2017.2.12: MDWG / To Try

2017.2.12: MDWG / To Try

≈ 10:30pm

A good habit is to write. Writing is better than memory because while memories fade, what is written, assuming it is not destroyed, remains. Or at least, it lasts a lot longer than memory.

I could write many things today. Even in the times when I don’t feel like writing, I, deep inside, can still find something to write. To write is a gift, to type is a gift. Do not take anything for granted. Do not take your freedom, Steven, for granted.

I read somewhere that if I talk to people, to girls especially, to talk more deeply. Instead of saying “how is your day” and superficial stuff like that, why not ask deeper questions or statements like “What are your future plans,” or “What are three values that are most important to you?” Wow, like the technology tree in Master of Orion, we need to look for advice from others and especially from God to live a fuller life. Actually scratch that. The most perfect way, I still believe, is to get advice only from God and His Word. He will give you divine revelation, either through Him or representatives of Him. But, failing that, the next best is to be open to advice, to learn, to gain wisdom, but with the lens of God and His Word.

I bombed my first Calculus exam today. Shell methods, wash method, area between two curves, length of an arctangent curve, work and force, centroids, moments of mass, etc. It seems like in almost every problem it throws a curve ball at me. One of those problems as I tell people, can take me, worse case more than an hour to finish (and I can still get it wrong), on average maybe half an hour to 45 minutes, or at best, 15 minutes. But if I rush, then I don’t really learn. But if I take my time, my other subjects suffer. It’s like the war fronts in World War II. If I focus on North Africa, I may not have enough resources in the Pacific Front. But the thing with Calculus is, it seems no matter how much time and resources I throw at it, it still isn’t enough. I tried, I really tried. However, it is very difficult. So much new material. So much review of material I should have learned but forgot. It’s been more than a year since I look my last Calculus class, Calculus I. Although I got an A in that class, I’ll be happy to just get a C and move on with my major. You know, and I’m trying not to let this get to me, but sometimes, facing failure and certain defeat even in the midst of effort, I sometimes tell myself that I’m not smart enough for Computer Science. But I know, deep inside, that time is more of a factor. That and resources. If I have people who can help me, tutor me, my own private tutor, heh, that would be awesome, I would do better. But still, I have many help. I know computers, I know where to find and get help, and to get help ethically. I think the biggest issue, and yes, I have been doing better with discipline and my time, but it’s still not enough but I’m still working on it, is discipline. Well, if you look deeper, it’s not really discipline but endurance. If you look then deeper, it’s not just endurance but my spirit. Many times, I get discouraged in life events. I feel like I’m fighting without hope. But who is my hope? My hope comes from God. Do not put your trust in princes, who cannot save, but put your hope in God. God is the only reason why I’m still fighting. There is a difference between trying and still failing and failing and not trying. People say results is all that counts. The Bible says it’s by a person’s fruits that their actions be known, that that fruit can also be interpreted as result. However, I believe trying and effort are also fruits. God does see the heart, and there is a difference between someone who picks up a sword to fight (for love, from that Bethel song We Dance ) but loses, to someone who doesn’t even try and loses. What I believe is not the results. Results depress people. Results forces people to compare against another. Brother against brother. People and society shouldn’t look at results but at the heart, at the efforts, at the tryings, at the intentions. Results are like the tip of an iceberg, like a tree, but it is a product of effort, of perseverance, of, to me, trusting in God. For me, and probably for the rest of my life, I don’t measure myself by results. If you measure yourself by results than many battles can become unwinnable. But I base myself on the inner battles, in whether I tried and how much I tried, such as did I try my best? I base it on my effort. Even if I do my best and lose, if I have truly done my best, or I can lower the standard, and say just try but genuinely try, then I don’t count as a loss. There are many examples but God sees the heart. The heart is deceitful, yes, God sees that, but God also sees people’s efforts, their attempts, their tryings. Their attempts to worship God, their attempts to love God, to please Him. Even if they fail later, as long as they don’t give up and keep trying, and increase their efforts, and you will get better, and repent, …. What I want to say is this. That though this world is based on outward appearances, on results, we should base ourselves not on results, which we can’t always control, but on our efforts. If you try nothing and still win, then you’re lucky…. I haven’t wrote so long. My sword is still rusty. You see, but I still try. If I have given up, I would not have written anymore. This blog, this discovery is a product of my efforts of my tryings. Yes, in the beginning, it’s embarrassing, I made mistakes, but as I kept trying, genuinely trying, it gets better.

Sometimes God gives us unwinnable situations like in the case of Job to test us. In that scenario, results don’t matter. People, Job’s friends look at the results, they look at his predicament, his remaining wealth, family, children, wife, and they call him a failure. But Job didn’t look at the results. He knew in his heart that he tried, he tried, maybe his best, genuinely, to please God. So he tried to plead his case with his friends and God. And he was proven right.

I can write about how efforts and tryings correlate to better results, but that’s not my point. My point is even in the most hopeless of situations, of scenarios, as long as you try your best in that given time, which definitely includes God, maybe only Him, then, in that time frame, you won.

When I was feeling depressed and sad about the hopeless battle called my Calculus test, a word came to me and it said “Even if it’s a defeat on paper, it’s a victory in the heart.” Even if it seems I’m struggling in all my classes, which is pretty true, I resolved, already resolved, to try, regardless of the results, regardless if I get a F. Why should I still try? Because even if it’s a defeat on paper, it’s a victory in the heart.

I’m struggling with my life right now. I am constantly attacked but I still try to seek God and I still try to try to increase my try for God. That, I think, is what matters.

11/20/2013:

11/20/2013:

S: 11:18pm
E: 1:20pm

Maybe I should write every day, at least short pieces. Perhaps writing daily will help me in my life. Right now, my mind is kind of in jumbo. I’m thinking so many things and forgetting so many at the same time. I feel disorganized right now, probably the worse time for me to write. :(

Maybe one of the best forms of writing is to write uninhibited. There are exceptions, and maybe a balance to that approach, of course, so wisdom will dictate when to use them. Maybe I should change the tone to myself. I feel I can write so much easier. But, if I write to myself, I’ll be too afraid to post it for everyone to see. So my tone will still be for others, maybe a compromise of both. I’m writing so many maybes, maybe that’s because there’s so much exceptions and maybes in life and we need God’s wisdom to sort it out.

One thing that is bothering me quite a bit is my eye. No, it’s not damaged or anything, so don’t feel sorry for me. Rather, I feel my eye is getting more tired easily. I attribute that to spending too much time in front of a computer. That is one reason why I started my weekly (or I hope it to be) fast. I haven’t fasted for a long time so the fast yesterday was a very lively experience. No, I didn’t feel much hunger pains, rather, I feel like an electric sensation going through my arms and an altered state of awareness, a little like feverish, mentally. I do feel, however, that my body is recovering itself. All those dead cells being replaced. My body restoring balance. Not to mention I save a seventh out of my food budget. Well, not quite, but more like 6.5. My one-day fast was actually closer to a 30-hour fast (no, not the famine although that was a good experience). To adjust to my computer-heavy eyeload, I would take breaks and use deep breathing to rest my eyes. But I feel my eye is getting worse (not vision-wise, stamina) hence the fast. I also decided to fast as a time to grow closer to God, to realize that “man does not live on bread alone but on the every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

I messed up yesterday, I sinned against God, but I know that as Christians, we will never be perfect in this life. I went to the “Rising Our Voices” event at Sunshine Community Center on Friday with my La Fe Intervarsity Christian Fellowship group (whew, long name) and the youth pastor there said those words. Christians are not perfect but forgiven but as Christians, we all try to be like the Heavenly Father, who is perfect. We will finally reach our goal once Christ comes again and gives us new bodies. And my eye got much better thanks to the fast. I know, I’m a bit disorganized right now.

I hate it how timeliness is almost everything. If I’m talking to a person and then I forgot to mention an important word or phrase, then it’s almost always too late to add it back and have the same effect. I get that a lot when I was in the Army. I would be so afraid talking to some people that I wasn’t able to express myself. Or, and I just thought of this, sometimes I would think of something that is cool or ingenious to say in class but I was too afraid or too worried about the consequences that I let the opportunity pass. Then, in hindsight, I should have said it. Maybe, for me, if I reach the point of debating to myself whether I should say something or not, I should say it. My filter is already very layered, like the clinical trials in medicine.

Goodness, I do have quite a few things to say, and that is because this is the first of my many (hopefully) daily or at least semi-daily discoveries (blog). So I got the Positive Qualities chart from Hanna’s Herb Shop and it is great! I love it! I took a picture of the chart and I’m going to share it on Facebook and my blog very soon. One of the qualities I am focusing on right now is “high-minded.” Many times, I find that I’m focusing on low things, my mind sometimes gets in the gutter, ahem. I want to focus on things that are, according to Philippians 4:8, pure, lovely, admirable, or excellent. Some of the traits, I’m still evaluating myself so please don’t judge me :) , I already have or have experienced. Traits such as enduring, frugal, careful, reflective, precious, childlike, among others. But the mass majority, I lack, and some I never even heard about. But, it’s okay. What matters is the journey. Which brings me to my next point (thank God I remembered).

One thing I learned, and thanks to other people’s contributions, is not to see life as goals. If I don’t get an A I’m a loser. If I don’t make this interview then I suck. If I can’t get into my Social Work program than life has no meaning. If we see life from a goal or external perspective, we will tend to give up more easily if life doesn’t go our way. I was reading an article two weeks ago on Wall Street Journal about the reason why the author got this far in business is because he had a “systems” approach as opposed to what I call a goal approach. Life gave him many setbacks, he made many mistakes, but he still chose to keep going. What gave him the strength to keep going was in his approach. He doesn’t place a high emphasis on winning or losing but on effort, on enduring, on not giving up. I call it the journey approach. I want to see life and my dreams and strivings as a journey not as a win-or-lose goal. I didn’t get the job I want. Not a big deal. What matters is I’m on my journey. Storms may come, my feet may get muddy, I may even take steps back or get lost, but as long as I’m on my journey, as long as I’m on my path, that’s what counts. It’s okay if I can’t become a lawyer and fight for human rights. It’s okay if I can’t have a high-paying job. It’s ok. I just need to keep in the journey or path that God has given me. Great things will come naturally if I just focus on my journey.

21 Cleric

I call my journey the Paladin’s path. I think it should be the cleric’s path. If you ever played dungeons-and-dragon’s type games or got really into the Lord of the Rings, you will know what I mean. Actually, if you just like medieval RPG-type games, you will know what I mean. When I was in the Army, I wanted to be like a Paladin. A paladin uses physically as well as spiritual strength to fight against evil. Back then, it sounds fitting for me. I was more extroverted, I was around people a lot more. But now, I feel like being a paladin is no longer a perfect fit. A paladin is 50% spiritual and 50% physical. I’m not that physical. Instead, I’m more like a cleric (75% spiritual/magical and 25% physical or melee). I prefer to spend more time on God than with people or with this world. I still want to be with people and lead them gently to Christ, hence the 25% physical, but I feel more comfortable with God. I’m not as spiritual as a priest, or for non-faith terms, a mage, who is 100% spiritual/magical. As a cleric, I’m more behind-the-scenes support but I can still fight if I chose to. Ok, I’m talking in codes but if you like RPG games, you will know what I mean.  P.S. The clerics in the above picture should have less armor and smaller weapons and one hand holding the Bible  :)

Gosh, so many status updates. No wonder I chose to have a blog instead of writing tons of Facebook updates. Lol, just kidding. I started writing a journal since 7th grade because I want to be more in-tune with myself and because I feel it will hold some significance in the future.

I am also looking for ways to earn more money. It’s hard. I tried to find ways in the past but I always reached a roadblock. Oh you can fill out surveys. I tried that and more often than not, it’s a gimmick or completely not worth my time. I have spent half an hour just trying to qualify for a survey only to be rejected. Wow, how wonderful is that. I was forced to lie and even then, many times, the agency won’t reward you the survey credit. It’s a mess. Second, I can sell stuff. But I don’t have much stuff to sell. Well, I do have some, but I don’t know the procedures or how to sell them on eBay. I’m going to find out. Third, I can have my own vegetable garden or make stuff! But the problem is I’m renting my room and there’s not much stuff I can make. I could learn sewing but is it worth the time to make something that could be sold at Wal-Mart for $5? I am planning to have a little fruit orchard or a vegetable garden once I own a house. And I prefer to move to a place where there is plenty of annual rainfall. Then, I can also install a rainwater collection system. Ok, I’m getting off-topic. Bottom line is, there’s not a lot of ways to make money besides working. Oh and I could invest, but that’s for the long-term. I want money now.

Recently, in the past few days, I gained more of an insight in making money off-hand. I could sell my blood plasma. El Paso has a plasma center very close to where I live. I could get, if the prices are still current, about $30 per donation and I can donate twice a week. That’s $60 a week or, being optimistic, $240 a month. Pretty good deal. I do need to learn how to see stuff on eBay. The part I’m most confused in is when a customer places an order. What do I do next? Do I just get a box, write the customer’s mailing address, and ship it from a local post office? A church family gave me a box of Super Nintendo games and I’m thinking about selling them. I feel bad about selling those because it has sentimental value. I also could, ok don’t hate me, sell my sperm at a sperm bank. When it is time for me to masturbate, I will not use any of their supplementary materials because I don’t want to sin against God. However, the problem with that is I may not qualify. In general and to be stereotypical, I need to be White, six-feet tall, and a traceable family history going back to at least four generations. Well, I could give it a try, but I’m not optimistic.

I want to end my post about God. What I really need to do, and what I would ideally want to do if I have the discipline, is just to talk to God. That is the best use of my (and I daresay our) time. I do find that everything (good) comes from God. Being with God gives me peace, direction, purpose, and inspiration, and wisdom. If I can just spend time with God all the days of my life, then everything will be ok. It is the life to come that counts. One of the values I am focusing on, as I wrote earlier, is “high-minded.” I don’t want to waste my time or focus on things that are worthless, so, I spent my time on productive things. However, the things I switched to productively doesn’t really focus on God. I just shifted gear to how to make more money, interesting information that might be useful, and real-world life learning. The chief of high-minded is in the spirit. I should also be focusing more time on spiritual things. That is partly why I feel so disorganized and random. I need to seek God first and then everything else.

Ok, this is another one of my longest blog/discovery/journal pieces I have written in a while, at 2,085 words and counting. To end this blog, I want to share a song that gave me motivation. “They can try to deny what’s inside of me / But there is more, can’t ignore all the things unseen.” I know that it is God who helped me in my life and without Him, I would die. The secular world can call this “God” by other names, such as wishful thinking, positive thinking, stress-displacement, empowerment, inner-strength (strange cause I feel I got none), placebo effect, etc, but I know that it is God’s spiritual power that gave the strength and power to live life. Without God, I would had broken down when times are hard. Instead, I pray and I felt strength. It’s hard to explain it. I know God is real because I’ve experienced Him working in my life.

8/23/2013: Wei le Ai (Because of Love)

8/23/2013: Wei le Ai (Because of Love)

S: 12:12am
E: 1:01am

So to continue my written entry through typing, I want to ask myself a question, a obvious question. Why am I looking for a girlfriend? Because I need one. Why do I need one? Because a girlfriend, a soulmate gives me companionship. She can satisify me soulically, physically, mentally, and probably spiritually, if we worship and devote to God together.

I feel like I am cursed. I feel like I am cursed by God and scorned by men. I have the mark of Cain. I don’t understand why? I eagerly try to follow God and this is where it has brought me. Of course I mess up; of course I fail, but I always try to get back up on my feet. Being generous has given me poverty. Trying to love others has given me hate. I told myself that if other people were to love me half as much as I loved them, I would be like a hero. I would had no problems. Trying to follow God has given me suffering. But, you know, the funny thing is I’m still going to love God. Despite all this pain and conceived disadvantages, I’m still going to follow Him. Why? Because I know He is real and I know He has helped me before. I experienced Him in the Army. Despite my fallen state, despite my church-less state, I’m still going to be loyal to Him. I left my church because I felt angry at God for not helping me and giving me support. I want to serve my church; I want to serve Him, not for me but for His Glory. But, I wasn’t given the opportunity, and when opportunity does come, He did not give me the help and the resources to capitalize on the opportunity. I tried, I asked God for help. I feel, deep inside, that I can do more, so much more, if only I have the right kind of support and love. I am like a plant who cannot reach its full potential because it does not receive the right amount of nutrients. I tried to make them myself. I tried to synthize them. I tried to ask God for them. But, in the end, it wasn’t enough.

Why? Why is it that I don’t have a girlfriend? I am willing to die for her, just as Christ died on the cross for us. I am willing to give everything I have, my life, I am willing to change myself for her. I would serve her, of course, we would serve God first. I am willing to give so much love, to do so much if only, if only someone could be my girlfriend, my soulmate, my future wife.

What does it take? Do I need to bring a gun to her head and say “be my girlfriend” for her to be my girlfriend? I have tried for so long and I don’t know what to do. I hate to do evil but I feel that if no one loves me and cares about me, then I would rather just go out with a bang. I would excute my evil Samson Option. If I cannot love them and serve them even though I wanted to, then I will have no choice but to do evil. I want to teach them a lesson of what lack of love can do to a person. Look at Frankenstein. He was just a gentle and kind beast. But everyone in the story hated him and ran away from him. He travelled everywhere to find love but found none. He was forced to kill to protect himself. I feel like people are treating me like Frankenstein. I love people; I am willing to die for them, if only they love and care about me. If only a girl can share her life with me. Adam’s first human contact was not with another man, but with his future wife.

It is because of love that I chose to be a social worker. It is because of love that I volunteered for my church. It is because of love that I decided to push myself to be a better person. But if all my efforts are in vain, to love and be loved, then, like Frankenstein, I will have no choice but to do evil to survive. But that is as a last resort. I want to do good, not evil. And whatever I do, I know God will be my ultimate judge.

Coming back from Los Angeles, I brought most of my old journals with me. And a key theme, a key element of my entries is my desperation to find a girlfriend. What I am feeling then, back in 2006, back in 2003, is what I am also feeling now.

I don’t want to improve myself because no one loves me (unconditional love has much greater weight). I don’t want to improve myself just for the sake of self. I want to improve myself for myself so I can help others. But if I cannot help others because I don’t receive enough love, then life would be horrible for me. I would rather not live. I would have no motivation to live life. The reason why I’m playing so much computer games is because in those games, I can contribute, I can help. I am able to use my full potential to help others in that game. In Caesar 3, I am able to build my city so it can prosper and make others happy. In Battle Conquest, I fight the good side so I can push back the Armies of Darkness. I gain satisfaction from them because I am contributing something. If I cannot contribute good in this world then I would have to contribute evil. But I don’t want to so I must go out with a bang. I must end my life and probably the life of others so this world may learn what a lack of love can do to a person, to a person who actually wants to give the opposite.

And I feel, after writing this, that some girl might feel pity on me and may want to marry me. But I don’t want a girl to love me based on pity. My mom told me, before she divorced my dad, that she married him partly because she felt sorry for him. But that was a big mistake. I want a girl to love me, to marry me because she loves God and loves the way I am.

I am thinking of a Chinese Christian song that I learned from my church choir. I can’t write Chinese and I don’t know all the lyrics but here it is:

Wei le ai, ta lai dao shi xie shang (Because of love, He came to earth)

Wei le ai, ta bei ding shi zi jia (Because of love, He was nailed on the Cross)
Ta di ai, shi shi jie you pang wong. (His love, gave this world hope)

And it’s true. Because of God’s love, I have hope.

8/8-9/2013: Let It Go

8/8-9/2013: Let It Go

S: 11:42pm
E: 12:31am

I have so much to write, I have so little to write. I don’t know what to write about. Life right now feels surreal. I am now alone all the time. I try. I try so hard to be with people, to love God, to do and be my version of the Spiritual Man according to Watchman Nee. However, I try, even with God, and failed. Anna told me something that cheered and gave me hope. She told me to stop trying. “In other words,” Anna wrote, “stop fighting, let GOD FIGHT FOR YOU.” Later, she texted, “Steven.. Just let go.” I replied, “Ok, I will try to let go and just depend on God. thanks.” Maybe the key to victory and success is not really to try, because man is weak, but to “just let go” and let God take over. I knew that concept before and I applied it in the Army. Somehow, I forgot. The Bible has many instances where God just told Israel to stand and watch. He will do the battle for them. But, there are other instances where man tried and, due to their efforts, they won. I’m thinking of Jonathan’s courageous charge that changed the tide of a battle. There are times when all the Israelites were asked are to sing, or to just take up battle positions, or to just stay and watch and let God do the fighting.

At least I’m putting some of my time into good use. Yesterday, I renewed my Texas Vehicle Inspection sticker, and studied the THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment) because I’m thinking of becoming a teacher. I also took advantage of the Valore Books offer of buy or rent three books and get the fourth for free. I went to the UTEP bookstore website and found I only needed three books. So, I choose the fourth book of my choice. I chose the ASWB Bachelor’s Study Guide so I can get a head-start on preparing for the social work examination. It is the test that matters. I was going to get a book on military strategy or an introductory updated book on Social Work but I reasoned that, for the military strategy, I already have a book about it, and knowledge concerning Social Work tends to be updated frequently. If I buy the introductory book, it may be obsolete in a decade.

Today, my main mission is to spend time with God and to organize. I did more organizing than God. I cleared my old mail and receipts. I put things back where they belonged. I placed my old schoolwork from my summer classes into archives and got ready, at least on paper, for the Fall semester. A remarkable thing is I did all of them without really trying. I wanted to do them so I just did them. Granted, I also played a lot of games on the side but I feel it is a big improvement than me trying to get things done. Hmm, I remember the song by Rascal Flatts “When you change the way you look at things / the things you look at change.” I wanted to worship God and to clean my life up so I did it without really trying. My divisions (army) are tired and weak. They cannot try anymore. I already exhausted its strength. Oh and I glued my car side-mirror back on.

Tomorrow, I may further organize my room and go to McDonalds to study the THEA. I want to do that. I want to go to McDonalds so I can study and be with people and enjoy the food. Ever since McDonalds have the $1 McDouble promotion, I realized that the restaurant has a dollar menu! I can buy any burger and drink for only $1, plus tax. Compared to buying my own burger patties, which at Albersons cost $1 for 1 when it’s on sale, it is a good deal. I not only get the patty but the bun, the vegetable, the condiments, and it’s already cooked and prepared for $1. McDonalds might be my new military DFAC (dining facility). And they got Wi-Fi, too, and I haven’t tried it yet. And it’s convenient, only a short drive from my flat. I could walk, like I did to Don Haskins Center for Danny’s graduation, but I’m lazy. Well, maybe I should walk. I could use the PT (physical exercise).

Danny and Shawna’s family has been calling me regularly but I always had my phone on silent. Well, they stopped calling me today, but still. I told myself that if I am going to give up, I will at least walk up to them and give them a chance. I think they are one of the families that love me. My mail goes to their place although not anymore. I changed everything to be sent to my residence address now. I know my landlord told me before that it could be dangerous to send mail here because people in my area may steal them but I, after much bitter thinking last week, decided that the alternative is better. Back then, I want to avoid them. I don’t want to walk up to the front door and see them just so I can get my mail. I already did my best with God and I failed. Why should I be with people again? Why should I try again? I’m just going to fail again, I reasoned.

Danny probably would have never thought I would leave. Before, I wanted to help him on his college applications. But when I had the time and was available, Danny told me he’s busy, that he has to “work.” I wondered to myself if their family is too busy to prepare Danny for college, then they are probably busy at the wrong things. I still want to help him; I still want to help everyone, including my church. But, I can’t go back, not yet. It is too painful. Failing or failure especially when I gave me weak little all with God is too traumatizing. I will continue to follow Anna’s advice to “Just let go” and let God “FIGHT FOR YOU.”

Speaking of Anna, I texted her yesterday that either I or her can call each other in the afternoon and I should have called her. I thought the advice she gave me is enough. Well, it probably is, but one thing I learned in the Army is to communicate and understand, even if the communication is weak, because it is better than nothing. With nothing, someone can come and influence things and make it much harder for me. I’ll try to call her again today (its past midnight). I don’t care if I can’t perform at 100% or even 50% of my best. As long as I have a lifeline with her, that is what matters.

PS: And to give a more complete picture (since I feel I am being more split-minded than before), what if I don’t want to talk to her? What if I don’t feel like talking to her when the time comes? Should I still talk to her? Should I *try* to talk to her? Well, a promise, if I told her I will call, is a promise, so regardless of how I feel, I should still call her. It’s like I may not feel like going to class but I have to so I do the best I can to make adjustments and do it. Actually, it’s not really a promise. I made that sentence to her a question mark. I might call her or she might call me. I can’t make promises anymore. I told myself that. Look at all the promises I made to God. “My best resolves I only break.” My credit rating (spiritually) is too low for me to make any more promises. When I talk to God, I no longer make any promises, except for emergencies. Instead, I tell Him that I will try or for Him to change me and/or make me do what I said.

8/1/2013: My Story with God

8/1/2013: My Story with God

S: 12:42am
E: 2:12am

I haven’t written a blog in a long time. Today, I decided to read a few of my “subscriptions” which includes, cutefully, “Little Notes,” “Little Reflections,” and “The Trees will Clap.” I named my blog “Little Dream” because that is the original name for this blog. I have a dream, a little dream for this world.

I need to go to sleep. Tomorrow is the last day of class! I did not do my best in the class because I’m depressed, but I did fight every battle. I told myself that I don’t care if my work is horrible, what matters is I’m going to give every required assignment a try.

What I want to write is why I’m not going to church anymore. It pains me. I love my church, I love God, I love my youth group, but I have at least three reasons why I’m going to go home.

First, and in no particular order, if I cannot love my church fully, I would rather not love them at all. I know that if I love them fully, I will be rejected, or so my intelligence says. Being able to love them only a little bit, having limits to my love would induce suffering for me. I have like a “all-or-nothing” or “go big or go home” mentality. When I was still going to church, I had great plans. I want to eat with my youth group, talk to them, share with them, but I wasn’t able to. They were not receptive. It hurts me that I can only do so little. If I cannot reach my full potential, I would rather go somewhere else where I can. I know recently, my youth group is having weekly fellowship but I feel, through the pain, that starting it now is too late.

Second, I did my “best with God and failed.” It’s one thing to do my best and fail. I can just talk to God for forgiveness and strength. It’s another to do my best while asking God and still fail. I feel horrible. I feel betrayed. I feel my current life is just too hard. Going to church, trying, makes my life harder. I would rather stay home and love God privately. I think of the song “Good-bye” sung by Emily Bond and it conveys how I feel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYWGYuypozU). Lord, I’ve been travelling for so long and seems like I’m always saying so long so long. My life before the Army was hard. Army life was hard. Post-army life is hard. I’m only able to be alive thanks to God but continuing on the fight is just so hard. Unlike most people, I am different. I suck in this world. I don’t want to go into the details of why. You can read my other blogs for that. :) But I try, sometimes I do my best to rectify my weaknesses, to little anvil. I am still weak, I still suck. But it’s okay. If life is too hard, if life is too difficult for me, I have an exit strategy.

Third, people don’t trust and love me completely. To give an example, I have been going to my church for more than two years and yet, despite my effort to love, I still feel like not everyone there loves me. Ok, I know not everyone has to love me, but I feel that people there could love me more. I feel they only love me because of what I can contribute. I do the church powerpoint and sometimes I wash dishes. They only love me because of that. And, they love selectively. There are church members who just don’t talk to me and, to me, seem like they are avoiding me. Yet, when I stopped going, then they start to text me or act concerned. I find it kind of funny at this hypocritical behavior. When I was with them, they normally don’t talk to me, but when I am gone, all of sudden, they miss me. Why don’t they talk to me when I was with them? I feel I am at least half-right to say that they only care about money. If I have money, then I would be courted. I know that people there will treat me differently. I am at least half-right because America is a capitalist society. Rights and freedoms, if they are given out, are doled to those in the upper socio-economic classes first. One reason why my dad is so critical of going to church is because of this reason. “Money cannot buy everything” but I feel like, with wisdom, money could buy everything. Heck, in the Bible, we can use our wealth to gain treasures in heaven (Luke 16:9). So, I’m not going to church again until my annual income is at least $40,000. $50,000 would be better. Then people will respect me. Then people will love me. If I can’t reach it without the former, then I’ll leave this world because life will be too hard. [added later] And to add, I my church cannot help me completely. If I were to tell them all my issues and problems, they would probably reject me. They won’t be able to help me. I know this based on my experience with my church. I remember a time when a homeless woman came to our church. She lugged around a small red wagon with her “stuff” which are in suitcases. I chose to love her and to welcome her because I felt that is the right thing to do and I have a heart of love. During lunch that week, I did not sit with my youth group nor with church adults, but I sat with her and listened. I was the only one who sat next her. This is the kind of unconditional love I want from people. I remember Marisa and how she would greet and love people who are new. Unforuntantly, my love was not perfect. Part of me wished I didn’t get so involved with her because I saw her as a burden. Luckily, that week was my last week before going to LA to visit my dad. I told her that and said she will see me again in two months if she comes back to our church.

Some people may read this and call me “weak.” But, I challenge you that if you were in my shoes and if you were to experience what I have to endure, most will have probably given up long ago. In basic training, I was telling a soldier in public about very special problems and he told me to curse God. “[Your] Life sucks,” he said, “Why are you even being with God?” He told me he wouldn’t live my life. I have to concede though. I am not as strong as those people who live on the streets. If I have to live on the streets, if I have to endure those conditions, then I would rather die. Life would be pain and hell. When I pass by them begging on the streets I think about their inner strength. What gives them strength? How do they endure this? Why don’t they just die and be at peace? God will be the judge.

So these days, I am relaxing and doing what I want. I am trying to do what makes me happy. I am playing computer games and fulfilling my desires. But, I know it is second-rate. However, it is the best way that I can think of. I don’t want to try in something that will bring me pain. I don’t want to try in something that I can’t succeed in. I want to succeed in that. I want to be with my church but I can’t and therefore don’t want to because I already tried my best with God and failed. If I cannot be completely loving and caring, then I will be completely aloof. I will be distant and business-like. Because to be in the middle will bring me pain.

So, I am still going to continue in my Social Work program because I already made that choice. Whether I succeed or not, I don’t care. I’m just going to do my best because that is a battle I have to fight. If my best is not enough, then I have other plans.

I remember that many times, in the Army, I have come this point before, many times. But every time I’ve been here, God always finds a way to help me. I’m thinking this time, it may be different. But, it may not. I was going to give a testimony to my church and my introduction starts with this: “I told myself in the Army that I just want two things from God. For God to keep me alive and that I can always talk to Him anytime peacefully because I figured that if I can just talk to God, then I can have everything.” Maybe Satan won. Like in the Book of Adam and Eve, Satan buried the two figs that God gave them. Yet, God made changed those two figs into two fig trees. I am a child of Seth and even though, sadly, almost all of them went down to sin with the sons of Cain, I will still do my best to love God. It’s a tragedy. When they left the holy mountain to the sons of Cain, they could not go back up again. I wondered to myself what could they do to be saved? I am like one of them, a child of Seth, who went down to sin and darkness. But, instead of continuing in my sin like what the children of Seth did, I will separate myself from them and try to find others like me who want to seek God’s mercy again. Perhaps He will spare those children and maybe the Flood would not have happened.

It’s too late now, it’s too painful, I’ve tried (I think with God) and failed. I don’t want to go to church anymore until I have money because if I do, then people will respect and love me. I know this world is messed up. I can see it, but there’s nothing I can do to change it. Well, the only thing I think I can do, and the most important thing any Christian can do, is to pray. My whole life has been a failure and a story of God’s mercy on me. But it is too painful. I don’t want to suffer anymore. I want to say good-bye because I have been travelling for so long. To survive, I’m going to go back to my natural self, before the Army. I’m going to be super introverted and just seek God alone. I’m going to have a cold, distant shell to people because it will be too painful otherwise. I find joy in singing. I love to sing. I’m glad I have more than a thousand Christian songs in English, Chinese, and Spanish and when I sing those songs, I find joy, I find happiness, I find hope. So when I feel alone, I would sing. It’s too painful to go back, it’s too painful to try again. Partly it’s my fault and partly it’s their fault.

But I will try to continue to write my discoveries. I did that before the Army, too. My story will always be my “story with God.”

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.

Happenings and my “best-case scenario”

3/27/2013: Happenings and my “best-case scenario”

S: 9:32pm
E: 10:03pm

Most often than not, what I strive for, which is my “best-case scenario” actually comes close to a worse-case scenario. At least a lot of it is my fault. I sleep so late that I don’t have any energy for any extracurricular activities, like going to Intervarsity (my Christian club). I had a big debate with myself on whether I should go. After weighing the pros and cons, I realized I wouldn’t be able to do much if I am so tired so I decided to sleep instead. It is then that I made a best-case scenario of what I can do today. My best-case scenario has three main criterias: Spending time with God, not playing any “junk” games (brain-training games are OK), and being efficient. I use a countdown timer to help me manage my time and I will share it on Facebook soon. In the beginning, I am doing well. I rested, did my laundry, and took a shower. But after that, it went downhill. To put this in a macro perspective, many times, the best-laid plans of men fall short.

Well, at least it is much better that I write my discovery now than near midnight. One of my undeclared goals is to try to write an entry every day and then, if it is public enough to share, to share the entry I wrote the day before.

Today, by most accounts, should be a joyous day. As I was going to my Workplace Writing class, one of my classmates stopped me. She also applied for the social work program and she asked if I went to advising.

I applied for the UTEP Social Work program and, according to their orientation; I should be receiving a response during my spring break. However, I wasn’t able to collect my mail so I was left in the dark. I told my classmates before, “I hope this won’t ruin my spring break!”

She told me she saw my name on the list and that today is the day for our advising and it ends at 12pm. The time she told me was 11:30am. I thanked her and ran to the room to be advised. I’m happy to say that I got conditionally accepted to the Social Work program! I’m conditionally accepted because I still have to pass my Spring and Summer classes. My advisor told me I “advocated yourself very well.” I hope I can do well in the program.

I know what I should be doing right now. I should be dancing, shouting, and praising God. But I’m not. Why? Because I feel I still have so many more struggles to go. I still have to pass my Spanish One and Two class and that class, to me, is like a five or six-credit hour course. Plus, I’ve changed significantly since I decided to be a social worker when I was still in the Army. It is still what I want to do but sometimes I feel my heart is growing cold and that my passion is dying. I am a person who lacks faith. I want to be like Jesus’ disciples and ask “Increase our faith!” I know my times are in God’s hands and it is still something I really want to do. I feel the odds are against me. I’m not very sociable but I have great problem-solving skills. In my social class, actually in all my classes, I always ask questions and give answers. But, whether I can connect with people and work with them remains to be seen. Even in the military I was relatively isolated. Aside from work, I just stay in my room, but I really want to help people! And, at times, I could be like a social butterfly. I don’t know; I’m weird. One thing, I mean probably the only thing, that helped me to be socially adapt is my relationship with God. I mostly always try to talk to Him. I probably would go crazy or, if you think I’m already crazy, crazier if I had no one to talk to. No, God is not a volleyball, He is the one that “fills my every longing / keeps my singing as I go.”

Poker: A Game of Probability | An Ace in My Hand

*Special English Edition*

1/24/2012:  Poker: A Game of Probability | An Ace in My Hand

This is probably taboo for me to share but once when I was in basic training at Ft. Sill, OK, a group of soldiers in my barracks started playing Texas hold’em.  It was night-time and the drill sergeants left to sleep.

I went to the group to watch them play.  I didn’t want to join because they are playing for real money.. or real candy.  The soldiers there were betting fives and cough drops.  Well, they pressured me to join because they threatened to call me a wuss and make fun of me in day-time if I don’t.  So I joined.  I had some cough drops so I used that as a buy-in.  The soldiers used them as poker chips.

In the beginning, I started to lose, but I began to relearn the game.  Before this time, I played it on Yahoo! but I was very bad.  Yet, a strange thing happened.  I was pressured to join and then to eventually to play for money.  It was a late night thing.  I put in $20 (I think, or is it ten?) and I began to play wisely.  If I have a good hand, I would make bets.  I would make fake facial expressions to help throw people off.  I would look at how other players play and watch them to get intelligence.  And then I started winning.  

I started winning hand after hand.  Of course, I didn’t win every hand, just the hands that count.  After a while I got $40 in winnings.  I tried to tell the soldiers that we should stop and call it a day.  Not only is it prohibited, I think, in the military, and especially during basic training, but I am also taking other people’s money and I don’t want negative repercussions in the future because of that.  

But the soldiers playing refused to give up.  They told me they “want to get my money back” so they continued to pay more and I.. continued to win more.  Throughout this whole time, I kept saying “lets cancel the game” and “I’ll give all your money back” because I was scared.  We were playing on a soldier’s bunk bed using flashlights because everybody else was asleep.  It is past midnight.  I had about $80 to my name when a soldier suddenly ran to us and said, wild-eyed, that a drill sergeant is coming.  All of us were shocked and we were all trying to put the cards away, throwing bunks and beds, and trying to run back to our areas pretending to be asleep.  

I thought I was going to be caught red-handed and, for a moment, I really thought so.  I realized I probably couldn’t buff pretending I was sleeping so I quickly got my folder out, some notebook papers with miscelleous writing on it, a pen, and pretended that I was writing a letter.  If the drill sergeant asks, I could just say I was writing a letter to my mom.  

Thanks to the shock, I got what I wanted.  I convinced the soldiers to cancel the game and I returned everybody’s money back.  It was a close call and it was the only time I played for real money.

I *probably* won’t play for real money again but recently, I started to play poker, too.  It’s all for free though, and for imaginary chips.  I feel I started to learn how to really play the game.
Sun Tzu once said that if you know yourself, you can expect to win at least half of the time.  I hope, my reading this article, that you can win at least half of the time.  “知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必殆.”

One tool that helped me a lot is a poker calculator.  If you are thinking about playing poker, I seriously suggest you get one.  I downloaded a free calculator in my computer and I use it all the time when I play poker.  Why should you get one?  Because having a calculator tells you your odds of winning given the hand you have, and the situation at the table.  I don’t have the time in-game to calculate every single card so I just do the basic: I calculate the two cards in my own hand.  After some experience, you will learn to see the cards on the table and form a general picture.

Yeah, you should probably fold this time.

Poker is a game of probability and, so far, the adage “go big or go home” rings true.  By using the calculator and thus knowing your odds and by knowing the various possible combinations and the likelihood of them plus the possibility of winning if those cards were to happen based on the cards already set on the table, the player can truly know him or herself.  Watching the World Series of Poker on YouTube is also a good way to gain some exposure.

Second, much harder and without complete infallibility, is the ability to know your opponent.  It takes time to know how your opponents play so I generally play defensive for the first couple of rounds to try to scope out my enemies.  Some players are aggressive and they bet every round.  That means, in some of the rounds, their hands are not good, and if they win more than they proportionally should, they are buffing on some of the rounds.  There are others that are just plain dumb and would go all-in just to make the game go faster.  Then, two or three other players would do the same and within a short period of time, the tournament just lost three people with a huge chip leader.  However, if that happens, there is still hope.  That chip leader is willing to take big risks so there is a chance of big rewards if you know yourself and stay true to it by not folding when the pressure gets hard.

A player can have the perfect starting hand and still lose.  That is why it is wise, generally, to bet in according to what you have.  If you have a good hand, be more aggressive, if a bad hand and the stakes are too high, then fold.  

If a player only bets the first round and checks the second, there is a 80% probability that their hand is not good and they are having doubts.  It’s all psychology.  If that’s the case, place a bet.  That player will likely fold.

If the player bets very high initially, there is a 80% chance that he or she has a good hand.  If you have a poor hand, then fold.  You can still win, but the odds are against you.

If the player bets very high initially and continues to bet high, there is a 80% chance that he or she got something or a combo they wanted.  But, if you know yourself and your cards and you believe it, you can play along (don’t raise it) and pretend to let your opponent know that you are unsure and have doubts.  Then that person may try to raise it higher to get you to fold but you prove them wrong.  In general, never raise or bet unless you have a good chance of getting a good set.

If the player bets high initially and then only checks afterwards, that player may be having doubts.  

After a while, when the opponent thinks they know how you play, you can change your playing style a little.  Start bluffing a little bit, especially when the opponent has doubts as described above.  I won many rounds with a poor hand because I made my enemy think that my hand is better than his or that somehow the cards on the table just gave me a jackpot.  Of course, your enemy might be thinking what you are thinking so it is all a chance.  You just have to know when to take that chance and be willing to go all-in if you do.

Application to Real Life:

Like in the game of poker, take calculated risks.  If you think something has a chance to be more good than bad, then take the risk, but be willing to back off if the situation changes.  One difference to real life is not to lie and to be honest because God sees.  If what I’m doing doesn’t turn out to be expected, is doing harm, or most likely won’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I would back down.  We can trick people but we can’t trick God and He is the judge.

Some days I have good hands and other days not so good, but, I find that the days that God is in it, somehow I have an ace in my hand.

9/20/2012: My Grieving Process

9/20/2012: My Grieving Process

{S: 10:05am}  I’m still in the grieving process because of my perceived developments at my church.  After some reflection and thought, I’ve decided that, most likely, I will still go to church.  However, I’m going to church not as brothers and sisters but as a mission field.  I’m going to church not to receive love and support but to give love and to give support.

I’m still going to make copies of Christian music CD’s for my church so they can listen to.  I’m still going to make 睡夢鄉 (Land of Dreams) DVD’s and PPT for the parents.  I’m still going to be a social worker and try to talk to everyone at church to listen and give support.  It’s okay if no one loves me.  No one can love perfectly but God anyways.

As for choir, I’m not sure if I can wake up at 8am every morning so I can prepare and be at church at 9.  I remember about a year ago, while I was still in the Army, I decided to join the church choir.  I love to sing so I figured it would be nice for me.  However, I hate the 9am singing schedule.  Life was hard back then and I relish my weekends.  Although I try to sleep earlier, and I do sleep earlier than most soldiers, sometimes I still go to sleep at around 1 or 2am.  Many times when that happens, I told myself that I’m not going to make it to choir.  For me to make it to choir, I need to sleep at around 11pm.  So, I forgot who started it, but Faith agreed to be my alarm clock.  Every Sunday at 8am, she would call me to make sure I’m awake.  Just like being in the Army, right?  At first, I would see her callings as discipline but after several weeks, it starts to get annoying.  When I wake up in the middle of the night, many times, I have trouble sleeping again because I don’t know when Faith might call.  It’s scary.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Initially, it was agreed that 7:30am would be (or 7??) my wake-up time, but because of this, I told her to move it up to 8am.  And I still have trouble getting up.  She told me how is this becoming of a soldier? I told her, as I wrote earlier, that life is hard and I don’t want to be a soldier on the weekends.

So, if I could get up at 8am to go to church at 9 back in the Army, what makes me think I won’t make it to choir at 9 out of the Army?  I really have no excuse this time.  And no, I’m not going to tell Faith to call me again.  I have my alarm clock for that.  So, I probably should still go to choir.  Ok ok, I have to prepare to go to my ethics and my math class soon so I will cut this short.  I don’t know if I should go to choir because, honestly, although I love to sing, I only tend to sing songs that speak to my heart and I prefer to sing by myself.  That gives singing meaning.  Wow, I have become very introverted.  This is not good.  While in the Army, my personality was much more balanced.  For the introversion-extroversion of the Myer-Brigg’s scale, it was close to the middle.  I guess once the pressure is off, any person becomes what he or she naturally is.

I think it might be a good idea for anyone to try to be neutral in any scale with a minor preference towards what is natural for that person because he or she will then be able to enjoy both worlds.  {11:09am}

9/18/2012: Even when it hurts

9/18/2012: Even when it hurts

{S: 7:54pm} It is getting late now because I need to sleep early so I have energy for class tomorrow but there is no one I can talk to so I’m going to write on my discovery.

I’m going to go free-fire mode so if something I write doesn’t make sense, with God, it’ll make sense in the end.  This journal is more about my thoughts, feelings, and reflections, than for other people’s judgments.

I feel as a Christian, and as I grow older, I learn more and more about people.  I learned that people are naturally selfish, mean, and they care only for themselves.  That is the ethical theory of egoism.  But God transcends all theories.  With God, we become a new person; a new creation.  In theory, at least, is what it should happen.  But I find, or least with my poor intelligence, that those who love God and love people unconditionally are very few.

I wanted to talk to someone about some issues I’m having and I need some help. Hey, everybody needs help sometimes.  I don’t want to give any names but I want to talk this to this girl, she has a Christian background and can understand my problems.  But, my intelligence (sensing) tells me that that person will most likely refuse.  The chances are deportable.  My English professor told me “If you have to think about it, she’s not the one.”  Haha.  Likewise, if I have to think whether that person or this person will accept my offer, he or she probably won’t accept it.  Is it a right analogy?  I don’t think so; I can tell it’s different, but I’ll use it because in this sad world, it seems to be correct.  Then I told myself, “If you have a million dollars, you can talk to her.  Well, what if I have it not on earth but in heaven?  : )  Sadly, that is too high; it doesn’t count for most people.

Then, if that’s the case, I don’t have anyone around my age, who I am close to, and who knows God who can help me.  Sure, I can talk to younger people, to kids about this, but I can infer that it won’t help much.  They need more experience in the world and wisdom from God.  Maybe I can talk to my pastor about this but I prefer someone similar to my age and someone whom we can be spiritual battle-buddies.

Part of it is my fault; you can blame me.  I tried to help people; to give even when it hurts, and to give even when it affects my future.  I told myself that the reason I’m giving is for God.  “Don’t thank me, thank God” I would tell them, and it’s not just money.  However, it seems all my diplomatic efforts have failed.  What do I do when diplomacy fails?  Sure, I can give and keep giving, but, I need love back.  I don’t need to receive what I get back, no, but just a little bit back.  I thought to myself, if I receive even half of what I give, man I would be so happy.  I will receive enough to continue to be productive and give.

But I think that is not what God wants us to be.  He wants us to give even if we are under a blockade; even if we receive nothing back and sometimes even hate.  I tried and I feel I got further than most.  But now, I am weary, depressed, and angry.  I’m tired of giving and not receiving.  I’m tired of trying to make diplomatic overtures and have it fail.  You know, Noah tried to make diplomatic overtures to his town and everybody about the coming flood but it fell flat on his face.  It completely failed.  I should not feel bad because if those efforts are blessed by God, it will have an effect.  But I still don’t want to try again anymore.  I don’t want to give anymore.  I’m pissed and angry at people for their lack of love.

Sometimes, I would go to the EPCC library at Rio Grande and go to the KLOVE website to find music so I can download on YouTube.  Today’s catch was really good.  I got Karl Jobe’s “Steady My Heart” song in my computer.  I love that song.  It teaches me to continue to fight “even when it hurts” and “even when it’s hard.”

This bad time is not uncommon.  Everyone will have bad and good times but it will be all bad in the end for those that don’t put their trust in God.  Like this world, I feel the world economy, and since money is everything to people in this world, the world situation is not going to improve and that it will be all bad in the end because the world as a whole did not put their trust in God.

I remember I’ve been through so many bad and dark times in my life and while I was in the Army and, as far as I can remember, the good times come only because of God.  Without Him, I wouldn’t know when the bad times will improve and indeed, it would have gotten worse to the point of death.

I cannot fight alone in life; I will be overcome.  Life is not a single-character RPG game.  We need to fight as a group, at least in twos because if one falls, “his friend can help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).

I prefer to be alone yes, but I still need a hotline to a close special friend whom I can talk to at any time.  Everyone, no matter how introverted they are, needs at least one special friend.

One can say, “Well, I don’t need any spiritual battle-buddy because I can always just talk to God.”  That makes sense, right?  But the problem is, with only one person, their vision, and not just physical but metaphysical, is limited. He or she will not be able to see everything and to cover all angles.  They will not know what makes them fall.

I told myself that the least I can do is just to be like a hermit and pray for everyone.  When I say pray for everyone, I mean to spend my 24-hour days just interceding for this world.  Yes, that is good, and I feel that is the least a true Christian can do.  And don’t get me wrong, it is effective.  However, if God tells that person that he needs to go to Nineveh or to do something else, that person will have to obey.

To put it short, I don’t want to be with people anymore; I don’t want to go to church anymore because I don’t feel loved enough.  I think everyone, even Christians, show conditional love.  Back as a soldier, I thought about just helping people to a certain point.  “I’m just one person,” I told myself, “so I can only do so much.”  If that person needs more help, he or she will have to go to someone else.  But then, I thought about God and how He loves and helps us unconditionally.  Sure, I am not God, but Jesus, who is only one man, gave his life to help the world.  I thought to myself, “You know what? If Jesus helps people unconditionally, then I must, too help a needy soldier or a person unconditionally.”  I can’t just say “I’ll give you this much” and then shut the door.  “Even when it hurts / Even when it’s hard / Even when it all just falls apart.”  And God did bless me and help me.  “In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever” (Psalms 44:8).

You know, maybe I should be a pastor; maybe I should be a chaplain assistant.  When I joined the Army in 2008, I only looked at the money; at the enlistment bonuses.  I should have chosen a career I liked instead of money.  Who knows, I would have probably still be in the Army.

So now, sadly, this is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to give my choir book back to my choir teacher.  I’m not going to help my church or anybody anymore, unless they ask for it.  I’m tired; I don’t want to give anymore.  I just want to be free from obligations and so-called obligations and just be free.  I’m still going to love my Lord and my God.  It will just be me and God.  I will not choose to be with people anymore because they don’t love me for me.  I try to love others, or at least in my heart, but I guess I’m an endangered species.  It hurts too much to live in this world; it hurts too much to live with people; so, I’m just going to live with myself and God, because He knows my name.

Or maybe I just need time to recharge myself and to grow in God more.  Then, I can come out of my shell again and be with people.  After all, we are still the body of Christ even though sometimes I wonder if the body has an autoimmune disorder.  {E:9:00pm} edited.