Warning: Long entry ahead!

From my previous entry earlier tonight:
As I arrived on Friday night, I was looking forward to seeing some of my new friends again.  I didn’t see Armando/Mondo (I’m still not totally sure what his name is.  Jerry, a lil help here?) or Tony while I was there.  The first person I went to was Hernando from El Monte.  He was a person I had met on Wednesday night and I remembered that he mentioned on multiple occasions how he could really use a watch.  At the end of the night, I told him I might have one I could give him.  I found a simple digital watch at home that was given to me 5 or 6 years ago that was still totally brand new with the transparent plastic protective sticker over the face.  Because of its age, the battery was toast a long time ago.  So I went to the Sears in Glendale on my lunch break and had the battery replaced and the time set on it.  It was such a pleasure to give this to him and see how it totally made his evening-at least I thought it did since he seemed to be looking at it so many times.  Before I left to return to the bungalow I went to say good-bye for the night and he asked me to set the alarm for him to 5:30 AM (why that time?  I have no idea!).  What I don’t want ya’ll to think is that what I did was extraordinary.  Just look at the donations many of you/your families contributed to help our friends.  A *huge* thanks to Auntie Denise for coordinating that effort (Please thank your mom for me and all of us, Christi and David)!  I also know there were quite a few impromptu donations of backpacks and other useful items that some of ya’ll made for our guests as well.  Don’t think for a moment they go unnoticed!  Your friends are grateful for you and what you’ve given and your Father in heaven is pleased to see you care for His (His being all) people in this way.

Here is a detailed account of God humbled me today and showed me how selfish I can be and reminded me that I definitely am a sinner…a sinner who has been justified by grace alone through faith in Christ alone (I taught on the background information on Paul’s epistle to the Romans today for 9th grade Sunday School).

After Sunday School (around 1 PM PDT), I was to take my Uncle Milton home since my parents didn’t go to church today (for an invalid reason in my opinion).  Before we went home, there were a few miscellaneous things I had to take care of first.  While I was walking around the courtyard, I saw a familiar man who had been to our church the last two Decembers during the time a homeless winter shelter was located at our church for roughly two weeks.  I asked some of the guys if they had seen one kid I was looking for.  They asked me if I wanted to go with them to visit Janson (Xanga: jAnSoNsaysWsUp) at the hospital.  I told them I would not be able to because I had to take my uncle home.  Off to the side, I noticed that this familiar man had taken a seat on a bench to eat lunch.  Gabriel Yeung (Xanga: yEunGeEE), Jesson Foo, and a third person (I actually don’t remember who else was there) were talking to this person.

Since the guys were talking to him, I thought, “That’s great that they’re talking to him.  It’s cool if I don’t go over and say, ‘Hello,’ because they’ve got it under control.”  The more I thought that I don’t need to go over and greet him, the more I began to think, “Loren, you need to go over there and say, ‘Hello.'”  So I went not because I whole-heartedly wanted to, but because I thought it’d be the good, proper “Christian” thing to do.  So I walked over, said, “Hello.”, shook his hand, and verified that I remembered his name, Hernando, correctly (I wasn’t 100% sure at that time.  After all, I hadn’t seen him since December 2005.).

The discussion at hand revolved around trying to figure out how we were going to get Hernando “home”.  I use quotation marks because (just in case you may not have figured it out already) Hernando is a homeless man.  His friend dropped him off in the morning so he could worship with us today.  I later found out he came last Sunday as well…and that my Uncle Milton had given him a donut this morning.  Gabe asked, “Who lives in San Gabriel?”  The only answer we really had was the Mark family (Wilson, Patty, Kimmie, Kristen, Willy…just to make it clear out of the countless Marks at our church).  For some reason, I had this gut feeling that I would somehow be asked to take him home.  Someone asked (I forgot if it was Gabe or Hernando) me where I lived and I replied, “Monterey Park.”

This is where my sin really crept up on me and reared its ugly head.  I was soooo hoping that nobody there would equate that San Gabriel is on the way to Monterey Park.  I figured the prospect of taking Hernando home would inconvenience me.  Here’s what I had originally planned on doing with my afternoon.  First, I was going to fill up on gasoline at the Shell or Chevron station on the corner of Golden Springs and Brea Canyon.  Next, I was planning to take Dan (the name of the car I drive) to the car wash (I know. I know.  Why don’t you just do it yourself?  It takes me about 90 minutes to do what I would call a satisfactory job washing Dan and I don’t even wax him.  So at the car wash (think the 1970s song…j/k), they would be able to wax him up and they also have an underbody wash when he’s going through so “where the sun doesn’t shine” on him would get cleaned by these jets that shoot water upward (this was GREAT for after off-course excursions experienced on track days).  The car wash I speak of is the one on Nogales and Gale.) and then I would just chill at home with my uncle.  As ESPN’s college football analyst Lee Corso would say, “NOT so fast, my friend!

Hernando said, “San Gabriel’s on the way to Monterey Park.”  I thought, “It looks like I’ll be taking him home.”  So after a second or two, I said, “Yeah, I can take you home.”  If that isn’t “ultimate ownage/Pwn4ge”, I don’t what is.  After that, I said, “I don’t know if you remember, but I gave you that watch two years ago,” or something along those lines.  He said, “Yeah!  I remember you.”  He has since upgraded his watch!  I didn’t look at it, but I saw its band and figured it was a bit nicer than the digital wristwatch I gave him.  My plan was definitely not God’s plan this afternoon.  So I took care of the odds ‘n’ ends I had to take care of while he finished his lunch and then we were off.

As we headed West along the Pomona Freeway, Hernando shared with me about how difficult it was for him to serve in the Vietnam War with the Airborne (I forgot what unit he said.) and how angry he was that the government didn’t help many veterans re-integrate into society.  If anything, that’s what ya’ll can pray for the most for him.  He says he was definitely affected mentally by all that went on during the war and the difficulty of coming back to America without any help from the government who he said basically just threw them out into society to fend for themselves.

Hernando directed me to go to this burger stand called Jim’s Burgers or something like that on the corner of San Gabriel Blvd and Graves Ave.  He said the owner doesn’t mind him hanging out there and sometimes he’ll do little jobs like cleaning tables and the parking lot for some small cash.  At this time, I was faced with another decision point.  I could either simply drop him off and continue on home with my uncle or since my uncle and I hadn’t eaten yet, we could grab lunch there and try to spend more time talking to Hernando.  This decision wasn’t nearly as difficult as the initial one to take Hernando home.  I suppose we could say it was because the Holy Spirit was already at work.

I ordered a combination burrito and Sierra Mist for myself and my uncle had a cheeseburger and some Pepsi and we all shared some fries.  Hernando asked us a little bit about ourselves (work, school, etc.), but he also shared about how much he enjoyed being at our church and considered us another part of his extended family.  He said his friend will be able to take him every week without any major problems.  The tricky thing is getting him “home.”  I propose “Bulwark Ministries” to devise a solid gameplan for transporting Hernando if he’s going to be attending every week!

I’m sure there’s more to this that I’ve left out here, but that’s basically it.  It made me think later today as I was reflecting on what happened, even if I never get a job in life that I enjoy, as long as He uses me for His glory to make a positive difference in people’s lives, that’s all that really matters.  After all, as Steven Curtis Chapman says in a song of his, 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.

CliffsNotes® version: I met a homeless man I had known from before today at church and took him home even though selfish, sinful me originally didn’t want to.

Yesterday, I went to the wedding of now Mr. & Mrs. Tommy & Karen Koo (formerly Karen Lo, Xanga: KSerenade).  It’s always nice to see a lot of my old friends/brother and sisters from USC’s Asian American Christian Fellowship.  The liturgy given during the wedding ceremony was from Psalm 115 which I thought ROCKED!!!  It opens with:

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory,
   for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

Hearing this instantly made me think about Chris Tomlin’s “Not to Us”.  I loved how the pastor said that that day was not even so much about the couple get married, but first and foremost about God getting the glory.  He also mentioned several other monumental occasions where this Psalm was read or cited after a battle was won by the French army and on some other occasion in 1415 (I wish I remembered this.).  Garrick Sun, formerly of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s AACF many moons ago, led a couple of songs of praise and worship (Great Is the Lord, Indescribable).  I love that guy!  He’s so laid back and easy to talk to.  It’s too bad I only see him once every few years.

It was awesome seeing how the bridgegroom, Tommy, simply looked so happy the whole time and you could totally tell how in love with her he is.  I’m sure he will be a good husband to her and she will be a good wife to him.  It’s all about Ephesians 5, everyone!  The only “uncool” thing was at the reception when people were saying to them, “This is your big day…your day…you…you…you.”  And while it is about them, they don’t need to be saying, “You…you…you…all the time.”  Why not: “God….God…God.”  I’m thinking, “Don’t you remember what the pastor was saying just a few hours ago?”  After all, Frank (Xanga: franqi) said, “Weddings aren’t for the couple; they’re for other people.”  He said it jokingly of course!

Chris Tomlin Concert attendees (in no particular order)
1. Raymond Tay
2. Tyrone Li
3. David Wong
4. Garrett Wong – probable for gametime (if for some reason, Garrett cannot go, I will notify those of you who have already expressed interest)
5. Hanley Liu
6. Christopher Woo
7. Steve Loo
8. Me

Here are the lyrics to “Listen To Our Hearts” for those of you who may not be familiar with it.  Sing with me!  How great is our God… j/k  Although I’m not totally kidding…He is GREAT (Psalm 104)!

Listen To Our Hearts
by Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman

How do you explain
How do you describe
A love that goes from east to west
And runs as deep as it is wide

You know all our hopes
Lord, You know all our fears
Words cannot express the love we feel
But we long for You to hear

Chorus 1
So listen to our hearts (SCC: Oh Lord please listen)
Hear our spirits sing (SCC: and hear us sing)
A song of praise that flows (SCC: a simple song of praise)
From those You have redeemed (SCC: from those You have redeemed)
We will use the words we know
To tell You what an awesome God You are
But words are not enough
To tell You of our love
So listen to our hearts

If words could fall like rain
From these lips of mine
And if I had a thousand years
I would still run out of time

So if You listen to my heart
Every beat will say
Thank You for the life
Thank You for the truth
Thank You for the way

Repeat Chorus 1

You know all our hopes (SCC: all our hopes)
Lord, You know all our fears (SCC: and all our fears)
Words cannot express the love we feel
But we long for You to hear

Chorus 2
Listen to our hearts (SCC: Oh Lord please listen)
Hear our spirits sing (SCC: and hear us sing)
A song of praise that flows (SCC: a song of praise)
From those You have redeemed (SCC: from those You have redeemed)
We will use the words we know
To tell You what an awesome God You are
But words are not enough
To tell You of our love
So listen to our hearts
Words are not enough
To tell You of our love
So listen to our hearts

About USCTrojan4JC

God Follower, husband, father, USC Trojan alumnus, Mazda employee

6 responses to “”

  1. gunnerman says :

    ptl…one time God convicted me after passing a homeless couple on a freeway off-ramp in the riverside…i turned around and gave them my dim-sum…nice couple..

  2. G4rR3tTx176 says :

    I’ll tell you 100% sure by Wednesday.  sorry for the delay

  3. BreadPlease says :

    thanks for taking fernando home.

  4. udonoogen says :

    i hope i get to meet him one of these sundays.

  5. jac929lyn says :

    second Cheaper by the Dozen was really good toothe 1st one was the only movie i have ever watched all in comentary

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