"Jesus took a cup, gave thanks and passed it to them, and they ALL drank from it." Mark 14:23
I have been attending a three day conference, the 7th National Catholic Charismatic Conference. On the first day, we listened to Father Herb Schneider's fascinating sharing about how the Catholic Charismatic renewal started. God poured out His Holy Spirit to empower lay people to combat the rising tide of practical atheism, skepticism, the death of god theology, etc. Yesterday, the 2nd day, Dr. Jake Yap, gave a great talk about how it is essential for us to be a part of a community, a church group, a bible study group, etc. If we want to "fan the flame" of the Holy Spirit, we need to have "koinonia", (transliterated Greek for communion or fellowship). At the last supper, we can see how Jesus was so close to His disciples. They all drank wine together, from the same cup. They went places together. They told stories, and I am sure they laughed together.
Jake used the analogy of a camp fire to emphasize the importance of fellowship. If you have the wood sticks all together, the fire will burn brightly. But if you separate it, then the fire will just die down. We are just like those wood sticks. If we want to keep the fire burning, if we want to continue to live in the light, we need friendship and fellowship. God created us for koinonia. It is one of the basic needs of man. He wants to be one with us. He wants us to be one with each other, loving and serving one another, drinking from the same cup.
"He comforts us in all our afflictions and troubles so that we can comfort others." 2 Cor. 1:4
I think that one of the most heroic things we can do, is to turn our afflictions and problems into stepping stones for other people to climb. Yesterday was the final day of our 3 day conference, and one of the speakers, Bo Sanchez, told us of how he was plagued with the sin of pornography and sexual addiction for 20 years. And this was while he was serving God and preaching! He was molested as a child, but because of all these bad experiences, he now has a heart for the poor, the broken, the outcasts of society.
A woman who lost her husband would want to talk to Peggy, my sister, who lost her first husband, Jing, several years ago. Peggy would be able to give her the encouragement and comfort she needs. She shared her experience on her blog. I would probably not be able to say anything really helpful. My mom died last year and we helped her battle tongue cancer for 5 years. I could use what we went through to help others in some similar challenge.
A young man asked his grandfather a question: "What is life's heaviest burden?" The wise old man answered, "To have nothing to carry." Indeed, there can be a purpose to our life's troubles. With God's transforming power, they give meaning to our life, and help and blessing to others.
I find a lot of inspiration
So many WONDERFUL blogfriends