Showing posts from 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

Singapore: The Rainy City-State

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 miss

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. 

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? T

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 tha

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 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, t

The Common Faith of All Christians

All throughout my college years, Christians on Campus has taught me to contend for the common faith . I've heard rumors before about members of Christians on Campus being exclusive, but whoever has come to their gatherings would quickly realize that Christians on Campus receives all genuine Christians. Yes, all genuine Christians who believe in the common faith (this term is used in Titus 1:4 and Jude 3 ). The common faith is not a doctrine that someone wrote. I didn't come up with it, nor Christians on Campus, nor Martin Luther. It's the Bible, it's God Himself, who defines our faith. Thus, I simply appreciate the fact that I was given the opportunity to learn how we need to fight for the faith and not fight for anything else that is not part of the common faith. According to the Bible, there are eight items in our common faith: The Bible is the complete divine revelation inspired by God, word-by-word, through the Holy Spirit. ( 2 Peter 1:21 ; 2 Timothy

The Rich Young Man Entering the Kingdom

Cherry picking God's Word is definitely faulty, yet it seems impossible for me to apply God's Word in its entirety. For instance, the Bible tells me not to covet but "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" ( Romans 7:24 ). I continuously fail in fulfilling this matter of not coveting. So what then shall I do? There is a particular fellowship from one of the Christians on Campus gatherings that has greatly helped me. I can't remember exactly which gathering but at that time, one of the speakers mentioned about the passage of a rich young man trying to enter into the kingdom in Matthew 19 (please read Matthew 19:16-26 for context). This rich young man asked the Lord what good deed he must do to have eternal life. The Lord pointed out that there is only One that is good and that if he would enter into this life, he should keep all the commandments. Afterward the Lord showed him which commandment he should do, to sell his po

Joining Ourselves to God's Desire through His Word

The question from my last post on Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference - how can we join ourselves to God's desire through His Word? Many times our application of God's Word is a cherry-picking business. Yes, it's a fallacy indeed. Let me explain what I meant by that. Believe it or not, most of us have a hidden motive when we come to God's Word. That hidden motive varies with every person but usually it's in the form of expectations, hoping for certain things to be found in the Word. For example, a couple years ago a Christian man was sharing with me a story about his mother. His mother had to work hard to feed her many children. So one time, she told people that her favorite verse in the Bible was 2 Thessalonians 3:10, "... If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." Actually I knew another hard-working person who appreciated the Bible's encouragement to labor for our living in a similar way. But a lazy person may take Psalm

Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference (Part 4)

The next message after the early rising session was entitled, Daniel and His Three Companions - God's move through Young People . Christians on Campus arranged this message to be "by-the-students-and-for-the-students" format.  Daniel and his three friends So we were given materials to be read together in small groups. The entire message was divided into sections. Each small group would focus on a particular section for the first thirty minutes or so. The group came together to fellowship based on that reading. Then the next event was to gather the small groups and present what we had learned from the section we read to this bigger group of audience. So when all the groups presented their sections, the audience ended up with an entire message, spoken by multiple people from the small groups. Continuing on with the message itself, I was blown away by the reading material that we got. It opens with a section, God calling young people to turn the age. &q

Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference (Part 3)

Continuing from my previous post on the Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference : On the second day of the conference, we gathered early to listen to a 15-minute fellowship on early rising to have a morning time with the Lord. Then we went to find a private place where we could spend a personal, intimate time with the Lord. This fellowship was very healthy and helpful. As young people, many times we all love to sleep late and wake up late.  Actually that morning, our fellowship began with this quote by a sister in the Lord:  "How much a person loves the Lord can be judged primarily by the way he chooses between his bed and the Lord. Do you love your bed or the Lord more? If you love your bed more, you sleep a little longer. If you love the Lord more, you rise up a little earlier." This quote stings, like putting salt on my wound, my weakness, but I realize that it's very true. Of course, striving in ourselves to wake up early can only work f

Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference (Part 2)

I'm back from Christians on Campus College Conference (Fall 2011) , which took place just this past weekend. I've attended this conference many times since I first joined Christians on Campus as a freshman at UT, but this last one had adopted a different overall structure so it was very refreshing indeed! The structure now encouraged the attendees' active participation in smaller groups. It'll take a while for me to explain all the details but just to give you a picture, by the end of the day on Saturday, almost everyone who attended the conference had spoken at least once. Of course, I don't mean speaking with each other about random things. Almost everyone had spoken concerning Christ to one another, at least once. There were apportioned times for personal morning revival/devotion, group Bible study, presentations on the Bible study material, and campus clubs' reports. Seemingly all these were just outward adjustments to the old format, which was m

Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference (Part 1)

Everyone is packing to go to the college conference tomorrow. We're having a regional college conference. Students from several universities, from all over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, and more, will be gathering together to worship the Lord, listen to life-changing messages, fellowship, pray, and interact with each other. This fall, Christians on Campus is revamping their college conference's structure to a more engaging, interactive format. The conference will definitely put more emphasis on active participation in smaller groups, especially on the practice of speaking. There will be many opportunities for college students to share their experiences with one another. Mutuality is very much encouraged.  Christians on Campus Fall 2011 College Conference I'm quite excited myself to be able to go and participate in this conference. My right foot is still recovering from a recent injury, but I just can't miss out on this one. The topic

Giving by Taking

This week, I had fellowship with one of my friends on campus. This is her second year being part of Christians on Campus at UT. We were reminiscing how the Lord had been very faithful to bring us back to Himself. I don't have the liberty to share with you her story, but she shared with me from Psalm 116:12-13. There's a short hymn written based on this psalm ( click here to listen to the tune ): "What I shall I give unto the Lord  For all, for all, for all He's done for me? I'll take the cup of salvation,  And call, and call, and call upon the name of the Lord." When my friend was younger, an older Christian spoke to her concerning this hymn. He pointed out how the psalmist began by asking what shall he give unto the Lord to return all the goodness, all that He had done for him, but ended with taking the cup of salvation and calling upon the name of the Lord.  In one of my previous posts on God's salvation to us , I shared a si

The Auxiliary Evidences of Christianity

In the previous post, I wrote on William Paley's work on the evidences of Christianity . In this post, I'd like to continue with Paley's auxiliary evidences of Christianity in mostly his own words. Paley considers his two propositions as the main defense of the Christian faith yet he believes that their argument is also supported by auxiliary evidences, of which the most important include: Prophecy - Prophecies, which no natural means could foresee, came to fulfillment in history, such as Isaiah chapter 53 and the Lord's prophecy on the destruction of Jerusalem.  Morality - Although not the primary design of the mission, the depicted morality in the Bible is unprecedented. Paley points out two noticeable facts: first, the Gospel omits qualities that are often praised and admired by mankind but have been prejudicial to human happiness, such as friendship, patriotism, and active courage; second, it has brought forward highest intrinsic values, but commonly overloo

A View of the Evidences of Christianity

William Paley (1743-1805) Recently, I read a summary of a book written by William Paley, A View of the Evidences of Christianity .  Paley was a British Christian apologetic, known for his teleological argument in his 1802 famous book, Natural Theology , or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, which prelude included  the watchmaker analogy  (i.e. the analogy that argues design implies a designer). There has been a long chain of philosophical debate on the latter book, so I'm not going to get into that right now. I'm more interested in the content of his previous book. In A View of the Evidences of Christianity , Paley has two propositions on the historical evidence of Christianity: Proposition I : 'That there is satisfactory evidence that many professing to be original witnesses of the Christian miracles passed their lives in labors, dangers and sufferings, voluntarily undergone in attestation of the accounts which they delivered, a

God's Perfect Will

It's early October but in about two months, I'll be flying back to the other side of the globe. Over there I'll probably have limited access to the Internet. I just bought my ticket this afternoon. Honestly, I got butterflies in my stomach, thinking of some possibility of me not being able to go back to Texas. It's a small possibility but I don't do well with surprises. So please keep me in your prayers. My hope is to come back. This is not the first time. I've had similar experiences in the past, not knowing what will happen to me next. So I'm learning just to trust in the Lord, trusting that His heart is always good toward us. Thus far, I have the full assurance that where I am now is where the Lord has arranged for me to be. I'm most grateful because until today, the Lord has not let me veer off from the journey that He has specifically designed for me to take. When I was younger, I had lots of dreams. I wanted to be an architect, an entrepren

Conversations with Mrs. L - Helping the Younger Sisters to Love the Lord More

I finally wrote a card and sent it to Mrs. L . She's recovering from a surgery but I have no clue how she's doing right now. So I decided writing a card would be the best way to reach her at her convenience. While writing the card, I was reminded of a conversation I had with Mrs. L about serving the Lord.   On my previous post, I mentioned about how sisters should let the brothers take the lead . Well, actually this was not all. On that day, Mrs. L also encouraged me, "Katherine, help the younger sisters to love the Lord more." After a long pause, I thought to myself - I had to be the first one loving the Lord more. I found no other way. In my experience, my heart grows colder toward the Lord rather quickly, especially when I'm so occupied with daily human responsibilities or even, spiritual responsibilities. Yes, I'm talking about Bible reading, sometimes I just want to whiz through it without stopping my busy mind and turn my heart to contact the livi

How to be a Christian

Some are satisfied just to be saved from eternal perdition, while others have continued to struggle to be better Christians. The question has many facets, implications, and complications. How to be a Christian? Is it all about good deeds? Is it all about trying to obey the Ten Commandments? Is it about doing great things for God? Is it about getting hundreds of thousands saved? Or is it just about being saved from eternal perdition? Let's take a journey along the path of this big question. To those who are seeking the Lord in a genuine way, naturally we all have a concept of needing to do something for God. Like the disciples themselves had asked, "What shall we do that we may work the works of God?" (John 6:28). Also in Exodus 19, the children of Israel answered, "All that Jehovah has spoken we will do" (Exodus 19:8). To work for God is the mindset of most Christians throughout the ages. This is how I often think of 'how to be a Christia

God's Salvation to Us

Dear readers, I've been out from my daily routine this past week due to an injury. It's truly challenging, staying at home, not knowing how to best occupy my time. Well, a lot of my companions dropped by to see how I was doing. Their visitations were God's salvation to me, from wasting away my time doing other things. Whenever these ones came, they not only brought physical food but they were also ready to dispense spiritual food into my hungry spirit. We didn't do a serious Bible study or anything like that but... how should I say this? It was like they were living out the spiritual nourishment, Christ, into me in the most normal way. I've also enjoyed reading an in-depth study of the Book of Exodus. I came across this matter of God's salvation depicted in the giving of God's law to the children of Israel in the Old Testament. Do you know what was God's original intention in giving out the law? In Exodus 19, this account was fully recorded. I

Conversations with Mrs. L - Letting the Brothers Take the Lead

Click here for Conversations with Mrs. L - The Role of a Woman in the Church Growing up, I was taught to be an independent thinker. So when Mrs. L mentioned this matter about letting the brothers to take the lead, I was somewhat puzzled. I understood that we, as sisters, should follow the brothers' lead but Mrs. L opened up another dimension on the matter. She said, "letting." To me, that sounded like there was an implication of "you may not be thinking the same thing, but you would still let them take the lead." Now that's contrary to a popular notion out there to stand up for what you think is right. I'd be the first one to confess that this isn't easy. Many times I insisted on my ways because I genuinely thought that I was right, but if you think about it, that's exactly what the other person would think about his/her ways. So who's right? In the end, it's not about being open-minded or conservative. God's ordination is Go

Conversations with Mrs. L - The Role of a Woman in the Church

I've been blogging on my Christians on Campus series these days, so I just decided to revisit my experiences with Mrs. L. For those who want to read the previous posts on this series, click here for Conversations with Mrs. L .  Recently, I've been wanting to write Mrs. L a letter. The last time I tried to visit her in July she was resting, recovering from a surgery, so I didn't get to see her or talk to her at all. Well, since she needed a lot of rest, I thought maybe I could just write her a letter so that she'd be able to read it at her convenience. But I never get to write anything yet. I really want to thank her for all her words of grace, of life, that she had infused into my being. In particular, I was always impressed with her answer to the question I had concerning the role of a woman in the church. You may think it's an old-fashioned concept. "I'm young and capable, so why be limited with this thought of how to function as a woman, a

The Divine Accounting

My sister, Po, is studying accounting in one of the top business schools in the U.S. She's super busy but I appreciate her endeavor to make time for the Lord and the church life . That's an important prelude to my story. So here we go. Long story short, about two years ago, I was given the responsibility to own a house (I know it sounds strange, I should be happy getting a house for "free"). Yet with that ownership, there would be taxes and other liabilities. In my head, a balance sheet kept appearing. That's right, every asset is always followed by some kind of liabilities. Well, let's see. Fixed assets are tied to depreciation. Current assets can incur operating expenses, e.g., inventory generates the cost of holding goods in stock. Liquid cash is vulnerable to inflation rate, while accounts receivable are problematic in themselves if they're never met with actual payments. It wasn't that difficult to come up with a realization that th

Christians on Campus - I Needed a Home

Like always, please check out my previous post ( Christians on Campus: Needing Older Christians ) for context, everyone! This post is part of a series, entitled "Christians on Campus". So Grace took me to this couple's house for a dinner one evening. Honestly, I can't remember when exactly we went to their house, but I think it was early in the Fall semester. It was just the four of us: the couple (Don and Judy), Grace, and I. We had a delicious home-cooked meal and chatted about many topics. Don was interested in the geography of my home country. He was an extremely resourceful man, both in knowledge and spirituality. Judy was a very pleasant, warm lady. The whole atmosphere in that home was casual, loving, and comfortable. I couldn't help but falling in love with being in their home, being in their midst. My cheeks were sore that night because I couldn't stop smiling all evening. Oh, I forgot to tell you that Don was the older man who ga

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.

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

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 kno