About Me

This blog is dedicated to the glorification of my King Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

adventures in spontaneity and divine happenings

is being able to ride the metro subway and watch the fascinating scenery as I turn my head towards the window, enjoying the new landscape that passes through the tinted glass.
theres something about taking a trip on the subway that gives me peace. maybe it’s the fact that im traveling, that im independent, that I can just go wherever I want whenever I want. I can just sit back, relax, listen, meditate, and observe and know that im still heading somewhere, that I have a direction.

today was such an interesting day.
it was definitely a spontaneous trip, but nonetheless divine. Who knew that taking the goldline subway/railway would be so interesting? god had placed divine appointments and places for me to stop by despite the fact that my decision to travel on the subway was so impulsive. which amazingly, is another aspect that shows his sovereignty—despite the fact that my decision to go somewhere was so unplanned, god had still used it for his glory, placing people that he specifically wanted me to meet, that he had indeed planned for me to meet in the midst of my spontaneity.

I had decided to take to goldline to check out my workplace, to make sure that I knew how to travel there by train so I wouldn’t get lost when I do start my first day of work on Thursday (how exciting!). I got off at the LA union station and walked around to see how I would get to my next train, the purple line. A diverse array of people swarmed the trains and the corridors, and I was a little afraid—would I be safe? the place and the people were, you could say, a bit shady—for lack of a better term. when I looked at them, I could tell they had a story to tell, although some stories would be more painful than others. I saw their need, their blank expressions, their weary countenance, their limp bodily posture. ‘God will you help them’ I prayed. I was aware once again, how I live in a bubble, how I still don’t know suffering and how life is outside of sunshine and kisses.

as I was heading back out, this one man caught my eye... I had a feeling he wanted to talk to me. and as I was moving closer to him, he approached me and told me his story.
“could you help me? I need money to take the train to see my baby son. he’s in the hospital right now and I don’t have enough money to go there... he’s got a seizure, and he’s struggling to live right now. I need to see him... if you could spare me a dollar...”
and as I looked into his eyes, compassion flooded into me. even if his story was made up and even if he didn’t intend to use it for bus fare, I still wanted to help him. god help me to help him.... and so I gave him some money, hoping that he would use it for a noble purpose and not one that would be detrimental to his life.

“god bless you, thank you, thank you, god bless you”

I then asked him if I could pray for him. after I prayed, he ran off quickly, as if he was in a rush to get somewhere, and I continued on my way. but still I felt some unrest... for some reason, I felt the strong urge to pray—to pray for what? I wasn’t sure, but the spirit was prompting me to pray. and so I sat down on a bench and prayed.... seeking god and letting the holyspirit intercede for me... I realized during my prayer that the Holyspirit was praying for protection (protection from what?)... and again I was praying for the man I had just met, Louie. I was asking god to protect him as well, and for god to give me another chance to see him. and I was curious...god, is he really going to use the money for bus fare? was he really telling the truth? after my prayer, I walked back to the train to head back home—

and there he was.

but shockingly, he was surrounded by police. they were searching him, and they had him take off his shoes. when I saw him and he saw me, I couldn’t help but feel a bit hurt... betrayed even. I walked right past him without looking... I couldn’t explain really what I felt. I knew, and he knew that I knew, and I didn’t want to see him. I was then asking god why he had allowed me to meet Louie... and then I was reminded that I shouldn’t have avoided him the second time, that god had given me another chance to talk to him and when I saw him at the stairway, and I shouldve came up to him and asked if he needed anything more. God reminded me that I could’ve taken this opportunity to further show the Father’s love—His love that knows our every intention both good and wicked yet in His goodness, he still reaches out to us despite our sin.

Wow. God wanted me to show Louie that kind of love.
He let me see Louie at that particular moment in that particular state for a reason. I had seen him in his sin, I had caught him in the middle of a lie, yet God still wanted me to reach out to him and ask him if there was anything else I could help him with. when I made that realization, he had already ran away, probably to avoid seeing me or dealing with me. still my heart hurt for him... I wonder what he’s going through? why does he need money, what prompts him to lie? should I be so presumptuous as to assume that he wanted to buy more drugs and alcohol?

By then I was already riding the train back home. a girl then taped me and told me that she was lost. she had come from the san Fernando valley but somehow she ended up in LA and she didn’t know where she was or where she was going.
“Could you help me? im so lost, I don’t know this area. Im kind of stranded. I need to find Highland Park... do you know if this train goes there?”
She looked frightened. what was a young girl doing so far away from her home? I could only guess... probably she needed to get away from her house. I told her that the train does stop there, and that it was coming soon. I asked her if she needed me to help her find the Mcdonalds she was looking for—apparently that’s where the friend she was looking for lives close to. she looked at me—“really? yeah that would be great” and then the train stopped at Highland Park and she immediately got off, and I followed behind her. But like the other man, she ran off without looking behind her, and I wondered if she even knew that I got off behind her. weird... but... okay.

I got back on the train heading home again, and I decided to take a spontaneous detour and get off Mission st in South Pasadena instead of getting off Allen st. in Pasadena. Again, I guess its because I love to travel and I love to go wherever I feel led to go without having any restraints, traveling by spontaneity. The place that I got off at is like a cute, quiet little village (where Busters the coffee shop is located, and where AOW performed last year! :]) and I was strolling down the quiet streets when this shop caught my eye. I went inside... and I can honestly say it is one of the cutest and most artistic clothing shops I have ever seen. on the wall there were paintings don display... one of the most artistic, innovative, creative, meaningful, and beautiful paintings I have even seen. I was captured by the fascinating colors and the concepts/ materials that the artist used... and for some reason I felt like this artist received their ingenuity and creativity from god. it had to be from god... this artist was amazing.... I was completely captivated by their artwork. I then talked to the store owner and inquired about the paintings on display,

“Yes the artist that painted these is a dear friend of mine, but she currently works in a non-profit mission organization, and she creates paintings on the side. But art is her first passion. She loves everything about art, and every type of art, and she’s very good at all of them.”

wow god, is this not exactly like me?
I love everything about art, every aspect of it, and every form of art whether it be singing, writing, painting—any form of expression. every time I do something other than art, im always compelled to remember my passion for art, my passion to create and to make and to express. God I still don’t know what you intend to do with this passion, but Lord I believe that you put this burning desire in me for a reason. I was made to create. that much I know. to create art that brings love, light , and life into the world. I felt like god was using this store owner to speak to me. and I was right, the artist who created the paintings loves god with a passion... and it definitely shows through her artwork. God has blessed her with amazing talent.

so today was a completely spontaneous yet eventful/ insightful day. im still contemplating why god would have me meet the people that I met today, but there is no other word to describe today other than divine. divine appointing. as I was meditating on my day, I was surprised to see how god had used me and how he had brought me to the places that he wanted me to be at despite the fact that I had failed him so miserably and realized my sin so clearly a few days ago. I was humbled and shocked that he had yet again chosen to use me to show love despite the state I was in, regardless of the fact that I had outright told god that I didn’t know how to love, that I couldn’t love. It amazes me to see how much god still desires to use us and trusts us—humans, of all things!—and how he is oh so willing to incorporate us into the grand scheme of his amazing glory. I mean, heck, I cant even trust myself... but god trusts me enough to allow me to minister to people, despite my condition and my heart. amazing love. I am... humbled. amazing, amazing love. God, thank you for allowing me to minister to your people, and thank you Lord for ministering to me through the people you allowed me to minister to.

thank you lord, thank you. :']

no more of me

no more. no more of me no more.
I cant continue to do things my way and expect to still be walking alongside god, to gain a deeper intimacy with him.
no more of me.
I used to thing self-glorification was just taking the glory from god, praising yourself and thinking yourself higher than you ought to.
but now I realize that self-glorification has so many more facets.
not following god’s will is a form of self-glorification. doing God’s will is his ultimate glorification, and when one does not follow god’s will then that means they are following their own will, ultimately glorifying themselves.

no more of me no more.
I realize my selfishness and my pride issues run so deep, deep into the way I serve god.
I realize that I would be willing to do what god wants me to do only if it sits right with me—ultimately pleasing myself. I cant serve god when im serving myself. Being Christian isn’t easy...and if it is, you have to wonder why. I struggle constantly with god when he asks me to do something that I don’t want to do. Why? Because I don’t want to give up what I want, my issue of selfishness.
but its not about me... oh lord, its not about me. who am i? do I think of myself more highly than I ought?

I was contemplating for the longest time why this year was so... confusing for me. I mean, no doubt this year was amazing and God is so good, but I didn’t feel grounded—I felt as if I was wandering the grounds in search for a place to belong. I was a bird walking on land instead of flying the heights of the deep sky, soaring with the powerful currents of wind that god leads me to. For some reason, I felt like I wasn’t where god wanted me to be. This journey of searching for the promised land that god was calling me to took me on a wild journey searching for churches and fellowships and just places where I thought he might me calling me to, and unfortunately, this search led me to some unfortunate places. But still, I felt like a wandering nomad, I felt like a foreigner in a land that wasn’t meant for me. Why has this year been a year of directionless wandering for me?
The question that I would ask him constantly is Lord where am I going? could this feeling of restlessness also be a result of not willing to submit to the path he has placed before me, from my desire to implement my plan over His will?

yesterday he showed me my sin in full, and when I realized the depth of my sin, I didn’t know what to do. it was as if a monstrous beast arose inside of me and I didn’t know who I was anymore. In the midst of the chaotic depression I cried out to god in my shame-- Lord who am I?? Lord, I don’t think I can be everything you want me to be, lord im not ready. I cant do this lord, im sorry god, im sorry. I don’t think I can do what youre calling me to do god... im such a failure lord, I cant serve you when im serving myself lord. Lord im sorry I cant.

When I saw how I was only willing to do what God wants me to when I want to do it, I realized—im not even serving god! im only serving him on my own terms, ultimately pleasing myself! I have been glorifying myself this whole time while I was trying and claiming to glorify god! I cant do this, I cant... I need to submit to god., to his pleasing and perfect will. whatever happened to giving my whole heart fully for god? surely I am not if I am still clinging on to my desires. and as god continued to reveal my sin to me, I sat in a state of condemnation. I was so ashamed of myself for claiming to love god with all my heart, yet still not giving him my full heart...what was wrong with me? I couldn’t face god, knowing that I wasn’t truly loving him the way he had called me to love—to love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

this feeling of heaviness continued to permeate through my heart and my soul for the next couple days. When I get into the heavy state of guilt, its so hard to remind myself that I shouldn’t condemn myself, that really, there is still no condemnation because of Christ Jesus. That no matter how great the magnitude of sin, Christ’s love covers an even greater multitude of sins, far more than the whole weight of the world’s iniquities combined. Its so hard not to keep in that blinding state of sin, to resist from condemning myself after seeing all the things I had committed against him.

then at night I finally came before god, completely broken and just aware of how I was so desperately in need of his love. Finally, after running from god and trying to hide my face from him in shame, I finally came back to him crying on my knees. And right then, at the very moment I finally submitted to him after trying to avoid Him, I felt God’s love embracing me, caressing me, reassuring me even before I could even utter my words of regret and sorrow. Right when my knees hit the ground, the Lord’s love flooded into my heart and cast aside all the burden and the condemnation that was weighing my heart with excruciating heaviness.

He was already waiting for me, waiting for me to come to him because he already had his arms open wide. With his love he beckoned me to approach him, with his love he invited me in despite the state I was in. it was his kindness that drew me nearer to him. Imagine that. he loved me, and he is still loving me despite anything that I do, no matter how great my offense was to him, no matter how often I fail him. its completely unfathomable. yet his love covers a multitude of sins, and his perfect love casts out any and all fear. after seeing the extent to which I had failed god and how I am so desperately in need of him-- to those who has been forgiven much loves much. I pray that I will only continue to understand the depth of my sin and the great extent to which all my iniquities have been washed away, wiped away completely clean with not one speck of dirt remaining, for when I truly comprehend how much Ive been forgiven, that is when I will begin to love those around me more.

perfect love casts out fear,
and Jesus’ unfailing love covers an ocean, a universe, an entire history of sin.
His love most definitely covers a multitude of sins.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heart change

recently ive been asking god for a heart change.
for a complete transformation of my heart, for him to banish all wickedness and all the muck and slimy and grimy dirt that is inside of me.
because lord knows I need it.

ive been asking god to help me love.
like... to really, truly love. to put others needs before my own. to consider them of more worth than me. The type of love in its purest and truest form described in 1 Corinthians.
and what does this entail?
it means giving them more time than you would yourself. it means putting aside the things your homework, your obligations, the things you want to do when you know that your friend is in need. it means being willing to lay down my life for all my friends and even enemies, no matter how close or how unclose we are. to truly love at that deep level is—so, so hard.

sometimes I get tempted to look at how much I fail at loving. how I don’t put others before me, how I don’t know how to care for others, how I still judge people, how I don’t think about my actions and the consequences they have.
looking at how much I fail at loving, or even how I fail in life in general makes my heart feel so heavy, so weighed down.
I always find myself going back to him, telling him, lord im so sorry. im so sorry I wasn’t more patient with her. im so sorry I didn’t consider how my actions would affect him. im so sorry lord, for not reaching out the people who need to know you more.

I just came back from a conference yesterday, and god had told me that he was proud of me. he told me that three times. I couldn’t believe it. the lord? proud of me? what did I ever do to gain his pleasure and his delight? yet its so true... he delights in me because he sees me as pure, he sees me beautiful, he sees where my heart is—my desire to love, my desire to glorify him, my desire to be pure and holy. yet although my outwardly actions do not even come close to where I am aspiring to be, the Lord knows I still desire to be pleasing to him, and that is why he delights in me. he doesn’t see me for the state I am in now, yet he sees me for who I am made in Him. its amazing how the Lord doesn’t see me and my sin, but how I am made new because of Him through Christ Jesus. The Lord’s vision constantly amazes me. How he sees us in completely different eyes. when I look at myself, most times I’m not pleased—I realize over and over again it’s the result of my tendency to look at who I am not rather than who God is. Yet the Lord told me he is pleased in me. the lord told me I was beautiful, and that he loves me. the lord told me that I was special, that he finds so much delight in me, that I am the one who ravishes his heart. And if the Lord says so, it is truth.

truth. its so beautiful.
truth. something that is so rare in a world that distorts the truth from something concrete and absolute to a mere preference, an inclination, a liking. If this seems right to me, then its my truth—you can believe in what you want, and let me believe in what I want. If I like it, and if it fits me, then yeah, I will believe in it. What has truth become? A selfish preference out of a convenience to fit the way they see the world and how they want to perceive the things around them.

but I know what is true.
god is truth.
and he’s proven that to me over and over and over again.
the fact that God’s love is so abundant and so sufficient and so overreaching and so sacrificial and so pure and so glorious is truth.
and he’s revealed that to me over and over and over again.
God’s word is truth.
And if the Lord tells me that he delights in me, that he is proud of me, that he considers me his pure joy, then I need to start changing my vision so that it aligns with the Lord my God’s perspective.

God Loves. He loves you so dearly and so abundantly.