Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Selah at the End of 2012

Dear readers,

I guess I need to take a selah here at the closing of the year 2012. I will be travelling for the next two to three weeks, so I won't be able to blog then. I have to apologize for this long pause, but I think it's a good break for my eyes as well since I've been working in front of the computer a lot these days.

Finally, I'll have to end with a quote from "The Law of Revival" that I happened to put into practice today. Yes, I testify that this quote worked!
"Whenever we feel deadened, weighed down, or oppressed, or when we suffer the attack of our environment, we should draw on the Lord's great power, and we will be revived immediately." p. 47
In the paragraph right before this, the author declares that the Lord who indwells us is in resurrection and is full of power. The Lord is able to break through death! We have to see, believe, accept this fact! 

Have a blessed closing of the year!

Grace to you all,

Simply Katherine

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Application of the Law of Revival

An anonymous reader has helped me put up some quotes from the book I recommended last week, The Law of Revival, by Witness Lee. I'm about to do the same in this post. Pardon the length of the post, but I promise you'll appreciate all the quotes I will include. Seriously, if I could, I would memorize the whole content of this book. 

The book begins by presenting the need for the Lord's serving ones to have a new beginning (see Chapter 1), to be delivered from living according to feelings, and to open to the Lord to bring in a new revival (Ch. 2). Then it further elaborates on the Law of Revival (Ch. 3) and its application (Ch. 4). In the final chapter, the book concludes with the matter of knowing the Lord's resurrection through being broken.

new revival
"Rise up... and come away for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Law of Revival

Witness Lee Law of Revival
A must-read for every Christian
seeking spiritual growth.
I've been reading a book entitled "The Law of Revival" by Witness Lee. Originally published in Chinese between 1960 and 1961, I consider the content of this book extraordinarily profound yet practical. 

I'd be glad to do a book review or summary, but I genuinely believe that this book is a must-read for every Christian out there who desires spiritual growth. In other words, you must buy and read it yourself to get the full impact.

Well, I believe that in recommending a book, one must build the author's credibility and reliability. This is basic etiquette. So please allow me to briefly tell you about this book's author.

Although in the past, some have misunderstood Witness Lee and thus isolated him from Western Christianity, this book is a strong confirmation of the most current statement by Christian Research Institute that "the local churches - the congregation associated with Witness Lee's ministry - are an authentic expression of New Testament Christianity. Moreover, as a group forged in the cauldron of persecution, it has much to offer Western Christianity" ("We Were Wrong," The Christian Research Journal, Volume 32, Number 06, 2009.)

From his writing, I can clearly testify that this author does nothing but propels my spiritual progress in Christ. After only reading the first few chapters of The Law of Revival, I'm convinced that there was someone who knew my spiritual condition more than I did.

I don't need another person to try to persuade me concerning the true-ness of this book. My entire Christian life is a literal parallel to its content. I wish I could have read this book sooner so that I wouldn't waste my time in despair due to the multiple occasions where I turned into a dissatisfied Christian.

Yes, it may be a taboo confession to some, that there are times when pursuing Christians can still feel empty or dissatisfied. I have acknowledged this feeling few years back. Yet deep within I knew that there is no lack in the Person of Christ Himself, so there must be another explanation for why I would experience an occasional emptiness. 

It's important to note that this emptiness or dissatisfaction has never been a perpetual feeling within me. For lack of a better word, it's seasonal. This is why I've been looking for the secret to correct my own down-ness.

Little did I know that it is not about correction or improvement after all. There exists a law! The implied meaning of a law is the fact that it will always work whenever it's applied. Just like the law of gravity, everytime you throw an apple upward into the air, it will always fall back down. 

We must know what the Law of Revival is, so that we can apply it and experience true revival! 

"We do not need to beg in order to be revived. We only need to know the law of revival and apply this law." -Witness Lee
So what is the Law of Revival? I can share with you a glimpse of it in my next post, but like I've mentioned in the beginning, you have to read the book to get the full impact.

Check out also my other post on the recovery of revival.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thank You Note: A Time for the Lord and the Body Life

These past two weeks have been hectic. I'm a person who can only do one thing at a time, but it seems like life is always a whirlwind of simultaneous happenings. Now when things get busy, it's very easy to shortchange my personal time with the Lord, my Bible reading, my spiritual nourishment. Not a good thing.

Yet thanks to the training I have received from FTTA, regardless of my current condition, deep within I always know where I need to be. I need to MAKE TIME for the Lord, to be in His presence. So everyday, I would be pressed with desperation to make time, even if it's only few minutes, to stop everything else and be before the Lord, in His word.

Also, I thank the believers whom I am practically related with in many different ways. This morning when I woke up, I received seven text messages from multiple friends. All of them were Bible verses that these ones had enjoyed early in the morning. I couldn't help but use these verses to utter prayers back to the Lord.

A Christian couple has graciously offered me a place to stay when I was homeless due to some complications with my living arrangement. These ones have always opened their home to shepherd others. Even right now, a family with three little children are staying with us for a week while their house is going under major renovation. My mother asked me, "This couple, what kind of people are they?"

You may think this whole thing is not a big deal, but when you become so related to a fellow member of the Body of Christ, you'd begin to realize that this is not a mere charity, it's the Body life. We are not individualistic, isolated members. We are members one of another.

If our right pinky toe is injured, spontaneously our whole body would rise up to care for it because that member is part of the body. This is the body life in the physical realm, a clear parallel to the Body life in the Body of Christ.

So I answered my mother, "These ones are different because they've seen the vision and the burden." I didn't have to explain further, my mom understood. When we've seen the vision and received the burden to practically live in the Body life, we cannot help but live for and according to the principle of the Body of Christ.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Four Kinds of History

Earlier this week, I visited the Full-time Training in Anaheim, a post-graduate program of Biblical truths and character training. It was Monday evening and Andrew Yu, one of their trainers, was teaching on the importance of seasons, or appointed times.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven"
I only caught the latter part of the session, but I thought I would share with you my notes on the four kinds of history mentioned that evening.

1. Human History or World History

According to the Bible, Abraham followed the Lord to leave his country and his people. By taking this step, he actually ushered in a new race and became the father of faith to the earthly and the heavenly people of God. By this seemingly small step, Abraham made human history. Actually, on the human level, there exist four kinds of people in society: 
  • Ones who have no sense of history and are not interested in history.
  • Ones who study and pay extra attention to history.
  • Ones who partake in history, who are in the midst of that history-making, e.g., eyewitnesses.
  • Ones who make history.
Impressive, isn't it? Imagine if you could be a person who made history, but our brother, Andrew Yu, quickly responded to our gasps of awe, "Why, don't be so impressed. After all, this is still only the world history."

world leaders

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote on Election Day 2012

Well, I'm not an expert in politics, but tomorrow will be a big day. 

Election Day 2012 is TOMORROW!

Since I haven't been faithful in being informed about the presidential candidates, I have no clue which one would be the best person in the office. But I was recently touched that although I don't have to be pro-this or pro-that, for the Lord's interest, I must be saved from passivity.

Vote ballot

In recent years, it has been as if the country is plagued with lawlessness, abnormality, and immorality. I don't feel the need to expound further. You can just grab a newspaper and check out the headlines, you'll know what I'm talking about.

If you consider deeper the current situation of the nation, you'll soon find that relativism is so prevalent. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines:
"Relativism is not a single doctrine but a family of views whose common theme is that some central aspect of experience, thought, evaluation, or even reality is somehow relative to something else. 
For example standards of justification, moral principles or truth are sometimes said to be relative to language, culture, or biological makeup. 
Although relativistic lines of thought often lead to very implausible conclusions, there is something seductive about them, and they have captivated a wide range of thinkers from a wide range of traditions."
So truth relativism would mean that there is no absolute truth, that truth is relative to individuals, their backgrounds, their beliefs, etc. On one hand, this notion attempts to justify that anything can be the truth, it just depends. Ironically, on the flip side, this might as well mean that there is no truth.

Twisted, I'd say. What's really happening is the enemy has gathered forces to launch attacks toward the absolute truth- the word of God.

Yes, we need to exercise the right to vote because whether we physically vote or not vote, the truth is we have voted for a person. If we do not vote, technically we have voted for "the opponent," the person who otherwise not voted for.

Vote Election Day 2012

However, the chief need right now is TO PRAY, to intercede for the nation. 

Isaiah 59:15-16 says,
"And truth is lacking, and he who turns from evil becomes plunder. And Jehovah saw it, and it was evil in His sight that there is no justice. 
And He saw that there was no man, and He was appalled that there was no intercessor. Therefore His arm accomplished salvation for Him, and His righteousness sustained Him."
Dear all, let us be not silent. Let us all fervently pray that the Lord would put the man of His choice in the office, that He would bless and preserve this country from degradation and desolation, that He would bless us all with a quiet and tranquil life for the gospel (i.e., for all men to be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth.)

1 Timothy 2:1-4 is timely:
"I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men; 
On behalf of kings and all who are in high position, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all godliness and gravity.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of our Savior God, 
Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.

"Lord, Your kingdom come! Your will be done! On earth as it is in heaven."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Recovery of Revival

What does it mean to be revived?

From the perspective of history, when people say revival, they generally mean an event in time where there was a significant increase of spiritual interest in a specific region after a period of decline, often characterized by mass conversions and burning zeal toward God. There was the First Great Awakening, then the Second, the Third, and finally, the Fourth Great Awakening.

Whitfield preaching in the first great awakening
The First Great Awakening

Yet many begin to wonder what happened? Where did that spirit of revival go? These days morality plummets and normality is distorted. Deep down, everyone knows we desperately need the Recovery of Revival.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Healing Christ - the Sun of Righteousness

The healing Christ is the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). The word Sun refers to life (i.e., the sun as source of life supply) and righteousness refers to justice. 

Many are flabbergasted by miraculous physical healing. However, this is not the aspect of the healing Christ I'm going to write about today. 

The truth is...
"Today the whole world is sick. The daily news reports are filled with death, injustice, lawlessness, and darkness. This earth needs healing, but it will not get it until Christ returns. The only ones who receive healing today are the ones who know Christ as their Savior and inward life. 
We are receiving this healing ahead of time in a secret, hidden way every day. We are sick in our entire being- spirit, soul and body. We need our whole being to be healed by the Sun of righteousness. We need His wings to heal us, first inwardly and then outwardly."
The divine healing for our physical sickness barely scratches the surface. The root of the problem is inward, inherent in the nature of being fallen. We may never consider this but what actually heals us is not an outward healing. What heals us is the Light of Life (John 1:4-5). The light brings life to us.

sun shining
Credit: DeviantArt

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Following the Lord and Living to Him

I've had a long history with Christians on Campus, since I was a freshman in college. There I got connected with Judy, an older sister in the Lord, whom I love dearly. From that moment on, our ongoing fellowship has helped me go through various spiritual crises.

Recently, living my life has been quite challenging (isn't this everyone's story?) I'm the kind of person who wants to excel in everything that I do, but it soon becomes excruciatingly difficult when everything appears to be the first priority. In short, giving 100% at all times, in all things, drains both my mental and physical capacities.

I know time management. The key is to wisely prioritize, right? Yet the main problem is I truly, genuinely, consider that all my responsibilities are equally important. Now what?

Not only that, when I managed to drop one of the balls that I've been juggling, I got so condemned, fearing the judgment from others. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn't it? But again, isn't this everyone's story?

So it came to a point where I just had to drop everything, talk to the Lord, and then pick up the phone. I called Judy.

I'd have to say I was comforted when she said, "Katherine, you know what, I have the same problem." It didn't stop there though. She continued to share about this practice of following the Lord moment by moment.

Our God is the God of measure (2 Corinthians 10:13). Everyday He has apportioned to us our measure, BUT we will never know what's too much or what's too little unless we ask Him!

Measuring Rod

Often when we hear about following the Lord, we immediately think about the big decisions in our life.

Yet the most practical, primary matter in following the Lord is actually to live to Him moment by moment.

"Lord, what should I do next?"

"Lord, I'm about to meet this person. What should I say to her?"

"Lord, I'm going shopping. Go with me."

"Lord, I'm sorry but I just can't do this. Help me."

"Lord, I can't bring my body to wake up. Live through this day for me."

As I'm inquiring and conversing with Him, I would take the steps in faith with an endeavoring spirit to attain, fully trusting in Him for what He's doing and has arranged in my day.

During the course of the day, if things work out a certain way, I take it from the Lord. If things wouldn't work out in any way, I also take it from the Lord. At the end of the day, there is rest and peace with no condemnation.

Living to Him is to practically live before His eyes, face-to-face with Him all the time.

I'm glad that Judy didn't withhold anything from me because I know that on one hand, this is the highest requirement to live the Christian life. By no means easy! Yet on the other hand, I also know that at the end of the day, this is what's going to save me to the uttermost.

Yes, saved from condemnation, comparing myself with others, and even on the other side of the spectrum, saved from languishing with my time.

2 Corinthians 5:15 says,
"And He died for all that those who live may no longer live to themselves but to Him who died for them and has been raised."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Death Cannot Hold the Resurrection Life

Continuing from my previous post on The Sign of Jonah, I'd like to write about our experience in relation to Christ entering into death and passing through death into life.

It's good to know that Christ entered into Hades as both God and man. Yet the account of Jonah's prayer, which parallels to Christ's activities in His burial, is so detailed that it makes me wonder- why do we need to know what Christ did in such a thorough way?

1 Peter 3:18 says,
"For Christ also has suffered once for sins, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, on the one hand being put to death in the flesh, but on the other, made alive in the Spirit;"
Christians hardly talk about Christ in His burial, especially about the part where He was "on the one hand being put to death in the flesh, but on the other, made alive in the Spirit." Yet this is a great matter! 

At that very juncture of time, within this One Person, humanity was brought into divinity.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Sign of Jonah

Jonah in the belly of the fish!

That's what most people think about when they hear the name, Jonah.

Actually the story of Jonah is quite amusing. How could a man be swallowed up by a big fish, stayed for three days and three nights, and be spewed out from the belly of the fish onto the shore? Why is such an account in the Bible?

story of jonah

This past week I came across Matthew 12:39-40:
"But He answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. 
For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights."
Surprisingly, Jonah is mentioned again in the New Testament. But what's more mind-boggling to me is the fact that the Lord Jesus refers to Jonah being in the belly of the great fish as a sign pointing to His own burial- the three days and three nights in between His death and resurrection, the time when Christ was in Hades.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MVP: The Most Valuable Person in the Lord's Eyes

Last week I wrote Only Lovers Can Be Mighty. Being a lover and a warrior are two sides of the same coin. This week though I was reminded of a fellowship I had with Mr. Danker, an older brother in the Lord, concerning:

Who would be the most valuable person in the Lord's eyes? 

Previously I considered being a lover and being the most valuable person as pretty much identical. I mean if you're a lover to someone, then by default, aren't you the most valuable person in that someone's eyes?

Our answer would, of course, be yes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Only Lovers Can Be Mighty

Continuing from my last post on our Christian mission in choosing to be part of the mighty ones is another quote by R. Kangas, inspired by the divine romance portrayed in Song of Songs chapter 3:
"We are not trained to be mighty ones merely by being sent to a barren place to pass through one hardship after another. Rather we are trained by maintaining and nurturing our love toward our Beloved. Our Beloved is the mighty One. His love prevails... 
We should not allow the enthusiasm of war or the thrill of victory to interfere with our steady, developing, ongoing romance with the Lord."
The mighty ones are God's army, beautiful in the Lord's eyes and terrifying to the enemy (S. S. 6:4). Yet what's so astonishing about this army is the fact that all these ones are firstly LOVERS!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Christian Mission: Being Part of the Mighty Ones

Recently, I met quite a few Christians dedicating their time and energy to go to missions (i.e., mission trips): building houses, giving out free food and clothing, providing various kinds of medical assistance, etc. All with good intentions to help mankind and to tell them about Jesus.

I admire these ones.

Yesterday, however, I read a quote that charged and challenged me with a high commission.

As Christians, as part of the Church, we are quite familiar with the evangelistic commission given by the Lord Jesus in appointing us to "go forth and bear fruit" (John 15:16). John 15 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible, loaded with crucial aspects in organic growth, fruit-bearing, increase, multiplication, and so forth.

However, hardly ever mentioned by most Christians is the fact that as Christians, as part of the Church, we are also involved in a great spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20) to represent God in carrying out His judgment upon the enemy, the devil.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Community: How the Church Includes us

Please see my previous post on Christ Satisfies.

People. People. People. 

Growing up, I wasn't good at meeting people or making friends. My community was my extended family, they were mostly Christians. I really thought that was enough, that I needed nothing more.

simply katherine

Eventually we moved to a bigger city to be with our parents. I moved there when I was twelve and so all those years until I graduated from high school, I began to learn people skills.

No doubt, I had a circle of friends. Yet no matter how close we were, I always hesitated to tell them the inward troubles that I had concerning my Christian walk with the Lord, my family issues, and so on. Most people thought I was friendly but very reserved.

Until one day, our family was hit by a major crisis. Everything seemed to be okay outwardly but inside, I felt quite devastated. The problem was I could not find a single person to go to. At that time, I didn't want to talk to my family about the matter lest I'd cause more troubles in their hearts. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Christ Satisfies

I apologize for the late post. I did not withhold anything from you. In my last post, the claim was clear and straightforward:

Christ satisfies and the Church includes us.

The truth behind the delay is I'm having a hard time trying to write more about this claim. Not because I don't have any supporting facts but it's because I have too many. I'm having a dilemma in finding the most fitting perspective to share with all of you concerning Christ and the Church (the use of upper-case "C" for the word "Church" is mainly for emphasis).

Well, one of the many ways to expound on the claim is to share it from a life experience. I'm not inviting you to evaluate what I'm about to write in a doctrinal and reasonable way. On the contrary, this is a true life story. I'd love for you to, for lack of better words, sympathize, empathize, and relate in the most human way. 

Everyone has their own story of how they met the Lord. This one is mine.

Christ satisfies
Credit: CreationSwap

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Internet Causes Moral Panic?

Earlier this month, Newsweek published an article entitled, "Is the Web Driving Us Mad?" I'd say the author, Tony Dokoupil, has somewhat generated a moral panic by supposedly presenting statistics and life examples on how the Internet promotes addictive, insane behavior in its users.

I read the article. For sure, there are some truths in this article but for you who decide to stay clear from the Internet due to Dokoupil's presentation (e.g. the anonymous reader who asked for healthier alternatives in my previous post) I recommend reading another article to balance his view. The article was published by TIME, "Does the Internet Really Make Everyone Crazy?"

kids using computer

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Help: Waiting for Your Response

Dear readers,

In my last post, "The Great Searching of Today's Society," I was asking for your thoughts and comments. I understand that the first few weeks of July, everyone might be occupied with special plans, family trips, etc.

So yes, my previous post was quite untimely but I'd like to gather more responses from you all concerning the content of my previous post. 

Would you all go back to read it? Also, please take some time to write your thoughts and comments at the end of my blog post?

Click here for my previous post.

By gathering your thoughts, I'm hoping to observe this matter of searching more closely. Actually the purpose of this blog is partly to present a sound, flowing thought on unfolding the mystery of human life. 

So it would be interesting if you could contribute and participate in it. You don't have to write much but if you can also explain your thought process of how your thoughts emerged, that would be helpful!

Please share the post with your family and friends and ask them to share their thoughts as well! Thank you all!

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Great Searching of Today's Society

Observation on Today's Society

Recently one of my resourceful colleagues told us that he had been observing today's society and what it's searching for. Few of us are involved in an online outreach project, where we quickly realize that social media has taken over not just the worldwide web, but the world itself. 

There are many articles and reports out there signaling this trend that significantly impacts teens, college students, businesses, and many more. Just to give you an example, a recent blog post by The Washington Post was entitled, "Many Teens Tell Survey They're Addicted to Social Media, Texting." Or, you can check out the 2012 social media statistics.

Actually not only social media, the Internet in general has become a world in its own. The online realm is "The 21st century's New World." Sooner or later, everyone would migrate there and it would soon become the next superpower, having a major influence over the global population.

Okay, okay, maybe you think I'm too much, but guess what, since 2010, the number of Facebook users all over the world has reached more than 500 million people crowning Facebook as the third largest country in the world after China and India (source: The Economist). I even read that recently this number has almost doubled (source: Times of India).

the new world map
The New World, 16th Century map.
Credit: Library of Congress

The Great Searching of Today's Society: Satisfaction and Community

So back to my colleague's thoughtful observation, he basically said that today's society is longing after two things: satisfaction and community. These are "public secrets"- people desire to feel fulfilled and feel like they belong somewhere.

Apparently, social media and the Internet in general are the attempts of mankind to meet the aforementioned needs. If we're honest to ourselves, we will daily find the longing for satisfaction and community lingering in the depth of our being. That is why, people keep clicking to go to the next link on the webpage. They think that satisfaction and community are just a click away on Google search or Facebook.

The Enlightening Truth

the truth by simply katherine
Uncovering the not-so-shocking truth.

The truth is the questions remained regardless of this New World's novel mechanism/platform for searching: 

How and where can we get the answers?

Now would you all offer some thoughts on these questions? 
Maybe even some plausible answers as well?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: Being Found in Christ

Today I was reading an excerpt this morning (Conclusion of the New Testament- Messages 135-156, Chapter 8):
"To be found in Christ actually means to be observed, seen, or discovered in Christ by others... It is one thing to have a doctrinal understanding of being found in Christ; it is quite another thing to be found in Christ in our daily living. Where we are when others observe us indicates the realm in which we live. If we live in our culture or in our good behavior, we shall be found in culture or in our behavior by others. In whatever realm we live, that is where we shall be seen, observed, and discovered by others."
When I was in Puerto Rico, I stayed with a family who served the Lord full-time on a nearby college campus. My morning reading today reminded me of them because during my stay in Humacao, I had observed, seen, and discovered this family in Christ.

Puerto Rico Christians on Campus
Our crew in Humacao

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: The Fellowship

A while back I met a mature sister in the Lord (see my popular series: Conversations with Mrs. L). Yet I found myself clueless whenever I sat across face-to-face with her in her living room. I didn't know how to converse with her. I mean this sister was four times my age, how could I relate with her? 

Should I ask questions? What kind of questions? Should I wait until she asks me questions? What should I do?

Christians on Campus dinner
Dinner gathering in Humacao
So I went to her son-in-law and asked him what I should ask her. He just said, "Ask her anything, even questions that you think you know the answers. You'll be surprised." He was right! Every time I met this older sister, I would just ask her anything and her answers would help me both humanly and spiritually. 

Since then I have learned that in the fellowship with other Christians, especially more mature ones, I'm actually not seeking for answers. I'm seeking for persons who can minister Christ into me

Back to the Puerto Rico trip with Christians on Campus, I can't remember which night I met this older sister in a warm dinner gathering. It was my first time meeting her but I had heard about what a shepherd this sister had been to many others. Her husband had recently passed. I never got the privilege to meet him, a brother who was a pillar in the church.

I was eating dinner on the patio with my friend, a recent college graduate, when she joined us. We had a warm, normal conversation. She introduced herself and told us briefly about how her late husband had a big heart for the Lord's move in the island of Puerto Rico.

At that time, I knew that the best way to fellowship for my friend and I was simply to listen. So between the two of us, I took the lead to ask simple questions, such as how this older sister and her husband met the Lord and how they became involved with the church life.

To someone else, her story may seem to be quite ordinary. Yet there was something else about her that I couldn't really pinpoint at first until suddenly she asked about my siblings. Both of my siblings were on this same trip. She also asked about my friend's plan after college.

The content of this fellowship is quite personal so I can't write about it right now, but I can definitely testify that this sister ministered Christ to us. Her spiritual discernment truly showed what kind of person she was. 

Not only that, what impressed me the most about our fellowship was the fact that her consideration, care, and heart for all of us, my siblings included, were instantaneous and genuine at the same time

The Lord opened my eyes to recognize that these were the characteristics of the Body life. We may be strangers outwardly, of different nationalities and cultures, but the truth is we are members one of another in the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:26 says,
"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."
On that night, this sister's burden became truly ours and ours hers. It was a mutual fellowship.

At the end of that trip, she told me before I left the city, "Remember, mi casa es su casa." Little did I know that I would gain more family members in Puerto Rico. We are all part of the household of God indeed.

More fellowship to come...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: The People

Please read my previous post to find out more about the island of Puerto Rico.

Without a doubt, Puerto Rico has it all: nature and culture. Yet what I enjoyed the most was meeting Christians, young and old, and having a rich fellowship with them (despite the language barrier that we had since I don't really speak Spanish).

I also met a lot of college students who were affiliated with Christians on Campus. Their endeavor to reach the young people on campus, to bring the gospel to them, to fellowship, and to dive into the Word of God was too precious! 

Puerto Rico Blending Trip
From Puerto Rico with Love.

I realized that even though we were so far apart geographically, we all, in Texas and in Puerto Rico, had been endeavoring to do the same thing: gaining young people for God.

Furthermore, even though we didn't speak the same language and weren't brought up within the same culture, there was always a prevailing atmosphere of love and joy among us. At the end of every day, we were happily tired (due to a packed schedule).

Christians on Campus Puerto Rico
The group in Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo.

So the crew from Texas was about 30 people. Obviously, it was not easy to arrange accommodations and transportation for all of us. On the first day, as we were walking out from the Arrival section of the Luis Munoz Airport in San Juan, some brothers had been waiting for us with vans. They were ready to help us with our luggage, provide us with snacks, and take us to the homes of Christians we'd be staying with.

Yes, there were Christians in the community, associated with Christians on Campus in Puerto Rico, who opened their homes for us to stay for the entire duration of our visit (8 days). The nights I spent with these different ones in the community were the moments when the Lord touched me concerning my heart for Him, my daily living, and my future.

I had heard before that Puerto Ricans were warm and hospitable people, but in this trip, the care of these Christians whom we just met for the first time exceeded cultural hospitality. It was a true exhibition of Hebrews 13:1, "Let brotherly love continue."

I would like to continue my story with each one whom I had the opportunity to fellowship in Puerto Rico in my next post, but I can tell you right now that it was truly a time of digging gold in the gold mine. These Christians were a storehouse of Christ. Their living exhibited what they were all about. They were all about Christ and the church.

Christians on Campus Activities

I'm not done yet, everyone. The next post is coming soon!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: The Island

Finally I got a chance to sit down and begin this amazing post on my recent summer vacation with Christians on Campus in Puerto Rico!

Also known as "La Isla Del Encanto" (lit. The Island of Enchantment), Puerto Rico was truly a mesmerizing island. Although I originally came from a tropical island, Puerto Rico was something else. The shades of blue across the horizon were awe-striking.

Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo (Credit: J. Hernandez)

Nature is definitely at the top of my favorite destinations, but Puerto Rico has much more to offer. You can see bright and bold colors exuding the island's rich culture. This is most apparent when you decide to take a leisure walk in Old San Juan, in the northern part of the island. 

Old San Juan
Old San Juan (Credit: L. Coy)

To be honest, I'm not sure where to begin and where to end. Puerto Rico has plenteous stories to tell. "Castillo de San Felipe del Morro" (or El Morro) is one of them. Its magnificent structure had guarded the island from naval attacks for about 400 years. 

El Morro
Aerial View of El Morro (Credit: WLIW New York)

El Morro, Puerto Rico
View from El Morro, Old San Juan (Credit: J. Hernandez)

I have to admit that this trip has been my best summer vacation thus far! I was continually surrounded by stunning scenery and loving brothers and sisters in Christ. Almost too good to be true!

Stay tuned for more posts on my blending trip to Puerto Rico!

Please continue to my next post, Puerto Rico: The People.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Coming Up: Puerto Rico Trip

I'm counting days toward my Puerto Rico trip. I've never been there but I heard from others that Puerto Rico is so beautiful!

puerto rico

My siblings and I will be traveling with a small group of Christians from Texas. We will be staying with families affiliated with Christians on Campus on the island. I just can't wait to get to know these Christians and have fellowship with them.

It's quite amazing how Christ has torn down our differences on the cross so that now we can simply embrace our brothers and sisters in the Lord regardless of their personalities and backgrounds.

Ephesians 2:14 says,
"For He is our peace, who has made both (the Jews and the Gentiles) one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us;"
One of the major differences that we have with one another is our culture. Most pride in their unique identity, being part of a certain culture. Sometimes I even feel like my culture defines who I am.

BUT Christ died for us to be our peace, to make us all one in Him. 

Yes, outwardly it's not easy to overcome our differences because our differences always create offenses without us wanting to hurt anybody. So in my next post, I'd like to share with you my experiences in Puerto Rico. I'm expecting the Lord's blessing to adjust, mingle, harmonize us all together in Him.

I'm talking about 1 Corinthians 12:24 (Amplified Version):
"Which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted (mingled, harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of) the whole body, giving the greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior parts which lack [apparent importance],"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Gospel of the God-shaped Vacuum

This post is a response to the most recent video published by Bibles for America, entitled The God-shaped Vacuum.

What is the Gospel?

The gospel definitely constitutes as one of the most basic elements of the Christian life. I'm a little hesitant to elaborate on what the gospel intrinsically is, not because I don't know or I don't care about it. On the contrary, I fear that I may come short in presenting the high gospel to you.

BUT the point is you can receive the gospel even before you can fully understand everything about it!

Many people hesitate to receive the power of salvation in the gospel because they think that they need to fix up their current situation first - "Oh, the gospel is too wonderful that it wouldn't match with my poor condition," or "it wouldn't match with the condition of a despicable sinner such as I."

Yes, the salvation in the gospel is indeed wonderful! In fact, I'm daily learning, appreciating, and enjoying His salvation more and more. Nevertheless, if God gave a requirement that we had to strive to be in the "right" condition to be saved, then who could be saved?
"They who heard it said, 'Then who can be saved?' But He said, 'The things that are impossible with man are possible with God.'" - Luke 18:26-27
This is exactly why God is God! Not by my own merit, but by His far-reaching mercy that I was willing to receive the gospel and be saved. Our God specializes in the impossible cases. 

He even reached Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul, and saved him, even to the point that this sinner could become an apostle, a precious channel and messenger of God. Did you know that before his conversion, Saul approved of the killing of Stephen and of so many other Christians? Actually he might have persecuted many Christians with his own hands.

The God-shaped Vacuum

The gospel is not some tertiary or luxurious item. 

The gospel is also not a lowly, base item.

The gospel is a basic need in its core. It is human to need God.

Without further delay, please watch this video below to hear more: The God-shaped Vacuum.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

There's No Hero in the Church

Today is the third time I heard it: "Remember, Katherine. There's no hero in the church."

No Hero
I'm not a hero.
It's so good to be reminded again and again that I'm not a hero. Maybe I'm a workaholic or a perfectionist or both; I like to give 110% in everything that I do, including in activities related to church service.

Well, it's been almost a year since I'm involved with this project for our campus outreach. I went into this project with no background whatsoever in the specific field that I'm now involved with.

So I worked hard to study, to catch up, to manage, and even to effectively communicate with others who are helping with the project. I knew from the start that this was not an ordinary job. This is the Lord's work, so I cannot handle it in a common way.

Looking back, this whole year has been a good training for me. I've been having a hard time because this outreach project is on a voluntary basis, so often the people who are helping out with the project do not get to finish the tasks on time. I'm not blaming them because they also have another full-time job.

So at the end of the day, I'm tempted to just finish all these tasks by myself. But then I get so tired that I wouldn't be able to attend to my other responsibilities.

Recently I began to be frustrated because I felt like I underperformed in many other things. I started to fear people would think that I didn't do enough. 

The truth was I wanted to be a hero- someone who can manage to do a lot of things at once and do them right.

The reminder of "there's no hero in the church" was exactly what I needed to hear. I began to realize that I should really take heed of this word because our God is the God of measure.

2 Corinthians 10:13 says,
"Now we will not boast out of measure, but according to the measure of the rule which the God of measure has apportioned to us, to reach to you also."
I realize that I'm just not meant to do everything because I'm not meant to boast out of the measure of the rule that God has apportioned to me. That's why in the church, in the Body of Christ, we truly need one another. 

Every member is indispensable because there are certain things that I don't have but another member has; there are certain things that I can't do but another can do. Just like a mouth can speak but it needs the eyes to see, and vice versa. We cannot be self-sufficient because we are one body in Christ and we are members one of another.

I don't have to be a hero because I simply can't be one! It's God's ordination in His wisdom that I would need to fellowship with the other members of the Body of Christ to receive their supply and practical help.

We can only do what we're apportioned to do so that we will not be able to boast beyond our measure. Actually it is so that the Lord can get all the glory, don't you think? It is so that we would live in the principle of the Body of Christ, that we would depend on one another.

Do you think your experiences confirm this blog post? If yes, could you share your experience with me? If not, would you mind sharing your thoughts? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Why Christians Should Blog

Where We Are Today

why Christians should blog
Kids Online
A good starting point of why Christians should blog is plain stats. According to World Bank (Google Public Data), in 2010, 30.48% of the world population were Internet users. Today, in the United States alone, the percentage of Internet users is probably well over 80% of the country's population.

If you read an article from New York Times two years ago, you'd be floored- 

"The average young American now spends practically every waking minute — except for the time in school — using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones. 

And because so many of them are multitasking — say, surfing the Internet while listening to music — they pack on average nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours." 

Whether we like it or not, the estate that the next generation is in has become an indicator of how the world is progressing in general, don't you think? 

The Generation Gap

A survey done in 2009 reported that the US was facing the largest generation gap since the 60's where the older and younger generations differed mostly in social values and morality. Well, this gap has grown larger and larger everyday.

One key factor widening this gap is the fact that the younger generation is plugged in online 24/7

While you're thinking that your children are safe by being physically at home, they are constantly exposed to potential dangers in their bedroom, in front of the computer. I don't think I need to elaborate myself on this point. You know how detrimental the Internet could become to your child, even to yourself.

The Least We Can Do

Learning such a hard fact, our immediate response is to cut ties with the online world, but the truth is as Christians, we bear the responsibility to not only save ourselves

Soon we realize that we can't practically displace our children and even ourselves from the Internet. The education systems require us to be online. Our jobs require us to be online.

Young and old, people are continually bombarded with all kinds of online information- constructive and destructive. So why not give them a chance to stumble upon the good news, the gospel of the kingdom?

Romans 1:14-16 say, 
14 I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are in Rome. 
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

The easiest way to populate the Internet with gospel materials is by blogging. These days you can set up a blog, with no cost, in less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is write a little something about your faith, your journey with the Lord, once a week. You can even write about how normal it is to need God, how normal it is to be a Christian.

We shouldn't be ashamed of sharing our genuine experiences of Christ online. So what if our friends see the big Christian "signboard" on our blog or Facebook wall? Our confession of being a Christian online may very well be the only gospel opportunity a friend or a relative has in his/her lifetime. We are debtors to them with regards to the gospel.

Have you ever shared with someone about your faith online? What are the greatest hurdles you encounter in blogging about your faith, or in writing a Facebook post about your Christian experience?