Thankful Thursdays

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~~

 

 

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THANKFUL THURSDAY: Marriage + God

fierce_marriage_learning_love_like_christ

 

During the retreat I really felt God was speaking to my heart about the authority of Christ. Specifically the lack of His authority in one particular area: Marriage. Dr. Gainey showed this image on the PPT. It’s an oldie but a goodie from the 4 spiritual laws.

This is what God wants me to do in our marriage.

This is what God wants me to do in our marriage.

But as usual- my flesh nature always likes to kick Jesus off the chair or throne and put myself up there.

This is me

This is me

It began with my words. My decisions on when to fight and when to hold back. (Of course I’d feel fabulous when I would hold back–pffff) But He began to show me how I kick Him off the chair and the “me-centered” reasons,

“Jesus, You don’t understand…I gotta have my say this time.”

“Jesus, You take too long..I”ll tell him what’s up.”

“Jesus, Why me? I’m so tired of this.”

 

Sounds horrible ..but that’s me. By the end of the Retreat I was resolved in my heart to make a strong effort to pray about my marriage. Not like “Oh Jesus, change this situation. Change my husband etc etc.” But simply confessing my wrongs and asking Him to change me first.

Monday night rolled around and I waited for JP to go to bed so I could have the living room to myself. I finally got to sit alone in the living room. My time of prayer was therapeutic and healing for my heart as I began to confess and repent of my bitterness and resentment, God slowly purged out more ugliness in my heart. Tears rolled down and I didn’t even feel sad but they kept coming. Every non-Christlike thing I had mumbled under my breath as if I was saying it to JP, was confessed as sin, dropped like a hot potato with pleads to please change my heart and take this away from me. I never realized how broken and bitter I was until I willingly wanted to “release” them to God. Why did I hold onto them for so long?

When God speaks…its undeniable..

This is why God makes a difference in marriages.

He reveals His heart to us.

 

Tuesday I came home and I began to review our Life Journal readings. Jesus was asked how many folks will be saved? He responded (paraphrased a lot) “Work hard to go through the narrow gate. I’ll be honest, a lot of folks will try to enter but they won’t be able to.” Strive was the keyword that struck a chord in my heart. Here I was refusing to let go of my bitterness. My stubborn ways of avoiding reconciliation or avoiding peace shouted out, “You’re not striving…you’re not fighting FOR this marriage. You’re giving up and into your own ways.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NASB

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

I wasn’t boxing…I was shadowboxing. Taking the easy route and not fighting for this marriage. It was a prompting that came to my heart immediately after reading this passage. It felt like a no brainer. That’s how easily and quickly the heart changed. All my resisting reasons vanished and I just knew I had to go talk to him about it.

Long story short, what meant to be a short reconciliation ended up being a wonderful conversation that lasted for 4 hours!! Its a miracle I tell you. A miracle that only God could do in my heart. A miracle that only God could provide in our marriage.

Even though it’s been 48 hours since this miracle happened, Im still amazed by it. Still praising God for it. Still thankful for the work that was done. It’s helped us strive to love one another like Christ.

 

 

THANKFUL THURSDAY: Today, I’m thankful for…

Because of the week’s schedule, I usually end up sharing all my praises and thanksgiving on Thursday about Wednesday’s CG gathering…which is probably how Thankful Thursday worked out so well for me so far. Last night’s study, we focused on the topic of prayer. One of the verses we didn’t get a chance to look at but still left an impression on my heart was Colossians 4:2

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

I have a constant complaint to God but instead of focusing on the complaint I want to shift my attitude to gratitude. Here’s what I’m thankful for this morning.

MULTIPLICATION of WDMULTIPLY

Our fist night...away

Our fist night…away

Our 1st week of fellowshipping as two CGs. Bittersweet but absolutely in awe of God and how He works. His timing, His purpose. His work in our hearts to trust and obey even if the road is unknown. All the more praises.

 MY JOB

2014 has been an amazing year. It’s my 4th year at this law office and at times I can’t believe what has been happening. I had the opportunity to lead a lunch discussion once a month from April to July. I felt like God was placing it on my heart to invite all my female coworkers and do a “study”. It was for school and a temporary project.  I would offer a free lunch on the first Friday of the month and we’d read a passage, go over a few questions and pray. So amazed at how so many of them came out faithfully. We took a a break in August and came back in September because they wanted to continue meeting and learning about God.

Just this week, my boss approved purchasing personalized bibles for the gathering! Ah so excited. I wondered at times, “Is this what life can look like when we choose to obey (even with reluctant attitudes and delays) God?” I’m sure it’s more than this. Crazier and wilder than this…

 

LOVING FRIENDS:

There are a handful of those in my life that check up on me, ask me “How are you today?”, not just keep connected with me but genuinely care for my wellbeing by asking questions, praying for me, and going beyond the surface level conversations..We all know friends don’t grow on trees.

Everybody wants to be loved and encouraged. I don’t think there’s anybody who was born wanting to be rejected, despised or discouraged.  So grateful for the Kakao voice notes that come through sharing how God is speaking to them, their struggles, prayer requests, and just showing honor/respect/encouragement.

“Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eater to show respect for one another.” Romans 12:10 GNT

 

One area I am working on being thankful or more thankful is my marriage. Marriage is so hard and when you’re in the refinery, boy being thankful is not naturally overflowing from the heart. But I’m learning and being gently reminded by God’s spirit how to become more and more like a 1 peter 3:1 wife. It’s not easy to always do the 1st part of it or..all of it to be honest.

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,”

But I’m thankful God has been teaching me about becoming a 1 Peter 3:1 wife. I probably fall under the unsuccessful wife than the successful one but I want to continue obeying and not giving up God’s Word and His promise of the Holy Spirit’s power living in me..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANKFUL THURSDAY: Go and Make…

Thursday was originally meant to be the week of celebration. We were celebrating the completion of Chapter 2 in our study-just like we normally planned on doing after every 5 weeks of study. But God had a different plan for this 6th week.

On August 24 I felt the need to call Jina and FINALLY (mind you this was a long time of hesitation and just waiting) invite her to consider becoming a CG (community group) leader and multiplying our group of 9 (including me). Multiplying a group was always considered a far off idea because finding leaders to lead the new birthed group is really..impossible. But Jesus said in Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God

Never thought it was be this possible and quick.

We realized that what God was pressing upon my heart..He was also doing a work and impressing upon Jina’s heart the call to step up and serve. I remember giving a HUGE sigh of relief.

“Why did I hesitate? Why did I doubt so much silly Judy.”

One thing led to another and Denise was on board to support Jina in her role as a CG leader through admin support. DONE.

I felt like pinching myself. The idea of multiplication was always a closed door but to experience it happening so quickly and smoothly. *pinch pinch pinch* Along with anxiety and excitement came my flesh creeping up with doubts, 2nd doubts, 3rd doubts and fears.

2 days before our celebration, God’s word just comforted me so much!

Ezekiel 17:22-24 NLT

“This is what the Sovereign lord says: I will take a branch from the top of a tall cedar, and I will plant it on the top of Israel’s highest mountain. It will become a majestic cedar, sending forth its branches and producing seed. Birds of every sort will nest in it, finding shelter in the shade of its branches. And all the trees will know that it is I, the lord , who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, the lord , have spoken, and I will do what I said!”

Although He’s speaking about God’s people and the coming of the Messiah, my heart wanted to pray :

” I pray and hope that likewise how the LORD took a new twig, He will take this new CG twig and plant it where it will flourish and grow. Where many birds will nestle in the tree and those around will confidently be able to say that it is truly God who grew this CG. He took a seed from the first one and it has grown. That God would take glory and praise not only from our lips but from those around. I pray He will fulfill a promise like this for both the CGs.”

Our Celebration evening was not just for committing and finishing a chapter but to also celebrate/announce the final details of our CG multiplying. One last Hoorah together before we begin meeting as two CGs. After sharing who will go to which group, I expected questions and questions but thankfully (?) nobody really asked which I praise God for. What each person is thinking- I am not sure but all I know is …this is happening folks! God be glorified please!

 

I would hope these ladies would experience the power of Jesus more and more in their lives as we continue to study. That Jina would become a disciple who makes other disciple-making disciples….

 

First time going to NRB with a small group. A bunch of closet Karoake Queens here. Wonderful talent both in singing and dancing!

 

 

Man we sang “End of the Road” with all we had left….

 

What an evening…

I can’t wait what’s next.

 

Thankful Thursday: My Spiritual Family of Faith

Yesterday was a difficult day to pass through at work.

The day started off well with reading John 15:4-7 and I had a draft sitting in my inbox waiting with “S” and “O”.

My “A” application and “P” prayer was needed.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure how to apply this scripture but I just knew it stuck around in my heart and head for a reason.

Because all it took was one phone call. One discourage phone call with a client to ruin the condition of my heart and mind. It’s one of those interactions where it hurts the most and disappoints the most because they’re a member of your church. But it’s a sobering reminder (and painful one) that it doesn’t matter whether they’re “churched” or not, all have fallen short. All are broken. Nobody is perfect.

I sent out my LJ in a broken manner. I was angry, felt unfairly treated and hurt from the phone call. Even trying to do the “right” thing was extremely hard but all I wanted to do was the “right” thing. Whatever Jesus would have done, I wanted to do and let my conscious be clear and leave it up to God.

The LJ

JHN 15:4-7 ESV

Abide/Dwell/Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (<–Salvation ) If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

O:

Tried to look up the definition of Abide and how that looks like in our walk with Christ.

“The word “abide” basically means “to remain.” Every Christian remains inseparably linked to Christ in all areas of life. We depend on Him for grace and power to obey. We look obediently to His Word for instruction on how to live. We offer Him our deepest adoration and praise and we submit ourselves to His authority over our lives. In short, Christians gratefully know Jesus Christ is the source and sustainer of their lives.”

If anyone does not “abide” in Jesus then he/she is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. The “symptoms” of a dead branch is a branch that doesn’t bear fruit and grow. It withers with no purpose in life. LIkewise, “abiding in Christ” is evidence of real salvation. There are folks who will say they’re saved or say that they’re Christians but they quit on Jesus or quit abiding in Jesus. Like 1 John 2:19 says: “These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.” If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Me…(John 8:31)

A:

So this application has become quite specific and timely as my day has just taken an interesting turn. Trying to do the right thing is not easy. Trying to help an upset client (who also goes to NVC and Pathway) really took my heart for a bad turn this morning. Even though I felt like the phone call ended in unfairly. I wanted to mull over my mistreatment..but knowing that the lady is a “sister in Christ” her family is a family in Christ to me..it was hard. Really hard..to pick up the phone and try to call her to apologize for “something I didn’t do” and try to explain to her that I”ll help and have the phoen hung up on me but ..I called again and left a message just encouraging her that because we are going to the same church let’s not be like this..and a part of me, the feeling sucks. Leaving the same VM on her husband’s cell ..I don’t know what got into me. but I just wanted to do the “right thing” as a Christian and ask that we try to resolve this without emotions. To submit myself to His authority. To depend on Him for grace, not only for my own mistakes but also when others make a mistake..and the power to obey. Man today’s reading application is head on. Jesus, please help me to abide in You even if it feels unfair or hurtful..I want to bear fruit and shine through this situation Jesus. What would Jesus do…I hope I can follow through-trust and obey.

P:

God, if I have wronged this client, please reveal it to me and let me humble myself before You and her. God you know my heart and I take refuge in you right now. Refuge to guard me from my own emotions and sinful thoughts. To not lead my own feet into a slippery slope of pitty and bitterness towards another family in Christ. Please help me to abide in you completely. I surrender this situation to you. Grant me a peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit that this world or my coworkers cannot offer. They heard me slam the phone, they heard the frustration in my voice God I pray that in return they would not remember the bad but see the Christ in me after all this is done and over. Please glorify thyself in this ugly situation and may I bear fruit for you that give evidence of my salvation in You today. In Jesus name I pray amen.

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My gratitude this Thursday comes from my spiritual family at Pathway. Their responses to my LJ and Kakao request for prayer brought such strength and encouragement to my heart. Very opposite of what I had just experience prior.

“Keep shinning for The Lord even if it’s hard. Praying for you Judy! Please keep letting me know how I can pray for you.”
image

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”  1 corinthians 13:4-6

 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32

“Eek. Wow sorry Judy! What a horrible way to start your morning. Praying for you. Breathe Judy~ Praying for you!”

“Ahhhh. Praying for you Judy! Prayer that all this will blow over very quickly!!”

“Himnae (Be strong) Judy unni. Deep inside she knows it’s not your fault but you just  잘못걸렸어 (you were at the wrong place/wrong time) Probably she just needed somebody to yell at. =(. I”ll bring some Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes. Let’s eat that and shake it off. ”

“Try to meditate on the same compassion that Jesus had when he wept for the people who yelled “Hosanna” because they didn’t know or understand..”

 

Such overwhelming support and reminders of truth through scripture and encouragement. I am so grateful for my CG, my husband and additional ministry co-servants. What would I do without this family???

(Makes me worried about leaving CA)

 

Thankful Thursday: 25 People You should say Thank You to Today

A few days ago I read a blog on thankfulness by Ron Edmondson. His article talked about 25 people you should say Thank You to today. Here’s my response to his 25.

It’s never a bad thing to talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens. (Excuse my rant from last night) So here’s a new start to a new day, focusing on gratitude.

The person who gave you a start in your career.

Someone who encourages you that you only know online.

A random stranger God lays on your heart.

A teacher who had the greatest impact on you.

A friend who was there when you needed one most.

A pastor who helped shape your understanding of God.- Beth Moore

I don’t know if Beth Moore is a pastor but I know she’s a gifted teacher of God’s Word. I will never forget her message at Passion’s One Day 2000 where she talked about idolatry. (10:13 begins)

It changed me from the inside and out. It’s where my one and only tattoo was inspired from.

The person you know who prays for you regularly.

The person who waits on you everyday — somewhere — and you don’t even know their name.

A politician you admire for doing the right thing — as best as you can tell.

The unexpected person who was there for you at just the right time in your life.

A person who may not receive encouragement from anyone else.

A leader you admire.

Someone who has invested in you and doesn’t even know it.

The person who has been the most patient with you.

Someone who believed in you when no one else did.

An emergency services professional — police, fire, military, etc.

Your childhood best friend.- Cynthia & Julie

We’re having a reunion this in 2 weeks! I CANNOT WAIT!

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A bunch of goofballs we are.

A bunch of goofballs we are.

The person who introduced you to the person you married.

A college professor who challenged you to think bigger.

Someone who inspires you with something they do well.

Someone who was a good friend to your parents.

A person you think is under appreciated. -Wilson Kim

Wilson Kim is the definition of behind the scenes servant. He comes on Sundays and he stays until 5pm- cleaning, taking out the garbage and putting back all the snack supplies. Definitely want to show him some appreciation for all he does at all the Pathway events, not just Sunday worship.

Someone who has a smile that encourages you.

A family member who holds the family together.

The parent who paved your way.

 

Who are you thankful for?