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david @ rh_circles

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Circles has come to an end, and the end of my internship is approaching at the end of August.

School starts up for me at around the third week of September.

I need a vacation, a short trip of some kind, even if it means only a day to myself — just to get away from what is familiar, and spend some time alone, with God.  Maybe I’ll go visit Northern California.

I want to just indulge in my relationship with our creator, our Father, our Savior, our master, our King, our teacher, our friend.

Written by David

August 21, 2011 at 1:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Consolidation

with 4 comments

I’ve realized that I’ve been stretching myself too thin lately.

I’ve been driving up to Pasadena and other surrounding areas to meet some of my old friends.  I want to do a lot of “stuff” before my full-time internship starts this summer.  I’m driving, dozens of miles at a time, refueling, and driving again.  But I’m realizing that I should just slow down.  My reasons for travelling and meeting others seem to be justified — they are good old friends that came from out of state and outside the country, and I want to see them before they leave again.  But I need to consolidate my time and resources and do only what I have to do, while trusting in God.  I want to do as much as I can, with what I have here.

I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself clearly.  This following anecdote comes to mind, and I think might be related.

It was a few years ago.  My brother and I flew to Korea to meet up with my mom, dad, and my young sister.  They had also flown in from another country overseas.  Something interesting was that some missionary families that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years happened to be visiting Korea at the exact same week.  What was even more amazing was to watch my parents interact with the missionaries — they had not kept in touch for over 10 years, and yet they warmed up to each other as though they had just met yesterday.  They didn’t have Facebook or other means of keeping in touch, and they didn’t even keep in touch through e-mail (not that they didn’t want to, it just happened they weren’t able to keep in touch through e-mail).  Yet they had always been praying for each other, every day.   They spoke on the same wavelength.  They were on the same page, unified through the Holy Spirit.  It was so awesome to see them love each other, talk to each other about what had been happening in their lives.  That interaction was an example of true friendship, just loving one another, without all the “stuff” that we feel we need to maintain a friendship.  All they needed was their relationship with the Lord, and being connected through that — God as the common denominator.  I get this feeling as though heaven will kind of like this, an amazing reunion where we can spend time loving God and loving His valuable creation.

There are so many people that I want to meet from my past, so many lunches and dinners I want to have with others, so many conversations I want to have with them.  But more important than all of that is spending time with the Lord, consolidating my time.  Jesus had his disciples and met lots of people, but he always valued his time with the Lord.  And that is what I want to do.

Written by David

June 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Circles

Update

with 5 comments

1
I recently watched a movie called Thor.  It was amazing.  I didn’t know anything about the Marvel Comics character Thor before I watched it.  There’s a line from the movie where Thor says something along the lines of, “Your ancestors called it magic, but you call it science.  Where I come from, they are one and the same.”

2
That made me think about the world that we live in at the moment.  I don’t know exactly how the previous civilizations lived (they were probably just as justified in believing in magic and the supernatural, as much as we believe in science), but today we live in an era where truth is defined by empirical science.  We try so hard using our approach in technology, the scientific method, and billions of observations of the universe that doesn’t bring us even one step closer to understanding the Truth.   Our flawed and incomplete equations and formulas fail to accurately describe the universe.  And there is so much cost involved — it always feels like an uphill effort.  The numerous discoveries that are published in the scientific journals, over time, become so small in comparison to the infinite universe.

3
Contrast that to Thor, who comes from a world that just KNOWS it.  He understands the complexities of the universe so completely, so perfectly, and so effortlessly.  It is so vibrant, so organic, so self-renewing.  And he’s so sure of his purpose.

4
I guess this related to me a lot, as I’m generally around people that rely on science, myself included.  The accumulation of knowledge is a temptation for me, if I have not placed God first.  One of the reasons why I did not pursue a PhD program was because of my fears that I might not be able to control myself when I am more deeply immersed in this environment.

5
In an odd way, what I wrote down while at Ponderosa is a source of encouragement:  All of the efforts made by me amounts to nothing unless God is  at the center.  All of my understanding is so limited and lacking.  There is something so fundamentally different about God and His ways.  Consuming, consuming, entertaining, seeking water that results in thirst, again and again.  But God has given us Himself.  He tells us to be strong.  He tells us not to fear.  He tells us that He has chosen us.  His Spirit is with us.  And until Jesus returns, we will be His signet ring.

Written by David

June 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Circles

Down to the core

with 11 comments

is how I would like to be changed.  With all of my planning and connecting the dots, I find myself insufficient to face the future alone.  Like Joseph, I want to be transformed, living in the favor of God, that He may become greater, and that I might become less.  So many times I find myself trying to predict the future, imagining how my life will turn out, rather than trusting the Lord and taking every moment to listen to His voice.

That evening when we discussed how Joseph came to see his dream realized, standing before his brothers that bowed before him- the flash of memories at that moment must have reminded him of God’s faithfulness in his life.  And then came the weeping.  For some reason, that night I felt as though I had deeply wronged God, as though I had hurt a close and faithful friend.  I can’t understand or explain it completely, but I know part of the reason is that with all of the faithfulness that God had shown me in my life, I still didn’t “get” him.  I know we can’t ever figure him out, but I felt as though I didn’t even know this person, the one who loved me and gave himself for me.

Down to the core is how I would like to be changed.  I find myself so self-centered, so concerned about what I think, what I know, and what I am doing.  And it’s not even about materialistic things.  So much of my treasure lies in the accumulation of knowledge and whether I have an opinion about this or that.  And it’s not even about having those “fear-of-missing-out” moments.  I want to let go of even those experiences, if it will result in my own self-indulgence.  Friends are important, and awesome experiences in life are important, too.  But so is God, and infinitely more.  I want to stop living, and let Christ live in me.  I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

Written by David

April 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Circles

Nouwen

with 7 comments

This book, even though it was a bit open-ended, was very encouraging and necessary for me. Here are my thoughts based on some of the “Guide for Reflection” bits at the end of the book:

“A new beginning! We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new” (p.16).
Sometimes I like to think of my life as a book, with various chapters broken down according to the different periods of my life. The chapters I’ve read thus far have been exhilarating, and I am also enjoying this current chapter, with great expectations for what God will be doing with me, as well as with others that are a part of my life. Embracing the change and each minute that passes by lets me realize that every moment is precious.

“Hope frees us from the need to predict the future and allows us to live in the present” (p. 41).
As I am coming to a close in my first year of graduate school, I will be starting a three-month long internship during the summer. Making preparations for this is important, but I’ve been concerning myself with numerous aspects of what I must do until then, to ensure that I end up with a “good company.” But I realize that I’ve been trying to predict the future, when I could simply trust God with what will happen, and being diligent with the tasks at hand. And any other worries that I may have, in comparison to the things of God, become quite minuscule.

“We are God’s beloved daughters and sons, not because we have proven ourselves worthy of God’s love, but because God freely chose us” (p. 192).
I forget from time to time about my identity. And as Nouwen wrote, the factors of success, popularity, and power begin creeping into my life when I forget about who I am. I have to claim my true identity as God’s son, with the remembrance that Jesus resisted these temptations of success, popularity, and power. Jesus did so through the Word, and I too want to hold onto it.

Written by David

March 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Circles

thanks

with 12 comments

I first of all want to apologize for not having spent enough time responding to blog posts and writing posts myself – but I’m finally adjusting and making time. Darin’s “Friendly Reminder” e-mail played a part in speeding up that process. Thanks, Darin. Darin is a gentle fellow and may his beard continue to grow vigorously through all seasons.

The things we’ve discussed every week have been on my mind constantly, but it was quite difficult to clear my head from distractions and form my thoughts into words. When I can’t make time to be alone, I’ve discovered that plugging in my earphones with no music lets me distance myself from my friend who is only inches away from me and ready to share the next random fact of the day.

I recently remembered something these two people said when they prayed for me a few years ago. One person said that a large piece of hot and freshly-baked bread came to mind. The other person said that he saw me tearing down walls like paper and running after God.

I desire that so much. I want to see and taste that God is good. A few days ago I was having a conversation with my friend for several hours about John 1. It’s simply amazing when we realize that the word is God- we’re not just learning about God when we read the bible. I want to consume his word. I want to internalize it and make it a part of me.

It’s just so amazing how God has allowed me to meet such awesome brothers and sisters in Circles. I am encouraged every time I read your words and hear your thoughts. Thank you, and thank you for being in my life.

Written by David

February 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Circles

Week 2

with 6 comments

Something about listening to “Disintegration Loops” made me realize that I had been numb to a certain component that I had as a creature made by God.  As I’m typing this, I’m still not completely sure, but I think it has something to do with my worldview.

What I mean by my worldview is this: ever since I was little, I kept my own thoughts of how I imagined the world to have developed.  I think I did this more often as I began to study science, and to put it crudely, I adjusted for the “God factor” in everything.  It was my way of making sense of everything that I learned in school and what I read from the Bible.

When I listened to the puzzling piece of music that night, I began to appreciate art and music in that they could serve their purpose in glorifying God.  Of course, I knew this before, but I think I have a bad “spiritual memory.”  The music also reminded me that we were hybrids– part body and mind, and part spirit– and something about realizing that in such a deep, experiential manner provided a huge contrast from my worldview.

It’s quite ironic in that scientists perform experiments to learn and verify things, when all of that is really nothing like having an undeniable experience firsthand.  We can squeeze out theories and describe the universe using numbers and even applaud the complexity and beauty of God’s creation, but it just falls short when compared to simply taking a step back and being in awe of who God is, and who we are in relation to him.

Written by David

February 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Circles