Tuesday, February 8, 2011


late friday night. saturday night. sunday night. monday afternoon. again and again, God's been confirming something and letting me know what's on His heart. sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. not just of finances, but of my life. sacrifice of my preferences, my desires, my comfort. confirmed through a couple of people i know and then confirmed at rock harbor, i can't deny that this is something that God wants me to invest in.

it's a call to die to myself. i'm comfortable. like, really comfortable now. i enjoy who i hang out with. a lot. we share, we laugh, we bond and it's amazing. God's truly blessed it. but the scary thing about it, i fear that i'm hogging it to myself. and other people are left wanting. when i hang out, who do i always turn to and run to because i know that i'll have a good time? God's challenging me to step out of that. when i hang out, who do i need to ask so that they feel at home? who do i want to hang out with because i want to show them that i truly care about them. when i want to chill, who do i want to showcase God's love to??

when we do this, when we put aside our preferences and what we would like, we open the door to showcase Christ's love to the people in our lives. we let them know that even though we may not prefer eating at this certain place or do this certain thing, we're there not for ourselves. we're there for them. genuinely and truly just there for them. and that speaks volumes. to let them know that they don't have to do anything, they don't have to impress us, entertain us to earn our love and affection. we want to let them know that they are unconditionally loved just because. and they'll ask, "who does this??" and again, we answer, "Jesus." =]

Saturday, February 5, 2011

rebuke and growth

i thank God for a girlfriend who can call me out. and not in a, "i'm better than you, do what i say," whiplash sound, kind of way haha. i know that i'm not the best person at receiving constructive criticism let alone rebuke from my girlfriend so you can imagine how defensive i got and how much i justified my actions. i was sitting in the car for a while before i acknowledged anything she said! i know, it's terrible! but i really appreciate how she approached the situation and how she prayed about it beforehand. it made it a lot easier for me to accept the rebuke and pray over it. God broke down my heart and let me know that these were things that I needed to hear to make me a better man and a better leader.

i know i don't say it enough but i'm really proud of thuy and how she's grown over the past couple of years. i'm so blessed to have her in my life. she keeps me in check and she's learning how to do so full of love so that we don't get into arguments over things that we shouldn't! i praise for a relationship that is grounded and rooted in Him. i just keep praying that i can love her the same way Christ loves the church. the way He gave Himself for the church, i want to give myself away for thuy. He's the reason why i want to humble myself for her, why i don't get as t.o.'d when certain things happen, why i'm patient the way i am. and the same for her to me! i honestly don't think that we really could have gotten this far if it wasn't for God teaching how to die to ourselves and love each other the way we do. =]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

satisfaction and contentment

this past sunday night we were talking about contentment at rock harbor. paul was sharing with the philippians how he was thankful and gave praise to God that they finally remembered and sent him money and supported him after 10 years of traveling. he wasn't angry or sad or sarcastic when he thanked them. he was genuinely thankful because his circumstance did not dictate his joy. he shared that he's been filled and he's been empty, wealthy and poor, and he had found the secret to being content in all things. his joy, his life, his heart was found not in people or this world, but simply in God. and that was enough for him.

it brings me back to psalm 23, one of my favorite verses. "the Lord is my shepherd, i shall not want." it's not saying that because God is my shepherd, i shouldn't want. it's not saying that because God is watching out for me, i should respond by trying not to want anything. it's simply saying that because my God loves me, takes care of me, watches over me, showers blessings on me (may not always be the ones that i necessarily feel are blessings =]), gives me hope, gives me belonging, gives me identity, i am content. i am not in need of anymore. because of my salvation, i have everything i need. everything else, all the little details, or big details, are secondary to that first thing. if i have Jesus, i'm set for not just life, but for eternity. what a profound statement, right??

and i know i've talked about this before but i feel like it's slowly creeping back into my mind that i don't have enough. i don't have enough respect. i don't have enough love. i don't have enough money. i don't have a good enough phone. i don't have a good enough car. i don't, i don't, i don't. but the thing is, i forget that i have everything i need in Jesus. if i lost everything, family, home, friends, i would still be set because i have Him. not saying that it wouldn't be painful that those things could be taken away. but my joy is something that is stronger than circumstance. that's what paul was trying to get at. no matter what the circumstance, rich or poor, peace or hostility, resting or weary, he had contentment, he had joy because God was with Him. my God is with me. and i don't need anything else. i shall not want. that's part of the good news that we want to share with people! a lot of us are so caught up in working for something more to find ourselves ultimately dissatisfied. and we keep digging and digging and working and working only to find that everything we invest in fades away in the end. without God, there is no contentment. we never satisfy ourselves. the world never satisfies.

only He can satisfy! contentment is knowing God! sometimes, it's just hard to explain. the peace and the calm in my heart that comes from knowing that He loves and saves. our God is good and worthy to be praised. i want people to be satisfied finally after searching for so long. He was here all along. He's still here waiting for us to find our satisfaction in Him.