Saturday, March 27, 2010


Why is it when we hear something we don't like, we pretend to not hear it or respond to it?

Take this for example, call me a bad daughter, but there are times where I'm asleep and I can hear my mom calling me from the next room. I'm half-asleep, but I'm also half-awake. Naturally my mind says, "Hello, wake up your mom needs you." My body responds, "I don't know what you're talking about."

I can't express to anyone how much I hate it when I hear shallow perceptions of the Gospel. It's like my stomach gets tied into a knot and someone is constantly punching me in the gut. I can't sit still and I get so angry and frustrated.

There will be times where pastors may preach that because God loves us, we should accept him into our hearts and he'll make everything better. Nothing frustrates me more than this.

1. Who are WE as humans to have the right to decide if God intervenes in our life or not. God intervenes whether we like it or not. Anything and everything that happens in our life is meant to glorify Him. 
Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

2. Really? God would give us anything our little hearts desire? Is that really why we "accept" him? Oh, okay, it's not like he saved a fallen race from God's holy and righteous wrath, and because he saved us, we get to have Jesus and spend an eternity with him. As for anything we want? Jesus should be sufficient for all our needs.
Colossians 1:13-14
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Just the other day, my mom likes to watch this "Christian" channel and it KILLS me what is shown on the television. The segment that made me cringe is when the spokesperson was talking about the end times and my response was, "Oh boy... This should be interesting." I proceeded to watch their discussions about how Jesus was soon to return and how we should be prepared for his arrival when he does come back (along side with a few horrible analogies and parallels). Then start showing clips from movies of end times or natural disasters. REALLY? So I guess we're either going to persuade people to think that Jesus would give us what we want or we can just scare them into the faith right? Just when you think the program couldn't get any worse, the man whips out a water filtration system and says, "You never know when Jesus'll come back, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. You can purchase this water filtration product at...' Woooooow... this was a joke....
Among other things that frustrate me, shallow worship songs.
There are those songs that are repetative saying, "Take - take - take it all!" for literally 10 minutes... Has our worship through music really like this? Should our words be shallow in giving thanks the the Almight God? Of course not! Yes, we know that we need Jesus, but what about all he's done and why we need him? This is just frustrating...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Beaten Path

So I went on a hike today in Half Moon Bay and I can only recommend that you hike in Half Moon Bay also. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect for hiking. It was surreal. I couldn't help, but think how life is often like a hike up a really big hill.

Being the English student that I am, I began to think about how life in gereal was a lot like a hike on the beaten path (Analogies! Always thinking of new analogies!). Life was notjust confined only to the beaten path, but also all the redwood trees, poison oak, ferns, rock formations and more. This was a representation of the beauty of life. The beaten path represented my path to my goal and I would accomplish this goal whenever I had reached the top of the hill. Obviously  reaching a long term goal isn't very easy. I couldn't exactly see everything that's around me because I was too busy focusing on the beaten path making sure there isn't anything in my way that would hurt or or harm me. When I did try to focus on my surroundings, I found myself worrying about my safety and returned my eyes to the fallen path. My absorption on the path represented all the obstacles that life throws at me, whether it would be the norms of society, the expectations of others, what I expect from myself. I got to the point where I stopped to take a breather and that was when I could look around and just enjoy God's creation. We all need much needed breaks from the world. We just need to stop what we're doing and just enjoy life and remember what it's all about.

There were times on the hike when I just wanted to stop and go back due to the aches and pains of my body. Old injuries were coming up and were irritated by the terrain. This represented the times where I'd run into familiar situations that I didn't want to deal with, but i had to if I wanted to obtain my goal.

Almost getting up to the top, I was reminded that I had to go back down all the way back down the way I came. I didn't want to do that. I just wanted to get to the top and stay there and somehow teleport myself back to where the cars were. So I gave it some though about stopping where I was and return back, but then I would miss the gratification in saying that I complete the hike. I finally made it to the top and what a breath taking view it was. It was worth it. I reached my goal.

Now the walk back down wasn't bad at all, although I must say I missed the uphill walks. However, it reminded me of all the things that I went through in order to obtain my goal. I looked back and said, "Hey, I made it through that? That wasn't that bad. I could do that all over again, but the next time with ease because I know how to deal with it." I could use my experiences to encourage others in perservering to obtain their goal because it's worth it.

It's not worth giving up if you're going to regret not doing it for the rest of your life.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne. Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
-Crown Him with Many Crowns - Matthew Bridges

What does it mean to be a Christian?
Does it mean that one believes in God and how Jesus died for the world so that we can go to heaven? Or does it mean that one believes in God and how Jesus died for believes so that we can have Christ and know that he is all we need and because of this, we know heaven is ours?

This is a concept that my mom has yet to grasp. In her final days or months, I want her to see Christ as her everything, not just a passage to heaven. I know that she knows that Jesus should be everything she needs and desires, but I don't know if she has grasped this just yet.

As it feels like the world is crashing down, I know that my attitude should be one of joy and of contentment, but my flesh says otherwise. I want my soul "to awake and sing of Him who died for me." Right now I feel like a corpse walking through life, playing catch-up to everything as of recent and that's not how I want to live. I want me to know that I'm doing the best that I can at everything, not just doing things just to get by. I noticed that the quality in work has decreased from being stretched so thin.

I know my mom is one who is very needy and when she asks for a small favor, about 20 other things follow after it. Just recently after being wiped-out at school, I went home and took a nap only to be woken up like the following, "Hannah? Hannah, are you awake yet? Han, are you-- oh good! You're awake now. Could you get me some hot water now please?" I lose time in just doing things I want to do. I don't find myself playing my guitar as much anymore, but rather fetching hot water ever 10 minutes for my mother or putting her blankets on her or whatnot. Nothing goes uninterrupted.

I want to do my best and keep my composure and patience with her because I know she's tired, hurting and can't do what she would normally do, but sometimes I just can't put up with it. I do my best, but I find myself losing my patience so quickly with her. She loses her patience really quickly also and both of our clashing personalities break out in total war... not really... hahah but I think you get the picture. It's not her fault because I know that she's bound to act differently due to the cancer pressing upon her brain.

While I'm serving my mother with an ungrateful or loving attitude, I'm later convicted of my actions and am reminded that I need to be doing everything with love and gratefulness or I shouldn't be doing them at all. I need to follow in Christ's example in doing everything selflessly. Jesus would do the same for me no matter how much I nagged or complained. I pray that my attitude and mindset is changed immediately.

"God is most gloried in you when you are most satisfied in Him in the midst of loss, NOT propserity."
- John Piper (Sermon: Where Is God?)
To hear the full sermon: Where Is God? (<---Link)

"I need no other argument, I need no other plea! Don't tell me he'll heal me. I don't care! Don't tell me he'll give me a fine car or a wonderful home or insurance or my best life now! I don't need it! Tell me one thing: Did he shed his own blood for my soul? Then don't cheapen the call! As Leonard Ravenhill said, 'Christ will offer you two things: eternal life and a tree to die on, but because of His blood, 'tis enough.'" - Paul Washer (Sermon: The Acropolis of the Christian Faith)
To hear the full sermon: The Acropolis of the Christian Faith (<---Link)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Beauty in the Breakdown..."

Currently listening to: "Let Go" by Frou Frou

What does that mean: "Beauty in the Breakdown?"
Does it mean that we find happiness in others' suffering?
Does it mean that we find contentment in our struggles?

Although I find that "Let Go" by Frou Frou is all about existentialism. The song is about how one is trying to find who they are, but will not take any risks or chances in order to find out who they are. The song encourages people to get out there and step out of "[their] bubble wrap when [they have] no idea what [they are] like..." "Let Go" was probably not written with a Biblical reference intended, but that's what I love about ambiguous lyrics. They leave room for interpretation.

I am going to focusing on the line, "It's alright because there is beauty in the breakdown."

The struggles that we all go through are difficult to endure and preservere through, but we always find a way. I think this is where the line "beauty in the breakdown" applies. Despite what we go through, we inspire others around us with how we handle the situations that are thrown at us. The "breakdown" is represented by all obsticales or trials in our lives, whether it'd be making the decision of where we are to go to college, whether this decision should be made by ourselves or by our parents. Or perhaps the "breakdown" is represented by our internal conflict in trying to find solutions to our problems. The "beauty" of it is how we make it through, bruises, scratches and all.

Although living with cancer 24/7 has brough out the worst in my mother (I'm sure it would do the same to me), in handling her situation, she has brought beauty to her breakdown. She has been strong and did her best to remain positive. She would not have been able to do this had it not been for God's grace. As hard as it is sometimes to comprehend, God has had her days predestined before she was in existence. All our days are numbered, we just don't know when that final day will be, but for my mom, her time is soon.

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Yes, it's easier to type out than to live by, but Jesus is sovereign over all things. Whatever God choses for my mom, life or death, he is glorified in it, just as he was in the death of his Son. I wish I could say I find peace in knowing this, but I'm being selfish. I want my mom to stay, but if she were to stay, she suffers more as the cancer eats away at her.
If God takes her soon, my only prayer is that my mother finishes her walk with Jesus on earth well. I want her to hear those words of "Well done, good and faithful servant, with whom I am well pleased."

This is the beauty in the breakdown.
John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be save through him. Whoever believes in him i snot condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does nto come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

In summary
The breakdown: a fallen race, undeserving of grace or mercy, only deserving an eternal wrath of a holy and just God.
The beauty: a sacrifice to take the place of the fallen race, so that we would live in eternity with Jesus bringing glory to Him who is all-deserving.