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Showing posts from January, 2012

Calling?

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I got this message in my facebook inbox today. "Hi Jason, our 2012 OJ planning will start soon. I wonder if u and your friends want to join us this year. If you do, I can send you the helper application form this year. Actually, I see if you have interest in running the kids camp as director too." The past two years, i've been doing OJ during the summer. There were tears, there was laughter, there were definitely many memories made. This year, im dealing with the conflict between China + Vacation vs. OJ + Summer Camps. This year, i dont know if its his calling, but i've felt drawn towards family. Building that relationship with them, and recently i temporarily, kinda officially decided to go to China, to spend the final few months with them. But then i get this. To be honest, i think i saw it coming, but i dont know. Is this God calling me back to Quebec? What does this mean? I've thought about this, if its God calling if they ask me to be director. What should

4 out of 5.

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"dont get swept away by the waves of temptation" On Sunday we went to sunday school class, as always, and the overall theme/lesson was campus life, first year, and what we'd encounter. And we talked a LOT about drinking, partying, priorities, and temptations. I dont know what it was, whether if it was the video, how they created it, the music, the stories, but a lot of it was about drinking, and it made it all seem really real. It made it seem like, that was the biggest thing we'll encounter, and that thats all that campus life is about. Im hoping its not, but we'll find out. There were stories from going to the hospital, and getting sexually assaulted, and it was just all in my face. But then the next bit was what hit me the most. "4 out of 5 Christians fall away from Christ when they head to University." I've heard this several times, but i guess seeing it, and the fact that i was sitting in a room filled with graduates that are in groups of

Magic Food

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Its almost everyday, im upstairs and i hear my parents call "sik fann!" (let's eat!) and i think i've always been taking it for granted. That the food just magically appears on the table each time. Until today. They called it and i was thinking, about all the hard work and effort to get the food onto the plate and in my mouth. From bringing in the money to buy the food, driving to get it, picking it out, paying for it, storing it, seasoning it, washing it, cooking it, plating it and then finally eating it. And this isnt a once in a month thing. Its not a once a week thing either. Its a 3 times a day thing. And i think its always been in the back of my mind, but i dont think i've fully realized how blessed we are. That we have family and parents that are willing to put their time, money and effort into getting the food on the table. We have to continuously learn to be thankful. Of our family, or friends, but most important, of our Saviour. We definitely take thi

Holiness Is A Harvest.

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"What you see in your spiritual life today is the direct result of what you've put in the soil of your life in days past... the difference between the person who grows in holiness and the one who doesn't is not a matter of personality, upbringing, or gifting; the difference is what each has planted into the soil of his or her heart and soul. So holiness isn't a mysterious spiritual state that only an elite few can reach. It's more of an emotion or resolution or an event. Hoharvested a harvest." - Joshua Harris

Why Not With God?

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This thought just popped into my mind. Today i found was one of the most productive days i've EVER had academically, how much was good and will stay in my mind? i have no clue, but i was able to study 3/4 of my math course, and i completely my first round of studies. I couldnt believe it. I was blasting music, singing along, but i was surprised i wasnt tempted to check twitter, facebook, i wasnt even tempted to have breaks. Even times when i said "you deserve a break", i wouldnt, i was totally in the zone and the momentum contuinued to carry. Working from 11am - 8pm (with breaks of course, lunch and dinner, and my... occasional get up, dance and sing moments), it was extremely efficient and im so proud of myself. But now sitting down, thinking about what to post, a question popped into my mind, why dont we spend this much time and put this much effort into our relationship with God? Why cant we do this with God? Is it cause we're not being marked? Because it doesnt

Dust Bunnies

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Today as I sat down to start my studies, i was all prepared, organized, and set up, until i swept my finger across my desk where i dont often use. And... dust. i hate dust. It actually bothers me so much that it can get anywhere, and just lingers, and they're all little particles. And this some swipe spiralled into a massive clean up. I wiped down my ENTIRE desk, including all the different levels, and just EVERYTHING. This then moved onto cleaning my drawer top and then that lead to moving my books.... and in the midst of all that, i came to realize. This is what we were made from. God made Adam out of dust. And like Ecclesiastes 3 says, 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. This kinda goes back to the SNA message this year

Priorities.

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With all of us in the midst of exams, i think we've all been caught up studying and studying and studying. I have to say that i have put God a bit behind, for instance, devos are things i'd leave off till later, and just everything spiritually seems to be falling apart. They're attached, but falling apart. Like today, i've been studying since 3:30, till 10:30 (with breaks of course), but its just been study study study. Im happy and impressed that im so focused, but may we remember that we cant let it get the best of us. I think at the moment, its okay, since its just this time period, but if you're one of those people who are crazy about their marks and academics, or even more than that, if you're materialistic or prideful, take some time to reflect on your priorities, and see if its an idol. It gets bad when you put it ahead of God and ahead of things that really matter. Learn to balance it out. Yes, studies are important, but dont let them over take what

Lamentations 3:22-23

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22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Kelly shared this verse on Sunday and its been my iphone wallpaper since. I never knew it said that in the Bible and i love how great of a reminder it is. Each new day, God has given us new mercy, and a new chance. This doesn't mean you can just mess up your day and sin because the next day is new, but it means that our God is a gracious, loving and forgiving God. If you realize and confess your sins, he will forgive. The past is the past, what matters is that you change in the present and you keep the momentum going for the future. I think we ought to remind ourselves daily of this, that God is good and that his love for us is eternal and overflowing. Praise God! verse of the day: Psalm 136:1 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Filler Up!

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"Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts." - Colossians 3:16 (NLT) Let the message FILL YOUR LIVES. I found this so important. I've tried to many years and have made it my resolution to memorize Bible verses, to be constantly drowning in his love, his word, his promises, and his life. I've struggled with doing this for a while now, i've tried to read the bible, doing devos and i think this year, it really kicked in. Doing devos here is definitely a challenge sometimes, but its worth it. We need to continuously be reminded to look and focus on the cross. Doing a devo blog with other friends for sure keeps you more accountable. And i love the end result as well, reading what i've written and what i've learnt. Memorizing bible verses, recently i got an iPhone, and i downloaded this app, Phonto! Bas

Reminders.

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These are just my quick notes and thoughts from today's sermon on "How to Deal with Shame and Guilt". I found the message today really relevant to me and what im going through. Questions For The Heart: a) Do you despise yourself and think you are a fake? b) Do you discount your positive characteristics and feel you do not deserve praise? c) Do you brag about your flaws? d) Do you destroy your own personal success? - it isnt healthy to dwell on these things and let it take over our lives! To be honest, when reading these questions, i think yes is my answer to most of them if not all of them, and its not the best trait of mine. The series is called "Being More Confident" (or something along those lines), but i really am not. I do look down upon myself, and i never trust and have confidence in my work. I made it my resolution to be more confident about myself this year. See how it goes. Yah know, once i saw the title of the message today, i knew God was whispe

Driving With God

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Here's a quick story for y'all. So today i drove to go pick up my mom from church before we went off for afternoon tea, and in the church parking lot, my dad prompted me to back into a parking space. He taught me a LONG time ago, with the 2.5 parking space rule and all. But today, i absolutely had no idea what was going on and what to do, but i didnt really wanted to seem ... dumb or blanked out, so i just guessed and tried it. I failed, and parked with the parking line directly under me. I remember when i was learning it, that my dad said that we just have to follow the 2.5 rule. It works if you follow it and although you may not see it, it works. And i guess thats kinda how it works with God too. There are so many "rules" and commands he gives us, and sometimes, we dont think it'll work and we try to rely on ourselves, or we dont believe him and try something else, but we fail. We need to learn just trust Him and know that it'll work and you'll succ

Because He First..

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Because He First Loved. Because He First Forgave. Because He First Shined. Im reading this eBook by John Piper called "Exposing The Dark Work of Abortion", and i've only read the intro, but this one thing stuck out to me, which i think, like everything else i've been writing about, is a great reminder. We follow Christ and we do what we do because he did it first. To sum up what he wrote, he went through 4 passages: IT DOES NOT SAY: "We dont forgive because then we will earn forgiveness from Christ." (Eph 4:32) - we forgive because we have already been forgiven. IT DOES NOT SAY: "We dont imitate Christ to then be adopted." (Eph 5:1) - the verse says as LOVED CHILDREN, we dont need to do something to be his child because we already are. IT DOES NOT SAY: Walk in love so that Christ will start loving us and give himself up for us."(Eph 5:2) - Its Christ loved us and gave himself for us, and THAT is why we walk in love. IT DOES NOT SAY:

What Was He Thinking?!

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Just thinking about it now, since i didnt know what to write, that there are so many things we do not notice, but shows our God's greatness and complexity. I think i've said this before, but the things we learn in school, when you think of it with God in mind, its actually fascinating. Biology for example. I remember learning last year about all the different systems, and specifically the digestive system, which is amazing. I learnt that in the stomach, its extremely acidic to break down foods, but have you ever wondered why it doesnt eat away at your intestines when it enters? Its because sodium bicarbonate is released to neutralize the acids to avoid it from damaging your insides. Isnt that just mind blowing? Take Chemistry too, i was just studying it and we're currently learning about theories, and its amazing to see how much effort, time and money we're putting into science, just trying to understand how the earth moves, why things happen, but in the end we have

Clearing The Air: Baptism

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Baptism. I feel like many people dont fully understand the meaning behind it and its purpose. I think many people think its something only the "super spiritual" can do. And to be honest, i thought it was like that too. I felt that i had to be completely sinless, or at least "above a certain level of holy" to be able to get into it. I remember during that time, when i was making my decision, i was struggling, and i felt that i had to overcome the struggle before i would step into the water. But i've come to learn that Baptism is nothing like that. In a nutshell, baptism is your public declaration of your commitment to Christ. I guess you can say its like a marriage. Its that kind of public declaration. You are telling the world, without shame and with confidence that you are a follower of Christ. But we must also understand that a commitment to Christ is a BIG DEAL. You can just choose to give up or walk away. God does give us free will and will let us go if

Clearing The Air: Salvation Doesnt Equal Works

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Many people think like this, and i think its needed to clear it up and get it out once and for all. Salvation does not come from good works. God does not list down every good or bad work, and then weigh it and then decide if you are "worthy". That isnt how it works. Many MANY people think that doing these good works gets you into heaven. Many people do good works just to feel good about themselves. But as followers of Christ, thats not really how it works. I've learnt that its more of the other way around. We've confessed, repented, and believed, and through our faith we have been saved. Believing that God sent his only son to die for us, that he took our sin and died, but more importantly rose again. He's the reason we live, and because of this sacrificial act, we're thankful and we're grateful. Thats why we choose to live out his name and reflect his nature and character, through those good works. Let us continue to spread and share the good news and

Seek Eternity

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2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2) So many things are going on in life. There noise and commotion, may it be physical, emotional or spiritual. But my very great and wise mentor said "set your eyes on Jesus". Everyday we're surrounding by the things of this world, from gadgets and toys, to beauty and vanity. And yes, obviously, we're LIVING in THE WORLD, but like i said, we're living IN the world, not OF the world. We arent a part of the world and we dont indulge in worldy matters, we're only using it as our temporary home. I really wanted to focus on that verse above, 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2) Things on this earth will most definitely seem tempting, and intriguing but let us look further. Christ has so much more in store for us in heaven (John 14:2) . More than we can ever imagine, more than gold and silver, better than the latest gadgets, i cant even describe it to

Clearing The Air: The Good Life

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Ha, wonder if this will turn into a series, but i dont know if anymore will come after this one. This is also a biggie. We'll just jump right into it. Becoming A Christian does NOT EQUAL A Good Easy Breezy Life. Many MANY people think becoming a Christian and accepting God will make life so much better, he'll handle everything, and it'll just be a breeze. No more sadness or suffering, no tears, just joy and happiness. In FACT, becoming a Christian is probably the opposite. God WILL give you challenges and trials for you to endure, to test your faith in Him. I've learnt that life on earth is a test, a test for eternity. God will throw you questions, obstacles, problems, and scenarios and will test how you react/respond to them. God honouring or not. If you pass the test, he will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" (Matthew 25:21)

Clearing The Air: Temptation & Sin

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There are many many misconceptions with Christianity, especially with us, the followers, for putting out a bad representation of Christ and his image and life towards others. But today i want speak about the misconception about sin. Sin. Sin is when one fails to please God, does something ungodly, that isnt glorifying Christ. From stealing to pornography, from murder to adultery. All these things are sin. They dont please God and they dont raise his name. Temptation. Desire. These two things are what people usually get mixed up about. When you desire something, may it be the thought to steal something, "oh i want that chocolate bar" or when you're tempted to cheat on a test. These things are COMPLETELY normal. God created us to desire things and want things, this isnt sinning. Its the first step. Sinning is when you actually act upon your temptation. When you do take the chocolate bar and walk out, when you do look over your friends shoulder and copy down their answer.

For Good.

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Many of us find that when we go through struggles and suffering, people may say God is punishing you. I've heard people say that when they're going through stuff, it may be because of what your parents did that has cursed you. uhhh. no. That is NOTHING near accurate. Yes, no one enjoys suffering and going through obstacles, but thats life. Not only that, but there is good purpose that comes along with it. God provides and allows these problems to come up in your life for many reasons. 1. To Teach You To Rely/Trust Him - when we go through struggles, many times is something we cant control (or very well at least). From temptations, death, finances, there are many things greater that we cant figure out on our own. Through these trials, we learn to depend on someone greater to get us through it. SNA this year was definitely a BIG push for this, but i dont think i've still fully learnt it and have seen its potential yet. 2. For The Better - Everything happens for a reaso

Someone Bigger, Someone Better.

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Walking to school today, i realized something really important. God is on our side. Being the person i am, im never really confident about myself, and i need MUCH reassurance to feel like something's good to go. God is on our side. And this isnt just an ordinary person. He's the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE, he's the KING of KINGS, he conquered death and defeated the devil. The list goes on and on and on. HE is the one standing with me? Thats... quite the honour. HE's got my back? HE's on MY side? What can stop me? There's nothing to be scared about, and nothing to worry about if you got the BIG GUY on your side. Now the only concern is YOU. Are you going to put your trust in this King, this God? Or are you going to try to make it all your way and not give up? My own personal struggle is that i dont have this full trust in God and sometimes, i feel like i dont fully understand exactly how powerful and how amazing this person i believe in is. I dont believe he'

Rejoice.

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" 24 The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad." Rejoice. Its important that we rejoice, firstly, happiness is always better than sadness, its just a better feeling. It promotes optimism and joy in one's life. I remember reading a verse that states "to rejoice in all circumstances". Whether it may be sad, something horrid, anything that happens try to learn to rejoice because our God is good. Rejoice can also mean thanksgiving. Look around you and realize how blessed we are. Yesterday someone came in and talked about clean water, how much we use it and it really opened my eyes and reminded me how blessed i truly am. Its so unfair to others and we're just absorbing all these resources, the gap between the rich and the poor is so wide. Be thankful and count your blessings. Reflect on how powerful God is. He has the power to destroy you in an instant, you may not wake up tomorrow. Who knows. Im not trying to scare you, but reall

#Believe

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Do you believe? Today in service, something hit me. hard. Pastor Irene, one of our youth pastors constantly kept referring to the songs we sang for worship. And this one thing she said really hit me. We sang Mighty To Save and the line was, "Savior He can move the mountains" Faith was a overarching theme throughout the service, and i reflected and realized that... i dont really have much faith in my God. We sing these words, but i realized, how much do i ACTUALLY believe these words that im singing out of my mouth, leading the congregation? :S not much. I think this is a big downfall to my faith, because i clearly, dont have much faith so its harder to face struggles if i dont allow myself to give up my life and trust God completely. We have to learn to have faith in our God. Push it further, push it more, just imagine the copious amounts of blessings he will give you if you just had more faith in Him with his plan for you and his love. Our God is great. He CAN move mou

Prayer Granted: 1.25$

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Expect God to Answer Your Prayers Rick Warren “If you want to know what God really wants you to do, ask him ... but if you don’t ask in faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.” (James 1:5-6 TLB) God wants to direct you in life, but two things need to line up: You have to ask the right person, God, and you have to ask with the right attitude — in faith, expecting an answer. Have you ever asked God for something and didn’t expect to get it? That’s why you didn’t get it. God works in our lives according to faith. So many times we say, “God, please guide me!” and we walk away not even waiting for guidance. We just immediately start to work. We say, “God, I want you to give me wisdom; help me make the right decision.” But we don’t really expect him to do that. We think it all depends on us. God has promised to give us wisdom, if we will ask. Wisdom is seeing life from God’s point of view. Wisdom is the ability to make decisions the way God makes decisions. Think about t

We Are Sheep!

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Can't See The Future? Rely On God! Rick Warren “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Psalm 25:9 NIV) The Bible says there are several things we need to do to receive guidance from God, but the very first thing is this: We need to admit we need a guide! Most of the time we don’t want to follow God or anybody else. We want to go our own way. We don’t want to admit we need direction or that we need a guide. Sheep, by nature, tend to wander off the path. The Prophet Isaiah says, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6a NLT). Another thing about sheep is that they have poor vision. They can’t see very far ahead. That’s why they need a shepherd. God made you so that you would not be able to see into the future no matter how much you try. Why did God do this? He did it so you would depend on him. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (NIV).