Made my day:

Today after walking out of a discussion section in MS, I spotted my stats professor from Spring quarter last year. I didn’t really know him that well, but he would often talk to me because I would go to class in gym clothes and he would toss out encouraging comments to me about how it was good that I worked out. I never really thought it would be any more than an exchange of pleasantries, but I guess I was proved wrong today.

As I neared him in the hall, I made eye contact and just smiled a small smile because I doubted that he would recognize me. He saw me as I passed him and said, “Hey!” I turned around, surprised, and replied, “You remember me?” He gave me a fatherly kind of look and said, “Of course!” Even though I don’t go to the gym that much anymore, I happened to be going today of all days and was dressed for it so I suppose it was pretty reminiscent of Spring quarter. I then proceeded to talk with him about how each of us were doing, what I do when I work out, what he is teaching this quarter, and what I’m majoring in. He wished me luck on my finals after I told him “Well, take care, professor!”, trying  to sound like I meant it to be much more than the usual conversational phrase.

I never thought I’d get to talk to one of my professors like I used to with my high school teachers. I guess I found it easy to blend in with the huge number of other students in my class, constantly telling myself that to my professors, I was no different than anyone else so why bother trying to stand out.

I think I give some of my professors and T.A.’s too little credit for how much they care. That conversation really made my day though.

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My soul sings, how I love You.

How many ways can I tell You
I love You
I’ll never find all the ways to express it
But that’s okay
Because I have all of eternity

It’s a joy I’ve never known,
Strength to my soul
As I draw from You,
I’m going to bring it back crashing to the world

So I wait and wait and wait for You
And I’ll be waiting to the end of the age

All the time
Everywhere
Whatever I’m doing
Let me find You

Running the Race…

I just got back from a run. I love running. I don’t love it for the feeling of accomplishment at the end, or for the fact that I did something healthy, or for the calories I burned, or for the runner’s high. I love it because these days when I run, it’s a wonderful time spent with my Abba Father in Heaven.

Some of my friends used to tell me that when they ran, it was great time spent with God, but I could never relate because I used to run in such a way that I was so freaking focused on myself and how much I wanted to stop and how tired my legs were and blah blah blah. Then recently I decided to do a 10k even though I really wasn’t sure if I could pull through without feeling like I was dying the whole time. When I started training for it, I realized that 10 kilometers is equivalent to 6.2 miles and that my usual half-walked 2-3 miles at the gym wouldn’t cut it. So I started taking it seriously and made it up to 4 miles before the actual race, which was a lot of fun — if you have legs you should do it, I mean it. And if you don’t have legs then I really think God wants to grow them out because He’s your Pops and He loves you.

Anyway, I started running at Drake at night. Listening to worship music helped me to distract myself from what I was doing and I started worshiping the Lord and letting Him fill my heart with good things as I ran. It hit me at one point that I actually can do this. It’s just my mind that stops me from realizing that I can keep going. Every time I want to stop I suddenly see that my body actually isn’t that tired and that it’s just my mind that is telling me I’m exhausted and that enough is enough when really I haven’t reached my peak at all. How often do I do this myself, I wonder? How often do I stop myself from walking in the fullness of what He’s given me? How often do I tell myself I can’t do something when really, God has already released His grace for me to claim a victory? How often do I read the Word and process it in my mind, but not in my heart? How important it is that we take on the mind of Christ!

Tonight as I was running, God took me to a place where His love caused everything to pale in comparison. It really doesn’t matter what is going on my life and what obstacles are ahead — just knowing that He is near and will always be near is enough. Drake stadium, and, I suppose all other stadiums, I just haven’t been to that many, creates this feeling where, if you’re in the center, it feels like you’re being engulfed. And really, I guess tonight, God was reminding me that I am engulfed by His grace. That’s wonderful.

This race we’re running is called the race of faith (Hebrews 12:1). It takes faith to finish it, to land across the finish line and at the feet of the Holy Father. I have faith that He’s waiting for me. I have faith that He will marry me. I have faith that I can keep running, no matter what hurdles I have to leap because He’s given me the grace to do this. Besides, why do people jump hurdles? Because they’re fun! Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:3).

God works in so many ways. He’s so much bigger than I ever give Him credit for.

Yeah, He’s good. You know it.

You Will Never Regret It

And it’s true. Good video, huh? If you want more food for your spirit (or more of where this came from), click my friend Brandon’s googlepage!

When I look back on my high school years, I wonder and I dream what it would have been like if I had given my everything to God then. Sure, they were fun, I thrived off all my extracurricular activities and found the thrill of winning small conquests like straight A’s and breaking to finals in Speech and Debate, but can you imagine if I came face to face with God at the end of my life and looked around for my transcript and a trophy to hand Him?

The best you can ever give the Lord will never cause Him to love you more or to love you less, but at the end of the age, all you have to give Him is what you came into the earth with…just you. Your heart, as it is, what you have done with it during your lifetime. Did you give it away to numerous lovers? Partition it into neat little sections of wealth, career, and family? Withhold it from everyone and everything for fear of getting hurt?

I know I did every single one of those things to my heart.

But the beauty of grace…God restored my heart, He healed it, He took care of it, He held it in His hands and was so gentle with it. He brought me to a place where it didn’t matter anymore, all those things I did to my heart, because now it belongs to Him. At the end of the age, I know I want to thank my Father for loving on my heart so tenderly and for keeping it safe in His pavilion. I don’t regret high school because every bit of my relationship with God has been so amazing that in a way, I don’t want it to have been any different than the adventure it’s been so far. At the same time, I know what a Blessed Redeemer He truly is because of how He loves me still and took me in all the same.

It makes me want to finish strong.

I will run, I will run this race. And I will do it all for Love.

Recently…

I received a prophetic word from someone I didn’t know,  just met him that day, but he was so Holy Spirit-filled and spoke with so  much authority that I knew I wanted some prayer from him!  It was so beautiful, God speaking through this person. So much confirmation, so much deliverance from the Lord that night. And at one point,

“He loves you. He loves you very much.”

Wow, those words pierced right into my heart. He loves me. He loves me very much.

Where can I go to run from the Lord? Where can I hide? He’ll never let me go. Even when I shove the painful situations into the back of my mind, my heart, I know that there is only full deliverance in Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He takes my heart carefully in His hands and gently molds it, heals it, loves it.

Heaven’s priority is the Kingdom here on earth. When I think of that, I think automatically of healing, the casting out of demons — loud, beautiful demonstrations of God’s power, but we ought not to forget that part of the Kingdom is the quiet and the stillness. In the Kingdom, the sweetest moments are the ones spent before the Lord who sits on His mercy seat, His throne of grace as He pours His love and grace into us while we tarry with Him at His feet.

What have I if I have not love? Nothing.

Recently, I have felt like Peter when he says to Jesus “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8) after reeling in a boatload of fish when Jesus tells him to cast out his net again. I am so undeserving, so unworthy, so flighty, and yet my Father in Heaven who is holy still chooses to pour out such goodness over me. My prayer is that He release the grace for me to keep my heart in a posture of worship, surrender, thankfulness, humility and love. That above all else, my entire being is consumed with the desire to know the person of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit.

You are so, so good to me.

Sing My Love

I love Kim Walker-Smith’s worship! I’ve never actually been in a worship set with her (I will at Great Grace though!!), but I can feel the anointing and presence of God soaking through her worship. Haha it’s not Sing My Love, but I couldn’t find the live video for when she sang that song at Jesus Culture.

I still remember one of the first times I was in a worship service with the full-on band and dimmed lights and projector projecting the lyrics of some song I didn’t know. I was in middle school and River of Life to me was huge and intimidating with so many people! I was with a girl who was already in college and I took my seat next to her. I still remember how awkward I felt when the people around me stood up as they were singing or lifted up their hands. I really didn’t understand it at all, just kind of went along with what everyone else was doing, closed my eyes at times and searched inside me for what would render such emotion as to cause one to raise their arms up in such a manner.

Little did I know…and little did I hear and see.

One day at church some kids asked me to talk about worship because they really wanted to see everyone standing up and lifting up their hands during worship. As a worship leader, I agreed to it. When I was getting ready for it, I was preparing to do my usual listen to a sermon, read up on stuff, repeat it in some combined form, but the Holy Spirit stopped me saying, “Tell them what I’ve showed you Myself.” So I strummed a bit on my guitar singing, “What does it mean to worship you?” over and over again. And as I sang and asked, within seconds, the Holy Spirit began revealing the following to me:

Worship is to create an atmosphere where the sole purpose is to welcome the presence of the Lord. It is the adoration of the King that causes angels to ascend and descend right where you are. It is to focus your entire heart on the King in whole surrender, holding nothing back. It is to join in the angels’ songs as they worship Him around His throne, to gain a revelation of what it’s like to be in place of the Four Living Creatures that have eyes all over their bodies and the Twenty-Four elders bowing down and casting off their crowns. To worship God is to let your heart be so abandoned to Him to a point where it just doesn’t matter what you look like, your entire body is so full of desperation to just see Him that you must do something–you must dance, jump, shout, soak, lie down, fall to your knees, lift up your hands if only to touch Him, sing your love. Worship is to listen to the song that God has put on your heart, sing a new song. Sometimes it’s not even the words your singing, but the words that are written across your heart, His words upon the tablet of your heart.

The Holy Spirit so longs to do His thing and I long to lead worship in such a way that is obedient to Him and removes anything that would get in the way of the weighty glory and presence of God manifesting in a place. The best miracles are those where no one has to lay hands on anyone or even say a prayer for someone to receive their healing or any other miracle–where the Holy Spirit is welcomed into a place that is hungry for Him and He does His thing.

Whenever I lead worship, there are few  thoughts that cross my mind: “Lord, just let these kids experience Your presence. Let them feel You here in this room. Let them be changed by Your glory.” Sometimes I do get nervous on whether I’m playing well, singing well, what people think, etc., but then I realize that God is so sovereign and I am merely someone He chooses to work through and I surrender the time to Him, knowing He knows what He’s doing. He is God, after all!

To worship the Lord face to face is to live every moment of your life as if you were face to face with Him. You will live differently if you live it with your eyes focused on His eyes.

Let the light of Your face shine down on my heart,
And let me feel it.

Flash!

…back to the past.

For some reason, I decided I really wanted to learn how to play “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, bringing back some memories from when I was in…elementary school!

I think most of us know that love theme from Titanic. With its heart-wrenching melody, so recognizable and beautiful (I think), it’s a difficult song to forget and brings an almost wistful smile to my face when I hear it oftentimes. My favorite line from this song:

“Love can touch just one time and last for a lifetime.”

Unlike many other lines in songs I just pass off as poetic show, I think this line’s amazingly true, but not until I thought about it. God touched me a year ago around this time for the first time in my life that radically. Since then, I’ve been contending for more and more, but I haven’t experienced anything quite like that ever since. Sometimes I want to tell Him, God, please! Please show up! Why should I even go on seeking You? But God knows that that one touch has never really left me. That one touch, that one revelation of just a part of who He is, is enough to keep me running after Him for a lifetime because my heart knows that He’s so worth it and there’s so much I want to know about Him.