Month: October 2014

The Loneliness of the Christian

Today, I feel lonely. I feel discouraged and weary in the soul. Those three elements can weigh down a heart more than any physical ailment or tragedy can bring. Combine the three with a physical ailment and it’s as if death has come early. I don’t think any person is created to do life alone. Christian or not. We’re all wired to have community. As believers, we’re saved to join a community. Lone Ranger Christian isn’t part of God’s plan…or is it?

The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.”- A.Z. Tozer (The Loneliness of the Christian)


Tozer said it right.

But it seems very inevitable for those who are in ministry. There always comes these moments where the soul feel drained or empty from pouring one’s heart out doesn’t it? Once summer passes, you gear up for the busy & distracting season of Fall & Winter. The signs are clear right? Busyness, distractions of the consumer world, the me-me mentality, “others/church” are further pushed down the list of priority, serving the Church must reduce and I must increase… etc etc. Typical signs of the worldly influence this time of the season. Been feeling like I’m running hard. Hard for the Church, hard for discipleship and training, hard for the CG ladies to abide in Christ in Word and Prayer, hard to be available in pouring out myself to others for the sake of the Kingdom..but come 2-3 miles down, I look around and I feel as if nobody is running along side with me.

“Go a few more miles Judy, somebody will come along side with encouragement and reminders.”

You pour out confessions and share struggles but any morsel of encouragement is outweighed by the needs of the body, the news of defeated lives, complaints of how horrible and hard life is, no joy, no hunger, no strength to fight in those around you. The need in the body is overwhelming and great.  I start looking around and wondering, “where are the other mature believers God? Where is the ‘when one body part hurts the rest hurt?”

 

 

Those who care would ask, “How is your time in the Word?” I’d say, “Consistent and good. He’s speaking a new word in me everyday. I’m wrestling with a lot of things He’s telling me recently about ministry and my approach to it.”  But still…

I’ve been asking myself, “Judy, what is it that is bringing you down? What is it that you’re hungry for?”

I’m hungry to see God’s people start living the life they were saved to live. For somebody to say, “I experienced Christ today and it was amazing!!”

 

 

 

Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.

The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the broken-hearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer as it were caught up to the third heavens and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. “God will not suffer you to lose anything by it,” he told them. “You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you.” This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful “adjustment” to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

 light_in_dark

WEEKEND REVIEW: Raising funds for the Kingdom!!!

1 Corinthians 15:58

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Enthusiastically for the Lord knowing that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. This was one of the physically demanding weekends which is probably why I felt absolutely slammed on Monday morning.

Saturday: JP’s Barbershop reopened for business & the World Series

It started off as a FB invitation to watch the WS. Then it became a “The Parks will host” & come for haircuts on Saturday to raise funds for CIC. At first it was just 2 customers. My husband kakao’s me, “Wife, can you please make some Budae Jiggae (Army Base Stew) for Bill and MJ? They’re coming on Saturday for haircuts. Sure. That’s not a problem. Then the thread on FB started growing and next thing I know, we have a total of 3 mouths to feed  and that escalated quickly to 5. 3 customers, 2 WS watchers and 2 hosts. (hey we gotta eat too right?)

3 customers lined up

3 customers lined up

 

We had a great time eating and cheering for the Giants. Of course it didn’t get interesting until the 6th inning came. I loved our MJ came cheering for the underdog. I get it. I mean I would too ..if it was against a team that I didn’t care. I’m not a huge fan of football so I usually cheer for the underdog. But…CMON it’s the Giants here! We all called him out on being a closet Giants fan.

I had dinner and left for a Karaoke party for a church member’s birthday. I thought it was pretty interesting because it was mostly moms and I’ve never hung out with a group of moms unless it was at the Retreat or a Women’s Ministry event. I came out and they had already belted through songs. I tried to find songs that they would like to sing together but I think I felt a slight pop culture/generation gap. Growing up, I listened to kpop and maybe some Mariah Carey. These ladies were busting out some songs I never knew even existed. They were “popular songs” according to them. I gotta give it to these ladies though..they can SING!

When I came back home, the Giants had a fabulous and UHMAYZING comeback. I guess it wasn’t until the 8th inning that MH our underdog fan said, “let’s start cutting hair because it looks like we won.” back up there. WE ???? WON???? lol Love it.

I can’t believe in about less than 2 months, my husband and 4 other brothers will be heading out to Asia for Christmas. To watch him use his skills to raise funds bring a smile to my heart. Speaking of which just the other day a brother came over and they were collaborating on some top secret event for CIC2014. Very excited to see these brothers work together to make CIC happen. I’m looking forward to seeing them grow together, serve together and “taste and see that the Lord is good” together.

 

Sunday: OCC “Shots for Shoeboxes”

Sundays are always a long day. “Church” begins at 8:30am every Sunday and this past Sunday it ended at 9pm. I had a fun time just hanging out with some of my CG ladies over Santouka Ramen. We all came out starving from 2nd service and so it’s just natural that our car conversations started with food. We listed all the foods we enjoyed, all the foods we wanted to introduce to one another and what we love and why we love it. Verbal gluttony at its finest. HA!

The day has FINALLY come! I’m no baller but I’ll use the Judy Nowitzki alter ego as my weapon. I was so grateful for the turnout of sponsors. Really, a FB event post and when I checked the signups, it  just blew my mind how friends from the past, new recent friends and unexpected friends committed 1,2 or 10.00 for every shot I made.

I think out of all the fundraiser events planned for OCC, I was most excited for this one. It was too bad that although many signed up, only 5 came out getting sponsors to raise funds for OCC. It was the most thrilling 30 minutes with a mix of tension and competition. When the 1 minute time started, it felt like the shortest but also the longest 1 minute ever. I couldn’t smell, or hear much. It was all about getting the ball in my hand and launching it the best I could towards the board/net and repeat. I hope next year that whoever does coordinate OCC, presents the 2nd Shots for Shoeboxes fundraiser. We raised almost 1K just from 5 individuals. Lots of potential in this event. Outreach and Inreach.

 

 

Thank you God for the opportunity use our skills for your work to be done. May what was done not be in vain. May every second and every penny bear “God pleasing” fruit.

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Sat

LOVELY LETTERS: OCTOBER= Blog Twin~

Blog Twins. First time ever.

This month I was paired up with another Korean Georgian. (What do they call folks out in that state? Georgiaites? Georgians? Georgicans?)

When the partners were released I checked her blog and for a millisecond, I thought I was looking at mine! We have the same wordpress theme going on. (ye yeaah) Check out her blog right here!

Going through her blog, I gave mad respect for her taking the opportunity to live in Turkey , bear with the differences and pour out into young lives. Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone.  Loved interacting and getting to know a bit of her on social media. Looking forward to more of her posts and tweets! =D

Sweet of her! She packed it in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child! THANK YOU JANIS!

Sweet of her! She packed it in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child! THANK YOU JANIS!

I literally raised my voice and said, “OH EM GEEE!” My husband must’ve thought I was weird but Kitler ran over to check out what the excitement was about! Here’s to unpacking this package! I read her note and then I went for it like a madwoman! lol

 

I saw these round balls and I thought, ” NO WAY!” She sent new toys for Kitler! My memory fails but I don’t recall talking about Kitler. Maybe I have truly become a cat woman. I was excited to unwrap these toys and let Kitler go after them. She took some time to warm up but once she was familiarized she went nuts…like past midnight I would hear the bells tinkering hahah!

 

I enjoy receiving stationary, cards and things that help me slow down. Technology can zap a  lot of life out of a person so I really admired all the cute and funny designs on the cards Janis sent. (Of course especially the cat one!) I’ve always heard of  My Utmost for His Highest for the longest time and flipped through pages here and there but to finally own my copy- no more excuses and just go through it. Thank you for the journal. It’s useful and will be well used for CG as you purposed! =D

And of course she adds some TLC for me. =) Thank you for the nail polish and lotion. The cold weather can do a number on the skin. And who would reject a cup of tea during the fall /winter season? Can’t wait to enjoy all of these items this Fall!

 

Grateful for the items in the package as well as the encouragement hidden behind it. Thank you for these gifts/tools for myself, for ministry and for others~<3

A beautiful package filled with purpose! Thank you Janis!

A beautiful package filled with purpose! Thank you Janis!

 

And..Kitler is seriously a girl. She was chilling nearby as I took a picture of this entire package. The sparkle.. THE SPARKLE BLING BLING of the earrings caught her eye. Estrogen v. Estrogen. She went for it and I freaked out thinking she was going to put it in her mouth!

 

I captured her greedy furball butt going for my cat earrings!

I captured her greedy furball butt going for my cat earrings!

 

Any bloggers out there that want to join Lovely Letters? Click on the button below for more details!

 

Lovely Letters Snail Mail Exchange

TOP TEN TUESDAY: KPOP Covers of Pop songs

So I haven’t done anything along the lines of Kpop/Kdrama in a while so here’s my top ten (current) covers by Kpop artists.

 

1. “How Am I Suppose to Live Without You” by Moon Myung Jin

I can’t get enough of Moon Myung Jin. This guy’s story is amazing. He spent 10 years going unrecognized and it wasn’t until the past 1-2 years that his talent surfaced and got the attention it really deserves.  Known for his smooth R&B voice and high hitting notes, you won’t be disappointed! He even wow’d Michael Bolton who wanted to personally compliment MMJ after the show! Watch out for the fan at 4:10 ;P

 

2. “Thriller” by Racoon Boys

The cutest trio to survive in KPOP Star (One of Korea’s  many versions of American Idol) Brian who has the main vocal is actually a local from the South Bay. Too bad they didn’t make it to the final round but their covers are entertaining!

 

3. “Mercy” by Lee Hi

Man this girl’s voice is not your typical stereotype Asian voice. She’s got rugged soul. It’s a shame she hasn’t been able to use it again once she signed into YG Entertainment.

 

4. “Love the Way You Lie” by 2000 Won & Lee Hi

I was rooting for 2000W when they were on KPOP Star Season 2.  More because of the vocal talent. Loved it even more when it was paired with Lee Hi.

5. “When I’m Gone”‘ Cups by SPICA

These ladies are under the same management as Lee Hyori. She adores SPICA and teaches them the ins and out of the industry. They are definitely talented and have yet to receive the recognition they deserve.

 

6. “Lean On Me” by  So Hyang

An asian Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston in one tiny body. Wait for it…

 

7. “Officially Missing You” by SPICA

The harmony is fabulous. It’s not the full song but even the short portion sounds awesome.

 

8. “Right Here Waiting” by Bernard Park

The recent winner of KPOP Star. A voice as sweet and smooth as his deserves the win.

 

9. “Stand By Me” by Sam Kim

The rival of Bernard Park in KPOP Star. His guitar skills are amazing for his age. I hope somebody picks him up. Love the “acoustic” play in this song.

10. “I Have Nothing” , “Listen” by 짜리몽땅

It’s rare to find a harmonizing trio to come out on shows like KPOP Star but these high school girls always brought new light to these songs. The asian motown girls.

 

 

Looking forward to see other new rising artists perform fresh covers.

WEEKEND REVIEW: Serving with Pathwayonians

This past weekend my husband went on a short roadtrip to SoCal with a brother to celebrate their “Tax freedom”. The poor guy was clocking in crazy hours at work for the Tax extension and he invited JP to go on a Food Binge Trip to LA. Which means…I have lots of time to do lots of things. =D

 SATURDAY

5:45AM: OCC East Bay Garage Sale

This Saturday was OCC’s 1st Fundraiser: East Bay/Union City Garage Sale. We bumped the start time to 7am and end time to noon based off of previous garage sale patterns. Woke up at 5:45am to pick up a new brother at Pathway who volunteered to help out: Allen Han. I saw him at church before and thought he was Japanese. He had his helmet and red “trick” bike tied to the light pole.  He had his donated items of fishing poles, a skateboard and other small items. Great conversation just getting to know one another on our drive up to the East Bay. Seems like such a kind-hearted brother who was rescued by God  from a lot of dangerous and bad moments in life. Looking forward to hearing more of his story.

You would think most Garage Sale professionals would be there 8am sharp to swoop in for all the good stuff but I guess Union City runs on a different clock. Filipino Time. By 9am we had only 2-3 customers. Confused!!!

 

 

I had to leave for a CIC 2013 Reunion but I was informed that they ended up doing a “Bag for 5” deal which meant they could stuff a plastic or paper bag with anything they wanted for $5. The crowd went wild folks! =) Great news! At the end of the day they raised over $450.00!! WOOHOOT!

 

10:00AM: CIC 2013 Reunion at HK Saigon (Dim Sum)

Rushed over and got lost but finally joined the 2013 CIC team for a reunion over Dim Sum. By the time I got there they were seated and “taking a break” from stuffing their faces. I was starving. All I had was coffee & hashbrowns. I was ready for some REAL food!

DIM SUM YUM!

DIM SUM YUM!

It was great just sitting at a table with these folks.  Spent Christmas with them in SE Asia, sharing the real story of Christmas and the Good News of Jesus Christ. 1 year later we’re sending our next team, reflecting on the memories and sharing our hopes for 2014 CIC. Although 4 out of 5 attend Pathway, we don’t really get a chance to sit down and catch up on the day to day stuff.

 

 

The busy restaurant behind us

The busy restaurant behind us

 

Some of my souvenirs from our 2013 trip. Can’t show too much unfortunately. =)

 

I have a heart for this country and this year my husband gets to go with the fellowship of the Pathway Bromance. LOL. So grateful I got to go in 2012 and 2013. Praying..MAD PRAYING that what God revealed to my heart will be revealed to this team. MAD MAD Praying that the desires He has given me..will be also given to my husband’s heart as well.

4:15pm Run Errands at the Mall

With my husband going this year, I wanted to prepare some gifts to send over to our partnering team. I had dinner & dessert plans with some former CG ladies at 6:00pm so I wanted to get a slight head start. What was meant to be dinner & dessert event became the longest time I’ve probably spent in the mall. (I don’t enjoy the mall at all)  Hung out with Thuy & Margaret in the Food Court followed by Mealtop. I was really looking forward to experiencing it and it was “okay”. I think I’m just fobby and enjoy the original Korean shaved ice. Mealtop is definitely catering the mouths of “non-koreans/asians” but nonetheless it was a nice time to catch up and see where God is leading them and the plans they have made.

 

Our time ended a bit shorter than usual so Thuy and I continued shopping for baby clothes to send. We split off and I made a 2nd trip to visit my dongseng, David. Love this brother. He’s the younger brother I would totally want and sometimes..not want =P. Watching him sweat and hustle in this narrow kiosk made me feel super proud of him. Making curly fries & fries all day is no joke. Plus he’s managering 3 below him. 멋있다 동생!!

20141018_173333

I thought I’d hang out with him when he’s done with work so I ordered a small order of fries and stuck around. He signaled me over and asked me if I could do a HUGE favor for him. “Uh oh..”

He needed to buy a gift for a close brother at his home church and his budget was $$. CHA CHING! DID I HEAR A CHALLENGE? The mall closes at 9:00pm and it was 8:35pm when he told me. I quickly collected as much details about this unknown man and I jetted off. It was fun!  A bit nerve-racking because time was short but it the end it all worked out. Plus! I was under his budget. *pat on shoulder* yes. Yes! SUCCESS!

 

SUNDAY

Worship with the Body of Believers

I love worshiping with the body of believers. Our pastor was off for this Sunday but our intern pastor Jennard was preaching up a message that wasn’t the most easiest to hear and especially do. He was preaching on James 5:13-19.

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back,20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

 

The community is meant to be a place where healing takes place. But based on James 5:16, that healing takes place when we confess our sins and pray for one another.  But it’s hard to open up to folks, even if you’re in the same community group. Some of the take away points I was reminded of were:

  • Confession of sins must be done with wisdom & discernment. Although James 5:14 speaks of the elders, it doesn’t necessarily mean “old” but more of a spiritually mature believer. There are believers who may not be able to handle our confessions well. We must be careful.
  • When we are in Christ Jesus, we are that “righteous person”-clothed and made right with God. (Not to be confused with unconfessed sin.)

1 John 1:9.

I believe many don’t believe in this verse which leaves a lot of Christians who say they are born again—crippled, handicapped and in the jaws of guilt, shame and condemnation.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleans us of all unrighteousness. ”

 

I really with our community of believers would trust “until proven guilty” and share to experience the power of James 5:16

 

 

THANKFUL THURSDAY: The Art of Grace Song

 

I’ve had the wonderful joy of getting to know Grace through her handmade cards. I can’t recall exactly when she first started “debuting” them but it was  when she went on a mission trip to Venezuela. She sold her cards to raise funds for her and the team. She had her cards laid out on a table near the Pathway entrance.

“She’s got talent and passion for this.”

July 2010 @ SFO

Ms. Song on her way to Venezuela :July 2010 @ SFO

4 years later she’s launched her very own Etsy Store called eaueau.  Check out her store here. Her listings go up and go fast! This past Sunday she surprised me with a large framed wrapped up. I couldnt’ wait to get home to unwrap it!

 

 

I couldn’t believe how beautiful this piece is. To just stare and soak in the scripture that was sewn/sown into this canvas is exciting and refreshing. Thank you Grace! I love this and love what God has gifted you with~~