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Today I am a boring person

I am boring Today I am a boring person.

I stayed at school instead of going home so that I could meet with my project partners and work on my many many papers.

There is no one else in the apartment.

And today, I feel boring.

My desk is cluttered with engineer’s work. Doesn’t look too exciting.

Instead of doing interesting things, I did what usual college students do, I went on facebook for a long time. Really… really… it’s not that exciting. I don’t see why people do it all the time. In the end I have learned nothing and achieved nothing in such a long period of time.

I made a list of all the things that I need to do. What a boring list. I added to the list to remind myself to cook and eat. In my boring-ness I decided to listen to some music, but all the exciting music was too much to handle today. So instead I’m listening to boring music to match my mood.

I made some meatloaf. But today it was a loaf shape. No dogs, no whales, no hearts.

And then I overcooked it. It was dry and slightly burnt.

Our group didn’t finish our project, though it was the goal of the day.

The end.


Luke Study

I was never one to listen to podcasts of sermons… or really listen to any recorded sermon.

I tried before. I mean, it seemed like so many people loved listening to sermons, but no matter how many times I tried to listen I could never seem to pay attention because there wasn’t a person there standing in front of me talking and my mind would wander.  It’s also hard to keep my mind focused if there’s no visual. Perhaps that’s also why I don’t like talking on the phone either… not sure.

Anyway, recently God gave me a challenge.

At the AACF retreat this last weekend, Arthur Shieh spoke on Following God as He Wants to be Followed. He took us through Luke 14. He challenged us to go through the gospels and note every time Jesus gets angry – at who, why, where, when, etc. He also told us to go through Luke and note every time that Jesus interacts with the Pharisees. He also challenged us to look for Jesus’ secret to bringing people’s hearts to God… and ask ourselves what we’re missing now that people are so offended by the church instead of loved by it.

These already were pretty interesting challenges that I really wanted to take up.

And then God challenged me even more. He brought someone into my life that has been searching for God, yearning to have Him be real in her life. With prayer and the advice of my mom and another friend whom I highly respect, I decided that it would be cool to go through Luke with her so that we could take a close look at Christ’s life so that she would be able to see him as a real person and not just a historical character that other people talk about.

And as I started going through it… I realized how little I really know about Luke.

I’ve never read through the whole thing on my own. If you gave me a quote, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which gospel it was from. I didn’t really know much about the person Luke. I didn’t really know what set the different gospels apart from each other.

And so, with the advice of a person whom I respect, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I looked up “grace to you”. I went to the section of resources and sermons and I began downloading  John MacArthur’s sermons on Luke.

So this Friday, for the first time I heard John MacArthur speak. For the first time, I listen to an audio sermon and paid attention the whole way through. And for the first time, I really thought about the character of Luke.

I pray that God will teach me some amazing things through my time of study and that He will give me the wisdom in leading my friend back to Christ 🙂


2011

Happy New Year!

For me, it always feels like this is when the year starts for me.

Every January 6th since my senior year of high school, I’ve devoted to God through fasting. It’s funny because after I made the promise, I’ve always felt like January 6th has been one of the worst day of the year for me to fast. It’s always around the time when friends are visiting LA and we want to take them around to eat. I always seem to have a lot of classes Thursday of winter quarter. There always seems to be some fun thing going on that I can’t do because I can’t eat (this may also be due to the fact that my roommate’s birthday is on the 7th). And this year I’m sick… so it would seem that not eating would probably make the being sick situation worse. On the 6th, many a time I’ve thought… why do I still keep it this day? Why don’t I choose a more fasting friendly day? Same idea right? Fast, spend time with God…

But then I thought… why does a day have to be fasting friendly? Why should my day of devotion be just what’s more convenient for me? So really, the idea is silly. God is number one.

Why did I choose this day? Well, on January 6, 2007 God took something away from me, something that was very important. And it hurt… it hurt so much more than I could have ever imagined. But it reminded me. It reminded me of God’s goodness and strength. During that time, God met with me and comforted me and reminded me that he is number one in my life (and for many good reasons). Without realizing it, things can easily become idols in my life. Whether it be school, people, things, and even my hopes and dreams can become idols. And so today. Today I fast and re-devote my self to God. Today I set my resolutions. I pray over my hopes for the year and my desires. I list out how I want to see God work.

And it’s cool. Today 2 things I’ve been praying hard for … for a long time were answered. For the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve been trying to contact these missions agencies… but neither of them were responding… I sent many e-mails and left messages. And then I just prayed. Today both of them contacted me at around the same time… at around lunch time.

Funny how God works.

It’s so good to be refreshed by God. Feels good to do some spiritual breathing. Breath out all the bad, breath in all the good. Refocus on our one and only Lord and Savior.


Painful Dreams

Nightmares.

It’s very rare that this happens, but I think I actually woke my self up today from the pain that I was having in my dream. In my dream, I was crying so hard, gnashing my teeth so hard that it hurt. I almost hurt as much as it did after I got my surgery. When I woke up I wasn’t crying, and my jaw didn’t really hurt… but I could still feel the imaginary physical pain lingering from my dream and the emotional pain weighing on my heart.

It’s strange… for someone who is so bad at evangelism, God has given me such a big heart for the lost…

If I think back to all my nightmares… the only ones I really remember are the ones that were re-occurring and the ones about sharing the Gospel.

In one of those, some really good non-Christian friends of mine died without ever knowing my great God and Savior Jesus Christ. I saw their soul fall into dispair. (The sad part about this one… is it could be very true… in fact it happens everyday… not my direct friends, but someone’s friends…perhaps my indirect friends…)

Today’s dream started off extremely joyous. We were in another country… I don’t know why. Everyone that was with me was a Christian. But while we were there I met a man… and for some reason I couldn’t remember his name the entire dream… but I kept thinking his name was Raul because he looked a lot like Pastor Raul from Guadalajara. Anyway, in our travels… he was with us for some reason even though we had randomly met him at a hotel. He was a native there. At one of the stops we were making, he was having dinner with us, and suddenly I realized… I need to share the Gospel with him! (Though I didn’t ask if he was a Christian or not… I guess I just assumed he wasn’t) So I started… I said, can I tell you a story? And he said sure 🙂 So for a long part of the dream, I was telling him the story of our great God who created the heavens and the earth. For some reason during the dream I kept on digressing from the actual story and getting frustrated with my self (like… why did I mention that? What does that have to do with anything…?). The others we were traveling with were being distracting or making comments that didn’t really make sense and detracted from the Gospel. For some reason the story was taking a long time .I continued to talk even as we left the restaurant and got into the car… It felt like it was a 3 day story of me saying absolutely nothing except how God created the earth and how that was pretty amazing. Finally, I was kind of fed up and I pulled him to the side and emphatically told him I needed to finish the story because we were leaving the country soon and this was the most important story he’d ever hear. So I told him. I told him that we were sinful and in need of grace, I told him that God had sent His only son to die on the cross for our sins. He didn’t look phased. I tentatively asked him if he would like to pray and ask Jesus into his heart and accept him as his Lord and Savior. To my surprise, he turned towards me and said “I’d like that”. And so I prayed with him. I prayed that God would be working in him. I prayed many many things. During the prayer, I could see him genuinly breaking, repenting of sins, and allowing God to come in and fix everything about him. Afterwards, I was extremely excited! We had to tell everyone the good news! We’ll have a party for sure! This is your new birthday! We ran to share with everyone 🙂

(then you know how in dreams, people change for some reason… well for some reason, I realized that the person I took with me was a girl… but I had the impression they were the same person so… ya… dreams)

And this is where it turned sour…

We ran to the kitchen where … well let’s not name names… but some adults I really look up to, people I know are passionate about missions… I was so excited and bursting as I told them! But instead of getting joyous reactions like I thought they would… they suddenly became very solemn and continued cooking without looking at us. A couple of them at least acknowledged it and said “oh that’s good to hear”, “oh that’s nice”… but that was it…

We ran to another room and got the same reaction. I asked them, why couldn’t they be excited with me? Excited with her? Excited that someone had come to Christ, the greatest gift of all had been shared!! A life has been saved!

They replied something along the lines of… ya, this happens all the time, they say yes, but what does that really mean… and something along the lines of… accepting Christ will just make things worse. I had several flashes in my mind about stories of how prostitutes who want to accept Christ turn away because they can’t give up their profession… or if they do… they’re at a loss of what to do… they run out of money and turn to poverty… and then about people who become persecuted in their countries because of Christ. And all those other stories of hardship.

I was so heart broken I ran out of the room frustrated and confused. As I fled, I clenched my jaw super tight (this is where the physical pain started), trying to hold back tears… I ran down the stairs and ran into a person I didn’t expect would be the person I would run to in a dream for consolation. But this person seemed to be the only one who cared to listen… (maybe also because I ran into them bawling). Through the pain and gnashing of my teeth and the uncontrollable tears I just vented all my frustration…

No one wanted to help me share the Gospel… infact, during that time it was almost like they were trying to stop me, they kept getting in my way.
When it finally happened, it finally happened… no there was no one to share the joy.
My heart hurt so much for her, I could see her face… looking so dejected. I had took her, hoping to bring her into a family that would accept her with open arms… but it was like everyone was rejecting her. What have I done?
Why didn’t anyone care about bringing people to Christ?
How could they think this could ever be a bad thing?
How could they be so pessimistic about someone’s salvation? Is it even possible to be pessimistic when someone’s been saved?

How am I supposed to help her and disciple her and teach her about the faith by myself?
What am I supposed to do?
Why am I so alone?

There was no resolution. The pain in my jaw became too intense to bear. I was trying to talk while holding back tears even though I was crying the hardest I’ve cried since Jan 6, 2007. That puts a lot of stress on the jaw… I felt like my bones were going to break.

And so I woke up sad.


Edge

This weekend my ThinkPad Edge came in all its smooth, thin, black, sleek, quiet, new, amazingness.

It’s definitely a huge update. My old laptop makes continuous fan and buzzing noises, I’ve lost track of the stuff that’s been installed on it, it’s still running vista, it takes like 15 minutes to start up completely, and most of all… the hinge broke… so other than the loud noises, there’s a possibility of me not ever knowing when my laptop is actually on… and if I move the screen a little… it all turns black. It’s quite sad really, even when its on screen saver, my old laptop is louder than this one.

But despite that, I can’t help but feel a little sad. I can’t help but think I can still revive my old laptop and stay with it forever. And its not just because I can’t use my laptop as a tablet anymore or because I can’t turn my screen… it’s just that… well it’s my laptop. I feel connected to it somehow… somehow moving on makes it feel sad and left out.

I miss the post-it notes that were on the cover (even though I didn’t originally want them… they just became a part of the laptop…), my cool firefox on the bottom left corner… my rss feed in the upper right… the finger scanner I never really used except for the fun of it.

I’m just used to my old laptop… where the sound buttons were located… where the power button was located… how I could adjust settings in the dark because I knew exactly where each part of my laptop was. The square size of the screen, the worn out feel of the trackpoint.

I think I have this problem with a lot of things. I’m a person who can’t really seem to let go and move on.

I like to hold on to all my old toys, stuffed animals, notes, cards, and even homework…

It’s like this anytime I own something… even like broken backpacks… I have a problem with throwing things away. I feel like they can always be of use…. or the memories they hold are just to sad to part with even though I know they’ll just sit there and I won’t think about them or use them… ever.

I guess I just don’t really like change, just like I don’t like making decisions. I don’t like it when things are made final… guess it makes me feel trapped or stuck… my mind easily gets filled with the what-ifs.

But once I do move on, things get better (typically). Sometimes holding back can be a stumbling block to ministry and a way for Satan to have a strong hold in my life.

Life changes and I need to get used to it.

Glad some friends came over and liked my laptop. Made me happier about my decision 🙂


Life

School’s started.

Homeworks piling.

Things are being organized.

Responsibilities resurfacing.

Welcome back to normal life.

My wonderful, cute, considerate, loving, extra-special, curious, probing roommate and I were talking the other day and she asked me a really good question. I can’t remember it word for word, but it was somewhere along the lines of… do you feel restless now that you’re not traveling?

This summer (as you can tell by my previous stream of posts) I was away from home the longest I’ve ever been in my entire life! A whopping 4 weeks! It didn’t seem that long since for a large part of it, I was with my family and its really them that make home, home. But regardless, she was right! Maybe that weird lazy droning feeling was a restlessness in my heart. After weeks of adventure, travel, and experiencing new things, I’m back at our apartment, sitting, studying, organizing.

There are quite a few thingst that have actually added up to this fall quarter starting off on a weird crooked foot.

  1. It’s our senior year and everyone seems to be pointing that out
  2. For the first time, move in was… it didn’t feel like move in. Lots of our stuff was already there… it was just like I took my sheets home to wash for the weekend. So it’s like a continuation of last year except some of my friends are missing and there’s a bunch of new people around… very excited new people. Too bad I don’t feel that same excitement.
  3. I guess because it feels like it just keeps going, it feels to weird to be calling people to meet up because I haven’t seen them in a while. I feel like I just saw them last week… I guess the time out of the country made it feel like the time at home just stood still while I went away and now I’m back and the clock has started again.
  4. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH…

I guess spending time with my brother makes me want to dream big dreams. He always makes me feel like I can do anything! But then I come back to school and I feel stuck… I feel so limited by programs, deadlines… signing up for the GRE, hearing friends already on track for gradschool, jobs, life seems set. It’s like IB again. There are many paths, but once you choose a path, all the classes are chosen for you. I used to like that. But then I have a hard time choosing a path… so that doesn’t help.

I need to get out of that thinking. There’s so much more time and so much more to life than just what’s in our classrooms and just what’s in set programs.

I’m glad that I get to do a lot of new things with my ministry in AACF. On Thursday I’m going to bake a new kind of cookie. Within the next two weeks I hope to make a loaf of bread.


Guadalajara 2010 :D

Vamos a la Guadalajara! Surprise! For the last two summers and springs, I’ve been given the opportunity to serve in Ensenada, Mexico with my brothers and sisters from my Christian fellowship at UCLA, Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF). This summer God is doing something new! For the first time in AACF LA history, we’ll be sending a team down to Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL) instead of Ensenada! Although I’ll miss getting to see our family in Ensenada, I’m excited for the things that God has in store J Going to a new place and starting a new ministry, we don’t know exactly what to expect. God will surprise us all!

Our team will be leaving for GDL on August 7th and returning August 14th after a week of relationship building, encouraging, and fun! We are partnering with Adventures in Life Ministries (AIL) once again and will be building up the ministry that they have already established. We will be serving Pastor Raul’s Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) Baptist church and hopefully a few other churches in the area. During the week we’ll be holding a VBS and sharing God’s love with the children in the area. On Thursday of the week, we hope to take some of the kids to the zoo! For many of them it will be their first time. Even though many of the families live close by the city, they usually lack the financial resources to enjoy a small field trip like thisJ. In terms of living situations, it’ll be a new experience as we will be staying in the homes of the members of the church. We’ll get a chance to pray for the families of the church and encourage them as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!

I hope that you will partner with me on this new adventure and exciting work 😀 Once again I will be co-leading the team, this time with my good friend Terry Gee! Both of us have been to Ensenada several times with AACF, but this will be our first time in GDL. Please pray for wisdom and faithfulness in preparing our own hearts as well as leading the rest of the team in true worship and service of God. According to Dave (from AIL), we’re there to give those kids the best time of their lives! Pray for hearts of love and patience so that we may be visual examples of God’s love for them 🙂 For my self, I would like to see my faith increase! Last time I was in Ensenada I began learning more about praying specifically. I pray that God would give me the courage and faith to pray specifically to him in full confidence of His power and His provision. It only takes the faith of a mustard seed to move mountains, but even that amount of faith is sometimes hard to have.

Of course there is also a financial obligation for each team member to meet in order to pay for materials and living costs during the week. If you are interested in supporting me financially, please contact me so I can send you a support slip 😀

Thank you once again for all of your love and support  😀 Our team has been practicing our Spanish every week in order to better minister to the families we’ll be spending time with. I pray that I’ll be able to communicate well with the people in GDL and set a good precedent for  (hopefully) future teams that AACF will be sending to GDL. I can’t wait to come back and share with you about Guadalajara and the wonderful things that God is doing!!

Your sister in Christ,

Audrey 🙂


NorCal Summer Trip 2010

Left on Thursday returned on Sunday!

Very fun hustle and bustle. Scattered thoughts are all that I have right now.

102_8060 We stayed at the Santuccis 🙂 It was fun to see Evan’s family again and see Rosie again!! :T She still doesn’t love me. I guess I need to give her more treats and take her on long walks to bribe her into being my friend. We got to go to Boba TG again. Man. Being there really makes me want to own my own bakery 🙂 A small shop with tables for people to sit at. Play calming music. Sell little crafts and trinkets. Have little classes, regular customers. I wonder if I can get a part time job at a a bakery during the school year.

102_7992We went to several beaches, several piers, several watersides. I got to see people fishing actually catch fish! I must say, SF is pretty nice. Up north air is pretty clear. The weather is pleasant. I could get used to it. We ate at a cool food court. Pastilla is good. But its not something I would probably get again. Dolma is… interesting tasting… no thank you again. We finally got the famous Tucker’s ice cream. It tastes like a stiffer, more flavorful whipped cream 🙂 Its good… but for $3.25, once is enough.

Hello Kitty Car

But anyway… with all the going everywhere and doing the everythings, the best part was just getting to spend time with friends and family 🙂 Sitting in Barnes and Nobel looking at amazing pop-up books, reading really funny books on dragons, sorcerers, etc. Finding the ultimate Hello Kitty fan – a once in a life time opportunity. Talking in the car about stories we’ve written and TV shows we’ve dreamed up. Beating up a little Panda. Watching my friends play hunter. Playing Fluxx late at night. Driving in circles finding parking. Walking the streets late at night. I should have taken up the offer to play on the playground, but I didn’t want to make everyone wait :T Looking at old old antiques and laughing about the weirdest ones we could find.

Yup. That’s the best.


AACF LTC 2010

LTC was amazing! I highly encourage anyone who is considering going in following years to go 🙂

Some things I really enjoyed about how LTC was run:

  • Beginning the week with a 2 hour quiet time – after all the hustle and bustle of finals, I really needed that time to sit and quite my heart
  • Only having 1 message a day. I thought that was cool – having the rest of the day filled with workshops. The message really worked to tie things together
  • Having lots of campus times where you could do whatever your campus chose to do 🙂
  • Having the little elective workshops and Bible studies. I thought the idea of having the initiator’s story was an excellent idear
  • I liked how we got to do community service by gardening for a woman who had breast cancer. We got the chance to talk with her and she made us chocolate chip cookies

Things I like about random things we did:

  • Monday night we found the perfect spot for stargazing – I wish I could have done that every night… but I figured it was against the rules to sit out there by myself. The perfect spot at the oaks for stargazing: the playground 🙂
  • Going cherry picking at a nearby farm
  • Archery!!! I’m so amazed that Daniel hit that bottle cap…
  • Seeing rounds and rounds of helicopters
  • Hiking to the cross in the morning
  • Zip lining
  • Seeing two real live snakes!

Things I enjoyed about the people I met:

  • Sitting on the swings and talking about spiritual gifts, sharing testimonies, and wondering big theological questions
  • Sitting on couches and on the floor late at night discussing different Christian beliefs
  • Talking late into the night about visions to see a passion for prayer and a passion for the global church
  • Standing around talking about random random things
  • Getting to know even more about some of my favorite people
  • Getting to reconnect with old friends
  • Overall just seeing a deep love for Christ and the Gospel in almost everyone I met – seeing people who were going through similar struggles in ministry and listening how they can put all their strength and trust in our Lord and savior

102_7798 For some reason, even though I got to spend a wonderful week of great fellowship and training… I’m having a hard time processing life… whatever that means. I think there are too many things I want to do in life and not enough brain space to think about them.


Thank you for giving to the Lord

I am a life that was changed.

Happy belated Mother’s Day 🙂 I was too busy spending time with my Mom to write this earlier.

I know we always say that we shouldn’t need a day for things like this, we should be appreciating our mothers all the time! Unfortunately the honest truth is that we don’t (plus I think its nice that they get a whole day set aside even if we do appreciate them all the time)

Anyway, this year I didn’t write my mom a long note, but I did enjoy spending most of Saturday and a lot of Sunday just chatting with her about things. If you didn’t know, I have the best mom ever. I am amazingly amazingly blessed! She not only does the usual motherly things, cook, clean, make sure you bring clean underwear to school… but she’s also one of the most godly women that I know. I think most of the people in life I would consider best friends … they all remind me of my mom in some way. She’s my hero 🙂

She’s selflessly served at our church for… ever since I can remember. She’s taught Sunday school for the kids, the teens, and the young adults. She’s organized our summer VBS almost every year since forever! She gets asked to speak at different churches and conferences. She helps out with a ministry in our community. If that’s not enough, she almost knows more about technology than I do! She has her own website (actually she has more than one!). She’s so wise. Her love for the Lord and for other people is so obvious.

Through her example I have grown so much in my faith. The cool thing about my mom is that she’s not afraid to be real with me. She’s not afraid to tell me what she’s struggling with and she lets me see the way the Lord is working in her life. She makes me want to be a more godly woman.

Anyway, I really like this song. Today I’d like to dedicate this song to my mom. If/when I walk with her in heaven, I feel like this would definitely happen. I know that through her influence, many have come to know the Lord. Through her example, I know that lives have been changed (mine is one of them!)  She’s always giving, always selfless, always fun 🙂

I dreamed I went to heaven
and You were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.

We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came.

And he said, “Friend you may not know me now”
And then he said, “But wait”
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight.

And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart.”

Then another man stood before you
And said, “Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.

You didn’t have much money
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that’s why I am here today.”

One by one they came
Far as the eye could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.

Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made.
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed.

And I know up in heaven
You’re not supposed to cry.
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes.

As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord.
He said, “My child look around you.
Great is your reward.”

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.