But I have resolved to change my attitude towards wrestling this year. Especially after watching “Facing the Giants”, I want to make the best out of this wrestling season.
Last year, I was so cranky during wrestling season. No food + grueling practices = Unhappy Dan. HAHA, I can’t help but laugh at how grouchy I was last year. I remember I would always use lunchtime to run in the gym, and I would walk to french class all bundled up and sweaty. And my friend Sam Lu would always wait for me and walk with me and always just try to make small talk with me, but I would pretty much brush him off with my face all >:| . That happened pretty much everyday LOL. A few of my brothers and sisters even told me that I was pretty scary to approach during wrestling season. Aigoo T_T. I don’t want that ever to be the case.
Ohhhh man, but that won’t be the case this year. I won’t let it be! I need to start seeing things differently.
Rather than seeing cutting weight as a cruel starvation process, I can lift it up to God and be nourished with His Word. That although my stomach won’t be filled with physical food, I’ll be satisfied with His sweet words. "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103. … I could go for some sweet honey right now hahaha.
Rather than allowing the crude attitudes and jokes of the wrestlers to go on, (we wrestlers are the crudest of people, legit lol.) I want to really pray for God to use me to impact them. Maybe even one life. Especially as Coach Werntz keeps hinting his decision to make me Captain of the team, I want to use my leadership in a different way. The past captains have led us well, in the wrestling room. But that’s about it. As a captain, I want to create a new philosophy between the wrestlers. I want to let my fellow wrestlers know that although I may be the chosen “leader”, I want to serve each individual more than anything. That I don’t want this impersonal relationship. I want a very personal one, where we can get to know each other as not only wrestlers, but as individual human beings. We’ve got a whole bunch of freshmen this year, and I can’t help but smile as I see them taking their little shots and wrestling each other around. I’m pretty sure none of them are over 125 lbs LOL. But I want to help each and every one of them, not only in wrestling but as a brother. I want our team to be like a brotherhood. So, God-willing, He may use me to turn away the crass attitudes of the team, and bring us closer as a unit.
Coach Terrell might even retire this year. He’s a pastor and assistant coach. He’s like my black wrestling father. HAHA. But he prays a little prayer for us in a huddle before every match. So when he’s gone next year, I really want us to keep that tradition. Even though nobody on the team is really serious about Christianity or religion, I want to huddle up and lift up a prayer with them before every match.
Instead of having this mindset of “just getting by this season”, God, mold my way of thinking so that I can really seize every opportunity to glorify YOU. Ahh, if Your love can be shown through even the rough sport of Wrestling, then what can’t it do?
Every thanksgiving, I get the opportunity to go to my cousin’s house in New York and spend time with a bunch of family there. It’s always a great time. There’s never really any fighting among us, thank God!
As the adults were cooking the food and preparing everything, they urged us to go into the basement to watch this documentary on a korean missionary/priest who went and served at Sudan. So everyone’s huddled downstairs, and we’re watching this documentary. It’s all in korean, so we’re all having a hard time just trying to figure out what’s going on. But eventually, it all began to make sense; we could tell what was happening simply by what we saw.
Father Lee had gone to Sudan because he felt God’s calling. He left absolutely everything to start a new life in Sudan by himself. Although he was primarily a doctor/priest, he served there in so many ways. He was musically talented, so he started a marching band program for the underprivileged and often gave the people of Tonj, Sudan performances with his guitar. He built a school and taught children math and music. He even reached out to and cared for the lepers. When was the last time you saw somebody with leprosy? It’s mentioned a great deal in the bible, but not so much today. This disease is horrifying. Many lepers literally do not have toes. Many others are missing limbs, many others have feet in the shape of cubes. He preached to them, sang songs with them and even danced with them. He was the ONLY doctor in all of Tonj, a village in South Sudan. He died at age 48, with cancer, but his legacy still remains STRONG in Tonj. The documentary is also focused on the after-effects he’s had on the people of Tonj. Children, adults and elder people are all interviewed after his death. Each interview seriously made me fight back tears. One child barely speaks a sentence before bursting out into tears and just.. weeping. Father Lee had paid for this child’s education all his life and had been a father figure to the child. One elder leper is interviewed and I couldn’t understand what she was saying, but I completely understood through her actions. She had been given a picture of Father Lee and, in tears, just kissed it repeatedly.
There’s this one scene where the marching band kids Father Lee taught and raised were watching some clips of him. The clips were filled with good memories of him cracking jokes with them, rehearsing with them, etc. The marching band kids laughed merrily at these moments and some were even shedding tears of joy. The clips then began to show Father Lee’s funeral and his last days. The reactions of the kids were heart-wrenching. Some couldn’t bear to look at the screen, some had their heads buried in their hands, some were just bawling. God had used Father Lee to be such a huge part of the kids’ lives.
The documentary isn’t very long, I’d say around an hour or two. It felt so short. I thought everyone was as engrossed as I was, but they weren’t. One of my cousins even complained "Why are we watching this!? This is so SAD." And they all just left one by one. By the end of the documentary it was literally just my soongmo and I watching, both fighting back tears LOL. After the documentary ended I just sat there for a few minutes, talking with God and thinking.
"I know I’m not a very grateful person Lord. You could take a look back into each day of my life and You could probably point out trillions and trillions of instances where I showed complete ungratefulness. But Father.. I needed this. Thank You. Let me be grateful for every day of my life, for every situation You place me in, and for just.. everything. And allow that gratefulness to permeate through my actions, my thoughts, and every part of my being. I want to live in absolute thankfulness Lord.”
We’ve become a society in which nobody wants to see sadness. So we close our eyes and poof, it’s not there anymore. But that’s the problem, it is still there. We can turn our heads away from the hurt in this world and we can play the “ignorance is bliss” card, but is it really bliss? Or is it just a temporary happy-bubble built up around us as a result of our own blatant ignorance? I personally feel like it’s the latter. Why? Because this is reality. There is hurt, there is sadness, and there is suffering. We’re just not sensitive to any of it because we are so. tremendously. privileged.
Although I was a little disappointed in my cousins, I still thank God for, once again, reminding me not to take anything for granted. And to always use my blessings, resources, and privileges in an edifying and God-glorifying manner.
Thanksgiving this year was both physically and spiritually nourishing. God is good, always.
Just a random afterthought: A trend I’m noticing with many Christians in underprivileged countries is that they are so spiritually fervent. They have so much.. PASSION. The more I think about it, the more I feel like WE’RE the unfortunate ones. Thinking about The Heavenly Man, and how the Chinese literally clung onto God with all they had makes me think of how we have no sense of spiritual urgency, here in the U.S. They may be the physically deprived, but we’re the morally depraved. Treasures of all kinds await them in eternity, because they suffered for God in this life. I hope that’s case for many of us.
Great is the suffering of His people. But we thank Him nonetheless, for Great is the God we serve.
The more I observe the society I live in and the people around me I can’t help but ask in anguish, what have we become?
Honestly. The peers I’ve grown up with since elementary school have grown to become such hateful, jaded people. People try to figure this world out through rashly intellectual means and as a result, leave no consideration for the super-natural. Christianity has become so skewed, it breaks my heart whenever I see people associating God with hate. Where are the fighting, struggling, genuine disciples of Christ? Where are they? Because I look at my school and I look at Marlboro and I look at all my friends and I can’t help but cry. What have we become!?
We’ve thrown all notion of virtue out the window for what? Intellectualism? Hate has suddenly become OKAY, as long as there’s an intellectual reason behind it? Is pride what we chase now? Nowadays, we need to be superior. We need to win the argument, we need to win the debate. What happened to losing the argument but winning the heart? We’ve got it so twisted. Now that it’s all about winning the argument, who cares if the soul is lost? Who cares if we downsize a fellow human being for the sake of our own exaltation? Being smart has become a means for us to boast in our own ability. Why are we exchanging love for intellect?
I’m all about thinking. I’m all about intellect. God gave us brains for a reason. But we’ve taken it way too far when we try to think in God’s place. The world fawns over philosophers like Nietzsche and Marx, but it blatantly rejects the freely given gift of GRACE and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE from God. Sophisticated rhetoric and logical reasoning have overtaken any sense of reverence for our Father. It’s all about what sounds nice to US, makes sense to US, what fits perfectly into OUR limited perspective of life.
His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. As long as HEAVEN is higher than EARTH, His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8)
Aside from the intellectualism and pride, where have the good men and women gone? I can’t help but see every man and woman becoming more and more.. similar. Why is it that men have no decency to suppress their lustful desires? Instead, we have no shame in expressing it all freely, disrespecting and objectifying women in the process. What makes me hurt is that this ridiculous behavior has become the norm. I see this on a daily basis. Some guys even building up the audacity to disrespect my own sisters. Right in front of my eyes? God help me, I clench my fists so tightly. The men take this stance and as a result, women begrudgingly lower their standards. Women become more and more promiscuous, because the men aren’t stepping up to be freaking men. Love isn’t love anymore. It’s become a game of attention, lust, and temporary passion.
Today I got assigned like.. two more books in English HAHA. Not too sure if she’s just being demanding or.. this is normal? or.. I don’t know. HOWEVER, I’m actually kinda excited to read these books. All about the outlook! Literature is beautiful.
Game plan for November - December:
- The Imitation of Christ - Thomas Kempis.
- Experiencing the Depths of Christ - Jeanne Guyon.
- Henry IV - Shakespeare.
- A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens.
- reread New Testament
- (if time permits) reread Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis.
Lord, give me the urgency and responsibility to use my time carefully and wisely.
Lead me to achievement in these goals, ultimately so that I can be used for YOUR glory.
writing this essay, I can’t help but feel.. at peace. For the first time, I feel happy writing an essay LOL. I’m such a dork. Who likes writing essays? Apparently I do.
Talking to some brothers about the future. Rutgers? U-Mich? Who knows? I think I have my heart geared towards literature though. I think I’ve come to realize that God has given me a knack for writing. Perhaps? Maybe it’s all in my head. REGARDLESS, I’m beginning to feel this growing affinity towards literature.
Hehe. Now’s not the time to expand upon this idea though. Maybe tomorrow night! Time to complete this essay, read it in its entirety, kiss it, and sleep.
As I focus solely on humility this week, I’m seeing so much more.
I’m seeing so much hurt in so many people that I normally wouldn’t see. I’m seeing so many practical ways to serve others. I’m seeing so many opportunities to put others before myself in my actions, words, and thoughts.
Momentary lapse of reason. Seems to happen way too often..
I thank God for clearing up my eyes again, for showing me my wrongs, for showing me how depraved I really am.. But I thank God all the more for showing me how infinitely glorious HE is and how perfect and loving HE is.
A realignment of priorities needs to happen.
Lord, forgive me.. I’ve traded Your peace for the temporary satisfaction this world offers.. I’ve neglected Your grace and substituted it with my own idols.. I’ve forgotten the enormity of Your truth and I’ve downsized it.. as if it weren’t the greatest act of love this world has seen.
Father.. I feel this passion deep inside my heart. You know, at the core of my being.. all I want to do is worship You. As I sit here in silent worship.. Lord listen to my heart.. I want to yearn for You. The days are so evil. Everyday I see more and more people intentionally going against who You are. Everyday I see more and more people trying to be You.
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:15-16.
Father, be my everything. I don’t want that to be a generalized statement that just sounds flowery and nice.. but Father, I mean it. I want you to be in my thoughts, in my actions, in my words, in my laughing, in my weeping, in my dreaming, in my struggling, in every second of my life. Let not a second pass, where I forget how glorious You are Lord. I know it will be impossible, due to my human nature.. but Father I’m praying as BIG as I can because I know that You are a BIG God with a BIG PLAN!
Father, for once.. I see a vision not about myself or my well-being. But I see a vision of a generation rising up. A generation of Moses, Josephs, Jobs, Daniels, Peters, Pauls, Joshuas, Ruths, Esthers, Rahabs RISING UP. A multitude of men and women seeking to fulfill YOUR will. I see everyone standing on the battlefield, falling, crumbling, consumed. Some fell because they didn’t have the right Armor, some fell because they refused to use their Swords, some fell simply because they didn’t want to FIGHT. But LORD.. I see a few people still standing. And I know YOU see it too. I see You beckoning them, I see You encouraging them, giving them manna, giving them their daily bread, providing for them exactly what they need. I see so much HOPE. I see the warriors of God standing up for Your truth, taking this promise with them from Earth all the way back to YOU in Heaven.
Have we forgotten our priorities, my brothers and sisters? Have we forgotten our purpose? Have we forgotten His promises?
“If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.”—The Imitation of Christ, Thomas Kempis
"Why are you looking for love? Why are you searching as if I'm not enough? ... Look at these hands and my side. They swallowed the grave on that night. When I drank the world's sin, so I could carry you in and give you life. I want to give you life"
This break was humbalizing. Although I wish I would’ve spent it growing more in God and learning more about His heart.. It was still a good experience.
Through God and my little personal Mark Driscoll, I was really able to take a step back and see how disgusting my sin is. In particular, how disgusting my pride and my selfishness is. How could I have done this? How stupid have I been.. I gave Satan such a big foothold, and soon I was affecting not only myself, but other precious brothers and sisters.
"You will not be able to fully enjoy true love with a significant other, if you haven’t first been completely satisfied in God’s love."
I need more of God right now, and forevermore. I will always need more of God. I need to know His heart more, I need to seek His face more. I need to GROW. And in that growth.. when I’m ready and when He’s ready, I believe God will bring the perfect one to me.
Lord.. so much more of You. So much less of me. Forgive me, please.
Ahh.. this morning was good. I was able to go to costco, go out to edison, and just spend time with my mom. Just us two.
I love spending 1 on 1 time with my mom, because she’s pretty much the only one in the family that I can relate to with God and such. Lovelovelove talking to her.
At costco, we ended up talking about my birth for some reason. I think we got into that question because I asked her "When you were pregnant first, did you want a boy or a girl?" She went on to explain that she had wanted a girl first, because she heard first-born girls were really helpful with everything. But she told me that my dad wanted a boy really badly, and he and his grandmother BOTH had these vivid dreams that convinced them that a boy was going to be the first-born. The baby ended up being my sister, and my mom even said that my dad was a little disappointed LOL.
Anyways, she went to my birth and she started off telling the entire story with things that I was already familiar with. I was a baby born in prayer, my mom’s church had been praying for my birth for 3 whole years. My mom said to me "You know Dan, I prayed to God when you were in my womb this one prayer. I prayed that you’d be like Daniel in the bible. I prayed that you’d be handsome, wise, smart, faithful, and unique. And He gave me you!" Haha, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. My mom never compliments me, so this made my heart feel warm. As we sat in a few moments of silence after she told the story of my birth, she suddenly looked at me and asked the most startling question ever: "Daniel, did you know that I almost lost you?" Whaaaat!? Haha, I never knew about this! She went on to tell me that around 7 months of being pregnant, my mom began to see blood. (And a woman isn’t supposed to have her period during pregnancy). My mom desperately called the hospital and they eventually diagnosed that my “baby-wall” or something was breaking down. They said it was a pretty rare case and that there is no known cause for it. My mom said she was so anguished she began to question God: "God, why!? We’ve prayed for years and years for a baby, and now You’ve blessed us with one. But why is this happening!?" By doctor’s orders, my mom stayed home for the next month or two, just handling little me with care in her womb. During this time, she prayed, read, and just got a whole lot closer to God. When she was going into labor, my mom told me that I was so much more painful than my sister. So much so that my mom had popped a bunch of blood vessels in her head and her face was swollen from the pain. "It was like a balloon!" she says HAHA. But I came out perfectly healthy (a little on the chubby side hahaha), and she thanked God for me.
Just hearing this story from my mom makes me so joyful. It really sheds more light on how amazing my mom is. I remember a few years ago in elem. school and middle school, I would just harbor this immature and unreasonable anger towards my mom. But I thank God that He’s opened up my eyes and my heart to see just how beautiful my mom really is.
This story also gives me this joyful sense of purpose. That at the core of my mom’s struggles and the high chances of me not being here today, God was working. God had ordained for me to be born, to be saved, and to know His love in a deeper way. I boast in this knowledge not because I did anything to deserve it, but because God has GRACED me with so much of HIM. I have purpose.
“Yet if he satisfies his desires, remorse of conscience overwhelms him, because he followed his passions and they did not lead to the peace he sought. True peace of heart, then, is found in resisting passions, not in satisfying them. There is no peace in the carnal man, in the man given to vain attractions, but there is peace in the fervent and spiritual man.”—The Imitation of Christ, Thomas Kempis
I don't feel comfortable going to church anymore. I feel like I'm always getting judged and I feel like I don't fit in anymore. What should I do?
I think that there are so many aspects to this question, I would need to know who you are in order to answer this question fully.
However.. This question does make my heart heavy.. The church is supposed to be a place of love and growth, it’s ideally supposed to be God’s love working through the human beings.
Sadly, you are not alone. Churches are not perfect. But our God is. I definitely want to answer this question to it’s full extent, AND I want you to experience God’s love in a REAL way through your brothers and sisters at the church. So if you can come off anonymous, let’s have a healthy much-needed talk :]. I won’t judge, I won’t bite. I just know what it feels like to be in a church of what seems to be endless judgement and persecution. Let’s get to know each other, message me off anonymous sometime please!
HOW the DDONG did I gain weight. Balled for like 3 hours. WHAT IS THIS LOL.
Ahhh, I can’t diet for my life. It’s honestly either no food straight up cutting weight, or eating excessively. There is no equilibrium. I can’t just take a small portion of food, and not have more. My stomach is a black hole.
1. Expect the unexpected with friends, esp. when it comes to parties.
2. Alcohol has made its way into pretty much every teen’s life. Kinda disappointing.
3. I need a wife who will be responsible in her actions and not give me any reason to worry about how she’s doing, when we’re apart from each other.
4. Birthday parties arent just cake and balloons anymore.
5. My girl needs to be ridiculously special. Ridiculously. My standard is set so high, especially after tonight. Forget settling for less. I need the woman God has set apart for me. Forget any girl I have in my mind right now. I need to keep my future wife an unknown, that way I can be focused on what I DO know. GOD.
6. Angry drunks are somewhat humorous/saddening.
Moop. Just wanna shower, read me some Kempis and sleep. Feel grimy.
i care about you way too much. and you probably have no idea. but just seeing how much you’ve grown ignites something in me. you’re the only girl right now that pretty much meets my standards. you are beautiful. imperfections and all. moop. so hard to suppress these feelings. can’t help but wonder if you think the same for me.
but i shouldnt be thinking this. ahh.. the flesh and the Spirit.. so much contention. Lord, allow me to fixate my eyes upon You. only You.
sigh. i’m such a sucker for genuine God-loving girls.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”—jkerouac (via samuelychoi)
The story of Jesus Christ raising up Lazarus from the dead, a very well-known story among Christians. Admittedly, I didn’t think twice about looking at the passage again. But as God leads me to this passage in John, I can only thank Him for giving me so much grace and revealing a hidden meaning behind these words of scripture.
Mary’s brother Lazarus had just died and she is weeping tremendously over him, as i’m sure any of us would do if our sibling were to die. I could only imagine the anguish Mary must’ve been going through; it says the Jews were even consoling her as she wept. We have to keep in mind that Mary was not a fictional character. She was a real human being, with a real beating heart, like you and me. After what may have been minutes to hours of mourning, Mary falls at Jesus’ feet in much sorrow saying “‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” (John 11:32). This kind of anguish that I’m sure many of us today can relate to. This kind of sorrowful questioning: “God, if You had been here, everything would’ve been okay!”
Jesus takes a look at Mary’s weeping and then takes a look at the Jews weeping as well. Immediately, Jesus is “deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” (John 11:33). At the sight of these genuine tears, Jesus is MOVED. He is greatly troubled by the anguish before His eyes. This is the same today! Many Christians come to God in tears and sadness, and question Him “Why Why Why is this happening?” But not many take the time to realize that.. as WE cry these tears of genuine anguish, our King is hurting too.
Jesus then asks where the Jews have laid Lazarus, and He wept. (John 11:35).
Whoa, wait what? Jesus, why are YOU weeping? You are sovereign, You are all-knowing, You are all-powerful. You already KNOW you’re going to raise Lazarus up in a matter of moments. Honestly, why are You weeping?
Because that, my brothers and sisters, is the depth of our Savior’s overwhelming compassion.
Even though Jesus knows He is going to raise Lazarus back up in a matter of moments, EVEN though Jesus knows He’s about to wipe away the tears of Mary and all the Jews, EVEN though Jesus knows that there is going to be a happy ending, He still weeps alongside Mary and the Jews. He empathizes completely with the anguish that His dear brothers and sisters are going through, and He is brought to tears. He shares the burden of Mary experiencing a loved one passing. (Romans 12:15).
Jesus then raises up Lazarus, giving all the glory to God. (John 11:41-42).
Our Savior weeps with us, prays for us, and continues to beckon us as we run this race to this day! He is the same Messiah who rose up Lazarus, He is the same Messiah who calls us today, and He is the same Messiah that will reign forever and ever.
He who commands the dead to rise. How great is our God? :] TRULY!
Jesus, my King, my Savior, my Lover, my Portion, my Everything. Words will never be able to describe how far Your compassion reaches. For all of this, I am forever grateful and forever in debt. I am not deserving of this compassion and love, but You treat me as if i am. I love You Lord, thank you so much.
times like these are when i feel like nobody is on the same wavelength as i am. mostly my fault of course though, due to the fact that my thoughts cant make it out of my brain without being completely jumbled.
its also always these nights when i feel the most lonely. but im never alone. although nobody may understand me, i rest in the peace that comes with knowing God completely and fully understands me. even when i can’t fully understand myself.
this seems to be the constant mindset of my wretched, lazy, sloth-like self nowadays. i hear things like:
"lets just get through this week dan!"
"1 more day until friday, yes!"
and honestly, i’m so guilty of thinking and saying these things as well. i simply can’t help it! the weekend is so attractive to me. i worship and fellowship with my beloved brother and sisters at Faith, i get to sleep in, i get to RELAX, i have time to read + pray. the weekend is my safe haven haha.
and that’s not such a bad mindset, if it weren’t for the fact that i completely neglect any notion of productivity over the weekDAYS. i do the minimum. i do just enough to get by.
God didn’t call us to do the minimum. i’ve been trying to meditate this week on Eph. 5:15-16 - “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.”
God says "Use the time i’ve given you WISELY and CAREFULLY. The days are evil, and there is so much to do, so much to pray for. Time is precious!". He doesn’t say "Use most of your time wastefully, and then use the remainder of it to simply get by."
God, You’ve been so gracious to me. even while i remained stagnant and stubborn, You were still the Righteous Gardener that tended to me with love and patience. You were, are, and always will be the Father that beckons me, even though i pout and refuse to go with You.
but it’s time to man up. it’s time for discipline. Lord, guide me. let me take each day gratefully with YOUR will in mind! allow me to wake up every morning and carry my cross, denying myself in every aspect of my life. Father, let me use this time You’ve given me not for myself, but for YOU.