Saturday, February 23, 2013

See Your Life From The Perspective of Death

As I read the Bible this morning, I felt that God really spoke to me. He rebuked me for wasting a lot of time and energy for a lot of things that meaningless. He wants me to see my life from the perspective of death so that I might be more responsible to Him.

So I read the book of Ecclesiastes this morning. As I read chapter 7 verse 2-4, I felt that God really wanted me to reflect on my life and think how could I be responsible to Him.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
   than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
   the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter,
   because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
   but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

When I read it, I remember where was I last night. I was attended the Consolation Service in HOPE Counseling Center, UPH. God's servant, Hidalgo Ban Garcia, PhD or known as Pak Ban, passed away last Tuesday, after comma for 2 years and 2 months. He was a missionary, a pastor, a shepherd, a theology lecturer, a dorm parent, and of course, a godly man! Today is the day of his cremation.

Last night I heard testimonies about him. Although these people were sad, they were also rejoiced knowing that through Pak Ban's life they could be blessed. Mr. James Riady stated that "he was a godly man". He said that there's nothing better for people to say about you than that.

As I reflect on my life and myself, I wonder whether people will say "she was a godly woman, a woman who responded to God's calling" in my funeral service.

Then, somehow I remember what Eric, my LIFE-Group leader, said in the FOUNDATION-Class last Sunday, "I try to see my life from the perspective of death. That's how I can live for God."

As you read this post, I hope you can also reflect and see your life from the perspective of death.

Here is a tribute to Ban Garcia's faithful life of ministry that based on excerpts by Dr. James T Riady at UPH Chapel, last Tuesday, February 19, 2013. As you read it, I pray that the Holy Spirit may guide you to reflect and see your life, how can it will be a glory to God.

Early this morning I heard Pak Ban was struggling, and as I left my house I heard that he had passed away. It is sad to hear, but I started to reflect about his life.

As we look back at his life, we see so many evidences of him siding with God, and that his is a life full of service, and the right kind of service for that matter.

I remember when I first met him with Pak Jonathan Parapak at MYC. Within 10 minutes I was already thrilled, because he had the right theology, deep compassion for people, and going out to serve in remote areas for extended periods of time. He also knew the calling for every Christian to have a cultural mandate, and went out to serve in Toraja, doing real stuff. He also understood the gospel mandate, to tell the true gospel. At the same time in his own way, he always had a sense of urgency to do things, a fighting spirit, in what he wanted to do. He was consistently persistent.

I believe UPH, and particularly the Teachers College, benefited immensely from his ministry. He was right there from the very beginning, and during its most important moments. He led Sunday service faithfully week after week and in other MYC and Residence worship services.

Pak Ban started the theological classes at UPH where we depended on him to execute and anchor this most important part of the UPH curriculum. Most times, and especially at the beginning, he taught all the classes, at times class sizes of two or three hundred students. And his largest class was over 900 students. He did that for a while. He was their lecturer, pastor and mentor.

As I go out to our schools in the remote areas, I see our teachers in these areas have matured fast and risen up to the challenges in the midst of all kind of struggles. I cannot but think of the work that Ban has done in their lives to prepare them during their years at UPH. As I listen to them often they say that it is because of all the theological classes they took that have equipped them well for the challenges.

Ban was our anchor in terms of us keeping faithful to our Christ-centered vision in Christian education.

He was at the pulpit when he had a massive brain hemorrhage that December Sunday morning at UPH weekly chapel. What better place to be then in God's pulpit to end his life-long service to the Lord!

He was a Godly man.That's a summary of what his life is all about. There's nothing better for people to say about you than that. He was truly a Godly man, a man of God, full of evidence his life siding with God. May we honor and remember him. And pray for the family.

When I first heard about his passing away this morning, right away I was reminded by the verse we have been reading in Romans 10:15, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news". That's Ban Garcia. He is somebody whose feet and life are wonderful, bringing the good news of Christ where ever he went.

To God be the glory, forever and ever..... Amen.

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