Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: May 2012

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.