Barrabus: a new perspective on my life

Last night, I went on Youtube and watched videos of reactions to people’s prison sentences. I watched people’s reactions to having a life sentence or being on death row. This isn’t what I usually watch but for some reason, I was drawn to this. As I learned about their crimes, the judgement and their reactions, something stirred inside me. On one hand, I felt anger, hatred and a sense of righteousness. After all, they deserved what they got. I felt angry because they could cry over their own life, but they obviously didn’t hold their victim’s life with the same value..

But as I watched someone, who was told he faced death row, something whispered in my ear; “Jesus died for you.” It was bizarre and heartfelt at the same time. These murderers; who laughed when the judge read out his crimes, who were angry at their sentence as if they did not deserve to die, who looked back once more at the camera before being led away by the police; these were the people Jesus had laid his life for even though they did not deserve it.  

Deserve. That word came up many times in my mind, in the judges’ mouths and in the comments below. These monsters deserved what they got. They didn’t deserve to live. They didn’t deserve to ever be let out of prison. Deserve.

But don’t we all deserve this punishment?

Jesus came to this earth to save sinners through his death and resurrection. We are all sinners. No matter how many good acts we perform, no matter how clean our record may be, but in the eyes of God, we are sinners, we fall short of his righteousness. Since the punishment for sin is death, we deserve to die.

It was hard to get my head around that these murderers and I both deserved to die but this was the revelation I had while I watched these videos.

What was even more incredible, was that for the first time, I gave thought to the murderer who was let go by Pilate and at the request of the Jews. I had never cared much about this detail but suddenly, it was significant to my life. Jesus took the place of Barrabas and died in his place. He did the same for you and me.

If I wasn’t already convicted of self righteousness, God gave me another verse. It was when Jesus gave his sermon on a mountain and explained the ten commandments in more depths, so that the Jews would learn that the law was impossible to follow by their own will or might.

Jesus told them that anger, in the eyes of God, is the same as murder. Just like how murder is subject to judgement, so too is being angry with someone. We must go so far as to hold our tongues from calling someone stupid or a fool (Mathew 5:21-26, NIV).

The ones who, by human law, are good citizens, and the ones who, by the same law, are in jail or on death row, are all sinners in God’s eyes. Jesus died for the whole world, not for the people who deserved everlasting life. In fact, none of us falls in that category.

We fall short of God’s holiness, righteousness, and standards. We can not hope to obey the law if we do not find grace in Jesus.

After watching these videos, I watched a lighter video-a cat in a shark costume on a roomba, chasing a duck-because I didn’t want to go to sleep with these dark thoughts. But after this, I prayed a heartfelt prayer to God. I thanked God that, exactly like Barrabas, Jesus took my place at the cross and he died for my sins, so that I may be forgiven. For it is only by God’s grace that I can be righteous in His eyes.

In my weakness

Lord, I am so useless. I’m not good at anything.

I thought I was a helpful person but I only make things worse.

Turn my idle hands into usefulness for your glory and movement.

But I have no skills, gifts or experiences.

I am useless.

I can’t do anything.

And yet, here I am, called by You to do greater than what I alone could achieve.

Because you see me differently than others.

You see what I could do, not based on my merits and strengths,

but based on YOUR goodness, YOUR merits,

YOUR faithfulness and OUR relationship.

It is based on your hopeful and prosperous plans for my future.

Thank you,

for the greatest gift I have is being your daughter.

Thank you,

for in you, I am capable.

For in you,

I find my strength,

It is the strength that carries me over the waters,

and what I once couldn’t do, I can do because You give me success in everything.

 

 

Psalm: Where I fall short

This psalm is more of an afternoon prayer but I think you can use this in the morning as well.

 

Lord,

I don’t always pray every night,

I don’t always pray everyday

worse still,

I didn’t go to church today

I can’t wield the bible like a sword,

I even fall short of my own expectations of how a christian should act,

and what a teacher should be like,

 

I rejoice in the Lord,

you made me as I am

no mistakes in your precious handiwork

You love me regardless of what I can and can’t do,

and it is because of the solus of your love,

I can love you back.

 

Jesus,

You are my lord forever,

Jesus,

You are my king who reigns,

Jesus,

Jesus,

Jesus,

Hallelujah and Amen.

 

A/N:

This prayer is short but a little wordy. I would say that it could still be used in the morning, maybe in the later morning or while showering. That is, unless you’re one of those people who are actually awake as soon as your eyes open.

Another thing to note is that this is a personal psalm, hence why there are things that might not relate to you. For example, “What a teacher should look like”, comes from my failures as a leader over children. I noticed that I was controlling and cold. I wasn’t the warm, laid back teacher I thought I was. Instead, I wanted everything perfect and I was greatly disappointed when it didn’t work out like that.

So feel free to customise this psalm if you’re using this as a prayer. What are times when you’ve fallen short of your own expectations?

Something to take away from this psalm, know that when you let yourself down, God still loves you no matter what. Because God loves you (and it is in his love ALONE), that is why we can love him back. He is the reason why we can forgive others and ourselves.

I got inspiration for the second stanza from two scriptures; (paraphrase)

Ephesians 2:10-We are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do Good Works.

Philippians 4:4- Always rejoice because of God.

Have a blessed day 🙂

A Prayer to God (Sudanese children)

Dear Jesus,
Please help me and my friends to lead a good life,
Please end the war that plagues my country,
Please help us in our time of need,
Please love and care for us

Thank you that even though you don’t always say yes to our requests, or do what we wanted you to do,
You have a far greater plan than what we could possibly imagine.
And all your promises,
Are yes and amen.

Praise report on healing

Have you ever had a really bad flu? The bad thing about the flu is that you get symptoms for the cold and also a bad fever and a bad sore throat in succession, one problem after the other. Sometimes, all three at once. At the time of writing this post, I’ve had the flu for about 5 days now. I also have a really bad sore throat. It’s a lot better now but still needs healing and recovery. But I believe in healing and I believe in prayer. I believe that prayer is the number one solution for healing and restoration. Prayer and honey and lemon tea are more effective and efficient than just honey and lemon tea.

This post isn’t a praise report on my healing. That will come soon but not now. This is a report on a fellow brother in Christ. This video has many key points. It’s not long video so it’ll be worth it to watch the whole video yourself even though I’ll write down some points.

Some points from the video:

  • God blesses those whom he loves
  • Rest in what God’s done for me and not what I’m trying to do for him
  • Thank you Jesus for going to the cross for me

I think I can write a prayer on healing from these three points. Let’s see…

Dear Lord,

You bless me, your precious child whom you love. Help me to rest in what you’ve done for me. You are always at work for my good. It is not what I do, but it is all about your love and who you are. You are healer, restorer, and father. Thank you, Jesus, for going to the cross for me, paying the price for all my sins. Because of what you’ve done, I can be forgiven and healed. I claim healing, I claim a restored body, I claim peace and perfect health over my body, mind, and spirit in Jesus name, Amen.

You turn:

Share in the comments below. Don’t share your germs. But share any testimonies or else just your thoughts on anything that I’ve written in this post.

 

 

alone

My dad is gone,
He went to the shops and never came back.
He’s lost among the other mums and dads who the war refused to let go.

The war is hungry and it devours humans.

I am alone. I am on my own. I have no where to go but Uganda.

From there, who knows what awaits me.
I am alone but perhaps when I get there,
I will have friends and I won’t be so alone anymore.

The world is a small place.”

Link to World Vision Fundraiser page:

Click here

Please consider to give before the end of September 2018 (the end of my fundraise).

Thank you.

What did Dash do?

Dash is a superhero character in the film, “The Incredibles”. I’m super excited for the second film that focusses on Jack Jack’s power. But nothing is going to come close to the classic first movie. One classic scene is the one when Dash is in a race.

His superpower is speed so who the winner’s going to be is a no-brainer. How he’s going to win without everyone knowing he can run faster than Usain Bolt is another matter, one that is hilarious.

In terms of the moral development that we started talking about last Tuesday, what was the moral dilemma/s in this video?

Dash was in a race. He wasn’t allowed to run as fast as he could because then it would be obvious that he and his whole family were superheroes. But, he didn’t want to lose either. No one enters a race with the hope of losing.

what level/s and stage/s were Dash in?

Just by looking at this short clip, one might think Dash is in level 1, stage 1 and 2 of the Moral development stages.

Stage 1: Obedience

We observe from the video that Dash is obedient to his family. Particularly, we can hear Bob’s voice and instruction for how fast Dash should run and if he should “pick up the pace” or “slow up”. However, we also know from the whole film, that Dash is in school, not that obedient to authority and is past the expected age range of people who are in stage one. He doesn’t just obey his parents but he knows why he has to go slower.

Stage 2: Self-interest

Although Dash can’t run fast for the entire duration of the race, he still wins in the last minute. This is out of self interest. Similarly, although his parents are shouting at him from the sidelines to slow up, they still want him to win or at the very least, get to second place. There is no way Dash couldn’t win if he wanted to given his abilities and he enters the race in the first place out of self-interest.

In my opinion, I think that Dash is in stage 2 and 3 of Kohlberg’s moral development stages.

Stage 3: Conformity

Because Dash knows he has to go slower but not too slow that he loses, this shows his conformity to being undercover. As a normal child, he can’t show off his super abilities. He can’t let people know that he’s super fast only that he’s fast. He conforms to the rules of being a superhero, having a secret identity and also that of his parents as they shout out what he should do from the benches.

He has self-interest in winning the race but he also conforms to the rules of being a superhero and having a secret identity. Notice how he obeys and conforms because he wants to be a good student and son. He doesn’t obey without knowing the intentions.

 

Your turn:

What do you think about Dash’s moral dilemma? Do you see any other moral dilemmas in this clip?

 

When? Tuesday 2:00pm

Where? writing160.wordpress

 

May God fill you with the wisdom of grace.

Amen.

 

One more question:

How excited are you for Incredibles 2?

Heinz Dilemma

What is right and wrong? How do we know when we do something right? Why do we have this sense of good and evil?

Lawrence Kohlberg was a theorist born in the late 20’s who developed the moral development called the “Kohlberg’s 6 moral stages”.

Kohlberg also creates the “Heinz’ Dilemma” which can determine where a person is at in their moral development based on their answer to the posed question.

There are 6 moral stages according to Kohlberg and three levels that the stages fit into.

e47b70fb12ff482a64e01fbf787ff1d3.jpg

Your turn:

In the context of Heinz’ dilemma, what level and what stage are you in?

Should Heinz have broken into the lab? Why? or why not?

What do you think Heinz could’ve done differently? i.e. was there a third option?

 

What? An article on the human moral development

When? Tuesday 2:00pm

Where? writing160.wordpress

 

May God fill you with the wisdom of grace.

Amen.