Move on

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. (Isaiah 42:18)

When I first got saved, I had these nightmare almost every night. In my dream I was the same girl who slept around and did not have a single care in the world. But ever single night the enemy was taunting me with all the guilt and shame that I was struggling at the time. When I got saved, and God told me I was a new creation, I believed it.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

But night after night I would be having these dreams and think to myself, maybe I am not saved. Maybe I am not free from this. Maybe I am just the same lost girl I once was. It was a blatant trick and a lie from the enemy trying to stumble me into thinking that I was still the lost sinner I once was, but it took me a while to realize it.

God makes all things new. Once we have been saved through the blood of Christ, we become a brand new creation. God forgives us for all things we have done in the past. But there comes a time when the enemy tries to make us believe that we have not changed. That we are still tied to our past, and make us dwell in the past mistakes rather than moving on to new things that God is doing. We need to stand firm in God’s truth and recognize our new identity in Christ. We are sons and daughters of the most high God.

One day I woke up from the nightmare and did something totally opposite of what I usually do which is to be downcast and dwelling in shame.

I started to praise God

For he is the one who set me free and made me into a brand new blameless creation. I was no longer that old past self in the dream but I was a precious daughter of the most high. I kept on saying Thank you Jesus for setting me free. Thank you so much for your blood, and sacrifice that I am no longer that person I used to be.

Surprisingly the more and more I started doing that, the less and less the dreams occurred. It went from every night to 5 days a week to 3 days a week to only once a week. Then once a month, once in 3 months… Praise God but he truly set me free.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

I bet the devils were like “Crap! every time we give her these dreams to guilt trip her, she wakes up and praises God even more!!! This is not working!!!”

Lord, I thank you for making us into a new creation. Old things are gone, and we want to move forward with you. Let us be firmly grounded only in your truth so that nothing will shake us even if we get attacked. Thank you for second chances, thank you for your blood and forgiveness. Amen.

Letter to a neighbor

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

I’m gonna tell you about the beef jerky story.

So me and my husband, we have obsession for this one brand of beef jerky, so we ordered some to our place (we usually do bulk orders) and also decided to bless some of my church friends in NYC. (I’m from NY, and I recently left the church there so I can serve at a smaller church in OC as we moved here) It was a farewell gift to all my previous small group members =)

My friends got the jerky in NY but the shipment that was supposed to come to us (in Cali) got sent to the wrong address! So I was patiently waiting and waiting, then I called the jerky company to confirm the address, so they sent another shipment. But again! it somehow got sent to New York again! So we had to do this 3 times, and I was getting a bit frustrated lol. So the company felt bad for us, and sent us an extra bag of jerky. (which melted all my frustration)

But the crazy thing is the boxes of jerky KEPT ON COMING! All the wrong shipments somehow got re-routed to our address and we ended getting 300 dollars worth of beef jerky FOR FREE. So what do we do with this? I felt the urge to share this blessing with others, so I posted under “FREE” category on Craigslist.org and titled it “Free 1 lb Beef jerky with Prayer” LOL

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8)

I am such an internet troll, but I was in the mood to just do something a little ridiculous today. Of course the Craigslist posting got flagged immediately and taken down after 10 mins or so (I was surprised at how fast it got flagged!) I can’t just offer some free jerky and free prayer in this day and age? But in that short window of time, someone contacted me and said he could come pick it up.

My husband is such an amazing human being, because this was entirely my idea and I didn’t really tell him about it until later. I just told him “A stranger is gonna come to our place today to pick up some jerky, can we pray for him?” And he was SO confused. 🙂 But he agreed after I told him what happened.

I went all out and me and my husband even wrote a letter to him and created a care package including a pound of beef jerky. I truly felt like this person who was about to come and pick up a jerky is someone who stands up for justice and has a lot of courage. I included a verse in there as well.

It was such an awesome thing to bless someone like that. When he got the care package, he blessed US as well and said he was so very touched by what we were doing. He started to recite Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

which was actually the verse my husband gave me when we got married. It’s inscribed in my engagement ring.

How good is our God? Afterwards me and my husband went to dinner, and as we are praying for our meal, I just started to cry, because I felt the overwhelming goodness of God. I pray that I live each and everyday overflowing with the joy of the Lord and filled with thanksgiving. That I’ll be able to love on strangers and our neighbors more than I love myself.

Die to ourselves, live for Christ

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Galatians 2:20 – when I read it, my first impression was

“Huh?”

Bit of an oxymoron: I’m dead (I no longer live) but still I live. I live by faith in the son of God. The whole upside down principal of God’s Kingdom always was a bit of an enigma to me, until I started experiencing them in my own life. For example, Loving your enemies. (Instead of hate)

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:44)

Why do we even have to care about the enemies, when we can’t even love our own neighbors? But Jesus loved and prayed for the ones who persecuted him. Even when he was on the cross, he uttered “Father Forgive them” It’s almost a mind-blowing concept, especially if you don’t know the person of Jesus. I remember the first time I loved on the person who was cursing me and hating on me, I think I was half-curious, if I can even do it. The key here is never using our own strength but using the strength of Christ to love them.

Day after day, loving on someone who has something against you isn’t the easiest thing, but you will see softening of their heart as Holy spirit works on them. It’s pretty fascinating. If you haven’t tried, please go ahead and actively try loving the ones who hate you. They’ll think you’re crazy, you’ll think you’re crazy, and probably everyone will think you’re crazy. But the Lord will see your heart, he will reward you.

What does it even mean to be crucified with Christ?

We talk a lot about dying to ourselves and our flesh daily. But I wonder if we really put that into action. When we are dead to ourself and our flesh, would we ever argue with others and fight? Would we throw fits and complain about how we are being mistreated?

When something’s dead, there is nothing but silence and stillness. (If you are dead, you usually don’t talk back)

It seems like my flesh is always talking back at me yapping and going “I don’t like this, and I don’t like that and I’m so frustrated and can’t believe so-and-so did that, blah-blah-blah..” It’s nuts. I want to know what it is like to truly die to self and to live ONLY for Christ. I want to empty myself of me and all my selfish thoughts and start living only for Christ.

God does not only want a part of ourselves, but whole. 100 percent of who we are. He wants full ownership because we belong to him. When we give him 99 percent but decide to hold back that 1% God cannot really use us. Whether it is an idol or secret sin. He is waiting for us to fully surrender ourselves to him. I need to search my life and see if there is even a small thing I’m holding back from him. “God, please you can take everything but this one thing” This will NOT work.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139 23-24)

Lord search me and test me. If there is anything that is offensive to you, please point them all out to me. I want to truly learn what it is like to die to myself and live for you and your glory only, Amen.

Rest, dear, rest.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3)

Few weeks ago, as I was reading through Exodus and Leviticus, God spoke to me about the Sabbath and rest. Genesis 2:3 is such a beautiful representation of “rest” that I had to meditate on this for a while. God has spent 6 days creating heavens and the earth, he created all the plants, animals and even us! But after finishing all the work of creation, on 7th day, he rested. My first, simple question was “Why did he rest?” Did God, after doing a whole bunch of creating for 6 days, get tired? Is that why he rested?

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary... (Isaiah 40:28)

No, I don’t think that’s it. He is an all-powerful God, he could have worked 7 days, 70 days and 7000 years if he wanted, but it was an intentional decision on his part to take a day to “rest’. I think there is something so powerful and key in this.

I used to think God “blessed’ he seventh day and made it holy, and that’s why he rested on that day, but actually it was the other way around. He rested, and because he rested, he blessed that day. It’s so interesting that from his day of rest, his blessing came.

A lot of the sermons lately I’ve been hearing about rest was mostly focused on the part of as human, we get tired and weary as we are ministering to others. So that’s why we need to rest in the arms of Christ. That is true, but I started to re-think about the order.

We work hard, and minister to others -> We get tired and weary -> We go do Christ for rest so we can recharge.

What if it was the other way around?

We rest in his presence -> We get filled with his spirit and we are overflowing in love -> We go out and minister to others from that overflow.

What if we rested in his presence more often and not wait until we get burnt out? What if everything we do came from the place of spending time with God? What if God created rest not as a rescue plan from being burnt out but as a way to bless us?

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters. (Psalm 23:1-2)

This is one of my favorite verse in the bible, and every time I read this, I picture myself on this green hill on a sunny day. I hear the water running ever so subtly in the background and my eyes are closed. My Lord, my shepherd, he is the one who made me lie down and he is the one who led me beside the quiet waters.

From the place of rest, he will speak to us. He will fill us with his spirit. He will bless us. Not just on a Sunday, or not only when I’m are tired, but always, I pray I will find rest in him.

Power of the Gospel

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. (John 8: 3-6)

Our pastor shared a story yesterday to demonstrate the power of Gospel. It was about this woman who was caught in adultery. When I read this verse a while back, I remember just nodding my head and going ok, and not giving it much thought. But I spent some time meditating this verse and the more and more I chewed on this story, I started to realize the true power of Gospel of Christ.

This woman, all she did was sin, and her sin was exposed to the world to see. Out of all the things, she got caught in the act of adultery. They (pharisees) basically dragged this woman (and the men she was having this affair with was not even in the picture, she was all by herself with no one to defend her) out into the crowd. I never really imagined this scene in my head before, but this might be the most humiliating thing you can ever imagine. She was probably half naked, absolutely mortified and filled with shame.

The Pharisees then ask Jesus, the Law says to stone her, now what do you say?

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  (John 8:6)

The first thing Jesus did was to bend down. Instead of answering their “trick” question, He lowered his posture near to the ground, and started to write something on the ground with his finger. I bet all the people who were staring at this half naked woman filled with shame with disdain, diverted their attention to see what Jesus was writing.

By doing this, people’s focus was no longer on the woman and her sin but on Jesus, and what he was doing. Jesus took her sin, her shame, and he consumed it. He took it away.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  (John 8:7)

and then crickets…

Is there anyone pure and blameless in this world? Not a single one. Even the Pharisees and whom they called the “Teachers of the Law” clearly had sin in their lives. (Some say that Jesus was probably writing down their names and their sins on the ground with his finger)

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. (John 8:8-9)

The second time he stoops down again, the one and only one who’s truly blameless and righteous stoops down. Instead of standing on a high pedestal, he comes down and lowers his position in humility.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)

Probably in the tiniest voice shaking with shame, she said “No one, sir,”

Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)

At the part where he said neither do I condemn you, tears welled up in my eyes. The gospel isn’t about you coming to God all holy and righteous after cleaning up your act to ask for salvation. The true Gospel is even in the midst of your sin, and you covered in shame, Jesus saying “I don’t condemn you.” I took your sin away at the cross, I paid the price for you, because I love you. Now Go and sin no more.

I bet her life was forever changed.

A Cheerful Giver

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Today being the 16th, I logged onto my bank account online to check if my paycheck has been deposited, and every time I do this, I feel a like a little girl getting paid for the first time on her summer job. Now that I’m an adult and earning my own money, I should feel more “meh” about getting a paycheck, but still after 5 + years of working in corporate, I still do an internal happy dance when they come in. I truly feel like I’m getting free-money sometimes. I thank God, because he allowed me to even have a job, and not only that but to let me truly enjoy what I do for a living. (I think that’s why it feels like I’m getting paid for nothing lol)

I have recently made a decision to quit my freelance job (but still keeping my full time gig) so I have 2 more weeks left on my freelance, but today the paycheck for both my freelance and my full time job has exceeded any amount I’ve ever gotten paid in my life LOL it was pretty cool to see how much God’s blessed me especially during this pandemic. In 2 weeks, my income will be cut down to half but I’m still trusting God and his faithfulness in his provision. I never want to stop pouring into his kingdom whether it is giving to church or blessing others.

I pray that I give cheerfully, always.

God loves a cheerful giver, and I think this says so much about who God is. God is literally the God of universe, heaven and the earth. He doesn’t really need our money, but what he’s looking at is our hearts. If you are giving just because you feel the need to, or out of pressure, it wouldn’t mean to much to God. He can see straight into our hearts and see where we are coming from. There was time in my life I gave to church because I thought it was the right thing to do, but over time, God has been teaching me about what a wonderful blessing it is to GIVE.

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. (Proverbs 18:16)

Generosity, I found out over time, is key to opened hearts. Through even a small gift, I have experienced people coming into presence of the Lord. Through us representing God’s goodness and kindness, people turn back to God. It was never through harsh words and condemnation.

“So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:3-4)

As a Christian, I wonder if we are truly living in the way of the Lord, and being kind and generous to our neighbors, and I’m not only talking about our friends and family, but even the security guards, grocery store clerk, homeless people on the street…

After contemplating this for a while, I had a conversation with my husband on how we can demonstrate such love and generosity to people, and have decided to host a weekly dinner and invite those who are in need of prayer, encouragement, and love. Everything free of charge, because that’s how God’s love is. No strings attached.

Lord, I pray that you give me your heart of compassion and generosity. That I would be filled with your joy as I’m ministering to people who are in need, and is desperate for love. I pray that you bless these people at different dinner gathering and may your holy spirit be present at all of these meetings. Lord, both me and my husband want to be good stewards of the the resources you’ve given us. We love you, Jesus, and we thank you for your kindness and generosity, Amen.

A New Heaven and a New Earth

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Rev 21:2)

In a past couple of days, I’ve been hearing and reading about this “New Jerusalem” A new heaven and a new earth. I am a pretty visual person so whenever I read a part in bible that’s described in detail, I picture the image in my head. It was actually pretty magnificent how it was described in the bible, city like a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. I bet more than anything that city is full of purity and holiness.

source : Google

It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Rev. 21:11-12)

The reason why this city is so marvelous is because it was shining with the glory of God. Of course there it was built with all these jewels that sparkle but the only way to make any jewel shine is with “light” without light, even a jewel becomes an invisible dull stone sitting in darkness.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Rev. 21:23)

And this particular city did not even need the sunlight or the moonlight, but the light of the Lord was shining through, making all gold and jewel sparkle in it’s brilliance. I started to imagine the New Jerusalem not just as this future city to come, but as every one of us, after we’ve been born again and sanctified.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4)

God’s dwelling place is now among us, he is living inside of every single one of us, and he becomes our God. My God, my father, my comforter, my Lord. We don’t have to look for New Jerusalem too far away because we are being sanctified into becoming his holy temple. His light will shine out of each of us, that we sparkle like the true gem. Pure, holy and transparent like glass. In his perfect glory, there will be no more pain. He will wipe every tear from our eyes, and it will be us going from glory to glory.

Yes, it is true that we live in this fallen flesh and body, but we also have holy spirit living inside us renewing us daily. Could it be possible that we get so close to God and empty ourselves daily to fill the space completely with God? Could we experience the New Jerusalem here on earth?

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Rev. 21:6)

He says it’s possible. Jesus has paid the price on the cross so that we may be victorious through him.

It is done.

Love & Pray for others

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV)

Today’s Daily Bread was this verse, and as soon as I was reading this, my friend sent me a DM on Instagram.

“Hannah I need prayers

I was like God is always so timely! I totally felt the holy spirit was encouraging me and leading me to pray for her. (If you are reading this, love you Sandy!) This morning was so good, because my husband and I worshipped and prayed together for a lot of things. Everything from our friends and family who are struggling, to ministries we are supporting. We prayed for leaders in our church and for every single member in our church to be filled with holy spirit and passion for Jesus. There is such power in prayer & intercession.

In 1 Thessalonians, it talks about these 4 things.

  1. Warn those who are lazy or idle.
  2. Encourage those who are disheartened.
  3. Help the weak (care for them tenderly)
  4. Be patient with everyone.

Are we doing this in our daily life? I wonder if we are only so focused in ourselves and our problems that we don’t care to look around. Whenever my life feels busy or hectic, I lose sight of what’s really important. Spending time to love on our neighbors and the Lord. Someone once said this quote to me, and it really made me think.

“If the devil can’t make you sin, he will keep you busy.”

Enemy will throw things your way, all these busy-work to keep you occupied from advancing God’s kingdom. Lately I had to check myself a lot and make sure that I’m not just filling my day up with busy work. That I may have time to help, and encourage others. Or even gently rebuke the ones who are idle. It was such a great reminder this morning to do more of that.

Lord, thank you for reminding us daily, to love you and love others. We sometimes get so caught up in our own life, and focused on “me” and not you. No matter how busy our day is, we want to prioritize you as #1 and then spend time helping and loving on others. Forgive me for being so selfish from time to time. Help me to become more loving and patient with others, Amen.

Heal our Land, Lord

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I’m not sure you have seen this but this is going on in San Francisco right now. Look at the sky, no instagram filter, no color correction, this is day time we’re talking about.

My husband and I moved down from SF to Orange county about 2 weeks ago, and 2 days before our move, we were smelling a lot of smoke and burnt wood (kind of like a campfire) That’s when the California fire started spreading at a rapid pace. But I never knew it would get this bad. The air quality has gotten worse, even here in Orange County and the dust keep falling on us like snow from the sky.

People are wondering if the world is ending,

I say they are not really wrong about that because I do feel like Jesus is coming back soon. I don’t know when, but he is coming back.

Spent some time hidden in my closet, praying for our city, our state, and our nation. I prayed for the spirit of repentance. That we might humble ourselves and pray, that we might all turn away from our wicked ways. I didn’t know if this fire was the work of the enemy or the judgement from God. I just kept on praying that God have mercy on us, and on our land. I believe there is something so powerful about praying in scripture. I was praying on the verse:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

As I was praying I saw an image of Jesus Christ on the cross, wearing the crown of thorns. Blood dripping down from his head and to his face, his eyes, and coating his eyeballs (sorry, it was pretty graphic) When he saw the world from that cross,

the whole world was tinted in this orange red. Just like the sky of San Francisco.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

I started to cry out and pray for the city of San Francisco to be completely covered by the blood of Christ. That they be sanctified and justified.

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)

Lord, I pray that the city, our state, our country be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, forgive us, God. We pray that this fire stops spreading and hurting more people and having them to evacuate out of their home. Heal our land, Lord. We want to humble ourselves and pray please Lord, hear us, hear our cry, Amen.

A little sleep, a little slumber

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:10-11)

I love sleep, don’t you? I love a little slumber, a little folding of hands to rest.

It is 11:39 pm right now, and I’m racing against the clock to finish this entry because I’m trying to be diligent and faithful in keeping my promise to journal everyday. It’s one of the things God’s been speaking to me about this season, “Discipline and Diligence” God delights the ones who are diligent and blesses them.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5)

When I read this the first time, I was like “oh! this is definitely about finance”. I felt pretty good about it being a natural born ‘hustler’ lol I have worked multiple jobs since the age of 15, and made good living out of it. But then I started to meditate on this a little more and thought this could also mean us being lazy with our spiritual walk with God.

How many of us are asleep? Taking a nap? During Covid, how many churches are asleep? I started to think about the fruit and the harvest. What is the fruit we’re producing in this season? Are we truly diligent in with our walks with God? spending time with God each day, meditating on his word, and filling our days up with prayer, and loving on our neighbors and spreading the good news of Christ? Or are we being lazy?

Then the poverty comes.

Poor people are always in “need” and they are not the one who can give to others. If we are not filled with the holy spirit and God’s love, we become the poor who constantly needs other peoples help in order to survive. (When it should be us who are helping others and feeding others) We become incompetent. We become inwardly focused and unable to bless others and die for one another, because we are so busy trying to “survive” We are not just talking about finance anymore.

Only out of abundant love of Jesus flowing through us, we can minister to others. But we cannot get there without diligently spending time with the Lord. In his words, prayer, and worship.

I really think accountability in this area is so important, whether it is a small community of people or close friend or in my case, my spouse (my 24/7 accountability partner) helps a lot! Lord thank you so much for the people you’ve placed in my life to keep me accountable, so that I do not fall into the sin of sloth. And from time to time, I totally was being lazy and I repent for not caring enough. I want to spend my time intentionally.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)

Days are evil and we cannot waste time anymore. Lord help me to always be mindful of how I spend my time, and more than anything I want to be diligent and faithful in loving you and becoming more like you each day! Amen.

p.s It’s already 12:30 and I know I was supposed to post this yesterday, but have grace on me ❤