Monthly Archives: October 2016

NEVER FAILS 

This semester has been my favorite semester yet for many different reasons. But at the same time one of the most unique ones. In the past I have been constantly busy and always had something I needed to do where as this time there are calm weeks and then all of a sudden all the waves crash at once. This week is that week.

Had a reflection paper due today, book review due Wednesday, essay and a quiz for Thursday and a project proposal for Friday. On top of that I have a very important meeting tomorrow causing me to miss class and two sermons to prepare for Sunday. It’s about to be a busy week to say the least but surprisingly enough God has given me a sense of peace to not feel overwhelmed. But even though I’m not overwhelmed I still have a lot running through my mind.

Tomorrow is already November which means a new theme/sermon series to begin. I’ve had a theme in mind that I was going to finalize tonight but with everything going on I couldn’t get myself to focus in preparing. But more than that while I was trying something didn’t feel right. It felt like it was a sermon series I wanted to do rather than what God wanted to do. Through prayer and constant conversation with God all day it was pretty clear what I had in mind wasn’t what He wanted.

But with the time crunch I started to enter into panic mode for a second. I knew God wanted me to change the theme but I didn’t know what to change it to. And with writing my papers I was distracted in really digging deeper in finding out.

So I took a break from everything, took a step back, breathed and asked God. It may sound too good to be true but in that moment He spoke to me. Everything fell into place and my heart became aligned with His. Tonight I realized that when I am truly intentional in seeking His heart He never fails to reveal. God is too good.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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CAN WE TALK?

After a blessed service I was walking in the hallway when one of my brothers of Refresh came up to me. He looked at me in eyes with a serious look on his face and said “can we talk?”. To be honest whenever someone asks me that question from past experiences, I get a little anxious and nervous because usually what they want to talk about isn’t something very joyful.

This specific guy is someone who really has been a dear brother to me. I met him at a summer camp during my senior year of high school and we have been friends for awhile. He is one of few in Refresh that I have known before starting ministry. So when he asked to talk I was a little concerned that maybe something is going on in his life or he is going through a hard time. But what he wanted to talk about was something I honestly didn’t expect.

He said he wanted to volunteer to help lead our November Praise and Prayer Night. The moment he said that my heart was truly moved. The reason is because I know how much he really has been trying in these past couple months to grow in his faith and relationship with God. I also know it hasn’t been the easiest for him, but to hear him say that he wants to serve was such a blessing.

Knowing him for a while now I know that he has a heart of worship and musical talents that God has given him. He used to play in a lot of praise events and helped lead worship at his previous church, but it has been a while since he has led in worship. So to see that desire in his heart to come back to that servant heart of worship was really amazing.

Seeing his heart was just another reminder that God’s love is relentless. That God is always desiring his children to serve Him. God never gave up on him and He is continuously wanting to use him. Once a servant of God, always a servant of God.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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WAX ON WAX OFF

I found out last night that the pastors were meeting at church this afternoon to wax the tile floors in our hallways. To be honest at first I was a little confused why we were doing it because we have a team at church that usually does stuff like that.  But I do enjoy (at times) doing manual labor lol so I thought why not.

I didn’t expect much and just thought we would work and that’s about it, but it ended up being an amazing time. Whenever we get together it’s usually in a meeting or in service or something of that nature so it was great having the opportunity to do something physical as a team for the church. We are always doing things “spiritually” for the church but being able to do something literally for the church was a great privilege.

I was reminded that serving the church includes getting your hands dirty at times and doing things least expected. It was also a time for unity and fellowship within the team that we don’t get to do often. The thing about waxing the floors is you have to do multiple layers and between the layers you have to wait about 30 mins for it to dry.

During those times of waiting we were able to spend a lot of quality time together. We even had the chance to play a game of basketball which I would have never expected to do with our senior pastor but it was a great time. We shared a lot of laughter and joy throughout the day. And after we finished we all went to have pho for dinner. What a way to end the day 🙂

Today I was reminded that being a pastor and leader of the church is much more than just giving a sermon or standing before the congregation. But also doing things behind the scenes and serving in multiple ways. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to serve in such a way today, especially along side my fellow brothers in Christ.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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UNITED PURSUIT

We took our youth group to a United Pursuit concert tonight and what a blessing it was. To this moment I cannot believe I experienced that tonight. It was such an amazing opportunity of worship and personal healing and rejuvenation.

United Pursuit has always been a band that I enjoyed listening to and worshipping to. The biggest reason is because of their style. They are so simplistic and repetitive and at the same time have so much depth in their lyrics that really hit home to me. Their music has helped me a lot in the past and even now get through difficult times and rejoice in good ones. But to actually get to worship with them live was just amazing.

It was really interesting how God moved in my heart personally tonight. For some reason as I soon as I got home from classes today I felt really abnormally burdened and anxious which caused me to not be excited for the concert at all. I thought this feeling would go away but it stayed with me even when we entered into the venue. I couldn’t find my place of joy. But we got there an hour before it started to get good spots so it gave me a lot of time to be in prayer.

It was hard at first to even pray and get my heart prepared to worship but eventually I found that personal place with me and God. I asked Him to give me the strength to overcome all the negative emotions and have my eyes set upon Him and allow Him to do His will in me. And that is exactly what happened.

As soon as the first song began I felt true freedom. Everything was lifted and my heart started to burn to worship. I was able to find that place of intimacy with God and come before Him vulnerable and hungry.


It was such a great time to let all my burdens go and be reminded of what it means to worship my Father once again. But what also really moved me was being able to look around and seeing the hearts of brothers and sisters in Christ from all different backgrounds cry out to our Father. It was such a beautiful experience to be unified as one body of Christ to give God the worship and praise He truly deserves.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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BEYOND THE WALLS

I can’t believe next week will already be November. This year has been flying by but through the months God has been revealing Himself to me and pouring down amazing blessings. But I believe that I am currently living through the biggest blessing yet of this year, which is growing together with my group of friends from school.

Almost every day in the past month God has given me the opportunity to draw closer to this group of friends that I would have never imagined to have but through every moment I have realized I can call them family. Tonight was that pinnacle moment where I cannot be more thankful for these brothers and sisters God has placed in my life.

We have came to be through our public theology concentration. There is only 6 of us and only 1 professor who is assigned to this concentration. It’s amazing how all of us, even through our differences truly connect and have become one body. Tonight our professor invited us to her home for dinner and fellowship and it was a truly beautiful time.

I have realized that we are more than just a class but something much more beyond the walls of a classroom. I am thankful to have a professor like her who doesn’t just want to teach us but pour into our lives. For her to open her home and bring us into her family and introduce us to her husband and cook a meal for us showed us that she was opening her heart. By doing that I believe we were able to open up our hearts as well and take that deeper step into an intentional community of brothers and sisters in Christ.

After dinner my friends and I went to a coffee shop and talked for a couple hours. I am so grateful to have a community where we can truly talk about God, our faith and the challenges we face and walk through it together. It’s unbelievable how the moment I felt like I was lacking a true Christ centered community I can be a part of rather than lead, God provided.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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MULTIPLE COMMUNITIES 

Something I struggled a lot with growing up all the way until recent years is having the separation between “church friends” and “school friends”. Having two communities I was a part of wasn’t the problem. The issue was that I acted a different way and became a different person according to what group I was with. The biggest factor in that was having God at the center of the community or not.

I thought coming to a Christian university that would change, but in reality for a couple of years it didn’t. I still had a clear line that separated my community in school and the way I acted and my church community. I never really felt comfortable or free enough to completely be myself when I was at school. But all that has changed this past year. Today is when it really hit me.

Every Wednesday night we have a student led chapel service at my school but the truth is I haven’t been to a single one in the couple years I have been at this school. One of the biggest reasons was because I have Refresh every Wednesday and didn’t feel the need to go to another service afterwards. But that is me just being lazy. The true reason is because I never really felt completely apart of my school community and didn’t have the desire to attend a service with people I didn’t really know.

But this past year I have started to really form a community within school and have gained many amazing brothers and sisters in Christ. Tonight one of my friends was speaking at the service and I felt this conviction to just go. So after spending the first portion of my evening with my church community of Refresh I went to school for chapel.

Something that I realized tonight while at chapel was that I could completely be myself. I actually felt apart of the community rather than an outlier. That’s when I realized how thankful I am to have two communities where I am able to encounter God. To have the ability to grow in faith with two diverse groups of friends and have God be the center in both.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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CHANGE OF PLANS

I was supposed to have a paper due this Thursday for my Pentateuch class and since I wouldn’t have much time tomorrow to work on it because of Refresh I had my day all planned out so I can try to get it done today. But God is good and this morning in class my professor said he wanted to give us more time and he pushed it back to next week. So since I didn’t have to work on it today I started thinking about what other assignments and things for church I can do ahead of time since I had some free time.

I wanted to take advantage and work on whatever I could, but God had different plans. As I was sitting in my living room contemplating what I needed to do my parents asked if I wanted to go out to dinner tonight. At first I was a little hesitant because I wanted to get work done but I realized I haven’t gotten the chance to eat with my family since Thursday because of conflicting schedules and the next time I would be free for dinner would be either Saturday or Sunday. So I decided to say yes and put everything else aside.

Boy am I so glad I did. From dinner to grocery shopping with the family my heart was overflowing with unexpected joy. Just being with them and spending quality time I felt true peace with nothing else on my mind but happiness. It was much needed. I was able to let loose and my goofy side came out to the point where my family asked me if something was wrong lol.

Through change of plans God gave me an opportunity to be rejuvenated. God allowed me to pump the brakes for a second and just enjoy the moment. I am thankful for moments like these where God gives me the opportunities to be filled with good vibes.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SILENCE

Every week for my public theology class we focus on a specific topic. Last week was food, before that was time and this week is silence. We dig deep into what these things mean to us personally and then how we can implement that in our community.

As I was doing my reading this morning on silence and having our class discussion God really moved in my heart. This element of silence is something I never really looked into too much or have applied it in my faith. The only thing I have done in the past is silent prayer but that’s about it but even that has been a challenge for me.

The reason such things as silent prayer has been difficult is because we live in a society where silence is avoided as much as possible. We tend to look as silence as a negative thing and have this idea that something must always be going on.

That is where God really gave me conviction this morning. I’m the type of person who believes busy is good, and I always try my best to be doing something, staying active either physically or mentally through my thoughts.

But what I learned today is that silence is much more than just being silent externally but internally as well. To calm our minds and hearts and to be receptive. That concept is what really hit home for me. To be receptive. To be able to be in the presence of God and be still, be calm, be quiet, be silent and receive rather than always just trying to “do”.

This also can be applied to our relationships and especially our conversations with one another. Especially being in ministry I have felt this pressure that whenever someone comes to me to talk I always need to have an answer. This leads to me always thinking about what to say when in conversation rather than being present and fully listening. How are we supposed to truly respond if we do not completely listen?

Today God has really taught me a lesson and given me guidance that I have been needing. I am so thankful for this class where I am able to not just learn academically but spiritually as well. To learn things I can apply in my daily life with people but especially in my relationship with God.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SERVING EACH OTHER 

A few times a year our church does a food fundraiser for missions during our lunch time and the funds go towards our summer mission trips. We have been doing these fundraisers ever since I was a kid and to be honest I never thought too much about it until recently. Being on the leadership team for our Haiti trip in July I was able to see the behind the scenes of everything that goes into a mission trip and that is when I realized how much of an impact these fundraisers play. That has helped me gain a true appreciation to all that take part.

As I walked into the fellowship hall this morning I couldn’t help but take a step back and soak in everything that was going on. There were countless number of church members making food in the kitchen, preparing, setting up the booths, people buying and donating. It was such a beautiful sight to see our church move as one body to serve eachother and serve a greater cause.

Then at lunch time I witnessed countless number of people buying food for eachother and just serving one another with a compassionate heart. It was amazing to see our church body be one. Serving out of love and not out of obligation. Today I saw our church not just as a group of people but really a family.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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THROUGH THE YEARS

What a blessed weekend it has been. We had a little youth group reunion with a handful of my friends that I grew up with. It’s been over 3 years since I have seen some of them and a lot has happened in those years so we all decided to meet up in Columbus and hangout today.

It’s crazy how much has happened, changed as well as stayed the same. One friend had a baby and another just got back from being in the Korean military for s couple years. Honestly I have changed a lot since I’ve last seen a couple of them also.


While spending the day together I kept being reminded of how thankful I am for these guys. We have so many memories we have made together in the span of almost 10 years now. But the greatest thing is that these guys were the ones next to me in the foundational years of my faith.

Though things have changed, distance has happened and life keeps going it’s great that I can still call these guys my brothers in Christ. It’s truly amazing how the relationships God puts together lasts forever.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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