Archive | August 2005

More to This Life
By Steven Curtis Chapman


Today I watched in silence as people passed me by,
And I strained to see if there was something hidden in their eyes;
But they all looked at me as if to say
Life just goes on.

The old familiar story told in different ways,
Make the most of your own journey from the cradle to the grave;
Dream your dreams tomorrow because today
Life must go on.

CHORUS
But there’s more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there’s more than this life alone can be.

Tonight he lies in silence staring into space,
And looks for ways to make tomorrow better than today,
But in the morning light it looks the same;
Life just goes on.

He takes care of his family, he takes care of his work,
And every Sunday morning he takes his place at the church;
And somehow he still feels a need to search,
But life just goes on.

(chorus)

So where do we start to find every part
Of what makes this life complete;
If we turn our eyes to Jesus we’ll find
Life’s true beginning is there at the cross where He died.
He died to bring us . . .

(chorus)


———————————————-


Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Steven Curtis Chapman’s (SCC or SC²) work.  It’s amazing how God has used to man and his music to bless and encourage so many God Followers to make much of Him and make Him their Magnificent Obsession.  It started a last Tuesday night when I figured I might as well watch “The Walk” DVD on SCC’s latest compilation, The Abbey Road Sessions (http://www.freshreleases.com/albums/1860.html).


As I listened to “For the Sake of the Call”, the thought of giving up everything do actively follow God’s call (which still isn’t crystal clear to me mind you) would be so wonderful-to truly “abandon it all…for the sake of the call.”  When I think about the debt I still need to pay back from my time at USC, it’s like a giving up a game-winning home run.  If you are able and willing, please pray for me regarding this over the long run.  I have no idea how our God will totally make this pan out, but I’m trusting He will.


Because of this experience, I loaded all my SCC albums into my Scooby’s in-dash CD changer (chronologically of course).  The lineup is as follows:


1) Signs of Life (1996)
2) Greatest Hits (1997)
3) Speechless (1999)
4) Declaration (2001)
5) All About Love (2002)
6) All Things New (2004)


As I drove down to Uncle Tony’s (Firth) house in Huntington Beach on Friday night (for our church’s high school leadership retreat), “More to This Life” really struck a chord.  I don’t know what the chord was (G, D, or C j/k), but it made me think about how there really is more to this life than living and dying…more than just trying to make it through the day.


On Saturday, I asked Uncle Tony if spending time with the youths at our church ever made him feel like a father.  He replied, “Sometimes the best things in life are other people’s things,” or something along those lines.  To be honest, in my 24+ years of life, I have never heard that saying.  Although I had never heard it before, I couldn’t help but to stop and think about what he had said.  My almost immediate conclusion was that the saying was pretty much true through and through.


Since I was at Tony’s, he mentioned I could take the ‘Stang (2003 Ford Mustang GT Convertible) out of the “stable” and stretch its legs a little bit.  I took Steve and Gabe Lee for a ride and then returned to Tony’s.  I was far from done though!  I picked up David Wong and gave him a ride too!  If you see some fresh tire marks going Westbound on Newland at the intersection of Newland and Atlanta in Huntington beach, that was probably left by me burning out.  After having our bit of fun, I throttled back on the heavy right foot usage and cruised around with David talking about serving on core-picking his brain and also sharing my $0.02 here and there.  As a courtesy, I filled up Uncle Tony’s ‘Stang with some 91 oct.  We started w/ less than a 1/4 tank and I used up at least 1/8-1/6 of the tank.  I figured it’d be nice to plunk down for a whole tank since Uncle Tony serves God and us in countless and selfless ways.  I was expecting at least a $40 hit, but it only came out to mid-thirty-something dollars.  For all of you complaining about gasolines prices, remember, although they’re astronomically high, the price we pay for gasoline is CHUMP CHANGE compared to what people in Europe and Japan pay for their petrol.  Let’s stop whining and SUCK IT UP (my opinion…you don’t have to agree by any means).  All in all, after driving Uncle Tony’s Mustang again, I could definitely agree that the best things in life are other people’s!  j/k


On Sunday morning, I drove back to church in Devoted Dan (what I call the Scooby/Subie I drive).  It felt so nice to be back in it!  Although it doesn’t have the straight line speed of the ‘Stang, I felt back at home!  It’s like the ol’ saying, “It fits like a glove.”  Every time I sit in and buckle up in the driver’s seat, I feel at home-most people’s cars are their homes away from home if you thing about average commute times and the amount of driving many of us do here in Southern California.  As far as I know (AFAIK), Southern California is the largest automobile market in the world.  It also has the highest number of vehicles per capita in the world.


For those of you who are extremely observant, you may notice I try not to say “my car” much.  As much as I love it (some people would say obsess over it), I will immediately concede that it is not my own-it is God’s.  Some will say I don’t need a car that “nice” (arguable) or that “fast” to go from point A to point B (and C and D and wherever else I need to go).  I won’t argue with them one bit.  I could “argue” that since I drove around in some Oldsmobiles (1993 Achieva S and 1997 Ciera SL) for a good amount of time, I was “entitled to” or “deserved” something better, but that simply wouldn’t be true.  I wanted a Subaru Impreza WRX because it was an excellent mix of fun/fast/performance and practicality being a sports sedan.  That, and my folks would never help me get a Camaro SS.  Becoming a member of the Subaru “family” has also opened a world of opportunity to be a light God can use in a new community.  I’ve met a handful of people in person that I never would’ve otherwise met if it weren’t for some of the online forums that exist for Subaru enthusiasts (NASIOC – North American Subaru Impreza Owners’ Club is the main one I lurk around on as GMooreFan1).  The same can be true for my friend, Bryan Li (Xanga: Shinj1EVA).  It’s been encouraging to hear how God has used his interest in the car he drives (2004 Acura TL) to meet and identify with other TL drivers.


Bringing this (yet another long) entry to a close, I want to encourage you all to spend some time reflecting on how there really is more to this life.  The late John Lennon may have said it best when he said, “You can win the rat race, but you’ll still be a rat.”


University of Southern California Trojans versus University of Hawai’i Warriors this Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 4 PM on the deuce, ESPN2.  You can follow this year’s Trojans at www.usctrojans.com and also see the lighter side of QB Matt Leinart and RB Reggie Bush (a.k.a. “The President”) at www.MattReggieTV.com.  On a side note, USC celebrates its 125th anniversary this October!!!  FIGHT ON!


Hawaii stuns defending champs for Little League title

Last but not least, “Congratulations!” to the Little League baseball team from West O’ahu – Ewa Beach who won the Little League World Series (LLWS) in dramatic fashion with a walk-off game-winning solo home run by Michael Memea to knock off the defending champions from Willemstad, Curacao.  The resilient Hawai’i team scored three runs in the bottom of the 6th inning to tie the game and force extra innings.  Memea hit his solo shot in the bottom of the 7th inning to make history as his team became the first team from Hawai’i to win the LLWS.

So much I really want to say, not nearly enough time to write it all…


On Saturday morning, I went to a meeting at Ted’s (Xanga: deadkau).  When I saw his eldest daughter, Samantha, come to her father after having just awakened, the following song immediately came to my mind.


I went to last night’s (Wednesday) Dodger$ game with the Seargeant family (Auntie Karen, Tim, Ally, and Nikki).  The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Colorado Rockies 2-1 while my San Diego Padres won down in SD against the Houston Astros.  I wore my SD cap and jacket to the game.  I was surprised nobody voiced there displeasure with my choice to wear that apparel.  I was hoping to reply with, “Who’s in 1st place?”


I really wish I had kids.  There’s just a small problem of being married to a wonderful wife first.  It’s just a minor technicality, folks! (EDIT: I’m just kidding!)


To all the former First Chinese Baptist Church of Walnut high school seniors who have started their college adventures or will do so soon, I wish you all the best!  May you all FIGHT ON and make much of Jesus on your respective campuses as you live, study, work, and play for His glory alone!


Moment Made for Worshiping
by Steven Curtis Chapman
Lyrics copied and pasted from: http://www.christianlyricsonline.com/artists/steven-curtis-chapman/moment-made-for.html


6:30 Monday morning
I’m here hiding in my bed
A song plays on my alarm clock
As I cover up my head
And somewhere in the distance
I remember yesterday
Singing “Hallelujah”
Full of wonder, awe, and grace
But now I’m just wondering
Why I don’t feel anything
At all


Chorus:
This is a moment made for worshiping
Cause this is a moment I’m alive
This is a moment I was made to sing
A song of living sacrifice
For every moment that I live and breathe
This is a moment made for worshiping


When I’m praying with my children
As they’re running off to school
When I kiss my wife good morning
Just to say I still love you
When I’m feeling loved and happy
When I’m feeling all alone
When I’m failing to remember
All the love that I’ve been shown
Every beat of my heart
Is another new place to start
To know


Chorus 


Every single beat of my heart
Is another new place to start
Right now


Chorus


From the rising of the sun
To the setting the sun
The name of the Lord is worthy to be praised

This is from my friend/ex-roommate (summer 2002), Joe‘s Xanga.  Enjoy!


————————————————-


Friday, August 19, 2005







This was a phone conversation I had with a telemarketer that called our office today.  Imagine the person (TM) speaking with a heavy Indian accent:

Me: Thank you for calling Position Research, how may I help you?
TM: Hello, I am calling to update the business listing for your company, Is your address 314 W 3rd Ave, Escondido, CA 92025?
Me: Yes.
TM: Is your phone number 760-480-8791?
Me: Yes it is.
TM: Can I ask your name?
Me: My name is Joe.
TM:  What is your last name, Joe?
Me: My last name is Mama.
TM:  Excuse me, is that M-A-N-A?
Me: No, its M-A-M-A… Jo Mama.
TM:  Thank you sir.  What is your position at the company?
Me:  Foosball Player.
TM:  No sir, what do you do at the company?
Me:  I play foosball.
TM:  Sir, can I speak to your manager?
Me:  No, he’s not here right now.
TM:  Thank you sir, I will call back another time.

*Hangs up*


 

Should I stay or should I go?


I received one letter last Saturday and one yesterday (Wednesday) from the City of Los Angeles to report for interview.  When I “interviewed” for my current position in mid-May, I told my dealership’s service director that I would commit for at least a couple years knowing that our new dealership’s facility was under construction and should be “all that and a bag of chips” (or “the bee’s knees” for you slightly older folks).  My gut feeling tells me to let those two letters come and go since I want to be a man of my word and know that where I am right now is a place where God can use me to be a light for Him, not that I can’t shine for Him elsewhere though.  What do ya’ll think?  I know I’m not making much money, but I’m pretty happy, the commute is decent for the most part, and I’m still close enough to home and attend and serve at First Chinese Baptist Church of Walnut (shameless plug – http://www.fcbcwalnut.org).  I would greatly appreciate your prayers.


Devoted Dan (my name for the car I drive) 1, tire tread 0
Last Friday night, I filled up at the Chevron on Brea Canyon Rd and Golden Springs Rd after church.  After I tanked up, I got on the 60 East and headed toward the Applebee’s on Valley Blvd and Grand Ave. where I would meet up with some people from church for a late dinner.  I figured it’d be quicker to take the freeway than the surface streets since the 60 East on-ramp was right next to the gas station.  So I’m driving along and at the 60 East-57 North interchange, I try to make my way over to the right lane to exit at Grand Ave. (thank you, Caltrans, for your ingenuity).  After thinking I had won that “battle,” as soon as I got into the right lane for the Grand Ave. exit, I saw a tire tread right in front of me.  I’d say I had about half a second before I would hit it (I was travelling between 60 and 70 mph if I remember correctly).  In my mind I thought, “OH @&#$!  I’m going to hit it!”  Knowing there wasn’t much else I could do, I tried my best to center my car over the tread and ran over it.  Immediate after hitting it, I didn’t know if I had sustained any cosmetic damage, but the car felt all right after that.  When I parked the car at Applebee’s, I took out my flashlight and surveyed the front bumper, inner wheel liners, and front underside for any damage.  There didn’t appear to be any!  I was relieved to say the least!  My co-worker’s 2004 BMW 330i (E46 chassis) sedan with the performance package (option code ZHP) suffered a 6-10 inch crack on the left front portion of his front bumper and the driver side fog light ring fell out when he hit a tire tread a few months ago.  Last month, another person in the sales department with a 2005 BMW 330Ci with the performance package suffered a broken passenger side fog light and a part inside the passenger headlight assembly was jarred enough to break after meeting a tire tread up close.  Could Dan’s toughness and durability be attributed to its rally-inspired design?  I don’t know to be honest.  That probably would have little to do with it.  I’m just glad “it takes a beating and keeps on ticking” to borrow Timex’s old motto.


Softball ended last Wednesday night.  My team lost by 2 runs.  They also lost the Wednesday night I was in Ensenada.  Thus, we were eliminated from the playoffs (where all teams play, even ones with losing records like ours…sounds like the NBA Eastern Conference, doesn’t it? hehehe).  I was the tying run on first base when the batter behind me flied out to right center.  I went 0-for-1 with 1 run scored by grounding into a fielder’s choice and later scoring, and I was walked and left on-base twice.  It was fun playing this summer!  However, I now can go to the batting cages again and hit balls thrown in a straight line at over 80 mph!



How driving school should be (broadband only, I think Microsoft Windows Media Player as well): http://www.impress.tv/cgi-bin/play/play.plx?id=imapt050808aps
Anyone out there know how I can save this AWESOME video clip to my hard disk drive?


College football season is coming soon!  GO TROJANS!  BEAT THE (Hawai’i) WARRIORS!!!  FIGHT ON!!!

Here’s my Ensenada, Mexico testimony!  I apologize for its tardiness.  Some things called sleep and busyness got in-between me and its completion

 

For starters, my testimony is LONG like USC Trojan Football tradition.

 

Those of you familiar with my writing/posting style know I can get long-winded when sharing my thoughts.  Hopefully, it’s not all fluff–only a lil.  I just like to try to be as detailed as possible in order to (hopefully) paint a vivid picture ya’ll can envision as you read along.  I also threw in some things to remind ya’ll of my corny, but effective, sense of humor

 

Enjoy/In joy,

Loren :o)

 





 


Loren Wong – Ensenada Testimony


 


            I wanted to go on our mission trip to Ensenada to see if God would provide me with further discernment regarding what He would like me to do with my life.  That is, what to do with my life in terms of His big picture.  There are times when I wish He would make it crystal clear to me whether He has called me into full-time ministry as a pastor, missionary, or something else such as being on staff with Youth For Christ, InterVarsity, Asian American Christian Fellowship, or other para-church organizations.  To be honest, this trip did not do that for me.  Perhaps God knows it may be best for me if He doesn’t simply drop His calling to me on my door step because that would be too easy.  Maybe that would require less of my trust and dependence on Him if things panned out that way.  I don’t know.  What I do know is this trip was an excellent eye-opener for me personally in terms of realizing that my life/our lives in Christ is/are to truly transcend every aspect of my/our everyday life/lives in an effort to make much of Him.  Missions should not be a “mode” we get into only when we are explicitly on a missions trip.  There is no on/off switch we can flip when we feel like proclaiming how great our God is.


            Before going on the trip, I thought things such as living conditions and the people we would be serving were going to be more “rustic” and impoverished than what we encountered.  My perception of those things was probably shaped by how they were “talked up” by others.  I was expecting to endure conditions below anything I could have ever imagined.  That didn’t quite turn out to be the case which was completely fine with me.  The fact that I hadn’t really used my Spanish since my junior year of high school (1997-1998) was a little worrisome, but I figured I still should know enough to keep myself alive if “worse comes to worse.”


            As our trip progressed, the truth that God’s hand was over us became increasingly clear as our team’s time in Ensenada progressed.  The first example of this was the time when the van formerly known as Escargo (white Ford E250 or E350 cargo van driven by Sally Gin), a.k.a. “Cool Runnings” (peace be the journey), and Shadowfax (white Chevy Express 3500 15-passenger van driven by Ted Kau – How was I supposed to know the horse’s name?  The only horses I really care about can be found in derbies or stakes such as the Kentucky, Belmont, and Preakness because racing is racing.) decided to wait for Nebuchadnezzar (white Ford E350 15-passenger van driven by Jerry Hwang) at the law enforcement station right before the first toll booth we would encounter in Mexico. Shadowfax pulled into a parking stall (horse and stall – anyone get it?) while Cool Runnings was left on thin ice (hahaha) because there were no more spaces.  The space on the immediate left of Shadowfax was marked “El Jefe” which I knew was for the boss or “El Gran Queso” – the big cheese.  The other stalls appeared to be marked for other superiors or prominent authorities as well.  With our Ford Econoline cargo van sitting in the middle of the lot, we were as inconspicuous as Old Glory (the American Flag) on the Fourth of July.  Before we knew it, an official wearing a yellow shirt, a cap, and sunglasses was making his way toward our van.  I thought I would need some assistance speaking with him so I told Julia in the Ted’s van I might need her help if things go south.  The cliff notes of our conversation is as follows: he asked what was up, I told him we were waiting for one more vehicle, he told us to wait in an area a little further up, end of story.  I’d be lying if I said my heart rate didn’t increase.  I also wondered if he may have been directing us to an area where they could raid our vans and interrogate us and “what have you.”  Thankfully, the situation was incident-free and I was convinced that we would need to fully rely on God’s grace to get us through the entire trip.  I later learned at lunch time on the first day that Shadowfax could have been pulled over for making a late left turn in an intersection (partly the fault of Cool Runnings making the turn when the light was yellow).  It turned out (pun intended) the car behind Shadowfax also went and was subsequently pulled over by la policía/the fuzz/the 5-0/the black and white.


            At the Templo Cristiano de la Nueva Jerusalem, I believe we were treated to a glimpse of heaven.  Look no further than Revelations 5 and just imagine every tribe, tongue, and nation worshiping our God.  Although I was only able to understand somewhere between five and twenty percent (being generous) of Sunday’s message, I definitely felt a little more “alive” during the service.  I also found it very interesting that the van driven by Jerry was named “Nebuchadnezzar” after the ship in The Matrix, that Hanley said something along the lines of, “How does the grass taste?” (See Daniel 4:32) when we were leaving camp for church that Sunday morning, and that the pastor giving the message spoke about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in Daniel 3 early in his message.  Some would say it was a mere coincidence, but I would be inclined to disagree.  When Jerry asked near the end of the day if what we had witnessed was the result of the congregants’ cultural manner of worship or if it was God moving through them, I’m confident we all unequivocally thought it was the latter.  So the question we should ask ourselves is, “What’s holding me/us back?”


            Our time spent going door-to-door inviting children to VBS brought back memories of the two treks I made to Whiteriver, Arizona in August 1998 and 1999.  The new twist was going door-to-door with the language difference trying to bring our two worlds together.  The people we spoke with were very gracious listening to my rudimentary Spanish.  One little girl even offered me some corn from the can she was eating.  I was able to have some nice conversations with a few of the kids throughout the week.  The most notable was telling Eddy on Monday morning that I’ll teach him how to throw a curveball if he brought a baseball to VBS the following day.  I never got the privilege to do so, but if/when I return, I’ll make sure I bring some baseballs, gloves, and a bat!


            What I really wish I had more of during our trip was interaction with adults.  Although the language difference would again seem to be an apparent issue, the adults I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with were very gracious and patient with my limited Spanish speaking ability.  There were two notable exchanges I had with Mexican adults during the week.  The first was working with Cyrillo on the church’s construction project.  Cyrillo would easily rank among one of the most humble and hard working people I’ve personally met.  Even though I was unable to fully understand him on multiple occasions, I still had a great time working alongside him.  During our Thursday afternoon meal, I found out he was 34 years-old, had been a Christian since he was five years-old, and had been going to that church for six years.  If I remember correctly, his regular work was working with aluminum and other metals.  After we had completed the floor, he came to me while I was taking inventory of work gloves, tapped me on my right shoulder, and wanted to shake my hand.  That moment in time will be indelibly etched in my memory for the rest of my life.


            The second memorable interaction I had that week was with Ignacio, the groundskeeper at the park the team went to on Wednesday afternoon.  What had happened was my pocket Bible fell off the park bench I was sitting.  I never noticed that it fell until Ignacio mentioned it to me as he was passing.  I was floored, not literally of course, that I could have possibly left something so dear to me in Mexico!  The next time he passed, I thanked him again and thought it was worth a shot to initiate a conversation with him.  I asked him if he personally knew Jesus Christ.  With my limited comprehension, I was able to pick out that he believed Jesus Christ was the only way to be saved.  He asked if we were from a Christian group which I suppose wouldn’t be too hard to figure out since we were a non-indigenous group toting Bibles and using 15-passenger vans.  I told him we were from a church in Los Angeles which I think he thought was neat.  As we left the park, I thanked him again for finding my Bible and thought how great it will be that we will be re-united with him one day worshiping our God.


            My experience with Ignacio got me thinking about how we evangelize.  In this instance, it seemed almost easy to bring up the topic of Christ with a complete stranger.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by that, but this interaction shook up my thinking that “cold turkey” or “cold contact” evangelism is for the most part ineffective except in certain situations when God simply allows it to work.  During my college years, I became so sold on relational evangelism that my perception of cold turkey evangelism pretty much whittled away to a drop in the ocean.  I thank God for showing me how He still can work in unexpected ways.


            Later that same day, we traveled to Taqueria de Las Brisas (or something like that) for our dinner.  While we were there, I felt we were further perpetuating the perception that Americans are loud and overbearing because our relatively large group was crammed into such a relatively tight place.  I’m guessing a few of the locals who had dinner there probably thought the same, maybe even, “There goes any chance of enjoying dinner in peace and quiet tonight.”  The main center of attention was us.  It was like we subconsciously forgot we were on a mission trip and became tourists.  I was glad Jerry had us pray for the people who operated the taco stand after we had dinner to remind us we were/are still on a mission.  Being confined to ourselves had hindered us from working toward our objective.  This is another moment I will remember because it was the most defining moment God used to show me that a missions-oriented mindset needs to be continually within us—His ambassadors.  It was because of this I chose to sit with Cyrillo to try to get to know him better instead of simply sharing a meal with the rest of my team the next afternoon, not that there is anything wrong with the latter.  It was just something I felt compelled to do having learned my lesson not only of the prior day, but of the entire trip.


            Humility is something I usually believe comes fairly easily to me.  The reality is, as easily as it comes, it goes even easier and quicker.  During construction, I was humbled that some of the younger guys on the team are physically stronger than me, not that I was ever that strong for starters, and that I should let them do the work they probably would be able to do better than myself.  With this realization came a sense of pride not in myself, but in these young men that God will hopefully use them even more in the future of His church, not necessarily being limited to First Chinese Baptist Church, Walnut.  I also learned to ask for help without as much hesitation.  For example, there were a couple of times when Bryant, one of the local youths, poured a lot of concrete into the wheelbarrow I was using.  Once I saw the concrete level, I enlisted the help of David Wong, our workhorse for the week, to assist me.  After all there’s no “I” in team, right?


            Now don’t think my mission trip was perfect by any means.  Like several others, it was difficult to find time to be alone with God, granted we probably could’ve been better stewards of our time as well.  There were also a few times when I became irritated by some things other team members would say and/or do.  Now I’ve never been the type of person to blow up at people.  However, when I am irritated by someone, I know I can speak with a less than loving tone in my voice.  When it came time to check myself during the week, this was the first thing that came to mind.  After this, I tried to consciously remember this throughout the remainder of the trip.  This is also something I hope to implement in my life to improve my interaction with people.


            When all was said and done, this Ensenada mission trip gave me a greater “big picture” desire to make much of our God and see others do the same.  As I watched the local children play a simplified version of “Prisoner Ball” on Thursday, all I could think about was the song “Much of You” by Steven Curtis Chapman as I looked into the distance at the hills in the background and the vast open space in front of them.  For those of you wondering if I had any fun on the trip, I definitely did.  I know taking showers was pretty high up on the list for many of the ladies.  For me, the most fun I had on the trip was riding in the van driven by Pastor Ted on the gravel road going into and out of the camp.  Let’s just say that it’s part of the rally enthusiast in me.


But imagine this, how much more “fun” it will be to worship our great God with the children and adults we interacted with in Ensenada—a place geographically closer to us than cities in northern California yet a world apart in almost every regard—that being the saving scarlet thread that is Jesus Christ that runs in-between all His followers.  Although our time in Mexico ended on Friday, August 5, 2005, the mission trip has not ended nor will it ever come to an end.  Life is not to be lived in a compartmentalized manner with work or school in one, church in another, and so on and so forth.  The life God’s given us in Christ is to transcend every facet of the lives we’re stewards of in this world to make much of Him.  As some people say, “Life’s a trip.”  It’s up to you whether you will live for God or for yourself.  Why not spend it making much of the Famous One and telling how great His name and fame is in all and beyond the earth?  I can only imagine.







Much of You – by Steven Curtis Chapman 
How could I stand here
And watch the sun rise
Follow the mountains
Where they touch the sky
Ponder the vastness
And the depths of the sea
And think for a moment
The point of it all was to make
Much of me
Cause I’m just a whisper
And You are the thunder

Chorus
I want to make much of You, Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today to give You the
praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

How can I kneel here
And think of the cross
The thorns and the whip and the
Nails and the spear
The infinite cost
To purchase my pardon
And bear all my shame
To think I have anything worth boasting in
Except for Your name
Cause I am a sinner
And You are the Savior

Chorus

This is Your love, oh, God
Not to make much of me
But to send Your own Son
So that we could make much of You
For all eternity

Chorus

 

You can listen to it here for a limited time:

The worship leader on our Mexico trip played the following song.  I *knew* I had heard it before.  I was so sure it was a song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  I was wrong!  It’s by Nichole Nordeman and Charlie Peacock!


I was reminded of it tonight after an encouraging time at small group (God’s Anointed Servants, G.A.S.)!


My Ensenada, Mexico testimony will be up later tonight/tomorrow morning!


From: http://www.hughchou.org/ccm/nn_woven.html
2. * Mercies New *
(by Nichole Nordeman and Charlie Peacock, ©2002 Ariose Music)
Is it fair to say I was lured away
by endless distractions and lovelier attractions then
Or fairer still, my own free will
Is the better one to blame for this familiar mess I’ve made

So I would understand if You were out of patience
And I would understand if I was out of chances

Your mercies are new every morning
So let me wake with the dawn
When the music is through, or so it seems to be
Let me sing a new song
Old things gone…
Every day it’s true, You make all Your mercies new

The distance left between east and west
Is how far You would go to forgive the debt I owe
And thrown into the sea the wicked ways in me
Will never have a chance to wash back on the sand

So I would understand if You would make me pay
And I would understand lying in the bed I made again…

Up comes the sun on everyone of us
Gone, gone, gone the guilt and shame that knew Your name

Thanks to You, God, for speaking through Hanley at church today (Sunday)!


I came back from Ensenada, Mexico on Friday afternoon.  More detailed details (hehehe) to come later!


American Dream
Mark 8:34-37 / Ephesians 5:25-33
Lyrics: Mark Hall / Music: Casting Crowns


All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy
But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul
But he’s moving on full steam
He’s chasing the American Dream
He’s gonna give his family the finer things


Not this time, son.  I’ve no time to waste
Maybe tomorrow we’ll have time to play
Then he slips into his new BMW(!)
And drives farther and farther and farther away


‘Cause he works all day and tries to sleep at night
He says things will get better;
Better in time


So he works and he builds with his own two hands
And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are comin’ crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands


His American Dream is beginning to seem
More and more like a nightmare
With every passing day
“Daddy, can you come to my game?”
“Oh Baby, please don’t work late.”
Another wasted weekend
And they are slipping away


‘Cause he works all day and lies awake at night
He tells them things will get better
Just take a little more time


Chorus


Who’s to say, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins”
But if he loses his soul, what has he gained in the end
I’ll take a shack on a rock
Over a castle in the sand


Now he works all day and cries alone at night
It’s not getting any better
Looks like he’s running out of time


‘Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands


All they really wanted was You
All they really wanted was You
All they really wanted was You


The picture below is dedicated to Pastor Ted “Drift King” Kau

We actually had a white Chevrolet Express 3500 15-passenger van with a 6.0L Vortec V-8 with 300 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 360 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.



On Saturday, August 6, 2005, “Uncle” Tony (Firth) also let me drive his 2003 Ford Mustang GT convertible after our Sunday School teachers’ meeting.  It has a 260 hp, 302 lb.-ft. of torque 4.6L V-8 with a 5-speed manual transmission.  It was so much fun!  I had a smile on my face the rest of the day!