Tag Archives: Marriage

Weekly Favorite Links (June 5-10, 2015)

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Some friends and I recently went to The California Science Center to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. I mentioned in this post a couple months ago that I was excited to see it (and sadly, no, I did not watch Jerusalem 3D narrated by my favorite Cumberbatch). While I looked forward to behold the Dead Sea Scrolls in person, I also wondered what else would be on exhibit.

I think one of the most memorable artifacts that stood out to me, perhaps more than the manuscripts themselves, were the household fertility gods that I saw. They were small figurines, probably made out of clay and were no bigger than the size of my hand. These little man-made idols made a lasting impression because it’s relevant to what I’ve been reading in the Bible. For the past month, I’ve been studying the book of Hosea with some friends. We’ve been reading about how Israel has been unfaithful to God, and how they turned to other idols for help. Their hearts did not love God, and they engaged in practices that were in outright rebellion against him.

My favorite verse so far comes from Hosea 6:6: “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” I believe that this is the central theme of the entire book. God desires his people to worship and love him only. Even when God charges Israel and Judah with a list of grievances, prophesies judgment against them, you still read about how God wants to redeem them from their adulterous ways. It was easy for me to laugh at how ridiculous those small clay idols were at the exhibit. How could the Israelites place their hope in fertility gods and follow other deities worshiped by neighboring nations when they’ve seen of the marvelous handiwork of God himself? How could they forget about how God rescued them from Egypt and how he brought the seemingly impossible walls of Jericho to come tumbling down? It seemed absolutely ludicrous.

But then I look at my own life. I may not have physical idols scattered in my home, but I have idols hidden in my heart that I worship apart from God. I worship things that are just as ridiculous and silly as those fertility gods that I saw. The only difference is that the idols we may worship today may be more ambiguous and subtle. We may not bow down and pray to those things, but those idols emerge in our conversations and are evident from how we spend our money to how we utilize our time.

I’m thankful that I left the exhibition with more than a glimpse of historical artifacts. While the Dead Sea Scrolls were cool and I’d go see them again, I went away humbled at the daily grace that I’ve been given and a reminder of just how undeserved I am of God’s patience and love when I’m constantly so disobedient. Amazing grace, indeed.

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Weekly Favorite Links (May 14-20, 2015)

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Too often and too late do I find myself regretting that I didn’t savor the seemingly mundane moments in my life. I’m guilty of taking many things for granted, and at the top of the list is time. There are days when I wish time would hurry along, such as when I’m starting out my first steps in a run (which are always the hardest!) or if there’s a big event that I can’t wait to be a part of. On the other side of the spectrum, I sometimes wish time would slow down and come to a halt so that I could savor it some more. I reflect back to my college days of staying up with friends until the wee hours in the morning, not because we were studying (although we did plenty of that too) but because we were simply just talking about life and enjoying each other’s company. Little did I know that those talks would be counted as some of the most precious moments of my college experience, and that they would never come by again.

Then there’s that one hot summer day, when my grandmother took me all around the streets of Taipei, Taiwan to find the perfect wrist watch for me. A new watch was consistently one of the gifts she’d give me whenever I’d visit, which wasn’t often. It was an item that bound us together, no matter where we were, and seeing a watch would always remind me of her. To this day, I wear that watch wherever I go because of its sentimental value to me. Perhaps if I had known back then that God would take her home soon, I probably would’ve been more intentional that summer. Or maybe that’s just my own wishful thinking.

After graduation, I can’t just walk over to my friends’ apartments and start a conversation like I did so many times back in college. It’d be impossible because everyone’s now physically scattered throughout the world. While we used to all be in the same stage of life (college students), a lot of us are pursuing different things. Thus, it’s moments back then that challenge me to treasure the present and to have a sense of urgency for the future. The Bible reminds us that we’re finite human beings and we’re up against a ticking clock. Only God knows when our time is up. The author of James reminds us that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and that we are simply a mist from the perspective of eternity (James 4:14).

Time is the greatest gift that we can ever give because it is not something that we can ever refund or replay. There is no time machine that can turn back time, nor can time be rushed. Each and every second in this life counts. While every moment is fleeting, it also matters much. Just like all my other resources that I’ve been blessed with, time is a God-given gift. We ought to be good stewards of time, to live not for ourselves, but according to how God intends for us to live. I have to wholeheartedly agree with David Mathis from Desiring God, who says in his article, “One key principle in making our time-management Christian is this: Let love for others be the driver of your disciplined, intentional planning. It is love for others that fulfills God’s law.

So the question that I’ve been asking myself this past week, and the question that I’d like to extend to you is, how are you using your time and resources today to show love to others? 

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 30-May 6, 2015)

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In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a little bit quiet around here besides these weekly favorite links posts. Something that I haven’t yet mentioned on here is that I’ve been in a career transition for almost a month now (omgoodness time fliiiieeess). In other words, I’ve been funemployed. The crazy thing is that my life’s only gotten busier. How is that even possible? I don’t even know. It just turned out that way.

A lot of people in my life have been kindly checking in on me and one of the first questions they ask is to see how funemployment is turning out. To be honest, I never quite know how to answer them because I assume that they’re expecting me to reply with a “it’s been really chill and boring,” or “it’s okay, just job hunting,” or some other answer that they’ve already pre-conceived in their minds. Instead, when I tell them that it’s been pretty productive, I’m assuming that a lot of them only half-believe me and I always feel there’s a need to explain myself. So then I go and try to accurately paint a picture of what my schedule looked like during the week. (Don’t even get me started on weekends.)

It’s interesting that I feel the need to justify myself in other people’s eyes, or that I even care about what they think of me. It’s humbling to admit that I want to sound really productive, not just because it’s true, but because I want to gain recognition in their eyes. I know all of them genuinely mean well, but I also struggle with pride and don’t want them to think anything less of me because I’m not working right now at a 9-5 — thoughts that I’m lazy, unproductive, just wasting time, etc. In reality, perhaps none of them think any differently of me during this life stage, and it’s just all in my head, but I’m scared that they will.

There’s a strong temptation for me to get trapped with thoughts that are based off of my own interpretations and assumptions. It’s a silly, dangerous game that I play every day. In my heart of hearts, I want to be liked and affirmed by others. I seek their approval and worry whether I’ll fall short of their expectations for me. Believe me, I know it sounds really silly, but this battle is real. I have to remind myself that my worth is not found in my job title, or the numbers in my bank account, nor is it found in my ministries or relationships. It is also not found in being busy and productive. Instead of worrying about how others perceive me, I need to focus on how God views me and how I can use my time here on this earth more wisely to glorify him. My circumstances should not and will not define my character. The truth is, my worth is not found in my accomplishments or appearances, but on Christ’s accomplishments for me on that rugged cross so that I could have the freedom to worship God. Therefore, the only one I ever need to please, the only one that I should fear more, is him.

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 23-29, 2015)

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It is warming up in Southern California this week and I, for one, am not ready for summer. I just want to enjoy spring and skip to fall and winter. I was even hoping (and praying) that the little rain we got this past weekend would last longer into the week. I mean, hello, how awesome are free car washes? Alas, that was not meant to be. Sigh.

Hotter weather greatly affects my mood. I am definitely not a beach person and super sunny days just aren’t my thing. I am definitely a cloudy skies and raindrops kind of girl. When it’s blazing hot outside, I am much more easily irritable, more impatient, easily angered, and my body just feels unmotivated to do any kind of work. I just hate feeling sweaty and warm all the time. Can any of you relate?

However, I can’t blame the warm weather for a poor, unhappy heart. Just a couple days ago, I got upset at my brother and flew into a fit over something really trivial. Even in the moment, I knew I was sinning, but I still tried to justify my attitude and actions to myself. While the heat does raise my body temperatures, it cannot take responsibility for my poor choices. It only reveals to me what was already there in my sinful heart. And boy, it’s not pretty. But that’s when grace and mercy meets me. Sweet, free grace that shows me that I need Jesus, and that I need the gospel every single day. When I see myself for who I truly am, I am a wreck. A complete mess. Still, a mess that only God can make whole.

So while I hate hot weather, I am thankful for the lessons learned these past couple days. I need Jesus. Always.

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