Let’s Get Real, by Guest Poster (Santana)

I’d like to voice an unpopular opinion about violence and men,

and women of course, because I qualify as one. I’ve had female spirits ‘around’ me, and I am currently a mom to my son, and my wife.

My wife comes from a let’s say complicated background. She doesn’t read this, so I hope she doesn’t mind. She is very smart, and if I didn’t know better she has some form of mind powers. Just joking. Or am I?

Females are able to get away with hurtful talk, subtle and subliminal thoughts and actions because they often do it with a smile. Or they play like they don’t know. Or they are not violent with fists, but they are sarcastically witty.

Let me say, that just as females would rather be attacked verbally, men would rather be attacked physically. The words and faithless words and discouragement hurt worse than if you just took a knife and stuck it.

It takes two to tango, and women often play the victim when both people had as much fault.

The last factors in why people are violent are the family environment, spiritual heritage, and paranormal involvement, oh AND celestial effects (the moon, solar flares, the planets, etc). The last one is one that gets me. Did you know you are affected by your environment? Your neighborhood’s ‘group thought can affect you. And have you check if your house is haunted or not? Did something happen there? Often there was.

Bottom line, fighting is fighting. And we need to learn to be peaceful people.

If it isn’t working, the only thing to do is separate. And when you miss each other and really want to try again, then please do so. BUT, this time, DO BETTER and really GET ALONG.

I hope I made friends in the male readership. Women, I’m one of you too, more like a mom, so don’t hate me, just trying to keep it real.

BLESSINGS,
and LOVE,

The Butterfly Effect, The Effect of Two,

Why don’t we want to put others down as a way to get ahead,

Because there is GOD, and there are others,

When you put people down, GOD will put you down, and others will put you down too, because of Law and because of Karma,

The Law is the Golden Rule,

So, you actually hurt yourself by hurting others,

The opposite is true if you help others,

SO, be someone that helps not hurts! Otay?

LOVE,

Road Trips,

I saw the show Road Trips on TV, where a few 20 somethings drive around in a RV and interview famous people from the RV and asking the same question,”How do you know what to do with your life?”

The answer always seems to be the same,

“Follow your heart”

“Do what you love,”

What if you interviewed my parents? They would say, “Get a job, any job!” Ha-ha. Parents come from a different perspective, b/c to them you will always be the poopy diaper wearing kid that didn’t even know how to put on their shoes right. And now, kids don’t even have to learn how to tie shoe laces. They got it easy now.

A big fear of young people is that they will end up on Skid Row or as a crazy homeless person or bag lady. That is good that you don’t want that. As someone who almost ended up there, I can say that if that is something you DON’T want, then you just have to have PREVENTATIVE MEASURES. The biggest reason homeless people are homeless is NOT b/c they don’t have money or they are lazy. The two biggest reasons in my seeing are:

1) They have severed ties with family. Everyone has somebody. If you don’t have anybody, even if they are far away. If you don’t have anybody at all, then most likely you will end up on the street. You got to have somebody or something like a support group or even a church. So preventative measure number one, always have somebody or a safety net.

2) They have mental illness. People with mental illness often DON’T REALIZE or keep forgetting that they are mentally ill. Mental illness can be heredity. It can be the result of physical or emotional trauma. It can be the result of drug abuse. It can be the result of confusion or reading wrong books or listening to the wrong, toxic people. So, be careful. The surest sign that you have a mental condition IS, communication ability. People with mental problems when given a paper to write an essay, most often, blank out or write things that are not readable. There is a lack of flow, coherence, structure, order, etc. Writers are often the best mental doctors because they can read what thoughts are there and how thinking is put together. If you think you might have a condition, please visit a doctor. There is no shame in that. Everyone has something and after some treatment you may be cured. Praying to Jesus for healing won’t hurt either.

Hopefully, I have eased your fears a little. Can you really achieve your dream life like those actors and other famous people on tv? Yes, of course! But in order to get what you want you really have to know what you want, and have some kind of plan, and work that plan, and pray, and make good decisions, and do good and help people. That’s my two cents for the day. It’s your life,

Current Events: The Tom and Katie Split,

What do I have to say about this?

Divorce is no new thing to Americans or anybody. Now that I’m mature, I’ve realized that divorce, man-woman shtuff has always for the most part been the same. The good thing is that nowadays, women are more empowered and independent than before. Which, somewhat, begs the question. Are the teachings of Jesus on divorce still valid?

Jesus was a LOVER of women and defender of the weak and impoverished. He was made wrongs right and freely gave to all who came to Him. When we read His Words on divorce it seems He is saying no divorce at all, for any reason. But I read Him as saying,

‘Do not abandon women when they still love you, if they still need you, if you have responsibility to them and your children.’

I recently have a complicated relationship, marriage with my wife. And when I hear my parents’ stories and remember stories of immigrants and their temporary splits, it seems separations are really no big deal and commonplace in the life cycle of a marriage. When I was emotional about it, I thought,

I have blessed my wife mostly, and even if we were to split now, FOR GOOD, wouldn’t we have blessed each other and improved each other since we met? Also, if the split is mutually decided to be mutually beneficial, then there is no choice but to move forward. There always is the possibility of getting back together again. And on the flipside, not my marriage, of course, but sometimes at least for a time, a couple needs to be apart so they can remember how much they love each other and not take each other for granted. As long as both know, that they REALLY want to be together and they are meant to be. Sometimes, it just isn’t working, and you just split.

But reality and sanity returned to me, and I realized what my little family needs to do. My wife and I love each other to the end,

Whatever the case maybe, we can breathe easier, Christians, knowing or thinking,

‘We have to admit it is getting better, getting better all the time…’

In some sense, Christians who believe very strongly in the infallibility and innerancy of the Bible, and only the Bible are in my opinion having tunnel vision,

The Bible is only one book, and it contains writings in it from thousands and thousands of years ago,

In our early Christians years, we were strong to say the Bible is NOT out of date. Now, I am saying, not so strongly, but respectfully, that some aspects of it ARE out of date. And we have to know which ones. That is what makes us discerning and mature and intelligent and useful members and elders of Christ. Because as elders and interpreters of the Bible, the younger members look to us to know what is right and wrong, and even HOW TO THINK. Teaching wrong doctrine and example can really, really wreak havoc in the community and these are real people’s lives.

Let me end by saying, I believe that the Bible is THE TEXT. But, we shouldn’t be fearful to venture out and read others. And we shouldn’t be fearful to teach, knowing that GOD knows our hearts. And I’d like to finalize by saying, I am teaching here, but hopefully my style and words will be more GOD, and Jesus and less me. I don’t want to teach, I don’t want to give advice, because I realized that advice is personal. What worked for you, WILL NOT work for someone else, the best advice is always to empower people and let them and encourage them to figure things and do things for themselves. And show them how to find help if they need it.

LOVE,

P.S. – Oh yeah, and it’s sad that Tom and Katie split. But, I’m sure Suri will still see them enough and have the best. Tom and Katie may get back together again, they may not, but I pray that Jesus blesses and keeps them always,

P.S.S. – Yes, and if Christians made more common sense, perhaps more regular folk, people would join up. Sometimes, our thinking although noble and admirable is not workable in this world. We have to be both noble and workable. Or something like that. Sorry it’s a Saturday and I’m hungry,

P.P.S.S. – Chomp,

Congratulations to the former Ms. Rebecca St. James,

I just researched, and it appears that Christian Contemporary Music artist Rebecca St. James got married on April 23, 2011. Congratulations!

I posted one earlier in 2009 commending her on saving herself for marriage, something I never had the strength to do. Something one of my cousins is doing and achieving, although everyone is kind of concerned for her. Rebecca was 34 when she got married. I was 35. So, I understand having to wait so long.

Praying that if it is your hearts desire to experience the joy of have a baby sometimes soon. I don’t know her and her husband, but may the LORD Jesus bless you richly and keep your marriage and protect your marriage,

LOVE,

The Ministry of Imperfection,

There are many reading this blog who are far along with the LORD Jesus, for those who don’t understand what I am about to say, don’t worry about it, you will, please just listen,

At some point in your life, a switch goes off, you turn around, and life isn’t about you anymore.

For me, that point came late in life, after my car accident, when I was still living with my parents. The title of this blog post to me means that sometimes you have to fail, sometimes you act the fool, sometimes you let others win, sometimes you take the blame or the bill, do you understand?

Christians especially sometimes get caught up in being holy and perfect and they are unwilling to suffer for Christ. What did Adam do after Eve ate the fruit? He ate it too, I’ve read accounts saying that he loved Eve so he ate and joined her in imperfection rather than be separated. Let me bring the example back down to earth. A very simple example is in teaching kids. Sometimes to raise a child’s self-esteem and confidence or even to just get them to do it you have to not act like you know it all or can do it all. I tell my kids I can’t do it on my own, I need their help. I tell my kids I don’t know or I say something wrong so they can be right. It seems strange, but it really works. And now if you think back, HEY, your parents probably did that with you too?!

In these days, leadership means different things to different people. To me, and I really think I’m getting old. Leadership isn’t about being superman or wonder woman anymore. Leadership is more about caring about other people and making sure everything is all good with everyone. The question then is, “If I’m taking care of everyone else, who takes care of me?” That’s a good question and I don’t know. Maybe you have the answer?

My Imaginations: Jesus in Hell,

Our LORD Jesus says in Revelations, that He has the keys of Death and Hades. That means:

Jesus rules Heaven and Earth AND HELL, JESUS RULES IT ALL,

Christians ask, “Did Jesus go to Hell?”

Yes, but not in the way you think. He went there to take over. He was legally taken there, because He carried the sins of the world. It isn’t discussed much. But, I think the devil required the death of the Son, just as depicted in the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ movies. But remember, the devil does not rule Hell, his domain is now earth, having lost his place in Heaven. His misdeeds are all recorded, and his time is running out. He may have had control of hell, but Jesus gots the keys now.

The very funny, and ‘not fair’ thing is:

GOD is GOD! Jesus, is the LORD and GOD and He can not die. As He said, He lays His life down, and then He picks it up again. And as a powerful Singaporean preacher says, “Grace swallows sin up!” All the sins of the world could not keep Jesus down. He just wiped it all away.

There is a story of Avalokitesvara, an avatar of GOD, who appeared around 500 B.C. She is now worshipped in Buddhism as Guan-Yin, the Goddess of Light. It is my understanding that she is more like an angel or saint, not worthy of worship. She went to the deepest, darkest hell, because she also took on the sins of others. It is funny that she got kicked out of hell. For such was the power of goodness and life and light in her, that while she was in hell, she kept transforming it into heaven. And the powers there were unhappy with that, so they released her.

So what happened when Jesus went to Death and Hades for three days? When He spoke to the Pharisees, He compared it to Jonah being in the belly of the whale for three days. I don’t comprehend it clearly, but GOD-Jesus has always loved and been concerned with all people. Jesus even loves the people in death and hell. In the book of Hebrews, it says that He even led some of them to Heaven in those three days. I guess that just as many in our prisons were wrongfully incarcerated, some in hell did not deserve to be there.

Don’t feel sorry for Jesus. GOD always knows what He is doing. When Jesus went to Hell, He did suffer, but He also went there to tour it as King, take authority, free the captives, maybe He even vacationed there and made it a better, kinder place.

Don’t Shao Kan the Holy,

Shao Kan, or 小 看, in Chinese literally means look at to be small. It means to discount or consider ill. These days, people consider holiness and righteousness and goodness to be useless or of little practical value. They scoff at GOD’s holy people such as priests, pastors, monks, nuns, etc. All they do is nothing and pray and sing and act holy and look down on me.

I’ve met people, and I understand them. People usually are tough but their ability to take constructive criticism shows extreme sensitivity. And that’s good, what that really means is that they really know what is right and wrong. But, our ears are not attuned to that frequency. What we need for some in the outside and outer courts is a different communication method. We cannot criticize. We cannot say things we usually hear in the sanctuaries. Yes, they need to hear, but we cannot expect everyone to repent in the same way. How many ways are there to say sorry?

Does it have to be with head bowed, a verbal and tearful apology? Are we understanding enough to accept a look down and silence? Are we understanding enough to accept a blink? Are we understanding or powerful enough to see on the face that the sorry happened inside?

With super sensitive people, if you push too hard after the fact. Sometimes you will hurt the process and maybe even undo it. We need to be more flexible and sensitive ourselves. We need to be more sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit. And for that, no secret, we need to practice fasting.

Back on our side, Holiness, if you are not convinced IS SOMETHING. Why does GOD not explain this? Because it has to be discovered to be really fun! In my steps with GOD in greater and greater holiness what has happened? One, my relationships have improved. You become super nice and genuinely sweet and caring. I don’t care who you are (k/j), all people like good things. You can be a murderer but still love your nice, sweet mom. Two, my prayers are answered. GOD answers prayers, but He really answers the prayers of those He favors and that love and seek hard after Him. So that’s why we do these things. There is a material or practical side to holiness and prayers. It makes things happen. It brings the need-want into reality. Three, I’m still waiting for this to happen, but I believe that holiness cures people of disease. The prayers can do it, a touch can do it. I’ve received sickness from other people by hugging them or even just praying for them. I’m not bragging but just sharing with those of you out there doing the same thing; encouragement. What happened with Jesus and His Apostles? Eventually, they were able to heal through Jesus’ and Holy Spirit training, but they could heal with a Word or a touch, instantly! Now, what is that worth?

LOVE,

Taiwan Post, 1

I’m Taiwanese, so finally, some Taiwanese Christian stuff.

I’ve been told, that Taiwan is still struggling with the old ways. And that’s ok, but wouldn’t you rather have the One True GOD? Wouldn’t you rather have a better life? My eyes have been open to know that all good things come down from Heaven above, and the flow of blessings is restricted when we don’t have good leadership, good laws and law enforcement, and good priesthood and educators teaching the Truth. A lot of why we don’t have is because we don’t follow the Laws of G-d. Are they expressed adequately in the Buddhist and Taoist texts? I don’t know.

I venture to say, that Taiwan is at the brink of being taken back into China, b/c they are not following G-d and so are threatened with being un-promoted, moving back into their parent’s house, and not realizing their vision of independence.

The BIG GOD Series -= Gideon’s Fleece

We serve and believe in a BIG GOD. According to Scripture, the HIGH FATHER is bigger than the universe, which compared to us is well, infinite. So, why do we worry about small things like, how will I pay my rent? Dark humour, I know. But it’s true. When your faith is big enough, you will see with me that all things are in His Hands. Money is not security. You could have it all, and it could all be wiped out in a heartbeat in the wrong circumstances.

GOD is our Father, willing to provide directions for our lives. Actually, we really have no choice but to go forward. He has created this thing called life and time, and we have options to go left or right, but the infinite path is created already and is still ever expanding. But rest assured, he will always find ways to make things good for you even if you fall or make the wrong choice.

Gideon asked GOD for direction actually a sign that it was He that he was talking with. GOD didn’t mind ‘proving’ himself. After all, I believe GOD thought Gideon was wise to ask for confirmation. The funny thing is GOD is a really cool guy. But it seems when it is important to do as He says, He will make you submit. He did to me, and I have the scars to prove it.

Do I resent my encounter with the Sovereign LORD? No. Because now I see that I was wrong. I was going the wrong way, doing the wrong things, especially for a child of GOD. I’am not perfect, and sometimes I still freak out or go wild. But, that’s normal and my daddy expects it, after He knows all.

LIFE IS NOT PERFECT, NOT THE WAY YOU THINK. MANY THINGS ARE as THEY ARE. Even ‘evil’ as we know it, may not be as we see. What we call evil actually serves His purposes, and in that sense are they really evil?

Why Be FAT?

Yeah, I said it. There ARE benefits to having some fat on the body. One, from my newly found survivor-ist sensibilities is: you can go without food and/or water for a little while, because it is stored up. If some holocaust or disaster would happen, having some fat on the body could help someone. It could be the difference between life and death. There are businesses reasons why someone should have a perfect ’10’ body. It is mostly for image. I’m still too fat and I’m getting there. But, my ideal body weight wouldn’t be one where I’m totally ‘ripped’. I’ve read a healthy body fat percentage is around 10-12%. Most fitness athletes strive for 4-7%, that’s really good, but not for me.

The Justice of Just Business

A quick challenge to those of us who are in the world of business, some more in it then others, but no one more in it then GOD. I’m humbled by people like Warren Buffett who humbly and graciously is giving away most of his billions of dollars. Not one to spoil his children, in a recent press release he stated that he has set aside adequate money for himself and his family, for generations I’m sure. That’s something Christians maybeable to learn, that it’s alright to have enough. It’s okay to have nice things. It’s not a sin to store up wealth, but also to consider the next world and have riches in heaven as well as continuing to share the wealth with the less fortunate.

It is not smart to strip oneself naked to ‘help’ others. That’s not a good example. But also, what about your family? Mr. Buffett has set aside enough and they will have a nice life or lifestyle too. There is nothing wrong with that. He earn his money honestly and through much hard work, I’m sure.

Now comes the hard part, having been a businessman, but now downsized to a craftsman, I’ve had time to think. The Hebrew Bible tells us that one thing that GOD does not seem to like is the oppression of workers. There is even a verse in Proverbs that says not to hold the wages of a worker overnight. This is in contrast to the way we do things in the world of work and business. People are trained to go out get a degree and work for someone. That is good for most, some people are more independent and can take care of themselves and even thousands through their GOD given abilities and position, like Bill Gates-Microsoft and other such large companies; Mr. Buffett included. What’s my point? Be nice to your employees in the way that matters the most – pay them as well as you can. Humbly, -J

Bloodlines, p.1

I was reading online, as I usually do.  I started reading on Spain, which is fascinating to me.  Not perfect, those Spanish are, but no one is, except One.  He is Jesus Christ, our LORD.  ^ The idea of blood and purity of the bloodline in culture is something I haven’t touched on very much.  Chinese are mostly thought by themselves to be pure, because they like many countries mostly keep to themselves.  But, is that really true?

Subcultures-people groups-whole countries have popped up, Guamanian culture is one of them, with this idea that the more Spanish blood you have, the more prestige.  They even have categories or castes based on the mix and percentage of pure blood.  That is what castes are in the Spanish sense.  Blood-based categories.  Fascinating.  But I’m sure it bit the big one to be in a lower category living in those times.  We’re very fortunate to have mostly abandoned this type of biased thinking.

When I think about my own cultural ancestry, honestly, it is a ‘mixed’ one as well.  And I suppose, most everyone’s is.  There is no pure blood.  Someone somewhere in our lineages had the open mindedness and open heart to love some else against all odds and against the whole world.  That is very beautiful to me.  And it should be celebrated.  For example, Taiwan, my country has a history like Guam, and many other small countries.  They were colonized, passed back and forth between major powers, and most recently independent.  My family has either Dutch or Spanish blood I’m told and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have Korean ancestry, as I am often pegged as one.  Is that why I like Kim Chee so much?  :-)  My hair was light brown when I was wee as my mother’s was.

So what’s my point?  Why do we war over these types of things?  As Christ said, let us be One, under the One GOD.  After all, we are all descended from Him, we are all brothers and sisters.  If you ever heard me called you ‘bro’, this is what I mean, in a philosophical sense.  I’m not black, hawaiian, not trying to take advantage of you, but would like you to know the truth of the brotherhood of all man.  But in the practical sense, we let differences of language, coloring, mannerisms, and such things divide us.  Why?  Communication is mostly based on mood, body language, emotion, and subtext isn’t it?  And if all dogs came from one dog, why can’t the different appearances of men be understood in the same way?  It is NOT impossible that a African and Chinese share a common ancestor.  It seems a great leap to go from curly hair to straight, but that is just more of a testament to the greatness of our Great Creator.  Not only do we reproduce, create, and heal – a great variety of art can come from our combination.

Just a Thought, 1

Do you always need payment for your services?  Do you always need accolades for what you do?  So does GOD?  I’ve read that perhaps Jesus Christ, our LORD, was commissioned to die for the sins of the world, He was please to do it, and once done for the good on perhaps many levels, He ascended.  What I mean to say is perhaps the sacrifice was done in our behalf, baddabing, but sometimes it’s not a big deal.  It’s a big deal, but sometimes it’s not.  It was great, but maybe sometimes we’d like to focus elsewhere.  Complicated and maybe wrong.  Just a thought.

GOD Lives, p.1

I’m quite vocal about my faith. But is that always a good thing? Sometimes it can be annoying, I’m starting to notice. But, is it just me or have all parents seen this? Early on, my faith grew little by little, maybe I didn’t have eyes to see. But, the most dramatic leaps in my faith of the living GOD were when my son was born. I have witnessed two miracles as all young parents have but maybe never stopped to think upon? Or have I been so arrogant to think so.

The first miracle was the birth of my son. That really made me think. My wife and I made love-had sex. ‘By chance’ my sperm met her egg, and away we went. But, the funniest thing happened. Her belly kept growing and growing. How? What created and was growing the baby within her? The answer for me was GOD. WOW. How was this happening? Mind boggling.

Then Josh was born on Dec. 10. When he popped out of my wife, he was this little guy. So small, with a beating heart and his chest moved up and down as he breathed. He moved his arms and legs so slowly, and peaceful opened his little eyes and looked around at the ‘real’ world for the first time. It was extremely moving. I didn’t remember thinking anything at that moment except that I was in awe and wonder. All of a sudden, I had a little baby son. A gift, from GOD.

The second miracle I witnessed was when Josh was around one year old. We were eagerly anticipating his walking. Anticipating was more like anxiously even worrying that he would walk, that he would be slow. We tried showing him and telling him how to walk, but in the end we figured that all we could do is get him some baby walkers and the rest would be up to him. What we saw was he figured it out himself. We didn’t teach him anything. Or did he? I know that GOD taught him how to walk.

What does this mean for my faith and living out my faith? I’m not sure, but I’m starting to see that everything is really in GOD’s hands and we have very little control over anything. And the things we try to shape and control, often turn out subpar compared to how GOD could do it if we ‘let’ him. I’m walking the line between being perceived as ‘passive’ and allow GOD to be the King, and learning to follow His lead. There are interesting chapters in the end part of Matthew, the Gospel that describe a household as servants. The man, or head of the household is merely described as one of the servants with his fellow servants. Don’t understand it, but chewing on that right now.

Prayer, Some thoughts, p. 1

Let’s first do a study of prayer with biblegateway.com .  The first instance of ‘pray’ is in Genesis 20:7.  Abraham was to pray for someone who has his wife so that GOD would not kill them.  So, we see that prayer is not only communication or communication in the spirit with GOD, prayer is an act.

Prayer can be outloud or silent, but mostly it involves asking.  Not just for stuff, sometimes it’s for wisdom.  Sometimes we want to know things.  Other times we just want to vent.   We cry to our LORD.  He always hears us.  But sometimes He doesn’t ‘hear’ us or answer us.  Why?  Usually, it’s because we’re sinning, and will not turn and obey.

As someone who has hit rock bottom and bounced back (I have the scars to prove it), I know what it is like to have heaven shut to you.  I have felt as said in Deuteronomy, the sky above like bronze and the ground beneath me like iron.  Like Jonah, I ran from GOD, and thanks to Him, He got me back on track.

The human heart is wicked and is set on it’s own ways.  Children must learn obedience over time.  And perhaps go beyond obedience, duty, and to love?

Brothers and sister, most of us love GOD, with all our hearts.  So what’s the problem?  Jesus taught us to pray the LORD’s prayer.  It’s a simple prayer.  Many leaders of the church tell us it is a pattern for prayer.  I tried approaching prayer that way, it didn’t work.  The problem was work.  What got me in touch with GOD was the realization that GOD is a real person.  So I started spending time with Him.  I stopped talking.  I tried opening my ‘ears’ to hear what He had to say.  A good book is Hearing GOD by Dallas Willard.  But even if you don’t read it, just listen and open your heart.  Like it says in the Book, you must not doubt.  Often we hear from the LORD, but ‘forget’ basically dismiss the thought or impression you received.  Over time, if we are sincere we will develop greater sensitivity to the Spirit’s prompting and guidance.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Father, in Heaven, Holy is your name,

Your kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven,

Give us our daily bread and forgive us our sins,

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one

Amen

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

A few notes on the LORD’s prayer:  It is amazing, we call the LORD of the Universe, our Father.  His Kingdom is not here (not setup – where are His kings?), and His will is not being done on earth.  Asking for food and forgiveness is good.  Maybe we always need to ask for provision?  After all, forgiveness only comes by repenting and asking.  It seems it is possible not to be lead into encounters with evil, and GOD may or may not deliver.  Perhaps this is not a pattern for prayer, but a first prayer.  And maybe this is the basic ‘pattern’ of life.  Life is ruling under the Father, doing His will, receiving all you need from Him, including forgiveness, testing, and protection-deliverance.


My Wife is So Special

Today was a very trying day.  For the most part, we had the victory.  Praise GOD.  But, I was a bit harsh with my wife, and she broke down and cried.  Not solely because of what I said, but again, because we were having a hell of a day.

As she cried, I noticed it started to rain.  Coincidence?  No.  It wasn’t.  Men In Black 2 (3?) flashed thru my mind.  I found my mouth saying to her,”Heaven cries with you”.  Then I walked out of the room, but still within earshot and said,”You are so special.”

She is so special.  I found Isaiah 54, The Future Glory of Zion, and these verses.  I’m lifting them out of the chapter, and out of context, so sue me.  :)

In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you…So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,”…

LORD, help me always speak kindly and gently to my wife, as you can only help me.  Thank you, and Amen.

The AA (Asian American) Ethos, p.1 (The Ambassadors)

“In my country, I would be a king, a kind of god.  The kind that women want and men secretly want to be, but tear down anyways.”

Hey America,

I don’t like the picture that you painted of me.  Isn’t this nation supposed to be about acceptance?  Give me your poor, your what and what?  My eyes are not too small.  I’m not stupid.  My hair is not too coarse, no, no, no, I don’t want a bowl cut.  Yes, my skin is very nice, thank you.  But, I’m not a girl.  I’m not as big as you, but I can and will kick your ass.  J/K.  Kinda.  I’m not gay, stop asking please.  Do I have to be?  Must I serve you?  Serve and submit?  I’m human you know, I’m a people too.  Why bind me, blind me, gag me, choke me, and cut me off?

Everything of mine is gone.  I am reduced to nothing.  Is that how it is for everyone?  (Actually, yes it is)

“I see a vision of one billion strong, possibly two billion strong.  Rising up against, a sleek 300 million.  You have the technology, but we have the people.  Man versus machine.  Who will win?  My money is on John Henry.  Fighting and infighting, a great world war.  In the end, everyone dies.”

or

“I see The Vision, of mankind loving itself, and it’s Father and Mother.  Loving and respecting all life.  Peace and harmony covering the land.  The weapons melted down into plows.  Lion sitting next to the lamb.  All of creation experiencing wholeness.”

I So Don’t Want to Be ‘Marrying’ Anymore

Marriage, it’s an institution

But what does that mean?

Endless flowers, beautiful dress, music, big cake

Many, many guests

Who’s that?

Rent out the best place, boola bucks

To some, it is a joy, a beautiful grand reflection of grandiosity

But, for many, it is a burden, a fleeting memory resulting in debt

The main thing is the love, the commitment

Knowing that this person is with you for the rest of your love

Love, love growing love.  Deeper, deeper understanding

One with each other and with the One, oceans flowing, mind-expanding

Hand in hand, side by side we move together into eternity, I’ll love you forever, only you

Our Seattle Move 2008/Vacation 2008

To my brothers and sisters of Christ in Seattle, no doubt you’ve noticed my links to your websites.  If not, sorry for the presumption.  But, I feel an explanation of some degree is owed to you.  Who are Jim and Joanna Chen?

Without giving too much away, in the Fall of 2008, we were having trouble getting along with my parents on Guam.  So, in the heat of the moment, we decided to move to Seattle for good.  We chose Seattle for various reasons but one major one is the reasonable housing prices in contrast to San Francisco or Los Angeles.  So we sold all we owned.  This actually took several months.  And we moved out to Seattle.

I still remember driving into Seattle.  It was foggy and we could barely see the Space Needle.  But, Joanna and I were so overjoyed to see the Promised Land.  I’m being over-dramatic but we had wanted to live in ‘the States’ for so long.  We both lived unhappily in ‘the States’ before as singles in difficult circumstances.  And now, we had a second chance, a new life, with each other and our new baby boy, Josh.  I also felt victory, in a way, because earlier when I left home to go to college in Wisconsin, I left the fold.  But now, I could not wait to meet my brothers and sisters in Seattle. (more…)

Do not be yoeked w/ Unbelievers

There are only four instances of the word ‘yoke’ in the Bible.  Please look it up.  An ox was often yoked to a plow to work and be trained to work.  So after just looking at these 4 verses, what do I think do not be yoked with unbelievers means?

I’ve heard it being applied to marriage most often.  Do not marry an unbeliever.  But did not the LORD tell Hosea to marry a prostitute?  Was she a believing prostitute?  No, it was to illustrate how disobedient Israel had become, but you know what?  I’m not promoting ‘missionary dating’ or anything, but when you can lead an ‘unbeliever’ to Christ and righteousness, no matter how, through marriage or dating, or whatever, you have done something great.  That’s because it is very difficult.  Your ways will not be her ways, and you and her (I’m talking a marriage of believer and ‘unbeliever’) will always be fighting.

If you are to marry someone and they are willing to ‘convert’ to Christianity and they are submissive in heart and spirit, and they follow the lead of a good Christian man, you.  Then I say, go for it.  Even if they don’t know all the Bible stories and all that.  For the LORD will work in her heart.  If one looks at the Law, there is even mentioned the marrying of enemy women.  So, it is acceptable to the LORD.  But, I must say again, NOT EASY.

Lastly, regarding the verse saying not to yoke an ox and a donkey.  A donkey is a rebellious animal.  Ishmael was a wild donkey of a man, his hand was against everyone.  You are a meek, loving, obedient ox, listening to the LORD.  But, if your donkey friend is really an ox (that follows, but looks like a donkey) then it’s alright.  That’s just my take on things.  It’s up to you to think and pray on it.

More (on) Forgiveness

As Christians or Catholics, we are to be examples of forgivess.  For as GOD forgave us, we will forgive others.  But, let’s study forgiveness, it’s not as simple as we are led to believe.  Biblegateway.com.  It’s great for word studies.  Just type ‘forgiveness’ into the keyword search,and wer’re on our way!

First, I’d like to talk about the natural and the supernatural.  The just and the divine.  Not sure if those are the proper terms for it, but please try to understand.  If I get punched, and I punch you back.  That is?

It’s not evil.  It’s normal.  An eye for an eye.  That is the law.  Our LORD did not say it is wrong.  It is just.  It is reciprocity, reaping what you sow.  The LORD called us to be supernatural or practice divine ways.  Turn the other cheek.  There is a reward in that from Him.  So, should we wantonly chase after the rewards?  No, I say not.  Why?  Because just as with increasing obedience to the LORD, He will tell when to pray, how to pray, who to pray for.  After all, He knows what you, everyone needs before you do.  I belive, and this is just me, that we are to follow the  LORD’s lead in forgiving each other with a capital ‘F’. (more…)

Following Christ – It’s Not For the Faint of Heart, p.1

I’d like to add to the voices about the Christ, and His strength and love. Please watch the above music video, if you can. Try to watch the Christ and not sympathize with Him, but watch Him as a role model. This is what the Christian life is about. It is about self-sacrifice to the point of ‘pouring it all out’. It is a life about selfish-lessness and giving, giving, giving.  This video is beautifully cut and set to the music, by the way. 

It’s also about taking. Taking a hit. I’m being extreme. One has to take care of oneself and one’s family, that’s a given. But in general, in matters of principle, a life of giving over taking, putting others first rather than exalting the self, is the more rewarding life, in my opinion.

But, it’s not just about the principle of giving.  Jesus knew His Father’s will for Him.  He knew the Father, and spoke and worked with Him daily.  It’s not easy to say, “Your will be done, Father”, especially in this day and age.  We’ll never be called to do what Jesus did.  It’s too hard.  But, I believe, the Father will ask us to do very difficult things.  Whether we obey is another matter altogether.  We can disobey, but then we miss out on the blessing, and we get punished.  That’s the way it is.

To the naysayers about the Christ’s strength, after viewing this, do you still maintain your position that Jesus was a soft-spoken, gentle looking weakling?  That picture, image of Jesus is not accurate.  The truth is what you see here is probably toned-down from what really happened to Jesus Christ.  In the Scriptures, it says he was beaten to the point where he was not recognizably a person anymore.  The physical beatings were one thing, I imagine all the forces of darkness were rallied against Him that day.  I have attached a picture for us to visualize this. 

He could have called down the forces of good to destroy all who opposed Him.  Or He could’ve said the word and they would have disappeared as quickly as they were created.  But He didn’t.

As we can see from this video, Jesus willing and lovingly laid down His life.  Maybe we should follow Him and do things happily and willingly or not at all.  :)  Not begrudgingly. 

The forces of darkness beating down on Christ.  The forces of good watching from above.

Pointless Details – p.1 (Mary, Mother of Jesus, Highly Favored)

Hi, I’d like to say that the Catholics are on to something with all the Maria stuff (from a Protestant perspective).  Mary is a very special person, extremely favored.

A lot of people like John the Baptist, that oddball.  J/K.  But, even John said he was not worthy to untie His sandals.  So, who was?  Only Jesus’ father and mother, Joseph and Mary.  They are highly favored in the sight of GOD.

So, let’s not mess w/ Jesus’ mama?  Okay?

Church, Stop FORCING Them Into YOUR mold!

Came today, thanks Sir, something for church leadership and followers of Christ alike to think about and change.

Spirit, Soul, and Body p.2

There is an interesting explanation of Spirit, Soul, and Body by Watchman Nee.  Please see:

Writings of Watchman Nee

The soul is birthed out of the union of the spirit and body.

Be Tested and Come FORTH as GOLD

What is existence on this earth?  I don’t have it all figured out.  But one part of life is testing and suffering.  There r lessons to be learned, and blessings and suffering or curses if we pass or fail, respectively.

I say, “Step up” or “You can do it!”

It’s part of life and you can succeed, as well as fail.  Which do you think GOD wants to see?  He wants you to succeed!  He loves you.

Let’s go to our beginning with Adam and Eve.  Why was the serpent in the garden anyways?  I’ve heard men say Eve caused the fall of man, and that no, Adam failed by allowing the serpent in.  But, it was GOD who allowed him in.  As we saw in the book of Job, the tempter can do nothing without the LORD’s permission.

So, from the beginning, the LORD set out to test us and grow us.  Us as in mankind.  And us personally of course.  So, be encouraged.  We can do this!  Life is NOT too hard.  So we failed, that’s no excuse to get back up and try again, and again.

They Only Waylay Themselves

Has life treated you unfairly?  Can you immediately think of several people that have wronged you?  Don’t you just want to curse them and die?  Where is justice, GOD?  Do you even care?  Are you there?  If you are GOD then do something?  Why not, then are you powerless?  You must not be GOD?

This is a string of thoughts that eventually ends with ‘There must be no GOD’.  GOD is dead.  Bang.  You just killed Him.

No, not really.  GOD is there, I know Him.  And you do too.  C’mon, you do.  He speaks to you right there in the center of your chest – your fleshy heart.    But what you lack is  just a little understanding.

In the good book, in Psalms, those who do bad things only hurt themselves.  And in reality too.  My father, pushing 70 now, has seen this in his own life.  It just takes time, GOD is slow to anger and to judge.  Yes, you get hurt too, good heart.  But you are on your way up.  Evildoers are on their way to destruction.  As the good books says, “They only waylay (or destroy) themselves’.  Does that thought give you consolation?

As you grow to forgive your enemies, you may even learn to bless them.  No one wants to see people headed for destruction, the fire.  After all, people are the most precious masterpieces of life.  Maybe, just maybe one day you could turn someone from their ways, thus saving them from the fire.  Wouldn’t that just be wonderful?  OK.  Maybe not.

Baby steps.  One step at a time.  Forgive, as GOD has forgiven you most graciously.  Please forgive.

Saint or Sinner?

Don’t rush the judgement.  That’s the point of the book of Job.  But, I’m hoping that if you meet one, you’d be able to tell the difference.  The best explanation I’ve heard comes from Saint Brad, my friend, that the Holy Spirit in you or with you identifies itself in other people.  RIght now, I can think of several people among my circle of friends whom I know are in.  I can just tell.  Some are church goers, some tried and failed, some don’t care.  But, this much is true, they all have been chosen by GOD.  Is it my task to start preaching them, start Bible studying them, and pester them to join church?  No.  Sorry, not gonna do it.

One thing I’d like to discuss today in greater detail is the term ‘lamb of GOD’.  The word saint has ‘sin’, ‘in’, ‘it’.  But, why?  I thought saints were perfect, shiny, happy people.  Rich, healthy, and victorious.  They could be for GOD’s sake.

Honestly, I don’t know.  But this I do know.  Following Jesus doesn’t only mean following his commands.  It also means suffering.  Suffering for others for GOD”s sake.  It’s taking a hit for someone else.  Like taking a bullet for the president.  A saint will never be asked by Christ to shoulder the sins of the whole world.  That took the power of GOD to do.  Just as Jesus was the Lamb.  We who follow, are little lambs.  The sins of others are transferred to our account, and we suffer.  Our good things in this life are transferred to them, and they are blessed.  This is for the glory of the Father.

GOD gives many gifts, free.  But nothing is really ‘free’ in that someone always has to pay.  GOD pays.  Someone always pays for the ‘free lunch’.  You or someone like you always pays for sin.

Let me just end by saying it is an incredible honor and priviledge to be counted worthy (is how it is said) to suffer for the LORD.  If we saw the man Jesus walking around today, would we recognize Him?  Did he look, how do I say this…not shiny and happy?  Maybe not like an angel?  He was said to be spotless, but that is describing his soul, his heart, his obedience to GOD.  But, his appearance, maybe He did not look like a ‘blessed one’ but rather one who is cursed.

I’ve been wrong of rushing the judgement.  Forgive me.

So You Want to Be a Pastor?

I’m going to sound a little harsh in this post, so please bear with me.  Seekers and born-again a-like need to be discerning when choosing a church body to attend or join.

I understand because for years, it was the desire of my heart to serve the LORD as a M.Div carrying, denominationally ordained official pastor.  It never happened, and after a trip to Seattle that ended in 2009, the LORD made it clear to me that wasn’t the path He had for me.  To say the least, I was disappointed.

Now after a year,  I happened on some versus in Ezekial. First of all, really quickly, what is a pastor?  Today a pastor is a catch-all term for the leader, teacher, and most often than not chief administrator of the church organization.  But in the strict definition of a pastor, a pastor is simply a shepherd.  He leads the sheep who do not know any better.  He or she takes care of them and loves them.  When they wander off, the shepherd goes after them.  He searches high and low relentlessly for the lost sheep.

Just as there are good and bad people.  There are good and bad pastors.  Yes, bad pastors with positions in card carrying churches all across the world.  Here is what GOD had to say to these pastors in Ezekial:

Ezekial 34:

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 45 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

A good pastors really loves the people in his/her church.  It’s best if the pastor is a person of means and is self-supporting.  That way he does not feed on the flock itself.  I can’t say I’ve ever joined a church where the pastor really knew me by name and cared for me in a genuine relationship.  There have been great pastors that taught me many things from the Bible, but that didn’t really help me at those times.  I really needed someone to care and understand me.

That brings me to my last points.  Well, some pastors might say, the church is too large for me to care for everyone.  Then perhaps your ministry is too large.  It’s been said often that a pastor is not the dictator of the church but simply one of the elders with the responsibility of feeding the flock with GOD’s word (able to teach).  I don’t know the situations church bodies are in around the world, but from my experience that model would have worked better in the churches I attended before.  I’ve also been to churches where pastors were ordained but they did not have families or did not prove to rule their families well.  Disqualified, in my book, your book, everyone’s Bible.  The man of the house is the ‘little pastor’ behind Christ.  The family unit is foundational.  If your own household is not loved, ruled well, directed, provided for you have not reached the point to pastor a church.  And to those who grew up in harsh, tough, family environments such as myself,  I’ve had to re-learn how to rule my kids in a loving, gentle yet firm and effective way.  Chinese parents often yell, guilt, intimidate, demean, and withhold from their kids in order to better control them.  I’ve had to throw these experiences out, call them wrong according to the Word of GOD, forgive my parents, and re-learn better, truly effective ways of parenting.  One ‘tip’ is to give your kids the most freedom you can, and see yourself as helping your kids grow. They are people from day one just like you.  They don’t have all the powers and abilities that you do, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid and useless.  When you ‘serve’ them and help them grow up well into who GOD wants them to be, they will be thankful to you and will help you back.  Isn’t that really what we want anyways?