02. 19. 13. 02:26 am ♥ 5

Lent

Lately I’ve been considering how my walk is with God and taking careful note of the places in which I seem to have fallen into bad or lazy habits. There’s also one thing that always sticks, and that’s pride. I also think that God has been trying to teach me humility through a posture of prayer.

So the thing is, I like to pray. I pray however and whenever. When I’m walking down the street and I think of something or someone to pray for. When I’m looking over my test and about to take it (no shame). When I’m about to eat. When I’m about to sleep. Whenever and wherever. But the thing is, it also causes me to pray in whatever position I find myself in, and I think it’s translated to my normal prayer posture sitting leaned back in a chair with my legs crossed or something similar.

And recently, I feel like God has been speaking to me in times of prayer. He keeps telling me, “Get on your knees.” And I don’t listen. If I’m alone, it’s because I’m too lazy. If I’m in a public place, it’s because I don’t want to look weird. But the more God urges me, the more I realize how important it is that I do this. After all, kneeling is a sign of humility and a sign of dependence. A person might kneel in the presence of a king or queen. We would do so as a sign of our deference to that person. It’s also very difficult to be proud when kneeling before another. And so kneeling is a very natural posture as we pray to the Lord. It’s definitely a very natural position for bringing petitions to God as we acknowledge God’s superiority as well as our utter dependence on Him.

And so, I usually don’t choose to participate in Lent, but this year, I’m giving up my pride. I’m going to listen to God and get on my knees whenever I pray. Excluding meals and cramped places like in church or something. Or if it’s some super short prayer where it’d just be awkward. But yeah, if you see me in some kind of time of prayer and I’m not doing this, feel free to just tell me to get on my face.

01. 20. 13. 11:32 pm ♥ 7

Dad

Happy birthday, Dad. You’ve always been such an inspiration to me, such a role model for me. Even since before I was born, you were already watching out for me. You quit smoking for my sake and you did it cold turkey. You’ve always had my best interests at heart and you always do the little things to make sure it happens. You always do it quietly, but I always notice. I always notice because I love to do the little things too, and now I’m sure that it’s because I get it from you.

You only ever yelled at me and scolded me because you wanted me to learn something for my own good. Even this past Thanksgiving break, you yelled at me because the car had a flat tire, but you were only worried about my safety. And even so, you always apologized afterwards. You used to not be very good with expressing it through words, so you would always take our family out to the movies as a treat. But I always noticed why.

You used to be insecure about how well you speak English, but you never let that stop you from being a leader for our family. Even when we would go through the drive-thru at some fast food joint, you would do your best to make the order for us, even if the person on the other side had to take a few tries to confirm it. You would always clench the driving wheel really tightly. It was a little thing, but I always noticed.

You’ve always tried to be the strong one for our family. I’ve only ever seen you shed tears twice. Once was in Taiwan when you celebrated seeing your brothers and sisters again a little too intensely. The other was when you had to put our dog to sleep. But even then, you always tried to keep the tears in so that our family could rely on you and trust in you to be strong for us when we felt like we couldn’t.

You always made it out to every single one of my basketball and soccer games without fail. You’ve always had odd hours for work, so I know my games were always during your time to rest at home, but you always came out anyways. There would always be cheers for my teams when we scored, but I could always distinguish your voice, the loudest of them all.

As mentioned above, you’ve always had those odd hours for work, which have resulted in you having to get up and leave for work at 2am and come back at 10am. Normally, people wouldn’t even notice you had left and sleep through your entire shift. But being the college night owl with a bad sleep schedule, I always hear you getting ready. But I also always hear the 5-10 minutes of silence after you’ve gotten ready and before you actually leave. And I know it’s because you’re getting your body physically ready…massaging the sore spots and the shaking away the sleepiness before you go. And you’ve done this every day for years now, and it’s all for my sister’s sake and my sake. I’ve always noticed.

And even now, when I know my faith isn’t something that makes much sense to you, you’re willing to let me go on missions because you realize that it’s something my heart burns for. You gave me a condition for your blessing; finishing grad school first, but even with that, I know it’s because you only want the best for me. 

Dad, there’s so much about yourself that you don’t say, but there’s so much more than you say that I see. And from all that, there’s always so much more that I can learn from you and I do hope that I can take those things that I admire about you and make them a part of myself as well. You’ve always been my hero, happy birthday!

12. 28. 12. 02:57 am ♥ 2

Let God

Months of anticipation. Months of expectation. Months of eagerness. Months of anxiety. It’s been so long just waiting and wondering, and now the time is finally here. God, what will you do in me? God, what will you do in this place? It’s been far too long just relying on my own feelings and riding the waves of turbulence within my own heart. Thank You for the soothing breeze of Your Word and the rock solid faithfulness of Your character. It’s time now. It’s time to let go of my own plans and surrender them all. It’s time to forget all the scenarios that I’ve conjured up in my own head and the situations that I’ve prepared myself for. It’s time to give that all up and just let You move. May Your will be done in my life.

12. 16. 12. 02:37 am ♥ 8

Transcendence

I remember a time a couple years ago when a friend of mine was going through some struggles and tough times. An older and much wiser friend, I should add. And this friend would talk about their struggles and then repeatedly talk about the person of Jesus Christ and the character of God. My friend would always turn to speaking about God’s will and God’s way and praying for the eternal.

Yeah, I didn’t get it. Being the arrogant punk that I was, I decided to pipe up one day and offer my opinion. “Dude, all that kingdom stuff is great and all, but don’t forget to pray for yourself too.”

How foolish I feel now, when I realize that the words God uses to speak through me are the opposite of what my flesh used to say. The words God speaks to my friends now who are going through struggles is the same as what my friend kept repeating back then. Don’t focus on the pain and the “why does it have to be me” and the “why does it have to be this way.” Focus on the eternal. See what God is doing in you. Taste that glimpse of who God is transforming you into. Anticipate what God will do through you. And there you will find joy. There you will find a peace that transcends all understanding.

How foolish I used to be. How foolish I still am now. Praise God for the wisdom that He lets me see, small bit by small bit for my baby mouth.

11. 28. 12. 11:58 pm ♥ 9

Rich Young Ruler

(Mark 10:17-22)

"And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’’ And he said to him, ‘Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.’ And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

This passage is tearing me apart. It’s always that one thing…that one thing that you’re not willing to give up in order to follow Christ. For me? Job security? Fine. Financial security? Sure. Maybe a luxurious standard of living? Check. The best community ever? I’m okay with that too. Family? And suddenly…”disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” a great love for the family that has poured so much into him.

More and more, ever since I had first brought up the possibility of doing missions or ministry, I feel like things have been getting worse. Hurtful things have been said, and I feel like with every vicious and smashing word, it’s as if nails are being hammered into a door…the door that once led to home. It’s so tempting to think of what could have been…what life could have been like if I had just never brought this up with my parents. Where I would be now if I had put off the call that I had heard from the Lord. Oh, things would be so simple. Things would be so easy. And then I have to shake my head and slap myself a bit to remind myself that that’s only the enemy whispering poisonous, sweet words into my longing ears.

But I confess, it’s so hard. It’s like doing that last suicide in basketball practice and you just want to quit. It’s so tempting to make up some excuse or jog it halfheartedly, until you see your teammate next to you sprinting as hard as he can and it motivates you to do the same. The difference is that where I once could run to the support group that had always been there, I now find them standing on the opposite side of the fence. Even if my parents had only really seen my fellowship as kind of a club and church as kind of a social place to hang out, they supported me in exploring my faith and taking upon leadership. And now…what do I do when that support has vanished? Oh my God, please please please do not delay because there’s absolutely no way that I can walk through this on my own.

Even the smallest things now seem to turn into bitter fights. The hurt that comes from those who you trust the most makes you feel the most raw. And away goes that hammer, meticulously and menacingly sealing shut another part of that door, with every new pound sounding like the judgment of a gavel. What have I tried so hard the past couple years for? What happened to all the work and effort I had made to show the love of Christ to my parents and reach out to them? It seems almost as if all of that has been made irrelevant now. And so again, I realize that I can’t rely on my own strength with this. There’s no freaking way. Geez, talk about God answering a prayer for learning humility.

But maybe it has to be this way. No, I know it has to be this way and I just don’t want to believe it. Deep down within my heart somewhere, there’s a grain of truth hidden. There’s a small speck of light that’s peering around the deepest and darkest corner that knows Jesus’s way is the best way. I can’t do this on my own, and Abba knows that. There’s nothing He would ask me to do that He hasn’t done Himself. Jesus Christ, my perfect brother, left his perfect home completely behind for my sake. He knows, and He walks with me. It’s the only thing I can cling to now. Sure, it may be easier for the camel to go through the eye of a needle, but man, the world better recognize that I’m going to be that camel. That sounded dumb. Oh well.

And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:26-27)

01. 31. 13. 04:37 pm ♥ 2

Was

on another blog and I was browsing through posts with Jesus hashtagged in them and stumbled across one that was prompting debate about whether Judas is in heaven or hell. The guy seems quite adamant that Judas repented before killing himself…yet I don’t see it that way, not even in the Scripture that he quoted at me. Anyways, wanted to come back here and ask for yall’s opinions. What do you guys think?

01. 19. 13. 12:35 am ♥ 59754

incidentalcomics:

The Nature of Ambition

via yellk
12. 24. 12. 02:40 am ♥ 4

Do Not Be Afraid

Mark 5. Luke 5. Genesis 50.

My favorite story of Jesus in the Bible. A calling verse. A reaffirmation of God’s call.

These three passages of God-breathed Scripture all have one very important thing in common: God whispering to me ever so gently to not be afraid. I’ll admit it over and over because it’s just that overwhelming…I’m scared. I’m scared of what God is calling me to. I’m scared of what will happen to my relationship with my parents. I’m scared of what my life will be like. I’m scared of the uncertainty that there will be. I’m scared of ending up somewhere where I might be lonely. Yet, at the same time, I’m strangely excited. I’m strangely anticipatory. Every time I think about it, my heart starts to beat a little bit faster. It’s so similar to the feeling you get after warm-ups and before a basketball game actually starts. You’re just in that in-between stage where you’ve had a taste of the action and you can’t wait for the main event to start. And I’m convinced that this is God’s provision. There’s no way I would feel anything other than fear if it weren’t for the word of God. It’s flawless, like purified silver and refined gold, and He is speaking to me the truth that He is there with me. He is reassuring me of His promise that He will provide for me in abundance and His goodness that He always keeps His promises. 

After hearing the worst news possible about his daughter, Jairus is told this by Jesus. "Don’t be afraid; just believe." (Mark 5:36)

Even if I receive the worst news possible or the situation that I most dread, Jesus tells me the same. Don’t be afraid; just believe.

When Jesus showed Simon Peter that following him was so much greater than just following his dream, this is what he said. “’Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:10-11)

Simon Peter left everything behind and followed Jesus immediately. I can only pray that I can have the same confidence and faith to follow Christ without hesitation.

And in the story of Joseph, Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid…" (Genesis 50:19-21)

No matter what situation may come or what hardship may arise or what sorrow may flood…God remains. Jesus remains. And God is almighty and sovereign. And He loves me purely because I am His. If all that is true, then I have nothing to be afraid of. And the truth is, that is the truth. Praise God for His beautiful Word and simply for who He is. I can only pray that God would grant me strength to be as faithful as Joseph was through His own trials and tribulations. I won’t be afraid. I will rejoice.

12. 01. 12. 03:36 am ♥ 134

Y!Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski unloads on David Stern and his "cultural war" on the Spurs

nbaoffseason:

This entire article is ether. Woj unleashes hell on Stern and reminds us why Stern’s retirement date couldn’t come fast enough. 

Here’s a few hard-hitting lines from the article:

And yet, once more, Stern’s tossed a temper tantrum that left everyone around him embarrassed, humiliated and wondering why he insisted on staying until February of 2014. All these years, Stern and his underlings privately complained and moaned that no one wanted to watch the Spurs, that they destroyed his TV ratings, that they were uninteresting, unappealing and impossible to market to the masses.

And now, this act of condemnation for Popovich would be bathed in the ultimate of twisted irony: Without the Spurs’ stars, Stern was selling that the NBA logo had been desecrated, that a public trust had been betrayed.

More on Stern’s inability to capitalize on the Spurs championships with a roster of unprecedented international Superstars:

For all of his so-called marketing genius, Stern could never sell the global appeal of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. They brought the NBA to the corners of the world, glamorized basketball over soccer, and somehow it was Popovich’s failure that Stern couldn’t market this to people. The NBA failed the Spurs, far more than the Spurs ever failed the NBA.

And on Stern’s inability to let things play out and him jumping on a chance to embarrass the Spurs: 

Against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, against Chris Bosh and Ray Allen, what the Spurs did in a 105-100 wasn’t an embarrassment to the NBA, but a celebration of it. This is how a franchise ought to be run, how winning is foremost importance. Popovich empowered his bench to hang with the defending champion Heat, and gave his group even greater confidence and belief for when they’re called upon again. What happened was one of the most compelling Spurs’ regular-season games, and easily the most mesmerizing game of this season.

This was a testament to the Spurs’ great scouting and player development, the great coaching and discipline. This was the ultimate testament to the Spurs’ way, and it didn’t repulse the paying public – it inspired them.

When David Stern issued that belligerent, foreboding statement before tipoff, it was clear he believed the Spurs would get blown out and make his case for him. He never imagined San Antonio would hold the lead into the final minute.

Stern could’ve waited until Friday, delivered his substantial sanctions – a naval blockade on the Riverwalk, a ban on Napa Valley imports for Popovich, whatever – but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to embarrass Popovich throughout that national TV game, and wouldn’t you know it: Popovich embarrassed Stern because the Spurs coach has a complete understanding of his realm, his team, his players, in a way that Stern has lost touch with that with which he lords over.

Read the entire article, it’s a goldmine of information and a complete character assassination of the much-deserving NBA Overlord, David Stern. 

@Suga_Shane

via nbaoffseason
11. 11. 12. 03:00 am ♥ 9

Too Easy

What does it mean to follow Christ? What does it mean to take up your cross and follow Him? What does it mean that the Son of Man has no place to lay his head? What does it mean to be rejected by the world? What does it mean to pay a price and be willing to give things up? To give anything up? What does it mean, really, to have faith?

These are the questions that have become overwhelmingly real to me over just the past 3 days. I talked to my mom for the first time about the possibility of doing missions and ministry in the future. It didn’t go well. Many of the things she said cut me deeply to my heart. Then I was able to talk to a few people much wiser than I am, and I was even a little surprised to hear that some of them had been through same thing as I’m walking through now. It gave me comfort. It gave me hope. And then I talked to my mom again tonight, and again, it didn’t go well. It was frustrating. It made me doubt and it made me question. And at the end of it, I just wonder what the heck it is that God has planned for my future.

It makes me wish so dearly that I just knew. That I knew the plan and could have confidence in it. That I could just know so that I could run after God in that direction. That I could set things aside knowing that the path God has set for me will lead to joy. To be honest, it makes me angry. Why do I have to be the one to go through things this way? When my mom asks me “what if” questions about financial security and I answer with “I trust the Lord,” it’s not even something she can understand. “Taking things by faith” is not something she can understand. “Wanting to follow God” is not something my parents can understand. When my peers and my friends try to comfort me by saying that it’s okay and that it’s natural and that it’ll work out and that my parents will understand eventually, I don’t know that I feel anything. Honestly, it just makes me feel kind of numb. In my head, I ask, “What do they know? What do they actually know about what I go through? What do they really honestly know about having non-believing parents who can’t even begin to understand the fundamental reason behind why I would choose a life of serving God over making a bunch of money?” A part of that is just me being selfishly bitter, but I’m not going to lie, it’s something that I struggle with. It’s something that makes me wistful when I see entire families going to church together. It makes me wish that I had the perfect Christian family that would just be willing to support me in giving my life to God.

But then, I guess it’d be too easy. My faith wouldn’t be real faith if everything were handed to me. Following Christ would not be something that brings God glory if it were something everyone could easily do. Sometimes, I wish it were easy. But then again, I know it can’t be. Not if this faith is to be real. Not if my heart for God is to be real. But just because I accept that doesn’t make it any less hard. Just because I can accept the fact that my relationship with my parents may deteriorate from here on out doesn’t mean that it’s something I’m happy about.

I’m overwhelmed and desperate for discernment. I’m desperate for grace and patience. Please pray for me. With all of my heart, I humbly beg you to pray for me.