I’m getting baptized today!

Good Morning Church!

I grew up wanting people to like me – wanting their attention and affirmation. When I first started high school, I was determined to make as many friends as possible because in middle school, I was a victim of bullying, and I never wanted to relive that. In 9th grade, I befriended several Christians. They embraced me almost immediately; I felt so loved around them. There was something in their lives that made them unique, but it wasn’t something that popularity could ever give me.

Eventually, they invited me Impact, a Christian summer camp organized by Houston-area Chinese churches. There, I heard the Gospel for the first time in my life, and I learned that God loves me more than any person ever could. While I chased after the attention of the people around me, God wanted an absolute intimate loving relationship with me. My sin, or shortcomings as a human, was not that I sought bad relationships (honestly, relationships are good things that God had designed for us to have). My sin was choosing to pursue worldly relationships that fell severely short of God’s desire for us to be spiritually connected with Him. If I am a man created by God intended to be spiritually connected with Him, why would I try and replace Him with other people? In God’s kingdom, the penalty for sin is death, and sin separates us from God. I also learned that God sent His son, Jesus to die in place of my sin. Jesus was the only suitable man to take away the penalty of sin, and Jesus took MY PLACE on the cross 2000 years ago. God loved me so much that He sacrificed His own son so that I could know Him again. On August 6, 2005, I accepted Jesus Christ as my sacrificial savior.

Eight years and two months have passed since that fateful night where God extended and His invitation to me. Not a day goes by where I don’t still desire the attention and affirmation of the people around me. However, what I do know is God loves me more intimately than anybody could ever could. As long as I live, I know God of the heavens and the earth loves me, and that I love Him.

Today is my 8th Rebirth-day

8 years ago today, sometime around 9pm, I accepted Christ into my life. This was the day where my life changed forever. I didn’t change as a person, didn’t become smarter, or get better in any way. Eight years ago today, I became a child of God. I became aware of His presence through His people. I had some amazing friends who invited me to attend Impact, a christian retreat organized by Houston-area chinese churches. It was at Impact that someone first shared the Gospel with me, planted a seed in my heart that would grow eternally. At that time, all I lived for was approval of my peers, parents, and the world’s standards of good/bad/perfection/imperfection.

To be honest, I only really remember one thing from Camp that year. The theme that year was “In Transit” and the speaker said something along the lines of, “our journey here on earth is a transitory one. We will all carry baggage from this life into the next. Do you want to carry all your baggage with you to the next one? Or better yet, what baggage do you want to carry?” God makes it very clear to us in Matthew 6:19-21 what we are to keep and what we are to let go of – in essence, our baggage.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I think I remember that part of his message because it made the theme “In Transit” make sense. Some of my main thoughts were, “I’m living my life right now, for what? Where am I going? And why do I care so much about some of this stuff going on in my life? What is my baggage?” On the last night of camp, there was an altercall, a formal call for people to receive Christ. After mulling over all these thoughts, I prayed for maybe the second or third time ever, “Hey God, I believe that you’re there. So, if you are, please just reveal yourself to me.” 

And He did. I mean, He has done much more than just reveal Himself to me. In these 8 years, I’ve seen Him mold me over and over to be more faithful, more dependent, and more trusting of Him through the Holy Spirit. I have grown into a (not so) beautiful crabgrass. Except God doesn’t see me as a patch of crabgrass; he sees me as a blossoming flower in the midst of darkness. I’ve made so many mistakes in eight years. Oftentimes, I still find myself seeking approval from people rather than my God. And I’m sure that’s heartbreaking to Him, but grace is present again. I can’t say thank you enough to God for pulling my from the trenches and showing me what joy we’ve been promised. My life changed that day eight years ago, not just for the better, but for the best life I could possibly have. Not about succeeding and becoming a better person, but to life a life glorifying to God.

The first real post is always the best post.

I’ve always loved the Christmas season, but this year God has given me a new reason to love. Christmas has always been associated with family, gifts, relaxation, and Jesus. I’ve always really appreciated gifts, but this year my gift came in the form of Paul.

Yesterday, my sister’s fiancé invited me to his church’s christmas eve service tonight. At first I felt uneasy because

1. I had never attended a Christmas church service up until a tonight and
2. I had never been to church with my sister let alone any member of my family.

Service was pretty cool, and the congregation was extremely exciting, but of course who wouldn’t be? We were celebrating the birth of Jesus! It was clear that the church was A charismatic church, so I was becoming weary about the presence of the prosperity gospel rather than the truth of salvation. I think this was my sister’s first time at church and perhaps her fiancés first time in a long time as well. In in case you didn’t know, my family doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, so I’m always very weary about exposing them to Christianity. This time, I knew God had a different idea for what he wanted me to learn.

While I was still processing my thoughts, we ended up going back to their home for Christmas eve dinner. In my mind I was thinking about talking to their mom about general outreach to our families. At the same time, I could feel Satan pressuring me to take their salvation into my own hands. I could tell he was trying to distract me from God’s intent for the night. Still lost in thought, their phone rang and the patron asked for me. His name was Paul, and he was going to become my brother-in-law soon. I had never met him before, and he actually asked if he could talk to me. Confused, I received the phone from their mom, and just said, “Hello, Paul?”

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