like a warm waterfall

“I wish I could fix everything
I wish I would practice all I preach
What I find, over and over, is
Into Your hands we eventually fall.

I wish I could see everything
I wish I would always come out strong
What I find, over and over, is
Into Your hands I eventually fall.

Dear Lord, come hold us secure
Close to the safest place
Out of the storm, dear Lord, come
Like a warm waterfall
Wash over our wounds.”
— Kristene DiMarco, Safe Place

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“In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for the little things receives the big things […] if we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if, on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together


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power in weakness

“There is the fullness of God’s power and his outstretched arm. For where man’s strength ends, God’s strength begins, provided faith is present and waits on him […] even so Christ was powerless on the cross; and yet there he performed his mightiest work and conquered sin, death, world, hell, devil, and all evil.”

— Martin Luther

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weakness and dependence on God

Been lately feeling really convicted by my sin and weakness to change — my own selfish tendencies and how I put them above others’ interests, my desire for comfort, my pride at small successes when there is still such a long way to go.

O Jesus, change me. And keep me humble and dependent on You while You are doing it.

Especially for this coming term, all this just shows that I can’t make it on my own. I need You. I need Your vision, Your ongoing presence, You.

“If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”

— Exodus 33.15-16

Accompany us and illuminate the way.

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the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit

“There will be evidenced in the churches something that has not been seen before — a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed the world, has ever seen […] the outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to the mainland of Europe, and from there will begin a missionary movement to the ends of the earth.”

— Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947), on the United Kingdom

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reverse beatitudes

Awhile back I saw an idea on someone’s blog* of writing your own “reverse beatitudes” – trying to write statements that actually mean the opposite of the beatitudes, in order to grasp more fully what those famous statements from Matthew 6 mean. This really intrigued me; I love to ponder the Sermon on the Mount (and hopefully even more to live it out!). So I had a go – and was quite struck by the result:

Reverse Beatitudes

“Blessed are the wealthy, for they don’t need the things of God and they don’t need God to give them anything.

Blessed are those who are always cheery, for they don’t have moments when they need Jesus to comfort them.

Blessed are the proud, for they can get what doesn’t belong to them by grabbing it.

Blessed are those who are wicked and have no shame, for they miss out on knowing better.

Blessed are those who never spare others who have wronged them, for they will always get what’s coming to them.

Blessed are the lustful, the greedy, the grabby, for they will always have an abundance of junk.

Blessed are those who stir up strife, for they will belong to the evil one.

Blessed are the quietly apathetic who just go with the flow, for their plain existence is just what they deserve.

Blessed are you when others fawn over and admire and flatter you because of your obvious greatness. Rejoice and be glad, for you have a huge reward here on earth, for so they have treated all shallow and worldly people before you.”

Some of these things are pretty damning, aren’t they? Have a go at writing your own!

*Ps. If you came up with the concept of these Reverse Beatitudes then please let me know. And kudos to you – genius idea!

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the ‘positives’ of economic growth

“We have come to the end of the ‘positives’ that economic growth can bring.”
— Wilkinson and Pickett

I went to a conference at the beginning of December where Ann Morisy, one of the keynote speakers, gave this quote, and said that in the West, increases in wellbeing from wealth have now stalled. Instead, with increasing wealth now come increases in anxiety and depression, marking the rise of “the worried well”.

Today in Hong Kong, I’m pondering whether this is not only true now in the West, but in the affluent Asian cities as well.

Thoughts, anyone? Do you agree, or do you think that the Asian cities aren’t quite there yet and still need to keep pushing some?

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