O King of kings!
  • 2:11 - again, the conquering theme and the reward this time is that I won't be hurt by the second death.  Reminds me of how Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego wasn't hurt by the fire because they conquered in a godly teen rebellion that I pray all Christians will have in the coming days.
  • 2:12 - haha the sharp two-edged sword!  You O Jesus are Mighty in Battle!  and Mighty to Save!
  • 2:13 - unlike Peter who denied You, here, You commend this particular church of holding fast to Your Name and not denying Your faith--interesting You would say "deny my faith" instead of "deny my name"--perhaps they're synonyms?
  • 2:14 - the F's in the report card contain things that You hate--idolatry and sexual immorality.  O LORD, forgive me for worshiping self, or sports teams, or wasting time on the Internet or iphone,  rather than spending time in prayer and in Your Word.  
  • 2:16 - The solution of all of our problems--REPENTING!  May my life be one of continual repentance to kill any and all sin.
  • 2:17 - Wow!  to the one who conquers here--You give some of the hidden manna (And since You Jesus are our living Bread, what You're saying is that You give us YOURSELF!), echoing how You fed Moses and Your people in the desert.   Back then You tested them to see if they would obey Your law, and in the future You're doing the same!  Love how we can learn about You from what You did in the past.  And not only that You will give a white stone with my new name written on it that no one else will know...what's up with that?  I guess it reminds me of how You gave Jacob a new name after he wrestled with You and prevailed.  And it does follow a pattern--You Jesus tend to give people new names after they convert.  And why on a white stone?  Symbol to how You are our Rock perhaps?
"Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions." --Exo 16:4

We sheep walked not knowing where He led
But His rod and staff kept us comforted
We complained of hunger and fatigue
So what manna is this we receive?

This bread is unlike any you've ever seen
For it's My flesh--eat it and rest in pastures green
To those who conquer, I will give
Hidden manna--myself, so that you may live

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."--John 6:51

in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Revelation 2:1-7

Holy Holy Holy by crashchords

Dear Holy Holy Holy God,

Praises to Your Name O God Most High.  Open our eyes, ears and hearts that we may see, hear and love Jesus as we ought.  For blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.  My heart is not pure, but because of Christ's love for me as He took my punishment on the cross as my substitute, Jesus forgave me, and I am washed as white as snow.  One day, I shall see You face to face, which will be every Christian's ultimate joy.  So yesterday, I reunited with a coworker who I hardly ever see anymore.  But she had to cover a shift and so I had a chance to talk to her.  She introduced me to some trivia game online and one of the categories was Religion.  She's not a Christian but was willing to play.  I chose Books of the Bible trivia game, which led into a long discussion of Jesus, and how the whole Bible pointed toward/centered around Jesus.  I pray that You O Holy Spirit will open her eyes, to see and accept Jesus for who He claimed to be. 

  • Rev 2:1 - this motif was carried from 1:16 
  • 2:2 - when You Jesus gave this report card for this particular church, it seems I should take note what You liked about it--for whatever You liked, is something I should also strive towards (ie: patient endurance, cannot bear evil, testing if apostles are false)
  • 2:3 - You list more good points such as, bearing up for Your Name's sake, not growing weary.  How is my walk with You compared to that of this particular church at Ephesus.  Am I enduring patiently?  Am I growing weary of doing good?  
  • 2:4 -   Then You list bad points (ie: they had abandoned their first love/Jesus)  I don't get it--How is it that they could abandon You yet do good things that please You?  If the root ain't right, how can the fruit off the branches exist at all?  Whatever the case, it seems that they were more focused on doing good works, rather than focusing on You Jesus.  When a good thing (ie: good works) becomes a god thing, it's a bad thing.
  • 2:5 - Then You give 3 points to return: 
    1. "remember where you have fallen" (this acts like a measuring stick to assess the grim reality of their situation)
    2. "repent" (unlike all fads that come and go, repentance is one 'fad' that ought never wear out for the Christian)
    3. "do the works they did at first" (hmm, it seems that the works Jesus wants them to do must be different than the ones listed in v2-3.  I wonder what works Jesus must be referring to?  (not that any work man does can save ourselves, but only trusting in Jesus' perfect work on the cross)
  • 2:6 - Then You give another positive point (ie: hating the works of the Nicolaitans) --not sure who these guys were but I'm reminded that true love includes, having a true hate for its antithesis. 
  • 2:7 - Then You give a reward to the one who conquers--You will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.  Wow!  This alludes to the time in Genesis 3, where Adam and Even were banished from the Garden after they sinned.  What a reversal!  Before, mankind represented in Adam, was cut off from living eternally by eating from the tree of life, but now, to the one who conquers--You will grant to eat this tree of life--I love full circle plot lines.  One question though--so how/what exactly do I conquer?  In context it would seem I would have to conquer through patient endurance while representing Christ's Name while here on earth.  What trials/sins do I face today that I can conquer by Your help LORD?

"...He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."  So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden..." --Gen 3:22-23
Tree of life, access denied
   Heard His walk, I tried to hide.
      Name blame game, so full of shame,
         Both ground and birth, cursed and pain
         So the Master Gardener planted a tree
         To take my shame, to die for me
         That we may walk in the garden again
         Paradise lost will be regained

         With seven stars in My hand,
      I walk among the seven lampstands
   To those who conquer, access is given--
Tree of life, no longer forbidden

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."--Rev 2:7

in Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Prayer for Couple who had a miscarriage

    Enough / Chris Tomlin

    I just received a request from a coworker--she just talked to her friend (whom I don't know) who just had a miscarriage.  The couple are Christian and this would have been their first child to be born.  My heart grieves...

    Dear Sovereign God,
    Blessed be Your Name O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for You are the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by You.  O God, questions of why, tears of sorrow, perhaps even blaming You while they suffer are now taking place by that couple who just had a miscarriage.  O LORD, they are seeing the wind and waves of their storm... Don't let them drown.  Reach out and let their eyes fix back on You Jesus, so that their faith may be strengthened and not only theirs but those family and friends seeing their struggle.  Lavish them with grace upon grace that their suffering may not go to waste, but rather You may turn this around for Your glory--in some way, some how, although we may never know this side of heaven, knowing that their sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to those in Christ Jesus.

    Creator God, who created the heavens and the earth.  For all things were created through Your Word, and even now are sustained by Jesus, who is the Word incarnate, who dwelt among us.  You create life, and here's the hardest part to fathom O God--You say in Your Word, "For you formed my inward parts;
       you knitted me together in my mother’s womb." (Psa 139:13)  Then O God, why did that woman have to have a miscarriage?  WHY GOD!?
    ....[tears falling]...
    To trust in You Jesus can be O so hard.  So by Your power I ask that You bring us to the point where we can say, like Job did, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21)   For we are sinners God, we deserve nothing but wrath from Your hand but O LORD You did a most excellent thing--You sent Your Son Jesus to die in our place on the cross, to shed his blood, to redeem us, to rescue us, to transform us into Your image. Therefore, Jesus You can relate to those who suffer, because You suffered.  You Jesus experienced loss and death.  You Jesus wept.  Therefore You know what it is to grieve.  I pray that this couple who had the miscarriage may have a holy grieving, and find their strength in You  for You O God are our strength and song.

    Dear God who reveals,
    Your grace is sufficient for us and Your power is made perfect in our weakness.  Therefore, reveal Yourself O God most high, to their family/friends who may not know Christ.  Reveal Your peace by giving them peace amidst their storm that passes all understanding so that their minds and hearts are guarded in Christ Jesus.  As they lean on the cross, may they discover how strong You are to be O God, our Rock, our Refuge, our Shield, our Good Shepherd, our Defender!  "On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God" (Psa 62:7) Who is like You O God?  You are loving and wise, though we may not see it through hard trials like this yet "the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Cor 1:25).  So reveal Yourself Jesus for the glory of Your Name--for You are preeminent!

    Dear God who speaks,
    Speak into their life Your Word of comfort.  In our distress O God, we cry to You.  Incline Your ear to us.  We know that our cries reach Your ears.  In this day of their calamity O LORD, be their support.  You delight in Your children and rescue them.  And if this miscarriage is one way You chose to delight and rescue Your own, then............................................................
    ......[struggling to say this right now].................
    Blessed be Your Name!

    in Jesus Name, Amen.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010

    Revelation 1:9-20

    Your Grace is Enough / Chris Tomlin by crashchords

    Dear Sovereign God,

    You are faithful and You are eternal--therefore You are eternally faithful.  So today, I introduced my cat to the outdoors--it was kind of scared but was intrigued by the birds.  But after a while, my cat missed home and meowed to let me know it was time to go.  How often does God push me out of my comfort zone for my own good, to make us more Christ-like?  How often do I forget that my real home and citizenship is in heaven yet do I live on earth too comfortably?

    • Rev 1:9 - John was imprisoned on the island called Patmos when You O God, revealed to him Your Word.  You seem to always reveal Your best, during our times of suffering.  
    • 1:10 - If John, like all Christians, had the Holy Spirit dwell in him, then what does "in the Spirit" really mean?  Whatever it means, thank You God the Holy Spirit, for assisting and preparing for whatever God has for us even during our "island" experiences.
    • 1:11 - John is commanded to write what he sees in a book to send to 7 churches which will be for their encouragement and opportunity to repent.   In a sense, we Christians are like books in that we are letters from Christ to be read by all.  Am I then acting like iron to others?
    • 1:12 - golden lampstands reminds me of Jesus' saying that we are like lights to the world.  Back in Exodus, God told Moses to make a lampstand.   
    • 1:13 - Jesus is revealed!  I don't know how John was feeling but I'd feel scared right about now.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of all wisdom.  Also, Isaiah 11:2 speaks into John's situation perfectly--one result of John being "in the Spirit" is the fear of the LORD!
    • 1:14 - Jesus' eyes are like flames of fire!  Wow God, when You call us Christians to be like Your Son, knowing that Jesus said our eyes are like a lamp, then how bright/dark are my eyes LORD?  When people see me, do they see Christ in me?  
    • 1:15 - after they pierced Your feet LORD, Your feet is now an impenetrable burnished bronze!  But then again, "they" in a sense is... "I" since You bore my sins on the cross--praise God!
    • 1:16 - two-edged sword from Jesus' mouth reminds me of how the Word is the sword!  God's Word created the heavens and the earth, as well as punish those who don't believe who Jesus claimed to be.  And Your face Jesus is like the sun shining in full strength!  No wonder Moses had to put on a veil yet we Christians get to see You face to face in heaven because You tore the curtain in two.
    • 1:17 - Yup, John was afraid yet You Jesus as You always do, comfort us in our fears.  Jesus, You claim to be the first and the last which goes back to verse 4 and 8--You are God eternal.  To think that You existed before creation, even before time began is astounding to me--how powerful and awesome are You?
    • 1:18 - Your resurrection Jesus is fact and I'm sure all the Jerusalem newspaper headlines, blogs and twitter accounts talked about You when You rose again!  May we as Your living "written letters/books" continue to talk about/blog about/tweet the greatest moment in history.
    • 1:19 - again John is told to write things he has seen.  What have I seen that I can write about Lord?  Well I guess that's why I'm writing this blog--to testify to Your greatness.
    • 1:20 - For You Jesus to hold the seven stars is to signify You are above the angels--for You are Creator God, and angels are Your creations.

    "and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band." --Rev 1:13

    Repentant, prodigal son walked back home in fear
    The One with eyes like a flaming fire drew near.
    But the Alpha and the Omega forgave him of all sin.
    "Quick!  Bring the best robe and put it on him"
            So Jesus gave His own robe with the blood-stained price tag still attached.

    "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet." --Lk 15:22

    in Jesus Name, Amen.

    Sunday, August 01, 2010

    Revelation 1:1-8

    We Fall Down / Chris Tomlin by crashchords

    Dear Almighty God,

    You are the only Sovereign, Creator God who speaks and reveals Your will to us. Thank You for Your Word and I pray that Your people may see and hear Jesus and magnify Him above all else.
    Hi Heavenly Dad, today I decided to go through the Bible starting from Revelation and working my way backwards. Seeing how it's all going to end makes me fix more on the greatness of Your Son, Jesus. Thus, as I read other books of the bible, Jesus as portrayed in Revelation, will always be at the forefront.

    • Rev 1:1 - how soon is soon God? And it's interesting how You (God the Father) reveal information about Yourself--it's through Jesus (God the Son)!
    • 1:2 - the words "witness" bring images of courtrooms and testimonies, as if a trial were happening. Are "word of God" and "testimony of Jesus Christ" synonymous?
    • 1:3 - It seems that a threefold blessing is bestowed upon those who speak, hear and do what has been written. May all of us speak to others about Christ, hear about Christ from others, and may all of us obey Your will.
    • 1:4 - Jesus You are so awesome! You are described as "who is and who was and who is to come"--You existed in eternity past, in the present, and eternity future because You created time and exist outside of it!  Yet, you intersect with our time because of Your love, making You the ultimate missionary as You dwelt among us.  And Your throne only makes sense for You are King of kings, and Lord of lords! 
    • 1:5 - Interesting how You are also described as a "faithful witness". Faithful I understand, but why witness? Are You witnessing to testify who You are? Or perhaps witnessing to God the Father as You intercede on our behalf because of our constant sinfulness? And "the firstborn of the dead"--but of course, You rose from the dead! How amazing is that?! "The ruler of kings on earth"--reminds me of Prov 21:1 Oh wow, I think You just answered my question, since "You freed us from our sins by [Your] blood" I guess You witness because of the latter option I mentioned. And not only that, but it's out of love.
    • 1:6 - what a gift! I mean it's not often that one opens a present and inside is a key to a kingdom! Reminds me of how the Israelites in the O.T. were walking toward the land Your promised them. Also reminds me of 1 Pet 2:9
    • 1:7 - Now here's a chronological mystery for me. How is it that those who pierced Jesus will see Him? Was the author referring to a time that already passed? Or perhaps another possibility is that when the dead are raised again, then that will allow all to see Jesus when He arrives again. And in order for every eye to see You, it will be quiet a spectacular sight! When it says "all tribes will wail", I guess it's because they don't want You to be true, but You are! Didn't you say, "I am the truth"?
    • 1:8 - "Alpha and the Omega" -- O God, You are the First and the Last! You span from eternity past to eternity future, echoing verse 4. Oh wow...I just read the latter half of this verse! You did echo verse 4, literally!

     Thank You for Your Word, for You are eternal and faithful, Majestic King of kings.  Come back quickly LORD, for it seems we are approaching the last days.  Nevertheless, train and prepare us for Your Kingdom work, in Jesus Name, Amen.