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 ❤

Everyday Thanksgiving

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

For days, I never questioned why my hairbrush was so clean (when every time I brushed my hair I shed like a golden retriever lol) Usually my hairbrush looks like a furball.

One day I saw Brian (my husband) cleaning my hairbrush in the bathroom. He’s been doing this all this time so that I can have a clean brush!

My hairbrush Brian cleaned

I never knew there were so many things he does that I wasn’t even aware of. He just did them quietly even when I failed to recognize them. I am always humbled by the way he is, and his huge heart of serving. I bet this is how God is like too, we fail to recognize so many things God has blessed us with, because they are just trivial things. But regardless he continues to love us.

If you really think about it there is thousands of things to be thankful for, yet we just take them for granted. I just wanted to take some time just to sit and be thankful for everything he has blessed me with😊 (Since it’s a day off)

I am healthy, and have all of my limbs, I have enough money to buy my favorite brand of yogurt from time to time, I have both of my parents who loves me very very much, and I have a roof over my head, the air I breathe and I get to see beautiful sunrise and sunset with my husband. I have a voice, so I can sing, I have vision so I can read, and see the ones I love. God even made cute animals like Alpacas and Capybaras. I am thankful for a million things! For my church, my friends, my husband, my family, my job… THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever. (Psalms 106:1)

I held on to my hairbrush and started to cry, I hugged my husband and asked him “Why didn’t you ever tell me that you were doing this! I’m so sorry I never recognized it. I’m so sorry that I never said anything He smiled and said because I love you! Then he was busy wiping my tears away saying why you cryin’ lol

Lord, I’m so sorry I never said anything, I took many things for granted, forgive me. I want to spend every day with joyful heart of thanksgiving, Amen.

Who do you surround yourself with?

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

When I was in high school, my mom always used to tell me to stop hanging out with my friends, that they were a bad influence in my life. But of course, being stubborn little brat I was, I ignored her advise. In fact, I moved out of my parents place so I can freely hang out with my ride-or-die friends. I would go out drinking, smoking and shoplifting whatever I wanted with them, we were truly just a bunch of idiots.

It is very true, that if you look at a person and their close circle of friends, you’ll be able to figure out what kind of a person they are. Who you surround yourself is very important, because you will eventually become like them. (If you are not already)

In 1 Corinthians, it says bad company “corrupts” good character, and following verse says to come back to your senses so you can stop sinning. At the end, not only the bad company will corrupt your good moral, but also when that happens, it easily leads you to sinning, or a lifestyle of habitual sin.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

It is so important, especially in the beginning of your Christian walk to surround yourself with a good Godly people, who are passionate for Christ. Learn from them and have them keep you accountable, just like how Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) I’ve seen countless Christians fall away from their faith or backslide because they were lacking this.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

When I first got saved, I was still dealing with a lot of sin issues I’ve been living with all my life, but I held on to my spiritual mom’s advise and counseling for dear life and surrounded myself with many Christian sisters. (I had to actually cut contacts with many friends) Of course my primary counselor was the holy spirit, but having good company really did help a lot, because I was immature and lacked wisdom.

But then, do we just avoid people who seem like a “bad company” and hide out with “good people”? Is that what Jesus did? He spent a lot of times around his disciples but he actually went to the sinners and fed, healed, delivered, and loved on them as well.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

This is one of my favorite verse in the bible, and every time I read this, I get chills. We are not to be conformed with the worldly patterns, but we are called to be the atmosphere shifters and salt and light of this world. Not only surrounding yourself with a strong community, but to actually be going out into the world to make an impact.

Work at it with all your heart

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Yesterday was the beginning of a long Labor day weekend and people were like TGIF! “Thank God it’s Friday! I can’t wait to just log off work and party” is probably a what a lot of folks were thinking. For me, Friday was just like any other day, because Saturday morning I would jump right back to work. I’ve always be very content with my job, whether it’s waitressing at a restaurant, serving at a cafe, translating, or designing, it was pretty easy and pleasant for me. Perhaps I got lucky throughout the years, but I don’t think there was any point in my life that I truly hated my job.

But there was a moment when God confronted me about my work ethic. I was an expert at being “good-enough”. Pre-Christian days, I was all about cutting corners and just coasting through my work day doing the least work as humanly possible. But one day, he started to speak to me about “excellence” through scripture.

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)

This greatly convicted my heart. The definition of “excellence” being : the quality of being outstanding or extremely good, I started to question myself and my behavior. This of course included my work life and work ethics. (not only our church life) Am I demonstrating excellence in my workplace? So much so that the non believing co-workers start noticing / recognizing it? And ultimately having that point to God? Nope, I was not living my life that way at all.

So I started to meditate on this verse, and really go into work with a different mindset. “I want to do the best I can today.” Because everything we do, we do it for the glory of God. so why should I be so complacent?

Meeting my husband also really fueled my desire to be excellent at workplace. He would constantly encourage me that I’m so capable of excelling, and even gave me pointers on how I can even improve the process at my workplace, or manage my projects better. I started having directors/ MDs recognizing me for the work that I do, because I went above and beyond their requirements or expectations. Also with the stressful situations at work, I always prayed and asked holy spirit to give me peace about it. One day my co-worker asked me

“How are you so positive and hopeful ALL the time? I don’t understand”

Then Peter 3:15 came to me : But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

“It’s because I prayed to God. It’s really because of Jesus.”

I still remember the look on her face. 🙂 Everything we do, do it for his glory! Lord I pray that I never forget the fact that even when I’m working for “people” it is you, that I’m ultimately serving. Thank you for even giving me an opportunity to work and I pray that I can represent your love at my workplace everyday, Amen.

The workers are few

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

The word “evangelism” seems to be intimidating to a lot of Christians. Especially during seasons like this, where everyone is “social distancing” we automatically assume it would be tough to evangelize. I think in a way we use Covid as a shield, almost like an excuse to stay in our comfortable bubble and “keep safe”.

Jesus said the harvest is plentiful. So the harvest isn’t an issue. There are so many people in this world that needs to be ministered to and we need to spread the good news of Christ to them. The problem is with the laborers. No one is going out to the field, and why is that? For me, I think it is part fear and part complacency. Evangelism is for missionaries in Cambodia? No, we are all called to spread the Gospel.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)

Me, Brian and couple of the people from the church got together and made these “care packages (covid edition)” filled with all the essentials, such as soap, hand sanitizer, masks, mini bible, tissue and couple of snacks, as well as a hand-written card. We wanted to just reach out to people and spread the love of God. 🙂 It was so much fun making these packages and praying for people we can hand this out to.

I gave my care package to a police officer guy who was working outside a large grocery store today, and he kept on saying “God bless you” and I ended up feeling MORE blessed. You would be surprised the huge smile on him, he looked like he just won a lottery. Many people are dying and the depression is rising, if churches are asleep or hiding, who’s going to be the light and hope that can point people to Jesus? No one.

People are desperate for love. Not just any human love but the love of God.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

Here I am God, Send me.

What is love?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Today on Sept. 2nd, I got “legally married” to my husband Brian. Because of the Coronavirus, we had to get married over video call to the state of San Mateo, CA. It was a terribly un-romantic way to get married because the very first thing on this video call the lady who was “officiating” the wedding said was, “It’s gonna be 80 dollars for wedding and 60 dollars for marriage license, we accept VISA or Mastercard.” LOL 😀 I started to chuckle, because I just found it so funny that this is what my legal marriage would look like lol.

Love is a wonderful thing, and we talk about it all the time. But if someone were to ask me what I think love is, I still have a hard time answering that question.

What is love to you?

The famous verse about love in the 1 Corinthians is probably the most cited verse for any marriage ceremony, and also happened to be part of my daily reading today. (Our Daily Bread) How timely is it? That on the day of my legal marriage ceremony, God gave me this exact verse to meditate on?

Interestingly enough, the very first thing this verse said about “what love is” is that love is patient.

Let’s be honest, when you think of love, is “patience” the very first thing that comes to mind? For me, whenever I think of love I think of passion, elation, and excitement. All the butterflies in my stomach. But the bible says otherwise. It talks about how love endures, is not proud, is not easily angered and keeps record of no wrongs. Not exactly all the “giddy feelings” and “having fun” but this is what mature love looks like.

God is Love.

When I read 1 Corinthians, I think of God, and his very nature. God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. God honors us and he is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

How can I love others well? was always a question in my heart, but I think my answer to this is becoming more like Christ through having a close relationship with God. Because he is the source of love.

Lord, I want to be more like you, teach me your ways of love, not the way of this world, but your way. Fill us with your love daily, that we may love others from the overflow of your love, Amen!

Give freely

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (Proverbs 11:24-25)

How things work in the Kingdom of Heaven always seems a bit upside down 🙂 One who gives freely, yet grows all the richer? How does that work? A lot of times when we face financial trouble we try to hold on to what we have left with our dear life. I have several friends from church that always asked me to “pray” for their financial breakthrough. For their promotion, raise, a bonus, a random check in the mail… etc. Money please rain down from heaven. After hearing them out, I always recommended them to try the “upside down kingdom finance method”. Which is basically you trust the Lord for your provision and sow a little you have into the Kingdom and watch God work. And I kid you not, 90 percent of the time, their response is exactly the same: “But I really don’t have money to give, I’m not in a financially stable place to give to church, or the needy.”

In Luke, there is a beautiful parable of a poor widow.

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

I used to only focus on the fact that she was “poor” but this time when I read through it again, it hit me that not only was she poor but she was also a widow. Her financial struggle probably wasn’t due to her own fault, but because her husband who’s been providing for her has passed away. If you have lost your husband, and are totally running out of money, how easy would it be to blame God and try to hold onto what you have left? But she did the complete opposite. She put in the last 2 copper coins she had into the offering box and honored God. That was ALL she had left. She did not even have her husband to fall back on. There was literally nothing else in the world she could depend on.

Then Jesus saw her.

He saw her heart, and he saw her faithfulness. People say they’ll tithe or put in offering “when they get wealthy or at least in a comfortable state” but they are wrong. If you don’t have the heart to give on to the Lord when you have little, you won’t do it even when you have more. All things are from from God and also belongs to God, so why are we so entitled to what we were freely given?

I think this not only applies to “money” but also applies to other resources such as time, or effort.

Love always costs something

For Jesus, it was his blood on the cross. The excruciating pain he had to suffer, the persecution he had to endure. What did loving someone cost you? Are we only willing to do what’s comfortable? What’s within our means? Or are we willing to step out of our comfort zone for radical generosity? I want to see my father God work miracles as we obey his word of us being generous people. Lord, I repent for all the times I’ve not been giving to the needy and the poor. I want to serve you and your people with cheerful and generous heart, always!

Depth of the Pit

I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you,

and you said, “Do not fear.” (Lamentations 3:55-57)

I’m a designer, and the latest project I’ve taken on was this children’s book design with illustrations. I’m working with a girl (I think she’s 12 or 13) who wrote a book and gave me hand drawn sketches for me to turn it into a well-designed book that she can potentially publish. There was a part in her book that shocked me at mature her writing was.

One day, I’m gonna escape your clutches and leave this suffocation

And for the illustration, she wanted me to draw a girl crawling out of a pit. I mean is it just me or does this seem super biblical? I don’t think this girl is Christian, but her book made me think that Jesus might already be talking to her.

We all have been in the “Pit” of our own, really. Whether it is self-hatred, depression or addiction that bounds us. But more than that, simply a life’s trial without God’s help, I think that is the Pit. I remember as a teenager growing up, I thought the “Pit” was a cool place to be at. Where no one bothers me, I can wallow in my own sorrow and depression. I wanted to tune out everything so the isolation in the Pit was my choice of coping mechanism. I refused help, refused love, and refused everything good in my life, because I did not know God. There is no water in the pit, (but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14) no life, only a glimmer of light at the top of the pit if you decide to look up.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. (Psalms 40:2)

But Jesus, my savior brought me up and out of the miry clay that was engulfing me whole. He showed me that there is a life that could be filled with joy and love of God. God wants to save us, he wants all of us out of that dark place we’re stuck in, all we need to do is open the door when he knocks, just let him into your heart.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20)

I said “Come in to my heart” and there he was.

A Good Wife

To be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:5)

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good wife. Being a newlywed, I watch my husband daily and am in such an awe, at how Christ-like he is. It feels like I’m looking at a truth mirror, and I begin to see all my shortcomings. NOT because he points them out to me, but by his upright posture and gentle and kind nature, I feel the conviction.

He works out everyday, and not only that, but he wakes up bright and early 6AM and tells me that he loves me a bunch and so does Jesus! He reads his bible every morning for an hour (or sometimes more) journals, and spends time in prayer. He prepares breakfast for me when I’m busy with work (because I work East Coast hour, my mornings are pretty hectic) and prays for me that I have a good day at work! Is this person real? This morning I woke up and found out that he has organized our new apartment meticulously and it looked SO beautiful and orderly, I was just…. in shock. This is what I’m talking about when I feel like I’m looking into a truth mirror and I see all my flaws. Because I’m not so much like him.

  1. To be self-controlled
  2. Pure
  3. Working at home
  4. Kind
  5. Submissive to their husband

This list looks like something I would’ve immediately felt like “That ain’t me.” my pre-Christ days. I was alway so passionate about work, career and the fact that woman are even more capable than man. The word “Submission” made me cringe so bad. Self-control, was NOT my forte, because I was all about FOMO, YOLO, I just wanted to indulge in everything I can now. Purity also, seemed like such a stupid thing at the time, because no one is really pure, right? (but later found out that there is enormous blessing that comes from God if you strive to live pure, and stay as far as you can from sexual temptation)

Meeting Jesus changed me. It changed my outlook on life. I started to understand why God put these instructions in the bible. It was not in a way that he was shoving these “rules” down our throat, but it was his fervent heart for us to course-correct us to save us from our future heartache. (from all the stupid choices we make) His wisdom blew my mind away, because it was actually so much better than my own thoughts and ideals. God started to teach me a lot of these things through my husband. I used to make fun of my husband because he is SO NEAT (he likes everything to be nicely organized and clean) and he was exceptional at managing things in the house. And I used to pride myself in being super chill about everything and being able to find all my stuff in the midst of chaos and mess.

For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? (1 Timothy 3:5)

But all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

God is not a God of confusion and chaos. But he is orderly. I’m learning daily that I was so selfish and only was focusing on myself, but not God. But I want to learn his ways and his wisdom on how to live our daily lives. I want to model how a good wife should be and try my best to live a life that reflects this verse daily.

Lord thank you for a daily conviction from the Holy Spirit that I may become more like you every day, Amen.