Neutrality Does Not Bring Forth Change

The last few days, feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness, and anger have been ruminating in my soul. I have not found the right words to describe my feelings. But, I cannot wait for the right or politically correct words anymore. Racism needs to end now. Police brutality needs to end now. The violence needs to end now. Justice for George Floyd and all those who died at the hands of an oppressor.

I used to dream of living in Switzerland. Ever since I saw the movie musical, “The Sound of Music” and saw the Von Trapp Family escape the Nazi controlled Austria into Switzerland, I thought, being neutral seems like the way to go. No war meant, no innocent lives lost, no soldiers lost, death and destruction would be eluded. However, if the voice that spoke out against injustice would remain ignored, there would have been no advancement in society. If you remain quiet, you will not be heard and change cannot occur.

I’m half Korean and half Ashkenazi Jewish (according to the genetic tests), born in Los Angeles. I’ve been called a mail-order bride from a white person, who I thought was my friend. They said they were joking, but I wasn’t laughing. People asking me if my parents got together because my father was in the Army and he rescued her from her country (no, they met in Marina del Rey at a dance club in the 1970s). A couple of male co-workers, who sexually harassed me, saying I’m their Asian fantasy (and no, I wasn’t dressed inappropriately or showed any interest in them).

And because I am bi-racial, I get confused for other races, like Hispanic. About twelve years ago, I was pulled over for a burned-out brake light and then harassed by the local Sheriff for 20 minutes, accusing me of having drugs because I had a similar vehicle of the apparent drug dealer. And there were no drugs in my car because I don’t do the drugs. I was compliant and answered all of his questions, but he continued to scream at me. I shook because I felt scared. After all, I didn’t know where this would lead. He was so angry and accusatory without just cause. When he realized I wasn’t the Hispanic person he was looking for, he said I was free to go. I sat in my car thinking, “Is this what a black person or other minorities goes through daily?”

The debates on why things are happening right now are endless. There are blanket judgments formed against the protestors, where they are being lumped into the actions of the looters. Now is not the time to distract from the systemic issue, racism from powerful entities. You can go back hundreds of years, on how America was stolen from the Native Americans, how slaves-African and Asian built this country, and where Hispanics continue to do the work Americans don’t want to do for way less money. The violence against them is ingrained into generations. You cannot expect the oppression against them to produce peace. Once their voices have been heard and change has become final, then peace will be produced. It starts with you voicing your outrage, creating change in government by your vote, and most importantly-what you teach the next generation.

No matter your religious belief, it starts with you and me. In my opinion, I do believe Jesus is the answer to all of this. If we imitate Jesus, love one another, and allow God to change our hearts, we can help complete the necessary change. I hope everyone who encounters a true follower of Christ will see Jesus in us.

If you are a Christian and people don’t know this about you, examine your life. Look within yourself and ask if you contribute to the problem. Do you listen to the wrong voice that keeps racism alive? What do you support and promote? Do you think and react like that woman who wanted to call the police and falsely accuse, Christian Cooper, a black man of harassing her, just because he asked her to put her dog on a leash in an area where dogs were supposed to be on a leash? It is time to stop pointing fingers, judging one another, and start creating the right kind of change. Seek forgiveness from our Heavenly Father.

The world feels like a chapter in Revelations right now. If you can see all the things that have come to light in the past several years in the world-human trafficking, climate change, sexual harassment, gender inequality, police brutality, racism, and this pandemic of Covid-19 (to name a few). We can learn from every single one of these problems, things need to change or we will fall deeper into evil.

May we find hope our hope in Jesus Christ and help to create the healing necessary for one another. Pray for the world.


Lesson Learned: Neutrality never solved problems.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, may the peace that surpasses all understanding flood Earth right now. Let the violence end right now. Heal the hearts of the broken. Change the hearts of those that cause the issues. Protect the innocent and let your justice be served. For all of those who lost their business due to looting, redeem their losses. Open the ears and hearts of the complacent government leaders to bring forth change. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

I’m Just Not Feeling It and That’s Okay

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. -Psalm 40:1-3

 

My mentor told me that from ages 38-52 years old, many go through a life change. I imagine this change to be amazing, a chance to become what God created me to be in this life. However, it doesn’t feel that way. It hurts — a lot.  

 

There are many things I used to enjoy that I don’t anymore. There are relationships I have had with friends that have ended. Many of my interests aren’t interesting to me anymore. Right now, I do not know what I want or like, and that frightens me. I usually love writing; except recently, I haven’t had a desire for it. It scares me because this is what I want to do. In the past few months, I wanted to give up. It feels like a midlife crisis of some sort. But one thing I know is that God is faithful, and there is a reason for all this change.

 

Sometimes I wonder, “where are you, Lord?” Even King David, in the book of Psalms, wondered where the Lord was in his times of grief and despair. David was faithful, though. Me, not so much. When I am in the midst of change, it is hard to see the outcome. The enemy comes and distracts me from what I should be doing to get there. 

 

I feel pressure to perform and to pan every second of my life.  But, I cannot know until I try and even possibly fail. Failure isn’t always a waste of time. It can also be the opposite of regret.

 

If you feel like giving up, please do not! Doubt and worry are the enemy’s tools for stopping us from attaining God’s purpose for us.  I want things done quickly and easily. But God does not ever do anything in a hurry. He moves in His timing. May you take shelter in the mighty arms of our God.

 

Lesson Learned: Change is inevitable and necessary. Allow God to work it out.

 

Prayer:

‘Dear Heavenly Father, help me in my times of need. Give me endurance and energy to make it through tough times. Thank you for your protection. May your will be done. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Spring Forward

“But the path of righteousness is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”  Proverbs 4:18

 

Springtime brings forth growth and possibilities.  We see it in nature with beautiful blooming flowers and the birth of baby animals.  The winter snow begins to thaw and we feel like we can take a breath. I feel renewed during this time of year (along with my allergy medication).

 

The time change happens this time of year, as well.  Though, this is no fun. I feel like I have jet lag for 3 weeks until my body adjusts.  After the adjustment, though, I feel like I have energy and motivation to do better.

 

One morning, I woke up to the words, “Spring Forward!”.  It felt like bolt of electricity and it jolted me to sit up quickly in bed.  I knew it was the Lord. I don’t know who the word was for, but I knew it was important and I had to share it.  There was a sense of joy and confidence from that term. Usually, when I hear “Spring Forward”, I think of the dreaded time change.  However, this time, I knew it was a comforting word from the Lord.

 

I feel there is a shift in the atmosphere for a lot of us.  This is the time, where many things we have been waiting for or working towards, will happen in this season.  We must remain alert and open to hearing direction from God.

 

There is no time to quit.  The work of God will be complete.  Remain hopeful and expecting for this season.  

 

Lesson Learned:  When you hear a word from the Lord, test it out and share it with others!

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart open for towards you.  I am blessed to hear you, Heavenly Father. Help me remember what you say and direct my ways. Thank you for renewal, restoration, and answered prayers.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Growth Happens

“…but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”                                     1 Corinthians 13:10-12

 

The physical, cognitive, and emotional growth that takes place in a child, from birth to age 12, is quite a significant amount.  I have the privilege of watching that growth in my child. However, we can forget that this type of growth continues to happen throughout our lives.

 

My daughter and I went to Target to look for things she may want to have for her birthday. I noticed a young lady, notepad in hand, who was there for the same reason.  She said out loud, “nothing seems interesting, I can’t believe I don’t want any toys.” My daughter looked at me and said, “I feel the same way.”

 

A part of me felt sad that my little girl is growing up.  I am excited to see all that God has created her to be. I am many years older than my daughter, and I am too, experiencing growth in many areas of my life.

 

There are many interests that I used to have, that don’t anymore.  I have learned that between the ages of 38 to 52, a midlife awakening begins. There were many days where I loved going out to hockey games and staying out late.  Now, I go to bed at the time I used to want to go out. My priorities have shifted in all areas of my life.

 

My daughter had a well-check appointment with her pediatrician.  The doctor explained some changes that she may encounter this year as she gets closer to her teenage years.  My daughter began to cry. The doctor asked her why she felt sad. She told the doctor, “growing up is scary, being an adult seems so scary.  I want to stay a child and not have to deal with it.”

 

A change is scary and unwanted.  However, change is inevitable. Instead, we must embrace change and hope for growth and birth something new and fruitful.  Whether it is coming upon puberty, changing careers, losing family members or any significant life changes, we must trust that the Lord knows our needs and wants us to become what He intended.  When we believe in that hope, we can hope for something good because God is good!

 

Lesson Learned:  May there be hope in the growth to bring us to where God wanted us to be.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for guidance when I encounter change.  In every situation, may I grow and gain knowledge. Thank you for wisdom and discernment.  Help me make godly decisions. Thank you for leading the way, Father God. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Scenery Change

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

 

This world is full of people who need a change of heart, especially those in a culture of racism.  It seems impossible they could ever change their heart from hate to love.  I came across a news story where this very thing happened.

 

In this news story, there is a man named Michael, who was a Neo-Nazi.  He went to jail and was released on probation.  An African-American woman, named Tiffany was assigned to be his probation officer.  She said she wasn’t there to judge him, but to help him.  Tiffany noticed he still had a Nazi flag hanging on his wall.  It was the first thing he would see in the morning.

 

As she established trust with him, she told him to get rid of the flag and put happy faces on his wall or something more positive.  She said the flag will only keep the hate in his heart.  The amazing thing, he listened to her suggestion and he changed.

 

Michael said the smiley faces gave him motivation to work and be productive.  He said her friendship gave him the love and support he needed to change and see people differently.  Due to her support, he removed or changed his Neo-Nazi tattoos.

 

As I watched this news segment, I thanked God for using this probation officer to change this hard heart.  This change only came from the Holy Spirit.  If this man could change, anyone could change.

Here is the news story on Michael and Tiffany:

 

When we ask God into our heart, we will think and act differently.    Jesus came to redeem us from our sins.  In that process of redemption change happens.  I know when we give our hearts to God, change is inevitable.  If Jesus is Lord of your life, allow that change to happen.

 

And sometimes we need a scenery change, even when we know the Lord.  The enemy will attempt to keep us inactive in doing things in the name of the Lord.   My friend is writing a book about her testimony.  Her testimony will bring so many to Jesus.  The enemy gave her so much distraction, she wasn’t writing at all.

 

I saw her desk where she writes.  She has a window to look out but there is no real view.  I asked her what type of scenery she likes.  “Water”was her response.  Then, I thought about the story about that man who changed his heart and remembered I had a 2018 calendar of Hawaii my parents gave me.  So I gave it to her.  She said she loves looking at it and even wrote for a few hours that day!

 

Sometimes a change of heart/scenery is needed to get past that difficult point in life.

 

Lesson Learned: Let’s allow our that change in our heart, so we can change and ultimately bring Jesus to others.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for trying to do everything ourselves.  Give us ears to hear, eyes to see and a mouth to speak.  Let us hear your instruction. Search my heart and change the areas where we need.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”