Here are all my entries from my website-that-hasn’t-been-updated-since-eden:
Thursday, July 6, 2000
Now that I am entering into my senior year, I’m thinking a lot more about jobs and money and such. It is difficult because the lure of money and its deceitfulness is so strong. Everyday, I am surrounded by people who worship money and hope that it will give them power, freedom, and security. Is that what I see money as? Do I see as just the stuff I use to buy other stuff, or do I see it as more than that?
In matters like these, it is too easy to deceive myself and make myself think that I am okay, that I am not seeking after the pleasures of money but something more practical or holier. The only way to avoid this self-deceit is to be frightfully honest with myself and before God. Search me, O God, and know my heart. Nothing is hidden from you.
Thursday, June 29, 2000
I’ve changed a lot since I’ve entered college, but perhaps one of the most noticeable changes is that I have gained almost 30 lbs. And the difference is not seen in the obvious places, like my toes or my ears, but in the more obscure places, my cheeks and my belly. Anyways, I have heard many comments about my noticeable weight gain and generally, I’m comfortable with it. I don’t feel embarrassed, I don’t have fantasies of being skinnier. I feel fine. I figure, when I’m an old chinese man, I’ll look better chubby than gaunt, so I have no problems not being able to see my toes. But what has really got me thinking is how many people like to point it out.
What bothers me is not that it is insulting, but that it has become almost a distinguishing characteristic, and that saddens me. First of all, it saddens me that we, as vulnerable people, have this fixation with externalities. But what really saddens me is that my belly has become so big that it obstructs people’s view of the living Christ that is in me. It is not health or vanity. It is this simple thing, and it breaks my heart.
I fear making public commitments, especially for losing weight, but I’m sure you know what I will now try to do.
Tuesday, June 27, 2000
What really gets me upset, and even makes me a bit embarrassed, is that I don’t know Jesus. And it is sad that for so long I have equated being Christian with “knowing Jesus” when I don’t really know the Jesus of the Bible. Instead, I have known the Jesus that best reflects who I am and what my ideals are for a diety. I know the Jesus of my thoughts and values, but I don’t know the real Jesus that walked on this earth in sandals as ghetto as mine.
Well, I know Jesus, at least enough to have saving faith, to have the hunger to know him more. But as I am reading through the Gospels again, I am encountering a Jesus that I never knew. And I guess the strange thing is that I knew all these things about him, or most of them, but I never conceptualized Jesus to embody things such as a “friend of sinners”, plainness or even ugliness, hearty eating and drinking, a lower class drawl, a friend of prostitutes. Who is this Jesus??!!
Hopefully things will become clearer as I act on my rage.
Wednesday, June 14, 2000
I’m realizing more and more that the life of faith is one that is difficult to approach. I am like a baby, who stands on the table, while my daddy holds out his arms to catch me. The most difficult part is walking up to that ledge and taking the jump. Taking that jump, it takes total confidence or total foolishness. But once I land into my daddy’s arms, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. What a rush! And how glad I am that it is over!
Am I willing to put my total confidence in my Father who is in heaven? Am I willing to look like a total fool?
Tuesday, June 6, 2000
Have you ever noticed who the people were that Jesus hung around while he was here on earth? They were the sick, the lame, the demon-possessed, the prostitutes, the tax collectors. Not really the gang that we find ourselves in. If you take the time to consider this, imagine seeing your pastor with the sick. Ok. That’s not too bad. The lame, that’s pretty nice of him. The demon-possessed? Well, of all people, he should be there. The prostitutes? Now that just seems to too sketchy. We shouldn’t associate with such sinners. The tax collectors? They’re just after the money, we should have nothing to do with them. So what did Jesus mean when he said that it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick? Are WE the healthy or are we among the sick?
The more I come to know the Jesus of the Bible, I am more and more convinced of his humanity. I am certain that he is God, but he knew what it was like to be in flesh and bone, and he lived his humanity to its fullest. Jesus identified with the poor and the homeless and the hurting and the oppressed. He didn’t go to all the popular Jewish conference speakers. He didn’t go to the government and try to lobby for Christian rights. He didn’t hold revival meetings. He just met people. He met human beings. And he met their needs.
After Jesus left this earth, he passed on his ministry to us, the Church. We will always have the poor, he promised. I think we need to let God bring us to that place where we are challenged about who we associate ourselves with and what circles we limit our ministry to. What of the convicts? the blind? the cancer stricken? the elderly? the prostitutes? the gays? the drunks? the homeless? Am I willing to embrace a bum who reeks of alcohol and urine? Am I willing to invite an ex-con into my home for dinner? Am I willing to visit the elderly based on a conviction of their need for companionship and a savior and not on the basis of my own convenience? Is the Lord’s work a hobby or is it my life-consuming passion?