Great Expectations

I’m just going to be totally honest—when I do nice things for the people in my relationships, I low-key expect them to reciprocate and do something nice for me. I even expect to have that kind of relationship with God. I can’t tell you how many times when I didn’t get what I wanted in my life, and I internally blamed God for it. If there’s no milk left in the house, “Why me, God???...

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Living for a Purpose

Accepted. Rejected. Deferred. Waitlisted. As a senior in high school, these are the words that have meant the most to me through this year. Ever since I was young, my parents have raised me to believe that my life had one trajectory: do well in high school, go to college, become a doctor, get married. That was it—my one shot to living a good life was through these steps. Now I’m at the transitioning stage between high school and college, and I’m anxiously waiting to figure out how I will follow this set-in-stone trajectory that my parents set for me. Every time I feel like I’m getting off this track, I panic and begin to question whether I’m even good enough to be on it. Whether you’re older or younger than me, I think we all have a similar path in mind that we were raised to believe was “the right one.” We develop a one-track mind and ignore every other path that comes our way. If we encounter something in our lives that isn’t associated with the “right way” (in my case, college) that we set our minds on, we brush it aside. We forget our sense of purpose.

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New Year, New Me? New Year, Less Me

As we ring in the New Year, I’ve noticed that there are generally two types of people when it comes to “New Year Resolutions (NYR’s).” There are those who swear that this year will be the best year of their lives. They swear that they will accomplish everything on their endless lists of goals from going to the gym everyday to giving up chocolate (those brave souls). Then, there are the skeptics. Everyone knows at least one— “I know I’m going to break my resolutions, so what’s the point of making them?” I’m not saying that these are the only types of people when it comes to NYR’s, but I have definitely been on both sides of this spectrum. I like to think that my spiritual goals are very similar to NYR’s.

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FOTS: Feeding Your Faith

         The key to maintaining our spiritual lives is to be endurance runners, and not sprinters. Sometimes I struggle with consistency in my faith. I’ll be really on fire for God for a few weeks, and then I’ll go back to my own comfortable routine without looking to Him.  The reason why remaining consistent is so hard for me is because I try to do it on my own. Instead of leaning on God and relying on Him to bring growth to my life, I try and grow on my own. When we only trust our own abilities, we are setting ourselves up to fail like all humans do. However, when we place our trust and our faith in God, He fills our lives abundantly.  

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FOTS: Going with Goodness

I have spent my whole life trying to be “good.” However, distinguishing the difference between what is good in God’s eyes and what is good in others’ eyes is difficult for me.  To me, being good meant doing everything perfectly and maintaining a flawless reputation in the eyes of other people. I thought that in order to be good, I had to fulfill all of the expectations that others had for me. However, when God tells us in Galatians 5:22 that the Holy Spirit will produce goodness in our lives, He doesn’t mean that we will become perfect human beings who live life without fault. While we spend our lives trying to look “good” for other people, God’s definition of goodness doesn’t rest on the opinions of others. While the worldly definition of good is to look good, God’s definition of good is to serve well. 

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FOTS: Killing with Kindness

When I first sat down to write this blog post, I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to write about kindness. Isn't kindness similar to being polite? Who doesn't know how to be polite? But after some introspection, I began to think about times when others had been kind to me and what made those moments so memorable. Whereas today's definition of kindness has become “being polite and civil with each other,” God's kindness to us and the kindness we're called to bestow on others is so much bigger than that. 

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FOTS: Pursuing Patience

In the fast-paced world we live in today, patience seems to be an afterthought. Our entire society thrives on competing to be the first person to do something bigger, better, and faster. I definitely know that I am guilty of being impatient; when things don't go my way, I always try and find a better, faster way to reach my goal. But while the world's plan for us may be to always find the faster way, God's plan for us to find His way-- the better way. Don't get me wrong, waiting for God to reveal His plans to us isn't easy. As humans, it's in our nature to want immediate solutions and results. However, as Galatians 5:22 tells us, when we lean on God and seek His way, He produces patience in our lives that allows us to live in Him.

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Fruit of the Spirit: Making a Peace Treaty with God

Hey fam, long time no blog! Unfortunately, I've been out of town for the past month so I haven't been able to write any blogs, but I'm so glad to be home and to be back to writing. When I left, we had began the Fruit of the Spirit series. Just to refresh our minds, the Fruit of the Spirit-- love, joypeace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are physical representations of our walks with God. (Galatians 5:22-23). We've already covered love and joy, so this week we'll be studying peace.

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FOTS: JOY

Often when people accept Christ, they initially think that their lives will drastically change and everything will be easy. While we know firsthand as Christians that life does not suddenly become a walk in the park, there is a way in which our lives are altered when we accept Christ. When we walk in the love of the Lord, He begins to enrich our lives with the Fruit of the Spirit-- love, joypeace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control(Galatians 5:22-23). While last week we talked about a fruit of the Spirit that requires will-power and decision (love), this week we'll be studying a fruit that is instead spontaneous and innate, joy.

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IDOLS

A funny conclusion that I came to recently is that, no matter how old or mature we think we are, we are all bratty, little kids on the inside. While that assertion may offend some people, bear with me here. As cute and naive as they may be, children are like ticking time bombs. If a toddler asks you for a piece of candy, you better get that kid a piece of candy or they'll go ballistic and throw a snot-nosed, teary-eyed hissy fit. (wow so cute, aren't they?) But on a serious note, even as we grow older and wiser, we still tend to harbor that impatience and desire for tangible results. For example, look at the Story of the Gold Calf (Exodus 32:1-10).

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GETTING PLUGGED IN

Often times we rely on our time at church to learn and further our relationship with God, but our spiritual lives shouldn't just exist when we're at church. Instead, our entire lives should revolve around thirsting for God and seeking ways to build our relationships with Him. 

But how can we center ourselves around God even when we don't have worship or sermons during the week?

Get plugged in.

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THE LITTLE THINGS

Growing up as the stereotypical Asian child, I always strove to be perfect. I tried to be the perfect daughter,  the perfect student, the perfect friend, and of course, the perfect Christian. I'd pray before every meal, read my bible every night, and basically try and paint myself as a "super-Christian." But every time I slipped up, I would be super frustrated and be so ashamed that trying to be a super-Christian actually pushed me further away from God.  I continuously sought out these opportunities to be great and impressive, but as I grew in my faith, I learned more and more that our spiritual lives are not always going to be filled with extraordinary moments. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13).

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ON THE GRIND

As we trek closer and closer towards summer, I lose more and more motivation for anything work-related whatsoever (lol oops). I basically came into this semester saying, "the year's almost over anyway, who cares at this point?" TBH, my life recently has pretty much been watching Netflix in bed and eating cheese puffs............... but I mean, that's not THAT pathetic right? 

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A (not so pro) LOGUE

CONFESSION:

            I struggle with my faith sometimes... okay, more like a lot of the time. Sometimes, I just get so caught up with life that I try and put off prayer for a night or two-- but then that one night turns into several nights, then weeks, and before I know it, I'm telling myself, "I'm not even a good Christian anyway, so what's the point of trying?"

            Here's the thing, fam: we're all pretty messed up people.

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