Many times, we learn more from defeat than victory.
It’s okay to make money, but it’s not okay to let money make you.
I’m sorry, B. I’m going away for another 2 years at least…
Are you serious…? Damn… Damn it…. What… How did this happen…?
*sigh* I don’t know man…. I tried taking shortcuts in life..
This conversation took place in the bathroom of a Korean restaurant. My friend, who I considered to be like an older brother, confessing to me that he got caught up with the feds and was looking at another 2-3 years in prison.
This was the same friend who I met 5 years ago at a bible study group when I was anti-Christ.
He was the same friend who called me randomly on a Tuesday to take me to Fish Grill “just because”.
He was the same friend who would call me early Sunday morning while I was either hungover or sleeping yelling over the other line,
"Brian, I’m outside of your house right now. Come out. Let’s go to church."
This was during the time I had no car and had a DUI on my record.
And tonight he said these words,
"B… I’m happy for you and Tiffany. Haha, I feel like you would have never met her unless I dragged your ass to church 5 years ago….
*with tears in his eyes* “Brian… I’m really happy for you. All that you’re doing in your life right now…
… I’m sorry that I had to go out like this so quickly after getting out 3 years ago…
I know God has a close eye on me… Either that or He would have let me lived however I wanted to…
I know He loves me that’s why I got caught for the illegal stuff I’ve been doing…
If He didn’t consider me a son, He would’ve let me done the things I’ve been doing…
But He blessed me with the older brother I have right now who prays for me and supports me through all this…
Since God blessed me with the parents I have right now who prays consistently for me…
I got caught… I know I got caught because God considers me His child…
Brian, I’m so happy for you. For reals. I’ll see you soon. Let’s grab dinner. You, me, and my bro…
Drive safe, goodnight…”
He was one of the few people who made an impact in my life to be living the life I live right now for Jesus.
I have faith that nothing that happens is in vain.
I know that this is all part of a wonderful masterpiece in the making.
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.
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