Archive for February, 2014

No More Droughts!

“He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
Titus 3:5 NLT

California is the most productive state for agriculture in the United States. California’s 80,500 farms and ranches received a record $44.7 billion dollars for output in 2012. The state produces nearly half of US-grown fruits, nuts, and vegetables. (1) It has very fertile soil containing an abundance of plant nutrients and minerals but without water no plant will grow regardless of the soil quality. California has been officially declared in a drought State of Emergency on Jan. 17, 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown. “We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation,” Brown said at a press conference. “People should pause and reflect on how dependent we are on the rain.” (2) In the Bible water symbolizes the Holy Spirit. We can have all the religious training in the world but without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit it is just lifeless intellectual knowledge. Our lives are in a serious unproductive drought without the Holy Spirit refreshing our dry existence. Jesus says that “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (John 7:38) “We were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Cor 12:13) so let’s quench our thirst today.



Love is………

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
(Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Everyone wants to experience love but what exactly is love? Hollywood attempts to portray love in romantic films but these are just fictional stories which leave their audience empty and still searching for love. Roses are usually associated with love but these are just flowers that quickly fade away. Chocolates are exchanged by lovers but their sweetness does not last more than a few moments. The media follows beautiful people that fall in love but “charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain.” (Proverbs 31:30) Some may substitute erotic passion for love but hormonal highs don’t last. Love is sharing your food with the hungry, and giving shelter to the homeless. Love is giving clothes to those who need them, and not hiding from relatives who need your help. (Isaiah 58:7) Love is eternal and only God’s love will last because he is eternal. Love is God for God is love. Dear Lord, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” (Psalm 63:3)


Don’t Discriminate!

“I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.” Acts 10:34 (NLT)

The ethics of making decisions without discrimination always seems to be heavily scrutinized in public forums. Whether its governmental policy changes or individual choices the time will come when a cultural boundary must be crossed. The dictionary defines culture as the “behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.” The Lord Jesus Christ is our perfect example to follow for living with the correct cross-cultural perspective. The Lord Jesus crossed universal boundaries leaving heaven in order to love humans as he lived amongst them. While on earth Jesus crossed social barriers not discriminating by class. He ministered to the educated Pharisees and the wealthy Roman officials. He fed the poor and healed the disabled. He met the needs of both men and women. Jesus treated all ethnicities with dignity and respect. He ate with both Jew and Gentile. Jesus ministered to all age groups calling the little children unto him and mentoring his older disciples. The Lord Jesus requires us to live like him. Every day we cross cultural boundaries working in the marketplace, studying in the educational system or even while taking a walk through the neighborhood. We encounter people from every social, ethnic, or age group as we live our lives. God’s love does not discriminate and neither should we.


Cross Cultural Communication

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God.”
(Hebrews 1:1-3 NLT)

I treated a patient recently who had the same name as my mother and amazingly her initial visit was on the same day as my mother’s birthday. As I interviewed her I discovered that she was from my native country Canada and she grew up in the same city as my father. Her husband was an engineer and my father was also an engineer. Of course with so many things in common we had a lot to talk about and so it was very easy to understand each other. People from similar cultures communicate better and this is why God became a man. God entered our world as the baby Jesus born to the virgin Mary so that he could communicate with humans at their own level of understanding and in their own cultural context. God crossed the universal cultural barrier stepping down from heaven to earth. He walked with us and he talked with us in order to show us the way to live. Jesus became like us but did not sin and now he expects us to be just like him.


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