Lance & Luke 13:19

During “Chopped” Season 8, episode 3, I encountered God’s presence. Specifically, at running time 13:19, I noticed a deep compassion written on Lance Nitahara’s face, and hence felt like he had made a commitment.

On our way to Riverside for fellowship, Christine kept sharing about Lance: the Japanese-American man who used Jesus as a tool to help him cry on the crying competition show. Furthermore, that he had beat out a competitor who had purposely spilled hot water on her legs to ignite  the flow of more tears. At this point, I had thought that tears were being collected in a bucket. OBVIOUSLY I WAS NOT LISTENING.

As I asked for clarity to see if my inferences were correct, we had all laughed out loud as I told them my thoughts described above. I had wired my synapses to make truth to what seemed oddly strange, yet possible in the realm of reality television these days. As new insights to the actual show were being revealed, I couldn’t help but to give all praise and glory to God for Lance’s testimony and the summary of his loving kindness on the show.

As the show dwindled down to its closing credits, I couldn’t help but think that his act of giving his prize money to the emotionally and physically afflicted runner-up contestant came from the image I recollected from earlier on the show.

13:19. Specifically, Luke 13:19 gave light and meaning to Lance’s gracious response to one who needed to experience God’s love at her lowest moment. Lance, was faithfully stewarding the mustard seed that grew into a garden, so that this garden could be a resting place for the weary and discouraged. Truly, Lance demonstrated the importance of hearty worship in all that we do- that God deserves our very best- not just from making successful careers from the skills and talents that God has given us, but that we seek to love and care for others as His disciples, and that through this journey we will express a Christ-like meekness to all that we encounter. 

Lance, God bless you.


Pride Sucks

Pride sucks Christ’s blood away from reality- that each hole in his wrists had purpose, and the excruciating extention of his arms to elevate the entire weight of His body was a mere facade of the pretending savior.

My pride sucks away the redeeming power of Holy grace and mercy- two gifts from God that are only transparent from the eyes of a truly repentant sinner. Therefore, I pray against the darkness and realm of SELF. I fear no evil because Christ is with me, but I fear pride. The pride that clenched my heart to grasp the doctrines of two masters was on the brink of sucking every last presence of God within me. 

Pride sucks! It really does!

More menacing than the baddest Twilight antagonist, pride sucks our need for Christ; instead, pride fills pockets and supposedly makes a claim that we can be perfect people. Let’s be children that ask His father to remove our pride- that we finally spit out what was corroding our hearts. Let’s stop sucking on pride, and rather suck on His blood to serve and love Him in all of our days.

 

Christ’s love FOR ME(D)…

Others have inspired and influenced me, but never have they transformed my very soul.

Lord,

Your love for me is airtight and sealed with abundant grace. There are plenty of ways to distinguish you from human kind. Only you can “see beneath my skin, and only you can piece the broken pieces”. For 20 years, others had inspired and influenced me to live for the halos of this world or even for the glory of your kingdom, but I never chose the latter because I had not come with true repentance and obedience. My heart was like shallow water. I saw glimpses of the risen Lord, but I had not been transformed and convicted to the point where I let go of one master – Satan. But it was the magnificent you that brought the touch of your hand upon my hip. My wrestle with you was finally over. You spoke kind words over a broken soul, and took me in your arms.  In other words, it was You that courage; You wiped away the blood upon your eyebrows to look me face to face. You knew I was worth it. Thank you for transforming me to become the very purpose and breath of the Living God. Amen.

Saved from ignorance.

Ignorance is ignoring true bliss.

That’s my spin-off from “Ignorance is bliss”.

Lord,

What is my embrace? Is it to hide from your splendor and majesty? May that never be the case. You designed us with a consuming fire to know eternity. Yet, some of us are too stubborn to look for you. How ironic is it that we let the temporary chains of this world weigh us down? We were born to know eternity. You put eternity in our hearts. Yet, we ignore what is truly eternal. How sad is it to find our souls and minds wrapped around bacon- that the things that look good to us easily deceives us into thinking that we are in bliss. I have been transformed from the very hands of Christ; it was Your kindness that led me to repentance; the nails in Your hands drove me to a deeper awareness- that I did not ask for a savior, but through it I was saved from my ignorance- the possibility that I could live life without knowing that someone loves me and cares for me like His only child. My relationship with you is true bliss.

Think Christ

Think Blue turned into Think Christ tonight.

An estimated 50,000 people showed up; God’s presence filled the seats and I definitely saw a true harvest appear before my eyes.

Worship in this environment was the closest thing I’ve experienced to a revival.

At first, I sincerely had to prepare my heart- that I was not going to worship to put on a show or bring solely my emotions as the driving factor to complete an incomplete worship. Think Christ. I humbled myself and sought for meekness; for His glory to shine. Honestly, Kirk Franklin did not help. He sought after a Holy Ghost party, but I thought, “Dang, his dance moves seem more proper elsewhere”. Was he Thinking Christ

Later, I was introduced to Greg Laurie for the first time. He clearly preached with a heart and meditation that was pleasing to the Lord. Unforgettably, he said “All roads will lead to God. (Literally, everyone will have to face God one day), but there will only be one road to Heaven which is through Christ”. Transitioning to the invitation for people to accept Christ as their Personal Lord and Savior, I couldn’t help but to do what the Spirit told me at that moment. He told me to stand up, lift my hands, and give all glory and praise to God. I prayed with such consuming fire with the intention that God was going to use an inadequate body like me to pray on behalf of those who will receive Christ tonight. Christ was refining me with His fire as I wept uncontrollably knowing knowing that it was Christ alone who transformed my heart back in April 2010.

About fifteen minutes later, I opened my eyes to see barely any patches of green on the field. There were about 8,000 to 10,000 people who came on the field to find new purpose and meaning in Christ through repentance. From 1st base to 3rd base, the Heavens were truly feasting and rejoicing; lives were being offered to Christ.

We finished the night with praise led by Chris Tomlin. The Spirit was Worshiping Christ. It seemed like everyone in the stadium was Worshiping Christ. In unison, we were one church giving all glory to Christ. Claps were crisp and sharp, and our voices were lifted to Heaven. Jesus, was working tonight. 

He loved us before we were even created- that we would live knowing that His breath fueled our souls to be Holy. Christ was thinking of His people when He was forsaken on the Cross to forgive us of our sins. Christ thought of us when He resurrected. He thinks of us highly; He loves us more than we can THINK CHRIST.

Are your headlights on?

Without going to Jackass Canyon, for Labor Day, I would have never gained this insight.

Let me expand your horizon for a minute.

Sunday afternoon, after church, we departed at 5 pm. At around 9 pm, we started to hit a nasty, windy, dangerous, and stressful  30 mile stretch of a road where we thought was going to be the cause of our death beds. We arrived at Jackass at 11 pm where we were greeted by those so glad and relieved to see us safe and somewhat sound. Party of nine, please.

30 Mile Stretch of Unpaved Road:

We cried “JESUS!” out of want and need to arrive safely. Humor was formed around the idea that we would be fresh barbacoa seasoned with salt for lively scavengers if it wasn’t for our dependence on Christ. The road was so narrow making it seem possible for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. If a car were to come from the opposite direction, it’d be havoc. We were barely sparing one feet of untouched width. The cliff was right there!  The pounding of broken stone, gravel, and dirt on the car gave to the constant drumming of temporary inconvenience. We worshiped and praised Him throughout the entire 30 miles. Oh if it weren’t for Him!

What is the meaning of living a Christian life? For me, it was my accurate reflection of this road as the definition of what it meant to be His disciple- that we aren’t supposed to live comfortably or even without struggles, but to live in faith and assurance that He will provide. He will provide His presence and grace to those who are ready to receive, but also that he yearns for His children to become grace takers- that we are so immersed in gaining from this intimate relationship than from anything else.On the road, we wondered what would happen if we turned off our headlights. A chill and fear ran through our bodies as we yelled. IT WAS PITCH BLACK. Christ, is the headlight on the road that we travel.

 

 

I want to be like Christ.

Both is fun- watching him dominate in exhibition games, and watching him seal crucial victories in the playoffs.

I want to be like Mike.

 Recently, I’ve been programming Youtube to show me all that there is to Jordan- young or old. Is Jordan really the best basketball player?
I WANT TO BE LIKE MIKE.
I have every intention to be biased towards Kobe, but taking the game as objectively as I could, I would find it hard pressed to argue against Jordan.
I WANT TO BE LIKE MIKE.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Hmm, sounds like a Champion.
I’ll keep in shape until I’m 50. I’ll compete till then.

Who do you want to emulate?

Lord,

There is no one like you. If I’m willing to watch and learn from Jordan about the game of basketball, how would I learn about life other than from the one who created it? Jesus, every highlight of my life goes to you; without your presence, I’d be sitting on the bench. Coach me, and humble me when I have the ball in my hands- whether I make or miss that final shot, I know that I’ll give you all praise and honor. Steward me during timeouts; sit me on the bench when I’m tired; I need to replenish. Every time I step on that court, I’m a ‘witness’- from the grave to life You resurrected, and from my own testimony, You gave me grace to forsake the world and to gain the Cross. I want to be like you.