Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Over yonder


Pretty soon, I'll be flying (by myself) over yonder to where my parents live. Sure, it's a short flight, but it'll be fun. According to hearsay, there are mounds of snow like buckets being dropped from the sky in that part of Washington. It probably looks like a blissful winter wonderland that one can compare with to the likes of Narnia. I will be very wary of strange looking doors and suspicious if I come across any closets containing wool coats..hmm...
I am going away for almost two weeks. And for the first week, I'll be a nanny, babysitting my niece and nephew (while their parents are in Mexico..lucky much?). They're both not babies anymore, so we can actually do fun activities together! I am filled with excitement and I have much fun planned for those kids.
I'll betray a bit of what will be going down in my hometown:
Exciting stories, Christmas movies, Christmas magic, volcano making, gingerbread house making, gift wrapping, snow forts, indoor forts, snowball fights, sledding, snowman making contests, games, and much more. Oh the bliss.
Also, I get to see some of my dear old friends. Hoorah. One of the best parts: mom and dad! I miss those two.
Can't wait !
p.s. I'm sure I'll still miss my home over here though...
correction: I know I will ;)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christ

It is past Thanksgiving, and I'm still thankful. I am thankful for everything I have. But I am most thankful for Christ.

You are so beautiful, I want to be more beautiful like you. To be a reflection of you, in order for your name to be praised. I'm thankful for your cross. I run there and throw my hypocritical, cowardly self at your feet. There is freedom and peace found in you, let me find more of that. Let me forsake all things I cling to, in order to know more of you.






image


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Impossible?

Often, we are only happy when good things happen to us, but when our neighbor is rejoicing over something good that happened to them..deep inside we don't really care much. We're probably having a pity party because it is not happening to us. Most of us (myself first on that list) aren't even good at listening, we just desire our voice to be expressed and heard. There are numerous examples like these. Bottom line is, we are self-focused and ridiculous.
I'm tired of me. I don't want to pretend. I want it to be real. I want to love people with a genuine love. I want to care deeply, to really listen and try to understand them. I want to have a heart that cares for others. I want to find joy in helping others, have delight in their blessings, find happiness in the good things that happen to them, hurt for them when they have pain or trouble. You've probably noticed the reiteration with "I want". But the emphasis on want is supposed to be a sure indication, that I have yet to obtain these beautiful characteristics, and can only sigh in desperation knowing I lack them all. Surely acquiring these things will banish selfishness, evil motives, apathy, envy and all the other sins that bring misery. Wishful thinking and impossible come to mind when I think of ever becoming this person, especially knowing me..but with God all things are possible.

Lord,
I want to learn real love.
But I am so selfish, help me.

I can only look to Jesus Christ's example and be in awe.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Found


Sometimes, when you are a Christian for a while, you forget that once upon a time you weren't a Christian. People start telling you that they see God changing you, and this excites you, because of course it's proof that you're His child. But then, after your walk with God is not so novel to you anymore, you began to subconsciously forget who you were and what He delivered you from. You may even start thinking that you are so "godly" and admire your goodness. Ick. But I think we're all tempted with this.
The day before yesterday, I told somebody my testimony. Ironically, it ended up encouraging me perhaps even more than them. I remembered where I was when God found me. The day He found me, I was a horrid girl living for myself, confused, empty, and scared. I didn't think I had hope. I did not love Him, but He poured out His love on me. He rescued me, and gave me hope and a future with Him.
No matter where I'm at with my walk with God or where I will be in many years down the road...I never want to forget that girl I once was the day He found me. It's vital to be reminded that all the good in us, is only because of Him. It's vital never to puff up or think we've done anything on our own. Anything beautiful in us, is not what we have contributed, but because of His grace.
Next time you are tempted to puff up..remember who you were, when He found you.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How To.

Title: Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable


  • Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
  • Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
  • Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
  • Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
  • Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
  • Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
  • Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
  • Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remember?

Do you have any recollection of a time in your life when you were particularly feeling worried about something or even afraid? I have a plethora, unfortunately. When I have a temptation to worry again, abide in confusion, or question God about what He is doing...I take a gander at the past. Instantly specific situations are brought to mind, where I was feeling uneasy about something and found it hard to trust God.

That was very ridiculous of me. Now, I see how all those situations were decidedly put into my life for my good. Throughout everything, He never left me and was always by my side.

The next time we are tempted to give in to worry, let us remind ourselves that if we are God's children, He is for us not against us. Just think about it..the people you trust are the ones who have proven themselves faithful in the past, you know that they are good and love you, and they can always be reliable. You can confirm this because you know them.

Has God not proven Himself enough for us? How many circumstances does it take for us to finally see His goodness and realize we can trust in Him? Or will we always live in disbelief, subconsciously telling Him.."Lord, I just need proof of your love once more and then I can deem you trustworthy". How dare we. The funny thing, though, is that He doesn't even need to prove anything to us. If we know Him we know it is in his nature to be all wise, all good, and so full of love and mercy. How could we not trust a God like that? Not to mention, a God who we can call our Father.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

About that

So my "break" was a bit shorter than I thought it would be..no no..the mathematics are still here. But they'll be here for a while, so I can't postpone blogging that long. However, I'll still be working fervently on my discipline :).
I wanted to share a snippet of truth with you. Lately, God has been teaching me about something. It's obedience. I'm thinking that w
hat usually ensues from obeying God may not at first glance look favorable. You deny yourself, lose the applause of the world, and might even disappoint others. But you gain a deeper relationship with God which delivers to you such an unmistakable satisfaction that those trivial trappings, which constantly seem so enticing, can never compensate for. And that makes it all the more worth it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tiny break

Dearest reader. Stop. Decided to write in a form of telegram. Stop. Don't know why I'm doing this. Stop. It's sort of fun. Stop. Try it sometime. Stop. I think I'm now going to stop. Stop. Anyhow..due to this darn thing they supposedly call mathematics, I've begun to realize I need to rethink my life. Ha. Well, not rethink my entire life..but my time management. I hope you all won't mind if I take a wee bit of a break from my blog, you see I'm welcoming this sweet guest into life, named discipline, while shooing away slack (can I call it that? do they call it that?). It has long overstayed its welcome.

My regards,
Alla

p.s. you will be hearing again from me in due time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Them.

I'm feeling oh so small right now. You see, I've had one too many encounters with some great people. In an understatement, they are noble souls. My church is filled to the brim with real and kind and selfless humans. And I live in a household with a beautiful selfless couple too. There are also Christians outside of my church and family who are such a testimony to Christ. I've noticed a reiterating pattern in their behavior towards me. They all serve me. Me? Who am I to be served?! They never fail to serve me with genuine smiles and warm dispositions. I am encouraged by many of them. I do not know the meaning of loneliness. I am blessed. It is not a difficult endeavor for me to find somebody to talk to about my struggles; I know I can always find a ready ear. If I ask for prayer, they are so loyal to carry out prayers on my behalf to the Father. Showered with love, how could I not be content? The character of the people I know makes me feel humbled, joyful, and ashamed. All simultaneously. I'm humbled, because these great people are serving me. Ashamed, because really how often am I there for those close to me? And joyful...no explanation needed. This makes me want to obliterate and demolish all remnants of my selfish self. Why would I want to stay selfish when I receive so much love? How could I not want to give all of me? How could I not be brought to the cross through the goodness of these people? Surrender is always freeing. Surrendering self. I don't want to be the center of my world. I am disgusted and ashamed of my pride and selfishness. Get rid of all that stands in the way of my love for you Father. Crush it, I ask.

A remedy


I present to you an excellent quote by Mr. Spurgeon:
“If they are driven to their wits’ end, they may still go to the mercy-seat….Let us never forget to pray, and let us never doubt the success of prayer… Mirth and carnal amusements are a sorry prescription for a mind distracted and despairing. Prayer will succeed where all else fails.”

Sometimes when I am distracted or despairing about something, I do not always want to pray. In fact, I can turn to other things to distract myself even more. And that never fixes anything. Prayer is the only real remedy I have.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dinner

I love meeting new people of various ages and backgrounds. And one of my pastimes is actually being at the dinner table when we have guests over. I love to listen. I enjoy hearing their life-story and about their past, and just about them. I learn something new every time. It truly is fascinating to recognize how many various people live in the world. If we’re going to be stuck up and think that we are too cool for different people we aren’t going to experience anything; in fact, it only closes our doors and makes us lame. It limits our perspective and helps us remain stuck in our own little world. Not to mention, this mentality is very childish and prideful. When we come in contact with certain people they may challenge us, inspire us, and convict us. No, they won’t sit you down and try to directly challenge you. But they might behave in a specific way that cannot help but challenge you, and make you wonder why you aren’t doing the same. Most likely, the guests’ goal for the evening was not to inspire you, but they might verbally declare something that you have not even regarded as vital before and all of a sudden you find yourself inspired to do more. No, they probably don’t intend to admonish you at dinner, especially since they're fairly new, and do not know you or your blunders too well, but God may use them as a tool to speak truth into your life with them being completely unaware of it. They utter a phrase, or life lesson that another may zone out, and it dawns on you that it’s the exact sort of thing you needed to hear. You are now convicted. Plus, people are truly so interesting. They all have a story to tell. They are like walking talking books with different interests and information. How could you not be curious? And now you see why I adore guests and dinner parties.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prayer

Hello all,
I might have a wonderful opportunity to get an internship somewhere really neat. I hope this is God's will. And I know it is all surely in His hands, so I'm trusting. But if you could pray for me about that, I would appreciate it immensely. I'd like to share more details with you later, when things are more clear and I have a definite answer. Thanks everyone :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hello cupcake

So these treats have really got me thinking. Cupcake party?














Seems like Ming would know how to throw one. Skeptical? See for yourself.