Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Conference

The conference that I wrote about in my last blog was held yesterday at the EU Parliament, and was supposed to be a kick-off meeting to relaunch the debate on Sunday protection in Europe. It was well-attended, the contributers mainly being catholics, but there were also contributors from the protestant churches as well as from non-religious backgrounds. The Germans were clearly prevalent.

The chairman, a German MEP, pointed out that they were recommending a legislative proposal for the Sunday as a work-free day, and that they were endeavoring to get 1 million votes from the EU population to support this. László Andor, the new Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs also gave a short speech, pointing out that he would like to "open a new chapter" in this regard. So there is an awareness at the EU Commission, and even if they fail again at the Parliament to get enough votes (as they did last year), the Commission can still launch the legislative procedure.

There were many contributions made from the different invited representatives, and of course many good arguments in favor of the protection of a work-free Sunday (and not any other day of the week) were brought forward. Of course this makes a lot of sense to people who are ignorant about the Sabbath. In fact, I'm amazed how many people have bought into the lie that the Sunday is the seventh day of the week and the biblical day of rest, as it was pointed out by several contributors.

Karel Nowak, Secretary General of the International Association for the Defence of Religious Liberty, was also present, and he actually raised the question how this new legislation would protect minorities, like people who keep another day than Sunday. Well, he didn't get an answer to this. There was also a delegation from Newbold College present at the meeting, as well as an ADRA representative from Brussels.

Of course I'm very curious how this is going to play out. They said that this was only the beginning of a series of conferences on this topic. You may learn more about this initiative under (sorry the hyper link function doesn't work).

Prophecy is fulfilling right before my eyes here in Brussels. Things may continue to develop in short order now, and we don't know for how much longer the Lord will hold back the winds. Are we ready for this? I will keep you posted on the developments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Interesting Developments

I'm sick at home today. Yesterday morning, I was still feeling ok, but later on my stomach started aching and I felt quite miserable. So I told my coworkers that I would take sick leave in the afternoon. On my way home in the metro, I had this strange feeling as if I would faint, and the next thing I knew was something hard hitting my head and all these people around me asking if I was ok! This incident scared me quite a bit, as I had never passed out before. Following some episodes of vomiting, I still feel kind of miserable today, so I'm going to stay home to rest. Nevertheless, I'm thankful for my general health, as I think there are quite a few people out there who would be grateful for only being confronted with a short-term bug.

Recently, I had another exciting witnessing opportunity. It was following this terrible train crash here in Belgium that I previously wrote about. Unfortunately, three of the officials of the EU-Commission lost their lives in this accident, and so they decided to put up an electronic condolences book on our intranet website. So everybody was invited to write something, yet they would first receive the comment and then decide whether it would shown to the public or not. As I included a bible verse, I didn't really expect them to publish mine, but they did!

This is what I wrote:

"I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families of our precious colleagues who lost their lives in this tragic accident. May you find comfort and peace. John 16:22-23"

I'm thankful that this entry found it's way into our intranet.

Furthermore, I received a personal, hand-written note from Mr. Jacques Barrot, former Vice-President and Commissioner for Freedom, Justice and Security. Like to some of his former colleagues, I had sent him a copy of the Great Controversy in his own language. Back to France, he sent me this card with words of appreciation. This shows me again that my efforts didn't go unnoticed, and who knows what effects they will bring about.

Another interesting development is that next week, there will be a conference to relaunch the debate on Sunday protection at European level, which will be held at the European Parliament. László Andor, the new EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, will give a keynote speech at this occasion. This is organized by the Commission of the Bishops' conferences of the European Community. You may check the following link:

This seems to be a groundbreaking event, and I will definitely try to be there. I will keep you posted on the outcome!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reflections on the Love of God

I just came across an internet article talking about the love of God. It stated that there are lots of messages around us in the world that suggest that we are unloved, unattractive and unworthy, and that the Lord wants to set us free from such lies.

While I was pursuing language studies at a university in the Black Forest, I met a young lady from the local church. She was looking back to a lot of heartache and pain in her life, which had driven her into an eating disorder. She had given herself away to various boyfriends before she finally put her life in order and got married to a godly man. I can still hear her saying to me: "I only wanted love; but I had to yield to their wishes in order to keep them." And then she made a comment about men in general that I don't want to repeat on this blog.

This young woman wanted to be loved, but she only got hurt.

Wanting to be loved and wanting to give love is an inherent human desire, planted into our hearts. So what is it than can quench this desire? Is it sex? In the case of my friend it formed a deceiving bond that could only be severed with a lot of pain and unpleasant memories. At best it can be a beautiful expression of human love within a God-ordained relationship. Although the marriage union may be an earthly picture of the relationship that the Lord wants with each of His children, human love will never really give us fulfilment in life. Even our most affectionate, deep and meaningful friendships here on earth will not be able to take the place of God's love.

Well, the answer is obvious to those who know who the real love giver is: Only the One who actually put this desire into our hearts can truly give us fulfilment. He has filled His Word with affirmation after affirmation of how He created us in His image, loves us immensely, valued us as worth dying for, and has a purpose and plan for each one of us.

Let's take a closer look into some verses pointing out the characteristics of God's love:

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3

God's love is not temporal. While friendships end or fade away and marriages break, His love is everlasting and knows no limits.

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us." I John 3:16

Because of His love for us, God even laid down His life for us by sacrificing His son.

"We love him, because he first loved us." I John 4:19

God's love is the origin, it was His motivation to create human beings after His own image.

"Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-30

This clearly shows that God's love knows no limits and there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from it.

Do you find it hard to grasp sometimes? I do. We cannot touch God after all. And yet, we can be touched by His love – the only kind of love that can transform us, fulfil us, and give our lives meaning and purpose.

I like this little illustration:

I asked Jesus. "How much do you love me?" He answered, "This much" and He stretched His arms and died.