God I sob so many times for her.
I wish this movie had come out when I was little, the amount I relate to her is substantial.
She would have made young me feel a lot better about myself
My lovely followers, please follow this blog immediately!
that says korea. its been a pretty wild 3 weeks. going everywhere around seoul and visiting relatives and engaging in some classic korean recreation…all using the goodness of public transportation and in subzero weather.
it’s been almost 7 years since i last came here. 7 years ago when i either met some cousins who were still prepubescent or didnt even meet them at all. which means i saw some cousins for the first time in 10 years. half my life ago. and here i was, blown away by how badly i couldn’t recognize a lot of them despite most of them being around my age and yet…to know that we shared blood.
and it all comes to an end tomorrow when i leave back for houston. i’m writing this post after i said goodbye to several of my relatives for the last time until…God knows when. i guess it was a sad feeling. sad because i can’t help but recall the fun things we did together as extended family…something i never really got to experience for most of my life. and now after exchanging our final goodbyes, i guess i have to just swallow the sadness and boldly approach whatever chapter comes next in my life. spring 2013, UT Austin, or whatever.
which also makes me wonder why God chose my family to be in the United States. i mean, there’s no way he would deprive me, my mom, my dad, and brother of the joy of our rambunctious extended family without a reason right? i suppose i’ll find out in time. i remember those multiple nights in the last three weeks where my aunt would tell stories of before i immigrated to amurica…how our fam would gather every sunday after church and all made dumplings or noodles or something together for dinner…how all the moms in the big family would go for stroller walks when my cousins and i were little…things like that.
well instead of being all sad and stuff about leaving the motherland and all its goodness, i suppose it’s a better mindset to forever cherish the experiences i got to have this winter break. sure i got to have a lot of fun and be silly with the cousins…but im ready to go home. its weird i know, to be so sad yet glad to be going home, but i’m sure there are some who understand. it’s time to gear up for another fantastic semester.
hey texas, i’ll be home soon!
i know. this sounds a little heretical, but i think it’s true. maybe you’d agree if i instead said He isn’t my personal chauffeur. i know a lot of us grew up with the analogy to let “Jesus take the wheel” and to “let Jesus drive” or “let God drive” or whatever, but i’m here to make the argument that this is not true. because i know for sure that at my level of faith and at my stage of walk with the Lord, if i let Jesus drive, i would just recline my passenger seat, pop on my earphones, and nap. in fact, let me go further to say that Jesus isn’t even in the car. because if He was, then life would be easy. but life isn’t easy. we all know that.
faith and knowledge are contradicting ideas. it’s been a major source of man’s debates for…a long time, and it still is. but we come to points in our lives where we are just plain uncertain. we get lost. we arrive at fork-in-a-roads where one sign points to a nice paved highway that reads “to death” while the other points to an off-road, scary, and dark trail that reads “to life”. so how then do we judge? by what we see or what we are told?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1
well, there it is. God is more like traffic signs rather than the driver of our janky car. the only problem is that if God is not the driver, then we are. we are left with a choice at that road fork. maybe they’re not always “to death” and “to life” situations, but there will always be faith that is required. here’s another verse i’ll throw at you:
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.- Proverbs 16:9
here’s what this verse doesn’t say: it doesn’t say to not plan. we should still plan. but when we hear that phrase “surrender your plans to God”, it doesn’t mean ditch your plan. it means ditch it when God tells you it’s not consistent with His own plan for you, and to embrace that. and that’s the fork in the road! when the Lord tells you to go one way when you had planned on going the other…how difficult is that choice! but wait…there’s more
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11
the plan God is telling you to ditch is nowhere near as sweet as the one He’s gonna replace it with. but it’s up to us to follow His beckoning. and trust me, there’s a bunch of sinfulness in me…in us that makes us not want to do it. but i dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name. so plan. you’ll know what “God’s will” is when He either grants or thwarts your plan, but until you move forward with it, you won’t know. because until you move forward with it, you cannot have faith. and this is why faith is hard.
but it’s worth it.
this semester, i am many things. i am a student, an employee, a small group leader, a son to my parents, a brother to my brother, a friend, a roommate. i remember praying to God at the beginning of the semester: oh Lord help me to persevere in these responsibilities and that you would guide me through this tough time.
halfway through the semester, i find myself in shambles. broken and exhausted, i find myself at a position of failure in every role i had just described above. what went wrong? i thought i had gone through an intense time of change this past summer and semester…i thought i was ready to take on this semester with my newfound spiritual growth and maturity. but i was clearly wrong.
last wednesday, epic held a much needed leader’s meeting where the leaders had the opportunity to do some much needed introspection on ourselves and figure out where our hearts where and how much they were not of the Father’s. Then i started getting angry. Angry and just plain frustrated how this semester felt so unfruitful when i had prayed so much asking that it would be.
but then i realized something. in that long list of roles and responsibilities, i had left out the most important one of all. i am a son of the living God. adopted into His family not so that i can just go and mind my own business and neglect my daddy, but adopted to love him and to be loved by him. and maybe if i had done that, all the worrying, all the stressing…maybe it wouldnt have been so bad with everything else. maybe everything else would have just worked if had focused on the most important thing.
and my current status? maybe changing things up a little. maybe focusing a little more on my identity as an heir of Christ instead of concentrating too much on my earthly responsibilities/stresses. I think i’m even feeling fruit already, where i’m in a much more worry-free environment and doing everything else better. it’s amazing how worry and faith are so related. its just a matter of turning one into another.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” - Matthew 6:33-34
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1
i feel like this is something vitally relevant in my life, mainly because its largely missing. In fact, i feel like the opposite has been more prevalent in recent times, like worrying and stressing over way too many things, more than i can emotionally handle.
Im not entirely sure if this is true, but i feel when we stress or worry, in a way we also doubt. Worrying is just the absence of sure faith that the Lord will be sovereign at the end of the day. Worrying is just a form of doubting. I guess i doubt a lot. and doubting has its consequences:
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” - James 1:6-8
yikes. i need to be more faithful. i need to be assured of the things i hope for, and to be convicted of the things i do not see. i hope for holiness and i do not yet see the return of my glorious king. so i therefore pray for not just myself (for i am sure that many of you struggle in this aspect as well. I request your prayers as well! [James 5:16]), but for all of you that we may increase in faith to better worship and glorify our Lord who is in heaven.
and above all, remember the cross as daily life passes by. For we will derive no greater hope from any other source
and hopefully i’ll worry/stress less. it’ll be not just good for my soul but for my health. haha
i think one of the best ways to do a devo is to write. And just meditating and thinking about certain passages is a great way to write.
so today i was reading philippians 2:3-4:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”’
i personally think this is a difficult verse to soak in. “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit”. It doesn’t say “do some things” or “do things only occasionally”, but it says “do nothing”. do nothing out of selfish concerns. NOTHING.
I, in my sin, fail at that every day. the subtlest and even the very mundane things that i do…why do i do them? Trying to do well in school…do i work hard to please myself? to tell myself that i’m awesome when success is sure to follow? Even when i perform acts that are seemingly unselfish…am i doing them truly because i look to the “interests of others”? Or is it because i seek the praise of men?
when we find ourselves in situations that require immediate action, we don’t stop and think to ourselves, “what would be pleasing to Jesus?”. Instead, we act immediately based on what is already ingrained in us. The only question is, what is ingrained in us? Is it a biblically-centered mindset that causes us to inherently obey the word and humbly do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit? Or is it a sinful conscience that still has at least partial control in our flesh that causes us to act according to our selfish desires?
this is something to check, not just for me, but for everyone. i remember Jason tarn’s message one sunday morning that sure you can pray for others’ health, safety, and wellbeing stuff, but the greatest prayer you can pray for someone is that they will glorify God who is in heaven (think about this for a second). and do i think a struggle against oneself to act in humility and to do things out of selfless servanthood is glory to God? yes. yes i do. and hopefully i can persevere in praying that for you my friends.
ive been praying to God for a humbler heart since around the middle of high school. I didnt know back then what i was praying for. it wasn’t until near the end of my high school life where i had an experience that led me to believe that praying for humility isn’t just to pray that sinfulness just dance away…but that sinfulness be crushed.
The flesh loves sin. And to ask that sinfulness be conquered was a crumbling of the kingdom i had set up for myself. But i continued to pray for humility, despite learning that doing so would result in a lot of tears and maybe even bitterness. why’d i do it then? because deep in the recesses of my heart i desired one thing more than anything: to be made holy, made nearer to my God, my Lord.
it’s been a rough ride since. and it’ll probably be a rough ride till the end, but once the ride ends i’ll be where i’m supposed to be.
you’d be surprised how spiritual concepts are really tied together. i guess over the past 3 years or so i found out somethings about humility to be specific: that true humility cant be complete without true thankfulness. and here i am still trying to be thankful in all circumstances and for all people. it’ll be a while for that to get around…i’m still a broken person.
in light of the current semester which i find to be a test of my faith, i cling to James 1:2-4:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4.
my prayer for you all is that you too may experience joy through the semester. have hope! the world aint gonna win. rest assured
ive never been so scared for the start of a semester before. after these past 5-6 months or so, i KNOW that i’m a totally different me, but i feel like the semester is that change being put to the test. so i guess im scared.
but i have to know that God is enough. more than enough. with so much on my plate and so much out there to distract me from my responsibilities, im so scared that i’m going to fail. fail as a student, fail as an employee, fail as a small group leader, fail as a son, fail as a friend, fail as a roommate…etc
i do all these things as worship to God. thinking like that is the only way im going to get through, and not just get through, but produce much fruit in abundance and joy. After Christ’s work on the cross…i worship Him and love him in everything i do. whether i eat, sleep, or drink, i do all for the glory of God. and it will be a joy to worship. so in a sense, im scared, but i am also in joyful anticipation. an easier way to say that is…i’m really giddy and excited for the kingdom to be known here at UT.
thus my responsibilities are not burdens but they are opportunities. and i will rejoice in every morning that God has granted me to lovingly glorify him. a self-centered semester wont be a very good one. a God-centered semester will be a VERY good one. and that is my goal.
hook ‘em 2012-13