Month: September 2013

Finding your voice

For those of you who don’t know me, my voice is extremely important. Because I’m deaf, my mom pushed me to learn how to be verbal to communicate. It’s not a bad thing, in fact, I use it to utilize my ability to communicate when others may not be able to. It’s truly a blessing. 

In the past few weeks, I have been trying to understand how to use my voice, not just practically but also how it can be used to proclaim God’s glory. Like singing, I actually love singing, though most people may not realize it. At some point in my life, I went through three karaoke machines trying to self-teach. Because Arizona is so dry, I needed a humidifier in my room and it’s what destroyed them. I always thought I had a high pitch voice when I would hear the recordings and only sounded better when I’m sick. But someone overheard me singing recently and asked if I had voice lessons and said, “nope, though I wish!” I’ll take a compliment about someone thinking I’m getting voice lessons any day. 

But the reality is, my voice can also be used to share my testimony. I do have countless testimonies. Some stories people may not believe unless they were there or a simple breakthrough. 

For example: During Holy Spirit week, we did discuss about healing. The teacher used ministry night to encourage all students and staff to pray for healing for other students in the room. I stood up and said I had pain in my elbow and knee from a bike accident last August. When nothing happened the first time, or the second time, they kept praying. I started to feel temporary relief in my knee. But nothing was happening with my elbow. After the fifth time, I felt heat on it and they prayed again! They took a look at it and noticed my scar began to fade. It was originally very red/purple and also grew smaller. 

I almost fell to my knees when I realized healing wasn’t just a rumor or someone I hear about. It happened in front of my own eyes. I do know that a few months ago, the doctors said I no longer had to take medication for my seizures due to the medication triggering the seizures. But it doesn’t mean I’ve been completely healed, it simply means I recognize something my body didn’t need. They are mainly triggered by an illness or exhaustion. 

Trusting God in times of healing and not relying on sight can change your perspective. But when it comes to your voice, you have a say. A choice. You can step back and not say anything at all or you can chose to step out and burst the bubble.

This is one of my biggest struggle. My entire life, people were either fighting over something or saying my voice was too soft and give me the “never mind” message. I honestly long to be a part of a conversation, voicing ideas or thoughts. And more so, sharing my testimony of my life and how God is changing me. But first, I must trust the Holy Spirit with my voice. Lead me in the right direction of what to say, how to say it and when. It’s a work in progress the Holy Spirit has been leading me in. But I know, sooner or later as we start out outreach phase, I will be confident and using my voice in ways you wouldn’t even expect. Perhaps not even myself.

I dare you to use your voice and speak, just maybe; your voice can bring God’s heavenly Kingdom on earth when another life is celebrated.

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Rewriting my heart

What’s your dream story?

This is a question posing my mind this week from a distant memory a professor once asked. 

If I had unlimited access to funding and research, or the ability to go anywhere in the world and interview anyone, what would I write about? The truth; I don’t mean unbiased, yellow journalism kind of truth, I mean the truth God put on our hearts in this world and did everything He could to simply love HIs people. And still the One who receives all of the glory.

When I was young, I remember I wanted to write books. Open up my own art studio so I could do showcases of abstract photographers all of the world. Meanwhile, hiding in the back writing stories. I really wanted to shine light on humanitarian issues happening all over the world and create stories to help young people through their daily sufferings. Writing stories breaking God’s heart. 

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
                                                                                                                                                 Romans 9:1-2

I am being challenging to not only to be reminded of why I decided to go into writing but how. We now live in a culture trending the kind of journalism where opinion matters more than facts. Where we are living in a Marxist worldview, which is limited to one one person’s point of view. What does this say for many of of our current writers struggling to make ends meet when they desire to write news and not just headlines?

Real stories are where the truth lies. It’s not about hearing about a shooting in a nearby neighborhood, it’s about the person who was rescued and how they survived. THe bystanders and rescuers are the ones who contributed to their stories are the ones who contribute truth. 
Real stories are about single mothers who struggle with finding time to be with their children, both low and high income mothers. 
Real stories are about neglected children in schools because the government demands all children follow the same curriculum and not allowing their creative minds flow to their fullest potential.
Real stories are about the community centers, where counseling is provided for women who discovered they are pregnant and don’t know their options. 
Real stories are about the lawyers who fight for the rights for people who needs resolution and forgiveness in their lives. 

These are the stories always leading back to the same thing. For the glory of God who saves, rescues, redeems and adopts. 

Challenges

Everyday, God is challenging me with something new. New battles to fight, for more grace, and to bring Kingdom on our Earth. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit I make more mistakes than I admit to. Many times I miss out on the little things, I forget to notice the big things or vice versa, leaving us in a very vulnerable place when we finally acknowledge the power of truth, love and faith. 

A few months ago, when I decided to join the Discipleship Training Program and give up my six months to something I would no longer have authority over; I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But I also had no idea what I would accomplish more from than fail. I discovered I’m such a major failure but in the eyes of God, and by His beautiful grace, I’m constantly reminded (especially in line waiting for the shower in the morning), of just how amazing God is. And then my failures begin to fade. But not without the grace of God.

A few days ago, I had a vision while in the prayer room. I saw this beautiful spacious bright throne room. In the center was Jesus seated; he was dressed in white and looking up at me as soon as I walked in. He smiled and it seemed like it was enough. Then he looked down, as if he was watching his people. I saw a table behind him, with angels surrounding it. Some were rushing around and going through scattered paper. Much of the paper looked ragged, worn out and ready to be thrown away. Some of the angels were just hovering but seemingly in another world. Perhaps intercession for the people who needed it. And then my vision closed off.

First off, to see the throne room is… difficult to describe. It’s beautiful when I see Jesus at work, day in/day out. I could keep this to myself, but I feel like I need to be a reminder of the power of the Holy Spirit and how it is constantly at work. Embracing our daily lives so we may encounter God in an exceptional way. 

I went to The City Church this morning, and the lead pastor was discussing extravagant faith. My favorite was: “Extravagant faith is when it is written in sand but God’s faithfulness is written in stone.”

This applies to people who are struggling to put aside their fears and failures and needs to stop writing them in stone. Instead, write it in sand, and soon it will fly away with the wind as if it was never there. God’s faithfulness always stands because it’s written in stone and never erased. This was His promise to His people.

I may face challenges, I may come across things that seem out of my control. But God is bigger. He’ll take my challenges and finish it in a snap. I’m going to start writing everything in sand from now on. And write His promises in stone.

When I apply the things I learn to my faith, I get excited to see what God will do. I love pleasing God. It’s a work in progress but God is simply pleased in pursuing Him. 

In other news, our team is heading to Israel very soon! I’m excited to see what the next month or so left of classes will bring. But I’m also excited to see what kinds of things and even people that God will put in our paths to change the lives for His Kingdom. 

But our team still needs help with fundraising. You can make a contribution of any kind to our team if you go to ywamdc.com and click on donate. In the invoice box, you can put any of the students names or simply put American Sign Language DTS.

When you plant seeds, you plant seeds not only in our lives but in the lives that will be impacted and we want you to be a part of it. 

http://www.ywamdc.com/donate/
http://www.asldts.com