Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Moving!

Well, I’m moving my blog at least. :-)

A few days ago, Hastings Haven “celebrated” its 4th year anniversary marking its existence. Of course, I didn’t use it much in the beginning-in fact I kept it a secret for the first 6 months and kept a friend of mine in suspense over “a surprise I had”. *laughs at the memory* Oh, the days of being 12.

I actually never ended up blogging regularly, especially as of late, but my blog’s generator, Blogger, has served well over the years. Blogger was a quick, simple way to get started in the blogging world-which was especially important to me since I hardly knew anyone in cyberspace at the time!

4 years and 128 posts later, I think it’s time for a change. And that comes in the form of:

What is JibeNow? It’s an awesome, new place to host your blog with the tools of Wordpress (better than Blogger in my opinion), the functions of Twitter and Facebook, and the community of Homeschool Blogger! Yes, it was made with home-schoolers in mind although you don’t necessarily have to be a home-schooler to use it. You can check out JibeNow for yourself:

There’s actually going to be an official “Blog Swap Day” on February 1st, but I decided to go ahead and switch my blog ahead of time to let y’all know about it. To create a JibeNow blog, you have to be invited, so if you’re interested in joining, then comment on my new blog or email me.

If you have this blog’s url on an RSS feed reader or a blog sidebar or something similar, there’s not much use in keeping this link because I won’t be posting here anymore and my archives are all on my new blog. Instead, you can update to my new blog’s address:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Silent Prayer March

Please pray for the silent prayer march in Houston tomorrow starting at 9:30am which my brother, some of my friends, and hopefully thousands of others will be attending. The march comes as a response to Planned Parenthood’s construction of the second largest abortion facility in the world. Watch this and please pray:

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I've been thinking some more... (Part 2)

I want to be like the people I hear about in foreign countries who just shine Jesus. Sure, there are some people like that here in America, but I think they're few and far between. So is it the absence of nice things that makes these Christians so joyful?


But it's related. Because when they are stripped of the things I see as necessities in ordinary life, they are also stripped of the distractions I find in everyday life. Then they see Jesus more purely. They love Jesus in ways I can't imagine. Because it's not in spite of, but because of hardships that they know Him more intimately. They're forced to rely on Him. They have such joy because they are clinging to Jesus-and only Him.

We become amazed by the happiness of someone, not because they are rich and happy-that's expected-but because they are poor and happy. Perhaps suffering makes Christ shine brighter to the world because it magnifies the difference between the response of a dying person with joy and a healthy person with joy? Which person would make you stop and examine where their hope in life lies?

I have been so blind. Blind to what really matters in life. Who cares how popular someone is or what talents they have or what they can do? Why did it matter what kind of car someone drives or the clothes they wear? It shouldn't. God is beginning to open my eyes... again. I remember God opening my eyes before, but I think I closed them during the past few months. When I close my eyes, I don't even remember the fact that I ever did see at all! Otherwise, if I remembered, I wouldn't be content to be blind, and I would ask God to open my eyes again which in His forgiving grace He would. But, no, instead I unconsciously shut my eyes and forget about what really matters in life...

In America, it's almost as if I get a diluted Jesus instead of the pure version. Jesus is mixed in my life with so many other things. Activities, possessions, work, education, friends, adventures--they're not terrible things, but they can so easily distract me. And I mean so easily.

"We simply take life and breath and health and friends and everything for granted. We think it is ours by right. But... apart from the death of Christ, sinners get nothing but judgment. Apart from the cross of Christ, there is only condemnation. Therefore everything that you enjoy in Christ - as a Christian, as a person who trusts Christ - is owing to the death of Christ."
~John Piper

Money isn't evil. It can be a wonderful blessing. However, the love of money leads to all sorts of evil. I'm convinced that this should be our perspective on money:

"Wise people know that all their money belongs to God and should be used to show that God, and not money, is their treasure, their comfort, their joy, and their security…."

When my eyes are finally opened again, my memory awakes. And I remember what I knew all along: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth... But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I've been thinking...

"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" -Gal 6:14

What would it look like if I really did only boast in the cross?

But even though I know I should boast only in the cross, why is it that I don't?

What if I was stripped away of everything in life except Jesus?

I picture what it would be like if I was on the streets, no money, no family, no friends, no books, no activities, no popularity, (no computer! ;-D), nothing... except Jesus. I wish I could say otherwise, but truth is, I don't feel a lightning bolt shock me because I can't actually comprehend what my life would be like. It would just be so different.

But sometimes I want my life, especially my spiritual life, to be so different. Would this kind of change actually be a radical awakening to spiritual heights I never dreamed of?

Recently I was listening to K. P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel For Asia, give a report of the work Christ is doing in Asia. What I imagined about myself two paragraphs above doesn't even begin to touch on the conditions Christians live in over there. And on top of the dire physical straits, add intense persecution.

Yet, as Yohanann claims, these Christians are filled with deep joy. That's what I've been thinking about. Is there something about having fewer material possessions and conveniences that bolsters them to a stronger relationship with Jesus?

This is Part 1. In Part 2, I'll answer my last question...

Photo credit: Wonderlane and pedrosimoes7

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking Forward

When I was little I thought that 16 was the perfect age to be. 'Twas the oldest you could be while still being a kid. 17 was too close to the threshold of being an adult. 16 was perfect...

But I've learned some things since I was little.

Responsibility does not start when I'm 18. I will not all of a sudden "get a life" when a diploma is handed to me. Responsibility starts now. History is filled with people who accomplished great things when they were still in their teens. Why is it that now our culture is filled with "kidults", people in their late 20s and even 30s who want to keep living their lives free of grown-up duties?

Even though some might say that I'm only 16 so I still have the right to be immature and irresponsible, I don't want to be like that.

My generation is called to so much more than simply "getting by".

16 is old enough to make a meal to feed the homeless. 16 is old enough to have a holy ambition and act upon it. 16 is old enough to dive deep into God's word and experience the truth of who He is personally instead of taking someone else's word for it.

Today, I turn 16. Questions stretch out before me. I'm not simply talking about the questions "What will I do in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?" No, more specifically, I'm thinking about questions that must be answered imminently and with actions. What will I do to bless others while I'm 16? What will I do to grow in my relationship with Christ this coming year? What will I do now to make a difference?

God, please grant me the grace and wisdom to walk in ways pleasing to You this coming year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Humility Objectified

"The conductor Leonard Bernstein was once asked, 'What is the most difficult instrument to play?'

'Second Violin,' he replied, 'Because everyone wants to be first violinist.'

Of course the first violin gets to play more interesting parts and commands more attention. But as Bernstein went on to explain,

'It's hard to find someone who wants to play second violin and to do so with the same enthusiasm. But without the second violin, there is no harmony.' "

-- Matt Redman
in The Heart of Worship

So it is with all of life. It's hard to find someone who wants to take a secondary task and do so with the same enthusiasm. "But without the second violin, there is no harmony."

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Up-The Movie

For my parents' 25th anniversary, they went on a very romantic date to eat dinner and catch a movie. The film of choice? None other than:

UP, the newest Pixar release! (Pretty romantic, huh? ;-) )

If I had to describe the movie in one word, I would choose the word "sweet". Everything about it was just bursting with sweetness! The little boy, Russell, was insanely cute in my opinion. If he were an animal, I think he'd be a panda bear. Oh, I wish I could squeeze him in a tight hug! I mean, just look at him:

Seriously though, I think it was the perfect movie for my parents to watch on their anniversary because it was saturated with the truth that marriage and family are important. All the other Pixar films I've watched have had romance in them between a guy and a girl who fall in love. Apparently, it seems that anything has the capacity for romance: cars, toys, monsters, bugs, even robots! UP has romance too, but I love it so much because it happens after they're married. They always remain so in love. He's deeply loyal to her and his promise to her. It's beautiful.

After reflecting on why I like UP so much, I've concluded it's because of the prevalent theme of loyalty. Yet it's more than that. It's whom the main character is loyal towards. Not to his house. Or his possessions. But to his wife and the boy. My favorite line in the entire film is: "It's just a house." Because of that message, UP is my new favorite Pixar film. And now, there's a whole new meaning to the phrase "What's UP?" :-)