Man, I really wish I had a picture to upload for this blog post. But I don’t have one at the moment, so you have to just imagine with me.
Imagine not having a place to call home every day. Imagine not having the money to send your kids to school. Imagine that the uncertainty of tomorrow is your greatest fear. This is a reality for many families in America. Families are without homes every day. There is no reliable source of income because companies don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t have a stable living situation. Every day, these families are left wondering where they may end up.
When I joined Trinity’s outreach team and got involved with Family Promise, I wasn’t sure what it would entail. But I knew God wanted me to be here. This is what I was called to do.
I think back to all the commercialism and all the pressures of buying gifts, decorating houses and sending cards. I am not a big fan of it. I tend to think that as we continue all this, we are losing touch with the true meaning of Christmas.
I like to look back at Linus’ message of the true meaning of Christmas, taken from the Gospel of Luke. It’s refreshing to still keep this relevant in the society that seems to push everything but Jesus as the reason why we are celebrating this time of year.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May the message of Christ’s arrival be the centerpiece of the reason of this season!
A somehow odd yet perfect image I found on Google.
Ever since I was a kid growing up and going to church because my parents told me to, it has been a very odd relationship I’ve had with attending a building every Sunday. On one hand, I enjoy it and in my recent years, I have grown to really love it and find it as the highlight of my week.
But also in the same sense, I don’t speak much about it outside of those four walls. Rarely did I ever share with co-workers, friends, even strangers, that I attend church on Sundays. It’s not something I bring up. Even when the topic of weekend activities is brought up, church is never mentioned. I was comfortable talking about almost anything else but church.
It’s hard to sometimes be open about church and there are reasons for it. For me, I didn’t want to open up a new conversation about my faith. I didn’t want people to think of me differently. And sometimes I just felt me talking about going to church would fit in the discussion. I just didn’t think it belonged.
I was so selfish.
Last week, we as a church concluded a 21-day fasting period. During the fast, each person spent time in prayer daily to focus on God and to deepen the relationship. The purpose of the fast was to cut out distractions from our lives such as social media or junk food and in its place spent time to draw strength from God. Along with prayer, it opened up an avenue for us to connect with our Lord and it enhanced that relationship.
Before Jesus began His ministry, he spent 40 days in fasting and in prayer. He wanted to connect with His Father. Despite the devil’s attempts to tempt Jesus away from his fast, Jesus resisted because His relationship with God was strong. Jesus depended on God for strength, not the temptations and distractions from the devil.
Several members of our church experienced great change in their lives during the three weeks of fasting and they volunteered to share their experience and testimony. We hope that these stories can inspire those who also participated in the fast; and encourage those who may be unsure about the benefits of fasting. May God continue to bless you in your journey with Him and may you draw strength from our Lord daily through prayer.
Cameron Moberg: Graffiti artist and pastor.
Take a look at at the photo above. From your first impressions, what do you see? You look at the piercings, the cap and the location of the shot and you might think that this guy is probably a skateboarder who listens to alternative rock. He likely is not the kind of guy you would see in a church, right?
Would you believe that this guy is a pastor? Would you also believe that he is a graffiti artist?
His name is Cameron Moberg but he likes to go by Camer1. I recently discovered him when I was watching the first episode of Street Art Throwdown. (I’m into these kind of shows.) When the contestants were introducing themselves, it was pretty standard. But when Cameron showed up and said that he was a pastor, it threw people off guard.
“When I say I’m a Christian, often times the artist is confused by that or the Christian is confused by the fact that I am a graffiti artist,” he said on the show. “I have always felt that I can’t be either/or. I just want to show the world it’s OK to be who you are.”
By Samuel Lam
What if Jesus never came to save us?
As we are in the Christmas season and we have so much to do (decoration, buying gifts) during this time of year, we often lose track of the importance and reason of Christmas. This past Sunday, we had an amazing sermon about the core foundation of Christmas. I recommend you check it out right here. It’s very powerful.
I haven’t really fully participated in Christmas as the world tells me to do so. I don’t put up decorations or even do any gift buying for others. It’s not that I am a Grinch, but I have come to realize that for the longest time, I have ignored Jesus in this whole story. Christmas was more about the eggnog and wreaths than the actual story of Jesus’ arrival. It just didn’t feel right.
Then it made me wonder: What if we did really ignore Jesus and Jesus never factored into the story. What if God never sent Jesus to save us? What if there was no salvation?
Whoa, that’s heavy.
By Samuel Lam
A more interactive, learning-focused approach is coming to Trinity Church on Sundays. We got a little taste of it this past Sunday.
Before I moved to Southern California and visited Trinity Church for the first time, I was part of a mobile house church that I had been attending for about half the time I was going to school in San Jose. It was different from all the other churches I had attended. One of the things that really captivated me was that during Sunday services, we would actually set up the chairs in a circle. The idea of the circle was to allow everyone to see one another and make it easy to open up discussion. Rather than just have the pastor talk the whole time, it was encouraged for everyone to talk and ask questions. The idea was that it was essential to not just sit and soak in information, but to actively think about the information and use different mediums, such as discussion, to drive the point home.
It was probably the best church experience I ever had in my life. It was different from what I had experienced before. But it was so good for me. Not only did I get a chance to learn differently, but it help me learn that I may have insight that other people of the church never even considered. We all learned with each other.
By Samuel Lam
It ain’t easy, but it’s right.
This past Sunday, Trinity continued with their #DoHardThings sermon series and the topic was about forgiveness. Boy, that ain’t easy.
LISTEN TO THE SERMON RIGHT HERE
Forgiveness is something that should be part of our daily lives as Christians. We are taught to forgive others because we ourselves have been forgiven. The mercy that God shows us should be something we give to others.
But it’s not easy.
Forgiveness may be the hardest topic to really take in from the #DoHardThings sermon series. Many times, especially for me, I’m too prideful. I want to come out as the “stronger” person. Somehow forgiving someone makes me appear weaker, making it appear that not taking vengeance is a sign of me being less of a man. Of course it’s silly to think that is true when you take a couple steps back. But in the moment, it’s hard to be logistical.
By Samuel Lam
One of these things on this watch tells you the time.
Last week, Apple introduced the new Apple Watch. It’s a watch that acts like a smart phone. Except for the calling function, the watch tells time and helps keep track of many things. You can even purchase new things on the Apple Watch, including another Apple Watch. It’s totally unnecessary.
As we progress through technology and all these advances we have in the world, we start to lose a little sense of the way things were. Nobody needs this watch, but we’ve found another shortcut through life with these inventions. Some are great and have helped us improve our living. But at times, our dependency on our own natural skills has diminished.
I think that part of this is why we as a generation find it so hard to do difficult things. Or if you think about it, things seem difficult because we’ve de-sensitized our senses to things. What used to be common and natural has now become alien to us. We’ve lost our discipline because of our distractions.
By Samuel Lam
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON SAM’S PERSONAL BLOG
Last night during the Bridge life group meeting, we talked about Proverbs 1. The Bridge is a group for people anyone out of high school all the way through their 20s. I fit in that group. The group has been a great fit for me since I am not from the area and it’s hard for me to connect with people my age since I spend most of my week working.
But back to our discussion last night. There was a part of the chapter that really stood out to me while we went over it. Check out verse 4 (NIV).
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.