Boast in my weakness

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2 Corinthians 11:30)

Scars are difficult to hide. So I used to hurt myself in places where no one could really see. But by the grace of God the scars, over time slowly healed. We all once were hurt, but sometimes when you are hurting so much, you truly feel like you’re the only one in the world, hurting the most. And I want to tell you that you’re not wrong. You are yourself, and not anybody else, so you cannot compare your pain to others.

I believe you are in a lot of pain, even if no one else does.

We treat weakness like an ugly scar. Trying to hide them on our daily lives, trying to portray ourselves as better person. But I think sometimes, those scars are what makes us even more lovable. I used to feel uncomfortable sharing too much of myself to others, because I believed, deep within, they’ll hate me once they know me.

But when I encountered Jesus, he embraced me, all my scars exposed. He showed me his scars, on the cross. Ripped apart and disfigured. He said by his wounds, I was healed.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

God even started to use my testimony and all of my scars to heal others. I believe he makes even the scars beautiful.

My husband, when we were dating wrote me a letter saying that our lives reminded him of Kintsugi, which means “golden joinery“. It is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. Rather than rejoin ceramic pieces with clear glue, the Kintsugi technique uses lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum to join them. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold in the conspicuous cracks of ceramic wares, giving a one-of-a-kind appearance to each “repaired” piece.

We both came from a broken past, and in a way we thought we were both undeserving of love. But God has mend each one of us beautifully with his love and grace.

I still feel as though I am being healed daily. Every time my husband looks at me and says “Hello beautiful!”, I see Jesus in his eyes.

If it weren’t for God, I would never be in this place. I don’t care what anyone say. I will go ahead and boast in my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God, your power is sufficient for me.

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.

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.

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.