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January 30, 2008

job update

why is it that when good things happen that are huge changes we tend to get scared?

I got hired by combined insurance as a mgr trainee.

any way, the Lord comforted me with this story and song. may it bless your soul as it did mine.

Words: , 1873.
Music: Ville du Havre, , 1876. The tune is named af­ter the ship on which Spaf­ford’s child­ren per­ished, the S.S. Ville de Havre. Iron­ic­al­ly, Bliss him­self died in a tra­gic train wreck short­ly af­ter writ­ing this mu­sic.
This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas in Spaf­ford’s life. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


January 27, 2008

another soul finds the Way

I had an opportunity to share the gospel with a new kung fu student today, Randy, and he accepted Christ.

That makes two people this year, 6 people total in my life.

I am excited!!!!

thanks to my dad for the assist (also a kung fu student ;)

January 26, 2008

Debt of Grace, you write the ending

I went to lunch one day at work, and while sitting there was suddenly struck with a story. I took out my pen and began to write, the act of which ate up nearly my entire hour long break.

As I returned to work, an associate came up to me and asked me this question: what is grace?

I responded with what I was taught by my parents as a boy:
receiving something I do not deserve.

Then I handed him this story and told him to read it, ironic I thought that I should write this only moments before asked that question.

Read and enjoy, and you tell me what your answer is, for you get to write the ending, for it is your story.

A Debt of Grace
The Sahara desert, the largest hot desert in the world, it is almost the size of the USA; that was the place this story happened. It happened a long time ago, exactly when, who knows. There was a man, he was a mean man, his friends… ok, he did not have any friends. His companions tolerated him only because they had to. He worked for a man who took things through the desert in caravans. He would treat people like dirt and manipulate and use them for his own selfish means. He was not a good man.

But then it happened, it was a daring tale, wrought with a series of amazing events. It began on a certain day during a trip through the desert from one town to another. Their caravan was attacked by desert raiders and in the battle and the escape the man’s horse was shot from under him. By the time the caravan had reached a safe point, the man was left far behind. Due to the fact that he was not well liked, no one was willing to risk their life to go back for him. And so it was that he was left to face his almost certain death alone in the great desert.

The caravan arrived at the town safely, and while giving a report of what happened a lone man heard that this man was left behind.
“Did you not go back for him?” exclaimed the man.
“Go back for him?!” responded the caravan boss, “I was almost happy to lose him. Why should I risk my life for a man like that.”

“Will no one return for him?” pleaded the stranger. But all he heard was reasons why it was not worth the effort. “Fine, I will seek him out, and if he should still live, and it be within my power to save him I shall. As I have spoken it, so let it be done.” And so against the counsel of those present he loaded up his horse lightly with just enough provisions to go and return and left on his mission of mercy to rescue a man whom he did not know, a man whose closest relations would rather leave to his death.

The searcher was blessed with an easy first journey, for he found the wounded man with little trouble. The man had breath, but it was short and shallow, a miracle even then for he had been wounded in the battle and then left to himself in the desert for days with only the small provisions he had on his person. Parched and scorched, he had found little shelter from the sun and the wind. Death was his only companion… until the lone man found him. The rescuer came upon him suddenly, almost from nowhere he appeared for such was the way of the desert. He jumped off his mount and knelt by the man’s side. Carefully wetting his lips and letting the water trickle down into his mouth, cautious to not give him too much too fast. He began to treat his wounds and clean the man, and he rested until night.

He began the trek home after he had cleaned the man’s wounds and dressed them; he sat the man on the horse and rode double, giving the horse a break from time to time by walking beside of it. The rescuer had traveled light, knowing that time was precious if he hoped to find the man alive. His fortune was not to continue on so fine as it had started, however, for soon into his return journey he was suddenly fired upon by riders coming up on him from the sides.

He tried first to out run them, but with two burdens the horse could not muster the speed, so when hope of escape was gone, he leaped to the ground and drew his weapons attacking the bandits with a savagery and zeal that rivaled the great warriors of legend! He fought so hard and defended with such energy that the bandits were driven back. It was a short lived victory for the rescuer and the man, for in the battle the rescuer’s steed was killed, and he was wounded. The provisions packed for the trip, although sufficient for the two on a horse, were now far from enough. The man, happy enough to be rescued in the beginning, now feared that he would be left behind questioned the rescuer, “Why did you come for me? Will you now leave me to die in order to save yourself?”

“I will not leave you to die, I came to rescue you, and if I shall die in the act then so be it!”
“Why do you do this foolishness? Leave me to die, and save yourself. Why should you care for me, a stranger?”
“All life is worth saving.” Said the man, and then undaunted by the dire turn of events, he hoisted the man onto his back and began to carry him.

The rescuer selflessly sacrificed his share of the provisions so that the wounded man might survive. For every one drink that he took, he gave the man three; for every bite of food, the man three. As the days stretched on, the provisions grew smaller; with each step the rescuer grew weaker, while the man grew stronger from the sacrifice. Still too weak to walk on his own the man carried him, by sheer strength of will he pressed onward towards the city.

Finally, within a stones throw of the city gates, the man’s strength was spent. A monumental accomplishment simply to have arrived thus far and unable to make the last leg, he collapsed to the ground. His body dry as a bone, his skin burnt from the sun, his breath came in shallow gasps. Knowing he had nothing left to give he looked at the man deep in his eyes and he gave the only thing left he could, a challenge.

“Life,” he gasped. “is worth saving. If you live, live life like it is valuable. Go and do not waist it on yourself. Rescue those who perish, care for those at death. Live a life of deep thoughts, and sacrifice. Share what you know and what you have. Do not let sacrifice come for nothing. Do this for me!” He breathed out once, and he breathed in never again.

The next morning, the people of the city found two bodies beyond the walls, one living and one not. The one who possessed life was taken and given care, the other buried in a grave with no name. A stranger in the land, from whence he came no one knew, but what he did traveled far and wide. The man who spent his very life to save a man who was written off and left for dead by all, a man who deserved to die.

As the man’s strength returned and he finally walked again into the light of day he stood before the grave of this unknown man and he asked himself this question, “To live the life this rescuer asked of me is not easy of any man, and for me it is twice as hard for I was a man who lived only for myself. I took what was not mine, and I gave to no one. Should I continue on as I have lived, or take up this man’s challenge?”

Now is the part of the story where you come in. You decide what the man does with his life. What will you have him do? Consider this,

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:7-8)

This man was a rare exception, but if you think, this story was about us. You see, we are a people caught up in ourselves. Covered in the very thing God despises the most, yet He still left Heaven to seek us out and save our lives at the cost of His own. We face the very same choice this man faced. We shall see his choice played out in our own, so I ask again, what will you have him do?

(This story and the characters depicted are the fictional work of the author and do not represent real events.)

January 24, 2008

job hunt update

I was asked back for the third and final job interview today. it is scheduled for next wednesday.

pray for Gods guidance folks!

January 20, 2008

One of my Earliest Heroes

Just a few days ago, was the 7th anniversary of one of my earliest heroes' death.

I was just a wee lil' lad when I first heard of my cousin Randy and his expertise in the Asian martial arts. Randy had a passion for the martial arts and a discipline that led to mastery. throughout his life he made choices that were not the best, but in the end God got a hold of his heart and Randy again became one of my heroes as he battled for 5 years a heart defect, leading into lung problems, leading still into kidney failure. He never gave up, and through it all he gave credit to the Lord for his strength. I didn't have a lot of time to get to know Randy, but I treasure the time I had and I continue the legacy of Godliness and involvement in the martial arts that he in part inspired.

I wish that I had the elequance to put into words something that truly conveys my thoughts on Randy and the effect that he has had upon my life. For ever and always he shall remain as one of my earliest heroes. This is for you Randy ;)

When I was 5 years old, two very important events happened in my life. The first was that I heard the call upon my life to be saved. I understood that I was a sinner and as such not able to pay the penalty for my own wrongdoings. I needed a paladin, a stand-in, to do the work for me. Jesus was that warrior, yet knowing all of this I stood fast in my stubborn resistance to act upon what I knew for two reasons: fear of being in the public eye, and fear of water. Fear ruled my life for two long years of conviction and the struggle for my soul waged heavy upon my heart. Until the day came, December 4th, 1988, the last day of an outdoor tent revival. It was a Sunday, sun shining and warm. I could tell you what I wore and exactly where I sat that morning. The pastor preached, I don't know what he preached about because I was listening to a different voice - the voice of God. He was telling me that I would someday die and go to hell if I didn't go forward right then and submit my life to Him. I didn't wait any longer, I left my seat and came forward, with my father following me and with my pastor and my father I prayed to accept Christ in my heart as Lord of my life. That day changed my life forever, and I have never regretted it.

The other important event that happened to me at 5 was of a different nature. I fell in love. Not with a person, but with a thing, an art form. I saw for the first time in my life, martial arts demonstrated and I knew that I would someday do this thing. It consumed my mind, and yet I had no avenue of pursuing it - till I was 18 years old. That didn't stop me; I practiced what I could learn on my own and read anything I could get my hands on about the martial arts. And that is where Randy came into the story. He was a black belt already at that time, and my mom would tell me about this cousin I had named Randy who was really good at what he did. I had never met him, nor would I till I was nearly 20 years old, but his exploits and his passion inspired me as a young child to pursue my dream of learning the martial arts some day.

The day came, and I was given the opportunity to learn, but not until God made it clear to me that I was not given this chance for my own passion, but for His purpose. I was to use it to glorify His Name. A task that Randy eventually came to understand as well. You see, Randy eventually came to know God in the same role as I did, as Lord and Savior. And it was the strength of that relationship that gave Randy the ability to once again inspire me to be my best for my God. I remember, the moment I had wanted to experience for my whole life finally came...an opportunity to talk with Randy as a fellow martial artist and believer about our two most important passions. It was short, for at this time Randy was in a battle for his life. But it was good, and we connected quickly because we shared the same passions, first for God and second for the martial arts.

Now I am a second degree black sash, teaching as a ministry of my church, seeking to reach a group of people who might not otherwise be reached, and I look back to how I came here and the moments that shaped my life and I see Randy. Who knew? What a legacy?! And I am proud to bear it.

What kind of heroes have shaped your life? What kind of Legacy do you carry on?

January 17, 2008

job hunt update

I have a lead which may develop into a great new job. we'll see how it goes.


January 02, 2008

new convert

Last night during my lunch break, I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a coworker named Kim.

After an hour of talking with her, she prayed to receive Christ. Please pray that she will see her way clearly to follow Christ from here on, and she will see her life changed from there.