by Ernest Liu
about the author

  • Random Snippets
    • 4 Thoughts on the Political Craze
      Let's face it–there is no utopian candidate. None will flawlessly reflect all of your deepest desires. A Christian who votes for a pro-abortionist candidate does not necessarily…
    • 4 Reasons Why Christians Don’t Memorize Scripture
      I grew up in the church with one verse memorized–John 3:16. Occasionally I’d memorize other passages, but only if I got points and prizes for it. Once I got the goods, the verse was thrown in the mental dumpster. Now I […]
    • CBM and the Spiritual High
      Campers and counselors are excited, because in the next two weeks, we’re gonna rock the grounds at CBM Camp! It’s that time of year when we get a taste of Heaven, where we rejoice among saints without distraction. Many of […]
  • CBM and the Spiritual High

    Campers and counselors are excited, because in the next two weeks, we’re gonna rock the grounds at CBM Camp! It’s that time of year when we get a taste of Heaven, where we rejoice among saints without distraction. Many of us will ignite a spiritual high, the feeling of love and empowerment by God.

    But Beware.

    There’s a caveat. Many of you remember feeling high on Christ at camp. But it was temporary. You stepped back into the real world, and the passion faded. If that’s the case, if you found yourself falling back into your old life where God was only tacked on to your weekly activities, then you’ve got to question yourself.

    Seriously. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’ve changed since the last time you went to camp.

    Did you become any more loving? Have you found more joy in the Lord? Do you have more peace and more patience? Are you more kind, more faithful, or more gentle? Do you strive for goodness? Do you have a higher level of self-control? Do you love His word and read it more? Do you love Him more?

    Don’t Fool Yourself

    I’ve been to camp about a dozen times, and I’ve seen many people fool themselves. Teens have jumped into a spiritual high only to reject God years later. They banked their faith on a feeling, and once those feelings were gone, so was their skin-deep faith.

    I Have a Secret for You

    And it is this: what used to be the spiritual high is now the spiritual norm for me. I’ve owned my own faith, and I love God. I am high on Christ. Sure, I may have temporal downtimes caused by the sin within me, but the Holy Spirit keeps me up and running. God’s omnipotence never ceases to amaze me.

    Do you want the spiritual high to become the norm for you too?

    Okay. Here’s How.

    At camp, you’ll find yourself immersed in God’s glory. You will be bombarded with Biblical theology and have access to people who can answer the tough questions about God. You’ll have all the time you want to pray to Him, begging Him for more of His love.

    So start now. Immerse yourself in His word and find your dependence on Him. Talk to Him. Share everything. Hear everything. I promise you that in the end, everyone who remains faithful to Him won’t regret it.

    I promise, because God promised.

    Drown Yourself

    Of course, all of your efforts will be futile unless you’ve died to your sins. Jesus is the source of living water, the one who can save you from the penalty of your sins. He is the one who died on a cross to absorb the wrath of God that you deserve. He’s the one that conquered the grave three days later.

    You’ve got to drown yourself in His living water. It is terrifying and exhilarating, but as you die to your old self, you’ll discover that you can safely inhale the living water. It will fill your lungs, and you’ll find new life as it run through your veins. You’ll discover the power of His love and wish never to resurface.

    The Blame Game

    I sat with a friend as he poured out his various frustrations. He’d been drained from a reoccurring conflict with a brother in Christ whom he cares for, and it has stressed him out emotionally.

    But he did something that amazed me. Through all the grief he expressed, he took blame for much of the dispute. He even took responsibility for things that he didn’t cause, leaving me confused and thinking no, that part’s not even your fault. It takes a great person of humility to do that, to soften your heart and honestly examine yourself during a feud.

    He displayed the wisdom not to fall into hardheartedness.

    You ever met anybody hardhearted? They interpret all data negatively. They always spin it, so that they are innocent and you are guilty. They always turn it to where they are a victim, and you owe them.

    Mark Driscoll

    A hardhearted fool plays the blame game. Because the game doesn’t stop at grade school. In fact, we become more tactful at the game as we grow older–so tactful that we can fool ourselves into believing that we are blameless. Or we’ll pretend to be religious and take a little bit of the blame, then shift the rest to our opponent and focus on him instead of repenting.

    My friend’s wisdom allowed him to avoid this childish game. He saw things from the real-life perspective.

    A wise person has the kind of discernment that leads to self-critique during a brawl. It doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong or who wins or who loses. What matters is whether or not he learns from the experience and can humble himself enough to find where he may have lacked holiness and wisdom.

    Are you in a conflict? Are you bitter? Are you harboring hate towards someone? Then examine yourself. See if you’re the type to construct worst-case-scenarios and build all your concerns around it. See whether or not your heart is hard and find out if you’re robbing yourself of wisdom. Don’t play the blame game, because it is prideful, destructive, and demonic.

    So I look up to this brother of mine, and I ask you to do the same. For now, and for the future. Why? Because preserving an attitude of humility and focusing on the unity of Christ’s body is of utmost importance. Ephesians 4:1-16

    Time to Do Hard Things

    413pwljbXIL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_Today we live in a culture that promotes comfort, not challenges. Everything is about finding ways to escape hardship, avoid pain, and dodge duty. In the past, young people were expected to make significant contributions to society. Today, our culture expects very little from teens—not much more than staying in school and doing a few chores. A sad consequence of such low expectations is that life-changing lessons go unlearned…

    Do Hard Things will help recruit, develop, and deploy a new generation of young culture warriors. With God’s help, the book you’re holding will usher in an era in which it can once again be said of our youth, “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14).

    – Forward by Chuck Norris in Do Hard Things (1)

    My disciple started reading Do Hard Things, and it intrigued me. The book came as a result of The Rebelution, a movement started by a couple of teens seeking to rebel against low expectations.

    I began reading the book a couple nights ago, and my feelings are mixed. While it is great to see God using a couple of teens to accomplish so much, it saddens me that my peers and I probably need this book as much as its intended audience. Even adults today are content with comfortable lives, failing to go above and beyond for the glory of God.

    I’m excited to see where this book goes. Anyone care to join me on this reading and doing adventure?

    (1) Harris, Alex; Harris, Brett (2008-04-15). Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations (Kindle Locations 39-41). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

    How Not to Ask For Counseling
    My pastor told me that when most people go to them for advice, they don’t really go for the advice. They just want to hear the pastor affirm or justify their concerns. – Michael

    These are the humbling words of my roommate, said when I came home after talking with my pastor at church.

    And it makes sense. For most people, even if they’re not consciously seeking for pastoral approval, approval is what they want at heart. They don’t really want to be corrected. Instead, they present their affairs from a biased perspective, in hopes of winning the pastor to their side. They might even wisely proclaim that it’s sinful to gossip to friends and family, then make the mistake of gossipping to their pastor, tricking themselves into thinking they are seeking his advice.

    They pretend to be humble and holy while talking to their pastor, but their hearts are drowning in pride and prejudice, and they are absolutely blind to it. If their pastor corrects them, they may only pick and choose what they want to hear. If their pastor affirms them, then they drown a little more in their self-righteousness. Like a Pharisee.

    I did some thinking and reflection after that night, and even though I saw things eye to eye with my pastor, I still had to repent and ask God to forgive me. My heart was more concerned about seeking my pastor’s approval than his wisdom.

    Thanks for keeping me in check, roomie!

    ♫ Love Me (What Love Really Means)

    oneLoveRemainsHappy Sunday evening.

    I recently discovered the talented JJ Heller. Her song Love Me (aka What Love Really Means) pulls at the heart strings, and illustrates a wonderful picture of how God is the only one who can truly demonstrate unconditional love to us.

    He cries in the corner where nobody sees
    He’s the kid with the story
    No one would believe
    He prays every night
    “Dear God won’t you please
    Could you send someone here
    Who will love me?”

    Who will love me for me
    Not for what I have done
    Or what I will become
    Who will love me for me
    ‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
    What love really means

    Her office is shrinking a little each day
    She’s the woman whose husband has run away
    She’ll go to the gym after working today
    Maybe if she was thinner
    Then he would’ve stayed
    And she says…
    Who will love me for me
    Not for what I have done
    Or what I will become
    Who will love me for me
    ‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
    What love really means
    What love really means

    He’s waiting to die as he sits all alone
    He’s a man in a cell who regrets what he’s done
    He utters a cry from the depths of his soul
    “Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home”

    Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
    And it said,
    “I know you’ve murdered and I know you’ve lied
    And I have watched you suffer all of your life
    And now that you’ll listen I’ll, I’ll tell you that I…”

    I will love you for you
    Not for what you have done
    Or what you will become
    I will love you for you
    I will give you the love
    The love that you never knew
    Love you for you
    Not for what you have done
    Or what you will become
    I will love you for you
    I will give you the love
    The love that you never knew

    We’ve all been there, right? The times when people don’t trust us despite our intentions, the times when we’re desperately worried about how others perceive us, and the times we’ve harbored so much hate in our souls that it destroyed us. But God’ll be there. I don’t know why He’ll be there. Or why He’d care. Or why His forgiveness is unimaginably endless. But I’m glad He’s there.

    Song posted with permission from JJ Heller herself! Song available on iTunes. JJ Heller recently released a new album, Loved. You can preview all of the new songs here!

    Click here to see the previously featured song, Rock Bottom!