A couple of my friends and I were at dinner and a conversation arose of how non-existent authentic Korean food was in North Carolina.
He began to explain how his mom would send him instant Dwenjang (Korean soybean tofu soup) that would come in little microwavable packages.
He continued to explain to us how disgusting and inauthentic it tasted from the traditional kind that is fermented over time.
My other friend sitting in front of me then shared how his dad recently bought some instant soba noodles and demonstrated to us how quickly he dropped his chopsticks in disgust after taking the first bite of it at home.
Unfortunately many, if not all, of these instant meals are processed at the expense of its originally intended flavors.
As I was listening to these funny stories, I couldn’t help but to draw similar parallels to us in our Christian walk.
We live in a day where we want everything in an instant.
We ask God to change us now, now, now!
We see these “super” Christians via superficial social media and feel the heavy responsibility to live up to their standards.
We condemn ourselves for not immediately being perfect at the moment we met Christ.
Yes, there are many times where chains are broken as we dive deeper into His love through the knowledge of His word and filling of His Spirit, but it is a process.
Repeat this to yourselves.
Preach this to your hearts as David preached to his own soul (Psalm 42:5).
Nothing valuable comes instantly.
Great marriages, high positions, discipline, character, etc…
These are just a few that take massive amount of time and effort.
There is no such thing as an “instant” marriage or “instant” character.
There is no such thing as an “instant” Christian.
People who act like there is such a pathway do not “taste” the same as the ones who have gone through the process of being “fermented”.
If God were to answer our prayers of changing the areas of ourselves that we hate, we will never come to fully know the depth of His love for us in our flaws.
There’s a saying that goes, “If everyone was perfect only lust would remain. Imperfections help perfect authentic love.”
If God were to “fix” your flaws and bad habits immediately, that would only leave a shallow kind of love; almost like a photoshopped, liposuction & airbrushed kind of love.
We can only change and turn from our sin when we realize that God loves us even in our flaws and bad habits; this is like the raw, non-photoshopped, non-airbrushed, real, down & dirty kind of love.
That experiential knowledge alone will transform any heart.
Is this not the kind of love the world craves for?
And this is the kind of love He pours out upon us… even in our ugliness.
At this moment, can you think of the ugliest area in your life and stay there for a minute or two?
It might be tough, but stay there and inform yourself that God loves you still. He loves you in that dirty place you guard anyone else from entering into.
He died for that ugly area in your life.
Let. It. Go.
In the process
In the waiting
You’re making melodies over me
And your presence
is the promise
For I am a pilgrim on a journey
You will lift my head above the mighty waves
You are able to keep me from stumbling
And my weakness
you are the strength that comes from within
Good shepherd of my soul
Take my hand and lead me on…
Generosity is not a spiritual gift.
It’s not accessible once you’ve reached a certain financial milestone.
It is not an option.
It is a discipline we must practice day-to-day.
Whether you make a little or a lot, you discipline yourself to give.
When you’re faithful with little, you’ll be faithful with much.
Why let go of yesterday? Because yesterday has already let go of you.
2 Cor. 12:8-9
Three times Paul pleaded with God to take his ‘thorn’ away.
God gives him an answer to his prayer, “… My grace is sufficient…”
Regardless if Paul received what he wanted or not, is this still not an answer from God to Paul’s prayer?
I wonder how many of us ask God to take our thorn away and assume that the answered prayer would be for Him to grant our request?
Is not God whispering to each and every one of us His perfect response to our pleads?
My grace is sufficient.
Let the world see Me, the Father of lights, permeate through your brokenness.
Let the world see the treasure you hold in these jars of clay that have cracked in your lifetime.
There may be “good” things that happen in our lives, whether it be a new job, relationship, or even an answered prayer, but if it leaves us more independent from God, is it really a “good” thing?
There may be “bad” things that happen in our lives, whether it be a loss of health, suffering/persecution, or even an unanswered prayer (2 Cor. 12:8-9), but if it leaves us more dependent on God, is it really a “bad” thing?
I’m currently trying to discern things in my life that have given me “strength” to be self-sufficient. These curses in disguise have deceived me into thinking I do not need to rely on God for His strength.
These things have really made me weaker.
Then there are things in my life that have “weakened” me to be more desperate for God’s sufficiency. These blessings in disguise have aided me to rely more on His guidance and strength.
These things have really made me stronger.
To the world, I may look like a man who has his life together,
but before You, Abba, I am reminded that I am just a boy,
I am reminded to be just a child.
Held in the secure embrace of the hands that were nailed for me.
What do I have if I don’t have You?
The King of kings,
Lord of lords,
And for You I’ll sing,
This Song of songs.
Your writing is beautiful - very poetic and carries so much depth. I got encouraged & blessed as I saw how tender you are to the Father's heart in everything you see, experience, and hear in your daily life while reading a few of your posts. Thanks for sharing your sea of thoughts :)
Thank you for your affirming words. Really encourages me to keep tumblr’ing :)
Don’t let what people think of you waiver what you believe about yourself.
Don’t let what you think of yourself waiver who God says you really are.
It’s okay to be misunderstood by people because you have One who understands more than you’ll ever fathom.
Because You understand we can stand under the weight of those who don’t understand
The world’s condemnation engulfed by Your commendation.
June 14, 2014.
Nothing was in vain.
Don’t freak out.. Well, maybe a little bit.
This is an x-ray scan of my brother-in-law’s arm when he broke it snowboarding last year.
As cringing as it is to even look at it, every doctor would agree he is actually fortunate to have broken his bone completely.
Completely? Why is that?
The doctor let him know that when a bone breaks completely, it is able to be repaired more properly to its normal placement than a bone that is partially broken.
I think of many of us who are currently going through a season where God is molding, shaping, refining, and breaking us.
It is said that to be resurrected to a new creation, you must first be buried completely.
Yes, the process is painful. No one likes dying to themselves completely.
We want a little bit of this or that while we still hold onto Jesus as our plan B.
But God, our Doctor, knows that when we are broken completely He has a better foundation to work from than when we are partially broken.
Oh, the blessedness we receive when we finally exhaust ourselves of our own strength and comply to the leading of His Spirit streaming through the valleys of the shadow of death.
This same stream leads to new life.
Complete brokenness leads us to new beginnings.
‘The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.’
Friends, let us embrace brokenness and trust in the Potter. A beautiful transformation awaits us at the end.
I’ll walk through the fire with my head lifted high,
And my spirit revived in Your story,
And I’ll look to the cross as my failure is lost,
In the light of Your glorious grace.
So let the ruins come to life in the beauty of Your Name,
Rising up from the ashes God forever You reign.
Ezekiel 37 - Valley of Dry Bones
The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!
I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin.
I will put breath into you, and you will come to life.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
God answered three of my prayer requests. All which are related to one another.
The first was a request on Oct. 1st, 2013.
The second, a plead that led to be a sign. This was last week.
The third, a sign given to me today 4 hours after praying.
Yet, I keep finding ways to tell myself that they were all coincidences.
I’m still afraid to make that step.
I hope I’ll be able to look back on this post soon and smile knowing He actually listens to my ridiculous prayers..
do you remember the first time you were called annoying?
how your breath stopped short in your chest
the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze
the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue.
your eyes never left the floor that day.
you were 13.
you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long,”
apologies littering every other sentence,
words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years.
i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.
all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heard
for 3 minutes
for 10 minutes
for 2 hours
there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart;
mostly because they can’t handle their own.
but you will never be
and have never been
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