Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Imagine yourself walking on the desert.  You've been walking for days.  Your water has been exhausted and you don't know where you will find the next water because all you can see is a single-color landscape - dry sand dunes and not a sign of vegetation in sight.  You're thirsty and it is unbearably hot where you are.  Soon you begin to see signs of relief - there is a river in sight. And your hope rises once more.  You muster the remaining energy you have to run to the water only to be disappointed because it was only a mirage.

Now come back to real life.  Sometimes we are put in a situation when we are drained and thirsty for a fresh relief.  We are hungry and weak.  It is during this times when we need to harness our desires to get close to God and lean on him.  Keep your eyes open because the Lord will dangle opportunities sometimes as candies in a pinata and sometimes as honey in a beehive.  Still sometimes he dangles something really good in front of something even better.  Just like a nice warm bath in preparation for a sit-down meal. He is the source of all good gifts.  So we grab the gifts. But we need to be mindful.  A defeated-circumstance coupled with nostalgia for something we've been detached from for so long can create a distorted horizon.  Promising opportunities show up and yet we need not forget to maintain our desire for God - Him alone - as we entertain the promise of a breakthrough.  I'm not saying to disregard opportunities, by all means take it, but let not the gift become the obsession.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Keep your eyes on God because it is easy to paste His picture 

on the things our hearts crave for.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Unpublished -- 2012 Resolution

I found this unpublished draft today and I decided to post it since it is a topic that I need to be reminded over and over again -- to defy the human tendency to be self-centered.  

Every time we put away our Christmas ornaments, it is our family tradition to write down our desired goals for the new year and then keep them in a small red box.  Next Christmas would be the next time that we see these written goals again.  Every year I find out that I failed.  But we do anyway.  The desire to achieve new goals is there but the persistence and perseverance are often lacking.  I heard Rick Warren say that it is not your beginning but your middle performance that brings success. 

What is your New Year's resolution for 2012?  The most common answer to this question on this part of the world would often be focused improving the physical body.  My sister told me she wants to reduce her carbohydrates (rice) intake.  Most people desire to change their physical activities, change eating habits, take on new hobbies to improve their mental or emotional well being.  These are all very good goals.  In fact I plan to set aside some days of the week when I would deliberately skip one meal.  I thought this would be a way to maintain if not reduce my weight a little.  After all, for all of us who believe in Jesus Christ, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is but proper to keep it in shipshape.  However, our bodies should not be the end of the goals we set for the year.  That would be vain and meaningless. 

Looking Beyond Self.  All the getting-fit-and-healthy goals are self centered if they end there.  Instead, these goals count better when they are used as means to change the world around us.  We do not change the world by providing them a lean and muscular body to look at.  Neither do we change it by providing them the opposite view.  We were commanded to love others as we love ourselves.  If we take care of our own interest and neglect those of the people God put around us then we are going the wrong direction. 

Therefore, I resolve to express my love for God by pushing myself to invest more thoughts and action on the interest of others.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lunch Date in Davis

The obligatory selfie and Brahms' self-prescribed facial expression.  

Tim and I went to have lunch with our son today.  Although we have seen him recently when we went to watch a Soccer game in Sacramento, we really did not have time to talk to him in depth.

Thank God is doing fine. One of the things he talked about were those that pertains to his college Christian group - Catalyst.  (Which means that it is one of the things that occupy his thoughts currently).  Just today he was interviewing candidates for the position of Small Group Leaders.  Catalyst is very serious about choosing the right leaders - and so should every organization. Brahms plays a key role in the leadership of this group at this present time.  That is where most of his social life revolve. Being his mother, I like it because he gets to think about life and God with other people.  It is a good exercise for him to be exposed to the emotional pressure of being in leadership.

It is comforting to see a child make plans - not just for the distant unforeseen future but for the next month, next quarter or next year on his own.  Work, housing, summer internship, and even spending time with his sister.  To an outsider there is nothing to glean from such conversations but to a parent it is completely different.  There is hope for this child to be able to run something beyond his own affairs with wisdom!

One of the perks of living close to your folks is that they can bring you some barbecued ribs when they come visit.  :)