Yesterday, I shared a tentative music set for our next string of events in California. When I was organizing my set, I looked at the template, and chose four of my favorite worship songs to put in the worship session. I also thought about which order to put them in. Next, I picked out four of my favorite original songs LTF members wrote to add to our presentation section, being sure to add in time for the songwriters to speak briefly about their songs. I read the rest of the template, and saw that the music pieces for the prayer and response times had already been chosen. Unsure whether or not the songs chosen were appropriate, I chose another song, Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone to the mix if it was needed. While we were practicing the set yesterday, I noticed that a lot of problems occurred along the way. First of all, I was going to be video-taped (for my own benefit), and I hadn't expected that. Secondly, the practice was hasty due to time constraints, and the worship songs were barely worshipful at all, because we were still trying out how to play them. I had to admit, I felt uneasy about what was expected of me, but I had no choice but to do my best. But what was my best? I couldn't change the past--go back in time and start preparing for the set earlier, planning out song by song what I wanted it to sound like--because it was too late to change the fact that I didn't do that earlier. I had only chosen the songs, and tried to provide copies of music for our band members so that we would be at least somewhat ready to practice them. Clearly being prepared was not how I was going to be my best yesterday. The fact is, I'm an imperfect human. At that moment right before we were going to present the songs we practiced from my set, I knew I couldn't go on singing or playing the worship songs without first having my heart in the right place. In John 4:23, the Bible says, "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." After I was reminded that I needed to have God as the number one reason for preparing this music set, I prayed with the group and requested to sing Heart of Worship together. Being my best was having my heart in the right place. As Christian musicians, it's important to remember this: One simple, truly worshipful song, even if there are no instruments at all, is better than a song played by multiple skilled musicians if they are not playing for the glorification of God.
Its unbelievable that a quarter of a year has already passed. Im once again at another crossroad of life in which I have no idea which path I should take. It has been a difficult process trying to figure out what to do and Ive been reflecting and thinking a lot about my life goals, what I want to accomplish and what I can do for God. Very thankfully, some of my concerns and struggles have been recently addressed through the life and experiences of some brothers and sisters that I met over Spring break. Their stories were extremely encouraging to me and were almost like an array of light in darkness. Right around the same time, as I was doing devotions, God spoke to me again through Scriptures. Its amazing seeing how God hears and answers our prayers. Although there is still a long road to go, I know that I can rely on God and I hope that whatever decision I make, it will be according to His will and not mine.
Last week, I came home from New York City on a school trip. The last day I was there, I had visited Columbia University with a few friends because we had all applied to Columbia, and wanted to see the campus. A friend currently attending Columbia graciously gave us an hour of her free time (she was on spring break) to give us a tour, motioning to all of the grand architecture and specific buildings around us. While she told us about her dorm, her classes, and her new education at Columbia, I couldnt help but be reminded that I would be making some pretty big decisions about college really soonin fact, I hear back from colleges this week! Recently, Ive been more nervous about my college decisions coming back to me, simply because its getting closer to the time that theyre supposed to come out. Each time I find myself saying, I hope I get in, I wonder what my parents and friends will think if I dont get in to this college, or its more likely that Ill get into that college. Waiting for college decisions became a guessing game to me, but then God reminded me: He already knows where Ill end up. My absolute favorite Bible verse (which I also have as my senior quote) is Jeremiah 29:11. 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. If God truly knows my future and has already planned out what He knows will give me a beautiful future and everlasting hope, shouldnt I not worry about which college accepts me and which one doesnt? Starting today, I am waiting for college decisions not because Ill have to figure out on my own which college Ill be attending this fall, but because I want to figure out where God already has planned for me to be this fall! With faith in Gods promise, waiting for college decisions seems a lot more exciting to me! Praise God that He loves me so much to keep me in His hands all the time!
Last week, LTF was on break because it was the University of Arizona's spring break. For me, it was a life-changing period of time because I got engaged! It is still unbelievable to think about even though it is already 2 weeks later! Through this entire event, it is clear to me that God has plan for me and my fiancee and He has guided our relationship these past few years that we have been dating. The more I got to know my fiancee, the more I realized that God was there with us every step of the way... and it is because of Him that we were able to grow spiritually (as well as change) together in the same way; we had the same goal to be a better Christian. Because of this, we grew closer and came to be more understanding of each other. Through our interactions with each other, we became molded to become more like what God wanted us to be... and I am looking forward to the future that I will be spending with my fiancee and continuing on that path together!
2011 is definitely one of the most exciting and memorable years in my life for it has been so wonderful, filled with plenty of surprise, events and people that I am very grateful for: 1. Very beautiful engagement that was very well planned by my fiancé. 2. Scorpian bite that I got while sleeping, then 2 weeks later, the baby rattlesnake bite as I stepped out of the door in the evening. It hurt and was costly, but haha it was actually quite an entertaining experience that Im glad I had. I say this because the pain of my snake bite was actually quite mild compared to the normal bites because of many reasons which Im too lazy to explain, but I really have to thank God (and Ming and his family) for taking care of me! 3. Chance to go back to Singapore for an internship that gave me an opportunity to spend time with my family which I truly cherish and a chance to catch up with old friends. It was a very productive yet lovely summer. 4. An amazing New Years Eve!! As you may have read from the previous posts, our LTF team held an event with the two churches in Tucson to prepare for 2012. It was great worshipping our God together, with songs, dances, testimonies, and prayers. What can be better than spending the last of day of year in the house of the Lord with so many brothers and sisters? 5. Last of all: Love. Love from my family, Ming, future family, and my friends, for so many reasons and in so many occasions, I was so touched by the things that my loved ones did for me in the past year and I am truly grateful that God has blessed me with so many people who loves me. I know that 2012 is going to be another incredible year with many new changes and challenges that I have never experienced or faced before. Its exciting yet scared at times, but one thing that I know for sure, that no matter what happens, God has assured us with this promise: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Im really looking forward to what God has planned for me in this new year! :D
Hey guys! LTF has started this new year with some new goals and challenges, among which is to try to create some songs that we can put on this website, as well as to perhaps have Streams of Praise come and give us a workshop/ some training. Since none of us are professional musicians, it is not gonna be easy! I really praise that God that He has never stopped blessing us and leading the way for us... it's not easy to always work together and to get things accomplished. However, He has a plan for us and we are doing our best to not do what we want to do, but do what He wants us to do!
We recently sent SOP a DVD from our Thanksgiving event (live recording from our praise night) so that they can listen to it and hopefully come and give us a workshop/ train us. Right now, our situation is very much like theirs when they first started, and so it would be really great if they could come and give us a few words of advice!
As for the songs we are recording, we are "re-doing" songs as exercises and to prepare us to be able to eventually write our own songs. What we did first was choose a Christian song that none of us knew, found the chords and lyrics online, and then came up with our own style and melody line for the song without listening to the original. Of course we can't put these on an actual CD, but it is still great practice regardless. What we are doing now is taking hymns (since they don't have copyright issues) and changing them up. As of right now, we are working on "The First Noel" and while using the same melody line for the verses and chorus, we worked together and wrote a bridge for it too, turning it into a worship song. Although it is nowhere near being finished, I can already see the improvement that we've had since we first started LTF. I honestly can say that I never thought that we would be able to write bits and pieces of songs ourselves... and have them sound not half bad! The work of God can be clearly seen at work!
That's all I have to share for now... Please pray that we can continue to be guided by Him and to not lose sight of why we are doing all of this! There is always room to change and grow and to be molded into what He wants us to be!
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day! =)
With a new year, comes a new chance to work on resolutions, reflect on the past year, and to live another chance to start fresh once again. It's always a privilege to be able to enter a new year with close friends and brothers and sisters, which is why our new year's eve celebration night at First Southern Baptist Church was one of the most meaningful ways that I've celebrated a new year. Usually, I would be in Taiwan, watching the fireworks shoot off of Taipei 101 with my parents standing by my side, or maybe my cousins. But this year past winter break has been one of the best in my memories given my chance to stay in Tucson and to celebrate Christmas and New Year's with friends, family, and my very home town. I hope that for those of you read this, you take this chance in 2012 to really look at yourself. For me, I'm finally graduating from high school, which means a whole new experience come college; for the rest of the members in LTF, they're all graduating as well, and it just means that we are all going to be transitioning into completely new phases of our lives, and it's not going to be easy. I know for myself, I don't know what God has planned for me in the coming few months once summer goes and my first semester of college begins. There's so much unknown to me, like what college I'll end up going to, what major I'll end up deciding on, and even what types of people I'll meet. But what I can do for now is just to walk closer with God, and I know that He will take care of everything for me. I've discovered that letting God take control of my life has made my life much easier - He knows what's best for me, and I don't have to worry about any hardships that I'll end up encountering, since I know that God's got my back. We're just tight like that :D Hope you all have a wonderful new year!
The worship and sharing session on the last couple hours of 2011 was a great memory. Many people stood through all the songs, sharings and prayers. It was great to see the people from the two Chinese churches in Tucson come together to worship, to share and to pray together. It was a night that I see in God's kingdom there is no separation. Everyone comes with a purpose and that was to worship Him. I want to thank God for my parents. They rushed to the event right after work. Even though they were tired but they stood the whole time. It was good to see them as a part of the congregation. Jonathan Koh was with us this time. Every time he is here he brought inspirations to us. He is our music instructor but he not only teach us music, he also helped us grow spiritually. We had a great time with he. He gave a short lesson about song writing and also shared about how to be a worship leader. Lastly I want to give thanks and praises to our Lord. It is because of Him that the event was held. From all the preparations, practice to equipments and location, we have prayed for months and the prayer was answered. Through this event we were able to deliver a blessing message. I pray for the two churches, families and friends that in 2012 we can all do something wonderful for our God, pray to Him and Praise Him everyday.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that the new year brings excitement and anticipation for everyone, because God's got lots of new plans for us this year. I don't know about what God wants to do in your life, and I don't know what He wants to do in my life either, but shouldn't we be excited nonetheless? Personally, I'm really excited because I'm going to graduate from high school this year, but I'm still very unsure about where I'll be in the autumn for college, what plans I'll have for this summer, or even my next day of school! I realize that sometimes I get confused exactly what I'm excited about: what I see in my future, or what God sees in my future? At our New Year's Eve event, I told in my testimony that God is in control, even when we can't understand what is happening, but I find that living that out is harder than it seems. Most of the time, I try to put a lot of things into my own hands. I write everything down in my planner and plan months ahead sometimes. Even in one day, I may be blinded by all the things I "have to do" for the next day and don't stop and spend some time with God. That's not how I should live. That's not how I want my new year, this year, to be. In Ephesians 4:22-24, it says to "...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." The way that I have been living, the self-centered way that I've been living, is my old self--who I was before I accepted Jesus as my Savior. But with the Holy Spirit, I am a new person. I can live with God guiding me instead of me trying to plan everything. In this new year, I want to recognize God as my renewer, controller, and planner. "God has a plan, a direction for me. As I obey, it helps me follow. His purpose grows in me with each choice I make, building today the faith I need to trust him tomorrow." These lyrics to the song I sang on New Year's Eve with the little kids remind me that God's got a bigger plan for me than I can see, and I can only follow Him one step at a time. Be excited to let him guide you!
Hey everyone! I know it has been a very long time since we have posted so I apologize for the silence! As of now, our LTF group is preparing for our New Years Eve concert which will take place the Tucson's First Southern Baptist Church. The night will consist of worship, a sermon, a time for prayer, as well as testimonies. We have been preparing for this, and praise God that Jonathan Koh is coming here on the 27th to help work with us! In the past year, many things have happened with our group. Ryan has gone, dropping our group to 5 members, but despite this loss we are still doing our best. Through our group Bible studies, we have continued to not only grow in our musical skills, but also spiritually. There have been times of great joy (to the point where we are laughing until tears come out) as well as moments of struggle. However, God is good and He has made our team stronger and more like a family! Over the summer, LTF went on "break" because Meixuan went to Singapore for an internship and I went to Italy to study abroad. When I came back from Italy, Lan Fong and Tim gave me and a friend the opportunity to go their factory in China to start a 5 week long English Summer Camp for the children there. It was truly an eye opening experience since I am aspiring to become a teacher. More than that, we were able to bring God's stories and love to the children there who have never heard of Jesus. God can work wonders... and I pray that we were able to plant a seed in those children's hearts. There are so many people in the world who need Him. We, living in America, are so blessed to be able to come to church, go to school, and to be with our families. Over there, a lot of the children can only see their parents for a small amount of time because their parents have to work within the city, and the kids are not allowed to attend the schools in that area. We are so blessed, but often times we forget that and we begin to take things for granted. I really really miss the children there, and I hope that they don't forget who God is as they grow up in such a harsh environment!! Alright well that's all I have to share for now! God bless you all and Merry Christmas!
It's been quite a while since I've written on here, but it feels great to be back in touch the LTF Website. In any case, Winter Break has just started, and I'm super excited to start making the best of my first Christmas in Tucson since I don't know how long! Since most people will be talking about the spirit of Christmas and the importance of God and Jesus during this time of year, I'll focus more upon the impact that God has had within in my life leading up to this time. Recently, I've been struggling to keep a good balance in my life and a healthy relationship with my parents, my friends, my girlfriend, and my homework. I'm pretty sure that my Senioritis hit me very early on, as unfortunate as it is to say that. However, I do still try to maintain good grades and to get by with an average GPA so that my parents don't get upset or worried - for the most part, I've managed it too. However, it's been a rough journey this past month trying to stay close to God. I'm not sure exactly what it is that has managed to get between my relationship with Him, but I'm sure that it's a combination of my own confusion in trying to figure out what direction I was supposed to go and how I could figure out everything in my head. Ultimately, after many Bible study sessions with my dad reading through the book of Proverbs, I was able to have a good, deep talk with him. My dad gave me the confidence and the courage that I needed to sort things out; it turned out that I should just allow for God to take care of everything and I could stop worrying so much about everything. This idea soothed my heart more than I can describe, but I'm extremely grateful to God and my dad for providing me with this peace leading up to Winter Break. I hope you see this as a good reminder to make sure to make room for God and to allow for Him to lead you, instead of trying to take the front. Have a great break! God bless, Yee
God has been great to me and my family this past year. My parents and I finally got a chance to go back toChinato visit our families. We havent been back for about 10 years and everything has changed. After seeing how my families living their lives inChina, I was glad that God had brought us toAmerica. The people there are so focus on money and benefits that they dont know how to love people anymore. It is very sad to see my families are turned into that. It reminds me how wonderful it is to live in Gods love. The most I can do for them is to pray and let God to touch their hearts. School work has been great this year. I have more clear vision of what I want to accomplish. I want to give thanks to God because every time I got lost or went off track, I could always rely on him to help me get back up. A lot time it is very easy to follow the steps in the world, doing what everyone else is doing. Distractions and temptations are around me, without the power of God I cant resist these things. I think God is using these hard times to teach us a lesson. He wants us to have faith in him and trust him during these harsh times so we can grow stronger spiritually. I also want to thank God for Liyuan. We had a wonder year together. We had our ups and downs but at the end we know that there is a God that loves us and taking care of our relationship. I want to pray for next year that I will build a stronger relationship with God, to focus on school, tests and jobs.
On Sunday, November 21, LTF headed up to Chandler, AZ to host a Sunday service at Greater Phoenix Chinese Christian Church (GPCCC). We held the entire service for the youth, and it was a great experience. Our friend's Uncle Peter and Aunt Vicky helped us with the powerpoints, and Jonathan Koh was a great help in getting us set up. The service in itself was a great experience. It seemed awkward at first, since we hadn't properly introduced ourselves, but after the first testimony, they seemed to lighten up. Having the chance to worship in English with a congregation that was the same age as us made the worship so much easier. As the service progressed, with testimonies given by me, Meixuan, and Kathy, the mood of worship seemed to resonate greater, especially with One Way. Being able to praise God with a new group of people is definitely a privilege, as well as being able to spend their Sunday school time to interact and connect with new brothers and sisters in Christ. After having served in Phoenix for the weekend, it's always great to spend time with new people, knowing that we all worship God for the same reason. Hopefully, we'll get a chance soon to go back to Phoenix to spend time with the people back at GPCCC again!
It has been a great year, a lot of ups and downs, but thanks to his blessing, I am/will continue walking on the right path he prepared for me. Thanksgiving is a holiday when you go out and give thanks to people who helped you, friends and families that care about you, and most importantly to God. Also turkeys and fancy dinner are also important. This is the general idea of thanksgiving for most people. I view thanks giving a little different than the general idea. Of course, you can do all those things during this holiday season, but I think giving thanks to the Lord is a everyday must do. God has giving so much to us for us to live a life we are living today. When I pray, I always ask God to bless me, to give me strength for school and work, to bless my love ones. Through everyday experiences I have been answered to my prayers. I am still alive and healthy when I woke up from bed; I am doing well in school; my friends and families are blessed by Him. These things are more than enough to give thanks to God everyday. But since it is thanksgiving holiday, I would like to give thanks to a list of people that I am thankful for.
I want to thank everyone in our youth group for growing with me spiritually in Christ together.
I want to thank Pan Mu Shi for being a great pastor and taught us so much from the bible.
I want to thank LTF give a opportunity to do the worship service.
I want to thank my parents for everything they have done as parents and appreciate their hard work.
I want to thank Liyuan for being a great listener and advisor in my life.
At last I want to the God for everything he has done for me and my surroundings.
All the Glory to Him.
Hello Everyone! As a senior in high school, I've been so wrapped up in thinking about the future and working and schoolwork and friends and church and family etc...that I haven't spent as much time as I should recently to tell God "Thank you." After I worked as a camp counselor at Huachuca oaks Baptist Camp over the summer (everyone should go to camp!) and experienced an evacuation due to the Monument Fire, God caught my attention and told me "Harmony, no matter what happens, know that I have a plan for you and that I know what's best for you." Sometimes, I just have to slow down my life a bit until it's just me and God and say Thank You that He is who He is--the God who created everything. The God who is bigger than all of my worries. The God who has me in His hand and won't let go. I thank God for where I am in life right now, what He has done for me, and whatEVER he has in store for me in the future!
Hi everyone. I hope everyone's week is going by well. Sometimes during the middle of the week I feel like it's hardest to get out of the midst of everything that's happening and remember that no matter what, God is the same and my purpose in life is the same. Especially when the week is busy and not everything goes smoothly the way you were hoping or expecting, it's really easy to start focusing on yourself and not on God's bigger plan for you. I realize this. But the truth is, there are always things I should be thankful for:
HOPE that no matter what happens, God still has a plan for me.
FAMILY & FRIENDS that God puts around me to help me.
OPPORTUNITIES to use the gifts that God has given me.
BLESSINGS too many to count.
Sleep. Food. The fact that every day is different. The One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world. The fact that every single person is different yet God loves us all the same. :) There are more, but these are the first 10. Like Yee, I've been busier than ever this year trying to get things ordered, but everything has fallen into place somehow through God's planning.
Trusting in God is the key, Harmony.
Thanks, guys! See you Saturday. :) Keep working hard!
"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
There are so many things to be thankful for, many of which everyone has mentioned in their blog posts. Im truly thankful for the unconditional love that God has for me, and you. Can you believe that the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, the Creator of this entire universe loves YOU?! Its something that I cannot fathom but definitely something that Im so grateful for. Im also extremely thankful that God has blessed me with such lovely people around me, my family, bf and friends. This past year has been yet another time when I have to make moderately big transitions in life, however the difference is that this time, I wasnt the one who moved, but my loved ones, my closest ones were. I often hear people say that you never know how much you appreciate someone until theyre gone and I have tried to not fall into a situation where Ill say that. I tried to find ways to appreciate them so I would not feel guilty about not doing so in the future. Unfortunately, that didnt work, because I still took so many things for granted and didnt realize how much I appreciated them until they were gone. Now Im really pretty much on my own (haha yay time to grow up!) But Im EXTREMELY thankful for the chance to see them (each of them) much more frequently than I expected, and I truly treasured every one of those moments. Im also thankful that even though all these people I love are away, God still helps me cope with that occasional feeling of loneliness through His words, by putting people in my life exactly where I needed, or simply by words of encouragement from people I would not expect.
Speaking of words of encouragement, Im so thankful for this awesome speaker Francis Chan. Ming sent me a link to a sermon called Think Hard Stay Humble-The Life of the Mind and the Peril of Pride. There are so many great lessons in the message and they reminded me of so many things that I have forgotten or become numb to. I literally thought, Wow what am I doing right now? after watching the video because I realized how far I am from the goal, and how much I need to change and reflect on my priorities. I recommend you guys to watch it: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/think-hard-stay-humble-the-life-of-the-mind-and-the-peril-of-pride.
Anyways, lastly, Im also thankful for the opportunity to be part of the LTF team. Were so blessed that God is willing to use us and has blessed us with skills and so many resources. Please pray for us as we prepare for our thanksgiving events this coming weekend in Phoenix, and then next Friday in Tucson and for everyone who goes the events, that it will not just be a time of singing/listening to songs, but a time of truly worshiping God and reflecting upon all the great things that His has done for us. Thank you!
This year has been filled with changes, from graduating high school and entering college to living on my own; I have lost close friends, but gained new ones. Through all of the confusion and mayhem, there has been one constant: God. He has always been there beside me throughout all of my struggles. Of course there are things that I wish would be better, but this time of the year is not to be selfish, but rather selfless. It is a time of giving thanks for what we each have been blessed with. No matter what hardships we face in our lives, we must always remember to be thankful for what we have, whether it be good health or doing well in school. I hope that everyone will take the time to thank God for what He has given during the holidays.
I thank you for everything that you have given me. I thank you for helping me adjust to this new environment smoothly. I thank you for giving me a loving family that is willing to make the drive down to Tucson to visit me when I cannot visit them. I thank you for helping me make new friends at school and at church. They all have made this transition much better. I know that sometimes I feel that you are not around me, but I pray that you will help remind me of everything that you have given me. When I look back at all that you have provided, its hard to believe that I would ever doubt you. I thank you for LTF in giving me a chance to worship you. Most of all, I thank you for surrounding me with brothers and sisters in Christ even in this new environment. They have helped me stay on the path of righteousness and have helped me grow spiritually. I pray all of this in your Sons name.
Hey guys! I just wanted to post some things I am really thankful for this year because Thanksgiving is coming up in less than a month!
But first: an update about LTF!
This August, Winston left us to go back to California so we found ourselves short one member. However, God continued to bless us and brought Harmony into this group so we were back to five members. But as usual, God always gives us more than we could ever hope for and so He also led Ryan (from Phoenix) to join us! Although our band is completely different than before, I hope that we can continue to give our best to Him because He gave His best to us! This is our current group dynamic: Jerry (bass), Yee (drums and alto saxaphone), Harmony (keyboard), Ryan (Violin and accoustic guitar), Meixuan (accoustic guitar and electric guitar), and me (Keyboard and Synth). I must say that we are all working hard to have an awesome group that is not only musically sound, but also unified in one Spirit. Please pray that we will fit together as a band and also to grow spiritually, and to be encouraging and positive to each other! =) Also pray for Meixuan as she starts to learn how to play electric guitar, and as well as for Ryan because he is learning the accoustic guitar. I know that by God's never ending grace we can achieve anything!
Anyways, back to the things that I am thankful for! I'll just list them so it's easier to read =)
1. That we have new members, which also means new friends
2. For friends that care for me, and encourage me to grow spiritually
3. For my loving family
4. For the opportunity to go to LTF, as well as the opportunity to serve in church
5. For the cooling of the weather so that it is no longer 100 degrees F outside
6. For the opportunity to go to school and get a college degree
There are lots more, but that's it for now! Hope you enjoyed reading! Have a great day =)
Oh for another prayer request, I lost my voice so if you could help pray for me that would be awesome!
We have our Thanksgiving events coming up!
In Phoenix: Formosa Church (11/20 at 7:30PM) and GPCCC (11/21) In Tucson: First Southern Baptist Church ( 11/26 at 7:30PM)
It's been quite a while since I've uploaded a post. School's been extremely busy for these past few months, and my busy schedule of AP classes is sufficiently keeping me busy. It's a tough load to manage with our Foundation, school work, my school's play, and trying to serve in church as well. I've come to the realization that my spiritual life with God hasn't been at its strongest, but I've seen His work around me regardless. In my daily efforts of trying to balance my schedule and attempting to complete all of my work for school, I find it hard to find time to be able to serve in church, let alone have the energy to attend youth group. However, I've noticed that whenever I need help, or am faced with a strenuous task set before me, God always managed to pull me through. This time last year, my grades were already at B's and A's, but this year, having a much more rigorous schedule, I've somehow managed to attain straight A's. I know that it may seem as an insignificant achievement, but to me, I've gone through a dramatic change in my own personal character -having more integrity in the work that I do, and the work that I turn in to teachers. Even my friends all around me told me how much different I am compared to last year, doing so much more work and having a more focused attitude at school.
So your question at this point might be, what am I actually thankful for? And the answer is quite simple: I'm thankful for the positive change in me that's managed to make my own personal work as a silent testimony and example to all of my friends. This year has been a transformation of my spiritual life, and it's amazing to see how much more I've been able to convey to my friends the more in-depth truths of my beliefs and faith. Without God, I would've never been able to be so strong and courageous in my actions, and I don't think I would have gone through such a dramatic change from last year to this year.
Here's a Bible verse that has stuck with me as I went through the ups and downs of my first semester of school. It really gave me the strength that I needed to continue persevering and giving my best efforts as a testament to my friends and the people around me. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 ESV