Ông nọi vợ ơi, Ngan has a tumblr. Stalking time ^_^
I have my very own stalker. Yes!!
Ông nọi vợ ơi, Ngan has a tumblr. Stalking time ^_^
I have my very own stalker. Yes!!
When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone for the sake of the gospel? One of the lies that Satan has been using against me is that God prefers working with extroverted people; people whose good social skills thrive in pulling and winning nonbelievers over to Christ. Those who are not awkward at engaging in small talks and make developing new friendships seemingly effortless. Yup. That’s sooo not me. God wired me in a way that I get recharged when I’m away from people rather than from a crowd. I always thought the ideal evangelist is someone who’s a people person, an outgoing extrovert, a go-getter, etc. But lately, little by little, God is slowly crushing the lie. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are communal beings. He does not live in solitude but is in perfect community, therefore, his people, in his image, should follow suit. God doesn’t call us to be comfortable and go with the motion but he’s all about loving his people in a way that they can FEEL the love even at our expense. In the words of Francis Chan, nothing we do in this life will ever matter unless it’s about loving God and loving the people he has made. And so, despite my “introvertedness”, I need to be more inviting when it comes to people outside my circle. Been told that when I don’t smile, I look like a serial killer. Lovely.
So, to answer the question that I tossed out at the beginning: yes. I try to avoid awkward conversations at all cost, and so for me to ask someone on a coffee/dinner date that I only meet once or max. twice prior, well it’s kinda a big deal. But God kept telling me to be intentional. People need to know that they are wanted and sought after even if it’s only for friendship. For this reason, I have been reaching out to couple of girls from my church that I don’t know well to jump start this thing. And although meeting corporately provides encouragements to my brothers and sisters, of which I need to do more of, individual one on one meet up is where I will blossom. My prayer as of the beginning of the year is for God to unveil the blinders off my eyes and see the hurt people are carrying around. To go deeper with people rather than staying at the surface where it’s safe. I’ve come to a place where I accepted that this is my God-given personality and this too, is made in his image.
I might sound like a loony but for real, every time I style my hair a different way or decide to not wear make-up for the day, I feel unrecognizable and I like it. This is why, to my amazement, when people say hi and carry on about their usual conversation, I am so surprised bc in my mind, I had already magically morphed into a different person. Now I tested this theory out with the Sunday school kiddies several weeks ago. Either Renewal kids are super bright and they see within my soul or I’m delusional and look the same however which way i present myself. Im sure it’s the latter. My incognito mode wasn’t successful after all.
<and can I say, when the kids call me Miss. Ngan, my heart just melts into pieces>
Read somewhere that at birth, newborns have two natural fears
Hypothetically if this were true, that makes all other fears a derivative of our surrounding. Not for one second do I believe that God builds us to live in fear. I am not talking about rational fears regarding the fear of the Lord or escaping from danger but those imagined fears. Those fears that leave us crippled and limit our ability to unleashing maximum potential. For me, this is the fear of men, the fear of the unknown, and my personal beast, the what-ifs. Wonder where these fears stem from. From a certain angle I can justify that everyone has them and move on. Learn to live with it sort of way. But to a greater degree, (and this is me trying to strip it down to the core) it is because I don’t believe God is good to me. That he is not really on my side. He throws curveballs and watch how I swing. Is this true? Well obviously not if you ever read the bible.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
But for those fears to remain, it doesn’t sit well with me. Deep in my heart, on some sort of level, I do not trust that God knows what’s best for me. But for me to think that somehow I can outsmart him or know what fits my situation is ludicrous. There is a constant dialogue that goes on in my mind. Negative thoughts, negative thoughts, negatives thoughts. The Holy Spirit raging wars on my behalf and tackles it with Scriptures. I need to give myself at least a fighting chance and provide ammunitions. What are my ammunitions you wonder? glad you ask. It’s scripture memorization of course!!
And now I am totally going off tangent. But that’s the beauty of tumblr or any blogging sites: there’s no written codes. Let’s go back to those fears that have me at a choke hole shall we? There is a knowing that God is good. Even if he condemns the world to hell, he is still good. But I learn it solely from the standpoint of knowledge. On the flip side, I also have tasted how good he is on a personal level. But exactly how deep that level is probably child’s play. “Oh, he heals me, therefore he is good” “He allows me to have a job to pay off my mountain-high student debts, therefore he is good.” my bad, my thoughts are all scattered. Basically what I’m driving at here is perfect love casts out fears. Whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18). You see, the one who KNOWS that he/she is being loved perfectly by God, JC, and the HS should have freedom to live life radically. To not be paralyzed by fear of failure, rejection, acceptance, the unknown, etc… I feel like this is me trying to reach the state of nirvana or something. But can one truly live out 1 John 4:18 on this side of eternity? I think the answer is yes but only by the sheer grace of God Almighty.
Paraphrasing/quotation from a Christian novel, The Shack by William P. Young (great read) :
Most birds were created to fly. If you clip a bird’s wings and remove it’s ability to fly, it loses its purpose. We are like birds in the sense that we were created to be loved. So for us to live as if we were unloved is a limitation. That is not what God intented. Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. And if it’s left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place. A bird is defined not by being grounded but by his ability to fly. Remember this, humans are defined not by their limitations, but by the intentions God has for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in His image.
—Times Valentine's Day Version
“Father’s Love Letter”
You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
I am familiar with all your ways.
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
For you were made in my image.
In me you live and move and have your being.
For you are my offspring.
I knew you even before you were conceived.
I chose you when I planned creation.
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
For I am the perfect father.
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
And I rejoice over you with singing.
I will never stop doing good to you.
For you are my treasured possession.
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
For it is I who gave you those desires.
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
He is the exact representation of my being.
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
My question is…
Will you be my child?
I am waiting for you.
Love, Your Dad
Not too long ago when I accepted Christ, we attended my first mission conference. At the time, I had absolutely no interest nor urgency in reaching out to nonbelievers. I do not remember anything from that conference other than this illustration. The pastor was reflecting on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among the unreached people in China. So, you’re in the woods and you happen to see 10 men carrying a log, nine of them on one end and one of them on the heavy end. You wanted to help. Which end will you help lift? Although I’m not a very logical person, this is a no brainer. For some unknown reason, this illustration has resonated well with me. Perhaps God was planting a seed in my heart and it took two short-term trips oversea to finally sprout some growth. I have a lot of fears and still a lot of insecurities. But I believe in living your life radically because Jesus lived a radical life.
With that said, God made me Vietnamese for a reason and he has gifted me with language. And although I don’t want to limit him in any way, I would prefer working with the Vietnamese people if I can choose. There are too many shortcomings to list but in my weakness, I am pushed further in my relationship with Christ.
Carlson blogs on the booming generation of short-term missions saying:
What has made all of this possible? Western affluence and airplanes. What once took missionaries months of travel time now takes a day. George Whitefield crossed the Atlantic 13 times in his life! I crossed the Atlantic 10 times last year while eating, getting some work done, and watching a movie or two. What took Whitefield months in travel time on a boat takes us eight hours.”
“Imagine a team from France calls your church and says they want to visit. They want to put on VBS (which you have done for years), but the material is in French. They have heard about how the U.S. church has struggled and want to help you fix it. They want to send 20 people, half of them youth. Only two of them speak English. They need a place to stay for free, with cheap food and warm showers if possible. During the trip half of the group’s energy will be spent on resolving tension between team members. Two people will get sick. They’d like you to arrange some sightseeing for them on their free day. Do you want them to come?”
Sobering, isn’t it? The question that has been on my mind for the past couple of days: What will become of all my short-term “mission” trips? I put mission in quotation only because I believe it is truly missions for my soul. And although I am providing limited aid with my presence there, in the long run, I am the person that reaps the treasures. Time is the key to making disciples for Christ, is it not? Exactly how effective can I be with just two weeks to possibly a month’s stay at a place I won’t call home? I can preach the gospel until I’m blue in the face but to truly make disciples require dedication and consistency.
Come September, I will be heading back to Cambodia, God willing. I don’t know how I could be of any help but one thing I am certain about: Every increased exposure to short-term mission results in an ever increased yearning for more of Christ and in turn paving the way to the door of becoming a full time committed long termer. Maybe. Possibly. He knows.
Interested in more on what Carlson wrote, heres the link:
I know I need you
I need to love you
I love to see you, but it’s been so long
I long to feel you
I feel this need for you
And i need to hear you
Is that so wrong?
Oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh
Now you pulled me near you
When we’re close I fear you
Still I’m afraid to tell you
All that I’ve done
Are you done forgiving?
Or can you look pass my pretending?
Lord I’m so tired of defending
What I’ve become
What have I become?
Ooh oh, oh oh, oh oh (X4)
I hear you say “my love is over,
It’s underneath, it’s inside, it’s in between
The times you doubt me, when you can’t feel
The times that you’ve questioned ‘Is this for real?’
The times you’ve broken, the times that you mend
The times you hate me and the times that you bend
Well my love is over, its underneath
It’s inside, it’s in between,
These times you’re healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace
The times you’re hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal
In times of confusion and chaos and pain
I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
I’m there through your heartache
I’m there in the storm
My love i will keep you by my power alone
I don’t care where you’ve fallen, where you have been
I’ll never forsake you
my love never ends, it never ends
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh