Put the God badge down

Often times, I catch myself comparing myself with other people. I think this is a problem that every human encounters. Even though I tell myself that it isn’t a competition, there is an analysis about literally everything. I’m better than him at this. This person literally beats me in all aspects of life. I have this, so it obviously makes you inferior to me. We are always judging others and judging ourselves.

As Christians, we have something that unbelievers do not – the life of God, who has met the righteous requirements of the law that it may be fulfilled in us. Ah, so that makes me righteous and better than everyone else? We think that based on our position in life, we are entitled to show others our “righteous” way of living. Put the God badge down. With or without God, in our fallen man, we are all same.

This principle also applies when we see someone who beats us at everything. He’s a genius, she’s way prettier, his character is so sharp, he’s so eloquent when he speaks, if only I were as successful as them. The danger in making those judgments is that now you are characterizing others based on what you observe, and you don’t even know who they are, where they’ve been, what they have gone through. We just never know. Perhaps they are just as broken as we are.

One common story I hear from time to time: people might go out on the gospel and see a dude dressed up like a thug, and they may think ‘There’s no way this guy wants to hear about Jesus’, so they let the thug just walk by. This has happened to me, and it’s a shame! The Lord had compassion on all the “thugs”, he ate lunch with that era’s Wall Street moneymakers. We never know until we speak to them whether or not they will be open.

Another common situation I encounter- the guys are so caught up in finding a gorgeous-looking and God-loving wife, so they all go after the same super pretty Christian girl. Or we will get to the point where we hate ourselves because our character is so short. Or we may get self-conscious and mad depressed that we will never find the love of our life. All of these are examples of looking at self-images or creating false images of others.

This is a reminder to myself more than anyone else: Put the God badge down. Don’t put the God badge on others. Don’t put anything on anybody. Yes, look to others as patterns and inspirations, but be balanced and don’t make assumptions. You have no control over who you are with or what is going on all around you. So with that, just look away unto Jesus (Heb 12:2). You will be a miserable human being if life is all about comparing yourself to others. When you look away unto Jesus, He perfects our faith and our love.

References:
The Bible
“God Badge” – Fiction Family (super cool song)

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The Purpose of God and why Reason alone cannot determine ethical theory

Human beings are unique in that they are the only creatures that have the full capacity to make decisions based on right and wrong, good and evil, beneficial and harmful. For the people out there who like to spend their time thinking about random things, questions concerning life, love, good, and evil might surface, and people try to come up with theories as to how this world came into existence and why goodness is an idea that humans naturally pursue. Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and St. Thomas Aquinas are examples of people who developed their own thinking concerning the basis and action of moral behavior. These philosophers might all have differences in their approach towards morality, but they all have one thing in common – they believe that through careful thought and reason, the purpose of this universe and human morality can be understood.

In light of several weeks of intense discussion on normative ethical theory, my philosophy professor asked us to develop our own ethical theory. So this is what I believe to be the highest standard of morality, which also ultimately ties into the thought of the meaning of our entire existence: The purpose for human existence is that man would have God’s image and dominion over this earth, and the only way for man to live out genuine morality is for man to take God, the ultimate standard of morality, as their source in everything they do. In dialogue with different normative ethical theories, there will be an exploration as to what the purpose of God is, how that purpose is in harmony or in dissonance with the different normative ethical theories, and an explanation as to why God’s purpose cannot be comprehended through human reason and objective argumentation alone.

According to the Bible, God created man in His image and according to His likeness, and God said that man would have dominion over all the earth[1]. God’s plan was so that man would express God in His image and also represent God in His dominion. This is God’s original intention. But later in Genesis, Satan as the serpent corrupted man and caused man to fall. And because of the fall of man, one may say that virtue, as an innate characteristic of the human object, ceased to exist. In fact, it would not be all too ridiculous to say that virtue is impossible to achieve by any means of the human agent. Why is this? It is because the innate qualities of a human being are nothing but rebellion and evil. Can anybody in this universe confidently and accurately say that they have done absolutely nothing wrong in their life? If you think the answer is “yes”, then you are lying, which is by virtue, a wrong, and the answer automatically now changes to a “no.” Everybody can agree that innate humanity is broken, defiled, and corrupted. Immanuel Kant believes that empirical evidence can elucidate moral law, and morals themselves are “liable to all kinds of corruption as long as the guide and supreme norm for correctly estimating them are missing.”[2] This statement comes from a man who claims that the existence of God cannot be proven and that human definition of morality is liable to corruption. Kant was still able to recognize the fact that humanity innately does not tend toward good, but that we instead tend toward evil.

Now, one may argue that despite the deficiencies of humanity, human beings are in the process of seeking to achieve ultimate goodness and developing theories as to how moral dilemma can be approached. The fact that humans are unique in that they have a choice actualizes the need for man to take the right steps towards obtaining goodness, happiness, and purpose in life. If this is true, then the question now is this: if man has a choice between good and evil, yet man is innately evil and not really all that good, how is goodness ever actualized? Is a collection of good works amidst many more failures in your lifetime really the answer to purposeful ethical behavior? In short, moral behavior can only be found in Christ, who is the reality of all positive things in this universe. In the New Testament, God became a man, became tabernacled among us, lived on this earth for thirty-three and a half years, was crucified, and bore all the sins of all of humanity. We were enemies of God, but then we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son[3]. Man now has a living hope. No longer do we have to live according to the rebellious, evil nature that humanity is born with. The point is that man does not have to try to find the best criteria of moral action to guide their life journey. Because when we try to carry that out, we will ultimately fail, due to our sinful nature. But when we believe, we have access to God, who is the standard and the source of all morality. God, as the Spirit, can enter into man. So, the way that God can have image and dominion through man and on this earth is for God to be lived out through man. This is the purpose of God.

In response to the different theories of normative ethics, the first question that we must ask is this: what is the meaning of human existence? According to Aristotle’s principle of contradiction[4], a determinate concept or property and a contradictory concept or property cannot both be true as the same object, existing at the same time and in the same relationship. This principle is an axiom, so it is the premise or the starting point of reasoning. By applying the principle of contradiction, how does one explain the genesis of the universe? Another axiom that must be covered is the principle of causality.[5] This law states that for every effect, there must be a prior and sufficient cause that provides an adequate explanation for its existence as a conditioned entity. How does one explain the first cause that caused all other things to be caused? In order to answer the initial question of the meaning of human existence, these axioms must adequately and sufficiently apply in order for an answer to carry truth.

The meaning of human existence can be sufficiently answered by the texts of the Biblical narrative, due to the Bible’s ability to adhere to the axioms of contradiction and causality. The account of creation in Genesis states that “God created the heavens and the earth.”[6] God, an unconditioned being, created this universe into being and began this series of condition upon condition. A universe could not have just come in and exist out of nothing, as that would negate the principle of contradiction. Something else that is unconditioned, uncreated, and self-existing must have caused the universe to be conditioned, created, and existent. Through this, one can conclude that the account of creation that is described in the Bible can be a legitimate theory (though it will never cease to be controversial). This is very much in line of the moral philosophical approach of Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas believes that all reality has come into existence through God’s creation and that the reality of human personhood is contingent upon the unconditioned self-existence and goodness of God Himself.[7]

The theistic view of normative ethics is completely harmonious to the view of God’s purpose laid out in the Bible. But the approach of coming to the conclusion of that theory is controversial, vague, and refutable to the atheists of this world. Those that have opposing beliefs of normative ethics attempt to use sound reason to come up with their theory. Thomas Aquinas also attempts to use sound reason to back up his claim that God indeed exists and is the source of all ethical behavior. Aquinas came out with Summa Theologica during the thirteenth century, a time when atheism and theories that lacked any reference to God was the prevailing philosophy of that time. Aquinas attempted to bring out the harmony of science and religion. His claims are indeed factual, and there is absolutely no dissonance when he logically goes through the process of proving the existence of God and how God is the root of all goodness, which all adhere to the natural laws of contradiction and causality. Yet, most atheists of this world will continue to refuse to believe in God’s existence and will not drop their concepts of whatever theory it is that they have. Why is this? Perhaps it is because we are all trying to tackle this principle through the wrong approach.

Here lays the heart of my assessment –

Human beings formulate theories using their finite minds to find purpose and meaning in life. The faculty of the human mind can always come up with a theory through sound reasoning. But here comes the honest answer when it comes to trying to develop my own perspective on philosophical moral theory: reasoning alone and capturing physical evidence through our limited human faculties are not enough to convince me of which ethical theory should reflect my own worldview. Through reason, the concept of God may not make any sense. God is invisible and kept hidden. But according to the Bible, perhaps we are using the wrong faculty of our being in trying to comprehend God. This is the issue of the theistic view of ethics – their line of thinking still tries to use reason to understand the meaning of our existence. The book of 1 Corinthians says, “no one can say, Jesus is Lord! Except in the Holy Spirit.”[9] It is through the Spirit in our spirit, not through our mind, that we can understand that God exists. Because I have personally experienced and enjoyed this wonderful Triune God, the purpose of God that is outlined in the Bible is the purpose of my own human life. The fundamental principles of moral action is rooted and grounded in God Himself. I am not a religious person. My goal in life is not to try my best to follow the laws of the Ten Commandments. I realize that my corrupted nature will always prevail when I try to do something good in myself. In myself, I am not and can never be a good person. My goal is to contact God through my spirit, have a loving relationship with this living Person, so that God can be the standard of morality in me. The more you love and enjoy something, the more you become it. In response to all of these different theories, we all must realize that in the end, humans try to find happiness and satisfaction in their life. Happiness is so much more than finding a means to an end, or abiding to universal moral law. From what I observe in the day-to-day activities of human living, the world is a sad and bitter place. But in my experience, I have found the secret to living a life that is really life.[10] I have encountered a Person in whom I can find peace and joy, and I can declare that Jesus Christ is the only One who can truly satisfy the deep longings in man’s heart. To an Aristotle follower, everything action we carry out is for an instrumental ends. To a deontologist (Kant), the morality of an action is based on the action’s duty to law or rules. To a theist, goodness only comes from God and the acknowledgement to the existence of God is precedent to all ethical behavior. In contrast, a nihilist may say that all moral principles are meaningless because there is absolutely no purpose to life. Humanity is broken, and that will never change, and there is no reason as to why it should change. Happiness is something final and self-sufficient, and is the end of action, the chief good. Perhaps attempting to find ultimate happiness and the answer to the meaning of the universe cannot be rationalized in our minds. It is more difficult to argue with one’s experience. And to me, my experience is that I find utmost love, joy, and peace when I see the purpose of God – which is something that Aristotle, Kant, the computer science major atheist in my class, or even Aquinas cannot persuade me otherwise.

[1] Genesis 1:26 Recovery Version.
[2] Immanuel Kant. Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1981), 413
[3] Romans 5:10.
[4] Richard McKeon, The Basic Works of Aristotle (New York: Random House, 1941), 735.[5] Ibid., 111.
[6] Genesis 1:1.
[7] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae. (ed: Timothy S. McDermott) (London: Blackfriars in Conjunction with Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1964), 363.
[8] Stephen A. White, Sovereign Virtue – Aristotle on the Relation Between Happiness and Prosperity (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1992), 46
[9] 1 Corinthians 12:3.
[10] 1 Timothy 6:17.

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“Be Proactive”

Self-awareness is the ability to think about your very thought process, and it is a phenomenon that is completely unique and exclusive to human beings. Man has dominion over the entire world and is able to make progress throughout history because of their ability to see a vision and decide how to act upon it. Stephen Covey (Seven Habits Paradigm) believes that because humans have the unique endowments of self-awareness, people should choose to develop a character that is based on proactivity, which is taking self-responsibility and careful initiative rather than being characterized by outward circumstances and conditionings. Proactive people are those that choose to value themselves beyond the scope of their environment and emotions. People who choose to be proactive are not swayed by feelings, but are instead driven by internalized and thought-out values. Such people often find satisfaction in their lives despite circumstances of grief or affliction, and these people have quite a positive influence and stirs up an inspiration in others. All humans go through periods of suffering. But what will be our response in such difficult circumstances? Will we decide to blame the situation on our outward circumstances and in response, wallow up in hopelessness? Or will we realize that we can choose to take responsibility and find alternative measures to address the issue? Covey believes that the most effective human being is the one that chooses the latter alternative.

“Look at the word responsibility – the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

But in response to Covey’s viewpoint, there must be deeper consideration of the factor of how much the world and the people around us have an impact on our behavior and character. Yes, the independent thinking of proactive people are the reason why our world operates today and continues to progress. And it is absolutely true that our response to the difficult circumstances we go through must be carried out in a proactive and responsible mentality. And it is also necessary for proactive people to develop thought-out values to stand on, as a foundation for all subsequent decisions to be made. But Covey failed to elaborate on what these values are and how they can be developed. 

We can try our best to change the way we view ourselves, other people, and our outward circumstances. We can try our best to produce new and improved internalized values. And for a while, progress might be made. But in the end, we are who we are. As humans, we have our own dispositions and our own outlook on the things around us. This is not to say people should revert back to a lifestyle of bitterness and hopelessness (no progress will be made there). But if our humanity is to undergo a transformation into something more proactive, perhaps we need to be looking at a different source. We are who we are, whether it was molded by our genetic makeup, childhood upbringing, or current environment. If change is going to occur, self-determined initiative will not accomplish it. Instead, the people around us every single day and the visions we choose to surround ourselves by will ultimately have the greatest impact. My humanity will always fall short, no matter how hard I try. But I am thankful that there is something else that I can look to and depend on, that something else being a Person, Jesus. 

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What is grace?

“But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me did not turn out to be in vain, but, on the contrary, I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but the grace of God which is with me.” 1 Cor. 15:10

“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Gal. 2:20

Grace is a word that gets thrown around amongst so many Christians across the world today. Grace is undoubtedly crucial to the Christian faith, and it is something that all Christians must stand on in order to know and experience salvation. To several Christians, grace is defined as the free and unmerited favor of God. All throughout the Bible, several verses solidly support this definition – that grace is eternal salvation given to us by God, not given to us by anything we have done, but completely based on what Christ had accomplished for us on the cross (1 Cor 1:4, Rom 3:24, Rom. 5:2,15,21). By this grace, we have a hope, and we must be eternally grateful to God for this. Because there is absolutely nothing that we have done to have deserved this salvation. 

But is that all there is to it? 

As a believer, I of course am grateful for what Christ has done for me in giving me eternal salvation. I know that my course is set. I have the full assurance and security (John 10:28) that this salvation can never be taken away, no matter how unqualified I might feel at a given time. And I know that is it by God’s grace that I can say that I am a Christian. But if grace is merely “free and unmerited favor of God”, as far as I know, grace is just something that was given and accomplished 2000 years ago, and then its effectiveness applied when I was 7 years old and first prayed that God would save me and enter into my heart. If that is the case, then what does grace mean to me today as I go on to pursue the Lord and grow more in Christ? 

Paul is the writer of both the epistles to the Corinthians and the epistle to the Galatians. What is said in 1 Corinthians 15:10 is interesting – Paul says “But by the grace of God, I am what I am…” The verse does not say that “by the grace of God, I do what I do”. Neither does it say “by the grace of God, I have what I have”. The phrase “I am what I am” shows that grace is related to one’s being. It is something more intrinsic, rather than some outward feat that Christ accomplished for us so that now we can be thankful we are saved from eternal perdition. Paul’s being was changed inwardly because of God’s grace. My point is this – “the grace of God” is very much related to the “Christ who lives in me”. This is seen in Galatians 2:20. “Yet not I” in 1 Cor. 15:10 and “no longer I” in Galatians 2:20 is followed by “grace of God” and “Christ lives in me”, respectively. 

Christ lives in me. This is grace. Grace is a person, our Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11 shows this to us that grace is none other than Christ Himself – “For the grace of God, bringing salvation to all men, has appeared.” Christ also is the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45b). So with all that we can say that Christ, as the Spirit, gives life to us, which is also God’s grace. Also notice how at the end of all of Paul’s epistles, he ends his letters with the some form of the phrase “Grace be with you”. Paul understood that grace is not something that happens once – grace can actually continually supply us and be given to us all throughout our Christian life. 

God’s grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9). I am very appreciative of the fact that grace is not only something I can be thankful for, but it is something I can continually ask for every single day of my life. Not only do I have assurance of my salvation because of God’s grace, but I also have something that can make me go on in my every day, mundane activities of my life – God Himself enjoyed by me as grace. 

All our lives, we have prayed in this way – “Lord, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for dying for me and giving me salvation, despite the fact that I have done absolutely nothing to have deserved this.” But if we really want to see God’s grace seen and experienced every day, we must pray in this way – “Lord, thank You for Your grace. Thank you that I am not alone. Thank You that Christ, as grace, is actually living inside of me and can thus be lived out through me. I want to be supplied with more grace today. Nothing else is sufficient for me other than Your grace.” 

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Lord’s Day 6/2/2013

It’s been way too long since my last blog post. And it was definitely out of pure laziness. But let’s try to get back into the habit of recording down random thoughts and experiences. Since the last post, I have had final exams, went to Evanston to blend, went to Minnesota to blend, had family from Arizona visit us, and started summer school.

It has probably been almost a year since I have attended a Lord’s Table/Prophesying meeting in Tinley Park. In the church in Oak Lawn, a couple times a month the saints split up into three districts according to language group. So every once in a while, the English-speaking saints will meet at my house in Tinley Park for the Lord’s Day meeting. There is something about the district meetings that is very different and very special. There are about 20 of us, consisting of 5 families (Kim’s, Tseng’s, Ibe’s, Bonny’s, Sayers). All of these families are so sweet, and because of all the time we spend with each other, we have all been built up into one big family it seems like. We are all so comfortable with one another in such a human way, but ultimately the reason why we always gather together is because of the Christ in each and every one of us. We love each other because we all love the Lord Jesus, and there’s no other love like God’s love that can knit a group together like this.

One of the reasons why the district meetings are so special is because the meeting isn’t always like a “traditional” or typical Lord’s Table meeting. Often times, I feel like we in the Lord’s recovery tend to get religious during the meetings and always expect to go through the same routines in all of our meetings. Normally, a Lord’s Day meeting consists of an hour of the Lord’s Table with the breaking of the elements, and an hour of the prophesying meeting, with some localities having a short break in between the two meetings. But here in Oak Lawn and especially in the district meetings in Tinley Park, there is always something different going on. Today, we had about 40 minutes of singing and praises to the Lord and the Father, with the breaking of the bread and wine. Then right afterwards, we had about 20 minutes of sharing and prophesying. This time is always so sweet. After being in Champaign for two years, I am appreciating the Oak Lawn saints’ sharing more and more. In Champaign, everything is perfect, the church life is so healthy, and all the saints seem to really know what is going on. The meetings in Champaign are always so glorious, loud, and very filled with the Spirit. Although the meetings in Oak Lawn are so so sweet and enjoyable, they are still pretty different. Other than the Tseng’s, every family that meets in Tinley Park either came in the church life or became active in the church life within the past 5-7 years. In Oak Lawn overall, about 60% of the church is Spanish-speaking, and out of those 60%, most have come in the church life within the last 10 years or so. When I was in high school, I thought the meetings were sometimes slow and I often got frustrated. But now I am realizing the mistake in that, and I am instead seeing all the labor and love that Robert and Katie have given towards the saints since the beginning of the church in Oak Lawn in 2003. Although so many of us are relatively new in the church life, we are all pursuing Christ together and really being built up in the one Body of Christ. It is amazing to see how much the saints are growing and maturing in the Lord. My dad shared this morning that as Christians, we need to be the reproduction of Christ. Christ desires to reproduce Himself within all of us, and He also desires to reproduce Himself by increasing and spreading. The latter is what we spent time doing for the last hour of our Lord’s day time..

After a short break, all the saints and the children split up into four teams to go on a small door-to-door gospel outreach time in the neighborhood around my house. The saints here have done this before, but this was my first time participating in this time here in Tinley Park. So in our small groups of about 5-6 people, each team was designated to go door to door to pass out gospel tracts, free NT bible cards, and flyers for neighborhood bible studies and children’s meetings. This gospel time was my favorite time of the day. Each group had at least one child, one high school/college-aged student, and a couple adults. We spent about 40 minutes doing this. Ijeoma even borrowed Josh’s guitar and their group got to sing some hymns to some of the neighbors. Afterwards, we all came back together for lunch. Although preaching the gospel may be difficult in a majority Caucasian and upper-middle class neighborhood, we did contact some families that seemed very open and even got some contact information. We really hope that the Lord can work in these contacts and really gain an increase to the testimony in Tinley Park/Oak Lawn. What a unique and precious time we had today. The Lord has already gained so much in the saints here in the past 5 years, and I know that the Lord isn’t stopping here.

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Broventures (Part 1)

The past month and a half has been absolutely crazy. Here in Champaign, we haven’t had a chill weekend since Spring Break. Here’s a list of all the blending and events that has been going on since Spring Break:

  • Boston/Pittsburgh (3/16-3/22)
  • UC-San Diego visits Champaign (3/28-3/30)
  • Homer Lake Outing for the core group for Christians on Campus at UIUC (4/6)
  • Blending in St. Louis/Chicago (4/12-4/14)
  • Chicago YP visit Champaign (4/20-4/21)
  • Northwestern Students visit Champaign (4/26-4/28)

What a wonderful semester it has been. So much blending, so many visitations, so much Christ enjoyed. I really don’t remember the last time we all had a chill weekend with nothing much going on. There was always something going on every weekend. I keep wondering how I am able to participate in all of these activities and not be overwhelmed with school. What a blessing this semester has been.

The most recent time of blending we had was when a few brothers from Northwestern University decided to come here to visit us. I have known all three of these brothers for a few years now, and it was great to see them again and have time to spend some quality bro time with these guys. This weekend reminded me so much of our Spring Break Trip we had last year when we went to the Southeast. It was a week that I will never forget in my entire life, and these brothers are definitely part of the reason why. The bros from Northwestern are a smaller group, but that can make it so much sweeter when we are with them. Of the six weekends we have had this semester starting with Spring Break, I would have to say that the weekend with the NU brothers was particularly special.

Friday night, our Christians on Campus club had our bi-annual celebration meeting and dinner. This is a time where all the students in the club and all the families get together as one large group and share our topmost enjoyment of the Lord this semester. We always have our celebration meetings on the last Friday of the semester before finals begin, and it is always such a glorious meeting. Hearing what all the students have enjoyed during the semester really shows how much each and every one of us has grown in the Lord. Sometimes, we look forward to hearing the older saints speak during the meetings, because we know that they have a lot of truth and experience with those truths to share to us. But there is just something about hearing some sharings from people in which we all may be on different levels when it comes to our relationship with the Lord, and it is just so sweet to hear these simple riches that all these students have to offer. We really see how much the Lord has progressed in all of us throughout the semester. And even though this meeting was specifically for the club at UIUC, it was so encouraging to see all the Northwestern brothers stand up and share what they’ve been enjoying of the Lord this semester/quarter and give a report of what is going on on their campus. What a sweet night of fellowship.

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Home Home Home (Part 2)

Saturday was a day full of shopping. I hate shopping. Shopping for 2 hours wears me out more than playing frisbee for 4 hours. I don’t know why. Later, the Josh, Joyce, and I drove up to Chicago for the Young People Meeting. I’d have to say that it was one of the most enjoyable High School Meetings I had ever been to. Our night was filled with an exercised and released spirits, and we spent about an hour pray-reading all of our favorite verses. There is just something about chewing, digesting, and assimilating the word of God into us that makes my spirit so full of joy. After the meeting, SPEED SCRABBLE. 

Lord’s Day, we went to the table meeting in Oak Lawn. All the saints there were surprised to see me. It was so nice being able to see all the saints again. I really enjoyed their portion of Christ during the Prophesying meeting. Although we were very small this week (several brothers were in Anaheim for the ITERO training), it was so sweet and about 80% of all the saints had an opportunity to speak for and forth the Lord. We enjoyed Wk 3 of the HWMR of Dan/Zech. What we all got from this week’s message – We must learn to love the Lord’s appearing, we must see Christ in the vision of the great human image, and we need to touch and enjoy Christ so that we can be His overcomers and be part of the corporate smiting stone that crushes the great human image. The most important thing, we must not miss Christ. Prophecies can be scary and intimidating and difficult to understand – but we have a pattern in Daniel. He exalted Christ before he told Nebuchadnezzar the contents and the interpretation of his dream. We need to be those who exalt Christ!! We can’t miss this crucial point!

Later that night, our entire family went out to dinner for Joyce’s birthday. We went to an Italian restaurant called Frankie’s Ristorante. I’m not too much of a fan of Italian food, but I will say that Chicago definitely has the best Italian food I have ever had by far. California has nothing on us when it comes to Italian. You know that your food is going to be good when you can only make out 60% of the words that your waiter is saying when he is going through the specials of the day. Afterwards, we had ice cream at a local shop called Plush Horse. All ice cream shops need to be more like Plush Horse, where an order of “one scoop” of ice cream is actually three massive scoops. Ice cream is so good. 

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Awesome weekend with the family. Time to go back to school, and really study hard these last 3 weeks. Spring is starting to bloom! Summer is near! Lord, I completely hand over the rest of the semester to You! Gain us, Lord. 

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