Pastor’s Corner | Secular Passion Is Not A Christian’s Goal

Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and a self-made multi-billionaire. A recent quote of his is as follows, “If you put in enough time, and you get really good, I will give you a little secret: Nobody quits anything they are good at because it is fun to be good. It is fun to be one of the best. But in order to be one of the best, you have to put in effort. So, don’t follow your passions, follow your effort.” says Cuban.

The meaning of “Passion” is often defined in secular society as our emotions. When a Christian depends on that type of “Passion,” his/her Christian walk is like living on a roller coaster of feelings/experiences…..up and down. “Passion” is also defined as ones convictions and this meaning provides stability in our “faith.” Jesus didn’t model a “Passion based on feelings/emotions,” but served, based on love and burden. Jesus modeled commitment, conviction/burden, and deep dedication toward mankind…even to the cross! May we all worry less about our emotions and more about how we can serve the Kingdom of our Lord! Getting this message to the whole of our church is something we must band together in accomplishing.  May we be strong and truly passionate by serving from conviction, not feelings alone.

簡牧師的話:  俗世的熱情不是基督徒的目標

 Mark Cuban達拉斯小牛籃球隊的東主,他是白手起家的億萬富翁。引用他最近所說的:「如果你用了足夠時間,把一件事做得很好,我會告訴你一個小秘密:沒有人會半途而廢做得很好的事。因為把事做好是很開心的。 但是要成為個中佼佼者,你必須盡心努力。 所以不要跟隨你的喜愛、熱情,要跟隨你的努力。

「喜愛、熱情」俗世釋義為情緒。當基督徒依靠此種「喜愛、熱情」,他或她的基督徒生活就會像乘雲霄飛車,情緒起伏 …… 忽高,忽低。「喜愛、熱情」也釋義為「一個人的確信」,這給予我們信仰的堅定。要效法耶穌沒有「依據感情或情緒的熱情」,而是依據愛及負擔服事。要效法耶穌的委身,堅信或負擔及深重奉獻,直到十字架! 願我們少擔心我們的情緒,多關心我們如何可以更加多些伺奉 主的國! 致我們全教會的一個信息就是完成這目標,我們必須團結。 願我們信仰堅定並熱情(信服服事)

Pastor’s Corner | Communication Tools Required

As Christians, we all enjoy learning about history, habits, customs, and traditions found in the Scriptures.  Recently, I listened to a wonderful lecture on Sacrifices, the Cleansing of Sin, etc. There was instruction on Old Testament and New Testament understanding.   At some point during the talk, I began to consider the reality of our environment.  For me, the word “Sin” (罪) is not threatening or something that I fear the confession of since I have Christ as my Savior. Yet, I had to admit to myself that the lecture was focused only on Christians and would be absolutely unacceptable to a non-Christian! The term “sin” would be totally misunderstood and the idea of sitting/listening to this presentation would “miss the target.”

I began to question, if everyone in that room were to think about their co-workers and their attitudes towards the concept of what they understand to be “sin,” probably 100% of those people would deny that they are a “sinner.” 1 John 1:8-9 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Yet, do most non-Christians even grasp what they are saying when they say that are not a “sinner?” For us today, I want to challenge us to remember that we live in a “Post-Modern World” where “Sin” is not considered a valued item. Reading is no longer the most highly valued approach to learning as video has taken over that position.  Talk is less of an impact when people are looking for authenticity. If we depend on the church service and words alone to communicate Christ’s activity and love, MANKIND WILL BE LOST. We must, as Christians, determine to be “risk takers who push ourselves” with communicating Christ’s love to our world.  What creative and interesting skills do you offer that will get you into the lives of the lost where you may demonstrate “Christ’s Love?”

Pastor’s Corner | A Personal Reflection

Do ministers ever wonder about the quality or receptivity of the messages they share? The answer is, yes! Just as is true with this article or a sermon, a pastor desires to present encouraging and stretching messages that have value in helping his readers/hearers to become more effective in living out their lives for Christ. And yet, I can’t help but question whether this attitude of self-expectation is valid? Let us think about it.

Did Jesus worry about, or have any concern for, whether his messages were popular or desired by his listeners? Was Jesus selective to only share messages that would be gentle or non-threatening? Did Jesus only speak to hearers who would be receptive or His thoughts or did He find himself in multiple types of environments?

Stephen was a joyous Christian of courage and burden. Stephen was stoned to death for his efforts. John the Baptizer was a dedicated layman of strong stock and personality as he went wherever it was required to share the story of Jesus. John was beheaded and had his head placed on a plate for his efforts. Jesus was a loving Savior that modeled honest and clear challenge for men to repent and seek the Kingdom of God at all costs. He was crucified.

Hmmm, maybe worrying about the popularity of a message and its’ receptivity isn’t something that shows my hunger to be like Christ after all. Maybe this attitude reflects something that I, and others, need to think about a bit more?

Pastor’s Corner | Serving Beyond Convenience

When I was 11 years of age, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As history has shown, he was not a man of high morals or personal integrity. Some have referred to him as a womanizer. Yet, in his work as a diplomat and leader, he served in a day when the world was full of complex issues including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs, and the growing conflicts in Vietnam. What I remember of that president was a statement that he made over and over. “Ask NOT what your country can do for you, but ask what YOU can do for your country!” While I may view President Kennedy as a flawed leader, his question is still useful to me.

For FCBC, we must ask ourselves how valuable it is to be part of this church and how willing we are to serve in assisting our church to grow? We might consider, “Ask NOT what your church can do for you, but what YOU can do for your church!” Brothers & sisters, our church is weak in some areas and needs you! We need your creativity, your dedication, your willingness to see holes in our ministry where you can “jump in” and take up the task. Spotting our problems and weaknesses is not helpful, UNLESS you and I are willing to partner together and find answers. We are a family….let us find joy in that fact! I praise God for our multi-cultural and multi-lingual church that has found its worth the effort to cooperate for His Kingdom.