How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day, today?
We heard a sad news in this September that Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom passed away. I believe she is with the Lord, happier. Even though she was not my queen, I liked her. So, with the sad news, I watched some documentaries on her and watched the news on her funeral and mourners in YouTube. Looking at the royal family and the dignity, I thought of our King.
Pastor John Fenn wrote and talked about Jesus being an Oriental King. He wrote in his book “Knowing the Ways of God”:
You see the Lord rules as an Oriental King. The Bible is an Oriental book. In America we think of China, Japan, and Southeast Asia as the Orient, but the truth is, the Near and Middle East are just as much the Orient as the Far East. This truth is reflected in many of the customs found in the Bible: bowing or prostrating oneself before a king or honored person, dining customs and many more all reveal the Oriental roots in the Bible. Perhaps you have seen in documentaries, movies, or publications how Oriental kings were carried from place to place by servants: Their throne is lifted up on the shoulders of four men and carried wherever the potentate wishes to travel. Have you ever seen the movie The Road to Morocco with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour? There is a scene where Dorothy Lamour is carried past Bob Hope on a covered chair on the shoulders of four servants via poles on each side of her chair. The Father is carried in similar fashion on the arms and wings of cherubs around his throne. That is how He travels. This is why the Levites were commanded to move the Ark of the Covenant by inserting poles into the rings in the side of the Ark. The Ark was then carried on the shoulders of the Levites. The way they carried the Ark of the Covenant was an earthly type and shadow of the way the Father is carried around the universe! Ezekiel 1 describes this action, but I had never understood it until I saw it. The cherubs around the throne, the ones that call out, “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8) are the ones who carry the throne platform wherever the Father wants to go. Just as an Oriental king has servants who pick him up throne and all, so the Father uses these cherubs to carry Him.
When I read his book, I was able to understand why the Ark of the Covenant had two poles. I was reminded of the scenes in Korean shows where our king’s throne was lifted up on the shoulders of four men and carried, just as Pastor John described. We understand from the Old Testament that the Ark of the Covenant is in the Holy of Holies. And the high priest enters the holy of holies once a year only. But now, as Jesus died for us and has risen, we have access to our Father 24/7. He made us His dwelling place. Imagine that the Ark of the Covenant is in you. I think staying conscious of the Ark of the Covenant in us would change our thoughts, words and deeds.
Recently, I re-read the last chapter of a Watchman Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Life. (I shared some from that book, in my previous blog, Waste.) In my second reading of the chapter, I found out another fascinating insight that I didn’t realize earlier from the story of Mary who anointed Jesus.
“Let her alone; why trouble her ? She hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor always with you, and whensoever ye will ye can do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she hath anointed my body beforehand for the burying” (Mark 14:6~8)
In these verses the Lord Jesus introduces a time factor with the word “beforehand,” and this is something of which we can have a new application today, for it is as important to us now as it was to her then. We all know that in the age to come we shall be called to a greater work - not to inactivity. (Matthew 25:21, Matthew 24:47, Luke 19:17)….. I believe that in that day we shall all love him as we have never done now, but yet that it will be more blessed for those who have poured out their all upon the Lord today. When we see him face to face, I trust that we shall all break and pour out everything for him. But today - what are we doing today? …. Now I suggest that, in just such a way, the manner of time may be supremely important to us also, and that for us the question above all questions is: What am I doing to the Lord today? Have our eyes been opened to see the preciousness of the One whom we are serving?
Friend, does this speak to you? I start my day on the sofa, praising Him by reading Psalms and with my own words. Sometimes, I kneel down on the sofa, to worship our King. And I do think it a great privilege for us to have King of kings and Lord of lords just in our home and in us. Not only that, He longs for us and woos us:
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5b)
I thank Father, saying, “Who am I that You are so mindful of me?” I imagine He would long for our precious time alone together in the morning, watching over me sleeping at night. And I’d like to cherish it, worshipping Him and ministering to Him without ulterior motive, beforehand. I want to do that today, before the ages to come.
Friend, if King Charles would like to meet you for five minutes today, how would you feel? The Creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords always wants to meet you. Would you like to break your alabaster jar, all that you have and all that you are today? It’s my prayer that our eyes are open and see the preciousness of our King.
Have a bliss!
I will extol You, my God, O King;
How are you? I’m well.
Are you a good gate keeper of your eyes and ears? A few years back, I heard a pastor in the USA say he would not watch things that his 4~5 year old girl can’t watch. I think it’s a really good standard. I think many Christians are not really sensitive to keeping their eyes and ears and don’t think its spiritual impact seriously at all. You might think it’s too much or I’m over-spiritualizing things.
When I was taking The Old Testament Survey, the online class in the Church Without Walls International website, I heard Pastor John Fenn say he would not watch movies where people say God’s name in vain. He cherishes the friendship with Him and he wouldn’t stand someone’s cursing His name. And he also talked about protecting our eye gate and ear gate.
When I got baptized in the Holy Spirit in 2016, I removed the music files I had enjoyed for many years, from my personal computer, and threw away movie/drama DVDs. Some of the music were indie rock, pop songs and so on. When it comes to movie or drama, I didn’t watch horror movies at all, nor too violent ones. And even before I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I didn’t want to watch movies that show adulterous relationships or other sexual immorality. And I acknowledge that it was really hard or even impossible to find ones that describe love relationship between husbands and wives only. Anyway, since the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I just voluntarily didn’t want any part of those kinds of music, shows or movies, but wanted to listen to and watch things of God.
You would know that satan, Lucifer was in charge of music before he fell. So, even now, he is trying to grip many unbelievers and believers, using music. And I heard some pastors and prophets say not all Christian musics are from the Lord, but some from satan. And I agree with it. We shouldn’t be naive enough to think that there is no influence of satan in church.
When I was a full time student in the graduate school, I had a classmate whose nickname was Rock. He was a rock music lover so that he even named his nickname as Rock. He was fun to be with yet he was sometimes weird and peculiar. He used to brag about his sleeping around with girls. One day, a Korean American classmate who used to be in the US Navy for many years and a country head of a multinational company in Korea used the expression “lunatic,” when he described the character of the classmate, named Rock. He was a good judge of character and I thought the word “lunatic” made sense to me. One day, Rock said to me, “I used to visit my grandfather’s house and there were little doggies in his house. I tried to pet them, but they never came to me, just trembling. It was before I went to the military service. Then, after I completed the military service, they seemed to find something different in me and they came to me.” And he said that he used to listen to heavy metal music before the military service, but during the service, he was not able to listen to those music and by the time when he studied in the graduate school, he didn’t really listen to them. And it seemed that he realized some spiritual aspects of listening to the heavy metal music, seeing the difference of the doggies’ reaction to him. At that time, though my spiritual eyes were not open, I was able to understand it. Even in the secular, our old fathers in Korea used to say that dogs can see evil spirits. And I think it’s true that animals can see the spiritual realm, like the donkey in the Old Testament.
Satan’s tactics are not limited to music, movies or shows only, but he uses advertisement, and other seemingly harmless ones like yoga, pilates and so on. I heard many teachers like Derek Prince, Neville Johnson and Sister Margaret talk about yoga and its harm. I couldn’t agree with them enough, as it affected me in the past. I took it lightly and I attended a yoga class for 6 years. Looking back at those times, I know I spiritually went downward to the pit. I even thought to myself, “If only I could die and find a place even in the corner of the Heaven where I could sit crouched.” I wasn’t suicidal at all, but I didn’t really want to live. But praise God for His deliverance! He sent me to Shanghai when I was in the valley, and it indeed turned out to be a new chapter in my life. And I found He had something great in store for me there. I was restored and changed.
I don’t read every article of CBN news, but when I scan the headlines sometimes, I think the enemy’s invasion is not only to the adult’s entertainment, but to the children’s. In children’s movies or shows, they show the character of demons or the scenes where people worship their passing fathers. If you’re a parent, I pray that our Father would give you the wisdom on that. Many things are seemingly good, fun, or harmless. In the name of the culture, many Christians simply watch or listen to them and allow their children to be exposed to the things of the enemy.
Sister Margaret Seaward once said she never put anything that has the figures of dragon, frog (unclean spirit) and so on in her house. And she said, “If somebody hates my husband, would I put his/her picture in my place? Never!” Friend, I think we keep our eye gate or ear gate not out of religiosity, but out of our love toward our King, our Bridegroom and our Friend who chose to dwell in us. With a pure heart, we can ask Him what in our lives He wants us to change or stop. It’s my prayer that we love Jesus more than anything and we cherish the friendship with Him.
Have a bliss!
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day, today?
I think it was late August or early September this year when I watched The Old Testament Survey, the online class by Pastor John Fenn. In a class on Genesis, he talked about Abraham. He said (I paraphrase) that considering 175 years of Abraham’s lifespan at that time, his waiting for the fulfillment of the promise for 25 years would be equivalent to around 12~13 years of waiting in our lifetime (assuming 87~88 years of life expectancy). And like Abraham, we learn to walk in faith and believe the Lord. And there was different confirmation from the Lord to Abraham down the road and He willingly confirmed His Words over and over, as in Genesis chapter 15, 17, and 18. And he went on to say for some of us, we have received His promise from the Lord and it’s been a while. And it is ok to ask the Lord confirmation on His promise. Even if we received confirmation before, it’s ok to ask Him second or third confirmation. It really spoke to me and encouraged me. So, I thought I would ask Him to confirm His promises. Though I received confirmation from Him earlier, as Pastor John encouraged, I asked Him again about three things. Soon enough, I felt He was telling me on one of the three. Then, I thought of the prophetic painting that I ordered to Irene Wong, an artist in Singapore, earlier this year. I used to buy her paintings, including prophetic paintings for my family and friends, in order to bless them as well as her. Then, probably March this year, I asked her whether I could receive another prophetic painting for myself for a new season. I already received one in 2016 when I lived in Singapore. Thus, I asked her whether she paints multiple prophetic paintings for one person in different seasons. I don’t chase after personal prophecy anymore since His chastisement, and He knows my heart. I thought of whom else I would give a prophetic painting for a gift. Then, from the experience in the past, I was worried about the case when they would receive the Words that may not be pleasing to their ears, though the Words are true and Irene has been very accurate. I wouldn’t want to waste my money on recipients who would not be ready nor appreciative to receive the Words. It would be like giving pearls to swine. While considering all this, I wanted to receive another prophetic painting for myself in a new season so that I asked Irene. I was glad to hear she would paint another for me, and I ordered one for myself. It was expected to come by the end of May, but due to her exhibition and others, later she said she would do it in August ~ September. And I thought everything was under His control and there would be reasons for everything including the time of receiving the painting with His Words. Then, after I asked Him another confirmation on His promises, a thought came to me, “Maybe He would give me confirmation through Irene’s painting.” Then, on September 25th, Sunday, I took a nap after lunch. And later I found out Irene had texted me with the picture of the painting and His Words, during my nap. It was totally unexpected. And she was so kind and sweet, saying she would like to give me the painting as an early Christmas gift and I don’t have to pay for it. But, I insisted that I would pay for it, quoting the King David’s comment partially and improperly, “I won’t receive His blessings that cost me nothing.” :-) Not only that, she asked me whether I know someone in Singapore who would travel to Seoul and deliver the painting to me, saying it is light. I felt so amazed, as she asked it. Indeed, my friend in Singapore who introduced Irene to me planned to travel here to Seoul in October. God is good all the time. He saved me the shipping cost with this late arrival of His Words!
When I finally looked at the painting and read His Words, I was in awe and so touched by the Father’s goodness. The title of the painting was Divine Acceleration with the Words from the Bible:
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8)
And I stood in awe, going on to read the prophetic words, “God is extending toward you & leading you to a time of divine acceleration entering into the promise He has given you.” Reading through all the words, I was simply amazed and grateful to see Him faithfully confirm His promises. He heard my prayer. He already knew everything and orchestrated it so that the painting was delayed from May. He did it, to give another confirmation, when I asked Him in August or September. What a wonderful Father we have!
Not only His Words, but also the painting itself gave me such an assurance and comfort. It painted a girl flying sitting on the Eagle. It reminded me of the dream I had in 2006, just before I started to work for a new company, the pharmaceutical company, my second employer. In the dream, I was flying, sitting on a white animal looking like a polar bear. In the beginning I was afraid. But once I totally relied on him, leaning on him, I felt his furs soft and warm, and then I was able to enjoy flying, comforted and overjoyed. I felt the dream was from the Lord and He wanted to comfort me, before I started to work for the new company. Just like the dream, when I looked at Irene’s painting, I felt assured and comforted. In addition, I felt the joy and excitement of the girl sitting on the Eagle, our Lord Who knows what He is doing and where He is going. I couldn’t thank Him enough for the unexpected gift, while I fell asleep in the nap. When I shared all of this behind story with Irene, she was also marveled and encouraged.
And His goodness didn’t end there. Not only through the prophetic painting with His Words, but through YouTube, He gave me confirmation on one of the three I asked Him. The videos I watched had nothing to do with algorithm, as I didn’t type any of the words I asked the Father for confirmation, in any of my gadgets. I simply visited a music channel and a cooking channel. In both channels, I was amazed to see a background picture and read a channel owner’s article that exactly confirmed one of His promises. And another confirmation through a video in shorts. They were all totally unexpected. I was amazed by His kindness.
You might also feel like Abraham, after you received His promise long ago, but you see nothing come to pass yet. I would like to encourage you to ask Him confirmation. He is a good good Father. He wants to speak to His children and His friends. He may speak to you through dreams, YouTube, advertisement, news headlines, or unexpected gifts from family or friends, or through an encounter with someone you never met before. We don’t confine Him into our box. I sometimes smile at His sense of humor. He is unexpected yet always good and faithful. I often imagine He is smiling at us, after He surprises and moves us into tears by His goodness. Friend, it’s my prayer that we as the children of Abraham trust the God of Abraham, Who is always faithful.
Have a bliss!
PS)As I wasn’t sure whether I used the title “Abraham” in my previous blogs, I searched “Abraham” before posting this, and found a blog, “Promise Keeper 2.” As I was not able to remember what I wrote in it (due to my aging :)), I clicked it and read it. Thankfully, I was encouraged by reading my own writing. I wrote the blog for you, but I found myself comforted and edified. Praise God for His kindness and patience! The Scriptures I shared in that blog were also encouraging and assuring.
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
How are you? I’m well.
I learned that a yoke in the Bible is many times referred to partnership and figuratively to marriage relationship. We’ve heard and read the verse on the yoke Jesus said:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28~30)
It is one of the popular verses that even unbelievers would know. Yet I didn’t really make sense of it. Actually, I didn’t even know what the yoke looks like until I searched it in google image in my Singapore time. A couple of years back, when I listened to the late Pastor Neville Johnson’s teaching, I got to understand what it would be like to have an easy and light yoke. Pastor Neville shared his experience where he visited a rural area in Indonesia. In a farm, the farmers put a yoke on the shoulders of a mature and older ox and a young ox, in order to train the young ox. As the weight of the yoke is carried by the mature ox, the young ox doesn’t carry the weight. He simply follows where the mature ox leads. He cannot rest, unless the mature ox does. He cannot go to the right, if the mature ox goes to the left. He simply learns to follow the mature ox.
I recently searched the online commentary, EnduringWord by Pastor David Guzik, in order to write on this. Interestingly enough, I found out he also wrote about the training of a new animal on carrying a yoke:
My yoke is easy and My burden is light: Jesus summarized this wonderful call with this assurance. The yoke is easy and the burden is light because He bears it with us. Borne alone, it might be unbearable; but with Jesus it can be easy and light.
Since I listened to Pastor Neville’s teaching on the yoke, I thought of some occasions in the past. When I worked for the company in Seoul, I used to give my mom a drive for grocery shopping on the weekend. And I think the occasions were before I bought a car and perhaps when I was a university student. I often went to grocery shopping with mom and we would walk from the grocery store back home. When we bought too many heavy stuffs, we took a taxi. But most of the time we would walk back home. When we had one big plastic bag, I held one strap of the bag and my mom held another strap. Yet she was being stubborn and tried to carry the bag on her own, not to give me any burden. So, when we walked home, holding each strap of the bag, she moved her hand upward to carry the weight of the bag alone. Then, I felt it took the weight off my hand and I felt light. So, on the way back home, we had kind of a tug of war, as I wanted to share the burden with her. But she never wanted to give me any burden, and spoiled me. Then, when I went to grocery shopping with my elder sister, it was totally different. She is shorter and weaker than I am. When we held straps of a bag, my arm and hand with a bag strap held were positioned higher than hers. And I felt I carried all the weight of the bag so that I complained to her.
So, Jesus said to us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” If we truly trust and follow Him, we can be under His yoke. Then, all the weight is carried by Him. So His yoke is easy and light. But, can we trust Him wholeheartedly? Just like the young ox, we go eastward, if He goes to the east. We cannot go otherwise. But, if we choose to take His yoke and follow Him, we don’t carry the weight, but He does. I heard Pastor Joe Sweet say, “Your will be done! It’s the most selfish prayer!” I smiled. If we believe He is faithful and His will for us is always the best, truly we are asking the best to be done to our lives. I don’t want the second best. Don’t you? Once we choose to trust Him and submit ourselves to Him, we do not worry. Even when it seems to go against the grain or we don’t understand where He is leading to, we trust our faithful Lord. He is the One who carries the burden. In partnering with Him, we learn His gentleness and meekness and we will become more like Him.
Friend, it’s my prayer that we totally trust Him and answer His invitation, “Come to Me.”
Have a bliss!
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
How are you? I’m well.
Today I would like to share some of the writings from a Frank Charles Laubach’s book, Learning the Vocabulary of God. He is an author of The Game with Minutes that I shared previously.
The book, Learning the Vocabulary of God is like his diary and his talk to God when he was in India for literacy development. And I’m still in the middle of reading this. I chose not to read it through at once, but to read a page or two at a time like writing my own diary and reading it. His writings are from many different topics in his daily life: his literacy development work, people he met, awe in Taj Mahal and so on. And I’d like to share a few.
Wednesday 27 (Near Moga)
GOD, after a sleepless night, I open my eyes, laughing, for we are together! Sleep is not necessary. Disturbances like that man coughing below me all night are good for character if I do not let them keep me from You. If every annoyance can be made to remind me to turn and grip Your hand and ask You, “What are You saying through this vexation?” Then I can turn life’s rough spots into Your vocabulary. If I can do that perfectly, nothing can defeat my soul. It will all be on the credit side of the ledger.
“Then welcome each rebuff
That turns earth’s smoothness rough.”
And yet - with this immense task before me - I had no right to lie there permitting myself to be exposed to his cough. I ought to have moved for India’s sake.
Monday 29 (Bombay)
God, experience proves that a minute with Thee always brings fruit, often wonderful fruit; experience proves that a minute apart from Thee is wasted or full of thoughts of malice or vice. Abide in Me as the branch abides in the vine. It abides all the time, every moment. Before me is an electric plug. The moment I disconnect the cord, the light goes out. What I got the last minute does not help, I may still be a little warm, but I am no longer a light. “Apart from me ye can do nothing” - say nothing, be nothing, help nothing. So I must keep plugged in every second. Hard but essential. Think Thy thoughts, God, here all day - Thine, not mine.
Friend, would you like to talk to God and learn His vocabulary through nature, people, your work and whatever it might be? I don’t write my words to Him on a note, like Frank Laubach did, but I’m sharing here some of the words I recently said to Him in my heart. I pray that you and I think of Him and talk to Him often, even though we wouldn’t write our words to Him daily.
“Awww, look at the clouds, Father! They are like cotton candies. And I imagine that You made them with Your fingers for us and You’re smiling at us. Thank You, Father. They look amazing!”
“Father, I thank You for this time in this garden. I enjoy seeing magpies, sparrows and that bird that I don’t know the name of, but You know. They remind me of the verse, ‘not one of them falls to the ground apart from Your will.’ You even know one feather of that bird fell just now, don’t You?
The leaves at the top of this tree begin to change the color. Father, I ask You to give xxx (my friend in Singapore) and her girl the best of the autumn when they come here in October. They may enjoy the beautiful colors of the autumn and the nice weather, and stand in awe of You. And I ask You that we would enjoy fellowship together, when they are in town. Thank You, Father!”
“Father, I like the jazz music from this coffee shop (as I’m walking by now). Father, once in a while, I’d like to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea outside, listening to the music and relaxing. Maybe The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s seats outdoor…”
“Father, You’re always faithful. Thank You for waking me up early. It’s really good that I got up early and had quiet time of praying and reading the Words. I feel like I have a longer day, today. I might take a nap in the afternoon. Thank You, Father. And please help me get up early tomorrow, too.”
“Father, thank You for giving me the idea of cooking these recipes with my rice cooker. It’s so easy and simple, as I don’t have to stand in front of the hot burner so long. I wish I could have done that sooner. Haha. Shall I buy an instant pot? Maybe not. The rice cooker is enough for now. Thank You, Father, for giving us yummy foods through that cooker!”
“Father, I have tears in my eyes. Are they from You, Father? And You said to me twice today, “I formed you.” It reminded me of Psalms 139 and made me read:
‘For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.’
Father, is this the confirmation that I asked You on that matter?
Father, thank You for Your thoughts to me. You always think of me.”
Have a bliss!
O God, You are my God;