E: 10: 33
他有改我。他說 ”飯加肉” 是 “肉燥飯。” 我好笨呢。
所以今天是我上課得第一天。我的班是 “Introduction to Social Work.” 我吃了很快得早餐然後就馬上走路去上學。沒有，我沒有吃蔥油餅或是肉燥飯哈哈。我就吃我自己做得。有肉，菜，奶，飯，和維他命。
當我來來到教室時候，我發現椅子都在一個圓圈 li。教授有叫每個人分享為什麼我們想當一個社工人。我跟他們講是因為我在兵隊 li 的時候，上帝有幫助我好多。但是那個時候我心情委靡所以我沒有感動得說。我沒有做一個好的 first impression (因為我昨天寫得)。沒關係，下一次我努力一點。
1/27/2011: Mixed Result / Read this before you play games
I really want to write a discovery today because I feel I really need an update. Today, praise God, our section had the day off! I was so happy. Finally I can have some time to relax, recharge, and do what’s important. I laid plans for today. I am to prepare my tuff box, which has souvenirs along with extra stuff I’m taking back from Kuwait, buy a few more exotic gifts from Kuwait, return my bicycle to MWR, organize my computer (instead of organizing my room, now I need to organize my files! Talking about being in a digital world..), worship God, and importantly, work on my college.
Yes, I’m in college now! Take three! I’m so blessed that God is giving me a second chance for college. I failed back in PCC (Pasadena City College) because I chose to satisfy my desires and I also failed my English Composition class at MACU (Mid-America Christian University) for the same reason. I can blame my busy schedule, or work, or peers, but in the end, it is me, it is my sinful gaming habits that’s stopping me. I am currently on track for a major in Christian Ministries and I only have a few more general education courses to go before I start my major. I better not fail this time. As Winston Churchill said, “without victory, there is no survival.” I need to try as hard as Great Britain tried to survive during World War 2.
So, what did I accomplish today? It is disappointing. I spent hours after PT and after lunch playing games. I did return my bicycle, organized my tuff box and brought a lock for it. I also read a few blogs. Reading about other people’s experiences and life and their struggle with God really cheered me up. I tried to work on my college but accomplished very little, as I was distracted by games. I set a deadline for my work on Saturday midnight. I don’t care if my work lacks quality because of my laziness, I will still turn it in. I will not repeat the mistake last time of giving up and not trying at all.
I can’t write very well now. I spent my strength not on women, but on games, but still, I must not give up.
Proverbs 31:2 “O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,
3 do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.”
So Steven, I want to tell you that before you start playing computer games again, know that if your intent is to satisfy your desires, you will lose in the end. With God, you can always win these games; He can play the God Card. You must seek the Lord; you must seek “His kingdom and His righteousness.” The Lord will satisfy you. The joy of the Lord will be your strength.
Another reason why I was so slow in my college is because I’m just afraid! I’m afraid of being judged. I don’t feel I’m ready to write to people yet. I need to get rid of that fear and give it to God. As long as I trust in God, I should not be afraid.
As I was eating dinner in the DFAC today, a song suddenly came to my mind that is completely relevant to my situation. I need to give my all to Jesus. I need to make sure all my body parts give glory to God. I need to have less of me and more of Him. I need Jesus to live inside me completely. Praise God that I thought of this song and that is the reason why I decided to write today’s discovery.
This song should be my anthem :) I need to follow God, follow God, even when it hurts.
12/3/2010: It’s just like His great love
It has come to my attention that some people are concerned about me. I want to reassure everyone that I am okay. I am alright. With God, everything will be alright. I write my journals and discoveries to reflect the truth, and sometimes, the truth hurts, but I must still tell it because my God is the god of truth.
Yes, sometimes I get depressed. Sometimes I mess up. I slip and fall, but “do not gloat over me…! Though I have fallen, I will rise” (Micah 7:8).
Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.
Psalms 118:17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
It is God’s great love that keeps me alive.
There is a similar episode during a time when I was a nursing student (LVN) that I would like to share with you.
Before my job as a tutor, I was a nursing student. Out of 400 applicants, I was one of the lucky 40 chosen to be in the LVN class! I was so happy, so blessed to have a wonderful opportunity in life! My dad had always thought nursing is a good choice for me since it earns lots of money and allows me to help people.
But, as time went on, I got lazy. I started to fall behind my reading assignments. I started to play computer games when I should have studied. I would get depressed and would play more computer games. There came to a point where I don’t even bother reading my textbook anymore, but relied totally on my notes in class, which is limited but is even more so since I get tired in class often. But, even then, for some reason, I managed to pass all my written examinations. God is giving me time to repent and turn back to Him, and, I tried, with tears, but I was unable to overcome the bondage of sin. After every gaming binge, I would tearfully kneel on my bed asking for God to forgive me and to give me strength. However, almost every time the temptations came, I crumble.
At the same time, since I have to go to the vicinity of downtown LA (I get off at Soto St.) to attend the East LA Occupational College, I am also tasked of taking my sister back from the Coburn School of Performing Arts. My dad would drop her off and I would take her home. After my classes, I would drive to downtown LA, go a little ways inside Korea town, and wait for her in the Coburn parking lot. I would usually spend the free time waiting for my sister on sleeping or on God. I asked God for hope and part of the reason why I lasted so long in my nursing class when I should have failed much sooner is because God gave me second chances.
On a particular day, I was feeling very depressed about my life situation. My grades in my nursing class have taken a turn for the worse and my nursing instructor seems to be looking for a way to get rid of me. I contemplated suicide then because I felt powerless. I felt powerless to study and improve in class, powerless to stop playing computer games, powerless to turn to God completely and worship Him. I really wanted to kill myself. Desperately, I turned on my laptop and decided to look for a song (Christian) that can revive me and give me hope.
One of my hobbies doing my college years is downloading Christian music. I would download as much Christian music on Youtube as I can. I would also download midi hymns and its lyrics. I would then sing everywhere I go, from walking to classes in 6th grade to riding on my bicycle to PCC, a community college.
I opened my laptop and decided to look for a song to save my life. One of the songs I listened to, did:
It’s Just like his great love
Edna R. Worrell, 1903
A friend I have called Jesus, Whose love is strong and true,
And never fails howe’er ’tis tried, no matter what I do;
I’ve sinned against this love of His, but when I knelt to pray,
Confessing all my guilt to Him, the sin clouds rolled away.
It’s just like Jesus to roll the clouds away,
it’s just like Jesus to keep me day by day,
it’s just like Jesus all along the way,
It’s just like His great love.
Sometimes the clouds of trouble bedim the sky above,
I cannot see my Savior’s face, I doubt His wondrous love;
But He, from heaven’s mercy seat, beholding my despair,
In pity bursts the clouds between, and shows me He is there.
When sorrow’s clouds o’ertake me, and break upon my head,
When life seems worse than useless, and I were better dead;
I take my grief to Jesus then, nor do I go in vain,
For heavenly hope He gives that cheers like sunshine after rain.
O, I could sing forever of Jesus’ love divine,
Of all His care and tenderness for this poor life of mine;
His love is in and over all, and wind and waves obey,
When Jesus whispers “Peace, be still!” and rolls the clouds away.
Yes, it’s just like His great love to give me hope and to keep me alive. This hymn also mentions suicide, but it then shows that Jesus comes and saves the day. It’s just like His great love to save me every day. I sang that song over and over again and cried much. Only Jesus can roll my clouds away and He surely did that day. That song revived me and gave me the strength to continue despite my life’s hopelessness. Because my God is the God of hope, he is the God who gives me hope.
Now that my concerns are rectified, about my day:
Today is the first time I shot the M9 handgun! I was on ammo detail and we went to the range. I asked my sergeants if I could also qualify on the M9, and he told me yes, if everybody who’s supposed to qualify did, and if there is extra rounds.
I never fired a handgun before, so I was apprehensive. The target for the M9 is just a 25 meter target, with 5, 4, and 3 point area depending on how close the center is. I watched other officers fire, since mostly officers is assigned the handgun, and they all did pretty good. Then Davis, my battle buddy who shot 40/40 went and also did extremely well, despite the fact that it was his first time, too. Now it is my turn. All this time, I knew that in order for me to succeed, I have to live by faith, and I have to shoot by faith. I went up and I also did very well. I’m surprised! It is so much easier to aim and shoot a handgun than it is to shoot a rife. I got 23 five’s, 12 four’s, 2 three’s, and 1 (I just noticed it) miss, with a total score of 169. The max score is 200. I did as well as the officers. Davis, on the other hand, got a 196. Praise God!
I love journal writing or writing on my discovery because I get to free-write. I love free writing because I get to put my thoughts out. It doesn’t have to make sense; it just has to make sense to God :) .
Well, actually, it’s quite hard to free write when I’m also trying to defecate. Heh, but it’s okay, what matters is that I do my best to worship God.
This world is so messed up now. I can sense it every day and it seems to be getting stronger. I can feel more hate when passing people. I still try to say “hi!” or “good to see you.” They can hate but I will love because love comes from God.
It’s sad that when times are hard, people tend to be meaner to each other. They love others less while they love themselves more. When times are good, if you say “hi” to them, most likely they will say “hi” back. Now, if I say “hi” to them, they just ignore me. I can sense the increased amount of stress. I think this is what distinguishes Christians and non-Christians. When times are hard, Christians tend to rely more on God and seek spiritual help from other Christians. They become more loving, happy, patient, peaceful, because these heavenly gifts comes from God. Non-Christians, however, transfer the love they had for people back to themselves. They become more selfish, more self-centered, meaner, and they do more evil things. When a disaster comes, Christians tend to help people while non-Christians tend to destroy people. And yes, there are good people outside of Christianity too, but that is self-righteousness. The Bible says there is no one good but God alone (Mark 10:18). The good things that we do come from the flesh and since they come from the flesh, they are like “filthy rags” to God (Isaiah 64:6). The flesh can do both good and evil but because it is also capable of evil, the flesh is hostile to God (Romans 8:5-7). His standard is perfection (Matthew 5:48). Only our spirit, through God’s Holy Spirit is acceptable to Him because it is completely good. We can only worship God in spirit and in truth.
Okay, I finally took a dump! Mission accomplished! Heh. I remember while I was still on the say, I thought of the verse:
James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
I need to be careful. It’s not what I want; it’s what God wants. I think I thought of this because to me, taking a dump is like giving birth. It’s not easy and once the movements come, I have to go! I can’t just give birth any time I want.
I remember my mom also has this problem. Sometimes, she would say, “Praise God, I was finally able to drop a big one!” or “Aaah, I feel so good now, now that I took a dump.” I would be surprised that she said it but, now, it makes sense. Once I feel what others feel, it makes sense.
I think the ability to pray to God is such a wonderful gift. When this world gives me the hates, I can always talk to God in prayer. I know that God is the ultimate judge and power comes from Him. I feel peace in the midst of chaos because I can always talk to God about my thoughts and troubles. Anxiety
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I will always pray, pray, when things go wrong till in your heart rings heaven’s song, the loving God, His voice will hear come back to Him he’s always near.
Communication with people is important, but communication with God is more important. Everything that has to do with God is always more important because God is always important. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and He created us.
There is still so much I want to write such as the “trial-and-error” logic. Human reasoning is very flawed because there is always something that humans don’t know. On the other hand, God’s Word is always correct because God knows everything. One reason why I love free-writing is because it also allows me to a preparatory phase before writing a paper on a topic. Maybe that’s what I’m going to do! When I get an essay assignment from English class, instead of using outlines, and drafts, I will just write about it. Free-write. Then, I can reread and harvest the gems to put on my essay, after some organization. To beat an essay I will write about it. To win a war, like what Winston Churchill did, he just talked about it!
9/24/2010: The girl I love FINAL part
Yesterday, I had guard duty! I just came back from it today and tried to sleep, but, couldn’t without at least writing something about it. If I sleep, I may forget what I want to write or I may lack the desire to write it. I wrote an outline before I started writing this so I won’t forget.
The day before I had guard, I finally managed to have the guts to go back on Facebook. My close friend convinced me, in my words, to not be afraid and let God be the judge. I find that I’m so afraid of being judged. When I went on, the first thing I saw was a wall post by Auntie Linda telling me that the interview is on the air on Youtube. I immediately grew afraid because I’m afraid of being judged. In the interview, I told Auntie Linda and my mom that one of the best opportunities to share the gospel and teach the soldiers about the Bible is in guard duty. How ironic that tomorrow is my guard duty! I start to grow nervous. What if it’s the same as last time, which I was unprepared for the job but still won an inner victory. I cannot mess up this time so on the day of my guard, I went to the PX and brought lots and lots of snacks and I took an iron pill I brought from Taiwan. The reason why I’m so tired is because of my borderline iron deficiency (result from a blood test at PCC before I joined the Army). This is my chance to awaken people again! Heh. In the end, the chips gave me something to do while the iron kept me awake. I was still tired, I still slept during our resting periods, but I felt more energetic and have as much energy as my peers. My SOG told me I should start taking iron pills. I told them, besides the difficulty of finding one here, there are side effects. The main side effect is constipation. When I took one in Taiwan, I didn’t poop for a whole day. This time however, I had no problem. Hmm, strange. Praise God. Thanks to the hemoglobin, the guard shift today was relatively easier and it also went by quick, probably due to our conversations. By the time I know it, it was already afternoon. I was happy because time is going fast.
One of the main things we talked about is the girl I love. My SOG told me when we get back, he will help me find a girlfriend. I told him I already have a girlfriend. They told me that a girlfriend is by mutual consent. Both love each other. They were disgusted that I was referring her as my girlfriend. In the end, I agreed that she is not my girlfriend, but the girl I love. They asked me (my SOG knew a little about this situation because he punished me when I was late for work trying to ship a gold necklace to her) when was the last time she talked to me. I said, “um, like last January,” which is nine months ago! Between the blockings, the long ago contact, they are saying I am depriving myself of happiness and I should just drop her and find someone else. It’s not that easy. I tried to explain my promise to God of seven years, the little miracles I think God did to remind me of my promise. Still, I find myself losing on the logical front. What if God was trying to tell me to find another girl, a girl who loves God? How will I know? I can only know by prayer. I was giggling (sometimes in embrassment) and smiling the whole time I was telling the story. They could feel my emotions, but were serious about this. They asked am I still trying to contact her. I said no, the last time was in March (I realized now that I lied. The real time was closer to May?), only three months later. My NCO was worried about me. He doesn’t want me to be a stalker, to be a serial killer. No, how can I do that? It is totally against the Bible. I know she has free will (Genesis 24:5-8). She can choose whatever she wants. I told them if she has a boyfriend or is married (they asked that) I will then be free from my oath. Looking back, I felt what I said in the last sentence was wrong. My promise to God was to pray for seven years for her and if nothing happens then I would just be single and live for God. But, they wanted me to have a girlfriend, and as my last note said, I do really need one. I do need a companion who can go with me through green pastures and the valley of the shadow of death. I tried to convince them that God can find a way. All things are possible with God (Mark 10:27). But, they told me again that she has free will. Defeated, I admitted that they are right. I was being illogical. I told them I am going to do what I was going to do on my notes, that is to ask someone close to her if she has any affection for me. If not, then I will find another girl. They suggested Christian dating sites and I told them I can easily get a girlfriend. They also told me that I should have some experience first and just socialize one on one with a girl, any girl. That, to me, is wrong. Dating is preparation for marriage (thanks Ben Ku!) I can’t just be emotionally connected with a girl I’m not going to marry. Yes, I would get experience, but I would also satisfy my flesh, and I know that the flesh is hostile to God (Romans 8:6-8). If I satisfy my flesh, my flesh would want more. I learned this the hard way. So, that is what I will do. Maybe. I would see if she’s still thinking about me. That’s all. If not, then I’ll find somebody else.
Or, and this has come to my mind recently. How about the story of Watchman Nee and the girl he loved?
In his writings, Nee had trouble growing closer to God. He wanted the Holy Spirit, but God won’t give it to him. Through prayer, he found that Charity, his childhood sweetheart, still occupied a large place in his heart. And for a time, he just can’t surrender that room to God. Finally, when he did surrender this room to God, God poured out His spirit to him and he felt free! He felt like so light and so happy! He felt unimaginable happiness.
“By January of 1922 there was already a small gathering of the Lord’s people at ‘Tze Yuan’ [‘Tze Garden’]. I remembered one day that I was going to have to preach that very day. So I opened my Bible, trying to find a suitable subject. I happened to read Psalm 73, verse 25, which states: ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.’ Upon reading it, I confessed that I could not say these words as the psalmist had said. At the time I knew that there was something hindering the relationship between me and God. For over ten years I had had deep affections for Charity.∗ She was not saved at that time. I tried to preach the gospel to her, but she always laughed at me. We truly loved each other. I let her laugh at the Lord Jesus whom I preached. In my heart she always occupied a very large place. I had frequently asked myself if I should continue to let her occupy such a place in my heart. We all know that when a young man is in love, it is most difficult for him to lay it aside. Although with my lips I said to God that I was willing to lay her aside, in my heart I was unwilling to do so. I now read that verse in the Psalms again. I could honestly confess that I could not lay her aside. During that entire week I could not say, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee’ The Spirit of God had put His finger on this very issue as the hindrance to my being filled with the Holy Spirit. On that particular day I still went to preach, though I did not know what I was preaching about.
“Later on, I began to reason with God. I asked Him to give me power first, and then I would lay her aside. But God never reasons with men. In my youthfulness I promised God many things: I would go to Tibet to preach the gospel; I promised Him I would do this and that; but God would not listen. His finger persistently pointed at this girl friend as my obstacle. No matter how I prayed, I could not get through. My heart was really heavy. I even begged God to change His heart. But no, He insisted on my dealing with this matter. It was as though there was a piercing of my heart with a sharp sword. God wanted me to learn a deeper lesson; otherwise I would be of no use in His hand.
“On yet another day I preached in the morning. In the afternoon I was in my room under great heaviness of heart. I told God that since I would be going back to school the next Monday I wanted Him to fill me with the love of Christ. I was now ready to lay aside my lover. The love of Christ had so constrained me that I was determined to put her aside. With this decision made I could say from my heart the words of Psalm 73.25. My inside was filled with unspeakable joy. Even though I had not ascended to the third heaven, I could say I had been to the second heaven, so happy and full of joy was I. The world now became insignificant to me. I felt as though I were floating on a cloud. On the night when I was saved, the burden of my sins had been rolled away. On this day (13 February 1922), all obstacles in my heart had been removed. Not long afterwards many people were saved” (Watchman Nee in A Short Biography of Watchman Nee)
My peers told me that I’m still very preoccupied with her. I tried to deny it, but they persisted. I admitted that, yes, I did think about her often, probably as often as every day. My peers want me to be happy. They want me to find my soulmate. But, I told them, later on, that it depends what people value. If my value is happiness, about being happy, then by all means, I would try to find a girlfriend, but, my value isn’t happiness. What people value and what I value are different. Most people value money, happiness, and fame, but I value eternal life, righteousness, and love. It’s okay if I’m unhappy. My true, eternal happiness rests with God. I don’t really get offended if people steal or take things away from me because my value is not on money. In fact, sometimes I kind of want to give these things to them, to help them and hopefully, to teach them how much God loves them. It’s not my money, but God’s. If they steal from me, God will be the judge.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
-Romans 12:16 – Romans 12:21 (NIV)
People think I’m a pushover because of it, but no, I am simply waiting on the Lord. I try to be loving to everybody because the Bible tells me to and because I know, deep inside, it’s the right thing to do.
I feel I am now in Watchman Nee’s position. This girl I love is occupying a big place in my heart. Will I cast it down and give the room back to God? I feel it’s difficult; I feel it’s impossible, but it is for God’s glory. And, I don’t really need a companion. As long as the shepherd of my soul is with me, I will be alright. He is in full control.
Wow, the iron pill is working! It is now 11:20am and I’m still awake! Usually, I’m fast asleep by 0900.
I also played two games of “LIFE” on my peer’s computer. I watched her play for a little while and I grew interested. This game, originally a board game, is played against other players. Like monopoly, you move your piece around the board to reach the end. Unlike monopoly, you can’t buy anything. The object of the game is to get as much money as possible by getting as much “LIFE” points, high career, etc. I dislike how, in the end, your life points (experiences) is converted into money. To me, life experience is priceless, it’s wrong to put a dollar sign to it. I played the first round being me (I chose teacher, house initially so I can provide a wonderful home for the girl I love (I know, sorry) and later, a mobile home [so I can go around telling others about Jesus!], the risky life (since I want don’t want to be part of the timid souls who “know neither victory nor defeat” [Theodore Roosevelt]), etc. Needless to say, I lost (got last place too), but I had fun. The second round, I tried to win, and praise God, I got good luck. I did win. I first did the investment, then paid my debt, and played cleverly.
At the very end of our guard duty, something horrible happened that tried to mimic my last guard shift. I lost the equipment keys! I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t find it. But, after I gave up hope and went to the PX to buy new locks, my sergeant called and told me it’s found! Whew, praise God!
Throughout the guard shift and my life after coming back from Taiwan, I tried to not be afraid, but to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9).
I also shared my career goals to my sergeant, which is about my desire to do part-time ministry and to be a special education teacher. He told me he can’t see me as a special ed teacher. Really? Oh well, I will still do my best.
Lastly, I talked to him about my college fears. I told him the reason why I suspended my college is not only because of my gaming addiction, although it played a critical role, but also because I was just afraid of doing my best work or not, and seeing my grades as a result. For me, I have to do my best work. I cannot just write an essay in one day in six-hours. I need to spend six one-hour days working on my essay. If I do not show my best effort in my work, I’m just afraid to submit it. After much talking, my sergeant told me the reason why is because I’m afraid of people judging me. I’m surprised at his insight. I am afraid of being judged. I’m afraid to go on Facebook often because I’m afraid of being judged. I can’t submit my sub-standard work (even if it will be late) because of being judged. Many things I thought about doing were eliminated because of my fear of being judged. I need to cast down my fears and let God be my judge.
A lot of things has happened in the past few days, but I want to keep my journals short and simple.
It’s easy to let the pleasures and entertainment of life to diminish writing my life story. Like yesterday, I was going to write but my bunk mates decided to watch <i>Avatar: The air bender</i>. Or, I would sometimes check Yahoo news before I write my discoveries (my term for journal writing) and find that my life just isn’t that interesting or urgent to write anymore. <b>I let the news, events, and pressures of the world diminish my own life.</b>
These past few days has been trying for me, but, it seems God always finds a way to help me, even when I feel hopeless that God actually will help me. My two old worries surfaced again: college and my dad. To deal with them would be too difficult and too much for me right now. I’m already under extreme pain and hardship (for me). I can’t fight anymore. I know that all I really need is to call my dad and everything should be okay. My dad still misses me and wants to contact me. My college? After I check the my truthful situation, I should be able to call them and ask for a second chance. But, the problem is, I know what to do, but I just can’t do it. There’s too much pain and trouble involved. There’s too much fear involved.
You know, sometimes I feel, and I think other people sometimes feel this way, that I just can’t take any defeat anymore. I am already under tremendous stress. Any defeat I receive will be too painful and horrible for me. As long as anything I try has a chance of defeat, it is not worth trying.
I want God to go before me, to grant me victory. I want God to go forward, completely wipe out my enemies and I just come and occupy the land.
<i>¶While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him. And the king said, “This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?” ¶Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” ¶The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” ¶“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!” ¶Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” ¶At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.</i>
2 Kings 6:33 – 2 Kings 7:7 (NIV)
I know that I need to focus on the Lord of the Battle and not on the battle, for it is the Lord who grants me victory.
And also about the girl I love….
I have been very horny lately (of course, what do you expect from a bunch of guys living together with no female contact?). And, I have been letting these evil desires control my thought life again. It’s like the cancer. I have even made plans to alter my leave destination or plans so I might be able to indulge my sinful, guilty pleasures. Praise God, one way or another, and more due to hardships in my life, I was able to promise Him that even if I chose to kill myself, I will not sin against God. It’s not easy making that promise; I have to sacrifice so much, but I have to do it because my life and my body belong to the Lord.
I have been thinking about finding a girlfriend (it has to be, of course, a girl who loves God), but then I began to wonder if my promise with the girl I love to God is really valid. I remember myself on my bed, telling God that if He were to give her to me, I would dedicate my life and my firstborn (or all my children, not sure) to Him. I remember when I was in the field, in desperation (I just declared my love to her via Facebook and she blocked me), I opened my Bible to a random page. At the same time, my battle buddies in the tents were questioning me about my girlfriend and my desire for one. What I read in the Bible shocked me. The first heading and verses I read were about Jacob and his fourteen years of toil to get the girl he loved.
<i>Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” ¶Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. ¶Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her.” ¶So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant. ¶When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” ¶Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” ¶And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. </i>
Genesis 29:18 – Genesis 29:28 (NIV)
So I told my tent mates “Even if she blocks me and has no interest in me, I will still try to love her.” I then tried telling them about the story of Jacob and Rachel and how I should not give up. I forgot if they were still attentive to me. Afterwards, I felt so inspired, I wrote a draft I was going to post on Facebook titled “Seven Years.” Obviously, I hope you know what that means.
Yes, I would be sacrificing so much. I need a companion. I need someone who loves me and whom I can tell all my troubles and feelings to, and I would do the same for her. It’s wonderful to have a spiritual battle buddy, and especially if it’s your would-be wife!
I am already socially isolated. I don’t have any close friends of any sort (spiritual, hobby, personal, etc). I don’t have a close friend whom I can tell all my trials and troubles to. I do have a few good friends, especially in my platoon, but even to them, I can’t tell everything. I don’t feel a complete connection with them. Maybe that’s why I use Facebook so much, lol. <b>To go thought life alone without a friend who provides unconditional love, help, and comfort is a great handicap.</b> A lot of people would pay somebody to be their unconditional friend, but once his money is gone, his friend is also gone. It’s hard for me to find a unconditional friend in this world and it’s even harder in this day and age, when everybody’s living for the moment.
The only friend I truly have and He is my greatest asset is Jesus. It is Jesus who keeps me alive. I have already gone way beyond my capacity to endure. It is Jesus who keeps me living. It is Jesus who keeps my heart pumping. It is Jesus who gives me help, hope, and comfort every day. Many times, He gives me just enough, but, praise God, it’s just enough!
It’s okay. I don’t know where my life is leading me but I know <b>who</b> is leading my life. And He knows and understands more than everything about me. In this world, it seems, I can only trust in God.
2/26/2010: loneness, college, help my battle buddy, and, the girl I’m fighting for
First.. I feel.. so.. lonely. Although I don’t want to admit it, I want to find someone whom I can talk to about anything, but mainly about my thoughts and feelings. Praise God I have some free time. I spent most of it trying to learn Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew. I want to learn the language of God’s people! It’s going to talk some time, but with faith, I will succeed.
Second thing, is about my college, Mid-America. My Old Testament class starts in 2 days, yet, I still can’t access my online course. I sent an e-mail to the college yesterday, but still have gotten no replies. I’m getting nervous. If I fail this class because I can’t access the course…. Wow, a Christian college is going to destroy my future.
I thought about this to myself: What is the point of getting a degree? If God is going to fill my mouth when I evangelize and preach, what is the point of an actual degree? Is it just for human eyes to see? Brother Yun said the Christians who underwent the hardships of prison already have a degree: a master degree in tribulation and suffering. Wow, that is the degree I want! But, it is too hard for me.
Third, one of my battle buddies is suffering from, I think, an emotional breakdown. He has been bedridden most of the time and hardly eats. He went to the TMC and they are still trying to find out what’s wrong. I have been talking to him about Jesus and Psalms and my experience in basic training, where I underwent intense suffering. Jesus is the master of suffering. He knows about suffering. It takes a master to be willing to die on the cross for sins he did not commit. Please pray for him for healing, for only Jesus can heal him. I have faith that if I pray continually, he will be healed.
Ok, I guess writing these notes makes me feel a lot less lonely. It hurts. Babies who are unloved dies, but I don’t want to go that far. Excuse me.
Oh and I am trying to keep in touch with the girl I love but she is still blocking me. It’s painful. I guess it is my mistake to sent couple pre-written letters (I was too afraid to send them), a semi-suicide note, and then some of my recent journal entries all at the same time. I took her out as a friend because I don’t want to sin, and she blocked me. So awful. So horrible. It looks like I will never get a good girlfriend. No, I need to trust in God. God knows everything about me and if he thinks its okay for me to have a wife, then he will, in due time. Wo you dun shen de shi jian biao [I need to wait for the Lord’s timing].
His thoughts are not my thoughts and his ways are not my ways. His ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9).
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.
The Weakest Link
I injured my left thumb last week during basketball PT so I shouldn’t be typing. Now, a week later, my thumb is still swollen with bruises. I went to the TMC (troop medical center) and got my hand X-rayed. The doctor told me I had no broken bones and that my thumb should heal within a few weeks. Praise God, because God delivers the righteous, not one of my bones will be broken (Ps).
As I sat in the van, I thanked my relay sergeant for giving me a ride to the aid station. Once there, I will get my thumb double-checked. He told me no problem, because I am one of the best soldiers in the platoon. He told me I always volunteer for details and always help out. I got a brigade coin a few months ago because my whole battery nominated me. That was scary. And today, the sergeant major of the battalion talked to me and told me I must be saving lots of money, since I hardly go out. I also shook hands with him. That was also scary. Normally, when you do talk to him, it is because you are in trouble. Everyone in the battalion fears him. This whole “best soldier” thing is scaring me. I’m never the best; I’m always the weakest, not because I want to be, but because I am.
During basic training, I was so physically weak that I almost got kicked out. The six hours of sleep allotted is enough for everyone but me. I was tired all the time that I cannot think. I was forced and bent under peer pressure to say and do things I don’t want to do. Any spare time I have is divided between reading the Bible, singing songs, and trying to close my eyes. I had trouble listening and remembering what my drill sergeants are saying, and thus, I had to have a “babysitter” to be with me at all times. Praise God, because he was very helpful and kind. Having no experience in mechanical things (my dad even fixes my bike tires for me), I was slow to learn almost everything in the Army. There is hardly any book learning, everything is hands-on. I had difficulty communicating, thanks to a combination of shuddering, nervousness, and fatigue, learning, and performing Army standards. I almost always fall out of platoon runs, first to tire on upper-body exercises, and I usually forget even how to do exercises. I got constipated, fever, and injured my feet. The only thing I wanted during BCT was rest, but I hardly got any. I had to resort to something similar to psychological warfare. I had to pretend I’m as stupid as I’m weak so I could be treated better. I had to endure verbal taunting daily and I only have one or two soldiers I can call friends. It sucks. I see other soldiers, other people, and they are all so strong and blessed. 4 hours of sleep doesn’t faze them; they still laugh and joke all day long (see Ps. 73). However, despite all this, I refuse to quit, because doing so would be so shameful, and I also refuse to let this torture training harden by life. I managed to pass my PT test during basic, barely, but to me, that was a big praise God and I graduated with an award as the most improved soldier. I hardly feel improved, I just relied on God. If I were to go through BCT again, I would probably be the same. Everyone in basic knew I was the weakest link, second only to the battalion.
AIT (advanced individual training) was a easier on the physical side, but it’s still almost the same environment. Although we do get a little more sleep, I still feel tired. I couldn’t pay attention in class (we are learning patriot stuff) and I struggled to stay awake. The one time I chose to sleep, I woke up with a sergeant (add a drill before it too) up my face. I never slept since. But praise God, I still managed to pass my tests. I hardly volunteer in BCT or AIT simply because I am so weak and tired. I want to, but I can’t. I ran on “low-power” mode the whole time. There are times when I wished I could just die, yes, die. There are times when I just wanted to fall out of formation and just lie down and cry. Pray and cry. Everyone would probably surround and scream at me, but I will just ignore them. I would just pray and pray. Then they would probably punch me and hit my pressure points, but I will still ignore them and pray. Towards the end of AIT, my class went to the field. Some fun in the sun, right? Nope. Although I almost finished my training, I felt I hardly learned a thing. If I was told to emplace or operate any equipment (except computers, even patriot computers, simply because I love computers), I would have no clue. My whole time in the field was a struggle. Even when it’s time to rest, there are always surprise attacks which forces us to grab our rifles, and wearing combat gear (I always sleep in them), rush outside to the nearest sandbag. There was a time when we got smoked (punished) doing this because we aren’t “motivated” enough. I still don’t understand this motivation concept. I would prefer to tell the truth and trust in God. I hate to pretend to be all sappy and gung-ho just so others can see, while I feel the opposite inside. For our smoking, we had to run from our tent to the sandbags over and over again. For some reason, I was again the weakest link. I was trying to do my best, but everyone, even the fatter ones (sorry), run faster than me. I don’t understand this. It seems like everyone is better and stronger than me. They learn faster, and are quicker than me. I feel so stupid, dull, and weak. Completely useless. Again, I had to pretend I’m about to fall out, so they could let me drink water, while everyone else is still getting smoked. Justice is simply not fair in AIT. You could get blown up for just a little thing. My squad leader told our class to mop and wax our rooms. To me, it isn’t easy. Even getting the equipment to wax the floors is hard. I tried, I did the best I could, but due to my fatigue, and my roommate is getting chaptered out, so he can’t help me, I didn’t make the deadline. Then there was a time when I was playing my guitar singing Christian songs right before weapons draw. I just had to pray, I had to sing praises to God, I have to have some devotion time with him before I continue my job. I thought I was on time, but because I didn’t come early like everyone else (they were all looking for me), I got hammered. At first, I thought I might receive some mercy from the sergeant doing the weapons draw, since he was a deacon so I thought he would understand my needs and grant me mercy. Instead, he was merciless and made me write a thousand word essay. That wasn’t too bad, since in basic, I had to do a three-thousand one, but add that to my squad leader’s demands to wax the floors, and I’m done. Then, the one day I forgot to bring my ID card (forgot due to shower), our battery had a urinalysis. Everyone is required to bring one, so I got in trouble again. These three strikes led my squad leader to give me an Article 15 (the mother of all punishments), on top of all the punishments I am getting. Oh, and by the way, my weekends suck too. Since I wasn’t strong enough (it’s sad that the military looks at the legs of a horse rather than at the heart), I was only given an Amber 1800 pass, which means I only have a few hours of free time rather than a whole days worth. Wow, so article 15 for three incidents. I was scared and depressed. I missed her last deadline to wax the floors because I was having diarrhea, but I can’t really use that as a reason. Everything I say will be taken as an “excuse.” Shortly after that, I had a fever. I am condemned, because all these charges on paper are true. But you know what? I still managed to graduate with my class, and I heard later that my article 15 was canceled. I was just about to do something desperate if that wasn’t taken off. Having an article 15 means either having extra duty, which means even more work and less sleep, or they take away my pay, or both. I would rather have them take away my pay; money means nothing to me at that stage. Praise God, that I called to him, and he answered me. He is surely my mediator.
It was not until when I got to my unit that I finally learned to be longsuffering, to endure, to be patient. Before I learned this, I tend to respond much more rashly and without much wisdom. Now, I finally learned to endure pain, suffering, and shame. Of course my capacity is still limited, but God always finds a way for me. It seems when I was just about to do something desperate, things change. Even the times when I get angry at life and God, when I choose to sin, he still loves me and still protects me. Of course, I am still weak. Weak physically and mentally (I’m a slow learner), but with God, I can survive.
I apologize for any English mistakes in my writing, since I wrote all this in about an hour. And I wrote this at night, since I am best at night. I wrote many notes on facebook that I deleted, and some talked about my experiences during BCT and the Army. I’m still thinking about re-posting it, or re-deleting it, since it’s so embarrassing. But I’m writing this so others can know more about me, if they want to know, that is, and also because the truth will set me free.
I also know that there are people who will embarrass or reject me. That is the reason why Facebook was so discouraging to me, then again, I don’t feel like talking to my old friends, so why should they? Be prepared, I am not going on facebook for another few weeks due to this note.
I also talked to my education counselor recently. I hope I can get in Mid-America Christian University with a major in Christian Ministries and also one in math. I was so happy to find a university that offers both Bible studies and math and a university that is part of the military agreement. I failed college once, but now, I am getting another chance. This time, I am not under law (admission requirements, GPA, etc), but under grace (simply being in the Army).
PS: I wrote this a long time ago and I feel it’s missing a few parts. When I have the time, I will go back and revise it. God bless you!