Debt Ceiling

“The government can no longer meet its obligations by borrowing more money” (TPM).

Our economy is a tragic circumstance of compiling wrongdoings. “Democrats and Republicans agree that if the debt limit is not raised we would be inviting economic catastrophe” (Washington Post). The reconstruction of the debt ceiling takes on another effect: The rich get richer and the poor have to fight to re-position themselves to find favor in the eyes of Congress (as if the poor have not already done enough to show that the American Dream is a discriminatory practicality). 

“The debate about the ceiling has become entwined in the larger issue about slashing the budget. The budget debate is shaping up around trying to balance two perhaps equally unpopular remedies: sharp cuts to popular government-funded programs and major tax increases (to the working class)” (Washington Post).

My work here in DC consists of one ultimate truth: that the world functions on the gap between the rich and the poor, but Jesus operates with the idea that the “poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth” (Job 5:16). May His kingdom meet all those in need and confront all those who take away from making His kingdom come true.

There is a bigger debt ceiling that rises in our lives if we do not repent. In April 2010, I filed for bankruptcy, but the consequences of my sins left me with bad credit. I needed the constant renewing of the Holy Spirit to do away with the injustice and apathy that accumulated in my heart throughout my existence. I owe the debt of love to Christ. I owe Him my surrender because the debt was death.

God,

I was at a point where I could no longer meet my obligations to repay the debt. I had cheapened your grace so much that I invited death to my soul. In your kind words, you whispered, “I’ve raised the debt ceiling for you again. You can have a new life in me”. Through deathly torment and anguish, you paid my debt. Thank you for your love.

Have you transitioned?

After an entire week without playing basketball, I stepped onto the court ready to accelerate and decelerate at any pace. My first transition from defense to offense ended with me stumbling upon the hardwood floor as if I was the basketball. With a stretch of skin peeled off on the outer half of my left knee, I retrieved the ball and settled back down on defense.

I committed a few turnovers, made a few shots only to end up with a bad shooting percentage.

Being a follower of Christ is a daily commitment, regardless of the season of our lives. We need to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls even when our flesh feels weary; we need to ask Him for guidance and know that His blood will be the acceleration of our faith. When we swim in that blood, we rely on His goggles to give us vision and direction.

If you’re crawling in faith, you cannot run with Him if he tells you because you’re in your diapers.

  • You need to develop one of the more important disciplines instructed to us: Read the Bible, meditate, and pray daily.

If you’re walking with Him, prepare to change gears to His pace.

  • Hunger for His word, and be lifted through His will. Don’t live comfortably.

It’s hot! Yesterday’s weather in D.C was 110 degrees with a heat index of 119! Cool off! If you’re swimming in His presence, He’ll refresh you and sustain you!

First name: Chess

And then I met Chess.

Not the strategically calculated game, but a real person. Leaving, the shadow of a full day’s work behind him, he missed the bus and had to redirect his route. I met Chess.

He stands about 5’7, black, and looks like the cross contamination between Dwayne Johnson and Will Smith. He had a goatee that stems about half an inch below his chin and the back of his t-shirt read “Xavior” not “Savior”.

After praying for his aunt who has several illnesses that may surface a premature baby, and after praying for his struggle to live life daily, I entered the subway train feeling more hopeful for his future.

And then I met Chess more deeply. He shared to me in vague, yet understanding words about how he has experienced more in his 21 years than some people might in their fully extended life of 50+ years.

As his stop was approaching, I quickly wrote down my contact information in case he needed a friend. And then I pondered about how much God has blessed me to live secured and tightened to the possibility of the American Dream and not to the movements of bullets and broken windows. I wondered why God gave me such freedom even in the midst of genuine hardship and struggle. I felt like Chess’s life was always in the continuum of being checked while my life felt like there was room for transition from being checked to free.

And such transition came in April 2010. Most times I induced moves that put myself in bad situations; Satan was good enough to ‘check’ me at every corner of life. Only through God’s grace did He provide me a move that I had not seen so that I was not binded to Satan’s chain. However, death kept taking out God’s breath from within me; each move kept me burying my own grave until I called checkmate.

I said, “Lord, fill me with your wisdom and truth”. Give me understanding. Save me from the bondage of sin”. In one year’s time, Christ was able to renew a right spirit in me- one that pursues to hate sin and commits to His kingdom during every season.

Chess, Satan will beat you at your own game and will take away the very nature that you are- life that generates so many combinations to seek a purpose and plan, but I pray that you will ask God to make those moves for you, so that you will consummate with Him. He is the true Chess master. Learn from Him. He is life.

Who put the art in my heart?

Since April 2010, a lot of my daily reflections stem from the following question:

What is the art in my heart?

Well, rumor has it that my heart used to be drenched by worldly values and virtues that did not lead to salvation.

I was consumed with a slanted perspective about who I was supposed to be and who was going to lead me there.

As the lovely Ms. Chung puts it,

“‘ll be down
You be my offbeat
Let’s make rh-rh-rh-rhythm
And harmony
Waltz to our 3/4
‘Cause you put the art in my heart”

This agenda has been more life saving than a life guard’s sprint and dive into the mass ocean.

I’m glad that Christ put the art in my heart, and like any great artist there is an unexpected wisdom and love that is poured forth from paintbrush to paint then brush to canvas.

I’m glad that Jesus has put His art in my heart.

Replace Old Shoes

I thought of this idea in Sept. 2010, and saved it as a draft since then. 

Trade in your old shoes for brand new shoes. Even receive free shoes.

However, there is a catch. For the newer shoes, give 45 minutes of your time to converse with Christian counselors or be a Christian counselor.

Be there to listen, be there to share Christ’s healing power, and ultimately be there to confront the lost soul with all your heart, mind and soul. Lift up a prayer in Christ’s amazing name.

This would be a non-profit psychological organization that makes Christ the forefront and center of the conversation as the genuine healer and bearer of heavy yoke.

Be transformed by His word and His comfort, put on your new shoes and walk into the world to be the light.

“I Love NY”

To be lazy in NY is like being a clown at a funeral. The puppeteer pulls all the strings in synchronized motion causing each individual to amass chaos. This teamwork produces players that come off as cold and inconsiderate without giving much respect to their fans for coming to the big show. Viewing this game for the first time, I let the stereotypes pound into my cerebellum; there was something true and menacing about the streets of NY. 

I began to substitute a revelation into my new awareness. Take taxis to be sin. There are plenty to choose from, and they even conform to the likeness of one another. Sin is a collective pool of shame, dirt, and guilt; one that is so easy to step into, but so hard to step away from. Even as you step away from sin, you have to pay the driver for his services- Why are we so foolish as to create this profitable venture for the devil? The devil loves having us pay consequences for our sin; As many enter signs as there are, there is only one exit sign: Jesus. It’s too easy to call a cab; it’s too easy to justify the means to get to the end. Brothers and sisters, let us combat and boycott against this devilish enterprise. Let us remember that Christ died the most tortuous death not for our sins to resurrect, but for our souls to resurrect against our descended sins. Let us fully separate away from evil, but know that the world needs light to function- to provide the way and the light for those lost in the midst of dirty water. When we are hungry for sin, let us not call on a cab; let us walk with boldness and courage- that along the way, our path will be marked as “The few, the proud, the saved”.

God, if you ever want to salt me on the surface of NY, I’m more than happy to roll up my sleeves and do work for you. As intimidating as it once seemed, NY is full of good people who tend to make bad choices. There are barriers that need to be broken down and graffiti to be erased in the name of Jesus. There are conversations that need to be started, cuss words that need to be cut down, and selfless service that need to be projected by Christians in the area. Jesus says,

Fire…works

Fire works to cause burns but excels to warm our food. With fire, there is the opposing force of good and evil. It is so distinctive because fire works in so many ways. Fire works not only in the sky for the reverent 4th, but with the presence that it can consume the tallest structures and can make paper act like a litmus test for ashes. Fire works to also cleanse the soul. The soul does not understand evil until the fire in His eyes pierces us to transformation and a renewed devotion to His ways. God is love and only fire can ignite the passion to love- the way that Christ loved us. True love does not turn its back on trials and tribulations, but heals and helps us gain true freedom. The shackles of sin can be broken with fire. FIRE WORKS in the most amazing ways. When this fire is ignored, then the more violent and turbulent fire comes to rule life. This fire is born from the ideas and hands of Satan. He knows that fire in its pure intention to cleanse the soul can be used to burn the person's very existence from seeking true life. He has and will continue to do that - He wants to place us in his fire- the death of God's creation in the hands of the most wanted robber. 
Don't run away from His love. Fire may hurt because it helps boil all that is rotten inside of us, but the outcome is great. Only then will we truly understand how to lift up praises to Yahweh. Only then will our prayer be consumed to be more than the cry of our hearts; it will be cry of His heart. What is His heart on the matter? Fire works to help us listen to the sound of His voice. His fire is not intimidating, but intimately Agape. 

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Revelation 19:12
His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.