Counseling with Gold or Hay?

1 Corinthians 3 says we’re the temple and we’re either building with gold, silver or precious stones, or with wood, hay, or straw. So in the end our work will be tested with fire. Will it stand? So the question is, are our counseling skills only working to reduce the symptoms of suffering or do they lead to every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, and loving our neighbor as ourselves?

— Aaron Sironi, CCEF: Any Given Day with Julie Lowe and Aaron Sironi

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Tonina Saputo: Quizás, Quizás, Quizás (Live at Berklee)

“Ms Saputo’s voice is haunting in a unique way… She’s something to behold.”

— A comment from the comments sections

This song is quite ordinary. The melody isn’t too alluring, and there’s nothing too excellent about it.

But I love it. This song is extraordinarily ordinary. The song feels alive, and it feels like a community. You can hear each instrument shine in its own way, and yet they beautifully compliment one another. And need I say anything about the main singer’s voice? Amazing. Her voice just seems like a bunch of contradictions! It is both smooth and coarse. I find it hard to even describe her voice. I almost wonder if singing in Spanish really highlights her warm, complex voice in a way that English wouldn’t be able to do. Ah, the beauty of languages!

Siempre que te pregunto
Que, cuándo, cómo y dónde
Tú siempre me respondes
Quizás, quizás, quizás

Y así pasan los días
Y yo, desesperando
Y tú, tú contestando
Quizás, quizás, quizás

I am always asking you
When, how and where
You always tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

The days pass this way
And I am despairing
And you, you always answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Devotionals with THE Tim Keller

Your future self will always see your present self as unwise and immature. That means you are currently unwise and immature right now.

— June 5, 2017

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There are not many things I truly loath in this world. Cauliflower is one of them.

— April 10, 2017

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Never met a piece of broccoli I actually liked.

— October 22, 2015

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In case anyone was wondering, I still hate broccoli.

— July 14, 2017

Dr. Timothy Keller seems like a truly humble guy… And he’s got a sense of humor! These quotes are just a few of my favorite Tim Keller devotionals. (Just kidding…) If you don’t know Tim Keller, he is a Pastor who founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

In my opinion, he is logical, well-read, and thoughtful. One of the things I enjoy about his sermons and writings is that he refers to a large variety of resources. This includes things like mythology, poetry, atheists, news articles, history, and so much more. He is able to hear opinions, thoughts, desires, and motives from different campgrounds through different times and talk about and find the gospel through and in it all. I want to invite you to learn more about God and the gospel through some of his ministries. And yes, that includes those are who are skeptical about Christianity!

If you want to pick up a good book, check out Tim Keller’s books. You’ll see that his books have high ratings! Also, if you’re a skeptic or a Christian with some doubts and questions about Christianity, I would recommend the book The Reason for God. You can find his books on Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Timothy-Keller/e/B001H6SAQW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1503502663&sr=8-1

Here are some of his older sermons available on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/gospelinlife

Skeptics are welcome! In this video, Tim Keller briefly shares how both skeptics and Christians can and should ask the same questions about faith. “Doubt is quite natural.” Other free resources related to skepticism and doubt are included, like a list of recommended books and sermons: https://www.redeemer.com/skeptics_welcome/

He also co-founded the Gospel Coalition or TGC. TGC has articles on current events (like matters on race, the solar eclipse, etc.), arts and culture (like matters on Darwin, Bob Dylan, etc.), Christian living, ministry, Bible & theology, and faith & work. Check out their website and articles here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/

Lastly, he’s also on Twitter 🙂 : https://twitter.com/timkellernyc

Just wanted to share some resources and how you can learn more about Christianity. Let me know if you have any questions about Christianity or if you need recommendations for other resources. God bless!

Our Low Estate

van gogh stairs

Someone once told me that on earth the reality is that we live on a ladder system. We put people above and below us, and people put us above and below them. It is a bitter reality. But it doesn’t end there. She told me that there’s more- a greater reality. One where God does not put us on a ladder. Instead, humans live on a horizontal plane. Not only that, but Christ climbed down the ladder to be with us. Though the reality of the worldly ladder often hurts, I have comfort and peace because I know Christ chose to dwell with me in my low estate. #thankful #formanyreasons

There is truly no God like you. “though [Jesus] was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Ephesians 2:6-9

(Instagram post from January 3, 2017)

Molded by Living Words

“To become a good Bible reader, you don’t need a high IQ or a seminary education. You don’t need a library of biblical commentaries or a Bible scholar on speed dial. To become a good Bible reader, you simply need to commit yourself to the simple, regular habit of reading God’s word for yourself.⠀
When your Bible reading seems unremarkable, or when it seems like you don’t have the skills or knowledge to grasp all of what’s there, remember that God’s work always runs deeper than we can see. Over the course of many months and years, God will use his word to mold and shape you into a joy-filled, wisdom-drenched follower of Jesus.”
— David Mathis

10,000 Things

“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them… Not only may you see a tiny fraction of what God is doing in your life; the part you do see may make no sense to you.”

“Therefore, no matter what you face this year, God will be doing 10,000 things in your life that you cannot see. Trust him. Love him. And they will all be good for you.”

— John Piper, God is Always Doing 10,000 Things in Your Life

Your Beliefs and Practices are Cultural

“When I went to seminary to prepare for the ministry, I met an African-American student, Elward Ellis, who befriended both my future wife, Kathy Kristy, and me. He gave us gracious but bare-knuckled mentoring about the realities of injustice in American culture. “You’re a racist, you know,” he once said at our kitchen table. “Oh, you don’t mean to be, and you don’t want to be, but you are. You can’t really help it.” He said, for example, “When black people do things in a certain way, you say, ‘Well, that’s your culture.’ But when white people do things in a certain way, you say, ‘That’s just the right way to do things.’ You don’t realize you really have a culture. You are blind to how many of your beliefs and practices are cultural.” We began to see how, in so many ways, we made our cultural biases into moral principles and then judged people of other races as being inferior. His case was so strong and fair that, to our surprise, we agreed with him.”

— Tim Keller

Agreed. But also, this isn’t just a race thing but a larger cultural phenomena. In my experience, we Americans think that our way is the right way. When we go out to other countries, we are so quick to judge their behaviors, rituals, architecture, values, etc. In college I took an anthropology class about nonprofit organizations. We studied American humanitarian organizations that would go oversees to help develop third world countries. When they built systems, even things like washrooms, they would build them in a way that only makes sense to the Western man. The people these systems were intended to serve ended up not utilizing the services at all, because it did not fit culturally. This showcased how we believe our way is the only and right way. Instead of meeting people where they are, we are inclined to “help” people meet us where we are.

Just some food for thought.

Now Jesus was a man. He was human. He was not a white man! He was not a black man. He came from that part of the world that touches Africa, and Asia, and Europe, and he probably had a brown skin.

— Billy Graham in South Africa in 1973

“Christ belongs to all people. He belongs to the whole world.”