Monday, June 29, 2009

Confidence

My emotions can be all over the place in a few moments, so I try to be aware of when I am allowing them to control me and to change the situation so that they are not in charge. It has been difficult to do that lately and so I haven’t been writing much for public viewing.

What’s been on my mind the past month or so are the joys and sorrows of my friends. In all things I pray over them and entrust them to God.

I’d like to share in the joys that my friends are experiencing. The only thing I can say is that my spirit is heavy and sad. Why is it that should seem like it would ruin my friends’ joy or lessen their enjoying their joy? I wrote my friend a letter, pouring my heart out; it is still in my possession. I cannot deliver it.

Another friend is experiencing great distress at this time. I have no sense of what might comfort. I can say that I have experienced the same, but I don’t know if that would help. It was by chance that I knew anything was going on at all. Someone who has been a prayer warrior for me and I am for him. For the time being, we are both messes. I am afraid, but I want to be strong. I didn’t want to add to his concerns.

So I have been silenced. One confidante experiencing joy I would not want to decrease. Another going through pain I would not add to. One off on their own, doing their own thing. Yet another had been in another country, doing the work of the Lord. I am on the verge of tears at any given moment. I suppose I only write anything now because the one in another country returned recently and for that I am ever grateful to God.

Being silenced drives me crazy but I know I have the perfect confidante in God who is always here to listen to my cry. He wants to carry my burdens with me and I am glad that he does. I think that of what I’ve learned the past year and a half, of learning to PRAY CONSTANTLY, I’ve learned that praying to God is an act of my trust in him. My prayers are an admission of humility as I cannot do anything but he can do all things; the trust is in saying that I know HE WILL do all things in his will. I believe my good is in his will, not my desires, but my good.

Yet, God has made us to be social beings, as he enjoys fellowship with his Son and the Holy Spirit. I need your prayers constantly. The details are not important, do not feel overly concerned for me. Please pray for me.

I constantly remember you in my prayers also.

Mahalo for reading. Let us pray...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mingling Among Romans

I yet press on in my endeavor to read the entire Bible. I started reading in Romans today and right away in Chapter 1, I felt like taking note of this and taking note of that.

It amazes me that God would use someone who hadn’t known his son firsthand, hadn’t walked with Jesus, someone who was persecuting those who believed in Jesus the Christ; God used Paul greatly to bring his story to the world. Most of the New Testament is about Paul and the people he reached through the power of Christ he received from God.

Not Peter, who was to be the foundation of the church, the first disciple whom Jesus called. Not John, whom Jesus loved. No, not them but the guy who was on a mission to make sure men like them died.

Anyways, here are thoughts I had while reading the beginnings of Romans:
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Romans 1:11-12~I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--- 12 that is, that you and I may be MUTUALLY ENCOURAGED by each other’s FAITH.

Encouraged by what? By each other’s friendship, smiling faces? No. By money? No. By kind words? By non-judgemental ways? By giving absolute approval to each other? No. By faith.

I have a difficult time processing compliments I receive from others. Someone says that I am independent; I know that I am very dependent on others. Someone says that I’m on top of things; I know that I struggle greatly to keep things together. Someone says that the kids love having me around; I’d rather hear it or experience it from the kids themselves. I want to be there for them when they have questions, when they’re having difficult times, when they get down on themselves. I don’t feel like I’ve made any difference, like I have had a good influence on them.

I am encouraged when I see people choosing to do what is right, especially when it is difficult to do so. A friend of mine has a physical desire to be with someone in particular but restrains himself from her as well as refrains from seeking physical contact with other girls. A mother on crutches sees a piece of trash on the floor gets awkwardly down to pick it up and throws it away.

I am most encouraged in my faith when encouragement returns to me, when God sees fit to use me in an amazing way and allows me to hear of the effect. One friend was having a difficult time in bitterness and a sense of being distanced from God. We spent a time of fellowship together, just her and I. A few days later, she said that after we had talked, she began to feel better about her situation, to have a renewed attitude towards life. I'm not exactly sure what about that time together helped her. All I did was listen to her and give little insight from my own experiences, to say that I know how she feels, she is not alone. Being able to help her in some way, I know was only through God. He was saying to me, “See, I will turn your sufferings into something good. You trust me.”


Romans 1:20~For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

I am a nerd. I love to learn. Whenever I hear a young person talk about school, how it’s boring or how they hate science, I think they’re missing the big picture! It’s not their fault, it’s how the system is these days. I didn’t get it when I was their age, a lot of adults don’t get it, but school and learning is an incredible opportunity to know more about God and this world that he gave us.

I think learning about the world around us tells us that things don’t just happen by chance. A leaf isn’t green because it wants to be or some unknowable spirit randomly tossed green onto it. a leaf is green because of the chlorophyll it contains. An albino person isn’t some alien dropped onto the planet but is made that way due to his unique genes. Numbers are concepts, not physical objects, yet they help us talk about quantities, to order things, to predict occurrences, etc.

The color of a leaf, the albinism in a person, mathematics, all were designed by God. I think the fact that we can know things is fascinating. That we feel emotions, have a sense of beauty, etc., fascinates me even more and tells me that subjects like art and philosophy are important as well.

Or perhaps, this verse is talking about the wonder one should feel at looking up into the night sky with all the stars, or at the power of the ocean as the waves come crashing in, or the cooling effect of the wind brushing our skin. God is in those things as well.


Romans 1:28~ Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a DEPRAVED MIND, to do WHAT OUGHT NOT to be done.

I think one could read this verse as saying that God gave up and didn’t care anymore, but rather I believe it is saying that God let the people have what they wanted. I also had the thought that even in the depraved mind, one can still change and decide to choose God. God did not CONDEMN them to a depraved mind as if they no longer had a choice but left enough to change because he still cared.

I also thought about the “what ought not” part. If they that did not care to know God did what ought not be done, then those who love God should do what ought to be done. As an example of application, is using foul language a sin? Is one sinning when they swear?

I heard a group of Christians discussing the subject of swearing. The question of what constitutes a swear word came up. Who designates which is a swear word and which is not? Are we as a society unnecessarily sensitive to certain words? I was watching a show where Whoopi Goldberg was sharing her ideas with an audience. She has no problem with the word “s—t” [apparently I do] but hates the word “stupid.” I understand where she’s coming from with the latter word.

Without pointing to another verse at the moment, I wanna say that whether swearing is a sin or not, I don’t know absolutely. My concern is that by swearing, whatever the world deems as a swear word, the Christian looks more like a representative of the world rather than like a representative of Christ. The world may think one’s cool if one uses swear words, but that same world also doesn’t think one is a Christian.

Ought a Christian to swear? I do not believe so.
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I could probably say more. That’s a good chunk of thinking for one entry, isn’t it? Any reactions/ thoughts of your own?

Mahalo for reading!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Picture This! : Battle of the Bands

Photos from the Battle of the Bands!

[Click on image for larger view]













Saturday, June 13, 2009

[IMPACT] Summer Games 2009: Battle of the Bands!!

The [IMPACT] Summer Games has begun! This past Thursday (June 11) kicked the season off with a Battle of the Bands, along with a little preview of the weeks to come. David Tamaoka of FCF emceed the night, Kendal Fong hosted the previews and a very satisfying dinner was provided courtesy of Christ’s Church at Aiea (Craig Terada).

A group representing Kalihi Union Church, the Awesomeness (directed by lead singer Rachel) fired the first shot in front of the judges from JV League (Amanda, John and Stephanie). The Awesomeness sang an original song giving praise to God and finished with the ukulele styling of Chris and Adam. Christ’s Church at Aiea provided a mix of genres, beginning with a soft praise song, a prayer for the transition and ending with an energized rap.

A brother team of Scott and Dan [FCF] performed on the ukulele and drums. Mililani Community Church came out with an all-girl band singing a medley of songs including “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “The Hand That Holds the World.” The stage was dominated by the females again as another group from FCF sang Avril Lavigne’s “My Happy Ending.”

In between band sets, Kendal ran mini versions of the big games that are scheduled for the rest of the summer. Video Game night was represented by Rockband on PSP, followed by a dash-and-grab game as a well-lit rendition of Mission Impossible night, and a volleyball/broom hockey combo as…volleyball/broom hockey night (though the actual event will not be a combo challenge, as far as I know). The preview challenge for Messy Games night was to stick gummi bears on the partner’s face, so there’s something to look forward to! A tentative basketball night is also on the summer schedule.

JV League closed the music portion of the night with a worship set: Forever, Take It All, Inside Out and One Way. I can’t describe the good feeling that comes from seeing a crowd of young people singing to the Lord with all of their heart. Keep it coming!

The night was capped off with a message from James Kwong [FCF]. He talked to the students about the 3-story gospel. The first story is God’s story, telling of how God created us and loves us, sending his son to save us in our sin. The second story, my story. Well, not me specifically, but the story of the person sharing the gospel, of how “my” story intersected with God’s story. The last story is the story of the person in the audience, the one hearing about the gospel.

To illustrate how God moves in our lives, James told the story of his friend in CA, of how she came to her relationship with Christ, and then of how God spoke to her and used her in her friend’s story. If you’re a Christian, pray over your non-Christian friends while trusting in the fact that God is already moving in your friends’ lives. God may call you to act in your friend’s life on his behalf; when that happens, trust him and obey. The [IMPACT] summer games are a good opportunity to invite your friends to have some fun and hear the gospel.

If you’re not a Christian yet, God might be moving in your life right now. It may just be that God sent your friend to invite you out to an [IMPACT] night. If you think God may be talking to you on one of these nights, we invite you to talk to one of the staff about questions you may have or to take the step and begin your personal relationship with Christ.

Were you there at the Battle of the Bands? If not, that’s okay. More games are in the works with the next one being Volleyball/ Broom Hockey night. Make a note of the special night, time and location: Saturday, June 20th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm out in Mililani (Kaomaaiku Neighborhood Park). For more information, see the youth leader at your church or email impactministries@googlegroups.com or check out the Facebook site at [IMPACT] on Facebook. Bring your friends, there’s always room for more!

Interested in practicing your writing skills?!! Please come and see me, Jenn the (current) [IMPACT] historian. Chances are I’m the one at the event taking crazy photos, or email me at jenniferlo@loqualityproducts.com or contact me here by leaving a comment. It would be great to have other perspectives on any of the events, from students to youth leaders, from a few paragraphs to a long piece!

[And a big “HELLO” to JB and Tina from my Chosen Camp team! I should have more energy for socializing next time but I didn’t forget you! Good to have seen you! Okay, I’ll finish this up now.]


MAHALO to all who helped with setup, running the event and clean up:
[KUC] Joel, Brandon, Adam, Chris S., Scott K.
[Crosscurrent] Tad, Byron
[HBA] Shane
[FCF] Aya, David and Steph, John, Amanda, Jeff
[CCAA] Craig, Wayne
[CCAK] Melissa
[MCC] Steve, Justin, JB
[LCC] Kendall
JV League
Chaz, Kevin Siu
All the youth leaders
All the participants in the Battle of the Bands
All the names I missed mentioning

And Kendal, James and Lisa for [IMPACT] Ministries!