Thursday, October 22, 2015

If I Want to Be Free, I Got to Be Me

If I want to be free, I got to be me.  Not the me that you think I should be.  Not the me that my wife or husband thinks I should be. 

Not the me that people stereotypically thinks that an Asian man, a black woman, a black man, an Asian woman, a white woman, a Latina, a Latino, ... or a white man should be.  Not the me that my kids think I should be.  If I got to be free, I got to be me.  But I better know who "me" is.  The best way to know that is to connect to the Creator and keep asking Him.

Adapted from Bill Gove's speech with my own elaborations.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Are You Going Where the Majority Goes?

Summary of the Talk

* By the time Francis Chan was sixteen, his mom is dead, his step mom is dead, and his dad is dead.  (His mom died while giving birth to Francis.  His step-mother died in a car accident.  His dad died of cancer when he was twelve.)    Then his remaining guardians Uncle George and Aunt Sandra also died (in a murder suicide.)  At a young age, Francis Chan had experienced more instability than most of us have.

* When things around us become unstable, we tend to play it safe, and we hug and straddle the balance beam [instead of performing on it] as Francis demonstrated in his analogy of Olympics’ gymnastics.

After experiencing some instability, we tend to think, "This is crazy.  I'm just going to have my nice little family.  We're going to keep to ourselves.  We're going to live in a gated community.  I'm going to home school my kids [and] make them wear helmets everywhere.  I'm not going to let them outside because the sun has bad rays... You just live your life in this - I don't want to do anything crazy for God.  I just want to go to church and give maybe 2%, and may be serve/help the nursery (because I feel guilty.)  You do this your whole life.  Your greatest prayer is, "God, I would love to die in my sleep and not even feel it, and I would love to go to heaven."

* Then you wake up in heaven and stand before the judge and you go - [Francis does a pose of victory that Olympic gymnasts normally do at the end of a routine.]

Imagine watching the Olympics and the girl just straddles and hugs the balance beam for several minutes throughout the whole routine, and then gets off the balance beam in a pose of victory.  What is the judge supposed to do?  "Wow, well done!"  Is the judge going to say that?  "Well done!"  You lived the safest life possible.  You didn't slip.  You didn't fall."  This is what the majority will do with their life.  Do you want to go where the majority goes?  Are you going the same way as the majority?

* I don't want to go where the majority goes.

Contemplation/Free-writing Exercise
Write two or more paragraphs addressing one or more of the following questions.  Do you think you will be happy and fulfilled just pursuing a safe comfortable life with money, a nice house, a nice car, a nice family with kids, and nice vacations periodically?   Is this typical pursuit really going to make you happy when you obtain all of it?  For those who already have attained all of these, are they truly fulfilled and happy?  Not that we shouldn’t have this comfort and security.  However, is there something else, something greater than yourself you should also pursue, alongside working for these necessities and amenities of life?  How can you pursue something greater that would ironically also provide all these necessities and security in the long run?  How can going where the majority does not, provide greater fulfillment (while also providing the lesser necessities and amenities most people pursue)?  Are you currently going where the majority is going?  Are you okay with that?  If not, what do you need to do to change directions?

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Monday, October 12, 2015

What Faith Really Is

You'd be amazed that some not considered to be Christians actually have more faith than Christians who proclaim "I believe" on Sundays.  This was also true when Jesus was physically down here on earth with us.  Jesus came across some people who were not considered to be of God, but Jesus was amazed at their faith.   (Matthew 8: 5 - 13;  Matthew 15: 21- 28)

So, what is faith?  Faith is belief, but it's more than that.  In addition to belief, it's a knowing, but it's even more than that.  It's also an absolute certainty.  More than that, it's an expectation that what you know will come about, especially with God by your side.  

One simple demonstration of faith is the example of you having strep throat and your doctor gives you the drug Amoxycillin.  The drug is more likely to work if you have faith (a knowing and an expectation) that it will work.  Believe it or not, it has actually been shown in studies that your expectation (or faith) in a drug actually can affect how well it works on you.  They call this the placebo effect in science.  Some studies have even shown that your negative expectation (or belief that the drug will not work) may actually decrease the effect, or effectiveness, of the drug.  

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NET‬‬

Faith is a knowing and a certainty of something even though we have not seen or experienced it yet.  In the analogy of the Amoxycillin drug, you would have faith that the drug will work even though you have never taken it in the past.  If only we can apply this faith when it comes to God.

Your faith in God (your absolute knowing and certainty of His existence and your expectation that He is with you as you incessantly talk/pray to Him daily) will allow God to work in your life.  When you lack faith, you block God from working in your life.  Then you say, "There is no God in my life," and you would be right, but that's your fault.

Whether God works in your life or not, it's up to you.  He is ready to give when you are ready to receive.  You have to be receptive and have faith deep within you subconsciously, consciously, preconsciously, unconsciously, and whatever other levels of mind there are.  But this is the tricky part - getting that faith ingrained deep in you at every level.  (It's not just saying you have faith, as many do but it's just all talk.)  

To help you with getting the faith you need deep in your mind and heart at every level, I strongly recommend that you start with the following readings or videos for just 15 minutes each day (or longer if you can):

Choose one of the following to do for at least 15 minutes a day:

* Read/re-read one of the articles at -



* View (or view again) one of the videos at -

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