05
Dec
stored in: 2019

I’ve been holed up at home for the last 3 days in an effort to recover from my cough. Indeed I’ve gotten better, no longer feeling the tickle, the breathlessness, or the coughing fits. Voice is still hoarse.

I’ve enjoyed being at home without having to be totally in bed. It was nice taking it easy, didn’t do anything strenuous. I’m glad it was not a busy week at church. However, I did not exercise at all, not even stretching, and I’m feeling it.

There isn’t usually anything very time sensitive for my work except if I’m speaking or leading a meeting. Most of my work is behind the scenes and ongoing. It’s like the road work being done on Grand Avenue. You can set artificial deadlines to get done, but if you don’t meet the deadline, people can still drive on Grand. But when it’s done, everyone’s life is better.

Right now I’m working on training material for meetings next year, laying out the schedule for Worship Teams. I also want to put together a birthday package for families. Recruiting is ongoing based on relationships, so it’s not anything that has a specific deadline. Sending emails and texts to people to keep in touch and follow up can be done at home. I’m very thankful that I don’t have many stressful deadlines to meet.

The part of my job that I hate and feel very incompetent is organizing forms. I think I’ve said this before, and it still continues to plague me. It’s ongoing and hangs over my head. Yet this is a very important part of safety procedures for the department. I am praying for God to bring me the right person to organize things into a digital, searchable, accessible system. I am very sure there are people who actually love to do this kind of thing. I need to set a deadline to find this person.

I wanted to read more, but ended up surfing pinterest when I’m resting. I would normally feel guilty but since I’m sick, I can allow myself to be unproductive.

Bought our Christmas tree from Costco today. That’s been our tradition now. In the past, we go to Home Depot and look through every tree to pick one. At Costco there is no choice. Life moves on.

03
Dec
stored in: 2019

Even if I only have sniffles or a slight cough, I cannot go see my granddaughters. So today I’m staying home from work to get well. Praying that I get completely well quickly. Coughs tend to linger.

I basically rested from talking.

I was able to clean up my bedroom shelf a bit, which caused more sniffles because of the dust! I intended to be more brutal in decluttering, but there are just some things I can’t let go of yet…the Hello Kitty tin tea container I got from the Taiwan airport a few years ago…Also found a useful monocular that we can take to the next musical, whenever that would be.

My hubby has been very productive in cleaning the garage, so I am pushed to do my part.

 

02
Dec

Children worship volunteer 1: It went well today.

CW Volunteer 2: There were fewer children, many were absent.

CW Volunteer 1: One particular child was absent made the difference! :P

I caught something over Thanksgiving, and sort of lost my voice. I was thinking of not going to church but I woke up feeling ok. I’m glad I went to church: I was able to see someone whom we invited to church and came for the first time. I wasn’t expecting to see her. I saw my daughter’s childhood friend whom we had brought to church when she was young. Through the Christians at UC Berkeley she came to Christ and remembered how we used to bring her to church. I do think there is a movement of God at Berkeley. I was able to meet some of the 20+ students from Panama who came to visit because of our Panama STM.

I tried not to talk too much because of my voice, but people would think I’m being unfriendly.

We went to Candlelight Pavilion with a group at church. We bought tickets with the group a couple months ago not knowing who was going. It turned out there were 40 people. “This is the 50+ ministry!” “This is a better turn out!”

I said next to someone I didn’t know too well. I know some sensitive information in her background shared confidentially among the pastoral staff. I’ve prayed for her and wanted to ask how she was doing with that, but I couldn’t, in case she didn’t know that I know. I don’t like having confidential information. I have to pretend I don’t know certain things. But it does give me the privilege and opportunity to pray for people and rejoice at answered prayers, whether I get to talk to them about it or not.  Because of my throat, I couldn’t talk to her as much as I would’ve.

My daughter had a full and busy day as well and we were able to talk a bit about our day before bed. What a joy to have her live at home. I don’t want to get used to it because it won’t last forever. At least I hope it doesn’t…I don’t want her to live with me forever. I’ve never encouraged our adult kids to come back home to live. But it doesn’t make sense for my daughter to move out. She wants to be close to church, and we live 4 miles from church…

 

I got this free book by Bill Gaultiere when I went to his free seminar. I like free.

I wasn’t sure if I’d want to read this since I have a stack of books I’m working through (wish I could read faster!) But I’m glad I did. There are better books out there on this topic but I did gain a few insights that help me in my walk with Jesus.

The main takeaway is the idea of taking on Jesus’ yoke that is light. How is his yoke light when he had so much to do and certainly did not have an easy life?

The way that Jesus lived connected to his Father and doing his Father’s will is what makes his yoke light. He is not detracted or distracted. His priorities are in line with his mission. He knows when and what to say yes and no to. We learn to live this easy yoke by first submitting to King Jesus and then be his apprentice in Kingdom living p. 52. It’s just another way of saying be his disciple.

I skimmed the last two chapters because it was getting repetitive with more common sense than direct Scripture insights.

I wouldn’t put a priority in reading this book, but it was not a hard read, and I’ve completed my November book.

24
Nov
stored in: 2019

Teacher: How many people do you think live in Los Angeles?

3rd grader: zero?

I think she thought it was a trick question.

Teacher: What percentage of people do you think are Buddhist in Myanmar?

2nd grader: 5?

Teacher: much more than that.

Another second grader: 7?

Children’s perspective of size is always interesting. They have a limited view of what big is.

That must be how we are to God. We don’t know how big God is.

When we pray for something, God says I am much bigger than that.

And then we only ask a little bit more.

We have a limited view of what big is in God’s view.

Kids teach me so much about God.

—-

After having people here, I always say to my husband, let’s have people over more often. And then I don’t take any steps to do it.

But I share in Mom’s Fellowship that it’s something I want to create as the tone in our home life.  I’m going to try to go ahead and set some dates for 2020 to invite people over as part of the rhythm of our life.

19
Nov
stored in: 2019

Some people can journal all their thoughts. I am not one of those people.

I like to reflect, but I don’t write it all down. It’s too much to write and it’ll take too long. During STM I do write my thoughts. And it is great to read them, to remember what God taught me. I’ll try to journal main points as God shows me.

I found out that one of the parents I know, whose kids I love, is in charge of badminton at church now. So I’m going to try to go on Thursday, for exercise and to hang out with them.

13
Nov
stored in: 2019

The thing about working in Christian ministry is that you can’t call in sick when you’re not really sick.

I felt tired tonight and wanted to skip prayer meeting. But I can’t justify calling in sick. So I went to prayer meeting and I’m glad I did. It’s good to pray with the church. Honestly I pray for things there that I don’t pray for at home.

 

12
Nov
stored in: 2019

Staff lunch today. I always get to pick the place because they know I have a sensitive stomach.

Today I chose California Fish Grill. It’s so good, but most of us were not full even though it was a good portion.

Appreciate the guys for their wisdom and dedication.

What I learned today:

I heard on a podcast how to ask intentional questions in a friendship – go from external, to internal, to eternal. What’s happening, how do you feel, what is God’s eternal perspective. I shared that at staff meeting today that it’s also helpful to think through that for sermon prep. They liked it.

Pastor Albert, in answering criticisms of Operation Christmas Child, said people have hijacked OCC to mean what it was never intended to do. No project can solve all the problems of poverty, and no endeavor will be free from all criticisms. Our church has merely chosen OCC as a way to encourage giving a gift to children across the world to express Jesus as our ultimate gift. I agree. Whether you give a goat or a water well, or even sponsor a child, there are downsides to every project. But it doesn’t mean we don’t do any of it.

I am glad that the English team is going to do more future planning of the calendar into 2021 so we can build one thing upon another rather than going from year to year with no connection. This is what I need and would help me in my ministry. This is where I feel inadequate in my job. I think if it was someone else is in my position, they would have started 5 years ago with a plan to take CM where they want it to be, whatever that may be. I have a general idea of what I want to head towards, and wait for the door to open in that direction.

A good example is JOG. I want JOG to be a big part of our church. I talk to people about, share why I think this is a ministry we should embark on, support it and advocate it in any way I can.  But I’m looking for open doors. It’s starting to crack open more now, so I’m excited for what God will do. But I don’t particularly have a step by step plan to get people onboard. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but then having a plan is good.

 

11
Nov
stored in: 2019

From Sunday Children’s Worship:

1st grade girl: Does God need food?

Me: Why do you ask?

Girl: I mean, does he die?

She asked this question after I gave a message about the sin of Adam and Eve. The idea of eating a fruit that leads to death must have prompted that question. I thought I was very clear in explaining our first parent’s rejection of God. You never know how kids process what you say.  So when we explain something to a child, never assume they understood.

3rd grade girl: Why did God put that tree in the garden if they weren’t suppose to eat it?

That is an excellent question that did show understand. When teaching kids be ready to answer hard questions.

I evaded it by saying it was a good questions that will take another message to answer. Maybe I’ll answer that in the next message I give. It’s too good to pass up.

Today Monday:

I was thinking of skipping the drive to LA to visit my granddaughter this week, but since it’s Veteran’s Day holiday, we took advantage of the lighter traffic and went. She is much more fun now with more expressions, but still sleeps a lot.

I am proud of my daughter for being a good mom. I made sure I told her that because I could come off as critical. Every mom has to make hard decisions for the care of her baby. I will not agree with all her decisions. But as I say to other grandparents, including my own parents, we’ve had our chance, now give your kids the chance to parent their way. I never wanted advice from my mom nor my MIL. I wanted to do it my way. I cannot impose my views on my kids. But inadvertently I do. So I have to counteract that by purposely telling my kids that I am proud of the way they are taking care of their babies.

I also tell them they never have to take my advice no matter how insistent I may come across. Another new grandma and I were talking about this on Sunday. We agree we have to zip our mouths. I’ve unzipped my mouth too many times.

Saturday, November 10 was our 35th wedding anniversary.

At the Japanese restaurant where we celebrated:

Me: Do you do something for anniversaries? It’s our anniversary today.

Waitress with broken English: No, I’m sorry, we don’t.

Me: You mean you don’t do anything for birthdays and anniversaries?

Waitress: Oh, birthday yes. Oh what is anniversary?

Me: It’s our wedding anniversary.

Waitress: Oh yes, I can give you green tea ice cream and melon.

On the bill: complimentary birthday ice cream

Yay!

 

 

04
Nov
stored in: 2019

God gives us word pictures in the physical world to show us spiritual realities.

My granddaughter gained almost 6 pounds in 2.5 months just from drinking milk. She’s grown not only in size but in relational interactions and self expressions.

Our spiritual life should be like that, drinking the pure milk of the Word, and graduating to solid food of truths of the Word to grow strong in our relationships with God and people.

I’m getting very forgetful. I should do some Sudoku. They say learning a new language is very good for the brain. I’ve listened to the same Chinese sentences on YouTube many times and still don’t remember the word for table and chair…

Looking forward to shopping with my hubby tomorrow for our OCC box.

Two weddings to attend before the end of the year. Lost count of how many baby showers we invited to this year. Went to one last Sunday, that might be the last one.

Counting down to Christmas, bought more lights to hang outside.

 

 

03
Nov
stored in: 2019

“Nobody wants to do your job!” A friend at church said that to me yesterday.

My response: I do! I have fun with it!

Her response: Well, that’s your personality.

I thank God that He gave me a personality that loves this type of ministry. I know there are others who would love to do this full time too. I am praying that one of them will take my place. I’m just being realistic that I’m not getting any younger. A few more white hairs are coming in. I think I can still count them, on 3 hands!

Sundays are tiring because I don’t get to eat lunch till almost 2pm. I now bring my fatty bone broth to drink throughout the morning to keep me full. It works great. But after 6 hours without food I am tired. Since I cannot snack or eat on the run, I have to hold out until I can sit down to a nice meal of meat and veggies. I wish God gave me a cast iron stomach like my husband’s.

“How are your birds?” A boy with autism asks me that every time I see him. It does get a bit repetitive but I love that he comes up to give me a hug and talk to me, even if it’s the same question every single time :)

“Do a squat and let me see how you do it.”  Got some free PT advice from a PT student today. Clarified on the proper way to do a squat, in front of the worship hall at church haha! Also learned a different way of stretching my hamstrings. “Wow they are really tight, like a rock!” Would’ve been nice if she was referring to my muscles instead of my hamstrings!

“We are church hopping.” Saw a friend at our church today. I asked, why are you here? It always saddens me to see friends come from another church. I don’t want them to leave their church. That means something is wrong and that’s not good for the Kingdom of God for any church to have problems.

“I am going to the English service to improve my English.” I introduced a mom of 3 kids to the Mandarin SS teacher to encourage her to go. I often see her sitting outside, not actually attending English service. Now that she told me she goes to English service, and if I see her outside not in service…what do I do? I don’t want to police people but if she brings her kids to church, she is not doing them any favors if she is being a hypocrite.

 

I got this free book by Bill Gaultiere when I went to his free seminar. I like free.

I wasn’t sure if I’d want to read this since I have a stack of books I’m working through (wish I could read faster!) But I’m glad I did. There are better books out there on this topic but I did gain a few insights that help me in my walk with Jesus.

The main takeaway is the idea of taking on Jesus’ yoke that is light. How is his yoke light when he had so much to do and certainly did not have an easy life?

The way that Jesus lived connected to his Father and doing his Father’s will is what makes his yoke light. He is not detracted or distracted. His priorities are in line with his mission. He knows when and what to say yes and no to. We learn to live this easy yoke by first submitting to King Jesus and then be his apprentice in Kingdom living p. 52. It’s just another way of saying be his disciple.

I skimmed the last two chapters because it was getting repetitive with more opinions than Scripture basis.

I wouldn’t put a priority in reading this book, but it was not a hard read, and I’ve completed my November book.

01
Nov

Seven years ago when I came to this church, I felt like a stranger, a visitor, in what is suppose to be my church home.

I came from a small church where I was for over 20 years. I knew everyone, everyone knew me. I go to church and see all my friends. We’ve had many shared experiences, know each other well, give each other grace because “well, that’s just the way they are and we love them.” It was a church family.

Seven years ago when I transitioned to this church, I only knew a handful of of people. Most people didn’t know me. We’ve had no shared experiences to understand each other. Everyone else knew each other. They talked and laughed as old friends. I felt I was intruding into their family time. I felt left out, a feeling I’m not used to at my old church. I remember saying I didn’t like working at a church because I felt like I was just “hired” to do a job. It didn’t feel like ministry because ministry is always about the people.

Seven years later, I am fully integrated into the church. Even with over 1000 people, I know a lot of them, and they know who I am. Some have become close friends. When I come to church, it feels more like a church home. I am still here to do a job but it’s with people I know and love.

A person told me on Sunday that I seem to know a lot about what goes on and involved in many things at church. I take that as a compliment. My former small church was a church plant. I still have that mentality of being in everyone’s business, and serving in many areas. Everyone should know everyone. We should not limit ourselves to certain age groups of demographics.

I imagine it’s quite hard for a newcomer to feel comfortable at our church of 1000+. It takes time, it takes intentional efforts to make friends. It took me 3 years to get comfortable, and that’s with me being on staff and being here all the time and making efforts to talk to people. It takes effort on our part to not alienate new comers. It would help if we just treat them like old friends. Just jump right into it, I don’t like going through all the politeness. That would make me feel like always a visitor.

 

I did not technically read this book. I read the beginning third of the book, and skipped to the last 2 pages to find the murderer. I didn’t want to waste time with the details in the middle.

I read slow so unless the writing style is one I can follow easily, I read even slower. This book was somehow hard for me to read. Maybe I’m just not that interested in the characters. I didn’t feel any connection with them to want to know what happens to them. It’s so hard to write a good book, it’s so hard to be a good author.

This is the second Tey book I read. I’m not too motivated to read another right now.

31
Oct

God is so good to our family! My son and DIL, after experiencing the stillborn death of their firstborn last year, just gave birth to a healthy baby girl. They say only 5% of babies are born on their due date. She’s in that 5%, born on her due date of October 30. God graciously granted the parents desire of their daughter not be born on Halloween.

Being grandma hasn’t changed my life other than using up my day off to visit them.

My couple of my friends go to their daughters’ house to babysit their grandkids regularly, 1-2 days a week. I suppose if I wasn’t working I could do that. It sounds fun but tiring. We are grandmas, not moms anymore.

I’ll be building into my schedule to visit one granddaughter in LA and one in OC. Of course they have to live in opposite directions!

My job now is to pray for the next generation.

Pastor Albert says we are not naturally drawn to pray. That is true of me. In our culture of activities and productivity, prayer is seemingly a useless passive activity. But as a grandma I can do nothing for my kids but to pray.

28
Oct

We’ve been driving out to LA to see our granddaughter every Monday on my day off.

Roundtrip driving time is over 2.5 hours. We try to be productive with that time – catching up, listen to Mandarin lessons on Youtube, bouncing off ministry ideas. But it’s still a long drive to me.

Yes, I know some people do this drive, and longer everyday. But we are not used to this kind of commute. I don’t know how people do it! It’ll take a few years off their life with this daily commute.

We spend 4 hours with my daughter and granddaughter. I leave the house at 9:30am and get back 4:30pm. That’s 7 hours of my day off. Yes, I love seeing them, but it’s not a relaxing use of my day off.  I cook lunch there in an unfamiliar kitchen. The drive makes me nervous, even with my husband driving, and he is a good driver.

I wish they would move closer. They will probably do so eventually. In the meantime, I’m getting a Tesla just to feel safer with this drive. It’s suppose to be here in 6-8 weeks!

I don’t care about cars, I don’t care about the color. I don’t care if my new car gets scratched. It’s just a mode of transportation. I don’t care about having a Tesla. I just want a safe drive weekly to see my daughter and granddaughter and not get nervous during the drive. A plus is not to have to get gas.

Before my granddaughter was born, Monday was a relaxing date with my husband. We’d go to Costco, go eat lunch, go to Lowe’s, go to Huntington Library. Find a park to walk around. I miss those relaxing times with a bit of exercise.

I’m not a good grandma. It’s been hard for me to go see my granddaughter. I envy the grandmas at church whose grandkids live in close by suburbs. But then I suppose there are the grandma’s whose grandkids are hundreds of miles away…so I can’t complain.

I read this easy children’s missionary biography to keep up with reading one book a month. (I actually read 2-3 books at one time, switching back and forth when I get bored with one.)

I had not heard of Grenfell. He is a contemporary of Hudson Taylor in the early 1900′s. Those were the golden years of missionaries being sent from England.

God used Grenfell’s love for the outdoors and for adventure to go to the remote coast of Greenland to reach fishermen. It reminds of a post I read that it takes a bit of an adventure spirit to do cross cultural work.

He married a woman 20 years younger than him when he was in his 40′s. But she died of stomach cancer in her 40′s, and he outlived her to 75.

Under Grenfell’s leadership, many social and economic changes were made to better the lives of fishermen. It’s encouraging to know the influence we can have to help an entire society if we are committed to God’s work.

He was asked by D. L. Moody if he regrets not making a lot money as a doctor. The answer was of course no. There is no greater joy than using his skills as a doctor to lead people to Christ.

I’ve read quite a few of these children’s missionary biographies published by YWAM. They are very inspirational, and of course fast reading.

17
Oct

I like baskets, glass jars, and craft material. You never know when you need those.

Actually I don’t really use baskets that much but I can’t explain why I like them. My husband says they take up too much room in the garage. It’s true. I’ve held back on getting more. I haven’t gotten a new basket for a long time. I saw a nice one at a thrift store for only $4! I talked myself out of it; there was a slight imperfection though the quality is good. Whenever I go to a thrift store, I always check out baskets. Never buy new. I need to give away the ones I don’t love so I can be guilt-free to buy more!

Some people like mugs, I don’t care to collect them. So that’s how I justify my collection.

We’ve been watching Tiny Homes on Netflix. When I declutter, I pretend I’m going to move into a tiny home. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of enough to do that. Baskets, glass jars, and craft materials, and oh books also, will take up the entire tiny home.

God gave me the inspiration I need to give the message in Awana tomorrow. I’m excited now to finish writing it up.

15
Oct

I don’t like it when something is not done efficiently. I get impatient with people like that.

I am impatient with extra slow clerks, or when my husband doesn’t run a yellow light.

I don’t like it when I am not efficient.

Maybe that’s why it’s hard for me to sit down to read. I am such a slow reader, I’m so inefficient. I’ll just go do something where I feel some sense of accomplishment.

I am very impress with high production people.

I wonder if there’s a core issue that I should deal with. I remember my father was an impatient man who had to work efficiently in running a busy restaurant. He told us to never take one dish to the kitchen to be washed; always bring as many dishes as you can to save making extra trips. Always fill both hands. I find myself using this principle when I am cleaning the house.

I am trying to let go of this idol by thinking of something else when driving other than which lane is faster, and not giving an impatient glare at the slow clerk at Vons.

I have to consciously fight this impatience of inefficiency. There are many things at church that are inefficient and I don’t want to be critical of the church. I am the problem too, I am inefficient. Look how long it’s taking me to get a soft pad for the preschoolers play area!

 

12
Oct
stored in: 2019

I immediately applied the principle in this One to One book to read the Bible with a friend.

A friend told me she’s been struggling with consistent Bible reading. So I said, why don’t we read the Bible together. We are starting with Galatians, one chapter a day, and will text each other with an insight/application each day to keep each other accountable to reading the Bible.

I know it’s not exactly what the book suggests, but I was quite happy that I am able to use this idea from the book. If I didn’t read the book, I don’t think I would’ve thought of reading the Bible together. It’s not often that I can put a book’s idea into immediate practice.

It seems so obvious, yet how often do we read the Bible with someone? Unless you were in a formal Bible Study group, one to one Bible reading doesn’t seem to be a common thing. My daughter is doing that with a friend. Everyone should be doing this!

Another thing the book motivated me to do is to use the Bible more in counseling children at church. Yes, I know the Word of God is central, but I forget to use the Word directly instead of just telling the children the principles.

I told the disciplers of Children Worship to counsel a particular boy with Galatians 5:22-25 by reading the verses with him every week. Instead of saying to the children we should live out the fruit of the Spirit, we should show them the verses.

As I myself looked at the verses, I think the most important verses there are not v 22-23 as most people focus on. What is more useful is verses 24-25: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

The children should know that Christ has crucified our fleshly desires. We can live by the Spirit, resulting with the traits of the fruit of the Spirit.