Saturday, December 26, 2009

everything feels like it's being filtered through a wall...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Before I was born, the Lord Jesus saw me and loved me:)!
Thank You JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D:D


had a dream last night.
In my dream this loving couple got divorced. They looked like my aunt and uncle. It was so sad, my heart was broken and I could see the pain the split caused the couple. I remembered the dream when I woke up and prayed against it and asked Jesus to cover them and give them love and compassion for one another and for their eyes to see each other as Jesus sees them.

And now when I thought about it, I think God is showing me how much He hates divorce and the pain it causes Him. I also think that He is telling me that my father and mother are still suffering from the pain of divorce and they need inner healing.

When I read Ezekiel 3:20 today, I had no idea what God wanted me to say but I will try to talk to my dad tonight about this. I have no power for inner healing but Jesus does. Lord Jesus may Your Holy Spirit come!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A sobering stat from a university study:
Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users.
But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it.
“We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography,” said Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse. “We couldn’t find any.”
HT: Mike Anderson
Here are some free resources to consider using as we battle together for purity:
And here are a couple of books to consider purchasing:
Reading this really breaks my heart, they couldn't even find one male over 20 who has not consumed pornography. It's true that internet must have made things 1000x easier but still, pretty discouraging.
Although honestly, this is an issue not only with guys but also with girls. During one of the retreats, someone shared that actually 60%+ of girls also indulge in pornography.
It's interesting b/c when I told my housemate last year that 99% of guys look at porn she raised her eyebrows then said, "I'm not surprised."
But when I told her how many girls also do the same her respond was, "Ew!!!"

The lies of the world are everywhere. For guys there's a tendency to think that it's ok because all guys do it. Then for girls there's a tendency, especially for males, to think that girls do not struggle with lust or they do not struggle just as much. Can you imagine how much harder this type of thinking makes for girls who do struggle with this sin to share and be open with their sins with another sister who can help them? They feel ashamed, guilty, and less human because apparently "girls do not struggle with lust or pornography".
I'm getting more angry as I type this because both guys and girls need the love of Jesus to heal them and break away this bondage of sin!! I sincerely pray and hope that they would find the courage to come to a more mature person of the same gender and ask them to pray for them and to keep them accountable! It is ridiculous to think that just because they're girls they are not influenced by the heavily sex appeal laced culture today!

This is one of the most common and most addictive habitual sin that can really callous people's hearts. It's just too easy to turn your mind off and ignore God when you're sinning. Is God on your mind while you're sinning? Probably not. If you're struggling with this you really need to fervently ask God to cut this off from your life! Even if you're numb and don't want to, be honest! Tell Him, He already knows and ask Him for a heart that desires to be free and be pure! Persevere! Keep asking!! He is faithful and He WILL sanctify you!!!
No matter how heart broken you or I are that so many people today struggle with pornography, Jesus loves them more and Jesus is more heart broken and He wants more than anyone else for them to be free. It hurts Him so much more because He loves us so immeasurably more. What a great Father we have!
Trust in Him! He has made you into a new creation in Christ, the old has gone and new has come! These things do not belong to us anymore, we are of God and of heaven:) God is good!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Offering of the Natural

The Offering of the Natural
It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman —Galatians 4:22

Paul was not dealing with sin in this chapter of Galatians, but with the relation of the natural to the spiritual. The natural can be turned into the spiritual only through sacrifice. Without this a person will lead a divided life. Why did God demand that the natural must be sacrificed? God did not demand it. It is not God’s perfect will, but His permissive will. God’s perfect will was for the natural to be changed into the spiritual through obedience. Sin is what made it necessary for the natural to be sacrificed.
Abraham had to offer up Ishmael before he offered up Isaac (see Genesis 21:8-14 ). Some of us are trying to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God before we have sacrificed the natural. The only way we can offer a spiritual sacrifice to God is to "present [our] bodies a living sacrifice . . ." ( Romans 12:1  ). Sanctification means more than being freed from sin. It means the deliberate commitment of myself to the God of my salvation, and being willing to pay whatever it may cost.

If we do not sacrifice the natural to the spiritual, the natural life will resist and defy the life of the Son of God in us and will produce continual turmoil. This is always the result of an undisciplined spiritual nature. We go wrong because we stubbornly refuse to discipline ourselves physically, morally, or mentally. We excuse ourselves by saying, "Well, I wasn’t taught to be disciplined when I was a child." Then discipline yourself now! If you don’t, you will ruin your entire personal life for God.

God is not actively involved with our natural life as long as we continue to pamper and gratify it. But once we are willing to put it out in the desert and are determined to keep it under control, God will be with it. He will then provide wells and oases and fulfill all His promises for the natural (see Genesis 21:15-19  ).

Listen To Our Hearts

Thanks for sharing Lisa:) What a wonderful collaboration

Listen To Our Hearts

How do you explain, how do you describe
A love that goes from east to west
And runs as deep as it is wide
You know all our hopes, You know all our fears
Words cannot express the love we feel
But we long for you to hear

So listen to our hearts, and hear our spirits sing
A song of praise that flows
From those you have redeemed
We will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are
Words are not enough to tell You of our love
So listen to our hearts

If words could fall like rain
From these lips of mine
And if I had a thousand years
I would still run out of time
So if you listen to my heart
Every beat would say
Thank you for the life, thank you for the truth
Thank you for the way

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Opposition of the Natural

The Opposition of the Natural
Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires —Galatians 5:24

The natural life itself is not sinful. But we must abandon sin, having nothing to do with it in any way whatsoever. Sin belongs to hell and to the devil. I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and to God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best. Once we come to understand that natural moral excellence opposes or counteracts surrender to God, we bring our soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil, and wrong, but we do debate over what is good. It is the good that opposes the best. The higher up the scale of moral excellence a person goes, the more intense the opposition to Jesus Christ. "Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh . . . ." The cost to your natural life is not just one or two things, but everything. Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself. . ." ( Matthew 16:24  ). That is, he must deny his right to himself, and he must realize who Jesus Christ is before he will bring himself to do it. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.

The natural life is not spiritual, and it can be made spiritual only through sacrifice. If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us. There is no high or easy road. Each of us has the means to accomplish it entirely in his own hands. It is not a question of praying, but of sacrificing, and thereby performing His will.
Jesus, please break down the walls.
I am a child of God!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This morning, one of my first thoughts when I woke up,
"I'm cured!"
haha I'm not sure if I'm home free yet, but thank you for the prayers and please continue to pray for me esp. as I go to Taiwan (which reminds me I REALLY need to pack-__-)

Last night I read a note Christiana shared on Faceboook on "Jesus' Love Letter to his Daughters in the Midst of Struggles..." (awesome stuff, gotta share it sometime) and realized how I've been misjudging the Lord my God.
My Father loves me so much that He'd even die for me and did, but all I saw Him during the past couple of days was how He must have looked at me with a critical, judgmental eyes because I'm just failing miserably to meet His standards. But that is a lie of satan because He is much greater than that. We sing, "He is stronger, He is stronger" but sometimes we don't really believe it. And that's insulting to an almighty God who is nothing but good and loving towards His children.
Reading the note really just reassured me of His love and wow it is wonderful to read this truth. We have this gentle and loving Father who sees everything we do from the moment we're born His eyes are fixed on us.

So after posting on here last night I went upstairs to brush my teeth. I was still struggling to be assured of my salvation in Christ and that I was truly a daughter of God even in the midst of my sins. So I thought, "I wish one of the prayer ladies would have told me, 'You're forgiven and a child of God' or something like that at the retreats". Almost as soon as I thought that, I remembered something from Servants retreat '05 (the only other Servants I've been to besides this year's).
After praise, Pastor IJ said that if anyone wants to get prayed for to come up. One of my older sisters put her arm in mine and said, "Let's go get prayed for:)" So we went up together.
We were all standing in a circle with Pastor IJ in the middle as he prayed for each one of us. When he came to me he said, "You're forgiven." If my memory is correct, he didn't say anything specific to anyone else besides that. When we finished, the older sister I went up with asked me, "What did he mean?" and I really didn't know what he was referring to. I took some guesses but in general I thought it was kind of strange and just let it go.

But as I stood there brushing my teeth this memory came back to me and I was just crying as I was brushing my teeth haha. I think the Holy Spirit brought this memory up so that I could stand firm on the fact that I AM a loved daughter in Christ and that I CAN be sure of my identity in Him:)
So with that solid foundation I went to my room and prayed and commanded by the authority Jesus has given to us for satan to get out of here!!!
I also wrote a little note in my journal to my Father telling Him that I loved Him and that He's the best daddy in the whole wide world:)
When I woke up this morning, it felt like everything will be all right. God has given me the ability to overcome all things and He will always love and forgive me because I am in Christ.

I am forgiven.

The Impartial Power of God

The Impartial Power of God
By one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified —Hebrews 10:14

We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only reason for the forgiveness of our sins by God, and the infinite depth of His promise to forget them, is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the result of our personal realization of the atonement by the Cross of Christ, which He has provided for us. ". . . Christ Jesus . . . became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . ." ( 1 Corinthians 1:30  ). Once we realize that Christ has become all this for us, the limitless joy of God begins in us. And wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is still in effect.

No matter who or what we are, God restores us to right standing with Himself only by means of the death of Jesus Christ. God does this, not because Jesus pleads with Him to do so but because He died. It cannot be earned, just accepted. All the pleading for salvation which deliberately ignores the Cross of Christ is useless. It is knocking at a door other than the one which Jesus has already opened. We protest by saying, "But I don’t want to come that way. It is too humiliating to be received as a sinner." God’s response, through Peter, is, ". . . there is no other name . . . by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 ). What at first appears to be heartlessness on God’s part is actually the true expression of His heart. There is unlimited entrance His way. "In Him we have redemption through His blood . . ." ( Ephesians 1:7  ). To identify with the death of Jesus Christ means that we must die to everything that was never a part of Him.

God is just in saving bad people only as He makes them good. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement by the Cross of Christ is the propitiation God uses to make unholy people holy.
AMEN!! This one was just awesome, I was so joyful reading this I was laughing almost the entire time reading this entry:D!
God You are just and You know everything and yet still are so loving towards us. You are GOOD!
really, really struggling with sins dealing with the mind. it's shaken me deeply as and made me question whether i'm saved or not if these are the kinds of thought i have though i am thoroughly convinced that Christ is God. i know that this is the ploy of the enemy to get me away from the joy of being with Christ but the worse part is i don't know how to get rid of it. i've been unable to pray properly since about 3 days ago, worse three days of my life it seems.
if you read this, please pray that He who is good will rescue me from this.
I will trust in the Lord because there is nothing else to trust.
"You've got to stop thinking you're some sort of a less loved child in Christ." -Francis Chan

Monday, December 7, 2009


Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation . . . —2 Corinthians 7:10
Conviction of sin is best described in the words:
My sins, my sins, my Savior,
How sad on Thee they fall.

Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person. It is the beginning of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (see John 16:8 ). And when the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God— "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight . . ." ( Psalm 51:4  ). The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, "I have sinned." The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.

The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable "goodness." Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in the person’s life (see Galatians 4:19  ). This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance followed by unconscious holiness, never the other way around. The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for "the gift of tears." If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be truly repentant.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"My Rainbow in the Cloud"

"My Rainbow in the Cloud"
I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth —Genesis 9:13

It is the will of God that human beings should get into a right-standing relationship with Him, and His covenants are designed for this purpose. Why doesn’t God save me? He has accomplished and provided for my salvation, but I have not yet entered into a relationship with Him. Why doesn’t God do everything we ask? He has done it. The point is— will I step into that covenant relationship? All the great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they are not mine until I enter into a relationship with Him on the basis of His covenant.

Waiting for God to act is fleshly unbelief. It means that I have no faith in Him. I wait for Him to do something in me so I may trust in that. But God won’t do it, because that is not the basis of the God-and-man relationship. Man must go beyond the physical body and feelings in his covenant with God, just as God goes beyond Himself in reaching out with His covenant to man. It is a question of faith in God--a very rare thing. We only have faith in our feelings. I don’t believe God until He puts something tangible in my hand, so that I know I have it. Then I say, "Now I believe." There is no faith exhibited in that. God says, "Look to Me, and be saved . . ."Isaiah 45:22  ).

When I have really transacted business with God on the basis of His covenant, letting everything else go, there is no sense of personal achievement— no human ingredient in it at all. Instead, there is a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with God, and my life is transformed and radiates peace and joy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Organizing a Silence and Solitude Day (Part 5 of 5)

111609 Silence Solitude Image
This the last post in a series by Pastor Mark where he helpfully lays out the importance of silence and solitude, as well as how he approaches and utilizes the time. We hope it has been helpful for you as you grow in your faith in Jesus.


The following is a copy of the template I created for myself to organize my days of silence and solitude for the purpose of journaling. I offer it knowing that you can and should change it to fit your life. This is not Scripture, it’s not perfect, and I don’t claim it is. Rather, it is a simple tool for you to adapt as you need. For me, I keep notes in my Moleskine throughout the week, and sit down to answer these questions on my laptop in a Word document. This keeps it simple for me and allows me to see God’s work in my life over time.
Ideally, every Christian would do a modified version of this plan every week as an act of worship, taking around an hour to answer a few of the questions that are most pressing for them. In addition, it is wise to take at least one full day a month in silence and solitude to answer all the questions without being rushed, leaving time to open your Bible, pray, repent, worship, and ponder.

Silence and Solitude Journaling Template

“. . . the report about him [Jesus] went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” — Luke 5:15–16
Modified or Full Plan:
Note: Here I am making note if it’s one hour or one day for silence and solitude.
Place and Conditions:
Note: I am someone for whom space deeply matters. On a nice day I sit outside by a river or at the beach in a beautiful spot. I don’t like coffee shops (too noisy and crowded) or the office (too much distraction). I like to be up high with a view, crave fresh air, love the sun, and cannot relax where it’s loud, busy, ugly, stinky, disorganized, poorly designed, uncomfortable, or too hot or cold, and yes, I am picky. So, I note where I was and that helps me keep a record of nice spots for silence and solitude days. I borrow friends’ vacation homes, have spots I like outside of town in the mountains, and so forth.
Part 1 – Recent Evidences of God’s Grace
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” — 2 Thess. 2:16–17
Note: To have good words and works, we need hope and comfort by seeing and savoring evidences of God’s grace. I start with this topic to get me into a mode of worship. I can be quite a gloomy and moody person, so this gets me going in the right direction for my time with God. I often take an hour on this topic alone and make a long list, thanking God and praying as I go.
Part 2 – Deep Questions
“The purpose in a man’s mind is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” — Prov. 20:5 (RSV)
Note: These are my questions and you can make your own or change mine. I don’t include Bible reading and study because they are like breathing to me, but you may want to add them. In question four I’m talking about my wife, Grace. I list each of my kids in question five because with a big family it’s too easy to treat the kids as a herd rather than knowing and pastoring each one. I put my work last, figuring that if the rest of my life is in order, work will go well. I rate every question on a scale so that I can be honest about how I’m doing and track progress over time. The prayer points are things I pray about as I’m journaling and things to put on my prayer list that week. The action items go on my calendar. Lastly, I share a lot of this with my wife, kids, friends, and others, and a lot of my blogs and ministry training are simply sharing what comes out of my journaling on days of silence and solitude.
1. How accurate is my view of God lately?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
2. How are my joy in the Holy Spirit and corresponding hope?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
3. What temptations and sins are most ensnaring?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
4. How is my connection with my wife?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
5. How is my connection with each of my children?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
6. How is my health (e.g., weight, diet, exercise)?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
7. How is my sleep (e.g., bed time, quality of sleep, length of sleep)?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
8. How is my energy level?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
9. How is my dominion over my technology (e.g., cell phone, laptop, email, text)?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
10. How is the stewardship of my wealth (e.g., finances, possessions, property, investments)?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
11. How is my social life with friends and extended family?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
12. Who or what is filling my tank lately?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
13. Who or what is draining my tank lately?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
14. Who has sinned against me and how am I responding?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
15. Who do I need to confide in and where should I seek wisdom?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
16. Are there any warning signs that I am burning out?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
17. Am I successfully getting out of the river onto the bank enough through silence, solitude, study, and Sabbath?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
18. What do I need to stop doing, do less of, or hand off to someone else?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
19. How are my self-deception and truth suppression?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
20. How is my writing (e.g., books, blogs, papers)?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items
21. How is my preaching (preparation and results, in and out of Mars Hill)?
• Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)
• Prayer Points
• Action Items

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Law of Opposition

The Law of Opposition
To him who overcomes . . . —Revelation 2:7

Life without war is impossible in the natural or the supernatural realm. It is a fact that there is a continuing struggle in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual areas of life.

Health is the balance between the physical parts of my body and all the things and forces surrounding me. To maintain good health I must have sufficient internal strength to fight off the things that are external. Everything outside my physical life is designed to cause my death. The very elements that sustain me while I am alive work to decay and disintegrate my body once it is dead. If I have enough inner strength to fight, I help to produce the balance needed for health. The same is true of the mental life. If I want to maintain a strong and active mental life, I have to fight. This struggle produces the mental balance called thought.

Morally it is the same. Anything that does not strengthen me morally is the enemy of virtue within me. Whether I overcome, thereby producing virtue, depends on the level of moral excellence in my life. But we must fight to be moral. Morality does not happen by accident; moral virtue is acquired.
And spiritually it is also the same. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation . . ." ( John 16:33  ). This means that anything which is not spiritual leads to my downfall. Jesus went on to say, ". . . but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." I must learn to fight against and overcome the things that come against me, and in that way produce the balance of holiness. Then it becomes a delight to meet opposition.

Holiness is the balance between my nature and the law of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Not by Might nor by Power"

"Not by Might nor by Power"
My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power . . . —1 Corinthians 2:4
If in preaching the gospel you substitute your knowledge of the way of salvation for confidence in the power of the gospel, you hinder people from getting to reality. Take care to see while you proclaim your knowledge of the way of salvation, that you yourself are rooted and grounded by faith in God. Never rely on the clearness of your presentation, but as you give your explanation make sure that you are relying on the Holy Spirit. Rely on the certainty of God’s redemptive power, and He will create His own life in people.
Once you are rooted in reality, nothing can shake you. If your faith is in experiences, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith. But nothing can ever change God or the reality of redemption. Base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God Himself. Once you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will never be moved again. That is the meaning of sanctification. God disapproves of our human efforts to cling to the concept that sanctification is merely an experience, while forgetting that even our sanctification must also be sanctified (see John 17:19  ). I must deliberately give my sanctified life to God for His service, so that He can use me as His hands and His feet.
wow PC or someone must be praying for me. I am so full of joy and love for Christ that I want to go to the mountain tops and shout, "I love Jesus!!!!!!!" lol
more prayer = more power
He calls us to pray for one another so we can stand firm in Christ!!! yayy!!
I want to stand firm in faith on Your everlasting promises Lord. I repent of my faithlessness, but You are faithful Father.
I love You Lord. You alone are God.

One thing I know that I believe
through every blessing I receive
You are the only One that stays, You always stay

You never change, You're still the same
You are the Everlasting God
You will remain after the day is gone and the things of earth have passed
everlasting God
I want to be baptized by the Holy Spirit!!

Got an email from my dad today wishing me happy bday:) Really excited to go back to Taiwan since I haven't gone since like 8+yrs ago. Please pray for me that by God's grace I may be able to evangelize to my family that they may be able to know Christ. I know 1.5 weeks is short but I believe in a God who holds the earth together, everything belongs to Him alone and nothing is impossible for Him. Jesus is an awesome God!! Lord may hearts be opened and Your truth spoken through Your Holy Spirit!

Please also pray for Pastor Cliff, Ken, and I in leading Bible study on Friday. Like the prayer of Pastor John Piper in "When I Don't Desire God":

"And may they be discerning so that, if I have blundered, they would be
sure to see the error and not follow me. Protect them from the evil
one who would distort and then deceive. Give great assistance from
your Spirit, and may they see more truth than I have seen. Oh, that
the eyes of their hearts might be bright with the glory of Christ
through these pages! Remove every blinding obstacle, and show
them your glory! And thus give them more joy than all the gladness
that the world can give. And by this joy in Jesus Christ, fit them to
love and serve and sacrifice. And by this joy, with which they bear
their cross, Lord, cause the earth to know what you are truly worth.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
i was going to fast today so didn't eat anything since 6:30pm but i think i'm coming down with a fever:(
probably won't be able to do the whole day this week, maybe will try again on saturday:) it was probably too soon for me to fast since i just got sick like 2 days ago...thought i'd try anyways lol
Thank You Lord for food:) And thank You Lord for letting me go to GW to hear Pastor Robin speak on confessions:)

God is good!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advice for Young Pastors
from Justin Taylor by Justin Taylor 

Tim Keller: “Young pastors or seminarians often ask me for advice on what kind of early ministry experience to seek in order to best grow in skill and wisdom as a pastor.” His answer may surprise you.

I thought this quote was pretty awesome:

"Young pastors should not turn up their noses at such places, where they may learn the full spectrum of ministry tasks and skills as they will not in a large church. Nor should they go to small communities looking at them merely as stepping stones in a career. Why not? Your early ministry experience will only prepare you for 'bigger things,' if you don't aspire for anything bigger than investment in the lives of the people around you. Wherever you serve, put your roots down, become a member of the community and do your ministry with all your heart and might. If God opens the door to go somewhere else, fine and good. But don't go to such places looking at them only as training grounds for 'real ministry.'"

but not only for pastors but for those who desire to serve as well i think. There's always a reason God calls us to certain places and we must always do "ministry with all [our] heart and might" ♥

Christian Perfection

Christian Perfection
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect . . . —Philippians 3:12
It is a trap to presume that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can doGod’s purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements tends to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you accept this concept of personal holiness, your life’s determined purpose will not be for God, but for what you call the evidence of God in your life. How can we say, "It could never be God’s will for me to be sick"? If it was God’s will to bruise His own Son ( Isaiah 53:10  ), why shouldn’t He bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that hits you is the pointlessness of the things you have to do. The next thought that strikes you is that other people seem to be living perfectly consistent lives. Such lives may leave you with the idea that God is unnecessary— that through your own human effort and devotion you can attain God’s standard for your life. In a fallen world this can never be done. I am called to live in such a perfect relationship with God that my life produces a yearning for God in the lives of others, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God’s purpose is not to perfect me to make me a trophy in His showcase; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He wants.
I want to be used by You:) Lord have Your way in me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Law and the Gospel

The Law and the Gospel
Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all —James 2:10
The moral law does not consider our weaknesses as human beings; in fact, it does not take into account our heredity or infirmities. It simply demands that we be absolutely moral. The moral law never changes, either for the highest of society or for the weakest in the world. It is enduring and eternally the same. The moral law, ordained by God, does not make itself weak to the weak by excusing our shortcomings. It remains absolute for all time and eternity. If we are not aware of this, it is because we are less than alive. Once we do realize it, our life immediately becomes a fatal tragedy. "I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died" ( Romans 7:9 ). The moment we realize this, the Spirit of God convicts us of sin. Until a person gets there and sees that there is no hope, the Cross of Christ remains absurd to him. Conviction of sin always brings a fearful, confining sense of the law. It makes a person hopeless— ". . . sold under sin" ( Romans 7:14  ). I, a guilty sinner, can never work to get right with God— it is impossible. There is only one way by which I can get right with God, and that is through the death of Jesus Christ. I must get rid of the underlying idea that I can ever be right with God because of my obedience. Who of us could ever obey God to absolute perfection!

We only begin to realize the power of the moral law once we see that it comes with a condition and a promise. But God never coerces us. Sometimes we wish He would make us be obedient, and at other times we wish He would leave us alone. Whenever God’s will is in complete control, He removes all pressure. And when we deliberately choose to obey Him, He will reach to the remotest star and to the ends of the earth to assist us with all of His almighty power.
It's funny but I think God is speaking to me through the titles in the Lookbook posts (people upload their fashion and post it on the site)
Like I just read this one:
I'm a new soul in this very strange world
very interesting:]

in other news, the cold and flu that everyone's been having finally hit me! hurray!
woke up this morning with a sore throat and runny nose...nooooooo being sick feels terrible;__;
hopefully i can still go to GW tomorrow tho!

gotta pray for pastors!!
"I was astonished that although I now loved you ... I did not persist
in enjoyment of my God. Your beauty drew me to you, but soon I
was dragged away from you by my own weight and in dismay I
plunged again into the things of this world ... as though I had sensed
the fragrance of the fare but was not yet able to eat it. "
Started reading "When I Don't Desire God" (only got through the forward haha:p)
Just reading the forward is enough to make me want to finish the book. I hope that the rest of the book would be just as good if not better:D!!

Usually I don't like reading books online, but the Desiring God ministry offers it for free in PDF format so I downloaded it HERE:)<--it's towards the bottom
It's actually pretty awesome how they offer pretty much all the things from Pastor Piper for free! I've been wanting to read this book for quite a while:)

"To be satisfied by the beauty of God does not come naturally to sinful people. By nature we get more pleasure from God’s gifts than from himself. Therefore this book calls for deep and radical change—which only God can give."
-John Piper

When I read this in the first paragraph I was like, wow that is me. Been feeling very dry lately and not running on God's grace, lacking patience and love for those around me, especially when my mom yells at me for little things at least five times a day. I wish she can just say it without yelling at me:( I can hear, you don't need to yell.
I really need to pray more!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

You Don't Have to Be Productive

(Author: David Mathis)
What is the most important principle for productivity? Our Director of Strategy Matt Perman answers,
I would actually say: realize that you don't have to be productive. By this I mean: your significance does not come from your productivity. It comes from Christ, who obeyed God perfectly on our behalf such that our significance and standing before God comes from him, not anything we do. Then, on that basis, we pursue good works (which is what productivity is) and do so eagerly, as it says in Titus 2:14.
Read the full 3-question interview that this comes from.
i found this to be pretty helpful in battling unproductivity〜

"By the Grace of God I Am What I Am"

"By the Grace of God I Am What I Am"
By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain . . . —1 Corinthians 15:10

The way we continually talk about our own inabilities is an insult to our Creator. To complain over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us. Get into the habit of examining from God’s perspective those things that sound so humble to men. You will be amazed at how unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful they are to Him. We say things such as, "Oh, I shouldn’t claim to be sanctified; I’m not a saint." But to say that before God means, "No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are opportunities I have not had and so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn’t possible." That may sound wonderfully humble to others, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.

Conversely, the things that sound humble before God may sound exactly the opposite to people. To say, "Thank God, I know I am saved and sanctified," is in God’s eyes the purest expression of humility. It means you have so completely surrendered yourself to God that you know He is true. Never worry about whether what you say sounds humble before others or not. But always be humble before God, and allow Him to be your all in all.

There is only one relationship that really matters, and that is your personal relationship to your personal Redeemer and Lord. If you maintain that at all costs, letting everything else go, God will fulfill His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life.

Next Best to Grace: Oxygen

(Author: John Piper)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote one of the wisest things I have ever read on dealing with discouragement or depression in the ministry. It's called "The Minister's Fainting Fits" from his book Lectures to My Students.

Here he is at his best.

He who forgets the humming of the bees among the heather, the cooing of the wood-pigeons in the forest, the song of birds in the woods, the rippling of rills among the rushes, and the sighing of the wind among the pines, needs not wonder if his heart forgets to sing and his soul grows heavy. A day's breathing of fresh air upon the hills, or a few hours, ramble in the beech woods' umbrageous calm, would sweep the cobwebs out of the brain of scores of our toiling ministers who are now but half alive. A mouthful of sea air, or a stiff walk in the wind's face, would not give grace to the soul, but it would yield oxygen to the body, which is next best.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ
He will glorify Me . . . —John 16:14
The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with "the blood of the Lamb" ( Revelation 12:11  ). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, "That is the work of God Almighty!" Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.
The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God!
Jesus said, ". . . when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He will glorify Me . . ." (John 16:13-14  ). When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Riches of the Destitute

The Riches of the Destitute
. . . being justified freely by His grace . . . —Romans 3:24

The gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the truth that it reveals is not palatable or easy to swallow. There is a certain pride in people that causes them to give and give, but to come and accept a gift is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom; I will dedicate my life to service— I will do anything. But do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts. We must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we get there, our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us as long as we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves. We must enter into His kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are "rich," particularly in the area of pride or independence, God can do nothing for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the essential nature of God is placed and made effective in us by the Holy Spirit. He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, making us truly alive. He takes that which was "beyond" us and places it "within" us. And immediately, once "the beyond" has come "within," it rises up to "the above," and we are lifted into the kingdom where Jesus lives and reigns (see John 3:5  ).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power
. . . except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God. Instantly the power of God will be in you. "Look to Me. . ." (Isaiah 45:22). Pay attention to the external Source and the internal power will be there. We lose power because we don’t focus on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these. We are to preach "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" ( 1 Corinthians 2:2  ). The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work. Concentrate on God’s focal point in your preaching, and even if your listeners seem to pay it no attention, they will never be the same again. If I share my own words, they are of no more importance than your words are to me. But if we share the truth of God with one another, we will encounter it again and again. We have to focus on the great point of spiritual power— the Cross. If we stay in contact with that center of power, its energy is released in our lives. In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings, the focus tends to be put not on the Cross of Christ but on the effects of the Cross.
The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption.
I think just from the title you can tell that this was going to be a good one, and it is:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Secret of Spiritual Consistency

The Secret of Spiritual Consistency
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

When a person is newly born again, he seems inconsistent due to his unrelated emotions and the state of the external things or circumstances in his life. The apostle Paul had a strong and steady underlying consistency in his life. Consequently, he could let his external life change without internal distress because he was rooted and grounded in God. Most of us are not consistent spiritually because we are more concerned about being consistent externally. In the external expression of things, Paul lived in the basement, while his critics lived on the upper level. And these two levels do not begin to touch each other. But Paul’s consistency was down deep in the fundamentals. The great basis of his consistency was the agony of God in the redemption of the world, namely, the Cross of Christ.

State your beliefs to yourself again. Get back to the foundation of the Cross of Christ, doing away with any belief not based on it. In secular history the Cross is an infinitesimally small thing, but from the biblical perspective it is of more importance than all the empires of the world. If we get away from dwelling on the tragedy of God on the Cross in our preaching, our preaching produces nothing. It will not transmit the energy of God to man; it may be interesting, but it will have no power. However, when we preach the Cross, the energy of God is released. ". . . it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. . . . we preach Christ crucified . . ."1 Corinthians 1:21, 23  ).
wow i'm seriously...SO BLESSEDT____T
the Lord has put so many wonderful people around me
just got a msg from Kristine and she's so sweet;___;...feeling very thankful for those God has put around me♥
i completely don't deserve for You to love me so much but in Christ i have been given everything:)
Thank You Father!

i had a pretty terrible headache yesterday
somehow even though i prayed for hours this one was just so stubborn and refused to go away
that's a first since Harvest retreat in August
but thankfully it faded away today and i was able to do things as usual:)
more than ever, i think i can feel God's presence around me.
just constantly reminded that He's right here no matter where i go.
we always hear that God's omnipresent but don't truly know what that means i think
but it's def. very reassuring to be able to trust that He's right here with me♥

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Direction of Focus

Direction of Focus
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters . . . , so our eyes look to the Lord our God . . . —Psalm 123:2

This verse is a description of total reliance on God. Just as the eyes of a servant are riveted on his master, our eyes should be directed to and focused on God. This is how knowledge of His countenance is gained and how God reveals Himself to us (seeIsaiah 53:1  ). Our spiritual strength begins to be drained when we stop lifting our eyes to Him. Our stamina is sapped, not so much through external troubles surrounding us but through problems in our thinking. We wrongfully think, "I suppose I’ve been stretching myself a little too much, standing too tall and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary humble person." We have to realize that no effort can be too high.

For example, you came to a crisis in your life, took a stand for God, and even had the witness of the Spirit as a confirmation that what you did was right. But now, maybe weeks or years have gone by, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion— "Well, maybe what I did showed too much pride or was superficial. Was I taking a stand a bit too high for me?" Your "rational" friends come and say, "Don’t be silly. We knew when you first talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a passing impulse, that you couldn’t hold up under the strain. And anyway, God doesn’t expect you to endure." You respond by saying, "Well, I suppose I was expecting too much." That sounds humble to say, but it means that your reliance on God is gone, and you are now relying on worldly opinion. The danger comes when, no longer relying on God, you neglect to focus your eyes on Him. Only when God brings you to a sudden stop will you realize that you have been the loser. Whenever there is a spiritual drain in your life, correct it immediately. Realize that something has been coming between you and God, and change or remove it at once.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Distraction of Contempt

The Distraction of Contempt
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt —Psalm 123:3

What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. "Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously" ( Malachi 2:16  ). Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do, we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives.

Beware of "the cares of this world . . ." ( Mark 4:19  ). They are the very things that produce the wrong attitudes in our soul. It is incredible what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by "the cares of this world."

Another thing that distracts us is our passion for vindication. St. Augustine prayed, "O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself." Such a need for constant vindication destroys our soul’s faith in God. Don’t say, "I must explain myself," or, "I must get people to understand." Our Lord never explained anything— He left the misunderstandings or misconceptions of others to correct themselves.

When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
there is incredible power in knowing that i belong to Jesus♥

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Servants was crazy good.
Not just worshiping together with so many of my brothers and sisters who are all so loved in Christ, but from the sermons and seminar having Godly men speak truth into me is SO wonderful.
From the worship to sermons to prayer, everything just makes me hungry for MORE! i am so unsatisfied in my current condition and there's this burning desire and need to know Him MORE and MORE and MORE!!
i feel so impatient and i keep thinking and asking Him how long it would take, when can i become like the Godly men and women i met here???
i want to see with the eyes of Jesus. Love people and know that we are all weak and it is what is behind them that causes them to sin.

but i think the single most important thing i learned here is my identity in Christ.
it's such a fundamental thing but so many Christians don't know it.
and the thing is power and authority in Christ stems from our confidence that Christ has made us into new creations.
we fail to realize how much more powerful God is than satan. Like what JM said, we often think that there's a great battle between God and satan but in the Bible we see that it's not God or even the arch-angel Michael who throws satan into hell but some nameless angel. Meaning that he is just on the same level as all the other angels and God is INFINITELY greater and more powerful than this fallen angel.
That's why God tells us again and again in scripture "Do not be afraid" because when you stand firm in your identity in Christ, you will have the authority and power given to you by Christ to bound others in by the blood of Jesus Christ and set them free from any rein that satan may have over them. The earth and everything in it is Yours. The one whom all authority has been given is with you, there is no need to be afraid.
He loves us with a burning, burning love. Even though I'm hungry to know Him, His desire for me to know Him is so much more than what I want.

"The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time." -Tim Keller

“If we’re not completely convinced that His love is ours, right now, fully and unalterably ours, we will always hide in the shadows, be focused on our performance, fearing His wrath….We are, each one, more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe, but more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope. " -Elyse Fitzpatrick

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
JESUS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I BELONG TO JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shallow and Profound

Shallow and Profound
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound personGod became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, "A disciple is not above his teacher . . ." ( Matthew 10:24  ).
We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Forgiveness of God

The Forgiveness of God
In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7

Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours.
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm.
Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.
Great is your love Lord:)
i guess i wont be buying the camera though...T__T
but Servants today! yayyy:)
i've been feeling so tired and insipid recently without even realizing it
this entire week for some reason i just couldn't feel very joyful as if there was something keeping me from it. i was also having some trouble breathing, which is unusual. i could blame it on the cold that i semi-caught but didn't come down with anything, but i think it goes deeper than that.
at times i would be so thankful for God's grace but it fades away quickly. i couldn't help but feel like my prayers are shallow even though i want them to be deeper, i find myself praying for the same things over and over again.
knowing Servants was this weekend i felt like i should have prayed more but i really felt like i was losing the joy in worshiping Christ.
yes i know He is God.
yes i know He is worthy.
yes i know i must worship Him.
but it wasn't like when i first came back from Harvest and i thought about God all the time, how He was always on my mind. i really wanted to go back to how i just loved to be with Him and longed to spend time with Him and having Him be my strength to overcome everything.
it's so easy for us to say these things but to know them truly with our hearts is often times difficult. 
as Christians, we all go through ups and downs. even though i want to be up all the time, as human it is impossible. but i believe God uses those times to teach us and help us to grow in Him.
and at the same time He provides, like i think i really needed encouragement and reassurance of His love

then tonight i came across Esther Min's post on Desert Song:

My fellow sisters in Christ,

This song has been on my heart for a while and I wanted to share it with you all. God knows and cares for you and the condition of your heart. Sometimes we become circumstantial worshippers. Worshipping God when we want to, when it is convenient for us, or when we really need Him. Personally for me, life has been quite a rocky journey. These days it's been really hard for me to worship and pray onto Him with a genuine heart. Let me encourage both you and I with this... No matter what circumstance you are in... we worship a God who does not change. He still sits on the throne and loves us both. His promises are still true. God is bigger than our circumstances.

This song actually hit me when I was in the parking garage at school. haha... I had a worship session in my car =P During hard times when you feel like you are in the desert. Trust in the Lord and let the circumstance you are in refine you and make you stronger.

Stand firm sisters~

Jill McCloghry & Brooke Fraser (Hillsong) - Desert Song

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

this post was a tremendous blessing for me. being often very slow at realizing my own emotions, as tears started down my face i saw just how tired i was from everything and how much i failed to see God's character in just how much He loves me.

with everything that's just been going on at home and with church, life definitely has not been easy.
my mom came back from her business trip this week and she's completely stressed out because her boss' biggest client fired him. she's worried about perhaps losing her job if the firm decides to fire her boss.
i think she's mad at me because she doesn't really talk to me even when i try to talk with her asking how her day went. part of it i'm sure is because of what's going on at work but even though i understand it still hurts me and i really wish that she would be more loving or at least communicate what's going on. being the love me that i am, having my mom clearly show that she doesn't want me around takes quite a toll on me. another thing is i'm sure she's not very happy about me going to taiwan. in some ways i really think that she felt like i chose sides with my dad even though honestly he has been a terrible father to my brother and i. it's difficult to convey to her that even though i understand that, i feel like God is calling me to reach out to him. she continues to live in fear of him coming back into our lives and ruining everything she's worked so hard to build. at the same time she really doesn't like that i spend so much time doing church stuff which is pretty discouraging.

gosh i'm seriously just complaining a lot. i hope no one reads this

the other thing is i'm going to church at kcpw but discipleship training at andc. i think neither pastors like what i'm doing-__- when i chose, in my heart i wanted to be where i can grow the most and that ended up being kcpw. more than anything else, i think it's because the audience for the sermons are targeted towards college kids and young adults whereas pc has to prepare sermons which middle school kids can understand and at the same time have it be helpful to college and young adults. being spiritually older, i really do believe that we need spiritual food that will help us to go deeper than those who are younger.
so sometimes i think that makes things difficult at slts. they know i'm not at their church and i know i'm not at their church but i come out to slts and large groups. at times i can feel kind of excluded being non-korean and non-congregational member. and to be honest, this hurts me as well.
while they were assigning the jobs today, i wish that i could do some of those things. i'd have loved to been the photographer and be on the welcoming committee.
there are times when i wonder if i should just switch churches and go to andc instead, but i can't leave without considering the feelings of others.
for me, this is still something i have turmoils about and a topic i'll be praying about at Servants. is not Christ one body and one church? why this division then?
always remind myself, it's not about what p.paul or p.cliff thinks, but what i do should be what is pleasing to God and not men.

i really try not to care about what anyone says by reminding myself that no matter what they think of me, i know i am a worse sinner. this honestly has been very helpful for me because i know that it is true.
but in the end it takes much more than just continuously saying that to myself because in my sinful heart i still want the approval of others.
so back to what i was initially writing about after all that ramblings in the middle.
seriously, reading Esther's post really showed me once again God's love.
I really loved it when she said,
"These days it's been really hard for me to worship and pray onto Him with a genuine heart. Let me encourage both you and I with this... No matter what circumstance you are in... we worship a God who does not change. He still sits on the throne and loves us both. His promises are still true. God is bigger than our circumstances."
It's of great comfort to know that we have a God who is unchanging and loves us the same even though we are unfaithful and don't desire to come to Him.
I also loved what Brooke said in the video,
"It's just a real emotional moment and just her standing there and glorifying God in the midst of her lost and her tragedy means that the devil lost what he was trying to achieve."
i don't know why i've never realized this but indeed satan does try to keep us from worshiping God by throwing all these things into our lives and so keep us from being satisfied and comforted in Christ.
I remember Mrs.Kim telling me that satan is jealous that God loves us so much and because he cannot do anything to God, instead he attacks the people as to keep us away from Him and hurt God this way.
Lord Jesus, help us. We are weak people and we cannot do anything but You are strong! Be our strength Lord I pray, help us to be deeper with You God. In Jesus' name i pray, Amen.

 Thanks Esther, i was indeed very encouraged:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

i've been fasting once a week since before Harvest started but it's still so hardT____T
IS IT EVER GOING TO GET EASIER;_____;??????!!!!!!!

"When He Has Come"

"When He Has Come"
When He has come, He will convict the world of sin . . . —John 16:8

Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin. We know the experience of being disturbed because we have done wrong things. But conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and makes us aware of only one— "Against You, You only, have I sinned . . ." ( Psalm 51:4  ). When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every bit of his conscience that God would not dare to forgive him. If God did forgive him, then this person would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.
Thankful for Oswald Chambers writing this one and giving us a deeper knowledge of the forgiveness we have attained in Christ:)
Reminded me greatly of this excerpt he wrote as well:

 "The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. the cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened."

"What Is That to You?"

"What Is That to You?"
Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’ —John 21:21-22

One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, "He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t." You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, "What is that to you?" Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.
Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.
My Utmost from Sunday which I didn't realize I had not read.
And as always, Oswald Chambers words are helpful for my growth in Christ. He seriously has some amazing insight that Christ has revealed to him:) man, when can i be more insightful as well? gotta pray more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dense with Magnificent Truth

(Author: John Piper)
What an amazing array of glorious acts of love God shows toward us in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. I pray that God will make my thoughts this dense with magnificent truth.

Obtaining glory
        2 Thessalonians 2:13-14:
        But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved , through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth . To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ .

        Sharing another one:)

        Do Not Labor for the Food That Perishes

        (Author: David Mathis)
        This week's sermon: "Do Not Labor for the Food That Perishes"
        Jesus isn't eager to be useful to our natural desires. He's too loving to be content with us seeing him as anything less than our supreme Treasure.

        So the Gospel of John was written to make known the glory of Jesus, not the glory of his gifts. The story points again and again to the person of faith, not the product of religion.

        Jesus tells us in John 6:27 not to labor for the bread that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life.

        Laboring for the enduring food does not mean earning his favor. Rather, Jesus turns our inclination for doing upside down. This is what we're required to do: Believe in Jesus. It's a kind of doing that isn't doing. Those who eat the enduring food, Jesus himself who is the Bread of Life, don't work to earn him but believe to receive him.

        But what does it mean not to labor for the food that perishes? Stop working altogether? Quit our jobs? No, but our jobs should be changed. When Jesus is our highest Treasure something about everything changes. And the effect isn't lazy, sloppy, gloomy labor, but zealous, excellent, joyful work that magnifies the beauty of our Bread and gladly meets the needs of others.
        Just thought I'd share because this is a great reminder so often not realized or forgotten:)

        Winning into Freedom

        Winning into Freedom
        If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed —John 8:36

        If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, "I can’t surrender," or "I can’t be free." But the spiritual part of our being never says "I can’t"; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.
        God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, "I can’t do that." God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our "arguments . . . and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5 )— we have to do it. Don’t say, "Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts." Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.
        "If the Son makes you free . . . ." Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20  when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ . . . ." His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. ". . . you shall be free indeed"— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.
        Wow, Jesus really wanted me to read this. I've been praying about it all week. Thank You Lord, I pray for Your strength for me to obey, help me to be more like You Jesus!!