“Ravi: A Poetical Sketch” – A Tribute to Ravi Zacharias (mp3)

Ravi - Photo collage

Photo collage of Daniel Zacharias Hsieh and Ravi Zacharias

Hey TD,

The world has now had a week to process the stunning news that our beloved Ravi Zacharias will soon depart the earth to be with our Lord. Thousands of tributes have been flowing in from across the globe using the #thankyouravi hashtag via RZIM Connect, Facebook, and Instagram.  His family has been by his bedside reading and showing many of the posts to Ravi, for which they are extremely grateful.

As most of you know, Ravi has been an integral part of our family’s spiritual journey. Daniel’s middle name is Zacharias. In fact, Ravi had the top left picture on his desk for a while.  In writing to Ravi last week, Daniel shared,

” … I have never known a day in my life without your influence in it–from the time I was conceived until now. To me, you are not just someone IN this world; you are part of what I understand “world” to mean. You and your ministry are constitutive of my perception of life on this planet and the hope of the Gospel that you’ve shared on this planet.”

We hope this well help get you TD’ers more familiarized with this TITAN of the faith, who interacts with both prince (literally) and pauper with the same personal touch, attention, and dignity. – Arthur

mp3 of “Ravi: A Poetical Sketch”

A Poetical Sketch

What words to say about your words?
What song about your song?
What tribute can I bring of worth
Amid the global throng of those,
Who thank you for the work you’ve done,
The life you’ve lived,
The race you’ve run,
The fight you’ve fought,
The gift you gave,
To me and to the world?

Inside the Areopagus,
I see you clothed in reason,
Off’ring rest to western minds,
Whose restless logic is religious,
But whose altars have inscriptions
To the thought of unknown gods.

The happy pagan hears you on the radio,
At first compelled by wit and raspy sibilance.
And then, anon, a vision of the Logos
Rises up and stands behind the ruthless
Drama of the west now gone—
Gone with the wind.

The Logos loves the lost.
He died and rose again.
He’s the source of Light and Rain.
Jesus is His name.

I see you board an eastbound aircraft,
Watch the wingtips flash and soar,
Above the countries and their cultures,
Stories and their fabled lore.
Helios cannot catch up.
Hesperides is now behind you.
The Vedas and Upanishads
Are in the land in which you land.

At home, but not at home,
Each nation is familiar,
Though not your own.
A stranger on Tellurian shores,
You move from place to place with speed,
A witness to the human need,
Unique and universal.

A prophet of our time.
A citizen of Heaven still on earth.
The Hall of Faith awaits your coming.
Nature groans for second birth.

“Ravi Zacharias”—
The intro finished,
You stand up and look around
To see ten thousand eyes in expectation—
Windows of the soul in desperation.

A questioner goes to the mic,
An eastern man who’s lost a child.
The accent in his voice is mild—
He asks about theodicy.

You see at once his crying heart,
The pain-laced logic,
Part and parcel of the abstract quest
On which he only seems to be.

You look him in the eyes—
And then you make your answer empathy.

Your reasoning is tactful,
But you match his pain-laced logic
With a story-laden balm.
You point him to the moral law,
Invite him to the cross,
Tell him of the One who also
Lost an only Son.

In his eyes, a reflection
Of the hope of resurrection.
In his eyes, the welling water
Of One who ends our thirst.

Before He left the earth,
Jesus guaranteed his Spirit—
“It is better that I leave
So that the Helper comes to thee.”
I agree with those who say
That followers of Christ, in turn,
Leave something of their spirits
Like the Helper here for us.

Ravi Zacharias,
If you leave this earth,
At last receive the accolade
From Him of final worth,
I pray the Lord will grant us
Still your spirit here today,
That hearts of East and West
Will be united in the Way.

Daniel Zacharias Hsieh
South Pasadena, CA
12 May 2020

TD Fri. – ” Because I Live …” Jn 14:15-31

Fresh ingredients for preparing roasted mixed vegetables on the table. Stock Photo - 45345269

Hey TD!

This Friday, we’re going to be taking a trip to 1st century Palestine, where we will drop in on Jesus and His disciples as they share their last supper together in what’s now referred to as the Upper Room.  After Judas leaves the meal at Jesus’ behest to “do quickly” what he was going to do, Jesus informs His remaining disciples that He will soon leave them.  They left their lives and livelihoods for Him and now He was going to leave them???

That’s where we’ll pick it up from as we listen to some of Jesus’ final words and promises to His beloved disciples.  We’ll consider their implications for them and transport their import to His beloved disciples today.

In preparation for our time of study together, please read, re-read, and prayerfully work through John 14:15-31, jotting down notes, questions, thoughts, etc. as you do.  Read it as if your life, your future, your calling, your purpose, your impact depend on it.  Then, bring those thoughts to our TD meeting, put them into the “pot,” along with the other “ingredients” that will be contributed, and let’s see what God cooks up for us!

We’ll meet as usual at 8 p.m.  Please be on time!  See you soon!

What Does It Mean To Be Filled With the Spirit? – “Living By The Holy Spirit, Pt. 5”

“Living By The Holy Spirit, Pt. 5: Filled with the Spirit” (video)

Hey TD!

Jesus makes it clear that those that are of flesh are flesh and those of the Spirit are spirit (notice Spirit and spirit).  In Pt. 4 of Living By The Holy Spirit, Robert explained how spiritual birth takes place.  In this lesson, he discusses another aspect of being “of the Spirit” – being filled with the Spirit.

Are you filled with the Spirit? What do you think your life would look like if you were? How would it change … for the better?  What kind of power, perspective, and personality would you have if the living God was living inside of you?  It can happen.  Watch this video to find out how.   Enjoy!

In Joy Podcast #3 – “Finding Rhythms of Enjoyment” (Angela)

In Joy Podcast #3 – “Finding Rhythms of Enjoyment” (Angela)

If you cannot directly access the podcast via the embedded icon in the post above, please click the link below:

In Joy Podcast #3 – “Finding Rhythms of Enjoyment” (Angela)

Hey TD!

Often, to do something really well means finding your rhythm. That is certainly true in sports, music, studying, … and living life itself.

Have you found yourself out of rhythm in life these last two months while doing school in your pajamas, no longer going to daily practices for extra curriculars, being barred from sports and public entertainment, being with your family SO MUCH, seeing your hair grow long and bushy, and doing church from your bed?

In this third installment of our In Joy Podcasts, Angela tries to help us treasure God and enjoy His gifts during ANY time in life, not just quarantine time, by pointing to  perspectives she calls direct and indirect “Godwardness” and helping us to develop a sustainable rhythm in how we approach life.

Listen and apply! You’ll be glad you did. Enjoy!

“Shoulds & Oughts: Is There Really Such a Thing?, Pt. 2” A Discussion on Morality (bring a friend)

People stay true to moral colors, studies find | The Source ...

We’re not interested in pushing religion on anyone; we’re interested in discovering what is actually true.

Hey TD!

This Friday, we will be following up our discussion on ethics with a discussion on morality. Though similar, they are distinct and complementary.  Whereas ethics speaks to the “oughts” of life, morality speaks to the values that undergird those “oughts”; where do our values come from and are these values subjective or objective? Are they personal, socially constructed, or transcendent?

We’ll be in both large group and small groups as we attempt to get further in figuring out (or even discovering!) the values we actually live by, want to live by, … or should live by. Small groups will be mixed this week (mixed gender, mixed leaders).

Invite your friends to join us (including your friends that came last week) as we take another step in this journey together. Again, it will be an environment where each person and each opinion will be respected and given a fair hearing while actually working towards the best answers. We’re not interested in pushing religion on anyone; we’re interested in discovering what is actually true.

Please give the name of your friend to your small group leader, so we know to expect them and can admit them to the room.  Unknown names will not be admitted (which happened last week).

When Does the New Birth Take Place? – “Living By The Holy Spirit, Pt. 4”

Living By The Holy Spirit, Pt. 4: New Birth From The Spirit (video)

Hey TD!

In this next installment of our Living By The Holy Spirit series, Robert works through a VERY IMPORTANT truth regarding the new birth that is so often misunderstood; namely, that the Spirit gives new birth PRIOR to our coming to salvation.  Quite commonly, people think that AFTER we “accept” Christ, we are born again. Robert argues from Scripture that in fact the opposite is true.

Does it really make a difference? Does it really matter? You bet it does, for what we believe always translates into how we live.  The implications of how you understand the new birth permeate to everything we do, including how we worship God.  Pay close attention.  It will be well worth the 10 minutes of your time. Enjoy!

“A Lawyer’s Case for the Resurrection, Pt. 2” – The Defense Rests

The Defense Rests Podcast with Abdu Murray

Click above to listen to The Defense Rests

[Abdu] discusses how the Christian can meet the burden of proof, then shift that burden to the skeptic to try to explain what happened to Jesus.  Remember, each side is responsible to present explanations, not just the Christian.

Hey TD!

During the first episode of The Defense Rests, Michigan Super Lawyer and RZIM apologist, Abdu Murray, laid the groundwork for an essential component of ANY trial: burdens of proof.  If you haven’t heard this, you need to:

The Defense Rests: Burdens of Proof

Abdu takes the stand in the next two episodes, A Lawyer’s Case for the Resurrection, to argue for the resurrection of Christ. In the first episode, he explains the differences between “circumstantial evidence” and “direct evidence.” It includes Abdu’s “CASE” acronym setting out four key facts about the historical Jesus that the vast majority of scholars agree on. Abdu argues that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead best explains the facts.

The Defense Rests: A Lawyer’s Case for the Resurrection, Pt. 1

This this second episode, Abdu continues the CASE acronym, specifically the S and E, to establish that Jesus really did rise from the dead.  He discusses how the Christian can meet the burden of proof, then shift that burden to the skeptic to try to explain what happened to Jesus.  Remember, each side is responsible to present explanations, not just the Christian.

The Defense Rests: A Lawyer’s Case for the Resurrection, Pt. 2

In a clear and understandable way, Abdu treats the listener as the jury as he explains the application of law and rules of evidence as they pertain to oft-debated Christian, as well as atheistic propositions, allowing you to come up with your own verdict.

Listen well and use this time of quarantine to equip and strengthen your reasoning and clarity of thought!