We Leave with Nothing but Love

Day #1 without Coffee
August 30, 2010, 8:07 am
Filed under: God, Living

For the next 2 weeks, until September 12, I have sworn off coffee from my daily consumption. It’s time to make changes for the better, for my body.

I am a coffee addict. I am a huge fan of a good cup to start the day, of the scents and the sounds of the brew. However, some good things should be put on hold for the sake of honoring what is better. I want to train myself to wake early to be excited about new life in Scripture, not in another cup of coffee.

Doing homework at Starbucks yesterday, I assumed that my normal intake of coffee would help me in doing my homework. Unfortunately, I only experienced increased anxiety, and could not help but heighten all internal concerns about everything uncertain in my life.

After severe distraction from my book-reading, I was hit by the beauty and truth of hymns sung in communion with my peers and fellow believers. It was there that I realized I need to take a handle on myself, and start my semester with more consistency and motivation to fee my soul, rather than my appetite.

After morning #1 of coffee-free Bible reading, I remember that as a Christ-follower, it is necessary to turn away from idols in order to turn to Christ and wait on His presence (1Thess. 1:9-10). May this be a good step toward recognizing idolatry in my life, and moving toward true love. Capturing beauty doesn’t require idolizing beautiful things.


July 21, 2010, 1:25 pm
Filed under: God, Poetry, Relationships, Uncategorized

Sometimes there is a regrettable moment. Or series of regrettable moments.

Sometimes there is an opportunity to take, regardless of the daunting speed and pressure.

Sometimes the pressure turns into a diamond, or the discomfort turns into a pearl.

Sometimes I want to cry because I can’t seem to communicate my deepest, purest desires.

Sometimes I wonder if the pure desires are actually the ones at the forefront after all.

Sometimes my relationship with God seems the most real and significant thing in my existence.

Sometimes my guard is down, and I have to beg mercy, that God would help me remember what that guard looks like again.

Sometimes I regret, with a strong desire to do better, to be legitimate.

Sometimes I regret, wishing that life would just be done already.

Always, God is good. Forever, His Word is true and powerful. Never will He stop loving His children. And every moment has been providentially permitted.

Investigate my life, O God

find out everything about me;

Cross-examine and test me,

get a clear picture of what I am about;

See for yourself whether I have done anything wrong-

then guide me on the road to eternal life.

(Psalm 139:23-24. The Message.)

My regrettable moments are over and have been forgiven. Internally, I have processed them and moved on after months of prayer and quiet.

New and beautiful opportunities are afoot.

One Morning with Ron Blue
May 3, 2010, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Business, Economy, God

On Wednesday morning I am scheduled for an interview with a financial advising firm called Ron Blue & Co. This firm is an incredibly unique place where Christian ethics meets the man-eating business environment. Ron Blue & Co. is the ethical opportunity to explore the meaning of wealth. While most of the clients of Ron Blue are extraordinarily wealth individuals, the company also has resources for mentorship and advising on everyday stewardship for people of all monetary situations. http://www.ronblue.com/thefounder.phpRon Blue shares my passion for financing missions. He believes in leading responsibly, caring for the people in an organization- as the body of Christ, and using financial resources responsibly to fund worldwide missions. This thirty year-old organization is founded by a man of integrity:

Ron retired from the financial planning firm in 2003 in order to lead an international effort to equip and motivate Christian financial professionals to serve the body of Christ by implementing biblical wisdom in their lives and practices, resulting in financial freedom and increased giving by thousands of dollars by thousands of Christians around the world. He is currently President of Kingdom Advisors.

So here I go, practicing my answers to the interview questions. I recently interviewed several Biola students to be my own assistant for when I am hired as the Student Missionary Union Controller. I know that there are a few pithy phrases I got tired of hearing. I won’t tell the employer that I struggle with perfectionism. I will, however, share my ambition to succeed, and I will give passionate examples.

I have a heart for missions, and the Lord has confirmed that passion since I was in the second grade. Granted, I have had several fade-outs throughout the years, but several times over, God has led me to pray for and support missions and missionary friends. Matthew 5:16 is the song that guides me home: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.” Ronald Blue & Co. is an amazing environment that stimulates the Aristotelian virtue of magnanimity. Those who are better stewards of their finances can give more to those in need. With every investment, the motive is to provide for those efforts which seek a heavenly purpose. I am excited to learn more about the Christ-centered environment, and to meet some of these intelligent Christian accountants.

Ronald Blue & Co.

And in That Day
April 2, 2010, 11:00 pm
Filed under: God

“And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’” (Hosea 3:16)

God is not the idea I have of Him. God IS. The beautiful truth is that Beauty is so much more than the idea we have in our simple minds. God is Beauty. More than just the idea in my head. More than I think He is even capable of. More than I can ever imagine. Goodness. Beauty. Truth. Love. God is my Refuge, my Strength. God is my Promise. God is my salvation. God’s voice calls me, guides me, inspires me. God’s words are Life and Breath to my soul. God’s Word is my Living Water that I drink and never thirst again. God’s Word is Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is the Word incarnate. The Word of God incarnate lived and taught the most perfect lessons. He taught the Kingdom of God, obedience, brotherhood. The Word of God incarnate spoke words about love being the perfect sacrifice. God’s Word incarnate sacrificed Himself for me.

God is the one I disobey with my sin. God is the one I smite with my reticence. God is the King to whom I owe the greatest debt. God is the counselor whose intuition I neglect to follow. God is the Friend I have ignored. Jesus is the Savior I have forgotten. Jesus is the Word of truth I have tossed aside. Jesus is God, in whom I have had no faith, because I would have rather followed my own opinion and appetite.

“But I am the LORD your God from the land of Eqypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought.” (Hos 13:4-5)

“Return, O Israel, to the LORD YOUR God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, ‘Take away all iniquity; accept what is good’” (Hos 14:1-2)

Jesus is the One I accept as my savior. Jesus is my teacher, and His Spirit is my counselor. All days, all decisions, all desires, and all sacrifices, are all for Him. All romance, all pleasure, all thanksgiving!

“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justive, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.”

(Hos 2:19)

February 19, 2010, 12:33 am
Filed under: College Classes., God, Living, Music, Relationships | Tags: ,

While listening to “Everything About It Is A Love Song,” I try to remember the reason for wanting to write this post. Memory is a funny game, and after a day like today, I am clearly on a losing streak.

Yesterday my Torrey group discussed Jane Eyre, concluding that Jane grew strong and mature. She subjected herself to poverty before giving in to depravity of affection. She saw all her situations as opportunities of providing her worth in life. Never satisfied with her own poor performance, she sought to best serve her companions in life. Her work, her love, and her relationships were top quality, outweighing the merit of Chuck Norris (as Dr. Reynolds so aptly tweeted).

So I’m praising God to feel so free from relational disillusionment, to find strength in virtue of Jane’s character. Satisfaction surrounds genuine patience, so here I wait, learning to know God more. During this crazy long week, I have again found satisfaction in knowing God and knowing that my home is in Him. I am not Sharon, without the things that I do, and I am not God’s without surrendering all those things to Him.

“Everything About It Is A Love Song”

Locked in a struggle for the right combination of words in a melody line

I took a walk along the riverbank of my imagination

Golden clouds were shuffling the sunshine

But if I ever get back to the twentieth century

Guess I’ll have to pay off some debts

Open the book of my vanishing memory

With its catalogue of regrets

Stand up for the deeds I did

And those I didn’t do

Sit down, shut up, think about God

And wait for the hour of my rescue

We don’t mean to mess things up

But mess them up we do

And then it’s “Oh, I’m sorry”

Here’s a smiling photograph of love it was new

At a birthday party

Make a wish and close your eyes: surprise, surprise, surprise

Early December, and brown as a sparrow

Frost creeping over the pond

I shoot a thought into the future

And it flies like an arrow

Through my lifetime, and beyond

If I ever come back as a tree, or a crow

Or even the wind-blown dust

Find me on the ancient road in the song when the wires are hushed

Hurry on and remember me, as I’ll remember you

Far above the the gold clouds, the darkness vibrates

The earth is blue

And everything about it is  a love song

Everything about it

Everything about it is a love song

Everything about it

-Paul Simon

Starting the Year 2010
January 13, 2010, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Crochet, Family, God, Living

Today I was reminded of the poetry of feeling. Furthermore, I was reminded that I have no idea what it would be like to have a mustache.

Check out this video

As I recall, my home church has been filling our awareness with reminders that we are in the last days. As far as I know, there are still some events that need to take place in European government, and then the “rapture” will take place. Hm.

Matt. 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 contain the Olivet Discourse, in which is an outline of the Rapture, the 7-Year Tribulation, and then the Second Coming of Christ. After Christ comes, there will be the Battle of Armageddon, which will transition into the judgments of all people. Afterward, the Thousand-Year Rule of Jesus will end with Satan’s release and final battle. When all of earth is melted with a fervent heat, God will create a new heaven and new earth.

All these events have been drawn from intensive study of the entire Bible. In fact, almost all the information in Revelation is lumped from prophecy within all the other books of the Bible. It’s a wakeup call, really.

When I stayed at my parents’ house for two weeks for a Christmas respite, I started an Audrey Hepburn movie kick. But my sister told me I should just read my Bible more. It was funny, and correct.

I have intentions to be real with God this year. 100% effort will be used! I still have strong regrets and sadness, but simultaneous restoration and assurance overwhelms my self-awareness. Praise God for the covenant of grace that provides renewal in our everyday realities! He is coming soon, but He does not ever leave us wallowing in our sins.

Final note on spiritual recognition:

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  [Gal 1:3-5]

And this is one of my last crochet projects from the past few days:

Today being Tuesday
November 24, 2009, 8:47 am
Filed under: College Classes., God, Music

Since I led my Torrey session last week, it is now my turn to lead devotions today. Others have done it. I think that I will be fine. Some have things to say, some are meditative, some are complaints about life. I want to share song. I want to express our loyalty and togetherness in Christ, in the face of the unity of kingdoms, and dissolutions of families we experience during our Torrey session. I had just led a 3-hour discussion on 1&2 Samuel (so I really don’t feel a need to ramble about anything today), and this week a classmate will lead session on 1&2 Kings.

The Chasing Song

By Andrew Peterson

Now and then these feet just take to wandering
Now and then I prop them up at home
Sometimes I think about the consequences
Sometimes I don’t

Well, I realize that falling down ain’t graceful
But I thank the Lord that falling’s full of grace
Sometimes I take my eyes off Jesus
And you know that’s all it takes

Well, I wish that I could say that at the close of every day
I was happy with the way that I’m behaving

‘Cause Job, he chased an answer
The wise men chased the Child
Jacob chased her fourteen years
And he captured Rachel’s smile
And Moses chased the Promised Land
Joseph chased a dream
David, he chased God’s own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

Well, they say a race can only have one winner
And you know you’ve got to pull out front to win
God knows the only time I’m winning
Is when I’m chasing Him

So, I wish that I could say that at the close of every day
I was happy with the way that I’m behaving

‘Cause Samson chased a woman
And he chased the Phillistines
I’m not quite sure what Jonah chased
But I know he caught the sea
And Cain, he chased the harvest
While Abel chased the beasts
David, he chased God’s own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

And Jesus chased the money men
And He chased His Father’s will
He chased my sin to Calvary
And He caught it on that hill
And Saul, he chased the Christians
‘Til his blindness made him see
David, he chased God’s own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

While there is much time to think about our short-comings, about the mistakes of great men (or those not so great), “all I ever seem to chase is me.” The race’s only winner is the one that pulls out front, and for each individual, the end mark is not our own perfection. It’s God’s own heart. The stories of old that we will discuss today each have some significance in light of the story of Jesus. Lest we chase after any other ultimate perspective, I pray that beginning our long discussion with this Andrew Peterson experience will set the tone.