Ziphen Central

Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

Tackling Unforgiveness

At the Duluth Church of Christ this coming Sunday morning, Cary Oglesby will bring us a lesson about getting rid of unforgiveness in our lives. Our worship, while directed primarily toward God, will also help us to encourage each other as a Christian family to live and love more like Christ would have us to.

All song numbers are from the book Praise for the Lord.

Doxology – 528

The music of this classic hymn dates back to 1551, and the words to 1673. Despite its age, the message rings ever true: Each member of the Godhead is worthy of praise and glory from both men and angels.

A Common Love – 842
Audio recording
I have fond memories of singing this song with other young people, hand in hand as we finished a time of devotion together. When we forgive each other, we show our love and strengthen the bond between us.

He Paid a Debt – 859

Before the sermon, we will sing this song and remember the debt that Jesus has already paid for us. Now that we are forgiven, we can forgive others! And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 NKJV)

Sweet Will of God – 432
Audio recording
As the invitation is given, we will sing this beautiful hymn from the turn of the last century. This song puts into words our longing to want what God wants, for His will to be ours, “Till I am wholly lost in Thee.” May this be our goal every day!

Nailed to the Cross – 444
Audio recording
Part of the sweet will of God was for the Son to willingly give His life on the cross, in order to pay our debt. This solemn song will remind us of that sacrifice and help us get into the right mindset to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows. (Isaiah 53:4 NKJV)

Beloved, Let Us Love One Another – 846

Our final song will return to the theme of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, which includes forgiveness. Dennis Ryder put 1 John 4:7, 8 to music in 1974, and it is a great way to memorize this Bible verse, complete with the reference!

Posted on 9 January 2016 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Christianity,music

An open letter to passport stampers everywhere

Dear passport stamper person,

Let me begin by thanking you for your service. I’m sure you serve an important role in the immigration office, making sure that only legitimate travelers are allowed into your country, and that terrorists and suchlike are denied. I also am aware that your job is not necessarily a pleasant one, and that you would probably much rather be at home watching TV at 11 PM instead of stamping passports. So please accept my sincere gratitude for your efforts.

However, I do have a minor complaint. Are you aware that my U.S. passport features 17 pages for you to stamp visas on? I certainly don’t expect you to count them like I just did, but I can’t help but notice that, every time you stamp my passport, you always add your stamp somewhere in the first few spreads, which have been stamped many times before. It’s almost as if, instead of looking for a blank space to stamp on, you are looking for the very spot in my passport that is so overstamped, that no one could possibly spot, much less read, a new stamp! Every time is the same, continuing the vicious cycle.

I know this is an insignificant grievance, but when I look through my passport and see whole blank pages, just longing for someone to stamp on them, I can’t help but wonder what you were thinking when I handed you my passport and you thumbed through it. All I ask is that you look more carefully next time, and give some love to the lonely back pages of my passport before it expires.

Sincerely,

Mashkioya, world traveler

Posted on 9 December 2015 by Mashkioya
Filed under: miscellany,travel

Stop the U.S. Imperialists from sneaking into your house!

So, today I happened to be browsing a North Korean website—that’s totally normal, right? Well, the truth is, I don’t do this often, since North Korean websites generally serve up an uninteresting array of news related to what Kim Jeong-eun is up to, and how awful South Korea and America are. But this time I was surprised to see a button labeled “Game”—not only did it promise something more interesting, but they used an English word that South Korea has adopted, but which I would expect the northern comrades to avoid. At any rate, I was ready to play some North Korean computer games!

Not all of them would load (North Korean servers aren’t known for their speedy page delivery), but I got a few to fire up. First I played a geography game with a map of the Korean peninsula, the goal being to recognise each province and major city by its shape, and then stick it in the proper place on the map. I didn’t do too bad, despite my very limited knowledge of Korean geography! (keep reading)

Posted on 6 November 2015 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Korean,miscellany,politics

Love Wins

I live under a rock. And it wasn’t until yesterday that I was informed of the big news that happened while I was chilling out under said rock. Frankly, I was not surprised to hear it, nor was I horrified or thunderstruck. Really I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner, what with the way things are going these days.

And it’s no secret where Google’s allegiance lies–I happened to open YouTube this morning to see a whole featured playlist of videos under the title “#LoveWins in Supreme Court Ruling.” The phrase “Love Wins” really struck me, and got me to thinking.

You know the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? It is as true as ever, but we run into difficulty when it comes to homosexuality. You see, homosexuality is one sin that in modern times has become an identity. And when something becomes your identity, it is who you are. Me, I’m a Texan, born and raised. If you start a diatribe against my home state, I’m going to be very upset! Why? Because Texas is who I am, I am part of Texas. This is how homosexuality is now. It’s not so much considered something that people do, but something that people are. (I would have to research this, but my understanding is that this is a fairly recent phenomenon in light of history.) (keep reading)

Posted on 29 June 2015 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Christianity,politics

Reflections on 3 Years in Georgia

Chattahoochee River

Has it been three years already? Yep, three years ago today, I started my new job at Truth For The World, in a new state and hundreds of miles away from home. The week before that I spent in Texas packing my earthly belongings into the back of my pickup, and the weeks before that I was busy taking finals, graduating, and taking a road trip clear across Texas with my parents and friend. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t slowed down since!

A lot has happened in the past three years. There have been both victories and disappointments. Times when I felt very stressed out, and times when I have been at peace. Friends have been lost, and friends gained. It’s been a time of growth, and although I haven’t accomplished everything my ambitious and naïve mind had planned before I started life on my own, all in all it’s been good. (keep reading)

Posted on 26 May 2015 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Life updates

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