The Perfect Gift

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

I spent a long time researching what to get my husband for the first ever birthday of his we’re celebrating together. When I asked him “What do you want for your bday?” He said, “You are enough!!!:” but then also “But I also like nice things.. lol”

The first gift that came to mind was actually a bible-study kit. Broken down book by book, main summary, bible characters, authors, historical timeline, geography etc. LOL Some might think that’s a gift no one would ever want. (Brian definitely did not ask for a gift like this) But I really wanted him to dig deeper into the word of God, and I wanted to do the same. So I made him 10 binders of bible study books and wrapped it with a pen + a journal. 

What would be “beneficial” for him and his spiritual health, was the utmost important thing to me.

But then again, I also wanted to get him just something that’s “nice” to have. So went on a hunt for the most perfect leather sneakers that would fit him. (and some coffee) 

The whole process of finding gifts for him, I began to understand God’s heart. A lot of times what he gives us as “gifts” are what’s beneficial for us. He knows us best, and he gives us something that we would need (but not necessarily “want” or “asked for”) Just like how God gifted me with a beautiful apartment GYM. (Which I would never ask for in a million years) God knows how much I sit around and need to work out to keep healthy. But also at the same time, he blesses us with just “nice” things as well. These things I call “cherry on top” Like the beautiful honeymoon suite in Ohio I didn’t even book but God just gave to us. 

The best part was I was having more fun in preparing these gifts for him. It was SO joyful thinking about how Brian will be surprised and these gifts will bring a smile to his face. It was not a “chore” to get his gift or a “difficult task” but it was just pure joy. I bet God prepares our gifts with such joy too.

Thinking, “You just wait and see!”

I bet he smiles looking down at us when we find the gifts from heaven. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  (James 1:17)

Love meals for evangelism: 62 Plates

Love Meal

Every Saturday Night: We are hosting a weekly dinner in Anaheim, CA to whomever needs some extra love, encouragement & good food! (Especially if you are feeling burnt out, stressed and depressed during this pandemic, we are here to help) If you have a friend or family member who needs a pick-me-up, bring them along!

You pick the dinner menu and we will make it happen.

Everything free of charge. Tax & Gratuity Included 🙂

If you want to attend this dinner or gift the dinner to a friend or family in need, Please send us your available Saturday date to : 62plates@gmail.com

Why are we doing this?

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

We believe in loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Ever since Covid pandemic hit, we have noticed that there are so many people who are in need of the love. We want to share the blessing God has given us and speak love and encouragement into our neighbor’s life.

This is where it happens! 🙂 www.onyux.blog/62-plates

Surprise!

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

How many times have you told God “God, I don’t understand what you’re doing!”?

I find myself being impatient from time to time asking God, what. is. happening! But Jesus said, later we will understand. There is only one who can see the big picture, everything from the beginning and the end, and that is God. He knows everything, and therefore he knows what’s best for us, and what’s not.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Not only does he know everything, but he also has a plan for us. Plans to give us hope and a bright future. But contrary to what the scripture say, we often say “Why GOD! Why!” We blame God and we question his goodness.

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? (Matthew 7:9)

Will God give us a stone instead? Absolutely not. He is our good father 🙂

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:11)

My husband’s birthday is coming up and I’ve been racking my brain day and night to think of the most perfect gift. And because we live together and our packages get delivered to the same spot, I was afraid that he might pick it up and find out what it is before his actual birthday. And I had to do some prep work and wrapping the gift without him knowing or seeing! So I told him if he can just go somewhere for half a day LOL! He asked me “What’s wrong? why?” I said “I need some space!” Hahahahahah (and I never say this kind of stuff) and he was puzzled and also seemed sad/disappointed. But I know that he will be more surprised that way!

I wonder God does that with us sometimes, he only reveals so much to us at a time, but save the best for the last.

Once we enter through the gate of heaven, he’ll be standing there with his arms wide open welcoming us back with the most radiant smile and say

“Surprise!”

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.