Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A wild goose chase indeed

I'm a big fan of Mark Batterson. He's the lead pastor over at National Community Church in Washington, DC. Mark is also the writer of one of my favorite books.

I'm so excited because he's coming out with a new book this August called Wild Goose Chase. Here's an excerpt from the book:

When we turn Christianity into a noun, it becomes a turnoff. Christianity was always intended to be a verb. And, more specifically, an action verb. Some of us live as if we expect to hear God say, "Well thought, good and faithful servant!" or "Well said, good and faithful servant!" God isn't going to say either of those things. There is only one commendation: "Well done, good and faithful servant."

It is timely that I read this post on this morning (pointed out by Perry Noble) this morning, just as I was thinking mean thoughts about some people.

This mean streak is so frustrating. But I wasn't always like this. I was very timid as a child (believe it or not). As I grew older, though, I had to learn to adapt to the people around me. And while most people were pretty nice, there were also bullies in school I had to stand up to. Witnessing very nice people being pushed around by mean people was also added proof to my theory that niceness is a weakness.

So, growing up, I liked the feeling of intimidating intimidators, of being liked by mean people, and of rescuing victims of intimidators and mean people. I learned to view kindness as a handicap and to take away my kindness filter.

Then I became a Christian. Nearly five years into being one, I'm still unlearning all the terribly wrong notions and attitudes I learned growing up.

Frustrating, really. It's easy to think it. It's easy to say it. But truth is it is very difficult to do. I can only take it one day at a time. Wait, that's not even accurate. I can only take it a minute at a time. Thank God for God's grace that is always sufficient.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Preparing a one-year plan

A fantastic idea came to me as I was watching (of all movies) My Sassy Girl last night.

Jordan and Charlie both wrote letters to each other, put them in a tablet, hid the tablet under stones at the foot of a cherry tree. The plan was to come back the very next year at the same place at 2PM to meet and read the letters together. If this happened according to plan, it meant that they were destined to be together. If, for some reason, one of them doesn't show up, it will mean that it was never meant to be.

Charlie walked away that day determined to prepare for the special day a year later.

Because Jordan liked to play squash, Charlie persevered to learn it. Because Jordan liked a kind of martial art, Charlie worked hard to master it. Because Jordan had an affinity for the ocean, Charlie learned to swim. All this he did so that he could be a better man for Jordan.

It was pretty sweet. They say the Korean movie is better then this American version so I'm pretty psyched to watch it.


Inspiration struck me as I watched the movie a second time.

What if I gave myself a 1-year plan? Not faith goals, or goals period. But an actual action plan for the things that I want to accomplish by next year.

I have to sit down and pray about what exactly will be in this one-year plan. But it will be specific and measurable. And the one year starts on September 1st and will run (obviously) until August 31st of 2009.

Am I excited? A resounding YES!

For the sake of accountability, I will blog about the one-year blog as I near the start date and will be updating this blog periodically in the next 12 months.

What can happen in 12 short months? We shall see about that.

Thump thump goes my heart

Dreamt of him again last night.

It feels weird when that happens. I wonder if we could ever get to the place of friendship. Maybe I wouldn't dream about him so much.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Music Video Monday - August 4, 2008

For Music Video Monday, I'd like to go retro and share an old 80's video from one of my favorite artists as a child.


Coming Clean

I loved the preaching tonight.

The new series we have at church is called Faster. Higher. Stronger. I would've preferred for the series title to be Faster, Higher, Stronger! since those periods chop up the whole idea. The latter just strikes me as more energetic and "olympic."

I digress. Sorry.

The scripture we used tonight was Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

It is just appropriate that we're on this series now because I feel like I'm going through a dangerous stage of stagnation in my Christian life.

I am still reading my bible everyday. I do still pray everyday. And I still am actively ministering to a growing group of young women. On the outside, it seems like everything is fine. But I know that a lot of things are not okay.

I know this because I haven't been my usual self spiritually the past few weeks. I've been insecure about ministry. I have voiced my displeasure about feeling like I'm invisible to more than a few people. I've grown impatient about being used in the church, feeling like I'm not needed here anyway and maybe I should just transfer to a different congregation where I will be used according to the gifts God has given me. It's been very tempting, really. I really, really want to teach. I want to minister to more women. I miss being part of the youth ministry. And I am ashamed to admit that I feared I might be in the wrong place.

Now, it's starting to look like I might have the wrong heart.

Tonight, Pastor Ferdie talked about three things we must go through to prepare for the race set out for us to run. Every single point hit home.

Here they are:

WORD: We must continue to be in the word of God. I have to admit there are days when I am more excited to read Christian books than the Bible. I want to get to the point when I crave for His Word so much that I can't get enough of it. I have felt that many times in my Christian life. But I know it's not something that just magically comes and goes. Like our pastors always say, even if you don't feel like it, read your bible anyway. And I do. But I just pray that I would go back to craving for it again.

WAIT: Not everything will come when I want it to come. Waiting is difficult but if we are to run a race and expect to win, we need to be patient and wait. Training for the Olympics is not something an athlete will do for six months. Many gymnasts start as early as four years old and they don't get to actually compete until after six to eight years. Training for athletes is not a 2-hours-a-day deal. When I used to play women's basketball for Ateneo, I had to wake up at 5AM to be able to make it to our 6-9AM practice five to six times a week. Then, I had to give two to three hours of my afternoons three times a week for weight training and roadwork. And that was just to play for the UAAP. Imagine if I had to train for the Olympics!

Training is not easy. And results are not quick to come. But if I just remain faithful and wait, I will get the victory God has promised in the different areas in my life where I still struggle.

WASH: You have to understand that I am a person who hates to be wrong. On the one hand, I like correction (I am a person committed to improvement). On the other hand, if I can help it, I don't want to get to the point where someone needs to correct me (I would rather catch myself first and self-correct before someone else found out about my wrong). As a child, I took pride in being the ate (ate = big sister) among us cousins. I would always be tasked to look over the kids while we played. And you would never catch me doing anything wrong, because I felt like I was always expected to be the best behaved. And so, until now, I can be quite cautious. Sometimes I get upset because I feel like I can't be myself because I'm always watching that I say and do the right things. I think that's why blogging became a chore sometimes. I felt like I was always editing myself.

But in preparation, we need to consecrate ourselves. We need to come clean about nasty habits (I remember hiding the fact that I smoked while I was in the varsity, mostly off-season and sometimes even during the training season [yikes!] but I'm sure our coach knew, because I was often out of breath, especially at the start of the training season.), wrong motivations, and areas of sin. I can't edit anything from God. He sees it all, even the things I myself can't see.

If I am to get anywhere near victory, I need to come clean and confess to God and allow Him to change what needs to be changed in my life. There is no way it's going to be easy. But it's something that must happen, better sooner than later.

Sorely Neglected

I know, I know.

I haven't posted in the LONGEST time. So sorry, blog, for neglecting you the past few weeks. Got too hooked to Plurk that I was not able to write proper blogs. And this after I had planned an actual schedule of what I was to write. Tsk, tsk.

Bad blogger. *spank*