Saturday, May 25, 2013


Why do I give?
Why should we give?

The stories I heard on Monday are playing in my head tonight...

A boy who was burned so badly on his legs when he was only a year old that his calves and thighs fused together because of horrible contractures and he was unable to walk. His father for year would drag him out into a field hoping the hyenas would kill him because his father believed he was a useless burden-but every time his sister or mother were able to rescue him and bring him back inside. This went on for 10 years-until his mother heard a rumor about a hospital who would do the surgery for little to no cost for the family and she then brought this young man to CURE. At the age of 11 years old this boy was able to walk for the first time and was taught that he was loved and cherished beyond measure.

The story of a mother with a disabled child who has received 4 of the possibly 7 surgeries she needs, stated that she now sees and believes God cares about her because people who have never met her or her child are willing to help pay for her daughter to have the surgeries she needs. Behind the gifts of people who live thousands of miles away--she sees the hand of a loving God.

A young teenage girl being smothered to death by severe scoliosis, nearly bent it have, and given no hope by the hospitals in her country. She came to Cure and now just a few years later in her early twenties is a beautiful wife and mother.

Stories of the babies in Africa that are having surgery to treat their hydrocephalus and now are no longer considered a curse by the people in their village. Without Cure International the mothers are sometimes forced to take their baby to the river, drop them in, and walk away never looking back because it is believed that then they will rid the village of the "curse". 

This children are loved and cherished and beautiful beyond measure, but if we will not be the hands and feet and mobilize--how will they ever know? 

"You think the problem is too big for you, but really all the problem needs is you."

"If I allow myself to see the reality of poverty, starvation, and disability, I have to make a conscious choice: To do something or to ignore it."

I refuse to ignore it. Even if it hurts, even if it's hard--I will stare the darkness full in the face because I am not scared. And I will fight back.
I want more. More than this materialism, more than nice stuff, more joy, more unexplainable, more peace, more faith, more grace, more love...more life...more Jesus.

Why do I give?

I give because I want more.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

At a picnic...

At a church picnic, I sit on a rough hewn bench at the end of a long picnic table halfway wondering why I came when I don't really know anyone there. A man sits down across from me somewhere in his late fifties or early sixties I would guess. A mustache draws a white line in the middle of his tanned weathered face. And over plates of pork and chicken we talk, about life and faith and everything in between.
He starts to ask questions and before I realize it words begin to spill out from my mouth floating in the air, bouncing off the splintered wood and pooling all around us. Words of how I want less, less of this world, less materialism, less, less stuff, less of my own plans and less of what is explainable. Words about how I want more, more from Jesus, more of the things that matter, more of joy, more faith, and more of life. There is a moment of silence as the words lay thick around us. On his face I don't see feelings typical feeling of extreme unease that I normally encounter when I threaten the status quo of comfort, security, and safety we hold on so tightly to and I don't even see anger at my insanity, instead I see weariness and a thoughtful gaze.
He takes a deep breath in and muses aloud how I have come to think the way I think and to be the way I am. I sheepishly say I think I was just wired a little off when I was put together because I've almost always felt this way. 
He then looks past me and stares at the barn wall that stands behind me and says he's tired of chasing things that never make him happy. Words begin to fall from his mouth that put history and substance behind my abstract ideas. That all his life he has pursued goals and possessions but after they are obtained there is still a feeling of emptiness-that the happiness they bring is so fleeting and only lasts for a the briefest of moments. Words born of experience express how better jobs, more knowledge, bigger TVs, new cars, and fast boats have at the end of the day done nothing to make him happier. And I see a wistfulness hanging around his eyes.
Could I avoid having that story? Could I do things backwards-what if I don't pursue happiness and instead pursue the heart of God. What if instead of pursuing money, safety, security, and comfort I pursue life? Life for myself and life for others. 
I've always wrestled with, "Why me?" Why would I get placed into the richest country in the history of the world? While other children are born into places of extreme poverty? Why would I get to have amazing and loving parents who only desire my good? When others are born into families were their parents only seek to harm them? Why me. There is nothing inherently different between myself and them...we both have feelings, thoughts and demons we battle against. I don't deserve the lavish lifestyle that I am surrounded with anymore than they deserve the poverty and pain that surround them. Why me.
Why me? I am here because I am meant to help other people. I wasn't born into affluence for my own desires but for others and I will speak for the voiceless and stand for the broken. This is why me.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It's been a year and I've learned a lot

This may be too honest and open so if you are prone to think that sort of thing--stop reading after this sentence :)

I have learned a lot in the past 365 days. 

Almost exactly one year ago if you would have met me...well, let's just both be thankful you didn't. I was hurt, confused and just not a happy person. I couldn't see around the bend in the road of my life and I was terrified. I begged God to give me what I wanted. I pleaded. I knew I had prayed just days earlier that I wanted to be closer to God than anything and asked Him to shake my life up if necessary (it's a dangerous thing to pray). 

It happened on a Friday and I was a hot mess until Monday. Then while lying in my bed-I had an epiphany. I could continue being miserable and not move forward. Or I could look at this circumstance that I found less than ideal and work good from it. Here was a wonderful opportunity for me to show that nothing means more to me than Jesus...and I was wasting it. And at the end of the day I concluded that I was not going to have my life be defined by a bad break up. So, I got up and starting living. 

The songs and thoughts that use to cause pain in my chest now cause laughter to slip from my lips because life is so much better than anything I could have imagined. And there seriously isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for not giving me what I wanted. And how everything worked out and my life right now? I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

And these are the things I have learned and am thankful for:
  1. God is faithful and good and loving and mysterious and I cannot fit Him in a box no matter how hard I try.
  2. Life is sweeter when you practice gratefulness. 
  3. I have the best parents in the world who are also some of the most patient people in the world.
  4. I have the best friends in the world who love me even with my many flaws.
  5. My parents are often right--I need to listen to their advice more :) (my friends as well)
  6. My desire is to die well and living well must predicate that.
  7. The only thing standing between me and living the radical life that I so crave--is myself.
  8. I think that breakup is one of the single best things that has ever happened to me. 
  9. I dislike pain--but I have grown to be thankful for it because it is forces me to grow.
  10. I am a big fan of midnight cookout milkshake runs.
  11. I am thankful for God creating me to be who I am (warts and all)
  12. Long conversations about life.
  13. Pizza.
  14. I actually believe this crazy thing called Christianity.
  15. Giving is so so so so so much better and not to mention much more fun than receiving.
  16. I am surrounded by so many awesome co-workers.
  17. And I am so so incredibly blessed.
Thank you all for being awesome.
The end.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I want more.
I want more than the American dream.
I want more from life.
Safety, security, and comfort?
Are these really the ultimate's in life?
Hedge your bets Ming. Save your money because you never know what will happen. You will never have enough. Always increase your standard of living. You have to keep up with the Jones. Come on don't look back-join the rat race. 

Live a nice quiet, safe, comfortable, and secure life--and then lay down quietly in a coffin and die.

Is this Christianity?

Creating a comfortable safe little bubble of security in the world...? Is this what Jesus was talking about? 

Is this all church can ever be? A nice little meeting that I go to on Sundays? Where I listen to a few songs and hear a sermon that only makes me feel empathy for a moment--but never moves my hands and feet? 

Is this it?

I want more.

I see such a dichotomy between what I have been taught my whole life that Christianity was about and how we live. How I live.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I have real problems...

You know when you read something and it makes you confront the ugliness that you hide? That was the latest article that Andrew Peterson wrote.

But perhaps the road of sanctification will be an easier one when we recognize in ourselves the sin of self-consciousness, the sin of reputation management, the sin of lying to ourselves. To live our lives with a pretense of self-sufficiency, strength, and have-it-togetherness is to diminish the visible work of God’s grace. One of your greatest blessings to the community around you may be your utter brokenness, it may be something about yourself that you loathe, but which Christ will use for his glory. When Jesus is Lord of our brokenness we are free to rejoice in the mighty work he has yet to do in us. We are free to enter the stage in the face of the devil’s accusation, “You’re not good enough.”
The Christian’s answer: “Exactly!”
And we dance."

Sometimes I wish I was as good of a person as I project myself to be then I remember the things that I shun in myself is what God used to draw me to myself and I remember that I can dance because now, well now I am free.