Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lord Jesus, I love You.

I'm not well at all today. My head and stomach feel so tensed up. I think I have the symptoms of stressing out. Time to take a vacation! Just kidding. But then I remember from my reading on this series called the Life-Study of Exodus (it's an exposition of the Book of Exodus in the Bible), that God desires to be one with His people and the only way for us to be one with Him and to be one with His Word is to love Him.

So I'm praying now, "Lord Jesus, I rest from all my struggles and strife. I just love You, cause me to love You even more today." As I utter these words, He's infusing Himself into me. I know He is because layer after layer of all my burdens are being lifted up and within me I can sense I'm being filled, comforted... peaceful, alive, and real.

What a blessing to be able to converse with Him, to be able to touch Him, contain Him, to be one with Him. He is not a far-away God. He's right inside, so available and so experience-able.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another selah!

Dear readers,

I apologize for the delay of the next post. I just had the busiest week of the year this past week, so please bear with me. But I do have a quote from Mrs. L's husband, "Progress depends upon the Lord's blessing." This quote encapsulates my week, helping out with a Christian club in a nearby university.

The first order of business of any Christian work is to pray; that I learned. Also, we must love one another in the Lord so that we can be the proper container for His abundant blessings. These blessings, of course, are not mere material blessings. The Lord's blessings include who He is, what He has done and is doing. Who He is and what He has done and is doing are very much related to our personal spiritual progress and the progress of our Christian labor.

That's all for now! Gotta get some rest and proceed onto the next week.

Ready to write,

Simply Katherine

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Christians on Campus - Needing Older Christians

I can't believe I've written ten posts on Christians on Campus series already. Thank you for all your support. Please enjoy reading and don't forget to read my previous post on Christians on Campus: Gatherings, Activities, and A Message as well.

The beginning of my first semester was not smooth. Although I had my own apartment, I felt like I was still a wanderer in a new city. I met tons of people, mainly Christians. It was great but something was missing. I didn't know how it all began. I met an upperclassman at UT, she was part of Christians on Campus. She was very friendly and accommodating, so I decided to get help from her, "Grace, I feel like I need an umbrella." 

I remember sitting down in a cafe with her, having this conversation. She was somewhat confused by my strange comment. She asked what I meant by an umbrella. I told her, "I don't know why but within me, I feel like I need someone older to cover, to help me. You know, like an umbrella." How should I say this better? Well, to be brief, I was young and insecure. I needed someone to tell me who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do. Until today, I still don't know if Grace really got what I was trying to say but after that time, she truly became to me an entrance to the treasure house. I'm eternally grateful to her. She told me, "I want you to come with me next time, to have dinner at this older couple's house." I had no clue which couple, which part of the city she was going to take me, but I agreed to go with her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Christians on Campus - Gatherings, Activities, and A Message

I'm having a hard time to crack open the most wonderful experience I've had with Christians on Campus. I keep thinking what's the best way to present the secret to my spiritual progress and human development in college. To be honest with you, I haven't found it yet. But I guess I can start by giving you a little background of how my first semester looked like.

My mom's favorite ice cream.
My mom and grandma went back home. Whenever I opened the freezer and saw that my mom's favorite ice cream was not there, I would start tearing up. It was rough, but I began to attend Christians on Campus various gatherings and activities. 

There was an older man, involved with Christians on Campus, who would give a message every Saturday night. Every time he spoke, it was like he was speaking right into my inner being. Of course, he spoke from the Bible but he always had a way to make the Biblical points so practical and applicable to a young person like me. I didn't know him in person but through his speaking, he seemed to know my inward condition more than I knew myself. 

One time he shared about how bad thoughts were like evil birds, how we didn't have to be condemned if there was an evil bird flying by our head, and how the practical lesson was simply not to let the birds nest in our mind. I know it sounds quite peculiar but, trust me, until today that illustration has become my freedom from self-condemnation and my encouragement to turn my eyes from myself to 'see Jesus' (Hebrews 2:9). I was slowly learning how to have a deeper relationship with the Lord. Yet for some reasons, my inward being often fell into turmoils. I was in search for something more.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not abandoning our own assembling together

I usually set some time in the morning to read the Word and to pray to touch the Lord. I also have a personal time to converse with the Lord during the day, just small prayers here and there. Yet I've been feeling a little distant from the Lord. I don't know how to explain it, there's like something is missing.

Here's the story.

I've been traveling a lot this summer so I've missed the church gatherings quite often, particularly in the weekends. The Lord is so wise. He is the Chief Shepherd who's caring for us in every way but sometimes He insists on supplying us indirectly through the other members of His Body (i.e., our fellow Christians). 

So today I was sitting in a church gathering, called the "the prophesying meeting." It's a church gathering practiced based on 1 Corinthians chapter 14. FYI, 'prophesying' here mainly refers to speaking for God and speaking forth God into others (John 1:1 says "and the Word was God"), not focusing on predicting the future. In this gathering, just like 1 Corinthians 14:24 mentions, "all prophesy." I wish all of you could be sitting in that meeting I went today. There was no one particular person who stood out because multiple spoke. Yet all their speakings combined became such spiritual blessings to me. Nothing exciting outwardly but deep within, I knew what happened. I was inwardly enlightened, washed, enlivened, encouraged, and I walked out from that meeting loving the Lord more. I told myself, next week, I would like to also get into the Word with a view of having something ready to share with others.

"Not abandoning our own assembling together, as the custom with some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more as you see the day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:25)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Christians on Campus - God's Hand

This post is the continuation of my recent post, Christians on Campus - The Blackout. So my plane was obviously delayed for several hours, but I landed on Chicago and finally got back to Austin safely. My mom and grandma were very relieved seeing me again safe and sound.

Days after that, I followed the news on the blackout. Looking at the photos of people living in darkness in the Northeast, of the total chaos in New York City, my heart just sank. Actually I was more in shock, realizing from what kind of situation I had escaped. Just reminiscing that time, I felt like I was not grateful enough to Someone who had faithfully cared for me. 

Recently, I was listening to a fellowship given by an older brother in the Lord (he's associated with the Christians on Campus club). He said that actually all throughout our life God always has His hand over us to cover us, to protect us. I didn't really understand at first the magnitude of this statement. Now as I dwell more in this thought, my whole heart is burning with thanksgiving, love, and humbleness. 

Not many people realize that we all actually live in dangerous surroundings. Many blame God for bad things happening to good people, but the fact is without God, we will not even have a chance to sustain our existence. I wrote about my trip with my sister, driving through the Tioga Pass. It was breath-taking indeed. Imagine if all those boulders rolled down the mountains, or way worse, if the entire mountains crumbled down.

I don't know about you but I've been humbled again being surrounded by the awesome creation. I'm just a speck of dust, so vulnerable and mortal. Yet God's hand is always covering, protecting, and caring for me. Yes, once in a while, He'll lift His hand a little so that I can learn a life lesson, so that I can see where I am and where I need to be: I need to stay under God's hand.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"They shall be full of sap and green"

Po and I just came back from our road trip to Tennessee this past weekend. We drove from Texas to Memphis, then all the way east to Johnson City. We went back to Memphis via the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sweetwater, and Chattanooga. All in one week. We were on the road all week. I have to say, Tennessee is a beautiful concoction of history and nature (two of my favorite things). 

Centennial Park, Nashville
In Memphis, we stayed with three dear Christian ladies in their home. I didn't ask them how old they were but they were like my grandma's age. Po and I had a wonderful time with them. What impressed me the most was the fact that they were always so joyful and lively in the house - praying, singing hymns, and praising the Lord. They were definitely not silent Christians. One of them actually worked in a nearby restaurant and whenever she had the opportunity, she would speak to her customers about the Lord. The other lady (she's in her 70s) would rise up early to call younger believers to pray and read the Word together. And in the evenings, they would either invite people to their home for dinner or they would go visiting others to fellowship with them. Even when we were staying there, they would always have people over for a meal and we would fellowship around the dining table. 

Clingmans Dome, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
I don't know how they got to where they're at now but I'm sure things weren't, aren't, and won't be always happy and easy for them. Po and I were very encouraged. It was like, "So it's possible to live such a life of shepherding and rejoicing. It's possible to be 'full of sap and green' (living and fresh) in your old age." 

"They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and green," 
(Psalm 92:14)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On vacation to the Smokies!

Dear readers,

I apologize for the delay of the next post. I'm currently on the road to the Smokies. Actually this would be a good time for our new subscribers to explore my archives on this blog. I know this may sound strange but I do have interesting blog posts buried in my archives from the previous months. To make it easier for all of you to look through my previous posts, I've put links to the different categories of my posts right below the header of my blog. 

Your comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcomed.

Have a free read, everyone!

Ready to write,

Simply Katherine

Monday, August 1, 2011

Christians on Campus - The Blackout

I've been sharing my personal experiences as a Christian on campus in a series entitled, Christians on Campus. This post is the continuation of my previous post, Christians on Campus: Global Young Leaders Conference

So I was about to leave New York City, sitting in my seat with the seat belt buckled, waiting for the airplane to take off to Austin via Chicago. I fell asleep. An hour later I woke up, the plane was full of noises. People were standing in the aisle, opening the luggage compartments, talking on their phones. I thought, "Wow, we got to Chicago fast!" But then I looked around, these people, their countenances didn't look so good. I actually forget how I found out what was wrong with the whole thing, yet I remember frantically trying to make a phone call to Austin, to let the people there know that there was something wrong with my departure. For the longest time, my phone would not connect. It was very strange. My mom and grandma did not have a cell phone in the U.S., so I called one of the Christians on Campus' members so that she could pass the message to my mom.

The phone call never went through. I decided to send a text message hoping that it would reach the other side, "J, there's a blackout. The whole airport's system is down, but don't worry I think my airplane is the first in line to take off because we were already heading to the runway when the blackout happened." That was August 14, 2003, the afternoon when the notorious Northeast blackout of 2003 happened. It was "the second most widespread blackout in history after the 1999 Southern Brazil blackout" (Wikipedia, 2008). But of course, at that time, I had no clue what just happened to me. 

My mom and grandma were supposed to fly to Chicago to meet me. We were going to take a tour there, but my grandma hurt her waist so they decided to stay in Austin. Thank the Lord, they didn't have to go near any of the area affected by the blackout.