Monday, December 29, 2008

Picture, Song, Article, My Thoughts... [in that order]

Picture: Of Trees
[I love trees]
Song: Shout to the North
[Charlie Hall]

Men of faith rise up and sing
Of the great and glorious King
You are strong when you feel weak
In your brokenness complete

Shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Saviour to all
Lord of heaven and earth

Rise up women of the truth
Stand and sing to broken hearts
Who can know the healing power
Of our awesome King of love

We've been through fire.
We've been through rain
We've been refined by the
power of his name
We've fallen deeper in love with You
You've burned the truth on our lips

Rise up church with broken wings
Fill this place with songs again
Of our God who reigns on high
By his grace again we'll fly.
(Bold and Italicization added by Ming)
It seems that many people think you can only celebrate Christmas if all is well. You can see this in the various statements beginning with, “It just does not seem like Christmas because ….” Perhaps we set ourselves up for failure by expecting everything to be just right at this time of the year.

If we pay attention to the Biblical text we notice that Christmas is in no way connected to things going well. In fact, as we can see from numerous texts, Christmas is typically set in dark and difficult situations. The message of Christmas is that God is still at work in such times accomplishing salvation for His people. This is why there is hope and why we can be merry despite what may be happening around us.

One place we see this is in the familiar Christmas story in Luke 2. The chapter opens by stating that the pagan Roman emperor had decreed that people would have to register for tax purposes. This would certainly not have been received as good news by Jewish people in that time. First of all, what government requires registration for taxes in order to decrease taxes? This decree would have been an odious reminder of their subjugation under pagan rule. This decree was a symbol of oppression. They were not free and had to pay high taxes to far away rulers who served idols. Furthermore they would have to return to their hometowns in a day when travel was difficult and costly. For those like Joseph’s family who had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, this would be a long journey which would interrupt work (and thus pay) and exact a toll on the family.

It is highly likely that this decree of Caesar’s would have been met with protest among the Jews of the day. Some may have cried out, Where is God? Why does He allow us to be so mistreated? When will he deliver us? Does he care? Has he forgotten us? Is our suffering hidden from God?”

What they could not know was that God was right there working through this hateful decree to bring the Savior into the world. God was at work moving the heart of this unbelieving king to make this decree so that Joseph and Mary would travel to Bethlehem so the Messiah could be born there in fulfillment of prophecy. The very thing which looked to them like evidence of oppression was actually the beginning of deliverance. What looked like the absence of God was preparation for the incarnation, Immanuel, “God with us”. When God seemed most absent, He was there working as He often does, in the dark, accomplishing the deliverance of His people.

This is fruitful to ponder and apply to our own lives. Christmas is not the pretense that all is well now. Such pretense is a sham and people see through it as Scrooge did. No, Christmas is the blessed assurance that God is still at work redeeming His people. It is the reminder that God accomplishes salvation even when it looks bad. This gives us hope and points us forward to the coming day when God will make all things right. With this truth in mind we can celebrate in hope and declare our hope and joy as a statement of faith.
My Thoughts
[or some of them]
It's so easy when times are going the "right" way [also known as my way], for me to see God's hand behind it all. When things aren't going my way though, it's easy for me to cry out right along with Isreal "Where is God? Does he even care? Has he forgotten me?"

Maybe this is just me--but I don't always trust God. I don't always have faith that he has a plan for me and my life, that no matter what happens, and no matter what I do--I can't be plucked out of his hand and nothing can thwart his love for me. There are times I can imagine God throwing his hands up in the air exclaiming to all of heaven, "I give up! Ming's hopeless! She'll never get it! She just won't learn, she keeps screwing up, and I'm done!"

It doesn't make sense to me, it doesn't seem realistic-- that when God seems absent in my life--that he's still there working in the dark, behind the curtain--still intimately involved in my life, still chasing me relentlessly with his unfailing love.

It also doesn't make sense that the things that make my heart ache and my soul cry out in anguish--are the things that God can still use for His Glory and my good. Even if it doesn't look like it in the moment.

Some of you know--others of you don't, what this last year of my life has looked like. Some of you have most of the story, others just speculation ;). lol Let's just say it's been an interesting year to say the least. I've snuck around, lied, made plans that were somewhat impulsive [=P], and have done stuff I never thought I would have done--and been in situations that I really would not have chosen to be in if I had, had any say in it. I've lost some of my closest friends and caused pain to many people.

Why do we so appreciate people who are completely honest about their failings, but yet it's like pulling teeth to admit our own shortcomings? [at least that's how I am]

Honestly right now where I am. I'm just done. I just want to know exactly what God wants to do with me and with my life. I know the beginning of the story and I know how the story ends. I'm tired of not knowing the middle though.

I just want to sit at the feet of my God and listen to him and what he has to tell me. I want to know my identity in Christ and I want to live in accordance to the person that I am now. I want to climb in to my Fathers lap, rest my head on his chest and soak in His presence.

I don't want to think. I don't want to worry. I don't want to fear. I don't want to care about what people think about me. I just want to know the blessed assurance that Jesus is mine. I want eternal life, what is eternal life? Knowing God. Therefore I want to know God.

I don't want to know of God though--I know of God and I know alot about him too. No I want to really really know him.

And I want knowing him to radically transform my life. I want to live a crazy life that only makes sense in God is real.

[I'm sorry if this makes no sense my head is kind of all over the place right now.]

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I love it. lol

Why has The Palm Beach Post (along with the NTTimes, the WashPost, etc.) backed off its fantastical promises for stem cell research? The editors had told us it would bring healing on miraculous levels.

Of course, they used to echo Nancy Pelosi's belief that it "holds the biblical power to cure," and John Edwards' revivalist preaching that it would make Christopher Reeve "Get out of that wheelchair and walk again," or Senator Arlen Specter's statement that it had the potential to "conquer all known maladies," or Rep. Anna Eshoo's, "We stand on the brink of finding the cures to diseases that have plagued so many millions of Americans..." and on and on.

But that was when it was about embryos. Which means it was about life, and hence, the abortion issue. And abortion is about sexual autonomy. Always has been.

Now that the game has completely changed (adult stem cells hold the same potential, so no killing of embryos is needed, and the abortion debate no longer matters) no one's seeing a need to issue such ridiculous promissory notes. Truth is, as First Things quotes a New York Times science writer in an honest moment, "Such accomplishments are more dream than reality." Now that we don't have the life/abortion issue involved, Scientific American has apologized for itself and the media, for raising false hopes.

Embryonic stem cells are not a miracle cure. The science said otherwise, but denial is apparently a team sport when sexual autonomy trumps science.


Giver of every breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
To You be the glory

Maker of heaven and of earth
No one can comprehend your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory

I'm alive
Because I'm alive in You
And it's all because of Jesus I'm alive
And it's all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man's life
It's all because of Jesus I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive

Every sunrise sings Your praise
The universe cries out your praise
I'm singing freedom all my days
Now that I'm alive
Christmas has come and gone.

Life rolls along. I wish I knew where I would end up. What I'm going to look like at the end.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear? 

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

God really is good people.
Why is it so hard to remember it though?
I do love him though.

"Are you willing to accept that as an answer to in your life; that God may not be simplifying your life, He's just strengthening who you are."
-Francis Chan

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I want to go......I really really really want to go...really really bad.

Ying does too--

I want to go for this reason


She wants to go for this reason lol

OfficeBlogVid from Matt Cross on Vimeo.
I'm totally hyper.

It's Christmas! (Even if it completely doesn't feel like it)

I love life. I really do. I'm totally not contented at this moment though, I want to do something crazy.

Stephen and I went to Mosaic tonight for the Christmas Eve service and it was one of those messages that for some reason got me totally psyched, hyper, and wanting to do something completely crazy.

"Have irresponsible trust in the faithfulness of God."

How many of us have irresponsible trust in God?


Anyways in the car on the way home I told Stephen that I wanted to do something crazy (which is always a scary thing for him to hear because usually then follows one of my tirades/tangents). This time was not an exception. I've decided I would love, absolutely love to be a missionary in India, China, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, ect. To live in a place where it is truly dangerous to be a Christian.

If I was to go to school ever to be a nurse it would be because I would know I could use it for missions. If I'm going to go to school simply because I make alot of money--because honestly...well you don't want to know what I honestly think. =P

Anyways I continued on my tangent and told him that one of my dreams would be to go to EBC (Eternity Bible College) and get a degree in Biblical Studies and become a missionary. For those of you who don't know EBC is in Southern California tucked away in a city called Simi Valley. And if you know me at all--then you should be able to guess who the founder is. =P

Heck if I wasn't a missionary in a foreign country then I vote we move to the inner city and evangelize and work there.

I think it's funny that the majority of American Christians have been called to live and evangelize to upper and middle class America.

Anyways I went on and on and on.

And we've decided I'm insane, crazy, and not at all normal--which a crazy person isn't normally. =P We also pondered how the two of us ended up liking each other and how we even work considering we're like completely different when it comes to that sort of thing....=P

Anyways this post makes no sense--maybe I'll post another time about my thoughts on this sort of subject. =P

Goodnight all and have a wonderful Christmas. =)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Beautifulness of a song.

And I can see that my hands are trembling, I can see that my legs are weak
I can see that my head is spinning, but I will overcome
And I know that my heart is hurting, And I know that my soul it aches
And I know that it seems I'm failing, but I will overcome, yeah

O Lord I'm strong in You, O Lord I am wise in You
O Lord I can see in You, so I will overcome
O Lord I'm loved by You, O Lord I am free in you
O Lord I'm complete in You
So I will overcome, I will overcome, I will overcome

God listen to me shout, I'm so far from anywhere and I'm calling out
Lead me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I
You're my breath, You're my breath, You're my very life
Infinite, Holy King meets weak and frail Christ in me
And I will overcome not by my strength but by Your grace and love
*looks determind*
I can and will overcome whatever is thrown at me.
I can and will even overcome myself.
Not by my own power or strength--but through Christ in me.

I had something of great depth and importance to write last night--but I was crazy tired and went to bed with the plan to write it this morning--but alas I have it no more.

Oh well.=P

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmasness music...

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I love this song. It's kind of a depressing Christmas song--but it's still really good.
Capital Lights music is incredibly catchy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This weekend was sort of, kind of, pretty crazy. lol

Mrs. George seriously amazes me with her abilities--cooking for 120 people Friday, Saturday finishing cooking (having it done in four different locations), decorating Saturday, as well as having the power go out for the last hour before the reception dinner. But in the end it all came together. =) I was able to help out with my boyfriend too so it worked well, or at least he was in the vicinity most of the time. lol

I did miss Lauren though, even if there weren't moss blocks to do and I didn't do the drink table. We had mad skills at Leah's and Sarah's weddings, let me tell you. =)

So I asked Ron to take some pictures of what it looked like before and when I went to look at the pictures on my camera--here were the ones he took. =P It made me laugh. =)

He did cut the pies with amazing skills though. =)

Anyways I'm going to go and watch the panthers overtime.

Also my grandparents left today. =( =(

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's dreary out. Very dreary.

Awwww, except I just heard a bird outside. =)

Anywayssss. It's going to be a busy weekend. Crazy probably even--but it'll be fun. Pictures will come I promise.

Abraham Piper is amazing.

Gosh, I listened to Cornerstone's latest sermon series and was reminded once again why I want to move there. lol

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wow, I still have this blog?

And probably all of one person still checks this regularly. =P

Oh well, things change I guess.

I got my CNA license, that was an adventure.

Lol, Sterling got texting. (at least for a trip he's going on)
Watch out world. =P

Ok, honestly I never write here because I don't know what to write--not because a lack of things going on in my life.

Anywayssss so yeah.


Okay, wait one sec--is it just me or am I the only one who can't believe that it's already December and that Christmas is in a little over a week.

And that it's going to be 2009 in a little over two weeks.

The most eventful year of my life is almost over....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

God is good.

Seriously God is so good.

Anyways anyone have any amazing plans for Christmas?

I have no idea what to get anyone...well except Ying she's easy. lol