Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Was a Bright and Exciting Night

I guess it’s not secret, Joel and Shelly are with me on the young adult ministry (YA). We got together yesterday to prepare for the elders’ meeting later that night.

In the meeting, Joel presented for us. I was preparing in my mind to answer any questions that might come up. Joel asked if there were any questions… and praises started rolling in!

Things said by the elders and pastors included: “exciting,” “[the proposal was] coherent and lucid,” “[we are] blessed by this!”

Then all the leaders laid hands and prayed for us. That was something; I’d never had someone pray over me like that in a group. I’ve seen and participated in laid hands prayer, but never been the subject of one before last night. Pretty cool!

I was disappointed that no real questions for us came up. I am glad that a decision was made; the YA ministry has a home with Kalihi Union Church! It's official!

Now we can continue planning, and planning in accordance to this component we were hoping for but not necessarily dependent on. And OH there has been and is a lot of planning going on!

Please remember us in your prayers. If you’re around, please join us, in support, in the work, anything!

And praise God for blessing us with this opportunity, this challenge to lead.

Mahalo for reading!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Resolve

Ahh, I can breathe a little easier. One of the anger situations has been resolved. I had let it get so bad and all because I have a difficult time saying to someone I care for, “I’m hurting” and “I’m sorry.” And I knew I would cry, something very few people have ever seen, something my parents have rarely seen.

But it was a good talk, for both sides I hope. It’s always good to know that the other person cares as much. I haven’t had a lot of experiences with that. I have more respect for the other person, not that any was lacking.

Things may need to be worked out from time to time, but if we can remember that we care and remember to keep talking and listening, I think we’ll be alright.
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Please pray that I have resolve in another situation. I have stepped into more of an upfront leadership position for ministry. So many things could threaten the ministry. Something personal that could potentially be distracting and derailing to my part in ministry came up recently. I need to resolve to keep focused on the things that God is leading me to and the things I just need to get done.

Pray that I resolve to refuse temptation.

Mahalo for reading.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Anger Management

The anger I had written about recently…has calmed some as I’ve gotten some other perspective. It’s difficult to sort out when I feel a lot of the blame. I still have an issue I need to resolve and I hope it goes well. Pray that it goes well. Pray that I speak out of love and not anger.
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I was going to take a step away from a certain situation. I can’t say much more. For months there had been no development in this area, absolutely none. The same night I was deciding, a small development happened. I’m back to…not knowing what to do.

I stand on the edge of a blade, not knowing on which side to step. Pray that I make the…step that is in God’s will. Pray that I move at all.
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I'm tired of feeling alone, yet I need to be careful. *sigh*

Mahalo for reading and praying.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Moments in Church

Mom’s been volunteering at the church office. People come up to her saying good things about me, specifically about what I'm doing in the church. Momma’s so proud when she hears those compliments. I think she was a little sad when I stopped going to choir because people were glad to see a “young” person in choir and would tell her so.

Anyways, anything good that I do with church is all to the prompting of God.
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One of the youth, Romina, sings in the worship team with her mother. I like seeing that. This past Sunday, another youth, Royce, sang in the worship team along with his mother. I never knew Royce had any inclination to sing but I’m so glad to see him up there.

I sat in a little with the 7-9th class. They played Bible hangman – that sounds so wrong! ;) But it was wonderful watching them all participate and excited to learn something. They parlayed it into introducing them to using the concordance.

I do still love the youth at KUC and hope to continue helping. It is such an encouragement to see active youth in the church.
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Also this past Sunday, we were blessed with two performances by Colleen Nomura and her Moments Unforgettable dance team.

...after which we were blessed again with a message from Kendal. It came down to asking "Do you believe that God has set you apart for something great?" Someone told me after that the message was very applicable to what's in the next section...
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Be careful what you pray for, but take a risk! God is faithful! God is a provider!

So I had prayed “God, use me.” Oh. He is. I’ve gotten myself and a couple friends into trying to put a young adults ministry together, hopefully with KUC. We kept the idea under wraps for a while but once we submitted a proposal, the word SPREAD!

People stopping us to say they’re praying for us. People wanting to meet with us, to hear our hearts and to encourage us. We still have so much to do but the support coming in that we didn’t even seek out is so great!

This was also a door to officially meeting The Ada Lum. She heard about the proposal and told Mom that she wanted to meet me. After service, Mom urged me over and I met Ada Lum. She has a strong handshake! She's a great woman of prayer who told me that she is praying for us. Wonderful!

Thank God for sending these people our way as we are not exactly sure what to do, but that they are encouraging us in this direction. It would seem from all this support that we are moving with God's will. It is scary, but yes, very exciting!
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All glory to God! Please continue praying for me, praying for the youth at KUC, praying for the young adults ministry. Any other praises going on?

Mahalo for reading.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

She’s Shy

A couple friends and I went into Waikiki last night. The only things on the agenda were to visit the Tabora Gallery and Island Vintage Coffee.

Visiting the Tabora Gallery was for me. Years ago I had gotten a mini-print of Roy Tabora’s work “Napali Mist.” I looked up other works of his. I generally like his work. Something about crashing waves [often a subject in his work], especially of stormy waters, connects with me.

Then couple years ago I went to Waikiki to take photos. Walking around I found the Tabora Gallery at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach Hotel. I didn’t know he had a gallery. The art associate there started talking to me. He said that Tabora comes to the gallery on Friday nights to work on a piece and talk with people. So I’ve been wanting to watch Tabora work, but never got to it; I didn’t know if anyone would want to go with me and I wasn’t going into Waikiki by myself at night.

So last night we got into Waikiki later than planned. By the time we got to the gallery, Tabora was still there, talking to visitors, but had finished working on the piece for the night. He seems to be a very lively and friendly person. I dunno what it was, maybe that he was talking to visitors to Hawai‘i and I live here, or just plain shyness on my part, but I didn’t get myself up to saying “Hi.” I feel like such a dork, I dunno what to say to an artist!

Well, maybe I’ll brave it next time. And I didn’t see the art associate I had talked to before.

Island Vintage was for Chemist. They make this drink, Tropical Sensation which is a berry tea. I had one, it was good! They put real strawberry and lots of blueberries in the drink too.

A lot of street attraction things were going on. Shops were starting to close but we went to a small shop past Lewers that’s kind of interesting, went to Midoriya, saw some interesting things at 88 tees, and Coldstone!

I had fun! Good times with friends, who can complain?

Is there an artist or artwork that you enjoy?

Mahalo for reading.





[We also visited the public restrooms at the Marriot. Nice restrooms.]

Friday, August 7, 2009

More Thoughts On The Past

In further thought of the last entry, I just had this thought: that the church and the Christian are losing their meaning. This saddens me.

Among my “friends” on facebook is someone I knew casually during my years at Woodbury [WU]. He is currently serving in the military, I’m not sure in what capacity but in our few FB chats he’s mentioned being out in the desert and such things.

I am not skilled in small talk or in conversation in general and it’s even worse over the internet. It’s a real problem for me when I can’t hear and see the person I’m talking to and vice versa. Even in person, at times I am at a loss for what that reaction in their countenance meant or in understanding the affect in their voice. All that said, I will try to participate in uncomfortable conversation.

Back to this old friend, he’s asked what have I been up to and my response, to him and others, has been that I’m working on my graduate degree and volunteering at church. He’s not the only one to do this, but he moves on to other subjects. Totally ignoring that I said I’m volunteering at church, he quickly works in some inappropriate jokes and/or to…placing my character in question. I’m not sure if I’m describing this correctly but I think you can get my meaning.
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It used to be, most pronounced in high school, that people knew and understood that I am a Christian. So much so that friends, even Christian friends…kept me at arm’s length. I wasn’t invited to the parties. People didn’t have fun at the expense of my character. In many ways I wasn’t questioned much.

To emphasize this, two good friends, one of them a fellow Christian, wanted to trade stories of their experiences with relationships. They noticed I was sitting next to them and moved off, commenting that I was “too pure” to hear such talk. It hurt, but I could somewhat understand their meaning.

I’ve never been able to adequately describe what the difference was between me and my Christian friends, but apparently there was a difference. My Christian and non-Christian friends did a lot to keep my character good and in some ways I appreciate that.
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To the friend from WU, I’ve stopped being open to chatting with him online, at least for now. I couldn’t turn the conversation back to who I am now. He’s always known me as a Christian, but I am a better Christian today than I was back then. He seemed to refuse to recognize or come to the understanding that I'm not going to engage in the conversation he wanted to have.

I don’t mean that I want to convert my friend right there in the conversation or that I only talk about God. I wasn’t going to talk about God right then. I’m not saying it’s necessarily wrong or an insult to question my character. However, I’m not going to diminish or insult the work God has already done in me up to this point and indulge in worldly chatter with my old friend. I couldn't get him to engage in a...clean conversation with me. Keep in mind also that I never really knew him well at all.

I think it also says something about the state of the character of the church and the Christian today. To say that I am a Christian doesn’t get much respect, isn’t given much thought, doesn’t mean much to the non-Christian acquaintance.

This is a reminder to me, that if I am to call myself a Christian, I need to BE a Christian. I can’t just say it and have my word taken for it. I need to live it, I need to show it. It needs to become intentional. What I mean is that I am a Christian in every aspect of my life: in my speech, in my actions, in my choice of clothing, in how I spend my time, etc. Not perfectly, I will make mistakes and poor choices, but am I allowing God to do this earthly refining process He is doing in me, or do I want my own way? Am I participating [helping] in that process or am I hindering the process? Am I focused on what God is doing or buying into what the world is doing?

I’m praying about this. I’m also praying that my friend will come to know God in a personal way. [By the way, it does bother me to not want to talk to someone or have them talk to me].

Mahalo for reading and as always, you are welcome to leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Living It UP

Philippians 3: 12-16~ Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. [13] Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

[15] All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. [16] Only let us live up to what we have already attained.



It seems that a lot of people would emphasize verse 14. We need encouragement to continue on. We need reminders of the ultimate goal so we aren’t distracted by what isn’t important.

I would expand to at least the passage I have here. Very quickly, here are some of my thoughts on this; I’m still thinking things through.

I can easily get distracted by things of my past. I would guess a lot of you know what I’m talking about. I have a strong guilt complex. Sometimes it seems like a bad dream or that I saw it a movie somewhere and it wasn’t really me that did that thing or had that attitude back there.

Someone from our past comes along and reminds us of who we were at some point. It could either be a wonderful memory of us or it could be an ugly portrait. It doesn’t need to be true either. They could have viewed us through a prejudiced lens, someone else’s opinion of us [secondhand information], or it could all be true.
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Verse 12 + me: I am not perfect. I have never been perfect. I just had a thought that this life on earth is part of the perfecting process but I’ll never attain perfection on earth.

Verse 13 + me: I need to acknowledge what was true of my past, but also lay it aside. Do not let my past distract me. This is true whether it’s guilt over things I’ve done wrong or excessive pride over things I did well.

Verse 14 + me: If one wants to get technical about things, I’m not exactly sure I could say what prize Paul was talking about. But I should not let my past distract me from who I am in Christ and what God has called me to do right now.

Verse 15 + me: Maturity is an on-going thing, in my opinion. I’m more mature in my faith than I was when I accepted Christ. I’m more mature than I was last month. I’m not sure what else to say about this verse. As I said, quick thoughts.

Verse 16 + me: what I was saying builds up to this verse. I am not perfect, but I need to continue on from where I am in the perfecting process which God is working in me. I need to live up to the honor of being a Christian, of being called a child of God.
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In one sense, I am who I am and will always be who I am. In another, I am not who I once was because God has done and is doing a work in me. If someone from my past comes along with an image of who I was, I can honestly say that I have changed. If they bring along a bad habit I used to have, I do not have to relive or restart that bad habit.

If they can’t understand that I am changed, or they insist that I reclaim that bad habit, I may just have to cut ties with that person. I need to pray for that person. I can’t save everyone and really, I can’t save anyone; that is Jesus’ right. The thing is to not let that person drag me back to who I used to be and am no more. If they don’t want to join me with who I am now, that is their choice.

I do not have to be who I used to be. In fact, I should not be who I used to be. But I do need to acknowledge what is true of my past, to resolve my past. My past was put right in my face; I couldn’t deny that the foggy notion in my mind was true. It wasn’t a movie scene or a bad dream.

Patsy Clairmont said of verse 13, “Paul did not say ‘denying what I know took place….’” [1^]

This particular thing in my past, I wasn’t denying it, but it was good to have the confirmation that it was true, it was real. It did happen. It’s far in my past and I did take years, many years, to resolve this part of my past. Coming up against the reminder of it, I think I’m okay.

To my readers, if you are a Christian, do not let the enemy get a hold of you and drag you into your past. Do not deny your past either, but live up to where you are with Christ now.

Final thought: how can we live up? We live UP to who we are in Christ by looking UP to God. Keep your focus on Him.

Mahalo for reading.


[1^] “God Uses Cracked Pots” Focus on the Family Broadcast. 1988.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Meaningful Gift

Giving you guys a break in the heaviness.

The Chemist went on a trip recently and brought back gifts. I was given a pair of earrings. The earrings are beautiful so I had to try them on right away. I think you can see in the photo that they look good on me!

I love gifts that say that the giver truly had me in mind, but what really adds to the meaningfulness of this gift is that it was made in Nepal and sold as part of a nonprofit organization called Ten Thousand Villages. I’ll let you read the info off of the photos or check out their website [Ten Thousand Villages].

Last year I had bought an amber necklace whose proceeds go to a similar cause. See [Spending Splurge Sunday] for more information on the amber necklace.

Thank you to the Chemist for the wonderful gift! I’ve already worn them out in public once!

Mahalo for your continued support in reading my entries.