Friday, November 30, 2012

wwjd...


What Would Jesus do? I wonder. 
I have not considered myself "evangelical", never thought I was one... But I guess I am. I believe that God is the answer, though I do not believe that one should force the gospel on the other. I think that the key is in communication and having the gospel be relevant to one's question, instead of the gospel or christianity representing money, the status symbol, "betraying one's culture" etc. I guess the unquestioning position I have on God makes me an evangelical, or even closed minded...Quite unlike the masses of Christians here. 

  People leave churches here because of the creation story, have long discussions on whether the world really flooded during Noah's ark. I do not even think to doubt such things.. Or other things like Jesus, being God incarnate on earth, and how that is not something that can be said because it cannot be proven or something like that...  

Gah. Basically feeling like an alien.  What we believe make us who we are, and even when we have the same label of being "Christian", this is not enough. what makes us different is found in the details and how we translate that in life. 

Wondering what to do next. WWJD (Brings back wonderful memories of mg) What do I do now. Do I 
1)continue with my current professor who thinks i m cherry picking who I want to quote in my paper, and do not have what it takes, ie to continue with him, I need to change his opinion of me, discuss theologians of different arguments and fight against the tide basically. (but a part of me feels like God has given him to me and so I should stick it through and try to do this..despite the best advice of the German husband and a german friend)

2) Explore a new school but continue with the theological spin, perhaps this time looking for a more evangelical institute, such that I do not need to fight against the tide. Question is, can I do it? I don't know... I get to start on a new note, new impressions, and perhaps less commuting and more attention. 

3) Decide that theology and Peirong are like water and oil.  They can't mix and go look for a different faculty, like international relations or something. I don't know. Argue the Christian answer as one of the many options out there. This will limit the amount of theological arguments I need to discuss. My evangelical persuasion is just one of the persuasions out there. Something I do not need to defend but rather describe how effective/ineffective it is in the work of International Organizations. 

Option 1 is the cheapest and Option 3 is the most expensive. I guess I need to find a job too... (it's also funny how people think that maybe I should just have a baby)... I guess I am also wondering if this is really something I want to do. Or is this something God wants me to do. Or is this not something I am gifted with. Or is this something that I am forcing outside of God's plan. 

Moments like these, I want to be a old person telling my story, living the story is a lot harder... Intense. 

Currently thinking about faith. How Jesus healed people because of their faith... I need faith that God will be pleased with. To believe in Him working in my life despite my many moments of despondence.

Peace and faithfulness I ask for right now... 

ps: I miss people in my sunny island :(

Sunday, November 18, 2012

without faith, it is impossible to please God

Today was my first time helping out with the Missionaries of Charities. It was a blessed opportunity. The husband came along and together, we helped out with feeding the homeless. Giving and receiving is sometimes blurred. Sure I might have given of my time, but yet, the feeling of being useful, of being something bigger than myself is also good for the soul. I am also thinking that the choice of charity has been planned through divine intervention.  We were participants of a wider event, where we could choose projects to help out in. Before the event, I told the husband that he would be playing football with the homeless people and that sounded like a good idea to him. However, when we arrived, we were told that there were enough people doing that so we were asked if we were ok going to the charity instead. I felt a little bad that the husband could not play football but he was sweet enough to go with the change of plans...

The missionaries of charities have a special place in my heart. Before we married, I always joked that its either marriage or moving to Calcutta and helping with the poor through following Mother Theresa's example. Today, I got to visit a centre that is run by her order. Funny how ironic it is. Someone commented that I can now do both, be married and yet do the work that she has started... :) On another level, perhaps, this was a way of God affirming my life here in Europe, despite the doubts that I have had recently... There are people in this part of the world to love, and while they might be strange, they belong to God and I can also help with loving them here... 

The past week has been rough. My professor doesn't like my work to say the least. He thinks that I do not have the theological system to analyze my work and that I should consider my options, while I agree with him that I do not get theology, there seems to be no way to get it in the German education system...... I am done feeling too devastated, upset at how exclusive theology feels like, thinking that I will never adapt to this euro-centric world, like I have wasted my time.... instead, I have been actively, intentionally reminding myself to have faith.  fighting my thoughts with prayer, words from the B-I-B-L-E, talking to people I love and trust...

Some edifying thoughts as I continue through this season...

I am God's beloved child and I am not going to continue to allow myself to feel like a yellow person :) Many a times, the rejection I feel stems from myself and I project that in my unfamiliar environment. Sure it's harsh, but I need to have faith, that ultimately, I have a place in this world too, because this world belongs to God (husband adds: You eat cheese, you are not super yellow....) 

I think that along the way in the past years, the bashing up and harsh realities have sometimes made me forget that I want my life to reflect God tangibly. I get hung up in strange bureaucracy, worries about money, or about not speaking the language and maybe never getting a job.. but really, that was and should never be the point. My main friend here in Brussels (apart from the husband) is an American lady who is here because she has a heart for the European youth. A close Korean friend of mine in Germany has a heart to witness to her classmates in her school and goes on weekend trips to evangelize... Yes, while growing older may be harder with all the concerns of this world, I am reminded that God uses all my experiences for his glory and it is my desire to please God. 

My parents are not really frazzled about my need to consider my options. They think I am healthy and something will work out eventually. I am thankful for them. I know that not all parents will be this cool. I am thankful that God has shown me examples of faith, fearlessness in the example of my parents. 

Today, before we served food to the homeless, a seminary student shared a passage from the bible and we said the Lord's prayer together with other catholic prayers. This was all done in French and I understood maybe 2% of it. However, the short passage on what I think was bout the first Christmas as well as the Lord's prayer reminded me of hope. Yes, Jesus is the hope of the world. He is their hope and also mine. And yes, the Lord's prayer, while in a different language, is something I know and cling on to. It is as much their prayer as it is mine. I can pray it in my language and God hears me.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.(Hebrew 12:1-3)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

Have been thinking about this verse, and am appreciating its applicability to the different people the husband and I are.

Yes, we may have many differences but the main similarity has been our individual desire to please God and follow his ways. There is value and wisdom in this. I am thankful for the wealth of material in the B-i-b-l-e that helps us both reach a middle ground of what we will do.

To have regard in God's ways in all that we do, so help me God... 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thankful!

Happy that the blues are finally leaving me. YAY. I am SO much more productive and no longer have at the back of my mind feelings of uselessness. 

God is good. I am thankful. Just to record today's feelings of peace in God and knowing that he is my savior! :)


Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5