You never miss the water…

…until the well runs dry. Yep, that’s one of the many proverbs I learnt way back in the days when my English classes had mandatory segments for reciting proverbs, phrasal verbs, similes and such. Good thing too, otherwise I may have had to really rack my brain for a title for today’s post :-). So here’s me feeling sheepish about being an ingrate: Continue reading

It’s cold and rainy

I have never seen as much rain in my life as I’ve seen fall in the last month. It has rained almost every day (and night) since early November. The dry days have bee few and far between. The sunny days have been a mockery—temperatures haven’t edged over 15° since October. The Tiber river was expected to overflow its banks within the Rome city centre this evening. Yesterday, it already burst its banks upriver.

The river’s famous bridges are looking frighteningly close to the water:

A bridge on the Tiber: Photo by adelegiorgia

The Tiberine Island is not looking too good either:

Tiberine Island flooded
Tiberine Island flooded: Photo by Zingaro

The Tiber’s main tributary, the Aniene hasn’t been left out of the party:

Tazio bridge on River Aniene
Tazio bridge on River Aniene: Photo by carlobusi

And there is no end in sight to all this rain—at least not in the near future. Oh, help!

Update 13 Nov: The much-anticipated overflowing of the Tiber in the historic centre never occurred, much to the disappointment of  all those concerned citizens, who, in defiance of the mayor’s orders to stay home, lined up on the banks of the river armed with cameras and camcorders like paparazzi trying to catch that winning shot of the wayward celebrity in trouble. The situation is stable,  but the high-alert state isn’t over yet.

The Cross of Christ: Part X

The final and longest post in this series!

The concluding section of the book is about how the influence of the cross spreads outwards until it pervades the whole of Christian faith and life. We cannot do away with the cross in our thinking and living. Stott examines the book of Galatians which is one of the first, if not the first, of Paul’s letters. It contains seven assertions about the death of Jesus, each of which highlights a different facet of it. When put together, they give a comprehensive view of the influence of the cross.

The Pervasive Influence of the Cross

1. The cross and salvation (1:3–5)

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Continue reading

What font are you?

Screenshot of Andale Mono
Screenshot of Andale Mono by Hamish McPherson

On one of my random forays around the Internet, I did the What font are you? quiz. Turns out I am Andale Mono. This is the assessment I received:

You are a geek, pure and simple. You spend a lot of time online.
In fact, you probably love the internet more than anyone you know.
You are picky about design, mostly for readability’s sake.
You are the type most likely to be irritated by a bad font.

Me, a geek? I’m more geeky than some people I know and way less geeky than others. Depends on where you draw the geek line.  I love the internet? Possibly. One of my pastimes is standards-based web design. Picky about design? Oh yes. Been thinking about redesigning my church’s bulletin and visitors’ cards—don’t tell my pastor. Irritated by a bad font? More like irritated by the inappropriate use of fonts (the right font in the right place!)

Wonder what the other choices are…

The Cross of Christ: Part IX

We continue looking at the way the cross shapes our relationships with others, and how to biblically view evil and suffering.

12. Loving our Enemies

In our relationships, we are to display the same blend of love and justice which God showed at the cross. In all honesty, this is easier said than done.

Conciliation and discipline

Christians are called to be peacemakers and to seek and pursue peace. Following is a condensed version of Stott’s thoughts:

  • Peace-making isn’t one-sided. It may at times prove impossible to live in peace.
  • We are called to mirror our Father’s peace-making. The peace that he secured for us wasn’t cheap, but costly. We shouldn’t expect any less. If we are the offending party, the cost may take the form of humbling ourselves,  apologizing and making any necessary restitution. In other cases, we may have to listen to both sides and witness the mutual bitterness; or to have to offer reproof or rebuke and thus risk losing a friendship. Continue reading

The Cross of Christ: Part VIII

Here we are at the fourth section titled Living Under the Cross which concerns itself with how the cross alters all our relationships. It comprises four chapters which I shall tackle in pairs.

10. The Community of Celebration

Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. His purpose wasn’t just to save isolated individuals, but to create a new community of people who would belong to him and love one another. Having been brought into being by the cross, this community should have its perspective and behaviour governed and transformed by the cross. Continue reading

The Cross of Christ: Part VII

My, oh my. Part seven of ten. Part of me thought I’d be here sooner, and another part of me thought I’d never get here. If I had to describe this experience in one word, it would be humbling. And before I go off on a tangent, here’s chapter nine.

9. The Conquest of Evil

The New Testament contains a lot of language that conveys victory, conquest, triumph, overcoming. It is clear that this victory was owed to the Lord Jesus Christ. By his death Christ saved us not only from sin and guilt, but also from death, the devil and all evil powers.

The victory of Christ:

This can be said to have taken place in successive steps:

The Cross of Christ: Part VI

After a one-week break, I’m back! During that time I did a number of other things, including celebrating Thanksgiving (was invited by my pastor and his wife) and braiding my hair (which I have done every winter since 2003). On to chapter eight, then.

8. The Revelation of God

Through the cross, God was speaking to the world. What did the cross proclaim about God?

a) The glory of God

In the gospel of John, Jesus often referred to his death as the event through which he and his father would be glorified, e.g. John 12:20-28, 13:30-32, 17:1.

b) The justice of God

A question that has perplexed humanity for centuries is, “Why do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper?” If God was truly just, this wouldn’t be the case.

The Bible gives two answers to this problem. The first, prevalent in the Old Testament,  looks forward to the final judgment, e.g. Psalm 73. The second, frequent in the New Testament, looks back to the judgment that took place at the cross. Continue reading