Colossians 1:16

God’s Love: Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreakable, Always and Forever

Mission Trips

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:

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/06/18/why-you-should-consider-cancelling-your-short-term-mission-trips/

Book Review

If you don’t believe in miracles, you need to seriously consider reading Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal. Conor logs his journey while volunteering at an orphanage in a decade-long war-torn Nepal. What was a three-month volunteering stint to impress the ladies back in the States turns out to be a fight to win back lost children from child traffickers in Kathmandu. It’s filled with suspense, realness, insightfulness, and everyone’s favorite, romance. Grennan has a way with words that I find myself LAUGHING OUT LOUD at times. It warms my heart with the descriptive details about the children at an orphanage called Little Princes. It’s a true testament of how love can lead us to do some unthinkable things. Conor’s love for the young children forces him to break what he thought were his limits. Though it’s quite unbelievable with the level of injustice that still exists in this world, this memoir appeals to me on so many levels. Having worked with children in Cambodia, child trafficking is a growing problem that many Americans are unaware of. The heart that Conor develops over time provides great energy for me. It proves that one man can in fact make a difference in this world. Change starts from within and it naturally oozes out when the heart is overflowing. Which ultimately transforms into action. I’m not gonna lie, the fact that I knew he was a Christian before reading might make for some bias siding but that is beside the fact. I shall now leave you with one of the many hilarious excerpts found in the book.

 

Few places in the world can teach forbearance like Nepal. Let’s say, for instance, that I asked somebody to buy me bananas from the shop next door. In fact, let’s say that I asked him to buy me bananas a week ago—then I reminded him hourly over the next few days. On that one billionth time that I reminded him that he promised to buy me bananas, the man would most likely respond with something to the effect of: “It will definitely happen today, my friend. I swear to you on the life of my son—your bananas will be bought today, in the next hour for sure. Erase all doubt from your mind. In fact, it is actually done already, even as we speak it is being concluded, as sure as the sun rose in the east this morning those bananas will have been purchased. They belong to you now—the shopkeeper has no rightful claim to them any longer. You can open your mouth now in preparation for consuming this banana, which is here, right now. It is in my hand and on its way to your mouth, so I hope that you are ready to enjoy this fine banana. Your teeth may now begin to close as the banana is now in your mouth. How does it taste? Is it very fine?”

What the man really means is: “What bananas?

You Know

Two simple words. Frightening yet it brings about such reassurance and often comfort to my heart. No matter how dark, how crafty and clever, how well hidden my sins are, God knows. 

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 139

There’s basically NOWHERE I can run that You can’t find me. Where can I flee from Your presence? If I climb the mountain summit, You’re there. If I submerged myself into the ocean, You’re there. If I ascend to heaven, You’re there. If I decide to make my bed in the pit, You’re there. If I go over there, You’re there. If I stay over here, You’re there. If I’m in a stadium among the crowds, You’re there. If I seek solitude in the woods, You’re there. Your omnipresence runs deep and it scares me. To make it more personal and drive it home, if I spend time on the phone gossiping to a friend, You hear me. If I am alone and lost in my lustful thoughts, You see everything. If I share my opinions to everyone, You will be listening. If a negative though form in my head against a brother and I decide to keep to myself, You know. All my shortcomings that people see, You know. All the shortcomings that I successfully hid from the world, You know it also. No matter how dark and deep a secret I have, there’s no way I can hide from You. The picture here is that God is all-encompassing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-anything and everything. 

You saw my unformed  body, and said I am fearfully and wonderfully made after Your image. WHAT? Can this be true? It is bc it’s Your promise. 

Ezekiel 37:3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”

Sanctification in Marriage

I have had my fair share of sermons on dating and marriage. But this message by Matt Chandler by and large one of the most sobering messages I’ve crossed paths with. Applicable, Biblical, Confrontational, Direct, etc… just listen

Reckless Abandon: What if...

theeddielee:

What if we lived as if heaven was real? What would it look like if we actually lived like Jesus conquered the grave? What if we truly acted like the princes and princesses of the King on high? What if we really lived out our belief in our salvation? And if we truly lived out the reality that the…

(Source: theedwardlee)

Where would I be without these two knuckleheads in my life? Not far…not far at all. I dare say that life would be quite dull w/o some added flavors of Tran and Hanna. 

My Journal Entry exactly 4years ago

It has to be more. This life. This world. My life. My world. It just has to be more than this. I can’t go on faking any longer. I refuse to sing praise without sincerity, else I’ll just stand there looking at the pulpit indifferent, not fully embracing the words flowing out of my mouth like honey. I refuse to pray for anyone else, unless God burdens my heart to do so. I refuse to pray for useless everyday mishaps for the Lord knows. What I need to be doing now is pray for my salvation. I can’t be living and breathing and not have a reason to live and breathe for. How dare I say that I’ve encountered the Lord Jesus Christ and not be changed? I want to be in bondage of sin no longer. I don’t want to lose my sensitivity toward sin. I want to look at it and scream that I am free. Come down from that pedestal, Ngan. Come down that you may be set free. I need to need God so desperately that I relinquish all control. Then, loving people and earnestly praying for others won’t seem like such a daunting task. It has to be more. It just has to be… Right?

I Chronicles 28:9 (NKJV)
“know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you;”

I want to fall to my knees and worship in awe because of who God is; not what He can give. I want to proudly say that I know God and He knows me. I will burn in the pits of hell if I am the way I am and nothing in me exemplify God continuously molding and sharpening me everyday. Honestly, I don’t exactly know what I am hoping to find. Neither do I know what I will do once I actually find what I have been searching for. All I know is that if I continue to live with this mask on, eventually it will devour the very bones of my flesh. I can’t be among the millions who claim to know the Lord and not TRULY know Him. I seek His face and what will I find? Will there be a smile or will He be fuming with anger? I don’t know and I don’t care. I need Jesus. It’s time to take off the mask. I’m suffocating.  


Let’s journey into the year 2013, shall we? Dang, reading my old diary makes me want to light myself on fire for the Lord again. The zeal of a young Christian can be such a powerful and dangerous thing. I must confess that the pass couple weeks, I slowly allowed myself to backslide into a fatal territory. I must remind myself daily of what God has done in the past and currently doing now. Reading old journal entries like this one helps tremendously. My pastor once told us that a Christian life is like a yo-yo.yo-yo Up and Down, Up and Down. Life never stop beating you and throwing in some drama for good measure. But then, there are days when the sun breaks through and you spring back to life for a short while. However, be encouraged that the growth of a Christian is more like in the hands of someone that is walking the yo-yo up an escalator. Your low point now is higher than your high point then. Christian maturity comes with time. And this analogy is always helpful in my dark moments, as there are many weak moments to come (Thanks PC). This Saturday, a group of us will be going to a Prayer Mountain. It terrifies me bc when you deeply seek for the Lord, He will not turn his face away from you. THis is His promise to us. Expecting great things bc we serve a mighty God.

Congratulations. If you have read this far, we are friends. If we weren’t friends before, we’re friends now. Thanks for caring. I hope you feel encouraged by reading my thoughts. Come again. Bye :D 

*Note: I hope you guys see how thoughtful I was in not scaring my readers with lengthy entries. Hence the picture that I ripped off of google image. 

Christ was in perfect harmony with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The only time that it was broken was when he went on the cross for the sake of his creation. How heartbroken he must’ve felt at that time when he took on the weight of the world out of sheer obedience. In the garden he cried out three times, “Let this cup pass from me, let his cup pass from me, let his cup pass from me”. What the heck was in that cup?!? He was in complete anguish that he started sweating blood. 

This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them.” -Jeremiah 12:15-16 

The wrath of the Almighty God was in that cup. The nails didn’t/couldn’t hold him down; it was pure, sacrificial, holy love that kept him there. Perfect community broken for me and you. This boggles my mind. The more I attempt to dissect it, the more confused I become. Grace. I don’t understand it. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to live without it. But I will accept it. Thank you Lord!

story of my life:

❒Single
❒Taken
✔ In love with a Fictional Character