Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: December 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - Overcoming Confusion in the Church Life

I haven't added more posts on my series, Conversations with Mrs. L. Honestly, I didn't spend that much time with Mrs. L. During those two years in California, it was so busy that I only had time to visit Mrs. L maybe twice a month.

There was this one day, I was sitting in Mrs. L's living room. I asked her concerning a semi-real scenario, "Mrs. L, in the event of a confusion in the church life, for instance, if there's someone dissenting against the leadership in the church, what should we do as sisters? - I mean whom should we believe and stand with?" Like always, she never failed to smile and calmly answer, "Keep eating the tree of life. Just enjoy the Lord." Yes, it's Mrs. L. Her answers were always elegantly simple. She continued, "And just pray."

It was like a heavy burden lifted up from my shoulders. We all know that there is only one Body of Christ in the universe and we have to keep the oneness of the faith at all times. The ground of our oneness is the track for the Lord to move on the earth. Yet often there are discords and disharmony. 

The temptation ahead is to take sides, to label who is right and who is wrong. Believe me, it is an arduous work to analyze a situation and pass verdicts to those who are in conflict. Sooner or later, a distant conflict becomes our own conflict. 

What a relief! Our responsibility as sisters is not to take sides, but simply to partake of the tree of life and to fervently pray. I'm not saying that I have arrived, but I have kept this lesson in my heart since my tendency is to be a problem solver and to systematize situations. 

Dear Lord, by Your mercy and grace, keep us feeding on Yourself, our Tree of Life. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Singapore: The Rainy City-State

immigration
I wish it would stop raining. Po, I, and my brother are in Singapore. We're trying to visit as many places as possible in Singapore but the weather isn't cooperating at all. It's been five days since we got here in Singapore. The trip from L.A. to Singapore was remarkably filled with obstacles, due to Po's passport problem. United Airlines refused to fly us to Singapore because Po's passport is expiring soon.

Long story short, our brother helped us from back home. So five minutes before missing the flight from L.A. to Singapore (via Tokyo), the airline cleared us to fly. Then we got stuck again in Singapore, trying to get Po to pass through immigration. It was the most difficult airplane trip I've had thus far. The encouraging part was we still managed to pass a gospel tract (which includes a free Bible offer) to the airline counter's staff in LAX. She was quite receptive, although we didn't get to speak about it much (we were in a hurry, almost missed our flight).

I apologize for the lack of photos in my recent posts. Po has this nice SLR camera that she carries everywhere, so I let her take the pictures. I haven't been carrying my camera this past week. I'm the map carrier. I carry my Singapore maps everywhere. I have maps for the Sentosa Island, Chinatown, Little India, Orchard Road, oh and of course the SMRT (Singapore's bullet train). My brother teased me for carrying so many maps and opening them everywhere we go. It was interesting to learn how I depended a lot on research, user reviews, and planning. 

Anyway, I want to share with you what we've done so far in Singapore. Check out my post on My Days in Singapore at www.simplykl.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christ, Our Life

This post was scheduled to be published right when I'm boarding to fly to LAX. I'm very excited to go home! We're going to lay over in L.A. and Tokyo, then Po and I will meet our brother in Singapore. We will spend about a week there in Singapore. I will definitely update you all.

Coming into this winter break, I'm reminded again that I can't afford to take a break from the Lord. I hope that this break will be a season of refreshing, where the roots of my personal relationship with the Lord would go deeper and richer. 

Going home is never easy for me. There are many complications of feelings, situations, and many more. However, I'm looking forward to be able to fellowship with my family. I remember my fellowship with Judy (the wife of the older couple whom I met through Christians on Campus) when I was a freshman in college. I was having a hard time being with my family back home because at that time we were having some family issues. 

Judy told me that I simply needed to realize that I didn't need to be anxious about my spiritual condition. She said, "That's okay, K. Do not worry about any deadness in the situation. You simply need to realize that you are the life-bearer." Her fellowship helped me to see the situation from God's perspective. If I never knew that I could be a life-bearer, dispensing life supply to my other family members, I would be totally stuck in the miserableness of blaming everything that was happening to me.

So during this winter break, I'm looking forward to continuously turn inward, to the Christ within me - Christ, our life (Colossians 3:4).

Friday, December 9, 2011

From Texas to Southeast Asia

I can't wait until the D-day. I'm going back to Southeast Asia this winter! Adios, wintry mix! We will spend our winter break on a tropical island.

I have been waiting for the past two years - to go home. Po and I are going to bring tons of stuffs home. Our tiny dwelling here is too tiny to house all of our belongings. Usually we'll fly with some Asian airlines but this time, we're going to fly with United Airlines. Po complained a lot but I told her those were the cheapest tickets I could get for our trip home.

Well, let's see. I've packed the sugar-free cookies and candies for my grandma, tie pin for dad, bag for mom, bunch of random items for my brother, and some cocoa mix for cousins. I told Po that we would not spend any more money on anything else, but failed. Today I went out with my awesome companions and ordered "chicken katsu bento" for lunch. 

Random gifts for my family!
Did you see that emergency freeze notice?
That's why we're leaving Texas.
Oh, and the MacBook Pro is mine.

Yes, I do daydream about what I want to do at home with my family. I never forgo my daily responsibility, but when you see me spacing out, now you know why. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Selah Moments

These days I've been so busy that I feel like I have a spiritual indigestion.

I mean throughout the years, I've developed a habit to read the Word and to have a small morning time with the Lord on a daily basis. Yet I feel like my brain is cluttered with so many things during the day that I usually forget what I've read from the Word or what I've enjoyed in my morning time with the Lord. Even worse, often I already forget what I read as soon as I step out from the door to go start my activities out there.

The Lord has been reminding me to stop and have some selah. The word "selah" is used in the Bible. In Hebrew, it can have multiple meanings but one of the most commonly accepted meaning can be found in the Amplified version of Psalm 46:3. In this verse, selah means "pause, and calmly think of that."

So that's what I need. Just to stop, to pause, from my busy mind, my busy soul,... And calmly think, consider, meditate, digest the Word of God that I've enjoyed that morning. I can stop and digest even in the midst of the haphazard schedule that I have.

Thank You, Lord. You've made it so easy and simple for us to turn to You. We can simply turn to the innermost part of our being, our spirit, where You are dwelling.

Friday, December 2, 2011

To Contend for the Common Faith & Not to be Contentious for Other Things

"Concerning the faith, we must be definite. But as for doctrines such as immersion, sprinkling, head covering, foot-washing, eating, keeping days, and so many other things, we must be general. If we would not be so general, we will surely be divisive." - Witness Lee
contentious
I had dinner with my friends and we got into this topic about why Christianity fell into an endless division, into so many denominations. 

One of them read 1 Corinthians 1:10, "Now I beseech you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion." In verse 13 the Apostle Paul wrote, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?" My friend pointed out that divisions in Christianity contradicted these verses.

I truly appreciate our time together that Friday evening. We all speak the same thing, the common faith, but when we begin to emphasize and insist other items aside from the common faith, the vicious cycle of division has already started. Of course, I don't mean we should stop studying the Bible thoroughly and overlook the other Scriptural items, but we should maintain a spirit of being open, general, and learning all the time. We also should not practice generality to the extent that we can take any kind of persons. In his epistles, the Apostle Paul himself is general and gracious in receiving believers, but he is also very strict and resolute in exhorting us to turn away from those who are dissenting, who make divisions, and who make causes of stumbling.

I'd like to share one occasion in which I failed to maintain unity. I can't remember when, but I was definitely much younger. Our extended family had a relative who needed us to pray. So we, all Christians, prayed together. As we prayed, I noticed how different we were just from the way each one of us prayed. So I was quite determined that I would not pray like the others. I was actually hoping that the others would follow the way I prayed. I prayed loudly so others could hear the way I prayed. I did everything according to my way. The prayer time highlighted our differences. I even had a slight pomposity, boasting in my own ways. Within everyone's heart, we all knew that we were not the same.

Now when I look back to that moment, I repent with my whole heart. I was ignorant. I did not care to preserve the oneness of our faith. May the Lord have mercy on all of us, so that we would not divide our Christ, His Body, all His members, ourselves.