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Thankful! Grateful!

Last week, C-Mo and I took a few of our disciples to Taiwan, so as to exhort and fellowship with the local branch churches in Douliu, Tainan and Kaohsiung. We made special allowance for a trip to visit Elder Chang Ching, who is the eldest working master of sculpture in Taiwan and indeed a national treasure. His artworks for our church include the magnificent “Spirit of the Almighty” placed before the Mercy Seat, and “Ancient Cross” situated at the ground floor entrance.

Hearing the vision of “Planting Trees of Life everywhere in 52 years” and seeing how God has been leading 611, elder Chang was indeed thrilled. Therefore, he chose “A Happy Mother of Many” from his recent works to celebrate C-Mo’s upcoming birthday, signifying that C-Mo shall have numerous offspring who love and surround her. Moreover, from the vision “Planting Trees of Life everywhere in 52 years”, he crafted a sculpture on the spot for me called “Boundless Planting.” It was made of a single piece of wood, from bottom to top, with each level extending far and wide. What an analogy for the transformation of our lives! Each level is distinctive and spreads in different directions, just like our branch churches – independent and unique.

Praise the Lord! The gifts from elder Chang show God’s acceptance of us and the vision “Planting Trees of Life everywhere in 52 years”. Revival and art are inseparable. Some believe that the Renaissance in Europe was brought forth by the Christian Revival at the time. As we see works of art, we also see God’s mighty work in man’s life.

We spurred on Pastor Tommy and Sze of the Douliu branch church, urging them to move forward for the Name of the Lord. Afterwards, we went south to the Tainan branch church, which had started only recently. Besides the passionate engagement of the kids from Yong-Ren Senior High School, there is steady growth of the adult congregation – the fruit of the wonderful ministry of the pastors. After Sunday service, we had friendly matches with Yong-Ren women’s and men’s basketball teams. In this New Year, my three-point shot is becoming highly effective. It is important that we take great delight in the game regardless of the result! Taking the life of an athlete as an example, the apostle Paul implored us to be thankful, diligent and to press on in order to win the prize in heaven.

Returning to Hong Kong, during Morning Devotion, I was most moved to read on how Hezekiah led the whole Israelites to return to God. At that time, the southern and the northern kingdoms of Israel were in deep darkness. However, Hezekiah led the people to return to God, to confess their sins and to sanctify themselves. God accepted his prayer and Israel entered into the greatest revival since the time of Solomon, son of King David.

Earlier on, former Chief Executive Donald Tsang was released after serving his 12-month sentence and was interviewed extensively. His response stirred my heart – from reading the Bible, he learned to forgive and to not hate, and he only wanted to be grateful. Now, he is hoping to attend mass and pray as before, to have good chats with his wife and hold her hand, to and enjoy a cup of coffee which he missed dearly. From the former leader whose campaign slogan was, “I’ll get the job done” to a thankful person today, I am grateful to see his changes.

Brothers and sisters, we must be thankful always and seize the day. Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. We shall definitely experience acceptance from Father God. • [2019.01.20]