Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Contentment within this Season

As the holiday season approaches, many are frantically flooding the mall hoping to find things for others and find things for themselves that might possibly make them content.

But how long does that contentment last?

Are we as a human race only to find happiness for a short amount of time and then move onto something else that might temporarily satisfy our happiness as well?

We keep running this race of setting up goals for ourselves. We find ourselves running at things saying, "Just one more! Then I'll be satisfied." What are we trying to satisfy in the first place? We turn to possessions, relationships, food, music, you name it, to fill this void that we can't seem to fill. 

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we are searching for things that only One can wholly satisfy. Why are we looking to the temporary to satisfy our eternal needs?

As Christians, it is so easy to be influenced by our culture. A little too easy. Our culture tells us what we need, what we want, who we need to be. But as Christians, where does our identity lie? 

Paul says in the letter to the Ephesians that because of what Christ has done on the cross on our behalf, we are "no longer strangers and aliens, but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God..." and "Therefore [we are to] be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (2, 5:1-2). So since "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life of I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Since we are in Christ, who is our everything, why do we turn to worldly possessions in hope to find satisfaction? Is God not all-knowing? Is He not sufficient for you? "And my God will supply every need of yours according  to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

We have become a selfish human race, unfortunately. This is what our culture presses upon us: that we should hold ourselves high, consider ourselves, and have self-empowerment. Who are we to steal glory from God who deserves all the glory? 

He gave us the ultimate gift that no one else could give. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on our behalf. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us... " (Galatians 3:13). We are a sinful race. There is absolutely nothing that we, as a sinful human race, can do to win even the slightest favor in God's eyes. "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy" (Romans 9:29). Christ died in our place that was rightfully ours. And to prove that He was Lord, he rose from the dead three days later. "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). So then, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

So instead of considering how we feel or what we want this holiday season, why not consider the good works that God has done for us. Stop contemplating on things that you don't have, but be grateful for what you already have: salvation in Christ.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hope for Sudan: Micah 6:8

Border Region, Sudan, Africa.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Kim and Global Post

This is where my heart goes.

This is where my heart breaks.

Right now, in Sudan, there are 200,000 civilians being starved to death.
This has gone on for several years.

Unfortunately, this has been brought to my attention recently.

And now, I bring it to yours. So please, bear with me. Pray with us. Join us.

Where we sit as a country, we are comfortable, in our homes and offices.

Where Sudan sits as a country, they are running. Running on empty. Running for their lives. They are dying.

We, as a country, have so much.
And what of the Sudanese people? They have their hunger, fear and imminent death.

What can we do?

These are the facts and this is our mission:

These stifling facts have weighed heavy on the hearts of people at Hope Church.

I ask that you join us. Help us. Help us help these people.

Help us by praying, giving or going.

Pray BOLDLY. Our God is mighty. He can do all things.
Pray for this effort.
Pray for Sudan. 
Pray for the people. 
Their physical state, their bodies, their lives. There is a lack of food. 
Their spiritual state, their souls, their eternal lives. Though their lives, here, on earth, have value, this value is insignificant in comparison to their eternal souls.
Pray that they hear the gospel and be renewed and transformed by it.
Pray that they hear of Jesus Christ, what He has accomplished for us on the cross and believe.
Pray for their leaders. That they would come to know Christ, repent and follow Him.
Pray for those that are saved. That they would have perseverance through this fight.

As you know, the first stage of our effort is to raise $25,000 in five weeks. We ask that you give as much as you can, whether it be $1, $10, $100. Anything will help us mobilize this mission.
You can DONATE HERE or send a check to the following address:

Hope Church of San Mateo
  PO Box 25268
  San Mateo, CA 94402

Be encouraged to know that we have raised 20% of our goal, so far.

Will you join our efforts?

We have so much to give. So will you?


We are not asking you to go to Sudan this instant, although it is very needed. We are asking you to
Go educate yourself. Find more to this issue that what's been provided here. (Links provided below with additional information.)
Go inform your family, friends, co-workers.
Go tell everyone you know, not just the people you think will make a difference.
Go raise awareness on this topic.
Go repost this blog or our site: hope4sudan.hopesanmateo.org
Go get involved with us at Hope.

Our efforts here are not to make much of ourselves, but to make much of Christ, who has given us more than we could ever repay.

So I, as your friend, ask you to pray, give AND go.

Additional information about the events that have occurred in Sudan:

He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 ESV)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
This truly was my theme this whole 2nd year around in college. There were most definitely many things to pray, rejoice and give thanks about.
I got all my classes that I needed regardless of my late registration date. 
I took Anatomy Lecture, Anatomy Lab (mind you, this class came with a cadaver... or 13), ASL 4, Intro to Jazz, and Educational Psychology in Children. I was also a T.A. for an ASL 1 class.
"So, uh, you know that anatomy final I was supposed to study for?"
My schedule consisted of study, study and study. I was most definitely busy. If not with school, it was with the acappella group and Bible Study.
The Acappella group went on tour during spring break in Northern California.That was most definitely fun. I don't know if I want to do that this next year, seeing how much work and time was put into this, but I'll do it again another time. Just not next year.
On tour in Northern California!
Bible Study was most definitely an adventure. I had the joy in being a part of a small group and in this small group, we went through "Praying Backwards" by Bryan Chapell. This book was such an encouragement to me. I really would recommend you read this. It's obvious that prayers are meant to be a reflection of the heart, but I often times find my prayers becoming repetitious. This book has reshaped my prayer life.
So as you can see, there was a lot to be praying, rejoicing and giving thanks about. I most definitely couldn't have done any of this with my own strength. The Lord was my source of strength. Through this all, the Lord was reminding me on a daily basis of his goodness, simply from waking me up in the morning to start my day. Why is it that we only thank God for the big things in life? Is it because it's more noticeable? Why not give thanks to the Lord for every single little thing, regardless of how significant or insignificant?

I can tell you that it is easier relying on the Lord when things get rough. The challenge I faced was to continuously praise the Lord when things were good. Kind of odd, seeing that it's the opposite for others. When things were good and easy, I started finding other things to occupy my time instead of filling it with being in the word or praying. I was instantly convicted of this. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 calls us to praise and give thanks to the Lord in all circumstances. When things are going well, I found it easy to turn attention away from God and to myself. I was content with where I was. I didn't see any needs to change it because things were going so well.

But it is because of the Lord that I live, breathe, and walk this earth. It is by him that I can be his child, his own. It's all by him that I can be called his own. It is by him that I understand and live in light of the gospel. My understanding that I am nothing apart from Christ.That I am shown grace on a daily basis. That God sent his perfect, holy son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins and raise again from the dead to prove that he was lord. That it is by the Lord that my desires are his desires, to turn away from my sins and live a life that is honoring and glorifying to him. And for this I praise him for everything.

Along with this year came new friendships that were most definitely made and treasured. I wouldn't change a single thing about any of them. I'm praying that I can continue to keep up with these relationships and that they grow into lifelong relationships.

Speaking of relationships...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Small Update :)

So it's a Leap Year and I thought, why not blog on a leap day? :) and plus you all are due for an update.

Although it has only been one month since my last blog post, I can say that a lot has happened. And to be quite honest, it sure doesn't feel like it has only been a month.

In January, I was fortunate enough to go snowboarding with one of my very good and old friend. No snow, unfortunately, so we had to settle for man made snow. It was a great way to just sit back and enjoy God's creation. Also a very nice break from everyday life. :)

Then when I got back to school, this new gym opened up. It has an indoor track, an amazing rock wall, basketball courts and multiple studio classes. Opening day was kind of crazy seeing how everyone wanted in. It's amazing and I utilize it almost every day! 

Until school really started up, then I had to exercise discipline. I had to purposefully restrain myself from going to the gym to study... anatomy... this class is challenging and yet due to the oh so very fair school grading system, I get 1 unit for this course. How nice! I get to work my tail off only to receive 1 unit... 

But to buffer this anxiety induced by anatomy, it's time for auditions for my acappella group :) We have seen so many talented individuals this semester and hope to grow as a group to be bigger and better than the groups before - to constantly be growing and striving to be better. I'm excited to see of what this new group is capable.

Amidst everyday life, I've managed to squeeze in a couple of new friends ;) I'm excited to see God working in both my and their lives! Soli Deo Gloria!

Acts 20:24
"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Continuous Service

I know that despite my own condition, whatever present or future ailment, joy or tribulation, I will continuously serve the Lord. 

It's so easy to praise the Lord when things are going well and your way. However, it's not so easy to praise the Lord when things aren't so great and, well, not going your way.

For the past month or so, I struggled with this very thing.

I struggled a lot with "Head Knowledge" and "Application."
I knew that God is in control and that no matter what happens, he would still be glorified, but I struggled to live it out. 

After exhausting myself from worrying so often about the little things that I had absolutely no control over, God gave me a reminder. When things are within or out of our reach, we should still give it up to God: Head Knowledge. But did I? Application.

The Lord had changed my heart. He gave me a sense of peace in knowing that no matter where I go and no matter what I do, I would still be serving Him. Serving him in the classroom, at work, at church, etc. Aside from my service to God being continuous, the Lord still remains faithful to those who love him.

Lamentations 3:22-24
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end' they are new every morning' great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

So, 5 class crashes later, and adding several unnecessary classes, I have ALL my classes that I need. Praise the Lord! And to my pleasant surprise, I'm enjoying every single one of them. I have a genuine interest, so it's awesome! :)

I'm currently taking ASL 4, Anatomy and Anatomy Lab, Educational Psychology, and Intro to Jazz. So excited and still as busy as ever! These classes are definitely going to be a challenge, but it's a challenge I don't mind. They're class I need and they're practical for life.

Thank you so much for all your prayers, love and support! It means the world to me.