American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) faculty and staff gathered the University Chapel to praise and worship God and to support and pray for their Christian brothers and sisters on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. This week’s Noonday Prayer was led by Hai Luong, an AUHS Admissions Coordinator.
“The word of the Lord is powerful and life-giving. In 2 Timothy 3:16 it says that all scripture is inspired by God. God breathed life into what he wrote,” said Luong.
God used more than forty people who lived in different times, with different occupations and different backgrounds to write the Bible, according to Luong. Among those people were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the four Gospels in the New Testament.
Attendees sat in a circle and were given a list of passages from both the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible. Each attendee took a turn to read each passage out loud and shared what each excerpt meant to him or her on a personal, professional and spiritual level.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God’s thoughts and actions are above human comprehension but we must have faith in His heavenly plan.
“We do not think the same way as God for a reason. He is telling us, ‘You are human and I am God, therefore My thoughts and My ways are going to be the correct path. Sometimes what you, as a human, may think is the right path is not the right path,’” said Chantal Jura, the AUHS Director of Career Services and Affiliations, “We should trust in the Lord and His ways and His thoughts.”
Although humans cannot be equal to God, we must always strive to become like Him.
“I think we all recognize that our thoughts are not superior to the thoughts of God,” said Dr. David Hawkins, the AUHS Dean of School of Pharmacy, “But we could ask for God’s thoughts to become our thoughts, for His desires to be our desires, for His will to be our will then we will be able to live a great lifestyle.”
Humans are imperfect and are likely to succumb to temptation but God always brings us a new day and a second chance to change. God wants us to love one another as He loves us.
“Even though we know that we can never be equal and we can never come close to God’s thoughts and desires, I think we should still try, especially in our interactions with each other,” said Dr. Caroll Ryan, the President of AUHS, “We must always try to bring love, concern, and care into how we relate to one another. God lives in all of us so why would we treat each other in a way that is less than godly?”
Luong shared a story of how he and his wife went to see a presentation from Nicholas James Vujicic. Vujicic is a Christian Evangelist and motivational speaker from Australia who was born without arms and legs. He had traveled all over the world, sharing his story and the word of God to millions of people.
“(Vujicic) was born without arms and legs. He said, ‘Why God? Why did you create me without arms and legs?’” Luong said, “He used to question God, he used to ask God for a miracle, he used to ask God for arms and legs.”
When Vujicic went to school, children teased and bullied him for his birth defect. He was severely depressed for the first 15 years of his life.
“When (Vujicic) was 10 years old, he wanted to commit suicide. He filled his bathtub with water and tried to drown himself,” Luong said, “But then he had second thoughts. He said, ‘Well, my parents had already suffered enough. If I died this way it would just add more sorrow to them.’”
Vujicic then turned to the Bible for answers. He read about a man in John Chapter 9, who had been born blind. People asked Jesus, “Why was this man born blind?” Jesus said, “This man was born blind because the work of God will be revealed in his life and you will see the glory of God.” Jesus healed the blind man and restored his sight.
“When (Vujicic) read that story he said, ‘Now I know God’s thoughts are higher than my thoughts. God has a plan for my life.’ And from then on, his life was changed forever,” Luong said, “He is one of the most famous people in the world. He had traveled over a hundred countries, he has spoken to presidents and world leaders. Millions of people came to know Jesus through his life.”
There was one story Vujicic shared that touched Luong the most. Several years ago in California, Vujicic spoke to a crowd of about 3 thousand people. During his speech, a man in the audience lifted a little boy up in the air. The little boy was about 19 months old and had no arms or legs like Vujicic.
“The boy only had a tiny leg with two toes. Nick asked the parents to bring up the boy. He could not give the boy a high-five but gave him a low two,” Luong said.
The little boy’s parents told Vujicic that because of him, they understood why their son was born this way that God had a plan for him.
“God used (Vujicic) to become a miracle for the little boy,” said Luong, “(Vujicic) said, ‘Even though you don’t get a miracle, you can be a miracle to other people. I was born without arms or legs but God used me to be his hands and feet for other people.’”
James 1:22 But be you doers of the word, and not hearer only, deceiving your own selves.
Most of us can hear the voice of God but tend to ignore it.
“Most of the time we know God’s will but we do not act in a way that is consistent with His word.We hear His will but we do not act upon it. We have not internalized what God expects us to do,” said Dr. Sisi Chen, the AUHS Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, “That internalization takes time to learn that’s why we’re in Noonday Prayer.”
Dr. Chen told the room that by attending Noonday Prayer, they learned from each other experiences and each other’s knowledge of God.
“If we keep learning more about God, it will help us internalize God’s will which will help guide our actions,” said Dr. Chen.
Actions speak louder than words. In order to receive God’s blessing, we must bless one another with kindness.
“We have opportunities every day to be good, to be kind, to be loving, and to be helpful,” said Dr. Ryan, “We’ve got plenty of time and room to practice patience, love, and kindness with one another.”
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
It is not the pain and suffering we experience in life that defines us, but what we do with it in the end. We can choose to dwell in bitterness and self-pity or we can choose to inspire and ease the pain of others who suffered just like you.
Chantal Jura, the Director of Career Services and Affiliations shared how she often talks to and tries to help homeless individuals.
“The homeless people that I talk to always have a story to tell. There were some who ended up in juvenile hall, then they went to prison, and the cycle continued. So I would ask them, ‘If there is anything in the world that you could do, what would you do?’” Jura said.
Jura recalled how a homeless man told her that he wanted to play soccer but said that it was too late for him. Jura suggested that he could teach youth and become a coach for a soccer team.
“I told him, ‘You grew up on the streets, you know those street kids. You could help them play soccer. You could make sure they won’t make the same mistakes that you did because they will look up to you,” said Jura, “I tell everyone who’s been through rough times, ‘It’s not too late because in teaching others, we are able to heal ourselves.’”
Acts of love can go a long way.
“Sometimes the smallest act of kindness can make a whole difference in someone else’s life,” said Luong, “God can use anyone of us to change lives so we always have an opportunity to do good. When God gives us the opportunity, we should take it.”
AUHS is a private, minority owned, minority serving, a Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
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