For a long time I didn’t have devotions at my home. In fact, I argued with God because of my hard heart. I didn’t want to change the beliefs and behaviors of my life. I had my own opinions to what the Bible says. As a result, I thought that if I was busy with something I didn’t need to do the devotion every day.
In VOICE, everyone “has to” say something during the team devotions. The most amazing thing is that God is real, and he can talk to us through the Bible! Actually, being an obedient disciple is exactly what I rejected before I came to VOICE. It is difficult for me because I have to give up a lot of things to be an obedient disciple. The devotions everyday, undoubtedly, reminds me how hard my heart is. I am praying that I can have a soft heart and have some changes in this month.
Here’s the start. I am the only one who can speak Cantonese here… which is a good experience for me because I get to know more people from other countries. My adorable Taiwanese friends are curious about my language, so I taught them some words which are very useful!
Everyone here is friendly and playful. I love having them as company. I would like to know more about them in the rest of the days. I hope I can have fun and learn things at the same time.
So far so good!
The TESOL students are so loveable. We share each others snacks and stories when we have free time. Stories are always entertaining.
In team devotions and team prayer I have learned many things. I always cared about what people thought before. However, I read the Bible in devotions which said that we should not please man, but care about what God thinks of me. Also, I feel like my team is my family. They teach me to learn how to share my feelings instead of hiding them in my heart. Every time when we have a performance class, I get nervous. Though I love acting, showing them some “crazy” deeds really makes me shy. I know Boba is training us to be at ease to perform in public so that our musical can be better. I don’t have a very important role in the musical, but I find that helping others is still fun. I am glad that even though I have just been here about a week and I have learned so many things.
After entering the memorial, time seemed to stop. The air became thick and everything was so quiet. In this silent place I could sense pain, horror, death, panic, and screaming. Children died, adults died, and nothing can bring back their lives. In my opinion, I don’t care why this mad freak did this kind of thing. The only thing I care about is that this thing took away so many lives. When I was thinking of this, anger and hate came into my heart. I felt like I was falling and breaking. But my feeling s do not matter, I just hope the survivors and lost families feel peace.
Team devotions are at seven in the morning every day. I think that it is a great time to read the Lord’s words and get closer to Him. I am on team one. My team leader is David, and we are studying Exodus. Every morning we meet at the back of the auditorium. We love that part of Voice!
At team devotions, we learned the story about Moses and about his faith in God. I think that it was really cool that Moses was found in a basket by Pharaoh’s daughter. It appears that Pharaoh’s daughter saved a baby that someday would become an enemy of her father. I learned that God always has a miraculous play! In addition, after Moses told Pharaoh that he should let the Israelites go, Pharaoh gave them even more hard work. The Israelites lost faith in God. I realized that no matter how hard the circumstance is, you still have to trust in God and have faith in Him because He has a great plan. It is a plan that maybe does not make sense for now but will finally be revealed at the end! Just trust in God no matter what happens. He will lead us to the land of milk and honey!
Though I sometimes feel tired and sleepy because of waking up at such an early time, I feel team devotions really makes us stay close to God regularly. We are reading the book of John. We learned a lot about Jesus. I think that even though He is so holy, He went so low to the human world and lowered himself to save people. He condemned the people who sold things in the holy temple because the temple was a place to worship God, not a market. He also talked to a woman who had five husbands and she trusted him at once. He did miracles for many people and cured them physically and spiritually. He cured a man who had been sick for 38 years. But then He was betrayed. Though He knew some people hated him and wanted to destroy Him, He still loved all of them so much. I think His love is eternal and incomprehensible.
Thanksgiving Day reminds us of how God led the Pilgrims to America and gave mercy to the people in a severe situation. Nowadays, we remember it with a big feast, turkey, decorations, a day off, and Black Friday. We seldom think of how amazing and generous God was to save the people. We should always think about what we possess as all mercy from God. If it was not God who gave the American Indian’ hearts generosity, the pilgrims would not have survived and America might be different today. If it was not for Jesus being crucified on the cross for us, human beings would still be walking in the darkness.
I have never celebrated Thanksgiving in Taiwan. Thanksgiving Day is more like a holiday that would be introduced in History Class. I’m thankful that God gave me the chance to know about what it truly means and to keep a humble heart. It is also important for all of us to remember that God is the provider. He is the only one who will last forever.
Today we learned the second commandment, which is “Do not carve an idol for yourself.” At first I thought I knew this pretty well. In my mind, to carve an idol ( or image ) equals worshipping a false god. But from yesterday and today’s class I realized whatever is bigger or at the same level as God in your heart is worshipping a fake God. These include music, movies, stars, TV, and lots more. Today I learned that most of the time, I have a wrong impression of God. I thought that when I did bad things then God would not be merciful with me, but I was wrong.
This June, on the day I graduated, I planned to go to the movies and night market with my friends. However, they were going to KTV in between the movie and the night market, but my parents forbade me going to that place. However, I went at last, because I did not want to go home that early and I wanted to have more fun. So I played and played, and when I god home, I saw my parents sitting silently on their couches looking serious. Immediately, I knew I was in trouble. Later on, I heard lots of bad things about what had happened at the KTV. Then I realized how much grace God has given me. Even though I have done bad things, God still protects me.
“We are great sinners, but Christ is a great savior.” What is the eternal value of worship? Who do we worship? Is it a rock star? Or is it a president? No. It is only God who we worship. We need to obey these most important commands, love God and love people. We have to confess we are guilty and we need God’s help. I learned that sometimes we even worship our emotion. That shocked me very much. I had not known that anger, worry, embarrassment, and disappointment would be worshiped. They would distract you and keep you from focusing on God. So, put God first. It may be a test, but we need to follow God. Don’t worship the fake god or emotions, because they will terminate one day in the future. You should have no other gods before me.
Is God using the trouble I am in to punish me for past sin? In the past, I usually thought I could not get good grades because I had not joined the worship. But now I know that was my distorted view of God. God does not use trouble to punish us. He still loves us even when we are sinners. God loves us with a sin-destroying love.
This is the first time I have been to America. I am so excited and a little worried. But when I saw that everybody is so kind and nice, I stopped worrying. I am very happy getting to know a lot of new friends at Voice. I want to know more about God this summer. I am also happy shopping! Everything is beautiful, and I want to buy it all!! Hahaha.
The weather here is a little dry and hot. But I think it is because of Jesus that we can come here. That is a beautiful thing!