Tag Archives: Cupcakes

Weekly Favorite Links (May 28-June 4, 2015)

Sorry for the hiccup and that this post is so late. This week’s weekly favorites will resume back on Wednesday!

Strangely, it has been quite an exhausting week, considering that I even cut back on the half-marathon training due to some of my scheduled plans. I went to visit old friends at my alma mater last week. This visit was much more memorable and worthwhile than I originally anticipated, despite also getting my car towed and having to spend a fortune getting it back (ask me in person or in the comments below). I really didn’t visit all year, but I wanted to catch up with those that were preparing to graduate soon and to see some of my underclassmen-turned-upperclassmen friends. I wanted to support and encourage these friends of mine as they prepared for the next chapter of their lives.

It was weird being back as an alumnus because once I stepped on campus, it still felt oddly familiar — almost a bit like home. I attended my old college Christian fellowship, and was surprised that I couldn’t recognize a lot of people. More than half of the room was filled with strangers and new faces. But it didn’t really matter when the lights turned off and the musical worship began. We sang some of my favorite hymns, but there was a particular sense of brokenness as we all loudly sang “Be Thou My Vision” and when we cried out, Oh God, be my everything, be my delight. Be Jesus my glory, my soul’s satisfied.

I think my soul was weary and hungry to be refreshed and renewed. Perhaps I’ve been too caught up with doing things and serving others on my own strength. I gave myself pressure to strive for more and to be better at being in control. In my stubbornness, I wanted to endure without God’s Word, to just motivate myself somehow to keep pressing on. I was also trying to gain comfort from other people because they’re tangible and immediately there, instead of turning to the ultimate source of rest: God Himself. Letting go of myself was hard and it was even harder to admit that enduring without God is impossible. As I sang with my arms in surrender, it was humbling to lay down my burdens before God, to confess that in the midst of trying to figure things out on my own, I was feeling increasingly lost and directionless.

This life is confusing. It is tiring and full of distractions that tries to hinder our worship to the only One that is worthy. We are constantly told what we ought to be, bombarded with messages of what we are missing out on, and things that we should pursue. In a way, the world wants us to be our own god. But it is not my goal in life to be a creature living in luxurious comfort, to fill my belly with all that this world has to offer. More and more, I want to find true rest and comfort in Jesus, to have my eyes focused only on eternity.

Oh God, be my everything, be my delight. Be Jesus my glory, my soul’s satisfied.

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 5-11, 2015)

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This post is specially dedicated to my friend Janna, who listened, rebuked, and pointed me to Truth this past week. Thanks for helping me exercise discipline in my thoughts and emotions. You’re a true friend.

I don’t know what’s been going on with your life, but a lot of interesting, unexpected events have been happening in mine. Some good, some bad, but all of them have occurred totally beyond my realm of control. It’s like one day I was casually strolling in the park and the next thing I know, I am trying not to get crushed by flying boulders and rainbows. If I were to be totally honest with myself, I hate it when I am not the one in control — I completely freak out. Trusting in God is hard, and I tend to seek answers within myself or turn to my friends, who could then provide me with immediate gratification, before humbly communicating my anxieties before God.

I want to hear from God, but only on my own terms. I want God to tell me what I should do with my life, what decisions to make, what paths I should avoid, and I just want to know my future now. In the depths of my heart, I kind of want it to be picture-perfect, too. But what if God is more concerned with my holiness and sanctification, rather than my future security in this transient life? (Answer: He is.) What if He is using all these uncertainties and challenges to show me my sinful tendencies and calling me to repentance? (Answer: He is.) What if God is trying to teach me to surrender all my emotions to Him, to open my eyes to His wonderful faithfulness, and to mold me to have a more a dependent-like faith? (Answer: He is.) What if God is breaking me so that I come before Him in desperation? (Answer: YES, HE IS.)

See, I know I should choose to believe in God despite whatever doubts and that I should choose to have joy despite my circumstances. Hence, the blog title. But my faith is weak. I am fearful of my future. I am fearful of making poor choices and mistakes. I am worried about failure and not looking my best (according to my own standards), and also disappointing others. My emotions can, and often do, overwhelm me. It’s only when I begin to lose my mind that I confess that I cannot manage things by myself.

Time and time again, God’s Word empowers me to focus on what is true and what is not true. His Word speaks life into mine, calms my fears, and brings me great hope. Let me share with you one such passage, which has strengthened and comforted me during all that has happened to me in one week. God is good. Always.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9).

Just from what I shared today, I hope that you, dear invisible reader, will also be able to evaluate yourself, your life, and where you stand with God. I am praying for you all, Christian or not.

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I didn’t really read or find anything on the internet that I wanted to share beyond the Christianity and Food categories this week. However, there’s a lot of links that I really enjoyed in just those two categories alone, so check ’em out!

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Weekly Favorite Links (Feb 19-25, 2015)

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One of the biggest blessings of committing to a local church is the opportunity for discipleship — put simply, a one-on-one mentorship between a younger individual with an older individual of the same gender. In other words, it’s two people who are committed to intentionally pursue Christ-likeness together. Not every church does this, so I’m really grateful that the church I currently attend and commit to emphasizes discipleship within our church. What I appreciate most about discipleship is having someone older and wiser modeling their faith, and demonstrating to me what that looks like in perhaps more mundane aspects of life.

In my own spiritual walk, I feel like God uses that time with my discipler to reveal a lot of my own sin issues so that I could confess and work through them. And what’s great is that I’m not working through them alone, but that I do have someone to walk with me — supporting, encouraging, and affirming me. Sometimes during our meetings, I feel totally exposed, weak and broken. But then afterwards, there is joy and peace. Moreover, there is freedom — freedom from shame and separation because the grace of God is sufficient to cover all sins.

With that said, I really hope that the links that I share every week would not just be a place where I share all my “favorites,” but that I could share some important, helpful resources too! That really is my prayer and hope for these kind of posts.

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