All posts filed under: Journal

Things We Will Miss About Grace Church

Well, as the Lord has it, we are moving! I have the privilege of serving at San Francisco Bible Church as an assistant pastor. The Lord has been gracious to us during these last few years. As we reflect on God’s blessing in our lives, we would like to take this time to talk about what we will miss about Grace Community Church. This post is a culmination of everything that my wife and I are thankful for. The Preaching. This is an obvious one. The preachers at Grace Church have been so faithful in handling God’s word and explaining to all of us each and every week. We will miss not only Pastor John’s faithful exposition of the text, but several others that fill the pulpit as well. My wife and I have been tremendously blessed/encouraged/convicted over the years as each preacher has brought out the greatness of our God. We know and love God more because of their hard work in explaining the text. We will miss the many faithful teachers at the …

Glimmers in a Perfect Life

As a Christian, we need to live up to that name. The word Christian basically means “little Christ” and often times we forget that it means more than just something you put down on our Facebook bio section—it is our identity (Philippians 3:7). We are to be like Christ in every sense of the word. Interestingly enough, there are aspects of Christ that we tend to forget. We know the big ones like not kill, not commit adultery, or whatever “big sin” that runs through our mind. Being a Christian means to follow and emulate our Savior. According to John 13:15, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. The Gospels are the only accounts we have of Jesus’ perfect life. And although this post is not an extensive look at the life of Christ, the following are a few that have recently convicted me on where I need to grow. Jesus worshipped in public regularly (Luke 4:16) And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He …

Perfectionism Became the Enemy of My Productivity

I confess that there are times when I just want to be perfect, not in the sense of pursuing holiness, but in a manner that seeks to glorify myself. Those are times when I admit “not setting [my] mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23) When I seek to do things with the intention to glorify myself rather than God, two things usually happen, either I do the thing unsuccessfully or I don’t do anything at all. I realized that this was a form of procrastination: putting a task aside because of the prideful fear of failing or doing it incorrectly. I was convicted of being like the servant with only one talent or one mina in Matthew 25 and Luke 19, respectively. Those moments of selfish ambition for perfection that led to no progress were evidence of moments when I forgot the value of Christ. Not that everything I seek to do for God’s glory is easy or will result in success, but it’s faithfulness that the …

4 Lessons I Learned from the Wilderness

This is not a blog post on how to survive in the wild. I often call the time before a person is married, “the wilderness”. It is a barren wasteland that God has graciously delivered me from by providing the oasis that is Kelly. Here are four lessons that I learned during my time in the wilderness. 1. Contentment is a heart issue, not a status issue. Tell me if you heard this before? “If only I had someone, then I would be content” This was definitely one of my thoughts during my time of singleness. I thought discontentment would be done away with. But when Kelly and I started dating, I realize that I became discontent in other ways. Mainly, that I wanted to be engaged. Which then made me wonder, “What if I was engaged and became discontent because I wanted to get married? What if I was married and then became discontent because I wanted children? What if I had children and became discontent because I wanted them out of the house? …

4 Things I Learned About My Singleness (After I Got Married)

It hasn’t been very long since I was single and a student at UCLA and to be honest, the thought of getting married soon after college never occurred to me until God changed the direction I thought I was going and made it very clear that I was heading towards marriage. Looking back, I realized there were areas in my single life I wish I had been a better steward of. And so, I am thankful and humbled to know that I can still learn from that period of my life. The following are not only things that I learned about my singleness, but also things I can continue to grow in now as a newly married person. 1. I had more time. We often hear about how little time people have. “I don’t have time to meet today.” “How can it be 3 o’clock already?” “I need to manage my time better.” If these aren’t things we’ve heard people say, they’re certainly thoughts we’ve had ourselves. Time is the one thing we can’t earn …

“Have faith in God.”

I read Mark 11 yesterday and was convicted by verses 24 and 25. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Verse 25 says that whenever we come before the Lord in prayer, we shouldn’t come with grudges. The message is clear: we should forgive others because God is merciful to us—He forgives us based on the redeeming work of Christ and not anything we have done or can do. I was reminded that every time I sin, I lack faith because I’m forgetting Christ. Jesus tells the apostles to “Have faith in God” a few verses before. Verse 25 tells me that every time I pray while still being bitter towards someone in the back of my mind and in my heart, I don’t have faith in God. It tells me I’ve forgotten that God forgave …

An Uncurated Christmas Weekend / Our First Christmas

Knowing that we wouldn’t be with our families this Christmas (not by choice!), Ray and I wanted to do something a little special. It was our first married christmas. We didn’t have a tree or anything but we wanted to do something different. Somehow the idea of a technology fast came about. We were so nerdily excited about it. Our families were out of the country and we didn’t have to contact very many people since it was the weekend, so it made sense to do it. As the days approached/when the weekend was finally here, we realized we had to lax the rules a bit. The only real necessity for tech was using the internet and MacBook to check-in to our flights… But we were wrapping gifts for our relatives when we just had to listen to Spotify. (I had a song stuck in my head.) We then realized that man-made rules are always fallible. Sounds silly but Ray even came up with a sermon illustration for our “experience.” We were like the Pharisees …

Something More Glorious

I’ve realized that the longing I have to go home to my soon-to-be husband should fall short in comparison to the anticipation of being in my eternal home with Christ in heaven. We’re just a month from getting married. (!!!) It’s both an exciting and stressful time right now, but praise God for sustaining us through the past ten months! As the big day approaches closer and closer, the more I think about what I’m signing up for. Marriage is a big deal. People have described it as glorious. But marriage is not glorious in it of itself. The wedding is a big day. But ultimately, it’s a day to put Christ on display. As I think about how much I want to move past this engagement phase of my life, I’m convicted knowing that I don’t always long to be with Christ in the same way I long for my fiancé to be my husband. I’ve realized that the longing I have to go home to my soon-to-be husband should fall short in comparison …

What Gets Me Up in the Morning: 3 Reflections

A while back I heard on the radio about a recent study claiming that people could improve how they feel throughout the day by combing their hair upside down. The study basically revealed that this morning massage routine could help you get through your day much more easily. (Goodie!) Whether it actually works or not doesn’t really matter. (I couldn’t even find the source.) Why? Because nothing in your day or your life has actually changed by doing this massage regimen. You may feel better that day you remembered to comb your hair upside down (don’t forget behind the ears) but the state of your life, good or bad, didn’t somehow transform into something better. The reason why you’re just not up for it anymore is still same-old same-old. I would wake up feeling anxious and defeated by the day ahead of me. A year ago during my last year at UCLA, I would wake up feeling anxious and defeated by the day ahead of me. Within the first two minutes of waking up I …