12 January 2019

Grace Will Lead You Home

This sermon I preached with one of my students, before she left school to return home.

The bulletin's synopsis:
As the years come and go we tend to rely upon mere things of this world to fill the emptiness that the past year left in us. But God reminds that He is all we need to fill that emptiness, because His grace is sufficient for us. 
With Him we can do more than survive. We can thrive.

18 November 2018

As of now

Coming here was probably the greatest jump in my life. Greater than moving to the Philippines. Greater than moving to Kenya. I was taking a chance on my path, my career, my social life, even my happiness.

Yet when I landed here, God was silent. He didn't speak to me like He used to. I didn't have the fulfilling fruits of my labor that affirmed His own work in my life.

Quite often now, I feel alone, incapable, untested, and desperately questioning. I wonder where God's Spirit went, when I was so certain He was with me before.

So where did God go? Will He show up again? Or am I to go in search of Him?

Ryan
Beirut, Lebanon

07 September 2018

But can there be life before death?

I have wondered if the Adventist doctrine on the state of the dead has any more meaningful theological meaning than the ho hum antagonism towards spiritualism. I think it can be this: if we believe that when one dies, one does not immediately enter the gates of heaven,  should we not be more occupied with the question of whether there can be life before death, rather than whether there is life after death? We believe that there is ‘life after death’ per se, at the Resurrection. If Jesus says, “I have come that you might have life, and life to the fullest,” then are we not looking for meaning in life before death? Shouldn't we be teaching about the state of the living?

Ryan
Beirut, Lebanon

23 April 2018

Yes No and Wait

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that the only three answers that God provides to our prayers are, “yes, no, or wait.” 

When the Adventist Tutsis prayed to God and wrote to their conference president to save them, the conference president replied no. I cannot believe that God’s response was equivocally the same. Who is God to say no to cries for deliverance?

If His answer is not no, then it must be something else.

Ryan
Nairobi, Kenya

30 December 2017

Another expat Christmas

Every Christmas, I am searching for Christmas. I am looking for that feeling I had as a child, staring into our Christmas tree, into the lights, pondering deep in thought, there in the loving warmth of home.

When I got to Auburn, I tried to recreate those memories with my roommate. We'd stare at the Christmas tree together, and listen to Delilah on the radio. Since then, I've been searching for Christmas.

I attend as many church services as I can. I wander around the city or the shopping centers, trying to gather the energy of the atmosphere.

I stayed in Nairobi town for  Christmas Eve and Day. The streets were drastically quieter than usual in the city. I attended three services at All Saints Cathedral. The sermons didn't speak to me. I know i could've preached better sermons myself.

But the music and the words always speak to my spirit. This is what I was looking for:

Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies


Ryan
Kileleshwa, Nairobi, Kenya