Monday, February 25, 2008

Mirror, Mirror

Dove, the facial cleansing beauty product has been sending messages to young girls in their early teens and pre-teens, helping them to realize that magazines should not measure their worth. I had no idea that a nine-year-old could be anorexic or bulimic because the fashion industry is telling them that a size four is too large. At that age, you should be worrying about memorizing your multiplications, not the number on your waistline.

To the ladies who are over twenty-five who are worried about their laugh lines, crow’s feet and are thinking about breast implants or plastic surgery, I want you to know that Satan wants to keep us preoccupied with our looks so we won’t have time to think about God’s glory, thus preventing us from pursuing God’s plans for us.

Ladies, I beg you to listen. We are living in a time that wants us to hate our body. During Moses’ time, the women never hated their bodies. Wherever you turn, you see ads and articles about how to stay younger in 97 steps or how to look more attractive for your man in 25 ways. We are in the world, but not of the world. Don’t let the world control your way of thinking. Let God shape your view of who you are. Look into God’s eyes as your reflection instead of the manmade mirror or a man to reflect your value.

Understand that before the Fall of Man. Things were good. After the Fall, there were two curses placed on us (human). For the women, we will look to the man for our worth. (Genesis 3:16) For the men, they will look to their work for their worth. (Genesis 3:17-19) Now, what’s more important is the curse placed on Satan. There will be hate between Satan and woman. Our children will overtake Satan’s plan and children. “He [our child] shall bruise your head [Satan]” (Genesis 3:15)

I believe this is why Satan uses the media to tell us what is beautiful and valued. He wants to crush us so that we won’t have the strength to defeat him. He wants us to think that we are not worthy of love, that we are not valuable, that our value is only from what the media thinks is valuable, and that we are only worth something if a man thinks we are worth his attention. These lies are from the pit of hell! Don’t listen to Satan. Listen to the one True God. The one God who is perfect in beauty. (Psalm 50:2) Nobody on earth is perfect. And that is what so great about us. God made us unique! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

“Hunger for love is more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Theresa

Ladies, I understand how hard it is to feel loved when you don’t have a father, a boyfriend or a husband to tell you that you are beautiful and that you a worthy of love. Being taller, thinner, blonder, younger, rounder won’t make us anymore beautiful than we already are. You are loved. Greatly! God’s love for you is deep and wide and long. His Love can’t fail us. Everyone else will, but God won’t separate His Love from us. (Romans 8:38-39) You are beautiful the way you are. God does not care about the mere outward beauty. He cares about your heart. (1 Peter 3:3-5) I am not saying that you shouldn’t take care of your body, because your body is a Temple. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t allow others to measure your worth, because you, dear lady, are worth much –enough for a Man to give up His own life to save yours.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Philippians 1:20

20 “For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die.”

Your focus will determine the meaning you attached to whatever that is going on in your life. I had a conversation with a “cultural” Christian man and he said it was very odd of me for talking about Christ all the time. Lilting my head with a puzzled look on my face, I asked, “What? You don’t talk to people about Jesus?” With indignant and disgust, he responded, “No. It’s none of their business.”

I have a “devout” Christian girl friend who told me that she wish she could be more like me. She thinks I talk to strangers about God as if I were talking about the colors of the sky. I was mystified and asked, “You don’t talk about Jesus?” She asked simply, “No, not unless they ask me or if I feel it’s safe to.”

My “atheist” friends told me that even though I talk about religion all the time, they still like hanging out with me because I don’t try to convert them. They correlate my “religious” talk to deep conversation. Though the veracity is that I am just planting seeds in their hearts.

Am I a Jesus freak or a rebel? I love Jesus. He pulled me out of the abyss and poured love on me. How can I not talk about a God who teaches me every day to become a better person? How can I not share my discoveries with people? What I have learned so far is pure gold.

I learn that what you believe is more powerful than what you say. I believe that earth is a place of pain and misery, that when you focus on the Word of God, the will of God, the love of God, you will be invincible. Hurting people need to know that there is something better for them. I don’t think I am a freak –I just love people too much to let them burn in their own flesh.

Friday, February 22, 2008

God speaks through music

I was watching the movie America last night. One of the main characters was this ten-year-old girl who sang the song “Desperado” by The Eagles at her school talent show. Her voice was so beautiful. Listening to her voice was like covering your body in a natural spring of warm melted chocolate.

This song was depressing, yet so lovely and compelling that you can’t stop listening to it even when your heart is drowning in its own blood. The rhythm of the song was slow and haunting to the cells in my body. Her soft innocent voice would cut each vein that connected my heart to my soul as she sang the profound verses: “Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses, you’ve been out riding fences for so long now.”

For the first time, I realized that there is something seriously wrong with the Silicon Valley. There are so many single Christian men and women. I could not listen to this song without aching for our community, “before it’s too late”. One earnest wish is that the Christian community would stop carrying on with our pseudo-relationships. We need to stop hurting each other by pretending to be dating and not take on the responsibilities of dating. This song is warning us that our life style will only leave us “all alone”.

The melody is soft and repetitious, as if it were trying to brainwash all desperados or drill into our heads that we should find a person who loves us to settle down with, “don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, she’ll beat you if she’s able, but the queen of hearts is always your best bet”.

As a friend of mine would remind me, “all that sparkle ain’t gold”. You can have all the money, all the power and all the sex you want, your soul is still empty if you don’t stop and appreciate that person you do have.

Now that I’ve talked the talk, I just need to learn how to walk the walk.

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses,
You've been out ridin fences for so long now,
Oh and you're a hard one,
but I know that you've got your reasons,
The things that are pleasin' you can hurt you somehow.

Don't you draw the Queen of Diamonds boy,
she'll beat you if she's able.
You know the Queen of Hearts is always your best bet.
Now it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table,
But you only want the ones you can't get.

Desperado, you ain't gettin no younger,
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin you home,
And freedom, oh freedom, well that's just some people talkin.
Your prison is walking through this world all alone.

Don't your feet get cold in the wintertime,
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine,
It's hard to tell the nighttime from the day.
And you're losin all your highs and lows,
Ain't it funny how the feelin goes away?

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses,
Come down from your fences- open the gates.
It may be rainin, but there's a rainbow above you.
You'd better let somebody love you,

You'd better let somebody love you,
before it's too late.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

City of Angels

“Some things are true whether you believe it or not”. I love collecting quotes from movies and this one is from the City of Angels. It’s interesting how God allows the angels to look into our world, but they can never enter it. They are works of art, yet they find us fascinating.

On the sixth day, God created Adam and Eve and He said it was very good. (Genesis 1:27-31) Then there was the Fall of Man (Genesis 3). We bring God great joy and great sorrow. Why should He love us so much when we take Him on an emotional roller-coaster ride? Is it just because we belong to Him? Does loving us bring some kind of cadence to His heart? These are questions I would like to ask Jesus. It is hard for me to fathom that anyone would love a person who could bring so much misery into your life. Take that and times it by a billion people. God deals with this everyday, every hour, every minute.

One of my guy friends and I conversed about relationships last night. He asked me if I was willing to take the risk and move forward towards a committed relationship. After being hurt from my last attempt, I don’t know if I have the courage to put my heart on a platter again. Is there an aesthetic to pain? Perhaps not everything needs to be resolved. Perhaps we should allow some uncertainty to exist or else we won’t appreciate the certain. Either way, his question brought a lot of issues to light. He helped me see that I enjoy my time with God right now and that I am more in love with Jesus now than I ever have been. Right now, that’s all that matters to me –my relationship with Father God.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


If you know me, you know I love fairy tales. One of my co-workers sent me “The World’s Shortest Fairy Tale!” It goes like this:

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl "Will you marry me?" The girl said "NO!" And the girl lived happily ever-after and went shopping, dancing, camping, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, did whatever she wanted, never argued, didn't get fat, traveled more, had many friends, didn't save money, and had all the hot water to herself. She went to the theater, never watched sports, never wore lacy lingerie that went up her butt, had high self-esteem, never cried or yelled, felt and looked fabulous in sweat pants and was pleasant all the time. The End!

Fairy tales are morbid. They were originally written for adults. In the original Little Mermaid written by Hans Christian Andersen, she would feel sharp pain at her feet every time she walked or danced. The prince loved to watch her dance and she continued to dance even while she was in pain. Now that’s love for you – torture yourself to please a man. Uggh.

Though the short story above was meant to be humorous, I can totally relate to the bachelorette. I do get all the hot water to myself. I can hang out with whomever and whenever. I am definitely not fat and I get to travel as often as I can.

Understand that the lack of a boyfriend is not what I bereft of; the intimacy with Jesus is what my spirit and soul ache for. It doesn’t matter if I had a boyfriend. Without Jesus, everything is pointless. The most painful and best thing about being on earth has been the understanding of God’s love for the world. He loves us so much that He still went to the cross knowing how much agony and excruciating pain He had to endure. I don’t know if I would dive into a relationship if I knew in advance that it would end badly, that my heart would be ripped out and chopped into pieces. Would you? Jesus did.

but she'd be a whole lot prettier
if she smiled once in a while
`cause even her smile
looks like a frown
she's seen her share of devils
in this angel town

But, everything's gonna be all right
rockabye, rockabye
everything's gonna be all right
rockabye, rockabye
rockabye – Shawn Mullins

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Piece of Me

Love. There are three great things; faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) Love is what Christianity is all about. Without love, life is not worth climbing. Without love, life is not worth living. Without love, life is not worth breathing.

I thought I knew what love meant.

My three favorite spots are the library, the thrift store and the moment when your legs are burning as you pedal that last stretch to the top before your mountain bike glides down the dirt path. The library places a peace in my soul, yet loads me with a deep psychological longing for knowledge and wisdom. The burning pain of accomplishment releases an endorphin, bringing me closer to God through touch and sweat. The thrift store, a junkyard full of invisible treasures for your eyes only, reveals God’s goodness and love.

On an anonymous day, the relationship that took me down the road of turmoil led me into a Discovery Store, a thrift shop that donates all its profits to the Cancer Society. I wanted to pass through time and space, to feel, to look, to touch anything and everything. I did not want to stay home and cry. I wanted to deal actively during the longing of his presence.

In my attempt to escape the pain of our break-up, I rummaged through a table full of knick-knacks of wondrous objects- empty bottles, decapitated doll heads, various hats, drum sticks, used golf balls, first aid kits. Deep in that forest of chaos, I found a pair of rusty keys lying on the old worn table. I love keys. They symbolize power to me. Keys allow you into the next room, the next stage, or the next door. If you have the right key, it can take you to a person’s heart or mind or home.

These keys, both of them, are so beautiful to me. They look old and wise as if they could unlock your soul and free you to love without fear of pain. They are made of some kind of metal that can rust. But that is what I love about them, the different shades of the rust. Sometime, the contrast makes the rust look like specks of gold next to the dark areas. Each key has its own shape and size. It has its own personality and purpose.

The longer key has two prongs sticking out at the bottom of its side with a bend at the end. This tells me it has a big task to open. I associate this key to my mother’s heart. I need a big strong key that will not break on me when I try to open the thick invisible wall between us. I need this key to help me find my way to her nearly empty well of love and affection. I need this key to allow me one drop of her acceptance. The magic of this key will bring me self-esteem and make me see that I am valued. This key will make me feel safe even when I am in the mist of my dangerously selfish mother.

The second key has only one prong stuck out at the end of it. However, this prong is thick and wide. It has to be. It is the key to the one person I cannot get my mind of off. It is the key that I long for to help open his heart. It is the key that will open the titanium cage that seals his heart from knowing how to love. It is the key that will allow his heart to breathe and drink in unconditional love. This key, the key to all my loneliness, my hope, my dream, will also open my own crystal cage. This key will bring in the light and dry out the dampness of my tear filled heart.

I thought these keys were my life, my salvation, but I was wrong. I thought I knew love; I realize I do not. The only key that will bring me faith, hope and true love is the key of Jesus. Jesus is love and Love is Jesus. I thought I loved my ex, but now I know better. There is no greater love than God’s love. No man, no woman, no child, no object will give you the kind of Love God gives you. Now I know. Now I understand. Now.... I can move on.

Friday, February 15, 2008

No Plans for Valentine’s Day.

My friend Al G. sent me an email yesterday, telling me that he wished everyday were Valentine’s Day. “Sure Al. You are the one who is happy in love with your new fiancĂ©.” Me? Yet again, I am without that special someone. There were times when I sold myself on the cheap and ended up with someone who was not God’s best for me. Now, my heart belongs to one Man named Jesus. In the secular world, people call me “extreme” and tell me that I should be a nun. Yeah, right! I am far from Sister Theresa. I might eat, breathe and dream of Jesus, but I still struggle between two worlds, resulting in my singleness at this time.

As I sip my Rooibos tea and try to resist from conforming to the world’s pressure of what is “normal” and what is “odd for God”; I revert to the wall of Jericho. (Joshua 6:1-21)

The wall of Jericho was up to 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. God promised Joshua that He would deliver Jericho into Joshua's hands. Joshua was instructed to march around the wall 6 days with his armed men and on the seventh day, "blast the trumpets, give a loud shout and the city will collapse". God specifically said to not make a noise or cry until the seventh day. Joshua was obedient to the Lord and was granted victory! My daily trials, season of singleness and childhood suffering are equivalent to the wall of Jericho. They feel too massive to conquer, to overcome the desert season, and to see the light of a new day. The fear is that if it continues long enough, all you are is empty. The world begins to beat you down to the point that settling for less is better than having loneliness as your best friend.

But God is my Abba. Like the instructions He gave Joshua, ‘take time to view the situation in a 360-degree. Spend time to walk around the wall to see the cracks, the weak points’. After each analysis, I then take it to the Lord for directions and ask Him to help me see where I can tear down my wall and receive the blessings that God has waiting for me. As the sun always sets, so is God’s goodness.

I have confidence that God will deliver. All in God’s timing. I will receive His full blessings as long as I wait and be obedient to Him whether the secular world accepts me or not.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another night, another dream, but always Him

As much as I had struggled against the thoughts of Him, as much as I fought it; I still love that first intensity of that primal experience of the unfamiliar Peace and Love.

This story begins with a Holy Man covered with facial hair, causing me to take notice of His unguarded brown eyes.

I dream I was living in those eyes because downtown Palo Alto has become too jaded and cold that His eyes were the only places left to live. It was perfect, actually. He is tall, sovereign and you can see the world in a different perspective, with a pure view of the tasks, the people, the places. The advantage of living in His eyes was the spark of my imagination, exploring the viewpoint from this perfect place –anything is possible.

You fall for people like you fall for places. It is unexplainable. It is irrational, yet you fall. Hard! How you pull through and reinvent yourself allow you to move in time and space as the places, the moments, the Face become rooted in you forever –my personal savior.

Yes, His eyes make me feel like I live with intimacy even when I was starving and couldn’t locate myself. Eventually, I had to leave. The ambiguity of my departure is the reason He still lingers on my fingertip, evoking this thread of writing.