A Shirt that bears Jesus’s Name

20 June 2016: A Shirt that bears Jesus’s Name

10:31pm – 10:48pm
It’s been a while since I wrote my blog. I need discipline, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (from Proverbs). Everyday when I wake up, I always read a short passage in Psalms and Proverbs. One of my mistakes is not reading Proverbs regularly.

What I wanted to write is what I scheduled myself to write, on the 16th (or 15th?) of June, I wore a Nazarene shirt for the whole day. The shirt looked like this:

2016.6.20

The blog that I planned to write isn’t very shocking or cool but I just want to write my thoughts down.

Wearing that shirt or any Christian shirt for that matter takes a lot of responsibility. One of the reasons is because I am wearing something that represents Christ. It is very difficult. In order for me to wear these shirts, I have to pray and seek God and be close to Him. I have to purify myself. It feels like a sacrifice.

It is easier for me to wear a shirt that bears UTEP’s name than Jesus’s name (and I hardly wear any shirts that advocate something). I would rather wear a USA shirt than a Jesus shirt because it is so hard. I half expected myself to get hurt wearing that shirt. The only exception is wearing a North Korean shirt. I might get myself killed. Actually I’m not sure which is worse. I think the One that can destroy the soul is worse. Heh.

I remember when I bicycled home with that shirt, an Arab woman looked at my shirt and then at me. I smiled at her. The reason why I wore that shirt is to show my condolences to those killed in recent events (esp. those killed in Orlando) and to show solidarity with the Christians who are persecuted for their faith all around the world, especially in the Middle East and in countries with heavy Muslim populations.

I am trying to write more regularly, but it is hard due to my circumstances. I remember when Pastor Smith told us that times are going to get darker. They are right so I need to prepare (by seeking God, by serving Him, by loving Him, by following Him and asking for His forgiveness).

12 Oct 2013: When Oceans Rise

12 Oct 2013: When Oceans Rise

S: 12:08am
E: 1:28am

[written]

I am now listening to Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsongs. The Intervarsity worship team played this song on Thursday and now I can’t stop thinking about this song.

This song indirectly teaches me hope. When oceans rise, when evil seems overwhelming, I can look and stay with Jesus. The song also teaches me courage: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders….”

One thing that is bothering me is the U.S Government Shutdown and a possible U.S. default.

[typed]

It is marginally affecting my schoolwork. I would stay up late at night checking news about the Shutdown and looking for progress. As I wrote on my Facebook wall, I withdrew a large amount of my savings about a week ago. Just in case if the worse-case happens and the U.S. actually defaults, I will have most of my money on hand. The banks may close if U.S. defaults and what happened to the citizens in Cyprus, where they couldn’t withdraw and the government actually took money from their accounts, won’t happen to me since I took precautions. I also have long positions (exchange-traded fund) in gold and silver. Unlike stocks, commodities such as gold and silver will never lose its entire value. Silver and gold will always have value and with dollar inflation increasing as a strategy by the Federal Reserve to pay down its debt (quantitative easing), gold and silver prices will, generally, keep moving up.

As I was lying on my bed trying to sleep, I felt I had difficulty breathing. I’m worried about what may happen next if the U.S. defaults. I’m also worried what powerful wicked men may be planning next. Then I remembered the God of peace and that God has everything in his control. At first, I felt powerless to fight against world affairs and the darkness. Then, I remembered that, as Christians, we do have a powerful weapon. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. We can pray. We need to fight by praying in the spiritual realms for God to release His power. If every Christian were to pray regularly, this world would be a much more loving and peaceful place. God’s power would come down like waters and change the world.

I think I know what to do now when I become a social worker. I want to promote human rights and fight against injustice. I’m thinking about, after I get my B.S. degree, to enroll in a dual law and MSW program. With God’s help, I can use logical arguments to defend the weak.

Politically, I am a moderate. I want some government intervention to ensure a level playing field. Too much free market or capitalism, and man’s greed will dominate the world. The rich will get richer and the poor, poorer. Power will always be on the side of the rich and the oppressed and needy will not have a chance to thrive. Too much government intervention and people may lose motivation to work and it may cause the government to lose efficiency. The government will lose efficiency due to the large government size needed to regulate policies and regulations. These will lead to an inefficient nation-state. These types of dynamics only apply to the current sinful nature of man. Once Christ comes and humankind’s nature is changed, “the government will be upon His shoulders.”

Picture of me reading a digital Bible.

 

One reason I am a moderate is because I remember my times in the Army. I was suffering, weak, and needy. Thus, when I see people who are in the same condition, I am reminded of where I was and I am moved to help them. The Bible also has an example of this. God instructed the nation of Israel to treat foreigners fairly because the Israelites once were slaves in Egypt (Deu. 24:17).

I find it kind of ironic that I’m using part of my student loans to invest. The FAFSA subsidized annual interest rate for its loans is 3.8%. If I just keep that money as savings, my return rate will be the interest rate for my savings account, in other words, not that much. However, if I were to invest that money in the stock market, I could potentially have higher returns. Historically, the stock market has a greater uptrend than down. Investing in the stock market is also how the upper-class managed to hold and increase their wealth.

I understand the risks; therefore, I only invest in gold or silver, where I know the odds are in favor, or in index funds. I avoid investing in individual stocks because then I would be at a disadvantage. I will not be able to know timely or complete news or information about a company because I don’t have the means to. My only source, as an individual investor, is the news. However, I know that the news is dominated by those in power and I know they might not have the best intentions for the “little people” like me. In other words, they might give me false or misleading information to help their pockets. Right now, I am not investing in index funds because of the lack of fundamentals and the dreaded “triple peak.”

Okay, why am I writing so much about politics and money? I think it’s because of current events. It influenced me. I know that whatever I do, God is in control of the universe. What I do is just “if God wills” (James 4:14). I am just using the resources God has given me to empower myself, and hopefully later, others. I need to have the discipline to focus on what’s important and not spend an inordinate amount of time playing computer games.

10/23/2012: A Rainbow in my Room

10/23/2012: A Rainbow in my Room / My Political Party

{S: 10:43pm}  It is late now and I ought to sleep because I have early morning classes tomorrow.  However, I know that once an idea comes to a person, it will leave unless I act on it promptly.  I remember there are times in my past when I thought of an idea or an urge or a clarity, and I chose to procrastinate it.  Well, that urge or idea left me and I lost a wonderful piece of writing that I could have written.

How can I start?  Writing about politics is like walking on fire, no, I mean walking in-between fires.  It is very dangerous.  But I saw several postings my fellow friends on Facebook wrote and it gave me a passion to respond.  I want to write this to the best of my Biblical knowledge and to the best of my perception of God though my Holy Spirit.

I have a rainbow in my room.  No, it doesn’t mean I support gay rights; rather, it is a reminder of God’s promise.  A promise that God will not destroy the earth by flood again, and looking deeper, a promise that He will “[show] love to a thousand generations of those who love [Him] and keep [His] commandments” (Exodus 20:6).

Instead of arguing which political party is better, I want to start by defining, to my best knowledge of God, the perfect political party, and thus, the perfect government.

Micah 6:8  He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 23:23  “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

First of all, I want a government who is humble, a government who loves justice and mercy.

Isaiah 1:17  learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 58:6  “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

The political party I would support is the party that helps the poor and the oppressed; a party that wants to help all who are hungry, homeless, and those who have nothing.

Matthew 6:24  “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Amos 8:4  Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land,
saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”— skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

A party that doesn’t focus on money but on God and on people.

Micah 4:3  He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

And a party that stands for peace, not war.

Now which political party best represents what I have described?  I believe it would be the Democratic Party.

It was FDR who made a major dent in ending the Great Depression.  It was him, a democrat, who started much of the social programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and he set minimum wage standards that improved the standard of living for all Americans.  It was the Democrats that gave women the right to vote.  It was the Democrats who spearheaded the Civil Rights Movement and to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which he quoted from the Bible, “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5:23).

It was the Democrats who opposed unregulated capitalism and sought to break up monopolies and strengthen unions to increase the power of the working class.

Some may disagree that government should be the vehicle to regulate wealth.  If they do, look at the Gilded Age in the 1900s before the Great Depression.  The vast majority of Americans had a living little better than at the sustenance level.  Many lived in tenements, struggling to survive.  There was a prevailing belief in Social Darwinism.  Human nature had their chance.  The rich and powerful want to keep their wealth and made wage-slaves of them.  It was the Gilded Age for the 1%.

Left by themselves, human beings will not give and share what they have with others.  Part of the reason why the Great Depression started is because of an unequal distribution of wealth.  The rich hoard all the money; there was few people who can afford to buy the goods made by them.  Now, before I continue, this doesn’t mean I support communism, where everyone gets the same reward regardless of what they do.  No, the one who works hard with the ten talents should get another ten, but anyone who works hard should have at least a decent standard of living.

So, for this 2012 election, my vote is for Obama, although not wholeheartedly because “the high places.. were not removed” (2 Kings 12:3).  They support abortion and gay-rights.

No [human] government, no political party, is perfect because they are administered by sinful men.  However, there is a new Government, a new political party that is coming.  It will not be the Pharisees or the Sadducees but it will be led by Jesus Christ and the “government will be on his shoulders.”

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

{E: 12:39am}

10/16/2012: Into His Abundance / 進入豐盛

10/16/2012: Into His Abundance / 進入豐盛

{S: 10:38pm} Many times in this evil world, I just want to give up.  I’m tired of living in this world of injustice.  But, praise God; it is my Christian family that keeps me going.  In particular, I love SOP (Stream of Praise).  Their songs give me hope and life.  These encouragements are the reason why I want to continue to be a social worker and continue to fight.

I don’t agree with the Pharisees and I don’t agree with the Sadducees.  One party preaches the social gospel but wants to sin “under every spreading tree” (Jeremiah 3:6).  The other is against abortion (except special circumstances) but wants to “[buy] the poor with silver” (Amos 8:6a).

It is late now and I have two tests tomorrow.  But, I really want to write this discovery.  I might not do as well because I may be tired but my times are in God’s hands.

This song “Into His Abundance / 進入豐盛” tells me that although Satan is a deceiver and wants to take away our Promise, we can see through this deception because God gives us the best deal: eternal life.  This is the year of Jubilee! {E: 11:08pm}

1/30/2011: Defense for the Egyptian People

1/30/2011: Defense for the Egyptian People

S: 2:49pm

E: 3:20pm

One thing that is bothering me a lot is the situation in Egypt. I cannot write to my full potential because I’m busy with Star Kingdoms and I’m off to play a Risk game soon, but I will spend lots and lots of time in prayer for the Egyptian people.

A dictator in power for 30 years refuses to listen to the people’s demands for him to step down. He has been accused of rigging elections, causing massive poverty, unemployment, violating human rights, and political corruption. And yet, he is still in power, why? Because President Hosni Mubarak is a key US ally. I see world dictators like Kim Jong Il or the late Saddam Hussein and I wonder why these evil people are still in power. Well, Hussein was eliminated due to US interests. After learning more about God, human nature, nations, and by watching the movie Zeitgeist (although I don’t agree with everything they say), I realized some world leaders are here and some are not because they depend on the interest of powerful nations.

I had a very innocent view of the United States. I thought they were the peacemakers, the global policeman, and a powerful force for human rights. But, not anymore. The Egyptian people are crying out against oppression just like the Hebrew slaves in the book of Exodus.

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21).

Hosni Mubarak is already blessed to be a ruler, yet, instead of serving God and people and helping the world, which is what rulers should do; he oppresses them and chose to “store up things for himself.”

The United States did not stop him because he cooperates with the US. The US fell to temptation and failed to uphold God’s moral standard. Because of this, the US is also guilty of oppressing people.

Proverbs 29:13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.

America is guilty because the nation, which is so blessed by God, chose not to follow God but to follow herself. America chose self-preservation over God’s protection. She chose to trust in “horses and chariots” but not in the “name of the LORD [her] God” (Psalm 20:7). Look at Israel’s history. With God, 1 man can kill a thousand with a jawbone. With God, 300 men can defeat an army of 135,000. With God, all things are possible.

And this is why the Egyptian riots happened. This is why many other nations are challenging America’s status as a superpower.

 

Judges 2:20 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me,

21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died.

22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.”

When the Israelites violated God’s covenant by failing to follow God, He left a few enemies, namely the Philistines, to test them. And God is raising other nations to test us. Will America choose to follow God or to follow her own ways? Will she choose the way of life or the way of destruction?