Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Gift of a New Day

Switchfoot's lead singer wrote this song on on the eve of his 25th birthday with his explanation:

"I wrote this song near the end of my 24th year on this planet. Wherever we run, wherever the sun finds us when he rises, we remain stuck with ourselves. That can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like my soul is polluted with politicians, each with a different point of view. With all 24 of them in disagreement, each voice is yelling to be heard. And so I am divided against myself. I feel that I am a hypocrite until I am 'one' - when all of the yelling inside of me dies down. I've heard that the truth will set you free. That's what I'm living for: freedom of spirit. I find unity and peace in none of the diversions that this world offers. But I've seen glimpses of truth and that's where I want to run." (Jon Foreman)

Even after 24 tries, 24 failures, 24 years of being here, Jon still moves forward to a new life with Christ each new day. For those of us reaching our mid-twenties, can we look back to our past and say that none of it mattered relative to what we do today? Can we begin a new morning with a new attitude?

What influenced this post was when my non-Christian friend posted this song on his Facebook wall and commented: "This is probably the best post-ball cool down song, although to this day I still don't understand it."
It made me genuinely sad to realize that, wow, he's missing out. There is so much depth to what Jon is trying to convey in this song, yet millions of people out there just think it's 'relaxing'. It's relaxing because God's love is peace. But what's even more shameful is... I couldn't explain the meaning of this song even after hearing it for the past 6 years.. until now that is.

Jon was 25 and absolutely knew there was truth out there to be sought after. I am 21 and... absolutely needs to change my attitude.

24 - Switchfoot, Beauitful Letdown
Twenty four oceans
Twenty four skies
Twenty four failures
Twenty four tries
Twenty four finds me
In twenty-fourth place
Twenty four drop outs
At the end of the day
Life is not what I thought it was
Twenty four hours ago

Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You

I want to see miracles, see the world change
Wrestled the angel, for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a cause
I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Make Me Over - Lifehouse

Wrap my arms around your name
Feel your breath against my pain
As I breathe out
The past is gone
Empty smile
Naked heart
Who I was, falls apart
When You're here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Only You

Sunday worship at The Bridge, amazing yet again.
God continues to inspire me with simple surprises.

Just a few weeks ago, a colleague approached me after class and said that he had noticed I was a Christian and told me that he was too. He began to tell me about this idea of forming a bible study group specifically for Schulich students. He said "for the past 3 years at Schulich, all I've seen are people walking aimlessly in and out of this building, so tied up in their affairs and worries about school, jobs and reputation, without even knowing the possibility that there is something greater to this life than that". I completely agreed.
We talked about how the Christians at Schulich are in hiding and I felt like one of them. Doesn't that just sound... typical? We're suppose to be the salt and light of this world, aren't we? We have a mighty God on our side with all the impossibilities now possible through Him, yet we continue to strive for the very least.. or we strive for the very best and give up once it gets too tough. There is a promise that God made to us that He would never put us through something we could not handle.. but when things do really get difficult and unbearable, we complain and blame God, we start believing that God has abandoned our side, and then some believe that God must not be real because of their excruciating circumstances. But all of that is complete ignorance, right? Because when we declare ourselves Christian, as children of God, a friend of Jesus Christ.. the power of God resides within us. And the power of God is far greater than the strength of our own efforts. Hence, when we come to face these mountains, we can move them because of His promise. Never think small, never think that you can't handle it, because God has given you the power to overcome the impossible. Call me opportunistic or overly optimistic, but I am extremely realistic and rational.

Anyway, I think my point being is exactly Pastor Child's point: We set our boundaries too close and we should realize that God will exceed our limits to something unimaginable.

Why do we think and act so small? Why can't we think big like God?

So here God is, trying to speak to me through this guy who I've never had any previous conversation with before, telling me that it's time to stand firm to my faith and do something beyond my everyday habits. The Lord has told me over and over again that by God's great power and for His glory, I should be courageous and bold. And by taking one leap at a time, me and my new friend continue to meet weekly to talk about ideas and ways to serve our community better.

After 3 years at Schulich.. I'd say it's finally about time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life's brighter under the sun.

"Do not let it be said of you that you did not trust God in this."

Searching for a career job, applying to hundreds of places, waiting on callbacks, getting rejected from 95% of them, waiting and waiting, anxiety and fear...finally.. a process I thought would never end, did today when I got offered full-time. Really, all I can say is that God is truly faithful. Even when I was getting rejection letters from companies and not even hearing from any for a while, I knew that I had to stay courageous.

God will not let me down, and so I could not let Him down either. I knew I had to stay faithful and trusting. The process was not at all easy but I firmly believed. I believed truly in my heart that at the end of the day God would provide for my every need.

He reassured me through many different signs and I needed to be patient and accept the fact that it would be all in his perfect timing.

Something that I have taken away from this job process is that I have been made for God and it is my journey to follow His purpose.

I cannot forget that.

Nothing can separate, even if I ran away... Your love never fails.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Need for good relationships in your life

"Every now and then, a relationship goes beyond solid to become significant, a relationship that is pivotal to your life. I don't think anyone can try to create one of these relationships. I call them simply God's gift to me. I don't deserve them-but I do need them. People with whom I have enjoyed this kind of relationship give beyond reason and lift me up to a level I could not achieve without them." - J.C.Maxwell

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
(Luke 12:48)

Do not let it be said of you that you didn't trust God in this.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Life of Simplicity

Today was a good day at The Bridge. Pastor Trevor Moss spoke about living a life of simplicity and how we seem to bump into so many roadblocks along the way.

A man gave a short testimony about his near-death experience from a surgery he underwent a year ago. It was two weeks of desperately trying to save his life and afterwards he endured another 7 weeks of recovery. He said that during this time he realized that he had forgotten about the simple things in life. He was just running on adrenaline and eventually lost sight of what the most important things meant to him, like having a family.
It was no surprise to me that this man needed a near-death experience to make him start enjoying the blessings of his life, because I know I'm the same. I'm afraid that I'm quickly forgetting about what matters most to me. As I continue to steep into my daily routine, I know I'm losing sight of roadblocks... and that means I'm becoming vulnerable to that saying "You just don't know what hit you until it hits you".

God made man simple; man's complex problems are of his own devising. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Also, sometimes I wonder what is it that I really, truly want in life? This morning I actually felt something tug at my heart and tell me that having everything will never compensate for missing that one thing called 'freedom' in the Lord. Have I become the victim of my own selfishness and pride? Am I deceiving myself into thinking that I am free to do whatever I want, to have whatever I want, when and wherever I want? At the end of the day, does having and doing these things truly make my heart feel at peace?
The bible tells us that the place where our treasure is, is where you should want to be, and where you will end up being. Do I store up treasures here on a decaying earth or do I place my treasures in God's kingdom?

Lastly, living a life of simplicity challenges us by asking "what matters most?". Even if I can become the most affluent and influential woman in this world and a mother of a perfect family, all of it will be worth nothing if I do not know or have the love of God. Therefore, at the end of the day, I yearn for the love of God who provides for my needs and wants, who heals me from pain, and who encourages me to be stronger than mountains.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:33-34

Monday, October 26, 2009

Worry Wort

Yesterday I attended The Bridge Markham Pentecostal Church and heard Pastor Brian Childs speak on Worry- part one of the "Stepping Up" series.

Definitions of "worry"
- To choke or strangle (Old English)
- A divided mind (Greek)

Myth: I can control my life by worrying about it.
Truth: Worrying makes us miserable in the moment.

The words he spoke hit home for me. These past two months has only been about worry. I question as to how I've been moving through the days. I look back and see that although my worries may have driven me here to this day, it comes with consequences. I cannot trust the things that are so easy to trust and he explained it perfectly saying that "worry and trust cannot coexist in the mind".
I know God has been telling me lately that I need to enjoy each moment and that worrying about yesterday or tomorrow forces you to forget about the blessings of today. I owe unending thanks to my Lord but at most times I cannot help but fret and be a worry wort. I do not know how to feel thankful because I have not been able to trust in God. Pastor Childs also mentioned that "worry is unchristian in a sense that although we are God's children, we act like orphans!".

Have we been acting like completely lost and foolish sheep? Have we forgotten the implications of our salvation? For Christians, our roots lay as children of God and it is inherent that we become stewards of love, joy, peace...

The Painting Competition: My adaptation
There once was a king who commissioned a painting competition among his people. The chosen winner would be the one who accurately depicted the image of peace. After thousands of rejections, it came down to two very different paintings. The first painting was of a serene river leading to a soft mountain, with clear blue skies, angelic white clouds, and animals resting. All the people praised this image and said it perfectly depicts peace and should win first prize.
The second painting, on the other hand, showed violent raging waters leading to a dark and ridged mountain, with stormy skies and lightning in the clouds. Off in the corner of the painting was a wind-struck tree and among the branches was a mother bird caring for her babies, feeding them.
The king decided that the second painting was the best depiction of peace and the confused people asked for his reasoning. He responded, "Peace is not the absence of conflict, rather peace is a state of mind amidst chaos."

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? --Matthew 6:25

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Stand

You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you

I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Final Year Begins

I can't believe I only have one more year left of undergrad and then I'm done. I still feel incredibly young to be graduating, to be working full-time career mode. Feels like life is moving very fast. When do I ever get to just soak in the moment?

Friday, August 28, 2009

This is a picture I took early morning trying to catch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon.
God is beautiful and He makes beautiful things. How can I not marvel at this phenomenon?


Here's a song I've been emotionally attached to for the past while. Haha, when I find a song I feel I can connect to, I obsess over it and have it on repeat for days and even weeks at a time. Below are the lyrics.. hehe.

Above the Golden State - The Sound of Your Name

I tried and tried
A thousand times I tried to get to You
But I could never move
I had to lie
I’d fall behind and blame it all on You
‘Cause I still hate to lose

Towers fall and kingdoms crumble
Mountains bow and the earth will tremble
At the sound of Your name
The strong man falls to Him who humbles
The plans he made were bound to stumble

And only You remain

I cried and cried
A thousands tears I cried because of You
I lost my one excuse
I had to die along with everything inside of me removed
But now I live with You

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What does he/she bring out of me?

"A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your posibilities." - Allen Ward

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Booster Juice

Lately I've been dreading at the fact that I will be entering my 4th year university.. I do not feel prepared for what is to come.. the end of the tunnel is far but near and there's no more shying away.

So I met an old acquaintance the other day and was introduced to an interesting spiritual gift- soul peering, reading, or however you call it. You know how they say you can see a person's soul their through eyes? She could do that!
Over dessert at my friend's birthday party, we were off to the side in our own deep conversation about life. I was telling her that I wanted to exercise my efforts on a path that will better lead me to my potential. I expressed to her my crave to help people, to write novels, and for being a deep-thinker and an abstract. I'm taking this summer school course on Psychology of Women and I shamelessly love it. There is something I love about understanding how our cognitive ability works and why certain emotions come in play. There is something about the way society behaves and influences us and how, as Christians, we are dragged into a tug-of-war. I know I can never grasp this all fully but I want to learn. She concluded that I possess the quality of teachability, which is crucial because Stubbornness never finds its way- it's always chasing its tail.

At one point, she asked me a very frank question: "Do you know who you are?"
I couldn't give her a definite answer and it wasn't because I don't have a grasp of my identity. I am still trying to figure out in the best words what I feel in my heart. So naturally I told her about my experience in the Grand Canyon and that I, without a doubt, felt the sovereignty of the Lord. I described it as a very emotional feeling.. but she insisted it was rather spiritual. That had been the Holy Spirit in me. I didn't really realize until I felt it that I missed it. It scared me that I could actually forget this feeling, what it is and where it comes from.. you know, that incredibly humbling and empowering sense when God is giving you a "moment"?

Finally she told me, "I am not worried for you one bit."
This was the first conversation we had other than a "Hi, hello, how are you." It was really great.

I suppose my confidence for 4th year has renewed..
I just need to remind myself that if I meet God there, He will meet me with armour.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Soul searching in the desert

I just got back from my 5 day trip to Las Vegas.
I know it doesn't sound much like a place to "find your soul" but I guess you can never underestimate the Lord's will to speak to you whereever you go. Maybe it was the vastness of the Grand Canyons, the time spent away from home, or contrarily the sin-city that got me believing more in my faith in God. For the past few months I've been failing at upholding my beliefs and values. That blurry line between faith and doubt has set me up for a viscious cycle that I could not physically, emotionally, or spiritually get out of. This is why I chose to go on this trip, thinking it would be a short 'getaway' to 'get away' from chaos and drama. But of course, a person should never expect that running away from their problems means it's not there anymore- because if there's one thing that will continuously follow and taunt you, it's your emotional baggage. So really in reverse, instead of leaving it all behind, you kind of come to face it.

When you're put into a different setting (I was in a desert), you're given this outside perspective and time. With no agendas or deadlines, you have the ability to soak in everything around you and about you. It makes sense to me now why we're so ineffective when handling our problems.. because while everything piles up, the time is ticking and there are a hundred other things needed to be done. We feel like we are responsible for every action and essentially we want control over whatever we do. So when I left Toronto to come to Nevada, I felt like I just left that "responsibilty" to God... I still had my baggage to claim but still, I was free.

The roadtrip to the Grand Canyon was 4.5 hours. Bina and I upgraded to a convertible so we could live it up like in the typical movie scene- cruising through the desert on a winding dirt road with painted blue skies and endless valleys of rocks and trees. Pictures or words really won't do justice in expressing how beautiful and peaceful it was. For once in my life I felt like I was going with the wind without complaining and without looking back. I hardly knew what to expect of the place we were heading to... but two pitstops and 300 miles later, we arrived. Honestly, you really have to see nature at its best and most majestic to understand how sovereign our God is. I went on a morning hike to watch the sunrise at5 am and that alone took up a quarter of the photos I took this trip (400 total). The feeling that I got just walking the trail in the canyon.. I felt like in that moment, everything made sense. Really, I was in awe of everything surrounding me. The canyon has an incredible stretch and vastness to it. You just can't take it in all at once. I'm hardly emotional on the outside but this was completely overwhelming because I knew that my problems and insecurities were absolutely nothing compared to how big and great our God is. This may sound silly but I really believe that God did just take me thousands of miles across the country to stand in the Arizona desert not by random or without purpose but to kind of prove to me that He is all real. Lately, I've been too caught up in self-help books and mainstream Christian ideologies that it's been eating away at my faith. I've been trusting more in authors and generational trends than God himself. It's about time He made me realize that I've been putting too many eggs in the wrong basket.

I haven't felt the grace and love of God in months and months.. and I finally felt Him there in my heart during this trip. He really is there underneath the distractions, the joy, the sin, the shame.. He is underneath it all.

Sometimes the Lord is just asking us to pick up and go.

"It is a wonder that those exposed to such beauty forfeit the great questions in the face of this miraculous evidence." - D. Miller

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh can I sing this with confidence?

Your Love Never Fails - Jesus Culture

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes, but
You have new mercy for me everyday
Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that you love me
And your love never fails

The wind is strong and the water’s deep, but
I’m not alone here in these open seas
Cause your love never fails

The chasm was far too wide
I never thought I’d reach the other side
But your love never fails

You make all things, work together for my good
"I feel like I have two worlds in my life. There's the Christian world and then there's the world that I try to keep from God. And right now they're both colliding."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I want to go to all the places I don't know about.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The strong man falls to Him who humbles.
- above the golden state

Grand Canyon, Las Vegas in t-minus 10 days!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time to explore. Be a little more daring. Conquer old fears and love new things.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some say the past is important because of how it has shaped you for today. Others say it is completely irrelevant.
I like to believe the latter, but my subconscious tells me that I'm only being naive. It can help to move forward when you take a few steps back.

What I've consistently realized is that whenever I'm facing stresses or worries, my "past" comes back to taunt me in my dreams. Why is that? Could it be that I haven't properly dealt with those issues in the past? Maybe it's a lighthouse warning to guard or prepare myself for things to come...

Monday, June 22, 2009

What would you want in a woman?

"A friend. A true friend, someone who knows me and loves me anyway. You know, like when I'm through putting my best foot forward, she's still there, still the same. I meet these people and it's all conditional- they are all in it for themselves. They are friends with you because you fit the image they want to portray. It's a selfish thing. I'd like to get a girl who doesn't think like that. Don't get me wrong. She's got to be proud of her husband, I know that... but all in all, there's got to be some sort of soul mate thing going on. There are some people in this world who love their spouse because they provide them with the life they want, and there are others who love their spouse just because they've chosen to, or because love has chosen them, or whatever. Something way back endeared one to the other and they made a decision to lock into it."
- don miller

Monday, June 1, 2009

Moving Forward

'The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.'
Deuteronomy 31:8

'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'
Jeremiah 33:3

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cornerstone Sermon on Sin

Proverbs 5
- the most pervasive sin - GREED

Pregnant with sin
- conceived the desire
- don't be deceived that just because you haven't birthed that sin, that it isn't in you
- don't mistake God's grace and mercy for thinking it's okay for you to sin

The lure is incredibly deceptive.
- If you're looking at that bait, you need to recognize that there's a hook under that. Do you want to get hooked? That deadly trap.

Sweet beginnings but bitter endings.
- always offers itself in an incredibly sweet package but ALWAYS leads you to death
- don't be deceived that you can open the package a little bit and then close it back up

Saturday, May 23, 2009

dream entry

I was jogging outside with a group of people and the sky was quickly becoming dark with heavy clouds. It then started to pour so I ran faster and suddenly I was just around the corner of my house.

I was driving my car, lost on the highway very late in the evening. I could barely see anything because it was pitch black out.


A past came back in my dream last night... very unexpected. I guess you can almost expect that from deeply stored away memories. 

So I was at this church function, commemorating the death of my friend's mother. I was playing the piano on the stage, stumbling on which keys to press and pouring down tears. He was there too. Incredibly awkward it was.. but we faced it, pushing aside all our past emotions and tension that once seemed so endless in drama. Although the years have changed our states, you could still feel the same senses lingering there. We said a few words and that was all. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thank You, Jesus
Lord, You're worthy
Of all the glory,
And all the honor
And all the praise

Although I am not in the least bit feeling joyful right now, I have been reminded once again that God is bigger than whatever I'm facing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A quote about Character

"People are like icebergs. There's much more to them than meets the eye. When you look at an iceberg, only 15% is visible- that's talent. The rest 85% - their character - is below the surface, hidden. It's what they do when no one is watching. It's how they react to terrible traffic and other everyday aggravations. It's how they handle failure and success."
- J.C.Maxwell

Sunday, May 3, 2009

True Love

"True love brings with it the ability to give yourself away to that person, to allow your vulnerability to become their strength and their strength your reward."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Problem of Pain - C.S. Lewis

"God is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lately I've been feeling extremely conflicted.
My heart can't stay put in one thought or emotion.
But I've been told that the reason we feel like this is because our hearts haven't caught up with our heads.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What I must be

1) Follower of Christ - true repentance and regeneration

2) Be submissive to the authority God has placed in your life

(watch her with her father and mother and see her attitude of submission)

3) Be submissive to the biblical picture of marriage

Marriage by Design - Voddie Baucham

Monday, April 13, 2009

Martin Luther said he only had two days on his calendar:
today and "that day."
And that's what I want too.
And I want to live
that day.

(Joseph Bayly)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Every sun and moon and star
All declaring who You are
We fall silent in amazement
Every word and deed of man
Every sea and grain of sand
All creation speaks
And now we sing to proclaim Your majesty

Listening to Christian music brings my head back down to my heart.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A little too quiet?

Monday, April 6, 2009

More from Dorian Gray

But I can't help detesting my relations. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.

A dream of form in days of thought.

I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won't argue with you. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.

The harmony of soul and body-- how much that is! We in our madness have separated the two, and have invented a realism that is vulgar, an ideality that is void.

It is a sad thing to think of, but there is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-a-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value.

...The worst of having a romance of any kind is that it leaves one so unromantic.

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly--that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion--these are the two things that govern us.

It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

All I Need is the Air I Breathe

Do you know where your heart is?
Do you think you can find it?
Or did you trade it for something
Somewhere better just to have it?
Do you know where your love is?
Do you think that you lost it?
You felt it so strong, but
Nothing's turned out how you wanted

Well, bless my soul
You're a lonely soul
Cause you won't let go
Of anything you hold

Well, all I need
Is the air I breathe
And a place to rest
My head

Whenever the end is
Do you think you can see it?
Well, until you get there
Go on, go ahead and scream it
Just say it

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Love You, Man

I just saw the movie "I Love You, Man" with Paul Rudd on Saturday. It was about his search for a Best Man for his wedding.

So that night I had a dream and lo and behold it was my wedding!!
I had this really extravagant dress ready to wear and the ceremony was going to take place at this big theatre that was very dimly lite with only the stage and the main aisle carpeted in bold red lite with piercing white lights. There was balcony seating as well where I was standing looking down to the stage. The whole set-up seemed very dramatic and romantic.
However, it was raining and really gloomy out the day of my wedding so we decided to postpone it to another day. How sad... and I didn't even get to see the face of my husband. But I was really really happy in my dream and I woke up happy.

Then in my dream the next night my friend proposed to me and we got engaged. We headed off to this vacation spot in Europe with a couple of our friends. It was beautiful! And what's a story without an antagonist? Of course, one of the friends that tagged along was a very pretty lady who was in love with my fiance and was scheming to steal him away from me. I tried to warn my fiance about her seductive ways and her ulterior motives but he kept brushing it off telling me to just be nice because she doesn't have many friends. I was so frustrated that he wouldn't listen to me so I let him go accompany her during a shopping tour and I went off on my own to the beach. Then as I was walking back to my car in the parking lot a man approached me and started to threaten my life. I ran quickly to my car to get in and lock him out but all he kept violently yelling at me was, "just try and run away! Just try!! you won't get away." In panic, I locked my doors, turned on the engine, and drove off. But as soon as I started zooming off I realized my brakes didn't work.
I saw a huge traffic jam right ahead of me and so I was repeatedly stomping on the brakes but nothing worked and I was locked in my car. The man just watched and laugh. I closed my eyes to embrace the impact and then I woke up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The following are quotes from Oscar Wilde's only published novel. These were the ones that made me stop to think twice. Enjoy!

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those that go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art mirrors.

The only difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.
(caprice - an impulsive, often illogical turn of mind)

The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray…

I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.

Punctuality is the thief of time.

When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.

To be popular one must be a mediocrity.

To define is to limit.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sin- thinking that there's something better behind the door only to open it and walk away with nothing.
- Francis Chan

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
- C.S. Lewis

Monday, March 9, 2009

Therefore, go out.

Nickelback's new song: If today was your last day

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
Tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
what´s worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there´s no second try
So live like you´ll never live it twice
don´t take the free ride in your own life

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Things Start Small

In the past couple of months, I've been deeply thinking about missions.

I've been cooped up in my own world for 20 years now and it's not going to change until I really start obeying the One above. I read this quote by Don Miller saying, "I am the problem... Nothing is going to change in the Congo until you and I figure out what's wrong with the person in the mirror."
He couldn't have put it better. I've asked God many times to change my chaotic and selfish heart and looking back over the years, I don't think much has changed. In fact, it will never fully change because we've been born with it. So I went back to Miller's quote thinking how am I suppose to go out there if it's practically impossible to change myself? I'm still a painful sinner... I really am the problem! But behold a new answer has come: Jesus Christ.

God's love is unconditional to His children. His love is pure, drives out fear, and covers a multitude of sins. So even though my heart is still selfishly chaotic and will most likely be until I die, I now have one thing that I haven't had before: the peace of knowing that God will still use me and wants to use me.

Now that it's taken how many years to figure that out?.. I feel like I'm ready for my next step.

My soul is craving and yearning. Lately, I've been immersing myself in the bible, novels, business leadership, Third World issues and the like. I feel like a huge "dry sponge" as my friend refers me to because I want to soak up as much as I can. It's odd though because I would have never been like this before. Sometimes I don't feel like myself, which is scary.. I mean, could it really be that I'm beginning to finally lose myself in Him? It's trippy art- the art of losing yourself.

So as I constantly hunger, I realize that the instant stuff (and by 'instant' I mean 'temporal' and by 'temporal' I mean 'this world') just doesn't suffice. I need the better food. This time I'm reaching out beyond my grasp for something heavenly and love-binding. Hence now is the start of my calling for missionary support in my home, city, or far away country. Missions isn't only about serving others and the "lost-and-found", it is also needed to reinforce ourselves with God.
It is quite evident that a reason why many of us fail to acknowledge missions is because we don't see the long-term inclination it has. We have let the world fool us into thinking that it has control over us when really we have complete control over it. We take in too many lies, which hinders our faith in God. Thus, missions is a banner that is to be noticed by the ones who decidedly look up, to declare that God is God, the controller and purpose to everything.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I need a Decipher

You know when people say that the dream they just had felt so real?
Here is Dream entry # 100928098147126197 ..

I was on the phone with my mentor and she was trying to tell me that sometimes people come to a fork in the road in having to decide between two very different people. The choice is obvious but we tend to go for the ladder. The first person is the one we fall for hard without any explanation, red flags sailing high, and arrows trying to guide us back the other way. But we don't care because we've become blindly seduced by their presence and we just stand there with butterflies. The second figure is the one with everything to offer, you can list the reasons why you love them, they challenge you, and you have this odd envy or desire to be like them. One is mystery and the other is an open book. One is asking to jump off the bandwagon and the other is asking for marriage.

So as she was explaining this to me, two of my friends popped up into my head that fit these two characters. It's a very hard and confusing decision- but only if you don't know what you want. My mentor continued to speak and say how that is a decision I must make.. and after our whole conversation (or rather me just listening to her speak), she concluded by saying, "Christine.. there is something else. I know we have been confiding in each other for the past while now, but we are going to have to stop now. We cannot talk or be friends anymore."

I was really shocked and at first I responded by saying, "Ok, I understand." But as I kept thinking about it, I didn't understand. We have been building up such a close friendship and I've been trusting her with so many of my secrets.. how? why? She explained very blunt in tone that it wasn't healthy for her. Really, it made no sense at all. So I said, holding back my tears, "Alright, I guess I'll catch you later then..." She hung up.

So it was a day before my exam and I was with my best friend. She wanted me to drop her off at this community centre because they had a free drop-in health and body class. It actually seemed a bit odd and off and I kept looking at the flyer she received and it made more sense to me as a rehab session. But my friend kept insisting that it wasn't and it would be a cool experience. So I dropped her off and of course she dragged me into it (even though at the back of my mind I was thinking about my next day's exam). We entered into a door that only opens from the inside to prevent unwanted outsiders from coming in.

We walked down the winding stairs and I looked at all the people coming in and it just seemed so off. These were people with serious mental issues! What were we doing there? We didn't belong.. Anyway, we kept following and then I looked at another flyer and realized this wasn't what my friend thought it was. A person beside us, held down by people, was scrambling to get away and screaming out that she didn't want it again. The pictures on the flyer were actually really disturbing as I analyzed it closer. There was a 'ringleader' and we were all going to be brainwashed to be his slaves.. In this world, he was the only man we were suppose to and allowed to love.

This wasn't some wellness class, it was a cult.

As soon as I realized this, I grabbed my friend's arm and we started running back up all the flights of stairs. I looked down and realized one of the guys of the program saw us and he started running up, chasing us. So I quickly took us to a classroom and we tried hiding in the closet. But the man found us since the classroom door was still open and so I ran forward shutting the door on him and locking it. But of course, the lock didn't work and we were both forcing the door to go our way. I knew I was losing the fight so I somehow grabbed a wooden stick and as he came barging through the door I used as much force as I could and hit him 3 times- on the shoulders, head, and finally his neck. That put him out and he fell to the ground.

We started running again to the top floor where the exit was and just before we jumped out the door I wrote on the wall "H E L P"..

I woke up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A dream within a dream

Last night's sleep was pretty restless.
Here goes my dream:

As Young (my pastor) was driving me home, we started this great conversation on life and God and then decided to go grab a coffee to continue it. We took the first exit off the highway and pulled into a secluded restaurant area. But as we were driving into the parking lot we felt some eerie presence and noticed something terribly wrong. To my left there was a man laying across his right side on the ground with a rifle a few metres ahead. There were police men and a crowd of people. Then to my right, there was a woman and a man lying on the ground as well. The area was being taped off and there was broken glass from the convenient store all over the ground. By the looks of it, it was a robbery gone completely out of hand. So the store owner (the first man) was actually dead and I remember seeing a lot of blood and guts around him. Also the woman was dead but the other man beside her was going to survive. I was so freaked out. This was the first time I've ever seen a dead person before and it just seemed so surreal.

This next part is even more odd.

Behind the taped off area was a group of onlookers and witnesses to the situation. However, they seemed to be either crying, praying, or worshipping. It didn't really make any sense at all what they were doing. First, it wasn't their business and second.. some of them were bowing down and raising their hands. It was like a worship session out of context and maybe not even for God. Were they mourning the two deaths? Were they asking for mercy and redemption? Noo idea. I was so confused. Then the next thing I knew, I was down there with them too crying and praying and all that. I was bowing down and lifting my hands. It was such an emotional atmosphere... then I realized these onlookers were Joyful people!! So somehow I ended up with my congregation members. How completely and utterly bizarre.
What were we doing? I don't quite understand...yet.

Anyway, I woke up from that dream and rushed to go talk to my pastor. I told him all about that dream and I don't even remember what he concluded.. something about me needing to trust God more and to know that not all dreams come from God. I told him how scary and REAL it felt to see a dead man and the feelings that came with that. Even though it was a dream it felt so disturbingly real. So this dream kept going on, switching scenes from a formal dinner party with Joyful to moving into a house in 4th year with my Schulich crew.... all the while, thinking that I had the most surreal dream ever!

And then.. I woke up this morning to realize that ALL of the above was a dream. I had a dream that I dreamt about a dead man. So technically I never told my pastor any of this...and I'm contemplating whether or not I should call him up right now and tell him about it.
Actually, what would be the point of that? I don't even understand the point of this dream. Or maybe that is the point... that there is no point.

Sigh.. dreams within a dream. Kinda throws off your day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ad augusta per angusta

Through trial to triumph.
To high places by narrow roads.

I really like this Latin phrase. I came across it after looking up the word "Imago Dei" which is Latin for "God's image". Anyway, to high places by narrow roads. This phrase pertains to Mathew 7:14, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." I feel that we get too caught up in ideas, formulas, and maps that we lose sight of what really is the right path to success, to the answer, and to our destination. Then coming back to our roots we find that in order to get to high places is through an important concept called the 'narrow road'.

I can definitely testify to this: the world won't give you what you're looking for. I think we try so hard searching outwardly for anything to satisfy and provide.. but the only good that it ever does is polish our outward skin. But skin is constantly shedding and peeling, which means constant re-polishing. Plus, isn't polish just a glaze over the surface.. something to make you sparkle for a little while only to become dull again? What I'm implying is that this endless cycle will wear out as we get tired of dumping the old and trying the new. I don't know about you but I get tired of always searching, doing, performing.. because surely there's a limit to this world and a limit to our economical reaches. I guess this means the road just got way way narrower. So what next, where to?

This brings us to the inward self.. the shed-proof soul that will be there now and forever more.
It wants that everlasting treatment that doesn't just polish but penetrates deep into the skin (I sound like a face wash commercial)... or more simply put, unconditional fulfillment. Personally, I want a feeding that will never let me go hungry for more or anything other. And I know that dainty objects, philosophical reasoning, and scientific experiments won't come close to that. So I have come to know Jesus Christ, a man that I call Saviour, Father, friend, and Bridegroom. He is my narrow road because it is only through him and because of him that I will reach my high place, grasp triumph, and be abundantly filled. Jesus Christ offers something completely out of this world (literally!) and that is great and exactly what I need because like I mentioned before, nothing of this world satisfies anyway.

Although this topic is for another night reflection, I'll mention it only briefly.. Jesus is not offering me a religion. He is giving me him, someone who I can walk with along this life long journey.. sowing with tears and love and reaping benefits beyond my imagination. And in the end, by walking with Jesus (the narrow road), I will be one of those few that find the gates that open to Life. It's what my soul craves for.. the high place and the narrow road.

Friday, February 6, 2009

To My Dearest

There are about a million things running through my mind right now but as I was reading your entry, everything just stopped.

First off, there's no need to be 'sorry' about your behavior (because then I would have to be sorry for my lack of behavior and the next thing we know we're just apologizing in circles and never getting to the point). Everyone's first instinct of survival is protecting themselves and I completely understand you in that. People fail to love themselves and love each other and that's why it's so hard to trust.

I really wish I could say that I've been in your shoes and know how you feel... but I haven't and I can't begin to know how you're feeling. And honestly, that's where people and friendships fall short. It's the fact that I can't fully understand you and you can't fully know me, which leaves a huge gap hanging there. BUT, what I do know for certain is that our God is. Our God is the fill-in-the-gap between you and me (y'know, that gap that you find with your non christian friends). He is the way, the truth and the life... and in one simple word, He is love.

That's why you always hear in the back of your mind "I should go to God first." Your subconscious is right. It's God, not me or her or him, who fully understands and knows your feelings. And God knows it so well because He felt it in the flesh.
I hope you're prepared to hear me preach about Jesus because what kind of loving sister would I be if I didn't? :)

1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Remember that it's Satan who constantly deceives you and tells you otherwise.

I also want to tell you something that touched my heart so much: how the Lord reminded me day after day that PERFECT love drives out fear. Through all of our pain and struggles comes fear. Fear of trusting, fear of trying, fear of letting your pride go... And it's a scary thought of what fear makes us do. We end up believing that we're incapable and we lose complete direction. I mentioned that Satan deceives us.. which means that he uses fear to trick us. And so the whirlwind begins. We struggle, we fall, we CRY, we fear... and then we HATE, build walls, stir up anger, and we hate even more.

But you and I, as children of God, aren't meant for this kind of anguish.

The world is not fair and not perfect because people will fail each other everyday. But God won't fail you. His purpose is too majestic for it to fall through just because you're stuck. He has made a promise to us.. and that is his perfect love. This is our tool for fixing. This is our shoulder to cry on.

So now comes the question of how to seek this love and comfort the Lord claims to provide.
I read this quote by Charles Spurgeon who said that "sorrow is the cloud which brings the shower of supplication." He is talking about prayer. Faith produces prayer and prayer produces faith, which ultimately gives us perseverance. We must never underestimate and doubt God's power because in Ephesians 3:20 it says: "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..."

In all, we need to invite Him into our hearts so that his power and love can drive out our fears and sorrows and bless us to heights that we can't even fathom. There is a promise and purpose to everything we go through. That is the truth and we're just kidding ourselves thinking otherwise. So let's have hope for better days and keep pushing closer to God. He is the perfect being to have a relationship with since "vain is the help of man" (Psalm 108:12).

And maybe we just need to reverse our thinking like Thane Pittman when he says, "I'll see it when I believe it."

Starfield - Shripwreck

I built a fortress
With a hundred thousand faces
I'll keep it safe
With a hundred thousand more
But these masks are wearing thin
As You draw me in

I spent my time
On the empty and the fleeting
I spent my life
On much less than I'd dreamed
But I'm reaching out to you
To make me new

'Cause I am just a beggar here at Your door
I am just a shipwreck here on Your shore
I come empty handed
Ready to see
Your life in me changing who I've been
To who I need to be

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A photo that makes you stop to think:

I've always wanted to be a citizen for humanity.. but I guess not enough to try and make a difference. But coming across this photo has reminded me of the burden we fail to carry.
How can I make it a reality to me when I live in such a sealed bubble? Either I'm afraid to come out or I don't know how to come out or.. I'm just making up excuses and I think 'me' is more important. The latter is probably true but.. I need to do something and stop being so oblivious! I waste so much time. God, I'm asking for an opportunity and I hope that my pride doesn't get in the way. There are those who desperately need CHANGE.. including myself. Change my heart, O God and make it so ever true.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Beauty for Ashes, Joy for Pain

A damn good song by Starfield called Over My Head.
This hits me every time.

After the words have all been said
After the songs are sung
I realize I've only but just begun
Trying to wrap my mind around
Extravagant love come down
Leaves me undone
Finds me with nothing to say

Unquenchable songs and endless praise
A million tongues poised to sing
Could still not convey
The worth that Your name deserves
Beauty for ashes
Joy for pain
Mercy instead of my blame
Ruins me for more
I'm lost in Your presence, Lord

Lost for the words to say
I'm left here in disarray
Waiting for You, waiting on truth
I've thrown reason overboard
Knowing that there's still more
I don't yet believe, I can't even perceive
I can't seem to understand
Can't seem to find my way
It's over my head, it's over my head
Learning this mystery
Trust what I cannot see
It's over my head, it's over my head
The wonder of all You've made
Foundations Your hands have laid
Ruined for anything other than Your love
I'm desperate to know You, Lord
Desperate for what's in store
Finding my hope in only You, in only You
Take me beyond this door
Lead me to something more
Open my heart up for more of You, more of You

Monday, January 19, 2009

My God is amazing I tell ya.

So according to the dream I wrote below.. I think God helped me figure it out.
I've been so ashamed of myself and the things I've done that I didn't even want to let the people that love me, see me. God wants to celebrate His love for us no matter who we are and what we look like. But I was so upset and so scared to let anyone see me like that.
I guess it's because in the end, as long as we recover from the fires and burns we endure, God will always be there with arms open wide.

Isaiah 50:10
Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.

Psalm 103:12
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dream Journal

So last night I had another crazy episode in my sleep.
Here we go...

I had fallen down.. lying there on my side not being able to move because my legs were numb. I looked up and all I saw were flames scattered around me and a huge fire just growing and growing. At first I tried and tried to move and escape but my legs were so limp and I was in so much pain that I didn't even have enough strength to pull my body away. So I just quit, and put my head back down and laid there so helpless. I could feel the fire burning my flesh but I didn't do anything.
Then, I don't know when and how, I saw someone coming for me and he got me out of the fire.

Couple weeks later.. I recovered. My legs were demented/half crippled, my hands were burned and all scarred, and half my face was just drooping to one side like the flesh melted. I looked like a monster and I was so depressed.
All the people I knew threw a huge party for me at this massive auditorium/theatre to recognize my efforts or something? I wasn't sure what I had done because the fire accident was all just a quick blurr. Anyway, during this long celebration I was wandering around trying to find someone I knew well because I was feeling more than overwhelmed at this point. I wasn't even enjoying myself. I was upset, shocked.. but mostly confused.

As I was walking around, I noticed my limping and my hands and my face. I started crying and I was so distraught. I grab held of a knife and started threatening everyone around me. I told people to get the hell out of my way and get out of here and go home. I was waving the knife around stabbing it through the air, showing my anger. I was scarred not only on the outside but on the inside. There was something more than just the fire that burned.. but I couldn't remember. (I was yelling and crying my eyes out in my dream)

Then as everyone started running out the door, shocked of my irradical behaviour.. I fell down and just cried. My friend (and it's ironic how it just had to be this person.. the one I'm referring to in my last post) sat down with me. He smiled at me and I smiled back. I was suddenly at peace that he was beside me. He tried comforting me and telling me that everything was going to be okay.
I took his words with trust.

And that's all I remember for now..