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12.21 || always remember

During tough times, always remember to put your trust in God.


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12.20 || And The Winner...

Converge Advent Giveaway || 12.15-12.19



Luann Yoshida

12.19 || Mark 8:4-8

Mark 8:4-8
4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.

Jesus was concerned about the crowd of people who were with him for three days. They were so devoted to following Him, that they were willing to go without food just to be in His presence. He knew that if they were sent away hungry, some would faint from weakness and some had long journeys ahead to return home. Jesus had compassion on them.

Though the disciples had witnessed Jesus performing countless miracles during the time they spent with him, they were still unsure and uncertain of what Jesus was capable of doing and the power He possessed. They witnessed Jesus healing people from illnesses to evil spirits, they even witnessed Jesus walking on water and Lazarus being raised from the dead. In fact, they had already seen Jesus feed the 5,000 people, earlier. Regardless, they still questioned how they could possibly feed the crowd of 4,000 with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish.

God has carried me out of many “valleys”. He has provided all that I need and blessed me with more than I ever imagined. Yet, when times are difficult and I’m faced with a challenge, I take it into my own hands and do it “my way”, instead of leaving it at His feet, assured that He will take care of it in His own perfect way and and in His perfect time. There is no need for doubt or uncertainty. God CAN and WILL feed the 4,000 every time.


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12.18 || I Remember - Lauren Daigle

This devotion is about a song that popped up on my Spotify in the middle of doing homework. And while I've been so swamped with schoolwork, I felt such a strong call to write something. The past few weeks have been so stressful - especially this one - as I wait for decisions and both congratulate and comfort others. The one thing that has been anchoring me is truly my relationship with God - it's not always something that I think consciously of, but I always find myself turning to Christian music while I study, often feeling comforted, and I think Lauren puts it so perfectly:

"even when my own eyes could not see, You were there, always there for me."

So as we continue into the future, I pray for a sense of peace, something I've honestly been struggling to find. I think someday when we look back, we'll find that our lives have been carefully watched over by God. I just hope that I'll be able to appreciate His care in the moment and truly trust. And finally, I pray for joy and love for us all in this wonderful (albeit different) Christmas season.


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12.17 || Joy Invincible

Hallelujah, nevertheless
Was the song the pain couldn't destroy
Hallelujah, nevertheless
You're my joy invincible
Joy invincible, joy
Joy invincible, joy invincible, joy
Joy invincible, joy invincible

[Verse 2]
Tears were in my eyes when the phone rings
If only life didn't need us to be this brave
But we don't live in the world of if only's
Stretched tight in between our birth and our graves

Open your eyes
Look to the skies
We are the children of the promise
Hold to what's real
Everything heals
We are the children of the promise
Open your heart
Look for the sparks
We are the children of the promise
Love is your place
Feel the light on your face
We are the children of the promise

Galatians 5:22,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”

James 1:2,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face
trials of many kinds,”


Wei Chen

12.16 || Where is the Hope?

Today’s Bible verse is Mark 1:1 - The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

So, what is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God? John 3:16 is probably the most quoted bible verse to answer the question: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This is really the good news because it tells Christians the place where our journey in this world will be led to – death is no longer the end but a gate into an everlasting life with Jesus. Some Christians may ask “how about now?” The life in this world is still full of challenges: pressure from schools and workplaces, relationship issues, financial stress, etc..

Today we are facing two pandemics in our history: a biological one from Covid-19 and a spiritual one from Sin. Where is the good news? Do we still have hope?

Yes, there is a good news for all Christ’s followers, and yes, we still have hope. There are many bible verses teaching us about suffering, but this is the passage in John 14:16-18 that gives me the greatest comfort/hope:

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
We are individually called by God to be His followers; we will also be individually suffering for God in this world for good purposes - to build up godly characters and to show others who Jesus is. In Ephesians 2:10, it says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Most importantly, we are not alone when we suffer. The Holy Spirit, promised in John 14:16-18, is with us. May the following prayer from Paul also be our daily prayer to God:

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, 19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:17-21)

Suffering can be blessings in disguise if we put our hope in the right place.


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12.15 || And The Winner...

Converge Advent Giveaway || 12.10-12.14



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12.14 || Psalm 23 (Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy)

This devotion is actually for the Shane & Shane song since I have been listening to it a lot for the past few months. (I love their music, go check it out!) Even though life has been getting pretty overwhelming and busy, this song always makes me feel at peace, since "surely goodness, surely mercy [will be] right beside me all my days." As I think about the upcoming future and my transition into a sense of greater independence, I find solace in the fact that I will always have God to rely on. So I pray for myself and everyone else - just to take a breath, to give our fears and hopes to God, and be at peace.


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12.12 || Romans 5:3-4

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

As finals week approaches, I reflect on my first semester as a college student taking online classes in the middle of a pandemic-ridden, tumultuous year. I must say, that this year has taken a toll on my wellbeing. Every few days my mother sends me bible verses for me to read through my phone text messages, and this one has recently stuck with me. This week has been a very tough one with finals coming up and other things affecting my wellbeing, but as I read this I know to 'rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance'. These are very reassuring words for me to hear. I should know that trudging through these hardships will build my character.


Kim Z

12.11 || Dry Bones, Come Alive

As we come closer to the end of 2020, I've been thinking a lot about how life is nowadays, how it might be in 2021, and how my faith relates to those. Especially as we are in the holiday season now, it's even easier to shrug everything off and act disinterested simply because it's so difficult to really engage when we can't see our loved ones face to face and everything is virtual. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like my "fire for Christ" seems to have diminished a bit, and listening to Lauren Daigle's song "Come Alive" reminded me that all I have to do is to call out to God and recalibrate my priorities and daily actions so that they point towards God fully. Without God, we really are nothing more than a bunch of dry bones, with no spirit or direction for life.

"But we know that You are God, Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not see
So with the faith You've given us
We'll step into the valley unafraid
As we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive."


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12.10 || And The Winner...

Converge Advent Giveaway || 12.05-12.09



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12.09 || John 3:16

I think back to this line whenever I feel like losing hope to help carry myself forward.


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12.08 || Genesis 1-5

I decided to read of the beginning of the Bible. The creation of man intrigues me and just mostly reviewed over the events of when Adam and Eve would be sent out of the Garden. I continued to read about Cain, Abel, and Seth, and found it amazing that the Bible was able to accurately identify their descendants as well as age of death, being well over the normal life span we know of today.


Sandy Chong

12.07 || 0 out of 5 stars

Is it just human nature to complain and grumble at problems?

Numbers 14:2-3 records “And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?’”

Recently I find myself drowning in the complaints of others. Everyone vents to me at home, leaving me stressed and exhausted. How am I supposed to process all the thoughts and negative emotions at once and still functionally carry out my daily work and tasks? It’s one thing to have a true complaint, but it’s another to nitpick about every little minor inconvenience.

I can’t imagine what Moses felt, let alone how God felt when Israel complained that they wanted to go back to Egypt. The amount of time, effort, and obedience that was spent in leaving Egypt, teaching about holiness in the wilderness, learning the heart of God, and experiencing miracle after miracle. They were saved from their life as slaves and yet Israel wanted to go back. The news that the promised land was inhabited by the Nephilim was so terrifying that suddenly life in Egypt wasn’t looking so bad, at least there was meat and no one feared they would die the next day.

We fear what we can’t control, so maybe that's what Israel felt. Under their grumbles was actually fear because of the lack of trust in God.

I wonder how God feels when we complain about things, especially about the slightest thing.

I think there’s a fine line between being vulnerable and honest with our feelings to God, verses being short tempered, blaming God for all our problems, and making a fuss out of everything.

Have we forgotten the grace God has shown us?

Are we ungrateful?


Too narrow minded?

Do we trust that God is truly bigger than any problem or circumstance we face?

Do we really want to do things God’s way, or do we only want to follow our own way?


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12.05 || And the Winner(s)...

We selected FIVE winners for the first Converge Advent Giveaway :)

1) Ariel || $10 Rabbit Rabbit GC
2) Charissa || $20 Off The Hook GC
3) Jeff || $10 Starbucks GC
4) Jeffrey || Franklin X40 Pickleballs (3-pack)
5) Sandy || Rifle Paper Co. Prize Pack (includes notepad, super soft Sidewalk Prophets shirt & sweet sticker pack :)

Congratulations to all the winners!! Keep the devos coming :)


Jeff Ng

12.04 || God With Us

This morning I have to drop my dad off at Straub Medical Center for a heart procedure. It is not a major surgery when he had a triple bypass 20+ years ago. But he has been having irregular heart beat for a few years now and this time is to get that fixed. With many hospital stays that my dad had been to, we would walk him into the hospital and stay with him until they wheel him into the OR and wait for him to come out. When he awaked, he would see us there. Because of Covid, none of these are going to happen. It is a simple drop off and pick up when he is done. He does have to stay overnight for observation and tomorrow we will get him but he is on his own this time.

I can see the nervousness and constantly reminding himself that God’s peace is with him. Maybe that’s for all of us too. When the simple human rights are taken away by the rules and regulations, we feel trapped. I know we can be angry at what is going on but then what’s the point to get mad.

God’s promises are so simple. He has already said many times that He is with us, He loves us, He will provide for us and on and on. Many verses from different places in the Bible just pop into my head. Why do I need to get angry or worried or upset? I don’t. I see the beauty of His loving kindness embraces us when we need Him.

Even though my dad has to be without us this time, I truly believe God is there to comfort him and give him His peace. And this is not only for him but for all of us.

As we enter into this year 2020 Advent season. I believe it is a very different from before. Doesn't matter how it looks like, we know God is with us. No matter what.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


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12.03 || Reading Plan

During the difficult times, do we turn to God for help? Or do we try to solve the problem on our first?


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12.02 || Hebrews 6:15

Hebrews 6:15, NLT: "Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised."

Sometimes it is hard to be patient and wait for things to come. We live in a world today where we expect everything instantly. It has developed into a phenomenon known as instant gratification. Take a look around you, there are so many examples of this such as fast fashion and fast food. I personally have indulged in this lifestyle, always on the go and I don't enjoy delays in my plans. This verse has reminded me of the value of patience and how it is something that everyone should practice. Good things come in time and will not always occur at the snap of a finger. A lot of my mind has been consumed with my future and this verse has reminded me that I should take a minute and slow down to appreciate what surrounds me.


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12.01 || Mercy Forgetfulness || Ephesians 4:32, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Response to

I have been trying to be more intentional about practicing gratitude. The Bible has many, many popular verses about giving thanks and rejoicing. As usual, God is way ahead of us because studies have shown the various emotional, social, career, health, and personality benefits that result from being grateful. Apps like “Calm” and “Headspace,” which encourage gratitude and mental wellness through meditations, have millions of downloads and gained an even larger audience when the pandemic hit. Practicing gratitude is a feel-good buzzword at this point, but what does it really mean and why is it important?

This devotion hit the nail on the head for me. I definitely forget God’s mercy when I am caught up in the busyness of life. On days I barely have time to sleep or eat, the last thing I want to do is set aside time to reflect on all the blessings I have. That is selfishness speaking. In a lot of ways, being busy is selfishness speaking too. I am in control of how I choose to spend my time. If praising God for his mercies every day is not on my to do list every day, then I am not living as though this is something of value. But it is so valuable. As stated in the reading,

“When you remember mercy, you also remember that you simply did nothing whatsoever to earn that with which mercy has blessed you. When you remember mercy, you are humble, thankful, and tender. When you remember mercy, complaining gives way to gratitude and self-focused desire gives way to worship. But when you forget mercy, you proudly tell yourself that what you have is what you’ve achieved. When you forget mercy, you take credit for what only mercy could produce. When you forget mercy, you name yourself as righteous and deserving, and you live an entitled and demanding life.”

The reason I started to engage more actively in gratitude is because I started feeling controlled by my negative emotions a couple months ago. School was getting much more difficult, and I was becoming irritated with classmates and unnecessarily upset by little things. It was a surprisingly dramatic shift in my mood from when school first started. After taking a step back to acknowledge my emotions, I thought about what made me feel the way I did. The answer was embarrassingly quick: I felt entitled and deserving. At the beginning of the school year, I was excited to learn and make new friends. I was truly thankful for the people and opportunities in my life that helped me achieve one of my goals. Then, school started to feel like a chore and it seemed like other people were getting cooler opportunities than me.

When I realized how warped my perception had gotten, I wrote down 10 things I was thankful for that day. It helped remind me of what a privilege it is to be able to have the opportunity to attain higher education, how blessed I am to have loving family and friends, and how I do not deserve the grace God extends to me. The overflow of thanksgiving is apparent too. Although there are still moments of negativity, it is easier to spend hours studying or to choose kindness over sharp words. So, as the plaque in the prayer room (partially) says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”


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11.30 || Fear (Proverbs 1:20-33)

Today’s devotion for me talked about fear. It made me really think of what I fear, like not having enough validation, losing a loved one, or just failing in general. Some fears are healthy, such as when I worry about my grades for school which leads to studying/working harder. But other fears can be unhealthy, and one specific one that caught my eye in the reading was FOMO: the fear of missing out, the fear of not being special. This especially applies to myself because I get anxious of not being acknowledged. But, the devotional also stated how fearing God can replace our fears. Fearing God would not mean being afraid of him, instead it would be more like loving and respecting him. It made me realize that I need to increase my relationship with God so I can better understand who he is in relation towards me. I’m working on relying and trusting God with my fears, so that I can overcome them and rid of my unhealthy fears.


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11.29 || Keep Making Me

Verse 1:
Make me broken || So I can be healed
'Cause I'm so calloused || And now I can't feel
I want to run to You || With heart wide open
Make me broken

Verse 2:
Make me empty || So I can be filled
'Cause I'm still holding || Onto my will
And I'm completed || When you are with me
Make me empty

Verse 3:
Make me lonely || So I can be yours
'Til I want no one || More than You, lord
'Cause in the darkness || I know you will hold me
Make me lonely

'Til you are my one desire
'Til you are my one true love
'Til you are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

I know you keep making
Lord, please keep making me


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11.28 || Stewardship

"Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." (Matthew 25:21)

Jesus told the parable of talents. God the Father gives us resources. We are to steward the resources wisely and use it to advance His kingdom. God is fair. He gives us "each according to his ability." Time, finance, skills, special interests, social, economical backgrounds God gives us all unique mixes to all His children. He did not give detailed, specific instructions to follow, but just "entrusted." We are to find the way to use it wisely through daily readings of His Words and to follow Jesus.

God is patient. He did not come back immediately or micromanage. "After a long time the master of those servants came." (v.19) We don't know when Jesus will come back, we are not supposed to know, but we know he will come back. He waits patiently until the harvest time. Let us work diligently, not being idle, as we wait HIs coming.

God is loving, gentle, kind Father. The servant who got one talent feared Him as a hard master. Let us have faith, not fear. Fear leads us to darkness, but faith gives us hope and strength to go through hardships. Let's ask God to give us faith in times of troubles and challenges are around us.

I pray that God will help me see the opportunities to serve those in need. Lord, give me eyes to see You and help me serve one of the least of these brothers.


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11.27 || The Bigger Man

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. Matthew 5:38-40

I believe one important aspect to have in life is to be the bigger man -- simply 'turning the other cheek' as it is spoken in the Bible. Whenever I argue with my parents, whether or not I am right or wrong at the end of the day, it is important to be the bigger man and step away before it blows up out of proportion. As hard as it seems, it will be better in comparison to blowing your top off. I believe being the bigger man in situations shows that you are able to put your ego aside and have a loving nature, which is a huge sign of maturity. This verse in Matthew is what I always look back to when I am put in one of these situations. It gives me time to step back and calm down.


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11.26 || Jesus is Our Redeemer and High Priest. || Leviticus 26-27

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Remember to give thanks :)

"But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies---if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. ... I will not break my covenant with them, for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sake remember the covenant with their forefathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD."

God disciplines us with His love. He is patiently waiting for us to repent and turn back to Him. His lovingkindness is ultimately fulfilled by Jesus. Jesus reconciled us to Father God so that whoever believes in Jesus can have direct relationship with God. This promise was written in the Old Testament. God does not want us to be separated from Him but wants us to stay close to Him. Whoever confesses his sins and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, he shall be saved and called as children of God. Jesus redeemed us with His precious blood, HIs blood covers all our sins, and now we are His possession. We are precious to Him.

Thank You Jesus for redeeming us, for what You have done on the cross, out of Your great love. Lord, please help me to be kind to others, to love others so that I can be a conduit of Your abundant love for us. May Your love and mercy overflow from us. Lord I praise You and love You.


Wei Chen

11.25 || Treasures New and Old

Matthew 13: 52

He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."

Since this is a parable, then it is logic to ask the questions - who does “teacher of the law” stand for? What are "new treasures as well as old"? How about “the owner of a house”? Because Jesus did not explain this parable, we could only guess.

The conversation is between Jesus and His disciples after Jesus has made a series of the parables to teach them what the Kingdom of heaven is like. Although none of His disciples are a teacher of the law, they must have been taught the Kingdom of heaven is about circumcision, sacrifice, sabbath, eating/drinking and cleansing rituals, etc.. What Jesus teaches is so different – the Kingdom of heaven is not about your outside behaviors, but is about your heart, your inner being. Jesus didn’t teach any new laws to His disciples; instead He helped His disciples understand the law better - the true meaning of the law is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbors as yourself.

Reading God's words is like finding treasures new and old and helps us understand Him better. In this sense, whether a treasure is “new” or “old”, it has the same age and was spoken by God in the Beginning.

Romans 14:17 "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

May the Holy Spirit guide our daily devotion and help us find the “same age” messages that God speaks to us through the Bible.


Luann Yoshida

11.24 || Who is the Greatest?

Who Is the Greatest?
Matthew 18:1-4:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

As I read this passage, I thought of my grandsons, Skyler and Noah. They are so carefree and innocent. They don’t have a care or concern in the world. They know that all their needs will be taken care of by their parents. When they are afraid, they go to mommy and daddy and are held and comforted. When they are hungry, food is provided to them. They have no fear or worry because they know that they will be taken care of.

Young children are so pure….they have no shame or pridefulness. They are meek. They are not concerned with having power or status. They don’t desire authority or outward distinctions. They are teachable and willing to learn.

Jesus is calling us to become like children. To humble ourselves like children. I looked up the definition of the word “humble”… it is “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance”. Jesus says if we do not become humble like children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Like children, we must trust Him completely and rely on Him for our every need. He is our Heavenly Father and it brings Him no greater joy than for us to be wholly dependent on Him.


Cara Tan

11.23 || Idle || 1 Peter 5:7

Finding a good balance of being “on” and “off” is difficult. During the week of my last submission, I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things I needed to accomplish. This past week, instead of feeling overwhelmed, I felt like I was not doing enough, and the drive to check tasks off my to-do list was not as strong. It is a blessing because I see the way God is working in me (i.e. not feeling as stressed over minute events). But, at the same time, I felt very idle and unaccomplished. There were definitely periods of time that could have been better spent. While it is necessary to get rest and relaxation, I do think being too passive is also an issue. This week my prayer is to be find good uses of my time that are meaningful. I also pray that God will help and work with me to accomplish a balance of my “on” and “off” times.



11.22 || LOVE (Part 1)

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

When I think about love and this verse, God reminded me of the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The plot of the book is simple yet profound. Eddie dies and as he goes into heaven, he meets 5 people. Each of those 5 people teaches Eddie a life lesson.

I like the parallel imagery of the book and the metaphor it is of life. The book creates a character for each theme: purpose, love, forgiveness, interconnectedness & sacrifice. These 5 themes are very common lessons we learn in life. The characters of each theme shows Eddie how they’ve impacted his life and how to make sense of his life. Each character leads Eddie through Heaven.

Nothing is coincidental, everything is intentional..every season, every lesson, every trial. The book helped me makes sense of people & events from my own personal life. I can see how the people in each of our lives could be sent from above to inspire a lesson about life & love.

In the book, Eddie learns the importance of sacrifice, both big & small. Eddie goes on to learn many other virtues about life & love. There is a moment in the book where Eddie and his partner have the shared feeling that their love will without a doubt break all the records. And in the end, everything comes full circle.

Through many bizarre and seemingly unrelated events in my own life, the elements of the book’s plot is experienced. Many people came and went but there were specific chosen ones who represented faith, love, peace, hope & the truth.

I contemplated about life & love..I thought about how everything is orchestrated, every situation, every circumstance, every person is put into our lives to teach us something. And the most common theme, or lesson, is about love. How do we love others when the other is just a reflection of us? How do we love someone that's just another version of us? What happens when someone does something bad to us? How does one show unconditional love? After all, that is the challenge of Christ, that we love others unconditionally. What kind of treatment do we expect for ourselves? Is it the same that we show to others, when we too have made horrible mistakes? What would you do in that person's shoes? These are the questions that I’ve tried to answer. And I’ve come to find that the answers are not black & white.

I then go back to the Bible and I’m always reminded of 1 Corinthians 13.

Love, Anonymous


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11.21 || Esther 1-10

Of all the books of the Bible, Esther is one of the few that I've read numerous time throughout my life and it's up there on my list of favorites. It's a story of courage, perseverance, integrity, and honor. Esther is selected to be Ahasuerus' Queen for her beauty but in a mere ten chapters, demonstrates a sheer will and strength that is unparalleled amongst most today; there's depth that goes beyond what meets the eye. She struggles like any other human being, and it's grounding to see her difficult journey. It's comforting. But ultimately, she upholds her purpose and understands that in the end, maybe everything in her life, everything she has done, has led her up to this point where she has the unique power to save her Jewish people. Despite the unraveling fear of death, she accepts her duty and courageously confronts the King and Haman. Esther is a figure that I aspire to be each and every day.


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11.20 || I Love You

Listen, I'll be honest with You

There's so many things that You allowed
That I have sometimes questioned....
How You feel about me? I know how I feel about You
But the things that You allow...
It's very hard to trust Your heart, when I can't see Your hand

But as I dig deeper and remember that I was created to love You...
Even when I wanna run from You...
The love I have for You, pulls me back...
Since I was a little child, I've been chasing You, as You've been chasing me!

And here I am now, even with my limp I run...
Even in my tears I run...
Because I'm running after You, cuz I'm so in love with You!
I mean I'm desperately, crazy, fanatically in love with You!
Because I can think of how lost I was...
And how incredible You were, to take me and make me like You!

Man, I'm not there yet, but I'm still running... Let's go!


Converge Member

11.19 || God's Plan

There's been so much negativity going on in the world that it's easy to feel despair and question why all thee bad things are happening. It does make me disappointed in a way as 2020 was supposed to be a really good year for me I had lots of things planned, but none of my plans came to fruition. I know that many people probably share my sentiment. From this, it has given me a chance to turn to God and rely on him. Things happen and sometimes it's hard to see the good, but with God, He has all the answers. What is happening is part of His plan -- I should turn all my worries toward him and believe in the plan He has for each one of us.


Jeff Ng

11.18 || Simply Go To Him

Have you ever planned your day the night before? Ready to tackle any task coming your way and getting things done. When the next morning began, things started to take a turn. Nothing was going as you had planned the night before. The tasks started to mount and you felt like you were losing control. You found ways to calm yourself and hoped for the best. Then you realized it's not working. Suddenly you stopped and prayed. You remembered some verses in the Bible which helped you before. You heard the voice through the Word as if God was talking to you. You felt calm. When you tried to get to the next task, somehow it has been taken care of. Then you took on another task, it wasn’t so bad and you got it done quickly and so on.

This sounds like mine today. It was a simple voice, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” I'm also glad it wasn't "Come to me, and I'll solve your problem." Thank you God for your word and your promise. Your present makes everything else easy. Let me lean on your grace and mercy throughout my days that I can be rejoiced in you. Thank you Jesus!

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


Sandy Chong

11.17 || Habit Tracker

I think the idea of tracking habits is really cool. Seeing progress gives such a sense of direction and accomplishment. Despite habit tracking being a great accountability tool, I usually never track my habits fully.

In October I decided to join a month long drawing challenge on Instagram with my art friends. Each day had a prompt, but it was pretty much free to interpret however we wanted. I was really nervous to start this challenge because I didn’t think I had the time to make a full drawing everyday. I even started drawing the first prompt 4 days before October because I was so afraid of falling behind (I still ended up falling behind). It honestly felt never ending, but looking back I think it’s amazing how far I got.

I think in the same way, if we don’t look back at our lives, how we were before coming to know God, and how our lives are now, it’s easy to discount the transforming love and grace that God has shown us through our daily lives. Everyday feels like just another day, when in reality what we decide to actively spend our time doing, thinking, reading, and consuming, gradually shapes the way we see our world and God. There’s that phrase, “You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, so if God is one of the five we spend time with, then our lives should be growing in faith, reflecting the heart of God more and more.

In the old testament, God had to teach the Israelites about holiness. “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy…” Leviticus 11:44. To be set apart for God, the law was given to God’s chosen people so that their hearts were to be more like God’s, but this underlying message as we know gets lost especially during Jesus’ time.

Since we all have a human nature, we are no different from the Israelites in attitude. Pray because you’re supposed to. Read your Bible to check it off your to-do list. Go to church because someone is making you go. Slowly it all just becomes following rules, finishing tasks. If God isn’t actually the center in our lives and we aren’t careful in the way we live, our hearts towards God will slowly drift and look just like the Pharisee’s instead. In the book of Matthew 13:15, Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 “For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.” The audience was originally towards the people of Judah, but I can see this being placed in the context of the Church in the United States as well.

It really seems like a daunting goal to go towards, to have a heart like God's. Especially when life can get dark and stagnant, but the best thing is that we aren’t doing this on our own. This verse from Mark 9:24 keeps echoing in the back of my mind “... ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’” Trust the process, walk with God daily. Then in the good times and bad, we can look back and see God’s faithfulness and love every step of the way.


“What good is a heart livin’ without You, livin’ without You
What good is a song that isn't about You, that isn't about You

So I sing, oh I sing, I sing Your name
Though it seems it’s all in vain
’Cause I know, and I know no matter how I feel
I know Your truth is still true”

“Truth Still True”
-Chris August


Converge Member

11.16 || Mornings (Mark 1: 35-39)

"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons." [Mark 1:35-39]

Jesus shows his dedication to faith and discipline by waking up early in the morning to pray, even before the sun is up. This shows he is very serious about not only prayer, but the way he approaches his lifestyle. In today's world, everyone likes to sleep in, unless we are "required" to wake up early for school or work. I am also guilty of this. This is especially true during the current quarantine, where showing up to class or work might mean getting up and moving a few feet away to a computer, or even just staying in bed and showing up online. Jesus's actions tell us that we should probably take more care in our morning routine and properly get up early, both to pray and to start the day off right, every day. If we can't approach the first thing we do in the morning with discipline and motivation, it shows that we aren't approaching our lifestyle and overall spiritual faith with the right mindset. If we choose to start our day with prayer and consistency, then we can stay on top of our faith and lifestyle rather than feel like we are just passing through it.


Allison Oshiro

11.15 || Control (somehow you want me)

Another song by Tenth Avenue North (who, by the way, just released a new unplugged album this week. Check it out!).

We are free because we live in God's Kingdom. The world, our country, and our state all feel a bit out of control right now. God doesn't need us, yet He extends His hand in pure, unconditional love. Lean into His love.

"I've had plans
Shattered and broken
There's been these things I have hoped in
And they fell through my hands

You have plans
To redeem and restore me
You're behind and before me
Oh, help me believe

God You don't need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life
And the way it should go, oh

God You don't need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To open my hands up
And give You control

You want me
Somehow You want me
The King of Heaven wants me
And this world has lost it's grip on me"


11.07 - 11.14 || Fall Break

New posts from our Converge members on Sunday November 15th 🤗 Thanks for your continued support! Blessings!


Converge Member

11.06 || Ch. 146

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!


Allison Oshiro

11.05 || Healing Begins (here)

I've been meditating on this song by Tenth Avenue North, Healing Begins. I encourage you to go to Him--take your worries, your fears, and most especially your doubt. He can handle it all. He won't strike your down if have a hard time trusting Him, He will meet you where you are.

May this song bring you God's comfort, encouragement, and peace just as it has brought me.


Converge Member

11.04 || Ch. 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


Jason Oshiro

11.03 || What do we do now?

Without love, obedience to the law would essentially become legalism…

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
~ Mark 10:17–22 (ESV)

Today being Election Day, once that ballot is cast… Then what…

Well, today is November 3rd:
Love, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Then tomorrow it’s November 4th:
Love, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Then it’s Thursday November 5th:
Love, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Then it’s Friday November 6th:
Love, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Then Saturday November 7th...
By this point, you get the gist... Love, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

You’ve cast your vote... Now live your life...
Life to the full, full of love. His Love!

May we yield our hearts to Him, so we can better grasp His Love and Grace!

Loving even the undeserving... That which I was, so undeserving… In His Love, AMEN!


Jeff Ng

11.02 || Who has the voice of Authority?

Psalm 29

As election is near, either you have already cast your ballot by mail or by early voting, it is our way to exercise our right and freedom living in this democratic country. During the whole process of the election year, there are so many voices and noises around. Who is the right president to lead this country to a better future? Whose policies are in line with mine? Who has better personality? Who is more presidential? Who is a better fit to be our commander-in-chief? And so on. My question is who is telling us and answering these questions? Are the sources coming from the truth or an agenda? Who has the authoritative voice?

Jesus is the voice with authority. The Authority has been given to Him by our Heavenly Father. He speaks with truth and love which strengthen us when we are weak and gives us peace when we are anxious about this election or our daily lives, especially during the uncertainty of our time. Listen to his voice in your meditation of the Word. Knowing that He is powerful, majestic, glorious, mighty, just and holy. Nothing that we are going through that He cannot handle. Call out to Him, trust in Him and wait to see His goodness of His guiding hands to lead us out of our transgressions and evils.

All is in His plan whether or not the person who you had elected becomes our next president. Knowing everything is in His hands is a way to trust Him and a fundamental of our Christian faith. Let God be God and Let us be His faithful servants.

Psalms 29
Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars,
Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes them also skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the LORD sits as King forever.
The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.


Charissa Tan

11.01 || The Death of Lazarus (3/3) || John 11:1-44, Matthew 16:25

“Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.’” John 11:21-22

The devotional I read did not discuss Martha’s response to her brother’s death, but I found it to be the most thought provoking and compelling part of the passage. After the loss of Lazarus, she must have been deeply saddened. Yet, her faith was unwavering. She greeted Jesus by acknowledging His power and by proclaiming her confidence in a heavenly eternity. She does not ask Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead. Even though she knows this is something that God is able to do, she does not expect a miracle. Instead, she finds peace in knowing that she will see her brother again on the last day. Regardless of the circumstance, Martha accepted God’s plan and trusted wholeheartedly in His love.

I think Martha resonated with me in part because of the stark contrast she provides to how I handle grief. When bad things happen out of my control, my reflexive response is to ask God a lot of why’s, dwell in negative emotions, and wish for immediate intervention. As much as I try to remind myself of God’s promises during these seasons, I am constantly trying to fix issues and fast forward my growth. Martha’s patient assurance is a reflection of her relationship with God and a reminder for me to simply surrender. Although I am sometimes tempted to feel otherwise, my perspective is so limited compared to God’s eternal all-knowing and all-powerful one. I may not understand the reason for Him to allow some things to happen, but I should have faith it will all be good in the end.


Converge Member

10.31 || Proverbs 1:33

but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."

Wisdom is the way out. Best to listen early.

We might look at the negative things, and how some of it might not seem fair… Now we see the positive...

The choice is there: wisdom or folly… Which to choose?


Converge Member

10.30 || Proverbs 1:32

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

The consequences are absolute… It will kill them or destroy them.

The descriptions of the people are finally given. Wayward & complacent.

The storms, disasters & calamities is not what will kill/destroy them, it’s their inward character (waywardness &/or complacency.)

Personal study/homework:
Only the simple ones & fools are described, but the mockers seem to have been referenced earlier (v.26). Why might this be?


Converge Member

10.29 || Proverbs 1:28-31

"Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.

Shifts from you to they. You, implying a distinct choice of the individual. They, highlighting those that ignored wisdom's call.

Personal study/homework:
Why does it change from "you" to "they"?

Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

Just a recap w/ the punishment having no timeframe.


Converge Member

10.28 || Proverbs 1:24-27

But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you- when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

Goes over the disaster that is to come, yet it still doesn’t seem like people are listening.

Personal study/homework:
What is the context/meaning of "mock" in verse 26?

For whom was Proverbs written? (more than just Proverbs 1:1-7?)

Does wisdom sound so vengeful? Why or why not?


Converge Member

10.27 || Proverbs 1:22-23

"How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.

We see three groups of people:
- Simple ones (Pr. 14:15 – believes anything)
- Mockers (Pr. 14:6 & 21:24 – seeks wisdom & finds none… also proud & arrogant)
- Fools (Pr. 14:16 – hotheaded & reckless).
Each group seems to like what they’re doing.

Wisdom is doing the work going around seeking people that are willing to respond. The simple ones, mockers & fools simply need to respond… yet they still don’t...

In wisdom, there is love.

Of note, in the Hebrew 'simple' speaks of one w/o moral direction, one inclined to evil.

Fool in the Hebrew speaks of one who is morally deficient.


Converge Member

10.26 || Proverbs 1:20-21

Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:

Wisdom is personified as a woman.

There is boldness (shouting in the streets). Wisdom in not secluded, it’s in the open (loud public places… distractions).

Wisdom is available to all. People that are intentionally listening can receive that wisdom.

There is urgency in wisdom’s purpose. The area of where wisdom goes grows.

Personal reflection:
Why is wisdom personified as a woman?

Progression: Wisdom goes from public squares, to the streets, then to the gate of the city… Thoughts as to why?


Converge Member

10.25 || Proverbs 1:15-19

my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.

Parents attempt to dissuade impulsive behavior, showcase long-term effects from methods.

How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.

How foolish... they catch nothing.

They are killing themselves through their plotting & scheming...

Anyone that has ill-gotten gain has not gained anything, rather they have taken away from their own life... Rather than gain, they have diminished.

Be wise, receive the garland that graces your head (father's instruction) & the chain that will adorn your neck (mother's teaching). These are true worthwhile additions to your life... unlike ill-gotten gain that will ultimately take from your life.


Converge Member

10.24 || Proverbs 1:10-14

My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul; let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse"

Turn your back before you sin!

This highlights a basic desire within youth to please others.

If we do go with them, we are the only one to blame... we were warned to keep away.

So follow instruction or engage in sin?
We have a choice. Note that the enticement is NOT the sin, it's our giving into the enticement that is sin.

Our nature is selfish, so to follow instruction we must be intentional. We must make the choice to do what we know is right. Application, living a life of wisdom.

Being selfish for our gain, this is the more enticing part... much more than the hurting someone for fun.

We can gain through our parent's teaching and instruction, or we can gain by giving into the enticement of that which we have been warned of... Which way does wisdom lead us?

Personal reflection:
Would someone REALLY be enticed by this scenario?


Converge Member

10.23 || Proverbs 1:8-9

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

We are not obligated to agree, but we are called to listen/hear.

The usage of my son... looks to be spoken to a younger individual.

The usage of father & mother looks to be of familial aspect.
In the Jewish household, mothers would teach the kids and fathers instruct (discipline/boundaries).

Interestingly in our culture today, oftentimes it can feel like we are obligated to agree, so we become indifferent and choose not to hear/listen.

We don't want to be looked down upon, and we don't feel a need to have anyone to look up to or report to. We become the measure, our own rule.


They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Our parent's instruction is something to be proud of. It is beautiful.

The garland that graces our head is our father's instruction.
Father is head of household.

The chain around our neck is our mother's teaching.

The contrast: What you learn vs. if you learn.
If you are intentional you will learn.

Interestingly enough, both garland & chain are additions.
You are not insufficient if you don't listen to their teaching & instruction. But these additions can enhance your life.

Personal study (if desired to seek):
Original text of “hear”, what does it mean?


Converge Member

10.22 || The Paid Cost

Throughout this pandemic, I thought about how I "needed" this. How I needed this pandemic to happen in order to have more time for a self-reflection, figuring out the purpose God has in store for me, and open my eyes about the world. I felt like this pandemic made my life "easier". How I can have more time to sleep, online school, and feeling less drained and sad than pre-corona times. I do feel selfish to have these thoughts about how I "enjoy" this pandemic because the cost of people's lives and struggles were paid in order for me to grow. Although the pandemic did affect me negatively where my plans and opportunities were canceled and not being able to see the people I care in-person. I thought overall the pandemic made me more responsive and proactive.

As I thought about this, it made me think about how Jesus died on the cross for us in order to pay for our sins. How we can have eternal life through Jesus without paying the debt, but just to accept and repent.

Thank you, God, for sacrificing your one and only Son so that we may be full.


Alan Lai

10.21 || Trust in the Lord

As I was reading I came upon a verse that I remember from back when I went to Sunday school as a kid.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

It does remind me of when I was a teenager. Teenagers are said to believe they are always right or know more than their parents.

This can lead to many arguments between children and parents and probably were the term "the terrible teens" come from.

Now as I am older I understand that my parents have more life experience and probably knows more than me in many aspects of life.

In the end it is still God that knows best. Many times people become unsure of what to do in life and if you feel that you are drifting in life
just remember to trust the Lord and he will make your paths straight.


Cara Tan

10.20 || Daily Bread || Matthew 6:11

On Mondays, I always feel the most stressed because I see all the work and obligations I need to do in the upcoming week. I see all the tasks and start planning the days and times I will do them. Un-checked boxes often make me anxious, and, as a result, I spend a lot of time reminding myself that I need to do XYZ or think about doing things that I can do ahead of time. This past week, these feelings have been more prominent than usual because of changed routines and deadlines for work that I let sit are coming up.

In Exodus 15, God tells Moses that He will provide provisions for each day and not to store up for the future, the “daily bread.” In the Lord’s Prayer, which most of us often recited in Sunday school, has the line, “Give us this day our daily bread.” In the past, I always thought of it as God will provide for us. But, in the devotional, the quote by Corrie ten Boom about worrying made me think about it in a new perspective. Instead of worrying for the future and frantically trying to do the things of tomorrow today, it is better to trust that God will give us bread daily.

For me, one thing that the bread can represent is time. Sometimes, I feel like there is not enough time in the day and week to do everything. My prayer is that I can live one day at a time and trust God to provide.


Allison Oshiro

10.19 || What Does God Say About You?

Job 1:8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

God speaks truth about us because He knows everything about us. He sees the whole picture--our purpose, our life, our struggles, decisions, shortcomings, and future. Man is only able to see small snippets of who we are. Even those who are the closest to us--our spouses, parents, children, and best friends really only see a fraction of what God can see. We see this evident in Jobʻs friends who loved him dearly, cried with him when he was suffering, yet only saw a small snapshot of who he was. And with that snapshot, they drew conclusions about his life and why he was suffering the way he was. After seeing Job suffer, they said he had angered God with his actions, that he must be living a life that wasnʻt pleasing to God. But from Job 1:8, we can see that this was not true because God Himself said that Job was blameless and upright.

We all believe in the voices of those we trust the most. We value those who have walked with us through hills and valleys; those who have known us since birth; those who sacrifice for us daily. But they are not God. And while they may love us more than any other human on this earth, they cannot love us the way God does. He created our inmost being. He created us with a specific purpose and a plan to fulfill that purpose. He built within us unique gifts and talents to accomplish that purpose. He knows every hair on our heads.

I think about my sons. While I love them with everything I am, I donʻt know the purpose for their lives because I was simply the incubator while God knit them together and while I am to steward them and guide them as they grow, they are ultimately His. I pray that they would become men after Godʻs heart, that they would follow him. I dream that one day maybe weʻll have a missionary or a pastor or a veterinarian or a lawyer or a teacher in our family, but I don’t and canʻt actually know what the plan is for Skyler or Noah, only God does.

And so what does God say about me? About you? About anyone? There are 3 things I know without a doubt, that God says about every single person He has made:

1. We were created in Godʻs image (Genesis 1:27)

2. We were created to do good (Ephesians 2:10.)

3. If we are in Christ, nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39.)


Sandy Chong

10.18 || Be Alright

Why does life keep throwing me curveballs?

I feel like my brain is melting out of my skull as I face the next set of issues piling up for me to solve. If they were tasks comfortably within my skill set, I would have no issues with helping, but there’s a lot of things thrown at me that I feel unqualified to handle. Suddenly everyone’s problems became my problems. It’s so easy to want to run away, to avoid everything, to push it off.

I can’t help to think about how Moses felt, given a task seemingly impossible to complete.

10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:10-12). 10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:10-13)

I used to think that it would be easier to be faithful to God’s commands in Biblical times, when God spoke to people very directly, but I think this assumption still doesn’t take into account the human nature that we all have. Moses tried to give a lot of excuses to get away, that he could not do what God told him to accomplish, as Moses only looked to what he was capable of, instead of what God was capable of.

In the life of Paul we can also see hardships that he faced, especially in the last legs of his missionary journey. Paul and others were on a ship lost at sea, supposedly heading towards the direction of Rome, but a storm threatened the lives of everyone there. They had no idea what direction they were facing, and the ship kept settling lower. People were throwing non-essential things overboard to lighten the ship and some were even trying to escape by small boats, to sneak away before the ship broke up. It was a journey 14 days, when everyone had seemingly lost hope, Paul still held on, “23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.” (Acts 27:23-25). Paul's faith doesn’t just come from nowhere. They were in a life or death situation and Paul had faith in God that they would all make it out alive, despite what the circumstances say. Through Paul’s conversion and missionary journey, he experienced situations that were undeniably of God’s grace.

Although I’m not tasked with missions that endanger my life, I still should be faithful to what I am called to do, both big and small. In having the Bible, we have God’s word and we can see the character and faithfulness, laws and promises of God. I can’t really see how these curveballs are going to add up in the end, but God is with us in all our problems and is able to use all things for good. There’s so much we don’t know, so let us hold on to what we do know.


Be Alright
[Evan Craft, Redimi2, Danny Gokey]

They say You hold the whole universe in Your hand
But my world’s falling apart like it is made of sand

Am I small enough to slip through the cracks?
Can You take my broken pieces and put them back?

Give me faith to believe that You are on my side
Open my eyes to see You working in my life

Let the past remind me You never fail
Tell my soul “It is well”

Todo va a estar bien
Everything will be alright
The whole world’s in His hands
Your whole world’s in His hands

In the darkness and the trials
He’s faithful and He is true
The whole world’s in His hands
Y todo va a estar bien

Everything will be alright


Wei Chen

10.17 || Rest in Jesus

Mathew 11:25-29
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 27 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. …”

Jesus traveled from town to town to preach. The Bible verses from 11:21 to 11:30 record what Jesus said after some towns refused to repent and turn from their sins, even after seeing the miracles revealing who Jesus is. Verse 25 to 27 seem saying God does not make the revelation clear to some people. Then to whom will God reveal who Jesus is? Verse 28 is the key – to those who will come to Jesus. No matter what the situation may be, we can still rest and have peace in Jesus as what Verse 29 promises.

Psalm 62:1 says “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.”


Kate Li

10.16 || Forgiving Others and Choosing Peace

People always say that friend breakups are the hardest, and they're right. It's the loss of a friendship that can hurt more than a romantic relationship. I recently had a friend breakup. It wasn't anything dramatic, but I noticed that my friend just wasn't putting the same energy into keeping up with me anymore. It's sad because I was always there for my friend for anything, but they wouldn't do the same for me. I didn't notice that I was putting so much into just trying to help them, that it was starting to take a toll on me. I did feel a bit upset and angry for a while because I didn't understand why my actions weren't reciprocated, and we once were such great friends. It didn't make sense to me.

Reading the passage Matthew 18:10-35 in a devotional reminded me how Jesus calls us for forgiveness.

"Forgiveness is not easy. The cross reminds us how costly and painful it is. Forgiveness does not mean approving of what the other person did, nor excusing it, nor denying it, nor pretending that you are not hurt. Rather, you are aware of what the other person has done and yet you are called to forgive. In your personal relationships lay aside all malice, revenge and retribution and show mercy and grace to the person who has hurt you."

This passage really was a reminder for me to choose peace and to let go. It doesn't mean that the friendship is over forever, and maybe we can reconnect later on. Perhaps, it's just better off this way and some people are only meant to be in your life for a while. I have noticed that choosing peace and forgiveness has made me feel much more content and happier in my life. Holding on never feels great. I hope that this can be a reminder to you as well to forgive others and not let their actions cost you your peace, even if they are not understandable.


Enze Ma

10.15 || Glory to God || 1 Peter 4:8-11

One thing that stood out to me in this passage this time around was verse 11: "in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ."

I know this appears throughout the Bible, but this really stood out to me today because when it comes to glorifying us, it's not about us. God is glorified "through Jesus Christ." It doesn't say that God is glorified through us but through Jesus Christ. And it says that everywhere in the Bible.

And I think this truth is incredibly freeing. Because it doesn't matter what we do or how successful we are unless in all that we do, we point to Jesus Christ. If in all that we do, we can reflect Jesus Christ, God is glorified.

More of You, and less of me. May my life really point towards Jesus and ultimately bring glory to You, our loving Creator.


Luann Yoshida

10.14 || Which Son Am I?

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.
Matthew 21:28-31

I asked myself….”So, which son are you?” This passage is so convicting to me.

There are times when I am, undoubtedly, the second son. I can hear God calling me to do something, yet I’ll think of every excuse not to do it or I’ll put my hands over my ears, close my eyes and just plain refuse. I really WANT to be the first son. The one who repents with passion and turns toward Jesus and runs after Him. The one who makes that 180 turnaround and changes my attitude, my thought process, my value system and says, with my hand held high, “Okay, God, USE ME!”…feeling no hesitation, no doubt or anxiety. I want to be the one who fully believes that whatever the outcome is and whatever way He chooses to use me, I am fine with it because I know that it will all be used for the glory of God….and that makes everything right.

I love this analogy from a commentary I read…

“Lips that say, “Amen”, mean nothing without hands and feet backing them up.”


Brandon Yee

10.13 || Exodus 4:1-17

"'Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” [Exodus 4:1]

This story in the Old Testament is about how God wanted Moses to lead but Moses was very reluctant to. First, Moses says that his people wouldn't believe him or trust him when he claims that God himself talked to him. In response, God gives Moses three miraculous ways to help Moses prove his truthfulness. Moses could turn his staff into a serpent, heal his own leprous hand, and turn water into blood.

'But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”' [Exodus 4:10]

Next, Moses claims that he isn't eloquent enough to speak to his people. God responds to this fear by reminding Moses that he created Moses, including his ability to speak. Even though this story takes place in the Old Testament, it still feels very real to this day about how we react to God's messages for us. It is very easy for us to turn down God's requests by making excuses or downplaying our own capabilities. Unfortunately, when we talk back to God, we might not receive the same kind of response from Him that He gave Moses. For example, God may not give us three magic fixes to our prayers, like how He gave Moses three ways to prove himself to his people. When I pray, I often find that God doesn't answer my prayers right away, but that doesn't mean He isn't listening to my prayers.

In the next excuse that Moses says to God, his plea sounds almost like being afraid of public speaking, which is something that I can relate to. However, God reminds us that our fears are tiny compared to the bigger picture of Him and His plan. Moses seems very human-like in this passage by being reluctant to embrace God's plan for him. However, Moses is one of the most recognizable figures in the Bible, despite his reluctance and human drawbacks, which only shows that we also have the potential to become one of God's best followers even though we have imperfect human traits.


Alan Lai

10.12 || Troubled Times

During these times when the world seems to be in so much chaos and I seem to be worrying about different things. Just recently all the political news, natural disasters, and uncertain economy can get anyone to start worrying. Then I was reading the verse Matthew 6:27 which says "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Which reminded me that there is no point in worrying for those who let God take control of their lives.

We should just takes the days as they come and also worry not about the future because in Matthew 6:34 it says "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Although each day has different trials and challenges God knows what we need and will provide so that we do not have too worry about these troubled times.


Wei Chen

10.11 || Life is about your relationship with Jesus

Mathew 9: 1 - 9

Today’s Bible verses provide several valuable teachings to those who follow Jesus:

1. Your faith can help save your friends. Verse 2, it says “Jesus saw that these people had much faith,” “these people” include not only the man who was paralyzed, but also his friends who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus. There are many ways you can bring your non-Christian friends to Jesus: taking them to a church service or a Bible study, some encouraging words when they are feeling down, or interceding for them in your prayers.

2. Jesus cares for people's spiritual life. By declaring “Your sins are forgiven” prior to saying “Stand up. Take your mat and go home”, He saves that young man from his spiritual death. In Mathew 4:23, it says “Jesus went everywhere in the country of Galilee. He taught in the synagogues and told the Good News about God’s kingdom. And He healed all the people’s diseases and sicknesses.” Again, teaching comes before healing. Let us not focus on our physical needs in this world; instead, let us do what Paul says “But you belong to God. So you should stay away from all those things. Always try to do what is right, to be devoted to God, and to have faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)

3. Jesus uses miracles to demonstrate He is the Messiah, the Son of God, and has the power to forgive. If you have a non-Christian friend who asks you who Jesus is, how will you answer?


Gaylen Yoshida

10.10 || ROMANS 12:21

ROMANS 12 : 21
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Since the start of the pandemic, I've noticed that people(Christians and non Christians) have been getting weaker in defending themselves from the evil one. We're starting to see more people with short tempers, frustration, easily agitated, hoarding, violence. Sounds a lot like Kill, steal, and destroy, yah.

Well, I've recently retired from TSA and have seen this type of behavior even before Covid.

I can also testify to using good to overcome evil. Which works, but sometimes you run out of time, or we just aren't given the chance.

Today, everyone is scared of the unknown, which makes us sometimes only think about ourselves. Which is why having empathy and explaining EXACTLY what I was going to do, would sometimes calm them down, if they let you talk. ;-)


Converge Member

10.09 || Matthew 6:25-34

"do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear."

These days, it seems like a lot of what we do is for appearances, especially for social media. We also spend a lot of our time worrying about money and our jobs, especially in this economically difficult time. But I liked that this passage reminds us that we always have support from above so don't be overly consumed with the material things.


William Braddock

10.08 || The Word has Answers for All Situations

Whenever I am facing a challenge or need guidance I pray that the Lord my God will direct me to a passage in his word to give me guidance to tell me what to do. Recently I felt a little depressed because I am at home so much. I tend not to be as active as before. I sleep a little too much. So I search for passages on that subject. The tells me what that results will be. So I start making new plans to be engaged in something.

Please pray that I can guide my household spiritually. We continue to thank God for all his many blessings. So many that we can share with others that are in need. I depend on the Lord God for every breath I take.


Christina He

10.07 || Be Strong In Your Faith

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 10:22

This verse describes the journey that Christians face living in our society. We live in a corrupt world where sin is praised constantly. Our society puts the idea that if you aren't involved in the sinful worldly things then you live a boring life. The false idea that partying and drinking is the only way to have fun appears often in the college community. We need to be reminded that our worth comes from our creator and not the people of this world. When we follow God, we realize that we are fulfilled by God and not the things of this world.

Being a Christian and living out your faith is not easy but when you constantly remind yourself of God's truth by reading the Bible everyday, He will lead you in the right path and help you stay astray from temptations. Even in the bible, Jesus was hated by so many people. He was mocked constantly and was crucified. He did not live an easy life but He dedicated His life to sharing the truth and following it. Therefore to my fellow brothers and sisters, I want to remind you to stand strong in your faith and do not be afraid of living it out. Strive to be more like Jesus and not the world.


Jenny Lau

10.06 || Real Eyes Realize Real Lies

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect - Rom. 12:2

It is so easy to conform in this ungodly world. We do it because we don't want to feel left out and be an outcast. Especially in this day of age if you don't hold the same beliefs and values as the majority, people criticize you. This is one of the challenges that Christians have to face in our daily lives.

Before, I did not read the Bible a lot and so of course I was so conformed to this world. Even if I did read God's word by using the Our Daily Bread devotional app because it was short and easy to digest, God's words still did not reach to my heart because I just let it go once I finished reading. However, as I was able to hold myself accountable to stay focused and actively read the Bible. What Jesus and God had always spoken has finally reached to my heart, but at the same time, I had a dilemma with myself because of the ungodly thoughts, behavior, and values I had without realization was being contested by God's words. As I go deeper into His words, I slowly get a sense of the bigger picture and live out what God expects from me. Still, it is not easy to be fully devoted and not be swayed with what the world believes.

Overall, it is through God that I am able to transform by the renewal of my mind.


Allison Oshiro

10.05 || Be obedient in everything

Genesis 7; 8; 9:1-17 || Matthew 4:1-22 || Proverbs 1:1-17

Genesis 7:2-3
Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth.

God instructs Noah to take 7 pairs of every clean animal and 1 pair of every unclean animal. From this verse we learn 2 things about Godʻs instructions: He is purposeful and He has a plan.

Genesis 8:13
In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.

Here we learn how Noah continued to be faithful and obedient to God. He didn’t get off the ark when the Dove came back with the olive branch; He didn’t get off the ark when the Dove didn’t return; He didn’t go searching for the dry land. But when the waters were dried, Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw that the ground was dry. He had to wait until the plan was completed. He didn’t rush the process. He didn’t go looking for the ending. He waited till the ground was dry.

Noah was obedient to God in the big things, building the ark, and waiting till the right time to remove the covering. God was faithful in seeing the plan through by carrying the ark to dry land.

Genesis 8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

After Noah got off the ark, he built an altar to the Lord and took some of EVERY clean animal and bird and offered it to the Lord. The plan was fulfilled--God told Noah to take seven of every clean animal because clean animals would be killed for offerings. There would be a need for more of the clean animals, not the unclean animals. Noah was obedient to the Lord in the details, bringing on board the ark the exact number of clean and unclean animals God instructed.

What do we learn about God’s character from this passage?

God is purposeful

God has a plan

God sees things through to completion

How should we be living?

Be obedient especially in the details

Don’t rush the process

God will provide for His plan. In the same way, He provided for Abraham so Isaac wouldn’t have to be sacrificed. In the same way He provided Jesus as Messiah. God will provide what we need to carry out His plans in our lives. Our job is to be obedient in the big things AND in the details.


Charissa Tan

10.04 || The Death of Lazarus (2/3) || John 11:1-44, Matthew 16:25

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled… Jesus wept. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” John 11:33-36

God loves us and cares for us. Jesus knew about the death of Lazarus before it happened. Yet, when he was greeted with Mary and Martha’s tears upon arrival, he still wept with them. Delaying his trip to Judea was purposeful, so Jesus was not crying over the news of Lazarus’s death. He already knew of the greater plan that would come to fulfillment. He wept because his spirit was moved by their tears. It was a display of care and compassion. Just because God is in control does not mean that things will always be good; His plans may cause us to experience doubt, fear, and sadness. While He does not promise an earthly life without pain, God does promise to never leave nor forsake us through it all. His love is great, and He is weeping with us through our darkest valleys.

The last year and a half were extremely draining for me. Between navigating various new and scary life changes and confronting the aftermath of losing some of my biggest support systems, it was a time of great darkness and uncertainty. I often felt hopeless, overwhelmed, and alone. I wish I could share that I was able to lean on God through the difficulties, and my faith grew stronger. For a little while, I did, and it did. But when things did not get better on my timeline, I became frustrated and bitter and angry. I questioned His plans, and my relationship with God weakened significantly.

As I reflect on the past season and work on repairing the damage I have done, it is apparent that God has remained steadfast in His love. He was and is always there to accept me as I am, whether I bring forward my joys or sorrows. It is a simple truth reflected in ourselves. When someone close to us confides their troubles, we willingly share their burden. Our heart breaks for what breaks theirs. If our imperfect love is able to do this, God’s perfect love is capable of much more. A lot of people are struggling these days. I hope and pray that they know, no matter how bleak their world seems, God’s love is ready to receive them at any time.


Cara Tan

10.03 || Habits || Romans 12:21

Evilness and sin can become a habit. Done once, and it continues to occur. Like a bad habit, even if one knows the consequences and tries to stop, the enemy deconstructs our moral arguments against it, and it happens again without a second thought.

When this happens, the only way to break this habit is to accept God’s help and guidance. It may take a long time: weeks, months, years. There is joy when the bad seems to have disappeared, and frustration when it makes itself known again (as per the nature of a habit). But, do not give up on the fight. Treasure the better times, and reflect in prayer during the not-so-better times. I pray that I will not be desensitized to sin, recognize my own bad habits, and continue with God to overcome the evil with good.


Kai Le Chang

10.02 || How To Create Social Change 101

Matthew 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.


In this world of infinite inputs, its nearly impossible to not get overwhelmed with information. On the flip side, it is increasingly harder to make your voice heard. In this era of societal change, it can sometimes seem that your voice gets drowned out in the rapid cycle of social media. However, your seemingly inconsequential actions are the most fundamental step. Like nuclear fission, the actions of a single individual can be the catalyst of change for those that surround them, who then influence those surrounding them. True social change does not stem from the individual but from collective action. As Christians, it is our duty to live our lives as good examples for others. When you live your life to glorify God, it is reflected in your character. When culture goes one way but you stand by your beliefs, people notice. We have the good news; someone’s willingness to hear and embrace it all starts from judging your individual character. This is where true change comes from.


Kate Li

10.01 || Seeing perspective through God's eyes

When you are disappointed by someone or something, resist the urge to give in to feeling angry or bitter. Instead, ‘look around from where you are’ (v.14); fix your eyes on God and see things from His perspective, not the enemy’s. Trust Him to help you in these difficult situations, rather than trusting in yourself. His plan is to bless you."

This paragraph from the devotion really stuck out to me because we have all been thrust in a difficult situation with the pandemic, and it's really disrupted everyone's daily life as well as future plans. It was a great reminder to trust God and His plan, and it made me think of all the great things that did come out of this pandemic. I was able to move in with Christina, and we started a lash business together. I got back into baking again because I had more time to do so. My family and I spent much more time together.

It was also a great time to regroup and really think about what I want for my own future. I thought about my relationships, and if they were serving the right purposes. It's also heightened my appreciation for little things like going outside on walks, and I know it'll feel 1000x better whenever in-person instruction resumes again. I must continue to remember that there is a plan from all of this happening, and I'm excited to see what that plan is.


Converge Member

09.30 || Matthew 12:1-21

In this passage, Jesus shows how mercy plays a role in his love for us. Jesus says, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." [Matthew 12:11-12] After saying this, he heals a man with a withered hand. Even though at the time it was against the law to do certain things on the Sabbath, Jesus challenges these rules, and instead shows his mercy on the man by healing him. However, not only is this an example of God's mercy but also how corrupt and evil the laws were back then. The Pharisees had set the laws not to serve God, but only to serve themselves. We can learn from Jesus and what he did on the Sabbath to remember that even when we sin, he shows his mercy to us. He is willing to forgive us if we repent. He says "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" [Matthew 12:7].

However, God also values justice and order. We can see that in the entire Old Testament. He wants to punish us when we go the wrong way, but only because of his love. He knows that the path to sin only leads to destruction, so he wants to guide us away from sin. Our penalty for sin is death, but once again God shows his mercy by sending Jesus to die for us. God is both an example of justice and mercy.


Kimberly Zheng

09.29 || Peace || Psalm 46 & Matthew 11:28-30

Psalm 46: 1-3
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling."

I find a lot of comfort in these words. Although I'm still really young and honestly cannot say I've experienced a lot of "turbulence", there are still things that I struggle with: worries, insecurities, and challenges. But knowing that God is always, always there for me to turn to and call upon really allows me to be at peace with those struggles and helps to ground me.

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

No matter what troubles or hardships you are experiencing, whether big or small, I hope you can find comfort in the fact that there is nothing too small to be overlooked by God and nothing too large that cannot be overcome by Him as well. As long as you bring everything to God, He will give you the comfort and guidance that you need the most.


Sandy Chong

09.28 || Operating System (OS)

Maybe you like iOS, or Android, maybe it’s MacOS vs Windows. We tend to have a preference, or maybe you can switch between platforms with no problem. Regardless of what you use though, the base functions of these devices are growing increasingly similar. Where they differ is how it looks (the UI) and how things get programmed in the back end (i.e., Swift vs Java).

So what OS are you running on? The way you operate, view, and interact with the world. The driving force, motivation, and foundation for your life. We all know what it’s supposed to be, but is God really at the core?

I recently realized mine is fear.

“I have to be on time or else my stomach will feel sick even at a minute late”

“I have to be organized so I don’t get overwhelmed and meltdown”

“I have to work on this myself because something will go wrong if I delegate it”

“I have to have a strong work ethic so I won’t be disappointing”

Sure I can get the tasks done on the outside, but it’s nowhere near healthy nor efficient on the inside.

Fear is part of human nature as a survival mechanism, and there are many common phobias, but when the fears are ridiculously irrational, then it starts to feel taxing.

I find a lot of comfort in Matthew 6:25-27,34 Jesus says:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

However there is a healthy fear, the Holy Spirit gives us the fear of God.

The day 12 devo of the Bible reading plan writes this “It is an understanding of who God is in relation to us. It means respect, reverence, awe, honour, adoration and worship; it could even be translated as love for God. It recognises the power, majesty and holiness of God Almighty. It leads to a healthy respect of God and is the antidote to all other fears and phobias we experience in life. Fear God and you need not fear anything else or anyone else. It is no coincidence that as the fear of God has decreased in our society, all the other fears have increased. We need to return to a right relationship with God.”

There are a lot of things to be fearful of, the pandemic, economic recession, a divided community, even our own thoughts, but let us also remember that God is ultimately in control and to operate in His Spirit.


Converge Member

09.27 || A God bigger than Sunday Service || Revelation 2:1-7, Ephesians 6:16-20

A particular issue of living day by day without noticing each fleeting moment is the inability to move forward. Without seeing what's in front of us, how do we move forward?

I remember my moments when I first encountered God. I felt alive. I felt like everything mattered. I wanted to praise Him all the time. As time went on, I slowly stopped moving out of joy and moved with feelings of obligation. This makes the biggest would you rather question: Would you rather have someone listen to you and compliment you out of obligation OR out of love? As Christians, it's easy to say that certain practices like prayer and meditation are good, but when do we actually stop to do these things. Even more of a conundrum is doing this every moment of every day.

The church of Ephesus would agree that prayer, reading the word, and serving a community would be good things. Some may have practiced it, but how many of those who practiced it would do it out of joy and love for Christ? Is it a wise decision to obey God without knowing why you are obeying Him? Is Sunday Service the only time you worship God?

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:4

This line may seem harsh, but it's a wake up call. Recalling Paul's letter to the Ephesian church, there's a remedy that may work.

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
Ephesians 6:18

If you feel like you've lost the zeal for God or never experienced it in the first place (perhaps legalism), He's calling you back to His presence. Soak yourself in thoughts about Him all the time. Talk to Him in times of activity or silence. Practically, are you talking to God when you're doing laundry? When you're eating food, are you enjoying the food that God has created for you to enjoy? Are you constantly reminding yourself that "Jesus is your friend?" Do you feel like He is your friend? There are many ways to practice a prayer. Honestly, the more simple your prayer, the better. It's easier to focus when there's only one sentence moving you to God.


Enze Ma

09.26 || Discerning Love || Philippians 1:9-11

"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment." Philippians 1:9

One of the big topics I have been contemplating recently has been the idea of "love." We all grow up with some idea of love, but only recently did I take a deeper dive into what exactly is love, and why is it so important? Why is God's defining characteristic love?

While I can't say that I will ever fully understand the extent of love, nor can I give a conclusive answer to my questions, I still receive so much joy when I see glimpses of God's handiwork as I discover more about what love means. In this passage particularly, Paul is talking about a love that "abounds more and more with knowledge and all discernment." Love that grows with knowledge and with discernment; the more we know someone, the more we can love them, the better we can love them. It takes effort to know someone, and even more so to discern how BEST to love them. Love isn't easy, but it's the struggle to love constantly, the struggle to love more than what can possibly be given, the struggle to sacrifice self in order to love more deeply that makes love worth it. God made this world, knowing full well that He would need to sacrifice Himself, a cataclysmic splitting of the Trinity, in order to save us from condemnation of death. Yet, He still chose to do it this way. Because He loves us. Love is knowing the risks and the sacrifice and STILL choosing to go through with it. In love, we forget our own selves, our own desires and wants, and instead look to our Maker and our Sustainer, knowing that His grace is sufficient for us all.


Jessica Li

09.25 || Peace Keeper

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

With midterms coming up, this is a calming verse to reflect upon. There is so much trouble in the world right now so it is important for us to remember that we have God to help us with our concerns and to not fall in anxiousness. I want to use this devotion to wish all the college students good luck on their midterms! Remember to stay calm, study hard, and pray hard. We got this :)


Jeff Ng

09.24 || Oh my Word....

Proverbs 2:1-11

Today was an interesting day at work. I got multiple people telling me what to do at the same time for the same task in emails. Oh, I got some phone calls too. Some sent me private emails telling me one thing, others sent a mass email telling me how to do. The task was simple but one person wanted me to follow the protocol, the others also wanted me to follow the protocol but going through another person. And others told me that I don’t have to follow any protocol. Mix messages, instructions and directions all within couple of hours. At the end, I could only laugh.

It makes me think about how opposite God’s instruction is from my situation. His Word is always constant and true. It never changes. It comforts and guides. His Word is alive. I love how in John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and The Word was God. The Word is alive and living in us. So, store up His word in your heart. It will help you see the knowledge and heart of God. He will give you wisdom to deal with things when you have to make decisions. It also gives you strength especially when we are down and depressed during this pandemic time. It gives us courage and joy when we realize God's word gives us hope. We worship and praise Him when we see His promise revealed.

Back to the story above, yes I do have to follow the protocol. I have to tell some people "no" in a nice way. I guess we'll have to see what will happen to my inbox tomorrow. I'm still laughing. Oh people....:) May the joy of the Lord restore my soul.


Luann Yoshida

09.23 || My Uncle Tom

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

My Uncle Tom died this week from Covid 19 in the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home. He lived a long, fulfilling 97 years. He and my Aunty were married for almost 70 years, until she died a year ago. My Uncle was an anthurium farmer on the Big Island and I watched him work tirelessly into his late 80’s, an age when most people have settled into retirement and enjoy relaxing, leisure time. He relished being busy and working with his hands in the dirt. My Uncle was a sweet, gentle man who was devoted to his wife and family, but most of all he loved Jesus. He enjoyed being active in his church and carved out time each day to spend with God. I remember seeing his bible open on his desk…faded and worn…knowing that it had gone through life with him.

When my cousin told us on Friday night that he had passed away, I felt a deep sadness knowing that I would never be able to visit him again and see his smiling face and twinkling eyes, but, at the same time, I felt a joy in knowing that he was finally Home. I’m sure he looked forward to this moment for most of his life. I envisioned my Aunty waiting for him to arrive and Jesus standing next to her with His arms open wide, ready to embrace Uncle Tom. Then, I imagined Jesus whispering in his ear….”Well done, my good and faithful servant”….and my Uncle’s eyes twinkling with joy.


Jessica Li

09.22 || Reflecting on the "Rules”

1 Corinthians 6:12

“I have the right to do anything,” you say - but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” - but I will not be mastered by anything.

The passage that this verse is a part of discusses sexual immorality and sexual sin, however I personally found this verse particularly compelling because it can be applied to so many other things in life as well. Our women’s group talked a little bit about the topic of rules and restrictions in Christianity and how it can be hard for non-Christians to understand why one would want to believe in a God and follow a religion which has so many “constraints”. This verse would be the first verse I’d reference because I feel it so perfectly summarizes my thoughts.

Yes, in life you can technically do anything you want, but is everything you do beneficial to you? To your future? To God? To what God wants for you? When you sit down and ask yourself these questions, it becomes clearer why it’s easier to follow these “regulations” than you thought. When you go into life and religion viewing rules as a negative thing, it’s a given that you won’t react positively to them and you’ll find them suffocating. However, upon reflection of your actions and asking yourself questions, you can begin to see why these rules are there. You don’t want to be “mastered” by anything in this world. It is so easy to fall consumed in so many superficial things in the world, to the point where you may not even notice.

To me, this verse almost feels like a back and forth dialogue between our hearts and our minds. Our heart feels wanting and that we have the right to do anything. We can do whatever we want as long as we wish to. Our brain then comes in to remind ourselves that not everything is beneficial and that you shouldn’t be mastered by anything. It is a great thing to remind ourselves when we begin to fall in a hole.


Christina He

09.21 || Seek to Find

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Matthew 7:24

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”

Matthew 7:26

These verses are a good reminder to the church members. In our society, sin has become praised. Temptation surrounds us daily and without knowing and following God's truth and words, we can easily conform to this world.

As Christians, we need to remind ourselves that following God is a life filled with love, joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Even on the rough days, God will carry your worries and give you peace and guidance.

If someone seeks fulfillment in this sinful world, they will end up feeling more broken and empty. When you seek your heavenly father, he is always there with arms wide open accepting you and guiding you through troubles.

Seek and you will find :)


Wei Chen

09.20 || What is life about?

When I was reading the Book of Genesis, the last few verses in Chapter 4 caught my eyes:

25 Adam knew his wife intimately again, and she gave birth to a son. She named him Seth “because God has given me another child in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 Seth also fathered a son and named him Enosh. At that time, people began to worship in the LORD’s name. (Genesis 4:25 - 26)

I wondered why “people” did not worship God before Seth or Enosh was born. The Bible does not say if Abel gave birth to sons or daughters before he was killed by Cain. Cain had many descendants, however. It is highly possible that Cain did not pass the name of God to his children. From verses 23 to 24, we see that Cain’s descendants only worshiped them self. For this reason, Cain is not even mentioned in the name list of the descendants of Adam in Chapter 5. The generations of Cain were lost in God’s eyes.

We, Jesus followers, were all once lost. I did not know Jesus when I just came to the United States. My ancestors worshiped idols only, so I knew many false gods, which I used to turn to for help when times were difficult. I was truly a sheep deeply lost in the wilderness. However, God sent His son to save me. Because of this, I can joyfully sing “I once was lost but now am found”. This is only by His amazing grace. I am not better than Cain.

Reading Chapter 5 of Genesis is not a happy thing. When Adam’s descendants (or Seth’s descendants - to be more clearly) are laundry-listed in Chapter 5, besides mentioning their giving births to sons and daughters, the Bible simply ends how many years they lived before they died – except Enoch. In Verse 24, it says “Enoch walked with God and disappeared because God took him.” In other words, Enoch did not die. Life is truly more than how many children you have and how many years you live. In Micah 6:8, the Bible says:

He has told you, human one, what is good and what the LORD requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

Blessed are those young Christians who have been known by God because of the day and night prayers from their parents even when they were in their mother’s womb. May the God they know is not just their parent’s God, but also their own God, and one day they will pass the name of their own God to their children too.

May God help us all walk with Him daily.


William Braddock

09.19 || Reflections

I am so thankful for all of Gods many blessings. Ping and I are always amazed by Gods sovereignty. We look at the sky and the things around us an are continually in awe. We are so thankful for the fellowship and love of this congregation. Pray for us as we look for better jobs and a home to purchase. We ask for wisdom in all our decisions.


Jayne Lau

09.18 || The Tongue || James 3:1-6

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

Though small, our tongues can inflict great damage. Like a ship guided by a rudder, our tongues can shape our relationships and lives. Like a forest set ablaze by a small fire, our tongues, once started, can do some terrible stuff. Everybody stumbles and makes mistakes. Many of those mistakes are made by the tongue. If I am not careful, those mistakes could lead to something worse. A lie, leading to another lie. A swear word, leading to others.

However, the tongue is also capable of so much good. It is able to lift peoples’ hearts, bring enemies together, impart wisdom, sing praises, and so much more. It is important to remember to control my words so that they only build people up and glorify His name. Though small, it can do great things.


Converge Member

09.17 || Psalm 1:1-6

I like this passage because it's not only beautiful poetically, but also a good reminder to us how we should behave as Christians. I really like verse 3: "That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-- whatever they do prospers." Although during difficult times we may feel like God is misleading us or that we should do what we think is best, we have to continue to put our faith in God because that way, whatever we do will be prosperous.


Converge Member

09.16 || Drifting (Day 5) || Ephesians 2:10

The Devotional for today was about serving regularly. Meditating upon this this passage, I pray that God will help me remain positive and committed to serving at church and helping others. Weekly opportunities to serve those that we care about can be transformation in both our own lives and the lives of the people around us.


Converge Member

09.15 || Nothing is too hard for the Lord

What a timely reminder! Relationships, health, economy, and politics are all locked inside the pressure cooker called the COVID-19 pandemic. The false hope of returning to normalcy has come and gone. The fear of the-worse-yet-to-come has made us susceptible to lies that offer easy answers, a black and white worldview--them versus us.

In troubled times in the past, people turned to God for His promise of a new life, love, and hope. Not this time. Is it possible that we, as Christians, will emerge victoriously through these trials and tribulations? Is it possible that we, as the body of Christ, will be united in a divisive world?

God said to Abraham, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Genesis 18:14). It referred to His promise that Abraham and Sarah would give birth to a son even though they were at advanced ages. God made a covenant between Him and Abraham that he shall be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:4). In the same token, God made a new covenant with us, which is the promise of redemption by His grace. Lord, help me trust in You alone and foresee the unity and victory we have in You in all circumstances.


Angela Luo

09.14 || Drifting Pt. 3

Key passages:

2 Tim. 3:16

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work

Psalm 119:1-8

It's hard to do devos everyday. Just being transparent. It's hard to open the Bible and talk to God everyday like He is your friend. I know that I should, but my mind comes up with any reason for me not to. But even doing devos once in a while is better than never doing it.

God's Word doesn't change. He doesn't change. We are the ones that are wishy-washy, and the unreliable ones. That's why having an anchor is so important. God's Word exists to ground us with the truth, with reality. Through it, we learn about Him, develop our relationship with him, and carry out His plans for us.


Jenny Lau

09.13 || Storytime

I used to keep everything to myself because I was afraid to trust others, even my best friend. I was fine at first knowing the fact that I'm the only person who knows my feelings and struggles. However, as I got older, I've learned the comfort of being vulnerable. Especially this quarantine, I've been the most sincere to myself, my best friends, and most importantly, God.

Despite the absence of face-to-face interaction, the trust among my friends to open-up grew tremendously. Although we've been friends for more than a decade, I could never imagine it we could be even closer. I guess you can say Zoom really did that. Through listening and sharing stories of our struggles, it brings encouragement to be open and have a heart-to-heart connection.

The Bible is filled with many stories. It's where we can learn the faith, miracles, and struggles of God's people. The purpose of the stories in the Bible is to not only learn but to have a relationship with God. It is what God intended in the beginning.

The power of storytelling in what God provides in our midst of despair and happiness can draw people closer to God.


Alan Lai

09.12 || Family and Friends || Proverbs 1:8-10

Proverbs 1:8-10
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.

After listening to Jason's sermon on relationships this past Sunday I thought that I would give some of my thoughts. Listening to family is important because they will be with you for life. Most of the friends I had over the years come and go but family will be with me forever. Family will usually have your best interests in mind which might not be the case when it comes to friends. I have seen people try to be friendly just to take advantage of people so one should be careful. When I was in the army many of my friends would ask me to drink or go to the clubs, although it may not be easy to say no to friends sometimes they will understand if they are really your friends and won't push too hard. When young lots of people listen to friends more than parents, but remember that you parents usually have your best interest in mind. Also as a bonus for those you have read my whole message a bit of news on me. I got engaged last week so hopefully God will bless me and my fiancee.


Gaylen Yoshida

09.11 || MATT 7: 13-14

MATTHEW 7: 13-14

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

40 years in the making.

This passage now brings to mind something that happened to me many years ago when I was invited by my cousin to attend church with him. I thought that it was interesting and enjoyed the sermon. This visit to church got me interested in reading the bible, but probably wasn’t able to absorb or understand more than one chapter or passage at a time. I probably never completely understood anything.

Back then, it was difficult to understand the parables. But now, understanding them is made clearer by studying, and applying lessons learned. Such as, “Nothing worthwhile comes easy. You have to work at it”

As a kid (BC), I probably ran around the “narrow gate” and through the “wide gate”. Now, I try to at least turn sideways and work at it. It’s worth it!


Charissa Tan

09.10 || The Death of Lazarus (1/3) || John 11:1-44, Matthew 16:25

“So, when he [Jesus] heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was… Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days” John 11:6,17

Know that God is in control and that He has a plan. Throughout this passage, it is evident that Jesus is purposeful in his actions. He very clearly states Lazarus’s illness is for the glory of God and makes a point of waiting. Jesus then tells the disciples he must wake Lazarus before he heads to Judea and discovers Lazarus’s body in the tomb. Without reading the remainder of the chapter, these choices are baffling. If Jesus knew Lazarus was going to die, why would he do nothing and allow it to happen? How can this be meant to bring glory to God? Each season has its purpose, and Jesus knew his role in fulfilling God’s plan for Lazarus.

When setting the intention to follow God's plan, I first need to know God's heart. There will be times I struggle to figure out what God wants. These moments are a signal for me to evaluate the state of my relationship with Him and to find opportunities to reset. Similar to my earthly relationships, spending time in communion with God, through prayer and through seeking to understand His Word, is critical to building my relationship with Him. As I get to know God’s character, His plans for my life will become unmistakable.

The greater challenge is choosing to follow God’s plan wholeheartedly and faithfully. Chasing after temporary and selfish desires that never result in contentment is human nature, after all. I control my life. I know best. I can reach whatever goals I set for myself. These are not unfamiliar sentiments for me; I want to be capable and reliable. Yet, constantly striving for The Next Big Accomplishment is draining. It constantly reminds me that I am not good enough. Allowing my dreams to die and replacing them with God’s can feel scary but doing anything otherwise means I consider my plans to be greater than His. I pray that even when God asks me to be still and patient as everything seems to be falling apart around me, I follow the example Jesus set and glorify God through all circumstances.


Cara Tan

09.09 || Mindful Words || Matthew 5:39-42

If someone said something against me, I used to find myself getting very bitter. I would think about the words for a long time, and sometimes, how the person would like it if I said something similar to them. But, God says that this is not right. Do not respond to hurtful words with hurtful words.

In our lives, people may do or say things we do not understand, sometimes they have the intent to hurt and sometimes it is unintentional. Regardless, in those moments, as easy as it is to get upset and engage in unproductive arguments with them, God tells us to speak words of blessing, encouragement, and wisdom. We should try to avoid attacking back with insults or put-downs, even if we want to do otherwise at the time. That’s not to say that we have to agree with the person/people or go against our beliefs, instead let our words come from God.

Everyone does things that God does not approve, but He does not deliver words of anger to us in return. With this in mind, I want to always try be mindful of my words to others.


Luann Yoshida

09.08 || God is Sovereign

"Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you."
- Ruth 1:16-17

"Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity over me?”
- Ruth 1:20-21

The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
- Ruth 4:14-15

The story of Ruth and Naomi begins with sadness, despair and hopelessness and ends with great blessings, joy, hope and redemption.

Naomi has lost her husband and children—everything that is important to her and probably all that defines her. She is angry, bitter and feels that she has no hope for a future. Even worse, she feels abandoned by God and is doubting her faith. Ruth is devoted God and has pledged to stay with Naomi and never leave her side. But Naomi does not see what she has in Ruth and still believes she has nothing. Through it all, God is sovereign in their lives. He works everything out for good for Naomi and Ruth. Because of their patience and faithful obedience to the Lord, they are blessed over and over. Ruth marries Boaz and they have a son, Obed. Naomi has new meaning in her life and her faith is restored. Ultimately, through this bloodline, Jesus Christ was born.

The Book of Ruth begins with three deaths and ends with a marriage and a baby.

God is sovereign, even in the deepest valley. Unbeknownst to us, He is continuously working behind the scenes. It may appear at the time we’re suffering, that nothing is happening, but eventually everything comes together and falls into place. God is sovereign over life and death…over sorrow and tragedy…over joy and new life. He orchestrates the good and the bad to accomplish His purposes.

Our walk with the Lord is not a straight path…there are many hills and valleys, twists and turns and setbacks, but God is sovereign through it all. When our story ends, it is always good.


Kate Li

09.07 || Battles and Blessings

Today's devotion reminded us of how blessings and battles both come into our lives. It's easy to stick to the bad and forget all about the good that is in our lives. However, we are not alone and can rely on God when we are in times of sadness and happiness. Since COVID-19, my life has had many ups and downs, from committing to a college, graduating, finding out I have to stay here in Hawaii for my first semester, the list goes on. There's been a lot to celebrate but also be upset about. Through it all, the only constant I have is to rely on God and know that everything is going according to His plan. Knowing that what I'm going through right now is going to be good for me in the grand scheme of things is relieving and encouraging.


Sandy Chong

09.06 || ctrl+z / cmd+z || Matthew 1:21-23

You might know this keyboard shortcut, its the undo key. I use this shortcut a lot, especially for design work. Depending on the program, you can spam the undo keys until you return to a blank canvas. Trying different design compositions, finding typos, fixing grammar, editing photos and video, or accidentally deleting a file, technical errors are things that we can usually identify right away and take immediate action to fix. 
These steps are easy to take because there are standards, design rules, spelling rules, grammatical rules, a right way something is supposed to look, sound, and function.

However, when it comes to the way we live our lives, our lifestyles can vary vastly from person to person. Morality is barely a standard anymore, and it’s easy to see God’s words and plans as a kill joy if we doubt His goodness over our own ideas. Matthew 1:21 reminds us our need for a savior, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” I find that verse alone to be so humbling, with our human nature so obviously flawed and easily falling short of God’s glory. In using God’s word as our life standard, what aspects in our lives do we need undoing to align with His heart? Let us undo the mindset that life is all about us and refocus our attention to God, the main character from beginning to the end.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name “Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:21-23


Enze Ma

09.05 || The Manger of My Heart

Every time I re-read the nativity scene, I am full of wonder at the humble beginnings of Jesus, the son of God. Though Matthew does not give us the details of his birth, I am reminded of how easy it would have been for Him to come in splendor and majesty, yet He chose to be born a baby.

What I find most convicting is that the birth of the one Man who would forever change the history of the world happened in a manger, in the presence of horses and mules, rejected by every innkeeper on the way. How dirty is a manger! Yet, how much more so is my heart. And if Jesus can change the course of the world even from a manger, what can He do if I offer Him even the smallest space in my heart, no matter how filthy it is? All He needs is that first step, and He can work miracles.

And eventually, the once small space in the heart grows until it is forever changed and transformed into something new. From a manger comes the Savior of the world. From the smallest spaces of our hearts come children of God.


Daniel Huang

09.04 || start of college

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘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.’”

Around last week I moved into a new house by my own with a few housemates in order to facilitate a college lifestyle. This marked the transition from a chapter of life where I was spoon-fed along the way of life and it is finally time that I go and take care of myself.

Though I am not completely transitioned into this new lifestyle, I feel that it has taken a huge toll on my mental well being. Being in a new environment away from home and starting college this week has been rough for me, especially having to wake up at 5:30AM every morning to make up for the Cali timezone. I know it is natural to feel empty or odd about being in a new situation like this, and it will only take time for me to adapt to my new environment.

Reading the verse Jeremiah 29:11, it made me feel better about the future and let me know that God has my hand in paving the future. I will know that when I trudge through these tough times, I will come out stronger and better as a person. Please keep me in your prayers as I enter this new chapter of life!


Jeff Ng

09.03 || It Was Good

Everything God created is good. Even me. I was good.

Lies, anger, lust, jealousy, envy, hate, disobedience and everything about ME took over. I lost what was good in this creation that God has intended. Jesus reminds me how good that creation was and only He can bring me back to that place because He was there when I was created just like how He was there when the first of everything was created. And God said, it was good.

Thank you Father for loving me. While sin took over everything in the world that You have created, You never gave up to find me. You run after me even sometimes I ran away from You. Forgive me for my disobedience, lack of trust and plenty of doubts. Amen.


Allison Oshiro

09.02 || You Are Loved

In Genesis 1:26, on the sixth day, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

In Genesis 2:5-7 "When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up--for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground--then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."

While these two passages may seem contradictory--how could God have made man on the 6th day and at the same time, created Adam before there was any bushes or small plants? They aren’t. More than chronological order, what is important to focus on and what is made very clear by these 2 passages, is that God intended to create humans from the very beginning. We were always a part of the plan. We weren’t a mistake or just a “next step”. God intended to create human beings before the formation of the heavens and earth.

This shows us 2 things:

God is strategic
Humans were created for a purpose

God is strategic. He does nothing by accident or by chance. He has a plan. He is orderly. Even his rest was purposeful. It’s much easier to look at the world today with its uncertainty and challenges and think God has forgotten about us or God has allowed all that is happening because He’s punishing us. Because why would an all powerful God stay seemingly silent and inactive when millions around the world are suffering. While no human being could ever begin to answer that question, the truth for those who believe remains-- God is strategic.

From the formation of the world, he intentionally and meticulously formed the heavens and the earth, the sea, the land, the vegetation, the animals, and humankind. He is a God of order and purpose and planning. While we can’t know, this side of heaven, why bad things happen, we do know that the God who formed the universe at the beginning of time, remains the same God today, in 2020. He holds the world in his hands.

Secondly, humans were created for a purpose. Throughout Genesis 1, God spoke and creation was made, however, when it comes to man, God doesn’t just speak, He creates man from the dust of the earth, from nothing. He formed man and then breathed life into him. And not only that, He creates man in his own image. Entire books have been written about what it means to be made into the image of God. However, simply put, man was created for a purpose. Every person we meet was formed by God, was given His breath of life, and made in His image. Every. Single. Person. Whether or not they accept that He created them or accept His Son as Lord and Savior is a completely different issue. Belief doesn’t negate the fact that all of mankind was created by God for a purpose.

No person was ever a mistake, perhaps considered a mistake by another human but never ever considered a mistake by God.
No person is value-less, perhaps deemed insignificant by another human, but never by God.
No person is unwanted, perhaps unwanted by another human, but God desires all to be in relationship with Him.
No person is beyond redemption, perhaps discarded by another human, but God can redeem all.
No person is unlovable, perhaps thought unlovable by other humans, but God loves all.

You are loved.


Jason Oshiro

09.01 || He Is Worthy

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
~ Psalm 1:1-2 (ESV)

for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
~ Psalm 1:6 (ESV)

It makes sense that the psalmist highlights the progression from walking, standing, then sitting... This may sometimes become a checklist: 1) Not in counsel of the wicked, check! 2) Not blatantly sinful, check! 3) Not being a scoffer, check! Now, let's be honest that's a pretty far-fetched list for most. But what if we reversed it?

1. Our thoughts... Do we scoff at others, silently, from where we sit? Like a backseat driver?
2. Where do we stand on things? And why? What source(s) do we rely on?
3. Where do we get our counsel? Where do we turn for support?

That process can become cyclical, and the more we believe in what we are leaning upon, the more we will be moved from sitting, to standing, to walking, to marching, to running and championing the message. So why is it hard for us to champion His message? The one we often claim as the most important? (Note: By championing, I do not mean to say vocal within a large group, and/or speaking to large crowds. Rather being willing to speak when called upon, whether it be a larger group, a smaller group, or maybe even as simple as having boba with a friend).

With anything worth fighting for we do our due diligence, maybe that's being cautious, after-all we don't want to get "brainwashed." We put in place certain safeguards with most anything we step into. Where we see the change often come about is with the connecting points. Something, someone (or many people and/or things) that resonate deeply within us, and we go from sitting, to standing, to walking, we become active for that which we more and more, wholeheartedly believe.

So what does that look like for us that profess to be Christians? Moving beyond the cautious, after-all, how long can we sit in the "afraid to be brainwashed" camp, in any cause, if we truly want to be taken seriously... How do we connect with God, on a deeper level?

The blessed man (person) delights in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. It makes sense, if we delight in something, if we are passionate about something, we practically eat, sleep, and drink it... It is a part of our very fabric, a lens into how we see the world, and the things going on around us.

And when it comes down to it... No matter whose eyes we seek to find favor in, within this world, it won't last, and sometimes they won't even know... But the Lord not only knows our devotion to Him, He knows how to mobilize us for eternal impact. How exciting to journey closer to Him, as a congregation, together! Be blessed and be a blessing!

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