Starting the day off with DT
Woke up yesterday morning at Mike, had breakfast and did our Devotions around some Costco muffins and coffee! Shared, had a quick lunch with his family and took off for UCSD, but before we go there just like to share a little from the wedding passage:
- Consider the irony of wine running out on the wedding day—the most well-prepared and supposedly happiest day of one’s life. What truth about life and about the limits of human abilities does this scene depict?
- What did Mary do about this problem? What can I learn from Mary?
It’s again a reminder that human efforts are limited – no matter how much preparation, no matter how much resources we have, we’ll always fall short of being able to provide for ourselves in every situation. I just think about how much I can rely on my own knowledge to get me through class in school or a project at work, it’s never enough – that as hard as I study or as diligent as I work, I always fall short or where’d I’d like to be. Even in keeping promises and relationships, I’ve experienced just falling short in a lot of ways: just by the sheer number of hours and my limited emotional capacity I can only handle so much – there’s are old friends who are hurt because they felt left in the dust because of my lack of schedule, or my because of my own laziness and selfishness I am only a sub-par son when I go home. Though I know I should try as hard as I can to be the best as I can in all these areas, being a diligent worker, a loving son, a helpful brother, an able minister – the facts are clear – I am a sinner and will fall short time and time again. To recognize that even when I try to do good I fall short, and accept that, there’s where there will be room for grace. And as I think about the upcoming Christmas message, I’m just inspired once again that I serve a God that doesn’t expect perfection from me, but expects imperfection and works even within the confines of our human limitations. In the case of the wedding, he used what was there.
And I think that speaks mountains, that they don’t have to even have to have grapes for Jesus to make wine: he’s going to use whatever I have, as long as I can even obey like the servants did! Many times I feel like, you know I can’t lead a small group because I don’t know what to say, I don’t know enough about the Bible – but I always forget that God is the one that’s in control. If I was always fully prepared (for one I don’t think I’ll ever be fully prepared) where does that leave for God to work? A lot of times my life is lived out with everything planned out and everything prepared where I always need to feel like I’m in control, but a lot of times God isn’t looking for the most competent person, the most prepared person, but rather someone who is willing to just listen to Him and pour the water. He’s looking for a person who is more interested in asking Him for help rather than relying on himself for the answers. Like Mary. I think the most amazing part about Mary is that up to this point, no miracles were performed, no signs were made directly from Jesus, and she trusted. She remembered that day when the angel came and told her she was going to give birth to a Savior, and from then she trusted and had faith. I think about how I even have a hard time trusting in God even after time after time He shows himself to be faithful. How he’s led me through financially hard times growing up early in my life, how he saved me from a life of vandalism and just trying to find love in all the wrong places, and how he saved me from pursuing the things of this world through complications in romantic relationship, through disillusionment of career, and so much more. How much has He been working through our church? This past 5 years: one northloop building (one sierra lodge), two church plants: one domestic, one abroad. Three college fellowships. Four new ministries: ECM, the restart of Impact, VSM, Interhigh. Yes, I need to be a lot more Mary-like in faith, because man I have NO reason to doubt at all that God will be faithful and God is working – and even if a turn of evens happens and things are tough: I still have to be faithful, remember the Gospel, hold on to like Mary did, how she recognized and did not doubt that her son was the Son because of that faithful night.
- How does the statement “everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine” aptly describe how the world works? In contrast, how does the statement “you have saved the best till now” aptly describe how God works?
The best now and the cheaper ones later: people live like this all the time, not necessarily the “best” now, but they try to enjoy the pleasures of life without any of the substance. Enjoy the best years of your life now, have fun, party, spend on yourself. As life drags on, the wine gets cheaper, they used up the best years of their life on what? They don’t invest in the hard work or relationships, they don’t use it to preach the Gospel. It all empties and goes to waste, and I have to confess many times I’ve been like this, I’m just glad that God led me to this church earlier than later, that I would have a lot more life to invest to this than in what I would’ve invested in: basically a stable and comfortable life, pursue a relationship that isn’t God-centered, but me-centered, and probably waste my times in the media world: movies and games. How would I know, that’s how I wasted the better parts of my teenage years away in.
In a way, we waste the better wine – life itself before we know what we should use it for, but one thing from this incident shows is that God, even after we’ve exhausted are good wine (despair not!) He’ll still provide, and for that I’m extremely grateful – and I want to more and more treasure the best wine by using it to the best of my ability and not hoard for myself a life that’s lived selfishly. I want to live for God and for other people to exhaust my resources for God’s kingdom rather than for my own limited life.
UCSD Library, center of campus
With all that in mind, we set off for UCSD to do our little prayer walk – reminded how it’s not about our resources, but God’s which is how we’re approaching these upcoming three church plants.
Where we will flyer for UCSD New Student Welcome Night!
We were able to walk through campus (the campus is huge!), and to think that in about six months we’ll be here on this campus getting ready to put on our New Student Welcome Night to the students here. We saw the Sproul Plaza equivalent of UCSD and could already picture all the students bustling through that place, getting a flyer from one of guys on the team, and hopefully one day experiencing the Gospel.
It's the Cat!
After seeing their huge library (basically they don’t have a Campanile so their library is basically their campus landmark), the Cat in the Hat Dr. Seuss memorial, and a Class of 2008 plaque (that’s us!) we got together at the food court and prayed for the campus and sang “Let your Glory Fall.” I hope that if any of you guys are in the area (Mr . Knox!) you’ll be able to join us for our prayer walk on the UCSD campus. It’s one good way we can take ownership over the church plant, even if we’re not the ones going, with almost 30,000 students on that campus – that’s definitely a mission field (one much closer than Cambodia that John and I are going to in a week and a half!).
That would've been us if we went here!
Merry Christmas everybody!