Unstoppable Faith

Last Saturday, I was able to witness a living miracle inspiring hundreds of thousands of people all over the world and it was just so amazing to hear him speak live before my eyes.

A man of faith, Nick Vujicic, was born with no arms and no legs but that “limitation” did not stop him from being unstoppable for God.

nick-vujicic

Nick Vujicic | photo via Google

At age eight, Nick shared, it was very difficult for him to understand why God did not give him what every other people has. He was so confused and devastated, asking God that if He truly loves him then why did He made him with no arms and no legs while every other kid in their school has their arms and legs.

“My question to God is ‘why me?’”

There were lies, he said, that crawled at the back of his mind. Lies like: he will never ever walk or run, he will never have a family of his own, he will always be alone, he will never hold someone’s hands or carry his own son. At age ten, he wanted to end his life and all his sufferings but one thing had stopped him – his parents. All his life he only felt love and support from his parents and siblings that he couldn’t bear to see them crying on his grave, hurting, just because he gave up.

“Whatever broken pieces you have, whatever the enemy uses for bad; if you offer it to the Lord, Jesus will set it to something beautiful.”

Nick chose to believe the Truth. He chose to believe the Word of God. And God gave him peace. At age fifteen, he encountered a story in the Bible where Jesus was asked by this person why injustices, sickness, bad things are happening in his life; that’s when Jesus answered that those things are happening so that the world will know how God will work on his life.

See, Jesus don’t give us bad things; that’s Satan. But our Lord won the battle, He won the war. He met Satan face to face and Satan has nothing on Him. Satan may come to steal and destroy but Jesus comes to heal and restore. If we only give our lives to the Lord, He will always be there for us every step of the way. There may be circumstances that would make it hard for us to understand yet our focus, our Hope, should be in God.

Nick kept praying for arms and legs but he came to the understanding that God has the best plan for his life. Who needs arms and legs, he said, when he is flying with the wings of the Spirit.

Be the Miracle

“It’s very tempting to be jealous; it’s very tempting to see what everyone else has. Did my circumstances change? No. What changed is my heart. Arms and legs are not happiness. The greatest things in life are not things; any pleasure you can see, touch or hold is only temporary.

Can I smile? Yes. But does that mean that I don’t cry? No. But even though I walk through the valley of shadow and death, I can smile.

Brokenness is brokenness; but, don’t let brokenness define your future. Don’t let your circumstances define your joy.

I stand in front of you as a miracle of God that world cannot argue with.”

What are we waiting for? Let’s put our faith in action. Should bad things happen to us, it is never the end. Our faith is unstoppable because we have an unstoppable God.

You know the paradox of a Christian life? You give and it will come back to you. You surrender so that you may have. You die so you live. It will never be an easy life but I loved that no matter what we’re going through, somewhere along the line, if we truly lay it down at the foot of the cross, it could be used by God so that others may know His goodness and mercy? Amazing, right?

If God can use someone with no arms and no legs, I’m sure God will use us too, God will use you. Are we willing to be used by God?

Grow deep in the faith.

Be of Faith

“There is no recession of the peace of God. There is no recession of the grace of God.”

No! to Lady Gaga

A proposal to take our stand as Christians who love the Lord and all that He loves in this world.

1. Should we ban the concert of Lady Gaga?

NO. Concern for censorship reflects more the weakness and failings of the fearful party rather than the actual capacity/power of the censored object. Why be afraid of Lady Gaga’s music if people have been adequately grounded in their faith through faithful discipleship and all? (See Ephesians 4:13-14)

2. Should the church suppress the songs of Lady Gaga and rally against it?

NO. The antidote to “bad communication” is not “no communication” but “good communication.” In other words, freedom of expression is always best safeguarded. If one finds a message lacking in truth and is presenting an inadequate account of reality, the best way to counter it is to offer a response -one that offers a more compelling alternative. Besides the church has more pressing issues to rally against. What about the slaughter of helpless trees by these greedy gigantic malls? The escape of a Panamian who raped a daughter of our nation? The crooks in the government who keep blocking the government’s crusade against corruption? The massive poverty in our communities aggravated by the presence of unjust and oppressive structures and legislative provisions? By addressing these issues, the church may gain more support for its press-briefings. (See the spirit of the verse in Matthew 23:23)

3. Can the church ignore the songs of Lady Gaga?

NO. The apparent affinity and comfort that certain segments of young people (esp. the outcasts and misunderstood) feel for the message of her songs reveal a social reality that the seems to have been ignored or left to the fringes by the church. The church might actually learn a thing or two from Lady Gaga on how to speak from where the new generation is coming from. It might as well be argued that no matter how depraved or wretched in sin, figments and fragments of God’s grace remains to be present in the world. (See Psalms 24:1)

4. Should the church be overly concerned of the disturbing subliminal messages and latent metaphors and images commonly associated with the “dark forces” of the world (e.g. Satanic)?

NO. Messages like these have long proliferated in the Internet particularly in the music/media industry. Why single out Lady Gaga just because of her popularity? Given the pace of technology nowadays, it would also be impossible to have such things out of reach by the media savvy young people. A more pressing question is what contributes to her popularity among the youth despite the rather “dark” nature of her materials?

5. Should the church spend its time exposing and fishing for “anti-Christian” elements that Lady Gaga embedded in her music?

NO. In a world where the audience is empowered to read their own personal meanings into any work, it would prove to be a better use of time to discover ways on how to make use of the motivations that leads people to patronize her music. This information could better be of use to the church as it tries to re-capture the attention and imagination allured by Lady Gaga’s musical outputs. Besides, it would be unfair to expect reflection of biblical values in the works of someone who does not at all claim to uphold Christ or his teachings. In other words, we should not condemn Lady Gaga for creating music at its best according to the standards that is within her grasp. (See Romans 8:7).

6. Should the church keep silent about the impact of Lady Gaga’s music?

NO. Just as it is Lady Gaga’s right and interest to craft music according to her inclinations and disposition, the church should craft ways on how to creatively popularize and mainstream biblical values and perspectives. Should Lady Gaga be enjoying a wider hearing is not her fault at all. It will just show how the church is losing and biting the dust with regards to packaging and proclaiming its “well-kept secret message.” It should be a wake-up call for the church to launch its artists and musicians into the world rather than keep and stifle their creativity within the four-walls of the church. Jesus himself said, “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:15)

7. Should the church approve of Lady Gaga’s perspectives on life and morality?

No. Trying to grapple with the social dimension of her music and all the valuable lessons that it can give doesn’t should not dilute the fact that it steps over Christian virtues and Filipino cultural values. We should be able to call a spade a spade even at the expense of losing popular approval (II Timothy 4:1-5). Understanding her worldview and those that benefits from her music (e.g. homosexuals, etc.) is different from legitimizing it in the public space. Sympathy doesn’t necessarily need to translate to approval. Nor should we, Christians, let it be misunderstood that way.

8. Would Jesus be threatened by the derogatory and blasphemous remarks made by Lady Gaga?

Not at all! Every authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Matt. 28:19). He is reigning now as King of Kings and Lords of lords. No statement made by anyone not even by Satan could trample upon that authority. In the end, every knee shall bow upon His name. This thought should keep us from allowing Satan’s lie (that he is getting the upperhand in the epic battle for rulership of God’s creation) to creep into our minds and hearts. Let us be aware that our well-meaning efforts to defend God may actually be hindering the onward march of His kingdom. As the well known quote puts it, “the best way to defend the Lion is not to get in its way. It should simply be let loose and fend for itself.”

Let our “No” to Lady Gaga be a “Yes” to sanity and goodwill. He who has ears, let him hear.

Article GRABBED was written by Rei Lemuel Crizaldo.