6/11/2013

6/11/2013

S: 5:28pm
E: 6:26pm

Today I want, I mean I need to write my lab notebook but in order to do so, I need to get some personal thoughts out of the way.

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. I feel so alone, so unloved. I need more social; I found that out. Playing games is actually a desire to be with people. If I can be with people, if my social is satisified, then I wouldn’t play any games. Mostly. My mind is a bit dizzy right now and I feel sad and angry at the same time. Part of me wants to play games again because at least in those games, I can chat with people. I can work with members from my guild. I find that I’m playing games more for the social aspect.

People may think I’m like an angel, that I follow God all the time. Well, I don’t. In fact, judging the past few weeks, I follow my flesh more than I follow God. Are people going to blame me; Are people going to judging me? Well, fuck you then. We all mess up and being in near isolation is painful.

I’m glad I get to hang out with my youth group. I was actually very close to not going because, due to my loniness, I feel that no one loves me and I was going to say to them all “fuck you.” One of the X-Files theme is to “Trust No One,” and I feel that it is true. I know this is like a “We are not who we are…” post but I am just trying to be honest with myself.

That is what I’m trying to do with Facebook but it’s so hard because I’m afraid that my many “friends” would read me and judge me. I can’t even be myself; that is painful. Well, I could be myself, if I decide to go suicidal but I’m not at that point yet :). Well, mostly.

I am like a person who tries in life but still fail. Others try and succeed. Why is it that others succeed when I fail. We both tried. If this was natural selection, I should have killed myself. My life is useless and pointless. Being in the Army proves that. I suck; I can’t do shit. When I was in basic training, I had to have a baby-sitter next to me. I was like Gomer Pyle only with one difference: I also have God. It is God who carried me through. But why should I continue to live? Why should I prolong my suffering, my shame?

I was this close to saying “fuck you I’m not going to see [the youths] again and I’m not coming to church again.] I cannot trust people. Nobody loves me. I tried but still, I failed. I might as well live my pitiful existence with God alone. He’s the only One I can trust.

By helping Danny, I find that I am just like Danny. And that is why I can and want to help him.

Our youth group played “Mafia” during our reunion. What is not so funny is I almost played Mafia in real life. Anna and I thought about this game and together we implemented it. She would have to shoot me :p. But I remember that arm-wrestle I had and how Brother Lawton came and made Anna win. Why did he help her? Her left hand is stronger than mine. So I know that I will not win. God will be the judge.

The children’s series of Stream of Praise (讚美之泉) steadied my heart a little bit. I love their songs. One way that can fill some of my social hole is to sing-along with Christian songs and that is what I am doing nearly every night. I close my eyes and pretend I am singing these songs to God. I let the holy music flow through me. Sometime I imagine that I am really there at the concert and we are singing this together. Singing these songs can substitute some of my social isolation, but not all of it; Only the real thing can fill it.

Ok bitch, some of the social isolation is my fault but I couldn’t help it. I thought playing games can satisfy my loneness. I thought I am a special case and I don’t need people. But I did make many attempts to be with people and, to me, that is a big step.

I guess writing this helped me to feel better and once I publish it, I will feel more better because people can read it and see how I feel.

One thing I want to praise God about is getting in my classes. I went to UTEP yesterday because it is the first day of class. Mi primero clase es biologia laboatorio. Esto una credito clase. Vengo mi clase pero mi clase es mañana! Pero, mi profesor decirme a quedarse. Ok, back to English. My Spanish still needs practice. I’m done with Spanish 1301 (first-year) and I got a good grade but only because I was helped. The tests are open-book. If I submit an online assignment three time in a row, it will give me the answers. So I spent some time reviewing, actually more learning, from my old Spanish book. This summer, I’m taking Spanish 1302. Anyways, back to the story. I came to my Biology lab class but I realized that I came to the wrong class! The professor told me to stay and he’ll give me credit for my Tuesday Thursday class. So I’m happy.

After my Biology class, is my Spanish class, which is every day. However, I found that the class was cancelled because not enough students signed up. I went to student registrations and, praise God, I was able to find another Spanish 1302 class and another Biology class. I thought since summer already started that there will be no openings but there was. If I wasn’t able to find those classes, I would have been dropped from the Social Work Program.

Ok, I want to do other things now, maybe play some games :(, but I do feel better writing my feelings down.

10/28/2012: My Mission

10/28/2012: My Mission

{S: 3:30pm} How would you feel if you worked so hard and faced hardship and shame just to help someone and that person replies back with “STFU.”  Well, that person didn’t really say that but it’s still what I heard.  No, it’s not the person I was helping for those who know me.

This is one of the moral dilemmas I face: A person needs help and you know that you have the ability to at least get started with that person.  However, when you offer to help, that person not only says no but tells you to piss off.

I feel this problem is so ironic.  Don’t people naturally want help?  Help is a good thing and people obviously want good things.  I remember back in my Army days, it’s not easy for me to offer help but I still made the sacrifice to do it and every time (that I can remember) that I offered help, people accept it.  Why?  Because life is hard and to not accept help is almost like suicide.

Why do I want to help that person?  Because I love her and care about her.  The Bible says “love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).

Now I know how God feels when he sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins.  God wants to help us but not everyone accepts that help.  Some even told God to “piss off:”

Proverbs 1:20  Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;
21  at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
22  “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
23  If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
24  But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25  since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
26  I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
28  “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
29  Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30  since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
31  they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32  For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33  but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

God’s invitation to the world to accept his grace is running out.  Pretty soon, the bowls of God’s judgment and wrath will come and it will be too late, just like story in the Left Behind series.  I wanted to tell her, “OK, since you said ‘I didn’t ask you,’ next time, don’t even ask me.”  But I know that is wrong because it is my anger at work.

Should I protect my ego and close up and not obey God?  No!  But from now on, I will no longer offer help.  I will only help those who ask me or help those who are screaming for help, like the homeless or those in poverty.  Jesus said “The poor you will always have with you….” (Matthew 26:11).  I’m so happy!  There will always be people who need help.  I’m no longer going to suffer so much only to bite my own butt.  Maybe I should earn lots and lots of money so I can help lots and lots of people.  I’m just joking with that statement.  In God’s world, “money cannot by everything,” in fact, money may just be useless.  The streets will all be paved with gold (Revelation 21:18).

{E: 4:10pm @ EPCC library}

By the way, today, I participated in the Tour de Tolerance 5k run!  I came late so I missed the run but I still got to cheer the runners and ate breakfast there.  While eating breakfast, I sat next to a woman who I later found to be in the Army.  She told me she is planning to hike up Mt. Cruz along with a family and asked me to come along.  To be safe, I remained indecisive and told her I will “seriously consider” it.

On way back, I decided to give it a try.  It was a great experience.  The Mt. Cruz trail isn’t just a regular hiking trail, but a pilgrimage.  I saw so many people, most of them Catholics I think, going along the same path.  There was many spiritual stops.  I told myself that I am not going to take any shortcuts to get to the top because those who cheat and dive away from the narrow path will never reach the Celestial City, where Christian went.  The trail is pretty long but easy.  I reached the top and saw the big stone cross with Jesus on it.  It reminds me of how much God loves me and us so that he sent His Son to die for our sins.
Along the way, I was singing “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “我是主羊” among other Christian songs.  Even though I went to the race and the pilgrimage by myself, it was still worth it and was a special experience.

9/30/2012: Eyes on my Head

9/30/2012: Eyes on my Head

{S: 5:12pm} I could just combine my entries into one but doing so will make my writing more unorganized.  Today I do want to write about something that happened to me recently.

Today, I mean yesterday, I was angry at God.  Yesterday, my medical friend Jason invited me to his dinner gathering.  When he gave me his invitation on phone, I didn’t know what to decide.  Part of me wants to say yes, and another part wants me to say no.  So, I tried delaying tactics by asking more questions, saying “um” a lot, and basically giving neutral answers.  I told him the truth, by telling him that I “cannot decide.”  I may be become more indecisive than usual.  Knowing that I need to be more courageous and to make up my mind, I told him yes and asked for the time and place.  So, I decided to go.

In the beginning of the dinner event, it was great.  I greeted and conversed with all of his roommates during dinner.  I’m surprised guys can also make good food :p  I had wisdom and my conversation was light and full of salt.  However, after the dinner, I began to make a few mistakes.  I couldn’t see where the present is heading.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great day.  Jason’s roommates are all Christians and a few of them could play guitar.  I played couple songs with them.  Among them are: “The Nails in Your Hands,” and “Alabaster Jar.”  They are very nice and friendly.  I got leftovers and Nathan gave me a pear to eat on the drive back.

However, I couldn’t tell the signs.  Perhaps I overstayed my welcome.  Maybe because they are medical students, they couldn’t have a lot of free time.  Or maybe I’m just a perfectionist and I want every encounter to be near-perfect (on my part, and that requires wisdom).  But I left that night, among “good-byes” feeling forlorn inside.

I felt forlorn inside because I didn’t have enough wisdom to know what was going on.  I didn’t have enough wisdom to leave at the right time.  I was angry at God because my whole life revolves on Him, on Him giving me “strength, courage, and, most importantly, wisdom.”  I asked God for wisdom all the time but how come yesterday, I lacked it?  I cried at night and asked God, “why?”

I was about to not go to church today, but praise God I chose to go.  I could only go under one condition: that I become cold and calculating, so I won’t make any more mistakes and bring more shame on myself.  I decided to go only to worship God and I planned to leave early.

I chose to wear my black Christian T-shirt because I wanted to look tough so I can minimize my encounter with people and thus make potentially fewer mistakes.

Today’s sermon spoke to me.  It seems the pastor was reading my mind.  Guess what the sermon is about?  Wisdom.  The pastor shared, on a crowded Chinese moon-cake Sunday, that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).  The key passage for today is in Ephesians 5:15-20.  We are to “redeem the time,” “understand what the Lord’s will is,” and to “be filled with the Spirit.”  That is wisdom.  That is “making the most of every opportunity” as the title of this sermon states.

I realized, based on these Biblical standards, that I lack wisdom.  First, I don’t manage my time wisely.  Much of my time is still lost in vanity; in computer games; in my passions and desires.  Although I know such things are destructive, I lack the self-control to completely neutralize it.  Second, I don’t spend a lot of time “understanding what the Lord’s will is.”  I would make plans and “do and do, a little here, a little there.”  Many times, and especially when the urge to play games hit, I know that I should stop what I’m doing and receive instructions or orders from God.  But often, I would play games first and then seek God.  Lastly, Christians are to “be filled with the Spirit.”  If I don’t spend a lot of time with God, how can I be filled with the Spirit all the time?  Now that I’m thinking about this, maybe God did give me wisdom.  He did give me “eyes on my head” to see these destructive behaviors but I chose to continue on (Ecclesiastes 2:14).

Before I continue, I may be giving the wrong impression.  I always put my schoolwork first.  In tough assignments, I plan ahead so I can finish them on time.  I always make sure I complete all my homework by the due date.  However, I know I can be much better than this.  I can be an excellent student, instead of just good or decent, if I have more self-control.  The Army with God changed my greatly, but, to me, it is still a life-long process.

For the sake of time, I am going to write a little more briefly.  My tough-guy stealth mode didn’t last long.  When I first came in the church front door, I went to the gymnasium area first to drop-off my “Autumn Olympic” papers.  There, Auntie Diana stopped me and asked, “你這麼了?”

I hesitated because I don’t want to lie and say “I’m fine” so she said, “快說.”

I told her I’ll talk to her during lunch and she agreed.  I’m glad that there is someone from church who can see through me and is willing to help me.  This action somewhat softened my pose.

So during lunch, which is a family luncheon with moon-cakes involved, I sat across from Diana.  I told her the story I wrote earlier in this diary.  “I don’t understand,” I told her, “I asked God for strength, courage, and wisdom and He doesn’t give it to me.”  “My whole life is about wisdom and if I don’t have wisdom or enough wisdom, I cannot live.”

She listened patiently as I voiced my complaints.  I was afraid that I won’t be able to say what I mean because of my poor Chinese, but surprisingly, I feel I was able to convey to her what I meant.

She told me that God gives people wisdom or other things gradually.  As I grow in God more, I will receive more of God’s wisdom.  I know about this concept but I forgot it.  I thought God will just give me wisdom completely and that’s it (e.g. during yesterday’s dinner event) but she answered no.

“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure / This the pledge to me He made” (from the hymn Day by Day). {E: 6:46pm}

5/15/2011: Deeper and Further in

5/15/2011: Deeper and Further in

S: 9:13pm
E: 9:35pm

I realized that as I grow more mature in my Christian walk, I have a crazy way to deal with conflict with other people.

Instead of avoiding or trying to fight against my oppressors, I tend to want to be closer to them. Sure, I do feel hate, but hatred for their actions and not the person. The more I feel opposition or resistance, the more I want to jump in and go into them, the more I want to talk to them, to show them that I’m not an evil person, but a person with a heart of love.

I am spending way too much time on Erepublik, a fictional online game where you become a citizen of your country and fight for it. I love Israel, so I spent so much time on it.

Maybe the story of how I got my eIsraeli citizenship can describe my God-given way of how I deal with conflict.

I’ve always wanted to go into Israel. I find that the more I love God, the more I love Israel. When the game implemented the economic changes, and I found myself out of work, I used that opportunity to move to eIsrael. I quickly found work, talked to other citizens, and applied for citizenship. A few days later, a eCongress member messaged me asking why I want an eIsraeli citizenship. I told him the truth, which I love God and would love to help defend eIsrael. He starting questioning my intentions and asked if I’m there to destroy his country. Any normal worldly person would have cussed him out or given up. However, I used godly wisdom and told him that he has a reason not to believe what I say; that words are hollow. I told him, however, that God will be my judge and restated my desire for citizenship:

“Nothing that I, or anyone, say can be proven. Words are hollow in this day and age. You just have to believe that what I’m saying is true and with God as my judge, what I’m saying is true.

“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill” (Psalms 137:5).

Citizenship or not, I plan to defend eIsrael against all enemies. If I do choose to work (I’m thinking of being a trader), I will work in eIsrael.

Maybe only time can tell. If that’s the case, then let time tell.”

At this point, I even messaged the ePrime Minster of Israel, asking for citizenship. I also went to Erepubik support and asked if there is a way to become a citizen of another country without deleting my account.

The more I feel opposition and resistance against my desires, the more involved and courageous I become. And this morning, I went onto the game and guess what? I got eIsraeli citizenship! I was so happy.

However, now I have another problem. I tried to go on IRC into the eIDF fourms but when I went on just to test if it works, they immediately kicked me out. Well, at least I know it works. I feel anger burning inside me again. Again, I need to make a drastic decision. I went on the IRC support forums to learn more about IRC, since it’s my first time using it, and I messaged the eCongress member who gave me citizenship (the one who gave me a hard time) about the problem. Like in Narnia, I want to go deeper and further in.

Another drastic step I can take is to just delete my account and stop playing Erepubik. I am already spending so much time on it and not enough time reading the Bible or on God. I already know that everything else is dross compared to God. It is godly wisdom that enables me to make big, drastic decisions. It is my faith in God that enables me to have strength, courage, and wisdom.

1/25/2011: The Biblical Standard for Suffering

1/25/2011: The Biblical Standard for Suffering

S: 11:38pm

E: 1:56pm

Due to my lack of preparedness on January 23, I was unprepared for guard. I woke up with just barely enough time to eat beef sausage and bread, pack necessary items, do some hygiene, dress up, and leave. I planned to wake up with barely enough time because I slept late last night so I needed as much rest as I can get before I start my 24-hour guard duty.

I then found out that today, is the last day that 3-43 has guard and it has to be me! Someone else came to us believing he had guard but according to our roster, he didn’t. I considered offering to pay him for taking my shift but the soldiers around me convinced me not to. I’m on the roster and it’s our last guard shift.

It’s not just the physical side that is hard, but the emotional and spiritual side as well. Throughout the day I was tired and I tried to take bits of rest by closing my eyes. One of the soldiers, V, would always harass me by jumping to conclusions. After living with him for almost a year, I can see that he is prideful, arrogant, but also has a good heart and intentions.

He would say, “Wake up, Yeh!” when I wasn’t really sleeping. My eyes were half-closed. I don’t like how he jumps to conclusions without knowing everything. I don’t like how he judges people, not just me but everybody else, based on the limited knowledge he knows. God knows everything; let God be the Judge.

Throughout the day, he would accuse me by making assumptions without looking at the whole evidence. When they were talking questionable sexual things in the evening, V would say, “Earmuffs Yeh!” “I don’t want to damage your innocence!” He assumes I can’t handle what they are talking about but I can. I’ve listened and interacted to their racy conversations many times while also trusting in God. There are also other times, but I forgot. He would say things to provoke me (by making untrue assumptions) and force me to defend myself. After a whole, angered, I would say, “Let God be the Judge.” I told V that he doesn’t know everything, that his accusations are not true or lack other major elements. Once when he was walking outside while opening the gate, I told him privately, “V, you need to stop trusting in yourself and start trusting in God.” I can see from almost a year’s experience that he always trusts in himself and his own strength. I was a bit afraid to tell him that but I’m trying to help him and if me saying this can change him for the better in the future, it will be worth it. He looked at me surprised and replied, “Yeh, I cannot trust in God. I have to trust in myself. If I rely on God, he’s not going to help me all the time.” I think I told him that if he chose to follow Jesus, God will help him all the time.

All the judging and false accusations from my three battle buddies made me upset. When guarding the site (and the first time I actually have live weapons), I would not talk to them. I feel angry and upset and if I do try to defend myself, they will just twist my words and accuse me again. Wisdom came to me and I realized silence is the best answer. Every time they hurt me, I would angrily pray and ask God to judge them. I also asked Him to judge me too but reminding him that I want his mercy and love rather than his justice because “no one living is righteous before you” (Psalms 143:2).

Out of anguish, I would take my pocket Bible out and read the psalms and pray and sing regardless if other soldiers noticing me. I remember a quote from C.S. Lewis saying, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

That is so true. I find that I seek God the most when I’m in pain or when life is hard. I prayed and asked God that if that’s the case, then please make my life hard so I can be with You.

Eventually, my anger would subside and I would tactfully talk to them again, knowing that I need to be like Jesus.

A serious event happened later in the night. Since I was so tired, I slept, along with another soldier (who also didn’t sleep well last night). Midnight chow came and two of the soldiers, there were four of us total, went to eat chow, leaving just V and me. While looking for traffic, I accidently dosed off and a car came. V saw it and we quickly went outside to open the gate. When I came back in the guard shack, he was very upset at me. He told me that I should not be tired, that I have plenty of sleep (while he stayed up all night), and that if I’m tired I should take a walk or pour water on my face. He also made many accusations and judgments on me that are incomplete. When I tried to tell the “truth,” he accused me of making excuses. When I told him that I really can’t stay up, that I’m really tired, he told me he doesn’t want to argue with me anymore. If I were to close my eyes again, he would force me outside the shack. I said I too, agreed with him that I don’t want to argue or make excuses. I just want to put out the truth. The truth is, I can walk outside and stay up if I have to, but the limits of my endurance have been reached. I refuse to suffer anymore. I already suffered so much physically (doing guard), emotionally (their verbal attacks and judging), and spiritually (constantly praying and asking God for help and vindication). I also told him that I’m stressed out because I have two jobs: being a soldier and serving God. He told me I need to meet the SOP (standard operating procedures) which states that I cannot sleep. I told him that the Bible is above the SOP, but the Bible does state to submit to authorities (Titus 3:1). I tried to tell him the truth. I sat back down and then went outside for some water.

Then suddenly, it hit me. I have been saying I’m sick and tired of suffering. That I hate how my life is so hard. Then I remembered what the Bible says about how much suffering is enough.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood (Hebrews 12:4  ).

I cried out to God and asked Him to forgive me. That is the Biblical standard for suffering. In my suffering, I haven’t even come close to shedding blood. I realized that I must be willing to endure and suffer so much more. I realized how weak I am. I must be willing to suffer for Jesus, not so I will lose my petty comfort, but to the point of losing blood. That is hard suffering and that is what the Bible teaches us to endure to.

I stayed outside and walked around, happy that I finally knew what the Biblical standards are. The humvee came back but I continue to stay outside. I washed my eyes with water because it was stinging me. Later, V told me to come back in but “stay awake.” I told him I prefer to be outside.

Oh, and for dinner, thanks to another soldier’s help, we got Chinese and Korean food! I got, along with my SOG (sergeant of the guard), kimchee and rice. The kimchee was very spicy, however, but I ate a lot of rice. Yummy!

After that awakening, that I need to adhere to the Biblical standard of suffering, the rest of the day improved. I did not try to find an easy way out, but I contributed and helped clean the guard area up. Today is the last day our battalion has guard duty. We have to make sure the area is presentable.

Everything went well until near the very end of our shift. That is my second serious incident. We (the guards) found out that 1-44, the battalion replacing us, were not informed of their guard duty. They were simply told they were shadowing us. That means there is a possibility that we have guard again, a 48-hour shift. All of us were upset. To make the long story short, the SOG for 1-44 decided to do the changeover (praise God) but we still had to wait for another sergeant from Echo company to be their shadow SOG. While we are waiting, I proposed many ideas. I said why not two of us take the bus and the other two take the humvee? I began to complain, internally. I thought about what to say to my relay sergeant. I need to prepare and know the approach and words so I might get tomorrow’s PT off. I really want free time. I wanted to scream, or just take off in the humvee because I was upset at our battalions lack of organization in this matter.

I also had a debate with P, another soldier and I did cry and show my tears because I wanted to change them for the better. But after much arguing, I realized what Watchman Nee wrote: “It is not a life changed but exchanged.” V and P were telling me that they believe I want everyone in this world to be like me. I told them, initially, sadly due to my defensive nature, that I didn’t. That everyone is created with an image of God and we need to “shine the light that God gave us.” I admitted, later, that I did act as if everyone should be like me and everyone else not like me is wrong, evil, etc. They accused of being a hypocrite and I did admit it. But, I told them that we all make mistakes, that we are all sinners, and that we all need Jesus.

I have been telling V throughout our guard shift that he needs to “change.” He needs to change his pride, arrogance, tenidency to judge, etc, but I realized all my efforts were in vain. Because they cannot change themselves. According to Watchman Nee, human beings cannot their evil human nature. In order to change a person, that person needs to be exchanged with Christ. I admitted my mistake to V and P and told them not to change, but to exchange your life with Jesus.

However, V told me if I am happy. After some thinking, I told them that I’m not happy (“not as happy as I should be” would be closer to the truth). Then V went on to say the reason why I’m not happy is because I’m too focused on God. That I need to put myself first (not God) and enjoy the pleasures of the world. Then, according to him, I will be happy.

Seeing these two soldiers having a serious discussion with me made me feel like I’m Christian in the Pilgrim’s Progress. I told V that I understand his viewpoint, but I feel the answer to happiness is not found there. The answer to happiness is found in letting Christ live instead of me.

Throughout the conversation, I kept mentioning Bible and they told me to stop mentioning it. Not everyone believes in the Bible, they told me. But I told them that the Bible is the bedrock of my life. P thinks the Bible is just a good teaching book, but it is more than that, it is a manual to life. That conversation eventually developed to me not using any spiritual arguments, that I can only make logical ones. That, I told them, is misleading. The human being is made up of the spirit, soul, and body. The spirit is above the soul, therefore, the spirit should be dominant. I told them there is an unseen world; a spiritual world, and that the Bible says the unseen is greater than the seen. V and P asked me again and again do I love God more or my mom? I told them that I love God more because I must love God much more than I love my mom or dad or brothers and sisters (Matthew 10:31). They told me who help me more, God or my mom. They obviously wanted me to say “my mom,” but I told them that, ultimately, God helps me much more.

Lastly, we argued that if God is omnipotent, then does God know what choices we choose beforehand? I told P no because if he does know completely beforehand, then God will not be a good god but an evil one. If God knew Eve is going to be deceived in the Garden of Eden and all mankind will suffer the penalty for sin, He would not have created us. God gave us free will to chose whether to follow Him or not. Yes, God knows us much more than anybody else, even ourselves, but he doesn’t know 100% what our next actions will be. This is where P and me disagreed and I tried to find scriptural proof, but was mostly unable to.

Psalms 139:1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

God knows our potential and what we could be if we follow God to be used by Him, but to say that he always knows every action that we will perform ahead of time is untrue. If that is true, then God may not be a good God because then he knew all the evil and suffering that will come as a result. I need to continue to grow more in God and perhaps ask for some help to find out more. That is about the extent of our discussion. I then used the latrine again and decided to sleep inside the humvee.

As I was sitting in the humvee thinking about the conversation, and how angry I am about the guard changeover and what to do about it, another thought came in, from heaven, and it told me to “give it all to God.” In my first serious incident, I learned that I need to be able to suffer and endure more, to the point of shedding blood. However, in this second event, I realized that God is in control of everything, that there is nothing I can do to change it. I must trust in God and let Him be in control. Whatever happens, I must “give it all to God.” So I began to repeat “give it all to God” over and over in my mind. Slowly, I began to feel peace. I began to feel happy and at ease. God is in control of everything. Why am I worrying? Give it all to God. I fell into a peaceful sleep.

When I woke up, I knew that I’m still in the humvee, but I’m not upset because I already gave all my angry and bitter feelings to God. I find that once I give my hurt and negative feelings to God, I feel free. I used the latrine again and decided to listen to a 睡夢鄉 (Land of Dreams) bedtime stories. I don’t know why, but I decided to listen to 好姊姊米利暗 (Good Miriam) because I felt Moses calling me. I closed my eyes and deeply listened to the children bedtime story. Listening to it made me so thankful of what God had given me. The narrator, Auntie Choi, began the story of Moses by saying the Israelites in Egypt were prosperous. Pharaoh was afraid that the Hebrew people might start an uprising so he subjected them to hard labor.

Exodus 1:10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”

11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites

13 and worked them ruthlessly.

14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.

However, the more the Hebrews suffered, the more prosperous they became. Hearing that gave me encouragement. It is like a God-given answer to suffering. It teaches me not to be afraid, that God is in control, and that God can use my suffering to benefit me even more. I got to the part where the counselors advised Pharaoh to kill every male child. I can hear the babies’ crying and the mother’s screaming. It felt so real and I felt so sad.

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. –Jewish Proverb

Then, I saw my SOG and P come and say it’s time to go. Happily, I put away my mp3 player and started to leave.

I learned so much about suffering today. One, that I need to suffer to the Biblical standard which is to the point of shedding blood, and two, to “give it all to God.”

睡夢鄉- 39 好姊姊米利暗

 

Sing and Smile and Pray by Sofia Tsatalbasidis

 

Sing the clouds away,

Night will turn to day.

If you sing and sing and sing you’ll sing the clouds away.

 

Smile the clouds away,

Night will turn to day.

If you smile and smile and smile you’ll smile the clouds away.

 

Pray the clouds away,

Pray and pray and pray.

Night will turn to day,

No matter what they say.

 

Sing and smile and pray,

That’s the only way.

If you sing and smile and pray you’ll drive the clouds away.

 

Pray the clouds away,

Sing and smile and pray.

Night will turn to day,

No matter what they say.

 

Sing and smile and pray,

Night will turn to day.

If you sing and smile and pray you’ll drive the clouds away.

 

Sing_and_Smile_Sofia_Tsatalbasidis