Saturday, December 7, 2013

C.S. Lewis Quote

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself.  It's thinking of yourself less."

~ C.S. Lewis

Friday, December 6, 2013

Life Lessons from Paul Introduction

Philippians is an excellent book.  Why is it excellent?  It is not merely excellent for its just being in the Bible.  It was written by a dying man in prison.  Paul knew he wasn't going to live much longer.  The day of his execution was drawing ever nearer and he wanted to write something meaningful to share with us what life is all about.  You can hang your hat on whatever.  But, is it going to last?  Is it going to endure the test of time?  Is it going to guide you when times get tough?  Because, Paul says, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  This statement practically relays to us that Paul is dead to the world.  This world has nothing for him.  If he is to live, it means continuing to serve Christ with all he has.  On the other hand, if he is to die, it is an absolute momentous occasion because he can completely rejoice in Christ's presence with no more constant, poignant toiling in the midst of fierce persecution, trials, and tribulations from this earth.  What else could you want?  If I live, I can still be the hands and feet of Jesus in this dying, aching, and broken world.  But, if I die, I am in His presence completely healed and made new.  Nothing else except Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.  He is all that matters in this life and He is all that matters in the next life.  That is encouragement and that is what Philippians is all about.  You need look no further than Jesus to understand what Paul's greatest glory and hope is when surveying this book and even any of his other letters.  The supremacy of Jesus is at the pinnacle of them all.

And though, we will mostly be looking at Philippians this time around... primarily the final three chapters of the book.  It will give us an accurate depiction of Paul's heart for the church at Philippi and the overall church in general.  Philippians 1:21, the verse above, gave us the introduction because it is literally the backbone of the book and it sets the stage for what Paul is going to unveil so magnificently to us in the following chapters.  Can't wait for it.......  

Sola Deo Gloria!!!!     


Thursday, December 5, 2013


Hey all, one of my friends in the Prayer Academy is wearing dresses everyday in December in order to raise money for the International Justice Mission, which is an organization that helps sex-trafficked women in restoring them to full health and vitality.  If you could be praying and if possible make a donation, check out her blog.  All the information is on there.  Thanks and I have a post in mind that will be hot of the presses within the next day or so.  The passage is Philippians 3.  God is doing some pretty amazing things these days.  Can't wait to talk more about it.        

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Haha, this isn't a post, but it is a rather significant quote of which I don't have any clue who it belongs to.  Anyway, here it is........... "Results breeds confidence."  It is totally true. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Difference between the Victory Cry and the Resurrection

I am back and it is official.  The fire of the Gospel has been rekindled within my being.  It was a long two year layoff and I know why, but I just was not myself for two years.  Even in the midst of preparing and going to Uganda, I was not my true self.  I have not been my true self ever since July 2011 when I received the call that I would not be going to India.  It stung me like no other and in the midst of that I lost a part of myself.  I knew I lost something, but I couldn't figure out what.  So, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, months turned into a year, a year turned into 2 years, and here we are on October 13th, 2013..... a little over 2 years.  People have been asking me why I stopped blogging.  And, I would answer them with a resounding..... I don't know.  Then something clicked tonight.  Not just tonight, but the clicking moved throughout the entire day.  

I took a walk this morning.  Pretty normal for me.  My parents and sisters went to church.  Let me preface something first.  At the church we go to, there are five services so I opted to go to the 7 pm service tonight because I am on the Prayer Academy.  I will talk about that later in a future post and go in depth on how God has been working in my life since not being called to go on the India team in July 2011, to making the Uganda team for April 2013, and to officially being accepted onto the Prayer Academy at the church I call home.  However, it began with a walk.  I was praying, listening to Christian music on my I-pod, praying, listening, praying, listening, praying about everything... whatever would come to my mind.  Lord, keep my future wife pure and give me eyes to know who she is.  Lord, I love you please rekindle and ignite a fire within me.  Yes, I did pray that prayer and I literally had no idea it would come true tonight.  

Now, fast forward to when I was washing my parent's car before church.  I was listening to a few songs on my I-pod that I had not listened to in about maybe a year.  And, they happened to be on the cross of Christ.  One of the songs was 'Before the Cross' by Sovereign Grace and the lyrics hit my hard like a ton of bricks because I have been going through a lot lately with God bringing different things to my attention that I have needed to take care of.  The lyrics that hit me were: No need, no want, no trial, no pain can compare to this.  That the wrath of God once meant for me was all spent on Him.  Then, it goes.... Your finished work captures my gaze.  You bore the wrath, I know the grace.  Pretty easy lyrics, but very weighty.  When I first heard those lyrics, I stood next to the car with goosebumps running all the way up and down my body.  I began to tear up and prayed that God would give me the grace and the strength to battle through these struggles I have been dealing with.  And, He is able because Christ knows what it is like.  He has been through the storms of dealing with our sin and being tempted like no other yet without sin.  He can sympathize with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15).  We can lay everything upon Him because He cares for us.  How astounding is that!!

So, after that graceful tide, I headed off to church for pre-service prayer @ 6.  It was like no other time I have had before.  God brought the James verse to my attention where it says consider it pure joy my brothers when you encounter various trials of many kinds knowing that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  I thought the Lord was teaching me to be joyful in the midst of my trials, but He was teaching me something more direct, something I needed to regain a firm grasp a hold.  And, it happened to be the Gospel of all things.  He gave me a quick new insight that I will share in a bit on the difference between the victory cry and the resurrection, which proves I am back and that the Gospel has been reignited within my being.  Though, it all started with going back through where the Gospels describe Jesus' death and His victory in doing so.  It was pretty amazing.  Then, it led into yours truly praying for someone and telling them that Jesus paid the ultimate price to set them free..... that they can bank on Jesus because He cares for you.... He loves you... He redeems you.  The Gospel is all they need to know to start living, the Gospel is all they need to know to continue living and growing in sanctification, and the Gospel is all they ever need to know when it is all said and done (1 Cor. 2:2).  Jesus is everything and more.  You need nothing else.  And, because of that, I want to continue what God has already accomplished in part of setting the world on fire based on His Son's atoning work on the cross for our sins.  Let's get this party started and proclaim this truth that is faithful, that is absolute, that is everlasting.  May God be glorified!!!  

Now, I will share what the Lord revealed to me about the difference between the victory cry and the resurrection.  When Jesus cried out, "It is finished!"  Light broke through the darkness and victory was secured.  The exclamation point was placed on the game, but the game was not over.  Hope is fully secured when the Father raised Jesus from the dead.  And, when Jesus rose from the dead, the game was officially over.  Game, set, match!!!  

Sola Deo Gloria!!!  




Saturday, July 20, 2013

Uganda: Flight from Dubai to Entebbe

Richard is an easy going guy, who is very attentive to all people.  The very first night in Dubai wasn't a night that we talked a lot, but I was thankful to be his roommate.  Why?  He prayed aloud for us that night.  He wasn't specifically praying about the trip, but for us to bond together as roommates and eventually lifelong friends.  I remember that and it touched me in a way that I will never forget it.  He is a stud that's for sure.  Anyway as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light bulb, but the problem was I only got a few hours of sleep since we got up at 5 am the next morning because we needed to have enough time in order to catch our flight to Entebbe, Uganda.  So, we headed back to the awe momentous Dubai airport, which is an amazing man made masterpiece in itself.  And, as we were making our way to the gate, I was talking with Debbie M. and I told her that I was willing to give my life for the Gospel if necessary.  If it came to that point, I would die for the sake of the Gospel.  That is how much Jesus means to me.  I don't really care how it happens or what happens.  All I know is that I will be absent from this body and present with the Lord, which is my biggest dream ever.  My biggest dream ever will ultimately become my reality and I can't wait to see my Jesus.  One of my favorite songs is written by Jeremy Camp and it is called "There Will Be A Day".  And some of these lyrics have hit me hard like a ton of bricks.  Read them and let them saturate your soul..... "I try to hold on to this world with everything I have.  But I feel the weight of what it brings and the hurt that it tries to grab.  The many trials that seem to never end, His Word declares this truth, that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew.  But I hold onto this hope and the promise that He brings.  There will be a place with no more suffering.  There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.  There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face.  But until that day, we'll hold onto you always."  These lyrics speak for themselves.  We are not of this world and we are waiting anxiously and patiently for our King to take us Home to be with Him.  And, if it was going to happen to me on the trip, there is no other beautiful way I would rather go than to lay down my life for my king on a missions trip.  How appropriate!!!  But, that did not happen and I am still here.  I still have unfinished business in service to my King to attend to.  It is no greater honor.  

Anyway sorry for the rambling tangent.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, we are in the Dubai airport about to hop on the plane to Entebbe.  So, we hopped on the plane.  I was still thinking about virtually dying for Christ and reading this book Witness the Passion all at the same time.  If you have never read that book, it goes into the horrors of Christ on the Cross from the eyewitness viewpoints of many people who were there to experience it from a distance or from afar.  Pretty good book.  Anyway, I was sitting on the plane next to Janice, my airplane buddy and it happened to be her birthday as well, for the entire four and half hour plane flight.  And before we knew it, we landed in Entebbe, Uganda at around 1 pm Ugandan time ready to serve the Lord, which is about 10 hours ahead PT.  Once we stepped out of the plane, it felt like Palm Springs, CA in the summer only with much more added humidity.  It was hot, but thankfully we made it through customs with no problems and picked up our luggage from the baggage claim.  And then, we headed toward the bus, the same 'ole bus that would be our one and only transportation source for the next two weeks--- a bus that at least did have air conditioning.  Well, not very good air conditioning, but good enough to carry us through until the end of the trip......             

Friday, April 26, 2013

Uganda: Overnite in Dubai

When we landed in Dubai, I was overjoyed and dead tired, but in stunned amazement when I stepped out to catch my first glimpse of the airport.  If not the fanciest airport in the world, it is up there among the fanciest.  Everywhere you look this airport has it all.... rolex clocks, granite floors and walls, silver chrome pillars, etc.  It is a more modern 21st century airport, but very fancy.  Why they chose to spend so much money into building this airport?  I have no idea.  Though, it goes to show you how far man goes in order to boast about having the best airport.  Of all things, the best airport???  Yeah, it beats me. 

Anyway, we efficiently made our way through customs and security with no problems.  There initially was a long line to get through customs, but Dave G. with his intuitive capabilities coaxed one of the security people to let our team pass through customs in a different line with no wait.  Success!!!  And then, we made our way to a bus, which drove us to our hotel for the night.  As we walked into the hotel, a few things seemed a bit strange.  One, a sign for the swimming pool actually read 'swimming poo'.  I didn't even try to ask why.  Second, most of the beds were one single queen bed.  If you know our team and the conversations that started once we heard this, you would understand why this was a major problem especially with a couple guys (I will not name names).  And third, we seemed a bit out of place in this hotel, which is why I didn't dare ask about the 'swimming poo'.  It seemed like all eyes were staring at us from every which way in every direction.  I knew God was with us, but I had a strange insensitive feeling.  Other than that, we checked in with no problems and had dinner.  I ate with Kevin as we talked about the upcoming mission.  We knew God was going to do some amazing things in and through us as with each member of the team.  We were stoked as ever.  We even asked each other what our parents would think if we stayed longer.  Our response was simple.... they would not be happy and wishing beyond a doubt we be home, but thankful in a sense that we were obedient to God's call.  It didn't happen to either of us or anyone else on team because each person felt God's call to come back home for a variety of different reasons.  I will share my reasons later as these posts continue to unfold.

After dinner, it was time for debrief and prayer in Dave G. and Frankie's room (though I think in Dubai it was in Sam and Erin's room).  No matter what, debriefing for any mission trip is basically sharing our highs and lows of the day.  It is a time to share whatever God has placed upon our hearts that day.... good or bad.  It is a definite intimate time within the group.  I personally loved these moments because it was a time to just let God be God for us after a grueling day serving with all our heart on the mission field.  We are tired, we are exhausted, we are cranky, we are worn down..... but God knows what is best for us in that particular time.  And, we all would just let Him be God for us by comforting us, strengthening us, loving us, preparing us for what lies ahead in the next day... just the next day.  Because, by day 8, my strength was literally on empty.  I was only running on God's strength by then.  It taught me how to let God be God for me in a time when I needed Him most.  And, He kept pushing me forward.  He never turned His back on me.  He was completely faithful in it all.  But, that is a story for later on.  The debrief process for the Dubai overnite stay was pretty basic in a sense because most people had the same highs and lows.  I said most people.  The high for me was the anticipation of the trip and what God was/is going to do through us, while the low for me was not enough sleep on the plane.  I had jet lag and was dead tired.  Sleep could not come soon enough.  After debrief, we had a time of prayer.  That was very touching though.  Our team can pray and knows how to pray.  It was awesome to see us continue to unite through prayer as we prayed for what lies ahead for us in Uganda.  Great time!!!  Then finally, off to bed.  I will start talking about my roommate soon.  He is the best person I could have ever roomed with because we had some deep intense conversations late into the night almost every night even though he would go to sleep when I was in the middle of talking sometimes.  I love him.  His name is Richard.... Rico.... But most importantly, I call him Buddy.  *big yawn* I am about to doze off.  Sorry buddy.... I will talk about you in the next post segment.  :D