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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your Weakness

Psalm 103:13-16New International Version (NIV)

As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.

Any weakness you refuse to deal with will draw you towards the wrong things and set you up for defeat.To live victoriously you must recognise that, first, your weakness can emerge at any time. What you allow to take root will grow within you. What you fail to master now will master you later.
The Psalmist prayed, 

Psalm 71:9New International Version (NIV)

Do not cast me away when I am old;
    do not forsake me when my strength is gone.

Secondly, God's Spirit will repeatedly warn you.

 Jesus told Peter:

Luke 22:31-32New International Version (NIV)

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Imagine the Lord praying for you. He does! He intercedes for you, clothes you in His righteousness, and draws you back to Himself.

1 John 2:1New International Version (NIV)

2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 

Thirdly, God will continue to use you even while your weakness is growing within you. He provides opportunity after opportunity to reach for His help. Jesus warned Jerusalem

Matthew 23:37-38New International Version (NIV)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.

When you neglect God's grace, what's left? Your consequences! You ask, 'What can I do?' Turn to God. He's neither shocked by your weakness nor unwilling to help you. Acknowledge your weakness. Become an enemy to it. Let God's Spirit empower you. Not only can He deliver you, He can turn your greatest weakness into your greatest weapon.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Picture of Mother Mary

So back in 2011, I thought I'd upgrade the micro SD card on my phone to a better one. One day, I formatted it (or tried to recover files, I don't remember which). To my surprise, I saw a few files which were not mine at all. Among these was a picture of Mother Mary :D

Also check out this video:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

True Story: John Harper - Titanic

John Harper was born to a pair of solid Christian parents on May 29th, 1872. It was on the last Sunday of March 1886, when he was thirteen years old that he received Jesus as the Lord of his life. He never knew what it was to "sow his wild oats." He began to preach about four years later at the ripe old age of 17 years by going down to the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in earnest entreaty for men to be reconciled to God.

As John Harper's life unfolded, one thing was apparent...he was consumed by the word of God.
When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply "The Word of God!"

After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England.

This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.) This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members, had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time he had gotten married, but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life.
When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean.Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next.

It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious ocean liner were many rich and famous people.At the time of the ship's launch, it was the world's largest man-made moveable object. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.

On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. 

According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday.

The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner. As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling "Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!"

It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.

That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young Man who had climbed up on a piece of debris.
Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, "Are you saved?"

The young man replied that he was not. Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said "Here then, you need this more than I do..." and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation.

Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris. Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ.

Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people, yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were
"Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved."

Does Hollywood remember this man? No.

Oh well, no matter. This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends..." (John 15:13, KJV)

John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!

"God is so rich in mercy, 
and He loved us so very much, 

that even while we were dead 
because of our sins, 
He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead." 
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NLT)

Sources for this article: "The Titanic's Last Hero" by Moody Press 1997, 

Scriptures are quoted from the King James Bible. John Climie, George 

Harper, & Bill Guthrie from "Jesus Our Jubilee Ministries" in Dallas, Oregon.

Now it’s our turn to fill in the shoes of John Harper…

Friday, May 23, 2014

Maximilian Kolbe - A Life in the Way of his Master

Maximilian Kolbe was a Catholic priest, who was put in a Nazi concentration camp for his faith.
On May 28, 1941, he was transferred to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

During his time there, he would share his meagre rations of food with those around him who were hungry. Despite the evil in the camp perpetrated against the inmates, Kolbe pleaded with the prisoners to forgive their persecutors and overcome evil with good.

A protestant doctor who treated the patients in Kolbe’s block said that Kolbe would not let himself be treated before any other prisoners in that block.
He sacrificed himself for the other prisoners.

 The doctor said about Kolbe:
"From my observations, the virtues in the Servant of God were no momentary impulse such as are often found in men, they sprang from a habitual practice, deeply woven into his personality."

One day a man in Kolbe’s block escaped. All of the men from that block were brought out into the hot sun and made to stand there all day with no food or drink.

At the end of the day, the man that had escaped was not found and so Fritsch, the Nazi commandant told the prisoners that ten men would be selected to die in the starvation cell in place of the one that had escaped. One man, a polish sergeant (Francis Gajowniczek) was one of those selected. He begged to be spared because he was worried that his family would not be able to survive without him.

As he was pleading with the commandant, Maximilian Kolbe silently stepped forward and stood before the commandant.
The commandant turned to him and said asked,

"What does this Polish pig want?"
Kolbe pointed to the polish sergeant and said,

 "I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children."

The commandant stood silent for a moment in disbelief. He then allowed the sergeant to go back to his place in the ranks and Kolbe took his place in the starvation bunker. Each day the guards removed the bodies of those who had died.

However instead of the usual sounds of screaming, all they could hear was the sounds of Kolbe and the others in the bunker singing hymns and praying.
When Kolbe couldn’t speak any longer due to hunger and lack of energy, he would whisper his prayers.

After two weeks, the cell had to be cleared out for more prisoners.
Only four prisoners were left and Kolbe was one of them.

The guards injected each with a lethal injection and on August 14, 1941, Kolbe paid the ultimate price.
Kolbe viewed others as more important than himself.

And in that he was following the Master.