24
May
stored in: 2019

Despite being stressed before a vacation, I realize I do need to get away to relax.

Here are my beach experiences that helped me to relax:

I insisted on a room with an ocean view. Hawaii isn’t even worth it without a room with an ocean view. Our room was on the 38th floor across the street from the beach and it was great. My dad was very proud of being able to afford a house with an open city view. He has reason to be proud coming as an immigrant with nothing to a house on top of the hill in Pasadena. He talked about that view all the time. I think that’s why a view is important to me. We can’t afford a house with a view, so when we are on vacation, it’s my indulgence to have a view. I can stare out the window for a long time. We also have a view of Diamond Head. While it’s not an unobstructed view, it’s still great.

We went to several beaches, they are all beautiful. I liked Sandy Beach because it was not crowded. I could sit out on the water for a long time. My husband does not share my love for the beach. He doesn’t like sand between his toes, etc. etc. He’s from the east coast. I don’t swim in the ocean, I’m not brave. I just love the rhythmic waves and the view of the horizon, in warm water.

It’s a 10 minute walk to cross the big street from our airbnb view room to the beach. We went twice at night to sit on the beach. It’s the best time to go to the beach. There’s a warm breeze and the water is still warm.

I wrote on my bio that “going to the beach to feel the power of the waves deepens [my] faith.” That is exactly why I love the beach. I can meditate, think about God, pray, reflect, even be moved to tears just sitting in the water. 

This is my 3rd time in Oahu. First time I went by myself when I was in high school – I was on my way to Hong Kong to visit my sister. That’s another story. Second time I had my own family with 2 little kids. This time with my husband and no kids. The accessible beaches is the draw, as it is for the rest of the world who comes to Hawaii.

22
May
stored in: 2019

Continue

Fun hikes in Hawaii that I am grateful to have experienced:

We booked a zipline experience for Wednesday. I was attracted to it on their website because it said it was good for all levels, no experience needed, only a few 5 minute hikes. I want a little fun but not a lot of challenge. That’s me. And this experience was just about right. I probably could’ve used a little more challenge, but it prepared me to zipline again. It was not scary at all, probably because it was made for beginners.

The next day, we went to the Likelike Falls. Being me who does not want a lot of challenge, I googled for an easy hike to a waterfall. We had the trail to ourselves on the way up which gave me plenty of space to go as slow as I wanted. It was muddy and uneven, and some steep areas. With my faithful husband to hang on to, it was just the right amount of challenge for me. The waterfall was small but hey, it was a waterfall.

We went on another hike to another waterfall on Monday, the day we left. Our flight was 8:45pm, so we had all day. The Waimea Falls and botanical garden was worth the $18pp admission. It was paved, too easy, but gave us plenty to enjoy in a beautiful natural setting of native plants. There were even occasional cultural displays (with real people manning the display) of huts, leaf weaving, etc. The waterfall was bigger with people swimming in the pond. They provide life jackets. Too bad we were not ready for swimming as we had already packed our stuff.

On Saturday, we went to the largest farmer’s market on the island. It wasn’t huge but it was fun. While our farmer’s markets also have local artists selling their crafts, this one is only food. One stall was one of the restaurants that was recommended by the Costco magazine. Yay, crossed that off my list. The food was good!

We didn’t realized that Diamond Head was right behind us. Diamond Head was another touristy thing I didn’t want to fall for. But since it was right there, we walked up to the monument – not the summit – and enjoyed a nice nature hike. We found out why that part of the island is so dry – there were desert plants. They told us the ambulance is sent for almost daily to rescue people from the hike up the summit. It’s deceiving because it’s less than a mile one way to the summit. But I think the steep climb and the heat can be a dangerous combo for the novice. I didn’t have a great desire to conquer the mountain. We settled for a Dole whip and a nice walk back down.

We logged in about 18,000 steps everyday.

Hawaii adventures to be continued

21
May
stored in: 2019

I have no complaints about our vacation. Seriously, who can complain about Hawaii??

FOMO is a thing with me. I don’t want to come all the way to Oahu and miss something that everyone else had done on the island. I had a list of stuff I wanted to do, and I am quite satisfied that we did just about everything I needed to do.

Here’s a short list:

Went snorkeling twice. I knew we had to snorkel at least once, you just can’t go to Hawaii without doing that. On Tuesday, our second day, on our drive to North Shore to experience the various beaches, we stumbled upon Shark’s Cove that my friend recommended. We had our stuff in the car, and decided to just do it. It wasn’t like the pictures with Nemos and Dorys all around. I think it’s because we didn’t risk going out farther from shore. But it was great even so just to see fish up close and personal.

Then on Friday, we decided to drive to Hanauma Bay just to look at it from above. I didn’t want to fall into the tourist thing of snorkeling there. It doesn’t seem right to have to pay $7.50 pp to go to a beach in Hawaii. But when we saw how everyone was there just enjoying the beach and didn’t seem touristy at all, we decided to pay the fee to go in. I’m glad we did, otherwise I would regret it. Again we stayed close to shore but still got to see a good number of fish, bigger and more fish than Shark’s Cove.

Same Tuesday on the drive to North Shore, I wanted to find the beach with turtles. On the way to where I thought we’d spot them, based on Tripadvisor comments, we saw cars parked along the road. Of course we had to join the excitement. I love to go where the crowd goes. Lo and behold, 3 turtles were on the beach!

Then on Thursday, we went to lookout points for views – blowhole and the lighthouse, and we saw turtles swimming near the shore. They didn’t beach but it was fun to see them swimming.

To be continued

 

10
May
stored in: 2019

I always lose sleep before vacation. Is it even worth going on vacation to relax when it takes so much to get ready to go?

Once the plane leaves the ground, then I feel relax.

When I had 3 months of Sabbatical last year, I felt very relaxed once I was away. I hope to feel the same on this vacation as I’m experiencing a lot of anxiety right now. Being anxious makes me tired emotionally, and I don’t feel like talking to people when I’m tired like that. And that’s bad because my strong point is connecting with people. I want to get out of this funk and I hope Hawaii will do it.

But a big blessing was 2 of the ladies I serve with from the Cantonese congregation took me out to lunch. It was such a nice time chatting. Then today one of those ladies brought me Uncle Tetsu’s! It’s my favorite thing in the world, the one dessert I cannot resist! God brings these blessings to me through people at a time when I’m tired and emotionally just want to quit. Now I can’t quit…

At mom’s fellowship today, 2 of the moms said, “Thanks for leading the discussion.” They don’t usually say that. I didn’t feel that great about the discussion at all. I am afraid that the discussion was just a discussion or didn’t point people to Jesus.  Then it would be a waste of time, for me at least. But they thought it was helpful. God has a way of using weak things, and I am definitely one of those. I have all kinds of weaknesses. I appreciate my husband for putting up with me when he takes the blunt of my bad mood. Honestly, if he treats me like I treat him, I wouldn’t be as kind to him as he is to me.

06
May
stored in: 2019

Saturday: After morning deacon’s meeting, Mike and I had an adventure and bought a blueberry plant. So excited! Harvested 5 berries so far!

Sunday: 3 moms who are friends with their children came to church for the first time. They are Mandarin-speaking, which is not unusual. Every week we have visitors who are Mandarin-speaking. Neither is it unusual that only moms came with children. The fathers are usually in China. What is unusual is that these 3 moms are not new immigrants. Their English was decent and the children’s English was pretty good. And 2 of the families had 2 children. Most families from China only have one child. I asked if this is their first time to church. “Yes, we don’t know what to expect!” So blessed to be a part of what God is doing in our church.

Last Sunday an Indonesian mom and daughter came for the first time. This Sunday they came again, and brought an Indonesian friend. They found us on google, not knowing that we have a large population of Indonesians in our church. For some reason, God is bringing Indonesian families to us.

I was very encouraged by the first meeting of the Celebrate Summer One Day Children’s Outreach. I expected 2 people to attend as part of the planning team. One got into a car accident just before the meeting, so I thought our team will be very small.  But God brought a total of 6 to the meeting! It’s not the number but their enthusiasm for children and for outreach inspired me at a time when I felt like quitting.

Sunday was the last Perspectives Class! The last 15 weeks of Sunday afternoons have been very well-spent. I would do it again. I highly recommend every Christian to take this course. They say it’s not just a class, it’s a movement. I don’t know what that means. Movement is one of those words like passion and strategic. It sounds good. I don’t know if Perspectives is a movement, but I do hope that is will make a notable difference in us personally and in our church.  Now I need to review and apply all this to how I live my life.

We went out to dinner with the usual Perspectives class members, for the fellowship and not the food of course. I told my husband that to make it worthwhile to spend $45 for this dinner fellowship, we will only leave when everyone else leaves. We have to stay as long as possible to get our money’s worth :) It’s a joy to talk to people from our church and other churches.

Also started praying for Muslims as Ramadan started on Sunday.

Monday: catching up. Did our usual Costco and Billy’s Egg Farm run. No other agenda, except last Perspectives homework and project. I can’t complain.

 

03
May

Yesterday I posted my issue of aging. I’ve developed all kinds of obsessions with problems that come with getting old.

First it was my digestion with pain in my stomach. I asked my doctor run all the tests. I was obsessed with supplements. There were bottles of pills arriving at my door everyday. It was so fun, so full of hope that one of those would solve my pain. I was literally googling for hours going down the rabbit trail for solutions. Then I found FTD, been following that (more or less low carb high fat, not completely keto), and feel much better. I am thankful for google, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to find FTD. But now I can’t just eat whatever I want as I used to do when I was young. See what happens when you get old?

I don’t google digestion anymore, though I am still reading stuff about digestive health and active on the FTD FB group.

Now I’m obsessed with googling about pain in my leg and pain on my left thumb. I was diagnosed with weak gluts by a PT. No surprise since I don’t exercise. I’ve lost close 10 pounds on FTD, so I lost the muscle that I didn’t have much to begin with. When I cut out carbs, I didn’t know I had to add a lot of fat to my diet. Now I’m trying to eat more fat, but so hard to gain muscle.

I blame all this on aging. It was so much easier to exercise and gain muscle when I was young. Now when I exercise, I get sore, I get tired, and other parts of my body gets misaligned. I’ve been googling exercises, and how to get rid of the pain in my thumb. I want to find that one exercise that will solve all my pain. And more business for Amazon – a thumb splint guard.

And that’s why I don’t like getting old. When you get old, you can’t live without google and Amazon…

02
May

In a podcast today, the host asked, “What false beliefs do you have about yourself that is holding you back?”
I have a false belief about getting old.

I think old people can’t be productive. I think I’m old and therefore limited in what I can do. I make decisions based on what I can or cannot do at my age. I don’t want to have adventures because I think I’m too old to enjoy them. Only young people can be carefree and run in the wind. I know I can still do things, but I can’t do the things that young people do.

When I was young, I was adventurous. I wasn’t good at things but I would try and not be fearful. But now I think, why push myself. Why bother? What’s to gain? I’m happy where I am. The one thing that I have risked is going on short term mission trips. And only because Taiwan is not a third world country, and I can get a direct flight there. I am not sure I’d go to Indonesia or Kenya.

I am thankful for my husband. He doesn’t let age hinder him. But he wants to retire from work so he can travel and have fun. When I think of retiring, I don’t think of having fun. I think it’s being old and useless.

My hero is George Mueller. He traveled to preach in his 80′s when traveling wasn’t as easy as it is now. He preached into his 90′s. He was widowed twice and remarried both times. I don’t think I can remarry if I am widowed. But who knows, maybe by the grace of God, I will defy my own expectations. That would show the power of the resurrection. That I may know him and the power of his resurrection…and the fellowship of his suffering.

Since I’ve identified this false belief, I will try not to allow a false belief to rule my life. I don’t want to miss out on something good because of a false belief. That would be really stupid, wouldn’t it?

29
Apr
stored in: 2019

It’s really nice to have Monday off!

The weekend is always busy, either ministry or personal. The thought of unwinding on Monday is such a relief!

I can see why people look forward to retirement if you don’t like your job. What a drag to go to work on Monday mornings. I am doubly blessed with a job I love and Mondays off! The pay isn’t great, but I do get health insurance. At my age, that is worth a lot.

Perspectives was great yesterday. Very challenged by Vicky Warren. She worked directly with Steve Jobs in product development! Worked for Disney as an executive, was so effective there that 6 women asked her to mentor them. She started a Bible study with them and 3 of them came to Christ. She could’ve stayed and be used by God but her heart grew for the unreached. So she left Disney to use her skills to help develop businesses in unreached people groups. She’s traveled to 35 countries where she’s helping with the business plan. What an interesting life!

Do I envy her? Yes, of course, who wouldn’t! I want to have that kind of energy and skill and faith to go all out for God. I think I always hold back and God has to prod me to take a risk for him. Vicky got her Doctoral degree when she was 50. I thought about it, but didn’t want to do it. God didn’t make me like Vicky Warren. I need 7 hours of sleep, 8 is even better; she said she only sleeps 5. She credits the Holy Spirit for all she’s accomplished. And looking back, I do the same. Despite my unworthiness, the Holy Spirit grew me and enabled me much more than I would naturally be able to do.

27
Apr
stored in: 2019

It was a joyful morning of training with over 60 in attendance plus 2 young adults helping with 5 kids. Thank God for all volunteers who love God and love children ministry.

I’ve always struggled with my ethnic identity. Usually I don’t “feel” like I’m Chinese. I grew up with white people and tried hard to fit in, tried hard “not be Chinese”. While I know I’ve never been accepted as “white”, I generally identify more as white than Chinese. But today I felt Chinese.

Today my husband and I took our training speakers to have a Chinese cultural experience. The husband is Nigerian and wife is white from the Valley, Simi Valley that is. We took them to authentic Canto food at the Noodle – “there’s no Panda Express in Rowland Heights”. Through their eyes I discovered, and appreciated, my Chineseness. We took them shopping at the Chinese market. Everything from hanging roast duck in the deli, stew beef with tendons, the variety of chinese vegetables (not just one kind of bok choy), the choices of fresh noodle – it was fun for them, and it was fun for me too to be the host.

We had them over for dinner a few months ago for hot pot, and since then, they’ve been wanting to do their own hot pot meal. Today at the Chinese market, they bought the whole set up and all the food items, planning to have it with her parents and sisters tomorrow. I walked them through everything they need, as if I know what I’m doing. I guess I do know something about Chinese culture…

And he showed us how to pick a good coconut. He used to climb up coconut trees, without a harness, and ax coconuts! To me that’s pretty amazing. I guess the Chinese market was pretty amazing to them in the same way.

26
Apr
stored in: 2019

I said something really stupid at the mom’s fellowship today! One mom shared how she’s always giving to others and it’s hard to also have enough energy to encourage her husband. I meant to say self focused constant complaining makes things worst and doesn’t allow us to experience God’s victory. But I’m afraid it came across like I wasn’t saying we shouldn’t complain. I felt bad and apologized to her if I may her feel like she can’t share her problems.

This bothered me all day. I felt so bad. It bothered me because I was careless with my words. I said it without thinking it through. No matter how good my intention may be, wrong choice of words are wrong and hurt people. Good intention does not excuse behavior. I pray that God will help her forget what I said and that she’s not discouraged!

I know I have a tendency to blurt things out when I’m comfortable with people. I do that with my family. I don’t filter what I say. This scares me. My sin and immaturity comes out in sarcastic remarks. As a leader of the church, people may take things wrong if they don’t know me that well. Of course they know leaders are not perfect, but people like to be able to think highly of their leaders. I know I do. Why else would I want them to be leaders if they are not mature?

I realize now this is one of the difficult things about being a leader/pastor. You can’t totally be yourself even though your church is suppose to be your church family. These are the people you’re closest to, yet you have to keep a certain distance. Otherwise your sin is so apparent and it can be ugly. I’ve heard this from pastors and didn’t understand it till now as I analyze why I feel so bad about that incident.

I mean, I get it that a leader should be authentic and it’s ok to admit you’re wrong. But if it happens too often and your sin is out there all the time, it’s not a good thing.

No Awana tonight. Went to Costco instead to buy snacks for tomorrow’s training workshop. It’s one chance for my husband to get a Costco danish. In the old days, we would actually buy, and eat, a pack of those sugar-rich, fat-ladened cheese and apple danish. But in our old age we can’t eat that anymore…Sigh! Well, we can IF we exercised, but we don’t, and that’s the tradeoff.

 

24
Apr
stored in: 2019

What did we used to do before search engines?

My searches today – outdoor plants in a pot, hamstring stretches, bump on forehead, eggplant recipe, ministrysafe, Sacred Fire, Office Depot, tight gluts

Enjoyed praying with Glenys at prayer meeting.

In our lifetime we pray many prayers, but we don’t recognize God’s answers to all our prayers.

For example, the benediction – The Lord bless you and keep you. That is prayed over us every week. Did the Lord bless me and keep me this week? How did he keep me? I don’t know.

Another example: saying grace before a meal – Bless this food to our health – that’s what I say. Did God answer that prayer? Does it mean he said no to that prayer when we get sick?

I am not saying we shouldn’t pray these prayers, but we don’t pay attention to how God answers these routine prayers we pray rather mindlessly. I suppose we don’t have to keep track.

When I get to heaven, I want to ask God how he thinks of these prayers. I suppose it’s something like when my children were toddlers holding up their short chubby arms to be held. It’s a routine thing, and it’s cute. I pick them up most of the time, sometimes not when I can’t. Maybe God thinks of our routine prayers like that. It pleases him that we ask, it’s cute. And he answers them according to his will, even when we don’t see it or just take it for granted that it happened.

23
Apr

Sunday highlights:

A parent texted me Sunday afternoon and thanked me for helping her children. It is my privilege!

Watching the baptism in the Chinese service, and live stream the English service in Children Worship. Chinese baptism was very serious. Lots of laughter in the English baptism. In Children Worship we cheered after every baptism. A time to rejoice!

Special music medley in Children Worship by Matt on piano and Kristin on violin! I was pleasantly pleased at how attentive the children were. Even the usual noise-makers were listening. The movements of the violin is mesmerizing. It was very worshipful.

One of the dads, who serves in Awana, with 2 children in my department, and I thought he knew me better than most, asked, “Are you like a salaried staff? What do you do?” Sigh, after 7 years, even parents I work with don’t know what I do. I don’t blame them. I can’t even tell you what I do.

Would you believe my husband set the alarm at 5:30am…to put the roast in the bbq? It needed to cook for 3 hours, then wrapped and slow cook for another 6 hours. Getting up at 5:30am was the only way to get this done while still be able to go to church. He is very committed to doing this slow cook bbq pull pork :) It was delicious!

All my kids came back for Easter dinner. We sit around and talk. I don’t think I did that with my parents.

—–

I learn a lot from the pastors. I appreciate their different views yet are committed to maintain unity. I learn about leadership, loving the flock, going the extra mile, humility, theology, and more. I am also thankful for their willingness to help other churches, new ideas and thinking of better ways of doing things. I am thankful for an office with a window.

 

19
Apr
stored in: 2019

I have to admit, it’s hard for me to get emotional by the crucifixion of Jesus.

I am definitely grateful and don’t take his sacrifice for granted. But I’m the type of person who doesn’t care to make a big deal of birthdays and anniversaries.

What I enjoyed about today’s Good Friday service was not the program itself, but the chance to sit and let God speak to me. I enjoy meditating during singing time. I did get a bit emotional as I heard God speak to me about humility and trusting in him.

I heard him tell me that I am but a small part of what he’s doing. I felt a sense of relieve and peace knowing I don’t have to take myself too seriously. My life and what I do is not the main show, He is the main show. He’s the lead character. Extras don’t have to worry about their roles. If the lead character does well, the show is a success.

I’m just an extra. Thank God He always does his part perfectly and makes us look good!

18
Apr
stored in: 2019

My Perspectives reading today revealed a flaw in my understanding of church. Wow, after all these years as a Christian and attending church, and now on the pastoral staff at church, I get a revelation that makes me think how “Western” I am in my Christian theology. Fortunately it’s not too late for me to adjust my perspective.

“The core reality of the Church is Jesus Christ being followed, loved, and obeyed.” Yes, I understand that, and that’s what we do when we disciple believers. However, the part that is eye-opening for me is teaching believers to obey all of Christ’s commands. We tell new believers to obey by worshipping God via coming to church and Sunday School. If they come regularly, we are happy, we assume by their attendance that their affection for Christ is there. We tell them to read the Bible, pray, fellowship with believers, witness to unbelieving friends and family. Those are all good ways to obey. But we don’t really follow up with them to see if they are obeying what they’re learning when they read the Bible. Are they obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself? We think it takes a while for them to understand the Bible, get some more knowledge, etc. No! The Great Commission said to teach them to OBEY. That should be the priority in follow up.

“Teaching heavy theology before one learns loving, childlike obedience is dangerous. It leaves a person assuming that Christianity is having scripturally correct doctrine and he leaves it at that. He becomes a passive learner of the Word rather than an active disciple.” (p639 in the Reader) I think this is the case with many Christians in America. I am guilty of that too. We can have very good theology, excellent students who love to study the Bible. They do love God. But are they passive learners or active disciples? Are they obeying the commands with childlike faith?

Our church identified 4 indicators of a vibrant Christian – Love passionately, Live authentically, Give generously, Go courageously. These are not exhaustive of what a Christian look like, but it’s a good start to be active disciples, not passive learners. We must help each other to obey in these ways to live out Christ’s commands.

But sometimes I just enjoy being a passive learner, and only obey when it suits me.

16
Apr
stored in: 2019

Today was my turn to lead staff devotions. Weeks ago I already thought of sharing about the good soil. But this being passion week I am obligated to focus on that instead. I enjoyed my own devo, I hope others did too. I usually enjoy my own lessons, which is a good sign I think. I grow from God’s Word as I study it and then distill it all down to a short lesson. Indeed the teacher gains more than the students, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

In preparation for Good Friday service, here’s my part of sharing the 7 last words of Jesus -

Third Word John 19:25-27

Woman, behold, your son!

Jesus was concerned about others even when he himself was suffering. In this case, he was devoted to care for his mother.

When Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” and to John the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”, the new relationship between Mary and John illustrates for us that He is creating the new covenant community—an expanded family that transcends earthly human bonds of blood and kinship. That family is the church.

Christ “purchased the church of God with his own blood (Acts 20:28) Jesus gave us a loving, caring, sustaining, encouraging church family.

Our church is a community of 5 congregations purchased by the blood of Christ, all represented here tonight – English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Youth and Children.

How are you embracing this new community bond by salvation? How can you reach across the aisle and care for someone in another congregation?

Take a moment now to greet those around you – and say “God’s peace be with you!”

14
Apr

Another joyful Sunday!

Our Perspectives speaker was great. He already learned Gujarati, and now he wants to learn Japanese. He’s only a few years younger than me. Yet he wants to learn the language because he has a heart to reach the Japanese with the gospel.

I have a hard time with language. I can barely speak English. I always think I’m too old to learn another language. I don’t even want to learn Chinese. I gave up the idea of being a cross-cultural missionary.

The speaker today gave me hope. He has 5 adopted children, homeschooled them, tutors at a mosque in order to reach Muslims, became a vegetarian in order to reach out to Indian International students, has a ministry to Chinese scholars at Caltech, just finished his doctorate, and now he wants to learn Japanese.

He gave me hope. If God wants you to do something, he will enable you. I have found this to be true in my life, but I’ve never experienced this with learning a language. But then maybe I never asked God to help me. I’ve never tried. There are always more urgent things to do. Maybe it’s a matter of priority and intentional effort. Maybe it’s having the confidence to lean on God to help me if I really believe this is what he wants me to do.

 

10
Apr

I honestly can’t remember what I do each day. Each day rolls into the next. All I know is I’m busy, I’m reading Perspectives, I’m doing church stuff which is my job.

Is this what life is? Is it like this for everyone? Before you know it, the year is gone, and you wonder, what did I do last year? I’m sure I did some good stuff, but I guess it doesn’t matter, it’s gone and life moves on to the next thing. Whatever I did that made a difference would have integrated into a part of life. It’s like a good meal, you enjoy it and it made you fat. But a year later, you don’t remember what that meal was, but it was a part of your life.

I am clearing out space in my email and saw attachments of pictures from almost 10 years ago of kids from my former church. I can’t point to anything specific where I’ve made a difference in their lives. It’s over, but the journey was fun. It was a part of life.

Maybe that’s one reason I want to write a book. Not to leave a legacy for people to remember me. A book is a tangible product that I can look and say, I did this last year.

05
Apr
stored in: 2019

Is it coincidence or God ordained?

I wanted to talk to one of the parents today. Usually I’ll just try to find people at church if I need to talk to them. This time I just thought thought I’d text him to give him a heads up. Later he told me he was just about to text me to tell me he wanted to talk to me when he got my text. He wanted to talk about the same thing.

He wanted to talk to me about his interest in volunteering, and it sounded like his skill-set is exactly what we need.

Another problem solved today regarding helping with a special needs child. I wanted to arrange a way to get a closer parking space for the family on Sundays so the child would be safer walking in. When I asked our Security volunteer about it, he said he already had in place a space where people can park temporarily to walk in children or the elderly. My problem solved without extra effort. So thankful.

God’s work done in God’s way is never short of God’s supply.

04
Apr

Perspectives reading this week focused on adapting cross-culturally. All the difficulties involved, issues I’ve never considered, made me appreciate long term missionaries much more.

And I feel like, I can’t be a long term cross-cultural missionary!

I read missionary biographies of their sacrifices, even when they are older like me. I always thought I want to give it a try. I guess my enthusiasm was all based on romantic notions. Now that I’m reading about the difficult barriers that have to be overcome, I’ve come to the sad truth that I’m just not made for that.

I know there are many other ways to contribute to the Great Commission and to reach the unreached. So now that I know I won’t go long term, I will focus on challenging myself to do what I can. The key word here is Challenge. I don’t want to stay within what I can do, I do still want to exercise faith to stretch, but just not long term cross-culturally.

A funeral yesterday is a reminder of how flitting life is.

When I was younger, I thought I had all the time in the world. Now I feel like I have no time at all. A year goes by and I wonder what I accomplished. Did I do the things that matter? Should I spend my time doing something else? Should I pursue writing a book before I die?

There is more expectation in today’s world to accomplish something noteworthy, to be YouTube famous, have a million followers on Instagram, or something like that. Our identity and our satisfaction is tied to something outside of us.

In the old days, in the American society generally rooted in Judeo-Christian values that is, people were satisfied to live a life pleasing to God and fellow man. Our identity and our satisfaction is tied to a general sense of God’s expectations (not that everyone was a Christian). I was a part of the end of that era before the age of the internet that changed life dramatically. Now we are in post-post-modern times, I don’t even know what that means really.

My point here is, how do I want to live? What do I pursue? I resist the cultural norms of the American dream of retiring to play golf in Palm Springs. No gathering seashells on the beach. Then what do I want? Specifically that is. Is writing a book the best use of my life?