Tag Archives: God

They, Each, We, and I

 

Such a time as this: #MeToo

Such a surprise.

Such a day I could not fathom as ever coming.

Such a thing so incredible to see

and hear and read about.

 

They are older now.

Both women and men.

They now tell their stories

after so much time has long passed.

 

Each had felt the shock.

Each had felt the fear.

Each had felt the shame.

Each had been powerless.

 

Each had hidden those moments.

Those times.

Those long, long seconds in time.

 

Many had tried to find a place.

Maybe a real place.

Maybe a place they had been in

only in their minds.

 

Somewhere to somehow rest.

Somewhere to somehow be in safety.

 

Will it happen again?

Will it happen today?

Will someone not help?

Their minds ask over and over again.

Their mind’s constant agony.

 

I must hurry to hide.

I must hurry.

But no door will keep me safe, I know.

Not even a locked one.

God help me, the door does not lock.

 

Days have turned into years.

Years have turned into more years.

A poor memory has become a blessing.

An even poorer one is much longed for.

 

We all have our stories.

We all have our hardships.

We all have our pains.

 

No family can bring me comfort.

No person can bring me comfort.

Only God can help me.

Because He has always helped me.

Each and every time.

 

In darkness, He had comforted me.

In silence, He had sat with me.

 

God continues to pull me through.

He continues to give me hope.

He continues to show His love for me.

He continues to help me to live again.

 

 

“For I have given rest to the weary

and joy to the sorrowing.”

 

~ Jeremiah 31:25

 

 

 

 

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the molestor

 

My molestor has returned for a “visit”.

This time he did not bring his grown early twenties-aged children in tow.

When he had brought them the last time,

are they his method of “camouflage”?, I had wondered.

He thinks I’ve forgotten because I had been young.

Under age ten, I had been back then, I know.

When it was late in the dark, he would come to my bed.

And believing I would not tell, he had been correct.

Years and years have gone by, and yet I have not confronted him.

What would be the use?  Would I really be “healed” after?

I will most likely continue to let more years to pass.

Because keeping “our secret” is what the power of shame can do.

During his visit, I made sure to hurry away into my room.

Locking my door, I had tried hard to shut his voice out.

But purposefully, I know he would always speak louder.

And his horrid, even louder laughter, had made me cringe and shudder.

As much as I could, I had tried to stay away from his path.

But during his visit, there had been at least a number of face-to-face moments.

It was smugness, I know I seen.

Yes, it was his face full of smugness and his laughters so loud,

which will stay with me in my mind for many days,

as more years upon years, will most likely again pass.

He had left this time, without leaving us with a “fake” prayer.

For the last time, he had prayed proudly aloud.

But with his grown children with him, that time had been.

Which was why I believe they had been his manner of screen.

As he grinned to me whenever he could with his sly self,

he had most likely believed that his secret was solid,

and no longer did he need to bring his family with him and pretend.

 

Because God is, I have hope.

Because He sees and knows, and will always, always give correct judgment, I have hope.

And because Jesus saves, I look up and can face another day.

 

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.

But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

 

John 16:33

 

 

“Here I Am Lord”

 

 

 

some thoughts on faith

 

“I guess it’s like discovering you’re on the shelf of a pawnshop,

dusty and forgotten and maybe not worth very much.

But Jesus comes in and tells the pawnbroker,

‘I’ll take her place on the shelf.  Let her go outside again.’ “

 

~ Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

 

artist:   Aeppol

 

I read somewhere about a survey that about 80% of homes in America have at least 1 Bible inside of ’em. When I was a kid, I never saw one in our home. Then again, maybe my Mom had owned one and it was kept inside a “church bag” of hers. But other than that, I never saw one on our home’s shelves or nuthin’.

I was about to say “dusty shelves”, but our home’s shelving areas weren’t dusty. Reason why was cuz the Mom always made me wipe them all down every single week. When it was the weekend, she’d throw a coupla rags at me and holler at me to hurry up and wipe down our shelves and whatever else she wanted wiped down with those rags. Back then, we hardly owned much knick-knacks on our shelves (compared to the countless super-dusty ones that we have galore of now), so wiping them down wasn’t that too time-consuming. But for a kid like me who knew the Cinderella Story, I was in utter misery as I carefully tried to wipe down the Pops’ knick-knack statues that he had collected over the years. Should I accidentally drop or break one, I knew I was dead meat. I’d get a good clobbering on my head, for sure.

So I dreaded the weekends, during my young years. Forget cartoons on weekends because we didn’t have cable TV after I was around 8, I think. Well, somewhere before I was 10, the parents had turned off our home TV’s cable cuz they couldn’t afford to pay for that bill anymore.

Note: I won’t share about the different denominations of the churches that I’m writing about here because I don’t wanna be possibly bashing any denominations. So I’ll just refer to ’em as “churches”.

Prior to my going to First Grade in school, the Mom made the sis and me go to a church. I have no idea why. She herself wasn’t religious and the Pops most certainly wasn’t either. I don’t recall either of them having stepped foot into a church themselves to attend a service. But like just about all Korean folks here, I supposed that the Mom owned a “church bag” that had a Bible in it.

The interesting thing about Korean Bibles is that most of ’em have the same pages of worship songs printed (added) to the back pages of their Bibles. Meaning, although they may be different versions/translations of Bibles, some of ’em have the same songs printed on the back of the Bibles. Therefore, song (worship) leaders would often just say, “Turn to song number twenty”, rather than tell everyone the title of the song that they’re supposed to look for.

I didn’t realize that about Korean Bibles, regarding their printed hymns on the back pages until much later, of course. Thought that was interestin’.

Like I said, I didn’t know why the Mom sent us to go to church every Sunday. Whenever that morning came around, I found it to be so unfair in life, to have to wake up early to get ready for church, when she didn’t even have to go either. What the point of it all was, was beyond me.

In my opinion, I think she just wanted the two of us out of the house. It’s not like we were roudy or anything. We didn’t even have a TV set to look at, for cryin’ out loud. And no books either. Not even any TOYS. Yes, folks. The sis and I didn’t even own or have any toys. To our parents, toys were for “other people’s kids”. For us, I think they believed that toys are just plain unnecessary. Period.

In regards to books, if ya mighta read my “learnin’ is possible…” post, that’s where I share about how book-reading was banned in our house (for me, at least) because of my poor grades in school. The parents clobbered me if they ever caught me with a borrowed library book. I really got it good, whenever I had gotten caught with that contraband in my school bag. Ho hum.

So every Sunday morning, the sis and I were forced to wake up, get ready, and wait to get on the church van. It was always the same dude who drove that church van. I can’t recall if he was a happy camper about having to be involved in this part of his church’s ministry. But I do recall his being a not-so-happy camper whenever the sis and I were late and he was honkin’ his van’s horn for the whole street to wake up that Sunday morning with us too.

Then we went to church. It was a big, tall white building. Which still stands and is still in use today, in fact. Sure doesn’t look as big now, though, of course. But back then when I was a kid, I thought it was like one of those huge cathedrals in Europe. Real big. I stood looking up at the sky, trying to keep my eyes from getting blinded by the sunlight whenever I looked up at it from the front doors.

When I went inside, it was always the biggest blessing to my physical body to come inside the building’s air-conditioning. Aaah. Much cooler than our home, and way cooler than the hot van that we ride in to get to that church. I wonder why the church couldn’t provide us with a van with air-conditioning. I guess it was enough that they picked us up from our homes.

When we entered, the sis and I always went straight to the section of pews where one of the female church members would come and give us the day’s Sunday Lesson. I have no memory of what those women looked like. I can’t even tell ya if there were 3 ladies who taught us – or even if it mighta been the same woman. All because I had never paid any attention to what the heck she, or whoever it was speaking to us, was saying. Their story never interested me, and I too, was no interest to them, I believed. Because nobody ever bothered to say to me, “Hey, look here, and pay attention!”. Nobody seemed to give a hoot that I and other kids like me, weren’t paying any attention to our day’s lesson speaker.

I can’t remember what in the world I did during those lesson times. Maybe they had lasted for 30 minutes or a full hour. Dunno. Maybe I had just slept through the whole thing or did people-watching. Can’t remember. All I remember is that I didn’t pay any attention. Which is why the whole church-going thing was meaningless to me.

Until it was time to go, that is. When the entire church service was over and us kids exited the front doors along with all of the adults (none of whom I remembered ever said anything to me), that was when it was gonna be the highlight moment of all of my church-going Sundays. Reason was cuz it was the time when the church handed to every single person walking out its doors something to eat. Yup, it was FOOD time! Yeah-hoooooo!

I couldn’t wait for that moment when they’d put into my hand either a jelly roll, a sushi roll, or some other snack to eat on our way out.

But what I do recall is how one of those jelly rolls had squashed inside my church bag. Considering how I salivated and just about woulda done anything for the single snack we received after church (cuz we didn’t ever have such snacks at our home), I couldn’t remember why in the world I had put that jelly roll inside my church bag at all. But some days later, I had discovered it in there, and it was all squashed up and molded. That was when my church bag smelled of mold forever and ever.

It was the church that had given to the sis and me our church bags. I remember how it was yellow-colored and square-shaped. Looked like a kid’s little briefcase. Whatever material it was, it was a good one, cuz it was wipe-able. Faux-leather perhaps. But even for a young kid like me, it looked a bit too kiddie. I didn’t like how it couldn’t be put under my arm, but had to be held with my hand, like a briefcase. And it was so thin, that I could fit only like 1 thin book inside of it. I sure didn’t own a Bible and the church never gave me one to put inside of it. So I mighta just put some paper and a pencil inside of it. Since I never listened to the kids’ lesson speaker or did any of the lessons given, I had nothing to put inside of that bag. So it just remained empty with a squished, yucky, and moldy jelly roll on the bottom of it ’til the Mom didn’t force us to go to church anymore.

Then came 1st Grade of school. The school I went to had a church on its campus and we had to go to it on certain days of the year. The only thing that creeped the heck out of me about that church was the casket it had of Jesus inside of it. I don’t know why I thought it was Jesus in there. Maybe it mighta been one of the apostles. Maybe I thought it was Him in there cuz the statue might’ve had a crown of thorns on its head. Anyhow, it was this particular casket that made me get all freaked out inside, whenever me and my classmates had to line up to enter that church building again. I always wondered why we coudn’t enter one of its other doors (I think there was at least 2 other entrances), so we didn’t have to pass by that casket. Cuz didn’t the teachers wonder how it would affect young kids to see and pass by? Nobody ever mentioned it bothering ’em, so maybe it was just me.

I went to that school all the way to 5th Grade. Most of the teachers were old women. Only one teacher was nice to me. She was my English teacher during my 5th Grade. I thought it was so incredibly weird how she was so nice to me whenever she called on my name to answer one of her questions (I never raised my hand to voluntarily answer any questions, of course).

The class that had to do with the subject of God was called “Religion Class”. The topics spoken about during this class was in regards to the saints, mostly. Of how a particular saint had become a saint. Their background, the country they were from, and of how they had come to remain remembered by their churchmembers today. That kinda thing.

It was only one teacher who had ever made Religion Class to be more than what was covered in our Religion textbooks. She did this just once, though.  She told all of us to get up and one by one, we had to say a name of one of the 12 apostles. She went through our class like 3 times, and every single time, I couldn’t recall a single name of one of the apostles. Looking back on that day, I shoulda just said “John”. Cuz one can’t go wrong with that name being part of any list of names, no?

I don’t ever recall a teacher or adult ever teaching to me anything about Jesus throughout my 5 years there. All I knew was, that He was the skinny person statue on the cross with a thorn crown on His head. For what He had died for, I didn’t know. And the baby in the manger when Christmastime came around. Sometime during my years there, I had learned that He was supposed to be the “Son of God”. But what that meant, I didn’t know either.

Then came 6th Grade, when the Mom had sent me to another school. The school didn’t require students to wear uniforms.  So of course, the Mom was very annoyed to have to buy me new clothes to wear there. And didn’t buy me anymore new clothes for many long years, after she had bought me that first number of clothes, just to wear to that school.

Now, this school was “island-y”. It had open windows on 2 sides of its classrooms, and no air-conditioning. Then again, it’s one Science classroom did have air-conditioning. Students ate lunch right at the desks, instead of at a chow hall or dining area.

What was most unusual about the school (and seemed like its tuition cost was ridiculous because of this) was the fact that each classroom was made up of TWO class grades. Meaning, one teacher taught 2 grades of students, rather than just one. So there I was in a classroom of about 20 students. Half of them on one side of the classroom was in the 5th grade, along with me. And the other half of the classroom were in the 6th grade. She taught us both in a few of the classes and taught us separately in the rest. Considering that we didn’t have no dividing wall to separate us when she was talking to just one side of the class, that whole teaching system seemed a bit messed up to even a poor student like me.

The following year, the school seemed to be even weirder. Now, it had school uniforms for us to wear. Wonderful for the Mom, who didn’t have to buy me new clothes – which I highly doubted she was gonna, anyhow.

So for my 6th Grade year, I was now on the other side of that same classroom, having the same teacher I had the previous year. Had we had cable TV in our home, I woulda thought I was in the Twilight Zone.

 

To be continued…

 

 

“He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him.

Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,

and you will find the right way to go.”

 

~ Proverbs 2 : 8 – 9

 

Flower At Night 4K HD Desktop Wallpaper for 4K Ultra HD TV ...

 

 

 

an athiest investigates

 

Lee Strobel, a former athiest journalist and legal advisor for the Chicago Tribune, had investigated the 2 most asked questions by people  who are skeptical of the Christian faith in his book and documentary, A Case for Faith.

1. In a world with thousands of religions and gods, why is Jesus the only way to salvation?  Are we actually supposed to believe that only the Christians have it right?

2. How could a loving God, the God of the Bible, create a world filled with evil and suffering?

 

A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

 

 

 

 

 

fears in the morn

 

It’s really sumthin’ how the verses in the Bible are applicable to one’s life, even today.  Considering that they were written years upon years ago, oh how God has blessed us with such a tool to have.

Many of us have more than one.  I read somewhere about how just about every home in America had a Bible.  For myself, I have more than 3.  So with that being the case, I most definitely should be reading way more than I do.  For that reason, I thank God that He still gives me blessed reminders in His Word, even when I just open up the pages to read the day’s devotional pages.

Yesterday, the verse that I couldn’t help but to keep reading over and over again was in 2 Corinthians 7:5.

“When we arrived…there was no rest for us.  We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.”

Many times in my life, I pray to ask God why I’m having to go through a particular trouble again.  Family arguments, car troubles, financial troubles, work place hardship, and times when I’ve felt I’ve been wronged, cheated, or spoken and treated rudely to.  Too often, I forget to remind myself of the lesson that I’m having to remind myself of over and over again by reading God’s Word: that God helps us through our troubles, instead of just taking them away.

 

Reading that verse in 2 Corinthians reminded me of how even the Apostle Paul, (God’s “super-messenger” to His people by writing and preaching most of the New Testament in the Bible) had himself unrestful days, had such major problems, that they were happening to him from every direction.  And to top it all off, he too had what we all have: fear on the inside.  Yup, that dagnabbit thing called fear.

 

 

I read somewhere about how the most things folks fear about might happen in their lives never actually ever happen.  They just end up being fearful thoughts running through their minds and causing unnecessary worryful heavy dread in their heads.

In our family business, I’m the first one to get to our shop in order to begin prepping up the things that need to be prepped for the day.  Depending on the amount of customer orders we have, I go to our shop between the hours of 1:00 am and 4:00 am.  Our shop unit is within a building that has other businesses on both sides of it.  Some of those businesses are bars or restaurants that run as bars during the evenings.  So when I’m parking my vehicle outside our building, there’d be a buncha cars and folks kinda huddled together on one side.  Who knows what’s going on there, but I ain’t gonna stare to see.

Because I’d like to get into my business unit safely in one piece, I park right in front of the door.  Then I open up that front door as fast as I can.  Considering that it’s during the hours when it’s still dark outside and there’s no street lights to brighten up the parking lot or anything, it’s not always easy for me to get that front door locked again right away from the inside.  Sometimes I feel like I’m running too many seconds too long, as I’m trying to get the key inside the key hole.  Yes, I admit that I honestly feel like I’m kinda in a horror film and I’m tryin’ to get myself locked safely indoors before a buncha gory zombies come bang on the door to chow me up.

As soon as I’ve got the front door locked, I turn on the back room lights.  That’s where I need to do all our prepping.  The lights from there (about 6 of those long bulbs) are bright enough for me to see the front section of our unit.  So turning on the front lights is not needed, which is good, so that any folks lookin’ in won’t be able to see that well, that I’m workin’ in there by myself.

The next thing I have to do is to turn on our water from the back of our unit.  The problem is that there’s no light back there.  None.  Unless there’s a bright moon, then it’s pitch dark back there.  So needless to say, that’s when that dagnabbit thing called fear comes back to creep up and flare within my insides once again.

Right before I open up that back door, I say a prayer for God to protect me.  Then I turn on my flashlight and step outside.  Because there’s 2 big locks that hold the door shut, I make a big slamming sound in order to hopefully scare off any bandits back there.  Cuz hey, even bandit thugs can be afraid of the dark too, right?  So I slam my way out to the back.  Bang-bang!, I slam the door and the screen door.  Then I try to walk nonchalantly to the water control thingy on the wall, turn it on, and walk back calmly back to the door.  As soon as I slam the door back shut again from the inside, I give out a big sigh of relief, turn my flashlight back off, and begin the day’s prep work.  This is my daily routine and those are my 2 big fear times in the early morn.

 

 

I praise God that He has been with me and has given me safety each morning for the past 2 years that we’ve been running this family business of ours.  As I was reading that verse about Paul’s troubles and fear, it was the very next verse that always gives me joy to see.

“But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us…”

Oh yes, it is God who gives us safety, peace of mind, and joy again.

 

 

 

growing through failure

Growing Through Failure by Chuck Swindoll

 

refuse to compare yourself with another person.

We look at the neighbor who’s never lost her job or our fellow Christian who found Jesus later in life but seems to exhibit a spiritual maturity that exceeds our own.  We compare ourselves to them, and we are unwise in this comparing.

Look to the Lord, and gain the right perspective.  If your prespective is based on the Lord’s loving-kindness that goes from everlasting to everlasting, you won’t compare yourself with others.

Even when you fail, God promises to use those failures to make you a better person.  Jesus sees people not just as what they are but also as what they will become.  That leaves a lot of leash for failure.

Finally, remain obedient to the Lord.  When you blow it, your tendency may be to toss it all and tell yourself, This whole business of Christianity doesn’t work!  Forget it!  I can’t pull it off. 

We tell ourselves a lot of lies when we fail, don’t we?  We’ll say, Why try again?  God is tired of hearing that same line.  I’ll never get it right.

But instead of listening to ourselves, we need to listen to God.  Scripture says clearly, “Serve the Lord, do His will, obey Him, stand firm.  God knows what He’s doing.”

 

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.

For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.

Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here.

But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him.

 

~ Psalm 103: 12-17

 

 

Chuck Swindoll has a ministry called Insight for Living , which has a wonderfully encouraging program on the radio,  This excerpt was from his Gospel of John, Psalms, and Proverbs.