Poem: Keep trying to follow God

Keep trying to follow God

I will keep trying to follow God,
Even though I make many mistakes.
Like a kid learning to play basketball,
He misses all the shots he makes.

I will keep trying to follow God,
And do what I think He says.
Knowing that although I make mistakes,
If I keep trying, I will be perfect in the end.

For everyone makes mistakes,
But it is God who sees the heart.
The “mistakes” that are devoted to Him,
Will be made perfect in the end.
Written partly for Michelle

6/9/2011: 耶穌我愛祢 / Jesus I love you

6/9/2011: 耶穌我愛祢 / Jesus I love you

S: 5:42pm
E: 6:25pm

Today, I went to http://www.c28.com and brought a 14k gold Christian ring! I’ve wanted to wear a loyalty ring for God.

Back in Kuwait, I went to http://www.applesofgold.com and ordered this 18k engraved ring:

Back then, I thought having a Bible verse ring is better than an image. I did not consider any ring that does not consider Christianity. I decided to choose this ring with the inscription: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3). I wanted to wear a ring to help remind myself to always worship and love God. Well, the ring came, a few months later, and I was so excited! I scheduled a secret day and devoted the ring to the Lord. However, when I tried putting the ring on my finger, it was too small! It sucks because back in Kuwait, I didn’t have  a printer, so I decided to draw the ring sizer on my computer screen. I did not know how inaccurate I was. There was once when I managed to force my ring into my ring finger. I was in a panic! The ring was so tight that it cut of my circulation. My finger started to turn purple. I thought about rushing to the TMC (troop medical center) emergency room to get the ring cut off. However, after much prayer, praise God, I was able to get that ring off. Never again did I attempt to wear that ring. That ring became more of an ornament or a symbol of how much I love God.

About a month earlier, I went to the Ft. Bliss jewelry shop to get my finger measurements and to have that ring resized. My ring finger size is actually around 8, not 6! A week later, I came back to the store to pick up my ring. The ring fits on my ring finger, but it is still a bit small and uncomfortable. I learned later that for rings with a tall length, the ring size should be 0.5 inches bigger than the actual ring size.

Yesterday night, a thought came into my mind. Since I cannot wear that ring and I didn’t want to spend money again to resize it, I decided to shop for another Christian ring. This time, I wanted a ring with the cross. I went to http://www.applesforgold.com but didn’t find any that I liked. Then, I went to http://www.viridiangold.com and found two rings that I considered buying (I was thinking of putting up a poll on FB but, nah..).

             

Since the day is almost gone, I decided to sleep and continue my ring search tomorrow. After uploading “Jesus, I love you / 耶穌我愛祢” from Stream of Praise, I laid back down on my bed and remembered my ring. I got back up and had to choose between those two rings. I decided, since today’s song is “Jesus, I love you” to choose the ring with the cross and a heart. I want to be able to look at my ring with the heart and to tell Him that I love Him every time. I want my ring to be a reminder of how much God loves me and to love Him back.

A pastor once said (from Youtube comment), “I need to marry a man before I marry a woman.” The whole church congregation was shocked until he said, “and that man is Jesus!” I need to do the same. I need to marry Jesus. He is all I need, all I want, and all I seek.

Jesus I love you
耶稣我爱祢,
Jesus I love you

用我全心全意,
With my whole heart I sing

耶稣我爱祢
Jesus I love you

祢医治我心,祢滋润我灵,喔耶稣我爱祢,
Healer of my heart, seeker of my soul

喔耶稣我爱祢
Oh Jesus I love you

欢唱耶稣我爱祢,用我全心全意,耶稣我爱祢
耶稣祢是我最爱,我爱祢
我爱祢,我的耶稣,我爱祢,我的主
我爱祢

1/13/2010: Fill our Hearts with Love

1/13/2010: Fill our Hearts with Love

S: 9:29pm
E: 9:46pm

Forgive me if I can’t write very well. I’m currently listening to this song. While walking around the track, praying, I really wanted to play that Hearts of Iron computer game again but then, I decided to randomly (again) listen to another song, hoping I don’t give in to that temptation.

And guess what? That song turned out to be the best! I stopped walking and started running. After the lap, and I kept asking God to live in me, so I won’t play games, I ran back to my tent and, sadly, stated to play that game. Not five minutes, my roommate told me that my area in the barracks (we moved in to our tents) still has some leftover things. I regretted playing that game and shut it off. I need to focus on what’s important, and that is to prepare for tomorrow. I have been sleeping later recently.

I have been walking around the track field praying for my city. “Operation Los Angeles,” I called it. I want the city to be like the city of Nehemiah when Jonah preached to it. I want the city to really be the “city of angels.” As I listened to this song, I started to pray that my city can be more loving. Listening to this song also brings back my childhood. The happy times of hope and joy.

The first step in attacking a city is not actually attacking the city, but to prepare. But beyond that, I need to attack it spiritually first: Praying for God’s power and praying that God can soften up the hearts of the people.

I find that I am still so afraid. I can’t do normal things like calling my college to pay for my classes! Or talk normally to people on facebook. That’s okay because now, I know the solution. I can’t change myself; I have to let God change me. I need to exchange my life for Christ’s. I should be happy, I should be joyful, I should be victorious because Christ has already won the war. God will provide everything for me. Heaven on earth is a place of abundance.

What was I going to say? I forgot, but I thought of something wise when walking around the track. I cannot try anymore. I have to let God try, and God always does things best. God has the best interest for everyone, including me. He created us out of love. Aww, I forgot the rest. Oh well, may God bless you!

I pray that the city of Los Angeles, the people in my base, and myself can be more loving.

 

Song: 把冷漠變成愛 (Fill our Hearts with Love)

 

你的眼 是否被太多美麗 的事物迷惑

你的心 是否被太多紛雜 的世俗綁鎖

分些關懷 給角落中受傷 的靈魂

分些愛給那些 不起眼的面孔

 

以基督的心為心 以祂的眼看世界

你身邊的人需要你我 把冷漠變成愛

以基督的心為心 以祂的眼看世界

你身邊的人需要 你我把冷漠變成愛

Fill our Hearts with Love

11/29/2010: To Bangladesh with love

11/29/2010: To Bangladesh with love

S: 5:20pm

E: 5:44pm

I was going to play computer games again but I was able to stop myself. It’s hard for me to stop playing. I have a great desire to satisfy my intellect. No! I cannot satisfy myself, I need to satisfy my spirit. Today is a good day because it is a day blessed with His love.

There is a pastor I met on Facebook named Pastor James Rana Biswas. We talked to each other and I found that he needed some financial help for his ministry. Yes! I thought. This is a chance to get treasures in heaven! So, for the next few weeks, I did my best to help him. I should have, however, prayed more, but I failed due to m weaknesses. Among the things he needed is a projector screen. I wrote need because although he doesn’t need it, he is a man living for God, therefore, he needs it. I was, however, unable to ship the projector screen directly to him, nor was I able to have it shipped here. A church friend, Jonathan, helped me and I received the package today. I took it and sent it to my post office and now it’s enroute to Bangladesh. I am so happy because know that I’m doing this for God’s kingdom.

Many people like to tell me that I hardly know him, that he may be a scam, that he may be fake, that he may be evil. No! It’s okay. These things don’t matter. I’m not doing this for man, I’m doing this for God. What he does with it will be up to the Lord’s perfect judgment. What matters is that God sees my act. God doesn’t need anything from us (Psalm 50:9-10), but the poor widow who gave two pennies, which is all she had, Jesus commended (Mark 12:43). When we help people, we must stop judging and just give. Don’t give to him, but give it to God through him. That gift will then belong to God and whether he does with it is none of my concern. God is the judge.

I think the same goes with homeless people. I know some people make a living off of begging, even though they might be rich. They might enjoy begging, I don’t know, but what matters is not how he will use it, or spend it, or blah blah blah with it, but what matters is I try to love and serve God by giving to the poor. We are limited. We see only the outside. We only know so much. But God is unlimited. He can see the heart and He knows everything. If someone pretends to be poor, or is poor, I will still give it to him or her because I love God. It is God’s love that allows me to love tax collectors and sinners. Obey God and let Him be the judge.

The desire to play that fun card strategy game is increasing. I cannot play that game because it satisfies my soul, not my spirit. I need to pray. I need to sing. I need to read the Pilgrims Progress. I am rereading that book because it’s awesome. All of us Christians are on this road and we need to be careful not to go astray. I still go astray anyways but what matters is not giving up!

 

是愛 It’s Love

8/23/2010: My dream, the Lord looks at the heart and girls

8/23/2010: My dream, the Lord looks at the heart and girls

S: 3:13am

E: 5:13am

I was going to go back to sleep but I had a dream and a few teachings that I remembered from <i>Way of the Master</i> that I want to share. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). I thought of something, a few inspirations, that if it gives glory to God, cannot be delayed. I wanted to sleep, but I must obey God rather than my flesh. Hmm, if Peter teaches us to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), how much more do we need to obey God rather than our flesh?

[Note: This is kind of embarrassing, but I still need to post it truthfully because my God is the god of truth.]

I dreamed of Ben K as a youth pastor, leading the worship service. This time, he has gotten famous and is leading worship services for many different churches (in my dream, different FECA churches). I remember helping out the bulletin so Ben Ku can perform in our church (FEC-SGV). After that performance, I remember myself going into one of his worship services. He is singing Christian songs (songs we used to sing at CIA) but he looks different. He looks bearded up, like a hippie. Sorry about my description, but it’s according to my dream. I saw how he keeps talking to worldly people and how he tries to gain acceptance from them (secular, Rock & Roll crowd, etc). I felt that he is going astray as a Christian to be acceptable to the world. I decided to talk to him. I hope he still remembers me. I know he still remembers me; I was with him back in 8th grade (it’s true, and it’s in the dream). I tried to talk to him, and looking at how busy he is and with somebody from the world that keeps following and talking to him, I decided that my best bet is to ask to speak to him privately. I asked if I can speak to him outside. I was having trouble talking and getting him to agree with me because I wasn’t that important to him. He just remembers me. As I kept trying, we naturally stepped outside, which the ground is snow (I didn’t feel cold and it wasn’t snowing; I’m just writing what I know for sure in the dream). I found myself outside in the snow, behind a pickup truck (I only remember the back open trunk, not the truck itself). There was initially two people on the truck. One got off (a girl, I think, and both Asian) leaving Deborah S on the truck. I said, “Deborah, please stay with me.” I needed her help just in case. I told Ben K how he wasn’t the youth pastor he used to be (a person who follows and loves God) and how he needs to be “Asian” again. He is still wildly popular to all Asians (don’t ask, it’s my dream). Then, from inspiration, something told me to pick up a chuck of snow and try to use it to play with him. I picked up a chuck of snowy ice and half threw at his snow boots (they look strangely like my Army boots). I want him to remember his past. Seeing the snow reminds me of the Alpine retreat camp, a retreat which I have strong memories on. Something awakened inside him and he bent down, made a snowball, and threw it at someone. I thought it was going to miss, but it hit someone (a young girl, someone I knew back then, from church). Everybody in the dream were people I knew, but when they were in middle school. I thought she might react to the hit, but she just ignores it and continued to run. I had a feeling that I succeed in my mission and I woke up.

While waking up, I thought about Gabriel M’s status update that said, “There is a God, but he won’t wipe your butt for you (something like that)”. My mind gave me counter-arguments but mostly to challenge atheists and to convince them that there is a God. Basically, my argument to atheists that there is a God is this:

If you look at the evidence on both sides (God vs. no God), the evidence shows that there is a God. All you need is something that is supernatural to believe that there is a God; do you really think this whole world is made by chance? Where does matter come from? How can a variety of matter exist out of nothingness?

My God, the living God, is a God who made me and knows me; He knows my name.

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

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

3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

When he made me, he knows that we need a Savior to save us from death.

And also, people who like to attack others; to bring other’s down, will not succeed for it is God who humbles and exalts:

1 Samuel 2:7  The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

8  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world.

For people who attack others by saying that they are nothing, they are right! The Bible says we are nothing. We are the clay, he is the potter. We need him to make us into something, a holy instrument used by the Lord (2 Timothy 2:21). We all are nothing, we all are weak, we all need God.

Let’s use the example of David and Goliath. How many people, before the actual battle think David will win? Not much. How many people think Goliath will win? Probably most. Yet, it is the person the world thinks will lose that wins.

Isaiah 40:28  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

29  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

30  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

31  but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

1 Corinthians 1:27  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

So when people attack me by saying that I’m nothing, they are right. I am nothing, but it is God who can make something out of nothing.

One of my pet peeves is people who attack the person (their weaknesses, faults, deficiencies) rather than helping the person build him/her up or to find ways to improve areas of weaknesses. They are the ones who attack the builders rather than the building. They attack, criticize, judge with the intention of demoralizing their victims.

James 3:8  but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9  With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.

10  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Psalms 140:1  Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; protect me from men of violence,

2  who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.

3  They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips. Selah

4  Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet.

Back to Jerusalem, a Chinese Christian organization built by multiple house churches in China, plans to sent 100,000 missionaries in the countries between Jerusalem and Beijing. The second they unveiled their plans to the world, criticism followed. Critics attack the plan, the organization, anything to prevent, what they think won’t happen, from happening.

Acts 5:38  Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.

39  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

In their article “Dealing with Criticism- Lessons for Serving God” BTJ started the article with:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong

man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The

credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred

by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes

short again and again; because there is not effort without error and

shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the

great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause,

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who

at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place

shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor

defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States

www.backtojerusalem.com

The article wrote that Noah, Moses, David, Nehemiah, most OT prophets, and many others were the targets of criticism. Some people try to make their opinions become reality by attacking the individual hoping that, in the end, does become reality. But, praise God, I know that my God is strong and that my God is loving.

Psalms 62:11  One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong,

12  and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.

Some people make a living by attacking people. Others make a living by helping people. Some people are good. Some people are evil. Which side will you be on?

If this blog doesn’t offend you, then you have nothing to worry about. This blog will only offend those who deserve to be offended. May it give strength to the weak but a sword to those who destroys.

————————————

Now a change of subject.

I find that girls in Taiwan are so beautiful. Nowhere else in the world can I find girls as beautiful as those in Taiwan. It seems every girl I see is pretty and cute. But, I cannot chase them nor will I allow my eyes to cause me to sin (despite the fact that I tried, I still lusted with my eyes and thus, sinned). I told my mom that I won’t chase any girl (even though I really, really! want to) because there is another girl I promised God to. It’s so painful, almost like torture. When my relatives asks me if I have a girlfriend (their intension is for me to get a girl in Taiwan), I told them yes (hesitantly). I cannot love another. I told my mom that after my seven years, I will just give my life to God.

Beautiful girls, all over the world / oh I could be chasin’ but my life would be wastin’ / I need to follow God, baby / I need to follow God, baby.

Haha.

Oh, I almost forgot. I remember one time when James and me went into our church’s conference room at the office. On the conference table, I remember seeing a marker that reads: “Are you focusing on the problem or the solution?” James and I laughed but the problem of destructive criticism is real.

There is a memory during Sunday School

There is a memory during Sunday School I would like to share with you.

Around January or February of 2008, I volunteered to be a teacher assistant for 2nd and 3rd graders. I remember the very last class I taught. The class is studying the life of Samuel and my lesson is on 1 Samuel 16:7: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance of his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

I followed the instructions in the lesson plan. I took two white styrofoam cups. One cup I put it aside. The other, I added some water and some chocolate power inside the cup. I made it really dirty and bad, like me, to surprise my students. From the outside, both cups look brand new, but only the Lord knows the heart.

I brought the two cups to class (they have to be in a special container since I bike to church). After some introductions, I showed the class the two cups. I asked them, “Which one is dirtier?” Since they both look the same (I haven’t went over the key scripture yet. Experience is a hard teacher J ), they were confused. Both of the cups look clean. I made the class choose one cup that’s the cleanest, and of course I made suggestions and hints about the dirty cup. The class chose the dirty cup, haha. I then pointed the inside of the cup to them and they were shocked. I explained to them that the Lord looks at the heart and referred to other scriptures (the Pharisees).

Although that lesson was one of my best ones, it was my last. I feel so guilty because I myself felt like a Pharisee and I am teaching kids this when I should be learning this myself. Sure, you see me at church, in college, and I seem to be the nicest guy you have met. I try to follow God, I read the Bible, I listen to Christian music, and I play Christian songs on my guitar. But my secret life is a different story. It’s classified as top-secret so I cannot share, but I do evil. I thought I can just ask God for forgiveness so I kept doing it, even though I knew that’s wrong.

8/14/2009

8/14/2009

S: 7:44pm
E: 7:52pm

Today, I have recieved the best present. Not cupcakes, but support from Zion. Praise God. I send an e-mail update and I wasn’t very optimastic about the results. But I was wrong. I am nearly overwhelmed by the replies of my Christian family. I am now feeling fear, fear of how they see me, fear of how they will respond to me, fear of the unknown, and also joy. Joy that my church friends actually care about me. How can I respond to them? I cannot respond to them yet. The gift from God is still too fresh to respond. I cannot even read its e-mail, althrough I yearn to open it. I am afraid of the e-mails. Afraid of what’s inside it.

I know I have broken many writing rules and people rules. But I know that they are but rules made by men. The orgin of these rules are evil. They prevent CHristians from honestly loving and knowing God. I am afriad. I am afraid to fail. WHat if I am a fake? Only God knows. God knows how much I love and seek him. Only he can look in my heart.

I don’t know what to do right now. I can’t reply to them yet. I don’t want to open yahoo messenger. I don’t want to write another update. No, I just feel, its too embrassing. I’m already scared. The only reason why I did not collaspe with fear is because I trust in God. He is my rock.

SO today, I am happy. So happy. I recieved the greatest gift I can ever hope for: support from Zion.

8/6/2009

8/6/2009

S: 1759
E:
Today is a day of many downs. Today reminds me of my weaknesses, and how much of a failure I am. If Satan isn’t attacking me, maybe an evil spirit is. But this evil spirit is a spirit of failure. It curses everything I do. Do much that the only things I succeed in doing is doing things that are part of God’s will.

I see other people in the field. They are all so much stronger, so much more advantaged than me. They also just seem to just live in the flesh. But I still try to live for Him. Althrough I still fail, I still try.

The misriable heat, my lack of energy, my lack of strength, my fellowman making fun of me because of my weaknesses, my lack of common sense, and my inability to hear clearly all combined and joined forces to destroy me. I felt like giving up, I felt like destroyed, but still, God came and helped me. He came and spared me. It’s so painful to do your best, knowing your weaknesses, and still be made fun of because of it. I also hate when people don’t play fair, like when that sargent pushed players around. He hugged me from the back and lifted me up, he pushed me. It’s not fair. I find that the things that make me angry has to do with fairness, understanding. That sargeant pushing players around. My fellow soldiers saying a detogortary remark due to my weaknesses even through he didn’t really mean it in that way. Every remark said that way is like a knife slash on my body. I don’t want to help anymore. I don’t want to try anymore. I don’t want to live anymore.

Like what happened in the field today. I am so exhausted I can hardly walk. I still tried to help out, but I was corrected for trying to do what I think is right. It’s just so demeaning. It makes me not want to try anymore.

If I have a child who trys to help but makes a mess, I will not cuss at or degrade the child. No, I would first say “thank you” to that child then show him or her what the child did wrong. Then I would explain what the child can do to help next time. Then, if another time comes around, the child will help. And if the child messes up again, I will still love him or her. What matters is not the results, but the intent, the heart of why people do things.

Many times, I wonder why I can’t be like this soldier, so strong and enduring, or like him, so squared-away and sharp, or like that guy, so charming and popular. But I’m struck with being me. Why me? Why can’t God change me? I guess, God wants me to go through these painful experiences so I can be more perfect in Him. I still feel that I may fall back again.

Like today. What I thought I mastered and thought couldn’t happen to me happened. How can I go over a chock block? Or not see a ground pole? Or wear improper headgear? I don’t understand. The things I mastered others feel I am just a beginner.

Yes, I have been blessed. I don’t have to stay in the field, I get to come back to my room and relax. Yes, the field wasn’t difficult. Yes, my squad leaders and NCOs are  good. Yes, I am being taken care of. So many blessings. While the Bible says the only thing you should be concerned about is food and clothing. That is, if you don’t have them. If you do, just be content with what you have. Wow, I have been blessed more than what the Bible said I should be blessed.

But still, just food and clothing? To me, that is not enough. I want enough sleep, a clean place to rest, and enough ability to be competent in what I do. And of course, God. And maybe some fun, like computer games, although that is an addiction not a need.

Sigh, I am just so weak. I feel like just giving up the ghost. I don’t want to live in a world controled by the god of this world, Satan. It’s just so hard. Too difficult for me it seems.

Lord help me. Lord help me please. I am always on the edge, always on the edge of giving up and killing myself.

I need more social support I think. I need to contact my church again somehow. Talk to my few friends. Maybe they would accept me again. I am afraid though. What if they mistreat me? What if they reject me? What if they make detrograry remarks due to my weaknesses? What if they are worse than soldiers here?

Sigh, I don’t know what to do. I have limited time. I am not as strong as other soldiers who can stay up all night. I am weak. I am limited. But I know that I cannot compromise my God. I cannot limit my relationship with God just because my circumstances are difficult.

And I will alwasy be weak. If in a competetion and I could win in peacetime, I will still try. But I will think an evil spirit will come and prevent me from winning. It’s ok, I will still try. I will slow down so I can think. If I lose because of that, which I think I will, then  let God be God. If I lose 99 battles out of 100 and its not because of giving up, then may the name of the Lord be praised. Amen.