Hey all, it’s been a while since a post has straggled down this path. To our two and a half readers, please pardon us. Life is busy, but should never be too busy to share a good word or even better, THE good word.
You know, for a while now most of the messages shared with us by our own Pastor Matthew and of guest speakers has been about ours (yours, mine, his, hers) purpose; that is to say, the plan for our lives that God has for us if we pursue His will, and with it a sure path to changing this world for the better; for our own good; for the good of others; and for His glory. It’s hard to figure out what that’s gonna look like for ourselves. But, what’s great is that it does not have to be patterned after someone else. God’s imaginative enough to create a unique yet equally powerful plan for every single one of our lives.
Enchantment by Marc Chagall
I was perusing the internet and, of course, Google came into play (what was life like before Google? Does anyone remember?). I love the little colorful way they decorate their signage commemorating holidays or even artists’ birthdays, like our painter-friend, dear Marc Chagall, born 7.7.1887. (good numbers, huh? three 7’s.)
Contrary to popular sentiment regarding the somber source of truly influential art, Chagall’s work celebrated blessings and with vibrant color he relayed his optimism as “an observer of the world through a stained glass window.” And was even criticised for taking such a sunny stance. How dare you be a talented artist…and be content!!?
La Mariée by Marc Chagall
Anyway, I just thought he’d be a great known artist to share. He bucks the tortured trend. He’s good at what he does. And, through his “uncategorizable” style of art he shared with us his unabashed embrace of his Jewish culture and beliefs.
That takes guts.
God bless you, sir.
Artist: Marc Chagall
White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall
Artist info gathered from Wikipedia.com
I was back in SNR after a long SNS – Saturday Night Slumber. I was with Frederick, my brother, indecisive over going to SNR or taking my brother out to town. I didn’t want him to feel that I was saturating him with church, yet I was happy that he was enjoying it so much. He even asked me if there was a dream center in Pennsylvannia! The charm of the dream center is like a fast oncoming train — it hits you and runs over you hard. But because Christ is in it, you rise again. I felt a tug in my heart. I could not bear to be right next to Angelus Temple and not go. I had been “robbed” way too many times of this awesome weekend night service.
SNR – April 5 was about seeds. Seeds and Purpose.
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Pastor Brad Reed carries a container of sunflower seeds challenges the audience. Jesus does not use “seed” accidentally, because it is a pretty metaphor, or because he decided to be eco-friendly or reach out to the gardener market. Faith is akin to a seed because it is supposed to grow.
1 Peter 2:2
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
We don’t get salvation like we get a precious diamond that is too expensive to use, locked away in a safe. We get saved, and then we grow, we mature, and we bear fruit. It was emphasized in the sermon that seeds are planted not to remain in the ground, but to be transferred to another pot and another pot. And finally, the tree can be planted on the ground. “The seed must be cracked to get the life out of it.”
The saddest part is that a lot of people pull out of the ground before the harvest. Stop crawling to the end of the tunnel just short of the light. Stop running the marathon 0.2 miles away shy of the finish line. Pastor Brad said emphatically — “if you don’t finish the marathon, you don’t get any credit!” This is perhaps the most poignant part of Pastor Brad’s sermon – at least for me — because his words hit home. I had gotten out of my comfort zone, stepped up to serve God, yet was giving the doubting and fearful voices in my head more attention than I should. I went through the motions of serving God, hanging by a thin thread.
It’s time to stop running away, and it’s time to face His hands. The hands that will take me gently from my pot and start planting me on the ground. Success, getting there, reaching a goal, scares more people than we realize. Sometimes the finish line is just as scary as the starting line. More than sometimes, we start more races than we finish. The race of our Christian life is a race that’s not negotiable in God’s eyes. We must long for his “well done, good and faithful servant,” the same way that a little girl longs for her mother’s approving smile. Contrary to the popular saying — “Don’t quit while you’re ahead.”
If a seed does not later on produce fruit — it does not fulfill its purpose. If salt loses its saltiness, and light is hidden……
14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
We are seeds meant to bear fruit. Salt meant to be salty. Light meant to shine. Go, fulfill your purpose.
Whew! It’s busy on the blog, huh?! Here’s some more…ART ATTACK WEEKEND in LOS ANGELES, baby! Be there, or be hexagon.
- 12noonish-1:30p. Art in .
- 2p-6p. Public Mural in Skid Row. This is our community visual art, guys!
Come to Art inor meet us there. We leave for the mural @ 2:30p and will figure out carpooling with whoever’s there.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This verse is so common to most Christians, that sometimes we lose touch of what it means. Never means never. As in not a single time. But sometimes we think if we’re not good enough, if we don’t pray enough, if there’s way too much going on…sometimes we think that he will leave. We’ve been stained by the way of the world — the an eye for an eye system, the i’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine system. The different thing about God is that he loved us first, and nothing we can do can ever change that. He gave his life for the forgiveness of our sins, and all he asks in return is for us to believe.
Sometimes, like a dog on a stretchable leash, I wander far from the Father, wrongfully thinking that I can do it on my own, my own way. But, no one can snatch me from his hand. God is pretty territorial about his property. If you let him, you can be his. We can be indian givers at times — taking back what we Christians have already reliniquished to God — our lives. We unwittingly kick him out the thrones of our lives and try to govern our own lives. Since we are by nature imperfect, this is bound to fail. The good news is you can’t go very far before God pokes you and tugs at your leash softly. Come back, he beckons. You’re going the wrong way. A great Sunday sermon bring us back. A friend gives us a call to check up. Out of the blue, someone offers prayer. If you open your eyes and ears, he is trying to get your attention.
A statement from the pastor at Angelus Temple last Thursday stuck with me.
“Loneliness is just a call from God for greater intimacy with Him.”
Let us seek him with all our heart in times of doubt and not stray away. He never left. He is softly prodding is to go back.
Hey dreamweavers! I haven’t posted in a long time due to some avoidable and unavoidable circumstances. God has sent me a new macbook to inspire me to post again.:) I’m fast becoming a mac geek — well I have an excuse to spend so much time on the computer, I work in web marketing. 🙂 I’d like to congratulate Gigatt because our blog is now a PR 3! Wait, what’s a PR 3? We’re pagerank 3 now according to google — they rank as us 3 out of 10 in website importance. It just feels good, period. A lot of work is done to make that happen. I’d like to make it clear that Google, contrary to what most people think is not god — Jesus is Lord! All the time!
Gigatt has certainly come a long way since its conception. We’ve had good times and more good times. I even have a picture to prove it.:) Just the lemons on the glasses of water is great proof that we’re broke, but happy. (Wait, that sounds a little bit like Alanis Morisette). Kidding aside, we were actually pretty blessed that night, that was the celebration of my and Lori’s birthday — we had a great chinese dinner. Awesome mongolian beef!
Readers, surfers, members, please feel free to leave comments. We’d love to have you.