June 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
I woke up to the quietest sound from my alarm, it sounded like a gentle squeak. Immediately I looked over to check my clock and it was 07:18. I freaked out for a moment because I couldn’t comprehend what time it was and I knew I would be late for work. My alarm had been going off for eight minutes soundlessly. I finally understood what time it was and I was saved. I relaxed and felt grateful because God had woken me up. I thanked him.
Yesterday night I asked God to take away my sinful desires and temptation. As I struggled to persevere, I turned on my phone and put on some music. Tears rolled down my cheeks and peace followed afterwards. I had been carrying one too many burdens from the people who I was hanging out with yesterday.
I prayed for God to wake me up this morning which he did. The funny thing was that I always place my iphone on vibrate to wake me up because music or sound doesn’t work. Yesterday I did place my phone on vibrate, but when I placed my case back on my iphone… the case clicked and turned the silent to sound button on. I am very glad God nudged me this morning. He lifted me out of my dream so I wouldn’t be late for work.
With one day left, God has been preparing me to rely on him more. Even though there is only one day remaining, He is using all this free time to focus on him and prepare my hearts for the great adventure that lies ahead. I firmly believe that God will use this remaining time to develop a firm foundation between us.
I struggle with the idea that there isn’t enough time for me to become closer to God in a week, or in a day, or even in an hour or less. I want to regain the trust that I lost and to become fully dependent on Him again. I know it will take some time for me to give him everything, but I know God is always patient and accepting. His Love for me is far greater than my love for Him. In His time, He can make anything happen instantly, so placing all that I have into His hands is what I will do.
As I step forward into this wonderful co-leadership position in China with my Church (Granville Chapel), I become excited to see the work of God move throughout each one of us.
My spirit is waking up to become in tuned to God once again. Persevere! Love! Pray! Reflect!
June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
I woke up today feeling tired… I just want to sleep. I really didn’t want to go to Isaac and Rosy’s house today after work. In fact, I just wanted to go to sleep once I was done with work. This morning I received a message from my brother asking me to bring two of his ping pong paddles with two yellow balls to give to Isaac, who plans to go up to camp on Saturday to give to him. This was obviously a confirmation from God telling me to go to Isaac’s house after work. I didn’t know why God wanted me to go, but I knew he really wanted me to go.
Work was hectic and unlike other days, today gave me a huge headache. I work at White Spot as a Host/Food Runner (One thing I admire about working in a restaurant is that its busy and I get to meet many different kinds of people everyday!) Our computer system at work crashed and everyone of the staff was trying to calculate the cost of each bill by hand (The old fashion way to calculate things), it was slow and a headache for the most of us. For me and the other hostess, I tried helping serve food and drinks for the tables waiting, I couldn’t do much considering the whole network crashed. Sigh. I finally finished work and knowing I had to drop off the ping pong paddles and balls, I bused over to my friend’s house.
My headache stayed with me until I met Andy, another youth who walked in with me into Isaac’s house. During the first bit of my stay, I talked to Andy about China and then we played Badminton for a fair bit of our time. We ate pizza… I stretched and chatted with a few of the other youth. It was somewhat relaxing.
Now this is where I found God working within me…
All throughout the night, I knew one youth wasn’t feeling so well, but I didn’t ask them what was going on. I waited. Later on we went home together and he told me he has been struggling with something. At first he was thinking about not telling me what he was specifically struggling with. So I said that I didn’t mind if he told me or not. (It’s not my duty to pry into their lives and struggles and know everything, but it’s for them to tell me in their own time when they are ready.) I prayed for God to show up and bring peace over him. So I waited some more and when we sat together on the Canada line, he opened up to me. I also told him, “Again I will say this to you. It doesn’t matter what you do or for anything that you’ve done wrong, I will always forgive you because Jesus forgives us for when we sin and I want to be more like Jesus.”
I am so proud of him for opening up and sharing his struggle with me. I am honoured and grateful to be his brother and friend.
I believe God planned this conversation to spark up from this morning. From the moment I woke up and looked at my brother’s message to go to Isaac’s house… God was planning to use me even though I had no idea that he wanted me to talk to this youth. He lead me from one event to the other and gave me a purpose to follow once I was in the place he wanted me to be in. I simply obeyed and out from obeying, I saw his glory falling and blooming brightly within each one of us. We spoke truth, the living truth that brings us freedom and life.
Praise God for his Grace and abundant Love.
June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
I have been trying to ask God, “What is it that you want me to say or do?” Because it’s not about me, but it’s about you. Jesus is the centre of our lives and sometimes we think we are in the centre of everything. But it’s not about… “Me.” or “What I want or need…” We sometimes lose our focus on Jesus and become self absorbed.
But isn’t this journey about Jesus?
We are walking alongside Him. Joining Him on this crazy adventure because He loves us very much! I want to think about Jesus first and not about what I think would work out. Certain answers require God’s thoughts because sometimes our thoughts are judgmental and not uplifting. And so this is why I try to always ask God first on what I should do before regretting the decision that I’ve made.
Sometimes when a friend is crying, what do you do? Do you tell them that it’s all right? Do you wrap one arm around their side to comfort them?
Joe tells me to Tread lightly.
I try praying, encouraging, and loving my friend… but sometimes I feel like my words don’t get through to them. Sometimes I feel clueless on what to do next, but I know that God knows best.
I ask God, “What do you want me to do?”
Sometimes God doesn’t give me an answer in these precious times, but maybe that was the answer I was looking for. Silence. As they cry out to God, I pray… I pray for God to heal them, to show up and shower them with His unconditional and unfailing Love and Peace. Tears are needed for a wound to heal. — Then God shows up and He speaks to them.
When God shows up and speaks to them, it’s such a beautiful sight to see.
This is growth.
June 25, 2013 § 2 Comments
“Do not worry or be anxious about who you are or who you want to become.
I will change you.
I understand how a friend was feeling like… the other day we talked and he doesn’t want to be seen as a person who takes charge in situations. Even though sometimes, he takes charge and puts his foot down when some situations get out of hand. He doesn’t like to be that kind of person. In a similar way, I understand what he was going through because I am sometimes childish, but I don’t want to be childish… When I want to Fit In and have fun, I become childish as a default personality. How else am I supposed to have fun and not be childish or immature? Instead, I want to be a loving and gentle person, and still have fun in anything that I do. My friend and I become people who we don’t want to be and this feeling burdens us.
Why do I become childish?
I realized when I’m not rooted in the word of God every morning, I lose a sense of who I am in him and immediately try my best to fit in because I don’t feel like I don’t belong. In a way, I adapt to my surroundings so I’m not excluded – this feeling of unworthiness has been a life time struggle… everyday I grow more aware of what brings me down and what lifts me up. Lately, I have been losing my sense of who I am in God because I’ve been numbing my mind with games. This is the reason why I cannot worship God… I don’t want to reflect on his daily revelations because I am distracted by other things. Because my focus is not entirely on God and so my potential to grow and to listen to Him becomes limited.
What I do first in the morning shapes the rest of my day.
For a few days, two weeks ago, every morning after I woke up… I asked God to show me what he wants me to focus on for the day. A theme for my day: June 10, Love with all your heart. June 12, Do not be distracted, but rather focus your eyes on me. June 13, Sing your heart out and do not be afraid. June 14, Serve with all your heart. I noticed a change in my heart when I was focusing on what God wanted me to think about everyday.
I dwell on God everyday and I try to focus my eyes on him, even though there are plenty of distractions in my life to stop me.
God has been revealing many ideas and He’s been helping me to relate better to my friends’ struggles. I’ve been praying more and been trying to listen to what He wants me to do every day. I’m not worried about who I am because my eyes are focused on Jesus. He will change me and shape me according to His will in his perfect timing. This Friday, I will be going to China on a mission’s trip. I am one out of six leaders to lead a group of sixteen students. I know that God will grow me in every way, through my every struggle and challenge that I face, He will use it all for His glory.
Please pray for me as I walk with Jesus on this new adventure as a leader in China. I would love prayer for wisdom, guidance, a loving heart, and strength to rely on God for help when I need it.
June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14 (ESV)
Amanda, my friend and sister, who did Youth With A Mission with me in 2010-2011 brought an awakening Joy into my spirit. She visited me on Sunday and stayed until Thursday morning.
I am so thankful that she came to visit me because she was what I needed to wake up from my slumber. She was God’s gift to me.
In the Dominican Republic, one of our team members commented to Joe and Heidi that they were always themselves with their family as well as when they were leading the youth and the college and career group. Heidi said that they were the same at home as well as at work. I became inspired to be real like Joe and Heidi is real to everyone. I find it hard to be real and open in front of my non-Christian friends and my family. Yet, when Amanda was here, she allowed me to open up and be myself wherever and whenever. She was very encouraging to me because she spoke with wisdom and truth.
The moment Amanda said she wanted to come up and visit me, God had explained to me that she was going to help prepare me for China. Amanda was going to awaken my spirit so I could get back into the rhythm with God. God’s plan succeeded.
God loves using people to talk to me, through every word or action that they do – I am reminded of the Love of God.
I feel like God has transformed me to be myself in front of everyone. I am myself with my church friends, with my close friends, with my non christian friends, with my family, and even with strangers. It is Christ who shines brightly into me, and it is His light who brings me Joy and Peace.
Thank you Jesus for enabling me to be the one who you created me to be.
June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
I was helping my grandma at her house today.
I walked by her dining table and saw a pool of change laying there. I said to myself, “Look at all that bus fare…”
Later on as we were about to leave the house, my grandma went up to the dining table and scooped the pool of change into her hand and gave it to me. She said, “Use it for the bus.” I was about to put the the change into my wallet, but then she said, “No, don’t put it in there.” She opened a drawer and took out a small coin purse and told me, “Put it all in here.” Then she found another bowl of coins and gave it to me.
It was a small thought that passed through my mind earlier and God had heard it. It’s exciting because now I have plenty of coins for public transit.
June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
Elena, Christina, Lyon, and I attended the Kitsilano Showboat Swing Dancing event this evening.
I felt very stiff about going up on the stage and dancing because I was scared. Throughout the beginning of the evening, Elena gently asked me if I would like to practice dancing with her not on the stage, but on the concrete to become warmed up. I refused because I was not confident in myself at all. If anything, I was too shy to dance because there were so many spectators. Elena responded back, “That’s okay, just take your time.” Christina even asked me to dance later on, but I again refused because I felt like I couldn’t dance at all. And Elena who was sitting beside me said, “Brandon, take your time and do it when you are ready.”
Elena’s response reminded me of Elousia from the book, The Shack by William P.Young.
But while Mack could not stop the tears from filling his eyes, he was not ready to let go – not yet, not with this woman. With every effort he could muster, he kept himself from falling back into the black hole of his emotions. Meanwhile, this woman stood there with her arms outstretched as if they were the very arms of his mother. He felt the presence of love. It was warm, inviting, melting. “Not ready?” she responded. “That’s okay, we’ll do things on your terms and time…”
“That’s okay, we’ll do things on your terms and time”, that line strikes me with revelation. As I was sitting down and talking to Elena, I had said, “If only there was a lesson, I would learn the lesson and continue to dance afterwards.” Elena agreed that lessons generally help as icebreakers. Elena went up a few times to dance with random guys, but Christina, Lyon, and I sat around watching the brilliant swing dancers. Christina was asked dance by a kind man named Matt. He taught her the basics and she came back to sit with us. We sat around watching until, the same man who asked Christina to dance, asked if we have ever danced before. I immediately responded with, “No I’m not good at swing dancing.” The truth was… It’s not that I wasn’t good, I just had no confidence in myself at all. Matt’s encouragement to show and teach us a few short lessons brightened my heart. I felt relieved that someone was going to teach us how to swing dance. His friend Kara was my partner, while Matt was Christina’s partner.
We started off and learned the basics: rock step – triple step – triple step… then we went into learning the frisbee (relearning the frisbee because we’ve learned it before). One thing I can never understand is to attach the feet work with the moves so it looks smooth. Kara smiled and told me, “Just make it up.” We learned how to do the Octopus, going into the couple position, spinning out, and back into the basic form… then went into a barrel roll (which is somewhat dangerous), and then we ended with some kind of cross over our heads with our arms – I forget the move. I had a blast learning and relearning how to swing dance.
God sent someone to teach and show me how to dance, so I could dance freely and have fun. By the end of the event, I felt overjoyed that I danced on the stage with Christina because I overcame the fear with the help of God. God took an initiation and responded to my request, He loves me and wants me to not be frightened.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:3-8 (NIV)
I love how God has been listening to my complaints or my requests. He hears me and watches over me. It even feels like he is sitting beside me as I am typing up this post. I feel very encouraged and I hope you do too. The soft, gentle spoken words flowing out from his mouth and into my ears… He’s saying, “My son, I love you.” Warm, goosebumps, and fuzziness flows throughout my body. A soothing breath of air blowing into my spirit awakens my soul. This is peace. This is His unfailing love.
I ask myself, “Why is God doing this for me?” A loving voice responds, “Because I love you.”
Loving Voice: Because I love you.
Loving Voice: Because I love you.
Loving Voice: Because you’re worth it.
Oh. So this is love. God is love and now I understand.