On the Run

“Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” ~ Psalm 56:1-4 NIV

If the burdens of this world were like a human, chasing after me, it’d be a lifelong chase, and a daily one too. Each morning I wake, I put on my running shoes and clothes, eat something small, be out the door, and run. Sometimes, there is no time for rest. Other times, I am so exhausted from running, I collapse. For David, he could not stop running. I find it hard to believe, a man so devoted to the Lord since his youth, had to be on the run for fear of being killed by King Saul. As a boy, David would play his harp for Saul so that the evil spirit could leave him (1 Samuel 16:23). But somehow, Saul went through such a change that his feelings towards David turned to jealousy. This gets worse of course because David is not running from Saul just because. He is running because Saul wants to kill him.

“All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life” (Psalm 56:5-6). As these verses continue from the verses above, I catch an image of Jesus talking to the Pharisees. Once Jesus was becoming “known” within the land, I’m pretty sure people were watching Him like a hawk. Just an example, in Matthew 15 and 16, the Pharisees were mentioned approaching Jesus with questions to stump Him. Yet He, being divine, was able to stump them back. How flooded Jesus must have felt with those questions and eyes; and yet, it didn’t stop Him from His ministry and serving God. He kept going. He kept running. But He didn’t run away from them, no. He was running towards something else.

“On no account let them escape; in your anger, O God, bring down the nations. Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record” (Psalm 56:7-8)? For some of us while on the run, don’t think about those emotional, tearful moments. For some, it’s a waste of time. For others, it shows weakness. But do you know that the Lord knows of every single tear we cry? Do you think He cannot or does not know how much of a battle it is to be chased by evil? If God can “bring down the nations,” He can also understand our humanness when we are trying to battle our life’s problems. The Lord won’t let them escape.

“Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this time I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me” (Psalm 56:9-11)? In verse 9, David already has faith that the Lord will be on his side. These are powerful words because when we are in the midst of evil, we forget to declare and persist in the promises and word of God. Not only so, notice how verses 10 and 11 are a repetition of verse 4. Now, I’m sure there are many reasons why this is. David was a psalmist and a musician so this could just be the chorus of this psalm. On the other hand, I like to think of the repetition as a reminder. My human tendency of easily forgetting needs to be reminded constantly that God is more powerful than man. Even when we are running from our enemies trying to escape, “What can man do to me?” With our hope and trust in the Lord, man can do nothing to us.

“I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life” (Psalm 56:12-13). I love how this passage ends. It just reconnects back to the beginning. Although in the middle David pours out all that is happening in his life, even before this, he gave God glory and praise. Moreover, he did this again at the end of the passage. I admit, I don’t always remember to give God praise and to thank Him after being rescued from a chase. I’d be so thankful that I stopped running. But the run isn’t over, especially in a Christian’s life. It’s a constant, daily battle. But as David reminds us, the Lord will deliver us.

Hope ou enjoyed today’s post. We love hearing from you! ❤

When There is Nothing Left

There was a man who was blessed beyond his dreams. He had a wife, sons and daughters, land, livestock, riches, and so much more. This man had everything he needed and possibly everything he wanted. There was no sign of dissatisfaction or regret from this man for it seemed like had the “perfect” life. Then one day, he lost his children, his animals and even his servants. His response was this:

”’Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”’ (Job 1:21 NIV)

There’s a lot of things I can willing let go of. I could picture myself giving up material possessions like my phone, car, and/or guitar. But if the Lord asked me to give my family to Him, I don’t know if I would. Then again, I kind of already did that when I lived in South Korea. For some time, I was far from my family with little to no wifi. Communication was hard and the only real communication I had at the time was with my Korean students and coworkers. Even then, the communication was not always  accurate due to language and cultural barriers. The struggles I had were some of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. There was really no one around me at the time that I could talk to in a deeper level about my situation. I had no one to turn to. No one…but God.

I cannot remember everything in detail, but I sought God more than I ever have. It wasn’t a weekly seeking or a daily seeking. I sought after God almost every hour because every hour there was a challenge. From walking the streets of an unknown city to teaching in front of a class with students that looked like they were about collapse with exhaustion. There was nothing else for me to do but to pursue God more often and with more sincerity and earnest desire.

Here in the US, I see a lot of comfortable Christians. We have a nice church that treats us well and where we can serve. We got a job, not the best job but a job that helps pay bills and other necessities. We have cars. We’ve got our fancy, pricey technology. God does bless us with what we need, but we do get carried away with what we have. Yet, we forget that Satan and even God—if He wants—can take away everything. Then what will we be left with? When there is nothing left, is that when we finally call on God? I don’t think God is wanting us to know that He can take whatever He can: He can do that if He wants. But I think more importantly, He wants us to know that we have Him. Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (NIV). God is the only of everything that lasts.

I admire the way Job remained so faithful when everything and everyone around him either was gone or had failed him. Instead of blaming God or possibly losing faith entirely, Job 1:22 says, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Job called on the Lord because the Lord remained. The Lord was all He had left.

We pray that you found this convicting and encouraging. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve lost everything or have almost lost everything? Comment below and let us know what you think. ❤ to all of you!

By Faith

“By faith, Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” – Hebrews 11: 31

This is just one amazing example of what living by faith looks like. Hebrews 11 shows me that the faith and belief in God is the foundation of everything else, but each time an example of faith is given, it’s followed by a verb.

The very essence of faith requires action. It’s not enough to merely speak or write about faith. We must all strive to live by faith so that people know there’s a difference. This might mean:

  • Tithing in faith
  • Sharing the Gospel, no matter the outcome or circumstances
  • Speaking truth, no matter the outcome or circumstances
  • Showing love to people who hate us
  • Taking care and befriending the poor
  • Caring for the orphans, maybe by being a foster parent or adopting
  • Helping the widowed by visiting nursing homes or just your neighbors
  • Sacrificing your comfort for the kingdom
  • Stop speaking words of gossip, slander, hate and division
  • Act with purity of heart and body
  • Being selfless
  • Seeking God first
  • Fasting
  • Being light in your work place
  • Sticking to your values and convictions

These are just a few examples; I’m sure you can think of many more. Faith is alive in us and through us if we allow it to transform us. It starts with one choice, one minute, one hour, one day, etc. These moments add up to a lifetime of serving and representing the Lord.

I want my tombstone to say: “ By faith she lived” or “By faith she _______” I want my life to be a testimony, not so people think about me but so they can see and know God through me.

BY FAITH

It’s only through action in faith that we can make a difference. It’s stepping out into the unknown because we have faith that this is the path God has called us to. It’s by faith that we come to experience and win the race God has laid before us. Remember the scene of Indiana Jones, where he has to step off a cliff? Sometimes (a lot of times), it feels like that.

 

 

I pray that you have found encouragement in this and are ready to step out in faith. I want you to commit to live by faith and start with one particular thing. It might be an example listed above or it might be something God has laid upon your heart but remember, He doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. All you need is a willing heart to step out by faith. ❤

God is More Than Enough

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” ~ Colossians 1:15-18 (NIV)

It is hard to satisfy humans. We complain about what we have, what we don’t have, the people around us, ourselves… Nothing seems to make us happy. For example, in this time, the US will face the great decision of who to vote as our new president. From what I have heard among my friends and coworkers, people really believe that our country will go downhill because the candidates are just not what we want or what we need for this country. I’ve heard a few will move to Canada if one candidate will be chosen and I’ve heard others will never feel safe if the other candidate is chosen.

Here is another example where the verses above can apply. For many of us, we are confronted with the battle of singleness. Everyone around us is getting married which adds more pressure thinking that we have to find a spouse and we should fine one now—or at least as soon as possible. We become the captains of our boat rather than trusting in the Lord to be the wind and waters. We become disappointed when a relationship doesn’t work out when maybe,without us knowing, God protected us from a future of harm and turmoil. And yet we have the audacity to confront Him and what He has done in our lives. God doesn’t need to give an excuse or a reason to explain what He does. He is God! Despite all that He has done, isn’t He enough?

The verses in Colossians speak truth of our Lord. He is greater than the next president, He is more important than our future spouse, He sees beyond what we see, He is above all! And when we think the future holds no hope, God is a God of hope (Romans 15:13). Our worldly worries cannot compare to His majesty and splendor. So why is God not enough for us? Why can we not be satisfied with what the word says about who He is? I’ll be honest, I selfishly feel like I am more interested in what the Lord can do for me. He provides for me, He takes care of me, and He listens to me. But then, I look around me and see that I am only a small spec in a web that God created. God is so vast and omnipresent, He can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time overlooking His web. The worldly worries are not big enough to overpower God. And yet we treat Him like He is not enough.

Let me ask this, for those who are Christian: if you don’t have God, what do you think your life would be like? Maybe for some of us, it wouldn’t make much difference except that our Sundays would be free and we could eat right away rather than pray beforehand. Honestly, I’d be nothing: an empty cup amidst full ones. I am aware nowadays that when God is not enough for me, I do fear many things, including my future. I begin to put things over God, meaning, God is no longer above…I categorize Him below due to my lack of faith. On the other hand, when I find moments in where God is more than I ever could have imagined, I am left in awe. I don’t look at my life the same way.

We don’t deserve the Lord. His supremacy cannot compare to the kings and leaders of this world or society’s pressure and culture. When I say that the Lord is enough, I mean that there is no reason for us to look at anything beyond God because it does not exist. The things that we think can satisfy us fully does not because it has nothing to do with pursuing God. As a result, many times, we end up disappointed and hurt. Therefore, why not find satisfaction in our Heavenly Father? We have more than enough through Him…even when we don’t know it.

Have a wonderful weekend ❤

Two Are Better Than One

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

A friend and I recently began life groups at the church we have been attending for some time. I’ve been looking for ways to get involved and my friend has just needed a community. Luckily, we were able to connectIn our first night, I was surprised when my friend broke down after talking about me being the only Christian friend she had. I’ve known this friend since our freshman year in college and have seen her spend time with a lot of Christians. However, after we graduated, I hadn’t realized that she lost so many of those friendships. I couldn’t imagine how hard it must have been without any Christian support, no community for more than a year. That is not right.

Even before sin…when the world was perfect…even then…God still created someone for Adam to keep him company. Genesis 2:18 says,”The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”’ (NIV). Sure Adam was a human, but in this perfect world, I would have pictured him to spend so much time with animals and nature and God. Back then, God directly talked to Adam. Why would the Lord still provide a companion?

Being humans, we have this strong desire for human relationships, some more than others. Paul never married but he was always surrounded by people. And when he was not physically talking to people, he’d write letters. On the other hand, when I was living alone in Korea, people were always around at all hours of the day. But somehow, loneliness was a huge struggle in the beginning. For almost a month, I was not able to contact family unless I went to a place that had wifi. I thirsted for something more than a “presence.” At the time, I didn’t realize how much I needed community.

From living alone to living with people, I find myself much more productive when I am living with others. There is a somewhat lifted mood when my sister comes back from classes or my friend comes back from work. I’m not saying that community it more important than having a relationship with the Lord. Both are important and I cannot emphasize how necessary it is to have a relationship with God! Because when there is no one, I mean no one…there is no one to turn to but God. In addition, community is something that God Himself blesses us with because He knows us and He knows what we need.

The reason I mentioned Adam and Eve in the beginning was not to focus on marriage or being in a couple but to point out relationships with people in general. Rather than dwelling on our aloneness, we need to be taking advantage of relationships. And yes, the church is one of them. It is there that we can find believes who will influence us in an amazing and spiritual way. They are there to keep us accountable, to help us mature in our faith, and for us to see examples of godly men and women. For some of us, we need to throw away the discomfort excuse. Living for God should never be comfortable. On the other side, instead of looking for a significant other to fulfill our loneliness, it is within a community that we can be fulfilled with love, especially from God.

Hope everyone has a great week. Comment below and let us know how you keep community. We love hearing from you<3

Walking on Water

“He said ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he as afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.” – Matthew 14:29-30

I like Peter but I didn’t always understand him. I’m sure if I worked with Jesus I would have immediately recognized Him as the Messiah and believed everything He said without any doubt. Yea…right.

Peter gets picked on a lot. People talk a lot more about Paul but Peter’s the father of the church. Peter was one of Jesus’ first followers and he’s just really enthusiastic and competitive. He has a tendency to act and then think, which can be good or bad. I imagine Peter being really excited and high-spirited about walking on water but then there was a little wind and he realized that he was WALKING ON WATER and was in the middle of the sea.

Why was he suddenly so scared? I can’t tell you what exactly scared him: drowning, a storm, not being a strong swimmer, sharks (I can hear the Jaws theme song now). The point is not what scared him but what happened.

Peter is walking to Jesus, so I assume he was looking at Him but then Peter got a bit comfortable and started to admire the scenery. Bam! As soon as Jesus wasn’t his focus, he noticed the wind, became frightened and started to sink.

“I wouldn’t react that way.” Except we do. We lay awake at night worrying about finances, jobs, significant others, medical issues, school, etc. We ask people to pray for us and still worry. The Bible is full of miraculous moments where God showed up. Why do we doubt? Why do we act as if our problems or worries are bigger than the creator of the universe? Why do we think God won’t show up?

I want to speak some truth here – God always shows up because He is always with us. It’s not always how we’d like it to turn out but He shows up. He’s still a god of miracles. My mother is alive because God is a miracle worker. I am a woman of God because He is a miracle worker. My church has a miracle story (several actually). Everyone you meet has a story – sometimes it’s huge miraculous moments but sometimes it’s a thread woven through years that shows how He’s been working.

Stop looking at your circumstances and supersizing them because God is larger than all of your problems. Yes, things might not go according to your plan but if you listen and trust in Him, they’ll always go according to His. Don’t worry and be happy – you’ve got a God who’s in control!

Whatever you’re struggling with, remember God is bigger. If there’s anything specific you’d like us to pray over, please comment below or contact us. We love hearing from y’all. ❤

How do you release anger?

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” ~ James 1:19-20 (NIV)

These words hit hard today as I struggled with such anger because of my day at work. Although I should not go in detail about what happens, I do admit there are kids that are tough to control. In addition, I can get quite frustrated when my students don’t respect me, especially in front of other adults. One particular child dared to cross that line and I found myself trying to hold everything I could at not yelling at the child and doing anything stupid. Usually, I can be patient with these kids, but this child has been playing with my authority since I first started.

What shocked me about my anger was that I found myself sulking around in such an attitude, just like a child. I came to God seeking for some peace and tranquility over such a small incident. Instantly, I was reminded that I was seeking God and calling on His name, something I have not done enough. Funny how much better I felt with that sudden conversation with God. I was tempted to watch some funny videos online to lift my spirits but that wouldn’t solve anything; it’d just cover things up.

Anger can be a dangerous emotion. Scripture warns us of the consequences that dangerous anger can lead to. ”’In your anger do not sin:” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold,” says Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV). Letting our ungodly anger take a hold of us…we’re basically inviting Satan to do some damage. It’s a crack in the wall that’s letting evil slip through. Anger can lead to violence, bad language, disrespect, so many things!

How this negative anger takes a hold of us also influences our surroundings, how we treat the people around us, and how we treat our Heavenly Father. Paul continues to say in verse 29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I could have said a lot of immature, rude comments to this child who made me so angry. But then I’d act like a child myself. And are we not called to serve as examples of the Lord? He is the most mature human that ever stepped on this earth. To finish off, he states, “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” (v. 31-32).

So now that we have that in perspective, how do we release anger? Whenever a friend of mine was angry at her boss at work, she would talk about it to as many people as she came across with. This is of course unnecessary gossip and the wrong approach to “releasing steam.” Anger is an emotion that God feels. This means that anger is not necessarily bad, but it’s what we do with it, what it leads to, what it can do to our lives that can become the sin that should not happen. Sometimes the things we think that can solve our anger problems only make it worse. That is why we go to God first.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Please comment below and let us know how you handle anger?