My Bicycle

12/21/2012:  My Bicycle

{5:44pm}  Initially, I don’t want to write a blog about what happened to my bicycle but from the comments I read about this incident, I feel there is a need for this event to be in the eternal archives.

A few months ago, around August-time, I went to Wal-Mart to buy a bicycle.  I wanted one because it can help me save money on gas with the added benefit of PT (physical training).  I was looking at the bicycles and looking at the price.  I saw one that is only about $100 and it is blue and white.  Since I love Israel, I brought that bicycle.  I also brought a blue helmet to match it (No, my favorite color is still light-green).  Before I left, I also purchased the necessary bicycle supplies and a lock.

The cashier overcharged me by one spare bicycle tire but I didn’t find out until I am in my room.  In my anger, I told myself I’m not ever going to Wal-Mart again!  Then I calmed down and told myself the next time I go shopping, I’m going to keep track of how many items I brought and how much.  I retooled my cell phone for that mission.  Before I leave the store, right after I brought the items, I’m going to look at the receipt to double-check.  The cashiers and the store management may think I’m just a selfish little capitalist but I just want justice because injustice had happened to me.

On Monday December 17 (not December 7 but it is like to me), I prepared myself to do a recon trip to the Greyhound bus station so I know what to do and what to expect.  I remember in the Army, my unit always does recon missions.  I was the humvee driver and before my battery went to the range to train, I was ordered to be the driver to scout out the prospective area.  I find this to be good practice so I adopted it.  However, when I left my room for my bicycle, I found it to be gone!  I only saw my bicycle lock, cut in half.  My initial reaction was that of apathy.  I know I live in a sinful world and these things are supposed to happen.  Strangely, I started to feel happy.  I feel happy that I can give my bicycle to the thief that stole it.  I am happy that I am giving.  It’s Christmas time anyways :p

I shared what happened and my reaction to it on Facebook.  I typed:

Today, as I was preparing to recon the Greyhound bus station at El Paso, because I’m leaving to LA tomorrow, using my bicycle I realized it got stolen! I told myself that it’s ok, that we live in a sinful world and that God will be the judge. Best yet, I can treat that loss as a Christmas present. :)

I’ll try to buy the same kind of bicycle (blue and white) when I get back and if someone steals it again, I’ll buy it again. If they take without asking, I’ll treat it as if I’m giving it to God.

I received a comment from F a day later:

But God didn’t asked that your bike be stolen. When you give something to God, you give something to God. When things get stolen, it’s stolen, not given to God. I wonder if there is anything you could do to help it from getting stolen?

In a way, she is right.  God never asked that my “bike be stolen.”  It is sinful human nature working in man that took away my bicycle.  Unless He is trying to test me like Job :(  However, when things get stolen, I question whether it is always “not given to God.”  Something in me tells me that is not right.  I remember God telling the ancient Israelites to kill everyone in the city of Jericho to “be devoted to the LORD” (Joshua 6:17).  In a way, it is stealing.  They are killing everyone to give it to God.  I remember God using Babylon as “God’s Sword of Judgment” (Ezekiel 21).  He uses an unclean nation for His purpose.  I believe and I told myself that it is all in the heart.  If a thief breaks in and takes everything I have in my house and if I tell God, “Lord, everything the thief has is yours because everything I have belongs to You” then I am giving it to God.  God sees the heart.  This bicycle stealing is unintentional; I didn’t want anybody to take it.

I was at a loss trying to explain to her and my family is pushing me to join with them to watch a World War II documentary from PBS, so I had to make this quick and I wrote:

Hello [F]. I can’t really explain it but I feel when people steal something from me, if I just “give it to God,” I will have peace. After all, everything already belongs to God. I hope God can minister and change the thief who stole my bicycle.

And I quickly added:

My bicycle is well-protected. The same day I brought that bicycle, I also brought a lock. I placed my bicycle behind my car next to my studio. On Monday, when I went out to use my bike, I saw that the chain was cut.

I thought about this when lying on my bed.  I realized inspiration and “what to do” comes when I lie down to think.

This morning, I got a reply from her:

Next time put the bike inside your studio.

I want to be like a child of God so I replied in a friendly way:

Initially, I did put my bicycle inside my apartment but my studio is small and I have difficulty getting around..

I might just not buy another bicycle after all. El Paso, like Texas, is a big place and there’s not much I can travel to within a 2-mile radius. It’s not like Taiwan. :(

I can just walk to UTEP. It is three-quarters of a mile away.

But that is not what I really wanted to write.  I was about to write the following rough-draft message as a reply but I decided to create this blog and write it in here:

To conclude, the emphasis should not be in security but in God.  Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Matthew 16:25).  I took all reasonable measures to protect my bicycle and it still got stolen.  It is enough to take reasonable measures for security and not worry about it.  We should instead trust in God and He will be the judge.  

I hesitated to write this in the morning because I don’t want to offend.  But who am I offending?  As I waited longer, there is a growing unease in my heart.  I want to write the truth.  I want to write, through my knowledge of God, what is right.  If I am wrong then correct me through God’s Word and I will correct myself.  None of us are perfect; we all make mistakes.  

It is easy, when bad things happen, to blame the victim.  The Psalmist David wrote, “I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none” (Psalms 69:20b).  From what I am reading; from what I am perceiving, your comment gives me the impression that I am an idiot and it is my fault.  I know that this world is evil; I know that people steal.  But I don’t want to worry and stress myself out about every little thing.  Jesus said “do not worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34).  

Please don’t take this as disrespect.  I simply want to do the right thing before God.  Thank you for taking the time to respond to me and to help me.

I feel this sums up what I feel.  I may lose 100 friends tomorrow but I know it is better to choose to have courage and stand up for what I think is right than to live my life in silent shame.  It is more important to obey God rather than men.

Since I am writing this blog, I may as well also write about my happenings.  My Christmastime this year may be lonely but, in a way, I want it that way.  I can relax and just chill in my room.  I feel I am being a loner and introverted but I feel, for now, that is alright.  When I return back to El Paso, I got missions to do.  I spend a lot of my time playing strategy games because I like games that require me to plan and think tactically, but I know that, time is still best spent with God.  As much as I can, I spend my time reading my Bible.  I made an ambitious one-month Bible reading plan and, needless to say, it is taking me more than one year.  I am more than half-way done reading the whole Bible.

Many times, I feel that nobody loves me; that nobody cares about me.  Nobody talks to me.  It’s probably because I don’t have any money.  It’s also probably because I try to be me.  But I know that if I follow God and do His will, then “every promise in the book” will be mine, every “chapter every verse every line” (From song: Every Promise in the Book is Mine).

I am still introverted but people change.  I am trying to change to have the character of God.  I am not who I am before I joined the Army.  I changed a lot when I came back from deployment from Kuwait.  I change a lot these days.  People who judge me and preset their perceptions of me based on who I was a year or even a month ago may have the wrong picture of me because I try, with God’s help, to change myself.  Some people never change but I try to change because I’m not perfect and “someday perfect I will be” (From song: He’s Changing Me).

I’m still very weak.  I still make lots of mistakes but what matters is I don’t give up.

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

Oh yes, I also want to share an incident during my church’s last year’s Christmas Caroling.  I really miss the caroling.  My church would separate the singing to the West and the East side.  During the caroling, I would receive an itinerary of all the people’s houses that we need to visit.  We would knock on their doors and they would invite us in and we would sing.  And after the singing, the host family would show us a whole table of food already set up.  I told my youth members it is “like eating dinner” six or seven times.  I actually have to tell the host that I can’t eat anymore because I am so full.

I remember during the West side caroling last year, we were to go to man’s house named George(?).  It was like an adventure to even get to his house.  I was one of the drivers and I was able to get his house because I used my GPS.  I was about half of the drivers who were able to get to the approximate location.  We called the other drivers to help them get there.  Then, once we got there, we were in confusion!  We couldn’t exactly find his house!  I remember taking things rationally and I was looking at the street names and the house numbers and trying to solve it by deduction.  We spent around twenty minutes walking around the street when I saw George walking on the sidewalk to go back to his house.  Overjoyed, I greeted him.  He greeted back and told me he just came from work.  We followed him to his house and we sang.  I consider that a miracle.  We were very close to leaving and, at the last minute, he popped up.

And then there is this girl named A who sat in my car as we drove to Print Palace at the Sunland Park Mall to sing.  I thought about us singing for the whole mall!  As we were leaving to go on to the next target, we went through the Forever 21 store.  A was looking around at the stuff.  Jokingly, I told her, “You should not be looking at these things.  You are not twenty-one yet.”  She just stopped abruptly and glared at me.  I chucked and continued walking.  Fun times.  And my girl is still a vegetable.

I wanted to bring my guitar to help the church singers but I didn’t know what the songs will be.  So, the first day, on the East side, I didn’t bring my guitar.  But, I received the song list and, throughout the night and day, I practiced and prepared all the songs that we are going to sing.  Waley also brought his guitar and together, we played.  I should have brought my bigger amp instead of that cheap portable one because that one wasn’t loud enough.  I changed it to the power distortion mode and I wasn’t even sure if the sound that came out is the right note.  Oh well, as long as it is loud enough, I played it.  {E: 7:07pm}

12/[6]/2011: Go Anna!

12/[6]/2011: Go Anna!

S: 11:04am
E: 11:54am

Every week, since its football season, my section would get a sheet of paper out, write down all the teams that are playing, and place [empty] bets. A lot of lively conversations would stem from it: Whether Tebow is the best quarterback or whether the Eagles will make the playoffs. Since I don’t know much about football, I would go to the NFL homepage and do research on each game. I would look at home advantage, top players, and team statistics, and write it on a piece of paper.

One day, I decided to make some calls to my youth group to see how they are doing. I decided to call Anna, however, she didn’t answer, so I left a text message. When I woke up the next morning, she texted me back. She wrote that she went to a Chinese Christian Christmas program and it was awesome. She found a Christian college group to support her. When I read that, I felt happy for her. Then I thought of something.

Many people ask me what is my favorite football team. I’m not a big fan of football so I don’t really have a favorite team. Besides, there is no football team in Los Angeles. If I have to name a team that I like the most, then it would be the 49ers because when I was young I received a 49er plush football with Steve Young’s signature printed on it.

People tend to cheer when their football team wins, however, I find that I tend to cheer when people I’m close to prosper or grows closer to God. I find that I’m not really a Niners fan, or a Saints fan, but I’m an Anna fan, an Ann fan, a Danny fan, and a fan of everyone in my group. I don’t care if the Niners win or the Saints make it to the Superbowl. I care more when my brothers and sisters win in life.

———————-

Unlike football, which is one game a week, I find that in life, every day is a matchup; every day is a game. We must strive to follow God and win each day (Lam 3:32, Zep 3:5).

12/25/2010: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I’m still a bit too afraid to go on Facebook, so I’m taking my refuge here. Today is Christmas day and I wanted to share some of what I did on video!

Introduction, me singing “Jesus loves the little ones,” “Away in a Manger,” and my Christmas gift!

Me singing “I lift my eyes to the hills.”

 

Good night everyone and sweet dreams!

Ok 11 Nov 09

Ok 11 Nov 09

Ok, I have so many things to write about my life. Where should I start? Should I even start? Lol. I just called my mom in Taiwan about my heart of hearts and I’m glad I’m able to convey all my feelings and thoughts to her despite my fluent but limited Chinese. For one thing, it’s so hard to be perfect, to love and worship God, alone. I need a spiritual “battle buddy.” Sure, the Army provides me physically (food, water, shelter, etc) and my battle buddies in my barracks provide me physically but not emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. My dad also provides me physically, but that’s something I want to talk, I mean write, about later. I can’t be perfect with God alone. It’s too difficult. The Bible even says there is “none righteous, no, not one.” I need someone I can freely talk to, someone I can call, in case I get tempted, in case I get attacked by Satan. You can pretty much tell that I’m having trouble with God if I don’t update my facebook lol.

I don’t even know if I want to come back to Los Angeles during Christmas time anymore. I have nothing to look forward to over there. I don’t want to see my dad, and he has been calling me almost everyday. Of course I love my dad, but I hate the fact that he micromanages me to death. When I was 20, which is before I joined the Army, my dad has control over everything. I can’t drive my car, bike, go anywhere, or buy anything without consent from my dad. He even tries to control how much toilet paper I use. Many times, I would just lie and say I’m going to “study” just so I can get out. That, and other reasons why I am so deprived of the things of this world. I was afraid to even go shopping at age 20. I feel uncomfortable going by myself. I’m afraid to look up the yellow pages to call for services. The only thing I feel comfortable doing is staying in my room and playing third-world computer games. You know, free cheap games. I lack street smarts and so many of my skills are deprived and undeveloped. My dad provides me physically, but not emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Although he’s my dad, I look to him like my boss. It’s cold, unemotional, calculating. I can’t live like this. And of course, he’s the one who kicked me out the house and forced me to join the Army. That itself should be reason enough to ignore him. Now I know why my mom divorced lol.

The second thing is about my so called “friends” in church. I want to reconnect with them but they don’t want to talk to me. I send messages via facebook but they don’t respond. It’s like ever since I joined the Army, they don’t talk to me anymore. All they care about, I think, is about their college friends. Ooooo I’m in UCLA, ooooo I’m in UC Riverside, ooooo I’m in USC. Fuck you and your punk ass college. I’m pretty sure I’m more important than them since I’m going to spend eternity with you in heaven. But the thing I need most is a girlfriend. I want a girl who loves God and loves people. I want a girl whom we can pray everyday and sing everyday and worship God everyday. I can tell her all of my troubles and stresses. Then, then life will be bearable for me. Then, everyday will be like heaven lol. But, sigh, I’m just not good enough. To be truthful, I’m in love with a girl on Facebook. No, please don’t guess who, and if you do, I’m just going to lie. But of course, she’s in college. She’s 10x smarter than me, she has probably 10x more friends. Actually, make that 20 or 30x or more since I hardly have any lol. So fuck it, I won’t be able to find anyone. The Bible says a “virtuous wife, who can find?” Only Jesus can find one for me. Sigh, so depressing. This leads to another point.

Many times, actually almost all the time, I feel that the only friend I have is Jesus. Of course it’s wonderful to have Jesus, but I want a fully human friend. Someone I can talk to about anything, a “spiritual battle buddy.” I can’t fight against my flesh, the world, or Satan alone. I still try, but now, I do so more tactically.

You might see me on Facebook and see how emotional and open I am, but I am totally different in real life. I can’t trust people, and it’s painful. I act like a general lol. I’m cold, tactful, calculating, unemotional, meaner, and results-(or mission) oriented. This “don’t mess with me” type. And I’m also able to back myself up with threats. It’s fine. I would so much rather go to heaven now than later. Or if I don’t go to heaven, oh well. God’s the judge. This world is hell to me already.

I need to go to sleep soon, or tomorrow will be hell. To make this short, I’m coming back on my own terms. I already reserved a rental car, and got my planned ilternary. I will be living in a hotel from 25 Dec to 4 Jan. I will still, of course, stop by my dad’s house and show up to church. Maybe I should wear my ACU’s and make a noisy entrance. I was even joking about being in full battle rattle with my M16A2. Hooah! I will eat at Vietnamese restaurants, eating those yummy deserts. But, I will spend almost everyday hiking at the mountains. I love to sing and hike and be with nature. I want to go on higher ground. I may also revisit my past: Taking walks down my middle school (Thomas Jefferson), skating at Washington School (elementary school), go ice skating at the Pasadena rink, maybe go to Cloverly School and take a look, revisit SINWA education center, although most of my students are probably gone, and go to the beach. I can finally be free; I can finally have freedom. What I don’t want to do is playing computer games in my hotel room. Yes, I’m back to playing games again, but it’s high-class games now.

One of the things my dad kept telling me is to save money. Of course I’m saving money, I’m trying to save every penny I get. I would deprive myself of sport drinks or monsters and just drink water or MRE drink mixes. I always eat at the DFAC, and I go outside to eat only when forced. Like that platoon Hooters event. Ugh! My battle buddies know me; they know I love Jesus and all, so I can’t opt out. My only expenses are for charities, necessities (like blankets, toothpaste, and yes, internet), and a little on computer games. I’m currently sponsoring a child and a family from World Vision. I love helping people. I want to use my treasures on earth for something more permanent. I’m afraid though. When I want to help people, I always get the feeling that people just don’t trust me, no matter what my intent is. I feel like I’m releasing this aura of fear on people. Sigh. It seems like the only things people want from me is my money. Then money it is! I’m also letting my fellow soldiers borrow. A lot of them are getting broke due to poor financial management. Damn! Stop buying cigarettes and alcohol! And stop “celebrating” everytime you get a paycheck. That’s right. Many of my soldiers live paycheck-by-pay check. I could live for couple years in the Army and still have money to spare, damn! And with regards to money, I follow the principles of the Bible. I don’t ask for the money back. To me, money is just a sad necessity in this world. I want to use my money just to help people. I can’t wait for Jesus to come back. Then, everybody will help each other and the Law will be on everyone’s hearts. I don’t worship money, unlike my dad, I worship God.

I also look to my past a lot now. I remember what Shi-Min Lu, my former Junior High Sunday School teacher said:”Young people like you.. always look to the future, but people like me, we look to our past.” I asked her why not just look to the future, like we do? But she told me that people her age really has nothing to look forward to. For me, everyday has its own challenges, it’s unpredictable, but I look to my past, because it brings me comfort. I think of all the memories when I loved life, when it’s exciting, when It’s fun. I’m a dreamer, and I talk to myself all the time. Jesus is my best friend, and I am the second best friend. It’s fun and exciting to talk to yourself, if you know how. I think of solutions and ideas and brainstorm so much better if I talk to myself. I would talk about my past, sing, whatever. Be your own best friend.

I think looking to my past is why I loved 睡夢鄉 (Land of Dreams). I loved the stories, I loved the songs. I would sing them almost everyday. It’s a miracle for me to enjoy what I enjoyed so much in the past.
Ok! So I’m coming back on December 25, 2009 and leaving on January 4th 2010. I will act like Neo with his sunglasses on, so don’t expect me to behave to warmly.

9/12/09

9/12/09

S: 8:50pm
E: 8:57pm

In Brother Yun’s “The Heavenly Man,” an excerpt I read is:

“Multitudes of church members in the West are satisfied with giving their minimum to God, not their maximum. I’ve watched men and women during offering time in church. They open their fat wallets and search for the smallest amount they can give. This type of attitude will never do! Jeus gave his whole life for us, and we give as little of our lives, time and money as we can back to God. What a disgrace! Repent!

This may soung strange, but I even miss the offerings we used to give in China….”

After I read that passage, a memory from Taiwan 07′ to 08′ struck my mind. I remember being in my church at Taiwan. After a special Christmas service where the youth choir sang “Slient Night,” the paster went up and told everyone to put their biggest denomination in your wallet into the offening basket. I opened my wallet and I saw several $1000 tapei money, which is the biggest denomination in Taiwan. I obeyed what the paster said. Wow, what an experience!