first rejection letter
... and i realize it doesn't matter.
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
.. moreso than anything else. and as a very cool garbage truck in california has on its bumper, 'Jesus won't ever dump you.'
the night sky is so calming. tonight, in the midst of what should be counted as loss, i took michelangelo and ran away towards a park just outside my subdivision. and as jars of clay was on repeat.. the sky seemed so big. and i felt like i could've stayed there forever, gently enveloped in the cool breeze, watching the sunset slowly fade as the stars shine brighter and brighter. and it's really not about me... as the beginning of the live version of redemption goes --
Every once in a while, you get these moments in life where you're standing in a place.. and I guess you would call it a privilege, that you're able to look back and sum up where you've been and see all the tragedies and victories and see for once they kinda make sense. Even though it's not what we would've chosen, it's where we are now and how we got here.. and it's the most amazing view sometimes. It kinda strikes a chord and hits our hearts and we realize, wow. My story is not my own, and I couldn't have written it this way. It's a good thing somebody else is writing it, 'cause there's a lot more joy and a lot more pain and it's all worth it. That's what this is about....
i'm glad You're writing my story, Dad. and i hope i'm waiting eagerly to see it unfold.
and i find myself missing
not in california, not in illinois
in the air, when everything seems this small
and i find myself wanting
to stay here
yet to leave
and hoping things go through on friday
to stay in those mountains
under the clouds that embrace
and i find myself
of where You are
and where You aren't
i can't escape from
come friday we'll know?
i'm falling at Your feet, Dad.
The snares of the world were its ways of sin. He would fall. He had not yet fallen but he would fall silently, in an instant. Not to fall was too hard, too hard; and he felt the silent lapse of his soul, as it would be at some instant to come, falling, falling, but not yet fallen, still unfallen, but about to fall. - A Portrait of the Artist, James Joyce
my gracious Redeemer.. my Savior art thou
if ever i love thee.. my Jesus, 'tis now.
and then it all seemed worthless
She unconsciously rubbed the edges of the acceptance between her fingers, smoothing out the minute rips and tears of the letter made by opening it with haste. She had grown up with the connotation that all things would be made perfect with an Ivy League school. Yet as she looked around the room, expecting some startling revelation once she found out she would be a Harvard student, a future Harvard graduate, she saw nothing had changed.
The blue NIV bible with her named engraved sat next to her iPod. She fingered the deep scratch in the upper left-hand corner. It remained unseen, until the light reflected off of it in a certain angle. A letter of acceptance from Harvard wouldn't erase that fateful day where the uncut strings of her guitar collided with her bible.
The same wooden frame enclosed a picture of her old worship team. When she used to sing, (and from time to time, feebly attempt to play the guitar) alongside brothers and sisters. Where she felt like belonged there, enveloped forever in the arms of the Father.
And then she remembered her Family. One she had grown up with without the connotation of anything, without expectation, without rank, without GPA, without extracurricular activites or competition. Where she didn't have to worry about what astonishing things she could offer a college, dressing herself up with community service and Advanced Placement classes.
With one last look outside her window before exhaustion took her to sleep. The majestic swirls of the reds and oranges of the setting sun in the sky made her feel hopelessly small in the schema of things... even with an acceptance letter.
Closing her eyes, her thoughts fleeted from her as she sought the comfort of sleep. Daddy... it's all i have. a drawing made with crayola crayons. but You call it beautiful......
it'll take time
[thank you for sending this song to me :)]
paul, are you confused? are you absolutely sure you know what you're talking? it seems like you contradict yourself a lot in ephesians and titus and romans and when you were in that jail with Silas. it feels like that time after lunch at winter camp. gently surprised and overwhelmed, but in a good way.
..... maybe this is something bigger and greater than we can all understand. God's a pretty big thing, paul... but you knew that already :)
so i'll admit it - i have a terrible weak spot for reality tv shows. especially the realworld/roadrules challenges. and since it's a new challenge that just started last week, that's what i did from 7:40-8:00 pm tonight, after a long good day that started off with pancakes and omlettes with Family - watching 20 reality show kiddos battling it out on the infero, part ii.
so i started watching at 7:40... night scene. probably 3/4 of those kids are now drunk, hooplah-ing in the pool and in the house's backyard. then... the scene changes to two people, Jon and Julie. and they said something along the lines of... 'even though we're in the midst of drinking, people hooking up, etc.... we still remember that we're living for someone holy. we still remember Jesus.' and it just.. blew me away. how many times have i, have we been at school, or work, or someone completely away from the church enviornment, and we stand with a mumbled faith?
then when the real game, the rules go that the two people from each team that's selected to go into the "inferno" could opt out if they are the individual winners that day during the competition. so the guy who was supposed to go into the inferno won, so Jon stepped up. and his reasoning.. "i want to do something for my team. Jesus sacrificed himself for us, and that was the ultimate love... i would want to go to the inferno for my team." and at this point, Julie was saying... "I just don't want you to go."
so Jon went to the inferno. and he's wearing the Jesus is Real t-shirt, stepping into a 20x20 room with bars and fire. and it's the inferno. and.. he loses.
when he left... people were in tears. flashes of how he was one of the best people they knew, flashes of Jon, laughing wearing his cowboy hat and a 'Jesus is Real' t-shirt. and then Julie... who says something like, "There aren't many people who would go out of their own way to save someone else. I don't understand why he has to leave. he sacrificed himself for all those people on our team, and they dont even understand. there's so much symbolism, and the people he sacrificed himself for don't even know.. don't comprehend..."
and as Jon left, someone on his team said, "please pray for us..."
i started to cry when i heard that. she said much much more, but one thing just stands out. they don't even understand...
You see... at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
... and surprising enough, i don't think i'm that upset about it. right before i clicked on the little admissions thing, i started to pray... and realized i didn't want to go there. (i mean... i probably wouldn't have skipped my interview if i wanted to go, hehe) and i guess... hmm. i have a much more clear sense of where i want to go now.
but now.. that i am attached to a few colleges in particular... what if i don't get in? :/
oh well. *shakes self* no more worries. He's got it... hehe.. michelangelo just started to sing Your Grace is Enough, by Mr. Christopher Tomlin...... and it doesn't matter where i go, and even if i end up gen-eng-ing it with the other 129073 people i know down at uiuc, thats where i'm supposed to be. and you know, i'm kinda looking forward to the HUUGE library down there (the engineering library was soo pretty) and cow-tipping.
Your grace is enough... for me =)
so today was my first day with michelangelo. and i must say, echoing the sentiments of a fellow cupcake-eater, it's quite refreshing listening to music during passing periods and such. maybe one of these days i'll blog about more what i did, and these other thoughts can stay in my journal..
i felt like eating sushi after i found this picture. taken sometime during winter break of (only!!) half a table of food at on a journey to Todai --
for some reason, tonight feels... different. things are more clear, more precise.. i can almost hear the strings of the worldly junk that was holding me down being cut. i'm feeling quite excited as i put michaelangelo on shuffle, and the very first song he chooses to play is... One Way. i want to stay in this place, in His presence, being comforted through songs that Michaelangelo loves to play like Now That You're Near, Glory, Better than Life, My Best Friend....
... because all of those are so true. then another song came on: glory, by avalon. i still remember when you sang it at a cryicetea and it moved me near tears. and the lyrics...
In the solitary moment of His birth
On this barren dusty land
All of heaven kissed the face of the earth
With a miracle of love
God became a man
But He was sent away to draw His final breath
When He was only thirty-three
And in the shame of dying a criminal's death
He cleansed an angry world
And in His suffering I see..
The glory of the blood
The beauty of the body
That was broken for our forgiveness
The glory of His perfect love
Is the heart of the story
The glory of the blood
... there is glory. and maybe, tonight out of all the other nights, You're letting me catch a glimpse. that through these broken hearts held in trembling hands and prayers being shouted out over the sounds of loud guitars and drums... there You are. right there. right here.
All the majesty in this world cannot compare to the glory
The beauty of the body
That was broken for our forgiveness
and there is such hope in that. and when the events of the world, broken relationships, seemingly endless drama, confusions, misunderstandings, hospital visits, deaths... seem to overwhelm us.. You silenced the world with Your glory.
He was only 33..
For from him and through him and to him are ALL things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. - Romans 11:36
colder than it ought to be in march
it felt good to pray
by no means
You knew my name.
Yet with Your hand
You calmed the storm and healed the lame.
As You spoke,
And as the crowds would gather 'round they called out,
"Holy One, are You the Holy One, who was sent by God to show the way?"
do you remember? that first step. when you felt like your feet couldn't hold you up, when life felt so surreal to believe that... this Holy one died for you. for you. for you.
do you remember? gently being held in His arms. not knowing anything yet knowing that everything would be okay. He's got it. He's got you.
do you remember? being that child of God. freely worshipping, feeling giddy whenever friday nights or sunday mornings came 'round. that fire growing to a roaring passion, knowing you've been set afire with the desire to see His glory reign in your life.
I wasn't there,
The night they came:
Those who saw and feared the miracles you made.
You took the nails,
You bore the pain.
And as they hung You on the cross and mocked you,
"Holy One, if You're the Holy One, let your God come save You from the grave."
what shall we say then? shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
by no means.
we died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (romans 6:1-2)
I just heard the news today,
I just came to find you but they said You'd gone away.
I just wanted to hear You say, that you had to go
But that You'd be back again.
sigh. how? why? You'll come back to a world where ....
i miss you. i wish you're here with me when He comes back. i wish i could see you dance for Him. i wish i could see you smiling again.
Break of day.
Came in time to find the rock
You rolled away.
I found Your robe,
An empty grave.
And as I fell upon the ground I cried out,
"Holy One, You are the Holy One, and You came and gave Your life away."
... You're the Holy one.
the world is not supposed to be like this.
thanks to a timely reminder.... hope doesn't disappoint.
"I am the life, I am alive, I came to show the way."
out of words
and so i wonder. when i wake up and force myself out of the warm confines of my bed, i wonder how the night before ended. and even though the rays of a new day shine out of the corners of my window... i wonder.
and it was this particular morning that i gave up trying to read the ap review book for the two chapters of psych that i didn't read.. and the three chapters of physics i didn't read, both of which were being tested on today. so... i stopped. or moreso, You let me pause. [and thank God, i think those tests went pretty well today... :)]
and it's times like these i'm thankful for little pause moments. when wonderful maker can go on repeat at 6:27 AM before it feels like anyone else in a two-mile radius is awake. when something about Your word catches my eye, that prompts me to wonder about You some more. what were matthew, mark, luke and john thinking when they were finished writing their gospels? when they woke up the next day and wondered.
matthew says: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. - Jesus" hmmk. convicting. evangelical.
mark says: "Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it." hmmmk. extension of what matthew said - Jesus commands, and the disciples follow.
luke says: "Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God." a beautiful image... dancing, rejoicing after Jesus ascends. mmk.
then john. oh john. "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written down."
wow..... wow. for some reason, i can't remember ever reading this. if someone were to tell me that this was in the bible at first, i'd think it were some sort of joke - the diction itself is far from... 'go and make disciples of all nations!" or "they stayed continually praising God." but....
Jesus did many other things. it's not just the new testament, it's our testament, our lives, mine and yours that He did and does great things in.
like a book with no words on the pages
i'm all out of language
i've nothing to say
so i stand in awe of You and Your great works, Jesus.
a high of 64
... i really like this CD. thank you :)
we watched the stars and the cross in the sky
look there, i was astonished
last night, had the urge just to ... run beneath His stars. so even though it was like 8:00 and pitch black... i asked my mom to join me, and we went around the neighborhood with three hoodies and a scarf on. and i usually dont like running - well, i dont like running, haha - but something about saturday night was calming. running under the stars, the same stars that abraham was promised that would the numbers of his descendents made abraham and the old testament and God of many nations before march, 2005 so very real. it was also good just spending time with my mom again, even if she didn't go to PA night.
rest in peace, mr. coffeecup (new addition to family - mr. loveboat). rest in peace, maxie. i love you both very much :/
and i wrote in the air
how i was feeling
you wondered what i had said
days like today remind me of early september of last year. days where we could just forget about what calc problems we had to do, or what colleges we were supposed to go to, or everything and anything else. where we could just enjoy the presence of being enveloped in warm sunshine, blue skies and gentle breezes.
... i really like this song :)
and i think paul is quite confused in romans 9 & 11 o_O
new layout.. simple, plain, focused. all the old comments are "deleted" b/c i used haloscan with my old layout.. but now i'm just sticking with what blogger has to offer - it's easier, haha.
for some reason, the word "focus" popped into my mind tonight. especially after a yearbook deadline.. where it seemed like nothing was going right. pictures were being turned in late, stories left unwritten, proofs nowhere to be found for the index, the server was down... just a slew of messes that resulted in short tempers, impatience, and delirum. and when i got home, i was much in the same mood... a little crabby, a little eager to blame me and kom not finishing the index on the server, on proofs, on my fingers cramping up after typing in some 50+ pages of names & pages into that database editor for the index. and when i went online.. i wrote a mini-cheers and jeers. filled first with jeers > cheers.... but then i had so much more to edit. and each time i edited my away message, i had more cheers - more encouragements, more blessings, more Him in a day that i had so quickly labeled as useless.
and so i stopped. and got out my guitar for the second night in a row... and just spent some time with Him. refocusing my day... my heart. how easy it is to tumble through this life without truly pausing.
so i come into Your chambers... and i dance at Your feet, Lord.
how long has it been since i last stopped.. to dance?
You're so good to me :)
there was always something
i wonder if judiciary activism can be applied to the Bible. if we ever twist things and "add" things for our own benefits. for the Word is living....
wow, it's march. in a month, i'll know where i'm going for college...
anyway. just a random thought.
this past weekend was ... hmm. i don't know, pretty undescribable. it felt good to be journeying the whole weekend with Family, whether it was through small groups (alpha, omega, beginning, end, and everything in between) or meeting at jeka's (through the ups and downs... disagreements and rejoicings... prayer, prayer, and more prayer) or goofing around and getting lost and seeing cool license plates from dinner to next mikol's, or through sunday mornings or afternoons...
sigh. lately i havent been able to remember my dreams, until last night, when i had one that was... something that i hope doesnt happen in real life. but this dream sparked faint memories of another one... one i had back in december, one that startled me so that i tried to make it so that this dream would not come true...
sigh. i knew for two months... and i couldnt do enough to prevent it. i'm sorry.
maybe i'll go back to bed and hope for dreamless sleep.