Month: June 2014

We SURRRVIVED!

Oh man~~ Did not think we would survive but preparing mentally and physically for this mud run really helped. If anything, it taught me the importance of encouragement and spurring one another on.

Maybe it’s the training and encouragement I received at Organic Fitness. Man, we got our butts kicked working out at Organic Fitness. But there was a sense of serving one another whether it was as simple as handing out the pipes for stretching or encouraging one another- whispering (because we were so out of breath) “Good job” as we passed each other by. All of it carried over to the Gladiator Run. High 5s after every obstacle we completed, “cmon..let’s keep going” even after my partner got injured to just keep encouraging and keeping count of how many more obstacles were left until we made it across the finish line.

At one obstacle, we had to piggy back ride one another and I looked at my partner’s frame…THERE WAS NO WAY SHE WAS GONNA PIGGY BACK RIDE ME..especially with an injury. Carry one another’s burden…gladly. joyfully.

 

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Before we lined up.. So fresh and so clean clean

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Obviously I got this …even with my eyes closed =P

 

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RAWR!!!

 

 

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Mudded up and feeling like champs…with some pain here and there.

 

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Love this pic..even the photobomb!

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JON 1:13-16 ESV

Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they called out to the Lord , “O Lord , let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord , have done as it pleased you.” So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

Danger falls upon some innocent men at sea because of Jonah’s disobedience. Doesn’t sound fair but they quickly realize that it must be a spiritual thing. So they cast lots and find out the culprit is Jonah and his God because Jonah mentioned he was running away from God. They tried to beat God’s winds and waves on their own even after Jonah told them to throw him over. When they eventually did, they were amazed and feared God and made vows.

To me that sounds like worship just happened. Out of a tragedy came a God thing that only God could do. Its amazing tk see how a terrifying situation can lead to salvation. TRULY..Anything is possible with God. Even though Jonah disobeyed and ran from God, in the end God still had His way but He influenced and affected those involved. So mindful and detailed is our God!! Merciful and compassionate is He. My heart worships because I see my situation with Carol how I turned away but God’s will still prevailed. Even in Grace’s story about how a hurtful fight with Rick could lead to questions… God move!!

God I am truly amazed at what you are doing in my life and others. I see your power and abilities and they cannot be compared to anybody or anything. God I know I was foolish and disobedient to turn away Carol. I’m sorry and ‘Im thankful God for your patience and compassion on me. Would you help me to not think about the opinions of man.. cast out the complaints  away from me God. I want to please You and You alone. Change their hearts God and continue to change mine. May my sensitivity be strengthened or redirected to others ares but not to the voice of man…may I give no room for that God. Help me Lord. I pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.

6.26 I am a witness

What a night of fellowship.

God made a way for me to witness His goodness today. My commute to church was so clear and free as if He wanted me to be alone with Him to pray. As I spent time in the chapel praying there was a desperate sense in me that without Him, the growth of this group would fail. Name by name, all the observations, assumptions, fears and dissatisfaction I had were surrendered and prayed over. And then..I stopped. I can’t explain why I stopped but I just felt it was time to be silent and listen..

 

And then the idea came to mind.

 

It’s like I could imagine members of the prayer team sitting in the rows before worship, praying for each row. Praying for their hearts to be tender to the preaching of God’s Word. Praying that their hearts would respond in obedience. Praying for a revival, an awakening, for the Holy Spirit to fall fresh on the body of believers.

7:30pm

We began our dinner and things were awkward. I can pick up things from certain ladies and I just tried my best to brush it off and keep my eyes fixed on the goal: Teach the Truth. As we began our study, something came over me. The moment Fenny shared that she couldn’t understand the law, this boldness came over me and I just wanted to stop and park there in the law/sin for a while. We talked things over, read verses 6 times in different translations, listened intently and just didn’t give a chance for our minds and heart to simply “gloss over” the Scripture but really stop, park and listen. Holy Spirit moved. Although not everybody was participating, it was okay. Those that were chewing and regurgitating and chewing again were taking it in.

There was no fear in my heart. No “what ifs”.

No hesitations.

Just a confident in where I knew this is what I had to do.. No Ifs ands or buts.

Other than the fasting verses the next theme of verses that nudging me as this evening approached were:

“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by may reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” – Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2

Timothy, guard what God has entrusted you. Avoid godless foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. My God’s grace be with you all.” – A. Paul in 1 Timothy 6:20-21

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”  -Titus 2:11-15

 

All these things that were spoken came alive tonight. It is by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. There was authority and I just thought,

“Wow what has gotten into me?!?!?”

The best thing that God could have done for my advantage. The Holy Spirit.

 

We picked small pieces of paper to choose prayer groups and man, God is FUNNY! I ended up with Carol and Grace. The new visitor and the one sister I was struggling to encourage. It a little awkward but I really appreciated the 2:1 ratio. As Grace began to share there was a reconnection growing in my heart towards her. Something I had feared was completely depleted after our last conversation. I could hear seeds of God working in her life. In mysterious ways. Something about our time of sharing there were convictions in my heart that I knew only the Holy Spirit could give. Wisdom and understanding on how to choose in life. Where the line draws.

Then Carol began to share and I felt like somebody transported me back to China. She is a new believer. Maybe not even a believer but new to the faith. She wants to know God more and grow in a relationship with God. The hunger in her eyes the desire in her tears as she shared, “I want to know how to pray. ” Was simply humbling and amazing. I had NO idea this is who Carol was. The how and why she was brought to this group was so evident. God wanted her there.

It hit me..Wow God. I foolishly ignored your opportunity but with patience and grace you allowed her to still come to this group. Only You would do such a thing God and still have the patience with me.

I won’t forget this evening. It has created in me a deeper hunger to read the Word and fast with prayer. Once this Gladiator Run is done, back at it. Fast and pray….

 

The ladies tonight.

The ladies tonight.

Surprises after surprises..

It’s been 24 hours since my birthday and I still cannot believe everything that happened from the moment I woke up until the last 30 minutes before I laid my head to rest.

Everything started happening after VBS on Wednesday night when Ivy and I started preparing crafts for the next day. Brian (whose birthday is on the 17th,) left the room and brought his mini birthday cake that was provided by the other brothers. Relit that candle and walked in with it so I could have my blowout. =) Super sweet and so surprised.

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June Babies

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Brian’s birthday cake

 

 

The Day of my Birthday

I’m awaken by the voice of my husband singing, “Happy Birthday”. He walks in with a Choco Pie propped up on wooden sticks and another stick lit up as a candle. I couldn’t help but chuckle. Men don’t have all the abilities of getting details “right” but his effort and heart made me smile. My breath knocked over the Choco Pie and almost caused a hole in my blanket. I got ready for work and left the house munching on my choco pie breakfast. Here a photo timeline of how my day went from work all the way to the evening. So sad my husband and I didn’t take any dinner pictures.

 

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Morning breakfast from the office!

 

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My lovely coworkers

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The thickest choco flan cake I have ever seen!

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The morning started off with coffee and coffee cake Yum!

 

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Got my birthday hug from Miso. Note: She’s not a hugger but did it anyways just for me .

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Time to close the office. Lorena & her husband surprise me with balloons and roses!

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Dinner surprise at church! They got me this year!!!

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I experienced so much gratitude and this state of being “blessed”. And don’t get me wrong, yes “blessed” can be defined in terms of materials and monetary goods but yesterday, if I said I felt “blessed” or “rich”, it was because of the blessings that came through relationships, acquaintances, friendships not necessarily gifts or materials.

 

So thankful for the people that God has placed around me. Whether it’s my 8 hour shift friends or my spiritual family at Pathway. I am truly blessed with folks who love me because God loved first.

 

Weekend Recap

What a weekend.

If there was an underlying theme to my weekend it would be this:

Show up. It counts.

After marrying an introvert, I’ve become more of an introvert. Not that it’s a bad thing. One of my favorite bloggers said, [Being introverted]…It’s a personality trait, not a heart monitor. I totally agree. When I was in my 20s, I was the social butterfly. Maybe I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin yet..leading me to say yes to anything and everybody.

But now… I’ve learned the hard way on when to say no. To protect what is precious and important: time and relationships. My dad used to tell me all the time:
“Judy… today (month/day/year) will pass and it will never come back again..so use it wisely without regrets.”

When he first said that I totally brushed it off like any prideful child would..but as time passed, it became a scary and sad reality I did not want to live. So I began to tell myself to “show up”.

Show up to the kid birthdays. Sure its hard to be around children when you cant have your own but show up. It matters.

Show up to the graduation, the practices, the ministry meetings…show up because even if you dont stay for the whole thing or participate 100%..it matters.

Here’s my crazy weekend of showing up.

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Happy 1st birthday Logan! I love well themed events…his mom is an amazing coordinator. Dr. Seuss’d it up all..the…way!

I had to rush from Logan’s to Adam’s 2nd bday about 45 mins north. I forgot to take pics but this event was one that was intentional. High school friends. I don’t keep in touch with any of them except a handful…and she’s one of them. Ended up being a long honest talk with her younger brother about life and relationships.

Heading back home was good because I get to drive through my hometown and meet my cousin. I dont like shopping with gfs but her, Ill invite and ask for her opinion. She’s honest and she has an eye for it. Ulta to In n Out. Love catching up with her.
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SUNDAY

I love worshipping with the church body. Something about it brings a sense of community, comfort and refreshment to my heart and soul. Praying with the prayer team is always a blessing. Mcdonalds and prayer. Best Sunday morning combo!!

Pastor Jennard did a great job exhorting the believers to protect their intimacy with God. To fight for it. That even Paul considered everything else in this world rubbish compared to know Christ. Amen….amen.

VBS meeting to Flag football practice to Volleyball practice. Man was it hot! Walked away from FF just drenched in sweat! Didnt help that I had jeans and a black shirt on while playing.
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I decided to join FF this year..after two years of folks asking I should do it now or never. I’m not getting any younger.

Speaking of which…need to record my thoughts on getting older…hmm

Following Christ can be a lonely journey sometimes..

But what about the Church? The body of believers?

 

It’s not easy to stick out but the cost of following Christ is exactly that. Be set apart. Consecrated for great purpose and plan.

I think I’ve felt like this for about over a year or so..It’s hard to find folks who want to run hard and run together with others. Times like this I do miss Lynn. Being purposeful and intentional with all things. But I know, God has placed women in my life to teach and show how to run hard and even if that means jogging along side them and pointing them on how to train and pursue Christ with their lives..I am content and “happy” to do so.