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.

Do not be anxious about anything

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

I took 3 days off work due to the move, and this morning bright and early around 6am, signed back on to my work email. Lo and behold, there were over a hundred new messages and emails. Then two of my freelance clients emailed me about revisions and it was so difficult to understand what they meant. I had so many text messages I needed to reply to and calls to make. I had to sign off on so many tickets and get back to a ton of people who are constantly asking me questions. In addition to all this, I kept on getting kick off of VPN and my computer’s search engine kept on re-directing me to wrong sites due to Malware. Sheeeesh. Talk about Murphy’s Law.

I had non-stop back to back meetings and as the time progressed, I could feel the “angst”. It was creeping up on me. We have so much unpacking and re-organizing to do at the apartment. I sat on my sofa, and went on Instacart to start ordering RIDICULOUS amounts of snacks, 10 boxes of my favorite cereal, twinkies, brownies, cookies, etc. The stress was quite real.

Whenever I get stressed, my husband notices right away, he has this sixth sense that he can just smell my stress from a distance. lol

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed that you cannot function properly? Many people have crutches, things they fall back on, I would say mine is probably sugary snacks. But how many times do we actually fall back on God?

Be still and know that I’m God. (Psalm 46:10)

How many times have I paced back and forth restlessly and stuffed my face with snacks to calm my nerves? How many times did I feel like I wanted to avoid everything and just run away? Why run away? why not run towards my father in heaven instead?

It says in the bible, in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Have I done this in times when I felt anxious and stressed out? I’ve been depending on myself and my own strength to carry me through, and that’s why I had to struggle so much with stress. (And to be honest, I’m not a type of person who gets stressed so easily)

Lord, I am so thankful that I have a JOB! I have a job I LOVE and I get to make a living in the midst of Pandemic, where unemployment is everywhere. I am truly so grateful, and I don’t know why I’m even thinking that I’m stressed out, because all these things are just so petty! I have a roof over my head and enough to eat on my table daily. I have working limbs and I can see hear, and speak. Nothing hurts in my body and I feel great. I have a wonderful family who loves me so much and a husband that adores me day and night. In-Laws SO wonderful that I consider them as my own parents. Thank you for wonderful friends you’ve sent me who intercedes for me all the time and love on me.

To think of it, I have no other request except the one I constantly pray for. Lord, shape me to be more like you. Amen.

Things of this world

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15–16)

I got married recently and my husband and I moved into this new apartment in Orange County. We found this place as a last minute lease-takeover and never seen the apt in person until we actually moved here. (I’ve never done this before) but I was just BLOWN AWAY at how beautiful and luxurious this apt complex was! I was immediately planning all the ways I can decorate this place and invite couple of friends for a housewarming. I was like a little girl giddy and excited all day yesterday, with adult apartment that comes with a fridge that makes ice! (I’ve never had this before, and I LOVE ice, so it was such a treat) I called up 2 of my old friends from this area and scheduled a housewarming this weekend. After that husband and I did a little cheers! and ate some delicious noodle dishes to celebrate our new home. It was like everything seemed so lovely and peachy, I’m living THE LIFE.

This morning, I woke up and the first scripture verse I read was this. And it suddenly hit me like a brick,

What am I doing here?

God has blessed me with this beautiful place to call home for a while, but everything in this life is very temporary and finite. We are here on a mission, and not just to coast through life and have fun. When we talk about YOLO (You Only Live Once), we immediately think of the hedonistic lifestyle because why not enjoy all you can while you are on this earth?

But the YOLO in the bible is you are only on this earth for a short period of time. We have limited amount of time. And the days are evil. We are to become a light that shines throughout the darkest place on this land. We are NOT to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2)

So what does that mean and what does that even look like? We have to be very intentional about how we spend our time, and what we do with our resources given from God. How are we stewarding them? I was blessed with a job where I can work remotely and still make a great living, but with that job, what am I doing to advance God’s kingdom? I realized how important it is to spend time in prayer and as for God’s wisdom and guidance in how we need to be living every single day, to truly make an impact to God’s kingdom.

It is so easy to just let a day go by without trying. It is so easy to be comfortable in our little Christian bubble with our Christian friends. But is that what we are called to?

Rise up, you women who are at ease,
And hear my voice;
Give ear to my word,
You complacent daughters. (Isaiah 32:9)

God does not want us to be complacent. He wants us to hear his voice and actually pay attention, and to obey. We are to be salt and light of this earth, and I think it is really time for us to truly run hard after God’s heart, which is people. Bringing people back to God.

The weekend plan quickly changed from a chill housewarming party to a potential start of a revival. I am going to share all the testimonies of what God’s been doing in my life to my 2 friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time. I got more excited than before, because I knew God is going to do something amazing through this hangout. With every hangout or gathering from now on, I want them to be focused on God, and sharing his love to others, encouraging others to run hard as well.

I’m ready to make the most of every opportunity given to me by God. Thank you Lord, for the opportunities, and all the people you’ve brought in to my life. Even in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic, I want to be a faithful steward in all the resources you’ve gifted me with. Use me, and also use my husband for your kingdom. Amen.

When you’re weary in doing good

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Countless times, I wanted to give up with this friend of mine. I would try in every way, to talk to her about Jesus, God and his goodness, but she always turned her back on me. I kept on showing love to her, it wasn’t because I wanted to “convert” her to Christianity, but I don’t know why… I just felt so much compassion for her, that I didn’t know what else to do. When you sow in to someone, who you care for SO much, and year after year, not seeing the fruit, it becomes quite discouraging and you start to feel “weary” in doing all the good that you’re doing.

But who’s strength are we operating under?

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I was trying to do everything with MY strength and that’s when things started to take a toll on me. I was tired, I was feeling defeated, and I started to even question myself, and what I’m doing wrong. The enemy started to attack my identity and use scripture like :

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)

To condemn me and tell me that I’m going to be cut and thrown into the fire. It is crazy how the enemy will even take a part of the scripture and attack you with lies.

But over the several years, I started to witness a change in my friend’s life. She would randomly ask me to “pray for her” and “ask God to help her” Also recently she started to read the bible with me, which is something I never thought in a million years, would have happened. Slowly but surely, God was changing her heart.

To people who are feeling weary, I want to share this one scripture verse with you:

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (Psalm 119:28)

I love how here, it says “Strengthen me according to your word.” This, I think is a key antidote, to our weariness. We need to be strengthened through the word of God. We need to be firmly grounded on his truth, or else, when things get tough, and you don’t see a lot of breakthroughs happening in real life, you will get discouraged and even tempted to quit. For me, reading the scripture just like how I eat my meal daily, has helped me GREATLY in being strengthened in Christ. You can clearly see the difference, once you start consuming daily “spiritual” bread.

Lord, thank you for your truth, and your wisdom.

We are fools for Christ.

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)

There is a way of this world that makes sense to a common people. Eye for an eye. When we are cursed, we curse back and retaliate. For a long time, I felt this way about everything. They DESERVE to be punished, how can they? How dare are they? We need to make sure the evil ones get what they deserve.

Everyone needs to get what they deserve.

If this statement was true, what did I deserve? What did we deserve as the sinner? We did not deserve to be with God in Heaven. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Is there anyone without sin? We all deserved death. But by God’s grace, we were given a pathway to our salvation through Jesus on the cross. We got a gift, instead of eternal damnation.

There are multiple verses in the bible which talks about how the way of Jesus works. It sounds a bit ridiculous, to actively love on people who hate us, but that’s what exactly Jesus did to us.

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:27-31)

I want to model my life after Jesus, as a CHRISTian, we are called to live in the way of Jesus.

The other day me and my husband was driving down the streets of San Mateo, and there was a crazy car swerving and almost coming close to hitting us. It was SO scary to think that we could’ve gotten into a bad car accident, but in that moment, instead of honking the horn for 10 seconds and cursing the driver (is probably what I would have done before) my husband reached his hand out and said “May Jesus bless them!” I was stunned and so humbled by his response and patience through a situation like this.

I believe when we love on the ones that hurt us, or curse us, there is something immensely powerful that happens in the heavenly realm. God sees our obedience, and works in such a powerful way. I have witnessed many miracles while trying this new way of thinking and living. If you haven’t tried, please give it a shot.

Lord, we want to live just like the way Jesus lived his life. Teach us to be humble and to love on those who hate us.

Milk VS. Solid food

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)

There are two types of Christians: The people who live by the Sprit and the people who live by their flesh (Who are worldly) In here Paul describes the people who are still worldly as “mere infants in Christ”

I had to ask my self: Am I still an infant in Christ? Am I asking for milk only, because I’m not ready to handle the solid food? There was another verse that re-iterated this point:

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

Here is a characteristic of someone who’s still an infant in Christ and lacks maturity. They are jealousy and quarreling amongst Christians which results in lack of unity and division. (They’ll follow different religious leaders and idolize them instead of focusing on Christ and his leadership) Also they are not aquatinted with the teaching about righteousness. Because the righteousness comes from Christ and Christ alone.

However when we take a look at someone who are mature and living by the spirit, they truly have a correct understanding of righteousness through Christ, and they can discern what is good and what’s not.

We need to stop drinking milk and move on to digesting solid food.