July 27, 2009

in exactly one week begins the start of J-Gen, the annual youth conference that many of my church peers help out at. last year was my first time at J-Gen, and i loved it. i loved my small group and i was so thankful to be able to serve and influence their lives in some small way. of course, i had my regrets like any other counselor — wishing i could have done more for them, prayed more for them, etc.

so now this year i have another chance. two chances in one, actually. a chance to serve as a counselor and a chance to be involved in the MS skit as costume coordinator and prayer support. last night as MS was praying for God to work at J-Gen, i realized a little more of how the youth at this conference are hurting, may be hiding many things, may have no one to talk to about their issues… i saw God’s heart for them, and i asked God to move their hearts through the skit and through the whole conference. may they know, truly know who God is and how much He loves them and is their heavenly Father who will never leave or fail them. may this conference lead them to worship.

i’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
in awe of the one who gave it all
i’ll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered
all i am is yours


just a line from the song ‘belief’ by gavin degraw that i thought of when i was about to write this.

i was on the way to pick up something from a friend yesterday when i was stopped by two guys around my age, dressed nicely in crisp white shirts and smart black dress pants, with a little book in each of their shirt pockets. yes, they were mormons, and they had stopped me to ask if i knew Jesus Christ. i said yes i did, i was actually a protestant christian. they were very polite, said that there was a lot of confusion going around in terms of what people believe, and tried to explain their viewpoints. i nodded politely and listened to them, and they asked if they could tell me more. i apologized that i had to be somewhere to meet my friend, and they gave me a little card with their website and a picture of a mormon church.

as i was walking away from them, i wondered why the few things i knew about mormonism had slipped my mind at that moment. but i clutched the little card in my hand anyways, praying for them all the way to the coffee shop where i was headed. praying that they would somehow know who the true God is. who Jesus Christ truly is. that their lives would not be defined by belief in a God that isn’t divine, that they would not let legalism dictate their lives. it was the first encounter i had had with mormons, and it was very interesting, because they use the same jargon that we do, so it all sounds right. they quote scripture, so it sounds right. they’re seemingly so close, yet so far.


January 26, 2009

in graphic design class the other day, our professor had us write our obituaries, as if it were 10 years from now and we had to think about what we wanted said about us when we die. this was because the whole purpose of this class is to think about methodology of design the reverse way that we normally think about it (he says B to A methodology). so we were challenged to think about the end of our lives.

and listening to some of my classmates read their own obituaries, it was so interesting because they place so much emphasis and importance on their identities on earth. i heard them saying things like “___ was a famous designer, did this and that, accomplished this and that…” and it just reminded me that they have nothing more to hope in besides their earthly accomplishments. how can they believe unless they have heard? and how can they hear unless someone tells them?

Christ is Lord. and i’m not such a good messenger. but God is. : )

glory is waiting.

November 23, 2008

a story i wrote for my graphic design project last year, based on song lyrics.

Change is inevitable. The days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and before I know it, I’m a few years older and hopefully wiser. Along with the passing of time comes physical change – a haircut or a few pounds – but it also comes with mental change. This mental shift is the kind that comes when you have an epiphany about something in life, or when the way you look at things is suddenly different.

I don’t talk about it often, or at least not to those I’m not as close to. Say I meet up with a friend at a coffee shop. I begin to share about my newest handbag and the classes I’m taking over a chai latte, with maybe a slight mention of my not-so-nice boss, but nothing that reveals anything of my true thoughts and dreams. No one knows, no one asks, but somehow…somewhere inside of me, I’m dying to tell someone. I want to go beyond the usual “I’m fine, thanks” and talk about my hopes and fears, my desires. But there are just a few problems. I don’t know how to begin, and I don’t know what people would think of me. So I cover it up with more talk of a movie I saw the other day and the new restaurant I think I want to try, totally ignoring that other side of me.

Honesty. That’s what it is. I can’t bring myself to be honest with people. It’s not like I’m lying either, I’m just…pretending. In a way, it is lying, but I don’t know if I want to be completely honest with people I barely know. I can’t even be honest with myself sometimes, like when I need help but I don’t want to admit it. So I’m stuck. A million questions are swimming around in my mind. What do you do when you want to go beyond the surface and find some substance to your life? Do other people ever feel like this, or is it just me? Who could I ever talk to about this? Frustrated, I push it aside. Maybe it’ll go away if I don’t think about it, and maybe I can just stay the way I am. I’m fine, aren’t I?

And then I hear it. It’s faint at first, as if in a dream, but it sounds familiar for some reason. Maybe it’s something I’ve heard before. The sound grows louder, until I can hear it clearly. “…said you see right through me…nothing seems to be working…” I listen more intently, hoping to catch the chorus of this song that’s now captured my full attention. “I’ve been undone…glory and us come together…” As I sit there taking in the melody, the lyrics, the meaning, I’m amazed at how closely this describes what I’m thinking and feeling. This must be a dream.

I vaguely remember this song as one that my friend introduced to me a few years ago. I listened to the whole album a lot when I first got it, but for about two years, I didn’t listen to it at all. And now I’m hearing this particular song, just at the right time. It’s almost coincidental, too good to be true. It’s that feeling you get when a piece of the puzzle you’ve been looking for fits perfectly, but then you realize you’re confronted by the rest of the puzzle. Well, right now, that rest of the puzzle consists of my doubts, joys, and hopes, all hanging in the air.

So I keep listening, hoping to find some answers. “Everything changes the colors we see…constant reminder of all that we should…” I furrow my brow in concentration, trying to decipher the meaning of the lyrics. As I’m doing this, the very last line is beautiful and strong, and ends as quickly as it began: “Glory is waiting.” All my thinking and pondering has halted at this very moment. Glory is waiting. All the pieces of the puzzle suddenly zoom together. It’s that epiphany I was talking about earlier.

I so wanted to push those questions aside and just live my life the same way I always had. But then how could I, with all those different things tugging at my mind that I couldn’t be honest about? There was such a contradiction between my calm outer appearance and the craziness inside my mind that I couldn’t figure it out. But now I know. Glory is waiting…it finally all makes sense. Everything changes throughout time, and hopefully that means I’ll be a different, but better person than I used to be. The person I’ll be at the end of my life – a joyful, experienced, and wise person, full of character – that’s what is waiting. Will I die being content with how I lived my life? I know that if I never talk about those deeper issues, I’ll always regret it. I don’t want to waste my life.

At the end of all this, I’ll come to find that I’ve finally learned something, changed my mentality. I’ve struggled with these doubts and answers, and now I can see that the answer was always right in front of me. I could easily go back to my naïve self that only saw the superficial side of life. But now that I’ve seen what’s waiting – not so much some gray old lady, but the satisfaction I’ll have in knowing I did well in this one life I get – I think I’ll keep going. Why not? Change is inevitable anyway.

see you later.

October 29, 2008

grandma, aunts & uncles

grandma and her children

this is a post for grandma. she went away 2 hours ago, at the age of 98, back at home in maryland. she used to live there, but she had been living in california with one of my aunts for the past 13 years after grandpa died. grandma and aunt betty were visiting my home in maryland. and now, grandma and grandpa are reunited again, physically under the earth, but spiritually, in heaven with Jesus.

it’s funny, isn’t it? that the time when she chose to come back to maryland to visit was when God took her to heaven. because at the cemetery in maryland where we visit grandpa, there was a blank space for her at the same grave for when she would pass away. not in california. in maryland.

my grandma was so cute. everyone called her “lao ke ai”, which means “cute old lady” in chinese. she took care of us when we were younger, she always handmade everything from scratch like steamed buns, dumplings, all the stuff we loved to eat. she did shrink a little every summer that i saw her, and she would shuffle around the house in her slippers, always keeping herself busy by folding laundry, washing dishes, or cooking. she was pretty old, but she could still walk up and down the stairs pretty well on her own.

grandma lived a full and happy life, at least to my knowledge. she loved to sing praises and take care of people, serve them. she had 6 children (the youngest being my mom), many many grandchildren, and a bunch of great grandchildren too, along with many people who loved her and were like her adoptive children. i regret not knowing her more on a personal level, but nonetheless i loved my cute grandma : )

my mom called me last week and said that because grandma and aunt betty were at my house, that we should all skype together so i could talk to them and see their faces. but i never got the chance to last week, and now i can’t anymore. but it’s okay. i am confident in knowing that these pictures i have of her are enough, and i’ll see her again one day : ) see you later, grandma. wo ai ni, puo puo.

blind eyes opened.

October 27, 2008

this weekend my heart was revived once again.

i think revival sparked the fire in my heart just a little bit, and this weekend at FACT the fire was kindled. and Him, being so much more faithful than we can ever imagine, is fanning this fire into flame a little more everyday, beginning with this past weekend.

it was like missions all over again. He broke my heart for the hundreds of filipinos that would be at the variety show, watching the gospel message presented right in front of their eyes. the interesting thing is, many of them come year after year to FACT, which is more than some people will ever hear the gospel in their entire lives. maybe one day it’ll sink in. it’ll sink in and when they realize, they will fall facedown…Jesus where have you been all my life? why didn’t I realize until now?…just like we did when our eyes were first opened.

open the blind eyes, Lord. open theirs and reopen mine everyday.
let Your glory fall.

His great sufficiency.

October 23, 2008

today during class, i learned something that i did not expect to learn.

my teacher said that babies are not supposed to born at 9 months. they actually need 3 more months in their mother’s wombs, but at the 9 month mark is when it’s physically possible for the mothers to give birth to them. so then, when the babies are born, they have no choice but to be dependent on their parents.

…wow, God. You made us so that right from when we were born (and even before that too) we needed to depend on someone bigger, someone more capable. what a beautiful picture of dependency on Your sufficiency. psalm 23 — the Lord is my shepherd, and i am a stupid sheep who needs guidance every moment of every day.

prayer for america.

October 22, 2008

i just saw this on my home page on cnn.
i think our nation needs lots of prayer..

all over again.

October 15, 2008

i’m listening to the sermon titled “Revival” that Pastor Min gave last friday at large group. and one thing stuck out to me that i didn’t catch the first time i heard this sermon.

he’s talking about the woman at the well whom Jesus meets. she confesses her sins and it’s almost like Jesus is saying, “will you marry me?” and she says..”yes.”

i’m a visual person. i imagine things better when i can picture them in my head. and these two simple lines, “will you marry me?” and “..yes.” helped me picture the concept of revival so much more clearly. Jesus keeps asking us this question over and over again, and we keep on running away or avoiding the question, or rejecting him. if someone you loved asked you this question, you probably wouldn’t do any of the above. siiiigh. i’m so sorry, Jesus. help me to fall in love with you all over again.

i want to see revival in my heart. bring the revival, Lord.


October 6, 2008

they say global warming used to be described as theoretical — “the word that people in power use to dismiss anything for which pictures do not exist.”

that means they think God is theoretical.
have you ever seen a picture of God?

in our minds we all have different pictures of God. but the God i know is not theoretical. He transcends every part of our lives, our beings, our minds and our hearts and works in us and through us for His good purpose and will. He’s real.

i can’t live a day without Him.