7/1/2013: Memory: Jesus Loves Me

7/1/2013: Memory: Jesus Loves Me

S: 2:57pm
E:

I used to keep a box. A box just for memories. When something memorable comes, I will keep its articles as souvenirs. I kept the practice in the Army until recently because I lost a memory box. Well, I have a couple and the old ones are at home in Los Angeles, but the ones that are recent, from El Paso, is gone. Since then, I never kept a box again.

Yesterday, Anna gave me a present. It is a book titled “Jesus Loves Me.” I was going to throw the wrappers and what I thought was a receipt away when I thought of keeping it for memory’s sake. Then, I remembered I no longer keep physical memories so I decided to keep the memory in the form of a blog. Anna’s message on that receipt reads: “May God use this book to assure you of His love for you. From: Anna.” Had I decided to just throw the wrappings away and just keep the book, I would not have read that message. She ordered this book on June 26, 2013. Thank you Anna.

This is not supposed to be an important entry or anything. I’m just writing to keep memories alive. Now I can throw away the wrappings. :)

2013.7.1 Anna's Gift

My Bicycle

12/21/2012:  My Bicycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I received a comment from F a day later:

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

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

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

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

And I quickly added:

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

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

This morning, I got a reply from her:

Next time put the bike inside your studio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

12/25/2010: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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

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

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

 

Good night everyone and sweet dreams!

10/14/09

[written diary]

10/14/09 S: 8:27pm E:

The fact is it’s awful that I did not prepare spiritually for the field. As I wrote on facebook, I chose to rebel against God. I thought to myself: if I’m going to sin against God, I might as well sin all the way. I am wrong. I have no excuses against Him. Now, I am paying the price. I hate paying the price. I want to move on, to advance spiritually with God. I must be honest with everyone on facebook because I always try to be honest with God. God, help me. Help me to obey and worship you. Guide me God. Sigh, I have to put on earphones because I am sinning against God by listening to sinful speech. Field is going to be so hard for me. I will trust in God’s faithfulness. I hope my church is praying for me. I know I am almost worthless, but I will still seek and oby God, because he is good and his love endures forever. I don’t think anyone will love me because I am underserving of love. I am just not good enough to have a wife. Look at me! I am sinful, I am not high-speed enough, I am too weak.

I guess my very life is God’s gift to me. Many times, I just don’t want to live anymore because I get no pleasure in them; and the pleasures of sin is not pleasure to me because they last only for a season.

The things I want, I cannot have. It’s painful. Sigh, I only have one choice left: to rest in His faithfulness. Heaven is my home! Because He is my hope, my life’s light. Thank you God, for your faithfulness. Each day I live is a gift from God.

4/28/09

4/28/09

S: 2326
E: 2345

Today is a very bad day. Why? Because I played computer games. When I play computer games I can’t stop. It destroys my life. It is God I need, not games. I cannot worshp both God and games. Oh my. I feel terrible. Lord, please forgive me and rebuild me please. Lord, please help me. I can’t stand myself. There are so many important things I need to do. Why do I spend my precious time, the free time God has given me to play games? Lord, forgive me. I am unworthy. Lord, you gave me so much and yet, I still sin against you. Lord, please forgive me. I am distressed. I shouldn’t have brought any games. Why? Lord, my weakness should not be a reason to sin. Lord, please help me. Lord, help me. Forgive me. Jesus, loving Jesus. Sweetest name I know. You are the God who fills my every longing. Why do I waste my time playing games? Why do I gamble, no, even worse, destroy my life playing games. God can give these things to me. He is in control. The world is in His loving hands. Why do I have to sin against God to get things that perish.

I want to record something that greatly shows how much God loves me. I will not use this to sin. No, please don’t. I drement last night, a girl from SINWA. Her name is Eden. I had three, maybe four dreams, including breaks (latrine) of her. I hope I can say I love her. She is pure, sweet, innocent, kind, and childish. And she is also impulsive and extorverted. You know, even my dream tells me playing computer games is bad. I played mario go-carts with her, but even through I taught her how to win (she won on her second try) when she almost killed the other go-cart, the game was suddenly canceled. And after the gaming experience, I feel that I didn’t really spend quality time with her. The setting is always different but the girl is always the same. Sometimes there’s seperate Eden look-alikes, but I always try to find the “real” Eden. In my last dream, Eden and me were in a supermarket. I told her to drink more milk so she can have strong bones. I walked to the place where milk is sold and told her to follow me. And I started to get some milk for her. The dream was very specific. There were different kinds of milk. 4% fat, 3% fat, etc. In all my dreams, I always wanted to hold her hand. I never wanted to lose sight of her. I always wanted to be with her. I am much, much older than her. (She is only seven). Thus, any, forgive me Lord, sexual expression is not allowed. I have no sexual tentendices toward her in my dream. It’s more like agrape love. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to love her. I wanted the best for her. I will most likely never see her again, but I know that my Lord my God will take care of her. The Lord gave me a wonderful gift tutoring children. In many ways, the children tutored me. I feel I learned and gained more than I gave. I feel so blessed when I think about my tutoring years. Army life is so painful, stressful, filled with suffering. I wish I could be rightous in God’s eyes before I joined the Army. If I followed God a year before, I wouldn’t have joined the Army. Although life will still be hard in the beginning, it will get better because with God, everything gets better.

God, many times, I wish I can go back. But that is not possible. Lord, you have done so much for me. Forgive me Lord for not giving you 100% like what happened today. But I know it is too late. I can’t go back in time. I can’t go back. I made mistakes, and I have to suffer for it. But one thing that I love about the Lord. He helps me in my suffering. He makes my suffering barable, even though my suffering is still great. So painful Lord, life is so painful. I prefer to sleep and never wake up again. Lord, please forgive me. Lord, please help me.

The time when I need the most help is when I am farthest from you. I need you Lord, more than anything and anyone. Help me to walk in your truth and your way.