Heartbeat

Most times I found it impossible to relate pop songs to worship. Yet as I was listening to Leehom Wong’s “Heartbeat,” my heart was melted by the love expressed through the song. “Your eyes are full of beauty, capturing my heartbeat. Your tenderness is so close, taking away my heartbeat.” When I closed my eyes and pondered on these lyrics, adoration for my Lord rose from my heart.  He was so close and captured my heart right away.

Oh on that day when we see Him, how much more we would love Him and how much more heartbeat we would have for Him, who has called us friends and loved us with an everlasting love! Oh yes indeed, “we love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, ESV)”

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (John 15:14-17, ESV)

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.
15 And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. (Hosea 2:14-19, ESV)

 3 the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah 31:3, ESV)

 

 

 

Praise God for sisterhood and bananas!

A Saturday morning when you don’t have to wake up unwillingly is simply beautiful. I shouted out “Kaka” to my roommate Rebecca as I opened my eyes because that was just so great to know someone you have full affection for is around. That brings life. As a side effect, the peace brought forth by life enabled me to stay lazy and naughty on my bed and laugh for no reason. This wa the first time in the past three months. Praise God.

Beauty also resides in routines. Something usual yet all-time-favorite to do every morning is to cook and eat breakfast: British-style crumpets with egg, ham and cheese, one half avocado, and a cup of soy milk. This morning, as a bonus for Saturday, I ate a half banana. (Nope, I ate it was because it was going bad.) But what could I do with the other two and a half banana-bread-ready bananas?

Alright, let’s be a good steward of the bananas God created — bake banana bread for tomorrow’s P-time. Because Mr. Olaf will show up, that would be a great time to show off penguins’ baking skills and I am certainly qualified as a representative. Therefore, it happens that I am standing in the kitchen and smelling the butter, banana, honey, and flour. (The online recipe doesn’t ask you to do honey, but you can use it instead of sugar. And yes, you can replace butter with olive oil. Innovation does not hurt.)

Gal's favorite

Gal’s favorite

God is good.

The penguin army couldn’t come into being if He didn’t put us together. It has been almost one year and a half since we knew each other. As we became accountability partners, we witnessed how God faithfully walked us through life transitions such as graduation, job search and entering/existing a relationship. God helped us to love each other through quality time and words of affirmation as I was recalling the sweet moments we chatted and prayed together at Trident, Pavement, Panera, Kung Fu Tea, and even my home. And who will forget the loving and silly emails, text messages, pictures, and smiling faces?

P-Time at Cafe Luna

P-Time at Cafe Luna

I don’t deserve this. I owe Him everything, yet He gives me Jesus. O, nothing but the blood of Jesus! You alone are my heart’s desire. And O Lord, seal my heart to adore Thee only.

“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)

Banan bread

Banana bread

Should I not praise God for bananas?

“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?

  

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