Sunday, November 30, 2008

The point is being driven home

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect."
-I Cor. 15:10

Heard a sermon today about the passage in John where Peter is asking Jesus about the fate of one of the other disciples. Jesus tells him in essence, "...what is that to you? You must follow Me." (John 21:22) Peter is comparing his path to the path of the other disciple. I was struck in the sermon by how often we compare our paths to others. It is a universal truth, everyone compares themselves to someone else, but we do not often think of it that way. We just tend to see it as noticing the state of their life or even "caring" sometimes. I am not saying it's bad to know about other people's lives and circumstances, I am just saying we should not start comparisons. I know, because I have been doing an abundant amount of comparing since I got to Daegu. This sermon also had a special place in my heart because it spoke of hardship again. I keep hearing many sermons on this, that life is not easy or glamorous. God is putting them in my midst probably because I am living in the middle of this truth. There is no hope in this life except for Jesus Christ and His gospel. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect." I Cor. 15:10 Since arriving in Daegu, South Korea, I have been sick the majority of the time. For two weeks I had a sinus infection, then I had food poisoning the next weekend and threw up for 13 hours straight, and now I have bronchitis. God is constantly drilling into my head that He may not take away the hard things, but I must follow Him. I look forward to the day that we are restored in Heaven with perfect bodies, and no sin.  My hope is towards Heaven and Christ. Nothing else can satisfy. He has been graciously bringing people into my life to encourage me, and surround me over the past week. I now have a Bible study, and friends that I grow in Christ with, who will pour into me/vice versa. This is the beginning of my third month, and these first months have been nothing short of amazing, discouraging, and mainly draining. I keep on hearing that after 3 months it picks up. I think as of this last week, it has finally started to come around. In the middle of these hard times that are getting better, I remember that it is by God's grace that I know Him, and that I am here. I never would have said Daegu was God's grace in my life a week ago, but now I am seeing that everywhere He takes me is by His grace. He leads me on His path for me, and all I can do is ask for grace to face what He has in store for me. All I can do is follow Him. Pray that I would do the like and nothing further.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 100

Thanks God.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Batter my heart

"Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seek to mende;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee' and bend
Your force to breake, blow, burn, and to make me new.
I, like a usurpt towne, to 'another due,
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet, dearley 'I love you, 'and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie,
Divorce mee, 'untie, or breake that knot againe,
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you 'enthrall mee, shall never be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Worst Birthday Ever....

My 23rd year of life began today, and I am sad to say that it was one of the worst birthdays ever. There were a few things that made my heart ache as I checked facebook this morning. Then, certain songs came up on my iTunes when I put it on shuffle that made me pretty sad. I arrived at work 10 minutes early because we were having a mandatory work lunch together, I hate those with a passion. It means that something bad is going to be said or my boss will lecture us on how we are never good enough teachers, blah, blah, blah. Today, it was a different type of announcement. The director of my English school announced that he has sold the school to a lady. By the grace of God, she has agreed to keep our contracts the same and keep us on as teachers. I was not happy to hear that he is leaving, I really like him. The first thing I did when I heard the news, was pray for her, and her time as my employer/school director. Usually, new employers like to make their mark and change things, which means more work for us. I do not want to be asked to come in on weekends or early. After the lunch was over, I had classes and today is my short day. I only have four classes that I teach on Wednesday, but 3 of them were absolutely awful today. If any of you have ever taught before, you know how just one bad class can suck the life from you. Now, imagine 3 bad classes. After classes ended, I was looking forward to going home, but I heard that we were going to dinner. We went to the same restaurant, again, for dinner. It has one kind of food, galbi. I have no idea how it is really spelled, but it is like pork cooked on a grill that you wrap in lettuce with kimchi, radish, and other greens. It is really good, but twice in one day is enough for me. I had already eaten dinner that night too. Dinner came, and I sat next to our new director who is a woman. She seems pretty nice, and her English is descent. My other boss, Scott (he is the vice president of the school) got wasted on Soju again, just like the other two times we have gone out. The new director said she was going to bring me a cake tomorrow because it was my birthday today. We'll see if she remembers, it was nice of her to at least mention it I guess. There were a few bright spots in my day. Andrew got me a present, it's a mug, and if you know me, you know that that is right up my alley. Chloe and I had a good talk at the dinner about certain heart aches that we both are feeling. When it comes down to it, I felt alone today, and that is the worst feeling a person can feel any day birthday or no birthday. A few more bright spots were coming back to the apartment after the dinner and seeing the packages my family had sent me, the messages on facebook, and talking with my cousin Ann online. God reminded me at the end of the day that I am not alone. I think all this is just a reflection on my deep desire for meaningful relationships that I do not have here. Still praying that God will bring them and trying to remember His promises/truth.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Come to the waters and drink...

Lately, I have been desiring deep fellowship. There is a church I attend here, but my relationships with the people in it are still superficial and have not even scratched the surface of depth. I am discovering that it is not just enough for me to have a church, I need the people in the church as well. In my cynical state, I have a hard time letting those people in. I feel that many of them are cheesy, what an awful person I must be to not even give them a chance. Korea is such a challenge because I know I am in the right place, in the middle of God's will, but there is no perfect fit here. What I mean by that is that there is no particular person that jumps out at me in this time to be deep meaningful friend. God has always provided those for me since I can remember, now they are all so far away from me, across the is so encouraging hearing from them, but I need someone here too. My prayer is that the Lord will bring someone who will pour into me, or I may just shrivel up soon. God has so graciously provided me with so many opportunities to minister to others and share about who He is, more than I have ever had in my whole life, but it is draining at the same time. I will hold fast to 2 Cor. 12 that says His grace is sufficient for me, and in my weakness He is strong. I will believe that the Lord is leading me more towards understanding the measure of the fullness of His love which has no limit. A love, which no one can separate me from. I will come to the waters and drink.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have been doing things to make my apartment look more home-like or more like my place I should say. The other night I took one of my boring wooden crates, it wasn't stained or anything, just plain raw wood, and I painted it. Here is a pic of it after two nights of labor. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

God Moves

The story of my time in South Korea comes to this in the last two months, God always moves in ways I do not expect. He has given me so much courage that I know is not my own. I say things that would scare the living day lights out of me to say so bluntly back in the states for fear of turning someone off to God, but here it is all so different. The times I do not even see it coming, then God shows up in the middle of another conversation. He has been reminding me that He is the Sovereign One. I do not need to worry when it seems like no one has changed by the end of the conversation, God stands Sovereign, and He will do as He pleases in His glorious time. Last night, I heard a few arguments as to why people do not believe in God, and they only seemed to drive me more towards God. Their conclusions of life were all so hopeless, and pointless. It is so true that some people are blinded with veil over their eyes, and do not see what is so plainly in front of them. I am praying that many veils are removed this year. Please join me in doing the same.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Quickly I Have Forgotten..

"I want to hear the thunder of all You are. To be captured inside the wonder of all You are. I want to live, I want to breath, to search out Your heart, and all of Your mystery. You are the First, the End, time cannot hold You down, so why save a wretch like me? Cause no eye has seen, no ear has heard. No one knows all of Your mystery. I want to hear the thunder of all You are. To be captured inside the wonder of all You are. I want to live, I want to breath, to search out Your heart, and all of Your mystery. Your glory burns in the stars, shine down Your light, let us see who You are." 
-Phil Wickham

When I arrived on these shores, I knew that none would satisfy, but the Lord. All that had taken my heart captive was removed from my life, except for Him. I could say honestly, "Lord, I have nothing but You, and none can satisfy me, but You." Now, the wonder has faded, my heart is finding its way into that place of complacency. My heart has began to chase other things. Now the words of my pastor at Redeemer in Lubbock echo in my ears, to paraphrase, he said we are a generation that thinks God owes us/convenience. We believe that we are supposed to have a comfortable, romantic life with the job we want, a great salary, with a spouse, healthy children, and for ourselves to be healthy as well. Amidst my chasing the things that will give me comfort, and make my life "better", I have realized that God has become the second thought. I am like a stupid sheep, my heart is swayed so easily. My focus has been self-centered. God has been showing me so many different things on prayer lately, I have been looking, not applying, and lack of prayer is pride. I have let the selfishness/pride lead me to think that I deserve something different than what God has graciously given me, and where He has divinely placed me. I know I am a fool to hold so many worldly things so dearly. Pray for my heart, that I will once again begin to consider others. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The List...

Today I will only post a list of things I like and dislike about my experiences in South Korea.

-the immense amount of pollution
-the smell of the sewers/trash
-how dirty it is, sometimes I think it is comparable to Mexico
-people constantly pushing past you, pushing you out of the way
-the work-aholic society
-the sewer smell that comes up from my shower drain, I can't seem to rid of it with anything
-my bed that still feels rock hard even though I put 5 blankets and a comforter on top of the mattress
-sky scrapers everywhere, I want real scenery

-Korean food
-how cheap take out is
-how helpful Koreans are, they will go to great lengths to help you solve your problem
-the large number of English teachers that all live in my area
-my co-workers, they are great
-the fact that there is an international church I can go to here
-the people at my church
-the fact that I am starting to pick up little phrases in Korean
-I have a washer, I don't have to go to the laundry mat
-I live next to a mountain I can see sometimes (depends on pollution)
-the adorable open market down the street from my apt.
-how God is working and moving in ways I have never seen before
-the public transportation, I love the subway
-downtown and all its shops
-learning to pray more
-all the coffee shops, there is at least one on every corner
-seeing God's protection and provision in my life