Sunday, September 30, 2012

10,000 reasons

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Came back from church today and again felt a rush of gratitude for the family of believers I have to call my own. I smiled at the recollection of today's frisbee game and being bulldozed to the ground after catching a frisbee. I'm so glad that I have found a body of believers that I finally feel like I belong to. Perhaps its because I've always struggled with a sense of belonging. Perhaps its because I've always resisted fitting in, belonging. But now I embrace that sense of belonging with every bit of my being.

Then a stray thought entered my head. It seemed that for the past five months, since after Easter, I've always been in a happy-go-lucky mood. Its like my problems have become so minuet that they've almost completely disappeared. Every Sunday I'm just so excited for church and while I'm there I'm just so full of joy. Every week, little strains and problems here and there barely disturb me.

So I thought to myself, "Is that a bad thing? That I truly don't have any problems?" And the answer was no. It isn't a bad thing that little minute things don't bother me anymore. Over the past months, from February onwards, since I started going to Highland Christian Fellowship every Sunday, I've grown so much spiritually and drawn so much closer to the Lord. And as my daddy once told me, when I struggling in 11th grade with priorities, when you stick close to God, everything else falls into place. What truth. Because now that my relationship with my Father has doubled and tripled, I know that He is the one in control, and He carries my burdens for me.

Singing the verse written above this morning in church, I couldn't help but smile. There really are ten thousand reasons for my heart to sing and for my soul to resonate. I'm just overflowing with His joy right now and I can't keep silent.

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. Psalm 71:15

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Perfect Place, Perfect Time

So I'm taking a very minute break in my insane study-as-hard-as-you-can-before-the-day-of-your-test afternoon to type out this really quick post.

Basically because I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness.

Thankful that crazy weekends can be so much fun.

Thankful that I'm strengthening old relationships... all the way from Malaysia. Strengthening current relationships... in different states. Strengthening newer relationships. And forming different impressions of different people as I start to spend more time with them.

Thankful for different personalities, genders, ages, and race.

Thankful for people I can look up to, people I can depend on, people I can laugh with, people I can help, and people I can learn to accept.

Thankful for relationships. For friends.

But most importantly, thankful that in this period of my life, God knew exactly whom I needed to know and interact with.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

God was into Building Science.. too.

Every day, after attending all my classes for that particular day, I come back and kinda fall into this semi-conscious state which I'll entitle as: the state of shock when you actually realize you're learning a lot from college.

I mean, it is so true. I went through elementary, middle (partly), and high school learning a lot of stuff mentally, emotionally, and spiritually but it wasn't like it dawned on me everyday how much I had learned in that one day. But after just one day of college, each day, whether it was 4 classes that day or only one class, I come back and I'm like, "Wow my knowledge has just increased!"

So I've formed a conclusion why my earlier education didn't seem as educational as college is. Basically, throughout my 10 years or so of earlier education, I learned exactly the same thing each year, just in more advanced levels as I progressed. Math, Science, English, History, Reading, Writing... Math, Science, English.. the cycle continues.

But here, in college, I'm learning completely different skills. I mean, think about it, when was the last time you were taught to draw? Possibly when you were four. And I've never been taught about how a building is built, how to draw out floor and elevation plans, how to draw in perspective, how to present your design to your client, and stuff like that. I mean, some of those skills come naturally to some of us - just like how some people just know how to write. Doesn't mean if you know how to write, you get to skip English class.

I guess the point I'm getting to is that this college education that I'm getting, it's actually working.

So in class today, we were learning about foundations. And my professor was talking about building on rock, or sand, or silt, or clay. And he said, "So if you build on rock, you know your foundation and building is not going to sink. It ain't going nowhere."

Immediately the parable Jesus tells us about the house on rock and the house on sand popped into my mind:

The Wise and Foolish Builders

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27

These are one of the times when I wish I knew Greek. Cause then I would actually be able to research and find out if Jesus really said "sand." Cause I learned today that sand really isn't bad of a foundation. Not as great as rock, obviously, but still pretty solid. However, maybe in the original language, Jesus said silt, or clay, or soil instead. And perhaps the translators just weren't building science majors.

But that really isn't the point. The point, that dawned on me, was that:

God was into building science too!

Which really isn't super surprising but I guess I never really thought about it that way. Obviously he was into building science! He created the whole world. He's the best architecture, general contractor, interior designer, landscape architecture, mason, electrician, and all others professions related!

It looks like I have some high standards to live up to. But I don't really see it that way. The fact is, I'm not trying to compete with God and become better than Him, instead the greatest interior designer of all times is going to be helping me and we're going to be business partners working together for the glory of the Creator! And that business contract is the best I've ever heard of. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Courage... and Honor

"Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you're not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don't. It all depends on who you are, where you come from. Didn't at least one of the six hundred guys think about giving up, and joining with the other side? I mean, valley of death that's pretty salty stuff. That's why courage it's tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you're doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason for you either do something or you don't. It's who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good. I think that's what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too."

- Michael Oher, from The Blind Side

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paradox of Our Time

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers.
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less.
We buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families.
More conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense.
More knowledge, but less judgment.
More experts, but more problems.
More medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much,
Spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
Drive too fast, get angry too quickly,
Stay up too late, get up too tired,
Read too seldom, watch TV too much,
And pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life
We've added years to life, not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We've conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We have higher incomes, but lower morals.
We have more food, but less appeasement.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion.
Tall men, and short character.
Steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare.
More leisure, but less fun.
More kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce.
Of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology has brought this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just press Ignore.