Get up, Humble down and Change!

One of my favorite passages in the bible is Jeremiah 18:1-11, which shows God’s ability to change EVERYBODY. He has the ability to save even -those whom we see as- the worst sinners.

I pray that the message in this post would touch us, however much you may find flaws in the writing style, because I feel I fell to satan’s tricks that led me to believe that God cannot save everyone, and I don’t want you to fall for it too!

Before You start reading, please play this video

In this post, I’ll just comment on the first 4 verses.

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

While reading this passage today, it was like the first time for me to read the words, “Arise and Go down”. It may be taken from a literal point of view that Jeremiah was sitting down, so God asked him to get up, and that potteries are usually in valleys where they could find good clay, so God asked him to go down to them. Yet, I truly believe that if one thinks deeper into each and every word, he’d find more to it than just the obvious meaning.

(1) Arise

Arise to me always has a link to resurrection from death, or getting up from a fall (sin). Arise here is a message to me that to understand the coming part I NEED TO GET UP FROM NOT BELIEVING THAT GOD CAN SAVE EVERYONE!

I have been lost in the thought that God will only save the good people, and I totally forgot that Jesus said that “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17).

So the first step is to believe that God has the ability to save all!

(2) and go down

Going down usually in the bible means to humble yourself. Well, to see God working with sinners you need to humble yourself for two major reasons.

The first is obvious, YOU ARE A SINNER, so for God to work with you, you need to humble yourself. You just got up from the fall of not believing that God could save, but this shouldn’t make you boast. Knowing that you are a sinner and that you need to change helps God change you and save you. David in Psalm 18 says, “for You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty (condescendingly pride) looks” (Psalm 18:27)

The second which may not be as obvious as the first, and I personally have fell in several times, is humbling ourselves when helping out our brothers and sisters whom have fallen. St. John Chrysostom once said, “we should not speak as if from a righteous teacher’s chair, but with love lean down your backs, and hold on to those who have fallen, after having your feet completely steadfast, so that God’s spirit can raise us up with them, without us falling on to the ground“.

Second step is humble yourself, so God can change you, and use you to change others!

Conclusion

Instead of writing a conclusion, I will reiterate what Origen (a Christian writer and teacher who lived in the 2nd century) had said in his homily on Jeremiah.

As long as we are in this life, we are still made of clay that can be shaped, whether it is of vice or virtue. Vice can be shaped into a new virtue, and the same with virtue, it also can be changed into vice.  Until the day comes that our lives end, and we pass through the fire. Passing through the fire would harden the soft clay, and there will not be a possibility for change

A hope this post would trigger us to Get up, Humble down and Change!

God’s message: PEACE!!! (Part 2)

I should have written Part 2, within a few days after Part 1, but I got quite busy at work. Anyways, better late than never!

I ended Part 1 saying that I had some doubts that my dream about lacking “Inner Peace” was from God, but later that day I received an email from a friend of mine with some nice thoughts about Joseph interpreting the baker and butler’s dreams (Genesis 40), and that when I read the verse that said, “do not interpretations (of dreams) belong to God?” (Genesis 40:8 NKJV) that I felt God telling me that it was Him who sent the dream, and it was also Him who interpreted it.

The story goes on …

That weekend I went to church, and to my surprise the title of the talk was ” How to obtain Inner Peace”. At that moment, I was sure that it was a message from God.

The talk was simply beautiful,  each and every word of it touched me. The speaker said that to obtain “Inner Peace” there are 5 things to do. I don’t wan to make this post long so I’ll only talk about one of them, “FREEDOM”.

This point is actually very difficult on the practical side, the speaker said that we should set free from EVERYTHING. He said that when one emotionally let goes of things he/she holds on hard to, losing them doesn’t affect the person any more. If you are really attached to your car, losing your car will affect you. If you are attached to your parents, losing your parents will affect you. One of the attendees interrupted him saying, “so, are you asking us to let go of our emotions and feelings, and turn into robots?”, the speaker said “No, but I want you to be rational and find the better good.” He then told a story about a saint, called St. Dolagy; she was martyred during one of the persection periods in Egypt (I’m not quite sure when exactly). It was said that she had four children, and that the soldiers captured her and her children to be tortured and killed, if they don’t deny Christ. After a long series of torturing, it came the time that they were going to get killed. She stood up and asked the soldiers to kill her children first, then her.

To many of us, that was pure cruelty, how did she have the courage and strength to ask for such a thing? how could she stand and watch her children get killed right before her eyes? Actually, she stood there encouraging her children not to be afraid and that Christ would be waiting for them, and that she would follow in a bit. She got over her emotions, for the better good. She was afraid that after her death, her children, due to their young age, would deny Christ.

My wife added: Her inner peace gave her the courage to be a true mother with strong motherly emotions (of raising her children in God’s name and making sure they enter the heavenly kingdom), not that inner peace freed her from her motherly emotions, entirely.

After hearing that story, I knew that I really lacked Inner Peace, I am attached to everything and everyone around me. Hopefully, I would someday reach to that level of faith in God and obtain that kind of inner-peace.

God’s message: PEACE!!! (Part 1)

Since I started my current job, I have been having problems finding parking space. I had no option, but to park in an unsafe neighborhood and walk to work.  I depended that I finish work before dark and that nobody would steal a car in day light (I hoped).

One night I dreamt that I went to work with both my current car and the one before (don’t ask how), then I started my walk to work and for some reason I couldn’t find my way; I tried all streets in that neighborhood, but none would lead to my work. I decided I’d go back to my cars and go to work and maybe I’d be lucky to find a parking space there, when I reached there I only found my old car, although I was sure I parked both next to each other. Add to that, my old car’s driver’s door was open and wouldn’t close.

I decided to seek help and ask if anyone saw what happened to the cars.

A young kid saw me and took me up to the apartment where he lived. We went out to the balcony and he pointed at some young men driving very fancy cars, which appear to be stolen and he told me, if anyone stole my car it would be them, because it’s their job.

There were maybe 15 people, more than what I can handle alone, so I decided I’ll just take my old car and go home.

(Here comes the important part!)

I suddenly discovered that I was barefooted the whole time, but I was overwhelmed for not finding my car that I didn’t notice. The smiling kid, who was an orphan and lived with his grandmother and sister, offered me a pair of old sandals that I wore and headed back to my old car.

I, then, woke up and started thinking about that strange dream.

I thought that it was just my subconscious playing games on me, because finding a safe parking space is something that I think of daily.

My wife is a believer that some dreams are messages from God, I’m not! I know God is able to use people’s dreams to send messages, and I know that the bible has many incidents of God using dreams, but I was never one of those people.

Despite what I just said, this was the first time that I woke up and felt that it wasn’t just my mind playing games, but there was some sort of message. My wife and I started discussing what that dream could have meant, and we both remembered that there was a passage in the Bible that had to do with being barefooted, Ephesians 6.

Ephesians 6:10-20 talks about “The Whole Armor of God“, and verse 15 specifically talks about footwear. The verse reads, “having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15 NKJV).

It was then that I realized that being barefooted meant that I lacked inner peace!

Inner peace, just like shoes, keeps one unhurt from what he/she steps on. You could step on thorns with your shoes knowing it won’t hurt, because it won’t get to you. Same with inner peace, you’d pass through down times, problems in life, bad days at work, family problems, and the list goes on, yet you know you won’t get hurt.

(I’ll elaborate more on this in Part 2)

I knew I lacked that, I was (and still am) way far from having real inner peace! (but I won’t give up!)

Later that day, I still had doubts if that dream was really from God, or was it me making up stories about God talking to me in my sleep. I, then, received an email from a friend of mine with some nice thoughts about Joseph interpreting the baker and butler’s dreams (Genesis 40). It was only when I read the verse that said, “do not interpretations (of dreams) belong to God?” (Genesis 40:8 NKJV) that I felt God telling me that it was Him who sent the dream, and it was also Him who interpreted it.

My Window to the World!

I never knew I would be that excited to start my own blog.

I don’t think my blog will be specific to one topic or one target audience, I would rather use this blog as a means to write to the whole world about anything that I find interesting.

I guess my blog will be very diverse, ranging from Engineering, BIM, Excel, Graphs and Charts to Religious topics.

Hope you enjoy my blog!!

5 Visions of Amos

Update (24 Oct 2011): This post was imported from my old blog

I was reading the book of Amos (عاموس), which is one of these bible books that you either skip or read without any benefit, BUT THIS TIME NO .. I decided I must find something .. And here goes 😀

The last 3 chapters in the book of Amos talk about God showing him 5 visions, please read them first however much they may seem difficult:

1) locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop (7:1-3)

The verse reads that God will send locusts that will eat the “late” crop after the king’s mowings, it some how hit me that it meant fake good work or good work done for a different purpose than God. Because although there was crop, it wasn’t intended for the king. I see the crop owner saying “The king already took his share what more does he want from me!!!” … I see it in different events, I see it after a long day of service followed by a party that Jesus wouldn’t be happily attending, I see it after attending Christmas liturgy then the feast turns into a meat-eating contest, and I also see it in weddings after it starts as a Holy service where we all witness the uniting of two people into one through the Holy Spirit then we end the night with a party that Jesus wouldn’t attend.

So God wants to send locusts to get rid of the crops that show-up after his mowing!!!

2) conflict by fire (7:4-6)

This part I felt was a bit easier, God said that He will send fire, what does fire burn?? Paul says it in a better way in 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” So I thought, God is telling us that in the last vision we might be doing things that may seem OK or actually great culturally and socially, but is it??? Now He says he will send His fire to test it; is it gold or is it straw??

3) a plumb line (7:7-9) – a plumb line is a simple tool that measures the verticality of walls.

OK so how should I know that what I’m doing is write or wrong?? Is there something to compare my works with??  Is there something vertical that I can align my life to?? Actually Solomon replies to this and simply says in Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”. All of a sudden these three visions get tied together, if in all my works I acknowledge God, my paths will be straight, therefore will bare crops that are part of God’s mowing and won’t be affected by fire because they are pure intentions made of gold!!!

4) a basket of summer fruit (8:1-14)

What does a basket of Summer fruit have to do with all of this … well I felt God chose fruit, because fruit in the bible has two meanings, either good fruit like the fruit of the Spirit and also there is bad fruit like the one that was the reason for the fall of mankind. Same thing with works and intentions, you could have good works, but with good or bad intentions. That’s how it is related to the plumb line, it’s a reminder that not everything that looks good is really good …“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) … I also saw God showing me the beauty of living with Him, especially that after a few verses Amos reads, I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD”, so the basket of fruit is like a teaser showing me that I will miss a lot if I decide not to follow his path, but “when your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty“.

5) the Lord standing by the altar, and He said: “Strike the doorposts” (9:1-10) – Door posts were the main columns that carried buildings, like the ones that Samson destroyed after he regained his strength.

Finally, He was standing next to the alter and asked me to destroy it!! I felt God asking me to demolish everything that I worshipped in my life and everything that I saw Holy or saw that I thought I am doing for God, but I wasn’t. Stop acting religious, stop serving while seeking praise, stop serving others while I’m the one who needs service, DEMOLISH THE ALTER, but then start newly, start fresh, build with Gold, build vertical walls, build for Him only. “Carefully consider [your thoughts, intentions, and works] from this day forward … before stone is laid upon stone in the temple of the LORD” (Haggai 2:15)