Friday, August 29, 2008

Cowardly Indian Ringneck

Tonight I let all three birds (Indian Ringneck, which I previusly falsely identified as a Green Conure since I only knew the Chinese name, Monk Parrakeet and Yellow Lovebird who returned after a three month absence-- I am now virtually certain it is the same bird) out for a little exercise. The Ringneck likes hanging out on the ceiling fans, which I have been good at remembering to turn off first!

Pretty obvious from this clip which I took later which of these two birds is the boss, even though the lovebird is 1/3 the size of the Ringneck! Although it wants to come over to me, whenever the lovebird is on my shoulder, the Ringneck is too afraid.

More on Healer Songwriter

Here's a well-done video of the song I mentioned in my last post.

And the sad story which broke earlier this week, as told on an Australian newscast.

I can see why so many of the deceived are angry. At the same time, it sounds like the father, the pastor of another large megachurch, might be going into protective mode as well. Hmmm.... father-son issues to be resolved here? Reminds me of what I've been reading lately in The Shack.

"When they kept on questioning him, [Jesus] straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7

"My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted." Gal 6:1

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jesus is Still Our Healer

After recently reading Christianity Today's Mixed Review of Hillsong Australia's most recent CD, "This is Our God", I decided to buy a mere two songs off Itunes instead of purchasing the whole CD. No imagesooner had I clicked the purchase button on the song "Healer", a second search revealed a breaking story on the song's gifted writer. Not only has he this week just confessed to a long-term addiction, but the cancer from which he had supposedly been suffering as he's been singing in recent months also turns out to have also been a complete hoax. 

The response in the blogosphere has been considerable this week. Here's an entry from My Latreia I felt was especially poignant: "I felt saddened by the news but at the same time, the realization of how frail we are really came to me. No one but our Lord, Jesus, has resisted the Great Tempter...How fallible our sinful nature has made us. And yet, we should be encouraged by this incident and be reminded how God truly is graceful and forgiving." I encourage you to read the rest of the post here as well as some of the other posts linked above.

I didn't get around to listening to the song I bought until after I read a few blog responses, press releases, and a youtube video. Having now finally listened to the song a few times, I still have to conclude that, in spite of all the sin and self-deception which ensued, the song was God-inspired. Jesus Christ, our Healer, is truly alive!

I've been an occasional fan of Hillsongs Australia since before I first came to Taiwan back in 1997, and God has used several of their songs to comfort and encourage me in hard times, but this incident is just another reminder that as we come to God in worship, we lean not on fuzzy feelings or a high-charged worship concert atmosphere, but on our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Solid Rock, lived out in a small community of relationships (not necessarily a megachurch) in which one can know and be known by others.

Yes, the writer was suffering from an illness as he penned this God-inspired song. Just not the illness he fabricated later as a cover-up. May God's people deal with him mercifully, and may Jesus heal him as he continues to heal and work in all of us who are broken.