Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Just to Close 2015

2015 closing
On the last day of 2015, I am spending the night at a dear Christian home nearby Seoul, South Korea. In this home I came across a little booklet, an excerpt from Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, chapter 5. I am on a 3-week trip to see my old friends who are all Christians with a heart to know and love the Lord. So tonight after meeting, catching up, and having small fellowship times here and there with them, the prayer that I read from the booklet truly becomes my prayer in the closing of this year.

Now I hope to share this portion with you all. May this little prayer supplies you with a fresh dose of the Lord Himself.

"Blessed Lord Jesus! I do believe, help Thou mine unbelief. Do Thou, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, perfect the work of faith in me too. Teach me, I prayed Thee, with a faith that enters the unseen, to realize what Thy glory is, and what my share in it is even now, according to Thy word: 'The glory which Thou gavest me, I have given them.'  Teach me that the Holy Ghost and His power is the glory which Thou givest us, and that Thou wouldst have us show forth Thy glory in rejoicing in His holy presence on earth and His indwelling in us. Teach me above all, my blessed Lord, not only to take and hold these blessed truths in the mind, but with my spirit that is in my inmost parts, to wait on Thee to be filled with Thy Spirit.

O my glorified Lord! I do even now bow before Thy glory in humble faith. Let all the life of self and the flesh be abased and perish, as I worship and wait before Thee. Let the Spirit of Glory become my life. Let His presence break down all trust in self, and make room for Thee. And let my whole life be one of faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Amen."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Learning a Lesson

learning a life lesson

Naturally I prefer a tranquil situation, an isolated position where I only have to make myself comfortable in the Lord. No frills and no complications. But this is not the journey God has ordained for me to live on. God's mercy indeed for me to not remain the same and idle. I recently traveled back home and was met with many dramatic happenings.

A relative of mine is going through a very difficult and sensitive circumstance, thus I can't elaborate. But such personal affair becomes quite center stage in some aspects of the church life where he and his family live. It's a profound episode in his life. Maybe humanly only he himself knows the dimensions of the catastrophe. All of our relatives empathize but no one can truly sympathize.

We were brought up as Christians who would uphold the preciousness of the church, the Lord's Body. My relatives are not perfect people (they can get angry too) but they go through the matter in much fellowship and prayers for the sake of the church and to help the inflicted parties to somehow get on the right path, healing or repentance.

Within me, however, I have two clear sensations. First, may the Lord have mercy on us that we may never become the main feature of any kind of taking sides, or divisions, in the church and that we will not be prompted to further polarize God's people. I told myself and some of my closest relatives, "Let us fear God and guard ourselves against dishonoring the Head in any way."

Second, may the Lord strengthen us to receive His shepherding in forgiving those who have offended us and in repenting because we have been offended. A good Christian person copes with hurt feelings and doesn't avenge for he knows revenge belongs to God, but it's not good enough to be just good. The Lord permits sufferings so that we can gain God in the process.

I told my relative whom I considered as my own brother, "I know it takes time and it's difficult but we must pass this test by forgiveness." He said, "I have let it pass but to forgive is painful." "Don't skip forgiveness. We have to be desperate before the Lord until we get released. This is true healing," I insisted.

When I persisted on speaking such hard word to a wounded soul, a thought flashed by: Katherine, why are you so harsh? Why don't you go easy on him? But I'm reminded again that throughout the years God has so loved us, He so loves my family and relatives who have been in the church for generations. Once He measures a portion of learning and gaining to us, He will get that done regardless of how many times we fail to return the served ball. It's a lesson that will only get more advanced, the only way we can pass is to be desperate to come forward to the throne of grace, to come forward to God. In this way, we can get more of Himself as He speaks to us, as He shines on us, as He supplies us, as He loves us.

I hope one day my companions will not hold back speaking these words to me when I'm in my lowest state. Someone told me, "It's easier said than done because you're not the one who got hurt." That is absolutely correct. I'm not better than anyone else. When something painful comes my way, I will probably react exactly the same. But when that suffering moment comes, I hope someone, with a genuine and prayerful heart, will remind me of what the Lord mainly desires of me. In all things, His unique work is to wrought Himself into us, a little bit more.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Chat with a 14 Year Old

I sat across from a fourteen year old, my youngest brother. We had dinner together at a nearby restaurant, just the two of us, before he had to catch a plane to go to school abroad. My youngest brother loves to eat and play computer games; he also loves spending time with me. I can't believe he's about a foot taller than I, and still growing.

He's chatty but usually the topics revolve around food, going to the malls, his friends, or the best, newest fancy gadget he's been eyeing for a while. That evening, however, he nonchalantly told me more serious matters concerning his surrounding. At first he sounded like a tattletale, but when I put myself in his shoes, I immediately felt a great empathy toward him. The situation he mentioned was heavy to bear, but he spoke as if it was an ordinary part of life. The Lord reminded me right then: It is human to need God. That's a plain fact, even for a teenage boy.

My brother received the Lord a few years ago, at night, on a bench, in Disneyland. My sister led him to pray while we were waiting for the famous Disneyland fireworks. So I asked him if he had prayed more and read his Bible. He answered that his school required him to read several Bible verses every morning and that he would pray before meals whenever he remembered. "But have you ever talked to the Lord? Like a normal conversation?" I asked again. He said no.

Before I continued to speak further, I paused. Within my heart, I realized I did not have adequate time to explain and I feared he would not have the grasp for what I was about to say. I needed to simplify and get to the crux of this exchange, but it was challenging.

"Josh, you have to talk to the Lord personally. It's not a religion. In this life, without the Lord, our surrounding will always get us super high and super low," I told him, "We need the Lord and His Word to be our anchor." I asked him if he knew what an anchor was and he nodded.

"People say we were born to die. Our body and our mind worsen as we age, so we need a new hope. The Lord Jesus is our hope. If we don't have Him, we have nothing," maybe I had said too much but he was following. Then our food arrived, we prayed a simple prayer, and resumed our chat. I listened more and encouraged him here and there.

For the rest of the time, he was an open person and to my surprise, he became peculiarly caring and kind. When we got home, everyone helped him packed his luggage and off he went, abroad. I don't know how much my youngest brother had listened and to what extent he had considered our talk about the Lord. I was unprepared but desperate to lead him to know the Lord. And so I'm still praying today, "Lord, cause him to have many conversations with You. Cause him to know You and to love You."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Born Again

born again

I was "born this way" therefore everyone should accept the way that I am and come to terms with the lifestyle I'm naturally drawn to. Such notion is prevailing in society today. It's a right to live according to our inborn propensities, some say. But, we were all born sinners, and our chief inborn propensity is to sin. If sinning is a right, then we are truly living in an inverted world. 

We were born sinful, but why do we think to sin is a rightful liberty? It's an illegal enslavement. Within, our own conscience convicts us with guilt, and without, the consequences of our sinful deeds ripen. But we keep on sinning beyond control.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Herein is Love

This week I've been enlightened, convicted, and supplied by God's Word. It's a privilege, a blessing, and a mercy to love God because He has first loved us.

So I made a little tune to 1 John 4:10-11, 16.

"Herein is love, 
not that we have loved God but that He loved us 
and sent His son as a propitiation for our sins.

if God has loved us in this way, 
we also ought to love one another.

And we know and have believed the love which God has in us. 
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God 
and God abides in him."

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Serving God

After serving the Lord for a few years, I gradually realize that none of my qualifications, whether it's integrity or skills, is worth anything in His eyes. According to Philippians 3:3, we must be ones who "serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh."

I experience an outward change in my service: instead of serving full-time, I will serve part-time with the campus ministry I've been involved with for the past five years. I don't know yet what I will do with the rest of my time, but the Lord has not required any less of my genuine service and worship to Him. I still belong to Him and He is still my God. I'm not certain of what the future holds, but one thing I know, the Lord Jesus will never let me go and will always demand a resurrection-ly living. And yes, I cannot attain the Lord's desire by myself but He can continue to be and do just that in me.

serving God

Friday, April 10, 2015

Genuine Freedom

glorious freedom

What a great deliverance we have:
out of the authority of darkness.
What a marvelous transfer:
into the kingdom of the Son of God's love.

Today I found genuine freedom.
Freedom from flesh, freedom from self;
freedom from striving just to be good.

To live in God's kingdom
is not a matter of outward teaching & regulation.
In this realm we are ruled
in love, with life, and under light.

A realm that requires the divine life
with the innate ability of life.
The authority of the kingdom is
in the flowing of this life,
in the shining of Jesus,
and in the sense of life.

Here there is no fear.
No more struggle to please others,
'Tis freedom to live solely unto the King.

Personal notes from "The Ministry of the Word" Vol. 19, No.1 (Jan 2015)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Why Manna?


This past week I was reading a study on the Book of Exodus for my morning time with the Lord. There were, of course, many climacteric points I enjoyed concerning the long-term mysterious miracle, manna, which was the bread that came out of heavens to feed millions of God's people. The Hebrew word for manna literally means "what is it?". In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus declares that He is the real manna—the bread out of heaven, the bread of God, the bread of life, the living bread, the true bread.

Actually what's so miraculous is the fact that we can eat the Lord Jesus, our true Bread; furthermore that "we are what we eat". When we eat the Lord in His Word consistently, daily, we would be built up with Him and thereby express His life and nature. Amazing, isn't it? When we eat Manna we become manna. And according to a footnote from Exodus 16:31 (RcV), here are the characteristics of Christ as manna given to God's people:
  • Fine and small - Christ is even and balanced, small enough for us to eat.
  • Round - Christ is eternal, perfect, and full, without shortage or defect.
  • White - Christ is clean and pure, without any mixture.
  • Like frost - Christ not only cools and refreshes us but also kills the negative things within us.
  • Like a coriander seed - Christ is full of life that grows in us and multiplies.
  • Solid - After gathering Christ as manna, we must prepare Him for our eating by "grinding, beating, and boiling" Him in the situations and circumstances of our daily living. This means we must experience and enjoy Christ in a particular process until Christ is fully fitting to be wrought into us in that specific situation or circumstance of our living.
  • Like bdellium in appearance - the brightness and transparency of Christ.
  • In its taste like the taste of cakes baked in oil - the fragrance of the Holy Spirit in the taste of Christ.
  • In its taste like wafers made with honey - the sweetness of the taste of Christ.
  • Good for making cakes - Christ is like fine cakes rich in nourishment.
Yet the question today is why did God insist on feeding the children of Israel only manna in the wilderness?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Period of Quietness

I wonder why it has been difficult for me to write even a single post these past few months. It seems like I lack utterance in many things. So I'd like to first apologize if this blog post doesn't quite convey a coherent message.

The Closing of 2014

The year of 2014 was a very difficult year for me. I told a close friend that I started feeling uncomfortable with my own self: my way of life, way of thinking, way of living and serving the Lord, etc. I thought I was doing fine as a person but I wasn't. I thought I knew something but I knew nothing. It was a very humbling process of being scrapped into a blank page.

End of 2014This past weekend someone told the story of Moses being called by God. She shared how could this baby boy escaped Pharaoh's decree to kill all the baby boys born of the Israelites? How could he safely float down the treacherous Nile River and end up in the arms of Pharaoh's daughter who was at that moment longing for a child? How could he enter into Pharaoh's household, learning all the top culture and knowledge, yet had the opportunity to be nursed and probably educated regarding his heritage by his own mother?