“Sunday daughter”

The past Sunday a Spanish sister brought up the idea of “Sunday Christian” when we talked about her journey of finding a God-centered church in Boston. At that moment I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, yet after calling my grandpa in China tonight I was hit by a thought that I am such a Sunday granddaughter, niece, and daughter, and therefore not any better than a Sunday Christian.

I seldom call my mom – maybe once a week or every two weeks. I may have made my mom feel she was a burden – “I don’t want to bother you as you are so busy,” while I spent most of the time feeling lonely and bitter.

I visit my aunt every Sunday, even though she tells me to go back home any day. The family is so loving, yet I sometime feel visiting them is more like a duty.

Moreover, I thrilled my grandpa every time I called him – see how “often” I call him!

There’s no love in the flesh. There’s no life in the flesh. It is all about itself. It is dead.

God, I confess my self-centeredness. Could You please help me love? Could You help me keep Your commandments?

Holy Spirit, I need You. Please lead me and teach me and correct me. Shine Your light on my secret sins and I will repent in the presence of Your love.

Father, please remind me of what a Proverbs 31 woman is like – the woman who pleases Your heart and whom you desire Your daughter to be. I will keep knocking the door and seek You because You are my shepherd and my good Father.

Thank You!

Even though it is like a chasing after the wind…

“God is good. God is good.”

The way how Francis Chan preached it is just impressive. I like his sermons, especially the Fearless Part 2. I like how he describes the crazy love God gives and is.

It seems God is a crazy God for brother Francis. Hmm… Very cool.

God should be a crazy God for me as well, if the God is the same God of Francis, if He is the God of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Samson, Deborah, Gideon, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus.

But it’s so hard for me to relate to such a God. I don’t really know Him. I’ve always been the center and He’s been the peripheral. I’ve been striving so much to be a good Christian to make myself feel good and to win approvals. I’ve been turning to people, things, and myself when He alone can save. It is about me.

God is indeed crazy. God, You are crazy. But God, this head knowledge everyone may know is not enough. For I want to experience you deepest to my bones. My soul longs to know you. God, help my unbelief in your way, show me you are a good God.

God, help me!

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“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind,” the king said in Ecclesiastes 1:14. And this is how I understand it: Many beautiful things can happen in my life, yet they all will pass away and can never satiate me.

But even it is like chasing after the wind, I still want to try to keep the moments and laughters that give me happiness. (It’s sad when you think even the blog will pass away in the end. Or who cares?)

  • No.1: Grocery shopping at C-Market in Chinatown. When you see so many Chinese in front of various Chinese food, it makes you feel like you are shopping for the Spring Festival. It is even more real when you go there with two Chinese and buy food that will feed almost 150 people (and most of them are Chinese). Go try it if you can!
  • No.2: Drinking two glasses of red wine. You may have noticed Paul used to suggest Timothy drink some wine to warm his stomach. Haha. I like this Paul. So when my family and I had dinner tonight–Chinese food of course–I tried two glasses of red wine. It was so good! Uncle Dongxue made fun of my blush saying, “You don’t have to wear make-up, Daoxin, you look really pretty.” Haha. I like him more. See, human love is so conditional.
  • No.3: Light is on when you get home. The sweetness almost made me cry. “Yay! She is at home.” This is the best thing that can ever happen when you have someone in your life.

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I guess what I need to deal with seriously is to learn to how to face myself when I am alone and accept who I am – a sinful person with nothing good apart from God.

God, be with me!

Restart blogging: “See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43: 19a)

It’s almost been half a year. No updates — for fear that I would expose the self-justification, self-righteousness, self-pity, and self-consciousness deep inside of my broken soul.

Then all of a sudden I realized how many good moments I’d lost at the same time. I owed Him all those memories that could keep track of God’s love for me

how He graciously granted me the job at Northeastern University, how He accompanied and comforted me while I was waiting for the OPT card that took forever,NU CPS

how He brought two beautiful sisters in my life as my accountability partners,

Sisters

how He entrusted me with the leadership role at PSIF, how he provided me with a cozy apartment and a mentor-like roommate,rommate

how He has been strengthening my relationships with my mom and extended families, and most importantly, how He has been healing me according to His compassion and promises of forgiveness.

“2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103: 2-5, ESV).

“God doesn’t owe us anything. We owe Him everything,” a pastor (maybe P. Rick Warren?) once said. Indeed, as I am already dead to this world (and the world to me), whom should I live for? None but my Creator, Father, Redeemer, Savior, and Defender, Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace.

How I want to experience this longing for and trust in You more real! How I want to love You and follow You radically and single-mindedly? LORD, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24, ESV).

Yes, please help my unbelief, especially at this point of time — I’ve decided to apply for a doctor’s degree in higher education administration after this half year’s feeling lost and thus being speechless when asked “How are you doing?”.

Father, I surrender this plan to You because You are the LORD of all, because You know what You are doing, and because that’s what You command me to do. Yes, LORD, may this new challenge bring glory to You from the beginning to the end. Therefore, I will record my decisions and steps and Your answers here in this blog to witness to Your abundance and faithfulness.

I remember one day my Heavenly Father told me this in Isaiah 43,

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

And I will obey.

Passed!!!

Praise the LORD! Praise His mercy and grace!

After one week’s wait, I finally got notified I passed the COMPS. I felt so relieved and finally could take a deep breath and begin to look forward to the Commencement.

Passed the COMPS

Passed the COMPS

God’s power is made perfect in weakness. He is so good and faithful. He forgave my laziness and weakness. He taught me a lesson that I should do my utmost in my part and should not avoid taking responsibilities.

It was a fluke that I passed. Yet by His amazing grace, I was approved to get a master’s degree. Let me remember  how He blessed me in this case and keep improving on my weak points newly identified.

I praise Him and thank Him. With this grateful heart, nail the COM Theory final!

GOD is LOVE.

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

In the farewell party for Yurong and Steven this Sunday, brothers and sisters from PSIF read different versions of “love”: English, Mandarin, Thai, and Japanese. Lots of touching moments and joy (especially the Thai sisters’ hip-hop-like Thai verses and Yusuke’s “yummy” end). How great is our God!

Farewell Party for Yurong and Steven with PSIF family

Farewell Party for Yurong and Steven with PSIF family

Well, what made me recall the experience was just now I read some encouraging words from Pastor Liu Zhixiong’s book 《不一样的人生》:  “我们自己看起来不配,我们看自己也觉得不象的一批人,主耶稣却说:“就是你们这些人,我要托付你们,让你们做我的代表;我愿意让你们在生命的周围,去演一场我所成就的救赎给世人看我一方面战兢恐惧,但一方面,对于神的期盼,我是充满了感激

How marvelous it is that God trusts us! Thinking of this, I suddenly remembered this Monday when I was reviewing the love verses I replaced “love” with “God” (as 1 John 4:8 says “God is love.”), then the verses became:

“God is patient, Godis kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. God does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.”

How do you feel? Doesn’t it make sense?

  

All is well. All shall be well.

God is changing me: He is softening my heart and making it sensitive instead of sentimental. He is opening my eyes so that I can become aware not to “minimize oneself, maximize the difficulty, and forget God’ presence.”

The Merciful One blessed me to meet sister Lu this Sunday and read her testimony about the God-given position at Harvard yesterday. My tears bursted out and I was amazed by God’s peace, guidance and power during her application process. The verses she shared spoke to me as well because I myself is in a time of uncertainty and insecurity brought by school, job-seeking, and immigration status.

As I am writing, I suddenly realize all the burdens are put by myself. Facts are simply facts. It’s my attitude and thinking that make thing complicated. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)” It’s stupidity to enslave myself again by earthly desires and self-doubt, or from deep inside, doubts about God’s love and mights.

1 Unless the Lordbuilds the house,

the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lordwatches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves. (Psalm 127)

 

As a young Christian, I need God’s help and discipline to learn to trust Him more and surrender more. “Just do it.” should not be just a saying. So this morning, I am starting with thanksgiving again — because of Him, all is well, and all shall be well.

Hallelujah!

There’s no perfect choice on this earth. Career, relationship, investment, you name it, nothing will always work out. Yet as long as we invite God to take complete control, we can be assured that nothing will be out of control. The courage of “Just do it” comes from the faith in God. Take a leap of faith and figure things out by trying with growing patience and passion.

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