“They are our bread”

The day after I shared my testimony in Kehl about going back to the training in faith, I received an email from Dr CR saying I was approved to return to the program. That was 3 full weeks after my email to Dr AS.

Yesterday, I compared this year’s track roster with last year’s and found that, if the program last year was at-capacity with 188, it’s at 192 this year.

Taking a step back, I thought about this very little throughout 3rd term. I told the Lord, “Why should I worry when there’s nothing I can do? It’s in Your hands. If there’s a seat for me come January, I praise You; if not, You know how much grace will be sufficient for me and my family.”

But I’m by no means immune to anxiety, and it started creeping up more and more toward the end of the term. When I got home for the interim, the big question was when and how to write this email.

After I sent the first email to Dr R on January 2nd, it was hard not to check my email every minute. She took her time getting back to me — a whole week. She would add me to the class listserv to participate in the lottery, and I was to write to Dr S and Dr M regarding registration. I was rather nervous about the latter, but the former held some promise.

A week later, no response. Just as I debated whether to follow up, I got a listserv email regarding extending the track selection deadline. …Wait, track selection had been open this whole time? After looking through last year’s emails, I finally realised that it was to One45 that I had to go, not SSC nor Entrada. Ta-da — there it was, and I had nearly missed it.

Interestingly, Dr R had originally told me to contact her in March — long after the lottery deadline of January 22nd.

In the conundrum of whether to follow up, I had many arguments for and against… But in the end, the Lord’s word was “wait”. So I did. The day before leaving for Europe, I emailed Dr R saying I would follow up with Dr S and Dr M in February.

Upon arrival in Europe, I awaited the lottery results with some trepidation, checking One45 nonstop after getting to the Ilford hotel. A word from my recent reading convicted me:

To spy out a situation…weakens our faith. We should simply believe in God without knowing anything.

Message 20, Life-Study of Numbers

Indeed, every time I checked my email and One45, my faith weakened. Eventually I just had to tell the Lord, “I’m sorry for spying out the land in this way. I just stop.”

The next morning, I spent some very sweet time with the Lord at the memorial park by the hotel. When I checked my email and One45 afterward, the lottery results were waiting for me. Indeed, I had been assigned my first choice.

It was another 5 days before Dr R’s email came, but I was way too busy with the gospel trip to even think about this…


That was a rather long-winded way of saying that God is faithful. It was a term in faith, and it did propel me to depend on the Lord as never before — in a quieter and more restful way than ever before. The challenges that were giants in my eyes became my bread.

These outline points from Message 11 of the Crystallization-Study of Numbers were my experience:

Joshua & Caleb took the word of God as their faith.

II. E

Joshua & Caleb honored God, and God, in turn, honored them.

II. E. 2

Joshua & Caleb were not the ones who overcame in Numbers 13 & 14; it was the One in whom they trusted. God did everything; they simply enjoyed what God did.

II. E. 4. a-b

Caleb’s experience demonstrates that the more Nephilim we eat, the stronger we will become

III. D. 2

And there certainly are more Nephilim to be eaten. I’m more burdened than ever for Europe and especially the French-speaking world, but when and how will I ever be able to move there? And more urgently, I’m soon to go from the training environment to the frenzy of rotations; how will I ever maintain my enjoyment of the Lord?

Caleb fully followed the Lord because he knew that God wanted the children of Israel to enter into the good land. Since God wanted them to enter the good land, He would fight for them and accomplish everything for them.

III. C. 1-2

Hallelujah, I know what God wants, and I know that He will do what He wants!

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No high there is, nor lowly

Hymn 824 is on the definition of the church, and stanza 5 speaks of the new man:

From every tribe and nation
Do all the members come;
Regardless of their classes,
United to be one.
No high there is, nor lowly;
No Jew, nor Gentile clan;
No slave, nor slave, nor master;
But Christ the “one new man”.

I’ve been considering the 5th line recently because of our buy-then-sell situation. I’ve certainly had some notions of the investment value of real estate, but the power of “property” hit me hard this time. In this day and age when everyone owns an iPhone, it’s property ownership that divides the “haves” and the “have nots”. And the divide is deep because it seems to never get easier to buy but always get easier to sell.


So that was a draft from May 2018. Yes, it’s been nearly a year since I last attempted to write. And no, our place never did get sold.

I believe the sentiment I wanted to express with this post was that I find myself easily 心里不平衡 when I compare my (currently my family’s) assets with others’ — especially other saints’. This troubled me quite a bit: how am I supposed to enter into the reality of the one new man when I’m ever conscious of “high” and “lowly”? At the time, P’s complaints of the Fraser Valley’s distance from what she considered civilization were “balanced” by my effectively having a substantial property to my name. But balanced or not, it’s all in my commercial mind (see my post on this).

In the October 23rd FMC class, brother RK spoke an encouraging word in response to DC’s sharing regarding mammon. He began with this:

“Why don’t you ask the Lord to show you what you think about?” When I did this, immediately the word “money” came.

ended with this:

I just long for all of you, for your whole life, to be freed from the grip of mammon… [The] Lord can gain an increasing number of brothers and sisters your age who…can tell the Lord directly, “I serve You. I do not serve mammon.”

and said in faith, in between:

I assure you, the Lord is going to thoroughly release you from this and keep you faithful in [the 2 principles of giving and living within your means] until you’re raptured to the throne!

So it’s not a matter of having or not having; it’s the love of money and the aspiring after it (1 Tim. 6:10).

Well, I lay hold on my brother’s promise, which I believe is from the Lord:

[If] we present ourselves to the Lord and ask Him to deal thoroughly with the love of money, with the hold that money has, with anxiety concerning money, with improper use of money… He will do it.


I found the absolute gem of brother DV’s testimony in Joseph’s Storehouse in January and gleaned this:

D.L. Moody had someone tell him, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him”, and Moody told God, “I want to be that man.”

Brother AY once defined a job-keeping full-timer as “one who makes as much money as he can, spends as little as he can, and gives the rest to the Lord”. Then he said that he had yet to see such a brother/sister in the Recovery. Well, I went home and told the Lord, “By Your mercy and Your grace, I want to be that person.

Lord, I aspire to the same.

L’incorruptibilité

J’ai juste fini d’écouter le cinquième message de la Formation ITERO récente, en français. Frère MR a beaucoup accentué le grand point II, à propos d’aimer notre Seigneur Jésus Christ dans l’incorruptibilité (Éphésiens 6.24). C’est quoi, aimer dans la corruptibilité ? C’est, par exemple, aimer dans l’orgueil (comme Pierre), aimer dans l’ambition (comme Frère et Jacques et leur mère). C’est simplement aimer en moi-même, dans ma vie naturelle. Cet amour est du “miel”, qui ferment et devient du levain.

J’ai déjà une expérience de ceci. LL, qui je connais depuis mon temps à Edmonton et qui était ma companion à la Formation, a commencé à m’ennuyer à cause de son “flakiness”. Elle semblait de vouloir un rendez-vous, mais elle ne répond jamais jusqu’à j’ai déjà fait des autres projets. Elle doit me rencontrer pour me donner le carte de SL, mais elle ne répond jamais et semble vouloir le garder le plus longtemps possible. Et, juste comme ça, je ne peux plus l’aimer comme autrefois. Si ce n’est pas de miel, alors c’est quoi le miel?

O Seigneur ! Mon amour pour les saints — et même pour Toi — est tout à fait conditionnelle, naturelle, inconstante. Je voudrais savoir ce qu’est aimer dans l’incorruptibilité, dans Ta propre nature d’amour. Fais-moi le même que Toi dans la vie et la nature — pour que je n’abîmerai pas Ton bâtiment avec du bois, du foin, du chaume.

God causes the growth

2 weeks ago, CH received the Lord at PS’s place — the 2nd time I brought him there. I really considered it sovereign of the Lord to remind me out of the blue to contact this classmate. Not knowing how to take care of this “newborn” but wanting to practice one-on-one nourishing, I began to send him a paragraph from the HWMR “Topics for New Believers” every morning. Over the past weekend, however, he said that he’s “not that into this stuff”. I guess that broke my heart a little, despite my knowing in theory and from experience that new ones aren’t generally born with big appetites.

PS’s fellowship with me over the phone was basically to take all pressure off. If he’s hungry, that’s the Lord’s mercy, and we do our part to feed. If he’s not right now, there’s no pressure. Don’t put a time limit on someone’s growth — e.g. “before I head to the Training”. We can’t cause the growth. Let the Lord do it.

That was a hard word to take because it savoured so much of passivity. But I needed the reminder — that “it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Lord, I honour and worship You as the Selector. It’s purely of Your mercy that I seek You, love You. Save me from overstepping Your sovereignty. I ask for Your mercy on these ones You’ve put around me — have mercy on them even as Your mercy reached me.

就算選錯,人生也不會毀了

This is one of the articles KL sent me way back in 2014 — I’m only just reading them now, and my next few posts will all be from that thread. This one isn’t directly relevant to our fellowship at the time, but it is about choices…

See article source here.

今天,朋友傳來一篇網路文章給我,大力推薦裏面的內容極具啟發性,很適合將來要作老師的我閱讀。

滑鼠剛點進去,我就被這篇文章的標題吸引住了。標題是:〈轟動整個台灣的親子文章:就算選錯,人生也不會毀了〉。

文章的作者是小野,內容不長,卻挺有意思的。大意就是他有兩個孩子,哥哥和妹妹的個性截然不同。哥哥很有個性,每次選東西都要選最好的、最大的、最貴的,常常作一個決定相當猶豫,反反覆覆。

反之,妹妹總是很堅定,選起東西來沒有一絲猶豫,而且,總是最簡單合宜的。

有一次,小野帶他們去玩具城買東西,哥哥從一進門就開始三挑四選,好不容易選到一個八百元的蝙蝠俠,不料結帳前,他又看上了一個限量版、要價四千元的蝙蝠俠。

最後玩具買成了,卻惹來母親的一頓挨罵,罵他沒主見,淨挑最貴的。反觀妹妹一開始,就挑了一個不怎麼起眼、要價不到一百元的小黑板,在眾人心中留下一個美好的印象。

事隔二十多年後,妹妹提起這事卻忍不住抱怨,其實早在當下,她就後悔自己的決定。無奈勢比人強,眾人都一面倒讚美她,拿她的表現罵哥哥,令她遲遲不敢換。但當時她幼小的心中,非常羨慕哥哥,每次都有自己的堅持,不惜大哭大鬧,最後都得到想要的。

長大後,兩人的發展也大相逕庭。

哥哥保持他一貫的作風,事事選最好,連追女生都選全校最漂亮的,沒追成功也不以為意,畢竟已經盡力過。大學畢業後,他填了美國電影研究所最好的前十所學校。

在當時的小野眼裏,這對既沒拍過電影也非相關科系的他而言,無疑是一個冒險又衝動的抉擇。然而結果卻出乎意料,他被哥倫比亞大學錄取,畢業作品回國後也拿到了金穗獎。

而相反的,從小溫柔體貼、行事果決的妹妹,在高一上學期結束時,居然投下一個震撼彈:「想要休學!」

原因是那年她沒有考上前三志願,在瀰漫著「只有前三志願才是學校」的社會氛圍中,這個挫敗讓她產生自我懷疑,萌生了想要休學的打算。

對此,小野夫婦又如何處理呢?首先,他們請女兒自己規劃休學後的學習與生活;第二,請女兒把高一念完再休學。到後來,女兒想通了,決定把高中讀完,盼望拚上自己想念的設計系。

故事的最後,作者下了一個重要的結論,就是人生的路每一段都有意義,失敗也好,走錯路也好,最後都讓你變成今天的自己。就算選錯了,人生也不會因此毀了。

基本上我能理解這個發人省思的結論。不過我也不斷問自己,人生的每一個選擇都是如此嗎?

其實,好像不全都是這個樣子的。

不同的選擇帶來兩種不同的結局

聖經中就記載了一個小故事,講到一個財主和一個乞丐。兩人的身份、生活大不相同,結局也大不相同。

財主非常富有,天天奢華宴樂,可惜的是,他並不相信神。

另外一位討飯的拉撒路,他信神,卻一生過窮苦的日子,巴不得從財主桌子上掉下來的東西得飽足;不僅如此,他渾身生瘡,連狗也來舔他的瘡。

直到有天,他們都死了,兩人的結局開始出現了「黃金交叉點」。

 

拉撒路被天使帶去樂園,在那裏享受安息及快樂;財主雖享盡了一生的榮華富貴,他卻在陰間受痛苦,甚至痛苦到一個地步,渴望有人沾點水涼涼他的舌頭,因為「他在火裏極其痛苦」。

不僅如此,對不信的人來說,「陰間的痛苦」僅是個起頭,他們還要遭受第二次的死(啟二十6,14,二一8。),就是在火湖裏永遠的滅亡,也就是永遠的沉淪。這才是最可怕的。

神給人自由選擇的意志

然而,神實在給人自由選擇的意志。我們願不願意信神,祂完全交由我們自己來選擇。

今天,祂同樣向所有的人發出呼召,要人作最上算的選擇,好叫一切信入祂的人,不至滅亡,反得永遠的生命。

為這緣故,祂吩咐所有信的人,要廣傳福音,將好信息帶給萬民,使他們免去永遠的沉淪;然而對不信的人而言,當人將福音傳給他們時,祂也把這個選擇權留給了人。

活著的時候,我們可以自由選擇,只是將來的結局,就必須個人承擔。

今天,這個選擇權同樣臨到了你,你會如何選擇呢?

Seigneur, Tu n’as jamais tort

Il y a deux jours que frère PD m’a envoyé un texto étrange, en chinois et avec mon surnom bête, demandant de me parler. J’ai anticipé quelque chose à propos du sujet qu’on a discuté en décembre 2016, mais j’ai anticipé quelque chose de positive parce qu’il n’y a pas de besoin de m’informer d’une mauvaise nouvelle…

J’ai agréé à parler à 19h00 hier, quand la réunion à maison a lieu. Le moment où j’ai entendu son voix, j’ai compris que c’était de mauvaise nouvelle. Il parlait lentement, comme pour m’entendre pleurer. En ce moment-là, j’ai senti de divers sentiments : 1) ce n’est pas une grosse affaire à moi ; 2) ça me fait triste de toute façon ; 3) frère P est trop gentil ; 4) je le mérite pour avoir eu des espérances ; 5) que c’était ridicule de penser autrement !

Ouais, de très divers sentiments. Mais quel «cherishing» que mon père spirituel voulait me consoler. Mon gain surpasse ma perte.

«C’est pas grave», je lui ai dit, «je l’ai anticipé».

Et puis, lui et sœur C et moi, nous avons prié ensemble. Merci, Seigneur. Nous t’aimons, et nous voulons t’aimer plus. Aies la première place en toutes choses. Merci pour ces saints qui m’aiment comme leur propre fille.

Merci que tu sais ce que tu fais. Tu n’as jamais tort. Même dans ma déception, je te revendique vers ton ennemi : mon Dieu a toujours raison. Il fait toutes choses bien. Son cœur est toujours bon envers moi. Sa volonté est bonne, agréable, et parfaite.

2017 going on 2018

The Winter Training (Crystallization Study of Leviticus, Part 1) finished on the 30th this year, and I’m home just in time to usher in the new year. Lots of learning and lots to come.

Highlights from 2017:

  • “Are you ok to stop, to take no step at all?” – Jesus, Y1T2
  • “We hate to be busy and fruitless. Give us effective prayers.” – J. Brooks, Düsseldorf
  • “Thou art enough however long the day; Thou art enough however long the night.” – Hymn 671
  • His grace is sufficient… for what? His grace is sufficient for me to die — to my sense of justice, of self-right. – cf. Seer of the Divine Revelation, ch3
  • “For it was fitting for Him… in leading many sons into glory…” – Heb. 2:9, Plovdiv
  • “Hand over, hand over, hand over.” – M. Stewart, Poland
  • “If therefore the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36
  • “The church is Christ. Eventually, your saying ‘I’m sorry’ is Christ, and your saying ‘I forgive you’ is Christ. ‘For to me, to live is Christ’ (Phil. 1:21).” – T. Dvorak, Richmond

Aspirations for 2018:

  • “Dying to live” – W. Lee; “I die daily” – 1 Cor. 15:31
  • “We all have to discover what Christ’s life is capable of doing in us.” – T. Goetz, Poland
  • “experience Christ in His experiences” – WT Msg2; “My death is painful; His death is sweet.”
  • “Live Thyself, Lord Jesus, through me…” – Hymn 403, WT Msg3
  • “Lord, may You as the sin offering nullify, undo, everything the enemy has ever done in me.” – WT Msg7
  • “Jesus Christ… openly portrayed crucified” – Gal. 3:1, WT Msg9
  • “learn the secret… practice speaking with the Lord constantly; then spontaneously, you will live Christ.” – WT Msg10
  • “Lord, bring me to the point where I’m at peace with everyone and everything.” – WT Msg11
  • “Our week is for the Table.” – WT Msg12; “Father, let it be now in Your recovery.” – cf. John 4:24