05.25.17 – Falling Down Seven Times

Hello, and welcome to another week of Keith’s ramblings! Just kidding.

I hope all of you are having a great week. It’s been quite sunny here in BC, and it’s a nice refreshing week compared to the rainy weather that we were having a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s still technically spring here, but summer is less than a month away, so the sun is more than welcome. However, my week hasn’t really been quite sunny and refreshing.

I recently failed this week. It lasted two days, and I couldn’t stop until I told a close friend about it. It kept me going over and over again, and each time that I failed, I kept feeling even worse. I didn’t know how to stop or refrain from doing it. It was as if something got a hold of me and just kept thrashing me again and again. As if once isn’t enough.

It happened, and I knew it was gonna happen. I just didn’t stop myself from doing it, and decided to just let it happen. I knew the consequences, but I still let it happen. It was really stupid of me. I just couldn’t believe I’ve failed again at a struggle that I have been fighting so hard to stop. All I could do was just be in the mess of it all with no escape (even when God had presented me an opportunity to escape). Ah, stupid Keith. And to think that leadership was meant for me.

I’m not gonna disclose it here, but it’s been a long-time struggle for me. It has been something that I struggled with even as a child, and I feel like it will disqualify me for so many things that I dream of doing in ministry. I think this struggle of mine is going to stop me from pursuing ministry even further, which, as much as I want to say grace exists, I know might happen.

Yet, through my failures, God reaches out to me and still holds on. He still loves and cares for me. He actually gave me a message when I was repenting and praying to Him:

“Come to me at your dirtiest, not just at your cleanest.”

At that moment, I saw an image of me as a little kid; a little kid that went outside after taking a shower to play in the mud, and is now standing in front of God all dirty and messy with stains all over my white shirt and my body. It was as if He was telling me that He didn’t care if I have failed. He cared that I went back and repented. He cared that I came to Him after spending some time in the dirt with a huge mess instead of hiding it.

I can’t say I will never do it again, but God help me if I didn’t try to never do it again. He needs my obedience, and if I can’t give Him that, then what’s the point of calling myself a God-loving, God-following Christian? I think I need to establish steps of not failing again just so I can live for Christ and obey Him without conditions or constraints.

I know God can change my life. All I need to do now is trust Him and trust Him fully.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9 ESV

TL;DR – Keith wishes you all a great week! However, Keith is not having a great week due to struggles and failures. Keith feels stupid for failing, but God is gracious and loving. God can change Keith. Keith, remember 1 John 1:9.

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05.18.17 – Paving The Imperfections And Blemishes

Hello!

Welcome to another day of reading Keith’s thoughts as he purposefully writes too much about something insignificant! Hear ye, hear ye! I’m sure you don’t want to read this!

All right. I think people got the point. I don’t want to overdo it.

I’ve recently been thinking about my weaknesses lately, and it all stems from a book that I’m currently reading called The Christian Atheist by Craig Goeschel. This book was published in 2011, and it’s been a nice, easy read so far. The book describes a lot of truths about what he means by the words “Christian Atheist” and it has, so far, been relatable in all aspects of my life. I’m just about halfway through the book, but I recently finished the chapter called “When You Believe in God but Donʼt Think You Can Change” and it was eye-opening.

In it, Goeschel describes the belief that Christians have about not being able to change their personality, attitudes and habits. Goeschel talks about his own problem of being a workaholic, and describes the struggle of not seeing the negative impact it was having on him and his family’s life. He also adds stories of other people and their struggles, and paints this picture of God’s ability to change people if they seek Him and ask Him for help. It was a great read.

It got me thinking though. Like Craig Goeschel, maybe there are some things that I’m oblivious to that is gradually affecting me, my family and friends. Maybe there are habits that I have that make me believe that I can never change that part of my life. Maybe there are beliefs that I have about myself that I grew up thinking but are actually lies. I don’t know, and I’m not sure what they are. This led me to looking at who I am internally and assessing which habits and attitudes that I need to work on and improve upon. I’ve found a couple of things:

  • I am afraid of social interaction, but I like talking to people about all sorts of topics: from God, to video games, to politics, just to name a few.
  • I have a defense mechanism to back out of anything that becomes heated or has too much work involved in it.
  • I make excuses for not talking to people for the sake of not talking to people.

I’ve struggled with all these things ever since I was younger, and it still follows me today (especially the social interaction fear). I don’t know why I never got the courage to tackle all these things head on when I was younger so I don’t have to deal with them now. But alas, things just aren’t meant to be.

Or are they?

Can we really change habits that we have that are not God-given? Can we really change our habits with God’s help? Can we actually do the things that we’re afraid of and do them without fail? Can we?

Well, we do serve a God who can do the impossible, so why not?

My goal is now to be able to talk to people without being socially awkward, and to work my hardest in overcoming these fears that I have. How do I do that? I don’t know, but at least I have a goal in mind! As long as I believe and pray that God can change me, I know He will do so for nothing is impossible with Him.

I mean, we are going from glory to glory, right?

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV

TL;DR – Keith has been thinking about his flaws lately. Keith’s been reading The Christian Atheist by Craig Goeschel. Keith says it has been good. Keith talks about a chapter describing changing. Keith has things he has to change. Keith, remember 2 Corinthians 3:18.

05.11.17 – Through the Rabbit Hole and Back Out Again

Hello there!

This is quite the late post. I’m sorry about that. It’s been quite a sombre day at my workplace because of an unfortunate accident. Also, I’ve recently been out of focus lately. I’ve kinda went back a huge rabbit hole that I seem to find myself going to over and over again for the past few years. This rabbit hole…is musical theatre.

I used to go to school for musical theatre. In fact, my first year out of high school, I got accepted into a musical theatre program at a local university here in Vancouver (for those of you local, you know which school I’m talking about). To say that I had fun is an understatement. It was tough, but it was so fulfilling to just sing my heart out onstage and perform for people. There was something that enticed me to keep doing it and to keep performing, singing, dancing, and acting for people.

However, it was around this time that I began drawing closer to God and, on my last semester of first year, God called me to Bible College two provinces away. I was definitely heartbroken. I wanted to finish my musical theatre program and graduate. I wanted to audition for musicals and plays. I wanted to be an ensemble member or have a supporting role in the musical. I wanted to sing those big musical theatre songs like “If I Can’t Love Her” from Beauty and the Beast or, from a more recent musical, “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hansen. I wanted to be a part of big musicals like The Lion King or Les Misérables. I wanted to take part in a lead role, and I was so close before I left as my class was going to do Violet and one of the lead parts was an African-American who was a baritone (I’m not African-American, but I can play as one!). I wanted to be a part of that, but God directed me away from it.

To be honest, it’s hard to say that he removed me from it, although this is the truth.

I still think that I hold some bitter feelings against God about it. I feel like I’ve been robbed of something that was so ingrained in my core, and that I could have been somewhere right now if He didn’t take me away from it. I could be travelling or in another part of the world if I didn’t leave. I could have met so many people and made so many friends in the industry where I can network with them and be a part of something amazing. I could be. Really, I could.

But once you get the calling of God, it’s hard to do anything else.

As much as I wanted to do musical theatre, I feel like God has something else for me. I feel like He led me to another path for a reason. I feel – well, I know – that God has something amazing planned for me and that He is paving my path as I write this. There is something that He is preparing me for that is greater than my passion for musical theatre. I know that, whatever it is, He is going to lead me more towards Him and He is going to draw me even closer to Him.

There is something more, but I have to believe and wait that He will bring me to it.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
– Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

TL;DR – Keith went down rabbit hole of musical theatre. Keith feels sad that he can’t do big roles in musical theatre. Keith felt robbed by God, but God called Keith. He called him to do something amazing. All Keith has to do is wait for it. Keith, remember Jeremiah 29:11-13.

05.04.17 – Graduation Plans, etc.

Hello there!

I’ve been looking at my other posts and it seems that I ramble on a lot (and I mean, A LOT). I’ll do my best to keep this one short, but, to be honest, I have no guarantees. I guess it’s just an inherent characteristic of mine to keep talking when I need to stop talking. I need to learn how to keep my mouth shut sometimes. Speaking of keeping my mouth shut, I seem to always get a particular question now that I’m bound to graduate.

“What are your plans after graduation?”

Well, that definitely makes me shut up because I honestly have no idea (nice segue, Keith!). I get this question by so many people, most especially parents and adults. They seem to come by the dozen too once they find out that I’m graduating. That’s kinda why I decided to keep my graduation in the down low because, to be frank:

I hate this question.

That’s not saying that I hate the people who say that. I love them very much. I just…freeze when I hear that question. Then, when I tell them about not having a concrete plan, they always seem to retort back.

“You must have some sort of plan!”

…but I don’t. I have some ideas and plans of what I have to do, but I have no concrete plan of what I’m doing. I have some plans of visiting people far away from where I live. I have some plans of getting a full-time job. I have some plans of getting a certification or a credential. But I have no concrete and specific plan. It’s good to plan, of course, but truthfully I have no idea about what I’m doing after I graduate. I’ve learned something through this journey though.

It’s okay to NOT have a plan.

I don’t know when society started accepting the fact that having a plan is the “be-all end-all” after finishing something, but something that I’ve learned is not having a concrete plan is okay. Sometimes, I just have a general idea about what to do or where to go, but to have a concrete plan? It’s not always possible.

However, the most important thing is to have a goal in mind.

I don’t have a specific plan, but I have a goal. Actually, I have lots of goals. I have goals of visiting people outside the province. I have goals of getting a full-time job. I have goals of getting credentials and certifications. These are all personal goals of mine. I don’t necessarily have a plan on how to do them, but they’re goals of mine.

I always see it the way Paul handled his journey to Jerusalem. He had a goal of going to Jerusalem, but the Holy Spirit stopped him every time and turned him to all these cities we see on the New Testament. The Holy Spirit detoured him to places such as Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Colossi, and a whole lot of other places. He even discipled Mark and Timothy! This wasn’t his initial goal. He didn’t plan all of these church plants, but God made it possible anyway. God opened doors for him throughout his journey, and he ended up expanding the kingdom of God.

I want to do the same thing. I want to strive towards a goal, but I want the plan to be God’s plan and not mine. I can tell God what I have planned, but sometimes it’s not what He wants. So all I have to do is do what He wants me to do, lean into Him and trust Him. I need to trust His plan and trust His will while I keep doing what I can for Him.

I’m sure He’ll do something amazing.

“Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.”
– Proverbs 16:3 ESV

TL;DR – Keith keeps getting asked graduation plans. Keith says, “No idea.” Keith thinks it’s okay to not have a plan, but it’s important to have a goal. Keith looks at Paul in the New Testament. Keith wants to do God’s plan. Keith, remember Proverbs 16:3.