This week I was in Barcelona, and spent the first evening having dinner with our friends. We ordered a bottle of wine. As usual, Tobias checked it out with his wine app. We found that it was produced in the Spanish province of Aragon, close to a place called Borja.
Then, Sònia said Borja is where the Ecce Homo (Behold the Monkey) scandal went viral. The story goes like this:
In the summer of 2012, a devout parishioner, Cecilia Giménez (81 yo), noticed that an already flaking and faded painting on the church’s wall was under threat from a leak.
She then decided that if she did not act, the face of Christ that the artist Elías García Martínez had painted almost a century earlier, would disappear for ever.
Pained at the idea of its loss – and keen to conserve the interior of the church in which she had been married – Giménez began to restore it, by applying thick blocks of colour on which she planned to retrace the divine countenance.
Well, her restoration attempt went badly, transforming Elías’ painting into a work dubbed as “Monkey Christ”.
As Sònia showed me the before and after picture of the painting, I almost died from laughing! (I laugh again as I write this and look at the picture-check the photo below).
::: BEWARE WILLFUL IGNORANCE
The story brings me laughter, and is also a reminder to me.
When we don’t preserve the image of Christ in us, it starts to erode, and we end up inviting worldly things (intolerance, ignorance, impurity, addiction, depression, envy and so on) to fill the emptiness and to influence us.
Then, our latter condition will be worse than the former.
I was reminded to let Jesus Christ dwell in me as a permanent occupant of my heart.
::: BEWARE DECEPTION
Lately, Tobias and I were watching American drama series called Deception. It’s about a superstar Las Vegas magician Cameron Black working as a consulting illusionist for the F.B.I., to help them solve crimes.
It is interesting to see how Cameron conveyed a false reality through manipulating the appearance of circumstances. He’s fooling the onlookers.
His success depends on keeping intended victims unaware that a deception is taking place.
There are a lot of seasons in my life, where I look back now and realize that I was being misled and deceived. I can’t even believe why would I have allowed those kind of relationships, thinking patterns and influences harm my life.
In deception there’s a blinding agent. That’s why deceptions and lies are tolerated by the world we live in. Many of us are blinded and unaware that those can harm the people or the society.
::: DETECTING IT WITH THE TRUTH
The Bible is the objective standard that I can look to as the factor to determine whether or not I walk in the right direction, and not being deceived.
I no longer lean on my own understanding.
I stopped believing that only what I feel,
what my eyes can see, what my ears can hear,
or what my mind perceives, is exactly how things are.
I now only lean on the truth.
It’s not the truth that sets me free, it’s the truth that I know that sets me free.
And this is the truth: God of the Bible exists, He revealed Himself to me in the person of Christ.
God has given me enough evidence to believe Him as the source of all truth.
In a world increasingly enslaved by error and alienation and seduced by ideas and images to believe a lie, how wonderful it is to be freed by the truth to Christ’s peace.
::: DO RIGHT
While Tobias is working, I went to the Café across the hotel we stayed in. (Where I am writing this post)
Their toilet has a motion detector installed to regulate the lights coming on.
When I walked into the room the lights go on,
when I walk out the room the lights go off,
in order to save energy.
The room is dark, until my movement is detected, power is revealed, the light goes on.
Then my heart said to me, how we believe in God is also like that. If our faith does not lead us to do good things, then it is not worth anything. It is dead.
God measures righteousness not in our biblical knowledge, but in our action that is aligned with the word of God. Then, Jesus will shine on us in our demonstration of our salvation.
::: BRING PEACE
There’s a conflict going on in Barcelona. Not only here, conflict rages too in Hongkong, in Chile, and in many parts of the world. Not only in politics, conflicts are a daily struggle for us as human beings. Perhaps within local communities, within families, and within ourselves.
I never discovered in the Scripture that promise the followers of Jesus will not see trouble or sorrow. But, I found the promise that Jesus has overcome the world in which we will continue to find trouble. His victory gives life and hope that is more solid than fear. This brings me peace.
I have received God’s saving work in my life, therefore I will carry it into the lives of others, by sharing the story of God’s love. So, others could experience that peace, too. That we have someone to cling to, Jesus Christ.
::: DEFENSE IT WITH FAITH
Yesterday evening, Tobias and I went to buy some clothes in Barcelona. The streets were already dark. Whenever I walk with Tobias, we’re always holding hands. I don’t bother to observe if there’s a car coming towards us (I have difficultly moving my neck), I trust him completely because I know him, he is my husband who loves me dearly, he won’t let me stumble and fall.
Same with my faith in God.
My faith does not make God real.
On the contrary, my faith is the response to a real God who is trustworthy.
Faith does not make my pain and difficulties disappear,
but faith is the hope that God is providing me with strength, courage, meaning, and an abundant life.
::: LIVE UP OUR SALVATION
Salvation for me doesn’t mean hoping to be saved. Rather, it’s a settled conviction about where I will spend eternity.
If I were to die tonight and God were to ask me, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’. I will reply ‘I’m not good enough for Your standards, but I am saved by Jesus Christ, His righteousness in me, and along with Him, I receive assurance of eternal life.
Since I received the salvation, I’m keeping my mind in line with the salvation I have received.
::: FIGHT IT WITH GOD’S WORDS
Here’s why I believe that the scriptures are trustworthy.
There are 66 books, by nearly 40 different authors, written up over 1500 years.
There’s no systemic contradiction and no failure historically, nor failure philosophically, nor failure in reality.
All writings in the Old Testament are the prophetic schema all the way points to the person of Christ.
When I read the scripture, and comparing it to the history and reality, immediately I see the supernatural.
The Bible is an authentic accurate documentation. I’ve got pretty compelling evidence for me to take His words seriously.
::: SOLID FOOTING OF PRAYER
Truth, righteousness, salvation, faith, the word of God. That is a lot to carry.
Only by praying, communing with God, He is carrying me, and He makes all those things work, through both the good times and the hard times.
::: STAND FIRM
Friends, you can read my story and then forget it hours later, but don’t forget Jesus’ story.
Because, when God saved you, you’re the chosen one. Stand firm.
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Ephesians 6:10, 13-18 NLT
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
2 Years 5 Months Post Biopsy
Midline Pontine Glioblastoma/DIPG Grade IV
On Thursday, November 7th, I will receive the 19th round of Avastin.
I will spend the next weeks traveling around accompanying Tobias’ business trips. And, we’ll go to Seoul/ Korea for Christmas and meet my family there. I hope that I will stay fit enough to do these trips.
My symptoms are pretty much the same.
Please go to http://titien.de/my-medical-history/ for more details.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers 🙏
PS: Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing my posts.
Please subscribe to get updates by mail.🤗