Thursday, August 15, 2013

Did you know?

Every time we pray for God to forgive us in the name of Jesus, we are using His blood to wash our clothes, we are using His death.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Good Morning

Sometimes waking up isn't easy,
but I don't want to spend my life in bed.

Sometimes dreams can be fun,
but I feel much more alive in reality.

Sometimes running fast can be exhilarating,
but I would much rather be flying.

Sometimes I just want to take the blue pill,
but I only have one shot to take the red pill.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here is the patience of the saints

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." (Rev 12:11)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

From Generation to Generation

"whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:14)
Had a long talk with my dad about life. As he grows older, thoughts of what his life is and how he has lived it fills his mind. Here are some thoughts borne from the conversation.

What is our life? It is so short. My dad reminisced about how when his mom was about fifty some years old, she had a talk with him about how life just passes by and before you know it, you're fifty. A lot of people have already passed away by that age, so you should ask yourself what is the purpose of living in this life. So my dad challenged me the same thing. He said that no matter how hard he tries to keep thinking that he is young, reality comes, death is soon. It seemed like just yesterday he was a young energetic kid dreaming of what he would do in the future, pursuing after what is called "life".
But really what can we control? Before my grandmother knew it, her sister passed away. That's when all the siblings began to think, "who will be next?" Then the next happened, and the next. At age 66, my grandma began to be sick. My dad gave up his American dream of having a stable job, living in an intellectually free environment, his green card, his new home, and instead was to go penniless, facing the criticism of family and friends toward his "dumb" decision to throw away everything and leave his family poor just to see his mom on her last days. Hence, I was born in Taiwan and she was able to see me. And being the fourth, she passed away at age 67 (although the doctors said she had three weeks to live when she was diagnosed, she ended up living for about a year, which is another story). Her son was to return with nothing back to America except a wife and two babies, but he says that returning to Taiwan to see her on her dying days was the best decision he ever made in his life.

Who knows what will happen? Money, success, status, career, etc., there is no reason to put our value or our hope in these. We can control none of it. And what is all this really worth on our dying days? When we look back at our lives, what did we really live for, have we done what God has wanted us to do? Love the neighbor, help the poor, not to look down on others, not to live a selfish life? Or have we been too busy putting it off for the future? We all know education comes first; of course as a student our first priority should be on education because that's where it all starts. Then after education comes our career, and when we start out what's really important is to become financially stable and have a house, there's really no room for anything else. Once you're stable and you have a family, of course you have to take care of kids, work hard to put bread on the table, responsibility goes to the family and how to raise your children to become successful in the world. Only when your children are finally able to be independent can you heave a sigh of relief. Then by that time you're about fifty years old and ahead only seems to be inevitability, and what will our life have looked like by then? This life is so short, it is really like a test. A test of our morality, our priorities. My dad often likes to say, it's really all about learning, what does God want me to learn next?

On top of life in general, we also talked about education. What's the best way to learn? His idea is that the best way to learn is to be a prodigal son. More specifically, the process of getting back up after a fall. Not to use training wheels, indoctrinate someone since birth, let them live in a greenhouse, but rather to let them learn themselves, to find what's right and wrong themselves, to decide what's worth much and what's not that important ourselves. They are there to give suggestions and share their own life experiences, but never to force anything; we were created to have free will.

Lastly and most amusing to me was his own "selection process" in marriage. As far away as it seems to me and as much as I avoid it (like the plague), I did think he had an interesting (and amusing) idea. I think ideally there should only be one criteria: God's choice. Of course, humans will be humans. One idea that he had that wasn't that related to marriage (in my opinion) was something along the lines of this: People will often admire others for what they have whether it be musical talent, well-to-do background, good personality (how nice they are), intelligence, education, reputation. But this admiration is superficial.
Well then I thought, what should you admire someone for then? Because this kind of thinking points to no favoritism and no discrimination. Then in terms of marriage, it points to only one criteria: God's choice. Okay back to the story about the "selection process".
Funnily, my dad had one major criteria when searching for a spouse. He would ask the other if she would be willing to live with his parents in the future, stating that he would be willing to live with theirs (because he loved his mom very much and wanted to take care of her). All would hesitate and it grew to the point that one of his sisters told him to stop asking that question or else he would never get married. But for my dad, it was his main "screening" question and used it as the big test to decide whether she was a good person or not. Apparently, if he was willing to live with her parents, and before she even tried she didn't want to live with his, then she wasn't a good person (for him to marry). He claimed he would rather not get married if it meant not being able to take care of his mother. Luckily for him, my mother had no hesitation and said it was something that should be done. Of course the real test came once my grandmom got sick, and my usually frugal mom was able to leave America and without hesitation, support my father in throwing away all their money and security (she even selling her jewelry) to go back.

I could not have asked for better parents, I am truly spoiled. They have been wonderful in their own way and I can only imagine to have half of the love they have given to me. I am grateful in tongue, but never nearly grateful enough in deed. Happy Parent's Day (according to BP church's schedule).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

They are new every morning

But where sin abounded,

Grace abounded much more.

This I recall to my mind,

Therefore I have hope.

Through the Lord's mercies

We are not consumed,

Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

Great is Thy faithfulness.

With morning, comes mercy, comes hope. As He continually shows His mercy to us, we must continually strive to show our gratitude.

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Love to Thee, O Christ

There's knowledge, then there's essence.

When I get down to the root, to the motive, to the base of my actions and thoughts, I find a lot of them are not built on Jesus. I know that they should be, but knowing does not equate to being (but it often tricks me into thinking so). I know I should study for the glory of God, yet I do it for myself and my parents. I know I shouldn't sin for the sake of my relationship with God, yet when (emphasis on "when") I don't sin it's because of 面子 and fear of wrath. I know I should serve for God, yet I often do it because I feel responsible to man. I know I should love others for the sake of glorifying God, yet I often do it out of pride or convenience.
And that is why I often fail. I can't study at my full potential, I always end up slipping in sin, I'm often ashamed of my servitude, I can't truly love others.
I lack love towards God. I know I should love Him more, but I don't. But I do wish.

Love takes effort, or else it's probably not love.
So how do I love God more? Is it a natural feeling? Perhaps on a higher level. Since love takes effort, I shouldn't wait to wonder how I can get this feeling to come out, and rather start making effort for it to grow.
Do I give offerings to Him? Do I praise Him? Do I thank Him? Do I make myself accountable to Him? Do I pro-actively build up my relationship with Him?
I need to start.

"More love to thee, O Christ, more love to thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to thee;
more love to thee, more love to thee!"

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

Friday, February 4, 2011

with all my heart

After a brother commented on an old facebook video of MVP 2010 hymn singing, I went to listen to it again. I remember it was the last hymn singing session of that seminar and we just sat down in a circle and sang all the hymns that we learned during that seminar, it was an amazing experience.

Listening to it again, it made me think back of how awesome it was being able to be there and how joyful, peaceful, and determined I felt. As I listened to the song Praise, I Will Praise You Lord, the last verse we sang struck me.

Serve, I will serve You Lord
with all my heart,
O God I will tell the wonders of Your grace
Serve, I will serve You Lord
with all my heart,
in You I will find the source of all my joy,

(Grady uploaded all of the songs here)

Here we were at MVP singing about serving God. It felt very powerful and I felt like I could feel all the determination and zeal in the singing. The second line came, "with all my heart". Can I say I've been serving God with all my heart? This voice of half a year ago that sang so confidently made me feel ashamed. It showed me how far from my all I have gone. I guess it serves as a reminder.
May I use this message of the past to remind me to praise, love, and serve God with all my heart.