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.

12 Oct 2013: When Oceans Rise

12 Oct 2013: When Oceans Rise

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


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.


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.

9/20/2012: Pink Angel

9/20/2012: Pink Angel

A few weeks ago, while I was decorating my room, I accidently hit my precious little thing and it broke on the floor!  It now looked like this:

One can say that the broken ceramic is now worthless.  But now I feel it is worth more since it is broken.  The girl was actually holding a dandelion, but that broke from transporting all my stuff from Michelle’s house to here, my studio.  The dandelion was actually a cover-up.  The figurine reads: “Give all your worries and cares to God.”  Now that the dandelion is gone, it looks like the girl is praying.  The secular world can’t accept it, so the artist added a dandelion.  But now, as I was putting up my mission statement on my wall, I accidentally knocked the pink angel to the floor and it finally broke.

I wrote “finally broke” because I tried many times before to break it.  A lot of times I felt depressed, a lot of times I felt sad.  I feel I would never find a girlfriend so in my despair, I actually tried to break this Precious Corner piece in half.  It’s strange, but I couldn’t break it!  Well, I could just bang it on the ground and it’ll break but a part of me doesn’t want to break it.  Why did I buy this piece? Because I want to give finding a girlfriend or future wife to God. I want to give “all my worries and cares to God.”

I feel this broken alabaster jar is now worth more because it reinforces the spirit.  The body is still here but the head, which represents the soul, is gone.  The head is gone because, with the Lord, the soul endures forever.  The girl’s arms are still there, praying, and it reminds me to give all my worries and cares to Him even if the worse is to come.  When the world ends, this is the picture of how it will be.  Everything except the soul and spirit will be destroyed.  The little piece of earth that is taken away represents the new Earth when Jesus comes back (Rev. 21:1).

1/21/2011: Stress

1/21/2011: Stress / Nationalist China

S: 5:33pm

E: 5:58pm

I find that the constant buildup of stress and pressure of life makes me very prone to give up or want the easy way out. I find that I’m constantly under attack. I’m under attack either physically, (hard work, pain, feeling tired) or if not, then spiritually (temptations, morals, relationship with God and people).

For me, being in the military is hard life. I constantly have to find a way to unwind so I can survive. When I try to unwind myself in computer games, the stress grows worse, but when I unwind myself in God, I feel much better.

As I was getting off work, two computer games came to my mind. One was Infantry, developed by Sony. I remember playing it a bit in high school at Michael’s house. The other was Continuum, a 2-D space shooter game. Both of these games have a mixture of action and strategy (and it’s free!) and thus, very fun for me. Of course, I was looking to reading about other people’s lives, but the games sound so appealing. I went to the Continuum website and downloaded the game.

I had fun at first (the same goes with drugs). The game is fun and challenging. However, I know that I’m wasting time. That I can just trust in God and play the God card” and win all these games. I think the real “winner” in these computer games is the person who follows God, who does not play it because God is victory, or plays it (very rarely) through the Spirit because he/she might learn something.

Philippians 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

With God, I don’t need to try, I just need to trust and live in the Spirit and I will be victorious. What made me stop playing, praise God, is the high latency. I was dropped from the game twice because (I think) most of the players are from the States and are not near Kuwait or the server is located in the States. That stoppage gave me a rude awakening. I assessed that I am going the same familiar path again. The path of wasting time. The path of satisfying the soul instead of satisfying the spirit. I need to let Jesus live in me and not games. These obstacles, whether be games, or fear, or pornography (I’m being honest), or anything that separates me from God needs to be pushed out. I’m making the result for Nationalist China and one of the main weaknesses of that nation is that it was a nation divided. To the north, west, and south lies warlord states. I feel I am also like Nationalist China. In order for me to fight against evil (not the Japanese) more effectively, I need to have more room in my heart for Jesus. I need to retake those stubborn evil strongholds Satan has placed in me and convert them to the cause of Christ. I cannot do it, however, but God can. If I follow His Spirit He will lead me to freedom, for “it is Christ that sets us free” (Galatians 5:1).

1/20/2011: Be like Jesus

1/20/2011: Be like Jesus

S: 6:19pm
E: 6:51pm


Today was supposed to be a fairly easy day, but as it turned out, last minute work made my day hard. Many times, I wanted to be free (i.e. have free time). I think about what I can do and especially reading other blogs. However, I can’t, but I still dream.

Finally, I’m off and the first thing I did was this. I had a lot of things to write about, not about today, but about principles, but due to work, I didn’t have a chance. Hopefully, with God, I can write well.

I need to stop being afraid of people. On a blog I read, the author wrote that many times, a person’s greatest strengths turns out to be his greatest weakness. Take Julius Caesar, for example. What made him great was his courage and self-confidence but what made him fall was his pride. Those who try to be self-confident can be prideful and those who try to be humble can lack self-confidence. I think the best answer to this dilemma is to be like Jesus. Jesus knows when to be humble and when to take a stand. How does He know what to do or what persona to act? Because He chose to live in the Spirit. He was led like a sheep to die on the cross for our sins and yet, He overthrew the money changers in the temple because they were desecrating it. With God’s leading, we can be “strong and courageous” and “turn the other cheek” all the time.

But, if I were to choose between becoming too proud or too humble, I will chose to be humble. Why? Because the Lord “opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6) because “the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of feasting” (Ecc. 7:4) and because “he takes pity on the weak and needy and save the needy from death” (Psalms 72:13). It is better to be too low, too humble, too weak, or too meek because God has a special affiliation for them. He gives them hope and strength because their hearts are closer to God.

Proverbs 29:1 A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

PS: I just took a dump half-way into writing this discovery so I had difficulty writing and thinking. Has this happened to you too? That after you defecate, you mind just decreased in power and you feel like sleeping? Heh, I remember my old biology teacher, Dr. Jang, and he told our class once that taking a dump is like giving birth. You have to really try to push it out. Haha! I guess Dr. Jang really has no idea what giving birth feels like, and no, I have no idea too. The only people who knows what it feels like are those who already experienced it. The same goes with suffering, pain, loss, addiction, enslavement, etc. I can say I know but if you never felt it, you don’t really know.

1/15/2011: The God Card

1/15/2011: The God Card

S: 8:02pm

E: 8:35pm


One thing I discovered after playing computer games all these years is that I am always trying to win. It’s frustrating to try to win. I devote so much time and energy to beat the game and the personal satisfaction I get is dulled by the realization that I just wasted so much time. I was playing Hearts of Iron II today under “Nationalist China.” The Japanese invaded, and since it was my first go (first time playing “Armageddon”), I made a few mistakes. The war against the Japanese was going back and forth, with me steadily losing. Finally, when I lost Hefei, I decided to give up. I lost. I quit the game and was about to continue with life’s business when I realized the power of God, that is, cheat codes. So, I went on online and, with cheats, was able to get all my lands back. After work, I decided to play anew, and this time, I did very well. I was able to hold onto all my lands and was even able to push the Japanese back. But then, I realized something.

Just as I am trying to “win,” just as people try to “win” in life, I realized that I don’t need to try anymore. I have God and with God loving me and watching me, that’s all I need. Okay, I’m tired right now and my head hurts, but I still feel hyper because I’m happy to know that I will win if I just trust in God. Just as I use cheat codes to win, or use “god-mode,” God will fulfill all my desires and give me everything I want if I only just pick up my cross and follow Him.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Why should I play games anymore? Why should I try to win? I should let God try and win. If I just trust and follow God, I will win because God is God. He uses god-mode; He can “cheat (i.e. perform miracles)” in this world to help us. No wonder the Bible tells us not to worry about our clothes or food or shelter or things or what to say or about anything because God will take care of us. All we need is to endure and trust in God.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

I should not play computer games anymore because with God, I can always use “god-mode” and win the game. I remember before this incident, when I’m playing flash games or games that I know I’ll win, but it just takes time, I will just say, “Okay Steven, it’s time to play the ‘God Card.’ You already won.” I think of playing Magic the Gathering with my friends and playing the “God Card,” which is, needless to say, I win the game. With God, all things are possible. Next time, whether I’m playing a computer game or playing the game of life, I need to just follow His Word and trust in God because with God, He can always play the God Card.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… (Psalms 30:11).


And many times, the reason why I play games is not because I want to win, but because I want a challenge. Well, the desire or need for a challenge stems from my soul, from my intellect. I cannot satisfy my soul, that is, my intellect, but I need to worship God through His spirit to my spirit. The spirit is above the soul; therefore, I need to focus on my spirit.

12/9/2010: Man sees, God sees.

12/9/2010: Man sees, God sees.

S: 8:26pm

E: 8:41pm

Psalms 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

I just had guard duty from yesterday morning to this morning and, having experiencing it, I can feel how the “watchmen wait for the morning.” When it gets dark, all of us on guard, can’t wait for morning to come, because with morning comes rest and with rest, comes hope.

This verse touched me because honestly, I cannot say the same words David said last night. I wanted rest and comfort more than God and I know that is wrong. My priority should not be for my comfort, but for God’s glory.

And also, I have been doing some search matching experiments on OkCupid and I found that many girls that I find attractive tend to be my “enemy” and those that are close “matches” are not very good-looking, but it’s okay! Praise God!

Psalms 118:22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;

23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

I think in this day and age, it is the girls that society tend to reject, the girls that are not very good-looking or socially acceptable, that have the best heart because they had to endure the pain and suffering of rejection (Romans 5:3-4). People, thus the greater society, look at the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. We need to look not what man sees, but what God sees because what man sees is temporary, but what God sees is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

For a guy, to see what God sees and to follow though will be very hard for me. But, if I live in the spirit and let God lead my life, I will eventually be able to love the stone that the builders rejected.

11/26/2010: Beyond the Body

11/26/2010: Beyond the Body


I want to write this to show my weakness. Yes, I came to the range today, yes I got off after 1300, and yes, I have to work tomorrow. However, the sergeant told me I can sleep in the car. Yet, I still chose to try to avoid night guard. Yes, my reason is legal. I am not supposed to do night guard because I worked past 1300 and I need to work tomorrow, but deeper, I know I chose the way of comfort. I know God can help me stay awake. I know with His spirit, I can be strong enough to stay up, but I refuse to suffer so much.

What if I’m doing Lord’s work? God demands my all. To follow Jesus means to suffer. I cannot make compromises. I cannot set limits. The limit I set today is optimistically, my body, and pessimistically, my comfort. Yes, by human standards, I’m okay. I’m not supposed to do guard, but I can do better. I can go above the limits because after the Army, I will be working for God. Will my standards be the same? No, it must not be.

Yes, I fell, but the important thing is to get up and continue to follow Jesus. It’s hard to follow Him when my body tells me to stop. My body will get stronger, eventually, by following the spirit since the spirit takes care of the soul and body. Every step I take, may it be a step of faith.

I need to follow my spirit and not my body completely. That is my downfall.


S: 8:47pm

E: 9:01



This morning, two hours after midnight, I got out of my bed to use the latrine. Coming back in, I suddenly thought of some important spiritual things to write. However, since I’m so tired, I decided to sleep. The thought to take this opportunity for good came again and again, but I kept repressing and told myself my body is tired and I need to sleep to prepare for the day.

Suddenly, a story of Peter and a few of Jesus’ disciples (James and John) came to my mind. This is at the very end of Jesus’ life on earth, when Jesus told his disciples to “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Jesus’ disciples suffered the same thing! They were tired; their bodies are giving up, but Jesus still told them their effort is not enough. I realized then that God’s standards for us are not in the body, but in the spirit. His standards are higher than man’s standards. We must not rely on our own strength, as Peter, James, and John did that night, but on the Lord’s, for if we rely on God for our strength, we will be able to perform tasks that are very difficult or impossible for the body.

Just because it hurts for me to do a godly task does not mean I should stop. Concerning spiritual matters, I must not obey my body, but my spirit. Our limits should be the limits of our spirit and not the limits of our body.

I went back to sleep despite knowing this and thought to myself that I can just write this when I have time. Well, now, 16 hours later, I finally had the time. This incident again shows my weaknesses but, praise God, at least I know this weakness. This will be very hard, but I need to go beyond the body if I’m doing God’s work.

E: 6:08pm

12/28/09: About Baptism

12/28/09: About Baptism


Another thing that concerns me is baptism. I would feel more comfortable if it was just Jesus, Pastor John, and me there. As private as possible because if it’s open, I’m afraid people would not attend it. I’m afraid people would judge me because so few of them would attend my baptism. That might reinforce the fact that I’m not popular, or socially adept. It might bring the “who cares about Steven” mentality.

No, the truth is, I feel hurt when I’m not treated equally as others. Only this time, it’s my fault since I was really introverted and closed to my church before I joined the Army. I don’t want to know the truth because the truth hurts. I already know I’m unpopular. I already know that nobody cares about me equally. It’s painful enough. I don’t want to see the consequences of it. There are times when I just want to give trying to be with people and kill myself since without others I cannot survive. I tried going alone in the Army and it nearly drove me crazy. I was on the verge of death until I decided to take the guts to reconnect with God’s family. I might as well know the truth before I die, but I was wrong. I received many e-mails from my church asking how I was doing. Then, when I made a facebook account, I was surprised at the results. I am a lot closer to reality now, and I know the truth. People treat me differently at church because I am still an outsider. And I probably always will be. It’s painful; another thorn I have to endure.

But then, there are many times I tell myself: who cares? The only person I need is Jesus. With God, all things are possible. I can go through life alone with Jesus. I tried it. I can’t. I still sin against God. I needed Christians to help me spiritually against the forces of darkness (esp. flesh).

This is why I’m thinking, forget it. I don’t need to be baptized here. There are too many social repercussions for me. It’s too painful. And even if the people treated me equally, I might not be able to stand it, since I wasn’t used to it. But then, life is all about stepping outside the comfort zone and trusting in God. I tell myself frequently that many times, I can’t do it, but I will do it anyways because I trust in God and God will take care of me. And yes, God did take care of me even though sometimes it was in the end.

Then, another issue is, am I ready to be baptized? God helped me so much in the Army, I cannot deny it. I can write stories after stories about what the Lord had done for me. But, I still sin against God. Many times, I still choose to follow the desires of my flesh instead of God. I would be in conflict and agony until I give up to my flesh. Then, I would be in agony again because of it. I continue to follow God, I continue to seek Him, because I need Him, and He created me. My spirit says yes, but my flesh says no.

Lastly, I”m still thinking whether to make facebook a picture of my Dorian Gray, but it could be too embarrassing for me.