Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Psalm 39:7- “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”

Definition of HOPE: to expect with confidence

The entire chapter of Psalm 39 reveals to us the power of hope. Hope helps us to know what to do when our world seems to be a whirlwind around us. When there is so much going on and we feel like we are on our own, this is when it’s very important to continue hoping in the Lord. He will renew and refresh us daily! His Word says that we should not worry. We can be confident in Him! He takes care of the single sparrow, and all the lilies in the valley. If he cares for them, we can rest knowing that He cares for us all the more as His children. Put your hope in something that will never fail! Hebrews 6:19 says “We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.” This scripture speaks of the hope of God’s blessings and encouragement, originally promised to Abraham. We can rely on God and rest in Him no matter what stage of life we are going through. His hope will keep us secure and at rest.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This note is a reprint from two years ago. I realized that MOTIVE truly is a virtue. What makes this virtue different than most is that it cannot easily be seen by others, but by the Lord. Yet, it is one of the most important issues of the heart and our destiny. It is wrong motive that caused Lucifer’s fall, Judas’ betrayal, David’s quietly contrived murder of Uriah. It was pure motive that led Moses' mother to set her baby into the river, Jacob to pursue Rachel, Esther to be queen, and Jesus to conquer the cross. The Bible clearly states that our motives are not to be judged by others. Yet, we are to hold ourselves accountable to the Lord in our quiet time as well as spiritual relationships of accountability. And though motives cannot be seen by onlookers, our fruit will eventually tell the world what substance we truly possess. Only the Holy Spirit can help us to understand and see the motives hidden within the most personal and deepest parts of our souls.

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

What motive is driving us to achieve our goals? Is it status? Are we only wanting to gain acceptance from our peers or superiors? Is there rhyme or reason to some of the things we strive so hard and long for, only to appear “better” to certain people? How far we will go to appear to be something we truly are not? Once we have gained this status, how is it going to catapult us further? With this question in mind, it takes us to another question. What is our ultimate goal in life? Is it to please Jesus with everything we do in every aspect of our life? Or is it to do whatever needs to be done to “prove ourselves” to gain someone’s respect and love, or to gain status? Do we prove ourselves only to prove someone else wrong? Why is it we feel we have to prove ourselves? Our lives are not lived to merely prove ourselves to others, but to advance the Kingdom of God. Are our actions kingdom-driven, or are they “what-will-give-me-self-gain” driven? It is important that we realize our motivation behind each action.

Likewise, it is important to be excellent in all we do. It’s not that we need to be less than others in order to be humble. I once heard someone say that being meek is not being pushed down so people can walk over you, but it’s having power under control. With that said, are we excellent so we can give God our best, or are we excellent so we can prove something to the people we see here on earth? Will our actions here in the present affect our impact in the kingdom of God? Do we honor God in every area of our lives, or just where it’s comfortable and easy? As Christians, it’s easy to keep our relationship with Him in a separate box away from everything else that goes on in our lives. But we should do whatever it takes to allow God to infiltrate every aspect of our life. We can’t pick and choose certain times to honor Him.

In your everyday walk, take a step back every once in a while and look in. Look in to your life and meditate on your reasons and motives. Make adjustments of the heart as the Lord directs you. Ask Him to purify your motives. If you stay close to the Lord, you will allow Him be the motive of every decision in your life.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Definition of FAITH: Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

If you grew up (or are currently growing up) as a Christian, faith is something that you probably heard about very often. Some phrases such as these may sound familiar: “If you just have FAITH you can do anything!” or “Put your FAITH in God and you’ll be secure!”. To be completely honest, I have heard the term “faith” so often, that it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve really understood faith and allowed the meaning to sink into my heart.

Understanding thoroughly about faith has given me a greater amount of peace. Over time, I have found two of my favorite verses regarding faith. The first is 1 Corinthians 2:5 “...your faith may not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” That scripture is very powerful to me! Even though we may not be certain of what is going on in our life, or how things may turn out in a certain situation, we know that our faith is safe if it is rested on God’s power. It’s easy to have faith in men’s wisdom (just as the previous scripture states.) But, I then begin to ask myself, is that REALLY having faith? Faith is belief of something that there is no proof. Most likely, men’s “wisdom” will seem pretty reliable because they can explain WHY or HOW something will work while they are standing right in front of me, being extremely convincing. With God, we may not always get answers in their entirety or answers that are understandable right away! It takes us falling away from our flesh and understanding to have true faith in God.

Regardless of what people around us might say, you can be secure in Him, because all things work together for the good of those who love Him. He will show Himself faithful to you. Faith enables you to follow Him more easily here on earth. Faith makes it easier to hear and obey His voice, even when it seems tough. The ultimate reward of faith is our salvation and eternal life! It takes FAITH to follow Him and rest in the path on which He is leading you.

I encourage you to trust God, and put your faith in Him and His power. I want to leave you with my other favorite verse on faith: Hebrews 11:1- “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.”

Monday, October 4, 2010


James 1:12- Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Definition of PERSEVERANCE: 1.) to persist in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement 2) continuing in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Perseverance is such an important part of our lives, not only in day to day activities, but in our daily walk with Christ. Situations and tough times will come our way, but James says that it’s all about standing the test. Earlier in James 1, he says that the tough times just build perseverance and that after we persevere, we will not lack anything.

Think of our life as a giant football game. There are the players who train for months just for the games that equate to about three hours per week. You have the coach who is in charge of making sure all the team is working out every day, coming to practice, etc. Both the team and the coach not only have to answer to their sports conference, but they hear about the details and results in their games from the media, fans, family, and other football teams. They spend time, energy, and emotion in order to have a successful stream of games to ensure a strong season. But, what is a football game without the crowd? These are the people that buy a ticket, take a few hours out of their day, and go sit down to watch the game. Out of these two groups of people, who do you think is feeling more pressure on game day? Pressure to “show up” on the field, making sure they have all the right plays in order to win? When the fans leave the stadium, thoughts of the game soon fade as they continue on with life and go back to their own business. But, the team and the coach have to assess their last game, good or bad, and make any necessary changes in order to make their next showing better. Their livelihood and future depends on these games. They experience the huge emotional rush of a win and other perks of being on the team. Furthermore, they also experience the crushing feeling of a loss, the weariness of the physical demands, and the sacrifices in other parts of their lives. They are physically and mentally committed 100%. Their heart never leaves the game.

As Christians, the **Apostle Paul wrote that we are constantly in a race of imitating Christ in our daily living. Our hearts are 100% committed to His love and grace at work in our lives. At times, it feels like everyone is watching, just waiting to see someone make a mistake (as we all do). But, on the other hand, there is always the feeling that we are to do something bigger and better than what we have done in the past. Either way, there is a level of perseverance that must be present for us to push through and be all we are called to be. It’s easy for the “fans” or the peers in our lives to sit back and watch, and even sometimes be critical towards how we are living as Christians. Don’t let that discourage you though! This is when perseverance comes into full swing! Onlookers that aren’t in this race may be critical and judgmental at times. Truth is, this is just a part of life. So, as James says, consider it pure joy whenever you face a trial or hardship. It just means that you are moving in the right direction of what God has for you. Remember that time won’t last forever. It’s just a season. Even when you are discouraged, persevere. Even when it seems that everything is going in the opposite direction of what God is leading you to do, persevere. After understanding perseverance, you will see that it is possible to get through any situation with God by your side, regardless of what others may say or negative feelings. You are never alone and "you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength." Philippians 4:13

**Hebrews 12:2-3 (Message Bible) "Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"

Friday, September 17, 2010


“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” Ephesians 5:2

The love that God has for us is perfect. As humans, it’s difficult to understand what “perfect” love looks like. But, His love covers a multitude of the wrong things we do each day. Just like a natural father here on earth, He loves us as His children and will love us through anything that we may do, whether it be good or bad. Since we have been shown so much love from God, He wants us to show love to others here on earth. Paul writes to the Corinthians about this exact topic. It’s obvious that he is trying to relay to them the very important message about the importance of us showing God’s love to others.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1. So, Paul is telling us that if we don’t have love, it doesn’t matter how great of a person we think we are, being a “great person” without love just doesn’t cut it. Let the love of God infiltrate your life, and you will see results!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and uplift one another with all wisdom, and as you sing songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful for what God and others have done for me. When I fully recognize that my greatest problem is solved, my debt of sin, I can feel and understand gratitude. This leads me to desire to live a life of response to what the Lord has done for me - a life of honor and thankfulness to Him.

One key experience which deepened my gratitude was our dance tour to Beijing as God opened the door for us to recieve an invitation to perform in the 2008 Olympic Festivals. It was a very eye-opening experience that showed us the reality of what being a Christian is like in other countries. The feeling of the atmosphere in a country where it is illegal and dangerous to speak of Jesus Christ or "God" is something very different than what we feel in America. The relaxed and free environment we experience daily concerning how we talk and share with whoever we wish about our relationship with the Lord was nonexistent in China. It felt as if my spirit was being suffocated and "spiritual oxygen" was not easily found nearby in churches, Christian book stores, television, topics of conversations, music options etc. Even our Christian dance school's website was "blocked" in China for it's content.

Overall, meeting people one on one of all ages and backgrounds and simply sharing the love of God was extremely rewarding! These opportunities were the ones that made a difference in the people's lives. And, it helped me to realize that no matter what country we are in or government we are under, the best way to bring someone to Christ is to build a relationship with them. The people of China were extremely kind, which made my heart ache all the more for the oppression they experienced to practice their faith. They were so hungry and eager for the love that we were showing them.

Having our actual speech restricted in China made me more passionate about "speaking out" our thankfulness to God and to others. It reminds us daily what is truly valuable, and what is not. A thankful heart is fertile ground for a garden of other virtues to take root and flourish. From a thankful heart grows humility, selflessness, a sense of destiny, hope, joy, a gentle spirit, and so much more.

We also should be extremely thankful for basic health and opportunties for education. When entering an orphanage for children with disabilities in Lang Fang, China, we came upon one of the crowded preschool rooms. My mother and I quickly noticed two boys with very outdated hearing aids. We recognized the models which were used by my deaf sister, Lydia, almost a decade ago back in America. This old model of hearing aid would have most likely been thrown away in America. My mother signed to the boys, but they just smiled. In addition to not being able to speak, they had never been exposed to sign language and had no idea how to respond. They too, most likely will never receive the benefits of higher education, a cochlear implant, or know the dignity of a career. A nurse explained to us that the boys would live in the orphanage until age 18 and then most likely learn to work in a field. So many opportunities and everyday privileges that we take for granted are not even options in many countries.

Student Story: Returning from a recent mission trip from Nicaragua, one of my ten year old students shared her most memorable lesson. She said "I lost my ipod on the plane on the way there! But when I got there and saw that the families did not even have electricity, I realized that not having my ipod was not really that big of a deal". What moments in your life have made you realize how blessed you truly are? We would like to hear your story!!