church things

don’t know what happened just now but. worship. at least for me. wasn’t part of it. kasjnlkcns.

need to jam later.

I just feel so bad and terribly sorry towards everybody for my lack lmao unghhh. but at least it’s bad feels stemming from a place that’s not double conscious (ie not from how other people think of me and therefore not about me wew big step there clap clap).

I don’t even feel bad as much as I feel apologetic. Which is good, I think. Cos at least. I feel like practicing and trying to get it all down and working it all out. Instead of just wallowing.

lmao I just feel sorry in advance for the people who will be in the band as I learn. on the job.

zzz I need to do so mucchhhh need so much help. help.

But but but despite crashing and burning throughout, I managed to look up and actually see the congregation this time and I saw people worshipping, like people actually ready and worshipping and responding. So yas, it was really just a reminder that if God wants to move and He wants to come and meet His people right, our lack can’t stop Him. He will just do his thing and be there and touch people. It’s really not about us. Never was, never is. So assuring that people got to worship despite me huehue.

of course that don’t mean i don’t level up lelel gonna werk it.

Also, on a happier note, one of my kids came back to cell today and cell was fun stuff. Before we split up into our cells, the host was like “leaders, please take some time to share with each other about life and get to know your cell moore” and then we prayed and I had this brainwave for the usual ice breaking routine thang.

We did like a “go around the cell to share how you are feeling today but you can’t repeat a feeling if someone else had said it” hahaha. And so naturally someone wanted to start first which was gr8 no awkward silence there wew.

On the whole, cell was feeling excited-tired(me haha I said this so that the kids couldn’t cos they’re like tired every week lmao)-happy-reluctant-discontented-amused-exhausted-(forgot oops)-amazed-on the edge-released. Haha. What a mixed bag. Synonyms unleash. It was a great sharing sesh. People were sharing about what was going on in their lives and everyone had something interesting to say and to engage with each otherr. Broke the ice completely and got everyone nice and comfy so. awesome stuff ptl.

That was God right there, seriously. Actually, God has been providing me with the icebreaking activities for cell for every single cell time such that I don’t have to stress about it (and socialising always stresses me so). Yea Imma just amazed how God can just give great ideas five minutes before cell time. Crayy. God you cray. love it.

Yea and then we had a chill time of playing some board game and snacking on cake and strawberries, peace offerings from another cell which came to crash. aye fun stuff.

Ok that was a satisfying/good conclusion to the church thangs, apart from the sermon (ironically haha which was about death in case you were wondering). Just learning about God and seeing Him irl in addition to the sermon. Always different every week. always busy, not always all good, but always much fruitful.

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Schooled

First week of school. Learnt so many things. All the transferable analogies to God. And the occasional purely academic interesting stuff. Gonna just dump it all here. Cocktail of everything. It gets better. But in case it doesn’t, you have been warned.

That Chinese illustration lunchtime seminar

Value of Chinese Illustrations of animals in medical texts, specifically the bencao gangmu

Evaluating Chinese Illustrations in itself

  • The artistic style of the time was that of abstract art. Stylistically, abstract art more valued which may explain the less literal/detailed drawings
  • Illustrators were not the actual scientists/doctors studying the animals; they usually just copy from other traditional texts or draw from the text as a supplement
  • The text was not written to include illustrations; people considered the text comprehensive enough. The illustrations came later. Words were valued more than illustrations
  • The medium of drawing was used for other purposes eg. adverts, erotic text
  • Had the existing tradition of drawing mythical animals 
  • There were illustrations of animals in other medical texts that were more accurate

Disclaimer: Shorthand bullet points taken half asleep from some seminar by some chap whom I’ve forgotten the name. Don’t quote anything. I just think it’s interesting. A bit. 

Drawing

2 ways of seeing

Recognising

  • Logical (cannot recognise -> see nothing/change the way you see things -> incorrect seeing = incorrect drawing)
  • Memory
  • Objects
  • “Something”

Observing

  • Lines
  • Shapes
  • Colours
  • “Nothing”

Drawings tell you which way you are seeing from/ no good or bad drawing

I just think this is a really cool analogy to reading the Bible.

Most of the time, we read the Bible with preconceived notions, trying to fit God and the Bible into our sense of logic, morality and expectations of what we think God should be like. And when it doesn’t fit, when God offends our sensibilities and doesn’t meet our expectations, He suddenly becomes impossible to exist.

For example, “A good God can’t exist because a good God wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.” That’s our logic talking. We do see things happening around us, but we tie it to our own ideas of what’s good and bad, and draw patterns for what we see in a fairly logical way.

But look closer. Observe. How is God working in and through these people in these circumstances? What are the blobs of colour that don’t seem to make up a picture you can recognise?

Learn to see to learn to draw

Learn to read the Bible to learn to reproduce it/live like Christ. Your life could be the only Bible someone reads.

Contemporary Literature

Just toying with things like subjective morality and no morality = no free will. Or vice versa. 

Multiple truths and narratives in a world turning to science to rationalise and deal with the uncertainty of everything.

Writing our own narratives.

But isn’t multiple narratives a way of rationalisation too?

What stops you from killing another human being?

The law? Jail? No, those are only consequences of murder. 

What stops you, as a human, from killing another human being?

You could, you know. I don’t reckon it’s hard nowadays. But what stops you?

Conscience maybe. Or religion (and here I baulked because behind “my religion tells me so” is a whole ‘nother school of theology about being created and who owns life and sin and all that shebang. feel slightly miffed to just shove it under ‘religion’. maybe other religions say different things. i’d like to know).

Prof hopes we like the texts. He believes in letting the texts speak for themselves instead of constantly referring to the context of history and author’s background. Context is fine and dandy, and truth be told, we can impress any lens and reading on any texts if we tried hard enough, but he wants us to let the texts breathe and I think, in a way, not come at it from “outside”.

Reference to the drawing lesson.

Bible is one dubious piece(s) of literature. Is it true/real in that did these things happen? What is it’s history? Is it authentic?

Maybe we’ll never know. But in going around all that context, how about letting the Bible actually breathe and explain itself? It would be a pity to never read it just because of never knowing/believing how it came about. In looking for some things in the context (which does have value in and of itself), you might be missing out on what the texts actually wants to say, which also has value in other areas.

Early American Literature

Just impressed that people used to have a map with Jerusalem in the centre of the world and the other countries around it because of the priority of God owning the world and people respecting that at some point in recent human history. 

And just watching revivals swell and fade in that time.


Ok, brain dumped.

This is fun but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do this again.

Also want to brain dump various cells/sermons/Bible studies but unghh will it happen I wonder

so what did i miss

Hello.

Back from the dead.

But I didn’t want to say it so loud yet in case I jinxed things.

I don’t actually know how I got here.

I got tired of myself and falling into a sin I didn’t want to keep anymore. It still took me a while to kick it though, because I’d still turn to it just for hecks. So I had to be intentional about it. Just not. Going there.

I don’t know when the turn happened. All I knew was that I was ready to be rid of it and was getting serious about kicking it so I stopped feeling hypocritical when I prayed. Great start.

Also, a lot of things happening, moving in the Spirit. Things to do. That I realise I can’t be down and out now. There are just too many things to do.

God things, of course. And I need to be on the same page with God to be able to do them.

I’m feeling a holy burden. For exactly what, I can’t say yet. But it feels like it’s something to do with prayer. The thing with holy burdens is that you want to do so much at once and you want to do it now and also I’m scared of the possibly many obstacles and discouragements along the way. But it’s so heavy. I feel a fire starting somewhere.

Actually, I feel like there’s a fire started somewhere already in my community, in my country. Just needs to catch a blaze. Fan fan.

I prayed for my cousin today. And I’m really proud of that, not because of me but because I was working onboard with God. Like, I felt Him prompting me in my Spirit to do it. And it happened. And I didn’t chicken out. Praise the Lord~

Nothing extremely spectacular followed per se, as it always seems to in testimonies. It was more of a big deal for me and the act of praying for somebody, a testimony of God for His strength in allowing me to do that for someone I love, than anything else.

She was really touched and I just felt that something beautiful happened there and then. It was just a moment but I felt that God was there and He did do something, however small, revealing His heart and love for people. And I felt she was moved, not by my prayer (lel nervous so I missed out some points here and there) but that I was praying for her, the gesture of prayer itself.

Rediscovering the privilege of prayer. Feeling that we don’t do it as often as if should, to intercede for people, as we are called to do as a chosen people and priesthood. Sure, we do it in our prayer closets at home, and we should do that, but I think it’s time to take it to the marketplace. Take God to the marketplace. Don’t tell people what to believe, show them. Pray for them. It can’t hurt. That’s what Jesus was on about anyway, going to the cracks of society to meet their needs and show them His love for them. That’s what draws people to God – how His love meets them where they are.

Of course, it scares me, the marketplace. I don’t even dare to pray for my own family members like that, ripe harvest in my own backyard.

But I wasn’t scared today, like I usually am. I think because God was very clear in wanting me to do this thing and I wanted the same. And it happened. It’s quite cool. He helped me overcome myself, like not to think or worry so much, not being anxious about what my cousin might think, and to not care about anything being awkward (greatest arch nemesis ever). Really felt this supernatural peace, that this is right and good in God’s sight to do and it will be done and I’m just literally His hands and feet. I just hope I’ll be able to do the same with other things, obey His call in the marketplace. It’s usually a big (scary) deal for me, sharing God in the marketplace. I think it always is for a lot of people.

Busy week ahead. Teaching cell and doing worship on the same week wew. Literally cannot life until after church on Sunday akdsnakln.

Then again, this is the life. Better busy in God’s house than letting the devil do his work with idle hands.

And for my sin… it will be the proverbial thorn in my side which I shall contend with until I die I think. Retreated back under the carpet for now. Only hope its relapse won’t be that messy. Ungh it consumed me for three months. Have to make up for lost time now.

new fear

that i will be so used to this sin that it stops becoming such a big deal to me and i lead my double/pretend lives which only God can see but I don’t care anymore

i am a saul. i am a saul. i say one thing, the good thing, the right thing, but i do the sordid in disguise. the lord became his enemy and saul fell on his sword and took his own life.

How can one live if even God becomes his enemy

i am simon, the magician, and ananias and sapphira. i see the signs and wonders and believe but i keep a little corner of my life to myself apart from God. they say simon died horribly. ananias and sapphira were struck dead on the spot.

Because my God will not be mocked.

stand firm stand firm not only in the morning, but at noon and at night so that you might stand firm the whole day, then tomorrow, and the next day. then you might stand firm always despite everything. 

it doesnt matter what your intentions were the whole day, if you kept clean the whole 20 hours out of 24. the one minute you fall, you fall. they trickle into hours, much fewer than your 20 good intentioned hours, but they spoil everything.

wars arent fought and won on a grand scale of months, weeks or even days. When it comes down to it, it’s who you bowed to in that one minute that determines if you live or die again.

Dead today. Will try to live tomorrow. And hopefully, hopefully not on my own.

sos

help

turning into mush

i sincerely wish that everytime i write or meet people it will not be consistently of me breaking down or being in some sort of trouble

it wasn’t going to be

itwasn’tgoingtobeitwasn’tgoingtobeiswear

(just to be clear i had a great birthday. i had a great internship. i wanted to talk about these great things. but the static on this wave is drowning them out)

i have a chronic problem

because sin

im sorry

just read a testimony of my friend pulling out of a her own season of struggle and headed for a mission trip now and im just so touched/blessed at the place where she is writing from, a sinner saved by grace and being so humbled by God’s grace despite her weaknesses, and what am i doing with my life

it amazes me how man can be so aware and exalted to behold the highest realms of truth and beauty and still agree to be enslaved by the lowest of inhumane passions

how

how how

what the hell girl what even

cannot tank

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)

i dont even know how people can doubt the existence of a spirit man when the war is keen and the struggle is real

ungh god save this soul

it took a zombie apocalypse

It’s late but I feel like I need to write anyways for better or for worse.

Let me just back up till Monday.

Friends are my pockets of comfort zones. I really appreciate them when I realise they are people I can be around without any pressure of having to prove myself in any way (except maybe that I’m a nice person and not overly weird or lame I usually keep that for later). Sorry, this is introverted me dealing with group work. Group work can be fun and great, especially if you need help because there are people to help you. What I don’t like about it is the whole trust building thing, and having to constantly prove that you are worth your salt and are pulling your weight. I keep comparing myself to others, worrying about whether I contributed as much as other people and whether I’m being obnoxious or overbearing in any way (I’m usually not, I’m usually the too-quiet one and so I worry about them thinking I don’t pull my weight). And also trying to not make anyone mad or annoyed by me. Just because. I dunno.

They say double consciousness (ie seeing yourself as how other people see you) is an extension from self consciousness (don’t really know what this is) but I’ve been living in double consciousness my whole life lel.

I never thought the day would come where this verse would apply to me:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:24

Materialistic girl walking.

I never thought I would have a bone to pick with money. It just seemed like the least, weakest evil to fight with because it was so physical and material and external. I thought the hardest enemies to fight would be all in my head.

When it comes down to it, can I actually just not money.

What do I want. What do you want.

Ok, maybe I know what you want. But I’m still ungh about wanting what you want. Ungh.

Time to live the frugal life. It’s not that I absolutely need the moolah. It just means I have to cut back a bit on my lifestyle. Not impossible, but unghhhhhhh.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

James 4:6

I had been humbled.

Moving on.

Walking to the train station on this unbearably hot afternoon and then the clouds came to cover the sun all the way until I reach the station.

And the whole walk there I was just amazed at how good God is.

And it dawned on me that God is crazy to love me, love us like this. I’m not talking about the weather. I’m saying He’s crazy to even care, to actually bother about me, how I feel, what I want, what I think. Me. Dust of the earth. Dust out of the millions of other dust of the earth (all dat people).

And He doesn’t have to. God, He’s God for crying out loud. Let’s get real. The reality is the created has no say, has no right, has nothing to leverage with his creator. Nothing. The creator doesn’t need to care. He doesn’t need to to do anything according to his little creation.

The fact that he does, the fact that Jesus wept with Mary even though He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead like two minutes later, the fact that He allots us that agency to be an entity in ourselves and respects that, and cares about that, even though He’s God… I’m sorry, that’s crazy. God, You’re crazy.

And it’s not because I’m worth anything for Him to love. There’s this idea that since the Lover loves the Beloved, it is the Beloved who has power over the Lover. Look at all the lovesick boys chasing the girls who got it all together. The loved has power over the lover, right?

Not even. We have nothing worth loving like that. Even if we had anything at all, definitely not enough to demand the love of God. The point is, God, God, allows Himself to love us (and allowing Himself to be hurt over us) is really just… why would you even do that? That’s foolish, a foolish love. That’s stupid.

I’m just amazed. I’m blown away.

Jesus is loving with a stupid love because He is loving me, a nothing.

 I can’t understand this love that keeps me alive, that keeps my heart beating. It is the least beneficial love for Him. He makes Himself vulnerable and lost so much to save me.

Stupid love. Beautiful love. Pure love.

A love, for once, that’s not based on what you can get out of it, that’s not about you. You have everything to lose but love anyway.

Lastly.

It took a zombie apocalypse for me to realise how much You did on that cross for me.

Drama class this week, we did body voting on moral dilemmas. It was an experience, that’s for sure.

We came across this dilemma:

You’re in a zombie apocalypse. You have the vaccine to the zombie virus in your blood, but to extract it for the possibility of a cure, you will have to die a slow and painful death to stop the virus from spreading. Will you give yourself up for the vaccine?

A good number of us drifted to the “Yes” side, the mentality being that:

  • since I was going to die anyway, might as well save the world
  • I’d be recognised as a hero

Some of us didn’t catch it being a slow and painful death and after repeating the question, they edged to the “No” side a bit more before pleading for a quick and painless death. The “No” people were like “it’s only a possibility of a cure”.

This is exactly what Jesus did on that cross and I’m only getting it now because apparently a zombie apocalypse is more relatable and real a scenario for me to empathise with. It’s funny cos we were talking about defamiliarization and alienation in epic theatre that lesson, that is, staging something that helps us see the thing for what it is with new eyes and perspectives because our reactions have been so habitualised that we lose it. It’s like seeing stuff for the first time again, making the stone “stony”.

Zombie apocalypse totally did it for me. Seeing Calvary with new eyes.

Jesus gave himself up to give us a cure. And His stakes were much much higher:

  • He didn’t do it because He was going to “die anyway”. He came down for that very purpose of dying to give us the vaccine. Imagine if the zombie thing was only limited to a country, and the person with the vaccine in his blood purposefully went there to die for that country. It’s not as if he was there all along and he just did it as a by the way thing. No, He took the flight to get there. To die.
  • He died as a criminal. A criminal. When he was innocent. Dying as a hero, maybe the best way to die. Even if you went uncredited, it would still be ok. But dying as a criminal, when you’re innocent. Dang, the levels of humiliation. The worst way to go.
  • Slow and painful death – check. On a cross, death by asphyxiation.
  • To add to all that, the people He was going to help vaccinate against the virus didn’t like Him. They weren’t His friends. Maybe for friends and family, people you cared about, you might die for them. But would you do it for your enemies, for people you don’t like or can’t stand, for people who don’t believe you exist? As far as I’m concerned, they can all become zombies with me. But no. Jesus died to vaccinate people who hated Him, people who would never acknowledge His existence. He did it for everyone, before they realised they were all zombies and needed a vaccine.
  • And it’s only a possibility of a cure. Not that the vaccine won’t work, but that not everyone would take it for it to work. Not everyone would believe it works, it cures, and that’s the possibility He had to take. That He could die in vain. That He could die, with the vaccine sitting there in vats in a lab, and no one injects themselves with it and everyone becoming zombies.

Throughout the whole thing, it showed me I had a lot of morals to work on. And I question whether I would really be as altruistic to those I voted nobly when it came down to it. And also the double consciousness of not doing what I said/voted I would or vice versa.

Thoughts for only half a week/three days. Enough to last a whiles.

Spew

I feel like it’s time to write (and then not really because it’s already past 12 and not the most ideal time to start spewing thoughts).

Condensed thoughts:
How I really need to sink my roots deep and drink in from the streams of living water because I need to be nourished to nourish and grow and bless. Not enough nourishment=keeping all the good stuff for self-preservation=not enough to give and love people.

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers. 

Psalm 1:1-3

How to be planted? Meditate on his law day and night. Actually intentionally spend time with this person I claim to be my Lord and God and savior and whom I pledge love and devotion to. Actions, actions.

Fixing my heart and mind on the heavenly and spiritual things. Away from all the worldly thing and desires of my own heart.

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a tension about this. Spirit and flesh having one of those tug of war things again, and not necessarily about my destiny either. Spirit is holding out but the flesh is putting up a struggle in its losing fight. It’s tired, even on the winning side. And sometimes the line smudges and I trip a little but it’s all good because I come back at the end of the day. Still feeling vulnerable-ish. Like I’ll fall at any wind that blows by. But not yet anyhows.

Everyone was sharing their testimonies at cell this week and it was really refreshing because for once, not everyone started with “I grew up in church”. It’s so good to see how God draws different people to Himself and to hear their own experiences with Him. It’s just great. I usually don’t like these “how did you meet God” things because I never had that pin drop moment where God became super clear to me/ I accepted Him at this certain point in my life and then my whole world changed. My story isn’t dramatic. It’s not even a story; it just happened and I’m still in the process. Sometimes, I’m kind of envious about other people’s great story but I know that everyone has their own struggles and stuff. And it’s interesting because I felt like my story was just something archaic/fixed in the past and just something to share when people asked me. I’ve formulated my testimony and I wonder what else I missed in keeping my testimony short and story like, and questioning myself why I chose to mention certain things over others.

Surprised at how much this sentiment, “don’t think that because your parents are Christian, you automatically become a Christian too”, was so strong in shaping my journey. I hate hearing this as I was growing up because it negates all of my thoughts and experience with God in one sweeping generalization, in that it’s not mine. My walk was not my own. It was my parents’. So undermining. I understood where it was coming from, of course, but as someone who was actually questioning if I really did believe God for myself (and whether for the right reasons at that), this just riled me. Not all of us want to ride on our parents’ walk with God ok. Not everyone thinks like that. I wanted God for myself, to know Him myself and to make this walk mine. I don’t know why this defined me so much. So much I left out but I guess it’s because the walk isn’t finished and I’m still learning so.

After the sermon on our destinies, there was an altar call and a few of us lost and clueless twenty somethings went up together. I was wondering what I ought to pray, what I wanted, what I should tell the prayer lady when she came to me. Turns out I didn’t have to tell her anything, she just went and did her thing. The word was that I needed to slow down and re-look at my priorities (which was surprising because I thought I was already very slow moving lol). And I went and offered up what I had been intending to pray for: mostly direction in the 101 ministries and open doors, direction career wise (eek), and above all, to know His will for me, to want His will for me and to have the courage to follow Him in it. Don’t want to be faithful without purpose. Don’t want to have purpose but not be faithful to it. I feel like I’m both zzz.

I went up there to get prayed for, not really so much of the expectation that bam, God speaks to me and tells me something like “gurl, you gonna be a ____” or “do this and this” even though I did go up to pray about my destiny and stuff like that. How shall I say it… the general sense I got after it all was that I may not know the plans per se but I know the one who is planning my life, and maybe at that moment, that’s all I needed to know, that’s what God saw fit to give me in that point of time to meet my worries. I know what it’s like having to make big life changing decisions and wanting to honor God in that decision by choosing what He wants. I know what it’s like to pray about it and then not hear anything, or anything specific in what He wants you to do. It’s frustrating, especially if you gotta make decisions NOW. After all, the Bible doesn’t tell you what job you should take and what schools you should go to and who you should marry etc. But I dunno, silence/non answers doesn’t mean you stop praying about it. It doesn’t mean for me to stop seeking God about it, or that I shouldn’t even try because I won’t get an answer. I pray for loads of things and God doesn’t give me all of them but that doesn’t mean I stop praying to Him when I want or need something. I feel like, just going to Him, even out of a want or need, shows that you still recognize who has the power and who is the Giver of stuff. And maybe it is through prayer as a process that helps you get a clearer picture about God’s POV and how you should move on from there. Maybe it’s not a matter of getting an answer but the changing of your heart and POV to be able to see that this certain answer makes sense. I dunno.

Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Still difficult to do and sometimes I don’t want to pray about decisions because sometimes I don’t hear anything and I just end up doing whatever I want. So I dunno, it’s still a bit of a question mark for me. But God has revealed decisions to me, almost never straight out, but very slowly, and sometimes not at all. But my job, at least, is to come to Him with it in the first place, and let Him be God and do His god thing at the expense of my frustration because He doesn’t meet my human expectations. Ha.

Strange space of talking to loads of people at once and wanting to be so emotionally invested in all of them (and I am, really) but I dunno how good a friend I’m actually being to them. Please don’t mind me friends. Thanks.

Not as condensed as I might have liked but it’ll do for now ugh.