Archive for March, 2007

thoughts and such.

i’m starting to wonder if doing the ‘christian thang’ on campus is worth it.

.

.

my answer is leaning towards no.

pocket power

Without Thy sweet mercy, I could not live here.
Sin would reduce me to utter despair,
But through Thy free goodness, my spirit’s revived
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

the highlight of last week: (besides being completely immersed in middle eastern culture, hanging out in the ghettos of jersey city and the bronx, seeing old sgl’s, eating yummy egyptian food, and learning more about racial reconciliation than i ever expected in a week) sitting in worship with a 2 year old sitting behind you, singing how deep the father’s love for us. he probably didnt even know what half the words meant, but man.. how precious is that? :)

ps. — sign up on www.pocketpower.org! get free tracks. spread His good news :D

center

it’s just that feeling… you know? that feeling that something’s not right. the feeling that something’s missing in the world, in our lives. i think you summed it up perfectly last night in your jumble of thoughts and questions and run-on sentences.

it’s so … ___ being in the city again. but i feel like i’m on the wrong side of the river. i keep thinking about nycup and what they must be doing right now. i keep thinking about charles and simeon. i keep thinking about a week, it was only a week, a week is so fleeting and small and insignificant… i think about what it means to be jaded. i don’t ever want to be numb to a 13 year old asking for 100’s. i keep thinking about what it means for Jesus to say that the poor are blessed… and to look out into this great city and wonder if maybe Jesus was right and thought about this one when he was preaching all those years ago.

i keep thinking about how i grew up. i moved into suburbia when i was 9 and never left. i grew up with starbucks and dominicks and toyota acuras and chinese school on the weekend. my spirit is willing, but when push comes to shove, is my flesh willing? can i be faithful?

.

.

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sometimes i feel like i really don’t have words anymore.

it’s enough to make me wish i could crawl up into that ball and not think about.. anything anymore.

sing to me Your song

we drove through some of the poorest regions of jersey city today.

and in retrospect, i’m not really sure i know how to feel. being in the city is so … displaced from being in the bronx last year. part of me still can’t believe that i’m still thinking about the people from lpac, the sermons i heard that week, the questions God placed in my heart now that,… one year later, are still left unanswered.

i wonder if this is how all missions trips are supposed to be. i feel like this one’s haunting me.

how lovely…

a few days ago, when i was on my joy!-high, i asked myself if i would still be this joyful when my circumstances changed.

the last few days:

google talk, friend of god, 5:30 am, allergies, lab, interview, joint, cookies, last word, clean room :D.

drive, trucks, new york, jerseyy, egyptian families, ‘foul,’ little miss sunshine, jeans, black tea, joy.

egyptian service, path, subway, chinatown, vietnamese, tim keller!, starbucks, macy’s.

i love being here.

God is the source of joy :D

fleeting

who is man that You are mindful of us?

sigh.
things were a lot easier in fourth grade when i could slip you my chocolate chip cookie under the cafeteria table and it made things all better. other things don’t heal as quickly.

so good

today,

i am joyful

simply because

i was able to wake up in the morning

and breathe and be and feel and live

all by the unfathomable grace of jesus.

God is so good,

He’s so good to me…

you know, it’s been a while since i’ve experienced joy. i’m tired and busy and weary and have been running around campus for the past 16 hours, but yet.. i’m feel so much joy simply because God has saved my soul. this weekend has been a most excellent one indeed :)

//

so yesterday, i got into a little bit of an argument with an xy about what i think is one of the hardest things about cross-gender communications. in retrospect, it was a rather stupid argument that went along the lines of…

“do you want to open or close in prayer?”

“i don’t care.. ”

“well, the choice is yours..”

“i really don’t care…”

“okay then.. you open and i’ll close.”

“oh.. okay.”

“… what.”

“nothing!”

“okay, then you can close and i’ll open.”

“i didn’t say i’d rather close!”

“but you didn’t sound happy about having to open…”

“it’s prayer — i don’t care”

“why can’t you just tell me what you want?”

“oh gosh, this is about more than prayer, isn’t it”

“it’s just that simple though! just tell me what you want, or what you want to do..”

“yo it’s not that easy!!”

“guys can’t read girls’ minds!”

and so on and so forth… until finally,

“we’re so dumb. how does God put up with people like us?”

“i have absolutely no idea… ”

“… let’s pray.”

it’s almost funny how these things come up over and over, how sometimes we learn — and then again, sometimes we don’t. once again, nothing against the person that this conversation was with — just one example of the classic xx/xy communication conflict.

… i bet you’re wondering who opened and closed now :P

qing tian

a beach.

a wide beach that doesnt end on either side

where the sand doesn’t have shards of glass,

or even broken seashells

where there are dolphins swimming in the horizon

and as you get closer, the water is that perfect shade of blue

where there’s the perfect amount of sunshine, shade, and breeze

and maybe a frisbee or two.

a few friends.

a coffee stand.

a guitar and the book of mark.

and nights that are cloudless and filled with constellations and shooting stars,

but it’s not cold outside

and you could just

fall asleep

right there

mm.. that sounds really nice right about now.

svm2

you know,

thinking about svm2, i was a really bad spot emotionally when it last happened. i think right after it happened last year, i had a dream that i was in charge of it and leading the nations prayer time — but looking back in my journals, i have no mention of it.

(sometimes i wonder how much has really changed in college. but then there are these defining markers that scream of how God’s been redefining who i am.)

svm2 this year reminded me of urbana in a way. we even sang unify us and had commitment cards in the end. i gave an exhortation about this generation to close the night — about how missions is not the end goal, the kingdom of God is… tied in with ps. 102 and mobilizing this generation to challenge them to go. a few people have approached me about it and expressing their appreciation for the msg, and questions about missions and a heart for God’s kingdom in general. it’s kind of exciting :P

there is hope in this generation last night. it’s different worshipping with people on your right and your left that you know, can keep accountable, live across the hall from you. it’s different planning things like this and running around trying to find sheets or cards or tape and finally just to collapse (.. sometimes literally) in prayer. it’s different leaving knowing that you might not be 25,000, but it’s okay, and God just need a mustard seed. just that.

(more thoughts later when i’m not running from mtg to mtg on a 23-hour day :P)

so that we will change the world….

resurrection, gluons, revolution, etc.

i was thinking about skipping class today so i could sleep in for my circuits prelim tonight. but as i was brushing my teeth, i had this thought — will you not go to your battlefield simply because you do not want to or want to? or because you are needed? .. so i dragged myself to the arts quad for another exciting day of hearing my professor rant about how crazy christians are.

we talked about the eucharist today — its origins, the last supper, and how it eludes to the second coming. we went over mark 14, and how Jesus broke the bread — known as aphikoman a greek word, derived from aphikneomai, to ‘come’ or ‘arrive’. half of the aphikoman loaf is then hidden, just as the messiah up until this point is hidden.

then he says it.

take. this is my body.

Jesus presents himself as the once hidden messiah, the coming king, the one who is coming and arriving and came and is here. he actually stops before taking the traditional fourth cup of wine — (vs.25) and is seen to refuse any other wine as recorded in the gospels (i.e. when wine is offered while he’s being crucified).

we talked about how the lord’s prayer is so often misinterpreted because, when it asks for our ‘daily bread,’ it’s not asking for actual bread — it’s the symbolic bread that is part of the jewish haggadah service. we ask for the kingdom and for the messiah to come. which at this point, i thought about how little i actually pray for kingdom come.

well. then my professor started talking about the resurrection and how ridiculous it is for christians to believe in it. he talked about how certain things in the bible are absolutely crazy to believe in — virgin birth, walking on water, healing, etc… and how it’s common sense to throw these things out. i’m infinitely grateful for my (newly made!) friend from navs who at this point butted into his ranting and disagreed with him, but it got me thinking. about physics.

so, (in layman’s terms for the non-nerdy) the basic makeup of an atom is a bunch of protons and neutrons in the center, with electrons “orbiting” the nucleus. but.. what keeps the protons together? common sense tells us that protons don’t want to stay together. so, we could 1. either deny that protons could be joint and all of the world would break down as we know it, or 2. admit that this phenomenon is happening and search for a reason.

that reason is the strong nuclear force — gluons (rbg) hold these protons together, a force that is thousands of times (maybe more) strong than gravity and e&m.

things don’t always make sense… but we can deny their existence, or have faith in a reason. (even if we don’t understand).

//

anyway. wow, my thoughts are just racing this morning. kudos if you’re still reading :P

svm2 is also coming up this saturday — promo video found here. i can feel the tension and stress and barriers in this week beforehand — academically (three prelims, ick), spiritually worn out from worrying and planning, and emotionally being up and down from certain interactions. and over and over i keep thinking, fight for joy, fight for joy, fight for joy…

last night, in our final planning meeting before saturday’s craziness, we took a good chunk of time just to repent. we personally and corporately confessed our sins, against one another, against God, through prayer for forgiveness and healing. i remember opening my eyes after john closed, looking around at the room — at the faces from different fellowships, some familiar, some new, and thinking how utterly broken we all were.

and maybe that’s what’s so glorious about it. He can (and will) use us despite all that.

God’s gonna do a new thing in you….