A New Year, a new mindset

It was New Years day and I was perusing my Facebook feed: Political news, boring. New Years resolutions, cliche. Buzzfeed, worthless. NYE party photos, I really shouldn’t. 

Then, a post by a friend who I hadn’t talked to in years but stayed connected to (largely due to her Christ-centered posts like this one) came to my attention:

“Know” is in the bible 1,400 times. “Understand,” 266. “Knowledge,” 172. “Thought,” 139. “Teach,” 178. “Think,” 82. “Reason,” 98 times. Versus: “Feel” which is only used 7 times. “Experience” which is only used 4. Or “Emotions”… which is never used. One of the greatest modern day deceptions of the church is one of chasing the byproducts of your faith, rather than chasing Christ. We want emotions, experiences, dreams, healing, blessing… Our faith is one of knowledge, not experience. Yes, knowledge alone without love is worthless, but with love and application it is the core of our faith. Paul prays for the church to grow in knowledge. Psalms 4:4 tells us how emotions quench reason. Grow in the knowledge of God. Stop seeking just the byproducts. Stop simply seeking an experience.

I liked it, so I ‘liked’ it. I exited out of Facebook. I have pondered the words in my heart as they have continued to revisit me the past 48 hours.

You see, the past year of my life has been turbulent. Just when I had begun feeling God the most in my life about 15 months ago, seeing the fruits of a truly believing, and learning to take action in my faith, it seemed at once everything beautiful was withering away. My faith was no longer rosy and I felt tested, to say the least. I experienced two family deaths; brokenness within my immediate and extended family like I had never felt before; a severe knee injury; a monotonous job that left me bitter and depressed; a messy and toxic friendship that left me overwhelmed and out of control… My life was being rocked and I had nothing to cling to. Not even God, it felt like.

It felt like God had been with me for a few months and then moved on. Sort of like a high school relationship – well, several high school relationships – I once knew.

I did not feel God. I felt numb. If anything, I felt abandoned.

I prayed, but it seemed pointless because I wasn’t feeling anything. I had remembered praying to be such a high at one point; like those top-of-the-mountain moments happened every time I prayed. But now, I wasn’t feeling better – heck, I wasn’t even feeling sad. I couldn’t even cry. And when I did, I thanked God for letting those long-overdue tears flow.

And I wondered: Had I ever even known God? Or was that just some emotional high I had made up and created in my head? If not, could I ever know God again? Could I ever feel Him again? Where did He Go?

Gradually, gradually, things began looking up. After about 5 months of consistent turmoil, I lingered in nothingness for a few more months. Despite my lack of inspiration, I had stayed (somewhat) consistent in fellowship and prayer and scripture. Then, in time, God again breathed life and love and joy back into my heart and life.

And, as I read that brilliant post and reflected on the past year-ish of my life, I realize how my view of God, of faith, of prayer, of service has changed and grown. God is not a 5-step process; God is not a feeling; God is not an experience. God is not there to give me what I want. God is love and peace and joy; Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the door, the Good Shepard, the Life, the Resurrection, the Way, the Truth, and the True Vine (throughout John 6-15). There is so much to be said of all of those statements; because, well, there is so much to know of God.

But how can we know more about God and His love when we are constantly chasing an experience or a high or some benefit? God is beyond the benefits we see and feel Him providing for us. I believe, as inwardly-focused humans, we often think of what God can do for us rather than what we can do for God.

So, that being said, I don’t think that my experiences of God – the feelings, the highs, the way He’s provided, the way He’s molded me, His flowing blessings – can not be written off either. They are legitimate and necessary at certain times in our faith, I believe. Yet, they are not all. They can not be expected, I have found, and certainly will not be provided throughout all points in our faiths.

Knowing God and living a faith-driven life is about following Him through the trials and the doubts and the heartaches. It is more about consistency than contingency. That being said, the feelings and experiences will come and go, but the Love of God is eternal.

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Seeking Obedient Simplicity

It dawned on me a few days ago – as I stood amidst the rubble of shoes, clothes, candles, books, and papers that is my room – I just have too. much. stuff.

I’ve lived my life as a mild hoarder with a tendency to accumulate and a severe inability to purge. I’ve always disguised this character flaw of mine as “thriftiness” and rationalized it as my recognition of material blessings that others aren’t as fortunate to have. As a youngin’, I was incredibly bothered by my mother’s constant desire to throw out or donate unused, excess items (food, clothing, knickknacks, etc.) that cluttered up our downstairs. I thought of this as “wastefulness.”

And, if we were to discuss this in detail, I would certainly stand by these beliefs… to an extent. Yet, they have not come without grief and, I realized as I inspected my overflowing mess of a room, may not be in line with God’s will for my life.

Now, I’m not really sure if God cares whether I have a messy room or not – I tend to think He mercifully turns a blind eye. However, my self-proclaimed thriftiness rather may be a deep, unrealized attachment to my possessions. It alarms me that the thought of parting with my things pains me a bit. And there’s no denying that I would survive without more than half of what I own.

And while I seek serve others, give to those with less, and preach charity to others, is it not hypocritical for me to live in excess? And how can consider all worldly things – including my possessions – “as loss” and “rubbish,” so that I may gain Christ? (Philippians 3:8)

I’ve deeply considered – and been frustrated by – the way to live this out. Is it tangible or simply personal? Do I change my attitude and view towards buying and owning things? Or do I get rid of my things? Or do I pray and wait?

And while I think the answer is a little of all of the above, I feel God pointing me towards a more concrete answer as I stumbled upon Matthew 19 this morning. Jesus addresses the man in search of everlasting life “with many possessions” and tells him to sell his possessions, give the profits to the poor, and follow Jesus. The man just walks away upset (“very sad,” as my Bible puts it). And even so, Jesus tells the disciples after the man has left that those who do this will receive a hundred times what they lose on earth while on the “new earth.” I can’t help but wonder if that’d be me… too saddened by the thought of losing a grip on the world to take action; too attached to what I own to obey Jesus’s call; too proud of what I’ve accumulated on earth to look my Savior in the eyes and trust in the Lord’s promises.

Why is it just so challenging to find contentment and comfort in the amazing promises (beyond my humanly understanding) that God offers, instead defaulting on the world’s “gifts” that have failed me time and time again?

I know I do not have an answer. I am just me. But I have decided to follow in obedience. I feel that standing amidst my conviction and remaining paralyzed is like mortifiedly staring at the heaps of laundry on my floor and stacks of books on my desks without intention to clean them up.

So, that’s what I am going to do. I am going to start by cleaning my room. I am going to part ways with some of my things – a majority of them being clothes because, well, I’m a 20 year old woman –by the way of a local thrift store’s buyback program. I am going to put the money towards this coming summer’s Christian leadership school/ homeless ministry internship in the Tenderloin. And, as I feel called, I hope to fulfill God’s will and shape my grasp on my possessions accordingly.

I am discarding this world’s treasures to seek treasures in Jesus. I am seeking obedient simplicity in spite of the world’s grip on me.

Here’s My Story: Finding God on the Streets

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One of the women from my church community – whom I have silently and distantly adored for the past several months – recently asked me to write a guest post for her blog. As an avid follower, I bursted into a little happy dance on the beach upon getting the request via my iPhone. I’ve been avidly following Bronwyn’s blog since this last fall and have found tons of hope and wisdom in her witty, thoughtful words. (bronlea.com) 

However, with her request, she gave me some guidelines and a prompt. I must write about words in my life that positively affected me. I could immediately think about a lot of negative words in my life that negatively affected, but very few – well, none – that deeply “changed my world” were positive. How sad. 

I labored for a month and a half. Then, finally it came to me. It was right before my eyes and I had just been digging too hard. 

So, here is it. The words that changed my world:

It was my freshman year of college when I began to take initiative in my faith.

A series of “college experiences” gone sour led me on a path to a on-campus Christian fellowship. Despite growing up in the church, I had never experienced such a group and I was both intrigued and inspired. I immediately began immersing myself into this community of young people who were sharing their lives together and living with an indescribable fire.

As I grew in relationship with God and fellow believers in the following months, I came to understand the realness of my faith. It was more than just a book filled with intangible theories and moral codes, it was life. And I was finally ready to make it my life. 

Continue reading…

If you could, I’d really appreciate your feedback. Thanks all! 

My generation is never in the news

Yes, you read it right. My generation, the Millennials some call us, are never in the news. Well, maybe better put, you’ll never find us  stuck with our heads in a newspaper or immersed in a news station or even listening to a news radio station on the way to work.

As I’ve started to immerse myself more and more into the field of journalism and intern at a local affiliate of NPR, I’ve noticed more and more that my generation is just not an audience of daily news. Whether it be international, national, or local, most of the people around my age (17-25) have little clue what’s going on anywhere but their own little worlds. What we know is by word-of-mouth… and that hardly gives of any details.

When I tell my friends and classmates that I’m working at Capital Public Radio this summer, I get blank stares. 

“Do you know what that is?” 

“No.”

“Have you ever heard of NPR?”

The answer is also “no” about 75% of the time. 

It would be unfair of me to assume that all people in my generation are disconnected from the news. Some of us check BuzzFeed daily after all. I guess you could count that as a dose of informative content for the day. 

Today’s top stories on BuzzFeed’s news tab are as listed: 

“24 People Rescued from Stuck Roller Coast at Six Flags America”

“This Designer Couple Imagined Every Insane Scenario That Could Go Wrong While Babysitting”

“This Guy Just Wants to Film a PSA About Lions But An Adorable Lion Keeps Interrupting Him”

And NPR’s top stories of the day are:

“Turkey’s Erdogan Wins First Direct Presidential Election”

“Israel Accepts New 72-Hour Cease-Fire in Gaza”

“West African Border Crossings on Lockdown Amid Ebola Spread”

Humor aside, you can decide for yourself which is legitimately newsworthy. 

But instead of me getting all fired up and rant about how my generation needs to be news-literate and updated on today’s current events, I’m just going to calmly explain why I think it’s particularly important young Christians today be interested in and care about the news. 

Let me acknowledge that I’m entirely aware of how depressing, dark, scary, heart-breaking, and wrong today’s news can be. It’s in our nature to want to watch and read the feel-good stuff and do without the hard stuff. (Sort of like how we love those John 3:16/ Phillipians 4:4, soul-warming verses in the Bible, but we skip over all the hard, confusing parts (Revelation, Job, etc.)) A majority of news does not report victory or marriage or love or the other uplifting things of life. So, we understandably gravitate away from CNN and towards BuzzFeed stories about lions interrupting PSA men.

Unfortunately, the truth is that the sad, bad, wrong, dark, twisted things that are on the news are actually happening. Buffering these stories with happy-go-lucky mush stories does not make them stop or go away.

We can not pretend like war isn’t happening, like people aren’t starving, like Christians aren’t being killed by ISIS, like oppression is not rampant. Yet, by ignoring the news, we do just that and escape the responsibility of caring about the innocent people affected by these horrible things. 

We remove ourselves, excuse ourselves, and pass the problem along to someone else… some politician, some activist, anyone but us. We believe we are just the small and powerless ones within the world and we can not help. And we deem the people who care – the people who become aware of the hard-but-true current events, the people who do something about them – as someone different than ourselves. We assume that’s just “their thing.” Or that they’re more capable or powerful or financially-able than us. Let me tell you, this is far from true.

Jesus called all of us to justice. And when you get right down to it, that’s just what the sad events in the news are missing: justice. We, as Christians, are meant to search out this injustice and find ways to fix it; to love on the people who need love more than ourselves. By staying trapped in our own little world, detached from the grander, scarier scheme of life, we limit our ability to do this. 

All we need is a little faith that God can work through the bad to make good… which, in theory, most Christians hold as a basic part of our belief system. But, do we put this theory into action and truly test God’s faithfulness? Are we readers of the Word who forget it shortly after– or are we readers of the Word who put it into action?

Listen, all I’m saying is that the reason our generation of young Christians doesn’t watch or read or listen to or care about the news is a deeper issue than just being lazy or illiterate or immature. It’s an issue of the heart.

In my eyes, I see Christians who are deeply affected and convicted when they become aware of the world’s problems. To me, that’s a beautiful thing. Yet, some of us are uncomfortable with that conviction, so we block it out by ignoring the issues. I think our generation has the power to turn this conviction into a bountiful harvest if we let go of our insecurities and discomfort and truly live out the words of Jesus. 

So, Young-Adult Aged Christian, I challenge you to go to a news site (CNN, Fox, BBC, NPR, whatever you prefer) and read just a few stories. Allow your heart to be broken for what breaks God’s. Sit on how you can follow in the footsteps of Jesus and help. And don’t be afraid.

Day 4 in the TL: Encounters

Sorry for such a delay between posts. I was lagging due to work and just the general busyness of life. But I figured it’s about time to get back sharing my experience in the TL as I’ve been particularly reminded of it the past couple of days with a missions team reunion dinner last night, a text from a friend I met in the TL yesterday, and my trip to the City Impact conference tomorrow. 

Day 4 consisted of a lot of relational ministry for our team. We were set out to deliver meals to tenement buildings in the TL as well as hand out Doritos on the streets and start conversation. 

I made a lot of connections and had or witnessed plenty of conversations in that day alone, but one really made a lasting impression on me. I wanted to share it with you:

It was a particularly unsuccessful night of street ministry for me. It seemed the 15-20 bags of chips I had started with at the beginning of the night were gone within 15-20 minutes and I had zero good, deep conversations to show for it. People seemed to just want to take my chips and leave, hardly even answering my, “How are you doing tonight?”

I was disheartened and even a bit “over it.” I was tired from not much comfortable sleep and felt like turning in for the night. 

While my attitude was rather crappy, something came over me that inspired me to pray… likely it was the influence of the prayerful Korean middle schoolers who prayed for every conflict and praised for every triumph that came their way. 

God, just help me through this. Bring at least one good conversation my way.

About 15 minutes later, I passed a young woman in her late twenties dressed in a grey hoody, a purple cheetah print infinity scarf, fitted jeans with her hair pulled up in a big bun who was walking alongside a man. She was gorgeous with wide, beautiful eyes and freckles gently splashing her nose and cheeks. She looked like she was of Polynesian decent… Tahitian, maybe Hawaiian. And somehow we fell into conversation. 

We instantly hit it off. I knew this was the conversation God was blessing me with for the night, in His glorious way of turning a sour attitude to a grace-filled one.

I asked her what I could pray for her for.

She was honest: her marriage, she said. To the man she had been walking with who was now talking to a few of my teammates. 

Ela– her name was– and I scooted to the very edge of the sidewalk against a graffitied wall and huddled together. Her voice was a bit more faint as she unveiled how she was homeless, unable to get any of housing she had applied for, going to school to become a medical receptionist (where all her money was going), trying to get jobs, and separated from her children who were living with her parents in Palo Alto. And, not surprisingly, this was all upheaving her marriage. 

It was surprising to hear she was homeless based on how put-together she and her husband appeared, but that goes to show you everything is not as it seems.

We prayed. I prayed for her. She prayed for me. I felt like I had truly made a friend in the moment. And even more so in the next as she asked to exchange numbers to keep in contact and exchange prayer requests. 

I walked away from the conversation refreshed and awakened and on fire once again. The rest of the night was purposeful and many more conversations were had… a small, elderly woman named Brenda who loved Jesus and danced for him on the streets; two brothers, Ron and Reggy, who wanted to turn their lives around… but Ela stayed on my mind. I couldn’t stop telling my teammates about how great things went with her. 

It felt as if we mutually cared about one another. She wasn’t just interested in getting some chips from me or how I could help her. I wasn’t putting myself at a place above her; I wasn’t “blessing” her with my presence and my gifts and my mercy. No, she prayed for me as if my life issues were just as valid as her own. She treated me like an equal and I did to her the same.

And that friend from the TL who I said texted me at the beginning of this post? Yeah, that was Ela. She asked for further prayer for her schooling, her marriage, to find agood school for her two kids. I was excited to point her to City Impact’s K-8 school, City Academy, filled with teachers who love the Tenderloin, love kids, and love Jesus with all their beings. 

I am looking forward to my trip back to CI tomorrow. I can’t wait for what God will teach more… or maybe remind me… as I search for and tinker with how to live missionally… all day, everyday. 

Day 3 in the TL: Rags with riches

On Wednesday, the third day in the Tenderloin, I took my first shower of the week and discovered a place to get some coffee just around the corner. Emo’s, it’s called. A fantastic little coffee joint owned by a Persian man who decorated his store with hookah machines and bright green paint comparable to freshly cut grass. Inside, at 7:45am, the tables are crowded with people reading newspapers, novels, and Bibles.

My teammate and I both ordered one of the few things on the menu: black coffee with steamed milk… and man, was it good. Compared to the previous day’s coffee we bought from City Impact, I felt like I was living the high life. 

But it dawned on me as I sipped my cup of joe, walking the grungy streets back to home base: I am so privileged. I live so comfortably that being unable to shower for one day or not getting one cup of coffee actually makes me uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the people around me sometimes go days without food and shelter, certainly go longer than days without showers, and probably don’t have a nice cup of coffee everyday either.

I’ve been convicted of this before, but something struck me in a sweet spot this time and it really sunk in. It’s true that God does not judge us by our wealth. There is nothing inherently wrong about being poor. There is nothing inherently wrong about being rich. But we have different callings as believers in these differing socioeconomic categories. 

In that position I found myself in, coffee in hand and conviction in heart, I did not feel guilt as I once would have. Instead, I realized the error in my action and how to change. The coffee itself wasn’t bad. It says no where in the Bible, “Thou shalt not go to Starbucks.” I don’t think God cares about our coffee drinking habits too much… unless of course they are hindering us from loving on and providing for those who need it more. When I sip a latte in the face of someone who hasn’t eaten all day and refuse to help them in order to fuel my own desires, I’d say that’s when God has some issues with my actions and I’ve entered in the realm of sin. Instead of spending $2.50 on the regular for a senseless caffeine kick, I could be taking care of a brother or sister. 

But it’s really more than just giving away money. In fact, I think that giving without having the heart for it or doing it simply out of white man’s guilt is worse than not giving at all. It’s like being spanked as a child but never actually changing your behavior. You end up complacent and resentful. 

Like I was saying, it’s more than just giving away money… in fact, a lot of the time, money makes our relationships with our a brothers and sisters an us vs. them sort of situation: poor vs. rich, giving vs. taking, entitled vs. lowly. I witnessed this on my third day in the TL:

July 9– Today I made an interesting, unintentional mistake that managed to offend one man quite badly. As I waited to cross the street from one City Impact building to another, making a school supply run for a teacher at City Academy, I pulled out my phone to check the time. Hardly raising my phone past my waste, I glanced down at the time and switched the phone from my back to front pocket. I don’t know why I did it, it was just a natural and unconscious action. But then an African American man, who appeared to be homeless, passed behind and started yelling at me,”That’s offensive! Did you think I was going to steal your phone?! I’m offended!” Shocked, I looked at the man in confusion and gathered that he thought I had moved my phone from one pocket to the other to hide it or keep it farther away from him… so he couldn’t snatch it out of my pocket. But that thought had never even crossed my mind until he was yelling at me. 

This event reminded me a lot of the first day in the thrift shop when one woman told me how offended she was that she was asked to check her purse at the store counter while shopping. City Impact has been having a shoplifting issue at the store and has been implementing this policy recently. She just couldn’t stop telling me that she’d chop off her hand before she’d steal. It’s crazy how sensitive the people of the TL are to anything that even vaguely hints at an accusation of theft.

Reflecting on these events, I realize that the reason the people of the TL react so negatively to such a situation is because we, as a society, have pitted us against them. We’ve made them feel as if, because they’re less materially wealthy than others, we suspect they are going to steal from us

I just don’t think this is what God intended for us as believers. He never wished for our relationships to be strained by our worldly possessions or socioeconomic classes. When Jesus hung out with the poor and the lowly, he broke these societal strains and modeled for us how rich, poor, black, white, brown, old, young are united in him. It’s possible for the poor man and the rich man to be equals as believers, but only in God’s love. 

And so what was my lesson on day three? My lesson was that when Jesus commanded us to aid “the least of these,” he was not telling rich people to give poor people money. No, he was wasn’t telling rich people to sell all their things or feel guilty that they have things, either. He was telling all of us to help one another. Because in one way or another (emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, materially), all of us are in some way of “the least of these.” 

I think that although I can afford a coffee and I do live a very comfortable life, I must not allow the Devil to root guilt in my heart and make this guilt keep me from serving the body… A body that must be united in Christ, regardless of wealth. Instead, I must have a giving and selfless heart, denying myself to help others within the body. 

 

Day 2 in the TL: Shout to the Lord All the Earth

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July 8, 2014– Tuesday was our second day in the TL but our first full day of service. I was sent to work in City Impact’s thrift store in the morning then to the Rescue Mission, a place of worship and meal service for the homeless, in the afternoon. 

I quickly realized just how out of my comfort zone the week was going to be. have always had a thing against thrift stores. Something about them just gives me the yucks. I don’t like the idea of touching clothes that have been worn by someone I don’t know. Anything could’ve happened in them and I’d probably never know! It’s a selfish, privileged viewpoint of mine… I realize that. And serving in the thrift shop immediately forced me to push those feelings aside and serve joyfully… otherwise be really unhappy. Thankfully, I chose the former. God truly humbled me in those three hours as I sorted clothes.

The afternoon in the Rescue Mission consisted of sitting in on a Bible study of primarily homeless men. It was intriguing to watch these individuals mull through the Bible, fascinating to hear their take on each verse, humbling to realize how profound their understandings were in comparison to my own. As soon as the study ended, we began meal preparation, headed into a time of worship and a sermon, then we served dinner to the service attendees. We were encouraged to sit and talk with these people, get to know them, their lives, their circumstances, their faiths.

I didn’t write too much in my journal that day as we hardly had any individual time. After my time at the Rescue Mission and a dinner of my own, we split into teams and headed out for evening street ministry. City Impact receives all their food by donation… and let’s just say Frito Lay has been extra charitable. City Impact has warehouses filled with boxes of various chips: Doritos, Cheetos, you name it and they got it. So, we took these chips to the street as a conversation starter with the people of the Tenderloin. It’s amazing how people’s faces light up when they’re offered a bag of chips, how food is such a powerful way of displaying love and care for another person. 

I spoke with some truly interesting people: some very open to talking about God and the gospel message, confessing their need for prayer; others, not as open and simply interested in a bag of spicy Doritos. 

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I saw several drug deals out in the open, spoke to one man who had a pill bottle full of marijuana in his hand and another who held his hypodermic needle during our conversations. There were pools of urine and even smeared feces (likely from a human) on the sidewalk. Yes, it was eye-opening and very different from the suburbs where I grew up.

However, I think my main takeaway throughout the day was witnessing several methods of worship different from my own, forms of worship that were entirely out of my element and comfort zone. 

Before hitting the streets for ministry, we had a time of prayer with all of teams who had come to serve. Expecting a time of silence and individual prayer, I was taken aback when the group from San Jose, a group of Korean Americans, began to pray out loud. It began with one leading voice, then another few joined in, then another few, and the room was soon roaring with the sound of 50 people praying out loud. Some were whispering, others were louder, passionately praying to the Lord. This, I remembered, is called Korean-style prayer. Coincidence? I think not. I was uncomfortable at first, however I had practiced this form of prayer at missions training through my church.

I wrote in my journal: 

It’s awesome to see the way that the Koreans worship God. The way they praise God, shout to the Lord, make their voices heard to Him is amazing. They don’t appear to be self-conscious during prayer and focus all their heart, all their voice, all their energy on praying. They are able to fixate on Him, tuning out the loudness around them. It’s powerful, the Holy Spirit is so present.

I also experienced new forms of worship during the service at the rescue mission. During musical worship, one large, African American man was the only person standing up. His hands were in the air, his fingers pointing in different direction, slightly resembling the Usain Bolt pose. He moved his fingers around during the songs to match the beat. He loudly sang along to select bits and pieces of each song and said “Amen” at the top of his lungs at the end of each song. Most interestingly, during the sermon, he would let out a booming, almost eerie laugh when the speaker said something particularly pertinent. 

It was uncomfortable, I admit. He certainly drew attention to himself. At first, I was judgmental and didn’t quite get it. Then, I realized after a time of reflection that this way the man’s way of worshipping God. Simply because I find it strange or irregular doesn’t mean that it doesn’t praise and please the Lord. The same could be said of the Korean-style prayer. 

On Tuesday, I truly understood the unity we find in the Lord Jesus Christ. Us believers of all races, cultures, socioeconomic groups worship the same God. There is no Koreans vs. white vs. black vs. him vs. her when it comes to worship. God sees our worship all the same. Loud prayer isn’t wrong. Excited ‘amens’ aren’t wrong. And my quiet, kept-to-myself prayer isn’t the only right way. 

I think what I wrote in my journal concludes my new perspective pretty well: 

It was amazing watching other forms of worship today and know that God finds beauty in all worship. Praising in His name is never wrong, no matter how we do it. 

“Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25