Adventures Wherever He leads.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, and beyond… immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine

Ask and It Shall Be Given July 27, 2017

Filed under: faith,life in CA — chinabean @ 6:44 pm

Luke 11:9-13 NIV
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Hong Kong Prayer Wall Version 1.0 (March 2015 with multiple edits)Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 11.49.17 AM.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

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California Prayer Wall/Door 2.0 (July 2017)

Finished reading T. Keller’s book on prayer right before I left HK, here are some of my favorite quotes.


“Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God. . . . We must know the awe of praising his glory, the intimacy of finding his grace, and the struggle of asking his help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of his presence.” (5)

“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our loves. Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.” (18)

“It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances.” (20)

“A rich, vibrant, consoling, hard-won prayer life is the one good that makes it possible to receive all other kinds of goods rightly and beneficially. [Paul] does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself.” (21)

“The infallible test of spiritual integrity, Jesus says, is your private prayer life.” (23)

“Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray, healed people with prayers, denounced the corruption of the temple worship (which, he said, should be a ‘house of prayer’), and insisted that some demons could be cast out only through prayer. He prayed often and regularly with fervent cries and tears (Heb. 5:7), and sometimes all night. The Holy Spirit came upon him and anointed him as he was praying (Luke 3:21–22), and he was transfigured with the divine glory as he prayed (Luke 9:29). When he faced his greatest crisis, he did so with prayer. We hear him praying for his disciples and the church on the night before he died (John 17:1–26) and then petitioning God in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Finally, he died praying.” (27)

“Our prayers should arise out of immersion in the Scripture. [We] speak only to the degree we are spoken to. . . . The wedding of the Bible and prayer anchors your life down in the real God.” (55, 56)

“We would never produce the full range of biblical prayer if we were initiating prayer according to our own inner needs and psychology. It can only be produced if we are responding in prayer according to who God is as revealed in the Scripture. . . . Some prayers in the Bible are like an intimate conversation with a friend, others like an appeal to a great monarch, and others approximate a wrestling match. . . . We must not decide how to pray based on what types of prayer are the most effective for producing the experiences and feelings we want. We pray in response to God himself.” (60)

“A triune God would call us to converse with him . . . because he wants to share the joy he has. Prayer is our way of entering into the happiness of God himself.” (68)

“When life is going smoothly, and our truest heart treasures seem safe, it does not occur to us to pray.” (77)

“To pray in Jesus’ name [is], essentially, to reground our relationship with God in the saving work of Jesus over and over again. It also means to recognize your status as a child of God, regardless of your inner state.” (105)

“Prayer is like waking up from a nightmare to reality. We laugh at what we took so seriously inside the dream. We realize that all is truly well. Of course, prayer can have the opposite effect; it can puncture illusions and show us we are in more spiritual danger than we thought.” (130)

“Prayer is not a passive, calm, quiet practice.” (136)

“[Prayer] gives us relief from the melancholy burden of self-absorption.” (139)

“Prayer—though it is often draining, even an agony—is in the long term the greatest source of power that is possible.” (140)

“We must be able to existentially access our doctrinal convictions. If doctrinal soundness is not accompanied by heart experience, it will eventually lead to nominal Christianity—that is, in name only—and eventually to nonbelief. The irony is that many conservative Christians, most concerned about conserving true and sound doctrine, neglect the importance of prayer and make no effort to experience God, and this can lead to the eventual loss of sound doctrine. . . . Christianity without real experience of God will eventually be no Christianity at all.” (180)

“To lose our grip on the costliness of forgiveness will result in a superficial, perfunctory confession that does not lead to any real change of heart. There will be no life change. To lose our grip on the freeness of forgiveness, however, will lead to continued guilt, shame, and self-loathing. There will be no relief. Only when we see both the freeness and the cost of forgiveness will we get relief from the guilt as well as liberation from the power of sin in our lives.” (208)

“God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knows.” (228)

“Our time frames are not in touch with ultimate reality. Our perspective on timing compared with God’s is analogous to a two-year-old’s with an adult’s. God has good reasons for making us wait a long time to see some prayers answered.” (236)

“We know God will answer us when we call because one terrible day he did not answer Jesus when he called. . . . Jesus’ prayers were given the rejection that we sinners merit so that our prayers could have the reception that he merits.” (237, 238)

 

Dear Younger Me July 24, 2017

Filed under: faith — chinabean @ 1:49 pm

Dear Younger Me
Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me
Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me
If I knew then what I know now
Condemnation would’ve had no power
My joy my pain would’ve never been my worth
If I knew then what I know now
Would’ve not been hard to figure out
What I would’ve changed if I had heard
Dear younger me
It’s not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross
Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me, dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
 

Countdown Kinda Gal July 21, 2017

Filed under: faith,life in CA,life in HK — chinabean @ 1:28 am

There’s something about the anticipation of something coming up, whether it’s your birthday when your a kid, an exam as a student, or special holidays, trips or even a big move/transition coming up.

Little kids count the number of sleeps until their next birthday.

Teachers count the days/weeks/minutes until the next holidays or summer holiday.

Future mothers count each week when they’re expecting a baby.

I count down so many things. I have an app called “Days Until” and I absolutely love it. It helps me to count each day until a special event. I usually put in holidays, trips, nephews birthdays, big moves, and pregger friend’s due dates. It helps me to take each day into account and builds up anticipation for what is to come. It helps me to be intentional and recognize that each day is truly a gift.

The other thing that “Days Until” does, is that it gives the time elapsed after it passes. It’s similar to another app, “Time Hop,” which I also love. It helps me to reminiscence and be in awe of how fast time goes by but also how much has happened.

I really like the quote, “We’ve come so far, yet we have still so far to go.” For some reason, it’s motivating as well as humbling and patience developing. All in all, it’s good reminders that we’ve changed and we need to celebrate the fact that we’ve reached these “goals” and also be able to look back and thank God for all He’s brought us through. It serves as an “Ebenezer” in some way.

Today, ONE MONTH. 30 days have elapsed since I got on a plane and left HomeKong for California. It’s been a crazy month of traveling and reconnecting and settling back into the suburbs of CA.

There are many moments I miss HK: the food, the high speed internet, the transportation, the freedom, the church, the people, the community, the list goes on and on. It’s quite true though, because I know I am to be home with family… (for now) I recognize that the missing of Home Kong and it’s people isn’t as hard as it could be.

Having been away for the last 9 years, America isn’t the easiest place to re-enter into, but I’m “doing” it. There are some days, “Wow, AMERICA, you’re amazing…” and there are other “Christine isn’t made for America” days. Anyone who has lived overseas for a significant amount of time and moved back, knows the feeling…

I tell people about the famous tv Netflix series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is the story of my life… except I’ve been stuck in the Asia Bunker of Shanghai and Hong Kong for the last nine years. People laugh, but sometimes, that’s really how I feel… especially in the Silicon Valley and the many apps and techy things, I do not understand.

It’s only been one month, 30 days, and most those days, I’m really grateful to be home… especially being able to get to see and be a part of my cute adorable love bug nephews grow up.

Cheers to the next 30 days… maybe it’ll hit me soon, that I don’t have a return flight to Asia. But for now… Here’s to life in America, the Cali girl that is not so Californian.

 

15 months ago July 13, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — chinabean @ 11:11 pm

15 months ago, I said that the art of blogging was difficult and a week later I was going to write something… but I didn’t. All to show, that no one kept me accountable to that or maybe no one read it…

Regardless, I’m going to try to blog again, since I have time, now that I’m back back to Cali Cali and have absolutely nothing to do… It’s actually a great feeling. Maybe it will help me process parts of life, update my friends and family and just keep in touch with people. Life’s a funny thing… and truly, it is an adventure wherever He leads.

 

Blogging April 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — chinabean @ 8:41 am

The art of blogging is difficult. I just needed to put it out there. So many things I want to share and have to say or am learning and this is the perfect place to put it but… it’s hard. Thinking I need to update this more often.

Don’t think. Just do. 🙂

Hold me to it. In the next week, I will write something significant that God is teaching me about. 🙂 til then… ttfn!

 

YL Hard Thoughts April 27, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — chinabean @ 2:56 am

This is an AMAZING story from my fellow YL Leader, Rob!

Rob's Blogs

In Young Life, we do a great job of celebrating the successes. The kids whose lives went from nowhere to somewhere, from dead-end to star-studded. Jesus has a way of making glorious redemption stories, and we love to celebrate those times and those kids.

But maybe we don’t always do the best job of communicating the failures, the heart-aches, and the tragedies. Yesterday, we celebrated the life of a young man who touched the lives of many in a way that few could, yet we also mourned the loss of a life with more potential than we had probably ever seen in our years of ministry. Jake came into our lives bigger than life itself, wearing a batting helmet and a 10,000 watt smile. His was a life on a collision-course with disaster, but through the efforts of numerous teachers, coaches, friends, Young Life leaders, and pastors, Jake came to…

View original post 925 more words

 

YoungLives HK April 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — chinabean @ 7:43 am

AMAZING MINISTRY in HK! GOd is so at work and so amazed that we get to be a part of it!

The Powell's In HK

IMG_5906If you look back over our strategic plans and, ahem… very thoughtful ministry strategy of the past two years, you wont find a single mention of YoungLives– Young Life’s ministry to teen moms.  But thanks to a number of faithful women, and my awesome wife, there won’t ever be another plan in Hong Kong without it.

We’re still measuring the age of this ministry in weeks (probably appropriate), but every new week brings more and more girls.

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We’re so excited about the humble beginnings of this new ministry in Hong Kong and the opportunities it presents to partner with churches, hospitals, and even the Hong Kong government.  But mostly, we’re excited about the sweet, young, local mothers and their babies now being cared for by an awesome growing team of leaders, some of whom are pictured below.

IMG_5907A simple and replicable model is being developed with hopes to…

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