Monday, October 29, 2012

Free E-book on Luther
Click here to learn more about this new free book from John Piper.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Pumpkin パンプキン
by Yuko
Someone asked, “What is it like to be a Christian?”
His friend replied, “It is like being a pumpkin.
God picks you from the patch, brings you in,
and washes all the dirt of of you.
Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate,and greed.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you
to shine for all the world to see.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Wonderful Biography to Stoke your Fire
John Wycliffe: The Morning Star of the Reformation

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shangdi - East meets West
Often times it is said in Japan that Christianity is a western religion. However, today there are likely more Christians in China than there are in the U.S. The biggest objection though is that in the beginning, there was one God, one Creator God, both in the east and in the west, and that fact is clear to see if you look into ancient history.

"ShangDi," in Chinese, is the Creator-God in ancient history. This surely appears to be "one and the same as the Creator-God of the Hebrews. In fact, one of the Hebrew names for God is El Shaddai, which is phonetically similar to ShangDi. Even more similar is the Early Zhou pronunciation of ShangDi which is ‘djanh-tigh’ [Zhan-dai].4 Another name for their God which the ancient Chinese used interchangeable with ShangDi was Heaven (Tian). Zheng Xuan, a scholar of the early Han dynasty said, “ShangDi is another name for Heaven (Tian)”.5 The great philosopher Motze (408-382 BC) also thought of Heaven (Tian) as the Creator-God:

 ‘I know Heaven loves men dearly not without reason. Heaven ordered the sun, the moon, and the stars to enlighten and guide them. Heaven ordained the four seasons, Spring, Autumn, Winter, and Summer, to regulate them. Heaven sent down snow, frost, rain, and dew to grow the five grains and flax and silk so that the people could use and enjoy them. Heaven established the hills and river, ravines and valleys, and arranged many things to minister to man’s good or bring him evil.’ 6

 Today, Chinese Christians still remain truly eastern, as they trace the Creator God back in their histories and call God, "Shangdi" in respect to His love and deeds for them in the past. Incidentally, the earliest recorded histories in Japan (the Kojiki) also describes the creation, by three deities and chiefly by the deity in the center of heaven. Like the Chinese, the emperor of Japan since ancient times was an object of worship. However, the emperor in China became such because originally, he was the only one who could act as a priest to make sacrifices to Shangdi. Shangdi was believed to be too holy for just any person to approach. Slowly, instead of worshipping Shangdi, the emperor, whom they could see, was worshiped. It is interesting to note, however, that Shangdi was never to be represented by an image or by an idol. (Learn more here.) Lastly, it is important to look at the writings which both the ancient Chinese and the Japanese still use today. They give us many clues as to the thought processes of these ancient peoples. The following is a chart that shows some of the similarities between the Bible and the kanji characters still used in Japan and China today.
 Chinese characters
Here are three other interesting kanji: 魔  This character means "evil" or originally, "tempt". You can see two trees and hiding below them is an "oni", an evil monster -an orge or a demon. The top and left lines show "hiding". In Genesis, Satan hides in the trees to tempt Eve. 船 This character means, "ship", especially a large ship. A smaller ship would be 舟 A larger ship would be one where there are eight mouths (the top means "eight" and the bottom box means "mouth") Many believe this is because there were eight people on the ark, in which Noah made. This story is not just a Bible story - in various forms it can still be found in almost every ancient civilization.
 *Repost from 2009 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Very Encouraging Spurgeon Movie
If you only have 15 min, watch the first scene of Spurgeon's conversion. Very moving and helpful. I watched the whole thing with my 5 year-old and he kept saying, "I like this." "I really like this." It made me smile.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Forgotten Christmas
Here is a great way to get ready for Christmas.
(RSS click through to watch.)