Wednesday, 31 October 2007 16:00

Pastor's Corner Pastor Larry November 2007

Written by  Lorsen Koo
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Pastor's Corner by Pastor Larry Tong

November 2007

By the time you read this newsletter, the fire in San Diego should have subsided. So far this fire has destroyed over a thousand homes and took six lives. By Wednesday, October 24, close to a million residents have to be evacuated from their homes. San Diego Qualcomm Stadium had to be opened to house the evacuees. UC San Diego had to shut down for a week due to polluted air. This brought back the horrifying memories of the destructive power of wild fire four years ago in the same county that leveled 4,847 homes and businesses and took fifteen people.

Whether I watched the news or read the newspaper, I saw the uncontrolled fire that consumed everything in sight. There was no stopping! Trees that took years to grow to those heights were burnt to ashes in a relatively short time. Houses that took a long time to build were leveled in minutes. All that was left was ashes.

There are stories within the story in every tragedy such as this. There are families who lost everything, but were still thankful for having their lives; while others seemed to have lost all hope. This led me to think about the things that I build. I believe all of us are building something every day. Whether it’d be something tangible like a beautiful house, successful career, assets for retirement, and so on, or something intangible, like a loving home, genuine friendship, personal character, spiritual vigor, and so on, we are builders. In this building process, we need to prioritize the list, lest we spend too much time building something that has no true and long lasting value. Imagine someone dispenses all his energies to make money to build his house, yet leaves no time to build a healthy and strong-bonded family. It would be a shame. Having strong families is essential to withstand tragedy. Maybe this is a good time for us to think about the things we build today. Do those things have true and lasting value?

Since this is Thanksgiving season, I’m also thankful that God has kept us safe. I found that I often take “Life” for granted. I should be thankful to be able to get up in the morning; and if I have health on that day, I should be even more grateful. When it comes to thanksgiving, I’ve learned to be thankful for the things I have, rather than hoping to have the things I don’t have. I believe true thanksgiving relates to contentment, as the Bible says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” I’m most grateful to God for giving me Eternal Life, so that I don’t worry about where I will go after my life ends in this world. I’m also grateful God has put a purpose for me in this life, so that I won’t be aimlessly dispensing my energies for no reasons.

Before I sign off, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving season, and during this season, show your thankfulness by being gracious to someone

Pastor Larry

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